Supreme Court Curious About Fate Of Persons Whose Name Appears In Electoral Roll But Not In Final NRC .

“The question that looms large and what the Court would like to be informed about is the precise relationship between the final N.R.C. which is due to be published on 31.7.2019 and the electoral rolls.” What would be fate of the persons whose names appear in the electoral roll but are not included in the final NRC?, a curious Supreme Court bench asked the Election Commission of India on Tuesday. The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that this question has ‘great significance for the future’. “Notwithstanding the contours of the present writ petition, the question that looms large and what the Court would like to be informed about is the precise relationship between the final N.R.C. which is due to be published on 31.7.2019 and the electoral rolls”, the bench said directing the ECI to file an affidavit within two weeks.

The bench was considering a writ petition filed by Gopal Seth raising allegation of deletion of the names of the petitioners from the voters’ list on the basis of their names not appearing in the draft N.R.C. As there was no representation of ECI during the last posting, the bench had directed personal appearance of its Secretary.

Mallay Mallick, ECI Secretary appeared before the bench on Tuesday and had an interaction with the bench. Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared for ECI, denied the allegations made in the writ petition and submitted that, at no point of time, the names of the petitioners have been deleted from the electoral roll. In this regard, the bench has asked ECI to file an affidavit within seven days. Posting the matter on 28th March, the bench further directed ECI: “We further direct the Election Commission of India to inform the Court the details with regard to the revision of electoral rolls under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 in the State of Assam with reference to 1.1.2017, 1.1.2018 and 1.1.2019 indicating the precise number of names included and deleted from the electoral roll in the aforesaid exercises of revision of electoral rolls.”

 

NIA seeks stricter charges against Delhi blast accused

The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to Wasim Akram Malik, an accused in the 2011 blast near the court’s gate, on a plea that the trial court charge him with conspiracy to wage war against the government.

Justice Sanjeev Khanna and Justice S.P. Garg sought a response by Oct 16 from Malik on the National Investigation Agency’s plea challenging the trial court’s Sep 4 order refusing to frame charges against him under penal provisions for waging war against the government.

Fifteen people were killed and 79 injured in the Sep 7, 2011 blast outside Gate No.5 of the high court complex.

NIA Special Judge H.S. Sharma had found sufficient evidence against Malik under penal provisions dealing with criminal conspiracy, murder and attempt to murder and various terror charges but not waging war against the government.

The NIA in its plea in high court said: “Direct the special court to frame charges under sections 121 (waging war against the government of India), 121-A (conspiracy to commit waging war against the government), 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the government), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of Indian Penal Code and under sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.”

The trial court had dropped against Malik the charges dealing with waging war against the government and conspiracy and collecting arms to wage a war against the country.

The investigating agency said that the terrorist attack was prompted by an intention to strike at the sovereign authority of government.

“The evidence on record shows that the intention of the conspirators including the present respondent (Malik) was to organise terrorist attack on institutions which are symbols of the sovereignty and authority of the government of India,” the NIA said.

The agency added that the special court erroneously did not appreciate the fact that in the present case an institution like the Delhi High Court was a target.

“As a logical corollary, the collection of explosives for the aforesaid purpose and clandestinely fabricating and causing explosive of improvised explosive device would amount to the commission of offences under sections 122 and 123 of the IPC,” the plea said.

Meanwhile, the trial court which was supposed to pass Tuesday the order on the framing of charges against Malik, who is in judicial custody, fixed Sep 21 to pass the order.

Malik is the first accused against whom the charges would be framed. The NIA in March filed a charge sheet against six accused, including a minor.

Court notice to government on CBI exemption from RTI

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central government on a public suit filed against the decision to exempt the CBI and the NIA from the purview of the RTI Act, the country’s transparency law.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna issued notice to the central government, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the home and law ministries and the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT).

‘We are putting the matter for final disposal. The next date of hearing will be August 10, therefore the reply should be filed within two weeks from today (Wednesday),’ the bench said.

The petitioners, Ajay Kumar Agarwal and Sitab Ali Chaudhary, had challenged the June 9 government notification exempting the CBI, the NIA and the National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid), a proposed centralised data system for quick access to information on terror suspects, from the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

‘Hiding information sought under the RTI Act is unconstitutional,’ the petition said.

‘The petition has been filed for the benefit of citizens incapable of accessing the court themselves,’ Chaudhary said.

Earlier this month, the cabinet approved the CBI’s request to be exempted from the RTI Act. The move was condemned by various RTI activists.

On a similar suit, the Madras High Court has asked both the central government and the CBI to explain the exemption from the RTI.

Court questions government on plea against Amod Kanth

The Delhi High Court Friday issued a notice to the central government on a plea to withdraw medals awarded to former Delhi Police officer Amod Kanth and one of his colleagues for their role in maintaining law and order during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the city.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna issued notice to the central government, the Delhi Police commissioner, Kanth and his colleague, and the then station house officer of Paharganj police station, and sought their responses by Sep 16. 

The notice came during the court hearing of a petition filed by Amrik Singh Lovely, who has challenged an earlier single-judge bench order rejecting the plea in April.

Stay on lawyers paying service tax

The Delhi High Court today issued stay on a notification of the central government regarding imposition of service tax on lawyers. Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked the government to file a reply within two weeks and listed the case for hearing on May 23. The notification was to be implemented from May 1.

Earlier on March 24, lawyers of Delhi High Court Bar Association had gone on strike protesting against the imposition of service tax on the lawyers in the new budget presented by the finance ministry as well as the Legal Practitioners Bill 2010 mooted by the Law Ministry.

Court questions Delhi University on semester system

Delhi High Court Thursday issued notice to the Delhi University vice chancellor, the University Grants Commission and the central government on the implementation of the semester system in the varsity’s arts stream for 2011-12.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said: “Issue notice to all the respondents. The matter will be heard on May 11.”

A group of university teachers approached the Delhi High Court challenging the university’s April 19 notification for implementation of the semester system in the arts stream for 2011-12.

The teachers’ union also demanded quashing of the notification.

As of now, there are 13 courses, including physics, chemistry, botany and zoology, which follow the semester system in the university.

Cancel licences of units employing child labourers: Court

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued orders to cancel the licences of factories employing child labourers, an NGO here said in a statement.

 “Honorable Chief Justice Deepak Mishra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna passed an order to cancel factory license of the units where such child labourers were found working,” said Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a child rights organisation which has been actively working with the police and the labour department in various rescue operations of child labourers.

The court also showed its dissatisfaction over recovery of Rs.20,000 as compensation from the employers for each child labourer, BBA said.

“The court also asked for status report of recoveries made on the next date of hearing. This amount is to be spent on welfare of the rescued child as per the direction passed by the Supreme Court,” it added.