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High Courts Weekly Roundup

Akshita Saxena
25 Oct 2020 2:47 PM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup

Week Commencing From October 19, 2020 Till October 25, 2020 Allahabad High Court 1. The Technology Is Being Misused To Commit The Offence, Particularly Against Women: Allahabad HC [Afroz Khan v. State of UP & Anr.] The Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh expressed concern that technology is being misused to commit the offence, particularly against women. The Court was...

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Week Commencing From October 19, 2020 Till October 25, 2020

Allahabad High Court

1. The Technology Is Being Misused To Commit The Offence, Particularly Against Women: Allahabad HC [Afroz Khan v. State of UP & Anr.]

The Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh expressed concern that technology is being misused to commit the offence, particularly against women.

The Court was hearing a case where the accused-applicant obtained the mobile number of the prosecutrix and started sending dirty and obscene messages to the prosecutrix. He hacked her Instagram and snap-chat etc. He had sent obscene and objectionable messages from the Instagram and snap-chat of the prosecutrix to other students/boys.

2. 'Municipalities Are Supposed To Perform Functions & Implement Schemes As May Be Entrusted To Them': Allahabad HC Pulls Up Varanasi Authorities [Dhyanesh Bhattacharya & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

"As per Article 243W of the Constitution of India, municipalities are supposed to perform functions and are required to implement schemes as may be entrusted to them, including those in relation to the matters listed in the Twelfth Schedule," the Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma said.

It thus pulled up the Municipal Authorities of Varanasi, after it was informed that the local self-Government had failed in its duties vis-a-vis public health, sanitation conservancy and solid waste management.

3. Allahabad HC Grants Bail To Journalist Prashant Kanojia [Prashant Kanojia v. State of UP]

"The submission as regards the quantum of punishment or entitlement of the accused applicant to be released on bail could not be disputed on any tangible ground," the Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi held while granting bail to freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested in connection to a FIR lodged against him allegedly for making social media posts that have the potential to promote enmity between two or more communities/groups.

The Court was also assured by the journalist that he shall not indulge in the act of posting tweets which may hurt the sentiments of the public at large or any specific group.

4. Govt. Cannot Effect Merger Of Feeding Cadre To Higher Cadre In Violation Of Service Rules: Allahabad HC [Vijay Kishore & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice Manish Kumar held that the government cannot effect the merger of the feeding cadre to the higher cadre if not envisaged under the Service Rules, and that an amendment, even if having retrospective effect, would not adversely affect the rights accrued to the employees under the Rules as existed.

"The Rules 1980 have been amended namely the U.P. Transport Taxation (Subordinate) Service (First Amendment) Rules 2018. Rule (1) (c) specifically provides that the rules have come into force at once that is w.e.f. since 5.3.2018. It has no retrospective effect. The intention of the legislature was not to make this rule retrospective. The inclusion of the respondents and similarly situated persons in the impugned seniority list is bad in the eyes of law", the Court noted.

5. [Covid-19] Allahabad HC Orders Constant Police Surveillance On All Roads To Ensure People Wear Masks [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…]

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar ordered the UP Government to constitute a Task Force to check that people moving out and about wear masks. It has also ordered that there should be constant surveillance of the police on all roads, from at least 07:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

To read further instructions, access Full Report.

6. Allahabad HC Reprimands Gang-Rape Victim's Mother For False Affidavit Alleging Detention Of Daughter By Local Police [Raj Kumari v. State of UP & Ors.]

The bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia reprimanded the mother of a gang-rape for falsely alleging the detention of her daughter by the local police.

"The affidavit filed by the mother of the victim girl appears to be false. The mother of the girl (victim) appears to be a poor, illiterate, helpless villager, as such, we do not propose to proceed against her for filing a false affidavit but we warn her against recurrence of similar conduct in future," observed the Bench.

Related Order: Allahabad HC Demands Production Of Gang-Rape Victim Allegedly Detained In Police Station, A Day After State Police Pulled Up For FIR Delay

7. Allahabad High Court Seeks Notification Of Rules For Appointment Of E-Court Employees Within 3 Weeks [Ajay Singh & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Manish Kumar directed the State Government to notify the Rules for appointment of e-Court employees in the High Court, within three weeks, failing which the Principal Secretary (Law)/Legal Remembrance shall appear in person before the Court.

The Court asked the Government to notify the "Uttar Pradesh E-Courts Centralized Computer Service Rules, 2018" so that various posts of System Assistants for video conferencing at the High Court may be filled.

8. Reservation Of VIP Vehicle Numbers Is An Exception To General Procedure Of Assignment In Serial Order, Subject To Conditions: Allahabad High Court [Rajesh Gaur v. State of UP & Anr.]

Division Bench comprising of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava held that any person can make an application along with prescribed fees for reservation of attractive registration numbers for their vehicles. However, it has made it clear that such reservation is subject to the conditions stipulated by the statute, i.e. the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the U.P. Motor Vehicles Rules, 1998.

The Court noted that the conditions prescribed in respect of reservation of registration numbers, as are considered attractive, include a clear stipulation under clause (vi) of sub-rule (2) (of rule 51A) that the reservation of registration number shall be cancelled if the vehicle is not produced "within thirty days from the date of reserving the registration number" and the number so cancelled can be allotted to any other person by the Registering Authority. Further, the amount so for reserving the VIP number also cannot be refunded.

