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SC dismisses Teesta Setalvad’s plea to defreeze bank a/cs

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand’s petition challenging the October 2015 Gujarat High Court order that rejected their pleas to defreeze their personal bank accounts.The judgment pronounced by a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar observed that authorities followed proper procedures in freezing the bank accounts in connection with a complaint filed by residents of the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, Gujarat for misappropriation of funds.”Although both the sides have adverted to statement of accounts and vouchers to buttress their respective submissions, we do not deem it necessary, nor think it appropriate to analyse the same while considering the matter on hand which emanates from an application preferred by the appellants to de-freeze the stated bank accounts pending investigation of the case. Indisputably, the investigation is still in progress. The appellants will have to explain their position to the investigating agency and after investigation is complete, the matter can proceed further depending on the material gathered during the investigation,” the order authored by Justice Khanwilkar read.According to Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta representing Gujarat, the two Trusts — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ) — are run by the private appellants and others. All the accused persons were actively involved in collecting huge funds as donation in the name of providing legal assistance to the 2002 Gujarat Riot Victims. These donations, however, received by the two Trusts allegedly never reached the victims.Setalvad, through counsels senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Aparna Bhat, submitted that the trust maintained proper accounts which are duly audited and there is no trace of any illegality committed in respect of receipt and expenditure.During the course of the hearing, the top court had also questioned the source of the funds after allegations of misappropriation surfaced. The top court had then reserved its verdict earlier in July.The complaint was filed by Firoz Khan Pathan, one of the residents of Gulberg society, alleging that the money raised to make a museum at Gulberg Society in the memory of 69 people killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots had not been utilised for the purpose.TWICE TRIEDSC bench observed that authorities followed proper procedure while freezing bank accounts. Gujarat HC had rejected their plea in 2015 as well.

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Supreme Court won’t interfere in Gujarat counting

The Supreme Court rejected on Friday a Congress petition that had sought directions to the Election Commission to match 25 per cent of all EVM ballots with voter slips printed by Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines used in the Gujarat Assembly elections. Counting of votes will be taken up in the state on Monday.A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra found no merit in the plea by Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal who represented the Congress.The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, observed that it could not interfere with the poll panel’s exercise of power. Electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and could not be interfered with to simply allay apprehensions of a party, the bench noted.Singhvi said that plea was not against EVMs per se. “…but now that you have VVPAT with all machines, we want the sampling of voting on EVMs with the VVPAt trail be done in at least 10-15% cases if not 25%.”The top court’s move comes a day after the Congress accused the poll panel of being the “puppet” of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A day before the final phase of polling in Gujarat, the Election Commission cracked the whip on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and certain television channels on Wednesday. They had aired his interviews even after the end of campaigning.The BJP and the Congress traded charges against each other for trying to influence the voters in the mandatory no-campaign period.Within hours of the filing of three complaints by the BJP, the EC served a showcase notice to Rahul and ordered FIR against certain Gujarati television channels.The EC asked Rahul to explain by December 18 why he violated the poll code of no campaign within 48 hours of the conclusion of the final day of polling.The EC also instructed the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to stop the display of such matter in districts going to the polls on December 14.Following the EC’s step, the Congress reacted sharply and called it partisan. The party demanded from the EC that an FIR be filed against BJP leaders. At the EC’s doorstep, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described it as an attempt to strangle the press.”In 2014 Mr Modi had given a television interview just a day before the polling, and on the day of polling, he had even displayed the BJP symbol, but EC did not act then. On December 8, a day before the first phase, the BJP finance minister released the manifesto but EC did not issue a show cause,” he said.In his first interview, Rahul said the “BJP is not scared of him but of the voice of Gujarat.””In the last three months, I have just raised the voice of Gujarat. They are not scared of me. They are scared of the voice of Gujarat. This election is not about Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi. This is about the voice of Gujarat,” Rahul told TV channels.He also accused the BJP of distorting his image by putting huge money.”There was no (image) makeover. BJP workers used money to distort the reality of Rahul Gandhi… a lot of money was put into this,” said Rahul.

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Top court stays govt takeover of Unitech

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order that allowed the Centre to take over Unitech’s management.The top court’s move came on the heels of an appeal against the tribunal’s order filed by Sanjay Chandra, the promoter of the embattled real estate firm. “When we are hearing this matter, how can NCLT pass orders? It is disturbing,” the top court said during an earlier hearing.Standing firm and guarding the interest of the homebuyers, a bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra acknowledged Attorney General KK Venugopal’s apology when he admitted that the Centre was hasty in approaching the NCLT when the case was pending before the top court.Venugopal admitted that the Centre should not have approached NCLT, and the tribunal shouldn’t have passed an order that allowed the firm’s takeover at a time when the top court is hearing the matter.The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, posted the matter for January 12 after recording the top law officer’s apology.On December 8, NCLT suspended all eight board of directors and handed over the reigns of the embattled real estate firm to the Centre. Accusing the board of mismanagement and siphoning of funds, the tribunal had authorised the Centre to appoint 10 of its nominees on the board. The tribunal’s order had come after the government’s appeal that moved the panel to protect the interest of nearly 20,000 homebuyers.In its order, the tribunal had given the Centre time till December 20 to appoint its nominees while restraining the suspended directors from selling their personal and company properties.In October, the SC had denied bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra, and ordered him to deposit at least Rs 750 crore by December end, which could be used to refund homebuyers. It also indicated that it was considering auctioning the flats for the refund.In September, the top court awarded 39 homebuyers compensation to the tune of Rs 80,000 each, towards litigation costs and mental agony. Thirty-nine buyers approached the top court when Unitech failed to deliver the promised homes in its project — Vista — in Sector 70, Gurgaon.The buyers had sought a refund of their principal amount – which amounted to Rs16.55 crore with interest, after Unitech delayed possession beyond 2012 — when it was promised.In an earlier February order, the apex court had directed Unitech to pay 14 per cent interest that would be calculated from January 1, 2010. The amount was to be deposited with the SC registry who would then disbursed 90 per cent of the amount among the 39 buyers on a pro-rata basis.Over two dozen homebuyers approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) after Unitech failed to give possession as per schedule in its Noida and Gurgaon’s housing projects. The consumer forum had directed Unitech to refund the money to the homebuyers with interest.

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SC stays Madras HC order on thumb impression of ex- TN CM J Jayalalithaa

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Madras High Court order directing Bengaluru jail authorities and the UIDAI to produce records containing the thumb impression of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.The high court, while dealing with an election petition, had on November 24 sought Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression details which is available with Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Jail and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The former AIADMK chief had died on December 5 last year. The high court had asked the authorities to give the fingerprint details by today in a matter relating to an election petition filed by P Saravanan, a DMK candidate for the November 2016 Thirupparankundram Assembly bypoll, challenging the election of AIADMK’s A K Bose.The matter came up for hearing today before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which also issued notice to the petitioner before the high court and asked him to file a reply within eight weeks. The bench said there would be “stay of operation” on the high court’s order. Bose has moved the apex court against the high court’s direction claiming it intruded into the fundamental right to privacy.Also readJayalalithaa death anniversary: Scores of people pay tribute to their ‘Amma'”Her death does not make any difference as right to privacy is available to every citizen during his/her life time and even after the death of that person,” the plea said. “The personal details of a third party which will undoubtedly include the finger print could not be divulged by the authorities holding the same without consent of the person to whom it belongs,” the plea claimed while seeking an ex- parte stay of the interim order of high court. During the pendency of petition before the high court, Saravanan had filed an additional affidavit, questioning the validity of the election documents.He had alleged that thumb impression of Jayalalithaa was obtained without her consent and knowledge while she was unconscious, with the “connivance” of the doctors and others who were attending to the former chief minister. Jayalalithaa was lodged in the jail after her conviction in the Rs 65.66 crore disproportionate assets case in 2014.Also readA year after Jayalalithaa’s death, AIADMK suffers without a strong leaderShe had subsequently secured bail from the Supreme Court and was released on October 18, 2014, after spending 21 days in the prison.The Karnataka High Court had later acquitted her and three of her associates of all charges, but the Supreme Court on February 14 this year had set aside the order. However, since Jayalalithaa died on December 5 last year, the apex court had abated the proceedings against her.

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SC to hear pleas on deportation of Rohingya Muslims in January

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would hear on January 31 a batch of pleas, including that of two Rohingya refugees who have approached it against the Centre’s decision to deport Rohinigya Muslims to Myanmar.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would also hear on the next date the interim applications seeking to be impleaded as parties in the ongoing case.”We are not rejecting any of the impleadment application before us in this matter. We will hear it on the next date,” the bench said.On November 21, the apex court had agreed to defer the matter for hearing it on Tuesday.Two Rohingya immigrants, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, had approached the apex court opposing the Centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 refugees who came to India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.Various other petitions, including those by former RSS ideologue and Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan leader K N Govindacharya, the CPI(M) youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the West Bengal child rights body and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, have been filed in the apex court on the matter.The top court had on October 13 said the Rohingya refugee problem was of a “great magnitude” and the state would have to play a “big role” while dealing with the contentious issue.It had earlier decided to give a detailed and holistic hearing on the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar, observing that a balance has to be struck between national interest and human rights as the issue involved national security, economic interests and humanity.The court had suggested to the Centre not to deport these refugees, but the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta had urged that it should not be written in the order as anything coming on record would have international ramifications.The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, were settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.In a communication to all states, the union home ministry had said the rise of terrorism in last few decades had become a serious concern for most nations as illegal migrants were prone to recruitment by terrorist organisations.It had directed the state governments to set up a task force at district level to identify and deport illegally- staying foreign nationals.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Supreme Court notice on convicts in party posts

The Supreme Court Friday sought the responses of the Centre and the Election Commission on a PIL seeking to restrain convicted politicians from holding any posts in political parties.Taking up a petition filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, the bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued notice to the respondents. The PIL seeks directions to the Centre and the Election Commission to frame guidelines to decriminalise the electoral system and ensure inner-party democracy as proposed by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC).The bench also agreed to examine the validity and contours of Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which deals with registration of political parties with the Election Commission.Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra told the bench that while convicted politicians are barred under law from contesting elections, they can still run a political party, thereby deciding as to who becomes a lawmaker. The petition also names several politicians who have been convicted or have charges framed against them but continue to hold posts in political parties and “wielding political power.” It points out that now even a person who has been convicted for heinous crimes like murder, rape, smuggling, money laundering, loot, sedition, or dacoity can form a political party and become its president.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Medical bribery: SC reserves SIT order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court reserved on Monday its order on a plea seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the medical bribery scam matter which involves judges from the higher judiciary.After hearing arguments submitted by Attorney General KK Venugopal and advocate Prashant Bhushan — who represents the NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms which filed the petition, a special bench comprising Justices RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar reserved the order for December 1.Venugopal had submitted that the PIL as misconceived and called the arguments made by Bhushan — who said that he wanted to protect the independence of the judiciary, disingenuous.Bhushan said that all aspects were not covered by the apex court its earlier verdict — when it had junked a similar petition filed by senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal, that he has filed this petition to save the “dignity, independence and integrity of the judiciary.”Earlier this month, Bhushan’s CJAR and Jaiswal had filed identical petitions on two consecutive days causing an uproar in the apex court. During their arguments, both petitions categorically sought the recusal of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra who had deliberated on matters where Prasad Education Trust – one of the petitioners, is also an accused in the medical scam case which the CBI is probing.In short order, the top court had junked Jaiswal’s petition calling the attempts made by her and Bhushan as “forum-shopping, contemptuous, unethical, derogatory.” The bench, however, had stopped short of initiating contempt of court proceedings against them, in the interest and “welfare of the great institution.”‘MISCONCEIVED’Attorney General KK Venugopal said the PIL demanding an SIT was “misconceived”. He called the argument that the PIL wanted to protect the independence of the judiciary as “disingenuous”

