Apex Court’s Triple Talaq Bench Has 5 Judges From 5 Faiths

The apex court has come up with an inclusive idea by appointing a bench of five judges from five different religions to hear the sensitive case of triple talaq.

New Delhi: There is no doubt that ‘triple talaq’ is an extremely sensitive and contentious issue. It has to with Islam which is interpreted differently by men and women of the same faith. It has started hearing in the constitutional validity of triple talaq on Thursday, the first day of summer vacation.

The lead petition was titled “Quest for Equality vs Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind”. And hearing the case will be five judges from five different communities — CJI J S Khehar (Sikh) and Justices Kurian Joseph (Christian), R F Nariman (Parsi), U U Lalit (Hindu) and Abdul Nazeer (Muslim).

Every judge takes the oath saying, “I will bear true faith and solemnly affirm faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgment perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws.”

The judges cannot bring in their religious beliefs. They have to decide the case by its merits.

There are six other petitions filed by Khuran Sunnath Society, Gulshan Praveen, Afreen Rehman, Shayara Bano, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri.

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Apex Court Rules Against 4 Information Commissioners In TS, AP

As the three-member bench of the Supreme Court was convinced that all the four commissioners had direct political links and involvement, it ordered them to demit office immediately.
currency ban a succeses, says govt. to Supreme court

New Delhi: Stating that the appointment of the four Information Commissioners’ by the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh government is against RTI Act, the apex court ordered all the four of them to demit office. The then Kiran Kumar Reddy government in 2013 February 6 issued GO No 75 appointing V Venkateswarlu, Imtiaz Ahmed, Tantia Kumari and Vijaya Nirmala as Information Commissioners.

These appointments were challenged by former Union Home Secretary Padmanabhaiah, Forum For Good Governance Padmanabha Reddy, Dr Rao Chelikani in the High Court. The High Court issued orders quashing the appointment of these four in September 2013.

All the four commissioners approached Supreme Court challenging the High Court Verdict and filed a special leave petition. After a trial in the apex court in October 2013, the Supreme Court stayed the orders of the High Court. The case has been going on since then and in the latest trial, Ramavaram Chandrasekhar Reddy who argued that all the four commissioners have a direct relation with political parties and three of them are continuing as Bar Council Members which goes against RTI Law. The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Kehar agreeing with his argument and directed the four Commissioners to demit office immediately.

All the four commissioners were directly involved in politics. Vijaya Nirmala contested from Nuzividu on Praja Rajyam ticket in 2009 and lost. Imtiaz Ahmed contested from Pileru constituency in 2009 and was defeated. The other two are working in Congress for a long time. While the then government sent eight names to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan for clearance, he only cleared four names – Vijaya Babu, M Ratan, S Prabhakar Reddy and Madhukar Raj and refused to appoint other four raising doubts about their political affiliations.

All the four have a tenure of 10 months remaining. But the apex court refused to let them continue in their positions.

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SC To Take Up Pleas Filed On Demonetisation After Summer Vacations

A Bench comprising of Chief Justice Khehar, Justice Chandrachud, and Justice SK Kaul said that they would take up these petitions after summer holidays

New Delhi: The Supreme Court made it clear that it would examine the petitions on demonetisation on Tuesday. A batch of pleas was filed in the apex court to give another opportunity to exchange the old notes. A Bench comprising of Chief Justice Khehar, Justice Chandrachud, and Justice SK Kaul said that they would take up these petitions after summer holidays.  As the advocate for the government sought some time for the Centre to respond, the court has taken this decision.

It’s a known fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the sensational decision of banning Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes last November. The government has set a deadline till December 31, 2016, to exchange old notes. However, some people and organisations pleaded with the court that they could not deposit the old notes due to some personal problems and asked the court to set a grace period as in the case of NRIs’.

The apex court which has taken up the issue recently sought the response of the Centre. Saying that since it’s a conscious decision it would not be possible legally to give a grace period, the Centre filed an affidavit.

As the petitioner’s advocate sought time to respond to the centre’s decision, the apex court made it clear that the issue can be taken up only after summer holidays.


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Threatening email to blow up Supreme Court

  • Security beefed up, police not taking chances

Lata Jain

Security around Supreme Court in New Delhi has been increased following an anonymous email. Delhi Police received an email on Monday threatening to blow up the Supreme Court. Source of the mail is not known but the police are not taking any chance. A few days back Justice Dipak Mishra, who was one of the judges rejecting  Tiger Memon’s plea for life sentence, had received a threatening letter.

This anonymous mail landed in the inbox of an individual, whose identity the police does not want to divulge. The mail has been forwarded to a special cell for further investigation.

The court has barred interns in courtrooms following security threat to the apex court. Litigants and Criminals are barred from entering the court premises.

On August 7, Supreme Court Justice Dipak Misra, who had rejected Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon’s mercy plea, had received an anonymous threatening letter left in the backyard of his house.

