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Parliament Passes Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill 2021


The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, was passed in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. The bill was introduced in the Parliament by the Government in the Budget session this year. It was passed in Lok Sabha on 24th March 2021.

While introducing the bill, Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development stressed upon the necessity for entrusting District Magistrates with the responsibility of care and protection of vulnerable children in light of the prevailing inadequacies in the system. She recounted the commitment of the Parliament towards prioritising India's children above all issues.

The amendments include authorizing District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act, in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability. The District Magistrates have been further empowered under the Act, to ensure its smooth implementation, as well as garner synergized efforts in favour of children in distress conditions. As per the amended provisions of the Act, any Child Care Institutions shall be registered after considering the recommendations of the District Magistrate. The DM shall independently evaluate the functioning of District Child Protection Units, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, Specialized Juvenile Police Units, Child care Institutions etc.

The eligibility parameters for the appointment of CWC members have been redefined. Criteria for disqualification of the CWC members have also been introduced to ensure that only the persons capable of rendering quality service with requisite competence and integrity are appointed to CWC.

Presently there are three categories (petty, serious and heinous) defined under the Act which are referred to while considering the cases of children in conflict with the law. However, it was observed that some of the offences do not strictly fall under any of these categories. It has been decided that offences where the maximum sentence is more than 7 years imprisonment but no minimum sentence has been prescribed or a minimum sentence of less than 7 years is provided, shall be treated as serious offences within this Act.

Several difficulties faced in the implementation of various provisions of the Act have also been addressed and Suitable amendments to remove these difficulties arising in the interpretation of various provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and to clarify the scope of certain provisions of the Act have also been introduced.


CBSE submits evaluation criteria for Class 12 before Apex Court


The CBSE today submitted its evaluation criteria for awarding grades/marks for Class XII exams before Supreme Court.

For class X and XI, marks in the best of 3 from 5 papers in term exams will be considered. For Class XII, marks obtained in unit, term and practicals will be considered.

The CBSE told the Supreme Court, which is hearing the matter of the Class 12 Board exam that the decision of Class XII results will be taken on the basis of performance in Class 10 (30 per cent weightage), Class 11 (30 per cent weightage) and Class 12 (40 per cent weightage).

The Court had given the Board time of two weeks to devise the objective criteria on the basis of which the final marks will be given to Class 12 students.


Justice N V Ramana takes oath as Chief Justice of Justice


Justice N V Ramana was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India today.

He was sworn in at a ceremony held at 11 am in the Ashoka Hall, Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Justice Ramana, who was made and subscribed to the oath of office before the President, is the 48th Chief Justice of India. He succeeds Justice S A Bobde.


Supreme Court reschedules sittings as staff test positive for COVID


Many staff of the Supreme Court are believed to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports.

In the wake of this situation, SC Judges will conduct hearings today from their respective homes. 

According to a notice issued by the Supreme Court of India, all the benches which are scheduled to sit at 10.30 am will sit at 11.30 and those scheduled to sit at 12 noon.

#SupremeCourt #COVID19

Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana appointed as Chief Justice of India


The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, has appointed Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, Judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India.

A notification in this regard has been issued by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice today. The Warrant of Appointment and a copy of the Notification of Appointment have been handed over to Justice N V Ramana.

Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, who will take over as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India on 24th April, 2021, will be the 48th Chief Justice of India.

Justice N V Ramana is first-generation lawyer, having agricultural background, and hails from Ponnavaram Village, Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh.


eCommittee Supreme Court of India calls for comments on draft vision document for eCourts project


In another major initiative, the eCommittee Supreme Court has prepared the draft vision document for Phase III of the eCourts Project under the auspices of the Supreme court of India. E-Courts Project is a mission mode project undertaken by the Department of Justice, Government of India.

The eCommittee Supreme Court of India yesterday released the Draft Vision document for Phase III of the aforementioned e-Courts Project. The Press release from ecommittee today stated that the draft vision document is hosted on the ecommittee website and the Chairperson of eCommittee has requested all the stakeholders, i.e Advocates, Litigants, common citizens, Law students, Technical experts all to come forward to give valuable inputs suggestions and feedback as the knowledge, insight, concerns, and experience of the stakeholders will help to refine the vision document of the next phase of the ecourts Project and to plan its implementation.

Yesterday in this regard, the Chairperson of eCommittee Dr Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India also addressed various stakeholders, including all chief justices of the High courts, Legal luminaries, Law schools, IT experts, welcoming the inputs, suggestions and comments on the  Draft Vision documents.

A solid foundation for the objectives of the eCommittee has been substantially achieved in the first two phases of the Project. The objectives of the eCommittee include:- Interlinking of all courts across the country; ICT enablement of the Indian judicial system; Enabling courts to enhance judicial productivity, both qualitatively and quantitatively; Making the justice delivery system accessible, cost-effective, transparent and accountable; and Providing citizen-centric services.  As Phase-II will soon conclude, the Committee initiated steps for preparing a vision document for Phase-III.

