High Courts Weekly Round Up

High Courts Weekly Round Up

Allahabad High Court

Bombay High Court

  • Held that a victim under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, who is an adult, cannot be forced to stay at a correctional home against her wishes.
  • Directed the National Investigation Agency to submit names of witnesses who are yet to be examined by the agency, both before the High Court and Special NIA Court which is conducting the 2008 Malegaon blast trial.
  • Held that narrow interest of the individual landowner must yield to the larger public interest. The court was hearing a writ petition challenging a particular condition in a notification issued by the Urban Development Ministry announcing the decision to include certain lands previously in the agricultural zone into the residential zone.
  • Heard a PIL filed by Citizen Circle for Social Welfare and Education seeking remedies for correction of Mumbai's polluted costal water problem. Division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar directed the MPCB to ensure that the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai lays down extension of pipelines in order for all of city's waste to be treated at these plants within a "reasonable period of time."
  • Set aside an order of the Maharashtra Appellate Advance Ruling Authority (AARA) under Section 101 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 and Maharashtra Goods and Service Tax act, 2017. As per the AARA order dated August 6, 2018, input tax credit is not available on purchase of 'cash carrying' motor vehicles.
  • The Goa bench of the High Court sentenced 39-year-old Samson D'Souza, to 10 years imprisonment after convicting him under Sections 304(ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 328 (causing hurt by poison), 354 (assault with intent to outrage modesty) and 201(causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 8 (ii) of the Goa Children's Act in the death of 15-year-old British national Scarlett Keeling.
  • Set aside the order of Juvenile Justice Board that had directed to try a 'juvenile' accused of murder of a 3 year old girl 'as an adult'.He shall be tried as a juvenile, said Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu while observing that the Board had mechanically relied on the Social Investigation Report and Mental Health Report, without analysing the older adult's case on its own.
  • Set aside the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance granted to southern part of the coastal road project by the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), Expert Assessment Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) as well the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Calcutta High Court

· Held that the inherent powers of the Court should be used in appropriate cases to meet the ends of justice. While granting interim order in a commercial suit, Justice Shekhar B Saraf observed that the Court has the duty to protect honest businessmen from those who use unscrupulous means to cheat.

Calcutta High Court

  • Held in case of Surajit Roy v. State that recovery of narcotic substance from a bag carried by the accused on a public road attracts Section 43 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and seizure of the contraband by the Assistant Sub Inspector of Police under such circumstances does not suffer from lack of inherent jurisdiction.
  • Dismissed in limine a Public Interest Litigation seeking a declaration that it is part of fundamental right of a citizen to worship Lord Rama and to chant "Joy Sree Ram".

Chhattisgarh High Court

  • Held that if the medical technologies have affirmed lack of development of the foetus and its viability is also in doubt, the woman has a right to call for medical termination of pregnancy.

Delhi High Court

  • The High Court bench comprising of Justice J.R. Midha, while hearing a matter placed before it, fined the female petitioner Rs 50,000 for raising a false plea of sexual harassment.
  • Expressed its pain to have seen IPAB Tech Member post lying vacant for years, and invoked 'Doctrine of Necessity' to ensure the rights of parties are not affected.
  • Clarified the position of law on the issue of copyright infringement of a cinematograph film by making various observations. The court interpreted sections 13, 14(d) and 2(d) of the Copyright Act to hold that the copyright protection of a film is at par with that accorded to literary works and its scope is wider than just duplication.
  • Granted injunction to Dish TV against Doordarshan in order to prevent the latter from using the word 'DISH' for its services. The Single Bench of Justice Sahay Endlaw refused to accept the defendant's claim of publici juris and termed the usage a prima facie case of infringement.
  • In the case of Shivani v ESIC directed Employees State Insurance Corporation to issue "Ward of Insured Persons Certificate" to petitioner's daughter Ms. Ashi so as to enable her to secure admission, in the MBBS course in an Institute affiliated to the ESIC, for the academic session 2019-2020. Pertinently during the pendency of the present writ petition, Ashi missed one full academic year of 2018-2019.
  • Passed an order directing the local bodies in Delhi to file a list of community halls and banquet halls that are operating without a licence or in violation of fire safety norms.
  • Dismissed a PIL that challenged the procedure followed by St Stephens College in conducting admissions for seats reserved for certain categories and setting an unreasonably high cut-off for the same. The court also refused to issue a mandamus to the College, to call candidates, against any quota or course, for participation in the written test and interview, in excess of the number of candidates already called by it.
  • Accepted unconditional apologies tendered by three respondents in a contempt case initiated for remarks against Justice Muralidhar. The bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal noted that the respondents have stated they hold Justice Muralidhar in high regard. The court also directed them to be "more careful in future".
  • Issued notices to the Central Government and the Delhi Government to file counter affidavits in a PIL seeking linking of property documents with Aadhaar Card.
  • Do married individuals lack wisdom making them ineligible for recruitment into the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the armed forces, the High Court asked the Centre. The bench raised these queries while hearing a PIL challenging the restriction on married individuals from being considered for JAG department, the legal arm of the army.
  • In a significant judgment upholding rights of accused especially the right to liberty, the High Court allowed the application of an accused person namely Farhan Sheikh while condoning the delay in filing and re-filing the appeal saying appellant has shown "sufficient cause" for the delay.
  • Held that merely non-joining of any public witness at the time of recovery of weapons does not raise doubt as to the truthfulness of the testimony of a police witness on the same point or discard their evidence.

Gauhati High Court

Karnataka High Court

  • Held that no school can expel a child by issuing Transfer Certificates (TC) without any requests made by the parents.

Kerala High Court

  • Issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation challenging the construction of a shopping mall by Lulu International Shopping Mall Pvt Ltd at Akkulam in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

  • Quashed a 'rape case' against a man on the ground that the consent for sex was granted by the prosecutrix even after knowing very well that the accused would not marry her.

Madras High Court

  • The Bench comprising of Justice S.M. Subramaniam held that persons appointed as daily wage employees on a temporary basis, cannot ask for regularization and permanent absorption.
  • Delving into the ways in which stretching the scope of compassionate employment on basis of unwarranted sympathy can affect efficient administration in a welfare state, the High Court held that compassionate appointment scheme is a non-statutory scheme in the form of a concession and cannot be claimed as a matter of right on mere death of a government employee in harness.
  • Dismissed a PIL against opening of Hindu temples at mid-night for 'western' New Year celebration.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

  • Issued notices to the Jammu and Kashmir government and six men convicted in the case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua on a plea by her father seeking enhanced punishment for them.
  • In the case of Amit Mehra v. Manju allowed an unemployed husband (who had lost his job) to provide basic necessities like Rice, Ghee & wearing suits to his wife in maintenance.

Rajasthan High Court

  • Issued a notice requesting counsels and those appearing before the judges to desist from addressing the Hon'ble Judges as "My Lord" and "Your Lordship".

· Observed that NRI quota is not available in State Government institutions. In the instant case, writ petition was filed by the Mahatma Gandhi University of Medical Sciences and Technology assailing a notification issued by the Director of Medical Education regarding NRI Quota contending that the DME does not have any authority to issue directions regarding the NRI quota.