High Courts Weekly Roundup

first_imgNews UpdatesHigh Courts Weekly Roundup Akshita Saxena23 Aug 2020 10:24 PMShare This – xWeek Commencing From August 17, 2020 To August 23, 2020 Allahabad High Court 1) Allahabad HC Adjourns Dr. Kafeel Khan’s Habeas Corpus Plea to August 24 For Final Hearing And Disposal [Nuzhat Perween v. State of UP & Anr.] The Division comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal has fixed the Habeas Corpus plea filed against alleged illegal detention of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginWeek Commencing From August 17, 2020 To August 23, 2020 Allahabad High Court 1) Allahabad HC Adjourns Dr. Kafeel Khan’s Habeas Corpus Plea to August 24 For Final Hearing And Disposal [Nuzhat Perween v. State of UP & Anr.] The Division comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal has fixed the Habeas Corpus plea filed against alleged illegal detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan, who has been in detention at Mathura Jail since 29th January, 2020, for final disposal on August 24, 2020. The order has come after the Supreme Court last week directed High Court to expeditiously dispose of Khan’s habeas corpus plea, who has been in detention at Mathura Jail since 29th January, 2020. 2) Allahabad HC Defers Hearing Of Contempt Plea Against Failure Of State Authorities To Implement Social Distancing Norms [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent] The Division Bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar deferred the hearing of the contempt applications filed before it by two practicing Advocates, highlighting the failure of the State authorities in implementing social distancing norms, despite repeated orders from the Court. The Bench expressed hope that the Police and the District Administration all over the State would leave no stone unturned to see that the Government guidelines /directives are complied with in letter and spirit. However, it decided to keep the contempt applications pending, in case the assurances given by the authorities do not fructify. Also Read: Social Distancing Seems To Be An ‘Empty Shibboleth’; Treatment System At Government Hospitals Has ‘Collapsed’: Allahabad HC Raps UP Govt 3) Allahabad HC Takes Cognizance Of A Missing BHU Student, Allegedly Disappeared From Police Custody [Saurabh Tiwari v. State of UP] The High Court took cognizance of a letter petition addressed to the Chief Justice in relation to a missing student from Varansai, who allegedly disappeared from the Police custody six months ago. The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Samit Gopal has issued notice to the concerned authorities and has asked the Government Advocate to file a complete statement of facts in a form of short counter affidavit, before next date of hearing. Andhra Pradesh High Court 1) AP HC Requests Justice R V Raveendran To Inquire Into Phone Conversation Designing Plot Against HC CJ & Senior SC Judges [BC, SC, ST Minority Student Federation v. Union of India & Ors.] A bench of Justices M. Satyanarayana Murthy and Lalitha Kanneganti ordered inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the genuineness of an alleged telephonic conversation between a former High Court judge and a principal junior civil judge, who is under suspension, conspiring to design a plot against the Chief Justice of the High Court and senior judges of the SC. The Court took cognisance of a conversation contained in a pen drive and requested Justice RV Raveendran, former SC judge, to hold an inquiry into it. The bench cited the SC precedent in the suo moto case taken last year in which retired SC judge, Justice A K Patnaik, was asked to inquire if the sexual harassment allegations against the then CJI, Ranjan Gogoi, was a part of larger conspiracy. 2) AP HC Issues Notice To Centre, State On PIL Alleging Phone-Tapping Of HC Judges With Connivance Of Govt., To Malign Institution Of Judiciary [Nakka Nimmi Grace v. Union of India & Ors.] The High Court issued notice to the Centre, the state government, the CVC, the CBI and the TRAI on a PIL alleging that “with the active instigation of political bigwigs”, an attempt is being made to “tap/keep surveillance on the phones of some of the judges of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh” with a view to “tarnish the image of the prestigious institution of the judiciary”. Recording that “this public interest litigation has been filed inter-alia contending that as per the newspaper clipping, telephone tapping of the mobile phones of the judges of the High Court is taking place”, Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice D. Ramesh issued notice to the aforesaid, besides the state DGP and certain telecom service operators. Bombay High Court 1) “Police Has Been Dragging Its Feet In This Investigation” ; Bombay HC Directs Mumbai Police Commissioner To Constitute SIT Into Death Caused Due To Police Brutality [Firdause Irani v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner to form a SIT of two officers “with impeccable integrity and unquestionable competence” within 24 hours to “freely and fairly” investigate the death of a 22-year-old man in Vile Parle who was assaulted by police officials on March 29 during the lockdown. “Allegations of police excess committed on the deceased victim having surfaced, concern was expressed in no