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Legal Notes, the latest addition in the Newsline Publications group, proposes to bring a fresh perspective to legal issues. On any given day, there could be 40 different items in the news with respect to courts – right down from the Supreme Court to the district court on a range of issues from Blue Whale to NEET to Love Jihad and Blackberry messages. It’s as bewildering as it is exhilarating. In fact, it’s liberating that in this democracy of ours we have the ability to debate agree or dissent as we continue our march onwards. Legal Notes will seek to assess, analyse, debate and dissect how the business of law impacts our lives in a hundred different ways. LN hopes to record the business of law each month for your reading pleasure.
Legal Notes August 2018 pieces together l'affaire Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that is tearing the country apart. This follows the controversial directives passed by the judiciary this year that included a change in the guidelines for arresting a person under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. In March this year, a SC bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (now retired) and Justice U U Lalit laid down guidelines to protect public servants and private employees from "arbitrary" arrest under the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Soon after his retirement was announced, Justice Goel was appointed as the National Green Tribunal Chairman that has been opposed by Cabinet Minister Ram Bilas Paswan. His reason: "The (appointment of a) judge who ruled against" the SC/STs would send a "wrong message". LN finds out if it is really the job of a cabinet minister to mobilise other members of a house, to remove judges from their positions considering they gave a directive that failed to appease a certain section of the society? There is also the larger question that a brute majority disliking particular judgments but electorally critical minority could begin a similar agitation to topple judges simply because they disliked particular verdicts or it did not suit their interests. Also Kapil Sibal talks about the troubled times the Judiciary and the country is going through. Plus: All the regular features.