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Supreme Court

07 February 2014

Artist's Impression 0 For all intents and purposes, a lot of credit should go to Karanjawala & Co, for they have proven what difference a lawyer can make (or a team of six or more, judging by the number cc’d to my recent email correspondence with the firm).

05 February 2014

BS ChauhanAn SC bench came down heavily on an advocate-on-record who did not turn up for a hearing and instead sent a nameless lawyer holding himself out as “proxy counsel”.

04 February 2014

Every HC bench strength to grow by 25%: The central government has decided to increase the judges’ strength of each high court in India by 25 per cent and has invited proposals from all chief justices on additional facilities concerning courtroom, quarters and support staff for the enhanced number of judges [TOI]

SC to consider banning red beacons outright: After its ban on the widespread ‘misuse’ of red beacon lights on cars, the Supreme Court has yesterday agreed to look into the meaning and constitutional validity of the term “high dignitaries”, as only allowing them to use the lights could be contrary to the “democratic ethos” and reflective of “Raj mentality”. Justices RM Lodha and Shiva Kirti Singh, with amicus curiae Harish Salve, will examine the arguments [Express]

Mysore DCs to become more efficient with self-service kiosks: Mysore becomes the second city in India after Bangalore to have kiosks around its district court campus, where case details can be retrieved by punching in the case number. Three kiosks were inaugurated on Sunday [TOI]. The city aims to reduce over 63 per cent of its case pendency in its ongoing Lok Adalats [Deccan Herald]

Krishna Iyer’s disdain for recusing judges: Jurisprudential luminary and retired Supreme Court justice VR Krishna Iyer commented on the rampant practice of judges recusing themselves from cases. In letters to the Kerala high court chief justice and governor he said: “Vast powers have been vested in judges under the Constitution and they are bound to adjudicate every case posted before them. That is a great duty from which they cannot retreat. Not hearing cases or declining to do justice is breach of the solemn obligation vested in them. To default or decline to exercise this sublime power is to invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President.” [TOI]

Karntaka SLSA appointment: Karnataka high court justice NK Patil has been appointed executive chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority [TOI]

Aadhar facility in Gujarat jails: Gujarat high court has asked the state government to facilitate issuing Aadhar cards in prison, after a prisoner’s wife applied for his bail for the purpose of enabling him to apply for his Aadhar card [TOI]

PIL vs Kejriwal: The closing up of several public roads and metro stations in Delhi thanks to protests and demonstrations carried out by the newly elected Arvind Kejriwal government, has spurred a second petitioner to file a public interest litigation against the government [Mizo News]

12 new Allahabad HC judges: Four Allahabad high court lawyers and eight higher judicial service officers have taken oath as Allahabad HC additional judges [TOI]

03 February 2014

The Supreme Court Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) has received two complaints of sexual harassment since it was set up on 26 November 2013, reported the PTI, citing the GSICC Annual Report (PDF):

In the First Meeting of the GSICC held on 9/12/2013, an Internal Sub-Committee of three members was constituted in terms of Clause 9(1) of the said Regulations. The three members are Ms. Indu Malhotra, Senior Advocate, Mr. L. Nageshwar Rao, Senior Advocate and Ms. Bharti Ali, Co-Director, HAQ.

Two complaints received by the GSICC from aggrieved women lawyers have been submitted to the Internal Sub-Committee. The Internal Sub-Committee initiated the process of examining the two complaints. As far as the Complainant in GSICCNo. 1/2013 is concerned, her statement was video-recorded on 12.12.2013. The Complainant in GSICC No.2/2013 appeared on 16.12.2013 and the video-recording of her statement was deferred at her request. Both the complaints are pending disposal with the internal sub-committee.

While further details of the complaints were not disclosed, the committee does not have the power to investigate complaints against judges, which hit the headlines shortly before the committee was constituted.

28 January 2014

Supreme Court justices HL Dattu and Sidhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya have rejected a number of review petitions of its late 2013 judgment that effectively re-criminalised homosexual intercourse.

The bench said in its order: “We  have  gone  through  the  Review  Petitions  and  the connected papers. We see no reason to interfere with the order impugned. The Review Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed.”

