High Courts Weekly Roundup

first_imgNews UpdatesHigh Courts Weekly Roundup Akshita Saxena6 Sep 2020 5:05 AMShare This – xWeek Commencing From August 31, 2020 To September 6, 2020 Allahabad High Court 1) NSA Charges Against Dr. Kafeel Khan Dropped; Allahabad HC Directs Immediate Release [Nuzhat Perween v. State of UP & Anr.] In a huge relief to Dr. Kafeel Khan, who had been in custody under the stringent provisions of the National Security Act, 1980, the Division Bench comprising Chief…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginWeek Commencing From August 31, 2020 To September 6, 2020 Allahabad High Court 1) NSA Charges Against Dr. Kafeel Khan Dropped; Allahabad HC Directs Immediate Release [Nuzhat Perween v. State of UP & Anr.] In a huge relief to Dr. Kafeel Khan, who had been in custody under the stringent provisions of the National Security Act, 1980, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh directed the Government to immediately release him. The HC observed that the charges against Dr. Khan were unwarranted as there was no occasion in his allegedly provocative speech that instigated hatred against any community or promoted violence. Also Read: ‘Dr Kafeel Khan’s Speech Does Not Promote Hatred Or Violence, It Gives A Call For National Integrity And Unity Among Citizens’: Allahabad HC Also Read: Chief Justice Govind Mathur, Who Quashed Kafeel Khan’s Detention, Has A Consistent Record Of Upholding Fundamental Rights 2) Allahabad HC Allows Withdrawal Of Pleas Against ‘Name & Shame Ordinance’ With Liberty [Ashwin Duggal & Ors. v. State of UP & Anr.] The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh dismissed as withdrawn the plea challenging UP’s Name and Shame Ordinance, after Senior Advocate Manish Goyal, appearing on behalf of the State Government informed the Court that the impugned Ordinance had been passed as an Act by the Vishan Sabha, with significant changes. The Court however granted liberty to the Petitioner to file a fresh plea challenging the Act, if and when it is passed. 3) Covid 19: Allahabad HC Prohibits Serving Of Hookahs In Restaurants/Cafes Until Further Orders [Suo Moto v. State of UP & Ors.] As a preventive measure against the spread of Corona virus, the Division Bench comprised by Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Shamim Ahmed prohibited the serving of Hookah/s in restaurants, cafes etc., in the State of UP with immediate effect. “The communal nature of water pipe smoking means that a single mouth piece and hose are often shared between users, especially in social settings. The difficult-to-clean long pipes and a cold water reservoir makes them ideal for coronavirus transmission. Infection can be transmitted through hookah by waterpipe smoking,” the Court said. 4) Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Against Appointment Of Additional Advocates General [Asok Pande v. Union of India] The Division Bench comprising Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Dinesh Kumar Singh dismissed a PIL contending that there can be only one Advocate General in a State and that appointment of Additional Advocates General is impermissible under the Constitution. It observed that appointment of AAG is necessary to ensure proper/smooth assistance of the Court on behalf of the State. The Petitioner had contended that all powers vested with the AG, either by the Constitution or by different enactments, are to be performed only and only by him. The Court clarified that an AAG discharges only “urgent and routine work” of the office of AG and is not entrusted with the powers of the AG under the Constitution. 5) Allahabad HC Grants Interim Bail To The Government Counsel Accused Of Sexually Harassing A Young Lawyer [Shailendra Singh Chauhan v. State Of U.P. & Anr.] Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh granted interim bail to a government counsel in connection to a rape case lodged against him by a young lawyer. “The applicant is a reputed Advocate and has been practicing in this Court for the last 29 years without having any criminal antecedent(s). The applicant was Additional Chief Standing Counsel for the State Government and for number of Departments and Corporations. The entire evidence against the applicant is based on documents. Having regard to the status which the applicant has, there is no likelihood of his fleeing away from justice,” the Court said. Previous orders in the matter: Allahabad HC Grants Interim Relief From Arrest To Govt Counsel Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Young LawyerSC Stays Allahabad HC Order Granting Interim Relief From Arrest To Govt Counsel Accused Of Sexually Harassing Young Lawyer[Rape Case Against UP Govt Counsel] SC Issues Notice On Plea Seeking CBI Investigation & Transfer Of Case From UP 6) People Are Taking Covid-19 Directives ‘Casually’ On Account Of Unlock-4: Allahabad HC Issues Slew Of Directions To Prevent Transmission [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive Respondent] In view of notification and enforcement of Unlock 4 Guidelines from September 1 onwards, the Allahabad High Court has expressed concern over wider spread of COVID-19 infection as people would go out. To prevent the same, the Division Bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar have issued a slew of directions, including use of CCTV cameras to monitor whether people follow social distancing norms, appointment of Advocate Commissioners to oversee the ground situation, etc. Also Read: Social Distancing Seems To Be An ‘Empty Shibboleth’; Treatment System At Government Hospitals Has ‘Collapsed’: Allahabad HC Raps UP Govt Also Read: [Increasing Number Of COVID Cases In UP] ‘Any Step Lesser Than A LockDown Would Be Of No Help’: Observes Allahabad HC 7) Covid-19 Centre/Hospital Can Be Set Up Within Residential Colonies: Allahabad HC [Chandra Prakash Mishra & Anr. v. State of UP & Ors.] The Division Bench comprised of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava made it clear that a COVID-19 Centre/Hospital can be set up within residential colonies. The clarification comes in a PIL seeking a direction upon the State Government to shift the COVID-19 Centre/ Hospital situated in the vicinity of a residential colony in Prayagraj, to some other place. “In terms of the various guidelines issued by the Government, COVID Care facilities have been permitted to be set up within residential colonies also to cater to pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic and mild cases with a view to reduce the burden on the existing health care facilities,” the Bench observed. 8) Allahabad HC Issues Notices On Contempt Plea Against UP Advocates Welfare Funds Trustees Committee For Failure To Disburse Funds To Needy Advocates [Suresh Chandra Pandey v. Shri Jai Prakash Singh-II & Anr.] The Single Bench of Justice Piyush Agrawal issued notices to the Chairman and Secretary of the UP Advocates Welfare Funds Trustees Committee, in a contempt petition for non-implementation of a Division Bench order in suo moto PIL titled In re: Assistance to the Needy Advocate and Registered Advocates Clerk. The Court has given ten days’ time to the Respondents to file their reply in the matter. Plea alleges contempt of these orders: Allahabad HC Issues Directions For Providing Financial Assistance To Needy Advocates Affected By COVID-19 And LockdownAllahabad HC Directs UP Advocates’ Welfare Fund Trustees Committee To Take Loan If It Doesn’t Have Enough Funds To Support Lawyers 9) [Gang Rape Case] Allahabad HC Grants 2-Month Interim Bail Former UP Minister Gayatri Prajapati On Medical Grounds [Gayatri Prasad Prajapati v. State Of UP] The bench of Justice Ved Prakash Vaish granted interim bail to former Uttar Pradesh minister Gayatri Pradesh Prajapati, in connection to a gang rape case registered against him in 2017. The relief was granted after taking into account his medical condition, which was confirmed by the medical status report. It may be noted that Prajapati was in jail since March 2017; however, he had also undergone treatment at KGMU & SGPGI (both situated in Lucknow) for multiple health issues while he was in judicial custody. Now he has been granted bail on a personal bond in the sum of Rupees Five Lakh with two sureties of Rupees Two Lakh Fifty Thousand each to the satisfaction of the concerned trial court. 10) [Student Died On College Campus Due To Electric Shock] Allahabad HC Recalls Dismissal Order As It Could Not Hear Petitioner Amid Pandemic [Vijay Kumar Srivastava v. Union of India & Ors.] Noting that the plea of a grieving parent, who had lost his son to an electric shock at ABES Engineering College, Ghaziabad, could not be heard due to the pandemic, the Division Bench comprised of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Dr. Yogendra Kumar Srivastava recalled its order whereby it had dismissed the plea for withdrawal of approval of the College. “The petition was taken up and decided during Covid-19 Pandemic when the regular working of the Court was disturbed. It appears that though the Court had perused the record and passed a final order that the petitioner himself was not heard while passing the said order. In view of the aforesaid, in order to give opportunity of hearing to the petitioner, we consider it expedient in the interest of justice to recall the order dated 29.7.2020 and to restore the petition to its original number for hearing before the appropriate Bench,” the Court said. 11) Allahabad HC Refuses To Order Inquiry Into The Utilisation Of Funds Released Under The MPLAD Scheme [Amar Nath Mishra v. Government Of India & Ors.] The bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Yogendra Kumar Srivastava ruled that the Court cannot direct to make an inquiry with regard to utilisation of the funds released under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). It observed that the scheme contains sufficient guidelines to maintain transparency in the work to be executed and in case of any grievance, the same may be raised before the appropriate administrative authorities. Access full report to read about MPLADS. Also Read: MPLADS : Why SC Upheld Constitutionality Of Scheme In 2010? 