India becoming hub of international arbitration: CJI

India becoming hub of international arbitration: CJI
India becoming hub of international arbitration: CJI

Chief Justice of India J S Khehar today said India is becoming a hub of international arbitration and the government’s initiative to work towards zero interference in the process will promote confidence among foreign traders.

Justice Khehar said that potential for international arbitration is increasing due to foreign investment.

Speaking at a two-day seminar ‘Engaging Asia Arbitration Summit’, the CJI said government’s ‘Make in India’ scheme will make the country a favoured market among the emerging ones.

“At the highest level of planning in Indian government, efforts are on that neither the government nor its agencies will have interference in international arbitration process.

The zero interference by the government will give room for foreign traders in India that the process here is neutral…

“In my view, it will promote further confidence of traders in arbitration in the country,” he said.

Justice Khehar noted that India has a talent pool of lawyers and arbitrators and the future of international commercial arbitration in Asia must commence from India.

( Source – PTI )

Can’t pass an order on reclaiming Kohinoor: SC

Can't pass an order on reclaiming Kohinoor: SC
Can’t pass an order on reclaiming Kohinoor: SC

The Supreme Court today said it could not pass an order for reclaiming the Kohinoor from the United Kingdom or to stop it from being auctioned.

Disposing of a plea seeking directions to bring the treasured diamond back to India, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said it could not ask a foreign government not to auction a property.

The court made it clear it could not pass an order with regard to a property which was in another country.

“We are quite surprised that such petitions are filed for properties which are in the USA and the UK. What kind of a writ petition is this,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said.

The apex court referred to an affidavit filed by the Centre and said, “The government of India continues to explore ways and means with the UK government on the issue.”

The petitions, filed by an NGO, the All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front, and Heritage Bengal, a registered organisation, were tagged together by the court last year.

( Source – PTI )

Policeman declines SC’s offer for reinstatement if he shaves

Policeman declines SC's offer for reinstatement if he shaves
Policeman declines SC’s offer for reinstatement if he shaves

A policeman from Maharashtra, who was suspended for not adhering to no-beard policy of the state reserve force, has not agreed to the offer of the Supreme Court that it would revoke his suspension if he shaves.

Zahiroddin Shamsoddin Bedade had approached the top court in 2013 after the Bombay High Court did not find fault with the suspension order.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, while refusing an urgent hearing in the matter, said it felt sorry for him and will allow him to join back if he agrees to keep the beard only during religious periods.

“It’s your choice,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said but the counsel for Bedade refused the offer saying there was no concept of temporary beard in Islam.

Bedade, who was appointed as a constable in the State Reserve Police Force, had applied for and was granted permission to grow his beard in 2012.

However, his permission was revoked in keeping with the new amendments made to the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force’s policy.

The high court had said that he could keep the beard only during religious period and the force was a secular agency and discipline required him to stick to secular rules.

Challenging the high court’s order, he approached the apex court.

On December 15 last year, the apex court had also dealt with a similar petition filed by IAF official Mohammad Zubair in which it ruled that unless keeping a beard was an integral part of one’s religion such as in the Sikh community no personnel could be allowed to grow a beard.

( Source – PTI )

CJI criticises electoral politics, unfulfilled poll promises

Chief Justice of India J S Khehar today criticised the electoral politics in the country, saying poll promises are “routinely unfulfilled”, caste issues projected differently to get a majority and party manifestos do not have any linkage to socio-economic justice.

The CJI said that electoral politics in India centres around “mobilisation and politicisation” of the social groups which were poor or disadvantaged and have long remained politically dominant.

Justice Khehar, who was speaking at a seminar on ‘Electoral Issues and Economic Reforms’, said, “Caste issues are projected in different ways to ensure a majority in each constituency.”

He said that ever since these marginalised sections have begun turning up in larger numbers to vote, it has led to an unprecedented volatility in the electoral outcome.

This has forced political parties to seek new forms of political alignment, social engineering and support, he said.

Despite these changes in the electoral process, the non- fulfillment of poll promises never becomes an electoral issue, the CJI observed.

“No consequence occurs whether promises are fulfilled or not. Every political party brazenly finds an excuse of not reaching consensus amongst alike partners.

“Even our legal system provides for no consequences to be suffered by political parties if promises made in the manifesto are not fulfilled,” he said.

“Uninformed citizenry, with a short term memory forgets and the election manifesto becomes a mere piece of paper. For this political parties have to be made accountable,” the CJI said at a seminar here.

Justice Dipak Misra, the next senior-most judge of the apex court, who spoke before the CJI, also stressed on the need for electoral and economic reforms by categorically stating that “purchasing power has no room in an election” and “a candidate must bear in mind that contesting elections is not an investment”.

“It is because in an elevated constitutional democracy, purity of election and credibility of the process of election have their signification,” he said.

He further said that elections have to be “bereft of criminalisation” and “must be perceived as an activity involving norms of fiscal morality”.

He said that the apex court had in 1996 said the best available men should be chosen as people’s representatives.

“This can be best achieved through men of high moral and ethical values who win elections on a positive vote obtained on their own merit and not by negative vote process of elimination from comparative demerits of the candidates,” Justice Misra said.

