High Courts Weekly Roundup [Jan 25 – Jan 31]

first_imgNews UpdatesHigh Courts Weekly Roundup [Jan 25 – Jan 31] Akshita Saxena31 Jan 2021 7:03 AMShare This – xSummation of important High Court orders this weekAllahabad High Court 1. Farmers Protests : Why ‘Exorbitant’ Personal Bonds Sought From Farmers With Tractors? Allahabad High Court Asks UP Authorities [Arundhati Dhuru v. State of UP & Ors.] In a significant judicial intervention, a division bench of Justices Ramesh Singha and Rajeev Singh asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to explain why Sub-Divisional Magistrates issued notices…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?LoginAllahabad High Court 1. Farmers Protests : Why ‘Exorbitant’ Personal Bonds Sought From Farmers With Tractors? Allahabad High Court Asks UP Authorities [Arundhati Dhuru v. State of UP & Ors.] In a significant judicial intervention, a division bench of Justices Ramesh Singha and Rajeev Singh asked Uttar Pradesh authorities to explain why Sub-Divisional Magistrates issued notices to farmers with tractors to furnish ‘exorbitant personal bonds’ in the wake of farmers protests. The development came in a PIL filed challenging the notices issued under Section 111 of CrPC on January 19 asking farmers to furnish personal bond in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rupees 10 lakhs and two sureties for the like amount citing apprehension of breach of law and order amid farmers protests. 2. Practice Of Publishing Names Of Accused On Flysheet Boards Without Proclamation Violates Human Dignity & Right To Privacy: Allahabad High Court [Jeeshan @ Jaanu & Anr. v. State of U P & Ors.] A Division Bench comprising of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal held that the practice of putting names of the accused persons on the flysheet board without issuance of proclamation under sec. 82 of Cr.P.C. is derogatory to the concept of human dignity and privacy enshrined under Art. 21 of the Constitution. “Neither socially nor politically it is desirable to curtail human dignity, which is infringed when names of accused persons are displayed on the flysheet board of the police station concerned or anywhere else without there being any proclamation issued against them under Section 82 Cr.P.C. Thus, this practice of putting the names on the flysheet board is derogatory to the concept of human dignity and privacy,” the court held. 3. ‘When Will Phase-II Vaccination For Covid-19 Begin?’: Allahabad High Court Asks Central Govt [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…] A Division Bench of Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma asked the Central Government to come out with an ‘exact vaccination programme’ to overcome the Covid-19 virus, vis-a-vis different phases. It ordered the Government to file a better affidavit by February 5, indicating as to when the Phase-I would end and Phase-II would begin. “In these days of pandemic we have to put to an end to the spread of Covid-19 virus and the Government should come up with a definite programme as to when exactly phase-1 would end and phase-2 would commence,” the Bench said. Inter alia, it cautioned that public vaccination is a long drawn public health scheme and it will take time to develop herd immunity through vaccination. 4. ‘No Emergent Situation To Extend Tenure’: Allahabad High Court Directs Govt To Hold Fresh Elections To UP Sunni Central Waqf Board [Wasim Uddin & Anr. v. State of UP & Anr.] “Elections for a democratically elected body are sine qua non for application of democratic values and working of the institution accordingly,” observed A bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice SS Shamshery while issuing directions for election of members to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board by February 28. It appointed Principal Secretary to the Department of Minority Welfare & Waqf of the UP Government, as an Administrator of the Board until such period. The Division Bench observed that since the tenure of the Board was to expire in April 2020, the Government should have been vigilant enough to initiate the process of holding elections in the month of February, 2020 itself. 5. Allahabad High Court Dismisses A Man’s Plea For Allowing Live-Body Donation (Jeevit Deh Dan) Of His Body Organs And Tissues [Ranjan Srivastava v. Union of India] A Bench of Justice Sanjay Yadav and Justice Jayant Banerji dismissed a plea seeking a direction to enable and make it lawful for the petitioner to perform Live Body Donation (Jeevit Deh Daan) of his human body and of all his living organ and tissues. The Court took into account the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, which is an Act to provide for the regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs and tissues and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Quoting Section 9 of the Act, the court observed that this provision stipulates restrictions on removal and transplantation of human organs and tissues or both. 6. Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea For Direction To Centre To Consider Legislating Law Regulating Religious Conversion Along The Lines Of UP Love-Jihad law [Hindu Personal Law Board v. Union of India] The Bench of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Manish Mathur dismissed a plea filed by Hindu Personal Law Board, seeking direction to the Central Government to consider legislating a law regulating the religious conversion on the pattern of the law legislated on the subject by the State of UP and other States. “Courts have very limited role with regard to judicial legislation since neither the Courts can legislate nor they have any competence to issue directions to legislature to enact a law in a particular manner,” the Bench said. Also Read: Allahabad High Court Devotes Whole Day To Unite Young Couple, Their Family And Succeeds 7. Section 41A CrPC: Allahabad High Court Issues Slew Of Direction To Ensure Compliance Of Safeguards From Arbitrary Arrest In 498A Cases [Vimal Kumar & Ors. v. State of UP & Ors.] In a significant judgment, a Division bench comprising Justices Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Gautam Chowdhary directed the Police authorities to desist from making automatic/ routine arrests, especially in dowry cases (498A IPC), and strictly comply with the pre-conditions laid down under Section 41A of CrPC. The Court further directed all Magistrates to report the names of such police officers who they think make arrests in a mechanical or mala fide manner, so that appropriate action may be taken against them. The Court noted that despite this safeguard, in many cases the police is still routinely proceeding to arrest accused persons, even if they are involved in offences punishable with up to 7 years imprisonment. It has therefore issued a slew of directions to ameliorate the situation. Access full report to read directions Other developments: ‘Court Does Not Take Cognizance Of People Going For Pilgrimage’: Allahabad High Court Imposes Cost For Seeking AdjournmentSection125(3) CrPC Mode Of Enforcement Of Right To Maintenance; Its Invocation Against Defaulter Cannot Be Faulted: Allahabad High CourtSame-Sex Couple Facing Discrimination: Allahabad High Court Calls It ‘Stark Reality Of Society’, Grants Them Protection’Ganga Water Not Fit For Drinking Purpose’: UP State Pollution Control Board Tells Allahabad High CourtAllahabad High Court Grants Interim Bail To Relatives Of World’s First Handicapped Female Mountaineer In Case For Misappropriating Her Funds”Compromise Culture Rampantly Prevailing, Life Of Deceased Not Cheap Which Could Be Negotiated Between 2 Individuals”: Allahabad High CourtMirzapur Series Row: Allahabad High Court Stays Arrest Of Producers Farhan Akhtar & Ritesh Sidhwani Bombay High Court 1. Pressing Breasts Without Disrobing Not “Sexual Assault” As Per POCSO Act But Offence Under Sec 354 IPC : Bombay High Court [Satish v. State of Maharashtra] A single bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala held that groping a child’s breasts without ‘skin-to-skin contact’ would amount to molestation under the Indian Penal Code but not the graver offence of ‘sexual assault’ under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. The observation was made while modifying the order a sessions court that held a 39-year-old man guilty of sexual assault for groping a 12- year- old- girl and removing her salwar. The court has now sentenced the man under Section 354 IPC (outraging a woman’s modesty) to one year imprisonment for the minor offence. Also Read: Supreme Court Stays Bombay HC Judgment Which Held ‘Skin To Skin’ Contact Necessary For ‘Sexual Assault’ Under POCSO Act 2. ‘She Has Vividly Described Her Love Relationship With Accused’ : Bombay High Court Acquits Man Accused Of Raping Minor Girl [Jageshwar Wasudeo Kawle v. State of Maharashtra] A Single Bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala set aside the conviction and sentence of a 27 years old driver, accused of raping a minor girl on the ground that her testimony did not inspire confidence. The prosecutrix was aged 17 years and 9 months on the date of crime. The order of conviction passed by the Trail Court was set aside on the ground that apart from statement of the minor prosecutrix with regard to sexual intercourse, there is absolutely nothing on record to support the prosecution’s case of rape. “A perusal of the testimony of the prosecutrix would reflect that she has vividly described about her love relationship with the appellant/accused. With regard to pregnancy, the prosecutrix did not say anything about the same. There is absolutely nothing on record as to what happened to her pregnancy. She was just three months short of attaining the age of majority…,” the order stated. Also