Hon'ble Union Minister for Transport & Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari advocated this week, which he himself acknowledges may be "too fantastic" an idea for some, involves collecting everyone's urine and turning it into urea!
Restitution provisions place a disproportionate burden on women and violate Articles 14 and 15(1) of the Constitution, say petitioner
On February 28, 2019, the Supreme Court stayed its February 13, 2019 order which could have caused possible eviction of 11.8 lakh tribal and traditional forest-dwellers. A three-judge bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Naveen Sinha and M R Shah has also asked the states to file affidavits stating clearly the procedure followed while rejecting the claims.
We appeal to the governments on both sides to refrain from further hostilities, overt or covert, and to resolve their differences within the framework of international law and human rights.
India has cited the Geneva Conventions while asking for the immediate release of Wing Commander Abhinandan. India objected to the “vulgar display of injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention”.
On February 27, 2019, the Central Government moved to the Supreme Court seeking to stay possible eviction of 11.8 lakh tribal and traditional forest-dwellers whose claims for right over forest land have been rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (Forest Rights Act). Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned, before the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha, the applications on behalf of the Central Government and the State of Gujarat for urgent hearing. The Court agreed to hear the matter tomorrow, February 28, 2019.
CJI asked both the parties there stand on the mediation as the way to resolve the dispute. CJI asked, “what would be the views of parties if we invoke section 89 of the CPC that is Settlement of disputes outside the Court?” Justice Bobde offering the mediation in the matter asked that “even if there is a 1% chance, it should be done” and sought the view of the parties.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph has agreed to hear the review petitions filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shouri and Prashant Bhushan against the Supreme Court’s judgment dated December 14, 2018 dismissing a batch of petitions seeking court monitored probe into the Rafale deal. Review petition filed by AAP leader Sanjay Singh will be taken up for hearing together.
The Indian government, cross party, has shown little creativity in their legal tool kit. Despite Pakistan being named, again and again, as responsible for the attack, no official has been named in an investigation or prosecution, or proceeded against legally. Can the Indian government do so? Currently, with great difficulty, but it can add to its legal arsenal, and use the law to build a case against Pakistan. The law offers a peaceful, accountable and legitimate response to terrorism.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan who is facing contempt of court proceedings for his tweet on a sub-judice matter has now filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking recall of the contempt notice on a ground that the bench which issued the notice to him had jurisdiction of hearing criminal contempt as per the roster issued under the signature of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) who happens to be the Master of Roster.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 25, 2019 issued a notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kajal Mishra And Preeti Kedar Gokhale, daughters of army personnel seeking protection of Human Rights of Armed Forces personnel.
A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 25, 2019 has agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Sona Khan, K.P. Fabian Prof Atul Sharma and others seeking expunction of observations recorded in the judgment of Justice Sudip Ranjan Sen Meghalaya High Court wherein Justice Sen had said among other things that India should have been declared a Hindu Rashtra at the time of partition.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 25, 2019 dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction from the Court to all the political parties requiring them to not field a candidate to contest election if he/she has more than two children.
CIC relying upon the Section 2(f) of the RTI Act held: “Thus, the EVM which is available with the respondent in a material form and also as samples, as admitted by the respondent during the hearing, is an information under the RTI Act."
What was learnt on the job were more often than not tricks of the trade rather than ethics of the profession. Gook is happy that belatedly at least this suo motu PIL has focused attention on a much neglected aspect of legal practice.
An outgoing government’s mandate expires on the day when the House of the People completes five years from the first day of its first sitting. Article 83 makes it clear that the expiration of the five-year period will operate as a dissolution of the House. Once the House is dissolved, there shall be no responsible government in office. Therefore such a government cannot present the estimate of receipts and expenditure for ‘that year’.
As the legal battle unfolded in the last l1 years, the petitions which were originally filed to challenge the constitutional validity of the Forest Rights Act swung towards the issue of tribal families and forest-dwellers rights. The question was thus fundamentally changed, and the Supreme Court took it upon itself to issue orders of eviction even before the central question of constitutional validity has been fully debated, argued and decided.
The Super Chief admitted that if the government's performance in this regard was supposed to be bad, theirs was at least three times worse! Such candour at the apex level is exhilarating and welcome in an era of cover-ups everywhere.