He also said that candidates and the voters are to remember the old saying that ‘out of debt out of danger’.

Justice Khehar said pursuant to Supreme Court’s directions to the Election Commission of India to formulate guidelines with regard to manifestos and freebies, the poll panel has introduced these in the model code of conduct and has been taking action against parties for its violation.

Speaking on the topic of economic reforms, the CJI said economic reforms are “confined only to economic growth and not linked to social and political justice”.

“Unconstitutional economics for economic growth produces serious socio-economic ills. Economic reforms take centre stage while democracy in terms of the priorities in the directive principles is overlooked, whereas the Constitution requires just the opposite.

“Consequently, electoral politics does not tell the citizens as to what kind of reforms they are entitled to under the Constitution,” he said.

The CJI said the real problem of economic reforms arises in their implementation.

“This problem arises because the Constitution treats the distribution and use of national wealth generated by the economic system as an integral part of generation of such wealth.

“Interestingly, political parties and their manifestos compartmentalise the generation of wealth separately from its end use,” it said.

Without mentioning the names of the political parties, the CJI referred to the slogans– ‘Your Voice Our Pledge’ and ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’– adopted by Congress and the BJP respectively, in the 2014 General Assembly polls, and said, their manifestos showed “no linkage between economic reforms and the Constitutional goal of socio-economic justice”.

The CJI, however, said the land reforms and the Industrial Disputes Act put in place by the government after Independence has resulted in people from the enormous below poverty line being brought into the equally enormous middle class.

“This is the economic reform that deals with and caters to the Directive Principles” and “it is this economic reform which has made all the difference between India and Pakistan”, where, the CJI said, individual families own hundreds of villages with the peasants living in mud huts and carrying out farming for the land owners.

Source : PTI

Use of pellet guns: Centre asked to consider other means

Use of pellet guns: Centre asked to consider other means
Use of pellet guns: Centre asked to consider other means

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider effective means other than use of pellet guns to quell stone pelting mobs in Jammu and Kashmir as it concerns life and death.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also expressed concern over injuries suffered by minors involved in protests in the Kashmir Valley and asked the government what action has been taken by it against their parents.

The apex court asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to file a detailed reply on what alternate effective steps could be taken to deal with such situation of agitating mobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

The bench posted the hearing for April 10.

On December 14 last year, the apex court had said pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in Jammu and Kashmir and be resorted to only after “proper application of mind” by the authorities.

A bench headed by the then Chief Justice T S Thakur had issued notices to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government while seeking their replies on a plea alleging “excessive” use of pellet guns in the state.

The apex court had also sought assistance of Attorney General on the issue and asked him to submit copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee constituted for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the High Court order seeking stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to its use.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had on September 22 rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum dated July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns.

Taking note of the statement, the High Court had disposed of the petition, saying that no further direction was required since the matter was being looked at by the Centre.

The High Court Bar Association challenged the order, contending that High Court should not have disposed the petition and instead waited or called for the report of the expert committee.

The High Court had also declined to accept the plea to prosecute the officers who ordered use of pellet guns and those who actually fired them.

It had also directed the authorities concerned to ensure that all the injured are extended adequate medical treatment by specialists for whatever injury they sustain.

( Source – PTI )

Constitution bench to decide petitions on triple talaq: SC

Constitution bench to decide petitions on triple talaq: SC
Constitution bench to decide petitions on triple talaq: SC

A five-judge constitution bench would be set up by the Supreme Court to hear and decide on a batch of petitions relating to the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar took on record three sets of issues framed by parties with regard to the cases and said the questions for consideration of the constitution bench would be decided on March 30.

The bench, also comprising Justices N V Ramana and D V Chandrachud, said “the issues are very important. These issues cannot be scuttled”.

Referring to the legal issues framed by the Centre, it said all of them relate to the constitutional issues and needed to be dealt by a larger bench.

The bench asked the parties concerned to file their respective written submissions, running not beyond 15 pages, by the next date of hearing, besides the common paper book of case laws to be relied upon by them during the hearing to avoid duplicity.

When a woman lawyer referred to the fate of the apex court judgement in the famous Shah Bano case, the bench said “there are always two sides in a case. We have been deciding cases for last 40 years. We have to go by the law and we would not go beyond the law.”

The bench also made it clear that it is willing to sit on Saturdays and Sundays to decide on the issue as it was very important.

( Source – PTI )

Enemy property must go to the State: SC

Enemy property must go to the State: SC
Enemy property must go to the State: SC

Enemy property must go to the State if at all it is an enemy property, the Supreme Court today said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana said that it is a sensitive matter and it is for Parliament to debate on it and not the court.

“Enemy property must go to the State provided that it is that of enemy,” the bench said after senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Congress member in Rajya Sabha Husain Dalwai, said that it is a serious issue and needs to be debated.

While disposing of a petition filed by Dalwai who questioned the promulgation of Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Fifth Ordinance, 2016, the bench said that the petitioner should raise the issue in Parliament.

Grover said that if a person migrated to Pakistan or Bangladesh, then his or her legal heirs and successors would face problems due to the ordinance.

