Indian Judiciary Rijiju

Indian Judiciary To Go Paperless soon: Rijiju

Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday asserted the Indian judiciary will go completely paperless in the near future.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Delhi High Court new building, the Minister said, “I had a detailed meeting about the e-Court projects. For e-courts I have also requested the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to complete the task in his tenure.”
He said lawyers in the country should be prepared for paperless work adding that the Ministry has conveyed to law officers that very soon the system will have to go paperless.

“When we talk about the judiciary which is totally digital, then it will have a huge impact on the justice delivery mechanism itself. It will also help in delivering fast result,” Rijiju said.

While stating that as the central government has a well-defined role, Law Minister Rijiju said, the Centre cannot do much for High Court infrastructure as it is the State government who has to look after the expenditure for developing the infrastructure.

“We have to make the judiciary more interesting and attractive so that aggrieved people should be able to come to courts with ease,” he said

On Tuesday, the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud inaugurated a new ‘S block’ of the Delhi High Court. Besides the Chief Justice of India, Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice Sanjeev Khanna of Supreme Court, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were guests of honour at the inauguration function.

According to the Delhi High Court communication, the ‘S block’ building is truly a new benchmark in judicial infrastructure as well as public architecture made possible by the support of the Government of India, the Government of Delhi and all Government regulatory as well as project management agencies who worked synergistically to serve in the cause of justice.

According to Delhi High Court’s press communication, the new building has Delhi International Arbitration Centre with 18 new arbitration rooms and huddle rooms. It will also have a Judicial Convention Centre with Full Court Facility, a 285-seater Auditorium, 200 lawyers’ Chambers, and Common meeting rooms with other facilities for lawyers including a cafeteria.

The new Block will also have offices across 6 floors and a large 300 capacity Parking facility across three basements. (ANI)

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Chhawala Case

Unless Guilt Established, Circumstantial Evidence Theory Not Accepted: Chhawala Case

Amid the public outrage over the acquittal of three accused in the Chhawala rape and murder case, former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Sunday said unless and until that guilt is completely established, circumstantial evidence case theory is not to be accepted.

Speaking to ANI, Justice Lalit said, “The element was purely based on circumstantial evidence. Law is clear that facts must point only in direction of the guilt of that man, unless and until that guilt is completely established, circumstantial evidence case theory is not to be accepted.”
On the public outcry on his judgment in the Chhawala rape case, Justice Lalit said the law is that the chain must get completed.

“There were actually no circumstances that could point in their direction conclusively. The law is that the chain must get complete, it is on account that the benefit of the doubt must flow in that direction,” added the former CJI.

The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Delhi High Court order and acquitted three men who were awarded the death penalty by a lower court after being held guilty of raping and killing a 19-year-old woman in Delhi’s Chhawala area in 2012.

A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi set aside the judgments and orders of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court and the High Court in the case.

The court gave the accused a benefit of the doubt and directed to set free the accused forthwith if not required in any other case.

However, the court also directed that the parents of the victim would be entitled to the compensation, if not awarded so far by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, as may be permissible in accordance with the law.

“Every case has to be decided by the Courts strictly on merits and in accordance with the law without being influenced by any kind of outside moral pressures or otherwise,” the top court remarked.

Three men had moved the top court against capital punishment for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in Delhi’s Chhawala.

The three convicts were awarded the death penalty after being held guilty of raping and killing a 19-year-old woman in 2012. The victim’s mutilated body was found in a field with multiple injuries due to assault with objects ranging from car tools to earthen pots.

A Delhi court in February 2014 convicted them. The capital punishment was confirmed by the Delhi High Court on August 26, 2014, saying they were “predators” moving on the streets and “were looking for prey”.

Three men, Ravi Kumar, Rahul, and Vinod were convicted under various charges dealing with kidnapping, rape, and murder.

The three convicts have challenged the Delhi High Court order in the Supreme Court.

A case was registered regarding this at outer Delhi’s Chhawala (Najafgarh) police station.

According to the prosecution, the offense was barbaric in nature as they first kidnapped the woman, raped her, killed her, and dumped her body in a field in Rodhai village in Haryana’s Rewari district.

“The woman was kidnapped by the three men in a car from near her house in the Qutub Vihar area on the night of February 9, 2012, while she was returning from office,” the prosecution had said.

