ISSUE - I FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14


VOX IURA LEGAL CURRENT AFFAIRS MAGAZINE-
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1. SC TO HEAR PLEA AGAINST 69% QUOTA IN TN

Background:

The Tamil Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions and of appointments or posts in the Services under the State) Act, 1993 is the State Law in question. It is protected from judicial review under the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Section 4 of the Act provides 30% reservation to the BCs, 20% for MBCs and de-notified communities, 18% for SCs and 1% for STs, totaling to 69%.

Current plea:

A Supreme Court bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar decided to hear a petition which challenges the constitutionality of a TN State Law giving 69% reservation in Education and Employment. The SC would hear arguments whether the case should be referred to a 5-judge Constitution Bench scheduled to hear pleas questioning the validity of Maratha reservation law. Both the laws cross the 50% ceiling prescribed by a Constitution bench in the Indira Sawhney judgment.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, who represents Tamil Nadu, said that factual variations contributing to the grant of reservation need to be reckoned differently for different States while deciding the question on its validity.


2. RIGHT TO PROTEST CANNOT BE ANY TIME AND EVERYWHERE"; SUPREME COURT DISMISSES REVIEW PETITION AGAINST 'SHAHEENBAGH' JUDGMENT

Case :Kaniz Fatima &Ors. Vs. Commissioner Of Police &Ors..

The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition filed against the Shaheen Bagh Judgment in which it is held that the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone. Dismissing the review petition Justices Sanjay KishanKaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari held that the right to protest cannot be anytime and everywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of prolonged dissent or protest, there cannot be continued occupation of public place affecting rights of others. The SC reiterated the Right to Peaceful protest and added that it comes up with an obligation.


3. INTER-CASTE MARRIAGES THE WAY FORWARD TO REDUCE COMMUNAL TENSIONS: SUPREME COURT

Case Name: Laxmibai Chandaragi B &Anr v. The State of Karnataka & Ors.,

Courts have been coming to the aid of youngsters marrying beyond community norms, says Bench

“Educated younger boys and girls are choosing their life partners which in turn is a departure from the earlier norms of society where caste and community play a major role. Possibly, this is the way forward where caste and community tensions will reduce by such intermarriages,” a Bench led by Justice Sanjay KishanKaul said in a recent verdict.

Justice Kaul quoted B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste, in which the ‘Father of the Constitution’ said, “I am convinced that the real remedy is intermarriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount, the separatist feeling—the feeling of being aliens—created by caste will not vanish”.

Even as more and more cases challenging religious conversion laws enacted by several States reach the Supreme Court, Justice Kaul observed in the judgment on February 8 that “consent of the family or community or clan is not necessary once the two adult individuals agree to enter into a wedlock and that their consent has to be piously given primacy”.

He said that the younger generation that chooses to marry beyond the norms of caste and community was facing threats from elders.

Fundamental right (Article – 21)

The Bench, also comprising Justice Hrishikesh Roy, referred to the Hadiya case and the Constitution Bench judgment in which privacy was declared a fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution.

“Intimacies of marriage lie within a core zone of privacy,” Justice Kaul reproduced the core of the Hadiya case judgment.

“The choice of an individual is an inextricable part of dignity, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice. Such a right or choice is not expected to succumb to the concept of ‘class honour’ or ‘group thinking’,” the Supreme Court held.

The judgment came in a case filed by a lecturer, an MBA graduate who fled from Bengaluru to Delhi to marry a man, an MTech and also an assistant professor.

The investigating officer, on a complaint filed by her relatives, directed her to leave her husband and be present at the police station. She refused, saying they were legally married and it was her choice to do so.

The court quashed the case against the couple and directed the police authorities to not only counsel the investigating officers but device a training programme to deal with such cases for the benefit of the police personnel.

“We expect the police authorities to take action on this behalf in the next eight weeks to lay down some guidelines and training programmes how to handle such socially sensitive cases,” the Supreme Court ordered.


