P Sathasivam

Madhava Menon + 2 others appointed by CJI to draft guidlines on 'political' government ads [JUDGMENT]

The founder director of NLSIU Bangalore, NR Madhavan Menon, ex Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan and senior counsel Ranjit Kumar have been appointed by the Supreme Court to form a committee regulating government departments advertising with an "obvious political message".

Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam said today that existing guidelines did not cover such cases, and that the committee should submit its report to the apex court in three months. [IANS] [Read judgment (PDF)]

Sex harassment at SC: Apex court bans advocate for 6 months

Supreme CourtSupreme CourtThe Supreme Court sexual harassment committee has banned an advocate from the Supreme Court premises for six months for an incident of sexual harassment.

Next Chief Lodha will hear oral arguments in curative Section 377 petition next week

SC amends law to equalise advocate-judges’ pension with other judges

The Supreme Court has ordered a retrospective amendment in the High Court Judges Rules 1956, to standardise all retired higher judiciary judges’ pension. The SC has also directed those states which have not yet extended various post-retirement benefits to retired higher judiciary judges, to do so within six months.

Has CJI de facto abolished death penalty? In swift 8-page order Sathasivam follows own precedent, commutes Bhullar noose to life

A Supreme Court bench of CJI P Sathasivam, and Justices RM Lodha, HL Dattu and Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, commuted the death penalty of 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment, citing its earlier Shatrughan Chauhan decision.

SC 'implores' state to protect women in suo motu kangaroo-court gang-rape ruling

The Supreme Court has said that the police should take action in the gang-rape of a woman in a village, which was allegedly ordered by a village panchayat as punishment for her affair. The bench led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam was apparently able to do little substantively in the case, beyond order the WB government to pay Rs 5 lakh in compensation, but reiterated the Lalita Kumari guidelines that police must register an FIR on congisable offences and that hospitals must provide free medical assistance to victims of certain offences. "We implore upon the State machinery to work in harmony with each other to safeguard the rights of women in our country," he said.

Amicus curiae and additional solicitor general Sidharth Luthra assisted the court, which took notice of the case after reading newspaper reports about it. [Judgment]

Crap law: CJI rules on much-flouted manual human waste disposal legislation

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam has ruled in a writ petition on people disposing human waste manually from dry toilets, granting Rs 10 lakh compensation each to families of manual scavengers who died in sewers, manholes or septic tanks since 1993, after the work was outlawed by law, which was further strengthened in September of last year.

The SC also ordered better schemes for rehabilitation of workers who would be doing an illegal job under the law, and told the Indian Railways, which is the largest employer of manual scavengers, of whom the majority are from the dalit castes, to stop the practice. [Mint] [Judgment W.P.(C) 583/2003] [January NYT feature on the manual scavenging law]

Breaking: Read SC order slamming UP gov for Muzaffarnagar riots negligence

RiotsRiotsThe Supreme Court has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to prevent the Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013.

"After two wasted years, Sathasivam realizes that Kapadia was, after all, right about the Registry": @CourtWitness1

"After two wasted years, Sathasivam realizes that Kapadia was, after all, right about the Registry," tweeted CourtWitness. Livelaw reported that Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sathasivam said at an AOR-hosted function yesterday that the registry was not listing matters correctly by allowing lawyers to mention matters, following controversy kicked off by senior advocate Dushyant Dave about forum shopping, which the CJI had attributed to a mistake in the registry [@CourtWitness1] [LiveLaw]

SC orders DJ report on Birbhum ‘kangaroo court’ gang rape, Sid Luthra to assist

Madras bar & bench reach out to governor against Chief, alleges favouritism and casteism

Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) president Paul Kanagaraj, with an MHAA “delegation”, met Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah seeking his intervention in recalling a list of 12 names recommended for judgeship at the HC, and taking exception to the fact that the recommended advocates were “shortlisted by the collegium on the interference of the Chief Justice of India”, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

Meanwhile the HC’s justice CS Karnan wrote to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes seeking action against chief justice RK Aggarwal for “changing his portfolio [of cases] from Karur to Sivanga”.

Legally India delved into the polico-cultural climate at the Madras Bar, a lot of which apparently revolves around casteism.