Read: Holding Hands Of Minor Girl & Opening Pants Zip Not ‘Sexual Assault’ Under POCSO Act But ‘Sexual Harassment’ Under Section 354A IPC : Bombay High Court 3. ‘Defence Of Consensual Physical Relations Probable’ : Bombay High Court Acquits Man Convicted For Rape [Suraj v. State of Maharashtra] A Single Bench of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala set aside the conviction of a man for rape after observing that the testimony of the prosecutrix did not inspire confidence and that the defence of consensual physical relationship was probable. The Court observed that the testimony of the prosecutrix did not “inspire confidence” and was against “normal human conduct”. It said, “A perusal of this portion of the testimony of the prosecutrix, as rightly pointed out by the learned defence counsel,does not inspire the confidence of the Court as the incident, as narrated, does not appeal to the reason as it is against the natural human conduct. Undisputedly, the appellant is the neighbour of the prosecutrix. It seems highly impossible for a single man to gag the mouth of the prosecutrix and remove her clothes and his clothes and to perform the forcible sexual act, without any scuffle. The Medical evidence also does not support the case of the prosecutrix.” Also Read: Unmerited Acquittals In POCSO Cases: Supreme Court Collegium Withdraws Recommendation to Make Justice PV Ganediwala Permanent 4. When It Comes To Fundamental Rights Of Prisoners It Is Not An Adversarial Litigation, It Is The Duty Of State: Bombay High Court A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale repeatedly asked the State as well as the National Investigating Agency their main apprehension against the release of 81-year-old poet-activist, Dr Varavara Rao, and if those apprehensions could be met with strict bail conditions. The Bench asked the agencies if Rao may be released on bail, keeping in mind his advanced age and neurological issues. Can the continued detention or incarceration of an undertrial be detrimental to his health? The Bombay High Court is likely to answer this question in this case. 5. Epidemic Diseases Act Cannot Be Exercised To Transfer An Officer In Disregard Of Transfer Act : Bombay High Court [State OF Maharashtra v. Dr.Ashok Ramchandra Anand] The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897(ED Act) cannot be used to transfer a government employee in violation of the laws that would govern his transfer, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed while denying relief to the Director of Medical Education and Research, TP Lahane. The Court held that allowing the Director, a competent officer under ED Act, to transfer a government servant disregarding the safeguards provided to him under the Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005 (Transfer Act), would make such a transfer arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the constitution (equal protection of the law). Other developments: Interference In Academic Matters Would Amount To Judicial Over-Reach & Stepping Into Domain Of Other Organs Of State: Bombay High CourtBombay High Court Grants Parole To 1993 Mumbai Serial Blasts Convict Six Months After Brother’s Death · Take Precautions To Avoid & Prevent Disclosure Of Rape Victim’s Identity Even Indirectly: Bombay High Court Issues Directions For Media, Public & Courts Calcutta High Court 1. Section 173(8) CrPC No Bar For Writ Courts To Transfer Investigation To CBI : Calcutta High Court [Jyotsna Roy v. State of West Bengal & Ors.] Taking note of the wide gaps in a criminal investigation carried out by the Siliguri Police in connection to alleged murder of a IB Officer holding sensitive information, the Single Bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya transferred the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Bench also made it clear that Section 173(8) of CrPC pertaining to powers of the Police to carry on ‘further investigation’ does not preclude the Courts from passing further directions, if it deems it appropriate to do so in fit circumstances. It held, “Section 173 of the Cr.P.C. deals with Report of police officer on completion of investigation and sub-section 8 provides that nothing in the section shall preclude further investigation in respect of an offence after a report has been forwarded to the Magistrate. This court is of the view that Section 173(8) cannot prevent a Writ Court from passing further directions if the court deems it appropriate to do so in fit circumstances.” 