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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
14 Jun 2020 12:41 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
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Week Commencing June 8, 2020 To June 14, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1) 'They Are Also Entitled To Equal Protection Of Law", Allahabad HC Grants Bail to 6 Foreign Members of Tablighi Jamaat [Sagynbek Toktobolotov & Ors. v. State of UP]

Justice Jaspreet Singh of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court granted bail to six members of Tablighi Jamaat, who happen to be citizens of Kyrgyzstan, and held that the applicants, even though are foreign nationals, cannot be deprived of their personal liberty except in procedure established by law and that they are also entitled to equal protection of law and equality before the law.

2) [Buses For Ferrying Migrants] Allahabad HC Seeks Reply On Anticipatory Bail Plea Filed By Priyanka Gandhi's Personal Secretary [Sandeep Singh v. State of UP & Anr.]

Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan of the Lucknow bench asked the UP Government to file its reply in the anticipatory bail application filed by Sandeep Singh, personal secretary of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a FIR lodged against him allegedly for forging a list of 1,000 buses that the Congress Party arranged for the UP Government, to bring back migrant workers.

3) Allahabad HC Stays Single Judge Order Halting Selection Process Of 69,000 Assistant Basic Teachers In UP [Examination Regulatory Authority, Allahabad & Ors. v. Rishabh Mishra & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Justice PK Jaiswal and DK Singh stayed the interim order passed by a single-Judge of the High Court, staying the recruitment process of 69,000 Assistant Basic Teachers in Uttar Pradesh. The bench however clarified that the state Government will be at liberty to continue with the selection process for 37,000 posts that were kept vacant for Siksha Mitras, in terms of the Supreme Court order dated June 9 in Subedar Singh & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.

4) Allahabad HC Seeks UP Assembly's Reply In Plea Seeking Disposal Of Pending Disqualification Proceeding [Deepak Singh v. Chairman Legislative Council Uttar Pradesh & Ors.]

The bench comprised by Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Dinesh Kumar Singh issued notice on a petition filed by Congress Leader for the state of Uttar Pradesh, Deepak Singh, seeking forthwith disposal of disqualification proceedings pending against former Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh, who switched to BJP in 2018. The court has asked the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council to file an affidavit setting out the reasons for non-disposal of the proceedings since two years.

5) Allahabad HC Dismisses PIL For Excavation Of And Preservation Of Buddhist 'Remains' Allegedly Unearthed From Ram Janmabhoomi Campus [Bhante Sumit Ratna & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Dinesh Kumar Singh dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to preserve the "remains" whatever found at the site of proposed "Ram Janm Bhoomi Mandir Campus" Ayodhya during the leveling of the said site. The court said that the issue had been settled by the High Court in a PIL titled 'Mahant Bhagwati Pratap Das v. Chancellor, KGMU, Lucknow & Ors.'

Bombay High Court

1) "If Children Can't Allow Parents To Live In Peace, Atleast Don't Make Their Life A living Hell"; Bombay HC Gives Stern Warning To Daughter Who Allegedly Tortured Mother Mentally & Physically [Rajani B. Somkuwar v. Sarita Somkuwar & Anr.]

Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice SP Tavade gave a stern warning to one Sarita Somkuwar, a woman accused by her own elderly mother of torturing her both mentally and physically, that if there is even one more complaint of harassment, she will not be allowed to enter the flat where she is residing with her 19-year-old son and mother.

2) Reconsider Capping Price Of N-95 Masks Urges Bombay HC As Centre Contends Masks Already Sold At 47% Reduced Price

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde questioned the Centre and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority regarding the cap on price of N-95 masks considering the Drug Price Control Order which states that the government will have to ensure that prices are not increased more than 10% of prices prevailing in preceding 12 months.

3) "The Pandemic Has Brought An Atmosphere Weariness & Exasperation"; Bombay HC Grants Bail To Architect Who Charged At Cop After Being Told To Wear A Mask [Karan Nair v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice Bharati Dangre granted bail to a 27-year-old Architect who was arrested after charging at a police officer who reminded him to wear a mask while he was taking a stroll at Marine Drive during the lockdown. "The situation of the spread of pandemic has brought on an atmosphere of weariness and exasperation and a young person like the applicant has fallen trap into the scenario," the court observed.