Need to know: Publicity shy CJI | Lower court jurisdiction | Prosecutorial vacancies | Delhi law min bad PR salvage | Pendency spiral

Publicity shy CJI: The Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam refused permission to publish his photograph in a September advertisement for the release of India’s first customised PIN code for the apex court, an RTI has revealed [PTI]

Lower court jurisdiction enhancement: The Delhi government is giving final shape to a proposal to enhance Delhi’s lower courts’ pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, to reduce burden on the Delhi HC [PTI]

Prosecutorial vacancies ad inept: Prosecutors decried the Delhi government advertisement for 20 prosecutorial vacancies as an ad-hoc measure that is bound to fail. The ad, which comes a month after the Delhi HC’s direction to the government to fill prosecutorial vaclawyerancies, stated that only retired prosecuting officers and assistant public prosecutors with at least 2 years in the post could apply [Indian Express]

Delhi law min bad PR salvage: Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti attempted to rebut bad press that followed yesterday’s reports by a an ex-judge accusing him of professional misconduct, while he was practising as a lawyer. Bharti released a press statement saying that he “had let go of [his] disagreement with lower court and then HC’s orders/judgements” because after his then-client already got bail, there was no reason left to challenge the order [TOI]

Pendency spiral: MJ Antony takes a look at arrears and incidental matters: All Indian courts: 32 million pending cases; SC – 66,349; Delhi HC – over 1,20,000 cases. Another commentator bemoans that the SC has stopped publishing its quarterly review Court News regularly after 2009. Also adds that 10 out of 29 current judges are retiring in the next few months, this year will see three chief justices, the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2013 will be shelved and tribunal vacancies are a different tale altogether [Business Standard]

Out of a valley of darkness: How, in the face of tyranny, the Supreme Court did right by #InternJudge

vbnacoitvbnacoitThose who are accusing the Supreme Court of washing its hands of the allegation that a former apex court judge sexually harassed a former intern (“SJ”), have it wrong.

CJI: Prima facie ‘verbal/non-verbal sexual conduct’ by AK Ganguly but SC can’t act because he’s retired

SathasivamSathasivamCJI Sathasivam has released an excerpt of the judicial inquiry report into the #InternJudge sex harassment allegations against retired Justice AK Ganguly, which acknowledged a “prima facie” case.

 

Wired: CJI slams ex-CJI stay | SA fixed matches in HC | Justice pleads against boycott | Kanimozhi wants stay lifted for fair trial | FDA ignored J&J | Dow in the dock?

CJI slams ex-CJI stay: Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam said about an order of his predecessor Altmas Kabir, who had stayed a lower court’s Rs 100 crore penalty against builders Jaiprakash Associates. “We do not approve of the manner in which the interim orders came to be passed. We do not sit on appeal over orders passed by a coordinate bench. These orders should not have been passed,” said Sathasivam, sitting alongside Justice Ranjan Gogoi [TOI]

SA fixed matches in HC: The Delhi HC accepts charge sheet in 2000 South Africa-India cricket match fixing conspiracy against bookies who allegedly colluded with now-deceased South African captain Hansie Cronje, as Supreme Court rejects PIL asking for CBI inquiry into the more recent spot-fixing scandal [Indian Express]

Justice pleads v boycott: Madras HC Justice Paul Vasanthakumar asked the bar to stop boycotting courts, which was adding to pendency [TOI]

Kanimozhi wants stay lifted for fair trial: DMK party MP Kanimozhi has appealed to the SC to lift the stay on hearings in the 2G spectrum case because it violated her fundamental right to clear her name in court [Hindu]

FDA ignored J&J: Bombay HC queries FDA on why it waited for 18 months to serve a show-cause notice to Johnson & Johnson over allegedly carcinogenic baby talcum powder [Indian Express]

Dow in the dock? Dow Chemicals served fresh summons by district court [PTI]

Acid survivor attacks: “An Acid Attack Survivor Helps India Change Its Laws” [NYT India Inc]

Media friendlier new CJI | Arbitrary CAG challenge heard | OBC state college | Sahara where art thou? | SC presumes v gang rape consent | Salman trial frenzy | Bear witness to Ambani | AP Shah for RTI

Media friendlier new CJI? New CJI P Sathasivam said in a speech that he was in favour of self-regulation of the media rather than strict controls [Hindu] His remarks follow both his predecessors’ significant fall-outs with the media – SH Kapadia constituted a constitutional bench into media conduct, while his successor Altamas Kabir released a six-page statement slamming two newspapers yesterday.

