Supreme Court Upholds Order to Demolish Illegal Shiva Temple on Yamuna Floodplains

The Supreme Court has approved the demolition of an illegal Shiva Temple situated on the Yamuna floodplains. This decision upholds the May 29 ruling by the Delhi High Court, which had ordered the temple’s demolition. The High Court had argued that the Yamuna riverbed and floodplain should be free from encroachments and illegal constructions, suggesting that Lord Shiva would be happier with a cleaner environment.

A vacation bench of Justices PV Sanjay Kumar and Augustine George Masih addressed the case, confirming that the High Court’s decision was sound and questioning the legitimacy of the petition filed by the Akhada Samiti. Justice Kumar pointed out that having an akhada (a traditional place of wrestling) on floodplains is inappropriate and noted that akhadas are typically associated with Lord Hanuman, not Lord Shiva. The Delhi High Court had emphasized that Lord Shiva does not need the court’s protection, but rather, it is people who seek his protection and blessings. The court dismissed the petitioner’s attempt to involve Lord Shiva directly in the legal matter, labeling it as a tactic to shift the focus of the dispute. The court stated that the real concern is the encroachment on the Yamuna floodplains, and clearing these areas would be more respectful to Lord Shiva. Justice Dharmesh Sharma of the Delhi High Court further noted that just because daily prayers and special events are held at the temple, this does not make it a place of public significance. There was no evidence to prove that the temple was a public entity rather than a private one managed by the petitioner society. Based on these findings, the High Court had granted the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) the right to demolish the unauthorized structure. The petitioner society and its members were instructed not to interfere with the demolition process. Unhappy with the High Court’s ruling, the Akhada Samiti appealed to the Supreme Court, but their appeal was dismissed. The Supreme Court’s decision reinforces the High Court’s stance that removing illegal structures from the Yamuna floodplains is necessary for environmental and legal reasons. In summary, the Supreme Court’s ruling supports the idea that religious sentiments cannot justify illegal constructions, particularly in sensitive environmental areas like the Yamuna floodplains. The focus remains on upholding the law and protecting natural resources, ensuring that encroachments do not harm the environment.

Delhi High Court Orders Speedy Trial in Excise Policy Case Involving High-Profile Politicians

The Delhi High Court has issued specific directions to expedite the trial in the Delhi excise policy case, which is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This decision came after Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai challenged the trial court’s decision to proceed with hearings on charges.

The case involves high-profile politicians such as former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma of the Delhi High Court instructed the trial court to start hearing arguments on charges immediately and to assign “block dates” for each accused to present their arguments on framing of charges. Justice Sharma also emphasized that written submissions should be filed on the same day the oral arguments are concluded, to ensure a speedy trial.

Furthermore, the Court directed that once the CBI files its supplementary chargesheet against K Kavitha, the document should be made available to the accused on the first day of the hearing to save time. The trial court is to set short dates for reviewing these documents, ensuring that the Investigating Officer (IO) provides clear and properly organized copies. The accused are expected to review these documents and report any deficiencies within two days to avoid unnecessary delays in the scrutiny process.

The High Court’s directions were issued while addressing a plea from Arun Ramachandran Pillai, who challenged the commencement of arguments on the charges, arguing that it should be deferred until the CBI completes its investigation. The trial court had dismissed his plea, prompting him to approach the High Court. Pillai’s counsel argued that the possibility of additional accused being included in the case necessitated delaying the trial to avoid prejudicing the defense.

However, the High Court refused to interfere with the trial court’s decision. It noted that the trial court had already considered Pillai’s concerns, acknowledging that 16 individuals had been chargesheeted and that hearing arguments on the charges would take significant time. If the CBI files additional chargesheets, the ongoing hearing can be paused, and copies of the new chargesheets will be provided to all accused. Consequently, the High Court concluded that there was no need to intervene at this stage, deeming the trial court’s order appropriate and free from any errors.

The High Court’s decision aims to balance the need for a speedy trial with ensuring that all accused have adequate time to review charges and prepare their defense. The directions also stress efficient document handling to avoid delays. This case, involving prominent politicians and significant public interest, underscores the judicial system’s efforts to manage complex cases promptly while ensuring fairness to all parties.

