Legal News | 22nd September

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Jharkhand High Court Mourns the Loss of Justice Kailash Prasad Deo

Jharkhand High Court Judge, Justice Kailash Prasad Deo, passed away, prompting a suspension of court activities in honour of his memory. The High Court, along with its offices and subordinate courts across the state, remained closed on September 22, 2023, as a mark of respect.

Justice Deo, who had transitioned from a lawyer in the state to a High Court judge, had been recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for his judicial appointment in 2017. His passing is a loss felt deeply within the legal community of Jharkhand.

Supreme Court Declines PIL Seeking EVM Audit, Citing Hacking Concerns

The Supreme Court has rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting an independent audit of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) software. The PIL, filed by Sunil Ahya, aimed to make the source code of EVMs public and subject to audit. However, the court, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, expressed concerns that exposing the source code could make EVM vulnerable to hacking.

They deemed it a policy matter and declined to interfere, emphasising that no actionable evidence had been presented to suggest the Election Commission breached its constitutional mandate. Ahya had previously made unsuccessful representations to the Election Commission on this issue, prompting the PIL.

Supreme Court Rejects Request for Scientific Survey of Shahi Idgah Mosque in Krishna Janmabhoomi Case

The Supreme Court has declined to order a scientific survey of the disputed Shahi Idgah mosque at the Krishna Janmabhoomi site in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The Court, consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia, stated that the High Court has yet to decide on the application regarding the appointment of commissioners under Order 26 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code.

The Supreme Court emphasised that it was not necessary to exercise jurisdiction under Article 136 for an interim order, as the trial court had jurisdiction to pass the order. The case involves a suit by Hindu parties seeking the removal of the Mathura Shahi Idgah Masjid, alleging it was built over Krishna Janmabhoomi land. The Supreme Court suggested that the Allahabad High Court hear the civil suit to prevent potential social unrest.

Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in Army’s Affairs Regarding Women Officers’ Promotions

The Supreme Court has stated that while it can intervene on points of law, it cannot manage the Indian Army’s operations. This comment came during a hearing on a plea alleging discrimination against women officers regarding command over Army units. The bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, refused to hear the case, emphasising that it cannot oversee how the Army operates.

The Attorney General suggested the case be referred to the Armed Forces Tribunal due to the complexity of the facts. Women officers’ advocates argued that no woman officer has received promotion since 2020, highlighting disparities in command assignments. The Supreme Court has scheduled further hearings for September 27. In 2020, the Court had equated women officers under the Short Service Commission with their male counterparts.

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