High Courts Monthly Round-up: January 2021

Here’s a short recap of what we covered under the High Court’s section on the SCC Online Blog for the month of January 2021. In case, you missed out on catching up with some interesting cases that brought in a wave of discussions and some very serious steps to be taken up by the Supreme Court, then, you have clicked on the right post to be read.

Go ahead and check out the January updates of 2021!


Allahabad High Court

Competition

All HC | ‘Eliminating competition in business using writ jurisdiction not permissible’: HC decides whether a competitor can prevent a rival from exercising right to carry on business

Home-Buyers

All HC | ‘Home-buyers’ grievances to be disposed of positively within 3 months by reasoned and speaking order’: Court issued general mandamus to Authorities concerned

Interim Maintenance

All HC | Does S. 125 CrPC provide a timeline for disposing of proceedings pertaining to interim maintenance? Read What HC says

Maintenance

All HC | If a husband denies being married in a proceeding under S. 125 CrPC, what should the Magistrate determine? Explainer

Bail

 All HC | [Bail under SC/SCT (POA) Act] Failure to serve notice of bail upon victim, is failure of State to perform its statutory function; Accused cannot be visited with penal consequences for default of the State

Special Marriage Act

All HC | “Cruel, unethical to force present generation to follow 150 yrs old customs, traditions which violate fundamental rights”: HC rules Publication of Notice of Intended Marriage under Special Marriage Act shall not be mandatory

Judges

All HC | “If a Judge makes a mistake, then from where will the general public get fair justice”; HC warns Judicial Magistrate to remain careful while passing Judicial Orders

Abetment of Suicide

All HC | Woman commits suicide after various cases against her, being subjected to harassment at matrimonial home. Can a case of abetment of suicide be established? HC discusses

Rape Victim

All HC | “A woman or a girl who is raped is not an accomplice”: HC re-establishes while explaining the significance of testimony of rape victim


Bombay High Court

Transgender

Bom HC | Can a transgender contest election from a seat reserved for women candidate? HC espouses transgender people’s “Right to Self-Perceived Gender Identity”

Sexual Assault

 

Media Trial

Bombay HC on Media Reporting, Obligation of Investigators, Media Trial, Freedom of Press and the proverbial ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for Media Houses || Read this detailed report unravelling several significant aspects cropped in light of Sushant Singh Case

Judicial Over-Reach

Bom HC | If Judges interfere in academic matters or step into other Organs of State, would that amount to Judicial Over-Reach? Court addresses


Calcutta High Court

Arbitration and Conciliation

Cal HC | [S.11(6) Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996] Reiterating independence and impartiality of the Arbitrator, Court appoints former justice of the present court to preside over as the sole arbitrator

Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Cal HC | Can a complaint under POSH Act be filed against person of same gender? Read HC’s full analysis

Fundamental Right

Cal HC | Does a father entail a ‘fundamental right’ on the preserved sperm of his son after his demise? HC answers


Chhattisgarh High Court

Employees Compensation Act

Chh HC | Appeal under S. 30 of Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 is to be entertained only on a question of law

Limitation Act

Chh HC | The word “sufficient cause” under S. 5 of Limitation Act should adopt a liberal and justice-oriented construction to advance justice

Judicial Officer

Chh HC | Is it essential for the appointing authority to re-consult PSC before terminating services of a judicial officer in light of Art. 235 of the Constitution of India? HC explains


Delhi High Court

Novation | Contract Act

Del HC | When does ‘Novation’ under the Contract Act takes place? Read while HC examines the scope of S. 8 of Arbitration Act

Maintenance

Del HC | Wife denied enhancement of maintenance due to being wealthier than husband || Reasoned Order of HC 

CGST Act

Del HC | “Ss. 69 and 132 of CGST Act prima facie valid; Power to arrest and prosecute is prima facie ancillary to power to levy and collect GST”: Read HC’s detailed analysis

Termination of Arbitration

Del HC | “Order of Termination of Arbitration under S. 32(2)(c), A&C Act is not an award; challenge under S. 14(a) maintainable”: Read full Report