Kerala Love Jihad | Wife is not a chattel, hubby can’t be guardian: SC admonishes Hadiya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A wife is not a chattel and the husband cannot be her guardian, the Supreme Court said today after interacting with a Kerala woman, alleged victim of love jihad.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud interacted with the 25-year old Hadiya for nearly half-an-hour and posed questions on her life, ambition, studies and hobbies.Hadiya told the apex court that she wanted ‘freedom’ to live with her husband, profess her faith in Islam and that she very well understood what she was doing.When the bench asked Hadiya to name any relative or any near acquaintance to be named as her local guardian in college at Salem in Tamil Nadu, she said her husband could be her guardian and she does not want anyone else in that role.”A husband cannot be a guardian of his wife. Wife is not a chattel. She has her own identity in life and society. Even I am not guardian of my wife. Please make her understand,” Justice Chandrachud said.The bench posed questions to Hadiya in English while she answered in Malyalam, which was translated by senior advocate V Giri, who appeared for Kerala government.When the bench asked Hadiya what your dreams are for the future, she replied she wanted freedom and to live with her husband.The bench then asked whether she was comfortable in professing her faith and studying simulatenously and told her that being a good citizen, she can profess her faith and be a good doctor.Hadiya replied she wanted freedom to profess her faith and she fully understood what she is doing.The bench asked her whether she wanted to continue her studies and pursue internship in house surgeonship at the expense of the state government.The woman said she wanted to pursue her studies but not at the state’s expense as her husband will take care of her.She further requested the court that she be allowed to visit her friend before being taken to Salem, to which the court agreed and directed the state government to provide her security.The court asked Kerala police ensure that she travelled at the earliest to Salem in Tamil Nadu to pursue homeopathy studies at Sivaraj Medical College there and appointed dean of the institution as her local guardian.

Love jihad case: Supreme Court refuses urgent hearing for in-camera proceedings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to accord urgent hearing on a plea filed by the father of a Kerala-based woman, who converted to Islam before marrying a Muslim man, that interaction with the woman be conducted in- camera.A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that it will deal with this plea on November 27 itself when the woman would be brought before it for interaction.The counsel for Ashokan K M, the father of the woman, sought an urgent hearing on his plea saying that it would become infructuous if the earlier order mandating open court interaction is not modified.The apex court had on October 30 directed that the woman be produced before it on November 27 for an interaction in open court.Asokan referred to the communally sensitive nature of the case and sought in-camera interaction on some grounds including that radical elements could jeopardise the safety and privacy of his daughter and the family.The top court had on August 16 said it would speak to the woman in-camera before taking a final decision on the matter.It has later modified the order saying “We may further add that this court shall speak to her not in camera but in open court.”The apex court had earlier observed that the free consent of a major to marriage has to be ascertained amid an assertion by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent to marriage.The NIA had referred to “psychological kidnapping” and said that an indoctrinated person may be incapable of giving free consent.It had also alleged that there was a “well-oiled machinery working in Kerala” indulging in indoctrination and radicalisation and 89 such cases have been reported.The NIA had claimed that this was a case in which the woman was indoctrinated and hence the court could invoke parental authority even if she was a major.The counsel for her father had earlier claimed that Shafin Jahan, the alleged husband of the woman, was a radicalised man and had links with persons who used to recruit for ISIS.The woman, a Hindu, had converted to Islam and later married Jahan. It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.Jahan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its August 16 order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case of conversion and marriage of a Hindu woman with him.He had moved the top court after the Kerala High Court had annulled his marriage, saying it was an insult to the independence of women in the country.

Rohingya crisis: SC to hear plea against deportation on December 5

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said it would next month hear the plea of two Rohingya refugees who have approached it against the Centre’s decision to deport Rohinigya Muslims to Myanmar.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud agreed to the request of senior advocate Fali S nariman, who appeared for the Rohingyas, and deferred the matter for hearing on December 5. The apex court had on October 13 said the Rohingya refugee problem was of a “great magnitude” and the state would have to play a “big role” while dealing with the contentious issue. Two Rohingya immigrants Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir had approached the apex court opposing the Centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 refugees who came to India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.Various other petitions, including those by former RSS ideologue and Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan leader K N Govindacharaya, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of of the CPI(M), the West Bengal child rights body, and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, have been filed in the apex court on the issue. The top court had earlier decided to give a detailed and holistic hearing from today on the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar, observing that a balance has to be struck between national interest and human rights as the issue involved national security, economic interests and humanity.The court had suggested to the Centre not to deport these refugees but the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta had urged that it should not be written in the order as anything coming on record would have international ramifications.The top court had made it clear that in case any contingency arose during the intervening period, the petitioners have the liberty to approach it for redressal. The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, were settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. In a communication to all states, the union home ministry had said the rise of terrorism in last few decades had become a serious concern for most nations as illegal migrants were prone to recruitment by terrorist organisations. It had directed the state governments to set up a task force at district level to identify and deport illegally- staying foreign nationals.

No pre-judging: SC junks petition against Sanjay Leela Bhansali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday junked a petition that sought criminal charges against Padmavati’s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for allegedly defaming the legendary Hindu queen’s character. The court said it did not want to pre-judge the movie as it was still pending before the censor board.This comes amid widespread protests by groups — claiming to represent the Rajput community — against the movie that has deeply divided chief ministers in several states. A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the matter was still pending before the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) and it was too premature to be decided by it (the court). The bench — also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud — said that it did not want to pre-judge the film.The petition had been filed by advocate ML Sharma who said Bhansali defamed the queen by portraying her as a dancer.The apex court, however, disagreed with him and said that no case was made.Protesters who have issued threats against the director and actors say the depiction of romance between Padmini and Delhi Sultnate ruler Alauddin Khilji insults the Rajput community. The film’s makers have been denying allegations of any distortion of history. Historians have also been divided over whether the queen ever existed.During the brief hearing, Sharma objected to songs already released by the production house as part of its promotional strategy. “Half the movie has already been released and without any proper certification,” Sharma argued.To this, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the film, responded that the process for certification is on and all appropriate paperwork was in order for the material that is already on air. The production house has deferred the December 1 release of the movie.But trouble for the movie continues. A Varanasi court directed the local police to register an FIR against Bhansali for “insulting the religion, selling or printing defamatory matter and public mischief.” Petitioner Kamlesh Chandra has sought a ban on the film and action against its makers for depicting the character of Rani Padmavati in poor light which has “hurt the sentiments of Indians.” The court issued summons to Bhansali who was also attacked on sets in January by a Rajput organisation.

SC sweeps aside plea seeking stay on release of movie on Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “An Insignificant Man”, billed by the makers as a film based on the life of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, would hit the screens tomorrow as the Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking a stay on its release saying freedom of speech and expression was “sacrosanct”.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that any film, theatre, drama or novel was a creation of art and courts should not crucify rights of an expressive mind.The court was hearing a plea filed by Nachiketa Walhekar, who allegedly threw ink at Kejriwal in 2013. He has claimed that he has been depicted as a convict in the movie despite the fact that trial in that matter was still pending.His counsel told the bench, also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that the film contains a video clip, which was originally shown by media, pertaining to him and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should not have granted a certificate to the movie for its release.”It is worthy to mention that freedom of speech and expression is sacrosanct and the said right should not be ordinarily interfered with,” the bench said.It said when the CBFC has granted a certificate and only something with regard to the petitioner, which was shown in the media, was being reflected in the movie, “this court should restrain itself in not entertaining the writ petition or granting injunction”.”Be it noted, a film or a drama or a novel or a book is a creation of art. An artist has his own freedom to express himself in a manner which is not prohibited in law and such prohibitions are not read by implication to crucify the rights of expressive mind,” the bench said.It said that “human history” records that there were many authors, who expressed their thoughts according to the choice of their words, phrases, expressions and also created characters who may look absolutely different than an ordinary man would conceive of.”A thought provoking film should never mean that it has to be didactic or in any way puritanical. It can be expressive and provoking the conscious or the sub-conscious thoughts of the viewer. If there has to be any limitation, that has to be as per the prescription in law,” it noted in its order.The bench also said that courts have to be extremely slow in passing any kind of restraint order in such a situation and it should allow the respect that a creative man enjoys in writing a drama, play, book on philosophy or any kind of thought that is expressed on the celluloid or theatre.Regarding the petitioner’s apprehension that the documentary film would be used as an evidence during the trial of the case, the bench said it cannot be commented upon as it would be for trial court to adjudge under the Evidence Act.During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel told the bench that his image has been tarnished in the film and the filmmakers could have put in a disclaimer that trial in the ink-throwing case was still pending.”The incident happened in 2013. It was alleged that the petitioner had thrown the ink on Kejriwal. Trial is still pending. How can they show me as a convict of throwing ink at Kejriwal?,” the lawyer said.The bench, however, said that prohibiting exhibition of a documentary or a film was “very serious” and courts should be very slow in interfering with it.It said that only the courts have the right to convict a person of any crime.”Everyday, debate takes place in this court and people write about it as they understand. We do not gag them. Pre- censorship by courts should not be done,” the bench said.