The feedback, inputs, suggestions can be send to the ecommittee email id:- within 2 weeks.


SC directs joint committee to find factual position on diversion of Mahadayi river


The Supreme Court has directed the joint monitoring committee of superintending engineers of the states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra to find the factual position on diversion of waters of the Mahadayi river.

The apex court which yesterday heard the special leave petitions of the states on the tribunal award on the river sharing dispute between Karnataka and Goa said that it would hear the petitions for a final order in April this year.

In a Press statement in Bengaluru, Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi said that the monitoring committee should visit the river sites and submit a report before the next hearing. 

All three SLPs filed by the States of Maharastra, Karnataka and Goa were listed before the  Supreme Court today. Apart from the SLPs, the Contempt Petition 724/2020 filed by the State of Goa also listed yesterday. Mr Prabhuling K Navadgi, Advocate General, Mr Mohan V Katarki, Sr. Advocate and other counsel appeared for the State of Karnataka. The Counsel for the State of Goa pressed for the hearing of the Contempt petition alleging that the State of Karnataka has diverted the water to Malaprabha river and water is not flowing to the territory of Goa, which allegation is strongly opposed by the Ld.AG for Karnataka. The Supreme Court did not issue a notice in the Contempt Petition but directed the three  State Governments to nominate one SE to conduct a joint inspection and report to the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

The SLPs will be listed for a final hearing in April 2021 before which all party States shall file their written submissions in one compilation book.

The advocate appearing for the state of Goa pressed a contempt petition and alleged that there has been a breach of the order dated 02/03/2020 passed in the special leave petition 19312/2019 as water is prevented from flowing to Goa by removing the vaults erected pursuant to the orders of the MWDT. In order to ascertain the factual position the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed the joint monitoring committee appointed by the MWDT to implement the order dated 17.04.2014 passed by MWDT to conduct a joint inspection to ascertain whether there is a diversion of water by removing the vaults. 

Therefore action will have to be now taken to convene the meeting of the joint monitoring committee of the three superintending engineers of the State of Karnataka, the State of Goa and the State of Maharashtra constituted by the honourable tribunal to implement the order dated 17th April 2014. The said joint monitoring committee is directed to inspect the place and file a report. The case is now ordered to be called in April 2020.

#Karnataka #Maharashtra #Goa

Important transfers and appointment of Judges


President Ram Nath Kovind has made the following new appointments and transfers of Judges and Chief Justices:-

Name of the Judge - Dr S Muralidhar 
Present High Court - Punjab and Haryana
New High Court - Orrisa (elevated as Chief Justice)

Name of the Judge - Ms Hima Kohli
Present High Court - Delhi
New High Court - Telangana (elevated as Chief Justice)

Name of the Judge - Sanjib Banerjee
Present High Court - Calcutta
New High Court - Madras (elevated as Chief Justice)

Name of the Judge - Pankaj Mithal
Present High Court - Allahabad
New High Court - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (elevated as Chief Justice) 

Name of the Judge - Raghvendra Singh Chauhan (Chief Justice)
Present High Court - Telangana
New High Court - Uttarakhand

Name of the Judge - Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (Chief Justice)
Present High Court - Andhra Pradesh
New High Court - Sikkim

Name of the Judge - Mohammad Rafiq (Chief Justice)
Present High Court - Orissa
New High Court - Madhya Pradesh

Name of the Judge - Arup Kumar Goswami (Chief Justice)
Present High Court - Sikkim
New High Court - Andhra Pradesh

Name of the Judge - Sanjay Yadav (Judge)
Present High Court - Madhya Pradesh
New High Court - Allahabad

Name of the Judge - Rajesh Bindal (Judge)
Present High Court - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh
New High Court - Calcutta

Name of the Judge - Vineet Kothari (Judge)
Present High Court - Madras
New High Court - Gujarat

Name of the Judge - Joymalya Bagchi (Judge)
Present High Court - Calcutta
New High Court - Andhra Pradesh

Name of the Judge - Satish Chandra Sharma (Judge)
Present High Court - Madhya Pradesh
New High Court - Karnataka

Name of the Judge - Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath (Judge)
Present High Court - Uttarakhand
New High Court - Himachal Pradesh

#Judge #ChiefJustice

Over 10 lakh cases settled in National Lok Adalat of Year 2020


Last National Lok Adalat of the year 2020 was organised through virtual and physical mode across the country under the aegis of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) on 12th December 2020, a release issued today by the Ministry of Law and Justice said.

The requisite safety protocol in view of the COVID-19 pandemic was strictly observed by all State Legal Service Authority - SLSAs and District Legal Services Authority - DLSAs during the organisation of the daylong event of the Lok Adalat.

A total number of 8152 Benches were constituted by 31 SLSAs to conduct the National Lok Adalat. It was successful in disposing of 10,42,816 cases. Out of the total cases disposed of 5,60,310 cases were at the pre-litigation stage and 4,82,506 cases were those which were pending in the courts. The details, as provided by states on NALSA portal, indicate that the settlement amount was nearly Rs 3227.99 Cr.