uncertain terms in our earlier order that there should be free, fair and meaningful investigation of the crime. We thus expected Mumbai Police to be diligent in completing the investigation with utmost expedition and thereby provide a sense of credibility. Prima facie, the police has been dragging its feet and the situation that has since emerged leaves a lot to be desired. We have no option but to direct the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai Police to constitute a Special Investigation Team.” 2) HUL vs Emami : Bombay HC Temporarily Restrains Emami From Using The Mark “Glow And Handsome” [Hindustan Unilever Ltd. v. Emami Ltd.] The Bench of Justice SC Gupte granted a temporary injunction against Emami Ltd, restraining the Kolkata based conglomerate from using the mark “Glow and Handsome” noting that the plaintiff Hindustan Unilever was prima facie the prior adopter and user of the said trademark. “In any action of passing off, just as the court considers proprietary interests of rival traders, the court is also essentially concerned with the likelihood of deception amongst the customers and public. The Plaintiff can certainly be said to have sufficiently advertised its new brand “Glow & Handsome” which replaces its earlier well-known mark “Fair & Lovely” and at this threshold stage, it is reasonable to see that there is a concrete likelihood of confusion and deception in the public, if identical marks are allowed to hold the field for popular and much sold commodities,” the bench observed. 3) ‘Not Advisable For Him To Travel Considering His Condition’: Bombay HC Denies Parole To GN Saibaba’s To Attend Mother’s Post-Funeral Rites [Gokarakonda Ramadevudu & Anr. v. Deputy Inspector General & Ors.] The division bench of Justice ZA Haq and Justice Avinash Gharote rejected the emergency parole plea filed on behalf of former Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba for attending his mother’s post-funeral rites observing that since his mother passed away on August 1, 2020, all post-funeral rituals must be over by now and considering Saibaba’s age and condition, it is not advisable for him to travel to Hyderabad. However, the bench directed the jail authorities to permit the 50-year-old Saibaba who is kept in a Anda Cell (Solitary Confinement) to speak to his family via video call between 10 am to 4 pm on any specified date he chooses. 4) Denial Of Due Wages By Way Of Non-Payment/Deferred Payment Infringes Upon The Cherished Right Of A Workman U/Art. 21 of the Constitution: Bombay HC [Hind Kamgar Sanghatana v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] Division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice NR Borkar held that financial difficulties faced by employers can be no ground for non-payment of due wages to workers. Court noted that Payment of due wages is a fundamental right of a worker under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. 5) NDPS Act – Application Seeking Time Extension For Investigation Not Maintainable If Progress Of Probe Not Disclosed: Bombay HC [Nayantara Gupta v. State of Maharashtra] A bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai held that an application seeking extension of time for investigation under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 is not maintainable if it is is not in conformity with the requirements of proviso to sub section (4) of Section 36A of the NDPS Act. One of the requirements of the report for extension, under proviso to sub section (4) of Section 36A of NDPS Act, is that it should disclose the progress of the investigation. As per Section 36A(4), the Court can extend the time for investigation up to a further period of 180 days, beyond the original period of 180 days, on the report of the Public Prosecutor “indicating the progress of the investigation” and the “specific reasons for the detention” of the accused beyond the said period of one hundred and eighty days. 6) Day Of Remand To Be Included While Computing Period Under Section 167(2)(a) CrPC: Bombay HC Grants Bail To DHFL Promoters Kapil & Dheeraj Wadhwan [Kapil Wadhwan v. Directorate of Enforcement] The Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre granted bail to DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhwan and Dheeraj Wadhwan in the Enforcement Directorate’s case of money laundering registered against them as the agency failed to file a chargesheet within 60 days from the date of remand. They were confined in judicial custody since May 10 in relation to the said case registered by the CBI. On May 14, the applicants were produced before the Special Court, Mumbai and were remanded to police custody. The High Court concluded that the period within which the investigation was to be completed will be starting from May 14, meaning that the first day of remand will be included. 