2012 yearender: SC blow to govt in high-profile cases, death to Ajmal Kasab

Dec 25 2012, 13:02 IST
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SummarySC gave big blow to govt in Vodafone tax case and scrapping of 2G spectrum licences.

on FDI and asked it to take corrective steps to remove legal hassles.

However, the petitions alleging large scale irregularities in coal block allocation are pending in the apex court.

Amid these developments, the UPA-II government survived a scare when the Supreme Court by a majority verdict of 3 to 2 dismissed the petition filed by former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma challenging the election of senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee as the President.

However, there was another reason for the Rashtrapati Bhavan to worry as President's Secretary Omita Paul, who was advisor to Mukherjee when he was the Finance Minister, was impleaded as respondent in the petition seeking CBI probe into the appointment of U K Sinha as the chairman of SEBI.

Market regulator SEBI was making news throughout the year by acting tough against the Sahara Group of companies which received a major setback when the Supreme Court directed two of its companies to refund around Rs 24,000 crore to their investors in three months with 15 per cent annual interest.

However, desperate efforts brought some relief to the companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC) -- as a Bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir modified the directions of another Bench by allowing them to comply with the August 31 order by first week of February.

While the hearing was on in the SEBI-Sahara matter, an unprecedented turn of event took place when the apex court decided to lay down guidelines for media for reporting the sub-judice matter following the alleged leakage of documents relating to the case.

The then Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia's decision was opposed by media houses which argued that such exercise would lead to infringement of fundamental right to freedom of expression and tantamount to encroaching the legislative domain.

After a marathon hearing, a five-judge Constitution Bench refrained itself from laying down broad guidelines and evolved a principle of postponement for reporting the sub-judice matter which could be considered if any of the aggrieved parties sought such direction.

The infringement of fundamental right to expression was well manifested when the apex court severely criticised Mumbai Police for booking two young girls under the controversial provision of cyber law for their posts on Facebook against the bandh after the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

Among the political heavy weights who hogged the limelight in the apex court in the year gone

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