Representing Arun Ramachandran Pillai were advocates Nitesh Rana, Anuj Tiwari, Kaushal Kait, Deepak Nagar, Nikhil Kohli, Soumya Kumar, and Monika. The CBI’s legal team included Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) DP Singh, along with advocates Manu Mishra, Shreya Dutt, and Imaan Khera.

Overall, the High Court’s directions aim to streamline the trial process in the Delhi excise policy case, ensuring timely justice while upholding the rights of the accused to a fair trial.

Delhi Will Turn into a Barren Desert if Deforestation Continues, Warns Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has raised serious concerns about Delhi’s future environment, warning that ongoing deforestation could turn the city into a barren desert. This warning came during discussions on setting up a committee to protect forests in Delhi. The committee, led by former judge Justice Najmi Waziri, was formed after a request from the high court on April 4.

In a hearing on May 31, Justice Tushar Rao Gedela mentioned that Delhi recently recorded a temperature of 52.9 degrees Celsius on May 30, 2024. However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) later clarified that this high reading at Mungeshpur on May 29 was due to a sensor error.

Justice Gedela stressed the urgent need to address deforestation to stop Delhi from becoming a desert. The court reviewed a report by Justice Waziri, which highlighted the need for proper infrastructure to support the committee’s work. The chief conservator of forests informed the court that the necessary resources had been approved by the minister of the general administration department and were waiting for final approval from the cabinet and the Lieutenant Governor.

Advocate Gautam Narayan, acting as a friend of the court, emphasized the need to provide the required resources quickly. He warned against delays due to bureaucracy, stating that the needed infrastructure and other facilities should be provided without delay. Justice Gedela ordered that the approval process should not take longer than June 15 and that the infrastructure should be ready within 15 days after approval.

The court’s concerns highlight the urgent need for environmental protection in Delhi to combat rising temperatures and prevent severe ecological damage.

Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea to Ban PM Modi from Elections for 6-year

The Delhi High Court recently dismissed a plea requesting a six-year ban on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from participating in elections. The plea alleged that Modi violated the Model Code of Conduct by seeking votes on religious grounds for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Justice Sachin Datta, presiding over the case, explained that the court couldn’t direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) on how to handle such matters.

The petitioner, Advocate Anand S Jondhale, pointed to a speech made by Modi in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, where he allegedly urged voters to support the BJP using religious appeals. Jondhale argued that such statements could incite religious discord, thereby violating the law.

However, the court found the plea flawed, stating that it presumed wrongdoing without adequate evidence. It reiterated that it couldn’t compel the ECI to take specific actions and that the ECI was responsible for independently assessing complaints.

The ECI assured that it would evaluate the petitioner’s representation according to legal procedures. Advocate Sidhant Kumar, representing the ECI, noted that the commission regularly receives such complaints and handles them as per established protocols.

Jondhale’s petition also contended that Modi’s speech breached the Model Code of Conduct, which prohibits activities that could exacerbate differences or create tension between groups. The code also prohibits the use of religious sites for election campaigning.

Despite Jondhale’s efforts, the ECI had not acted on his complaint, leading him to seek recourse in the court. He asked the court to instruct the ECI to register a First Information Report (FIR) against Modi and disqualify him from contesting elections for six years.

However, the court reiterated its position that it couldn’t instruct the ECI on specific actions, emphasizing the commission’s independence in such matters.

In summary, the Delhi High Court rejected the plea seeking a ban on Modi from contesting elections, citing its lack of merit and its inability to dictate the actions of the Election Commission. The court underscored the importance of evidence and due process in such cases, emphasizing the need for impartiality and independence in electoral matters.

Delhi High Court Inquires About Why Arvind Kejriwal Receive Mangoes and Sweets from Family

In a recent development, a Delhi Court has expressed confusion over why Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, received mangoes, sweets, and aloo puri from his family while in jail, despite his medical condition. Kejriwal, who is diabetic, has a prescribed diet that doesn’t include such foods.

The court had previously allowed Kejriwal to have home-cooked meals in prison due to his health condition. However, it was discovered that these meals sometimes didn’t follow the prescribed diet. The court questioned both Kejriwal’s family for sending inappropriate food and the jail authorities for allowing it.

