High Courts Weekly Round Up
Allahabad High Court
- Converted the conviction for murder under Section 302 IPC to culpable homicide not amounting to murder by applying Exception IV to Section 300 IPC.
- Held that anticipatory bail application filed under Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code is not maintainable before the High Court without exhausting remedy before the Court of Sessions, unless there are 'extraneous or special reasons'.
Bombay High Court
- Held that parents of a child born through surrogacy are also entitled to maternity and paternity leave. Division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing writ petition filed by Dr. Pooja Doshi seeking relief on rejection of maternity leave by her employer on the ground that Leave Rules and policy governing the rules do not permit leave for a child born out of surrogacy.
- Took a stern stand against frivolous petitions/PILs and dismissed a petition filed by one Sapan Shrivastava seeking admission for his son under Right to Education Act. Sapan, who admittedly has filed more than 25 petitions before the High Court so far had claimed to belong to economically weaker section.
Delhi High Court
- A division bench of the High Court held that the ordinary parameters for grant of interim injunctions should be followed in patent infringement suits as well.
- Ordered 10 local bodies including Delhi Jal Board, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Municipal Corporation of Delhi to file affidavits stating whether or not they are employing manual scavengers, directly or indirectly. The court also remarked that if people continue to die, someone has to go to jail.
- Reiterated that court cannot recast the terms of an arbitration agreement entered into between parties and should rather make efforts to ensure that the parties adhere to the choice of the Arbitrator or to the mechanism for constituting the Arbitral Tribunal as envisaged by the Arbitration Agreement.
- Asked the Delhi Government to consider the plan of self-financed buses as one of the solutions to curb air pollution in Delhi. The Division Bench of Justice Sistani and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a clubbed PIL seeking directions to be given to the Delhi government to take measures to curb chronic air pollution in the capital city.
- Passed an Order directing the Delhi Government to file an affidavit showing steps taken by them for regulating Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) in the state. The court noted the urgency of the matter by highlighting that many children are picking up ENDS such as e-cigarettes without knowing the harm it can cause to their health.
- In a petition seeking termination of the pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, the High Court opined that the right to terminate pregnancy cannot be denied merely because the gestation has continued beyond 20 weeks. The bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar said that in certain circumstances it is difficult to refuse the permission to undergo medical termination of pregnancy.
- Dismissed the petitions seeking quashing of NEET UG, 2019 result.
- Dismissed a PIL seeking reduction in fares of Delhi metro. The court cited that price fixation is a statutory function under section 33 Metro Railways Act, 2002, hence intervention can't be made.Sought response from the Centre and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on a PIL demanding refund of excess subscription fee running into thousands of crores of Rupees collected and misappropriated by broadcasters on the basis of illegal tariff orders.
- Barred e-commerce websites from selling products of companies which are engaged in direct selling. The court held that the products are being sourced through unauthorized channels and that they are tampered and impaired which violates the rights of the Petitioners under the Trademark Act.
- Ruled that malls, multiplexes, shopping establishments etc., have to provide parking to the customers without collecting any fee from them. The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Anant Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav reached this conclusion based on the interpretation of provisions in Gujarat building and town planning laws which mandate that building owners should "provide" car parking space.
- Held that there are adequate provisions under Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, to recognize, preserve and promote Indian Sign Language. The court, however, rejected the claim of the petitioner to direct the government to include ISL in Schedule VIII of the Constitution.
- Dismissed a PIL seeking directions to make 'marital rape' a ground for divorce. The matter fell within the mandate of the Legislature and no judicial orders can be passed in that regard, held the Court.
- Dismissed a PIL seeking legal recognition of marital and familial relations of persons belonging to the LGBTQ community. The court recognised the prayer of the petitioner to be legislative in nature, hence it refused to exercise the jurisdiction over the same.
- Held that irretrievable breakdown of marriage alone cannot be a ground of divorce and can only be considered as a circumstance by the Court if it is merged with cruelty.
- Held that in a case of inducement, allurement and cheating of large number of investors/ depositors in pursuance to a criminal conspiracy, each deposit by an investor constitutes a separate and individual transaction. All such transactions cannot be amalgamated and clubbed into a single FIR by showing one investor as the complainant, and others as witnesses.
- Dismissed a writ petition seeking guidelines to be given for tracing, tapping and surveillance of phones by law enforcement agencies.The court cited that there are adequate guidelines in place to govern the same.
