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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
19 July 2020 2:26 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
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Week Commencing July 13, 2020 To July 19, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1) Mumbai Man Accused Of Threatening To 'Blow Up' UP CM Yogi Adityanath Moves Allahabad HC For Regular Bail [Kamran Ameen Khan v. State of UP]

The single bench of Justice Alok Mathur asked the Additional Advocate General to seek instructions from the State on the bail application of a Mumbai resident who was arrested last month on the allegation of threatening to "blow up" UP CM Yogi Adityanath.

2) Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Judicial Probe Into Alleged Encounter Of Kanpur Gangster Vikas Dubey As Infructuous [Nandita Bharti v. State of UP & Ors.]

A division comprised of Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Karunesh Singh Pawar dismissed a petition seeking Judicial probe into the alleged encounter of Kanpur Gangster Vikas Dubey, noting that the UP Government has already taken steps in that direction.

"Considering the fact that Special Investigating Team and Judicial Commission have already been constituted by the State of U.P. to enquire into the alleged incident in question, we dismiss the present writ petition as withdrawn with liberty to file fresh petition, if occasion arises," the court said.

3) [Unlock 2]'People Have Got A Wrong Impression That They Can Now Freely Mix With Each Other': Allahabad HC Suggests Incarceration Of Persons Flouting Physical Distancing Norms [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent]

The High Court suggested the Uttar Pradesh Government to take strict action against those not following physical distancing norms, including 'incarceration'.

The suggestion was made by a division bench comprised of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar, after it was informed that the residents are "freely mixing" with each other and are not taking precautions like wearing of masks and washing of hands etc.

Bombay High Court

1) MHA Order Directing Employers To Pay Wages During Lockdown, Not Applicable To Workers Who Were Unemployed Or Unpaid Before The Lockdown: Bombay HC [Premier Employees Union v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Riyaz Chagla held that order passed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster management Act directing all states and union territories to ensure that all the employers shall make payment of wages to their workers without any deduction during the lockdown, is not applicable to those workers who remained unpaid and unemployed for a long period before the lockdown.

The bench explained – "To be deemed to be on duty one should be on duty on the date when the lockdown was declared. To be entitled to or for continuity of salary / wages during the lockdown, an employee / worker should receive the same till the month which is previous to closure on account of the lockdown."

2) No Coercive Action Against Schools Conducting Online Classes Nor Against Parents Not Willing To Force Kids To Attend Online Classes: Bombay HC [Parents Teachers Association of United Forum & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

In a relief to schools and parents alike, Division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice NR Borkar directed the State Government not to take any coercive steps against those schools that are conducting online classes for students of Class II and below. Similarly, schools have been directed not to take any coercive steps against those parents who are not willing to force their children to attend online classes.

3) Taking Note Of Pendency Of Case In SC, Bombay HC Refuses To Pass Orders For Transport Of Migrants To West Bengal [Center for Indian Trade Unions & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

A Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai refused to pass directions facilitating movement of allegedly stranded migrant workers in the State of Maharashtra to West Bengal, noting the pendency of the suo moto case on migrants issue before the SC.

The bench said it does not consider it appropriate to pass any order at this stage and it shall await further orders that might be passed by the Supreme Court in respect of migrant labours.

4) Bombay HC Rejects PIL Seeking Inclusion Of Services Rendered By Lawyers In The Category Of "Essential Services" [Imran Mohd. Salar Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Madhav Jamdar rejected the criminal writ petition filed by an advocate seeking declaration of services rendered by lawyers as essential service and thus exempt lawyers from restrictions imposed with regard to movement of traffic during lockdown.

The bench concluded that it was within the exclusive domain of the state legislature to legislate on which services will be included in the list of 'essential services', keeping in view paramount interest of the community.

5) Bombay HC Disposes Of PILs Seeking Directions For Relief Against 'Inflated' Electricity Bills [Mhaibub D. Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Milind J Jadhav disposed of two PILs seeking directions for relief against the allegedly inflated and exorbitant electricity bills received during the period of lockdown, between March and May.

"There is grievance redressal mechanism being provided for the consumers and this mechanism is three tier system" the court said- (i) Internal Grievance Redressal Forum; (ii) Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum; and (iii) Electricity Ombudsman (in that order of hierarchy).

