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SC dismisses plea to make rape law (Sec 375 IPC) gender neutral

November 13, 2018

Supreme Court dismissed a plea by NGO Criminal Justice Society of India to make rape law [Section 375 IPC] gender neutral, reported Live Law.

“The issue is entirely in Parliament’s domain”, said the bench.

The petition moved by ‘Criminal Justice Society of India’ said Section 375 IPC be declared violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of Constitution of India insofar the definition of rape does not account for gender-neutrality.

Noted Criminal Lawyer Senior Advocate KTS Tulsi is the President of the petitioner Organisation.

The petition relied heavily on the three recent landmark judgments on the apex court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors; Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India & Ors and Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India & Ors to seek gender-neutral rape laws.

SC of INDIA

Absolutely no time bar for reporting crimes under POCSO Act

October 18, 2018

The Law Ministry concurred with the opinion of the Ministry of Women and Child Development that unlike the Code of Criminal Proceedings (CrPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, does not lay down a time limit for reporting crimes covered under it. “The Ministry of Law, after examining the provisions of POCSO Act vis-à-vis provisions of CrPC, has advised that there appears no period of limitation mentioned in Section 19 in regard to reporting of the offences under the POCSO Act, 2012,” according to a statement.

Section 19 of the POCSO Act, which deals with sexual crimes against children, lays down the procedure for reporting a crime but doesn’t specify a time limit or statute of limitation for reporting it.

Whereas the CrPC lays down different time-limits for crimes which carry a punishment of up to three years, there is no time bar for crimes that would attract a jail term of more than three years.

Adultery no more a crime

Sep 27, 2018

SC says ‘women can’t be treated as subordinates’, Section 497 IPC ‘deprives women of dignity’, hence ‘Adultery’ decriminalized and held, unconstitutional!

SC of INDIA

Extramarital affair: HC says won’t interfere

October 6, 2018

Hon’ble Apex Court, while deciding a case titled ‘Patangrao Kadam Vs. Prithviraj S Deshmukh’, has very precisely stated that, “When there is an ambiguity in terms of a provision, one must look at well-settled principles of construction but it is not open to first to create an ambiguity which does not exist and then try to resolve the same by taking recourse to some general principle”

But today, Hon’ble High Court in Lucknow had a somewhat uncomfortable situation and finally had to say, “This cannot be allowed in Indian society…”

Isn’t this Hon’ble Supreme Court’s contempt?

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court on Friday refused to issue direction to state authorities to permit a married woman from Bahraich to live with a man who is not her husband. The woman wanted a direction from the court that the police should not interfere in their life on the complaint of her husband, reported Times of India.

Reluctant to issue any such direction, a bench of Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh said: ” We find no reason in equity to issue any direction, in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

The wife Gayatriya alias Sangeeta had moved court along with one Heera Lal alias Jhurra against her husband Sitaram and state as well as police authorities seeking interference of the court that it should direct the local police not to interfere in their peaceful life in connection with a non-cognizance report (NCR) lodge by the husband with Kotwali Dehat police station in Bahraich on July 25, 2018.

Opposing the wife’s plea, additional government advocate submitted that the wife escaped with Heera Lal on July 20, 2018 along with her twoyear-old baby, leaving behind her another seven-year-old son with the husband.

She started living with another person as his wife without getting divorce from her husband.

“This cannot be allowed in Indian society and it is also an offence under Section 498 of IPC. The husband rightly reported the matter to the police which would act as per law,” the government counsel said. Accepting the plea, the court refused to give any relief to the woman.

Cases of only ‘constitutional and national importance’ to be live streamed; Supreme Court Rules to be modified suitably

October 1, 2018

A Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ. decided in favour of live streaming [Swapnil Tripathi vs Supreme Court of India] of cases of constitutional or national importance before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court. Justice Khanwilkar delivered the leading judgment for the CJI and himself. While Justice Chandrachud rendered a separate concurring opinion, reported SCC.

The petitioners, claiming to be public-spirited persons, sought a declaration that Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional importance having an impact on the public at large or a large number of people should be live streamed in a manner that is easily accessible for public viewing. Further direction was sought to frame guidelines to enable the determination of exceptional cases that qualify for live streaming. The Court requested the Attorney General for India, K.K. Venugopal to collate the suggestions given by him as well as the petitioners and submit a comprehensive note for evolving a framework, in the event the relief claimed in the writ petition(s) was to be granted.

