A Case For The National Courts Of Appeal

first_imgColumnsA Case For The National Courts Of Appeal Faisal C K1 Nov 2020 12:49 AMShare This – xThe rising heap of pending case-dockets in Indian courts and the resultant ‘delayed justice’ and sometimes ‘hurried justice’ cry out loudly that our judicial system has become “a beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain”. Justice has been reduced into parchment and law has been divorced from life. According to the Indian Judiciary Annual…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe rising heap of pending case-dockets in Indian courts and the resultant ‘delayed justice’ and sometimes ‘hurried justice’ cry out loudly that our judicial system has become “a beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain”. Justice has been reduced into parchment and law has been divorced from life. According to the Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2018-19, published by the Supreme Court of India, the total number of the pending dockets before the Supreme Court is 59,867 (2019 Jan-Oct.) The data show an upward trend as it was 57,346 and 55,588 in 2018 and 2017 respectively. The huge pendency undermines the glory of the Supreme Court as a constitutional and federal court and the guardian of the Constitution and Lady Justice. The Supreme Court disposed 34,653 cases in 2019 January-October period. The lion’s share of this number is appeals, among them; sizeable chunk is Special Leave Petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution. For example, the State of Kerala has approximately 4000 dockets pending before the Supreme Court and ¾ of them are SLPs as on 30th March 2020. As per 2015 data, just 7 per cent of the judgments passed by the Supreme Court in the previous year dealt substantially with Constitutional matters. Legal researcher Mr. Nick Robinson, pointed out the growing proportion of routine appeals in the apex court’s workload as against core Constitutional matters. Mr. Robinson in his analysis of 50 years of Supreme Court data, had found that the number of matters decided by Constitution Benches was falling steadily. In the second half of the 2000s, Constitution benches heard an average of 6.4 matters per year, the lowest ever level. It should be compared with the fact that the Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) and the United Kingdom Supreme Court (the UKSC) apex judicial bodies in their respective realms, dispose less than 100 cases per year. The 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, published by the SCOTUS, states that “During the 2018 Term, 73 cases were argued and 69 were disposed of in 66 signed opinions” by the SCOTUS. The Supreme Court Annual Report 2018–2019 of the UKSC says that it heard only 91 appeals between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 and delivered only 64 judgments. The Supreme Court of India has gained a vast and undefined jurisdiction. As per the Handbook on Practice and Procedure and Office Procedure (2017), published by the Supreme Court, the Court entertains around 45 categories of cases. By framing the Basic Structure Doctrine and the Collegium System, the Supreme Court assumed unprecedented powers in the Constitutional amendment and the judicial appointment. The increased jurisdiction has resulted in delayed justice. Mr. K.K.Venugopal, the present Attorney General of India, in a lecture delivered in 2010 titled Towards a Holistic Restructuring of the Supreme Court of India had opined that the founding fathers of the Constitution envisaged the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as limited to (i) All matters involving substantial questions of law relating to the interpretation of the Constitution of India or of national or public importance; ii) Validity of laws, Central and State; iii) After Kesavananda Bharati, (1973) the judicial review of Constitutional Amendments; iv) Resolving conflicts between States and the Centre as well as the original jurisdiction to dispose of suits in this regard; v) To settle differences of opinion of important issues of law between High Courts; vi) Additionally, Presidential References and Article 131of the Constitution. He is of the view that the Appellate Jurisdiction and Writ Jurisdiction should be detached from the Supreme Court. Mr. Venugopal opined that the National Courts of Appeal should be set up, by appropriate constitutional amendments, to finally dispose the appeals from the High Courts under Articles 132,133 and 134, the Special Leave Petitions under Article 136 and Statutory Appeals. He suggested that the National Courts of Appeal should be located in the four regional zones of the country and they should be placed in between the Supreme Court and the High Courts in the hierarchy of the courts. Mr. Venugopal suggested that four Regional