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Modi’s image removed from Supreme Court e-mails

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The Supreme Court administered a shock to the government on Saturday when it asked the Central government-run National Informatics Centre (NIC) to remove the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in e-mails sent to the advocates by the Registry of the Supreme Court. Late on Friday night, the registry of the Supreme Court said that it directed the NIC to drop the image from the footer of the emails originating from the e mail.

Instead, the registry has begun putting the image of the illuminated Supreme Court in place of Narendra Modi Modi’s image was put as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75 years of independence next year. However, a lawyer petitioned against placing the ad containing a snapshot of Modi on the emails emanating from the Supreme Court.

The NIC said that the same format and script was being used on all NIC platforms. Earlier, a message from mahatma Gandhi was used on the occasion of Gandhi’s birth anniversary However, we have removed Modi’s image following the directions of the Supreme Court, an official said. He said the image of Modi was replaced by an image of the Supreme Court.

An advocate said that the Supreme Court should not only be independent, but also look independent. He said that the image of the Supreme Court should be seen as being different from that of a political party. Such association should be avoided, he said.

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Disha case: SC panel examines two tehsildars

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The Supreme Court-appointed three-member inquiry commission, probing the alleged encounter killing of four suspects in the Disha rape and murder case, on Tuesday examined two of the tehsildars who had conducted the inquest.

Tehsildars of Farooq Nagar, Kondurg, Kothur, and Keshampet had conducted the inquest of the bodies of four accused.

The commission, which had already examined the tehsildar of Farooq Nagar, on Tuesday examined the tehsildars of Kondurg and Kothur. The panel asked them if they followed the set guidelines while conducting the inquest, and they explained the steps taken by them while conducting the ‘panchnama’.

The three-member panel headed by ex-SC judge V.S. Sirpurkar is scheduled to continue the hearing till September 25. It will examine Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat, who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the alleged encounter.

The commission on Tuesday began the fourth schedule of witness examination. It so far examined 14 witnesses in three schedules since August 21. They included Principal Secretary, Home, Ravi Gupta and the victim’s sister. The panel twice quizzed investigating officer J. Surender Reddy.

Headmasters of government schools where the victims studied were also examined by the panel. They were asked about credibility of entries in school admission records, based on which bona fide certificates were issued. Citing school records, families of the two had claimed that they were minors at the time of the alleged encounter.

The panel was set up on December 12, 2019 to inquire into the circumstances leading to the killing of four accused in the case in an alleged encounter with police on December 6, 2019.

The four accused were shot dead on at Chatanpally on National Highway-44 near Hyderabad, the same highway where the charred body of a 27-year-old Disha (as the victim is referred to by the investigators) was found.

According to police, Disha was kidnapped and sexually assaulted near the Outer Ring Road on the outskirts of Hyderabad on the night of November 27, 2019. After the sexual assault, the accused murdered her, took the body to Chatanpally, and set it afire.

The Supreme Court constituted the panel while hearing petitions raising doubts that the police killed the accused in their custody and projected it as encounter.

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Gali Janardhan Reddy gets reprieve in Supreme Court

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Mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy got a reprieve in the Supreme Court on Thursday (today) in the illegal mining case involving his Obulapuram mining company (OMC) in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka..

The Supreme Court relaxed certain bail conditions of Gali Janardhan Reddy.

Gali was arrested in September 2011 in illegal mining case. After spending three years and four months in Bengaluru’s Agrahara jail, the Supreme Court granted him conditional bail in January 2015.

Gali sought permission to visit his native Bellary in Karnataka and Kadapa and Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.

The Supreme Court granted permission and asked him to stay there for a limited period with the permission of district SPs concerned.

The CBI informed Supreme Court that it has no objection if Gali visits Bellary, Anantapur and Kadapa.

The Supreme Court directed CBI special court in Hyderabad to complete the hearing of illegal mining case and give judgement as early as possible.

The Supreme Court said that it will conduct full-fledged hearing into illegal mining case in the third week of November.

Gali recently moved Supreme Court seeking relaxations of certain bail conditions granted to him.

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Threat to judges: Chief Justice says CBI, IB not helping judicial officers

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Chief Justice N.V. Ramana on Friday said a new trend has developed in the country to malign the judges, if people do not get orders of their choice, and there is no freedom given to judges. He added when judges complain to the CBI and IB, they are also not helping.