2. Basic Tenets Of Equality Prima facie Violated By Not Providing Reservation Benefits To Transgenders In ‘Joint CSIR-UGC NET’ Exam: Calcutta High Court Seeks UGC’s Reply [Mx Sumana Pramanik @ Suman Pramanik v. Union of India & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya took note of the patent discrepancy in the eligibility criteria of the Joint CSIR-UGC NET Examination which does not provide reservations for Transgender community, as opposed to the UGC-NET Examination. Stating that there is a prima facie violation of Supreme Court’s directions in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors. (2014) 5 SCC 438, the Court sought responses from the Respondent-authorities by February 1. Delhi High Court 1. “Why FIR Was Not Registered Immediately”: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Raping 2 ½ years Old Child Citing 8 Hours Delay In Filing FIR [Shiv Chander v. NCT of Delhi] A Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail to a man accused of raping a minor girl aged two and a half years, citing 8 hours delay in filing of FIR. “The prosecutrix being 2 ½ years old, due to which her statement was not recorded, however, without commenting on the merits of the prosecution case and keeping in view the fact that there is a delay of 8 hours in registration of FIR, I am of the view that the petitioner deserves bail,” the order stated. The Bench contemplated why an FIR was not registered immediately, if such a heinous crime happened with a little girl. The order stated, “This Court has seen the CCTV footage and in the said CCTV footage, father of the victim was outside the building. Complainant entered into the building and within a minute, he is seen catching hold of the petitioner and bringing him out. If such type of heinous crime had taken place and that with a 2 ½ years old girl, why immediately the FIR was not registered.” 2. Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Amazon’s Plea Against FRL – Reliance Rs. 25000 Cr Stake Sale A Single Bench of Justice Midha issued notice on Amazon’s plea seeking interim injunction against Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and Reliance Industries Ltd’s deal worth nearly Rs. 25000 crores. Refusing to grant any interim relief to Amazon at this stage, the court listed the case for further arguments on February 1. Seeking clarity on the factual position of all parties involved, the bench of has also directed the parties to submit a note on their factual positions by January 30. 3. RTI- CPIO/PIO Cannot Function As ‘Post Offices’ And Withhold Information Without Reasonable Cause, Delhi High Court [Rakesh Kumar Gupta (Erstwhile Cpio) Union Bank Of India & Ors. v. CIC & Anr.] A Single Judge Bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh held that the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) or PIOs cannot withhold information without reasonable cause and that such officers cannot function merely as “post offices” while dealing with information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Court while reiterating various principles of the CPIOs and other Public information Officers held that the government departments cannot be permitted to evade disclosure of information. In cases where the department is of an opinion that any information is not available or traceable, a thorough search and enquiry must be conducted. 4. Sexual Harassment At Workplace: Delhi High Court Upholds Dismissal Of Judge [Dr. P.S. Malik v. High Court of Delhi] A Division Bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon dismissed a writ petition filed by an ex-officer of Delhi Higher Judicial Services (DHJS) who was dismissed from service after complaints of sexual harassment at workplace was filed by a female ahalmad of District Court, Dwarka. The bench after analyzing the facts of the present case, observed that: “As far as the conclusion reached in the Report dated 9th March, 2018 that the allegations in the complaint of Ms. M against the petitioner, of sexual harassment at workplace, have been proved, is concerned, neither has the counsel for the petitioner addressed any argument on the same nor do we, after having judicially examined the said report, find any flaw whatsoever therein; rather, having judicially examined the report, not only as to the procedure followed and opportunities at each and every stage provided to the petitioner but also on merits, we are more than convinced, of the conclusion having been rightly drawn on the basis of material on record, that the allegations of sexual harassment against the petitioner, stand proved.” 