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High Courts Weekly Roundup [November 15, 2021 To November 21, 2021]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
22 Nov 2021 4:40 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup [November 15, 2021 To November 21, 2021]
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Allahabad High Court 1. Merely Stating That Two Persons Of Opposite Gender Have A Close Relationship Won't Amount To Defamation: Allahabad HC [Nakli Singh v. State of U.P. and Others] Merely stating that two people belonging to the opposite gender share a close relationship, won't amount to defamation, the Allahabad High Court observed last week while quashing a summoning order in...

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Allahabad High Court

1. Merely Stating That Two Persons Of Opposite Gender Have A Close Relationship Won't Amount To Defamation: Allahabad HC [Nakli Singh v. State of U.P. and Others]

Merely stating that two people belonging to the opposite gender share a close relationship, won't amount to defamation, the Allahabad High Court observed last week while quashing a summoning order in a defamation complaint case.

The Bench of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh further observed that being close to someone in a natural or normal human relationship and forming an illicit relationship are two completely different things.

Also Read: "Didn't Impersonate Himself As Lawyer": Allahabad HC Stays Arrest Of Law Intern Who Stood In For His Senior Before Tribunal

2. "Can't Sit & Watch Lawyers' Unruly Behaviour": Allahabad High Court Orders Enquiry Into Lucknow District Court Violence Incident [Piyush Shrivastava (In Person) & Ors. v. State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home Lko. & Ors]]

Stressing that the court can't sit and watch the unprofessional and unruly behavior of the lawyers as a mute spectator, the High Court ordered an inquiry into the violent behavior of the lawyers outside the Lucknow District Court campus on October 30. The Bench of Justice Shamim Ahmed and Justice Rakesh Srivastava also observed that the Court is duty bound to ensure that the citizens do not face any difficulty in accessing justice.

Also Read: "He May Die At Any Moment, Might Meet Same Fate As Stan Swamy": UAPA Accused Atiq UrRehman's Relative Moves Allahabad HC Seeking Bail

3. "UCC Is Long Due; Can't Be Made Voluntary": Allahabad HC Calls Upon Central Govt To Implement The Mandate Of Article 44

Dealing with a batch of petitions (17 in number), pertaining to an interfaith marriage contracted by the petitioners and seeking protection from the Court, the High Court called upon the Central Government to implement the mandate of Article 44 of the Constitution of India [Uniform Civil Code]. The Bench of Justice Suneet Kumar observed that the issue of UCC, though Constitutional, rakes political overturns whenever raised or debated in the public domain and called for its implementation in the wake of a multiplicity of marriage and family laws in place.

4. Interfaith Marriage Registration Can't Be Refused By Insisting On Conversion Approval: Allahabad HC Affirms Right To Choose Partners

The High Court observed that the Marriage Registrar/Officer lacks the power to withhold the registration of marriage, merely for the reason that the parties have not obtained the necessary approval of conversion from the district authority. This assertion came from the bench of Justice Suneet Kumar who was hearing a batch of petitions (17 in number), pertaining to an interfaith marriage contracted by the petitioners.

Also Read: "We Aren't Against Live-In Relation": Allahabad High Court Orders Protection For Same-Sex Couple

5. Kasganj Custodial Death: PUCL Moves Allahabad HC Seeking CBI Probe & Establishment Of Fast-Track Special Police Courts

People's Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL) has moved the High Court seeking a CBI probe into the Kasganj Custodial Death Case wherein one Altaf allegedly died by suicide by tying himself to a two to three feet pipe. While the police have claimed that Altaf died by suicide while in custody, his family has suggested a foul play on the part of the police, and therefore, PUCL has moved the High Court seeking CBI inquiry into the case.

6. Allahabad High Court Directs UP Govt, Its Authorities & Committees To Implement Witness Protection Scheme [Mithlesh Narayan Tiwari v. State of U.P. and Another]

The High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh Government and all its concerned authorities/committees to implement the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 forthwith. This direction came from the Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Vikas Budhwar that was hearing the plea of a petitioner, Mithlesh Narayan Tiwari, who is a witness in a 2018 Murder case, and his application for protection was rejected twice by the District Level Committee/Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj.

7. RTE Act- Can Teachers Be Given Election Duties Before Poll Notification Is Out?: Allahabad HC Refers Question To Larger Bench [Chandani Devi & Ors. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.]

In view of Section 27 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, the High Court recently referred the question regarding allotment of election duties (before or after the issuance of election notification) to teachers on teaching days/during teaching hours to a larger bench. The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir referred the question to the larger bench in view of the fact that there are contrary judgments of the Allahabad High Court on the issue.

8. Compelling Small Farmers To Pay Bribes The Most Unfortunate Thing To Happen Even After 75 Yrs Of Independence: Allahabad HC [Rasool Ahmad v. State Of U.P.Thru Prin.Secy. Revenue Deptt. Lucknow & Ors.]

The High Court observed that when small farmers are compelled to pay bribes, it is the most unfortunate thing to happen even after 75 years of independence. The Bench of Justice Manish Kumar and Justice Rajan Roy observed thus while dismissing an appeal filed by a government servant (convicted for demanding bribe) against the order of the appellate court upholding his conviction as also sentence by the trial court.

9. Workman Employed For A Particular Project Can't Claim Permanent Status After Project Ends: Allahabad High Court [Bipin v. Union Of India And 3 Others]

The High Court observed that when a workman is employed for a particular project, the services of that employee come to an end when the project is over and, therefore, such a workman could not be given permanent status. This assertion came from the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma while relying upon the ruling of the Apex Court in the case of Lal Mohammad and Ors. vs. Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd. and Ors. AIR 2007 SC 2230, wherein it was held that such a workman could not be considered an employee of the company under which various other projects ran.

Also Read: Jaunpur Custodial Death- Allahabad HC Finds Fault With CBI's Probe, Chides It For Failure To Arrest Accused Police Officers

Andhra Pradesh High Court

1. Disputed Signature Cannot Be Compared With Photostat Copy To Ascertain Veracity: Andhra Pradesh High Court [Smt.T.Lakshmi Theresamma v. State Of Andhra Pradesh]

The High Court has held that there is no sanction of law to compare a disputed signature in the photostat copy with the original signature as there is the scope of mechanical error or defective photocopying. Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy noted,

"Therefore, such comparison is impermissible under law, as there is every possibility of change of signatures due to passage of time and there is every possibility to sign on the documents in disguise, so as to obtain a favorable opinion from the handwriting expert. But, what is required as per law is that any authentic contemporaneous document containing signatures of the parties has to be referred along with the disputed signatures for comparison and opinion."

2. Andhra Pradesh High Court Starts Hearing Challenge To 'Three-Capitals' Law

The High Court has started hearing a clutch of writ petitions filed before it challenging the A. P. Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act 2020 and Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development (Repeal) Act 2020.

Essentially, these Acts propose the formation of three capitals for the state. The Acts intend to develop Amaravati, Visakhapatnam, and Kurnool as the legislative, executive and judicial capitals respectively.

Bombay High Court

1. Constitutional Rights Cannot Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Flimsy Explanations': Bombay High Court Seeks Inquiry, Orders Compensation To Man Illegally Detained In Custody

The High Court has directed the Maharashtra Government to pay compensation to a man and urged an inquiry against errant police officers regarding the 28-year-old's detention in a police lockup despite a court order remanding him in judicial custody.

"The constitutional and legal rights of a person cannot be sacrificed at the altar of such flimsy explanations," the bench observed while ordering Rs. Twenty thousand as compensation to be paid within four weeks.

Also Read: Ex-Mumbai Cop Moves Bombay High Court Seeking Removal Of Subodh Kumar Jaiswal As CBI Chief

Also Read: Bombay High Court Extends Varavara Rao's Time to Surrender Till Dec 2, Orders Medical Examination

Also Read: Nawab Malik Approaches Bombay High Court To Put Additional Documents On Record In Sameer Wankhede's Father's Defamation Suit

2. Defamation Suit: Bombay High Court Takes Nawab Malik's & Wankhede's Additional Documents On Record, Verdict On Monday

The High Court took on record additional documents produced by Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik and NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede's father - Dhyandev - in the defamation suit filed by the latter. Justice Madhav Jamdar said he will pass an order on November 22 in Wankhede's plea for ad-interim reliefs, to restrain Malik from posting any further defamatory statements against the Wankhedes till disposal of the Rs. 1.25 crore defamation suit.

