Supreme Court Round-Up for July 17

Important cases heard by the Supreme Court on Monday, July 17:

* SC hinted that it was contemplating referring to a constitution bench for adjudication the Delhi government’s petition against the Centre’s recent ordinance on control of services.

* Amid differences over appointment of the new DERC chairperson, SC asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena to discuss the names of former judges who could head the national capital’s power regulator, saying the two constitutional functionaries have to rise above “political bickering”.

* SC fixed August 7 for the start of the final hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the remission granted last year to all the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

* SC dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Centre to ensure that the Vande Bharat train stops at Tirur railway station in Kerala, saying the matter falls under the policy domain of the government. * SC sought the response of the Election Commission of India to a plea by an NGO seeking cross verification by the voters of votes cast by them as “counted as recorded” in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

* SC sought the response of the Assam government and others on a plea against an order of the Gauhati High Court which dismissed a PIL on a series of police encounters since Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma assumed power in May 2021.

* Preventing courts from functioning is “not acceptable”, SC said, and asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to file an affidavit setting forth what action has been taken when bar associations have called for strike in the last one year.

* SC said it will hear on July 21 the West Bengal government’s petition challenging the Calcutta High Court order handing over the probe of incidents of violence during Ram Navami celebrations in the state to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

* SC extended its interim stay on proceedings against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a case lodged against him for allegedly making objectionable remarks against the BJP and Congress in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign.

* SC asked the Manipur government to raise its grievance before the high court with regard to an earlier order passed by HC on limited restoration of the internet in the state.

* SC extended by four weeks the protection from arrest it has granted to a woman lawyer in connection with an FIR lodged by Manipur police over alleged utterances of the members of a fact-finding mission to the strife-torn state she was part of.

* SC directed the Centre to appoint nine shortlisted candidates as presiding officers of industrial tribunals by August 31, after it was told the names were cleared by a panel headed by an apex court judge recently.

* SC dismissed a petition seeking action against stand-up comedian Anubhav Singh Bassi for allegedly humiliating lawyers and the judicial system on his show ‘Bas Kar Bassi’.

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