Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for the elevation of Satya Gopal Chattopadhyay, Judicial Officer, as Judge of the Tripura High Court.
Supreme Court of India
[Collegium Statement dt. 19-02-2020]
Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for the elevation of Satya Gopal Chattopadhyay, Judicial Officer, as Judge of the Tripura High Court.
Supreme Court of India
[Collegium Statement dt. 19-02-2020]
Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for elevation of the following Judicial Officers as Judges of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court:
1. Shri Vinod Chatterji Koul,
2. Shri Sanjay Dhar, and
3. Shri Puneet Gupta.
Supreme Court of India
[Collegium Statement dt. 19-02-2020]
Commission to implement the directions of Supreme Court concerning criminal antecedents of candidates by reiterating its existing instructions with suitable modifications
Election Commission has consistently espoused rigorous and loftiest normative standards in public life.
Supreme Court on 13-02-2020 in Contempt Pet. (C) No. 2192 of 2018 of W.P. (C) No. 536 of 2011 invoking Article 129 and Article 142 of the Constitution of India directed as under:
“1) It shall be mandatory for political parties [at the Central and State election level] to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases (including the nature of the offences, and relevant particulars such as whether charges have been framed, the concerned Court, the case number etc.) who have been selected as candidates, along with the reasons for such selection, as also as to why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.
2) The reasons as to selection shall be with reference to the qualifications, achievements and merit of the candidate concerned, and not mere “winnability” at the polls.
3) This information shall also be published in: (a) One local vernacular newspaper and one national newspaper; (b) On the official social media platforms of the political party, including Facebook & Twitter.
4) These details shall be published within 48 hours of the selection of the candidate or not less than two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations, whichever is earlier.
5) The political party concerned shall then submit a report of compliance with these directions with the Election Commission within 72 hours of the selection of the said candidate.
6) If a political party fails to submit such compliance report with the Election Commission, the Election Commission shall bring such non-compliance by the political party concerned to the notice of the Supreme Court as being in contempt of this Court’s orders/directions.”
Election Commission whole-heartedly welcomes this landmark order, which is bound to go a long way in setting new moral yardsticks for overall betterment of electoral democracy. Earlier, Commission on 10 October 2018 issued detailed instructions and guidelines along with amended form of affidavit for ensuring publicity of criminal antecedents by the candidates and the concerned political parties for the information of voters. This is being implemented in all the elections since November, 2018. Now, Commission proposes to reiterate these instructions with suitable modifications in order to implement the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court in letter as well as in spirit.
[Press Release dt. 14-02-2020]
Citizenship (Amendment) Act row|
In a major verdict, the 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, JJ has asked J&K administration to review all orders imposing curbs on telecom and internet services in the state in a week and put them in public domain.
“The existing Suspension Rules neither provide for a periodic review nor a time limitation for an order issued under the Suspension Rules. Till this gap is filled, the Review Committee constituted under Rule 2(5) of the Suspension Rules must conduct a periodic review within seven working days of the previous review, in terms of the requirements under Rule 2(6).”
The bench of Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, JJ has issued a long list of directions to curb the Delhi-NCR Pollution after noticing that,
“the air pollution is worsening, and a large number of people suffer as a side effect by various diseases such as cancer, asthma, etc.The life span is also adversely affected.”
In a significant ruling, a 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Ravindra Bhat, JJ has unanimously ruled that the protection granted to a person under Section 438 Cr.PC should not invariably be limited to a fixed period; it should inure in favour of the accused without any restriction on time.
A bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has granted bail to 14 convicts in the Sardarpura village massacre case where 33 people were burnt alive during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The 14 convicts who had been sentenced to life imprisonment have been asked by the Court to do social and spiritual services among others during the period of the bail.
Justice S Ravindra Bhat has recused himself from hearing the Centre’s plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional fund from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation for giving compensation to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims.
A Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has issued a notice to the Central government on a petition claiming that around 2,000 transgenders were excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam. The petition, filed by Assam’s first transgender judge Swati Bidhan, said that NRC was not inclusive of the transgenders and forced them to accept male or female as their gender.
