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High Courts Weekly Roundup [Dec 21 – Dec 27]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
27 Dec 2020 3:59 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup [Dec 21 – Dec 27]
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Summation of important High Court orders this week

Allahabad High Court 1. 'Give Complete Details Of Criminal Antecedents Of Applicants In Bail Orders': Allahabad High Court Directs Trial Courts [Uday Pratap @ Dau v. State of U.P] A Bench of Justice Samit Gopal directed the Courts to "give a complete details of the criminal antecedent(s), if any, of the applicant(s)/accused before them or record the fact that there are...

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Allahabad High Court

1. 'Give Complete Details Of Criminal Antecedents Of Applicants In Bail Orders': Allahabad High Court Directs Trial Courts [Uday Pratap @ Dau v. State of U.P]

A Bench of Justice Samit Gopal directed the Courts to "give a complete details of the criminal antecedent(s), if any, of the applicant(s)/accused before them or record the fact that there are no criminal antecedent(s) of the said person(s) if there are none." It observed, "Although the criminal antecedents of the accused are not the sole and decisive factor for decision of bail applications but the same needs to be considered while deciding an application for bail under Section 439 Cr.P.C.as per the legislative mandate of Section 437 Cr.P.C."

The direction was passed while hearing a regular bail application filed by one Uday Pratap, seeking enlargement on bail during trial in connection with a criminal case registered under Sections 364, 302, 201, 120B and 34 of IPC.

2. GST Rate & HSN Code Requisite In Notice Inviting Tenders To Ensure Level Playing Field: Allahabad High Court [Bharat Forge Limited v. Principal Chief Materials Manager Diesel Locomotive Works & Ors.]

A bench of Justices Sunita Agarwal and Jayant Banerji held that bidders are required to mention the GST Rate and the HSN Code in the Notice Inviting Tender to ensure uniform bidding from all participants. The Court also held that the same is necessary in order to ensure that all tenderers and bidders are provided a "level playing field". The bench also stated, "The mentioning of the HSN Code in the tender document itself shall resolve all disputes relating to fairness and transparency in the process of selection of bidder, by providing 'level playing field' to all bidders/tenderers in the true spirit of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India,"

The petitioner, in this case, contended that a circular issued by the Railway Board indicated that bidders were required to specify the percentage of local content in the material being offered in accordance with the Make in India policy and as the value of GST was not mentioned in the bidding documents, those bidders which had quoted a lower GST rate could have outbid the petitioner.

3. Husband's Appointment On Compassionate Ground Won't Take Away His Fundamental Right Of Remarriage: Allahabad High Court [Mohammad Haidar v. State Of UP & Anr.]

A bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal ruled, "Merely because petitioner has been appointed on compassionate basis, he cannot be forced to sacrifice his/her fundamental right of remarriage, after the death of the earlier spouse." Further, the Court said, "A person would not earn any disqualification on this score and warrant any disciplinary proceedings."

In this case, the petitioner (husband) was appointed on compassionate basis on the death of his wife. The petitioner intended to marry the younger sister of his wife; therefore, he sought permission to re-marry from Basic Shiksha Adhikari where he was employed. The Court stated, "There is no provision under law which requires any person to seek permission from the employer for re-marriage."

4. 'Expressing Dissent Hallmark Of Democracy': Allahabad High Court Quashes FIR For Tweets Against UP CM [Yashwant Singh v. State of UP & Ors.]

A division bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal held that merely expressing dissent against the affairs of the State is not a criminal offence. It stated, "Expressing dissent on law and order situation in the State, is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours, constitutionally protected under Article 19 of the Constitution."

The Court was hearing a writ petition filed by one Yashwant Singh. The petitioner had sought directions from the Court to quash an FIR that was lodged against him by the UP Police for his tweets which made critical remakes about the UP government. The Petitioner had tweeted that the Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath, has turned UP into a 'jungleraj', where law and order have no prevalence. The Petitioner also cited various incidents of abduction, demand of ransom and murders that rampantly taken place in the state.

5. FIR Can't Be Quashed Merely Because Man Accused Of Posting Woman's Nude Snaps On Whatsapp Is Her Husband: Allahabad HC [Dhananjay v. State Of UP & Ors.]

A Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal refused to quash an FIR against a man who is accused of posting nude snaps of her wife (Informant) on WhatsApp. While dismissing the petition, the Court remarked, "Allegations of commission of offence as are mentioned under Section 67 of the I.T. Act are also prima facie made out inasmuch as there is specific allegation of putting nude pictures of the informant on WhatsApp. Therefore, merely because petitioner is husband of the informant, does not constitute a valid ground to quash the FIR."

