Top News Headlines 7th May 2021: Media Freedom To Report Court Hearings Upheld By Supreme Court

Top News Headlines 7th May 2021: Media Freedom To Report Court Hearings Upheld By Supreme Court

Media Freedom To Report Court Hearings Upheld By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India in the case of Election Commission of India v. Mr. Vijaya Bhaskar clarified that the Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution extends to reporting the judicial proceedings as well. 

This came as the ECI had filed a petition pleading for expunging the oral remarks of the Madras High Court and for restraining the media from reporting those to which the Supreme Court stated that the Constitution of India’s two fundamental principles of open court and freedom of speech and expression guarantee that the proceedings be reported. The Open Court system is to ensure that public has knowledge of what is going on in the judicial proceedings and except for the in camera cases all other cases are to be reported which can be used for educational purposes as well.

What do you think of the relation between Open Court proceedings and media rights?

India Lord’s Resistance Army Commander termed 25 year jail

A Ugandan soldier who was the Commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, was sentenced to 25 years’ jail term for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. He had 61 charges of crimes including murders, rapes and sexual enslavement.

The prosecutors had pleaded for a term of 20 years of prison term considering the history that he was subjected to where he was abducted from his school at the age of nine. He presented his gruesome experience of having to eat beans soaked with the blood of the people he was made to kill at the very tender age. The crimes committed by him were heinous and the past experiences he faced do not justify his actions.

Would you agree with the punishment of 25 years or ask for a higher punishment?

India asked to Co-operate in Kulbhushan Yadav’s Case

The Pakistani Court asked India to cooperate in the legal proceedings of the death row convict Kulbhushan Yadav who was charged of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice had ruled in favour of India and Pakistani Government had passed an ordinance in 2020 for Yadav to avail statutory remedy.

The Indian Government avoiding appearing before the Court raised objections against trial before a Pakistani Court stating it would amount to surrendering the sovereign rights. The Court remarked that the Indian government should tell how the ICJ’s decision should be implemented. The appearance would not amount to waiving of the sovereign immunity of the Government.

Do you think that Indian Government is intentionally avoiding appearance?

Arbitral Award cannot be interfered with, over disagreement on inference from Evidence

The High Court of Delhi in the case of Megha Enterprises v. Haldiram Snacks ruled that the Court cannot interfere with an arbitral award on the ground that the court does not concur with the inference from evidence drawn by the tribunal.

A petition was filed before the Court on the ground of the tribunal having grossly erred in evaluation of the evidence. The Court clarified that the scope of the examination of the award under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act is limited and does not prescribe for re-appreciation of the evidence. There was no ground for interference as there was no injustice or immorality.

What is your opinion on the arbitral award’s scope?

Government Order for Merger of Primary Schools quashed by Odisha High Court: Right to Safe Education

The Government of Odisha had passed an order for the merger and consolidation of primary schools having poor roll strength with higher schools. The Court made the observation that this order neglects the Constitutional mandate under Article 21-A and the statutory provisions under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and the Odisha Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2010.

Petitions were filed against the order of the Government which was subsequently quashed by the Court stating that the purpose having the Right To Education Act was to provide for at least one school within one kilometre of the neighbourhood and the schools cannot be abolished merely on the ground of decreasing roll strength when the needs of the people are being fulfilled.

Do you think that the schools should be closed down due to lack of roll strength?

Supreme Court: Orders by SC to be brought to the Notice of High Court in Suraz India Trust Case

The State of Rajasthan informed the Supreme Court of the interim order passed by the High Court granting a stay on the transfer of Rajiv Dhaiya, Chairperson of NGO Suraz India Trust. The Supreme Court of India directed to bring the order passed by the Supreme Court to the notice of the High and also may approach the Supreme Court by a Special Leave Petition if the need be.

The NGO was issued a notice for not depositing the amount of the exemplary cost directed in the previous order for wasting the time of the Court. Mr. Dhaiya was required to submit various documents before the court showing his salary, assets, etc. The State of Rajasthan was asked to verify the facts as he was being non-cooperative.

Have you come across any cases like this one? Tell us in the comments below!

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