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SC lets off prof in contempt; takes note of his mental state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has set aside the Madhya Pradesh High Court order awarding three months jail to a professor for contempt for casting aspersions on some HC judges, saying he was not in a “proper frame of mind”. The court said professor Lavit Rawtani, who teaches Information Technology at Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal (MANIT), cannot be held responsible for his actions as he was not in the right frame of mind. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar passed the order after perusing a report submitted by the Board of Doctors which concluded that he was “suffering from chronic schizophrenia and needs regular psychiatric treatment”. The apex court had on May 4 accepted the plea of the professor’s wife, who pleaded in person before the court that her husband was schizophrenic and “not fit and stable”. The top court had also stayed the arrest and detention order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. “It is not possible for us to accept that the husband of the petitioner was in a proper frame of mind during the course of the proceedings in the High Court leading up to the impugned order. “As such, he cannot be held responsible for his actions. Since he did not understand the consequences of his actions, the impugned order passed by the High Court on March 2, 2017, ordering his conviction for contempt of court and sentencing him to three months’ simple imprisonment, is unsustainable. The same is, accordingly, hereby set aside,” the bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, said. The apex court asked the wife to ensure proper treatment to her husband to alleviate his medical condition and said “in case she is unable to do so, recourse may be made to Mental Healthcare Act to administer treatment to the husband of the petitioner.” The Jabalpur bench of the MP High Court had initiated contempt proceedings against the professor on March 2 for making reckless allegations against judges and not tendering unconditional apology. It had sentenced him to three months simple jail term on April 6, holding him guilty of contempt. The professor had first filed a PIL in 2014 challenging some appointments made in MANIT and demanding a probe, which the High Court had dismissed asking him to file a writ petition. Subsequently, he refused to file a writ petition espousing his cause and started sending speed posts containing contemptuous contents to High Court judges. The High Court had taken up the matter suo motu (on its own) and initiated contempt proceedings against him. The wife of the professor moved the High Court on April 25 seeking time to appeal against the order in Supreme Court and stay on the arrest of her husband.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MCI row: 5-judge bench to decide fate of Oversight Committee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today agreed to set up a five-judge constitution bench to adjudicate the question whether the apex court-appointed Oversight Committee will continue to look after the affairs of Medical Council of India. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud agreed to set up the bench for one-hour on July 17, after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for some medical colleges said it was an urgent matter as counselling for admissions in MBBS and BDS was underway. Rohatgi said the question needs to be adjudicated upon urgently and he will take only 30 minutes to conclude his arguments on the issue. A five-judge Constitution bench in 2016 had appointed a three-member Oversight Committee, headed by ex-CJI R M Lodha, to oversee the functioning of the MCI till the Centre put in place any other appropriate mechanism in this regard. It had said that the committee would function for a period of one year, unless a suitable mechanism was brought in to substitute it. The Centre had yesterday told the apex court that it had taken steps to put the alternative mechanism in place and there was no need now for the Oversight Committee to continue. The plea was contested by the other parties favouring continuation of the committee, who said no alternative mechanism has been put in place. MCI had also contended that the directions of the Constitution Bench were based on certain material which the could not be controverted at the time of the order. It said that MCI is required to be heard by the constitution bench before any final decision is taken on the need for continuation of the committee.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC exempts Arunachal, Andaman-Nicobar from liquor ruling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief to Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Supreme Court today relaxed the 500 metre cap on liquor vends across the national and state highways there.A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar relaxed the cap while noting that almost 50 per cent of the state revenue for Arunachal Pradesh came from the sale of liquor and 916 shops out of a total of 1011 shops have been affected by the 500 metre cap.The counsel appearing for Arunachal Pradesh said that 80 per cent of the state was covered by forests and, out of a total revenue of Rs 441.61 crore, Rs 210 crore came from liquor sale.”The counsel appearing for Arunachal Pradesh states that the terrain in the state is similar to that of states of Sikkim and Meghalaya and, accordingly, state of Arunachal Pradesh deserves parity given to Sikkim and Meghalaya in the order passed by this court on March 31. The prayer is allowed,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao, said.Similarly, the bench also allowed the prayer of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and relaxed the 500 metre cap as per its March 31 order.The apex court had on March 31 said that liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from April 1, but had exempted the hill states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh and areas having population up to 20,000.The apex court also dealt with a similar plea of Uttarakhand which is also seeking the relaxation from the cap.However, the counsel for Uttarakhand could not furnish the data on the revenue loss and was asked to furnish details.”You provide us the data. We will give you time. We are not agreeable at this stage. You provide the data first,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing next week.A similar petition filed by Kerala also came up for hearing before the bench but the counsel appearing for the state said he would amend the application.

SC imposes Rs 1 lakh fine on lawyer for filing frivolous PIL

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A lawyer today incurred the wrath of the Supreme Court which slapped a hefty fine of Rs one lakh on him for filing a “frivolous” petition and wasting judicial time. “You have filed a PIL having 160 pages. I read it once and could not understand, and then I read again. What is your problem? We want to know what you are asking for,” a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said. Advocate Raj Balam Sharma, who had filed the PIL in his personal capacity, said he wanted all colonial laws to go and the process of abolishing them be monitored by the apex court. “Which colonial law is creating the problem,” the bench, which also had Justice D Y Chandrachud, asked. All laws are colonial laws, the lawyer responded. “We have found nothing in the petition. You are wasting your own time and you cannot waste the court’s time. We will impose heavy cost on you… Tell us how much cost we should impose for this frivolous petition,” the bench said. The apex court, which has been harsh on litigants for filing frivolous pleas, then imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on the lawyer and asked him to deposit the money with the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) within four weeks. It said that SCBA would use the fine amount in upgrading its library. While dismissing the PIL, the bench ordered its Registry to re-list the plea before it after four weeks if the lawyer failed to deposit the fine.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC dismisses PIL seeking ban on burning of ‘Ravana’ effigies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL seeking a ban on burning of effigies of Ravana on Dussehra across the country, saying that the Constitution provides for freedom to practice religion to all citizens. “Have you read Article 25 of the Constitution? It says that everyone has the right to practice his/her religion,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told the petitioner while dismissing his plea. The PIL, filed by Haryana-based journalist Anand Prakash Sharma, had sought banning of the practice of burning Ravana on Dussehra, saying “this practice is not supported by any basis mentioned either in Valmiki’s Ramayana or Tulsi’s Ramayana.” It also said that it hurt not only the sentiments of some sects of Hindus, but was also hazardous for the environment. “More importantly, this illegal practice is a waste of money and hazardous to the environment and health of public,” it said while seeking direction to the Centre and states to ban the “improper” practice.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks 12 states for roadmap to fill vacancies in police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked 12 states including Maharashtra and Assam to give roadmaps on filling up of vacancies at various levels in their police forces. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, which had recently passed orders asking states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to fill up such vacancies to ensure proper policing, directed the remaining 12 states to take a cue from its directions and give their proposals within two weeks. “We have passed orders for filling up vacancies in other states. The nature of the order is known. You peruse the orders and file affidavits,” the bench said. The states which have to give roadmaps now, include Maharashtra, Assam, Odisha, Delhi, Manipur and Tripura. The bench posted the matter after two weeks for passing of formal orders in this regard. The apex court was hearing a 2013 petition filed by advocate Manish Kumar claiming that law and order situation in the country was deteriorating due to a large number of vacancies in police services at all levels across all states. The court has been monitoring the filling up of the vacancies in each state and asked the state governments to submit their roadmaps. The court has so far accepted the roadmaps of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. It had earlier rejected the one submitted by Bihar government and had summoned its top officials with a revised proposal. On May 4, Gujarat government had sought time till August 2018, owing to assembly elections in the state this year, to fill up over 11,000 vacancies in its police force. The bench had accepted the roadmap given by Gujarat and had directed it to complete the recruitment process by August 31 next year. The apex court had on May 3 accepted the roadmap of the Jharkhand government for filling up vacancies of over 10,000 constables, 3017 sub-inspectors and 72 deputy superintendents of police and directed the state authorities to strictly adhere to the time-line. It had on April 24 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to fill over 1.5 lakh police vacancies in fours years, saying this will help in dealing with the law and order problem. It had also directed the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to fill up about 45,000 such vacancies in a time- bound manner, while expressing dissatisfaction with the responses of West Bengal in the matter. The apex court had directed the home secretaries of three states — Haryana with 15,163 police vacancies, Madhya Pradesh (14,729) and Chhattisgarh (12,638) — to submit their roadmaps.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Issue of farmers’ suicides can’t be dealt with overnight: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The issue of rising farmers’ suicide cannot be dealt with “overnight”, the Supreme Court said today while agreeing with the government’s request for a year to show effective results of its pro-farmer schemes like Fasal Bima Yojana. “We are of the view that the issue of farmers’ suicide cannot be dealt with overnight. It is justified on behalf of the Attorney General to seek time for effective results,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The bench granted time to the Centre and fixed the PIL filed by NGO Citizens Resource and Action Initiative (CRANTI) for hearing after six months. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, referred to various “pro-farmer” measures being taken by the NDA government and said that for showing effective results, the government should be given adequate time. He said that out of 12 crore farmers, 5.34 crore farmers have already been covered under various welfare schemes, including the Fasal Bima Yojana. Venugopal also said that almost 30 per cent farm land has been covered under the crop insurance scheme and the figure will substantially rise by the end of 2018. The court, which initially said that the number of farmer suicides was rising, later agreed to the contention of the government and granted it time. The bench, meanwhile, asked the Centre to consider the suggestions of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the NGO CRANTI, in formulating measures to deal with the issue of farmer suicides. The bench was hearing the PIL raising the issue of farmer suicides in Gujarat, which was later expanded pan-India by the Supreme Court.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC directs Centre to start filling up vacancies in ITAT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to initiate within three weeks the process of filling up vacancies of presidents, vice presidents and members in different benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITAT) across the country. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, submitted that the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet was looking into the matter and the process of filling up vacancies was at an advanced stage. The court allowed the request of Kumar seeking three weeks time and said “the proceedings shall be initiated for filling up of remaining vacancies.” During the proceedings, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for one of the parties, alleged that the process of appointment has been obfuscated and mere lip service has been paid to the matter. The court had earlier pulled up the Centre over the delay in the appointments, saying that the ITAT was one of the key sources of revenue earning for the government, which was still moving at a snail’s pace in filling up the vacancies. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by one Akshay Pundir, contending that “ad hocism has become order of the day as many of the posts of senior vice presidents and vice presidents have not been filled up”. The petition, filed through advocate Sanjeeb Panigrahi, had said “the timely appointment of Presidents, Vice- Presidents and members will go a long way in tackling the burgeoning tax litigations in the country.” The plea said “the government is not taking steps to appoint the presidents, nor is it clearing the names of vice presidents. Therefore a chaos will arise in business circles if no person would be appointed as President before the vacancy arises.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Highways within cities can be denotified, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday found that there was nothing wrong with states denotifying roads within city limits, coming to the aid of pubs and hotels that were shut down along highways.A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud clarified that the purpose of the liquor ban along the highways was to prevent drunken driving. CJI Khehar noted that the speed of traffic in the city was slower than that on the highways. “There are no such issues when the roads are within the city,” the court said.The apex court’s observations came on the heels of a plea against the Chandigarh administration’s decision to denotify certain roads. The plea filed by NGO Arrive Safe submitted that this was allegedly done with an aim to “circumvent” the SC verdict banning liquor vends within 500 metres of the state and national highways.”The roads in question do not normally see high-speed traffic. The goal of the liquor ban was to prevent drunken driving in fast-moving traffic. The pace of traffic within the city is very different from traffic outside city limits. The purpose of the ban is to avoid drivers getting inebriated while driving on highways interlinking cities,” CJI Khehar said.The court has scheduled a detailed hearing on July 11.On December 15, 2016, the SC had prohibited the sale of liquor within a distance of 500 metres from the outer edge of national and state highways. On April 1, towns with a population of less than 20,000 people got some relief as the distance was reduced from 500m to 250m and the order was modified to exclude Sikkim and Meghalaya.The top court’s observation comes as a relief from its earlier rigid stance where it was firm on its December 15 judgment. On April 1, hearing a batch of last minute petitions from states and disgruntled stakeholders, the bench ruled, “The judgement of this court concludes that there is no justification to allow liquor vends on state highways (while prohibiting them on national highways) having due regard to drunken driving being one fo the significant causes of road accidents in India.”However, the court’s relaxation in its earlier stance may bring relief to pubs and hotels, particularly in the metros situated, that were forced to shut because they were situated along the highway.

