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High Courts Weekly Roundup [Nov 9 – Nov 15]

Akshita Saxena
15 Nov 2020 6:55 AM GMT
High Courts Weekly Roundup [Nov 9 – Nov 15]

Allahabad High Court 1. [Tablighi Jamaat] Allahabad High Court Grants Bail To 9 Thailand Nationals [Hasae v. State of UP] A Single Bench of Justice Siddharth granted bail to 9 Thailand Nationals who attended Markaz at Nizamuddin, New Delhi in March 2020. Keeping in view the nature of the offence, evidence on record, spreading of novel corona virus in jails, and larger mandate of...

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Allahabad High Court

1. [Tablighi Jamaat] Allahabad High Court Grants Bail To 9 Thailand Nationals [Hasae v. State of UP]

A Single Bench of Justice Siddharth granted bail to 9 Thailand Nationals who attended Markaz at Nizamuddin, New Delhi in March 2020. Keeping in view the nature of the offence, evidence on record, spreading of novel corona virus in jails, and larger mandate of the Article 21 of the Constitution, the Court granted bail.

The allegation against the applicants was that they are residents of Thailand and had come to attend Markaz at Nizamuddin, New Delhi. Thereafter, they went to Shahjahanpur and their host did not gave information on their arrival to Shahjahanpur to the District Magistrate and therefore, they have been implicated in this case.

Also Read: Allahabad HC Protects 2 Anti-CAA Protesters From Arrest Till Filing Of Police Report

2. [Dishonour Of Cheque] Once Intention Of Drawer To Not Make Payment Is Clear, Drawee Need Not Wait For 15 Days To File Complaint: Allahabad High Court [Ravi Dixit v. State of UP & Anr.]

While interpreting Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881, a Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker held that once the intention of the party is clear that it does not wish to make payment, the Complainant need not wait for the minimum period 15 days.

"The only object of proviso (c) to Section 138 of the Act, 1881 is to avoid unnecessary hardship if the drawer wants to make payment," it said. However, it cannot be interpreted to mean that even if the accused refuses to make payment, the complainant cannot file a complaint.

3. Allowing Jail Premises To Be Used For Committing Crime Would Put Members Of The Society Under Serious Threat: Allahabad High Court [Imran v. State of UP]

"If the premises of a district jail facility are itself so porous and its administration so lax, as may allow such jail premises to be used to commit further crime both outside and inside the jail, the members of the society would be under a serious threat and the entire social and civil structure and the order would be at risk of erosion", observed a Sigle Bench of Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh while hearing an anticipatory bail application.

In this case, allegations of unauthorised entry in a District Jail, Deoria and of the commission of serious cognizable offence inside the cell of a jail inmate were made against the applicant. "If a citizen is abducted and his abductors have the audacity and the means to take the abducted inside the district jail premises for the purposes of the commission of serious cognizable offence, the only surprise that the Court may express is at such a citizen having found enough courage to lodge an FIR, thereafter. The courage shown would be commendable," the Court said.

Also Read: Prisoners Too Are Having Human Rights: Allahabad High Court Directs UP Govt. To Improve Condition Of Basti District Jail

4. Allahabad High Court Holds That 3 Years Limitation For Filing Claim Petition Is Applicable To All Insurance Policies Irrespective Of Its Terms [Gautam Yadav v. State of UP & Ors.]

Giving huge relief to farmers and other marginalised sections of the society, a Division Bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia held that the period of limitation of 75 days for filing a claim under Government insurance schemes, particularly the Mukhyamantri Kisan Avam Sarvahit Bima Scheme is unreasonable and arbitrary. It noted that such a short period of limitation militates against the 'socio-beneficial' object of the Scheme and is therefore liable to be set aside.

The Bench ordered that for filing claim petition, a period of three years from the date of the death of the deceased, or from the date when the claim is partly or wholly denied, as also given under the Insurance Act and the Limitation Act, shall be available to the beneficiaries under the impugned scheme.

