Plea filed in Supreme Court seeking Direction to CBI to complete Investigation in 2 months

Mumbai resident Puneet Kaur has filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court, questioning the apparent silence on part of the Central Bureau of Investigation regarding the progress in its probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

The petition, filed by Kaur’s husband and advocate, Vineet Dhanda has prayed for issuance of Directions to the CBI to complete its probe in next two months and submit its report in the case.

Kaur’s plea says that almost four months have passed since the investigation was handed over to CBI, however CBI has not provided any details about the status of its probe.

The plea also prays that the Supreme Court must not allow the probe to be dragged on endlessly, and instead fix a time frame of further two months, to ensure, swift and fair investigation.

The petitioners further pray that CBI be directed to submit a report pertaining to the investigation in the concerned court as well as Supreme Court, stating The Central Bureau of Investigation is not acting responsible in the present case and there is a delay in the conclusion of the investigation of the case. Even in serious offences like murder the law stipulates filing of charge sheets in ninety days but in the present case the premium investigating agency has failed miserably in their role and the unnecessary delay in the present case is bringing bad name to the administration of justice not only in our country but across the globe.” 

The plea states that Supreme Court’s intervention is required in this matter, due to various conspiracy theories pertaining to the circumstances of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death are floating around in various social media platforms, and a quick and swift investigation is required to address the sufferings that these theories are causing to Rajput’s fans and near and dear ones.

Arguing that justice delayed is justice denied, the plea states that the manner in which the investigation of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has been conducted so far has caused a serious dent to image of CBI and Judiciary in the hearts of common man, and that a swift and impartial probe is needed to address the same.

Arnab Goswami moves Bombay HC; seeks stay on Investigation in Abetment to Suicide case

Republic Media’s Journalist, Arnab Goswami moved Bombay High Court today, seeking a stay on investigation in Anvay Naik’s abetment to suicide case.

Republic TV’s Chief Arnab Goswami filed an Interim Application before the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on filing of charge sheet and other proceedings in abetment to suicide case. Alternatively, he has prayed that if such a stay is not granted, then the investigation of the case be transferred to CBI or any other independent agency.

The matter has been listed for hearing in Bombay High Court on 10th December 2020.

Arnab Goswami has alleged that his arrest on 4th November was made with malafide intention and was bad in law and has used excerpts from the Supreme Court Judgement in his bail order to make his case.

He further stated that the malafide intent of the State Government is apparent from the fact that in a recent press conference on 29th November 2020, Maharashtra’s Home Minister Anil Deshmukh publicly declared that a strong charge sheet will be filed against Arnab Goswami soon. Goswami states that this reflects the vindictive nature of witch hunt against him. His plea states It is pertinent to mention that this shocking premeditated political declaration by Mr. Anil Deshmukh came at a news conference 12 hours after the Hon’ble Supreme Court delivered the said judgement dated 27th November 2020. The said statement and the corresponding investigation at the behest of the Home Department, State of Maharashtra, not only establishes the malicious and malafide intent guiding the overall investigation in the present case but also exposes the complete subversion of the Supreme Court order dated 27th November 2020,”

Goswami’s plea further states that allowing a charge sheet to be filed in this case after the Supreme Court’s observations in its 27th November judgement would be mockery of Supreme Court’s directions. The plea says Should such a chargesheet be filed only with malicious intent to stifle the means of justice and legal remedy available to the Petitioner and more importantly pending the final hearing of the present Writ Petition, it would be nothing but travesty of justice. Such an act if allowed would be a grotesque mockery of the directions and law as laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme court in its order dated 27 November 2020 or otherwise.” 

Goswami states that it is obvious from the conduct of the Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Mumbai Police that this case has been made to merely target him “for his news broadcasts criticizing the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Police.”

Therefore, based on above contentions, Goswami has pleaded that a stay be granted on all the proceedings pertaining to this case, including investigation and filing a charge sheet till Bombay High Court decides on his plea for quashing of the FIR filed against him.

PIL filed in the Supreme Court challenging Ordinance against Love Jihad

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Supreme Court today, challenging the new Law on Religious Conversions that were passed by the Governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The Laws were passed by the State of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand allegedly to prevent the menace of Love Jihad.

Lawyers Vishal Thakre, Abhay Singh Yadav and Pranvesh, practicing in Delhi, filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, challenging the Constitutional validity of the recently promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.

The main prayers of the PIL are that these laws in the name of preventing Love Jihad be declared as null and void because the disturb and violate the basic structure of the Constitution.  PIL also says that the ordinance passed by the State of UP and UK is against the public policy and society at large. The plea says that the Constitution of India has conferred upon the citizens, certain basic and fundamental rights which also includes the rights of minorities and other backward communities.