3. Bombay High Court Rejects Bail Application Of Indrani Mukerjea

The High Court rejected INX-Media co-founder and socialite Indrani Mukerjea's bail application on merits in the murder case of her daughter Sheena Bora. Mukerjea was arrested in August 2015 and accused of strangulating Bora on April 24, 2012, along with her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, and dumping the body at Pen, in Raigad district Maharashtra.

The Central Bureau of Investigation alleged that Mukerjea was unhappy with Bora's relationship with Rahul, Indrani's then-husband, former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea's son.

Calcutta High Court

1. Calcutta HC Grants Bail To NDPS Accused In Custody For 6.5 Yrs Noting Inordinate Delay In Trial, Violation Of Article 21 [Sanjit Das @ Gosai v. The State of West Bengal]

The High Court granted bail to an NDPS Accused (in custody for six and half years) while observing that there had been inordinate delay in the trial, which resulted in the infraction of his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Importantly, the Bench of Justice Aniruddha Roy and Justice Joymalya Bagchi further observed that the restriction on bail under the NDPS Act must yield to a prayer of liberty in appropriate cases where incarceration of an under-trial constitutes a substantial portion of the maximum sentence and the completion of the trial is in the near future is the far cry.

2. Foul Play': Calcutta HC Contemplates Setting Up Inquiry Panel Headed By Rtd. HC Judge To Monitor Irregularities In Non-Teaching StaffAppointments By State Gov [Sandeep Prasad & Ors v. State of W. B. & Ors]

The High Court directed the West Bengal Central School Service Commission to immediately stop the payment of salaries to 25 appointees who had allegedly been recruited for the posts of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' (non-teaching staff) in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools. The Court observed with dismay that 25 appointment letters had been issued by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education despite no such recommendation having been issued by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission.

Also Read: Not Maintainable': Calcutta HC Refuses To Interfere With Single Bench Order That Stayed Criminal Proceedings Against BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari

3. Whether Specific Performance Of An Agreement Is Mandatory Under Amended Provisions Of Specific Relief Act, 1963? Calcutta High Court Explains [The All India Tea and Trading Company Limited v. Loobah Company Limited]

The High Court had the opportunity to expound on the issue as to whether specific performance of an agreement, including a negative covenant contained therein, is mandatory under the amended provisions of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya observed that although Section 10 of the amended Act vide inclusion of the phrase 'shall' nearly negates the exercise of discretion by Courts while issuing an order for specific performance, it is subject to conditions stipulated under Sections 11, 14 and 16 of the Act which envisage situations where specific performance cannot be enforced.

Also Read: Calcutta High Court Seeks Response From State Election Commission, State Gov In Plea By BJP Leader To Hold Municipal Polls

4. Central Commission Has Lost All Control Over RegionalCommission': Calcutta HC Seeks PersonalAttendance Of Secretary, WB Central Service Commission [Sandeep Prasad & Ors v. State of W. B. & Ors]

The High Court directed the Secretary of the West Bengal Central Service Commission to appear in person before the Court on Wednesday while hearing a batch of petitions citing irregularities in the appointments of 'Group C' and Group D' non-teaching staff in State government-aided Secondary and Higher Secondary schools.

The Court on Tuesday took on record a report filed by the School Service Commission wherein the Commission had admitted that the panel and the waiting list for the posts of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' expired on 4th May, 2019. A notification published by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission on September 2, 2019 also makes a similar assertion, the Court noted.

Also Read: Centre Notifies Appointment Of Three Additional Judges To Calcutta High Court

5. Cancelling GST Registration On 'Hyper-Technical' Grounds Causes Revenue Loss, Aggravates Unemployment: Calcutta High Court [M/s. CIGFIL Retail Pvt. Ltd. v Union of India & Ors.]

The High Court has observed that cancellation of GST registration of businesses on hyper-technical grounds causes revenue loss for the State and aggravates unemployment. Accordingly, the Court directed that a 'reasoned order' must be passed while cancelling GST registration and that opportunity of hearing must be given to the concerned parties.

Also Read: Calcutta HC Seeks Response From Suvendu Adhikari By Nov 29 In Mamata Banerjee's Election PetitionAgainst Nandigram Results, Next Hearing On Dec 1

6. Hypocrite' 'Illegal': Calcutta HC Directs State Gov To Initiate Proceedings Against Recovery Officer For Rejecting Claim Of Jute Mill Worker Under Payment of Gratuity Act,1972 [Toyeb Ali Midday v. State of West Bengal & Ors[

The High Court came down heavily on the Certificate Officer, an officer in the District Magistrate's Office, Howrah for denying the claim for superannuation of a retired Jute Mill worker under the provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. The Court further set aside the order of the Certificate Officer by terming it as 'illegal and bad in the eye of law'.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay observed that the Certificate Officer (CO) had deliberately deprived the jute mill worker's lawful claim for more than 15 years in order to favour the owners of the Jute Mill.

Delhi High Court

1. Delhi High Court Grants Interim Injunction To Britannia Against Oral Care Seller 'Good Day' In Trademark Infringement Suit [Britannia Industries Ltd V. Good Day Oral Care & Ors.]

The High Court has granted an ad interim injunction to Britannia Industries against an oral care seller for allegedly using it's identical trademark 'GOOD DAY'. Justice Sanjeev Narula was of the prima facie view that Britannia's trademark 'GOOD DAY' has been acknowledged to be a well-known mark and therefore it will have a right to seek injunction in terms of Section 29(4) (b) of the Trade Marks Act 1999.

2. Randomness In Fixation Of Cut Off Age For Reservation Not Sufficient To Characterize It As Arbitrary: Delhi High Court [Ketan Kumar & Anr. V. Union of India & Anr.]

The High Court has observed that randomness in fixation of a cut off age for availing the benefit of reservation for a particular category is not sufficient to characterize it as an arbitrary or unreasonable decision.

"The fixation of a cut off age does sometimes occasion hardship upon a particular category of applicants or candidates. Although there is some randomness in the fixation of a cut off age, by its very nature, that is not sufficient to characterize it as an arbitrary or unreasonable decision," Justice Prateek Jalan observed.

3. Mere Non Drawing Of Formal Decree Not Ground For Court To Dismiss Execution Of Compromise Deed: Delhi High Court [SALAHUDDIN MIRZA v. MOHD QAMAR THROUGH: LRS AND ORS]

The High Court has held that the mere non-drawing of a formal decree, and objections which are raised later by the party to the compromise in order to resile from it, are no grounds which can be taken by the Executing Court to dismiss the execution of a Compromise Deed. Justice Pratibha M Singh also added that the mere act of not drawing a formal decree in respect of the settlement would not deprive the parties of the benefits of the settlement entered into before a court of law.

4Freedom Of Movement A Constitutional Guarantee, Should Not Be Hemmed-In By Lack Of Requisite Civil Amenities: Delhi High Court [Bhavreen Kandhari V. Gyanesh Bharti & Ors]

The High Court has observed that the constitutional guarantee of citizens' freedom of movement as enshrined in the Constitution should not be hemmed in by the lack of civic amenities.

"While freedom of movement is a constitutional guarantee, it should not be hemmed-in by the lack of requisite civic amenities. Citizens need to be empowered and facilitated in the enjoyment of their constitutional rights, for which provision of basic civic amenities is essential, like a safe and secure neighbourhood, tree-lined avenues and footpaths, where an endeavour of a leisurely stroll is actually a pleasurable exercise and not an obstacle-dodging, harrowing experience," Justice Najmi Waziri said.

5. Rakul Preet Singh's Case: TV Today Network Moves Delhi High Court Against MIB's Decision Declaring Aaj Tak's Taglines 'Offensive' [TV Today Network v. Union of India & Ors.]

