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Chhattisgarh And Jharkhand High Courts: 50 Important Judgments Of 2021

Sparsh Upadhyay
2 Jan 2022 2:21 PM GMT
Chhattisgarh And Jharkhand High Courts: 50 Important Judgments Of 2021
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As we step into the year 2022, LiveLaw brings to you a bunch of important decisions from the Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand High Courts of 2021. This digest includes 50 important orders and judgments.Chhattisgarh High Court 1. When A Man Marries A Woman Knowing Fully That She Was Not Legally Divorced From Her Earlier Marriage Can't Plead Invalidity Of Marriage In 125...

As we step into the year 2022, LiveLaw brings to you a bunch of important decisions from the Chhattisgarh & Jharkhand High Courts of 2021. This digest includes 50 important orders and judgments.

Chhattisgarh High Court

1. When A Man Marries A Woman Knowing Fully That She Was Not Legally Divorced From Her Earlier Marriage Can't Plead Invalidity Of Marriage In 125 Proceedings: Chhattisgarh HC [Teras Dongare v. Avinash Dongare]

A Single Bench of Justice Rajendra Chandra Singh Samant held that a man, who marries a woman knowing fully well that her earlier marriage has not ended in a valid divorce, is estopped from raising plea of invalidity of marriage in maintenance proceedings under Section 125 of CrPC.

The observation was made in a revision filed against the order passed by a Family Court, denying maintenance to the Applicant-wife on the ground that she has not obtained a valid divorce from her first husband and hence, she is not a legally wedded wife of the Respondent (second husband).

2. Chhattisgarh High Court Rejects Challenge Against Civil Judge (Entry Level) Exam, 2020 [Prafull Kumar Tiwari v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy dismissed a batch of 52 writ petitions challenging the Civil Judge (Entry Level) Examination, 2020 conducted by the State Public Service Commission.

It returned a finding that the alleged procedural lapses in conducting the exam could not be said to have had a prejudicial effect on the candidates. The Bench further opined that merely because 9 questions were deleted from the final answer key does not mean that the interest of students is affected. It held that deletion of questions and distribution of marks to all candidates on pro rata basis will not vitiate the examination.

3. Phone Tapping Violates Article 21 Unless Permitted By Procedure Established By Law: Chhattisgarh High Court [Toman Lal Sahu v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

Setting aside a dismissal order passed against a constable and a head constable who allegedly wanted to favour the criminal and the phone conversation to that effect was recorded, a Bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri observed that telephone tapping would infract Article 21 of the constitution of India unless it is permitted under the procedure established by law.

The Court categorically observed that in PUCL v. Union of India AIR 1997 SC 568, the Supreme Court had issued certain directions/ guidelines for telephone tapping as otherwise, it had held that it would offend Articles 19(1)(a) & 21 of the Constitution of India.

4. Participation In Political Campaign By Members Of Child Welfare Committee Not Misuse Of Power Under JJ Act: Chhattisgarh High Court [Madhu Pandey v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri held that merely because a person, who is a member of a Child Welfare Committee, participates in an election campaign in favour of a candidate, does not mean that such person has indulged in "misuse of power" conferred under by the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

5. Chhattisgarh High Court Quashes FIRs Against BJP Leaders Sambit Patra, Tajinder Bagga For Alleged Defamation Of Congress [Dr. Sambit Patra v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal quashed the FIRs registered against BJP National Spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra and Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.

The FIRs against Sambit Patra was lodged after a complaint about his tweet about Congress Party and for making derogatory remarks against Congress party and its leaders. FIR against Bagga was in relation to complaint about making defamatory statement in Twitter against former PMs Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi. Two FIRs were lodged against Patra, one under Sections 499, 500, 501 & 505(1) of the IPC and another under Sections 298, 153A & 505(2) of the IPC. FIR against Bagga was under Sections 153A, 505 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

6. 'Need Concerted Action By All Stakeholders': Chhattisgarh High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance On COVID Medical Needs [Suo Moto PIL v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu took suo moto cognizance of the tsunamic second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the inadequacy in medical infrastructure to tackle the same. It asked the State authorities about the plight of plight of patients, who were reportedly administered Oxygen support while they were lying on the hospital floor due to shortage of beds.

