Supreme Court Current Affairs - 2019
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The Supreme Court has censured the Uttarakhand High Court for framing a scheme to regularise hundreds of casual workers engaged by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under the Ministry of Defence in the construction of roads for Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage.
What was the Issue?
- A case was filed in the Uttarakhand High Court by unions representing the casual workers, including the All India Trade Union Congress against the centre alleging that the Centre had not regularised the labourers though they had worked for BRO for years.
- Disposing of the petition the Uttarakhand High Court itself framed a scheme to regularise the services of the casual labourers and granted them benefits similar to those of regular employees under the labour law.
Observations made by the Supreme Court
- It is the sole prerogative of the government to frame schemes and courts should stay out of governance.
- High Court has failed to see that it is not the function of the courts to frame any scheme but it is the sole prerogative of the government to do it.
- All that the High Court could have done is exercising of its the extraordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution to direct the government to consider framing an appropriate scheme.
Article 226 empowers the High Court’s to issue, to any person or authority, including the government directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.
Tags: Article 226 • Border Roads Organisation • BRO • certiorari • Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage • habeas corpus • mandamus • Ministry of Defence • prohibition • quo warranto • Supreme Court • Uttarakhand • Uttarakhand High Court
The Supreme Court has put on hold the Meghalaya High Court’s judgment holding The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shobha Chaudhuri guilty of contempt and fining them Rs 2 lakh each.
What was the Case?
The Shillong Times has published an article titled “When judges judge for themselves” in pursuant to a high court order directing the government to amend rules so that spouses and children of retired judges become eligible for medical treatment.
The matter was taken up the high court on its own and further the high court had also set aside the amendment to the rules that excluded protocol services and guest house facilities from being applicable to the retired judges and their spouses and children.
The High Court had found the editor and publisher guilty for publishing the article “When judges judge for themselves”. The Supreme Court has now put on hold the judgment of Meghalaya High Court.
Contempt of Court
Contempt of court refers to actions which defy a court’s authority, cast disrespect on a court, or impede the ability of the court to perform its function.
The Contempt of Court provisions in India are enshrined under Articles 129 and 215 of the constitution for Supreme Court and High Court respectively and Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
Civil Contempt is defined as willful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
Criminal Contempt is defined as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act which:
- Scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, or
- Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, or
- Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.
Section 20 of the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 limits the period for initiating contempt proceedings is of one year from the date on which the contempt is alleged to have been committed.