4. DEFAULT BAIL PERIOD OF 90/60DAYS WILL COMMENCE FROM DATE OF REMAND ONLY, NOT FROM ANY "UNLAWFUL CUSTODY " PRIOR TO IT : BOMBAY HC

The time spent in "unlawful custody" cannot be included while computing the 90days period prescribed for grant of bail under section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Bombay High Court held.

The bench relied on the decision of Chaganti Satyanarayanan and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh where the Supreme Court held that the period of 90 days or 60 days will commence running only from the date of remand and not from any anterior date inspite of the fact that the accused may have been taken into custody earlier by a police officer and deprived of his liberty.

5. BREACH OF PRIVILEGE

Context:BJP MP P.P. Chaudhary has issued a breach of privilege notice against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra in the Lok Sabha for her remarks against a former Chief Justice of India.

What’s the issue?

While speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, she has cast some aspersions with respect to the conduct of a judge. So the question is whether the conduct of a judge can be discussed on the floor of the House or not (Article 121 of the Constitution does not allow allegations to be levelled against a sitting or former judge).

What are privileges?

Parliamentary privilege refers to the right and immunity enjoyed by legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties.

Which provisions of the Constitution protect the privileges of the legislature?

The powers, privileges and immunities of either House of the Indian Parliament and State legislatures are laid down in Article 105 and Article 194 of the Constitution respectively.

What is the procedure to be followed in cases of alleged breach of the legislature’s privilege?

The Legislative Assembly Speaker or Legislative Council Chairman constitutes a Privileges Committee.The members to the committee are nominated based on the party strength in the Houses.Speaker or Chairman first decides on the motions.If the privilege and contempt are found prima facie, then the Speaker or Chairman will forward it to the Privileges Committee by following the due procedure.The Committee will examine whether statements made by him had insulted the state legislature and its Members, and whether their image was maligned before the public.The Committee, which has quasi-judicial powers, will seek an explanation from all the concerned, will conduct an inquiry and will make a recommendation based on the findings to the state legislature for its consideration.


6. PARLIAMENT CLEARS THE MAJOR PORT AUTHORITIES BILL, 2020:

This bill seeks to replace the Major Port Trust Act, 1963 and provides the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.

Composition of Board: The Board will comprise of:

a. Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson - both appointed by the Central government on the recommendation of a selection committee.

b. Further include one member from:

i. Respective state governments

ii. Railways Ministry

iii. Defence Ministry

iv. Customs Department.

c. Two to four independent members.

d. two members representing the interests of the employees of the Major Port Authority.

Further, the bill includes the powers of the board and also imposes a fine of up to one lakh rupees for contravening the provisions of the act. The Minister of State for Shipping insisted that the Bill does not seek to privatize ports rather aims to strengthen all major ports so that they can compete with the existing private ports.


7. Centre Introduces New Tribunal Bill: Seeks To Override Sc Rulings On Minimum Tenure Of Tribunal Members

The new Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Service Conditions) Bill, 2020 introduced by the Central Government in LokSabha has sought to override court judgments regarding the service length of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and members of tribunals. While the Supreme Court in Madras Bar Association v. Union of India & in Rojer Mathew v. South Indian Bank has mandated that the minimum tenure of Chairperson and members of tribunal should be 5 years, the Central Government has sought to restrict it to 4 years. The Bill seeks to insert a new provision, sub-section (11) in Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 which makes it expressly clear that the provision takes precedence over any judgment or order of any court.


CLAT Questions


1. The Source of power of the Supreme Court to take suo-motucognizance of Contempt of the Court has been provided under which of the following?

a) Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

b) Article 129 r/w Section 13 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

c) Article 129

d) Article 129 r/w Article 141


2. Which of the following could be a valid defense for the contemnor in a contempt proceeding against him?

a) Statements are bona-fide fair criticism without attributing motives to the judges.

b) Statements are the personal opinion of the person and do not have the capacity to influence the thinking of public at large.

c) Statements are based on the quotes from retired judges of the Supreme Court.

d) Statements are a mere opinion which does not fall under the category of the term scandalizing the court.


