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Orissa High Court: 40 Important Decisions Of The Year 2021

Sparsh Upadhyay
5 Jan 2022 10:18 AM GMT
Orissa High Court: 40 Important Decisions Of The Year 2021
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As we have stepped into the year 2022, it is necessary to look back at the important decisions of the year 2021, and therefore, in this article, we would be going through 40 important decisions of the Orissa High Court spread across 10 Categories. Criminal Cases 1. "Justice Is Sum Of All Moral Duty": Orissa HC Orders ₹10 Lakh Compensation For Gang Rape Survivor Carrying Over...

As we have stepped into the year 2022, it is necessary to look back at the important decisions of the year 2021, and therefore, in this article, we would be going through 40 important decisions of the Orissa High Court spread across 10 Categories.

Criminal Cases

1. "Justice Is Sum Of All Moral Duty": Orissa HC Orders ₹10 Lakh Compensation For Gang Rape Survivor Carrying Over 26-Week Pregnancy ['X' v. State of Odisha & Ors]

Quoting political philosopher William Godwin, the Orissa High Court, while stressing that Justice is the sum of all moral duty, directed the State Government to pay ₹10 Lakh as compensation to a 20-year-old gang-rape victim who became pregnant due to the offence committed against her.

However, the Bench of Justice S.K. Panigrahi refused the permission sought by the victim to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy noting that the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 do not permit the termination of pregnancy of the petitioner.

2. Orissa High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Posting Whatsapp Message Urging People To Assault Former CJI For Refusing Rath Yatra Permission

The High Court granted bail to a man accused of posting a message in a WhatsApp group urging people to join him on a mission to assault the former Chief Justice of India with shoes for refusing permission to observe Rath Yatra.

Mukesh Jain, who is said to be the National Chairman of Dharma Rakshyak Shri Dara Sena, had allegedly portrayed the Chief Justice of India as a Naxalite and Christian terrorist and accused him for halting the Rath Yatra. Following this, he was charged under offences punishable under Sections 153/153-A/153-B/295-A/504/505/506 of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 66(F) of the Information Technology Act

3. Orissa High Court Orders CID Probe To Determine Authenticity Of Affidavit Allegedly Filed By Minor Rape Victim Claiming To Be Married To Accused (Khaga Naik v. State of Odisha)

The Court ordered the CID-Crime Branch to initiate a probe to determine the authenticity of an affidavit purportedly filed by a minor rape victim, claiming to be the wife of the accused in order to facilitate grant of bail to him. The controversy came to light when the concerned investigating officer submitted a report before the Court claiming that the affidavit had not been filed by the victim.

Justice S.K Sahoo ordered, "In such state of affairs, this Court thinks it proper that the matter should be enquired into by the CID, Crime Branch, Odisha which is a premier investigating agency of the State as to whether the said Anita Behera (Naik) has sworn affidavit in question before Notary, Cuttack Town on 06.04.2021 being identified by Mr. B.N. Mohapatra and whether the signatures of Anita Behera appearing on the affidavit as well as Vakalatnama are genuine or not and whether the marriage photographs annexed to the affidavit are that of the petitioner and the victim or not."

4. Orissa High Court Issues Notice On A Decade Old Plea Seeking Compensation For Incarceration In Allegedly False Sedition Case [Pratima Das v. State of Odisha & Ors.]

The Court has ordered fresh issuance of notices to the respondents in a decade-old matter for compensation to a lawyer-activist, allegedly incarcerated on the false charge of sedition. A division of Bench of Chief Justice Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray rejuvenated the matter by ordering fresh notices, upon observing that the case was only listed twice in the last decade and service of notice was still not complete.

5. Gandhi's Dream That Women Feel Safe To Walk At Midnight Is Falling Short Of Reality: Orissa HC Upholds Man's Conviction Under POCSO [Lilu @ Ashok Kumar Das Adhikari v. State of Odisha]

Upholding the conviction of a man under POCSO for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old minor girl, the Orissa High Court recently observed that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's dream that women feel safe to walk in the streets of India in the midnight is "falling short of reality".