The petitioner (Husband) had submitted that respondent no. 4 (Informant/Wife) had lodged an FIR against him on the basis of false and concocted grounds. "From the perusal of the FIR, prima facie it cannot be said that no cognizable offence is made out. Hence, no ground exists for quashing of the F.I.R or staying the arrest of the petitioner," stated the Court.

6. Rejection Of Anticipatory Bail Not a Ground For Not Entertaining Petition For Quashing Of FIR: Allahabad High Court [Nasim Bano v. State of UP & Ors.]

A division bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Saroj Yadav, while dealing with a petition seeking anticipatory bail in a case of abetment of suicide, held that rejection of anticipatory bail from the High Court is not a ground for the Court for not entertaining a petition under Article 226 for quashing of the FIR. The Court observed that the scope of Article 226 is much broader than the scope of Section 438 of CrPC.

The bench while granting interim relief to the petitioner discussed the scope of anticipatory bail in writ jurisdiction of the High Courts and also dealt with the essential elements in meeting the requirements of Section 306 IPC. The Court held that in order to make on offence under Section 306, mere allegation of harassment does not suffice. There must be a proof of direct or indirect act of incitement leading to commission of suicide. The case concerned to an FIR registered under Sections 147, 323, 504, 506 and 306 of IPC. The petition was filed by sister-in-law of the deceased seeking anticipatory bail from arrest against the allegations of harassment and abetment to suicide.

7. Burden To Prove 'Fair Evaluation' Can't Be Shifted On Examining Body Unless Candidate Produces Answer Script To Prove Discrepancy In Marking: Allahabad High Court [Manoj Kumar Tiwari v. Union of India & Ors.]

"The practice of approaching this Court directly without obtaining copies of the answer scripts or seeking directions requiring examining bodies to produce answer books cannot but be deprecated in the strongest terms, discouraged and curbed," observed a single bench of Justice Yashwant Varma in a writ petition filed by one Manoj Kumar Tiwari, seeking re-evaluation of his answer script for a particular subject in the entrance exam conducted for admissions to D.EL.E.D. course. After being declared unsuccessful in the entrance exam and on being denied admission, he had petitioned before the Court for the revaluation.

The Court observed that the petitioner had failed to present before it, a copy of the answer script in question. It was stated that for the Court to establish that the examination authority has made a mistake in the evaluation of an answer script, it is crucial for the petitioner to first prove that such an illegality has been committed by the examiner. This, the Court stated, cannot be done without a copy of the answer script. "The onus and burden on this aspect lies solely on the petitioner and is one which must be discharged at the threshold," asserted the Court.

Bombay High Court

1. Possession Of Skin Of Dead Cows Or Bullocks Not An Offence: Bombay High Court [Shafiqullaha Kha Ashfaqullha Kha v. State of Maharashtra and another]

The bench of Justice VM Deshpande and Justice Anil S. Kilor ruled that there is no prohibition for possession of skin of dead animals and in absence of such prohibition; no offence would be made out under Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976. They further noted that even if any circular/notification/order is issued by the State Government, prohibiting possession of skin, such circular, notification or order (having no statutory force), then it won't prevail over the provisions of the statute and to that extent, it would be in contravention with the statute.

The Court was hearing plea of an accused praying for quashing of FIR registered under Sections 5(A), 5(B), 5(C), 9 and 9(A) of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, read with Section 188 IPC and Section 105, 117 of the Bombay Police Act. The prosecution alleged that a Pick Up Bolero van was found carrying animal's skin and therefore, on a complaint lodged by the President of Bajrang Dal, Khamgaon, a FIR was registered. It was the further case of the prosecution that on verification, it was found that the vehicle was carrying 187 skins of cow species, which was verified by the Animal Husbandry Department.

2. "Plaintiff's Artwork Has Been Lifted With Irrelevant Modifications"; Bombay HC Grants Injunction Against Men's Apparel Brand [Savla Corporation v. Aristo Apparels]

A Bench of Justice GS Patel granted injunction against a company selling Men's clothing for infringing upon the plaintiff's copyrighted artwork and directed the court receiver to immediately seize and seal all offending products found in the premises of the defendant. The Court was hearing a commercial IP suit filed on behalf of Savla Corporation alleging that the defendant Aristo Apparels label "SERON" is deceptively similar to their trademark "SERO". The defendant company is a sole partnership concern owned by Kalji Patel.

At the outset, the Court examined the artistic work involved in designing the plaintiff's trademark. Justice Patel noted "As can be seen, the Plaintiff's mark has a tilted oval device with a white border. In this is inset a stylized cursive 'S' looping on itself. One part of it is shaded a deep red and another part is in deep blue.

