Supreme Court to hear comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail plea tomorrow

Munawar Faruqui applied for a bail application in regards to a case against him for allegedly insulting the religious sentiments. The hearing for the same has been listed to take place tomorrow in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and BR Gavai will hear this case and it is number 27 on their list. The Madhya Pradesh High Court refused this bail on 28th January and the Sessions Court before that. Not only did Munawar Faruqui challenge the judgement of the Madhya Pradesh High Court but also under Article 32 of the Constitution moved a criminal writ petition. In a recent stand up show, Faruqui had made derogatory remarks against the Hindu Gods and hence he was arrested on January 1. Chief of Hindutva organisation Hind Rakshak Sangathan, Eklavya Singh Gaur filed this complaint.

Protester throws motor oil on Kerala High Court Judge’s car; Lawyer writes to Registrar General calling for deployment of CAF at High Court

Concerns about the security of the judges were raised due to a recent incident of a protester throwing motor oil at a Kerala High Court Judge’s official car on Wednesday morning while she was en route to the Court. Justice V Shircy’s official car was the car in question and the protester was earlier seen holding placards in protest before the High Court. Jasna Maria James, a B.com student went missing from Kanjirapally, Kerala under mysterious circumstances in 2018. A habeas corpus was filed in this matter and the protest outside the High Court was a response to the delay in the disposal of this case. The protester was nabbed by the Judge’s security and then reportedly handed over to the Central police station located near the High Court. Advocate Joseph Rony Jose addressed a letter to the Kerala High Court’s Registrar General, raising concerns over the state of High Court security. Thedeployment of Central Armed Forces (CAF) for the security of the High Court and the judges in the interest of safety and protection of judges was suggested by Jose in the letter. It was also mentioned that the Kerala High Court is weak when compared to other High Courts in the country. If no positive action was taken in this case, Advocate Jose would approach the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court planning to resume physical hearing by first week of March: BCI press release

The Bar Council of India issued a press release saying that physical hearing of cases in a limited manner will be resumed by the first week of March in the Supreme Court. Details discussed in a meeting that took place on 2nd February between the leaders of the Bar and the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde to discuss this resumption were shared in this press release. It was made clear that judges of the Supreme Court are willing to resume the physical hearings by the CJI. Various technical as well as medical issues are trying to be fixed. A hybrid method of physical and virtual hearing will take place and they will be limited in amount. Only lawyers present in Delhi should be allowed and the same to be done through “cable connections either in lawyers chambers or in cubicles (to be installed in the premises of the Supreme Court).”, this was suggested by Senior Counsel Vikas Singh and was included in the press release. This proposal was agreed upon by the CJI. The Secretary General along with the leaders of the Bar will decide upon a Standard Operating Procedure consisting of guidelines for the hybrid hearings. The difficulties faced by various lawyers due to the continuation of online hearings was informed to the CJI. The CJI was also informed about the resentment among members of the Bar due to the statements passed by a few judges of the Supreme Court who spoke about continuing the virtual hearings even after the pandemic by the BCI Chairperson Manan Kumar Mishra.

Supreme Court issues notice in plea to hold Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp directly responsible for spreading hate speech

In a plea seeking to hold Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp responsible for spreading hate speech The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. A Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued the notice. A mechanism for automatic removal of hate speech and fake news within a short time frame is what the petition urges the top court to direct the Central Government to do. One Armin Navabi tweeted two tweets allegedly using derogatory terms against Hindu goddesses and a plea was filed against this. The plea acknowledges that the Freedom of Speech is complex but also states that it’s not absolute and that it goes hand in hand with a reasonable set of responsibilities. There is another pending plea which sought the formulation of an independent media tribunal to try violation of program code cases independent of any government interference and the said petition is tagged with this petition.

Supreme Court seeks response from MHA, Law Ministry, Law Commission in PIL seeking uniform law for adoption and guardianship

In a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking uniform grounds for adoption and guardianship across the country, regardless of religion or gender differences the Supreme Court of India sought the response of the Central government the Law Commission of India on 29th January, Friday. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Union Law Ministry and the Law Commission of India. The pleas in this matter were those related to uniform grounds in the subjects of divorce, alimony and maintenance. It was emphasized that this would strengthen tolerance, brotherhood and fraternity and put a stop to the hatred.
“Rights of property, recognition of being legal heir and fundamental right to dignity and equality will be granted to both, adopted child and spouse without gender and religious discrimination.”
It also stated that the uniform law will curb the confusion. Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who is a BJP leader, a lawyer and also a part of another similar PIL moved the Court for this petition. The notice was issued by the Court on 16th December 2020.