5. Filing Of Writ Petition Only For Directions To Create Awareness Regarding Certain Laws Is Not Proper: Allahabad High Court [Dr. Syed Rizwan Ahmed v. Union Of India & Anr.]

A Division Bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Saurabh Lavania observed that the filing of Writ Petition, praying for directions to create awareness regarding certain laws is not proper and that "it appears that such petitions are filed only for the sake of popularity."

The Court was of the view that every citizen of the country is presumed to be aware of the laws of the land. But even then, it may be necessary at times to create awareness. It further observed that Courts, in a given case, if necessary, may issue directions for taking steps for creating awareness regarding certain laws, but filing of writ petition only for the above purpose is not proper.

6. "Officers Guilty Of Being Intolerant Towards Reformist Voices": Allahabad HC Quashes FIR Against FB Post Regarding Quarantine Centre Mismanagement [Umesh Pratap Singh v. State Of UP & Ors.]

A Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal came down heavily on State Officers for lodging an FIR against one Umesh Pratap Singh for a Facebook post sent by him, highlighting mismanagement and lack of facilities at a quarantine centre located in Prayagraj District. In delivered a strongly worded order wherein, while quashing the FIR, the Court noted that "such FIR is clearly mala fide, motivated and deserves to be quashed and is accordingly quashed."

Not just that, the Court also observed, "It is apparent that FIR has been lodged with a view to scuttle the voice of dissent against the mismanagement and mishandling of the Authorities of the State in managing their quarantine centreRespondents have tried to justify their actions, which shows that State is losing control over its officers and, in fact, officers are guilty of displaying intolerance towards the reformist voices treating them to be interference in the administration of justice."

Andhra Pradesh High Court

1. Andhra Pradesh High Court Seeks Explanation From Magistrate Ordering Remand In Case Of Automatic Arrest on Registration of FIR [Jangala Sambasiva v. State of AP & Anr.]

A Single bench of Justice Lalitha Kanneganti pulled up the Police Department for effecting arresting automatically on registration of FIR and overlooking safeguards against arrest, contained under Section 41A (Notice of appearance before police officer) of CrPC. The Court also asked the Judicial Magistrate to explain on what basis he remanded the arrestee to custody and authorized detention in such a case.

In the present case, the Court observed that no notice was issued to the Petitioner to comply with the aforementioned process of giving notice to the accused and no record was presented indicating the reasons for waiving of such notice. Further, it was noted that the reasons stated in the remand order passed by the Magistrate were not in consonance with the guidelines issued by the Apex Court in Arnesh Kumar's case.

Bombay High Court

1. Bombay High Court Refuses Interim Bail To Arnab Goswami In 2018 Abetment To Suicide Case [Arnab Manoranjan Goswami v. State o Maharashtra]

A division bench comprising Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik refused to grant interim bail to Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami, who was arrested and remanded to 14 days judicial custody on November 4, and two co-accused in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. The Court said that no case was made out for the exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution when the petitioners have the alternate remedy of seeking regular bail under Section 439 of CrPC.

The Court further held that it cannot consider the submissions of Senior Advoate Harish Salve that the FIR does not disclose any offences against Goswami at present as the investigation is in progress.

Latest Development: Supreme Court Orders Release Of Arnab Goswami From Jail; Says 'Personal Liberty Must Be Upheld'

Also Read: Arnab Goswami Case - Further Investigation Of Anvay Naik Suicide Not Illegal; Victims' Rights Also Important: Bombay High Court

Also Read: Bombay High Court Refuses To Apply 'Prashant Kanojia' Precedent In Arnab Goswami's Case; Says Facts Are Different

Related developments:

2. Bombay HC Grants Interim Injunction To Actor Amyra Dastur Against Luviena Lodh From Making Defamatory Statements Against Her [Amyra Dastur v. Luviena Lodh]

Vacation court of Justice Prithviraj K Chavan granted interim injunction to actor Amyra Dastur against Luviena Lodh from publishing, circulating or communicating to the public any defamatory or slanderous comments against the plaintiff, who filed a suit claiming damages for defamation against the defendant for making libelous statements against her on social and electronic media.