4) Continuation Of Work At Coastal Road During Lockdown; Bombay HC Grants Liberty To 20 Mumbai Residents To Move SC [Piya Mahantaney & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde granted liberty to twenty Mumbai residents who are members of a group called 'Save Our Coast' to move Supreme Court as they questioned the continuation of construction work for the coastal road in violation of the lockdown rules.

5) Bombay HC Grants Anticipatory Bail To Cop Accused Of Divorcing Second Wife By Texting 'Talaq' Thrice [Yusuf Usman Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice Bharati Dangre granted bail to a sub-inspector with Mumbai police accused by his second wife of divorcing her by forwarding a text message saying 'Talaq' three times. The officer has also been accused of committing forcible and unnatural sexual intercourse.

6) Bombay HC Reserves Verdict On Arnab Goswami's Plea Seeking Quashing Of Two FIRs Against Him, Likely To Be Pronounced On June 19

Division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Riyaz Chagla reserved its verdict in Arnab Goswami's application for quashing of two FIRs filed against him on allegations of inciting religious groups through his shows on Republic TV and Republic Bharat about the Palghar Mob lynching incident and the incident of migrants gathering outside of Bandra Station during lockdown.

7) Bombay HC Grants Bail To Nine Citizens Of Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan Accused Of Violating Visa Conditions By Indulging In "Tabligh Activities" [Batyrov Shukhratbek & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice Manish Pitale of the Nagpur bench granted bail to nine citizens of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan accused of violating their visa condition by indulging in "Tabligh Activities" in Gadhchiroli district of Maharashtra. "Although there is an allegation that the applicants had violated the conditions on which the Visa was issued to them, primarily by engaging in "Tabligh activities", whether such conditions were violated or not would be a matter for trial," the court said.

8) Bombay HC Advises Citizens To Stay Indoors, Quotes Nehru's "Tryst With Destiny" Speech, Asks State To Consider Increasing Public Healthcare Budget [Jan Swasthya Abhiyan & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta ad Justice AA Sayed passed several directions while hearing a batch of PILs and petition raising various issues regarding the state of public health care amidst the pandemic of Covid-19 in the State of Maharashtra. Court asked the State to consider increasing budgetary allocation for public healthcare and advised citizens to 'serve' or perform 'seva' to others by staying indoors.

9) Decongestion Of Prisons: Bombay HC Seeks Details Of Pending Bail Applications of Inmates From Trial Courts [PUCL & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde called for reports from each of the Principal District & Sessions Judges on the exact number of pending applications for temporary bail filed by the inmates of correctional homes from all over Maharashtra to avail the benefit of the recommendations of the High Powered Committee for decongestion of prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic. The matter will be heard on June 16.

10) Neither For Petitioner Nor Court To Suggest On Whom Clinical Trials Should Be Conducted; Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Suggesting Trials On Correctional Home Inmates [Kamaljeet Singh Sandhu v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde held that it was neither for the petitioner nor the Court to suggest on whom clinical trials of probable antidote to the Coronavirus or Sars-Cov-2 Virus should be conducted and dismissed a writ petition suggesting such trials on inmates of correctional homes.

Calcutta High Court

1) Exodus Of Migrant Labourers Due To Pandemic Exposed Young Children To Trafficking', Says Calcutta HC, Directs District Magistrates To Address Issues At Panchayat Level [In re: Contagion of COVID-19 Virus in Children Protection Homes]

"The exodus of the migrant labourers due to pandemic have exposed these younger children to be trafficked for some monetary gain and sustainability in life", observed the division bench Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Harish Tandon, while taking cognizance of the alarming rise in child trafficking and child rights abuse in the state. The matter will be heard on June 18.

2) Limitation Period To Apply For Probate Starts From The Date Which Dispute Arises Or When It Becomes Necessary To Apply: Calcutta HC [Hanuman Prasad Agarwal vs. Satyanarain Agarwal]

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya observed that the limitation period to apply for probate starts not from the date of death of the testator but from which the dispute arises or when it becomes necessary to apply for grant of probate. The court observed that the 3 years limitation is not to be counted from the date of death of the testator. The court was considering an appeal against an order rejecting plaintiff's application for grant of probate.

