Notice to Government on 10-year quota extension
LIVELAW REPORT ON SHAMAD BASHEER’S PETITION SEEKING OVERRIDING POWERS OF RTI ACT IN DELHI HIGH COURT
petition seeking greater powers for human rights commissions
PIL ON MODI GOVT’S USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
GOVT OF T.N. V. GAIL INDIA PVT LTD. Next date of listing: Feb.17, 2014.
PIL against Nagpal suspension
Petition against CAG appointment (Thanks to livelaw.in)
JULY 19, 2013
March 14, 2013
301. CURATIVE.PET.(Crl.)No.24-25/2010 IN R.P.(Crl.)No.384-385/2009 IN Crl.A.No.1325-1326/2009 MS. JYOTIKA KALRA II A/N NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN MR. SUMIT ATTRI 90, 99,100 S.(1429)Vs. BHASKAR LAL SHARMA & ORS. RESPONDENT-IN-PERSON (WITH APPLN.(S) FOR PERMISSION AND 2ND LISTING PERMISSION TO APPEAR AND ARGUE IN WITH PERSON AND OFFICE REPORT) CURATIVE.PET.(Crl.)No.D10575/2010 IN R.P.(Crl.)No.384-385/2009 IN Crl.A.No.1325-1326/2009(FOR PREL. HEARING) PETITIONER-IN-PERSON II FRESH MONICA 90, 99,100 S.(1429)Vs. BHASKAR LAL SHARMA AND ORS. (WITH APPLN.(S) FOR PERMISSION TO 1ST LISTING APPEAR AND ARGUE IN PERSON)
Delhi HC to hear plea on foreign donations to political parties
Manohar Lal Sharma PIL against FDI retail: Does the Govt circular have legal sanction? Justices R.M.Lodha and A.R.Dave
ILI Director case
SC entertains petition on coalgate
Chishti’s plea to visit Pakistan
SC admits plea on Mullaperiar dam
Petition seeks guidelines to protect Nurses’ interests
Plastic bags bigger threat than atom bomb
Plea against SIMI ban
SC notice to Centre on Chishty’s petition
Subhash Singh Shobhana Singh Thakur v State of Maharashtra (meaning of life sentence)
State of U.P.v. Alok Verma (Death Penalty – Justice Katju)
Petition against quota for economic backwardness (SLP(c)12965/2010. Kerala Muslim Jamaath Council v. State of Kerala)
Madras High Court
WP 20287 &20289/2011 (Madras High Court stays execution of Rajiv assassins for 8 weeks)
Salwa Judum Case: UOI’s review application
*SC stays IIPM case against Caravan Magazine
*14 women move SC for permanent commission
*Legal loopholes shield killers in uniform
CBI’s exemption under the RTI Act challenged in Delhi High Court
Hindu guardian v Muslim mother
JULY 9, 2011
*Sri Marthanda Varma v. T.P.Sundara Rajan
(SLP (c) 11295/2011) arising out of Kerala High Court Order No.WP (c)4256/2010 (o). The next date of hearing of this case is July 14. For the background on this case, readers may read this latest news item. The SC orders are here and here.
JULY 6, 2011
The news report on this case concerning disposal of mercy petitions by President, is here.
JULY 3, 2011
Health for Millions Tr. Legal Advisor vs. Union of India, WP (C) No. 549 of 2008 clubbed with Lalbavta Beedi Karkhan Union Tr. Gen. Sec. v. Union of India, WP(C) No. 161 of 2009
These petitions pertain to challenges against the decision of the Union Cabinet to defer the implementation of the notification which mandates display of pictorial warnings on packets of cigarette and other tobacco products. This issue is being closely monitored by the Court as the government, under alleged pressure from the tobacco industry, has several times backtracked from taking such measures. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act which was enacted 2003 made it mandatory for all tobacco products to carry a pictorial and written warning. However, the necessary notifications required to give effect to its provisions have remained wanting. Other than obviously being crucial from the viewpoint of public health, this case is also significant for raising another seemingly untalked of issue, that being the nature and extent of the powers of the Court vis-a-vis compelling the executive to notify or bring into effect certain provisions under the Act or rules made thereunder. The matter will come for hearing next on 12th of July.
JUNE 30, 2011
Challenge to the RTE Act
Society of Un-aided Private Schools of Rajasthan v. Union of India & Anr., WP(C) No. 95/2010
This petition, which is clubbed with various other similar writ petitions, challenges the constitutionality of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. As the title suggests, the Act aims to give effect to the right to free and compulsory education for all children between ages 6 to 14. For this end, one measure that the Act mandates is reservation of 25% seats in all schools, including even private schools and minority institutions, for children from poor families. The state government is required to reimburse to these schools an amount equal to the fee charged by the school, or the per-child expenditure incurred in state-run schools, whichever is lower. The petitioners in these petitions primarily allege that the Act takes away their constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of running their institutions without government interference, a right they claim to be conferred Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. They contend that the obligation to provide free and compulsory education to children is on the state, and private institutions should not be forced to share it. The case presents issues of conflict between the right to education of children and the right to run a private institution.
