High Courts Weekly Round Up
Bombay High Court
- Held that mere contractions in the statement of the witness cannot be the sole ground for conviction for perjury and the objectionable statements have to be perused as a whole to determine if the false statement was given willfully and knowingly.
- Restrained VijaypatSinghania, Raymond Limited's former chairman and managing director, from publishing his autobiography "The Incomplete Man" till March 13.
- Held that the use of un-verified, photocopied documents as evidence is bad in law and stayed an order of the Special NIA Court allowing photocopied statements of witnesses and confessions of accused as secondary evidence in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
- Dismissed a contempt petition filed by Dr. Manohar Rawate seeking action against Justice (retd) AnoopMohta and Justice GS Kulkarni. The petitioner alleged that the two judges had "forged an order" dated September 29, 2016.
- Extended till February 27 the interim protection from arrest granted to activist and academic Anand Teltumbde.
- Refused ad-interim relief sought by Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Anil DhirubhaiAmbani Group, in a commercial suit filed by Reliance Project Ventures and Management Pvt Ltd and made some sharp observations against the plaintiff.
Calcutta High Court
- Granted interim protection to Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, from arrest by CBI for six weeks in the Saradha chit fund scam.
- Held prosecuting a person under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 (Black Money Act) during the pendency of penalty proceedings under the Income Tax Act 1961 will not amount to double jeopardy.
- Observed that High Courts do not lack jurisdiction to entertain writ petitions/applications under Article 227 of the Constitution questioning orders of the State Consumer Commission or the District Forum.
- Allowed a pregnant woman's appeal seeking medical termination of her 29 week pregnancy. The bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice BiswanathSomadder and Justice Arindam Mukherjee set aside the single bench order that rejected her petition to terminate her 26-week-old pregnancy (as it then was), despite the fact that the baby has a high risk of Down Syndrome, along with problems in the esophagus, heart and abdomen.
- Issued certain directives to ensure that the investigation of crimes involving electronic evidence is conducted in a fair, impartial and effective manner. The bench comprising Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Manojit Mandal was considering the bail application filed by a man who allegedly posted objectionable pictures of his wife on a social network platform and had widely circulated such materials.
- Held that imposing examination fee on Scheduled Caste Schedule Tribe applicants to Group D Posts in the High Court is not illegal.
- Held that only Advocates enrolled under Advocates Act are authorised to plead and argue on behalf of litigants before a court of law.
Delhi High Court
- Rejected Manipur student activist VeewonThokchom's plea challenging his arrest and transit remand in the capital in a sedition case lodged against him for remarks made over the Citizenship Bill on social media.
- In an encouraging step for systemic accountability, the High Court, while issuing notice to the National Board of Examinations (NBE) and Ministry of Health & Welfare, instructed them to prepare all necessary documentation (question papers, answer key, answer sheets, etc.) that formed the basis of the results of the NEET PG-2019 within two weeks. Justice C Hari Shankar was hearing a petition filed by 17 doctors disputing the results of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Post-Graduate) (NEET PG) 2019, and demanding a fresh merit list based on re-evaluation and revision.
- slapped a cost of Rs 15,000 on an applicant for filing a frivolous appeal. The applicant has been directed to deposit the cost with the website www.bharatkeveer.gov.in as a donation towards martyrs' kin.
- Slapped a cost of Rs 15,000 on an applicant for filing a frivolous appeal. The applicant has been directed to deposit the cost with the website www.bharatkeveer.gov.in as a donation towards martyrs' kin.
- Asked the Delhi Government to consider the plea of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala for his release from Tihar jail in light of the Centre's Special Remission Notification dated July 18, 2018, while observing that anyone who is convicted has a right to get remission of good conduct as per law.
- Noticing that the Bar Council of India Rules do not lay down any guidelines for charging of fee by lawyers, the High Court directed BCI to consider framing guidelines/rules prescribing the manner of charging professional fees by lawyers.
Gujarat High Court
- "Although there is a good deal of opposition to death penalty, yet it should remain on the statute book", said a division bench of the High Court while commuting death sentence awarded to two men accused of kidnapping and murdering a boy aged about five years.
- Issued notice to Bar Council of India in a Public Interest Litigation registered by the High Court administration itself raising the issue of incompetency of lawyers.
Karnataka High Court
- A Division Bench of High Court clarified that 'no objection certificate' from the counsel holding vakalath is necessary for a new counsel to enter appearance in the case, if the previous counsel has not been discharged from the case.
Kerala High Court
- While considering anticipatory bail applications of 24 persons charged under various penal provisions for the havoc they caused during a Hartal, the High court again made it clear that nobody has a right to prevent other citizens from exercising their fundamental rights to carry on business or trade in anywhere in India and also to move freely in the name of Hartal.
- Rejected the application for regular bail filed by four youngsters accused in the murder of Youth Congress worker Shuhaib a year ago. "the theory of annihilation of political opponents have no space in a society of civilised human beings", observed Justice Sunil Thomas yesterday while dismissing the bail application.
- initiatedsuo motu proceedings against the state wide Hartal announced by Youth congress. State wide Hartal was announced after two Youth Congress workers, Kripesh and Sarath Lal were hacked to death in Kasargod by unidentified assailants. The bench observed that those who called the Hartal would face severe consequences as it is in sheer violation of the court order.
- Issued guidelines to deal with the procedure for appointment of Guardian to a patient lying in 'comatose state'. The bench comprising Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice N. Anil Kumar observed that no specific provision is available in any Statutes to deal with the procedure for such appointment of Guardian to a victim lying in 'comatose state'.
- Held that the educational officers under the Kerala Education Act and Rules made thereunder have no disciplinary control over teachers in the schoosl affiliated to CBSE The bench comprising Justice Chitambaresh and Justice Narayana Pisharadi observed that such educational officers have no jurisdiction to order reinstatement in service of teachers in the school affiliated to CBSE and the management is not obliged to honour the same.
- Set aside an auction sale held for recovery of arrears due to a bank on the ground that it was done beyond the period of three years from the end of financial year in which recovery certificate was issued by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT).
- A full bench of the High Court observed that no candidate can claim a legally enforceable right to be appointed to a particular post merely on the strength of his/her inclusion in the rank list published by the Public Service Commission.
Madras High Court
- The freedom of expression always gets challenged when it touches upon religious beliefs, said the High Court while granting bail to a man accused of making derogatory comments on Prophet Mohammad.
Patna High Court
- Struck down an amendment brought to Bihar Special Security Group Act, 2000 relating to life time allotment of Government premises for residential purposes to Ex-Chief Ministers, who have already demitted office.
Uttarakhand High Court
- issued a notice to the chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal to showcause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for disobeying two of high court's order passed on petitions moved by whistleblower IFS officer SanjivChaturvedi.