Supreme Court To Take ‘In-Chamber’ Decision On Listing Of Plea Challenging Article 35A


Supreme Court adjourned hearing on a batch of petitions challenging Article 35A till January this year

New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court said today that it would take an “in-chamber” decision on listing of a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Advocate Bimal Roy had mentioned the matter before the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.

He sought an urgent hearing of the petition, filed by NGO ”We The Citizens”, saying the court had earlier ordered listing of the matter in the second week of January.

In August last year, the top court adjourned hearing on a batch of petitions challenging Article 35A till January this year, after taking note of submissions of the Centre and the state government that there was a law and order problem in the state.

Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and bars people from outside the state from acquiring any immovable property in the state.

The top court had on August 31 deferred till January the hearing on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to natives of Jammu and Kashmir, after the Centre and the state said that polls to local bodies would go on till December.

Article 35A denies property rights to a woman who marries a person from outside the state. The provision, which leads to such women from the state forfeiting their right over property, also applies to her heirs.

Article 35A was incorporated in the Constitution in 1954 by an order of President Rajendra Prasad on the advice of the then Cabinet headed by Jawaharlal Nehru.

In the previous hearing, a lawyer had given an illustration and said that if a native woman of the state married an outsider, she loses several rights, including property rights, in the state, but if a man marries a Pakistani woman, he and his spouse get all rights.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, however, had agreed to the contention that Article 35A and certain aspects needed to be debated upon and said, “It can’t be denied that there is an aspect of gender discrimination in it (Article 35A).

On August 6, the top court had said that a three-judge bench would decide whether the pleas challenging Article 35A should be referred to a five-judge constitution bench for examining the larger issue of alleged violation of the doctrine of basic structure of the Constitution.

Several petitions including by political parties like the National Conference and the CPI-M, have also moved the Supreme Court in support of Article 35A that empowers the state assembly to define “permanent residents” for bestowing special rights and privileges to them.

An NGO, ”Ikkjut Jammu”, has also filed a plea seeking quashing of the provision. It has said that Article 35A furthers the “two nation theory which is against the theory of secularism”.

The state government, while defending the Article, had cited two verdicts of the constitution benches of the Supreme Court in 1961 and 1969, which had upheld the powers of the President under Article 370(1)(d) of the Constitution to pass constitutional orders.
 





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Delhi High Court Seeks CBI Response To Wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s Plea


Delhi High Court Seeks CBI Response To Wrestler Narsingh Yadav

Narsingh Yadav’s had filed a plea seeking to expedite investigation into his complaint related to doping. © PTI


The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the CBI and asked the probe agency to file a response to wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s plea seeking to expedite investigation into his complaint related to doping filed ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics. Narsingh Yadav had tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Olympics and was debarred from representing India at the Rio Games. Thereafter, Narsingh Yadav filed a complaint alleging that his food had been spiked. Claiming that after his several representations to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the probe went unheeded, he moved the high court seeking speedy disposal of his complaint.

Justice Najmi Waziri observed that Narsingh Yadav had lodged the complaint after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s decision not to give a clean chit to the wrestler in the doping matter.

The court pulled up the CBI for not completing its probe into the matter and asked what the probe agency was doing for the past two-and-a-half years.

The court directed the CBI to look into the matter keeping in mind that sportspersons have a “short career”, especially in sports like wrestling and boxing.

CBI counsel Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj told the court that the probe agency has to question members of the CAS panel and the scientists involved in the decision-making process who are foreign nationals. The investigation agency is sending requests to question them through diplomatic channels, he told the court.

The court also asked the CBI to file a report detailing how the agency has pursued the matter and listed the matter for February 1.




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Northeast Delegation To Visit Delhi With Plea For Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “Scrap Citizenship Bill”


Conrad Sangma said he was always in favour of scrapping the controversial legislation.

