Supreme Court asks J-K administration to place before it orders imposing restrictions

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to place before it the administrative orders imposing communication and other restrictions in the state following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana questioned Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the administration, as to why the administrative orders have not been filed yet in the court.

“You had passed some orders. Why you have not filed it?”, the bench, also comprising justices R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai, asked Mehta. “Is it purposefully done?”

Mehta told the bench that they had filed a reply earlier in the matter but now, there is a change in circumstances as far as restrictions are concerned.

“After filing of the affidavit, there is change in circumstance on the ground. Some restrictions have been removed,” he said.

He said he would place before the top court the administrative orders relating to restrictions for the perusal of the bench only.

“We will place them before the Supreme Court. Nobody can sit in appeal of administrative decisions taken in national interest. Only the court can look into it and certainly not the petitioners,” he told the bench.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for petitioner and Executive Editor of Kashmir Times Anuradha Bhasin, told the bench that they have filed a rejoinder and said that the Centre and J&K administration have not yet placed those orders and notifications before the court.

Mehta told the bench that original prayer in Bhasin’s petition was regarding restrictions and media freedom but now they were expanding the scope of their prayer.

Grover said in their petition, they have also made a prayer regarding placing of orders imposing restrictions in the state.

During the arguments, the bench took exception that some of the advocates appearing in the matter have raised their voice and said, “It is not proper for lawyers to shout in the court. It is not proper.”

When an advocate appearing for one of the intervenors said that J&K has not complied with the earlier directions of the court to place the restriction orders before it, the bench told Mehta, “Mr Solicitor General, please keep all those orders ready”.

When a lawyer appearing for one of the petitioners told the court that J&K must justify why they are not sharing the restriction orders with them, the bench said, “He (Mehta) has assured us that he will produce those orders”.

The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on October 25.

When the bench referred to media reports that mobile services have been restored in the valley, the counsel for one of the petitioners said only BSNL postpaid mobiles were operational but the SMS service was stopped by authorities on Tuesday.

The apex court was hearing the petitions which have raised the issue of physical restrictions and communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir following abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

DSLSA and DCW set up legal clinic at commission office

The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) office now has a legal clinic for providing free legal aid to women who approach the women’s panel.

The DCW and Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) inaugurated a DSLSA clinic at the panel’s office in ITO on Wednesday.

The panel said it receives several complaints on a daily basis and a significant percentage of them require free legal aid which they cannot afford otherwise.

“The lawyers of DSLSA deputed to the Commission herein shall ensure that the process of getting free legal aid for women shall be made smoother and more accountable,” the panel said.

Earlier, the complainants faced certain problems with the services due to lack of proper coordination between DCW and DSLSA, the panel said.

The newly appointed DSLSA Member Secretary Kanwaljeet Arora suggested that a DSLSA Legal Clinic be set up in the commission itself to streamline the process and provide free legal aid to women who approach the commission, it added.

Kerala court extends police custody of Jolly Joseph and two others till Oct 18

A Kerala court on Wednesday extended till Friday the police custody of Jolly Joseph and two others in connection with the suspicious deaths of six members of a family here over 14 years from 2002, allegedly after consuming cyanide-laced food.

Jolly, M S Mathew and Prajikumar were produced before the Thamarassery court here this evening by police as their six-day remand ended.

The prosecution sought extension of remand arguing that the accused will have to be taken to Coimbatore for collecting evidence as one of the accused had allegedly purchased cyanide from there.

“The remand has been extended by the court for two more days. Their bail applications have been posted to October 19,” counsel for the accused said.

Probe into the suspicious deaths began after Rojo, the US-based brother of Jolly’s first husband Roy Thomas, filed a complaint seeking a probe into the 6 deaths– including that of his parents, brother and three other family members.

As investigations began, Jolly was arrested early this month along with the two others.

Six separate cases have been registered and investigation is in progress.

Meanwhile, Rojo and sister Renji and Jolly’s two sons appeared before investigating officers for the second day to record their statements.

