20-April-2021 to 26-April-2021
COURTS MUST CONSIDER POTENTIAL THREAT TO LIFE AND LIBERTY OF VICTIM/WITNESSES WHILE GRANTING BAIL TO ACCUSED: SC
Sudha Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh
The hon’ble Supreme Court in its recent judgement reiterated that, it is imperative on the part of courts to consider the impact on victims or witnesses in the criminal cases while granting the bail to the accused and also there is no doubt that the Right to life and liberty is also important for the person charged with crime.
The court re-stated the factors considered in the case of Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee,2010 are as follows:
(i) Whether there was a prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence;
(ii) nature and gravity of accusations;
(iii)severity of the punishment in the event of a conviction;
(iv)danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if granted bail;
(v)character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused;
(vi)likelihood of repetition of the offence;
(vii)reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; and
(viii)danger of justice being thwarted by grant of bail.
PRINCIPLE OF NON-REFOULEMENT CAN PRIMA FACIE BE READ WITHIN THE AMBIT OF ARTICLE 21: MANIPUR HC
Nandita Haksar v. State of Manipur
While hearing the petition seeking directions on the state of Manipur for providing a safe passage to seven Myanmar based persons to imphal, the court observed that the principle of non Refoulement where the refugees are liable to be subjected to persecution can prima facie be read into Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The court further observed that, “the court is conscious of the fact that India is not a signatory to the Geneva Refugee Convention, 1951, or the New York Protocol of 1967. However, it is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That apart, the protection afforded by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution is not limited to citizens and can be availed by non-citizens also”.
THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT PASSES GUIDELINES TO APPOINT AD-HOC JUDGES IN THE HIGH COURT
Lok Prahari v. Union of India
In this case, the PIL had been filed seeking the invocation of Article 224A of the Constitution of India to tackle the issue of mounting case arrears at High Courts.
In view of this, the hon’ble Supreme Court has laid down 5 trigger points which can activate the process under Article 224A:
a)If the vacancies are more than 20% of the sanctioned strength.
b)The cases in a particular category are pending for over five years.
c)More than 10% of the backlog of pending cases are over five years old.
d)The percentage of the rate of disposal is lower than the institution of the cases either in a particular subject matter or generally in the Court.
e)Even if there are not many old cases pending, but depending on the jurisdiction, a situation of mounting arrears is likely to arise if the rate of disposal is consistently lower than the rate of filing over a period of a year or more.
ABOUT ARTICLE 224A:This Article has been invoked very rarely in the judicial history of India. Basically this Article enables a Chief Justice of a High Court, with the previous consent of the President, to request a former High Court judge to “sit and act as a judge” of the High Court to hear cases.
THE APEX COURT TOOK SUO MOTO COGNIZANCE OF COVID RELATED ISSUES
Re: Distribution of essential supplies and services during pandemic
Last week, due to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases and morality, the hon’ble court took suo moto cognizance related to supply of oxygen, essential drugs, the method and manner of vaccination and also about the State’s power to declare lockdown. Senior Advocate Harish Salve was appointed as an amicus curiae in this matter to assist the court who later recused himself to deal with this matter.