Arbitrary CAG challenge heard: A Delhi high court bench headed by acting chief justice BD Ahmed said it would hear two PILs challenging the central government’s allegedly arbitrary appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Centre to respond by 8 August. [PTI]

OBC state college: The Delhi high court ruled that state-established or -affiliated universities can follow their own state’s Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservations and do not have to adhere to the Centre’s [DNA]

Sahara where art thou? The Supreme Court asked Sahara today by when it would pay refunds to its investors, following a contempt petition by Sebi over Sahara’s delays in obeying with the order [NDTV]

SC presumes against gang rape consent: Supreme Court bench of BS Chauhan and SA Bobde rule that in gang rape cases there is a presumption that there was no consent of the victim [Express / Md Iqbal & Anr. vs State of Jharkhand (Cr App 109-110 of 2011)]

Salman trial frenzy: Bollywood star Salman Khan’s culpable homicide trial started today in Mumbai sessions court. He pleaded not guilty. Turn on any TV set near you for wall-to-wall coverage [PTI]

Bear witness to Ambani: Reliance Telecom fields Mukul Rohatgi to argue before Supreme Court special 2G bench that Anil Ambani and his wife should not be called as witnesses in the 2G spectrum scam [PTI]

AP Shah for RTI: Ex Delhi HC CJ AP Shah and other high-powered signatories to a petition have urged MPs not to vote for a bill that excludes political parties from the RTI Act [PTI]

Sathasivam to carry on CJI legacy as Supreme Court’s first Madras chief

Senior-most Supreme Court justice P Sathasivam was appointed Chief Justice of India-designate on Saturday. He will be sworn in as the Chief Justice of India CJI) on 19 July, a day after current CJI Altamas Kabir’s retirement.

Sathasivam, aged 64, is the first judge from Tamil Nadu to become the CJI, reported the Hindu. He was elevated to the SC on 21 August 2007 while serving as a judge in the Punjab & Haryana high court and had never served as a high court CJ.

He started his career in 1973 after graduating from Government Law College Chennai, as a junior lawyer under Madras high court senior advocate Muthumani Duraisamy, according to the New Indian Express.

“Statistics point that just one per cent of cases from Madras High Court go on appeal to the Supreme Court whereas this figure is 12 per cent for Delhi High Court. We hope this scenario would change and he would do something about it,” Madras HC advocate NL Rajah told NIE.

Sathasivam – the 40th CJI – will retire on 26 April 2014.

SC Sathasivam and Khehar factor in gender, family lineage to confirm death sentence

Supreme Court judges P Sathasivam and JS Khehar yesterday justified awarding the death penalty to the murderer of a seven-year-old boy, on the ground of his gender among other “aggravating circumstances”. Killing the sole male child of a family meant the lineage could not be carried forward, reported the Times of India.

The bench said:

The parents of the deceased had four children — three daughters and one son. Kidnapping the only male child was to induce maximum fear in the mind of his parents. Purposefully killing the sole male child has grave repercussions for the parents of the deceased…

Agony for parents for the loss of their male child, who would have carried further the family lineage, and is expected to see them through their old age, is unfathomable. Extreme misery caused to the aggrieved party certainly adds to the aggravating circumstances.

The accused lured the victim, whom he knew, away after school under some pretext, kidnapped him and called his house for ransom. After a delay in being provided the money he strangled the boy stuffed him in a gunny bag and dumped him in a water tank.

SC mulls choice between simple and rigorous imprisonment for lifers

SC justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi are currently examining whether life-term convicts should undergo simple or rigorous imprisonment.

A man convicted for murdering his wife, whom he suspected of adultery, was sentenced to the life-term by a Maharashtra sessions court and the sentence was reaffirmed by Bombay high court.

In his appeal through the Supreme Court Legal Services Centre, senior counsel Parmanand Katara argued on his behalf that since the Indian Penal Code (IPC) does not define rigorous imprisonment, the lifer should be subjected to only simple imprisonment entailing simple instead of hard labour during his life term.

The Maharashtra government has to file its reply in the matter [BS]

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