Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Former Mumbai Police top cop moves Supreme Court; Seeks CBI probe against Maharashtra Home Minister

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh has invoked writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and sought unbiased, uninfluenced, impartial and fair investigation in the “corrupt malpractices” of Anil Deshmukh, the Home Minister of Government of Maharashtra, before the evidences are destroyed.

Fair CBI investigation is warranted in each acts of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister, the petition underscores.

Singh has submitted that said Anil Deshmukh had been holding meetings in February, 2021 at his residence with police officers including Sachin Vaze of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai and Sanjay Patil, ACP Social Service Branch, Mumbai, bypassing their seniors and had instructed them that he had a target to accumulate Rs. 100 crores every month and had directed to collect money from various establishments and other sources. Prior to that, the petition says, it is reliably learnt that on or about 24/25 August 2020, one Rashmi Shukla, the Commissioner Intelligence, State Intelligence Department had brought to the notice of the Director General of Police, who in turn brought it to the knowledge of the Additional Chief Secretary Home Department, Government of Maharashtra about corrupt malpractices in postings / transfers by Anil Deshmukh based on telephonic interception. She was shunted out rather than taking any firm action against Anil Deshmukh. Further, Anil Deshmukh had been interfering in various investigations and was instructing the police officers to conduct the same in a particular manner as desired by him. Each such act of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Hon’ble Home Minister, whether in calling and directly instructing the police officers of lower rank such as Vaze or Patil for his malicious intent of extorting money from establishments across Mumbai and from other sources, or whether in interfering in the investigations & directing the same to be conducted in a particular manner, or whether indulging in corrupt malpractices in posting / transfers of officers, cannot be countenanced or justified in any democratic State. Fair CBI investigation is thus warranted in each of such acts of Anil Deshmukh in abuse of the official position of the Home Minister. The petitioner had brought the corrupt practices of Anil Deshmukh in the knowledge of the senior leaders and the Chief Minister of of Maharashtra. Thereafter, the petition adds on 17 March 2021 an Order vide Notification of the Home Department of the Respondent No. 1 bearing no. IPS2021/Vol.No.107/Pol-1 was issued, by virtue of which, the Petitioner herein was transferred from the post of the Police Commissioner of Mumbai to the Home Guard Department in an arbitrary and illegal manner without the completion of the minimum fixed tenure of two years. The said transfer was maliciously effected purportedly under Section 22N(2) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 with the reason that the transfer was necessitated by “administrative exigencies”. It is settled law that the Orders have to stand on the reasons contained in the same and no reasons can be supplemented later. The petitioner believes that the reason for the transfer noted by the Respondent no. 1 in its file is to ensure a free and fair investigation in the Antilia incident leading to FIR no. 35/2021 dated 25 February 2021 registered with Gamdevi Police Station as a result of a car with explosives being found at Altamount Road near Antilia, the residence of Mukesh Ambani, for Bomb Scare. The said case is thereafter being investigated by the ATS and now the NIA, and Sachin Vaze, officer of Crime Intelligence Unit, Mumbai has been arrested for custodial interrogation by NIA.

The petitioner has stated “for the conduct of a free and fair investigation by the ATS and the NIA into the Antilia incident. It is not even case of NIA that the petitioner had in any manner obstructed in free and fair investigation by NIA. Anil Deshmukh, in his capacity as Home Minister of Maharashtra has stated in an interview conducted on 18 March 2021 under the aegis of ‘Lokmat’ that his transfer was not on administrative grounds. The transfer of the petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is for reasons smeared with malice, when there is no iota of material or evidence – far from proof – found or even imputed against the petitioner, and is solely based on conjectures, surmises and pure speculation, without detail of any sort against the petitioner having been noticed by anybody. Such transfer followed by adverse media publicity by Anil Deshmukh, is in violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, in teeth of the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in T.S.R. Subramanian v. Union of India, reported in (2013) 15 SCC 732, and in clear non-compliance with the provisions of Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 as amended in 2014. Further, the transfer of the Petitioner is also contrary to the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in T.P. Senkumar v. Union of India, reported in (2017) 6 SCC 801.

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Supreme Court stays implementation of farm laws, sets up panel of experts

Shivani Bhardwaj

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India, on Tuesday 12 January 2021, passed an interim order to stay the implementation of the three farm laws 1) Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; (2) Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and (3) Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, until further orders.

The Court has also set up a committee of experts for the purpose of listening to the grievances of the farmers.

Further, the Supreme Court has ordered:

  • The Minimum Support Price System in existence before the enactment of the Farm Laws shall be maintained until further orders.
  • The farmers’ land holdings shall be protected, i.e., no farmer shall be dispossessed or deprived of his title as a result of any action taken under the Farm Laws.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, and comprising A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, which is hearing this case, has listed the matters after eight weeks and expressed the hope and expectation that both parties (Government of India and the protesting farmers) will take this (Supreme Court order) in the right spirit and attempt to arrive at a fair, equitable and just solution to the problems.

