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SCOI Report: How SC social justice bench used a combination of techniques to get things done on Friday

The Supreme Court’s Social Justice bench comprising of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday Umesh Lalit pursued their quest for social justice on Friday, Sepember 18 with a combination of compliment, reprimand, and expression of dismay. The bench heard eight cases in two hours from 2 pm in Court 9.

Here is the record of the proceedings in each:

ER Kumar vs UOI

This case is about shelters for urban homeless. The bench is concerned with effective implementation of UOI’s new scheme which is applicable to 790 cities. The bench had made it clear that it is not only the superstructure, but the peripheral issues which may be required to enable a homeless person to live with dignity would be its concern. On September 18, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for another petitioner, Deepan Bora in the same case, pointed out some discrepancies in the charts prepared by the UOI and by him. The case was adjourned to October 30, to enable the UOI to answer Bhushan’s misgivings.

Dalit Manavadhikar Kendra Samiti vs State of Rajasthan

The court reprimanded the Rajasthan Government for not filling the post of the chairperson of the state human rights commission for the past five years. Here is a report by IANS.

Tennydard M Marak vs UOI++

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the Scheduled Tribe status of Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma. Here is a report by IANS.

Trained Nurses Association of India vs UOI During the last hearing, the petitioner sought uniform guidelines to prevent exploitation of nurses by hospitals.

On Friday, when the matter came up again, the petitioner sought to invoke the court’s jurisdiction on the lines of Vishakha guidelines, which the court had framed to prevent sex harassment of women in workplaces, using the void in the law.

However, the bench remained unconvinced, and asked the counsel to come up with better arguments.

Independent Thought vs UOI

This is a plea to apply rape laws to the offence of child marriage, which is at present punishable only by the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, which fixes the marriageable age of girls at 18.

Exception 2 of S 375 IPC, however, says sexual relations of a man with his own wife, if the girl is not under 15, is not rape. The petition seeks to declare the IPC provision invalid. Here is a report.

On Friday, the bench made NCW a party to the case. The case also highlights other inconsistencies between the IPC provision and the POSCO and CrPC provisions

Re: Inhuman conditions in 1382 prisons++

The bench passed this order during its last hearing on August 7, 2015.

On Friday, the bench queried the Government why there has been poor progress in releasing the undertrials. In April, the bench found that 67 per cent of prisoner population in the country are undertrials. The case will be heard again on October 16, 2015.

In Re: chopping of the palms of two migrants++

A good report of the proceedings can be read here.

The case is about the welfare of migrant labourers in Odisha and Telengana.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs UOI

This case is about the steps being taken to trace the missing children.

The bench complimented the UP counsel Gaurav Bhatia for promptly correcting the state government’s affidavit which made it unhappy at the last hearing.

The bench had imposed a fine of Rs.25000 on the UOI for not filling the vacant posts at National Commission for Protection of Child Rights during its last hearing.

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