High Courts Weekly Roundup [Nov 23 – Nov 29]

Akshita Saxena

29 Nov 2020 1:30 PM GMT

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  • High Courts Weekly Roundup [Nov 23 – Nov 29]

    Allahabad High Court 1. "Right To Choose A Partner Of Choice A Fundamental Right": Allahabad High Court Says The Judgments Which Held "Conversion For The Purpose Of Marriage Only" Not Good Law [Salamat Ansari & Ors. v.State of UP & Ors. ] A Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal specifically observed that "Right to live with a person of his/her...

    Allahabad High Court

    1. "Right To Choose A Partner Of Choice A Fundamental Right": Allahabad High Court Says The Judgments Which Held "Conversion For The Purpose Of Marriage Only" Not Good Law [Salamat Ansari & Ors. v.State of UP & Ors. ]

    A Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal specifically observed that "Right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty." It remarked, "We fail to understand that if the law permits two persons even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even the state can have an objection to the relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together."

    The Bench held that a Single Judge's recent order stating that conversion only for the purpose of marriage is not unacceptable, is bad in law.

    Also Read: Plea In Supreme Court Against Allahabad HC Order Which Denied Protection To Couple Holding That Conversion For The Purpose Of Marriage Unacceptable

    Also Read: UP Governor Promulgates Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020

    2. 'ICMR Confident About Availability Of Covid Vaccine In Near Future': Allahabad High Court Orders 24x7 Vigilance For Wearing Of Masks In 6 Cities [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…]

    A Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar ordered the Police authorities to ensure that people moving in public spaces mandatorily wear masks, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus. The order states, "The Court is of the view that vigilance viz-a-viz wearing of masks should continue for at least 30 more days. On the next date fixed the learned Additional Advocate General may also inform regarding the surveillance which would be done by Drones. This surveillance should be done by the available drones in crowded areas on a 24 x 7 basis.

    The Bench also spoke to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which assured the COurt that a vaccine to prevent further spread of the virus shall be available in the 'near future'.

    3. Health Hazards Of Online Classes: Allahabad High Court Seeks Response On Plea For Promotion Of Students Upto Class VIII Without Exams [Masoom Bachpan Foundation v. State of UP & Ors.]

    A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Siddhartha Varma asked the relevant government authority to respond to a plea seeking "no examination system" for promotion of students upto 8th standard, until physical classes resume.

    The plea has been filed in the backdrop of 'health hazards' among children caused due to online classes and prolonged exposure to electromagnetic waves emitted by laptop/ computer/ mobile screens.

    Also Read: PIL In SC Seeks Order To Stop Online Classes Until Formulation Of Comprehensive Guidelines For Hosting In Encrypted And Safeguarded Manner

    4. Demolition Of Advocates' Chambers In Lucknow Without Prior Notice: Allahabad High Court Seeks Govt's Response On Rehabilitation Scheme [Adv. Anand Kumar Shukla & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.]

    A Division Bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Manish Kumar asked the UP Government to file an affidavit indicating the steps taken by it to rehabilitate the lawyers whose chambers were recently demolished, allegedly without any prior notice. The direction was made by in a plea filed by several Advocates whose chambers in the Sadar Tehsil at Lucknow were demolished all of a sudden on November 16, 2020.

    The Court observed that even the Standing Counsel was not in a position to assign any reason as to why the chambers had been demolished and whether any notice or opportunity of hearing was given to the lawyers before undertaking the exercise of demolition. In view thereof, it ordered the Standing Counsel to obtain necessary instructions in the matter within two weeks, and file a counter affidavit.

    5. Mass Disaster/Pandemic May Severely Obstruct Our Life But Doors Of Courts Must Remain Open For Protection Of Article 21: Allahabad High Court [Abhishek Srivastava v. State of UP]

    While observing that "non-performance of duty owing to holidays is a serious dereliction of duty on the part of the Session Judges/magistrates", a Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi rapped the Magistrates/Session Judges from the district Lucknow/Hardoi and the State for failure to perform its duty and rejecting the Petitioners' plea for default bail under Section 167 of CrPC.

    The Court specifically observed, "A mass disaster or Pandemic may severely obstruct our life and governing systems in many ways but the doors of the courts of law must remain open for the protection of Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

    6. Minor Missing Since 2017: It Shows Negligent Attitude And Incompetence Of UP Police In Cases Of Missing Children: Allahabad High Court [Anchal @ Gaurav v. State of UP & Ors.]

    In the matter of a missing minor, who has been missing since 2017, a Bench of Justice Salil Kumar Rai rapped the Uttar Pradesh Police as it observed that "it shows the negligent attitude and incompetence of Uttar Pradesh Police and its personnels in cases of missing children."

    It further remarked, "The failure of the Uttar Pradesh Police or any department attached with it to recover the corpus and to produce it before this Court even though the petition was filed in 2019 and the corpus has been missing since 2017 does not speak well of the Uttar Pradesh Police and its officers."

