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Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking enforcement of guidelines on internet shutdowns

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an application seeking implementation of its 2020 rules on state-imposed internet shutdowns.

A Bench of Justices B R Gavai, Dipankar Datta, and Aravind Kumar ruled that the petitioner had other remedies available for enforcement of the guidelines. During the hearing on Thursday, the Bench said, “We condemn reopening of disposed of matter by way of miscellaneous applications. Thank You. Dismissed.” Justice Gavai said that the court had made a mistake by issuing notice on the plea.

The top court ruled on January 10, 2020, that freedom of speech and internet business are protected under the Constitution, and directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to review curb orders. 

The court had emphasised that administrative power under Section 144 of the CRPC cannot be used to suppress legitimate expression of opinion or democratic rights.

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Supreme Court questions singling out of Assam over grant of citizenship

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre why did it single out Assam and exclude West Bengal from grant of citizenship under section 6A of the Citizenship Act when the latter shares a much larger border with Bangladesh.

Section 6A of the Citizenship Act pertains to illegal immigrants in Assam. Observing that illegal immigration is a serious problem, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, what is the Union government doing to safeguard the border. “Why did you single out Assam when West Bengal shares a much larger border with Bangladesh? We want to know why was West Bengal excluded from the grant of citizenship...the argument cannot be that there was agitation in Assam...why was West Bengal left alone...what is the position in West Bengal now?” the Bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant, M M Sundresh, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said.

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HC restrains forest department from holding event inside Asola Bhatti Wildlife sanctuary

The Delhi High Court restrained the forest department from holding a 'Walk with Wildlife' event inside the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, saying it could endanger the lives of the participants and wild animals inside the jungle in the absence of adequate arrangements for their safety and security.

The bench observed the proposed event, which included a walkathon to be held on December 9 and 10, could turn out to be a "misadventure" as the location of the animals is unknown, their area of movement not isolated, their numbers and species only a guesswork, and no effective plan in place. The issues concerning the event, which was to be held on a 13 km track inside the sanctuary, were flagged before the court last week by the amici curiae appointed in a case related to conservation of the Ridge and removal of encroachment from there.

The court said under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, there are stringent restrictions on entry into sanctuaries barring in exceptional circumstances and, in the present case, no such exceptional reasons have been given for grant of permission except that it is for “eco-tourism.” It added that the authorities are expecting at least 100 participants for the event but there is no arrangement for the disposal of waste including human waste and prevention of loud noise created at such mass events.

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Ensure that Karbala graveyard is not encroached upon: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Prayagraj district administration to prevent the encroachment of the 'Chhoti Karbala Kabristan' (graveyard) after allegations that Abu Talib, an associate of late gangster Atiq Ahmad, had illegally encroached upon the land.

The court, responding to a petition from the Sunni Waqf Board, which manages the graveyard, ordered the respondents to submit their replies within 10 days. The next hearing is scheduled for December 15, 2023. The court emphasised the need to ensure the property is not unlawfully taken over in between.

Complaints regarding the encroachment have reportedly been filed since 2017 without any action taken.

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B.Ed degree holders deemed ineligible as primary school teachers by Patna HC

The Patna High Court has declared that candidates holding a B.Ed degree are not eligible for appointment as primary school teachers in the state. The court stated that individuals with a Diploma in Elementary Education are deemed eligible for these positions.

The court's decision was based on the Supreme Court's recent order, which emphasised that only diploma holders in elementary education possess the necessary pedagogical skills for primary teaching. The high court noted that the 2018 notification from the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) specifying B.Ed as a qualification has been rendered inapplicable by the apex court, requiring a reassessment of appointments made based on the previous criteria.

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