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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
28 Jun 2020 8:35 AM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
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Week Commencing June 22, 2020 To June 28, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1) [UP Memorials Scam] Allahabad HC Refuses To Quash Sanction For Prosecution Against Assistant Engineer During Procurement Of Pink Sandstone During BSP Rule [Ajai Kumar & Anr. v. State Of UP & Ors.]

The bench comprised by Justice Anil Kumar and Justice Manish Mathur refused to quash the sanction for prosecution granted against the Assistant Civil Engineers, for alleged corruption during procurement of pink sandstones for construction of memorials and parks in Lucknow and NOIDA. The court observed that whether the Petitioners had acted in discharge of teir official duties and whether the offences alleged were related in some manner, with the discharge of official duty, were questions to be determined at the trial stage.

2) 'Spread Awareness Rather Than Putting Lockdown Violators In Jails': Allahabad HC [Munna & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

A bench comprised by Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh has advised the Police authorities to desist from taking coercive action and rather spread awareness regarding adversities of lockdown violation.

3) [Maritime Law] Allahabad HC Directs Container Corporation Of India To Decide Upon Levy Of Detention Charges By ICDs During Lockdown [M/S Manikya Creation Pvt. Ltd. v. Union Of India & Ors.]

A bench of Justices Sunita Agarwal and Saumitra Dayal Singh directed the Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) to expeditiously decide the issue of levying detention charges/ ground rent by the Inland Container Depots (ICDs), for storage of cargo containers beyond the free period of fourteen days, during the lockdown period.

4) Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Demanding Complete Waiver Of School & College Fees [Ashutosh Kumar Pandey v. Union Of India & Anr.]

A bench comprised by Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh dismissed a PIL seeking a direction on all the schools and colleges in the state to completely waive off fees, including tution fees. The court said, the submission of the petitioner that the schools are observing holidays during Covid-19 epidemic is absolutely false/ wrong.

5) 'Ancient Work & Scriptures Are Open To Debate': Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Of 'Oversensitive' Petitioner Against Telecast Of Hindu-Epic Series Vishnu Puran [Santosh Kumar Jaiswal v. Union Of India & Ors.]

Citing "over-sensitivity" of the Petitioner, the bench comprised by Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh dismissed a PIL seeking to restrain the re-telecast of Hindu-epic series 'Vishnu Puran' on Doordarshan. The bench was of the opinion that the show was a work of art based on certain scriptures, and merely because it exhibited certain "inaccuracies" could not be a ground to restrain its telecast. The court further said that ancient work such as the Vishnu Puran are "open to debate" and therefore the court could not pass any direction based on the "over-sensitive" approach opted by the Petitioner.

Andhra Pradesh High Court

1) AP HC Issues Notice On HC's Petition To Regulate Defamatory Social Media Posts Against Judiciary [High Court of Andhra Pradesh v. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.]

Chief Justice J K Maheshwari and Justice C Praveen Kumar issued notice to Centre, AP Government, AP Police, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp in a writ petition filed by the High Court itself seeking action against defamatory social media posts against judiciary. The matter will be next considered after three weeks. It is listed for hearing after 3 weeks.

2) Vizag Gas Leak: AP HC Permits South Korean Employees Of LG Polymers' Parent Company To Leave India

A bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti permitted seven South Korean employees of LG Chem Ltd., parent company of LG Polymers India Ltd - which was the source of leak of styrene gas near Vishakhapatnam - to leave India. The court observed that the South Korean employees do not have any liability vis-à-vis the untoward incident.

3) AP HC Expresses Displeasure At Govt. Practice Of Filing Counter-Affidavit Through Officer Of Lowest Rank, Separate Replies By Each Dept./Authority In Same WP [Barre Konda Babu v. State of AP & Ors.]

A bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti directed that whenever the State Government is joined as a party to a writ petition, though through several Departments and Authorities, one consolidated counter-affidavit of the State Government must come on record, and that too through the Officer in-charge of the case, as appointed by the Government. "It is very unfortunate that whenever Officers of various Departments of the State Government, including the Principal Secretary of the Department representing the State, are joined as parties to the writ petitions, counter-affidavits on behalf of the Officer of lowest rank are coming on record", the Court expressed its displeasure.

Bombay High Court

1) Considering Covid-19 Situation & Age Of Two Accused, Bombay HC Grants Transit Bail In A Case Registered At Haryana [Amit Suresh Lodha & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra]

Justice SK Shinde granted transit anticipatory bail to three accused in an FIR registered at Rewari, Haryana on allegations of cheating and committing breach of trust after considering the age of two of the accused and the situation around the Covid-19 pandemic due to which they cannot travel to Haryana immediately.