PIL filed in Delhi High Court seeking removal of protesters from roads and deployment of paramilitary

In the case of Dhananjai Jain Vs Union of Indian which was presented in front of Delhi High Court, a public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed for the removal of people sitting on roads “under the garb of Kisan Agitation”. The petitioner, Dhananjai Jain, has claimed that he was left “aghast” by the unprecedented developments in various parts of Delhi, including Red Fort on Republic Day. Since 26th January various agitations have been continuously taking place on the Delhi border for about two months now. As the farmers reached the interiors of Delhi with weapons, hockey sticks, swords and other assault weapons, it is said that their protest took a violent and disturbing turn. The life of the capital has been brought to a stand still and the peace, tranquility, law and order has been immensely disturbed. An agitation must be democratic and civilized rather than violent. This was the assertion made by the petitioner. He also commented on the state of the Delhi police and described them as being helpless, chased and threatened. The PIL stated that besides the efforts of the police a national monument was captured by the agitators and the National flag was humiliated by hoisting a flag of the protestors. The petitioner called the Commissioner of the Delhi Police incompetent and also prayed for the deployment of para military forces and for the removal of the Commissioner for not executing the given duties in a successful manner. The petition has been filed through Advocate Bhoop Singh.

Plea filed in Supreme Court against Bombay High Court judgment on controversial POCSO Act acquittal

In regards to a judgement passed by the Bombay High Court which entered that a Convict was acquitted of charges under the protection of children from sexual offences (POCSO) act on the grounds of lack of direct physical contact with the victim who was a minor, a petition has been filed in the supreme court to appeal against it. It was stated by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on January 19th that under the section 7 of the POCSO act, the act of pressing the breast of a child age 12 years without actually removing her top will not fall under the definition of ‘sexual assault’. The Court explained in the judgement that there is no physical contact which means that there is no skin to skin contact with sexual intent without penetration. Such remarks of the court regarding the modesty of a girl child made in the judgement of Satish v State of Maharashtra was questioned by the Youth Bar Association. The acquittal of the Convict due to the situation not falling under Section was described as dastardly in the appeal. There were derogatory and defamatory remarks made in regard to the modesty of the child which were also in utter disregard to the applicable laws. This judgement has provoked various remarks on social platforms which in turn have urged the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to prompt the government of Maharashtra to challenge this judgement.

Internet services suspended in parts of Delhi

On 26th January, 2021 the Union Home Ministry from 12 in the afternoon to 12 midnight on January 26 due to the farmers’ protests suspended internet services in Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi in Delhi,under Section 7 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Rule 2(1) of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services Rules, 2017. This was done to maintain public safety and avoid any public emergency. “In the interest of maintaining public safety and averting public emergency it is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of internet services in the areas of Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and their adjoining areas in NCT of Delhi.”, this was stated in the order.

Complaint registered against woman for false accusations of gang rape: Maharashtra court

A complaint was lodged against a woman by the Maharashtra police for lodging of false rape complaint against two men and also for giving a false statement to the magistrate. This was done due to the order given by the Judicial Magistrate First class at Satara. It was brought to the attention of the court that the closure report was filed by the police against her FIR as no evidence could be produced that would help her case and hence the magistrate Court passed this order. The FIR lodged by the woman was under section 376 d which entails gangrape under the Indian Penal Code. This was filed against two men who she accused of allegedly raping her under the pretext of giving her a job. After lodging FIR once the police began the investigation it was brought to our attention that the person accused was not even in India at the given time and also the car in which the woman was allegedly raped was not owned by either of the accused. All these facts gathered after the investigation was mentioned in the B summary report submitted to the magistrate. A petition was filed by the woman opposing this report. After analysing the report the magistrate accepted this report. The informant has given a statement on oath under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class in spiteof knowledge that the FIR lodged by her is false, this was noted by the court. Hence, the assistant superintendent of Civil and criminal court at Wai in Maharashtra was ordered by the court to fire a report against this woman under sections 193, 194, 199, 200 and 211 of the Indian Penal Code.

NCLAT Chennai Bench to start functioning through virtual mode from Monday

From 25th January Monday the National Company Appellate Law Tribunal i.e. NCLAT Chennai will start functioning through virtual platforms. This has taken place after the notification made by the Central Government last March. This issued notification also dealt with the issue of NCLT’s jurisdiction in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry. It stated that from 25th January onwards all appeals regarding the jurisdiction issue would have to be taken up in front of the NCLAT Chennai along with the interlocutory applications. This development follows various petitions before the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court that opposes the delay in setting up of NCLAT Chennai, considering the Supreme Court had given instructions in December 2019, for its establishment within the period of six months while delivering the judgement in the Swiss Ribbons case. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur and NCLAT Acting Chairperson Bansi Lal Bhat are to be present at the inauguration of the NCLAT Chennai that will be held virtually on Monday afternoon.