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High Courts Weekly Roundup

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
21 Jun 2020 2:20 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
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Week Commencing June 15 To June 21

Allahabad High Court

1) Allahabad HC Grants Wife Guardianship Of Husband In Comatose Condition; Calls Upon Central Government To Enact A Law [Uma Mittal & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench comprised by Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery allowed the plea of a wife, to be appointed as the guardian of her husband lying in vegetative state. The court observed that even though there is no law for appointment of guardians for a person in a comatose state, the court was obliged in its capacity as a 'parens patriae' to do justice to the Petitioner.

2) [Buses For Ferrying Migrants] Allahabad HC Grants Bail To UP Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu [Ajay Kumar Lallu v. State of UP]

Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi allowed the regular bail application filed by UP Congress Chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, who has been in jail since May 21, allegedly for providing false information in the list of buses that were sent to ferry migrant workers home. The Court noted that given the nature of offences alleged in the present case, a case for grant of bail is made out.

3) Allahabad HC Seeks Status Report On Steps Taken By UP Govt To Prevent Rising Number Of Domestic Violence Cases During Lockdown [Ala Hazrat Helping Society v. State Of UP & Anr.]

Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Yashwant Varma directed the UP Government to file a status report regarding the steps taken by it with regard to attending the grievances of all victims of domestic violence during Covid-19 pandemic.

4) Allahabad HC Directs Govt To Submit A Blue Print For Mass Testing Of Individuals For Covid-19 [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive]

The division bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to come up with a 'blue print' for conducting mass testing for Covid-19, in the city of Prayagraj. The court said that if the proposal of mass testing in Prayagraj turns successful, then the same model may be implemented in the entire state of UP, as a measure to combat the pandemic.

5) Why Are Appointments In District Consumer Foras Not Made In Time?, Allahabad HC Asks Govt [Gurvinder Singh v. State Of UP & Anr.]

"Learned Standing Counsel may seek instructions and file a Counter Affidavit as to why appointments of members in the District Consumer Foras were not made in time, as to what is the status of the appointments as on date or the time frame within which appointments are likely to be made," the division bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Yashwant Varma ordered in a PIL seeking timely appointment of members to the District Consumer Foras. The matter will now be taken up on July 23, 2020.

6) Allahabad HC Issues Notice To UP Assembly Speaker In Plea Seeking Disposal Of Disqualification Proceedings Pending Against Congress MLAs [Aradhana Misra 'Mona' v. Speaker, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly]

The division bench comprised by Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh issued notice on a petition filed by Congress Leader in UP Assembly, Aradhana Misra 'Mona', seeking forthwith disposal of disqualification proceedings pending against Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh- Congress MLAs alleged of indulging in anti-party activities.

Bombay High Court

1) Safety & Health Of Passengers Adequately Taken Care Of Even If Middle Seat Is Filled; Bombay HC Rejects Air India Pilot's Plea [Deven Yogesh Kanani v. DGCA & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice SP Tavade held that safety and health of passengers on board an aircraft with reference to the Coronavirus is adequate even if middle row seats are not kept vacant. Court thus disposed of a plea filed by a pilot from Air India who alleged that the national carrier violated the circular dated March 23 issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for keeping middle row seats empty.

2) Domain Name Registrar May Suspend Registration But Cannot "Block Access" To Domain Name : Bombay HC [HUL v. Endurance Domains Technology LLP & Ors.]

Justice GS Patel while hearing a commercial suit filed by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) seeking directions to online domain name registrars to block access certain fraudulent variants of HULs domain name held that such registrars as "Endurance Domains Technology, Go Daddy and Porkbun" can only suspend registration of specific domain names but "blocking access" is another matter.

3) Contracting Covid-19 Is No Ground To Ostracize Essential Service Staffers; Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Alleging Unhindered Movement Leading To Rise In Cases [Charan Ravindra Bhatt v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice AA Sayed while dismissing a PIL alleging that unhindered movement of doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, policemen and others working in essential services has led to the rise in the number of positive cases of Coronavirus in different parts of suburbs around Mumbai, held that even if some essential service staffers got infected with the virus, it is no ground to ostracise them.