SC asks NGO to provide population details of STs in Sikkim, WB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked an NGO to apprise it how it had deciphered the population details of ‘Limbu’ and ‘Tamang’ tribals in Sikkim and West Bengal by using the 2001 census data. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud was hearing a plea of NGO ‘Public Interest Committee for Scheduling Specific Areas (PICSSA) that ‘Limbu’ and ‘Tamang’ communities, belonging to ST category, have been denied proportionate representation in West Bengal and Sikkim. It asked lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, to provide population details about the ‘Limbu’ and ‘Tamang’ tribals on July 11, the next date of hearing. Bhushan claimed that there was a rise in the ST population in Sikkim and West Bengal and not reserving seats for them proportionate to the growth in their population amounted to denial of their constitutional rights. “How did you arrive at the figures that there is a rise in population of these communities from the 2001 census,” the bench said. The apex court had yesterday said the constitutional scheme that the 2001 census data would be used for giving proportionate representation to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies is “unambiguous”. However, the NGO in its plea has claimed that the population of Limbu and Tamang communities in Sikkim was 20.60 per cent in 2001 and had risen to 33.8 per cent in 2011. It also said that in Darjeeling area of West Bengal, the ST population rose to 21.5 per cent in 2011 from 12.69 per cent of 2001. “It is very clear that for proportionate representation, the census of 2001 shall be considered till 2026. There is no ambiguity,” the bench had said. The PIL has sought direction to the Centre, the poll panel and the two states to take steps for proportional representation of STs, as guaranteed under Articles 330 (reservation of seats for SCs and STs in the House of People) and 332 (reservation of seats for SCs and STs in legislative assemblies of states) of the Constitution, to prevent violation of Article 14 (Equality before law). The petition said in the Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) established in West Bengal on March 6, 2012, there were no elected members of STs from the three hill area subdivisions of Darjeeling district. “Moreover, the state assembly elections in 2016 had no reserved ST seat and hence had no implementation of articles 170 and 332 of the Constitution notified as per census 2011. The delimitated assembly seats in Darjeeling hills presently consist of elected non-ST members,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGOs making fun of court by espousing cause of wealthy: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”NGOs are making fun of this court,” an anguished bench of the Supreme Court observed today as it slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on an organisation for espousing the cause of financially well-off land owners by filing a “frivolous” PIL on their behalf. The apex court imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the NGO for filing the PIL on behalf of 10 Assam-based land owners, whose land was acquired by the state for constructing a two-lane road under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the north-eastern region (SARDP-NE). “NGOs are making fun of this court by filing frivolous petitions. This is the Supreme Court. You are an NGO and espousing the cause of landlords who are well versed and have enough money to fight their litigations,” the bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. It pulled up the NGO for “making mockery of the court” and asked it to deposit the money with the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) which will use it in upgrading the library. “We are dismissing it with a cost. You (NGO) will have to suffer the consequences. You must pay the cost for wasting judicial time and making fun of the court. You are making mockery of the system. You must respect the court,” it said. The PIL was filed by NGO Indigenous Bio Diversity and Human Rights Organisation at the behest of 10 dissatisfied land owners whose land was sought to be acquired by the Public Works Department for a proposed 2-lane road under the SARDP-NE programme. The Guwahati High Court had last year dismissed the PIL after which the NGO decided to move the apex court against it. The apex court, however, said, that the high court had “rightly decided” the case and noted that except the 10 land owners, approximately 130 others were satisfied with the compensation promised to them in lieu of the acquired land. “The instant petition has been preferred as against the impugned order passed by the High Court on April 1, 2016 with a delay of 319 days. We are satisfied that the instant petition is clearly motivated and is an abuse of the legal process. We are satisfied that the High Court was fully justified in rejecting the claim advanced by the petitioner as a cause in public interest. “We affirm the position expressed by the High Court in the impugned order. Since the petitioner has not refrained himself from abusing the legal process, we are of the view, that the petitioner should be burdened with costs for filing the instant petition,” the bench said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CJI happy over paperless SC, project rolled out in five courts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is so convenient that there are no bundle of files on the dais, Chief Justice J S Khehar said today as the Supreme Court rolled out its ambitious paperless project by going into the digital mode to conduct the day’s matters. The Chief Justice expressed happiness saying the move has helped in removing the bundles of files from the podium. “From yesterday, I am very happy because it is so convenient. There are no bundle of files here (at the dias),” the CJI said while hearing a matter on the first day of reopening of the apex court after summer vacation. Justice Khehar, who was holding the bench along with Justice D Y Chandrachud, occasionally took the help of the court staff to go through the files in digital mode and conducted the day’s hearing without any hiccup. While trying to adjust to the digital mode, some of the judges in the first five courtrooms also resorted to the conventional style of going through the hard copies of the case files. A bench headed by CJI Khehar had on March 23 said that the apex court will go “paperless” within six to seven months. Later at a seminar here on May 10, CJI Khehar, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had said digital filing of cases would make the judicial system “extremely transparent” and rule out any manipulation of the records. While the ball was set to go digital, the apex court today also changed the location of some courtrooms which created some confusion among the lawyers, litigants and scribes as they had to rush from one corner to the other. Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was present in one of the courtrooms, said with the re-numbering of some courts, “the courtroom of registrars have now been made courtrooms and the courtrooms have now been turned into court of registrars”. “The advocates are now rushing from one corner to the other in the apex court,” he told a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar. Similarly, senior advocate Dushyant Dave told a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar that “from now on, the apex court will see leaner and thinner members of bar as they will have to rush to the newly created courtrooms.” Some of the newly created courtrooms have been shifted to the first floor of the apex court. The location of court rooms six, seven, eight and nine have been changed. The top court has also upgraded its display board systems as new boards have been installed inside and outside the courtrooms. The apex court registry had yesterday said that the paperless digitisation project would be implemented gradually and, in the first phase, only fresh matters listed in first five courts would be accessed by the judges digitally on an interactive display device. The registry had said that all the high courts in the country have been provided with login IDs to upload digitised records in the prescribed format. “The Supreme Court has made all the preparations to make the court paperless. As the concept of paperless court involves various technical and functional issues, it is proposed to implement the project gradually, as it would be a new method of working for the advocates and judges,” the apex court registry had said in a press release. The registry had said that the apex court had extended the facilities of disseminating details to all concerned by providing two helpdesks at the two reception counters in the court premises.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC refuses urgent hearing on jailed Justice C S Karnan’s plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jailed former Calcutta High Court judge, Justice C S Karnan, today again failed in the Supreme Court in getting an urgent hearing on his plea seeking bail and challenging the award of six month jail term for contempt. “Declined. We will not accept an oral request against the judgment,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said when the counsel for Justice Karnan sought urgent listing of the petition saying “he has been put to grave injustice”. Mathews J Nedumpara, counsel for the former judge, said Justice Karnan has been in jail without a detailed judgement and moreover, one of the seven judges of the bench, which had convicted him, has already retired. “You are habitually inclined to disrupt the proceedings of this court. You (counsel) say the same thing again and again. Declined,” an apparently irked bench said. Karnan was arrested on June 20 in pursuance of the apex court’s judgement awarding him six-month jail term for contempt of court. On June 21, a vacation bench of the apex court had refused to entertain the plea of the arrested ex-high court judge saying it “cannot override” the seven-judge bench order in the case. Karnan, 62, who retired on June 12 as Calcutta High Court judge, was arrested on June 20 by the West Bengal CID. He had been in Coimbatore since May 9 when the apex court held him guilty for contempt of court and sentenced him to six months imprisonment. Karnan has the dubious distinction of being the first sitting high court judge to be awarded a jail term by the apex court and also the first to have retired as a fugitive. A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, had on May 9 directed the West Bengal director general of police to take the then serving judge into custody immediately. Despite several attempts, Karnan has failed to get any relief from the apex court’s vacation benches which has refused to hear his plea seeking a stay of its jail term order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC stays contempt proceedings against Arundhati Roy in Bom. HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today stayed the contempt proceedings against author and activist Arundhati Roy in the Bombay High Court for her article in a weekly questioning the incarceration of Delhi University professor G N Saibaba. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also granted the leave of appeal to Roy and listed her plea against the issuance of criminal contempt notice by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court for final hearing. Initially, the court said it wanted to dispose of the case but later considered submissions of senior advocate Chander Uday Singh, appearing for the writer, and observed: “Leave is granted. The proceedings shall remain stayed. List for final hearing”. The apex court had earlier refused to stay the contempt notice issued against Roy by the High Court on December 23, 2015 for her views on the arrest of Saibaba and the rejection of his bail plea early last year. The bench had also declined to exempt her from personal appearance before a single judge of the Nagpur Bench of the high court. It had granted liberty to the Registrar of the High Court to file any pleadings or documents in the case and had kept the case for final disposal. Roy had expressed her views on the arrest of Saibaba in an article published in a weekly magazine last year. Gadchiroli Police had arrested Saibaba in 2014 for his alleged links with Maoists. He has been on bail since June last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC gives last chance to Maha to remove Haji Ali encroachments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today granted the last opportunity to the Maharashtra government to remove illegal encroachments on 908 square metre area on the approach road and near the historic Haji Ali Dargah shrine in south Mumbai. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud granted two weeks to the concerned authorities to remove these encroachments and asked the deputy collector to ensure that its order is complied with. The direction came after the Haji Ali Dargah trust, which had earlier volunteered to remove the encroachments, expressed inability in completing the task. The court made it clear to the deputy collector of Colaba zone of south Mumbai that “serious consequences” would follow if its order for removing encroachments is not complied within two weeks from today. On May 9, the apex court had lauded the efforts of the Dargah Trust in its attempts to remove encroachments. The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in the memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Trust had on April 13 relented to the tough stand taken by the apex court against large-scale encroachments around the historic Mumbai mosque and volunteered to remove them by May eight. The offer to remove and demolish the encroachments had come after the apex court made it clear that only the mosque, located on an area of around 171 sq meter since 1931, would remain protected while the rest of the area, measuring 908 sq meter, has to be cleared of squatters. Appreciating the offer, the bench had allowed the trust to complete the task on or before May 8 subject to the satisfaction of two authorities indicated in February 10 order of the Bombay High Court. The High Court had ordered the formation of a joint task force comprising the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Collector to remove the illegal encroachments on the approach road leading to the Haji Ali Dargah. The High Court was hearing a petition filed by Sahayak, a socio-legal and educational forum, seeking immediate removal of the encroachments on the approach road to the dargah which is located on the sea. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai was of the view that the land on the approach road to Haji Ali fell in the Collector’s jurisdiction and therefore the Collector should remove the encroachments.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC stays order allowing police to take voice sample