Medical college scam: Supreme Court no to SIT, chides petitioners

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal’s petition seeking a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team (SIT) in the medical colleges scam. In doing so, the bench also terming attempts by the petitioner and her lawyer to secure orders from another bench even as the same matter was pending with another bench as an instance of forum shopping.A bench comprising Justices RK Agrawal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar called the attempts made by Jaiswal and that that of the lawyers from the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) as “forum-shopping, contemptuous, unethical, derogatory” but stopped short of initiating contempt of court proceedings against them, in the interest and “welfare of the great institution.””Let us unite and work for the welfare of the great institution,” the Bench observed. “Unnecessary doubt was raised about the integrity of this great institution,” Justice Mishra said reading out from the judgment.”Unnecessarily, the Institution has been brought to be scandalized for no good cause, it said.”The petition and entire conduct aims at bringing disrepute to this Court without any rhyme or reason,” it said.Speaking on the conduct of the petitioners and the crisis triggered by their petition, the bench held that filing the petition without due diligence and fact check amounted to events that were derogatory and contemptuous. However, the court erred on the side of caution and favoured bringing a quietus to the issue, saying goodwill should prevail.Calling the conduct of the petitioners as unethical, the bench also suggested that calling for the recusal of Justice AM Khanwilkar – who was also on the bench that deliberated on the issue of the medical college scam, amounted to forum shopping.In its judgment, the bench held that the decision of the Constitution Bench on November 10 was binding and that only the Chief Justice of India had the authority to constitute benches in the Supreme Court.However, the 38-page judgment hoped to bring and an end to the drama that began when CJAR first mentioned their petition before Justice Jasti Chelameswar or “Court number 2,” as it was referred to.”We still expect and hope the matter will stop at this,” Justice Mishra spoke for the bench, while dismissing Jaiswal’s petition.”Let the good sense prevail over the legal fraternity and amends be made as lot of uncalled for damage has been made to the great Institution in which public reposes their faith. We deprecate the conduct of forum hunting that too involving senior lawyer of this Court. Such conduct tantamount wholly unethical, unwarranted and nothing but forum hunting, as discussed by this Court in the case of Cipla (supra),” the judgement – unanimous in its decision since there is no author, read.On Monday, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday queried whether advocate Prashant Bhushan’s act of filing duplicate petitions on the same issue was tantamount to forum shopping.Observing that his actions had scandalised the court, the bench comprising Justices RK Agarwal, Arun Mishra and AM Khanwilkar had reserved its judgement on the maintainability of the petition that sought a court-monitored investigation into the medical colleges scam where the accused had allegedly brandished names of some members of the higher judiciary to give out the impression that favourable order could be procured – for a cost.Last week, Bhushan’s Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Judicial Reforms and senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal had filed identical petitions on two consecutive days causing an uproar in the apex court. During their arguments, both petitions categorically sought the recusal of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra who had deliberated on matters where Prasad Education Trust – one of the petitioners is also an accused in the medical scam case which the CBI is probing.Appearing in his personal capacity, Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal observed that the court was facing a crisis that was brought about by the petitions. “There is a deep wedge between the bar and the judiciary. Here is a crisis that of confidence (in court) itself,” he said.”This petition wants to drive the investigation in a particular direction and particular decision,” he added. Submitting that American courts have condemned such actions, the top law officer added, “Judges are a very vulnerable class of people. The buck stops with Quddusi,” he added referring to the former Odisha High COurt judge who was arrested by the CBI for his role in the case.The bench saysLet us unite and work for the welfare of the great institutionUnnecessarily, the Institution has been scandalised for no good causeUnnecessary doubt was raised about the integrity of this great institution

Municipalities across country will exempt from liquor shops ban on highways, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday said its order exempting from ban the liquor shops within 500 metres of state and national highways running through municipal areas would be applicable across the country.A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said it would pass a classificatory order on the plea of Tamil Nadu government, which was asked the Madras High Court to approach the top court for clarification on the issue.The apex court, which had banned the sale of liquor within 500 meters of highways across the country, had on July 11 this year, relaxed the scope of its verdict and allowed liquor shops alongside highways in municipal areas on a petition filed with regard to Union Territory of Chandigarh.The Madras High Court, taking note of the Tamil Nadu government’s recent decision to allow liquor shops on highways in municipal areas, said the apex court’s relaxation might be confined to Chandigarh alone and asked the state government to seek clarification from the top court.Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said the July 11 order was clear. However, a clarification was needed.”The High Court says municipal areas in the Supreme Court order means only areas in Punjab and not in Chennai. The Chief Justice Bench of the High Court wants a clarification whether the exemption applies only to Chandigarh,” Rohatgi said.”Well, why should the High Court think that? If our order applies for municipal areas in Chandigarh, it will apply equally for municipal areas across the country,” the bench said and posted the matter after two weeks for hearing and passing a requisite classificatory order.The apex court had earlier clarified that its order banning sale of liquor within a distance of 500 metres along national and state highways would not extend to municipal areas.The top court, on December 15, 2016, had banned sale of liquor within 500 metres of state and national highways across the country.

Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, states on plea to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR

Updated: Nov 13, 2017, 06:26 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab state governments on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that there won’t be any stay on matters pertaining to pollution which are going on before any other court. The apex court issued notice to the Centre and the state governments concerned on the plea which also sought a direction to promote solar energy and electric vehicles to check pollution.The plea filed by lawyer R K Kapoor has claimed that rise in dust particles on roads, stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas. The fresh plea has sought directions to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning. It has also sought effective implementation of the odd- even car rationing scheme.

Delhi pollution: SC issues notices to Centre, UP, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi govts over stubble burning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi Government on petition on stubble burning and dust pollution. The Supreme Court had earlier in the day agreed to hear today itself a fresh plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of lawyer R K Kapoor that rise in dust particles on roads, stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas..Delhi Government on Monday had filed an appeal in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking certain changes in NGT’s previous directions regarding the odd-even scheme. The NGT is likely to hear the plea on Tuesday.Earlier in the day, also questioned the government on Odd-Even scheme. The green court asked whether the Delhi government was only informing the media about a review petition on the Odd-Even scheme since no review petition had been filed as yet.The NGT had approved the Delhi government’s suggestion of implementing the odd-even scheme to curb the smog that has plagued the national capial since last Wednesday. However, the NGT made it clear that nobody would be exempted. This was contrary to the Delhi government’s proposal that women drivers and two-wheelers would not fall under the purview of the scheme. The Delhi government then called off implementing the scheme.

Delhi pollution: AAP govt files appeal before NGT; ask for ‘certain changes’ in tribunal’s previous directions over odd-even scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Government on Monday filed an appeal in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking certain changes in NGT’s previous directions regarding the odd-even scheme. The NGT is likely to hear the plea on Tuesday.Earlier in the day, also questioned the government on Odd-Even scheme. The green court asked whether the Delhi government was only informing the media about a review petition on the Odd-Even scheme since no review petition had been filed as yet. The NGT had approved the Delhi government’s suggestion of implementing the odd-even scheme to curb the smog that has plagued the national capial since last Wednesday. However, the NGT made it clear that nobody would be exempted. This was contrary to the Delhi government’s proposal that women drivers and two-wheelers would not fall under the purview of the scheme. The Delhi government then called off implementing the scheme.Earlier on Monday, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of lawyer R K Kapoor that rise in dust particles on roads, stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas.Earlier, smog continued to plague the national capital on Monday, with Air Quality Index figures in several parts of the city falling in the ‘hazardous category’, it was reported.According to latest AQI figures, Delhi’s Mandir Marg recorded 523, Anand Vihar recorded 510, while Punjabi Bagh at 743, Shadipur at 420.Despite this, schools reopened after they were shut since last Thursday. Both students and teachers were seen donning masks. Some teachers maintained that closing schools was not an option, and a collective effort was necessary.

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court refuses to stay proceedings in Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today refused to stay the proceedings in 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases before the Delhi High Court which has issued show cause notices to 11 persons asking why they should not be re-tried.Eleven persons including former councillor Balwan Khokhar and ex-MLA Mahender Yadav have already been acquitted by a trial court in five cases and the High Court, after perusing case files, on its own took note and issued show cause notices to them.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud declined the plea of Yadav, saying it would not stay the proceedings before the high court.The High Court had on March 29 issued notices to these 11 persons who had faced trial for various offences during the riots on November 1 and 2, 1984 in the Delhi Cantonment area and were acquitted later.Aggrieved by the decision, Yadav moved the apex court, saying the high court has no power to suo motu reopen trial in the cases in which he has been acquitted.The High Court had sought the response of those acquitted as to why it should not order reinvestigation and retrial against them as they had faced allegations of “horrifying crimes against humanity”.The High Court had issued directions to “secure ends of justice” after perusing trial court records regarding the acquittal of the accused in five different cases relating to the killing of Sikhs during the riots which broke out a day after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.The trial court records were placed before the high court by the CBI during the hearing of another 1984 riot case in which the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and punishment awarded to other convicts is under challenge by CBI, the riot victims and convicts.The High Court, in five separate verdicts, had expressed unhappiness over the failure of the prosecutors to assist the trial courts and said they had not ensured that truth is brought out and the guilty punished.

Transgender, denied job as cabin crew in Air India, moves Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A transgender, who had undergone sex change three years ago, today moved the Supreme Court challenging Air India’s decision to deny her a job as a cabin crew.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice and sought responses from Air India and Civil Aviation Ministry in four weeks. She claimed that to pursue her dreams, she had worked for 13 months in Sutherland Global Services in the airline sector and even at Air India’s customer support, both domestic and international, at Chennai. Born in Tamil Nadu in 1989, she said she graduated in engineering in 2010. She underwent the gender surgery to turn into a woman in April 2014 and this information was published in the state government gazette.She said she had learnt about an advertisement on July 10 by Air India for the post of female cabin crew for its Northern Region office in Delhi on a fixed term engagement basis for an initial period of five years. She applied in the female category as she had undergone a successful sexual reassignment surgery in Bangkok. She said she got the call letter, appeared for GD and PAT tests and undertook four attempts, “but unfortunately she has not been short-listed for the post in question even though faring well in the tests conducted”.In her petition, she said she could not get shortlisted as she was a transgender and the vacancies in the cabin crew were earmarked only for women. She said that representations were made to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Civil Aviation but there was no redressal. She had sought direction to Air India and the Ministry for consideration of her candidature. “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 prohibits discrimination. It is clear that no person shall discriminate against a transgender person in relation to employment or occupation…”, her plea said.Citing the top court verdict of 2014, she said the apex court has given certain directions for protection of the rights of the transgender persons by including a third category in documents like election card, passport, driving license and ration card, and for admission in educational institutions, hospitals, amongst others. “By recognising diverse gender identities, the Court has busted the dual gender structure of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ which is recognized by the society,” she said in her plea. “The right to chose one’s gender identity is an essential part to lead a life with dignity which again falls under the ambit of Article 21. Determining the right to personal freedom and self determination, the Court observed that the gender to which a person belongs is to be determined by the person concerned. “The Court has given the people of India the right to gender identity. Further, they cannot be discriminated against on the ground of gender as it is violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 21,” the plea said.

