High Courts Weekly Roundup [Jan 18 – Jan 24]

first_imgNews UpdatesHigh Courts Weekly Roundup [Jan 18 – Jan 24] Akshita Saxena24 Jan 2021 9:28 AMShare This – xSummation of important High Court orders this weekAllahabad High Court 1. “Parties Wish To Bury Differences, Talaq Acceptable To Both”: Allahabad High Court Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Husband [Mohammmad Gufran v. State Of UP & Ors.] Noting the fact that a Muslim couple had accepted their talaq, a Bench of Justices Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Gautam Chowdhary the observed that now the talaq would be termed to be…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?LoginAllahabad High Court 1. “Parties Wish To Bury Differences, Talaq Acceptable To Both”: Allahabad High Court Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Husband [Mohammmad Gufran v. State Of UP & Ors.] Noting the fact that a Muslim couple had accepted their talaq, a Bench of Justices Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Gautam Chowdhary the observed that now the talaq would be termed to be a khula talaq, and accordingly it quashed the criminal proceedings against the husband under the relevant provisions of IPC, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. The petitioner, Mohd. Gufran along with Huma (wife of Gufran) stated before the Court that they want to bury their differences and that they have accepted the talaq. To this, the Court said, “As the parties belong to Muslim religion and as now, they have accepted the talaq which would now be turned and termed to be a khula talaq as per the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and as per the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.” 2. Allahabad High Court Seeks Response Of GST Authority On Software Glitches Causing Harassment Of Poor Assessees [M/S Ansari Construction v. Additional Commissioner, CGST(Appeals) & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice Pankaj Bhatia sought the response of the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Authority in a case relating to technical glitches in its software for issuing online show cause notices to alleged defaulters. It noted that due to the said glitch, a concerned assessee was merely served the show cause notice via e-post, without the reasons for issuance of such notice, thereby rendering him incapable of effectively defending/ presenting his case before the authority. “It appears that the system and the operators are solely responsible for the harassment being meted out to the poor assesses…this Court is unable to decipher whether, the harassment to the taxpayer is a personal one or the system/service provider is to be blamed,” the Court said wile issuing notice to the Revenue Secretary (Tax). 3. “Religious Rights Of Muslim Community Infringed”:Allahabad High Court Orders To Stop Encroachments On Kabaristan By Ant-social Elements [Mohammad Shahid & Ors. v. State Of UP & Ors.] “Every citizen has an equal and inalienable right as any other citizen for living peacefully, without fear of antisocial elements and for enjoying religious freedom”, observed a Bench of Justice Jayant Banerji and Justice Sanjay Yadav while issuing some directions in a plea seeking necessary action against illegal encroachment/ damage made to a Kabristan (Muslim graveyard) situated in District Kaushambi of Uttar Pradesh. “This Court is of the opinion that the customary and religious rights of the Muslim community of village Boonda are being threatened and infringed by the acts of certain persons encroaching on the aforesaid kabristan,” the Bench added. Access full report for directions 4. ‘Judge Acts Like God, He Should Not Make Mistakes’: Allahabad High Court Pulls Up Magistrate For Issuing Summoning Order In Pre-Printed Format [Sanjay & Ors. v. State of UP & Anr.] “A Judge acts like a God, he/she should not make mistakes due to haste or excess of work. How will a normal man get justice when a judge makes a mistake because of the excess of his/ her work?,” observed Single Bench of Justice Manju Rani Chauhan while hearing an application filed under Section 482 of CrPC for quashing of a summoning order mechanically passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra, on a printed-proforma. The bench reminded the CJM that Cognizance/ summoning orders passed on printed proforma were set aside in Vishnu Kumar Gupta & Anr. v. State of UP & Anr. Various Benches of the High Court have also passed orders directing the subordinate courts to pass cognizance/ summoning orders with application of mind, giving satisfactory reasons. Even on the administrative side, the High Court has issued circulars to the subordinate courts from time to time, restraining them from passing cognizance/ summoning orders on a printed proforma without application of mind. 5. Strict Proof Of Performance Of Essential Marriage Rites Not Required In Plea For Maintenance U/S 125 CrPC: Allahabad High Court [Irshad Ali v. State of UP & Anr.] A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh held that while claiming maintenance under Section 125 of CrPC, a party need not furnish strict proof of performance of essential rites of marriage. It held that if from the evidence which is led, the Magistrate/ court is prima facie satisfied with regard to the performance of marriage in proceedings under Section 125 CrPC, which are of summary nature, strict proof of performance of essential rites is not required. Reference was made to a judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in 1999 in Dwarika Prasad Satpathy vs. Bidyut Prava Dixit & Anr., AIR 1999 SC 3348, where it has been observed that the standard of proof of marriage in a Section 125 proceeding is not as strict as is required in a trial for an offence under Section 494 IPC (Bigamy). 