Raja Bahadur property: Supreme Court directs matter to CJI for reference to larger bench

With two judges arriving at different conclusions, the Supreme Court has directed that the issue of acquisition of properties of the late Raja Bahadur Sardar Singh of Khetri, a member of the Constituent Assembly, by the Rajasthan government be placed before the Chief Justice of India for reference to a larger bench.

While Justice R Banumathi set aside the order of the Rajasthan High Court — directing that the properties be made over to Khetri Trust, a trust said to have been created by Raja Bahadur Sardar Singh — Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the order.

Accordingly it was ordered, “in view of difference of opinions & the distinguishing judgments (Hon’ble R. Banumathi, J. allowed the appeal & Hon’ble Indira Banerjee, J. dismissed the appeal), the matter be placed before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for referring the matter to the Larger Bench”.

A Bar at law from England, a Rajya Sabha Member & ambassador to Laos, Raja Bahadur Singh died intestate on Jan 28, 1987.

Supreme Court stays NSA detention order against man accused of cow slaughter

On Friday, the Supreme Court stayed a detention order passed under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against an Uttar Pradesh man accused of cow slaughter.

A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman also issued a notice on the plea by Mehboob Ali, said his counsel Narveer Dabas.

Ali said in the plea that the “stringent provisions of the National Security Act, 1980 providing for preventive detention have been invoked against” him “in a most arbitrary, discriminatory & malafide manner, & in utter violation of the Fundamental Rights enshrined in Article 21 & 22 of the Constitution of India”.

He contended that the detention order was passed on January 14, 2019 “on a mere apprehension that the petitioner may act in a manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order. The basis of such apprehension is the alleged involvement of the petitioner in two alleged cases of cow-slaughter & the ‘apprehension’ of the petitioner being released on bail in the said two cases”.

Dabas said the petitioner had not been named in either of the FIRs connected with the cow slaughter & had been granted bail in the cases.

According to his plea he “has never been involved in any case which has any nexus with the maintenance of public order nor has he ever been involved in any heinous offence”.

He said the grounds cited in support of the detention order “fail to disclose or even allege any nexus of the petitioner with the incident of mob violence that had occurred on 03.12.2018 leading to registration of a criminal case”.

The detention order had been challenged by the petitioner before the Allahabad High Court, but the plea was dismissed.

Ayodhya case : Chances Brighten for Verdict in November

Chances of the SC giving a final verdict in Nov. in the 70-year-old litigation for ownership of the 2.77 acre Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya brightened as all Hindu parties, who were awarded 2-3rd of the disputed land by the Allahabad HC, have completed their arguments. The hearing had started on Aug 6.

Giving a patient hearing to counsel but not allowing them to repeat or reiterate each other’s arguments, a bench of Chief Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi & Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan & S Abdul Nazeer appeared to have achieved the unimaginable — completion of arguments on behalf of deity Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara, All India Ram Janmasthan Punaruthan Samiti, 2 factions of Hindu Mahasabha, Shia Waqf Board (SWB) & legal heir of Gopal Singh Visharad, who had 1st instituted a suit in 1951 after idols were installed inside Babri Masjid in Dec 1949.

The Allahabad HC had divided the 2.77 acre disputed land equally among 3 parties, with 1-3rd going to deity Ram Lalla under the central dome of the mosque prior to its demolition in 1992, another 3rd comprising the Ram Chabutra & Sita Rasoi to Nirmohi Akhara & the last 3rd to Sunni Waqf Board.

With arguments on behalf of deity Ram Lalla & Nirmohi Akhara getting over on Day 16 of the proceedings, the main party left to advance arguments is Sunni Waqf Board represented by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who had protested against the 5-days-a-week hearing schedule fixed by the SC.

With many in the court corridors wondering whether the bench would be able to conclude proceedings & deliver a judgment before the retirement of Chief Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Nov 17, the completion of arguments by parties awarded 2-3rd of the disputed land brightens the chances of the court delivering the final verdict in Nov.

Law student traced, Supreme Court meets her, will stay in Delhi for 4 days

Directing UP police to produce the missing Shahjahanpur law student who was traced to Rajasthan Friday, a Supreme Court bench, after interacting with her in the evening instructed that she be accommodated in a short-stay home in New Delhi for four days.

The woman was reported missing a week ago from Shahjahanpur, & her father had accused former BJP MP Swami Chinmayanand, head of the law college management, of harassing her & other students. Acting on his complaint, police had booked Chinmayanand on charges of abduction & intimidation — charges he denied.

On Friday evening, Justice R Banumathi & A S Bopanna directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to send a team to fetch her parents & arrange their meeting. The judges asked authorities of the short-stay home to allow her to use the landline phone to speak to her parents but barred her from meeting anyone else till the court meets her again. The bench will hear the matter next on September 2.