or Zonal Courts of Appeal should be set up to absorb the 140 categories of cases which are today pending in the Supreme Court of India being matrimonial, rent control, labour, service, land acquisition and other such like cases. These cases would belong to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Appeal. The Supreme Court would then be left with only those cases which, as pointed out earlier, would fall within the true jurisdiction of the Apex Court of the country. The Court of Appeal would finally decide all cases arising from the High Courts relating to the 140 sub-categories mentioned earlier, without any further appeal. In a 1982 article, Justice K.K. Mathew had contemplated Courts of Appeal to relieve the huge backlog of cases pending in the Supreme Court of India. Later, Justice Bhagwati in the Bihar Legal Support Authority v. Chief Justice of India and Anr. (1986) observed that “The Supreme Court of India was never intended to be a regular court of appeal against orders made by the High Court or the Sessions court or the magistrates.” Article 136 envisaged only a corrective jurisdiction that is extra-ordinary and limited in its nature. But this aspect has widely been ignored in practice.The Law Commission of India in its 229th Report (2009) had recommended the division of the Supreme Court into a Constitution Bench at Delhi and Cassation Benches in four regions at Delhi, Chennai/Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Article 130 of the constitution provides that the Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time, appoint. Hence, the Supreme Court may also ponder over the proposal of setting up of regional benches of the apex court to ensure accessible and speedy justice.A study by Mr Nick Robinson had exposed the regional disparity in the Supreme Court case-dockets. The States geographically adjacent to the seat of the Supreme Court, like Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand have a share of 6.2% each in the total dockets pending before the Supreme Court. Meanwhile the far away but vast states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have only 1.1% and 2.4% of the cases respectively. It demonstrates the difficulty of the people from South India and North East to access the Supreme Court. Justice turns costly and unaffordable for them. In 2016 a PIL was filed by Mr V. Vasantha Kumar praying for the setting up of the National Courts of Appeals at New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Then the Chief Justice referred the matter for a Constitution Bench. The amici curiae in the case, Mr K.K. Venugopal and Mr. T.R. Andhyarujina vehemently supported the idea of the National Court of Appeal. The Congress, in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections had proposed the setting up of a National Court of Appeals as an intermediary court between the Supreme Court and the High Courts in India to hear routine appeals in civil and criminal matters from the High Courts. The setting up of the National Courts of Appeal will make justice more accessible, speedy and affordable for the commoner. Furthermore, it would relieve the Supreme Court from the role of a ‘Jack of all trades’ and restore its pristine glory as a true constitutional and federal court.Views are personal. (Faisal C.K is an Under Secretary in the Law Department, Government of Kerala)Next Storylast_img read more

Right To Progeny And Termination Thereof Is A Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Orissa High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesRight To Progeny And Termination Thereof Is A Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Orissa High Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK19 Dec 2020 9:02 AMShare This – xWhile permitting a rape victim to terminate her pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday held that right to progeny and termination thereof is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Reliance was placed on Meera Santosh Pal v. Union of India, (2017) 3 SCC 462, where the Supreme Court held that women’s right to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginWhile permitting a rape victim to terminate her pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday held that right to progeny and termination thereof is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Reliance was placed on Meera Santosh Pal v. Union of India, (2017) 3 SCC 462, where the Supreme Court held that women’s right to make reproductive choice is also a dimension of personal liberty as understood under Article-21 of the Constitution. The victim in this case was 21 weeks pregnant and as per the existing Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act), medical termination of pregnancy more than 20 weeks old is not permitted. A Division Bench