Guwahati: 

Facing public anger, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has decided to lead a delegation to New Delhi with an appeal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh withdraw the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The legislation, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha amid allegations of “religious discrimination”, aims to hasten the citizenship process for non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries. Thousands across the Northeast have hit the streets in protest, clashing with the police and showing black flags to BJP politicians.

Mr Sangma is the president of the National People’s Party, a BJP ally.

The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance delegation has already sought appointments with PM Modi and Mr Singh, sources close to the chief minister said. “As a government, we took the lead in opposing this bill and we will continue opposing it. Now, the situation is slightly different because the bill is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha, and it is not a complete amendment yet. So, we are waiting and watching what the government does,” Mr Sangma told reporters in Shillong.

The Meghalaya cabinet has already passed a resolution opposing the bill, with even its lone BJP minister — AL Hek — siding with the majority. In neighbouring Assam, the Asom Gana Parishad has already snapped ties with the BJP on the issue.

The BJP suffered yet another setback in Meghlaya as Sofiur Brahman, head of the State BJP’s Minority Morcha, resigned from the party in protest against the controversial bill. He has warned the party of an impending defeat if it tables the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Both the BJP legislators in the state have already urged the centre to reconsider its position on the bills, saying that the protests will go out of control if it is pushed through the upper house too.





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Supreme court will hear plea of Sajjan Kumar in sikh riot case today


नई दिल्ली:

सुप्रीम कोर्ट सिख विरोधी दंगों से जुड़े एक मामले में दोषी ठहराए गए पूर्व कांग्रेस नेता सज्जन कुमार की अपील पर आज सुनवाई करेगा. दिल्ली हाईकोर्ट ने 1984 के सिख विरोधी दंगों से जुड़े एक मामले में सज्जन कुमार को दोषी ठहराते हुए उन्हें उम्रकैद की सजा सुनायी है. सज्जन कुमार ने हाईकोर्ट के इस फैसले को सुप्रीम कोर्ट में चुनौती दी है. हाई कोर्ट के फैसले के संबंध में 73 वर्षीय कुमार ने 31 दिसंबर को सुनवाई अदालत के सामने आत्मसमर्पण किया था. मामले में अपनी दोषसिद्धि के बाद कुमार ने कांग्रेस पार्टी से इस्तीफा दे दिया था.

अगर राजीव गांधी सरकार ने मान ली होती चंद्रशेखर की यह बात, तो रुक सकते थे 1984 के दंगे

बता दें कि कुमार को दिल्ली कैंटोनमेंट के राज नगर इलाके में एक-दो नवंबर 1984 को पांच सिखों की हत्या और एक गुरूद्वारा में आग लगाए जाने के मामले में दोषी करार दिया गया है. 31 अक्टूबर 1984 को तत्कालीन प्रधानमंत्री इंदिरा गांधी की हत्या के बाद सिख विरोधी दंगे हुए थे. 

1984 का सिख दंगाः कौन था वो शख्स, जिसने ‘बांध’ दिए थे राष्ट्रपति ज्ञानी जैल सिंह के हाथ, बोले- मैं मजबूर हूं

सज्जन कुमार के अलावा दोषी ठहराए जाने के बाद पूर्व विधायक कृष्ण खोखर और महेन्द्र यादव ने भी 31 दिसंबर को आत्मसमर्पण कर दिया था. दोनों को 10 साल जेल की सजा सुनाई गई है. ये दोनों उसी मामले में दोषी ठहराये गए हैं, जिसमें पूर्व कांग्रेस नेता सज्जन कुमार को ताउम्र कैद की सजा सुनाई गई है. कोर्ट द्वारा खोखर और यादव का आत्मसमर्पण का अनुरोध स्वीकार करने के बाद दोनों ने मेट्रोपोलिटन मजिस्ट्रेट अदिति गर्ग के समक्ष समर्पण किया था.

टिप्पणियां

Video: सिख विरोधी दंगे के दोषी सज्जन कुमार ने किया सरेंडर

 



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Supreme Court Dismisses Plea For Cancelling Lease Of Kandla Port Land To Firm


The court, however, had asked the NGO to file a separate petition to challenge the new lease.

