The honorable Supreme Court of India will resume its working on 29 th June, 2016 after a 45 days summer break and the list of public cases awaiting verdict opens up. There are certain issues of public interest which have been eagerly waiting for this reopening day as the honorable court is expected to deliver final verdicts and judgments. Following is a sneak-peak of some of the most prominent cases in hand that have created waves in public:-
Jayalalitha’s disproportionate assets Case:-
The Karnataka Government filed an appeal on 23 rd June, 2015 in Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s disproportionate assets case. Karnataka High Court has acquitted Jayalalitha and her 3 other associates in the said disproportionate assets case in May, 2015. The case has been passing on for past 19 years starting from 1996 when Dr. Subramaniam Swamy filed a complaint against J Jayalalitha alleging corruption as well as accumulation of disproportionate assets. Further appeal has been filed by the Karnataka Government in the Supreme Court on June 7. The jurisdictional bench, comprising of Justice Amitav Rao and Justice P.C. Ghose have reserved its judgment up till now.
Decision pending in Arunachal Pradesh Case:-
The Supreme Court of India is on the verge of delivering its judgment against the Guwahati HC Order that sustained the discretionary powers of the State Governor J.P. Rajkhowa to call upon or advance a sitting of the state Assembly. The bench comprise of five premier judges who have heard the arguments of both the sides on the boundaries of the discretionary power of the Governor for over a month and have reserved their judgment on 22 nd February 2016.
Petitions against Section 377(LGBT issue):-
There has been a batch of petitions against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, where under, it criminalizes consensual sexual acts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender(LGBT) adults in private. The Supreme Court’s constitution bench comprising of five judges are being referred to these petitions for an in-depth hearing. Earlier, the case has been reviewed by other jurisdictional benches but they have neither admitted these referred petitions nor have issued any notice to the Government pertaining to it. They have left the verdict to be decided by future constitutional benches.
Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case:-
The Supreme Court of India has made an appointment of two senior lawyers as ‘Amicus Curae’ which means ‘a friend of the court’ (who is also not counseling parties to the case) on April 8, 2016. The appointments are made to assist the honorable court in deciding the appeals of 4 death row sentenced offenders in the 2012 Delhi’s ‘Nirbhaya’ Gang rape case. The bench is led by Justice Deepak Mishra. The matter is listed for further hearing on 18 th July 2016.
Issue relating to Entry Tax:-
In this matter, the Supreme Court of India has issued a reminder notice to all the advocates appearing in the batch of ‘Entry Tax’ cases to file their respective submissions or compilations to both Senior Lawyer Harish Salve and to the Court. The hearing is before a bench comprising of nine judges in the week beginning from July 18. With reference to the Court Order, as issued in the context of said matter on dated 11 th May 2016, it was decided that no adjournments will be issued in the said matter. The entry tax issue is challenged by many companies including Reliance as according to them it is in contravention to freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse (Article 301 of Indian Constitution).
Sabarimala Temple Matter:-
This controversial temple entry issue is about ban on the entry of females aged between 10 to 50 years as they can’t maintain purity for 41 continuous days due to their menstruation cycle. The arguments were presented by Devaswom Temple Board in front of 3 judge bench led by Justice Deepak Misra but remained inconclusive. The hearing would resume again in the month of July.
PIL requesting ban on ‘WhatsApp’:-
The PIL has been filed by RTI Activist Sudhir Yadav pleading request for ban on instant messaging application i.e. ‘WhatsApp’. The ban request is made after the app introduced end-to-end encryption to its users on 5 th April, 2016. The petitioner elucidated that all the encryption have been used by the developer and have now made their future release completely encrypted. This way it is against the national interest as the Government agencies would then fail to decrypt messages/videos/images/document, if required for the purpose of national security as they have not issued any private key to any of their user. The matter is yet to come in front of the jurisdictional bench (es) of Supreme Court.
Dispute on Judges Appointment Rules:-
The matter of conflict is between the ruling government and the Supreme Court Collegiums comprising of 4 senior judges and Chief Justice of India, with regard to the procedure/rules of appointment of judges.
Tax on diesel cars:-
The Supreme Court of India is soon expected to deliver its pronouncement on imposing environmental pollution Cess on newly launched diesel cars.
Row over Fresh Aadhar:-
A petition is filed by Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wherein he challenged the decision to treat. Aadhar bill as money bill. The decision was passed in the parliament during its budget session in March, 2016. The Supreme Court recommended hearing the views of Attorney General to decide further in the matter.
There are other important matters in the list too which include issues relating to reforms in BCCI, the appointment of new SC judges etc., which are expecting Supreme Court’s attention.