Sohrabuddin encounter case

Amritananda Chakravorty and Mihir Samson

iv. Gujarat Government asked to submit report on action taken in the Godhra gang rape case- The Supreme Court has granted time till the first week of January, 2018 to the Gujarat government to inform the court whether it had initiated any departmental action against six police officers and two doctors involved in a 2002 post-Godhra riots gangrape case in the state. The State had asked for more time to submit the requisite documents but the counsel for the victim vehemently argued against it stating that the victim had suffered enough already due to a delay of 15 years on the part of the State. The counsel for the victim also pointed out that the Court was yet to hear her petition for the enhancement of compensation. [Bilkis Yakub Rasool v State of Gujarat, Writ Petition (Criminal) 118/2003, date of order: 24.11.2017]

v. SC declines to revoke ban on use of petcoke, furnace to oil around Delhi – The Supreme Court refused to revoke the ban placed on the use of petcoke and furnace oil as fuels in any industrial process in the states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, with effect from November 1. The earlier orders had been passed aiming at reducing air pollution in Delhi. Subsequently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had issued a notification on November 15under section 5 of the Environment Protection Act of 1986, prohibiting any industry, process or operation in the three states. The court also declined to entertain the prayers for grant of more time for converting to alternative, cleaner sources of energy. [M.C. Mehta v Union of India, Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s).13029/1985, date of order: 22.11.2017]

vi. PIL filed to give effect to right to reject dismissed- A petition had been filed before the Supreme Court, demanding that the ‘Right to reject’ political parties be recognized and elections be declared invalid if maximum voters opt for the NOTA option. The petition submitted that such a right was necessary to ensure free and fair elections. The Petition relied on the 170th report submitted by the Law Commission of India, which had endorsed such a right. The report had also suggested that contesting candidates be declared elected only if they had received 50%+1 of all the valid votes cast. But the petition was dismissed as withdrawn. [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) 1120/2017, date of order: 24.11.2017]

vii. Supreme Court highlights the implementation of scheme for the urban homeless - Emphasizing that the government had an obligation to help the poor and provide them shelter, the Supreme Court has directed Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal governments to prepare and present a roadmap for implementation of such a scheme. The Court looked at the documents filed by the three states regarding the implementation of the National Urban Livelihood Mission and pointed out that none of them resembled a scheme or even a vision document. It reminded the states of their obligations to the urban poor and questioned them on the discrepancies in their accounts. The Court also lamented the fact that the states were still collecting data and not taking any steps to effectively implement the scheme.

viii. Film ‘S. Durga’ allowed to be exhibited at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) - The Kerala High Court has directed the organizers of International Film Festival of India to include and exhibit the film ‘S Durga’, directed by Sanal Kumar Sashidharan in the Indian Panorama section of the Festival. The Court has allowed the CBFC certified version of it to be screen, overruling concerns by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Court noted that with the modifications that had been suggested by the CBFC, the film had received a U/A certification and did not affect the creative content of the film to a large extent. The Court could not overrule the decision of the jury and would have to allow the exhibition of the movie. [Sanal Kumar Sasidharan v Union of India, Writ Petition 36600 of 2017, date of order: 21.11.2017]

ix. PIL filed to ban convicted or disqualified persons from forming political parties - With a view to decriminalise electoral system and ensure democracy within the party, a public interest litigation has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking ban on a convicted person from forming a political party or becoming political office-bearer. The petition also sought for empowering the ECI to register or de-register any political party. According to the petition, injury is caused to the public because corrupt and criminal persons form parties and then run them. It pointed to various examples of criminals who are holding office in political parties. [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) 1152/2017]

Other developments –

i. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amended – The Union Cabinet approved the ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The changes are expected to address concerns regarding ability of wilful defaulters to bid for stressed assets under the present regime. Currently, the IBC does not specify the kind of buyers who can bid for stressed assets of companies that are undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. A wilful defaulter will now be “explicitly prohibited” from the proceedings. Besides, people with a history of siphoning off funds or convictions will also be barred. The Ordinance will be presented in the Winter Session of the Parliament and will be tabled for approval in 6 months.[The Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance. 2017, passed 23.11.2017]

ii. Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to the ICJ ¬-Indian candidate Justice Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected [for the term 2018-2027] as a Judge in the International Court of Justice after Britain has withdrawn his candidate Christopher Greenwood. Justice Bhandari got 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council in the election held at the UN headquarters in New York. This will be for the first time in the 71 year’s history of ICJ that Britain will not have a judge in the most powerful Court of United Nations. (IPA/Concluded)

Friday, 1 December, 2017