Supreme Court weekly round up: News Updates [January 17-22, 2022]

  • Aishwarya Iyer
  • 07:06 PM, 24 Jan 2022
  1. [Bhatinda Fraud Case] The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing anticipatory bail to Rakesh Bhanot and directing CBI probe in the 2013 Bhatinda fraud case. An  FIR was registered in October 2014 under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, and 201 Indian Penal Code, (IPC) 1860 on the basis of a complaint filed by one Sharan Dass, who had a bank account in a UCO Bank branch in Bathinda, alleging that the accused persons, namely Arjun Bhanot and Rakesh Bhanot of Arjun Mal Retail Holding Private Ltd had cheated him of Rs. 2 crores in connivance with the bank officials.
    Bench: Justices AS Bopanna & Hima Kohli
    Case title: Rakesh Bhanot vs The State of Punjab
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  2. [Mehbooba Mufti's Challenge to PMLA] The Supreme Court has tagged the plea filed by Sunil Kumar Meena, Assistant Director, Enforcement of Directorate seeking transfer of petition pending before Delhi High Court, filed by former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti against provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) with other pending matters challenging provisions of PMLA after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared in the matter. The said plea challenges Section 50 of the PMLA Act, which gives powers to authorities regarding summons, production of documents, and to give evidence; and sought a stay on the summon issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
    Bench: Justices AM Khanwilkar & Dinesh Maheshwari
    Case Title: Mehbooba Mufti vs Union Of India & Anr.

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  3. [Children on streets] The Supreme Court has directed the District Magistrates to involve the Special Juvenile Police Units, District Legal Service Authority, and the volunteer organization in the identification of children in the street situations without any further delay. The bench was hearing suo moto case in regards to the children who are in street situations and who have lost their parents to Covid- 19. Importantly, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj informed the bench that the Calcutta Government has done a good job, whereas, the Maharashtra Government has done nothing yet.
    Bench: Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BV Nagarathna
    Case Title: In Re Children in Street Situation 
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  4. [Co-WIN] The Supreme Court has been informed by the Government of India that it has already undertaken the process to implement features in the Co-WIN portal to make it more accessible to persons with disability. The Centre has filed an affidavit while responding to the suggestions made by Evara Foundation, an NGO. Last month, the top court had directed the NGO Evara Foundation to share its suggestions with the Court and the Central government in a plea seeking administration of Covid-19 vaccines to persons with disabilities and their caregivers at their place of residence.
    Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna
    Case Title: Evara Foundation v. Union of India And Ors
    Click here to read more

  5. [Plea in SC] A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking appoint of a new Special Investigation Team to operate under Apex Court’s supervision in order to investigate the hate speeches delivered at religious events organized at Haridwar and Delhi. The plea has been filed by Retired Armed forces officers. The plea reads, “Such incidents, if gone unchecked, can have a serious impact on the morale and integration of the soldiers in the armed forces who come from diverse communities and religions.”
    Case Title: Major General SG Vombatkere & Ors Vs. Union of India & Ors.
    Click here to read more

  6. [Women in Armed Forces] The Top Court has directed the centre to file a response to the affidavit filed by petitioners seeking higher intake of women cadets in Army, Navy and Airforce. The matter pertains to permanent commission for women in the Indian armed forces. The petitioner had filed an affidavit stating that as per the NDA II-2021, of the 208 candidates recruited, 10 women were recruited in the Army, 3 in the navy and 6 in the air force totalling to 19.  He had submitted that as per the notice for the NDA I-2022 examinations which is to be held on 10th April 2022, the number of women candidates sought to be recruited are the same and has not been changed.
    Bench: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundaresh
    Case Title: Kush Kalra Vs Union of India
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  7. [Malnutrition Data] The Supreme Court has asked the states to file an affidavit furnishing data on malnutrition and hunger. The bench was hearing a PIL seeking directions to establish community kitchens across the country to combat prevalent hunger, malnutrition & starvation and prevent the death of persons resulting thereof. The Court in October had directed the Central Government to frame a scheme for pan-India Community Kitchens after consultation with the State Governments taking into consideration the existing policies.
    Bench: CJI NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna & Hima Kohli
    Case Title: Anun Dewan Vs Union of India
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  8. [Parsi burial's - Covid] The Supreme Court has suggested the Parsi Community to convene a meeting with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to resolve the issue of traditional cremation for members of the Parsi community who succumbed to COVID-19. The bench was hearing the plea filed by Surat Parsi Panchayat challenging Gujarat High Court’s order denying traditional cremation to such covid deaths.
    Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant
    Case Title: Surat Parsi Panchayat Vs Union of India
    Click here to read more