J&K special status: SC defers verdict on constitutional validity of Article 35A by 3 months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the case on Article 35A, granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir, by three months. This is after Attorney general KK Venugopal on behalf of the Centre urged deferring of the case by six months. AK Venugopal said to the SC that Centre has appointed an interlocutor to talk to all stakeholders in the valley and hence hearing in this matter should be deferred for now. SC partially agreed to the request put off the case by three months. Separatists had warned of unrest if Article 35A was tinkered with. SC was hearing petitions filed claiming that politically contentious Article 35A was illegally added to the Constitution of India as the Article was never proposed before the Parliament. Four petitions, which demanded the scrapping of the provision, have been listed before a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.The main petition was filed by ‘We the Citizens’, a Delhi-based NGO in 2014. Three more petitions were also filed challenging the Article but were later clubbed with the main one. The issue has come to the centre stage of controversy after the Supreme Court’s indication that it may be dealt with by a five-judge constitution bench, to ascertain that, if Article 35A relating to special rights and privileges of the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir is ultra vires of the Constitution or if there is any procedural lapse.Article 35A of the Indian Constitution is an article that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, while article 370 gives special status to the state of J&K in the Indian Union. Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a Presidential Order in 1954 and accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir. It also empowers the state’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.With Agency inputs

SC to set up Constitution bench to hear pleas against Aadhaar being mandatory for govt schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A constitution bench would be set up to hear a clutch of petitions challenging the Centre’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing various services and government welfare schemes, the Supreme Court today said.A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said the larger bench would commence hearing on these petitions in the last week of November this year.Earlier today, the apex court questioned the West Bengal government for filing a plea challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes while asking how a state can challenge the mandate of Parliament.It also asked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to file the plea as an individual.Recently, a nine-judge Constitution bench had held that the Right ot Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had raised the issue that the scheme was violative of privacy rights.Senior advocates Gopal Subramanium and Shyam Divan, appearing for those opposing the Aadhaar scheme, had sought urgent hearing on the petitions.The Centre had on October 25 told the apex court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of the government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number and were willing to have it.The petitioners had termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as illegal and unconstitutional and strongly objected to the CBSE’s move to make it mandatory for students to appear for exams.Divan, appearing for some of the petitioners, had earlier contended that final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter, which is pending before the apex court, was necessary as the government “cannot compel” citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or mobile numbers.

Supreme Court: Run Blue Whale warning film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday directed state-run television network Doordarshan to use it prime time slot to broadcast programming warning viewers of the dangers of the so-called Blue Whale Challenge that has claimed a number of lives across the country.A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has given the national broadcaster a week’s time in which to prepare its material. The next hearing has been set for November 20.The Blue Whale Challenge essentially goads players into carrying out a series of tasks, the final one being suicide.”The idea behind the programme is to make parents and children aware of the dangers of online games like Blue Whale. The message of the programme should be that children should not be trapped by the game. There are children who are lonely and frustrated. Definitely, visuals will have more impact,” Chief Justice Misra noted.The court made its observations while hearing a petition filed by advocate Sneha Kalita who sought immediate measures to ban/block all sites linked to the Blue Whale online game and other similar games.The apex court has also asked DD to consult with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development, and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry while preparing its programming.In a bid to increase the reach of the programming, the bench, which included Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, directed the “competent authority” to explore the possibility of doing so on private channels, as well as on other platforms.While explaining the dangers of the game, Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria outlined the various steps – 50 in all – that culminate in the player’s suicide.

Fresh plea in SC for extending ban on firecrackers in NCR beyond October 31

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fresh plea was moved in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking extension of the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the national capital region beyond October 31.A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would consider whether the plea seeking extension of ban on firecrackers can be heard urgently. The counsel appearing for petitioner Arjun Gopal, on whose plea the court had banned the sale of firecrackers, said the restraint order be extended beyond October 31 keeping in mind the present pollution level in the national capital and the adjoining areas.On October 13, the apex court had ruled that there would be no sale of firecrackers till October 31. It had expressed anguish that attempts were made to give a political colour to its order banning firecrackers. The court had refused to relax its October 9 order banning the sale of firecrackers while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought its permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19. It had said its ban order for this year during Diwali was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution level in the region.Some of the licences told the bench that licences granted to them would expire on October 21 while the ban order would be in force till October 31. The bench had said they could make a request to the authorities to extend the period of licence beyond November 1, when the September 12 order would come into effect. The top court had in September temporarily lifted the ban on sale of crackers with certain conditions. The traders had moved the top court seeking relaxation on the ban for a further period saying that a huge amount of money had been invested by them after their licences were revived and the ban order would cause a massive loss to them.The apex court, while banning the sale of firecrackers till October 31, had said its September 12 order would be made effective only from November one. It had said its November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences “should be given one chance to test itself” to see if there is a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.

Standing for national anthem in cinema halls not a measure of patriotism: Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a significant change of stance, SC on Monday indicated that it may modify its order of December 1, 2016, by which the playing of the anthem was made mandatory for cinema halls before the screening of a movie, and it may replace the word “shall” with “may”. The apex court had last year made it mandatory to play the national anthem before a movie.”Just because someone doesn’t sing the national anthem in cinema halls, they do not become less patriotic,” Justice Chandrachud said. “One doesn’t have to wear patriotism up his sleeves all the time. People are afraid of being called anti-national if they oppose mandatory singing of national anthem,” the bench remarked, according to WION. The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider amending the national flag code for regulating the playing of national anthem in cinema halls across the country. A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said the Centre has to take a call uninfluenced by its earlier order on the playing of national anthem in the theatres. During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said India was a diverse country and the national anthem needs to be played in the cinema halls to bring in uniformity.The court’s directions last year had come on a PIL filed by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey seeking directions that the national anthem should be played in all the cinema halls before a film begins. It had also said proper norms and protocol should be fixed regarding its playing and singing at official functions and programmes where those holding constitutional office are present. With PTI inputs

SC puts foot down, says active euthanasia akin to suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Observing that active euthanasia was akin to suicide, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stated that it was not permissible. The Centre, which concurred with the top court’s observation, then submitted that it was ready with a draft Bill to permit passive euthanasia under strict regulation and guidelines.A five-judge Constitution Bench was deliberating on the issue of active euthanasia or assisted suicide, which is not allowed in India so far. The Apex Court was considering the concept of a living will, which refers to a terminally ill patient’s right to refuse treatment and his or her permission, given in advance, to authorise doctors to stop the life-support treatment in order to hasten death.The current debate in the top court was initiated by a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, for the NGO Common Cause. The petition reopened the legal debate surrounding euthanasia when it asked the Apex Court to declare that people should have the right to die and opt for a living will to ensure that they do not end up lying in a vegetative state and are “allowed to die with dignity”.The draft Bill on the issue outlines the guidelines and framework under which passive euthanasia, or a scenario where doctors could withdraw treatment to a terminally-ill patient, can be allowed.The Centre then told the Bench, also comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Ashok Bhushan, that it did not support the concept of a “living will” as the “social consequences” would be negative for the country.During the course of argument, Justice Chandrachud observed that the elderly in our country were mistreated. “This whole grey area is very troubling. Especially among the lower middle class, where the elderly are thought of as a burden and hence are subjected to great cruelty. So, a living will can pose problems,” he said.Debating the question of law, the Chief Justice then observed that one cannot say that you have a right to die (suicide), but you have a right to dignified death. The matter to be decided was whether the law should allow it (euthanasia). “If we recognise the right to dignity in death, then why not dignity in dying?” Chief Justice Misra said.”Passive euthanasia is permissible. Guidelines outlined in the Aruna Shanbaug judgment are applicable till a law comes in to place. As a public policy, tentatively, this Bill will not be beneficial for us,” Additional Solicitor General, representing the Centre, PS Narasimha informed the Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse, was left in a vegetative state after being raped by a hospital peon in 1973. In 2009, a petition filed on her behalf had reached the top court. While it declined Shanbaug’s plea for mercy killing, the court allowed the concept of passive euthanasia under exceptional circumstances. She died four years later. Towards the end of the day, the Chief Justice also observed that there should be medical boards in every district to decide on such appeals.Matter of factAssisted suicide is when a patient with a competent mind decides to end his or her life with the assistance of a doctor. Euthanasia, on the other hand, refers to the call taken by the family and friends of a patient, who is presumably on life support.Euthanasia and assisted suicide are acceptable in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium.

SC constutional bench to decide if Parsi woman marrying a Hindu loses her religion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday referred to a five-judge constitution bench the legal question whether a Parsi woman loses her religious identity after marrying a man of different religion under the Special Marriage Act.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the larger bench would also consider the scope and width of the ‘triple talaq’ verdict in the present case.A woman has challenged the Parsi law, upheld by the Gujarat High Court in 2010, that a Parsi female marrying a Hindu loses her religious rights in the Parsi community.”We are referring it to five-judge constitution bench,” the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.The decision came after senior lawyer Indira Jaising, appearing for Goolrokh M Gupta, said that ‘the doctrine of custom’, that a woman automatically assumes the religion of her husband, no more held good.The bench was hearing a plea filed by Gupta challenging the High Court judgement that had held that under the Special Marriage Act, a Parsi woman is deemed to be converted to Hinduism after she married a Hindu man.The woman, in her appeal filed in 2012, said she had married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act and be allowed to retain her place in Parsi community. She had assailed the HC finding that a woman universally loses her paternal identity just because of her marriage with a man practising the Hindu religion.She had also sought the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform last rites.The Tower is used for funerary purposes by the adherents of the Zoroastrian faith, in which the traditional practice for disposal of the dead involves the exposure of the corpse to the sun and vultures.The High Court had also held that she would be deemed to have acquired the religious status of her husband unless a declaration is made by a court for continuation of her Parsi status.The woman had approached the high court contending that even after her marriage with a Hindu man, she has continued to follow Zoroastrian religion and thus had the right to enjoy all privileges under the Parsi religion, including right to offer prayers at Agiari, a Parsi temple having the ‘holy fire’ and the ‘Tower of Silence’.She contended that her rights as a Parsi Zoroastrian cannot be denied on the ground that she has married a non- Parsi man.She had also argued that a male Parsi Zoroastrian continued to enjoy all rights available to a born Parsi, even if he is married to a non-Parsi Zoroastrian woman.​

Here’s why Supreme Court advocates Harish Salve and Fali Nariman have deleted theit Twitter accounts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday voiced its concerns over social media, with senior advocates Harish Salve and Fali Nariman even saying that they had deleted their Twitter accounts.The bench was hearing arguments on whether a public servant or a minister can claim freedom of speech to air his or her views on a sensitive matter under investigation on public forums such as Facebook and Twitter.PTI reported the bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar, and DY Chandrachud, as saying people disseminated incorrect information on social media — even about court proceedings.While Nariman said he had stopped looking at social media, Salve said he had deleted his Twitter account.PTI reported Salve as saying that he had once appeared in a case related to a medical college and that what subsequently appeared on his Twitter feed had forced him to delete his account.The report further added Salve as adding that “now private players were more into infringing the privacy rights and such things are no more restricted to the state only.”

Here’s why Supreme Court advocates Harish Salve and Fali Nariman have deleted their Twitter accounts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday voiced its concerns over social media, with senior advocates Harish Salve and Fali Nariman even saying that they had deleted their Twitter accounts.The bench was hearing arguments on whether a public servant or a minister can claim freedom of speech to air his or her views on a sensitive matter under investigation on public forums such as Facebook and Twitter.PTI reported the bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar, and DY Chandrachud, as saying people disseminated incorrect information on social media — even about court proceedings.While Nariman said he had stopped looking at social media, Salve said he had deleted his Twitter account.PTI reported Salve as saying that he had once appeared in a case related to a medical college and that what subsequently appeared on his Twitter feed had forced him to delete his account.The report further added Salve as adding that “now private players were more into infringing the privacy rights and such things are no more restricted to the state only.”