2) Steps Taken By RBI Are For The Benefit Of Depositors; Bombay HC Refuses To Stay RBI's Decision To Cancel CKP Co-Operative Bank's License [Vishwas Utagi & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice SP Tavade refused to stay the decision of the Reserve Bank of India to cancel the license of CKP Co-operative bank and observed that the steps taken by the central bank are in the interest of depositors. The bench observed that before the licence of the Bank was cancelled, it was preceded by various notices and inspections by the Reserve Bank of India.

3) What Steps Taken By Railways To Convert Coaches Into Quarantine Centres?, Bombay HC Asks [Naresh Kapoor v. Union of India and Ors.]

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipanakar Datta and Justice MS Karnik asked the Union of India to file an affidavit indicating steps taken by the Western and Central Railway to convert coaches into isolation/quarantine centres while hearing a PIL seeking directions for better control and management of Covid-19 in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The next date of hearing is July 2.

4) Bombay HC Grants Interim Stay On State's GR Prohibiting Schools & Educational Institutions From Charging Hiked School Fee For 2020-21 Session

In a setback to parents of school going kids, the bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice RI Chagla stayed the government resolution dated May 8, 2020 issued by the State government prohibiting schools and educational institutions from charging fees at hiked rate for the 2020-21 session. Court will take a final decision in the matter in due course, but until then, stay on the GR will remain.

5) Person Suffering From Covid-19 Cannot Be Expected To Produce Proof For Free Treatment In Hospital Under EWS Category: Bombay HC [Abdul Shoeb Shaikh & Ors. v. KJ Somaiya Hospital & Research Center & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice Madhav Jamdar observed that a person suffering from Covid-19 who belongs to the economically weaker section of the society cannot be expected to produce documentary proof before seeking admission in a hospital for free treatment. Court was hearing a petition filed by seven residents of a slum rehabilitation building in Bandra who were charged Rs.12.5 lakh by KJ Somaiya hospital for Covid-19 treatment in April.

Calcutta High Court

1) Calcutta HC Imposes Rs. 50K Cost On Advocate For "Taking Advantage Of Virtual Platform" In Filing Successive Bail Application [Affiruddin Sk v. State]

Justices Tirthankar Ghosh and Harish Tandon imposed costs of Rs.50,000/- upon an advocate-on-record for filing a second bail application despite the fact that an earlier application for bail in connection with the same offence and the same police station case number was directed to be listed before the Court after resumption of normalcy in its functioning. "It is an alarming and shocking state of affairs that the member of the bar taking advantage of the matter being taken on a virtual platform," the bench remarked.

2) Calcutta HC Directs State To Hold Dialogue With Jute Industry To Ensure Payment Of Wages To Workmen At Earliest [TUCI, West Bengal State Secretary & Anr. v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]

Division bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed the state government to ensure, at the earliest, to the best of their ability the payment of wages to the workmen of the jute industry. The bench required the State Government acting through the Labour Commissioner or any other authorized principal officer including the Principal Secretary of the department to take up the matter in right earnest and enter into a meaningful dialogue with the concerned jute industry people.

3) 'Sessions Judges Have Real Threat Perception Even Post Retirement, But Do Not Seek Arms License': Observes Calcutta HC [Subir Biswas v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]

While hearing the petition of a local political leader for a direction for him to be granted an arms licence on his application, Single bench of Justice Shivakant Prasad remarked, "There are many Sessions Judges who have real threat perceptions, even then they do not need a personal arms licence...of course, they have personal security. But after their retirement, the threat perception continues, still such retired judicial officers do not ask for an arms licence."

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi HC Denies Relief In Plea Seeking Action Against Manufacturing of Faulty PPE Kits Under Drugs & Cosmetics Act

Noting that there are enough guidelines in place to ensure quality maintenance of PPE kits, the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan refused to provide relief in a plea seeking action against the manufacturers of faulty PPE kits.

Also Read: Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging The Ban On Exports Of PPE Kits And Disposable Masks

2) It is Not Necessary That Every Case Under UAPA Should Be Investigated By NIA And Be Proceeded Before a Special Court: Delhi HC [Aqil Hussain v. State of NCT of Delhi & Ors.]

"Just because UAPA is one of the enlisted enactments in the Schedule to the NIA Act, it does not follow that every offence under the UAPA has necessarily to be investigated by the NIA, and that the trial of such case necessarily has to proceed before the Special Court," the Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar held in an appeal against order for extension of judicial remand of an accused.