“If the issue is so serious and sensitive and the nation’s security is at risk, then you should debate in Parliament. You are a Member of Parliament, you should debate there. We are agreeing with you that this needs to be debated but it is for Parliament to debate on the subject,” it said.

Grover said that the ordinance cannot be promulgated time and again and it has now been promulgated for the fifth time.

“This promulgation of the ordinance can’t go on. There is the apex court’s judgement on this,” he told the bench.

The court, however, asked Grover if he wished to withdraw the petition, which he did.

On December 23, 2016, the ordinance was repromulgated for the fifth time after the government failed to pass the bill in Rajya Sabha during the Winter Session due to repeated adjournments over the demonetisation issue.

The ordinance amends a nearly 50-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after wars.

The ordinance was for the first time promulgated on January 7 this year. It was passed by Lok Sabha on March 9 but was subsequently referred to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.

“Enemy property” refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.

An ordinance is promulgated again when Parliament is not in session and a bill to replace it is not passed.

( Source – PTI )

Train young lawyers to understand profession,ethics

Train young lawyers to understand profession,ethics
Train young lawyers to understand profession,ethics

Chief Justice of India J S Khehar today urged the Bar Council of India to train young lawyers to make them understand the profession and its work ethics.

He also asked the apex lawyers’ body, BCI, to improve the quality of legal institutions by training and helping litigants and make the lawyers competent enough to discharge their obligations towards the society.

“Have the institutions right. Lawyers serve the society.

Lawyers should be the best. The institution should be competent to discharge the obligation.

“Arrange training for people who join the Bar. People who are scared. People who do not know their profession. Help them. You need to help a lawyer one time, he will then fight every case by himself as he will understand how to search for the law. Also teach them ethics. Have good institutions,” he said.

Justice Khehar was addressing the Bar Council members during a function organised to felicitate him on his elevation as the CJI.

While welcoming the CJI and other dignitaries, BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra extended his support to the Chief Justice-headed collegium, while expressing concern over delay in appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

“The BCI is seriously concerned about the delay tactics and objectionable conditions proposed by the government in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP)–a document to guide appointment of Supreme Court and high court judges.

“BCI demands that all the vacancies in High Courts and the Supreme Court should be filled up at the earliest. We cannot accept any condition in the MoP which our collegium and the Chief Justice of India do not think proper. The Bar stands with the judiciary whole-heartedly and will take necessary steps for strengthening it,” Mishra said.

( Source – PTI )

Babri Masjid: SC irked at delay in challenging Allahabad HC order

The Centre as well as the CBI has been lambasted by the Supreme court for deliberate delay in challenging the order of Allahabad High Court dropping charges of criminal conspiracy against Sangh Parivar leaders including L K Advani in Babri Masjid demolition case. 

The Allahabad High Court had quashed the charges of criminal conspiracy against senior BJP leaders namely Mr L K Advani,Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, BJP MP from Faizabad Vinay Katiyar, newly appointed BJP Vice-President Uma Bharti, VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Vishnu Hari Dalmia and others. 

CBI filed the appeal after a delay of about two years.

A bench comprising Justices H L Dattu and J S Khehar was not satisfied with the response of CBI on the issue of delay.

Babri Masjid was demolished by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992, at Ayodhya in district Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Supreme Court: death penalty for kidnapping, killing child

 

A man hailing from Tamil Nadu, who kidnapped and strangulated a seven-year old boy to death in 2009 when Rs five lakh ransom was not paid for his release, lost out today in the Supreme Court which upheld the death sentence slapped on him by lower courts.

Refusing to show mercy, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and J S Khehar said that killing of the boy, who was acquainted with the convict Sundararajan, shows extreme mental perversion not worthy of human condonation.

“Kidnapping of a child was committed with the motive of carrying home a ransom. On account of the non-payment of ransom, a minor childs murder was committed. This fact demonstrates that the accused had no value for human life. The instant circumstance demonstrates extreme mental perversion not worthy of human condonation,” the bench said.

In this case, the convict had kidnapped class II student Suresh from his school at Karkudal village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu and asked for Rs five lakh ransom from family members of the boy.

Later on the convict strangulated the boy to death when the ransom was not paid for his release and the dead body of the child was then tied in a gunny bag and thrown into a water tank.

Sundararajan was then apprehended by the police and put on trial for the offence of murder and kidnapping. The trial court convicted him and sentenced him to death which was upheld by the Madras High Court. Sundararajan then approached the apex court challenging his conviction and death sentence.

The apex court after hearing his contention came to the conclusion that he failed to bring out even “a single mitigating circumstance” to interfere in the death sentence.

“The accused caused the murder of child of 7 years. The facts and circumstances of the case do not depict any previous enmity between the parties. There is no grave and sudden provocation, which had compelled the accused to take the life of an innocent child. The murder of a child, in such circumstances makes this a case of extreme culpability,” the bench said.

“The manner in which the child was murdered, and the approach and method adopted by the accused, disclose the traits of outrageous criminality in the behaviour of the accused….All this was done, in a well thought out and planned manner. This approach of the accused reveals a brutal mindset of the highest order,” it told.

 

PTI