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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
2 Aug 2020 11:23 AM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup
Week Commencing From July 27, 2020 To August 2, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1) Allahabad HC Directs Petitioners To Approach Registrar General For Use Of A4 Sheets With Double-Sided Printing In Court Filings [Saumitra Anand & Ors. v. Registrar General, HC & Ors.]

Observing that the matter required "serious consideration in administrative side," the division bench comprised of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha, directed a writ petitioner to make a representation before the Registrar General with respect to utilization of A-4 size paper with printing on both sides in official as well as judicial functioning in all the courts across the state of Uttar Pradesh.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court and the High Courts of Calcutta and Tripura have already permitted the use of A4 size papers, with print on both the sides, in a bid to minimize paper consumption.

2) Allahabad HC Seeks Implementation Of SC Order For Supply Of Food To Children, Lactating Women [Arun Gramudyog Sansthan v. Union of India & Ors.]

A Division Bench comprised of Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Karunesh Singh Pawar sought an update from the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development regarding their policy for providing nutritional food to the children and nursing and lactating mothers amid the Covid crisis, in terms of the Supreme Court order in In Re : Regarding Closure Of Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

In this case, the SC had observed that all the States should come out with a uniform policy so as to ensure, that while preventing spread of COVID-19, the schemes for providing nutritional food to the children and nursing and lactating mothers are not adversely affected.

3) Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea For Formulation Of Comprehensive Video Conferencing Rules [Singh Royekwar v. Registrar, Allahabad HC]

A Division bench of Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Karunesh Singh Pawar dismissed a PIL seeking a direction upon the HC through its Registrar General, to frame comprehensive video conferencing Rules to facilitate conducting of virtual trial viz. taking of evidence, framing of charge etc.

This was after the Court noted that the rules for Video Conferencing for Courts in the State had already been sent to the State Government for necessary notification.

4) [Eid-Al-Adha] 'Restrictions Do Not Impinge Upon Fundamental Rights Of Members Of Any Religion'; Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea To Ease COVID-19 Norms [Dr. Mohammad Ayub v. State of UP & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Pankaj Mitthal and Justice Yogendra Kumar Srivastava disposed of a PIL seeking relaxations in the state government guidelines dated July 12, which contemplate lockdown on weekdays in view of COVID-19 pandemic, as according to the Petitioner it will affect movement on the festival of Bakrid or Eid-Al-Adha, on Saturday, August 1.

"The right under Article 25 guaranteeing freedom of conscience, profession, practice and propagation of religion being subject to 'public order, morality and health', and also 'to other provisions' of Part III of the Constitution, the restrictions imposed by the State Government imposing lockdown for two days a week during the extraordinary situation created due to COVID-19 pandemic, cannot be said to impinge upon any of the Fundamental Rights of the petitioners or members of any religious community," the Court said.

5) Allahabad HC Grants Interim Relief From Arrest To Govt Counsel Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Young Lawyer [Shailendra Singh Chauhan v. State of UP & Ors.]

A Division Bench of Justices AR Masoodi and Rajeev Singh at Lucknow restrained the Police from arresting a government counsel in connection to a rape case lodged against him by a young lawyer.

"Looking to the contents of the F.I.R., prima facie, we are satisfied that a case for intervention is made out to the extent that the petitioner(accused) may not be arrested…," the Court said but instructed the accused not to indulge into any activity subjecting the complainant to any intimidation or causing any threat to her life or property.

Andhra Pradesh High Court

1) NOTA Applies In Case Of "Contest Of Election", Not Where There Is Only Single Candidate In Fray: AP HC [AV Badra Naga Seshayya v. State of Andhra Pradesh]

The bench of Chief Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice B. Krishna Mohan observed that the option of NOTA cannot be made available when there is a single candidate contesting in the elections, and the candidate shall be declared as unanimously elected. "During deliberations, while discussing on the nomenclature of NOTA, it clearly reflects that this contingency applies in case where there is contest of election", iterated the bench.

The Court was hearing a PIL to declare the action of the State Election Commission in not conducting any election to a post in a local governing body where there is only a single candidate in the fray in any territorial constituency, thereby depriving the electors of their right to vote in the form of NOTA against such single candidate, as being violative of the Fundamental, Constitutional and other statutory rights of electors.

Bombay High Court

1) 'Powers Of CCI & Arbitral Tribunal Not Overlapping': Bombay HC Upholds Arbitral Award In Favour Of Mahyco Monsanto Biotech [Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. v. Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt. Ltd.]

A single bench of Justice RD Dhanuka dismissed Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd's argument that arbitral tribunal could not have adjudicated its dispute with Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd as their Sub Licensing Agreements was being examined by the Competition Commission of India.

It was held that jurisdiction of the Arbitration Tribunal and the CCI were not overlapping with respect to the claims raised under the SLA. The Court noted that the Arbitral Tribunal, in this case, has only allowed the monetary claims made by the respondent by seeking enforcement of a contractual obligation which claim could not have been entertained or adjudicated upon by the CCI.

