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Supreme Court: A bench of SK Kaul and KM Joseph has adjourned March 23 hearing on pleas seeking removal of the crowd protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh area in the national capital. The bench said that it had to look into the road closure issue.

“We are informed that there are certain unfortunate issues that happened,”

The Court also refused to interfere with the application, filed by Chandrashekhar Azad and social activist Bahadur Abbas Naqvi, seeking courtmonitored SIT probe into the alleged Delhi riots observing that the Delhi High Court is looking into the matter. Justice Kurian Joseph, however, expressed his displeasure over the way the police have acted. He said.

“you (police) have to act immediately to handle the situation.”

On Monday, the two Amicus Curiae, senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, had submitted their report in a sealed cover to the Court after engaging with the anti-CAA protestors last week for shifting the venue from Shaheen Bagh. The Court had last week appointed senior advocates — Sanjay Hedge, Sadhana Ramachandran and former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah — as interlocutors to talk to the protestors here and urge them to clear the road and protest at an alternate site.

Earlier, the Court had observed that the protesters can continue their protests but in an area designated for protests.

The PIL, filed by Dr Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni through their lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi earlier this week, also sought appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh near Kalindi Kunj. Sudhi had, on Monday, mentioned the matter before a three-judge Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde, who asked him to approach the registry for urgent listing of the matter.

The petition seeks appropriate direction to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) for laying down detailed, comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protest/agitation leading to obstruction of the public place. It said that people in Shaheen Bagh are illegally protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, by blocking the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in protest, led by women, that began with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: A bench of SK Kaul and KM Joseph, JJ has adjourned the hearing in the matter pertaining to the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Shaheen Bagh after the interlocutors submitted their report in a sealed cover. The Court will now take up the matter on February 26 after going through the report.

The two Amicus Curiae, senior advocates Sanjay Hegde and Sadhana Ramachandran, have submitted their report in a sealed cover to the Court after engaging with the anti-CAA protestors last week for shifting the venue from Shaheen Bagh. The Court had last week appointed senior advocates — Sanjay Hedge, Sadhana Ramachandran and former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah — as interlocutors to talk to the protestors here and urge them to clear the road and protest at an alternate site.

Earlier, the Court had observed that the protesters can continue their protests but in an area designated for protests.

The PIL, filed by Dr Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni through their lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi earlier this week, also sought appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh near Kalindi Kunj. Sudhi had, on Monday, mentioned the matter before a three-judge Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde, who asked him to approach the registry for urgent listing of the matter.

The petition seeks appropriate direction to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) for laying down detailed, comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protest/agitation leading to obstruction of the public place. It said that people in Shaheen Bagh are illegally protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, by blocking the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in protest, led by women, that began with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of M.G. Sewlikar and T.V. Nalawade, JJ., while allowing the present petition with respect to the issue of right to agitation, held that,

“Our ancestors fought for freedom and also for the human rights and due to the philosophy behind the agitations, we created our constitution. It is unfortunate but, people are required to agitate against their own Government now but only on that ground the agitation cannot be suppressed.”

The present petition was filed against the order of the Police Inspector, Beed passed under Section 149 CrPC, the order passed by the Additional District Magistrate, Beed along with said the petitioners also sought for direction to respondents to see that petitioner companions were allowed to hold peaceful demonstrations and agitations at Old Idgah Maidan at Majalgaon for indefinite period between 6 pm to 10 pm.

Issue for consideration in the present petition is that:

Whether the aforesaid order issued under Section 37(1)(3) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 could have been issued to prevent such agitation?

Analysis of High Court

Court noted that the order made by Additional District Magistrate shows that the District Superintendent of Police had informed by letter to the DM that many political parties and associations in the district had started agitations which included blockade of roads, taking out morchas, etc., for many causes including protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Apprehension was that due to such agitations there was a possibility of some untoward incident and there was a possibility of creation of law and order problem. In the aforesaid order, DM prevent many activities which included carrying of arms, prevented sloganeering, singing, beating of drums, etc.

On taking the above into consideration, the Court said that there was no fairness in the above order.

Court added to its opinion that,

When such an act is made, some people may be of a particular religion like Muslims ay feel that it is against their interest and such an act needs to be opposed. It is a matter of their perception and belief and the Court cannot go into the merits of the same.

Courts are bound to see whether these persons have the right to agitate, oppose the law. If Court finds that it is part of their fundamental right, it is not open to the Court to ascertain whether the exercise of such right will create law and order problem.

