High Courts Weekly Round Up
Allahabad High Court
- Granted conditional bail to Anuj Shukla, editor of news channel Nation Live, which had allegedly aired defamatory content about Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath.
- Dismissed a writ petition holding that once evidence was closed and the court proceedings entered the stage of arguments, any application filed for appointment of a commissioner would amount to permitting the party to fill up lacunae in its evidence.
- Quashed the order of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), denying extension of approval to Integrated Academy of Management And Technology (IAMT) for not submitting occupancy certificate, on account of violation of principles of natural justice.
Bombay High Court
· Passed a unique order in a Public interest Litigation filed by one Sapan Shrivastava, who has already filed more than 40 PILs before the High Court. The bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice NM Jamdar noted- "Other than filing Public Interest Litigations we find that the Petitioner is not helping the Society by rendering services as a para legal volunteer.
- Allowed a petition filed by Ratan Tata and 10 others challenging process issued by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate against them in Nusli Wadia's complaint under Section 500 of the IPC (defamation) alleging that the petitioners had damaged his reputation.
- Confirmed the death sentence awarded to one Vishwajit Masalkar, 25-year-old convicted under Section 302 of IPC for killing his mother, wife and two-year-old daughter in order to marry another woman.
· In the July 25th order granting relief to Lawyer's Collective, the High Court noted that there was no new material on the basis of which a FIR has been registered against Lawyers Collective, the NGO working in the field of human rights. The bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre accepted the submissions put forth by Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy who appeared on behalf of the petitioners.
- Reserved its order in Gautam Navlakha's writ seeking to quash the FIR filed against him by the Pune police following the Bhima Koregaon violence that took place on January 1, 2018.
Chhattisgarh High Court
- Holding the jail authorities liable for custodial death of a government school teacher, the High Court of Chhattisgarh granted a compensation of Rs. 15 lakhs to his legal heirs.
Delhi High Court
- Directed the GST Commissioner to allow a company which had made an error in filing the TRAN-1 form online to rectify the same immediately. The court has asked the authority to either open the online portal so as to enable the Petitioner to again file the rectified TRAN-I Form electronically or accept the manually filed TRAN-I Form with the correction on or before 31st July, 2019.
- Reiterated the position of law on the reliability of evidence given by child witnesses while upholding a conviction for child rape. The Single Bench of Justice Hari Shankar also explained the threshold to establish 'penetrative act' under section 3 of POCSO, and went on to comment upon the heinous character of crimes of such nature.
- Held that the court cannot interfere with the cut-off set by colleges for seats reserved for persons with disabilities. The court, however, did acknowledge the claim that persons with intellectual disability shall be treated differently from persons with locomotor disability while setting the cut-offs.
· Held that the benefits of the Delhi Government Employees Health Scheme (DGEHS) do not extend to all the members of the beneficiary. The single bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru noted that DGEHS was a contributory scheme, and the employee is conscious that it covers only specified family members. The court opined that the State has limited resources and medical facilities provided are necessarily confined within the resources available with the State. The manner in which the said resources have to be deployed is also to be determined by the State.
- Issued notice in a Writ Petition filed by a student, alleging hostile discrimination done by the Govt. of Delhi against graduates of 3 years LLB course.
- Granting the relief of permanent injunction to the Petitioner, Yash Raj Films (YRF), the High Court barred the Defendant, Sri Sai Ganesh Productions, from screening a remake of the Bollywood film Band Baaja Baaraat.
· Dismissed a plea seeking direction to the Centre to declare 'Vande Mataram' the national anthem, at par with "Jana Gana Mana", or the national song.A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said it finds no reason to entertain this petition, while exercising its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution.
· Dismissed with a cost of Rs 10,000 a petition seeking to legalise cannabis, a banned drug which attracts criminal prosecution, for medical purpose. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said there was no substance in the petition and it was not inclined to grant the prayer.
· Held that moratorium under Section 14 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will not bar trial of suit by the corporate debtor and a counter-claim in such suit if issues and facts in both are intertwined.
Gujarat High Court
- In a landmark ruling, the High Court permitted the termination of a 24 weeks old foetus, borne by a minor rape survivor.
- Refused to grant any relief to an ungrateful son, who claimed right in her mother's property, a bungalow at Vadodra after he was excluded by the mother in her 'Will' as he would beat the parents.
Karnataka High Court
- Directed a hospital to terminate 21-week old pregnancy of a rape victim and directed investigating officer to preserve fetus and carry out DNA investigation at the Forensic laboratory to assist further investigations in the case and trial.
- Directed the Station House officer, Indiranagar Police station, to not insist on a 'photograph with a slate' of a woman seeking to execute the bail bond.
- Directed State government to by August 13 spell out time limit in which it would categorize areas, in Bengaluru city and State under the Noise Pollution rules.
Kerala High Court
· Issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation which seeks to revise the backward community list of Kerala and to increase the percentage of reservation of Muslim minority community. The bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar directed the Kerala Government and Kerala State Backward Classes Commission to respond to the petition within four weeks.
- The Human Rights Commission has no unlimited jurisdiction, remarked the High Court while setting aside its order apparently in conflict with a High Court judgment.
Madras High Court
- Dismissing the writ petitions filed by Petitioners, the High Court held that the President's power to grant pardon under Article 72 of the Constitution included the power to impose conditions upon such pardon and the convicts were estopped from questioning the same.
- Quashing the proceedings against the Petitioners, the High Court held that a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (the Act), cannot be maintained against the partners of a firm, without making the firm as an accused person.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
- Dismissing a writ petition, the High Court held that a candidate, who applied for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2019 examination from particular State, can seek admission in the State quota of any other State.
- While prohibiting the use of loudspeakers in the states of Punjab and Haryana without prior permission from the authorities, the High Court also took judicial notice of glorification of liquor, wine, drugs and violence in songs in the States which affected the children of impressionable age