It has also directed the State Government to file a proper requisition through the Nodal Officer of the State to the Nodal Officer of the Railways forthwith, for allotment of the Special Medical Coaches based on the SOP issued by the Health Ministry last year.

7. COVID-19- "Take Prudent Step To Ensure No Patient Loses Life In State Due To Cessation of Oxygen Supply": Chhattisgarh HC To Govt. [Suo Moto PIL v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

In suo moto cognizance matter related to the tsunamic second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inadequacy in medical infrastructure to tackle the same, a Bench of Chief Justice P. R. Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu directed the State Government to convene a meeting of all concerned to take stock of the situation as to the Oxygen supply/availability as on date and the imminent future requirement.

"Prudent steps shall be taken forthwith to ensure that no patient loses life in this State, for cessation of supply of Oxygen," it observed.

8. Administer Covid-19 Vaccines To Antyodaya Card Holders, Persons Falling BPL & APL In Equal Ratio: Chhattisgarh High Court Tells State [Suo Moto PIL v. State Of Chhattisgarh]

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu directed the State authorities concerned that until a fresh policy is devised, they should continue with the vaccination by equally distributing the available vaccines among the three classes of citizens i.e., Antyodaya Card Holders, Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line, in the ratio of 1/3 to each class.

It also expressed displeasure at the State Government's action of completely halting the Covid-19 vaccination drive with respect to persons in the age group 18-45 for deciding vaccination norms.

Also Read: Covid Vaccine Reservation Based On Financial Status: Chhattisgarh High Court Asks State To Reconsider Policy Limiting Benefits To Antyodaya Card Holders

9. Redistribution Of Unutilised Covid-19 Vaccines At Vaccination Centres: Chhattisgarh High Court To Consider Issue [Suo Moto PIL v. State of Chhattisgarh]

A Division Bench of Justices Prashant Kumar Mishra and Parth Prateem Sahu has decided to address the 'important issue' of non-utilization of Covid-19 vaccines that are left at vaccination centres at the end of a day.

It was submitted that often it happens that the vaccine quantity allocated to one group remains unused and at the same time the quantity allotted to another group is exhausted and there is no policy for redistribution of such unutilized quantity for the benefit of other groups where more persons are willing to be vaccinated.

10. 'No Prima Facie Case': Chhattisgarh High Court Stays FIR Against Ex-CM Raman Singh, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra Over 'Congress Toolkit' Tweet [Dr. Raman Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas stayed investigation in the FIR lodged against Dr. Raman Singh, BJP National Vice President and former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, in connection to his tweet claiming that the Congress party has prepared a toolkit to tarnish the image of the country in the foreign media. The Court also granted same relief to BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra with respect to the same FIR.

It held that the FIR dated May 19, 2021, has been lodged by a political person with political motives. It further observed that the FIR has been lodged by the police without examining the truthfulness of the complaint and no case is made out from the face of the FIR. Hence, continuation of investigation on basis of impugned FIR will be nothing but an abuse of process of law.

11. Convict Awarded Sentence Lesser Than His Period Of Detention As Undertrial: Chhattisgarh High Court Orders Compensation [Nitin Aryan @ Satish Kumar Sonwani v. State Of Chhattisgarh]

Holding that denial of right to speedy trial to an accused is a "grave miscarriage of justice", a Single Bench of Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal ordered the State to compensate a criminal offender who remained in jail as under­trial for a period of 4 years, 6 months and 7 days, whereas he was awarded punishment of 3 years only.

It noted that the accused remained in jail in excess (one year and six months) for more than the sentence awarded by concerned trial Magistrate, on account of delay in conducting the trial, despite two reminders by the High Court for concluding the trial expeditiously. In this backdrop, the Single Judge allowed the Petitioner's application for compensation and awarded an amount of Rs. 1.87L (calculated at semi-sSkilled labour rate) with 6% interest.

12. Chhattisgarh High Court Seeks Reply From State Bar Council For Grant Of Relief To Advocates During Covid-19 Pandemic [Suo Moto v. State Of Chhattisgarh]

A Division Bench of ACJ Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu sought response from the State Bar Council on a plea seeking relief for the families of such Advocates who have either succumbed to Covid-19 or have been infected with it. The Court has also asked the Advocate Welfare Trust of the Bar Council of Chhattisgarh to file separate response so that the wholesome holistic view can be taken to render financial assistance to the affected lawyers.