12) [FB Post Against PM Modi And UP CM] Freedom Of Speech Cannot Be Extended To Matters Prejudicial To National interest: Allahabad HC Refuses To Quash Sedition FIR Against Dr. [Dr. Imrana Khan v. State of UP & Ors.] The freedom of speech cannot be extended to such extent which may be prejudicial to the National interest, said the bench comprising Justices Ramesh Sinha and Samit Gopal while refusing to quash an FIR lodged against a Dr. Imrana Khan, a Unani Medical Officer. She had allegedly shared posts against the activities of the Government on her Facebook against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “We are of the opinion that the material which has been posted by the petitioner appears to be a serious one which may incite communal disharmony, the freedom of speech cannot be extended to such extent which may be prejudicial to the National interest and the impugned FIR discloses cognizable offence against the petitioner,” the Court said. 13) Cheap Publicity Stunt: Allahabad HC Imposes Cost On Petitioner Seeking Deprivation Of Citizenship Of JNU’s Kanhaiya Kumar [Nageshwar Mishra v. Union of India & Ors.] The Bench of Justices SK Gupta and Shamim Ahmed dismissed with costs a PIL for revocation of citizenship of Kanhaiya Kumar, former President of the Students’ Union, JNU, in connection to the 2016 Sedition Case. It noted that the plea had been filed with the sole motive of gaining “cheap publicity” without even going through the provisions relating to deprivation of Citizenship. The Petitioner had urged the Court to direct the Government to cancel Kumar’s citizenship under Section 10 (2) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955. However, the Court observed that Section 10 does not apply to Mr. Kumar as he was born in the territory of India and by virtue of Article 5(a) of Constitution of India, he is a citizen of India. Bombay High Court 1) “Students Do Not Suffer For No Fault On Their Part”: Bombay HC Directs NTA To Consider Plea Of Students Unable To Attend JEE Due To Flood/ Transport/ Communication Issues [Court on its own motion v. Union of India & Ors.] Ahead of the JEE Main Exam which began on September 1, the Division bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice PV Ganediwala refused to grant a stay on the said examination for students living in flood affected areas of Vidarbha region. However, the Court noted that if any student from the flood affected areas is unable to attend the exam, he/she may forward a representation to the Apex body of JEE Main Examination which the Court said must be decided within 15 days. 2) Benefit Under Section 436-A Of CrPC Can Be Extended To Undertrials Only, Not Those Challenging Conviction: Bombay HC (Full Bench) [Maksud Sheikh Gaffur Sheikh v. State of Maharashtra] A full bench of the High Court held that the benefit under Section 436-A of CrPC can be extended to an undertrial prisoner only, not a convict who has challenged his conviction under Section 374 of CrPC. Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, Justice RK Deshpande and Justice SB Shukre observed: “Reading the Section as a whole, we find that the benefit under the section has been intended to be given only to the under-trial prisoners. The words “during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial” and the words “maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence” are significant. They indicate that only that person who has undergone detention for a period of one half or more of the maximum prescribed punishment during investigation, inquiry or trial under the Code who is eligible for his release on personal bond with or without sureties or bail, as the case may be.” 3) Bombay HC Directs State & University To Pay Rs 5 Lakhs Each To Bhima Koregaon Accused Shoma Sen [Shoma Sen v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice RK Deshpande directed Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University and the State Government to pay Rs.5 lakh each to former Head of PG Department of English at Nagpur University, Professor (Rtd.) Shoma Sen towards payment of gratuity, which was withheld after Sen’s arrest in the Bhima Koregaon violence case in June 2018, a month before her retirement. 4) Co-Operative Society A Part Of Constitutional Scheme, Interference In Their Affairs Should Be Avoided Unless Necessary: Bombay HC [Rambujarat Ramraj Chaurasia v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] Division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Abhay Ahuja observed that cooperative societies are a part of the constitutional scheme and should have the necessary space and autonomy to function and develop to its full potential. Thus, interference in its affairs should be avoided unless there is serious statutory breach or compelling necessity. The Court was hearing a petition filed by the Chairman of Vidhisha Shantiniketan Co-operative Housing Society Ltd. Against order of Deputy Registrar restricting the Society from operating its bank account. “We would only say that cooperative societies are now part of the constitutional scheme as cooperative societies have been inserted in the Constitution of India as Part IX B by way of the Constitution (Ninety-seventh Amendment) Act, 2011 w.e.f. 15.02.2012. Therefore, co-operative societies should have the necessary space and autonomy to function and develop to its full potential. Interference in the affairs of cooperative societies should be avoided unless there is serious statutory breach or compelling necessity,” the Bench observed. 5) “Petitioners Have Approaches Us At The Eleventh Hour”; Bombay HC Refuses Stay On Final Year Examinations Of Undergraduate Students A division bench of Justice AA Sayed and Justice SP Tavade rejected the ad-interim prayer of nine students of various streams of the Maharashtra University Of Health Science, Nashik who sought stay on examinations in physical mode of final year undergraduate medical students set to begin across the State from September 8. The Court observed: “The examinations are to be held from September 8, 2020. In our view, the Petitioners have approached this Court at the eleventh hour. There is only one working day between today i.e. 5 September 2020 (Saturday) and 8 September 2020 (Tuesday). Hence, we are not inclined to grant any ad interim relief staying examination. The prayer for stay of the examination is rejected.” 