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has stayed an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court permitting the police to take the voice sample of its official, accused in a corruption case for allegedly demanding bribe. A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul issued notice to Haryana asking it to file within three weeks its reply on a plea by the police official challenging the June 2 verdict of the high court which had dismissed his petition against a trial court order. “In the meantime, operation of the impugned order dated June 2, 2017 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana… shall remain stayed,” the apex court said. An assistant sub-inspector of the Haryana Police, Dharambir Singh, had moved the apex court against the high court order which had held that there was no basis for interfering with the trial court order. The trial court had allowed the prosecution’s plea for directing Singh to give his voice sample in a case registered in Hisar under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. According to the police, one Surender Kumar had filed an application at the police station regarding certain dispute, which was marked to Singh who was posted there at that time. It was alleged that Singh had demanded illegal gratification of Rs 15,000 from the complainant. The prosecution had moved an application before the trial court seeking voice sample of Singh on the ground that Kumar had produced a CD which contained the alleged conversation between him and the accused with regard to demand of bribe. Assailing the trial court’s order, Singh’s counsel had contended before the high court that no consent was taken from Singh and he cannot be forced to furnish his voice sample. The lawyer had also alleged that the CD was manipulated. The high court had dismissed Singh’s plea, saying “the question as regards manipulation in CD would be established and determined only if the voice sample of petitioner is taken and thereafter such voice sample along with CD is sent to FSL (forensic science laboratory) for an expert opinion”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kolkata woman seeks SC permission to abort 23-week foetus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 33-year-old woman from Kolkata has knocked on the doors of the top court on Wednesday seeking permission to abort her 23-week foetus claiming that it has a heart abnormality.The matter was referred to a medical board in Kolkata by a vacation bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Sneha Mukherjee claimed that the 33-year-old suffered immense mental and physical anguish as a result of the unreasonable 20-week restriction on abortion under Sections 2(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. On May 25, during a foetal echocardiography conducted on the pregnant lady, it was suspected that the foetus suffered from Tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four impairments in the heart.This was confirmed during a more comprehensive test conducted five days later. However, by then the lady had already crossed the 20-week mark and was thus unable to abort the foetus. Mukherjee claimed her client was anguished at being forced to continue her pregnancy being aware that her baby may not survive.In her petition, Mukherjee says that in case a foetus suffers from “physical or mental abnormalities,” it can be terminated under section 3(2)(b) (ii) of the MTP Act. However, women lose the protection of this section where they do not have access to adequate antenatal care during the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy.Mukherjee further points out that of 26 million annual births in India, approximately two-three per cent of foetuses have a severe congenital or chromosomal abnormality. Many of them are stillborn. However, with the rapid rise in technological advances like the new 3D and 4D sonographic technology, it is possible to detect certain abnormalities before 20 weeks, while other abnormalities can be detected only after the 20-week period mark.The petition has further relied on a statement from the Federation of Obstetric and the Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), a body comprising 24,000 plus members: The risk to the mother in case of termination of pregnancy at 25 weeks is not significantly higher than the risk at 20 weeks.” FOGSI advised that “in case of fetal abnormality which has been detected late and which leads to an extremely serious handicap at birth, such fetuses should be allowed to be terminated, even after 20 weeks.In her petition, Mukherjee has further reminded the court of an existing petition filed by doctor Nikhil Datar who seeks an amendment in the MTP Act, to increase the deadline for abortions.The 33-year-old’s fate now relies on the report prepared by a medical board that will determine whether the abortion is necessary or safe for the women. In recent time, the apex court has heavily relied on these expert opinions before passing their judgment

SC rejects plea to suspend Justice Karnan’s sentence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to suspend the six-month imprisonment sentence for Calcutta High Court Judge Justice (Retd.) C.S. Karnan, in a contempt of court case. A vacation bench of the Apex Court headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud and also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul refused to give any relief in the matter. Mathew J Nedumpara, lawyer appearing for Karnan, mentioned the matter before the vacation bench of the top court today. Nedumpara pleaded to the Apex Court seeking bail and suspension of the six months jail sentence, to which the court observed, ?The seven judge bench had passed the order. It binds everybody. It binds us also.” Karnan was arrested by the Kolkata police in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday and brought to the national capital. Justice Karnan’s close aide and his counsel confirmed the arrest, adding that he would move the Supreme Court seeking Justice Karnan’s release and cancellation or suspension of the jail sentence. As per reports, the Calcutta High Court judge, who was absconding since May 9, will be brought to Kolkata on transit remand. Earlier on June 7, the Supreme Court refused to grant relief to Justice Karnan in the contempt of court case where he was sentenced to six-month imprisonment. The apex court earlier on May 19 rejected Justice Karnan’s plea for recall of the six-month jail term for contempt of court, stating that the petition was “not maintainable” in the court. “I am constrained, but to hold that the present writ petition is not maintainable. The relief, if any, lies somewhere else. I, thus, see no reasonable cause to receive the present writ petition for registration under the provisions of order XV, rule (5) of the Supreme Court rules, 2013,” the Supreme Court Registrar said in the order. Earlier this month, Justice Karnan had approached the apex court seeking recall of the May 9 order, in which he was convicted and was sentenced to six-month imprisonment. The top court had taken suo motu cognizance of numerous letters written by him against judges of the Madras High Court and the apex court and restrained him from exercising administrative and judicial powers from February 8. Karnan is the first ever sitting judge of a higher court in judicial history to be sentenced to jail term.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC seeks Centre’s reply on Azam Khan’s plea on medical college

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought response of the Centre on a plea seeking quashing of a Union health ministry order disapproving setting up of a medical college by a trust run by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Medical Council of India (MCI) and sought their response within three weeks. The court was hearing the plea filed by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust through Khan, its chairman, against the government’s May 31 order denying permission to establish his college Jauhar Institute of Medical Sciences in Rampur. Senior advocate S G Hasnain, appearing for the trust, said that the college was disapproved by the government after a surprise inspection by the MCI officials on January 6 allegedly revealed there was no faculty in the institute. It was a Friday and being a Muslim minority institute, it was a weekly off, the trust said in its plea, adding that the permission has wrongly been denied. It alleged that the under secretary of the ministry did not consult the Oversight Committee, which was set up by the Supreme Court in 2016 to look after the policy decisions of the MCI before passing the May 31 order against it. “The impugned order has been passed in a very hush-hush manner and in a most arbitrary and discriminatory manner,” the petition said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Supreme Court takes first step in becoming ‘digital court’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court marked its first step towards becoming a paperless, digital court on Wednesday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the digital filing system in the presence of the Chief Justice of India. The system will help litigants access data and retrieve information online about the filing, court feels, delays etc. Addressing at Vigyan Bhavan, Chief Justice of India, J. S. Khehar proposed to integrate the system with all the High courts and the subordinate courts. ” “All district and sub divisional courts across the country will be integrated. All the High Courts will be integrated with the Supreme Court by ICMIS software. Integration of all police stations across the country through proper infrastructures,” Khehar said. It will help usher transparency, reduce manipulation and help the litigant know about the progress of the case on a real time basis, he said. “The moment you file the appeal in the Supreme Court, all the respective parties would be automatically informed. The moment you file the appeal in the Supreme Court the registry will tell you what the court fees is. The digitized paperbacks will go to the district courts, high court and Supreme Court,” he added. The CJI further assured that nothing can be manipulated with this paperless system. “In digital documents, every part of the filing is being monitored. This is the system which will help litigants, lawyers in reducing the time.” Khehar said it will help the bar and not increase its workload. “All litigants and concerned lawyers would log in to the website by using their user ID and password to track their case status. No third party would be able to use the system.” Earlier in March, Khehar declared that the apex court will go almost paperless in six to seven months. “We will electronically pick up records from trial courts and high courts. There will be no need for appellants to file those records. The appeal just has to state the grounds on which the petitioner is challenging a judgment in the SC,” said the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay K Kaul.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to hear plea against pellet guns in Kashmir after vacation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today deferred hearing on a plea, seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns to quell agitating and stone-pelting mobs in the Kashmir valley, till after the summer break. The apex court told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association of Srinagar, which has filed the petition, that it would be proper to hear the matter after the vacation as the time could be utilised by the lawyers’ body to come out with a workable solution. “We were thinking unless you have a solution, we will wait for some time. May be, you will help us in a better way after the summer vacations, which can be utilised for coming out with suggestions,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices P C Ghose and D Y Chandrachud said. During the last hearing on April 28, the government had ruled out talks with separatist elements or those raising the issues of “accession or Azadi” in the Kashmir Valley, telling the top court that a dialogue to restore normalcy was possible only with the recognised stakeholders. The apex court had asked the lawyers’ body to come up with suggestions to resolve the crisis, including the stone- pelting and violent street protests in the Kashmir Valley. It had told the bar, which had sought a ban on the use of pellet guns to quell the agitating mobs, to take the “first step” to bring all stakeholders on the table for workable suggestions to overcome the crisis. The court had also said that there was a need for joint effort to resolve the crisis. The apex court was hearing the appeal of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the High Court order seeking a stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to their use. Earlier, the Centre had told the court it was exploring a crowd control option akin to rubber bullets but not as lethal as pellet guns which were being used as a last resort to quell the violence. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on September 22 rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum of July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Plea to make barrier like Great Wall of China misconceived: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has termed as “wholly misconceived” a petition seeking a direction to the Centre to build a barrier similar to the Great Wall of China along its borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar observed that how can India make such a wall when even the United States has not been able to fully construct a wall along the US- Mexico border. The historic Great Wall of China, measuring around 21,196 km in length, is a series of fortifications built along the northern borders of China to protect the kingdoms against raids and invasions by various nomadic groups. “You (petitioner) are seeking to make a wall like the Great Wall of China along all the borders. What kind of petition you are filing? Why are you taking so much of our time?” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. “Even the US cannot fully construct a wall on the Mexico border and you are saying India should make wall. Where is the money? Will you pay the money for it? Should we tell the government that you will pay the money?” the bench asked while dismissing the petition. The petitioner, a registered association, has filed the petition seeking a direction to the Centre to construct a wall like the Great Wall of China all along the borders to stop terrorism and drugs smuggling in the country. The plea has claimed that such a wall along the borders would help in curbing the issue of cross-border terrorism which is a cause of major concern for the country. However, after a brief hearing, the bench said, “We are of the view that the instant petition is wholly misconceived, and therefore, we are not inclined to entertain this petition.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC’s no to plea to make Hindi compulsory in class I to VIII