The development comes in the backdrop of a letter addressed to the High Court by the District Bar Association, Bilaspur, highlighting the plight of Advocates during the pandemic. The Court registered the letter as an IA and asked the State Bar Council, represented by Senior Advocate Kishore Bhaduri, to seek instructions in the matter. The Council has been granted three days' time to respond to the application for grant of relief to advocates during the pandemic.

13. "She Has To Face Lifetime Anguish If Forced To Give Birth, Child Will Also Face Disdain": Chhattisgarh HC Allows Termination Of Pregnancy Of Rape Victim [ABC v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

Justice Goutam Bhaduri allowed the medical termination of pregnancy of a rape victim after observing that forcing her to give birth to the child will be subjecting her to face lifetime anguish in the given social scenario. It observed that the victim was subjected to rape and if she is forced to give birth to a child in the social scenario she has to face a life time anguish apart from the fact the child who is born will also have to face disdain of the society.

The development came in a plea filed by a woman who had conceived after she was subjected to rape. She had sought termination of pregnancy under the provisions of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

14. Human Rights Commissions Can Only Recommend And Not Direct Payment of Compensation: Chhattisgarh High Court (Dr. Girdhari Lal Chandrakar v. State of Chhattisgarh)

The High Court held that the Human Rights Commissions are a recommendatory body and has no jurisdiction to pass an order directing payment of compensation. Justice Sanjay K. Agarwal held that Section 18 of the Protection of Human Rights Act of 1993 only empowers the Commission to recommend and not adjudicate.

"It has no adjudicatory jurisdiction, and the Government/its authority has an obligation to consider the recommendation of the Commission in accordance with the law." the Court added.

15. [Covid-19] 'Why Govt's Share In Death Claims To Deceased Lawyers' Dependents Not Released Timely?': Asks Chhattisgarh High Court [Suo Moto WP (PIL) v. State Of Chhattisgarh]

While dealing with a plea seeking relief for the families of such Advocates who have either succumbed to Covid-19 or have been infected with it, a division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice N.K. Chandravanshi asked the State Government to explain reasons as to why its share for death claims is not being released timely.

The development came after the State Bar Council apprised the Court that out of 51 death claims, 11 dependants of deceased lawyers have been paid some amount. However, it was also submitted that necessary funds are awaited from the State Government, resulting in some delay in making payment to the remaining beneficiaries.

16. Chhattisgarh High Court Denies Medical Negligence Claim Over Alleged Wrong Administration Of Remdesivir Injection To COVID Patient [Sanjay Ambastha v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

Denying the claim of medical negligence against a doctor for alleged wrongful administration of Remdesivir injection leading to death of a 69 years old woman, the High Court observed that putting Doctors to criminal prosecution for negligence would create a lot of "emotional disturbance" at the time of pandemic, when the doctors are serving the ailing.

Justice Goutam Bhaduri remarked that the doctors made their best effort to revive the ailing ones despite the miserably falling doctors-patient ratio. It remarked that no criminal negligence can be attached on an individual opinion.

17. Sexual Intercourse Or Any Sexual Act By Husband With Legally Wedded Wife Not Rape Even If It Was By Force Or Against Her Wish: Chhattisgarh HC [Dilip Pandey & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh]

The High Court discharged a man of the offence of marital rape after observing that sexual intercourse or any sexual act by a husband with his legally wedded wife is not rape even if it was by force or against her wish. However, the Court went ahead to frame charges against him under sec. 377 of IPC after observing that his act of making unnatural physical relation with the wife attracted the said offence.

18. We Cannot Decide Under PIL Jurisdiction As To When A Hindu Can Execute Will Or Muslim Can Dedicate Property For Waqf: Chhattisgarh HC [Saiyad Iqbal Ahamed Rizvi v. The State Of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajani Dubey observed that a High Court, while exercising its Public Interest Litigation jurisdiction, cannot decide the question as to when a Hindu can execute a will or a Muslim can dedicate property for waqf. It reasoned that such questions can only be decided by way of individual petitions and not PILs.