3) 'Prison Service Cannot Be Equated With Normal Service': Calcutta HC Holds Prisoners To Not Be Governed By Minimum Wages Act [Kartick Paul v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]

Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya held that prisoners in the state of West Bengal are not to be governed by the provisions of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and the rates fixed under such provisions by the appropriate government as minimum wages. "Prison service cannot exactly be equated with normal service, outside incarceration. There are certain distinctly discerning features in the former, as compared to the latter", the court observed.

4) Calcutta HC Seeks Response Of State On Demand Of Fee By Unaided Educational Institutions During Lockdown

The Chief Justice-led bench sought the response of the state government on the issue of demand of fees by unaided educational institutions during the lockdown period. The matter will now be heard on June 25.

Chhattisgarh High Court

1) Chhattisgarh HC Restrains Police From Taking Coercive Action Against BJP's Sambit Patra In Firs Over Tweets Against Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi [Dr. Sambit Patra v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

Granting interim relief to BJP's national spokesperson Sambit Patra, single-Judge bench of Justice Sanjay K Agrawal directed the state Police to not take any "coercive action" against Patra for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups.

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Against Delhi Govt's Order To Not Test Asymptomatic & Pre-Symptomatic Patients For COVID19

A Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has issued notice to the Delhi Government in a plea asking the court to set aside Delhi Government's decision to not test individuals who are asymptomatic, that is, who do not show symptoms of the COVID19 infection.

Also Read: Delhi HC Directs Centre & Delhi Govt To Ensure Adequate Testing And Real Time Updating Of Data Related To COVID19

Also Read: Delhi HC Directs All The Private Hospitals That Are Called Upon To Reserve 20% Beds For COVID Patients To Also Conduct Tests Of Those Seeking Admission For Non-COVID Procedures

Also Read: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Increase The Number of Beds And Ventilators For COVID Patients

2) Delhi HC Issues Notice in Plea Seeking Issuance of E-Coupons For Ration To The Destitute Families of Delhi's Northeast District

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla has issued notice to the Delhi Government in a PIL seeking writ of mandamus to be issued to the Delhi Government to provide e-coupons for ration to the economically underprivileged families living in the northeast districts of Delhi. The court will next take to this matter on June 17.

3) 'Non-Cooperation During Investigation Is Irrelevant In Plea For Revocation Of Pardon': Delhi HC Dismisses ED's Plea Against Grant Of Pardon To Rajiv Saxena [Directorate of Enforcement v. Rajiv Saxena]

Single-Judge bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar held that the condition of pardon of a court approver- to make "full and true disclosure"- applies to the proceedings before the Court, and do not encompass the proceedings during investigation. On this ground, the court dismissed the Enforcement Directorate's plea for revocation of pardon granted to Rajiv Saxena, one of the accused in the VVIP Chooper Scam case. The court observed that the Dubai-based businessman was yet to be examined by the Trial Court, and merely because the Public Prosecutor had issued a "Certificate for revocation of pardon" under Section 308 (1) of CrPC, on the basis of investigation, would not lead to revocation of pardon.

4) 'Completely Unacceptable' : Delhi HC On District Judge's Refusal To Accept Bail Bond On Ground That Softy Copy Of HC Order Wasn't Authenticated [Rahul Babbar v. CBI]

Justice Prathiba M. Singh criticized a District Judge for refusing to accept the bail bond of an accused on the ground that the soft copy of the HC bail order produced by him was not authenticated. During the lockdown period and even otherwise, it is a matter of common knowledge that orders are uploaded on the official website of the Delhi High Court. The same is easily verifiable by anyone including the Ld. District Judge in this case," the court said.

5) Delhi HC Constitutes Committee of Doctors To Inspect The Feasibility of Converting Certain Hotels Into COVID Facilities [CHL Ltd. v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla constituted a Committee of Doctors to inspect the feasibility of certain hotels to be used as extended COVID hospitals by the Delhi Government and has sought a report on the same by June 14.

Also Read: Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Proper Arrangements For The Treatment of Both COVID and Non-COVID Patients in Delhi Hospitals

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

Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakhder 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.