2) Bombay HC Quashes District Collector's Requisition Of Flats For COVID Quarantine Facility Over Creation Of Third Party Interests [Riddhi Agarwal & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra]

The bench of Justices NM Jamdar and Abhay Ahuja quashed an order of the Thane District Collector for requisitioning 84 flats in two buildings in the city of Ambernath for a Covid-19 quarantine/isolation facility, ordering him to take a fresh decision in two weeks considering that possession letters were issued to flat-buyers.

"What would be the consequences of creation of third party rights in the flats upon the requisition of the premises will have to be decided by the Collector when the order of requisition will be passed", stated the Court.

3) Bombay HC Refuses Bail To G N Saibaba; Says 'Except For Narrating Ailments Said To Be Suffered By Him, No Further Details Given' [Gokalkonda Naga Saibaba v. State of Maharashra]

While rejecting the bail application filed by former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, the division bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and AB Borkar at Nagpur noted that apart from narrating ailments suffered by the wheelchair bound 90% disabled professor who is serving life imprisonment, no further details are given in the application and considering that he tested negative for COVID-19, Court said that no ground was made out to release Saibaba.

4) Bombay HC Directs Man Accused Of Assaulting Public Servant To Deposit 10K With Police Welfare Fund As A Condition For Anticipatory Bail [Anwar Meer Sayyed v. State of Maharashtra]

Single Bench of Justice CV Bhadang directed a man accused of assaulting a public servant and attributing motives to him for closing down shops belonging to people from a particular community, to deposit Rs.10,000 with the Maharashtra Police Welfare Fund as a condition for granting him anticipatory bail.

Click Here to read peculiar bail conditions imposed the High Court in the recent past.

5) State Must Not Be Ignorant That Advocates, Their Staff Constitute An Integral Part Of The Justice Delivery System: Bombay HC [Chirag Chanai & Ors. Vs Union Of India & Ors.]

While hearing a batch of PILs and intervention applications that initially sought inclusion of lawyers into the list of essentials services, the Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal observed that the State must not be ignorant that access to justice is now recognised as a Fundamental Right and advocates and their staff constitute an integral part of the entire system, which is dedicated to "delivery of justice".

The Court thus directed the State government to submit its order regarding representation made by petitioners seeking for directions to exempt lawyers and their staff from lockdown restrictions. The next date of hearing is August 7.

Chhattisgarh High Court

1) Chhattisgarh HC Permits Private Schools To Collect Tution Fees; Directs Evolution Of Mechanism To Provide Study Materials To Students Who Do Not Have Access To Online Classes [Bilaspur Private School Management Association Society v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

The High Court quashed the government orders prohibiting private unaided schools from collecting tuition fees from its students or recovering outstanding dues.

The bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy has made it clear that the State cannot issue such "blanket orders" precluding private schools from collecting fees, as it would "adversely affect their right to carry any occupation, trade or business guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India."

Also Read: School Fee Waiver Amid Lockdown : How Various High Courts Dealt With The Issue?

Delhi High Court

1) Delhi Riots: Delhi HC Restrains Delhi Police From Making Statements Against Devangana Kalita Till Framing of Charges & Commencement of Trial

Highlighting that cases of riots are undoubtedly sensitive in nature, the Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru restrained Delhi Police from issuing any further statement against Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita till the framing of the charges and the commencement of trial against her.

Also Read: Police Cannot Use Media To Influence Public Opinion To Accept That Accused Is Guilty: Delhi HC

2) Delhi HC Expresses Satisfaction Of Steps Taken By Delhi Govt To Ensure Access To COVID Treatment, Closes Suo Moto Matter

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan closed the suo moto matter on adequate access to COVID19 treatment in Delhi after expressing satisfaction towards the steps already undertaken by the Delhi Government. However, the court has provided liberty to individuals to move an appropriate forum in case they have any grievance regarding the violation of the guidelines issued by the government.

Also Read: Delhi HC Orders Govt. To Implement Measures To Ensure Safety Of Healthcare Professionals; Orders Setting-up Dedicated Helpline, Amongst Other Directions

Also Read: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt To Release Grant Within 15 Days For The Payment Of Salaries Of Resident Doctors Working In Hospitals Run By NDMC

3) Delhi HC Directs Internet Service Providers To Block Websites Illegally Streaming Disney Cartoons [Disney Enterprises Inc v. KIMCARTOON]

The Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher directed the Internet Service Providers to block a list of 118 'rogue websites' which are illegally streaming Disney cartoons. The Court noted that if the Plaintiffs are not protected, as prayed for, irreparable damage would be caused to their commercial and statutory interest. The court will next take up this matter on September 1.

4) Delhi HC Issues Notice In Plea Challenging Delhi Govt's COVID19 Regulation Which Empowers A Police Officer To Impose Fine On Offenders [Sonia Rana v. GNCTD]

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice in a plea challenging clause 3(g) of the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, (Management of COVID-19) Regulations, 2020, which authorises the police officer of the rank of Sub Inspector and above to impose fine on any person who violates the provisions of the said notification. The Court will next take up the matter on August 28.