    7. 'Pained To Notice Multiple Petitions Over Unauthorized Construction Of Panchayat Bhawans In UP Villages': Allahabad HC Seeks Authority's Personal Affidavit [Nan Bachcha v. State of UP]

    A Division bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Saurabh Lavania rapped the UP Government for its failure to prevent unauthorized construction of Panchayat Bhawans in villages across the State and directed the Principal Secretary of the State Panchayati Raj department to seek instructions as to plausible reliefs in the matter. It sternly remarked that in case of such illegal constructions, the concerned Government Official should be held accountable.

    "We are noticing that every day several writ petitions relating to unauthorized construction of Panchayat Bhawan in Villages throughout the State of U.P. are coming up before this Court. We are pained to notice such a situation. However, the concerned State Department is not taking any action to curb such kind of unnecessary litigation…There is no redressal forum for settling such grievances. In such type of disputes, some Government Official should be made responsible and accountable but it appears that there is no provision in this regard," the Bench observed.

    8. Use Of A4 Size Paper Permitted By Allahabad High Court Across All Courts/ Tribunals In UP

    The Allahabad High Court's Administrative Committee permitted the use of A4 size paper for all Judicial and Administrative purposes in the High Court and all other Courts, Tribunals and District Courts subordinate to it. It has been further resolved to place the matter before the Rules Committee for necessary amendments in the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952, General Rules (Civil), 1957 and General Rules (Criminal), 1977.

    It is pertinent to point out that the communication is silent as to printing on both the sides of the paper.

    Other orders by Allahabad HC:

    Andhra Pradesh High Court

    1. Tobacco Not A 'Food' Product: Andhra Pradesh High Court Reiterates; Quashes FIR Under Food Safety Standards Act [Gurram Srinivasa Rao & Ors. v. State]

    A Bench of Justice K. Suresh Reddy reiterated that tobacco does not fall within the definition of "food" as specified under Section 3(i)(j) of the Food Safety Standards Act, 2006 and therefore, registration of FIR against its manufacturers is not permissible.

    It relied on a 2019 ruling of the High Court in Sri Jaganath Enterprises v. State of Andhra Pradesh whereby the FIR registered against a tobacco manufacturer was quashed on this ground. It was held therein that tobacco products are governed solely by the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.

    Bombay High Court

    1. Kangana Ranaut Vs BMC- Use Of Muscle Power Or Causing Injury By Unlawful Means To Any Person Or Their Property Cannot Be Permitted In Any Civil Society: Bombay High Court [Kangana Ranaut v. MCGM & Ors.]

    While quashing and setting aside the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's demolition notice to actor Kangana Ranaut, a Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice RI Chagla observed that she was entitled to compensation as the action of the civic body is actuated by mala fides and involve a clear malice in law, causing a substantial injury to the petitioner actor.

    It held that in order to estimate the value of damage caused by the said demolition to the petitioner, a valuer is being appointed. Both parties, i.e. the petitioner and the MCGM, shall be heard by the valuer whilst making his report of valuation for which three months time has been granted.

    Also Read: Bombay High Court Quashes BMC's Demolition Order Against Kangana Ranaut's Building As 'Actuated By Malice'

    2. Unless Clearly Stated In The Ad That Qualifications Are Relaxable, Allowing Admission To Student With Inferior Qualifications Amounts To Fraud On The Public: Bombay HC [Rutuja Rajesh Parmar v. Jamunalal Bajaj Institute of Management & Ors.]

    Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni dismissed a writ petition filed by a 23-year-old student belonging to the reserved category who was held ineligible for admission in the Masters course in Human Resource Development at Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management despite securing admission, as she did not qualify the criteria of securing 55% in 12th standard.

    "We find no reason to call upon the respondents to answer. Law is well settled by the Supreme Court in the case of District Collector and Chairman vs. M. Tripura Sundari Devi, that when an advertisement mentions a particular qualification and an appointment is made in disregard of the same, it is not a matter only between the appointing authority and the appointee concerned; the aggrieved are all those who had similar or even better qualifications than the appointee or appointees but who had not applied for the post because they did not possess the qualifications mentioned in the advertisement. It amounts to a fraud on the public to appoint persons with inferior qualifications in such circumstances, unless it is clearly stated in the advertisement that the qualifications are relaxable. No Court should be a party to the perpetuation of the fraudulent practice," the Bench held.

    3. Bombay HC Allows 2008 Malegaon Blast Victim To Intervene In Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit's Plea Challenging Prosecution Without Obtaining Prior Sanction

    Division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik allowed an intervention application filed by Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, a victim of the 2008 Malegaon blast who also lost his son in the blast, in the writ petition filed by accused Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit challenging the sanction granted to prosecute him as an accused in the case.

