Allahabad High Court
The Allahabad High Court has held that for constituting an offence under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the alleged offence should have been committed in "public view". The single-Judge bench comprising Justice Ram Krishna Gautam clarified that where a person is allegedly insulted for being a member of the SC/ST community behind closed doors, the SC/ST Act cannot be applied.
● No Protection For Married Live In Partners, Holds Allahabad HC [Akhlesh & Anr. v. State of UP & Ors.]
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday held that where a man and a woman, during the subsistence of their marriages to other persons, reside as a live in couple, they will not be entitled to any protection under the law. While dismissing the writ petition moved by a live in couple, who "candidly" stated that they had married to other persons but they now lived with each other, the division bench comprising Justice Bharati Sapru and Justice Piyush Agrawal observed that the sanctity of a marriage has to be preserved. If a party wants to opt out, it can always seek dissolution of the marriage in a valid manner. However, the Courts cannot lend aid to the people who choose to not abide by the law.
Calcutta High Court
The Calcutta High Court has held that it is not mandatory to possess a valid foreign passport to apply for grant of Indian Citizenship by Registration. Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya observed that the requirement of having a passport has to be read as optional in Form III of the Citizenship Rules, 2009 and the authorities are deemed to have the power to relax such requirement in the event the applicant satisfied the authorities for genuine reasons why the applicant is not in a position to produce such passport.
● Land Acquisition- 'Persons Interested' Include Those Who Have Stake In Compensation Proceedings [Burdwan Development Authority v. Arifa Khatun & Anr.]
In a significant ruling, the Calcutta High Court has held that 'persons interested' in land acquisition proceedings include, not only persons who have interest in the acquisition proceedings but also those, who have interest in the consequential compensation proceedings. "To ascertain whether a juristic entity is a 'person interested', one has to see through the process to the source of finance and not merely the paying hands…," the high court has held. The single-Judge bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya has made these observations in a batch of Revision Petitions moved by Shrachi Burdwan Developers Private Ltd. against the order for enhancement of compensation.
Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court has held that the provision for filing written statements under section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act is governed by the law of limitation. The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has ruled that the period of limitation provided for filing written statements in CPC and Commercial Courts Act, 2015, would also apply to written statements filed under section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
● Delhi HC Imposes Cost On JNU For Lack Of Assistance In A Case [Nishant Khatri v. JNU]
In a recent order, the Delhi High Court pulled up the JNU Administration for its "complete lack of assistance" in a writ petition concerning admission of one Nishant Khatri, to the M.Sc P.hd integrated programme. While directing the University to take into account the concerns raised by the Petitioner, Justice Rajiv Shakdher imposed costs of Rs 75,000 to be paid by the University to the Petitioner.
Gauhati High Court
The Gauhati High Court dismissed a writ petition challenging the order of a Foreigners Tribunal declaring a person to be a foreigner by observing that the burden of proving citizenship was on the person making the claim. The division bench comprising Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Parthivjyoti Saikia referred to Section 9 of the Foreigners Act 1946 for this observation and held that the petitioner could not prove linkage to any ancestors who were residing in Assam before March 24, 1971, the cut-off date prescribed under Assam Accord.
● Gauhati HC Sets Aside Foreigners Tribunal Order Declaring Son Of Indian Citizens As Foreigner [Pratap Sakharu v. Union of India]
The Guahati High Court has come down on a Foreigners Tribunal for declaring a person as foreigner, despite his parents being declared as Indian Citizens by other orders. On January 25, 2019, Foreigners Tribunal at Dhemaji in Assam declared 26-year old Pratap Sakharu as foreigner of post-1971 stream as per the Assam Accord. He had produced six documents before the Tribunal, including an order passed by another Foreigners Tribunal in 2012 declaring his father Bahadur Sakharu as Indian citizen.
● School Certificate Not Proof Of Citizenship Unless Proved By Testimony Of Headmaster [Sahera Khatun v. The Union of India]
The Guahati High Court has upheld a declaration that a woman was a foreigner by holding that the documents such as school certificates should be proved by the testimony of the issuing authority. The division bench comprising Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Pathivjyoti Saikia was considering a writ petition filed by one Sahera Khatun, stated to be aged 42 years, challenging the order passed by Foreigners Tribunal Kamrup on December 1, 2018 declaring her to be a foreigner in the post-1971 stream as per the Assam Accord.
