Supreme Court Weekly Round Up [March 8 to March 14 2021]

first_imgTop StoriesSupreme Court Weekly Round Up [March 8 to March 14 2021] Nupur Thapliyal13 March 2021 10:55 PMShare This – xJUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Supreme Court Asks Govt Employees Holding Post Of State Election Commissioner To Immediately Step Down As SECCase Title : State of Goa and another v Fouzia Imtiaz Shaik Citation : LL 2021 SC 158 While holding that serving government employees cannot simultaneously function as State Election Commissioners, the bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginJUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Supreme Court Asks Govt Employees Holding Post Of State Election Commissioner To Immediately Step Down As SECCase Title : State of Goa and another v Fouzia Imtiaz Shaik Citation : LL 2021 SC 158 While holding that serving government employees cannot simultaneously function as State Election Commissioners, the bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy also gave a categorical direction that such officers should immediately step down as SECs.The Court passed this important direction in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to “ensure that the constitutional mandate of an independent State Election Commission which is to conduct elections under Part IX and IXA of the Constitution be strictly followed in the future”.”The State Election Commissioner has to be a person who is independent of the State Government as he is an important constitutional functionary who is to oversee the entire election process in the state qua panchayats and municipalities. The importance given to the independence of a State Election Commissioner is explicit from the provision for removal from his office made in the proviso to clause(2) of Article 243K. Insofar as the manner and the ground for his removal from the office is concerned, he has been equated with aJudge of a High Court. Giving an additional charge of such an important and independent constitutional office to an officer who is directly under the control of the State Government is, in our view, a mockery of the constitutional mandate.We therefore declare that the additional charge given to a Law Secretary to the government of thestate flouts the constitutional mandate of Article 243K”. The bench observed.Read Also: State Election Commissioners Must Be Independent Persons Who Are Not Holding Posts Under Central Or State Govts : SC2. Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC Does Not Bar Prosecution By Investigating Agency For Offence U/s193 IPC Committed During Investigation StageCase: Bhima Razu Prasad vs. State [S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 5102 of 2020]Citation: LL 2021 SC 159The Supreme Court this week held that the prosecution by the investigating agency for offence punishable under Section 193 IPC [for fabricating false evidence] committed during the stage of investigation will not be barred under Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC if the investigating agency has lodged complaint or registered the case prior to commencement of proceedings and production of such evidence before the Trial Court.In such circumstance, the said offences would not be considered an offence committed in, or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court for the purpose of Section 195(1)(b)(i), CrPC, the bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran observed.3. Single Bench Hearing Transfer Petition Cannot Invoke Article 142 To Pass A Decree Dissolving Marriage By Mutual Consent: Supreme CourtCase: Sabita Shashank Singh Vs. Shashank Shekhar Singh [TRANSFER PETITION (C) NO. 908 OF 2019]Citation: LL 2021 SC 157The Supreme Court observed that its single bench while hearing a Transfer Petition cannot invoke power under Article 142 of the Constitution to pass a decree for dissolving a marriage by mutual consent.In this case, the parties (husband and wife) to a transfer petition before the Supreme Court filed a joint application for divorce by mutual consent of the parties. They requested the court to invoke jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, and to dispense with the compliance of some of the procedural formalities and timeline contemplated in Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act. The transfer petition was filed by the wife seeking transfer of the divorce petition filed by the husband from the Family Court, Pune, Maharashtra to the Principal Judge, Family Court, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.4. Non Filling Of Medical Seats Is Not A Solution: SC Declares Rule 12 (8)(a) Of Madhya Pradesh Chikitsa Shiksha Pravesh Niyam UnconstitutionalCase: Index Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre vs. State of Madhya Pradesh [Civil Appeal No. 867 of 2021]Citation: LL 2021 SC 156The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Indira Banerjee held that Rule 12 (8) (a) of the Madhya Pradesh Chikitsa Shiksha Pravesh Niyam, 2018 is unconstitutional as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.According to Rule 12 (8) (a), the vacant seats as a result of allotted candidates from MOP-UP round not taking admission