The Bench of Justice S. K. Sahoo specifically observed thus: "The father of nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led Indian independence movement with great sons of soil like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bhagat Singh, Chandra Sekhar Azad, Subhas Chandra Bose and many more had once said, 'India will be free when the women feel safe to walk in the streets of India in the midnight'.

6. Auction Of Milch Cows With Calves Won't Amount To Abandoning/Cruelty Against Animals: Orissa High Court [Dhyaan Foundation v. State of Odisha and others]

The Orissa High Court recently observed that the auction of milch cows with calves does not amount to cruelty or abandoning the animals.

The Bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice S K Panigrahi was hearing a plea filed by Dhyaan Foundation, a registered trust engaged in the activity of rescue, care, treatment, and rehabilitation of animals under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Personal Liberty/Fundamental Rights/Constitutional Importance Cases

1. 'Case Proceeded At A Snail's Pace': Orissa High Court Acquits Man Of Corruption Charges After 31 Years [Sridhar Swain v. State of Odisha]

The High Court allowed a 31 years old criminal appeal and acquitted a man accused of corruption. "It is said that slow and steady wins the race, but when the world is changing very fast, if one does not take pace then the fast would beat the slow. This case is a glaring example to show as to how the true import of the legal maxim 'justice delayed is justice denied' has yet not been appreciated properly. Delayed justice is the deadliest form of denial of justice," a single bench of Justice SK Sahoo observed while disposing of the appeal filed in the year 1989.

Maheshwar Behera (Appellant no. 2) had been accused of abetting Sridhar Swain (Appellant no. 1) in committing the offence of corruption while executing repair works for the Rourkela Municipal Corporation. Justice Sahoo commented that the case had proceeded at a "snail's pace" as the FIR was registered against the appellant on 5th January, 1989 and the final order in this case was passed on Monday, 4thJanuary, 2021.

Also Read: Having Been Caught Red Handed, Victim Tried To Blame Appellant: Orissa HC Acquits Man Of Attempt To Rape Charge After 30 Yrs

2. Husband, Family Members Can't Treat Woman Like Slave Just Because She Is A Psychiatric Patient: Orissa High Court [Dipak Bhutia v. State of Odisha]

While denying Regular Bail to a Husband booked for allegedly subjecting his wife to cruelty, a Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi observed that a woman can't be treated like "slave bereft of any mercy and human compassion" just because she is allegedly a Psychiatric patient. It added, "Even the allegation of psychological illness of the complainant-victim does not give the petitioner and his family members the handle to treat her like slave bereft of any mercy and human compassion."

3. Man Spends 18 Yrs In Jail: Orissa High Court Orders De-nove Trial [Habil Sindhu v. State of Odisha]

Disposing of an appeal and setting aside the conviction and sentence of an appellant who spent 18 Years in Jail, a Bench of Justice SK Mishra and Justic Savitri Ratho remitted the matter back to the Sessions Court for de-nove trial.

The Bench was hearing the appeal filed by one Habil Sindhu assailing his conviction under Section 302/201 of the IPC. At the outset, the Bench noted that the appellant was not given proper legal assistance as enshrined under Article 39-A of the Constitution in the true sense.

4. "It Is Inexplicable That In A Democracy Manual Scavengers Sacrifice Their Lives For Better Health Of Their Fellow Beings": Orissa HC Orders 10L Compensation To Sanitation Workers' Family Who Lost Life [In Re: Deaths of Sanitation Workers]

It is inexplicable that a democratic country governed by the Constitution, the Preamble to which assures to all Indians social justice, equality of status and of opportunity, fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual, should witness, and condone, in the 21st century, the deplorable practice of making humans enter sewer lines and septic tanks that require cleaning, without protective gear, and in that process sacrifice their lives for the better health of their fellow beings, observed a Division Bench compromising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray in a suo moto case pertaining to the tragic death of two young men in Cuttack, during manual scavenging on April 15.

