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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
12 July 2020 9:10 AM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
Week Commencing From July 6, 2020 To July 12, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1) UP Police Continues To Register FIR Under 'Unconstitutional' Section 66A IT Act ; Allahabad HC Refuses To Quash It [Rohit Singhal v. State Of UP & Ors.]

Despite striking off of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act by the Supreme Court in the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, a division bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Samit Gopal refused to quash the FIR registered under the said provision and instead directed that the Petitioner shall not be arrested, till the submission of the police report.

2) Allahabad HC Seeks Action Taken Report Against Govt Medical College Principal For Making Communally Laced Remarks Against Muslims [Indian Muslims for Progress And Reforms (IMPAR) v. Union of India & Ors.]

A division bench comprised by Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice S D Singh asked the UP Government about the disciplinary action taken against principal of Kanpur Government Medical College, Arti Lalchandani, who was caught on camera while making "anti-Muslim bigotry". It is listed for hearing on July 20.

3) Allahabad HC Orders UP Govt To Conduct Covid Mass Testing In 5 Districts Of The State [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent]

A bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar directed the UP Government to conduct mass testing in the entire state, particularly in high-risk cities of Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur Nagar, Lucknow and Varanasi. The court also took note of a letter petition highlighting the problems related to disposal of masks and ordered the local authorities to inform as to how the disposal of these used masks would be done.

4) Under What Law Is 'Unilateral' Notice Issued?: Allahabad Asks UP Govt In Ex-IPS Darapuri's Plea For Quashing Notice To Recover Public Loss From Anti-CAA Protest [Sarwan Ram Darapuri v. State of UP & Ors.]

The single bench of Justice Rajan Roy asked the UP Government to explain under what law it had issued a "unilateral" notice to former IPS officer SR Darapuri, seeking to recover damage caused to public and private property during anti-CAA protests last year. The court also asked the Government to "satisfy" the court as to the existence of such a provision in law, when the alleged incident occurred.

Bombay High Court

1) COVID-19: Bombay HC Warns Action Against Erring Officials; Says It Will Pay Surprise Visit To Quarantine Centres & Hospitals [Registrar (Judicial), Bombay HC v. Union of India & Ors.]

Expressing grave concern about the rising number of cases in Aurangabad, the division bench of Justices TV Nalawade and SD Kulkarni warned strict action against those public servants and officials appointed for fighting the pandemic of coronavirus, who refuse to show up for work, Court even warned of a surprise visit to hospitals and quarantine centres to ensure that their is discipline in the concerned staff.

2) 'Glow & Handsome' : Bombay HC Grants Interim Relief To HUL Against Emami [HUL v. Emami Ltd.]

In an ex-parte order, the single bench of Justice BP Colabawalla granted relief to Hindustan Unilever Limited and restrained Emami from initiating any legal proceedings against HUL for use of the trademark 'Glow & Handsome' without giving a seven day prior written notice to the plaintiff. Next date of hearing in the matter is July 27.

3) Doctors Who Have Served For Decades Are Being Treated in An Obnoxious & Callous Manner; Bombay HC Reinstates Radiologist In MGM Hospital [Dr.Nimish Shah v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

"In view of the current pandemic, the citizens are going through trying times. However, the doctors who have served the Hospital for several decades, and are ready to continue their services in such difficult times also, are being treated in an obnoxious and callous manner by the Management of the MGM Hospital," a bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice VG Bisht observed sternly in a petition filed by Dr.Nimish Shah, a radiologist with 33 years of practice, whose services were terminated by MGM Hospital.

4) Lawyers Seeking Declaration Of Services Rendered By Them As Essential Service; Two Separate Benches Of Bombay HC Issue Notice To State, Centre & BC

Two separate benches of the High Court issued notices to State, Centre and Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in two separate proceedings by lawyers seeking the same relief, declaration of services rendered by lawyers as an essential service.