According to the plaintiff, the defendant has been causing damage to her by persistently and continuously making defamatory and libelous statements on social media as well as electronic media.

Other orders by the Bombay HC:

Calcutta High Court

1. [Chhat Puja] Calcutta High Court Sets Broad Guidelines, Asks State To Strictly Enforce Ban On Crackers [Anasua Bhattacharya v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]

A Bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee set out broad guidelines regarding the Chhat Puja in West Bengal, amid the surging COVID-19 cases. It also directed the State Government, particularly the police, to leave no stone unturned "to take immediate appropriate steps against anyone seeking to sell or purchase firecrackers or the like or any such material which emanates smoke and has the propensity to pollute the air." Access Full Report to read Guidelines.

Latest Development: 'Preservation Of Life Important Than Festivals': Supreme Court Affirms Calcutta High Court's Ban On Sale & Bursting Of Firecrackers In West Bengal

2. [Custodial Death Of Minor] High Time That Police Officials Be Sensitized To Deal With Child In Conflict With Law: Calcutta High Court [In Re : Contagion of Covid-19 Virus in Children Protection Homes]

Taking suo moto cognizance of the news reports regarding alleged custodial death of a 15-year-old boy, a Bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Soumen Sen directed the Home Secretary, Government of West Bengal to disclose the status of CCTVs in all police stations including child-friendly corner. It also asked the Secretary to specify as to whether all the police stations have child friendly police corner with proper infrastructure and SJPUs and/or designated child welfare police officer.

Delhi High Court

1. 'Maybe, I'm Old School', Justice Rajiv Shakdher Reminisces About Doordarshan Days While Hearing Bollywood's Plea Against Republic TV, Times Now

While hearing the suit filed by Bollywood production houses against the alleged derogatory reporting by Republic TV and Times Now, Justice Rajiv Shakdher reminisced about the Doordarshan days. 'We used to wait for that news broadcast on Doordarshan; it was clear and factual reporting', he said.

He also commented on the new forms of visual techniques used by the media channels to report important issues. He said: 'On some channels, there are visuals of burning flames; I really don't get that aesthetic, maybe I'm old school.'

Also Read: [Bollywood Producers Suit] 'TV Channels Can't Run Maligning Campaign' : Delhi High Court Asks Republic TV, Times Now To Comply With Program Code

2. Default Bail Cannot Be Denied To Accused Just Because He Filed Application U/S 439 Instead of 167(2) CrPC : Delhi High Court [Subhash Bahadur v. NCT of Delhi]

In a landmark ruling, the High Court granted bail in a case where the accused was prepared to furnish bail and comply with the conditions under Section 167(2) of CrPC but had submitted his application under Section 439 CrPC. The court held that in the instant case, although the accused had submitted his application for bail under Section 439 CrPC, he had 'indicated' as required under the Proviso(a) to Section 167(2) of CrPC that he was prepared to furnish bail, and therefore "in substance, the said condition is met".

The bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru further expounded that the Supreme Court too has explained on a number of occasions that the Proviso (a) to Section 167(2) CrPC is intrinsically linked to the right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law". He stated that, "since the Section embodies a safeguard that circumscribes the power to detain an accused pending investigation, it would not be apposite to curtail the same on technicalities."

3. Delhi HC Issues Notice, Seeks Amazon's Reply On Future Groups's Plea Seeking Injunction On Amazon's 'Interference' In Deal With Reliance Retail

A single judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta issued notice on a plea by Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) seeking an ad-interim injunction against Amazon Inc for sending letters to various regulatory authorities writing about an injunction award by an Emergency Arbitrator against Future Retail Ltd's acquisition by Reliance Industries Ltd's entities for about Rs. 24, 713 crores. After hearing Future Retail, Reliance and Amazon Inc, the Court issued summons to Amazon Inc subject to the question of maintainability of the suit, directed the parties to file their replies within 30 days and replication within 3 weeks.

