The B&B Causelist #32: August 11, 2015 (Evening Updates)

Bar & Bench

Supreme Court

1. Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd) & Anr.v. Union of India & Ors.

[Item 1 in Court 6 – Writ Petition (Civil) 494/2012]

Bench: Jasti Chelameswar J., SA Bobde J., C Nagappan J.

The challenge to the Constitutionality of the Aadhar scheme. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had pressed for referring the matter to a larger Bench. He had submitted that there is a divergence of view with respect to whether right to privacy is a fundamental right under Article 21. However, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan and Gopal Subramanium had vehemently opposed this.

The Court reserved its order on the question of whether the matter requires to be referred to a larger Bench. The court will pronounce its order today.

Today in Court: Read the full report here.

2. Union of India v. Sriharan @ Murugan & Ors.

[Item 501 in court 1 – Writ Petition (Crl) 48/2014]

Bench: Chief Justice HL Dattu, Fakkir Mohammed Ibrahim Kalifulla J., Pinaki Chandra Ghose J., Abhay Manohar Sapre J., UU Lalit J.

The Central government’s challenge to the release of ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins. Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi concluded his arguments. Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry is now making his submissions. Hearing will resume today.

Today in Court: We could not track this case today. Any update would be appreciated.

3. Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India, Min. of Law & Ors.

[Item 1 in court 5 – Writ Petition (Crl) 184/2014]

Bench: Dipak Misra J., Prafulla C Pant J.

Petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of criminal defamation. Amicus Curiae K Parasaran has completed his submissions. Senior Advocate Siddharth Luhtra is making submissions in the case. The hearing will continue today.

Today in Court: Siddharth Luthra today argued that defamation was a peculiar offence as it concerns not an assertion, but the impact of an assertion. On behalf of the Union, AG Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the reach of media allows reputations to be destroyed in seconds and since visual media was more impressionable than print; safeguards such as Section 499 gained importance because reputation once destroyed can never be rebuilt.

Petitioner Swamy argued that the Bench could consider the proposition of setting aside the existing provisions of defamation law so as to enact new provisions. Invoking Article 19 (1) (a), Swamy further stated that the fear of prosecution ensured that one is gagged forever and therefore, criminal defamation hit at the heart of Article 19 (1) (a).

Senior Advocate PP Rao is expected to resume his arguments tomorrow.


Delhi High Court

1. ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd Vs GNCT of Delhi & Ors

[For Judgment- Court 1]

The judgment is coming up on a petition filed by ANI Technologies that owns the brand name of OLA- an app based cab service. OLA had challenged a Single Bench order  that refused to lift the ban imposed on the service by the Delhi Govt.

Today in Court: The Bench dismissed OLA’s appeal. The main petition itself will come up for hearing on October 5.

2. Ajay Maken Vs Union of India & Anr.

[Item 50, Court 1- WP (C) 6702/2015]

Bench- Chief Justice G Rohini, Jayant Nath J.

A petition filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken against Aam Aadmi Party’s ad campaigns. During the last hearing, the AAP Government had filed their reply and informed the Court that they had spent Rs. 22.3 crore on various advertisements over the past month.

Today in Court: The Bench tagged together all similar matters and the same will be heard on September 1.

3. Ambika Soni v. Union of India & Ors and Kumari Shelja v. Union of India & Ors.

[Item 19 & 20, Court 3-LPA 530/2015 and 531/2015]

Bench- Pradeep Nandrajog J, Mukta Gupta J.

An appeal filed by Congress MPs Ambika Shukla and Kumari Selja challenging the Single Bench order that dismissed their plea against eviction.

Earlier, the Bench directed the Registry to post the matter before a different Bench and adjourned it for August 11.

Today in Court: The Bench directed for the matter to be posted before a different Bench that did not comprise Justice Mukta Gupta. Justice Gupta was heading the Vacation Bench that had stayed the eviction order. The matter will now be heard on August 13.

4. Sudhir Kumar Gupta Vs All India Institute of Medical Sciences

[Item 25, Court 6- WP (C) 3033/2015]

Bench: GS Sistani J, Sangita Dhingra Sehgal J.

A petition filed by Dr. Sudhir Kumar Gupta, the former head of AIIMS’ Forensic  Department. Gupta had challenged an order passed by CAT that dismissed his petition in which he stated that a Dr. OP Murty was promoted “out-of-turn”, so as to ensure a “tailor-made” autopsy report regarding the murder of Sunanda Pushkar, deceased wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

In March, AIIMS had moved an application before the Court to appoint a new head for the Forensics Department, Dr. DN Bhardwaj. At that point of time, the Court had sought Gupta’s response to the said appointment.

Today in Court: The Petitioner sought an adjournment and now the matter will be heard on August 13.

5. Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Vs Union of India

[Item 1, Court 13- WP (C) 5888/2014]

Bench: VP Vaish J. 

A petition filed by the Delhi Govt challenging an MHA notification issued on May 21 that deprived the Anti-Corruption Bureau of its powers from taking cognizance of offences against officers, employees and functionaries of the Central Government.

While the AAP Govt had scored a minor victory in the last hearing, the power struggle has seen many twists since then. Recently, a contempt case was also filed by the Delhi Govt against ACB Chief MK Meena for flouting certain orders of the Court in the same matter.

Today in Court: Due to certain documents not being placed on record and the pleadings being incomplete, the matter will now be taken up as the first item on board on August 18.

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