The PIL states This ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to falsely implicate anyone and there are probabilities of falsely implicating persons who are not involved in any such acts (contemplated under the ordinance) and it will result in grave injustice.”

The Petition was filed by Advocate Sanjeev Malhotra and states that the founding fathers of the Constitution intended it to be an adaptable document and not a rigid framework for Governance. The plea reads They wanted it to be a flexible document which can adjust or adapt itself according to the changing situations.”

The Petitioner further states that this ordinance will leave the common citizen exposed to misuse by certain elements of the society, who may use it to falsely implicate people. The plea says that the ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to use this ordinance to falsely implicate anyone in this ordinance and there are probabilities of falsely implicate persons who are not involved in any such acts and it will be a grave injustice if this ordinance is passed”.

The petition also argued that implementation of these laws will therefore harm the public at large and will create a chaotic situation in the society.

Therefore, the plea seeks directions from the court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to declare the provisions of the ordinances to be Ultra Vires. The PIL has also sought issuance of directions to the Centre and States, directing them not to give effect to the impugned provisions and ordinances and withdraw the same or in the alternative, modify the said bills to make them intra vires of Constitution.

The Ordinance passed by UP Government which came into effect last week of November specifically criminalizes the act of conversion by marriage.

Several legal experts have spoken out against the ordinances, saying that the ordinances are bad in law, and that these ordinances infringe on rights of the citizens in matters or marriage and religion.

Mumbai Court lifts Bail Condition: Allows accused Sameet Thakkar to operate his Twitter Account.

A Metropolitan Magistrate Court, at Girgaon, granted relaxation in one of the bail conditions to accused Sameet Thakkar who was arrested and later enlarged on bail on charges of having made allegedly objectionable tweets against Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and his son Aditya Thackeray.

Thakkar was granted bail on 10th November, and one of the conditions to his bail was restraining him from operating his twitter account. The arrest was made in connection to an FIR filed at VP Road Police Station, in Mumbai.

Thakkar’s lawyer made an application for relaxation of this bail condition and argued that such a condition affects and infringes on Thakkar’s Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech. His counsel further argued that if this condition is not relaxed, it would cause a lot of hardship to the accused applicant. He also relied upon the decisions of the Supreme Court in this matter, citing Dattaram Singh v/s State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr and Rajib Sharma v/s State of West Bengal & Ors.

The application for relaxation was vehemently opposed by the Additional Public Prosecutor on the grounds that such a relaxation would be detrimental to Prosecution’s case as the Investigation has not been concluded as yet.

The Court however brushed aside this objection and observed that the alleged tweets on which the complaint was based was already in the possession of the Prosecution and hence relaxation of bail condition would cause no prejudice to it. The Court observed “If considered the nature of offence, date of passing the bail order, i.e. 10.11.2020 and the present date, I am of the view that no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if the prayer made by the accused for relaxing the condition which restrain him from operating his Twitter account till further order is relax because the alleged evidence on the basis of it the crime against the accused was registered is with the prosecution.”

Thus, ACMM Nerlikar accepted the arguments of the applicant and relaxed the bail condition.

The complaint against Thakkar was filed on 1st July 2020, by Nitin Tiwari, a Shiv Sena Member, alleging that Thakkar posted objectionable tweets against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. A second complaint was also filed against the petitioner for the same offence at VP Road Police Station, Mumbai, by Dharmenda Mishra, another Shiv Sena Functionary. A third complaint was filed at BKC’s Cyber Cell, Mumbai. All FIR’s were registered under IPC and IT Act.  Thakkar was subsequently granted bail in all the cases.

 

Supreme Court expresses ire as a lawyer appears shirtless before the court through Video Conferencing!

The Supreme Court, today, expressed its ire and dissatisfaction towards a lawyer, who appeared shirtless before it, through video conferencing.

Justice L Nageshwar Rao berated and expressed dissatisfaction at the counsel for his reckless conduct.

In October, Justice D Y Chandrachud had similarly reprimanded another lawyer who had approached shirtless before it.

Today, Justice Nageshwar Rao stated “What is this behaviour? Even after 8 months now, you are so reckless?”

Justice L Nageshwar Rao, along with Justice Hemant Gupta were hearing a suo moto case relating to spread of Covid-19 in Child protection homes, through video conferencing, when this incident occurred.

The Supreme Court had reprimanded another lawyer in June 2020, who had appeared before it via video conferencing, while wearing a t-shirt and lying on his bed. The lawyer had later expressed regret and tendered his unconditional apology which the Supreme Court had accepted.

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