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High Courts Weekly Round Up [May 11- May 17]

17 May 2020 9:02 AM GMT
High Courts Weekly Round Up [May 11- May 17]
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Allahabad High Court

1) Allahabad HC Allows Imprisoned LLB Student To Get Laptop From Outside To Appear For University Online Examination [Tarun Singh v. State of UP & Ors.]

A bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh allowed a law student to obtain a laptop from outside the jail precincts, to enable him to appear in the Online Quiz Examination conducted by his university. It also ordered that the laptop will be returned to the Senior Superintendent of District Jail immediately after the examination.

2) Allahabad HC Issues Notice To UP Govt On PIL Challenging Relaxation Of Labour Laws On Working Hours, Overtime, Etc. [Uttar Pradesh Worker Front v. Union Of India & Anr.]

The bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma issued notice to the UP Government in a PIL challenging the Government order for relaxation of certain labour laws, particularly the provisions relating to working hours, overtime, intervals for rest, etc. as stipulated under Sections 51, 54, 56 and 59 of the Factories Act. The case will be heard on May 18. Pertinently, the UP Government has withdrawn the impugned order, vide an order dated May 15.

Also Read: Mazdur : Suspension of Labour Laws

3) Appoint Officers Over Migrants Who Entered The State After Lockdown': Allahabad HC Issues Instructions For Identification Of Potential COVID-19 Carriers [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent]

The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma issued several instructions for the state authorities to ensure that all the migrants, entering the state of Uttar Pradesh after lockdown, are identified and monitored on a day to day basis. The court directed that an officer should be appointed over groups of 400 migrants, to keep a regular check on their health and living conditions.

Also Read: SC Could've Been More Pro-active To Come To The Rescue Of Poor Migrants

4) Allahabad HC Allows Recital OF Azan By Muezzin From Minarets Of Mosques Amid Lockdown Without Microphones [Afzal Ansari & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

Holding that recital of Azan is an integral part of the Islamic religion, the bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Ajit Kumar allowed the Muezzins of various mosques in the state to recite the Azan, even amid lockdown. However, the court has made strict observations against the use of microphones for the same.

Also Read: No Religion Prescribes Use Of Loudspeakers For Worshipping: Allahabad HC Declines Mosques' Request To Install Loudspeaker For Azaan

Also Read: Plea Seeking A Ban on Mosques From Using Loudspeakers For Azan: Delhi HC Asks Authorities to Submit Report

Also Read: Loudspeakers At Religious Places Vs Right To Privacy: Delhi HC Issues Notice To Centre

5) Allahabad HC Dismisses As Non-Maintainable Plea Alleging UP Govt Of Committing Irregularities In Procurement & Supply Of PPE Kits [Provincial Medical Service Officers (R) Welfare Association v. State of UP & Ors.]

The division bench of Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan dismissed as non-maintainable, a petition filed against the state-owned UP Medical Supply Corporation Limited (UPMSC), for alleged irregularities and corruption in procurement and supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kits to doctors and para-medical staff of government medical colleges across the state, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

6) Allahabad HC Grants Anticipatory Bail To 'The Wire' Editor Siddharth Varadarajan, Accused Of Making Objectionable Remarks Against UP CM [Siddharth Varadarajan v. State of UP & Anr.]

Declining the argument that the applicant may flee from the country, the Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh allowed anticipatory bail application filed by Founding-Editor of the Wire, Siddharth Varadarajan. He has been booked by the UP Police under Sections 188, 505(2) of the IPC and Section 66D of the IT Act for allegedly making "objectionable" remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Andhra Pradesh High Court

1) Migrants Crisis : AP HC Says If Court Doesn't React, It Would Be Failing In Its Role; Issues Slew Of Directions [K. Ramakrishna v. Union of India]

Taking note of the miserable state of migrant labours in the state who have been forced to undertake kilometers long journey on foot due to the lockdown, a division bench of Justice DVSS Somayajulu and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti issued directions to ensure availability of basic amenities to the walking migrants, including proper availability of food, toilets and medical help etc.

Bombay High Court

1) [Decongestion Of Prisons During Covid-19] "Can Lower Court Deny Bail Despite Undertrial Being Eligible As Per State Guidelines", Asks Bombay HC [Mahesh B Patil v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice Bharati Dangre whether in the wake of the guidelines issued by the Government of Maharashtra, it is permissible for the Sessions Court to take a decision on merits particularly when the case of a particular applicant does not fall within the exceptions framed out by the High Power Committee.

2) Police Should Not Stop Vehicles Carrying Pets, Sick Animals To Vets: Bombay HC [Vineeta Tandon v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

While hearing a PIL against "arbitrary stopping" of citizens from taking their pets for walks, Justice SC Gupte directed the State government to pass clear instructions to the police administration not to stop pet taxis or ambulances from ferrying sick animals to and fro from the veterinarian and sought clarity from the State on whether pet owners are allowed to take their dogs/pets for a walk during the current lockdown.