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Centre, the states and union territories to make Hindi compulsory for students of class I-VIII across the country to promote national unity. Taking note of the fact that petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay was a spokesperson of the BJP’s Delhi chapter, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar asked “why does he not ask his party to do it? He belongs to the governing party. He is part of the government.” The bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said the people speaking other languages may also start asking why their languages are not being taught and added that the government could look into it. The bench also did not allow the plea of Upadhyay, who is also an advocate, that he would withdraw the plea and let it be treated as a representation to the central government. “We will not say anything. You withdraw it,” it said. Updhayay, in his plea, had referred to constitutional provisions and the non-execution of the three-language formula enunciated in the 1968 National Policy Resolution by the Centre in consultation with the states. The plea said the three-language formula provided for the study of Hindi, English and modern Indian language in Hindi- speaking states and Hindi, English and a regional language in the non-Hindi speaking states and it is still not implemented. “In order to promote fraternity, assuring dignity of individual and unity and national integration, study of Hindi should be compulsory for all the students of I-VIII standard through the country,” the plea said. It said the 1968 policy, adopted by Parliament, was framed in response to demands from non-Hindi-speaking states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. However, all these states have not followed the three-language formula till date, it claimed. Public servants and judges of higher judiciary, who have studied regional languages, find it difficult to read, write and speak Hindi while serving in Hindi-speaking states, it contended.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks parties to decide names of experts for renovating

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today suggested to the stakeholders, including the temple management committee and the Travancore royal family, to sit together and decide the names of experts for renovation of the historic Padmanabhaswamy temple without tampering with its archaeological heritage. This was conveyed by a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar to senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who is assisting the court in the case, and the counsel for the parties. “The archaeological heritage of the temple should not be disturbed. It (renovation) must be done in such a manner that its ancient nature is preserved,” the bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. Senior advocate Krishan Venugopal, appearing for the Travancore royal family, submitted that there were several allegations against the executive officer of the temple management committee and these cannot be brushed aside. At the outset, Subramaniam expressed satisfaction over the manner in which the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and the temple management were executing the court’s order on cleaning two water tanks at the temple in Kerala. “Something, which did not happen for 70 years, has happened now,” he said, adding sewer line is also being laid in and around the temple complex. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on May 8. Earlier, the court had granted two months to the KWA to clean the two water tanks. The government has fixed an estimate of Rs 28 lakh for the cleaning work.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Triple talaq: SC allows ex-Minister Khurshid to assist it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former union minister and senior advocate Salman Khurshid was today allowed by the Supreme Court to assist it in the hearing of a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy practices among the Muslims. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul also permitted Khurshid, a senior Congress leader, to file written submissions in the case within two days. “Of course, we will take it on record,” the bench said when Khurshid said that the time for filing written submission in the matter has already expired and he intended to do it in a couple of days. Khurshid later said his role would be like that of an amicus curiae (friend of the court). A five-judge constitution bench would commence hearing from May 11 to decide on the batch of petitions challenging the practices of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims. The Centre had on April 11 filed fresh submissions in the apex court, saying these practices impacted the social status and dignity of the Muslim women and denied them the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The government had reiterated its earlier stand and said these practices rendered the Muslim women “unequal and vulnerable”, not only compared to the men of their community, but the women of other communities as well. The apex court had on March 30 observed that ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy were important issues involving “sentiments”. The Centre had said these practices emerged from “patriarchal values and traditional notions about the role of women in society”, asserting that “the right of a woman to human dignity, social esteem and self-worth are vital facets of her Right to Life under Article 21”. ‘Nikah halala’ is a practice intended to curb the incidence of divorce under which a man cannot remarry his former wife without her having to go through the process of marrying someone else, consummating it, getting divorced again, observing the separation period called ‘Iddat’ and then coming back to him. Seeking to declare these practices as unconstitutional, the government had said reforms in Muslim personal law have not taken place for over six decades and Muslim women, who comprise eight per cent of the population, have remained “extremely vulnerable” due to the fear of instant divorce. Influential Muslim organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have opposed the court’s adjudication of these matters, maintaining that these practices stemmed from the Holy Quran and were not justiciable. Several Muslim women have challenged the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in which the husband, quite often, pronounces talaq thrice in one go, sometimes over phone or even a text message. The apex court had earlier said it would decide the issues pertaining to the legal aspects of ‘triple talaq’, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims but would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim law needs to be supervised by courts as it fell under the legislative domain. The Centre had on October 7 last year opposed in the apex court these practices and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism. The AIMPLB had told the court that pleas challenging such practices among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary. The apex court had on its own taken cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husband.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Ready to talk to recognised political parties, not separatists, govt tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government on Friday told the Supreme Court it was ready to talk to recognised political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the crisis there, but not with the separatists.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi made it clear that the government would come to the negotiating table only if the recognised parties participate in the dialogue and not the separatist elements.He made the submissions before a bench, comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and SK Kaul, while rubbishing the claim of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association that the Centre was not coming forward for discussion and dialogue to resolve the crisis.Rohatgi said recently the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the state held a meeting to discuss the situation.The bench asked the Association to come with suggestions to resolve the crisis, including stone-pelting and violent agitation on the streets of the Kashmir Valley.The apex court made it clear to the bar body that it would have to come out with suggestions after talking to all stakeholders and cannot shy away by saying that they do not represent everybody in Kashmir.It said there was need for a positive start and the bar body could play an important role by coming out with a gameplan and a roadmap for restoring normalcy in the Valley.The bench also made it clear to the Centre that the court would involve itself in the matter only if there was a view that it can play a role and there was no jurisdictional issue.”If you feel the court has no role and if you feel we have no jurisdiction, we will close the file at this moment,” the bench told the AG who, at the fag end of the hearing, objected to some of the suggestions made by the bar body including that the separatists were being ignored.The bench also said both the parties have to take a joint step but the first step has to come from the lawyers’ body which has approached the apex court.It also said it was aware that the situation in Kashmir Valley was not very palatable, while posting the matter for further hearing on May 9.The apex court was hearing hearing an appeal filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the High Court order seeking stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to their use.During the last hearing on April 10, the Centre had told the Supreme Court it was exploring a crowd control option that is akin to rubber bullets but not as lethal as pellet guns that are being used currently as a last resort to quell violence in the Valley.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on September 22 rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum of July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns.

Government tells SC that it’s ready to talk to recognised political parties in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that it was ready to talk to recognised political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to resolve the crisis there but not with the separatists.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi made it clear that the government would come to the negotiating table only if the recognised parties participate in the dialogue and not the separatist elements.He made the submissions before a bench, comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, while rubbishing the claim of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association that the Centre was not coming forward for discussion and dialogue to resolve the crisis.Rohatgi said recently the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the state held a meeting to discuss the situation.The bench asked the Association to come with suggestions to resolve the crisis, including stone-pelting and violent agitation on the streets of the Kashmir Valley.The apex court made it clear to the bar body that it would have to come out with suggestions after talking to all stakeholders and cannot shy away by saying that they do not represent everybody in Kashmir.It said there was need for a positive start and the bar body could play an important role by coming out with a game plan and a roadmap for restoring normalcy in the Valley.The bench also made it clear to the Centre that the court would involve itself in the matter only if there was a view that it can play a role and there was no jurisdictional issue.”If you feel the court has no role and if you feel we have no jurisdiction, we will close the file at this moment,” the bench told the AG who, at the end of the hearing, objected to some of the suggestions made by the bar body including that the separatists were being ignored.The bench also said both the parties have to take a joint step but the first step has to come from the lawyers’ body which has approached the apex court.It also said it was aware that the situation in Kashmir Valley was not very palatable, while posting the matter for further hearing on May 9.The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the High Court order seeking stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to their use.During the last hearing on April 10, the Centre had told the Supreme Court it was exploring a crowd control option that is akin to rubber bullets but not as lethal as pellet guns that are being used currently as a last resort to quell violence in the Valley.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on September 22 rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum of July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns

Centre moots Aadhaar-like UID number for cows

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Monday submitted an expert panel report in the Supreme Court suggesting a unique identification (UID) number for cattle to ensure better protection for them and check smuggling.In its report, the Centre submitted that it is considering tagging “cows and its progeny” with an Aadhar-like UID number, provide shelter homes and discourage the auctioning of cattle.The UID number will record the age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body, colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks details of the animal, which should be made mandatory, the Centre said. The report, which was submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud, was prepared by a committee headed by the joint secretary of the home ministry.A dozen measures were suggested by the BJP-led government in response to a plea filed by the Akhil Bharat Krishi Goseva Sangh seeking better protection for cows.

