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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
7 Jun 2020 12:42 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
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Week Commencing June 1 To June 7

Allahabad High Court

1) Allahabad HC Directs Govt To Establish District Level Committees To Supervise Functining Of Quarantine Centers [Shaad Anwar v. State of UP]

The bench comprising of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to constitute a three-member Committee in every district so as to ensure that persons who have completed their Quarantine period and have tested Covid-negative are released forthwith. The court clarified that the Committee will not only supervise the functioning of the Quarantine Centers but will ensure also that such centers are properly maintained and administered.

2) Allahabad HC Asks Govt To File Reply In Plea Seeking Arrangement For Conjugal Visits To Prison Inmates With Social Distancing Norms [Shivam Pandey v. State of UP & Ors.]

Justices Anil Kumar and Manish Mathur issued notice on a petition seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh Government to make arrangements for meeting of inmates with their deponents, family members, friends and lawyers, while ensuring the guidelines of social distancing and sanitization. The matter is now listed for hearing on June 15.

3) Allahabad HC Allows Bail Plea Directly Without Requiring The Accused To Approach Trial Court [Suraj Kumar v. State of UP]

Justice Siddharth allowed a bail petition filed directly before it under Section 439 for CrPC without requiring the Petitioner to first approach the Trial Court, on account of the lockdown situation. "Extraordinary circumstances requires extraordinary remedies and therefore this court is inclined to consider the present bail application in exercise of its power under Section 439 Cr.P.C., but without making it a precedent for normal times," the bench said.

Bombay High Court

1) All Frontline Workers In Hospitals & Containment Zones In Vidarbha Region Entitled To Be Tested For Covid-19 On RT-PCR Method: Bombay HC [Citizen Forum for Equality v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice NR Borkar of Nagpur bench directed the state government to immediately conduct the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test of all frontline warriors (including doctors, nurses, policemen) attending to patients of Covid-19 working in the entire Vidarbha region.

2) Centre Seeks Dismissal Of Petition Seeking Public Declaration & CAG Audit Of PM Cares Fund, Bombay HC Seeks Reply

Division bench of Justice Sunil B Shukre and Justice Anil S Kilor of the Nagpur bench sought a reply from the Centre on a lawyer's petition seeking an audit by the CAG of India and public declaration of funds received by the PM CARES Fund, a public charitable trust created by the Central Government for dealing with contingencies arising due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Also Read: Plea In Delhi HC Seeks To Bring PM CARES Fund Under Right To Information Act

Also Read: PMO And PMCARES Cannot Refuse RTI

3) Cyclone Nisarga: Bombay HC Allows Arrested Vessel 'MV Karnika' To Be Moved To Safer Waters Temporarily Till Cyclone Passes [Monjasa DMCC v. MV Karnika]

Justice AK Menon allowed arrested vessel MV Karnika to be moved out of the port of Mumbai into safer waters considering the sheer size of the vessel and possible damage it may cause to other vessels anchored due to Cyclone Nisarga.

4) Bombay HC Allows Airlines To Keep Middle Seat Occupied As Expert Committee Says Mere Touch Of COVID-19 Infected Person Will Not Transmit Virus

A Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice SP Tavade passed an interim order to allow all airlines to keep middle seats occupied in compliance with May 31 circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The order was passed after an Expert Committee headed by Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation informed the Court that mere touch of a person infected with Covid-19 will not lead to transmission of the deadly virus, unless droplets from the mouth or nose of Covid positive person through sneezing or coughing come in contact with hands, mouth, nose of a non-covid person increases the chances of infection.

Also Read: How Many Passengers Contracted Covid-19 After Taking Flight Under Vande Bharat Mission; Bombay HC Asks Centre

5) Wife Entitled To Maintenance Even If She Runs A Business & Earns Income Out Of It Says Bombay HC, Decreases Quantum Of Maintenance [Sanjay Damodar Kale v. Kalyani Sanjay Kale & Anr.]