Security outside the house of Supreme Court Judge Dipak Mishra had been beefed up after the threat letter. The security for all three judges that pronounced the order has been stepped up. Justice Dipak Misra has been given a bullet proof car and commandos from Central paramilitary force are deployed for his security. The letter stated that Justice Misra will be targeted even if his security is increased.

Memon was convicted in 2007 for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts in which 257 people were killed and 700 people were injured. Memon was charged for having funded the travel of the terrorists while the attack was masterminded by his older brother Tiger and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

He was hanged on July 30 at the Nagpur Jail.

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Apex Court Hearing on Revanth’s Bail Likely on Friday

HYDERABAD: The Telangana ACB on Thursday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court pleading for quashing the bail granted by the High Court of Hyderabad to Revanth Reddy and two other accused in the now famous cash-for-vote scandal.

Consequent to the bail granted by the High Court, Revanth Reddy, Harry Sebastian and Uday Simha, all accused in the scam and arrested on May 31 walked out of the Charlapalli Central Jail on Wednesday.

The ACB in its appeal to the Apex Court justified the need for dismissing the bail order of the lower court by reminded that the investigations in the scandal were still in progress and has reached a crucial stage.

Revanth was caught red-handed while offering a bribe to the nominated Anglo-Indian MLA Elvis Stephenson and that the audio and video recordings were the clinching evidences secured during the probe. The Forensic Science Laboratory has also submitted a report in this regard, which is to be studied, the ACB explained in its appeal.

While stating that another accused TDP Sattupally MLA Venkata Veeraiah was evading arrest, the ACB brought to the notice of the Supreme Court utterances of Revanth during a rally after his release from the jail and contended that it was amply proved that the accused could tamper with evidences and influence the witnesses with threats.

The Apex Court is likely to take up the hearing of the appeal petition in the case on Friday.

In a surprising development, even as the ACB was bringing to the notice of the Supreme Court about the Sattupalli MLA evading arrest, he appeared in Khammam at a meeting on Thursday, where he reiterated that he would be always available in the city and would depose before the investigating authorities whenever called. (NSS)

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No settlements in rape cases apex court

Lata Jain

Loopholes in the system, asking for settlements in a rape case is a spectacular error says apex court

Adopting a tough stance over recent reports of a high court judge passing an order for mediation between a rape accused and the victim, the Supreme Court on Wednesday termed such decisions as a compromise on the dignity of a woman.

Hearing an appeal filed by the Madhya Pradesh government in a rape case, the Supreme Court said any attempt of mediation between a rape victim and the perpetrator is thoroughly illegal. Courts cannot take a soft approach over such issues. It’s a spectacular error on the part of the court to promote any such mediation, the apex court said.

lata jain

Lata Jain

The Supreme Court’s decision comes just days after the Madras High Court gave bail to a man convicted of raping a minor girl to settle the case through mediation. The high court’s decision evoked sharp reactions on the social media.

Vasanth raped her for a period of 4 years. Accused of raping a woman multiple times over a period of four years, secured an acquittal from the Special Fast Track Court for rape cases, in Hyderabad. On some occasions, it was said, he forced her to comply with threats of blackmail and defamation. The prosecution alleged that over an extended period of time, Vasanth lured the victim on the pretext of providing her with a government job, and subsequently raped her.

In his ruling, the additional session’s judge who presides over the court found that the victim’s testimony was replete with “prevarications and improbabilities,” which made it unconscionable to convict the accused. In his judgment the honorable judge noted the heinous crime in the case, but executed a complete volte face, directly blaming the accuser for not speaking out, although she had been raped on multiple occasions. If she had not said a firm “no” to vasanths advances, honorable judge meant that she may well have consented to sex.

Despite the nationwide outcry following the gang rape and murder of a Delhi student on a bus in December 2012, victims continue to be blamed for the crime and their families fear the shame will jeopardize their chances of finding a husband, and their sibling’s chances.

Indian law states that rape is a ‘non-compoundable’ offence – so serious that charges cannot be dropped because perpetrator and victim reach a compromise. But according to researchers, police officers often encourage victims to ‘compromise’ with their rapists before charges are made. Judges cannot drop rape charges because the victim marries the accused, but they can reduce the sentence if he is convicted.

Ranjana shah  of the Centre for Social Research, who is doing research on these issues, says the growing number of rapes and the low conviction rates have left women feeling unprotected, while many men see themselves as beyond the law: only 28 per cent of rape cases and 20 per cent of cruelty cases against husbands are followed by convictions.

“There is no fear of being punished,” she says. “Because of the casual approach of the men in “khakhi”, it is not considered serious crime. That’s why they need a lot more sensitivity, to see it as a serious crime. Women report only one in 10 rapes, not only because of the policing, but also the huge social shame.” They fear they will be identified and their families will be stigmatized; finding a prospective husband in a wedding-obsessed society then becomes almost impossible, and the prospects of the victim’s siblings are similarly blighted.