19. 'No Work No Pay' Not Applicable When Law Expressly Provides For Grant Of Fully Pay On Exoneration: Chhattisgarh High Court [Rajendra Sharma & Ors v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]

The High Court held that when the Fundamental Rules expressly provide for the grant of full pay and allowances on the exoneration of a Government servant from punishment/criminal charges, the principle of 'No Work No Pay' would have no application. Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal remarked that the principle of 'No Work No Pay' would not override sub-rule (2) of Rule 54 of the Fundamental Rules, which provides for full pay and allowances on full exoneration.

20. Offence Of Extortion Not Made Out In Absence Of Delivery Of Property: Chhattisgarh High Court (Shatrughan Singh Sahu v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.)

The High Court has held that to make out a case of 'extortion' punishable under Section 384 IPC, the prosecution must prove that on account of being put in fear of injury, the victim voluntarily delivered any particular property to the accused.

Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas remarked that if there were no delivery of property, then the most essential ingredient for constituting the offence of 'extortion' would not be available. He further remarked that if a person voluntarily delivers any property without any fear of injury, then also an offence of 'extortion' cannot be said to have been committed.

21. Existence of A Dispute Not A Pre Requisite For Grant of Divorce By Mutual Consent: Chhattisgarh High Court [Smt. Sandhya Sen v. Sanjay Sen]

The High Court held that the existence of a serious dispute between husband and wife is not a prerequisite for the grant of divorce by mutual consent under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. A Division Bench of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and N.K. Chandravanshi observed that the provisions contained in Section 13-B of the Act, 1955 do not provide for the existence of ground like the ones included in Section 13 for grant of divorce by mutual consent.

22. Alleged Hate Speeches Against Christianity- "Open To Move Complaint Before Magistrate": Chhattisgarh HC Refuses To Direct FIR Registration [Chhattisgarh Christian Forum v. State of Chhattisgarh]

The High Court refused to direct the registration of an FIR against a man, Sohan Potai, who allegedly delivered hate speeches against the Christian Religion. The Bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas, however, gave the liberty to the petitioner to approach the Judicial Magistrate First Class having territorial jurisdiction over the place of offence for filing of a complaint under Section 156(3) of Cr. P.C or Section 200 of Cr.P.C.

23. Chhattisgarh High Court Grants Interim Relief On Pleas Challenging 5-Yr Moratorium On Opening Of New Pharmacy Colleges [Chouksey College of Pharmacy & Another Vs. Pharmacy Council of India & Others]

The Court granted interim relief to a batch of colleges who had approached it challenging the 5 year moratorium/ ban imposed by Government of India (GOI) and Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) on the opening of new Pharmacy Colleges in the country for the next 5 years.

The Bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy, as an interim measure, allowed the colleges to file their application, while directing the PCI and GOI to process and scrutinize it and push it up to the penultimate stage of issuance of permission/ approval, which should be issued formally upon only after the final judgment of the Court.

24. 'Interim Compensation Under S.143A Of Negotiable Instruments Act Is Directory Not Discretionary': Chhattisgarh High Court

The Chhattisgarh High Court held that Section 143A of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 for compensation is a directory and not discretionary.

A single-judge bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas observed that the amendment to Section 143A of the NIA Act upheld the decision of the Judicial Magistrate, which granted compensation of 20% of the cheque amount.

25. Sec. 138 NI Act- Chhattisgarh High Court Issues Practice Directions Pursuant To Supreme Court Order On Cheque Bouncing Cases

The Chhattisgarh High Court issued practice directions to Magistrates and Trial Courts having jurisdiction to try offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court (In Re Expeditious Trial Of Cases Under Section 138 of N.I Act) regarding the trial of Cheque bouncing cases.

The practice directions that came into force with immediate effect dated 2nd July 2021 states that Magistrates having jurisdiction to try offences under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 shall record cogent and sufficient reasons before converting a complaint under Section 138 of the N.l. Act from summary trial to summons trial in the exercise of power under the second proviso of section 143 of NI Act.

