CJI Chandrachud Brings Mojo Back To Judiciary

‘CJI Chandrachud Brings Back Transparency, Proficiency, Easy Access to Court’

Bhavesh Kumar, an LLM student at National Academy of Legal Studies & Research, Hyderabad, says law students have found a new role model in CJI DY Chandrachud. His views:

The Supreme Court of India has witnessed several new initiatives in the first nine months of the dynamic leadership of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud. Long pending Constitutional Law cases have been taken up for hearing, and the court has not shied away from asking tough questions from the government.

He definitely is bringing the mojo back into the judiciary, building up on the strengths as well as shedding light upon the shortcomings and improving the overall framework. From taking suo moto cognizance regarding the Manipur incident video that emerged online, asking the Centre and State to appraise the steps taken on the issue to suspending Rahul Gandhi’s two year prison sentence in the defamation case, the Supreme Court is substantiating the independence of the judiciary pillar of our vibrant democracy.

Live streaming of constitutional bench hearings and AI enabled live transcripts of court arguments are a big leap towards transparency and accessibility to the highest court of the country. There is a definite expansion of the horizons, giving so much to youth to look up to our CJI as a role model.

‘The Role of Judiciary in a Changing World’ by Hon’ble Justice Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Singapore, was organised by the Supreme Court of India this month, and they also conducted the first ever Hackathon for identifying innovative ideas and exploring practical propositions for enhancing and bringing competence to the already existing processes from ‘filing to listing’ of judicial matters.

The CJI launched the eSCR (electronic version of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Reports) as a tribute to the nation. With more than 34,000 judgments available online, the portal provides facility to search judgments based on various parameters like, phrase, words, name of the judge, bench strength, volume, citation, date of decision etc. With an aim to provide access to judgments in scheduled languages, the new feature provides translated versions of Supreme Court judgments in Indian languages making it a huge boon for not only the legal minds but also making things elementary for those interested in looking judgments up for any reason at all.

ALSO READ: ‘Tardy Justice Breeds Calls For Extra-Judicial Measures’

Dr Chandrachud also gave a visionary outlook to the process of scanning and providing soft paper books for paperless court functioning to ensure that judiciary uses technology to its optimum level. ‘AI assisted Legal Translation Advisory Committee’ was also constituted with domain experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence as the Members of the Committee, to evaluate and oversee the advancement of as well as propose actions to additionally improve the utilisation of AI tools for translation of legal documents in various vernacular languages within the Supreme Court of India. Even the online RTI portal, introduced on November 24th, 2022, marks a significant stride towards transparency, the elimination of paper-based application submissions, appeals, and online payment of fees via methods like net banking, card payments, UPI, and more.

Our Chief Justice is entrusted with upholding justice and ensuring a fair application of laws and his dedication to impartiality and fairness sets an example to treat others equitably and stand up against injustices. His effective leadership skills and a strong sense of responsibility inspire young people to take on leadership roles and responsibilities in their own lives and communities.

The ethical conduct he carries can motivate young people to prioritize integrity and honesty in their own actions. Furthermore, his significant impact on shaping legal precedents and guiding the direction of the legal system can encourage anyone to pursue careers in law and contribute positively to legal reforms and progress.

As told to Deepa Gupta

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nuh notices to Uttar Pradesh Haryana and Delhi governments

SC Directs States, UTs To Take Suo Moto Action Against Hate Speech Irrespective Of Religion

The Supreme Court on Friday directed all states and union territories to ensure that as and when any hate speech is made, they shall take suo moto action for registration of FIR even without any complaints.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna made it clear that such action shall be taken irrespective of the religion of the persons who made the speech, so that the secular character of Bharat as envisaged by the Preamble is preserved.
The bench said that any hesitation to take action on hate speech would be viewed as contempt of court.

“Respondents shall ensure that immediately, as and when any speech or any action takes place which attracts offences such as Section 153A, 153B, 295A and 506 of IPC etc, without any complaint being filed, suo motu action be taken to register cases and proceed against the offenders in accordance with law,” the bench stated in its order.

It further added, “We further make it clear that such action be taken irrespective of the religion of the maker of the speech, so that the secular character of Bharat as envisaged by the Preamble is preserved.”

