Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Fixing the next hearing on 08.02.2018, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ asked all the Advocates-on Record appearing for all the parties to work in harmony and see to it that the documents are filed within a time-frame, if not already filed. The Court said that, on the next date, the advocates should come prepared to argue the matter and shall not seek any adjournment and if the Registry finds that the matter is incomplete for some reason or the other, it shall place the matter before the learned Chief Justice of India on the administrative side for fixing a date for completion of the record.

The said order came after Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board, told the Court that the pleadings were not complete as all the exhibits were not filled before the court. However, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Uttar Pradesh, rebutted Kapil Sibal’s claim and told the Court that all the related documents and requisite translation copies were on record.

The Court also expressed shock over certain arguments advanced by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Dushyant Dave. During the course of hearing, the counsels had submitted before the Court that the matter should be heard at present as it was not an ordinary appeal arising out of ordinary suit and that the matter should be listed some time in 2019.

Regarding the submission made by Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan that he would require four months to read prepare and argue, the Court said:

“Dr. Dhavan, learned senior counsel almost thought of writing a Shavian preface, which can more than be main drama or a play, by stating that he would require four months to read, prepare and argue. We have noted this, as the said submission was advanced with medieval passion and sans reason.”

The Court refused to accept the abovementioned submissions.

Rajeev Dhavan had also sought for referring the matter to a larger bench in view of the decision rendered by the Constitution Bench in Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind v. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 360. However, Senior Advocates K. Parasran and Harish Salve submitted before the Court that:

“the issue whether the matter should be referred to a larger Bench or not, cannot be adjudged at this juncture, because the judgment by the Constitution Bench is binding on this Court and further if an occasion arises and if the context so requires, the matter may be considered at that stage, but that should not stall the process of hearing of this matter.”

Refusing to stall the hearing in the matter, the Court listed the matter on 08.02.2018. [M.Siddiq (D) v. Mahant Suresh Das,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1416, order dated 05.12.2017]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ allowed 3-months time for the translation of the historic documents after the Sunni Waqf Board said that the translation was incomplete as all the original historic documents were in Sanskrit, Parsi, Urdu, Arabic and other languages. Granting 3 months’ time for the translation of the documents crucial to the settlement of the Ram janmbhoomi and Babri Masjid dispute, the Court listed the matter to be taken up for hearing on 05.12.2017.

Earlier, on 08.08.2017, the Shia Waqf Board had filed an affidavit before the supreme Court in which it had said that it was fine if the Masjid was located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from Lord Ram’s birth place i.e. Ram Janmabhoomi and that since the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, the Shia Waqf Baord alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with the stakeholders.

Source: ANI


Hot Off The PressNews

On 08.08.2017, the Shia Waqf Board filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya matter and said that it was fine if the Masjid was located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from Lord Ram’s birth place i.e. Ram Janmabhoomi. In the affidavit, the Board has mentioned that since the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, the Shia Waqf Baord alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with the stakeholders.

The Babri Masjid was built in the 16th century and was demolished in the year 1992 for allegedly being built over the Ram Janmabhoomi. The demolition resulted into nation-wide communal riots between Hindu and Muslim community that killed around 900 people. Since then, there has been an ongoing dispute over the rights of the Hindu and Muslim community to build a temple or a masjid, respectively.

Source: ANI

Hot Off The PressNews

On 30. 05. 2017, the Special CBI Court at Lucknow granted bail to all 12 accused including senior BJP Leaders L.K. Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi on a personal bond of Rs. 50, 000 each. All the accused had appeared before the Court for framing of charges.

Prashant Atal, the lawyer for the accused said that the accused have submitted a discharge application stating that there is no case against them and if the Court rejects the application, then the charges will be framed. The Court, however, rejected the application and framed the charges under Section 120B read with Sections 153, 153A, 295, 295A and 505 of IPC.

The Court also asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the Court in person and said that no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.

On 19.04.2017, the Supreme Court had directed that the senior BJP leaders be tried for criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition which resulted into nation-wide riots between Hindu and Muslim community.