5) "High Court Cannot Exercise Power Under Section 482 CrPC When There Exists A Remedy Of Statutory Appeal Under Section 29 Of Domestic Violence Act": Delhi HC [Sirisha Dinavahi Bansal v. Rajiv Bansal]

A single judge Bench of Justice Jyoti Singh held that High Court cannot entertain the petition in its extraordinary power under Section 482 Cr.PC when there is a clear remedy of Appeal under Section 29 of the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act.

"It is not open to the aggrieved party to bypass the remedy of Appeal under the Act, which is a complete Code in itself," Justice Singh emphasized.

6) Delhi HC Directs Delhi Govt and Municipal Bodies To Submit Action Taken Against Buildings That Have Violated Norms on Ensuring Seismic Structure Stability

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the municipal bodies as well as the Delhi Government to submit a report stating that steps they have taken to ensure that buildings in Delhi are complying with the norms laid down for seismic stability structures. The Court further directed the authorities to inform about the action taken against the buildings which have violated the said norms set out for ensuring preparedness to withstand earthquakes.

7) Delhi HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Inclusion Of Advocates As Eligible Professionals To Access Benefits Under MSME Act

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan refused to entertain a PIL seeking inclusion of advocates as eligible professionals under the scheme of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises Development Act, in order to make them eligible for beneficial credit facilities.

Also Read: Financial Assistance To Lawyers Affected By Covid-19: Delhi HC Judge Justice Siddharth Mridul Donates Rs 1.25 Lakh

8) Delhi HC Closes PIL Seeking Registration Of Migrant Workers As Centre Sets Up National Database For Unorganized Workers [Shashank S. Mangal & Anr. v. GNCT of Delhi & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh disposed of the petition seeking registration of migrant workers after the Central Government assured the Court that it was in the process of creating the migrant workers' database— National Database for Unorganized Workers, under the monitoring of the Supreme Court in Shramjeevi Mahila Samiti v. State of NCT of Delhi & Ors.

"The budget is being prepared and the same has to be confirmed/approved by the EFC, Ministry of Finance. Upon approval, steps will be taken to create the database within 6 months," the irectorate General Labour Welfare had informed the Court.

9) Magistrates Should Record Statements Of Juveniles Through Video Conferencing, Requirement Of Taking The Child Outside Juvenile Home Should Be Avoided: Delhi HC [Bachpan Bachao Andlona v. GNCTD & Ors.]

In light of COVID19 pandemic, the High Court directed that statements under section 164 of CrPC of 'children in need of care and protection' shall be recorded by the Magistrate through video conferencing, or by visiting the Childcare Institute where such children are housed.

The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan further directed that the proceedings before the Child Welfare Committees shall continue to take place through video conferencing and the requirement of taking the child out of the home/ Child Care Institution should be avoided as far as possible.

10) Lawyers, Litigants And Subordinate Judiciary Are Being Inconvenienced Due To Delay Caused In Digitisation Of District Courts: Delhi HC Seeks Response [Anand Vaid v. Preety Vaid & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad sought response from the Finance Secretary of the Delhi Government on the proposals to digitise the District Courts which have been kept pending since 2018.

The court highlighted: 'We may note that all the pending proposals in question relating to the District Courts have been pending at the end of the Delhi Government since the year 2018. It is a different matter that due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation that occurred in March, 2020, courts have had to resort to virtual hearings. The need of the hour is to provide adequate bandwidth, Network attached storage and Routers, etc., to facilitate conducting virtual courts.'

11) Delhi HC Seeks Delhi Govt And Centre's Replies 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, Union of India and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to file their replies in a plea challenging the validity of the Delhi Minorities Commission Act. The court will now take up the matter on August 31.

12) Court Can't Replace Policy": HC Dismisses With Costs PIL Challenging Delhi Govt.'s "Freebie Policy" Of Electricity, Water Subsidies [Shailendra Kumar Singh v. GNCTD]

The High Court dismissed with costs a PIL challenging the Delhi government's grant of electricity and water concessions, and other "freebie policies", to the residents in the NCT.

"It appears that providing water and electricity facilities at a concessional rate, are purely policy decisions taken by the concerned Governments", observed the bench led by Chief Justice DN Patel. The bench also comprising Justice Prateek Jalan noted that the Court is not inclined to replace the State policy, and that "the Courts cannot replace any policy even if it regards a different policy to be a better policy".

13) Delhi HC Allows Delhi Police To Send Officers to Kolkata To Conduct Investigation Against Foreign Nationals Related To Tablighi Jamaat Event [Mohammad Khorshed Alam & Ors. v. State Of NCT Of Delhi & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani allowed Delhi Police to carry out investigation pursuant to notices issued under section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code against foreign nationals related to Tablighi Jamaat event who are stuck in Kolkata.

The order has come in a criminal writ petition moved by 59 foreign nationals from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand, asking the court to quash the notices issued by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police under section 41A of CrPC. The court will next take up the matter on August 24.

14) Delhi Riots: HC Rejects Ishrat Jahan's Plea Challenging The Extension Granted To Police For Completing Investigation Against Her [Ishrat Jahan v. State]

Noting that all the requirements under Section 43-D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 have been duly satisfied, the bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait dismissed Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan's plea challenging the Trial Court's order wherein the police was granted an extension of 60 days to complete investigation in cases pertaining to Delhi riots against her.