5) POCSO Special Court Can Try Offences Under SC/ST(PoA) Act When Child-Victim Belongs To Scheduled Caste/Tribe : Bombay HC [Suraj S Paithankar v. State of Maharashtra]

Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre clarified that in a case where the child subjected to abuse happened to be belonging to the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe, procedure carved out in the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of 2012 would not take away the powers of the Special POCSO Court to try the offences under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.

6) Situation At Lonar Lake Pathetic, It Occurred Because Of Callous Indifference Of Authorities Responsible For Conservation of the Lake: Bombay HC [Kirti Atul Nipankar & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

In a sharp rebuke of state and local authorities, Division bench of Justice SB Shukre and Justice AS Kilor observed that the situation at Lonar Lake in Buldhana district of Maharashtra was 'really pathetic' and the situation arose mainly because of the callous indifference of many of the authorities responsible for conservation and preservation of Lonar Crater Lake. The court has asked all the responsible officers and heads of the Departments to remain present through video conference on July 22.

7) Prima Facie Impugned Show Cause Notices Issued In Haste Without Jurisdiction; Bombay HC Stays 62 Notices Issued By MPCB To Textile Units In Non-Conforming Zone [Reliable Sizing Works & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Riyaz Chagla stayed a total of 62 show cause notices all dated May 18, 2020, issued to textile manufacturers by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for refusal of application for consent to operate under the provisions of the Water & Air Prevention Acts. The court concluded that the notices were issued without jurisdiction and thus the State should not to take any coercive action against the industrial units.

8) [Online Classes] SOP For E-Learning A Progressive Step; Questioning It Against National Interest : Bombay HC [Imran Israel Sheikh v. Union of India]

Coming in support of online classes for students, the bench of Justice SB Shukre and SM Modak remarked "If the Standard Operating Procedure encourages e-learning, any citizen of India questioning its intentions and purposes would only be acting against interest and well being of his own country."

9) How Can Names Of COVID-19 Patients Be Revealed? This Involves Right To Privacy: Bombay HC [Vaishnavi & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a PIL seeking directions to evolve a special mechanism for revealing names of Covid-19 patients for the benefit of the public at large so that one "can stay away from such people", the division bench of Justice AA Sayed and Justice MS Karnik remarked,

"Authorities declare a particular place or a building as a containment zone after someone tests positive in order to make people aware so that they do not go there. Is that not enough?Why do you want to know the identity of persons who test positive for Covid-19? This involves their right to privacy."

10) Disburse Crop Loan To Farmers Immediately Without Insisting On Payment Of Interest; Bombay HC Directs District Central Co-operative Bank [Kishore Ashokrao Tangade v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice RG Avachat directed the Aurangabad District Central Co-operative Bank to disburse crop loans to farmers immediately without insisting on payment of interest which has been waived off by the government. The direction was made in view of a Government Order dated January 17, 2020, issued under Section 79A of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, directing DCC bank not to charge interest from October 1, 2019, till the actual benefit is given to the persons who are entitled for the benefit under the scheme namely, `Mahatma Jotirao Phule Shetkari Debt Waiver Scheme, 2019'.

Calcutta High Court

1) Writ Jurisdiction Against 'Wilful Defaulter' Declaration By Identification Committee Attracted Only In Case Of Patent/Gross Illegality: Calcutta HC [Kejriwal Mining Pvt. Ltd. v. Allahabad Bank & Anr.]

The bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya ruled that Courts, in exercise of their writ jurisdiction, can intervene on a declaration of Wilful Defaulter in the first instance only where the limited grounds of patent malafide, arbitrariness, bias or abuse of the process of law by the Identification Committee are established.

Delhi High Court

1) Murder Convicts Sentenced To Life Without Remission Not Entitled To Furlough : Delhi HC [Sanjay Kumar Valmiki v. State]

The Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta held that a convict who has been awarded sentence for a particular period or for life with the stipulation that no remission will be granted to him in that period is not entitled to furlough during the said period while undergoing the sentence.