7) Delhi HC Directs Civic Bodies of Delhi To Submit Affidavits Indicating Their Preparedness To Deal With An Earthquake on an Urgent Basis

The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar asked all the civic bodies in the city including Commissioners of all the MCDs, Chairman of NDMC, DDA and Delhi Cantonment Board to submit affidavits indicating their preparedness to deal with an earthquake and how the same will be implemented on an urgent basis.

8) Delhi HC Asks Delhi Govt To Remove Restrictions From A Containment Zone If There Are No Fresh Cases, Surveillance And Testing To Continue As Per Guidelines

The Single Bench of Justice Rekha Palli asked the Delhi Government to abide by its submission of removing restrictions from DG-3 Society Vikas Puri, which was designated as a containment zone, as no fresh case has been reported from the said area. The court also asked the Delhi Government to follow its protocol of testing and surveillance as per the guidelines and take appropriate action if any new case is reported.

9) Delhi HC Temporarily Injuncts Textile Company From Selling Face Marks Having The Logo of Tommy Hilfiger [Tommy Hilfiger Europe BV v. M/s Taqua Textiles & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta granted temporary injunction against a textile company from selling face masks having the registered trademark of Tommy Hilfiger. The order has come in a plea moved by Tommy Hilfiger Order XI Rules 1,3 and 5 of the Civil Procedure Code seeking permanent injunction against Taqua Textiles from infringing and passing off the plaintiff's trademark 'TOMMY HILFIGER' with its variations and the flag logo.

10) Delhi HC Dismisses Plea For Postponing PG Exams For AIIMS [Jyoti Jaiswal & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

While acknowledging that there's a strong need for AIIMS to augment its capacity by adding more junior doctors on their rolls in the present scenario, the Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath rejected the plea seeking a direction to be issued to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to postpone the exams for post graduate (PG) courses.

11) Delhi HC Restrains Delhi Police From Sharing Information About Allegations And Evidence Against Delhi Riots Accused [Devangana Kalita v. Delhi Police]

A Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru restrained Crime Branch of Delhi Police from giving statements or circulating information regarding allegations and evidence allegedly collected against Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita or against any other accused of Delhi Riots to the media or on social media platforms.

12) Delhi HC Stays Investigation Against Vinod Dua In An FIR Accusing Him of Spreading Communal Enmity Through His YouTube Show [Vinod Dua v. GNCT of Delhi]

The Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani temporarily stayed the investigation against Vinod Dua in an FIR which alleges him of spreading misinformation and causing communal enmity on his YouTube show. While holding that there's no prima facie case against Mr Dua to warrant the registration of FIR, the court noted that there is no allegation that any adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, muchless any violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast.

13) Delhi HC To Hear Contempt Petition Against Delhi Govt & LNJP Hospital For Mishandling Of Covid Affected Dead Bodies

High Court has agreed to hear a contempt petition filed against the Chief Secretary and the Principal Health Secretary of the Delhi Government for flouting the directions issued by the High Court in a suo moto case registered against manhandling of Covid affected patients/ dead bodies. The contempt petition filed by Advocate Avadh Kaushik also states that the abovementioned Government representatives and LNJP's Medical Director have been knowingly filing false affidavits in the matter.

Also Read: SC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance On Reports Of Mishandling Of Covid- Affected Dead Bodies

Also Read: 'Sorry State Of Affairs': SC Issues Notice To Delhi,Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu & West Bengal Over COVID-19 Management

14) Delhi HC Rejects Plea Seeking Court To Prevent Private Hospitals From Charging Exorbitant Fee For COVID19 Treatment

Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan refused to issue directions in a plea seeking court's intervention in preventing private hospitals from charging exorbitant fee for COVID19 treatment. The court noted that the court cannot pass any direction on this matter at this stage.

Also Read: 'Treat It As A Representation': Delhi HC Tells Delhi Govt In Plea Seeking Proper Segregation Of COVID and Non-COVID Patients In Private Hospitals

15) Delhi HC Directs Payment Of Doctors' Salaries After Taking Suo Moto Cognizance On Media Reports [Court on its own motion v. Union of India & Ors.]

After taking suo moto cognizance of the matter, Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the North DMC to disburse salaries of resident doctors of Kasturba Hospital and Hindu Rao Hospital which have been pending since March 2020.

16) Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Franklin Templeton's Decision To Wind Up 6 Debt Funds [Amruta Garg (Formerly Amruta Narendra Nikam) v. Union of India & Ors.]

Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh issued notice to the Trustee and Asset Management Company of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund and also to SEBI on a writ petition challenging the Winding Up notice issued by the Mutual Fund to close its 6 debt funds.

17) Make A Video Call To Investigating Officer Every Monday, Also 'Drop A Pin' On Google Maps: Delhi HC Directs Accused While Granting Him Bail [Angad Kumar v. State]

"The applicant shall make a video-call every Monday between 11 am and 11:30 am to the Investigating Officer." This is one of the conditions imposed by Justice Anup Jairam Bhambani while granting bail to an accused. The High Court is issuing this novel directive in its bail orders in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Usual practice is to direct the accused/bail applicant to appear before the investigating officer on a particular day and time once or twice a week.

18) Delhi HC Issues Notice On Shashi Tharoor's Plea To Preserve Sunanda Pushkar's Twitter Account & Tweets

Justice Manoj Ohri issued notice to the Delhi Police in an petition filed by MP and senior Congress leader Dr. Shashi Tharoor, seeking for directions to the Investigating Officer to write a letter to Twitter for securing and preserving the inactive Twitter account of his late wife Sunanda Pushkar. The matter is now listed on 15th July.

19) Delhi HC Allows SG To File Reply In Plea Challenging The Denial of Information on PM CARES Fund Under The RTI Act [Samyak Gangwal v. CPIO, PMO & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla allowed Solicitor General to file Centre's reply in a plea challenging the decision of the Central Public Information Officer, Prime Minister's Office wherein the RTI application seeking documents related to the PM CARES Fund was denied. The matter will next be taken up on August 28.

Gauhati High Court

1) Plea Of Lack Of Funds Not Legally Tenable In Matters Of Payment Of Pension & Other Post Retirement Benefits: Gauhati HC [Nagen Chandra Das v. State of Assam & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi held that the right to receive post retirement benefits is sacrosanct and the same cannot be denied merely because of lack of funds. The court observed that in case an employer, in this case the State Housing Board, does not have sufficient funds, it may approach the State Government for the same.

Gujarat High Court

1) Gujarat HC Issues Contempt Notice Against GHCAA President Yatin Oza For "Scurrilous" Remarks Against HC & Its Registry [Suo Moto v. Yatin Narendra Oza]

Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice NV Anjaria issued criminal contempt notice against Senior Advocate and the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates' Association, Yatin Oza, for making "scurrilous remarks" against High Court and its Registry, during a live press conference on Facebook.

Also Read: Senior Advocate Yatin Oza, GHCAA President, Moves SC Against Contempt Notice Issued By Gujarat HC

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1) 'Bail Is Not To Be Withheld As A Punishment': Himachal Pradesh HC [Rajneesh Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

Justice Sandeep Sharma held that bail is not to be withheld as a mode of punishment because guilt of an accused is established only at conclusion of trial. The court observed, "object of the bail is to secure the attendance of the accused in the trial and the proper test to be applied in the solution of the question whether bail should be granted or refused is whether it is probable that the party will appear to take his trial. Otherwise, bail is not to be withheld as a punishment."

Karnataka High Court

1) Karnataka HC Directs State To Ensure Adequate Transport Facilities To Migrant Workers From North Eastern Region

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna asked the state government to ensure that adequate transport opportunities are available to the migrant workers from North Eastern States to reach their destination, after going through the written submission of the state in which it was stated that there are migrant workers who wish to go back to Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.

2) Lockdown Crisis Not A 'Public Emergency' Under Section 5 Of Factories Act : Karnataka Govt Admits In HC

The Karnataka Government admitted to the High Court of Karnataka that it was difficult to justify its order relaxing labour laws in the State on the basis of Section 5 of the Factories Act, as the lockdown situation cannot be termed as a "public emergency" as specified under the provision.

Also Read: Karnataka HC Seeks State's Response On Plea Against Relaxation Of Labour Laws; Denies Interim Relief

3) Burning Huts Of Migrants Taking Advantage Of Lockdown Unfortunate : Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice E S Indiresh directed the state government to give reasons why no action was taken in the month of March when around 90 unoccupied huts of migrant workers were burnt down by miscreants near the Sunday Bazar area in Bengaluru East.

