Keeping with his promise of prioritizing the work as Chief Justice Of India, Justice UU Lalit has made sure that the cases of importance are placed before the court and pendency is decreased.
After the new CJI UU Lalit, joined the Supreme Court of India on 27th August. It has been decided that the week shall begin with some important cases . On August 29, as the week begins. The court will be hearing:
- Bail plea of Siddique Kappan, a Kerala Journalist who has been accused under UAPA which shall be heard by the newly appointed Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat.
Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras to report on the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.
The police had claimed the accused were trying to disturb the law and order situation in Hathras. They had also alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India.
The rape victim died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after her alleged rape by four men from her village on September 14, 2020.
Kappan and the other three were charged under Sections 17 and 18 of UAPA , IPC Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and Sections 65, 72 and 75 of the Information Technology Act.
The bail plea of Kappan was rejected by a Mathura court in July 2021 on the ground that they were going to instigate people in Hathras and disturb the law while claiming to just go for filing a report.
- Hijab Verdict of the Karnataka High that held the right of the Educational institutes to ban hijab in college campus.This matter will be heard by the bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia.
The case involves the Karnataka High Court judgement of March 15, which upheld the order by Karnataka government for empowering the college committees for banning hijab in the college campus for the Muslim girls..
During the judgement , a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi held that:
- Islam does not consider Hijab as an essential religious practices of Islam;
- Requirement of uniform is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of expression under Article 19(1)(a);
- No case can be made for the invalidation of the power of Government to pass a Government order.
The top court at present has three appeals pending against the Karnataka High Court verdict, which includes one by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
- Plea by Gautam Navlakha
Another important case that is listed for Monday is the appeal by Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha against a verdict by the High Court of Bombay, which rejected his plea to be transferred from Taloja Prison and to be placed under house arrest instead.
This case will be heard by bench of CJI UU Lalit and Justice Bhat.
Gautam Navlakha is human rights activist and was the former Secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights was arrested in August 2018, for his alleged involvement in Bhima Koregaon case but was initially placed under house arrest
Initially he was kept in house arrest but was later moved to Taloja Central Prison in Maharashtra in April 2020 after a Supreme Court order.
Relying upon the judgement by the Apex Court in his default bail case, Navlakha moved the High Court pointing out that he was being denied basic medical aid and other necessities in Taloja and was suffering great hardships at his advanced age.The then bench of Justice SB Shukre and GA Sanap rejected the plea.
A Bench of Justices SB Shukre and GA Sanap, however, rejected the plea prompting the appeal before apex court.