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7 most talked about judgments by Supreme Court in 2015

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By Harshmeet Singh

The year 2015 can be rightly termed as the ‘year of judicial activism.’ With the Parliament facing disruptions all through the year, it was the Supreme Court that assumed the leading role in driving the country forward.

Before we enter into 2016 with high hopes, NewsGram brings you the seven most path-breaking judgments given by the Supreme Court in 2015.

  1. Jats don’t belong to the OBC

With an aim to appease the Jat community, the central government listed them under the OBC category in 9 states, giving them reservations in government jobs and educational institutes. Not pleased with this populist step, the Supreme Court struck down the government notification and sense prevailed.

  1. Supreme Court strikes down the Section 66A of Indian IT Act

Section 66A of the Indian IT Act was nothing short of draconian. It was widely used by the police to arrest innocent people for criticizing politicians online. The SC called it a violation of the fundamental right of liberty and freedom of expression and termed it ‘unconstitutional.’

  1. SC orders CBSE to conduct the AIPMT afresh

This year’s AIPMT was filled with allegations of cheating and fraud. Close to six and a half lakh aspirants appeared for the examination. While the CBSE argued that it will exclude the sheets of those found involved in cheating, rather than conducting the exam again, the SC didn’t buy this excuse. The judges said, “if such an examination is saved, merit would be a casualty generating a sense of frustration in genuine students, with aversion to the concept of examination.”

  1. SC declares NJAC unconstitutional and void

NJAC, which sought to take away the judiciary’s right to appoint judges to the High Court and the Supreme Court, remained in the news for the better part of the year. In October, the SC struck down the NJAC and called it ‘unconstitutional and void.’ The presiding judge said, “It is difficult to hold that the wisdom of appointment of judges can be shared with the political-executive. In India, the organic development of civil society, has not as yet sufficiently evolved. The expectation from the judiciary, to safeguard the rights of the citizens of this country, can only be ensured, by keeping it absolutely insulated and independent, from the other organs of governance.”

  1. Panel appointed by SC suspends Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL for 2 years

Ever since its inception, the IPL has been marred with serious allegations of spot fixing and match fixing. The SC-appointed panel suspended CSK and RR from IPL for a couple of years since their owners were found guilty of betting on the games and leaking the team’s information to the bookers.

  1. SC sentences Yakub Memon to death

In March this year, SC sentenced Yakub Abdul Razak Memon to death for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Though he followed it up a number of review petitions, curative petitions, and mercy pleas, he was eventually hanged on 30th July 2015 in the Nagpur Jail. His death sentence was widely opposed by a number of social groups which accused the court and the government of being unfair to him.

  1. SC allows the Dance bars to be reopened

Putting on hold the Maharashtra Government’s ban on Mumbai’s dance bars, the Supreme Court allowed the dance bars to be reopened. Along with this, the SC also empowered the concerned authorities to regulate the dance performances which they find inappropriate.

Next Story

U.S. President Donald Trump Interviews Indian American Judge Under Consideration

However, other factors such as immigration, the powers of the president and any possible litigation involving the 2016 election of Trump and the alleged Russian interference are at play.

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Earlier on Monday, Trump appointed his Deputy Principal Press Secretary Raj Shah to a key role in the difficult process of getting his nominee for the Supreme Court approved by the Senate. VOA

Indian American federal appeals court judge Amul Thapar has emerged as a “serious” contender for a spot in the US Supreme court and has been interviewed for the position by President Donald Trump, according media reports.

He was one of four judges interviewed for the position on the nation’s highest court by Trump on Monday, according to The Washington Post and other media outlets that quoted unnamed sources who had been briefed about the meetings.

Trump’s Spokesperson Sarah Sanders confirmed that he met for 45 minutes with four candidates, but would not identify them.

Trump has said he would announce his pick next Monday.

Thapar was appointed by Trump last year to the federal Sixth Circuit Appeals Court based in Cincinnati, Ohio, that covers four states including his home state of Kentucky.

Considered a conservative, Thapar, 49, had served as a federal prosecutor before President George W. Bush appointed him a judge of the federal court for Eastern Kentucky by in 2007.

Thapar has the backing of Mitch McConnell, the influential Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky, for the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last month.

“I think he’s absolutely brilliant, with the right temperament,” McConnell said on Saturday.

The Washington Post said Trump’s meeting with Thapar “was described by several White House aides as both a gesture of respect for the Senate GOP leader and evidence that he is in serious contention”.

He is the second Indian-American judge to be a leading contender for the Supreme Court showing the community’s reach across both parties and its influence.

Washington Appeals Court Judge Sri Srinivasan was among the top choices considered by then President Barack Obama for the Supreme Court in 2016.

Obama ultimately picked Merrick Garland but McConnell blocked the nomination refusing to take it up for Senate’s consideration citing the presidential election coming up later that year.

Earlier on Monday, Trump appointed his Deputy Principal Press Secretary Raj Shah to a key role in the difficult process of getting his nominee for the Supreme Court approved by the Senate.

“Raj Shah will oversee communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies,” Sanders said in a statement.

Legalised abortion that many countries like India take for granted is looming over the selection of the next Supreme Court judge, with many Senators making it the litmus test to vote for or against a nominee.

It is likely that a case involving abortions may come up before the Supreme Court leaving open the possibility a conservative majority bench could overturn its 1973 ruling legalising it.

During his election campaign Trump changed his stance and came out as an opponent of abortions and said that he would appoint judges with the same view.

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Raj Thapar told the newspaper that his son’s only dream was to become a Supreme Court Justice. Pixabay

But he said last week that he would not discuss with candidates their views on abortion.

The Republicans have slender two-vote lead in the 100-member Senate and at least one Senator from the party, Susan Collins, has said that keeping abortions legal would be a requirement for supporting the Trump nominee and another, Lisa Murkowski, has previously opposed efforts to overturn the 1973 ruling.

The 49 Democrats and the two independents are all expected to oppose any Trump nominee and Shah will have to work with Republicans in Congress to get a majority backing for the candidate.

However, other factors such as immigration, the powers of the president and any possible litigation involving the 2016 election of Trump and the alleged Russian interference are at play.

Thapar is widely considered to conservative in his approach, which aligns him with Trump and his base.

His father, Raj Thapar, told Courier Journal that his son is so conservative that he “nearly wouldn’t speak to me after I voted for Barack Obama.”

Thapar was born in Detroit and his family wanted him to become a doctor, but he chose law instead, the newspaper said.

Raj Thapar told the newspaper that his son’s only dream was to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Amul’s maternal grandfather had impressed on him how Mahatma Gandhi had defeated the British using non violence, Raj Thapar told the newspaper.

According his father, Amul had converted to Catholicism when he married Kim Schulte, a real estate agent, Courier Journal reported.

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During his election campaign Trump changed his stance and came out as an opponent of abortions and said that he would appoint judges with the same view. Pixabay

Thapar’s mother Veena Bhalla sold a successful restaurant after 9/11 to work as a civilian clinical social worker to help soldiers returning from the battlefield, the newspaper reported quoting McConnell.

Also Read: Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi Urges Indians To Report To Any Instance of Salary Delay

According to Thapar’s bio for a convention of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association his father had come to the US to study and after graduating went to work for Ford Motor Company.

Later, he bought a share of a heating and air conditioning company. (IANS)