    Senior Advocate BA Desai appeared on behalf of the applicant victim and submitted a catena of judgments asserting the right of the victim to be heard in this case. He also informed the Court that he had been allowed to intervene before the trial court as well as other matters before the Supreme Court related to the same case.

    4. 'Why Section 124A?' : Bombay High Court Questions Invoking Offence Of Sedition Against Kangana Ranaut & Sister; Grants Interim Protection In Mumbai Police FIR

    A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik granted interim protection from arrest to actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel in the FIR registered by Mumbai police over alleged communal tweets, subject to the condition that Kangana and Rangoli should appear before the investigating officer at Bandra Police on January 8 between 12 PM to 2 PM for recording the statement in the case.

    During the hearing, the bench expressed surprise at the fact that the offence of sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code has been added in the FIR. "We understand other sections. But Section 124A? Are you treating citizens of country like this?", Justice Shinde asked Senior Advocate Rizwan Merchant, who represented the Mumbai police. "If anybody does not fall within the line of the government, will that be sedition?", Justice Shinde further asked.

    Also Read: 'If Anybody Doesn't Fall Within The Line Of Government, Will That Be Sedition?' Bombay High Court

    Chhattisgarh High Court

    1. Aamir Khan's 'Intolerance Rising' Remarks : Chhattisgarh High Court Dismisses Petition Seeking Criminal Action Against Actor [Dipak Diwan v. Aamir Khan & Anr.]

    In a relief to Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, a single bench of Justice Sanjay K Agrawal dismissed a petition which sought criminal action against the actor for his remarks that intolerance was rising in India. "I do not find any merit in the instant petition. It deserves to be and is accordingly dismissed, being substanceless and merit­less as well," the Bench said.

    The complainant Dipak Diwan had sought action against Khan for offences under Section 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code alleging that Khan's remarks led to communal disharmony and were against national integration.

    Delhi High Court

    1. Plea Seeking Period Leave For Women Employees: Delhi HC Directs Centre To Consider It As Representation

    A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Union of India to consider as a representation, a plea seeking period leave and facilities of periodic rests, separate and clean toilets and provision of sanitary napkins to woman employees during menstruation period.

    Moved by Delhi Labour Union, the PIL sought framing of a policy by the Delhi Government and the Central Government to provide special casual leave/paid leave as well as to ensure separate and clean toilet facilities, periodic rests and free sanitary napkins to women employees during their menstruation period.

    2. 'Are You Saying Housewives Are Uneducated?' Delhi High Court Asks Pradeep Poonia To Take Down Tweets Against WhiteHat Jr; Restrain Him From Commenting

    Hearing coding-teaching platform WhiteHat Jr's $2.3 million suit defamation suit against one Pradeep Poonia, single judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta came down sharply on the latter for his tweets against WhiteHat Jr's teachers stating that they were 'housewives'. "You are saying that their teachers are housewives, are you saying they are uneducated persons? How can you be so derogatory towards them? Of course, this is defamation," the Court said.

    It granted ad-interim injunction to WhiteHat Jr and founder Karan Bajaj against Pradeep Poonia, restraining him from commenting on the number or quality of teachers of WhiteHat Jr and from commenting on their educational or other professional background.

    Also Read: Delhi High Court Orders Aniruddha Malpani To Take Down Prima Facie Defamatory Tweets Against Coding Unicorn WhiteHat Jr

    3. 'CBI Appeal Duly Filed': Delhi High Court Rejects Objection Of Acquitted Accused In 2G Scam Case

    A Single Judge Bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi rejected the acquitted accused persons' plea in the 2G scam case alleging that the CBI's appeal in the matter was not duly filed as the requisite sanction was not obtained by the investigating body.

    The Court also held that the 2018 amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 would not come to the rescue of the acquitted accused as the amended Act did not apply to offences that have already taken place.

    Also Read: 2018 Amendment To Prevention Of Corruption Act Has No Retrospective Effect: Delhi High Court

    4. 'Is Lockdown Only Solution?' : Delhi High Court Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Lockdown In Capital Amid COVID-19 Surge

    Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek refused to entertain a plea seeking imposition of another lockdown in Delhi in light of rising number of COVID19 cases in the national capital. It remarked that people should do their homework and refrain from filing such unnecessary petitions.

    "It's a completely half-baked petition. You have done no homework, this is unnecessary litigation…Is lockdown the only solution? Many studies have shown that it was not effective," the Bench orally observed.

    5. An Adult Woman Is Free To Reside Wherever She Wishes And With Whoever She Wishes: Delhi HC Directs Police To Counsel The Parents [Parveen v. GNCTD]

    A Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar provided relief to an adult woman who left her home to marry the man of her choice. After taking her consent and wishes into consideration, the court noted that being a major, she has a free will to reside wherever she wants and with whoever she wishes.

    The order was passed in a habeas corpus petition moved by the family members of the said woman, seeking her production before the court. As per the petition, she went missing on 12/09/20.