A bare perusal of the Public Prosecutor's application would reveal the reasons/ grounds for seeking extension of time to complete the investigation, the Court said.

15) Delhi HC Has Granted Anticipatory Bail To Delhi Minorities Commission Chief Zafarul Islam In Case Alleging Communal Statements

The Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri granted anticipatory bail to the Delhi Minorities Commission Chief Zafarul Islam Khan in an FIR registered against him alleging posting of communal statements. The relief was granted after the Court noted that Khan had duly participated in the investigation by answering all questions.

16) 'Mischievous': Delhi HC On Delhi Police Direction To Avoid 'Hindu Resentment' While Making Arrests In Riots Cases

Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait questioned the Delhi Police for issuing a direction to exercise due care and precaution while making arrests in Delhi riots so as to avoid "Hindu resentment". The Court was hearing a petition filed on the basis of a report in 'The Indian Express', which stated that the Special CP passed an order on July 8 stating that the arrest of some Hindu youth from riot-hit area in northeast Delhi had led to a degree of resentment among the Hindu community and due care and precaution must be taken while making arrests.

The judge termed the direction "mischievous" and asked what was the need to issue the same.

Gujarat High Court

1) Gujarat HC Constitutes Two-Judges Committee To Decide Upon Live Steaming Of Virtual Court Proceedings [Pruthvirajsinh Zala v. High Court of Gujarat]

While disposing of a PIL seeking live streaming of virtual court hearings, the bench comprised of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala said, "To observe the requirement of an open Court proceedings, the members of the public should be allowed to view the Court hearings conducted through the video conferencing, except the proceedings ordered for the reasons recorded in writing to be conducted in-camera."

The bench informed the Petitioner that a Committee of Judges had already been constituted to take up the issue on administrative side.

Also Read: In A First, Kerala HC Live Streams Court Proceedings Held Via Video Conferencing

2) Mandatory To Make The Choice Of Health Over Religion: Gujarat HC Expresses Displeasure About Religious Appeasement Policy Of State Govt. [Hiteshkumar Vittalbhai Chavda v. Shri Jagannathji Mandir Trust]

"It is mandatory to make the choice of health over religion", said the High Court while disposing of a PIL seeking to put restrictions on proposed Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra. The Court said that, by avoiding a large gathering of people on the day of the Rath Yatra by passing an interim order, it avoided a major catastrophe that could have completely derailed the State Government's fight against the COVID­19.

Highlighting the need to prioritize protection of public health over religious expression, the bench comprising of the Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala observed that it is the duty of any welfare State to provide legal safeguard to protect individuals' life and to maintain good health of the community.

3) Net ITC Means 'Input Tax Credit' Availed On 'Inputs' And 'Input Services': Gujarat HC Reads Down Explanation (a) to Rule 89(5) Of CGST Rules [VKC Footsteps Pvt Ltd v. Union of India & Ors.]

A division bench comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Bhargav D Karia read down the Explanation (a) to Rule 89(5) of the CGST Rules to state that Net ITC should mean "input tax credit" availed on "inputs" and "input services" as defined under the Act. This was after the Court held that Explanation (a) to Rule 89(5) which denies the refund of "unutilised input tax" paid on "input services" as part of "input tax credit" accumulated on account of inverted duty structure is ultra vires the provision of Section 54(3) of the CGST Act, 2017.

The Court held that the net Input Tax Credit (ITC) formula used for GST refund under the inverted tax structure can cover input services as well. As a result of the judgment, assessees will be eligible to claim a refund of input services in case of inverted duty structure.

4) [Eid-Al-Adha] Issue Notification Across State Regarding Ban On Animal Slaughter In Public: Gujarat HC To Government [Pranin Foundation through its founder Neha Dwarkadas Patel v. State of Gujarat]

The bench comprising of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala, while hearing a PIL seeking a complete ban on "the slaughtering of goat/sheep/buffalo/male buffalo and consumption of such meat" (on the occasion of Bakri Eid), directed that a notification similar to what has already been issued in the city of Ahmedabad regulating animal slaughter, also be issued across the state of Gujarat.

5) Supply Of Services Outside India By "Intermediaries" Not Export, And Hence, Subject To IGST: Gujarat HC [Material Recycling Association Of India v. Union of India & Ors.]

Division Bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and Bhargav D. Karia ruled that supply of services outside India by "intermediaries" in India is not an export, thereby continuing their liability of 18% IGST.

While upholding the validity of section 13(8)(b) read with Sections 2(13) (which defines intermediary service) of the IGST Act, 2017, the Court asserted that the service provided by an intermediary in India cannot be treated as "export of services" under the IGST Act, 2017. Sub-section 8 of Section 13 states that the place of supply of the services shall be the location of supplier of services in case of banking company, intermediary services and services consisting of hiring of means of transport.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1) J&K HC Initiates Suo Moto Contempt Against Govt. Departments For Flouting Its 14 Year Old Stay Order And Initiating Parallel Proceedings In A Different Bench [Dr. Om Kumar v. State of J&K & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal initiated suo moto contempt proceedings against Department of Health and Medical Education and the Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Commission for non-compliance of the interim orders of the Court in a matter pending before it since 2006.