5. UAPA- Delhi High Court Rejects Plea Against Extension Of Period Of Investigation And Detention Of ‘Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives’ [Najmus Sakib v. NIA] A single Bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar refused to set aside the Trial Court’s order directing extension in the period of investigation and custody of two accused— Najmus Sakib and Al Mamun Kamal under the UAPA Act, for a period of 45 days with directions to the investigating agency to expedite the investigation. The Court observed that extension was given by Trial Court after considering the progress of investigation as only a 45 days extension was granted as opposed to the 90 days extension sought by the investigating agency. It also noted that justifiable grounds were made out by the investigating agency in the application filed for seeking the extension. Gujrat High Court 1. Gujarat High Court Refuses Permission 13-Yr-Old Rape Survivor To Abort 27-Week Fetus, Orders State To Give Financial Support While taking into account the medical report that risk of termination of pregnancy of a 13-year-old rape survivor is higher than delivery at term, a Bench of Justice BN Karia directed the State Government to immediately provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the girl’s family for her nutrition and medical expenses. The Court also issued certain directions to ensure safe and harmless delivery of the Child. 2. Adani Defamation Case: Gujarat High Court Suspends Arrest Warrant Against Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta [Paranjoy Guha Thakurta v. State of Gujarat] The Bench of Justice BN Karia suspended the non-bailable warrant of arrest issued by a Magistrate in Kutch agains journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in connection with a 2017 defamation suit filed by the Adani Group. It was submitted by Guha’s Counsel that without issuing summons or bailable warrant, the Trial Court had straightway issued non-­bailable warrant against Guha, which is not permissible in the eyes of law. The criminal defamation complaint filed against Thakurta by one of India’s leading corporate houses, Adani, pertains primarily to an article about the business conglomerate co-authored by Thakurta. The Article in question was co-authored by Thakurta, when he was the Editor of Economic and Political Weekly, alleging that Narendra Modi’s Government tweaked special economic zone rules which ultimately led to the Adani Group reaping a benefit of Rs 500 crore. 3. Gujarat High Court Registers Suo Moto PIL To Regulate Road Discipline & To Give Shelter To Weaker Section [To Regulate Road Discipline And To Give Shelter To Weaker Section] A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ashutosh J. Shastri registered a suo moto PIL to monitor certain important issues touching the life and liberty of the weaker sections of the Society, and also to deal with their valuable right to housing, right to shelter and right to life. The development comes days after a tragic and disturbing incident which happened in Surat, where an empty dumper truck ran over migrant workers, killing 15 persons on the spot including 8 women and a one-year old girl child. The Court also took on record a letter-petition, seeking action in this matter. The letter moved by Senior Advocate Anshin H. Desai highlighted important issues that requires the Court’s attention, vis-à-vis the Indian Constitutional and the fundamental rights and duties entailed therein. 4. Prohibit Hospitals From Admitting Patients If Fire Safety NOC Not Obtained By Feb 19: Gujarat High Court Directs Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation [Amit Manilal Panchal v. State Of Gujarat] A Division Bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and Ilesh J. Vora granted “one last opportunity” to 151 hospitals of Ahmedabad to obtain a valid no-objection certificate (NOC) on fire safety from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) by February 19. The Court further said, “Failing which appropriate steps shall be taken against such hospitals in accordance with law including prohibiting the management from admitting any patient in the hospital.” Karnataka High Court 1. Can’t Issue Writ To Stop Media From Using ‘Modi Govt’, ‘BSY Govt’ For Union & State Govts: Karnataka High Court [Mallikarjuna A v. Ministry of Law & Ors.] A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum disposed of a PIL filed by agriculturalist Mallikarjuna A, taking objection to the media, releases issued by Press Information Bureau and ministers and executives, referring the Government of India, as Modi Government and the Karnataka State Government as BSY or Yediyurappa’s Government. “As far as description of government by media is concerned it is not possible to issue any writ,” the Bench said. The petitioner had contended that “Can anybody call Central government as Modi government, is it permissible under the Constitution of India. Karnataka State government is called BSY Sarkara.” 2. ‘This Is Not A Committee Of Experts’ : Karnataka HC Asks State Govt To Reconstitute Committee To Protect Great Indian Bustard A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum orally said that the State government will have to reconstitute the advisory committee formed for development and upliftment of Great Indian Bustard, (GIB) in the state. On going through the minutes of the meeting held on January 15, the Bench expressed displeasure and said: “The minutes of the meeting show that committee has not bothered to take any steps for implementation of suggestions made in the report submitted by Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON). The minutes of the meeting shows that the committee has diverted its attention to different issues.” 