3) Plea To Stop Burial Of Covid-19 Victims In Bandra Cemeteries; Bombay HC Seeks Municipal Corporation's Reply [Pradeep Gandhy & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

Justice Riyaz Iqbal Chagla has asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to file its reply in a writ petition filed by Mumbai resident Pradeep Gandhy challenging the permission given by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to use three cemeteries in Bandra for burial of victims of Covid-19, citing health and safety concerns.

4) Stone Pelting On Cops Stopping Religious Procession During Lockdown: Bombay HC Directs Priest To Deposit 10K To CM's Relief Fund, Grants Bail [Shivputra Anaray Shrigan v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice Sadhna Jadhav granted ad-interim bail to a 65-year-old man who performed pooja at a religious ceremony held in Solapur, Maharashtra in presence of villagers gathered to attend the ceremony in violation of the nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Court asked him to deposit Rs.10,000 to the Chief Minister's relief fund.

5) "Inhuman & Callous"; Bombay HC Directs Payment Of Wages To Gardeners As CIDCO Makes Them Work During Lockdown Without Pay & Protective Gear [Maharashtra Kamgar Sangathan v. City Industrial Development Corporation & Ors.]

Justice SJ Kathawalla sharply rebuked the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra for making gardeners working for them for several years, work during the lockdown without pay and without protective gear despite an award by the Industrial Tribunal against them in 2018 effectively making gardeners permanent employees. The court directed payment of unpaid wages from January until April 2020 and further directed CIDCO to continue to pay earned wages to the workmen before the 5th of every month.

Also Read: Look Before You Leap : Is There A Stay By SC On MHA Direction To Pay Full Wages To Workers Amid Lockdown?

6) No Gloves & Two Drops Of Sanitizer; Petition Highlights Plight Of Workers Of Navi Mumbai Civic Body, Bombay HC Seeks Reply [Samaj Samata Kamgaar Sangh v. NMMC & Ors.]

In a petition seeking directions to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation to provide protective gear like masks etc. to its workers who fight the Covid-19 pandemic on the frontlines everyday, Justice SJ Kathawalla sought to know from the NMMC the total number of face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers procured and the cost paid for procuring each of these items. Court has also asked the civic body to disclose how often these masks, gloves etc are replenished.

7) Bombay HC Allows Hotels, Restaurants & Bars To Pay Hiked License Fee At Pre-revised Rate By June 1 [Hotel & Restaurant Association Western India & Ors. v. Commissioner, State Excise, Maharashtra & Ors.]

In a petition challenging the order for hike in license fee issued under the Maharashtra Potable Liquor Rules, 1996, Justice NJ Jamdar granted extension of time to hotels, bars and restaurants in the State for paying license fee at pre-revised rate till June 1, 2020. The relief was granted "on account of exigency of the situation" created due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

8) "No Work No Pay" Principle Cannot Be Made Applicable In Such Extraordinary Circumstances: Bombay HC

Justice RV Ghuge of the Aurangabad bench held that the principle of 'No Work No Pay' cannot be made applicable in such extraordinary circumstances prevailing in the country due to the pandemic of Covid-19. The court thus granted relief to contract workers/labourers who expressed willingness to offer their services as security guards and health workers with Shri Tuljabhavani Mandir Sansthan, Tuljapur but due to the closure of all places of worship in wake of the nationwide lockdown, they are unable to work.

9) Bombay HC Seeks Centre's Reply On Petition Seeking Public Declaration & CAG Audit Of PM Cares Fund

Justice Madhav Jamdar of the Nagpur bench directed the Union of India to file a reply to a petition filed by a lawyer seeking an audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India and public declaration of funds received by the PM CARES Fund.

10) "Police Machinery Under Great Strain, Use 'Off Duty' Revenue Employees Below 50 To Ease The Burden": Bombay HC Tells State [The Registrar (Judicial), High Court of Judicature of Bombay, Bench at Aurangabad v. Union of India & Ors.]

While hearing a suo motu public interest litigation taken up for ensuring safety of medica/para-medical staff on Covid-19 duty, Justice RV Ghuge of the Aurangabad bench observed that the police machinery is under great stress and strain, therefore, State should consider using employees of the revenue department who are currently off-duty, preferably below 50 years, for dealing with activities where police presence is not necessary.

11) PIL Alleges Pregnant Women Denied Admission In Hospital For Not Carrying Negative Covid-19 Report; Bombay HC Seeks MCGM's Reply

The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice AA Sayed directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to furnish details of maternity homes and clinics catering to the needs of pregnant women while hearing a PIL alleging that a pregnant woman was denied admission for delivery at JJ Hospital on the ground that she did not carry with her a negative Covid-19 test report.

12) Plea Seeking Ban On Republic TV & Arnab; Bombay HC Refuses Relief Says Petitioners Have Liberty To Move SC [Suraj Singh Thakur & Anr. v. Senior Police Inspector Ghatkopar Police Station & Ors.]