3) Delhi HC Restrains Publication Of Advertisements Linking 'Corona Beer' With 'Coronavirus' [Cerveciria Modelo De Mexico v. Whiskin Spirits Pvt. Ltd.]

The Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher passed injunction, till the next date of hearing, in favour of the company that manufactures 'Corona Beers' in a case alleging disparagement by Facebook posts linking the brand with coronavirus.

4) Delhi HC Seeks Delhi Govt's Counter Affidavit In Plea Challenging the Validity of Delhi Minorities Commission Act

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Delhi Government to file its reply in a plea challenging the validity of the Delhi Minorities Commission Act. The court will now take up the matter on July 30.

5) Employees Can't Seek Enforcement Of Normal Employment Terms When The Country Is Going Through Abnormal Times: Delhi HC [All India Air Force Civilian Cooks Association & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a plea moved by civilian cooks of the Air Force challenging the revised terms of employment brought into force due to COVID19, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon observed that the employees cannot seek enforcement of employment terms as in normal time, when the entire country is going through abnormal times.

6) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Expeditiously Process Applications Claiming Compensation For Victims of Delhi Riots [Neha Fareen & Anr. v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla directed that the Delhi Government to expeditiously process the applications seeking compensation for the victims of Delhi riots in accordance with its Office Order dated 05/03/20.

Also Read: School Owner Not To Be Released If Still In Custody : Delhi HC Orders On Police Plea Against Bail In Delhi Riots Case

Also Read: Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Extension Granted To File Charge Sheet in Delhi Riots Cases

7) 'Constitution Of Separate Arbitral Tribunals A Mischief' : Delhi HC Issues Series Of Directions To Avoid Multiplicity Of Arbitration Proceedings [Gammon India Ltd. & Anr. v. NHAI]

In order to curb the mischief of parties constituting multiple arbitral tribunals, the Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh has passed a series of directions after relying upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Dolphin Drilling Ltd. v. ONGC. One of the directions stipulate that the parties approaching the Court ought to disclose whether there are any other proceedings pending or adjudicated in respect of the same contract or series of contracts and if so, what is the stage of the said proceedings and the forum where the said proceedings are pending or have been adjudicated.

8) Clerks Serve A Crucial Role; Indispensable To Smooth Functioning of Entire Institution: Delhi HC [Delhi High Court Bar Clerks Association v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a plea seeking financial aid for clerks working for the Bar, the Single Bench of Justice Rekha Palli observed that the members of the Delhi High Court Bar Clerks Association serve a crucial role and are so intrinsically linked to the work discharged by the Bar that they are indispensable to the smooth functioning of this entire institution.

Also Read: Delhi HC Asks Advocate Welfare Fund Trust and Bar Council of Delhi to Prepare A Report On Providing Assistance To Advocates Suffering Due To COVID19

10) Delhi HC Grants Bail To Safoora Zargar As Delhi Police Agrees To Her Release On Humanitarian Grounds

Justice Rajiv Shakhdher allowed bail to Safoora Zargar, 27 year old student of Jamia Milia Islamia University under custody for alleged conspiracy behind Delhi riots, after the Delhi Police stated that it had no objection to her release on humanitarian grounds.

Also Read: Reproductive Justice Not 'Personhood Of Foetus': Lessons Learnt From Safoora Zargar's Experience

Also Read: Delhi Riots: Delhi HC Denies Relief To Shahrukh Pathan, Allows Him To Withdraw Bail Plea

11) Doctor's Suicide Case: Delhi HC Grants Bail To AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal [Prakash Jarwal v. State]

Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Deoli, Prakash Jarwal, in the doctor's suicide case. While directing the accused to furnish a personal bond of ₹25,000 along with a surety of the like amount, the Court noted that Jarwal is no more required for further investigation and trial will take substantial time.

12) Delhi HC Directs NLU-D Chancellor To Consider Representations Against Selection Procedure Of Vice Chancellor Within 3 Days [Dr. Prasannanshu v. Selection Committee for Vice Chancellor, NLUD & Anr.]

The single-Judge bench of Justice Jyoti Singh directed the Registrar of the National Law University, Delhi to place representations challenging the procedure adopted by the selection committee for making appointment the post of Vice Chancellor, for consideration before the University Chancellor.

13) Delhi HC Directs DU To File Affidavit 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.]

Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohil and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi University to file a counter affidavit 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.