    Also Read: "Family Can't Force A Woman To Get Married": Delhi HC Directs Family Not To Contact Her; Allows 26Yr Old Woman To Stay With Shabnam Hashmi As Per Her Wish

    6. Delhi HC Directs Extension Of Pro Rata Pension To Non-Commissioned Officers of Defence Services As Well [Brijlal Kumar & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

    A Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw ruled that the non-commissioned officers of the defence forces are also entitled to the pro rata pension, which is currently only given to commissioned officers. While holding that such exclusion is discriminatory, the Court directed the Union Ministry of Defence to ensure that pro rata pension is now given to non-commissioned officers as well.

    7. Delhi High Court Quashes FIR Seeking 'Unlawful Recovery Of Money' In A Purely Commercial Matter [Ramesh Boghabhai Bhut v. State & Anr.]

    A Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait reaffirmed that the criminal justice delivery mechanism cannot be misused to seek recovery of money under the garb of Cheating and Criminal Breach of Trust. While quashing an FIR registered against a Gujarat-based exporter for non-payment of dues arising out of a shipping service agreement, it said,

    "Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of this case and the law discussed above, the registration of FIR in question in Delhi is an abuse of the process of law. I have no hesitation to record here that the Investigating Agency and Court should not be made an instrument of compelling a party to come to a place far away from his own place, to submit to the jurisdiction of a Court which actually has none. Therefore, continuance of the criminal proceedings will lead to harassment of the petitioner which is not acceptable in law."

    Also Read: 'Worrisome Trend' Of Litigants To Criminalise Contractual Disputes For Imminent Settlement: Orissa HC Calls For Mandatory Preliminary Inquiry By Police Before FIR In Such Cases

    Also Read: Case Has Traits Of Civil Dispute: Punjab & Haryana High Court Asks Police To Stop Registering FIRs In Civil Matters

    8. Filing Of Status Reports In Criminal Cases: Delhi High Court Asks Prosecuting Agencies To Follow The Model Form Issued By Gujarat HC [Mohd. Danish v. GNCTD]

    A Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait directed the prosecuting agencies to file proper status reports in criminal cases, containing all the details relevant for deciding the bail applications filed therein, and etc. It directed the agencies to follow the guidelines issue by the Gujarat High Court in Thakore Laxmanji v. State of Gujarat: MANU/G/J/0267/1992, so as to ensure that orders are passed by the Courts after being fully aware of the matter.

    Read full report to view the mandatory requirements.

    Other orders by Delhi HC:

    Gauhati High Court

    1. Dog Meat Ban: Gauhati High Court Puts Nagaland Government's Order On Hold [Neizevolie Kuotsu @ Toni Kuotsu & Ors. v. State Of Nagaland & Ors.]

    A Bench of Justice S. Hukato Swu stayed the Nagaland Government's decision dated 04.07.2020 to ban the commercial import and trade of dog meat and commercial sale of dog meat in markets and dining in restaurants.

    This was after the State Government failed to file a reply in a plea filed by traders dealing in importing and sale of dog meat within the jurisdiction of Kohima Municipal Corp, asserting that the impugned Govt order violates their right to livelihood.

    Himachal Pradesh High Court

    1. Sex On The Alleged False Promise Of Marriage: "Both Grown-Up Adults; Putting Entire Blame On Boy Would Be Stretching Too Far" HP HC Grants Bail To Man [Abdul Rehman v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

    The Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara granted bail to a man who allegedly impersonated with a Hindu name, despite the fact that he was a Muslim, and subsequently established sexual relations with a woman "on promise to marry her and later on resiling from the same."

    The Court observed, "The victim is aged 21 years. She was pursuing the course after passing 10+2. In the complaint, there is absolute silence about the petitioner involving her family and her parents to pursue the marriage proposal. Instead of the petitioner on her own visited the home of the accused Both the boy and the girl were grown-up adults at the time when for the first time, they established coitus. They knew what they were doing. At this stage, for the purpose of bail, to put the entire blame on the boy would be stretching too far."

    Jammu & Kashmir High Court

    1. Tweet On Navratri: Jammu & Kashmir High Court Refuses To Stay Investigation Against Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat [Deepika Singh Rajawat v. UT, J&K & Ors.]

    The Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar refused to interfere in an ongoing investigation in relation to an FIR registered against Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat by J&K police for her tweet on Navratri/Navratras. It specifically observed, "At this stage, it may not be appropriate to go into the merits of the rival contentions of the parties and it will also be not proper to interfere in the investigation of the FIR, which is stated to be at its infancy."

    However, the Court said that before a final view is taken in the matter by the Investigating Agency, "this Court needs to go into the issues raised in the instant petition." It directed, "The investigation in the FIR may continue but the final report shall not be filed by the Investigating Agency before the competent Court without permission of this Court."