Compensation under MV Act

Del HC | Whether it would be fair to deny compensation for loss of dependency to a parent, who may not be dependent on his/her child at the time of accident per se but would become dependent at his/her later age? HC explains

Right to Access to Clean Water

Del HC | ‘Right to access to drinking water cannot be denied merely because the colony is unauthorised’: HC directs Jal Board for supply of potable drinking water

COVID-19

Del HC | Continuing embargo on spas, violative of their rights’: Court allows reopening of spas, wellness clinics, etc. albeit subject to conditions

RTI Act

Del HC | Penalty imposed on CPIOs for “changing stands” leading to apprehension of mala fides and unreasonable conduct; Elaborate principles laid down for exercise of power by CPIOs

Settlement Deed

Del HC | ‘Dragging his feet only to harass’: Court quashes FIR in light of settlement deed arrived at before Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre

Non-Renewal of License

Del HC | “Non-renewal cannot result in permanent disbarment”; Recognised Adoption Agency in Canada gets opportunity to apply afresh


Gujarat High Court

Workman

Guj HC | Dismissing the argument of arrangement being a Contractual set up with no Industrial dispute as such, Court upholds reinstatement of the workman granting compensation against back wages

Natural Justice

Guj HC | Whether a matter is required to be remanded in order to comply with the principles of natural justice where there has been intermingling of documents; Court explains


Himachal Pradesh High Court

Arbitrator

HP HC | [Appointment of Arbitrator] An arbitral issue which can be adjudicated by a retired judge of the High Court, must not be awaited for the want of technical expertise

Inherent Powers

 HP HC | Inherent powers under S. 482 CrPC is not inhibited by S. 320 CrPC and FIR as well as criminal proceedings can be quashed by exercising the same; HC reiterates

Interpretation of Statutes

HP HC | Court while drawing distinction between the terms ‘Block’ and ‘Constituency’, denies to reserve the post of Pradhan in Gram Panchayat elections for ST category

Appointment

HP HC | Person belonging to SC category, if on merit, performs better than General category candidate, he has to be offered appointment against a post meant for General category


Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Physical Consensual Relationship

J&K HC | Investigating agency to determine whether consent of prosecutrix to have sexual intercourse with petitioner was willing or it was obtained on account of false promise of marriage

Interference under Article 226

J&K HC | What is the extent of interference that the Court can exercise under Art. 226 while adjudicating a contractual matter? HC answers

No-Confidence Motion

J&K HC | Members of Panchayat have the right to issue no-confidence motion against the chairman on the ground of misconduct or neglect of duty; petition dismissed

Age of Majority

J&K HC | Any person having attained the age of majority is entitled to marry as per their wishes and the police department is duty bound to protect their life and liberty if approached; Petition allowed

Evidence Act

J&K HC | A person whose whereabouts are unknown and who has not been heard of for more than 10 years, cannot be stated to have illegally run away from his service; Petition allowed

Detention Order

J&K HC | Even in cases where a person has been prosecuted in a Court of law and has been discharged by the Magistrate, a valid order of detention can be passed against him in connection with that very incident; HC reiterates


Jharkhand High Court

Right to establish linguistic and religious institutions

Jhar HC | Right to establish linguistic and religious institutions under Art. 29 & 30 includes the Right of appointing teachers; order directing absorption set aside

Compassionate Appointment

Jhar HC | Compassionate Appointment cannot be granted after a lapse of reasonable period which must be specified in the rules; petition dismissed allowing monetary compensation

Supervisory Jurisdiction

Jhar HC | [Interference under Art. 226] A writ of certiorari can be issued only in exercise of supervisory jurisdiction which is different from appellate jurisdiction; HC reiterates

Reservation

Jhar HC | [Article 16] Retrospective application to 103rd Amendment providing reservation to EWS cannot be permitted; Petition allowed


Karnataka High Court

Breach of Policy

[MV Act] Kar HC | When there is breach of policy condition and the policy is in force at the time of accident, “Pay and Recover” principle to be applied

Summons

Kar HC | Whether it is mandatory for issuance of a summons under S. 91 CrPC before issuance of a warrant under S. 93 CrPC? HC Answers