The apex court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking direction to curb hate speeches.

It has now posted the cases for hearing on May 12.

The bench now extended its October 21, 2022 order, which was applicable to the Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh governments, to all the States and Union Territories.

During the hearing, the bench made it clear that in its previous order it did not direct that action should be taken against any particular community but action should be taken irrespective of the religion.

As one of the petitioners said that hate speech is a pan-India issue, Justice Joseph said, “When you say pan-India issues, I don’t know if you have hate speech problem in North-East, at least not that I know. So we don’t know if it is pan-India or it is in some areas for special reasons. We only had public good in mind when we passed the order for suo motu action against hate speech. That it should not go out of hand.”

The bench opined that hate speech is an offence “affecting the fabric of the nation”.

As counsels pointed out instances of hate speech in West Bengal and Bihar, Justice Joseph said, “We want to say something. Both of us (judges in the bench) are apolitical. We don’t care about party A or party B. We are only on Constitution.”

“Don’t bring politics. If attempt is to bring in politics, we won’t be a party to this… we have said, irrespective of religion, action should be taken,” the bench added. (ANI)

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Pakistani artists

Atiq Murder: UP Govt Files Caveat in SC To Hear Its Side Before Giving Orders

Uttar Pradesh Government has moved a caveat application in Supreme Court on a petition seeking to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the killing of Atiq and Ashraf amid police presence.

The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will list the plea seeking to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire into the killing of Atiq and Ashraf amid police presence.
A Caveat application is filed by a litigant to ensure that no adverse order is passed against them without being heard.

Earlier, advocate Vishal Tiwari moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Supreme Court seeking to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of a former Supreme Court Justice to inquire into the 183 encounters which had occurred since 2017 as stated by Uttar Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) and also to inquire into the murder of gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmed and his brother Ashraf who were in police custody.

In his plea, Tiwari also sought to constitute an Independent Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire into Atiq and Ashraf killings.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari mentioned before the bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud seeking an urgent hearing of his plea and apprised the court that the matter be listed today. CJI Chandrachud said that some matters could not be listed as five judges are not available as they are unwell.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, in his public interest litigation, has also sought to issue direction to unearth the fake encounters by directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate, collect and record the evidence in the Kanpur Bikru Encounter case 2020 in which Vikas Dubey and his aides were killed by a police encounter. As the inquiry commission could not record the evidence in rebuttal of the police version and filed the inquiry report in the absence of that.

“The Uttar Pradesh police tried to become the Daredevils,” the petition said

The petitioner said that his public Interest Litigation is against the violation of the rule of law and oppressive police brutality being perpetrated by Uttar Pradesh.

The petitioner has apprised the court that he has approached the court in a matter pertaining to the Kanpur encounter on Vikas Dubey and said that a similar incident was repeated by Uttar Pradesh police that the encounter killing of Azad, son of Atiq Ahmad, a gangster turned politician and killing of Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf by private assailants when they were in police custody and were taken for medical examination.

The petitioner said that such incidents are a severe threat to democracy and the rule of law, and such acts are establishments of anarchy and prima facie development of the police state.

He also mentioned that extra-judicial killings or fake police encounters have been very severely condemned under the law and such things cannot exist in a democratic society. The police cannot be allowed to become a mode of delivering final justice or to become a punishing Authority, the petitioner said.

“The power of punishment is only vested in the Judiciary. The police when becomes DARE DEVILS then the entire Rule of law collapses and generates fear in the mind of people against the police which is very dangerous for Democracy and also results in further crime,” the petitioner said.

On April 15, the gangster turned politician Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf were killed when being taken for medical examination by the Uttar Pradesh Police. They were in the UP police custody and the police had the duty of providing the highest safety to the accused, the lawyer said.

The lawyer said that however few private assailants disguised as media journalists killed and shot dead Atiq and Ashraf in front of the police personnel with no protection given by the police.

“Such is a direct attack on Indian democracy and the rule of law. Later the assailants were arrested but during the commission of the offense, there was no protection and retaliation by the police. Such imposes a question on the transparency and proves this matter as a pre-planned attack with no redressal for the accused,” Advocate Vishal Tiwari said in his petition. (ANI)

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Supreme Court on Bilkis Bano

Horrendous: SC Expresses Outrage Over Bilkis Bano Case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that “unequal can’t be treated equally” while stating that the plight of Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped and her family members were murdered during the 2002 Godhra riots, can’t be compared to the murder of a single person.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna observed that the way the offense was committed is “horrendous”.