TV Today Network has moved the High Court against an order passed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, declaring that the reporting done by its channel Aaj Tak in context of actress Rhea Chakraborty's narcotic drugs case is violative of the Programme Code. The order was passed following a representation made by actress Rakul Preet Singh for allegedly linking her to the drug fiasco, after her name surfaced during the investigation related to Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

Also Read: "Totally Unacceptable": Delhi High Court Imposes 10K Cost On Party For Appearing In Vest During Virtual Hearing

Also Read: Centre Not Competent To Legislate Street Vending Laws: Petitioners Tell Delhi High Court

6. Intended To Scare, Not Kill': Shahrukh Pathan Seeks Discharge For Pointing Gun At Police Officer During Delhi Riots [State v. Shahrukh Pathan]

Shahrukh Pathan, the man who pointed a gun at a policeman during the North East Delhi riots, has sought to be discharged in the matter stating that his intention was to merely scare, not kill.

The accused on Thursday sought discharge from a Delhi Court in the FIR which relates to an incident wherein Pathan was captured pointing a gun on a policeman, pictures of which had gone viral on the Social Media and internet.

7. After Flak From Delhi High Court, UP Govt Constitutes SIT, Suspends Errant Officers For Harassing Consenting Couple [Teenu & Anr v. GNCTD]

Following "UP Mein Chalta Hoga, Yaha Nahin!" remark from the Delhi High Court over harassment of a runaway couple, the Uttar Pradesh government has suspended the SHO and Sub Inspector concerned. Further, a SIT has been formed to probe the matter.

"We have gone ahead and suspended both the officers, the SHO and SI. We have formed an SIT which is headed by the DSP and four officers being inspectors of the Crime Branch who are looking into it. We will ensure that justice is done. Whatsoever wrong is done, will be required at length," Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad appearing for the UP Govt told Justice Mukta Gupta.

Also Read: Delhi High Court Directs City's Subordinate Courts To Strictly Adhere To Full Court's Directions Permitting Hybrid/ VC Hearings At Parties' Request

Also Read: District Courts Bound To Facilitate Hybrid/ VC Hearing At Parties' Request, As Per Full Court's Directions: Delhi HC

8. Show Some Will, Have It Done': High Court Directs Delhi Police To Remove Unauthorised Hawkers, Vendors From Munirka Village Area [Munirka Village Residents Welfare Association & Anr. V. South Delhi Municipal Corporation & Ors.]

The High Court directed the Delhi Police to ensure, on a daily basis, that the unauthorised hawkers and vendors are removed and do not return to city's Munirka Village area. The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh was hearing a plea filed by Munirka Village Residents Welfare Association aggrieved by the inaction of the municipal authorities as well as the police in removing the street vendors who were encroaching upon the public roads and pedestrian walkways in and around the area.

Also Read: "Can't Let The City Go To Dogs, We Are Here To Protect Rule Of Law": Delhi High Court OverIllegal Hawking & Vending Activities

9. Manika Batra v. TTFI: Delhi High Court Appoints 3-Member Committee To Probe 'Match Fixing' Allegations Against National Coach Soumyadeep Roy [Manika Batra v. Table Tennis Federation of India & Ors.]

The Delhi High Court has decided to constitute a 3-member committee to inquire into the allegations of match-fixing levelled by Table Tennis player Manika Batra against national coach Soumyadeep Roy.

Following her non-selection for the 25th ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships, 2021 to be held in Doha from September 28, Batra had moved the High Court against the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

Also Read: Boxing Federation Likely To Reconsider Players Selected For World Championships: Delhi High CourtTold In Arundhati Choudhary's Plea

Also Read: Can Employers Force Their Employees To Undergo Covid-19 Vaccination?: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On School Teacher's Plea

10. Would Encourage Copycat Criminal Behaviour': Delhi HC Denies Bail To Man Accused Of Aiding Escape Of High-Risk UTP From Judicial Custody. [Bhupender Singh @ Bhuttan V. State (Nct Of Delhi)]

The High Court denied bail to a man accused of aiding the escape of a high-risk undertrial prisoner from the lawful judicial custody, saying that granting him bail would encourage "copycat criminal behaviour". Justice Subramonium Prasad said that to aid an undertrial of notorious credentials escape lawful custody, has wide ramifications that may shake the confidence of the public in the police administration as well as the criminal justice system.

Also Read: IT Rules 2021 Provide Checks & Balances For Removal Of Unlawful, Fake Content On Platforms; DoNot Advocate Pre-Censorship: Centre To Delhi HC

11. Unreasonable Denial Of Employee's Inter Cadre Transfer Request By State Impinges Upon Right ToDemand Respect For Family Life: Delhi HC [Lakshmi Bhavya Tanneeru V. Union Of India & Ors]

The High Court observed that unreasonable denial of an employee's request seeking inter cadre transfer by the State impinges upon such person's right to demand respect for her or his family life.

"We have no doubt that the right to meaningful family life, which allows a person to live a fulfilling life and helps in retaining her/his physical, psychological and emotional integrity would find a place in the four corners of Article 21 of the Constitution of India2. Therefore, when the State unreasonably denies a request of an employee [in this case, the petitioner] seeking inter-cadre transfer, it impinges upon such person's right to demand respect for her/his family life," a bench comprising Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh observed.

Also Read: Kalkaji Temple: Delhi High Court Issues Directions Regarding Unauthorised Encroachment, Sanitation Facilities, Drinking Water & Inspection By Fire Dept

Also Read: Right To Speedy Trial: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea For Expeditious Disposal Of NIA Cases

12. Newslaundry Agrees Before Delhi High Court To Take Down Video Making Comments On TV Today's Suit Against It [TV Today Network Pvt Ltd v. Newslaundry & Ors.]

Digital news portal Newslaundry today agreed before the Delhi High Court to take down its video making commentary on the suit filed by TV Today Network against it alleging defamation and copyright infringement.

Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal, appearing for Newslaundry, submitted that the portal will only do fair reporting of court proceedings, free from any critique or comment.

"I have taken instruction. I will not offer any comment on court proceeding. We will only report like what Bar & Bench or LiveLaw report", Kirpal submitted.

The development came after the counsel appearing for the Plaintiff-company informed the Court that the online portal has been making videos on the suit proceedings.

Also Read: Delhi High Court Permits Herbal Hookahs In Restaurants, Bars Subject To Covid Protocol

Also Read: CARA Extremely Callous In Complying With Court's Directions, Unnecessarily Harassing AdoptiveParents': Delhi HC Summons CEO, Member Secretary

Also Read: "All 16 Jails In City Have Assistance Of Law Officers": Delhi Govt Informs High Court

13. No Question Of Misconduct, Give Her A Clean Chit': Delhi High Court Tells Table Tennis Federation On Manika Batra's Plea [Manika Batra v. Table Tennis Federation of India & Ors.]

The High Court asked the Table Tennis Federation of India to give a clean chit to player Manika Batra, who had made a complaint against the national sports body following her non-selection for the 25th ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships, 2021.

Batra had alleged that Soumyadeep Roy, the national coach, had pressurized Batra to "throw away" a match with a view to help one of his trainees (at his private academy) to qualify for the Olympics, 2020. She thus sought enquiry into the Federation's management and conduct of Roy.

Also Read: Section 3 Of Senior Citizens Act Cannot Be Deployed To Override Or Nullify Women's Right To A Shared Household: Delhi High Court

Also Read: UPSC Civil Services Exam: Delhi High Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Age Relaxation, Unlimited Attempts For PwD Candidates

Also Read: Defames Hindu Community': Lawyer Moves Delhi High Court Against Salman Khurshid's Book 'Sunrise Over Ayodhya'

Gujarat High Court

1. Challenge To Minimum Age Criteria For NCLT Appointments: Gujarat High Court Issues Notice [Nipun Praveen Singhvi v. Union of India]

The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice in a plea challenging the vires of Section 413(2) of Companies Act, 2013 that imposes a minimum age limitation of 'not less than 50 years for appointment as judicial members in National Company Law Tribunals. The PIL filed by Advocate Nipun Praveen Singhvi, currently before the Bench of Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Hemant M. Prachchhak, submits that his petition is against the tribunalisation and bureaucratization of justice, as well as its impact on judicial independence and separation of powers. The plea calls into question the propriety of Section 413 (2) of the Act in the context of Madras Bar Association Judgment (2021) LL 2021 SC 296 wherein the Supreme Court has stressed the need to appoint younger members in tribunals to strengthen their functioning. Hence, the petitioner submits that the advertisement for filling up the nine vacancies in NCLT is violative of Articles 13, 14, 21, and 50 of the Constitution.

