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Bombay High Court Weekly Round-Up: January 10 To January 16, 2022

Sharmeen Hakim
16 Jan 2022 2:18 PM GMT
Bombay High Court Weekly Round-Up: January 10 To January 16, 2022
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1. Face Heavy Cost Or Longer Court Dates For Getting Non- Urgent Matters Listed – Bombay High Court Tells LawyersCitation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 5The Bombay High Court has cautioned lawyers against getting non-urgent matters listed and decided to impose high costs or adjourn matters for a long time if non-urgent cases are pushed for a hearing. As per its SOP from January 10, 2022,...

1. Face Heavy Cost Or Longer Court Dates For Getting Non- Urgent Matters Listed – Bombay High Court Tells Lawyers

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 5

The Bombay High Court has cautioned lawyers against getting non-urgent matters listed and decided to impose high costs or adjourn matters for a long time if non-urgent cases are pushed for a hearing.

As per its SOP from January 10, 2022, the Bombay High Court at its principal seat is functioning for only three hours between 12 pm – 3 pm and hearing only urgent cases.

2. COVID-Supreme Court Order Suspending Limitation Is Applicable For Refund Under GST Act – Bombay High Court

Case Title: Saiher Supply Chain Consulting Pvt Ltd v. Union of India and Anr.

Case No: WPL 1275 of 2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 6

The Bombay HC quashed and set aside an order of the Assistant Commissioner of CGST refusing refund of GST paid by a private export company on the ground that the company's application was time barred or not filed within the limitation period prescribed under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST) Act.

A division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and SM Modak observed that the Supreme Court's decision from March 2020, extending the time limit prescribed under the general or special laws, for proceedings due to the Covid-19 pandemic apply in the present case.

3. Bombay High Court Allows Age-Barred Law Graduate To Participate In Judges Selection As Recruitments Got Stalled Due To COVID

Case Title: Rishab Murali vs State of Maharashtra & oths

Case No: WPL 156/2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 7

In an interim relief to a law graduate from Mumbai, the Bombay High Court has allowed him to participate in the ongoing recruitment process for post of Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Judicial Magistrate (First Class), despite being "age-barred."

The petitioner contended that he was age-barred as the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) did not issue any advertisement for applications last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

4. Bombay HC Reinstates CISF Constable Accused Of Raping Colleague's 5-yr-old Daughter

Case Title: Udaynath Tirkey vs The Director General, Central Industrial Security Force & othrs

Case No: WP 6859 of 2019

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(Bom) 8

The Bombay High Court has held that being accused of a heinous crime is not a good enough reason not to conduct a departmental enquiry before dismissing a constable from service under Rule 39(ii) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Rules akin to Article 311(2) of the Constitution.

The court quashed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)'s orders regarding the dismissal of a constable for allegedly raping a colleague's five-year-old daughter. Instead, it ordered the constable's reinstatement with a rider that CISF was not barred from initiating an enquiry subsequently.

Other Important Updates

1. Lawyer Moves Supreme Court Challenging Bombay High Court Circular Reducing Working Hours To 3 Due To COVID

Case Title: Ghanshyam Upadhyay vs The High Court Bombay

A Mumbai based lawyer approached the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the Bombay High Court's circular reducing its functioning in Mumbai to just three working hours a day owing to the rise in covid-19 cases in the city and state. It further seeks to enforce virtual hearings in all courts in the state.

The PIL under Article 32 of the Constitution of India calls the SOP "unrealistic" and "unreasonable." He states that courts can be made functional through a virtual hearing without reducing the working hours.

2.Judges Protection Act: Plea In Bombay High Court Challenges 'Absolute Immunity' To Judges Even When Justice is 'Wilfully Denied'

Case Title: Sabina Lakdawala vs Komal Singh Rajput

A petition filed in the Bombay High Court challenges Section 3 of the Judges (Protection) Act of 1985 that prevents civil or criminal proceeding against a Judge for anything done in the course of his official or judicial duty.

The plea alleges that the provision confers "absolute immunity to the judges even when they act maliciously and wilfully deny justice; on extraneous and corrupt considerations."

According to Section 3 of the Act, no court can entertain civil, criminal proceedings against a judge for acts or words spoken by him while performing his duty as a judge. However, the Central or State Government, the Supreme Court of India or an High Court can take civil, criminal or departmental action against a judge.

3. 2008 Malegaon Blast Case: Accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit Seeks Ban On Media From Reporting Proceedings

Case Title: State of Maharashtra (Through NIA) vs Pragya Singh Thakur and Others

Case No: NIA Spl Case 1/2016

Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, a prime accused in the case has sought in-camera hearings in the ongoing trial against him and others, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur. Purohit's plea comes soon after reports of nearly 16 crucial witnesses in the case being declared hostile.

The court has asked the NIA and victim intervenors to file their replies.

4. Custody Required To Seize Mobile Phones – Sessions Court Rejects Pre-Arrest Bail Pleas of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's lawyer and 3 others

Case Title: Adv.Inderpal Singh Balbir Singh Purewal & others VS State of Maharashtra

Case No: ANTICIPATORY BAIL APPLICATION NO.21 OF 2022

A Sessions Court in Mumbai rejected the anticipatory bail applications of a Mumbai based lawyer Inder Pal Singh, who has been representing former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh before the High Court as well as the Sessions Court.

Singh and three others are accused of outraging the modesty of a female member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Singh is a former North Mumbai District President of the party. The sections applied against the accused include sections 354 (assault to outrage modesty of woman), 509 (words to insult modesty) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

Singh subsequently approached the HC but withdrew his plea after the police submitted that they didn't intend to arrest him if he cooperated.

5. "Better Choice Of Words Expected From Responsible Persons": Bombay High Court Tells BJP MLA Ashish Shelar Over Remarks Against Mumbai Mayor

On January 13, the Bombay High Court issued notice to Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar seeking her response to BJP MLA Ashish Shelar's plea to quash Mumbai Police's FIR against him for allegedly outraging modesty during a press conference on November 30, 2021.

"Such incidents do occur in public life, we are aware. But responsible persons are expected to choose words wisely," the bench observed.

6. Pune Court Grants Pre Arrest Bail to Hindutva Leader Milind Ekbote and 3 others in Hate Speech Case

Less than a week after self-proclaimed religious guru Kalicharan Maharaj was granted bail in a case of hate speech, a Sessions Court granted four other accused anticipatory bail in Pune.

The court allowed the anticipatory bail plea of Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, for Rs. 25,000 each and one or two sureties of the same amount. Other three who have been granted anticipatory bail are Nandkumar Ekbote, Deepak Nagpure and Mohanrao Shete.

7. Nawab Malik Granted Bail In Second Defamation Case By Former BJP Youth Wing President

On January 12, a Magistrate court granted bail to Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik in the second defamation complaint filed against him by former Mumbai BJP youth wing president Mohit Kamboj Bharatiya.

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