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SC set for busy week with Shopian, Loya, Hadiya, Mahatma assassination cases

The Chief Justice-led bench will also hear petitions demanding a court-monitored independent investigation into the death of special CBI judge BH Loya.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2018 07:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Supreme Court Cases,Loya Cases
A view of Supreme Court building in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

The Supreme Court is set for a busy week with a bunch of important cases, including that of a military officer accused of killing civilians in Shopian, the apparently mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, a vexed verdict on land acquisition, the so-called “love jihad”, and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

A bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will take up on Monday a petition filed by the father of Major Adithya Kumar of 10 Garhwal Rifles, who is facing criminal prosecution after soldiers gunned down three men in Shopian for allegedly throwing stones at a military convoy this January.

An FIR was registered against the soldiers, including Major Kumar, for murder and attempt to kill under the Ranbir Penal Code, the equivalent of the Indian Penal Code in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh, the officer’s father, has said in his petition that his son was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named in the FIR, contending that he was performing his military duty against an “unruly and deranged” mob damaging army vehicles.

The top court restrained on February 12 the state police from taking coercive steps against the officer. The court stayed the investigation into the case after the father said his son was defending the country.

The Chief Justice-led bench will also hear petitions demanding a court-monitored independent investigation into the death of judge Loya, who was holding trial in the alleged staged killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005 — a controversial shooting in which BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused.

In its previous hearing, the court assured an investigation if there “is some ground for suspicion” in the December 2014 death of the judge in Nagpur.

The controversy surrounding a judgment related to land acquisition will be heard this week.

On February 8, a Justice Arun Mishra-led bench ruled that land acquisition by a government agency cannot be set aside even if the plot owners do not accept the compensation, thereby contradicting a 2014 judgment.

Another bench on February 22 called the verdict a lack of judicial propriety and “requested” high courts and top court benches to defer hearing land acquisition cases involving the legal question decided in the February 8 judgment.

Another case coming up for hearing is the alleged “love jihad” in Kerala, where a Muslim husband is fighting for the custody of his wife, Hadiya or Akhila Ashokan, who has converted to marry him. The man, Shafin Jahan, has moved the top court after the Kerala high court annulled his marriage.

The Hadiya lawsuit put the spotlight back on “love jihad”, a term coined by fringe outfits to describe cases of what they believe are forced marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women.

In another case, the Centre will place its “categorical stand” to a petition demanding a permanent commission to fix salaries for lawmakers. On February 20, a bench led by Justice J Chelameswar said the issue in the petition by Lok Prahari, an NGO, was “important, ethical and legal”.

The top court will also determine whether it should take cognizance of “secret” documents related to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, which a Mumbai-based social activist has claimed will reveal a larger conspiracy behind the killing.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 07:25 IST