Today Legal Updates
Monday, 7th February 2022
Legal Awareness :- CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
PART II CITIZENSHIP
Article -9 Persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign State not to be citizens.
No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of article 5, or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue
of article 6 or article 8, if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State.
Today’s Legal Updates:-
- The Supreme Court will resume limited physical hearing from February 14, 2022 in light of the decline in COVID-19 cases.
- Today the Supreme Court held that a Wakf Board is “State” within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution, and therefore remains open to challenge under writ jurisdiction. (State of Andhra Pradesh v AP State Wakf Board & Ors)
- The Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed a challenge by the State of Andhra Pradesh against a notification issued by a Wakf Board declaring land as wakf property.
- The High Court relegated the parties to their remedy before the Andhra Pradesh Wakf Tribunal.
- The appellants argued that the writ jurisdiction of the top court could not be excluded simply because statutory remedies are available.
- Respondents argued that whether subject land is Wakf property was the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
- The Supreme Court, however, held that the Wakf Board’s decisions are subject to writ jurisdiction.
- State government, as a juristic entity, can protect its property through the writ court, just as any individual could have.
- Land dedicated for pious purposes was not immune from vesting with the State.
- Today the Bombay High Court observed that the constructing Ambedkar Smarak room and Buddha Vihar is not simply a matter of erecting physical structures but it has deep emotional and religious sentiments attached to it. (Sheetalsagar Builders & Developers Pvt. Ltd vs The Chief Engineer-II Authority & Ors)
- Today the Karnataka High Court directed Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to submit its plan to fill potholes on city roads, as well as the details of technology that will be used for the same. (Vijayan Menon v. Secretary and Anr)
- Today the Supreme Court issued notice in an appeal against a Madras High Court order which had handed over the investigation into the 2012 death of a law graduate to the local police.
- Today the Delhi High Court gave the Central government two weeks’ time to make its stand clear and come with a ‘yes or no’ answer on the issue of criminalisation of marital rape. (RIT Foundation v Union of India)
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued, “None of us can take this matter as a mere validity challenge matter. As already pointed out, the provisions and grant of prayer need a meaningful consultative process. Neither the state government nor several other stakeholders are before you. The Legislature and Executive is concerned with the issue. We can assist you only after a consultative process with stakeholders including the state governments. I am saying why shouldn’t we wait? No time has been given to the Centre to deliberate on the issue. Assistance of Centre can be meaningful only after participation of all stakeholders,”
- Justice Shakdher said, “Your contention is we need time to consult. As far as we are concerned, if the legislature intervenes, surely there will be fresh cause of action. If the exception is deleted, it will be challenged. We are very clear we do not claim to be a repository of all wisdom but it is our job to decide the issue which comes before us. You come back to us. The Centre has to take a decision. Legislature is the third wing. You will propose something before the legislature which then has its own process,”
- Today the Supreme Court held that the filing of a chargesheet would amount to sufficient compliance with the provisions of Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and an accused cannot demand release on default bail under Section 167(2) on the ground that cognisance has not been taken before the expiry of 60 days. (SFIO vs Rahul Modi)
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu Spokesperson SG Suryah has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the decisions of Meta (formerly Facebook) to restrict access and demonetise his account without affording him an opportunity of being heard. (SG Suryah v Union of India & ors)
- Today the Haridwar Sessions Court granted bail to Yati Narsinghanand, accused of delivering a hate speech against Muslims at a Dharam Sansad event held last year.
- Today the Bombay High Court held that a writ court cannot substitute its own view for that of the government in a matter of policy. (Sandhya Manohar Waghchoure v. State of Maharashtra through General Administration Dept & Anr)
- the order emphasized “Even if petitioner’s submission may be better than the one that the State Government has chosen, it is not the remit of the constitutional Court to let the best become the enemy of the good. A writ court will not substitute its own view for that of the government in a matter of policy. Unless a particular government action is found to be ultra vires the Constitution or a statute on settled tests, a writ court will not interfere merely because it is preferable to do so,”
- The Court also found, “Indeed looking to the circular we find that the Government has been careful to exclude from all age-bar disqualification for almost the entire period of the lockdown starting from 1st March 2020 and going on to the date of GR in mid-December 2022. Indeed, the GR goes further. For it says that those who have crossed the prescribed age limit during that period can avail benefits of this GR all the way until 31st December 2022, i.e. in further and future advertisement that may be issued even after the date of the GR.”
- Another petition has been filed before the Karnataka High Court against the Hijab ban in colleges, the third such petition to be filed in this regard before the High Court.