Police vacancies: Supreme Court asks for road map from 6 states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its concern over the large number of vacant posts in the police department and pulled up six states that topped the list. The Chief Justice asked Bihar, Jharkand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu what efforts they had undertaken to fill up the vacancies.Taking in to account the number of vacant posts, the bench — also comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul — directed the Home Secretary or the Joint Secretary to prepare and submit a definite road map to fill up the vacant posts. The bench also ordered the presence of the officer concerned in court on Friday.The order came on the heels of a petition filed by advocate Manish Kumar, who highlighted the issue of vacancies in the police force across the country. In his petition, Kumar said that due to the shortage of police personnel, there was a deterioration in the situation pertaining to law and order.Kumar referred to a 2015 report which claims there is a total of more than five lakh vacancies across the country. Kumar pleaded for a direction to the states and Union territories to “fill up the vacant posts in the police and state armed forces so that the police forces do not remain overburdened.”The petition also seeks a direction for the constitution of a Police Commission to deal with issues including allegations of police excesses, and redressal of grievances of police personnel and to make recommendations for welfare of the force. The petition also seeks periodic training, upgradation of police force and fixed working hours.States with highest police vacanciesTotal vacancies – 4,42,842Bihar – 34,521Jharkand – 26,303Karnataka – 24,399Tamil Nadu – 19,803Uttar Pradesh – 1,51,679West Bengal – 37,325

Vacancies in police: SC summons home secretaries of six states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought the personal appearance of home secretaries or authorised joint secretaries of six states, including Uttar Pradesh, next week to provide a definite roadmap to fill up the long-pending vacancies in the states’ police forces. The apex court expressed dismay over the huge backlog in the vacancies in police departments of the states, which also include Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and said, “we have been persuading you (states) to fill the vacancies since 2013, but you are not doing anything”. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul then referred to details and said Uttar Pradesh has 1.51 lakh vacancies, West Bengal has 37,325, Karnataka has 24,899, Jharkhand 26,303, Bihar 34,500 and Tamil Nadu has 19,803 posts vacant. Initially the bench asked the counsel, representing these states, about the steps taken so far to fill up the vacancies. On being dissatisfied with the responses, the bench decided to summon the home secretaries or an officer not below the rank of joint secretary, authorised by the home secretaries, to personally appear on April 21 and assist it in dealing the issue of filling up of vacancies. “Why this is happening,” the bench asked the counsel for UP and then came down heavily on Tamil Nadu which informed it that advertisements have been put out for the vacancies. “Giving advertisements is the first step. You (Tamil Nadu) have taken the first step since 2013,” the bench said adding, “We endeavour to monitor the filling up of vacancies.” The bench, perusing details of vacancies, said, “we therefore, hereby, direct the home secretaries of six states to assist this court personally or nominate an officer, not below the rank of joint secretary, and provide a definite roadmap for filling up of vacancies.” The apex court fixed the plea filed by Manish Kumar for monitoring by it on April 21. Earlier, the court had directed home secretaries of all the states to file affidavits giving details of vacancies in police services at all levels. It had said that if any of the states do not file the affidavit, it would “ensure the presence of home secretaries along with necessary records to assist the court in disposal of the matter. The apex court was hearing the 2013 petition which claimed that law and order situation in the country was deteriorating due to a large number of vacancies in police services at all levels across all states. The petitioner had claimed before the bench that there were around 5.42 lakh vacancies in the police services across the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC summons Home Secys of 6 states over vacancy in police force

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court took strong note today of huge vacancy in police force in six states, including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and asked their Home Secretaries to either personally appear or depute an officer to assist it. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar referred to the vacancy in the states — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, and summonsed the home secretaries or officers not below the rank of the joint secretary authorised by them for assisting it on Friday. The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said that the data, mostly pertaining to 2013, indicates that there are huge vacancies in police force in various states and said, “We endeavour to monitor the filling up of vacancies.” It said that there are more than 40,000 and 1.5 lakh vacancies in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, respectively. The six states have been asked to provide the roadmap as to how they endeavour to fill up the vacancies with the apex court fixing the plea filed by Manish Kumar for monitoring by it on April 21.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks Haji Ali Dargah if it would help remove encroachment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the counsel for Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah trust to take instruction and inform whether it was ready to assist in the removal and demolition of encroachment in a 908 sq mt area. The court assured that 171 sq mt land on which the mosque is built will be protected. The apex court will hear the matter again at 2 PM. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar made it clear that it was willing to pass some orders today itself as there was no dispute that there were encroachments around the dargah. The bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said that 171 sq mt land having the mosque on it will be protected but the rest has to be removed and demolished.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2002 Gujarat riots probe: SC relieves SIT chief R K Raghavan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today allowed R K Raghavan, who was heading the apex-court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe 2002 Gujarat riots cases, to be relieved from the duty of heading the team. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul considered the submission of senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae, that Raghavan be relieved from the duty of heading the SIT. The bench hailed the work done so far by the SIT and allowed the request of Salve while asking A K Malhotra, another member of SIT, to oversee the functioning of the probe team. It also relieved another member K Venkatesam from the SIT and asked Malhotra to continue filing quarterly status report about the progress in the riots cases in the apex court. The top court-appointed SIT has been probing nine major post-Godhra riots cases including the Naroda Gam riots case pertaining to the killing of eleven members of a community.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC rejects plea to try officials for mishaps due to bad roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has refused to entertain an appeal against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to prosecute officials for accidents caused due to poorly-constructed and maintained roads and bridges. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul dismissed the plea at the threshold saying the petitioner NGO did not provide materials sought by the high court during the hearing of the PIL. The apex court said that there was no reason for it to interfere with the high court order. Chandigarh-based NGO, Arrive Safe Society, had filed the appeal against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to prosecute officials responsible for accidents caused by badly constructed/ maintained roads and bridges. The High Court had, on August 10 last year, rejected the petition by the NGO saying it would be improper to pass an omnibus order for all roads and bridges to be properly maintained and in absence thereof, criminal prosecution or departmental action would be liable to be initiated against the defaulting officials of the Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads). The high court had also said that if any specific material was brought on record as to where a particular bridge or road has been improperly constructed in violation of fixed norms and accidents could occur there, certain remedial measures could be made.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to hear pleas on demonetisation issue post summer vacation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said that it would hear after summer vacation a batch of pleas seeking a grace period for exchanging demonetised currency notes. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said let these matters be fixed for hearing after the summer vacation as counsel for the petitioner sought time to respond to the recent reply of the Centre on the issue. The Centre had recently informed the apex court that it has taken a “conscious decision” not to extend the period beyond December 30 last year for exchanging the demonetised currency notes. It had said it was not legally bound to come out with a fresh notification to grant grace period or window for depositing scrapped currency notes. The Centre had filed an affidavit in response to petitions by private individuals and a firm seeking a window like those given to NRIs and people who were abroad during the period of demonetisation to deposit the scrapped currency notes with the Reserve Bank of India.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pellet guns: SC asks JK lawyers’ body to respond to issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association to respond to the issues raised by the Centre while defending the use of pellet guns to quell stone-pelting mobs in Kashmir valley, stressing that the lawyers’ body cannot take sides. The apex court sought the Bar’s response after the Centre explained to the Supreme Court the circumstances under which security forces use measures like pellet guns. The apex court told the Bar it has to play a very important role in assisting the court in evolving a solution and cannot take sides. The Bar is neither on the side of the security forces nor on the mob’s side, the court said and gave two weeks time to the lawyers’ body to come out with its submission so that a solution can be found and asked it to file an affidavit. The matter has now been posted for April 28. The apex court noted the submission of Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi that the security forces try to use minimum forces to avoid any damage to life and property and eventually use pellet guns and live ammunition in the final stage when the mob comes in immediate proximity to the security forces. The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also took into consideration the submission made by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar which contended that the Centre was not coming out with a clear-cut scenario and expressed its willingness to assist the court. The bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said that the Bar was in an effective position to bring out true factual position to assist the court in giving directions which will be meaningful. The bench reminded the Bar body that it has to play a very important role in assisting the court in evolving the solution as the lawyers in the Bar were privileged people. At the outset, the Attorney General, in response to the last hearing, placed before the bench confidential documents about the deliberations undertaken to evolve options other than the use of pellet guns for tackling mobs which resort to stone-pelting and attacks by petrol bombs, acid bombs and other deadly weapons. The apex court had on March 27 expressed concern over the pellet gun injuries suffered by minors who indulged in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the Centre to consider other effective means to quell the protests as it concerns “life and death”. It had conceded that though the use of pellet guns by the security forces was not a judicial issue, it can intervene in the matter to find a solution acceptable to parties concerned. The court had given two weeks time to Attorney General to ponder over the suggestions to look into effective alternatives to the pellet guns. It had said that it is not the subject that has to be decided by the courts nor can there be a judicial redressal as it is a delicate situation. The court had suggested to the Attorney General to consider other technology-based measures like microwave to disperse the protesters and water which tastes and smell awful that will make people go away. The AG had said he will speak to the committee of experts which has prepared an interim report on the use of effective measures in October 2016 and get back to the court after two weeks. During the last hearing, the bench had expressed its concern over minors indulging in stone pelting and suffering injuries during protests. It had asked the Centre to find some alternative measures to deal with such situations so that kids do not get injured. On December 14 last year, the apex court had said pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in Jammu and Kashmir and be resorted to only after “proper application of mind” by the authorities. It had also sought assistance of the Attorney General on the issue and asked him to submit a copy of the report submitted by the expert committee constituted for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns. The court was hearing an appeal filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the high court order seeking stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to their use. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on September 22 rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum of July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns. Taking note of the statement, the high court had disposed of the petition, saying that no further direction was required since the matter was being looked at by the Centre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bihar CM is not expert on all issues, nothing wrong in hiring Prashant Kishor as advisor: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar government’s decision to appoint political strategist Prashant Kishor as an advisor to Nitish Kumar got a thumbs up from the Supreme Court which said today the chief minister is not an expert on all issues and can have person as an advisor on matters of public importance.A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said there was nothing wrong on the part of the chief minister to appoint his advisors as he is not an expert and can appoint advisors for seeking suggestions on various issues of public importance.”He (Nitish Kumar) is chief minister. He can seek advice on various subjects of public importance. He can appoint anyone as his advisor and can pay them accordingly. The chief minister is not an expert who knows everything. There is nothing wrong in the appointment,” a bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said. Kishor, who is a political strategist and advisor to the Bihar chief minister on policies and programme implementation, is a public health expert by training and had formerly worked with the United Nations for eight years.The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal seeking quashing of the appointment of Kishor as advisor to the Bihar chief minister and restraining the state government from making such appointment. The plea which the court termed as dismissed as withdrawn after Jaiswal counsel agreed to withdrew it also sought laying of uniform guidelines for appointment of advisors to the state government, saying the salary payable to advisor cannot be paid beyond six months as per the Constitution.The plea said that the state government has no power to revise or redetermine the salary by an executive order and it cannot utilise tax payers money for political gains for rewarding its men which should be done by its own political funds. Jaiswal in his plea said that state government’s action has to satisfy the test of reasonableness and public money sent for political or partisan purposes is impermissible in the Constitution. “Highest officers have become personal prerogatives of political heads who engage outsiders having no accountability on contractual basis defeating the bureaucratic set-up,” his plea said.