4) "Absolutely Frivolous PIL Petition": Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Free Covid-19 Treatment to All Citizens With Rs.5 lakh Cost [Sagar Shivajirao Jondhale v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KK Tated dismissed a public interest litigation filed by Sagar Jondhale a 42-year-old educationist and social worker who sought directions to the State of Maharashtra to provide free treatment to all citizens of Maharashtra who test positive for Covid-19, including free treatment at private hospitals and imposed a cost of Rs.5 lakh payable to the State. The court held that the money will be utilized by the State for relief activities to ameliorate the plight of people in these difficult times. If costs, as directed above, are not paid by the petitioner within a month from date, the State shall be at liberty to recover the same from him as arrears of land revenue, the bench said.

5) Handover Feeding Tubes To Cancer Survivor Within 24 Hrs; Bombay HC Directs Customs [Samir Patel v. Commissioner of Customs (Import) & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice NR Borkar directed the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate to handover within 24 hours feeding tubes imported from the United States to a cancer survivor who is unable to eat without these tubes due to a surgery he underwent. This matter will now be heard on June 22 at 11 am.

6) Sorry State Of Affairs Says Bombay HC As ADG Prisons Informs Swab Samples Of 4 Inmates Collected After Death Tested Positive For Covid-19, One Committed Suicide [PUCL & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KK Tated observed that the report submitted by the Additional Director General Of Police (Prisons) reveals a sorry state of affairs as the report stated that four inmates of three different prisons in the State died and swab samples collected after their death revealed that they were Covid-19 positive.

7) Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Seeking 50% School Fee Waiver Claiming Parents In Financial Distress Due To Covid-19 Pandemic [Dr. Binu Varghese v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KK Tated dismissed a PIL filed by a social worker who sought directions to schools to waive off 50% school fees in consideration of the Covid-19 pandemic and the financial distress it has caused to the parents of school children. "Although relief has primarily been claimed against "the schools", the management of not a single school has been impleaded as a respondent by the PIL petitioner. Obviously, granting the prayers of the PIL petition in the absence of the schools would amount to breach of principles of natural justice," the court observed.

8) There Has To Be Rational Use Of Testing Kits : Bombay HC Refuses Relief In PIL Seeking To Do Away With Doctor's Prescription For Covid-19 Testing [Narendra Murkumbi v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice KK Tated refused relief in a PIL seeking directions to the State to do away with the pre-condition of production of a doctor's prescription for Covid-19 testing and observed that prima facie there has to be a rational use of testing kits and the present situation does not warrant grant of any such relief.

Calcutta High Court

1) Test For Allowing Or Rejecting An Amendment To 'Section 34' Arbitration Petition: Calcutta HC Explains [Prakash Industries Limited. vs. Bengal Energy Limited. & Anr.]

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya observed that the test for allowing or rejecting an amendment to existing grounds in an Arbitration Petition under Section 34 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act is whether the proposed grounds would necessitate filing of a fresh application for setting aside of the Award.

2) Calcutta HC Quashes Customs' Summons To TMC MP's Wife [Rujira Naroola v. Union of India & Ors.]

Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj quashed summons to Rujira Naroola, wife of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, and her sister by the Customs authorities on the ground of procedural lapses. The Single Bench reflected that Section 108 of the Customs Act clearly mandates that proceedings under section 108 are quasi judicial in nature. The person issuing summons has to satisfy qualitative ingredients as prescribed in Section 108 of the Customs Act.

3) Calcutta HC Takes Notice Of Reports Of Sexual Abuse Of Children During Lockdown [In re: Contagion of COVID – 19 Virus in Children Protection Homes]

The bench comprised by Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Harish Tandon directed the Chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women to provide information about the alleged cases of child rights violations in the state, during the lockdown period. The court ook notice of a newspaper article whereby the Chairperson had stated that there has been a spike of domestic violence cases during the lockdown, including reported cases of sexual abuse of children and violation of other child rights. The matter is now listed for hearing on June 25, 2020.

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi HC Issues Notice in Plea Moved by NGO Seeking To Assist In the Cremation of Bodies of COVID19 Victims [Mokshda Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti v. NDMA & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notices to the National Disaster Management Authority and to the Delhi Government in a plea moved by an NGO that wishes to assist the government authorities in cremating the bodies of COVID victims. The court will next take up the matter on June 29.

2) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging Suspension of Legal Interviews With Prisoners Lodged In Delhi Prisons [Ajit P. Singh v. State of NCT of Delhi]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Delhi Government and directed it to file a status report in a plea challenging the validity of theDelhi Government's order dated 25/03/20 wherein the legal interviews with the prisoners lodged in Delhi prisons have been suspended in light of COVID19. The court will next take up the matter on June 29.

3) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Pass Order on Implementation Of Revised Wages Of Prisoners Within 3 Weeks [Nitin Verma v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

The Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Delhi Government to pass an order on implementation of revised wages of prisoners within a period of 3 weeks. The court further directed the Delhi Government to submit a status report on this issue before July 24.

4) Unauthorized Construction: Delhi HC Directs Contactor To Supply 250 PPE Kits To Covid Hospitals & Crematories [Chaudhary Ventures Pvt. Ltd. v. SDMC]

The bench of Justice Najmi Waziri directed a construction contractor, allegedly indulged in unauthorized construction, to supply 250 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE kits) to certain government hospitals in the city, where testing and/or treatment facilities for COVID-19 is being carried out.

5) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging The Appointment Of Justice (Retd) Bansi Lal Bhat As The Officiating Chairman Of NCLAT

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notices to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Registrar of NCLAT, among others in a plea challenging the appointment of Justice (Retd) Bansi Lal Bhat as officiating Chairman of NCLAT. The court will next take up the matter on June 30.

6) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Process Pending Items Related To Digitisation Of District Courts Within Two Weeks [Anand Vaid v. Preety Vaid & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to process the four pending items that are related to the project of digitisation/scanning of records and upgradation/enhancement of existing leased lines in the District Court Complexes within a period of two weeks under advance intimation to the High Court.

7) Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Domicile Reservation For Delhiites In NLU Delhi [Pia Singgh v. NLU-D]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has issued notice to the Delhi Government in a plea seeking quashing of the provision giving 50% reservation to students who passed their qualifying exam from the Institute located within the National Capital Territory. The court has asked it to file its reply by June 25.

8) Deduction Of One-Day' Salary To PM CARE FUND During Covid Pandemic Cannot Be Said To Be Contrary To Public Interest Or Harsh: Delhi HC [Prof. Shreekant Gupta v. University of Delhi]

Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula dismissed a plea challenging the deduction of one-day salary of a Delhi University teacher for contributing to the PM CARES Fund. The court remarked rhetorically, wouldn't a 'stone hearted person' only challenge the decision to deduct one day's salary for a pandemic?

9) Delhi HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Waiver of Outstanding Rent of Tenants And Compensation For Landlords For Allowing Such Waiver

Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan rejected a plea seeking waiver of the outstanding rent of tenants due to the economic hardship caused by the lockdown. While imposing costs of ₹10,000, the Court noted that it cannot do charity at the cost of others.

10) Delhi HC Directs DU To Reimburse Blind Students For Costs Incurred In Procuring Accessible Textbooks and Assistive Devices [National Federation Of The Blind v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon directed the Delhi University to reimburse, up to ₹ 2 lakh, the visually impaired students who go on to procure books in accessible forms and assistive devices to appear for sentence examinations.

11) Delhi HC Grants Relief To Student Who Was Detained For Shortage Of Attendance Despite Being Allowed To Sit For Exams [Alisha Gupta v. GGSIUP & Anr.]

Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath granted relief to a student of GGSIP University who was detained for shortage of attendance despite being allowed to appear for the exams and attend classes for the next semester. The court noted that the University completely failed to comply with the statutory requirement of announcing the names of the students who were not eligible to appear in the semester exam at least 5 calendar days before the start of the examination.

12) CM Advocates Welfare Scheme: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Immediately Procure Insurance Policies For Advocates Verified By Bar Council Of Delhi [Govind Swaroop Chaturvedi v. State Of Nct Of Delhi & Ors.]

In a plea seeking implementation of the CM Advocates Welfare Scheme, the Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh directed the Delhi Government to take all steps required for the immediate procurement of insurance policies for the 29,098 Advocates whose names have been verified by the Bar Council of Delhi. The court noted that the purpose of the Scheme would be rendered nugatory if insurance policies are not obtained for them during the outbreak of an unprecedented pandemic, as is currently prevalent.