Gauhati High Court

1. Gauhati High Court Declares Assam Woman 'Indian' By Setting Aside Foreigners' Tribunal Order [Smti Puspa Rani Dhar v. The Union of India and Others]

The Gauhati High Court has declared an Assam woman, Puspa Rani Dhar as an Indian by setting aside an order of a foreigners' tribunal in Assam's Bongaigaon declaring her as a foreigner. A division bench comprising Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Malasri Nandi also ruled that the question of registration of the petitioner who is otherwise Indian does not arise as she had been an Indian and not a foreigner at any point in time. The Court observed thus in response to the argument for the Counsel for the State that even if the petitioner is declared to be an Indian, she would be required to register herself with the Registering Authority.

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1. People Who Lose Faith In Judiciary Are Required To Be Condemned & Curbed With Strong Hands: HP High Court [Deepak Raj Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

"The people, who lose faith in the judiciary, are required to be condemned and curbed with strong hands by one and all, who are interested in the orderly society and have faith in democracy", observed the Himachal Pradesh High Court while refusing to quash a non-consensual transfer order.

The Court made these observations in the context of the case of a petitioner, who had met with a political leader seeking a posting. A bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Satyen Vaidya observing that the conduct of the petitioner clearly goes to indicate that the petitioner has no faith in the judicial system, the Court declined him relief noting that he had resorted to "extra-constitutional means" for quashing of his transfer order.

Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court

1. Only Those Who Are Responsible For Public Order Maintenance Must Judge What National Security, Public Order Or Security Of State Needs: J&K&L HC [Muntazir Ahmad Bhat v. Union Territory of JK & Anr.]

While upholding the detention of an alleged worker of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), under the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, the Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh High Court last week observed that those who are responsible for national security or for maintenance of public order must be the sole judges of what the national security, public order or security of the State requires. Observing that it is necessary to take preventive measures and prevent a person bent upon perpetrating mischief from translating his ideas into action, the Bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan stressed that preventive detention laws are devised to afford protection to society.

Karnataka High Court

1. Heavens Won't Fall If Online Gaming Continues Till Validity Of State's Prohibition Is Decided: Petitioners Argue Before Karnataka High Court [All India Gaming Federation v. State Of Karnataka]

Petitioners challenging the State's ban on online gaming, appealed to the Karnataka High Court to allow their businesses to continue until the validity of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021 is decided by the Court. The Amendment Act came into force on October 5, it includes all forms of wagering or betting, including in the form of tokens valued in terms of money paid before or after the issue of it. It has banned electronic means and virtual currency, electronic transfer of funds in connection with any game of 'chance'. However, there is no ban on lottery, or betting on horse races on any racecourse within or outside Karnataka.

2. Filing Multiple Cases Without Justification Is Aggravated Form Of Abuse Of Process Of Court: Karnataka High Court [Jeetendra Kumar Rajan v. The High Court Of Karnataka]

Karnataka High Court recently rejected a batch of petitions filed by one Jeetendra Kumar Rajan, observing that filing of case after case absolutely without justification is nothing but an aggravated form of abuse of process of the court. The bench of Justice Krishna S. Dixit noted that the prayers made by the petitioner were "weird" and a cost of Rs 10,000 each was imposed. He had sought directions to the Registry to give explanations over the issuance of notice, grant of adjournments in some cases, etc. Earlier also, the Petitioner had filed a series of petitions which came to be rejected with a cost of Rs 1 lakh, which he has not deposited till date, the Court noted.

3. 'No Positive Compliance': Karnataka High Court Urges State To Fill Up Vacant Posts In Forensic Science Laboratories [High Court of Karnataka v. State of Karnataka]

The Karnataka High Court has urged the state government to fill up vacant posts in Forensic Science Laboratories in the state, to improve its functioning which would help in early disposal of criminal trials pending in courts. After perusing through the compliance report pursuant to the interim order of High Court, the division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum noted that only compliance on paper has been done as no appointment has been made on the post of Joint Director, Deputy Directors and other officers as stipulated in the order.

4. Karnataka High Court Issues Guidelines To Trial Courts Regarding Acceptance Of Compromise Petitions & Passing Of Ex-Parte Eviction Orders [ Leelavathi v. C.S Lalith & Anr.]

The Karnataka High Court has issued a circular cautioning all the Judicial Officers in the State in the matter of accepting compromise petitions and also passing of ex-parte eviction orders.It has asked the district judiciary to scrupulously follow the guidelines issued by the bench of Justice NS Sanjay Gowda in this regard on August 25, in the case titled Leelavathi v. SC Lalitha & Anr. The Court had observed that in too many cases, the litigants are abusing the process of the court in dispossessing persons who are in lawful possession by obtaining collusive compromise decrees against persons who have no semblance of a right over the property in question.

5. Karnataka High Court Seeks Information Regarding Withdrawal Of Cases Against MPs/MLAs [High Court Of Karnataka v. State Of Karnataka]

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed its Registrar General to seek information regarding the number of cases withdrawn against legislators, pending or disposed off post September 16, 2020.The direction was given during the hearing of a suo-motu petition initiated by the court in view of the directions issued by the Supreme Court asking the Chief Justices of the High Courts to formulate an action plan to rationalize the disposal of criminal cases pending against legislators. Supreme Court had given a direction dated August 10, wherein it directed the high courts to examine the validity of withdrawals of prosecution against the legislators, passed after September 16, 2020.

6. 'Mosques Permitted To Use Loudspeakers Under Which Law?': Karnataka High Court Asks State [Rakesh P v. State of Karnataka]

The Karnataka High Court has on last Tuesday directed the State government and police to inform as to under what provisions of law the use of loudspeakers and public address systems by 16 mosques before it is allowed and what action is being taken to restrict such use in accordance with the Noise Pollution Rules. The court also took suo moto cognizance of the noise pollution created by modified/ amplified silencers fitted in two wheelers and four wheelers which are not as per the standard norms prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act.

7. Karnataka High Court Allows Netflix To Stream "Crime Stories : India Detectives"; Vacates Interim Order [Sridhar Rao S v. Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP]

The Karnataka High Court has vacated the ex-parte interim order granted earlier by which it had directed Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP to block streaming, broadcasting, telecasting or otherwise making available the content of the Episode No.1 of the Series 1 of the documentary "Crime Stories: India Detective" titled "A Murdered Mother". Justice B.M Shyama Prasad, referring to the judgment of the apex court in the case of Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund v. Dr. Kartick Das reported in [1994] 4 SCC 225, and considering the facts of the present case said that a conjoint reading of the statements in the plaint and in the affidavit does not give an inference that there is a definite violation of the rule of 'utmost good faith'.

8. Karnataka High Court Requests State Govt To Provide Two Buildings For Housing HC Offices; Resolve 'Space Crunch' [Ramesh Naik L v. State Of Karnataka]

The Karnataka High Court requested the State government to consider handing over the Old Election Building and the Karnataka Government Insurance Department Building, which are in close proximity to the High Court, for housing the offices of the court.The direction was given by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, during the hearing of a petition filed by Advocate Ramesh Naik L. The petition states that the use of the basement in the High Court building as offices is contrary to law. It prays for a direction to the State Government to make additional space available to the High Court, so that the use of the basement for office purposes can be immediately stopped. The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on January 6, 2022.

9. Can Kannada Be Made Compulsory Subject In Degree Courses As Per NEP?': Karnataka High Court Asks Centre [Samskrita Bharati Karnataka Trust v. Union Of India]

While hearing a plea challenging the Karnataka Government's decision making Kannada language a compulsory subject in degree courses in the State, a division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum directed the Centre to file a short counter affidavit, making its stand clear as to whether States can, under the National Education Policy (NEP), make a regional language compulsory for students enrolling in degree courses.

10. After High Court Nudge, Karnataka Govt. Takes Steps For Filling Public Prosecutor Vacancies In State [High Court of Karnataka v. State of Karnataka]

The Karnataka Government on Monday informed the High Court that substantial compliance has been made in appointing public prosecutors to vacant post in courts across the state. However, certain vacancies are yet to be filled as suitable candidates are not found. The information was provided during the hearing of a suo-motu petition initiated by the High Court in the year 2019, to fill in all the vacant posts of Public Prosecutors, Senior Assistant Public Prosecutors and Assistant Public Prosecutors across the State. The court has now directed the state government to file a compliance report in four weeks' time.

