Worried over growing cases of rash driving SC asks for tougher punishment

Thousands of people lose their lives in road accidents every month in India and an overwhelming majority of those are caused by reckless and drunken driving. In fact, cases involving rash driving are increasing all over India at such an alarming rate that the Supreme Court is urging the lawmakers to consider enacting more stringent punishment for those found guilty of causing death through negligent and/or rash driving. A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra observed that a maximum punishment of two years of imprisonment and monetary fine under Section 304A of the IPC may not always serve the purpose of a deterrent law. “The poor feel that their lives are not safe, the pedestrians think of uncertainty and the civilized persons drive in constant fear but still apprehensive about the obnoxious attitude of the people who project themselves as ‘larger than life’. In such obtaining circumstances, we are bound to observe that the lawmakers should scrutinize, re-look and re-visit the sentencing policy in Section 304A, IPC. We say so with immense anguish,” said the court. The court also observed that India seems to have a disreputable record of road accidents and there was an increasingly nonchalant attitude amongst drivers which must be curbed.…
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Cryptocurrencies: Fraught with Risk

The recent theft of Bitcoins worth Rs 20 crore has revealed how unregulated this market is and why investors should be cautious in investing in it till laws are put in place By Diljeet Titus and Ria Khanna Among the cryptocurrencies in use today, Bitcoin is by far the most popular. A recent theft of about 438 Bitcoins, worth approximately Rs 20 crore, from an Indian cryptocurrency ex-change, Coinsecure, leads one to ask how secure cryptocurrency is as a trading commodity in India and how well-equipped the system regulating this currency should be. Cryptocurrency is a virtual medium of exchange that employs cryptography to control the creation and management of currency units and transactions. Cryptocurrency units are created and held electronically. This currency works on the block chain technology, which uses a decentralised network. The system essentially enables transactions between users without passing through a central authority, such as a bank or payment gateway. POSITION IN INDIA Cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender in India and therefore, not a recognised medium of exchange. At present, there are no laws governing the creation, use and exchange of virtual currency in India. Further, cryptocurrency, by its very nature, cannot be covered under any existing Indian financial and economic laws, thus permitting such currency exchanges to operate freely.…
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Judge Loya’s Death: No Foul Play, Says Supreme Court

He further mentioned certain important submissions of senior counsel Indira Jaising, V Giri, Prashant Bhushan and Dushyant Dave. He said that Bhushan had once made the statement that Justices Chandrachud and Khanwilkar had been judges of the Bombay High Court and knew the judicial officers and might face a similar danger. Regarding this, the CJI said: “There are higher values that guide us.” He said serious attacks have been made on the two judges of the Bombay High Court. “We would not initiate investigation via criminal contempt of the lawyers…” The issue was heard in detail over several sessions by the bench, with depositions by senior lawyers. A probe, if ordered, would not only have opened old wounds, but would have put the current government in an uneasy position. The Loya case is three years old and was virtually forgotten till it was dug out by Caravan which had several in-depth interviews that apparently cast a long shadow on comments made by the judicial officers and judges after his death. Many of them had worked with Judge Loya. There were many unanswered questions—the timing, choice of hospital where Judge Loya was taken, the veracity of the ECG (if at all carried out), the judges’ comments… The bench questioned the fact that while four people (judges) were staying in one room at the Ravi Bhavan VIP guest house, Loya’s name not in the log of the guest house.…
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Opposition Move Against CJI: Impeachment Drama