Also Read: State Governments Entitled To Prescribe Fee For Reserving Certain Numbers To Be Assigned As Registration Numbers For Motor Vehicles: SC

9. Allahabad High Court Directs ECI To Hold Bye-Elections In UP's State Assembly Constituency 'Suar', Rampur Forthwith [Shafeeq Ahmad v. State of UP & Ors.]

The Court directed the Election Commission of India to start the process for holding bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh's State Assembly Constituency, "Suar" Rampur, forthwith.

"The Election Commission of India has not been able to justify as to why and under what circumstances, bye election has not been held on the aforementioned constituency despite the vacancy having occurred on 26.12.2019 and duly notified long back by the State Assembly on 27.02.2020", observed Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia.

10. Responsibility Of State To Protect Weaker Sections From Any Hardship During Pandemic: Allahabad HC Stays Demolition Of Ghaziabad Slum [Dev Pal v. Ghaziabad Development Authority & Ors.]

"When the entire globe is facing a pandemic, it is the responsibility of the State to protect everyone, more specifically the population of weaker sections from any hardship that may aggravate their plight adversely," the Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma observed while restraining the Ghaziabad Development Authority from carrying out demolition in a slum area located at Ghaziabad.

Also Read: SC Orders Removal Of 48,000 Slum Dwellings Around Delhi Rail Tracks In 3 Months; Stops Courts From Granting Stay

Also Read: No Immediate Demolition Of Slums Near Delhi Tracks Till Urban Affairs Ministry Takes A Decision: Centre Tells SC

11. An Alcoholic Person Who Is Otherwise Of Sound Mind Can't Be Kept In Rehab Centre Against His/Her Will: Allahabad High Court [Ankur Kumar & Anr. v. State of UP & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice JJ Munir held that an alcoholic person who is otherwise of sound mind can't be kept in Rehab Centre (Nasha Mukti Kendra) against his/her will and wish. "If a person is an alcoholic but otherwise of sound mind about there is no authority with any relative of his or Drug De Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre to detain him in custody against his will and wish," the Court said.

12. Highest Bidder At Public Auction Does Not Acquire A Vested Right To Have Auction In His Favour: Reiterates Allahabad High Court [Babloo v. State of UP & Ors.]

The Court reiterated that a highest bidder in an auction does not acquire any vested right to have the auction concluded in his favour.

"The highest bidder does not acquire any vested right to have the auction concluded in his favour and the authority concerned is not under all circumstances bound to accept the highest tender or bid, which is subject to the conditions in terms of which the auction has been held. It is open to the authority, if there exist good and sufficient reasons, not to accept the highest bid or to initiate proceedings inviting bid afresh," the Bench comprising of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava has held.

13. [Discharge U/s 245 CrPC] There Is Difference Between An Unrebutted Case & Unrebutted Evidence: Allahabad HC [M/S Daurala Sugar Works v. State of UP & Anr.]

Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh held that while deciding whether to discharge an accused person under Section 245 of CrPC, the Court must examine if there is a "prima facie case" made out against him. The Court has clarified that the Court has to examine whether a "case", which, if unrebutted, would warrant a conviction is made out and not whether "evidence" if unrebutted, would warrant a conviction.

"It is not the mandate under Section 245(1) Cr.P.C. that evidence if unrebutted would warrant a conviction, charge has to be framed. The language of Section 245(1) makes it very clear that evidence will have to be adduced and thereafter the court will have to consider whether a case, which, if unrebutted, would warrant a conviction is made out. It is not the mandate of law that the court need only consider whether "evidence if unrebutted, would warrant a conviction." What should be considered is whether a case if unrebutted, would warrant a conviction. I must note that there is a distinction between these two circumstances," the Bench said.

Bombay High Court

1. Necessary For Courts To Scrutinize Allegations As Nowadays There's A Tendency To Make Vague Allegations Against Members Of Husband's Family U/498-A: Bombay HC [Shabnam Sheikh & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.]

While quashing an FIR against in-laws of woman who alleged harassment at their hands, the Division bench of Justice ZA Haq and Justice Amit Borkar of the Nagpur bench observed that nowadays, it has become a tendency to make vague and omnibus allegations, against every member of the family of the husband, implicating everybody under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.

It concluded that it has become necessary for the Courts "to carefully scrutinize the allegations and to find out if the allegations made really constitute an offence and meet the requirements of the law at least prima facie."

2. [Section 54 NDPS Act] Bombay High Court Refuses Bail To Men Caught With Over 203 Kg Marijuana [Sunil Genu Jagtap v. State of Maharashtra]

The Bench of Justice CV Bhadang refused to grant bail to two men facing prosecution for offences punishable under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 after being apprehended by the police along with 9 others (2 more absconding) for carrying Marijuana from Andhra Pradesh into Maharashtra weighing 203 Kg and 450 grams.

"Prima facie it appears that this is a case involving the recovery of commercial quantity of ganja from the individual car, inasmuch as the commercial quantity in relation to ganja is notified as 20 kgs and above. The Applicants were found travelling in Swift Dzire car and Ertiga Car from where the contraband is said to be recovered. Prima facie having regard to the nature of the recovery from the car, this cannot be said to be a case of recovery of the contraband on personal search. Thus, the provisions of Section 50 of the said Act may not be attracted," the Court said.