While hearing a criminal revision application filed by a 51-year-old man from Pune against a family court judgment directing him to pay monthly maintenance to his ex-wife, Justice NJ Jamdar held that the wife is entitled to maintenance even if she runs a business and has her own source of income. However, the quantum of maintenance was decreased.

6) PIL By Journalist Unions Against Salary Cut, Lay Offs; Bombay HC Issues Notice To Centre, State & 10 Media Groups

Division bench of Justice SB Shukre and AS Kilor issued notice to the Centre, the State and ten different media groups while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Maharashtra Union of Working Journalists (MUWJ) and Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) against the "illegal and arbitrary" actions of newspapers/employers to lay off, force salary cuts on journalists/non-journalist employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging the Notification Restricting CM Advocates Welfare Scheme To Only Those Lawyers Who Are Voters In Delhi

Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has issued notices to the Delhi Government, Bar Council of India and the Bar Council of Delhi on a plea challenging the Delhi Government's Chief Minister Advocate's Welfare on the ground that it only recognizes those advocates as beneficiaries who are in the voter's list of Delhi.

2) Prisons Are For Punishing Convicts, Not For Detaining Undertrials In Order To 'Send Message To Society': Delhi HC Holds While Granting Bail To Delhi Riots Accused

While granting bail to a person accused of burning a shop during Delhi riots, the Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani held that 'sending a message to society' can't be basis for denying bail, if the court is otherwise convinced that no purpose in aid of investigation and prosecution will be served by keeping the accused in judicial custody. The court noted that noted that prison is primarily for punishing convicts; not for detaining undertrials in order to send any 'message' to society.

3) Delhi HC Directs Centre, Delhi Govt To Submit Affidavits Stating Steps Taken To Ensure Safety and Sanitization of Safai Karamcharis [Harnam Singh & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Union of India, Delhi Government, as well as all the municipal corporations in Delhi to submit affidavits stating the measures taken by them to ensure the adequate sanitization of safai karamcharis. The court will next take up this matter on June 9.

4) Lawyers v. Police: Delhi HC Grants More Time For Completing Judicial Enquiry In Tis Hazari Clash [Court on its own motion v. Union of India & Ors.]

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan extended the time granted to the independent committee for completing the judicial enquiry in the matter pertaining to the clash between lawyers and police at Tis Hazari court till 31st December, 2020.

5) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Moved By Judicial Member Of NCLT Challenging His Transfer From Mumbai To Kolkata Bench [Rajasekhar VK v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notice to the Central Government in a plea moved by a judicial member of National Company Law Tribunal challenging the order transferring him from the Mumbai Bench to Kolkata Bench of NCLT. The matter will be taken up on June 12.

6) Delhi HC Dismisses Plea Challenging the Decision of the Central Govt To Freeze The Enhanced Dearness Allowance of Govt Employees [Hitesh Bhardwaj v. Ministry of Finance, Union of India & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar dismissed the plea challenging the order of the Central as well as the Delhi Government to freeze the disbursement of enhanced Dearness Allowance to government employees and pensioners. The court noted that Rule 3 of All India Services (Dearness Allowance) Rules itself empowers the Central Government to lay down the conditions subject to which Dearness Allowance may be drawn by officers of Central Government.

7) Delhi HC Temporarily Restrains APN Live From Airing Allegedly Defamatory Content Against Patanjali Ayurved, Asks Facebook And YouTube To Take Down URLs [Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. & Anr. v. Sobhagya Media Pvt. Ltd. (APN Live) & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao temporarily restrained APN Live news channel from airing allegedly defamatory content against Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved Limited. The court observed that the plaintiffs have made out a prima-facie case and even the balance of convenience is in their favour.

8) Delhi HC Directs Parties To Record A Video Clip of 15 Minutes For Oral Arguments And Submit A Brief Note Of 3 Pages on Submissions [Sat Prakash Soni v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a case pertaining to a criminal writ petition, the Division Bench of Justice JR Midha and Justice Brijesh Sethi directed the parties to record a video clip of 15 minutes of their oral arguments and submit the same to the court within one week. The court also directed the parties to file brief note of submissions not exceeding three pages along with copies of relevant pages of relevant documents on record and the judgments on which they wish to rely with relevant portions duly highlighted.

