I am searching for words to adequately express my gratitude for the good words spoken about me by all.
I am very happy to see all my well-wishers, friends and family members who have travelled with me for many long years. You all have taken trouble to reach this place to bid farewell to me. I thank each and every one of you for assembling here and for showering your blessings on me and my family.
You all know where I started. My life’s journey began in a remote village called Ponnavaram in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh where electricity, roads and basic amenities were not available. First time I saw electricity when I was 12 years old. I learnt the alphabets in English around the same time. We used to reach school walking on muddy roads, across the fields and crossing streams. With a lot of struggle, and hard work I have come up in life. For this, I thank my first gurus, that is, my parents and the teachers in various government schools.
I am indebted to all my teachers and lecturers because the essence of education that they had given to me was helpful not only for the purpose of acquiring academic knowledge but also helped in providing necessary moral strength and courage to face any calamity in life. This arduous journey finally brought me to Delhi.
This long journey is marked by many experiences, most of which are sour rather than sweet. At the young age of 17, I could lead a trade union of around 10,000 workers. At the same time, I could also lead students, farmers and employees. I was immersed in so many agitations and struggles. I have also suffered on account of the Emergency excesses. In fact, I lost an academic year on this count. Confronting problems, and resolving issues, is not something new to me. This period enabled me to interact with persons of varying ideologies and broadened my horizons. They taught me as to how to live in isolation, in an environment where you cannot express or share your thoughts on any of the issues.
I witnessed the resilience of human existence, the power of human struggles, dignity in poverty and most importantly unshakable hope and faith. Through these ordinary everyday experiences, I developed the extraordinary passion of serving the people.
Being a first-generation lawyer, I have faced many challenges in my life and realized that except hard work there is no shortcut to success. The journey of struggle and bitter experiences in my career helped me to diversify my activities. I had the opportunity of defending the State in several cases. I watched the important events of this country unfolding from close quarters. I always accepted rejection as God’s redirection and retained my honesty and integrity. I want every advocate to remember that sometimes life scares you, and beats you up, but there is a day when you realize that you are not just a survivor, you are a warrior. You are tougher than anything that is thrown your way. My professional life was also full of challenges.
To begin with, I was in two minds- to be a judge or to be among the people to offer leadership. I believe in destiny, in God and the blessings of the Almighty. It has been the honour of my life to be elevated as a Judge. I accepted it with all humility. I always remembered myself, while functioning as a Judge, of my privileged obligation to discharge services to this great society. Once I became a Judge, I gave my heart and mind to it.
From the date I joined bench till I reached the highest possible position in the judiciary, I was subjected to conspiratorial scrutinies. My family and I suffered in silence. But ultimately, the truth will always prevail. Satyameva Jayate.
At this juncture, I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
Anything and everything that I could achieve were only after facing a lot of struggle, setbacks and hardships in life. I have embraced all the challenges that came my way and strengthened myself and understood that every failure carried with it a seed of equivalent advantage.
I never claimed myself to be a scholarly judge or a great judge, but I have always believed that the ultimate purpose of justice delivery system is to provide justice to the common man.
I have elaborated in my earlier speeches as to how difficult the life of a Judge is. Your health also gets ruined in the process. Only Judges and lawyers understand this aspect of a Judge’s life. It is for you lawyers to explain to the people of hard work involved in a judge’s life.
In the last 75 years, our jurisprudence has evolved considerably. Our judiciary is not defined by a single order or decision. Yes, at times, it fell short of peoples’ expectations. But most of the times, it has championed the cause of the people. It was widely predicted that with A.K. Gopalan, the due process of law was history. But, this Court, in the case of Maneka Gandhi restored what was taken away earlier. Similarly, ADM Jabalpur was seen as a death knell on personal liberty. Subsequently, the error stood rectified by a 9-Judges Bench in K. S. Puttaswamy. This institution never hesitated to remedy itself. Your hope upon the institution cannot be so weak that it is shattered with one perceived unfair judgment.
