Today Legal Updates

Thursday, 13th October 2022




Council of Ministers

Article – 163 Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor.

  1. There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
  2. If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion.
  3. The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Thursday the Supreme Court is set to deliver its judgment in a batch of appeals challenging the Karnataka government order (GO) effectively empowering government colleges in the State to ban the wearing of hijab by Muslim girls. (Fathima Bushra vs State of Karnataka)
    • A Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia will pronounce it verdict at 10.30 am.
    • The challenge before the Supreme Court is against a Karnataka High Court decision from March 15 upholding the Karnataka government order.
    • The Karnataka High Court had on March 15 upheld a Karnataka government order (GO) effectively empowering college development committees of government colleges in the State to ban the wearing of the Islamic headscarf in college campuses.
  2. On Thursday the Supreme Court delivered a split verdict in the challenge to the Karnataka government order (GO) effectively empowering government colleges in the State to ban the wearing of hijab by Muslim girl students in college campus.  (Aishat Shifa vs State of Karnataka)
    • Justice Gupta said, There is divergence of opinion. I have held against the appellant. I dismiss the appeal.
    • Justice Dhulia said, One thing which was topmost (priority) for me was education of girl child. A girl child in (many) areas does household work and chores before going to school and are we making her life any better by doing this (banning hijab).
    • the bench directed, In view of divergent opinion, let the matter be placed before the Chief Justice India of for appropriate directions.
  3. On Thursday Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia of the Supreme Court said in his judgment in the Karnataka hijab row case, The right of a Muslim girl child to wear hijab does not stop at the school gate since she has a right to privacy and dignity inside the classroom as well.  (Aishat Shifa vs State of Karnataka)
    • the judgment said, A girl child has the right to wear hijab in her house or outside her house, and that right does not stop at her school gate. The child carries her dignity and her privacy even when she is inside the school gates, in her classroom.
    • the verdict said, Amongst many facets of our Constitution, one is Trust. Our Constitution is also a document of Trust. It is the trust the minorities have reposed upon the majority.
    • Justice Dhulia said, All the petitioners want is to wear a hijab! Is it too much to ask in a democracy? How is it against public order, morality or health? or even decency or against any other provision of Part III of the Constitution. These questions have not been sufficiently answered in the Karnataka High Court judgement.
    • It does not appeal to my logic or reason as to how a girl child who is wearing a hijab in a classroom is a public order problem or even a law-and order problem. To the contrary reasonable accommodation in this case would be a sign of a mature society which has learnt to live and adjust with its differences.
    • the judgment said, Our schools, in particular our Pre-University colleges are the perfect institutions where our children, who are now at an impressionable age, and are just waking up to the rich diversity of this nation, need to be counselled and guided, so that they imbibe our constitutional values of tolerance and accommodation, towards those who may speak a different language, eat different food, or even wear different clothes or apparels! This is the time to foster in them sensitivity, empathy and understanding towards different religions, languages and cultures.
    • In villages and semi urban areas in India, it is commonplace for a girl child to help her mother in her daily chores of cleaning and washing, before she can grab her school bag. The hurdles and hardships a girl child undergoes in gaining education are many times more than a male child. This case therefore has also to be seen in the perspective of the challenges already faced by a girl child in reaching her school. The question this Court would therefore put before itself is also whether we are making the life of a girl child any better by denying her education, merely because she wears a hijab.
  4. On Thursday the A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul  recused from hearing the contempt petition filed by former district judge Sujata Kohli against former Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) President Rajiv Khosla.
    • Justice Mridul then said in the order, At request of Ms Kohli, who appears in person, in order to obviate any possible allegation of bias, we consider it appropriate to recuse from hearing the proceeding. List before another bench.
    • CMM Gajender Singh Nagar found Khosla guilty of offences under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, more than 27 years after Kohli filed the complaint against Khosla.
    • Kohli filed the contempt plea alleging that when the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) was to pronounce orders on sentence against Khosla, he and his supporters from the Bar held the court to ransom, shouted slogans and interrupted the judge repeatedly. As a result, the judge was not able to dictate his order in open court, it was claimed.
  5. On Thursday the Ernakulam District Court, Kerala observed that modern tools such as mobile phones and social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube are being used to spread regressive beliefs and superstitions.