The stark truth is that the chances of a girl living a happy and fulfilled life of her own choosing in India are poor from the outset. A United Nations report last year said India was the world’s most dangerous country in which to be born a girl – almost twice as many girls die between the ages of one and five as boys; 100 girls for every 56 boys.

Rape is an incredibly traumatic experience that can lead to lasting psychological and emotional distress for those who survive it. Victims of rape also face ostracism and ridicule. The very idea that a modern country would legally condemn a woman to live a lifetime with her attacker is bizarre, disgusting, and counterproductive. It rewards criminals for breaking the law and acts as a codified encouragement of rape: if a rapist knows he will not be punished for his actions, what is his motivation not to rape? Essentially the law incentivizes violence against young women.

only three out of every 100 rapists will ever spend even a single day in prison, according to a new analysis by RAINN of Justice Department data. The other 97 will walk free, facing no consequences for the violent felony they have committed. Because rapists tend to be serial criminals, this leaves communities across the nation at risk of predators.

The Additional Solicitor General of India, Indira Jaisingh, says the current rape laws in the country are far from adequate and the “process of justice delivery is too slow and the rate of conviction too low”.

“We have to improve the crime investigation methodology; we have to make it more scientific and quick. In India a case takes so long to conclude that witnesses get dissipated, memory frays and conviction becomes tougher.”

“There is no magic formula to deal with the problem of rape. There’s a bias that operates in the mind of decision makers – stereotyping women, blaming the victim, trying to find out if she invited the rape.”

The rapists sometimes escape with a light sentence because a judge accepts their argument that they committed the crime because they were drunk, or that they were living away from their family, or they had a family to look after, or that the accused was a high-caste man who could not rape a Dalit – low caste – woman

But campaigners say laws alone may not be able to solve the problem in a society which treats its women as “second-class citizens” and regards them inferior to men.

They say until social attitudes change and women are respected and treated as equals, the gains from the protests will be short-lived and rapists will move around scot free in the society.

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ACB Officials to Approach Supreme Court Against Revanth’s Bail

HYDERABAD: In spite of Hyderabad High Court granting conditional bail to Telugu Desam leader Revanth Reddy after one-month jail in the cash-for-vote scam, ACB officials are daunting him.

In a new twist on Tuesday, the ACB officials made it clear that they were getting ready to move Supreme Court against Revanth’s bail in two days. While family members and Telugu Desam activists celebrated the occasion by distributing sweets and bursting crackers to mark the release of Revanth, the ACB sleuths declared that they would move the Apex Court in a couple of days after reviewing a copy of the Court’s verdict.

Along with Revanth, Sebastian and Uday Simha also got the conditional bail. Thus, the ACB taking cognizance of the case is said to be approaching the Supreme Court on July 2 seeking to quash the HC order of granting him bail.

The ACB officials argued against the bail in vain in the court by saying that they were yet to interrogate the fourth accused Mathaiah and others like TD MLA Venkata Veeraiah, who was ought to face interrogation on Monday, is still at large.

On the other hand, a section of the media is abuzz with the news speculating that Revanth with tainted remarks would resign to his MLA post and the party membership or Telugu Desam supremo and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu may sack him anytime.

Though he may not face the axe from the party leadership, Revanth’s wife Geetha ruled out the possibility of his sacking or resignation. Revanth will continue to be in politics despite any sort of cases, she asserted. (NSS)

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SIT to submit status report on 627 Indians with foreign bank accounts by December 3

New Delhi, October 29: Supreme Court has directed the special team to receive a  sealed envelope with the names of 627 Indians holding bank accounts overseas, against whom a probe is on to ascertain conformity with domestic tax laws.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Justice M.B. Shah, with Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice chair, was called for by the Supreme Court by way of an order July 4, 2011, and officially notified by the government end-May this year.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Justice M.B. Shah, with Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice chair, was called for by the Supreme Court by way of an order July 4, 2011, and officially notified by the government end-May this year.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted the envelope along with two others to a bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, and Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Madan B. Lokur on Wednesday, as sought by them a day earlier.

Mukul Rohatgi

The other two envelopes pertain to information furnished by the French government and the action taken by the Government of India thus far in trying to get back the illegal funds parked by Indians in overseas banks and estimated at between $426 billion and $1.4 trillion.

Directing further hearing on the matter to December 3, the apex court said the special team, by that time, would submit its status report on the steps taken by it in pursuance to this list of 627 account holders.

Rohatgi told the apex court that half of these account holders were Indian residents and the other half non-resident Indians and pertained to a period up to 2006. He said action was initiated, with some of having paid the taxes and others under investigation. He further requested on behalf of the government that care be taken such that nothing impedes the Indian authorities and probe agencies in getting information from these countries and others on foreign accounts in future.
Importantly, he said, the Income Tax Act had been amended to extend the limitation period for recovering taxes from these account holders till March 31, 2015. Earlier, the limitation period was six years and would have expired in 2012.

Rohatgi once again told the apex court that the government had no intention to hold back any information or names it had in its possession on this matter and was open to inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Income Tax authorities or any other agency.

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