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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Spread Law is now a website. Please visit www.spreadlaw.in

Here we come

It gives me immense pleasure to announce the launch of www.spreadlaw.in . The journey of Spread Law started on 16.09.2011 when I started a blog to spread legal awareness in India. The blog was an instant hit as people wanted to know more and more about legal news and legal issues. Someone wanted to know the happenings in the court and someone was looking for legal guidance.

I started to write blogs on law, just to make it simpler for a layman to understand what is going on in the courts and what are the legal implications of a particular step of the government? Gradually I started getting more queries. Some of my online friends were looking for legal guidance. I wrote an article on Law on FIR. I also wrote an article on Law on bail. I realized that the more I wrote, the more my friends wanted to know. And within two months of the launch, Spread Law got twenty thousand hits worldwide.

My friends were quite impressed with the performance of the blog and many of them suggested that I should start a full fledged website on legal awareness. When I thought about the idea seriously, I realized that there is not a single website in India which bridges the gap between law and a layman. Most of the websites promised legal aid but not a single one has tried to put an effort to make people understand about legal issues.
And finally I decided to convert my blog into a website. When you have a first look on the site, you may notice certain deficiencies but friends just have some patience as the site has just started, there are many issues which we are working on. Many features have to be added, design has to be improved and many things have to be done. Still if you feel there is something which needs immediate attention, feel free to write to me.

What do I intend to do?

One of the main objectives of this website is to spread legal awareness in India. Me and my friends will try our best to make it simple for each one of you to understand the complex legal issues. We shall also write articles on various subjects so if you ever get into a legal issue, you get a full understanding of the subject before you visit a lawyer.

How can you contribute?

Right now I look forward to support from each one of you. I am not looking for any funds at this point of time and I am funding www.spreadlaw.in on my own. The only support I look from you is to spread a word about this website. I would also request you to make this website your homepage so we get more and more hits in the days to come. I promise to each one of you that if this website becomes a hit, I would be able to help thousands of people who are suffering just because they are ignorant about their legal rights. I would try to help as many people as I can.
With these words, I seek the blessings of my seniors and good wishes of my friends and juniors to make www.spreadlaw.in a great success.
Sumit Nagpal,
Founder, www.spreadlaw.in

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Initiate contempt proceedings against CBI : Gujarat to SC

In a hearing relating to the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin, the Gujarat government today told the Supreme Court that CBI is giving communal twist to the case.

The state went on to say that it was wrong on the part of CBI to cast aspersions on lower Judiciary in Gujarat. The CBI officers had alleged that prosecuters and magistrate in the trial court trying Sohrabuddin encounter case were relatives of Amit Shah, who is one of the accused in the case.

The bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai slammed the CBI for making allegations against the judiciary in Gujarat just for ensuring the transfer of trial of Shorabuddin fake encounter case outside Gujarat

The bench observed, "...to suggest that judiciary even at the lower level is trying to favour politicians is complete non- sense. To systematise the judiciary and say it is toeing the political line, we disapprove it. We will protect the judiciary, though one or two individual may commit mistakea..."

The Gujarat government objected to CBI affidavit asking the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against the CBI

Friday, 25 November 2011

Delhi HC notice to SC, AG and SG on a petition asking that all the advocates be allowed to practice before the apex court

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Supreme Court, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Supreme Court bar association and Advocate on Record association on a petition filed by Balraj Singh Malik asking for abolishing Supreme Court rules which provided that a petition can only be filed through an Advocate on Record.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw issued the notice after the petition prayed that in the light of the notification of Section 30 of the Advocates Act on 15th June 2011. The notification provides that each and every advocate enrolled in any state bar council shall be entitled to practice before any court throughout India including the apex court.

The petition also prayed before the court to declare Rule 2,4 and 6B of order IV Supreme Court rules. These rules provide that only an Advocate on Record can practice before the Supreme Court.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Bail granted to 5 corporates accused in 2G scam

The Supreme Court today granted bail to the five corporates accused in 2G scam. A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu granted bail to all the corporated on a surety of Rs. 5 lakh.

The accused who will be released on bail are Surendra Pipara, Gautan Doshi, Hari Nair, Sanjay Chandra and Vinod Goenka
The court has granted liberty to CBI to apply for modification of the order if any of the accused abuses the bail granted to them.
Details later

Arguments of Ram Jethmalani in SC in Amit Shah bail cancellation case on 23.11.2011



Bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai

Ram Jethmalani appearing on behalf of former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah resumed his arguments in Supreme Court.

During his arguments Jethmalani touched various point like background of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Law on bail, Supreme Court's judgment on bail, Evidence of Patel Brothers, Allegations against Amit Shah in Chargesheet, Fact that Tulsiram Prajapati was not an eyewitness of abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi and Evidence of Azam Khan

Background of Sohrabuddin Sheikh

Starting his arguments before the bench Jethmalani, told the apex court that Sohrabuddin was a terrorist and was convicted under TADA. According to Jethmalani Sohrabuddin received arms regularly from Pakistan for local distribution. Sohrabuddin was on bail when he was involved in the popular builder shoot out case and alleged murder of Rauf Lala in udaipur. Jethmalani went on to argue that Gujarat was getting a bad name because of Sohrabuddin killing. According to Jethmalani, Sohrabuddin was made a posterboy during last election ..

Jethmalani also put forward an alibi for Amit shah's contact with Narendra Amin at a time when Sohrabuddin was killed. Shah was in contact wit Amin over a kidnapping case in Gandhinagar.
While judges observed that there appears to be much of a coincidence and there are glaring circumstances that suggest Amit Shah's involvement. The bench also observed that Judges after Sohrabuddin case was given to CID for investigation, a day later Amin was transferred to CID for investigating the case.

Moreover days after police officer Solanki sought permission to interrogate Prajapati, Vanzara was transferred as DIG border range and within two weeks Prajapati was killed.
Law on Bail

Starting his arguments on Law on Bail Jethmalani informed the court that it is a settled law that bail is the rule and jail is the exception. He tried to convince the court that a decision to grant or refuse bail depends on many things like justice, liberty, public safety etc. Referring to the judgments of Justice V R Krishna Iyer, Jethmalani argued  “...the personal liberty of a person is too precious. while deciding the bail application, a judge needs to follow the basic principles of law rather than what he thinks personally. Bail should not be withheld as a matter of punishment to an accused. While conisdering bail a judge needs to see that the evidence before him puts such a dark picture of the accused that if he is given bail, he will flee for the rest of his life rather than spending rest of his life in jail...”

Jethmalani also informed the court that while considering bail, the court needs to consider three factors which are 1st Charge on the accused, 2nd Nature of the evidence against the accused and 3rd Punishments prescribed in law. Accordingly a bail can not be denied for punitive purposes.


While citing the judgments of the Constitution bench
1978/1/SCC/579 , Ram Jethmalani referred to the Golden Rule that GRANT OF BAIL IS A RULE AND JAIL IS AN EXCEPTION

Justice Aftab Alam was quick to react by saying that when he was a lawyer, no judge would listen to this rule. “...there are always some judgments which are difficult to follow...” observed Justice Alam. Ram Jethmalani was quick to answer by saying “...I hope you should not condone this kind of judicial indiscipline...”

