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SC asks Bharti’s wife if she wants to resolve issues

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Lipika Mitra, the estranged wife of former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti whether she was inclined to join mediation efforts as offered by her husband to resolve all issues between them.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy issued a notice, asking Lipika to respond by Monday as it fixed the next hearing for 10:30 AM on October 5.

The court declined, for now, the plea by Somnath Bharti for interim bail. However, the court indicated that it may consider the plea for interim bail on Monday.

“We always keep our mind open. Not only mind, but even the heart,” Chief Justice Dattu said as senior counsel Gopal Subramanium appearing for Bharti told the court to keep their mind “open to consider the plea at a later stage on Monday”.

“We have other powers. Under Article 142, we can grant bail here itself,” Chief Justice Dattu told Subramanium as he recounted the sequence of events from September 28 when the court asked Aam Aadmi Party legislator Somnath Bharti to first surrender as police were seeking his custody.

Subramanium wondered if such a course on part of police was warranted when the apex court was seized of the matter and the same was listed for hearing today (Thursday). He said that contrary to the apex court guidelines, Bharti was not allowed to access his lawyer and was shifted from one police station to another after he surrendered.

In the course of the hearing, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Delhi Police opposed the interim bail plea to Bharti, saying that the original plea for anticipatory bail had become infructuous after Bharti’s surrender and remand in police custody.

“This is a complete derogation of the authority of this court (apex court) for trial court to grant his police custody” and “it surprises me”, Subramanium told the court, pointing out that the former Delhi law minister was cooperating with the police investigation.

Apparently piqued by Rohatgi opposing his plea, Subramanium wondered over the Attorney General’s appearance in a matter relating to an anticipatory bail.

(IANS)

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Supreme Court to hear Pleas challenging Article 35A after Diwali, which talks about Special Rights and privileges of Permanent Residents of Jammu and Kashmir

Article 35A talks about special rights and privileges given to only permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir

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The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia
  • The plea said that the special status which people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys should be canceled
  • In 1954 by a Presidential Order, Article 35A was added to the Indian Constitution
  • The Plea has also challenged a particular provision of the Constitution which denies the right over the property to a woman who marries someone who is from outside the state 

New Delhi (India), August 25, 2017: After Diwali, the Supreme Court of India will hear pleas which challenge the Article 35A, the article talks about special rights and privileges given to people who are permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Supposedly, the date decided for the hearing of pleas was August 29 but both the Centre and state government of Jammu and Kashmir wanted 4 weeks’ time in order to file their replies respectively, due to this reason the hearing has been postponed to a later date.

The plea said that the special status which people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys should be canceled.

The Supreme Court was earlier in favor of hearing the case by a constitution bench consisting of 5 judges if the Article 35A is ultra vires (beyond one’s legal power or authority) of the Indian Constitution or if there is any sort of procedural lapse (defective execution of work).

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The meaning of Article 35A as per Constitution is that the article gives the right to the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to call them permanent residents of that state and also give those (permanent residents) some special rights and privileges whereas by article 370 a special status is given to the state- Jammu and Kashmir.

In 1954 by a Presidential Order, Article 35A was added to the Indian Constitution. According to ANI report, “It also empowers the state’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.” This is the kind of power that this Article holds.

This Article was dragged into controversy after a 2nd plea, was filed by a lawyer and former member of the National Commission for Women Charu Wali Khanna. In her plea, she challenged Article 35A of the Indian Constitution and also Section 6 (talks of permanent residents of the state) of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.

Also Read: Long pending injustice to Muslim Women! Supreme Court Hearing in India to Decide Validity of Muslim Divorce Practice “Triple Talaq”

The Plea has also challenged a particular provision of the Constitution which denies the right over the property to a woman who marries someone who is from outside the state. This provision which leads the woman to lose rights over property is also applied to her son.