9) Delhi HC Issues Notice in Plea Seeking Stay on DU Exams For Not Making Online Study Material Accessible To Specially Abled Students [Prateek Sharma & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohil and Justice Subramonium Prasad has issued notice to the Delhi University as well as the University Grants Commission in a plea seeking a direction to the Central Government to set up adequate and effective mechanism for providing educational and teaching material for the visually impaired and specially abled individuals. The matter will be taken up on June 24.

10) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Food and Relocation For Labourers Stranded In Azadpur Mandi [The Potato & Union Masakhour Merchant Association v. Union of India & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has issued notice to the Delhi Government in a plea seeking adequate protection for labourers who have been stranded in the Azadpur Mandi of Delhi due to the lockdown imposed on light of the COVID19 pandemic. The court has asked the Government to file a detailed reply by June 9.

11) Plea Seeking Action Against Manufacturing of Faulty PPE Kits: Delhi HC Asks Health Ministry To Consider It As A Representation And Decide Within A Week [Amit Jain v. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Rekha Palli disposed off a plea seeking action against manufacturing of faulty PPE kits giving liberty to the Petitioner to make a representation before the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The court further asked the concerned Ministry to pass an order on the representation, within a week.

12) Delhi HC Issues Notice in Paytm's Plea Seeking Protection Of Its Customers From Phishing Taking Place Through Various Telecom Networks

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notices to the Department of Telecom (Ministry of Communications), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and to MTNL, Jio, BSNL, Vodafone, Airtel, etc., in a plea moved by Paytm seeking court's intervention in protecting its customers from getting defrauded through phishing that is taking place on various telecom networks.

13) Delhi HC Directs Centre and Delhi Govt To Submit Updated Data on Migrant Workers in Delhi [Shashank S. Mangal & Anr. v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh directed both the Central and the Delhi Government to submit affidavits disclosing the data relating to migrant workers, set as available with them as of 1st June, 2020. The court also asked the Government to place on record the procedure currently being followed for contractors or employers to register migrant workers as also what are the procedures being followed for ensuring compliance.

14) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Show Compliance With Its Own Regulations On Proper Disposal Of Bodies of COVID19 Victims [Court on its own motion v. GNCT of Delhi]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Delhi Government to file a status report highlighting the degree of compliance with its own guidelines on proper disposal of bodies of COVID19 patients. The order was passed in a suo moto matter concerning the sad state of affairs in which the bodies of those who have died of COVID19 are being handled by the mortuary as well as crematoriums.

15) People Have Right To Know Who The Elected Representative Is Meeting Behind Closed Doors: Delhi HC Dismisses Sasikala Pushpa's Suit Against Facebook, YouTube [Sasikala Pushpa v. Facebook India & Ors.]

People have a right to know with whom their electoral representative is meeting behind closed doors and hobnobbing with, the Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw held and dismissed with cost a plea by erstwhile AIADMK leader Sasikala Pushpa contending that her image was being tarnished due to uploading of her allegedly morphed photos and videos with a man, other than her husband, on social media platforms.

16) [Augusta Westland] Delhi HC Reserves Judgment In ED's Plea Against Grant Of Pardon To Rajiv Saxena [Directorate of Enforcement v. Rajiv Saxena]

Justice C. Hari Shankar reserved judgment in Enforcement Directorate's plea for revoking pardon granted to Rajiv Saxena, one of the accused in the VVIP Chooper Scam case. Saxena, director in two Dubai-based firms, was extradited to India on January 31 2019, in connection with the Rs. 3,600-crore scam case relating to the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from Agusta Westland. A Delhi Court had allowed him to turn approver and had granted him pardon on March 25, 2019.

17) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Submit Affidavit Indicating The Time Required To Upgrade The Internet Lines of District Courts And For Digitising Court Records [Anand Vaid v. Preeti Vaid & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to submit an affidavit indicating the time required for upgradation of existing lease lines from 34 MBPS to 1 GBPS in each District Court Complex and for the digitisation of the court records. The court further directed the government to explain the reason for failing to take actions for the past two and a half years on such a critical aspect.