    Karnataka High Court

    1. Karnataka High Court Expresses Displeasure At The Functioning Of State Pollution Control Board; Asks State If It Will Inquire

    A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty directed the State government to make a statement on December 7, on whether it is willing to direct an inquiry to be conducted in the hands of a senior civil servant into the manner in which the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is functioning.

    The Court said "The Board (KSPCB) has to act as a watchdog and keep a vigil against all types of pollution whether it is air pollution, water pollution or any other kind of pollution including noise pollution. Till October 2020, when we passed the aforesaid orders, the Board was not even aware of the notification dated 16th April 1987 issued by the Central Government. Thereafter, the Board, along with the compliance affidavit dated 9th November 2020, has produced a copy of the notification issued by the Chairman of the said Board designating the jurisdictional Environmental Officers working at the Regional Offices as Regional Officers."

    2. Refusal Of Marriage Proposal Cannot Be 'Grave And Sudden Provocation' For Murder : Karnataka High Court [Vijay v. State of Karnataka]

    A division bench of Justices Sunil Dutt Yadav and Justice P Krishna Bhat rejected the defence of 'grave and sudden provocation' taken by a jilted lover who murdered a girl on her refusal to accept his marriage proposal.

    "To permit the accused to take a defence of 'grave and sudden provocation' in the facts and circumstances of this case apart from being "obnoxious", will result in negation of the fundamental rights of the deceased under Articles 14, 19 (1) (a) and 21 of the Constitution of India and, as such, opposed to public policy," the Court said. It added: "Extending the protective umbrella of 'grave and sudden' provocation to the accused, in the facts and circumstances of this case, will have the effect of robbing the victim of her right to express her `choice'."

    3. "Just Because They Are Law Students We Cannot Bypass Law": Karnataka High Court Dismisses Plea Against KSLU's Decision To Hold Semester Exam

    Observing that "just because they are law students, from our fraternity, we cannot bypass the law on Public Interest Litigation (PIL)", a division bench of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice N Sanjay Gowda dismissed a petition filed by two Law Students, challenging the circular issued by Karnataka State Law University (KSLU) in so far as they impose an examination on the intermediate semester law students, for the semester from which they have already been promoted.

    The Bench said "We don't want to lay down a wrong precedent. Our order will be quoted left right and centre. All private litigations will be filed as Public interest litigations. There has to be absolutely public interest and no private interest in the relief."

    4. Karnataka High Court Grants Transit Bail To Republic TV COO Priya Mukherjee For 20 Days In TRP Scam FIR

    A bench of Justice HP Sandesh granted transit bail for 20 days to Chief Operating Officer Priya Mukherjee of ARG Outlier Media Private Ltd (which runs Republic TV & R Bharat channels) in the FIR registered by Mumbai police alleging TRP Scam.

    "When personal liberty of a person is under threat the petitioner can seek relief. The petition has made out ground to grant transit bail for limited period", observed the Court. It also observed in the order that police is misusing the Supreme Court judgement in Arnesh Kumar v State of Bihar case. "Police are not applying their mind whether a cognizable offence is made out or not. Police should satisfy the Court on why they are arresting a person", the Court observed.

    Other orders by Karnataka HC:

    Kerala High Court

    1. No Limitation Period For Divorced Wife To Claim Property Entrusted With Husband : Kerala High Court FB [Sheela KK v NG Suresh]

    A 3-judge bench comprising Justices A M Shaffique, Sunil Thomas and P Gopinath held that even after the dissolution of the marriage, the husband will be deemed to hold in trust the properties entrusted with him by the wife before marriage in the form of dowry.

    This means that Section 10 of the Limitation Act 1963, which exempts the application of limitation period to suit against trusts and trustees, will continue to apply to such property even after the dissolution of the marriage. Therefore, limitation period will not start running even after the dissolution of marriage with respect to the claim for return of property entrusted with husband or in-laws.

    The Full Bench observed that it is settled law that when the wife entrusts with the husband any property belonging to her, a trust is created and the husband is bound to return the same to his wife. When S.10 of the Limitation Act indicates that there is no limitation for initiating any such action, in the absence of any other statute providing for a limitation, the trustee cannot take a contention that he shall not return the trust property on account of any period of limitation.

    2. Effectively Implement Rule Regarding Installation Of Tracking System, Emergency Buttons In Public Vehicles: Kerala High Court Directs Govt. [Jaffer Khan & Anr. v Union of India & Ors.]

    A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly directed the State Government to effectively implement Rule 151-A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and ensure that in all the public transport vehicles, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) and emergency buttons are installed.

    3. 'Based On A False Complaint, A Person Is In Jail For 77 Days' : Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Rape-Accused Health Worker After Victim Said Intercourse Was Consensual [Pradeep Kumar v. State of Kerala]

    While granting bail to a health worker accused of raping a woman who had come to him for getting a Covid Negative Certificate, a Bench of Justice PV Kunhikrishnan directed the Director General of Police to take appropriate action against the victim who redacted her rape complaint and deposed that it was consensual sex. The Court was disposing the third bail application filed by the health worker. The previous two bail applications were dismissed by the Court and he was in jail for about 77 days.