Apex court expresses its dismay over bar association’s body submission on pellet guns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association suggested that accession of the state, rigged elections and the security personnel’s capture and kill policy were the “historical reasons” why the Valley erupted in violence.The Supreme Court on Wednesday said they were “slightly shocked” by the disclosure presented by the lawyers’ body. The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, along with Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud were hearing a plea seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns in the Valley.The public interest petition filed by the lawyers’ body accused security personnel of using excessive force to control the crowd in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s death in July 2016. In an affidavit, filed at the behest of the court which sought to understand why the citizens in the Valley were protesting, the lawyer’s association pointed out the “historical reasons” for the continued violence over the years.The Centre, however, contested the submissions made and urged the top court to dismiss them. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, said the lawyer’s body had crossed the boundaries of their petition and hence it was not maintainable.”They say every poll since 1947 was rigged, that accession should not have happened, they say that instead of taking peaceful means, a catch-and-kill policy is adopted,” Kumar said.

SC to hear case challenging govt’s stand to deport Rohingyas on Oct 13

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court decided to hear on October 13 the petition filed by Rohingya Muslims challenging the government’s stand to deport them back to Myanmar.The apex court said it will hear the arguments only on the points of law and asked the parties to desist from advancing emotional arguments as the matter concerned humanitarian cause and humanity, which required to be heard with mutual respect.A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked both the parties, the Centre and the two Rohingya Muslim refugees who have filed the petition, to compile all documents and international conventions for assisting the court.The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said it will hear in details various aspects arising out of the matter, including the government’s stand that the petition was not justiciable in the court of law.Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the petitioner Rohingya refugees, opposed the government stand and said the petition under Article 32 was maintainable as the Constitution guaranteed individual rights.Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the govbernment would not like the matter to be heard in a piecemeal manner as it has wide ramifications and added that it would prefer a day for detailed hearing.

Issued lookout notice against Karti Chidambaram to prevent him from travelling abroad: CBI to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court, which was hearing the matter relating to a corruption case against Karti, was informed by the agency that several issues have come out during the investigation and many others were expected to be revealed.The CBI wanted to place the documents concerning its investigation in a sealed cover before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which was opposed by Karti’s counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal.”What he did abroad is part of this sealed cover,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.Sibal repeatedly protested the ASG’s submissions that the agency be allowed to place before it the documents in a sealed cover.The ASG took the opportunity to briefly submit about the contents of the documents enclosed in the cover.”Let me say what is contained in the sealed cover. What he has done when he was abroad. He said (during interrogation) he has only one account abroad. But when he went abroad, he closed several bank accounts. I don’t want to say all this as it will embarrass him but I have been compelled,” he told the bench.Sibal countered his submission and asked the ASG “did you ask a single question about the bank accounts and property?” “They interrogated me (Karti), but not a single question was asked on this,” Sibal said, adding “if they can show any signature of Karti on any account, they can prosecute him under FEMA or blackmoney law”.The case against Karti pertains to an FIR lodged by the CBI on May 15, alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister during the then UPA regime.

Only Advocates-on- Record (AoRs) can mention out-of-turn listings: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The old practice of designated senior lawyers mentioning cases for out-of-turn listing and urgent hearing came to an abrupt end, with the Supreme Court making it clear that from now on, only Advocates-on- Record (AoRs) can mention such matters.The courtroom of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), where matters for out-of-turn hearing are mentioned, had yesterday witnessed noisy scenes after a lawyer complained that while his senior colleagues were being allowed to mention such cases, junior members of the bar were denied such opportunity.”Only Advocates on Record will mention henceforth,” CJI Dipak Misra thundered as soon as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta started mentioning a matter for urgent hearing.Deafening silence dawned in the otherwise chirpy and crowded courtroom, the moment the CJI made public the decision that lawyers, except AoRs, cannot mention matters for urgent hearing.AoRs are the lawyers authorised by the apex court to file cases and pleadings before it. The apex court conducts examinations to designate a lawyer as an AoR.The bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, had yesterday expressed annoyance when a lawyer had complained that junior members of the bar were not allowed to mention cases.”We cannot spend the whole day and allow mentioning to go on like this,” it had observed.Yesterday, senior lawyers including former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Anand Grover had mentioned their matters, following which the court had started hearing the already listed cases.One of the lawyers, P V Dinesh who was in the queue, had then objected and alleged that senior advocates have been allowed to mention multiple cases, but others should also get at least a chance as all litigants cannot afford big advocates.Some lawyers, who were also in the queue, supported their colleague, leading to noisy scenes in the packed courtroom.

Blue Whale ban: SC seeks Centre’s response

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response to a petition filed by a 73-year-old Tamil Nadu man, seeking a ban on the Blue Whale challenge game, which has been linked to the deaths of several children worldwide.The apex court also sought assistance of Attorney General KK Venugopal in the matter.A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response in three weeks.On September 11, the apex court had agreed to hear the plea filed by advocate NS Ponnaiah, who has also sought creation of awareness among the public about the online game.At least 200 persons, many of them schoolchildren in the age group of 13-15 years, have so far killed themselves after playing the online game.The petitioner said the Madurai City Police had confirmed that a college student who had committed suicide after playing the game had forwarded it to over 150 friends.It may be recalled that the Delhi High Court has already asked Facebook, Google, and Yahoo for their response to a separate petition seeking directions to them to take down the links of the Blue Whale challenge.

Supreme Court issues notice on plea over safety of schoolkids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the Centre and all state governments to a petition seeking framing of ‘non- negotiable’ child safety conditions and implementation of guidelines to protect school children from sexual abuse and murder.Taking up the petition filed by two women lawyers — Abha R Sharma and Sangeeta Bharti — a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud issued notices and sought responses within three weeks. The court directed that the petition be tagged with the petition filed by the father of seven-year-old Pradyuman, who was killed allegedly by a bus conductor at Gurugram’s Ryan International School.In their PIL, the two lawyers have raised the issue of children “being exploited and subjected to child abuse repeatedly within the boundaries of schools”, and demanded that Central and state governments notify a set of ‘non-negotiable’ child safety conditions for schools.They have also sought implementation of existing guidelines of authorities including the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) on prevention of child abuse in schools, including having a “child protection policy which should be understood, explained and signed by all employees or recruits”.The guidelines also make it mandatory for each school to have a child abuse monitoring committee with two students as representatives, and the requirement of a through police verification before employing a person in a school.

Supreme Court denies bail to Unitech promoter, assures buyers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday denied bail to Sanjay Chandra, a promoter of real estate giant Unitech, and assured home buyers that they would get their dues. The bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud assured home buyers that their money would be refunded, or in the event they still wanted their property, it would be given to them in time. The top court appointed advocate Pawan C Aggrawal as amicus and asked him to submit a detailed list of all the projects affected, and one of those who wished a refund, and those who wanted flats. Chandra’s counsel submitted that unless his client got bail, none of the assurances would be fulfilled. “Please grant me interim bail so that I may solve these issues. I cannot do it if I am in judicial custody,” he said. The counsel submitted that he had already deposited Rs 20 crore for the registry so far and was willing to submit a road map detailing how he would refund the money to the homebuyers over a period of two years. The court, however, refused to budge and directed Unitech to refund the money to home buyers before the current financial year ended. Chandra and his brother Ajay had moved the top court against a Delhi High Court order that had canceled their three-month bail. The owners of the real estate firm were arrested for taking money for the project in Gurugram that never fructified. Unitech Vistas, a project with 1,265 apartments in Sector 70 of Gurugram.The project was launched in 2009 and scheduled to be delivered to the prospective homebuyers in December 2012.

Supreme Court to decide if marital disputes can be settled through video conferencing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Can matrimonial disputes or custody matters between the couples residing in different states or districts be adjudicated through video conferencing? The Supreme Court today said it will pass orders.The apex court is seized of a large number of matrimonial disputes in which estranged spouses seek transfer of their cases from one state to another on various grounds. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, after hearing submissions of senior advocate Ajit Sinha appointed as amicus curiae in the case, reserved its order. At the outset, Sinha said that the order of a two-judge bench directing the courts to explore the possibility of video conferencing, impinges upon the right to privacy of estranged spouses.He cited the recent privacy judgement of the apex court and said that matrimonial proceedings should get the protection of privacy. On August 9, Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi had referred to a larger three-judge bench, the present petition filed by a woman seeking transfer of her case filed for dissolution of marriage and custody of child, from a family court in Alappuzha, Kerala, to a family court in Chennai. The bench had then disagreed with the order passed by Justice Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit in an another matter on March 9 directing the use of video-conferencing in such matters.It had raised apprehension about the “confidentiality” in video conferencing proceedings particularly when efforts are made by counsellors, welfare experts for reconciliation and restitution of conjugal rights or dissolution of marriage, ascertainment of the wishes of the child in custody matters. “It is certainly difficult in video conferencing, if not impossible, to maintain confidentiality,” Justice Joseph had said, adding that the footage in video conferencing becomes part of the record. After the order of Justices Goel and Lalit mandating the use of video conferencing facilities in matrimonial disputes before filing transfer petitions, the apex court has been disposing of petitions without going into the merits of such cases.

WhatsApp to clarify what it shares with Facebook

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has asked messaging app WhatsApp to come clean if it is sharing any data with Facebook or any other third party platforms. And if it is, the top court has asked WhatsApp clarify what the data is.Senior advocate K V Vishwanathan and advocate Madhvi Diwan, representing the petitioners who have challenged WhatsApp’s privacy policy, alleged that the messaging app is sharing personal user information and other details that could profile a user with its parent company Facebook and other third party apps. The change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy came after it was bought over by Mark Zuckerberg in 2014.The information gleaned by sharing this personal data and other metadata is used by Facebook for targeted advertising, Vishwanathan said before a five-judge constitutional bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.The petitioners also sought an injunction on any data that is being shared until such time a cohesive data protection law comes into force.However, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar who represent WhatsApp and Facebook denied the assertations made and submitted only limited content is being shared. “We are merely sharing the mobile number, last seen status (on WhatsApp), and the registration model number of the phone,” Sibal said.Opposing any move for an injunction, Sibal said: “We are sharing information, and it is going to be used at some point.” However, they would file an affidavit clarifying what is being shared and with whom.Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta submitted that the Centre has constituted a panel under the aegis of former supreme court judge Justice BN Srikrishna “to identify key data protection issues in India and recommend methods of addressing them.”This report could result in a comprehensive data protection law, the Centre submitted to a bench that also comprised Justices AK Sikri, Amitava Roy, AM Khanwilkar and MM Shantanagouder.

