While the Supreme Court refused to club all FIRs against YouTuber Manish Kashyap, the government told the top court that there has been no reported violence in Manipur in the last 2 days.
Here are the top legal highlights from Monday, 8 May:
SC Refuses To Club FIRs Against YouTuber Manish Kashyap In Fake News Case
The Supreme Court declined to entertain a petition by YouTuber Manish Kashyap seeking clubbing of all FIRs against him over allegations of spreading fake news about Bihari migrants being attacked in Tamil Nadu.
"You have stable States.... you share anything and you spread disquiet in those states," CJI Chandrachud remarked, according to Bar and Bench.
The top court also refused to entertain his plea for quashing his detention against the National Security Act (NSA). However, it gave him the liberty to approach appropriate authorities, even for the NSA remedy.
"We are not inclined to use our powers under article 32. The petitioner is at liberty to approach appropriate authorities for remedy including the NSA," the Court said.
Tamil Nadu had booked Kashyap last month for circulatin fake news about migrant workers, facilitating video fabrication and utilising them to further communal hatred. He is currently in custody of Tamil Nadu police.
No Reported Violence in Last Two Days: Govt To SC
There has been no reported violence in Manipur in the last two days, the state government informed the apex court on Monday, 8 May.
As per Bar and Bench, the Supreme Court, on its part, said: “Solicitor General has assured that concerns flagged will be addressed and remedial measures will be taken on a proactive basis. We emphasise that due arrangements be made in relief camps in terms of food, medical; taking all necessary precautions for the rehabilitation of displaced persons, and protecting places of religious worship.”
What else did the state government say?
The Union Government, via Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, reportedly told the apex court about several measures that have been taken to return the situation to normalcy.
These, as per Mehta, include the deployment of 52 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 105 columns of Army/Assam Rifles.
Bar Associations Restraining Lawyers From Defending Accused is Contempt of Court: SC
Meanwhile, the top court noted that bar associations passing resolutions to restrain lawyers from defending accused will be considered contempt of court.
A three-judge bench headed by CJI Chandrachud pulled up the Bharatpur Bar Association for suspending the license of three lawyers who had been appointed as legal aid defense counsel by the district legal aid services authority.
“Bar Associations passing a resolution that lawyers will not represent an accused is nothing but criminal contempt. Bar associations cannot pass such resolutions. Reason why lawyers say no one should appear for defense is nothing but criminal contempt,” the court pointed out.
Legal Transparency Body Questions SC's Move To Defer Grant of Default Bail
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), a legal transparency body, urged the top to recall its order deferring grant of default bail to accused across the country, on its recent judgment in Ritu Chhabaria vs Union of India.
Last month, the top court had held that if the investigating agency files a chargesheet without completing the investigation, it would not interfere with the right of the accused to get default bail under Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
However, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a recall application against it. And, the top court decided to defer grant of default bail based on the judgment, until the next day of hearing. (12 May)
“The judgment is indisputably a welcome one, lays down the correct law consistent with the fundamental rights chapter of the constitution, and would be a travesty if it were eventually overturned. The main thrust of this Statement however is not in the merits of the judgment itself, but the manner in which subsequent Recall proceedings have been handled," CJAR's statement read.
SC Issues Notice On slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah's wife Plea Against Anand Mohan's Release
The top court also issued notice to the Bihar Government and others on slain IAS officer G Krishnaiah's wife Uma Krishnaiah's plea challenging premature release of Bihar politician Anand Mohan from prison.
The Patna High Court in 2007 had sentenced Mohan to death for abetting the lynching of a Dalit District Magistrate, R Krishnaiah. A year later, the sentence was reduced to rigorous life imprisonment in 2008.
15 years on, Anand Mohan was released after the Bihar government tweaked the prison rules to allow convicts who are in jail for killing civil servants to have their release considered due to good behaviour.