TOP TEN LEGAL NEWS

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1.  SUPREME COURT TOOK SUO MOTO COGNIZANCE IN UNNAO RAPE CASE. (31st July, 2019)

The Supreme Court took Suo Moto Cognizance 4 of the case on 31st July, 2019 through the letter written by the victim and her family written to the Chief Justice of India telling about the threats they were receiving.

The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed Dharmesh Sharma, District Judge, West, and Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi to hold the trial in four cases related to Unnao rape. The CJI-led bench transferred the case to CBI Court Delhi to avoid tampering of the evidence in the suo moto proceedings based on the letter by family of Unnao rape survivor seeking protection from intimidation by accused.

The court has asked the CBI to complete probe in the road crash case within two weeks. The UP Government has been ordered to give Rs. 25 lakhs compensation to the survivor. The survivor, her family and her lawyer should be provided CRPF security.

2. NEW LAW ON TRIPLE TALAQ CHALLENGED IN SUPREME COURT AND BOMBAY HIGH COURT.

Court mainly focused on the Triple Talaq and set aside the practice of Triple Talaq. Supreme Court by the majority of 3:2 held instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) unconstitutional under Article 14 read with Article 13(1).

After the expiration of triple talaq ordinance of 2019  on 29 August 2019, government on 21st June, 2019 introduced a fresh bill in the Lok Sabha to replace this ordinance. On 25th July 2019 the bill was passed by Lok Sabha and it was passed by Rajya Sabha on 30th July 2019 with 99 to 84 votes.

The practice of Triple Talaq was continued in spite of the SC striking it; the government provided a law to make the practice illicit and void. 

The arrangements of the statute are as per the following: 

  • According to Section 4 of the ordinance, any husband who pronounces triple talaq to his wife shall be punished with 3 years imprisonment and fine.
  • According to Section 3 of the ordinance, practice of Triple Talaq in any form shall be explicit and void.
  • Section 5 of the ordinance makes arrangement for maintenance to spouse upon whom such Talaq has been articulated as chosen by judicial magistrate first class. 
  • Section 7 declares the offense to be cognizable and non bailable. Complaint might be made to the police officer by such women upon whom such Talaq has been articulated or by any individual identified with her by blood. 
  •  The offense under this law has been caused compoundable on the request of spouse and accused can be given only after hearing such wife. 

3. Acquittal from Criminal Case Does Not Ipso Facto Absolve Delinquent from Disciplinary Action, Reiterates SC. (3rd August, 2019)

 Acquittal by court of the competent jurisdiction in a judicial proceeding does not ipso facto absolve the delinquent from the liability under the disciplinary jurisdiction of the disciplinary authority, the SC has observed.

 In the case of Shashi Bhusan Prasad vs. Inspector General Central Industrial Security Force. The three judge bench comprising of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Justice Ajay Rastogi, noted that, in this case, the facts in a disciplinary inquiry and in the judicial proceedings indisputably are based on different allegations and the set of evidence were not based on the same facts and circumstances.


4. Fundamental Right to Privacy Not Absolute And Must Bow Down To Compelling Public Interest: SC 


The fundamental right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute and but must bow down to compelling public interest, remarked the Supreme Court in its judgment holding that a Judicial Magistrate can order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime.

The three judge bench comprising the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed thus in Ritesh Sinha vs. State of UP, while answering the issue whether a judicial order compelling a person to give a sample of his voice violate the fundamental right to privacy under Article 20(3) of the Constitution. 

5. SC Issues Notice on PIL for Measures under Mental Health Act to Curb Child Suicides.( 2 Aug 2019)

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on Friday issued notice to Centre and state governments on a PIL raising the issue of increasing number of child suicides. The petition prays for a direction to governments of Centre and States to implement ‘public health programme’ for the prevention and reduction of suicides in their respective jurisdiction as provided under Section 29 and Section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017.


The petitioner Guarav Kumar Bansal, a practicing advocate, stated that it was a “national shame”that no steps were being taken to reduce the suicides of children below the age of 12 years. The petition annexed the RTI reply data of last five years which he has obtained from Delhi police.

Referring to the data, the petitioner drew attention of court on various provisions of Mental Healthcare Act 2017, which says that it is the “fundamental duty of the respondent to plan, design, design, formulate and implement public health programs to reduce the suicide cases in its jurisdiction.

6. Parliament Passes UAPA Amendment Bill Which Gives Centre Power to Designate an Individual as Terrorist.

The Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019, which will enable the Central Government to notify an individual as ‘terrorist’.

It was cleared with 147 ‘yes’ votes against 42 ‘no’ votes. The Lok Sabha had cleared the Bill on July 24 with 287 ‘yes’ votes and 8 ‘no’ votes.

The amendment seeks to empower Centre to designate individuals as terrorist on the above grounds. It proposes to add ‘Fourth Schedule’ to the principal Act which will include the names of individuals designated as individuals.

The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.


7. RTI Amendment Bill Passed by Parliament. (July 25,2019)

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2019, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The motion to refer the Bill to Standing Committee was rejected by the majority. After this, the opposition members staged a walk out in protest.

The Deputy Chairman declared the Bill passed based on a voice vote held later. The lower house had passed the Bill with 218 ‘yes’ votes as against 79 ‘no’ votes.

The Bill proposes to change the fixed term of the Information Commissioners, and make their pay and service conditions subject to the executive rules to be made by the government.

At present, the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners have a fixed term of five years. The amendment bill changes the period of office of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner as “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. In the same manner, the term of office of State Information Commissioners is curtailed by the amendment. This is through amendments made to Section 16.



8. NIA’s Application for Making 2008 Malegaon Blast Trial In-Camera: Spl NIA Court To Decide On Aug 5.

The National Investigation Agency filed an application before the Special NIA Court on Thursday praying for the proceedings in 2008 Malegaon blast trial to be made in-camera.

Special Judge VS Padalkar today said the Court will decide the application filed under Section 17(1) of the NIA Act and 44(1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act on Monday.

This is not the first instance when an application for making proceedings in a high-profile case in-camera, has been filed. Making proceedings in-camera means that the media would be prevented from remaining present during the trial and also from reporting on it.

9. Parliament Passes Code on Wages for Workers.

The Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Code on Wages, 2019, which will subsume four existing laws on labour wages – the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.

Lok Sabha had cleared the Bill on July 30.

As per the Code, the central government can fix floor wages, taking into account living standards of workers, based on the advice of the Central Advisory Board and concerned state governments. It can set different floor wages for different geographical areas.


10. No Room for Sympathy While Sentencing Terror Convicts: SC Restores 7 Yrs Imprisonment for Woman Convicted For Propagating ISIS Ideology. Disagreeing with Kerala High Court Judgment, the Supreme Court restored the sentence of seven years imprisonment awarded to a woman, Yasmeen, convicted for propagating ISIS Ideology.

The bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra, however, upheld her acquittal from the offences under Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court observation t hat supporting the ideology of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will not amount to waging war against Government of an Asiatic power in alliance with India was also upheld.

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