New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with a Delhi High Court order holding as not maintainable a PIL seeking cancellation of a lease awarding 50 acres of land at the Kandla Port in Gujarat to a private firm, due to lack of territorial jurisdiction.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said no prejudice was caused to the petitioner NGO — Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) — by asking it to move the Gujarat High Court.

“We are not inclined to interfere with the order impugned in the special leave petition as, in our considered view, no prejudice has been caused by requiring the petitioner to move the appropriate jurisdiction i.e the High Court of Gujarat, raising its grievance under the same subject matter before the said High Court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed,” the bench, also comprising Justice S K Kaul, said.

The high court, on October 1 last year, had said no part of the cause of action had arisen within its territorial jurisdiction and granted liberty to the petitioner NGO to approach the appropriate forum in accordance with law.

The bench had passed the order on the maintainability of a plea by the NGO, alleging that the Kandla Port Trust (KPT), now known as the Deendayal Port Trust, had overvalued the structures set up at the site by a firm — Friends Salt Works and Allied Industries (FSWAI) — when it had leased the land in the past, to ensure that only the said firm got the contract.

The bench had noted that the tender was issued from Gandhidham and the land was situated at Kutch in Gujarat.

It had said the plea of the NGO’s counsel, Prashant Bhushan, referring to various sections of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 to contend that the Centre had a role to play in the working of the KPT, was without any merit.

The petition had claimed that FSWAI did not have to pay an amount of Rs 207 crore if it was successful in the bid and added that under the earlier lease agreement, the KPT did not have any contractual obligation to compensate the firm for its assets.

The NGO had sought that if the lease awarded to the firm in April, 2015 was not cancelled, then the amount of Rs 207 crore be recovered from it.

“The introduction of the said clause in the tender (to compensate FSWAI) is illegal and arbitrary since it was the responsibility of FSWAI to remove the structures before the expiry of the (earlier) lease. The additional burden of Rs 207 crore on the other bidders put them at a significant disadvantage and ensured that the said tender would be awarded to FSWAI,” the NGO had alleged in its plea.

CPIL had earlier raised the issue in a fresh application moved in a pending petition, alleging that a huge scam had taken place during the 1960s and 1970s, when plots near the Kandla Port were leased out on the basis of nominations to private parties without a bidding process.

The court, however, had asked the NGO to file a separate petition to challenge the new lease and subsequently, it had filed the instant PIL.

The earlier PIL had also alleged irregularities in the allotment of 16,000 acres of government land, which caused a huge loss to the state.





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Mumbai Bus Strike Enters Fourth Day, High Court To Hear Plea Today


Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday. (File)

Mumbai: 

The BEST bus strike in Mumbai today entered the fourth day with a stalemate prevailing between striking workers and the management of the civic-run transport undertaking.

Lakhs of commuters were inconvenienced with autorickshaws, taxis and private transport buses pressed into service proving inadequate to take on the passenger load catered to by the BEST buses on a daily basis.

All eyes are now on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against the bus strike in the Bombay High Court. The court is scheduled to hear the PIL today.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, whose party controls the BMC, the parent body of BEST, on Thursday held several rounds of talks with BEST union leaders in the presence of Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and BEST general manager Surendra Kumar but could not break the deadlock.

With the 3,200-odd bus fleet of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) off the roads, both Western and Central Railways ran extra services and several MSRTC buses were also deployed in the metropolis, said officials.

Over 32,000 BEST employees went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday over various demands, including higher salaries and merger of the BEST and BMC budgets.

The state government has already invoked the stringent Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) against the striking BEST employees but the move has not been able to force workers to call off their strike.

Workers, meanwhile, said they are yet to get salaries for the month of December despite it being ten days into the new year.

Rajaram Satpute, a daily commuter from Kurla to Mahul, said, “I have been living in Mumbai for the past 40 years and I have never seen such a long BEST strike.”

