High Courts Weekly Round-Up
Allahabad High Court
The Allahabad High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to private power companies from the circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which gives borrowers 180 days’ time to clear their dues— a deadline that ended on Monday.
Full Bench of the High Court on Monday directed the Principal Secretary, Law as well as the Principal Secretaries in the Department of Finance or P.W.D. to remain present before it in order to formulate a time-bound program for the resolution of the issues plaguing the District Judiciary in the State.
The High Court recently imposed personal costs of Rs. 5,000 on an Executive Engineer, Bandhi Prakhand, Varanasi for wearing “pink coloured half sleeves shirt and jeans” for the hearing.
Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court on Friday ruled as constitutional the prescription for prospective judges to have sufficient knowledge of Marathi to practice in subordinate courts in Maharashtra.
Justice GS Patel of the High Court refused to allow the state government to discontinue an advocate’s services from a 45-year-old suit that he has been appearing in since 2016.
The High Court recently gave the benefit of doubt to an accused convicted of murder, accepting his defence that the murder took place in a heat of passion as he was being forced to perform unnatural sex by the deceased.
A division bench of the High Court referred an important question of law to a larger bench in a case involving a police officer convicted of rape of the victim who was in his custody.
The High Court orally expressed doubts about the maintainability of criminal charges against Poonam Agarwal, Associate Editor of “The Quint”, for the suicide of a jawan after a sting expose. She has approached the High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against her alleging abetment of suicide of the jawan who was interviewed in the sting video.
The High Court recently imposed an unprecedented Rs 1.5 crore as cost on Galpha Laboratories for being guilty of habitual infringement and directed the pharma company to draw a demand draft in favour of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund for Kerala floods.
Chhattisgarh High Court
The Chhattisgarh High Court quashed and set aside the order of extension of tenure of Vice-Chancellor of Hidayatullah University, Prof. (Dr) Sukhpal Singh. The division bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri and Justice Sanjay Aggarwal concluded that the Executive Council’s recommendation for extension of tenure was not sustainable as the council failed to apprise the Chancellor of the University about the actual facts of the case before recommending such extension.
Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Government, while suggesting digital recording of witness statements and effecting recovery by the Delhi Police.
The High Court directed the city police to provide due protection to a disabled man, a school teacher, who apprehended threat to his life from his estranged wife, who he claimed has been harassing their son too.
The High Court on Tuesday directed that rights activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested by Maharashtra police for alleged Maoist links, should not be taken away from the national capital till it hears the matter tomorrow morning.
The High Court on Friday directed the Centre to examine and take expeditious decision on the candidature of para table tennis players who had been recommended by the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) for the upcoming Asian Para Games to be held in Indonesia.
As the Supreme Court ordered house arrest for the five arrested activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves, the High Court, also indicated that it would examine the legality of the transit remand order of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate while dealing with the habeas corpus petition filed by Navlakha, a rights activist.
The High Court deferred hearing the petition of Gautam Navlakha against the order issued by Chief Metrapolitan Magistrate,Saket giving transit remand to Maharashtra police in relation to alleged involvement in Bhima-Koregaon violence.
The High Court stayed for one month the Central Government order preventing manufacture and sale of drugs containing oxytocin by private companies. The impugned order permitted only a public sector company, Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceutical Ltd(KAPL), to manufacture and sell oxytocin drugs.
Himachal Pradesh High Court
The Himachal Pradesh High Court sentenced a lawyer to one-month imprisonment for his contemptuous comment against judges on his Facebook page. The bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, which also ordered the deletion of Vikas Sanoria’s Facebook account, observed that growing trend of “judges bashing” has to be stopped and dealt with an iron fist.
Jharkhand High Court
The Jharkhand High Court on Monday quashed the State Government’s notification passed under section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 declaring the Popular Front of India (PFI) unlawful.
The High Court last week agreed to drop contempt proceedings initiated against Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) MLA Bhola Yadav for his comments on the fodder scam verdict, which had sentenced RJD president Lalu Prasad to 14 years in jail, with a fine of Rs. 60 lakh.
As God’s own country, Kerala struggles to get back up after being raved by floods, Justice Ananda Sen of the Jharkhand High Court recently directed several accused persons to deposit money in the Kerala Chief Minister’s flood relief fund as a condition for grant of bail.
Kerala High Court
The High Court of Kerala issued notice to respondents in a public interest litigation seeking directions to ease the procedure for customs exemption of relief materials sent from abroad for victims of the floods which wreaked havoc in the State recently.
The High Court initiated suo moto proceedings to examine whether any negligence on the part of authorities in managing reservoir levels in dams contributed to recent floods in Kerala. Alleging that the floods were a man-made disaster, Chalakudy-resident Joseph NR had written a letter to Justice V. Chitambaresh, who placed it before the Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy for consideration.
Acting on two public interest litigations, the High Court issued directions to ease the procedure for availing customs duty exemption for goods imported for flood relief.
Madras High Court
The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take steps for providing a separate lane at toll plazas for VIPs, including sitting judges, across the country.
The High Court ordered a probe into the filing of a petition before the Supreme Court on behalf of a woman who had passed away almost a decade before the case was filed.
In an unusually bold decision emanating out of Chennai Corporation’s inaction on a complaint of unauthorised installation of generator outside an illegal set-up hospital, the High Court ordered en masse transfer all the officials presently serving in the “Vigilance Cell” of the corporation within four weeks and deputation of police personnel with proven integrity in their place.
Patna High Court
The Patna High Court, which is monitoring the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual abuses case, on Wednesday directed CBI Special Director (Rakesh Ashtana) to monitor the progress of the probe.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
The Punjab and Haryana High court directed to keep Activist Lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj at her house from where she was arrested at Badarpur border under the supervision of SHO PS Surajkund, Faridabad, Haryana for two days until August 30.
Uttarakhand High Court
In less than a week after the Uttarakhand High Court set aside the interim stay on proceedings in a service matter instituted by IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi before the Nainital bench of CAT while finding the Centre’s attitude towards him vindictive, the matter revolving around the poor appraisal report of the whistle-blower officer has been adjourned indefinitely due to recent change in the composition of the division circuit bench which was hearing it.
Coming to the aid of rivers flowing through the state, the High Court restrained government agencies from allotting lands comprising the river bed or those covered under water.
On Wednesday, the High Court ordered that cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, as well as under Section 376 (rape) of I.P.C. will from now on be investigated only by a woman police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.
Taking a tough stance against indiscriminate strikes in the state, the High Court directed the state to prohibit such strikes in certain departments like that of education, public health, transport service, public works department, irrigation and revenue.
Declaring as illegal and unconstitutional a fatwa issued by villagers for externment of family of a minor rape victim in Laskar, Rorkee, the High Court banned all religious outfits/bodies and statutory panchayats/local panchayats/group of people in the state from issuing fatwas while directed the police to trace the family, ensure it is not removed from the village, provide it round the clock protection and also book all persons who issued the said fatwa.
The High Court recently took suo motu cognizance of a letter written by one Laxman Singh Negi, highlighting the difficulties being faced by disabled persons in receiving their disability pension in the absence of an Aadhaar card.