The Defendant's artwork is depicted above and is also at page 114. The device itself is confusingly and deceptively similar to that of the Plaintiff. Again, we see an inset in circle albeit with a black border and a stylized cursive 'S' shape. One part of it is in deep red and the rest is either in black or deep blue."

Calcutta High Court

1. No Interference Needed When Adult Woman Marries As Per Her Choice & Decides To Convert: Calcutta High Court [Palash Sarkar v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.]

A bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee made it clear that if an adult woman marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there could be no interference in the matter.

The Court gave this ruling while hearing a plea by a father alleging that his daughter (Pallabi Sarkar) aged 19 had gone missing on or about September 15, 2020 and later married one Asmaul Shaikh. In her statement under Section 164 CrPC, Pallabi had indicated that she had a relationship with Asmaul and was willingly living with Asmaul. The petitioner however claimed that the daughter had made this statement against her wishes. The Court ordered that the petitioner and his daughter be allowed to interact in the presence of the concerned Additional District Judge and to ensure that there is no pressure which is brought to bear on Pallabi at the time of such interaction.

Also Read: "She Has A Choice To Live Life On Own Terms": Allahabad High Court Reunites An Interfaith Couple

2. A Trespasser Not Evicted By Due Process Of Law Is Entitled To Electricity Connection: Calcutta High Court [Sukla Kar v. Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation Ltd. & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice Arindam Mukherjee held that even a trespasser, unless evicted by due process of law, is entitled to electricity. It further clarified that the Electricity connection, if granted to the petitioner (alleged trespasser), wouldn't create any right in her favour as regards the property. The Court, in its order, said, "These disputes regarding the right of ownership, title and interest in respect of the premises between the petitioner and the private respondents cannot stand in the way, if the petitioner getting the new meter in her name, particularly when the possession of the petitioner is admitted."

Delhi High Court

1. Delhi High Court Orders Removal Of Allegedly 'Disparaging' Articles Against AMUL Products [Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd & Anr. v. Chetan Padilya & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice V. Kameswar Rao ordered removal of the articles titled "WHITE LIE OF AMUL AND BLACK TRUTH OF ANIMAL MILK" from a website named ditchdairy.in and its Facebook page. The court also restrained the defendants from uploading of articles identical or similar to the said articles on the website / Facebook account till the next date of hearing.

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation had approached the High Court alleging that the libellous and disparaging article specifically targeted their milk and milk products under the well-known brand and trademark "AMUL". They alleged that the website DitchDairy.in, belonging to one Chetan Padilya creates a bias, fear psychosis and prejudice in the minds of the public at large against milk and dairy products and also promotes a false narrative that the derivation of milk and milk products by the plaintiffs and their members is done by inflicting cruelty on animals and falsely claiming that dairy products are the cause for several fatal diseases like cancer etc.

3. Encroachment Of Public Land In The Garb Of A Place For Worship Ought To Be Discouraged, Says Delhi High Court [Bal Bhagwan v. Delhi Development Authority]

Dismissing a suit filed by a temple manager seeking permanent injunction against the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) from forcefully dispossessing him from 4 temple properties built on public land, a Single bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh observed, that a trend could be seen of public land being "sought to be encroached upon under the shelter of a place of worship. As is seen in a large number of cases, rights are claimed by parties under the garb of temples or other places of worship located on government land."

She elaborated in her judgment that, "Such attempts by unscrupulous parties ought to be discouraged, inasmuch as the occupants, under the garb of a place of worship, turn the land into a completely unplanned encroachment by hundreds of people. The authorities have an obligation to ensure that in public land, places of worship are not created in this manner."

4. 'Filed Without Doing Any Homework': Delhi High Court Dismisses PIL With Costs Payable To DSLSA's Access To Justice Programme [Residents Welfare Association v. Union of India & Ors.]

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan dismissed a PIL, filed without doing any homework, with directions to the Petitioner to pay costs of Rs. 25,000/- to the Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA). The bench stated that the amount will be utilized for the authority's "Access to Justice" programme.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by the Residents Welfare Association, who claimed that several unauthorized properties had been constructed on public land. In their prayer, they asked the Court to issue directions to have these properties demolished. The Court however noted that the petitioner had not included the people, alleged to be occupying the public properties, as parties to this petition.

5. Once A Prisoner Obtains Custody Parole In A Case, He Need Not Obtain Permission From Every Court Where He Has Been Convicted Or Is Pending Trial: Delhi HC [Md. Shahbuddin v. State Govt Of NCT Of Delhi]

A single bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani made it clear that once a prisoner obtains custody parole in a particular case, he does not need to procure separate custody parole orders from every other court which has either convicted him or where he is pending trial. The Court was hearing a plea filed by former MP Mohd Shahabuddin, who is currently serving a life term in Tihar Jail, and is facing trial in several other cases.