Kerala High Court

1. Kerala High Court To Restore Physical Sitting From November 22

The Kerala High Court has decided to restore physical sitting w.e.f 22.11.2021, Monday. A notice issued in this regard has laid down certain conditions to be followed during physical proceedings. No more than 15 persons at a time will be permitted inside each Court Hall. When hearing through video conference is opted by an Advocate or Party, either as indicated in cause list or as mentioned at the commencement of Sitting and the other Advocates or parties are physically present, the case would be heard in a hybrid manner.

2. Enforcement Directorate Agrees Before Kerala High Court To Trace Financial Trail Of Fake Antiquities Scam [Ajith E.V. v. The Commissioner of Police & Ors.]

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that it will look into the financial trail of the alleged scam plotted by fake antique dealer Monson Mavunkal. Justice Devan Ramachandran allowed impleadment of the Joint Director of the Enforcement Directorate as an additional respondent in the petition. Central Government Counsel Jaishankar Nair appeared for ED and submitted an ECIR has been registered in the matter and that investigation has already begun. In a week's time, he assured to place on record the details on the ongoing probe as well. The matter has been posted for heaing on 1st December.

3. Sabarimala Spot Booking Intended To Ensure Maximum Participation At Darshan, Cannot Be Confined To Two Days: Kerala High Court [ Suo Moto v. Travancore Devaswom Board]

A Division Bench comprising Justices Anil K. Narendran and P.G Ajithkumar emphasised that the very purpose of introducing spot booking centres was to enable devotees who did not have the required facilities for online booking. However, the Bench added that at Nilakkal centre, spots may be valid only for a day since it was located very close to the shrine. This comes after the Standing Counsel for the Travancore Devaswom Board informed that currently, the validity of spots booked through spot booking centres was only 2 days, including the date of booking, which affected the devotees who availed spot booking from distant centres. The matter has been posted to 22nd November.

4. Disaster Management Act Statutorily Recognizes Apat Dharma, Overrides Other Laws During Disasters: Kerala High Court [MH Vijayan v. State of Kerala]

Justice N Nagaresh observed that without the Act having such overriding power, all other rights liberties and freedoms will lose their meaning. "A democratic State should have the power to make such laws which would help to overcome such disasters with least hardship and loss of life and property of its citizens", the court noted in its order. The Court was hearing a plea challenging the mechanised loading and transportation of mineral sand from the river mouth at Thottappally Pozhi (sandbank between the sea and backwaters), situated amidst the paddy fields at Alappuzha. Finding that Section 72 of the Disaster Management Act gives overriding effect to the provisions of the Act, the petitions were dismissed.

5. Kerala High Court Calls For Expedite Probe Into Allegations Of Pink Police Officer Humiliating Minor In Public Gaze [Minor v. State]

Considering that sufficient time has passed since the unfortunate episode, the Judge demanded to know the action taken against Renjitha, the concerned police officer. Justice Devan Ramachandran was hearing a matter where an 8-year-old girl was allegedly accused of stealing a mobile phone from a Pink Police Officer and thereby humiliated in public. The phone was later recovered from accused's bag which was kept in the patrolling vehicle itself. The Judge orally expressed his shock and disappointment at the incident when the matter was taken up:

"She is an 8-year-old girl. Assuming the allegations are right, how can a police officer treat her like this? Traumatising a child, what will the world think of us?"

Also Read: 8 Yr Old Girl Moves Kerala High Court Against Pink Police Officer Over Public Humiliation In False Theft Case

6. Subject Experts Best Judges In Academic Matters: Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Correction Of NEET UG Answer Key [Tejas Girish Menon v Union of India & Anr.]

The Kerala High Court recently dismissed a writ petition challenging a particular answer given in the NEET-UG 2021 Answer Key published by National Testing Agency (NTA ) on finding that there was no "glaring mistake" to show that the answer was wrong. The plea was filed by a NEET-UG 2021 candidate who scored 695 out of 720 securing an All India rank of 293.

"It is a settled proposition of law that in academic matters the academicians and academic bodies are the experts. This will be especially so when the examinations are related to admission to higher professional courses", Justice N. Nagaresh observed.

7. 'Submission' In Face Of Inevitable Compulsion Not 'Consent': Kerala High Court Upholds Rape Conviction [Syam Sivan v. State of Kerala & Anr.]

In a significant judgment, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that there is a substantial distinction between 'consent' and 'submission' to sexual intercourse. Merely because victim was in love with accused, it cannot be presumed that she had given consent for sexual intercourse, the Court said.

"There is a gulf of difference between consent and submission. Every consent involves a submission but the converse does not follow. Helplessness in the face of inevitable compulsion cannot be considered to be consent as understood in law", the court recorded in its order.

The Court was considering an appeal filed by a man convicted by the trial court under Sections 366A (Procuration of minor girl), 376 (Rape) IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO Act for sexually assaulting the defacto complainant.

8. Kerala High Court Directs State To Swiftly Decide On Proposal To Construct Gabion Box Bridge Over Pampa River At Sabarimala [Suo Motu v. Travancore Devaswom Board]

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K.Narendran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar issued the directive about the proposal for Gabion Box bridge in a matter pertaining to the urgent need to reconstruct the damaged Njunangar Bridge at Pampa during the ongoing Mandala Makaravillku Festival at Sabarimala. Pursuant to an earlier Court order, a temporary road had been constructed by the Irrigation Department to ensure the movement of heavy vehicles to the Sewage Treatment Plant and also to the Incinerator at Pampa during the upcoming festival. However, due to extreme weather conditions, the temporary road was likely to be damaged.

9. Kerala High Court Issues Guidelines For Family Court To Endorse Divorce Under Muslim Personal Law, Says Detailed Enquiry Not Necessary [Asbi K.N. v. Hashim M.U]

Kerala High Court has laid down a slew of guidelines to be followed by family court in a petition u/7(d) of Family Act . "The unilateral extrajudicial divorce under Muslim Personal law is complete when either of the spouses pronounces talaq, talaq-e-tafweez or khula, in accordance with Muslim Personal Law. So also extrajudicial divorce by mubaarat mode is complete as and when both spouses enter into a mutual agreement. The seal of the Court is not necessary to the validity of any of these modes of extra-judicial divorce", the court noted The Court further added that a detailed enquiry was not necessary in such cases since the endorsement of extrajudicial divorce by the Family Court is contemplated only to have a public record of such divorce.

10. A Sordid Saga Of Torment & Harassment': Kerala High Court Seeks Expeditious Action Over Bribery Allegations Against Police [Suo Motu vs. State of Kerala]

The Kerala High Court posed further questions in a case where the Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI) was accused of demanding bribe for the release of two girls from a children's home to their parents. Justice Devan Ramachandran refused to close the case despite being informed that the girls were reunited with their parents. The case was registered suo motu on the basis of a news report. The matter will be taken up next on December 2, 2021.

11. Kerala High Court Seeks State's Response On Plea For Compensating Families Of Those Who Died Of Covid-19 Abroad [Pravasi Legal Cell v. State of Kerala]

The Kerala High Court has sought the State's response to a plea seeking a declaration that the family members of a non-resident of the State, who died abroad due to COVID-19, are entitled to ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000. Justice N Nagaresh directed the Government Pleader to take instructions in the matter and it for hearing on November 24. The plea submitted that the poor migrants who went to foreign countries solely for the purpose of finding a living abroad to support their family members in Kerala and unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19 definitely require a sympathetic view.

12. Kerala High Court Seeks Report On Alleged Use Of Spoiled Halal Certified Jaggery To Prepare Prasadam At Sabarimala [SJR Kumar v. Travancore Devaswom Board]

The petitioner in this case alleged that, to the surprise of the devotees, the temple administration was using spoiled Halal certified Jaggery powder for the preparation of Nivedyam and Prasada at Sabarimala. The Kerala High Court has called for the response of the State and the Travancore Devaswom Board. A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K Narndran and Justice PG Ajith Kumar also directed the Sabarimala Special Commissioner to file a report on the matter immediately.

13. Street Vendors Without ID Cards Not To Operate In Kochi From December 1: Kerala High Court [Rajesh R & Ors. v. Health Inspector, Municipal Corporation of Kochi & Ors.]

The Kerala High Court has directed the Kochi Corporation to take immediate steps to implement the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 for the rehabilitation of street vendors within its limits.