The Centre has moved the Supreme Court for fixing a seven-day deadline for executing death penalty of condemned prisoners. The plea of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) assumes significance in view of the the death row convicts in the sensational Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case of 2012 filing review, curative and mercy petitions, which has delayed their hanging.
In a case where pre-mature release of convicts was sought in terms of a Scheme framed by the Government of Tamil Nadu, the bench of SA Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, JJ observed that a writ of habeas corpus will not lie and such a prayer should be rejected by the Court where detention or imprisonment of the person whose release is sought is in accordance with the decision rendered by a court of law or by an authority in accordance with law.
A Division Bench of Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee, JJ., diluted certain adverse observations made by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (“SAT”) against the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) in para 20 of its order passed in Ashok Dayabhai Shah v. SEBI (Appeal No. 428 of 2019, dt. 14-11-2019).
Showing dismay over the fact that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the West Bengal Commissions for Protection of Child Rights set up to protect children have been at loggerheads over their so called jurisdictions, the bench of Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, JJ held that there is no dispute over the jurisdiction of the two Commissions and that it was sorry that it had to spend its time resolving such disputes.
In a case where an Armed Force Tribunal ordered retrial on the ground that the procedure prescribed in Rule 180 of the Army Rules, 1954 had not been followed, the bench of L. Nageswara Rao and Ajay Rastogi, JJ has held that non-compliance of Rule 180 cannot be a ground for ordering a re-trial as the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to direct re-trial on any other ground except that mentioned in Section 16(2) of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.
“If the intent is to achieve excellence in education, would it be enough if the concerned educational institutions were to employ teachers with minimum requisite qualifications in the name of exercise of Right under Article 30 of the Constitution, while better qualified teachers are available to impart education?”
Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ has declared Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 that Act purports to confer a right of statutory Second Appeal to the Supreme Court, ultra vires the Constitution of India. The Court said that a provision which mandates the Supreme Court to consider an appeal is clearly beyond the legislative competence of the State Legislature.
The Court held that in view of Entry 65 of the State List and Entry 46 of the Concurrent List, the State Legislature can enact law which affects the jurisdiction of all Courts, including the High Court, except under Articles 226 and 227, but it cannot enact law which touches the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It said,
“A law made under Article 323B (1) of the Constitution may exclude the jurisdiction of all Courts except the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 136 with respect to the matters falling within the jurisdiction of the said Tribunals. However, Article 323B (2) (d) or any other provision of the Constitution does not enable the State Legislature to enact law which provides for statutory appeals to the Supreme Court.”
The Court, hence, held that the Rent Control Tribunal having been established under Article 323B of the Constitution, as observed above, the diminution, if any, of the jurisdiction of the High Court, except under Article 226 and 227, would be saved by Article 323B(3)(d) of the Constitution, but not the provision for statutory appeal to the Supreme Court.
It was contended before the Court that Section 13(2) of the Rent Control Act does not confer on the Supreme Court, jurisdiction it did not already possess, but is only incidental to and/or extension of its power under Article 136, is not sustainable in law. The Court, however, rejected the said contention and held that under Article 136 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court does not act as a regular court of appeal. The power of the Supreme Court under Article 136 is not to be confused with the appellate power ordinarily exercised by appellate courts and Tribunals under specific statutes.
The Court also rejected the argument that when a State Law gets the assent of the President of India, that law prevails in the States, notwithstanding repugnancy with an earlier Union law, and said,
“Presidential assent makes no difference in case of legislative incompetence. Presidential assent cannot and does not validate an enactment in excess of the legislative powers of the State Legislature, nor validate a statutory provision, which would render express provisions of the Constitution otiose. Presidential assent cures repugnancy with an earlier Central Statute, provided the State Legislature is otherwise competent to enact the Statute.”
[Rajendra Diwan v. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1586, decided on 10.12.2019]
The 5-judge bench finally put an end to the Ayodhya Title dispute and held that the disputed land is to be given to Trust for construction of Ram Mandir. In an effort to balance the interest of both the parties involved, the Court directed that a suitable plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to set up a Mosque.
It may not be inappropriate if matters involving seminal issues including the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution touching upon the right to profess, practise and propagate its own religion, are heard by larger bench of commensurate number of Judges.