Further the Court cannot go with the presumption that only a particular community or religion has interest opposing such law. As in the case of the present order that has been mentioned in the petition, it is clearly specified that persons of all religions have started the agitation.

We need to remember the constitutional and legal history when we consider the provisions of the constitution. We need to keep in mind the freedom struggle and the causes which were taken up by the freedom fighters.

Explaining and clarifying the right to agitate, Court also stated that,

India got freedom due to agitations which were non-violent and this path of non-violence is followed by the people of this country till date.

Referring to the present petition, Bench stated that petitioners and companions want to agitate peacefully to show their protest.

Our ancestors fought for freedom and also for human rights and due to the philosophy behind the agitations, we created our constitution.

Decision

Court is expected to consider the right of persons to start agitation in a peaceful way.

Court expresses that such persons cannot be called as traitors, anti-nationals only because they want to oppose one law.

Stressing on the rights of people, Court pointed out that,

If the persons agitating believe that it is against the ‘equality’ provided under Article 14, they have the right to express their feelings as provided under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

Fraternity

Circumstance that the persons of other communities, religions are supporting the minority community shows that we have achieved fraternity to a great extent.

“…it is the dissent of people against the act made by the Government and the bureaucracy needs to be sensitive when it exercises powers given by law.”

Thus, the people from bureaucracy need to be sensitized by giving them proper training on human rights which are incorporated as fundamental rights in the constitution.

Hence, High Court held that the order of Additional District Magistrate is illegal and needs to be quashed and set aside and consequently the order made by the police station concerned is illegal and is to be set aside. [Iftekhar Zakee Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 244, decided on 13-02-2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has issued a notice to Centre and Delhi government asking it to respond to the death of an infant who was taken to Shaheen Bagh, the venue of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the national capital.

The Court took suo moto cognizance on a letter by a National Bravery Award winner Zen Gunratan Sadavarte to stop involvement of children and infants’ in demonstrations and agitations. 12-year-old Zen Sadavarte from Mumbai had written the letter in wake of the death of a four-month infant at Shaheen Bagh. She has approached the CJI saying that the death of the infant Muhammed Jahan occurred due to atrocious suffering while its parents were participating in an agitation at Shaheen Bagh against Citizenship Amendment Act and sought direction for an investigation into the death.

During the hearing, CJI said

“We have the highest respect for motherhood, highest concern for children and they should not be treated badly,”

The CJI went on to ask, “Can a 4-month-old child be taking part in such protests?”

The Court also allowed Zen Sadavarte to assist the Court in the matter after her mother told the Court that she wants to make submissions before the Court.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in protest, led by women, that began with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Four-month-old Muhammad Jahan, who accompanied his mother almost every day to Shaheen Bagh passed away in his sleep  on the night of January 30 after returning from the protests, allegedly after acquiring a severe cold and congestion following exposure to the winter chill at the protest site.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

[IN RE TO STOP INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN AND INFANTS IN DEMONSTRATIONS AND AGITATIONS IN VIEW OF DEATH OF AN INFANT ON 30.01.2020 AT SHAHEEN BAGH NEW DELHI, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 166, order dated 10.02.2020]

(With inputs from ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: A bench of SK Kaul and KM Joseph has said that the protesters at Shaheen Bagh cannot block public road and create inconvenience for others. Issuing notice to Delhi Government & Delhi Police, the Court posted the matter on February 17, 2020 and said,

“Protest has been going on for a long time, how can you block a public road.”

The Court observed that the protesters can continue their protests but in an area designated for protests.

The observation of the Court came while hearing the PILs seeking directions to the Central government for laying down guidelines relating to restrictions for holding protests leading to obstruction to public places.

The PIL, filed by Dr Nand Kishore Garg and Amit Sahni through their lawyer Shashank Deo Sudhi earlier this week, also sought appropriate directions to the Centre and others for removal of protesters from Shaheen Bagh near Kalindi Kunj. Sudhi had, on Monday, mentioned the matter before a three-judge Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde, who asked him to approach the registry for urgent listing of the matter.

The petition seeks appropriate direction to the respondents, including the Union of India (UOI) for laying down detailed, comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines relating to outright restrictions for holding protest/agitation leading to obstruction of the public place. It said that people in Shaheen Bagh are illegally protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, by blocking the common and public road connecting Delhi to Noida.