“Crimes are generally committed against society and the community. So when you give remission… You cannot compare the victim’s plight with standard 302 (murder) cases. Unequals cannot be treated equally,” Justice Joseph said.

“See, more than 1100 days of parole… 1200 days, virtually three years..1000 days….1400 days… 1500 days on parole? Is that even available to an ordinary citizen? What policy have you been following?” the bench said while reading the details of parole granted to the convicts.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for one of the convicts, contended, “One is normal parole for a month. Other is this court said that during Covid parole must be granted.”

Just because it is gruesome crime convicts should spend more time is contrary to the law, Luthra added.

Inquiring from the Gujarat government about the reasons behind its decision to allow premature release of 11 life convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, the bench said when remission is considered in such heinous crimes affecting the society at large, the power must be exercised keeping in mind public interest.

Just because the Central government concurred with the state does not mean state is not required to apply its mind, the apex court told Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appearing for Gujarat government.

“The question is whether government applied its mind, what material formed the basis of its decision, etc. Law is clear. Just because Union has approved does not mean state not required to apply mind. What material formed the basis of this decision? They were released by executive order… Today it is this lady (Bilkis). Tomorrow, it can be you or me. There must be objective standards… If you don’t give us reason, we will draw our own conclusions,” the bench observed.

The observation of the bench came after ASG Raju claimed privilege over the files relating to the grant of remission to the convicts and said governments are likely to seek review of the March 27 order whereby original files of the remission were sought.

“We are claiming privilege, those are my instructions. We may file review also,” ASG told the court.

The apex court was hearing pleas filed by Bilkis Bano and other challenging the pre-mature release of 11 convicts.

The bench has now posted the matter for final disposal on May 2 and granted time till May 1 to the governments to decide if they wish to file review.

Besides filing petition against per-mature release of convicts, Bano had also filed review petition seeking review of its earlier order by which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for remission of one of the convicts.

The review petition was dismissed.

Some PILs were filed seeking directions to revoke the remission granted 11 convicts.

The pleas were filed by National Federation of Indian Women, whose General Secretary is Annie Raja, Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul, social activist and professor Roop Rekha Verma and TMC MP Mahua Moitra.

Gujarat government in its affidavit had defended remission granted to convicts saying they completed 14 years sentence in prison and their “behaviour was found to be good”.

The State government had said it has considered the cases of all 11 convicts as per the policy of 1992 and remission was granted on August 10, 2022 and Central government government also approved the release of convicts.

It is pertinent to note that the remission was not granted under the circular governing grant of remission to prisoners as part of celebration of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, it had said.

The affidavit had stated, “State government considered all the opinions and decided to release 11 prisoners since they have completed 14 years and above in prisons and their behaviour was found to be good.”

The government had also questioned the locus standi of petitioners who filed the PIL challenging the decision saying they are outsiders to the case.

The pleas said they have challenged the order of competent authority of the government of Gujarat by way of which 11 persons who were accused in a set of heinous offences committed in Gujarat were allowed to walk free on August, 15, 2022, pursuant to remission being extended to them.

The remission in this heinous case would be entirely against public interest and would shock the collective public conscience, as also be entirely against the interests of the victim (whose family has publicly made statements worrying for her safety), pleas stated.

The Gujarat government had released the 11 convicts, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, on August 15. All the 11 life-term convicts in the case were released as per the remission policy prevalent in Gujarat at the time of their conviction in 2008.

In March 2002 during the post-Godhra riots, Bano was allegedly gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara. (ANI)

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SC Refuses To Stay EC Decision On SS Name, Symbol

SC Refuses To Stay EC Decision On SS Name, Symbol

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Election Commission’s order to allot the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, saying, “we can’t stay an order at this stage”.

The SC clarified that the Uddhav Thackeray camp can pursue other remedies of law if any action is taken which is not based on the EC order.
The top court listed the matter after two weeks.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal insisted on SC granting interim relief and said that they are taking office after office and urged the court to pass a status quo order.