Justice Ramana said: “New trend developed in the country. No freedom given to judges. If judges complain to the IB and CBI, they are not helping the judiciary at all. This is a serious matter. I am saying it with a sense of responsibility.”

The bench also comprising Justice Surya Kant said in some cases where gangsters and high-profile accused are involved, they attempt to intimate judges physically and mentally, and some people, who do not get orders of their choice, circulate messages on WhatsApp and other social media platforms with an intent to malign judges.

The top court made these strong observations while hearing of suo motu case in connection with the mowing down of ADJ Uttam Anand by an auto-rickshaw and sought a status report on the investigation from the Jharkhand government through the chief secretary and the DGP within a week.

The Chief Justice noted that the Jharkhand government has nothing in connection with the security of judicial officers, in the backdrop of the presence of coal mafia in the state and pointed out that Anand was killed nearby his colony. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said in criminal cases, the judges are vulnerable and there should be a body to assess such situations.

The Jharkhand government said it had handed over the case to the CBI for further investigation and it will provide full cooperation to the investigating agency.

The top court issued a notice to the CBI and posted it for further hearing on Monday. It noted there are several incidents of judges being threatened and asked state governments to file status reports on measures taken for the security of judicial officers.

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Blow to Jagan govt: SC strikes down Amaravathi insider trading petition!

The YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh headed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy received a jolt in the Supreme Court on Monday in a case pertaining to insider trading in purchase of lands by some individuals in Amaravathi capital region and also in acquiring lands for the capital region at Amaravati during previous TDP regime between 2014 and 2019.

The Supreme Court on Monday has struck down the AP government’s petition on Amaravathi insider trading.

The AP High Court on January 20, 2021, struck down the cases registered by the AP Crime Investigation Department (CID) alleging insider trading in purchase of lands by some people in Amaravati.

However, the Jagan government filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court on June 29 challenging the AP High Court judgement delivered on January 20 stating that there was no insider trading in Amaravati.

A division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Vineeth Saran and Justice Dinesh Meheshwari heard this petition.

The bench struck down the petition on Monday stating that AP High Court has struck down the petition after taking into consideration all the issues.

The CID had registered the cases against several individuals, including Kilaru Rajesh, a close aide of TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, and Northface Holdings Private Limited director Tottempudi Venkateswara Rao, based on a complaint filed by N Suresh of Velagapudi, alleging insider trading.

It was alleged that some people with the prior knowledge of the location of the State capital, purchased lands at cheaper rates in Amaravati.

The high court had earlier stated that the lands purchased by the petitioners got valid registration documents. Purchase of lands with proper registration cannot be considered as a crime under Section 420 of IPC. No police investigation had concluded that the petitioners committed a crime. There were reports in the media about the location of State capital even before former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was sworn in on June 9, 2014 and it could not be said that the petitioners purchased the lands concealing the facts, the high court observed.

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Supreme Court issues notice to AP government on board examinations

The Supreme Court has directed that notices be issued to four states, including Andhra Pradesh as to why they had not cancelled the intermediate board examinations. The Apex Court, which has heard the arguments, asked the four state governments to submit their replies. In view of this direction, the AP Government, which was to discuss the issue holding Xth and Intermediate examinations, had deferred its decision in view of the directions of the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister YS Jagan on Thursday discussed the issue with the education department officials. The AP Government feels that since the Covid is showing a downward trend, it is advisable to hold the examinations. Already states like Kerala, Bihar and Chhattisgarh have held the examinations and have begun preparation to release the results. It feels that there is a 20 day incubation period for the students to prepare for the examinations.

At the national level, as many as 18 states have cancelled the state board examinations, but four states, including AP, Punjab and Assam are yet to take a decision on holding the examination. Six states, including Chhattisgarh and Bihar, have already completed the examination.

The AP government was planning to hold intermediate examinations from July 7 to July 25, while the X th examinations from July 26 to August 2. As many as 4.5 lakh Xth class students and 5 lakh intermediate students would take the examinations as per the schedule.

Education Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Adimulapu Suresh, is likely to make a statement soon.

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Supreme Court stays APCID inquiry on ABN, TV5!

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The Supreme Court on Monday issued stay orders on APCID inquiry against ABN Andhra Jyothy and TV5 news channels.

The APCID filed FIR against these two channels along with YSRCP rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju early this month in connection with sedition charges.