It cannot be doubted and debated that the independence of the judiciary is a matter of ennobled public concern and directly relates to public welfare and would be one of the factors to be taken into account in weighing and applying the public interest test. Thus, when the public interest demands the disclosure of information, judicial independence has to be kept in mind while deciding the question of exercise of discretion.
RESTRUCTURING OF TRIBUNALS
It was necessary and expedient to conduct the floor test as soon as possible to determine whether the Chief Minister, who was administered the oath of office, has the support of the majority or not.
The Court upheld the speaker’s orders dated 25.07.2019 and 28.07.2019 to the extent of the disqualification of the Petitioners but has set aside the part of order that said that disqualified members can’t contest elections till the end of the current Assembly term i.e. the 15th Legislative Assembly of Karnataka. It, hence, directed that 17 Karnataka MLAs can contest the by-elections in the state.
The 3-judge bench of N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and B R Gavai, JJ has reserved the judgment on a batch of pleas including that of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad challenging the restriction imposed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir following abrogation of provisions of Article 370.
The order, of which review has been sought, does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed.
People are dying. More people will die but those at the helm seem interested only in gimmicks. We will supervise this matter now. Crop stubble burning must stop immediately and all states must do everything to stop it.
The introduction of Section 87 would result in a delay of disposal of arbitration proceedings, and an increase in the interference of courts in arbitration matters, which defeats the very object of the Arbitration Act, 1996, which was strengthened by the 2015 Amendment Act.
If the victim’s counsel feels that a certain aspect has gone unaddressed in the examination of the witnesses or the arguments advanced by the Public Prosecutor, he may route any questions or points through the Public Prosecutor himself.
The NCLAT judgment which substitutes its wisdom for the commercial wisdom of the Committee of Creditors and which also directs the admission of a number of claims which was done by the resolution applicant, without prejudice to its right to appeal against the aforesaid judgment, must therefore be set aside.
The 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and L. Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has refused to hold Section 13-B of the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act, 1949 (Rent Act) merely because it grants a right to claim eviction for bona fide need by summary procedure to a certain group of landlords, that is, Non-Resident Indians subject to and on the satisfaction of statutory conditions which incorporate a check on frivolous evictions.
Norms and Regulations set by the Council of Architecture (CoA) and other specified authorities under the Architects Act, 1972 would have to be followed by an institution imparting education for degrees and diplomas in architecture.
In a ghastly case involving rape and murder of 2 children, the 3-judge bench of RF Nariman, Surya Kant and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has refused to review their verdict in Manoharan v. State, (2019) 7 SCC 716, upholding the conviction of the accused. In the said judgment, the bench had unanimously upheld the conviction, but gave 2:1 verdict on quantum of punishment.
In the matter concerning the housing project, on the ground that the area in question falls within the catchment area of Sukhna Lake and is 123 meters away from the boundary of Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, the 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, MR Shah and BR Gavai, JJ has held that such projects cannot be permitted to come up within such a short distance from the wildlife sanctuary.
It is apparent that various aspects have to be gone into and considered by the Temple Managing Committee and wherever the Government role comes in, the Government has to do the needful after taking all the stakeholders into confidence.
IN OTHER NEWS
Increasing the strength of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34, Justices Krishna Murari, SR Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy have been appointed as Supreme Court judges. The judges took oath in the CJI’s court at 10:30 AM today.
Justice Krishna Murari
Born in a lawyer family of Uttar Pradesh on 9 July 1958, Justice Murari passed LL.B. from the Allahabad University, Allahabad and enrolled as an Advocate on 23 December 1981. He started practice in the Allahabad High Court on Civil, Constitutional, Company and Revenue matters. In his 22 years career as a lawyer he served as Standing Counsel of Uttar Pradesh State Yarn Company, Northern Railway Primary Co-operative Bank, Uttar Pradesh State Textile Corporation etc. He also appeared for Bundelkhand University of Jhansi. Justice Murari was then appointed as an Additional Judge of the Allahabad High Court on 7 January 2004 and became the Permanent Judge in 2005. On 2 June 2018 he was elevated in the post of the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.
Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat
Born on 21 October 1958, at Mysore, Justice S Ravindra Bhat did his LLB from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University (1982) after completing his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English from Hindu College, Delhi University, 1979.
He was enrolled with Delhi Bar Council in August of 1982. He practised before the Delhi High Court, Supreme Court, inter alia. His field of practice included public law, banking, education, labour and service, and indirect taxation. He assumed office as additional judge, Delhi High Court on 16 July, 2004, and became the permanent judge of Delhi High Court on 20 February, 2006. He was elevated to the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on 5 May, 2019.
Justice V. Ramasubramanian
Born on 30 June, 1958. Justice Ramasubramanian graduated from the Madras Law College and was enrolled as a member of the Bar on 16 February, 1983.
After practicing for almost 23 years in High Court of Madras, City and Small Causes Court, State Consumer Commission & District Consumer Forum, Central and State Administrative Tribunals, Chennai, in civil and constitutional matters and specialising in service matters, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Madras High Court on 31 July, 2006, and was later made a permanent judge on 9 November, 2009.
He was transferred at his own request to the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh with effect from 27 April, 2016.
After the bifurcation and the creation of a separate high court for the State of Andhra Pradesh, he was retained as a judge of the High Court of Telangana at Hyderabad from 1 January, 2019. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court on 22nd June, 2019.
Justice Hrishikesh Roy
Born on 1 February 1960, Justice Roy passed LL.B. from University of Delhi in 1982. He was initially enrolled under the Bar Council of Delhi thereafter shifted to Guwahati. He served as the Senior Government Advocate for the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Standing Counsel for the Assam State Electricity Board and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.He was designated as Senior Advocate of Gauhati High Court on 21 December 2004. Roy became an Additional Judge of Gauhati High Court on 12 October 2006 and permanent Judge on 15 July 2008. In his career he was the Executive Head of the Assam State Legal Services Authority and nominated as a member of the National Judicial Academic Council presided by the Chief Justice of India. On 29 May 2018 Justice Roy was transferred from the Gauhati High Court to Kerala High Court as the Acting Chief Justice. He became the permanent Chief Justice of the High Court on 8 August 2018 after the retirement of Justice Antony Dominic.
President appoints the following Four Judges of the High Courts as Judges of the Supreme Court of India:
Shri Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court
Ministry of Law and Justice
[Notification dt. 18-09-2019]
Certain reports relating to recommendations recently made by the Collegium regarding transfer of Chief Justices/Judges of the High Courts have appeared in the media.
As directed, it is stated that each of the recommendations for transfer was made for cogent reasons after complying with the required procedure in the interest of better administration of justice. Though it would not be in the interest of the institution to disclose the reasons for transfer, if found necessary, the Collegium will have no hesitation in disclosing the same.
Further each of the recommendations was made after full and complete deliberations and the same were unanimously agreed upon by the Collegium.
Supreme Court of India
The In-House committee, headed by Justice SA Bobde, also comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, found “no substance” in the sexual harassment allegations levelled by a former Supreme Court employee against the CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
The notice published on Supreme Court website read that the report has been submitted to the next senior judge competent to received the report i.e. Justice Arun Mishra. A copy of the report has also been handed over to the Chief Justice. It also stated that according to the verdict in Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India, (2003) 5 SCC 494, the report of any Committee constituted as a part of in-house procedure can’t be made public.
The former employee had submitted her complaint against the CJI in an affidavit form to 22 Supreme Court judges on April 19.
A 5-judge bench referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation Panel of Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India (Chairman), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Shri Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate (Members).
Deterring a party to an arbitration from invoking this alternative dispute resolution process by a pre-deposit of 10% would discourage arbitration, contrary to the object of de-clogging the Court system, and would render the arbitral process ineffective and expensive.
The disciplinary committee is not obliged to award a life time ban in all cases where such offences are proved. When range of ineligibility which is minimum five years, maximum life time ban is provided for, the discretion to which, either minimum or maximum or in between has to be exercised on relevant facts and circumstances.