Jharkhand High Court

1. Judicial Record Missing For Over 20 Yrs- Jharkhand High Court Reprimands Concerned Officials, Forms 1 Member Committee To Probe [Surender Singh Rautella v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

Coming down heavily on Judicial Officers and the State Administration, Bench of Justice Anand Sen expressed its displeasure over the fact that record of a case went missing and even after a lapse of 20 years the record was not reconstructed by concerned officials.

The plea was filed by an alleged notorious criminal Surendra Bengali, who submitted before the Court that an FIR was lodged against him in the year 1987 with the Doranda police station, a charge sheet was also filed in the case, but the trial in the matter was yet to start.

2. Retrospective Application Of 10% EWS Quota Is Against Articles 14 & 16 Of Constitution: Jharkhand High Court [Ranjeet Kumar Sah & Anr. v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

A single bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi set aside a 2019 advertisement published by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission giving retrospective application to the 10% Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation by way of merging the earlier vacancies of the year 2013 and 2015 with those arising after the implementation of the said reservation in 2019.

The Court held that "At the time of advertisement of 2013 and 2015, 10% reservation for EWS was not there and by way of clubbing the vacancies, 10% reservation for EWS has been provided in the vacancy of 2013 and 2015, which is against the mandate of the Constitution of India."

3. Section 357A- Court's Role Is Only Recommendatory, Court Cannot Fix Any Quantum Of Compensation To Victim: Jharkhand High Court [Sumit Kumar Shaw & Ors. v. State of Jharkhand & Anr.]

A Single Bench of Justice Ananda Sen made significant observations with respect to payment of victim compensation under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It held:

  • The role of the Court is recommendatory in nature and it cannot fix any quantum of victim compensation nor can direct the authority to make payment of the same to the victim while exercising jurisdiction under Section 357A of CrPC.
  • Court can recommend payment of victim compensation by way of interim measure at any stage of the proceeding, including at the stage of considering bail application.
  • When a person is an accused and the Court is not sure as to whether he has committed the offence or not, in that situation, the accused cannot be saddled with the liability to pay compensation.

4. 'Infructuous'- Jharkhand High Court Dismisses Petition Seeking Re-Investigation Of Assault On Swami Agnivesh [Jai Malto & Anr. v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

A Single Bench of Justice Anand Sen dismissed a writ petition seeking reinvestigation of the case pertaining to assault on social activist late Swami Agnivesh, in Pakur District of the state, in the year 2018. It noted that the Petitioner had approached the Court with delay and now the matter is already pending before the Trial Court at Evidence stage.

It observed, "If the investigation has not been done in proper manner and the informant is aggrieved by the said investigation, the informant should have protested the same at the time of filing of chargesheet. The petitioner has rushed to this Court by filing this criminal writ petition. Considering the fact that there is remedy available to the petitioner as the case is pending for leading evidences, I am not inclined to entertain this petition."

5. 'Shameful, Disturbing': Jharkhand High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Murder Of A Family As Part Of 'Witch-Hunt' [Court On Its Own Motion v. State Of Jharkhand & Ors.]

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad suo moto cognizance of the 'disturbing' killings of five members of a family in the State, including a five years old child, allegedly as an outcome of a witch-hunt.

At the outset, the Bench expressed displeasure at the fact that the evil of witchcraft still persists in the modern civilized society. "This is not only shameful but also raises a serious question upon the entire system as to how in the present modern civilized society such type of incidence has taken place," it remarked.

6. "State Heading Towards Health Emergency, Non Availability Of CT Scan Machine A Matter Of Serious Concern": Jharkhand HC Seeks Response Of State Authorities [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

While hearing a bunch of petitions highlighting the shortage of testing facilities, beds, medical facilities and failure of state machinery to cater the need of patients in the difficult times of pandemic, the Jharkhand High Court this week took note of the issue of non availability of CT Scan machine in RIMS, the sole premier institute in the State by calling the same as "a matter of serious concern."

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad sought response of Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department of the State to apprise the Court about the update of purchasing CT Scan machine and also asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi and Ranchi Municipal Corporation to apprise the Court as to how to make operational the Electric Crematorium constructed near Swarna Rekha River on the next date of hearing.

