Indian Supreme Court Updates: May 17th-23rd
No Interim Relief for Asaram Bapu
Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, arrested on September 1st, 2013 for the alleged rape of a minor at his Ashram in Rajasthan, was denied interim relief as the court prepares for the next hearing on July 3rd. They have agreed to hear arguments about age, but have denied bail or other interim relief for him and two other accused individuals. The arguments the defense lawyer is using are way past borderline offensive. They are arguing that the girl suffered from a chronic condition, which attracted. This is the same man who claims that calling your rapist, brother, should stop him. Too bad his victim didn’t listen.
Injury Not Needed for Prosecution of Rape Victims
The Supreme Court has ruled that physical injury is not needed as evidence if other medical evidence of rape is present.The ruling was made in the context of a case where the prosecution claimed that the alleged rapist gagged the girl and then took her to a field. The defense claimed that such an act would have left physical injuries, and that the girl didn’t immediately go the police station, and so it was not a believable story. The bench rebutted:
It is not expected that every rape victim should have injuries on her body to prove her case. The findings of the medical experts clearly established that there was a rape committed against the victim. One cannot expect every rape victim to straightaway go to police station and lodge complaint.
The convict has now been ordered to return to custody.
SC Rejects PIL on Hate Speech During Elections
The SC has rejected an PIL on the basis that campaign hate speech can be handled under current laws. Jafar Imam Naqvi filed the PIL on the basis that hate speech can destroy social harmony and could endanger safety. The bench claimed that this was not an issue that PIL’s ought to address, and the constitution did not give it the power to provide direction to the Election Commission on this issue.>
PIL in Orissa Illegal Mining
The SC has ruled in a case regarding illegal mining in Orissa.The PIL was filed by an NGO, Common Cause.They banned mining operations in 157 out of 187 leases in Orissa on various environmental protection laws. They have only issued an interim order and further judgement will come in the future.
SC Acquits in 2002 Akshardham Temple Terror Attack Case
The SC ruled that the convictions and sentences from Gujarat were wrong. They said that the prosecution had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt and exonerated them of all charges. The sentences ranged from 10 years imprisonment to death penalty. According to the Indian Express:
The very foundation of fair trial contained under Article 21 of the Constitution was thrown to the winds by not even following the bare minimum requirements of natural justice, the convicts have contended. As many as 14 witnesses were examined without disclosing to the accused their identity. They sought to quash the impugned judgment and an interim stay of its operation.
SC Reduces Sentence For American Center Attack Case
The SC reduced the death sentence of Jamiluddin Nasir to 30 years of imprisonment, and the death sentence of the mastermind, Aftab Ahmad Ansari, to life in prison. The judgement said that death was not warranted, but that it did call for other deterrent punishment. In describing the reasoning for the sentences, Justice Khalifulla wrote:
[Image Attribute: WikiMedia Commons:Legaleagle86]
Appellant Aftab deserves to be imprisoned for the entirety of his life while in the case of appellant Nasir he can be imposed with a life imprisonment for a minimum period of 30 years…the role of Nasir was always a shade lesser than what can be attributed to Aftab.