SC notice to Maharashtra CM for not declaring criminal cases

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday issued a notice to Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, after hearing a petition filed by Satish Ukey, alleging that he did not disclose the details of two criminal cases against him in his 2014 election affidavit. The plea seeks annulment of his election to the Maharashtra Assembly.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and K M Joseph sought response of the Maharashtra CM on an appeal filed against a Bombay High Court order. In his petition before the top court, Satish Ukey, a lawyer, said Mr Fadnavis didn’t make the mandatory disclosure of criminal cases against him.

According to Fadnavis’ nomination on myneta.info, the Maharshatra CM has a total of 22 criminal cases registered against him. Mr Fadanavis, a legislator from Nagpur South West constituency, is the second youngest Chief Minister of Maharashtra after Sharad Pawar. 



SC asks ex-judge about report on Charges Over Fake Gujarat encounters

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court on Wednesday sought “clarity” from retired Justice HS Bedi, to “communicate his views as expeditiously as possible” on the allegation of 24 alleged fake encounters during the tenure of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat. 

Former apex court judge Justice H S Bedi was appointed chairman of the monitoring committee probing 24 encounter cases from 2002 to 2006 in Gujarat by the Supreme Court. Justice Bedi was requested by the court to take over as the monitoring authority’s chairperson in 2012 when another apex court judge, Justice M.B. Shah, declined the assignment.

The court asked Justice Bedi to file his response “as expeditiously as possible” so that the case could be taken up again after the reopening of the court in January following the winter break.  A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, was hearing a plea to make the report public. 



Supreme Court directs Maharashtra government to submit charge sheet by December 8 in Koregaon-Bhima violence case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to submit before it the chargesheet filed against arrested rights activists before a Pune court in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case. The charge sheet in the case was earlier filed before a Pune court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it wanted to see the “charges” against the accused and asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Maharashtra government, to submit before it by December 8 the charge sheet filed by the state police in a special court in Pune.

The bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, was hearing an appeal of the state government against a Bombay high court order refusing to extend the time limit of 90 days for filing the probe report. The bench has now posted the appeal for further hearing on December 11.

The Pune Police had arrested lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, activist Mahesh Raut and Kerala native Rona Wilson in June for their alleged links with Maoists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Bhima Koregaon: Supreme Court adjourns hearing on Maharashtra’s plea against Bombay HC order

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing of the Maharashtra government’s plea against the Bombay High Court till December 3. Five activists were arrested on June 6 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which requires a chargesheet to be filed within 90 days of arrest.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph deferred the matter to enable the counsel for the Maharashtra government to file a rejoinder affidavit in the case. On Thursday, the Pune Police filed the chargesheet, accusing activist Rona Wilson of plotting to kill the prime minister.

The trial court decision was set aside by the Bombay High Court leading the state government to approach the apex court. The top court stayed the Bombay High Court order, which had set aside the lower court’s verdict allowing extension of time to police to file the probe report against the rights activists arrested in the case.

On August 28, the police had arrested five more activists – Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha – on similar allegations.

IAF officers assist SC on Rafale deal case

NEW DELHI: Deputy Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal V R Chaudhari and two other officers from Indian Air Force appeared before the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi  to assist it on the issue of the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, asked the officials about latest induction in the Air Force. “We are dealing with the requirements of the Air Force and would like to ask an Air Force officer on Rafale jets. We want to hear from an Air force officer and not the official of the Defence Ministry on the issue,” the bench said when the Attorney General began his arguments on behalf of the Centre in the pre-lunch session Wednesday.

Four top officers, including Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Anil Khosla, Air Marshall V R Chaudhari and J Chelapati, who appeared before the court, submitted that there has been no fresh induction after Mirage aircraft in 1985.

Supreme Court reserves order on pleas seeking court-monitored probe in Rafale deal

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on petitions, seeking court-monitored probe in procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph concluded the arguments advanced by various parties which have also sought registration of FIR in connection with the alleged irregularities in the deal.

The bench also observed that any discussion on the contentious issue of pricing of the Rafale jets can only take place if the facts on the deal are allowed to come in the public domain. The Centre defended the secrecy clause related to the pricing of the 36 Rafale fighter jets and said it cannot divulge details of the deal.

In his argument, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that even the Parliament has not been told about the complete costs of the fighter jets. “I decided not to peruse it myself as in a case of any leak, my office would be held responsible,” he said.

SC grants two weeks to CVC to conclude inquiry against Alok Verma

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that an inquiry against Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma must be completed who has been divested of his duties and sent on leave in view of feud between him and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.The

Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph said the CVC’s inquiry would be supervised by former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik. Senior lawyer General Fali S Nariman, who was representing Verma, had cited the Vineet Narain judgement to say that the CBI Director enjoys a protected two-year tenure.

Asthana has also approached the Supreme Court with a separate petition in the matter. Both Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana were asked by the government to proceed on leave and Joint Director M Nageswara Rao was asked to officiate as interim Director of the CBI.

Supreme Court rejects plea filed by ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife In 22Yr Old Drug Planting Case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India Thursday dismissed the plea on behalf of former Gujarat cadre IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife challenging the investigation against her husband who has been accused of implicating a Rajasthan-based lawyer in a 22-year-old narcotics case.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph , dismissed the petition filed by Shweta Bhatt. The court cannot interfere with ongoing investigations,” said the bench observing that the petitioner, Shweta Bhatt, has recourse to other remedies.

Bhatt, who was sacked from service in 2015, was arrested last month along with retired inspector I B Vyas for allegedly framing lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit in a case of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act by planting 1.25 kg opium in a hotel room in Palanpur in Banaskantha district in 1996. Shweta, in her petition, claimed that she was not allowed to file the petition in the apex court, on behalf of her husband.

However, the bench granted him the liberty to seek regular bail and that his right to move the High Court would not be affected by the dismissal of the present petition.

SC allows deportation of seven Rohingyas to Myanmar

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the deportation of seven Rohingyas, who have illegally migrated to Assam in India, to their country of origin Myanmar. This will be the first such official deportation from India to Myanmar.

The deportation came after a last ditch effort by advocate Prashant Bhushan for an urgent hearing of a PIL in the Supreme Court to restrain the government from deporting Rohingya refugees failed. The order was passed by a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.

According to a state intelligence officer, there are about 32 Rohingya refugees in detention camps in Assam. At least 15 of them including seven minors are in Tezpur. The PIL was filed earlier by two Rohingya immigrants — Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir — challenging the Centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 refugees. On the other hand UN human rights expert had expressed alarm at the government’s deportation plan saying returning the seven Rohingya refugeesto Myanmar could violate international law.

SC adjourns hearing on Rafale fighter jet deal

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing seeking probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph put the plea for consideration on October 10.

Petitioner M L Sharma told the apex court bench that he wants to file some additional documents in the case and therefore the matter should be adjourned. “Now you are talking about filing an additional affidavit but the letter you circulated seeking adjournment is saying you are unwell,” said Justice Gogoi. “You have missed the bus.”

In his petition, Sharma has alleged discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and sought a stay on it. Initially, the court fixed October 22 as the next date of hearing but as Sharma urged for an early date,the court later advanced it to October 10.

He sought quashing of the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253. India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore.