High Courts Weekly Round-Up
Allahabad High Court
A petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC by the accused challenging an order of Magistrate directing reinvestigation by police was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on the principle that accused has no right of hearing during investigation. The Court held that investigation cannot be regarded as a proceeding pending against the accused so as to invoke Section 482.
The High Court ruled that land acquired under the National Highways Act, 1956 cannot be restored to its former owners despite its non-utilisation. The order was passed by a bench comprising Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Bachchoo Lal.
Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court recently held that the amended definition of rape under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, cannot be made applicable retrospectively and changed the conviction of an accused from rape to attempt to rape.
The High Court recently granted divorce to an estranged couple who had been living separately for over two decades, opining that the marriage between the two was nothing but fiction.
The High Court recently came to the rescue of Advocate Mahendra Kachawale, whose registration with the Bar Council of India was at first suspended and then kept pending even though Kachawale had obtained another degree from ILS, Pune. A division bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice SV Kotwal directed BCI to look into Kachawale’s application for re-registration and take “a suitable decision upon the application for enrollment within further period of one week”.
“Freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India, coupled with the freedom of religion, both of which are subjected to reasonable restriction ensure that there is no suppression of dissent, discussion or debate. They have to be free and meaningful,” said the Bombay High Court while directing the Central Bureau of Investigation and Maharashtra CID to make sincere efforts to trace the accused in the murders of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar and CPI member Govind Pansare.
The High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to file its reply to a petition filed by the Reserve Bank of India challenging an order by the Chief Information Commission (CIC) directing the RBI to disclose names of wilful defaulters and foreign donors on the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) watchlist.
The High Court recently dismissed an election petition filed by Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee. In the petition filed under Section 100(1)(d)(i) and Section 100(1)(d)(iv) of the People’s Representation Act, 1950, Nirupam had prayed for BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s election in 2014 from the Mumbai North constituency to be declared null and void.
Calcutta High Court
The Calcutta High Court sought to know from the High Court Administration whether the Supreme Court or any high court has ever appointed any member of the District bar, not practicing in the high court, as a Senior Advocate.
The High Court recently imposed costs of Rs. 2 lakhs on a practicing advocate for approaching it with a half-baked, vague petition on sexual harassment of men and those belonging to the third gender. A bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar opined that the petitioner, high court advocate Shiladitya Barma, had approached the court “for the purpose of publicity and such an attempt at the cost of consumption of the time of the Court should be stopped in limine at the bottom of the door”.
Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court ruled that a revision petition is not maintainable against an appeal in enforcement proceedings in a consumer dispute.
The High Court held that a parent can seek eviction of his children and legal heirs from any type of property, on grounds of non-maintenance and ill-treatment.
The High Court stayed the Centre’s notification by which building and construction projects with 20,000 to 50,000 sqm built-up area and industrial sheds, educational institutions etc., of 20,000 to 1,50,000 sqm built-up area were kept out of the regulatory regime of the Environment Protection Act and the powers of the Centre to ensure compliance with specified environmental conditions were delegated to local bodies such as municipalities, development authorities, district panchayats etc.
The High Court, on Tuesday, reiterated that proceedings under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 stand vitiated if the same person acts as the Investigating Officer (IO) and the complainant. The judgment was passed by Justice C. Hari Shankar.
The High Court on Tuesday sentenced a man to 15 years imprisonment for raping a mentally challenged 12 year old girl. Justice Anu Malhotra also directed the concerned superintendent of jail to consider, if feasible, providing the convict with appropriate correctional courses through meditational therapy, educational opportunities, vocational training, counselling, psychometric tests, a post release rehabilitation plan, and other similar programs for his rehabilitation.
On Tuesday, the High Court also quashed the process of appointing a principal, as initiated by Delhi University’s Hindu College. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait opined that the process adopted for the post was “not fair and transparent”, and directed the college authorities to assess the candidates afresh and select the best candidate in accordance with the procedure.