The Court upheld the conviction and sentence of life imposed upon Saravana Bhavan Owner P Rajagopal by the Madras High Court for the abduction and murder of his employee Santhakumar.
The Court noticed that it was not the first time that Mathews Nedumpara has attempted to browbeat and insult Judges of the Court. In point of fact, the style of this particular advocate is to go on arguing, quoting Latin maxims, and when he finds that the Court is not with him, starts becoming abusive.
Section 212 of the Companies Act, 2013 does not prescribe any period within which a report has to be submitted by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to the Central Government.
A 5-judge bench sought to know from the Centre within two weeks its view on bringing all the quasi-judicial bodies under one central umbrella body. The Court said it would not like to be bogged down with what is right or wrong and all it wants is that “the tribunals work efficiently and independently”.
The Government may examine the feasibility of setting up Motor Accidents Mediation Authority by making necessary amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act. The Court also asked the Government to consider the feasibility of enacting Indian Mediation Act to take care of various aspects of mediation in general.
The law laid down by this Court in the case of Ahmadabad Pvt. Primary Teachers Association was no longer applicable against the teachers, as if not rendered, and the teachers were held entitled to claim the amount of gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act from their employer with effect from 03.04.1997.
The recommendation for appointment to the post of Director General of Police by the Union Public Service Commission and preparation of panel should be purely on the basis of merit from officers who have a minimum residual tenure of six months i.e. officers who have at least six months of service prior to the retirement.
Reading of Section 80HH along with Section 80A would clearly signify that such a deduction has to be of gross profits and gains, i.e., before computing the income as specified in Sections 30 to 43D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The scheme itself draws distinction between the concept ‘income’ on the one hand and ‘profits and gains’ on the other hand.
The Board of Directors consists of persons coming from different fields. There cannot, therefore, be a uniform qualification or/and disqualification for such persons. Indeed, the qualifications and disqualifications are bound to vary from category to category and would depend on the post, experience and the stream from where a person is being nominated as a Director.
Offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves.
The accused were falsely implicated in the matter as they were all nomadic tribes coming from the lower strata of the society and are very poor labourers. The benefit of the lapse in investigation and/or unfair investigation cannot be permitted to go to the persons who are real culprits and in fact who committed the offence.
The entire amount of difference between the Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) and State Advisory Price (SAP) per se cannot be said to be an appropriation of profit. to the extent of the component of profit which will be a part of the final determination of the SAP and/or the final price/additional purchase price fixed under Clause 5A of the Sugarcane Control Order, 1966 would certainly be and/or said to be an appropriation of profit.
In a case of medical negligence where a minor surgery resulted in amputating a woman’s arm, the Court awarded Rs. 10 Lakhs towards compensation, over and above the amount awarded by the Himachal Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
While considering the case of discharge sought immediately after the chargesheet is filed, the Court cannot become an Appellate Court and start appreciating the evidence by finding out inconsistency in the statements of the witnesses.
Life imprisonment is the rule to which the death penalty is the exception. The death sentence must be imposed only when life imprisonment appears to be an altogether inappropriate punishment, having regard to the relevant facts and circumstances of the crime.
Despite the catena of decisions of this Court and even the mandate under Section 100 of the CPC, the High Courts under Section 100 CPC are disturbing the concurrent findings of facts and/or even the findings recorded by the First Appellate Court, either without formulating the substantial question of law or on framing erroneous substantial question of law.
Mere disclosing the names of the appellants cannot be said to be strong and cogent evidence to make them to stand trial for the offence under Section 319 of the Code.
The EAC has not applied its mind at all to the environmental concerns raised in relation to the project nor do its reasons indicate an appraisal of those concerns by evaluating the impact of the project. Hence, the appraisal by the EAC in the present case neither the process of decision making nor the decision itself can pass legal muster.
To be bitten by a mosquito and be imbued with a malarial parasite does involve an element of chance. But the disease which is caused as a result of the insect bite in the natural course of events cannot be regarded as an accident. Particularly, when the disease is caused in an area which is malaria prone.
Noticing that there was no evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the commission of the offence of rape by the appellant on the prosecutrix and the evidence adduced was not sufficient to prove the case of rape against the appellant, Court set the accused free.