After granting him parole, the Court clarified that he need not approach other Courts in remaining matters against him as "Custody parole therefore contemplates a situation whereby, for special exigencies mentioned in the jail rules, the prisoner is granted guarded liberty and the jail travels with the prisoner to wherever the prisoner is allowed to go under orders of the court. Since the prisoner continues to remain in judicial custody, the need for taking custody parole or other permission from each and every court in which the prisoner is pending trial or has been convicted does not arise."

6. No Legality Attached To Fatwa; Not Binding : Delhi High Court [Mohd. Ashraf & Ors. v. Abdul Wahid Siddique]

A single judge bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh held that there cannot be any legality or validity attached to a fatwa, especially in respect of ownership of immovable property, and such a declaration would not be binding on a third party. The Court was faced with a question whether rights in an immovable property can be legally and validly derived, on the basis of a fatwa issued by a maulvi. The Court held that fatwa does not satisfy the requirements of a legally binding document and that they do not trace their origin to validly made law.

In this case, a suit for possession and recovery of damages was filed by Petitioners in the lower court and their case was that they are the owners of the suit property and that they traced back their title to one Mst. Musharraf Begum through six registered sale deeds and a fatwa. The plea was opposed by the defendant, a tenant of the property, who claimed that the original owner, a lady, had made a declaration that after her death the tenants/occupants would become owners of the property.

7. Delhi Government To Ensure Prompt And Adequate Testing Of UK Passengers To Avoid Another Covid Wave: Delhi High Court [Rakesh Malhotra v. Govt of NCT of India & Ors.]

A division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to ensure prompt and adequate testing and follow up with respect to those found positive with all seriousness to avoid another spate of infection in the New Delhi.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Mr. Rakesh Malhotra seeking directions to be issued to the Govt. of NCT of Delhi to ramp up the testing facilities for both symptomatic and asymptomatic Covid patients. The matter will be listed again on 14th January, 2021.

Other Developments:

Gauhati High Court

1. Gauhati High Court Issues Notice On PIL Seeking Directions Against Hospitals Refusing Treatment To Non Covid Patients [Debabrata Saikia v. Union of India & Ors.]

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Mr. N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhary issued notice in a PIL filed by Senior Congress Leader, Debabrata Saikia seeking directions to Union of India, Ministry of Health and Government of Assam against the refusal of State Hospitals in treatment of non covid patients.

The petition was filed on the basis of newspaper reports indicating various instances of death of non covid patients due to failure of getting admissions in hospitals in Assam as these patients were not able to produce their covid negative certificates. The PIL further states that the failure on the part of the hospital to provide timely medical treatment to the person in need of emergency treatment results in the violation of his right to life guaranteed under Article 21. The petitioner also argues that the State is under a constitutional obligation enshrined under Art. 47 to secure the health of its citizens.

Gujarat High Court

1. "85% Parents Got Nothing In Lieu Of Mid-Day Meals Since March" Gujarat HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of Survey, Issues Notice To Govt. [Suo Moto v. State Of Gujarat & Ors.]

A Bench of Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J. Vora took suo motu cognizance of a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the UNICEF Gujarat, which revealed that among the households which had children enrolled in the Government schools, 85% of the parents reported that they were not able to access anything in lieu of the mid-day meals since March, when the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Court said, "This Court is of the view that the attention of the State Government should be immediately drawn to the aforesaid, and in such circumstances, we deem fit to take suo motu cognizance of the above in public interest." The registry has been asked to issue notice to the named respondents, returnable on 5th January 2021.

2. Gujarat High Court Issues Notice To State Legislative Assembly In PIL Seeking Public Disclosure Of Its Proceedings [Neeta Dattataraya Hardikar v. Gujarat Lagislative Assembly Secretariat]

A Bench of Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J. Vora issued notice to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly Secretariat while taking up a PIL demanding regular updation of Assembly's website and disclosure of house proceedings under the RTI Act. The plea filed by a social activists Neeta Hardikar stated that the State Legislative Assembly is obliged under Right to Information Act to regularly update relevant information on its website in Gujarati and English.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1. Residents Of Jammu And Kashmir May Approach NHRC For Grievances On Violation Of Human Rights As State Commission Was Wound Up: High Court [Sandeep Mawa v. Union of India & Ors.]

A Bench of Acting Chief Rajesh Bindal and Justice Puneet Gupta held that that the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, if having any grievance regarding violation of their human rights, may have to approach the National Human Rights Commission. "Prior to the enactment of the Reorganization Act, the Jammu & Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act, 1997 was applicable in J&K. In exercise of powers conferred thereunder, the J&K State Human Rights Commission had also been constituted, which was wound up after the enactment of the Reorganization Act. The residents of J&K, if having any grievance regarding violation of their human rights, may have to approach the National Human Rights Commission," stated the Court.

The order was passed while adjudicating upon a PIL seeking constitution of Human Rights Commission and Courts in the UT. The Petitioner in this case stated that Section 21 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 clearly provides for constitution of a Human Rights Commissions in every State and Union Territory. The Court while disposing the petition asked the Government authorities to examine the matter.

2. Illegal Occupation of Govt Accommodation By Ex-Ministers, Private Persons: Jammu & Kashmir High Court Raps Govt Authorities; Seeks ATR [Prof. SK Bhalla v. Union Territory of J&K & Ors.]

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar reprimanded the Government authorities of the Union Territory for allotting government accommodations to former Chief Minister, MLAs, MPs, bureaucrats and private persons, in contravention of its previous directions. The Court recounted that the Supreme Court has also categorically held in Lok Prahari v. State of Uttar Pradesh, that Government houses cannot be allotted to these persons.

Thus, taking strict view against violation of Court orders, the Court has directed the concerned authorities to submit and action taken report, indicating the steps taken to evict such illegal occupants, recover arrears of rent, electricity and water dues. The Bench was hearing a PIL filed by Professor SK Bhalla, who claimed that this type of encroachment had been going on for years despite there being previous judgements from different Courts.

3. Desist From Undertaking 'Two Finger Test' ,Avoid Disclosing Rape Survivors' Identity: J&K High Court Directs Trial Courts [State of J&K v. Mohd. Imran Khan]

Reminding the mandate of Section 228A of the J&K Ranbir Penal Code, a Bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal & Justice Sanjay Dhar directed the trial Courts of the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh "to avoid disclosing identity of rape survivors in their proceedings and judgments." Further, it issued direction to all the health professionals of the UTs "to strictly desist from undertaking 'two finger test' known as 'per-vaginum examination' on the rape survivors".

The Court noticed that the Trial Judge in the case at hand had mentioned the name of the prosecutrix at several places in the judgment. It said, "Section 228A of IPC prohibits disclosure of identity of the victim of certain offences, which includes offence under Section 376 IPC. In pari materia to the aforesaid provision is Section 228A of the J&K Ranbir Penal Code, which was applicable to the case at hand at the relevant time."

Karnataka High Court

1. Consider Opening Schools In A Phased Manner Than Taking A Uniform Policy For Entire State: Karnataka High Court To State

A division bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy directed the state to consider opening up schools on a regular basis in taluks having less number of Covid-19 cases, rather than adopting a uniform policy for the entire state. The Bench said, "State to apply its mind on whether in phased manner schools could be opened on regular basis having regard to the number of covid-19 cases in a particular taluk, rather than adopting a uniform policy for the entire state."

The Court, during the hearing of a PIL filed by AA Sanjeev Narrain, Arvind Narrain and Murali Mohan, directed the government to file a status report with regard to steps taken for the admission of children to Standard I, on completion of their stint with Aanganwadis. State to also report about steps taken to ensure that children have taken readmission to higher class, during this period of pandemic. The matter will be next heard on January 18, 2021.

2. Five Month Old Infant Moves High Court Seeking Ban On Vehicular Movement Inside Cubbon Park [X v. State of Karnataka & Ors.]

A division bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy issued notice to the state government on a PIL filed by a five-month-old infant, seeking to ban traffic movement within and through Cubbon park, in Bengaluru. The court however refused to grant any interim relief, saying that granting of interim relief would amount to final order.

The plea stated that the actions of the respondents have a direct impact on the health, wellbeing and quality of life of the Petitioner, who as an infant is made to bear the burden of the environmentally irresponsible Respondents. Further, it is said that actions of respondents impinge on the rights of the petitioner to enjoy pollution free air and water and endangers and impairs his quality of life and is a clear derogation of his constitutional rights.

3. 'Step Motherly Treatment By University': Karnataka High Court Grants Relief To NLSIU Student Who Was Denied Promotion Citing Attendance Shortage [Dayan Warsi v. The National Law School of India University]

A single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit allowed a petition filed by a student of National Law School of India University and directed the University to forthwith promote the student to the 4th year B.A. LL.B (Hons) for the academic year 2020-21. While doing so, the Court strongly disapproved the approach of the medical officer of the University who refused to attest the medical records of the petitioner on the ground that petitioner's attendance being about 65%, was less than the prescribed 67%. The Court noted that the University had condoned attendance shortage to several other students despite their attendance being shorter than the prescribed percentage.