The High Court on Wednesday allowed CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma and Joint Director A K Sharma to inspect in the CVC’s office the case file relating to FIR against the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
on Wednesday, the High Court also upheld the jail terms of more than 80 people for their involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. While handing down the verdict, Justice RK Gauba lamented the delay witnessed in the case, noting that 34 years have passed since the incident, and 22 years have elapsed since the trial court verdict.
The High Court recently asserted that the benefit of any doubt in the age of the victim needs to go to the accused. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva explained that to this end, the age of the victim in such cases would have to be taken to be the higher of the range as determined by the medical examination, while keeping in view the margin of error of 1 to 2 years.
The High Court directed the re-assessment of merits of three Special Public Prosecutors (SPP) appointed in the Special Courts under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act(POCSO Act) 2012 in the Districts of Kollam, Wayanad and Malappuram
Gauhati High Court
The Gauhati High Court recently issued a slew of directions in order to ensure that only those duly authorised by the government under the Assam Moslem Marriages and Divorces Registration Act, 1935 issue marriage registration certificates for Muslims in the State.
The High Court issued notice on a petition demanding an extension of the age of superannuation of Ayurvedic doctors in the state. The notice was issued by Justice N. Kotiswar Singh.
Gujarat High Court
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday denied permission to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to relocate or shoot the stray dogs which enter its operational area posing a threat to the safety of passengers and aircraft during takeoff and landing. The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav asserted, “Under no circumstances, this Court can permit the appellant/petitioner authority to shoot dogs…”
Himachal Pradesh High Court
The Himachal Pradesh High Court observed that lawyers, like judges, must also ensure that truth triumphs in the administration of justice. Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan made this observation while disposing a criminal petition challenging the trial court order rejecting an application under Section 311 CrPC, for recalling/reexamining of one witness.
Kerala High Court
The High Court denied anticipatory bail to two office bearers of Muslim Ekopana Samidhi, who had conducted a march to the high court protesting against its judgment in Hadiya case.
The High Court held that application under Section 9(1)(ii) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking an interim measure of protection is maintainable even after passing of the award by the arbitral tribunal but before it is enforced.
The High Court ruled that a review petition is maintainable against an order in a contempt case. In doing so, a full bench comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice AM Shaffique and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar overruled the division bench judgment in Antony v. P.S. Rana.
The High Court declared that Devaswom Commissioner, under the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950, will always have to be a person professing the Hindu religion.
The High Court of Kerala set aside the appointments of four assistant professors in Aligarh Muslim University at Malappuram centre. The Court found that the appointment was not done following the procedure in ‘UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education,2010’.
On Tuesday, the High Court passed a slew of directions to ensure peaceful pilgrimage at Sabarimala with requisite amenities and facilities.
While considering a batch of petitions seeking police assistance in implementing the Supreme Court judgment in the church case involving Jacobite and Malankara Orthodox factions, the High Court of Kerala observed that it had the prima facie suspicion that “Government appears to be implementing directions of Courts selectively, to suiting their interests”.
Holding that the term ‘security’ in Section 6(1) of the Passport Act does not encompass ‘economic security’, the High Court observed that passport cannot be refused on the ground that it is detrimental to the ‘economic ‘security of India.
A Full Bench of High Court held that entries in property tax register or building tax register of local authority cannot be taken as conclusive proof of occupation of vacant building in eviction proceedings under the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965
Madras High Court
If the voice of the fourth estate is stifled in this manner, India will become a Nazi State, remarked Justice PN Prakash of Madras High Court while quashing a defamation complaint against India Today Tamil Weekly.
The High Court, on Monday, granted two weeks’ parole to a life convict for the purpose of conjugal visit. The matter was heard by a bench comprising Justice CT Selvam and Justice S. Ramathilagam.
Meghalaya High Court
In a huge relief to many teachers in the state, the Meghalaya High Court held that both government school and college teachers as well as deficit/adhoc/aided are equally qualified and giving equal service, and they are entitled to equal pay, pension and other benefits.