Also Read: Delhi HC Issues Notice in Plea Seeking Direction To Family Courts To Record Evidence Through Video Conferencing

18) Delhi HC Rejects Plea Seeking Court's Direction To Quash Central Govt's Order Fixing Minimum Fare For Air Travel [Veer Vikrant Chauhan v. Union of India & Ors.]

While noting that there cannot be any mathematical solution for problems faced during the pandemic, the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan rejected a PIL seeking to challenge the decision of the Central Government to set minimum fare for air travel. They observed that exercise of tariff fixation, and economic matters in general, are issues on which the writ court would generally refrain from exercising jurisdiction, unless found to be totally arbitrary or unreasonable.

19) Delhi HC Issues Directions To Ensure That Victim is Issued Notice In All Bail Proceedings Concerning POCSO Cases [Miss G v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh issued a series of directions to ensure that the Sessions Court comply with the court's various orders which mandates that notice must be issued to the complainant in all bail proceedings concerning POCSO cases.

20) Delhi HC Allows Plea of Saudi Nationals Related To Tablighi Jamaat Event To Get Quarantined in Delhi's Hyatt Hotel [Md. Jamal & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Vipin Sanghi allowed three Saudi Nationals, related to the Tablighi Jamaat event who had moved a plea before the court, to get quarantined in the Hyatt Hotel of Delhi, provided all the expenses are borne by the applicants, or by the Saudi Embassy.

21) Bar Council Of Delhi Moves HC Seeking Grant Of Medical & Term Insurance To Advocates Registered Under CM's Advocates Welfare Scheme [Bar Council of Delhi v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The single-Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh issued notice on a petition filed by the Bar Council of Delhi seeking a direction to the Delhi Government to grant medical and term insurance to Advocates who are duly registered under the Chief Minister's Advocates Welfare Scheme, within a period of 15 days.

Gujarat High Court

1) Is 'Lockdown" Constitutionally Valid?", Gujarat HC Seeks Response Of Centre, State on PIL

The High Court has asked the Union of India & State of Gujarat to take instructions in connection to a PIL challenging the constitutionality of the lockdown. The petition contends that the word lockdown, or its synonyms or equivalent does not find mention in either in the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act or the Constitution of India. "In fact, the Constitution of India prevents the suspension of Articles 20 and 21 even during a declared emergency. However, the situation that has been in existence is worse than that of an emergency without one being declared, with or without following the due process of law", it is urged.

2) Gujarat HC Rejects Bail To Asaram Bapu Citing Threat Of Followers Congregating To Aggravate COVID-19 Situation [Ashumal @ Asharam v. State Of Gujarat]

Justice AS Supehia rejected the interim bail application moved the self-styled godman, Asaram, stating that it would not be feasible to release him on bail, since the same may lead to congregation of his followers and further aggravate the threat of spreading the Corona virus.

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1) J & K HC Takes Stock Of Lockdown Situation in UTs: Says State Bound To Ensure Availability of Essentials In Far-Flung Areas [Azra Ismail v. UT of J&K]

Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal issued notice on a plea urging that on account of the lockdown, basic needs of people living in far flung areas of Gurez, Tangdhar, Machail and Uri, who are not only economically weak but are going through miserable time, are not being met. "This is a very critical issue and the official respondents are bound to ensure that the essentials are made available to every person living in the Union Territory", said the division bench.

Also Read: 'Amidst Lockdown, E-Connectivity To Courts Ensures Access To Justice To Citizens; It Is A Fundamental Right Not To Be Impeded In Any Manner': J & K HC

Karnataka High Court

1) Journalists Expose Themselves To Risk Of Corona Infection During Pandemic: Karnataka HC Directs Govt To Decide On Plea For Financial Protection To Media Persons [Jacob George v. Department of Information & Broadcasting]

A division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the Central and State Governments to consider and decide within two months a representation seeking directions to the government and private media houses to provide Rs 50 lakh compensation each to families of media persons, newspaper delivery boys, in case they die due to coronavirus infection.

