Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up
A Supreme Court Constitutional bench comprising of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice J. Chelameswar, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R.F. Nariman observed that the Government has strived to create a parallel justice delivery mechanism in tribunals. However, the difficulty lies in finding the right judicial person for tribunals dealing with specific areas of laws. The CJI observed that the appointments have been scaling down from Supreme Court judges, to Chief Justices of the High Court, to Judges of the High Court, leaving it with a majority of administrative people now. Even when a sitting judge accepts the assignment to preside on a tribunal, he starts the task only after retiring.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu has issued notices to all States and Union Territories, seeking response on a petition demanding identification of a child by the name of his or her mother in all official documents and affidavits. The plea was filed by journalist-turned- spiritual activist, Madhav Kant Mishra.
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice V. Gopala Gowda observed that a delay in adjudication by the Family Court is not only against human rights but also against the basic embodiment of dignity of an individual.
It had come to the notice of the Court that on certain occasions the Family Courts have been granting adjournments in a routine manner as a consequence of which both the parties suffer or, on certain occasions, the wife becomes the worst victim. The Bench observed that when such a situation occurs, the purpose of the law gets totally atrophied. The Family Judge is expected to be sensitive to the issues, for he is dealing with extremely delicate and sensitive issues pertaining to the marriage and issues ancillary thereto.
The Supreme Court issued notice to states and Union Territories on a plea for legalising passive euthanasia by allowing a person in a vegetative condition to die by withdrawing life support even the Centre strongly opposed the petition saying it is a form of suicide which cannot be allowed in the country. The Apex appointed senior lawyer and former Solicitor General T R Andhyarujina as amicus curiae to assist it in the case relating to legalising euthanasia.
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice V. Gopal Gowda has reopened the debate, over the juvenile law in the country. It urged the Government to revisit the Juvenile Law in the country, stating that there can’t be a “cut-off” date for crime. The blanket immunity provided to juvenile offenders, irrespective of the gravity of offence, was opposed by the Bench, advocating to “go by how the neurons are going.”
The court said the government allows an 18-year-old to be a voter, mature enough to choose the government. “Keeping this in view, how can a person be exonerated of offences such as rape, murder or under the narcotics law?” it asked.
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice N.V. Ramana stayed the execution of death sentence of Akshay and Vinay Sharma, two of the four convicted in the December 16 gang-rape and murder incident, as it extended its March 15 order blocking execution of the death sentence of the two other convicts – Mukesh and Pawan Gupta – in the same case.
A Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice C. Nagappan acquitted all the 11 accused for the 1993 Surat bomb blast, which claimed the life of a school girl and injured several others. The apex court reversed the 2008 TADA Court judgment which had convicted them and awarded them with imprisonment varying from 10 to 20 years.
The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, has quashed the O.M. No. 36012/23/96-Estt.(Res) dated 22.7.1997 and consequential Notification dated 30.11.1998 issued by the Central Government omitting the provisions of regulation 7(3) of the Central Secretariat Service Section Officers’ Grade/Stenographers’ Grade ‘B’ (Limited Departmental Competitive Examination) Regulations, 1964. Regulation 7(3) provides for relaxed qualifying standard in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes candidates to make up the deficiency in the reserved quota.
A Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra has sought detailed affidavits from all States as well as the Centre, elaborating on the steps taken by them to curb the menace of female foeticide, which has been distorting the sex ratio of the country, despite of being banned almost two decades ago.