The case relates to a deal between Reliance-Future Retail under which, Future Retail was to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Ltd – a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. On Amazon's challenge to the deal before an Emergency Arbitrator appointed under the Singapore International Arbitral Tribunal Rules, an injunction was awarded on the deal by the Emergency Arbitrator earlier.

Also Read: Future Retails Vs Amazon: 'Amazon Still Living In Days Of East India Co': Sr. Adv. Harish Salve Argues Before Delhi High Court

4. Delhi High Court Vacates Stay Order On Reservation of 80% ICU Beds In 33 Pvt Hospitals For Covid Patients

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanium Prasad vacated a stay on an order of Delhi's AAP Government which had reserved 80% of ICU beds in 33 private hospitals in the capital for Covid-19 patients. The court further directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit within 3 days and posted the matter to be heard on merit before the Single Judge bench on 26.11.2020, directing the parties not to seek an adjournment on the date.

The bench cited the spiralling of Covid-19 cases, with the number standing at 8593 as of Wednesday, while coming down heavily on the government for giving 'knee-jerk reactions' and failing to have taken steps in anticipation.

Other orders by Delhi HC:

Gujarat High Court

1. Gujarat High Court Quashes Sedition Case Against Journalist Who Reported On Possible Change In State Leadership [Dhaval Rajnikant Patel v. State Of Gujarat]

A Single Bench of Justice RP Dholaria quashed a sedition case registered against a Journalist Dhaval Rajnikant Patel (editor of online Gujarati news portal Face of Nation) for allegedly publishing a report on a possible change in state leadership due to criticism over the rising number of COVD-19 cases in the State.

The case was quashed after Patel tendered an unconditional apology "without admission of any guilt" for the "allegedly offending article".

Himachal Pradesh High Court

1. 'He & His Family Members Are Under Stress & Anxiety', Himachal Pradesh High Court Grants Interim Bail To 58 Yr Old COVID Survivor [Roop Singh v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

A Single Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara granted interim bail to a 58-year-Old man accused under the NDPS Act, taking into account his age and the contention that he and his family members are under stress and anxiety.

The accused had sought bail on the grounds that while under incarceration, he suffered COVID-19 disease and now although he has recovered and tested negative but is under extreme anxiety and trauma. The Court observed "Given the age of the petitioner and the contention that he and his family are under stress and anxiety and furthermore that he is apparently not of flight risk, this Court grants him interim bail for a period of two weeks."

2. Minor's Consent For Sexual Intercourse Relevant For Deciding Bail Application Of 'Rape' Accused: Himachal Pradesh HC [Rohit Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh]

Single Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara granted bail to a man accused of 'raping' a minor girl on the ground that the girl had consented to the sexual intercourse. "Although, she could not have consented for sexual intercourse as well as leaving custody of her custodian but for deciding the bail, her conduct is sufficient to grant bail to the petitioner", it observed.

Also Read: Possibility Of Romantic Love Going Wrong Is There: Himachal Pradesh High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Raping 16 Yr Old Girl

Karnataka High Court

1. "If Poverty Is Not A Sin, Being Poor In Intelligence Too Cannot Be": Karnataka HC Directs NLSIU To Conduct Special Repeat Exam For Student [Aakash Deep Singh v. NLSIU]

A Bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit quashed and set aside a communication issued by NLSIU to one of its students by virtue of which the student was detained in the third year of the course, on the ground that he has arrears of papers and that he cannot be given the benefit of "Special Repeat Examination". The Court directed the University to conduct a 'Special Repeat Examination' for the subjects in which a law student has failed, within a reasonable period.

2. Karnataka High Court Seeks Details About Functioning Of Aargoya Setu App

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty called for technical details about the functioning of the Aarogya Setu application to understand how data is shared of an individual who downloads the application with the Government and other agencies.

