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HL Dattu

13 October 2014

The Supreme Court will Friday hear the bail plea of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, who is at present in a Bangalore jail after her conviction in a corruption case.

The former Tamil Nadu chief minister was sentenced to four years in prison and a Rs.100 crore fine.

A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said the matter would be heard Friday as senior counsel Fali Nariman mentioned her matter for listing and an early hearing.

Jayalalithaa moved the apex court Oct 9 after the Karnataka high court Oct 7 turned down her bail plea, as well as of other convicts Sasikala Natrajan, VK Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi. The court held that there were no grounds for granting them bail.

Besides health grounds, Jayalalithaa invoked Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the suspension of her sentence and grant of bail till the pendency of her appeal against the trial court order convicting and sentencing her in the case.

The high court had relied on apex court orders as it ruled that putting the sentence on hold after an appeal is filed against the trial court order was not automatic. It said the plea for bail after the conviction was different from the plea for bail while the trial was on.

It also cited the apex court ruling that “corruption amounts to violation of human rights and leads to economic imbalances”.

A trial court in Bangalore Sep 27 convicted Jayalalithaa in the 18-year-old case for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income.

The case related to period from 1991 to 1996 involving Rs.66.65 crore when she became chief minister for the first time.

26 September 2014

The Advocates Association Bangalore called for a strike to defend “prominent Judges of Karnataka”.

08 September 2014

In a pre-dawn order at the residence of future CJI HL Dattu with Justice AR Dave, the Supreme Court has stayed the execution of Surinder Koli, who was convicted of the so-called Nithari serial murders and rapes that took place in Noida from 2005.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising obtained the one-week stay order hours before Koli was due to be hanged, in order to allow a fresh review petition against the sentence to be heard in an open court, reported The Hindu, in line with an earlier constitution bench judgment that it is mandatory to allow oral hearings in death penalty review cases.

Jaising told The Hindu: “We approached Justice Dattu at 1.30 am. There was a sitting of a Bench of Justices Dattu and Dave, which ordered that the execution be stayed for a period of a week until Koli’s fresh review be heard by a Bench comprising three judges of the Supreme Court in an open courtroom, where his counsel will be allowed to submit limited oral arguments on his behalf pleading for reversal of his reversal of death penalty.”

06 September 2014

The president has cleared for Justice HL Dattu to become the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) on 28 September 2014, replacing RM Lodha when he retires from the Supreme Court, reported the PTI.

Dattu reportedly said: “I will request for blessing of all citizens of this country to give me courage and confidence to take this institution of mine to the highest stride... It will be the happiest day of his life to head the institution of judiciary [and] at the end of the day I can only say that I will do my best to improve the institution... Mine is the best institution in the world”.

19 August 2014

A petition in the Supreme Court pleaded for a constitutional amendment to make Hindi an official language to conduct high and apex court proceedings in.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice HL Dattu issued notice to the government about the petition that was filed by advocate Shiv Sagar Tiwari, who argued that English was a British colonial legacy and “Ghulami Bhasha” (a language of slavery), reported the PTI:

Time has now come that language of the Supreme Court should be ‘rashtra bhasha’ as defined under Article 343 of the Constitution and it has to be amended.

24 March 2014

Justice HL Dattu said that it was not appropriate at this stage to interfere with the bail the court granted in November 2011 for Sanjay Chandra, despite the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) approaching the court claiming Chandra was "materially interfering" and trying to influence the investigation, after an audio recording of Chandra allegedly taking advice from and trying to influence the public prosecutor, AK Singh, who's since been taken off the case [PTI]

04 February 2014

After the Supreme Court’s second-most senior judge and next Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said he would be the last person to accept appointment to the Lokpal selection panel, Chief justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam reportedly nominated the SC’s third-most senior judge HL Dattu to the panel, reported the Indian Express.

The panel, led by the President of India alongside Lok Sabha speaker and leader of the opposition, and an “eminent jurist”, would select select the Lokpal’s chairperson and other members.

Dismissing media reports that he was due to take up the post, Lodha had said in court, according to IANS: “I have not even demitted office. They have named me in the race for Lokpal.”

Lodha will be the next CJI until his retirement on 27 September after Sathasivam steps down on 26 April. Dattu would be CJI for more than a year after Lodha.

In the running for the “eminent jurist” seat on the selection panel are reportedly senior counsel Fali S Nariman, Soli Sorabjee, K Parasaran, Harish Salve, K K Venugopal and attorney general Goolam Vahanvati.