6 Jun 2021 7:23 AM GMT
JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Constitute Committees To Hold Preliminary Inquiries Before Lodging Sedition Cases Against Senior JournalistsCase: Vinod Dua vs. Union of India [WP(Crl) .154 of 2020] Citation: LL 2021 SC 266In its judgment quashing sedition case against Journalist Vinod Dua, the Supreme Court rejected the plea to direct the State Governments to...
JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK
1. Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Constitute Committees To Hold Preliminary Inquiries Before Lodging Sedition Cases Against Senior Journalists
Case: Vinod Dua vs. Union of India [WP(Crl) .154 of 2020]
In its judgment quashing sedition case against Journalist Vinod Dua, the Supreme Court rejected the plea to direct the State Governments to constitute committees to conduct preliminary inquiry before FIRs are registered against senior journalists.
That would amount to encroachment upon the field reserved for the legislature, the bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran observed.
The Court, however, clarified that that every Journalist will be entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh judgment. It added that every prosecution under Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC must be in strict conformity with the scope and ambit of said Sections as explained in, and completely in tune with the law laid down in Kedar Nath Singh.
Dua had prayed for a direction that henceforth FIRs against persons belonging to the media with at least 10 years standing be not registered unless cleared by a committee. He suggested that such committee should be constituted by every State Government, the composition of which should comprise of the Chief Justice of the High Court or a Judge designated by him, the leader of the Opposition and the Home Minister of the State.
Also Read: 'Every Journalist Entitled To Protection Of Kedar Nath Judgment' :Supreme Court Quashes Sedition Case Against Journalist Vinod Dua
Also Read: Citizen Has Right To Criticize Government As Long As He Does Not Incite People To Violence: Supreme Court In Vinod Dua Case
2. CBSE Byelaws Existing On Date Of Results Declaration Will Apply For Certificate Correction : Supreme Court
Case: Jigya Yadav vs. C.B.S.E. [CA 3905 OF 2011]
The Supreme Court has clarified that the byelaws of the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) which exist as on the date of declaration of result will apply to an application seeking changes or corrections in the mark certificates.
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari settled this position while deciding a batch of petitions challenging the CBSE byelaws on certificate corrections.
The byelaws which exist as on the date of application for correction or changes will be irrelevant for consideration of changes or corrections in the certificates.
The Supreme Court noted that there was a conflict of opinion amongst the High Courts as regards the point of time which would determine the applicability of Byelaws. The CBSE has amended the byelaws from time-to-time to modify the period of limitation within which the application should be made.
Also Read: Embargo In CBSE Byelaws On Change Of Name "Post Publication Of Examination Results" Unreasonable: Supreme Court
Also Read: CBSE Certificates - 'Students May Fail To Notice Errors Due To Young Age & Inadvertence' : Supreme Court Calls For 'Different Approach' In Time-Limit For Changes/Corrections
3. Trial Courts Have To Clearly Specify Whether Sentences Would Run Concurrently Or Consecutively: Supreme Court
Case: Sunil Kumar @ Sudhir Kumar Vs. State Of Uttar Pradesh LL 2021 SC 267
The Supreme Court observed that the Trial Courts, while awarding multiple punishments of imprisonment, have to specify in clear terms as to whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively.
Any omission to carry out this obligation causes unnecessary and avoidable prejudice to the parties, the bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose observed.
The court reiterated that the omission to state whether the sentences awarded to the accused would run concurrently or would run consecutively essentially operates against the accused because, unless stated so by the Court. The omission to state the order of consecutive running cannot ipso facto lead to concurrent running of sentences, the bench said.
In this case, the appellants were convicted of offences under Sections 363, 366 and 376(1) of the Indian Penal Code. The Trial Court sentenced the appellants to several punishments, but did not specify as to whether the punishments of imprisonment would run concurrently or consecutively. The High Court, though modified the Trial Court judgment, did not clarify on this aspect in its judgment. While so, the Jail Superintendent, District Jail, Meerut, while issuing certificates of confinement, stated that the accused had undergone 10 years and 1 month of imprisonment but, there being no mention in the sentencing order about concurrent running of sentences, they were serving 22 years of imprisonment.
IMPORTANT APEX COURT UPDATES
1. Supreme Court Seeks Comparison Between Indian & International Prices Of COVID Vaccines
Noting that the Centre had financed and facilitated the production of vaccines through concessions or otherwise, the Supreme Court sought clarification on whether it would be accurate to state that private entities had alone borne the risk and cost of manufacture.
It noted that as Emergency Use Authorisation had been granted by the Centre to the manufacturers thereby minimizing their risk, it should have factored in the pricing.
A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat, in their 31st May order in the Suo Moto COVID case, stated that they commended the cooperative efforts of the Union of India and the private manufacturers in developing and distributing vaccines which were critical to mitigate the pandemic.
