New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set for a busy day with a plethora of crucial hearings scheduled for today. The cases range from the arrest of five activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence, Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), transparency during the forthcoming Assembly elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, incomplete projects of Unitech, rape charges on senior journalist Tarun Tejpal and wages of 3.7 lakh contractual teachers in Bihar. (Also read: Supreme Court Stays NGT Order of Not Exempting Two-wheelers From Delhi’s Odd Even Scheme)
Here’s a look at the cases which would come up for hearing today:
Activists’ arrests following Bhima-Koregaon violence: The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra would assess the evidence gathered by the Pune Police against the five activists. The five activists — Sudha Bhardwaj, P. Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — were detained on August 28 from various cities for their alleged involvement in the violence. They have been under house arrest since August 29. In the last hearing, the apex court had said that in case it found the proof to be inconclusive, it would hand over the investigation to SIT. It had also extended activists’ house arrest till September 19. ASG Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, had opposed the plea. He said the plea has been filed by people who have nothing to do with the case, they don’t know the case well and so it shouldn’t be heard.
National Register of Citizens: The bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi recommence hearing at 2 PM. In the last hearing, the court had refused to share with the Centre the suggestions and report handed in by coordinator Prateek Hajela. The court had said that the Centre did have interest in the case but the court still needed to maintain a balance. The top court had deferred till further orders the commencement of the process of receiving claims and objections for the NRC in Assam.
Transparency during Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Assembly elections: The plea has been filed by senior Congress leader Kamal Nath. On Tuesday, the Election Commission had filed its reply in the court. The EC had opposed the plea and said that the Congress shouldn’t keep obstructing the working of the poll panel by knocking on the apex court’s door. It said it wasn’t obligated to conduct elections as per the wishes of the Congress or its leaders. In the 101-page counter affidavit, a copy of which has been accessed by news agency ANI, the poll body demanded the dismissal of the Congress’ petition. “No valid and tenable grounds have been shown by the petitioner, Kamal Nath, to justify the grant of the interim relief (as prayed for) in his favour. Thus, the said petition sought to be dismissed outright,” the counter affidavit read.
Unitech projects: In the last hearing, the court had told the construction giant to build 514 flats in its five different schemes from the money it had accumulated during Kolkata auction of its property. The company had earlier informed the court that the auction was conducted under the supervision of Justice SN Dhingra. The property was auctioned for Rs 116.95 crore of which Rs 28.89 have been collected, the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud was informed. The court had said that a demand draft of the said amount should be deposited in its registry which would deposit the amount in UCO Bank on the premises in the form of a short-term fixed deposit.
Tarun Tejpal’s rape case: Tejpal had challenged the Bombay High Court’s December 20, 2017, order dismissing his plea for quashing of rape charges. He had argued that there were inconsistencies in the statements recorded by the victim and the CCTV footage but the trial court has not considered it. He had contended when the proceedings had started, the police had not given him the clone copy of cell phone saying there was no such technology available. Tejpal was alleged to have sexually assaulted a former colleague inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in Goa in 2013. He was arrested on November 30, 2013, by the Crime Branch after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the court. He has been out on bail since May 2014.
Bihar contractual teachers’ case: The bench with Justice AM Sapre and Justice UU Lalit will hear the plea. In the last hearing, about 93,000 TET-qualified contractual teachers, represented by senior lawyer Vibha Dutt Makhija, said TET was a difficult examination and the teachers needed to be compensated because quality education can only be imparted by quality teachers. The high court had ruled that contractual teachers were eligible to get equal pay for equal work. The state government had moved the apex court against the HC judgement.