At this point of time, Ram Jethmalani referred to few judgments of the Supreme Court on Law on Bail. According to Jethmalani, the restriction under section 437 of the CrPC is not applicable on High Court and the Sessions Courts. “Object of the bail is to secure the attendance of the accused and even British Judges while deciding the cases relied on this rule.Grant of bail is a rule and refusal is a exception as a presumably innocent person must have the liberty to prove his innocence...” argued Jethmalani.

At this point Jethmalani also cited a recent judgment of Dalbir Bhandari and Justice Radhakrishnan which listed out all the
per incuriam judgments on the subject. (per incuriam means a decision of the court that is wrongly decided because a judge was misinformed of law. A judgment per incuriam is not binding and has no authority)

Jethmalani also argued that most of the judgments cited by the CBI could not have been cited as they were not applicable to this case.
Evidence of Patel Brothers

Advancing his arguments on the role of Patel brothers Jethmalani accused them of concealing the information from Gujarat Police. Jethmalani alleged that both the Patel brothers knew that it was Sohrabuddin who was behind the firing incident at Popular Builders office and in the FIR they didnt give any clue t hat Sohrabuddin was known to the Patel brothers. They concealed his identity. As a result this case remained undetected because there was no cooperation but there was an attempt to conceal the facts.
Allegations against Amit Shah in Chargesheet

At this point, Jethmalani also mentioned the allegations against Amit Shah made in the chargehseet.One, in the chargesheet there is an absurd allegation that this firing incident was done for extortion. There is no evidence to show any extortion was practiced upon Patel brothers at any time and two, another absurd allegation was there the false shooting was engineered for justifying Sohrabuddin arrest later on.
Role of Kalimuddin

At this point of time Jethmalani informed the court about the circumstances which led Sohrabudding to come out of the hiding. According to Jethmalani Sohrabuddin went underground from 8.12.2004 and he emerged in Rajasthan. Jethmalani also alleged that Sohrabuddin murdered Rauf Lala.  Jethmalani also said that Sohrabuddin was hiding in a village in MP and he did not come out unless he got the services of kalimuddin.

At this point Jethmalani informed the court about who was Kalimuddin. Jethmalani alleged that Kalimuddin was a murderer of a DIG in Andhra Pradesh and was under the protection of the state government.He had good links with IB. Jethmalani also informed the court that Kalimuddin had arranged for two tickets of the bus trying to make a point that in reality Sohrabuddin was not accompanied by Prajapati.
(Here Ram Jethmalani is also trying to convey that Kalimuddin got to know about Sohrabuddin from IB)
Fact that Tulsiram Prajapati was not an eyewitness of abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi
(At this point Ram Jethmalani blasted CBI for fabricating evidence. He argued to prove that how the story that Tulsiram Prajapati was an eyewitness to Sohrabuddin abduction is totally false. Jethmalani told the court that the bench will be surprised to know a new fact )

Ram Jethmalani informed the court about the conduct of Sohrabuddin Sheikh during his stay with Kalimuddin. “…What did he do during the time when he stayed with Kalimuddin? During those days, he threatened the marble lobby in Rajasthan and he terrified them so much that the marble lobby agreed to pay 25 crore rupees. And who goes to collect that mony? It was Tulsiram Prajapati who was his long time accomplice. When Sohrabuddin left Hyderabad, Prajapati was no where in Hyderabad. He was sent to Bhilwada to collect the extortion money. These fabricators of evidence don’t realize what they have done to their case…” shouted Jethmalani.
Hearing this fact, Justice Alam expressed surprised that why this fact had not been mentioned earlier? To this, Jethmalani said that he came across this fact just a day before. Justice Alam said that this fact was very important

“…They have been misleading the court all along. Prajapati was not with Sohrabuddin otherwise, Kalimuddin would have arranged for three tickets but he had only got two tickets. There are witnesses in Bhilwada to prove that Prajapati was there. It was there duty to tell the court about this. They have been trying to defeat the judicial duty and commit a fraud on the court…” argued Jethmalani.

Evidence of Azam Khan

(At this point of time, Ram Jethmalani informed the court how the evidence of Azam Khan was created)
Jethmalani informed the court that Prajapati was arrested in Bhilwada and was sent to Udaipur Jail. In that jail another criminal Azam Khan was there. Azam was promised that they will be helped in criminal cases against them if he deposed against Amit Shah.

(Azam Khan had told in his statement that Tulsiram Prajapati had told him that he, Prajapati, felt guilty and thinks that Sohrabuddin died because of him.)
Jethmalani questioned the testimony of Azam Khan saying where did Prajapati told Khan that he was travelling with Sohrabuddin and he was an eye witness to the abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi. Jethmalani also brought it to the notice of the court that Prajapati wrote letters to NHRC and the Collector fearing for his life.
“...Even in those letters, Prajapati has mentioned nowhere that he was a witness to the abduction of Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bi. He was asking for protection but nowhere has he mentioned my name. This gentleman never claimed to be an eyewitness and to link him to the encounter is totally wrong. This excludes the possibility of he being an eyewitness...” said Jethmalani.
What Azam Khan says about the encounter? Azam says that Tulsiram Prajapati was feeling guilty. Azam Khan should have a defense witness rather than a witness for the prosecution. Azam Khan says that it was Sohrabuddin who arranged for the shooting at Popular Builders and Sohrabuddin is not the person who is unknown to Patel brothers. Why did they file a false FIR? The real fact is Sohrabuddin wanted to recover some money from Patel Brothers and he only wanted to terrify them rather than killing them.
Azam Khan proves that FIR filed by Patel brothers was false and intended to conceal Sohrabuddin’s reasons for doing so. In fact the Gujarat Police has filed a case under section 179 for filing a false FIR.
Arguments Concluded for the day.

Important matters coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on 23.11.2011

Court 1/5 CPIL vs Union of India (PIL)

Court 1/ 8 People's rights and Social resp Center vs Union of India (PIL)


Court 2/2 Soni Sori vs State of Chattisgarh (Soni who is alleged to have links with Naxals has alleged torture in the hands of Chattisgarh police)

Court 5/101 Bombay Blasts of 1993

Court 6/1 Ratan Tata vs UOI (Matter asking that Radia tapes should not be made public)

Court 7/1 CBI vs Amit Shah (CBI praying to SC that bail granted to Amit Shah should be cancelled)

Court 11/1A Judgment on the bail applications of corporates accused in 2G scam (Hari Nair, Surender Pipara, Vinod Goenka, Sanjay Chandra and Gautam Doshi)

Note : For quick reference to the arguments on behalf of all these corporates you can refer to the following link http://spreadlaw.blogspot.com/2011/10/arguments-in-sc-on-bail-applications-of.html

Jethmalani demolishes CBI claim that Prajapati was eyewithness of Sohrabuddin encounter

Amit Shah's lawyer Ram Jethmalani today demolished the CBI claim that Tulsiram Prajapati was an eyewitness to the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. While advancing his arguments before a bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Desai accused the CBI of fabricating evidebce to implicate former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah.