    • the order said, The alleged incident, which has no parallel in Kerala in the recent past, has stunned the society as a whole. Even (though) the spirit of our constitution is to promote scientific temper, modern scientific tools like Facebook, mobile phone, YouTube are being used for spreading our weird beliefs, superstitions, rituals, etc. In effect, when science and technology lead our society towards progress and development, such regressive acts backtrack the society.
  6. On Thursday the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi government to ensure the setting up of a new OTP (One Time Password) based system on the Online Single Window System (OSWS) portal to ensure seamless payment of professional fees to Standing Counsel.  (Piyush Gupta v. Govt of NCT of Delhi)
    • the State is directed to ensure that some provision of OTP based signature is made available as the present process is cumbersome and defeats the purpose of seamless submission of bills. Let the same be done within four weeks’ from today.
    • Let the exercise be concluded positively before the next date of hearing and the Respondents shall make all endeavour in clearing the bills which are pending till date.
  7. On Thursday the Karnataka High Court asked the State government to meet taxi aggregators to explore the possibility of reaching a consensus on the fare to be charged for autorickshaw services through their apps.  (ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd v. State of Karnataka)
    • On October 6, the Transport Department issued a notice to cab aggregators like Ola, Uber and Rapido calling upon them to stop providing autorickshaw services through their apps in light of several complaints by commuters. It referred to complaints alleging that the apps charged ₹100 even for the first two kilometres, as opposed to the government-approved fare of ₹30, calling it an ‘illegal practice’.
    • it issued an order to the aggregators to stop autorickshaw cabs immediately.
    • the plea by Uber Technologies said, The Impugned Notice was issued, and the Impugned Order was passed without any consideration or prior stakeholder consultation. It appears that the Impugned Notice and the Impugned Order were issued only subsequent to Respondents being subjected to political and media pressures.
  8. On Thursday Justice Hemant Gupta held the Karnataka government order allowing educational institutes to ban students from wearing hijab (headscarves) was to promote parity, ensure uniformity and maintain a secular environment in schools. (Aishat Shifa and ors vs State of Karnataka)
  9. On Thursday A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul recused from hearing the contempt petition filed by former district judge Sujata Kohli against former Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) President Rajiv Khosla.
    • Justice Mridul then said in the order, At request of Ms Kohli, who appears in person, in order to obviate any possible allegation of bias, we consider it appropriate to recuse from hearing the proceeding. List before another bench.
  10. On Thursday the Madras High Court has said that transgender persons are entitled to reservation under the third gender category for admission to educational institutes.  (S Tamilselvi v. The Secretary to Government, Health and Family Welfare Department)
    • Had there been the special reservation as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court provided to the transgender, certainly the petitioner would have been in a top position and would be in a position to get admission in the course concerned.
    •  the order stated, Atleast this kind of special note could have been appended to the notifications or prospectus issued by the respondent, even that kind of special note was missing in the said notification/prospectus. Therefore, this Court has no hesitation to hold that the petitioner would be entitled to get a special reservation for third gender viz., transgender category for admission in the said course.
  11. On Thursday the Supreme Court impressed upon the Union government on the need to evolve a mechanism to ensure that conflicting stands of different government departments in Courts are resolved at the government level itself.  (Central Warehousing Corporation vs Adani Ports SEZ and ors)
    • the Court said, We are of the considered view that it does not augur well for the Union of India to speak in two contradictory voices. The two departments of the Union of India cannot be permitted to take stands which are diagonally opposite … We, therefore, impress upon the Union of India to evolve a mechanism to ensure that whenever such conflicting stands are taken by different departments, they should be resolved at the governmental level itself.
    • When an issue involved the balancing of interests of a statutory Corporation and a private company, the approach of the High Court ought to have been a balanced one. The High Court ought to have taken into consideration that, unless all the three conditions were complied with, the interest of the appellant-CWC, which is a statutory Corporation, could not have been safeguarded. If a settlement was to be arrived at, unless the same was found to be in the interest of both the parties, it could not have been thrust upon a statutory Corporation to its detriment and to the advantage of a private entity.
  12. On Wednesday the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the rising addiction to online gaming among school students, teenagers, and women.
    • Playing of online games is very dangerous especially, to girl children and women also, since they get caught in the hands of the scandalous persons.
