Haji Ali Dargah to grant access to women: SC told

hazi-aliWomen will be granted access to the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali shrine in Mumbai on par with men, the Dargah Trust told the Supreme Court today and sought four weeks to make the requisite infrastructural changes.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao granted time to the trust and disposed off its appeal against the Bombay High Court order asking it to give equal access to women also.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the trust, said an additional affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Dargah trust saying it is willing to allow women inside the shrine.

The apex court, on October 17, had extended the stay granted by Bombay High Court to facilitate an appeal against its decision to lift the ban on entry of women near the sanctum sanctorum of the Dargah in Mumbai.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had expressed hope that the Trust, which had challenged the high court judgement, “will take a stand which is progressive”.

Subramanium, had also assured the bench that he was on a “progressive mission” and said all holy books and scriptures promoted equality and nothing which is regressive in character should be suggested.

The bench had also remarked that “if you are not allowing both men and women to go beyond a point, there is no problem.

But if you are allowing some to go beyond a point while others are not, it is a problem.”

The counsel, appearing for a women’s group which has challenged the practice of the Trust not to allow women near the sanctum sanctorum, had submitted that the position was different before 2011 than what it is today.

SC dismisses plea questioning custody of Mysuru Golden Throne

Mysore Palace - Golden Throne (postcard)The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea which questioned the custody of the golden throne and the golden howdah that is housed in the Mysuru Palace and are used during Dusshera by the royal family.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur asked the petitioner P V Nanjaraja Urs to approach the Karnataka High Court where the Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act, 1998, is under challenge.

The bench also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the petitioner to withdraw the petition and granted liberty to him to approach the High Court.

The court ordered the plea to be dismissed as withdrawn.

The petition filed through advocate Vishnu Shanker Jain had questioned the honorarium or the royalty paid to Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of then prince of Mysore late Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, by the state government every year during Dusshera.

The government pays royalty requesting the royal family to give the throne and the howdah for Dusshera celebrations.

Urs in his petition contended that the Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act 1998 was in force and the government has taken possession and custody of the Mysuru Palace in 1978, but was still paying royalty.

The Department of Kannada and Culture has paid the scion of Mysuru royal family Rs 20 lakh in 2012, Rs 25 lakh in 2013 and Rs 30 lakh each in 2014 and 2015.The bench dismissed the petition.

“The State Government/respondents are giving royalty every year during ‘Dasara’ festival to the 6th respondent for Golden Throne (Rathnasimhasana) and Golden Howda (Ambari) is very much illegal, arbitrary, unjustified, against to the principles of natural justice and against the 26th amendment to the Constitution,” it said.

The plea had said that the payment of royalty is illegal as the privy purse and the special status which was granted to the royal families has been withdrawn by the Union of India vide 26th Amendment Act, 1971.

HC grants protection to student against college order

The Bombay High Court has granted protection to an engineering student whose admission on reserved seat was cancelled by his college pending submission of caste validity certificate.

“Since the petitioner has moved the Scrutiny Committee way back in August 2010, we do not find it appropriate that his admission should be cancelled at this stage,” a division bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice A A Sayed said in their recent ruling.

The judges further directed the Divisional Caste Scrutiny Committee at Nashik to dispose of Prasad Pawar’s application for caste verification within three months.

The bench also allowed the petitioner to continue his studies for Bachelor of Engineering (BE) course subject to a clear understanding that if his caste claim is invalidated, no equity shall be created in his favour and his admission would stand forfeited.

Pawar, who claimed to be a member of Rajput Bhamta community, had been admitted to first year BE degree course on a reserved seat. He had applied for verification of his caste certificate before the Divisional Caste Scrutiny Committee at Nashik in August 2010.

Although his application was pending, Pawar’s admission was cancelled by the college through a letter dated February 9, 2012. To support his claim, Pawar argued that his three sisters had already been granted a caste validity certificate by the Caste Scrutiny Committee.

The petitioner submitted that he was called upon by the Scrutiny Committee to produce documents on June 22, 2011 to which he submitted a reply on November 17, 2011. Yet, a caste validity certificate had not been issued to him by the Caste Scrutiny Committee.

Court urges SEBI, MCX-SX to amicably resolve issues

The Bombay High Court Friday directed the markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to resolve pending issues with MCX-SX promoters in a business-like manner and give thm a fresh chance.


Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also urged the SEBI to consider withdrawing its show-cause notice, based on which it passed its order to MCX-SX last year rejecting its application to start an equities trading platform, since most of the issues in the order have been resolved, an official said, requesting anonymity.


The two parties – SEBI and MCX-SX – have also been directed to return to the high court Sep 30 with a workable solution through assurances and undertakings.


The high court noted that for some small reasons, institutions should not be closed down as markets need competition.


After it secured recognition in 2009, MCX-SX was granted a one-year licence with a condition to comply with the Securities Contract (Regulation) – Manner of Increasing & Maintaining Public Shareholding in Recognised Stock Exchanges – within one year.


The other condition was it could only offer trading in currency future and would not be eligible for introducing any new class of contracts in securities till it fully complied with SEBI’s regulations.


Last year, the MCX-SX challenged the SEBI order rejecting its application to start the equities platform, on grounds that the former (MCX-SX) had not complied with its regulations.