- Dismissed a writ petition seeking directions to be given to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to appoint a Leader of Opposition. The court noted that there's no statutory provision that mandates the appointment of a Leader of Opposition.
- Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani of the High Court directed the Central Information Commission to give details on the communication and consultation between Leader of Opposition and Speaker of Lok Sabha about granting of a one year extension to the Secretary General, Lok Sabha Shri T.K Vishwanathan holding that such information was not protected by 'parliamentary privilege' under section 8(1)(c ) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Gujarat High Court
- Expressly stating that return in Form GSTR-3B is only a stop-gap arrangement and not a return in lieu of Form GSTR-3, the High Court held as illegal Centre's Press Release dated October 18, 2018 to the extent that it clarified that the last date for availing input tax credit relating to the invoices issued during the period from July, 2017 to March, 2018 is the last date for the filing of return in Form GSTR-3B
Jharkhand High Court
- Granted bail to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case, but the former Bihar chief minister will remain in jail as he is also serving sentence in two other related cases.
- Right to get anticipatory bail is not any fundamental right, remarked the High Court while rejecting an application filed by a man involved in a case registered under the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Justice Rajbir Sehrawat observed that the statutory power of granting pre-arrest bail is so extraordinary that it is not even available in some parts of the country.
- Expressing concern over mob violence in the state in the past few days, High Court directed the state government to submit reports related to alleged murder of Md Tabrez Ansari in Saraikela Kharsawan district and the alleged attack on two youths at Main Road in Ranchi.
Karnataka High Court
- Held that only the secured creditor, and no other person or entity, can initiate action against the borrower under the Secularization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act (SARFAESI).
- Said it would pass and order on July 23, stating that "Pothole-free roads are fundamental rights of every citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, and in the event any loss caused due to its violation, the citizens have the right to seek compensation."
- Said that government cannot recover the study leave benefits given to an in-service employee, even if he is unsuccessful in the exams that he appeared.
- Said that "Parents rather than the grand parents are the best guardians of a minor child." The view was taken while directing a grand father to hand over custody of a minor child to her father, but disallowing the father to become a legal guardian to her property.
Kerala High Court
- A Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala dismissed the appeal filed by the Kerala Government against the 2015 judgment of the single bench which had ordered Rupees One Lakh compensation to a man who was illegally detained on suspicion of being a Maoist.
- Mere provision of transportation facilities to the students is not a substitute to establish schools for elementary education, the Kerala High Court has held.
Madras High Court
- Upheld the Tamil Nadu government order banning use of throwaway plastic which came into force of January 1 this year. However, the Court lamented its poor implementation, saying plastic products were still freely available.
- Held that a Prisoner's Transit Warrant can never be converted into a regular warrant where the accused is out on bail and that it thereby does not authorise the Court to remand the accused on the strength of a regular warrant.
- A bench comprising of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, while hearing a matter placed before it observed recently that right to education means, right to health & hygiene, drinking water, fire safety, building safety and transport precautions in the school, as well".
- While dismissing a petition filed by G. Thirumurugan Gandhi accused of making vitriolic speeches, the High Court observed that the Constitution of India does not permit hate speech in the name of freedom of speech and expression.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
- Held that conducting DNA profiling of the accused under Section 53A of the Cr.P.C is a part of fair trial. The Court was hearing a revision petition filed by the petitioners, (accused before Trial Court) challenging an order of the Trial Court dismissing their application under Section 53-A Cr.P.C, for conducting DNA profiling of such petitioners.
- Observed that a hardcore prisoner can only be released under armed escort for attending the marriage of a relative for 48 hours, in accordance with Section 5A of the Haryana Good Conduct Prisoners (Temporary Release) Act, 1988 as amended in 2013.
Rajasthan High Court
- Remarking that ground reality was much worse than statistics on infrastructure in court complexes across the State where a majority of court complexes lacked drinking water, toilets, chambers and even the crucial lock-up facility, the High Court asked the District Judges to conduct periodic inspection of court complexes to ensure basic minimum cleanliness, hygiene leading to increased productivity besides directing the State to immediately take steps to provide security to all judicial officers.
- In the suo moto proceedings initiated in the wake of deaths of infants in tribal and backward areas of the state, the High Court issued omnibus directions to address the acute shortage of medical staff. The division bench of Chief Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice Dinesh Mehta directed the Government to fill up the vacancies of medical officers in primary health centres in vulnerable and backward areas of the state within four weeks.