    • the order stated, Addiction to online games by school going children, and college students, and women, has become a major public health issue, and a great concern for the parents. It (such addiction) has taken a heavy toll on their physical, emotional, psychological, social, and academic life.
    • Thus, the anti-social elements easily connect themselves through such games and get accessed to the private accounts of a person and steal all the personal data of a person and then threatening him for money and also making harassment. These types of online games are causing evil threats to the society.
    • the Court said, Like an autistic person, they (players) too remain absorbed in these types of online games.
  13. On Wednesday the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court took suo motu cognisance of the rising addiction to online gaming among school students, teenagers, and women.
    • Playing of online games is very dangerous especially, to girl children and women also, since they get caught in the hands of the scandalous persons.
    • the order stated, Addiction to online games by school going children, and college students, and women, has become a major public health issue, and a great concern for the parents. It (such addiction) has taken a heavy toll on their physical, emotional, psychological, social, and academic life.
    • Thus, the anti-social elements easily connect themselves through such games and get accessed to the private accounts of a person and steal all the personal data of a person and then threatening him for money and also making harassment. These types of online games are causing evil threats to the society.
    • the Court said, Like an autistic person, they (players) too remain absorbed in these types of online games.
    • Further, those who fail to score the coveted rank in such online games, develop feelings of worthless and even some of them go to the extent of committing suicide. Further, some of the gamers are bullied by strangers through such online games and in an attempt to take revenge therefor, sometimes, the youngsters fight offline and those who are very smart at playing online games, develop feelings of grandiosity and superiority complex, thereby, psychologically they feel flying between manic like highs and depressive lows and some players also face withdrawal symptoms.
    • In our view, the State as well as the Central Governments must come forward with a clear-cut report as to how these types of online gameswhich damage the life of younger generation, are permitted despite the ban imposed by the Government of India. We are, therefore, of the view that constitutional Court has got the responsibility to take up the issue in larger public interest.
  14. On Thursday the Supreme Court emphasised that in the Indian legal system, divorce proceedings are spaced out before a decree of quashing the marriage or ordering mediation etc is passed.
    • Justice Kaul remarked, We do not have the Western system here where you file divorce one day and get it approved the next. Here I feel that both parties need to give it a try, we cannot import western philosophy.
    • Why force two young people who have their life ahead of them to something that is not working out?
  15. On Thursday the Bombay High Court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to decide on the resignation filed by Rutuja Latke, wife of late Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, so that she can contest in the upcoming by-elections to the Andheri (East) constituency of the Maharashtra State Assembly.
    • the Court demanded, A clerk wants to resign, why are you not exercising the discretion? She wants to contest the election, tomorrow is the last date for nomination, when will you exercise discretion.
    • the Court said, According to us the discretion is to be used for bonafide purposes. But we think that in this case it is malafide. The use or non use of discretion is arbitrary in this case. Prayer clause (a) will be allowed.
    • the Court observed, It is not just the case of the petitioner, but it is our power to also oversee your discretion. We have to see the totality of the circumstances, it is a resignation letter. It is a clerk who wants to resign, just say yes or no. Don’t give it so much importance. Don’t burden us, we already have many matters pending. And she is your own employee, help her out.
    • Sawant argued, Latke had voluntarily resigned and there was nothing pending against her. In light of this, all that remained was just a formal acceptance of her resignation. Latke had paid an amount for waiving off her service period, which had been accepted by BMC.
    • Sawant added, They are taking sides now. They are not supposed to take political sides. Some partisan stand is being taken contrary to their own regulation.
    • Sakhare argued, It cannot be a matter of right that a employee wants to resign, he gets to resign. The difficulty is that we have not taken decision on her resignation. Deemed acceptance because money is paid is no ground. She knew elections are coming. She could have applied before.
    • the Bench observed in the order, Discretion is not to be used at the sweet will of the authority and in a whimsical manner. An entirely avoidable situation is created by the Municipal Corporation, the employer of the Petitioner, causing great prejudice to the Petitioner. Nothing is shown how the respondents are prejudiced if the Petitioner’s resignation is accepted after waiving the period as has been done in the case of other employees.