The expression “total turnover” and “turnover” which has been used under Section 6B has the same meaning as defined under Section 2(1)(u2) and 2(v) of the Act. Under Section 6B, reference is made on ‘total turnover’ and not the ‘turnover’ as defined under Section 2(v) of the KST Act and taking note of the exemption provided under first proviso clause(iii), exclusion has been made in reference to use of sale or purchase of goods in the course of interstate trade or commerce.
Delhi High Court: A Bench of Rajendra Menon, CJ and V. Kameswar Rao, J., dismissed a petition wherein Mathews J. Nedumpara, Advocate and others sought, inter alia, to disqualify Senior Advocate Fali S. Nariman from appearing in the Supreme Court.
The petitioners made certain prayers including:
“declare that respondent No 1, the living legend, is disqualified from appearing in the Supreme Court where his illustrious son, Hon’ble Mr Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, is a sitting Judge, fo, the Supreme Court means the entire Courts as an institution and the petitions which he (respondent 1) vets captioned as “To The Hon’ble the Chief Justice and his companionJustices of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India come up before his illustrious son, Hon’ble Mr Justice Rohinton F. Nariman.”
The petitioners contended that the Explanation to Rule 6 of the Bar Council of India Rules, 1971 negates the concept of nemo debet esse judex in propria causa (nobody shall be a judge in his own cause).
As for the relevant purpose, Rule 6 bars an advocate from practicing in any way before a Court where any of his relation mentioned therein is a Judge of the Court. However, Explanation thereto makes it clear that the word “Court” does not mean the entire Court but only refers to a particular Court where relative of a lawyer is a Presiding Judge.
According to Mr Nedumpara, a declaration should be given to bring within the ambit of the word “Court” the entire Court where the relative of the advocate is a Judge.
The High Court was of the considered view that the law does not permit it to make such a declaration. It was stated, “If the provisions of Rule 6 and the Explanation contained thereto as appearing in the statutory rules are taken note of, it clearly explains the ambit and import of the word ‘Court’ used therein and if the contention of the petitioner is to be accepted, we would be rewriting the statute in a manner which would run contrary to the legislative intent and this, in our considered view, is not permissible in law”. That being the legal position, the Court saw no reason to make any indulgence into the matter. Resultantly, the writ petition was dismissed. [Mathews J. Nedumpara v. Fali S. Nariman, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7529, dated 6-03-2019]
As reported by media, Justice Brett Kavanaugh was announced as the second Supreme Court of the United States judge by Donald Trump.
Trump had shortlisted down four nominees consisting of Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Thomas Hardiman, and Raymond Kethledge JJ., amongst whom Justice Brett Kavanaugh was Donal Trump’s final nomination.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh is to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on his retirement on July 31st, 2018.
Supreme Court of Bangladesh: The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on 26 June 2018 upheld a High Court order that granted bail to Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in a case filed under the Special Powers Act over the arson attack in Cumilla on February 3, 2015.
A four-member Bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order. The SC also ordered to dispose the maintainability of the petition within seven days. On May 28, the HC granted bail for six months to BNP chief Khaleda Zia in two cases filed in Cumilla. Later, the government filed a petition with the Appellate Division seeking a stay on the bail order.
Eight people were killed and 20 others injured when miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at a bus at Jogmohanpur in Chouddagram of Cumilla district during the BNP-led alliance’s movement on February 3, 2015. Two cases were filed against Khaleda in this connection. On February 8, 2018, Khaleda Zia was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years’ rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Supreme Court: Addressing an issue of public importance relating to difficulties faced by visitors at Shri Jagannath Temple (Puri), the Bench comprising of Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan, JJ., passed an interim order issuing directions for regulation and upkeep of the Temple.
The writ petition was filed by Mrinalini Padhi, a practicing advocate before the Orrisa High Court, highlighting the issues of public importance which need to be addressed and monitored so as to ensure safe custody of the valuables of the Temple; proper hassle-free worship by the devotees; and the clean and hygienic environment in the Temple. The issues put forth, also include the harassment of visitors by sevaks of the Temple. The Hon’ble Supreme Court noticed that the issues raised, involve the enforcement of fundamental right under Article 25 and directive principles under Articles 38, 49, 51A (f) and (g) of the Constitution. The Court further observed pilgrimage centers are of undoubted religious, social, historical and architectural importance, representing cultural heritage of our country. Millions of people visit these centers not only for tourism but for seeking inspiration for righteous values.