2) Delhi HC Allows NLU Delhi To Correct Error Of Removing Vertical Reservation For OBC and EWS Categories And Issue A Revised Admission Notification [Balvinder Sangwan v. State of NCT of Delhi]

While noting that the University has misinterpreted the order of the court dated June 29, wherein a stay was imposed on 50% domicile reservation, the Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad allowed the National Law University, Delhi, to correct the error of removing vertical reservation for OBC and EWS categories in its admission notification, and place a revised notification before the court on Monday, i.e. July 13.

3) Streamlined Procedure With Proper Deadlines Needed For Issuance of Degree Certificates, Marksheets Etc: Delhi HC Tells Delhi University [Dhritiman Ray v. University Of Delhi & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh observed that there is a need to have a proper streamlined procedure with proper deadlines being fixed for issuance of the mark sheets, transcripts, degree certificates, etc. by the Delhi University. It thus directed the Dean of Examination of the Delhi University to suggest a proper schedule and timeline for issuance of degree certificates and other related documents as also the respective officers who would be personally responsible for the same.

Also Read: 'There Seems To Be Complete Administrative Lethargy' : Delhi HC Pulls Up Delhi University Over Delay In Issuing Degree Certificates

Also Read: 'Careers Of Thousands Of Students At Stake' : Delhi HC Pulls Up Delhi University For Vague Affidavit On Exam Schedule

4) 'Defendants Have Right To Free Speech' : Delhi HC Vacates Gag Order Against Publication Of 'MeToo' Allegations Against Venture Capitalist Mahesh Murthy [Mahesh Murthy v. Pooja Chauhan & Ors.]

Holding that defendants have a right to exercise their right of freedom of speech, the single bench of Justice Jayant Nath vacated the 2017 gag order which restricted the publication of comments, articles etc, pertaining to the 'MeToo' sexual harassment allegations against venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy.

5) Tablighi Jamaat: Delhi HC Gives Suggestions For Fast Trial Of Cases Against Foreign Nationals [Fahrul Naim Bin Mohd Noor v. GNCTD]

The Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani gave suggestions on managing the cases filed against foreign nationals for their alleged participation in the Tablighi Jamaat event that took place in Delhi in violation of visa rules. Court may divide the cases into batches and sub-batches according to the nationality of the accused persons; further on the basis of their plea of guilt, and list these matters on specific date on a non-working day, so that adequate time and resources may be devoted to facilitate expeditious disposal, the bench suggested.

Also Read: Delhi Court Grants Bail To 122 Malaysian Nationals Related to Tablighi Jamaat Event, Agrees To Hear Request For Plea Bargaining

7) Delhi HC Directs Centre To File Report On Steps Taken To Ensure Proper Functioning of DRTs and DRAT During Pandemic [DRT Bar Association, Delhi & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla directed the Central Government to submit a status report indicating the steps that are being taken by it for ensuring the proper functioning of the DRAT and DRTs during this present pandemic situation.

8) Ensure That There's No Encroachment In Sanjay Van, Delhi HC Directs DDA After Taking Suo Moto Cognisance [Court of its own motion v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a suo moto matter concerning the allegations of encroachment on the government land in Sanjay Van, the Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar directed the Delhi Development Association to ensure that no encroachment takes place and if any encroachment is existing or is made, the same should be removed without any delay.

9) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Expeditiously Process Application Seeking Compensation For Injury Sustained During Delhi Riots [Shaan Mohd v. GNCTD]

The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh directed the Delhi Government to expeditiously process an application moved for seeking compensation for sustaining serious injury during the Delhi riots. The order was passed in a plea moved by Shaan Mohd who sustained a gun-shot injury on his leg during the aforesaid riots but despite submitting the MLC on three occasions, his application for compensation was not entertained.

10) Delhi HC Permits Exclusion Of Students From Online Classes On Failure To Pay Tuition Fee Despite Financial Capacity [Queen Mary School Northend v. Director Of Education]

A single bench of Justice Jayant Nath held,

"Where the parents are in default for payment of tuition fee for more than two months, the petitioner is free to issue an appropriate notice to such parents to explain the reason for the default…

Where the parents are unable to satisfy/demonstrate to the petitioner regarding their financial difficulties, the petitioner is free to so communicate the same to the parents and decline to provide them ID and Password for online education facility for the students."

