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As reported by PTI, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister urges the Chief Justice of India and other Senior Judges to ensure a mechanism to monitor quick disposal of rape cases and further adding that women of the country are under pain and distress.

Law Minister stated that there are 704 fast-track courts for heinous offences and others and the government is in the process of setting up 1,123 dedicated courts for POCSO and rape offences.

He also said India’s judiciary, be it the Supreme Court, high courts or subordinate courts, has upheld the principles of the rule of law. But, he stressed, the need to attract more talent in the subordinate judiciary.

All of the above was stated by the Minister during the inauguration of the new building of Rajsthan High Court.

[Source: PTI]

[Image Credits: Hindustan Times]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT): The Bench comprising of S.J. Mukhopadhaya, J. (Chairperson) and A.I.S Cheema, J. and Kanthi Narahari, Members, Judicial and Technical, respectively; declined to intervene and place any opinion for the appeal made by Ex-Directors and Promoters of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited which stated that:

“More than 270 days have been passed and the final order is yet to be passed by the Adjudicating Authority.”

The present appeal was filed by ‘Committee of Creditors’ against the order passed by Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal), Principal Bench, New Delhi, wherein the order was reserved.

Facts and Background of the case explained:

Appellate Tribunal by order dated 04-02-2019 remitted the matter back to the Adjudicating Authority for consideration of the ‘Resolution Plan’ submitted by ‘JSW Steel’.

Thereafter, the matter was heard and Judgment had been reserved. While the Judgment was still pending, Punjab and Haryana High Court passed certain directions directing the Adjudicating Authority to follow a certain  procedure giving reference to the Supreme Court’s decision and held that “any order passed by the Adjudicating Authority/NCLT, which is contravention, contradiction or derogation of the directions of Supreme Court should not be taken into consideration.”

Senior Counsel, Mukul Rohatgi with Advocates Arvind Kr Gupta and Henna George, appeared for the erstwhile directors and promoters of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited.

Solicitor General and Senior Advocate Tushar Mehta with Advocates Bishwajit Dubey, Spandan Biswal, Srideepa Bhattacharya, Sylona Mohapatra and Surabhi Khattar, appeared for the Committee of Creditors of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited.

Decision in the present appeal:

NCLAT declined to entertain the present appeal stating that the matter is still pending before the Adjudicating Authority, therefore they are not inclined to entertain the appeal by erstwhile directors and promoters of Bhushan Power and Steel Limited.

Bench also commented that it is unclear on how Punjab and Haryana High Court’s vacation Bench passed an order as noted above when the matter is still pending. It was also stated that the mentioned Court has no territorial jurisdiction over Delhi, where Principal bench of NCLT, New Delhi is situated.

Further, the Bench stated that, Adjudicating Authority is supposed to decide the case on merit in accordance with law uninfluenced by any order except the decision of this Appellate Tribunal and Supreme Court.

Hence, in view of the above, the appeal stands disposed of. [Committe of Creditors of Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd. v. Mahendra Kumar Khandelwal, 2019 SCC OnLine NCLAT 201, decided on 11-06-2019]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: While discussing the issue of expeditious disposal of disputes pertaining to elections, the bench of J. Chelameswar and R.F. Nariman, JJ., observed that in the interest of justice, it is desirable and feasible that dedicated Benches should be created by the Chief Justice of every High Court to deal exclusively with election disputes. The Court further added that the judges entrusted with the task of adjudicating electoral disputes should not be burdened with any other tasks until the dispute is completely adjudicated.

The observations of the Court came in the wake of repeated adjournments of an election petition related to the dispute between the candidates contesting for 72-Kawardha assembly constituency during the elections conducted for Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly in 2013. However, Section 86 (7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 categorically mandates the speedy disposal of an election petition by a High Court. The appellant in the instant case was represented by P.S. Sudheer.

The Court observed that the Parliament while enacting Representation of the People Act, 1951, intended towards the speedy disposal of election disputes because the tenure of the Parliament and State Legislature is short, therefore any dispute that arises during this tenure, should be expeditiously resolved as membership of the legislative bodies is a scared responsibility and gives the candidates a chance to participate in the law making process. It was further observed that speedy disposal of election disputes should be done keeping in mind the rights and obligations the contesting candidates. However, the Court was disappointed on the repeated adjournments and delay in resolution of such disputes as such delays make a mockery of justice. The Courts also lamented upon the fact that absence of special benches to decide such disputes; complex technicalities of the laws related to election and heavyweights throwing all their might to prolong the cases, have largely contributed towards such delays in disposal. Mohd. Akbar v. Ashok Sahu, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 174, decided on 27.02.2015