Also Read: Delhi HC Reserves Order On Plea Seeking Stay On DU Exams For Not Making Online Study Material Accessible To Specially Abled Students

14) Delhi HC Stays NCLT Order Initiating Insolvency Proceedings Against An MSME Despite The March 24 Order Which Increased The Jurisdiction Of The Tribunal To 1 Crore [Pankaj Aggarwal v. Union of India & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh stayed an order passed by the NCLT wherein proceedings were initiated against a Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) under Section 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code. While holding that there's a prima facie case in favour of the Petitioner, the court relied upon the notification dated 24/03/20 wherein the jurisdiction of the NCLT has been increased to ₹ 1 crore.

15) Pinjra Tod Member Natasha Narwal Alleges Violence In Jail, Delhi HC Seeks Status Report From Tihar [Natasha Narwal v. Superintendent Central Jail 6, Tihar & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice C Hari Shankar has sought a status report from the Tihar Superintendent after it was pointed out by Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal that lockdown has been imposed in Jail No. 6 of Tihar after large scale violence broke out in the jail premises. The court will next take up the matter on June 29.

16) 'What Propelled The Decision To Constitute Reconstruction Scheme For YES Bank And Why The Same Can't Be Done For PMC Bank': Delhi HC Directs Centre and RBI To Submit Affidavits

The Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher directed the Union Finance Ministry as well as the Reserve Bank of India to file detailed affidavits stating the reasons which propelled them to constitute a Reconstruction Scheme for the YES Bank. The court further asked both the Union and the RBI to state in their affidavits as to how the depositors of PMC Bank are differently circumstanced in comparison to the depositors of Yes Bank. The court will next take up the matter on August 08.

17) Delhi HC Stays Anti Profiteering Investigation And Penalty Against Phillips India Limited [Phillips India Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula stayed the anti profiteering investigation initiated against Phillips India Limited by the Director General of Anti Profiteering, allegedly for profiteering on the sale of its "food processor" product. The court will next take up the matter on September 07.

18) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Extension of Notice Period To Submit Comments And Objections To Draft Policy On Environment Impact Assessment

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in a plea seeking a direction to the Central Government to extend the notice period for receiving public comments/suggestions on the draft Environment Impact Assessment policy till September 30 or till the time COVID19 restrictions subsists.

19) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Adequate Facilities for Homeless Persons With Mental Illnesses To Deal With COVID19

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Delhi Government, Union of India, and the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHAB) in a plea seeking adequate testing and other facilities for homeless persons who are suffering from various forms of mental illnesses. The court will next take up this matter on July 09.

Also Read: Delhi HC Has Issued Notice In Plea Seeking Protection Of Senior Citizens During COVID19 Pandemic

20) As They Are Discharging COVID19 Duties, Govt Teachers Can Be Equated With COVID Warriors: Delhi HC Takes Suo Moto Cognisance of Non Payment of Salaries

While rapping North Delhi Municipal Corporation for not paying salaries to the teachers working in its schools, the Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that as teachers are being made to discharge COVID-19 duties at the instance of the Delhi Government, they can be well equated with COVID-19 warriors. The court decided to dispose of a LPA \and register a suo moto matter flagging this issue.

21) 'This Case Shows How Tax Dept. Miserably Falls Short of Expectation': Delhi HC Makes Serious Observations on "the Procedural Fallibility and Shortcomings" Of GST System [SKH Sheet Metals Components v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a case of unlawful expropriation of Input Tax Credit, the bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula made serious observations on "the procedural fallibility and shortcomings" of the GST system, even stating that the case demonstrates "how the tax department has miserably fallen short of the expectation".

Gujarat High Court

1) 'Nobody Can Directly Or Indirectly Approach The Court Or Influence It': Gujarat HC Orders Probe Into Anonymous Calls Received By HC Judge [Shah Vijaybhai Arvindbhai v. State Of Gujarat]

Justice Bela M Trivedi ordered police inquiry into an unprecedented incident whereby she received certain phone calls and SMS from an unknown number, in connection to an anticipatory bail application listed before her.

Also Read: "Trapped In His Own Net": Gujarat HC Initiates Contempt Against Anonymous Caller & Bail Applicant Who Tipped Him To Influence The Judge

2) [Midnight Hearing] Situation In Ahmedabad Can't Be Compared With Puri: Gujarat HC Rejects Permission For Rath Yatra At Ahmedabad

Citing concerns over the situation in Ahmedabad on account of pandemic of COVID-19, Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala during an urgent hearing held on Tuesday at 2am dismissed a batch of petitions seeking permission to conduct Jagannath Rath Yatra at Ahmedabad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 20, the HC had stayed the proposed Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad citing concerns of COVID-19 spread due to large congregation. This order was sought to be modified by the applicants on the strength of the SC order allowing Rath Yatra at Puri on conditions.

3) 'These Migrant Workers Are More The Victims, Certainly Not The Criminals', Gujarat HC Grants Bail To 33 Migrant Workers [Ravi & 32 Ors. v. State Of Gujarat]

While granting bail to 33 migrant labourers working in Ahmedabad, the bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay termed them as the "victims" and "not criminals", and said that they need to be set free immediately. "In the lockdown, when the applicants were without any work, without any money and even without any food and under such circumstances, instead of arranging of their going back home, they are sent to jail. The Applicants are more the victims, certainly not the criminals," the court said.

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1) Court Can Direct Polygraph Test If Accused Consents To It: Himachal Pradesh HC [Vinod Mittal vs. State of HP]

Justice Vivek Singh Thakur observed that it is not legally impermissible for a Court to issue direction to a person to undergo Narco-Analysis, polygraph and Brain Electrical Activation Profile (BEAP) test, but such a direction shall be subject to consent of said person and the person has a right to elect to consent or refuse to undergo such test. The court said that there is no statutory prohibition against the issuance of such direction

Also Read: If DNA Profiling Isn't Done Or Held Back In Rape Cases, Adverse Consequence Would Follow For The Prosecution: SC

2) 'Natural Instinct Of Compassion & Service Needs To Be Rekindled For Human Existence': MP, Orissa HCs Impose Planting Of Saplings As A Bail Condition [Tilakraj Rajoriya v. State of MP]

In a recent order granting bail to a person accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl, the bench of Justice Anand Pathak directed him to plant saplings along with tree guard, as one of the conditions for bail. "This direction is made by this Court as a test case to address the Anatomy of Violence and Evil by process of Creation and a step towards Alignment with Nature. The natural instinct of compassion, service, love and mercy needs to be rekindled for human existence as they are innately engrained attributes of human existence," the court observed.

Karnataka High Court

1) Take Necessary Action Against Political Figures And Elected Representatives For Violating Social Distancing Norms: Karnataka HC To State

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy directed the state government to ensure that strict action is taken against political figures and elected representatives who cause violations of social distancing norms. The bench also directed the government to in a week's time set up a grievance redressal mechanism where citizens can lodge complaints about violation of norms if any, either through email, SMS or whatsapp facility. The matter will now be heard on July 13, for considering compliance reports.

2) Karnataka HC Issues Notice On Law Students' Plea To Do Away With Moot Courts, Internships Amid COVID19

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy issued notice to the Bar Council of India and other respondents on the plea filed by two law students, seeking directions to dispense the mandatory regulations for all final year students of Five Year Law Course, to engage themselves in moot courts, internships, pre-trial preparation etx, for the academic year 2019-20. The matter will now be heard on July 9.

Also Read: Consider Permitting Online Classes For Limited Hours : Karnataka HC To State

3) Karnataka HC Directs Govt To Compensate/Rehabilitate Migrant Workers Whose Huts Were Burnt Down By Miscreants During Lockdown

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy directed the state government to compensate and rehabilitate migrant workers whose huts were burnt down by miscreants, near the Sunday Bazar area in Bengaluru East in March, during the lockdown period after ascertaining their present whereabouts.

Also Read: Does The State Want To Help Migrant Workers Go Back To Their Home States?, Karnataka HC Asks

4) 'Not The Way Our Women React When They Are Ravished': Karnataka HC On Rape Victim Claiming To Have Slept After Offence [Rakesh B. v. State of Karnataka]

Noting the "unbecoming" conduct of an alleged rape victim who slept after being "ravished", the bench of Justice Krishna S. Dixit allowed the pre-arrest bail application of the accused in the case.

Significantly, organizations such as Stree Jagruthi Samithi, Mahila Munnade, Gamana Mahila Samuha, AIPWA (All India Progressive Women's Association), Sadhana Mahila Sangha, PUCL Karnataka, AIPF, AICCTU, Swaraj Abhiyan etc. have taken strong exception to the remarks made in the order and have urged the judge to expunge the "toxic and misogynistic statements" there from.

Read Here: 'Order Reflects Deeply Patriarchal Mindset' : Activists Urge Karnataka HC Judge To Expunge 'Toxic & Misogynistic' Remarks In Rape Case

Also Read: Advise Judges To Shun Misogyny & To Ensure That Judgments Do Not Reflect Stereotypical Notions About Women : Adv Aparna Bhat Urges CJI, SC Judges

5) Karnataka HC Rejects Plea Seeking Imposition Of State Wide Curfew During SSLC Exams To Avoid Spread of COVID-19 Among Students [Karan Kumar H v. The State]

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangasway rejected a petition seeking imposing of half day state wide curfew when SSLC exams are conducted to avoid students getting infected with coronavirus either on their way to the examination centre or on their way back. "The petitioner is seeking a very drastic relief directing imposition of curfew virtually for half of every day on which SSLC examination is conducted. Whether a curfew should be imposed or not is a very serious question. The answer to the question should be best left to the wisdom of the experts in the field. Therefore, we are unable to grant the drastic relief," the court said.