6) RBI Circulars On Loan Moratorium Not Applicable To Mutual Funds & Debentures: Bombay HC [Zee Learn Ltd v. UTI Asset Management]

A division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice VG Bisht held that the Reserve Bank Of India's circulars dated March 27 and May 23 granting moratorium on payment of installment of term loans for three months and extending the moratorium on such payments respectively are not applicable to mutual funds and debentures.

"Perusal of the said circular clearly indicates that it applies to all Commercial Banks, all Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks, States Co-operative Banks, District Central Cooperative Banks, All India Financial Institutions, All Non-Banking Financial Companies and also deals with terms loans and working capital facilities provided by those entities. It is clearly beyond reasonable doubt that those two circulars would not apply in case of mutual funds and debentures," the Court said.

7) Amended Parole Rule Having Pre-Condition Of Convict Returning Back In Time In Last 2 Releases, Applicable Only If Convict Is Released Twice: Bombay HC [Milind Ashok Patil & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]

Division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Madhav Jamdar quashed and set aside the orders passed by Superintendent of Kolhapur Central Prison rejecting parole to three applicant convicts observing that the amended parole rule which states that convicts whose maximum sentence is above 7 years shall be considered for release on emergency parole if the convict has returned to prison on time on last 2 releases, is applicable only if the convict has been released on parole or furlough two times.

The bench remarked that if such convicts are never released either on furlough or parole, there shall be no occasion for them to return back within time on 2 occasions and therefore, they will not be entitled for said benefit of emergency parole. "Such literal interpretation may lead to absurdity," it said.

Delhi High Court

1) As Paytm Continues To Complain Phishing , Delhi HC Grants 6 Weeks To TRAI To Show Action Taken Against Non Implementation Of TCCCPR Regulations

Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan granted six weeks to TRAI to show action taken to ensure compliance with the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018. TCCCPR Regulations make it mandatory for every telecom operator to register telemarketers in order to prevent online frauds and phishing through unsolicited commercial calls (UCCs) and SMSs.

The order has come in a plea moved by Paytm seeking protection of its consumers from the fraudulent phishing activities allegedly hosted on the platforms of multiple telecom service providers.

2) Delhi University Exams : Delhi HC Asks Centre To Ensure Facilities For Differently Abled Students [Prateek Sharma & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr.]

Taking note of the concerns of differently abled students of Delhi University, a bench comprising Justices Subramonium Prasad and Hima Kohli asked the Central Government to ensure that Common Service Centres(CSC) are made functional and that they are made well equipped to meet the demands of such students.

The Court further asked the Centre to address the issue of availability of scribes and adequate IT infrastructure at Common Service Centres for assisting differently abled students who are willing to take online exams.

Also Read: Delhi University Exams : After Delhi HC Nudge, DU Says It Will Start Final Year Exam Schedule From July 27, OBE From August 10

3) Delhi HC Allows Plea Seeking Termination of 23 Weeks Old Pregnancy Due To Abnormalities In Foetus

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan allowed the plea moved by a woman seeking termination of her 23 weeks old pregnancy on the ground of abnormalities and comorbidities in the foetus.

Also Read: SC Allows Woman With Twin Pregnancy To Medically Terminate One Foetus With Down Syndrome

4) CM Advocates Welfare Scheme: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Fix Dates For Bidding Process, Consider Reopening Registration For Lawyers Who Missed The Deadline

The Single Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh directed the Delhi Government to start the tender process for the Chief Minister Advocates Welfare Scheme by fixing the opening and closing dates for submitting financial bids before August 7.

The Court also asked the Delhi Government to take a compassionate stance towards the lawyers who could not register before the April deadline and provide a 2 weeks window for them to do the same.

5) Cases Against 121 Malaysians Related To Tablighi Jamaat Closed, Plea Of A Juvenile Transferred To Different JJB For Availing Plea Bargaining: Delhi HC [Fahrul Naim Bin Mohd Noor v. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr.]

The Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani transferred the case of a Malaysian National related to the Tablighi Jamaat event, who happens to be a juvenile, from one Juvenile Justice Board (that did not have the requisite quorum to entertain the plea of the juvenile) to another so that he's not deprived of the opportunity of exercising plea bargaining.

The court was also informed of the fact that the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, after taking into record the orders passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate on the plea bargaining applications, has closed the proceedings against the 121 Malaysian nationals who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat event.

Gauhati High Court

1) 'Shall Not Indulge In Any Activities Or Protest' : Gauhati HC Orders While Granting Bail To Anti-CAA Activist Akhil Gogoi [Akhil Gogoi v. State of Assam]

While granting bail to activist Akhil Gogoi in three cases registered over alleged violence in protests against Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, the bench of Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak ordered that he should not indulge in "any activities or protest".