The judges said she was responsive to their questions, that she understood English but replied mostly in Hindi. “She stated that prior to Raksha Bandhan she left Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, along with her three college mates who are also their family friends, in order to protect herself. She has stated that she does not intend to go back to Uttar Pradesh for the present till she meets her parents in Delhi & talks to them. She has further stated that after meeting her parents & talking to them, she will take a decision on her future course of action. Miss “A” wants to stay back in Delhi for the time being till she meets her parents & talks to them,” the judges said.

The woman’s father told The Indian Express: “We have been watching news channels the entire day & we learnt about our daughter’s recovery from Rajasthan. Later in the day, some police officers came to my house & informed us that she had been recovered from the Dausa area of Rajasthan.”

A Year After Supreme Court’s Sec 377 Order, LGBT+ Community Waits for Inclusive Laws

Reading down of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) isn’t enough to secure the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)+ community, according to a study that has highlighted the need to repeal section 377 to prevent its misuse in cases of violence involving same sex relations.

In a landmark judgment the SC, through a reading down of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC), decriminalised same sex consensual relationships on Sept 6 last year, but for the LGBT+ community legal inclusion is still a dream.

A study by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy has highlighted the need for victim neutrality in provisions related to sexual offences in criminal law & repeal of section 377 to prevent its misuse in cases of sexual violence involving same sex couples. The analysis also takes into account concerns of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)+ community members who participated in the consultations organised as part of the research.

The study titled “Queering the Law: Making Indian laws Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)+ Inclusive” analyses India’s legal regime across the broad themes of identity, violence, family & employment. “The objective of this analysis is to identify laws that either continue to operate in the male-female binary or discriminate against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)+ persons. This study aims at building on the conversation for legal inclusion,” Akshat Agarwal, from Vidhi’s research team said.

The study on “Violence” draws attention to the complexity of existing criminal laws. For instance it is pointed out that provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to offences of sexual nature operate in the male-female binary & assume sexual acts in the same binary.

Supreme Court Collegium proposes Elevation of Justices Ravindra Bhat, Krishna Murari, Hrishikesh and Ramasubramanian Roy as Supreme Court Judges [Read Resolution]

The SC Collegium has recommended the elevation of four Chief Justices of High Courts as Supreme Court judges.
They are :

1.    Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Chief Justice of High Court of Rajasthan
2.    Justice V Ramasubramanian, Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh
3.    Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice of High Court of Kerala.
4.    Justice Krishna Murari, Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court.

The Collegium of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Bobde, Ramana, Arun Mishra & R F Nariman said that they have taken into consideration the combined seniority of all judges & has kept in mind the desirability of giving due representation to all High Courts, as far as possible.

Justice S Ravindra Bhat

Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat (born 21 October 1958) is Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court He was Judge in Delhi High Court.

Born on 21 October 1958, at Mysore. Educated in Bangalore and Gwalior. Finished schooling from Central School, Faridabad. Thereafter completed graduation in B.A.(.Hons) in English literature from Hindu College, Delhi University, 1979. Graduated in law (LL.B) from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University (1982). Enrolled with Delhi Bar Council in August 1982. Commenced law practice in 1982. Practised before the Delhi High Court, Supreme Court. During the course of law practice, had exposure in different branches of law as Public Law, Banking, Education, Labour and Service, and Indirect Taxation. Assumed office as Additional Judge of Delhi High Court on 16 July 2004, and Permanent Judge of Delhi High Court on 20 February 2006.

He was appointed Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on 30 April 2019. He took oath as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on 5 May 2019

Justice V Ramasubramanian

Justice V. Ramasubramanian (born 30 June 1958) is an Indian Judge and the Chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He is former Judge of Madras High Court and Telangana High Court.

 Justice Hrishikesh Roy

Hrishikesh Roy (born 1 February 1960) is an Indian judge and the present Chief Justice of Kerala.

In 1982, Roy passed LL.B. from University of Delhi. He was initially enrolled under the Bar Council of Delhi thereafter shifted to Guwahati. He served as the Senior Government Advocate for the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Standing Counsel for the Assam State Electricity Board and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. He was designated as Senior Advocate of Gauhati High Court on 21 December 2004. Roy became an Additional Judge of Gauhati High Court on 12 October 2006 and permanent Judge on 15 July 2008. In his career he was the Executive Head of the Assam State Legal Services Authority and nominated as a member of the National Judicial Academic Council presided by the Chief Justice of India. On 29 May 2018 Justice Roy was transferred from the Gauhati High Court to Kerala High Court as the Acting Chief Justice. He became the permanent Chief Justice of the High Court on 8 August 2018 after the retirement of Justice Antony Dominic.

Justice Krishna Murari

Krishna Murari (born: 9 July 1958) is the present Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was also served as Judge of Allahabad High Court till his elevation as Chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Murari was born in a lawyer family of Uttar Pradesh. His uncle G.N Verma was a senior advocate and a leading lawyer. Murari passed LL.B. from the Allahabad University, Allahabad. He was enrolled as an Advocate on 23 December 1981 and started practice in the Allahabad High Court on Civil, Constitutional, Company and Revenue matters. In his 22 years lawyers career he served as Standing Counsel of Uttar Pradesh State Yarn Company, Northern Railway Primary Co-operative Bank, Uttar Pradesh State Textile Corporation etc. He also appeared for Bundelkhand University of Jhansi.Murari was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Allahabad High Court on 7 January 2004 and became the Permanent Judge in 2005. On 2 June 2018 he was elevated in the post of the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh after the retirement of Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar.