It directed the concerned State authorities to pay a compensation of Rs.10 lakhs each is disbursed forthwith to the family of each of the sanitation workers who died in the aforementioned tragic incidents. The Court has also ordered a probe into the incident and institution of relevant criminal proceedings as per the law.

5. Manual Scavenging: Orissa High Court Seeks Response On Disbursement Of Compensation To Sanitation Workers' Families Who Lost Life [In Re: Deaths of Sanitation Workers]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Savitri Ratho sought response of Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) on the issue of disbursement of compensation to the families of sanitation workers who died in the two incidents, one at Bhubaneswar and the other in Cuttack, during manual scavenging on April 15.

It was dealing with a suo moto petition instituted by the Court of the incidents that involved "egregious violations of the mandatory provisions contained the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013."

6. Ability To Provide Redress To Victims Of State & Police Excesses Makes Role Of Human Rights Bodies Significant: Orissa High Court [Tapan Narayan Rath and another v. State of Odisha and others]

This assertion came from the bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice A. K. Mohapatra who upheld the order of the OHRC recommending payment of compensation in connection with an alleged case of illegal detention in police custody. Further, the Court also opined that it is only a statutory body like the OHRC which has an exclusive investigating wing, which incidentally is itself comprised of police officers of the State who come over on deputation, which can possibly unearth the truth.

7. "Violation Of Constitutional Right To Life": Orissa HC Orders ₹20 Lakh Compensation In Case Of 2 Girls' Death At Anganwadi Centre [Jambeswar Naik and another v. State of Odisha and others]

The Court ordered ₹20 Lakh Compensation (ten lakh each) to the families of the two young girls (both 4-year-old) who had died in an Anganwadi Centre (AWC) operating in the premises of a Government School in the year 2012.

Importantly, the bodies of the two children were found in the waterlogged pits excavated in the premises of the School and when the bodies were sent to the local nursing home, they have declared brought dead by the doctor.

8. MTP Act- "Time Is Of Essence; Victim Shouldn't Suffer Due To Lack Of Onerous Obligations Involved In Process": Orissa High Court ['X' v. State of Odisha & Ors]

The Orissa High Court, while refusing to allow a gang-rape survivor to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy, recently noted that time is of the essence in matters involving the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and no victim should suffer due to lack of onerous obligations involved in the process. Although the court, in the instant case, painfully conscious of the possible impact of this decision on the life of the petitioner, noted that it was bound by the legal mandate. The Bench of Justice S.K. Panigrahi was dealing with the plea of a gang-rape victim who is carrying over 26-week pregnancy, who was denied permission to abort her child by the court of S.D.J.M., Banki, on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.

Advocates/Bar related Cases

1. Lawyer Not Wearing Neck-Band During Virtual Hearing: Orissa High Court Imposes Rs. 500 Fine To 'Restore Dignity Of The Profession'

A Bench of Justice S. K. Panigrahi imposed Rs. 500 fine on an advocate who was not wearing a Neck Band while arguing before the Court in virtual mode. While imposing the penalty, the Court observed, "The profession is solemn in nature and its profundity is complemented by its attire. Being an Advocate, he is expected to appear before the Court in a dignified manner with proper dress, even if it is a virtual mode."

Also read: "Extremely Unfortunate", Orissa High Court Imposes 5K Fine On An Absent Lawyer For 'Unnecessary Adjournment'

2. Lawyers Are Exempted From Paying GST/Service Tax, Do Not Harass Them By Issuing Demand Notices: Orissa High Court [Devi Prasad Tripathy v. Principal Commissioner, CGST & Ors.]

A bench comprising the Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice B.P. Routray directed the Commissioner GST to issue clear instructions to all the officers in the GST Commission rates in the state not to issue any notice demanding payment of service tax/GST to practising lawyers.