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1) Women Are Capably Manning The Posts In All Walks Of Life: HP HC Rejects Woman Forest Guard's Challenge Against Transfer Order [Reema v. State of HP]

Today women are capably manning the posts in all walks of life in this country, said the bench comprising Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Jyotsna Rewal Dua while dismissing a writ petition filed by woman Forest Guard challenging a transfer order.

The petitioner had contended before the Court that she has not completed a period of three years at the present place of posting, and that being a spinster of 24 years, she is not in a position to join the transferred station because she is residing with her family.

2) Contractual Workers Also Entitled To Benefits Under The Maternity Benefits Act: Himachal Pradesh HC [Dr. Mandeep Kaur v. Union of India & Ors.]

Allowing the petition of a Medical Officer employed at an ECHS clinic on contractual basis, single bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur held that the benefit of maternity leaves is available to contractual employees also, with all consequential benefits, including continuity in service.

The Court held that insistence upon availing services of a pregnant woman would tantamount to the foetus being concomitantly "ill-affected by the toll of work" exacted from its mother and on the other hand, deeming her absent from work without pay would lead to foetus' "under nourishment arising from no wages being paid to its mother".

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1) 'It Would Be Impossible To Deal With Infection On Track' : J&K HC Directs Shrine Board, Govt To 'Urgently Decide' On Amarnath Yatra 2020 [Court on its own motion v. UT of J&K]

The High Court required the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and the UT government to urgently take all decisions regarding the conduct of the Amarnath Yatra, in compliance of the top court's decision of July 13, taking into consideration all the relevant issues as also the several concerns.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjay Dhar specified that the decision shall ensure compliance of all healthcare protocols, Standard Operating Protocols notified by the Central Government as well as by the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, guided by the principles laid down by the Supreme Court of India that the right to health of every person has to be placed at the highest pedestal.

Also Read: 'Matter Must Be Left To Local Administration' : SC Refuses To Entertain Plea To Stop Amarnath Yatra Amid COVID-19

Karnataka High Court

1) Physical Presence Of Parties Not Needed For Compromise Petition, Mutual Consent Divorce & Acceptance Of Sureties : Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty held that it is perfectly lawful for the Courts to record the compromise on the basis of the compromise petitions duly signed by the parties and tendered by their respective Advocates before the Court, even without procuring the personal presence of the parties.

It was also held that conduct of the proceedings of the petitions filed under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, for divorce by mutual consent can be conducted via videoconference.

The court further laid down a procedure which can be followed for acceptance of sureties in compliance with the condition in the orders of the Criminal Courts.

2) Hubbali-Ankola Rail Line : Karnataka HC Extends Stay On Wildlife Board Decision Allowing Diversion Of Forest Land

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna extended the interim relief earlier granted directing that no further steps shall be taken on the decision taken by the State Board for Wildlife to allow diversion of 595.64 hectares of forest land for constructing railway line between Hubballi and Ankola.

3) Karnataka HC Sets Aside Condition Requiring Organ Donor To Obtain Consent From Her Estranged Father For Transplant [Shailaja Madathil Valappil & Anr. v. State Level Authorization Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs & Anr.]

The single bench of Justice Nataraj Rangasway set aside a condition imposed on an organ donor by the State Level Authorisation Committee for Organ Transplant, requiring her to furnish the consent of her "estranged father" for the intended kidney transplant.

Such condition, requiring a donor to furnish the consent from her estranged father "tantamount to imposing an onerous condition which cannot perhaps be complied," the bench observed.

4) Karnataka HC Disposes PIL Against Closure Of OPD At Nimhans During Lockdown Period

A bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna disposed of a petition filed against closure of OP Department of premier mental health institution, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans), Bengaluru.

The bench then said "Every institution is working under constraints. Don't make irresponsible statements. In the main PIL we have noted the work done by NIMHANS. The director of NIMHANS appeared before us through video conferencing and work done by NIMHANS during the period of lockdown has been appreciated."

5) Draft EIA Notification 2020 : Karnataka HC Asks Centre To Consider Extending Time For Submitting Objections

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna directed the Union Government to consider extending the time for submitting suggestions and objections to the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification issued on March 23.

"We are making it very clear that if we are not satisfied that adequate publicity is not given in local languages and time is extended, we will consider interim prayer made in the petition of staying the notification," the bench said.