In the aforesaid National Lok Adalat, cases pertaining to MACT, labour dispute, money recovery, land acquisition, maintenance cases, NI Act cases under Section 138, Criminal Compoundable Offences, matrimonial disputes (except divorce), service matters relating to pay, allowances and retirement benefits, other civil cases (rent, easmentary rights, injunction suits, specific performance suits) etc. were taken up.

Lok Adalat, conducted by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is an alternative method of dispute resolution. It is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/compromised amicably. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal lies against such an award before any court of law. National Lok Adalats are conducted quarterly for settlement of cases (both pre-litigation and post-litigation) in all the courts from the Supreme Court of India to the Taluk Courts on a single day.

To overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic in making this ADR forum for settling disputes accessible to various sections of people, the Legal Services Authorities introduced virtual Lok Adalat i.e., E-Lok Adalat in the year 2020. E-Lok Adalat by leveraging technology has provided a platform to millions of people to settle their disputes. Upto November 2020, a total number of 3,00,200 cases have been disposed of through the said E-Lok Adalats.

Few of the cases settled through the National Lok Adalat held on 12th December 2020 are as below:-

Compensation to dependents of an accident victim

An application for compensation was filed by the dependents of an unmarried 22-year-old man who had died in a road accident before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. The claim for compensation was being contested by the Insurance Company. The case was settled in the National Lok Adalat, and the dependents were awarded compensation of Rs 11,30,000.

Settlement of a family land dispute

A family land dispute was creating a strain between two family members. The case was referred to the Lok Adalat bench Korba at the pre-litigation stage itself. The said land dispute was then taken up in the National Lok Adalat and was amicably settled at the pre-litigation stage bringing an end to the dispute.

Matrimonial dispute amicably settled

Cases relating to matrimonial disputes were also settled successfully in the National Lok Adalats. In one such case, a husband and wife who were going through a marital disharmony were reconciled. The husband had filed an original suit for restitution of conjugal rights. The matter was pending before the Principal Judge, Family Court, West Singhbhum at Chaibasa. After the matter was taken up in the National Lok Adalat, the dispute between husband and wife was amicably settled. The wife thereafter agreed to stay with the petitioner husband.

Relief to petitioner in claim for compensation

Through the National Lok Adalat, relief was also brought to a person after many years of struggle in claiming compensation from the Insurance Company against a theft which had occurred at his store. Even after many years of an order being passed in his favour in which Rs 13,53,286/- along with 6% interest was ordered to be paid to him, the insurance company was delaying the payment. Thereafter, he approached DLSA, Deoghar for redressal of his grievance with the said Insurance Company. The matter was settled in National Lok Adalat and a cheque of Rs 13,53,286 was disbursed in favour of the petitioner.

#NationalLokAdalat #MinistryofLawandJustice

2927 Court complexes across country connected by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN)


As many as 2927 Court complexes across India have been connected so far by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) under e-Courts Project. 

It has led to completion of 97.86 % sites out of 2992 sites conceived to be connected with high speed WAN under the project. Department of Justice (DoJ) along with BSNL is working relentlessly on connecting the remaining sites. 

Under e-Courts Project, one of the largest digital networks of the world was conceived by Department of Justice along with the e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India to connect the 2992 court complexes located all over India by a high-speed Wide Area Network (WAN) via different modes of connectivity such as Optical Fiber Cable (OFC), Radio Frequency (RF), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) etc. 

In May 2018 the mandate of providing Managed MPLS VPN services to all these sites was entrusted to the BSNL, which has pan India presence with latest state-of-the-art technology and high-end telecom infrastructure and transmission equipment. 

Many courts under the e-Courts project are located in far flung areas where terrestrial cable cannot be used for providing connectivity. Such areas are termed as Technically Not Feasible (TNF) and in DoJ’sendeavor to bridge the digital divide; connectivity is being established at TNF sites using alternative means like RF, VSAT etc.  With persistent deliberations, meetings and coordination with different stakeholders including BSNL and the Courts, the Department has been able to reduce the total TNF sites from 58 in 2019 to 14 in 2020, thus leading to saving of public money as the cost of providing connectivity through alternative means like VSAT is much higher. Department of Justice has also decided to use the newly inaugurated submarine (under sea) cable for providing connectivity to 5 TNF sites in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

As part of National e-Governance Plan, e-Courts Project is an Integrated Mission Mode Project under implementation since 2007 for the ICT development of the Indian Judiciary based on the ‘National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in Indian Judiciary’.

The Government approved the computerization of 14,249 district & subordinate Courts under the e-Courts Phase I project ( 2007-2015). The objective of the e-Courts project is to provide designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary by universal computerization of district and subordinate courts in the country by leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improved justice delivery. Envisaging further ICT enhancement through universal computerization of all the courts, the Phase II of the project was approved by the Cabinet in July 2015 with a cost of Rs 1,670 crore under which 16,845 courts have been computerized.

#DepartmentofIndia #BSNL