Amrapali Case: List of Aggrieved Homebuyers Submitted to SC

A list of 6,000 aggrieved homebuyers of 6 different Amrapali projects was on Friday submitted to the SC on its direction by their counsel M L Lahoty.

On Aug 26, a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked Lahoty to furnish project-wise details of the people, who are presently residing in various apartments of the projects of embattled Amrapali Group.

The bench had directed the authorities to create a special cell for each project to ensure speedy work.

The homebuyers had submitted that a total of Rs 2,000 crore was required to complete the unfinished projects in both the areas, following which, the SC directed its registry to release Rs 7 crore to National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete 2 stalled projects of the real estate group in Noida & Greater Noida.

It had also directed that a forensic audit report be supplied to the probe agencies — Enforcement Directorate (ED) & Delhi Police’s Economic Office Wing (EoW) — for taking appropriate action against the accused.

Missing LLM student found in Rajasthan, Supreme Court asks Police to bring her to Court, will interact with her in Chambers

The missing 23-year-old LLM student has been found by the Police in Rajasthan on Friday morning. She will be produced in the Supreme Court in before the police take her home.

The law student had gone missing after accusing BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, 72, of harassment. Her family had expressed concerns about her safety and accused the Police of trying to pressurise them to tone down the complaint in which the senior BJP leader was named.

She had accused “a big leader of the saint society” of threatening her and “destroying the lives of several girls”. However she did not name Chinmayanand in this video. Her father filed a police complaint, wherein he accused the BJP leader who has a sprawling ashram in Shahjahanpur and runs several colleges in the eastern UP town.

Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the case. Apex Court Bench headed by Justice R Banumathi ordered the UP Police to produce her in Court after a group of lawyers expressed concern about her safety. Advocate Shobha Gupta stated that,“We don’t know if the girl is safe”.

Bench ordered that,“We direct the learned counsel appearing for Uttar Pradesh to produce the girl along with the police team”.

Media Reports suggests: Supreme Court Collegium set to recommend four new Judges for Supreme Court

Names of Krishna Murari, Chief Justice Punjab & Haryana High Court, Hrishikesh Roy, Chief Justice, Kerala High Court, Ravindra Bhat, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court & V Ramasubramanian, Chief Justice Himachal Pradesh High Court, had been recommended by the SC Collegium for appointment as Apex Court Judges.

People familiar with the appointments process confirmed that on Wednesday, the collegium met & cleared the names of the four High Court Chief justices for elevation & that names have been sent to the law & Justice Ministry.

The names will be notified after they are cleared by the Govt.

The number of Judges in the SC will increase from 30 to 34 with the four new appointments. This will also be the first time in a decade that the court has its entire complement of Judges.

The Govt. move to increase the number of Judges in the Apex Court comes against the backdrop of rising cases which stand at nearly 60,000.

Chinmayanand case: lawyers move Supreme Court over missing victim

Suo motu cognisance

In a letter to Chief Justice (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, a group of lawyers requested the SC to take suo motu cognisance of the issue. They also mentioned the matter before the Bench headed by Justice N.V. Ramana.

Initially, the SC asked lawyers to approach the HC but later asked them to submit the letter. It also assured them that it would look into the matter.

The lawyers requested the court to issue notice to the U.P. govt to trace the girl & provide police protection to her family. “We as a society can’t allow another Unnao case to happen,” it said.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh police while the Uttar Pradesh Women Commission (UPWC) has sought a report from the Shahjahanpur district administration in the case.

The National Commission for Women (NCW), which has taken a serious note of the incident, has urged the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) to expeditiously investigate the allegations of harassment levelled by the student & ensure the safety of the girl & her family.

“Considering the gravity of the matter, the commission is taking suo motu cognisance of this case & issued a notice to the Director General of Police (DGP) Uttar Pradesh to investigate this matter & send a detailed report to the commission. The commission had urged the Director General of Police (DGP) to ensure the safety of the girl & her family & also make sure that the investigation is done very quickly,” the National Commission for Women (NCW) said in a statement.

Uttar Pradesh Women Commission (UPWC) chief Vimla Batham also expressed her commitment to safe return of the girl, who had been pursuing her studies in a college run by Mr. Chinmayanand’s Mumukshu ashram. “We have taken note of the incident & sought a report from the district magistrate & superintendent of police of Shahjahapur. We are awaiting report,” Ms. Batham told reporters.

The student went missing following her allegation in a video clip that she was under threat from the leader of the sant community, without naming Mr. Chinmayanand.