or candidates resigning from admitted seat shall not be included in the college level counseling (CLC) being conducted after MOP-UP round.In this case, the Writ Petitions filed by Index Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre and Arushi Mahant and Others challenging Rule 12 (8) (a) as being violative of Articles 14 and 19 (1)(g) were dismissed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Bench at Indore. Before the Apex Court in appeal, it was contended that proscribing medical institutions from filling up seats which fall vacant due to candidates in the mop-up round not taking admission or candidates submitting resignation after taking admission amounts to an unreasonable restriction. The state justified the Rule 12 (8) contending that the same is made with the objective that less meritorious candidates do not steal a march over those who have higher merit. 5. Mere Existence Of Civil Remedies Not A Ground To Quash Criminal Proceedings: Reiterates Supreme courtCase: Priti Saraf Vs. State Of NCT Of Delhi [CrA 296 OF 2021]Citation: LL 2021 SC 154The bench comprising of Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that existence of civil remedies by itself is not a ground to quash criminal proceedings.The Court observed that simply because there is a remedy provided for breach of contract or arbitral proceedings initiated at the instance of the complainant, that does not by itself clothe the court to come to a conclusion that civil remedy is the only remedy, and the initiation of criminal proceedings, in any manner, will be an abuse of the process of the court for exercising inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482 CrPC for quashing such proceedings.The bench said that to exercise powers under Section 482 CrPC, the complaint in its entirety shall have to be examined on the basis of the allegation made in the complaint/FIR/charge-sheet and the High Court at that stage was not under an obligation to go into the matter or examine its correctness. 6. Limitation Period For Filing ‘Section 11’ Application Seeking Appointment Of Arbitrator Governed By Article 137 Limitation Act: Supreme CourtCase: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. vs. Nortel Networks India Pvt. Ltd. [CA 843-844 OF 2021]Citation: LL 2021 SC 153The bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi the period of limitation for filing an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act would be governed by Article 137 of the First Schedule of the Limitation Act, and will begin to run from the date when there is failure to appoint the arbitrator.The bench thus observed that in rare and exceptional cases, where the claims are ex facie time barred, and it is manifest that there is no subsisting dispute, the Court may refuse to make the reference. The court also suggested amendment of Section 11 of the Act to provide a period of limitation for filing an application under this provision, which is in consonance with the object of expeditious disposal of arbitration proceedings. 7. An Officer Who Did The Assessment Could Only Undertake Re-assessment Under Section 28 (4) Of Customs Act: Supreme CourtCase: Canon India Private Limited Vs. Commissioner Of Customs [CA 1827 OF 2018]Citation: LL 2021 SC 152The bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian observed that an officer who did the assessment, could only undertake re-assessment under Section 28 (4) of the Customs Act.The issue considered by the Court in this case was whether the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had authority in law to issue a show cause notice under Section 28(4) of the Act for recovery of duties allegedly not levied or paid when the goods have been cleared for import by a Deputy Commissioner of Customs who decided that the goods are exempted. In this case, a show cause notice was issued under Section 28 (4) to Canon India Private Limited alleging that the Customs Authorities had been induced to clear the cameras by wilful mis-statement and suppression of facts about the cameras.The bench observed that where one officer has exercised his powers of assessment, the power to order re-assessment must also be exercised by the same officer or his successor and not by another officer of another department though he is designated to be an officer of the same rank. In our view, this would result into an anarchical and unruly operation of a statute which is not contemplated by any canon of construction of statute.8. SLP Filed Only Against ‘Review Order’ Of HC Not Maintainable, Reiterates Supreme CourtCase: Sudarshan Budek Vs. State Of Odisha SLP(c) Diary No(s). 