7) Bombay HC Says Tablighi Jamaat Foreigners Were Made ‘Scapegoats’; Quashes FIRs Against Them; Criticizes Media Propaganda In a strongly-worded judgment, the Division Bench of Justice TV Nalawade and Justice MG Sewlikar quashed the FIRs filed against a total of 29 foreign nationals who were booked under various provisions of IPC, Epidemic Diseases Act, Maharashtra Police Act, Disaster Management Act and Foreigner’s Act for allegedly violating their Tourist Visa conditions by attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi. A political Government tries to find the scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats. The aforesaid circumstances and the latest figures of infection in India show that such action against present petitioners should not have been taken. It is now high time for the concerned to repent about this action taken against the foreigners and to take some positive steps to repair the damage done by such action,” the Court remarked. Also Read: Media Propaganda That Tablighi Jamaat Attendees Spread COVID-19 In India Was Unwarranted: Bombay HC 8) Time For State To Introduce A Regime Of Conduct With Stricter Norms To Deal With Rapidly Rising Inflammatory Posts On Social Media: Bombay HC [Imran Khan v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] While disposing of a PIL filed against one Abu Faizal for making inflammatory speeches on social media, the Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav Jamdar observed that the it is time for the State to impose stricter norms to deal with rapid rise of ‘absolutely avoidable, uncalled for and unwarranted inflammatory posts/messages’ on the social media. “In a secular country like India, the citizens of different religions should feel assured that they can live in peace with persons practicing other religions. Regrettably, a trend is clearly discernible that in the name of exercise of a right, the liberty of free speech is being abused with bad faith. The freedom that Article 19(1) (a) guarantees to every citizen should be exercised rationally and in an orderly manner for legitimate exercises including fair and constructive criticism as well as for upholding the preambular promise of securing fraternity, assuring the dignity of every individual and the unity and integrity of India,” the Court said. Calcutta High Court 1) [Online Education] Calcutta HC Appoints Committee To Ascertain Schools Fees [Vineet Ruia v. State of West Bengal & Ors.] A division bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya appointed a Committee to receive the accounts pertaining to the income and expenditure of schools to get an idea as to what the normal income and expenditure ought to be and what it has been after the lockdown started, to ascertain the variable costs involved and the extent of concession that ought to be passed on to students and parents for not incurring such expenditure. The bench also warned that in the event of there being any false declaration or the like in the particulars, appropriate action may be taken against those responsible. 2) IBC: Calcutta HC Quashes NCLT Order Mandating Submission Of Record Of Default For Filing Sec 7 Applications [Univalue Projects Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors.] The single judge bench of Justice Shekhar B. Saraf struck down the order passed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on May 12, 2020 which mandated submission of record of default from Information Utility in Section 7, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) applications, both prospectively as well as retrospectively. The Court stated that the impugned order is ultra vires the IBC, 2016 and has been enacted sans jurisdiction by the NCLT. The order was struck down by the Court on multiple grounds. In its foreword to the judgment, the Court however clarified that nothing prevents the Parliament to legislate the same change that was sought to be brought in by the NCLT by its order dated May 12, 2020. Access the full report to read the grounds for striking down the NCLT order. Chhattisgarh High Court 1) Chhattisgarh HC Upholds Dismissal Of Judicial Officer Who Lodged Criminal Case Against HC Judges [Prabhakar Gwal v. State of Chhattisgarh] Single Bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy upheld the Full Court order (passed without any inquiry) for dismissal of a judicial officer who had filed criminal cases against the former Chief Justice and Judge of the High Court, through his wife. The Court observed that the judicial officer through his wife filed criminal cases against the Chief Justice and a sitting Judge with wild allegations with no substantial materials and that too without any intimation, sanction or permission from the High Court. “From his conduct itself it clearly reveals that the petitioner has done it with the specific intention of gaining cheap publicity and also with an intention to malign the image of Judges and the officers who have been made an accused so also tarnish the image of the judiciary as a whole”, the judge said. Delhi High Court 1) Delhi HC Directs Delhi University To Conduct Physical Exams by Sep 14, Work Out Modalities For Stay and Transportation of PwD Category Students The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi University to identify the number of students who are willing to take physical examinations and work out modalities for their stay and transportation. In addition to the Delhi University, even the Ministry of Human Resource Development has been directed to submit an affidavit on modalities for ensuring easy access to PwD category students to examination centres for physical exams. While asking the Delhi University to conduct the physical examinations by September 14, the Court further directed the Delhi University to submit details about how many students submitted their answer sheets for online Open Book Exams though emails so that a clear picture can be ascertained about the efficacy of the entire process. 