AADHAAR HEARING RESUMES | Justices AK Sikri and DY Chandrachud seek to know how is the Aadhaar biometrics system different from the biometrics for US Visa? Judges ask, do petitioners say all data collected between 2009 and 2016, when there was no law, be destroyed, reports CNN-News18's Utkarsh Anand.
Final arguments in the Aadhaar validity case.
#Aadhaar: Divan adds:— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
* People's rights can't be tethered to a switch
* Aadhaar is a giant electronic leash
* Aadhaar was an advent of all intrusive State which recognises numbers and not people
Arguments to resume at 2.30 PM
FINAL ARGUMENTS IN AADHAAR CASE | Senior advocate Shyam Divan, arguing for the petitioners in Aadhaar validity case, says that people's rights can't be tethered to a switch. Aadhaar is a giant electronic leash. Aadhaar was an advent of all intrusive state which recognises numbers and not people. The arguments are to resume at 2.30pm, reports CNN-News18's Utkarsh Anand.
Final arguments in Aadhaar validity case begins before the Constitution Bench. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, arguing for the petitioners in Aadhaar validity case, argues -- Aadhaar may cause death of civil rights of citizens. State will dominate citizens. A people's Constitution is being sought to be converted into a State's Constitution, reports CNN-News18's Utkarsh Anand.
Justice J Chelameswar, one of the four Supreme Court judges who had openly castigated the functioning of the top court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is on leave today.
Matters before Court No.2 of Supreme Court, for 17 January not taken up due to unavailability of Justice Jasti Chelameswar. pic.twitter.com/JkkON2KgSK— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2018
While the five-judge Supreme Court bench hears eight crucial cases, including those on the validity of Aadhaar and legality of Section 377, the bench headed by Justice Chelameswar could not hear the matters it had at hand. Justice Chelameswar, who heads Court Room No. 2 had reported unwell on Wednesday morning. He also missed the customary lunch at the Supreme Court.
READ | Can Women Enter Kerala's Sabarimala Temple? Constitution Bench to Decide
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra framed several questions to be dealt with by the Constitution Bench, including whether the Sabarimala Temple can restrict women's entry.
SABARIMALA MANAGEMENT | The management of the Sabarimala temple, located on a hilltop in the Western Ghats of Pathanamthitta district, had earlier told the apex court that the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years was because they cannot maintain "purity" on account of menstruation. The court is hearing a plea challenging the practice of banning entry of such women in the temple. On November 7 last year, the Kerala government had informed the apex court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the historic Sabarimala temple.
SABARIMALA HEARING | The Supreme Court had in October last year referred the issue of menstruating women’s entry at Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple to a five-judge Constitution Bench. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra framed several questions to be dealt with by the Constitution Bench, including whether the temple can restrict women's entry. The apex court also framed a question whether restricting the entry of women at the temple was violative of their rights under the Constitution. The case is now up for hearing today and is expected to be taken up by the five-judge Supreme Court bench soon.
CLICK TO READ | Constitution Bench to Review Supreme Court's 2013 Verdict Criminalising Gay Sex
The Supreme Court's decision to revisit its verdict comes months after judges on a Constitution Bench denounced discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
During the December hearing, the bench was hearing a fresh plea filed by one Navtej Singh Johar seeking to declare Section 377 as unconstitutional to the extent that it provides prosecution of adults for indulging in consensual gay sex. Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for Johar, said the penal provision was unconstitutional as it also provided prosecution and sentencing of consenting adults who are indulging in such sex.
Section 377 of the IPC refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has sexual intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. The five-judge bench will be examining the validity of this British-era law in light of the court's recent Right to Privacy verdict.
HEARING ON SECTION 377 | The Supreme Court reignited the homosexuality debate on January 8, saying a Constitution Bench will review its 2013 judgment upholding the validity of Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises gay sex. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the issue arising out of Section 377 required to be debated upon by a larger bench. The case is up for hearing by the five-judge Constitution bench today.
Hearing on bungalows for former chief ministers.
SC bench, led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, will today examine the UP government's law to allot bungalows to former Chief Ministers.— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
Amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium has suggested not just CMs, even former PMs and Presidents shouldn't get this privilege.