Considering that the Corporation has issued identity cards to over 700 eligible street vendors as of now, and was in the process of tracing the rest, Justice A.K Jayasankaran Nambiar ordered:

"Effective 01.12.2021, only such street vendors as having obtained the certificates of vending from the Town Vending Committee of the Cochin Corporation shall be permitted to carry on street vending activities within the limits of Cochin Corporation."

The Court will take this case again on 3rd December.

14. ISRO Espionage: Kerala High Court Quashes Sessions Court Order Imposing Time Limit On Siby Mathews' Pre-Arrest Bail [Dr. Siby Mathews v. Central Bureau of Investigation]

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday set aside the 60 days time limit imposed on the pre-arrest bail granted by the Sessions Court to former DGP Siby Mathews, the fourth accused in the ISRO espionage case. Justice K. Haripal allowed the application filed by the former officer, thereby quashing the order of the Sessions Court. The Court had previously extended the time limit which was set to expire on 24th October several times since CBI had sought time to file its submissions in the matter.

Also Read: ISRO Espionage: Kerala High Court Dismisses Plea Alleging Nambi Narayanan Influenced CBI Officers By Entering Into Land Deals

15. Court Infrastructure Sabotaged By Red Tapism: Kerala High Court Pulls Up Govt Over 24 Years Delay In Constructing Idukki Court Complex [Bar Association v. State of Kerala & Ors]

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday condemned the government's red-tapism which lead to a delay of 24 years in constructing a District Court Complex in Idukki. Justice P.V Kunhikrishnan has directed the State to expeditiously transfer land for the construction of the court complex. The Single Judge was adjudicating upon a plea filed by the Bar Association of Idukki raising its members' grievances regarding the fact that the three courts and attached offices in the district have been functioning with limited facilities.

16. No Point Feeling Sorry After Lives Are Lost: Kerala High Court Pulls Up Kochi Corporation For Lack Of Streetlights In The City [Pauly Vadakkan v. Corporation of Cochin]

The Kerala High Court pulled up the Kochi Corporation for not taking action on installing fictional street lights in the city despite repeated oral directions and warned to summon the Corporation Secretary if the situation persisted. Denouncing the inaction of the Corporation, Justice Devan Ramachandran remarked that it was shameful to have to say that there were no streetlights in the largest city in the State. It was also suggested that barriers may be erected on the borders of footpaths in a manner as to make sure that vehicles cannot trespass.

17. Actor Sexual Assault Case: Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Accused Manikandan [Manikandan v. State of Kerala]

Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to Manikandan, the third accused in the 2017 sensational case relating to the abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actor. Justice Sunil Thomas while allowing the application observed that the petitioner had spent over 4 years in jail in the matter and that he had a comparatively minimal role in the case. Prominent Malayalam actor Dileep is accused as a conspirator in the case. He was released on bail in 2017, so were most of the other accused in the case. However, the first accused has not been released yet.

18. Swap Transplants Permissible Even If Donor-Recipients Not Near Relatives, Provided Special Reason Exist For Donation: Kerala High Court [Moideenkutty & Ors v. District Level Authorisation Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs]

In a significant judgement regarding organ transplantation laws in India, the Kerala High Court has ruled that swap transplants, with prior approval of the Authorisation Committee based on Rule 7(3) of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014., are permissible even if each pair of donor- recipients are not near relatives, provided there exists a special reason under Section 9(3) (of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act) like affection, attachment. etc. for the donor to donate their organ.

19. Consuming Liquor In Private Place Without Causing Nuisance Not An Offence : Kerala High Court [Salim Kumar B.S. v. State of Kerala & Anr.]

The petitioner was booked under Section 118(a) of the Kerala Police Act for allegedly appearing under the influence of alcohol before a Police Station when called to identify an accused. The Court noted that there was no evidence to show that the petitioner committed rioting or misbehaved himself in the Police Station. The only allegation in the F.I.R was that he was intoxicated and was unable to control himself. The Judge further observed that in order to attract an offence punishable under Section 118(a) of the KP Act, a person should be found in a public place in an intoxicated manner or rioting condition incapable of looking after himself.

"Consuming liquor in a private place without causing nuisance or annoyance to anybody will not attract any offence.", the court recorded in its order.

Other Developments: Isn't Govt Responsible To Redress Citizen's Loss Of Job Due To Non-Recognition Of COVAXIN By Foreign Nations? Kerala High Court Asks Centre [Girikumar Thekan Kunnumpurath v. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare & Ors.]

Alarming Situation': Kerala High Court Issues Strict Instructions To Expeditiously Remove Illegal Flag Posts In State [Mannam Sugar Mills Cooperative Ltd v. Deputy Superintendant of Police]

Madras High Court

1. 'Make Special Squads For Traffic Control In Greater Chennai'; Madras High Court Urges Authorities To Take Action Against Corrupt Practices By Traffic Police [Chrompet G.S.T. Salai, Puduvai Nagar Siruthozhil Vyaparigal Sangam v. The Commissioner of Police & Ors.]

Recently, Madras High Court has come down heavily on the irregular parking before commercial establishments in GST Road, Chennai, and it has also made observations on the alleged complicity of traffic police in allowing such illegalities.

A single bench of Justice S.M Subramaniam observed that special teams must be deployed in strategical urban areas during peak hours to avoid traffic congestion. On the issue of complaints about traffic police accepting freebies or Mamul in return for not intervening in traffic violations, the court added that the Commissioner of Police and the Municipal authorities must conduct surprise inspection in this regard and take swift action against erring officials.

2. Govt Job Offer Scam: Madras High Court Orally Directs TN Police To Refrain From Arresting Former Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji Till Wednesday [K.T Rajendra Bhalaji v. The State of Tamil Nadu & Ors]

The Madras High Court has orally asked the Tamil Nadu Police not to arrest till the next date of hearing, former Minister and Senior AIADMK member, K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, accused in the government job offer scam. Virudhanagar District Crime Branch had registered two cheating cases under Section 420 IPC against the former minister, his personal assistants and the allegedly close aid of Bhalaji, K Nallathambi. The hearing was adjourned to enable impleadment of complainants. Advocate appearing for S. Raveendran (one of the alleged victims informed the court that she would like to file an intervening petition to oppose the anticipatory bail pleas.

3. Madras High Court Bats For Mental Health Screening Of Arrestees/ Accused For Remand [Mrs. S v. Superintendent of Prison Thoothukudi District & Ors.]

The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has recently underlined how police, prison authorities and remanding magistrates must deal with arrestees/ prisoners who are persons with mental illness (PMIs). The expression 'every person' in Article 21 comprises an arrestee/ remand prisoner as well, and Section 20 (1) of the Mental Healthcare Act confers on every PMI the right to live with dignity, the court observed.

About the obligation owed to the arrestees or remand prisoners with mental illness, the court suggests,

"It is time that State revises the protocol regarding medical examination of the arrestees. The proforma for health screening of prisoners must contain a specific column as regards the mental well being of the arrestee. That column cannot be filled up after posing a formal question to the arrestee. The duty doctor must observe independently and gather inputs from the arrestee's next friend or relative."

4. Madras High Court Grants Bail To DMK MP T.R.V.S Ramesh, Murder Accused In Cashew Factory Worker's Death Case [T.R.V.S Ramesh v. State Represented by the Inspector of Police, CBCID]

Madras High Court has on Friday granted bail to murder accused T.R.V. S Ramesh, DMK MP from Cuddalore, upon satisfaction that a substantial portion of the police investigation has been already completed. Justice M. Nirmal Kumar, while granting bail, noted that the accused MP had voluntarily surrendered after the demise of his cashew nut factory employee, and that only the forensics reports and other reports are yet to be received.

5. Madras High Court Orders Status Quo On Construction Activities Near Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple [Rangarajan Narasimhan v. The Additional Chief Secretary & 10 Others]

The Madras High Court has ordered status quo in a PIL alleging illegal construction and quarrying near Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Singavaram. It has directed the authorities not to undertake any construction activities for the time being. The Bench of Acting Chief Justice M. Duraiswamy and Justice Satya Narayana Prasad also deemed it fit to list the matter before the special bench constituted for HR&CE matters, since the parties submitted that connected matters are already pending there.

