Week Ahead: Supreme Court, Nov 12-16 2018

This week, the Supreme Court will be hearing the Sabarimala Review, the CBI Dispute, Rafale, and Judicial Vacancies

Week Ahead: 12th-16th November 2018

The Supreme Court will resume work on Monday, November 12th 2018, after a week long break for Diwali. The Court will be hearing some important cases that have been widely covered by the press.

CBI Dispute: On October 26th 2018, a Bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi heard the petition filed challenging the Central Government’s order, which had stripped Alok Verma of his duties as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. On the same date, the Bench directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), under the supervision of Retd. Justice A K Patnaik, to conduct an enquiry of the allegations made against Mr. Verma. The Court will take up this case on Monday, November 12th and the report of the CVC is to be submitted to the Court in a sealed envelope on the said date.

The Sabarimala Review:  On September 28th 2018, the Supreme Court in a 4:1 majority ruled that the exclusionary practice of disallowing women between the ages of 10-50 years to enter the Sabarimala temple was unconstitutional. Subsequently, as many as 19 petitions have been filed seeking review of the decision of the five-judge Bench.  Having declined the plea for urgent hearing of the review petitions, a three-judge Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph will take up the matter on Tuesday, November 13th.

Rafale Deal Controversy: The Supreme Court will also be hearing the Rafale Fighter Jet deal case on Wednesday, November 14th.  On the previous dates of hearing, the Court had asked the Central Government to submit the pricing details and the details of the decision making process involved in the procurement of the Rafale fighter jets. The Court had further directed that confidential material and details pertaining to the deal should be supplied to the Court in a sealed cover envelope and the Centre must supply the petitioners with such other information that can be legitimately brought into the public domain.

Judicial Vacancies: On October 22nd 2018, a two-judge Bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul took suo motu cognisance of the high number of judicial vacancies in the District and Subordinate Courts and ordered all High Courts and State Governments to supply the Court with information regarding the steps being taken to fill up the vacancies. On November 1st 2018, the Court decided to monitor the case of judicial appointments in 4 phases and will first hear the States of Uttar Pradesh, Maharshtra, Chattisgarh, Delhi, West Bengal, & the North Eastern States on Thursday, November 15th.

Bhima Koregaon Arrests: The State of Maharashtra has filed a Special Leave Petition challenging the decision of the Delhi High Court to quash the Transit Remand order of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Judge from Delhi to Pune in the case of Gautam Navlakha, one of the persons arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. A Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and Justice K M Joseph will hear the case on Friday, November 16th. The Bench will also take up the SLP filed by the State against the order of the Bombay High Court which set aside the extension of time granted by a Pune trial court for completion of the investigation into Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Dr. Shooma Sen and Mahesh Raut.