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Supreme Court

19 September 2014

Four Lok Sabha Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MPs and others have collected signatures to impeach Karnataka high court judge Justice KL Manjunath, two months after the central government rejected the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation to transfer him to Punjab and Haryana, reported the Indian Express.

The MPs would like the president to initiate Manjunath’s removal under Article 217 and 214(4) of the Constitution for “proved misbehaviour”, alleging “wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income”, “abused his position to amass several movable and immovable properties worth crores of rupees, disproportionate to his known sources of income”, hearing and deciding a petition in favour of a housing society where his daughter owned a plot, and “failing to declare his assets in violation of the Full Court Resolution of 1997”, according to the paper, which has seen the petition. The petition includes property registration deeds and other documents as annexes.

18 September 2014

The NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, today declined to name the whistleblower who disclosed the alleged interference by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha in the 2G investigation and prosecution after meeting the accused in the 2G and coal scam cases.

The CPIL, in its affidavit filed Thursday, said that its governing body in its meeting Sep 17 decided not to reveal the identity of the whistleblower who took off the lid on the alleged interference in 2G matters by the CBI director. The NGO’s governing body consists of advocates Anil Divan, Colin Gonsalves, Shanti Bhushan, Kamal Jaswal, Kamini Jaiswal and Prashant Bhushan, reported *Mint].

The NGO said this in response to the Sep 15 order of justices HL Dattu and SA BobdeRead more at: , who, citing the Supreme Court Rules 2013, had asked the NGO to disclose the identity of the whistleblower who gave it the information on the basis of which the averments and allegations were made against the CBI director. [Source]

17 September 2014

Scroll.in lists nine, mostly compelling, reasons for why convicted serial murdered Surendra Koli should not be hanged, including a lack of evidence, his apparent psychopathy, iffy confession and oher circumstances. Worth a read, at Scroll.in.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising had obtained a stay on Koli’s execution in the early hours of Monday, 7 September morning, from Supreme Court Justice HL Dattu. The Supreme Court has now stayed his execution until the end of October.

12 September 2014

The Supreme Court Friday extended its order putting on hold the execution of the death sentence of Nithari killer Surendra Koli till Oct 29.

While extending the stay, an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice-designate Justice H.L. Dattu asked the senior counsel to place before them in bullet points the grounds on which Koli is seeking a review of the judgement confirming his death sentence by the top court.

The court will hear Koli’s review petition Oct 28.

Late on Sunda night senior counsel Indira Jaising had obtained the first stay of execution that was scheduled for Monday, in order to hear an oral review of his judgment.

More background at The Hindu.

10 September 2014

In the petition against the Kerala government shutting down 730 bars, Supreme Court Justice Anil Dave said: “There is no logic. What do you mean sub-standard [bars should be shut]? I am a teetotaller, but even I see no logic... how do you distinguish here?”

The policy that is set to come into force on 12 September, bans liquor sales at 730 supposedly “sub-standard” bars but not at toddy shops and five star hotels, complained a number of senior advocates who appeared for Kerala bar owners, reported The Hindu.

“What are they trying to attain? Prohibition? Five-star hotels, toddy shops will all function... only certain establishments will be cut off,” argued senior advocate Aryama Sundaram, while senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan argued that bars’ licences should not be cancelled prematurely and should continue in their normal duration, until 31 March 2015.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal countered for the state that selling liquor was not a fundamental right, that the ban was a policy decision, and that bar licences could be cancelled any time by the state. The Supreme Court will hear further arguments tomorrow.

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”.

28 August 2014

A Supreme Court bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and NV Ramana told real estate developer DLF that it should deposit with the court the entire penalty of Rs 630 crore that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed on it in 2011, pending the outcome of its appeal against the Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) order of May of this year.

DLF should pay Rs 50 crore within three weeks, Rs 580 crore within three months, and should undertake to pay another Rs 170 crore in interest if its apex court appeal should fail, reported IANS. DLF was fined for “highly abusive” apartment buyers agreements in several of its developments.

25 August 2014

SCBA tea at 4 on SC Rules: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) will meet at 4:10pm today to discuss the new Supreme Court Rules and some of the minor tweaks regarding A4 paper and other concessions made by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), including putting “in abeyance” two examples of AoR misconduct (absence without justifiable cause and failure to submit appearance slip), and that excess court fees will be refunded if the committee decides to undo the new raised fees. [Meeting notification] / [Background note to meeting] / [SC Rules 2013]

How Bombay profits from & criminalises homelessness: Though over 100,000 homeless persons live in Mumbai as the “backbone of the city economy”, many facets of their existence are still criminalised Mumbai Boss

Madras HC steps in for Swamy: The Madras high court has continued the stay on a Singapore defamation case against BJP politician Subramanian Swamy, which was launched by a Chennai-based consultancy firm’s Singaporean subsidiary, which objected to a press conference by Swamy. The consultancy filed the case to “arm-twist Swamy from proceeding further in his action of unearthing scams”, held Justice RS Ramanathan, and continued the stay on the Singapore proceedings [PTI]

22 August 2014

The Supreme Court told the government that it should explain within four weeks how the “leader of opposition” post should be interpreted under the Lokpal Act, since the Congress party lost to the BJP so badly that it can’t muster enough members in the Lok Sabha to count as an opposition. 55 MPs was stipulated by speaker Sumitra Mahajan as a minimum required to be allowed to choose a leader of the opposition in the house. NDTV.

India Today reported that the Supreme Court “made it clear that if the government fails to resolve LoP issue, the court may give a larger interpretation to the term LoP so that it may include leader of the largest party or leader of the larger group”, as attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the government would review and seek to amend certain provisions of the Lokpal Act.

Furthermore, the apex court questioned why none of the nine members of the Lokpal have been appointed to date.