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Why can't we have 'YAROVAYA' like law in India!

Why can’t we have ‘YAROVAYA’ like law in India
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Why can’t we have ‘YAROVAYA’ like law in India

Highlights

Being the world’s largest democracy, we also have to bear the burden of all sorts of junk, such as innocent outbreaks of some film moghuls who say they feel insecure in India, gangs of Aligarh Muslim University who observe no restraint in their declaration

Being the world's largest democracy, we also have to bear the burden of all sorts of junk, such as innocent outbreaks of some film moghuls who say they feel insecure in India, gangs of Aligarh Muslim University who observe no restraint in their declaration: Bharat Tere Tukde Honge, Insha Allah, Insha Allah; congregation of dadas and dadis with avowed resolve that they would not show any proof of their identity as Indians, coterie of self-styled intellectuals who shamelessly returned coveted awards conferred by the nation, hordes of farmers who with liberal help from their foreign-based well-wishers not only attempted to capture the Red Fort, but shamelessly connived with the Jihadi, anti-national, terrorist and extremist forces in West Bengal for the return of Mamata Banerjee as the secular Chief Minister etc.

The list is, indeed, very lengthy. All the above-mentioned activities have gone scot-free just because we are a secular democracy wedded to the sacred fundamental rights. True, theoretically speaking our countrymen have been assured of several freedoms, including the freedom of expression and freedom to practice and promote any faith. Notably, all these come with a rider; and the rider is: the State can impose reasonable restrictions. The advocates and practitioners of the constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms conveniently forget this rider. And when the authorities haul them up for crossing the Lakshman Rekha drawn by the elected bodies, they raise a hue and cry and their supporters, spread throughout the world, too join the chorus.

In order to tackle such divisive forces, perhaps the harshest legal provision is found in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The anti-India lobby has been chest-beating against this provision contained in Section 124-A of IPC, called, Sedition. The wording of this section, undoubtedly, is 'rubber-like'. The words such as hatred, contempt, excite, disaffection etc; are left to be interpreted by courts and all through these years, the courts have done their job quite well. But just because there is an element of elasticity in the language of the Section and just because the law itself was enacted during British Raj in 1860, it need not be discarded.

Now, let's turn our attention to Russia. On June 2, Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, approved a bill that would ban supporters and members of the organisations designated as 'extremist' from being elected to any post for five years. It will become the law after President Putin signs it.

The law also known as Yarovaya Law has been decried as a draconian law by the extremist groups, particularly those supporting the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Our concern in mentioning this development here is that if a country like Russia with iron-gate policy feels the necessity to enact a stringent law to curb growing virus of extremism, why not in India with too liberal approach. Can't we have a similar law?

The first step in this direction should be to make the Chapter on Fundamental Duties of citizens, mandatory and enforceable by law. Then, amend the existing Section 124-A with more clarity and doing away with ambiguity, so that the accused persons are not able to escape from the clutches of law. To save India and the people the country, such urgent legal measures must be initiated.

Clarity on sentence, a must: SC

A division bench of the Apex court comprising Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aniruddha Bose has observed that the trial courts while awarding multiple punishments of imprisonment have to specify in clear terms as to whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively. Further observing that any omission to carry out this obligation would cause unnecessary and avoidable prejudice to the parties, the bench reiterated that the omission to state in the order of sentence whether the sentences would run concurrently or consecutively cannot ipso facto lead to concurrent running of sentences.

The above observations were made in the judgment titled, Sunil Kumar alias Sudhir Kumar vs State of UP (LL 2021 SC 267).

Journalist Vinod Dua gets reprieve

Noted journalist Vinod Dua after about a year of getting involved in the sedition case got reprieve on June 3. Quashing the FIR under Section 124-A and other provisions of Indian Penal Code, filed at Kumarsain police station in Shimla district on May 6, 2020 at the behest of one Shyam, a political leader, the Supreme Court bench held that every journalist was entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh judgment.

The bench comprising Justice UU Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran added that every prosecution under Section 124-A and Section 505 of the IPC must be in strict conformity with the scope and ambit of said Sections. In the same breath, the Apex court also rejected Dua's prayer for a direction that henceforth FIRs against persons belonging to media with at least 10 years standing be not registered unless cleared by a committee, to include the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court or a Judge designated by him, the leader of the Opposition and the Home Minister of the concerned State.

The court observed that the prayer for the committee was completely outside the scope of the statutory framework.

Kerala HC rubbishes allotment of scholarships

On May 28, accepting the plea filed by Advocate Justin Pallivathukkal, a division bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly junked a 2015 government order providing merit-cum-means scholarships at 80 per cent to the Muslim community and 20 per cent to Latin Catholic Christians, including the converted Christians.

Terming such allocation as legally unsustainable, the court held that the allocation of scholarships should be proportion to the population of various minorities.

Don't humiliate advocates: TS HC to cops

While allowing a petition in two writ petitions Nos. 12485/21 and 12487/21 filed in the Telangana High Court by two lawyers seeking direction to the police and revenue authorities to exempt advocates, their clerks and other office staff from the movement restrictions during lockdown period, the single judge bench of Justice K Laxman cautioned the concerned enforcement authorities during lockdown not to humiliate advocates who are out with proper identity documents and also warned them that if the authorities violate this direction, the court will take the matter seriously. The High Court issued several directions to the police, revenue and civic authorities as well as to advocates to facilitate their hindrance-free movements in the discharge of legal obligation to the litigant public.

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