Supreme Court asked rival camp Eknath Shinde to file a reply to the petition.

On Tuesday, Kapil Sibal urged the Supreme Court to hear the plea on Wednesday, submitting that if the EC decision is not contested and challenged, the rival faction will take over everything, including the party’s bank accounts, among other things.

CJI Chandrachud said, “It will not disrupt the Constitution Bench hearing because three judges are waiting for them.” He added that he would finish the Constitution Bench hearing on the Maharashtra political crisis and take it up the plea contesting the EC’s ruling on the Sena symbol thereafter on Wednesday.

The court said that it will read the matter first.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena moved the Supreme Court challenging the EC’s move to allot the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol to the rival faction led by CM Shinde.

Uddhav, in his plea filed on Monday, said that ECI failed to consider that his faction enjoys the majority in the Legislative Council and Rajya Sabha.

Uddhav Thackeray in the plea, also submitted that the legislative majority alone, in this case, could not be the basis for passing of the order by EC.

Challenging the EC decision, Uddhav Thackeray said the poll panel was erroneous in its decision and said that, “the entire edifice of the impugned order (EC’s decision) is based upon the purported legislative majority of the Respondent (Shinde) which is an issue to be determined by the top court in the Constitution Bench”.

“The ECI has failed to consider that the Petitioner enjoys a majority in the Legislative Council (12 out of 12) and Rajya Sabha (3 out of 3). It is submitted that in a case of this kind where there is a conflict even in the legislative majority i.e., Lok Sabha on the one hand and Rajya Sabha on the other as well as Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, more particularly, having regard to the fact that there is a possibility of the alleged members losing their right of membership, the legislative majority alone is not a safe guide to determine as to who holds the majority for the purposes of adjudicating a petition of the Symbols Order,” the plea said. (ANI)

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Suppression Of Voice: Rahul On BBC Documentary

BBC: Fully Cooperating With Income Tax Survey

British public broadcaster BBC News has said it is cooperating with the Income Tax department, which is conducting a survey at its offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.

“The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating,” the BBC News Press Team said in a statement.
The British broadcaster added, “We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible.”

According to sources, IT officials were verifying certain account documents in the finance department of BBC.

Earlier this morning, Income tax officials arrived at BBC offices located at the national capital’s KG Marg for the survey. The British broadcaster’s office at Kalina Santacruz in Mumbai was also surveyed, sources said adding that the survey was limited to business premises of BBC only.

According to reports, a team of IT officials arrived at the BBC Studios office in Kalina Santacruz around 11.30 am today and a survey has been going on since then. There is no IT activity at the BBC News office at Linking road Bandra West.

It is learnt that the tax officials are conducting verification of certain account documents in the finance department of the BBC offices.

During the investigation, the mobile phones of all the employees present in the BBC office have been taken away by the Income Tax team. The data of the computer kept in the accounts and finance department was also scanned. According to sources, officials said the devices will be returned to their owners after taking a backup.

The searches come weeks after the BBC released a documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi – ‘India: The Modi Question,” which caused a controversy.nuary 21, the Centre had issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary on PM Modi. The Supreme Court had on February 3 directed the central government to produce original records relating to its decision to block the BBC documentary. (ANI)

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AIADMK Row: EPS Moves SC Ahead Of Erode By-Poll In TN | Lokmarg

AIADMK Row: EPS Moves SC Ahead Of Erode By-Poll In TN

The AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) on Friday approached the Supreme Court seeking an interim order in the AIADMK leadership case while citing the deadline for filing nominations in the bypoll for Erode (East) constituency.

Senior advocate C Aryama Sundaram, appearing for EPS, mentioned before a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy and raised concerns over the problems in filing nominations in the Erode (East) by-election.
Election Commission refuses to accept the signature of EPS as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) interim General Secretary, citing the pendency of cases on party leadership before the Supreme Court, the senior counsel told the bench while mentioning the issue before it.

Sundaram pointed out that February 7 is the last date for filing nominations for the by-election.

The bench asked the senior advocate to file a proper mentioning memo and mention the matter again on Monday.

Justice Maheshwari told Sundaram, “let’s see whether we can give orders on the AIADMK General Council meeting case before the last day of nominations”.