During the hearing it noted that "Privacy is disclosing data without consent. The other aspect of privacy is those who may not get infected with COVID-19 the app may reflect they are infected this is also some kind of breach of privacy." It added that "The issue of privacy is that because of Covid-19, I will download the Aarogya Setu app and make a self assessment, the question is if I say I am suffering from hypertension or diabetes why anybody else should get that information."

3. Make Public Aware What 'Green Crackers' Are : Karnataka High Court To State Govt

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty directed the state government to issue an order tomorrow itself clarifying the meaning of "Green Crackers" and give wide publicity to it so that members of the public are aware of it.

It said, "State government has banned bursting of any crackers except green crackers and that permission is granted to burst crackers between 8 pm to 10 pm. However, orders do not record and specify what the meaning of green crackers. Prima facie it appears to us that order is ineffective as the state has not bothered to lay down what is the meaning of green crackers."

Also Read: Ensure Only Green Crackers Are Sold In Stalls: Karnataka High Court Directs Authorities

Latest Development: Karnataka Government Defines 'Green Crackers', Following High Court Direction

4. Investigating Agency Cannot Retain Username/Password Of Accused Person's Social Media Platform: Karnataka High Court [Rakesh Shetty v. State of Karnataka & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice Suraj Govindraj held that an investigating agency cannot retain the username and password of the social media platform of the accused person during the investigation. It said that the investigating agency should download and store the data required from the social media platforms and should give back the changed login credentials to the accused.

Other orders by Karnataka HC:

Kerala High Court

1. Bail Can't Be Refused On Ground That It Will Encourage Vigilantism Or Send Wrong Message To Society : Kerala High Court [Bhagyalakshmi K. v. State of Kerala]

While granting bail to three women who were accused of assaulting a YouTuber over a vulgar video, the High Court said it does not approve of vigilantism shown by them.

"The fact that granting bail to the applicants would give a wrong message to the public at large and that it would amount to an encouragement of vigilantism is no reason to refuse granting of bail," Justice Ashok Menon observed in the bail order. The judge observed that granting of bail is based on totally different parameters.

Also Read: Prisons Are For Punishing Convicts, Not For Detaining Undertrials In Order To 'Send Message To Society': Delhi HC Holds While Granting Bail To Delhi Riots Accused

Also Read: Leading Peaceful, Non-Violent Procession Is A Fundamental Right: Kerala High Court Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Ex-MLA

2. Kerala HC Dismisses Pleas Challenging Successive Reserving Of Same Constituencies For Third Time For Local Body Elections 2020 [Biju Jacob vs. State Election Commission]

A Single Bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar dismissed a batch of writ petitions challenging allocation of reserved seats to different wards/divisions of some of the local bodies in the State for the ensuing election. The court, referring to Election Commission of India v. Ashok Kumar (2000)8 SCC 216, observed that in the matters relating to election, it can interfere only if it subserves the progress of the election and facilitates the completion of the election.

The petitioner's contention was that in a recent judgment of the High Court in which it had held that reserving a seat successively beyond two occasions, when reserved seats could be distributed in a manner that no seat would go reserved more than twice successively, is against the scheme of Articles 243D and 243T of the Constitution and also the relevant provisions contained in the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994.

3. POCSO Act : Kerala High Court Upholds Constitutionality Of Reverse Burden Of Proof Under Sections 29 & 30 [Justin @ Renjith v. Union of India & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice Sunil Thomas upheld the constitutional validity of Sections 29 and 30 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act(POCSO Act) which creates a reverse burden of proof on the accused. It rejected the arguments that these provisions violated fundamental rights under Articles 14, 20(3) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The Court noted that statutes imposing limited burden on the accused to establish certain facts which are specifically within his knowledge are not rare in Indian Criminal Law. It further held such provisions cannot be held to be unconstitutional due to the fact that they reverse the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused if they are "justifiable on the ground of predominant public interest". It further observed that these provisions do not absolve the prosecution of the burden to establish "foundational facts" of the crime and that the reverse burden kicks in only when such "foundational facts" are established. Also, it is open to the accused to rebut the presumption on the basis of preponderance of probabilities.

