Supreme Court

Supreme Court asks Government to follow its directions while appointing CBI Director

The Supreme Court has asked the central government to follow its directions while setting out the criteria for appointing the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Supreme Court in its earlier judgment has already stated that the government should consider the persons belonging to the batches of four years commencing with 1979 to be appointed as the Director of CBI. Also, the person to be appointed should be with integrity and apt experience to be considered for the post.

The government had informed the court that the meeting for appointing CBI director would be held in the December end. The Supreme Court’s order has come in the wake of accusations made by NGO Common Cause which has accused the government for taking a long time in making such appointments including in the hearing of Lokpal.

The committee for appointing the CBI director would comprise of Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.

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Supreme Court bans liquor shops on highways

The Supreme Court has directed that liquor stores cannot be operated within a distance of 500 metres of state and national highways throughout the country. The court has directed the government to remove the existing shops and remove all advertisements of such liquor shops. The ruling was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur. The ruling was pronounced in a plea where Tamil Nadu challenged the constitutional validity of a circular issued by the union ministry of road transport and highways on 22 April, directing all the state governments to shut liquor shops located along highways. The move was taken after an alarming increase in a number of drink-driving cases on highways. The central government has been issuing communiqué to the states regarding this issue since 2007. The government of Tamil Nadu contested the circular by saying that such circulars can only be applied to the national highways and not to the state highways. This argument was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has allowed the shops located along highways to operate until March 31, 2017, subsequent to which their licenses will not be renewed.

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SC issues directions for protection of northeast people

The Supreme Court has issued a slew of directions for protection of people hailing from north-eastern states from facing racial violence and hate crimes. It has directed the government to set up a panel to be headed by a Joint Secretary-level officer. The panel has been given powers to ensure strict action in incidents of racial discrimination, racial atrocities and racial violence and also to suggest measures to stop them. The Supreme Court has also directed the government to implement MP Bezbaruah committee’s suggestion. The Bezbaruah panel was set up by the Home Ministry in February 2014 in the wake of attacks on the northeastern people in various parts of the country. However, the court has not passed any orders to amend the Indian Penal Code and left it to the discretion of the union government.

The Court in its order has stressed upon the need to change the mindset of the people as the involvement of the law enforcement machinery alone is not sufficient. The above directions were issued by the Court while disposing of the petition filed in 2014 by Karma Dorjee and others following incidents of hate crimes against the people of northeastern states in Delhi.

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