6. Allahabad High Court Seeks Response Of UP Govt & NHAI On Compensation Of Trees Cut For Road Development Activities [Ayush Kumar Srivastava & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.] A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery sought the responses of the UP Government and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on a PIL seeking minimum cutting of trees during development activities and widening of road being carried out in the State’s capital and nearby cities. The matter assumes significance in context of the recent remarks made by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in another case pertaining to the UP Government, that instead of felling trees in the name of development, roads should be designed to turn around the trees. Also Read: ‘Why Can’t Road Take A Turn Around A Tree?’ Asks CJI On Plea To Cut Trees For Road Development 7. “Whether A Lawyer Has Any Privilege Against Coercive Action By Police When He is In Prescribed Robes? Allahabad HC To Examine In Etah Case [In Re Suo Moto Cognizance Of The Police Atrocities Over An Advocate] “Whether the Advocates Act, 1961 extends any privilege to an advocate for being not taken any coercive action by the police against him, if he is in prescribed robes?” High Court frames question,” the High Court will examine apart from three other questions framed by it while hearing the matter related to Police Assault on Etah Advocate. The Allahabad High Court took suo-motu cognizance of this incident and thereafter the Court had sought a complete report of the incident, wherein Rajendra Sharma, a practicing Advocate at Etah was beaten and manhandled by the police and his relatives too were harassed and humiliated. 8. Ganga Pollution: Allahabad High Court Seeks State’s Response On Plea Alleging Severe Deterioration Of Water Quality [Re Ganga Pollution v. Sate of UP & Ors.] A Full Bench of the High Court comprising of Justices Manoj Kumar Gupta, Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar sought responses from various State authorities in UP with respect to protection of river Ganga and the steps taken by it to ensure that the water quality of the river is not deteriorated. It directed the concerned authorities to place the relevant material on record by January 28, 2021. The order was passed in a suo moto case registered by the High Court in the year 2006, to protect and restore the river. The matter was taken up after an intervention application was moved by Advocate Tripti Verma, claiming that she happened to visit Prayagraj for the Magh Mela event being held on the banks of rivers Ganga and Yamuna and found that water of both the rivers had deteriorated severely. Other developments: “Women Cannot Be Denied Right To Autonomy In The Garb of Protection”: Women’s Rights Group Moves Allahabad HC Against UP Anti-Conversion Ordinance”He Tried To Avoid A Particular Bench By Clever Drafting”: Allahabad High Court Imposes 50K Cost On 6000-Crore Amrapali Scam AccusedAllahabad High Court Asks UP Government About Criteria For Regulation of School Fees Amid Pandemic”This Virus Has To Be Controlled”: Allahabad High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction On Seeking Unnecessary AdjournmentsAllahabad High Court Imposes 3 Lakh Cost On A Petitioner For Repeatedly Filing Petitions Agitating Same Cause Of ActionMan Accused Of Offering Namaz At Mathura Temple Granted Pre-Arrest Bail By Allahabad High CourtCommunal Remarks Against Aligarh Muslim University: Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea By Hindu Mahasabha Leader For Quashing FIR And Stay Of Arrest Andhra Pradesh High Court 1. “Cannot Criminalize Private Sale Transactions”: Andhra Pradesh High Court Quashes A Batch Of FIRs In Amaravati ‘Insider Trading’ Case [Chekka Guru Murali Mohan & Anr. v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Anr.] In a big blow to Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, a single bench of Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy quashed few criminal cases filed in connection with the alleged ‘insider trading’ in land transactions at Amaravati. The Court observed that private sale transactions cannot be criminalized and that the concept of the offence of “insider trading”, which is essentially an offence in the field of stock market relating to selling and buying the securities and bonds, cannot be applied to the offences under Indian Penal Code and cannot be read into Section 420 IPC or into any provisions in the scheme of Indian Penal Code. The State had filed criminal cases alleging that the petitioners had purchased lands in Amaravati after being privy to the information from the then Chandrababu Naidu government that the area was being developed as state capital after the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. 2. Andhra Pradesh High Court Gives Nod For Gram Panchayat Elections As Per Election Commission’s Schedule [State Election Commission, Vijayawada v. State of Andhra Pradesh] A Division Bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C. Praveen Kumar reversed a Single Bench order dated 08.01.2021 issued by the APSEC notifying the election schedule for the local bodies need not be interfered with as the facts and circumstances of the case does not warrant suspension of the order. The Single bench had held that the “Decision to conduct elections certainly hampers and create hindrance to mammoth vaccination programme taken up by the Union of India.” The Division Bench on the other hand ruled, “Courts must guard against any attempt at retarding, interdicting, protracting or stalling of the election proceedings.” Bombay High Court 1. Media Trial During Investigation Interferes With Administration Of Justice; Amounts To Contempt Of Court : Bombay High Court [Nilesh Navalakha & Ors. v. Union of India] A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni held that media trial during criminal investigation interferes with administration of justice and hence amounts to ‘contempt of court’ as defined under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The