Justice Prithviraj Chavan refused to grant any relief in writ petitions filed by two members of the Congress party seeking ban on Arnab Goswami and Republic Tv. The petitioners had also sought registration of FIR against Arnab, his channel and its management for spreading communal hatred during a telecast relating to the palghar mob lynching incident. The court said that since the matter is before the Supreme Court, and investigation is pending against Arnab, Republic Tv has also been named in the complaint, we can't say that the management is not going to be investigated.

Also Read: Mumbai Police Probe A "Chilling Effect" On Press Freedom, Says Arnab Goswami; SC Reserves Order On Plea To Transfer Case To CBI

13) Bombay HC Disposes PIL For Ration Benefits To Tribals After State Undertook To Ensure That No Member Is Left Without Food & Basic Necessities [Vivek Pandit v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice AA Sayed disposed of a PIL seeking directions to the State Government to provide for ration / food supplies to the Adivasis / Tribals from the 16 sensitive project areas, from the Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia, Nagpur, Yavatmal, Melghat (Amravati) and Kinvat (project Aurangabad) Districts in Maharashtra. The case was disposed based on the undertaking mad by the State Government to provide the benefits of the various public distribution schemes to the tribals in the State.

Calcutta High Court

1) Calcutta HC Recognizes Right To Virtual Visitation Amid Lockdown [Hriday Nest of Family Harmony v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.]

The division bench of Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Harish Tandon recognized the concept of "virtual visitation" in context to the parents who do not have custody of children and are unable to exercise their physical visitation rights, due to the lockdown.

2) Hooghly Net Shutdown : Calcutta HC Asks State To Explain Power Of District Magistrate To Suspend Internet And Its Justification [SFLC v. State of West Bengal & Anr.; In Re : Ban of Internet Service in Hooghly District; Priyanka Tribrewal v. State of West Bengal & Anr.]

In a special sitting held on Saturday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed the West Bengal Government to file affidavits explaining the jurisdiction of the District Magistrate to pass order for internet shutdown in Hooghly district, and also regarding the justifiability of the suspension.

Read Petitions Here

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi HC Asks Centre, JNU To File Affidavits In Plea Challenging 27% Reservation for OBCs In PG Courses [Nishant Khatri v. Union of India & Anr.]

Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher has asked the Central Government and Jawaharlal Nehru University to file affidavits in a petition challenging the provision of 27% reservations to the persons belonging to OBC category in post graduation courses in Central educational institutions, specifically in JNU.

Read Petition Here

2) Delhi HC Suspends The May 04 Order of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks Which Had Directed For Filing of Documents and Fees By May 18 [Intellectual Property Attorneys Association v. The Controller General Of Patents, Designs And Trade Marks And Anr.]

Noting that the Controller General had given a very small window in terms of timeframe to file the requisite documents and fees, Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher suspended the operation of his order dated May 4, whereby litigants and advocates were directed to complete various acts/proceedings, filing of any reply/document, payment of fees, etcetera in the matter of any intellectual property applications/actions by 18.05.2020.

3) 14 Days Quarantine Period Not Mandatory In Each Case, It Is Meant To Serve A General Guideline: Delhi HC [Amit Bhargava v. The State (NCT Of Delhi)]

Single Bench of Justice Hari Shankar observed that the period of 14 days, as stipulated in the Home Quarantine Guidelines of March 14 and the COVID19 Regulations of 2020, are not mandatory, but is intended to serve a general guideline. H clarified that if any person, who does not display COVID19 symptoms, and has not tested positive for the COVID19 virus, is home quarantined for over 14 days, he shall have a right to represent to the authorities against such continued quarantine and the authorities would be bound either to lift the quarantine forthwith, or to explain the reason for keeping him in home quarantine for over 14 days.

4) People With Mental Illness Can't Be Discriminated In Matters Of Employment: Delhi HC Declares A Candidate With Bipolar Disorder Is Fit For Judicial Service [Bhavya Nain v. Delhi High Court]

A Delhi High Court bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Sanjeev Narula the High Court cannot discriminate against any person with disability in any matter relating to employment. Further, it has no competence to take a decision on the issue whether the post of a Judicial Officer should be exempted from the rigor of Section 20(1) (RPwD Act, 2016), having regard to the type of work carried out in the establishment of the judicial service. This decision rests with the appropriate Government.

5) Delhi HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Financial Aid For Sex Workers and Persons Of LGTBQ Community To Survive COVID19 Pandemic [Anurag Chauhan v. Union of India]

The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal dismissed the plea seeking financial aid for the sex workers as well as the persons belong to the LGBTQ community in order to ensure their survival during the COVID19 pandemic. It observed that the Supreme Court as well as various governments have already brought out several schemes to alleviate hardship to the citizens in the wake of Covid-19 and the persons for whom relief is sought in the petition can also avail the same.

6) Citing The Urgency Of The Matter, Delhi HC Asks Centre and Delhi Govt To Form Policy To Curb Overcrowding at Liquor Shops [The Ambrosia Foundation Society v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

While highlighting that this is a policy decision where the court can't intervene, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked the Centre as well as the Delhi Government to urgently decide as to how to control the problem of overcrowding and the resultant violation of social distancing outside liquor shops.