13) Delhi HC Denies Interim Protection To Chairman Of UP Bar Council Who Has Been Restrained From Performing Duties By Bar Council of India [Hari Shankar Singh v. Bar Council of India & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla denied interim protection to Hari Shankar Singh, the Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh State Bar Council, who has been restrained from performing his duties by the Bar Council of India pending the elections to the said State Bar Council.

14) Delhi HC Asks Delhi Govt To Advertise The Correct Way Of Using A Mask In Media And The Websites of All Municipal Authorities [Pulkit Jain v. GNCT of Delhi & Anr.]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the Delhi Government to advertise the correct way of using a face mask, as stipulated in the guidelines of the Union Health Ministry, in both the print and electronic media. The court further said that the said information shall also be displayed on the websites of all municipal authorities as well as on the website of Delhi Cantonment Board so that the public at large may come to know as to when and how to use the masks.

15) Black Lives Matter: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Police To Decide Upon The Representation Seeking Permission To Hold Protests Against Detention of Indigenous People of Biafra Within 2 Days

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla directed the Commissioner of Delhi Police to decide upon the Petitioner's representation in a plea seeking a direction to be issued to the Delhi Police for allowing protests to be held under the banner of 'Black Lives Matter' against the detention of some ingenious people of Biafra.

16) Delhi HC Seeks Response of Tihar Jail on Pinjra Tod Member's Plea for Virtual Meetings with Lawyers

Justice Vibhu Bakhru sought response of Tihar Jail on a plea by a woman member of Pinjra Tod group, who was arrested in a case related to the communal violence in North East Delhi, seeking daily access to her lawyer through video conferencing and to carry books and reading material in prison.

17) Is Presence Of Magistrate During Search/ Recovery Of Contraband Articles Mandatory Under S. 50 Of NDPS Act: Delhi HC Refers Matter To Larger Bench [Nabi Alam alias Abbas v. State (Govt Of Nct Of Delhi)]

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has referred the issue relating to procedure of recovery of contraband articles from an accused, under Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, to a larger bench. The issue relates to the mandatory presence of Magistrate during search/ recovery.

18) [Delhi Riot Case] Delhi HC Seeks Delhi Police's Report On Bail Plea Filed By Safoora Zargar

Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the Delhi Police to file status report on a plea by Jamia Coordination Committee member Safoora Zargar, who was arrested under the anti-terror law --UAPA -- seeking bail in a case related to communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in February.

Gauhati High Court

1) Wife Forcing Her Husband To Separate From His Parents Is 'Cruelty', Says Gauhati HC [Bhaskar Das v. Renu Das]

"Every child including a son is mandatorily required to provide for maintenance/welfare of any parent," the bench comprising of the Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia observed and granted divorce to a man on the ground that his wife compelled him to stay away from his step-mother.

Also Read: Forcing Husband To Get Separated From His Parents, Amounts To 'Cruelty': SC

Gujarat High Court

1) Caste System Makes It Difficult For Young People To Decide Their Own Life Partner: Gujarat HC [Niteshkumar Mulchandbhai Prajapati v. State Of Gujarat]

While granting relief to a couple who had been separated by the wife's family on account of caste-based differences, the division bench comprised by Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice NV Anjaria observed, "…the caste system in the country is making it more and more difficult for the young people to decide their own life partner and the rigidity in the minds of adults in the family becomes the serious cause of division of human relationship."

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1) 'Humane Attitude' Is Required By The Court While Deciding Remand Applications Of Accused : Reiterates Himachal Pradesh HC [Ajay Kumar v. State of HP]

Justice Sandeep Sharma reiterated the significance of bail vis-à-vis right to personal liberty of an accused, in cases where custody is not required for investigation and/or where there is no apprehension of the accused fleeing from justice. "A humane attitude is required to be adopted by a judge, while dealing with an application for remanding a suspect or an accused person to police custody or judicial custody," the court said.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1) 'Activities Of The Detenu Are Normal Activities Of A Politician In A Democracy': J&K HC Quashes Detention Order Of NCP Leader Ali Mohammad Sagar [Ali Mohammad Charloo @ Sagar v. Union Territory of J&K & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Sindhu Sharma quashed the order for detention of senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammad Sagar, under the J&K Public Safety Act, holding that the grounds for his detention were "fragile" and "not justified". The court also in the passing remarked that the activities of the detenu were "normal activities" of a politician in a democracy.