Court also held that media reports interfering with criminal investigation, before the initiation of trial, can amount to interference with administration of justice. The bench also rejected that argument that the defence of fair reporting under Section 3 should be available even for reports about investigation. This argument was made on the interpretation that ‘judicial proceeding’ as defined under Section 3 should cover proceedings from the stage of registration of FIR. The bench rejected the argument holding that Section 3 clearly defines what ‘judicial proceedings’ mean. Further, the Court issued a slew of directions to regulate media reporting of an ongoing criminal investigation. The order is passed in the backdrop of ‘media trial’ in the Sushant Singh Rajput Death case. Also Read: What Kind Of Reporting Amounts To ‘Media Trial’? Bombay High Court Gives Guidelines 2. Some Reporting Of Republic TV & Times Now In SSR Case ‘Prima Facie Contemptuous’, Says Bombay High Court [Nilesh Navalakha & Ors. v. Union of India] A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni held that the media coverage done by the Republic TV and Times Now against Mumbai police in the case pertaining to death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput is prima facie contemptuous. It observed that the media ought to avoid discussions, debates relating to criminal investigation and should confine only to informative reports in such matters in public interest. “Criticism of city police by TV media was unfair, in view of the material placed on record. The city police was at the very basic stage of probe”, the Court said. It however refrained from taking any action against the channels and proceeded to issue guidelines for reporting of ongoing investigations in the future. Also Read: If TV Channel Has Evidence, Inform The Investigator: Bombay HC Rejects Republic TV’s Contention That It Was Doing “Investigative Journalism” In SSR Case 3. Programme Code – Centre Duty Bound To Immediately Deal With Complaints Regarding Broadcast Content: Bombay High Court [Nilesh Navalakha & Ors. v. Union of India] A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni directed all complaints regarding a programme’s contents to be dealt with immediacy by an authorized officer of the Central Government under the Cable TV Network Act without involving a private body like the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) set up by the National Broadcasters Association. It observed that cases under investigation clearly fall within the restriction as contained in the Programme Code of the Cable TV Networks Act Rule 5 and 6. And statutory processes cannot be rendered ineffective by refering them to a regulatory authority. “Most significantly, the CTVN Act and the CTVN Rules do not recognize such mechanism as adopted by the Union Of India,” the judgement reads. 4. ‘Tandav’ Series Row : Bombay High Court Grants Transit Pre-Arrest Bail To Director, Producer, Writer, Amazon Content Head A Bench of Justice PD Naik granted transit anticipatory bail to Tandav web series director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra, Amazon content head Aparna Purohit and writer Gaurav Solanki enabling them to seek regular pre-arrest bail from Uttar Pradesh. The three-week anticipatory transit bail was granted days after the Hazratganj Police in UP booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for allegedly portraying Hindu gods in a bad light in the web series ‘Tandav’, which released on streaming platform Amazon Prime. 5. Bombay High Court Dismisses Sonu Sood’s Plea For Interim Relief Against BMC’s Demolition Notice A single bench of Justice Prithviraj Chavan dismissed a petition filed by Bollywood actor Sonu Sood seeking interim relief against an unauthorized construction notice issued to him by the local civic body (BMC), in Mumbai. His plea was earlier rejected by the City Civil Court, last month. The notice was issued in October, 2020 under section 53 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, with regard to alterations made to a six- storey residential building, in Juhu. The BMC claimed that Sood was a “habitual offender,” who was repeatedly trying to convert a residential building into a hotel. Other developments: Plea In Bombay High Court Seeks Contempt Proceedings Against Kangana Ranaut For Tweets In Violation Of Undertaking Given In Court’A Woman Is Free To Move As Per Her Wishes. We Cannot Curtail Her Freedom, Neither Can Her Parents’: Bombay High In A Habeas Corpus PetitionBombay High Court Seeks Details Of Inquiry Into Nashik Prison Custodial Death Case”There Is A Threat To Very Democracy If Agencies Like CBI, ED Do Not Act Independently”: Bombay High Court Calcutta High Court 1. If Married, Only Dead Man’s Wife Has Right Over Preserved Sperm; Father Doesn’t Have Any Right Over Son’s Progeny: Calcutta High Court [Asok Kumar Chatterjee v. Union of India & Ors.] A Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya dismissed a petition filed by a father, permission to collect preserved sperm of his dead son on the basis of his parental relationship with the deceased, irrespective of the permission of his wife. The Court ruled that the petitioner (Father) does not have any ‘fundamental right’ to such permission, merely by dint of his father-son relationship with the deceased. “The sperm preserved at the St. Stephen Hospital belonged to the deceased and, since the deceased was in matrimonial relationship with the respondent no. 4 at the juncture of his demise, the only other person, apart from the deceased, having any right to it is his wife,” the Court held. Delhi High Court 1. “It’s A Private App, If You Don’t Want To, Don’t Use It”: Delhi High Court on Plea Against WhatsApp’s Updated Privacy Policy Observing that WhatsApp is a ‘private app’ and that the users voluntarily use the app even though they have the option to not use it, a single bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that it will only issue notice in the petition once it understands the concern of the petitioner against the application and its contentious updated privacy policy. Asking the petitioner to elaborate his concerns against the app, the Judge asked what is the data the Petitioner feels is going to be compromised? The Court said to the petitioner, “I doubt that you have read any of the policies of any of the apps, you’ll be shocked as to what all you consent to, and it is all voluntary, if you don’t want, don’t use the app. I am yet to understand your concern. Until I understand it, I will not issue notice on your plea.” 2. Delhi High Court Stays Mohit Saraf’s Termination From L&L Partners Till Conclusion Of Arbitration [Mohit Saraf v. Rajiv K Luthra] A single judge bench of Justice V. Kameswar Rao ruled in favour of Mohit Saraf in the Saraf v. Luthra saga, noting that prima facie, Saraf’s “termination from partnership by Luthra in terms of email dated Oct 13, 2020 is in violation of the Deed and the Partnership Act” in terms of Section 12 of the Partnership Act, “where a partner has the right to take part in the conduct of the business”. The court further held that keeping Saraf away from the partnership business shall be to his prejudice, if he finally succeeds in the prospective arbitration proceedings. In light of the above, the Single Judge bench has stayed the operation of the email dated Oct 13, 2020 which was issued by Luthra terminating Saraf from the partnership till the conclusion of the prospective arbitration proceedings. The instant case began with Mohit Saraf – a senior partner at L&L Partners taking Rajiv Luthra, the firm’s founder and managing partner, to Delhi High Court after the latter removed him from the firm. 3. Delhi High Court Seeks Centre’s Response On Plea Regarding Denial Of Information On Creation Of Aarogya Setu The High Court issued notice to the Public Information Officers of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), and its National E-Governance Division (NeGD) asking them to explain whether information sought by an RTI applicant on the creation of the Aarogya Setu app is available in the public domain. The court was hearing a plea filed by RTI applicant Saurav Das, who had filed an RTI application in August, 2020 seeking a copy of the entire file relating to Aarogya Setu which would contain information about the origin of the proposal, people and government departments involved, correspondence between private sector executives and government officials, file notings, minutes of meetings etc. Also Read: Aarogya Setu RTI Row : Ministry Issues Clarification; Says Names Of All Persons Associated With App Shared In Public Domain 4. Delhi High Court Refuses Interim Relief on Case Against Moratorium on Setting Up of New Pharmacy Colleges A single judge bench of Justice Prateek Jalan refused to grant interim relief on a batch of petitions against the Pharmacy Council of India’s decision to impose a 5-yr moratorium on the setting up of new institutions imparting pharmacy education. The petitioners sought interim relief in the form of permission to set up new pharmacy colleges to take in admissions for the academic year 2020-21. The Court said that it was not inclined to grant any interim relief to the various pharmacy colleges approaching it, at this stage and adjourned the matter for further hearing for Jan 25. The moratorium was imposed by the council on the rationale that the supply of graduating ‘pharmacists’ is much higher than the demand for the same, and does not apply to government institutions. 5. Delhi High Court Refuses To Stay ‘The White Tiger’ Release In Netflix A day ahead of the scheduled release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix, a single bench of Justice C Harishankar heard an urgent petition filed by Hollywood producer John Hart Jr seeking a stay on its streaming on grounds of alleged copyright violation. The Court held that no prima facie material was shown to justify a last minute grant of injunction against the OTT streaming of Priyanka Chopra and Rajkumar Rao starrer based on Arvind Adiga’s Booker Prize winning novel ‘The White Tiger’. However, the defendants are directed to keep detailed accounts of earnings from the film, so that at a later stage if the Plaintiff were to succeed, due compensation could be determined for them. Other developments: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Pleas By 10 Indian Nationals Seeking Quashing Of FIRs Related To Tablighi JamaatDelhi High Court Stays Publication Of Book ‘The R*** School Murder’ Gauhati High Court 1. Plea Over Non-Implementation Of Swachh Bharat Mission In Nagaland: Gauhati High Court Issues Notice To UOI & Nagaland Govt. [Global Trust Club v. Union Of India & Ors.] A Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua issued notice to Union of India, State of Nagaland and others in a plea filed by Global Trust Club, raising an issue pertaining to non-implementation of schemes such as Swachh Bharat Mission in the State of Nagaland. The plea alleged that as a result of non-implementation of schemes, the development work, particularly relating to supply of drinking water to rural areas and other such works of public purposes are not being properly implemented in the State. Gujarat High Court 1. “Undue Fervor Shown By Cops As This Was Inter-Religious Marriage”: Gujarat High Court Sets Couple Free, Orders IG-level Inquiry [Ghasura Riyazkhan Jitubhai v. State Of Gujarat] A Bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Sangeeta K. Vishen allowed a habeas corpus plea seeking release of one Nisarkhan Jitubhai Ghasura, allegedly detained and remanded to police custody, following his recent marriage to his 29-year-old childhood friend from another community. The Court, expressing concern over the glaring facts of a case, ordered the release of the interfaith couple and directed the Range IG