    4. Use Of Term "Gomatha" For Beef In Cookery Show Likely To Hurt Religious Feelings Of Hindus: Kerala HC Precludes Rehana Fathima From Using Social Media

    Single Bench of Justice Sunil Thomas observed that use of term "Gomatha" as a synonym for meat in a cookery show is prima facie likely to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus, who worship cow as a deity. "Choice of the word "Gomatha Ularth" prima facie appear to be ill-motivated and purposefully made and that uploading of such a highly objectionable video for public viewing may affect the Fundamental Right of the devotees," it added.

    Holding thus, the Court imposed strictures on activist Rehana Fatima who had uploaded a video of a cookery show on social media in which she was cooking "Gomatha Ularth". It was alleged that she narrated the recipe and purposefully claimed that she was cooking the meat of Gomatha, to hurt the religious sentiments of the community.

    5. Order Of Commercial Court U/Sec 9 Of Arbitration & Conciliation Act Appealable: Kerala High Court [Pranathmaka Ayurvedics Pvt Ltd v. Cocosath Health Products]

    An order under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, passed by a Commercial Court below the level of a District Judge is appealable under Section 13(1) of the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, a Bench of Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi held.

    The Court observed thus while considering a petition challenging an order passed by Commercial Court allowing an application filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The issue arose since the respondents raised objection regarding maintainability of petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India in view of the alternative and efficacious remedy available to the petitioners as provided under Section 13(1) of the Commercial Courts Act.

    6. Kerala High Court Comes To The Rescue Of Seamen Stranded On Abandoned Cargo Vessel Since April 2020 [N Thayu Manavar & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.]

    A Single Bench of Justice PV Asha ordered the Director General of Shipping and the Mercantile Marine Department to provide relief to five seamen, said to be stuck onboard an abandoned container vessel since April 2020 without any food or drinking water, at the Munambam fishing harbour in Kochi. It directed the authorities to facilitate handing over of the vessel to some other authorized persons and to immediately sign off the petitioners in a phased manner.

    The petitioners, N Thayu Manavar and four others who hail from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, had moved the High Court through Advocate M S Amal Darshan aggrieved by the shipping company's refusal to sign them off the "dilapidated vessel"— MV Great Sea Vembanad, despite expiry of their contract of service several months ago. They had submitted that despite repeated requests, the company refused to sign them off and did not even pay their wages for over a year.

    7. No Adverse Action Or Registration Of FIR Based On Section 118A; Ordinance Being Reconsidered : Kerala High Court Records Govt Submission [Anoop MK v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

    A bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly recorded the submission made by the Additional Advocate General of Kerala that there will be no adverse action, registration of FIR or suo moto cognizance based on the newly introduced controversial provision Section 118A of the Kerala Police Act. it also recorded the submission of the AAG KK Ravindranath that the Government is taking steps to reconsider the Ordinance.

    The bench was considering a batch of petitions which challenged the Ordinance as unconstitutional for being an unreasonable restriction on free speech on account of its vagueness and subjectivity.

    Also Read: Kerala Governor Signs Ordinance To Withdraw Controversial Section '118A' of Kerala Police Act

    8. Kerala High Court Refuses To Temporarily Lift Ban On Plastic In & Around Sabarimala

    The Bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice TR Ravi refused to temporarily lift the ban imposed on plastic in & around Sabarimala by two orders of the Court in the year 2015 and 2018. In its order the Court remarked,

    "The Government and the Board were well aware of the pandemic situation, when a decision was taken to permit congregation in a religious place; especially at Sabarimala where there is an arduous trek to reach the sanctum sanctorum." It added, "We would think and hope that necessary precautions are in place, without need to resort to measures which would lead to lasting environmental degradation; as in the case of the reintroduction of plastics."

    Other orders by Kerala HC:

    Madhya Pradesh High Court

    1. Govt. Can't Close Its Eyes Towards Atrocities Committed By Black Marketeers During COVID: MP HC Upholds NSA Detention [Neetu Agrawal v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.]

    The Bench of Justice S. C. Sharma and Justice Shailendra Shukla refused to quash the detention order passed against a Businessman, an alleged Black Marketeer, accused of siphoning food grain, which was meant to be distributed to poor people under the Public Distribution System and who had allegedly stored the same for the purpose of black-marketing.

    "The petitioner was certainly a threat to public order as he was involved in siphoning the food grains meant for free distribution/distribution under PDS, especially in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic and therefore, there was sufficient ground in existence before the District Magistrate to pass an order under the National Security Act, 1980," it held.

    Madras High Court

    1. Reservation In Higher Education A Serious Issue, Knowledgeable & Deserving Students Not Able To Avail Opportunity In Education: Madras High Court [RS Poorvi v. District Collector & Ors.]