Continuing his arguments through out the day, Jethmalani ridiculed CBI by saying ''...These fabricators of evidence do not know what they have done to their case. They have been misleading the court all along. Tulsiram Prajapati was not with Sohrabuddin but he was in a jail in Rajasthan...''.

While citing the letters written by Prajapati to NHRC, Jethmalani claimed that there is no evidence to suggest that Prajapati was an eyewitness to the encounter. He also referred that the statement of Azam Khan, on which the CBI is relying heavily, saying that Azam Khan should have been a defence withness. Azam Khan in his statement had told the CBI that Prajapati felt guily and responsible for the death of Sohrabudding. And according to Jethmalani this statement of Azam Khan does not indicate that Prajapati was an eyewitness.

Defending his client Amit Shah, Jethmalani also accused Patel Brothers of misleading Gujarat Police. ''...There was an incident of firing at the office of Patel brothers and they know Sohrabuddin was behind it but they never informed the police about it. Sohrabuddin wanted to recover some money and he wanted to terrify Patel Brother rather than killing them. This is an absurd argument that Amit Shah arranged that firing so that can be used as a justification for encountering Sohrabuddin...'' argued Jethmalani.

During the arguments, Jethmalani also placed before the court various judgments of the apex court. According to these judgments bail and no the jail is the golden rule for Criminal Jurisprudence in India.

Hearing in the matter shall continue on Wednesday.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Arguments of Ram Jethmalani in SC in Ramlila Maidan incident case on 21.11.2011


Bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatantra Kumar

Ram Jethmalani resumed his arguments in the case of Delhi Police crackdown on Ramlila Maidan on 4th June this year. Starting his arguments before a bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatantra Kumar, Jethmalani argued on use of Section 144, whether Delhi Police could withdraw the permission granted to Baba Ramdev, background of Ramdev’s movement against corruption, MCD’s power to cancel permission, affidavit of Delhi Police and role of Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code
Jethmalani resumed his arguments of power of the police to use Article 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.  Jethmalani pointed out the conditions under which this section can be used by the police. According to Jethmalani, section 144 can only be used in cases where there is a need for immediate prevention and there is a need for speedy remedy.  Jethmalani reiterate that section 144 can not be used for dangers which are foreseen in future but only in cases of imminent dangers. Jethmalani went on to say that the order issued under section 144 must prescribe the material facts.

Jethmalani went on to say that order under section 144 can only be used for two things; first is to direct any person to abstain from any particular act and second is to ask a person to take certain orders regarding certain property under his management.“…In this case, the only act people were doing was breathing. Section 144 can only be used if a person is interfering with the rights of any other person. In this case, there is nothing like this. Usually politicians attract section 144 and not the teachers of Yoga. This order is perverse and dishonest.” argued Jethmalani.

At this point Jethmalani also cited a Supreme Court judgment on this issue. 1970/3/SCC/746. According to the said judgment section 144 can be used in cases where emergency must be sudden and the consequences are grave. Without this there is no justification to use power under section 144.
Whether Delhi Police could withdraw permission given to Baba Ramdev

Taking his arguments forward, Jethmalani pointed towards the act of police to withdraw permission from Baba Ramdev to hold his protest at Ramlila Maidan. Jethmalani enumerated few points before the bench. According to Jethmalani, it was the MCD which is the owner of Ramlila maidan and MCD as a matter of routine and not law, asked the Bharat Swabhiman Trust to get a NOC from Delhi police. According to Jethmalani , Delhi police promptly gave the NOC but with the some conditions. Accordingly,
1.       They were instructed not to obstruct the flow of traffic
2.       They were to get the permission from the owner that is MCD
3.       They were asked to deploy sufficient number of volunteers to manage the crowds at the venue
4.       And they were asked to follow conditions imposed from time to time otherwise the NOC would be revoked

Jethmalani pointed out that even MCD objected to the fact that Delhi Police had claimed that they shall be at liberty to cancel the permission if any of the conditions were not met.
At this point, Justice B S Chauhan inquired from Ram Jethmalani if police had the power to revoke the permission granted under any statute? Jethmalani informed the court that police had no power to revoke the permission as it was MCD which could have done it.

Background of Baba Ramdev’s movement against corruption

At this stage, Ram Jethmalani took the court to the background of the movement against corruption. According to Jethmalani Swami Ramdev had been working tirelessly to bring back black money stashed abroad.

“…This is not the first time Ramdev organized a fast. He travelled length and breadth of the country. Even the Prime Minister had written back to Ramdev regarding the government’s efforts to bring back black money stashed abroad…” informed Jethmalani. Jethmalani also brought to the notice of the court how Ramdev was persuaded by the police not to hold his fast at Jantar Mantar. Jethmalani informed the court that Ramdev had the permission to hold Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar also.

According to Jethmalani government was not serious about efforts to bring back black money and the idea was to crush the movement. Jethmalani also mentioned that government had filed a SLP in the Supreme Court against the order to appoint a SIT to monitor government’s efforts to bring back black money. “…They knew names of these dacoits will manifest and they will join the wonderful inmates who have assembled in the Tihar Jain right now…” said Jethmalani.

At this point of time, Jethmalani mentioned failure of the then Home Secretary to file an affidavit on the entire incident. According to him “…The home secretary is too honest to file an affidavit. He has retired, if he was in service, he might have succumbed to the pressure…” Jethmalani also referred to a secret report of the Delhi Police filed in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court. Surprisingly, Jethmalani had the copy of it. While trying to demolish the contents of the said report he said in a lighter vein that a stolen evidence is also a good evidence. He also mentioned about that report which stated that as per reliable inputs, Sadhus will come and the total number of people gathering might be more than one lakh. According to the said report, the Satyagraha will shift from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan would be used for mobilization.

Procedure for cancellation of permission by MCD

At this point of time, Ram Jethmalani informed the court about the procedure by which MCD can revoke the permission granted to anyone. Accordingly, the MCD can only cancel the permission on the recommendations of District Commissioner who will decide after a proper hearing. “…Even the MCD could not have done it at middle of the night and the police officers did it. Actually it was police who constituted illegal assembly that night. I don’t know if the sleeping people could constitute assembly ….” argued Jethmalani.

Affidavit of Delhi Police

At this point of time, Ram Jethmalani tore apart averments made in the affidavit filed by Delhi Police. Jethmalani argued that in the affidavit, there are references to the effect that the local people living in the vicinity of Ramlila Maidan are terrorists.  Jethmalani slammed the apprehensions of Delhi Police that someone might smuggle a bag of explosives at the venue and there might be a loss of life and limb. Jethmalani also blasted Delhi Police for mentioning Gujarat riots. “…they are now talking of 2002 riots in 2011, all for the purpose of elections. Earlier we used to have a saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely but now we have a saying that power corrupts and fear of losing power corrupts absolutely…” argued Jethmalani.