concerned to inquire into the matter, more particularly, considering the conduct of Respondent Nos. 5 and 6 (cops), in whose custody, the couple has been detained for all these days, and report to the DIG. 2. Gujarat High Court Restrains Govt From Notifying ‘Disturbed Area’ For ‘Improper Clustering’ Under Amended Disturbed Areas Act [Jamiat Ulama-­e­hind, Gujarat v. State Of Gujarat ] A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ashutish J Shastri restrained the State Government from declaring any area as “disturbed area” under Section 3(1)(ii) of the Gujarat Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, for “improper clustering of persons of one community.” The plea filed by Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind organization states that the impugned provision introduced by an amendment in 2020 gives the State Government power to declare an area to be a disturbed area on the grounds of (i) improper clustering of persons; (ii) polarization, and/or (iii) maintenance of demographic equilibrium; and even the mere likelihood of any of the same. It is alleged that the same is a frontal attack to the diversity, the composite culture and the multiculturism of the country and is opposed to the Basic structure of the Constitution. 3. Law Graduate’s Application For Provisional Enrolment Kept Pending For Over A Year: Gujarat High Court Grants Interim Relief To Appear In AIBE [Shivi Ravi Agrawal v. Bar Council Of India] A Single Bench of Justice Vipul M. Pancholi granted interim relief to a law graduate, whose application for enrolment with the State Bar Council has been kept pending for over a year in contravention of the BCI Rules, and permitted her to appear for the upcoming All India Bar Examination on January 24. Stating that the examination is overhead and the issue involved in the instant case may take up some time for consideration and hearing, the Court ordered, “the petitioner is permitted to appear in the said examination without prejudice to the rights and contentions of both the parties. However, result of the petitioner shall not be declared, till the final disposal of this petition and no equity will be created in favour of the petitioner merely because she is permitted to appear in the examination. The above arrangement is subject to the final outcome of the present petition.” Jharkhand High Court 1. Judicial Record Missing For Over 20 Yrs- Jharkhand High Court Reprimands Concerned Officials, Forms 1 Member Committee To Probe [Surender Singh Rautella v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.] Coming down heavily on Judicial Officers and the State Administration, Bench of Justice Anand Sen expressed its displeasure over the fact that record of a case went missing and even after a lapse of 20 years the record was not reconstructed by concerned officials. The plea was filed by an alleged notorious criminal Surendra Bengali, who submitted before the Court that an FIR was lodged against him in the year 1987 with the Doranda police station, a charge sheet was also filed in the case, but the trial in the matter was yet to start. 2. Retrospective Application Of 10% EWS Quota Is Against Articles 14 & 16 Of Constitution: Jharkhand High Court [Ranjeet Kumar Sah & Anr. v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.] A single bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi set aside a 2019 advertisement published by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission giving retrospective application to the 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation by way of merging the earlier vacancies of the year 2013 and 2015 with those arising after the implementation of the said reservation in 2019. The Court held that “At the time of advertisement of 2013 and 2015, 10% reservation for EWS was not there and by way of clubbing the vacancies, 10% reservation for EWS has been provided in the vacancy of 2013 and 2015, which is against the mandate of the Constitution of India.” Karnataka High Court 1. ‘State Will Have To Consider What Happens To Common Farmer’ : Karnataka High Court On Cattle Slaughter Ordinance A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum observed that “State will have to consider what happens to a common farmer,” while suggesting that either state will have to make a statement for time being no coercive action will be taken for violation of section 5 of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020, or it will pass appropriate orders. The petition claims that the new law is in violation of Right to Livelihood, under Article 21 of the Constitution. Further it is said that the Right to choose food is a part of Right to personal liberty, consciences and privacy. By imposing a ban on slaughter of animals for food the citizens with a choice to eat the flesh of such animals will be deprived of such food which is in violation of Article 21. 2. Karnataka High Court Rejects Devegowda’s Plea To Reopen Defamation Suit For Producing Additional Evidence [HD Devegowda v. M/S Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd.] A Bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit dismissed a petition filed by Rajya Sabha Member and former Prime Minister of India, HD Devegowda, seeking to quash a civil court disallowing him to adduce evidence at trial stage in a defamation suit, initiated against him. The Court that “The suits founded on the tort of defamation need to be tried as expeditiously as possible; reputation, be it personal or occupational, for any person is sacrosanct.” It added “The Apex Court has ruled that the right to reputation is a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The public memory being too short to be little, the claim for redressal for the hurt of reputation merits speedier consideration and ideally speaking, before the public memory fades… They cannot be allowed to be dragged on indefinitely.” 