On Monday, his first working day in the Supreme Court as the CJI, the bench led by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit will hear the bail request of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, a petition from activist Gautam Navlakha, and a number of significant PILs.
On Saturday, the Supreme Court’s non-working day, Justice Lalit took the oath of office to become the 49th Chief Justice of India.
On Monday, CJI Lalit will sit on the bench in court number one with Justice S Ravindra Bhat, according to the cause list posted on the website of the Supreme Court.
Journalist from Kerala, Kappan, who was detained in October 2020 while travelling to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, where a young Dalit woman allegedly died after being gang-raped, has petitioned the highest court for bail in the case.
His bail request had been turned down earlier this month by the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench. Kappan was detained in connection with the purported Hathras conspiracy under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Last week, outgoing Chief Justice N V Ramana ordered that his case be listed for an urgent hearing on August 26.
Along with Justice Bhat, Chief Justice Lalit will hear an appeal brought by human rights activist Navlakha, who is a defendant in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, challenging the Bombay High Court’s ruling from April 26 that denied his request to be held in house custody rather than incarcerated.
The Elgar Parishad meeting that took place in Pune on December 31, 2017, is the subject of the case against Navlakha and other arrested suspects. The event, according to the police, was paid for the Maoists.
Several new PILs on varied topics are slated to be heard by a bench presided over by Chief Justice Lalit.
A batch of appeals against the Karnataka High Court decision to deny petitions for permission to wear the hijab in class are also slated to be heard by the Supreme Court. This decision was made on the grounds that the hijab is not a necessary component of Islamic faith.
When hearing a request for the urgent listing of appeals and other petitions regarding the Hijab controversy on August 2, then Chief Justice N V Ramana announced that the court would consider a number of arguments contesting the Karnataka High Court decision.