6) Bombay HC Says It Expects Media To Show Restraint In Reporting & Not To Hamper Investigation In Sushant Singh Rajput Case [Nilesh Navlakha & Anr. v. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting] A bench of Justices AA Sayed and SP Tavade said that expects the media to show restraint while reporting the developments in the case relating to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The bench also said that the media should not report in a manner which hampers the ongoing investigation in the matter. “At this stage and since the Respondent No.5 to 11(media houses) are not present, before we consider grant of any prayers sought in the Petitions, we only urge and expect the said Respondents to exercise restraint in the media reporting pertaining to the investigation of unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput which would in any manner hamper or prejudice the ongoing investigation which is being carried out by Respondent No.4-CBI after the imprimatur of the Supreme Court vide judgment and order dated 19-08-2020,” the Court said. Also Read: Sushant Singh-Rhea Chakraborty Case : Did Single Bench Exceed Its Limited Jurisdiction U/s 406 CrPC By Ordering CBI Investigation? Calcutta High Court 1) Calcutta HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of Unnatural Deaths Of Elephants, Bisons Etc [In Re: Unnatural death of Elephants, Bisons and other wild animals, birds , reptiles , amphibians etc. in North Bengal during the recent past] A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Subhasis Dasgupta on its own motion took cognizance of the issue of unnatural death of Elephants, Bisons and other wild animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians etc. in North Bengal during the recent past. The Court opined that it is time for the judiciary to have a look at matters touching the safety of the jungle habitat and the forests, having particular regard to the interest of the wildlife in the form of animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc. as well as the flora and fauna including the preservation of forest wealth. The Court has impleaded Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of West Bengal and Ors. as respondent in this matter. Chhattisgarh High Court 1) Chhattisgarh HC Stays Proceedings For Allotment Of Govt Land To Congress Party [Bhanu Chandrakar v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.] The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu stayed the proceeding with respect to allotment of a Government land to the Congress Party, for construction of their offices in Kurud District, Chhattisgarh. The Court observed that the Petitioner had made out a prima facie case and it is pertinent to seek a response from the Respondent-authorities. The Petitioner has inter alia contended that the impugned allotment was against the procedure prescribed for allotment of government land inasmuch as no public auction or notice or any advertisement was published before allotting the said land by passing of resolution by Nagar Panchayat Kurud. 2) ‘Despite Clear Mandate Of Section 357-A CrPC, Non- Implementation Of It By Criminal Courts Is Disturbing’, Chhattisgarh HC Orders 7 Lakhs Compensation For Rape Victim [XYZ v. State of Chhattisgarh & Anr.] “Despite clear mandate contained in Section 357-A of the Code and mandate of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in this regard in the judgments cited, the criminal courts are not even considering the question of compensation to the victims, particularly the rape victims which is not only disturbing but warranting remedial steps to be taken forthwith,” the bench of Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal observed while granting compensation of Rs. 7 lakh to a rape victim. Delhi High Court 1) Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl: Delhi HC Refuses To Grant Injunction In A Plea Moved By Centre Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher refused to provide injunction against the movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl in a plea moved by Central Government claiming that the said movie has wrongfully depicted the Indian Air Force in bad light. The Court noted that the movie has already been on the Netflix platform for long and it is now too late to grant injunction. 2) Challenge To Pre-Legislative Consultation Process Adopted For Draft Health Data Management Policy, Delhi HC Directs Centre To Consider Plea As Representation The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan directed the Central Government to consider as representation a plea challenging the process adopted by the concerned authority for pre-legislative consultation process for ‘National Digital Health Mission: Health Data Management Policy’. 3) Delhi HC Orders Ministry Of Corporate Affairs To Set Aside Disqualification Of Directors On June, 2017 In Light Of Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 [Sandeep Agarwal & Anr. V. Union of India & Anr.] Single Benhc of Justice Prathiba M. Singh passed an order to set aside the disqualification of petitioners as Directors who were disqualified under a retrospective application of the Companies Amendment Act, 2018 in June, 2017. Such order was passed by the Court in light of the Companies Fresh Start Scheme launched by the Government in March, 2020 as it observed that a fresh cause of action had arisen for the petitioners under this new Scheme. 