The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 sit-in protest, led by women, that began with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ refused to put a stay on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and granted the Central government four weeks’ time to file a reply on the petitions challenging CAA. The Court also indicated setting up a Constitution Bench to hear the pleas.

The Court was hearing a batch of more than 140 petitions challenging or supporting the newly amended citizenship law that fast-tracks the process of granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and took refuge in India on or before December 31, 2014.

During the hearing, CJI said,

“We may ask the government to issue some temporary permits for the time being.”

Attorney General K K Venugopal asked the Court to freeze filing of further petitions, as over 140 petitions have been filed and others who wish to be heard, may file intervention applications. He said,

“Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit that will be filed today.”

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the Assam Advocates Association, sought an ex-parte order from the court with respect to the implementation of the Act in Assam. He told the court,

“The situation in Assam is different, 40,000 people have already entered Assam since the last hearing.”

Several petitions were filed in the top court and high courts across the country for and against the CAA. There have been protests in different parts of the country against the Act. It has also been challenged by the Kerala government in the Supreme Court. Kerala and West Bengal have also said that they will not implement the amended law. However, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid have said that
state governments cannot legally refuse to implement a law passed by the parliament.

Earlier, on December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ  had refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Refusing urgent hearing on a plea seeking to declare the Citizenship Amendment Act as constitutional, CJI S A Bobde observed that the country is going through difficult times and there is so much violence going. Expressing surprise over the petition, the bench said that this was the first time that someone was seeking that an Act be declared as constitutional.

“There is so much of violence going on. The country is going through difficult times and the endeavour should be for peace. This court’s job is to determine validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional,”

The bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said it will hear the petitions challenging validity of CAA when the violence stops.

The observation came after advocate Vineet Dhanda sought urgent listing of his plea to declare CAA as constitutional and a direction to all states for implementation of the Act. The plea has also sought action against activists, students and media houses for “spreading rumours”.

On December 18, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, but refused to stay its operation. It said that it will hear the batch of 59 petitions on January 22, 2020.

The newly amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Act including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

Several other petitioners include Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, and law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.

(Source: PTI)

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Govind Mathur, CJ and Vivek Varma, J. while addressing the present petition requested the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to have a complete inquiry or investigation due to the alleged violation of human rights and negligence in the prevention of such violation.

Alleged display of police brutality upon students who were protesting against the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is the reason for the filing of the present petition.

At Aligarh Muslim University a huge number of students assembled to share solidarity with the students of other Universities who were protesting against the above-stated Act. On the evening of December 15th, peaceful processions according to the petitioner was lodged at the Library canteen of the University.

A huge contingent of the police forces moved towards the University circle and provoked the students by different means including intentional utterance of abusive words. Students were heavily injured by the brutal lathi-charge, rubber bullets and pellets.

Further, the petitioner stated that to disburse the assembly of the students, the force was used by the State. The contingent of police forcefully entered in different parts of the University including the library, hostels, classrooms, offices, etc. and brutally behaved with students. Police officials intentionally assaulted the students and also vandalized the vehicles parked on the University campus.

It has also been alleged that a large number of students were detained and tortured then on 16-12-2019, University Registrar issued notices to vacate the hostels.

Counter affidavit filed by the Inspector General, Law & Order U.P. and Senior Superintendent of Police, Aligarh stated that the students in violation of the precautions as per Section 144 CrPC gathered at the University circle and when the authorities noticed the hindrance being caused by some of the students in their routine functioning, Registrar, Aligarh Muslim University requested the District Magistrate, Aligarh to take appropriate steps.

Registrar of the University had sent a letter to the District Magistrate requesting the deployment of security forces to prevent any untoward incident. District administration received certain intelligence inputs and also information from the Proctor of the University about the assembly of the students inside the University campus and their march towards Bab-e-Syed apprehending unwarranted incidents.

Gathering taking advantage of darkness started pelting stones vigorously from various directions and that enormously destroyed University property. Having no other option, the district administration decided to enter into University campus to disburse gathering and preventing the property from being damaged.

Additional Advocate General submitted that the above-said action was taken to prevent loss to public and public property at large. He also stated that in accordance with Article 19 of the Constitution of India, the right available is only to assemble peacefully without arms. But in the above incident, the assembly was absolutely unlawful and was abating for violence.

