Prolawctor Daily Legal News Update|24 August 2020

Daily Legal News 

  • No contempt proceeding against Swara Bhasker.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal has refused to give consent to a request to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against actor Swara Bhasker, stating that her remarks about the Ram Janmabhoomi judgement by Supreme Court were “not an attack on the institution”.

The petition had been filed by one Usha Shetty, supported by a group of lawyers. One of the lawyers involved is is Mehak Maheswari, who is also a petitioner in the complaint against Prashant Bhushan. The lawyers of the petitioners had approached Venugopal, as consent of either Attorney General or Solicitor General is required under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, to initiate proceedings against a person. The petitioners claimed Bhasker scandalised the court while addressing a gathering called ‘Artists against Communalism’ during the peak of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Mumbai in February 2020.

  • A brief about Facebook Issue.

The Wall Street Journal published a report alleging that Facebook India’s public policy director had exhibited ‘favouritism’ towards the BJP on a number of occasions, including by personally opposing the application of Facebook’s hate speech rules to its leaders. Similar allegations of bias have been levelled against other platforms as well. In February 2019, for instance, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had been summoned by the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology following concerns around the platform discriminating against right-wing accounts.

  • Supreme Court extends the deadline for Babri Demolition case.

The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for completion of the trials in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, by a CBI court in Lucknow, by a month. The case involves 32 accused, including BJP veterans L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Uma Bharti. The apex court has said that judgement should be delivered by September 30.

The top court, which had earlier fixed August 31 as the deadline for completion of proceedings including pronouncement of the verdict, took note of the report filed by special judge S.K. Yadav in the high-profile case.

  • Delhi HC asks Delhi Police to submit evidence with regards to FIR on Devangana Kalita for making hate speeches.

The Delhi high court on Friday asked the Delhi Police to show the videos of Devangana Kalita, a member of Pinjra Tod women’s collective, allegedly making instigating speeches during the communal violence in North-East Delhi early this year.

The police, however, said they do not have the videos of the time when Kalita, a Jawaharlal Nehru University student, was allegedly making instigating speeches during the riots.

The police said it has the videos of her allegedly instigating people before the riots took place on February 24 and 25 and also of February 22 and 23 when a large gathering was sitting and protesting outside Jaffrabad metro station against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

  • The Supreme Court shifted the last date to file consent for physical hearing.

The Supreme Court has postponed the time limit for lawyers and parties in-person to send their consent for appearing in physical hearings in the Supreme Court till August 28. The threshold for providing this consent earlier stood till Saturday, August 22. However, an additional period of 6 days has now been given by the Supreme Court for the consent to be conveyed to the Registry. This consent is in relation to a list of 170 matters drawn up, which will be taken up by the Court for physical hearing. This extension has been provided following a request made by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA), states a notice issued by the Supreme Court.

  • Update on AGR Row.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked details from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reagrding to Spectrum sharing agreements and licence trading agreements of telecom companies before the Court.

The three-Judge Special Bench has been hearing the case on the question of whether Spectrum can be sold under IBC proceedings. This question came from the Bench when it was hearing ailing telecom companies on the issue of their bona fide vis-a-vis discharging their dues towards AGR.

  • The first e- Lok Adalat held in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the time restricted judicial functioning owing to COVID-19 outbreak, the Jammu and Kashmir Legal Services Authority organized its first e-Lok Adalat through video conference using different digital platforms on August 22, Saturday. In this e-Lok Adalat, 4,273 cases were resolved, as per information released by the J&K Legal Services Authority. The e-Lok Adalat also saw the end of a 40-year old dispute, which ended in compromise.

  • Supreme Court stayed contempt proceeding against Ministry of Environment and Forest.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 13 August, stayed contempt proceedings issued by the Delhi High Court against the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) for failing to publish the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment notification in multiple regional languages.


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