Draft norms for NGOs seeking aid released

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If aid and voluntary organisations (VOs) want funding from the Central government, they will have to adhere to a set of guidelines that have been drawn up by the Ministry of Rural Development.These guidelines were drafted by a committee set up by the Supreme Court (SC) in pursuant to a January 10 order. The government had constituted a six-member committee under the chairmanship of ex-Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, on February 2, 2017, for framing guidelines/rules for accreditation of voluntary organisations /non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Pursuant to the recommendation of the committee, instructions have been issued to CAPART, state governments and offices under the Comptroller and Auditor General to take appropriate action in regard to the audit of the NGOs.Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted these guidelines in court, and on direction from a Bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud, a copy was also given to amicus curiae Rakesh Dwivedi.Apart from Dwivedi, all states and Union Territories have been invited to pursue these guideline and give suggestions accordingly.The order for the guidelines came on the heels of a petition by advocate ML Sharma, who submitted that NGOs should be monitored. According to the draft, all NGOs/VOs are expected to register themselves on the Niti Aayog website, with NGO Darpan acting as a nodal agency. All requests for registration and accreditation and funds from the Union will be done through this website.Upon registration, each NGO will be provided a unique ID. The organisations would be subjected to the laws under Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act. The NGOs will be monitored and their past track record will be taken into account before any accreditation is granted. In the event no work is done, they money granted for that specific purpose will be refunded along with a 10 per cent interest. If funds are misappropriated, criminal investigations against key officials associated would be initiated and the NGO blacklisted.NEW ROUTE TO GET FUNDEDNGO Darpan will act as a nodal agency. Info on NGO’s will be available on Niti Aayog website.
All requests for registration and funds will be done through Niti Aayog website.
The CBI had said that there are more than 20 lakh NGOs receive funding from the Cente.
Only 10 per cent of them filed annual income and expendicture statements.

Supreme Court order brings little cheer for booze shops on highways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Towns and cities with a population of less than 20,000 got a Hail Mary, when the Supreme Court decided to amend rules so that liquor vends could operate at a distance of 220 m from state and national highways as opposed to the earlier distance of 500 m. In a partial relief to liquor vends, except in Sikkim and Meghalaya who were exempted from the ban, the order largely remained the same. Hearing a batch of last-minute petitions from states and disgruntled stakeholders, a bench of the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud ruled, “The judgment of this court concludes that there is no justification to allow liquor vends on state highways (while prohibiting them on national highways) having due regard to drunken driving being one of the significant causes of road accidents in India.”So if someone is undertaking a road trip across states, they may not be able to buy alcohol anywhere along the highway. This order spelled doom for restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels situated within a 500m distance from the highway. “This is a great shock for thousands of employees in the service sector. Our livelihood is dependent on the sale of liquor. This is going to affect us badly,” said Deepak Mishra, manager of Hardrock Cafe.

SC reserves order on pleas agst liquor vend ban along highways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court will tomorrow pronounce its order on pleas for a relook at its verdict banning liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways from April 1 with the top law officer saying the judgement needs rectification as the “budget of the states will go for a six”. “Errors that may have crept in may be looked at. The error that has crept in is that what is good for national highways is good for state highways,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar. He said that the December 15, 2016 verdict will have its repercussion as “the budget of every states will go for a six”. Rohatgi said national highways and state highways cannot be compared and what can be considered for the former cannot be considered for the latter. “All of India cannot be compared. Some towns in totality are situated along the state highways and if you say that liquor vends cannot be allowed in the vicinity of 500 meters then where will they go,” he told the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao. He further said, “Some exception can be granted to the states to relax the condition especially as far as the state highways are concerned by reducing the limit say to 100 metres.” To this, the bench asked the attorney general to address it on the issue if he thinks the verdict is not justified as the parties have done nothing since December 15, 2016. “You cannot come at the last moment and say that relax the conditions. Where were you after December 15,” it said. A battery of lawyers appearing for several private parties said there was a need for extending the deadline of April 1 and sought modification of the order in terms of what was argued by the attorney general. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the parties, said that refusal of licences to liquor vends within 500 meters of the highways will make states suffer a huge revenue loss. The submission did not go well with the bench which told him, “Do not carry the state piggyback. You are appearing for a private party. States can bear the revenue loss unlike you.” Dhavan replied if the court says that such a law is not tenable then the entire law needs to be tested, but such “a sweeping order is not acceptable”. He said that every state has its own peculiarities and the court cannot give an order that will be application for every states. Dhavan said after hearing the parties, if the court accepts that the judgement is unconstitutional, there will be no need to go into the issue of finding a solution as has been urged. The bench said, “Whatever exercise has been taken in the judgement is under the rule. The judgement in the instant case was on the policy of the Centre and the judgement does not supplant the rules and after the judgement, many states decided to amend the law. “We have not laid down a policy,” the bench said when Dhavan questioned the apex court as to on what basis the directions were given to deprive people of the licence to run liquor vends. When he objected to the intervention of the Centre in the matter, the bench said, “You cannot say that the Union of India has no role as it has been getting the directions since 2004.” (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Supreme Court constitution bench to hear triple talaq case during summer vacation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed May 11 for commencement of hearing on pleas challenging the validity of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy practices among Muslims.A bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said the matter will be heard by a Constitution bench during the summer vacation. On March 27, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court that the pleas challenging such practices among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary.The Board had also said that the validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on it, cannot be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution. It had said there was a need for “judicial restraint” before going into constitutional interpretation of these unless such an exercise becomes unavoidable.The apex court had earlier said it would decide issues pertaining to “legal” aspects of the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim law needs to be supervised by courts as it falls under the legislative domain.The Centre, on October 7 last year, had opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, had referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.The apex court had taken suo motu cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husband.

Frame draft guidelines on police briefing to media: SC to govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to prepare a fresh memorandum of guidelines for the police to brief the media by keeping in mind the protection of rights of both the accused and the victims of crime. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar gave six weeks to the Centre to prepare the draft memorandum of the guidelines by examining the various suggestions submitted in the apex court. “We, thereby, direct the Centre to prepare a fresh memorandum of police guidelines on media by taking into consideration the rights of the accused so that their rights are not prejudiced during trial and also the sensitive rights of victims,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. The court was of the view that the last such office memorandum by the Centre was issued on April 1, 2010 and since then much deliberation has taken place and the subject has been examined from various angles particularly keeping in mind the protection of rights of the accused as well as the protection of the rights of the sufferer. The bench noted that advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, has prepared documents by compiling the practices prevalent in other countries and has also examined the guidelines laid down in the CBI manual and the advisory of the Union Ministry of Home. He had examined the guidelines of the police forces of New York, Los Angeles, London and Dorset (UK). The advocate, appearing for the Centre, said, “We will apply our mind to the entire input and prepare an appropriate guideline.” The bench made it clear that at this stage it was not going into any other issue including the media and was only on the issue of the police as to what are the issues that have to be taken into consideration about their briefing. The issue of police briefing to the media has been dealt with by the apex court and it has passed several directions on a petition filed by the NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). The apex court on Septemeber 23, 2014 had passed a slew of directions for framing guidelines in encounter cases after it was alleged by the PUCL that 99 encounters took place in Mumbai resulting in death of about 135 persons between 1995 and 1997.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to hear tomorrow pleas against liquor vend ban on highways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today assured states and other petitioners that it would hear tomorrow their plea seeking modification of its December 2016 order banning liquor vends within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country from April 1. The assurance came from the bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that over 100 lawyers kept waiting yesterday for an hour with the hope that the bench, comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, would assemble to hear their pleas. Rohatgi sought urgent hearing of the pleas tomorrow saying that the judgement, ordering closure of liquor vends alongside highways, will come into effect from April 1. The CJI then said 84-year-old jurist T R Andhyarujina died today and said Justice Chandrachud has gone to Mumbai to take part in the last rites. “If Justice Chandrachud is here tomorrow, then these matters will be heard at 3 PM. If Justice Chandrachud is not available tomorrow, then I will constitute a separate bench,” Justice Khehar said. Besides some liquor vendors’ association, states like Kerala, Punjab and Telangana have approached the apex court seeking modification of the December 15, 2016 judgement. The apex court had ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as state highways across the country and had made clear that licences of existing shops will not be renewed after March 31 next year. The verdict had come on a PIL alleging that nearly 1.42 lakh people died per year in road mishaps and that the drunken driving is a major contributor. It had also directed that all signages indicating the presence of liquor vends will be prohibited along national and state highways. On March 23, the Tamil Nadu government had also moved the top court to extend the time for relocation of retail liquor shops along the highways till the expiry of their licence period i.e upto November 28, 2017. On January 18, the All Assam Indian Made Foreign Liquors Retailers’ Association had approached the apex court seeking modification of the judgement, saying it virtually banned liquor shops in the state as the definition of state highways in the local statute included all roads. The Attorney General, whose opinion has been sought by Kerala on the judgement, had opined that the order banning liquor vends on state and national highways does not apply to bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The state governments had strongly opposed the ban citing huge loss of revenue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks Centre, J&K to sit and decide Muslim minority status

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to “sit together” and decide contentious issues including the question whether Muslims can be treated as minority in the state. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul asked both the governments to resolve the issue and submit a report to it within four weeks. “This is a very very important issue. You both sit together and take a stand on it,” the bench said. Last month, the apex court had imposed a cost of Rs 30,000 on it for not filing its reply to a PIL alleging that minority benefits are being enjoyed by majority Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. It had accorded a last opportunity to the Centre to file its reply, saying the matter is very important. The court had, however, allowed the counsel for the Centre to file the response after depositing the cost and had also noted that a fine of Rs 15,000 was also imposed last time also for the same reason. Earlier, the court had issued notice to the Centre, the state government and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on the plea filed by Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma, alleging that benefits accruing to minorities were being taken away by Muslims, who were in a majority in Jammu and Kashmir. The plea also alleged that rights of religious and linguistic ‘minorities’ in the state were being “siphoned off illegally and arbitrarily” due to extension of benefits to “unqualified sections” of the population. It has been settled that the identification of minority communities has to be decided as per the population data of the state in question, Sharma had said. The apex court, however, had refused to restrain authorities from disbursing benefits to any community in the state. The PIL has also sought the setting up of State Minority Commission for identification of minorities. “The population of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir according to the 2011 Census is 68.31 per cent. Communities which are eligible to be notified as minorities, were not awarded their due share of scholarship owing to their non-identification as minorities, thereby jeopardising their constitutionally guaranteed rights enshrined under Part III of the Constitution of India. “This clearly reflects the unfairness and discrimination of the State towards the communities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which are eligible to be notified as minorities,” the petition alleged.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks states to upload info on midday meal scheme on website