Both the channels challenged the APCID FIRs registered against them in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court issued notices to Andhra Pradesh government and the APCID to file their counters within four weeks.

The Supreme Court also directed ABN and TV5 channels to file their counters on the counters filed by AP government and APCID within two weeks.

The Supreme Court adjourned the case by six weeks.

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Supreme Court grants ‘conditional bail’ to RRR

In a jolt to YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Friday granted ‘conditional bail’ to YSRCP rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju in seditions case.

The AP CID has filed sedition case against RRR and arrested him on May 14 in from his residence in Hyderabad on charges of sedition, delivering hate speeches and promoting disaffection against the government on May 14, weeks after he escalated his attacks on YSRCP chief and AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Raju had approached the AP high court for bail a day after his arrest but was told to first file the request with a lower court. Later he moved the Supreme Court for bail on Monday.

Prominent lawyer Mukul Rohatgi who argued in Supreme Court in favour of Raju brought to the notice of the court that Jagan government had arrested Raju and tortured him in APCID custody by using third degree methods after Raju filed a case against Jagan in CBI court seeking cancellation of bail granted to Jagan.

Rohatgi said that the CBI is currently hearing Raju’s petition against Jagan. Rohatgi also told Supreme Court that there are over two dozen cases pending against Jagan in courts.

Later, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict granting ‘conditional bail’ to Raju. Raju was asked to obtain bail from APCID after submitting sureties of Rs 1 lakh.

Raju was directed to appear before APCID whenever it calls for investigation. The investigation should be done in the presence of Raju’s lawyer. Raju was also directed not to give any interviews to media or social media on this issue. He was also directed not to indulge in any activities which influences the investigation into the case. The Supreme Court warned that if Raju flouts bail conditions, it will be viewed very seriously.

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Supreme Court orders for tests on Raju at Army Clinic

The Supreme Court of India has issued latest orders to send rebel MP Raghurama Krishna Raju to the Secunderabad Army Hospital for further tests. The Apex Court ordered the AP Chief Secretary and the Telangana High Court Registrar to make the necessary arrangements.

The Telangana HC should send a judicial officer in whose presence the Army doctors would conduct tests and give their report in a sealed cover. Initially, the advocates speaking on behalf of the AP Government refused to accept the Army Hospital and instead they agreed for tests at the AIIMS, Delhi. The AIIMS, Mangalagiri, was ruled out in the beginning itself since two YCP MPs are on the board of this hospital. Already, the Guntur GGH report triggered needless controversy.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court ordered the videography of the medical tests and the videos concerned should also be submitted to it along with the sealed cover.

The costs of all these tests at the Army Hospital should be borne by the Narsapuram MP only. With this, the alleged custodial torture of Mr. Raghurama Raju has taken a decisive turn.

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Justice NV Ramana sworn-in as new Chief Justice of India

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday administered oath of office to 48th Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and other dignitaries at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

As the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ramana will have a term till August 26, 2022. Before his elevation to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014, Justice Ramana was the chief justice of the Delhi High Court. Justice Ramana was appointed as judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2000. He has also been the acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh high Court.

On April 6, the President had signed on the appointment of Justice N.V. Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India. Justice Ramana took over as Chief Justice after the retirement of Justice S.A. Bobde on April 23.

In October 2020, a huge controversy had erupted as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister had written to the then Chief Justice alleging state’s High Court was being used to “destabilize and topple his democratically elected government”. The letter alleged that Justice Ramana was trying to control the High Court and also trying to influence cases, which impact the state government. However, an in-house inquiry did not find any merit in these allegations.

Justice Ramana has presided over several high-profile cases in the top court. In March last year, Justice Ramana headed five-judge Constitution bench which declined to refer to a larger seven-judge bench a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to revoke provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, January last year, Justice Ramana expounded on the nature of fundamental rights and declared that the right to freedom of speech and expression over the internet is a fundamental right. This judgment ensured the eventual return of internet in the Kashmir Valley.

In Foundation for Media Professionals v. State (UT OF J&K) matter, where petitioners sought high-speed internet, Justice Ramana headed bench which balanced the fundamental rights and the concerns of the state security and appointed a special committee to ensure that restrictions, if required, are narrowly tailored and not permanent in nature.

Justice Ramana also headed a three-judge bench which dealt with the legal questions emerging from the resignation of 17 rebel MLAs of Congress and JDS of Karnataka. Justice Ramana headed bench, also ordered expediting trial in pending cases against former and sitting MPs and MLAs.