“I want to ask the chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) what he is doing in Uttar Pradesh. This is the time when he should be in Mumbai,” he said.





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Plea Against The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Filed In Supreme Court


Screengrab from the trailer of the movie “The Accidental Prime Minister”.

New Delhi: 

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the January 7 order of the Delhi High Court which had disposed of a petition seeking to ban the trailer of upcoming movie, “The Accidental Prime Minister”.

The high court had disposed of the writ petition against the trailer but left it open for the petitioner to file a public interest litigation (PIL).

The filing of appeal in the top court came hours after a division bench of the high court dismissed the PIL, which had sought a ban on the film and its trailer alleging it defamed the constitutional post of the Prime Minister.

The film is scheduled to release on January 11.

The movie, which stars Anupam Kher as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, is based on a book of the same name by Mr Singh’s then media advisor Sanjaya Baru.

In the appeal filed in the top court, petitioner Pooja Mahajan has sought stay on exhibition of trailer of the film on YouTube and to suspend the release and exhibition of the movie during pendency of the matter.

The plea, filed through advocate A Maitri, has claimed that “at present if the film is allowed to be released, then it will cause unaccountable damage to the name and fame of the office of Prime Minster of India.”

It alleged that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) should not have given certification to the film as actors have performed the “character of public personalities”, like Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi which constitutes an offence under section 416 (cheating by personation) of the Indian Penal Code.

“It is a known fact that film producers have not taken any consent/permission from Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to perform their characters or to perform their political life or to dress up in the same way as they had been doing in their normal life or to copy their voice in any manner,” the plea alleged.

It claimed that it “seems that film makers, producers have made an attempt to make commercial gains and the act of impersonation has been committed deliberately to defame the office of Prime Minister just to hype the excitement among the prospective viewers.”

The plea also alleged that if the film will be released, friendly relations with the US and other foreign states were likely to be affected.

“It seems that film has been produced in a selected manner and it clearly shows that it’s a political propaganda with some other motives,” the plea said.

It alleged that the promo of the film showed that the movie has been produced “simply to damage the image” of Manmohan Singh.





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Donald Trump Cites Indian-Origin Cop Ronil Singhs Murder In Plea For Wall In Prime Time Address


Washington: 

US President Donald Trump, escalating the battle over his border wall plan in a televised Oval Office address to the nation, referred to the murder of an Indian-American police officer in California by an illegal immigrant as he demanded $5.7 billion to fund the wall on the border with Mexico to keep the country safe. Mr Trump described the situation at the border as a “growing crisis” hurting millions of Americans.

Corporal Ronil “Ron” Singh, a 33-year-old Indian-origin police officer, was shot dead during a traffic stop a day after Christmas by an illegal immigrant named Gustavo Perez Arriaga when he was planning to flee to his native Mexico.

“America’s heart broke the day after Christmas, when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, who just came across the border,” Mr Trump said in his address. “The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in the country.”

He went on to mention more crimes committed by illegal immigrants as he tried to drive home his point.

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US President Donald Trump demanded $5.7 billion to fund a wall on the US-Mexico border in his televised address to the nation from the Oval office

“There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” Mr Trump said in his address.

“This is a humanitarian crisis – a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” he said, emphasizing that the federal government “remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”

Mr Trump had spent days mulling declaring a state of emergency along the border that would have given him powers to bypass Congress, which has so far refused to fund the wall project, and draw funds from the military to build the border barrier.

Last week, he spoke with the Corporal Ronil Singh’s widow, Anamika Chand-Singh, and his colleagues at the Newman Police Department, praising his service and offering condolences. Gustavo Perez Arriaga has been arrested from a home in Kern County in California.

With inputs from agencies





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Delhi High Court Rejects British National’s Plea Against Extradition


New Delhi: 

The Delhi High Court Tuesday dismissed a plea of a 74-year-old British national, who is wanted in a child abuse and trafficking case in the Philippines, against the proceedings in a trial court here to extradite him to that country.