Having regard to the nature of the issue, Hon’ble Court directed the District Judge, Puri, to submit a report on factual aspects of the matter including difficulties faced by visitors and deficiency in management. Further, the Administrator was directed to review arrangement of CCTV cameras; and ensure that no direct collection of offerings is made by any sevak. The State of Odisha was directed to constitute a committee to study the management of other important shrines. Hassle free darshan by the visitors and utilization of offerings for righteous objects was considered to be of prime importance by the Hon’ble Court; hence, it was observed that the sevaks need to be compensated by legitimate remuneration as determined by the concerned Authority. Mr. Gopal Subramanium, learned Senior Counsel, was appointed as the Amicus Curiae to assist the Court. The matter is to be listed on 5-7-2018 for further consideration. [Mrinalini Padhi v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 602, decided on 08-06-2018]
After being criticised for refusing to clear Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph’s name for elevation to Supreme Court, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to CJI Dipak Misra, citing reasons for the refusal and asking the collegium to reconsider Justice KM Joseph’s elevation.
The letter states:
“the proposed appointment of Shri Justice KM Joseph as a judge of the Supreme Court at this stage does not appear to be appropriate.”
The letter stated that for the aforementioned reasons, the Government has been constrained to segregate the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium. On the question whether the Government can segregate the recommendations made by the Collegium, the letter clarified:
“such segregation of proposals has been done in many cases earlier, which include appointment of judges to various High Court and also to the Supreme Court in interest of expeditious action on appointments and filling up of vacancies.”
On 19.01.2018, the Supreme Court collegium, comprising of the five senior-most judges, had recommended the names of Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph and Indu Malhotra for elevation to the Supreme Court. While the Centre cleared Indu Malhotra’s name, it rejected the collegium’s recommendation regarding Justice KM Joseph. Indu Malhotra was sworn in as the 7th woman Supreme Court judge on 27.04.2018 by CJI Dipak Misra. She is the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge.
While the appointment of Indu Malhotra was applauded, many Senior members of the Bar urged CJI Dipak Misra to block her appointment till Justice KM Joseph’s name is cleared. Supreme Court, however, refused to give an urgent hearing to a mentioning by a group of Supreme Court Bar Association lawyers, with 100 signatures, seeking a stay on Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra’s appointment as Supreme Court judge in light of Centre’s decision to reject Justice KM Joseph’s elevation. The SCBA resolution states:
“While we stand for nomination of Ms. Indu Malhotra, Senior Advocate and one of our distinguished members, we express our deep anguish for non-inclusion of Justice KM Joseph and selective processing of files contrary to the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium. We strongly condemn the selective approach of the Executive and call upon the Hon’ble Supreme Court to take appropriate steps to restore independence of the judiciary. “
(Click here to read the full text of the letter)
Science begins with counting. To understand a phenomenon, a scientist must first describe it; to describe it objectively, he must first measure it.
– Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies
These words, written by Mukherjee in his seminal biography of cancer, aptly characterise the principal purpose of DAKSH’s Rule of Law Project, which is to understand the justice-delivery system in India using a data-driven approach.
In 2016, DAKSH released a report, titled State of the Indian Judiciary (SoJR), in which we focused on the most visible face of the justice-delivery system in India — the judiciary. In evaluating the work of the judiciary, we considered its primary challenge — pendency in the courts — as a means to understand how delays in the progress of cases affect citizens and the economy. We also presented findings from our pioneering survey on access to justice, which recorded litigants’ perceptions of, and experiences within, the judicial system.
