Top Legal Developments This Week: SC Verdict On Electoral Bonds, AAP’s Office On Delhi HC Land & More

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a landmark judgment by striking down the Electoral Bond scheme as unconstitutional for violating the fundamental Right to Information under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. The top court also slammed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for “encroaching” on land allotted to Delhi High Court. AAP however, filed an application in the court refuting the alleged “encroachment”. 

From Umar Khalid’s bail plea withdrawal to Subramanian Swamy’s petition alleging a scam of nearly Rs 5,100 Axis Bank, here are the top legal developments of the past week you must not miss:

Electoral Bonds Scheme Violates RTI, To Be Struck Down As Unconstitutional, Says Supreme Court

The five-judge Constitution Bench on Thursday arrived at a unanimous decision that the Electoral Bond Scheme is unconstitutional and violates Article 19 (1) (a) of Indian Constitution. The court gave two opinions, one by Chief Justice Of India DY Chandrachud and another by Justice Sanjiv Khanna. However, both arrived at the same conclusions. Read More

Subramanian Swamy Moves Delhi HC Alleging Rs 5,100 Cr Scam In Axis Bank Via Max Life Insurance

Former MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday moved Delhi High Court allegeing a scam of nearly Rs 5,100 crore in Max Life Insurance and Max Financial Services (MFSL) allowing their shareholders Axis Bank Ltd and its group companies Axis Securities Ltd and Axis Capital Ltd to make undue profits/gains from the purchase and sale of equity shares of Max Life in non-transparent manner. The petition says that this is a violation of mandatory directions issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Swamy filed a Writ petition under Article 226 seeking orders from court for appointing a committee consisting of experts in public interest, to investigate into the matter. Read more

SC To Hear PIL Seeking Transfer Of Probe In Sandeshkhali Violence Outside West Bengal on Monday

The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a PIL seeking court monitored probe into the alleged incidents of sexual assault of women living in Sandeshkhali by CBI or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) outside the state of West Bengal. On Friday, the case was mentioned before the bench of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud for an urgent listing. The CJI told the petitioner the court will take a look at the PIL in afternoon and the court cannot be pressurised for urgent listing. Read more

Marriages Of NRIs/OCIs With Indian Nationals Must Be Registered To Curb Fraud, says Law Commission

The 287th report by the Law Commission of India has recommended a slew of measures to curb the rising worrisome trend of fraudulent marriage involving NRIs and Indian citizens. The commission has recommended that the government bring in legislation to make registration of marriage between Non-Residential Indians/Overseas Citizens of India and Indian nationals compulsory.

The report titled “Law on Matrimonial Issues Relating To Non-Residential Indians and Overseas Citizens of India” notes that such marriages are conducted on false assurances, misrepresentations, etc and cause distress to the Indian partner as it becomes difficult for the partner to pursue any legal remedy. Read more

Electoral Bonds Judgment Shows Party-Wise Breakdown Of Funds Received By BJP, Congress & Others

The data submitted in the Supreme Court on the Electoral Bonds Scheme suggests that around 94% of electoral bonds purchased since the scheme was launched in value terms were found to be for Rs.1 crore which suggests that corporations or individuals with high networth were main donors in the electoral bonds scheme. It also suggests that the share of income from unknown sources for national parties rose from 66% (2014-15 to 2016-17) to 72% (2018-19 to 2021-22).

It was further pointed out that between the years 2019-20 to 2021-22 the income from electoral bonds has been 81% of the total unknown income of national parties. Read more

Bengal: 62 Jail Births In 4 Years, But Women Were Pregnant Before Entering Prison, Supreme Court Told

The information received from ADG & IG Correctional Services of all child births in the West Bengal jails indicates that there were 62 children born in the jails in West Bengal during the last 4 years, Senior Advocate Gaurav Agarwal informed the Supreme Court. The application filed by Agarwal in the top court says that most women prisoners were already expecting at the time when they were brought to the jails in West Bengal. In some cases the women prisoners had gone out on parole and returned back expecting. Read more

Umar Khalid Withdraws Bail Plea From Supreme Court, To Approach Trial Court

Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid on Wednesday withdrew his bail application from the Supreme Court due to “changed circumstances”. A bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Muthal allowed his withdrawal petition. Read more

No Unexplained Incidence Of Women Pregnancy In West Bengal: State Govt Tells SC

The Supreme Court on Friday was told by the counsel appearing for the state of West Bengal government that every single instance of pregnant women in prison and children born in prisons in West Bengal has been accounted for. The court also passed an order directing all state governments to include a senior-most lady judicial officer, and women Superintendent of Police in the district-level committees for evaluating conditions of women in prison across India. Read more

Did Not Encroach Delhi HC Land, Space Was Duly Allotted In 2015: AAP Tells SC

The Aam Aadmi Party has moved the Supreme Court against immediate removal of an “encroachment” by it on a land allotted to the Delhi High Court at Rouse Avenue area and has prayed to the court to not issue any directions without hearing it. The AAP has submitted before the top court that its party office is not an encroachment since it was lawfully allotted to the party in 2015, before it was designated for the extension of the Rouse Avenue court complex. Read more

Supreme Court To Hear Sharad Pawar’s Plea Against ECI’s Decision On Real NCP 

Supreme Court to hear on Monday a petition filed by Sharad Pawar challenging Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to recognise Ajit Pawar faction as the real National Congress Party (NCP). The matter is listed before a bench of Justice Surya Kant, Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KV Viswanathan. Read more