5) Karnataka HC Frames Guidelines For Payment Of Compensation In Motor Accident, Land Acquisition Cases Amid Limited Functioning Of Courts

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty has evolved a procedure by which without compromising on the safety and security, payments due to claimants and victims in Motor Vehicle Accident Claim cases, claimants under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 and claimants in Land Acquisition Compensation cases etc can be released.

Read Guidelines

Kerala High Court

1) PIL Filed By An Unregistered Body Is Not Maintainable: Kerala HC [Prathyasa Mental Health Counselling Forum v. State Of Kerala]

The bench of the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly held that a PIL filed by an unregistered body is not maintainable. There is no declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution of India, that any unregistered body can file a writ petition, the court.

2) Kerala HC Directs Immediate Rehabilitation Of 2019 Flood Victims [Chandran CP v. State Of Kerala & Ors.]

Justice Anu Sivaraman directed that appropriate steps be taken to see that the 2019 relief victims are rehabilitated without any further delay. The court observed that since the housing project was complete and the residences were ready for occupation, the continued delay in handing over the keys and giving the benefits to the beneficiaries was completely unjustified.

3) Kerala HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Denial Of Refund For Flight Tickets Booked Before Lockdown

A single bench of Justice V G Arun issued notices to DGCA, Air India and Indigo Airlines on a plea filed by two law students of GLC, Kozhikode, who are primarily aggrieved by the notification dated 16.04.2020 of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for denying full refund to tickets booked before lockdown for travel during the period for which lockdown was imposed subsequently.

4) Kerala HC Directs KSRTC To Engage Rank Holders In Expired PSC Rank List As Drivers On Daily Wages [Shanil NB v. KSRTC & Ors.]

Bench of Justice Sathish Ninan directed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to make daily wages appointment from the 2455 candidates enlisted in the PSC rank list which came into force on 23.8.2012 and expired on 31.12.2016.

5) Kerala HC Dismisses Plea Against Women's Commission Chief Over Describing CPI (M) As Parallel Law Enforcement Mechanism

A Single bench dismissed a petition seeking directions to remove the State Women's Commission chairperson M.C. Josephine from her post over her alleged remark that her party, CPI(M), was working as both a court and a police station. The bench appreciated that a writ of quo warranto is a writ which is issued to enquire into the legality of a person to claim public office and observed that the same would not be available in the instant case.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) [Section 138 NI Act] Chairman/Director Of The Company Cannot Be Prosecuted Without Impleading The Company As Accused: MP HC [Bhupendra Suryawanshi v. Sai Traders]

Justice Rajendra Kumar Srivastava observed that a Chairman of the company can not be prosecuted under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act unless the company is impleaded as an accused. Referring to the provision, the Court observed that the Section 141 of the Act deals with the offences committed by the companies and say that if an offence is committed by a company under Section 138 of the Act, every person, at the time, the offence was committed, was in-charge and responsible to the company in the conduct of the business of the company, is liable along with the company to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

2) 'Disease Does Not Seek A Person On The Basis Of Their Financial Ability': MP HC Asks Govt To Finalize National Policy For Rare Diseases Within 6 Months [Prajwal Shrikhande v. State of MP & Ors.]

Taking exception to the provision of one-time financial assistance for treatment of a rare disease, that too only to a family living below poverty line, the bench of Justice Nandita Dubey required the Government to ensure that it makes provision for financial assistance on a recurring basis under the new Policy and does not make poverty a precondition for such assistance, as disease does not seek a person on the basis of his/her financial ability. The court ordered the Government to forthwith finalize the National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2020, in not later than 6 months.

3) [Elderly Man Tied To Bed For Not Paying Hospital Bills] MP HC Takes Cognizance On Dr Ashwani Kumar's Letter to CJI, Issues Notices To Centre & State [In Reference (Suo Motu) v. Union of India & Ors.]

Based on a reference made by the Chief Justice of India, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday took cognizance of a tragic incident in the state where an elderly man suffering from Covid was tied to a bed, after he allegedly failed to make payment of fees for his treatment at a hospital in Shajapur District based on a letter written by Former Law Minister and Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar. The bench has posted the matter for hearing on July 6, 2020.

