National News-Daily Digest: 3 Key Updates
1. In a first, Collegium recommends woman advocate for direct appointment as SC judge
In a historic decision, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra unanimously recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court.Indu Malhotra will be the first woman lawyer to be directly recommended from the Bar to Supreme Court judgeship.
The decision is a rare recognition of the professional talent.
If appointed, Ms. Malhotra would be only the seventh woman judge in the Supreme Court’s 68-year-old history.
Justice M. Fathima Beevi was the first woman Supreme Court judge, appointed 39 years after the apex court was established in 1950. The second woman judge was Justice Sujata V. Manohar, who was appointed in 1994 for a five-year tenure in the Supreme Court. The other five women judges are Justices Ruma Pal, Gyan Sudha Misra, Ranjana Prakash Desai, who was part of the Bench which confirmed the death penalty of the lone 26/11 Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Kasab, and R. Banumathi, who was one of the judges who confirmed the death sentence for four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape appeals.
Justice Banumathi is the sole woman among the 25-strong Supreme Court judiciary.
2. Former HC judge Dhingra to head new SIT on 1984 riots
The Supreme Court appointed the former Delhi High Court judge, Justice S.N. Dhingra, as chairman of its Special Investigation Team (SIT), to further investigate 186 cases in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The three-member SIT would also have Abhishek Dular, a 2006 IPS batch officer, and Rajdeep Singh, a retired IPS officer.
The court directed the SIT to submit its first status report on the investigation in two months. The Bench directed the Centre to provide the SIT with all logistic assistance and posted the case for hearing on March 19, 2018.
3. Cabinet approves fixed term for Chairperson and Members of the National Trust
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to amend Section 4(1) and Section 5(1) of the National Trust for the Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Plasy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 to fix the term of the Chairperson and Members of the Board of National Trust for three years.
Section 4(1) of the National Trust Act, 1999 provides that the Chairperson or a Member of the Board of National Trust would continue in office beyond the prescribed term of three years until his successor shall have been duly appointed. In case of resignation of the Chairperson, section 5(1) of the Act provides for him to continue in office until his successor is duly appointed by the Government. The wording of the above provisions of the Act in its present form has resulted in continuation of a Chairman for an indefinite period as no suitable successor could be found eligible for appointment. The proposed amendments in these provisions of the Act seek to avoid such a situation and will thus eliminate any chance of prolonged continuation in the same post by any incumbent.