High Courts Weekly Round Up
Delhi High Court:
Frowning upon the “sexist bias” that appears to have “blocked the progress of women”, a Delhi High Court Bench comprising Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Najmi Waziri has allowed women to have full term service in the Indian Navy and enjoy retirement benefits.
In a decision that will foster medical healthcare workers to provide primary healthcare in rural areas with no doctors, Delhi High Court has directed the Medical Council of India and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take steps to give a right to B.Sc. (Community Health) graduates to practice modern medicine and treat common diseases. Such steps have been directed to be implemented within six months, failing which, action will be taken against the responsible officers.
A Bench comprising Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Najmi Waziri has directed the central Government to consider all paramilitary forces, the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB, as “organized services”. The order, that would benefit about 10, 000 Group A Officers, said that Group-A Officers of paramilitary forces should be given all benefits, including non-functional financial upgradation (NFU) from 2006 in terms of the Sixth Pay Commission, on the lines of those given to administrative services officers.
Popular Cab Service, Ola has made changes in its app and assured Delhi High Court that it will only allow CNG cabs to ply under its banner in the capital. The Delhi government also asked Ola to plant 50,000 trees to make good the loss caused to the environment due to the flouting of the ban. Before contempt petition could be heard against CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram assured the Court that Ola would do away with all diesel taxis in Delhi within two weeks.
Justice Manmohan Singh slapped a fine of Rs. 10 lakh on film maker Ram Gopal Varma for the “deliberate act” of copyright infringement and passing off of the 1975 blockbuster, Sholay. The Court held Mr. Varma guilty of passing off and infringing the moral rights of the copyright owners under Section 57 of the Copyright Act, 1957.
Sathiyam TV, a Tamil news channel has approached the Delhi High Court seeking to quash an order passed by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting containing a “warning” to the channel for having broadcast content critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The matter came up for admission on Tuesday, before Justice V.P. Vaish. The Court issued notice and asked the respondent to file the reply within 4 weeks.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath has sought a reply from the Government on Prof. Shamnad Basheer’s PIL regarding patent working norms. The Government had been ordered to file its reply within 4 weeks. The matter is now posted to November 17. Prof. Basheer was represented by his counsels, Abhimanyu Bhandari and Sai Vinod.
A writ petition has been filed by a NGO before the Delhi High Court seeking issuance of directions to Doordarshan to start a 24-hour news channel for the Sindhi community which claims to be a linguistic minority. When the matter came up for admission, Justice V P Vaish issued notice to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Doordarshan and sought to know their response to the plea of the petitioner to set up a separate news channel to cater to the Sindhi community. The court thereafter listed the matter for further hearing on January 22, 2016.
A writ petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court by a journalist working with a North east based news channel seeking a direction to the Centre to amend and widen the scope of the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Condition of service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1955 to include Journalist working with Electronic News Channel within the definition of working Journalist as defined under the Act.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath has sought reply from the Centre on a PIL seeking to restrain civic body New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) from renaming Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam. The Bench asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain to inform it whether any guidelines are to be followed for renaming roads. An affidavit has been asked to be filed in this regard before September 22.
Bombay High Court:
Bombay High Court on Thursday said that innocent persons cannot be harassed and their privacy should not be invaded by Police. Which policy decision or rule authorizes the police to ask the hotel to register the identity of the person who books a room?, a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi asked, while hearing a hearing a petition filed by one Sumeer Sabharwal, terming the raids as “illegal, intrusive and unconstitutional” and seeking action against police officials involved.
A Bombay High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi has set aside a State Government circular that prohibited counseling and mediation in domestic violence cases without a court order. The Court ruled that the circular is “discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable”, and set it aside so far it concerned the directions with regard to counseling of women who have approached any service provider for counseling under DV Act. The Court also laid down guidelines for counseling/mediation under the Act.
A Bench comprising Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi has directed the State Government to decide whether it planned to implement the law aimed at legalizing casinos in the state. The decision was asked to be made within a reasonable time.
Gujarat High Court:
The Court refused to interfere with a Transfer order passed against three Police Constables on the ground that they were found attending a marriage reception of the son of a noted bootlegger. Holding that such a transfer order was in Public Interest, Justice J.B. Pardiwala said “If a police constable is found to be in company of criminals or persons accused of having committed any offence then his transfer from that place must be held to be in the public interest.”
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation which had demanded that the state government must collect caste data before any decision about granting reservation to the Patel community is taken. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice N.V. Anjaria said the petition was premature.
Madras High Court:
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam has directed Pandyan Grama Bank to reserve four posts, i.e. one in officer Grade level-I, one in Officer Grade Level-II and two posts in the cadre of office assistants for visually impaired people, till further orders. The Bench passed this order after hearing a PIL filed by the secretary of All India Confederation of the Blind, M. Muthuselvi, and P. Sundaresan of Nagarandhal village in Vandavasi, Tiruvanamalai.