High Courts Weekly Round-Up
Allahabad High Court
The Allahabad High Court, on Wednesday, granted bail to Dr. Kafeel Khan, who was arrested by UP Police in connection with the Gorakhpur BRD medical college tragedy where scores of children died last year due to lack of oxygen.
Bombay High Court
Justice GS Patel of the Bombay High Court directed the Prothonotary and Senior Master to institute a quota control system for accessing original court records. They were also directed to issue tokens to advocates for visiting the testamentary department and accessing original court records.
Calcutta High Court
In an unprecedented move, the Calcutta High Court asked the State Election Commission to treat as valid the nomination papers of nine candidates from Bhangore who had sent the same to the Block Development Officer via WhatsApp.
Chhattisgarh High Court
The Chhattisgarh High Court acquitted a man accused of using obscene words in public, observing only words related to sex or moral are obscene words.
Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court recently laid down guidelines for issuing notice of appearance before police officers under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal procedure. The Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal noted that the guidelines were being framed to ensure “transparency in the working of the police machinery and ensuring justice to suspect accused persons as well as those required to appear before the police”.
The Delhi High Court last week upheld the sentence of life imprisonment for five people convicted for raping a Danish woman in the capital in January, 2014.
Observing that there can be no justification for unwarranted delay in disposing of the parole applications of the convicts, the High Court once again directed the State to ensure that the schedule, as prescribed in the Parole/Furlough Guidelines, 2010, is strictly adhered to and in case of delays, a record of reasons be maintained.
The High Court on Wednesday impleaded Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing and YouTube as Respondents in the Petition initiated by it against media houses which had disclosed the identity of the eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Kathua.
In an unfortunate case of “ litigation neurosis ” which led to a 71-year-old litigant and a heart patient spending 20 days in a mental institution only for losing temper in court over the tardy pace of hearing in his case, the High Court directed the Delhi government to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the senior citizen while also apologizing to him and his family for the illegal order passed by a Metropolitan Magistrate which led to his ordeal.
Karnataka High Court
The Karnataka High Court convicted a litigant for contempt for hurling footwear at a judicial officer. Taking note of the district judge report, the Chief Justice of the High Court had initiated contempt proceedings against BM Shivanna.
Allowing a habeas corpus Petition filed by the mother of a seven-year-old girl, the High Court on Thursday asserted that an ATM cannot be considered a substitute for a mother, and rejected weak financial status as a parameter to deny the child’s custody to the mother.
Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court held that the government cannot reduce the pay scale of an employee upon re-classification of co-operative society resulting in its downgrading. The court was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by employees/pensioners who were facing the threat of recovery of excess payment consequent to reduction of their payscale by the government upon downgrading of their employer-society.
Madhya Pradesh High Court
The Madhya Pradesh High Court observed that a litigant cannot plead that since his lawyer had not given correct legal advice to him, he should not be made to suffer with adverse orders.
Madras High Court
The Madras High Court dismissed plea of senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram, challenging summons to requiring her personal appearance before Enforcement Directorate in Kolkata.
The High Court recently quashed complaint filed against a cartoonist and publisher for portraying DMK members as monkeys, observing that a cartoonist must be able to work without any inhibition and he is entitled to greater latitude.
In a huge relief to the ruling AIADMK Government, the High Court on Friday dismissed Petitions seeking disqualification of Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and 10 other MLAs for having defied the party whip in February, 2017.
While commuting death penalty in a murder case, the High Court observed that a murder cannot be termed as honour killing merely because caste of the accused and deceased was a contributing factor in the perpetration of the crime
The High Court dismissed a plea seeking removal of the portrait of Late J. Jayalalithaa from the precincts of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. The Bench of the Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Qudhhose, while dismissing the writ petition filed by DMK MLA J.Anbazhagan, observed that the bar on appointment to a responsible position possibly cannot be stretched to be a bar on display of the photograph of a former Chief Minister charged with a serious offence.
Rajasthan High Court
The Rajasthan High Court on Friday directed the Addl. Police Commissioner-Traffic, Jodhpur to cancel driver’s license of those found using their mobile phones while driving. The Bench comprising Justice Gopal Krishan Vyas and Justice Ramchandra Singh Jhala issued the direction after it was informed by Additional Advocate General Mr. Rajesh Panwar that several drivers were using mobile phones while driving.
Uttarakhand High Court
Moved by the grim scenario in which farmers in the state are committing suicide due to bankruptcy and indebtedness, the Uttarakhand High Court asked the state government to prepare a scheme for payment of compensation to the bereaved families, create a corpus for waiving off their loans while also passing a series of directions for the state government and the Centre to ensure farmers get good returns for their labour and are insured against any losses due to reasons beyond their control.
The High Court held that practice to keep the convict in custodial segregation/solitary confinement before the exhaustion of his constitutional, legal and fundamental rights is unconstitutional. The Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh ruled, “It will amount to additional punishment. It also amounts to torture and violative of his basic human rights.