Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the case where 2 Rohingya Muslim refugees, Mohammad Sallimullah and Mohammad Shakir, urged the Supreme Court to direct the Central government not to deport them to Myanmar as they would face certain death on being deported to Myanmar, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ listed the matter for further hearing on 21.11.2017. The Court said:

“As the hearing is likely to take some time, we intend to devote certain clear days for the purpose of hearing.”

Though the order of the Court does not expressly say anything on the deportation of the Rohingya Muslims, the Central Government will not be able to deport them till the next date of hearing. Fali S. Nariman, appearing for petitioners had submitted before the Court that he will approach the Court in case of any contingency.

The Court had said during the hearing that the matter was of great magnitude and hence, it will have to strike a balance between National Security and the human rights of the women and children.

Earlier, Centre had argued before the Court that more than 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have illegally migrated to India by using the porous border between India and Mayanmar and as per the reports of the Security agencies, some of the Rohingya Muslims have links with the Pak terror groups. It was also argued before the Court that some illegal immigrants have obtained fake Indian identities and are involved in serious crimes like Human Trafficking and mobilisation of funds  by way of Hundi and Hawala Channels. [Mohammad Salimullah v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No.793/2017, order dated 13.10.2017]

[With inputs from ANI]

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Supreme Court: In the plea seeking replacement of death by hanging, the Supreme Court has asked the Central Government to give a detailed response within 3 months on whether the Legislature can consider any mode other than hanging for the death convicts.

The Court said that the Constitution of India is compassionate and recognises the sanctity of life and hence, with the invention of various modes in modern time, legislature can think of other mode for death convicts, keeping in view the dynamic progress in science.

Source: ANI

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Supreme Court: In the case where the Court had sought detailed response from Central Government after 2 Rohingya Muslim refugees, Mohammad Sallimullah and Mohammad Shakir, urged the Supreme Court to direct the Central government not to deport them to Myanmar as they would face certain death on being deported to Myanmar, the Centre urged the Court to refuse to interfere in the matter and let the Government take a policy decision as there is serious threat to National security is the illegal immigrants from Mayanmar are allowed to stay in India.

It was Centre’s case that more than 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have illegally migrated to India by using the porous border between India and Mayanmar and as per the reports of the Security agencies, some of the Rohingya Muslims have links with the Pak terror groups. It was also argued before the Court that some illegal immigrants have obtained fake Indian identities and are involved in serious crimes like Human Trafficking and mobilisation of funds  by way of Hundi and Hawala Channels.

The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ has listed the matter on 03.10.2017.

Source: ANI

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In the case where the Court had sought detailed response from Central Government after 2 Rohingya Muslim refugees, Mohammad Sallimullah and Mohammad Shakir, urged the Supreme Court to direct the Central government not to deport them to Myanmar as they would face certain death on being deported to Myanmar, the Centre filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court stating that ‘Rohingyas are a threat to national security’.

Earlier,  advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, had asserted that deporting the petitioners would be unconstitutional as the Supreme Court had repeatedly ruled, as in the case of Chakma refugees, that it was the cardinal duty of the Union government to protect refugees who leave their own country because of persecution at the hands of State authorities. He also told the Court that approximately 40,000 Rohingya Muslims residing in India were registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: ANI

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Supreme Court: After 2 Rohingya Muslim refugees urged the Supreme Court to direct the Central government not to deport them to Myanmar, the Court has sought a detailed response from the Centre. The petitioners, Mohammad Sallimullah and Mohammad Shakir, told the Court that they would face certain death on being deported to Myanmar.

Earlier, their advocate Prashant Bhushan asserted that deporting the petitioners would be unconstitutional as the Supreme Court had repeatedly ruled, as in the case of Chakma refugees, that it was the cardinal duty of the Union government to protect refugees who leave their own country because of persecution at the hands of State authorities. He also told the Court that approximately 40,000 Rohingya Muslims residing in India were registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: ANI

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Supreme Court: In the matter where the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had sought direction to all states for mandatorily giving information to it about any encounter killings in their jurisdiction for the purposes of enquiry, the bench of Kurian Joseph and R. Banumathi, JJ referred the matter to a larger bench.

The NHRC, in its plea filed in 2014, has sought direction to state governments and police authorities that they should continue to provide the information asked for by it in accordance with the guidelines and provisions of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, to probe the cases of encounter killings. It also sought direction to the state governments that they should not refuse to comply with the recommendations made by Commission. It had also argued that due to the Supreme Court verdict of 2014 by which certain guidelines were framed, its role in such enquiries has virtually been nullified. It had said that Section 12(a) of the Act makes it a mandatory obligation upon the NHRC to inquire on its own or on a petition presented to it by a victim, into the complaints of human rights violation by a public servant.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam and advocate Shobha Gupta, appearing for the Commission, said it is a pure question of law as the Act provided for it to enquire on its own or on a petition presented to it by a victim or any person on his behalf into any complaint of violation of human rights by a public servant.

The Court said that a larger bench will look into the matter.