4. 'Clean Road Outside Police Station For A Week' : Karnataka High Court Asks Station House Officer As Punishment For Failing To Register FIR [Tarabai W/o Heerasing Rathod v. State of Karnataka]

A division bench of Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice P Krishna Bhat directed the station house officer of the Station Bazar Police Station, Kalaburagi, to clean the road in front of his police station for one week, for failing to take note of a complaint made by a mother whose son was allegedly abducted.

The Court, while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by one Tarabai seeking to produce his son Suresh said, "The entire development in the case after Suresh going missing discloses to us a very disturbing facet of the functioning of the police stations in this area of the State. The problem, primarily, is one of police officers not complying with the procedure prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, which places a high premium on the guarantee of liberty of the individuals."

Other Developments:

Kerala High Court

1. Medical Negligence- Principle Of 'Res Ipsa Loquitor' Will Apply If Patient Suffers A Complication Not Contemplated Normally : Kerala High Court [PRS Hospital & Anr. v. Anil Kumar]

A division bench of Justices SV Bhatti and Bechu Kurien Thomas held that the principle of 'res ipsa loquitor' will apply in a case of medical negligence if a patient suffers a complication which is not contemplated normally. The High Court was dealing with the case of a 29-year old man who became a paraplegic and lost his sound after undergoing a surgery for removal of kidney stones.

Madras High Court

1. When Govt. Servants Not Complying With Govt. Orders, How We Can Expect Compliance From Common Citizen: Madras High Court

"If the Secretary Level Officers have not complied with the orders of the Government, how we can expect a common citizen to comply with the orders of the Government", remarked a bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi while coming down heavily on the state government for lack of response in implementing a government order (G.O.), passed in the year 2010 to ensure a corruption free and transparent administration in the State of Tamil Nadu.

In this case, certain recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Committee were accepted by the Government including the one for fixing accountability on every Government servant, at every stage at every level. The Court, in this context, noted, ""Even though the said Government Order has been passed in the year 2010, none of the Departments has taken any effective steps to implement the said Government Order." Further, the Court remarked that unless the Government comes with an Act or Rule on these recommendations, "it will be in paper alone without effective implementation."

2. Delay-'Courts Are Doctors Of Bleeding Rights': Madras High Court Cautions Bar & Litigants To Honor Court Appointments [Fatima v. Rahamutullah & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice N. Seshasayee cautioned the members of the Bar and other litigants to responsibly follow the dates set by the Courts for hearing in any case. The remarks were made while hearing a civil revision petition filed by one Fathima, against the Trial Court's order dismissing her interim application seeking an opportunity to cross-examine a Defence witness. The High Court observed that the impugned decision was passed by the Trail Court in the backdrop of immense "agony", put upon it by the Petitioner, who failed to abide by the dates set by the Court on multiple occasions, repeatedly sought adjournments or appeared unprepared for hearings.

Deprecating such practices, the High Court explained that the Courts exist to provide justice to the aggrieved. But, once people approach the Courts for a legal remedy, it becomes their duty to be disciplined and follow a reasonable timetable. The Court stated, "It is time they realised that Courts are doctors of injured rights, and the appointments they grant them are honoured and made use of."

Other Developments:

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1. Madhya Pradesh High Court Quashes MP Govt's Order Cancelling Accommodation Allotted To Congress MLA [Vijayraghvendra Singh v. State of MP & Ors.]

Granting relief to a Congress Party MLA from Katni, Vidhan Sabha Area (Vijayraghvendra Singh), a Bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla quashed State Government's order cancelling the accommodation allotted to him. The Court observed that Government's order "does not record any reason and the allotment of accommodation in favour of the petitioner has been cancelled with immediate effect without assigning any reason."

In this case, Singh claimed that being a MLA, he is entitled to government house/ accommodation by the State Government and that the impugned order was in violation of the Apex Court's Judgment in Kranti Associates Pvt. Ltd. v. Masood Ahmed Khan & Ors., (2010) 9 SCC 496.

Orissa High Court

1. Measures Needed For Expeditious Disposal Of Criminal Appeals In Which Appellants Are Still In Custody: Orissa High Court [Shyam Sundar Jena v. State Of Orissa]

A bench of Justices SK Mishra and Savitri Ratho hoped that appropriate measures would be taken by the State of Odisha and the High Court of Orissa "for expeditious disposal of the Criminal Appeals in which the appellants are still in custody." The Court observed this while rejecting the criminal appeal filed by a person who had assailed his conviction under Section 302 of IPC and sentence of imprisonment for life, passed by learned Addl. Sessions Judge, Jajpur.