2) ‘Is There A Need To Continue With Hunger Relief Camps Under CM Corona Assistance Scheme’, Delhi HC Directs DLSA To Submit Status Report [Delhi Rozi Roti Abhiyan v. GNCTD] The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Legal Service Authority to submit a status report stating whether there’s a need to continue with the hunger relief camps, providing dry ration to the non-PDS beneficiaries as also providing cooked food to those who are using night shelters provided by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. The Court further directed the DLSA to look into the pleadings filed in the application seeking extension of Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayta Yojana and conduct an independent recce before filing the status report, keeping in mind the current situation. The order has come in an application moved by the Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, seeking adequate ration for all the persons residing in Delhi who are in need of it, with or without a ration card. 3) An Accused Cannot Be Arrested In Any Case Till A Request For Extradition Is Merited: Delhi HC [Vinay Mittal v. Union of India & Ors.] The bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru observed that an accused cannot be arrested in any case till a request for extradition is merited. The observation was made by the high court while disposing of a writ filed by Mr. Vinay Mittal who had been charge-sheeted in seven separate cases for siphoning of funds from the Punjab National Bank, by the CBI, and had fled from India. The Petitioner was extradited from Indonesia in connection to one case while extradition requests for remaining six cases were pending. He had thus contended that his arrest in India for the other 6 cases wherein the Extradition requests are pending, are illegal and in violation of Section 21 of the Extradition Act, 1962. 4) Delhi Govt Is Expected To Continue Providing Admission To Orphan Children In Schools: Delhi HC Disposes Of Plea Seeking Inclusion of Orphans In EWS Quota [Harpal Singh Rana v. Union of India] The Division Bench of Chief Justice of DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan observed that it expects the Delhi Government to continue providing admissions to orphan children in government and private schools, as it has done so far. The bench observed that there’s no reason to further monitor the action of the Delhi Government after perusing the status report wherein it was mentioned that 225 orphan children have already been given admission in the private as well as government schools. 5) Delhi HC Allows PETA And FIAPO To Participate In Survey Conducted By Animal Welfare Board To Identify Conditions Of Animals In Circuses The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar allowed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to participate in the survey conducted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to identify the condition of animals who are kept in circuses. The Court also gave them permission to provide food and medicines in case they find any animal in distress during the survey. The court will next take up the matter on September 29. 6) ‘Improvement Student Is Equally A Victim of Pandemic”: Delhi HC Extends Benefit of SC’s Scheme On CBSE Cancelled Exams To Improvement Students [Sanyam Gupta v. CBSE] The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh held that the scheme approved by the Supreme Court for the assessment of students due to the cancellation of exams by CBSE in light of COVID19 will also be applicable to those students who had appeared for the improvement examinations conducted during the months of February and March. The Court further held that students who appear for improvement exams do not automatically forfeit their previous scores and have the option of choosing the same if the scores achieved in improvement exams are lesser. Gujarat High Court 1) [Contempt Hearing Against Yatin Oza] Gujarat HC Rejects Intervention Application Filed by A Lawyer, But Takes On Record Material Produced By Him [Amit Manibhai Panchal v. Suo Moto] The Bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and N. V. Anjaria deemed it appropriate to take notice of materials circulated by GHCAA President Yatin Oza on the WhatsApp group of the High Court advocates, as disclosed by Advocate Amit Panchal who sought intervention in the suo motu criminal contempt proceedings pending against Oza. While disallowing the applicant himself to be a party intervener, the Court took on record the material supplied by Panchal. 