When it comes to an individual judge, the expectations are very high. In the game of cricket, the player is expected to hit every ball for a six. After all, everyone loves to hit a six and win accolades for himself and the team. But only a player knows as to how to deal with each ball, given the conditions of the pitch, the style of bowling and the placement of the fielders. At times, the circumstances may not allow him to score even a single run.
The advocates are best placed to understand this predicament of a Judge and dispel wrong notions about them. Here I would like to read out what Senior Advocate Mr. Sanjay Hegde wrote in a newspaper article, and I quote:
“When a senior advocate asked [Justice] Bhagwati about the dichotomy between the reasoning and the relief [in Maneka Gandhi and R D Shetty], the judge explained that his brother judges were only concerned with the relief being denied in those cases. As long as [Justice] Bhagwati followed their lead on the relief, he got to write the judgment and lay down doctrines of law that continue to operate deep into the future. Every lawyer who today wins on the basis of R.D. Shetty and Maneka Gandhi judgments owes his victories in no small measure to Bhagwati’s foresight”
In earlier days, the Bar used to play a proactive role in the resistance. The members of the Bar used to willingly associate themselves with various social causes. It is the legal battles initiated by the Bar Associations that have led to progressive interpretations of the Constitution. It is in this spirit that the Bar must work to strengthen democracy.
One aspect that I want to bring to your notice is my choice of travelling across the country almost every weekend to speak to the public through various events. The popular perception is that the Indian judiciary was alien and quite distant to the general public. There are still millions with suppressed judicial needs who are apprehensive to approach the judiciary in times of need. My experience so far has convinced me that in spite of fulfilling its Constitutional mandate, the judiciary does not find adequate reflections in the media, thereby depriving the people of knowledge about the Courts and the Constitution. I felt it was my Constitutional duty to dispel these notions and bring the Court closer to the people, by way of generating awareness and building confidence among people about the judiciary. From what I get to hear from the common people during my visits, I am happy to note that people are able to engage with me on my subject in their language. I have actively tried to promote a sense of belongingness of the people with the system.
My constant endeavor was to make the people aware, not just about their rights and obligations, but also about the Constitutional scheme and democratic values and institutions. My sincere effort was to initiate a dialogue.
As part of my public speaking engagements, I have focused on certain subjects of institutional importance. The focal point of any justice delivery system is “the litigant- the justice seeker”. But our system, practices, rules, being colonial in origin, may not be best suited to the needs of Indian population. The need of the hour is the Indianisation of our legal system. When I say Indianisation, I mean the need to adapt to the practical realities of our society and localise our justice delivery system. I have pushed for modernisation of judicial infrastructure as a means for providing access to justice. I also tried to highlight the difference between the arrears and backlogs to put things in perspective. “Arrears” refer to delays that are unwarranted. Every delay is not an arrear. Some cases of delay might be due to valid reasons. On the other hand, “backlogs” refers to a situation where the number of cases instituted in a period is more than the number of cases disposed of in the same period.
I am happy to inform that thanks to my collegium judges and consulting judges, in the last 16 months, we could appoint 11 judges to the Apex Court and out of the 255 recommended for the various High Courts, 224 Judges are already appointed. This amounts to nearly 20% of the total sanctioned strength of the High Courts. Due to our concerted efforts, we could make considerable progress in appointing more women judges and promoting social diversity on the Bench. We got 15 new Chief Justices for various High Courts during the same period. This process is a reflection of the coherence and determination of the Judges to strengthen our institution, to further the goal of justice.
These are the issues that I tried my best to solve. However, I acknowledge there are many other issues that the system is facing and it needs scientific assessment. From the very beginning my stand is that since independence no systematic assessment of the judicial system in India has taken place. The Bar, the Bench and the Government are all equal stakeholders in the justice delivery mechanism. We need their coordinated efforts to revamp the entire system.
The issues faced by the judiciary cannot be looked at in isolation. The judiciary is independent when it comes to adjudication of cases, but with respect to finances or appointments it is still dependent on the Government. To coordinate and to get the cooperation from the Government, interaction is inevitable. But interaction does not mean influence. I hope this dialogue between the judiciary and the public will continue.