The Jammu Bench of the Court on being apprised of the fact that parallel proceedings contrary to its orders had already been settled by the Srinagar Bench of the Court also imposed a fine of 1 lakh each on the departments for their casualness in not informing the Court of other identical proceedings.

Karnataka High Court

1) Karnataka HC Stays Private Complaint Registered Against Judicial Officer

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum stayed the private complaint registered against a Judicial Magistrate First Class, (JMFC) under Sections 166, 205, 120 (A) 211, 219, 499 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Court said, "Prima facie it appears to us that impugned complaint so far as respondent 2 (Judicial Officer) is concerned is not maintainable in view of protection granted under provisions of Judge (Protection ) Act 1985, and section 77 of Indian Penal Code."

2) 'Dignity Of The Dead Must Be Respected': Karnataka HC Directs Govt, BBMP To Frame New Guidelines For Burial Of COVID-19 Patients

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar directed the State government and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to relook at the guidelines/protocol issued by them for disposing of dead bodies of persons tested positive for COVID-19.

"According to us, all the authorities are bound to come out with the protocol/guidelines with emphasis on the dignity of the dead. What is important is that dead bodies are given dignified cremation or burial, depending upon the cultural and religious traditions of a particular dead person," the Court said.

3) Karnataka HC Dismisses Petition Seeking NIA Probe Into Sedition Case Against Amulya Leona

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice H P Sandesh rejected a petition filed by Advocate HL Vishala Raghu, seeking to transfer the sedition case registered against 19-year-old Amulya Leona, to the National Investigation Agency.

The Court said "Looking into the nature of allegations made in the FIR we do not think that this is a case where extraordinary jurisdiction is to be exercised for transferring the case to NIA. In a writ petition in the nature of Public Interest Litigation it is not possible to consider the prayer enjoining the respondents to apply for cancellation of bail of the accused and to conduct disciplinary inquiry against respondent (investigating officer)."

4) Karnataka HC Dismisses Challenge Against Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance 2020

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice HP Sandesh dismissed a petition filed challenging the 'The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020', promulgated to protect all officials engaged in COVID-19 duty, from physical harm.

According to the petitioner, the Karnataka Ordinance diluted the Central Amendment by making the offence under Section 9 to be 'Cognizable and Bailable'. The Court however said "Without going into the question of whether Central Ordinance will apply to the State of Karnataka, the offences which are incorporated in the Central Act are distinct and different from the offences in the State Ordinance."

5) Karnataka HC Rejects Plea By Relative Of DK Shiva Kumar Against Consent Given For CBI Investigation In To Corruption Charges [Shashi Kumar Shivanna v. Govt. of Karnataka & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy rejected a petition filed by a close relative of former Minister DK Shivakumar challenging Karnataka Government's "sanction" to the CBI to probe charges against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The Court clarified that the use of the term "sanction" in the impugned order of the State Government was wrongly employed as the action of the Government to grant permission to the CBI under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 was only "consent" to enable the CBI to investigate the offence. The Court then elaborated on the distinction between the terms "sanction" and "consent".

6) Karnataka HC Refuses To Stay Common Entrance Test Scheduled To Start From July 30

The bench comprising Justices Aravind Kumar and MI Arun refused to stall the Karnataka Common Entrance Test scheduled to start from July 30, 2020, after noting that more than 1,84,368 students had already downloaded the hall tickets which would indicate their preparedness and interest of those students. The Court told the Petitioners that they came belatedly to the court, challenging the KCET notification issued on May 13. "You came at the last moment. What were you doing for two months?" the bench said.

The Court however directed that the authorities should "scrupulously follow" the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Standard Operating Procedure formulated by the State Government for the conduct of CET.

Also Read: KCET 2020: Non-Compliance Of SOP Should Not Be A Ground To Prohibit A Candidate From Writing Exam, Says Karnataka HC

Kerala High Court

1) Kerala HC Closes PIL That Sought Action Against Former Indian Ambassador For Allegedly Insulting National Flag [Dasan vs. Union of India]

The bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly closed a PIL that sought action against Sanjiv Arora, a former Indian Ambassador for allegedly insulting Indian National Flag. Noting that the incident had happened in the year 2013, it said, "Even taking it for granted that the act alleged to have been committed is an offence as per Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, cognizance should be taken within three weeks."

As per Section 468, three years is the period of limitation for taking cognizance if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years.

2) Kerala HC Refuses To Order Visa Extension For Foreigner Who Said He 'Felt Safer In Kerala Than USA' [Johnny Paul Pierce v. Union of India]

Johnny Paul Pierce, a 74-year old citizen of the United States of America, who had sought extension of stay in India saying that he felt 'safer to remain in Kerala than in US' could not obtain relief regarding extension of stay from the High Court of Kerala.

