Supreme Court Round-Up for Oct 31

Important cases heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 31:

* The “opaque” electoral bonds scheme for funding political parties will “destroy democracy” as it promotes corruption and does not allow a level playing field between the ruling and opposition parties, the petitioners challenging the validity of the scheme told the SC which observed election funding was a “complicated issue”.

* SC sought a response from the Centre on former JNU student Umar Khalid’s plea challenging various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

* Noting that air pollution persists in the national capital despite several remedial steps having been taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), SC directed Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments to file affidavits enumerating measures initiated by them to control it.

* Saying that they showed a complete lack of knowledge of the law, SC strongly reprimanded three lawyers for drafting and filing a petition seeking to declare Articles 20 and 22 as ‘ultra vires’, or beyond the powers, of Part III of the Constitution.

* SC deferred till December 1 the hearing of the bail plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Pooja Singhal, an accused in a money laundering case.

* SC reserved its verdict on the plea by former BSP MP Afzal Ansari, seeking suspension of his conviction in a 2007 Gangster Act case.

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