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High Courts Weekly Round Up [July 24, 2021 – July 31, 2021]

1 Aug 2021 3:43 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Round Up [July 24, 2021 – July 31, 2021]

Allahabad High Court Bar Assoc. Resolution To Not Appear In Criminal Cases Involving Lawyers Is Unconstitutional, Against Professional Advocacy Ethics: Allahabad HC (Mohammad Ahmad Khan v. State Of U.P. & Another) The High Court has held that a resolution passed by the Bar Associations that none of its members will do pairvi in any criminal case against a member Advocate or...

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Allahabad High Court

Bar Assoc. Resolution To Not Appear In Criminal Cases Involving Lawyers Is Unconstitutional, Against Professional Advocacy Ethics: Allahabad HC (Mohammad Ahmad Khan v. State Of U.P. & Another)

The High Court has held that a resolution passed by the Bar Associations that none of its members will do pairvi in any criminal case against a member Advocate or his family members is not only un-constitutional, against the ethics of professional advocacy as well as against the concept of Articles 14, 21 and 22(1) of the Constitution of India. The Bench of Justice Mohd. Faiz Alam Khan observed thus:

"…such resolutions are not only unconstitutional, against the ethics of professional advocacy as well as against the concept of Article 14, 21 and 22(1) of the Constitution of India. In the considered opinion of this Court equal opportunity to secure justice could not be denied to any citizen of this country."

"Heinous Crime": Allahabad High Court Affirms Detention Of 3 Under NSA Who Allegedly Burnt A Young Girl To Death (Lalit Gupta v. Union of India & Ors)

The High Court affirmed the detention of 3 men under National Security Act, 1980 who are accused of burning a young girl alive by pouring petrol, on account of which she died. The Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Narendra Kumar Johari observed that on account of this heinous crime, public order was disturbed and parents living in the area had stopped the children from going to school especially, the daughters were forbidden.

Attack On Ex-Army Man- "State Govt. Continuously Showing Inaction Against Shameful Act Of Local Cop": Allahabad High Court (Resham Singh v. State Of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.)

The High Court observed that the State Government was continuously showing inaction against the prima facie shameful act of the local policeman. It hearing the plea filed by an ex-soldier of the Indian Army alleging that he was humiliated and brutally tortured by the Uttar Pradesh Police, t The Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Gautam Chowdhary specifically observed thus:

"...we are constraint to observe that State Government is continuously prima facie showing inaction against the prima facie shameful act of the local policeman. The prevailing situation can not be tolerated".

The Benefit Of First Exception To S. 499 IPC Can't Be Claimed At The Stage Of Issuance Of Summons: Allahabad High Court (Rajesh Churiwala v.­ State of U.P. and Another)

The High Court recently held that the Defence of public good as an exception to the offence of Defamation as defined under Section 499 of Indian Penal Code being a question of fact can't be looked into during the stage of issuance of summons. The Bench of Justice Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava observed thus: "The benefit of the first exception (to section 499 IPC) cannot be claimed at the stage of issuance of summons".

Allahabad High Court Bats For Installation Of CCTV Cameras In All Sections Of HC For Transparency In Court's Working (Prabodha Nand Giri & Ors v. State of U.P. and Another)

In an attempt to "control and monitor" the activities of various sections of the High Court with a view to having better court management as well as transparency in its working, the High Court directed the Registrar General of the Court to propose the idea of installing CCTV in all the sections of the Courtroom to the Acting Chief Justice. The Bench of Justice Vivek Agarwal directed the Registrar General to place the proposal before the Acting Chief Justice within 7 days for obtaining consent of Hon'ble the Acting Chief Justice in regard to the installation of CCTV cameras in all sections of the High Court.

Collector, Add'l Commissioner Not Expected To Blindly Follow Action Of Junior Staff Who Harass Common & Poor People: Allahabad High Court (Rajpal v. Additional Commissioner And 6 Others)

The High Court recently observed that it is not expected from the officers like Collector and Additional Commissioner to blindly follow the action of junior staff who are there to harass the common and poor people of the State. The Bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal observed that the right which had accrued to the petitioner way back in the year 2007 (in connection with a piece of land) was withdrawn by one stroke of the pen by an officer.

Andhra Pradesh

PIL Seeking Optical Fiber Network, IT Infra. For District Courts: Andhra Pradesh High Court Seeks Centre, State Govt. Response

The High Court sought Central and State Governments' response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Petition which seeks dedicated optical fiber network with supporting IT infrastructure for the District and Mofussil courts. The Bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Ninala Jayasurya issued the notices returnable within 8 weeks.

Plea In Andhra Pradesh HC Against Non-Vaccination Of Lawyers: State Undertakes To Hold Drive For Those Aged 45+ In Consultation With Bar Associations (Andhra Pradesh Bar Council v. UOI & Ors.)

The Andhra Pradesh Government informed the High Court that vaccines will be administered to members of the legal fraternity aged above 45 years, in consultation with the respective Bar Associations. "Mr. S.Sriram (Advocate General) submits that vaccination to members of the legal fraternity who have crossed 45 years of age would be administered in two places in each District and modalities for such vaccination will be worked out in consultation with the Bar Associations," the Court recorded.

Bombay High Court

Line Between Freedom Of Press & Right To Privacy Has To Be Balanced': Bombay HC Directs Take Down Of Certain Content Against Shilpa Shetty (Shilpa Shetty Kundra v. Clapping Hands Private Limited)

The High Court has ordered the removal of certain videos from media and news channels, that are prima facie defamatory against actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra. The Court was hearing a 25-crore defamation suit filed by her in connection with her her husband Raj Kundra's arrest in a pornography racket. There are 29 defendants in this case, including several websites, NDTV, Free Press Journal, Clapping Hands Private Limited,, Facebook, Instagram, Google etc. Interim reliefs have been granted against 3 respondents- Capital TV, a channel from Uttar Pradesh; Heena Kumawat, claiming to be a friend of Shetty and Shudh Manoranjan, a YouTube channel.

Also Read: Bombay High Court Refuses Ad-Interim Relief To Raj Kundra In Porn Film Case

Prima Facie PhD Degree Not Valuable Security For 467 IPC': Bombay High Court Grants Interim Bail To Woman In Forgery Case (De. Swapna Patker v. The State of Maharashtra & Ors.)

The High Court granted interim bail to a 39-year-old woman, accused of using a fake PhD degree for practicing at a Hospital in Mumbai's Bandra area. Earlier, the woman had accused her estranged husband and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut of harassment in three separate petitions.

Swapna Patkar practised at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra (West) for at least two years by allegedly using a fake PhD degree in clinical psychology before she was removed from the post. She was booked for offences under Sections 467, 468, 420 of the IPC. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar granted Patkar bail till the pendency of her plea to quash the stringent section of 467 (Forgery of valuable security) of the IPC against her.

UAPA - Watali Judgment Won't Apply When Bail Is Sought On Humanitarian Grounds : Bombay High Court (Surendra Pundalik Gadling v. Senior Inspector of Police)

The High Court granted temporary bail to Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad accused Advocate Surendra Gadling observing that the rigors of regular bail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act would not apply for the grant of temporary bail on humanitarian grounds. Therefore, the judgement in the case of National Investigation Agency Vs. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali could not be used to oppose bail being sought purely on humanitarian grounds on the death of a parent, the court said. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar granted Gadling bail for nine days, from August 13-21, to perform his mother's funeral rites on her first death anniversary on humanitarian grounds.

Also Read: Bombay High Court Reserves Judgment On Maintainability Of Param Bir Singh's Challenge To Maharashtra Govt Enquiries

Also Read: Bombay High Court Adjourns Appeal Against Tarun Tejpal's Acquittal In Rape Case To August 10

Calcutta High Court

West Bengal Post Poll Violence: Calcutta High Court Grants State Time Till July 31 To File Supplementary Affidavit To NHRC Report (Susmita Saha Dutta v. Union of India)

The High Court granted time to the West Bengal government to submit its supplementary affidavit in response to report of the Committee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by July 31. The 5 judge Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices I.P Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar also took on record the DNA report of the deceased BJP worker Abjijit Sarkar filed through Additional Solicitor General Y.J Dastoor. A certificate under Section 65B of the Evidence Act was also submitted along with the video recording of the autopsy procedure of deceased Abjijit Sarkar.

Political Vendetta': BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari Files Plea In Calcutta High Court Seeking Transfer Of Criminal Cases To CBI (Suvendu Adhikari v. State of West Bengal)

Alleging that he is a victim of 'political vendatta', Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly and BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) MLA Suvendu Adhikari has filed a writ petition before the High Court seeking the transfer of all criminal cases registered against him by the state police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The plea also prayed for the quashing of all criminal complaints registered against Adhikari by the State police authorities.

In his plea, Suvendu Adhikari contended that he is bring targeted by the ruling party through a barrage of criminal cases merely because of joining the rival party i.e. the BJP back in December 2020. On May 2, 2021 the BJP MLA had narrowly defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the State Assembly elections while contesting from the Nandigram constituency.

They Are Licensees At Best' : Calcutta HC Upholds Senior Citizen's Right To Reside In His Own House, Orders Eviction Of Son And Daughter-In-Law (Ramapada Basak & Anr v. State of West Bengal & Ors)

The Court while adjudicating upon a plea by two senior citizens (petitioners) seeking the eviction of the son and daughter-in-law from their residence observed, "A nation that cannot take care of its aged, old, and infirm citizens cannot be regarded as having achieved complete civilization."

In the instant case, the Court vide an earlier order dated July 12, 2021 had directed the Officer-in-charge, Taherpur Police Station to escort out the son and daughter-in-law from the premises of the petitioners in order to ensure the well-being of the aged citizens. This was accordingly complied with and thereafter the Court proceeded to make certain pertinent observations.

A Person Cannot Be Forced To Donate': Calcutta HC On Unilateral Deduction Of University Employees' Salaries For Contribution To CM Relief Fund (Sudipta Bhattacharyya & Ors v. Visva-Bharati & Ors.)

The High Court opined that a University cannot deduct a portion of the salary of its employees, as donation, without obtaining their consent. The Court was adjudicating upon a plea filed by professors of the Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan against the order of the Registrar compelling them to donate a day's salary to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, West Bengal/West Bengal State Emergency Relief Fund in aid of the people affected by cyclone Amphan that hit Kolkata and several districts of West Bengal on 20th May, 2020.

Also Read: No Executive Accountability': Calcutta High Court Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Appointment of TMC MLA Mukul Roy As PAC Chairman

Delhi High Court

Banks Can't Force Mandatory Claim Period Of 1 Year For Bank Guarantees : Delhi High Court Interprets Exception 3 To Section 28 Contract Act

The High Court has interpreted Exception 3 to Section 28 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 to hold that it does not deal with 'claim period' under Bank Guarantees. The Court held that this provision deal with the curtailment of the period for the creditor to approach the court or tribunal to enforce the rights under the bank guarantee. "It is clear that Exception 3 to Section 28 of the Contract Act deals with curtailment of the period for the creditor to approach the court/tribunal to enforce his rights. It does not in any manner deal with the claim period within which the beneficiary is entitled to lodge his claim with the bank/guarantor", the judgment authored by Justice Jayant Nath held.

Like Judges, 'Security Of Tenure' Principle Also Apply To Presiding Officers Of 'Internal Complaints Committee': Delhi HC Stays Transfer (Neeraj Bala v. Union of India and others)

The High Court stayed the transfer of a Commandant at Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) observing that the principles which apply to security of tenure of Judges and Presiding Officers of various quasi-judicial tribunals, also apply to Members/Presiding Officers of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal further observed that when an officer, by virtue of a post, is also a Presiding Officer or Member of the ICC, ordinarily there should be security of tenure.

Can't Prosecute Good Samaritans For Providing Oxygen When State, Centre Failed': Delhi High Court

The High Court pulled up the Drug Controller of the Delhi Government for initiating prosecution against AAP MLA Praveen Kumar for procuring medical oxygen after observing that such an action cannot be initiated in a situation where both Centre and the Delhi Government failed to provide sufficient oxygen to people. Calling it an action of targeting a particular political party, the Court also said that the Drug Controller, while following the same reasoning, should also prosecute Gurudwaras, temples and other organizations as well who had procured medical oxygen during the second covid wave.

"Explain How The Grounds Of Arrest Are Informed To Arrested Person": Delhi High Court Asks 'Enforcement Directorate' ( Directorate Of Enforcement v. Amarendra Dhari Singh)

The High Court asked the Director of Enforcement Directorate to explain as to how the grounds of arrest are conveyed to an arrested person in terms of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal AIR 1997 SC 610.

The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing ED's plea assailing a trial court's order which directed it to supply a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) to RJD Rajya Sabha MP Amarendra Dhari Singh

Personal Information Having No Relation To Any Public Activity, Public Interest Cannot Be Disclosed Under RTI Act: Delhi High Court (Har Kishan v. President Secretariat & Anr.)

The High Court observed that any personal information having no relation with any public activity or public interest cannot be disclosed under the Right to Information Act. The Court also said that disclosure of such information can cause an unwarranted invasion into one's privacy. The observation came from a division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while dismissing an appeal regarding an RTI request seeking information with regards to appointments made for the Multi-tasking Staff of the Presidential Estate, Rashtrapati Bhawan. The applicant had sought residential address and fathers' names of all selected candidates who had been appointed for the said post.

No Gender Discrimination': Delhi High Court Refuses To Pass Interim Order Granting Permanent Commission To Woman Naval Officer (A. Swapna v. Union of India)

The High Court refused to issue an order granting Permanent Commission to a woman Naval Officer in the Indian Navy by observing that the grant of Permanent Commission as per the relevant statute is subject to vacancies and that there existed no gender discrimination in this regard. A Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal however ruled that the petitioner was free to challenge the non-existence of Permanent Commission posts in the ATC (Air Traffic Control) cadre of the Indian Navy.

Covid-19 Deaths: Delhi High Court Seeks Reply On Pleas For Increasing Crematoriums/ Burial Grounds (Pratyush Prasanna v. State NCT of Delhi)

The High Court directed the concerned authorities to file their replies to a batch of petitions seeking directions for dignified burial/cremation of dead bodies in wake of Covid-19. A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh has granted time till September 6, for filing of a fresh status report/ counter affidavit in the matter. The development comes after Advocate Snigdha Singh, appearing for one of the Petitioners, told the Court that there are "glaring irregularities" in the data of crematoriums/ burial grounds provided by the Respondents.

Some Policy Should Be There': High Court Tells Delhi Govt. In Plea For Vaccination Of Prisoners (Abhilasha Shrawat & Ors. v. State (NCT))

The High Court asked the Delhi Government to apprise the Court regarding steps taken for vaccination of undertrial prisoners/ convicts, to prevent spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the prisons.

"Some policy should be there," a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh observed while directing the State to file a detailed affidavit, highlighting whether vaccination is going on in jail for those already lodged therein/ newcomer undertrial prisoners and convicts.

It further directed the Respondent authorities to highlight as to how it is planning to administer the 2nd dose of vaccines to those eligible. The Court also expects the prison authority to highlight whether any periodical health checkup is conducted at jails, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The direction was made while hearing a petition filed by Advocate Abhilasha Shrawat, seeking measures for vaccination of prisoners and convicts who were granted interim bail by the High Powered Committee (HPC) for decongestion of prisons.

"Total Non Compliance Of IT Rules": Delhi HC Takes Strong Objection Of Twitter's Affidavits; Grants One Last Opportunity (Amit Acharya v. UOI & Ors.)

The Court took strong objection of the Affidavits filed on behalf of Twitter and stated that it has appointed Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer as 'contingent workers', the High Court granted one last opportunity to it for filing a 'better affidavit' within a week setting out the details of the appointments and also as to why a Nodal Contact Person had not been appointed yet. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Rekha Palli was hearing a plea filed against the non-compliance by Twitter India and Twitter Inc with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).

New Excise Policy 2021: High Court Seeks Delhi Govt's Response On Plea Against Reduction In Minimum Age For Consumption Of Liquor (All India Bhrashtachar Virodhi Morcha v. GNCTD)

The High Court issued notice on a petition challenging Delhi Excise Policy 2021 insofar as it reduces the minimum age for consumption of liquor in the national capital. A Division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has asked the counsel appearing for Delhi Government to seek instructions in the matter and file a counter affidavit by the next date. The matter is fixed for September 17.

Delhi Riots: High Court Issues Notice On Delhi Police's Plea Challenging Trial Court's Order Imposing Rs. 25k Cost For Callous Investigation'

The High Court issued notice on Delhi Police's plea challenging Trial Court's order which had imposed Rs. 25,000 cost on it by calling the investigation as 'farcical' and 'most callous' in connection with a Delhi Riots case. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Subramonium Prasad sought response of Nasir, the complainant in the riots matter, while posting the matter for further hearing on September 13.

Delhi HC Refuses To Interfere With Naresh Sharma's Non-Selection For Tokyo Games, Asks Sports Ministry To Examine Complaint

The High Court refused to interfere with the decision of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), the apex body for promotion and development of Para Sports in India to not shortlist the name of Arjuna Awardee and five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma for the Tokyo games 2020. The Bench of Justice Rekha Palli, however, directed the Central government to examine the allegations regarding the selection of another shooter being "tailor-made" by the committee. The Bench asked the Sports Ministry to take action if it finds that there was malpractice and favoritism on the part of PCI.

Implementation Of Compensation Schemes To Families For Deaths Due To Oxygen Shortage: Delhi High Court Asks Centre, Delhi Govt To File Reply (Yasmin Kataria & Anr v GNCTD & Ors)

The High Court asked the Centre and the Delhi Government to file reply in the plea moved two minors, who lost their sole bread-earning parent to Covid-19 allegedly due to deficient supply of oxygen at Jaipur Golden Hospital seeking directions to expeditiously implement proposed schemes of compensation for the families of victims who lost their lives due to oxygen shortage in second Covid wave.

"Govt. Failed To Take More Active Approach": Delhi HC Allows CHRI To Utilize 25% Of Its Foreign Contribution To Pay Salaries To Staff (Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) v. Union of India)

The High Court allowed Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to utilize 25% of the amounts lying in its custody as Foreign Contribution to meet its expenses towards payment of salaries of its employees and other personnel engaged by them in any project. The Bench of Justice Rekha Palli allowed the request of CHRI considering that grant of such permission would not, in any manner, hinder the Ministry of Home Affairs' investigations pending against the CHRI.

Delhi High Court Denies Bail To Alleged International Hawala Dealers Bimal Jain And Naresh Jain (Bimal Kumar Jain and Naresh Jain v. Directorate of Enforcement)

The High Court refused bail to two alleged International Hawala Dealer Naresh Jain and Bimal Kumar Jain who are accused of routing funds to the tune of 96,000 crores. The Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna denied them bail taking into account the serious allegations levelled against them and the investigation carried out against them by the Directorate Of Enforcement.

Other developments:

Gauhati High Court

"No One Can Be Compulsorily Vaccinated": Gauhati HC Modifies Condition In State Govt SOPs For Reopening Of Schools, Colleges [In-Re Kohima, Nagaland v. State Of Nagaland And 5 Ors]

The Kohima Bench modified the State Government's SOPs to the extent of giving an option to teaching and non teaching staff for getting compulsorily tested every 15 days if choosing not to go for vaccination in view of the reopening of schools and colleges in the State. Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu directed the Principal Secretary Home, Government of Nagaland, to modify the relevant paragraph in the two SOPs issued by the State which had originally stated that for opening of schools and colleges, the teaching and non-teaching staffs should be fully vaccinated or should have taken first dose of vaccine 15 days prior to such opening.

Salaries Of Govt Employees Should Not Be Stopped For Not Having Been Vaccinated; No Fee To Be Charged From Them For Testing: Gauhati HC [Dr. Aniruddha Babar v. The State Of Nagaland And Anr]

The Court passed an interim direction stating that the salaries of government employees should not be stopped for the reason of not having been vaccinated and that no fees should be charged from them for the purpose of testing. The division bench comprising Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu was dealing with a PIL challenging order issued by the State Government dated 17th July 2021 regarding attendance in office and requirement for vaccination for employees and staff in Nagaland Civil Secretariat and Directorates.

"Citizenship Being An Important Right Should Be Decided On Merits Rather Than By Default": Gauhati HC Sets Aside Ex Parte Order Declaring Woman As Foreigner [Smti Sefali Rani Das v. Union Of India & Ors]

The Court set aside an ex parte order passed by a Foreigners Tribunal declaring a woman as foreigner after she was unable to appear before the Tribunal for the reason of not getting proper legal advice. It observed that citizenship is an important right and should be decided on merits rather than by default,

Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia observed thus: "We are of the view that citizenship being a very important right of a person should ordinarily be decided on merit rather than by way of default as has happened in the present case and as such, under the circumstances as discussed above, we allow the petitioner to appear before the learned Tribunal again to prove her case that she is a citizen of this country and not a foreigner."

Benefits To Pregnant, Lactating Women & Children- Gauhati High Court Seeks Implementation Report From Social Welfare Department [Mhasikhonu Phinyo v. Union Of India And 3 Ors]

The Kohima Bench directed the Director of Social Welfare Department, Government of Nagaland to call for reports on the implementation of orders passed by the State regarding receiving of benefits by pregnant women, lactating mothers and children through Anganwadi centres. The development came after a division bench comprising of Justice Songkhupchung Serto and Justice S. Hukato Swu was dealing with a PIL espousing the cause of lactating mothers and children deprived of the required nutrition due to economic conditions specially, during the pandemic period.

Required To Connect CCTV Cameras Installed In Hospitals To Nearest Police Stations: Gauhati High Court [Asif Iqbal v. State of Assam & 3 Ors]

Dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking protection of doctors in the present pandemic, the Court said that mere installation of CCTV cameras in the hospitals is not enough and that the CCTV cameras are required to be connected to the nearest Police Station. Observing thus, the Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak directed the Assam Government Assam to apprise the Court within ten days as to the progress in this regard.

Gujarat High Court

"Scattering Litigation Causes Multiplicity Of Litigation": Gujarat HC Recommends Transfer Of Winding Up Proceedings To NCLT [R/Letters Patent Appeal No 2480]

The Court recommended transferring of the entire litigation (Winding up and insolvency proceedings) of two corporate bodies viz. GPPML (Ganpati Pulp and Paper Mills Limited) and SIL to NCLT. It stressed that scattering the litigation in various Forums is the root cause of a multiplicity of litigation and amounts to misuse and abuse of process of law, The Bench of Justice Dr. Vineet Kothari and Justice B. N. Karia was hearing the plea involving parties who not only indulged in filing Civil Suits, Writ Petitions, and Letters Patent Appeals under Article 226 of the Constitution of India but they also tried their hand at forum shopping.

Clean Chit Given To Political Party For Distributing 5K Injections But PASA Is Invoked In Case Of A Few Remdesivir Sales: Gujarat HC Raps Govt.

The Court questioned the Gujarat State Government for detaining people under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) for possessing a few Remdesivir injections, while finding act of distribution of 5K injection political party to be in "accordance with the law". The Bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay orally remarked that "Praja ne vadhare na daravo tame logo" (Don't scare the citizens).

"Cannot Claim Financial Aid As A Matter Of Right": Gujarat HC Dismisses Auto Rikshaw Drivers Union's Plea For Assistance Under State Atma Nirbhar Scheme [Jagrut Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union v. State Of Gujarat]

The Court has dismissed a petition moved by two Railway Stations Auto Rikshaw Drivers' Unions seeking financial assistance from the State Government under the Atma Nirbhav Gujarat Scheme after observing that the petitioners cannot claim financial assistance as a matter of right. Observing that all businesses and professions have badly been hit by the pandemic, Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Bhargav D. Karia observed thus: "It cannot be gainsaid that the rigour of Covid Pandemic had affected the lives and livelihood of people world over and has caused great financial losses to every sector of the society."

"Want Daughters To Be Safe; From Where Does One Get Idea To Throw Acid?": Gujarat HC Refuses To Suspend Sentence [Jayeshkumar Budhabhai Zala v. State Of Gujarat]

The Court refused to suspend the sentence of a man convicted under Section 326A of the Indian Penal Court stressing that the Court wants daughters to be safe and further questioned that from where does one get the idea of throwing acid? The Bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay was hearing the plea of a man who has been convicted for throwing acid on a 19-year-old girl, who had rejected the marriage proposal of the Convict.

"Public Interest Over Religion": Gujarat High Court Dismisses Plea To Allow Parsis To Perform Last Rites As Per Customary Practice [The Surat Parsi Panchayat Board v. Union Of India]

The Court observed that the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for dead body management are not violative of fundamental rights of the Parsis, the Court has dismissed a petition seeking directions to allow the Parsi Community to perform last rites of their members as per their customary practice i.e. "Dokhmenashini". The Court was dealing with a petition filed by Surat Parsi Panchayat Board through its Trustee seeking permission to a specific direction to declare that the impugned Guidelines do not prohibit the Parsis to perform the last rites of any of its member who died due to Covid 19 in accordance with their religion.

Also Read: Woman Seeks Cancellation Of Daughter-In-Law's Govt. Job For Mentioning Herself As Unmarried: Gujarat High Court Imposes 10K Cost

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Registering FIR Sans Evidence Against Advocates Who Are Saviour Of Freedom Of Speech Would Dampen Their Spirits: HP High Court [Vipul Prabhakar v. State of H.P. and Anr.]

The Court quashed an FIR registered against an advocate for allegedly raising slogans against a the Court. It observed that registration of FIR without any legally admissible evidence against advocates, who are the saviour of Freedom of Speech, would only dampen their spirits. The Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara was hearing the plea of an Advocate named Vipul Prabhakar who was accused of raising slogans against an order of the High Court.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

Judge Suspended By Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh HC On Bar Association's Complaint Reinstated On 'Humanitarian Ground'

The High Court revoked the suspension of the order of Civil Judge Imtiyaz Ahmad Lone, who was last year suspended following a complaint filed by Bar Association, Uri. The suspension has been revoked on 'humanitarian grounds' taking into account the serious health issues that are being faced by Lone. He shall be paid full salary from the date of his reinstatement. He has been posted at Srinagar Wing of the High Court against the Leave Reserve post of Civil Judge (Senior Judge).

"IO's Request Can't Substitute Public Prosecutor's Report To Extend Detention Period Under UAPA Beyond 90 Days": J&K&L High Court [Showkat Ahmad Sofi v. State of J&K and Ors.]

In a significant ruling, the High Court recently held that the request of an Investigating officer for extension of time (of detention beyond 90 days) can't be a substitute for the report of the public prosecutor under the provisions of Section 43D (2)(b) of UAP Act. The Bench of Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul stressed the importance of scrutiny of detention under UAPA by a Public Prosecutor so as not to leave a detenu in the hands of I.O.

Journalist Alleges Harassment At The Hands Of Police: Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh HC Issues Notice to J&K Administration [Iftikhar Rasheed v. Union Territory of JK & Ors.]

The High Court issued notice to the UT J&K Administration on a plea by a Journalist alleging harassment at the hands of the police. Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey issued notice to the administration and the police officials observing thus: "...citizen of this Country has come before the Court with a serious complaint against the police officers, who are stated to be involved in harassment and threatening to the petitioner and his family without any reason, logic, or justification."

[Live-In Relationship] 'Right To Exercise Assertion Of Choice Is Inseparable Part Of Liberty & Dignity': Jammu & Kashmir HC [Ridhima & Anr. v. UT of J&K]

While dealing with the protection plea filed by a couple in live-in relationship, the High Court has observed that the right to exercise assertion of choice is an inseparable part of liberty and one's dignity.

Justice Sindhu Sharma observed thus:

"It is settled proposition that right to exercise assertion of choice is an inseparable part of the liberty and dignity and the same should not except in accordance with the procedure established by law."

Jharkhand High Court

Jharkhand Judge Uttam Anand Dies After Being Hit By A Vehicle, CCTV Footage Suggests Foul Play

An Additional District Judge (ADJ) of Dhanbad district, Uttam Anand, died after being hit by a three-wheeled vehicle in broad daylight. As seen in a surfaced CCTV footage, Mr. Anand was out on a morning walk when a vehicle 'deliberately hit' him near the Magistrate Colony in Dhanbad.

The CCTV footage of the incident shows the appearance of an unidentified man on a three-wheeler just before and after the incident. He is believed to be one of the conspirators to a suggested foul-play.

Jharkhand High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Anand's Death

The Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the death of Additional District Judge (ADJ) of Dhanbad district, Uttam Anand, who was hit by a four-wheeled vehicle in broad daylight. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan issued the order directing the SSP, Dhanbad to remain present before the Court.

Judge Uttam Anand Death- 'Court Wants A Speedy, Fair & Professional Probe': Jharkhand HC Seeks SIT Report On Aug 3 [Court On its Own Motion v. State of Jharkhand]

Taking suo moto cognizance of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Annand's Death, the Court directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe into the incident, to submit its report on August 3. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad observed thus:

"We make it clear that this Court wants a speedy, fair, and professional investigation in the matter, as such, this Court will monitor the progress of the case and that is the reason we are posting this case on 03.08.2021 to look into the progress in the matter to come to the conclusion for the continuation of the investigation by the Special Investigating Team or to hand it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation"

Also Read: Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu And Puducherry Bar Councils Condemn Alleged Murder Of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Anand

Karnataka High Court

8.4 Lakh Covishield, 3.2 Lakh Covaxin Doses For July Yet To Be Received From Centre : Karnataka Govt Tells High Court

The High Court while hearing a batch of petitions regarding management of Covid-19 in the state asked the State Government to respond on whether it has fixed any timeline for vaccinating the entire population of the state. Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar in their order said "State will have to place before the court whether any timeline has been fixed for ensuring that the entire population of the state gets vaccinated. The State government shall respond on this aspect on the next date of hearing."

No Proposal Received From Lakshadweep Admin. To Transfer Jurisdiction From Kerala HC To Karnataka HC: Centre Informs Lok Sabha

The Central Government clarified to the Parliament that it had not received any proposal from the Lakshadweep Administration to the effect of transferring its legal jurisdiction from Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju informed so while responding to certain questions posed by Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, namely Anto Antony, Rajmohan Unnithan, and Hibi Eden.

First Case Ever To Be Live Telecasted on Youtube Decided By Karnataka High Court

The Court has held that the consent for establishment dated 1st July, 2020, granted by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), for expansion of the existing Karwar Port at Baithkol village in Karwar taluk, Uttara Kannada district is illegal. Thereby, High Court has restrained the state from carrying out the expansion work until fresh consent for establishment is granted by the pollution control board. This was the first case in which proceedings were Live Telecast on the YouTube Channel of the High Court.

Also Read: State Govt Can't Suo Motu Entrust Inquiry Against Employees Of Statutory Bodies To Lok Ayukta : Karnataka High Court

'Failure To Take Cognizance Immediately Doesn't Make Detention Illegal" : Karnataka High Court Denies Bail To Accused In Gauri Lankesh Murder Case

The Court observed that "the appellant cannot take the benefit of delay in taking cognizance in order to claim statutory bail." It dismissed a petition seeking bail filed by Mohan Nayak who is an accused in the journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case. Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar, who decided the bail application, observed that mere delay on the part of the Magistrate to take cognizance of the chargesheet filed will not make the detention illegal and statutory bail cannot be claimed on this ground.

Bail Plea to be Heard by the Same Judge, Who Part-heard The Matter: Bineesh Kodiyeri Urges Karnataka High Court in Money Laundering Case

Bineesh Kodiyeri, requests the Court to place his part heard bail application before the bench same bench in view roster change. The Senior Counsel , appearing for Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of Kerala CPI (M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, seeking bail in an alleged money laundering case, requested the Karnataka High Court to place the part heard bail application before the bench of Justice Mohammed Nawaz, who already had heard the matter at length.

Also Read: No Lenience To Man Who Attacked Woman With Acid For Rejecting Proposal : Karnataka High Court Upholds Life Sentence, 10 Lakh Fine

Ramesh Jarkiholi Sex CD Case : Karnataka High Court Questions Legality Of SIT Probe With Chief On Leave; Stops Filing Of Final Reports

The Court raised questions at the legality of the SIT probe in the alleged sex CD scandal involving former State Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, as the SIT Chief has been on leave since May 1. Therefore, the Court has ordered to stop the SIT investigation in the two FIRs lodged on the complaints of Jarkiholi and the victim-woman in relation to the sex CD scandal and has restrained the SIT from filing final reports in relation to the said FIRs.

Also Read: Karnataka High Court Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Provisions Of New IT Rules 2021

Karnataka High Court Summons Health Commissioner Over Non-Implementation Of SUCHI Scheme For Supply Of Sanitary Napkins To School Girls

The Court directed the Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare services to personally remain present before the court on August 5 and place on record the progress that has been made in the implementation of SUCHI scheme. A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice P Krishna Bhat issued the direction while observing "The matter is going on like this from the month of March-April. You (State) had said even if schools are closed the adolescent girls who don't come to school will be distributed the sanitary napkins by visiting house to house. However, nothing is happening on the ground. The SUCHI scheme is only on paper."

Karnataka High Court Seeks Report On Steps Taken For Prevention Of Violence Against Medical Professionals

The Court directed the State government to place on record steps taken for protection of medical practitioners from acts of violence by dissatisfied relatives of patients. Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda issued notice to the Union of India and the State Government while hearing a petition filed by Dr. Vinod G Kulkarni. The court said "Steps taken for protection of medical practitioners shall be placed on record along with the statement of objections."

Also Read: Karnataka High Court Takes Suo Motu Case On Gruesome Massacre Of Monkeys

Kerala High Court

CLAT- Demand For Rs.50,000 Deposit For Counselling Registration Illegal, Unreasonable And Arbitrary: Plea Before Kerala High Court [Sivapriya Ajith & Ors v. Union of India Ors.]

A writ petition has been filed before the Court challenging CLAT's condition requiring a deposit of Rs.50,000/- for participation in the allotment process. The petitioners are candidates seeking admission to National Law Universities for Post Graduate. According to the plea, they belong to the socially and educationally backward classes and hail from low-income households.

NLU Consortium Agrees To Consider Grievance Against Rs 50,000 CLAT Deposit ; Kerala High Court Directs Students To Submit Representations Before 3 PM Today [Sivapriya Ajith & Ors v. Union of India Ors.]

The Consortium of National Law Universities agreed before the Court to look into the grievance regarding its demand for Rs. 50,000 deposit for participation in the allotment process. Justice Anu Sivaraman directed the grievances to be submitted.

Traders Move Kerala High Court Seeking Relaxation of 'Unscientific' COVID Restrictions In The State [Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi v. Ottapalam Municipality]

The apex body of traders in the state, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), based out of Kozhikode moved the Court seeking a directive to the State to relax the restrictions imposed on the functioning of shops. The traders quoted experts who had warned that opening shops on alternate days would only draw a crowd. They asserted that allowing them to operate on all days would enable customers to shop at a time of their convenience, thereby seeking a withdrawal of the restrictions imposed on them.

ISRO Espionage: Kerala High Court Grants Interim Anticipatory Bail To Former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar

Retired Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar approached the Court seeking anticipatory bail in the ISRO espionage case where scientist Nambi Narayanan was implicated for allegedly selling confidential information and technology to Pakistan in 1994. Justice K Haripal after hearing the parties tagged the matter with two connected bail applications before the bench of Justice Ashok Menon. The Court also granted an interim relief that the petitioner shall not be arrested till the next hearing.

Also Read: Kerala High Court Seeks State's Response On Alleged Illegal Construction In Kochi Water Metro Project

Lakshadweep Administration In A Hurry To Paint Me As Anti-National: Aisha Sultana Submits Before Kerala High Court [Aisha Sultana v. Union Territory of Lakshadweep]

Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana refuted allegations of the Administration that she was not cooperating with the investigation in the sedition case in the reply filed before the Court, claiming that the authority was in a hurry to make her look like an 'anti-national'. The Lakshadweep Administration, in its latest reply opposing Sulthana's petition to quash the FIR registered against her, had contended that the filmmaker was not cooperating with the investigation and that she had erased text messages and communications from her mobile phone and refused to provide documents sought by the police.

Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea For Publication Of Lakshadweep Draft Regulations In Vernacular Languages [PP Mohammed Faizal & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Court dismissed a petition seeking directions to the Lakshadweep Administration to publish its draft Regulations in the vernacular languages. The plea was filed by Lakshadweep MP and political leaders. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly while ruling that the reliefs sought in the petition cannot be allowed, granted liberty to the petitioners to proceed to the Ministry of Home Affairs with their grievances and suggestions.