The judge remarked that the jail authorities were aware of the food Kejriwal was receiving but didn’t take any action to ensure compliance with the court’s order and medical prescriptions. The court rejected Kejriwal’s request to consult his doctor daily via video conference, noting that the jail authorities should take care of his health.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) argued that Kejriwal might be intentionally consuming foods like mangoes and sweets to spike his sugar levels and use it as a basis for bail. The court examined this claim and found that mangoes were not specifically prescribed by Kejriwal’s doctor, unlike mushrooms, which were medically recommended.

Regarding Kejriwal’s request for insulin administration, the court noted discrepancies between his medical report and the jail doctor’s report. The jail authorities stated that Kejriwal couldn’t decide on insulin administration himself and hadn’t been taking it since February 2024.

The court emphasized that Kejriwal should not receive special treatment compared to other inmates, as the jail authorities are equipped to manage his health, including monitoring his blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Kejriwal is currently in judicial custody due to the Delhi liquor policy case and has appealed his arrest to the Supreme Court.

Overall, the court highlighted the importance of adhering to medical prescriptions and ensuring that inmates, including public figures like Kejriwal, receive proper care while in custody.

Delhi High Court Rejects Third Petition to Remove Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister, Labels it a ‘Publicity Interest Petition’

The Delhi High Court had some stern words for a former member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sandeep Kumar, who tried to get Arvind Kejriwal ousted as Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi. Kumar’s move came after Kejriwal got arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy scam.

The Court wasn’t too pleased with Kumar’s petition, especially since two similar ones had already been thrown out earlier by the High Court. Justice Subramonium Prasad, the judge overseeing the case, criticized Kumar for wasting the Court’s time with what he called a “publicity interest petition.” He even suggested that Kumar should be slapped with hefty fines for his actions.

This wasn’t the first time the Court had to deal with attempts to remove Kejriwal from his position. Just a few days before Kumar’s attempt, another person named Surjit Singh Yadav had filed a similar petition, but that too was rejected. The Court had then emphasized that such matters are usually left for the executive and the President to handle, not the Court.

Then came another attempt from Vishnu Gupta, the president of the Hindu Sena, who also tried to get Kejriwal ousted. But the Court wasn’t swayed and essentially said that it’s up to Kejriwal himself whether he wants to continue as CM or not. However, they hinted that sometimes personal interests need to take a backseat to national interests.

Now, Kumar’s petition was the third of its kind. He argued that Kejriwal, despite being unfit for the job, was still holding onto the position of CM, causing all sorts of problems, including constitutional complications and violating people’s Right to Life in Delhi.

Kumar wanted the Court to issue what’s called a “writ of quo warranto” against Kejriwal. This basically means demanding Kejriwal to prove why he should be allowed to hold the position of CM under the Constitution. Kumar then asked for Kejriwal to be removed from his office, whether it’s with or without looking back at his past actions.

In simpler terms, the Court was not amused by Kumar’s attempt to remove Kejriwal as CM, especially since similar attempts had already been shut down before. They made it clear that such matters are usually left to the executive branch, not the courts. So, for now, Kejriwal remains the CM of Delhi, and Kumar’s efforts didn’t get him very far.

Delhi High Court: Man expecting wife to do household chores is not cruelty

The Delhi High Court recently addressed a case in which a husband sought a divorce, alleging cruelty by his wife. The court held that a husband expecting his wife to perform household chores cannot be considered cruelty. Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna, overseeing the appeal, emphasized that when a couple enters marriage, they intend to share responsibilities for their future life. The judges highlighted that asking a married woman to handle household work should not be equated to employing a maid; rather, it should be viewed as an expression of love and care for the family.

In this specific case, the husband argued that the marriage had been tumultuous due to his wife’s quarrelsome and uncompromising behavior. He claimed she was reluctant to perform household chores and shoulder responsibilities. The wife countered these allegations, asserting that she had fulfilled her household duties, but her efforts went unappreciated by her husband and his family.

The court granted the husband a divorce on grounds of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, overturning the previous order. The judges noted that the husband had arranged separate accommodation to please his wife, but she predominantly stayed with her parents. The court emphasized that this temporary separation caused insecurity for the spouse and criticized the wife for not fulfilling her matrimonial obligations, thereby keeping the husband away from their son by choosing to live with her parents.