3. 'Asking Public About Who To Be Arrested Is Investigative Journalism?' Bombay HC Asks Republic TV In SSR Media Trial Case

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked the lawyer of Republic TV if asking the public who should be arrested in a case is part of investigative journlism.

The Court posed the query in reference to the hashtag campaign '#ArrestRhea' run by the channel in Twitter following the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. "Is this part of investigative journalism? Asking public about their opinion on who should be arrested?", the Bench asked.

Also Read: 'If You Become Investigator, Prosecutor & Judge, Why Are We Here?' Bombay HC Expresses Concerns Over Media Trial

Also Read: Media Highly Polarized Now; Journalists Were Responsible & Neutral In Past, Bombay High Court Says While Hearing SSR Media Trial Case

4. Bombay High Court Directs TV Today Network To Deposit Rs.5 Lakh To Grant Interim Protection In Plea Against BARC

Division bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Milind Jadhav directed the TV Today network to deposit Rs.5 lakh fine imposed on it by Broadcast Audience Research Council's Disciplinary Council for violating its code of conduct. Court observed that "if the amount is deposited", no coercive steps will be taken against the network.

According to the BARC's order, there was an "abnormal jump" in daily viewership of the channels of TV Today network and it seemed like panel households were being influenced which is in violation of the Code of Conduct.

Calcutta High Court

1. Durga Puja Pandals In State To Be No-Entry Zones For Visitors: Calcutta HC Directs State To Make People Aware To Exercise Self-Restraint [Ajay Kumar De v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]

The Bench of Justices Arijit Banerjee and Sanjib Banerjee declared that all pandals where Durga Puja is being celebrated this year, shall be made no-entry zones for members of the public, in view of the pandemic.

Read further instructions in the full report.

Also Read: Durga Puja : Calcutta HC Relaxes Entry Restrictions In Pandals; Allows Maximum Of 45 Persons At A Time

Also Read: Consider Allowing Lawyers To Board Local Trains For Professional Work Not Related To Court Proceedings: Bombay HC To State

2. 'Approach Railway Authorities', Calcutta HC Disposes Of Plea Seeking Direction To Rlys To Allow Advocates On Local Trains [Mangal Sardar v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee disposed of a Petition, which was filed seeking a direction to the railways, to allow the Advocates to avail of the limited railway facilities on local trains. However, it gave the liberty to the petitioner to approach the railway authorities and put forth their demand.

Delhi High Court

1. [Online Gambling] Delhi HC Directs UOI & State Govt To Treat PIL Filed Against Online Gambling As A Representation [Tarun Chandiok v. Union of India & Anr.]

The Bench of Chief Justice D. N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Union of India & Delhi Government to treat a petition filed against online gambling, as a representation and decide the grievances ventilated in the petition, as narrated in detail in the writ petition.

Also Read: [Online Rummy] Gujarat HC Directs State Govt To Treat PIL For Regulation Of Online Gambling As A Representation

2. Delhi HC Restrains Anurag Srivastava From Publishing Defamatory Content Against 'India Today', Rajdeep Sardesai And Others [TV Today Network Limited v. Anurag Srivastava]

The Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta restrained one Anurag Srivastava from directly or indirectly publishing, re-publishing, sending or posting any tweet or information either in the electronic form or through internet, email or social media, or any print or communication media whatsoever, the statement or post which is derogatory/defamatory in its contents to the TV Today Network Limited ( India Today Group), or its top management, or its anchors or its other office-bearers.

3. 'Approaching A Writ Court For A Moot Court Competition Is A Bit Too Much', Delhi HC Denies Plea Seeking Transparency in NLU-D's Moot Court Competition

Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath refused to provide relief in a plea seeking a direction upon the Moot Court Organizing Committee of NLU-D, to release the marks obtained by the Petitioners in the memorial round of the 70th Constitution Day Moot Court Competition and noted that the Petitioners were not personally prejudiced and they had no reason to approach a writ court for a loss in moot court competition.

4. Delhi HC Issues Notices To Centre & IT Department In A Petition Filed Challenging 'Faceless Income Tax Appeal Scheme 2020' [Lakshya Budhiraja v. Union of India & Anr.]

The Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sanjeev Narula issued a notice to Union of India and Income Tax Department on a petition challenging the 'Faceless Income Tax Appeal Scheme, 2020'.

The scheme is to honour honest income taxpayers in the country, and it further eases compliance and reduces physical interface between the assessee and the Income Tax Department. Petitioner prayed before the that the scheme is discriminatory, arbitrary and illegal to the extent that it provides a virtual hearing as per the circumstances to be approved by the administrative authorities under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

5. Delhi HC Refuses To Quash Registrar General's Order Mandating Submission Of Court Fee and Affidavit While Filing Petitions [Jamna Datwani v. Delhi High Court]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad refused to set aside the order dated 28/08/20 passed by the court's Registrar General whereby submission of court fee and duly attested affidavit has been made mandatory while filing petitions.

The Court noted that the said order does not warrant any interference as the same has been issued after the situation has considerably normalized on Un-lockdown orders issued by the Central Government and State Government, from time to time.

6. Delhi HC Grants Ad-Interim Injunction To Radico Khaitan Restraining The Sale Of "Vintage Moments" Alcohol [Radico Khaitan Ltd. v. Vintage Distillers Ltd.]