Order Passed under Section 144

Jethmalani also attacked Delhi Police for poorly drafting order under Section 144. “…If they were apprehensive of a terrorist attack then this is a material fact. Where has this been stated in order under Section 144? This order doesn’t comply with the sections requirements. It is an assault on our common sense and fraud on law. We were not doing anything unlawful…” argued Jethmalani.

Role of home minister P Chidambaram

Attacking Chidambaram in the very beginning of his arugments on this point, Jethmalani said “…Home Minister is responsible for all this and the government as a whole…” Jethmalani drew the attention of the court to the press release issued by the Home Ministry on 8th of June. According to the said release, a decision was taken that Ramdev shall not be allowed to carry on any fast or protest and shall not be allowed to stay in Delhi. “…Are we living in dictatorship or a Nazi rule that Ramdev shall not be allowed to stay in Delhi?” roared Jethmalani

Referring to an interview of Chidambaram, Jethmalani said that Home Minister said the decision in this regard was taken earlier. “…when was this decision taken? The Home Secretary was to file and affidavit but nothing has been filed. The enforcement of the order was deferred as the government was engaged in a dialogue with Ramdev, this means that the decision was taken earlier…” said Jethmalani.
At this point Jethmalani concluded his arguments and said that the people of this country shall express gratitude to the judiciary if they get what has been prayed for.

Questions raised by Judges

At this point of time, the bench asked few questions from U U Lalit who started his arguments on behalf of Delhi Police. Justice Swatantra Kumar asked Lalit to address the court on few issues like whether the use of force was justified? What were the circumstance which led to the action and why the police could not wait till the morning to ask the people to leave the venue? The bench also wanted to know when was the decision to revoke the permission granted to Ramdev was taken by Delhi Police and whether the order issued under section 144 confirms to the conditions laid down under the section.

Arguments of U U Lalit for Delhi Police

At this point of time, U U Lalit started to address the court on the circumstances which led to the Delhi Police action at Ramlila Maidan. Lalit informed the court that no violence was used and only the tear gas shells were used by the police to disburse the crowd. Lalit referred to the fact that Bharat Swabiman Trust had sought permission for not more than five thousand people and that too for holding a Yoga Shivir and not for any protest for fast unto death.
Lalit also informed about various published material of the trust which announced that Ramdev shall be sitting on indefinite fast from 4th of June.

(Proceedings over, matter adjourned to Friday that is 25th November 2011)


SC poses tough questions to Delhi Police in Ramlila Maidan incident case

The Supreme Court has asked Delhi Police to explain whether the use of force was justified? What were the circumstance which led to the action and why the police could not wait till the morning to ask the people to leave the venue?

The court also wanted to know when was the decision to revoke the permission granted to Baba Ramdev was taken by Delhi Police and whether the order issued under section 144 confirms to the conditions laid down under the section.

Earlier in the day, Ram Jethmalani blamed Home Minister P Chidambaram for trying to crush the rights of the ordinery people to protest peacefully. ''...Are we living under dictatorship or a Nazi rule that Baba Ramdev shall not be allowed to carry out his protest and will not be allowed to stay in Delhi?..'' roared Jethmalani.

After Jethmalani concluded his arguments, Senior Advocate U U Lalit started the arguments on behalf of Delhi police. Matter has been adjourned to coming Friday.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Important matters coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on 21.11.2011

Court 1/34 Democratic Youth Federation vs Union of India
Court 2/6 Webb construction vs UOI (fresh)
Court 3/12 Manjeet Singh Bhatia vs UOI (fresh)
Court 4/205 S D Bandi vs div traffic commissioner (illegal occupation of govt bunglows)
Court 6/50 Ghodawat Pan Masala vs UOI (might be related to Gutkha packaging case)
Court 7/201 KG Dhananjay Chauhan vs UOI (Kargil procurement scam)
Court 8/40 Delhi Wakf Board vs UOI
Court 10/9 BR Lall & ors vs UOI (fresh)
Court 11/3 Sanjeev Awasthi vs UOI Court 11/206 -- Delhi Industries Confederation vs UOI

(Note : Issues in fresh PILs will be known after the hearing)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

No relief for Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt from Supreme Court

The apex court dismissed as withdrawn the petition filed by controversial Gujarat's IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. Bhatt was asking for removal of certain observation against him from the High Court's order in a matter relating to alleged custodial death 21 years ago.

The apex court refused to interfere with the High Court's order giving him liberty to challange the withdrawal of revision petition by the State of Gujarat.

In a matter of alleged custodial death in a riot case, Bhatt was made an accused but the State Government had filed the revision petition against the order of magistrate taking cognizance. But after the recent developments, the state had withdrawn the revision application. This action of the state government gave way to criminal proceedings to go on agiainst Bhatt.

A bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan refused to give any relief to Bhatt sayong he can move himself challenge the decision of the state government to withdraw the revision application.

Bhatt also wanted the protection that the observations made against him in the High Court order should not be used against him while the sessions court considers his application againt the move of the state government.

According to Bhatt, the Gujarat High court wrongly mentioned the death as custodial death. Bhatt also argued that the High Court presumed that the issue of taking Cognizance has been adjudicated upto the level of Supreme Court.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Criminal Trial in Indian Law