Also Read: Centre's Policy Of Paid Vaccination For 18-44 Years Prima Facie Arbitrary & Irrational : Supreme Court
Also Read: 'Digital Divide Will Have Serious Implications On Right To Equality & Health': Supreme Court On CoWIN Portal
Read Also: 'Those Who Need It May Not Have The Ability To Pay For It': Supreme Court Slams Centre's Liberalized Policy Of Vaccination By Private Hospitals
2. 'If A Man & Woman Are In A Room, Man Makes A Request & Woman Complies, Do We Need To Say Anything More' : Supreme Court In Plea Against Bail To Varun Hiremath In Rape Case
Supreme Court this week dismissed the petition challenging the Delhi High Court's order granting pre-arrest bail to TV journalist Varun Hiremath accused of raping a 22 year old woman in Delhi.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Ajay Rastogi dismissed the petition filed by the complainant in the rape case.
Senior Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the plea has been filed against the anticipatory bail granted by High Court in case of rape, disregarding the statutory changes in the law, which were consciously brought. She added that the Court virtually granted the benefit of doubt based on selective reading of the Section 164 statement.
"Our question is, purely for purpose of bail only. The question of normal human conduct, behaviour and understanding. If a man and woman are in a room, the man makes a request and the woman complies with it, do we need to say anything more at this stage?" the Bench observed.
The bench observed that it was not inclined to interfere with the anticipatory bail granted to the accused and dismissed the special leave petition.
Also Read: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Anticipatory Bail Granted To Journalist Varun Hiremath In Rape case
3. "Court May Pass Many Judgments, But Parliament Can Say We Would Not Accept Because It Is Not In The Interest Of People"; AG KK Venugopal To SC In Tribunal Case
"If the Union of India losing a case can become the subject matter of legislation, that will become the order of the day!", the Supreme Court remarked on Thursday, asking how the government could have "knocked down" the basis of its order by bringing in an ordinance.
The bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ravindra Bhat was hearing the Madras Bar Association's challenge to the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service) Ordinance 2021, by which the Centre is contended to have legislatively overruled the consistent stand of the Supreme Court on how tribunals shall be constituted right from 2010.
The main points raised in the petition by the Madras Bar Association are: The Ordinance fixes a minimum age limit of 50 years for appointment as Tribunal Members; it fixes their term as 4 years as against the 5 required by the SC; it has re-introduced the idea of a panel of two names being recommended by the Search Cum Selection Committee (SCSC); it dilutes the SC direction by saying that the Central Government should make appointments "preferably within 3 months"; etc.
Read Also: Whether Directions To Amend Tribunal Rules Are Akin To Directing Parliament To Legislate? Supreme Court Asks In Madras Bar Association Case
4. Muslim League Moves Supreme Court Challenging Centre's Notification Allowing Minorities Of Afghanistan, Pakistan & Bangladesh To Apply For Indian Citizenship
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has moved the Apex Court challenging Centre's notification making it possible for persons residing in certain districts who are belonging to minority communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, to apply for Indian citizenship.
The Indian Union Muslim League has averred that in its plea challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, the Centre had earlier submitted that staying of the Amendment Act was not necessary since the rules of the Amendment Act had not been framed.
IUML has also challenged Order 3A of the Foreigners Order 1948 and Rule 4(ha) of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 as void, for being in violation of Articles 14, 15 and 21 and the basic structure of the Constitution for discriminating among persons on the basis of their faith and religion.
5. Supreme Court Issues Notice On Life Convict Asaram Bapu's Plea To Suspend Sentence For Medical Treatment
The Supreme Court this week issued notice in a plea filed by self-styled godman and life convict, Asaram Bapu, challenging the Rajasthan High Court's order wherein his petition seeking temporary suspension of sentences to pursue medical treatment was dismissed.
A Bench of Justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari heard Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra's submissions on behalf of the Petitioner and proceeded to issue notice, stating that it would be returnable in one week.
On 21st May, 2021, a Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Devendra Kachhawaha of Rajasthan High Court, had directed the district and jail administration to ensure that Asaram is provided with proper treatment, a nutritious diet, and a safe environment looking to his old age and medical condition.
6. Supreme Court Stays Delhi HC Judgment Which Declared IGST Imposition On Oxygen Concentrators Imported By Individuals As Unconstitutional
The Supreme Court this week stayed the Delhi High Court judgment which declared that imposition of Integrated Goods and Services Tax(IGST) for oxygen concentrators imported by individuals for personal use as unconstitutional.
A vacation bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah was hearing the special leave petition filed by the Ministry of Finance against the Delhi High Court judgment (Ministry of Finance vs Gurcharan Singh).
The bench observed that "arguable questions are raised" by the Ministry in its petition. The bench noted in its order that the GST council has constituted a Group of Ministers to consider the issue of GST exemption for COVID-19 relief, and the GoM is set to submit its report on June 8.
7. Supreme Court Grants Two Weeks Interim Bail to Unitech Ex- Promotor Sanjay Chandra
The Supreme Court this week granted interim bail to construction giant Unitech's erstwhile promoter Sanjay Chandra on grounds of his father-in-law's death last month.
The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M. R. Shah was considering Chandra's plea for interim bail of 4 weeks, urging that the Petitioner's wife is in a state of shock due to the sudden demise of her only surviving parent, that the Petitioner is required to be with his wife not only to give her emotional support but also to assist her for the last rites/rituals of his father-in-law who did not have a son of his own.
Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, for Chandra, intimated the bench that a memorial service for the petitioner's father-in-law is to be held on June 12. It had been submitted that the petitioner's children being abroad and unable to come to India in view of the traveling restrictions, his wife was alone in making the requisite arrangements.