"It appears that despite knowing fully well that advocates are not liable to pay service tax or GST, notices continue to be issued to them by the GST Commissionerate. The Court expresses its concern that practising advocates should not have to face harassment on account of the Department issuing notices calling upon them to pay service tax/GST when they are exempted from doing so, and in the process also having to prove they are practising advocates," it observed.

COVID Related Orders

1. Orissa High Court Disposes Of PIL For Waiver Of School Fees During Covid-19, Based On MoU Submitted By Institutions For Flat Rate Concession [Mohammed Mustaq Ansari v. State of Odisha & Anr.]

A Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Dr. Justice BR Sarangi disposed of a batch of PILs seeking waiver of school fees levied by private unaided schools in the State, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic from March, 2020 onwards. The matter was closed after 14 private unaided schools submitted a MoU for waiver of fees at a flat rate in different slabs mentioned therein.

  • The MoU contemplates waiver of maximum 26% Tution/ composite fee for institutions where fees is above Rs. 1 lakh per annum. Similarly, there a separate slab rates, based on the fee amount. All schools charging fees upto Rs. 6,000/- shall not be liable to offer any waiver.
  • The institutions have decided to waive of 'Other Optional Fees' till reopening of schools. However, the charges on Transport and Food shall remain as per actual.
  • There is a flat waiver of 30% on Hostel fees.

2. Covid-19: No Prisoner Be Denied Vaccination Merely For Not Having Identity Documents For Registration On COWIN Portal: Orissa High Court

A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray directed the State Government to ensure that no prison inmate is denied vaccination only on the ground that the inmate is unable to get registered on the COWIN portal. "Alternate arrangements should be made to ensure that vaccination is not denied to such inmate," it ordered.

3. 'Upgrade Other State Buildings To Meet Prison Requirements': Orissa High Court Seeks Action Plan For Decongestion Of Prisons Amid Covid-19 [Krushna Prasad Sahoo v. State of Odisha & Ors.]

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Savitri Ratho suggested that more State buildings /facilities may be upgraded to meet the requirements of a prison, in order to decongest the existing penitentiaries. The remarks were made upon being informed that at least six prisons continue to be overcrowded in the state while the second wave of the pandemic causes havoc. It was informed that particularly, the situation in Bhadrak Special Sub-Jail is acute where against the capacity of 166 there are over 430 prisoners.

"In a time of COVID-19 Pandemic, this can also pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the prisoners as well as the jail staff," the Bench remarked at the outset. It stated that the situation is grave and requires immediate attention. Therefore, a direction is made to the State of Odisha to come up with a detailed "action plan" for dealing with the issue of overcrowding of prisons by June 28.

4. "Jagannath Temple Constitutes A Class Apart": Orissa HC Dismisses Pleas For Permission To Hold Rath Yatras In Other Places On Parity With Lord Jagannath Temple [Ratha Yatra Committee, Bhatli & Ors. v. Government of Odisha & Ors.]

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi dismissed a bunch of petitions filed by devotees and the sevayats of the deities praying for permission to hold Rath Yatras/Car Festival in other places in the State on parity with the permission granted in relation to Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri.

"These are extraordinary times in which not just Odisha but the entire country is barely recovering from the second wave of the deadly Covid pandemic. The measures and precautions taken by the State of Odisha have to be viewed in the said context. Consequently, this Court is not inclined to entertain any of the prayers in any of the above writ petitions, praying for permission to hold their respective Rath yatras/festivals on parity with the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri," it observed.

Also read: Whether State Govt. Enquired Into The Issue Of Undercounting Of COVID Deaths?: Orissa High Court Seeks District-Wise Death Data

Cases on directions To State Govt/Orissa Police/Replies Sought

1. Issue Directions To Follow Uniform Font Size, Line Spacing In Preparing FIR, To Ensure Better Visibility & Readability: Orissa HC To DGP [Buni @ Tunirani Pradhan & Anr. v. State of Odisha]

In view of difficulties encountered by the prosecution, defence and the Court while perusing F.I.R., charge sheet and such other reports, a Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi directed the State DGP to issue directions to follow uniform font size, line spacing in preparing fir, other reports.