4. [NCC Act] "Person Cannot Be Denied A Legitimate Right Only Because She is A Transgender", Observes Kerala High Court [Hina Haneefa v. State of Kerala & Ors.]

"Person cannot be denied a legitimate right only because she is a transgender", noted Justice Devan Ramachandran while hearing a plea filed by a transwoman, challenging Section 6 of the National Cadet Corps Act, 1948 as illegal and ultra vires of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Act has been challenged to the extent that it excludes the transgender community from enrolment with the National Cadet Corps.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

1. 'Can't Say 'XXX' Episode Isn't Obscene' : Madhya Pradesh High Court Refuses To Quash FIR Against Ekta Kapoor [Ekta Kapoor v. State of MP]

Stating that a prima facie case is made out, a Single Bench of Justice Shailendra Shukla refused to quash the FIR registered against Ekta Kapoor, Managing Director of ALT Balaji, in connection to alleged obscenity and dishonour to national emblem in the series titled 'XXX'. It observed that in order to determine as to whether a particular matter is obscene or not, recording of evidence may be an important exercise.

"The Indian audiences have of course come of age from the times of two flowers cuddling each other symbolizing male and female union to more explicit manners of displaying such activity. Still, the acceptable norms of permissiveness in the society cannot be equated with declining moral values. What is patently obscene from an ordinary person's point of view, would remain to be so for all times to come. There is always a thin line between what are acceptable limits of display of physical intimacy and obscenity," the Bench observed.

Madras High Court

1. 'His Tirades Going Unabated' : Madras High Court Directs Blocking Of Ex-HC Judge Karnan's Videos With Obscene Allegations Against Judges & Their Families

A division bench comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha slammed C S Karnan, former High Court judge, for uploading videos with obscene, derogatory and defamatory statements against former and sitting judges of the Supreme Court and High Court and also for passing rape threats and sexually coloured remarks against wives of judges, women lawyers and female court staff.

The Court directed the Tamil Nadu Government and the state police to take steps to block the URLs of the videos featuring the derogatory remarks of Karnan in Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube.

Also Read: Madras HC Lawyers Submit Complaint Before CJI Against Ex-Judge CS Karnan Over Objectionable Video

Also Read: Supreme Court Terms Ex-HC Judge Karnan's Attempt To Forcibly Enter Ex-SC Judge's House "Unfortunate"

2. 'This Is Not The Manner In Which A Reputed University Should Be Functioning': Madras HC Orders Anna University To Fill Up Teaching Posts By Regular Appointments [TR Kannan & Ors. v. Anna University & Anr.]

A Single Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh rapped the Anna University for giving "scant regard" to the UGC and AICTE guidelines and functioning at the strength of temporary teaching staff for nearly ten years. Taking note of inadequate faculty student ratio maintained by the University, a remarked, "It is surprising that students who come out of this University are faring well despite the non availability of sufficient teaching faculty. Either the students are extremely bright or the available faculty is performing an extraordinary task by providing with excellent teaching skills. Whatever may be the reason, the fact remains that the University will have to take immediate steps on a war footing to fill up the vacancies through regular appointments."

It reminded the University that appointment on contract basis should not exceed 10% of the total number of faculty positions in a College/University. Further, emoluments paid to such contract teachers should not be less than the monthly gross salary of a regularly appointed Assistant Professor.

3. Character Assassination By A Few Greedy Men & Women Common In Male-Dominated Society; It Affects Individuals: Madras High Court [Balasubramaniyan v. State]

A Bench of Justice S. M. Subramaniam, while hearing the bail plea of the petitioner arrested for offence punishable under 306 of IPC observed that "assassination of character in a male-dominated community is common. The assassination of character even among the same gender is also prevailing in our country." The case was registered on the ground that the Petitioner, being a relative of the deceased, had a habit of assassinating her character and due to such continuous harassment, she committed suicide.

The Court noted that it cannot arrive at a conclusion that only due to the character assassination; the act of suicide was committed. However, it said that all these possibilities and probabilities ought to be investigated and the truth must be culled out during the course of the trial.