[Read copy of the order]

The December 2013 Supreme Court bench of Dattu and Mukhopadhaya, which was headed by Justice GS Singhvi when it handed down its judgment on the day Singhvi retired, had overturned the Delhi high court's judgment that held section 377 as unconstitutional.

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” punishable with a maximum life prison sentence.

[Read the Supreme Court's December 2013 judgment]

A curative petition will likely follow now.

25 January 2014

The Supreme Court has postponed its national Lok Adalat to Saturday 12 April 2014 from 29 March, requesting all advocates to submit their consent and parties details by 14 March [SC notice]

21 January 2014

Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh argued that the right to seek mercy is a constitutional right not at the “discretion or whims of the executive”.

17 January 2014

Anonymised #InternJudge The Delhi high court yesterday restrained anyone from publishing or broadcasting the detailed sexual harassment allegations against Swatanter Kumar, without stating prominently that they are “mere allegations”, as a battery of counsel appeared for the former Supreme Court judge in the court yesterday.

09 January 2014

SC introduces online visitor sign-in: The Supreme Court has introduced an online system to sign in clients and other guests to the apex court via the so-called Supreme Court Visitor Management System (SCVMS). After signing in with details including the name of the court, case and advocate, visitors will receive an SMS or email, which can be used to enter the court. [Link: SCVMS]

ILS Pune suicide student’s scores change some: The re-evaluated scores of ILS Pune first-year student Saumitra Dhoble, who had on Saturday reportedly committed suicide an hour after his first semester exam results were declared, have not changed much. Two of Dhoble’s failing grades (zero marks in history and 40 in economics) were confirmed after re-evaluation but in English the grade was elevated to 28 marks from five [TOI]

Read PIL to get Kejriwal to take security: Advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi filed a PIL in the Delhi high court seeking to force newly elected chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to accept a security detail [Full petition / Financial Express]

Karnan, the controverisal Madras HC judge: Madras HC judge has a knack for raising eyebrows, reports the New Indian Express, be it by storming into courtroom yesterday to intervene in a petition against the 12 name-recommendations for judgeships at the HC, or before that becoming the first judge to lodge a formal complaint of caste-based discrimination against him by brother judges, or in June when he delivered the progressive yet infamous “Sex equals marriage” judgement [Deccan Herald]

Jet-Etihad appeal: The Jet-Etihad combination approval by the CCI now faces a COMPAT appeal from Air India’s former executive director who asserts that due to the CCI’s failure to assess all competition issues, passengers are likely to be deprived of airline choices on key routes, pay higher prices and have fewer options on aircraft, timings and service quality [PTI]

Hauz Khas Village curse continues, as Green Tribunal orders closure of 12 restaurants in the hip Delhi ‘hood [NDTV]

Court orders cow DNA test: “Bizarre! But SO cool! Kerala court orders DNA test on cow to settle ownership dispute!” tweets @vakeel_saheba [NDTV]

06 January 2014

Media trial LI reporter Prachi Shrivastava argues that, to date, the pillars of the Indian constitution have been remarkably efficient and fair in the investigation and reporting of the sexual harassment allegations against former Supreme Court Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

06 January 2014

SC clerkshipsThe Delhi high court today issued notice in the Supreme Court’s letters patent appeal against the 16 December decision by a single Delhi high court judge that the apex court’s method of selecting judicial clerks was unconstitutional.

06 January 2014

Supreme Court Justice Gyan Sudha Misra is not available today (6 January) and the matters scheduled in court number 10, where she would have been presiding with Justice V Gopala Gowda, have been postponed to Wednesday 8 January [SC notice PDF]. Gowda, however, will take in-chamber matters today at noon as set out in a separate list.

Also out, the first supplementary weekly list of the year [list, PDF 7.7MB]

02 January 2014

The Union cabinet has greenlit the proposed presidential reference to remove West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman AK Ganguly, for allegedly having sexually harassed an intern.

President Pranab Mukherjee will now be able to take a call on whether the reference to remove Ganguly under the Human Rights Act will proceed, reported IBNLive.

In reaction, Ganguly told PTI: “I don't want to comment now. I need some time to decide. Please give me some time, later on I will let you know.”