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Legal Updates

1st October to 15th October
{2018}
Issue 13
Hi, welcome to our legal newsletter, we publish this newsletter fortnightly.
  • Supreme Court rejects plea seeking to stop deportation of Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar
A three judge bench headed by the CJI, Justice Gogoi, rejected an interim application that sought stay on the deportation of 7 Rohingya refugees. Prashant Bhushan, representing the refugees, argued that the Rohingyas had fled Myanmar due to the massacre and discrimination suffered, and thus Myanmar was not a safe place for the refugees in question. He further argued that the right to life provided under Article 21 was at stake in this case, and it was the Court’s responsibility to protect lives. Mr. Bhushan was countered by Tushar Mehta, who submitted that the individuals in question were illegal immigrants and that the Myanmar government has agreed to issue them a certificate of identity. The bench relied on Mr. Mehta’s submission and dismissed the petition, reasoning that no case was made since they are illegal immigrants who are ready to be accepted by the country of origin as citizens.

Further Reading:
  1. Prabhash K  Dutta, What is rohingya crisis, India Today (September 18, 2017)
  2. Mehal Jain, SC dismisses plea against deportation- Rohingya refugees to myanmar,Live law  (October 4, 2018)
  3. Angshuman Choudhury, India's decision to deport seven Rohingya is a violation of international and domestic obligations, The Wire (October 5, 2018)
  4. SuhrithParthasarathy, Opinion lead at home and in the world on the rohingya, The Hindu (September 15, 2017)
  5. Jana Kalyan Das, ICJ statutes rohingya refugee issue, Live law (October 13, 2017)
  • Apex Court issues guidelines for curbing mob-violence
Recently, the Supreme Court issued guidelines to deter violence by outfits during public protests, in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed by Kodungallur Film Society in the backdrop of the violence which ensued before the release of Padmavat. It directed district wise appointment of Nodal Officers, who must coordinate the local emergency services during the mob violence and issue messages to stop rumours and restore peace. Further, the officers would be held accountable for any unexplained delay in filing FIRs or investigation. It also directed all states to set up Rapid Response Teams, specially trained to deal with such situations. Additionally, it ruled that if anyone is found in possession of prohibited weaponry during protests, licensed or otherwise, it would be presumed that there was an intention to commit violence. In cases where a call for violence causes damage to property, action would be taken in accordance with the IPC. Furthermore, those persons would be liable to compensate the victims for any loss of life or damage caused to private or public property.

Further Reading:
  1. Live Law News Network, SC issues guidelines to prevent vandalism by protesting mobs , Live law (October 1, 2018).
  2. DH news Service, Guidelines by SC to prevent vandalism by protesting mobs and their liabilities, Deccan Herald (October 10, 2018).
  3. AkhilSibal, An imperilled right to offend,The Indian Express (November 23, 2017)
  4. Rituparna Chatterjee, Padmavat-KarniSena protests- a reminder of what it has cost india., Huffpost (February 3, 2018)
  • Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand HC’s ban on ‘fatwas’
The Supreme Court has stayed an order of the Uttarakhand High Court which had mandated a blanket ban on ‘fatwas’ being issued by religious bodies. The divisional bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was hearing an appeal filed by JamaitUlama-I-Hind against the Uttarakhand High Court’s verdict banning fatwas and barring religious outfits and statutory/ local panchayats from issuing such diktats. The pleas stated that Uttarakhand’s High Court order was “illegal and unsustainable” and the legality of ‘fatwa’ had already been adjudicated upon by the apex court in VishwaLochan Madan v. Union of India &Ors.

Further Reading:
  1. Express News Service, Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand high court order declaring fatwas illegal, The Indian Express (October 13, 2018).
  2. Scroll Staff, Uttarakhand High Court declares fatwas illegal and unconstitutional, August 31, 2018).
  3. Ashwaq Massodi, Sharia courts have no legal sanction: Supreme Court, LiveMint (July 08, 2014).
  • Preferential treatment cannot be given to city residents at GTB Hospital: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court quashed the Delhi government’s circular to give preferential treatment to Delhi residents over non-residents at the Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital. The Court was hearing a petition filed by Social Jurist, an NGO, which contended that the hospital was discriminating against patients based on their regional identity. The Court held that the classification of patients as Delhi residents or non-residents based on their voter identity was based on no reasonable justification and that it led to the creation of a “class within class”. The Delhi government has stated that it will challenge the High Court’s order.

Further Reading:
  1. Staff Reporter, No preferential treatment at GTB Hospital: Delhi HC , The Hindu, (October 13, 2018).
  2. Press Trust of India, Delhi govt to challenge HC order on GTB Hospital pilot project: Jain, Business Standard (October 12, 2018).
  3. Abhishek Angad, GTB hospital: HC quashes govt order on quota to city residents, The Indian Express (October 13, 2018).
  • Victims can appeal against acquittal without seeking leave to appeal: SC
The Supreme Court held that a victim has a right of appeal in view of the proviso to Section 372 of Cr.P.C. The Court observed that the cause of action arises in favour of the victim only when an order of acquittal is passed and if that happens after 31st December, 2009 (date when the proviso came into force) the victim has a substantive statutory right to challenge the acquittal through an appeal. Moreover, the victim need not apply for leave to appeal against such an order. In a 2:1 majority judgement, a three- judge bench of the Court held that Section 372 of Cr.P.C should be given “realistic, liberal, progressive” interpretation to benefit the victim of an offence.

Further Reading:
  1. Ashok Kini, Acquittal Without Seeking Leave to Appeal: SC, Justice Gupta Dissents,Live Law (October 12, 2018).
  2. Apoorva Mandhani, Rights Of Accused Far Outweigh That Of Victims, Needs Some Balancing So That Criminal Proceedings Are Fair To Both: SC, October 13, 2018).
  3. Ashish Tripathi, SC recognizes victims right to appeal in criminal cases, Deccan Herald (October, 12, 2018).
ICYMI
Understanding the Sabarimala Verdict- Part I
By Bhavisha Sharma and Chittkrishna Thakkar
This post is the first part of a three part series deconstructing the Sabrimala Verdict which opened the gates of temple to women devotees.
Read More
Understanding the Sabarimala Verdict- Part II
By Chittkrishna Thakkar
This post is the second part of a three part series deconstructing the Sabarimala Verdict which opened the gates of temple to women devotees.
Read More
Understanding the Sabarimala Verdict- Part III
By Bhavisha Sharma
This post is the concluding part of a three part series deconstructing the Sabrimala Verdict which opened the gates of temple to women devotees.
Read More
Social Dimensions Of Judicial Decisions: The Navtej Johar Template
By Adil Saifudheen and Pranav Tanwar
In this post, the authors argue that while the Navtej Johar judgment is tool for social change, it may be unable to function as an effective measure for social acceptance.
Read More
We thank Gayatri Gupta and Chittkrishna Thakkar for their assistance in collating the data, and Benjamin Vanlalvena for designing this newsletter.
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