1. Keen To Start Live Streaming At Supreme Court: CJI NV Ramana At Launch Of Live Streaming At Gujarat HC
The Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana launched live streaming of Gujarat High Court proceedings and also released the Live Streaming Rules of the High Court. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice informed that he is keen to start Live Streaming in at least a few of the Courts at the Supreme Court.Stressing upon the importance of Live Streaming of Court proceedings, CJI also said that Live streaming is important for the dissemination of information as a part of Article 19 of the Constitution.
"Lack of direct access could give space for misconception and so Live streaming is the best remedy for it. Judges should never shy away from public duty," the CJI said.
However, CJI NV Ramana further said: "At times, the live streaming mode can become a double-edged sword, however, a judge can't be swayed by popular opinion as Judge might be in the public gaze, he might become a topic of discussion. Judges cannot lose objectivity. The lawyer too should not go for publicity."
He also said that Lawyers should always uphold and maintain the dignity of the profession and the identities of parties also must be kept in mind, their privacy is also important and lawyers have to carefully calibrate rules governing live streaming.
While the Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and inaugurated the live streaming of Court Proceedings of the High Court, Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India & Chairman, e-committee of the Supreme Court of India were also present as the Guest of Honour.
Gujarat High Court's Chief Justice Vikram Nath spoke about going live. He said: "It is a challenge in itself, it required courage, confidence, and above all conviction but I am proud that all my sister brother, and judges approved the Live Streaming rules unanimously."
Source: Bar & Bench
2. Treating Ordinary Country Bomb Cases As Terrorist Offences Will Defeat Purpose Of NIA Act : Madras High Court
The Madras High Court has expressed concern about the difficulties which will be caused by sending all cases involving scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act to the 'Special Courts' notified under the NIA Act.
A full bench comprising Justices P N Prakashh, V Sivagnam, RN Manjula was considering a referred question whether the rejection of bail by a Sessions Court under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) must be challenged by way of an appeal under the NIA Act, even if the case was being investigated by the state police and not the NIA. Following the Supreme Court verdict in the case Bikramjit Singh vs State of Punjab, the bench held that such orders can only be challenged by way of appeal under the NIA Act.
"In our considered opinion, the very purpose and object of the NIA Act would stand defeated if all and sundry run of the mill country bomb cases are treated as terrorist offences and sent to Special Courts/Sessions Courts for trial", the Court observed.
The Court also flagged another anomaly as follows : "That apart, we find yet another incongruity, inasmuch as when a scheduled offence is under investigation by the C.B.I., it neither falls under the category of N.I.A. nor under the category of State agency, with the result that the NIA Act would not apply to such cases. The final report of the CBI will have to be filed only before the regular jurisdictional Magistrate when it discloses a scheduled offence in the hypothetical case referred to above".
R.Sankaranarayanan, Additional Solicitor General, said that he will draw the attention of Union Ministry of Law and Justice to these aspects.
"We trust and hope that these issues would be looked at by the relevant stakeholders with the seriousness that they deserve", the High Court observed.
Source: Bar & Bench
3. Gauhati High Court Bats For Child Friendly Court To Be Made Functional In State For Dealing With POCSO Cases
Taking note of the fact that there is no child friendly Court in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the Gauhati High Court on Friday asked the Advocate General to take up to issue with State Government so that a child friendly court is made operational at the earliest in the State for dealing with POCSO cases.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak was dealing with a suo moto case concerning the plight of a minor rape victim after a missing report was filed by one Aka Kalung alleging that his minor domestic help was missing since 1 March this year. The victim girl, working as a domestic help, was allegedly raped and sexually abused by the house owner. She was brought from Nepal as a domestic help in the year 2017.
The development came after the Advocate General apprised the Court that there is no child friendly Court in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, which goes against the mandate of sub-rule 18 of Rule 54 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 stating that there shall be a child-friendly Court where matters regarding POCSO are taken up
"The learned Advocate General of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. N Dutta appears in this matter. We request the learned Advocate General to take up this matter with the State Government so that as early as possible at least one child-friendly Court can be constructed and made functional in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, at the earliest," the Court ordered.
The Court also directed the state authority to provide police protection and also directed the concerned Deputy Commissioner to visit the CCI, conduct an enquiry with regard to the facilities available in the CCI.
The report of the enquiry conducted revealed that the facilities at CCI were adequate and that the victim was well protected. In view of this, the Court directed that the victim will stay in the said CCI for the time being.
Source: Bar & Bench
4. Classification Between Vaccinated And Unvaccinated Persons For Issuance Of Temporary Permits For Developmental Works Violates Art. 14, 19 & 21: Gauhati High Court
The Gauhati High Court, Itanagar Bench on Monday held that the classification between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons for issuance of temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sector in the State of Arunachal Pradesh violates Art. 14, 19 (1) (d) & 21.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice Nani Tagia stayed the operation of an order issued by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh stating that temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sector in the State may be issued on a condition that such persons are vaccinated for Covid-19.