7. "Pathetic Situation In State, Non-Availability Of Remdesivir Injection, Medicines": Jharkhand High Court Issues Directions On COVID Management [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

Days after it took note of the issue of non-availability of CT Scan machine in RIMS, a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad expressed concern over the manner in which the State of Jharkhand has been handling the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Court called it a "serious issue of concern" that while the Drug Controller submitted that Remdesivir Injection and Favipiravir Tablets were being made available to top medical shops but people were not getting them.

Also Read: "State Heading Towards Health Emergency, Non Availability Of CT Scan Machine A Matter Of Serious Concern": Jharkhand HC Seeks Response Of State Authorities

Also Read: Covid Surge: Jharkhand Bar Council Restrains Advocates & Their Staff Across State From Performing Physical/ Online Court Work For 7 Days

8. COVID19: 'Black Marketing Of Life Saving Drugs': Jharkhand HC Raps Drug Controller, Asks Govt To Ensure Adequate Supply Of Drugs, Oxygen [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad came down heavily on the Drug Controller (for the State of Jharkhand) for her failure to discharge her duties and putting a check on black marketing of life-saving drugs.

It sought a report from the State Government regarding steps taken to maintain adequate supply of life-saving drugs and oxygen in different hospitals, both private as well as Government.

9. "People Dying Due To Oxygen Paucity": Jharkhand High Court Raps Govt, Warns Officials Of Contempt [Jyoti Sharma v. State of Jharkhand]

Dealing with a contempt case which was filed for non-compliance with the order passed by the Court in May 2017, a Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad rapped the State Government for its failure to make Sadar hospital functional with 500 beds. It sternly remarked, "In the considered view, the order passed by this Court dated 11.05.2017 has not been complied with even after lapse of about five years, therefore, the officers are in contempt."

The Court had, in May 2017, directed the State Government to complete the construction of a portion of 200 beds of Sadar Hospital and make it operational by the end of July 2017 and the rest portion of 300 beds of Sadar Hospital with all facilities to be completed by the end of December 2018. However, it noted that its order was not complied with on one excuse or the other even after a lapse of about five years.

Also Read: Jharkhand HC Issues Directions For The Release Of Oxygen Cylinders Lying In Judicial Custody To Facilitate Treatment Of COVID Affected Persons

10. COVID- 'There Should Not Be Any Effort To Protect Influential Persons': Jharkhand High Court Warns Agency Investigating Black Marketing Of Life Saving Drugs [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand]

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad warned the concerned officers, entrusted with curbing black marketing of medicines during Covid-19, from protecting any influential person involved in such illegal activities.

It noted that when the Government has channelized the supply of Remdesivir Injection through its own source, then the investigation is required to be conducted in order to look into the involvement of the concerned department because when the fact about supply of the aforesaid Injection is strictly to be made through the Government channel to be supplied to the hospitals where the patients are admitted and treated unless there is involvement of concerned working in the channel there is no question of coming out of the aforesaid Injection for its sale in open market through black marketing.

Also Read: "District & Police Admin Failed To Discharge Their Duties": Jharkhand High Court Directs CID To Keep Strict Vigil On Black Marketing Of Life Saving Drugs

11. Family Courts Constituted Under Secular Law; Cannot Turn Away Parties Seeking Divorce Under Customary Laws: Jharkhand High Court [Baga Tirkey v. Pinki Linda & Anr.]

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Aparesh Kumar Singh and Anubha Rawat Choudhary held that Family Courts cannot turn away parties seeking divorce under their customary laws. The Court emphasized that the Family Courts Act, 1984 is a secular law applying to all religions.

Section 7 thereof relates to Jurisdiction of Family Courts and sub-section (1)(A) of the provision confers on them "all the jurisdiction" hitherto exercised by any District Court in suits or proceedings relating marriage, divorce, etc. Thus, it is held that there is no precedent which bars members of the Scheduled Tribe to approach the Family Court by filing any suit or proceedings relating to matters mentioned in Section 7 of the Family Courts Act.

12. "PIL Doesn't Mean That Which Is Interesting As Gratifying Curiosity": Jharkhand High Court Dismisses PIL Challenging E-Pass Requirement Amid Lockdown [Rajan Kumar Singh v. State of Jharkhand]

A Bench of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad dismissed a PIL challenging the requirement of E-Pass during Lockdown. It remarked: "Public interest litigation does not mean that which is interesting as gratifying curiosity or a love of information or amusement; but that in which a class of the community have a pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected."

