Sunday, March 26, 2023

Busy days ahead for the Supreme Court

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Supreme Court re-opened after the summer vacation and on re-opening day, 28 judgments of cases which were heard were pronounced. But much awaited verdicts in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly case and Jayalalitha’s disproportionate assets case is yet to come.

On the re-opening day, among the large number of cases, two socially important cases were heard. Suo moto petition on Triple Talaq and petition challenging section 377 of IPC (criminalization of gay sex) filed by dancer NS Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hotelier Aman Nath and business executive Ayesha Kapur came before the court. The court while hearing the Triple Talaq directed the parties to complete the pleadings and suggest issues to be considered and hinted at referring the matter to a constitution bench. Whereas, bench before which gay sex matter came up referred the matter to the Chief Justices bench since similar petition by Naz Foundation is being considered by constitution bench.

Other important cases which are to come up before hearing of the apex court are Nirbhaya Appeal, Sabarimala Temple Case, Passive euthanasia case and National Court of Appeal etc.   

Supreme Court will decide the appeals of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi Nirbhaya gang rape case.  In Sabarimala Temple case connected with the ban on entry of females aged between 10 and 50 years. Matter was heard at length before the vacation. Petitioners made the submissions and NGO who supports the petition and Raju Ramachandran Senior Advocate who was appointed as Amicus had also made the submissions. Thereafter, temple authority made lengthy submission defending that there is no discrimination since women has not been totally banned from entry. Now, K Parasaran Senior Advocate who was appearing on behalf of the Nair Sabha and State of Kerala is to make their submissions before the court can pass the verdict.

Constitution bench is to decide on passive euthanasia in the petition filed by NGO, Common Cause to ensure  that  the  persons with deteriorated health or terminally ill  should  be  able  to  execute  a document, viz., ‘my living will  and  Attorney  authorization’  which  can  be presented to hospital for appropriate action in the event of  the  executants being admitted to the hospital  with  serious  illness  which  may  threaten termination  of  life  of  the  executant  or  in  the  alternative,  issue to study into the aspect of issuing guidelines regarding execution of ‘Living Wills’.

Supreme Court will also be deciding on the setting up of National Court of Appeal in a petition filed by a lawyer V Vasanthakumar. KK Venugopal, Senior Advocate was appointed as amicus and he submitted certain recommendations which were objected by Attorney General of India, Mukul Rohtagi on behalf of the Union. Bench headed by the Chief Justice had on April 28, 2016 reserved the orders wherein court will decide whether it has to be heard by larger bench or not.

India Legal Bureau.


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