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President nominates Mahesh Jethmalani to Rajya Sabha

On Monday, eminent counsel Mahesh Jethmalani was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, which is a significant milestone. The appointment follows the abrupt vacancy in the Upper House of Parliament caused by the death of a nominated member earlier this month.

President Ram Nath Kovind has nominated Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani to the Rajya Sabha for his legal competence under Article 80 of the Indian Constitution.

Mahesh Jethmalani is a Senior Advocate of the Bombay High Court, and is the son of former senior advocate and politician Ram Jethmalani. Jethmalani entered the Bombay High Court after acquiring his Bachelor of Arts from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai and his Master of Arts from Oxford University. During his time as an attorney, he has served in a number of high-profile cases. He has advocated prominent people, including the Birla family in the Priyamvada Birla case and Anil Ambani in the Reliance case. Additional instances in which he has been involved include the trial of Harshad Mehta in the Maruti Udyog trial, as well as the trial of Rajni Patil in the Prof. Vishram Patil murder case, in which the brother of ex-President of India, Pratibha Patil, was a defendant. He is currently defending Parmabir Singh, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, in a variety of issues, including an alleged extortion case.

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IUML moves SC to stay MHA order permitting Indian Citizenship to non-Muslim Minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the first complainant in the Supreme Court to question the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA), has sought a stay on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) order, which authorized 13 districts throughout three states to award citizenship to non-Muslim minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

IUML has registered a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the Centre’s notification enabling inhabitants of certain districts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are participants of minority groups such as Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis to apply for Indian citizenship. 

Non-Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, who reside in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab, were encouraged to apply for Indian citizenship on Friday under Sections 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

IUML has indeed filed a petition in the ongoing CAA case, objecting to the announcement on the basis that the mentioned clauses of the Citizenship Act do not enable applicants to be categorized based on religion. The Citizenship Act, Section 5 (1) (a)-(g), specifies who is entitled to obtain citizenship by registration, while Section 6 of the Act enables anybody (who is not an illegal migrant) to gain citizenship through naturalization. According to the IUML’s application, the Respondent Union’s endeavor to bring down the validity of the two articles by an executive order is unconstitutional. 

Furthermore, the application asserted that a cursory reading of the order dated 28.5.2021, as well as the regulations questioned in the prevailing writ petition, namely the Amendment Act, Order 3A of the Foreigners Order 1948, and Rule 4(ha) of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, clearly indicates that the three legislations’ motives are one and the same. And therefore, as this Hon’ble Court has recognized in a number of instances, what cannot be done explicitly cannot be done indirectly, and hence the order dated 28.5.2021 should be stayed.

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Defamation complaint filed by Devendra Fadnavis: Court issues notice to two lawyers

In a criminal defamation petition lodged by veteran Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis, a Mumbai Magistrate court granted notice to two lawyers on Monday, accusing that the two lawyers called a press conference and propagated a press note containing inaccurate claims against the former CM to discredit his character. 

Earlier this month, the BJP leader lodged a complaint with a metropolitan magistrate, alleging that the press note provided by the two lawyers – Satish Uke and Sameer Sheikh – encompassed false and defamatory statements about him. On May 18, Fadnavis gave a recorded statement to the magistrate. 

Magistrate N N Joshi sent the two lawyers with a summons on Monday, instructing them to show up in court on July 16. The press statement, which was disseminated by the two lawyers after a press conference in Mumbai in March this year, sought to link Fadnavis to the murder of an architect, Eknath Nimgadi, on September 6, 2016, in Nagpur over a piece of land. 

The statement included incorrect comments and imputations, according to the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, which affected and damaged my reputation. The statement was posted on social media platforms, according to the complaint, and many innocent individuals would be misinformed and misled by such plainly false charges. 

The people accused (lawyers) have shamelessly broken a law under section 499 of the IPC (defamation) by seeking to damage and affect the complainant’s character and reputation by spreading such obviously false imputations, according to the complaint. Fadnavis has requested the judge to initiate a defamation lawsuit against the lawyers.

