Monday, 11th December 2023

The Constitution is not a mere Lawyers Document, it is a Vehicle of Life, and its Spirit is always the Spirit of Age.

Notes: – UN predicts groundwater level in India will reduce to ‘low’ by 2025.’

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – XVII OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

CHAPTER IIILANGUAGE OF THE SUPREME COURT, HIGH COURTS, ETC.

Article – 348 Language to be used in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts and for Acts, Bills, etc.

  1. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, until Parliament by law otherwise
    provides—
    • (a) all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High Court,
    • (b) the authoritative texts—
      • (i) of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the Legislature of a State,
      • (ii) of all Acts passed by Parliament or the Legislature of a State and of all Ordinances promulgated by the President or the Governor of a State, and
      • (iii) of all orders, rules, regulations and bye-laws issued under this Constitution or under any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of a State, shall be in the English language.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (a) of clause (1), the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of the Hindi language, or any other language used for any official purposes of the State, in proceedings in the High Court having its principal seat in that State:
    Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any judgment, decree or order passed or made by such High Court.
  3. Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (b) of clause (1), where the Legislature of a State has prescribed any language other than the English language for use in Bills introduced in, or Acts passed by, the Legislature of the State or in Ordinances promulgated by the Governor of the State or in any order, rule, regulation or bye-law referred to in paragraph (iii) of that sub-clause, a translation of the same in the English language published under the authority of the Governor of the State in the Official Gazette of that State shall be deemed to be the authoritative text thereof in the English language under this article.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Monday the Supreme Court upheld the Central government’s 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution which had conferred special status on the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.  (In Re: Article 370 of the Constitution)
    • A Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan KaulSanjiv KhannaBR Gavai and Surya Kant unanimously upheld the decision of the government to take away Article 370 on the ground that the same was a transitory provision.
    • the Court said, We hold that Article 370 is a temporary provision. It was introduced to serve transitional purposes, to provide for an interim arrangement until the Constituent Assembly of the State was formed and could take a decision on the legislative competence of the Union on matters other than the ones stipulated in the instrument of accession and to ratify the Constitution. Second, it was for a temporary purpose, an interim arrangement, in view of the special circumstances because of the war conditions in the State.
    • the Court concluded, The President was empowered to issue the order to abrogate Article 370.
    • the Court added, Article 370(3) was introduced for constitutional integration and not for constitutional disintegration. Holding that 370(3) cannot be used after constituent assembly was dissolved cannot be accepted.
    • the Court said, The exercise of power by the President under Article 370(1)(d) to issue CO 272 is not mala fide. The President in exercise of power under Article 370(3) can unilaterally issue a notification that Article 370 ceases to exist. The President did not have to secure the concurrence of the Government of the State or Union Government acting on behalf of the State Government under the second proviso to Article 370(1)(d) while applying all the provisions of the Constitution to Jammu and Kashmir because such an exercise of power has the same effect as an exercise of power under Article 370(3) for which the concurrence or collaboration with the State Government was not required.
    • the Court ruled, The President had the power to issue a notification declaring that Article 370(3) ceases to operate without the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly. The continuous exercise of power under Article 370(1) by the President indicates that the gradual process of constitutional integration was ongoing. The declaration issued by the President under Article 370(3) is a culmination of the process of integration and as such is a valid exercise of power. Thus, CO 273 is valid.
    • the Court said, We have held that the modification by CO 272 to 367 as it applies to Jammu and Kashmir has the effect of amending Article 370 and is thus ultra vires Article 370 (1)(d) … While the interpretation clause, namely, Article 367 can be used to define or give meaning to particular terms, it cannot be deployed to amend a provision by bypassing the specific procedure laid down for its amendment. This would defeat the purpose of having a procedure for making an amendment to the Constitution of India.
    • the Court held, We hold Jammu and Kashmir does not have any internal sovereignty after accession to Union of India. By issuance of proclamation, para 8 of Instrument of Accession ceases to exist. Neither Constitutional text states that Jammu and Kashmir had any internal sovereignty. The proclamation by Yuvraj Karan Singh in 1949 and the Constitution thereafter cements it. That the State of Jammu and Kashmir became integral part of India is evident from Article 1 of the Constitution of India.
    • the Court said, Solicitor General submits that Statehood will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir. In view of this submission, we do not find it necessary to determine whether the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 was invalid.
    • the Court ordered, We direct that steps shall be taken by the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Jammu and Kashmir constituted under Section 14 of the Reorganisation Act by 30 September, 2024. Restoration of Statehood shall take place at the earliest, and as soon as possible.
  2. On Monay the Supreme Court refused to decide on the validity of the 2019 law to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) into two Union Territories (UT).
    • The Court recorded Solicitor General (SG) of India Tushar Mehta‘s statement that J&K’s status as a UT is temporary and that statehood will be restored to the region.
    • the top court said, In view of the submission made by the Solicitor General that statehood of Jammu & Kashmir would be restored, we do not find it necessary to determine whether the reorganization of the State of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir is permissible under Article 3 [of Constitution of India.
    • In an appropriate case, this Court must construe the scope of powers under Article 3 in light of the necessary effect of converting a state into union territories which is that autonomy would be diminished.
    • the top court added, Restoration of the statehood shall take place at earliest and as soon as possible.