2) Karnataka HC Asks State Bar Council And AAB To Initiate Disciplinary Action Against Advocates Who Gather Outside HC Gate Seeking Entry Without Appointment

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajit Shetty asked the Karnataka State Bar Council and the Advocates Association of Bengaluru to take disciplinary action against advocates who gather outside the high court premises and seek entry without having prior appointments issued by the registry for physical filing of matters.

3) Karnataka HC Takes Suo Moto Case On Burning Down Of Shanties Of Migrant Workers In Bengaluru

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty directed the Registrar General to file a suo-moto public interest litigation on the basis of a letter written by Advocate Vaishali Hegde informing about an incident in which temporary shanties of migrant workers were burnt down near the Sunday Bazar area in Bengaluru East. The court asked the Registry to make the State government and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, as party respondents to the petition and posted the matter for further hearing on June 11.

4) 'Social Media Has Created Social Divide On The Basis Of Communal Identification': Observes Karnataka HC [Rihan & Anr. v. State of Karnataka]

The Single bench of Justice R Devdas allowed the bail pleas of two men arrested allegedly for selling noxious watermelons with an intention to endanger public health while holing that prima facie intent could not be established and the case appeared to be a distasteful repercussion of the prevalent "communal divide".

5) Karnataka HC Issues Notice On Plea Against Mandatory Condition To Install 'Aarogya Setu' App For Air & Rail Travel

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty issued notice to the Union Government on a petition filed by a cyber security activist, challenging the directions making installation and use of 'Aarogya Setu' mandatory for travel by air and rail. The court posted the petition for preliminary hearing on June 12 and directed the respondents to file their statement of objections before that.

6) Family Courts Can't Insist On Personal Presence Of Parties At The Time Of Filing Even For Mutual Consent Divorce : Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty held that family courts cannot insist on the personal presence of parties at the time of presenting petitions before the family courts if they are represented by advocates acting as their authorised agent. The bench also held that personal presence was not necessary at the time of filing to seek divorce by mutual consent. The Court passed the order in a suo moto case taken to deal with the legal issues which arise during the days of limited functioning of the Courts.

Also Read: Personal Presence Of Complainant Not Mandatory At The Time Of Filing When Party Is Represented By Advocate : Karnataka HC

Kerala High Court

1) HC Can Recall Orders By Invoking Section 482 CrPC If Legal Grounds Exists: Kerala HC

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan observed that an order passed by the High Court in criminal jurisdiction can be recalled by invoking the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C, if legal grounds are properly established by the party. He also clarified that, if an order is passed without hearing the party, during the hearing process, not due to his fault, it amounts to violation of principles of natural justice and the Court can recall the order.

2) Fees Not Stated In Admission Prospectus Can't Be Charged On Students By Deemed Universities : Kerala HC [Rahul OR & Ors. v. IIST & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice Anu Sivaram held that deemed universities affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC) cannot levy fees on students in excess of what is stated in the admission prospectus. Holding thus, the court directed the Indian Institute of Space Science Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram, to refund the excess fees collected from research scholars, which had no mention in the admission prospectus issued in 2013.

3) Kerala HC Refuses To Stay Online Classes; Refers Parent's Plea To Division Bench

Stating that it does not find any exigency to grant an interim order at this stage, a single bench of Justice CS Dias refused to stay the online classes conducted in Kerala and referred the matter to a division bench of the High Court which is already seized of a similar petition.

4) Kerala HC Cancels Bail Granted To Rape & Murder Accused; Drops Proceedings Against Public Prosecutor And Counsel For Accused [State of Kerala v. Safarsha]

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan noted that the submission made by a Public Prosecutor that no charge sheet had been filed against a man accused of rape and murder of a 17 yrs old girl, even after 90 days of the arrest, was an "inadvertent mistake" and thus cancelled his bail.