4) Cauvery Calling Project : Karnataka HC Seeks Govt Explanation On Involvement Of 'Isha Foundation' & 'Isha Outreach'

A bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka asked the State Government to explain how 'Isha Outreach' was being allowed to claim the 'Cauvery Calling' as its project, despite accepting the proposal of 'Isha Foundation' to implement the same.

Kerala High Court

1) Human Rights Commission Cannot Decide Disputes Arising Out Of Exercise Of Statutory Powers And Duties: Kerala HC [Executive Engineer, Kerala State Electricity Board v. MN Swaminathan]

The Human Rights Commission cannot decide any dispute which arises out of an exercise of statutory powers and duties, observed the bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque. "The very nature and power of the Human Rights Commission is recommendatory, when it is called upon to decide the rights of the individual which otherwise available to him collectively," the court observed.

2) 'Inconvenience Suffered By Individuals For Common Good Cannot Be Termed As Violative Of Any Fundamental Rights': Kerala HC [KV Gopi v. District Collector & Ors.]

"At times, some inconveniences may have to be suffered by the individuals for the common good and welfare of the public at large and that cannot be termed as violative of any fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens", observed Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly while hearing a PIL contending that the Public Works Department, without any tender or notification, has completely blocked the passage through a public road in order to construct a cross drain.

3) 'Closure Of Branch Irrelevant Where Assessee Chooses Determination Of Tax Liability Under Compounding Provision': Kerala HC

"Closure of branch is irrelevant where the assessee chooses determination of tax liability on a compounding basis", ruled a bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice TR Ravi.

4) Kerala HC Dismisses Plea Against MTP Act Provision Which Legalizes Abortion Under Specified Circumstances [Cry for Life Society & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Shaji P. Chaly dismissed a PIL challenging constitutional validity of Section 3(2) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, which allows medical termination of pregnancy under specified circumstances. The court observed that all pregnancies are not allowed to be terminated, but only those which meet the exceptional circumstances that are referred to in Section 3(2) of the MTP Act.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) Writ In Nature Of Habeas Corpus Maintainable In Matters Of Child Custody: Madhya Pradesh [Anushree Goyal v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.]

Justice SC Sharma recently allowed a habeas corpus petition, which in effect pertained to the custody of a 2 year old boy, holding US citizenship. Emphasizing on the family law principle that "welfare of the child is of paramount importance", the bench examined the issue whether a Habeas Corpus petition is maintainable in respect of custody of a minor child and it held in the affirmative.

Madras High Court

1) Madras HC Issues Notices On PIL Against Conducting Online Classes In The Absence Of Requisite IT Laws [Saranya S. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The division bench comprised by Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar issued notices to the Union of India, Union Ministry of Information & Technology, CERT, and other state authorities, on a PIL filed against conducting of online classes by schools and colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu amid the lockdown, in the absence of requisite schemes and guidelines under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

2) Madras HC Issues Notice On Plea For Distribution Of Rs. 10,000 As "Monthly Cash Support" To Economically Backward, Labourers / Workers [Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Bench comprised by Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar issued notice on a PIL seeking monthly cash assistance of Rs. 10,000 for economically backward sections of the society in the state of Tamil Nadu. The court has asked the state Government to file its reply on the matter and has posted the matter for hearing in July.

3) Madras HC Directs Govt To File Counter In DMK's Plea Seeking Permission To Land International Flights Carrying Stranded Indians In The State [DMK v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench comprised by Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kuma asked the state Government to file a Counter affidavit, in a PIL filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), seeking necessary permissions/clearance for landing of international aircrafts, carrying Indians stranded abroad, at the Chennai International Airport.

Manipur High Court

1) Manipur HC Bars 7 MLAs, Who Switched From Congress To BJP, From Entering Assembly As Speaker Fails To Decide On Disqualification [Khumukcham Joykishan Singh v. Speaker & Ors.]

A bench of Justice K H Nobin Singh barred 7 MLAs, who had switched from Congress to BJP, from entering the Manipur Legislative Assembly until the Speaker takes a final decision on the applications filed way back in 2018 seeking their disqualification on the ground of defection.