  16. On Thursday the Delhi High Court issued notice to Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on a plea by Zee media challenging the Central government’s order to remove ten of Zee’s TV channels from the Ku band on the GSAT-15 satellite.  (Zee Media Corporation Limited & Anr v Union of India & Anr)
    • the petition said, It is submitted that the impugned order dated 23.09.2022 incorrectly holds that Clause 5.1 of the Up-linking Guidelines requires a broadcaster to uplink its TV channels either in C band or in Ku band. In fact, as is evident from a bare perusal of the said provision, there is no specific prohibition on simultaneous uplink of TV channels in both C band and Ku band. The real reason behind the inclusion of the phrase “either in C band or Ku band” in Clause 5.1 is to indicate that a broadcaster may uplink its TV channels in C Band or Ku Band but in no other band.
  17. On Thursday the Kerala High Court quashed the criminal proceedings against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and 11 other leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), including former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, in a case alleging unlawful assembly and rioting as part of a 2009 human chain protest.
    • the Court held, Such an assembly is a formation in the exercise of the right to freedom of every citizen guaranteed under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. In this context, it is appropriate to observe that the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to form an assembly guaranteed under the Constitution will be a dead letter if every assembly is regarded as offensive conduct. The right to dissent and the freedom to air views contrary to the views of the government is not an offensive conduct.
    • the Court said in its judgment, When the dissent is expressed without causing any harm or even a significant inconvenience, it would be too puerile to proceed criminally against the dissenters. Merely because the dissent is not acceptable to the majority, that is not a reason to initiate criminal action unless the dissent was coupled with violent, disorderly or damaging conduct by any member of the assembly.
    • the Court said, The allegation is that petitioners had sat and spoken from inside the pandal. Merely because petitioners sat in the open stage/platform, they cannot be attributed with any overt act in the construction of the said stage/platform. In this context, it is relevant to notice that the complainant himself alleged.
    • the Court said, The aforesaid section embodies the principle of ‘de minimis non curat lex’ meaning that “law does not take into account trifles”. The intention behind the aforesaid provision is to avoid penalising negligible wrongs or trivial offences. There are innumerable acts in our daily life which may amount to crimes in the strict sense of the language employed in the statute. However, if prosecution is initiated for every such triviality, the system will crumble. Section 95 comes to the aid in such instances.
    • the Court said as it allowed the plea and quashed the proceedings against the petitioners, An assembly of more than five persons gathered for a peaceful protest cannot fall within the term unlawful assembly.
  18. On Thursday the Kerala High Court expunged the controversial observations made by a Sessions Judge who had ruled that sexual harassment case would not prima facie stand if the victim was wearing a “sexually provocative dress.”  (State of Kerala v Civic Chandran].[State of Kerala v Civic Chandran)
    • the Court said, In order to attract this Section, there must be a physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours. There must be sexually colored remarks. The photographs produced along with the bail application by the accused would reveal that defacto complainant herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one (sic). So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused.
    • The Court was hearing a plea moved by the Kerala government challenging the order granting bail to Chandran who was charged with committing offences punishable under sections 354 A(2) &341 and 354 of the Indian Penal Code.
    • The appeal filed by the State through Additional Public Prosecutor P Narayanan, contended that the Session Court order granting bail is against the facts and circumstances of the case, thus amounting to an infringement of the personal liberty of the survivor and violation of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  19. On Monday A discussion held during the India ADR Week 2022 saw lawyers make suggestions on what it would take to have more women arbitrators, and consequently achieve gender diversity in the field. The discussion on the topic Gender diversity in arbitration: Have we really made any progress?, hosted by Khaitan & Co, was part of the five-day celebration of India ADR Week organised by the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA).
    • Singhania said, Once there is familiarity about something, things get easier. Similarly, the more women are seen as arbitrators on panels, the more it will make the system familiar, and therefore, palatable and acceptable.
    • Singhania said in conclusion, Talent which manages to sustain itself at the Bar does come into recognition. Over a period of time, when you have consistently performed, you can be relied upon, and you will start to accumulate respect. With more appearances, there will be familiarity between the lawyer and the judge. Just being prepared, having patience and not giving up… When you start doing well, then gender goes into oblivion. It can be very empowering.
    • Jyoti Sinha, Counsel at Khaitan & Co said, We have made progress, but it is not by leaps and bounds that can show gender inclusivity. In litigation, you see a lot more women in court and a more younger crowd, but not at the degree that you would expect.