6. Madras High Court Permits 20K Devotees For Karthigai Deepam Festival In Tiruvannamalai; No Entry Inside Temple [D. Senthilkumar v. The Chief Secretary And 4 Others]

The Madras High Court permitted the entry of 20,000 devotees in Tiruvannamalai city, in light of Karthigai Deepam festival on Friday, November 19, subject to the production of double vaccination certificates. The Bench of Acting Chief Justice M. Duraiswamy and Justice J. Sathya Narayana Prasad also made it clear that the devotees will not be permitted to enter the Annamalaiyar temple and that they can witness the festival from Girivalam (from the circumambulation of the holy mountain).

The court also warned that no one will be allowed by the District Administration and Police to take other routes and climb up the mountain to see the Deepam up close.

7. 'Defamation Not A Heinous Crime, Will Order Release Of Leena Manimekalai's Passport' : Madras High Court [ Leena Manimekalai v. Regional Passport Officer & Connected Matters]

Madras High Court on Wednesday orally observed that the passport of filmmaker Leena Manimekalai could not have been impounded merely on the basis of a criminal defamation case pending against her. Justice M. Dhandapani has said that he will be directing the Regional Passport Office, Chennai, to release Manimekalai's passport, who is facing criminal defamation case filed by film director Susi Ganesan in the year 2019. The matter has been deferred by the court for pronouncement of order.

The court orally observed: "This is not a murder trial. If you win the defamation case, you will be compensated. It is not a heinous offence that she has committed, I am going to issue a direction to release the passport."

8. Unique QR Codes In Judgments/ Orders, Advocate Information Management System: New Initiatives By Madras High Court

In a press release by the Registrar General of Madras High Court, several notable initiatives, including those implemented and those that will be brought in place with effect from 15th November have been mentioned. The new reforms include Advocate Information and Management System (AIMS), Document Pagination Module, Braille Printer for Visually Challenged, Unique QR Codes for each judgment and orders, and the Integration of Madras High Court's Case Information System(HC-CIS) with Court Cases Monitoring System( CCMS).

9. 'Rather Remarkable': Madras High Court Sets Aside DRT Order Virtually Facilitating Flight Of Loan Defaulter [State Bank of India v. Atul Jain & Ors.]

"The Tribunal appears to have gone out of its way to facilitate the first respondent's departure from this country," the Madras High Court recently set aside a 'rather remarkable' order passed by the Debt Recovery Tribunal paving way for foreign travel of a loan defaulter. The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D Audikesavalu while dealing with writ petition filed by the State Bank of India against the order of DRT-II at Chennai, further remarked,

"If two applications were carried by the same applicant, the two should have been clubbed together to be heard or one could have been heard ahead of the other; but, when it was specifically recorded that the other application would not be taken up, it was not open to the Tribunal to virtually allow the other application by a side-wind while dealing with an application pertaining to a lookout notice that remained undated in the affidavit and no copy whereof was produced by the applicant".

10. Producer Is Copyright Owner In Film; Giving Credit To Author For Story, Screenplay Not Acknowledgment Of His Copyright: Madras High Court [S.J Suryah (a.k.a. S. Justin Selvaraj) v. S.S Chakravarty & Anr.]

In a copyright dispute on the assignment of remake rights of a film involving Director S.J Suryah, the Madras High Court has held that merely because the producer gave credit to the author for screenplay or dialogue, it would not amount to an acknowledgment of the author's copyright therein. The Court was hearing a challenge against the refusal of trial court to grant an injunction for copyright infringement against the producer and one Fakrudeen Ali, who has brought the remake rights of the film, 'Vaalee'.

11. 'Not Secular Money': Madras High Court Restrains HR&CE Dept From Establishing New Colleges [T. R. Ramesh v. The State Of Tamil Nadu And 2 Others]

The Madras High Court has put an interim stay on setting up of new educational institutions by the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department, using surplus Temple funds, other than the four colleges that are already set up. A bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D Audikesavalu noted that even though imparting education must be appreciated, the money belonging to a religious denomination cannot be treated as "secular money" that can be applied for a secular purpose. For the time being, the bench has asked the State to ensure introduction of a subject on Hindu religion, in accordance with Section 66 of Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Act, 1959, on a regular basis, within one month, in the colleges already established.

Also Read: KVPY Exams: Centre To Take Steps For Conduct Of 2022 Exams In As Many Scheduled Languages As Possible, Madras High Court Agrees [G.Thirumurugan @ Theeran Thirumurugan Vs Union Of India & 4 Ors.]

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1. Physical Relationship With Minor Wife Comes Within Category Of Rape: Madhya Pradesh High Court Denies Bail To Husband [Ajay Jatav Vs. State of MP& Anr.]

The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) recently denied bail to a man who has been accused of establishing a physical relationship with his 'wife' who was below the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the alleged offence and thereby booked for committing rape.

The Bench of Justice G. S. Ahluwalia noted that in the case of Independent Thought Vs. Union of India and another reported in (2017) 10 SCC 800, the Supreme Court had read down the provision of exception 2 to Section 375 of IPC and had held that physical relationship with a minor wife, i.e., below the age of 18 years would also come within the category of rape.

2. Will Aid In Early Disposal Of Criminal Trials: Madhya Pradesh High Court Approves Establishment Of National Forensics Science University [Bharat Jatav v. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.]

The Gwalior Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has approved and ratified the sub-committee's recommendations for the establishment of the National Forensics Sciences University [NFSU].

Justice Anand Pathak observed that it is expected that the move will aid in the early disposal of criminal trials which are long pending due to delays in preparation of DNA reports, etc.

3. Centre Notifies Transfer Of Justice Satish Kumar Sharma From Rajasthan HC To Madhya Pradesh HC

The Central Government has notified the transfer of Justice Satish Kumar Sharma from the Rajasthan High Court to the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

4. Can An Appeal Arise To The Division Bench From An Order Other Than Passed Under Article 226: MP HC Refers The Question to Larger Bench [The State of Madhya Pradesh v. Jaipal Singh]

In a challenge to the order by the Single Judge, a Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has referred the matter to a larger bench with the following question:

Whether the Division Bench in the exercise of powers under Section 2 of the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Appeal to Division Bench) Act, 2005 may entertain the appeal arising from an order other than the order passed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India?

The Court refused to decide on the matter in the absence of clarification of the legal position. A Division Bench of Justices Deepak Kumar Agarwal and Rohit Arya observed that, "it will be tantamount to stretching the bounds of law in excess to the jurisdiction conferred under section 2 of the Act of 2005. In a way, it may be tantamount to judicial indiscipline."

5. Road Accident- Court Shouldn't Award Flea-Bite Sentence For Offence U/S 304-A IPC By Showing Undue Sympathy: MP High Court [Devendra Valmiki Vs. State of M.P.]

Dismissing the criminal revision plea of a convict who hit a bike in a rash and negligent manner thereby causing the death of two persons, the Madhya Pradesh High Court last week noted that the court should not award a flea-bite sentence for offence under Section 304-A of IPC by showing undue sympathy. This assertion came from the bench of Justice G. S. Ahluwalia that observed that the convict wasn't even eligible for a reduction of the jail sentence as two persons lost their lives due to the applicant/convict, who was solely negligent in causing the accident by hitting the motorcycle by coming from the wrong direction.

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh High Court Launches Special Drive To Dispose Old Pending Cases

Supreme Court Raps State Of Madhya Pradesh For Its Callous Way To Implement Orders Passed By It [State of MP v. Sonali Ajmera]

Orissa High Court

1. MTP Act- "Time Is Of Essence; Victim Shouldn't Suffer Due To Lack Of Onerous Obligations Involved In Process": Orissa High Court ['X' v. State of Odisha & Ors]

The Orissa High Court, while refusing to allow a gang-rape survivor to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy, recently noted that time is of the essence in matters involving the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and no victim should suffer due to lack of onerous obligations involved in the process. Although the court, in the instant case, painfully conscious of the possible impact of this decision on the life of the petitioner, noted that it was bound by the legal mandate. The Bench of Justice S.K. Panigrahi was dealing with the plea of a gang-rape victim who is carrying over 26-week pregnancy, who was denied permission to abort her child by the court of S.D.J.M., Banki, on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.