The prosecution had also revealed multiple injuries on the woman’s head and other parts of her body and said that the three men had assaulted the woman with a car jack and an earthen pot. The crime was committed by Ravi Kumar with the help of the other two accused as the girl has refused the friendship proposal of Ravi Kumar, the prosecution had alleged. (ANI)

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Images Of Hindu Deities

State Can’t Prohibit Interfaith Couple From Marrying: Delhi HC

While hearing a petition moved by two foreign nationals seeking solemnization of marriage and its registration under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that there is no way the State can prohibit an interfaith couple from marrying.

Justice Yashwant Varma was hearing a plea moved by a couple comprising a Hindu woman who is a Canadian citizen and a Christian man who is an American citizen who intends to marry.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the couple has been residing in Delhi for over six months. They intend to continue their stay and marry under the Special Marriage Act (SMA).

The counsel also submitted that the petitioners intend to get married under the SMA as other related laws prohibit interfaith marriage.

Justice Varma said, “There is no way that the State can prohibit an interfaith couple to marry.”

“The petition raises the issue of the right of foreign nationals to solemnize and regulation of their intended marriage under the Special Marriage Act. In order to enable parties to advance detailed submissions and for the court to deal with the issue…. let the matter be called again on December 15, the court ordered on Wednesday.

The court has granted liberty to the parties to file their written submissions and judgment they relied upon in the matter.

The plea moved by advocate Rishabh Kapur stated that the couple had applied for marriage on the Delhi Government website. After filing their particulars, an error message came that read “at least one party should be Indian.” Thereafter the couple was not allowed to proceed further.

They were informed by the SDM office that the website required the details of the parties to be made in a particular manner, the petition stated.

The petitioners have sought direction from the Delhi Government and SDM to allow them to submit their documents physically and solemnize and register their marriage under SMA in a time-bound manner.

The petition has placed reliance on the direction passed by the High Court in 2021 wherein the Delhi Government was directed to take steps for amending the guidelines and make necessary changes in the website to enable foreign nationals, who intend to solemnize their marriage in Delhi to apply for registration of their marriage.

The petition submitted that no action has been taken by the government to make the changes even after the direction was passed 16 months back. (ANI)

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Jacqueline Appears At Delhi Court For Bail Hearing

Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez, on Saturday appeared at Patiala House court in Delhi along with her lawyer Prashant Patil for the hearing of her bail plea in connection with a Rs 200 crore money laundering case involving conman Sukesh Chandrashekar and others.

Last month Jacqueline was granted interim bail in the extortion case surrounding alleged conman Sukesh. The interim bail was granted following the court’s order for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file a reply to the star’s bail application.
On August 17, 2022, a supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 200 crore extortion case against conman Sukesh Chandrashekar in a Delhi Court mentioned the name of Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez as an accused.

The Court also directed ED to supply a copy of the charge sheet to all the accused in the present case. Jacqueline has also been summoned by ED several times in the matter for the purpose of investigation.

According to ED’s earlier Chargesheet, Jacqueline and Nora Fatehi examined and stated that they got top models of BMW cars, the most expensive gifts from the accused Sukesh.

ED charge sheet clearly stated that “during the investigation, statements of Jacqueline Fernandez were recorded on August 30, 2021, and October 10, 2021. Jacqueline stated she received gifts viz three designer bags from Gucci, Chanel, and two Gucci outfits for gym wear.

A pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, two pairs of diamond earrings and a bracelet of multi-colored stones, two Hermes bracelets. She also received a Mini Cooper which she returned.”

Jacqueline’s friendship with Sukesh reportedly started on WhatsApp in January 2021, and she had secretly met the conman on a number of occasions. Now it’s to be seen whether her bail in the case will be finalized. (ANI)

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Delhi HC Against EC Decision To Freeze Sena

Uddhav Moves Delhi HC Against EC Decision To Freeze Sena Symbol

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday moved the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to freeze the Election Symbol of Bow and Arrow.

The Writ Petition moved by Uddhav Thackeray seeking direction to quash the order passed by the Election Commission of India on October 8, freezing the election symbol of the Shivsena Political Party.

In the alternative, the petition seeks directions to consider and allot the symbol proposed by petitioner Uddhav without restricting the choice of the symbol from the list of free symbols notified by ECI.