43363/2019 Citation: LL 2021 SC 151Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that Special leave Petitions filed only against the order of the High Court in Review Petition is not maintainable.In this case, the special leave petitions against the substantive order were dismissed in 2010 without any liberty to file a review application(s) or approach the Apex Court again in case of an adverse verdict in the review application(s). Thereafter the review application(s) were filed by the petitioners before the High Court, which were dismissed. Against this dismissal of review petition by the High Court, Special Leave Petition was filed.”It is now not open to the petitioners to seek leave of this Court to file Special leave petitions only against the review order(s) in view of the judgment of this Court in the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi MCD vs. Yashwant Singh Negi- (2020) 9 SCC 815. The special leave petitions are dismissed as not maintainable.” The Court held.9. Blanket Order Of Protection From Arrest Cannot Be Passed By High Court While Dismissing A Petition U/s 482 CrPC: Supreme CourtCase: Ravuri Krishna Murthy vs. State of Telangana [Crl.A.274-275/2021]Citation: LL 2021 SC 150The Supreme Court observed that a blanket order of protection from arrest cannot be passed by the High Court while dismissing a petition filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure seeking quashing of FIR.The issue raised in this appeal was whether the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was justified in passing a blanket direction restraining the police from arresting the accused while at the same time having come to the conclusion that there was no merit in the petition for quashing under Section 482.The Apex court observed that such a direction by the High Court has the effect of impeding the course of the investigation and has no basis or justification in law.10. Section 313 CrPC Statement By Accused Is Not A Substantive Evidence To Rebut Presumption Under Section 139 NI Act: Supreme CourtCase: Sumeti Vij Vs. Paramount Tech Fab Industries [CrA 292 OF 2021] Citaiton: LL 2021 SC 149The bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi observed that the statement of the accused recorded under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not a substantive evidence of defence to rebut the presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act that the cheques were issued for consideration. The bench was considering an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh holding the accused guilty of offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.The court noted that the accused has only recorded her statement under Section 313 of the Code, and has not adduced any evidence to rebut the presumption that the cheques were issued for consideration. On the other hand, the complaints were filed by placing all documentary evidence in support of the complaint duly exhibited, and three witnesses in support thereof were examined, and was able to establish and discharge the burden of proof. 11. Criminal Case Ought To Be Inquired And Tried Ordinarily Where The Cause Of Action Has Accrued: Supreme CourtCase: Swaati Nirkhi Vs. State (NCT Of Delhi) [TRANSFER PETITION (CRL.) NO. 262 of 2018] Citation: LL 2021 SC 148The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Indu Malhotra reiterated that a criminal case ought to be inquired and tried ordinarily where the cause of action has accrued. The bench observed thus while dismissing a transfer petition filed by accused seeking transfer of criminal case from the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at New Delhi to the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate at Allahabad (Prayagraj), Uttar Pradesh.In this case, FIR was filed under Section 389 read with 34 IPC against 4 accused. According to the complainant, he learnt from the newspaper reports and T.V. media report that the accused had falsely alleged that she was gang raped in his house. It was also stated that he had received messages to pay Rs. 5 Crore otherwise he would be arrested on the ground of gang rape. Putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion, is an offence punishable under Section 389 IPC. 12. Magistrates & Trial Judges Also Have Responsibility In Safeguarding Citizens’ Fundamental Right: Supreme CourtCase: Krishna Lal Chawla Vs. State Of U.P. [CrA 283 OF 2021] Citation: LL 2021 SC 145The Magistrates and trial Judges have as much, if not more, responsibility in safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens of India as the highest court of this land, remarked the Supreme Court in a judgment in which it emphasized the role of the lower Judiciary in preventing abuse of criminal court process.This is a case that should not have been allowed to reach as far as this Court, the bench said while quashing an order of Magistrate who issued process in a complaint lodged after six years of filing a Non­- Cognizable Report with respect to same incident against the same accused.”The trial courts and the Magistrates have an important role in curbing this injustice. They are the first lines of defence for both the integrity of the criminal justice system, and the harassed and distraught litigant. We are of the considered opinion that the trial courts have the power to not merely decide on acquittal or conviction of the accused person after the trial, but also the duty to nip frivolous litigations in the bud even before they reach the stage of trial by discharging the accused in fit cases. This would not only save judicial time that comes at the cost of public money, but would also protect the right to liberty that every person is entitled to under Article 21 of the Constitution. In this context, the