Also Read: "Justice Is Sum Of All Moral Duty": Orissa HC Orders ₹10 Lakh Compensation For Gang Rape Survivor Carrying Over 26-Week Pregnancy ['X' v. State of Odisha & Ors]

2. Orissa High Court Seeks State's Response In Plea Challenging Constitutional Validity Of Orissa Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955 [Tic Tok Skill Games Pvt. Ltd & Ors v. State of Odisha]

The Orissa High Court has issued notice on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Orissa Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955 for being manifestly arbitrary. The plea contended that the impugned legislation impinges on the right to practice any profession, trade or business as guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice A.K Mohapatra directed the State to file its response in the matter within 8 weeks and accordingly listed the matter for further hearing on February 14. In a related development, the Karnataka High Court is currently hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021 by which the State government has banned all online gambling and betting and provide for maximum imprisonment of 3 years and penalty upto Rs 1 lakh for violation of its provisions.

3. Ability To Provide Redress To Victims Of State & Police Excesses Makes Role Of Human Rights Bodies Significant: Orissa High Court [Tapan Narayan Rath and another v. State of Odisha and others]

This assertion came from the bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice A. K. Mohapatra who upheld the order of the OHRC recommending payment of compensation in connection with an alleged case of illegal detention in police custody. Further, the Court also opined that it is only a statutory body like the OHRC which has an exclusive investigating wing, which incidentally is itself comprised of police officers of the State who come over on deputation, which can possibly unearth the truth.

4. Orissa High Court Chief Justice S. Muralidhar Interacts With Students On Children's Day

On the occasion of Children's Day, the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court S. Muralidhar yesterday interacted with class 11th and 12th students at the Orissa Judicial Academy and encouraged them to aspire towards becoming Lawyers and Judges and being the instruments of dispensation of justice for the poor and downtrodden litigants seeking justice. In a first, the Orissa High Court premises were kept open for the purpose of visit by about 25 children from Ravenshaw Higher Secondary School along with their teachers.

Patna High Court

1. Additional District & Sessions Judge Physically Assaulted In Court By Policemen: Patna High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognisance [Court on its own motion on the letter dt. 18.11.2021 from the District and Sessions Judge, Madhubani v. The State of Bihar]

In an unprecedented occurrence, the Patna High Court has taken suo moto cognisance of an act of police violence against an Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jhanjharpur. After the special hearing, in its oral order, the court has expressed shock about the gravity of such an attack on the judge, as reported in the letter. The court noted:

"Prima facie, it appears that this episode puts the independence of the judiciary in jeopardy."

Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the DGP has also been asked to file a status report in sealed cover. The matter has been listed for hearing on 29th November.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1. Senior Advocate Deepinder Singh Patwalia Appointed As The New Advocate General Of Punjab

Senior Advocate Deepinder Singh Patwalia has been appointed as the new Advocate General of Punjab. This comes days after Senior Advocate Amar Preet Singh Deol resigned from the post of AG and his resignation was accepted by the Punjab Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi.

2. Protection Plea: Income, Property, Minor Children Details Made Mandatory By P&H High Court In Case Of Subsisting Marriage Of Petitioner(s) [Saddam and another v. State of Haryana and Others]

In a significant order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made the filing of the declaration (by petitioners filing protection pleas) regarding the status of minor children from the first marriage, if any, details of the moveable, and immoveable property as well as income, as mandatory. Significantly, this declaration has been made mandatory for all protection pleas where the party alleges that they are in a live-in relationship despite subsisting marriage or where it is alleged that the petitioners have performed the second marriage.

3. Recruitments To Posts Of Over 2300 Elementary Trained Teachers In Punjab Set Aside By Punjab & Haryana High Court [Daljit Kaur & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

The Punjab and Haryana High Court last week set aside the entire selection process for recruitment to the posts of 2,364 Elementary Trained Teachers (ETT) 18 months after advertisement to that effect was issued by the State Government. The Court held that there remains no doubt that the impugned selection criteria while granting additional marks for higher qualification (Graduation) is not in accordance with law; rather the same is totally illegal, arbitrary, and discriminatory being contrary to the imperatives contained under rule 6(4) of Service Rules.

4. International Drug Racket- "Serious Allegations Of Attempt To Revive Terrorism In Punjab": P&H High Court Refuses To Quash NIA Case [Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada v. NIA]

The Punjab & Haryana High Court recently refused to quash an NIA Case against Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, who is allegedly a Dubai-based international drug smuggler, by taking into account the allegations against him of reviving terrorism in the state of Punjab and his alleged involvement in the smuggling of heroin and psychotropic substances around the world. The Bench of Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Justice Vivek Puri also noted that during investigation it had emerged that he is indulged in narco terror network to strengthen the terrorist activities of Khalistan Liberation Force through drug smugglers/militant elements and Hawala operatives.

Rajasthan High Court

1. Rajasthan High Court Suo Moto Exercises Writ Jurisdiction Directing Husband To Pay Monthly Maintenance To Deserted Wife, Children [Pintu Devi v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.]

The Rajasthan High Court recently exercised its extraordinary writ jurisdiction and directed a man to pay monthly maintenance to his deserted wife and children as an interim measure. A Division Bench comprising Justice Sandeep Mehta and Justice Sameer Jain was considering a habeas corpus petition filed by a woman alleging that her husband was being detained and blackmailed by one of the respondents.

Tripura High Court

1. Tripura High Court Directs Closure Of Shops In State Selling Wild Animals, Birds Notified Under Wild Life (Protection) Act

The Tripura High Court on Tuesday directed the authorities under the Wildlife (Protection) Act to take action regarding the closure of all such shops in the state of Tripura where animals and birds notified under the Act are being sold. The Bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. G. Chattopadhyay has called for a compliance report/order in this regard within a period of two weeks.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on December 7, 2021.

Telangana High Court

1. Telangana High Court Allows A4 Size Papers, Back To Back Printing For Pleadings & Internal Communications [Mayur Mundra v. State of Telangana & Ors]

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Sathish Chandra Sharma and Justice A. Rajeshekar Reddy noted that the Full Court had already taken a decision to use only A4 size paper back-to-back and that the consequential notification and amendment will be issued very soon. Accordingly, it directed the High Court to issue a necessary notification to the effect as expeditiously as possible, preferably within 30 days.

2. E-Copies Of Bail Orders Sufficient For Release; Certified Copies Not Necessary: Telangana High Court [V. Bharath Kumar v. State of Telangana]

Observing that the indefeasible fundamental right of an accused to bail is not sufficient in itself unless the bail order is furnished within reasonable time, Telangana High Court has dispensed with the requirement of certified copies of bail orders. The court has ruled that an order copy from the High Court's Website along with case details which are available in the case status information would suffice from 22.11.2021. The court has also made it clear that the new directions will apply to all bail applications including bails in Criminal Revision as well as Criminal Appeals.

3. Police Officials To Face Action If Arrest Procedure Under Sec 41A CrPC & 'Arnesh Kumar' Guidelines Are Violated : Telangana High Court [V. Bharath Kumar v. State of Telangana]

Recently, Telangana High Court granted liberty to an accused to initiate proceedings against police officials if the procedure for arrest under Section 41A CrPC is violated. The Court reminded that the police are duty-bound to follow the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the 'Arnesh Kumar' case for arrest. A single-judge bench of Justice Lalita Kanneganti was hearing the anticipatory bail application filed by the head of an education/ job consultancy firm in Secunderabad, primarily accused of cheating under Section 420 IPC.

Uttarakhand High Court

1. Forcing Prisoner's Family To Travel From Mountains To Plains To Meet Prisoners Violates Article 21: U'khand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court observed that forcing the family of a prisoner to travel through the mountainous terrain and to come down to the plains to meet and interact with a relative-prisoner, prima facie, violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India of prisoners and their family members. This assertion came from the Bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma while noting that the Uttarakhand government, on account of overcrowding of jails, has been transferring many inmates from jails situated in mountainous districts to the plain districts.

2. Register FIR, Take Strict Action Against Those Who Threaten Couples Marrying Against Wishes Of Family: Ut'khand HC Directs DGP [Swaleha Hussain v. State of Uttarakhand & Another]

Stressing that the adults have a right to marry a person of their choice, the Court observed that no pressure tactic should be permitted either by the family members or by friends of the family. The Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma directed the State DGP to ensure that a circular issued in the regard be followed in letter and spirit asked him to take action against the delinquent officer.

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