JUNE 27, 2011
This writ petition under Article 32 deals with the case of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar who was in August 2005 convicted under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and sentenced to death. In 2003, after all appellate forums refused to set aside the conviction or commute his death sentence, he filed a mercy petition with the President. This mercy petition was rejected by the President 25th May, 2011. In this writ petition, the petitioner prays for a writ of certiorari quashing the order of President rejecting her husband’s mercy petition, and an order directing either release of her husband on compassionate grounds or conversion of death sentence into life imprisonment.
The petitioner argues that mentally retarted should not be executed, whatever may be the nature and circumstances of the crime committed, as it will serve neither as retribution nor deterrence. The petitioner cites the US as an example in point where many states have statutes prohibiting execution of mentally retarded persons and where Courts have, time and again, reasoned against such execution on the grounds the person to be executed has a diminished capacity to process and understand information, and that execution of such persons would be an unreasonably excessive punishment.
On the point of delay in execution, the petitioner has relied on the apex court’s decision in Smt. Triveniben v. State of Gujarat, wherein it had been held that undue delay in execution of death sentence entitles the condemned prisoner to move the Court under Article 32 for conversion of his death sentence to life imprisonment. It was urged that such indefinite delay turns the sentence of death into one of sentence of death plus imprisonment. Another argument raised was that her husband’s case did not fall in the rarest of rare case rule laid down in Bachan Singh’s case as the Supreme Court verdict confirming his death sentence was itself a split verdict.
The petitioner has alleged that the rejection of the mercy petition of her husband was illegal since it suffers from non-application of mind, was taken up out of turn by the President, and was decided on extraneous consideration of the fact that husband of the petitioner approached the Supreme Court.
State of Tamil Nadu vs. M.Seshachalam
The Supreme Court on 15th June, 2011 heard this special leave petition, SLP (C) No(s). 16149-16162/2011, preferred by the Jayalalithaa government wherein it directed the appointment of an expert committee to examine the syllabus/textbooks and “suggest ways and means to implement the Uniform Education system”. The order is available here.
The said Act was passed by the DMK government in 2010 to make the education system uniform. Section 3 of the unamended Act sought to make the education system uniform, for standards I and VI from the academic year 2010-11, and for the standards II-V and VII-X from the academic year 2011-12. Post change in power in the State, an amendment was brought in which provided that for standards I and VI the education system prior to the academic year 2010-11 shall continue, and for the standards II-V and VII-X, the existing system, i.e. the one in operation till the year 2010-11, would continue.
Hearing the challenge to the said amendment, the Madras High Court vide its order dated 10th June, 2011 had stayed the operation of the said amendment. In appeal against the stay, the appellants contended that the stay was unsustainable because the operation of a legislative enactment should not normally be stayed. Moreover, that the High Court failed to consider that the amendment was necessitated because of the political nature of information provided in the existing books. Respondents’ counsel brought to the notice of the court that the amendment had been brought in haste to which the bench replied that it was not for them to interfere. Respondents further argued that over 9 crore textbooks have already been published and circulated at a cost of over Rs.200 crores.
The Court in its order observed that while making a legislative enactment, the decisions should be taken giving paramount consideration to the interests of those who would be effected by such enactment, in the present case, the students. It noted that the substantial expenditure that has been incurred in publishing textbooks is an admitted fact, though the figure may be in dispute. It directed that for standard I and VI, the education system applicable in the academic year 2010-11 be continued in 2011-12 as well. As regards standards II-V and standards VII-X, the Court held that the final decision be taken by the High Court. It directed that an expert committee be appointed to examine textbooks/syllabus for the uniform education system. Furthermore, that all objections should be taken before the this committee which shall place its report before the Madras HC within two weeks. The matter will now be heard by the Division Bench of the Madras High Court.
BCI v. Varganti, Transfer Petition (Civil) No(s). 857-866 of 2009
Rule 28 of Schedule III to the Rules of Education, 2008 prescribes a maximum age limit for admission into law courses, 20 years for admission into the 5-year integrated course, and 30 years for admission into the 3 year bachelors of law course. These Rules of Education, 2008 have been framed by the Bar Council of India under power given to it by the Advocates Act, 1961. They can be accessed here. Petitions were filed against the said rule in various High Court. The BCI has made an application before the Supreme Court that all such petitions be clubbed together and be heard by the apex court.
Present status of the Transfer petition: The transfer petition is at the notice stage, where the return of notice to the unserved respondents is awaited. The matter is posted for hearing on 6.7.2011.