"As regarding the delay in disposal of the appeal is concerned, we are constraint to observe that because of things or matters not in the hands of the judiciary, the appeals are being taken up at a belated stage for which we consider all the stake holders including the judiciary responsible for the same. But at the same time we do not say that judiciary is alone responsible for delay in disposal of the cases", said the Court.

2. Filing Fabricated Evidence Before Court For Gaining Unfair Advantage Amounts To Contempt of Court: Orissa High Court [Chandramani Kanhar v. State of Odisha]

A bench of Justice SK Sahoo held that filing of a forged or fabricated document in the Court with a purpose of getting any relief amounts to criminal contempt within the meaning of Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

The order came in an interim bail application filed by the Petitioner on the ground that his wife was suffering from multiple diseases and was advised by the doctor to be on complete rest in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The petitioner annexed copies of medical prescription and fitness certificate with the bail application. The Court ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cuttack for authentication of these documents. After a thorough enquiry, it was revealed that the documents were fabricated.

3. NSA Detention- Legal Obligation In Such Cases Must Be Discharged With 'Great Sense Of Responsibility': Orissa High Court [Sk.Mabud @ Mamud @ Madud v. State of Odisha & Anr.]

While quashing the order of preventive detention under the National Security Act (NSA) of one Sk Mabud, a Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi and Justice Sanju Panda ruled that the legal obligation in cases related to detention under NSA needs to be discharged with great sense of responsibility. "The exercise of that power of preventive detention must be with proper circumspection and due care. In a regime of constitutional governance, it requires the understanding between those who exercise power and the people over whom or in respect of whom such power is exercised," the Court observed.

Here, the petitioner had challenged his detention under NSA on the ground that the detaining authority, while presenting the report against the detenue didn't disclose the basic facts, material particulars which led to passing of an order of detention. It was further stated that he was not disclosed as to what was the basis and circumstances which led the District Magistrate to come to a conclusion that the detenue was terrorizing the innocent general public.

Patna High Court

1. Truck Driver Illegally Detained By Police: Patna High Court Asks Govt To Give 5L Compensation For Violation Of Fundamental Right [Sumit Kumar v. State of Bihar & Ors.]

A Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar awarded Rs. 5,00,000/- as compensation to a truck driver who was illegally detained and kept in custody for over 35 days by the Patna Police. The Court observed that the Police authorities in this case had acted in clear violation of the procedure established by law, inasmuch as the vehicle and the detenue were detained and kept in police custody, without either filing of FIR or following any other procedure of arrest prescribed in law, ensuring constitutional protections to all persons.

It held that the authorities had acted in direct violation of detenue's fundamental rights under Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution. The Court has clarified that the right of the detenu to seek compensation under public law is independent of his right to claim other damages as private law remedy. In this regard, the Bench also issued directions.

Access Full Report to read the directions.

Also Read: "State Needs To Fix Responsibility"; Bombay HC Directs State To Pay Rs.50 K Each As Compensation To 2 Men Detained Illegally

2. Conditions Enunciated In Section 37 NDPS Act Not Applicable In Juvenile's Case; S. 12 JJ Act Overrides S. 37 NDPS Act: Patna High Court [Anamul Haque v. Union of India through Directorate of Revenue Intelligence]

A Bench of Justice Sudhir Singh ruled that the negation and conditions as enunciated in Section 37 of the NDPS Act will not be applicable in the case of a juvenile. The Court also opined that the intention of the legislature was to give an overriding effect to Section 12 of Juvenile Justice Act over Section 37 of the NDPS Act.

The Court was hearing an appeal against rejection of bail to the Appellant, by ASJ, Patna. Allegedly, the appellant was working as the Khalasi of a Truck from where huge quantity of ganja was recovered and he was apprehended on the spot. Later on, he took the plea that he was a juvenile on the date of occurrence of crime.

Other Developments:

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1. Punjab & Haryana High Court Chastises IAS Officer For Taking Court Proceedings "Too Lightly" [Sarita Mehta & Ors. v. J. Ganesan & Anr.]

A single bench of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur came down heavily upon an IAS officer, for taking court procedure "too lightly" and failing to appear before it on the dates set for hearing. The bench noted that it is not the first time that the Respondent officer, J. Ganesan, had failed to present himself in the hearings. The Court stated that even in the last hearing of this case, no one from the Respondent's side was present.

The Bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by one Sarita Mehta, for non-compliance of its dated September 1, 2008, passed in civil writ petition no. 6830/2007. The Bench observed that when the Respondent officer did not appear before it on the last hearing, the Court was forced to issue an order that the Respondent, along with his Counsel, should appear on 16th December, 2020 (Wednesday). However, this order was also not complied with.