The Single Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta passed an ad interim order restraining the manufacturing, marketing, sale etc. of alcohol under the mark 'VINTAGE MOMENTS' in a suit filed by the manufacturers of the alcohol brand Magic Moments.

While doing so the Court recorded that plaintiff had successfully made out a prima facie case in its favour based on the documents filed and the sales figure shown by them. The order for ad interim injunction on the ground that that the balance of convenience was in the favour of the plaintiffs and if no injunction was granted, the plaintiff was likely to suffer irreparable loss.

7. Delhi Govt Shall Ensure That COVID Testing Results Are Conveyed To The Person Within 24 Hours: Delhi HC [Rakesh Malhotra v. GNCTD & Ors.]

The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to submit a status report stating how it is planning to streamline the system to ensure that the testing results are conveyed to the concerned person within 24 hours of taking of the sample.

It further noted that if the mobile number of every person tested is taken at the time of the testing, there is no good reason why the result should not be communicated on the said mobile number within 24 hours of the samples being sent to the lab for testing.

8. Delhi HC Orders For Expeditious Processing Of Ration Card Applications And Demands Status Report On Pending Applications

The Bench of Justice Navin Chawla passed an order in the writ petitions directing the State of NCT of Delhi to expeditiously process the pending Ration Card Applications of the petitioners. The Court has also ordered for filing of Status Report regarding the pendency of applications for issuance of ration cards along with the dates of filing of the same within a period of 4 weeks before the court.

9. 'Any Obstruction In The Discharge of Constitutional Functions Of Courts Must Be Viewed Seriously', HC Directs Delhi Govt To Release Funds For Requirements Of District Courts [Anand Vaid v. Preeti Vaid]

Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi Government to to start with releasing funds for purchasing 20% of the pool cars required by the District Courts within three months from today.

While directing the Delhi Government to clear pending proposals to finance the District Courts, the Court highlighted: 'Despite the aforesaid revenue generated by the District Courts over the past three years, they are being starved of finances for the basic facilities required to run the courts efficiently, which cannot be countenance. Any obstruction in the discharge of constitutional function of the courts must be viewed seriously.'

10. SC Is Already Seized With This Matter', Delhi HC Refuses To Further Monitor Plea Seeking Stern Measures To Prevent Stubble Burning In Punjab, Haryana And UP

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan refused to further monitor a plea seeking a direction to be issued to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to take stern measures to prevent stubble burning in the States of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, in light of the COVID19 pandemic. It noted that a similar matter is now taken up by the Supreme Court and, therefore, this court should refrain from further monitoring this plea to avoid passing of contradictory orders.

11. No Further Extension Of Interim Orders In Civil Cases, Interim Bails Granted To Undertrials In Heinous Crimes: Delhi High Court [In Re Extension of interim orders]

The Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel, Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh intimated that there shall be no further extension of interim orders passed in civil cases. Similarly, there shall be no extension of interim bails granted to undertrials involved in heinous crimes.

The Court observed that whereas extension of interim bails and interim stay orders was necessary in view of restrictive functioning of the Courts due to complete lockdown, it said, "but now the situation has changed and all Courts at High Court and District Court level are functioning through physical mode/VC mode and since there is no spread of Covid-19 in the jails and out of about 16,000 prisoners only 3 are infected and they have been segregated and are admitted in hospital, we deem it proper to modify our order dated 25th March, 2020 which was lastly extended on 24th August, 2020."

12. Delhi High Court Restrains Republic TV From Using Trademark "News Hour", Allows Using Tagline "Nation Wants To Know" [Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. v. ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Jayant Nath granted interim relief to 'Times Now' channel by restraining 'Republic TV' from using the tagline 'NEWS HOUR' or any other mark that may be deceptively similar to it for its primetime debate show.

At the same time, the Court did not allow Times Group's plea to restrain Arnab Goswami and his company, ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd., from using the tagline "NATION WANTS TO KNOW".

13. Indian Army's Rule Of Spousal Postings Not Mandatory, Subject To Availability Of Vacancies: Delhi High Court [Col. Amit Kumar v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Court held that the Indian Army's Rule on "Spousal Postings" is not mandatory and is subject to availability of vacancies for both spouses at the same station.

"The Rule requiring endeavor to be made to post both spouses, especially with young children, at the same station, is not mandatory and is subject to availability of vacancies for both spouses at the same station," a Division bench comprising of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon observed.

14. Delhi High Court Grants Bail To History Sheeter In Criminal Complaint Filed By Alleged Habitual Litigant [Rehan v. GNCTD]

Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait allowed the bail application of a history sheeter after it was alleged that the complaint against him was filed by a person who was in the habit of filing frivolous complaints to obtain money from the victims on the pretext of settlement.

Gauhati High Court

1. Gauhati HC Takes Note Of Acute Shortfall Of Official Quarters For Judicial Officers; Directs State Officials To Take Steps [Registrar General of Gauhati HC v. Union of India & Anr.]

A Full Bench took cognizance of the acute shortfall of the official quarters for the Judicial Officers serving in the States of Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, and passed an order directing the Deputy Commissioners of all the Districts, except a few and the Chief Executive Members of all the Autonomous District Councils of Assam to explore all possibilities for providing accommodation to the Judicial Officers, in consultation and coordination with the District Judges concerned.