4) No Material Produced By Delhi Police To Show That Devangana Kalita Instigated Violence Or Gave Hate Speech: Delhi HC [Devangana Kalita v. State of NCT of Delhi] While granting bail to JNU student, Devangana Kalita, in a case related to Delhi riots conspiracy, the Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait observed that the Delhi police failed to produce any material to show that she instigated women of a particular community or gave hatred speech leading to violence. After going through the case diary along with the pendrive submitted by the police in a sealed cover, the court noted that though her presence is seen in peaceful agitation, there was no material produced to show that she instigated violence or gave hate speech. Gauhati High Court 1) Rape Is Violation Of Victim’s Fundamental Right Under Article 21: Gauhati HC [Nasir Uddin Ali v. State Of Assam] Dismissing an appeal preferred a rape convict, the Bench of Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan observed that rape is a violation of victim’s fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. It held that rape tantamount to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman and is a crime against the entire society as well. 2) No One Has The Right To Put Own Life In Jeopardy Or Others’ Life At Risk’, Gauhati HC Asks State Authorities To Act Tough Against COVID Protocol Violators [Tanmay Jyoti Mahanta v. The State of Assam & Ors.] A division bench comprised of Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Manish Choudhury suggested the Assam Government to take strict action against those not following physical distancing norms, including the imposition of fine on violators. This was after the Court was informed that “the residents do not maintain proper social distance in public or workplaces. This has resulted in the extensive spread of the Pandemic”. “We are pained at recording that it is common knowledge that the residents of the State in market places and otherwise can be commonly seen without wearing any masks, or wearing masks below nose level which would result in the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We further find that people get together in groups in market places and in work environments without caring for their own health or the health of the others. Surely, no resident/citizen has the right to put his own life in jeopardy or put the life of the others at risk,” the Court remarked. 3) Gauhati HC Sets Aside Police Commissioner’s Order Suspending Telecast Of TV Serial ‘Begum Jaan’ [M/S AM Television & Ors. v. State of Assam & Ors.] A single bench of Justice Suman Shyam set aside August 24 order passed by Commissioner of Police, Gauhati to suspend the telecast of Assamese serial ‘Begum Jaan’— based on a theme of Hindu-Muslim love relationship. The Court granted relief to the program makers after noting that the order was passed without hearing the affected parties, and without following the procedure under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1994. Gujarat High Court 1) Gujarat HC Asks NCLT Ahmedabad To Formulate SOP For Virtual Hearing; Physical Hearing With Consent Of Counsel Only [Sonu Cargo Movers (I) Pvt. Ltd v. Wind World (India) Ltd Through Its Resolution Professional] The Division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala directed the National Company Law Tribunal at Ahmedabad to frame a standard operating procedure (SOP) in consultation with the Bar Association, for virtual functioning of the Tribunal, within a week. It further directed the Tribunal that if any matter is to be heard by adopting the mode of physical hearing, then the consent of all the learned counsel appearing in the litigation should be first obtained. If any counsel has any objection in this regard, then it should not be happen that one set of lawyers are heard physically and the other set of lawyers are heard through virtual mode. In such circumstances, the entire hearing should be virtual. 2) All Women, Whether Or Not Belonging To Reserved Category, Entitled To Compete For Posts Earmarked For Women Under General Category: Gujarat HC [Tamannaben Ashokbhai Desai v. Shital Amrutlal Nishar] “All women, irrespective of whether they belong, or do not belong, to the reserved category are entitled to compete for posts earmarked in favour of women under the General Category”, the High Court ruled. Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala observed that there is no reservation for posts in the General Category, and horizontal reservation in favour of women in the General Category is available to be filled up from amongst all women irrespective of their caste status. 3) ‘Earmark Share Of The Corpus And Her Child In Family Property’ Gujarat HC Gave Unprecedented Order In Habeas Corpus Proceeding [Vechatbhai Gopabhai Bariya v. State of Gujarat] The bench of Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice NV Anjaria passed an unprecedented order in a habeas corpus proceeding asking the parents of Respondent no. 4 (the boy with whom the teen corpus had eloped) to earmark share of the family land in her favour. Himachal Pradesh High Court 1) ‘Activate Anti-Suicide Helpline Within 3 Weeks’, HP HC Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Effective Steps To Prevent The Increasing Number Of Suicide Cases During Lockdown While hearing a plea highlighting the spike in the number of suicides in the state amid the pandemic, a division bench of Justices Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia directed the State Government to set up/activate the anti-suicide helpline number within three weeks. The court also directed for publication of the said helpline number in all English and Hindi newspapers through advertisement and through official communication platforms so that the helpline number is communicated to all persons concerned. 