    "Reservation in higher education has become a serious issue now. It has created differences between different sections of society. Knowledgeable and deserving students are not able to avail the opportunity in education. However, students who could not make it to the merit but belong to the reserved category enjoy the opportunities. Due to this many students are unable to chase their dreams and get success", remarked a Bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana while granting relief to a Petitioner whose application for grant of EWS certificate was rejected despite her family's gross income being less than the stipulated threshold of Rs. 8L per annum.

    2. Whether Advocate Sticker Is Legally Authorized & Why Not Court Bans Sticker As It Is Being Used For Criminal Activities? Asks Madras HC [V. Ramesh v. Dr. Ambedkar Law University & Ors.]

    The Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi asked the Bar Council of India and other relevant authorities to answer as to whether the Advocate sticker is legally authorized and whether it has got legal sanction? It further asked the respondents to answer as to why not the "Court bans the Advocate sticker as it is being used for criminal activities by sticking it in the vehicles in order to intimidate the Police and escape from the clutches of law."

    The Court was hearing a plea alleging that students, who are studying in the Law Colleges, are using Advocate stickers by sticking them in their vehicles in order to escape from the police. Moreover, it was stated that many instances have been reported in the newspapers, in which, goondas have misused the Advocate stickers while carrying the contrabands as well as for criminal activities.

    3. Helping Deserving Students A Service To Society; Hope Political Parties, Leaders, Industrialists Etc Would Lend A Helping Hand: Madras High Court [M. Grahambell v. The Chairman Committee On Fixation Of Fees In Respect Of Self Financing Professional Colleges & Ors.]

    A Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi expressed hope that Political Parties, Leaders, Cinema Stars, Industrialist, Cricketers and Wealthy People would adopt Medical College Students, who have been admitted in Government Colleges. It further observed that "helping the deserving students is a service to the Society."

    It may be noted that the Tamil Nadu government on September 15 had unanimously passed a bill in the state assembly to provide 7.5% reservation in undergraduate courses in medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and homoeopathy for government school students who clear NEET. In this context, the Court said, "The students from marginal sections alone are opting to get admission in the Government Medical Colleges. Those children, who get admitted in Private Medical Colleges under the Government Quota, may not be in a position to pay the amount of Rs.4 lakh approximately per year."

    4. Madras High Court Directs Chennai Police Commissioner To Investigate Cases Against Ex-Judge Karnan; DGP To Supervise [Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry v. DGP, Chennai & Ors.]

    "The Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has rightly taken up the cause as the repeated utterances by the 1st accused, viz., Mr. C.S. Karnan, would undermine the dignity, reputation, honour and majesty of the Institution, for which the lawyers also form part," a Division Bench comprising of Justice M. Sathyanarayanan and Justice R. Hemalatha observed while directing Police authorities to investigate uncharitable tirades of the former Judge. It also directed the Commissioner of Police, Chennai to monitor the investigation, under the supervision of Director General of Police.

    The direction has come in a petition filed by the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu against the retired High Court Judge, CS Karnan, for passing rape threats and sexually coloured remarks against wives of judges, women lawyers and female court staff. The Council had sought registration of FIR/ initiation of appropriate proceedings against such "unfortunate utterances".

    Other orders by Madras HC:

    Orissa High Court

    1. Allowing Videos/Photos Of Rape Victims To Remain On Social Media Is Violative Of Their Fundamental Right To Privacy: Orissa HC Moots Statutory Recognition Of 'Right To Be Forgotten' [Subhranshu Rout @ Gugul v. State of Odisha]

    Emphasizing the need for statutory recognition of 'right to be forgotten', a Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi observed that allowing objectionable photos and videos of rape victims to remain on a social media platform is a violation of their right to privacy.

    Presently, there is no statute in India which provides for the right to be forgotten/getting the photos erased from the server of the social media platforms permanently, the Court observed while dismissing a bail application filed by a rape accused who had also uploaded the video on Facebook. The court said that if the right to be forgotten is not recognized in such matters, any accused will surreptitiously outrage the modesty of the woman and misuse the same in the cyber space unhindered.

    Patna High Court

    1. Biggest Challenge Before The Govt. Is To Break The Myth Amongst Local Populace That 'Bihar Has Eaten Up Corona': Patna High Court [Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India]

    While hearing a batch of pleas seeking specific direction, protecting the interest of person handling COVID-19 and also ensuring the creation of infrastructure dealing with the crisis, a Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar remarked:

    "The biggest challenge before the Government is to change the mindset of the people of Bihar and break the myth amongst the local populace that- "Bihar Corona ko Khaa Gaya Hai (Bihar Has Eaten Up Corona)".

    It added, "The Government must undertake by all modes of communications, including electronic and print media. On a personal level Persons engaged in pursuing social beneficially schemes can be asked to sensitize the general public in adhering the advisories issued, at least of wearing masks; maintaining social distancing; avoiding congregation at public places; taking all precautions in dealing with the problems arising out of current Pandemic Covid-19."

