Chhawla Gang Rape Murder Case: Delhi Government To Challenge Supreme Court’s Order
Chhawla Gangrape Murder Case: Delhi Government To Challenge Supreme Court’s Order
After the Supreme Court verdict to acquit three convicts in the 2012 Chhawla gangrape and murder case, the Delhi Government will be challenging the order. This morning, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena approved the filing of a review petition in the Supreme Court days after the victim’s parents met him saying they were broken by the Top Court’s judgement in the case. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati will be representing the Delhi Government in the Supreme Court. The gangrape and murder case of a 19-year-old woman took place in February 2012 at Delhi’s Chhawla, months before the Nirbhaya case. The three men were accused of abducting, raping and killing the victim. The woman’s body was recovered from a field in Haryana with multiple injuries. In February 2014, a Delhi Court awarded the death penalty to the three accused, saying they were ‘predators‘ moving on the streets and ‘were looking for prey’. However, they challenged the court’s ruling in Supreme Court, saying that their sentence must be reduced. On the grounds of failure to provide leading, cogent, clinching and clear evidence against the accused, a bench of the then CJI UU Lalit and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi cancelled the High Court’s ruling. Following the disappointing verdict of the Supreme Court, the girl’s father said: “We will continue our legal fight,” citing their 12-year-long struggle for justice.
Shraddha Walker Murder Case: Plea Filed in Delhi HC Seeking Transfer of Case to the CBI
While the investigation is still underway in the Shraddha Walker murder case, an advocate has moved the Delhi High Court seeking a transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The petitioner Joshina Tuli has said that the probe in the case cannot be carried out efficiently due to staff shortage as well as a lack of sufficient technical and scientific equipment in the state police. Furthermore, the petitioner has argued that the presence of media and other persons at the place of recovery of the body parts amounts to interference with evidence and the witnesses. In her plea, she also added that the Delhi Police has not even sealed the place of the incident, and it is being continuously accessed by the public person and media personnel. Aftab Ameen Poonawalla murdered his live-in partner Shraddha Walker and chopped her body parts into 35 pieces to dispose of the body. Currently, the Delhi Police is searching for the head of the 26-year-old to prove the victim’s identity.
Also read: Delhi Murder: Aftab Brought Another Woman While Shraddha’s Body Parts Remained in Fridge
Former IAS Officer Arun Goel Takes Charge As New Election Commissioner of India
On Monday, a former IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, Arun Goel, assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner of India. His appointment as the new Election Commissioner was notified by the Minister of Law and Justice on Saturday. It said: “The President is pleased to appoint Arun Goel, IAS (Retd.) (PB:1985) as the Election Commissioner in the Election Commission with effect from the date he assumes the office,” In May this year, Sushil Chandra retired as the Chief Election Commissioner of India. Arun Goel will be joining Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey in the EC.
Shri Arun Goel assumes charge as new Election Commissioner of India.#ECI pic.twitter.com/9AW4I0KSip
— Election Commission of India #SVEEP (@ECISVEEP) November 21, 2022
Digital Data Protection Bill Proposes Major Change in RTI Law
The draft of the Digital Data Protection Bill was released on Friday. The Bill proposes a major change in the Right to Information Act by suggesting the removal of the 8.1 (j) section of the RTI Act. The clause allows information commissioners to determine if personal information about administration officials can be released in the greater public interest. Under the Right to Information Act, information about an individual, including public employees, can be shared with the government provided there is enough ground that doing so would serve the larger public interest. However, the proposed draft bill has suggested to drastically change 8.1 (j). The draft said: “The words ‘the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information” shall be omitted’ With this, the amended section 8.1 (j) exemption would read “information which relates to personal information.” While the central government has said that this is in order to bring consistency, as per experts, it can lead to giving cover to corrupt officials. RTI Activist Shailesh Gandhi said that such an amendment would further weaken the RTI law and said: “If the section 8.1 (j) is deleted, it would weaken the law and would aid those against whom there are allegations of corruption. If this amendment is made, all information that can be related to a person may be denied. Most information relates to a person, and hence the law would become a Right to Deny for public information officers (PIO) who do not wish to give information,” The Digital Data Bill draft also provides for the deletion of Section 43A of the Information Technology Act as it would be covered under the new proposed data law.
Noted RTI activist and former Central Information Commissioner @shaileshgan expressed concerns at this proposal, which he opined will result in "significantly weakening the RTI Act".
"This will make RTI Right to Denial of Information. This is the biggest step to weaken RTI"
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 20, 2022