2) Gujarat HC Urges State To Make Appointments To RERA Appellate Tribunal At The Earliest [Nipun Praveen Singhvi v. State of Gujarat] The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala urged the State Government to expedite the process of appointing members as well as the Chairperson, to the Gujarat Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. The order was passed in a PIL filed by one Nipun Singhvi, seeking a declaration that the constitution of the Appellate Tribunal is corum non judice. Section 45 of the RERA Act prescribes that the Appellate Tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson and not less than two whole time Members of which one shall be a Judicial member and other shall be a Technical or Administrative Member, to be appointed by the appropriate Government. Himachal Pradesh High Court 1) ‘Politicians Cannot Don The Role Of Administration’: HP HC Recommends Independent Mechanism For Transfer Of Govt Employees [Lekh Raj v. State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors.] The Division Bench comprising Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua reiterated that orders relating to transfer of Government employees have to be passed keeping in view the “administrative exigency” and taking into consideration the “public interest”. To ensure that the all the employees are treated fairly and equally and every employee during his tenure of service serves in tribal/ hard areas and also in remote /rural areas, the Court suggested a mechanism of dividing districts and rural areas into categories and allotting each category to each employee, one by one. Access the report to read the detailed mechanism. Jammu & Kashmir High Court 1) Security Cover Provided Out Of Tax-Payers’ Money Not Luxury: J & K HC Seeks Data On State Security To Pvt/Political/Retired Persons, Periodic Review [Sumit Nayyar v. State of J&K & Ors.] The bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal called for information from the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police regarding the security cover provided to private or political persons and retired employees and the assessment of the threat perception to them. He also sought to be apprised of the policy in this regard and periodic review made for the purposes. “Security cover to any person is provided at the state expense for which contribution is made by the tax-payers”, observed the Single judge. Justice Bindal continued to observe that it is “not a luxury” to be provided to any person as a “status symbol”. Karnataka High Court 1) ‘No Law Prohibits A Convict From Acting’: Karnataka HC Dismisses Plea To Stop Sanjay Dutt From Acting In ‘KGF-2’ A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi dismissed a petition seeking to restrain actor Sanjay Dutt from acting in the Kannada film KGF-2 as he has been convicted and sentenced in the Mumbai Bomb blast case. “Which law says that a person who is convicted under an offence and has undergone sentence is prohibited from acting in a film?,” the bench remarked during hearing. The bench in its order said “Petitioner has not shown any provisions of law under which respondent 3 (Sanjay Dutt) incurs a disqualification from acting in the films. Similarly petitioner has not shown any provision of law preventing resp 2 (Hombale Films) from allowing resp 3 (Dutt) to act in the film. No illegality, is pointed out there is no merit in the petition and accordingly it is dismissed.” 2) Place On Record SOP For Disposal Of Used PPE Kits : Karnataka HC To State [Dr. KB Vijayakumar v. State of Karnataka & Ors.] A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi directed the State Government to place on record Standard Operating Procedure or Guidelines issued for disposal of used PPE kits and accessories used by people who are dealing with Covid-19 patients. The order was passed in a PIL filed by against throwing of mask and gloves on roads. 3) Karnataka HC Directs KPSC To Consider Granting 20 Min Per Hour Grace Period To Visually Impaired Students A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said directed the Karnataka Public Service Commission to consider granting 20 minutes/per hour grace period to visually impaired candidates who would be taking the preliminary exams, on August 24, for the post of Gazetted probationers. “Though we cannot issue interim directions as examination is scheduled on Aug 24, time of three days is available to respondents, it will be appropriate if respondent 1 (Commission) and respondent 2 (State government) consider granting 20 minutes as per clause 12, of the Central Government guidelines issued in pursuance of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act,” the bench said. Also Read: Law Student Withdraws Plea In Karnataka HC Challenging University Decision Of University To Hold Examinations 4) Medical Admission: Karnataka HC Allows Fresh Mop-UP Round For PG Courses; Admission Subject To Further Orders A division bench of Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur allowed the Department of Medical Education and Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) to conduct the fresh Mop-Up round for admission to the PG medical courses, with a condition that students given admission cards or letters, will be subject to the order of the court. The order was passed in a petition filed by Association of Minority Professional Colleges in Karnataka and others challenging the notification of the authorities dated August 15, allowing fresh registration of candidates for counselling to PG medical course which is likely to unsettle the selection already made by the member institutions of the Association. Kerala High Court 1) Notice To Defacto Complainant Need Not Be Issued In Bail Applications Except In Cases Where Law Insists So: Kerala HC [Vishnu Gopalakrishnan v. State Of Kerala] Single bench of Justice PV Kunhikrishnan observed that it is not necessary for a court to issue a notice to the defacto complainant suo motu or direct the accused to implead the defacto complainant in a bail application except in cases in which the Criminal Procedure Code and other Acts insist so or the bail court feel that the defacto complainant is also to be heard in the facts and circumstances of that case. “When the legislature thinks that only in certain cases notice is necessary to the victims/defacto complainants while considering the bail applications by courts, the court need not issue a notice to the defacto complainants/victims in all bail applications. Simply because the case is registered under Section 420 IPC or 406 IPC, the bail court need not issue notice to the defacto complainant unless there is a special reason for the same,” the Court observed. 