Supreme Court rejectes to stay amendments to SC/ST Act

NEW DELHI: A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, refused to stay the recent amendments brought in to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities)  Act, 1989. The bench issued notice to the Centre but refused to stay the amendments, saying “no stay can be granted without hearing the government”. The bench asked the Centre to file its reply in six weeks.

We know that the government has brought in new amendments, that too without removing the defects,” the bench said.

After hearing senior counsel Mohan Parasaran the bench said that it was also not a validation Act, As a counsel for petitioner Prithvi Raj Chauhan sought a stay on the amendments, the bench said, “It is now a legislation and cannot be stayed at this stage.”

In their petitions, Prathvi Raj Chauhan and Sanjeev Babanrao Bhor pointed out that the March 20 verdict providing for anticipatory bail and preliminary enquiry into the complaints. The government had approached the court with a review petition, but the apex court refused to stay its order.

Supreme Court Notice to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh on HC bifurcation

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court ordered the Andhra Pradesh government and the High Court to send their explanations in writing, on the Centre’s appeal challenging the High Court orders which directed the Union of India to locate a site within Andhra Pradesh for setting up a permanent High Court for that state.

Telangana government’s advocate Mukul Rohatgi and the Union Law Ministry’s Attorney General KK Venugopal argued that it was time the bifurcation of the Court took place.

At a hearing before a Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, the Centre and Telangana were on the same page as far as providing “separate and independent” High Courts for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were concerned.

Asked about the status on the construction of the High Court buildings in AP, the Central government said to the SC bench that the construction was not finished yet.

The AG said the High Court in Hyderabad had a sufficient number of court halls for the two High Courts to function separately. He said Hyderabad was a common capital for 10 years and such an arrangement could be made.

Congress claims fake voters in MP: Supreme Court get Involved

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today sought a response from the Election Commission of India on the plea of Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot alleging duplication of voters in the voters’ list in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajsthan.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the EC and sought its response on the plea. As the three states are scheduled to go to polls by the year-end,  the court decided to give an early hearing and posted the matter for August 31 to examine the issues flagged by Congress leaders.

Earlier Congress state president of Rajasthan and general secretary in charge Avinash Pande had complained to Election Commission of India about the 42 lakh fake voters. Acting on the complaint the poll body has started a special survey to conduct physical verification of voters.

Supreme Court to hear in July plea to restrain MPs making statements on judges removal

The Supreme Court today said that it would hear in the third week of July a plea seeking to restrain members of Parliament (MPs) from making public statements on removal of a judge of higher judiciary without there being any such notice in Parliament.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, while saying that there was no urgency in hearing the matter now, observed that Rajya Sabha Rules also prohibits such statements by Parliamentarians without there being any such notice in the House.

“We don’t have to frame any guideline,” the bench said and observed that the question was whether there should be such discussions outside Parliament.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by an NGO ‘In Pursuit of Justice’ which sought laying down of guidelines or modalities regulating procedure to be followed by MPs, desirous of initiating proceedings for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court, prior to initiating a motion under Article 124(4) and (5) and 217(1)(b) of the Constitution.

Article 124(4) and (5) deal with the procedure to be followed for removal of an apex court judge.

The petitioner has said the cause of action arose in the matter when a draft motion for removal of the CJI was released to the press on March 27 which had an effect of intimidating the judiciary.

The plea also referred to various media reports carrying the statements of MPs and politicians in this regard and said no law was made by Parliament which permits the circulation of draft notice of motion to the press.

Supreme Court rejects GJM leader Bimal Gurung’s plea seeking protection from arrest

The Supreme Court today dismissed former GJM leader Bimal Gurung’s plea seeking protection from arrest in several cases lodged against him in West Bengal and for an independent probe into the alleged killings of Gorkhaland supporters in the state.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan rejected the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s plea saying it was not a fit case for relief.

“It cannot be said to be a case of individual persecution by the state,” the bench said while pronouncing the order.

The apex court had on November 20 restrained the West Bengal police from taking any coercive steps against Gurung.

The GJM leader had claimed in the top court that he was being politically persecuted by the West Bengal government.

However, the Mamata Banerjee government had submitted a list of 53 FIRs lodged against Gurung and said he was facing trial in another 24 cases as well.

The GJM central committee had recently suspended Gurung for six months and appointed Binay Tamang as the party’s new president.

The police had earlier claimed that Gurung and some of his aides were absconding after being booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the violence in Darjeeling hills during the recent agitation for a separate Gorkhaland.

Gurung has approached the apex court seeking an independent probe into the alleged killings of Gorkhaland supporters during the protests.

Provision for parents’ concurrence to hike fee, illegal: HC

A provision in city government’s February 2009 notification, stipulating unaided private schools to hike their fees only with the concurrence of their Parents Teachers Association is illegal, Delhi High Court held on Saturday. While setting up a three-member panel yesterday to scrutinise the accounts of various unaided private schools, to determine the validity of the notification prescribing a fee hike slab, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Siddharth Mridul said, “The (PTA consultation) clause is clearly illegal and is not supported by any statutory or legal provisions”.

The bench said the clause in the notification was also contrary to the provision of Section 17(3) of the Delhi Education Act, according to which, even the permission of the Directorate of Education is not required to hike the fee.

“Asking the schools to be at the mercy of PTAs for making further increase would clearly be contrary to the said provision. We, thus, hold that this clause is not valid,” the bench said in its 134-page judgement.

“Likewise, we are of the opinion that even the requirement of seeking approval of the school accounts by PTA would not hold water and is not legally valid,” it added.