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Supreme Court

12 March 2014

The Supreme Court has issued the guidelines to govern hearings during the court’s summer vacations from 12 May to 29 June 2014.

On its website, the court wrote that any “pending and ready” cases falling within 30 announced categories, could be taken up by the vacation bench after application to the deputy registrar by 2 May 2014 [Court notice (PDF)].

10 March 2014

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said today that lower courts would have to complete criminal trials against lawmakers within a year, by holding day-to-day-hearings, or explain to the respective high court's chief justice why they weren't able to meet the deadline [The Hindu]

07 March 2014

Eight hateSupreme Court postcard writer and anonymous legal Twitter celebrity Court Witness returns, this time, full of hate (hate, hate. Hate).

06 March 2014

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave wrote to the Chief Justice of India questioning the propriety of a Supreme Court two-judge bench headed by justice CK Prasad which took away a matter listed before a three-judge bench, and decided the matter itself, reported the Times of India yesterday.

Prasad and justice Pinaki Ghose’s bench had in January passed suo motu orders tagging a Cidco golf course tender case to, allegedly, an unrelated criminal appeal it was hearing.

He said the it was “disturbing” how the hearing was “inexplicably snatched from a three-judge bench authorized to hear it”.

Dave, in his letter, said the issue raised a number of questions:

“Why was the bench headed by Justice Prasad so keen to hear the land matter in such unnatural haste in violation of judicial propriety and decorum? How did it learn of it? Could it have, suo motu, with any lawyer or party requesting its tagging, tag it? In any case, the matters were unrelated, as senior counsel C U Singh who appeared in the criminal case had informed Justice Prasad who agreed, but said the common factor was Cidco.”

The letter added, “What was the SC registry doing? Couldn't it have checked the matters were unconnected? After accepting and de-tagging it, ought not the matter to have been sent to the regular bench?”

05 March 2014

The Supreme Court Justice RM Lodha has taken suo motu cognisance against advocate Manoj Sharma, who threw ink at the Sahara chief Subrata Roy on the Supreme Court premises on Monday [Economic Times]. Lodha instructed the attorney general to find out the facts of the case today. The next hearing is scheduled for 24 March, according to the Indian Express, with Sharma having to explain why he should not be booked for contempt of court.

Sharma, a self-described activist and advocate from a village near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, yesterday removed his shirt in the limelight of the TV cameras after his assault and shouted slogans against Roy, who was jailed in Tihar yesterday by the apex court.

Sharma has a history of unusual and attention-grabbing protests, having thrown a shoe at Suresh Kalmadi, who was the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief [OneIndia has a detailed timeline of his Sharma’s ‘activism’].

Update: Sharma has been sent to Tihar jail for failing to post bail, with police telling the magistrate that he is “mentally unsound” [PTI]

05 March 2014

The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition by lawyers challenging the recommendation of 12 names for the Madras high court bench by its chief justice, saying it could only review for eligibility but not suitability.

01 March 2014

The Supreme Court asked the law ministry and central government on Friday about establishing a national court of appeal to hear certain appeals from the high courts instead of the Supreme Court, after a writ petition was filed by a Kerala advocate, reported PTI.

V Vasantha Kumar from Puducherry has been pushing since November 2013 to consider the Supreme Court's 1986 suggestions to insert into the judicial hierarchy a National Court of Appeal with benches in several cities. 

27 February 2014

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved judgement in the challenge to the controversial 12 names that were recommended for judgeship at the Madras high court.

26 February 2014

The Supreme Court has today issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Sahara chief Subrata Roy for not turning up in court, rejecting senior counsel Ram Jethamalani's arguments that Roy was aiding his ill mother.

25 February 2014

dothufqrA Supreme Court’s five-judge constitutional bench will examine the issue of legalising active euthanasia or mercy killing in India in the public interest litigation brought by the NGO Common Cause. The bench will also reopen the 2011 verdict in Aruna Shaunbag which had legalised passive euthanasia in India but rejected the plea for active euthanasia

21 February 2014

AOR exam: Difficulty rising or standards slipping?The Advocates on Record (AOR) exam pass rate has marginally bettered to set a three-year record. 22 per cent aspirants of the AOR designation have succeeded in their June 2013 attempt, according to results announced today.

19 February 2014

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court's sexual harassment committee has explained how sexual harassment complaints against practising lawyers and court staff should be made in future.

19 February 2014

The Supreme Court has granted a Muslim petitioner the right to adopt a child despite Muslim personal law prohibiting adoption.

18 February 2014

Escaping gallowsA Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam today commuted the punishment for Rajiv Gandhi assassins Murugan, Santhan and Arivu from death penalty to life imprisonment on ground of “inordinate delay”, 15 years after the first ever mercy petitions were filed in the case.

18 February 2014

With the elevation of Madras HC chief justice (CJ) RK Agrawal and Delhi HC CJ N Venkata Ramana to the SC, the apex court currently sits at full strength – 31 judges.

However, this year India too will for the first time see three chief justices within 12 months, and 10 SC judges will retire between 9 March and 29 October, reported [IBN Live/India Today].

Case pendency at the SC meanwhile is close to touching the 70,000 mark.

14 February 2014

Swatanter Kumar The Supreme Court has adjourned its hearing in the public interest litigation (PIL) against Swatanter Kumar until 26 March, as two more interveners attempted to join the PIL.

13 February 2014

Supreme Court convenes tomorrow Legally India has obtained a copy of the public interest litigation filed by anonymous lawyer X, a former intern of ex-Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar, whose case will again get heard by the Supreme Court tomorrow (14 February).

13 February 2014

Amicus The Supreme Court has opened up its panel of lawyers eligible to be selected as amicus curiae (Latin for “friend of the court”), to assist the judges from time to time in matters.

12 February 2014

Madras high court chief justice RK Agrawal was elevated to the Supreme Court yesterday, reported the PTI.

His judicial career began in February 1999 at the Allahabad high court 14 years after which he was appointed acting chief justice of the Madras high court. He became chief justice of Madras HC in November last year. [Correction: Justice Agrawal's name was misspelled in an earlier version of the story. We regret the error]