Kerala High Court Stays Show Cause Notice Issued By Lakshadweep Administration For Demolition Of A Madrassa [The President Al Madrasathul Uloomiya v Union Territory of Lakshadweep]

The Court stayed the eviction and demolition of a long-standing madrassa in Lakshadweep. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan passed the interim order while directing the Lakshadweep Administration to file a counter affidavit within four weeks.

"Till such time, the respondents shall not make any attempt to interfere with the possession of the petitioner over the madrasa which is the subject matter of (show cause) notice nor shall they demolish any structures," the Court observed.

Also Read: Kerala High Court Issues Notice To K Babu MLA On LDF Candidate M Swaraj's Challenge Against Tripunithara Election Result

Use Of Bluetooth Devices To Talk On Mobile Phones While Driving: Kerala High Court Seeks Response From Govt. [Jiyas Jamal v. State of Kerala]

The Court has sought response of the State Government in a plea seeking clarification on the move by the Police department to penalize the use of Bluetooth/hands-free devices to talk on mobile phones while driving.Jiyas Jamal, a lawyer, filed a writ petition before the High Court seeking direction to the Government to give a clarification in this regard.

Can't Make A Hasty Decision In The Matter: Kerala High Court Refuses To Stay Appointment Of Melshanti At Sabarimala Temple

The Court refused to stay the notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board calling for applications to the post of Melshanti at the Sabarimala Temple only from Malayala Brahmins. A Division Bench of Justice CT Ravi Kumar and Justice Murali Purashothaman observed, "We cannot pass an interim order at the moment. This matter calls for detailed consideration before we can come to a conclusion. At the same time, we refrain from making any observations on the merits of the case. This is not a matter where one can make a hasty decision."

Also Read: Kerala High Court Orders Release Of 61-year-old Convict Who Spent 18 Years In Prison In 14 Cases

Appointment Of Chief Investigating Officer At State Police Complaints Authority: Kerala High Court Seeks State's Response [Jaffer Khan v. State of Kerala & Ors]

The Court recently issued notice to the State and sought its response regarding the appointment of a Chief Investigating Officer at the State Police Complaints Authority. A Division Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly posted the matter on 9th August for further hearing.

Kerala High Court Allows University To Continue With Offline Exams After Single Bench Cancels Them [Sagar A.R v. APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University]

The Court stayed the order of a Single Bench and allowed APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University to continue with offline examinations for first and third semester students. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly stayed the order pronounced by Justice Amit Rawal citing that the balance of convenience was in favour of the University.

Also Read: Kerala High Court Cancels Physical Examination For 1st and 3rd Semester Engineering Students Amid Pandemic

Fake Lawyer Case : Accused Moves Kerala High Court Seeking Anticipatory Bail [Sessy Xavier v. State of Kerala]

Sessy Xavier, who is alleged to have practised as an advocate for two years without completing her LL.B degree, has approached the Court seeking anticipatory bail in the matter. Xavier had made headlines after an anonymous letter accused her of not having enrolled in the State Bar Council or even qualifying LLB. She had practised as an Advocate for a period of two years before the courts in Alappuzha. On enquiring with the Kerala Bar Council, the authorities of the Bar Association noted that the enrollment number given by Xavier belonged to another advocate practising at Thiruvananthapuram.

Plea In Kerala High Court Challenges Preferential Treatment Based On Residence For Admissions To Grade XI [ X v. State of Kerala]

A plea has been filed before the Court challenging the system of awarding bonus points based on the 'residence' of students to calculate their weighted Grade Point Average (WGPA) for allotment of admission to Grade XI courses, on the ground that it denies equality of opportunity for students. Advocate Hashick PP will be appearing on behalf of the petitioners.

Kerala High Court Dismisses With 25K Cost The Plea Seeking Removal Of Muslims,Certain Christians From List Of Backward Classes And To Stop Govt Benefits To Them [Hindu Seva Kendram v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Court recently dismissed the petition seeking a declaration to cancel the reservation and financial aid provided to Muslims, Latin Catholics, and other Scheduled Castes. Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly while dismissing the plea observed that the petitioner had not conducted proper research before filing the petition, and imposed Rupees Twenty Five Thousand Tcosts on the petitioner organization.

Place Of Birth Not Sole Criterion To Be Eligible For Nativity Certificate, Social Belongingness To Be Considered As Well: Kerala High Court [Vincy Dinakaran v. State of Kerala]

The Court ruled that residents born outside the state who are socially adapted to the norms and values of the state are entitled to a nativity certificate for claiming educational and other benefits available to natives. Justice P B Suresh Kumar observed that the place of birth of a person or that of his/her parents cannot be the sole criterion for the grant of nativity certificate to someone born outside Kerala, as their "social belongingness" to the state also has to be considered.

Also Read: Kodakara Money Heist: Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Further Probe With 10k Costs

Kerala High Court Permits Abortion Of Over 15-Week Pregnancy Of Mentally Challenged Rape Victim [Kerala State Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors.]

Taking on the role of parens patriae, the Court permitted termination of an over 15-week pregnancy of a mentally challenged rape victim citing that it was in her best interests as she was incapable of making an informed decision on her own. Justice P. B Suresh Kumar permitted the Government Mental Health Centre and Sree Avittom Thirunal Hospital to carry out the medical termination of pregnancy. The hospitals were also directed to take the tissue of the foetus and maintain the same for DNA examination as the woman was a rape victim.

Junior Health Inspector Seeks Anticipatory Bail Before Kerala High Court In Mass Dog Culling Case [Sajikumar AM v. State of Kerala]

A Junior Health Inspector of the Thrikkakara Municipality accused of culling over hundred stray dogs has approached the Court with an anticipatory bail application. The Petitioner is the fifth accused in the matter where more than a hundred stray dogs were found poisoned to death and dumped in the waste yards of Thrikkakara Municipality in less than a year.

Other Developments:

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Jurisdiction Under Article 215 Can't Be Exercised To Make S. 20 of Contempt of Court Act Otiose: Madhya Pradesh High Court [Mohamad Ibrahim Vs. Shri R. K. Mishra]

The Court has recently held that the Jurisdiction under Article 215 of the Constitution of India can't be exercised to make provision of Section 20 of Contempt of Court Act, 1971 otiose. The Bench of Justice Vishal Dhagat further ruled that Article 215 of the Constitution and Section 20 of Contempt of Court Act are to be construed harmoniously and only in an exceptional or blatant case of contempt, the High Court can exercise power beyond period of one year limitation period.

Compassionate Appointment: Madhya Pradesh High Court Imposes Rs. 2 Lakh Exemplary Cost On SBI For 'Inhuman Approach' [Smt. Meena Dhaigude v. Maha Pravandhak State Bank of India]

The Indore Bench has imposed exemplary cost of Rs. 2 lakh on the State Bank of India (SBI) for adopting a very 'inhuman approach' while dealing with a widow woman's application seeking appointment to the Bank on compassionate grounds. The cost is made payable to the petitioner.

"I have never come across any such case in which, such a harsh approach has been adopted by an employer like respondents. That thousands of employees work in such a big organization like SBI and it is least expected from them to have behaved like the model employer," Justice Vivek Rusia observed at the outset.

Detention Order Must Contain Prospects Of Detenu's Release On Bail & Apprehension Of Indulgence In Prejudicial Activities: MP High Court [Rajeev Kumar Jain v. State of MP & Ors]

The Court has held that if a detenu is in custody at the time of passing the detention order, then it is necessary for the Detaining Authority to mention this fact in the detention order and also, consider the prospects of the release of the detenu on bail.

Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Vishal Dhagat further observed that the detaining order must also contain details regarding the apprehension that the detenu would indulge in prejudicial activities in case of release on bail.

Madras High Court:

Actor Vijay's Entry Tax Case : Madras High Court Stays Single Bench Judgment Which Had Scathing Remarks

In a relief to popular Tamil actor Vijay, a division bench of the Court stayed a single bench judgment which had passed adverse observations against him and had imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on him for filing a petition challenging the levy of entry tax on his Rolls Royce car. Vijay had appealed to the bench aggrieved by the "unjust and derogatory" remarks made by the single bench against him and against the acting community in general while dismissing his petition. His counsel Senior Advocate Vijay Narayan made it clear before the division bench that he was not challenging the entry tax demand, and was only challenging the scathing observations in the judgment.

Madras High Court Extends Interim Orders Till August 31 Except For Orders Pertaining To Encroachment

The Court observed that the life of all interim orders shall be extended till August 31 except for orders pertaining to encroachment matters. The order was passed pursuant to the initiation of suo moto proceedings by the Court in Re: Extension of Remand and Interim Orders on May 17. The development comes less than a month after the Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy had earlier specified that the extension of interim orders shall not continue beyond July 15 owing to the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in Tamil Nadu.

'Revenue Loss To State Is Loss Of Public At Large': Madras High Court Reprimands Tax Department For Corruption, Delayed Recovery [GE Govindaraj v. The Assistant Commissioner (CT) and Ors]

The Court issued directions to ensure that strict actions are undertaken against officials in the Commercial Tax Department who have wilfully indulged in corrupt activities, received freebies in lieu of favours or are responsible for dereliction of their duties. Justice S.M Subramaniam observed that State revenue must be protected and appropriate action must be initiated against erring officials.

'Take Steps To Develop Madurai Airport': Madras High Court Directs State On Plea Seeking International Airport Status

The Court recently instructed the State government to undertake immediate measures to expand the Madurai Airport and also acquire land in this regard so as to declare and notify the airport as an 'International Airport'. The Court was adjudicating upon a batch of petitions that prayed before the Court to issue directions to the concerned authorities to upgrade the overall infrastructure of the Madurai Airport so as to enable its recognition as an international airport.

State Under Obligation To Provide Access To Burial/Cremation Facilities To Members Of All Communities: Madras High Court [Venkateshan v. The Principal Secretary Adi -Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department]

Stressing that right to life also encompasses the right to a decent burial or cremation, the Court observed that state is under an obligation to ensure that members of all communities are provided access to burial/cremation facilities. The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing a plea by one Venkatesan who complained of the failure of the State Administration to provide for a burial ground or area for the cremation of the dead belonging to the petitioner's community at Madhuravalli Village, Thittakudi Taluk, Cuddalore District.

"Showing Protest Is Hallmark Of Democracy": Madras HC Quashes Sedition Case Against Two For Distributing Hand Bills In 2018 Anti-Sterlite Protest [M.Vinayagar v. State & Anr.]

The Court observed that showing protest, being a fundamental right, is a hallmark of democracy. It quashed criminal case against two persons booked under sedition for distributing hand bills against the Centre and State Government in relation to the 2018 Anti-Sterlite Protest. Justice M. Nirmal Kumar was dealing with a petition seeking quashing of the criminal case against one M. Vinayagar who was facing trial under sec. 294(b), 124A, 353 and 505(1)(b) of IPC. It was argued that it is a false case and that the sanction required under Section 196 of Cr.P.C. for the offence of Sedition was not obtained by the lower court.

'No Student Can Be Expelled For Non-Payment': Madras High Court Permits Pvt Schools To Collect 85% Fees In Instalments [Federation of Association of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu v. The Chief Secretary to Government and Ors]

The Court permitted private unaided educational institutions to collect 85% of the annual school fee payable for the current academic year, i.e. 2021-22 in six instalments from parents who have not suffered any form of financial loss during the pandemic period. However, the Court made it clear that no student shall be restrained from attending online classes or taking exams or expelled from the institution on account of non-payment of fees.

Madras High Court Seeks State Govt's Response On Plea Challenging 7.5 Percent Reservation Of Seats In Medical Colleges For Government School Students [Preethika C. v. State of Tamil Nadu]

The Court sought the State government's response in a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy on preferential basis to students of Government Schools Act, 2020 (Act No. 34 of 2020). The impugned legislation grants a horizontal reservation of 7.5 per cent seats in medical colleges for students passing out of government schools in the State.

Meghalaya High Court

Covid-19 Vaccination: Meghalaya High Court Directs State Govt To Deal With Vaccine Hesitancy On Priority Basis [Registrar General, High Court v. State of Meghalaya]

The Court has directed the State Government to deal with the issue of vaccine hesitancy in the State in an effective manner, on a priority basis. Reiterating its earlier directions passed on June 23, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice H.S. Thangkhiew ordered thus: "We reiterate our earlier observation and direct the State Government to deal with the vaccine hesitation issue on a priority basis – with full earnest – effectively."

Orissa High Court

Orissa High Court Issues Notice On A Decade Old Plea Seeking Compensation For Incarceration In Allegedly False Sedition Case [Pratima Das v. State of Odisha & Ors.]

The Court has ordered fresh issuance of notices to the respondents in a decade-old matter for compensation to a lawyer-activist, allegedly incarcerated on the false charge of sedition. A division of Bench of Chief Justice Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray rejuvenated the matter by ordering fresh notices, upon observing that the case was only listed twice in the last decade and service of notice was still not complete.

Overcrowding In Jails- Orissa High Court Directs Personal Appearance Of IG, Prisons; Calls For Long Term Plans On Consultative Basis [Krushna Prasad Sahoo v. State of Odisha and Others]

Dealing with a plea concerning the issue of overcrowding of jails, the Orissa High Court has recently directed personal appearance of Inspector General, Prisons of the State while issuing a direction that long term plans on consultative basis must be formed in order to deal with the issue. A division bench comprising of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice S.K. Panigrahi also directed the IG, Prisons to file an affidavit updating the statistics and the exact numbers of inmates shifted from one jail to the other, or to some other suitable location.

Orissa High Court Releases Rules For Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings, To Come Into Effect From August 2

The High Court released a notification stipulating that it would begin live streaming of proceedings soon and thereby published the High Court of Orissa Live Streaming of Court Proceedings Rules, 2021. The Rules would come into effect from August 2. The Rules have been implemented by the Court by virtue of powers conferred under Article 225 of Constitution of India and with the objective of effectuating and broadening the implementation of Open Court concept.

Patna High Court

COVID- "Policy Of 'Testing, Tracking And Treatment' Needs To Be Implemented In Bihar": Patna High Court [ Shivani Kaushik v. State of Bihar]

Emphasizing that the policy of "Testing, Tracking, and Treatment" needs to be implemented in Bihar with greater vigor, the Court observed that significant role played by the Media can help to prevent the pain, suffering, and anguish of people during the anticipated 3rd wave of Covid-19. The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar perused the affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government (pursuant to Court's last order) and noted that on the issue of vaccination, it was vague, inasmuch as it did not specify the number of persons eligible to be vaccinated, more specifically in the rural areas.

[Covid-19] What Is The Factual Status Regarding Vaccines & Health Infrastructure? Patna High Court Asks State [Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Court recently directed the State to inform the Court regarding the factual status of vaccination, numbers of tests conducted and the health infrastructure available in the State. Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar also noted that the State had failed to take any decision regarding its previous order dated 13th May 2021, pertaining to declaration of the strike/self-isolation called by the "Bihar State Contractual Health Employees Federation" during the pandemic period.