    Punjab & Haryana High Court

    1. Bar Council Cannot Suspend Licence To Practice While Referring Complaint Against Lawyer To Disciplinary Committee: Punjab & Haryana HC [Vijay Bharat Verma v. Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana]

    Single Bench of Justice Alka Sarin quashed a resolution passed by Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana suspending the licence of practice of a lawyer who allegedly posted derogatory comments in Facebook about the judiciary and lawyers.

    The Court held that the provisions of the Advocates Act and the BCI Rules do not bestow power on the State Bar Council to suspend the licence to practice of an Advocate while referring the complaint against him to its disciplinary committee.

    2. Midnight Detention Of Over 100 Farmers: Punjab & Haryana High Court Issues Notice To Haryana Govt. [Haryana Progressive Farmers Union v. State of Haryana & Anr.]

    The Bench of Justice Sant Prakash issued notice to the Haryana Government in a habeas corpus petition filed by an advocacy group, seeking the release of over 100 farmers who were allegedly detained at midnight ahead of the proposed farmers' agitation in Delhi.

    Rajasthan High Court

    1. Baran Rape Case: Rajasthan High Court Directs Magistrate To Re-Record Statement Of Minor Victim In Compliance With S. 26 POCSO Act [Satyaprakash Vaishnav v. State Of Rajasthan]

    A Single Bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma ordered the Judicial Magistrate hearing the Baran rape case to immediately proceed to record the statements of the prosecutrix as per the procedure laid down under Section 26 of the POCSO Act. The said provision, inter alia provides that the Magistrate or the police officer, as the case may be, shall record the statement as spoken by the child in the presence of the parents of the child or any other person in whom the child has trust or confidence.

    The case pertains to two teenage girls who were allegedly abducted and raped by two youths in Baran district of Rajasthan. The girls' father told the police that the two accused lured his minor daughters, aged 13 and 15, on the night of September 18 to leave Baran with them. They were taken to Kota, Jaipur and Ajmer and were allegedly raped for three days. The family alleged the girls were threatened not to file a complaint. They were found in Kota on September 21. The Police had however claimed that the girls in their statements before the Magistrate had "accepted" that they had gone with the boys on their own and that a medical examination had not confirmed rape.

    2. 'Give Complete Details Of Criminal Antecedents Of Bail Applicants In Bail Orders': Rajasthan High Court Directs Trial Courts [Jugal v. State Of Rajasthan]

    The Bench of Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati directed all the Trial Courts in the State to give the complete details of the antecedents (of the Bail Applicant), if any, and also record that there are no antecedents of the accused person in case of none being there.

    The Court further directed, "If there are antecedents of the accused, then the complete details of the antecedents i.e. FIR Number(s) & Case Number(s), Section(s), date(s), status and date of arrest & release on any previous occasion, if any, in the chart form shall be prepared and incorporated in the learned trial courts' order, while granting or dismissing the bail application."

    It added, "Though the antecedent alone is not a ground of rejecting or accepting a bail, but it is must that the Hon'ble High Court should have the antecedent report to check the applicability of Section 437 (1) of Cr.P.C. as well as to weigh the case of the accused person with an overall perspective of the allegations levelled."

    Tripura High Court

    1. Presumption Of Service Of Notice U/ S 27 Of General Clauses Act Applicable On Service Of Demand Notice U/S 138 Of NI Act: Tripura High Court [Nitai Majumder v. Tanmoy Krishna Das]

    A Bench of Justice SG Chattopadhyay held that once a demand notice, issued under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in case of dishonour of cheque is dispatched by post to the correct address, the part of the payee is over and the notice is deemed served on the defaulter as per the presumption under Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, unless proved to the contrary.

    The Court relied on the High Court's decision in Keshab Banik vs. Shekhar Banik, (2013) 1 TLR 528, where it was held that where the sender has dispatched the notice by post with the correct address written on it, then it can be deemed to have been served on the sendee unless he proves that it was not really served and that he was not responsible for such non-service.

    Uttarakhand High Court

    1. Religious Priests Not Giving Prior Information To District Magistrate About Conversions For Marriages: Uttarakhand High Court Orders Inquiry [Rajat Saini & Anr. v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]

    A Division Bench comprising Justices Alok Kumar Verma and Sudhanshu Dhulia directed the District Magistrate, Dehradun to conduct a detail inquiry about non-compliance of Section 8(2) of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 which mandate Religious Priests to give prior intimation to the concerned District Magistrate, before performing conversion of a person from one religion to another.

    "What is most important to note here is that in the State of Uttarakhand, there is an Act known as Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018, under which it is the duty of the concerned Priest under sub-section (2) of Section 8 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 to give prior intimation to the concerned District Magistrate, before this conversion or the marriage. Evidently this has not been done." It said while granting police protection to inter-religious couples in two cases.

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