SC of INDIA

SC Modifies The Earlier Directions Issued To Prevent Misuse Of 498A IPC, Says No To ‘Welfare Committees’

Sep 14, 2018

The Hon’ble Supreme Court while disposing of a writ petition related to Section 498-A IPC, modified the directions concerning registration of FIR, arrest and bail under the said section as given in a recent judgment in Rajesh Sharma v. State of U.P., 2017 SCC OnLine SC 821.

The writ petition, under Article 32 of the Constitution, was filed seeking directions to the respondents to create an enabling environment for married women subjected to cruelty to make informed choices and to create a uniform system of monitoring and systematically reviewing incidents of violence against women under Section 498-A IPC including their prevention, investigation, prosecution and rehabilitation of the victims and their children at the Central, State and District levels. That apart, prayer was made to issue a writ of mandamus to the respondents for a uniform policy of registration of FIR, arrest and bail in cases of Section 498-A IPC in consonance with the law of the land, i.e., to immediately register FIR on complaint of cruelty and harassment by married women as per the IPC. It is worthy to note here that during the pendency of the instant petition, the judgment was pronounced in Rajesh Sharma. During the course of proceedings, learned Amicus Curiae submitted that the said decision requires reconsideration.

The Supreme Court, in order to adjudicate on the petition, perused scheme and object of Section 498-A as well as guidelines laid down in D.K. Basu v. State of W.B., (1997) 1 SCC 416 and also Lalita Kumari v. State of U.P, (2014) 2 SCC 1 wherein the Court opined that the scope of preliminary enquiry is not to verify the veracity or otherwise of the information received but only to ascertain whether the information reveals any cognizable offence. On perusal of directions in Rajesh Sharma, the Court found that it directed constitution of the Family Welfare Committees by the District Legal Services Authorities and prescribed the duties of the Committees. The prescription of duties of the Committees and further action therefor, in Court’s view, were beyond the Code and the same did not really flow from any provision of the Code. It was stated that there could be no denial that there has to be just, fair and reasonable working of a provision. The legislature, in its wisdom, has made the offence under Section 498-A IPC cognizable and non-bailable. The fault lies with the investigating agency which sometimes jumps into action without application of mind. In the aforesaid analysis, the Court declared the directions pertaining to Family Welfare Committee and its constitution by the District Legal Services Authority and the power conferred on the Committee is impermissible. Therefore, it is appropriate to direct that the investigating officers be careful and be guided by the principles stated in Joginder Kumar v. State of U.P., (1994) 4 SCC 260; D.K. Basu; Lalita Kumari and Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273. It was thought appropriate to direct the Director General of Police of each State to ensure that investigating officers who are in charge of investigation of cases of offences under Section 498-A IPC should be imparted rigorous training with regard to the principles stated by the Court relating to arrest. In view of the aforesaid premises, the direction contained in paragraph 19(i) as a whole was not in accord with the statutory framework and the direction issued in paragraph 19(ii) shall be read in conjunction with the directions given by the Court. Direction No. 19(iii) was modified to the extent that if a settlement is arrived at, the parties can approach the High Court under Section 482 CrPC and the High Court, keeping in view the law laid down in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303 , shall dispose of the same. The petition was accordingly disposed of.

SC of INDIA

Adultery no more a crime

Sep 27, 2018

SC says ‘women can’t be treated as subordinates’, Section 497 IPC ‘deprives women of dignity’, hence ‘Adultery’ decriminalized and held, unconstitutional!

SC of INDIA

Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA) has allowed live-in parners to adopt children

Sep 26, 2018

Individuals in a live-in relationship will now be able to adopt children from and within India after India’s Nodal Adoption Agency CARA decided to withdraw a circular issued earlier this year disallowing them from doing so.

Most of the people who are in a live-in relationship are because they want freedom & marriage demands lifelong commitment, so this idea of live-in relationship fulfills their desire of freedom as well as the benefits of having a partner.

According to the Supreme Court in India, a live-in relationship has become an acceptable norm in modern times and it is not a crime, but at the same time, the apex court has also clarified that the children born of parents in a live-in relationship could not be called illegitimate.

Provision for Anticipatory Bail now in Uttarakhand too

September 22, 2018

The Uttarakhand High Court has declared that provision for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal is applicable in the State of Uttarakhand.

Section 438 of CrPC was made inapplicable in State of Uttar Pradesh, from which Uttarakhand was carved out in 2000, as per Section 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure(Uttar Pradesh) Amendment 1976. The issue was whether the suspension of anticipatory bail provision as per 1976 UP Amendment was applicable to Uttarakhand as well.