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Bombay HC seeks Maha govts reply on lawyers plea for categorising them as essential service providers

The Bombay High Court issued notices to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government over two separate petitions on Tuesday. The lawyers urged that the state should consider the services rendered by lawyers as ?essential services amid COVID-19 lockdown.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) ? filed by lawyers Chirag Chanani, Sumit Khanna and Vinay Kumar through their counsel Shyam Dewani ? and a criminal writ petition ? filed by lawyer Imran Shaikh, through his counsel Karim Pathan ? both seeking the same relief.

Shyam Dewani

Shyam Dewani

While a bench, led by Justice Amjad Sayed, directed Maharashtra government to file its reply to the PIL within two weeks, a bench, led by Justice SS Shinde, directed the state and the Bar Council of India to respond to the writ petition by Friday.

Through the PIL and writ petition, lawyers demanded that they should be considered as ?essential service providers as they are officers of the court who work towards delivering justice. The PIL also demanded that lawyers should be permitted to use Mumbai’s local trains for commuting by allotting them e-passes.

Shaikh filed the write petition after a traffic cop in Mumbai stopped him while he was on his way to a court on June 29, 2020 and fined him Rs 500 as he was on a two-wheeler. The cop said citizens in Maharashtra weren’t allowed to move out beyond the radius of two kilometers of their respective homes unless an essential work or for an emergency. The counsel said Shaikh was allowed to leave after he showed his case papers and ID card to the cops. However, the fine wasn’t waved-off. As a result, Shaikhs hearing was adjourned as he reached the court late.

Heena Kapoor, Kandarp Trivedi and Bhoomi Kalra assisted Nagpur-based advocate Shyam Dewani of Dewani Associates, who appeared for the lawyer petitioners. 

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Legal

Karnataka High Court says wearing hijab non-essential practice in Islam; upholds ban

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Radhika Dhawad | Bengaluru

Representational image

Representational image

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday upheld hijab ban by dismissing petitions filed by a section of Muslim students from the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi seeking permission to wear hijab inside classrooms.


The court upheld the state government ban by saying, The prescription of school uniforms is a reasonable restriction.


The court further said hijab was not an essential religious practice in Islam. However, the petitioners are likely to challenge the ban in the Supreme Court.


“Met my clients in Hijab matter in Udupi. Moving to SC soon In sha Allah. These girls will In sha Allah continue their education while exercising their rights to wear Hijab. These girls have not lost hope in Courts and Constitution,” lawyer Anas Tanwir wrote in a tweet.

The court was answering three key questions on the controversy namely:
1. Whether wearing hijab is an essential religious practice in Islamic faith protected under Article 25?
2. Whether prescription of school uniform is violative of rights
3. Whether government order on February 5 was issued without application of mind and manifestly arbitrary?


A three judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi delivered their verdict on the ongoing hijab controversy at 10.30 am today.


Ahead of the hijab row verdict, Section 144 was imposed in Bangalore and educational institutions remained closed.

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SC grants bail to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict AG Perarivalan jailed for 32 years

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Radhika Dhawad | New Delhi

Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday afternoon, granted bail to AG Perarivala, one of the seven convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.


However, the remission of his life imprisonment is pending before the President of India. AG Perarivala was serving life sentence and was jailed for almost 32 years.


As per the SC order, Perarivalan would have to follow the conditions of release and would have to report before the local police officer every month. 

Granting him bail, the court, in its order, said: Since Perarivalan has already undergone sentence for more than 30 years, we are of the considered view that he is entitled to bail in spite of the vehement opposition by the Additional Solicitor General Additional KM Nataraj.
On May 21, 1991, he was accused of purchasing an eight-volt battery used to trigger the belt bomb that killed Gandhi. Perarivalan was arrested when he was 19 and was sentenced to death in May 1999.

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Supreme Court to allow journalists inside courtrooms for physical hearing of cases

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Karan Pareek | New Delhi


The Supreme Court of India, on Thursday, October 21, resumed hearing of cases and pleas in the physical mode for the first time since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in India.
The Supreme Court has recently issued new SoPs for hybrid hearings as per which all cases on Wednesdays and Thursdays to be heard only in the physical presence of the counsels/parties in courtrooms.
Along with this, SC also decided to allow media persons inside the courtroom during the physical hearings. However, journalists would have to strictly adhere to COVID-19 related norms and protocols.
?With the physical hearing in the Supreme Court of India commencing tomorrow (Thursday, 21 October 2021), it has been decided to allow the media persons, subject to usual COVID restrictions, into the courtrooms for covering the proceedings,” said the top court in a press note.
Supreme Court heard cases through video conference since March last year due to the pandemic and several bar bodies and lawyers demanded that the physical hearings should be resumed immediately.

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