Also Read: Delhi HC Extends Time For Filing Objections To Draft EIA Notification 2020 Till August 11

Also Read: Delhi HC Directs Centre To Publish Draft EIA Notification 2020 In 22 Official Languages Within 10 Days

6) Karnataka HC Directs Govt To Immediately Constitute Expert Team Of Doctors To Inspect Hospitals Dealing With COVID-19 Cases

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Alok Aradhe directed the State government to immediately constitute an expert committee of doctors which would inspect and supervise hospitals dealing with Covid19 cases in the state and issue necessary directions for their improvement.

The bench also directed the state and all other stakeholders to come out with measures for protecting categories of public servants who are in forefront against the war of COVID19.

7) Karnataka HC Asks BCI If It Has Powers To Relax Requirements Of Moot Courts, Internships Amid COVID-19

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagprasanna directed the Bar Council of India (BCI) to clarify if it has powers to relax rules and if it has been exercised to allow Law Universities to issue alternative guidelines, 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 etc, for the academic year 2019-20.

8) Take Firm Action Against Political Figures Violating Social Distancing Norms : Karnataka HC Directs State

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna directed the state government to take action against political figures who do not follow norms of social distancing and wearing of masks in public places thereby violating provisions under the Disaster Management Act (DM Act). The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on July 27.

Kerala High Court

1) Benefit U/s 427 CrPC Can Be Claimed Only Before The Court Dealing With The Subsequent Offences: Kerala HC [Mushthafa v. Sub Inspector Of Police]

The single bench of Justice K. Haripal observed that the benefit under Section 427 (Sentence on offender already sentenced for another offence) of CrPC can be claimed only before the Court dealing with the subsequent offences.

The Court rejected the appellant's contention that a sentence imposed on the appellant on an earlier point of time, can run concurrently with a sentence imposed on him long after imposing the first sentence. The Court also observed that the benefit under Section 427 cannot be conferred for transactions which are unrelated. In such cases, the sentences should run consecutively.

2) Lockdown Restrictions Applicable To Political Parties & Associations Also: Kerala HC

A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly clarified that the directives issued by the Centre and the State Governments restricting social gatherings in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, are equally applicable to political parties and associations.

Therefore, it held that the political parties should not hold dharna, processions, demonstrations, etc. as such gatherings are also likely to be infected with the disease.

3) 'Not An Advocate As On Date Of Appointment' : Kerala HC Sets Aside Direct Recruitment Of District Judge [K Deepa v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

The single-Judge bench of Justice PV Asha set aside the appointment of a District and Sessions Judge (POCSO), who was selected via direct recruitment, on the ground that he was not an Advocate "as on the date of his appointment".

The Court followed the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court in Dheeraj Mor v. High Court of Delhi, where I was held- "for direct recruitment as District Judge as against the quota fixed for the advocates/pleaders, incumbent has to be practicing advocate and must be in practice as on the cut-off date and at the time of appointment he must not be in judicial service or other services of the Union or State."

Madras High Court

1) [TN Custodial Deaths] Madras HC Directs IO To File Status Report In Sealed Cover; Urges Media To Not Conduct "Media Trial" [The Registrar, Madras HC, Madurai v. State of TN & Ors.]

Hearing its suo motu cognizance in the recent horrific custodial deaths of a father-son duo in the state, the division bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayana and P. Rajamanickam appealed to the members of Print, Visual and Social Media not to "misinterpret the proceedings (or) observations" made during the course of hearing. The court also asked the CBCID to file a status report as to the investigation carried out in the matter so far, in a sealed cover.

2) Madras HC Allows Pvt. Unaided Institutions To Collect 40% 'Advance Fees' Pending Resumption Of Physical Classes

Single bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh allowed all unaided private institutions in the state of Tamil Nadu to collect 40% of the tuition fees as 'advance fees', based on the tuition fees for the academic year 2019-2020. The Court was of the view that the immediate requirement for the present is that the institutions must kick start their functioning. In order to commence the said process, these unaided institutions require some flow of funds.

"The balance of 35% of the fees based on the tuition fees collected for the academic year 2019-2020, shall be collected within a period of two months from the date on which the institution is reopened and physical classes commences", it is ordered.

3) Madras HC Take Suo Motu Cognizance on Drug Peddling and Abuse In The State [Chitra v. State of TN & Ors.]

A Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and VM Velumani took suo moto issue of drug peddling and abuse in the State, while considering a habeas corpus plea filed on behalf of an alleged "Drug Offender".

The High Court remarked that youngsters, specially students, were increasingly getting addicted, due to easy availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances near their schools, colleges and other public places. Further, such addiction was leading to the commission of heinous crimes, apart from many turning into drug peddlers/offenders.

The bench impleaded the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as well as the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Director-General of Police, Tamil Nadu, to delve into the matter, on July 28.

Manipur High Court

1) Manipur HC Orders Constitution of Expert Committees To Advise Govt On Covid Action Plan; Dissemination Of Information On Spending Capacity, Prevention Measures, Etc. [J. Hillson Angam v. State of Manipur & Ors.]

A division bench comprised by Justice Lanusungkum Jamir and Justice Kh. Nobin Singh directed the State Government to constitute a "Committee of Experts" that may advise the government as to the course of action that may be adopted to prevent the spread of Covid-19, after holding regular deliberations with all the stakeholders.

As a long term measure, the Court directed, "the government ought to constitute many committees of experts in respect of different problems relating to various Departments viz. Finance, Education, Health, Home, Agriculture, Horticulture, Industries etc. which will collect data, discus with the stakeholders including CSOs and assess the impact of COVID-19 crisis taking into account the actions already taken by the State Government under short term plan."

Orissa High Court

1) Money Laundering An Act Of Financial Terrorism, Poses Threat To Sovereignty, Integrity Of Nation: Orissa HC [Mohammad Arif v. DOE]

"The offence of Money Laundering is nothing but an act of financial terrorism that poses a serious threat not only to the financial system of the country but also to the integrity and sovereignty of a nation", observed the bench of Justice SK Panigrahi.

Naming it an "economic demonology", the Single bench lamented that the "windfall gain of about Rs.703 crores" so made is "stained with the sweat, tears and blood of multitudes of innocent people". He therefore denied bail to the accused, director of a company involved in laundering of sums of money accumulated under "a bodacious Ponzi scheme".

2) 'Worrisome Trend' Of Litigants To Criminalise Contractual Disputes For Imminent Settlement: Orissa HC Calls For Mandatory Preliminary Inquiry By Police Before FIR In Such Cases [S Ranjan Raju v. State of Odisha]

Noting that "there is a growing tendency among litigants to give civil cases the colour and complexion of criminal cases in the likelihood of an imminent settlement", the bench of Justice SK Panigrahi called for a procedural reform of conducting mandatory preliminary inquiry before the registration of a FIR in contractual disputes and other civil cases, urging that such safeguard can prevent criminalization of disputes that are civil in nature.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) P & H HC Requests State For Accreditation Of Immigration Agents After Youth Languishes In American Prison For Crossing US-Mexico Border [Malkeet Singh v. State of Haryana]

In what it described as "a sordid tale on how unscrupulous immigration agents deceive gullible Indians who are aspirants of overseas jobs", Justice Arun Monga recently recommended prior accreditation of agents to allow for a background check.

Taking note of the "chilling" manner in which the complainants were "illegally" landed in USA by the accused-agent, who had promised to send the complainant directly to the country in exchange for money, the Court deemed it apt to request the State of Haryana through its Home Secretary as well as its Director General of Police to have a meeting on administrative side, so as to explore the possibility of preventing such kind of illegal immigration/human trafficking.

2) 'Witness Not Expected To Have Photographic Memory, Variations In Facts/Improvements Natural In Depositions': P & H HC [Surinder Singh v. UT, Chandigarh & Anr.]

The Single bench of Justice Anil Ksheterpal asserted that in a criminal case, "one cannot be expected to have an eidetic/photographic memory" and that "slight changes in the facts or alleged improvements are bound to happen, being natural".

The remarks were made while dismissing the appeal by two convicts - a woman and her brother-in-law (sister's husband) - for sexually harassing her own underage daughter. The bench opined that if one carefully examines the alleged improvements, it becomes clear that such alleged improvements are only explanations/elaborations of the allegations contained in the FIR. The Court observed that the prosecutrix although subjected to lengthy cross-examination has struck to her stand.