3. ‘No Informed Consent’ : Karnataka High Court Restrains Centre & NIC From Sharing Response Data Of Persons Collected Through ‘Aarogya Setu’ [Anivar A Aravind v. MHA & Ors.] A division bench comprising Chief Justices AS Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty passed an interim order to restrain the Central Government and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) from sharing the response data given by an individual in the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app with other government departments and agencies, without obtaining informed consent of the users. The Bench prima facie notied that there was “no informed consent taken of users for sharing of response data as provided in the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020”. It noted that the informed consent of the user is limited to the collection and manner of collection information as provided in the privacy policy which is available on the app. Also Read: Sharing Citizens’ Health Data Without Their Informed Consent Infringes Right To Privacy Under Article 21 : Karnataka HC In ‘Aarogya Setu’ Case 4. Karnataka High Court Halts Further Construction Inside Cubbon Park [Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association v. State of Karnataka & Ors.] A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum restrained further construction of a building being built by the Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association (KSGEA) in Cubbon Park while directing that another building, put up by the Horticulture Department for housing HOPCOMs, should not be occupied without leave of the court. The interim order was passed on a petition filed by Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association seeking direction to the respondents to forthwith demolish the construction which have been completed in utter disregard of the provisions contained in Karnataka Parks, Play-fields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation Act) and contrary to directions issued by the High Court. 5. When There Is Complaint & Counter-Complaint On Similar Allegations, Parties Cannot Seek Quashing Saying Case Is Of Civil Nature : Karnataka HC [Shantanu Rastogi v. State of Karnataka] A Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj dismissed petitions seeking quashing of criminal complaints filed by start-up companies Mygate and NoBroker, against each other. The court held that once a party files a criminal complaint against the other and if such others were to file a criminal complaint against the first complainant, then the first complainant cannot be heard to say that the second complaint is purely commercial and has to be quashed. It added: “In the present case, both ‘Mygate’ and ‘NoBroker’ have made similar if not identical allegations against each other. According to both of them their data has been stolen by the other. Having made such a complaint against the other, it would not now lie for either of the parties to contend that the complaint filed against their clients cannot be continued since the disputes are commercial in nature.” 6. City Crime Branch(CCB) Not A ‘Police Station’; Chargesheet Filed By It Invalid : Karnataka High Court [Dr. MG Gopal v. State & Anr.] A single bench of Justice B A Patil held that City Crime Branch (CCB) is not a police station and therefor the final report filed by it is not in contemplation with the provisions of Section 173(2) of the Code. The magistrate court cannot take cognizance of it. The bench in its order noted that: “It is fairly conceded by the respondents that no such authorization has been given by the State to declare CCB as a police station. As per Section 2(s) of the Code the State Government has to declare either generally or specially any post or place to be a police station, but no such declaration is forthcoming before this Court. In that light, admittedly the investigation has been done by the CCB and it is he who had submitted the report in terms of Section 173 of the Code and in view of the discussion made by me above, he cannot be considered to be an officer-incharge. In that light, the trial Court ought not to have taken cognizance of the report submitted by the CCB”. Kerala High Court 1. Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Suspended IAS Officer M Sivasankar In Money Laundering Case [M Sivasankar v. Union of India & Anr.] A single bench of Justice Ashok Menon granted bail to M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala, in the money laundering case registered by Enforcement Directorate in relation to the gold smuggling case. “There is no doubt about the complicity of the applicant and there are no reasonable grounds to believe that he is not guilty. However, it should also be considered whether there is a likelihood of the applicant committing any offence while on bail. I am afraid that the prosecution has not been able to establish this fact…The fact that the applicant is suffering from various illness would also come to his benefit as the proviso to Section 45 exempts a sick person from the rigours of the Section.”, the court observed. 