7) Delhi HC Directs Haryana Govt To Allow Inter-State Movement of Essential Goods As Well Professionals Engaged In Essential Services [OP Gupta v. Union of India & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula directed the Haryana government to open up the borders to allow free inter-state movement of trucks carrying essential goods as well as professionals providing essential services such as doctors and nurses. The Court also noted that in case the Haryana Government fails to comply with the assurances given by it before the court, legal proceedings can be initiated against it in accordance with law.

Also Read: Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Moved by Bar Council of Delhi Seeking Movement of Lawyers In and Out Of Delhi

8) Relationship Between Client & Foreign Law Firm Is Commercial In Nature For The Purpose Of Sections 44 & 45 Of Arbitration Act : Delhi HC [Spentex Industries Ltd v. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP]

The Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath held that the relationship between a client and the foreign law firm engaged by it was commercial in nature in terms of Sections 45 and 46 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

9) Existence Of Efficacious Alternative Remedy Amid COVID-19 Lockdown Doubtful : Delhi HC Entertains Writ Petition On Insurance Claim Dispute [Sudhakar Tiwari v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.]

Single Bench of Justice Prateek Jalan entertained a writ petition on a dispute relating to insurance claim observing that the availability of efficacious alternative remedies was "extremely doubtful", due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The Petitioner had argued that there is no absolute bar to the jurisdiction of the writ court even in contractual matters arising between a citizen and an instrumentality of the State, but the exercise of jurisdiction is a matter for the Court's discretion.

10) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Demanding Centre To Permit Operation Of Public Transportation In Delhi

The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal has issued notices to the Central Government and the Delhi Government in a plea seeking a permission to operate public transportation in all the districts of Delhi.

11) 'Notaries Work In Difficult Conditions': Delhi HC Gives Relief To Notary Official Who Could Not Produce Old Documents Under RTI As They Were Destroyed By Termites [Meena Sharma v. Nand Lal & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath relief to a Notary Public who could not produce the documents asked for in an RTI application as the same were destroyed by the termites. While quashing the punishment imposed by the Central Information Commission, the court noted that given the difficult conditions that Notaries work and given that no specific procedure was brought to the notice of the court prescribed for storing records, it is quite possible that termites may have damaged the relevant record.

12) Delhi HC Seeks Center's Response In Plea To De-link Aarogya Setu App From Website Promoting E-Pharmacies

The bench of Justice Jayant Nath asked the Central Government to respond on a plea filed against linking of the Government mandated Aarogya Setu App with a website for promotion of E-pharmacies, within 10 days. The Court has further directed the Union of India to respond to oral submission made by the Petitioner that the offline pharmacies having licenses be also listed on the website The next date of hearing is 29 May, 2020.

13) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Ensure That Adequate Facilities Are Provided to Healthcare Workers and Patients at Narela Quarantine Centre [Nirmal Gorana v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula directed the Secretary of Delhi Government's Health Department to depute a senior officer to visit the Quarantine Facility, Narela once in three days to ensure that adequate and proper facilities are provided to the patients and the health workers perform their duty diligently. The Court further directed that in the event of any dereliction of duty, it shall be open to the Delhi Government officials to take action against the delinquent health workers in accordance with law.

14) Delhi HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Adequate Protection, Standardised PPE Kits, and Free Treatment For Healthcare Workers [Justice for All v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula noted that both Central and State governments are being advised as to how to deal with the COVID19 pandemic by task forces comprising eminent doctors as well as expert bodies like ICMR. It thus dismissed the plea seeking directions to both the Centre and the Delhi Government to ensure adequate protection of healthcare professionals as well as the frontline healthcare workers.

15) Trial Courts Cannot Grant Bail In POCSO Cases In The Absence of Complainant: Delhi HC Reiterates [Miss G. through Mother v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi directed the Registrar General to circulate the Practice Direction dated 24/09/19 as well as the orders of this court in the case of Reena Jha v. Union of India, to all the District & Sessions Courts in order to ensure compliance of these directions by the criminal courts. These directions mandates that the presence of the informant or any person authorized, shall be obligatory at the time of hearing of the application for bail to the person under Sections 376/ 376(3)/ 376-AB/ 376-DA and 376-DB IPC.

16) Ensure Adequate Accommodation To Patients Residing In Night Shelters Outside AIIMS: Delhi HC Directs Delhi's Urban Shelter Board [Karan Seth v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar directed Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board to ensure, coordinate and facilitate adequate accommodation to patients who are residing in night shelters outside AIIMS and their attendants. The court directed the authorities to look into the aspect of housing the patients and their attendants at one or the other facility, keeping in view the situation as it emerges, and also taking note of the fact that some patients may require treatment at AIIMS on a regular/ daily basis, while others may not.

17) Lockdown: Delhi HC Directs Trial Courts To Not Insist The Bail Applicant For Filing Signed/Attested Documents When The Applicant's Family Resides Outside Delhi [Hansraj & Ors. v. State of Delhi & Ors.]

Keeping in mind the restrictions caused by the ongoing lockdown, Single Bench of Justice Asha Menon directed that in bail matters, there will be no insistence on filing of the signed/attested vakalatanama, affidavits or applications where the applicant is in jail and/or of the family members of such an applicant, reside outside Delhi. The court further ordered that the physically signed and attested vakalatanama of a person, who is in custody or not residing in Delhi will not be insisted upon by the Facilitation Centre in any of the District Courts in Delhi and nor will bail applications be not accepted only for this reason.

18) Delhi HC Issues Notice in Plea Seeking Suspension of Google Pay And An Independent Inquiry on Its Operations [Shubham Kapaley v. RBI & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Asha Menon issued notices to the Reserve Bank of India, Union Government and Google in plea seeking a direction to Reserve Bank of India to suspend the operations of Google Pay until it completely complies with every direction/guideline issued by the National Payments Corporation of India and the RBI itself.

19) Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging the Delhi Govt's Move To Levy 70% Special Corona Fee on Liquor

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar issued notice in a plea challenging the Delhi Government's recent move to impose 70% 'special corona fee' on liquor. The matter will be heard on May 29.

20) Delhi HC Restrains Zydus Wellness From Running Complain Commercial In a Disparagement Suit Filed By Horlicks [Horlicks Lt. & Anr. v. Zydus Wellness Product Ltd.]

While holding that there's a prima facie case for disparagement, the Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta emporarily restrained Zydus Wellness Product Ltd. from running its Complan advertisement on the ground of its alleged similarity to another chocolate drink Horlicks. The court noted that the present advertisement in the electronic media would be clearly disparaging as on a bare looking at the advertisement, a viewer only sees a comparison of one cup of COMPLAN with two cups of HORLICKS with no reference to the serve size.

21) Migrants Crisis - Ensure Uninterrupted Working Of Helpline Numbers; Nodal Officers Should Remain Easily Available : Delhi HC [National Campaign Committee For Eradication Of Bonded Labour v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar directed the Delhi Government to ensure the uninterrupted working of the helpline numbers set up to enable the return of migrant workers to their native places. The court further directed that the Nodal Officers shall remain easily available to the migrant workers so that after the online registration the follow-up action in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures of the Delhi Government for their movement to native places be taken.

22) State's Inability To Execute Production Warrant Not A Reason To Detain A Person : Delhi HC Allows Habeas Plea [Vinod Bansal v. State & Anr.]

Holding that the inability of the State to execute a production warrant issued by a state is not a reason to detain a person, a bench comprising Justices Hima Kohil and Subramonium Prasad allowed a habeas corpus petition to direct the release of a person.

23) Delhi HC Grants Interim Protection To Delhi Minorities Commission Chief Zafarul Islam From Coercive Action

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri granted interim protection from any coercive action to Zafarul Islam Khan, the Chief of the Delhi Minorities Commission. Khan has been booked by the Delhi Police under sections 124A and 153A of the IPC, allegedly for posting "provocative" remarks on social media.

Gujarat High Court

1) Gujarat HC Declares BJP State Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama's Election As Void [Ashwinbhai Kamsubhai Rathod v. Bhailalbhai Kalubhai Pandav & Ors.]

Justice Paresh Upadhyay nullified the election of Bhupendrasinh Manubha Chudasama who had been elected to the Gujarat State Legislative Assembly in December 2017, on grounds of malpractice and manipulation. This however was however challenged before the Supreme Court, which stayed its operation.

Read Appeal Here

2) 'It Appears People At Large Are Hungry; Migrant Workers Suffering The Most' : Gujarat HC Takes Suo Moto Notice Of Lockdown Miseries

A division bench comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Ilesh J Vora took suo moto notice of the various news reports about the sufferings of migrant workers, daily wage earners and the poor people during the lockdown. The Court issued notice to the State and reminded that "it is the paramount duty of the State Authorities to ensure that its citizen do not go hungry".

Karnataka High Court

1) Karnataka HC Issues Notice To State And Karnataka State Bar Council On Plea Filed By Advocate's Clerks Association Seeking Financial Aid

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar issued notice to the State Government and Karnataka State Bar Council seeking their reply to a petiton filed by the Karntaka State Level Advocate's Clerks Association seeking directions to provide financial aid to its members who due to the closing of courts are left with no work and thus no source of income during the lockdown.

2) Karnataka HC To District Court Do Not Defer Hearing Bail Applications On Ground That It Is Not A Case Of Extreme Urgency [Iiyaz Khan v. State]

Justice Mohammad Nawaz has said trial court cannot defer hearing of bail application stating that it is not a case of extreme urgency, without going into the merits of the matter. "The Consideration of application to be enlarged on bail in accordance with law is a right that can be encapsulated in the Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India," he observed.

3) Karnataka HC Issues Notice To State On Plea Challenging The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020'

A divison bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna issued notice to the Government in a petition, challenging the Ordinance passed by the Karnataka Government called 'The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020', to protect all officials engaged in COVID-19 duty, from physical harm.

As per the petition, the Ordinance as it is brought out by the State of Karnataka, does not instill confidence among the health workers. Even the punishment for obstruction of public servant is upto 3 years and with a fine upto Rs.50,000/- whereas the proposed Central Government Ordinance is imprisonment upto 7 years and fine is upto Rs.7 lakhs.

