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. 



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.

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.

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.