Cabinet approves ordinance under POCSO: ‘Death penalty’ for rapists of children aged 12 and under

In a major development against the increasing incidents of child rapes in the country, the Union cabinet, on 21-04-2018, cleared the ordinance on POCSO Act. The ordinance will give the death penalty to those convicted of raping a child up to 12 years of age. The Centre has cleared the criminal law amendment ordinance and POCSO Act is a part of this amendment. The demand for the death penalty to child rapists took centre stage after the two separate cases of gangrape and murder emerged from Jammu’s Kathua and Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao. With the incidents of minor rape cases on the rise, the ordinance will be effective in amending the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. As per the current POCSO law, the minimum punishment for “aggravated assault” is 7 years in jail and maximum is a life sentence. The Centre is also inclined towards amending the penal law in order to introduce death penalty to sexual abusers of children up to 12 years of age. Tweet The post Cabinet approves ordinance under POCSO: ‘Death penalty’ for rapists of children aged 12 and under appeared first on SCC Blog.…
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Opposition moves impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra

Seven opposition parties, led by Congress, have moved an impeachment motion in Rajya Sabha against CJI Dipak Misra. The development came after a delegation of political parties met with Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu at his residence earlier in the day. Leader of Opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad told media: “We have moved an impeachment motion seeking the removal of CJI Dipak Misra under five listed grounds of misbehaviour. We have sought his removal under Article 217 read with article 124 (4) of the Constitution of India. … 71 MPs had signed the impeachment motion but as seven have retired the number is now 64. We have mentioned this in the letter. We have more than the minimum requirement needed to entertain the motion and we are sure that the Honourable Chairman will take action.” Senior Advocate & Congress leader Kapil Sibal said: “Since Chief Justice Dipak Misra was appointed to the high office, there have been situations when questions have been raised about the manner in which he has dealt with certain cases and taken certain administrative decisions.” Senior Advocate & Congress Leader Salman Khurshid, howver, said: “Impeachment is too serious a matter to be played with frivolously on the grounds of disagreement with any judgement or point of view of the Court. …
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Supreme Court Website ‘allegedly’ hacked!

Right after Supreme Court dismissed the petition seeking SIT probe into Judge Loya’s death and people headed towards the Supreme Court website, looking for the copy of the judgment, the Supreme Court website i.e. supremecourtofindia.nic.in became unresponsive and displayed the message ‘hackeado por HighTech Brazil HackTeam’, as shown in the above image, suggesting that the website has been hacked by a Brazilian Hack Team. Number of people took to twitter to report the alleged hacking. The current status, however, shows ‘Site Under Maintenance’ message, suggesting that the website has crashed. We will be publishing the full report on the Judge Loya verdict as soon as the Supreme Court website is fixed. Tweet The post Supreme Court Website ‘allegedly’ hacked! appeared first on SCC Blog.…
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Supreme Court dismisses petition seeking SIT probe in Judge Loya’s death

Supreme Court: The bench headed by Dipak Misra, CJ dismissed the petitions seeking the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge B.H. Loya’s death case. While doing so, the Court said: “There is no merit in the petitions and there is no reason to doubt the statements of sitting Judges, attempt of the petitioners was to malign the judiciary.” The Court was hearing the pleas of Maharashtra-based journalist B.S. Lone and activist Tehseen Poonavala who had sought a fair probe into the death of Justice Loya alleging he died under mysterious circumstances. As per the official records, Judge Loya died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur in 2014, a day after he attended the wedding and reception of his colleague’s daughter. Judge Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, involving various police officers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah at the time of his death and hence, the Court had earlier asked the Maharashtra Government to submit the postmortem report of the CBI judge, who had died in alleged suspicious circumstances in 2014, citing that the “matter was very serious.” Source: ANI Tweet The post Supreme Court dismisses petition seeking SIT probe in Judge Loya’s death appeared first on SCC Blog.…
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Aadhaar Hearing [Day 30]: We all strive to get recognised. Identification is a matter of dignity and pride: Rakesh Dwivedi