With the best of my intentions and efforts, I have carried out my solemn duty with a debt of gratitude to my motherland. This country has provided me with many opportunities and happiness, and it was an honor to serve you all. Both your support and criticism has carried me this far. The end of my tenure just marks the end of my constitutional assignment, however, I shall fulfill the constitutional vows till the end my last breathe.
An English politician once said, and I quote:
“History is not the burden of one man or woman alone but some are called upon to meet a special share of its challenges. History is more than the path left by the past. It influences the present and can shape the future.”
Only history can judge as to the influence of the path left by me on the present and the future.
Before I conclude I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to all my colleagues on the bench.
I had the privilege of being guided by learned Attorney General Shri K.K. Venugopal, the Bheeshma pitamaha of the Indian legal fraternity.
I also thank the Solicitor General for his active assistance to the Court. On a personal level, he is a good human being. He comes forward readily to help anyone in need.
Mr. Vikas Singh, the President of SCBA is a dynamic leader. He is very persuasive, but with a little soberness he can achieve even more.
Before I conclude, I would like to sincerely thank the Secretary General, the Registrars and the entire Registry of the Supreme Court. My personal residential staff has worked with me for a long time. I thank them all for their constant dedication and hard work.
The media has been extremely cooperative in disseminating the information about the judiciary. You share the equal burden of dispelling myths and notions. I thank you for being an active partner in this collaborative project of strengthening judiciary. I thank each one of the journalists who have been covering the proceedings of the Supreme Court diligently, efficiently and instantly.
My journey so far has been made possible due to innumerable sacrifices made by my revered parents Shri Ganapati Rao and Smt. Sarojini Devi, and my two elder sisters Prabhanjani and Vani. My wife Sivamala stood by me like a rock, through thick and thin. She has been my equal partner in all my struggles and successes. I am blessed with two loving daughters Dr. Sri Bhuvana and Sri Tanuja who continue to cheer my life.
Now my family also includes Rithesh and Trilok, with 3 grandchildren Sriya, Sri Nitya and Sai Virat. I do not have to worry about my post retirement phase.
I am demitting my office with utmost contentment. When you ultimately judge me as a Judge, I would like to say that I may be judged as a very ordinary Judge, but one who greatly relished and enjoyed the job. I may be judged as one who meticulously followed the rules of the game and did not trespass into provinces forbidden. More importantly, as one who recognized preliminarily the moral power of a Judge. I may be remembered as a Judge who heard the senior and the junior alike. As a Judge, I always wanted my name to be etched on the hearts of the people through my conduct and behavior, rather than case law and journals. I want to remain in those vibrant hearts which will give me warmth and keep me going forever. I have seen the flow of emotions in Courtroom No. 1 this morning. This is a reflection of the strong sense of your belongingness with the institution. I was touched by the display of emotions in particular by Mr. Sibal and Mr. Dave.
I never miss an opportunity to quote the famous Telugu poet Maha Kavi Gurajada Appa Rao garu, and I quote:
“deshamante matti kaadoy
Gurajada garu gave a universal definition to the concept of nation. He said a nation is not merely a territory. A nation is essentially its people. Only when its people progress, the Nation progresses.
“swanta laabham konta maanuku
porugu vaariki todupadavoi”
Gurajada garu went on to urge people to rise above one’s own interest and to extend a helping hand to those in need. If we put this principle in practice, we will soon start seeing a better world free of conflicts and violence. It is towards establishing such a progressive world that we collectively need to endeavour as global citizens.
As enlightened citizens and as the most important stakeholders of our judicial system, I urge upon you all to think about the society, the nation i.e. the people. It is the universal brotherhood that will bridge the gaps.
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RBI Directed Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services To Cease Recovery Through Outsourcing Arrangements
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a press release on 22.09.2022., wherein directing Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. (MMFSL), Mumbai, to immediately cease carrying out any recovery or repossession activity through outsourcing arrangements, till further orders of the court. Therefore, the MMFSL may continue to carry out recovery or repossession activities, through its own employees. Further, it was stated that the action was based on certain material supervisory concerns observed in MMFSL, with regard to the management of its outsourcing activities.
