Utkarsh Anand

Utkarsh Anand is Legal Editor at the Hindustan Times. He writes on law, judiciary and governance.

Articles by Utkarsh Anand

Death penalty to be unconstitutional? What Supreme Court said

Hanging by the neck to execute the death sentence can be declared unconstitutional if there is scientific material favouring a different method of execution as less painful and “more consistent with human dignity”, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

Supreme Court (PTI)
Updated on Mar 22, 2023 05:35 AM IST
By, New Delhi

‘Averse to sealed cover notes’: CJI to govt over OROP arrears

During the proceedings on Monday, the bench returned the confidential documents submitted by the AG but allowed the Centre’s request for additional time to clear OROP arrears.

The Supreme Court. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 21, 2023 03:52 AM IST

Punjab refusing to finish Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, Supreme Court informed

The Punjab government has refused to construct the remaining portion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal, saying it does not have additional river waters to share with Haryana, the Union government informed the Supreme Court on Friday in a progress report.

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann with his Haryana counterpart, Manohar Lal Khattar, in New Delhi on January 4. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 18, 2023 12:23 AM IST
By, New Delhi

How do we reinstate a CM who didn’t even face floor test?: SC on Sena crisis

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Uddhav Thackeray faction how a court can reinstate a chief minister who did not even face the floor test and chose to resign, even as it reserved its verdict on a clutch of petitions arising out of a vertical split in the Shiv Sena last year.

The Supreme Court bench said that the burden is on the court to reflect on the extensive arguments made from all sides in the Shiv Sena matter and deliver a judgment. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 01:45 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Legal glossary of inappropriate gendered terms to be out soon: CJI

The CJI was speaking at an event of Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee of the Supreme Court to celebrate International Women’s Day.

CJI Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 12:39 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Fight over Shiv Sena only between Uddhav, Shinde: Election Commission to Supreme Court

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the dispute over Shiv Sena’s name and bow-and-arrow symbol should be fought only between Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and his rival Uddhav Thackeray as the poll body already discharged its quasi-judicial duty of determining the issue.

In its affidavit, ECI maintained that the February 17 order allotting Shiv Sena’s name and symbol to Shinde was passed in exercise of the commission’s authority under para 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, as a quasi-judicial body. (PTI)
Published on Mar 16, 2023 01:08 AM IST

Governor’s actions should not lead to a govt’s fall: Supreme Court amid Shiv Sena tussle

Shiv Sena crisis: Governor’s actions causing a government to topple is “very very serious for democracy”, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court emphasised that governors must exercise their powers with the “greatest circumspection” and must not lend their offices to trigger a particular result. (PTI)
Published on Mar 16, 2023 12:06 AM IST

SC dismisses plea for higher payout by Union Carbide

Noting that the curative petition filed by the Centre for a top-up of the $470 million settlement amount had no basis either in law or on the facts of the case, a five-judge bench led by justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul lamented that the Centre is yet to frame an insurance policy for the victims of the tragedy despite an undertaking given to the apex court in 1991

HT Image
Published on Mar 14, 2023 11:58 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Bhopal gas tragedy: SC dismisses plea for more compensation from Union Carbide

The court noted previous proceedings related to the incident before it unequivocally recorded the settlement amount of $470 million was sufficient to meet the present and future claims of the victims

The Supreme Court. (Hindustan Times)
Published on Mar 14, 2023 11:30 AM IST

Bhopal gas tragedy: SC junks govt plea on ex gratia, notes 50 cr lying with RBI

The Supreme Court said a sum of ₹50 crore lying with the RBI for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims shall be utilised by the Centre to satisfy pending claims of victims.

Bhopal gas disaster survivors hold posters during a protest rally. (AFP file)
Updated on Mar 14, 2023 11:37 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Clearing OROP dues in one go not feasible: Govt tells SC

Requesting the top court to modify the orders passed in March 2022 and February 2023, the Centre sought to disburse outstanding arrears to ex-servicemen in four half-yearly instalments, citing a general practice of the government to pay any arrears in instalments as a “prudent fiscal measure”.

Representational Image
Updated on Mar 14, 2023 05:00 AM IST

SC refers petitions on same-sex marriage to Constitution bench

A three-judge bench observed: “It’s a matter important enough for us to invoke our authority under Article 145(3) and refer it to a constitution bench...it’s a seminal matter.”

The court fixed the matter for a detailed hearing before the larger bench on April 18. (Ht Photo)
Updated on Mar 15, 2023 05:17 PM IST

Same-sex marriages will wreak havoc: Govt in SC

Legal validation of same-sex marital unions will cause “complete havoc” with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country and in accepted societal values, the Union government told the Supreme Court in an affidavit filed on Sunday, adding that the legislative policy in India recognises marriage as a bond only between a biological man and a biological woman

HT Image
Published on Mar 13, 2023 02:14 AM IST
By, New Delhi

‘Judiciary must not wait for another pandemic to…’: CJI DY Chandrachud

Speaking at a joint interactive session, justice Chandrachud pointed out that the pandemic ushered in various challenges to the access to justice.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud speaks during the 18th meeting of Chief Justices/Chairpersons of the Supreme Courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states, in New Delhi, Friday, (PTI)
Updated on Mar 11, 2023 02:21 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Can’t prescribe 50% quota for women in National Defence Academy: Supreme Court

The court on Friday said that although it has sympathy with the petitioner, who claimed that she was not selected even as some of the male candidates with lower marks got through, the court cannot issue any order on assigning a 50-50 quota for women candidates at NDA at this time.