It also observed that due to acute surge in COVID-19, if in such situation certain restrictions have been imposed by the State of Jharkhand by reviewing the same from time to time, the same cannot be said to be unreasonable and arbitrary.

Also Read: Specify Steps To Be Taken To Combat COVID Surge In Case It Affects Kids: Jharkhand High Court To Govt

13. COVID- Jharkhand High Court Seeks Centre's Response On Action Taken By It's Competent Authority For Controlling Price Of Critical Medical Equipments [Md. Mumtaz Ansari v. Union of India & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad sought Centre's response on the action taken by its competent authority for controlling the price of critical medical equipments such as pulse Oximeters and oxygen concentrators included under the Drugs Price Control Order, 2013.

It was dealing with a petition seeking directions to bring COVID-19 Vaccines including Covishield and Covaxin etc. under price control by invoking Section 3 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and National Disaster Management Act, 2005.

14. 'Public Service Commission Has No Power To Relax Recruitment Norms' : Jharkhand High Court Quashes Civil Service Exams Result [Rahul Kumar & Ors. v. State of Jharkhand]

A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi quashed the merit list of the 6th Combined Civil service Examination, 2016 which was conducted by the State Public Service Commission (JPSC) to fill 326 positions. It quashed the result upon noting that the merit list was not prepared by the JPSC by following the criteria of minimum qualifying marks in each paper.

The Petitioners' contention was that the action of the JPSC in adding the total marks obtained by the candidates and not the minimum qualifying marks in each paper and the marks of Paper-I of General Hindi and General English while preparing the merit list is illegal It was stated that the purpose of this paper is merely to test the working minimum working knowledge of the persons and not their merit otherwise. The JPSC had admitted that marks of Paper-I were added in the merit list of the Mains examination, and that minimum qualifying marks of each paper were not taken into consideration and only total marks were considered for preparing the merit list.

15. "No Indication That Joseph Shine Judgment Will Apply Prospectively": Jharkhand High Court Acquits Man Convicted For Adultery In 2008 [August Kumar Mehta v. State of Jharkhand]

A Bench of Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary set aside an order passed in 2008 by the lower court convicting and sentencing a man for the offence of adultery after observing that there is no indication of prospective application in the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court declaring adultery as unconstitutional.

Relying on the judgment of Joseph Shine v. Union of India, the Court observed thus: "As per Article 141 of the Constitution of India, the law declared by the Hon'ble Supreme Court is binding on all the courts within the territory of India and the law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court applies to all pending proceedings. Upon perusal of the aforesaid decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, there is no indication that the same would apply prospectively and there is nothing like any prospective operation of law laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court."

16. COVID- "Follow State Govt's Guidelines For Disposal Of Dead Bodies; Come Out With Fresh Decision To Avoid Spread Of Infection": Jharkhand HC To State [Sitwanto Devi Mahila Kalyan Sansthan v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad directed the State Government to follow its guidelines for disposal of dead bodies who have died due to covid 19 infection in 'full letter and spirit'. It also observed that the State must come out with a fresh decision to avoid the spread of covid while disposing of dead bodies.

The development came in a PIL highlighting the concern that the Centre's guidelines "Covid-19: Guidelines On Dead Body Management" were being flouted by the State as the same were not being complied with strictly leading to disrespect to the dead bodies. The plea thus prayed for directions on the State Government to respect dead bodies of the COVID-19 deceased as well as their wards strictly as per the said guidelines and in conformity with Art. 21 of the Constitution of India.

17. Section 420 IPC- In The Absence Of Allegation Of Deception From The Inception No Offence Is Established: Jharkhand High Court

The High Court has held that in the absence of any allegation of deception, false promise, or inducement at the time of the transaction, merely the breach of undertaking to repay the loan in the manner claimed cannot be a basis for conviction under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. A bench of Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary, while setting aside the conviction of the accused, noted, "This Court also finds that the dispute between the petitioner and the informant was essentially in the realm of civil dispute and there being no evidence on record that the petitioner had the intention to cheat the informant right from the inception of the transaction of extending friendly loan/handing over mobile and golden ring to the petitioner, the conviction of the petitioner under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code cannot be sustained in the eyes of law."