Background of the Case
Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. (MMFSL) is a part of Mahindra & Mahindra group of companies and is at present led by Mr. Anand Mahindra. Thus, MMFSL is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), which provides Vehicle and Asset Finance to rural Indians and finances the purchase of new and pre-owned tractors, construction equipment, commercial vehicles and two wheelers.
Recently, it is surfaced in the news that a pregnant woman had died after she was allegedly mowed down under the wheels of a tractor by a recovery agent of MMFSL in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. However, a loan has been taken by the deceased woman’s father from MMFSL and the outsourced recovery agents were attempting to recover the same while the incident had taken place.
Supreme Court: Imposed Rs 5 Lakh Cost On Tamil Nadu Govt For Filling Unnecessary Plea Challenging Pension Of Employee
The Supreme Court in the case The Secretary to Government and another vs PG Venugopal observed and has imposed an exemplary cost of Rupees 5 lakhs on the State of Tamil Nadu for filing of an unnecessary Special Leave Petition.
The bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and the Justice Krishna Murari observed and has held that it is required to be noted that as such the State ought not to have filed the present Special Leave Petition. Despite the fact that the issue with respect to entitlement of pension by the respondent was concluded up to this Court, thereafter, still the state had an audacity to contend that the respondent was not entitled for the pension.
However, the present issue is related to the pensionary entitlement of an employee. In an earlier round of litigation, it has been confirmed by the Supreme Court the pensionary entitlement of the employee. It stated that when the stage for disbursing the arrears came, the State took up a plea that the employee was not entitled to pension. By its judgement in February 2022, the Madras High Court rejected the State’s contention wherein observing that the Department “has misappropriated the money of the employee by depriving him of his pension”.
The High Court division bench observed that the act of the appellants in not granting arrears of pension from 01.04.2009 is arbitrary. Once the entitlement of pension of the employee is decided and the appellants are bound to pay the same. Thus, challenging the same, the State approached the Supreme Court, which took an extremely critical view of the State’s conduct.
It was observed by the Supreme Court that once the issue was concluded up to this court that the respondent is entitled to pension, thereafter, it was not open for the State to again contend post 2009 when the arrears were to be paid that the respondent is not entitled for the pension. Therefore, the aforesaid stand is just in teeth of order passed by this Court. In light of the matter, there is no substance in the present Special Leave Petition, the same deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed with an exemplary cost, which is quantified at Rs. 5,00,000/-.
The court stated that the cost of Rs. 5,00,000/-, to be deposited by the State within a period of four weeks from September 19 with the Registry of the Supreme Court and on such deposit and the same is to be transferred to the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), Supreme Court of India.
Supreme Court Allowed Withdrawal Of Petition Challenging Provisions Of J&K Reservation Act 2005
The Supreme Court in the case Munilal and Ors Versus The State Of Jammu And Kashmir And Anr observed and has allowed to withdraw a petition seeking to declare certain provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2005 and related rules as unconstitutional and illegal.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice JB Pardiwala was prompted to do so after the Court was informed of the developments in the case which took place subsequent to the filing of the petition.
The bench stated that in view of the developments which have taken up since the filing of the writ petition, the court permit the petitioners to withdraw the petition with further liberty to take or initiate appropriate proceedings in manner known as per the law.
During the hearing, it was submitted by ASG Vikramjit Banerjee that the petition filed in 2006, pertains to provisions on Reservation in Jammu and Kashmir.
The bench observed that as a result of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the situation has drastically changed. Thus, today it’s a Union Territory and What is prevalent in other Union Territories should apply, ipso facto. One, that’s a matter of policy.
It was observed by the Court that amending a petition from 2006 would be a tough and convoluted task.
The Court stated that Whatever you have filed in 2006, cannot be a basis for amendments now. However, What will you amend in a petition from 2006? The court will grant you liberty to withdraw.