3. Not Necessary To Issue Summons U/S 91 CrPC In All Circumstances Before issuing A Search Warrant: Karnataka High Court [Social Democratic Party of India v. State] A Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj held that it is not required in all circumstances to issue a summons prior to issuance of a search warrant. A search warrant could be issued in terms of Section 93(1)(c) without issuing a summon under Section 91of the Cr.P.C., it held. The bench said “The entire provision would have to be read as a whole to arrive at the meaning and purport thereof more so when Section 93 (1)(a), (b) and (c) are qualified with the word ‘or’ after each of said sub-clauses. That would mean that they are in the alternate to each other and if any of the requirements are satisfied, a search warrant could be issued.” It added, “Section 93 of Cr.P.C. only provides for three different alternate circumstances. There is neither a priority in the circumstances nor a serial chain link in the circumstances. In that, if any one of the requirements is satisfied, the Court may issue a search warrant to search or inspect the premises”. 4. Karnataka HC Seeks Better Explanation From NHAI For Affidavit Saying ‘Environment Protection Act Was Framed At Foreign Powers’ Instance’ [United Conservation Movement Charitable and Welfare Trust v. MoEF & Anr.] A bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B A Patil refused to entertain an application filed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), tendering unconditional apology and seeking to unconditionally withdraw the statement of objections, filed on January 4, wherein the authority made a bizarre statement that the Environment Protection Act, 1986, has been passed by the Parliament at the instance of foreign powers. Also Read: Environment Protection Act Passed At Instance Of ‘Foreign Powers’, Says NHAI; Karnataka High Court Takes Strong Objection 5. ‘Abuse Of Process’ : Karnataka High Court Dismisses Petition Seeking Criminal Action Against Azim Premji Under RBI Act [India Awake for Transparency v. Azim Premji] A single bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj dismissed a petition filed by a not-for-profit company named “India Awake for Transparency”, challenging an order of a Magistrate Court dismissing its private complaint seeking directions to Reserve Bank of India to register a case against Wipro founder Azim Premji and others under the RBI Act. The complainant alleged that respondents being directors of various companies were carrying on non-banking financial business in the said companies without registration and as such had committed offences under Section 45IA of the RBI Act and as such they were to be prosecuted. “I am of the considered opinion that the writ petition filed is an abuse of process of law and of this court, the same is not maintainable. The grievance of the petitioner has already been addressed by RBI by its order dated 5.09.2017 passed,” the Court said. 6. Karnataka HC Doubts Expertise Of Committee Formed To Protect ‘Great Indian Bustard’ A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum expressed doubts about members appointed by the state government in the advisory committee formed for development and upliftment of Great Indian Bustard, (GIB) in the state, may not be experts in the field. It orally said “Out of 6 member’s at least four members may not have expertise.” It added “Was there an application of mind before appointing these persons. You (State) must appoint people who are working in the field day in and day out.” Other developments: Decide On Complete Firecrackers Ban In Karnataka Within 3 Months : Karnataka HC Directs State Govt Kerala High Court 1. Trial Judges Do Not Have Absolute Discretion To Prune Or Reject List Of Witnesses Submitted By Accused: Kerala High Court [Antony Rosario Fernando v. State Of Kerala] The trial Judges do not have absolute discretion to prune or reject the list of witnesses submitted by the accused, the Bench of Justice VG Arun observed. It held that the trial court is empowered to interfere with only when the court is convinced that the application seeking issuance of summons is submitted for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of justice. The court also observed that the possibility of annoyance to the witness sought to be examined, or to prosecution witness already examined, is not a ground for refusing to summon that witness. 2. Ensure Uninterrupted Ration Supply To Tribal People, Explore Possibility Of Making Road Up To Tribal Colonies: Kerala High Court Directs Govt. [Suo Moto v. State of Kerala & Ors.] A Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chali directed the State government to ensure uninterrupted supply of ration articles and any other benefits available under law to the members of Tribal Community living at Edamalakudy in Idukki. It also directed the Government to explore the possibility of making a road up to the tribal colonies, for facilitating easy and convenient supply of ration articles and other things necessary for the basic beneficial enjoyment of the tribals and ensuring their medical requirements. These directives were passed in a suo motu case initiated on the basis of a letter by former High Court Judge, Justice B. Kamal Pasha. The letter was written in the year 2016 based on a representation made by the office bearers of an organization allegedly registered with the Government of NCT New Delhi. According to the representation so made, during the monsoon season, the colonies of Edamalakudy in Idukki would remain isolated and starvation death often take place during these times and it was also submitted that no Governmental agencies would visit the said colonies. 