SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 6

6th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Prachi Bhardwaj, Associate Editor bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law is out now! Check out the link below.

Supreme Court 

♦ Enquiry by retired Supreme Court judge into Justice V. Eswaraiah Phone Call controversy uncalled for 

In the case relating to an alleged phone conversation between Justice V. Eswaraiah, former Acting CHief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court and S. Ramakrishna, a suspended District Munsif Magistrate, over the conspiracy to malign the reputation of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the Supreme Court has found no reason to allow the enquiry by former Supreme Court judge Justice R.V. Raveendran to find out the genuineness/authenticity of the conversation as directed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 

The Court said that 

“High Court ought not to have embarked on any other enquiry in the matter except to the maintainability of the PIL.”  

♦ No blood or breath analyser test proving drunk driving? Insurer may still establish a case for exclusion from liability 

In an interesting case, the Supreme Court has held that while in case where there is a blood or breath analyser test indicating no consumption of alcohol by the driver at all, it would not be open to set up the case of exclusion, the absence of such test may not disable the insurer from establishing a case for exclusion from liability on ground of drunk driving.  

♦ Any creditor including Central/State Government or any local authority bound by Resolution Plan approved by adjudicating authority under Section 31(1) IBC 

Adding to the series of significant rulings on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the Supreme Court has held that once a resolution plan is duly approved by the Adjudicating Authority under Section 31 Clause 1 , the claims as provided in the resolution plan shall stand frozen and will be binding on the Corporate Debtor and its employees, members, creditors, including the Central Government, any State Government or any local authority.  

Magistrates must record reasons before converting  summary trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to summons trial 

Closing the week with another important ruling, the Supreme Court has directed the High Courts to issue practice directions to the Magistrates to record reasons before converting summary trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act to summons trial. The decision came after it was brought to the Court’s notice that summary trials were being routinely converted to summons trials in “a mechanical manner”.

High Courts 

Bombay High Court

♦Bombay HC | Religious places of worship closed; Prayer offering in mosque during Ramzaan not allowed in wake of COVID-19: Court discusses scope of Art. 25

Considering the ground reality prevailing in the State of Maharashtra in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, the Bombay High Court has held the performance of prayers in the Mosque during the period of Ramzaan cannot be allowed. 

Delhi High Court

Allegations against rioter Shahrukh not confined to participation, but leading large crowd releasing open fire shots: Bail denied to Delhi Riots accused

Delhi High Court denied bail application to a person named Shahrukh that headed the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots during the riots that occurred in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk. 

While ordering so, the Court remarked, 

“The video clipping and pictures played before this Court have shaken the conscience of this Court. 

Himachal Pradesh High Court

♦If conduct of an editor of a newspaper is under scanner, suspension of accreditation till charges are cleared would not amount to violation of freedom of press

In a case where certain FIRs were pending against the petitioner working in the field of journalism for over 13 years, leading to the suspension of his accreditation till final outcome of case, the Himachal Pradesh High Court held that If conduct of an editor of a newspaper is under scanner, suspension of accreditation till charges are cleared would not amount to violation of freedom of press. 


Calcutta High Court

♦ Cal HC | Resurgence of COVID-19 | Candidates, aides and associates engaged in election campaigning to encourage and unfailingly observe COVID rules to avert deadly disaster staring at our faces

Taking note of the fact that the people participating in ongoing election campaigns were not adhering to COVID protocols which could result in spike in the COVID-19 cases, the Calcutta High court expressed that 

“We are dealing with an extraordinary situation, and this calls for extraordinary measures. It is in public interest that the Administration must ensure that all the COVID protocols are strictly adhered to by all concerned including those engaged in election campaigning activities.” 

Punjab and Haryana High Court

♦P&H HC | No police action against Prince Harry for breaking promise to marry

In a bizarre case, Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a petition wherein the petitioner sought legal action against Prince Harry and to direct the United Kingdom Police Cell to take action against him, for not fulfilling the promise to marry her. 

High Court remarked: 

It is well-known fact that fake IDs are created on various social media sites land that there is every possibility that so-called Prince Harry may be sitting in a Cyber Café of a village in Punjab, looking for greener pastures for himself.

District Court 

♦ Delhi Riots | Lofty case of criminal conspiracy could not be inferred; Chargesheeting on basis of insignificant material unwarranted: Court while granting bail to Umar Khalid 

Karkardooma Court has granted bail to former JNU Student Umar Khalid in the Delhi Riots Case. 

Khalid was arrested in October in connection with the violence near Delhi’s Khajuri Khas area. 

While granting the bail, Court made an observation that Chargesheeting the applicant on the basis of insignificant material was unwarranted. 

Legislation Updates 

♦ Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Advertisements and Disclosure) Regulations, 2021 

On April 07, 2021, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India published the IRDAI (Insurance Advertisements and Disclosure) Regulations, 2021 with the objective to 

  • to ensure that the insurers, intermediaries or insurance intermediaries adopt fair, honest and transparent practices while issuing advertisements and avoid practices that tend to impair the confidence of the public; and   
  • to ensure that the advertisement is relevant, fair and in simple language enabling informed decision making.  

♦ Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Regulations, 2021 (PPIRP Regulations) comes into force 

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Regulations, 2021 on April 9, 2021. The regulation provides the operationalisation of the pre-pack process, its initiation, cost and termination for MSMEs. It also provides various operational aspects, ranging from the eligibility of resolution professionals to the invitation and submission of resolution plans for stressed MSMEs.  


♦ Union Health Ministry issues Regulatory Pathways for foreign produced COVID-19 Vaccines 

On April 13, 2021, the Union Government approved a significant streamlining and fast tracking of regulatory system for COVID-19 vaccines approved for restricted use by US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or which are listed in WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL).  

♦ States impose night and weekend curfews  

As the nation witnesses the second wave of COVID-19, States have started taking measures to tackle the horrifying and sudden surge in the cases 

Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, etc. have imposed restrictions like night and weekend curfews. You can read the detailed guidelines issued by the State Governments on the SCC Online Blog []  

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