If the order is delayed, then will decide on providing interim relief, the bench said.

On January 11, the apex court bench reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas relating to the tussle between former Chief Ministers O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami over AIADMK leadership.

In its General Council meeting held on July 11, the dual-leadership model in the AIADMK was “ended” and OPS was expelled from the party for “anti-party” activities.

In the meeting, EPS was elevated as the interim General Secretary of the party.

Since the passing away of former Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary J Jayalalithaa, the party has been having a dual leadership with O Panneerselvam (OPS) and EPS leading it as coordinator and joint coordinator respectively.

However, recently, disputes arose between both leaders with the EPS group pressing for unitary leadership.

Erode (East) Assembly by-election is to be held on February 27, the last date of nomination is on February 7 and the result will be declared on March 2.

Both OPS and EPS factions appear keen on their candidate as AIADMK candidate in the polls.

The two factions have sought the support of their alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party whereas BJP is yet to announce its stand. The party has said it will take a decision after a meeting with district secretaries on January 31.

On Saturday, leaders of AIADMK factions led by EPS and OPS went to BJP headquarters in Kamalalayam to meet BJP state president K Annamalai and discuss the Erode East by-poll in the state.

From the DMK alliance, Congress will fight the polls and has announced EVKS Elangovan as its candidate. Makkal Needhi Maiyam President and actor Kamal Haasan have announced his support for the DMK alliance candidate. (ANI)

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Thousands Can’t Be Uprooted Overnight: SC On Eviction In Haldwani

Thousands can’t be uprooted overnight, the Supreme Court on Thursday said while putting a stay on the Uttarakhand High Court’s decision ordering the State authorities to remove encroachments from railway land in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka issued notices to the Indian Railways and Uttarakhand government on the pleas.
“There cannot be uprooting of 50,000 people overnight,” said the bench, adding that there has to be segregation of people who have no right on the land and the need for rehabilitation while recognizing the need for railways.

Noting that people are living there for decades, the bench said there should be measures for rehabilitation since the issue involves a human angle.

Posting the case for hearing on February 7, the bench said that it has put to the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati that full rehabilitation of the persons in the area is needed.

“Issue notice. In the meantime, there shall be a stay of the directions passed in the impugned order. There should also restrain any more construction or development on the land,” said the bench in its order.

During the hearing, the apex court said, “What is troubling us is how do you deal with a situation where people bought the land in the auction and took possession after 1947 and acquired title. You (railways) may acquire the land but what to do now? People live for 60-70 years some rehabilitation has to be done. There must be a culmination to the issue and we do not encourage what is going on.”

ASG Bhati for Indian Railways said that this strip of land belongs to the railways. Their claim is that it is their land, they are not asking for rehabilitation.

The top court said that maybe all of them cannot be painted with the same brush, and there may be different categories. “But there are people for whom a human angle needs to be considered. Someone will have to examine their documents,” it added.

Bhati said that Kathgodam Railway station does not have any space for expansion and there are 4365 unauthorized occupants.

The Uttarakhand High Court had on December 20 ordered the removal of encroachments from railway land in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani after giving notice to the residents one week in advance.

Led by Congress MLA from Haldwani, Sumit Hridayesh, residents of the area approached the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the High Court’s order. Another petition was also filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan.

A total of 4,365 encroachments will be removed from the area. Those facing eviction have been living on the land for many decades.

Residents have been protesting against the removal of encroachments from railway land in compliance with a High Court order.

The petition highlighted that the petitioners are poor people who have been lawful residents of Mohalla Nai Basti, Haldwani district for more than 70 years.

The petition stated that the names of local residents are entered in the municipal records of the house tax register and that they have been paying house tax regularly for years.

There are five government schools, one hospital, and two overhead water tanks in the area. It is further stated that “the long settled physical possession of the petitioners and their ancestors, some even prior to the date of Indian independence, has been recognized by State and its agencies and they have been given gas and water connections and even Aadhaar card numbers accepting their residential addresses.” (ANI)

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Haldwani Railway Land

Freedom Of Religion Doesn’t Include Fundamental Right To Convert Others To A Particular Religion: Centre To SC

The Central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the right to freedom of religion does not include a fundamental right to convert other people to a particular religion.

