Police chief can appoint officer to probe outside jurisdiction

The Kerala CourtThe Supreme Court has held that a DGP has the power to appoint a superior police officer to investigate a criminal case registered outside his territorial jurisdiction.

A bench comprising justices Ranjana Gogoi and Prafulla C Pant set aside a Kerala High Court order which held that state police chief cannot appoint any officer beyond the territorial jurisdiction to probe a criminal case on account constraints in section 36 (powers of superior officers of police) of CrPC.

“We do not see how Section 36 in CrPC in any way, can debar the exercise of powers by the state police chief to appoint any superior officer who, in his opinion, would be competent and fit to investigate a particular case keeping in view the circumstances thereof.

“Section 36 of CrPC does not fetter the jurisdiction of the state police chief to pass such an order based on his satisfaction,” the bench said.

It said the said power will be subject to the condition that such superior officer would be competent to exercise powers within the territorial/local limits of his jurisdiction.

The bench, however, clarified the power of the state police chief will be amenable to the judicial process on grounds of mala fide or as being without justification and reasonable cause.

The court’s order came while deciding the appeals moved by Kerala and complainant P B Sourabhan against high court order.

Two criminal cases arising out of matrimonial disputes were lodged in Kerala and in one of the case the Sourabhan was a complainant while in other he was accused.

Sourabhan made a representation to the state police chief requesting appointment of a superior officer for probing both the case and a senior police officer was appointed to probe the cases which was later challenged.

Selection of successful DJS candidates would remain intact: SC

delhi high courtThe Supreme Court today said the selection of 15 successful candidates of the Delhi Judicial Services examinations held last year would remain and sought response of the Delhi High Court registry on its view that the answer sheets of other examinees be examined again.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the Delhi High Court registry, to seek instruction on the view as to whether the answer sheets of unsuccessful candidates can be checked again or not.

The bench had suggested that a former apex court judge can be asked to look into the entire issue.

It had said that the successful candidates would not be touched and the limited aspect for the court-appointed panel would to see as to whether more eligible candidates can be selected.

The bench had earlier sought response from successful candidates on the PIL filed by the Centre For Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) alleging arbitrary evaluation of answer sheets in the judicial services examinations held in 2014.

The bench had said that it would like to hear the 15 candidates, who were selected for the interview, before appointing a former apex court judge re-evaluate all answer sheets.

On November 2, the bench had suggested to have a former apex court judge for rational re-evaluation of all the answer sheets of the Delhi judicial services examinations held in 2014.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for CPIL, had said that 659 students out of 9033, who were declared successful in preliminary examination, took the main examination held on October 10 and 11 last year.
The CPIL also said, “The result of this Main Examination

was declared on May 1 2015, almost 8 months after the exam was held. Surprisingly, only 15 students (13 from General Category and 2 from reserved category) have been selected for the interview for total 80 vacancies. That means a total of 98 per cent of the students were failed and only 2 per cent managed to pass.”

Bhushan had said that only 15 students have been called for the interview against 80 vacancies becomes “remarkable” as there are at least 68 candidates, who were not selected for the interview round, are “those who have already cleared judicial examinations of other States and most of them are sitting judges in their respective states”.

CPIL had sought a direction to “quash the result of the Main Exam of the Delhi Judicial Service, 2014 declared on May one.

Inter-caste marriage : SC orders to protect newly-wed

Inter-caste marriage : SC orders to protect newly-wed
Inter-caste marriage : SC orders to protect newly-wed

The Supreme Court today asked the Haryana police to provide security to a newly-wed couple against whom a ‘khap panchayat’ in Faridabad has issued diktat for having an inter-caste marriage.

A vacation bench of justices Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy also asked Haryana Police and its Delhi counterpart to file response within four weeks to the petition filed by the couple.

Ashish, working in the nephrology department of AIIMS and his wife Bharti, who claims to be a major, had moved the apex court seeking protection from their kin, apprehending threat to their lives for having an inter-caste marriage.

The petition, filed through lawyer Sugriv Dubey, said that the girl was an adult and had solemnised marriage with Ashish, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, in an Arya Samaj temple as per Hindu rites against the wishes of her family.

The girl, hailing from Haryana, was residing “happily with her husband in Faridabad”, the plea said and claimed that her parents, on the directions of a ‘khap panchayat’, were trying kill her and her husband.

Khap panchayats, prevalent in northern India, are village councils generally dominated by members of a single clan or caste.

The couple has claimed they had approached the police in Faridabad seeking protection, but did not get any support.

“The petitioner had intimated the SHO, Faridabad that they will be murdered as a khap of Haryana has decided to get them eliminated, but the police have not taken any step,” the plea alleged.

SC declines to hear plea on communal clash

supremeSC declines to hear plea on communal clash
SC declines to hear plea on communal clash

The Supreme Court Thursday declined to entertain a plea seeking a CBI or SITprobe into the recent alleged attacks on members of a minority community at a village in Faridabad district of Haryana, asking the pleader to approach the high court.