3. In which of the following cases, the apex court held that, ―Contempt jurisdiction should not be used by judges to uphold their own dignity. In the free market-place of ideas, criticism about the judicial system or the judges should be welcomed, so long as criticisms do not impair or hamper the „administration of justice‘.?

a) Amicus Curiae v. PrashantBhushan

b) P.N. Duda v. V. P. Shivshankar

c) A.K. Gopalan v. Noordeen

d) Hari Singh Nagra v. KapilSibal




4. A comparison of the Freedom of Speech and Expression between the text of Constitution of India and the U.S. Constitution may lead to many conclusions. Which of the following is not a conclusion of such a comparison?

a) The U.S. Constitution expressly mentions about the Freedom of Press but does not mention about the Freedom of Expression.

b) The Freedom of Press though not expressly mentioned under Article 19 (1) (a), it is implicit under the Freedom of Speech.

c) The idea of Freedom of Speech and Expression is much broader in India as compared to that in the U.S. Constitution.

d) The Freedom of Speech and Expression under both the constitutions is identical in terms of its extent.



5. Which of the following case is not related to the Contempt of Court as a restriction to the Freedom of Speech and Expression enshrined under Article 19 (1) (a)?

a) In Re Arundhati Roy, (2002) 3 SCC 343.

b) Hari Singh Nagra v. KapilSibal, AIR 2010 SC 55.

c) In Re Harijai Singh, (1996) 6 SCC 466.

d) SubramaniamSwamy v. UOI, (2016) 7 SCC 221.


JUDICIAL SERVICE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS


1. Which of the following is true with respect to 'Right to be Forgotten' in IndianContext?

Statement No.I : The Karnataka High Court, in a judgment, recently has approved the 'Right to be Forgotten' in Indian context.

StatementNo. II: It allows offenders to object to the publication of information regarding their crime and conviction.

Statement No. III: The origin of this right can be traced back to the French jurisprudence on the 'right to oblivion'.

Statement No.IV: The "Right to be Forgotten" can be inferred from the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 (amended in 2008) as well as from the IT Rules, 2011.

(A) I and II

(B) I, II, III

(C) I, II, IV

(D) All the above

2. By considering shortage of Labour for agricultural purpose, the state government enacted a law to prohibit engagement of agricultural labour in the manufacture of bids. Choose most appropriate response on the constitutional validity of the law?

a) Since labours would not be available for agricultural purposes there can be shortage of food grains and wastage of crops. Hence it is a reasonable restriction.

b) The object sought to be achieved to keep sufficient Labour supply for agricultural purpose, which could have been easily achieved by restraining agricultural labour in bidi manufacturing during agricultural season only. Absolute rest amounts to withdrawal of the right. Hence, the law is unconstitutional.

c) Law imposes an unreasonable restriction as it indirectly makes the two sectors (manufacture of bids and agriculture) alternative options for labourers where as some people would like to work in both of these.

d) Bids are harmful for health of people. Hence any law preventing people from engaging in manufacture of bids is in the interest of public.


3. The pardoning power given to the president of India under Article 72 of the constitution of India can be exercised

a) After the trial and on conviction and award of sentence.

b) During or after trial but never before the trial.

c) At any time of during or after the trial.

d) Either before or after the trial but never during the trial.


4. Identify the ground that is not available to proclaim emergency under Article 352 of Indian Constitution.

a) Armed rebellion

b) War

c) External aggression

d) Internal disturbance


5. Which one of the following statements is about the meaning of the "eminent domain"under the Constitution of India is correct?

Statement No. 1: Sovereign power of the state to acquire private property of an individual for public purposes after paying compensation.

Statement No.2: Power of the state to arrest an individual

Statement No. 3: Power of the state for requisition.


(A) Statements 2 and 3 are correct

(B) Statement 3 alone is correct

(C) Statement 1 alone is correct

(D) Statement 2 alone is correct


ANSWERS

CLAT

1. (C)

2. (A)

3. (B)

4. (C)

5. (D)


JUDICIAL SERVICE EXAMINATION

1. (B)

Reason:

The right to be forgotten is the right to have private information about a person to be removed from Internet searches and other directories under some circumstances. The concept has been discussed and put into practice in both the European Union and in Argentina since 2006.

The right to be forgotten empowers individuals to ask organisations to delete their personal data.

It is provided by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law passed by the 28-member bloc in 2018.

