THERE IS AN ATTEMPT TO GIVE COMMUNAL COLOUR TO NEWS: CJI
Web portals “only listen to powerful voices” and “write anything” against judges or institutions, the Supreme Court said in scathing remarks on September 2 while hearing a case against media reports on the Tablighi Jamaat gathering last year in Delhi that was blamed for a spike in Covid cases in the first few months of the pandemic. The court also noted that news shown in a section of the media had a communal tone, which, it said, could bring the country a bad name. “The problem is, everything in this country is shown with a communal angle by a section of the media. That is the problem. The country is going to get a bad name ultimately,” said Chief Justice NV Ramana.

PROTESTING CAN’T BE WEAPON TO JUSTIFY INCARCERATION: HC
Observing that “the sole act of protesting” cannot be used as “a weapon to justify the incarceration” of those exercising this right, the Delhi High Court on September 3 granted bail to five persons arrested last year by Delhi Police for allegedly being part of an anti-CAA protest during which Head Constable Ratan Lal sustained fatal injuries. Justice Subramonium Prasad granted bail to Furkan, Arif, Shadab Ahmad, Suvaleen and Tabassum – three are residents of Chand Bagh, one from Jagatpura and the last from Mustafabad in Delhi. Granting them bail, Justice Prasad said: “The right to protest and express dissent is a right which occupies a fundamental stature in a democratic polity, and therefore, the sole act of protesting should not be employed as a weapon to justify the incarceration of those who are exercising this right.”

KARNATAKA HC ASKS 16 MOSQUES TO FILE AFFIDAVITS ON LOUDSPEAKERS
The Karnataka High Court has ordered the management of 16 mosques in Bengaluru to submit affidavit in connection with sound pollution. The divisional bench headed by Chief Justice A S Oka and Justice Sanjay Gowda gave directions in this regard. The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by 32 residents of Icon apartment on Thanisandra Road. During the hearing, the masjid management submitted that they have taken permissions to use loudspeakers. The bench stated that the management of masjids has to submit an affidavit before the court on whether they are following the guidelines prescribed by the government to avoid sound pollution.

NINE JUDGES TAKE OATH TO SUPREME COURT IN ONE GO
Nine judges, including three women, took the oath of office to the Supreme Court on August 31. This is the first time in the history of the Supreme Court that nine judges have taken oath in one go. Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana administered the oath to the new judges. With the swearing-in of the nine new judges, the strength of the Apex Court would rise to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34. The recent omission of Justice Akil Abduhamid Kureshi – one of the seniormost high court chief justices in the country – from the list of nine chief justices and judges of various high courts, cleared on August 18 continues to make headlines. Justice A.K. Kureshi had remanded Amit Shah (now Union Home Minister) in the custody of the CBI in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, over a decade ago, in 2010.

THE WIRE WINS IPI 2021 FREE MEDIA PIONEER AWARD
The International Press Institute (IPI) on September 1 announced that The Wire has won the 2021 Free Media Pioneer Award, as “a leader in India’s digital news revolution and an unflinching defender of independent, high-quality journalism”. “We are extremely proud to recognise The Wire as this year’s IPI-IMS Free Media Pioneer. The Wire is a leading force in India’s digital news transformation and its commitment to quality, independent journalism is an inspiration to IPI members around the world. We congratulate all of The Wire’s staff for their tremendous work in the service of critical reporting and press freedom, and stand with them in the face of increasing political pressure,” IPI’s executive director Barbara Trionfi said.

Image with caption: Syed Ali Shah Geelani died at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar
HURRIYAT LEADER SYED ALI SHAH GEELANI DIES IN SRINAGAR
Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani died at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar at 10.35 pm on Wednesday night, a report said on September 2. He was 91. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, born on 29 September 1929, founded Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, a conglomerate of pro separatist parties in Jammu and Kashmir. He served as the chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference. He quit the Hurriyat in June 2020. Earlier, he was an MLA from the Sopore constituency of Jammu and Kashmir in 1972, 1977 and in 1987. He is survived by three children – two sons and a daughter. Residents have claimed there is a security clampdown in Kashmir after news of Geelani’s death emerged, according to AFP news agency.

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