The Supreme Court has considered the ground reality and observed: “the negotiations between the farmers’ bodies and the Government have not yielded any result so far. Therefore, we are of the view that the constitution of a Committee
of experts in the field of agriculture to negotiate between the farmers’ bodies and the Government of India may create a congenial atmosphere and improve the trust and confidence of the farmers. We are also of the view that a stay of implementation of all the three farm laws for the present, may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.

A Committee comprising of (1) Shri Bhupinder Singh Mann, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan
Coordination Committee; (2) Dr. Parmod Kumar Joshi, Agricultural Economist, Director for South Asia, International
Food Policy Research Institute; (3) Shri Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Economist and Former Chairman of the Commission
for Agricultural Costs and Prices; and (4) Shri Anil Ghanwat, President, Shetkari Sanghatana, has been constituted by the Supreme Court for the purpose of listening to the grievances of the farmers relating to the farm laws and the views of the Government and to make recommendations. This Committee shall be provided a place as well as Secretarial assistance at Delhi by the Government.

All expenses for the Committee to hold sittings at Delhi or anywhere else shall be borne by the Central Government. The representatives of all the farmers’ bodies, whether they are holding a protest or not and whether they support or oppose the laws shall participate in the deliberations of the Committee and put forth their view points. The Committee
shall, upon hearing the Government as well as the representatives of the farmers’ bodies, and other stakeholders, submit a Report before this Court containing its recommendations. This shall be done within two months from the
date of its first sitting. The first sitting shall be held within ten days from today.

The Court has said in its order:

“We may not stifle a peaceful protest, we think that this extraordinary order of stay of implementation of the farm laws will be perceived as an achievement of the purpose of such protest at least for the present and will encourage the farmers bodies to convince their members to get back to their livelihood, both in order to protect their own lives and health and in order to protect the lives and properties of others.”

The order goes on to underscore regarding the apprehension that MSP [Minimum Support Price] was being done away with that itr has been submitted across the Bar that it may not be dismantled. Especially the Court has brought on record that the Solicitor General also has confirmed that there are inherent safgeguards, in-built in the Farm Laws, for the protection of the land of the farmers and that it will be ensured that no farmer will lose his land.

V. Chitambaresh, senior counsel, appearing for Bhartiya Kisan Sangh [applicant in IA No. 136682/2020 in WP[C]
No. 1118/2020 submitted that the Union which he represents is not aggrieved by the Farm Laws.

Sridhar Potaraju, counsel appearing for the the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) submitted that his client represents 15 farmers’ unions across 15 States and that they will be badly affected if a stay of the implementatin of the Farm Laws is ordered. He informed the Court that the farmers whom he represents, cultivate fruits and vegetables and that about 21 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables will rot, if anything is done at this stage.

Some of the farmers’ bodies that are opposing the Farm Laws and are represented before the Supreme Court of India through counsel, have agreed to go before the Committee.

P Wilson, senior counsel representing one section of farmers from Tamil Nadu welcomed the proposal to stay the implementation of the Laws and the constitution of the Committee and stated that his client would go before the Committee. Similarly, A.P. Singh, counsel appearing for Bhartiya Kisan Union [BHANU] also submitted that the representatives of the Union will participate in the negotiations. He even went to the extent of saying that
elders, women and children will be dissuaded from being there at the site of protest.

The Court appreciated the submission of K.K. Venugopal, the Attorney General, but added that it cannot be said to be completely powerless to grant stay of any executive action under a statutory enactment and underscored this by referring to the interim Order passed by the Supreme Court in Dr. Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Vs. The Chief Minister & Anr. (Civil Appeal No.3123 of 2020) directing that admissions to educational institutions for the Academic Year 2020-21 and appointments to public services and posts under the Government shall be made without reference to the reservation provided under the impugned legislation.

The Attorney General contended that the Court should not stay the implementation of the laws. He argued that none of the petitioners who have attacked the farm laws have pointed out any single provision which is detrimental to the farmers and that the laws enacted by Parliament cannot be stayed by this Court, especially when there is a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of legislation.

When the Attorney General submitted that there are reports that the farmers bodies may take out a tractor rally on January 26, 2021, disrupting the Republic Day Parade and celebrations, it was stoutly denied by Dushyant Dave, senior counsel appearing for a few of the farmers’ bodies on the ground that at least one member of the family of each of the farmers from Punjab is in the Army and that they would not disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.

A few farmers’ bodies who are now protesting, have engaged a team of lawyers comprising of Dushyant Dave, Colin
Gonsalves, H.S. Phoolka and Prashant Bhushan to represent their cause. The interim order has placed on record that “today this team of lawyers is absent.”

While lauding the farmers as they have carried on the agitation peacefully and without any untoward incident till now. the order places on record that it was pointed out in the course of hearing that a few persons who are not farmers
have also joined, with a view to show solidarity with the farmers. An apprehension was expressed that the possibility of some persons creating trouble cannot be entirely ruled out. In fact, a specific averment is made in an intervention application filed by one Indian Kisan Union, in I.A. No.3324/2021 in W.P.(C) No.1441/2020 that an organisation by name “Sikhs for Justice”, which is banned for anti-India secessionist movement is financing the agitation. This averment was supported by the Attorney General also.

