High Courts Weekly Round-Up
Bombay High Court
- Nagpur Bench of the High Court recently held a journalist guilty of extortion for threatening to publish a news item defaming the complainant and demanding money in exchange for his silence. In doing so, Justice MG Giratkar observed, "The illustrations to Section 384 are very clear. All the illustrations show that even a threatening by journalists who are reporters to publish news in a newspaper to defame that person amounts to extortion."
- Set aside an order passed by the State Home Department that facilitated the release of 11 police officials convicted for the fake encounter killing of Ramnarayan Gupta alias LakkhanBhaiya, under Section 432 of the CrPC by suspending their sentences for six months.
- Granting relief to a deceased railway employee's son, the High Court held that compassionate employment cannot be denied to him just because he was born out of the employee's second marriage. A division bench of Justice AS Oka and Justice SK Shinde followed the decision of the apex court in Union of India and Anr vs. VR Tripathi and set aside the order passed by the Railways rejecting the YuvrajKhadake's petition seeking compassionate employment.
Chhattisgarh High Court
- Observed that mere refusal to marry is not an instigation to attract offence of 'abetment to suicide'. Justice Arvind Singh Chandel observed thus while allowing a revision petition against the Trial Court order which framed charge against the accused under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.
- while discharging a man accused of instigating his wife's suicide, observed that excess sexual acts by a husband and unnatural sex could not be considered as 'instigation' as defined under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code.
Delhi High Court
- Quashed the Mobile Number Portability Per Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge [Amendment] Regulations, 2018, holding that it is ultra vires the powers of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India under the TRAI Act, and also contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution.
- Dismissing the suits filed by multinational footwear manufacturer Crocs, the High Court held that suit for action against passing off solely based on a design registered under the Designs Act 2000 is not maintainable.
- Sought the response of the Central Government in a petition challenging the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Ordinance 2019, which has resulted in the take over of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution set up in the year 1995.
- Stayed the order appointing Dr. Rajiv Mani, Joint Secretary & Legal Advisor, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice as the custodian of the undertakings of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation filed by three law students challenging the constitutionality of section 62(5) of Representation of People Act, 1951, which deprives prisoners their right to vote.
Gujarat High Court
- Rejected a bail application filed by former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with a two-decade-old drug seizure case. Justice Sonia Gokani refused to grant relief to Bhatt, who is behind the bars since September last year in connection with a 23-year-old drug seizure case. In the order, the court observed that mere emphasis of delay of 21 years in the proceedings with the matter cannot be the sole guiding factor while deciding a bail application
Karnataka High Court
- Interpreting provisions of 195 A of the Indian Penal Code observed the said provision is not restricted that threatening only by the accused. Justice HP Sandesh was considering an appeal against the Trial Court order which rejected a witness's application under 195A of the Criminal Procedure on the ground that the accused persons named in the application are nothing to do with the case on hand.
Kerala High Court
- Observed that a liberal approach needs to be adopted while dealing with divorce applications based on mutual consent. The division bench comprising Justice CK Abdul Rahim and Justice TV Anilkumar observed that, in such applications, the court should be liberal in waiving off the stipulation of Cooling off period (waiting period).
- Taking serious note of the blatant violation and non-compliance of its previous orders, the High Court issued a final ultimatum to all local self-government institutions in the state. The new directions issued by the court require urgent action by officers concerned to remove all illegal flex boards/hoardings/billboards/flags within 10 days. The court also stated that failing to do so would be termed as dereliction of duty and appropriate penal measures would be imposed in this regard.
Madhya Pradesh High Court
- Asked the State Government to frame guidelines for the betterment and treatment of Autistic Children. The bench comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Virender Singh also requested NGOs to come forward and help out each and every Autistic Child.
Madras High Court
- Observed that a Governmental Body like World Tamil Sangam should not side with people protesting against a book by denying permission to its author to use their hall for the book release. Justice GR Swaminathan observed that intolerance is dangerous to democracy and there should be a free trade in ideas.
Meghalaya High Court
- Sit in the corner of the Court room till the rising of the Court and pay a fine of Rupees Two Lakhs, orderedthe High Court while holding that the two women journalists of Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim and ShobaChaudhuri have committed 'contempt of court'. Irony is that the order has been passed on a day celebrated as 'Women's day'.
Patna High Court
- Held that the right of a female to choose a family life and have a child at the pre-employment stage cannot be a compulsion on the employer to mould the terms and conditions of the selection process. The Division bench comprising of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Anjana Mishra set aside a single bench order which had allowed plea of Ishika Raj seeking further opportunity to participate in Physical Evaluation Test for the post of Jail warder, because they were unable to undertake the same due to advanced stage of pregnancy at the time the test was conducted.
Sikkim High Court
- Held that an act of forcibly kissing a girl child of 11 years of age and hugging her can amount to "aggravated sexual assault" as defined in Section 9(m) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012