While issuing notice in the plea, the Court granted an interim relief after observing thus: "It prima facie appears to this Court that Clause 11 of the Order dated 30.06.2021.. in so far it makes a classification of persons who are Covid-19 vaccinated and persons who are Covid-19 unvaccinated for the purpose of issuance of temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sector in the State of Arunachal Pradesh violates Articles 14, 19 (1) (d) & 21 of the Constitution of India calling for an interim order in the case.
Furthermore, it said: "The Order in so far it discriminates between Covid-19 vaccinated persons and Covid-19 unvaccinated persons for issuance of temporary permits for developmental works in both public and private sector in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, shall remain stayed.
Source: Bar & Bench
5. Bombay High Court Issues Directions For Proper Functioning Of Tree Authority In Goa
Being "extremely distressed" by the fact that the Tree Authorities in both the districts of Goa have not functioned at all since about a decade, the Bombay High Court at Goa recently issued several directions for their proper functioning.
The said authorities were constituted under the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984. A division bench of Justices MS Sonak and MS Jawalkar gave the direction while hearing a petition filed by NGO Living Heritage Foundation. The petitioners pointed out that Tree Authorities for the two districts of North and South Goa are defunct from the date of the enactment of the Trees Act (1984), or in any case, from November 2012, the date on which the two Tree Authorities came to be constituted.
It added "Though Article 51A(g) provides that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures, the two Tree Authorities in the State of Goa and its members who are the citizens of India have acted as if no such provisions exist in the Constitution of India or that the provisions of Trees Act and duties which Section 7 has cast upon them, either do not exist or were not meant to be acted upon."
Advocate General D. Pangam, conceded that the Tree Authorities in the State of Goa have not been functioning as they ought to have. He submitted that at least hereafter the Tree Authorities in the two districts will function and discharge the duties which they are required to discharge under the Trees Act.
Following which the court observed "This is not just some instance of dereliction of statutory duties but this is an instance that points to the scant regard which such authorities and their members have to the cause of the preservation of trees in the State of Goa."
Source: Bar & Bench
6. "We Cannot Have Two Parallel Legal Systems, One For Rich And Powerful And The Other For Common Man": SC Pulls Up MP Govt. For Protecting Murder Accused
The Supreme Court held that the independence of the district judiciary, being the first line of defence, is cardinal to the administration of justice, and that if the faith of citizens is to be preserved, the "colonial mindset" towards district judiciary needs to change.
Acknowledging that trial judges work in very difficult conditions, the bench emphasised the need to protect the district judiciary. Noting that impartiality is the cornerstone of the independence of judiciary, it has been observed that if a judge gives in to any pressure, the danger of a political clout grows.
"Independence of the judiciary implies independence of each and every judge from political pressures and other external influence and control, as also the independence from their superiors in the judiciary itself in that there may be no interference in their decisions", elaborates the Court.
In connection with Congress leader Devendra Chaurasia's murder in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court pulled up the State Government and its police.
The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and Hrishikesh Roy was pronouncing the judgment on Chaurasia's son, Somesh Chaurasia's plea in context of the Madhya Pradesh High Court having directed in July, 2019 that the investigation may be completed as far as possible within three months but not later than 90 days, that on completion of the investigation, if Singh is found involved in commission of the crime, he be immediately taken into custody and the procedure as prescribed be followed.
The Court also remarked that there cannot be two parallel legal systems, one for rich and powerful and the other for common man, and that the existence of a dual system will only chip away the legitimacy of the law.
The bench reprimanded the "abject failure of the police to complete the investigation into the murder", that the accused evaded arrest despite the issuance of warrants and the intervention by the top court, and that the state provided security to the accused because his wife happens to be an MLA.
Source: Bar & Bench
7. 'Chief Minister's Promise In Press Conference Enforceable' : Delhi High Court Directs To Implement Kejriwal's Assurance On Rent Payment For Poor
In a notable judgment, the Delhi High Court has held that a promise or assurance given by the Chief Minister in a press conference amounts to an enforceable promise and that a CM is expected to exercise his authority to give effect to such a promise.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice Pratibha M Singh observed thus: The promise/assurance/representation given by the CM clearly amounts to an enforceable promise, the implementation of which ought to be considered by the Government. Good governance requires that promises made to citizens, by those who govern, are not broken, without valid and justifiable reasons.
Furthermore, it said: The CM is expected to have had the said knowledge and is expected to exercise his authority to give effect to his promise/assurance. To that extent, it would not be out of the place to state that a reasonable citizen would believe that the CM has spoken on behalf of his Government, while making the said promise."
The Court was dealing with a petition filed by daily wage labourers/ workers, who were unable to pay their monthly rent, to seek enforcement of a promise made by the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal dated 29th March last year.
A statement given in a consciously held press conference, in the background of the lockdown announced due to the pandemic and the mass exodus of migrant labourers, cannot be simply overlooked. Proper governance requires the Government to take a decision on the assurance given by the CM, and inaction on the same cannot be the answer.
"It cannot be held that there was no expectation or anticipation by the citizens that the CM's promise would be given effect to. The doctrine of promissory estoppel also being an equitable doctrine, equity requires this Court to hold the GNCTD responsible for the said indecision or lack of action, on the promise/assurance given by the CM." The Court held.
Source: Bar & Bench
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