Proceedings

Kar HC | If the petitioner unconditionally withdraws a particular matter can the said subject matter be re agitated in any other proceedings? HC analyses


Kerala High Court

Victim Compensation

Ker HC | [S. 357A CrPC] Strengthening jurisprudence behind victim compensation, Court allows petition stating ‘statutory provision is not given retrospective effect and instead a prospective benefit is given based on an antecedent fact’

Medical Termination of Pregnancy

Ker HC | Minor rape survivor allowed to undergo medical termination of pregnancy even after 25 weeks and 3 days gestational age considering the risk of severe psychiatric trauma

Extradition

Ker HC | International Arrest Warrant by itself will not suffice to extradite an accused to UAE. For extradition, request should be communicated in writing via diplomatic channels, HC states

Powers of Court under A&C Act

Ker HC | Powers of Court under S. 34 of the Arbitration Act, 1996 are merely supervisory in nature; Court cannot correct errors from the order of Arbitrator, but can only quash it: HC explains

Compensation under MACT

Ker HC | [Motor Accidents Compensation Act] Court grants enhancement in compensation with an additional interest of 9% considering permanent disability; Revision Petition allowed

Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process

Ker HC | No bar to parallel proceedings under SARFAESI Act during ongoing Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process; HC reiterates

Execution Court

Ker HC | [Or. 41 R. 5] Power of execution court to stay the execution is only upto to the stage of filing appeal; Petition allowed

Quota for Disabled Persons

Ker HC | From promotions to vacancies, even where there is no direct recruitment, the 3% quota for disabled persons has to be complied with; HC reiterates

Eviction and Rent Control

Ker HC | Rent Control Court has power under S. 5 of Limitation Act to condone delay, if sufficient cause is shown; Petition allowed

Sale Deed

Ker HC | Question of sale deed being null and void, emerging out of matrimonial relationship can be decided only by Family Court; HC states

Custody

Ker HC | Observing the signs of mental disturbance; HC refuses to remove a 21-year-old from the custody of parents

Alcohol Detection Test

Ker HC | There can be no prosecution under S. 185 of MV Act in the absence of alcohol detection test through breath analyser

Audi Alteram Partem

Ker HC | Court sets aside impugned order directing Drug Disposal Committee to consider the representation made by petitioner and pass fresh orders in accordance with law

Arbitral Award

Ker HC | “An Arbitral award cannot be set aside merely on the ground that compensation awarded is insufficient”; HC concurs with findings of lower Court  


Madras High Court

POCSO Act

Madras HC | ‘High time to amend POCSO Act considering cases where adolescents in grip of their hormones involve in romantic relationship’: Court quashes proceedings paving way for accused and victim to settle in life

Right to Property

Madras HC | “Authorities need to be told that right to property has close nexus with right to life under Art. 21”: HC while issuing notice in acquisition matter pending from 16 yrs

Custody of an Elephant

Madras HC | While protecting an elephant from psychological wound, HC disallows removal of ‘Lalitha’ from caretaker’s custody || Exhaustive analysis of an elephant’s bonding with caretaker


Madhya Pradesh High Court

Bail Application of Munwar Faruqui

MP HC | “The goals enshrined under Art. 51A(e) and (f) are part of our vibrant Constitution and not dead letters”; HC rejects bail application of Comedian Munawar Faruqui

Forwarding Note

MP HC | Absence of forwarding note and delay in production of contrabands are fatal to the prosecution case; HC acquits accused

Recruitment Process

MP HC | Once the process of recruitment commences on issuance of advertisement, no changes in essential qualification or disqualification can be made during subsistence of the said recruitment

Inaction of State

MP HC | “State has shown, by its non-compliance to the orders passed by this Court that it is an institution that prefers to have powers without responsibility”; HC holds State responsible for it being flooded with petitions


Orissa High Court

Contempt of Court

Ori HC | Whether filing of forged and fabricated document amounts to Contempt of Court? HC explains

Arbitration Clause

Ori HC | Can an arbitration clause be invoked when there is an arbitration clause in the agreement but not registered or executed? HC decides