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Supreme Court rejects stay of Telangana Judgment on Fraud Classification as per RBI Circular

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In a setback to SBI and RBI, the Supreme Court has refused to stay the judgment dated December 10, 2020 of a Division Bench of the Telangana High Court, in appeals filed by SBI and RBI.

In the matter of State Bank of India & others Vs. Rajesh Agarwal & others, the appeals of SBI and RBI were heard by the Supreme Court bench of Justice R. F. Nariman, Justice B. R. Gavai and Justice H. Roy.

The Supreme Court has allowed the parties to file replies and rejoinders and listed the matter on July 13, 2021.

The Supreme Court also directed that the minutes / order of the Joint Lenders’ Meeting dated February 15, 2019 is not to be acted upon.

This order would be a major relief to other parties who are similarly placed and affected by fraud classification by lenders without the principles of natural justice being followed. As per the RBI circular on fraud classification, lenders are to file the complaint with CBI in the stipulated time. Based on this order, lenders and CBI cannot proceed.

The Telangana High Court had provided following reliefs as per its Judgment dated December 10, 2020:

“70.1. Firstly, the principle of audi alteram partem, part of the principles of natural justice, is to be read in Clause 8.9.4 and 8.9.5 of the Master Circular.

70.2. Secondly, the decision, dated 15.02.2019, passed by the JLF, and the resolution dated 31.07.2019, passed by the FIC are, hereby, set aside.

70.3. Thirdly, the JLF is directed to give an opportunity of hearing by furnishing copies of both the Reports, namely the Forensic Auditor Report, dated 06.04.2018 and the subsequent Report submitted by Dr. K.V. Srinivas, IRP, to the petitioner, and to the OL.

70.4. Fourthly, the JLF is directed to give an opportunity of personal hearing both to the petitioner and to the OL before taking any decision on the issue whether the account should be classified as ‘fraud’ or not?

70.5. Fifthly, after the JLF has taken its decision, the FIC is directed to pass its resolution whether the decision of the JLF should be confirmed or not?”

In a minor concession to the appellants, the Supreme Court stayed the Telangana High Court’s observation that a personal hearing be given.

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SC relief to Justice Eeswaraiah in audio tape case

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The Supreme Court of India has set aside an order given by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh to probe into the conspiracy angle in the audio tapes case of former judge Justice Eeswaraiah. The Apex Court said that there was no need for probing whether Justice Eeswaraiah has made allegations of illegal land dealings by the relatives of a Supreme Court judge in Amaravati Capital City area.

SC bench consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Subhash Reddy further said that the High Court should only consider the maintainability of the public interest litigation without going into the merits of the audio tape. The SC order came after holding hearings on the petition filed by Justice Eeswaraiah.
It may be recalled that the High Court in the past heard a petition filed by former judge S. Ramakrishna who submitted an audio recorded conversation. In this, Justice Eeswaraiah was heard as trying to persuade Justice Ramakrishna while making some critical remarks against the then Chief Justice of High Court and the SC judge.

At that time, the High Court ordered an inquiry by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ravindran to find out whether Justice Eeswaraiah hatched a conspiracy to defame the SC judge.

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Double shock to Jagan from Supreme Court

The same day when Justice NV Ramana was cleared as the next Chief Justice of India, the Supreme Court dealt another shock to AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. The Apex Court has announced that Justice Ramana was not guilty of influencing the AP High Court as per the complaints made by the AP CM. With this, the curtains came down on the high drama that began after AP former Chief Justice Maheswari was transferred out of AP following the Jagan Reddy letter.

On October 6, 2020, Mr. Jagan Reddy wrote a letter in his capacity as the Chief Minister of AP to the Chief Justice of India directly saying that Justice Ramana was using his good offices to influence the AP High Court judges. The Supreme Court took up an inhouse enquiry based on the CM letter.

Now, the Apex Court has given a clean chit to Justice Ramana. It is now clear that the stage is almost set with all hurdles cleared for Justice Ramana to become the next Chief Justice of India. For the last few months, ever since Justice Maheswari, there was speculation that Jagan Reddy would use his influence to prevent Justice Ramana from occupying the country’s top judicial post.

It was at the orders of Justice Ramana only that the daily hearings of high profile cases against CM Jagan were taken up in the CBI and ED courts.