trial Judges have as much, if not more, responsibility in safeguarding the fundamental rights of the citizens of India as the highest court of this land”, the bench observed.13. Person Who Has Not Drawn The Cheque Cannot Be Prosecuted U/s 138 NI Act Even In Case Of Joint Liability: Supreme CourtCase: Alka Khandu Avhad vs. Amar Syamprasad Mishra [CrA 258 OF 2021] Citation: LL 2021 SC 146 Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that, even in case of a joint liability, in case of individual persons, a person other than a person who has drawn the cheque on an account maintained by him, cannot be prosecuted for the offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.”A person might have been jointly liable to pay the debt, but if such a person who might have been liable to pay the debt jointly, cannot be prosecuted unless the bank account is jointly maintained and that he was a signatory to the cheque.” The bench held.14. NCLT Has Jurisdiction To Adjudicate Contractual Disputes Which Arise Solely From Or Which Relate To Corporate Debtor’s Insolvency: Supreme CourtCase: Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited vs. Amit Gupta [CA 9241 of 2019]Citation: LL 2021 SC 142The Supreme Court observed that the National Company Law Tribunal has jurisdiction to adjudicate contractual disputes, which arise solely from or which relate to the insolvency of the Corporate Debtor.However, for adjudication of disputes that arise dehors the insolvency of the Corporate Debtor, the RP must approach the relevant competent authority, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah observed while upholding the order of the National Company Law Tribunal which stayed the termination by the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited of its Power Purchase Agreement with Astonfield Solar (Gujarat) Private Limited.15. Time Is A Crucial Facet Of Scheme Under IBC; Resolution Applicant Must Be Fair In Its Dealings: Supreme CourtCase: Kridhan Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. vs. Venkatesan Sankaranarayan [CA 3299 of 2020]Citation: LL 2021 SC 139Time is a crucial facet of the scheme under the IBC, the Supreme Court said while dismissing the appeal filed by a Resolution applicant.In this case, the National Company Law Tribunal [NCLT] allowed the liquidation of the Corporate Debtor to proceed. Upholding this order, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal [ NCLAT] observed that the applicant had failed to implement the Resolution Plan for a period of over eight months.In appeal, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah noted that sufficient opportunities were granted to the applicant earlier during the pendency of the proceedings both before the NCLT and NCLAT. The orders of the NCLT and NCLAT make it abundantly clear that despite the grant of sufficient time, the appellant has not been able to comply with the terms of the Resolution Plan, it said.IMPORTANT APEX COURT UPDATES1. Maratha Reservation: Supreme Court Issues Notice To All States, Will Consider Whether Mandal Commission Judgment To Be Re-lookedNoting the submission of the Maharashtra government that the principle question that has arisen is the interpretation of the 102nd Constitutional Amendment and that it will impact the legislative competence of all States, the Supreme court this week issued notice to all the states in the Maratha reservation matter, adjourning the hearing to March 15.A five-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan observed that AG K. K. Venugopal is also of the opinion that the states be heard. The bench took the view that the issues which arise for its consideration are whether the Indra Sawhney judgments (Mandal Commission Case) requires a relook by a larger Bench, whether the said decision covers the issue of the Maratha Reservation, whether the 102nd Amendment affects the federal structure, depriving the states of their power in respect of the SEBCs.2. Kunal Kamra’s ‘Scandalous Tweets’ Can’t Be Labelled Jokes; They Undermine Public Faith In Judiciary : Law Student’s Rejoinder In Supreme CourtLaw student Srirang Katneshwarkar, who filed a contempt petition against Kunal Kamra for his tweets, has submitted a rejoinder affidavit before the Supreme Court responding to Kamra’s affidavit before the top Court. In his affidavit, Katneshwarkar has stated that Kamra through his affidavit tried to justify his scandalous tweets, and there has been no apology and no remorse on his end.In response to Kamra’s submissions that the tweets were funny, the contempt petitioner has stated that an ordinary prudent man can gather from the tweets that the tweets were obnoxious, and Kamra should be prosecuted and punished. Further, it has been added that Kamra has tried to label his scandalous tweets as jokes, and has forgotten in his hubris as an ‘alleged or so called comedian’ that a joke is a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, or a story with a funny punchline.3. “This Is Jungle Raj”: Supreme Court Pulls Up Madhya Pradesh Govt. For Not Arresting Murder AccusedIn connection with Congress leader Devendra Chaurasia’s murder in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court this week pulled up the State Government over its failure to arrest the accused, BSP MLA Rambai Prajapati’s husband Govind Singh.The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was considering Chaurasia’s son, Somesh Chaurasia’s plea in context of the Madhya Pradesh High Court having directed in July, 2019 that the investigation may be completed as far as possible within three months but not later than 90 days, that on completion of the investigation, if Singh is found involved in commission of the crime, he be immediately taken into custody and the procedure as prescribed be followed. It was also observed that neither Singh shall threaten nor influence the witnesses and the complainant side.4. Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea For Constitution Of District Wise Medical Boards To Assist Rape VictimsSupreme Court this week sought Centre’s Response on prayer seeking constitution of district wise Medical Board all over India to protect and deal with rape victims.A division Bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justice Bopanna has issued notice the Centre while hearing the plea filed by a 14 year old girl seeking termination of her 26 weeks old pregnancy. The Bench had previously asked the Medical Board to submit a Report regarding feasibility of the pregnancy termination.During the hearing Advocate VK Biju appearing for the petitioner before the Court submitted that the they had gone through the Medical report and are withdrawing the prayer for termination of the pregnancy. However, he stated that they have added another prayer, which seeks constitution of Medical Boards on all districts to assist and help such rape victims. 5. ‘I Had To Use Tiger Balm After Reading It’, Says Justice MR Shah Over ‘Incomprehensible’ High Court JudgmentThe Supreme Court this week expressed its displeasure at the incomprehensible manner in which judgments are coming to be written by High Courts. The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was hearing a SLP arising out of an order passed by a division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in a writ petition under Article 226, which in turn arose from an award of the Central Government Industrial Tribunal. The High Court had confirmed the order of the CGIT as regards the charge of misconduct against an employee.”What judgement has been written?!”, exclaimed Justice Chandrachud in Hindi. Replying in Hindi, Justice Shah concurred, “I did not understand anything. There are long, long sentences. Then, there is an odd comma showing up anywhere After reading, I did not understand anything. I started doubting my own understanding!””I had to use Tiger balm”, quipped Justice Shah. “Judgments must be such which everyone can understand…And the judge says that the charge of misconduct has been proved!”, noted the bench.6. “You Have To Re-establish Your Credibility With Your Own Court, We Will Keep The Contempt Hanging On Your Head”:Supreme Court To Adv Yatin OzaThe Supreme Court this week ventured if the lifetime ban imposed on Mr. Yatin Oza to practice as a senior counsel can be kept in abeyance after the expiry of one year from when the full court of the Gujarat High Court had resolved to withdraw his designation, for 2-3 periods of six months each, during which the matter shall remain pending before the Supreme Court to monitor his conduct.”We are keeping both the writ petition (against the withdrawal of the gown) and the contempt matter pending. After whatever period we fix, you may be given your gown back for sometime as an interim measure, during which we will monitor your conduct. Then the High Court can take a call whether he is worthy of this relaxation or not”, said Justice S. K. Kaul.7. “They May Have Climbed Mount Everest In The Past, Now You Say They Are Not In Shape-1″: Supreme Court To Govt. On Permanent Commission Of Women In Army”When it suits you, you ask for today’s fitness, SHAPE 1 as on today. But you ignore their years of meritorious service rendered post the 5th year or the 10th year. This shows how warped it is. Is the idea to exclude women or to give them equal opportunity?”, remarked Justice DY Chandrachud this week.These observations came on the Centre’s response to the argument of the lady officers who have been denied Permanent Commission, that while in adjudging their suitability on merit, their intervening service records after the 5th or the 10th year of induction are disregarded, the medical yardstick of Grade 1 in the relevant factors- Psychological (Cognitive functions and normalities), Hearing, Appendage, Physical and Eyesight (signified by the acronym ‘SHAPE’) that they must meet is required to be as on date of their consideration for grant of PC.SIGNIFICANT PETITIONS THIS WEEK1. Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Release Of Rohingya Refugees Allegedly Detained In JammuSupreme Court of India has been approached with a plea seeking directions for release of the Rohingya refugees who have been detained in Jammu and to refrain the government from implementing any orders on deporting them. The plea has also sought directions to UNHCR to intervene and assess the protection needs of the refugees and grant them refugee cards.The reliefs have been sought through an interim application in a pending writ petition before the Apex Court that was filed seeking protection of the Rohingya refugees from imminent danger of being deported and protection of their rights. The present application has been drawn by Advocate Cheryl Dsouza and filed through Advocate Prashant Bhushan.2. “Allow Virtual Courts To Continue As An Option”: All India Association of Jurists Moves Supreme CourtAll India Association of Jurists move the Supreme Court to allow virtual courts to continue as an option and increase diversity in the Bar. The plea has urged the Court to protect right to legal practise especially in Supreme Court, of members of the Bar who due to different ailments, old age, and other physical dispositions are alienated from physically appearing before Supreme Court in post Covid pre-vaccine scenario.According to the petitioner, the option of appearing before the Supreme Court through virtual means should be allowed to continue as a matter of right. The petitioner association is an association of legal practitioners, comprising of Advocates, law teachers, retired Judges and other members of Citizenry interested in inter-relationship between judicial process and social justice. The plea filed by Advocate Shriram P. seeks to fulfil multifold but inter related goals of increasing justice to far off citizens of India, and protecting their legal rights, including right to virtual appearance as an option.3. PIL Seeking Equal Employment Opportunities For Transgenders: Supreme Court Directs To Implead Transgender AssociationsSupreme Court this week, while hearing plea seeking equal opportunities in employment to transgenders, directed the petitioner to implead transgender associations within 2 weeks. A division Bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justice Bopanna issued the direction while hearing a public interest petition filed seeking direction to the Center to give equal opportunity in employment to transgender and implement all measures to ensure non-discrimination against any transgender person in any matter relating to employment and related issue.The plea, filed by Advocate Reepak Kansal also seeks directions to the Centre to give the Transgender/Other-Gender/Third-Gender an equal opportunity for participating in the examination for recruitment to the Post of Intelligence Bureau Assistant Central Intelligence Officer (IB ACIO) Grade II/ Executive . 4. Supreme Court Issues Notice On DMK MP RS Bharati’s Plea Seeking To Quash Criminal Case Under SC/ST ActThe Supreme Court this week issued notice on a plea filed by a DMK leader and Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathi challenging a Madras High Court’s refusal to quash a chargesheet filed against him under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act over a speech made by him. A division bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat posted the matter after two weeks.The petition stated that at a meeting organised by the leaders of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the name of ‘Kalaignar Vasagar Vattam’ to share the ideals of the DMK party, the Petitioner spoke for more than 45 minutes and addressed the crowd about the genesis of the party and its achievements and also mentioned the Dravidian Movement and how it has improved the lives of members of the SC/ST and other downtrodden and backward communities.5. SCBA Plea Against SOP For Hybrid Hearings : Supreme Court Calls For Minutes Of Meeting From SC RegistryThe Supreme Court this week for the report and Minutes and Meeting from the Supreme Court Registry in a plea filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) seeking quashing of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Registry last week for enabling “Hybrid Physical Hearing” from March 15 onwards.A Bench headed by Justice SK Kaul took into account the submission of Senior Advocate and SCBA President Vikas Singh that consultation with the Bar had not taken place before a decision was taken for the hybrid-style hearings.The Top Court accordingly directed the Registry to place before it the report and the Minutes of Meeting pertaining to the discussions that had taken place leading up to the SOP on hybrid hearings. 6. Supreme Court To Hear PIL Challenging Legislative Competence Of State Assemblies In Adopting Resolutions Against Central Statutes Like CAA/Fram LawsSupreme Court of India this week heard a plea challenging the legislative competence of diverse State Assemblies in adopting ‘Resolutions’ against central statutes like CAA and farm laws which fall under the Union List of the Seventh Schedule.The PIL is filed by Samta Andolan Samiti impugning the Legislative actions of four different State Legislative Assemblies of Rajasthan, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal which according to the petitioner, have infringed Fundamental Rights of all Indian citizens. The petition has been filed to raise a question of law as to whether within the Constitutional framework, more particularly Article 213(2)(a) and Article 246(1), any State Legislature can adopt ‘Resolution’ adversely criticising a central Statute which falls in