Central Govt. has on February 21, 2019 notified ‘The Personal Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019’ that amends the Divorce Act, 1869 (4 of 1869), the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 (8 of 1939), the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (43 of 1954), the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (25 of 1955) and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (78 of 1956) so as to omit the provisions contained therein which are discriminatory to the leprosy affected persons. All these personal laws which have been amended by the said Amendment Act contained leprosy as a ground for seeking divorce.
According to the HRW report, approximately 44 people have been killed by extremist cow protection vigilante groups. In many instances, the lynch mobs have received the protection of right-wing Hindu local politicians while law enforcement agencies have turned a blind eye. The HRW report claims: “Between May 2015 and December 2018, at least 44 people—36 of them Muslims—were killed across 12 Indian states. Over that same period, around 280 people were injured in over 100 different incidents across 20 states”.
Attorney General of India K K Venugopal appearing for the Central Government submitted before the bench presided over by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that Centre has already issued an advisory to all states. CJI directed the Nodal Officers (who were appointed in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders in mob lynching case filed by Tehseen Poonawalla and Tushar Gandhi) to ensure safety and protection of Kashmiris and other minorities in the wake of Pulwama attack.
President Ram Nath Kovind has today, February 21, 2019, signed off the ordinance titled “Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Second Ordinance, 2019 (commonly known as Triple Talaq Ordinance). This is a third time, when the President has promulgated the Triple Talaq Ordinance, after it being blocked in the Rajya Sabha by the opposition parties. Triple Talaq Ordinance makes utterance of instant Triple Talaq illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.
It has been five years since the lady ADJ first complained of discrimination to the Chief Justice of India, and her battle continues as with the order of recusal of the Bench of Justices Sikri, Nazeer and Shah, the matter would have to be argued afresh before a new bench.
Senior Advocate Gonsalves in his petition seek directions from the Supreme Court to prevent threats, assault, violent attacks, social boycott, ostracism, evictions and other coercive acts by groups and mobs against Kashmiris in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack on CRPF jawans.
The two-judge bench comprising Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Naveen Sinha held that NGT has no jurisdiction to entertain Vedanta appeals against Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to close down Sterlite copper plant. While refusing to allow the reopening of Vedanta’s Sterlite plant on the ground of maintainability, the Court asked Vedanta to approach Madaras High Court against Tamil Nadu government’s order to close down the Sterlite units.
Was the acquisition of the adjoining land and the stay on religious worship thereupon by the Supreme Court, limited to the adjudication of the suits by the High Court? Or was it genuinely meant as a way to preserve communal harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood until the dispute is finally resolved?
The CJM Nigthoujam Lanleima, in its order asserted that the “contents of Facebook post as mentioned above cannot be states to bring into hatred or contempt or excite or attempt to excite disaffection towards the Government establishment by law. At most, the accused (Veewon) mention the incident of burning of assembly with approval, but I do not find any attempt or incitement to commit violence”.
What cannot be ignored is that we are also fighting a war of ideas. Love towards one’s nation cannot be regulated; it cannot be manufactured or policed. By silencing individuals using laws of sedition, institutional action, and intimidation, and by denying these citizens of the Indian republic their right to free expression, we merely brush the most hostile and destructive ideas under the carpet instead of tackling them in the public sphere.
Ericsson India had signed a seven-year deal with Reliance Communication in 2014 to manage and operate its network. In 2018 Ericsson went to the Supreme Court against Anil Ambani's company over unpaid dues of Rs. 550 crore. Ericsson had argued before the court that while the Reliance Group had the money to invest in the Rafale jet deal, it had failed to clear its dues. Reliance Communication has now been directed to pay Rs. 453 crores to Ericsson within 4 weeks to purge the contempt.
On the issue of the appointment of regular CBI director, the court held “In case the due process has not been followed in the appointment, it is always open to any incumbent, if so advised, to question the appointment in accordance with law but not in the routine manner and undue haste as shown in the petition”. Further, on the issue of lack of transparency, the court noted that petitioner has not taken recourse the procedure for appeal under the RTI Act, and therefore no ground to interfere in the matter is made out
The term Dalit cannot die with one circular. It is an evolution of identity out of years of sufferance. No matter how hard the government tries to snap the associations of all suppressed classes, it will only emerge out louder, stronger and clearer.