It is “cognizant of the gravity and the seriousness” of the issue, said the Centre in its affidavit filed on a PIL claiming that fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion is rampant across the country.
Such issue of conversion shall be “taken up in all seriousness by the Union of India and appropriate steps shall be taken as the Central government is cognizant of the menace”, the Centre said in its affidavit.

“The right to freedom of religion certainly does not include the right to convert an individual through fraud, deception, coercion, allurement or other such means,” it said.

The central government further said that nine States over the course of the years passed enactments seeking to curb this practice. Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Haryana are the States which already have legislation in place on conversion, the affidavit added.

The affidavit stated that “such enactments are necessary for protecting cherished rights of vulnerable sections of the society including women and economically and socially backward classes.”

The right to freedom of religion, and more importantly, the right to the consciousness of all citizens of the country is an extremely cherished and valuable right that ought to be protected by the executive and the legislature, it said.

As the matter came up for hearing, a bench headed by Justice MR Shah said the issue of forced religious conversion is “very serious” and asked the Centre to file a detailed affidavit to make its stand clear.

It asked the Centre to file an affidavit with instructions from the State governments.

The bench has now posted the matter for hearing on December 5.

Earlier, the top court had remarked that forced religious conversion is a “very serious issue” and may affect the “security of the country” along with the freedom of conscience of citizens as far as religion is concerned.

It had said, “It is a very dangerous thing. Everyone has freedom of religion. What is this forceful conversion?”

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay claiming that fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion is rampant across the country, and that the Central government has failed to control its menace.

The plea sought directions to the Law Commission of India to prepare a report and a Bill to control “deceitful religious conversion”.

It further sought a declaration from the Court that fraudulent religious conversion and conversion by intimidation, threatening and through gifts and monetary benefits offends Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution.

The PIL said, “There is not even one district which is free of religious conversion by hook and cook and the carrot and the stick.”

“If such conversions were not checked, Hindus would soon become a minority in India. Thus, the Centre was obligated to enact a country-wide law for the same,” it added.

Earlier, the apex court had dismissed a similar petition filed by Upadhyay. (ANI)

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SC Verdict Quota For Economically Weaker Sections

SC Upholds 10% Quota For Economically Weaker Sections In 3:2 Split Verdict

The Supreme Court in a majority judgment on Monday upheld the validity of the Constitution’s 103rd Amendment Act 2019, which provides for 10 percent reservations of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in higher education and issues of public employment and observed that it does not violate essential features of the Constitution.

A five-judge Constitution bench in a 3:2 upheld the validity of the Constitution’s 103rd Amendment Act 2019, where three judges passed the verdict upholding the Act while CJI UU Lalit concurred with Justice S Ravindra Bhat and passed a dissent order.

Majority bench – Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala upheld the EWS amendment.
Justice Maheshwari said, “the EWS amendment does not violate the equality code or the essential features of the Constitution.”

Justice Bela M Trivedi said, her judgment is in concurrence with Justice Maheshwari and says the EWS quota in the general category is valid and constitutional.

CJI Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi, and JB Pardiwala passed the judgment upholding the Act.

The Chief Justice of India UU Lalit said there will be a total of four judgments that will be delivered in the matter.

“There are four judgments to be delivered on the issue relating to the constitutional validity of reservations of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in higher education and issues of public employment on the basis of financial conditions,” Chief Justice of India UU Lalit said on Monday.

In September last week, the constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice Bela M Trivedi, and Justice JB Pardiwala, reserved the order after all the parties concluded their arguments.

The Constitution Bench was dealing with issues relating to the Constitutional validity of reservations on the basis of economic conditions. The court has begun hearing the matter on September 13 and the hearing was heard for seven days.

The constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019 enabled the State to make reservations in higher education and matters of public employment on the basis of economic criteria alone. The Janhit Abhiyan petition is the lead matter.

Janhit Abhiyan’s matter relates to the challenging constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment Act, 2019 which enabled the State to make reservations in higher education and matters of public employment on the basis of economic criteria alone.

Moreover, the Janhit matter is being heard together with a case filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against the High Court’s decision quashing its decision of granting reservations in education and public service for the entire Muslim population of the State in 2005. (ANI)

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