of Justices SK Mishra and Savitri Ratho however referred to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020, pending consideration before the Rajya Sabha, which allows for termination of pregnancies up to 24 weeks. While the Bench acknowledged that the Bill is yet to be passed and cannot be considered as a law, it proceeded to observe, “It is reflected that due to passage of time and advancement of medical technology for safe abortion there is a scope for increasing the outer limit for terminating pregnancy especially for vulnerable women and pregnancy with substantial foetal abnormalities detected late in pregnancy. Further there is also need for increasing access of women to legal and safe abortion in order to reduce the maternal mortality and morbidity caused by unsafe abortion and its complications.” The Bench then observed that India has ratified the Convention for Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993 and is under an international obligation to ensure that the right of a women in reproductive choices is protected. It thus stated, “it is no doubt that right to progeny and termination thereof is a fundamental rights which springs from the right to life as enshrined under Article-21 of the Indian Constitution.” The Court also referred to a plethora of cases whereby the Supreme Court had permitted medical termination of pregnancy, even after 24 weeks. In X & Ors. v. Union of India, (2017) 3 SCC 458, medical termination was allowed by the Supreme Court after 24 weeks of pregnancy as it involved grave risk to the life of the Petitioner and possible grave injury to her physical and mental health. Similarly, in X. v. Union of India (2016) 14 SCC 382 medical termination of pregnancy of 23-24 weeks of a Rape victim was allowed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to save the life of the woman. Inter alia, the Bench emphasized on the need of taking the pregnant woman’s (victim’s) consent for medical termination of pregnancy (Suchita Srivastava & Anr. v. Chandigarh Administration). The Court observed that even though the victim in the case at hand is a minor, as a measure of abundant caution, her consent must be recorded. It recorded the victim’s desire to terminate the pregnancy and allowed the application. The Bench directed the medical board to proceed with the medical termination of pregnancy of the victim, provided that there is no danger to her life. The Court also stated the following reasons for the passing of this order: The unwed mother (victim girl), is a minor and has to undergo the ignominy of an undesirable pregnancy. It will hamper her further physical and mental growth. It will also affect her future education prospects. The social sigma the minor victim will face will be insurmountable in this case as the petitioner and his daughter belong to very humble walk of life. The social sigma the unborn child will face is also a matter of great concern to us as the child will definitely be viewed with disdain and will be looked down upon as an undesirable child by his/ her peers in society. Though law (as per the 1971 Act) does not allow medical termination pregnancy after 20 weeks, the Central Government in its wisdom has introduced a bill for enhancing this period to 24 weeks. From the statement and objects of the reasons of the Amendment Act of 2020, it is apparent that the present development of medical science makes it imperative for the amendment of provision of Section 3 of the Act to extend this permissible outer limit of pregnancy for termination. The Medical committee in this case has also opined that the mental health problem of the victim may have adverse impact on the future of the victim on social ground. The Committee has not recommended for termination in view of Sec-3 of the Act of 1971 but has not stated that termination of pregnancy at this stage will pose any threat to the life of the victim girl. Related News The Rajasthan High Court had recently directed that the “Right to Avoid” has to be read with Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. In this case, a minor was sexually assaulted and as a result, got pregnant. She had approached the District Court for termination of her pregnancy. The District Court deemed her application as non-maintainable as her pregnancy had exceeded 20 weeks. The minor appealed her case to the High Court. The Court in this case, took into account the prospective social stigma, the feeling of remorse and the grave mental condition a victim of rape would undergo if she is asked to continue with the pregnancy against her wishes. The High Court thus allowed her application and held that Right to Life of the victim outweighs the Right to Life of the foetus. The Court also laid down significant guidelines to be mandatorily followed by the authorities involved, which shall