List I of the Seventh Schedule.7. “Compensate Victims Of Wrongful Prosecution”: Plea Before Supreme Court Seeks Directions To The CentreA plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to Centre to frame Guidelines for compensation to victims of Wrongful Prosecution and implement the recommendations of Law Commission Report No-277 on Miscarriage of Justice.The plea filed by advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has sought directions to the States to implement Centre’s Guideline for Compensation to Victims of Wrongful Prosecution and give compensation to innocent people in spirit of the recommendations of Law Commission Report on Miscarriage of Justice. It has further urged the Court to use its plenary constitutional power to frame the guidelines for compensation to victims of wrongful prosecutions and direct the Centre and States to implement them till the recommendations of the Law Commission Report-277 on Miscarriage of Justice are implemented religiously.TRIBUTE TO JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA ON HER RETIREMENT FROM THE APEX COURT1. ‘I Leave This Court With A Sense Of Fulfillment’ : Justice Indu Malhotra On Her Last Working Day As SC Judge”I am happy and leave this Court with a sense of fulfilment”, Justice Indu Malhotra said on her last working day as a judge of the Supreme Court, choking with emotions. As per convention, Justice Malhotra was sharing bench with the Chief Justice of India, on her last working day as SC judge. After the hearing, CJI Bobde and members from the Bar expressed their views regarding Justice Malhotra’s retirement and wished her good luck.2. ‘All Direct Appointees To SC Had A Very Interesting Career’ : Justice Nariman During Justice Indu Malhotra’s FarewellSupreme Court judge Justice Rohinton Nariman delivered an interesting speech at the farewell function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association for Justice Indu Malhotra.”My dear Indu… I will only address you as such”, Justice Nariman said while starting his speech. Justice Nariman highlighted that Justice Malhotra, like him, was a direct appointee to the bench from the bar. “All the direct appointees to this Court have had a very interesting career”, Justice Nariman commented.He said that he was the fifth direct appointee to the Supreme Court. Justice SM Sikri was first direct appointee from the bar. He was a great Chief Justice and delivered the judgment in Keshavananda Bharthi case, Justice Nariman recalled.3. Important Judgments Of Justice Indu MalhotraOver the three years as a Supreme Court Judge, Justice Malhotra has delivered a series of remarkable judgements, ranging over varied streams of law – from criminal to commercial. She was also a part of the Constitution Bench which rendered some of the most progressive orders such as decriminalization of homosexuality, and struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional. In this piece, LiveLaw chronologically has listed some of the major judgements/orders rendered by a Bench with Justice Malhotra.4. ‘Society Benefits When Gender Diversity Is Found On Bench’ : Justice Indu Malhotra In Farewell SpeechSociety benefits when gender diversity is found on bench, said Supreme Court judge Justice Indu Malhotra in her farewell speech.Speaking at the farewell function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association, Justice Malhotra – the only woman so far to be directly elevated to Supreme Court from the bar -said that “there will be enough women in the judiciary when the distinction between male and female judges no longer exists”.Read Full Updates of Justice Malhotra’s Farewell Ceremony hereColoumns1. Our Very Own Indu Ma’am by Vidhi Thaker”I believe I speak on behalf of all of Justice Malhotra’s juniors, when I say that, to us, Ma’am is a superhuman, who sails through a gruelling 7 day work-week, without a break. Despite the long hours of work, juggling between judicial work and book-work, and other time-consuming demands of the office she held, Ma’am was a nurturing and caring senior. She would often find time to discuss our interests, and guide our career aspirations.” Recalls Vidhi Thaker who worked with Justice Indu Malhotra as a Law Clerk-cum Research Assistant.2. Justice Indu Malhotra: The Breaker Of Glass Ceilings by Menaka Guruswamy”It’s an odd thing the terminology ‘woman lawyer’ or ‘lady advocate’. After all, why should a professional occupation have a gender tag? Likely since there are so few ‘women’ judges, ‘women’ senior advocates and ‘women’ who argue cases. It is an unfortunate tag, for women at the bar and on the bench would quite simply like the freedom to be considered adept practioners of the law and not be thought of as special for doing so. However, the reality is that the law has been a bastion for men. Lawyers like Malhotra deftly rode into that bastion and made it their own. By doing so, she inspired generations of lawyers – male and female alike- to understand that the legal profession including the judiciary belongs to all of us. She inspires me.” Writes Menaka Guruswamy, Senior Advocate, designated by the Supreme Court.Next Storylast_img

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