  9. [Covid-19 Ex-Gratia Compensation] The Supreme Court came down heavily upon the State Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar directed the State of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar to ensure that not even a single case eligible for compensation remains deprived of it. While directing the Government to make payments to the kin of people who died of COVID-19, the bench said, “We direct the states to reach those children who have lost their both parents/ surviving parents and their particulars are already uploaded on Bal Swaraj portal ensuring that the payment of compensation reaches to them.” The direction has come on a plea filed in May, 2021 before the Top Court seeking ex-gratia monetary compensation to the families of deceased who have succumbed to the pandemic of COVID-19 in view of  Section 12 of The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
    Bench: Justice MR Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna
    Case Title: Gaurav Kumar Bansal v. Union of India
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  10. [Maharashtra Local Body Elections] The Supreme Court has reiterated that seats in local government cannot be reserved for OBC category unless triple test mandated by the Constitution Bench judgment in K. Krishna Murthy Vs Union of India is followed. The court also directed Maharashtra Government to produce the data and other information it has on OBC’s to the State appointed dedicated commission, which will examine the correctness and if appropriate make recommendation to the State on the basis of which State may take further steps. Earlier, on 15th December 2021, the court had directed the EC to issue fresh notification for 27% OBC seats reservations with which EC had complied.
    Bench: Justices Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Ravikumar
    Case Title: Rahul Ramesh Wagh Vs State of Maharashtra
    Click here to read more

  11. [Contempt proceedings against Tamil Nadu Bureaucrats] The Supreme Court has let off Tamil Nadu bureaucrats with a warning in a contempt petition. However, Justice Nageshwar Rao orally noted that they were not very satisfied with the explanation offered by the contemning officers. These bureaucrats were held guilty of contempt of court in October 2021 for not following the court’s order with respect to preparation of seniority list of the selectees in a selection process conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) in 1999. The court in 2016 had directed that the list of seniority was to be prepared based on the merit list of selection and not based on the roster. However, in October 2021, the Top Court directed the list to be revised noting that the already prepared list was in total breach of its earlier directions and revealed that various selectees, who had received much less marks, were placed above the selectees who have received higher marks.”
    Bench: Justices Nageshwar Rao and BR Gavai
    Case title: V.Senthur Vs M.Vijaykumar, IAS, Secretary TNPSC
    Click here to read more

  12. [Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation] The Supreme Court has suggested establishing a mechanism similar to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation set up in the United States of America to resolve matters in which multiple FIRs are registered against a particular person in multiple States. The Court was hearing a writ petition seeking transfer and clubbing of 29 FIRs registered against an accused, who has been in custody for duping people and collecting money from them, to an appropriate Investigating Agency. The Court in the last hearing had asked the Centre to come up with some solutions.
    Bench: Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai
    Case Title: Radhey Shyam v. State of Haryana
    Click here to read more

  13. [NEET PG] The Supreme Court has directed the State of Tamil Nadu to allot seats for Post Graduated Medicine courses at Christian Medical College, Vellore as per NEET merit list for the students belonging to Christian Minority. The court further said that all the PG seats shall be allotted from the merit list and counselling. It was alleged against the institute that it had been admitting students from Protestants sect whose were lower in merit to other students belonging to Christian minority.
    Bench: Justices Nageshwar Rao and BR Gavai
    Case Title: CMC Vs State of Tamil Nadu
    Click here to read more

  14. [Post-Poll Violence] The Supreme Court granted interim protection to Mamta Banerjee's election agent and Trinamool Congress leader SK Supian @ Sheikh Sufiyan accused of killing a Bhartiya Janta Party Supporter Debabrata Maiti at Chillogram in Nandigram after the results were declared. The bench said that the court can hear the matter only after the statements are placed on record while granting him interim protection.
    Bench: Justices Nageshwar Rao and BR Gavai
    Case title: SK Supiyan @ Suffiyan @ Supisan Vs The Central Bureau Of Investigation
    Click here to read more

  15. [FCRA] The Supreme Court has listed the plea challenging the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs refusing the renewal of the FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act) registration of the NGOs including Missionaries of Charity which is a prominent organization founded by Mother Teresa in 1950. The petition has sought quashing of the decisions through which it has refused the renewal of the FCRA registration/ canceled the registration of close to 6000 NGOs. The petition alleges that the FCRA Amendment Act, 2020 brought in a number of onerous conditions upon the registered entities under the FCRA, which has significantly hampered their activities and operations.
    Bench: Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari
    Case Title: Global Peace Initiative and Anr Vs. Union of India
    Click here to read more

  16. [NEET PG Counselling] The Supreme Court pronounced a detailed order in NEET PG 2021 EWS & OBC All India Quota Reservation matter and stated that the Central Government was not required to seek permission for granting reservation from this Court in regard to AIQ for OBC reservation. Delivering the order, the bench noted, “It cannot be said that the rules of the game were set when the examination dates were decided.” In the interim order allowed NEET PG 2021 counseling to be conducted as per the notification issued by the Central Government while upholding the amended reservation(s) policy by the Government of India.
    Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Bela M Trivedi
    Case Title: Neil Nunes Aurelia Vs Union of India
    Click here to read more