On February 19, 2019, the Court refused to interfere with the decision of the high-powered committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Leader of single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, to appoint M Nageswara Rao as Interim Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 18, 2019 refused to entertain a petition challenging a circular dated August 7, 2018 issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to all private satellite TV channels asking them to “refrain from using the nomenclature Dalit” and, instead, use only the Constitutional term, "Scheduled Caste".
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by a social activist and practising lawyer from Sambalpur district of Odisha, Mohammed Mustaq Ansari. In his petition, he highlighted the practice of ostracism/social boycott in the state of Odisha and pointed out the blatant failure of State mechanisms in wiping out the inhumane practice.
Student leader Veewon Thokchom, who is a former president and now advisor to Manipur Students’ Association Delhi, was critical of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and was very vocal about his opinions on the same on social media. The Manipur Police alleged Veewon for spreading “provocative messages” regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which led to protests in Imphal, Manipur. A local court in Delhi issued the transit remand to a team of Manipur police against which Veewon’s brother filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court. After hearing the appeal, Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the plea challenging Veewon’s transit remand order.
It is beyond contest that the leadership, the troops on ground, policy-makers, police and everyone else joined together to create this tragedy of errors and they were guilty of criminal negligence leading to loss of precious lives of trained soldiers. Worst part is that CRPF in particular and policy makers and others responsible for controlling the situation refuse to learn from past mistakes and such tragic loss of life keeps recurring with alarming regularity.
If there is a bona fide conspiracy against the Indian State, there are enough laws in the statute book to look into them. A mature, liberal democracy cannot fight its own citizens. The Law Commission in its August 2018 report pointed out that “while it is essential to protect national integrity, it should not be misused as a tool to curb free speech. Dissent and criticism are essential ingredients of a robust public debate on policy issues as part of a vibrant democracy”.
Publicity is a chronic addiction whose cure is yet to be found and that is why the issue raised by the Super Chief merits this Law-merick by Gook.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices A K Sikri and Abdul Nazeer has issued slew of directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by noted RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.) and Amrita Johri seeking filling up of the vacancies at Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and also the direction to adhere to the transparent process in the selection process of the Information Commissioners.
Supreme Court Collegium comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justices A K Sikri and Justice S A Bobde in a meeting of the Collegium held on February 12, 2019, took certain decisions for the appointment of judges in the five High Courts- Allahabad High Court, Kerala High Court, Calcutta High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court and Orissa High Court. The Collegium agreed to relax the income criterion to a reasonable extent in cases where such recommendees belong to categories of SC/ST/OBC or represent Government in their capacity as Standing /Panel Counsel before the Courts.
two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices A K Sikri and Abdul Nazeer has issued slew of directions in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by noted RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.) and Amrita Johri seeking filling up of the vacancies at Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and also the direction to adhere to the transparent process in the selection process of the Information Commissioners.
The two court masters who have been dismissed had the protection of Article 311. The question that arises is, why was there no inquiry conducted and no charges framed against them before their services were terminated. Dismissal dispensing with inquiry itself is a serious matter, not only because it affects the rights of person concerned, but also because it deprives the general public of the right to know what was the misconduct committed by the public servant.
The Bench emphasised that the issue was about a good judicial officer who seeks to join service again. Justice Sikri, in the first of its kind order, the bench passed an order requesting the High Court to hold a full court enquiry and come back within a week, with a decision on her reinstatement with seniority. They pointed out that video conferencing facilities were available in the High Court and there should be no logistical problem in taking a decision as soon as possible. If indeed the High Court agrees to reinstate her with seniority but without back wages, it will indeed set a precedent for women in the judiciary and ensure a working environment free form discrimination.
Although the Super Chief moved super quick and sacked two errant Court Masters, it is quite evident that there is something rotten even in the state of our highest court's babudom.
In January this year, a plea was filed in the Delhi High Court by one such inmate, Rajeev Kumar, seeking rehabilitation of the leprosy patients rendered homeless after its August judgment. Post the judgment, Kumar, along with 40 other inmates, was back to begging on the road. A week later, the Court granted the inmates temporary relief by ordering the Delhi government to accommodate everyone back in the premises of the HLTB. However, the inmates say that nothing has happened till now.