  3. On Monay Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Supreme Court, in his judgment upholding the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, has recommended the setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address violations of human rights perpetrated in Jammu & Kashmir both by state and non-state actors since the 1980s.
    • Justice Kaul said, The commission should be set up expeditiously before memory escapes. The exercise should be time-bound. There is already an entire generation of youth that has grown up with the feeling of distrust, and it is to them that we owe the greatest day of reparation.
    • Justice Kaul added, The situation became so aggravated that the very integrity and sovereignty were endangered. And, the army had to be called in. Armies are meant to fight battles with enemies of the State and not really to control the law and order situation within the State. But then, these were peculiar times. The entry of the army created ground realities in their endeavor to preserve the integrity of the state and the nation against foreign incursions.
    • Justice Kaul said, What is at stake is not simply preventing the recurrence of injustice but the burden of restoring the region’s social fabric to what it’s historically has been based – coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect.
    • Justice Kaul emphasized, There have been numerous reports documenting these incidents over the years. Yet, what is lacking is a commonly accepted narrative of what has happened or, in other words, a collective telling of the truth.
    • Justice Kaul added, Globally, has constitutionalism has evolved to encompass responsibility of both state and non-state actors with respect to human rights violations. This includes the duty to take reasonable steps to carry out investigation of violations.
    • Justice Kaul concluded, Needless to say, the commission is one of the many avenues towards the goal of systematic reforms. It is my sincere hope that much would be achieved when Kashmir opens their hearts to embracing the past and facilitating the people who are compelled to migrate to come back with dignity. Whatever has been has been, but the future is ours to see.
  4. On Monday the Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to conduct a joint inspection of seven government construction sites across Mumbai to ensure that air quality control norms were being complied with.
    • A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice GS Kulkarni also permitted authorities to take action against the violators in the event they come across anyone flouting norms.
    • the Court said, We direct that in case any of the stakeholders at these sites are not following norms, legal action shall also be taken by the BMC and the MPCB.
    • Advocate General Birendra Saraf said, There should be a policy decision to follow this kind of framework. It always takes some time. The whole establishment, and higher officers are in Nagpur. The Assembly session will be over on December 20, 2023. Before that there was Diwali.
    • the Court said, What we are wondering is what can be more important than this issue? Once it is brought to our notice, and we have passed orders, it is for you (government) to take it from there and take some decisions on the issue. You have to be serious.
    • the bench noted in its order, AQI is still largely at a moderate level, which is an indicator that such air quality will cause breathing discomfort for people with lung, and heart diseases, children and senior citizens. The satisfactory level is 51 to 100 AQI and accordingly the collective effort is needed to bring the AQI to below 50.
  5. On Monday the Union Home Ministry told the Supreme Court that it would not be able to provide accurate data on the extent of illegal migration of foreigners into India since such migrations happen in a secretive manner.  (In Re: Section 6A Citizenship Act 1955)
    • the affidavit said, Illegal migrants enter into the country without valid travel documents in a clandestine and surreptitious manner. The detection, detention and deportation of such illegally staying foreign nationals is a complex ongoing process. It is not possible to collect accurate data of such illegal migrants staying in various parts of the country.
    • The Ministry added 32,381 persons were declared foreigners by orders of Foreigners Tribunals between the same period. Further, in the last five years, a sum of ₹122 crores was released by the Central government towards the functioning of such tribunals.
  6. On Monday the Madras High Court told Tamil film actor Mansoor Ali Khan that celebrities should know how to behave in public.
  7. On Monday the Rajya Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
  8. Recently the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court quashed the preventive detention order passed under the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) against Srinagar-based journalist Asif Sultan. (Asif Sultan Saida versus Union Territory of J&K and Anr)
  9. On Monday the Delhi High Court asked BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay how it can pass directions to implement common syllabus in mother tongue in all schools across the country when education falls under the Concurrent list of the Constitution and each State has its own State education board/ syllabus.
  10. On Monday the Supreme Court criticised the Delhi government for its lackadaisical attitude towards providing funds for infrastructure in the Delhi district judiciary.
  11. Recently the Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered that information about a woman who had filed a false rape complaint be shared with all police stations to prevent further false implication of men in such cases. (Jitendra Kumar Mishra v The State of Madhya Pradesh)
  12. On Monday Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging her recent expulsion from the Lok Sabha.
  13. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has launched an action plan to reduce the pendency of cases, especially cases that have been pending for more than five years, before district courts.
  14. The fourth National Lok Adalat held on December 9 this year saw the resolution of over 1.17 crore cases involving a settlement amount of ₹20,510 crore.
  15. Recently the Delhi High Court issued a slew of guidelines to reinforce the existing standing orders and standard operating procedures in relation to the investigation of the cases of missing children. (Lamboder Jha vs Govt NCT Of Delhi & Ors)
  16. On Monday A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Calcutta High Court taking exception to the statements made by actor Prakash Raj and renowned author Arundhati Roy against Hindu Community and calling Central government a “Hindu Fascist Enterprise”.  (Mita Banerjee vs Twitter)

For Legal Support Contact: –

Adv. Shiv Kumar (Delhi High Court and Subordinate Court Delhi)

contact no: – 9608762166, Mail:- shiv@legalprudent.in

Adv. Aishwarya Dorwekar (Bombay High Court and City Civil & Session Court, Mumbai)

Contact: – 8828275839 And Live Advocate

Adv. Upasna Goyal (Punjab and Haryana High Court)

Contact: – Live Advocate

Adv. Manpreet Singh Bajwa (Punjab and Haryana High Court)

Contact: – Live Advocate

Adv. Rajeev Nayan (Patna High Court)

Contact: – Live Advocate

Adv. Dakshreddy B. (Madras High Court and Madurai Bench)

Contact: – Live Advocate

Legal Prudent Fraternity