Tuesday’s order says:

“Though several rounds of negotiations have taken place between the Government of India and the farmers’ bodies, no solution seems to be in sight. The situation on ground is: (i) that senior citizens, women and children are at site, exposing themselves to serious health hazards posed by cold and COVID; (ii) that a few deaths have taken place, though not out of any violence, but either out of illness or by way of suicide.”

There are three categories of petitions, all revolving around the validity or otherwise of three laws namely:

  1. Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020;
  2. Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020; and
  3. Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, (hereinafter referred to as the ‘farm laws’), and the protest by farmers against these
    laws.

One category of petitions challenge the constitutional validity of the farm laws. Included within this category of
petitions, is a petition under Article 32 challenging the validity of the Constitution (Third Amendment) Act, 1954, by which Entry 33 was substituted in List III (concurrent list) in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, enabling the Central Government also to legislate on a subject which was otherwise in the State List.

Another category of petitions are those which support the farm laws on the ground that they are constitutionally valid and also beneficial to the farmers. The third category of petitions are those filed by individuals who are residents of the National Capital Territory of Delhi as well as the neighbouring States, claiming that the agitation by farmers in the peripheries of Delhi and the consequent blockade of roads/highways leading to Delhi, infringes the fundamental rights of other citizens to move freely throughout the territories of India and their right to carry on trade and business.

Arnab roars; tells Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray “you have been defeated”p

Newsroom24x7 Network

Mumbai: “The game has just begun. Uddhav Thackeray must hear. We will have to fight a lot more in the coming days. We are stronger than ever before. For us it is nation first, no compromise.”

This is how Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief Republic Network, roared on returning to the Republic Network headquarters here on Wednesday night (11 November 2020) after 8 days of judicial custody. He was arrested “illegally” by Maharashtra Police in a case that was already closed. He was released Wednesday on orders of the Supreme Court of India.

Addressing his team as he went live on his TV network, Arnab said: “Those who have a problem with our kind of journalism, they use their power and think they will use it to break and destroy us – they think they can break the Republic Network for the way we covered Palghar Lynching of Sadhus and Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Do they have the guts, the courage to destroy us. The people of India are with us. Their problem is with our kind of journalism.

Arnab further said:

“We dont owe an explanation to the politicians to decide what our journalism should be.

They thought will be able to break my moral strength and by doing that they will crush our network.

I have been through three rounds of interrogation by the police in last three days in the Taloja jail. Whats their obsession with us.

Uddhav Thackeray you have been defeated today. I have my team and people of India with me and you have no one with you.

We are launching Republic Network in every langauge in every State of India in the next one year. We are also going global in the coming 16-17 months.

I have my team and people of India with me. I have gone through a transformation in last eight days. You have dared to treat journalists and persons working in a media organisation like terrorists. Yesterday, inside Taloja jail, even the inmates were shocked when they saw my colleague Ghanshyam being taken by police like a terrorist. You have no right to use illegal methods against my organisation any more. Shame on you Uddhav Thackeray. You have no right to use illegal methods against our organization any more.

People of India are with Republic Network and Uddhav Thackeray, who are you to decide the limit of Journalism.You (Uddhav) cannot touch the Republic Network. Where were you when I exposed the Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh scam.

In my life, unlike you, Uddhav, I am not afraid to lose because I have nothing to lose and am not attached to anything like you. This network is not a material thing. It is a thought, an ideology. If you have a problem with it why don’t you fight one on one. Why stab at the back. Why this illegal arrest. Till now you have not apologised even once. You pick up a false case and enter someone’s house with machine guns and drag someone without allowing him to even wear his shoes and drag him by force. What have you achieved…you have broken the due process of law. You violated the Constitution after taking the oath to protect the Constitution.”

Breaking News: Supreme Court grants bail to Arnab Goswami

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Supreme Court of India has granted interim bail and ordered release of Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday 11 November ordered the concerned jail authorities and the Superintendent of Police, Raigad to ensure that the release order is complied with forthwith

The order by the two Judge Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Ms Justice Indira Banerjee says: “We are of the considered view that the High Court was in error in rejecting the applications for the grant of interim bail. We accordingly order and direct that Arnab Manoranjan Goswami, Feroz Mohammad Shaikh and Neetish Sarda shall be released on interim bail, subject to each of them executing a personal bond in the amount of Rs 50,000 to be executed before the Jail Superintendent. They are, however, directed to co-operate the investigation and shall not make any attempt to interfere with the ongoing investigation or with the witnesses.”

The appeals before the Supreme Court arose from the order of the Division Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Mumbai on 9 November 2020 by which the applications for the grant of the interim bail moved by the appellants pending the disposal of their writ petitions were rejected.

Senior advocates Harish Salve, Siddharth Bhatnagar, Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Shankaranarayanan represented Arnab Goswami in the Supreme Court.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Amit Desai and CU Singh were from the side of the respondents – Maharashtra Government and others.

Download Supreme Court order

check:

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Free Arnab; Restore Freedom of Media