The 8th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law is out now! Check out the written episode below.


Supreme Court  

  1. Sitting Supreme Court judge Justice MM Shantanagoudar passes away: The Sitting judge of Supreme Court Justice MM Shantanagoudar passed away on 24.04.2021 after a prolonged illness. He was 62. Before being elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 17th February, 2017, Justice Shantanagoudar served as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. 
  2.  Summer Vacation preponed: Due to the alarming surge in the COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court has preponed the summer vacation for this year. As per the new Schedule the vacation will begin from May 10 and the Court will reopen on June 28th. 
  3. Limitation period extended again : Due to the surge in the COVID-19 cases all over India, the Supreme Court has restored the order dated 23rd March, 2020 and has directed that the period(s) of limitation, as prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended till further orders. The Court had, on March 8, ended the extension of period of limitation after noticing that “the country was returning to normalcy”. 
  4. Distribution of COVID essentials like oxygen, Remdesivir| “Not substituting the jurisdiction of the High Courts” After facing severe criticism for trying to substitute the jurisdiction of the High Courts in cases relating to distribution of COVID-19 Essentials, the Supreme Court has clarified that the intention behind taking the suo motu cognisance was not to supplant or to substitute the judicial process which is being conducted in several High Courts across the country and that the High Courts are well suited to assess the ground realities and find suitable solutions.  The Court also asked the Centre to apprise it on various issues like supply of oxygen, medical infrastructure, vaccination, etc. The Court had, last week, said that the distribution of the essential services and supplies must be done in an even handed manner and that the Centre must submit a National Plan.  
  5. Intersectional Oppression and how it needs to be addressed: After the plight of a blind Scheduled Caste woman who was raped reached before the Supreme Court, the Court did an in depth analysis of intersectional oppression, the punishment to be awarded in such cases and what all factors need to be considered by the Courts while dealing with such cases.  The Court said that women with disabilities, who inhabit a world designed for the able-bodied, are often perceived as “soft targets” and “easy victims” and hence, the legal response in such cases must exhibit attentiveness to this salient fact. 

 High Courts

  1. Del HC | ‘We made no request for any hotel, much less Ashoka Hotel’: Notice issued to Delhi Govt. after it reserved 100 rooms in 5-star hotel as Covid facility for Judges, judicial officers, families: The Delhi High Court took suo motu cognizance of Delhi Government’s order of keeping aside 100 rooms at the 5-Star Ashoka Hotel for setting up a Covid Health Centre for Judges and Judicial Officers of the Court and their family members. The government order stated that the decision was taken after request from the Court. Noting that it made no request for any hotel, the Court issued notice to the Delhi Government and the SDM who passed the order. Later, however, the Court closed the suo motu proceedings after Government’s withdrawal of the earlier order. 
  2. Ker HC | Whether child born out of live-in relationship is to be treated as child born to married couple? Status of children in live-in relationship & mother’s decision to recognise fatherhood of child: High Court unwinds: In a very significant ruling, the Kerala High Court has held that “…woman in a live-in-relationship, acknowledging the biological father of the child, out of such a relationship, will have to be treated as a married woman for the purpose of Juvenile Justice”. Extrapolating on crucial issues concerning child rights and autonomy of women, the Court concluded that a child born in a live-in relationship also has to be construed as a child born to a married couple. Once it is found that the child is born to a couple, for all practical purposes of JJ Act, inquiry must be initiated as though the child belonged to a married couple. 
  3. Del HC | Scope of Or. 9 R. 13 CPC application: Whether summons duly served and/or whether defendant was prevented by ‘sufficient cause’ from appearing? Explained: Explaining the scope of an application under Order 9 Rule 13 of CPC for setting aside of an ex-parte decree, the Delhi High Court said that while deciding such applications, the Court has to see whether the summons in the suits were duly served or not and/or whether the defendant was prevented by any “sufficient cause” from appearing when the suit was called for hearing. It also stated that “sufficient cause” is an elastic expression and no hard and fast guidelines are prescribed. 
  4. Madras HC | Only when citizen survives that he enjoys other rights that this democratic republic guarantees unto him: HC on COVID-19, Election Commission, Vote Counting: While making enquiries and directing the Election Commission to begin counting of votes on May 2 only after taking appropriate Covid measures at the counting centers, the Madras High Court stated that “public health is of paramount importance and it is distressing that Constitutional authorities have to be reminded in such regard. It is only when the citizen survives that he enjoys the other rights that this democratic republic guarantees unto him. The situation is now one of survival and protection and, everything else comes thereafter”. The Court also expressed anguish over Election Commission’s failure to ensure adherence to Covid protocols while election campaigning. 
  5. Del HC | Including name or likeness of a person on pornographic website is breach of privacy: Court suggests template directions for meaningful compliance of injunction and restraining orders:  The Delhi High Court has held it to be an irrefutable proposition that if the name and/or likeness of a person appears on a pornographic website without the consent or concurrence of such person, then such act would amount to an offence, among others, under Section 67 of the Information and Technology Act, 2000. Noting that it was proving quite difficult to implement injunction orders passed by the court against the offending websites and servers, the High Court suggested template directions that would be legal, implementable, effective and would enable meaningful compliance of the orders of a court without putting any impossible or untenable burden on intermediaries. 
  6. Ker HC | Service of summons through Whatsapp. Is it valid in law? HC clarifies: Addressing a very interesting issue, the Kerala High Court held that Section 62 of CrPC does not provide for service of summons through WhatsApp. The petitioner before the Court was aggrieved by the non-bailable warrant issued against him for non-appearance before the Court. He contended that the summons, which were sent through WhatsApp to his mobile phone never reached him, as he had not downloaded the WhatsApp application on his phone. The Court directed the magistrate to consider petitioner’s bail application deeming him to have appeared on summons. The non-bailable warrant was directed to be kept in abeyance. 

 Legislation Updates 

  1. Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 comes into force”: The Central Government appoints April 27, 2021, as the date on which the provisions of the said Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 comes into force. 
  2. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Portfolio Managers) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2021: Securities and Exchange Board of India (Portfolio Managers) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2021 have been issued in order to amend Regulation 11 of 2020 Regulations relating to Conditions of Registration, the following clause has been inserted.
    “(aa) the portfolio manager shall obtain prior approval of the Board in case of change in control in such manner as may be specified by the Board”  



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