2. Conduct Preliminary Inquiry If Complaints Contain Wild, Unusual, Unbelievable Allegations: Kerala High Court Directs Police [X v. State of Kerala] A Bench of Justice V. Shircy directed the State Police Chief to give instructions to all station House Officers in the state to conduct a preliminary inquiry before registering crime if complaints contain wild and unbelievable allegations This direction was issued in the order granting bail to a woman accused of sexually abusing her minor son. Granting bail to the accused, the court observed that this case is quite a strange, shocking and an unusual one where a mother is put in the dock with very wild and ferocious allegations. The court also has directed the police to probe whether the child involved in the case was brainwashed or tutored by anyone to make such wild allegations against his mother. Also Read: ‘Mother Put In The Dock With Very Wild And Ferocious Allegations’: Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Woman Accused Of Sexually Abusing Son 3. Kerala High Court Issues Notice To Virat Kohli, Tamanna Bhatia, Aju Varghese On Plea To Ban Online Gambling A division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Anil K Narendran issued notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actors Tamanna Bhatia and Aju Varghese, and the State Government on a plea filed by film director Pauly Vadakkan, seeking to ban online gambling. “Play Games 24*7 Private Ltd” and “Mobile Premier League (MPL)” – two companies running online betting portals- are also made respondents in the petition. Virat Kohli, Tamanna Bhatia and Aju Verghese are brand ambassadors of online rummy portals. The bench has asked the Kerala Government to respond to the plea within ten days. Other developments: NGOs Should Avoid Using ‘Central’ or ‘State’ or ‘National’ In Their Names As Far As Possible: Kerala High Court Madhya Pradesh High Court 1. Madhya Pradesh High Court Dismisses Bail Applications filed by Munawar Faruqui and Nalin Yadav [Munnawar v. State of Madhya Pradesh] A single bench Justice Rohit Arya dismissed bail applications filed by comedian Munawar Faruqui and co- accused Nalin Yadav, who were arrested on January 2 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during their comic show. It was of the view that “no case is made out for grant of bail”. The Court said that it was not commenting on the merits of the case as investigation was under progress. However, the materials collected so far suggested prima facie commission of the offence. The judge noted in the order: “The evidence/material collected so far, suggest that in an organized public show under the garb of standup comedy at a public place on commercial lines, prima facie; scurrilous, disparaging utterances, outraging religious feelings of a class of citizens of India with deliberate intendment, were made by the applicants.” Also Read: State Must Ensure That Society Is Not Polluted By ‘Negative Forces’: Madhya Pradesh High Court in Munawar Faruqui Case Also Read: On Munnawar Faruqui, And Why Bail Not Jail Remains A Myth 2. Writ Of Habeas Corpus Will Not Lie When Adoptive Mother Seeks Child’s Custody From Natural Mother: Madhya Pradesh High Court [Sanjana Soviya v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.] In a plea filed by a woman claiming to be an adoptive mother (of two-and-a-half year old girl child) seeking the custody of child from her natural mother, a Bench of Justice Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla observed, “Writ of habeas corpus in a case involving such disputed questions of fact cannot be issued against natural mother”. “The petition was filed by someone who claims to be adoptive mother seeking custody from the respondent No.4, who is none other than the natural mother of the child and is disputing the genuineness of the adoption deed. Writ of habeas corpus in a case involving such disputed questions of fact cannot be issued against natural mother,” the order stated. Other developments: Plea Challenging Madhya Pradesh Ordinance On Religious Conversion: High Court Issues Notice To Govt. Madras High Court 1. Punishing An Adolescent Boy Who Enters Into A Relationship With A Minor Girl Was Never The Objective Of POCSO Act: Madras High Court [Vijayalakshmi & Anr. v. State & Anr.] “Punishing an adolescent boy who enters into a relationship with a minor girl by treating him as an offender, was never the objective of the POCSO Act,” observed a