As we pondered on the composition of DAKSH’s second report, we decided to retain the two principal aspects of the SoJR — delays in the judicial system and access to justice — as the fulcrum of this year’s report also, but examine them both more deeply and broadly. While the SoJR explored the systemic issues of administration and accountability in the judiciary, this year’s report is an in-depth scrutiny of the performance of courts, with an emphasis on their workload, case flow, and efficiency. While the SoJR reflected on access to justice, and in particular, its institutional dimensions (mainly relating to the judiciary), this year, we consider ‘justice’ more expansively — in terms of its underlying ideas, its administration and delivery by non-judicial bodies, as well as the various approaches to it in India.
Shruti Vidyasagar and Ramya Sridhar Tirumalai in Introduction to Approaches to Justice in India (2017)
The complete report has been indexed on SCC Online here:
Supreme Court: The bench of Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, JJ asked the Central Government to constitute Special Courts to deal with cases involving MPs and MLAs and speedy disposal of these matters after the Election Commission of India recommended life ban on politicians convicted in criminal cases. The bench asked Centre to apprise it with the details of the criminal cases lodges against politicians from 2014 till date.
The Court asked Centre to place before it details regarding 1,581 cases involving MPs and MLAs, as declared by politicians at the time of filing their nominations during the 2014 general elections and that how many of these 1,581 cases have been disposed of within one year and how many have ended either in conviction or acquittal of the accused.
Supreme Court: With the intent to make the exercise of senior designation more objective, fair and transparent so as to give full effect to consideration of merit and ability, standing at the bar and specialized knowledge or exposure in any field of law, the 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, RF Nariman and Navin Sinha, JJ laid down elaborate guidelines for the system of designation of Senior Advocates in the Supreme Court as well as all the High Courts of India.
The Court said:
“The sole yardstick by which we propose to introduce a set of guidelines to govern the matter is the need for maximum objectivity in the process so as to ensure that it is only and only the most deserving and the very best who would be bestowed the honour and dignity. The credentials of every advocate who seeks to be designated as a Senior Advocate or whom the Full Court suo motu decides to confer the honour must be subject to an utmost strict process of scrutiny leaving no scope for any doubt or dissatisfaction in the matter.”
All matters relating to designation of Senior Advocates in the Supreme Court and all the High Courts of the country shall be dealt with by a Permanent Committee to be known as “Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates” headed by the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India and consisting of two senior-most Judges of the Supreme Court of India (or High Court(s), as the case may be) and the learned Attorney General for India (Advocate General of the State in case of a High Court). The above four Members of the Permanent Committee will nominate another Member of the Bar to be the fifth Member of the Permanent Committee.
The said Committee shall have a permanent Secretariat the composition of which will be decided by the Chief Justice of India or the Chief Justices of the High Courts, as may be, in consultation with the other Members of the Permanent Committee. The Permanent Secretariat will:
The reputation, conduct, integrity of the Advocate(s) concerned including his/her participation in pro-bono work; reported judgments in which the concerned Advocate(s) had appeared; the number of such judgments for the last five years, will be considered for designating an advocate as a Senior Advocate.
All cases that have not been favourably considered by the Full Court may be reviewed/reconsidered after expiry of a period of two years following the manner indicated above as if the proposal is being considered afresh;
In the event a Senior Advocate is guilty of conduct which according to the Full Court disentitles the Senior Advocate concerned to continue to be worthy of the designation the Full Court may review its decision to designate the concerned person and recall the same.
The present order of the Court is an outcome of the petition filed by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, who had also served as Additional Solicitor General for the Union of India. In the petition she contended that the present system of designation of Senior Advocates in the Supreme Court of India was flawed and the system needed to be rectified and acceptable parameters laid down. [Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1223, decided on 12.10.2017]
Supreme Court: Hearing the plea questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act and said
“It is a hard reality and is unfortunate that most of the child marriages happening in the country are done by parents of the girl child. However, to this, there are odd exceptions when a minor boy and girl fall in love and marry on their own.”
Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for NGO Independent Thought, brought to the Court’s notice that by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years, however, exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl. He added that if the object behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough, mentally or physically, for the purpose of consent.
Taking note of the argument, the Court sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do. It also showed concern over the fate of the children born from such marriages if the provision was struck down.
The Centre, on the other hand, had contended that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development and it has been, therefore, decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them.
The next date of hearing on the matter is 05.09.2017.