Pinarayi Vijayan v. Kerala, WP (Crl.) No(s). 75 of 2009
This was a petition filed by Pinarayi challenging the sanction accorded by the Kerala Governor to prosecute him in the SNC-Lavalin graft case. On 30th March, 2011, the Supreme Court disposed off the petition as withdrawn. The brief facts of the case were that CBI, on orders of the Kerala High Court, was handling investigation in the SNC – Lavalin case. In January 2009, it filed the status report before the HC naming Pinarayi Vijayan as an accused. The CPM led Kerala govt in which Vijayan was a minister decided to not accord sanction for prosectution, but the governer, going against the advice of the council of ministers, granted sanction to the CBI to prosecute Vijayan. It was this sanction that was challenged in the Supreme Court.
The case was of significance because it involved questions pertaining to the role of the governor, whether or not he was empowered, under the Constitution, to overrule a recommendation given by the Council of Ministers. Article 163 of the Constitution provides that the Council of Ministers shall aid and advise the governor in exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution, required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion. Thus, the question was whether according sanction to prosecute in this case was one such function that the Governor could have exercised in his direction.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court has already decided a case on exactly similar facts. In Madhya Pradesh Special Police Establishment v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors., a Constitution Bench upheld the grant of sanction by the Governor of MP. Therein too, the sanction was sought for prosecution of ministers and the governor granted the same against the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The conclusion of the Court was:
Certainly the Council of Ministers has to first consider grant of sanction. We also presume that a high authority like the Council of Ministers will normally act in a bonafide manner, fairly, honestly and in accordance with law. However, on those rare occasions where on facts the bias becomes apparent and/or the decision of Council of Ministers is shown to be irrational and based on non-consideration of relevant factor, the Governor would be right, on the facts of that case, to act in his own discretion and grant sanction.
Suresh Kumar Koshal and Anr. v. Naz Foundation and Ors.,
These are a bunch of petitions filed challenging the judgment of the Delhi High Court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts. The Centre had chosen not to appeal against the High Court judgment. In its hearing on February 7, 2011 the Court refused to implead the armed forces as a party. The contention of the applicant, Suresh Kumar Koshal, which did not find favour with the Court, was that homosexual behaviour in the armed forces was illegal. The Court has till now also declined to stay the verdict of the Delhi High Court stating that any interim order will be made after hearing the parties. Notice has been served on the Centre and Naz Foundation and the matter will be taken up after the summer vacations.
Ram Jethmalani and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., WP (C) No. 176 of 2009
The issue of black money stashed in foreign banks was raised in this PIL, much before Baba Ramdev got involved with the issue. This PIL was been filed by Sr. Advocate Ram Jethmalani and few others seeking vital documents from the Centre on the black money stashed in foreign banks. The petitioners allege that the government has been inactive in probing this issue and bringing back such black money. The Court till now has been very critical of the lax attitude of the concerned agencies. At present, a few more petitions have been clubbed with the one filed by Jethmalani. The matter is next posted for 4th July.
This is the famous judges appointment case. RTI activist S.C. Agrawal had filed an application before the Supreme Court Registry seeking from it information and documents relating correspondence between various constitutional authorities relating to the appointment of three judges to the Supreme Court superseding seniority of three other judges. The PIO and the CPIO of the Supreme Court Registry denied the said information to the applicant which was appealed against before the Central Information Commission. The CIC, through its order, directed that the information be provided. The CPIO of the Supreme Court appealed directly to the Supreme Court, choosing not to go the Delhi High Court, which in the past has decided against the Supreme Court in the judges’ assets-declaration case. A Bench presided over by Justice Reddy after hearing the arguments decided to refer the matter to a Constitution Bench. The Bench noted in its referral order that the case “raises important questions of constitutional importance relating to the position of the CJI and the independence of the judiciary on the one hand, and on the other, the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression”. Meanwhile, it also stayed the order of the CIC.
*M/s A.P.Police Offrs.Assn v. A.P.Civil Liberties Comm
SLP (Civil) No. 5933/2009
This is an appeal from a decision by a five-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The case deals with question of whether an FIR may be registered against police officers in case of encounter deaths. The AP High Court had ruled in the affirmative holding that when death is caused in discharge of official duties, FIR shall be registered and the case shall be investigated; whether the investigation incriminates or exculpates the police officer(s), the magistrate shall independently and critically examine the evidence on record. It also held that these steps must be taken irrespective of whether any police officer has been named in the FIR. This decision has been stayed by the apex court and the matter is next listed for 11th November, 2011.
*Surat Singh vs. Union of India
WP (C) No. 316 of 2008.
This case is a PIL filed by advocate Surat Singh seeking from the Court certain guidelines for the media in reporting pending criminal cases. The case was filed in the wake of the excessive media reportings in the Arushi murder case. Arushi, a 14-year old girl and her domestic help Hemraj were found murdered in May 2008. The case was sensationalised by the media which carried out its own investigation and made various allegations against the family of the deceased girl. Cautioning it to exercise restraint, the Court has till now refused to initiate contempt proceedings against the media. The matter will now come up on 13th July, 2011.