2) Consider Providing Financial/Material Assistance To Beneficiaries Of Maintenance Orders Passed, But Not Complied With On Account Of COVID Pandemic': J & K HC To UT Govt [Court on its own motion v. Union Territory of J&K and Ladakh]

directed the Union Territory Government to examine the possibility of providing assistance to these persons, financial as well as material, to enable the survival and sustenance of the persons in whose favour the courts have passed the maintenance orders.

Karnataka High Court

1) 'State Must Set Its House In Order', Says Karnataka HC In Plea For Strict Enforcement Of 'Unlock' Norms In Reopened Places

Observing that "the State government was playing with the lives of people by being so casual," the division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswa asked the government on how it would enforce the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Union government, while allowing opening of Malls, places of religion and hotels/restaurants, from June 8.

2) [COVID-19] Magistrate May Authorize First Remand Of Accused Via Video Conferencing In Exceptional Circumstances Despite Bar Under Proviso(b) Of Section 167(2) CrPC : Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty held that a Magistrate can authorize the remand of an accused for the first time via video conferencing in exceptional circumstances in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The court said it will not be necessary for it to lay down with precision which cases will be covered.

3) A City Doesn't Become Smart City By Occupying Parks': Karnataka HC Prohibits Constructions In Nehru Maidan at Mangalore [Vijaya Suvarna v. State]

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Ramaswamy directed that there will be a complete prohibition on construction of any building or structure inside the Nehru Maidan at Mangalore. The Court observed "don't convert a city into smart city by occupying parks".

4) Karnataka Govt Not Identifying Migrants For Transport In Letter & Spirit Of SC Directions : HC

Observing that the Karnataka Government was not identifying migrants for transport in the true letter and spirit of Supreme Court directions, the division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna directed the state government to evolve a mechanism which will ensure that each and every migrant worker who has registered himself on Seva Sindhu portal is specifically informed about the requirement of re-registering themselves at Mustering Centre set up by the government at different districts.

Kerala High Court

1) Kerala HC Dismisses Plea Seeking CBI/NIA Investigation Into Alleged Missing Of Rifles/Cartridges From Police Custody [PP Ramachandra Kaimal v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

The bench comprising of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly dismissed a Plea seeking CBI/NIA investigation about alleged missing of INSAS rifles and live cartridges from the custody of State Police. The court took note of the submission on behalf of the State that on physical verification, no rifles are lost and that a case has been registered by a specialised agency of the police department in respect of the missing live cartridges.

2) Kerala HC Upholds Constitutional Validity Of Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act [Muraleedharan T. & Anr. v. State Of Kerala & Ors.]

The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly upheld the constitutional validity of the Kerala Animals and Birds Sacrifices Prohibition Act, 1968, which prohibits propitiation of deity through sacrifice of animals and birds in temples and temple precincts. The court observed that there are no materials on record to substantiate which community of the religion is required under the Hindu or any other religion, to kill an animal, for propitiating, if not personal consumption, in the manner required in the religion.

3) Passport Authorities Have No Power To Impose Penalties : Kerala HC [Citizens Legal Right Association & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly held that passport authorities have no power to impose penalties under Section 12 of the Passport Act, 1967, for violation of the provisions of the Act. Holding thus, the court set aside the penalty list framed u/s 12(1)(b) prescribed in schedule III of Passport Rules, 1980 as well as Office Memorandums regarding table of penalties framed u/s 12(1A).

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) Madhya Pradesh HC Dismisses Plea For Postponement Of Rajya Sabha Elections As Non-Maintainable [Aman Sharma v. Chief Election Commissioner & Anr.]

Holding the writ petition to be non-maintainable in terms of Article 329(b) of the Constitution, the division bench of Chief Justice AK Mittal and Justice VK Shukla dismissed the PIL for postponement of elections to the three vacancies of the state in the Rajya Sabha. The provision provides that elections may be called in question before a court by way of an "election petition".

2) 'Article 350A Cannot Be Used To Mandate Incorporation Of Any Specific Language In Syllabus': MP HC Dismisses PIL For Induction Of Urdu In School Education

The division bench dismissed a PIL contending that the state is not ensuring induction of Urdu language as subject in school education despite millions of Indians speaking Urdu and Urdu being officially recognised as a regional language of India. The court observed that as Article 350-A of Constitution gives safeguard to the interest of linguistic minority and it is not included in Article 19 of the Constitution, therefore, the benefit of Article 19 cannot be extended in the case at hand.