2. Gauhati HC Issues Notice On PIL Seeking Direction For Immediate Steps On Appointments To National Council For Transgenders As Per S.16 of Transgenders Act [All Assam Transgender Association v. Union of India]

The Bench of Acting Chief Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury issued notice on a PIL seeking issuance of directions to the Centre for taking "immediate and effective steps" for the appointment of the National Council for Transgenders in accordance with Section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

Gujarat High Court

1. "Preventive Detention Shall Not Be Decided In Slipshod Manner":Gujarat HC Issues Guidelines For State, Detaining Authority [Imran v. State of Gujarat]

Cautioning that the matters relating to the preventive detention should not be decided in a slipshod manner, the Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala asserted that it is very essential to look into the order of detention including the grounds of detention and the other materials on record threadbare and with all seriousness to ensure that the personal liberty of the detenue has been curtailed strictly following the procedure prescribed by law.

Read detailed Guidelines in the Full Report.

2. Gujarat High Court Quashes Rape Case Against A Boy Lodged By His Minor Wife; Imposes Costs On Parents [X v. State of Gujarat]

The Court of Justice AS Supehia quashed a rape case against a boy lodged by his minor 'wife'. It imposed Rs.30K Costs on their parents for ruining their childhood by dragging them in such a disreputable controversy'.

The judge observed that the criminal machinery alleging such serious offences under IPC and POCSO cannot be allowed to be misused and the parents of such children who resort such tactics cannot be let-off easily without fastening any accountability.

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1. Accused' Right To Cross Examination Could Not Be Closed On Account Of Absence Of His Counsel; Duty of Court To Provide Legal Aid Counsel: HP HC [Lovely v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

Right to cross-examine vested in the petitioner could not have been closed by learned Court below, on account of absence of his counsel, rather, in that situation, court should have provided some legal aid counsel to the accused," observed the Single Bench of Justice Sandeep Sharma.

The Court held that the court below "ought to have adjourned the cross-examination." It further said that the Court should have provided some legal aid counsel to the Petitioner in order to conduct cross-examination of prosecution witnesses and should not have closed the right of the petitioner.

Jammu & Kashmir High Court

1. Investigating Agencies Sleeping Over Criminal Matters Is Connivance With Accused: J&K HC Says They Should Be Examined For Abetment [Sheikh Mohd. Shafi & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a strongly worded order, the Court pulled up the investigating agencies in the UT for "sleeping over" criminal cases registered years ago, including cases containing serious allegation against Government officials, under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"There cannot be any possible explanation for keeping the investigation pending for more than a decade. The benefit of that always goes to the accused. Anyone can imagine the result of a trial, investigation of which takes decades. This may be the apparent object. This only shows that there is no responsibility or accountability of any officer," the Division bench comprising of Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar said.

Jharkhand High Court

1. Jharkhand HC Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To Mosque-Coordinators Accused Of Providing Shelter To Tablighi Jamaat Members Without Informing Administration [Haji Muhammad Tahir & Anr. v. State of Jharkahnd]

The Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Choudhary granted anticipatory bail to mosque-coordinators accused of providing shelter to Tablighi Jamaat members without informing the local administration.

It was argued that the allegations against the petitioners are all false and the local police as well as Intelligence Bureau was aware of the movement of the foreigners even before they came to the mosque at Jamshedpur.

2. "Equal Pay For Equal Work" Has Assumed Status Of Fundamental Right In Service Jurisprudence: Jharkhand HC [Employer in relation to Management of Food Corporation of India v. Employer in relation to Management of Food Corporation of India]

"Equal pay for equal work" has assumed the status of fundamental right in service jurisprudence, the Bench of Justice Dr. SN Pathak observed while noting that a similarly situated workman who was appointed as a casual typist at par with the workman, was regularized as a regular typist on the basis of the Award passed by the Tribunal but the workman (respondent) has been denied the same.

Karnataka High Court

1. State/Central Govt Cannot Deny Benefit Or Service To Citizen For Not Downloading Arogya Setu App On Mobile Phone: Karnataka HC

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi clarified that in absence of any legislation, neither the State government, Central government or its agencies and instrumentalities can deny any benefit or services to a citizen only on the ground that he has not installed Aarogya setu application on his cell phone.

2. 'Judge Is Required To Be Dispassionate' : Karnataka HC Advises Trial Judges To Not Get Morally Swayed While Trying Heinous Offences [Yankappa Hirekurbur v. State of Karnataka]

A division bench of Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice P Krishna Bhat while deciding an appeal filed by two brothers challenging their conviction for charges of murder, said "It is difficult to remain uninfluenced by impressions, passions, inclinations, predilections, tides, currents, events and even what is commonly regarded as "personal baggages" to which the human mind is a normal habitat."

The court has advised judges trying heinous offences to administer caution to themselves. It has said "When his moral science is disturbed, he is likely to fall into an error inducing in him "an instinctive reaction against a dispassionate judicial scrutiny of the facts and law."

3. Karnataka HC Seeks Govt Response On Plea Seeking Horizontal Reservation For Transgenders Instead Of OBC Reservation [Sangama v. State of Karnataka & Anr.]

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi directed the State government to respond to an application which sought that horizontal reservation should be provided to Transgender Persons in Public Employment.

The government had recently filed an affidavit in the court stating that it has proposed to consider reservation for the Transgender persons under one of the categories of Other Backward classes for recruitment, only after obtaining the opinion of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes.