Calling it a 'serious issue', the Bench directed the DG Police, Odisha to inform all the Police Officers of all Police Stations to follow a uniform pattern of font size of 12 in Times New Roman while preparing charge sheet, F.I.R. or any reports with line spacing of 1.5.

2. Need Amendment To Define What Constitutes Sexual Intercourse On False Promise To Marry: Orissa High Court

A Single Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi observed that the law holding that having sexual intercourse on a false promise to marry amounts to rape "appears to be erroneous". However, the Court went ahead to observe that the plight of the victim and probability of the accused in tarnishing her image need to be looked which deciding the question of bail.

The Court also observed that there is a need for amendment in the legislation defining what constitutes sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix on the pretext of false promise to marry.

3. Specify Steps Taken To Implement Manual Scavenging Prohibition Act In Letter & Spirit: Orissa High Court To State Govt [In Re: Deaths of Sanitation Workers]

The Court has asked the State to file an affidavit specifying steps it has taken so far to implement the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act (PEMSR Act), 2013.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice A. K. Mohapatra also sought to know from the Collector of Puri as to whether there is awareness among the local population of the binding provisions of the PEMSR Act as well as the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 (EMSCDLP Act).

4. Not Even A Single Person From Vulnerable Categories Should Be Left Out Of Either National Food Security Act Or SFSS: Orissa High Court [Prafulla Samantara v. State of Odisha]

Expressing dissatisfaction with the State Government's submission that that it has already covered 80% of the population under the targeted public distribution system (PDS), a division bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray observed, "There cannot be any persons belonging to vulnerable categories in Odisha who are left out of either the NFSA (National Food Security Act) or the SFSS (State Food Security Scheme). A constant endeavor must be made to increase the coverage with every passing month."

Importantly, the Court said, "It is not sufficient to state that the government has already covered 80 pc of the population under the PDS."

5. Plea Seeking 'Strict' Enforcement Of Orissa Prohibition Act: Orissa High Court Seeks State Govt. Response [Arun Kumar Budhia v. Chief Secretary To Govt. Of Odisha]

A Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi sought response of the State Government on plea enforcement of the Orissa Prohibition Act, 1956 which prohibits, inter alia, sale and consumption of intoxicating liquors and drugs in the State.

It may be noted that the State Legislature had passed the law with an intention to introduce and extend the prohibition on the manufacture, sale, and consumption of intoxicating liquors and drugs in Odisha. The President of India had given his assent to the Act in the year 1957.

The petitioner prayed in the plea that the State must strictly enforce the Orissa Prohibition Act, 1956 which according to the Petitioner is still in force. The Petitioner stated that the petition was not only about manufacture and sale of illicit liquor, but all forms of liquor, which according to him, stand prohibited under the Orissa Prohibition Act.

6. Orissa High Court Seeks Response On ERSU, Implementation Of Govt Advisory Prohibiting Human Entry Into Septic Tanks

The High Court sought response of the State Authorities on the functionality of established Emergency Response Sanitation Units and also on the steps taken for the implementation of Advisory issued by the State Government titled 'Prohibition of human entry into septic tank and sewer network –functioning of Emergency Response Sanitation Units" (ERSU)'.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice Savitri Ratho was dealing with a suo moto petition instituted by the Court of the incidents that involved "egregious violations of the mandatory provisions contained the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013."

7. Orissa High Court Imposes 50K Cost On An Investigating Officer For Non-Production Of Case Diary [Sujit Sahu v. State of Odisha]

The High Court recently imposed Rs.50,000/- cost on the Investigating Officer of Jaipatna Police Station (investigating a criminal case) for non-production of the case diary.