Dying Declaration and Remission of Sentence

Ori HC | Comprehensive Principles governing “Dying Declaration” and “Remission of Sentence” reiterated; Appeal dismissed

Industrialization and Eco-System

Ori HC | No doubt, industrialization is required for enhancement of revenue, but that does not mean at the cost of the lives of human being by destroying eco-system


Patna High Court

Examination

Pat HC | Usage of whitener in OMR sheet led to annulment of result by Controller of Examination: HC answer’s in affirmative

Pat HC | Entire examination process of Bihar Public Service Commission does not deserve to be derailed only because some candidates perceive injustice have been caused to them by an erroneous question or an erroneous answer

Tablighi Activities

Pat HC | State directed to deport foreign nationals charged for Tablighi activities to their respective countries; Allegation of preaching religious ideologies not being supported by any material, held to be an unfounded allegation


Punjab and Haryana High Court

Dependents

P&H HC | “It is unfortunate that dependents/heirs of an ex-employee, who died in harness, are being made to run from pillar to post.” HC warns state to get into action least the Court may be compelled to take a serious view of the matter

Provident Fund

P&H HC | “Provident Fund is based on adequate contributions from members of the fund”; HC allowed forfeiture of pension on resignation   

WhatsApp Messages | Evidence

P&H HC | Whatsapp messages do not have any evidentiary value in the absence of certificate under S. 65B of Evidence Act; HC states

Service Rules

P&H HC | Whether in absence of enabling power in the Service Rules, the period of tenure posting could be extended by the State or its instrumentalities? Court explains

Ownership

P&H HC | There is no requirement in law that a person applying for sanction of the building plan, has to prove his ownership before the building plan can be sanctioned

Recovery of Money

P&H HC | No separate orders required in the matter of OTS having become defunct for non-compliance of conditions by borrowers, Bank becomes free to recover money in accordance with law irrespective of OTS; HC reiterates

Jurisdiction

P&H HC | After complaint is dismissed in default, Court becomes “functus officio” and Judicial Magistrate has no jurisdiction to recall his order and restore complaint; HC decides

Farmers

P&H HC | “Middlemen cannot be allowed to usurp hard-earned money of the Farmers”; Courts required to do substantial justice and not to let offenders go scot-free


Sikkim High Court

Amendment

Sikk HC | [O. VI R. 17 CPC] Amendment can be allowed provided it does not prejudice the rights of the respondents to take up the grounds on waiver and acquiescence at the time of final hearing; HC reiterates


Telangana High Court

Power to take Cognizance

Telangana HC | Is the power to take cognizance of an offence under SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 vested with Magistrate or is there a Special Court for the purpose? Court answers in light of SC decisions

Religious Practices

Telangana HC | [Art. 25] No interference can be made in the absence of any complaint against an individual using his premises for conducting religious practices; HC issues necessary directions

Writ Jurisdiction

Telangana HC | [Interference under Art. 226] Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court cannot be invoked for registration of FIR in cases where an effective remedy lies under the Code of Criminal Procedure


Tripura High Court

Departmental Enquiry

Tri HC | A pending departmental inquiry is by itself a stigma and is attached with several adverse consequences; Court directs quashing of chargesheet and release of due payments

Government Department

Tri HC | Default on the part of a Government department cannot be a reason to prevent an entity from seeking its entitlement; Petition allowed


Uttaranchal High Court

Salary

Utt HC | Salary is a property under Art. 300-A of the Constitution of India which cannot be taken away except by authority of law; Court explains

Elections

Utt HC | Holding elections at regular intervals is mandated by law to ensure that democratically elected Management Committee looks after the affairs of the college; Petition allowed

Surety Bond

Utt HC | Cash can be deposited in lieu of surety bond as per S. 445 of CrPC for attainment of bail: Order of rejection duly quashed

Judgment

Utt HC | Reasons to record in a judgment are life of law and in absence, judgment cannot be said to be legal; Court allows appeal

Government Servants

Utt HC | Rule 8 of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974 does not include age as a factor of appointment; Court explains while allowing petition

Examination

Utt HC | Irresponsibility in computation of marks can often lead to an irretrievable situation; Court explains in the matter of re-evaluation of answer sheets

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