After the Election Commission of India (ECI) froze the Shiv Sena’s election symbol of ‘bow and arrow’, the Uddhav Thackeray faction has also submitted the ‘Trishul’, ‘Mashaal’ and ‘Rising Sun’ symbols as their choices in ECI.

The plea stated that “Since bye-elections have been notified in the State of Maharashtra for 166-Andheri East constituency for which the last date of nominations is October 14, and the date of poll is November 3, grave prejudice will be caused to the petitioner and his party if the impugned order is not stayed.”

“While passing the impugned order, the Election Commission of India has failed to consider that from September 19 to October 8, there has been no change in circumstances regarding the claim set up by both the groups in respect of majority and control of the party,” the plea stated.

“Therefore, merely because a bye-election was announced in Andheri East Constituency, wherein admittedly Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Present Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra) or his group are not even setting up any candidate, there was no reason for ECI to change the existing status quo regarding the use of name and Symbol by the Petitioner by freezing the symbol of the party,” the plea further stated.

The plea also stated that on January 23, 2018, the Organizational Elections of the Party for the term 2018-2023 were held as per Rule V of the Rules and Regulations of Shiv Sena, which mandates intra-party elections to be conducted once in five years. In the said elections, the Petitioner, Uddhav Thackeray, was unanimously elected as the Shivsena Paksha Pramukh of the Party.

Notably, EC passed the interim order saying in Andheri East bye polls, neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol “Bow and Arrow”, reserved for “Shiv Sena”.

The Commission’s ruling came amid the ongoing symbol war between the Uddhav Thackeray camp and rival Eknath Shinde camp. (ANI)

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Witnesses Are Eyes, Ears Of Courts: Delhi HC Chief Justice

The Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, inaugurated the second vulnerable witness deposition complex in the Tees Hazari Court on Tuesday.

Highlighting the importance of witnesses the Chief justice said that “witnesses are the eyes and ears of the court.”
While addressing the judges of Delhi High court and District Court he said that it is a constitutional duty to ensure the court remains accessible to the common public, that is to the victim, the accused, the witnesses and to everyone who could be considered as a potential stakeholder of the justice delivery system.

“The witnesses are regarded as the eyes and ears of the courts as the witness plays an integral role in bringing the truth home in a case. And it is precisely because of this reason that the witness finds himself or herself at a vulnerable spot in the system,” he said.

He said that it is, therefore, extremely important that such new ideas are adopted in all courts and this particular class of witness is provided a secure environment to depose freely.

“The provisions of the vulnerable witness deposition complex would go a long way not only in promoting access to justice for all and also promoting faith in the judicial system,” he added.

He also appreciated the building’s maintenance and the constitution committee for making such a complex in such a short time.

Lauding the new structure he said, “This complex is better than my chamber and adjoining rooms to my chamber. They have done very hard work. I hope they will construct the same kind of system in all the courts in Delhi and the rest of the country will follow the Delhi High court.”

“I must convey that the establishment of this complex is the first step we must constantly endeavour to sensitise all the stakeholders in the system regarding the function and true essence of such complexes that I am sure that judicial officers entrusted with this function will ensure the same,” he added.

This program was attended by Justice Suresh Kait, the chairman of the building maintenance and construction committee of Tees Hazari court, justice Mukta Gupta, justice Anu Malhotra, justice Yogesh Khanna and other justice of the Delhi High Court and judges of the District Court.

Justice Mukta Gupta shed light on the categories of vulnerable witnesses and witness protection schemes. She also highlighted the more VWD rooms.

She said earlier there were four rooms in the complex, two for each district but more rooms were needed after the scope of the definition of the vulnerable witness was broadened by the Supreme court in the Tukaram Wadade vs State of Maharashtra case.

The newly inaugurated complex has separate ways for witnesses, the accused and the judges. It has also other facilities for witnesses and child witnesses.

Now the court complex has four rooms for each district namely central and west respectively. (ANI)

1984 riots: Delhi HC convicts Sajjan Kumar

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar sentenced to imprisonment of life i.e. the remainder of his natural life by Delhi HC. @INCIndia @sajjankumar34 #1984SikhGenocide #SajjanConvicted #1984RiotsVerdict

— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) December 17, 2018 The conviction of five others – former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal, former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar – were also upheld by the high court. The high court was hearing the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, challenging a trial court’s judgement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Kumar was acquitted The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notices to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav, in five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases which were earlier closed The riots broke out after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. (PTI)]]>