4. [COVID-19] Consider Issuing Directions To Treat Quarantine Period As Leave: Karnataka HC To State Govt

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi directed the state government to consider issuing appropriate directions under the Disaster Management Act, for protecting workmen who are forced to undergo quarantine either by reason of infection of COVID-19 or by reason of being primary contacts to ensure that their absence from work is not be treated as leave, by the employers.

5. 'Rape A Crime Against Entire Society': Karnataka HC Recommends Death Penalty For Gang-Rape [Ramu v. State Of Karnataka]

Observing that "though Indian Penal Code was enacted by Act 45 of 1860, and even after lapse of 74 years of independence, still woman is not safe in the hands of rapists/violators of law," a division bench of Justice B Veerappa and Justice K Natrajan recommended amendment to Section 376D of Indian Penal Code to provide capital punishment for the offence of 'gangrape'.

The Court made the recommendation in their judgment while upholding the life sentence imposed on seven accused of gang-raping a student of National Law School of India University in 2012.

6. Karnataka High Court Restrains Franklin Templeton From Proceeding With Winding Up Of Schemes Without Obtaining Consent Of Investors

A division bench of Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice Justice Ashok S Kinagi held a special sitting on Saturday to pronounce the verdict in petitions challenging the winding up of six debt fund schemes of Franklin Templeton Investments (FT) and it restrained the Company from proceeding with the winding up of debt fund schemes without obtaining the consent of unit investors.

"The decision of the trustees to wind up the six schemes is not interfered by the court subject to it obtaining consent from the unit holders", the Court stated in the order.

Also Read: Complicated Matters Involving Bulky Records Can Also Be Heard Through Video Conferencing: Karnataka High Court

Also Read: [Franklin Templeton Case] SEBI Was A Silent Spectator; Prompt Action Was Needed: Karnataka High Court

Kerala High Court

1. [Dheeraj Mor Judgment Vs HC Rules] Kerala HC Grants Certificate For Appeal To SC While Quashing Appointment Of A District Judge [Rejanish KV v. K. Deepa]

The Division bench comprising Justices AM Shaffique and Gopinath P. upheld a single bench judgment setting aside the appointment of a District Judge on the ground that, at the time of issuing the order of appointment, he was not a practising Advocate and was in judicial service, functioning as a Munsiff.

Though the Division Bench dismissed the writ appeal filed by Rejanish KV, it granted certificate to file appeal before the Supreme Court observing that matter involves substantial question of law of general importance. Several appointments of District Judges may have been made across the country based on the Rules applicable in the respective States which may, as in the case of the Kerala Rules be contrary to the declaration of law in Dheeraj Mor, the Court observed.

2. Kerala HC Directs Customs Not To Arrest M. Sivasankar Till Oct. 23 In The Gold Smuggling Case

Single Bench of Justice Ashok Menon directed the Customs Department not to arrest the former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister, M. Sivasankar IAS, till October 23, on which day, it will consider his anticipatory bail applications in cases registered by the Customs Department as well as that by the Enforcement Directorate, in relation to the gold smuggling case.

3. 'Classic Example Of Proverbial 'Sour Grapes'': Kerala HC Dismisses State's Plea Against Leasing Of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport To Adani Group [State of Kerala v. Union of India]

"Classic example of the proverbial 'sour grapes', remarked the bench comprising Justices Vinod Chandran and CS Dias while dismissing the writ petitions filed by the State Government and KSIDC challenging the leasing out of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Adani Enterprises Limited.

The Court observed that there is absolutely no valid ground in the challenge against privatization which is the declared policy of the Union Government. "Interference to a policy framed by the elected Government it is trite, is difficult, and the feeble challenge raised herein against the policy is devoid of merit.", the bench said.

4. [Double Murder Of CPI(M) Sympathizers] Kerala HC Acquits 4 RSS Workers [Manikandan v. State of Kerala]

Reappreciating the evidence on record in the case against Double Murder Of CPI(M) Sympathizers, the bench comprising Justices A. Hariprasad and MR Anitha observed that that the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and thus the accused are entitled to get the benefit of doubt. "Seriousness of the crime by itself can not be taken as a factor to uphold the conviction," the Bench remarked while acquitting 4 RSS workers in the case.

5. Kerala HC Asks NUALS To Consider Granting 100% Waiver On Fees For Gym & Bus Facility Until Resumption Of Physical Classes [Sarath KP & Ors. v. NUALS & Ors.]

Single Bench of Justice Amit Rawal directed the National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) to consider waiving of fees for Gym and Transit (Bus) facility as these services are not at all being used by students amid suspension of physical classes.

Also Read: 'It Is Obvious That Schools Have Incurred Less Expenditure Over A Prolonged Period Of Time': Calcutta HC Orders Min 20% Reduction In Private School Fees

Also Read: Online Education : Karnataka High Court Issues Notice On PIL Asking State Govt To Provide Laptops/Tablets To EWS Category Students

6. No Blanket Order Should Be Passed Under S.438 CrPC To Prevent Arrest Of Accused When No Crime Is Registered Against Him: Kerala High Court [State of Kerala v. Ansar MC & Anr.]

The Bench of Justice P. Somarajan held that when no crime is registered against a person, it is not permissible to grant him/her anticipatory bail, on the reason that it would act as a blanket as against all sort of accusations which may arise in future against the said person.