3. ‘Incapable Of Taking A Decision For Herself’ : Kerala High Court Dismisses Habeas Plea Of ‘Spiritual Guru’ For Release Of Woman From Parent’s Custody [Dr. Kailas Natarajan v. State of Kerala] A division bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and MR Anitha dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by a man claiming to be a ‘spiritual guru’ seeking release of a 21-years old woman, who is said to be his ‘spiritual live-in partner’, from the custody of her parents. It found that the woman is “incapable of taking a decision for herself” and that her “parents were best equipped to deal with her present situation”. Notably, the division bench distinguished the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Hadiya case by holding that its interactions with the woman suggested that she was having “vulnerability occasioned by mental disturbance”. 4. Abhaya Murder Case: Kerala High Court Admits Appeal Filed By Accused Father Kottoor, Issues Notice To CBI A division bench comprising Justices K Vinod Chandran and M R Anitha admitted the appeal filed by Father Thomas Kottoor against his conviction and sentence in the murder of Sister Abhaya in 1992. It has issued notice to CBI. Kottoor was sentenced to life by the Special CBI Court, Thiruvnanathapuram on December 23, for the murder of Sister Abhaya at St Pious Tenth Convent Hostel, Kottayam in 1992. He argues in the appeal that the trial court’s judgment is based on the “unconnected story circumstances culled out from unreliable solitary witnesses”. It is contended that the trial court has not truly quoted the evidence in the judgment. Other developments: Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Re-Opening/Functioning Of Schools & Technical Educational Institutions Madras High Court 1. Petition U/s 482 CrPC Seeking Quashing Of A Domestic Violence Application Not Maintainable: Madras High Court [Dr. P. Pathmanathan v. V. Monica] A Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh held that that a petition under Section 482 of CrPC to quash a complaint under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act is not maintainable. It observed that a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution may be maintainable if it is shown that the proceedings before the Magistrate suffer from a patent lack of jurisdiction. “The plenitude of the inherent power under Section 482, Cr.P.C does not extend to annul proceedings which are not before a Criminal Court. As pointed out supra, to constitute a criminal court, it is not sufficient that the Court is one of the Courts enumerated under Section 6 Cr.P.C, it is also necessary that the proceedings before it are criminal in character. If the proceeding before the Court is civil in nature, then it cannot be said that the Court is a Criminal Court exercising criminal jurisdiction for the purposes of Section 482, Cr.P.C.,” the Court observed while dismissing a batch of petitions filed under Section 482 CrPC seeking to quash complaints filed under Section 12 of the DV Act. 2. No Person Or Political Bigshot Has Right To Encroach Public Land, Govt. Needs To Ensure A Sense Of Discipline: Madras High Court [V. Vaira Sekar v. Secretary, Home, Prohibition & Excise Department & Ors.] Taking note of the menace of unauthorized constructions rampantly mushrooming on revenue land, a Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice MM Sundresh directed the Governemnt to ensure a sense of discipline and uniformly demolish any kind of unauthorized construction on revenue land, be it construction of any religious idol or made for political considerations. “The message has to be sent loud and clear that no illegal set of persons or political bigshot has the right to put up or encroach any public land by putting up any kind of construction without following appropriate procedure and after obtaining due permission from the local authorities in accordance with law,” it added. 3. Cases Against MPs/MLAs: Madras High Court Mulls Constitution Of Committee To Set Up Additional Infrastructure For Expeditious Disposal A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed that in order to expedite the hearing of criminal cases against MPs/ MLAs in Trial Courts, specific times on a daily or weekly basis need to be allotted, irrespective of whatever other business the relevant Court may have. The Court further observed that it is necessary to constitute an appropriate Committee at the High Court level to look into the additional infrastructure which may be necessary and how soon such infrastructure can be set up to meaningfully proceed with complaints against legislators and resultant cases. Other developments: Plea In Madras HC Seeks Initiation Of Contempt Proceedings Against S. Gurumurthy For Allegedly Scandalous Remarks Against JudgesTransmission Line Route- “Ensure Least Displacement To Farmers Or Disturbance To Agricultural Lands”: Madras High Court To State Punjab & Haryana High Court 1. P&H High Court Allows Transfer Of Refugee Boy From Amritsar To Nuh Camp To Enable Him To Stay With His Mother [Julaha @ Julaha Yusuf v. Union of India & Ors.] Acting on a habeas petition filed by a refugee-mother, the Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill directed that her son be transferred from Amritsar to Rohingya Refugee Camp in Nuh tehsil of Mewat district so that the mother-son duo could be kept at one place till they are deported back. The petitioner’s son was detained in Amritsar as he is alleged to have entered into India without any proper documents and without any passport and is stated to have been later registered as a refugee. The main contention put forth on behalf of the petitioner was that even if both the petitioner and petitioner’s son are to be detained, they be kept at one place being mother and son till they are deported back. 2. Findings Of Higher/Coordinate Bench While Rejecting A Plea Must Be Seriously Considered By Court Hearing Similar Plea: P&H High Court [Vijay Lata v. Rajiv Arora] Underling the fact that though the principles of res judicata and such analogous principles are not applicable in a criminal proceeding, the Bench of Justice Alka Sarin observed that the Courts are bound by the doctrine of judicial discipline having regard to the hierarchical system prevailing in our country. It further observed, “The findings of a higher Court or a Coordinate Bench must receive serious consideration at the hands of the Court entertaining a similar petition at a later stage when the same had been rejected earlier.” 