Prolawctor Daily Legal News Update|20 August 2020

Daily Legal News Update

  1. Prashant Bhushan files application in SC- Requests the court to postpone tomorrow’s hearing.

Activist Advocate Prashant Bhushan was held guilty for contempt of court by the Apex court. On August 14 he was held guilty and Court adjourned the hearing of his quantum of sentence to August 20. Today an application was submitted by Bhushan to SC seeking deferment on his hearing tomorrow.

Advocate Bhushan has been held guilty for his derogatory tweets about the judiciary which were of a criticising nature and court Suo motto took action against him and held him guilty of criminal contempt of court. To this Bhushan mentioned in his previous hearing of case of 2009 that he would be filing a review petition against the order dated 14th August. In his application made today, he has requested the court to defer his hearing tomorrow which is in relation to the quantum of sentence and has mentioned that he wishes to file a review petition against the order convicting him for contempt and also mentions that the petition will be filed within the statutory period of 30 days.

In his Application Bhushan has also thrown light on his fundamental right which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.In his words, “The fact that there is no appeal against an order of this Hon’ble Court makes it doubly necessary that it takes the utmost precaution to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done”.

Hence Bhushan requests the court to put off tomorrow’s hearing of sentencing untill the review petition is filed and considered. Also if the court proceeds to hear the matyer tomorrow and award the quantum of sentence then the same shall be stayed till the order is pronounced in relation to the review petition.

  • Use of the Aarogya Setu App is completely voluntary for travel in air or by rail:

Many at times the Aarogya Setu app comes to the discussion that this app collects and store the personal details and data of the user. Again this case came before the Karnataka High court whether the passengers’ use of the Aarogya Setu app should be optional or mandatory while travelling in air or by railway.

It was observed by the Karnataka high court that-

“This court is not concerned whether Aarogya setu app is good or bad and nature and extent of the services available to those who use the app. The issue at this stage is whether state or its agencies and instrumentalities can make downloading of Aarogya Setu app mandatory to enable citizens to avail services”.

So, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd and AAI said that they have made use of the App optional for the passenger.

  • Intra court appeal for suo moto contempt verdict:

According to The Contempt of courts Act, 1971; section 19 mentioned that an intra- court appeal is provided where the order is passed by the single Judge of the high court and in case it is by the divisional Bench, appeal lies to the Supreme Court of India.

Kurian Joseph, the former Supreme Court  judge said that the court must examine whether there should be a mechanism for an intra court appeal against suo moto contempt verdicts of the top court “since in all other situations of conviction in criminal matters, the convicted person is entitled to have another opportunity of appeal.

Under the article 145 of our Indian Constitution, there shall be a quorum of minimum five judges for deciding the cases which involves the substantial questions of the law for the interpretations of the constitution.

  • A seven judge committee decided upon setting up 3 courtrooms for experimenting physical hearings

The committee led by Justice NV Ramana, proposed to set up three court rooms for the purpose of holding hearings on physical basis, further the committee suggested to list the case 10 days prior to the hearing. These hearings would be conducted by strictly adhering to “prescribed distancing and other norms”, such a hearing would only take place once the parties have consented to a physical hearing. However, the pilot test would be conducted after two weeks and the final decision would be based upon the result of the test run.

  • A contempt Petition has been moved up against Swara Bhasker by a Pro-BJP Activists.

Bollywood actress, Swara Bhasker, who has been vocal at critiquing policies formulated by the central government has now been subjected to a contempt petition which has been moved by advocate Anuj Saxena, Prakash Sharma & Mahek Maheshwari, pleading that the comments made by Swara Bhasker during the conference ‘artists against communalism’ have salacious and scandalous undertones which malign the reputation of the apex court. Invoking Contempts of Courts Act, 1971 section 15 which is read along with “Contempt proceedings of the Supreme Court, 1975” rule 3, the petition filed cites the speech delivered by Swara at the conference which states that “courts are not sure if they believe in the constitution”, the petition further highlighted that “The alleged contemner (Bhaskar) statements intends to incite feeling of no-confidence amongst the public with respect to the proceedings of the Hon’ble Court and integrity of the Hon’ble Judges of the Apex Court of India”.

  • SC moved the death case of Sushant Singh Rajput to CBI

Sushant Singh Rajput was a talented actor whose death became a mystery. His family, friends and many raised questions on his death and requested the court to move the case to CBI for further investigation. The court approved the ongoing CBI investigation. The judgement came on a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty in which she mentioned she has no problem if the case is hand overed CBI under article 142 of the constitution.

  • Karnataka Government moves to HC for recovery of loses

A riot has been initiated by the people on Aug 11 when a congress leader posted an offensive comment on Muslims in facebook in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits. The state government has filed an application in HC to recover damages and award compensation for the mass destruction of public and private property as in 2009, the SC has passed an order to take a suo motu case by HC to recover damages and award compensation to the persons who are cause of the mass destruction. The court will hear the appeal on August 20.

  • AGR case- Supreme Court resumes hearing today.

The matter in relation to the AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues payment is currently being heard by a three judge bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice M.R. Shah of Apex Court. Today the Court resumed the hearing which had been adjourned yesterday.

Senior Counsel Harish Salve appearing on behalf of Reliance Jio has submitted his arguments today. It was mentioned by Salve today that spectrum is owned only by the Union of India and not anyone else and the telecommunication Companies are just possessing their right over spectrum. Since they are using the spectrum, they are liable to pay the usage charges which is been paid by Reliance Jio and that was stated by Salve in yesterday’s hearing.

Today the court expressed that telcos do not own the spectrum so they do not have the right to sell it. To this Salve answered that spectrum only belongs to the government as a trust and the telcos do not become the trustees, it was further mentioned by Salve that spectrum is considered as an asset and the right to use it is the concessional right and is very useful which is assigned to the Telcos by way of contract and they are strictly abided by the contract. Salve also points out that whether spectrum can be sold would be a premature question. It was further stated that selling of spectrum can only take place if the Department of Telecommunications permit it.

And by stating all these points senior Counsel Harish Salve has submitted all his arguments before the Apex Court and the court has adjourned the matter till tomorrow afternoon.

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