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Supreme Court seeks Time Frame for bringing a bill, which will Allow NRI Voting from the Overseas

The bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud sought to know the time frame after Attorney General K.K.Venugopal told court that a Team of Ministers (ToM) have recommended such an amendment

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Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia
  • The Supreme Court sought to know from the time it would require for bringing a bill allowing NRIs vote from their overseas locations
  • The bench sought to know why the government was taking a cumbersome route of amending the electoral act
  • In the last hearing on the matter, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had contended that the modalities of NRI voting can be done by amending the Rules and would not require amending the law

New Delhi, July 21, 2017: The Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from the Central government the time it would require for bringing a bill amending the Representation of People Act to allowing NRIs vote from their overseas locations.

The bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud sought to know the time frame after Attorney General K.K.Venugopal told the court that a Team of Ministers (ToM) have recommended such an amendment.

The Team of Ministers in their meeting on July 20, 2017, have decided that to “facilitate external modes of voting to the overseas electors, an amendment to the Representation of People Act, 1951 would be required by way of introduction of a Bill in Parliament”, the bench was told.

At this, the bench sought to know why the government was taking a cumbersome route of amending the electoral act when same could be achieved by amending the rules.

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The top court, in the last hearing of the matter, had asked the Central government to take a call whether it wanted to amend the Act or the Rules to decide on the modalities of the NRI voting from abroad.

In the last hearing of the matter, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for one of the petitioners, had contended that the modalities of NRI voting can be done by amending the Rules and would not require amending the law.

Appearing for the Election Commission, senior counsel Meenakshi Arora told the bench that by amending the rules, that they can put in place modalities of voting by the overseas electors, but it was necessary to amend the law to create an exception for overseas voters. (IANS)


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Eight Antique Diamonds Missing from the Idol in Padmanabhaswamy Temple

This is the second theft to be reported from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in 10 months

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Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple witnesses second theft in the same year
Eight antique diamonds missing from Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. Wikimedia Commons
  • Eight antique diamonds of an idol at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple have been missing
  • The crime branch of Kerala police is investigating the theft
  • A petition has been asked for the formation of a separate body for the management of the temple

Kerala, July 13, 2017: Eight antique diamonds of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy idol, in the eponymous temple in Thiruvananthapuram, have been missing and the alleged theft is being investigated by the crime branch of the Kerala police, the amicus curiae reported to the Supreme Court.

The issue was raised before a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud by senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is assisting as an amicus curiae in the matter. Gopal Subramanium informed the Supreme Court about the role of the missing diamonds as an important part of the daily rituals.

10 months ago, a special audit report by Vinod Rai committee discovered that gold worth Rs 189 crore had mysteriously disappeared from the temple’s cellars. Asked by the court to audit the temple’s famed treasures, Rai said 769 gold pots were missing. Questions over the management of the temple dedicated to Lord Padmanabha have been raised.

ALSO READ: Women can now Wear Churidars to Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala. 

Subramanium told the apex court that KN Satheesh, the temple’s outgoing executive officer, reported about the missing diamonds, which according to the report, were kept in cellars near the sanctum sanctorum, in May 2017. The stones are officially valued at over Rs 21 lakh, however, Subramanium believes they were worth much more owing to their antiquity.

“The missing diamonds” were first mentioned in August 2015, the amicus came to know while checking the temple treasurer records. The same case was reported again by a priest in March 2017 and a FIR was registered in August in regard to the same.

ALSO READ: Kerala has Temples Dedicated to Mahabharata’s most loved Villains: Shakuni and Duryodhana.

The amicus highlighted that the Administrative Committee never pressed for an in-depth inquiry into the case of the missing stones and, instead, used “vague expressions” in order to convince that the diamonds were only “damaged”, and not lost.

A petition has been asked in the Supreme Court in favor of the formation of a separate body for the management of the temple, as its riches were being plundered.

The sprawling temple was rebuilt in its present form in the 18th century by the Travancore Royal House which ruled southern Kerala and some adjoining parts of Tamil Nadu before integration of the princely state with the Indian Union in 1947.

-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter: goel_samiksha