The single bench of Justice CS Dias declined to order extension for him, observing that the 'grant or extension of visa to foreign nationals fall exclusively within the domain of the Government of India" and that judicial review in such matters is "minimal".

3) There Is No Absolute Bar On Religious Assembly: Kerala HC Dismisses PIL Against Permitting Religious Gatherings Upto 100 Persons [Jayakumar T.V. v. State Of Kerala]

There is no absolute bar on religious assembly, said the bench comprising of the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly while dismissing a PIL filed by two lawyers who had challenged the Government orders permitting social or religious gathering with a participation of upto 100 persons.

"We cannot be oblivious of the fact that Mass in a Church is conducted at a particular time, prayer in a Mosque is performed at a particular time and so also worship in a Temple. One will have to give a meaningful intent when the Central Government have issued guidelines for opening activities in religious places/places of worships for public, whether a person belongs to it is Hindu/Muslim/Christian or any other religion," the Court said.

4) Children's Right To Education Is A Human Right: Kerala HC Directs Govt. To Sanction LP School [T. Muhammed Faisi v. State Of Kerala]

Right to Education for Children under Article 21A of the Constitution of India is a human right, said the bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly while directing the Government to sanction establishment of Government Lower Primary School in Elambra in Manjeri Municipality of Malappuram district, hence resolving a 35 years old long dispute.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1) For Settling The Civil Disputes of the Parties, The Writ Of Habeas Corpus Cannot Be Entertained; Madhya Pradesh HC [Neerendra Singh Rana v. State of Madhya Pradesh]

"The petition in the nature of habeas corpus should be filed in those cases where the corpus is in illegal confinement/custody of the respondents. In order to settle the civil disputes of the parties, the writ of habeas corpus cannot be entertained and it is a clear misuse of (the) lawful authority of this Court," observed the bench of Justice GS Ahluwalia.

The Court thus dismissed a petition where a husband had moved a habeas corpus petition on behalf of his wife, who had gone to her parental house and informed that she does not want to come back.

2) [Lower Berth Allotment] Give Highest Priority To Pregnant women, Then To Senior Citizens And Thereafter To The VVIPs', MP HC To Railways [In Reference v. Union of India]

The Jabalpur bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court asked Indian Railways to consider re-prioritising the lower berth allotment by giving the highest priority to pregnant women, then to senior citizens and thereafter to the VVIPs.

The suggestion was put forth by the bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Yadav and Atul Sreedharan in a PIL registered suo-motu "to consider certain measures regarding railway journeys in the interest of the public at large."

Madras High Court

1) Bureaucrats Can't Bypass Local Bodies While Calling Tenders For Matters Reserved For Local Administration: Madras HC [Ramu v. Secretary, Municipal Administration & Water Supply Department & Ors.]

The High Court clarified that the district authorities, such as Block Development Officer, District Collector, cannot bypass the local administration, i.e. Panchayat or the rules governing the local administration.

Holding thus, the bench of Justice GR Swaminathan quashed a tender notification issued by the Block Development Officer, Thiruppuvanam, for it ought to have been proposed by the Panchayat Union.

2) Madras HC Directs The Center To Formulate A Committee To Provide OBC Reservations In State Surrendered Seats In All India Quota For Medical Seats [AIADMK v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthil Ramamoorthy ruled that there are no constitutional impediments for the Central Government to frame laws to provide reservation to the Other Backward Categories, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State surrendered seats in the all India quota for medical seats in Tamil Nadu.

The Court thereby directed the Central Government to form a Committee to provide the terms of implementation of such reservation for courses to be run from the next academic year onwards.

3) Madras HC Restrains Youtuber Maridhas From Posting Defamatory Content Against Tamil News Channel News 18

The Madras High Court on Wednesday granted interim relief to News 18 Tamil Nadu which was aggrieved by a "vitriolic attack" on its reputation by YouTuber Maridhas, who has accused the channel and its senior officials of religious bias.

The single bench of Justice CV Karthikeyan noted that the "balance of convenience" lies in favour of the channel, since the defendant had nothing to lose by not putting up further videos. The order of interim injunction shall remain in force till August 12, 2020.

4) Investigating Agency Duty-Bound To Identify Real Accused : Madras HC Directs Re-Postmortem In Custodial Death Case Where Autopsy Completed In Night Hours [Palammal v. Govt of TN & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice R. Pongiappan directed the postmortem of a farmer in the Tenkasi district of the state, alleged to be a victim of custodial torture, to be conducted again, the postmortem having been earlier completed in night hours in violation of the set norms.

Postmortem has to be done within the presence of sunlight, because the colour of the injury in tube light, CFL, LED's and other artificial illumination appears to be purple rather than red, and "as per forensic science, there is no mention of purple injury and wound," the bench explained while emphasizing on why autopsies should not be conducted at night.

5) Any Senior Muslim Adv Can Be Nominated As Waqf Member And Need Not Be A Designated Senior Advocate: Madras HC [M. Imam Hussain v. Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice GR Swaminathan made it clear that the occurrence of the words "any senior Muslim advocate" in the proviso to Section 14(1)(b)(iii) of the Waqf Act, 1995 is not confined to designated senior counsel.