3. ‘Restricts Women From Contesting From General Wards”: Punjab & Haryana HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Act [Kailash Bai & Anr. v. State of Haryana & Ors.] A Division Bench led by Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha issued notice on a writ petition challenging the vires of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Act, 2020, which provides 50% reservation of seats for women in local body elections. The Petitioners have averred that the impugned Act restricts women from contesting election from general ward, thereby restricting the participation of women by 50%. Interestingly, it is pointed out that in effect, the amendment seeks to provide reservation to men in odd numbered wards, by using the qualification “persons other than woman”. 4. Deemed Custody Of Minor Below 5 Yrs Would Be With Mother Even Though He/She Isn’t Residing With Mother: Punjab & Haryana High Court [Akshay Gupta v. Divya & Ors.] A Bench of Justice Arun Monga made it clear that even if a minor, who is under five years of age may not be residing with mother, but his/her custody would be deemed to be at the place where the mother is residing and the matter could be heard there. The observation was made in a case of parents litigating over the custody of their minor daughter “Kyna”, currently aged 6 years. The Court interpreted section 6 (a) Hindu Minorities and Guardians Act, 1956 to mean and intend that even though a minor below five years may not be in physical custody/residing with mother, but her/ his custody would be deemed to be at a place where the mother is residing. It specifically said that at the time of instituting proceedings before the family court, the mother was the deemed natural guardian of the minor child and therefore, the natural custody would also be presumed to be with mother, regardless of the place where the child was actually residing physically at the that time. Other developments: 160 Students Moves Punjab And Haryana HC Against Conduct Of Examinations In Offline Mode And Limited Number Of Examination Centres Telangana High Court 1. Telangana High Court Disposes Plea Demanding COVID Vaccine For Advocates/Court Staff On Priority [] A Bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy disposed of a plea demanding that Advocates and the court staff ought to be administered COVID-Anti Virus Vaccine on an urgent and priority basis. It took into account the submission made by the Advocate General that the priority list has been drawn by the Central Government, which has been adopted by the State of Telangana. The AG submitted that as per the priority list, in the first round COVID-Anti Virus Vaccine shall be administered to the health workers, followed by front line workers in the second round and those, who are 50 years and above with co-morbidities or other special conditions in the third round. To this, the Court said, “If any Advocate or the court staff fall in the aforesaid categories, they shall be given due priority in terms of the Guidelines framed by the Central Government in that regard. 2. Late Night Police Visits To Rowdy Sheeter’s Residence Violates His Privacy: Telangana High Court [Thumkunta Madhava Reddy v. State of Telangana & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice P. Naveen Rao held that Police cannot visit the residence of a ‘Rowdy Sheeter’ during late night hours as it amounts to intruding into his privacy. It observed, “Right to life, liberty and privacy are sacrosanct to a person. A person is entitled to lead his life with dignity and self respect. These rights flow out of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Surveillance on person certainly infringes on his right to life, privacy and liberty. These rights cannot be infringed except by due process of law. Compelling public interest may require intrusion into privacy of a person but while doing so great care and caution has to be observed. Thus, if Police resort to surveillance on the ground that rowdy-sheet is opened on petitioner, it must show justification, impelled to ensure peace and order in the society.” Tripura High Court 1. Enforcement Of Bru Community Accord- “Court Must Allow Administration To Evolve Political Resolution”: Tripura High Court [Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Kishore Debbarma & Ors. v. Union of India &] While hearing a plea seeking to espouse the cause of displaced Bru community who has been seeking proper resettlements since decades, a Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra observed that the stage has not yet arisen for interception of the Court in such process. The Court thus disposed of the plea for proper enforcement of the Resettlement-Accord For Bru Community and remarked, “We are of the opinion that the entire issue is a political one, calling for political solution. The stage has not yet arisen for interception of the Court in such process.” It added, “In such extremely sensitive and complex socio-economic and political questions, the Court must allow the administration to evolve a political resolution.”Next Storylast_img read more

Despard bids

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

It’s a ‘New Year’ and a ‘New You’

first_imgGreensburg, In. — The Decatur County Family YMCA is offering a comprehensive 10-week fitness and nutrition program to get 2019 started.The program includes cooking and nutrition classes, weekly weigh-ins, team challenges, tailored workouts, goals and a “New Year, New You Team Transformation” T-shirt.Prizes and incentives are also offered.For more information please call 812-663-9622.last_img