4) No Migrant Should Be Denied Opportunity To Travel Back Only Because Of Incapacity To Pay Rail Fare : Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna directed the Central and State Government to take immediate decision on the question of paying railway fare of those migrant workers who are wanting to travel back to their states but cannot do so due to their inability to pay.

Also Read: Migrant Workers Cases : SC Failed To Rise To The Occasion

Kerala High Court

1) Can A Temple Committee Make Donations To A Non-Religious Purpose': Kerala HC Refers To Larger Bench The Plea Against Donation Of Guruvayoor Devaswom To CM Relied Fund [A. Nagesh v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

A division bench of Justice Shaji P. Chaly and Justice MR Anitha has referred a batch of petitions to a larger bench, to resolve the issue as to whether the Managing Committee of the Guruvayoor Temple can make donations for non-religious purposes. The reference has been made pursuant to two conflicting division benches judgments on this subject.

2) How 'Aarogya Setu' Can Be Made Mandatory When Many Workers Have No Smartphones, Kerala HC Asks Centre

Single bench of Justice P Gopinathorally raised doubts about the practicality of the mandatory condition imposed on employers to make their employees download 'Aarogya Setu', the contact tracing app developed by the National Informatics Centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting that many people do not have smartphones, the Court has asked the Government to file its reply by May 18.

Also Read: Kerala HC Seeks Statement From Centre On Data Privacy Safeguards Of 'Aarogya Setu' App

Also Read: 'Harmonise Contact Tracing With The Right To Privacy': New Plea In Kerala HC Against Mandatory Use Of 'Aarogya Setu' App For Employees

Also Read: "It Causes More Concern To Citizens Than Benefit': Justice BN Srikrishna Says 'Mandating The Use Of Arogya Setu App Is "Utterly Illegal"

Also Read: Compelling Employees To Use 'Aarogya Setu' App Violates Right To Privacy : Plea In Kerala HC

Also Read: Another Plea In Kerala HC Against Mandatory Usage Of Aarogya Setu App

3) 'State Has To Wake Up And Legislate Appropriate Enactments To Curtail Social Media War': Kerala HC [Sreeja Prasad Sreeja Bhavanam Vallikodu v. State of Kerala & Anr.]

Highlighting the limitations of the Information Technology law as it stands today, Justice PV Kunhikrishnan remarked that the State has to wake up and legislate appropriate enactments to curtail the "social media war". Accordingly, he directed the registry to forward a copy of this order to the Director General of Police and the Chief Secretary of the Government of Kerala for taking appropriate action in accordance to law.

4) 'Lawyers Can't Be Made To Starve': Kerala HC Pulls Up Bar Council Of Kerala For Delay In Implementing 2018 Govt Order On Stipend For Junior Lawyers [Dheeraj Ravi & Ors. v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

The single-Judge bench of Justice P. Gopinath came down heavily upon the State Bar Council for "grave delay" in implementation of 2018 Government order whereby sanction was accorded to pay monthly stipend of Rs.5000/- to the junior lawyers.

5) Centre To Consider Immediately Kerala Govt's Request For Dilution Of 14-day Institutional Quarantine Period In View Of Special Circumstances In State : Kerala HC [Sabu Steephen v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

A Division Bench Of Justices Anu Sivaraman and MR Anita opined that "it is for the Central Government to consider the request made by the State Government for departure from the Standard Operating protocol set in place with regard to the period of institutional quarantine" for persons travelling to Kerala from overseas and from other States. Orders of the Union Government provided for compulsory 14 days quarantine period but the period has been diluted by 7 days, by the Kerala Government.

6) Kerala HC Seeks Reply From Centre and State On Steps Taken On Repatriation Of Stranded Non-Keralites To State [Stephy K Jose & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

A Bench of the Kerala High Court comprising of Justices Anu Sivaraman and MR Anita expressed concern for persons stranded in the state and sought for instructions from both the Central and State Governments over the steps taken to bring back Keralites who have been stranded in Delhi and other North-Indian states.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) Application For Anticipatory Bail Is Maintainable Even After An Accused Is Declared "Absconder": Madhya Pradesh HC [Balveer Singh Bundela v. State of Madhya Pradesh]

Justice Anand Pathak observed that declaration of an accused as an "absconder" under Section 82 of CrPC does not preclude him from filing an application for seeking anticipatory bail. He clarified that on being declared an absconder, a person loses the "entitlement" to seek bail, not "maintainability" of his application to do so. The accused in this case was accused of committing rape on the pretext of marriage.

Also Read: False Promise To Marry- A Case Study Of Law Of Rape

2) Condition To Deposit Amount In PM CARES Fund For Granting Bail Is Improper: Madhya Pradesh HC Concurs With Kerala HC [Fahad Ahmed & Ors. v. State Of Madhya Pradesh]

Justice Sujoy Paul set aside the bail condition imposed by a local court that the petitioners should deposit an amount of Rs 25,000/- each, towards the PM CARES Fund. This was done while concurring with a recent observation of the Kerala High Court that "imposition of cash security or deposit of any amount for grant of bail is "unjust, irregular and improper."