Also Read: Delhi HC Stays The Suspension Of A Public School Teacher Who Was Allegedly Removed For Demanding Payment of Salaries to School Staff

11) Delhi HC Refuses Default Bail To Sharjeel Imam; Upholds Trial Court Order Extending Time For Probe [Sharjeel Imam v. State of NCT of Delhi]

The Single Bench of Justice V Kameswar Rao rejected the plea moved by Sharjeel Imam challenging the decision of the trial court wherein the Delhi Police was granted an extension of 3 months, beyond the statutory period of 90 days, to complete the investigation against him for offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The court observed that the trial court while granting the extension of investigation had satisfied itself with the application of the Additional Public Prosecutor about the reasons or grounds on which the extension of time for doing investigation was sought.

Gujarat High Court

1) Colour Blindness Not Ground To Deny Appointment To Post Of Police Constable: Gujarat HC [Chocha Milan Lakhaman v. DGP]

The Single Bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav ruled that candidates could not be sidelined for appointment to the Lok Rakshak Dal (post of armed/ unarmed police constable), as per their merit with all consequential benefits, on the ground of their medical incapacity of colour blindness.

2) Gujarat HC Refuses To Drop Dacoity Charges Against Anti-CAA Protestor For Allegedly Stopping A State Bus & Taking Away Its Keys [Satish Pravinbhai Vansola v. State of Gujarat]

The single bench of Justice Gita Gopi refused to drop criminal charge of Dacoity against an accused, arrested in connection to anti-CAA protests in December 2019. The charge of Dacoity was added in the FIR on the allegation that the Petitioner had forcibly "taken away" the keys of a State Transport Bus that was plying on the route at the time of the unlawful protest by threatening the driver. Refusing to grant relief, the bench established a link from the combined act of "theft" and "wrongful restrain" to "Robbery", which if committed by more than five persons, amounts to "Dacoity", and held that a prima facie case is made out.

3) "Police Failed To Manage The Situation Appropriately": Gujarat HC Grants Bail To Migrant Workers Arrested For Uproar Over Delay In Return [Chotesinh Ramswarup Ahivar v. State of Gujarat]

The bench of Justice Gita Gopi granted bail to as many 25 migrant workers, arrested on charges of murder and dacoity, for their alleged clash with the police personnel on May 17 at Rajkot, over delay in their return to their native states. "Sentiments of the migrant labourers were at an all time high on account of the prevailing situation" and "they wished to return to their native States as early as possible", and that it was the police that had failed to manage / control the situation appropriately," the bench said.

4) 'Accused Didn't Know Identity Of Victim, No Prima Facie Case Under SC/ST Act': Gujarat HC Grants Anticipatory Bail In A Case Of Abetment Of Suicide [Avinashbhai Prabhudas Satapara v. State Of Gujarat]

The bench of Justice Bhargav D. Karia granted anticipatory bail to a person accused under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, observing that since the accused did not know the identity of the victim, the bar placed on pre-arrest bail in the special law will not apply.

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1) Tendency To Settle The Dispute In The Street Is Contrary To 'Rule Of Law', Says Himachal Pradesh HC [Freed v. State of HP]

While considering anticipatory bail pleas of persons who were allegedly involved in a street fight which resulted in serious injury to the complainants, the bench of Justice Vivek Singh Thakur observed that tendency to settle the dispute in the street is contrary to the aim of establishment of 'Rule of Law'.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1) J&K HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Reservation For Pahari Speaking People In Medical Post Graduate Courses In UT [Gokul Sharma & Ors. v. Union Territory of JK & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey issued notice to the J&K Govt. on a petition challenging 4% reservation quota for "pahari speaking people" in medical post graduate courses in various Government Medical colleges of the UT. It has posted the matter for hearing on July 27.