A woman-led, feisty land rights movement has taken birth in this district in Uttar Pradesh which is also home to the Kanhar river on which a controversial dam is coming up. Its participants are unapologetic about their caste status, and, even under the greatest of duress, unwilling to back down.
The petitioner, Mr K R Raju, in his PIL prayed that: “Writ Petition is filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to issue a Writ of Declaration, to declare the Rule No.481 of the Tamil Nadu Prison Rules, 1983 to the extent of 50% of the wages earned by the prisoners deducted for up keeping of the prisoners and 20% of the wages credited to prison fund to be paid to the victims, as illegal and against law and justice, consequently to direct the respondents to increase the prisoners wage in the State of Tamil Nadu credited to the prisoners cash property account from 30% to at least 75% within the time stipulated by this Court.”
The arrested human rights activists will not get a release from the benefit of ‘default bail’ and now will have to seek regular bail from the Court. The case arose out of the Bombay High Court’s order which held that the report as envisaged by the Section 43D of UAPA, 1967 did not comply with the law and therefore the extension granted for the filing of charge-sheet was held to be patently illegal. Resultantly, it paved way for the bail of the first set of five arrestees — the human rights activists Advocate Surendra P Gadling, journalist Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, JNU scholar Rona Wilson and former PMRDF fellow Mahesh Raut.
A vindictive state continued to push for custody in a bid to imprison and even possibly torture Teesta and Javed, in their relentless attempt to silence these fearless human rights defenders. After exposing the criminal activities of a section of the Gujarat Police and of powerful politicians during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, CJP has been attacked time and time again.
Judgment is to be pronounced tomorrow, February 13, 2019, by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court, which will pronounce judgment on the appeal file by Maharashtra government against the Bombay High Court decision refusing the cops a 90-day extension to file a chargesheet against the Bhima Koregaon arrestees, including Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Professor Shoma Sen and Sudhir Dhawale.
AMU and the then Central government had approached the Supreme Court way back in 2006 challenging Allahabad HC's decision that took away the minority status of the AMU. After SC’s order passed today, now the appeals claiming for minority status will be placed before the CJI on the administrative side to list them before a seven-judge bench for the authoritative determination of the issue whether AMU is a minority institution.
Indian coastal states witnessed some of the worst coastal disasters: the violent cyclone Ockhi, which went from a depression to a severe cyclonic storm in just half a day; the freak monsoon in Kerala; the devastating cyclone Gaja and the failed monsoon in Tamil Nadu. The present CRZ 2018 will be detrimental for the health of coastal ecosystems, including wetlands and which are essential for reducing storm impacts on our coastal communities.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna held former interim director M Nageswara Rao and Director of Prosecution Bhasuran guilty of Contempt of Court, the Court imposed a fine of rupees one lakh on each of them and sentences them to sit in a corner of the Chief Justice’s Court till the rising of the Bench today.
Upon completion of the remand time, on February 11, after hearing both the sides, and noting that there was no progress shown in investigation after huge time giving in police remand with respect to the crime in question, the court directed to transport both Gadling and Rao forthwith to Yerwada jail. However, the court did not take any action on the issue of keeping the two in solitary confinement, even though it was completely unnecessary.
To defend the rights of the imprisoned and to prevent further illegal detentions, we, a group of social justice activists and scholars, came together and formed an association called “Fresh Perspectives, USA.” We have reached out to public intellectuals, critical thinkers and scholars outside India to collect their voice condemning those illegal arrests and the violation of human rights in India. We were amazed by the response from scholars around the world. Some of the signatories are the most influential thinkers of late 20th and 21st Century. Here’s our public statement.
Recently, a very highly-rated and learned Milord was in the news for inter alia saying: "The Constitution fails when a cartoonist is jailed for Sedition. When jail instead of bail is granted to a blogger who was critical of religious architecture, the Constitution fails."
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 11, 2019 dismissed a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) challenging a notification issued by the West Bengal government in 2013 thereby use of loudspeakers in residential areas and near educational institutions from three days before the secondary and higher secondary examinations till they last has been prohibited.
In a landmark judgement on February 5, 2019, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a batch of Special Leave Petitions filed by the Government of India and the IPS Association against a judgment of Delhi High Court, which had granted the status of “Organised Group A Service” (OGAS) to the cadres of “Central Paramilitary Forces” (CPMF). The Supreme Court upheld the order of Delhi High Court in totality and confirmed the status of Organised Service for these officers and directed the Government to fulfil their long-pending demand for extending “Non Functional Financial Upgradation” (NFFU).