"The expression "Senior Advocate" may comprise two words. But they are like siamese twins. They cannot be separated…But the proviso relied on by the petitioner contains the expression "any senior Muslim advocate". The word "advocate" is qualified by the adjective "Muslim". This adjective stands in between the words 'senior' and 'advocate'. The legislature has not used the expression "Muslim senior advocate". Courts have to give effect to legislative intent and not play the game of scrabble," the bench said.

6) Madras HC Warns Private Schools Of Contempt If They Insist Upon Collection Of Entire Fees For Upcoming Academic Year [Tamil Nadu Nursery Primary Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools Association v. Revenue and Disaster Management Department & Ors.]

Taking "serious note" of violation of its order dated July 17, 2020 pertaining to collection of tution fee by unaided private institutions, the High Court warned the erring institutions of initiation of contempt proceeding against them.

"If this Court finds that there is any violation, this Court will not hesitate to initiate Contempt Proceedings against the persons incharge of the School," remarked the bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh while seeking strict implementation of its previous order permitting schools to collect only 40% tuition fees as 'advance fees' for the upcoming Academic Year.

7) Madras HC Passes Interim Order Allowing Advocates To Apply To Post Of DRT Presiding Officer [Revenue Bar Association v. Union Ministry of Finance & Anr.]

A bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy permitted lawyers to apply for the post of Presiding Officer of the Debt Recovery Tribunal, as notified vacant by the Central Government on June 23. It however clarified that the participation of Advocates will not create any right in their favour and selection, if any, and the final selections shall not be announced except with the leave of the Court.

The interim relief was granted in two writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020; one of the grounds being that they exclude Advocates, claiming to be eligible for such appointment, from applying to the post of the Presiding Officer at DRT.

8) All Unaided Private Educational Institutions "Establishment" For The Purpose Of ESI Act: Madras HC [All India Private Educational Institutions Association v. State of Tamil Nadu & Anr.]

All private educational institutions will come under the purview of the ESI Act and will be treated as an 'establishment' for all purposes under it, ruled an all-women bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana, Justice Anita Sumanth and Justice P T Asha.

There is no definition for the word "Establishment" in the ESI Act, noted the bench, observing that the ESI Act being a socio-economic welfare oriented legislation, it has brought with it the avowed objective of securing social and economic justice and upholding human dignity and that it is not a law regulating education.

Orissa High Court

1) Orissa HC Releases On Bail Man Accused Of Rape Of Minor Upon Marriage To Victim

The bench of Justice BP Routray granted bail to a man accused of rape of a minor, noting his submission that while availing interim bail, he has married the survivor, who has now attained majority.

Also Read: Allowing Bail To Rape Convict Ex-Priest To Marry Survivor Will Be A Mockery Of Justice: Activists' Plea In Kerala HC

2) It Seems A Countrywide Cartel Specializing In Defrauding The GST System Is Operating To Bring The Economy To Its Knees: Orissa HC [Amit Beriwal v. State of Orissa]

"One cannot lose sight of the fact that the GST regime is relatively new and is still evolving. Unfortunately, the attempts to dampen the spirit of its proper implementation are already assuming huge proportions and need to be curbed with an iron fist so that the contours of the fiscal compass could be extended to the advantage of the people" observed the bench of Justice SK Panigrahi while hearing the bail plea of one Amit Beriwal, who was accused of committing GST fraud by way of making fake and fraudulent transactions (through fake firms) that had caused huge loss to the tune of Rs 122.67 crore to the State exchequer.

The Court denied the bail plea and observed that the enormity of such devious activities touch the raw nerve of the economic system and strike at the root of the proper and effective the functioning of the GST regime.

Also Read: Money Laundering An Act Of Financial Terrorism, Poses Threat To Sovereignty, Integrity Of Nation: Orissa HC

Patna High Court

1) Patna HC Warns Judicial Officers Of Contempt If They Ask Arrested Persons To Withdraw Anticipatory Bail Plea From HC As A Pre-Condition For Bail Hearing [Rahul kumar @ Rahul Raj v. State of Bihar]

The High Court has held that if before hearing the regular bail application of the accused, the Judicial officer in a subordinate court asks the applicant (who has now been arrested) to first withdraw anticipatory bail petition pending before the High court, then the concerned officer may be held responsible for contempt of court.

The bench of Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad made this significant observation while hearing a matter wherein the anticipatory bail petition of one Rahul Kumar was being considered by the court. In fact, during the pendency of his anticipatory bail petition, the petitioner was arrested.

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1) No Requirement Of NOC From CARA Where Adoptive Parents Are Indians: Punjab And Haryana HC [Jasmine Kaur v. Union of India & Ors.]

The bench of Justice Nirmal Kaur held that the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 would not apply in cases of inter-country adoption of children being given directly by parents to relatives/known people under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. "A perusal of the J.J. Act, 2015 shows that it is a special provision for a limited class of children, those who are in conflict with law, in need of care and protection, orphaned, surrendered or abandoned", said the bench

The Court also ruled out the requirement of procuring the NOC from the Central Adoption Resource Authority for issuance of passport to the child so adopted where the adoptive parents are Indians. It was hearing a writ petition where the Passport Authority had refused to issue a passport to the petitioner, a toddler girl, given in adoption by her natural parents to her biological mother's real sister and her husband, NRIs, OCI card holders and citizens of the United Kingdom, for want of NOC from CARA.