(Note: This is an article written for layman having no knowledge of law. If you are a lawyer or a legal expert, please feel free to point out if there is any mistake in the article. If you want to give your inputs to make this better, please leave a comment at the bottom.)
Many a times we come across the term called criminal trial. In general parlance, we understand trial means that a person is facing a case in court of law. But generally people are not aware of the process of criminal trial in India. So here is the procedure for criminal trial that generally takes place in India.
Types of Criminal Trials
Before we proceed further, we must note that according to Criminal Procedure Code, criminal trial can be of tree types namely Trial in Warrant cases, Trial in Summon Cases and Summery Trial
Trial in Warrant Cases
Warrant cases are those cases in which an offence attracts a penalty of imprisonment for more than seven years and it includes offences punishable with death and life imprisonment. In such cases, the trial starts either by filing of FIR or by filing a complaint before a magistrate. And if the magistrate finds that the case relates to an offence carrying a punishment for more than two years, the case is sent to the sessions court for trial.
Section 193 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states that the session court can not take cognizance of any offence unless the case has been sent to it by a magistrate. The process of sending it to sessions court is generally called committing it to sessions court.
Trial in Summon Cases
A summon case is a case which is not a warrant case. So in simple words, those cases in which an offence is punishable with an imprisonment of less than two years is a summon case. In this case, one must understand that if a magistrate, after looking into the case, thinks that a case is not a summon case, he may convert it into a warrant case. In respect of summons cases, there is no need to frame a charge. The court gives substance of the accusation, which is called “notice”, to the accused when the person appears in pursuance to the summons.
Summary Trial
Case of offenses punishable with an imprisonment of not more than six months can be tried in a summary way. It is also to be noted that if the case has been tried in a summary way, a person can not be awarded a punishment of imprisonment for more than three months.
Pretrial stages
Registration of FIR
FIR stands for first information report which is lodged under section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The FIR is only the basis information which is made available to the police when a cognizable offence takes place. FIR is the first stage from which a criminal case takes the birth.
Investigation
FIR in a criminal case leads to investigation in the case. Investigation leads an investigating officer to reach to a conclusion whether a chargesheet has to be filed or a closure report has to be filed in the case. If the investigation result in discovery of an offence, a chargesheet is filed, otherwise a closure report is filed before the concerned court.
Trial
If the investigating officer finds out that a case is fit for trial then he files a chargesheet in the case.
Filing of the charge sheet
The charge sheet is the brief summary of how an offence had been committed? What was the role of each person who was involved in the crime and the sections under which the investigating officer had charged all the accused. The charge sheet also contains the names of the person who were investigated but could not be charged due to lack of evidence in the eyes of the investigating agency. Filing of the charge sheet generally means that the investigation in the case is over and now the court has to consider the evidence collected by the investigating agency. It is to be noted, that if during the course of trial, some new facts come to the light, the agency may file additional charge sheets.
Framing of charges/Serving the Notice
if it’s a summon case, a simple notice is given and a response is sought from the accused. But in warrant cases, the court frames the charges.
Framing of charges mean that the court looks into the evidence collected by the investigating agency and applies its mind so as to what are the charges under which an accused has to be booked. For example, the police has filed a chargesheet accusing a person of murder under section 302, but the court deems it proper to charge the person for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304. At this stage, if an accused pleads guilty then the court will apply its judicial mind and decide the punishment accordingly. And if the accused pleads not guilty, he is informed the charges under which he would be required to face the trial.
On the other hand, if the judge finds that no offence against an accused is made out, the accused is discharged from the case. The court has to apply its mind and record the reasons for discharging an accused.
Recording of the Prosecution Evidence
After the charges have been framed against an accused, the prosecution is required to produce  before the court, all the evidence collected by the investigating agency. It is to be noted that when the investigating agency produces the evidence before the court, the evidence has to be supplemented with the statement of the prosecution witnesses (PWs). The process of recording the statement of PWs is called Examination-in-Chief. The evidence which is brought before the court and which the court considers is called “Exhibit” .  The witnesses brought by the prosecution are expected to support the case presented by the prosecution and if they fail to do so, they are declared hostile and the prosecution may request the court not to rely on the statement of such a witness.
In case the witness supports the case of the prosecution, the defense is entitled to cross examine the witness so that they could find out the discrepancies in the statement of the witness concerned. If the defense succeeds in finding the discrepancies in the statement of the witnesses, they may ask the court not to rely on the statement of the said witness.
Statement of the accused
Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure code empowers the court to ask for an explanation from the accused if any. The basic idea is to give an opportunity of being heard to an accused an explain the facts and circumstances appearing in the evidence against him. Under this section, an accused shall not be administered an oath and the accused may refuse to answer the questions so asked. The answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or against him.
Evidence of Defense
After the statement of the accused is over, the court applies its mind and tries to find out if the accused has committed any offence or not. If the court reaches the conclusion that no offence has been committed by the accused, he is acquitted. It must be noted that while acquitting an accused, the judge is expected to give reasons for acquitting the accused.
In cases of accused not being acquitted by the court, the defense is given an opportunity to present any defense evidence in support of the accused. The defense can also produce its witnesses and the said witnesses are cross examined by the prosecution. In India, generally the defense does not provide defense evidence as the criminal justice system in India puts burden of proof on the prosecution to prove that a person is guilty of an offence beyond the reasonable doubt.
Final Arguments of both the sides
Once the defense evidence of the accused is over, the prosecution presents its final arguments. In final arguments, the prosecution generally sum up its case against the accused. After the final arguments of the prosecution are over, the defense also present its final arguments. After the final arguments of both the sides are over, the court generally reserve its judgment.
Delivery of Judgment
After application of mind, the judge delivers a final judgment holding an accused guilty of offence or acquitting him of the particular offence. If a person is acquitted, the prosecution is given time to file an appeal and if a person is convicted of a particular offence, then date is fixed for arguments on sentence.
Arguments on sentence
Once a person is convicted of an offence, both the sides present their arguments on what punishment should be awarded to an accused. This is generally done in cases which are punished with death or life imprisonment.
Judgment with punishment
After the arguments on sentence, the court finally decides what should be the punishment for the accused. While punishing a person, the courts consider various theories of punishment like reformative theory of punishment and deterrent theory of punishment. Court also considers the age, background and history of an accused and the judgment is pronounced accordingly.


Important matters coming up for hearing in SupremeCourt on 17.11.2011

Court 1/4 (PIL 2004) Centre for Publice Interest Litigation v/s Union of India
Court 2/2 Soni Sori v/s State of Chhattisgarh (Soni who is alleged to be a moist had been beaten up in police custody)
Court 2/7 K.N. Nehru v/s State of Tamilnadu
Court 5/101 Bombay Blast.93
Court 7/1 CBI v/s Amit shah (Cancellation of bail)
Court 7/2 Vishwanath Chaturvedi v/s state of U.P (Illegal allotments of plots in UP)
9/2 JNU Student Union Elections

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Important matter coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on 16.11.2011

Court 2/301 Prashant Bhushan contempt case(3pm)
Court 5/101 Bombay Blast-93
Court 7/1 CBI v/s Amit shah , D.G.Banzara & Rubabbuddin sheikh (Sohrabuddin fake encounter case)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Important matters coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on 15.11.2011

Court 2/2. Soni Sori v/s State of Chhatisgarh (Issue of a tribal girl who alleged torture in the hands of Chattisgarh police)
Court 4/6 Taj Mahal Issue
Court 5/101 Bombay Blast-93.
Court 6/1. Devender pal singh bhullar v/s NCT Delhi
Court 7/102. Death of 25 chained inmates in Tamilnadu

Arguments of Ram Jethmalani in Supreme Court on 14.11.2011 in Ramlila Maidan incident case

By Sumit Nagpal

The case relating to Delhi Police crackdown on Baba Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan was listed in Supreme Court before a bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatantra Kumar and Ram Jethmalani continued his arguments in the matter

Rajbala 

Ram Jethmalani focused on the injuries caused to Rajbala who lost her life because of Delhi Police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan. Jethmalani slammed Delhi Police for filing an affidavit in the apex court claiming that Raj Bala was suffering from Osteoporosis but the same Delhi Police failed to submit before the court any documents in support of their claim. Jethmalani also informed the court that Rajbala's death summery stated that a surgery was performed to repair the fracture in her spine. Jethmalani also brought to the notice the fact that her death summery mentioned the same story of Delhi Police that she may have suffered the injuries because of the stampede.

At this point, Justice Swatantra Kumar inquired from Ram Jethmalani so as to what was the cause of injury according to him? Justice Swatantra Kumar also wanted to know if any statement of Rajbala was recorded by anyone as her statement could have put some light so as to how she suffered the injuries. To this query, Jethmalani informed the court that no statement of Rajbala was recorded by the police. Jethmalani also told the court that she suffered injuries at the Ramlila ground and she was taken to hospital by the police. Injury caused in the spinal chord which led to paralysis in all the limbs. "...She died of injuries which are not self inflicted and the person who inflicted those injuries is guilty of her murder. She received injuries from lathicharge or a stone.." Jethmalani said.