A vacation bench of justices Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy asked Shakir Ali, one of the victims of the violence, to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court with his plea.

“Have you approached the High Court? Who prevented you from going there? First go to the High Court,” the bench said when Mushtaq Ahmed, Ali’s counsel, mentioned the matter seeking urgent hearing.

Ali, in his plea, has sought award of compensation for those who suffered injuries in the incident and whose houses were attacked.

Besides seeking permission to construct a mosque, Ali has also sought security for members of the minority community.

It was alleged that some members of the majority community had attacked around 20 houses belonging to the members of the minority community on May 25.

The alleged communal clash had begun when some members of the minority community started construction of a mosque allegedly on a disputed piece of land at Atali village in Faridabad district.

The petition, however, claimed that the construction site was no longer disputed.

SC seeks Centre’s response on a PIL challenging penal laws on defamation

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to respond to a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging constitutional validity of two penal provisions relating to the offence of defamation.

A bench of supreme courtalso asked senior advocates K Parasaran and T R Andhyarujina to assist it as amicus curiae in the case.

SC seeks Centre’s response on a PIL challenging penal laws on defamation

DD can share feed of WC matches with pvt cable: SC

In good news for lakhs of cricket lovers dependent on cable TV, the Supreme Court today gave a go-ahead to public broadcaster Doordarshan to continue sharing live feed of World Cup cricket matches with private cable operators.

The apex court continued its stay on the Delhi High Court verdict that had allowed the plea of Star India Ltd, which holds the exclusive telecast rights of the Cricket World Cup, and had asked Prasar Bharati not to share the live feed of the matches with private cable operators.

The top court said the High Court order will remain suspended until further orders and posted the matter for final hearing in the month of July, much after the World Cup comes to an end.

“We are of the view that the interim order passed earlier to the effect that the impugned order dated February 4, 2015 of the High Court shall remain suspended should continue until further orders. We order accordingly,” a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C Pant said.

The court, in its interim order, fixed the appeal of Prasar Bharti against the High Court order for final hearing in the month of July.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre and Prasar Bharati, had told the court that it was mandatory for a private channel under the Sports Act and the Cable TV Network Act to share the feeds of matches of “national importance” with Prasar Bharati for providing it on DD’s free-to-air terrestrial channels.

Prasar Bharati had moved the Supreme Court challenging the February 4 Delhi High Court judgement which was passed on the plea of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ESPN and Star. They had contended that cable operators were getting live feed free through DD channels, resulting in loss of revenue for them.

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage ‘debatable’ ground for divorce: SC

: With the government set to reintroduce the marriage laws amendment bill in the Lok Sabha to amend thehindu marriageto make irretrievable breakdown of marriage a ground for divorce, the Supreme Court has urged a rethink if it was an expedient ground for untying the matrimonial knot.

“It is highly debatable whether, in the Indian situation, where there is rampant oppression of women, such a ground would at all be expedient,” said the bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Prafulla C. Pant in a recent judgment.

The court hoped that this will be considered by the Lok Sabha.

The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013 that was passed by the Rajya Sabha lapsed before it could be considered by the Lok Sabha, as the lower house was dissolved upon completion of its term and general elections were held.

The court said this while restricting its examination of a divorce plea by K Srinivas on the ground of alleged cruelty by his wife K Sunita under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Srinivas also raised the issue of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as a ground for dissolution of the marriage.

Sunita had filed a criminal complaint against Srinivas and seven members of his family on charges of cruelty, attempt to murder, and other provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. This resulted in their arrest.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Sen said: “… if this ground (cruelty) is successfully substantiated by the petitioner (Srinivas), we need not delve any further i.e. whether a marriage can be dissolved by the trial court or the high court on the premise that the marriage has irretrievably broken down…”

Restricting the examination of the divorce plea to cruelty only, the court said irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce “has not found statutory acceptance till date”.

“Under Article 142 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has plenary powers to pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any case or order pending before it. This power has not been bestowed by our Constitution on any other Court.

“It is for these reasons that we have confined arguments only to the aspect of whether the filing of a false criminal complaint sufficiently proves matrimonial cruelty as would entitle the injured party to claim dissolution of marriage,” the court said.

It said the Law Commission in its reports in 1978 and 2009 recommended the introduction of irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for its dissolution, and the amendment bill has received the assent of the Rajya Sabha.

In an apparent caution, the court said it was “highly debatable whether, in the Indian situation, where there is rampant oppression of women, such a ground would at all be expedient”.

However, in the instant case, the court granted divorce to Srinivas saying the complaint filed by Sunita was thrown out by the Hyderabad Mahila Court June 30, 2000 and the said order has attained finality.

Even before the complaint was declined by the Mahila Court, the Hyderabad Family Court had Dec 30, 1999 granted Srinivas divorce on the grounds of cruelty.

The court also said filing of a false complaint by either spouse amounted to matrimonial cruelty, and it would entitle the other spouse to claim divorce.