3) Art. 21 Rights Sacrosanct Even Where Marriage Invalid/Void': P & H HC Grants Police Protection To Runaway Couple, Despite Groom Being Underage [Indra & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

Single bench of Justice Arun Monga addressed the conflict between the enforcement of fundamental rights to seek protection of "life and liberty" as enshrined under Article 21 viz-a-viz a conceded violation of Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

"Right to human life is to be treated on a much higher pedestal, regardless of a citizen being minor or a major. The mere fact that the petitioner No.2 is not of marriageable age in the present case would not deprive him of his fundamental right as envisaged in Constitution of India, being a citizen of India", asserted the bench.

4) Juvenile Justice Act : Grant Of Bail The Norm, Says P&H HC While Reprimanding JJB Head For 'Uncaring, Inept' Denial of Bail [Ashish Masih v. State of Punjab]

A single bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar rapped the Presiding Officer of a Juvenile Justice Board, stating that an "uncaring and inept discharge of functions" by judicial officers entrusted with the duty of giving effect to a "welfare legislation" would defeat the very purpose of constituting such Boards.

Displeased at a "mechanical" refusal of regular bail to a minor boy in a matter where even the main accused stood acquitted, the High Court went to the extent of requiring the concerned Administrative Judge "for taking necessary remedial action, as deemed fit, for improving the standard of functioning of the Principal Magistrate concerned".

"The powers, functions and responsibilities of the Board, prescribed under Section 8 of the Act of 2015, and the tone and tenor of Section 12 thereof, which deals with grant of bail to a child in conflict with the law, manifest in no uncertain terms the duty cast upon the Juvenile Justice Board to implement the letter of the law in true spirit, keeping in mind the ultimate interests of the child", the bench further observed.

Rajasthan High Court

1) Rajasthan HC Adjourns Sachin Pilot Camp's Plea Till July 20; Speaker Offers To Put Off Decision On Disqualification Till July 21

A bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Prakash Gupta adjourned till July 20 the hearing on the petition filed by 19 dissident Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot against the disqualification notices issued by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Pilot and 18 other dissident legislators, submitted that violation of whip's directions with respect to acts outside the House do not fall under the ambit of anit-defection law embodied under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the respondents, submitted that the the petition challenging the show cause notice issued by Speaker is "premature". They can raise the contentions before the Speaker, he added. He submitted that the the Court cannot interfere with the notice issued by the Speaker.

For Context, Read Here: 'No Intention To Leave Congress Party Expressed' : Sachin Pilot & Rebel MLAs Move Rajasthan HC Against Speaker's Disqualification Notices

Also Read: Anti-Defection Law : What Amounts To Voluntary Giving Up Of Party Membership Under Tenth Schedule Of Constitution?

Telangana High Court

1) Transport And Slaughter Of Camels Illegal : Telangana HC [Dr.Shashikala Kopanati v. Union of India & Ors.]

It is the duty of the State to ensure that camels are not being slaughtered in the name of "tradition", observed a bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy in a petition filed against consumption of camel meat in the State during the of Bakrid.

Noting that cruelty towards animals is prohibited under the Act of 1960, the bench expressed that since the transportation of camels out of Rajasthan is prohibited, it is the duty of the State to ensure that camels are not brought into the State clandestinely. It also directed the UOI and the state to publicize the fact that the transportation and slaughtering of camels is an illegal activity, through electronic and print media.

Also Read: CJI Says It's A Dichotomy To Allow Killing Animals For Consumption While Not Allowing Killing Of Animals For Offering To Deity And Then Consuming

2) "Petitioner Falsely Claimed To Be Residing In USA In Anticipation Of Receiving Desired Attention": Telangana HC Imposes Cost [Allu Srinivasa Rao v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

The bench of Justice T. Vinod Kumar imposed costs of Rs. 5,000/- on a Petitioner for lodging ingenuine complaint against his ex-wife, with an intention to "bolster up" his fight in the matrimonial and pending civil disputes.

The Petitioner, claiming to be residing in the USA, had lodged an email-complaint with the Telnagana Police, alleging that his ex-wife had kidnapped their son from his custody and forcibly brought the son to India. The court noted the Petitioner had falsely claimed to be residing in the US at the time of lodging of complaint since: (i)there were major discrepancies in the USA address provided by him in his complaint and in the affidavit; (ii)he swore an affidavit at Hyderabad following the day on which the email complaint was lodged from the US; (iii)the email complaint was sent by altering time zone settings.

"It is evident that the petitioner using USA time zone settings in his e-mail, has lodged a complaint with the 2nd respondent to show that such complaint is being made from USA, while the petitioner being in Hyderabad, may be anticipating that the complaints made from USA receive the desired attention," the bench remarked.

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