Also Read: Condition To Deposit Amount In Corona Relief Fund For Bail Is Unjust & Improper: Kerala HC

3) [Default Bail] Madras HC Constitutes DB To Settle Conflicting Views On Applicability Of SC Order Extending Limitation On Section 167(2) CrPC

Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Justice AP Sahi has constituted a division bench for answering a reference as to whether the Supreme Court's order dated March 23 In Re: Cognizance For Extension Of Limitation, for extension of limitation during the lockdown period, is applicable to police investigation under Section 167(2) of the CrPC for default bail. The reference has been made pursuant to two conflicting views adopted by two single Judges of the High Court.

Also Read: Right To Default Bail Under Section 167(2) CrPC Not Affected By SC Order Extending Limitation : Madras HC

Also Read: No Default Bail Claiming Benefit Of SC Order Extending Limitation : Single Bench Of Madras HC Differs From Earlier Judgment

Also Read: Default Bail – Covid 19 Times : An Unnecessary Controversy

Madras High Court

1) When Lockdown Lifted, There Would Be More Chances Of Crimes": Madras HC Denies Bail To Man Accused Of Robbery [Senthamizhselvan & Anr. v. State]

Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan denied bail to a robbery accused who has been in custody for almost 2 months, while observing that 'When the lock down is lifted, there would be more chances of crimes like robbery, as individual income has suffered on account of the lock down'.

2) 'Petitioner To Not Indulge In Preaching Activities', Madras HC Grants Bail To COVID Affected Indonesian Citizen Accused Of Spreading COVID [Ahamath Ikbal v. State]

Allowing a bail application moved by a COVID-affected Islamic preacher and 11 Indonesian citizens who were accused of engaging in propagating the Islamic religion in the state, Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan imposed a condition to not indulge in any preaching activities.

3) Need Not Draw Decrees For Awards; Issue Free Award Copies To Parties In 15 Days: Madras HC Issues Directions To MACT [M/s. Cholamandalam MS Genl Ins Co Ltd v. Ayyannar S.]

A bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh held that the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal need not draw decrees like regular civil courts, for the same is not contemplated either under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 or under the Tamil Nadu Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal Rules, 1989. It also issued directions to ease the process of passing awards in MV cases.

4) Madras HC Plea Dismisses Plea Of Karti Chidambaram And Wife To Quash Criminal Complaints Under Income Tax Act [Srinidhi Krati Chidambram & Anr. v. Deputy Directior of Income Tax & Ors.]

Justice M. Sundar dismissed the petitions filed by Congress MP Karti Chidambaram and his wife Srinidhi to quash two criminal complaints under the Income Tax Act and the trial proceedings in respect of them in the Special Courts for MPs/MLAs. He observed that the issues raised in the criminal complaints are matters for trial and no ground has been made out for quashing the same.

5) Madras HC Requests Center & Insurance Companies To Consider Withdrawing Appeals Against MACT Awards Where Claim Amount Is Less Than 7.5 Lakh [M/s. Cholamandalam MS Genl Ins Co. Ltd. v. Anandan]

On noting the "astounding number" of pending motor accidents claims/ appeals in the State, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh requested the Government and various insurance companies to consider withdrawing pending appeals against the awards passed by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT), where disputed amount is less than Rs. 7,50,000/-.

6) 'Already Undergoing Sentence' Under Section 427 CrPC Means Physical Detention Pursuant To Execution Of Warrant Of Sentence : Madras HC [Sheik Madhar v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

Justice G R Swaminathan interpreted the word "already undergoing a sentence" under Section 427 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, with an attempt to balance it with the fundamental right to personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. He held a person can be said to "already undergoing sentence" only if he is under physical detention in execution of a warrant for sentence under Section 425 CrPC.

7) Madras HC Imposes 20,000 Cost On Advocate For Filing Frivolous Petition Seeking Development Of Mobile App For Online Sale Of Liquor [B. Ramkumar Adityan v. Govt of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

The bench of Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana imposed a cost of Rs. 20,000/- on an Advocate for filing a series of frivolous petitions in connection to re-opening of TASMAC liquor shops in the state. In this case, the Petitioner-Advocate had sought that the High Court order dated May 8, permitting online sale/ door delivery of liquor should be enforced only after the State Government develops a Mobile App and Website for the same.

Also Read: SC Stays Madras HC's Direction To Close Liquor Shops Of TASMAC In Tamil Nadu

8) Madras HC Refers To Larger Bench Applicability Of TDS On Interest In Motor Accident Claims ; Suggests Use Of Un-refunded TDS For Benefit Of Accident Victims [M/s. Cholamandalam General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. M. Ashok Kumar & Ors.]

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh referred to a larger bench the question of applicability of TDS under section 194A, Income Tax Act on interest on the compensation amount awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, atleast in so far as Tamil Nadu is concerned.