Jharkhand High Court

1) Jharkhand HC Refuses To Allow 'Shravani Mela'; Directs State To Arrange Online Darshan Of Baba Baidhyanath [Dr. Nishikant Dubey vs. Union of India]

Holding that religious congregations may adversely people at large, a bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad dismissed a plea seeking opening of Baba Baidhyanath Jyotirlinga Temple and to convene the Shravani Mela by allowing the public to participate.

Karnataka High Court

1) Karnataka HC Directs State To Reconsider Its Decision Of Not Allowing Emergency Parole To Prisoners Undergoing Sentence In Default Of Fine

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Nataraj Ramasway directed the State government to reconsider its decision of not allowing 'emergency parole leave' to prisoners undergoing sentence in default of fine not preceded with substantive sentence. The court said prima facie, it appears that such an exclusion may not be consistent with the order of the Apex Court, issued under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.

2) Writ Petition Maintainable Against Private Bank For Enforcement Of RBI Circular On Loan Moratorium : Karnataka HC [Velankani Information Systems Ltd v. Union of India & Ors.]

Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj ruled that a writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is maintainable against private banks as regards implementation of the loan moratorium announced by the Reserve Bank of India in the wake of lockdown.

3) RBI Must Monitor Implementation Of Loan Moratorium Circular; Borrower Entitled To Seek Moratorium As A Matter Of Right For Continuity Of Business : Karnataka HC [Velankani Information Systems Ltd v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj held that a borrower is entitled to seek loan moratorium on the basis of the Reserve Bank of India's March 27 circular, on the ground that the non-grant of it would affect the continuity of buisness. While acknowledging that the grant of moratorium as per the RBI circular is the discretion of the bank, the Court stated that it is "mandatory" for the banks to ensure that continuity of business is not affected due to the non-grant of moratorium.

4) Karnataka HC Stays Govt Ban On Online Classes; Says It Violates Right To Education Under Article 21A

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Srinivas Oka and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy expressed the prima facie view that State Government orders banning online classes encroached upon the Fundamental Right to Life and Education conferred by Article 21 and 21A of the Constitution of India. The Court said that the executive orders passed by the Government under Article 162 of the Constitution cannot curtail the fundamental rights under Articles 21 and 21A.

Kerala High Court

1) "Surrender Can Never Be Construed as Consensual Acts of Sexual Intercourse".: Kerala HC Upholds Conviction Of A Rape Accused [Thankappan PK v. State Of Kerala]

A single bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar observed that mere act of helpless resignation or passive giving in, in cases of rape, cannot be deemed to be 'consent'. It clarified that only those sexual intercourse which are welcomed could be construed as not violative of the rights of the victim, and accepted as consensual.

2) State Duty-Bound To Ensure Well-being, Life & Liberty Of Migrant Workers Also: Kerala HC [Jana Samparka Samithy v. State Of Kerala]

While disposing of a PIL portraying the pathetic conditions of migrant labourers in the Labour Camps, a bench comprising of the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly said that the state is duty bound to ensure that the employers are providing appropriate shelter to the migrant workers, a clean environment and a healthy living condition with sufficient ventilation, light etc. along with other basic amenities.

3) Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Filed By An 'Unregistered' Association Against Issuance Of Chip Based Biometric ID Cards [JUSTITIA v. State of Kerala]

A bench comprising Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly dismissed a PIL which sought a declaration that issuance of chip based ID card with biometric capture to a class of people is violation of fundamental right to privacy, on the ground that a writ petition filed by an unregistered body is not maintainable.

4) Franco Mulakkal To Face Trial In Nun-Rape Case As Kerala HC Dismisses Discharge Plea

A bench of Justice V Shircy dismissed the criminal revision petition filed by Franco Mulakkal, former Bishop of Jalandhar diocese of Roman Catholic Church, against the order of the trial court rejecting his plea to discharge him from a rape case.

