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Chatter #4: Essential Legal Bytes (Dirty Battles, Schizophrenic laws?, Wikipedia, Secularism Burden, Kids matter?)

In five judgments this week, we look at Judiciary-Exec Battles getting dirty, Schizophrenic laws and random interpretations, Irrelevance of Wikipedia, How Hindus carry the Secularism Burden, and finally Kids matter in POCSO cases!

Photo by Orkun Azap / Unsplash
Photo by Michael Boalch / Unsplash
“Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.” ― Plato, The Republic

1. The Saga Continues - Its getting dirty now

The gloves are off.

In a rather provocative move, Supreme Court has openly and publicly shared the communication between itself and the government and government's reasons for rejecting some judges' appointment in an attempt to clearly shame the government.

Some unspoken norms should remain unspoken and be respected.  If they are violated, then the only way to handle those situations is to formalize laws.  And that brings restrictions on people.  

This one action, which BQPrime calls "bold" will go down as the first main strike against the government that is "under the belt."  

Source: Judicial Appointments: A Bold Move By Supreme Court Collegium

And this is very sad.

Judicial Appointments: A Bold Move By Supreme Court Collegium
In a rare move,the Supreme Court collegium makes its displeasure public over government’s objections to five judicial appointments

The thing is that the Courts are not just against the executive, they are fundamentally opposed to the rule by the people which is essential for any society to be a republic.

2. Schizophrenic laws!

Mariselvi, a 13-year oldgirl returned home from her hostel saying that she had no desire to continue her studies.  On July 12, 2012, just a day after she returned, her mother Rajeshwari poured kerosene on her and set her on fire while she was sleeping!  

Why?  Because she was so angry with her daughter!

Mariselvi's father took her to the hospital.

Four months later, Mariselva died from the burns.

Madras high Court in a rather bizarre ruling has reduced the life sentence saying Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code was "not sustainable"

In its ruling, the High Court stated that taking into account Mariselvi’s father’s confirmation that she had no interest in studies, her multiple hospitalizations and the fact that Rajeshwari was angry at the time of the incident, it was determined that it was a case of 304 (1) of the Indian Penal Code and not a case of murder. (Source: Opindia)

This is text of the section.

Source: Devgan

So when the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death but without intention to cause death then it is 10 years.  

Let us read this again - you know if you shoot a person it is likely to kill him, but you know what you shoot him anyway without intending to kill him?  How the heck do you even manage that?

Schizophrenic rules?  

But kudos to the judges for deciphering the mind of the mother.  She poured kerosene and set her girl to fire thinking the fire is likely to kill but she didn't want to kill her.  Just burn her.  If she died... well, too bad!

Madras High Court reduces life sentence of woman who set her minor daughter on fire
The High Court noted that the convict was angry at her 13-year-old daughter and had poured kerosene and set her afire in anger though she had no intention to kill her.

3. Wikipedia not reliable

In one case, the Commissioner of Customs (Appeal) and the Mumbai Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) had used the reference of Wikipedia for its case.

The Supreme Court Division Bench of JusticeSurya Kant and Justice Vikram Nath have ruled that even though Wikipedia is a "treasure trove" of information, it cannot be relied upon.

"While we expressly acknowledge the utility of these platforms which provide free access to knowledge across the globe, but we must also sound a note of caution against using such sources for legal dispute resolution. We say so for the reason that these sources, despite being a treasure trove of knowledge, are based on a crowd­sourced and user ­generated editing model that is not completely dependable in terms of academic veracity and can promote misleading information as has been noted by this court on previous occasions also."

Supreme Court cautions against use of ‘Wikipedia’ in Legal Disputes Resolution
Supreme Court cautions against use of ‘Wikipedia’ in Legal Disputes Resolution

Its not just that Wikipedia is not reliable.  It is decidedly bigoted, closed, prejudiced and hateful against Hindus.  Check this detailed takedown by Opindia, which was attacked by Wiki editors by defacing pages referring to the magazine.  

Wikipedia vs OpIndia: Crusade against OpIndia by Wiki and the left-bias
OpIndia has often been asked - why is the Wiki page of OpIndia so negative, and the answer is rather simple - We dared to take on the Leftists

4. How can Hateful Laws against Hindus be reversed?

The petitioners in one case in Punjab and Haryana High Court applied for an anticipatory bail.  They had withdrawn amount from the Gurudwara and used that for constructing and repairing the Gurudwara and as well as for the shops of the Gurudwara Committee.  These shops had been rented out to their relatives who had not paid any rent.

That is sad. What was the judgment?

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while denying an anticipatory bail to the people alleged to be involved in siphoning off the funds of the Gurudwara Singh Sabha by transferring the same to their personal accounts, observed that “the Gurudwara is a pious place and the misappropriation of its funds hurts the sentiments of several people”.

So Gurudwara is a pious place and "misappropriating its funds" will hurt the sentiment of people.  That is fair.

HC opines ‘Misappropriation of Gurudwara’s Funds hurts the Sentiments of people’ [Read Judgement]
HC opines ‘Misappropriation of Gurudwara’s Funds hurts the Sentiments of people’ [Read Judgement]

But wait.  Things go the opposite way when the Hindus file a PIL to free the temples from the government.  In that case, the Supreme Court said, that it would not be good to go the the situation prior to 1863 when the British Colonizers had tried to tie the Hindus and their temples in the aftermath of the 1857 War of independence to teach Hindus a lesson!  

Heck, how can WE, the Supreme Court of India, reverse that hateful law?

In fact, the money that pious Hindus donate to their temples should be used for "larger needs of the society."

While the PIL raised the issue of Hindus being “singled out”, with the state governments managing temples and their earnings, the top court raised doubts over the necessity of revisiting the 1863 Religious Endowments Act when the legislation, it commented, has facilitated temples to cater to “larger needs of the society”. (Source: HT)
Why can’t temple funds be used for public good?, Supreme Court observes
While the PIL raised the issue of Hindus being “singled out”, with the state governments managing temples and their earnings, the top court raised doubts over the necessity of revisiting the 1863 Religious Endowments Act when the legislation, it commented, has facilitated temples to cater to “larger…

You want to understand Secularism?  Here it is.

5. Courts turn sympathetic to POCSO victims

Finally, one judgment in cases related to minors and kids who are victims of Sexual crimes.  For, until now, the track record of Indian courts - both, High Courts and the Supreme Court - has been shameful!

Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court dispensed with producing the POCSO victims (child abuse victims) in the court hearings.  And, do so via video conferencing.  

Mindboggling that no one even noticed this before.

Justice Jasmeet Singh directed that the victim can be produced virtually before the court, either by the IO or a support person, by way of Video Conferencing or by taking assistance of the District Legal Services Authority (DSLSA).  Observing that the victim and accused will not come face to face in this manner and the same can prevent “victim’s re-traumatization,” the court said that hybrid form of hearing of bail applications would suitably address the concerns of the victim while at the same time safeguarding the rights of accused. (Source: Livelaw)
‘Has Adverse Impact On Victim’s Psyche’: Delhi High Court Issues Guidelines On Presence Of POCSO Victims During Bail Hearings
The Delhi High Court has issued a slew of directions regarding the presence of POCSO victims dur

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