Kerala High Court
● Kerala HC Dismisses Challenge Against Compulsory Retirement Of Judicial Officer [V.Jayakumar v. The High Court of Kerala]
The High Court of Kerala observed that there is no scope of interference in disciplinary action against officer in judicial service if there is sufficient evidence for showing unsatisfactory conduct. The division bench comprising Justice K. Vinod Chandran and V.G Arun observed that the compulsory retirement order was issued by a Committee of Judges headed by the Chief Justice of the High Court. The said Committee found the petitioner not entitled to be continued in his post as a judicial officer and issued the order on the basis of the evaluation of his performance.
● Student Organisations Cannot Resort To Strikes In School/College Campuses, Declares Kerala HC [Prof Raju Kuruvila v. State of Kerala]
The High Court of Kerala has declared that Student Organisations cannot resort to the modes of agitations like Strike, Dharna, Gherao, Processions etc. in school and college campuses for expressing their protests or dissent on any issues, political or otherwise, or for enforcement of their rights. Justice PB Suresh Kumar observed that such activities of organizations of students in school and college campuses are affecting directly and indirectly the academic and other activities of students who do not belong to the organizations and thus violating the fundamental right of such students.
Madras High Court
● Solitary Allegation Of Intemperate Language Against Female Employee Not Sexual Harassment
The Madras High Court held that solitary allegation of intemperate language against a female employee does not constitute an offence under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The division bench comprising Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice R. Hemalatha also opined that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is intended to have an equal standing for women and the same cannot be misused by women to harass someone.
The Allahabad High Court quashed the charge sheet and consequential proceedings initiated against Abdullah Azam Khan for making false statements during elections and attempting to promote enmity between religious groups. Khan was being investigated under Sections 171-G IPC and 125 Representation of People Act. In the instant case however, the Magistrate concerned had passed a cognizance order on July 30, 2019. Holding that order to be unsustainable in law, Justice Om Prakash VII set aside the cognizance order and quashed the entire proceedings.
● Defunct JJ Boards: Allahabad HC Directs Erstwhile Members Of The Committee And The Board To Continue [Anoop Gupta v. Union of India & Ors.]
The bench comprising Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Rajan Roy of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court directed the existing members of the Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committee of the state, whose term expired in December last year, to continue to function and discharge their duties until fresh appointments. This, despite Rule 5(2) and 15(4) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2019, that prohibits the appointment of members of JJBs and CWCs, respectively, for two continuous terms.
Bombay High Court
● [Sedition Case]Bombay HC Extends Interim Protection From Arrest Granted to TISS Student By 3 Weeks
The Bombay High Court extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Kris Chudawala, a 22-year-old Masters student of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences for three more weeks. Chudawala was booked for sedition for allegedly raising slogans in support of Sharjeel Imam during a rally held for the LGBTQ community in South Mumbai. Justice SK Shinde passed the order after Court was informed by the Additional Public Prosecutor that they were awaiting reports from forensics and needed more time. Court had granted interim protection from arrest to Kris on February 11 after she moved High Court seeking anticipatory bail as Additional Sessions Judge Prashant Rajvaidya refused to grant Kris any protection from arrest.
● Bombay HC Grants Interim Injunction Against 'Andaman Big Bro' For Infringement of Endelmol's Trademark [Endemol Shine Nederland Products B.V. & Ors. v. Andaman Xtasea Events Private Limited & Ors. ]
The Bombay High Court granted relief to Endelmol Shine Group, which owns the trademark Big Brother, and directed Andaman Xtasea Private Limited to stop using the name 'Andaman Big Bro' for their show. Justice BP Colabawalla heard Endemol's interim application in their commercial suit pressing for ad-interim reliefs. Advocate Hiren Kamod appeared for the plaintiff and stated that Endemol is the first owner of the copyright subsisting in the format/content production bible of the show 'Big Brother' which qualifies as the Original Literary Work under the Copyright Act, 1957.
● 'Prima Facie They Are Guilty of Making False Statements Amounting To Perjury' Says Bombay HC As 3 Senior Bureaucrats Offer 'Unconditional' Apology [Manoj Tollway Private Ltd. v. Rajendra Rahane Superintending Engineer & Ors.]
The Bombay High Court lashed out at three senior bureaucrats working in different departments of the Government of Maharashtra for making false statements in their reply affidavit filed in response to an order by the Court dated November 25, 2019 passed adjourning the proceedings in a commercial execution application. Justice GS Kulkarni while hearing a contempt petition in the execution application filed by Manaj Tollway Pvt Ltd allowed Manoj Saunik (resp no.3), Additional Chief Secretary, Public Works Department, CP Joshi (resp no.4), Secretary, Public Works Department, and Ajit Sagne (resp no.5), who is the Secretary, Works, Public Works Department to tender an apology in an affidavit. However, the Court noted that whether such an apology will be accepted needs to be considered.
