Supreme Court refuses, Reservation in job promotions

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday said its 2006 verdict putting benefits of quotas in job promotions for SC/ST employees need not be referred to a seven-judge bench. There is a need for quantifiable data to give reservation,” the apex court said. The court also clarified that there is no need to collect quantifiable data of backwardness of SC/STs to provide reservation in promotions.

Pronouncing the verdict, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that its 2006 verdict in the M Nagraj case need not be referred to a 7-judge bench. However, the court overturned one aspect of the 2006 order that had put a condition for the government to follow in case it wished to provide reservation in jobs.

The bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, R F Nariman, S K Kaul and Indu Malhotra. The government had strongly backed restoring quotas in promotions for SCs and STs, arguing that these communities had suffered social inequalities for years.

SC waives 6-month waiting period, grants divorce to couple

lawThe Supreme Court has allowed an estranged couple’s plea for divorce by mutual consent by waiving the waiting period of six months, exercising its powers under the Constitution to do “complete justice”.

A bench of justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Fali Nariman granted the relief to the couple after taking into consideration their several years of litigation, separation after a few days of marriage, and both parties’ desire to move on with life.

The bench also noted that they had amicably settled their disputes and the monetary part of the settlement had been complied with, and all that remained were the criminal cases against each other and the plea for divorce by mutual consent.

Taking on record the submissions made by the parties that they have to move on with their respective lives, the bench said, “We are of the view that it is a fit case to invoke our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the Constitution of India and grant a decree of divorce by mutual consent by waiving the statutory period of waiting.”

The bench was also of the view that since the parties had settled their disputes amicably, “the interest of justice would be met, in case, the whole disputes are also finally settled” and quashed the criminal cases the couple had lodged against each other and their respective family members.

The couple had submitted before the court that they had lived as husband and wife only for a few days in 2010 when they were married and that “they have exercised their free will and have taken a conscious decision to part and put an end to all other litigation as well”.

Sanction should not be granted in vexatious trial:SC

The competent authority should not grant sanction to try government officials if prosecution is “simply vexatious”, the Supreme Court today said.

A bench comprising justices Kurian Joseph and Abhay Manohar Sapre said that once the prosecution is of the view that no case is made out to prosecute an accused, “unless the court finds otherwise, there is no point in making a request for sanction for prosecution.

SC allows ailing Italian Marine to go home

The Supreme Court on Friday permitted one of the two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off Kerala coast, to return home for medical treatment for four months.

But SC made the relief conditional on the accused and the Italian government giving a clear undertaking on dates of departure and return.

“Undertaking should be plain, simple, unambiguous and unequivocal by the accused and the Republic of Italy. The order comes into operation only after they give such an undertaking,” a bench ofMassimiliano Latorresaid while asking the lawyers for Italian ambassador and the accused marine to withdraw eight paras from their previous undertaking which raised objections of territorial jurisdiction.

SC also took into account the Centre’s stand where it said “in principle” it had no objection to the plea by marine Massimiliano Latorre, who suffered a brain stroke on August 31. It said Centre will facilitate his passage from India to Italy and back.

Latorre and fellow marine Salvatore Girone are accused of killing two Indian fishermen on February 15, 2012. They allegedly fired while on board ship ‘Enrica Lexie” off Kerala coast.
On behalf of the Italian government its ambassador Daniele Mancini furnished an undertaking assuring SC that the ailing marine would abide by all terms and conditions set for his travel to his native country. Taking it on record SC said condition for the relief granted to Latorre would be same as set by the apex court on February 22 2013 when the two marines were allowed to travel to Italy under the control and custody of the Ambassador of Italy in India, to cast their ballot in the elections.

Latorre and the ambassador through senior counsels Soli Sorabji and KTS Tulsi prayed before SC to allow him to return to Italy for his “more rapid and complete recovery”. The victim, Freddy, who is also a complainant in the case, had pleaded before the apex court for constitution of a medical board of AIIMS doctors for medical examination of Latorre. Owner of the fishing boat ‘St Antony’, in which two Indian fishermen were murdered when the marines allegedly fired at them, Freddy had opposed the relief earlier.

SC had last year directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the case against the marines and directed the Centre to set up a special court to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis after transferring the case from a court in Kerala to national capital. The accused Italian marines had moved the apex court challenging the jurisdiction of NIA to prosecute and probe the case.