SC allows teen to end 32-week pregnancy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a 13-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 32-week-old pregnancy following a medical board’s advice.”Considering the age of the petitioner, the trauma she has suffered because of the sexual abuse, and the agony she is going through, and above all the report of the Medical Board constituted by this Court, we think it appropriate that termination of pregnancy should be allowed,” a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra along with Justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar said. This means the teenager will not complete the full term of her pregnancy and deliver the baby prematurely.Mumbai-based minor will be admitted to Sir JJ Hospital on Thursday to terminate her pregnancy. The young girl, a resident of Charkop in Kandivali, is in her 31 st week of pregnancy. A week ago, medical panel from JJ Hospital submitted its report suggesting that the child should undergo a termination.Although she will be admitted today, the termination will be carried out on September 8. Continuation of pregnancy for a 13-year-old girl is non appropriate, terminating now or getting into labour pain later is the same and there is no additional risk involved, JJ Hospital panel explained.Gynaecologist Dr Nikhil Datar, who helped her parents to file a petition in SC, said, “It is a path-breaking judgement. It is a historic verdict given by the SC. This is the first time that the court has given order to terminate in 31 st week of pregnancy. It is an unwanted pregnancy so it is a big relief for the parents. The girl is too young to understand her condition.”Heavy rainfall in Mumbai last week delayed her test in the hospital. “She could not reach the hospital due to downpour because of which the examination took place on Friday and on Monday due to some reasons the report could not reach the SC,” added Dr Datar.TP Lahane, Dean of Sir JJ Hospital, said, “We haven’t received any order from the Supreme Court yet.”The girl’s parents had filed the petition seeking permission for medical termination of her pregnancy after they realised that she was pregnant only a month ago.In August, the girl’s parents took her for an obesity check-up. Later, a sonography report revealed that she was 27-weeks pregnant.Another case of termination of an abnormal foetus of a 28-week pregnant woman was sent to the JJ Hospital for a medical test on Wednesday. The Supreme Court will hear the case on Thursday.

Various steps taken to curb child pornography: Centre to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today told the Supreme Court that they have taken several steps to curb online child sexual abuse contents, including blocking of 3,522 websites carrying child pornographic materials in June this year. The government, in its report filed before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar, said that Interpol’s ‘worst of list’ on online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) was being blocked regularly. It said the government has constituted an inter- ministerial committee to curb online CSAM and the panel has recommended that till such time a centralised mechanism is built in India to dynamically monitor websites/URLs containing online CSAM, the relevant internet service providers (ISPs) should adopt and disable or remove such contents on the list of Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The UK-based IWF is working to eliminate online child sexual abuse contents. The government has also told the apex court that Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has ordered the Internet Service Providers Association of India and the Department of Telecommunication to disable or remove access to child pornography sites by adopting the IWF list to prevent the distribution and transmission of online CSAM in India. During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court that a status report on the issue was ready. “Let it be supplied to all concerned,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing in the first week of October. Meanwhile, advocate Vijay Panjawani, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that he has filed a response to the status report filed by the government. “Any further steps required to be taken by the Union of India shall be taken in the meantime,” the bench said. In his reply filed on behalf of the petitioner, Panjawani has alleged that the Centre has not shown “any commitment to take serious action to block child and adult porn websites”. It claimed that government has “already paid or was ready to pay” 40,000 pounds to the IWF for procuring the addresses of child porn websites. Regarding the contention that 3,522 websites have been blocked, the petitioner has claimed that this statement was not supported by an affidavit. The Centre had earlier told the apex court that they have asked the CBSE to consider installation of jammers in schools to block access to such sites and steps to deal with the menace of child pornography in its entirety was on the anvil. The apex court was hearing a petition which has sought direction to the Centre to take appropriate steps to curb the menace of child pornography across the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Article 35A likely to be heard by five-judge bench

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that matters challenging the validity of Article 35A is an issue that should be decided by a five-judge bench.Justices Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar then tagged a matter that highlighted the gender inequality in Article 35A to other matters that are already being heard by a bench led by the Chief Justice of India.After six weeks, the apex court will finally decide whether this issue, along with the challenge to the constitutional validity of Article 35A under Article 370, should be heard by a five-judge bench.The apex court’s observations were made in response to a petition filed by a Kashmiri woman Dr Charu Wali Khanna, who married outside her caste and has settled outside the state of Jammu & Kashmir.Meanwhile, records related to inserting Article 35 A in the Constitution in 1954 through a Presidential order are not traceable in the Ministry of Home Affairs, government sources said.The Home Ministry has not filed an affidavit in SC but sources say at some point it will take a stand on the contentious issue. J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was in Delhi last week rallying support from the BJP — her ally in the state government.

Supreme Court dismisses plea against ‘wrong’ questions in UPSC prelims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court dismissed on Tuesday a plea which sought grace marks or removal of alleged wrong questions given in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) 2017 preliminary examination.A bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said the court does not perceive any merit in the petition and is, hence, dismissed. The bench, also comprising justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, noted that the petitioner who gave the exam had not given any representation to the UPSC claiming there was a question with more than one correct answer. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, said the preliminary exam result has been declared, but the UPSC will publish the answer key after the entire process (main exam and the interview) is over.He said that there were multiple correct answers to a question on two schools of thought. The bench said that the UPSC test for the all-India civil services, is the highest-level exam and candidates taking it are expected to go by the books rather than the views of researchers. Senior advocate P S Patwalia, representing the UPSC, said that while 35 candidates gave representations to the commission, the petitioner candidate has not given any.He said the expert panel has found no ambiguity in the question paper and, therefore, all those representations have been rejected.Earlier, the apex court had agreed to examine the plea which alleged that two questions in the 2017 preliminary examination of the UPSC were “wrong”. The commission had conducted the civil services preliminary test, 2017 on June 18. The preliminary examination consisted of two papers having objective type questions and they carried a maximum of 400 marks.The petitioner has claimed that this year’s preliminary examination paper had questions with multiple answers and many of them could have been answered on the subjective interpretation of the examinees. She has also referred to earlier judgements of the apex court which had said that a question having two or more corrects answers should be considered as incorrect.

SC agrees to hear plea to cancel Nitish’s Legislative Council

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking cancellation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s membership of the state Legislative Council for allegedly concealing a pending criminal case against him. A bench of Justices Justice Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar said it will look into the matter after petitioner advocate M L Sharma sought an urgent hearing of his plea. The bench said it would see when the matter could be listed for hearing. The plea, which was filed yesterday, alleged that there was a criminal case against the JD(U) leader wherein he was accused of killing a local Congress leader Sitaram Singh, and injuring four others ahead of Lok Sabha by-election to the Barh constituency in 1991. The petitioner has also sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR against Kumar in the case. “Respondent number 2 (Election Commission), despite knowing facts about his (Kumar’s) criminal case, did not cancel his membership of the house and respondent (Kumar) still enjoys constitutional office till date,” he said. The lawyer has sought cancellation of Kumar’s membership as per the Election Commission’s 2002 order stating it is mandatory for candidates to disclose criminal cases against them in their affidavits annexed to nomination papers. He claimed the Bihar chief minister did not disclose the criminal case that was pending against him in affidavits since 2004, except for 2012.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sasikala Pushpa’s plea on immunity rejected by SC as ‘premature’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today dismissed as premature a plea by Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa seeking immunity from the anti-defection law as she has not been after ‘expelled’ from the AIADMK.A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that her plea was “premature” after Pushpa claimed that she had not received any expulsion letter from the party and hence, it could not be said that she has been expelled.”I should discharge my duty as a Rajya Sabha MP. There is no expulsion and I came to know that I have been expelled from the party from media reports. I have not yet received any expulsion order from the party,” Pushpa’s counsel told the court.The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, rejected her plea and granted her liberty to approach an appropriate court in future if she received any expulsion order from the party and was aggrieved by it.”In the absence of the said expulsion order, we are not inclined to entertain the plea. It will be open to her to challenge the said order. The writ petition is premature and dismissed. If she is aggrived by the order, she has the liberty to approach the court,” the court said.Pushpa was allegedly expelled from the AIADMK in August last year after an altercation with DMK MP Tiruchi Siva at the Delhi airport. Since then, she has alleged she was being pressured by AIADMK members to resign from the Upper House.

Kerala municipal members apologise in SC for culling dogs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chairman and four members of the Attingal Municipality in Kerala today apologised in the Supreme Court for the killing of stray dogs despite apex court orders against culling. An apex court bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, also warned the chairman of a body called the “Stray Dogs Eradication Group” in Kerala, which, too, tendered an apology, from taking out any public campaign for killing of strays. The bench had on May 8 issued notices to the “Stray Dogs Eradication Group” and members of the Attingal Municipality on a contempt petition over butchering of stray dogs despite apex court orders urging them not to do so. Pradeep, chairman of the Attingal Municipality, and Block Panchayat members Sreekantan, Biju Kumar, Shahjahan and Manju Pradeep appeared before the bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar and tendered an apology. Advocate Siddharth Garg appearing for petitioner Nikita Anand, who filed the plea through lawyer Prashant Bhushan, had sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the municipality members and the organisation for wilfully disobeying the specific directions issued by the apex court on November 18, 2015. The court had directed all local authorities and panchayats not to kill stray dogs adding that the “subterfuge or innovative methods” to circumvent its order would not be tolerated. The apex court had on July 10 this year said it would examine the legal question as to whether the 2001 Dog Rules, framed by the Centre, would prevail over the state laws meant to curb the menace of stray canines. It had also expressed unhappiness over increasing cases of dog bites in Kerala and asked the state government to take steps to ensure that such cases were checked. The Dog Rules were framed in line with the WHO’s Animal Birth Control programme which provides that instead of culling dogs, they should be sterilised and immunised. The court had also asked the Kerala government to respond to a plea seeking the setting up of dog pounds in the state to prevent stray canines from attacking people and livestock.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Five judge-bench at SC to hear Aadhaar next week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has agreed to set up a five-judge constitution bench to decide privacy issues arising out of the Aadhaar Act. The Constitution Bench will assemble next week for two days to decide on whether the matter needs to be referred to a larger bench.The Chief Justice of India JS Khehar’s decision came after senior Advocate Shyam Divan mentioned the matter before the bench on Wednesday morning. Divan’s request — supported by Attorney General KK Venugopal is in pursuance to a 2015 order where a five-judge bench led by then Chief Justice of India HL Dattu had directed all matters pertaining to the privacy issue in the Aadhaar matter to a Constitution bench.Divan’s recent request came after an observation made by Justice Jasti Chelameswar who said that a Constitution Bench should dispose of all matters arising out of the Aadhaar issue once and for all.Justice Chelameswar’s observation was made last week when the Aadhaar issue came up for hearing in front of the full bench in pursuance of a June 27 order delivered by a vacation bench. Divan, representing the petitioners and Venugopal agreed with the court’s suggestion and agreed to jointly mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India next week.”My opinion is that once a matter has been referred to a Constitution Bench, all the issues arising out of it should be with the bench. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench. You two can decide the possibility of nine judges hearing it,” said Justice Chelameswar heading the three-judge bench also comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha.During the brief hearing, Divan recalled the orders delivered starting from a 2015 October order which referred the Aadhaar matter to a Constitution bench. During his submissions, Divan said the slew of notifications released by the Centre making Aadhar mandatory — a clear departure from the statute under which it is voluntary, was akin to making India a concentration camp.The AG, however, took exception to this submission and observed that if Divan continued along the lines of this argument he was not keen to pursue the matter forward. “How can he (Divan) say India is like a concentration camp?,” Venugopal had observed.Various petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhar are pending before the apex court. However, it has been almost two years and the apex court has not yet constituted a bench to hear the matter despite several appeals.