● Delhi Riots : At Midnight Hearing, Delhi HC Directs Police To Ensure Safe Passage Of Injured Victims To Hospitals [Rahul Roy v. Government of NCT of Delhi & Ors.]
An emergency midnight hearing was held at the residence of Justice S Muralidhar of Delhi High Court to hear a plea to ensure safe passage of victims injured in riots in North Eastern portions of Delhi The plea was for directions to ensure safe passage of seriously wounded victims from Al Hind Hospital in Mustafabad, a small hospital lacking facilities, to GTB Hospital in Dilshad Garden.
● Gauhati HC Sets Aside Ex Parte Order Of Foreigners Tribunal Declaring A Person As Foreigner [Sahinur Islam v.The Union of India & Ors.]
Noticing that a Foreigner Tribunal had declared a person as 'foreigner' without serving noticing on him, the Guahati High Court intervened to set aside that order. This happened in the case Sahinur Islam vs Union of India, which was a writ petition filed against the ex parte order passed by Foreigners Tribunal, Jorhat on April 6, 2010. The petitioner, Sahinur Islam, submitted that the order was passed without serving notice on him. The order came to his knowledge only in July 2019, during NRC hearing, he submitted.
● [Shyamamaadhavam] Kerala HC Stays Granting Of Njanappana Award To Poet Prabhavarma [Rajesh Nair v. The Guruvayoor Devaswom Managing Committee & Ors.]
The Kerala High Court has stayed the granting of Njanappana award to poet Prabha Varma, the author of Syama Madhavam. Shyamamaadhavam, described as a novel in verse, is a 15-part poem that captures the thoughts and images that pass through Krishna's mind as he lies dying, hit by a hunter's arrow. Prabha Varma had won Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Shyama Madhavam in 2016. On a writ petition filed by certain devotees against the grant of Njanappana award to the poet, the bench comprising Justice CT Ravikumar and Justice N. Nagaresh observed.
Notice Issued/ Petitions Filed/ Others
● Justice BP Dharmadhikari Appointed As Acting Chief Justice Of Bombay HC
● Delhi HC Seeks DGCA Response On Kunal Kamra's Plea Against Flying Ban
● Anil Ambani Contempt Order Tampering Case : Delhi HC Directs SC Registry To Supply Necessary Documents To Police
● Man Convicted For Molesting Minor Actress On Flight Moves Bombay HC In Appeal
● PIL In Telangana HC Against SBI Advertisement Seeking Production Of 'Letter From NPR' For KYC
● Delhi Violence : Delhi HC Asks CBSE To Consider Plea For Shifting Board Exam Centre
● 2008 Malegaon Blast: Explain The Delay In Trial; Bombay HC Tells NIA
● 'Sheer Militancy' : Karnataka HC Summons Office Bearers Of Hubli Bar Association For Resolution Against Sedition Accused
● Plea In Allahabad HC Seeking To Immediately Fill Up CIC Vacancy In The State Information Commission
● Plea In Kerala HC Against TRAI Orders Regulating Capacity Fee, Basic Service Tier And Discounting Offered By Broadcasters
● Plea Moved In Delhi HC Seeking SIT Probe Against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manish Sisodia and Others For Alleged Hate Speeches
● Karnataka HC Directs State To Come Out With Rehabilitation Scheme For Persons Evicted As Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrants
● Mangaluru Firing : Karnataka HC Pulls Up State For Not Acting On Complaints Against Police
● Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Minority Status For Hindus In 9 States
● Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking SIT Probe Against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manish Sisodia Etc For Allegedly Making Hate Speeches
● Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea For NIA Probe Into Funding Of Anti-CAA Protests
● Plea In Bombay HC Against Designation of Senior Advocates
● Delhi HC Issues Notice In BJP Candidate's Plea Challenging Manish Sisodia's Election Win
● Plea In Jharkhand HC Challenging Section 64 Of CrPC As Gender Discriminatory
● Criminal Trial : Delhi HC Sets Aside Trial Court Order Which Misread Direction For 'Addition' Of Charge As 'Replacement' Of Charge
● Nirbhaya Case: Plea Moved In Delhi HC Seeking NHRC Inquiry Into Alleged Torture Against The Convicts