LEGAL ANGLE

15th APRIL 2014

Eunuchs be treated as 3rd gender: SC

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court today recognised trans genders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed Centre and states to grant them all facilities including voters ID, passport and driving licence.

The Centre and States were also directed to take steps for bringing the community into the mainstream by providing adequate healthcare, education and employment.A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri directed the government to take steps for granting recognition to transgenders as a separate third category of gender after male and female.

The bench also said they are the citizens of the country and have equal rights to education, healthcare and employment opportunities like other people belonging to male and female gender.The apex court expressed concern over transgenders being harasssed and discriminated in the society and passed a slew of directions for their social welfare.

The apex court said that trangenders were respected earlier in the society but situation has changed and they now face discrimination and harassment.It said that section 377 of IPC is being misused by police and other authorities against them and their social and economic condition is far from satisfactory.

The bench clarified that its verdict pertains only to eunuchs and not other sections of society like gay, lesbian and bisexuals who are also considered under the umbrella term ‘transgender’.The bench said they are part and parcel of the society and the government must take steps to bring them in the main stream of society.

The apex court passed the order on a PIL filed by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) urging the court to give separate identity to transgenders by recognising them as third category of gender.

Welcoming the Supreme Court decision, Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi, transgender rights activist said, “the progress of the country is dependent upon human rights of the people and we are very happy with the judgement as the Supreme court has given us those rights.”

 28th January 2014

Land acquisition invalid if compensation not paid to owner, says SC

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court has held that if compensation for land acquired under the 1894 act has not been paid to the land owner or deposited with a competent court and retained in the treasury, then the acquisition would be deemed to have lapsed and would be covered under the 2013 law entitling the landowners to higher compensation.

However, the only rider is that such an award of compensation should be five years or more prior to the enactment of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which was notified on Jan 1, 2014.

“The deposit of compensation amount in the government treasury is of no avail and cannot be held to be equivalent to compensation paid to the landowners/persons interested,” said a bench of Justice R.M.Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph in their recent judgment.

“Under section 24(2) (of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013), land acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 (Land Acquisition) Act by legal fiction, are deemed to have lapsed where award has been made five years or more prior to the commencement of 2013 act and possession of the land is not taken or compensation has not been paid,” the court said.

The court’s ruling came while addressing the question what is the “true meaning” of the expression: “compensation has not been paid” occurring in Section 24(2) of the 2013 act.
The court said that the 1894 Land Acquisition Act being “an expropriatory legislation has to be strictly followed. The procedure, mode and manner for payment of compensation are prescribed in Part V (sections 31-34) of the 1894 Act. The collector, with regard to the payment of compensation, can only act in the manner so provided”.
“It is settled proposition of law that where a power is given to do a certain thing in a certain way, the thing must be done in that way or not at all. Other methods of performance are necessarily forbidden,” the court said while dismissing the plea by Pune Municipal Corporation challenging the Bombay High Court verdict by which it has quashed the acquisition of 43.94 acres for development of a Forest Garden.
The award for the compensation for acquiring these lands was made Jan 31, 2008, and notices were issued to the landowners to receive the compensation but since they did not receive the compensation, the amount (Rs.27 crore) was deposited in the government treasury.
“Can it be said that deposit of the amount of compensation in the government treasury is equivalent to the amount of compensation paid to the landowners/persons interested? We do not think so,” the court said answering its own poser.

17th December 2013

Govt sanction not needed to probe public servants: SC

The Supreme Court said Tuesday there was no need for a prior sanction of the central government to launch an inquiry against a public servant in a court-monitored CBI investigation.

Answering in negative on whether central government’s prior sanction under section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was necessary before a public servant could be proceeded against, the apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph, by its majority verdict, said that no such government nod was necessary.

In a concurring order but with different reasoning, Justice Madan B. Lokur too held that no prior government sanction was required to inquire into or investigate a public servant.

The apex court order came on the plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI ) contending that there was no need for prior government sanction to inquire a public servant in court-monitored cases.

The question arose in the course of the ongoing hearing by the court in the coal scam.

 10th December 2013

Red beacons only for high statutory

offices, rules SC

The Supreme Court Tuesday said that red beacon lights without flashers would be used on the vehicles of only high constitutional functionaries and blue beacon lights will be used only on emergency services and police.

The apex court bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi in its direction said that the sirens would only be used on the emergency and police vehicles but the sound should not be unduly harsh and shrill.

The court said that both the central and state governments will within three months issue a pruned list of constitutional functionaries entitled for red beacon lights on official vehicles.

The court added that any violations of its direction would attract exemplary penalty.The court ordered that the police will implement the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act without fear or favour.

 27th November 2013

SC sets up gender panel

The Supreme Court on Tuesday set up its Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee days after a young law intern accused a former judge of sexual harassment.


Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai will head the committee which will have nine other members, including another judge Justice Madan B Lokur and four lawyers.

Other members include a representative from an NGO “Haq: Centre for Child Rights” and the director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies. Of the 10 members, seven are women .

The formation of the committee was delayed for over a month as the Supreme Court (SC) Bar Association and SC Clerks Association failed to submit their nominations.
At the time of taking suo motu cognizance of the sexual harassment charges by the young law intern, Chief Justice P Sathasivam had reminded both associations of their failure to send in nominations.

The committee in its present form could be attributed to a PIL by a group of women advocates contending that there was no panel in the apex court to deal with sexual harassment complaints as per the Vishakha judgment guidelines.

Subsequently, the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations, 2013, were notified and the chief justice constituted the committee.

In a related development, the three-judge panel probing the allegations by the law intern, held another meeting on Tuesday.

Source: DH

Note: This page is dedicated to the legal reforms brought out from Supreme court of India based on various developments in the citizen’s life.

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