    • Maternity benefits are excellent, but the biases they face are things like ‘if a woman is married, she will definitely take a maternity leave, so can she be trusted with bigger responsibilities, considering there will be a gap’. The other challenges are pay discrimination, working with people junior to you…I am sure they will change their mind after one performs well, but the question we need to address today is why should there have been a bias in the first place?
    • Sheila Ahuja, Partner at Allen & Overy said, Embrace the opportunity, don’t think twice about how you will do it. When you are the same woman you have been the whole time, you will have made the change.
    • Chatterjee said, We are not handed over projects because they say ‘it may not be safe for you’. But let the woman decide and take a risk. Not being chosen because of gender is not the correct approach.
    • It is important to speak up and speak your mind about what you are expecting from a job. It is not always necessary that it will be understood. But no one is going to come and be your saviour. Put in the hard work which is necessary, and opportunities will come up. But not speaking up when necessary is also not right.
    • With more women in the field, the endeavour now of women and men should be to have more women on the table. This is so that the next generation has it a little bit easier, might help them to stick around for longer without giving up.
  20. On Thursday the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) recently partly allowed a complaint filed by actor Saif Ali Khan against Orbit Enterprises for delayed possession of property in Orbit’s project known as “Indian Newspaper Society – INS”.  (Saif Ali Khan Pataudi vs Orbit Enterprises Ltd. & Anr)
  21. On Thursday A Magistrate court in Ernakulam remanded the three prime accused in the human sacrifice case to police custody for 12 days. The police allegations stated that Shafi had lured the women under the pretext of offering them lumpsums in cash for doing sex work and acting in some porn films. Shafi had allegedly contacted the Singhs on social media and a plan to commit human sacrifice, supposedly for financial prosperity was hatched. The women were then taken to the Singh’s home where they were allegedly murdered in a gruesome manner, dismembered and buried in the yard of the house.
  22. On Thursday the Bombay High Court deprecated the conduct of the Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) while disposing a petition raising grievance against the civic body’s failure to take over land from a private party for extension of its own hospital for the last 14 years.  (Imran Suleman Qureshi v. MCGM & Ors.)
    • the Bench noted, We would have expected BMC, even now to have displayed a sense of urgency. Surprisingly there is none. Except for saying that the extension is proceeding in a phased wise manner and at the appropriate stage the Developer will be called upon to hand over the possession, we find the response of BMC as cold as it can be.
    • the judgment authored by Justice Karnik noted, In view of the condition imposed by BMC about the developer handing over the premises when called upon, this is a fit case for passing mandatory orders. In a city like Mumbai, where space comes at a premium, the sheer apathy on the part of BMC to get back the premises and hand it over to Nair hospital is appalling.
    • We find that not only the breaches on the part of the Developer are condoned at every stage, but every irregularity is brazenly regularised in the garb of exercising the powers conferred by the municipal laws. We have no hesitation in saying that present is a case where there has been gross abuse of powers at the cost of overwhelming public interest.
    • the Bench remarked, The manner in which the officials in the higher echelons of BMC proceeded at the relevant time is not only shocking, against public interest, but to the detriment of Nair Hospital and ultimately the citizens for whom the land was acquired.
    • the Bench remarked, The impression that we gather is that the Municipal Commissioner as well as the Additional Municipal Commissioner were more concerned about the private interest of the Developer than the public interest of its own wing i.e. Nair Hospital.
  23. On Thursday the Delhi High Court refused to entertain a bail plea filed by former Popular Front of India (PFI) chief and founding president of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) Erappungal Abubacker.
    • the judge said, It is a special Act. We don’t have the power means we don’t have the power…I can’t pass interim orders if I don’t have jurisdiction. The matter is over. It will be appropriate for you to approach the trial court.
    • the petition stated, The Petitioner stands deprived of his Fundamental Right to Life, Personal Liberty and Right to Health guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, as per procedure established by law and is thus, compelled to approach this Hon’ble Court under Section 439 of Cr.P.C., seeking regular bail, on medical grounds.
  24. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court took exception to the manner of functioning of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks. observing that if ‘ease of doing business in India’ has to be truly achieved, acts of negligence on the part of the Controller General are unpardonable.