Source: PTI

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the petition where directions for the rehabilitation of the widows of Vrindavan were sought so as to bring them to a stage where they can live with dignity, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ formed a 6-member Committee to study the 18 reports filed by  the National Commission for Women, the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the State of Uttar Pradesh among others and formulate an action plan within two months and in any case on or before 30th November, 2017.

The petition was filed based on the article “White Shadows of Vrindavan’ written by Atul Sethi and published in the New Delhi edition of the Times of India of 25.03.2007, which highlighted the pathetic and shocking conditions of the widows living in Vrindavan – begging in temples and then huddling together in hovels. It mentioned that the widows congregate in some ashrams or temples where they sing bhajans and are paid about Rs. 18 per day for about 7 to 8 hours of singing and that they were spending the rest of their time begging on the streets. Many of them are too old to look after themselves requiring others to pool in their resources to look after them.

Various reports were submitted before the Court after a Social Justice Bench was constituted by the Chief Justice of India in 2015. Solicitor General also submitted an Action Plan on 18.07.2017. The Court said that the effort put in by all concerned in the reports should not go waste and it must be gainfully utilized, being in a sense a gold mine of pragmatic and workable suggestions. The Committee constituted by the Court includes:

  1. Suneeta Dhar of NGO Jagori,
  2. Meera Khanna of Guild for Service
  3. Abha Singhal Joshi, Lawyer and activist
  4. A nominee of HelpAge India, an NGO that has rendered valuable assistance in this case,
  5. A nominee of Sulabh International, an NGO that has rendered valuable assistance in this case,
  6. Aparajita Singh, a lawyer practising in this Court to provideany assistance on legal issues.

The Court noticed that all that widows in some parts of the country are socially deprived and to an extent ostracized and perhaps this is the reason why many of them choose to come to Vrindavan and other ashrams where, unfortunately, they are not treated with the dignity they deserve and it is important to give voice to these hapless widows. In order to follow-up on the Agreed Action Plan submitted by the Solicitor General, the Court will take up the matter on 09.10.2017. [Environment and Consumer Protection Foundation v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 916, decided on 11.08.2017]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the writ petition seeking implementation of Disaster Management Act, 2005 as many States were not fully prepared to deal with a disaster and therefore necessary directions ought to be given by this Court for proper implementation of the Act, the Court said that it is absolutely necessary for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) constituted at the national level and the State Disaster Management Authority at the State level to be ever vigilant and ensure that if any unfortunate disaster strikes there should be total preparedness and that minimum standards of relief are provided to all concerned.

The writ petition was filed after the unprecedented flood and landslide disaster that occurred in Uttarakhand in 2013 and it was alleged that the adverse impact of disaster could have been mitigated had there been effective implementation of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and adequate preparedness by the State Government of Uttarakhand. The Court, hence, sought affidavits from Central and State Governments and after showing some laxity at first, the Union Government, on 25th February, 2016 sent a communication to the Chief Secretaries of all the States by the Joint Secretary (Policy and Plan) of the NDMA and asked them to frame minimum standards of relief for victims of disaster.

Regarding the obligation to establishment of an Advisory Committee, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ said that Section 17 of the Act does not make it mandatory and it is really for the State Disaster Management Authority to constitute one or more Advisory Committee as and when it becomes necessary to do so on different aspects of disaster management.

The NDMA also submitted that all States except Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have prepared a State Disaster Management Plan which is very much in place and that the District Disaster Management Authority has been constituted in every district under Section 25 of the Act and out of 684 districts in the country, a District Disaster Management Plan is in place in 615 districts while it is under process in the remaining districts.

Considering the above submissions by the NDMA, the Court noticed that there has been sufficient compliance with the provisions of the Act, however, it would be advisable for the NDMA to regularly publish its Annual Report to review and update all plans on the basis of experiences and to make its website multilingual so that all concerned may benefit. [Gaurav Kumar Bansal v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 550, decided on 08.05.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Taking note of the rise in the crimes against children, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ said that the definition of the expression “child in need of care and protection” under Section 2(14) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000  should not be interpreted as an exhaustive definition. The provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 do not provide any definition of a child in need of care and protection. But no one can deny that a child victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault or sexual harassment is a child in need of care and protection. Similarly in a given case, a child accused of an offence and brought before the Juvenile Justice Board or any other authority might also be a child in need of care and protection.  The Court said that it would be unfortunate if certain categories of children are left out of the definition, even though they need as much care and protection as categories of children specifically enlisted in the definition.

The bench also gave elaborate directions in order to ensure the welfare of the children in need of care and protection, some of the important directions are as follows:

  • The Union Government and the governments of the States and Union Territories must ensure that the process of registration of all child care institutions is completed positively by 31.12.2017 with the entire data being confirmed and validated. Inspection Committees should also be set up on or before 31.07.2017 to conduct regular inspections of child care institutions and to prepare reports of such inspections.
  • The governments of the States and Union Territories should draw up plans for full and proper utilization of grants (along with expenditure statements) given by the Union Government under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme.
  • The schemes of the Government of India including skill development, vocational training etc must be taken advantage of for the rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in need of care and protection.
  • Individual child care plans are extremely important and all governments of the States and Union Territories must ensure that there is a child care plan in place for every child in each child care institution on or before 31.12.2017.
  • State and Union Territory Government must establish State Commission for Protection of Child Rights on or before 31.12.2017. The SCPCRs so constituted must publish an Annual Report so that everyone is aware of their activities and can contribute individually or collectively for the benefit of children in need of care and protection.
  • The process of conducting a social audit must be taken up in right earnestness by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights as well as by each State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to bring transparency and accountability in the management.