2) [Koodathayi Murder] Merely Because Petitioner Is Woman, She Is Not Entitled To Bail: Kerala HC Dismisses Jolly’s Bail Plea [Jollyamma Joseph v. State Of Kerala] Simply because the petitioner is a woman, she is not entitled bail, observed Justice PV Kunhikrishnan while dismissing the bail petition filed by Jolly Joseph of Koodathayi village of northern Kerala accused of murder of six of her family members over a span of 17 years by administering them cyanide. “In the first proviso to Section 437 (1) Cr.P.C. the word ‘may’ is used, that itself shows that, it is the discretion of the court concerned to grant or not to grant bail to a person who is under the age of 16 years or a woman or a sick person or an infirm person. In Section 437 Cr.P.C. itself the verb ‘may’ and ‘shall’ are used at different places. Moreover, in the Code of Criminal Procedure itself, the Legislature used the words ‘may’ or ‘shall’ at different places and the same will show the intention of the Legislature,” the Court said while denying bail. 3) ‘Law Does Not Permit A Person To Both Approbate & Reprobate’: Kerala HC Upholds Validity Of SBI Contributory Pension Scheme [Chairman, SBI & Ors. v. Unnikrishnan PC & Ors.] A Division Bench comprising Justices AM Shaffique and Gopinath P. upheld the validity of the SBI Employees Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, i.e. the contributory pension scheme. In doing so, the Court set aside the order of the Single Bench which held that the contributory pension scheme was not brought into operation in the manner prescribed by the provisions contained in Section 50 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955 and therefore declared the said Scheme to be non-operational. The Court observed that the Appellant-employees had entered service “knowing fully” well that they are not eligible to become members of the non-contributory pension scheme, and “Persons who accepted the appointment on specific terms cannot be allowed to turn around and challenge the terms/conditions of such appointment. They cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate”. 4) Lack of Professionalism Is Writ Large In Investigations In POCSO Cases: Kerala HC To Issue Guidelines [Abhishek KA v. State of Kerala] While considering a criminal appeal, the Bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar remarked that ‘Lack of professionalism is writ large in the investigations in POCSO cases’. He therefore said that he shall issue some general guidelines in relation to investigation and Trial of POCSO cases. The Court issued notice to State Public Prosecutor and also the Kerala State Legal services Authority while posting the case to 25th August. 5) Govt Decision To Open More Liquor Shops/Bars/Parlours Cannot Be Said To Be Unconstitutional: Kerala HC [Khadeeja Nargees v. State Of Kerala] The bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Shaji P. Chaly observed that the decision of the State Government in opening more liquor shops, bars/parlours, cannot be said to be violative of Constitution of India or the statutory provisions. “Merely because, more number of shops / bars / parlours etc. are opened, it cannot be said that the fundamental rights of the women and children are affected. While considering the scope of interference by Courts in economic matters, public interest cannot be circumscribed only to the rights of women and children,” the Court observed while dismissing a PIL to thwart menace of alcohol. 6) Kerala HC Dismisses Lawyer’s PIL Seeking Regulation Of Print & Electronic Media [Halvi KS vs. State of Kerala] The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly dismissed a PIL filed by a lawyer who sought framing of guidelines to regulate Print and Electronic Media. The Court referred to Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited v. Securities and Exchange Board of India [(2012) 10 SCC 603], in which it was held that laying down a guideline to regulate the activities of the media is not a wise proposition. The court noted that it was also held in the said judgment that a prior restraint pre-empting the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India cannot be done, except under exceptional circumstances and that too after considering the issues on a case to case basis. Madhya Pradesh High Court 1) “No Coercive Action To Be Taken Till The Next Date ” Ekta Kapoor Gets Relief From MP HC Over Objectionable Content In Her Web-Show ‘XXX Season 2’ [Ekta Kapoor vs. State of M.P. & Anr.] In temporary relief to Television Producer Ekta Kapoor, the bench of Justice Shailendra Shukla directed the State Government not to take any coercive steps against Kapoor till the next date