Steps To Curb Menace Of Eve Teasing; Establishment Of Fast Track Women Friendly Courts: Patna HC Directs Authority To Decide Representation [Om Prakash Kumar v. State of Bihar through its Chief Secretary & Ors]

While disposing of a plea seeking directions on the State Government for taking effective measures to curb the menace of eve teasing, the Court has directed the Petitioner to make a representation before the concerned authority which has been directed to decide the same expeditiously. Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sanjay Kumar ordered thus: "The authority concerned shall consider and dispose it of expeditiously by a reasoned and speaking order preferably within a period of three months from the date of its filing along with a copy of this order."

'Glaring Inconsistencies': Patna High Court Acquits Man On Death Row For Failure Of IO To Inspect Crime Scene, Delayed Filing Of FIR [Balwant Singh and Ors. v. State of Bihar]

The Court acquitted a man sentenced to death for allegedly raping and killing a 16 year old girl in Bhojpur district, Bihar. The Court also set aside the conviction of two others who had been awarded life imprisonment by the Sessions Court in the same case. The division Bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Singh and Justice Arvind Srivastava observed glaring inconsistencies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and also noted that the investigating authorities had not bothered to visit the scene of the crime.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

"Indian Majority Act 150 Yr Old; Examine If Age Of Majority Needs To Be Revised": P&H High Court Issues Notice To Centre, States/UT [Aaftab and another vs. State of Haryana and others.]

The Court noted that the Indian Majority Act is a law that was enacted around 150 years back (146 years old to be specific). The Court issued notice to Centre, Punjab & Haryana States, and the UT Chandigarh administration to examine if the age of the majority needs to be revised. The Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh has also directed the Home Secretary/Addl. Chief Secretary to inform the Court as to whether there is any proposal for tabling any amendment as regards an upward revision in the age of majority.

"Have Appointed Nodal Officers For Review Of Criminal Cases Against MPs/MLAs": Punjab, Haryana Inform P&H High Court

Punjab and Haryana states informed the Court that they have appointed nodal officers to review the pending criminal cases against MPs and MLAs (sitting and former both) of their state. The Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh had, during the course of law hearing, directed its registrar-general to examine whether the Supreme Court directions regarding pending criminal cases against MP/MLAs were being complied with by all concerned.

"Sedition Law Being Used To Silence Critics": Farmers' Union Moves Punjab & Haryana High Court Challenging S. 124A IPC

A farmers' union has moved the High Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (which defines and penalises Sedition). The Petition has been moved by Haryana Progressive Farmers Union through Advocate Pardeep Kumar Rapria averring that the abuse of the law of sedition continues unchecked with cases being filed to silence critics thereby creating a chilling effect on the right to protest.

Punjab & Haryana High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Performing 'Ardas' In Gurudwara For Gurmeet Ram Rahim's Early Release [Gurmail Singh v. State of Punjab]

The Court granted bail to a man accused of performing Ardas (prayer) in the Gurdwara making praises of the head of a Dera, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (serving 20-year imprisonment on charges of raping two women) and for his early release. Noting that the investigation is complete and the co-accused has already been granted interim bail, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan granted him bail stating that no useful purpose would be served by depriving his personal liberty.

Rajasthan High Court:

"Prohibition Would Be Opposed To Art. 14, 19": Rajasthan High Court Dismisses Plea Against Online Fantasy Games [Saahil Nalwaya v. State Of Rajasthan & Anr.]

The Court has dismissed a petition seeking prohibition on offering or playing of online fantasy games in the State, after observing that such a direction will be opposed to Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma observed thus:

"We are, therefore, of the view that offering of online fantasy sports in accordance with the Charter of the FIFS has already been judicially recognized as a business and consequently, entitled to protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and the prayer seeking directions to the State Government to prohibit the same would be opposed to Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India."

Can't Deny Parole On Ground That Simultaneous Release Of Convicts Would Give Wrong Message In Society: Rajasthan High Court [Bhawani Singh v. State, Home Dept. Jaipur]

The Court recently held that parole can't be denied to eligible prisoners on the ground that simultaneous release of convicts, who hail from the same village and associate with the same crime could give a wrong message in society. Observing thus, the Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Manoj Kumar Garg struck down the adverse recommendations drawn by the District Parole Advisory Committee, Churu qua the convict petitioner.

"Inform All Eligible Prisoners Of Their Right To Be Considered For Parole": Rajasthan High Court Directs Jail Superintendents Across State [Rakesh v. State, Through Secretary, Home Department and others]

The Court directed the Superintendent of jails across the state to inform all eligible prisoners of their right to be considered for being released on parole as soon as their cause becomes ripe. The Bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Manoj Kumar Garg issued this direction after noting that a convict petitioner was granted first parole after serving imprisonment of 14 years even when Rule 10 of the Rajasthan Prisoners Release on Parole Rules, 2021 states that every prisoner, who has served a particular part of his sentence earns a right to be considered for release on parole.

Consider Increasing Cadre Strength Of Nursing/Non-Gazetted Staff In Medical & Health Department: Rajasthan High Court To Govt [Sanyam Lodha v. State of Rajasthan And Ors]

In view of the increasing burden on the medical infrastructure, the Court recently asked the state government to seriously ponder upon increasing the existing cadre strength of Nursing/Non-Gazetted Staff. The Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Garg and Justice Sandeep Mehta also directed the State Counsel to apprise the Court regarding the proposed steps to appoint Bio-Medical Engineers and Hospital Management Specialists in all major hospitals in the State of Rajasthan.

Telangana High Court:

Ashram Manager Accused Of Committing Forced Sex With 2 Men By Giving Them 'Curse Threats': Telangana HC Refuses To Quash Proceedings

The Court refused to quash criminal proceedings against an Ashram Caretaker/Manager who allegedly had forced sex with 2 men after cursing curse them to get paralysis and also threatened them to kill by his devotees. The Bench of Justice K. Lakshman ordered thus after noting that several factual aspects were be investigated into by the Investigating Officer during the course of the investigation.

Uttarakhand High Court

'Exorbitant Enrolment Fees': Uttarakhand High Court Issues Notice To BCI, State Bar Council [Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttarakhand and Ors]

The Court issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of Bar Council of Uttarakhand Rules for levying exorbitantly high registration fees on law graduates for the process of enrolment. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma accordingly issued notice to the Bar Council of Uttarakhand, the Bar Council of India, the Union and the State government and directed them to file a reply within 4 weeks.

No One Can Be Permitted To Violate Covid Appropriate Behaviour To Jeopardize Lives Of Local Population: Uttarakhand HC Extends Stay On Char Dham Yatra

The High Court continued to review the Covid-19 situation in the State and issued a host of directions to the State government in this regard. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma also extended its order staying State Government's decision to hold Char Dham Yatra.

"Definitely A Mob-Lynching Case": Uttarakhand HC Denies Bail To 5, Directs Probe Against Cop For Not Providing Medical Aid To Deceased

Calling it an unfortunate case of 'mob lynching', the Court recently denied bail to 5 people accused of brutally beating and killing a 'young boy' after he was allegedly spotted with his female friend by the accused. The Bench of Justice Ravindra Maithani also directed probe against the in-charge of the Police Station who instead of further pursuing the medical advice of a doctor of C.H.C., confined the deceased in Police Thana.

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