Bihar Shelter Home Rape: Supreme Court Grants CBI 3 Months To Complete Investigation

The Supreme Court has granted a further period of three months to the CBI to complete its investigation in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.

The vacation bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice MR Shah took note of interim status report filed by the CBI in this case.

The bench also directed the investigating agency to conduct investigation on following aspects of the case (i) the offences alleged under Section 377 IPC.

(ii) the offences under the IT Act regarding video recording of the sexual exploitation of the inmates of the shelter homes,

(iii) the other persons, including the outsiders and officers who were involved and facilitated in the sexual abuse of the inmates who were being abused under intoxication of drugs;

(iv) the illegal trafficking of the girls by this Institute.

CBI has also been directed to submit the final report within a period of three months. In November, last year, the Supreme Court had transferred to the CBI the investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of the residents of 16 children’s homes in the state.

Sabarimala Case: SC Agrees to Hear Review Petitions on Jan 22

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear in open court review petitions challenging its verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala temple. Hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a review of the court’s verdict, the Supreme Court said it will now hear the matter on January 22 in an open court.

The date of hearing will be after the two-month prime pilgrim season for which the temple reopens on November 17. The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra will hear the 49 petitions on January 22.

The Sabarimala temple will reopen for devotees from November 16. Earlier in the day, the apex court had said it will begin hearing writ petitions only after orders on the review pleas. The Sabarimala temple has been in the centre of a controversy ever since the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

Sabarimala temple case: Kerala govt to SC ‘ban on women unconstitutional’

New Delhi: The Kerala government today told the Supreme Court that the custom of barring entry of women between the age group of 10 to 50 years into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala is not permissible under the Constitution.

It said that celibate status of deity cannot be a ground for barring entry of women as it is a Hindu temple and not a temple of a particular denomination.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the ban on entry of females between the age group of 10 to 50 years into the 800-year-old shrine after hearing the matter for eight days.

“We will pass orders. Judgment reserved. Hearing concluded. Advocate on Record of both the sides will collect written submissions and compile it and submit before the court in seven days,” the bench also comprising justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said.
Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for Kerala government, said that the custom of barring women between the age group of 10 to 50 years is not permissible under the Constitution.

“Sabarimala temple cannot claim to be a distinct denomination to claim a custom which bars entry of women of 10-50 year age group to temple. It is not a temple of a particular denomination but a Hindu temple,” he said.

Gupta, referring to the arguments of the petitioners who had challenge the ban on entry of women into the temple, said that they pointed out that Kerala high court had held that it is a denominational temple.

“It is my submissions, that it is not a denominational temple and the religious rights are not protected”, he said.

Citing an example of Lord Jagannath Puri temple, Gupta said that it is also not a temple of particular denomination while on the other hand temple of Ramakrishna Paramhans is of a particular denomination as he is being worshipped by a particular sect.
He said that even Dakshineswar temple in Kolkata, where Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans himself worshipped, is not a temple of any particular denomination.

SC rejects bail plea of juvenile accused in Gurgaon schoolboy killing

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected a bail plea of a juvenile, accused of killing a seven-year-old boy in a private school in Gurgaon.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra rejected the plea which sought default bail on the ground that charge sheet was not filed within 60 days.
The bench said it is a heinous offence under section 302 of IPC and the time limit for filing the charge sheet was 90 days and not 60 days.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on June 6 dismissed the bail plea of the 16-year-old student, accused of killing a seven-year-old boy in a private school in Gurgaon in September last year.
The high court had also rejected the accused’s submission that he deserved the benefit of statutory bail on the ground that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had failed to conclude its probe within the prescribed limit of 60 days.
The accused had challenged in the high court the February 5 order of a Gurgaon sessions court which had rejected his plea saying that the stage was not fit for granting bail.
On May 21, the sessions court had held that the 16-year-old student would be tried as an adult in the murder case.

Upholding the decision of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), the court had said the juvenile board took into consideration all the material placed before it to establish “the physical and mental capacity (of the accused) to commit the crime” and there was no need for any intervention.
The accused had challenged the December 20 order of the JJB, which had held that the teenager would be tried as an adult.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the teenager had murdered the student on September 8 last year in a bid to get exams postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled.The victim’s body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school at the Bhondsi area of Gurgaon.Earlier, the court had barred the media from using the name of the victim, the accused and the school and asked it to use fictitious names instead.While the victim was named “Prince” by the court, the accused was named “Bholu” and the school was referred to as “vidyalaya”.

The probe agency had given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurgaon Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the crime.The CBI had taken up the case from the Gurgaon Police on September 22, following a nationwide uproar over the killing.

Aircel-Maxis case: SC recuses from hearing Swamy’s plea

New Delhi: A Supreme Court judge today recused herself from hearing a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking to implead himself as a party in a case related to probe into alleged disproportionate assets of an ED officer investigating the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

Swamy said the petition filed by Rajneesh Kapur seeking investigation of assets of ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, in which the top court had on June 5 sought assistance of Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, was an attempt to delay the ongoing probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.

A vacation bench of justices S Abdul Nazeer and Indu Malhotra asked Swamy to mention the matter on June 25 before another bench as Justice Malhotra recused herself from hearing in the matter without assigning any reason.
“You mention the matter on next Monday (June 25). The bench will be sitting in different combination at that time,” the bench said.
During a brief hearing, Swamy said that the apex court had earlier this year directed for completion of investigation in the Aircel-Maxis deal case within six months.

Collegium clears Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph as judges of SC

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court, sources said today.

Along with her, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph, who was part of the bench which in 2016 had quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, has also been cleared for elevation to the apex court.

At a meeting held on January 10, the collegium also recommended the name of Justice Sheo Kumar Singh-I, presently an Additional Judge, for appointment as a Permanent Judge of the Allahabad High Court.

Justice Joseph was appointed as Permanent Judge of the Kerala High Court in 2004 and later transferred to Uttarakhand High Court where he assumed charge in 2014 as Chief Justice.

Malhotra, who was designated as a senior advocate in 2007, would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the top court, instead of being elevated from a high court.

She will be the seventh woman judge since independence to make it to the Supreme Court. At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court.

Since Independence, only six women judges have made it to the apex court as judges and the first appointment was of Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989, 39 years after the setting up of the Supreme Court in 1950.

Justice Fathima Beevi was elevated to the apex court after her retirement as judge of the Kerala High Court. After serving the top court till April 29, 1992, she was later appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

The second woman judge in the Supreme Court was Justice Sujata V Manohar who started her career as a judge from the Bombay High Court and rose to become the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. She was elevated to the apex court where she remained from November 8, 1994 till August 27, 1999.

Justice Ruma Pal followed Manohar after a gap of almost five months and became the longest-serving woman judge from January 28, 2000 to June 2, 2006.

After her retirement, it took four years to appoint the next woman judge. Justice Gyan Sudha Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court from Jharkhand High Court where she was the Chief Justice. Her tenure in the apex court was from April 30, 2010 to April 27, 2014.

During her stint, she was joined by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, who served the apex court between September 13, 2011 to October 29, 2014. These two judges also created a history by holding the court together as an all-women bench for a day in 2013.

Justice Banumathi, who at present is the only sitting woman judge, had joined on August 13, 2014 and would retire on July 19, 2020.

In the 67-year history of the Supreme Court, there have been only two occasions when it has had two sitting women judges together, the first being Justices Misra and Desai and later Justices Desai and Banumathi.

The Collegium is headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and has four senior-most judges of the apex court — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.

Source : PTI