Crime branch officials also questioned Shaju, Jolly’s present husband and his father Xavier for the third time regarding the death of Sili, Shaju’s first wife.

Sili’s relatives raised a fresh complaint on Wednesday stating that their sister died on the day she went for a wedding and about 320 gm of gold ornaments had gone missing.

Among the dead were Annamma (2002) and Tom Thomas (2008), parents of Roy. They died in 2011.

Three other relatives, including a one-year-old girl child, had also died in a suspicious manner.

Jolly married Roy’s relative Shaju in 2017.

Mahua Moitra’s Defamation Case – Delhi HC Quashes Sessions Court’s Stay Of Proceedings Against Sudhir Chaudhary

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Thursday challenged in the Delhi High Court a sessions court order staying proceedings in a defamation complaint filed by her against Zee News and its editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary, PTI reported. Moitra had filed the defamation case after Chaudhary accused her of plagiarism in her June 25 speech in Parliament.

Moitra, in her plea on Thursday, said that the sessions court should not have intervened in the defamation proceedings when they were at the pre-summoning stage.

Chaudhary’s lawyer opposed Moitra’s plea, alleging that it was not maintainable. He said Chaudhary had moved a plea seeking perjury action against the MP for allegedly concealing relevant facts in her defamation complaint. That is why the sessions court stayed the defamation proceedings, the lawyer argued.

In return, Moitra’s lawyers said that the sessions court should not have stayed proceedings against a “proposed accused”. They said Chaudhary had first filed his plea at the magistrate’s court where the defamation case was being heard. But the magistrate’s court adjourned the hearings and the plea to another date, following which Chaudhary appealed in the sessions court.

The High Court asked Chaudhary’s lawyer to submit his reply to Moitra’s plea by October 14, and said it will deliver the verdict on October 18.

In her Lok Sabha speech on June 25, which went viral on social media, Moitra had listed “seven signs of fascism”. It was a scathing critique of the Narendra Modi government. A few days later, some of her detractors claimed that she had lifted parts of her speech from a Washington Monthly article from January 2017, written by journalist Martin Longman. The piece, titled “The 12 early warning signs of fascism”, was written in the context of American politics and the election of Donald Trump as president. Longman had written that the signs were listed in the US Holocaust Museum, an attribution Moitra also made in her speech.

Banks Cannot Recover From Customers The Amount Lost By Them Through Online Fraud : Kerala HC

Exercising their authority as per SARFAESI Act, banks cannot recover amount lost due to online fraud from customers. Instead they would need to take the matter to the civil court to get their dues back from the persons responsible, the court said.

In accordance with SARFAESI Act, a bank does not need to approach a court or tribunal for enforcing any security interest established in its favour. Previous to this, banks were allowed to assert their rights only via adjudication.

Justice A Muhamed Mustaque after referring to earlier two rulings by the SC and a decision given by the high court that banks are held responsible for unauthorized withdrawals in the judgement said, “Thus, it is clear that the bank cannot claim any amount from the customer when a transaction is shown to be a ‘disputed transaction’ And such a claim can be made from the customer only when the bank can prove unequivocally independent of the civil court that the customer had been responsible for such a transaction.

The HC deliberated on two customer pleas that sought a declaration that customers have zero liability in respect of the fraudulent transactions in their bank account. Senior advocate who represented the two customers said that the customers had bank overdraft facility and found that the money went missing from their bank account.

The fraudulent transaction was given shape by the miscreants as they could get duplicate SIM cards issued of the petitioners. Also the matter was reported to the bank within 3 working days.

And in the judgment, the court clearly pointed out that matter can no longer be included within the ambit of SARFAESI Act if it comprises allegations of fraud. However, if the loss is on account of customer’s negligence, he or she would have to bear the entire loss, the court said. To what extent the customer can be made responsible for such negligence is a matter of probe and adjudication through a civil suit, the court added.