Above: (L-R) Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal, CPI’s D Raja and lawyer KTS Tulsi at a press meet in Delhi on CJI’s impeachment/Photo: UNI Though seven parties have submitted a notice for Chief Justice Dipak Misra’s impeachment, what are its chances of succeeding?  ~By Sujit Bhar The Congress, along with six other opposition parties—the CPI(M), NCP, SP, CPI, BSP and IUML—submitted a notice for the impeachment of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra to Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on April 20. The TMC and the DMK, initially rooting for the impeach­ment, decided to stay out of the process. Several issues emerge from this action. First, the Congress-led move is destined to fail. While the constitutional requirement for an impeachment motion to move is 50 MPs, the petition shows 71 names, of which seven have retired. Hence, in effect, it will be a representation of 64 MPs. This is too small a number to even scratch the legislative-judicial surface. Secondly, the entire process is based on the principle that the CJI should allot cases as per merit, when he has been legally assigned as the master of the roster and his decisions on the administrative side of the Supreme Court are binding.…
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Opposition parties submit notice for CJI’s impeachment to Rajya Sabha chairman

Above: CJI Dipak Misra (file picture) The Congress along with six other opposition parties — CPI(M), NCP, SP, CPI, BSP and IUML — submitted a notice for impeachment of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra to the Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday, April 20. The Congress moved the notice for impeachment citing various grounds of misbehaviour by the CJI. Congress raised questions on the manner in which CJI has dealt with certain cases. It cited the January 12 press conference of four judges of Supreme Court saying: “When the judges of the Supreme Court themselves believe that the judiciary’s independence is at threat, alluding to the functioning of the office of the CJI, should the nation stand still and do nothing?” Congress said the parties had to move the notice with a “heavy heart” since CJI had not “asserted the independence of judiciary in the face of interference by the executive”. Some parties that signed the petition have backed out. Media reports quoting sources said Trinamool Congress and DMK, which were initially in favour of the impeachment, are no longer part of it. Though most of the Congress leaders favoured the impeachment notice, some criticised it vehemently.…
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Aadhaar linkages case: GOct counsel explains that no human rights issues will arise from Aadhaar data

The Supreme Court Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan resumed hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar Act and Aadhaar linkages on Thursday (April 19) with senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, speaking for the government. Justice Sikri said: “If there would be no conflict, there would be no courts.” Dwivedi said: “Parallely we witnessed we had slaves and in India too, we’re wrapped in the casteism. There are humans who were criminals and who were not. Those who were untouchables, were suffering double apartheid.” He also quoted Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, saying: “Development requires the removal of major sources of un-freedom, poverty as well as tyranny.” Referring to the ration card, Dwivedi submits: “I can directly go under the food act and switch from ration card to Aadhaar card. Adhaar card brings an individual face to face with the service provider. I think this is a very powerful advancement.” justice Chandrachud said: “I don’t think this is the best model of governance. An individual should not be a mode for benefits. Better alternatives are present.” Section 2(d) and 2(f) of the protection of human rights Act mentioned.…
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Centre’s decision of not making IPS appointments pursuant to Limited Competitive Examination held in 2012, valid

Supreme Court: Holding that the decision taken by the Union of India not to make appointments to the Indian Police Service (IPS) pursuant to the Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) which took place from 20.05.2012 to 22.05.2012, is legal and valid, the 3-judge bench of Madan B. Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Deepak Gupta, JJ said: “the decision to scrap the LCE recruitment has been taken in the larger public interest. The decision is definitely not mala fide. It is not actuated by extraneous reasons.” The reasons given the Government to support it’s decision were: percentage of vacancies has gone down; the selection process has been delayed by many years which will mean that the persons selected will be at least 5 years older than as expected; many petitions are still pending and the matter has not been finally decided, which could lead to further delay; and it is apprehended that there would be a surfeit of litigation between candidates, if any, appointed through LCE and those who are recruited by direct recruitment or promotion during the years 2012 to 2018. The Court noticed that it is the combined effect of all the grounds which will have to be taken into consideration. There is no manner of doubt that it was expected that the result would be declared in the year 2013 and the officers would be sent for training in the same year.…
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Supreme Court site allegedly hacked into

The Supreme Court website http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/ has been down for over an hour and-a-half now, almost immediately after the Judge Loya verdict was delivered this morning by the Chief Justice bench. Reports have been going around that the site has been hacked by unknown people with Brazilian origin. This is for the first time that the site is down during working hours, adding merit to the hacking theory. Initially a message: ‘hackeado por high tech Brazil hack team’ was showing. Now it shows ‘Site under maintenance’. – India Legal Bureau…
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NO PROBE SAYS TOP COURT: SC dismisses Judge Loya death case; says no merit, death was natural

Petition scandalous, says bench, stops short of issuing contempt notice The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud on Thursday (April 19), hearing the plea seeking independent probe into the mysterious death of Justice B H Loya who was handling the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case, ordered that there was no merit in the case and that the case was dismissed. The bench said that the death was a natural death and that there will be no probe. The court fell back on the statements of the judges who were with Judge Loya at his time of death and said: “We can’t doubt the statements of the judicial officers who were with Loya.” in his last hours. The court further added that the death was natural and unfortunate. Then he said: “Documents placed on record and their scrutiny establishes that Judge Loya’s death was due to ‘natural cause’.” Official records say that Judge Loya – the special CBI judge who was overseeing the investigation of the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was an accused – died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur in 2014. ON Thursday the CJI started reading his judgment and said: “All the three judges stayed in the same room.…
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Aadhaar linkages case: Dwivedi admits ‘Maybe the method is wrong, but it’s ultimately the matter of pride pertaining to the condition of recognition”

The Supreme Court Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan resumed hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar Act and Aadhaar linkages on Wednesday (April 18) with senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, speaking for the government. The Supreme Court Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan resumed hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar Act and Aadhaar linkages on Wednesday (April 18) with senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, speaking for the government. Dwivedi says that when it comes to authentication, 1:1 matching exists. However, for the other purposes, the matching ratio is 1:10. That is the way the algorithm is prepared. He also talks about three alternatives introduced under section 7. They are: Authenticate In an attempt of a failure, present the QR code present on the Aadhaar card In case not applied, the individual has to provide the EIN number. 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. If nothing is available, applying for Aadhaar is a must.…
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Interesting options come out in arguments regarding reservations in medical PG

Counsels from two sides on Wednesday (April 18) presented interesting options in the Tamil Nadu Medical Officers’ Association vs Union of India case before the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. In these writ petitions, regulation 9(IV) and (VII), after amendment dated 05.04.2018 – Regulation 9(4) and (8) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, as framed by the Medical Council of India, are under challenge. In this case, the court will examine the scope of power of state governments to legislate on the procedure of admission of candidates to Post Graduate Medical Courses and for provision of reservation for in-service candidates. Today the counsels said that regulation 9(4) and 9(8) of 2008 has to be told before the constitutional bench by the petitioners. Medical education falls under list 3 of the constitution i.e., concurrent list. The state cannot impose the admission and reservation quota solely, it was argued. The counsel for the petitioner further reads out paragraph 6 of the petition and his various contentions under this petition. He refers to 3-judges bench cases, having contradicting opinions. 50% people go for state quota. 25 out of 100 seats are reserved for in-service candidate.…
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Aadhaar linkages issue: We’re numbering human beings. This is exactly what Hitler did, says Govt. counsel

The Supreme Court Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan resumed hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar Act and Aadhaar linkages on Thursday (April 12) with senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, speaking for the government, beginning his submissions. He said Section 8(2)(b) of the Act- relates to consent. The requesting entity shall ensure that the information of an individual shall be used for the central repository. The information is strictly confined for the purposes of authentication process only. Hence, we are specifically restricted to authentication process. Both section 29(1) and page 4 of the Act deals with the same thing – no sharing of the core biometrics and accordingly, section 29(3) must be understood. Prior permission from the UIDAI is required to bring anyone onboard. Not anyone’s information shall be passed on. No possibility of surveillance. The DNA of the Aadhaar Act is the design, the narrative and the architecture of the Act. All that can be shared is demographic information and photograph, which is not a core biometric. Justice Chandrachud said: “We’re completely neutral on the authentication purpose. We’re now focusing on the requesting entity.” Dwivedi said: “No disclosure of any individual’s core biometrics is done.…
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