18. Jharkhand High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance Of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Anand's Death

The Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the death of Additional District Judge (ADJ) of Dhanbad district, Uttam Anand, who was hit by a four-wheeled vehicle in broad daylight. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan issued the order directing the SSP, Dhanbad to remain present before the Court.

19. Judge Uttam Anand Death- 'Court Wants A Speedy, Fair & Professional Probe': Jharkhand HC Seeks SIT Report On Aug 3 [Court On its Own Motion v. State of Jharkhand]

Taking suo moto cognizance of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Annand's Death, the Court directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe into the incident, to submit its report on August 3. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad observed thus:

"We make it clear that this Court wants a speedy, fair, and professional investigation in the matter, as such, this Court will monitor the progress of the case and that is the reason we are posting this case on 03.08.2021 to look into the progress in the matter to come to the conclusion for the continuation of the investigation by the Special Investigating Team or to hand it over to the Central Bureau of Investigation"

Also Read: Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu And Puducherry Bar Councils Condemn Alleged Murder Of Jharkhand Judge Uttam Anand

20. Judge Uttam Anand Death Case Goes To CBI : Jharkhand High Court Accepts State's Recommendation [Court On Its Own Motion v. The State of Jharkhand]

Accepting the recommendation made by the Jharkhand Government, the Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe into the death case of Dhanbad district judge Uttam Anand at the earliest. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad gave this direction during the hearing of the case.

21. Political Party Members Constitute A 'Community' Within Meaning Of S. 125 Of Representation Of People Act: Jharkhand High Court

The High Court ruled that members of a political party constitute a community within the meaning of Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951.

Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary held thus while dismissing a criminal revision petition moved by petitioners who were convicted for burning the banner of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by Mashal during elections in February 2000.

22. Appellate Court Must Appoint An Amicus To Assist It In The Disposal Of Appeal In Case Of Non-Appearance Of Appellant : Jharkhand High Court Reiterates

The Court has held that an appellate court is required to consider all the materials on record and arrive at findings and in case of non-appearance of the appellant, the appellate court ought to have at least appointed an amicus to assist the court from the side of the appellant in the disposal of the appeal. Justice Anubha Rawat Chowdhary relied on the Supreme Court's observation in Mohd. Sukur Ali v. State of Assam.

23. Jharkhand High Court Directs Registry To Immediately Get All The Order-Sheets Of Each & Every Case Laminated [Sanjeev Kumar @ Sanjeev Kumar Singh v. Damodar Mishra & Ors.]

Emphasizing that the order sheets of Judicial records need to be protected and preserved, the Court recently directed its registry to get the order sheets of each and every case laminated immediately.

The Bench of Justice Ananda Sen issued this order noting that the High Court is a court of record and thus, due to the passage of time and because of handling of each of the case records by several persons, the order sheets get damaged and in many occasions gets torn.

24. Jharkhand High Court Extends 'No Coercive Action' Order Till December 7 In Defamation Case Against Rahul Gandhi [Rahul Gandhi v. State of Jharkhand and Anr.]

The Court extended the order of 'no coercive steps' against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi till December 7, in connection with a defamation case filed against him for his alleged statement, "why all thieves share the Modi surname".

The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi extended the life of the High Court's order passed on February 27, 2020, directing that no coercive steps be taken against Gandhi in connection with the defamation case filed against him before a Ranchi Court.

25. Jharkhand HC Hauls Up Bihar & Jharkhand Sr. Police Officers For Arresting Public Prosecutor Sans Following Due Procedure [Sweta Priyadarshni v. The State of Jharkhand & Others]

The Court called into question the action of the senior police officers of Bihar and Jharkhand state in a matter concerning the arrest of a Ranchi-based lawyer on account of their failure to follow the due process of law.

Essentially, the Bench of Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad and Justice Ananda Sen was hearing a habeas corpus writ petition filed by the wife of an Additional Public Prosecutor, seeking to know the whereabouts of her husband alleging that he had been detained by the Bihar police.

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