It may be noted that while relying on the Apex Court's ruling in the Case of Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia Etc vs State Of Punjab 1980 AIR 1632, the Supreme Court in January 2020 in the case of Sushila Aggarwal and others v.State (NCT of Delhi) and another AIR 2020 SC 831 ruled that,

"An order of anticipatory bail should not be "blanket" in the sense that it should not enable the accused to commit further offences and claim relief of indefinite protection from arrest. It should be confined to the offence or incident, for which apprehension of arrest is sought, in relation to a specific incident. It cannot operate in respect of a future incident that involves the commission of an offence."

Madras High Court

1. 'Doctors Not Even Going Near Bodies. Such Shabby, Unscientific Autopsy Reports Will Collapse Criminal Justice In Country': Madras HC Issues Guidelines [RM. Arun Swaminathan v. Government of Tamil Nadu & Ors.]

Noting that in most of the medico-legal cases, the outcome of the criminal case depends upon the findings in the autopsy certificate and also the Doctor's evidence, the bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and SS Sundar expressed concern that if the autopsy reports are prepared in a shabby and unscientific manner and without actual performance of autopsies by Doctors, it will lead to collapse of criminal justice delivery system in the country.

Access full report to read Guidelines.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1. Fresher Panel Lawyers Unable To Assist Court In A Proper Manner; They Should Be Subjected To An Orientation Course/Training: MP HC [Suresh Signh Tomar v. State of MP]

While noting that Panel Lawyers, who are freshers and are representing the State for the first time, are unable to assist the Court in a proper manner, the Bench of Justice Sheel Nagu stressed on the need to provide such lawyers, proper orientation course/training before they are allowed to represent the State before the High Court.

2. In Case Of A Gang Rape, Medical Corroboration Not An Absolute Necessity: MP HC Denies Bail Despite The Fact That Victim Married Accused [Harishchandra v. State of Madhya Pradesh]

The Bench of Justice Akhil Kumar Srivastava noted in an order that in cases of Gang Rape, medical corroboration is not an absolute necessity. Similarly, in the case of Ranjit Hazarika v. State of Assam (1998) 8 SCC 635, the opinion of the doctor was that no rape appeared to have committed because of the absence of rupture of hymen and injuries on the private part of the prosecutrix, however, the Apex Court took the view that the medical opinion cannot throw overboard an otherwise cogent and trustworthy evidence of the prosecutrix.

3. MP HC Orders FIR Against Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Ex-CM Kamal Nath For Alleged Breach Of COVID Protocol [Ashish Pratap Singh v. State of MP & Ors.]

While observing that despite the High Court's strict orders, the Political Gatherings were attended and addressed by candidates, political/governmental/State functionaries in the State, the Division Bench of Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava in a strongly-worded order observed,

"The common agenda of the political parties appear to be to conduct as many and as large congregations as possible with the ultimate object of gaining popularity during the election campaign. This obviously is done at the cost of health and lives of those gullible and innocent citizens of this country who come from lower strata of society and are unaware of the risk they incur to their lives by being a part of such congregations."

The Court also directed the District Magistrates of Datia and Gwalior to ensure the registration of FIR against Central Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Ex-CM Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath for the alleged commission of the cognizable offence of breach of Covid-19 protocol.

Orissa High Court

1. Where Complaint Pending Before Lokayukta, Institution Of FIR On Selfsame Issue Will Create Double Jeopardy: Orissa HC

"Where a complaint is pending before the Lokayukta and in the event the Lokayukta is taking up the selfsame issue, institution of F.I.R. on the selfsame issue against the petitioner will definitely create double-jeopardy", noted the Bench of Justice Biswanath Rath.

Also Read: Enquiry By Lokayukta Into Corruption Not Prejudicial Even Where One Facing Criminal Charges: Orissa High Court

2. NRI/NRI Sponsored Quota In NLUs Is Like Reservation For Elite Class; This Dubious Category Of Quota Is Unconstitutional: Orissa High Court [Ishika Patnaik v. NLU-O & Ors.]

The bench of Justices S. Panda and SK Panigrahi observed that the Non-Resident Indian Sponsored (NRIS) quota in the NLUs is an "affront to the meritorious candidates who toiled day night to secure seats through CLAT".

"The candidates belonging to the category of NRI/NRIS, who are very low ranked in the merit list often get seats in the NLUs whereas the general candidates having secured better marks also lag behind the NRIS students and get disappointed", it added.

Patna High Court

1. Minor Girl's Stay At Remand Home Pursuant To Judicial Order Cant' Be Called Unlawful Confinement/Detention; Habeas Corpus Petition Not Maintainable: Patna HC [Anuradha Kumari v. State of Bhar & Ors.]

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar observed that if by judicial order, a girl has been sent to Remand Home treating her to be minor, then her stay in the Remand Home cannot be said to be unlawful confinement/detention and as such, habeas corpus petition is not maintainable against such an order.

2. Can't Issue A Mandamus Directing State To Pay A Minimum Support Price (MSP) For An Agricultural Crop: Patna HC [Mahendra Yadav v. State of Bihar]

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar observed that pricing and procurement of food-grains for the public distribution system, as also fixing Minimum Support Price is a policy decision which cannot be interfered with by the Court, unless such policy is arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or violative of Article 14/21 of the Constitution of India.