In Sri Vasunathanvs The Registrar, the Karnataka High Court in it’sjudgement and order has dealt with the “right to be forgotten” on the internet in India.

Right to be forgotten is in sync with the right to privacy, which was hailed by the Supreme Court as an integral part of Article 21 (right to life) of the constitution in Puttaswamyjudgement 2017.

2. ( B)

The object sought to be achieved to keep sufficient Labour supply for agricultural purpose, which could have been easily achieved by restraining agricultural labour in bidi manufacturing during agricultural season only. Absolute rest amounts to withdrawal of the right. Hence, the law is unconstitutional.

Relevant provision:

Articles 19(1)(g): to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Article 19(6) the state may Impose reasonable restrictions upon the freedom of trade, business, occupation or profession in the interest of the general public.

In Chintamanrao .v State of M.P, law authorised the Government to prohibit all persons residing in certain areas from engaging themselves in the manufacture of bidi during the agricultural season. The object of the law was to provide adequate labour for agricultural purposes in bidi-making areas.The Act is much in excess of the object which the law seeks to achieve. It not only compels those who are engaged in agricultural work from taking other vocation but also prohibits persons such as infirm, disabled, old women and children incapable of working as agricultural labourers from engaging themselves in the business of bidi-making and thus earning their livelihood, hence it was arbitrary and wholly unreasonable. So Supreme Court held that such a provision is void, as it violates Art 19(1) (g), since a total prohibition of the manufacture imposes an unreasonable and excessive restriction on the lawful profession of manufacturing bidis.


3. (A)

Conditions to give pardon:

According to Article 72(1) of the constitution, the president shall have the power to grand pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend remit or to commute the sentence of any person CONVICTED.

Cases in which the president can give pardon:

1) All cases where the punishment or sentence is given by a Court Martial

2) All cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to amatter to which the executive power of the Union extends;

3) In all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death

Some important points:

Article 161 deals with pardoning power Of Governor, it differ with president in two ways,

i. The power of the president to grant pardon extends in cases where the Punishment by a Court Martial, but Art.161 does not provide any such power to Governor.

ii. Pardoning power of Governor does not extend to where the sentence is death sentence.

The power of pardoning is executed by President on the advice of council of ministers.

In EpuruSudhakar Case, the SC has given a small window for Judicial Review of pardoning power for the purpose of ruling out any arbitrariness.


4. (D)

Reason:

Grounds for Proclaim Emergency under Art.352,


· War

· External aggression

· Internal rebellion

Art.352 provides that if the president is satisfied on the ground that security of India or part of it is threatened by war or outside aggression or armed rebellion, he can issue a proclamation of emergency.

The term “armed rebellion” was inserted by 44th amendment 1978. Prior to 44th amendment one of the ground on which emergency could be declared under Article 352(1) was 'Internal disturbance' were vague and wide discretion to the executive to declare emergency.

Such an emergency was declared on the ground of “Internal disturbance” by Indira Gandhi in 1962.

In Minerva mills Case (1980), the SC held that National Emergency can be challenged in the court on the ground of malafide or absurd or irrelevant grounds.




5. (C)

Reason:

Article 300-A provides that "no person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law".

The Constitution 44th (Amendment) Act, 1978 added 'Right to Property' as a new Chapter 4 in Part 12 of the Constitution which has a single Article 300A.

The law providing deprivation of property under Article 300A must be "just, fair and reasonable".

In JilubhaiNanbhaiKhachar v State of Gujarat, it has been held that the right to property guaranteed by Art. 300A is not a basic feature of Constitution. It is only a constitutional right.

Doctrine of Eminent Domain means the power of King or the Government to deprive the property of an individual this also includes the private property of a person at the interest of general public. Nevertheless, the King or the Government can acquire the property only after paying a reasonable compensation to the affected families.

In CharanjitLal v Union of India, it was held that every Government has an inherent right to take and appropriate the private property belonging to individual citizen for public use.

The right rests upon the famous maxims--

(I) Saluspopuliestsuperemalex--which means that the welfare of the people or public is the paramount law

(II) Necessita public major est quam--which means public necessity is greater than private.


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