The Bench of Justice S. Pujahari has directed the probe officer to deposit the amount before the concerned District Legal Services Authority

8. Overcrowding In Jails- Orissa High Court Directs Personal Appearance Of IG, Prisons; Calls For Long Term Plans On Consultative Basis [Krushna Prasad Sahoo v. State of Odisha and Others]

Dealing with a plea concerning the issue of overcrowding of jails, the Orissa High Court has recently directed personal appearance of Inspector General, Prisons of the State while issuing a direction that long term plans on consultative basis must be formed in order to deal with the issue. A division bench comprising of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice S.K. Panigrahi also directed the IG, Prisons to file an affidavit updating the statistics and the exact numbers of inmates shifted from one jail to the other, or to some other suitable location.

9. Can't Direct State Govt To Extend Financial Assistance To Workers Associated With Durga Puja Festivals: Orissa High Court

The Court said that it can't direct the State Government to separately extend financial relief to workers associated with the Durga Puja festivals and whose livelihood has been adversely affected due to COVID.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B. P. Routray was hearing a bunch of petitioners, who are the office bearers of various Puja Committees in and around Cuttack city, and broadly made two prayers before the Court.

PIL Matters

1. "Petitioners Should Wait For A Response After Making Representation To Authorities Before Filing PILs": Orissa High Court [Madan Mohan Sahu v. Collector, Angul & Ors.]

Noting that in a large number of PIL matters, the petitioners are filing writ petitions soon after making a representation without waiting for a response, a Bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray disposed of a Writ Petition asking the petitioner to at least give a two months' time to the Opposite Parties to take a decision on his representation.

The Court referred to Rule 8 of the Orissa High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules, 2010 (2010 Rules), which states that before filing a PIL, the Petitioner must send a representation to the authorities concerned for taking remedial action, akin to what is postulated in Section 80 of CPC. Details of such representation and reply, if any, from the authority concerned must be filed with the petition. However, in urgent cases, petition can be filed straightway by giving prior notice of filing to the authorities.

Education/Students/Service related cases

1. 'Right To Safe Education': Orissa High Court Quashes Govt Order For Merger Of Primary Schools Citing Importance Of Neighbourhood Schools At Walking Distance [Lilly Samal & Ors. v. State of Odisha & Ors.]

In a significant judgment concerning elementary education among the poor, a Single Bench of Dr. Justice BR Sarangi held that it is essential to ensure that primary schools are situated within walking distance of their neighbourhood.

It observed that the "Right to education includes right to safe education", and when the very purport of the Right to Education Act, 2009 is to provide at least one school within a walking distance of one kilometre of the neighbourhood, in that case, the State Government cannot take steps for abolition of schools that are already catering to the needs of the local people, merely on the ground of decreasing roll strength.

Cases affecting the entire society

1. Term 'Unemployment' Sounds Like A Death Knell For Youth, Duping Them On Pretext Of Securing Job Is 'Cheating Of Highest Order' [Akash Kumar Pathak v. State of Odisha]

A Bench of Justice SK Sahoo recently observed that exploiting the youth and duping him of his money arranged with much difficulty on the pretext of providing job and thus, makes him falling prey to temptations of lucrative jobs is cheating of highest order.

The Court ruled that making a false promise to the job aspirant by assuring him/her job on payment of huge amount itself establishes one of the essential ingredients of cheating as envisaged under section 415 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. Orissa High Court Bats For Using Best Practices Adopted Worldwide To Tackle Issue Of Overcrowding Of Jails

Taking into account the issue of overcrowding of prisons in the state, the Court has emphasized that best practices adopted elsewhere in the world be used to address the issue of overcrowding of jails and examine how far they can be adopted for implementation in Odisha.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B. P. Routray also asked the state prison authorities to examine the applicability of employing the quarantine process recommended by a high power committee (HPC) of Bihar for jails during the COVID-19.