Senior Advocate, Sri Colin Gonsalves stated that the petitioner’s demand is to have a complete investigation as there is a violation of human rights and commission of cognizable crime. He also referred to the observations made in the Supreme Court Case in Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Assn. v. Union of India, (2017) 8 SCC 417, wherein it was stated that,

“..inquiry or investigation by the National Human Rights Commission is of civil nature and that too is not an effective measure to bring the culprits of doing wrong to board.”

 

Decision

On perusal of the above-stated aspects, the High Court stated that, under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 the Commission may inquire suo motu or on a petition relating to the students for violation of human rights or abatement thereof or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant.

There has been alleged violation of human rights and also alleged negligence in the prevention of such violation. The narration of the facts certainly demands a probe.

Court on perusal of the powers of the NHRC stated that the entire matter is to be inquired by the Commission.

Inquiry by the State Human Rights Commission also but in light of the fact that the National Human Rights Commission is already undertaking inquiry relating to similar allegations on a complaint filed by the students and some faculty members of Jamia Milia Islamia University, the Bench considers it fit to have an inquiry in the present matter too by NHRC.

Commission has been requested to complete the inquiry within a period of one month and to convey its findings and recommendations, if any, to this Court immediately after the conclusion of the inquiry/investigation. [Mohd. Aman Khan v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine All 1, decided on 07-01-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ has issued notice to Centre on a batch of pleas challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The Court has, however, refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. It said that it will hear the petitions on January 22, 2020.

Yesterday, the Court had refused to intervene in the incidents involving the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has asked the petitioners to approach the High Courts first. The Court said,

“We don’t want to spend time knowing facts, you should go to courts below first.”

The Court also said that since the incidents have taken place at various places, one inquiry cannot be ordered in these cases. Asking the petitioners to approach the High Courts, the Court said the High Court would not only be at liberty to pass orders on arrests and medical assistance, they will also be at liberty to order inquiries.


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Refusing to intervene in the incidents involving the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the bench headed by CJI SA Bobde has asked the petitioners to approach the High Courts first. The Court said,

“We don’t want to spend time knowing facts, you should go to courts below first.”

In the hearing that escalated into a high voltage court room drama, Indira Jaising appearing for the students said,

“It’s established law that universities are not a place where police can enter without permission of VC. One person lost eyesight. Legs of some students were broken.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was quick to respond that “not a single student lost eyesight.”

When the lawyers started arguing at high pitch, the Court took a strong noteand said,

“there should not be a shouting match just because there is large crowd and media.”

The Court also went on to ask how the buses burn during the protest. It said that it was a law & order problem.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for protesters, urged the Court to send a former judge to AMU for fact finding. It was also argued that Police must have prior permission of VC of university before entering the University premises.

When the Court asked the Centre to give details as to why notices were not given to protesters before arrest and whether medical assistance was given, the Solicitor General responded that no student was in jail and that the police took the injured students to hospitals.

The Court said that the injured students must get medical attention and if anybody commits offence then police is free to arrest.

The Court also said that since the incidents have taken place at various places, one inquiry cannot be ordered in these cases. Asking the petitioners to approach the High Courts, the Court said the High Court would not only be at liberty to pass orders on arrests and medical assistance, they will also be at liberty to order inquiries.

Yesterday, when a battery of senior lawyers including India Jaising, Colin Gonsalves, Salman Khurshid, etc approached the Court to take the Court to take suo moto cognizance of the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, a bench headed by CJI Bobde said that it would hear the matter with a ‘cool mind’ tomorrow but the rioting must stop.

(Source: PTI)


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: When a battery of senior lawyers including India Jaising, Colin Gonsalves, Salman Khurshid, etc approached the Court to take the Court to take suo moto cognizance of the violence taking place at the Jamia Milia University and the Aligarh Muslim University as an outcome of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, a bench headed by CJI Bobde said that it would hear the matter with a ‘cool mind’ tomorrow but the rioting must stop.

Taking strong note of damage of public property and rioting during the Jamia Milia protest in which around 50 students were detained last night and later released, the Court said,

“We are not against peaceful demonstrations but we can’t allow people to go on streets, indulge in rioting.”

Stating that the Court was experienced enough to understand how rioting takes place, the Court said that it can’t be bullied to take cognizance of a matter just because people were throwing stones outside.

“We will determine the rights but not in the atmosphere of riots, let all of this stop and then we will take suo motu cognizance.”


**READ THE ACT HERE: Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019