Supreme Court to consider banning charge-sheeted candidates from polls

The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear a petition that seeks to ban anyone who has been charge-sheeted in a criminal case from contesting elections in India. BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is among one of the most prolific filers of public interest litigation in India, is among those who had filed such petitions seeking disqualification of such candidates in elections. The petitioners alleged that the current law — which prohibits only convicted people from standing for elections — is being misused by criminal politicians. Charge sheets are filed…

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Muslim Air Force men cannot grow beards – Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today upheld service rules and provisions that impose ‘clean shaven’ rules for the Indian Air Force. Dismissing a petition by a Muslim person, the court said the Air Force was well within its authority to lay down the rule prohibiting the sporting of a beard for its personnel. Many organizations, including the state police departments and central security forces, impose strict uniform and dress code guidelines on their members. Besides requiring them to wear clothes of a particular color, style and specifications, many of them also have…

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40% of High Court judge positions are vacant, 30% in trial courts

A large proportion of the posts for judges in the various High Courts in India are lying vacant, resulting in painfully slow dispensation of justice, according to law ministry numbers. Out of a total of 1079 posts of judges in all the High Courts in India, a whopping 442 are lying vacant as of last week.┬áThis translates to a vacancy of 41% in the High Courts. The vacancy in the Supreme Court is lower, at 16%. High Courts, along with the Supreme Court, comprise the ‘higher judiciary’ of India. They…

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BCCI VS Lodha: SC says no money to be disbursed till reforms accepted

The Supreme Court today asked the Board of Cricket Control in India not to disburse any money to state associations and directed state associations not to utilize any funds obtained from BCCI after its last order. If any of the state units utilize the recently disbursed funds, they will also face action, the court warned. In an interim order, the court asked the BCCI to submit an affidavit accepting the Lodha Committee’s recommendations on reforming the cricket club. Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) secretary Aditya Verma said today’s order was…

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Cauvery Dispute: Centre constitutes high level technical team

Govt of India has constituted a high level technical team to visit the Cauvery basin area on the 7th of this month to assess the ground realities in the basin. The team will meet at Bengaluru for a preparatory meeting and subsequent visit to the Cauvery basin area for assessing the ground realities and submit a report to the Supreme Court on the 17th this month. Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been requested to confirm their participation or send names of their representative(s) and also send the…

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Patiala House rioting lawyers may lose license, Bar Council institutes probe

The Bar Council of India, the top professional body for lawyers, has instituted a new enquiry into the violence in Patiala House court compound. The panel will consist of three members. If the findings are adverse, the rioting lawyers could lose their advocates’ license, which will prevent them from practicing law. The Bar Council of India is a statutory body established under the section 4 of advocates Act 1961 that regulates the legal practice and legal education in India. Its members are elected from amongst the lawyers in India and…

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Supreme Court sends notice to Center on Muslim divorce laws in India

The Supreme Court today sent notice to the central government in a case based on a complaint by a Muslim woman that the divorce laws applied to her in India are not in conformity with the concept of gender equality promised by the Indian constitution. The court today sought the Union Government’s reply on questions including whether the Muslim Personal Law as applied in India violates the fundamental principle of equality for both genders and specifically, whether the divorce proceedings contained in it unfairly discriminate against women. In addition to…

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Supreme Court upholds 8th pass as minimum for Panchayat elections in Haryana

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the Haryana Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015 that bans anyone with less than 8th standard education from standing for Panchayati Raj elections. They can, however, stand for Parliament and State Assembly elections. For general category candidates, the minimum qualification is 10th standard pass. The law has been passed under the rationale that someone who has not passed even an 8th standard exam cannot understand the problems of his or her ward and be effective in finding solutions to the problems of the ward….

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Centre awaits SC nod on video-recording court proceedings

The central government is awaiting feedback from the Supreme Court before expanding digitization of court proceedings by introducing audio and video recordings of proceedings. The ministry of law and justice said that it has been getting suggestions that following the digitization of court documents, a move should be made to digitize and record entire proceedings. At present, India follows the centuries-old custom of recording court proceedings by writing them down. A clerk types almost everything that is said in a courtroom by way of evidence. However, with advancement in technology,…

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POLL: Can banning porn reduce rapes in India?

The government of India has asked internet service providers to block 857 porn websites, including youporn.com and porntube.com. The move comes barely a month after the Supreme Court of India refused to ‘ban’ porn, saying that it could be construed to be a violation of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Supreme Court refused to ban born after Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani filed a public interest litigation alleging that pornography is showing people how to carry out crimes against women and children. “Somebody can come to the court…

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Supreme Court stays CERC order on transfer of FTIL shares in IEX

Financial Technologies said that the Supreme Court has stayed an earlier order by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission directing Indian Energy Exchange to transfer its shares in the exchange to a trust. The CERC issued the order on June 26, 2015, directing FTIL (Financial Technologies) to transfer its entire shareholding in the Trust Demat Account of IEX by July 2, 2015. The CERC order was based on an earlier order by the Forward Markets Commission that held that FTIL was not a fit and proper entity to run exchanges. “FTIL…

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Full Text: Supreme Court Judgement scrapping Section 66A of Indian IT Act

This batch of writ petitions filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India raises very important and far-reaching questions relatable primarily to the fundamental right of free speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The immediate cause for concern in these petitions is Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000. This Section was not in the Act as originally enacted, but came into force by virtue of an Amendment Act of 2009 with effect from 27.10.2009. Since all the arguments raised by…

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Coal block de-allocation could hit some power projects, metal cos – Crisil

The deallocation of coal blocks by the Supreme Court will hit metal players harder than most power players, Crisil Research said in a report. Power costs in West Bengal and Punjab could rise, it added. It said power generation companies will be able to pass through increased costs, but not metal companies. Coal is used in producing power and in smelting metals from their ore, for example in iron and steel. “(Metal) players who have operational coal blocks will witness a sharp decline in profitability post 2014-15, as they would…

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SC dismisses Subramanian Swamy’s petition against Arun Shourie

In a significant judgment, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha has ruled that truth can be a valid defence in contempt of court cases, and dismissed a case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against journalist Arun Shourie. In his petition filed in 1990, Swamy had requested contempt of court proceedings to be initiated against Arun Shourie, the then chief editor of the Indian Express newspaper for an editorial. In the editorial, Shourie had severely criticized the findings of a commission headed by then…

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