From Aadhaar to Kerala ‘love jihad’ and Article 35A: Supreme Court to take up high-profile cases today
The Supreme Court will hear petitions related to Aadhaar, Kerala’s love jihad case, Artcile 35(A), a law that guarantees special privileges to J-K, reforms in BCCI among others.india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 10:26 IST
From Aadhaar to “love jihad” in Kerala, a string of high-profile cases riveting the nation are up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, making it a day of significant judicial importance.
A bench led by Justice AK Sikri will hear the West Bengal government’s petition against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number for citizens, mandatory to get social welfare benefits.
The Centre is expected to inform the top court if it will extend the deadline till March 31 for people to provide their Aadhaar details to receive benefits. Attorney general KK Venugopal said in the court on October 25 that the extension will be limited to those who don’t have Aadhaar.
The apex court is also scheduled to hear a plea challenging a move to make people link their Aadhaar to their mobile phone numbers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will take up petitions seeking repeal of Article 35(A), a law that guarantees special privileges to the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The main petition in the case is filed by an NGO, We the Citizens, which says the state’s autonomous status granted by Article 35(A) and Article 370 of the Constitution discriminates against fellow citizens from the rest of the India.
Article 35(A) gives special rights to the state’s permanent residents. It disallows people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from buying or owning immovable property there, settle permanently, or avail themselves of state-sponsored scholarship schemes. It also forbids the state government from hiring such people.
Kerala ‘love jihad’
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear a Muslim man’s request for overturning a Kerala high court order that cancelled his marriage with a Hindu girl after she converted to Islam. Misra questioned the order in the previous hearing.
The case is about 24-year-old homeopathic doctor Hadiya Shefin, born Akhila Ashokan, who married Shafin Jahan without her family’s consent last December. She was allegedly recruited by the Islamic State terrorist group and her husband was only a stooge.
Her father, retired military man Ashokan KM, challenged the wedding in the high court and got the relationship annulled.
The Hadiya lawsuit put the spotlight on “love jihad”, a controversial term coined by fringe outfits to describe cases of what they believe are forced marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women. They also alleged that such couples often work for terrorist outfits.
Reforms in BCCI
A special bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will assemble to take up a case related to reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), one of the richest sports organisations in the world.
Board officials submitted a draft constitution to the court-appointed committee of administrators, which filed a report on Friday. The court is likely to take up the report and pass necessary directions.
The court wants the board to initiate a string of administrative reforms along recommendations by the RM Lodha committee. The court formed the panel headed by former chief justice Lodha after the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal engulfed the BCCI.
The top court had upbraided the board for being tardy in implementing the reforms.
Safety in schools
A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear petitions demanding strict guidelines for children’s safety in private schools. The cases were filed after the murder of an eight-year-old boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International school this September.
The Ryan school murder put the focus on children’s safety in schools. A 42-year-old bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, was arrested after publicly confessing to slitting the throat of the Class 2 student who he allegedly tried to sexually abuse inside the private school’s toilet.
Other than the Ryan schoolboy, two girls — aged five and six — studying in separate private schools in New Delhi were raped by housekeeping staff of the institutes. There were allegations that the schools didn’t check the background of these people before hiring them.
Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi had suggested that drivers, conductors and non-teaching staff in schools should be women to prevent sexual assaults on children.
Sanjay Chandra bail
Unitech Ltd promoter Sanjay Chandra, jailed with his brother for cheating homebuyers in a Gurgaon project, is likely to inform the Supreme Court when he would deposit ₹1,000 crore for his bail.
Chandra promised in August to repay homebuyers within three months, and urged the court to release him on interim bail for that period.
The case against the real estate company was registered in July 2015 after a police complaint by New Delhi residents Arun and Urmila Bedi. They alleged that the firm convinced them to book a flat at a residential project called Wild Flowers Country in Gurgaon for Rs 57.34 lakh in August 2011, but they never got the house.
More complaints about the project poured in later. These were clubbed with Bedi case and police claimed that the firm collected around Rs 363 crore from investors. More than Rs 35 crore was from 91 complainants in the case.