Also Read: When Prima Facie Materials Show That Victim Was Subjected To Rape, It Is Not Possible To Infer That Bishop Franco Was Falsely Implicated: Kerala HC

5) [Section 173 CrPC] Police Can File Final Report Against One Accused And Conduct Further Investigation Against Others :Kerala HC [Susil Raj v. State of Kerala]

Single bench of Justice Ashok Menon held that it is permissible for the Investigating Officer to proceed with the investigation in a crime involving more than one accused and file Final Report against one accused apprehended by him and that he is not expected to wait till the absconding accused is arrested.

6) Breach Of Promise To Marry Amounts To Rape? Question To Be Considered Is If Accused Actually Wanted To Marry Or Made A False Promise Only To Satisfy His Lust : Kerala HC [Tijo Varghese v State of Kerala]

While considering an application for pre arrest bail for the offences under Sec 376 (2)(n) and 506 IPC, the bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan observed that every case of breach of promise to marry will not amount to rape. "The question to be considered in such cases is whether the accused had actually wanted to marry the victim or had mala fide motives and had made a false promise to that effect only to satisfy his lust," the court said.

7) Remarriage Of Widow Not A Decisive Factor For Computing Motor Accident Compensation: Kerala HC [Glanis v. Lazar Manjila]

Bench of Justice N. Nagaresh has held that, while computing compensation for dependency of a widow on the death of her husband under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, her remarriage shall not be a decisive factor. The court said that the loss of dependency consequent to the death of the husband does not cease merely because she has remarried or became self-reliant.

8) Educational Loan Cannot Be Rejected Solely On The Ground Of Unsatisfactory Credit Scores Of Applicant's Parents: Kerala HC [Pranav SR v. The Branch Manager, State Bank Of India]

The bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman held that educational loan cannot be rejected to a student solely on the ground of unsatisfactory credit scores of his/her parents and the repayment capacity of the applicant after his education should be the deciding factor as per the relevant scheme.

9) Kerala HC Directs Notifying Of Additional Vacancies And Appointment of Munsiff-Magistrates From Current Rank List [Swetha Sasikumar v. State Of Kerala]

While considering writ petitions filed by candidates seeking directions to fill up all the vacancies of Munsiff-Magistrate existing during the currency of the rank list, the single bench of Justice PV Asha directed the High Court to forward an additional list of candidates from the merit list dated 20.02.2020 to the Governor for approval and appointment to the said post.

10) Bar U/s 162(1) CrPC Applies To A Letter Given Or Sent To Police Officer By A Person After The Commencement Of Investigation: Kerala HC [MR Balakrishnan v. State Of Kerala]

Bench of Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi observed that a letter given or sent to a police officer by a person after the commencement of investigation of an offence come within the interdict under Section 162(1) of CrPC.

Section 162(1) provides that no statement made by any person to a police officer in the course of investigation, shall, if reduced into writing, be signed by the person making it. It further states that such a statement or any record thereof shall not be used for any purpose at any enquiry or trial in respect of any offence under investigation at the time when such statement was made except as provided therein.

11) Tribunal Rules 2020 : Kerala HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Exclusion Of Lawyers From Appointment As Judicial Members In CAT/SAT

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly issued notice to the Central Government in a petition filed by a lawyer challenging the exclusion of lawyers in the selection for the post of Judicial Members in the Central and the State Administrative Tribunals.

12) Kerala HC Grants Bail To Advocate Clerk Accused Of Interrupting Family Court Proceedings [Aneesh B. Kumar v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

Observing that the essential requisites of Section 353 IPC -conduct of assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty - was absent in the case, the single bench of Justice PV Kunhikrishnan granted bail to an Advocate clerk in a case registered on the basis of a complaint by a Family Court Judge that he had interrupted the Court proceedings and had used filthy language at a police constable.

13) Gold Smuggling Case : Kerala HC Single Bench Directs Listing Of Plea For CBI Probe Against Chief Minister As PIL

Sustaining the objections raised by the Registry, a single bench of Justice V G Arun held that a writ petition seeking CBI probe against the state's Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, in relation to the gold smuggling case, has to be treated as a 'Public Interest Litigation'. Accordingly, the court directed the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice for being allocated to the concerned division bench.