ensure that such an unfortunate case is not repeated. The Kerala High Court also held that right to make a reproductive choice is a facet of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. While allowing the termination procedure, the Court directed the doctors to take the tissue of the foetus for DNA identification and to maintain the same intact for future purposes, in view of the criminal case pending against the man. In this case, there was a slight possibility that the child may survive the termination of the pregnancy. The Court noted here that “If the child is born alive, despite the attempts at medical termination of the pregnancy, the doctors shall ensure that everything, which is reasonably possible and feasible in the circumstances and in contemplation of the law prescribed for the purpose, is offered to such child so that he/she develops into a healthy child”. Also Read: Reproductive Human Rights In Light Of The Recent Judgment On Child Rape Victims Also Read: MTP (Amendment) Bill 2020 : Still A Long Way To Go In Recognizing Women’s Autonomy Click Here To Download Order Read OrderNext Storylast_img read more

Cricket News IND vs WI, 3rd T20I Highlights: Kohli, Pant 50s give India seven-wicket win and 3-0 clean sweep

first_imgNew Delhi: India (IND) vs West Indies (WI), 3rd T20I Live Cricket Score Updates: India has won the toss and will bowl. Rahul Chahar makes his debut while Deepak Chahar replaces Khaleel Ahmed. KL Rahul is in and Rohit Sharma has been rested. Deepak Chahar took three wickets and wrecked the West Indies top order but Kieron Pollard blasted a fifty and shared a partnership of over 50 with Nicholas Pooran. Navdeep Saini took two wickets and some late blows from the lower order helped West Indies reach 146/6 after 20 overs. In response, India lost KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply but Virat Kohli slammed his 21st fifty and Rishabh Pant came back to form as he notched up his his first fifty to help India win by seven wickets and achieve a 3-0 whitewash. (SCORECARD)00:33 hrs IST: Sealed with a six. Rishabh Pant blasts Brathwaite for a six and India win by seven wickets and achieve a 3-0 whitewash against the West Indies.00:22 hrs IST: Pant blasts a six off Oshane Thomas and India are 141/3 after 18 overs, need six runs off 12 balls. 00:19 hrs IST: WICKET! Full and wide ball from Oshane Thomas, Kohli steers it to backward point and he falls. India are 133/3 after 17.3 overs, need 14 runs off 15 balls.00:17 hrs IST: First fifty for Rishabh Pant and he has overcome his poor form in grand style. Blasts Cottrell to the fine leg fence and India are 129/2 after 17 overs, needing 18 from 18 balls. 00:09 hrs IST: 21st fifty for Virat Kohli and he crunches Narine to the deep midwicket fence. Superb stuff from the skipper and India are nearing a win. India need 32 off 26 balls. 00:06 hrs IST: Kohli smashes a four and Pant blasts a six off Keemo Paul and India are 109/2 after 15 overs. India need 38 off 30 balls.00:01 hrs IST: Virat Kohli thumps a four to deep extra cover off Carlos Brathwaite as he survives a top edge previous ball. India are 95/2 after 14 overs.23:56 hrs IST: Rishabh Pant thumps a crucial six as the West Indies bowlers are bowling well in the death overs. India are 85/2 after 13 overs.23:48 hrs IST: Kohli thumps a four off Carlos Brathwaite and India are 71/2 after 11 overs.23:41 hrs IST: Kohli and Pant hold the key now as they strike boundaries and India are 58/2 after nine overs.23:37 hrs IST: Kohli thumps a boundary off Allen and India are 45/ after seven overs.23:32 hrs IST: Rishabh Pant gets going with a boundary while Kohli is rotating the strike aggressively. India are 39/2 in the seventh over.23:26 hrs IST: WICKET! Rahul tries to be too aggressive and he is stumped as Fabian Allen gets his wicket. India are 27/2 after the fifth over.23:17 hrs IST: Virat Kohli gets going with a boundary off Sheldon Cottrell. India are 18/1 after three months.23:12 hrs IST: WICKET! Poor shot from Dhawan. Thomas bowls it short on leg stump, Dhawan swivels and the pull shot is it straight to short fine leg. India are 10/1 after 2 overs.23:08 hrs IST: KL Rahul blastsa six to get going and Oshae Thomas suffers an injury while trying to stop a boundary. India are 10/0 after 1.4 overs.22:50 hrs IST: Some big hits from the West Indies lower order help them reach 146/6 after 20 overs. This will be a tricky chase for India.22:36 hrs IST: WICKET! First wicket for Rahul Chahar and Carlos Brathwaite falls. After getting hit for a mighty six, Brathwaite is caught by Washington Sundar. West Indies are 119/6 after 17.2 overs.22:29 hrs IST: WICKET! Saini gets the dangerman and he gets the full length delivery right. The ball swings away slightly and the ball crashes into the stumps. West Indies are 108/5 after 16 overs.22:24 hrs IST: Krunal Pandya is getting taken to the cleaners by Pollard. One Mumbai Indians knows another Mumbai Indians. Two sixes are hit and West Indies are 100/4 after 15 overs.22:21 hrs IST: Pollard is again hit on the pad by a full toss and India decide to review it. However, this time, it is sliding down the legisde. West Indies are 84/4 after 14 overs.22:15 hrs IST: WICKET! Navdeep Saini breaks the stand and Pooran falls. Good length ball angled across outside off, Pooran flashes at it and the edge is taken by Rishabh Pant. West Indies are 80/4 after 13.1 overs.22:09 hrs IST: Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran’s partnership has crossed 50 and West Indies are 73/3 after 12 overs.22:03 hrs IST: Pollard is dealing in sixes and even Nicholas Pooran gets going with a six off Krunal Pandya. West Indies are 65/3 after 11 overs.21:58 hrs IST: Kieron Pollard blasts two sixes off Rahul Chahar, one to long on and one to wide long off and West Indies are 46/3 after nine overs.21:55 hrs IST: Washington Sundar is into the attack and he starts well. West Indies are 33/3 after eight overs.21:52 hrs IST: While Deepak bowls brilliantly, Rahul Chahar does not get off to an ideal start as Nicholas Pooran hits a four and West Indies are 30/3 after seven overs.21:47 hrs IST: Another excellent over from Deepak Chahar and he has figures of 3-1-4-3. West Indies are 22/3 after six overs.21:43 hrs IST: Kieron Pollard blasts a six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and West Indies are 21/3 after five overs.21:36 hrs IST: WICKET! Deepak Chahar on fire. He again gets this fullish delivery to swing back in and Hetmyer is caught on the crease and is adjudged LBW. West Indies are tottering at 14/3 after 3.5 overs.21:33 hrs IST: WICKET! Chahar gets this length delivery to cut back in and Lewis is trapped in front. He is given out LBW and even the review cannot save him. West Indies are 13/2 after 3.1 overs.21:30 hrs IST: Evin Lewis flicks a boundary and then gets three runs to deep cover for three runs. West Indies are 13/1 after three overs.21:23 hrs IST: WICKET! West Indies lose a wicket early again. Good length ball outside off an Narine toe-ends the lofted shot to mid on. West Indies are 4/1 after 1.5 overs.21:19 hrs IST: Evin Lewis is finally off the mark in this series. West Indies are 1/0 after one overs.21:11 hrs IST: The rain has started again but it is only a brief spell and the covers are being removed.20:56 hrs IST: Here are the playing XIs of both teams1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Navdeep SainiCarlos Brathwaite, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, ShimronHetmyer, Rovman Powell, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen20:51 hrs IST: India has won the toss and they will bowl. Rohit Sharma is resting while Rahul Chahar makes his debut. Deepak Chahar replaces Khaleel Ahmed.20:44 hrs IST: The toss will take place at 21:00 hrs IST. The match will begin at 21:25 hrs IST.20:30 hrs IST: Rahul Chahar will make his debut today. He was handed his cap by the Indian team. Proud moment for the Chahar family again.20:09 hrs IST: The next inspection will be at 11 AM local, which is 20:40 hrs local time. We might have a curtailed game.20:05 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma and Carlos Brathwaite are having a discussion with the umpires. Does it mean that Virat Kohli is not playing this match?19:55 hrs IST: There are still some dark clouds looming in the horizon. It is windy at the moment and the umpires are conducting an inspection. Some covers are still on the outfield.19:34 hrs IST: The outfield is still a bit wet but Providence is a quick drying ground. Not like the Bourda Oval where even a drizzle would result in knee-deep flooding.19:28 hrs IST: It has stopped raining in Providence, Guyana and the sun is out. The delay might not be too long.19:24 hrs IST: The conditions are still overcast. However, there is a tinge of grass on the wicket. The wicket in Guyana is traditionally slow and low and could assist the spinners.19:13 hrs IST: It is currently raining in Providence, Guyana. So, the toss will be delayed.19:10 hrs IST: West Indies has won just two T20I games in 2018 and 2019. They are yet to win a game this year and they will be hoping to break their jinx in Guyana.19:02 hrs IST: The final game in Providence could give India a chance to test out the likes of KL Rahul and the Chahar brothers. Maybe Ravindra Jadeja might be rested and Rishabh Pant might warm the benches after two poor shots in Florida.18:52 hrs IST: A warm welcome to the third and final Twenty20 International between India and West Indies from Providence stadium, Guyana. Virat Kohli’s side will be gunning for a 3-0 whitewash for the second consecutive time against the Windies. 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