Source: PTI

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Giving out a major verdict, the Bench of P.C. Ghose and R.F. Nariman, JJ ruled that L.K. Advani, Vinay Katiar, Uma Bharati, Sadhvi Ritambara, Murli Manohar Joshi and Vishnu Hari Dalmia are to be tried for conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition which resulted into nation-wide riots between Hindu and Muslim community. The Court, however, said that Kalyan Singh, being the Governor of Rajasthan, is entitled to immunity under Article 361 of the Constitution as long as he remains Governor of Rajasthan. The Court of Sessions will frame charges and move against him as soon as he ceases to be Governor.

Stating that the cases against the leaders and the Kar Sewaks to be tried together by the Sessions Court at Lucknow, the Court asked the Sessions Court to frame additional charges under Section 120-B and the other provisions of the Penal Code mentioned in the joint charge-sheet filed by the CBI against Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Dharam Das, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahamadleshwar Jagdish Muni, Ram Bilas Vadanti, Vaikunth Lal Sharma, and Dr. Satish Chandra Nagar.

Directing the Sessions Court to have daily hearings, the Court directed that the controversy should be given rest to within 2 years. It was further directed that there shall be no de novo trial, however, no prejudice will be caused to the accused as they have the right to recall witnesses already examined either in Rae Bareilly or in Lucknow for the purpose of cross-examination. Also, there shall be no transfer of the Judge conducting the trial until the entire trial concludes. The case shall not be adjourned on any ground except when the Sessions Court finds it impossible to carry on the trial for that particular date. In such an event, on grant of adjournment to the next day or a closely proximate date, reasons for the same shall be recorded in writing.

The demolition of the mosque was an outcome of the speech made by the BJP leaders at Ayodhya alleging that the Mosque was built upon the Ram Janmbhoomi i.e. the birthplace of Lord Ram. The Allahabad High Court, by order dated 22.05.2010, had dropped the charges of conspiracy against the aforementioned Senior leaders stating criminal conspiracy had never been made out against the said persons. The High Court also said that there were two classes of accused, namely, leaders who were on the dais exhorting the Kar Sewaks at 200 meters from the Masjid, and the Kar Sewaks themselves. The nature of the accusations against both was different and their involvement was for different criminal offences.

Considering the seriousness of the matter, the Court said that crimes which shake the secular fabric of the Constitution of India have allegedly been committed almost 25 years ago and the accused persons have not been brought to book largely because of the conduct of the CBI in not pursuing the prosecution of the aforesaid alleged offenders in a joint trial, and because of technical defects which were easily curable, but which were not cured by the State Government. The Court noticed that the filing of the supplementary charge sheet against 8 accused persons which is going on separately at Rae Bareilly and the dropping altogether of charges against the 13 accused persons has completely derailed the joint trial envisaged and has resulted in a fractured prosecution going on in two places simultaneously based on a joint charge-sheet filed by the CBI itself. [State v. Kalyan Singh, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 444, decided on 19.04.2017]

High Courts

Madras High Court-The writ petition filed by the Hindu Munnetra Kalagam to forbear the State Authorities from granting any permission either to the Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kalagam or to any other organizations for conducting any procession or other events on the occasion of the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, on 06.12.2014 was dismissed by the Court. 

The present writ petition was filed by the General Secretary of The Hindu Munnetra Kalagam who contended via his counsel K.Mylsamy that if the processions and demonstrations by the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kalagam are allowed then it would destroy the peace and tranquility and the atmosphere of religious tolerance. The respondents were represented by P.S. Gandhi, AGP.

V. Ramasubramanian, J  in his order observed that when so many organizations professing different faiths which,are antithetic to each other come up, then the Court repeatedly passes orders directing the Government to give permission to all organizations holding extreme.view points on the basis of Fundamental Right to freedom of speech and expression. When the Court is trying to enforce the Constitutional mandate by directing the State to grant permission to all Authorities, it is not open to the petitioner to use the very same Court to curtail the Constitutional mandate. He further stated that once permission was granted to Hindu Munnani to hold demonstrations on 06.12.2014, it is completely unethical and unlawful to deny permission to organizations holding opposite point of view. The Hindu Munnetra Kalagam v. Chief Secretary, Decided on 03.12.2014