of hearing, allegedly for spreading obscenity, hurting religious feelings, and improper use of national emblems in her web show XXX season 2. The Court granted two days to the counsel for the respondents to produce the C. D. (Compact Disk) containing alleged objectionable material. Madras High Court 1) Madras HC Restrains TANGEDCO From Charging Compensation Towards Low PF During Lockdown; Directs Levy Of Only Minimum Charges [The South India Spinners Association v. e Chairman, TANGEDCO & Ors.] In a huge relief to High Tension electricity consumers in the state of Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) to levy only minimum charges, during the lockdown period. The Court also restrained the company from charging compensation towards low PF. The order was passed by a Single Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh who noted that the companies had been caught between the “devil and deep sea” inasmuch as, on the one hand the government asked them to shut down their establishment and on the other hand TANGEDCO was levying the Maximum Demand from them. 2) Madras HC Junks Vedanta’s Plea To Reopen Its Sterlite Copper Plant In Tamil Nadu [Vedanta Limited v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors.] The Division Bench comprising Justices TS Sivagnanam and V. Bhavani Subbaroyan dismissed a batch of writ petitions filed by Vedanta Limited, against closure of its Sertlite Copper Plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, and other consequential orders passed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The Court junked the Company’s plea for reopening of its plant based on the submissions that Petitioner is a “chronic polluter” and that there had been several complaints against operation of its plant, over the years. 3) Adoption Does Not Sever Relationship With Biological Father, Even If He Renounces Right As Father: Madras HC [Viveknarendran & Anr. v. Unknown] The bench of Justice PT Asha refused to substitute in the birth certificate of a minor girl the name of her adoptive father, who is her biological mother’s second husband, in place of her deceased biological father’s name. The Single Judge proceeded to observe that the adoption does not sever the relationship of the minor with her biological father, the only exception being when the biological father himself renounces his right as father of the minor and consents for the child to be taken in adoption by the adoptive father. “Even in such cases, it is my view that the status of being the biological father does not change. It is only the status of an adoptive father, custody and maintenance of the minor that changes hands.” 4) Madras HC Allows Individuals To Observe Religious Ceremonies On Vinayaka Chathurthi; Bars Organizations [ELA Ganapathi v. Govt of Tamil Nadu & Ors.] In view of the ongoing pandemic, the bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and R. Hemalatha permitted individuals alone to observe Vinayaka Chathurthi by placing Vinayagar idols before the house and temples and by finally immersing them in the water bodies. However, the court said that there is a total bar to undertake the same activities by organisations. Access the full report to read the guidelines issued by the Court. 5) Why Central Govt. Not Enacted Law To Prohibit Candidates With Criminal Backgrounds From Contesting Elections, As Observed By SC?: Asks Madras HC [Jamuna v. Govt. of India & Ors.] Noting that persons with criminal background are becoming policy makers in many parts of the country, the Division bench comprising Justices N. Kirubakaran and VL Velumani demanded from the Centre why it does not enact a law to prohibit candidates with criminal background from contesting elections to the Parliament as well as State legislatures as suggested by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on September 25, 2018 in Public Interest Foundation v. Union of India. The Court, inter alia, also sought to inquire from the Central government how many persons with criminal background are accommodated by various political parties as top office bearers and District Secretaries and the details of the criminal cases registered against those persons and their position in the respective political parties. The matter will now be heard after two weeks. Punjab & Haryana High Court 1) P & H HC Upholds Medical College’s Decision To Not Admit ‘General Category’ Candidate To ‘Sponsored Category’ Vacancy [Nipun Sharma v. PGIMER, Chandigarh] The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu declined the Petitioner’s request, who applied under the `General Category’, for being considered under the `Sponsored Category’. “Clearly as per condition 7(3)(g) of the Prospectus the request for change of category from `General ‘ to `Sponsored’ could not be entertained at a stage when even the result have been declared in view of Clause 7(3)(g) of the Prospectus”, reflected the bench. It appreciated that it has been consistently held in different Full Bench decisions of this Court that the prospectus has a force of law and is to be strictly followed. 