The question arises whether the rationale behind prohibiting manual scavenging under the Act of 2013 and then permitting the same under the garb of providing protective gears as per Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers Rehabilitation Rules, 2013, yet again amounts to colourable legislation. We need to ask why the actual number of direct and incidental deaths arising out of manual scavenging in the last 26 years have not been brought to light? Are we inching towards a society with a notional belief that rights and justice devolve not as a birthright but depend on the socio-economic status?
On January 17, 2019, three days after the 10% Quota amendment came into force, the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment issued an Office Memorandum (OM) detailing the criteria for excluding persons who would not be eligible to lay claim to the 10% reservation of seats and posts. Interestingly, this OM is labelled: "For Internal Circulation Only" and cannot be located on the Ministry's website. However, it is included in multiple OMs issued by other Ministries and Departments to entities under their charge for identifying posts that may be reserved under the 10% quota law.
After hearing Attorney General for India K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on February 6, 2019, in a contempt petition against advocate Prashant Bhushan initiated by the former and the Central Government, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra of the Supreme Court is all set to decide “whether in a matter which is sub-judice, it is open to criticise the court proceedings to affect the public opinion by litigants and lawyers and protection of various other rights of the litigants are also involved; what are the rights of the litigants and what may amount to interference in the course of administration of justice”.
But apart from the obvious implications of off-the-record “parallel negotiations” by the PMO, what does this mean for the Supreme Court judgment delivered on December 14, 2018, rejecting several petitions filed for a mandamus directing the CBI to lodge an FIR in relation to the deal? While the Court is entitled take a point of view on law which may be debatable, it is not at liberty to play fast and loose with the facts. We have a right to insist that court proceedings are not manipulated by the Government by presenting half-truths in sealed cover to the court.
The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) cum Under Secretary in the DoPT has informed on February 7, 2019 that the authorship of the sought information which includes three high-level dignitaries does not vest in the DoPT. Thus, the copies of documents sought cannot be provided by the CPIO.
A total of 373 elephants died unnaturally in last three years all over India. Of them, 62 died due to train accidents, 226 died due to electrocution, 59 died due to poaching and 26 died due to poisoning, informs MoS (Environment) in Lok Sabha.
The Apex Court does at times bar the shifting of investigating officers in sensitive probes to ensure continuity, speed and thoroughness in investigations. But of late, such orders tended to be overlooked or ignored. This Law-merick celebrates the welcome cracking of the judicial whip against those who grow too big for their boots.
We see a form of untouchability being practised against the woman in excluding her from the household itself. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising has accurately pointed out to how this extends beyond just “exclusion” and to a complete social boycott. The purification rituals that were conducted inside the temple after the first two women entered is reflective of the deeply entrenched notion of untouchability.
MoS (Home) informed Rajya Sabha that a total of 250 cases of killings in alleged fake encounters have been registered from 2014 upto January 20, 2019. In this category, Andhra Pradesh has maximum number of 58 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh and Odisha with 43 and 28 cases respectively in which complaints of alleged fake encounters have been received.
While there are many lapses, the malafide intentions of the police machinery at the behest of their political masters are writ large. Justice D Y Chandrachud was not at all mistaken to call Maharashtra police "untrustworthy" in this landmark dissenting judgment in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
As per media reports, the Ministry of Law and Justice had cleared the proposal for the reconstitution of the 22nd Law Commission in September 2018 and sent to the Union Cabinet for approval. However, the Government has not acted on the files for the reconstitution of the Law Commission despite the recommendation of the Law Ministry.
Along with the review petitions, a plea seeking contempt action against the head priest of the Sabarimala temple was also filed for his alleged role to order the cleaning of the premises after some women had visited the temple. A total of 56 review petitions, 4 writ petitions, 2 Special Leave Petitions, along with 2 transfer petitions filed by Kerala Government, and a petition filed by Travancore Dewaswom Board, seeking time to implement the judgment, were listed before the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
As per information made available by the Government of Assam, a total of 2764, 4223 and 2005 persons in the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively have been referred to the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) during last three years. MoS in his reply added that those persons were referred to the Foreigners Tribunals to ascertain whether they are Indians or Foreigners in terms of the provisions contained in the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964. Thus, a total of 8992 persons have been referred to FTs in last 3 years.
