1984 anti-Sikh riots: SC notice to CBI on Sajjan Kumar’s appeal

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the CBI on former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s appeal against his conviction in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul also issued notice on Kumar’s bail plea

Kumar, 73, surrendered before a trial court here on December 31, 2018 to serve his sentence in accordance with the Delhi High Court’s December 17 judgement, which convicted and sent him to prison for the “remainder of his natural life”.

The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 and the burning down of a gurudwara

The riots broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards.

Kumar resigned from the Congress after his conviction in the case

The high court found Kumar guilty of criminal conspiracy and abetment in commission of crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony and defiling and destruction of a gurudwara

It also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by a trial court to five others — former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar

In its judgment, the high court noted that over 2,700 Sikhs were killed in the national capital during the 1984 riots, which it described as a “carnage of unbelievable proportions”

It said the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage” and aided by an “indifferent” law enforcement agency

The high court set aside the trial court’s 2010 verdict, which had acquitted Kumar in the case.

SC Dismisses Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot’s Plea on Voters’ List

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed petitions filed by senior Congress leaders  Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot, which they had requested the apex court to direct the Election Commission to provide voters’ list in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in text format.

A bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said “we have dismissed these petitions”. The bench had reserved its verdict after concluded the hearing of the pleas during which senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Vikas Singh traded charges over conduct of the polls.

The elections in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28 and Rajasthan will vote for electing a new government on December 7. The leaders had alleged duplication of voters in the Commission’s list and sought a proper move to ensure free and fair elections.

Ahead of the Assembly polls in their states, Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot had moved petitions in the top court, alleging that as per a survey, in Madhya Pradesh there were over 60 lakh fake voters and similarly, in Rajasthan, there were over 41 lakh duplicate voters.

Aadhaar is Constitutionally valid, Declares Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: Pronouncing its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar scheme and its enabling 2016 law,  the Supreme Court on Wednesday declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as Constitutionally valid.

Reading out the first of the three judgements, Justice A K Sikri said that there is sufficient defence mechanism for authentication in Aadhaar scheme. The top court said minimal demographic and biometric data of citizens are collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment.

The five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also had Justices  AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan and Justice A K Sikri .  Justice Sikri pronounced the judgement for himself, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar.

There is no possibility of obtaining a duplicate Aadhaar card said the apex court. SC says nothing in Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of individual.

Aircel-Maxis case: SC extends deadline by 3 months, Probe Agency Told

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the deadline for CBI and ED by three months to complete the investigation in the Aircel-Maxis deal case. Former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram have been questioned by the agencies during the ongoing probe.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan directed the investigation should be completed in three months. However, the SC on Tuesday allowed senior Karti to travel to the UK from September 20 to September 30.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate urged the top court to give around two-three months to complete the probe as it needs to confront some accused with several e-mails.

P Chidambaram was questioned by the CBI in the case on December 6, 2014, while Karti was questioned on November 19, 2014 after money-laundering case in the Aircel-Maxis matter arising out of 2G spectrum cases.

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.