"If everything is extended till March 31, we can take it (matter) up in the second week of January," the bench hearing a clutch of petitions against Aadhaar had said in December. This led a battery of senior lawyers including Shyam Divan, Gopal Subramanium, Arvind Datar, K T S Tulsi, Meenakshi Arora, K V Vishwanathan and Anand Grover, representing those opposing Aadhaar, to plead in unison for a direction to the Centre that no coercive action be taken if a person refuses to provide Aadhaar to avail services and benefits.
PROGRESS OF AADHAAR HEARING | The Supreme Court, which is hearing clutch of interim pleas seeking a stay on government's decision of mandatory linking of Aadhaar with welfare schemes had earlier fixed the main petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme itself for final hearing on Wednesday. The court had said in December that it would consider the submission of Attorney General K K Venugopal that deadline of February 6, 2018 for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with mobile services can also be extended up to March 31 next year.
CLICK TO READ | Padmaavat Producers Knock on SC Door After Ban by States
The film has received U/A certificate from the CBFC after five modifications, disclaimers and change of title from Padmavati to Padmaavat.
PADMAAVAT ROW IN SC | Meanwhile, producers of 'Padmaavat' have decided to move to Supreme Court against the ban imposed by certain states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat, on the film's release. The SC is likely to hear the case on Thursday. The film has received U/A certificate from the CBFC after five modifications, disclaimers and change of title from Padmavati to Padmaavat. Despite that, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has decided to stick to his decision of not releasing the film in his state, a move followed by the BJP-ruled states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and even Haryana.
Justice J Chelameswar, one of the four Supreme Court judges who had openly castigated the functioning of the top court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, is on leave on Wednesday as he is unwell, sources said. It is confirmed that Justice Chelameswar will not hold the court on Wednesday, said the sources. It was expected that the CJI would have a morning meeting with all the four senior-most judges after he had a 15 minute deliberations with them on Tuesday.
READ | CJI Forms Constitution Bench to Hear 8 Crucial Cases, Keeps Revolting Judges Out
According to official information, the bench would be headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan are the others on the bench.
The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra include Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The same combination of judges had last year heard various constitution bench matters from October 10, including the power tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government over administrative jurisdiction and a matter relating to passive euthanasia.
Days after the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court went public with their grievances over the allocation of cases, no changes were made to the composition of the five-judge Constitution Bench that is hearing the several crucial cases, including the validity of the Aadhaar act and Section 377 today. None of the four 'rebel' judges - Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - featured in the bench.
AADHAAR FACE RECOGNITION | While the legality of Aadhaar is up for hearing on Wednesday, the UIDAI has in the meanwhile announced to include a face recognition feature alongside iris or fingerprint scan as a means of verifying users, helping those who face issues in biometric authentication or have worn-out fingerprints, the authority in charge of the national identity card system. The face authentication will be enabled by July to help people facing difficulty in biometric authentication due to old age, hardwork or worn-out fingerprints, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said in a statement.
CLICK TO READ | Constitution Benches to Hear 8 Matters, Including Aadhaar, on Wednesday
Apart from Aadhaar, the apex court will also deal with a challenge to its 2013 judgment, re-criminalising gay sex between consenting adults.
JUDGES MEET CJI | Four days after four senior most judges of the Supreme Court held an unprecedented press conference on Friday and brought allegations of improper practices in the court, the four met Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra discussing several issues on Tuesday. The four also met among themselves amid hectic parleys between other judges to resolve the crisis. Their meeting came hours after the CJI reached out to them at the apex court lounge and held parleys with them over tea, before starting the day's proceedings in the apex court.
JUDGE LOYA CASE | The Supreme Court on Tuesday left it to the Maharashtra government to decide which documents, relating to the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, could be handed over to the petitioners who have sought an independent probe into it. The state government, which filed documents in a sealed cover relating to Loya's death, had during the hearing opposed the petitioners' demand that the entire material should be handed over to them for perusal. The apex court, in its order which was uploaded on its website late in the evening on Tuesday, said, "Let the documents be placed on record within seven days and if it is considered appropriate, copies be furnished to the petitioners. Put up before the appropriate bench".