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‘Mischievous’: Supreme Court flags viral social media post falsely quoting CJI Chandrachud
The Supreme Court on Monday flagged a viral social media post that falsely quoted Chief Justice of India (CJI) Chandrachud, calling it “fake and mischievous”.
Reportedly, a fake post used the CJI’s picture with a quote that urged the people of the country to come out in protests against the ruling government. The post’s caption said “Indian democracy Supreme Court Zindabad”.
The quote citing the CJI read: “We are trying our best to save the Constitution of India, the democracy of India. But your cooperation is also very important for this, all the people should unite and come out on the streets and ask the government for their rights, this dictatorial government will scare people, and threaten, but you don’t have to be afraid, keep courage and ask the government to account, I am with you.”
To this, the Public Relations Office (PRO) of the top court in a statement said, “It has come to the notice of the Supreme Court of India that a social media post (invoking the public to protest against authorities) using a file photograph and falsely quoting the Chief Justice India is being circulated.”
“The post is fake, ill-intended, and mischievous. No such post has been issued by the Chief Justice of India nor has he authorised any such post. Appropriate action is being taken in this regard with the law enforcement authorities,” it added.
(Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 14 August 2023)
Adani-Hindenburg Case: SEBI Seeks 15-Day Extension From Supreme Court To Conclude Probe
The SEBI, India’s securities regulator, has asked the Supreme Court on Monday for an additional 15 days to conclude its investigation into the Adani Group and Hindenburg Research. The SEBI stated in its application that it had made significant progress in the investigation and needed more time to complete it and submit a comprehensive status report.
SEBI informed the court that it had diligently examined and investigated 24 matters as directed by the Supreme Court. Among these, 17 investigations had been finalized and approved by the Competent Authority in accordance with SEBI’s established procedures.
Regarding one matter, SEBI reported that the investigation had been concluded based on available material, leading to the preparation and approval of an interim report by the Competent Authority.
SEBI indicated its intention to evaluate further actions upon receiving information from foreign regulatory agencies.
In four investigations, SEBI had crystallized its findings and prepared corresponding reports, pending approval by the Competent Authority. The approval process for these reports is expected to conclude shortly and before the next hearing scheduled for August 29. In two other matters, SEBI is at an advanced stage of investigation and is in the process of preparing an interim report based on gathered information.
SEBI’s ongoing probe stems from the Hindenburg Research report released on January 24. The report levelled allegations of stock manipulation and fraud against the Adani Group, resulting in a substantial market value decline of over USD 140 billion. In response, the Supreme Court directed SEBI to investigate potential securities law violations by the Adani Group.
A committee of experts was established by the Supreme Court, headed by former apex court judge Justice AM Sapre, to address issues arising from the Hindenburg report. The court had set a two-month deadline for SEBI to submit a status report on its investigation.
The Adani Group has vehemently contested the Hindenburg report, labelling it as the work of an “unethical short seller” and asserting that the allegations were baseless. The court proceedings remain focused on the Hindenburg report and related matters, with SEBI’s investigation poised to shed light on the allegations against the conglomerate.
(Courtesy:- India.com, 14 August 2023)
SC refuses to stay demolition drive near Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura
The Supreme Court on Monday, August 14, refused to entertain a plea seeking injunction against the demolition drive near Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura and granted liberty to the petitioners to move before the Allahabad High Court for urgent hearing.
“Matter was listed today. All courts are closed today (because of a resolution passed by Uttar Pradesh State Bar Council after a lawyer was shot). Neither the Allahabad High Court nor District Court is available,” the counsel said while mentioning the matter for urgent listing.
He apprised that the application seeking stay on demolition drive initiated by Railways was filed before the civil court in Mathura and the matter was listed for August 14.
In the meantime, the Railways is carrying out the demolition, the counsel added.
“If the High Court is not working, the Chief Justice (of the HC) is available for work. You will have to mention it before the Chief Justice,” a bench led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud told the counsel appearing for the petitioners.
(Courtesy:- National Herald, 14 August 2023)
‘Very serious incident’: Supreme Court denies bail to 3 Godhra convicts
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant bail to three convicts in the Godhra train burning case which led to communal violence in Gujarat in 2002. Observing it as a “very serious incident”, the top court noted that “all these three had active roles” in the incident.
These convicts, Saukat Yusuf Ismail, Bilal Abdullah Ismail and Siddikare, are now serving life terms in the case.
“The incident is also a very serious incident. It is not a question of an isolated person being murdered,” the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said.
The bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, added that specific roles have been attributed to these convicts in connection with the train burning incident.
On February 27, 2002, the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express, carrying pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, was set ablaze at the Godhra railway station in Gujarat, killing 59 people. The incident acted as a catalyst, triggering widespread violence and communal clashes in the state, which claimed 1,044 lives.
Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who appeared for the convicts, argued two of them had been accused of minor offences of stone-pelting and robbing people of ornaments during the violence. He also told the Supreme Court that the three were awarded life terms by the trial court and while one of them is in custody for over 17 years and six months, another is in jail for 20 years.
The CJI noted that the appeals filed by these convicts against their conviction are still pending and said the court will constitute an appropriate bench to hear the cases.
On April 21, the top court granted bail to eight people sentenced to life imprisonment in the case.
(Courtesy:- India Today, 15 August 2023)
Supreme Court reduces jail term of vegetable vendor in counterfeit notes case
The Supreme Court has reduced the jail term of a vegetable vendor from Tamil Nadu, who was convicted for the offence of being in possession of 43 counterfeit currency notes of Rs 10 denomination.
A bench of Justices MM Sundresh and JB Pardiwala ordered forthwith release of Palanisamy, a resident of Theni district.
“The charge against him is only under Section 489C of the IPC. He was found to be in possession of 43 counterfeit notes of denomination of Rs 10. He was a vegetable vendor. The main accused is A3. Considering the aforesaid aspects, we are inclined to modify the sentence to the one already undergone while retaining the conviction… The appeal is allowed in part by modifying the sentence of 5 years imposed by the High Court to that of the period already undergone.
The appellant shall be released forthwith, if not required in any other case”, the bench said in its August 10 order.
Section 489 C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the offence of possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes and entails punishment of imprisonment of up to seven years or with a fine or with both.
Palanisamy was convicted by the trial court on January 8, 2014 for the offence and was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment. The Madras High Court on October 24, 2019, reduced the seven-year imprisonment sentence to five years. He was in jail for 451 days.
The bench noted that the appeal was filed by only Palanisamy, who is one of the three accused in the case. Two accused have been charged under Section 489 C while the third one was absconding.
The top court said the case of the prosecution against Palanisamy is that he was found in possession of counterfeit notes upon seizure made in pursuance of secret information.
The counsel for Palanisamy submitted before the bench that he had undergone 451 days of incarceration and he is an illiterate person, earning his livelihood as a vegetable vendor.
“There is no previous conviction rendered against him and no case is pending. Thus, taking note of the aforesaid facts, the sentence imposed may be reduced”, he had submitted.
The bench considered the submission of the counsel for Palanisamy and ordered his release forthwith unless wanted in any other case.
According to the prosecution, on September 22, 2002, based on a tip off, police nabbed Palanisamy and another accused Kalaai near Malligai Wines, Mamarazar Bazar in Bodi Town of Tamil Nadu, under suspicious circumstances.
Palanisamy had confessed that the absconding accused (A3) named Kabeer came from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and had given them 24 bundles of counterfeit currency notes of Rs 10 denomination.
In his confessional statement, he had said that on September 22, 2002, he and Kalaai had taken out one bundle and divided it among themselves and attempted to circulate the same in the market.
(Courtesy:- India Today, 15 August 2023)
Mind your language: Supreme Court releases gender-just handbook for judges
Judges will have to finally mind their language when it comes to women. ‘Chaste woman’, ‘seductress’, ‘wanton woman’… all these and even more egregious examples of patriarchal stereotypes used for decades by judges in the country have been judged unacceptable – by the highest judicial authority.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday released a handbook meant to be used by the judges as a guide to gender-just language. Judges will from now use ‘unmarried woman’, not ‘spinster’; ‘mistress’ will be replaced by ‘woman with whom a man has had romantic or sexual relations outside of marriage’; and the word ‘prostitute’ will be replaced with ‘sex worker’. The handbook tells judges to use ‘street sexual harassment’ instead of ‘eve teasing’.
Releasing the handbook, CJI D Y Chandrachud said, “It is vital that judges not only avoid relying on stereotypes in their decision making and writing, but also actively challenge and dispel harmful stereotypes. If harmful stereotypes are relied upon by judges, it can lead to distortion of the objective and impartial application of the law. This will perpetuate discrimination and exclusion.”
The handbook, the draft of which was prepared by Justices Moushumi Bhattacharya of the Calcutta HC and Pratibha Singh of the Delhi HC and Professor Jhuma Sen, also discusses the newer issue of gender fluidity, incorporating terms championed by the LGBTQIA+ community.
Under the sub-chapter ‘Understanding gender stereotypes’, the handbook explains that while ‘sex’ refers to the biological attributes of individuals, ‘gender’ refers to socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender diverse individuals.
“Gender identity is not limited to a binary (girl/woman and boy/man) but rather exists on a spectrum and can evolve over time. Further, gender is a social construct and includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with a particular gender identity,” the handbook notes.