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked all state governments and Union territories to upload information including the total number of students getting benefit of the midday meal scheme, within three months on their website. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar approved the “proforma” for providing details and requirements of the midday meal scheme and noted that 25 states have agreed to give information as per the format. The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, was informed by the Centre that 11 other states, which have not filed their reply, were also “not averse” to providing the requisite information as required under the proforma. It, however, asked secretary in-charge of either education or health department of those states, which were unable to ensure compliance, to appear in person before it on July 12. The court was hearing a PIL, filed by NGO ‘Antarashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani’ in 2013, on the issue of cleanliness in the midday meals. It has directions to prevent incidents like the one that occurred in a government primary school in a Bihar village where 23 children died after eating contaminated food. The proforma contains various heads under which information related to the scheme have to be uploaded on the website of a state education department. Information like the total number of schools covered under the scheme, number of beneficiary students, quality and nutritional value of foodgrains and vegetables, eggs and other supplements served, have to be provided by state governments. The proforma also seeks states to provide information as to whether there is any monitoring mechanism to check the quality of food served to the children in government schools. Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre and 12 states seeking their response on the steps taken to ensure cleanliness in the midday meal scheme and prevent incidents like the one that occurred in the Bihar village primary school. The states were Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Jharkhand. In over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools across the country, children receive free, cooked lunch every day but “they are constantly exposed to the risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to a lack of midday meal infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme,” the PIL has said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Narada sting case: SC upholds Calcutta HC order for CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback to Trinamool Congress, the Supreme Court today upheld a Calcutta High Court order asking CBI to probe the Narada sting case in which several ruling party leaders of West Bengal were allegedly caught on camera taking money. The court also termed as “most unfortunate” the grounds raised in a separate appeal filed by the Mamata Banerjee-led state government against the High Court order of March 17 and said that the plea deserved “outright rejection”. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said that it finds no infirmity with the findings arrived at by the High Court. It, however, extended the time given to the CBI for registration of the FIR in the case from 72 hours to one month. “We have perused the impugned order in which it emerges that the High Court took into consideration the materials which required holding of preliminary enquiry (PE) at the hands of CBI. “We find no infirmity with determinations of the High Court as the rights of petitioners are fully protected. The petitioner will have ample opportunities to assail lodging of the FIR. “We are also satisfied with CBI being permitted to carry out its obligation and all inferences and conclusions made in the order may not come in the way of the agency for arriving at its findings,” the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said. It said that if the CBI needed more time for registration of the FIR in the case then it may approach the High Court with appropriate application. The court also termed the appeal of state government as “dismissed as withdrawn” after its counsel tendered an “unqualified apology” for raising grounds which allegedly cast aspersions on the high court. “We are satisfied that the state transgressed the propriety of reasonableness and the grounds raised are most unfortunate and call for outright rejection,” it said in the order. Appearing for senior TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari and Saugata Roy, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi said that they were ready for an SIT probe or probe by any other independent agency but the CBI investigation should not be held. Both the senior counsel cited political rivalry between the TMC and the central government and said that even the petitioners, who had moved the High Court, are BJP members. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC for out-of-court settlement of Ayodhya land dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today suggested an out-of-court settlement of the lingering Ram Janam Bhumi- Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, observing that issues of “religion and sentiments” can be best resolved through talks. Chief Justice J S Khehar also offered to mediate even as the bench headed by him suggested that the parties to the dispute adopt a “give a bit and take a bit” approach for a meaningful and sincere negotiations to resolve the issue. The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, in 2010, had ruled for a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the site in Uttar Pradesh. The three-judge bench, by a majority of 2:1, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties, Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the ‘Ram Lalla’ (nascent Lord Ram). The apex court said that such religious issues can be best resolved through negotiations. “These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. These issues are best decided jointly. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. The observations were made after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing, saying that it has been over six years after the High Court decided the civil appeal and that it needed to be heard at the earliest. The BJP Parliamentarian told the court that he had approached the Muslim community members who favoured judicial decision in the contentious matter. “You (Swamy) must make fresh attempts to arrive at a consensual decision. If required, you must choose a mediator to end the dispute. If the parties wants me (CJI) to sit with mediators chosen by both the sides for negotiations, I am ready to take up the task. “Even the services of my brother judges can be availed for the purpose,” the CJI said. The top court said that it may also appoint the principal negotiator if the parties want and asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about their decision on amicable resolution of the matter on March 31.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Appointments to NCSC after assembly polls, Centre tells SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government today told the Supreme Court that appointments to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) were pending because of an Election Commission’s directive against filling the posts till the poll process in five states got over. “I have spoken to the authorities about the filling up of the vacancies. The Election Commission of India has told us not to do it till March 15 as Assembly election process is going on,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench headed by Chief justice J S Khehar. The apex court bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, then fixed the matter for further hearing in the second week of April. Earlier, the court had on March 7 sought the government’s response on the PIL seeking filling up of the vacancies in the commission, which does not have any member at present. NCSC, a statutory body formed under Article 338 of the Constitution, is a five-member panel comprising a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and three members. The PIL filed by Ambedkar Association for Development, an organisation which works for SC/ST welfare, claimed that the position of the Chairperson has been lying vacant since October 21, 2016, that of the Vice Chairman since November 4, 2016 and one out of the three members of the commission had demitted office on November 7, 2016. It said after the remaining two members demitted office on March 4 and 5, “the commission has become defunct and inoperative and on account of the same, the public in general will suffer at large.” “The inordinate delay on the part of the government is costing the people profusely,” it said, adding that this might prejudice the interest of the schedule castes. “There would be complete vaccuum in the commission and the interest of the scheduled castes would be seriously prejudiced as there would be logjam of plethora of cases pending before the NCSC,” it said. The plea also sought extension of the tenure of a woman member, who demitted the office on March 5, “to safeguard the interests of scheduled castes”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks SP leader Azam Khan to appear in Allahabad HC tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Controversial Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan today faced severe haranguing from the Supreme Court, which directed him to appear tomorrow before the Allahabad High Court to honour a bailable warrant against him due to his non-appearance in a case. The apex court, which rebuked the Samajwadi Party’s minority face for “hoodwinking” the high court, also expressed surprise that the bailable warrant could not be served on a serving minister of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet. “Where is the chairman (Khan) of UP Jal Nigam? Is he in Allahabad or Lucknow,” asked an angry bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar. Khan’s counsel, with some hesitation to inform about his whereabouts, said “he will appear whenever he is asked”. At this, the bench asked “doesn’t he have a helicopter?” Again, there was some hesitation on the part of the advocates’ appearing for Khan to respond to the query and no clear answer emerged. The top court said “the (high) court feels you (Khan) are hoodwinking it. It is asking you to appear but you are not appearing. You are such a person that no bailable warrant can be served upon you. He is only an ex-officio chairman (of the UP Jal Nigam).” When Khan’s counsel pointed out that he was also a minister and would comply with the high court’s order after completion of Assembly elections on March 11, the bench shot back, saying “see how much time you have already been given”. The high court had sought his personal appearance on March 1 and 6. “You have not gone to the court. Bailable warrant was issued, even then you did not appear. You are a chairman but the bailable warrant was not served upon you. You have never gone to the court. You go and tell the high court whatever you want to explain. “There is no reason for you not to go. There is no reason for you not to be served with the bailable warrant. There is also no reason for you that you did not attend the high court. You are a minister but even then the warrant was not served upon you,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said in an oral observation. The hard-hitting remarks against Khan came a day before the final round of the ongoing assembly polls in the state. Khan enjoys a considerable clout in the ruling party in the state as he holds high-profile portfolios ranging from Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development to Minority Welfare and Haj in the Akhilesh Yadav government. The top court refused to interfere with the orders of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court and said the reason for being pre-occupied with electioneering was not substantiated as “there is no indication that he had meetings on those days”. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC seeks Centre’s reply on plea for appointments in NCSC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A plea seeking appointment of Chairperson and members in National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) claiming that the vacancies have made it defunct, today led the Supreme Court to ask the government to respond. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul sought the government’s response by March 10 on the PIL seeking filling up of vacancies in the commission, which does not have any member at present. NCSC, a statutory body formed under Article 338 of the Constitution, is a five-member body comprising a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and three members. The PIL filed by Ambedkar Association for Development, an organisation which works for SC/ST welfare, claimed that the position of the Chairperson has been lying vacant since October 21, 2016, that of the Vice Chairman since November 4, 2016 and one out of the three members of the commission had demitted office on November 7, 2016. It said that after the demission of office by the remaining two members on March 4 and 5, “the commission has become defunct and inoperative and on account of the same, the public in general will suffer at large.” “That the inordinate delay on the part of the government is costing the people profusely,” it said, adding that this might prejudice the interest of the schedule caste. “There would be complete vacuum in the commission and the interest of the scheduled caste would be seriously prejudiced as there would be logjam of plethora of cases pending before the NCSC,” it said. The plea also sought extension of the tenure of a woman member, who demitted the office on March 5, “to safeguard the interest of scheduled castes”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why old notes not being accepted till March 31: SC asks RBI, FinMin

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sarla Srivastava, 71, lost her husband in April 2016, a few months before Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. After poring over her savings, Srivastava managed to deposit Rs 1,90,000 in the bank. Later, in January this year, she came across another Rs 1,79,500 her husband had saved in a steel trunk. The banks, however, turned the Bilaspur resident back saying she has missed the revised deadline for depositing old currency.Sudha Misra, who gave birth to twin girls in November last year, was so preoccupied with her babies, born pre-maturely through Caesarean, that she too missed the RBI deadline. Though married in Delhi, the new mother had gone to her parents’ house in Ranchi, Jharkand for delivery. Once she returned, she found that she no longer could deposit the money she got during her wedding in her account.Same was the case with Victory Logitrans Pvt Ltd, a Karnataka-based firm, which was unable to deposit almost Rs 66 lakh before December 31.Hearing a batch of petitions, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and the RBI asking them why citizens were not allowed to deposit their old currency till March 31 as promised by the Prime Minister in his November 8, 2016 address to the nation.In his speech, Modi had given citizens a deadline till March 31 to deposit their old notes. However, in an ordinance dated December 30, only Non-resident Indians (NRI) and those who were traveling abroad were given an extension till March 30.A bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar and comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjay Kisan Kaul considered a submission that the RBI’s December 30 ordinance was a breach of promise on part of the Prime Minister.”The ordinance was issued one day before the deadline to deposit money,” said Sudiep Srivastava, the advocate representing his mother Sarla. “That gave my mother hardly enough time to deposit the money on December 31,” he added.Sudiep and the other lawyers have similarly prayed for a direction from the top court allowing the petitioners to deposit their money till March 31.The Finance Ministry and the RBI are directed to file their responses before Friday, when the matter will be heard next.