Also Read: Kerala Gold Smuggling Case : Swapna Suresh Moves Kerala HC For Pre-Arrest Bail; Says 'No Connection With Smuggled Gold'

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) Madhya Pradesh HC Turns Down Request For Presence Of Lawyer During Search & Seizure By GST Officers [Subhash Joshi & Anr. v. Director General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Vandana Kasrekar dismissed a petition seeking presence of an Advocate during search and seizure under Section 67 of the GST Act, of the Petitioner's sweet betel nut manufacturing unit, while holding that he had "failed to point out any statutory provision or any such legal right".

2) Madhya Pradesh HC Issues Notice On Plea Alleging Non-Implementation Of SC Order For Decongestion Of Prisons [Madhuri Krishnaswami v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.]

The bench of Chief Justice AK Mittal and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla has issued notice to the MP Government, its Law and Legal Affairs Department, its Health Department, the Director General of Prisons, State Legal Services Authority and the Director General of Police, on a petition alleging non-implementation of the Supreme Court order for decongestion of prisons in the state.

3) NSA Detention Order Passed Without Knowledge That Subject Is Already In Custody Is Bad In Law: MP HC [Laxman Singh v. State of MP & Anr.]

The bench of bench of Justice S. C. Sharman and S. K. Awasthi ruled that an order for detention passed under the National Security Act of 1980 without the knowledge that the subject is already in custody is bad in law. The order was passed in a case where on the date the detention order was passed, the petitioner was already in judicial custody and the Detaining Authority, at the time of passing of the detention order, was not aware of the fact that the detenu is in jail.

4) Madhya Pradesh HC Disposes PIL Against Tik Tok App As 'Infructuous' [Naman Choubey v. TRAI & Ors.]

A PIL filed against TikTok for allegedly causing harmful and hazardous effect on the children and youth of the country who are becoming addicted to it was dismissed by a bench comprising Justice Sheel Nagu and Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava as "infructuous".

5) Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act Provisions Are Not Applicable Against In-Laws: MP HC [Rafique Ahmed & Ors. v. State of Madhya Pradesh]

Single bench of Justice Shailendra Shukla observed that the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 are applicable only against the husband and not against in-laws.

6) 'State Cannot Seek Sovereign Immunity In Cases Of Violation Of Fundamental Rights': MP HC Directs State To Compensate Accused For Delay In Trial [Jaipal Singh v. State of MP]

A single bench of Justice GS Ahluwalia held that the State Government cannot take the defence of sovereign immunity in cases of violation of Fundamental Rights of it citizens. Holding thus, the court directed the state to pay compensation to a bail applicant, who had been languishing in jail for over a year, without any progress in trial which was completely attributable to the state Police.

Madras High Court

1) Madras HC Directs State To Provide Ration Supplies To Migrant Workers Regardless Of Ration Cards [AP Suryaprakasam v. Superintendent of Police & Ors.]

Considering the plight of migrant labourers who are without food, the bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and V. M. Velumani directed the State Government to provide ration supplies to migrant labourers, after satisfying that they are really migrant labourers, irrespective of whether they have ration cards or not.

2) 'Vested Interests Acting Against Promotion Of Siddha Medicine': Madras HC Pulls Up Centre, State For Not Recognizing Native Medicine In COVID Cure [Kaliyaperumal v. Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

The division bench of Justice N. Kirubbakaran and Justice VM Velumani pulled up the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government on account of the fact that Siddha Medicine is not being given its due recognition by the Department of AYUSH or the state in the cure of COVID.

3) Madras HC Quashes Criminal Case Against Mentally Disabled Man Accused Of Participating In Tuticorin Protests [Mr. X v. Inspector, Thilgar & Anr.]

"His understanding capacity is rather low. There is so much of innocence in him that I find it strange that the respondent police did not even notice it. The implication of the petitioner in a criminal case can only be characterized as most unfortunate. The police will have to be duly sensitized," Justice B. Pugalendhi said while quashing a criminal case against a mentally disabled man who was accused of participating in a protest against the shooting incident at Thoothukudi on the closure of Sterlite Industries.