- Today the Kerala High Court remarked on the intense media scrutiny that the case has come under while granting anticipatory bail to Malayalam cine actor Dileep in a case of alleged conspiracy to kill police officers who were investigating the 2017 actress sexual assault case against him. (P Gopalakrishnan alias Dileep v State of Kerala & Ors.)
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences popularly known as TISS is accepting admission forms for the Masters program in Law. The school of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance located is in TISS Mumbai.
- Even before a Delhi court could decide the plea of an accused seeking permission to travel abroad, it was informed that he had reached the airport. (Rishabh Jain v. State)
- The Madras High Court on February 3 granted bail to a woman accused of Maoist activities provided she swears on affidavit that she owes faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and that she does not believe in Maoism. (Sathya Mary @ Padma vs State)
- The Supreme Court of India has thrown light on the factors/ circumstances from which the intention of an accused to cause death of someone can be gathered, in order to determine whether an offence of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is made out. (State of Uttarakhand v. Sachendra Singh Rawat)
- Today the Madras High Court pulled up the authorities for large-scale mining and other illegalities taking place at temple properties in the Krishnagiri district. (A Radhakrishnan v. Secretary to government & Ors)
- Today the Uttarakhand High Court held that a rape survivor has a right to terminate her pregnancy, subject to the conditions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
- Today the Supreme Court ordered the suspension of sentence of two convicts over 70 years of age, who have been in prison for more than 9 years in connection with a murder case. (Mahendra Rai @ Harendra Narain Singh and Others v. State of Bihar)
- Today the Supreme Court berated the Tripura government for not complying with the Court’s directions granting interim protection to journalist Samiullah Shabbir Khan who had tweeted about the recent communal violence in the State.
- Article 14 has launched a sedition database called A Decade of Darkness, the first empirical and investigative research into the use of the law on Sedition.
- This database documents cases of people charged with sedition-related crimes from 2010 to 2021. It also documents the role of the State and the courts in dealing with Sedition cases.
- 13,000 cases, sourced through 1,300 legal documents, 800 media reports, 125 FIRs and over 70 interviews with people accused of sedition have been showcased as part of the database.
- The people, the State and the courts
- The people: This section showcases a state-wise pictorial representation of 800+ Sedition cases filed against 13,000 Indians from 2010-2021. The numbers range from no cases in Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, to as high as 171 cases in Bihar, 143 in Tamil Nadu and 127 in Uttar Pradesh.
- The State: The study finds that the use of sedition laws has risen over the last decade, and has most recently been invoked against public protests, dissent, social-media posts, criticism of the government and even over cricket results.
- 2014-18: There has been an annual rise of 28% in sedition cases for the period between 2014 and 2020, compared to the yearly average between 2010 and 2014, with 559 cases being filed during this period.
- Social media: Social media users have been targeted for posting content that was deemed “anti-national” or allegedly supporting Pakistan. 106 such Sedition cases were filed.
- UPA II: During the second term of the UPA government (2010 and 2014), there was a spike in sedition cases. This spike was especially attributed to the protests in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu. In total, 286 cases were filed in this period.
- Farm protests: 8 cases were filed against farmers protesting the now revoked farm laws.
- Citizenship: 27 sedition cases were filed against those who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the National Register for Citizens.
- Women: Since 2014, there is an increase of nearly 190% in the number of women charged with Sedition-related crimes. In total, 94 cases were filed against women.
- Journalists: In total, 21 Sedition cases were filed against journalists. Since 2018, they have been arrested for reportage on the farm laws, COVID-19, the Hathras gang rape, citizenship and for being critical of the government.
- Cricket: 12 Sedition cases were filed against people for allegedly “celebrating” Pakistan’s wins against India in the 2014 Asia Cup, 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
- COVID-19: 12 Sedition cases were filed during the pandemic against those who raised concerns over lack of ventilators, food distribution or the handling of the issue of migrant labourers.
- The courts: This section documents how courts across the country have dealt with people charged with Sedition. In terms of bail, accused have spent too many days in jail before a trial court or a High Court granted bail. Accused had to wait for an average of 50 days to get bail from a trial court, and upto 200 days for bail from a High Court.
- The people, the State and the courts
- Today the Kerala High Court granted anticipatory bail to Malayalam cine actor Dileep in the case of alleged conspiracy to kill police officers investigating the 2017 actress sexual assault case against him. (P Gopalakrishnan alias Dileep & Ors. v State of Kerala & Ors.)
- Today the Supreme Court directed real estate company Supertech to complete the demolition of the 40-storied twin towers of its Emerald Court project within two weeks.
- Today the Supreme Court refused to entertain the Central government’s plea urging it to recall its order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a regular case in relation to the disinvestment of 26 per cent equity in Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) in 2002. (National Confederation of Officers Association of Central Public Sector Enterprises and Others v. Union of India and Others)