The information as made available in Parliament discloses that of 25 High Courts, 6 High Courts — namely High Court of Himachal Pradesh, High Court of Manipur, High Court of Meghalaya, High Court of Telangana, High Court of Tripura and High Court of Uttarakhand — had no women judges as on January 31, 2019. Further, of sanctioned strength of 1079 judges in all 25 High Courts, only 76 are women judges in the High Courts across the country i.e. a total 7.04% only.
A two-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Navin Sinha of the Supreme Court issues notice on a Contempt petition filed by Attorney General and Central government against advocate Prashant Bhushan. Court says it will decide larger issue of making comments in sub-judice matter. The next hearing in the matter in on March 7, 2019.
On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, noted journalists P. Sainath and Niranjan Takle and noted author Urmila Pawar and activists from Mumbai, Jatin Desai and Feroze Mithirborewala condemned the police action against Prof. Anand Teltumbde and urged people to speak up against the undemocratic practices of the current government, which Mr Sainath said was criminalising dissent.
Attorney General for India K K Venugopal and Secretary to the Government of India Dr. C. Chandramouli on behalf of the Central government have filed two separate contempt petition respectively against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his tweet of February 1, 2019, alleging that the government had misled the Supreme Court about the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim CBI Director.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India Rajan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna has directed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI and cooperate with the investigation. The Supreme Court has also made it clear that no coercive action including arrest will be made by CBI. On the contempt petition filed by the CBI, Supreme Court has issued notice to Police Commissioner of Kolkata, the Chief Secretary and the DGP of West Bengal. They have been asked to file reply by February 20, 2019.
CJI Gogoi remarked that he had read the application filed by the CBI, but could not find anything substantial to show that the evidence are being destroyed. However, CJI asked SG Mehta to place the evidence on record to substantiate that West Bengal authorities are tampering with evidences. At the same time, CJI Gogoi also made it clear that even if Police Commissioner Kolkata is remotely thinking to destroy the evidence, court will come down so heavily on him that he would regret. The application filed by the CBI would be listed tomorrow at 10:30 AM, said CJI Gogoi.
While Anand Teltumbde has protection order till February 11, 2019, the arrest made by the Pune police was illegal and was in gross violation of Supreme Court order, the Special Judge added. The Pune police are guilty of contempt of court for disdaining the order of the apex court, the Special Judge noted.
The attack on Dr. Teltumbde is only the latest in an ongoing series of attacks on human rights lawyers, civil rights activists and scholars engineered by the Right-wing Hindu nationalist party ruling at the Centre and the state. Since June 2018, nine activists have been imprisoned on similar fabricated charges as Dr. Teltumbde. The arrested are Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen and Sudhir Dhawale. Two others, Gautam Navlakha and Stan Swamy are also under threat of arrest in the same case.
Hours after the claim made by the AG, one of the members of the High Powered Committee, Mallikarjun Kharge, contradicted the statement of the Attorney General and told counsel for the petitioner Prashant Bhushan that issue of the appointment of M Nagaswara Rao as interim director CBI was never discussed in the meeting.
Persons who are not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs and whose family has gross annual income below Rs 8,00,000 are to be identified as EWSs for benefit of reservation. Income shall also include income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession, etc. for the financial year prior to the year of application.
This discloser has come to the light during a course of hearing of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO Common Cause and noted RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj who have approached the Supreme Court of India seeking quashing of the appointment of IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim Director CBI. Rao was given charge of the office of the Director CBI by an order dated January 10, 2019 issued by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet.
A K Bassi, the former Investigation Officer (IO) in the FIR against the then special director CBI Rakesh Asthana, had filed the petition through advocate Sunil Fernandes. Bassi had challenged the transfer order dated January 11, 2019, issued with the approval of the interim director CBI Nagaswara Rao that had effectively nullified the order passed by the then CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma cancelling the transfer of DSP A K Bassi to Port Blair.