Orissa High Court

1) Orissa HC Orders State Government To Expedite Establishment Of Real Estate Appellate Tribunal [Bimalendu Pradhan v. State of Odisha & Anr.]

Taking stock of the "immense difficulties" being faced by the litigants due to non-functioning of the appellate forum for resolution of real estate disputes, the bench of Dr. Justice BR Sarangi directed hat until the Appellate Tribunal is made fully functional, the State Government shall give financial autonomy to the "Odisha Real Estate Appellate Tribunal" by allocating funds from the Real Estate Regulatory Fund on every year by making suitable budgetary provision along with separate heads of account for smooth management of the said forum, so that it will not cause prejudice to any authority.

Patna High Court

1) Patna HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of News Report On Plight Of Children Due To Suspension Of Mid-Day Meals [Court on its own motion v. State of Bihar]

The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar took suo moto cognizance of the plight of children in the District Bhagalpur, Bihar due to non-availability of mid-day meals following shutting of schools and Anganwadi centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The court has sought replies from the concerned authorities.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) Woman Who Solemnizes 'Kareva' Marriage After Death Of Her Husband Is Not Entitled To Receive Widow Pension: Punjab & Haryana HC [Suman v. State of Haryana & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice Lisa Gill clarified that a woman who solemnizes 'Kareva' marriage after death of her husband, is not entitled to receive widow pension under the Haryana Pension to Widows and Destitute Women Scheme Rules, 1988-1989, as she is no longer a "destitute".

2) Punjab & Haryana HC Dismisses Bail Plea Of Self-Styled Godman Rampal [Rampal v. State of Haryana]

On perusal of state's affidavit that release of self-styled godman and murder-convict Rampal may result in his being surrounded by his followers eventually leading to evasion, the bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Avneesh Jhingan dismissed his bail plea for attending his grand daughter's wedding.

Telangana High Court

1) 'Courts Have To Respect The Decision Of Popular Govt, Especially In Policy Matters: Telangana HC Dismisses Plea Against Relaxing Lockdown Norms [Sunitha Krishnan v. State of Telangana]

The bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy observed that the decisions of the Executive "may sometimes appear to be in excess of their power", and "may even appear, at the first blush, to be rather unusual", but so long as the policy decision does not infringe the fundamental rights, or a provision of law, "the courts would be weary of interfering" with such decisions.

2) Telengana HC Refuses To Interfere With The Govt Decision To Demolish Secretariat [T. Jeevan Redy v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

A division bench comprised of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy dismissed a batch of PILs challenging the State Cabinet's decision to modify/ demolish the present Secretariat Building in order to construct a new Secretariat Building complex, holding the same to be a policy decision.

A few days later however, the HC passed an interim order staying the demolition activity undertaken by the Government, in a plea alleging that such activities were causing health hazards to the citizens residing in the vicinity.

Tripura High Court

1) A Woman Who Lived Like A Wife Cannot Be Deprived Of Maintenance: Tripura HC [Bibhuti Ranjan Das v. Gouri Das]

A woman who lived like a wife and in the perception she was treated as the wife cannot be deprived of the maintenance, single bench of Justice S. Talapatra observed. He added, such a woman also has right to live in society with dignity and Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure must be interpreted in the light of legislative changes which has taken into its embrace the changing reality of the man-woman relationship.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) Private Schools That Offer Online Classes May Charge Tuition Fee: Uttarakhand HC Upholds Govt Order; SLP In SC Withdrawn [Japinder Singh v. Union of India & Ors.]

The division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice RC Khulbe refused to interfere with a Government order permitting those schools, that offer online classes, to charge tution fee from students. Following this, the Principals Progressive Schools Association withdrew its petition challenging a previous order of the High Court, restraining private schools in the state from demanding tuition fees from parents amid the COVID situation, before the Supreme Court.

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