On sexual assaults, the guide points to stereotype perceptions. In one example, it points to the caste-sexual assault dynamic. “Dominant caste men do not want to engage in sexual relations with women from oppressed castes. Therefore, any allegation of sexual assault or rape by an oppressed caste woman against a dominant caste man is false.” But the reality, the guide says, is that “Rape and sexual violence have long been used as a tool of social control. Dominant caste men have historically used sexual violence as a tool to reinforce and maintain caste hierarchies.”
Courtesy:- The Times of India, 17 August 2023
Article 370: Supreme Court says it will only examine if there was violation of Constitution
The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will only examine whether there was any violation of the Constitution, and will not go into the issue of whether the move was in the national interest, while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
Day 7 of the day-long hearing before the Supreme Court Constitution Bench saw Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud telling Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave that, “You want judicial review to assess the intention of the government to abrogate Article 370? Judicial review will be for the constitutional violation. There is no doubt that if there is such a violation this court will intervene, but are you asking us to judicially review the wisdom underlying the decision to abrogate 370?”
Dave in his submissions said, “You can’t resort to some kind of executive power, authorise the President to do this, do away with everything that Article 3 provides in the garb of 356 power. It makes a mockery of the constitutional safeguards. We know what majorities can do. We all saw what happened in 1975. If they don’t do it in letter and spirit, your lords can strike it down and you must.”
On this, the CJI said, “If 370 has served its purpose after the constituent assembly comes to an end, why were constitutional orders made applicable post 1957? But the fact that 370 served its purpose is belied by consequent constitutional orders made applicable thereafter, so 370 continued to be in existence.”
The CJI further added, “If your submission is right qua clause 3, then once the constituent assembly completed its task in 1957 there cannot be any constitutional amendments at all, which is thus belied by the constitutional practice itself. Constitutional amendments happened and went on happening till 2019. If you are saying that 370(1) continues to exist, then you cannot say 370(3) ceases to exist. Either everything remains together or everything perishes together. We are talking about a practice being followed for 64 years.”
Dave responded, “With all due respect, you can repeal it after 64 years. What was supposed to be agreed upon, that is the question. There is a narrative that Jammu and Kashmir is not part of India due to Article 370 and that is completely incorrect. It has always been the case that J&K is an integral part of India. Even Jawaharlal Nehru rejected this narrative.”
Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade said, “The existence of a state is a part of the basic structure and J&K cannot be an exception to it. Because then why not abolish Bengal tomorrow? And, by what parameter? India is a Union of States. Article 3 has to be read with 355. If there is a breakdown of machinery, restore normalcy. You cannot abolish a state. What is the impact on the constitutional structure where everything has been turned upside down? Ladakh has no representative in the Rajya Sabha now. People of Ladakh, therefore, do not count as far as Rajya Sabha is concerned.”
The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue next Tuesday, August 22.
(Courtesy:- India Today , 17 August 2023)
People must face music for abusive posts: Supreme Court
Observing that one has to face consequences for abusive and vulgar posts on social media and an apology would not be enough to waive criminal proceedings, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to quash the trial against actor and former Tamil Nadu MLA S Ve Shekher for sharing a post which made indecent remarks against women journalists.
The court dismissed the petition filed by the 72-year-old actor. Multiple cases were lodged against Shekher in TN after he shared the post on Facebook. Shekher’s lawyer said the actor had deleted
the post after realising the mistake and had also tendered an unconditional apology. He also submitted that the actor, who has a wide following on social media, shared someone else’s post
inadvertently without reading it as his vision was blurred at that time.
Actor and former Tamil Nadu MLA S Ve Shekher’s lawyer said the post went viral in no time.
“I come from a respected family and my family respects women journalists. I had taken medicine in my eyes at that time (sic) due to which I couldn’t read contents of the post which I shared,” his lawyer said. The bench of Justices B R Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra, however, expressed surprise at how the actor had shared the post so casually without reading the contents and refused to interfere in the trial proceedings against him.
“One has to be very careful while using social media. One has to be diligent. Using social media is not essential but if one is using it then one should be ready to face consequences,” the court said, asking him to face trial.
The criminal cases were filed in the courts of Chennai, Karur and Tirunelveli districts by a journalists’ association in 2018. Shekher moved the apex court after his plea to quash criminal proceedings was rejected by the Madras high court.
Dismissing his plea last month, the high court had said, “A message that is sent or forwarded on social media is like an arrow which has already been shot from the bow. Till that message remains with the sender, it is within his control. Once it is sent… the sender of the message must take the ownership for the consequences of the damage done by that arrow (message). Once the damage is done, it will become very difficult to wriggle out of the same by issuing an apology statement.”
Shekher’s lawyer also pleaded the court to exempt his personal appearance before the trial court but the apex court refused to pass the order and asked him to approach the trial judge with the plea.
Courtesy:- The Times of India, 19 August 2023
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