Chief Justice to hear plea for Constitution bench on Aadhaar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, supported by Attorney General KK Venugopal, will request the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar to constitute a five-judge bench, or a larger one, to hear privacy issues connected with the Aadhaar matter.In 2015, a five-judge bench led by the then Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu, had directed all matters pertaining to the privacy issue related to Aadhaar to a Constitution bench.The oft-made request comes on the heels of an observation made by Justice Jasti Chelameshwar, who had said that a Constitution bench should dispose of all matters arising out of the Aadhaar issue once and for all.Justice Chelameshwar’s observation was made last week when the Aadhaar matter came up for hearing in front of the full bench in pursuance of a June 27 order delivered by a vacation bench. Divan, representing the petitioners, and Venugopal agreed with the court’s suggestion and agreed to jointly mention the matter before the Chief Justice of India the next week.”My opinion is that once a matter has been referred to a Constitution bench, then all the issues arising out of it should be with the constitution bench. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench. You two can decide the possibility of nine judges hearing it,” Justice Chelameswar, heading the three-judge bench also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, had said.

Death case:SC to examine issue of summary dismissal of appeals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said it will examine the challenge to its rule which allows summary dismissal of appeals in death row cases and whether the convicts can approach it after exhausting all legal remedies. The apex court directed death row convict Babu alias Ketan and another seeking a stay on their hanging to first file a review petition against their sentence of capital punishment, after which the larger issue will be decided. A bench headed by Justices Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar said it was keeping the petition pending till the disposal of the review petition. Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium said the larger issue that has been challenged was the Supreme Court rules which allow summary dismissal of appeals of death row convicts. The apex court had on June 22 posted the matter for hearing by a three-judge bench to decide whether death row convicts can approach it again, challenging their proposed hanging even after exhausting all the legal remedies. Mercy petitions of Babu alias Ketan have already been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee on May 25. Babu alias Ketan and Sanni alias Devendra were awarded death sentence along with another person by a Indore court in Madhya Pradesh for rape and murder of a four-year-old girl in 2012. The sentence was upheld by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in 2014 and by the apex court on January 6, 2015. The convicts had kidnapped the child from outside her relative’s house in Indore, sexually assaulted her, then strangled her to death and dumped the body in a drain.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks government to change approach towards farmers’ crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While hearing a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), the Supreme today observed that the Government’s approach towards the farmers’ crisis should be preventive rather than compensatory. The petitioner, TNCPIL, had knocked the doors of the apex court seeking a direction to the Central government to take effective steps to stop farmer suicide. A division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, observed that various financial institutions, giving loans to farmers, should not resort to taking any coercive step for recovery of loans from these farmers in case their crop failure.The Supreme Court yesterday expressed deep concern over the farmers’ suicides in India and said that now the time has come to move from paper to the implementation of the pro-farmer policies. However, the apex court admitted that the Union Government was doing good work but suicide cases of farmers are increasing day by day. The court was hearing the appeal, filed by NGO ‘Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative’ on issues related to farmers in Gujarat. The apex court said that the government has come up with good schemes for farmers including crop insurance and PMKSY (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana), but these need to be implemented properly.”We want to move from paper to implementation,” the court observed.

Committed to freedom of choice, right to privacy: Govt to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today told the Supreme Court that it was committed to freedom of choice and the right to privacy of citizens and was in the process of coming out with a regulatory regime on data protection. The Centre told a five-judge constitution bench, which is hearing the WhatsApp privacy policy matter, that it would either frame a statutory rule or issue executive guidelines, which would be binding in nature, on data protection. “At the outset, the central government is committed to freedom of choice and right to privacy of citizens. This is non-negotiable and we are committed for this,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra. “We are already in the process of doing it (regulatory regime),” he told the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, Amitava Roy, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar. However, the apex court asked Mehta that if the citizens felt their rights are affected due to the privacy policy, what would be the role of the court. “The issue would be that the statute and the Act, which is in consonance with the Constitution, requires that you have a regulatory regime. You say you are in the process. Once you are in the process and the citizen feels my rights are affected, what is the role of the court,” the bench asked. “Can a private corporate say that even if I affect or dent the fundamental rights of the citizen in absence of a regulation, the court cannot do it by issuing a writ,” the bench asked Mehta, adding that till the time the regulatory regime comes into force, what kind of protection the court can grant. Responding to the query, Mehta said a private entity cannot say that a writ petition for appropriate direction would not lie. “If people at large are affected, they cannot say so,” he said. The bench, however, asked “they say they are doing a business. They say they are trading in right to information, right to choice and right to knowledge. What kind of right is this?” The law officer, however, said these private entities have to adhere to the directions given by the court. On the issue of maintainablity of the plea, the Centre said the government was committed to ensure freedom of choice of the subscribers. “So far as maintainability qua Union of India is concerned, we are always amenable to the court order. Qua us, the petition is maintainable,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC slaps Rs 1.4 cr fine on two doctors for ‘medical asylum’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today slapped a fine of Rs 70 lakh each on two doctors, holding them guilty of allowing a former Haryana legislator, against whom non- bailable warrants had been issued in a murder case, to remain in the hospital for 527 days without any justifiable reason. A bench, comprising Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, refused the contention of petitioner to cancel the licence of the Gurugram-based private hospital but agreed to impose a cost of Rs 1.40 crore on the two doctors. It asked the doctors to deposit the amount with the apex court registry within two months. The court had said the two doctors were responsible for “such prolonged admission” of former INLD MLA Balbir Singh, against whom repeated non-bailable warrants were issued by the courts in connection with a murder case. The hospital’s Medical Director Munish Prabhakar and Managing Director K S Sachdev were held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court which had said they had “obstructed” in the administration of justice. The apex court’s order had come on a plea filed by Sita Ram, who was the informant in the FIR lodged in May 2011 in Rohtak district of Haryana, in which he had sought initiation of contempt of court against Balbir for “willful and deliberate violation” of apex court’s October 24, 2013 order. The apex court had then set aside the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court granting bail to Balbir and directed him to surrender forthwith. However, he did not surrender after the apex court order, following which a trial court had issued non-bailable warrants against him. When the court was informed that Balbir was hospitalised, it had asked the police to verify it and during the enquiry, it was found that he was admitted in the hospital for 527 days. During the adjudication of the matter, both the doctors had told the court that they were not aware that there was any direction to Balbir to surrender to custody.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC quashes case against Dhoni for portraying as Vishnu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ace cricketer M S Dhoni today got relief from the Supreme Court which quashed a criminal case lodged against him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by depicting himself as Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar said, “it would be a travesty of justice” if Dhoni and the editor are prosecuted as they did not do the alleged act “deliberately” or with “malicious” intent to hurt religious sentiments. The bench referred to the ingredients of section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) of the IPC, under which Dhoni was booked and a judgement of the five-judge constitution bench on the issue. “On a perusal of allegations mentioned in the complaint in entirety, it is discernible that the requirement for constituting an offence under section 295A of the IPC has not been made out,” it said. “To satisfy ourselves, we have scrutinised allegations and we have no hesitation in our mind that the allegations do not remotely constitute the offence. We quash the complaint proceedings initiated against the petitioner (Dhoni),” the bench said. The editor, who had not approached the apex court for quashing of proceedings against him before a trial court at Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh, also got the same relief as the court said that the case, in its entirety, has been quashed. The court was hearing the appeal of Dhoni against the proceedings initiated by one Yerraguntla Shayamsundar against him at the trial court at Anantpur. The apex court, on January 29, 2016, had issued notice on Dhoni’s plea and had stayed of the trial court proceedings in the case. On September 5 last year, it had quashed a similar case lodged against Dhoni and others in Karnataka and set aside the High Court order which had refused to stall the proceedings against them. It had also said the trial court in Karnataka did not follow due procedure in summoning the cricketer and others in the case. Dhoni had filed the Special Leave Petition challenging the Karnataka HC order. The complaint had alleged that Dhoni was seen on the cover of the magazine as Vishnu, holding several things including a shoe in his hands. Taking cognisance of the complaint, the trial court in Karnataka had directed registration of a case against Dhoni under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) along with 34 (common intention) of the IPC.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC quashes case against Dhoni for portraying himself as God

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today quashed a criminal complaint lodged against ace cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an Andhra Pradesh trial court for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by depicting himself as Lord Vishnu on a magazine cover. The apex court also quashed the criminal complaint against the Editor of the magazine and said that the offence under section 295A (hurting religious sentiments) of the IPC is not made out against them as they did not maliciously hurt the religious sentiments of the complainant. A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar said “it would be a travesty of justice” if the cricketer and the co-accused editor are prosecuted in the case. The instant complaint was lodged against Dhoni and others at a trial court in Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. The apex court had on September 5 last year quashed a similar case lodged against Dhoni and others in Karnataka and set aside the High Court order which had refused to stall the proceedings against them. It had also said the trial court in Karnataka did not follow the due procedure in summoning the cricketer and others in the case. Dhoni had filed the Special Leave Petition challenging the Karnataka HC order. The complaint had alleged that Dhoni was seen on the cover of the magazine as Lord Vishnu, holding several things, including a shoe in his hands. Taking cognisance of the complaint, the trial court in Karnataka had directed registration of a case against Dhoni under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) along with 34 (common intention) of the IPC. Later, Dhoni was directed to appear before the court after which he moved the high court against the summons issued against him.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Larger SC bench to examine if an expelled MP is bound by whip