Other orders by Madras HC:

Meghalaya High Court

1. Meghalaya HC Refuses To Quash Criminal Case Against Journalist For Her Facebook Post About Continued Attacks Against Non-Tribals [Patricia Mukhim vs . State Of Meghalaya]

A Bench of Justice W. Diengdoh refused to quash a criminal case lodged against the journalist, Patricia Mukhim, for her facebook post about continued attacks on non-tribals in the state. It observed that the Facebook post sought to create a divide to the cordial relationship between the tribal and non-tribal living in the State of Meghalaya.

Referring to a skirmish between tribal and non-tribal youths at Lawsohtun at the Basketball Court, Patricia, in her Facebook Post, had stated that this continued attack on non-tribals in Meghalaya, whose attackers and trouble mongers have never been arrested since 1979 has resulted in Meghalaya being a failed State for a long time.

Orissa High Court

1. [Rape And Murder of Minor] Orissa HC Sets Aside Conviction For Rape, Commutes Death Penalty To Life Imprisonment [State of Odisha v. Laba]

A Bench of Justices AK Mishra and SK Mishra commutted the death sentence of a 28-year-old man to life imprisonment while upholding his conviction for murder of a 9-year-old girl, but acquitting him of charges of raping her.

"There is no direct evidence and the case is based on circumstantial evidence. The circumstances on which an inference is sought to be drawn must be cogently and firmly established and in order to sustain conviction, must be complete and must be incapable of explanation of any other hypothesis than that of guilt of the accused," noted the bench.

2. "Custodial Violence Is Abhorrent": Orissa HC Directs Septuagenarian Ex-Cops To Serve Imprisonment in 35-Year Old Custodial Death Case [Pravat Chandra Mohanty v. State of Orissa]

"Custodial violence on a person which may sometimes lead to his death is abhorrent and not acceptable in a civilised society and it is a crime against humanity and a clear violation of a person's rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India", observed the High Court.

Justice S. K. Sahoo was rendering judgment on two 32-year old criminal appeals by a former inspector and senior sub-inspector in connection with a custodial death occurred during illegal confinement of a person at the Purighat police station in Cuttack in 1985. The Court acquitted both the police officers of charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and reduced the maximum sentence, taking their age into consideration.

Patna High Court

1. 'Shocking' State Of Affairs Of Tribal Community: Patna HC Expresses Hope For Authorities To 'Wake Up From Slumber' [Bihar Adiwasi Adhikar Forum v. State of Bihar]

Describing the state of affairs as regards the people of tribal community within the State of Bihar as "shocking", a bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar expressed hope that the authorities "wake up from slumber and come out with a structured plan for ensuring implementation of the Constitutional mandate including that under Article 338-A". The said Article provides for a National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

The Court was hearing a PIL by the Bihar Adiwasi Adhikar Forum highlighting the apathy and policy paralysis on the part of the Government in fulfilling the Constitutional goal and the fundamental duty of providing education to the children, more specifically girls hailing from the tribal area falling within the hilly areas of district- West Champaran.

2. "Trial Court Swayed By The Fact That Women-Victims Merit Greater Reparation": Patna HC Acquits Death-Row Prisoner [State of Bihar v. Niranjan]

The bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar acquitted a death-row prisoner, setting aside conviction for murder. It iterated that the quality and strength of the evidence and the case of the prosecution not only have a bearing on the decision of conviction or acquittal but also very much on the quantum of sentencing.

The bench stated that the Trial Court has ascribed the fact of the victim is an unmarried woman who was taken "advantage" of as an aggravating factor which is a fact that has neither been proved nor alleged in the case- "Such a stance reflects the paternalistic attitude of society towards women, who are always considered as a helpless victim. The Court must be mindful of this".