2) Institution Of 2 Bail Petitions Arising Out Of The Same FIR By The Same Petitioner Is A Matter Of Serious Concern’, HP HC Issues Slew Of Directions [Sunil Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh] The bench of Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua expressed concern over the case of the institution of two bail petitions arising out of the same FIR by the same petitioner. It directed the Registrar General to try and evolve the software wherein filing of more than one bail petition by the same petitioner during pendency of the previous bail petition, arising out of same FIR can be detected and consequent steps can be taken at the threshold. To read further directions issued by the Court, access the full report. Jammu & Kashmir High Court 1) When Can Magistrate Order Investigation U/S 156(3): J&K HC Orders Training For All Magistrates In J&K, Ladakh UTs [Sami-Ullah Naqashbandi v. Sadaf Niyaz Shah] The High Court ruled that once a Magistrate takes cognizance of an offence, he is, thereafter, precluded from ordering an investigation under Section 156(3) of the Code. “The direction under Section 156(3) is to be issued, only after application of mind by the Magistrate. When the Magistrate does not take cognizance and does not find it necessary to postpone instance of process and finds a case made out to proceed forthwith, a direction under the said provision [S. 156 (3)] is issued,” it held. While taking serious note of the abuse of process of law by a Judicial Magistrate Ist Class, the bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed the Director, Judicial Academy to arrange the training session on the subject for all the Magistrates in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh in phased manner. Karnataka High Court 1) KPSC Candidates Can Seek Own Evaluated Answer Scripts Under RTI : Karnataka HC [Karnataka Public Service Commission v. Vinay Kumar Ramaiah] Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj held that a candidate who has appeared for examination conducted by a public service commission can seek for copies of his own evaluated answer scripts, along with the marks allotted to each question under the Right to Information Act. Partly allowing the petition filed by Karnataka Public Service Commission challenging the decision of the Karnataka Information Commissioner (KIC), the Court said “An applicant cannot seek for copies of evaluated answer scripts of any other person apart from himself/herself.” 2) Implement Provisions Of Transgender Act : Karnataka HC To State Govt A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi directed the State Government to take steps for implementation of the relevant provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and also extend all kinds of reservation to members of the community. The bench will be monitoring the steps taken by the State Government. It has directed the government to file an affidavit reporting compliance on or before September 29. It has posted the matter for considering the compliance report on October 1. Also Read: National Council For Transgender Persons: Under-represented Or Underwhelming? 3) Karnataka HC Waives Objections Raised By Registry In Matters Filed From March 21 To August 31 The Karnataka High Court decided to waive the office objections raised by the Registry in matters filed from March 21, to August 31, for the benefit of the litigants and members of the bar. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar in the order passed while hearing a suo motu petition to address various procedural issues during the limited functioning of courts said ,”In all cases filed from 21st March 2020 till 31st August 2020 (both days inclusive) in the High Court at the principal seat and both the Benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi, all the office objections save and except the objections enlisted below shall stand waived.” 4) Centre & State Responsible To Ensure Availability Of N-95 Masks At Reasonable Prices: Karnataka HC Observing that “the Central and State Government are not helpless when it comes to regulating the price of N-95 masks and availability thereof,” the division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar directed both governments to respond on the question of introducing regulatory measures as regards price of N95 masks. “Prima facie we are of the view that in the present situation it will be the responsibility of both the governments to ensure that N95 masks are easily available to members of the public at a reasonable rate,” the Court said while hearing a bunch of petitions in regards to availability of medical facilities to Covid-19 patients. Madhya Pradesh High Court 1) ‘Hardly The Picture Of A Welfare State’, MPHC Reprimands EOW For TheArrest Of A 76 Yr Old Retired Colonel And Court For Denying Bail [Col. Bhupendra Singh Kharayat v. State Of MP] While granting bail to a retired Colonel of the Indian Army, the bench of Justice Atul Sreedharan rapped the Economic Offences Wing, Bhopal for “arresting him in a case where an arrest was simply not warranted” and the court below for rejecting the applicant’s bail application. “It just didn’t matter to the EOW that the applicant is a senior citizen aged seventy-two. It mattered little to them that the applicant was suffering from a heart ailment. The EOW couldn’t care less that the applicant, with his co-morbidities came under the high-risk category of persons for whom the corona affliction could prove fatal,” the Court remarked. 