Also Read: SC Restrains Manipur BJP Minister From Entering Legislative Assembly Till Further Orders

Also Read: Speaker Should Decide On Disqualification Within 3 Months; Impartial Tribunal Needed Under 10th Schedule : SC

2) Manipur HC Pulls Up Lady Cop For Her 'Contemptuous' FB Post Against Judiciary; Issues Notice To 20 FB Account Holders [In Re-Criminal Contempt against Thounaojam Brinda v. Thounaojam Brinda, MPS & Anr.]

The bench comprising of Justice Lanusungkum Jamir and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh initiated contempt proceedings against a woman cop who allegedly posted derogatory, defamatory and contemptuous remark in her face book account against Judiciary. The court further directed the Police to 'continue collecting and verifying details of persons who keep on uploading posts scandalizing the Judiciary in connection with the present case.'

Orissa High Court

1) Orissa HC Dismisses PIL For Allowing 'Darshan' Of Ceremonial Bathing Of Deities Of Puri Jagannath Temple, To Decide Tomorrow Whether Annual 'Ratha Yatra' To Proceed From June 23

Chief Justice M. Rafiq and Justice BR Sarangi dismissed a PIL challenging the June 1 order of the state government directing that the religious places/places of worship for public shall continue to remain closed till the end of the month. "This Court would be loath to interfere with the decision of the State Government, which appears to be based on objective evaluation of situation, as in the opinion of this Court, such matters are best left to the discretion of the executive", observed the court.

2) 'Trial Court, While Deciding Bail, Should Consider Awarding Reasonable Sum, As Interim Compensation, To Victims, Particularly Those From Unprivileged Classes": Orissa HC

"It is also imperative that the Trial Courts, while deciding bail cases of this nature, should consider awarding a reasonable amount as an interim award so that the victims, especially hailing from poor and underprivileged classes, can utilise the said amount for the purpose of meeting their medical expenses," observed a single bench while considering an application under Section 439, Cr.P.C., of the petitioner, in custody in connection with a case booked under Sections 285, 307 of I.P.C, alleged to have poured petrol on the victim's body.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) [Fake Calls] Registered Mobile Phone Owners Cannot Claim Innocence By Saying That Their Phone Was Used By Someone Else: Punjab & Haryana HC [Shubham Singh v. State of Punjab]

A single-Judge bench of Justice Harsimran Singh Sethi held that if a mobile phone number is used for commission of an offence, its registered owner cannot shirk off his liability by simply claiming that the phone was used by someone else. The court clarified that the registered mobile phone owner is predisposed to explain the court as to how his phone was used by someone else/ for commission of an offence.

2) Punjab & Haryana HC Frames Charges Against Court Clerk For Maligning Judicial Officers Via YouTube [Court On Its Own Motion v. Harmeet Singh]

Justice Jawant Singh and Justice Sant Parkash instituted suo moto contempt proceedings against a Court Clerk, posted at the Sessions Court in Mansa, allegedly for maligning Judicial Officers via Youtube account titled "Ugly face of Indian Judiciary, Ludhiana", and by uploading videos "lambasting" the judicial officers by leveling false allegations against them.

3) Restrictions Imposed On Religious Places During Lockdown Are In Larger Public Interest: Punjab & Haryana HC [Mubeen Farooqi v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

Justices Rajiv Sharma and Ajay Tewari upheld the restrictions on religious places during Covid-19 lockdown and observed that the imposition of restrictions on religious places is in larger public interest and has reasonable nexus with the object sought to be achieved.

4) Punjab & Haryana High Court Declares Faridkot Maharaja's Will As Forged; Divides Estate Between Two Surviving Daughters And Nephew [Rajkumari Amrit Kaur v. and Maharani Deepinder Kaur & Ors.]

Justice Raj Mohan Singh held that the will of the former Maharaja of the erstwhile state of Faridkot which was made public over 30 years ago, was forged by the persons in-charge at the time in order to plunder the entire estate valued at over Rs.20,000 crores. The court declared that the two surviving daughters of the late Raja, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Maharani Deepinder Singh were entitled to inherit and share the properties in question. Court also allowed the claim of the late Raja's nephew Amrinder Singh Brar to proportionate share in the Raja's estate. He relied on the registered will of Maharani Mohinder Kaur (Raja's Mother) dated March 1990.