Terming the police story as total concoction, Jethmalani slammed Delhi Police commissioner for writing the word "suspected" in his affidavit. "...it was the duty of the police commissioner to find out the truth and tell to the court if there was an eyewitness. How did he say this? In the death summery, Osteoporosis was introduced and in the postmortem report, there is no mention of the same.The postmortem report puts an end to the story of Osteoporosis..." (During the arguments it came out t hat Delhi Police Commissioner in his affidavit had written that he suspected that the cause of death of Rajbala was fall from the stage and stampede.)

Use of Ramlila Maidan

Starting his arguments on this point, Jethmalani informed the court that the Bharat Swabhiman Trust had paid the licence fee to the MCD and it was completely illegal for the Delhi Police to have entered Ramlila Maidan. Jethmalani informed the court that the police had made security arrangements in the area and one could not enter the premises with any weapon, firearm or a lathi in his hand. He also brought to the attention of the court to some unused bricks lying near the stage. "...It is a most ridiculous suggestion that those bricks were kept ready to attack the police..." said Jethmalani.

He also tore apart the arguments of Delhi Police which took refuge of the 2009 judgment of the Supreme Court judgment which stated that the organizers or the demonstration have to inform the police about the procession/dharna/meeting and they have to give an undertaking that there would be no weapons in the gathering.The Supreme Court judgment also stated that if the demonstrations turn violent, the police shall immediately inform the state government."...Nobody could stop us from doing what we were doing there just by citing the authority of the Supreme Court judgment of 2009. It did not fall in the category of the protests and we were not required to take permission from the police..." Jethmalani said.

Law on use of streets for demonstrations

At this point, Ram Jethmalani put light on various principles of law relating to use of streets and parks for holding public meetings, demonstrations and taking out processions.

"...You have a right to used the streets for processions. The right to use the streets for such purposes existed even before the Constitution came into existence. The state has a power to regulate with reasonable restrictions. State can not put unreasonable restrictions and can not say no to such things. The power to regulate doesn't mean power to prohibit.The public procession is prima facie legal and even if it creates temporary obstructions, it is not prohibited..." argued Jethmalani. He also said that public streets are natural places of expression of public opinion and it is a part of Indian tradition.

Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code

Terming it as totally malafide and irresponsible use of power, Ram Jethmalani slammed the Delhi Police for invoking Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code. Jethmalani ridiculed the language of order under Section 144 saying the order did not even stated material facts so as to from where police got the information that there is likelihood of disruption of peace and tranquility. He went on to say  "...If you fail to state the material facts, the order under section 144 is void..."

Jethmalani also informed the court that under section 144 of CrPC, the police can only direct a person from abstaining from doing a certain act. "...Does this order ask the people don't sleep? Were they causing any annoyance to anyone?.." asked Jethmalani.

Explaining section 144 of CrPC, Jethmalani said three things have to be remembered

  • This section is used if there is immediate provocation and if there is a need for speedy remedy. 
  • Police also have to state material facts in the order passed under section 144. and
  • You can only prohibit certain acts
"...But in this case, the people were sleeping. The were neither acting, nor they intended to act in any manner, then how can you use section 144 on sleeping people. Yoga is an integral part of Indian culture and you wish to treat this activity which has to be prohibited under section 144?.." questioned Jethmalani

At this point of time, the bench rose and the matter was adjourned


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Spread Law in now on Google Plus too

Dear Friends,

You will be happy to know that Spread Law is now on Google Plus also. Make sure you join our page on Google Plus.

Link to our Google Plus page is
https://plus.google.com/b/105303184963638826016/

Link to our Facebook page is
www.facebook.com/SpreadLaw

Thanks,

Team Spread Law

Important matters coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on 14.11.2011

Court 1/33 (fresh PIL) All India Road Network Users v/s Union of India.
Court 1/34 (fresh PIL) Common Cause
Court 1/35 Democratic Youth Federation v/s Union of India
Court 2/46 (PIL) Mahendra Singh Adil v/s Ministry of Home
Court 3/301 (2pm) Bachpan Bachao Andolan v/s Union of India
Court 6/38 Times Global Broadcast v/s Justice P.V. Sawant.
Court 7/5 (PIL) Shakti Vahini v/s Union of India
Court 7/202 Javed Akhter v/s State of Gujarat
Court 11/4 Consumer online foundation
Court 11/42 Swami Agnivesh v/s State of Haryana
Court 13/301 (2pm) Ramlila Maidan Incident

Friday, 11 November 2011

Divorce under Hindu Law

By Sumit Nagpal

Divorce is a subject which affects the lives of many of us. In metropolitan cities, the spouses can think of divorce but in rural India, Divorce is considered to be a taboo. In many a cases, people do not even get to know what is law on divorce. So here is a post on Law on Divorce for a layman.

Note : If you are a lawyer or a legal expert who is reading this article, feel free to comment if there are additional inputs which should be put to make this article better. Also let us know if there is any mistake in the article.


Divorce

According to the general definition, divorce refers to a process of legally dissolving a marriage. The concept of divorce did not exist under Hindu law as the marriage is considered to be a sacred relationship. However, the concept of Divorce was introduced when a law to this effect was codified and presently section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act provides for dissolution of marriage.



When can I get divorce?

Grounds which are available to both husband and wife

You can file a petition for decree of divorce in the following cases; if your spouse

  • has, with his/her own will, had intercourse with any person other than you
  • has treated you with cruelty 
  • has deserted you and more than two years have passed since then
  • has converted to any other religion
  • is suffering from a mental disorder which can not be cured
  • has been suffering from incurable form of leprosy
  • has been suffering from venereal disease of communicable nature
  • has not be heard of being alive for a period of seven years of more


A petition for dissolution of marriage can also be filed if the spouse has failed to live together even after one year after the the court had directed for restitution of conjugal rights. Restitution of conjugal rights mean that both husband and wife start living together again just like every couple lives.

And in cases of judicial separation, if both the husband and the wife have failed to live together even after one year after the the court had ordered judicial separation.  

Grounds available only to wife


A wife may seek divorce from her husband on the following additional grounds

  • if the husband has been found guilty of rape, sodomy etc. 
  • if a court has passed an order for maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code or under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act. The wife becomes eligible for filing a divorce petition if after the order of maintenance, she has not lived with her husband for a period of one year.

What is the best way to get divorce?

The best way to get a divorce is by mutual consent. If you think that it is not possible for you to live with your spouse, the best way is to pursue him/her to go for a divorce by mutual consent. This not only saves the time and litigation cost, it also helps in reducing the emotional trauma. In such a case, one should opt for mediation and settle the terms and conditions on which both the parties will dissolve marriage.

How to get divorce by mutual consent ?


According to 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, both the parties can approach the court for divorce by mutual consent if they are living separately for a period of one year or more and they have mutually agreed to dissolve the marriage.