Madras High Court

1) "In Democracy Fair Criticism of Govt. Functioning is A Catalyst for Better Administration": Madras HC Quashes Case Against Congress MLA For Allegedly Defaming Then-CM J. Jayalalitha [Vijayadharani v. Public Prosecutor]

"In democracy a fair criticism of the government functioning is the catalyst for better administration", observed Dr. Justice G. Jayachandran while dismissing criminal proceedings against Congress MLA, S. Vijayadharani who was accused of defaming the then Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha in a public meeting held on September 27, 2015.

2) Madras HC Dismisses PIL For SOP For Re-opening Of All Religious Places Of Worship [M. Jayabharathi v. State of Tamil Nadu]

Justice PN Prakash and Justice B. Pugalendhi dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to the state of Tamil Nadu to issue a Standard Operating Procedure to be followed while re-opening all religious places of worship, holding that it would tantamount to encroaching the Executive's jurisdiction. "This Court does not find any merit in this writ petition, inasmuch as, the Government itself has not taken any decision as to when the temples are to re-opened", declared the division bench at the Madurai Seat of the High Court.

3) Madras HC Seeks Status Report From TN Govt. On Manufacture, Sale, Pricing, Quality, Usage And Disposal Of Face Masks [MV Ramani v. Union of India & Ors.]

Dr. Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice R. Suresh Kumar issued notice to the Centre and the state of Tamil Nadu on a PIL to devise and formulate proper rules and regulations as regards manufacture, quality control, specification, pricing, usage and disposal of face masks by the public at large. The Court granted three weeks' time to the state government to file a Status Report and the Guidelines for the same.

4) Madras HC Directs State Bar Council To Forthwith Amend Regulations To Provide For Interim Pay-Outs To Needy Advocates In 'Dark and Difficult Days' [Dr. AE Chelliah v. Chairman and Members of the Bar Council of Thamizh Naadu and Puducherry]

Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Dr. Justice Anita Sumanth recommended that the state Bar Council, at the earliest, insert in its Regulations, by way of amendment, a provision for "interim pay-outs to needy advocates in these dark and difficult days".

5) [Tablighi Jamaat] Foreigners Have 'Suffered Enough'; Have Right To Return To Their Native Country At The Earliest : Madras HC [Md Kameual Islam & Ors. v. State & Anr.]

Justice G R Swaminathan directed the closure of criminal proceedings against 31 foreign nationals who were facing proceedings under the Foreigners Act for participating in the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi in March in violation of visa conditions. The Court also declared that they have a right to their native country at the earliest, and that their continued incarceration amid the pandemic situation was a violation of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) Punjab & Haryana HC Suggests Jurisdiction For Hearing Protection Petitions Of Runaway Couples Be Conferred Upon Lower Courts [Hardeep Kaur & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

Justice Rajiv Narain Raina remarked that the protection petitions filed before it by runaway couples is "the most demeaning childlike work High Court Judges have been forcibly tasked with..." While allowing the plea for protection filed by a Jalandhar-based couple, the court suggested that such cases should instead be heard by the subordinate courts, so as to unburden the High Court.

2) Punjab & Haryana HC Issues Notices On Plea Against Amazon Prime Web Series Pataal Lok [Gurdeepinder Singh Dhillon v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi has issued notices on a plea seeking to regulate the content of web series "Pataal Lok", allegedly showcasing show is "illegal, antisocial, vulgar, abusive, minority oppressive and anti-national" content.

3) Marriage In Violation Of Minimum Age Limit Under Hindu Marriage Act Is Voidable, Not Void: Punjab & Haryana HC [Deepak Kumar & Anr. v. State of Haryana & Ors.]

Justice Sudhir Mittal directed the concerned authorities to register the marriage of a Hindu-couple, while holding that marriages solemnized in violation of age restrictions under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, are not void. The court observed that since none of the parties had sought for annulment of marriage on account of it being voidable, the authorities ought to have registered the marriage.

4) P & H HC Suo Motu Directs 'Raids' At Chemist Shops/Manufacturing Units Against Over-Priced Hand Sanitisers, Sub-Standard Face Masks [Raman & Weil Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Anr.]

