SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 34 ft. Devika Sharma

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 34 with Devika Sharma

SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 34 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

Supreme Court 

  • Independent probe in Pegasus case  

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, JJ has appointed an Expert Committee to look into the truth or falsity of the allegations in the Pegasus Spyware case, “taking into account the public importance and the alleged scope and nature of the large-scale violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country.” 

The Pegasus suite of spywares, being produced by an Israeli Technology firm, viz., the NSO Group, can allegedly be used to compromise the digital devices of an individual through zero click vulnerabilities, i.e., without requiring any action on the part of the target of the software. This extremely powerful software is sold only to certain undisclosed Governments and reports indicate that individuals from nearly 45 countries are suspected to have been affected.

The Court said that it was an extremely uphill task to find and select experts who are free from prejudices, are independent and competent but it eventually appointed the Committee headed by Former Supreme Court Judge Justice R.V. Raveendran and highly qualified technical member. 

Read the details about all the members of the Committee on the SCC Online Blog. 

  • Yatin Oza’s Senior Advocate designation temporarily restored for two years 

In a major relief to Advocate Yatin Oza, the Supreme Court has temporarily restored the senior designation for a period of two years from 1.1.2022.

On 21.03.2020, Oza wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India making serious allegations against a senior-most Judge of the Gujarat High Court in his capacity as President of the Bar Association. He then circulated the letter in the Bar Association’s WhatsApp group after calling the High Court a “Gamblers Den” in a Press Conference. Oza was then stripped off his Senior Advocate designation.

Holding that the High Court would be well within its rights to withdraw the indulgence, the Court said that it was giving Oza a last chance by providing a window of two years to show that he truly means what he has assured the Court. 

  • Karnataka High Court calls person committing suicide a ‘weakling’! Don’t diminish the gravity of mental health issues, says SC  

In a case where the Single Judge of Karnataka High Court had termed persons committing suicide a ‘weakling’ and also made observations on how the behavior of the deceased before he committed suicide was not that of a person suffering from mental health issues, the Supreme Court has held that such observations describing the manner in which a depressed person ought to have behaved deeply diminishes the gravity of mental health issues.

The High Court had “judged” the deceased for attending relative’s marriage in a different town and interacting with friends and relatives and had said that all such actions were that of a normal person and not of a person under severe duress. The High Court had also diminished the gravity of deceased’s mental health on the ground that he had taken “considerable time” to write a 12 pages long suicide note. 

On this the Supreme Court said that individual personality differences manifest as a variation in the behavior of people and that,

“The mental health of a person cannot be compressed into a one size fits all approach.”

High Court Updates 

Kerala High Court 

  • Absence of salutation like M/s, Mr or Miss while drawing a cheque is immaterial for offence under S. 138 of NI Act; HC sets aside the acquittal, directs Trial Court to re-address the issue 

 Another interesting matter from the Kerala High Court came up, wherein an allegation was made with regard commission of an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, wherein the Trial Court had acquitted the respondent-accused on the sole ground that the subject cheque was drawn in favour of ‘Lakshmi Finance’ and not ‘M/s.Lakshmi Finance’   

On hearing the matter, Court expressed that,

“The alphabets ‘M/s’ which is short form for ‘Messrs’ is normally a salutation intended to refer to a group of unincorporated persons, such as a partnership firm. The absence of such salutation while drawing the cheque by the respondent-accused cannot be a ground for the accused to be acquitted.” 

Delhi High Court 

  •  Law on Article 12 of Constitution of India | World Bank a Government Agency or not? Del HC decides 

 Whether World Bank is a Government Agency or not? 

Delhi High Court while deciding this issue answered in negative and opined that World Bank or any of the other international bodies, which have proceeded to debar the petitioner in the case, cannot be considered as a “Government Agency”. This is for the reason that none of the international bodies are bound by any directions issued by the Government of India. 

  •  POSH Act | Jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee and Local Committee 

In an unfortunate case, Noting the allegations against an employer with regard to sexual harassment of a women, the Delhi High Court expressed that  

“…instead of providing assistance to the aggrieved woman in prosecuting her complaint of sexual harassment, the respondent has been opposing her tooth and nail and has even terminated her services pending the inquiry before the Local Committee.”

 Expressing its opinion on the jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee, the Court added that,  

“…since the Secretary was the employer for the purposes of the Act, the complaint of the said employer would not lie to the Internal Committee but shall lie only to the Local Committee.”  

 Bombay High Court 

  •  Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case | Bom HC grants bail to Aryan Khan, 2 others: Read the fourteen bail conditions 

The Bombay High Court granted bail to three accused persons in the infamous Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case where Aryan Shah Rukh Khan, Arbaaz A. Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha were accused for offence under the NDPS Act. 

 The Court laid down 14 bail conditions which you can read on the SCC Online Blog. 

Madras High Court 

  •  Mushrooming Unemployment | Madras HC on menace of job racketing and scams cropping up || Detailed report on how a person fraudulently acted as an employee of Court cheated several people 

Addressing the issue of the growing menace of job racketing and tackling the unemployment problem, the Madras High Court suggested the Central and State Government promote entrepreneurs and create self-employment opportunities for youth so that the future of this country can be safeguarded from falling prey to such money mongering vultures. 

The Court was hearing a petition relating to a case where fake interview and appointment letters were being prepared with an intention to defraud innocent public for making unlawful gain. 

A detailed report can be followed on the SCC Online blog.

Legislation Updates

  • Centre notifies new road safety draft rules for children below 4 years 

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified draft rules for safety of children below 4 years.

The Draft Rules recommends 

  • For children below four years, safety harness shall be used for attaching the child to the driver of the motorcycle.
  • It also provides that the Driver must ensure that the child pillion passenger aged between 09 months and 4 years must wear his/her own crash helmet which fits his/her head or wear bicycle helmet till such time that the specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016.
  • The Draft Rules also ensures that Speed of the motorcycle with the child upto age 4 years being carried as a pillion, shall not be more than 40 kmph.

  • Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021 

The Central Government notified Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021.

The Rules provide that A must–run power plant shall not be subjected to curtailment or regulation of generation or supply of electricity on account of merit order dispatch or any other commercial consideration. 

It also provides that in the event of a curtailment of supply from a must–run power plant, compensation shall be payable by the procurer to the must–run power plant at the rates specified in the agreement for purchase or supply of electricity. 

  • Ministry of Labour and Employment declares services engaged in Banking industry to be a public utility service 

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has declared the services engaged in the Banking industry, which is covered under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, to be a public utility service for a period of six months with effect from October 21, 2021.

  • IFSCA (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has issued the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021.

Winners for SCC Online Quiz Announced.

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