The chairperson of the Search Committee constituted under the The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, has invited applications/nominations for preparation of panel of names for consideration by Selection Committee for appointment as chairperson & Members of Lokpal. The applications/nomination should reach to the Search Committee latest by February 22, 2019.
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.
The procedure mandates that the local administrative authorities requisition Central Police Forces through the prescribed channels. What was the emergency that prompted the Centre to abandon the prescribed procedure? Argument that CRPF was not deployed in aid to Civil Authority but to protect an office complex does not hold good. The deployment of CRPF in Kolkata was patently unconstitutional.
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.
When the truth is stated, it does not “scandalise” the court. If it is true that the Selection Committee HPC held on January 10, 2019 did not select M Nageswara Rao as the interim director, then the question of “scandalising” the court may not arise. Moreover, the contempt application suggests that Prashant Bhushan has “scandalised” a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. It is true that Justice Sikri was a member of the Selection Committee, but while sitting on the Committee he was not performing a judicial function but an executive function of making a selection to a post.
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.
That the alleged "contempt" is considered to be criminal contempt for questioning the whole methodology of "sealed cover communications" and for conjecturing that this may have contained inaccuracies which misled the Supreme Court, seems to have been taken as a personal affront by the Hon'ble AG, who represented the Government in the by now infamous CBI top brass case.
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.
“Any injunction would also be in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. The right to life with human dignity of a person is a fundamental right of every citizen for pursuit of happiness and excellence,” the court order read, adding that “Liberty aims at freedom not only from arbitrary restraint but also to secure such conditions which are essential for the full development of human personality.”
In the present case, the Bombay High Court has correctly settled the proposition that an extramarital consensual gay relationship is not a criminal offence; just like how it is no more a criminal offence in case of a heterosexual spouses. However, such a relationship comes under the purview of “adultery” as a ground for divorce (civil wrong). The Bombay HC judgment signifies the social acceptance of homosexuality as human nature, and it is a step closer to recognising gender equality and different sexual orientations.
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.
By no stretch of imagination does it mean that the CBI has the power to make the raid at the office of the Kolkata Police Commissioner in relation to the investigation, when the High Court is seized of the matter and has passed an order keeping in abeyance the CBI summons to the Kolkata the police in relation to the investigation. India has no "federal crimes", only a federal investigating agency. Its powers are subject to the State giving its consent to investigate a crime within its territory.
The attempt to demonise Gandhi and sacralise the man who killed him is however, a deeply worrying sign for India’s polity. The burning of Gandhi effigy is a political motive to invert the symbols of good and evil, right and wrong, and create moral confusion in the social sphere. It is an attempt to forcibly establish a new morality into the nation’s psyche.
Under The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act), the MHA has refused to disclose the reasons and materials such as file notings which formed the basis for issuing this order. Even more shocking is the MHA's refusal to treat as a valid query. the request for reasons for not complying with the duty of proactive disclosure of all relevant facts and reasons that underpin the order.
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.
But the way the Sessions judge has behaved in this case is most amusing. Bemused by this all too familiar merry-go-round of a "judicial mind", Gook was inspired to pen this Lawmerick
The working conditions of BSF are much tougher than that of the Army. An infantry soldier after two years deployment in field gets to live with his family in peace station. Other arms and services of Army have it much easier. This luxury is unimaginable for a BSF soldier because he is deployed almost round the year on borders where he performs long hours of duty — mostly extending beyond sixteen hours a day. To add insult to injury, the Seventh Pay Commission has declared BSF and other paramilitary forces employees as civilian employees, even though the service conditions and duties performed by them are much harsher than that of the Army.
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.
Roughly ten weeks before the crucial Lok Sabha poll begins, the Prime Minister, through his interim budget has stolen some of the thunder posed by the Congress president through his declaration of a minimum income support programme for the rural and urban poor if the Congress is elected to power.
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.
During the time he was in the Supreme Court, he continued his contribution to multiple areas of administration of justice, most of which are well documented. I have not seen any judge who has drawn and not crossed the fine line between familiarity outside Court and the conduct inside it as Justice Lokur.
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.