Justice Amol Rattan Singh took suo-motu notice of the fact that most companies manufacturing and selling hand sanitizers, even after March 21, are showing the maximum retail price of such products to be far above Rs.250/- for 500 mls. "If the shops selling the products also are selling at prices above what is stipulated in the notification of March 21, 2020, then action would be taken against them too, as per law", ordered the Single Bench.

Rajasthan High Court

1) [Non-Inclusion Of EWS Quota Seats] Rajasthan HC Cancels First Round Of Counseling For Medical PG Admissions; Directs Fresh Counseling [Karmendra Singh Kushwaha & Ors. v. State Of Rajasthan & Ors.]

Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma directed the state Government and NEET, PG Medical Counseling Board, to conduct a fresh round of counseling for admissions to PG seats by including additional 89 seats allotted for implementation of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota in the state.

Telangana High Court

1) Moved By Deplorable Conditions Of Old-Age Homes, Telangana HC Directs State To Explore Possibility Of CSR Assistance [In Re: Letter submitted by the Member Secretary, Telangana State Legal Service Authority, Hyderabad v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy took suo motu cognizance of the deplorable the state of inmates of old-age homes in the state, who are "hapless and helpless elderly persons, abandoned by their family, and are being ignored by the State". The Court has sought the response of the state on various issues by June 24, 2020.

2) Lathis Used Against Vehicles To Check For Coronavirus, Says Police; Telangana HC Expresses Surprise

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy expressed surprise at the police justification that lathis were used against vehicles to check for Coronavirus. As regards the allegation that the police personnel of the named Police Station had damaged the vehicles parked outside the homes in a residential area, the bench expressed its surprise that the Police claimed that while checking the two wheelers parked outside the houses, "the Police had checked the vehicles using police lathies in order to see whether coronavirus was present or not". "This explanation by the Police is, indeed, surprising. For, in order to check the presence of coronavirus, there is no need to use the lathies. Therefore, the complete report, with regard to the alleged incident, needs to be submitted by the Police before this Court", said the bench.

3) Telangana HC Issues Notice To Govt. On Plea Alleging Denial of Burial Of Dead Bodies Of Persons From Minority Community Amidst COVID Pandemic [Abid Rasool Khan v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

Taking cognisance of the letter of a former Chairman of the State Minorities Commission, the bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy issued notice to the state on the plea that the dead bodies belonging to minority community are not being permitted to be buried, inter alia, on the ground that they are affected by COVID.

4) Concerned By "Sky-rocketing" COVID Cases, Telangana HC Directs State To Increase Daily Samples, Test Direct, High-Risk Contacts [R. Sameer Ahmed v. State of Telangana]

"Before the Government can plan the strategy for controlling the Coronavirus, the first step that needs to be taken is to increase the number of samples per day", said the bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said.

5) 'Hopefully, Railways Would Rush To Rescue Of Migrants, Their Transportation Being As Much Its Responsibility As The State': Telangana HC [S Jeevan Kumar v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

"It is hoped that the South Central Railways would also rush to the rescue of the migrant workers, as it is equally the responsibility of the South Central Railways to help the State Government in transporting the stranded migrant workers out of the State", observed the bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy in a PIL seeking separate dedicated bogies for the migrant workers with the Special Trains.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) Non-Payment Of Subsistence Allowance Is Violative Of Article 21 Of Constitution: Uttarakhand HC

Justice Manoj K. Tiwari reiterated that payment of subsistence allowance to a Govt. employee placed under suspension is a matter of "right". "Every Government Employee, who is put under suspension, has a statutory right of subsistence allowance. Non- payment of subsistence allowance has been held to be violative of Article 21 of Constitution of India," he observed.

2) Consensual Cohabitation Between Two Adults Of Same Sex Not Illegal; They Have A Right To Live Together Even Outside The Wedlock: Uttarakhand HC [Madhu Bala v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

"Even if the parties, who are living together though they are belonging to the same gender; they are not competent to enter into a wedlock, but still they have got a right to live together even outside the wedlock. It would further be not out of pretext to mention that a live-in relationship has now being recognized by the legislature itself, which has found its place under the provisions of protection of women from Domestic Violence Act," the bench of Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma held in a habeas corpus plea filed by a lesbian partner.

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