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Maharashtra Government moves SC against HC order: Remdesivir Medicine

The Maharashtra government filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, June 1, contesting the Bombay High Court’s ruling mandating the state to establish a centralized system for the acquisition and distribution of the antiviral medicine Remdesivir.

The court linked the request with the suo moto covid case In Re Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services during Pandemic, which was examined by Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat.

On May 3, the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench ordered the Maharashtra government’s Chief Health Secretary and State Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to “take efforts to centralize the system for the acquisition, allocation, and distribution of Remdesivir.” The judgment was made at a hearing on its suo motu PIL on covid-19 administration in Maharashtra’s Nagpur and Vidarbha areas. 

As a result, the Court said that it will issue directives to the Secretary of State and the FDA, and that these directives would be strictly obeyed. To maintain a consistent supply of Remdesivir to Nagpur and other areas of Vidhabha, the court ordered the FDA to upload the weekly distribution of Remdesivir vials throughout the State and provide a daily report on the vials delivered and the backlog.

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State Government’s plan to offer 80:20 scholarships to minorities quashed by Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court ruled that ‘subclassification’ of Muslims as members of the minority group and disproportionate scholarship offerings to them are not permissible. The Court’s ruling is a huge blow for Kerala’s government, which had anticipated to grant 80:20 scholarships to Muslims and Latin Catholics/converted Christians.

The court’s division bench, led by Chief Justice Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, ordered the authorities to devise a strategy that will benefit youngsters from both groups fairly. The judge determined that the welfare board’s decree was not enforceable by law and instructed it to think of a new methodology that would benefit both communities. The High Court went on to condemn the Kerala government, noting that Executive Orders set by the state government cannot contradict Article 29 and the provisions of the Minority Commission Acts of 1992 and 2014.

Justine Pallivathukal had previously filed a suit in the Kerala High Court, asking for the directive of the Kerala government to be overturned. “Under the premise of encouraging minority communities, the State of Kerala is demonstrating prejudice towards the Muslim community at the expense of other minority populations. Except for Latin Catholics and converted Christians, no benefits are granted to the remainder of the Christian community, resulting in complete inequality,” the petition stated. 

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Supreme Court takes note of “casual” approach by trial courts in dowry death cases

The Supreme Court took issue of trial courts’ “casual” conduct to recording statements of accused in instances involving dowry killings, and issued additional instructions to provide full meaning to accused and prosecution rights during conviction.

The Court has raised concern over how trial courts handle dowry death cases in a casual and superficial manner, without asking the accused about his response under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). 

The Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Aniruddha Bose said that several times such statements are recorded without accurately interrogating the defendant as to his defense while witnessing the appeal filed by the plaintiff who was convicted under Section 304B (punishment for dowry death) of the Indian Penal Code. 

The court instructed the trial judges to provide incriminating evidence against the accused and hear their defense at the commencement of the trial when ruling on such matters. An order of acquittal can be delivered at this stage if the trial court believes the charge is not made out. The bench also highlighted the terms “soon before” in Section 304B of the IPC and cautioned trial courts against using a rigorous interpretation of the wording since what is required is a “proximate and living relationship” between the cruelty and the victim’s death.

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Salman Khan files Defamation case against Kamaal Khan

Salman Khan has filed a defamation suit against actor Kamaal R Khan, often known as KRK, in a Mumbai court. The Big Boss contestant rushed to Twitter shortly after the news emerged, claiming that Salman Khan had filed a lawsuit against him over his recent assessment of Radhe.

Advocate Pradeep Gandhy, who was briefed by DSK Legal’s Managing Partner Anand Desai, Partner Chandrima Mitra, and Associate Partner Parag Khandhar, represented Khan and his business enterprise.

Salman Khan’s team of lawyers has released a statement claiming that the lawsuit is unrelated to the film review. The claim was brought because KRK “has been posting and promoting defamatory assertions, such that Salman is corrupted, that he and his brand Being Human are engaged in fraud, manipulation, and money laundering operations, that he and Salman Khan Films are dacoits, and should be booked for offence under Indian Penal Code’s Section 420” according to the statement.