Rajasthan High Court

1) Rajasthan HC Directs Registry To Not Entertain Appeals Under SC/ST Act Unless Victim Is Impleaded As A Party [Shreepal Singh & Ors. v. State]

The High Court directed its Registry to ensure that appeals preferred under the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are instituted only after the complainant/ victim in the case is impleaded as a Respondent-party.

The order was passed by Justice Sandeep Mehta in view of Sections 15(3) and 15(5) of the SC/ST Act that confer on the victim/ complainant, the right to "reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any Court proceeding including any bail proceeding" and entitlement to "be heard at any proceeding under the Act in respect of bail, discharge, release," etc., respectively.

Also Read: 'Victim' Under SC/ST Act Includes Parents & Family Members Of Person Suffering Injuries Of The Crime : Karnataka HC

2) Poor Farmers Cannot Be Denied Payment Of Insurance Due To Pending Issue Between Insurance Company, State Government And The Bank: Rajasthan HC [Bhala Ram Patel v. State of Rajasthan & Ors.]

Holding that poor farmers cannot be denied benefit due to any pending issue between the Insurance Company and the Government, the division bench comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Vijay Bishnoi directed Agricultural Insurance Company of India (AIC) to release the amount due to the petitioner farmers of Satalana village under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna within a period of four weeks.

The order was passed in a PIL filed by the Sarpanch of Satlana gram panchayat on behalf of thousands of farmers of the village who haven't received insurance claims due to them for two seasons- Kharif 2016 and Kharif 2017 of crop failure.

Telangana High Court

1) Rapid Antigen Test Not 'Very Effective', Having Accuracy Of 'Only 40%': Telangana HC Asks State To Consider 'Falling Back' On Traditional RT-PCR Test [R. Sameer Ahmed v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

After the Delhi High Court, the Telangana High Court also voiced its doubts as regards the efficacy of the Rapid Antigen Test for COVID. The Court brought it to the notice of the Chief Secretary that there are, indeed, "media reports" which claim that the Rapid Antigen Testing is "not a very effective test", as its "accuracy is only 40%".

The bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy however left the decision whether to fall back on the traditional test such as Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on the Government.

Also Read: Delhi Govt Is Not Conducting Almost 50% Capacity of RT-PCR Tests, It Is More Focused on RAT Despite Knowing That RT-PCR Is The Golden Test: Delhi HC

2) Freedom Of Press: Telangana HC Directs State To Allow Media Coverage Of Secretariat Demolition [VIL Media Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

Upholding the freedom of press, the Single Bench of Justice Challa Kodanda Ram got the state government to allow the media to cover and report/telecast the demolition activity of the Secretariat buildings.

Tripura High Court

1) 'Doctors Are Frontline Warriors Against Coronavirus': Tripura HC Directs Test Identification Parade Of Covid Patients Who Harassed Doctor [Karnajit De v. State of Tripura]

Doctors are the "first line defence of the country" in the fight against Coronavirus, remarked Justice Arindam Lodh while considering an anticipatory bail plea filed by a person accused of being part of a protest by a group of patients against a doctor.

The judge directed the Investigating Officer to record statement of the doctor and to conduct a Test Identification Parade. The case will be taken up on 5th August 2020.

Uttarakhand High Court

1) HC Directs Govt. To Finalize a Location for Construction of Permanent Campus For NIT, Uttarakhand, Within Four Months [Jasveer Singh v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

Resolving a decade long deadlock between the Central Government and the State Government, the High Court issued directions for identification of a suitable location and construction of permanent campus of NIT, Uttarakhand, within four months.

Noting that students in this case had been the ultimate victims of "bureaucratic apathy" and "indifference", the bench comprised of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe also directed to consider the detailed project report submitted by team of architects and engineers of IIT Roorkee, regarding provision of infrastructural facilities at the temporary campus of NIT, Uttarakhand at Srinagar, and release the funds required for implementation thereof.

2) Uttarakhand HC Emphasizes On Responsible Tourism; Constitutes Committee To Examine Need To Identify Biodiversity Heritage Sites In The State [Rakshit Joshi v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

The bench comprised of Justices Ramesh Chandra Khulbe and Sudhanshu Dhulia directed the State Government to constitute an Expert Committee within four weeks, to examine whether there is a need to identify biodiversity heritage sites in Uttarakhand under Section 37 of the Biodiversity Act. It said the Committee shall consist of Secretary Tourism, Secretary Forest and Secretary Environment, who will co-opt at least two experts with them.

The bench further held that Auli is not a "sub-Alpine meadow", situated close to Dhauli Ganga Catchment area, and in the periphery of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, a rich reserve of biological resources, particularly of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. For this reason alone, the Court said, Auli needs to be protected from "excessive tourist inflow" or over exploitation of its biodiversity, culture and fragile environment.

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