3. Act Of Advocate Intending To Represent A Party In A Case Before The Court Without Any Authority Amounts To Soliciting Briefs: Patna HC [Chhotan Singh v. State of Bihar]

The Bench of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh cautioned the Advocates that the act of urging the Court to enter their appearance in a case, with the intention to represent a party, that too without any authority, amounts to "soliciting briefs" and may invite strict action against the erring Advocate.

4. [Bihar Election] Political Parties Can Put Up Hoardings At Private Properties With Owner's Consent: Patna High Court [Century Business Pvt. Ltd. v. Chief Electoral Officer & Ors.]

The Single Bench of Justice Ashutosh Kumar paved way for political parties to raise hoardings/ banners at private properties, as part of their election campaign, after obtaining written consent of the owner/ occupier of such property. It held that permitting only individual candidates to raise hoardings and precluding political parties from such benefit will "emasculate" the intention of the legislature in enacting the Defacement of Property Act, 1987.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

1. Children Attain Maturity Long Before They Turn 'Major': P&H HC Allows 17 Year Old Girl To Stay With Mother Of Boy She Married [Preeti v. State of Haryana]

Children these days attain both physiological as well as psychological maturity long before they complete the ages of majority fixed for them by the statute long ago, remarked the Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar while permitting a 17 years old girl to go with the mother of a boy to whom she was married, and remain with her till she attains the age of 18 years.

The court said that it cannot direct that custody should be forcibly entrusted to her parents against her wishes or that she should be kept in a Protection Home till she attains the age of 18 years.

2. [Order 23 Rule 3] Statements Recorded Before Court Hold Equal Sanctity As A Written Instrument Of Compromise: P&H HC [Lachhman Dass v. Amarjit Singh Sahni & Anr.]

"Statements recorded before a Judicial Officer in a Court of law cannot be said to have lesser sanctity then an instrument of Compromise drawn outside the Court attested by some Oath Commissioner/Notary Public or any other authority," held the Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill.

"A certain sanctity is attached to a statement made by a party in the Court and it has to be presumed that the same was recorded voluntarily. In case a party is permitted to wriggle out of such statements by conveniently raising some frivolous allegations against his counsel or against opposing counsel, then it will virtually lead to mockery of the Court," it added.

Rajasthan High Court

1. Rajasthan HC Dismisses PIL Filed Against 'Dream 11' Alleging Its Involvement In Offences Of Betting And Gambling [Ravindra Singh Chaudhary v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Mahendar Kumar Goyal dismissed a PIL filed against Dream 11 Fantasy Pvt Ltd, alleging that the game being played on the platform is nothing else but "betting" on the cricket team. It observed,

"Since the result of fantasy game depends on skill of participant and not sheer chance, and winning or losing of virtual team created by the participant is also independent of outcome of the game or event in the real world, we hold that the format of online fantasy game offered by respondent No.5 is a game of mere skill and their business has protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, as repeatedly held by various Courts and affirmed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court."

2. Allow VRS Application Of The Doctor And Let Him Contest Election; If He Loses, VRS Will Stand Cancelled: Rajasthan HC To State [Dr. Bharat Sapra v. State Of Rajasthan]

The Bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma directed the State of Rajasthan and Sawai Man Singh Medical College & Associated Hospitals to allow the VRS application of a Doctor and allow him to participate in the Municipal Election and treat him as retired for the said purpose.

Further it directed that in case the Petitioner/Doctor does not participate in the Municipal Election or after having participated in the election, he loses the election, "the petitioner's voluntarily retirement shall be treated as cancelled and the petitioner will have to join back services and give his medical services for the State and be allowed to be posted back on the place where he is presently posted."

3. [Karauli Priest Burnt Alive] Rajasthan HC Issues Notice On Letter Petition Seeking Judicial Probe [Pawan Prakash Pathak v. State of Rajasthan]

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Sabina and Chandra Kumar Songara took cognizance of a letter petition urging it to constitute a court-monitored SIT for investigating the barbaric incident of setting ablaze a temple priest at Rajasthan's Karauli District.

4. [Udaipur Hotel Case] Rajasthan HC Stays Proceedings Against Arun Shourie And 4 Others, Calls For Record From CBI Court [Jyotsana Sur & Ors. v. Union of India]

Bench of Justice Vijay Bishnoi stayed the proceedings of a trial court, which had ordered the reopening of a probe against the former Union Minister Arun Shourie and 4 others over the sale/disinvestment of Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel, Udaipur, and called for CBI records for its perusal.

Uttarakhand High Court

1. [Ex-CMs' Dues] 'Why Ramesh Pokhriyal Paid Rs 10 Lakh Only When His Dues Were 41 Lakh', Uttarakhand HC Issues Show-Cause Notice To Addl.Secy [RLEK v. Ramesh Pokhriyal]

The Bench of Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma issued show-cause notice to a top official in a civil contempt petition to ascertain as to how he lowered the amount to be recovered from present Union HRD Minister and Ex-CM of Uttarakhand, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

"Recalculating the amount and that too contrary to the statements of account which were submitted in pursuance to the order of this Court, it would amount to be a deliberate and an intentional contempt and rather it would be an attempt to mislead the Court also by portraying different liabilities than what has been considered by the Division Bench in its judgement," the Court said.

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