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The Week That Was: The Supreme Court of India

Vasudha Misra

The Supreme Court of India sat only for four days this past week, with Monday being a holiday for Guru Nanak Jayanti. The four working days were largely marked by routine, despite the Apex Court bidding adieu to one of its most amicable judges, Justice Anil R Dave.

Read the highlights from the week below.

Tuesday, November 15

Supreme Court refuses to stay demonetization

While refusing to stay the Modi government’s demonetization, the court did ask the Centre to file an affidavit giving details of steps taken to ease inconvenience faced by citizens due to long queues at banks and ATMs.

Without issuing any notice to the Centre or the RBI, the bench posted the matter for further hearing on November 25.

Common Cause seeks SIT probe into raids on Aditya Birla, Sahara Groups

NGO Common Cause filed an interim application seeking an SIT probe into the evidence gathered against the Sahara Group and the Aditya Birla group regarding bribing of politicians. The application has been filed in the 2015 case concerning appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, November 16

Jalikattu to remain prohibited after Tamil Nadu’s review petition dismissed

The top court dismissed the Tamil Nadu government’s review petition against the 2014 judgment  banning Jallikattu in the state. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and RF Nariman said that animals may not have rights but humans cannot negate their obligation enshrined under the Constitution.

Read the full story here.

Legal crackdown on search engines allowing prenatal sex determination searches

Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy directed the Central government to constitute a nodal agency to deal with complaints regarding presence of online advertisements information and search terms related to sex determination. This agency has been tasked with informing the search engines of the complaints, whereupon the search engines have to take down the same within 36 hours.

The order is in the nature of an interim order till February 17, which is when the matter is next posted.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, November 17

Vigilante Groups ‘declaring war on stray dogs’ to be restrained

Vigilante groups in Kerala have been asked to refrain from culling stray dogs and distributing subsidised air guns to kill those of the canine ilk. The culling of dogs is however, allowed under stipulated rules. The Siri Jagan Committee has been asked to submit a status report on the situation in Kerala to the Court.

Judgment in Sanskrit Schools reserved

A Bench presided  by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and comprising Justices Madan B LokurSA BobdeAK GoelUU LalitDY Chandrachud, and L Nageswara Rao has reserved its judgment on the legal consequences of an ordinance that has lapsed.

The issue related to an ordinances that was promulgated and re-promulgated, regarding the absorbing of Sanskrit schools, and their staff, in the state of Bihar into government service.

Read full story here.

Friday, November 18

No prohibition on lower courts from hearing pleas on demonetisation

The apex court refused to restrain various high courts and subordinate courts from hearing petitions against the Union government’s demonetisation notification. The Bench, instead,  advised the Centre to file a transfer petition for the cases on demonetisation filed in different courts across country to one high court.

Apex Court rules on scope of BIFR powers

The Supreme Court in has held that the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) cannot issue directions under Section 22A of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985, to a company that does not qualify as a sick company. In doing so, it upheld the Rajasthan High Court order which held the same.

The Bench noted that,

“It is clear from a plain reading of Section 22 A of the Act that the Board can issue a direction not to dispose of assets only to a sick industrial company.”

Read the order below.

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