Plea to link property with Aadhaar: HC seeks UIDAI stand

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on a plea seeking linking of movable and immovable property documents of citizens with their Aadhaar number to curb corruption, black money generation and ‘benami’ transactions.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to UIDAI, which issues the 12-digit unique identification number called Aadhaar, and sought its response in the matter before November 20, the next date of hearing.

The court also asked the Centre and the Delhi government to file their response, which they had not despite issuance of notice to them on July 16.

The authority was impleaded in the petition by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay after it moved the court seeking to be heard in the matter.

Upadhyay, also a lawyer, in his plea has said it is the duty of the state to take appropriate steps to curb corruption and seize ‘benami’ properties made by illegal means to give a strong message that the government is determined to fight against corruption and black money generation.

“If the government links property with Aadhaar, it will lead to an increment of 2 per cent in annual growth. It will clean out electoral process, which is dominated by black money and benami transaction and thrives on a cycle of large black investments…use of political strength to amass private wealth, all with disdain of the citizen,” the petition has said.

The plea has claimed that ‘benami’ transaction in high denomination currency is used in illegal activities — terrorism, naxalism, separatism, gambling, money laundering and bribing.

“It also inflates the price of essential commodities as well as major assets like real estate and gold. These problems can be curbed up to great extent by linking movable-immovable properties with the owner’s Aadhaar number,” it has further claimed.

Delhi court extends police custody of Fortis Healthcare’s former promoters Malvinder Singh and his brother.

A Delhi court Tuesday extended by two days the police custody of Fortis Healthcare’s former promoters Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder as also a senior official, arrested or allegedly misappropriating funds of Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL) and causing losses of Rs 2,397 crore to the firm.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat extended custodial interrogation of the accused after the probe agency sought their 2-day custody saying that new material has come up in the case.

Besides the Singh brothers, the court extended the police custody of Sunil Godhwani.

Other officials, Kavi Arora and Anil Saxena, were also sent to 2-day judicial custody.

Malvinder’s lawyer told the court that they are not opposing the plea but ready to assist the probe.

Day-to-day proceedings in Ayodhya case to end at 5 PM on Wednesday: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will conclude today the day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case at Ayodhya, saying “enough is enough”.

A 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that it is hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case for the last 39 days and no more time beyond today will be granted to parties to conclude the hearing in the case.

“This matter is going to be finished today by 5 PM. Enough is enough,” the bench, which also comprises justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said at the start of the proceedings on the 40th day.

The apex court had earlier said the hearing would be concluded on October 17. Now deadline has been advanced by one more day. The CJI is demitting office on November 17.

The bench also rejected a plea of a party seeking to intervene in the ongoing hearing and said no such interventions will be allowed now at this stage of proceedings.

Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for a Hindu party, has commenced his submission in response to a lawsuit filed by Sunni Waqf board in 1961 seeking title claim over the 2.77 acre disputed land at Ayodhya.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

HC directs AAP govt to ensure fire safety in Delhi schools

 The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the AAP government to ensure implementation of the Education Department’s circular regarding installation of fire safety systems in all schools in the national capital and to take action against violators.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the Education Department of the Delhi government to take requisite action against the schools which were not adhering to its circular of March 2011 after giving them a proper hearing.

With the direction the court disposed of two PILs moved by Delhi resident Parminder Singh who had claimed that according to information received under RTI, some private schools of the city lacked fire safety systems and clearances.

The bench also disposed of another plea moved by him that claimed some banquet halls in the city were not adhering to the Delhi Fire Service Act and rules. It directed the city government to take action against all such establishments which were not adhering to the law.

The court made it clear that before taking any action against the halls, a proper hearing has to be given the owners.

Koregaon Bhima case: SC extends protection from arrest to Gautam Navlakha by 4 weeks

 The Supreme Court Tuesday extended by four weeks the interim protection from arrest granted to civil rights activist Gautma Navlakha in the Koregaon Bhima violence case.

However, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta asked Navlakha to approach the concerned court to seek pre-arrest bail in the case.

When the counsel, appearing for Maharashtra government, objected to the grant of further interim protection to Navlakha, the bench questioned the state as to why they had not interrogated him for over a year.