Madras High Court

1) 'Magic', 'Masala' Common Words In Indian Food Industry; No One Can Monopolise Them : Madras HC In Sunfeast -Maggi Dispute [M/s. ITC Limited v. Nestle India Limited]

Justice C Saravanan dismissed a suit filed by ITC Limited seeking to restrain Nestle Indian Ltd from using phrases "Magic Masala", "Magical Masala" with respect to its noodles product 'Maggi'. The court noted that the term "magic" or "masala" are common words in Indian food industry, and no one can claim monopoly over the same.

2) ''State Has Statutory And Vicarious Liability To Protect Citizens": Madras HC Dismisses PIL Questioning The Legality Of Lockdown With Rs. 50,000 Cost [M. Immanvuel v. Government of India & Ors.]

Justice R. Subbiah and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy dismissed, with exemplary costs, a PIL contending that there is no provision in The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 or The Disaster Management Act, 2005 to impose a lockdown. "The power to impose the lockdown is very much available under the aforesaid Acts. The lockdown is one of the measures taken up by the respondents to curb and restrict the spread of the pandemic," the court observed.

3) [Death Sentence To Acquittal] Madras HC Acquits Prime Accused Chinnasamy in 2016 Udumalpet Honour Killing Case

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and M. Nirmal Kumar set aside the order of conviction passed by the Principal District and Sessions Court, Tiruppur, against B. Chinnasamy, the prime accused in the 2016 'Udumalpet' Shankar murder case, and has ordered that he be released from custody forthwith, citing lapses in investigation.

Also Read: TN Caste Killing Case : Lapses In Investigation Helped Acquittal Of Prime Accused Chinnasamy

Also Read: TN Caste Killing Case : The Silences In Madras HC Judgment Acquitting Prime Accused

4) 'Leaders In Public Life Have Constitutional Duty To Promote Harmony Transcending Religious, Linguistic, Regional, Sectional Diversities': Madras HC [The State v. RS Bharathi & Anr.]

"The leaders who are in public life not only have responsibility but also constitutional duty to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women", observed Justice N. Sathish Kumar in connection to a case alleging that DMK Rajya Sabha MP and organising secretary RS Bharathi made disrespectful remarks about members of oppressed classes before a gathering of more than 100 people. The court however upheld the order granting them bail.

5) Notary Who Acts Contrary To Procedure Under Notaries Act Can't Claim Immunity From Prosecution: Madras HC [Ganapathyvaratha Subramanian v. The State & Anr.]

Justice GR Swaminathan held that protection from prosecution under Section 13 of the Notaries Act, 1952 shall not be available to a notary that does not comply with the statutory procedure laid down under the Act. "The Notary must tread on the path laid down by the Act. If during the course of such treading some mishap occurs, the statute is there to protect him against vexatious prosecution. If the Notary abandons the statutory path and undertakes an independent journey, he has to take the consequences and cannot invoke Section 13 of the Act," the court observed.

6) Madras HC Orders Judicial Inquiry Into Custodial Deaths Of Father-Son In Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi District [The Registrar (Judicial) v. State Of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

The division bench comprising Justices P.N. Prakash and B. Pugalendhi directed the jurisdictional Judicial Magistrate to conduct an enquiry into the alleged custodial deaths of a father-son duo who were lodged in Sub Jail, Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi District in Tamil Nadu.

Also Read: 'Torture In Custody Unacceptable In Civilized Society' : Tamil Nadu Senior Advocates Forum Condemn Custodial Deaths Of Jayaraj & Bennix

Also Read: Jeyaraj-Bennix Custodial Deaths : Questions About Lapses Of Magistrate In Ordering Remand

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) 'Why Call them Master/Mistress, Can't There Be A More Dignified Designation For Teachers?' Punjab & Haryana HC Asks Punjab Govt [Maan Singh & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

While noting the fact that the Punjab Education Department had used the word "mistress" while seeking applications from candidates for appointment to teacher posts in the state, Justice Arun Monga asked the department as to "what steps can be and/or are proposed to be taken, in accordance with law, for change of designation." The court has asked the Secretary of State Education Department to file a specific affidavit in this regard.

2) P&H HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Hindi Imposition In Haryana Courts [Sameer Jain & Ors. v. State Of Haryana & Anr.]

A bench comprising Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh issued notice on a writ petition filed by a group of advocates challenging the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2020, which made Hindi the official language of civil and criminal courts in the State of Haryana. The matter will be heard on 29th June 2020.

3) P & H HC Directs Immediate Arrest, Civil Imprisonment Of Members Of Govt. Hospital Employee Union In Event Of Strike/Hunger Strike [PGIMER v. Tarandeep Singh Grewal & Anr.]