9) It's A Pity To See Migrant Labourers Walking' : Madras HC Seeks Action Taken Report From Centre & State On Migrants Relief [AP Suryaprakasam v. SP, Sangli & Ors.]

A bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and R Hemalatha suo moto directed the Central Government and the Government of Tamil Nadu to submit an action taken report on the measures taken to alleviate the sufferings of migrant workers amid the COVID-19 lockdown situation. One cannot control his/her tears after seeing the pathetic condition of migrant labourers shown in the media for the past one month. It is nothing but a human tragedy", the Court observed in the order.

Patna High Court

1) "1/10th Of India Lives In Bihar": Patna HC Seeks Govt.'s Response On Condition Of Quarantine Centres For Returning Migrants [Rajiv Ranjan v. State of Bihar & Ors.]

The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar called from the state government the district-wise data as to the condition of the quarantine centres in Bihar for the migrants returning to the state. The state is In anticipation of housing 2.5 lakhs migrants. The matter will be heard on May 18.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) 'Disgruntled' Wives Using Section 498A IPC As A Weapon To Harass Relatives Of Husband: Punjab & Haryana HC [Amarjit Kaur & Ors. v. Jaswinder Kaur & Anr.]

While quashing a case filed by a woman against her in-laws, justice Jaishree Thakur expressed its concern against misuse of Section 498A IPC by 'disgruntled wives'. It has become a common practice to use the provisions of Section 498- A IPC as a weapon rather than shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to harass is to get the relatives of the husband roped in under this provision, no matter they are bed ridden grand parents of the husband or the relatives living abroad for decades," he observed.

Rajasthan High Court

1) Raj HC Inquires From Government About Provision For Return Of 19 Lakh Migrants Stranded In Other States [Hari Singh Rajpurohit v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.]

The Division Bench of the Principal Bench at Jodhpur granted the Rajasthan government a day's time to respond on the question of provisions adopted for the return of over 19 lakh migrant workers presently stranded in Gujarat and some south-Indian states.

2) Rajasthan HC Dismisses PIL Challenging Re-Opening Of Liquor Shops Amid Lockdown

The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice SK Sharma dismissed a PIL challenging the Government order for re-opening of liquor shops in the state, amid the lockdown. The Court refused to interfere with the impugned order, while noting that the Supreme Court had also dismissed a similar petition on May 8.

Also Read: Madras HC Orders Closure Of Liquor Shops; Permits Online Sale & Home Delivery

Also Read: SC Stays Madras HC's Direction To Close Liquor Shops Of TASMAC In Tamil Nadu

3) 'No Person Can Be Deprived From Keeping A Cow For Personal Use Of Milk': Rajasthan HC Issues Notice To State [Radheyshyam v. Jaipur Nagar Nigam & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma emphasized that a person cannot be deprived from following the "Indian tradition" of keeping one or two cows in his residence, for personal use of milk. The court was also of a prima facie opinion that if any citizen keeps a cow or buffalo or any other pet/animal in his house for his personal use, it cannot be a ground to disconnect the electricity and water connection of his residence. It thus issued notices to the Respondent municipal authorities with an interim direction to reconnect the electricity and water connection of the Petitioner.

4) Rajasthan HC Disposes Plea For Waiver Of School Fees Amid Lockdown Based On State Assurance [Rajeev Bhushan Bansal v. State Of Rajasthan & Ors.]

A Division Bench comprising of Justice Sabina and Justice Chandra Kumar Songara disposed of a PIL seeking waiver of school fees, after the Government apprised the court that a policy decision for the same had been taken and payment of private schools fee, as on March 15, 2020, had been deferred for three months.

Telangana High Court

1) Conduct COVID19 Tests On Dead Bodies As Per Stipulated Guidelines: Telangana HC Tells Government

A bench of Justices M.S. Ramachandra Rao & K. Lakshman directed the State Government to mandatorily conduct Covid19 tests on dead bodies so as to effectuate contact-tracing of the deadly virus. The Court also directed the State Government to file an updated status report encompassing the strategy for purposes of conducting Coronavirus tests on dead bodies and issued notice to the Centre as well, seeking its response on the procedures being followed for dealing with the virus.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) SC Order For Extension Of Limitation Does Not Affect An Accused' Right To Default Bail Under Section 167(2) CrPC: Uttarakhand HC

Emphasizing on the "indefeasible right" of an accused to be released on default bail after expiry of 60 or 90 days of custody, as the case may be, Justice Alok Kumar Verma held that the general order passed by the Supreme Court to extend the period of limitation for filing cases in view of the COVID-19 lockdown will not affect the right of an accused to default bail under Section 167(2) of CrPC.

2) Uttarakhand HC Restrains Private Schools From Demanding Tuition Fee From Students Who Are Unable To Access Online Classes [Japinder Singh v. Union of India and Akash Yadav v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

The bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice RC Khulbe restrained all private unaided schools in the state from demanding tution fee from parents, in view of the lockdown situation. The High Court clarified that only those students, who are able to access the online course being offered by the private educational institutions, would be required to pay the tuition fee. Children, who do not have access to the online course, cannot be asked to pay the tuition fee.

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