5) [Black Lives Matter] 'Africans Are Our Friends' : Punjab & Haryana HC Directs Police Not To Use Racial Slur Against African Nationals

Justice Rajiv Narain Raina came down heavily upon the Police authorities in the state for using a racial slur while referring to an African national accused in a criminal case under the NDPS Act. He said that this pernicious practice must be stopped forthwith, by taking disciplinary action against the errant officials. He further directed the Director General of Police, Punjab to consider the entire issue and notify instructions in this regard to the police force.

Also Read: African-Americans And The United States Constitution

Rajasthan High Court

1) Rajasthan HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging RERA Extension To Real Estate Projects [Ashish Sharma v. State of Rajasthan]

A division bench comprised by Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma issued notice on a PIL challenging an order passed Rajasthan Real Estate Regulation Authority granting an "across board" 12-months extension for completion of registered real estate projects, due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation.

2) Rajasthan HC Directs Registry To Not Entertain Petitions That Disclose Rape Victim's Identity [A v. Principal Secretary Medical & Health Department]

Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma directed its Registry to not entertain any such petitions that are filed in or disclose the name of rape victims. The court noted that the case at hand had been registered in the victim's name, despite explicit orders against the same in Petitioner A v. State of Rajasthan & Ors., CWP No. 10309/2018.

3) 'Infringement Of Right To Life Of A Rape Victim "Outweighs" The Right To Life Of The Child In Womb': Rajasthan HC Issues Directions For Termination Of Rape Victim Pregnancies [State Of Rajasthan & Ors. v. S. & Anr.]

The division bench comprised by Justice Sandeep Mehta and Dr. Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati held that "the right of a child rape victim to make the reproductive choice of terminating the foetus heavily outweighs the right of the child in womb to be born even where the pregnancy is at an advanced stage," and passed directions to ensure that minor rape victims are not denied the right to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Telangana High Court

1) Telangana HC Warns State Govt. Of Contempt For Failing To Comply With Order Of COVID-Testing Of Dead Bodies Released By Hospitals [Prof. P.L. Vishweshwar Rao & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

Perusing the compliance report of the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy observed that the state government's report is absolutely silent on the issue whether the dead bodies being released from hospitals are duly tested for the presence of Coronavirus or not. Consequently, the court warned "If the directions issued by this Court are not followed, this Court will hold Dr. Srinivasa Rao (the Director) personally liable, along with the Principal Secretary, Medical and Health Department, for the disobedience of the directions issued by this Court."

2) 'People Should Be Made Aware That Pandemic Only Increasing Day In And Day Out': Telangana HC Directs Govt. To Publish COVID Statistics On Media [Amrita Aryendra v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy directed the State to, not only publish vital statistics on COVID on the Internet, but most importantly to have it published on the front pages of all the Newspapers in the Print Media. "It is imperative that people should be made aware of the fact that the pandemic is only increasing day in and day out. It is essential that people should be made aware that they are required to take all the precautions necessary for controlling the pandemic," the court said.

3) 'Transporting Migrant Workers Fast Is In The Interest Of State": Telangana HC Prescribes Ear-Marking Of 2-3 Bogies In Each Train For Migrants, And Provide More Shramik Trains [Dr. N. Ramesh Kumar v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.]

"The Railways should think about demarcating some of the bogies, out of the twenty-four bogies forming the train, is exclusively dedicated to the migrant workers. Perhaps two or three bogies can be earmarked for the migrant workers, in each train leaving Secunderabad/Hyderabad area", reflected the bench of Chief Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy in a batch of PILs filed in the interest of migrant workers.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) Uttarakhand HC Declares Law Exempting Former Chief Ministers From Payment Rent For Occupying Govt Bungalows As Unconstitutional [Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra Rlek v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

The division bench comprised by Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice RC Khulbe declared that the Uttarakhand Former Chief Ministers Facility Act, 2019 which allows former chief ministers of the State to stay in government bungalows without paying market rent, is "ultra vires". The court held that a Chief Minister, once he demits office, is on par with the common man and is not entitled to any preferential treatment, other than security and other protocols.

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