When you present the petition for dissolution of marriage, you will have to wait for six months and after that second motion for dissolution of the marriage shall be made. The court shall satisfy itself and pass an order for dissolution of the marriage. You can also withdraw the petition for divorce if during the period, it appears to you that you both can live with each other and differences have been resolved.

Is it necessary to wait for one year before filing a petition for divorce?

Generally a petition for divorce can only be filed after one year of the marriage but in exceptional circumstances, the petition can also be filed even before one year has passed since the marriage took place. But in this case, you will have to prove to the court that what are those exceptional circumstances. Generally, the exceptional circumstances refer to a situation when if divorce is not granted, it will cause exceptional hardship to the parties concerned. In such cases, the court shall analyse the circumstances and pass an order accordingly.

When can I marry again after the court dissolved my marriage?

If the court has dissolved your marriage then you will have to wait for a stipulated time under with the other party can file an appeal. If the other party files an appeal then you will have to wait till the appeal is dismissed. In cases of divorce by mutual consent, filing of appeal is highly unlikely but in other cases, appeal is generally filed in all probability.

What to do if the other spouse refuses to agree for divorce?


If your spouse refuses to leave you, better is to see if there can be a possibility to live together. It is always better to give a second chance to your marriage because the other partner is still wanting to live with you. But if you are convinced that it is NOT at all possible for you to live with your partner, you have to check if your case falls in any of the grounds mentioned above. For eg. if a husband beats his wife and refuses to agree for divorce, the wife can file a petition for divorce on the ground of cruelty. Similarly, the husband is having an illicit relationship with another women, the wife can file a petition for divorce.


What happens to our children?

In case, you have children, best way is to decide mutually that who will take care of the kid. In case, there is no agreement on the issue, a petition for custody can be filed in the court and the court shall decide in the best interest of the child about who should have the custody of the children. Generally, in case of infants and very young children, the custody is given to the mother. In cases, where the child is old enough, the court considers various factors and then decides the custody of a child.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Legal Point : What should you do if a policeman visits your house while investigating a case

Hi Friends,

Have you ever thought what to do if a policeman visits your house? In many a cases, policemen visit people and threaten to implicate them in the cases which they are investigating. People end up paying bribes to them without any fault.

If you also want to know what should be done in such cases then don't forget to watch Legal Point on Saturday. You can see the show online at www.itvnewsindia.com/live-tv @ 2.30 pm on India News Bihar and @ 3.30 pm on India News Haryana.

if you have any questions in mind you can also write a mail to us at LegalPoint@Live.com. We would try to take your call in our show.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Delhi High Court notice to CBI on bail applications of 2G accused

Delhi High Court notice to CBI on a petition filed by Kanimozhi, Sharad Kumar, Rajiv Aggarwal, Asif Balwa and Karim Morani in 2G case. Among all the accused, Morani has filed a bail application on medical grounds.

A single judge bench of Justice V K Shali has asked the CBI to respond to all the bail petitions before 1st December. Morani has also submitted his records along with bail application.

A Delhi court had dismissed the bail application of 2G accused saying that the offence in this case is of grave nature and bail can not be granted to the accused at this stage.

Marriage in India under Hindu Law

Marriage
According to general definition, Marriage is a state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or a wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognised by law. When it comes to Hindu Law, marriage is termed as a sacred relationship. However, in Muslim law, marriage is a contractual relationship.
Requirements of marriage
According to Hindu Marriage Act, a marriage can take place between the two consenting individuals of opposite sex, who are of sound mind and the bride is more than eighteen years of age and the groom is more that twenty one years of age. One must also know that even if the marriage takes place between a girl and a boy who have not attained the requisite age, the marriage remains valid. However it may lead to some penal provisions under the Hindu Marriage Act

Prohibited marriages
A marriage can not take place between the prohibited category of marriages that is Sapinda relationships. For a layman Sapinda relationship means blood relationship. The spouses should not be connected to each other through blood relationship. According to definitions given in Hindu Marriage Act, two persons are said to be "sapindas" of each other if one is a lineal ascendant of the other within the limits of sapinda relationship, or if they have a common lineal ascendant who is within the limits of sapinda relationship with reference to each of them;

A marriage can also not take place between the person who fall in the prohibited degree of relationships. According to definitions provided under the Hindu Marriage Act, two persons are said to be within the "degrees of prohibited relationship"-
(i) if one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or
(ii) if one was the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other ; or
(iii) if one was the wife of the brother or of the father's or mother's brother or of the grandfather's or grandmother's brother of the other; or
(iv) if the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters;


When will I be called to be married
Generally, a couple shall be said to be married if they have completed the Saptpadi . Saptpadi refers to completing the seven steps around the holy fire. Merely exchanging garlands shall not amount to marriage. In cases, where the customs provide for different ceremonies, the couple shall be said to be married if they perform those ceremonies.
What to do if a spouse leaves other
If a spouse leaves other without just or reasonable cause, the other spouse can move to the court for restitution of conjugal rights. This is provided under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. You must also know that once a decree under section 9 is passed, it is obligatory for the spouse to come back to other and if the souse fails to do so even after one year of the decree, it becomes a ground for divorce for other spouse.
What to do if the other spouse gets married again without divorcing the first
if a spouse gets married again then two thing will follow. One the second marriage shall be totally illegal in the eyes of law. Two. the spouse getting married again shall be punished under section 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code. Accordingly a spouse can be punished up to seven years sentence and if the spouse has concealed his/her marriage from the other spouse, the punishment can be up to ten years imprisonment.
Spouse having adulterous relationships
When it comes to adultery, one has to understand that it is only the husband of a lady who is having an adulterous relationship can only complain. It is an anomaly in Indian law that a wife can not file a complaint of adultery against her husband. However she has a different remedy and she can charge her husband for cruelty under section 498a of Indian Penal Code.

Important matters coming up for hearing in #SupremeCourt on 9.11.2011

Court 3/101 Bombay Blasts of 1993
Court 4/1 Devender Pal singh Bhullar v/s NCT Delhi
Court 7/2 CBI V/S Afzal Ansari.
Court 11/101 Sushil Ansal v/s CBI

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Monday, 7 November 2011

Swami Agnivesh gets a scolding from Supreme Court

While hearing a petition of Swami Agnivesh for quashing a FIR against him, a Supreme Court bench of Justice H L Dattu observed "...U can't take sentiments of ordinary people for granted. You should weigh your words before you speaks.."

The bench asked pointed questions to Swami Agnivesh's lawyers. Court also asked why should they interfere in the matter at this stage. "...These people will be careful in future. if we start quashing charges then they will not realise. One makes a statement, its printed and widely circulated. You achieved ur purpose now you realise..."

Agnivesh had approached Supreme Court for quashing the charges against him for hurting religious sentiments of people and proceedings pending in Haryana court. Agnivesh had made certain statements against amarnath yatra.

Court adjourned the case for Monday after Senior Advocate Gopal subramaniam requested to file an affidavit by swami.