3. 'Even Basic Standard Of Decent Living Not In Place': Orissa HC On Watching Real-Time Video Of Rehabilitation Colony For Evicted Slum Dwellers [Ruja Bibi v. State of Odisha]

The Court expressed serious concern over the lack of basic amenities at the rehabilitation and resettlement colony set up by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) at Nimpur for slum dwellers evicted from three locations in the city.

The CMC had set up nearly 1,000 houses at the Nimpur colony for the evicted slum dwellers over a year ago.

Cases related to economic offences, Bidding Etc

1. 'Robbed People Of Their Dreams, Worse Than Murder': Orissa HC Denies Bail To Accused Who Duped Home Buyers Of ₹4.16 Crore [Maheswar Sahoo @ Sahu v. State of Odisha]

The Court observed that economic offences involving unfair exploitation of depositors and causing total imbalance in the economy are 'worse than murders'.

The Court was adjudicating upon a bail plea filed under Section 439 CrPC by one Maheswar Sahoo, accused of duping home-buyers//investors of more than Rs 4.16 crore on the pretext of providing them with duplexes.

2. No Right Accrues In Favour Of Bidders Of A Tender Offer Unless The Same Is Approved By Higher Authorities: Orrisa High Court [M/s. Ashirbad Industries & Ors. v. State of Odisha & Ors.]

The writ petitions filed by participants of a tender offer challenging the action of the Superintending Engineer and Chief Engineer in cancelling the tender was dismissed by a Bench consisting of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray while holding that when the tender is yet to be approved by higher authorities, no right accrues in favor of the participants, and they cannot challenge the action of the authorities in cancelling the tender.

In this case, a joint writ petition was filed by the petitioners challenging the cancellation of Tender Call invited by the Executive Engineer, Bhubaneswar to execute the Hydro Mechanical Gate works under different Civil Divisions.

The petitioners in this case were successful bidders, however, there was a delay in finalizing the tender process.

The petitioners thereby filed individual petitions before the Court, and in the meantime, the Superintending Engineer and the Chief Engineer passed an order intimating the rejection of tender as the tender documents were found defective and the discrepancies regarding "Structure and Organization", "Plant and Equipment" and "Performance record" were noticed during re-scrutinization.

3. Orissa High Court Seeks State's Response In Plea Challenging Constitutional Validity Of Orissa Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955 [Tic Tok Skill Games Pvt. Ltd & Ors v. State of Odisha]

The Orissa High Court issued notice on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Orissa Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955 for being manifestly arbitrary. The plea contended that the impugned legislation impinges on the right to practice any profession, trade or business as guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

Other miscellaneous orders

1. Orissa High Court Permits Sale & Use Of Only 'Green Crackers' During Diwali, As Per SC Directions [All Odisha Fireworks Dealers Association and Others v. Union of India]

The Orissa High Court allowed the use and sale of only 'green crackers' during the upcoming festivities pursuant to the prior directions of the Supreme Court.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray was adjudicating upon a plea moved by an association of firecracker manufacturers called All Odisha Fireworks Dealers Association and Others.

2. Odisha Bandh- Orissa HC Directs Congress Party To Ensure Peaceful Protest, No Closure Of Shops, Disruption Of Public Transport Allowed [Naresh Kumar Mishra v. State of Odisha and Ors]

The Court directed the Congress party in the State to ensure that whatever protest is organized on November 12 is peaceful and does not cause any inconvenience or disruption to any member of the public. The Court in particular underscored that no attempt should be made to forcibly close any establishment or shop or prevent the plying of buses, trains and all other forms of public or private transport.

3. Orissa High Court Directs Postponement Of State Film Awards Ceremony [Bobby Islam v. State of Odisha and others]

The Court directed the postponement of the Odisha State Film Awards ceremony which was scheduled to be held this week.

The direction from the Bench of Justice Arindam Sinha came while hearing a plea filed by Odia film direction, Bobby Islam who submitted that two films, which have been selected on several categories in the list for the award, are ineligible for entry under rule 3(b) in Orissa State Awards for Films Rules, 2010 as they are not original films.

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