2) ‘The Appellant And The Prosecutrix Are Ready To Solemnize Marriage’, MP HC Grants 2-Month Bail To Rape Accused To Marry Complainant [Suraj Kushwah v. State of MP] The bench of Justice SK Awasthi granted temporary two-month bail to a man (appellant) so that during this period the appellant can solemnize the marriage with the prosecutrix/complainant. Notably, the appellant was accused of repeatedly raping her (the prosecutrix). On the insistence of appellant, the prosecutrix had even divorced her husband and thereafter the appellant went back on his promise to marry her. “Looking at the fact that the appellant and the prosecutrix are major and now they are ready to solemnize the marriage. In these circumstances, the present appeal is allowed in part and the appellant is granted temporary bail for a period of two months from the date of his release so that during this period the appellant can solemnize the marriage with the prosecutrix,” the Court said. Madras High Court 1) Madras HC Issues Notices On Plea Seeking Govt To Take Over Fee Collection In Pvt Schools/ Colleges A Division Bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and R. Hemalatha issued notices on a PIL seeking a direction upon the State Government to “take over” the financial transactions of all private schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu, with respect to the salary of teachers/ professors and students’ fees. The Court asked the Respondents to respond within four weeks. The matter is now listed for hearing on September 28. 2) Persons, Not Having Even Gone To Regular School/College, To Get Into Law College For First Time In Life : Madras HC Urges BCI To Amend Rules [M. Krishnakumar v. TN Dr. Ambedkar Law University] The Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh urged the Bar Council of India to take a cue from its judgment and make necessary changes in Rule 5 of its Legal Education Rules to ensure that the candidates who complete their Higher Secondary and UG through regular course alone are made eligible to participate for selection in the 5 year or 3 year LLB courses. “In the absence of the same, persons who have not even gone to the regular school or college will get into a law college for the first time in their life and that may not be a healthy trend to maintain the quality of education in Law,” the Court cautioned. 3) [Doctrine Of Merger] When Writ Appeal Partly Allowed & SB’s Order Modified, Contempt Plea For disobedience Of Order Maintainable Only Before DB: Madras HC [All India Union Bank Officer v. Brajeshwar Sharma] Declaring that the doctrine of merger does not make a distinction between an order of reversal, modification or an order of confirmation, the Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh ruled that once the Writ Appeal is partly allowed and an order has been passed modifying the order of the Single Judge, the latter merges with the order passed in the Writ Appeal. The Court expressed the view that once the order of the Single Judge has merged with the order passed by the Division Bench in the Writ Appeal, if it is felt that the order has been violated or disobeyed, a Contempt Petition can be maintained only before the Division Bench and not before the Single Judge. Orissa High Court 1) State To Widely Publicise RERA Act To Prevent Criminalisation Of Property Disputes: Orissa HC Holds Investor Protection Laws Inapplicable To Builder-Buyer Relations [Mahasweta Biswal v. State of Odisha & Anr.] The Bench of Justice SK Panigrahi asserted that the State Government will do well to give wide publicity to the provisions of the RERA Act, 2016 in order to “enable the lay and laity to seek refuge under the appropriate law” and “injunct any unnecessary litigations” arising out of builder-buyer relations. Observing that the State will do well to ensure that the Regulatory Authority functioning under such an Act must be aided by all means possible, the Court remarked that a wide publicity of the RERA Act will “go a long way” in preventing the property related disputes which are being “perilously brought within the dragnet of criminal proceedings”. 2) ‘Maintain Minimum Decorum’: Orissa HC Condemns Lawyers’ Practice Of Arguing Cases Through VC From Inside Vehicles, Gardens & While Eating Etc. The Bench of Justice Biswanath Rath asked the Bar Council and Bar Association to give necessary instruction to lawyers so they do not breach the decorum as well as decency in Court proceedings conducted through video conference. The Bench observed thus after it noted that a lawyer presented his case, when it was taken up through video conference, from inside his vehicle which was on road. “In the Covid-19 situation extending arguing place beyond the Court premises does not mean permitting one to argue matter inside a vehicle, from his lawn and from his drawing room allowing his wife to join him in the process of proceeding. Counsel should argue at the minimum from his/her home or temporary residence and there should be maintenance of minimum decorum,” the Court said. Punjab & Haryana High Court 