Single Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh while highlighting rampant misuse of the POCSO Act by families for prosecuting the partner of their teenage daughters. The Bench therefore insisted that the legislature must keep pace with the changing societal needs and bring about necessary changes in law and more particularly in a stringent law such as the POCSO Act. The Judge was dealing with a case where a 20 years old boy was apprehended by the Police for kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor girl. Noting that the victim in this case was in a consensual relationship with the accused, the Judge observed, “Incidents of this nature keep occurring regularly even now in villages and towns and occasionally in cities. After the parents or family lodge a complaint, the police register FIRs for offences of kidnapping and various offences under the POCSO Act. Several criminal cases booked under the POCSO Act fall under this category. As a consequence of such a FIR being registered, invariably the boy gets arrested and thereafter, his youthful life comes to a grinding halt.” 2. Plea Seeking Initiation Of Contempt Proceedings: TN Advocate General Issues Notice To S Gurumurthy Advocate General of Tamil Nadu, Vijay Narayan, has issued notices on two applications filed before him seeking consent for initiation of contempt proceedings against Swaminathan Gurumurthy, the editor of the weekly ‘Thuglak’ magazine, for making scandalizing remarks against the judiciary. Gurumurthy has been asked to appear before the AG, either in person or through Counsel, on February 16, 2021. During an annual event of the magazine on January 14, Gurumurthy had allegedly said that “most of the Judges are dishonest and meritless and obtained the post of the High Court Judge by falling in the legs of politicians”. The applicants moved the High Court stating that a bare look at Gurumurthy’s speech would reveal his intention to lower the esteem of the judiciary in the minds of the public. Punjab & Haryana High Court 1. Parents Or Society Cannot Compel A Major Child To Live A Life On Their Terms: Punjab & Haryana High Court [Mafi & Anr. v. State of Haryana & Ors.] A Bench of Justice Alka Sarin reiterated that merely because the boy is not of marriageable age (though major) the right of petitioners to live-together cannot be denied. Further, noting that “Parents cannot compel a child to live a life on their terms and that every adult individual has a right to live his or her life as he or she deems fit”, the Court upheld a couple’s right to be in a live-in relationship. 2. “Unholy Alliance”: P&H High Court Dismisses Protection Plea Of Married Woman Residing With Another Man, Imposes Costs Of 25K [Sono @ Sonu & Anr. v. State of Punjab & Ors.] A Bench of Justice Manoj Bajaj dismissed a protection plea filed by a married woman who decided to live with another man, without dissolution of her marriage. Calling it an “Unholy Alliance”, the Bench dismissed the petition with direction to deposit the cost to District Legal Services Authority, Patiala. Other developments: If A Middle Man Usurps Crops Price Of Hard Working Farmer & He Is Allowed To Go Scot-Free, It Would Amount To Great Injustice: P&H High Court Telangana High Court 1. Telangana High Court Directs Police Commissioner To Permit Farmers’ Rally In Hyderabad On Republic Day A Sigle Bench of Justice K. Lakshman directed the Rachakonda Police Commissioner to accord permission to the Telangana Rashtra Rythu Sangam (TRRS) to hold a ‘farmers parade’ on Republic Day in Hyderabad. The plea was filed by TRRS and a social activist, stating that they wish to organize a protest in solidarity to the farmers’ protest in Delhi. Having heard the parties, the Court disposed of the petition by granting liberty to the petitioners to make an application to the Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda Commissionerate with a request to accord permission to conduct parade on the said date. Tripura High Court 1. Man Can’t Ignore Responsibility To Maintain Divorced Wife & Daughter On The Ground Of Inadequacy Of Carry Home Pay: Tripura High Court [Supriya Bhattacharjee and another v. Debabrata Chakraborty] While observing that the husband can’t be permitted to ignore his responsibility for maintaining his divorced wife & daughter on the ground of inadequacy of carry home pay, a Bench of Justice SG Chattopadhyay directed a husband to pay Rs.17,000/- per month to his divorced wife for her maintenance and maintenance of their daughter. “Though (the husband) earns Rs.62,400/- per month his carry home pay has been reduced due to contribution of Rs.15,000/- to GPF and GPF recovery of Rs.10,000/-. The husband can bring down these amounts by contributing less to GPF and raising the number of instalments for recovery of loan taken from GPF,” the Court said in facts of the case.Next Storylast_img

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