On day 30 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi continued with his argument probabilistic method that he had begun on Day 29 of the hearing before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. Below are the highlights from Day 30 of the Aadhaar Hearing: Dwivedi: The algorithms which are probabilistic are not all identical. Parliament was conscious of the exclusion that could happen. It was also aware of the digital divide. Hence, provided three alternatives under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. 2016. There can’t be denial of service. Option to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number under section 7 if authentication can’t be done. Chandrachud, J: Does proviso to section 7 apply to third alternative? Dwivedi: Yes, it is applicable in case an individual has applied but has not been assigned Aadhaar number. There is no question of denial. Denial is something that should not happen, ought not to happen. Though some more actions would be required to ensure this. For limited purpose, ration cards are also included. If for some reason, one member of the family is unable to authenticate, any other member of family can come for authentication.…
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Aadhaar Hearing [Day 29]: Elections are being swayed using data analytics; Aadhaar may be used for the same: Justice Chandrachud

Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi continued with his arguments before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on Day 29 of the Aadhaar Hearing. Below are the highlights from Day 29 of the Aadhaar Hearing: Dwivedi: It’s better to tighten the nuts and bolts of Aadhaar rather than demolishing it completely. Information is strictly confined to the purpose of authentication. Interplay of section 8 and 29 pf the Aadhaar Act, 2016 say that core biometrics are not shared. Data shared under section 29 is non biometric data. Chandrachud, J: Section 8(3) combined with section 29(3) means that the requesting entity will know the purpose of the authentication. Dwivedi: If the bench is unsure whether requesting agencies collect information that they are not supposed to then the bench should read down sections 8(3) and 29(3) to make sure that REs do not know the purpose of the authentication or collect any information. Chandrachud, J: A hospital may have data on an individual based on the number of times the individual has requested authentication. This can be helpful information for pharmaceutical or insurance companies. Dwivedi: GDPR provides no curative measures. Aadhaar Act provides enough data protection to citizens.…
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Speed limit notified for on roads vehicles in India

S.O. 1522(E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 112 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) and in suppression of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part If, Section 3, sub-section (ii) vide number S.0.1997(E) dated the 5thAugust, 2014, excepts as respect things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, Central Government hereby fixes the maximum speed in respect of the class of motor vehicles as specified in the table below:                                                                 TABLE Maximum speed per hour in kilometres on roads in India S.No. Class of Motor Vehicles Expressway with Access Control 4 lane and above divided carriageway (roads with Median strips/Dividers) Road within Municipal Limits Other Roads (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) 1. Motor vehicles used for carriage of passengers comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat (Ml category vehicles) 120 100 70 70 2. Motor vehicles used for carriage of passengers comprising nine or more seats in addition to the driver’s seat ( M2 and M3 category Vehicles) 100 90 60 60 3. More vehicles used for carriage of goods (All N category Vehicles) 80 80 60 60 4.…
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Kathua Rape and Murder Case: SC take suo motu cognizance; Issues notice to BCI, J&K Bar Council

Supreme Court: Taking suo motu cognizance in the Kathua rape and murder case, the Court has issued notice to Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua Bar Association on a plea filed against the lawyers for allegedly blocking the filing of charge sheet in the matter and obstructing a lawyer from representing the victim’s family Earlier this week, lawyers held a protest against the charge sheet filed against seven people accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in January. The Bar Association of Jammu reportedly supported the lawyers and also organised a strike against the FIR. The Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra said that it is impermissible under law and ethics to prevent the filing of a chargesheet or oppose the representation of the victim’s family by a lawyer. In the horrific Kathua case, an 8-year-old girl was held captive, sedated and raped for several days at a temple before she was murdered in Kathua district. The Court will now hear the matter on April 19. Source: ANI Tweet The post Kathua Rape and Murder Case: SC take suo motu cognizance; Issues notice to BCI, J&K Bar Council appeared first on SCC Blog.…
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Aadhaar Hearing [Day 28]: Millions like me do not care about privacy: Rakesh Dwivedi