Asked univs to include Env Studies in curricula: Govt to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it has asked universities across the country to include ‘Environment Studies” in the college curricula as directed in a judgement delivered in 1991. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul considered the response of the Human Resources Development Ministry that the University Grants Commission (UGC) committee is looking into the matter and the needful will be done. The court then disposed of the interim application filed by environmentalist M C Mehta seeking a direction to the Centre and others to include ‘Environment Studies” as one of the subjects in college and school curricula. Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for the Centre, said that some universities have included the subject in the curriculum and efforts are on to persuade the others. He said that 306 universities are yet to include the subject in their curriculum. So far as the inclusion of the subject in schools are concerned, the Centre has no role as the states have their own examination boards and only they can take a decision, he said. Earlier, the apex court had rapped the central government for not implementing its 1991 directions including making ‘Environment Studies’ a compulsory subject in college and school curricula. Prior to this, the Centre had apprised the court that it has constituted a Core Committee comprising a Chairman and four Members to monitor and review matters relating to the implementation of directions issued in its order passed on November 22, 1991 on Mehta’s PIL. The bench was hearing an interim plea of Mehta alleging that the directions passed in 1991 on his PIL have not been complied with in letter and spirit and had asked the Centre to apprise it on what steps could be taken to ensure that the curricula include ‘Environment Science’ as compulsory subject. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Marines case:Centre need not file in SC tribunal proceedings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today exempted the Centre from filing before it the status report on the progress made by the international tribunal in deciding the jurisdiction issue in the case of Italian marines, accused of killing Indian fishermen A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said the Centre need not file a status report after every three months before this court and asked it to rather file a final report when the tribunal decides whether India or Italy can try the marines. The marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are accused of killings two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012. “Petitioners (Latorre and Girone) shall be liable to adhere to the time schedules fixed in relation to hearing before the international arbitral tribunal,” the bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said, adding that the final award of the tribunal be put up before it. The court, meanwhile, asked Additional Solicitor General P S Narsimha, appearing for the Centre, to keep the Kerala government informed about the developments which may take place from time to time before the tribunal. On September 28, 2016 the apex court had allowed Latorre to remain in his country till the international arbitral tribunal decides the jurisdictional issue. The apex court had said all the conditions which were imposed on Girone would be applicable on Latorre as well besides putting a condition on the government to submit to it the three-monthly report about the case’s progress at the tribunal. The court’s direction had come on a plea by Italy seeking modification of bail conditions of Latorre to enable him to remain in that country till jurisdictional issue was decided by the international tribunal. The apex court had on September 8, 2016 decided to hear Italy’s plea on behalf of Latorre who had sought urgent hearing on the ground that an earlier court order was valid till September 30, 2016. While relaxing Girone’s bail conditions on May 26, the apex court had allowed him to go to his country till the jurisdiction issue was decided. MORE(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC no to urgent hearing on PIL for probe in ex-CM Pul’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today refused to grant an urgent hearing on fresh PIL seeking independent probe into the alleged suicide of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul. “Sorry. Declined,” a bench comprising Cheif Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said. Advocate M L Sharma, who filed a PIL in his personal capacity, had sought urgent listing of the plea saying “a criminal conspiracy” was on to defame the highest judiciary of the country. “There should be an independent probe into the alleged suicide note and the death of Pul,” he said. The plea also sought investigation into the role of some lawyers who were allegedly espousing the cause of Pul’s wife Dangwimsai Pul. On February 23, Pul’s wife had withdrawn her letter for CBI or NIA probe into the allegations levelled in her husband’s purported suicide note against some former and serving persons holding constitutional posts and politicians. Pul had committed suicide on August 9 last year. His body was found hanging in the official residence of the Chief Minister at Itanagar. After months of intense political developments, Pul had taken over the reins of Arunachal Pradesh on February 19, 2016 for a brief period but had to relinquish the job following a Supreme Court order in July.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police reforms: Nobody listens to our orders, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobody listens to our orders,” the Supreme Court observed today while refusing to accord urgent hearing to a plea seeking massive reforms in police force across the country.”Police reforms are going on and on. Nobody listens to our orders,” a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar lamented while declining the request for urgent hearing on the plea filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhayay, lawyer and Delhi BJP spokesperson. “Sorry. Declined,” said the bench that also comprised Justices DY Chandrachud and S K Kaul. Earlier Upadhyay, in his plea, has sought directions to the states and the Centre to implement massive reforms in the police force including a fixed tenure for senior officers. , the apex court had allowed Upadhyay to intervene as a party in a pending PIL on the issue of police reforms.He had sought direction to the Centre, state governments and the Law Commission to implement police reforms and the Model Police Act, 2006 to ensure an “effective and impartial police system”. “That arbitrary and unaccountable functioning of the police has led to complete alienation of many citizens from the state. Complete politicisation of the police force has led to highly partisan crime investigation. State governments have been habitually abusing their powers to drop serious criminal charges against their supporters and foist false cases against their opponents,” the plea said.The Model Police Act creates mechanism and processes which will help the police perform its functions more efficiently and enhance its credibility in the eyes of the public, it said. The plea sought direction for setting up of State Police Board under the chairmanship of the State Home Minister and comprising the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police among others to lay down policy guidelines for efficient policing.

SC refuses urgent hearing on plea for police reforms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today refused to accord urgent hearing on a PIL seeking reforms in police force across the country, saying “nobody listens to our orders”. “Sorry. Declined,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said when the counsel sought urgent hearing of the PIL on the issue. “Police reforms are going on and on. Nobody listens to our orders,” the bench said when Ashwini Kumar Upadhya, lawyer and Delhi BJP spokesperson, insisted on an urgent hearing. Upadhya, in his plea, has sought directions to states and the Centre to implement massive reforms in the police force including a fixed tenure for senior officers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uphaar case: Gopal Ansal fails to get immediate relief in SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Real estate baron Gopal Ansal today failed to get any immediate relief from the Supreme Court which fixed for March 3 his plea seeking that he, like his elder brother Sushil Ansal, be not jailed to serve remaining sentence in the 1997 Uphaar fire tragedy case. A bench, by a 2:1 majority verdict delivered on February 9, had given relief to 76-year-old Sushil considering his “advanced age-related complications” by awarding him the jail term already undergone and asked younger sibling Gopal to surrender in four weeks to serve remaining one year jail term in the 20-year-old case. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani mentioned the fresh plea for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar and also sought an interim relief that Gopal be granted one extra week to surrender in jail. “You (Jethmalani) will have to wait. It has to be heard by the same bench, if it is existing, which had heard the review. We can put it for Friday if there is no objection,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. When Jethmalani said that he was willing to argue before any bench, the court said, “There is a system of allocation of benches. We will try our best.” The period of sentence already undergone should be enough for Gopal also and he be awarded the jail term already undergone, Jethmalani said, adding moreover, the convict also suffered from advanced age-related ailments like his elder brother and should not to be sent to prison. The convict has also paid Rs 30 crore in fine, he said. Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for the Association for Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) led by Neelam Krishnamoorthy, opposed the plea, saying the review pleas of the CBI and the association have already been decided and “there cannot be a review of the review judgement”. Lawyer Aparajita Singh, appearing for the CBI, said the remedy available to the convict was to file a curative plea and no fresh application can be filed in a decided review petition. When the court fixed the plea for hearing on March 3, Singh said that senior advocate Harish Salve represents the CBI in the matter and he will not available on Friday. On the date fixed, the bench concerned, at best, will only issue notice, the court said. 59 persons had died of asphyxia in the Uphaar cinema during the screening of Hindi movie ‘Border’ on June 13, 1997. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC to look into AAP govt’s plea for setting up of constitution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would look into the plea for early setting up of a constitution bench to hear AAP government’s appeals against the high court verdict holding LG as the administrative head of Delhi.The matter was mentioned by the Delhi government before a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar who said, “we will see whether it will come up before or after the summer vacations.”Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, representing Delhi government, told the bench that this matter has been referred to a five-judge constitution bench and the court, while referring the matter, had “acknowledged that it is an urgent matter”.He told the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and SK Kaul, that the court had given them the liberty to mention the matter before the Chief Justice for early setting up of the constitution bench.

Industries to be shut for want of effluent treatment plants:SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Polluting industrial units across the country would be shut down if they do not have functional primary effluent treatment plants (PETPs) to stop the release of untreated waste in water bodies within three months after notice, the Supreme Court ruled today. Issuing a slew of directions, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar directed state pollution control boards (PCBs) to issue a common notice by way of public advertisement to all industrial units to ensure that they have set up PETPs as mandated under the law to carry out industrial activities. “We direct concerned state pollution control boards to issue notice to all industrial units by way of a common advertisement requiring them to ensure that they have functional primary effluent treatment plants. “On the expiry of three months notice period, the concerned state pollution control boards are mandated to carry out inspections at industrial units as to whether they have functional PETPs,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said. If industrial units do not have functional PETPs, then they will not be allowed to function any more, the court said. The bench further directed that the state PCBs will ask the concerned electricity supply boards to disconnect the power supply to the defaulting industrial units, which could resume their functions only after they made their PETPs functional. While disposing of a PIL on the issue, the top court said though the setting up of PETPs was required to be done by individual industrial units, the government bodies will have to establish Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) across the country within three years after acquiring land and completing other formalities. The states will have to submit reports with regard to setting up of CETPs to the concerned bench of the National Green Tribunal. The local civic authorities could formulate norms to levy cess from users if they face financial crunch in the setting up of and running the CETPs. The bench, however, left the issue of setting up of zero liquid discharge (ZLD) plants to the authorities concerned after they complete the first round with regard to CETPs. The apex court had earlier issued notice to the Centre, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Chief Secretaries of 19 states, including Gujarat, on the plea filed by NGO Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti on the issue of pollution in water bodies, including ground water. (More)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks Centre to form policy on rehabilitation of mentally sick patients

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Union of India to form a policy or a guideline on the rehabilitation of mentally sick patients or inmates. The Apex court allotted eight weeks time to Centre to churn out guideline in the regard. A bench of the Apex Court headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar, also comprising of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul passed the direction after hearing a petition filed by a lawyer, Gaurav Kumar Bansal The apex court was hearing the PIL filed by advocate, Bansal, where the latter has sought courts intervention for the underprivileged persons who are still languishing in mental hospitals despite being cured of their ailments, as there is no policy in to ensure their well-being after release. The plea for mental patients has sought issuance of directions to the states to forthwith make arrangements to shift the patients who are absolutely normal and are fit for discharge from the mental hospitals to any other secure place like old age home, etc.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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