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SC: New OTT rules lack teeth, no mechanism to screen content

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The Supreme Court said on Friday that the government’s new rules for OTT platforms have “no teeth, as there is no provision for the prosecution of those who do not abide by these rules”.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said: “These rules are only guidelines… no mechanism to control (the content on OTT platforms). Without legislation, one cannot control it.”

The observation was made by the top court during the anticipatory bail plea hearing of Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit against an Allahabad High Court order, which declined to entertain her anticipatory bail plea in connection with the FIRs lodged against her over the web series ‘Tandav’.

The top court observed that “uncontrolled and unscreened” viewing of films on OTT platforms is an issue. “One of the issues, which has cropped up in the facts of the present case, is regarding control and regulation of the platforms on which web series are released,” noted the bench also comprising Justice R. Subhash Reddy.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Purohit, submitted that the government had issued a notification on February 25, 2021, introducing the rules, namely The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“A perusal of the rules indicate that they are more and more in the form of guidelines and have no effective mechanism for either screening or taking appropriate action against those who violate the guidelines,” the top court said after examining the new rules.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the government shall consider and take appropriate steps for regulation or legislation as may be found fit by it and the same shall be placed before the top court. Mehta asked for two weeks’ time to submit a response in the matter.

Rohatgi submitted that with regard to the FIR lodged in Lucknow, Purohit is cooperating with the investigation and the high court has already granted protection to the petitioner.

He added that his client is ready to cooperate with the investigation into another FIR. He clarified that his client is not involved with the production, writing or direction of the web series and is merely an officer of the company which owns the platform on which the web series was released.

In the backdrop of the top court’s observation on Thursday on pornographic content on OTT platforms, Rohatgi said the observation has been widely reported by the media.

“There is no such thing on Amazon Prime and Netflix. I see them every evening. There is no such content,” submitted Rohatgi.

Mehta replied that the bench meant pornographic content. To which, Rohatgi said: “I see so many shows. There is no pornographic content.”

The bench also granted protection from arrest to Purohit, who had moved the top court apprehending arrest.

“We direct that the petitioner shall not be arrested subject to her cooperation with the investigation. She shall appear before the investigating officer as and when required,” the top court said in its order.

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Supreme Court relief to AP IAS in contempt case

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The Supreme Court of India has stayed the order of the AP High Court to proceed with the contempt proceedings against AP IAS Officer and Mission Build AP head Praveen Kumar. The SC bench consisting of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Rama Subramanian, issued the stay orders.

The Mission Build AP case has created a sensation in political and judicial circles. Especially, retired High Court Judge Justice Rakesh Kumar passed serious comments in his order against AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and also the Supreme Court collegium. Justice Rakesh issued contempt proceedings against Praveen Kumar for giving a wrong affidavit in which some false statements were attributed to him.

At that time, Jagan’s letter to the Chief Justice of India created a national level sensation. Justice Rakesh has also commented on this saying that the transfers of judges after this letter have sent a wrong message to the people.

Justice Rakesh took a serious view of the AP regime’s actions till his last day and he shifted to his native Bihar after retirement. Now, the Supreme Court offered relief to the IAS Officer against whom Justice Rakesh has leveled serious objections.

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Supreme Court shock to AP on Green Tribunal order

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The Supreme Court of India has rejected the petition of the Jaganmohan Reddy Government with respect to the Purushottampatnam irrigation project. The court upheld the judgement of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which ordered AP to stop the project.

The NGT has insisted that the AP Government should get all the necessary environmental clearances before proceeding with the project works. The Tribunal did not accept the Jagan regime’s argument that the Purushottampatnam project was not a new project and hence there was no need for environmental clearances. But the NGT insisted on the approval. The YCP Government petitioned the Supreme Court which has also rejected the AP argument.

Interestingly, a similar strategy was being repeatedly used by the Jagan regime to win the cases in the courts. But it was meeting with failure. With respect to the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project also, the AP Government made a similar argument that it was not a new project. But the court did not accept the argument.

For different reasons, the Jagan regime was taking up projects and starting works without bothering about the procedural and legal hurdles. Eventually, those projects were landing in deadlock in the courts.

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Hyderabad encounter: SC extends term of probe panel by 6 months

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The Supreme Court on Friday extended by six months the term of a three-member commission set up to probe the encounter deaths of four persons accused in the gang rape and murder of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad.