“The defendant has been circulating malicious lies and defaming Salman for several months, plainly so as to achieve attention to himself,” the statement continued. KRK’s counsel Manoj Gadkari stated in court that until the next date, Kamaal R. Khan will not make any defamatory statements against plaintiff on social media. The Court has been delighted to issue an order based on this statement.

Such baseless charges, according to Salman Khan, would ruin his brand’s generosity, reputation, and image, which he has created over years of hard work and determination.

Session Extensions Judge RM Sadrani took down Gadkari’s remarks and set a hearing date on June 7, 2021.

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NCB arrests Sushant Rajput’s housemate from Hyderabad in drug case

The Narcotics Control Bureau has detained Sushant Singh Rajput’s housemate Siddharth Pithani in the narcotics case associated with the late actor’s demise, which is a major move. Pithani was confined by the agency in Hyderabad before being summoned and sent to Mumbai. Following his appearance in court on Friday, he was remanded in detention for five days.

Pithani was investigated last year as part of the Kai Po Che actor’s death investigation. NCB, Enforcement Directorate, and the Central Bureau of Investigation probed him. He was interrogated by the CBI for seven consecutive days. 

Pithani was arrested and sent to the Hon’ble court in Hyderabad. His travel warrant was authorized by the court, and he was taken to Mumbai. He was brought before a Mumbai court later that day, when he was detained in NCB custody till June 1, according to a prosecution counsel.

The arrest comes almost two and a half months after the agency filed a 12,000-page charge sheet against 33 people, including actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty, and others, in the Bollywood-drugs mafia scrutiny case associated to Sushant’s demise on June 14, 2020, when he was found hanging in his flat.

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Plea in Madras HC seeking financial relief for transgender individuals not holding ration cards: COVID-19

The Tamil Nadu government has told the Madras High Court that it is examining a petition to extend Covid-19 monetary assistance to all transgender people.

The submission was made by Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram before the first bench, which included Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. 

The court deferred the plea until May 31st after recording the observation. This comes in the wake of a PIL filed by transgender campaigner Grace Banu, who contended that most individuals of her community lack a ration card, which must be presented at PDS shops in order to get government benefits. The complainant asserted that there are more than 50,000 transgender people in the state, but according to the Social Welfare Department, only 11,449 transgender people were confirmed in a study conducted till 2014, and only 2,541 of them were allocated ration cards.

The government has launched a programme to distribute Covid-19 monetary assistance of Rs 4,000 to all rice-ration-cardholders on behalf of the State’s Cooperation, Food, and Consumer Protection Department. This month, the very first amount of Rs 2,000 will be delivered.

The petitioner requested that a specialized vaccination campaign be held for transgender people, with assistance in registering online and particular vaccination times accessible at community health centers.

 

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States must provide basic needs to orphaned due to pandemic without official orders: SC

The state government has been mandated by the Supreme Court to satisfy the basic needs of all orphaned children as a result of the coronavirus catastrophe. The Supreme Court stated that authorities do not need to wait for official regulations because the pandemic has had a major impact on vulnerable children. 

District administrations have been ordered to recognize orphans in their districts and submit their information on the Bal Swaraj portal introduced by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights by a vacation bench of Justices L N Rao and Aniruddha Bose. 

The learned judge issued the order in response to a plea filed by amicus curiae Gaurav Agrawal in a concurrent suo motu case seeking recognition of orphaned children as a result of COVID-19 or other causes and prompt assistance from state governments. The Supreme Court noted that the Centre has already provided an instruction to the relevant authorities for the safeguarding of children who have lost their parents as a result of COVID-19. “The authorities have a duty to guarantee that such children in need are treated well,” the bench observed, citing numerous clauses of the Juvenile Justice Act.    

The state authorities were also ordered to respond to the application by the evening of May 29th, so that the Amicus Curiae could compile a note including all relevant facts and present it to the Court by the evening of May 31st.