Each course at National Defence Academy has 370 vacancies for the three services. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 04, 2023 04:55 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Past orders also aimed at institutional reforms

The collegium that is to select CEC and ECs has the same composition that selects the CBI director, and the top court has once again put in place a mechanism that ensures participation of a non-political functionary – the Chief Justice of India, in the selection process

In a raft of judgments, the Supreme Court has highlighted the need to insulate officials from the control of the Executive. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Published on Mar 03, 2023 01:31 PM IST
By, New Delhi

CJI turns down plea for urgent listing of Hijab row cases

In February, the CJI said he would “take a call” soon on setting up a three-judge bench to take up the matter in view of a split verdict of the two judges of the previous bench in October 2022

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud. (PTI)
Published on Mar 03, 2023 01:11 PM IST

SC verdict on EC opens new vista for voting as fundamental right

All the five judges on the Supreme Court bench held the right to vote as a constitutional right but four of them stopped short of issuing a judicial declaration in this regard in deference to judicial discipline and propriety. For, a bench of equal strength had 16 years ago said that the right to vote is not a fundamental right but just a statutory right

The Supreme Court building. (Sanjay Sharma)
Updated on Mar 03, 2023 08:13 AM IST
By, New Delhi

In historic verdict, apex court rules panel will appoint CEC

Election commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner will henceforth be chosen by a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP), and the Chief Justice of India (CJI), till Parliament passes a law on the appointments, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday

HT Image
Published on Mar 03, 2023 12:11 AM IST
By, New Delhi

SC raps Centre for delay in taking call on Rajoana’s mercy petition

The bench, which included justices Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol, took umbrage at the Centre’s indisposition to draw the curtains on the mercy plea despite several timelines and directives

in September 2019, a decision was communicated by the Centre to the Punjab government for commuting Balwant Singh Rajoana’s death sentence to a life term, coinciding with the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. (HT Archive)
Published on Mar 02, 2023 11:46 PM IST
By, New Delhi

PM, LoP, CJI’s panel to select Chief Election Commissioner, Commissioners: SC

The panel of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and Chief Justice of India will select the Chief Election Commissioner and Elections Commissioners until Parliament passes a law in this regard

The Supreme Court ruled leader of the single largest party will be part of the panel in the absence of LoP. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 02, 2023 12:53 PM IST

Adani vs Hindenburg: Supreme Court orders probe, forms experts committee

Adani-Hindenburg row: The Supreme Court sought a status report from SEBI on its ongoing investigation into the matter within two months.

The Supreme Court building.
Updated on Mar 02, 2023 11:22 AM IST

Maha political crisis: ‘What kind of time limit should be there’, says SC

Hearing a clutch of petitions arising out of last year’s vertical split in the Shiv Sena into two factions -- led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde -- the bench added that a 2020 judgment by the top court did say that the Speaker should decide on decide on disqualification petitions within three months.

By an order in November 2016, a two-judge bench referred to a Constitution bench the issue as to whether the Supreme Court or a high court can direct the speaker to decide a disqualification petition within a fixed time frame. (ANI)
Published on Mar 02, 2023 12:14 AM IST

Supreme Court order on panel to look into Adani-Hindenburg episode today

Adani-Hindenburg case: A 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud will deliver its ruling on a batch of four petitions

FILE PHOTO: Adani logo and decreasing stock graph is seen in this illustration taken on January 31 (REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 02, 2023 04:57 AM IST

‘Race to the bottom’: Supreme Court pulls up CM Mann, governor over Punjab row

Punjab govt-governor row: The level of discourse between a chief minister and the governor must not degenerate into a “race to the bottom”, putting the implementation of constitutional values and affairs of the nation in jeopardy, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning agreed to grant an urgent hearing during the day to the Punjab government’s petition (PTI)
Updated on Mar 01, 2023 09:58 AM IST
By, New Delhi

‘Can’t interfere directly’: SC dismisses Sisodia’s bail plea

In his order, the trial court noted Manish Sisodia cannot be expected to make self-incriminating statements, but interest of justice required him to come up with legitimate answers to the questions

AAP workers protest against Manish Sisodia’s arrest on DDU Marg on Monday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on Mar 01, 2023 02:53 AM IST

Manish Sisodia moves SC against arrest by CBI; CJI agrees to hear matter today

Manish Sisodia was arrested on Sunday in the Delhi liquor policy case. The CJI agreed to hear the matter at 3.50pm on Tuesday.

Manish Sisodia
Updated on Feb 28, 2023 10:55 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Petition seeking to defer NEET-PG rejected by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused to postpone the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination scheduled for March 5, observing that it cannot halt the process when the consequences remain uncertain for several candidates who were not before it

The National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination is scheduled for March 5. (PTI)
Updated on Feb 28, 2023 03:01 AM IST

Govt moves to clear pending OROP payments after Supreme Court rap

Following the top court’s observations, the defence ministry on Monday instructed the Controller General Defence Accounts (CGDA) to release all OROP arrears in a single instalment, a government spokesperson said

The Supreme Court bench took strong exception to a letter issued by an officer in the concerned department of the ministry seeking to extend the timeline issued by the court through its order in January. (ANI)
Updated on Feb 28, 2023 08:30 AM IST

Clarity must on eligibility for Delhi top cop: Supreme Court

The bench also said that it will review the Delhi high court judgment, which in October 2021 affirmed the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner while holding that the requirement of the 2016 Supreme Court judgment in the Prakash Singh case on a minimum six months of residual service is not applicable for the police chief in Delhi

Several petitions were filed before the Delhi high court challenging his appointment on the prime ground that it was in violation of the top court’s judgment in the Prakash Singh case. (ANI)
Published on Feb 28, 2023 12:28 AM IST
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