Important matters coming up for hearing in #SupremeCourt on 08.11.2011

Court 1/34 Maninderjit Singh Bitta (High security number plates issue)
Court 1/35 Fresh PIL
Court 6/60 Naz foundation (Decriminalisation of section 377 that is un natural sex)
Court 11/1 State of Bihar v/s State of Jharkhand (issue of membership of BCCI)
Court 11/13. Swami Agnivesh v/s State of Haryana (matter relating to his comments on Amarnath yatra)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Law on bail in India and factors which the courts keep in mind while considering bail

By Sumit Nagpal

Law on bail

Before we get to know what is law on bail we must also know what are bailable offence and what are non bailable offences.
Bailable offence : A bailable offence is one in which an accused is entitled to bail as a matter of right. Generally offence which have a punishment of less than three years are said to be bailable offences.

Non-bailable offence : A non bailable offence is one in which a person can not ask for bail as a matter of right. In fact, in such cases, it is the discretion of the court whether to release an accused on bail or not. Generally offences in which the punishment is more than three years are termed as non bailable offences.

Why bail?
Indian law is based on the principle that a person is presumed innocent till he is proven guilty. This principle governs the entire legal system of the country with few exceptions. Our entire legal history tought us ''Bail and NOT Jail'' shall be governing principle when it come to adjudication of the criminal cases in the country.

Factors which are considered by the courts which granting or denying bail to an accused

*Whether there is a likelyhood that if the accused is released on bail, he will abuse the process of law?

This simply means the court would see that if a person is released on bail, is there a possibility that he may try to tamper with the evidence or try to influence the witnesses. And if there is a likely possibility that a person can do this, the accused may be denied bail. In such cases, the courts may also look into the economic status of the accused.

The court will also consider, if a person is released on bail, whether there is an apprehension that he might flee the country? Generally the court considers this factor while granting bail to NRIs, foreign national etc. And in such cases an accused might be denied bail.

*Nature of the offence : While in bailable offences, a person can ask for a bail as a matter of right, in non bailable offences, generally the courts refuse bail in henious offences, or offences in which which are generally punishable with death or life imprisonment. For example in cases of attacks the sovreignity of India, terror attacs, henious murders bail will not be granted to an accused.

*Whether prosecution has any objection to the grant of bail to an accused : If the prosecution in the case is satisfied that the investigation in the case is over and the evidence of the case is documentary which can not be tampered with the prosecution may not object to the grant of bail to an accused.

*Past Record : If the accused is a first time offender, this is a factor which goes in favour of the accused, The idea is to give him a chance to stay away from the company of criminals which might influence his mind and he may also turn into a hardcore criminal in future.

*Health of the accused : In many a cases, where health of an accused might be so bad that keeping him in jail might be detrimental to his life. In such cases, the courts generally seek opinion of the doctors and grant bail to an accused.

Friday, 4 November 2011

#SupremeCourt to look into the issue of amendment in rules for appointing members of SEBI

The Supreme Court has decided to look into the issue of amendments in the rules governing the appointment of members to the Securities and Exchange Board of India.


A PIL challenging these appointment had recently been filed in the apex court. The court earlier had asked the petitioners to withdraw the petition and refile it without allegations against Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.


The PIL, filed by retired air marshal S. Krishnaswamy and others, also sought to annul the appointment of U.K. Sinha as SEBI chairman.

The amendment allowed Mukherjee toappoint two members “of his own choosing”.

The petitioners said this would compromise SEBI’s functioning as its top officials need to be experts with requisite qualifications, which were not prescribed by the amendment.


A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia posted it for further hearing after Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium started his arguments in the case. The matter shall be heard on November 21st.

SEBI has been surrounded by controversy recently. Former SEBI board member K.M. Abraham wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging irregularities.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

SC notice to all the states on criminal cases on MPs

#SupremeCourt issues notice to all the state on a petition filed by former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh.

In his petition before the apex court, Lyngdoh prayed that cases againt the Parliamentarians should be fast tracked

Hearing the matter, a bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam observed that the information proviced in the petition is very disturbing that out of 543 MPs, 162 are facing criminal cases.

Notice has been issues and is returnable in 4 weeks.

Law on bail and the 2G case

With the Delhi court rejecting the bail applications of accused in 2G scam, there is growing resentment in the judicial circles, on the way things are going on in 2G trial. But for a layman I am writing what is the law on bail and why everyone in the judicial circles is feeling agitated.

Law on bail

Before we get to know what is law on bail we must also know what are bailable offence and what are non bailable offences.
Bailable offence : A bailable offence is one in which an accused is entitled to bail as a matter of right. Generally offence which have a punishment of less than three years are said to be bailable offences.

Non-bailable offence 
A non bailable offence is one in which a person can not ask for bail as a matter of right. In fact, in such cases, it is the discretion of the court whether to release an accused on bail or not. Generally offences in which the punishment is more than three years are termed as non bailable offences.

Why bail?
Indian law is based on the principle that a person is presumed innocent till he is proved guilty. This principle governs the entire legal system of the country with few exceptions. Our entire legal history tought us ''Bail and NOT Jail'' shall be governing principle when it come to adjudication of the criminal cases in the country.

Factors which are considered by the courts which granting or denying bail to an accused

Whether there is a likelihood that if the accused is released on bail, he will abuse the process of law?

This simply means the court would see that if a person is released on bail, is there a possibility that he may try to tamper with the evidence or try to influence the witnesses. And if there is a likely possibility that a person can do this, the accused may be denied bail. In such cases, the courts may also look into the economic status of the accused.

The court will also consider, if a person is released on bail, whether there is an apprehension that he might flee the country? Generally the court considers this factor while granting bail to NRIs, foreign national etc. And in such cases an accused might be denied bail.

Nature of the offence
While in bailable offences, a person can ask for a bail as a matter of right, in non bailable offences, generally the courts refuse bail in heinous offences, or offences in which which are generally punishable with death or life imprisonment. For example in cases of attacks the sovereignty of India, terror attacks, henious murders bail will not be granted to an accused.

Whether prosecution has any objection to the grant of bail to an accused?
If the prosecution in the case is satisfied that the investigation in the case is over and the evidence of the case is documentary which can not be tampered with the prosecution may not object to the grant of bail to an accused.

Past Record
If the accused is a first time offender, this is a factor which goes in favour of the accused, The idea is to give him a chance to stay away from the company of criminals which might influence his mind and he may also turn into a hardcore criminal in future.

Health of the accused 
In many a cases, where health of an accused might be so bad that keeping him in jail might be detrimental to his life. In such cases, the courts generally seek opinion of the doctors and grant bail to an accused.

Concerns of lawyers

Coming back to the 2G scam, the lawyers are expressing their concerns on the way the established principles of law on bail are being flouted. Most of the accused are first time offenders with no criminal history. Lawyers also argue that when the investigating agency has no objection to their release on bail, under which law, the court is keeping the accused in custody. Lawyers are also concerned that because of the ongoing 2G case, in other matters too, the prosecution is taking benefit and citing the example of 2G case.

Conclusion
As a student of law and a legal correspondent, I have heard the arguments in many cases. And the present case raises questions in my mind too! Either we should change the jurisprudence or the Supreme Court must clear the air on this issue of bail so that we must know with which point of view are we supposed to look at law on bail.