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta concluded his arguments before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on Day 28 of the Aadhaar Hearing. He was then followed by Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi. Below are the highlights from Day 28 of the Aadhaar Hearing: ASG: Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) amendment was made considering the larger public interest. The PMLA Rules are not ultra vires the Aadhaar act or RBI circular. There’s no challenge with respect to the PMLA rules being ultra vires the PMLA. Sikri, J: Rule 9(4) is challenged on the ground of proportionality. What is the need to make Aadhaar compulsory when there are other officially valid docs available? ASG: It is to prevent impersonation. Chandrachud, J: What about Arvind Datar’s submission that PMLA Rules are ultra vires Act; there is no provision under PMLA to render a validly opened account non operational; why is Aadhaar linking extended mutual funds and insurance policies as well. Sikri, J: Anyone can become a reporting entity under the PMLA, not just banks. How is this proportional? ASG: We follow zero tolerance policy when it comes to money laundering.…
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Aadhaar Hearing [Day 27]: Aadhaar will prevent Money Laundering, Tax Evasion, Bank Frauds, etc: ASG

On Day 27 of the Aadhaar hearing, ASG Tushar Mehta continued with his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. Below are the highlights from Day 27 of the Aadhaar Hearing: ASG: The argument that the Aadhaar act was made in violation of interim orders of the SC has already been refuted in the case Binoy Viswam (Aadhaar PAN linking judgment). Only the challenge to article 21 is open with respect to Aadhaar. All the other aspects have already been dealt with in Binoy Viswam. It has already been proved that Aadhaar linking with PAN will help curb money laundering and black money, and prevent tax evasion. This question is not open to challenge anymore as it has already been decided by this court. Biometrics will help curb the growth of shell companies. This is again a facet of reasonableness and proportionality. Balancing of interests is also a facet of proportionality, which was propounded in the judgement of modern dental college. Aadhaar will help law enforcement curb terrorism. There’s no random scrutiny of people in the name of Aadhaar. The exercise of linking Aadhaar with bank, phone etc is only done to weed out fake or duplicates.…
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Aadhaar Hearing [Day 26]: AG concludes his submissions; ASG argues on how Aadhaar can curb Bank Frauds

On Day 26 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal completed his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta began his arguments before the Bench. Below are the highlights from Day 26 of the Aadhaar Hearing: AG: Section 59 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 provides retrospective effect. (Cites cases to show that a particular action can be validated by a subsequent Act, as it happened in the case of Aadhaar. Reads out the third version of the Aadhaar enrollment form. Reads out the content and says it’s free and voluntary and has provisions for taking informed consent.) Chandrachud, J: The first two forms did not have any reference to biometrics. It was only inserted in the third form. AG: The CBI had gone to Bombay high court to obtain biometrics in connection of a rape, since UIDAI had refused to provide them as biometric data cannot be shared without the individual’s consent. The state has no interest in collection of biometrics except for the benefit of the individual himself. Emphasizes that invasion is privacy. When there was no right to privacy, the government acted in a bonafide manner when they enacted Aadhaar.…
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Govt is sitting on collegium recommendations; History won’t pardon us if we do not respond: Justice Kurian Joseph writes to CJI

In the latest addition to the series of letters being written to the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra by the senior most judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Kurian Joseph writes that the the “very life and existence” of the Supreme Court is under threat and “history will not pardon us,” if the court doesn’t respond to the government’s unprecedented act of sitting on the collegium’s recommendation to elevate a judge and a senior advocate to the Supreme court. Referring to the collegium’s decision in February to recommend the names of senior advocate Indu Malhotra and Justice K M Joseph, Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Kurian Joseph said: “it is the first time in the history of this court where nothing is known as to what has happened to a recommendation after three months.” Allegedly the Central government is sitting on the name of Justice K M Joseph who had ruled in April 2016 against the Centre in the case of imposing President’s Rule in Uttarakhand. He has, hence, asked the CJI to establish a bench of seven senior most judges to suo motu take up the matter of the government sitting on the two names.…
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