Stating that every child in need of care and protection must not be placed in a child care institutions, the Court said that alternatives such as adoption and foster care need to be seriously considered by the concerned authorities. The Court said that a status report of the compliance of the aforementioned directions be submitted before the Court on or before 15.01.2018. [Re: Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 534, decided on 05.05.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Pained by the sorrowful fate of a young girl who committed suicide as an outcome of the psychological harassment and continuous eve-teasing by the accused, the Court said that in a civilized society male chauvinism has no room. A woman has her own space as a man has. She enjoys as much equality under Article 14 of the Constitution as a man does. The right to live with dignity as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution cannot be violated by indulging in obnoxious act of eve-teasing.

Stating that eve-teasing is causing harassment to women in educational institutions, public places, parks, railways stations and other public places which only go to show that requisite sense of respect for women has not been socially cultivated, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and M.M. Shantanagouda, JJ said that why the women in this country cannot be allowed to live in peace and lead a life that is empowered with a dignity and freedom.

In the present case, where the trial court had acquitted the accused by disregarding the version of parents of the deceased and other witnesses and treating the dying declaration as invalid on the ground that the deceased was not in a position to speak and there was no medical certificate appended as regards her fitness as the deceased had sustained 80% burn injuries as she had set herself ablaze in an attempt to end her life, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had reversed the order of acquittal. It was held that there is no reason to disregard the dying declaration as the Head Constable has recorded it as narrated by the deceased and the deceased has also written few words about the accused.

Stating that the instant case portrays the deplorable depravity of the appellant that has led to a heart-breaking situation for a young girl who has been compelled to put an end to her life, the Court held that the High Court has absolutely correctly reversed the judgment of acquittal and imposed the sentence. It has appositely exercised the jurisdiction and we concur with the same. [Pawan Kumar v. State of H.P., 2017 SCC OnLine SC 509, decided on 28.04.2017]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a petition highlighting the plight of the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Court noticed that there has been a failure in complying with the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 as the laudable object with which the Act had been made is defeated by the indifferent attitude of the authorities.

Stating the legislative intent behind the enactment of the Act, the Court noted that  Parliament acknowledged that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes were subject to various offences, indignities, humiliations and harassments perpetually. Numerous incidents of brutalities and atrocities depriving the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of their life and property were a cause of concern for Parliament.

Regarding the contention of the Union of India that the State Governments are responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Act, the Court said that the Central Government also has an important role to play in ensuring the compliance of the provisions of the Act. Section 21(4) of the Act provides for a report on the measures taken by the Central Government and State Governments for the effective implementation of the Act to be placed before  Parliament every year. The constitutional goal of equality for all the citizens of this country can be achieved only when the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are protected.

The 3-Judge Bench of T.S. Thkur, CJ and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswararao, JJ directed the Central Government and State Governments to strictly enforce the provisions of the Act and also directed the National Commissions to discharge their duties to protect the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Court also asked the National Legal Services Authority to formulate appropriate schemes to spread awareness and provide free legal aid to members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. [National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1488, decided on 15.12.2016]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court:  The Bench of Madan B. Lokur and R.K. Agrawal, JJ showed it’s distress over the conditions prevalent in the prisons and said that even though this Court has held on several occasions that prisoners both under trials and convicts have certain fundamental rights and human rights, little or no attention is being paid in this regard by the States and some Union Territories including the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Stating that certainly fundamental rights and human rights of people, however they may be placed, cannot be ignored only because of their adverse circumstances, the Court issued the following directions:

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development of the Government of India directed to expedite the preparation of the Manual and ensure that it is ready positively on or before 30th November, 2016, considering the fact that more than sufficient time has elapsed but the Manual for juveniles in custody has not yet been prepared.
  • Noticing that not a single State or Union Territory has bothered to prepare a Plan of Action in relation to overcrowding of prisons, the States and the Inspector General of Prisons are directed to prepare a viable Plan of Action within the next six months and in any event by 31st March, 2017.
  • The Union of India through the Ministry of Home Affairs is directed to obtain the status of compliance of the orders passed on 5th February 2016 and 6th May, 2016 as on 30th September, 2016. The information should be collated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and shared with the learned Additional Solicitor General and the learned Amicus so that even the rights of prisoners, whether convicts or under trials are given due importance.

The Court said that unless due importance is given to the fundamental rights and human rights of the people, the right to life and the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution will have no meaning. [In re Inhuman Conditions in 1382 Prisons (II), 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1090, decided on 03.10.2016]