Punjab & Haryana High Court

1. 'Debatable As To How Dancing To Tune Of A Song & Making TikTok Video Can Hurt Sentiments': P&H High Court Grants Pre Arrest Bail [Mandeep v. State of Haryana]

A Single Bench of Justice Fateh Deep Singh granted anticipatory bail to one Mandeep, accused of hurting the sentiments of the SC/ST communities by making a TiktTok video with a background song composed by deceased Pandit Jagdish Chander Vats.

The Court said,

"Petitioner is neither the author/composer nor prepared the music of the song which was composed more than 40/50 years ago by the person who has since died. To the specific query of the Court how mere dancing on the tune of a song and preparing a video hurts the sentiments of the particular caste is a question which is debatable and can only be adjudicated at the time of trial."

2. [Cracker Ban] Punjab & Haryana High Court Denies To Quash Chandigarh Administration's Order Putting Ban On Sale Or Use Of Crackers [Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association v. Adviser to the Administrator, UT & Anr.]

A Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli denied relief to Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association, which had challenged Chandigarh Administration's order to put a complete ban on sale or use of crackers of any kind throughout the Union Territory. However, it directed the Administration to consider and take a decision on the petitioner's representation, keeping in mind the NGT order.

3. Whether Surveillance Registers Carrying Names Of 'Bad Characters' Are Being Continuously Reviewed: P&H High Court Asks DGPs [Jaswinder Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors.]

A Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh asked the Directors-General of Police (DGP) of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh to specify as to whether the surveillance registers are being continuously reviewed. It was hearing the plea of One Jaswinder Singh who submitted before the Court that he was acquitted in 2 criminal cases registered against him in the year 1989, i.e. more than 30 years ago; however, his name still appears in the surveillance register showing him to be a bad character.

Also Read: Punjab & Haryana High Court Grants Bail To British National Accused Of Targeted Killings Of RSS Leaders In Punjab

Rajasthan High Court

1. "Pollution Will Affect COVID Patients & May Spread COVID": Rajasthan High Court Refuses To Interfere With Firecracker Ban Order [Ram Babu Dusad v. State of Rajasthan]

"Right to life embodies a constitutional value of supreme importance and stands on a higher pedestal than the right to practice any profession, as right to carry any business comes with a rider and Clause (6) of Article 19 permits the Government to impose reasonable restrictions", remarked a Bench of Justice Chandra Kumar Songara and Justice Pankaj Bhandari while refusing to interfere with Rajasthan Government's Firecracker ban order.

Telangana High Court

1. Lives Of People More Important: Telangana High Court Directs State To Immediately Ban Sale/Use Of Fireworks During Diwali [P. Indra Prakash v. State of Telangana & Ors.]

Noting that since the Government has not declared any ban on the use of fireworks so far, but considering the fact that the lives of the people need to be protected, that uncontrolled and untrammelled use of fireworks may jeopardise the lives of many, a bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy directed the State to immediately ban the sale and use of fireworks by the people and by organisations.

The Court further directed the State to immediately clampdown and close the shops which are selling fireworks throughout the State. The State is further directed to issue an appeal to the people, both through the print, press and the electronic media, to refrain from bursting firecrackers, so as to prevent any further deterioration in the air quality.

Latest Development: [Crackers Ban] SC Modifies Telangana HC's Order Banning Firecrackers In The State In Line With NGT's Directions Of November 9

Uttarakhand High Court

1. "Her Childhood Was Snatched", Ut'khand High Court Denies Bail To 3 Women Accused Of Pushing 14 Yr Old Girl Into Flesh Trade [Kanchan Mandal v. State]

A Bench of Justice Ravindra Maithani denied bail to 3 women, accused of earning money by prostitution and cheating people under the pretext of marriage.

"Intention loses its significance when the act committed is apparent. Here is a case where upon information having been received, a deal was fixed with the applicants. They took money and cheques as well. They were to supply a young girl of 14 years.

This young girl, the victim narrated a pathetic story. Her childhood was snatched. She was pushed into the flesh trade firstly by a woman named Pooja, thereafter the applicant Rajkumari thereafter the applicant Kanchan Mandal and then the applicant Sonam," the Court observed.

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