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench the issue whether a lawmaker is bound by the party whip even after his or her expulsion. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Rajya Sabha MP and expelled Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh, who has sought to declare that the provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution relating to disqualification on ground of defection do not apply to an elected member of a House who has been expelled by the party. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar referred to an earlier plea filed by Singh in which the court had refused to revisit the historic 1996 verdict on the anti- defection law which had held that a nominated or elected lawmaker of a political party is bound by its whip even after expulsion. The bench said while dealing with that case, the two judge bench had referred the matter to a larger bench and framed certain questions, including “What is the status in either House of Parliament or the state legislatures of a member who is expelled from the party which set him/her up as a candidate for election”. The matter was then heard by a three-judge bench which had disposed of the plea while keeping open the questions referred to by the two-judge bench for decision in an appropriate case. “As we find, in the case at hand, the term of the petitioner (Amar Singh) shall be up to July 4, 2022. Thus, the reference that was made in the case of Amar Singh, the present petitioner, remains to be dealt with as the same has not been answered with the efflux of time,” the apex court said today. “As the question remains alive today, we think it appropriate that the matter should be placed before the larger bench for consideration of the questions which we have reproduced from the decision rendered in Amar Singh,” it said. The bench said the petition be placed before Chief Justice of India J S Khehar for the constitution of an appropriate larger bench to deal with the issues. “In the alternative, declare that the petitioner having been expelled by the Samajwadi Party, his conduct would no longer fall within the acts that constitute a disqualification within the meaning of para 2(1)(a) and para 2(1)(b) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution,” Singh’s plea had said. The apex court also issued notice to the Centre on the interim relief sought by Singh that the 1996 verdict shall not apply to him while the issues raised by him are pending consideration by the larger bench. As per the interpretation of the anti-defection law by the Supreme Court in 1996, a member elected or nominated by a political party continues to be under its control even after his or her expulsion.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC issues notice to Tamil Nadu on plea on farmers’ suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today rapped Tamil Nadu over farmers’ suicides and said it cannot leave the poverty-struck agriculturalists at the mercy of their fate. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the state government and sought its response within two weeks on the plea filed by Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation (TNCPIL). It also appointed appointed advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan as the amicus curiae to assist it in the case. “State stands on the position of a loco parentis to the citizens and when there are so many deaths of farmers in the State of Tamil Nadu, it becomes obligatory on the part of the State to express concern and sensitiveness to do the needful and not allow the impecunious and poverty stricken farmers to resign to their fate or leave the downtrodden and the poor to yield to the idea of fatalism. “The concept is alien in the welfare State and the social justice which is required to be translated in a democratic body polity. As is manifest from the assertions and the grievances that have been agitated, deaths are due to famine backdrop and other natural causes and also due to immense financial problem. The State, as the guardian, is required to see how to solve these problems or to meet the problems by taking curative measures treating it as a natural disaster. Silence is not the answer,” the bench said. The top court also asked the state government not to treat the plea filed by TNCPIL as an adversarial litigation and take up ameliorative measures to address the agony faced by the farmers. The bench also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar also asked the government to come up with certain schemes and measures before it. “We say so as there is an expectation on the part of the citizens that the State shall come to their aid when such a catastrophe occurs and the State’s response must be in promptitude so that the gravity of the situation does not get a geometrical progression which may later on become difficult to handle,” it said. During the hearing, the bench said that the issue depicted a picture “which has the potentiality to disturb the conscience of any sensitive soul” as it had its significance in a society where agriculture is of paramount importance and most of the farmers exclusively depend upon the same for their sustenance. Before passing the order, the court made an oral observation and said that “It is the duty of the state to take care of its citizens and the situation of farmers are worrisome.” The order came days after the farmers from the state had resorted to stripping outside Prime Minister’s Office to press for their demands of loan waiver and drought-relief package. The farmers from the southern state have been demanding a drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore, farm loan waiver and setting up of Cauvery Management Board by the Centre. The drought-hit farmers have been protesting in the city adorning human skulls around their necks and eating rats, trying to grab the attention of the authorities towards their condition.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks Centre to include Urdu in NEET from 2018-19

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to include Urdu as a language in the NEET exam, the common test for admission into medical courses, from academic session 2018-19 onwards. A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar told the petitioner, who has sought a direction for making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017 scheduled on May 7, that it would not be possible for the government to include Urdu this year.”We direct the Union of India to include Urdu as a language in NEET examination from academic session 2018-19 onwards,” the bench said. When the counsel for the petitioner insisted that Urdu language should be included in NEET examination from this year itself, the bench said, “the whole problem is that this year it is not possible.””There are lots of difficulties. Please try to understand that we can’t ask them (Centre) to do miracles. The examination is on May 7 and today is April 13. Lots of process is involved in this,” the bench said. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, said that they were not opposed to the suggestion of conducting NEET examination in Urdu medium also from 2018 academic year onwards.The solicitor general had on March 31 told the Supreme Court that a students’ body seeking NEET examination in Urdu language has accused the Centre of being communal. The submission was made while referring to the affidavit filed by Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) through its national secretary Thouseef Ahamad. The Centre had told the court it was not feasible to introduce Urdu as one of the mediums for the NEET from the current academic year.At present, NEET is being conducted in ten languages — Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kannada languages. The court had earlier sought reply from the Centre, MCI, DCI and CBSE on the plea suggesting making Urdu as a medium for NEET 2017.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Settlement process between Rathore, builder going on: SC told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court was today informed that the process of arriving at a settlement between Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Parsvnath Developers over possession of a flat in Gurgaon was going on. “Parties submit that they need some time to put an end to the controversy. The matter is adjourned. The matter be listed on May 5,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar said. A panel of lawyers had told the apex court on February 20 that negotiations between Rathore and the developer were nearing completion and the draft of settlement has been exchanged by the parties. A two-member committee of lawyers was appointed by the court to look into Rathore’s allegations that the flat given to him by the developer was uninhabitable. The apex court had on December 14, 2016 asked Rathore to sit with the representatives of the builder and settle the dispute amicably. It had also asked the realty firm to remove deficiencies in the flat as pointed out by Rathore and the SC-appointed panel, which visited the site, and hand it over to the minister. Rathore had booked the flat in Parsvnath’s Exotica project in Gurgaon in 2006 and paid around Rs 70 lakh for it. The firm was to deliver the flat in 2008-09. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had earlier directed the builder to refund the principal amount with interest and compensate Rathore. The apex court had on October 21 last year directed Parsvnath Developers to hand over possession of the flat to Rathore in two days, saying he should not pay any additional amount to the builder.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC seeks reply from 6 states on plea to ban cow vigilantes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought response of six states, including Rajasthan, on a plea seeking a ban on cow vigilante groups there. A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar issued notices to Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh and asked them to file their reply within three weeks. The bench has fixed the matter for hearing on May 3. During the brief hearing, the counsel appearing for the petitioner referred to the recent incident at Alwar in Rajasthan where a man was killed allegedly by a mob of cow vigilante group. The counsel claimed that the ground-level situation in these states was worrisome as the cow vigilante groups were resorting to violence there. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that formal notices were not issued to the states on the plea after which the apex court sought response from these six states. The Supreme Court had on October 21, last year agreed to examine the plea which sought action against cow vigilantes who were allegedly indulging in violence and committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities. Activist Tehseen S Poonawalla, in his plea, said violence committed by these ‘Gau Raksha’ groups have reached to such proportions that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared them as people who are “destroying the society”. The plea also alleged that these groups were committing atrocities against Dalits and minorities in the name of protection of cows and other bovines and they needed to be “regulated and banned in the interest of social harmony, public morality and law and order in the country”. “The menace caused by the so-called cow protection groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes,” the petition said. The plea sought to declare as “unconstitutional” section 12 of the Gujarat Animal Prevention Act, 1954, Section 13 of Maharashtra Animal Prevention Act, 1976, and Section 15 of Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964, which provide for protection of persons acting in good faith under the Act or rules. “These laws and the protection granted therewith act as a catalyst to violence perpetrated by these vigilante groups,” it said. Seeking action against the vigilantes, the petition said the atrocities committed by them were punishable under various provisions of IPC and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Citizens have faith in CBI’s investigating abilities: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citizens of India have faith in the “investigating abilities” of CBI, the Supreme Court today observed while directing the agency to probe a case relating to the mysterious death of a 22-year-old woman in Noida in 2015. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said there was no laxity in the investigation conducted by Crime Branch of Delhi Police, which probed the matter after it was transferred to it from Noida Police, but CBI is “more equipped” to deal with the case. “At this juncture, we make it clear that we do not think that there has been any kind of laxity in the investigation carried out by the Delhi Police, but there can be no doubt that the CBI is more equipped and the citizens of this country have faith in its investigating abilities,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, said. “We direct the CBI to investigate into the crime independently and file the status report before this court within three months hence,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on April 10. The court’s order came on a plea of the victim’s mother who had sought transfer of the investigation to the CBI. She said her daughter, Pooja, had died under mysterious circumstances on August 1, 2015 and the photographs of the deceased revealed “there has been assault with immense brutality which could not have been caused by an accident” as claimed by the police. The bench also referred to forensic reports which did not rule out a “homicidal assault” and said the injuries sustained by her may have been caused with a heavy weapon during “interpersonal violence”. The counsel appearing for the girl’s mother claimed in the court that no proper investigation was conducted by the police and effort was being made for “some unfathomable reason to treat it as an accident”. The counsel alleged that material evidence have been destroyed by the accused who have some influence and it was a fit case to transfer the investigation to CBI. The counsel representing the Delhi Police told the bench that investigators have tried their best to solve the case so no fault could be found with the status report filed by them. The bench, after hearing the submissions, transferred the matter to CBI. “Needless to say, when the CBI is conferred the responsibility by this court to investigate into the crime, it has to investigate independently, impartially and objectively without being influenced by any kind of prior investigation or prior status report,” the bench said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Work in harmony for cleanliness of Kalkaji temple, says SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the government agencies to work in harmony to create facilities to maintain cleanliness at the Kalkaji temple in South Delhi. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra directed senior officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to hold a meeting to deliberate on issues like construction of toilet blocks and sewage line in the premises there. Regarding barricading for security reasons and controlling the rush of devotees, the apex court asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to take a call on it after consulting competent authorities of disaster management and fire department. “We want the authorities to work in harmony and give us a complete picture within six weeks,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, said. The bench observed that a report given by a three-member court-appointed committee pertains to three aspects — construction of three toilets blocks, construction of a sewage line by the DJB and taking appropriate steps for barricading, which would also include emergency evacuation. The committee had told the court that three toilet blocks were maintained by the SDMC and three more such blocks are needed. “Considering these aspects, we direct that there should be a meeting between the high level officials of the DDA, SDMC and DJB,” the bench said. The panel also told the court that regarding barricading at and near the temple, senior police official should monitor the situation. The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing on April 24, said, “The temple (and the premises) must look clean and in proper shape. It is in public interest.” The apex court also directed the authorities to submit their reports within six weeks on the issues raised by the committee. The committee had earlier told the court that there was no proper signage at five entry points of the temple and there was a huge rush of devotees which had the potential to create an unhealthy atmosphere and could lead to a stampede any time. The bench had earlier also passed a slew of directions to DDA, SDMC and DJB regarding cleanliness at the temple, fencing and leakage of pipes. The court had in 2013 stayed the Delhi High Court’s order directing demolition of unauthorised constructions in the Kalkaji temple premises.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Subramanian Swamy v/s hate speech: SC fixes final hearing date for plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court fixed for final hearing BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea challenging the constitutional validity of certain IPC provisions on hate speech and writing. “Let the matter be listed for final hearing. Law Commission report be also tagged along with the matter,” a bench of justices Kurian Joseph and A M Khanwilkar said. The Centre had earlier termed as “not maintainable” and opposed Swamy’s plea saying his petition was not a “writ petition but a personal interest litigation” as NBW has been already been issued against him with regard to the alleged hate speeches. Swamy had vehemently opposed the contention of Solicitor General and said his plea has already been considered by the previous bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi which has agreed to examine the constitutional validity of 156(3) of IPC and he was not on the issue of bailable warrant.He had argued that his plea for quashing of NBW was already before the Gauhati High Court. The apex court was hearing Swamy’s plea against the order of a trial court in Assam which issued an NBW against him for failing to appear before it on March 19, 2015 in a case of alleged hate speech.On July 2 the same year, the apex court had stayed the execution of the non-bailable warrant issued against him by the Assam court for allegedly delivering a hate speech at a university there. Swamy, who is facing a court case in Karimganj in Assam for allegedly delivering the inflammatory address at Kaziranga University, had sought relief from the apex court in the case. He has also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code.

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