Accordingly, the Court disposed of the plea, with these observations.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ITS SECURITY AND REGULATION
23rd October,2019 was a red letter day in human history when American Special Operations Forces carried out a daring raid codenamed “Operation Kayla Mueller” that killed the “crying, whimpering, screaming” self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in his own secret hideaway in the outskirts of Barisha, in Northwest Syria. Startlingly, an explosive ordnance disposal military robot had participated in the mission! On 31st July, 2022, the Americans eliminated the dreaded Al-Qaeda Chief Ayman al-Zawahiri deep inside the heart of Kabul with the aid of an MQ-9B drone that launched two Hellfire R9X missiles with pinpoint Artificial Intelligence (AI) precision. And this very year itself, around 110 incidents of AI guided drones from Pakistan, the epicentre of international terrorism, clandestinely violating Indian airspace to para-drop arms, explosives and drugs to terrorists and separatists firmly embedded on Indian soil have alarmingly come to light.
AI has come to stay and is predicted to contribute a staggering 15.7 trillion US Dollars to the global economy by the year 2030! It has wormed its way into every conceivable sphere of human activity, and the law is no exception! The prodigious 17th century German polymath Gottfried Leibniz, widely recognised as the grandfather of AI, who was himself a distinguished lawyer, aptly remarked, “It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labour of calculation which could safely be relegated to anyone else if machines were used.” The legal profession, historically tradition bound and labour intensive, is on the cusp of an unimaginable transformation in which AI has the potentiality to affect the manner and mode in which the legal world functions. Very much like e-mail drastically changed the way we do business, AI would become omnipresent – an indispensable tool for lawyers! The legal sector was one of the first to adopt AI with some leading law firms using AI platforms in some form or the other since the year 2005. A cover story published in the ABA Journal Magazine, the flagship publication of the American Bar Association, elucidiated, “Artificial intelligence is changing the way lawyers think, the way they do business and the way they interact with clients. Artificial intelligence is more than legal technology. It is the next great hope that will revolutionize the legal profession.” Instead of wading through piles of papers, lawyers can now deal with terabytes of data and hundreds of thousands of documents. The eminent American Law Professor Daniel Martin Katz has effectively utilized legal analytics and machine learning to create a highly accurate predictive model for the outcome of American Supreme Court decisions. Sometimes billed as the first robot lawyer, ROSS is an advanced online research tool using natural language processing powered by IBM Watson that provides legal research and analysis and can reportedly read and process a phenomenal million legal pages per minute.
In February, 2018, a group of leading academics and researchers published a report, raising alarm bells about the increasing possibilities that rogue states, criminals, terrorists and other malefactors could conceivably exploit AI capabilities to cause wide spread irreparable damage. Back in 2017, the legendary physicist, Stephen William Hawking, cautioned that the emergence of AI could be the “worst event in the history of our civilization”. To date, no industry standards exist to guide the secure development and maintenance of AI systems. On 3rd February, 2022, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden along with Senator Cory Booker and Representative Yvette Clarke introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022, a landmark bill H. R. 6580 in the U.S. House of Representatives to bring new transparency and oversight of software, algorithms and other automated systems. Wyden explained, “Our bill will pull back the curtain on the secret algorithms that can decide whether Americans get to see a doctor, rent a house or get into a school. Transparency and accountability are essential to give consumers choice and provide policymakers with the information needed to set the rules of the road for critical decision systems.” Sen. Booker further explained, “As algorithms and other automated decision systems take on increasingly prominent roles in our lives, we have a responsibility to ensure that they are adequately assessed for biases that may disadvantage minority or marginalized communities.” And Rep. Clarke struck an optimistic note, “With our renewed Algorithmic Accountability Act, large companies will no longer be able to turn a blind eye towards the deleterious impact of their automated systems, intended or not. We must ensure that our 21st Century technologies become tools of empowerment, rather than marginalization and seclusion.”