5) Act Of Forcing Another Person To Sign On Blank Papers Is Not Forgery: Kerala HC [Nisar v. State of Kerala]

Justice VG Arun observed that the act of forcing another person to sign on blank papers does not amount to making of false document punishable under Section 468 of IPC. Taking note Sections 463 and 464 of IPC the court said, "The first and second limb of the Section is applicable when the accused himself commits the acts enumerated therein whereas under thirdly, the accused causes another person to dishonestly or fraudulently do certain acts. But even under the third limb, the act of forcing another person to sign on blank papers does not amount to making a false document."

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) Section 370 IPC Cannot Be Applied Against A Woman Who Herself Is A Victim Of Trafficking: Madhya Pradesh HC

Justice Rajendra Kumar Srivastava held that a woman involved in prostitution is herself a victim of human trafficking and therefore, she cannot be charged for the offence of trafficking under Section 370 of IPC. The court clarified that the objective of the provision was to bring those persons to books who exploit other human beings and not to punish those who are the victims of such perpetrators.

Madras High Court

1) Madras HC Refuses To Cancel DMK Leader R. S. Bharathi's Interim Bail In Case Under SC/ST Act For Disrespectful Remarks Against Lower Caste Elevations To HC [RS Bharathi v. Central Crime Branch & Ors.]

Justice M. Nirmal Kumar refused to cancel the May 23 grant of interim bail by the Principal Sessions Court to DMK organizing secretary R.S. Bharathi, also a Rajya Sabha member, who was arrested under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, for making disrespectful remarks against appointments of lower caste judges to High Court.

2) Madras HC Directs Madurai Corporation To Ensure That Sanitary Workers Use Protective Gears While Working

The bench comprising of Justices PN Prakash and B Pugalendhi directed the Madurai Corporation to take prompt action against the Sanitary workers who are found working in the public domain without observing proper safety mechanism, including wearing of masks and gloves. The direction was made in the backdrop of a submission made by the City Health Officer that the Sanitary Workers are not as "sensitive" to the situation and they work without wearing protective gears, despite the fact that the Corporation had supplied them with adequate protective equipments.

3) Naming It A 'Grave Concern', Madras HC Calls For Details On How Many Inmates Across Prisons Are COVID-Infected And If They Need To Be Released For Treatment

The Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and R. Hemalatha took cognizance of the spread of COVID among the inmates of jails in the state, observing, "If that is the case, then it is of grave concern". The court has asked the Additional Public Prosecutor to get instructions regarding number of prisoners who have been infected, whether those prisoners are being given proper treatment, etc.

4) [Covid-19] Info On Govt's Welfare Schemes Are Not In Public Domain, Madras HC Directs Govt.To Collate All Information On Schemes

The division bench of PN Prakash and B. Pugalendhi directed all Governmental Authorities to provide the Welfare Schemes that are in vogue, including the ones announced during the COVID pandemic, to the Office of the Additional Advocate General for the state of Tamil Nadu. The court called upon the AAG to collate all these Welfare Schemes and submit the same as soft copy to the Court so it can place those Schemes in public domain, "so that, people are made aware of them and they can approach the Governmental Authorities and the District Legal Services Authority to get benefits under the Scheme applicable to them".

Orissa High Court

1) Tik Tok Mobile App Requires To Be Properly Regulated To Save Teens From Its Negative Impact, Says Orissa HC [Shibani Barik v. State of Odisha]

During hearing of a bail application, Justice SK Panigrahi observed that Tik Tok Mobile Application is required to be properly regulated. He noted that the application 'often demonstrates a degrading culture and encourage pornography besides causing pedophiles and explicit disturbing content' and that the regulation of such is required 'to save the teens from its negative impact.'

Patna High Court

1) 'State Breached Its Dharma Of Acting For Benefit Of Teaming Millions Living In Rural Areas': Patna HC, Slams Bihar Govt. For Not Granting Incentive To Doctors In Rural Areas [Ankit Abhisehk v. Dr. Ravi Ranjan Kumar & Ors.]

Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S Kumar pulled up the state government for choosing not to grant incentive of weightage in marks, to be added in computing the merit on the basis of NEET, to the in-service doctors posted in the rural/remote/difficult areas, while observing, "Under the Constitution all power must be exercised to sub-serve public interest, for public good and for a public cause. If only such benefits are accorded would the Doctors voluntary opt to serve the poor, the needy, the deprived and the marginalised ones living in the remotest corner of the State".

2) Patna HC Stays Order For Registration of FIR Against Medical Officer For Recommending Home Quarantine To Asymptomatic Covid Suspect [Pravin Kishor Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha stayed the order of a District Magistrate directing registration of FIR and initiation of departmental proceeding against a Doctor who recommended home quarantine to an asymptomatic Covid suspect. The court observed that it prima facie appears that the Doctor had acted in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) Punjab and Haryana High Court Imposes Cost Of 10,000 On A Couple For Not Wearing Mask During Wedding Ceremony [Renu Devi & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

Justice Hari Pal Verma imposed costs of Rs. 10,000 on a couple for not wearing masks during their wedding which took place during the national lockdown imposed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The court further directed for the money deposited to be utilized for the purpose of arranging masks for the public at large within the Hoshiarpur district.

Rajasthan High Court

1) Rajasthan HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Deduction Of TDS From PF Of Retired Employees Opting To Continue GPF Account [Kshitiz Sharma v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.]

Justices Goverdhen Bardhar and Chandra Kumar Songra dismissed a PIL seeking direction to deduct TDS from the PF account of retired employees who opted to continue GPF terming it as 'Publicity Interest Litigation'. The HC referred to the SC decision in Ram Narain Sharma v. State of Rajasthan, in which it was held that the court should be extremely careful to see that under the guise of redressing a public grievance in the name of public interest litigation, it does not encroach upon the sphere reserved by the Constitution to the Executive and the Legislature.

Telangana High Court

1) Telangana HC Issues Slew Of Directions For Travel Of Migrants/ Brick Kiln Workers Stranded In The State

Coming to the rescue of various brick kiln workers stranded in the state, a Chief Justice led Division Bench of the High Court issued a slew of directions to the State Government to ensure that the workers are transported back to their native places, via buses and Shramik trains, and in the interregnum, are provided with adequate facilities to lead a dignified life.

Also Read: Delay, Hunger And Death: A Case Of Gross Negligence For Death On Shramik Trains

2) Taking Cognisance Of Plight Of Journalists During Lockdown, Telangana HC Directs State To Consider Their Grievances 'Most Sympathetically' Within 2 Weeks

Taking cognisance of the plight of the Journalists' Community during the lockdown, the Chief Justice-led bench of the High Court directed the State to consider "most sympathetically" within 2 weeks the representation the court has required to be made before it in this behalf.

3) Deprivation Of Land Traumatic For Indian Farmer, More So, When Lawful Compensation, Rehabilitation, Resettlement Not Ensured At Earliest': Telangana HC [Merugu Narsaiah & Ors. v. State of Telangana]

Highlighting the "unequal bargaining power" between State actors and small farmers, the bench of Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice K. Lakshman declared that the agreements entered into by the farmers with the State, for acquisition of land for purpose of Ananthagiri Sagar reservoir, are vitiated by coercion, and that they are unconscionable and consequently unenforceable invoking Sec. 19 and 23 of the Contract Act, 1872.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) 'Condition Of Quarantine Centers At Village Level Is Pitiable': Uttarakhand HC Directs District Administration To Provide Funds To Gram Sabhas [Sachdanand Dabral v. Union of India & Ors.]

Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Ravindra Maithani expressed deep concern over the "pitiable condition" of Quarantine Centers at the village level in the state and it directed the concerned District Magistrates to take necessary steps to ameliorate the situation, including providing the Gram Sabhas with adequate funds.

2) Uttarakhand HC Issues Notice On PIL Seeking Action Against State Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj For Violating Home Quarantine Order

Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe issued notices to the State Government and the Union of India on a PIL seeking action against State Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, for disobeying the order for Home Quarantine affixed outside his house in Dehradun.

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