1) Afford The Opportunity Of Deadline Extension Granted To JEE MAINS Aspirants To NEET Aspirant : Punjab And Haryana HC The division bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh issued an interim order affording the opportunity of deadline extension, granted to JEE (Main) 2020 engineering applicants by the Union Education Minister via a tweet, to aspiring medical student for NEET, 2020 as well. The Court observed that in light of the current circumstances, the petitioner had a legitimate expectation that the same facility as above would be extended to aspiring students of medical stream. Rajasthan High Court 1) Rajasthan HC Dismisses Sanjiv Bhatt’s Plea To Close The NDPS Case In Gujarat Court [Sanjiv R. Bhatt v. State] The Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Garg dismissed a petition filed by Sanjiv Bhatt seeking discontinuation of the proceedings in NDPS Case pending before the Special Court (NDPS) in Palanpur, Gujarat. Bhatt’s contention was that first the cognizance was taken against him in the NDPS Case by Jodhpur Special Court and another case was filed against him before the Special Court in Palanpur. He contended that the basic foundation of these two criminal cases is one and the same, therefore, Section 186 of CrPC is very much attracted in the present case. The Court observed that the first complaint lodged at Palanpur and the subsequent complaint filed by Sumer Singh Rajpurohit at Pali are related to two different and distinct complaints.The provision of Section 186 of CrPC is applicable only where the cases instituted in different courts are in respect of the same offence arising out of the same occurrence and that the transaction and that the parties are the same, which is not the case in the case at hand, the judge said. 2) Rajasthan HC Directs State Govt. To Take Steps To Revise The Wages In Accordance With SC Judgment [Indrajeet Singh v. State of Rajasthan & Anr.] A Division Bench comprising of Justice Rameshwar Vyas and Justice Sangeeta Lodha directed the State Government to revise the wages payable to the prisoners in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in State of Gujarat & Anr. v. High Court of Gujarat. The Court further declared that non revision of the wages payable to the prisoners for last five years is ex facie violative of Rule 31 of the Rajasthan Prison Rules, 1951. As per mandate of Rule 31(1) of Part XII of the Rules of 1951, all the prisoners sentenced to rigorous imprisonment and such classes of the prisoners who volunteer to labour are entitled to the wages as specified by the Government from time to time after deducting the expenses on food, clothing and other maintenance item of such business. The wages are payable on the basis of the actual work done according to the prescribed task. Further, as per sub-rule (3) of Rule 31 out of the amount payable to the prisoners as above, 75% amount shall be given to them and 25% of the wages shall be deducted and paid to the victims or his legal heirs. Telangana High Court 1) Telangana HC Directs AP HC To Pay Salary, Pension, Costs To Retired Employees Who Were Denied Option Of Induction To New HC For Residuary State Of AP At Amaravathi [K. Balarama Raju & Ors. v. Union of India] In a rare instance, the Telangana High Court imposed fine on its counterpart in Andhra Pradesh, besides its own self, for arbitrarily extending the option only to the officers and staff working in the erstwhile common High Court for the two states as on a stipulated date, to either continue in the service of the High Court at Hyderabad (which became the Telangana High Court) or for being considered for induction to the service of the AP High Court at Amravati, and for denying exercise of such option to the petitioners who retired from service prior to the said date. Justices M. S. Ramachandra Rao and T. Amarnath Goud directed that the High Court of Telangana and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi to each pay to each of the petitioners Rs. 3,000 towards costs for the manner in which they were denied their right to exercise options in the Guidelines dated November 1, 2018 published by the common High Court at Hyderabad and the subsequent unfortunate rejection by the separate High Courts of the legally valid request of the petitioners for allocation to the newly-constituted High Court of Andhra Pradesh. Uttarakhand High Court 1) ‘How S.124A Is Added?,Is It A Cruel Hand Of The State, Which Is Running Over?’, U’khand HC Asks While Granting Interim Bail to Journalist In A Sedition Case [Rajesh Sharma v. State of Uttarakhand] The bench of Justice Ravindra Maithani posed a series of detailed and serious questions for the State Government to answer while granting interim bail to a Journalist who was accused of for tarnishing the image of a Dehradun resident, allegedly by publishing fake news. The Court was concerned as to how the Journalist had been booked for the offence of Sedition. “What troubles more is as to how Section 124-A IPC is added? Even if for the sake of arguments, it is admitted that some allegations were levelled against some high functionary, does it per se amount to sedition, which is punishable under Section 124-A IPC? Why was the State in such haste? Is it a cruel hand of the State, which is running over? Many questions would perhaps also require an answer in this bail,” the Court remarked. Access the full report to read the queries that the State Government has been asked to answer. Next Storylast_img read more