India currently has no laws or government-issued guidelines regulating AI. Instead, the government developed a number of national strategies or road maps related to AI in 2018. On 1st February, 2018, the Union Finance Minister and my dear friend and class mate from my Law Faculty days Arun Jaitley stated that the apex public policy think tank NITI Aayog “would lead the national programme on AI”. Thereafter, the Committee of Secretaries held a meeting on 8th February, 2018, and tasked NITI Aayog with formulating a National Strategy Plan for AI “in consultation with Ministries and Departments concerned, academia and private sector.” On 4th June, 2018, NITI Aayog published a discussion paper on a National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence. On 27th July, 2018, the Government of India’s Committee of Experts released a Draft Protection of Personal Data Bill along with an accompanying report entitled “A Free and Fair Digital Economy Protecting Privacy, Empowering Indians”. The Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11th December, 2019. It was then referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee, which tabled its report in the Lok Sabha on 6th December, 2021. On 3rd August, 2022, the Government unilaterally withdrew the Bill. In a note circulated to MPs, the Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw explained the raison d’etre for withdrawal of the Bill, “The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament…on considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon.” Thereafter, the Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrashekhar tweeted, “This will soon be replaced by a comprehensive framework of global standard laws, including digital privacy laws, for contemporary and future challenges and catalyse PM Narendra Modi’s vision of India Techade”.
Cyber-threat actors are becoming increasingly agile and inventive, spurred by the burgeoning base of financial resources and the absence of viable regulation – factors that often stifle innovation for legitimate enterprises. This threat transcends the periphery of any single enterprise or nation in what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru described as “this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.” There is an imperative need for transparent, incisive and thoughtful collaboration between academics, professional associations, the private sector, regulators and world governing bodies. Strategic collaboration will be more impactful than unilateral responses to address the issue of ethics and regulation in AI. Finally, I am highly emboldened to sound a note of caution by turning to the foreboding words of the renowned American AI researcher, blogger and exponent of human rationality Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky, “By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.”
Who will be next APTEL Chairman ?
Justice Hemant Gupta, currently serving as Judge, Supreme Court of India may be appointed as the next Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL). Justice Hemant Gupta’s tenure as Judge of Supreme Court comes to an end on October 16th.
Justice Gupta enrolled as an advocate in July 1980 and started practice in the District Court of Chandigarh. He entered in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and worked on Civil, Labour, Company and Constitutional matters. In 1997 he was appointed Additional Advocate General of Punjab and elevated as a Judge of High Court of Punjab and Haryana on 2 July 2002. Justice Gupta was transferred to the Patna High Court in February 2016, thereafter took over the charge of acting chief justice of the Patna High Court after the retirement of Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari on 29 October 2016. He was appointed the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 18 March 2017.In November 2018 he became Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Delhi HC asks trial court to consider Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea for relief
The Delhi High Court has instructed a trial court to first consider former JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s application for relief under Section 436-A CrPC on the grounds that he has been in custody for 31 months following a 2019 sedition FIR, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive to keep sedition cases on hold.
According to Section 436-A, a person might well be released on bail by the court after serving a sentence of up to one-half the maximum allowed for the offence against him up until the end of the trial.
Imam claims that because he has been imprisoned for more than a year and a half since his arrest in February 2020 and has served more than half of the maximum sentence of three years under Section 153A (promoting hostility among religious groups), he is entitled to the advantage of being released.
A speech that Imam delivered at Jamia Millia Islamia in 2019 is the subject of a charge against him that was filed at the New Friends Colony (NFC) Police station.
Justice Anoop Mendiratta asked the trial court to consider the Supreme Court’s order keeping the offence of sedition in abeyance when deciding whether to grant the applicant’s request for default bail on Monday (September 26), while permitting him to withdraw his application for regular bail in a 2019 sedition case.
Appearing for Imam, his counsel Ahmad Ibrahim told the judge that the trial court, while dismissing his bail plea, had only made observations against him with respect to offences under Section 153A and 124A (sedition) and opined that no case was made out under other offences.
The counsel argued that the only offence which now warrants consideration of the trial court during the hearing of bail plea is Section 153A as offence of sedition has been kept abeyance.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad told the court that Imam’s bail plea pending before High Court may be withdrawn in entirety, as it may not be appropriate to consider the application under Section 436A CrPC in a piecemeal with reference to Section 153A of IPC.
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