  17. [BJP MLA Suspension] The Supreme Court has reserved order in the plea filed by Bhartiya Janta Party MLA's challenging the resolution passed by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly suspending the BJP MLA's for a period of one year over alleged misbehaviour with the presiding officer. Reserving the order, the bench noted, “Suspending, it has to be with the intention to discipline.” The counsels of all parties have been directed to file written notes within a period of 1 week.
    Bench: Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice CT Ravikumar
    Case Title: Ashish Shelar and Ors. Vs. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
    Click here to read more

  18. [The Indian Environment Service] The Supreme Court issued notice on a plea seeking the creation of one All India Service, namely “The Indian Environment Service'', considering the turmoil all over the country concerning environmental issues. The bench noted, “The prayer is in pursuance to TSR Subramaniam Committee report of 2014, thus we are inclined to issue notice.” The plea alleges that there is no effective coordination amongst various Ministries/ Institutions regarding the integration of environmental concerns and there is a lack of trained personnel involved in the administration, policy formulation, and supervising the implementation of policies of the State Government and Central Government.
    Bench: Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh
    Case Title: Samar Vijay Singh Vs. Union of India and Ors.
    Click here to read more

  19. [Uniform Civil Code] A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the plea pending in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Central Government to constitute a judicial commission to prepare a draft Uniform Civil Code. Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor, Maulana Azad Urdu University had filed the present plea stating that the PIL before the Delhi High Court was filed “to weed-out anomalies in minimum age of marriage, grounds of divorce, maintenance-alimony, adoption-guardianship, succession-inheritance and the differences based on patriarchal stereotype have no scientific backing, perpetrate de jure and de facto inequalities against women, and go against the global trends.” The plea has also sought direction to the Central Government to draft the Uniform Civil Code within 3 months and publish it on its website for larger public discussion, debate, and feedback.
    Case title: Firoz Bakht Ahmed Vs. Union of Idia & Ors.
    Click here to read more

  20. [Offences against Transgenders] The Supreme Court has issued notice in a plea seeking direction to frame guidelines filling gaping legal lacunae with an objective to ensure and implement an effective and purposeful legal framework for the protection and welfare of transgenders in India. Filed by Kajal Mangal Mukhi, the plea states that Section 18 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 infringes the fundamental rights of equality, right to life, and right against discrimination as expounded by the Supreme Court in NALSA Vs. Union of India.
    Bench: Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai
    Case Title: Kajal Mangal Mukhi vs Union of India and Anr.
    Click here to read more.

  21. [Virudhunagar firecracker factory blast] The Top Court has set aside an order of the National Green Tribunal awarding compensation to people who died and were injured on account of fire incidents at the Virudhunagar firecracker factory blast. The Court said that, "We'll set aside this order and send it back for reconsideration, all concerned should be put to notice." The Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) and the state of Tamil Nadu challenged the order of the NGT stating the same have been passed without making the affected stakeholders, parties in the matter.
    Bench: Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari
    Case Title: Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) vs State of Tamil Nadu and Ors.
    Click here to read more

  22. [Contempt proceedings against Yati Narsinghanand] The Attorney General of India KK Venugopal has granted consent for initiating contempt proceedings against Yati Narsinghanand over his allegedly “derogatory remarks” about the Supreme Court of India and the Constitution of India. The Consent was granted after a letter by activist Shachi Nelli was sent to AG where she sought to initiate contempt against his statements in an interview that went viral on the social media platform Twitter on the 14th of January.
    Click here to read more

  23. [Kangana Ranaut] The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation seeking transfer of all FIRs filed against actress Kangana Ranaut for her outraging statements made against the Sikh Community. The tweets herein discussed were published after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi repealed the three disputed Farm Laws. Ranaut allegedly tweeted, "Sad, shameful, absolutely unfair. If people on the streets have started to make laws and not the chosen government in the Parliament, then even this is a jihadi nation. Congratulations to all who wanted it like this."
    Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Bela M Trivedi 
    Case Title: Sardar Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal vs Union of India & Ors.
    Click here to read more

  24.  [Delhi-Noida-Delhi Flyway] The Supreme Court permitted Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd. to put up advertisements on the NOIDA side of the Delhi- Noida-Delhi Flyway. The order has been passed against the backdrop of the removal of the advertisement hoardings on the DND Flyway by the NOIDA Authority on the basis that the Noida Toll Bridge Co. Ltd. had not been paying the license fee under the Advertisement Policies of the NOIDA Authority.
    Bench: Justices L.N. Rao and  B.R. Gavai
    Case Title: Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd Vs Federation on Noida Residents Welfare Association & Ors
    Click here to read more