2) Not Open To Trial Courts Awarding Life Imprisonment To Further Specify Term Of Incarceration As Remainder Of Natural Life, Or Rule Out Remission [Savitri v. State of Haryana & Ors.] The Division Bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan reaffirmed that Trial courts have no power to order a life sentence to run till natural life or that no remission will be granted. The division bench also set aside the order rejecting grant of parole to the petitioner on these grounds and others and remanded the matter back from afresh decision in accordance with law. The order was passed in view of the constitution bench verdict of the Apex Court in Union of India v. V. Sriharan @ Murugan, (2016) 1 SCC 1. The Court required that copies of this judgment and the V. Sriharan judgment be sent to all judges through the judicial academy and to all jail authorities of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. 3) Lewd, Filthy, Indecent Questions To Prosecutrix In Sexual Assault Cases To Not Be Allowed By Trial Courts: P & H HC Directs Courts [Mohd. Ashraf Mir v. CBI, Chandigarh] The High Court required its Registrar General to circulate to all the Presiding Officers/Designated Courts dealing with cases of Crime against Women, in the States of Punjab, Haryana and the U.T., Chandigarh, its observations against “a lewd, filthy and an indecent question put to the prosecutrix” in a rape case, which, the court said, could not have been allowed by the trial Court. Justice Arwind Singh Sangwan added that such conduct is in violation of the directions given by the Supreme Court in State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh (1996), where the top court stipulated that while conducting the cross-examination of victims of sexual assault, the Court should be vigilant that defence counsel should not adopt a strategy of continuing questioning the prosecutrix as to the detail of the rape and the Court should not sit as a silent spectator while the victim of the crime is being cross-examined by the defence and it should effectively control the recording of the evidence to avoid her victimisation. 4) ‘Such An Irresponsible Manner Needs To Be Deprecated In Strong Terms’, P&H HC Denies Anticipatory Bail To Accused Of Locking Medical And Para-Medical Team In A Room [Sandeep Kaur v. State of Punjab] The bench of Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa denied the benefit of pre-arrest bail to a lady, who had locked certain staff of medical and the para-medical team inside a room and thereafter removed the body of ‘XXXX’ from the mortuary. “Under the prevalent Covid-19 pandemic for any person to behave in such an irresponsible manner needs to be deprecated in strong terms. The medical and para-medical staffs in the State of Punjab as also across the country are working round the clock to fight the pandemic,” the Court sternly remarked. Rajasthan High Court 1) Rajasthan HC Finds The Online Seat Allotment Process For Medical PG Admissions Arbitrary, Orders Relief To Be Provided In The Pending Mop-up Round Of Counselling [Dr. Neelam Saini & Anr. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.] The Single Bench of Justice Ashok Kumar Garg found the allotment process of seats for admission to PG Courses 2020 by the State of Rajasthan, on the basis of the National Eligibility Entrance Test- 2020 (NEET), to be arbitrary and unreasonable. In response to petitions filed by grieved students, the Court looked into the manner of allotment of seats for admission to Medical PG Courses-2020 and noted that the online allotment process adopted this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has created an exceptional situation where the inability to maintain an up-to-date seat matrix has compromised the merit-based allotment process of earlier years. The Jaipur Bench of the Court ordered relief by directing the State of Rajasthan, NEET PG Medical and Dental Admission/Counselling Board and Medical Council Of India to change its participation criteria in the subsequent round of allotment i.e. the Mop Up round to allow the petitioners to participate in it and to therein correct the allotment of the seats to the petitioners. In a separate petition before the Jodhpur Bench of the Court regarding the same examination process, the Jodhpur Bench also granted relief to the petitioner as per the direction of the Jaipur Bench. Telangana High Court 1) Telangana HC Dismisses PIL Challenging the Constitutional Validity Of Sections 376, 376A OF Indian Penal Code The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy dismisses a PIL challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 376 and Section 376A of the Indian Penal Code, in so far as it does not award death penalty for the offence of rape on woman under the age of 16 years as being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and consequently declare the same as unconstitutional to that extent. The Court asserted that one who commits rape on a woman under the age of sixteen years, would be charged both for offences under Section 376 IPC and under Section 302 IPC, if the victim dies during the course of rape, or due to rape, holding that the offender can be punished with capital punishment. The bench expressed that the enactment of a law is a legislative policy decision, and if the Parliament, in its wisdom, was of the opinion that different sets of provisions need to be enacted for dealing with different sets of circumstances, the Court is not empowered to direct the Parliament to amend the law, for, the legislative policy decision cannot be interfered lightly by the Courts. Next Storylast_img