In conclusion, the Delhi High Court’s decision suggests that expecting a wife to handle household chores is not inherently cruel. However, the judgment also considered the overall conduct and actions of the parties involved in this specific case.

Delhi High Court received a bomb threat via email on Wednesday

The Delhi High Court has heightened security measures in response to a bomb threat received via email by the Registrar General, written in the name of Balvant Desai. The alarming message, “I will blow you up with a bomb on 15/02/2024. This will be the biggest blast. You may enhance your security as much as possible and call all the ministers. Everyone will be blown up,” prompted serious concern. The High Court is taking the threat seriously, implementing increased security within and around the complex. An inquiry into the email is underway, accompanied by a security drill today to ensure preparedness and protect individuals at the court.

Delhi IGI Airport Petitions Delhi High Court to Cease Commercial Flight Operations at Ghaziabad Air Station

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), responsible for managing the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi, has approached the Delhi High Court in opposition to the government’s decision to allow commercial flights from the Hindon Indian Air Force station in Ghaziabad. DIAL, led by the GMR Group, argues that this move will negatively impact not only IGI Airport but also the upcoming Jewar Airport and Hindon Air Force Station itself.

The dispute revolves around a decision made on October 31, 2023, by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) to permit the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to conduct scheduled commercial flights from Hindon. DIAL is also challenging a communication from AAI on the same day, inviting airline operators to increase flight operations and submit their schedules for slots at Hindon Air Force Station.

DIAL’s main contention is that allowing commercial flights from Hindon will make all three airports financially unsustainable, creating competition for passengers and revenue. The consortium argues that this contradicts the MCA’s own policy, which generally prohibits the establishment of a new airport within 150 km of an existing one. An exception is made only if the existing airport is saturated and unable to expand to meet passenger demands.

DIAL claims that this exception does not apply to Hindon, as IGI Airport can handle projected traffic, and there’s no evident need for a new airport focal point. Additionally, DIAL emphasizes that Jewar Airport, a greenfield airport with a projected capacity of over 100 million passengers per annum, is already under development within the 150 km radius of IGI Airport.

According to the plea submitted to the court, the total passenger capacity of approximately 250 million passengers per annum in the National Capital Region (NCR) is expected to be sufficient until 2050 with the development of IGI, Jewar, and the existing airports.

The court has issued notices to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India, and the case is scheduled for the next hearing on March 5. This legal battle brings attention to the complex dynamics of airport management and expansion, highlighting concerns about potential economic repercussions and adherence to government policies in the aviation sector.

Delhi High Court Imposes Restrictions on Bohemia Amid Contract Dispute with Saga Music

The Delhi High Court has issued an interim order restraining Punjabi rapper Bohemia, also known as Roger David, from collaborating with any music label other than Saga Music. This legal development stems from a lawsuit filed by Saga Music against Bohemia, accusing him of violating their contract.

According to court documents, Bohemia had entered into an exclusive talent engagement agreement with Saga Music in December 2019, committing to work solely with them for a duration of 45 months. The agreement explicitly stated that Saga Music would own all intellectual property rights to Bohemia’s songs, videos, and performances. Moreover, Bohemia was not permitted to collaborate with any other artist or label without obtaining prior written consent from Saga.

Saga Music alleged that Bohemia breached the agreement by failing to produce any songs for them and continuing with musical tours. Additionally, Bohemia released songs in collaboration with other artists on his YouTube channel, a violation of the exclusivity clause in the contract.

The court, after considering Saga Music’s claims, issued an ex parte ad interim order, effective until the next hearing scheduled for February 23. This order prohibits Bohemia from creating music videos, songs, or engaging in public performances without obtaining prior written permission from Saga Music. It also prohibits Bohemia and his associates from making any defamatory posts about Saga Music on social media.

Senior Advocate Akhil Sibal represented Saga Music in the legal proceedings, highlighting the potential irreparable harm Saga Music could face if an interim order was not granted.

In summary, the Delhi High Court’s decision serves as a temporary measure to safeguard Saga Music’s interests amid Bohemia’s alleged contract violations. The court has indicated its initial belief in the merits of Saga Music’s case, and the interim order is intended to prevent further harm to the label until a thorough examination occurs during the next hearing on February 23.