In December 2019, the top court had appointed the panel headed by Justice VS Sirpurkar and comprising former Bombay HC Judge RP Soundarbaldota and former CBI Director DR Kaarthikeyan as members to conduct the inquiry within six months.

The court order had come on two PILs filed by advocates GS Mani and Mukesh Kumar Sharma.

Accused Mohammed Arif, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jolu Shiva, and Jollu Naveen were arrested after the gang rape and murder of the veterinary doctor in November 2019. Police said the accused were killed in an encounter on December 6, 2019, as they tried to flee during collection of evidence at the spot.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian on Friday extended the commission’s term by another six months.

The commission had said in July 2020 that it could not complete the probe due to the nationwide lockdown imposed in March to contain the spread of coronavirus. The commission said its members were unable to carry out spot inspection and hold an open hearing ahead of preparing a report on its investigations.

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Big breaking: Supreme Court green signal for local body elections

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In what could be seen as a big jolt to YSRCP government of Andhra Pradesh, Supreme Court today gave a green signal to local body elections. It has struck off the petitions filed by government of Andhra Pradesh as well as employee unions to halt the local elections details as below.

Government of Andhra Pradesh and state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh are at loggerheads since almost 1 year regarding the conduction of a local body elections. Recently High Court of Andhra Pradesh supported State election Commissioner after which he issued notification for local body elections. However government of Andhra Pradesh as well as employee unions decided to go to the apex court to halt the local body elections. The honourable Supreme Court today reportedly lambasted employee unions and questioned why employee unions are interfering with the process of local body elections. At the same time , the honourable Supreme Court opined that elections are also part of the constitutional process and so cannot be halted.

Now we have to wait and see whether the government of Andhra Pradesh and employee union will support state election commissioner in conducting elections or they will continue to defy the verdict of honourable Supreme Court.

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How will courts find out who is a fake baba, asks SC

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a plea seeking action against illegal ashrams run by fake “babas” across the country.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said: “How will court find out who is a fake baba?”

As senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, representing Dumpala Ramreddy, a resident of Secunderabad, said that the Akhil Bharatiya Akahara Parishad has prepared a list of fake babas in the country, the Chief Justice asked how could they rely on the Parishad’s decision on identifying fake babas.

Guruswamy replied that it is the apex body of Akaharas and traces its linage to Adi Shankara. But the bench said: “The list has been prepared without hearing them or how does this list come into force.”

She cited the conviction of godman Ram Rahim, and the Chief Justice said: “All the more reason not to go to them. Why do you want the SC to intervene?”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea and cited petitioner’s habeas corpus petition in the Delhi High Court seeking custody of his daughter, allegedly been kept in illegal confinement by an alleged godman.

The bench observed that it does not want to disrespect any Akhara Parishad. “How can the Supreme Court enter into this realm. Court cannot look into it,” said the bench.

“Menaka Guruswamy, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner seeks permission to withdraw this petition. Permission, as sought for, is granted. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the top court said in its order.

In his plea, Ramreddy said: “Though very serious criminal cases were registered against Veerendra Dev Dixit, Asaram Bapu, Ram Rahim baba, etc…, their ashrams are still run with the help of their close associates and the authorities are not verifying the facilities available over there.”

The plea urged the apex court to direct the authorities to frame guidelines in setting up of ‘Ashrams’, citing rape accused Dixit, who ran ‘Adhyatmika Vishwa Vidhyalaya’ at Rohini in Delhi, where his daughter stayed for nearly five years. Following complaints from many girls, this Ashram was raided by a court-appointed panel.

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Big breaking: SC suspends farmer laws, but not indefinitely

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BJP led NDA government has recently implemented 3 new farmer bills with the aim of reforming agriculture sector completely. But these laws are met with stiff agitation from the farmers and opposition parties. Today the apex court has suspended the farmer laws. Details as below.

Honourable Supreme Court has today stayed the implementation of the farm laws until further orders. But SC also added that this is not indefinite repeal of the laws. The Supreme Court has also formed a four-member committee to submit a report before the court on the farm laws. They Court opined that this issue affects farmers across the country and needed intervention. However, farmers’ response to the verdict is mixed. While they welcomed the suspension of laws, they didn’t like the idea of forming committee to look into this issue further.

We need to wait and see how the union government reacts to this, given the fact that the Honourable Court made strong comments against the central government.

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