The Single bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan directed that in the event the Employees' Union of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh proceeds on strike/hunger strike, they may be immediately arrested and sent in civil imprisonment. The grievance of the Association's members is of equal pay for equal work and for regularization of their service.

4) Consider Cutting Upper Limit Of Guests At Wedding Functions: Punjab & Haryana HC Asks Center To Consider Representation [HC Arora v. Union of India & Ors.]

A bench comprised by Chief Justice Ravi Shanker and Justice Arun Palli directed the Union of India, the States of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh Administration to consider the representations made by the Petitioner to reduce the upper limit of 50 guests during wedding functions. The Petitioner had contended that the MHA guidelines prescribing for a congregation of up to 50 persons in marriage ceremonies is "counter-productive" to the protective and preventive measures that have been adopted by the Government to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Rajasthan High Court

1) Rajasthan HC Upholds Classification Of Prisoners For Release On Parole [Monu @ Shyam Singh & Ors. v. State Of Rajasthan & Ors.]

The division bench comprised by Justice Pankaj Bhandari and Justice Narendra Singh upheld the classification of convicts, for the purposes of granting parole, on the basis of the nature and gravity of offences committed by them. "Special parole can be granted to certain category of prisoners and if benefit is not given to those who have been convicted for offences affecting the State and for grave offences, such rider cannot be said to be unconstitutional," the court observed.

2) Ensure Maximum Benefit For Poor; Don't Wait For Court Directions: Rajasthan HC Tells Food Corporation Of India [Himakshi Alaria & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr.]

A bench comprised by Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Satish Kumar Sharma issued notices to the National Disaster Management Authority and the Food Corporation of India in a petition seeking distribution of food grains to the needy and poor under the National Food Security Act, 2013. The matter will now be taken up for hearing on July 13.

Telangana High Court

1) Telangana HC Issues Notices In Plea Seeking Removal Of Communal Hashtags From Twitter

The division bench comprised by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy has issued notices to the Central Government, the State Government and to Twitter, in a petition seeking removal of "communal hashtags" trending on Twitter, which demonise and blame the entire Muslim community of deliberately spreading the corona virus across the country. The court posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.

2) Telangana HC Asks State, Railways To Carry Out Immediate Transportation Of Stranded Migrant Workers Under Emergency Quota [S. Jeevan Kumar v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

A bench of Chief Justice Raghvendi Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy ensured that migrant workers remaining stranded in the state are transported back by the Railways in the Emergency Quota immediately.

Tripura High Court

1) 'Minor Girl Sold To A Family In Rajasthan': Tripura HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of News Report [Court on its own motion]

Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S. Talapatra registered a suo moto case, taking cognizance of a news report that a minor girl aged about 14 years, native of North Tripura, Unakoti District, was sold to a family in Rajasthan due to abject poverty of her family. The court issued instructions for bringing the girl back and listed the matter for hearing in July.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) Sole Testimony Of Victim Of Sexual Abuse, If Found Reliable, Is Sufficient To Hold Perpetrator Guilty Of Misconduct In Departmental Enquiry : Uttarakhand HC [Bhuwan Chandra Pandey Vs.Union of India]

The bench comprising of the Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justce R.C. Khulbe observed that sole testimony, of the victim of sexual abuse, is sufficient to hold the perpetrator guilty of misconduct in a departmental enquiry, if it is found reliable. The Court noted the well settled principle laid down in various Apex Court decisions that an evidence of the victim of sexual assault is enough for conviction, and it does not require any corroboration unless there are compelling reasons for seeking corroboration.

2) 'Bar On Certain Matters To Be Entertained As PIL Does Not Preclude Court From Doing So In Exercise Of Inherent Powers In Public Interest': Uttarakhand HC [Sonia Beniwal v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

A bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and k Ramesh Chandra Khulbe ruled that even if there is a bar on certain matters to be taken as PIL, there is always discretion available with the Court to do so in exercise of its inherent powers. The court said that even persons who are debarred under High Court rules can be entertained to file public interest petitions where allegations of misappropriation of public funds by a government-aided college, receiving funds both from the State Government and the University Grants Commission, are involved.

3) 'While 1st Rank Cannot Claim Right To Post, Appointment Of 2nd Ranker By State Also Illegal, Arbitrary, Violative of Art. 14': Uttarakhand HC [Professor GS Tomar v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

The division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe held that the failure of the respondent-state authorities to intimate the petitioner that he had stood first in the merit-list of selected candidates, pursuant to the selection process undertaken in terms of the advertisement issued in March, 2015, and in offering appointment to the second candidate in the merit list, is ex-facie arbitrary and illegal.


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