    • From the reading of the impugned order(s)/email(s) it is apparent that the Respondent no. 1 [Controller General] has issued the same applying the Madrid Protocol strictly and without appreciating the difference between the provisions of the Madrid Protocol and the Act. The impugned order(s)/email(s), therefore, cannot be sustained.
    • The Court has also directed a copy of the order to be forwarded to the Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, “for issuing necessary instructions/directions to ensure that such aberrations do not occur in future as they would only bring ridicule to the Indian system and denude the faith of foreign investors and stakeholders in India’s capabilities”.
  25. On Wednesday the rohini courts Delhi framed charges of murder and other offences against Olympian wrestler Sushil Kumar for last year’s killing of another wrestler at Chhatrasal Stadium in the national capital. (State v. Sushil Kumar, Ors)
    • the order on charge underlined, The statements of the victims mentioned the fact that during the whole time he (Kumar) had been telling the victims that he would kill Sagar Dhankhad. The victim Sagar Dhankhad, as per statements of the victims was beaten for 30-40 minutes. During the arguments, the mobile clip was also played wherein Sagar Dhankhad can be seen writhing on the ground while he was profusely bleeding at legs and other parts of the body.
    • the counsel argued, If accused persons were having firearm weapons with them, they could have caused the death of the victims then and there. It is submitted that it is so as there was no intention to cause murder but to cause only some injuries.
    • charges were ordered to be framed against the accused persons – Kumar, Prince, Ajay Kumar, Mohit, Manjeet, Gulab, Bhupender, Rohit Malik, Bijender, Anirudh Dahiya, Subhash, Gaurav Loura, Surjeet Grewal, Anil Dhiman, Praveen Dabas, Praveen, Rahul and Parveen Dabas under Section 302 (murder) read with Section 34 (common intention) of the IPC. The court also framed attempt to murder charges for injuries inflicted on other victims.
  26. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court directed the Central government to take appropriate steps to amend the Notaries Act, 1952 and Rules to facilitate digitization.  (Sunny Arora v. Govt of NCT of Delhi)
    • The statutory provisions require amendment and the Central government has to broaden certain amendments under the Notaries Act, 1952 and is also required to bring these in respect of digitisation.
    • the Court noted in its order, The affidavit filed by govt of NCT makes it clear that the government has sought comments from the Secretary of the Department of Law & Justice in respect of the digitisation of the notarial system. However, the response is still awaited.
  27. The Supreme Court will hear on October 14, Friday a batch of petitions challenging the laws enabling the issuance of electoral bonds that allows for anonymous funding of political parties.
    • The petition has assailed five major amendments which have been brought about through Finance Act, 2017 and Finance Act, 2016.
      • Section 31, the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 through Part III, Section 135 of the Finance Act, 2017,
      • Section 29C, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 through Part – IV, Section 137 of the Finance Act, 2017
      • Section 13A, the Income Tax Act, 1961 through Chapter III, Section 11 of the Finance Act, 2017 and in
      • Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 through Part-XII, Section 154, the Finance Act, 2017.
      • Section 2 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) through Finance Act, 2016.
    • The removal of the cap on donations by the amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 and the amendments made to Section 236 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 have also been challenged as opening the avenues of foreign contribution to Indian political parties.
  28. On Wednesday Former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan Lokur opined that it is advisable that judges in the collegium have face to face discussions before finalising recommendations rather than doing it via letter circulation.
    • he said, I think it is better to have a face to face meeting. Discuss, like we are doing right now. Why lettersDiscussions are the best way of deciding something as important as this.
    • he said while saying that it was the only way to prevent the government from doing exactly what it wants, I am in favour of the collegium system.. The collegium system is the only bulwark against executive excesses in the matter of appointment of judges.
    • The Chief Justice of India did say a few days ago that the collegium system selects the best. But it does not select those who are better than the best. That is the problem. There is no system of selecting Supreme Court judges. I suggested that there should be some kind of criteria.
    • Post retirement jobs should be avoided.. The judiciary survives on the trust and confidence of people and that is shattered, or at least, people start to have doubts.
    • Something like the electoral bonds for example is going to affect elections.. it has to be given priority. Free and fair elections is a part of the basic structure of our democracy.
    • he reasoned, There are things that the common citizen doesn’t understand because of not being familiar with the procedure or being otherwise misled. A PRO can clarify that position.
    • he wondered, If you have nothing to lose, why should a strong government or weak government make a difference?

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