High Courts Weekly Round-Up
Bombay High Court
- Reserved judgement after conclusion of arguments in bail applications filed by activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Pune police's case against the said accused that they were involved in inciting caste-based violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune on January 1, 2018.
- Held that Goods and Services Tax cannot be levied on the Duty-Free Shop(DFS) at Mumbai airport for goods sold to outgoing passengers. The Court held that such shops are entitled to refund of input tax credit. A Division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre noted that duty free shops are within the limits of customs area. Therefore, supply of imported goods to and from the DFS did not cross the customs frontier of India.
- Aurangabad bench of the High Court asked the police to register a case and investigate allegations against the management of a sugar factory in Ahmednagar, which is run by Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, state cabinet minister for housing, for allegedly diverting funds procured as a result of a farmer loan waiver scheme floated by the state government.
- The High Court at Goa held that there no evidence of any adverse impact on the environment on account of erection of beach shacks for a temporary duration. The court stayed the operation of a judgment of the National Green Tribunal wherein the implementation of state's shack policy was prohibited.
- Restrained the crisis hit Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) from making any payments or disbursements to unsecured creditors. The court allowed Edelweiss AMC's plea seeking disclosure of all assets of DHFL as the housing finance company defaulted in payments.
- to former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram in the appeal filed by Enforcement Directorate against the pre-arrest bail granted to both in the Aircel Maxis case.
- Granted CBI 2 more months to finish its investigation into corruption charges against former CBI Director Rakesh Asthana. CBI had moved an application seeking extension of 3 months for further investigating corruption charges against Rakesh Asthana, Devendra Kumar and Manoj Sinha.
- Held that a winding up order passed by a Company Judge is not irrevocable and the proceedings can be later transferred to NCLT under IBC if the same is in the interest of the company and the creditors. The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Sanjeev Narula also held that when the plea moved by secured creditors regarding the appropriate forum and process for liquidation comes in conflict with that of the ex- management, the preference shall be given to the creditors unless a strong reason exists for the contrary.
- Gave relief to an employee of a Fertiliser PSU who was required to pay three months' salary in lieu of notice period. In the present writ petition, the Petitioner had challenged a communication from Fertilizers and Chemical Travancore Limited (FCTL) asking him to pay 3 months' salary in lieu of serving the notice period on account of his resignation being accepted, as per Rule 36A of the company.
- Jilting a lover, however abhorent that it may seem to some, is not an offence, said the High Court while upholding the acquittal a man accused of raping a woman on the pretext of promise to marry. Justice Vibhu Bakhru observed that, continuing with an intimate relationship, which also involves engaging in sexual activity, over a significant period of time, cannot be said to be induced and involuntary, merely on the assertion that the other party has expressed its intention to get married.
- Reserved order on issuance of notice to Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in an application filed by former Fortis promoter Malvinder Mohan Singh seeking quashing of the FIR lodged by EOW.
- Held that ensuring at least one Central School in each Taluka and having common syllabus for all schools is a policy decision that needs to be addressed by the government and not by the court.
- Granted relief to two doctors who were denied admissions by NBE on the account of not producing the original copy of their MBBS degree at the time of counselling.
Gauhati High Court
- In a distressing development throwing light at the casual manner of functioning of Foreigners Tribunals in Assam, the High Court set aside 57 orders passed by a Foreigners Tribunal in Morigaon district in Assam for glaring procedural irregularities. In a suo moto proceedings initiated by the High Court, it noted that judgments were not found in several references which were marked as 'disposed' by the Tribunal.
Gujarat High Court
- While rejecting former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's plea for suspension of sentence in custodial death case, High Court remarked that he had scant respect for courts. The bench comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and A C Rao observed that the Court was prima facie satisfied about the conviction of Bhatt.
Karnataka High Court
- Ruled that Section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be invoked to condone delay in filing appeal against an award under the Right To Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (RFCTLARR Act). A Division Bench comprising Justices B V Nagarathna and K Natarajan gave the ruling in the case The Deputy Commissioner and Special Land Acquisition Officer v M/s S V Global Mill Pvt Ltd.
- Directed the Government to complete tree census in Bengaluru by September 30, 2020
Kerala High Court
- Holding that a writ would not lie to enforce purely private law rights, the Kerala High Court observed that no public duty or public function is being carried out by a Church by solemnization of marriage between two members of the diocese.
- Directed to reinstate a KSRTC conductor placed under suspension for circulating allegedly derogatory remarks against the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan through Whatsapp.
- Directed the state to take appropriate measures to ensure that commuters and uber drivers are not obstructed from using the Uber application. Justice PB Suresh Kumar observed that the acts of violence under the guise of protests, affecting the rights of citizens to move freely or to carry on their avocation and affecting their right to life are liable to be treated not only as mere criminal acts against the individuals, but also as serious offences against the society.
- Denied regular bail in the Palarivattom flyover scam case to T O Sooraj, former Secretary to Kerala Public Works Department, Sumeet Goyal, Managing Director of RDS Projects (the contractor) and MT Thankachan, former Additional General Manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala.
- Held that CCTV footage of a crime is not a 'material object' and therefore the accused is entitled to receive a copy of it as per Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Restrained the state government from demolishing until further orders the controversial Palarivattom flyover bridge which has been shut for traffic since May after it developed cracks within a few years of its construction taken up during the previous UDF tenure.
Madhya Pradesh High Court
- Ruled that in a matrimonial dispute, if gender of one of the parties is questioned by the other party, the court may direct such a party to undergo medical examination and the plea of violation of privacy shall not be tenable.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
- Held that a mandamus cannot be issued to the authorities to issue of a certificate stating that a person does not belong to any religion, has no caste and does not believe in any god.
- Observed that married couple, even if it is case of invalid or void marriage or absence of any marriage, cannot be deprived of the fundamental right of seeking protection of life and liberty.
Telangana High Court
- Reiterated that once a substantially long period has lapsed between involvements of a person in different criminal cases, a rowdy sheet maintained by the Police classifying him as a habitual offender cannot survive.
Tripura High Court
- Directed the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) to file affidavits disclosing details of public properties, in their unauthorised/illegal possession, in relation to which they are claiming title by way of adverse possession.
- Reiterated that the documents forming genesis of an order of preventive detention, necessarily have to be supplied to the detenu, as soon as possible and directed release of the Petitioner on the sole ground of non-compliance of the aforesaid.