The order was passed by a bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and I S Mehta on the petition of Lennox James Ellis, who was arrested in Goa on June 9, 2016 on the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued by the Interpol at the behest of the Philippines government.

Ellis has been lodged in the Tihar Jail since July 11, 2016, where he was sent after being incarcerated in a Goa jail for over a month.

He had entered India on January 15, 2016 on a valid tourist visa and was arrested at the Goa airport when he was about to board a flight to Bangkok.

In his plea through advocate Sumeet Verma, Ellis had contended that he could not be extradited to the Philippines as the extradition treaty of India with that country was published in the Official Gazette on August 23, 2016, much after his arrest.

Therefore, the Extradition Act cannot be applied to him retrospectively, he had contended.

He argued that he had been incarcerated in India for nearly 17 months “arbitrarily and illegally and without any legal basis whatsoever”.

Ellis also claimed in his plea that the issue of his extradition is between the UK and the Philippines, and “India has no nexus whatsoever in this case”.

The petitioner had alleged that the case was one of “political persecution and political vendetta by the highest authority of the Philippines”.

He further claimed that if extradited to that country, “he will be summarily executed and killed by the brutal regime” there.

Ellis had sought quashing of the notification of the treaty with Philippines, the extradition request sent by that country and proceedings going on in the trial court here to extradite him.

Apart from that, the petition had also sought his immediate discharge and release from prison.





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Gautam Singhania, Raymond Chief’s Plea Against Vijaypat Singhania’s Autobiography Dismissed


Gautam Singhania had filed the suit in September 2018 seeking an injunction on the proposed book (File)

Mumbai: 

A Mumbai court has dismissed a plea filed by Raymond Group Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Singhania seeking an injunction on his father Vijaypat Singhania’s proposed autobiography, “The Incomplete Man”.

City civil judge SP Ponkshe, in her order passed on January 3, noted that Gautam Singhania had failed to prima facie show that the book contained defamatory statements and imputations about him or his family members.

Gautam Singhania had filed the suit in September 2018 seeking an injunction on the proposed book and also sought a copy of the book’s manuscript.

He claimed the book contained defamatory statements which would cause damage to his reputation.
The court, however, noted that there was no prima facie case to believe and accept Gautam Singhania’s apprehensions on the contents of the proposed book.

vijaypat singhania

Vijaypat Singhania, while opposing his son’s application, said his book contains only the truth (File Photo)

It noted that he had not supported his case with cogent evidence.

The court said there is a difference between a biography and an autobiography.

Biography means an account of series of events making a person’s life, while an autobiography means a biography of yourself, it pointed out.

“In this case, defendant no. 4 (Vijaypat Singhania) has specifically stated that the proposed book is his autobiography. That means, on his own experiences he is going to write the autobiography. Hence, the information is definitely not based on hearsay,” the court said.

“Therefore, I have no hesitation to hold that the plaintiff (Gautam Singhania) has failed to establish prima facie infringement of right to privacy and alleged defamation due to publication of the autobiography of Vijaypath Singhania,” the judge said.

The court further held that if the application seeking injunction against the book is allowed, irreparable loss would be caused to Vijaypat Singhania, considering the nature of the proposed book and twilight years of his life.

It noted that prima facie there was no sufficient evidence to believe and accept that the proposed book contains defamatory statements and imputations causing infringement of right to privacy of Gautam Singhania and his family members.

The court also took note of the arguments put forth by the publisher, Penguin Random House India Pvt. Ltd., that it shall adhere to stringent due diligence processes before going ahead with the book’s publication.

Vijaypat Singhania, while opposing his son’s application, said his book contains only the truth.
He and his son have been engaged in a legal battle over a duplex apartment in the 36-storey redeveloped JK House in south Mumbai.

In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court in 2016, Vijaypat Singhania had claimed that his son was refusing to honour an arbitration order which awarded the duplex apartment to the former.





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