2. Gangster Bishnoi's Plea- 'Fearing Vikas Dubey Like Fake Encounter': P&H High Court Orders Videography Of His Entire Transit [Lawrence Bishnoi v. State of Haryana & Ors.]

"This Court is of the firm opinion that the police cannot be deprived of its right to interrogate an accused and that video conferencing may not be as effective as physical interrogation", observed a bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill while dismissing Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi's plea to direct the Chandigarh and Haryana Police to interrogate him through video conference.

Bishnoi, against whom a large number of FIRs have been registered in the States of Punjab and Haryana and who is also involved in a case registered in Chandigarh, is in custody since 2015 and is presently confined in Central Jail, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. He had moved the High Court expressing fear that he could be eliminated in a 'fake police encounter,' during transit to Chandigarh and Haryana for interrogation in various criminal cases. The Court in this regard, has issued directions to UT of Chandigarh and State of Haryana, including videography of the entire transit.

Access Full Report to read the directions.

3. Punjab & Haryana HC Sets Aside Moratorium Imposed By Bar Council Of India On Opening Of New Law Colleges [Chandigarh Educational Society v. Bar Council of India & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice Rekha Mittal set aside the three-year moratorium imposed by the Bar Council of India (BCI) on opening of new law colleges as ultra vires the Indian Constitution. The Court held that the BCI cannot impose a complete ban on opening of new law colleges, under the pretext of regulating Legal Education.

The order was given while hearing a writ petition filed by the Chandigarh Education Society, asking the Court to allow them to establish a new law college namely, 'Chandigarh Law College'. They further sought directions from the Court to declare the moratorium imposed by the Bar Council of India as violative of their fundamental right to practice any profession, or to carry any occupation, trade or business, under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

4. In Case Of Breach Of Terms Of One Time Settlement, Bank Becomes Free To Recover Debt Irrespective Of OTS: Punjab & Haryana High Court [M/s. Milkhi Ram Bhagwan Dass v. District Magistrate & Anr.]

A Division bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh held that once the terms and conditions of the One Time Settlement (OTS) entered with the bank are violated by a borrower and the settled amount is not paid within the agreed time frame, no further orders are required from the Court to extend the period of payment under the OTS. It further said that in such a case, the Bank becomes free to recover the outstanding amount in accordance with law, irrespective of the OTS.

The Court refused to apply the law laid down by a coordinate Bench of the High Court in Anu Bhalla & Anr. v. District Magistrate & Anr. that "claim for extension of time for payment of balance settlement amount, pursuant to mutually agreed OTS by the borrowers should be considered by the Court, liberally," as in that case extension of OTS was allowed after the defaulter had already repaid over 50% of the settled amount; whereas in this case just 40% of the settled amount was paid.

The Court proceeded to apply the law laid down by the Allahabad High Court in Union Bank of India & Anr. v. Anil Kumar Wadhera & Ors., where it was held that once a borrower fails to comply with the conditions of OTS within the time specified and there being no order of the Bank to extend the time for deposit, the OTS would fall automatically and it will not be open to the borrower to insist upon the enforcement of such an OTS.

Telangana High Court

1. 'A Parent Cannot Be A Guest In The Life Of Their Child': Telangana High Court Insists On Granting Overnight Custody To Each Parent

A bench of Justice T. Amarnath Goud held, "A parent cannot be a guest in the life of their child. If visitation rights only are granted for limited hours, it may not be sufficient for the child to have comfortable time with the father or mother, whoever may be the case." The Court further stated that "overnight custody" must be encouraged wherever possible.

The remarks were made the Court by in a contempt case, filed against violation of a custody order passed by the Family Court. In this case, the petitioner (husband) and respondent (wife) had a child named Agastya. The two were no longer in marital relationship and were contesting the custody of their child.

Uttarakhand High Court

1. Muslim Woman Converts To Hinduism & Marry Hindu Man- Uttarakhand HC Asks DM, 'Why Conversion Application Hasn't Been Processed?', Grants Protection [Anjali @ Afsana & Anr, v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Ravindra Maithani directed the District Magistrate, Haridwar to inquire from the appropriate authorities as to why conversion application of the Petitioner, Anjali @ Afsana, has not been processed and if processed when. The direction was passed in a protection plea filed by an interfaith couple apprehending that the Petitioner's brothers may physically harm them.

The couple asserted that they belong to different faiths and after Anjali converted to the faith of her partner, i.e. Hindu, the two solemnized a married. It was further submitted that the concerned District Magistrate had not taken any decision on their application made under Section 8(1) of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018, declaring that the conversion was of free will, without any force, coercion, undue influence or allurement.


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