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PM Modi Security Lapse: SC asks P&H HC to ‘secure and preserve’ all records relating to PM’s Punjab tour   
After a massive security breach that left Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck on a highway in Punjab for 20 minutes on January 5, 2022, the 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, JJ has directed the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve the records relating to Prime Minister’s scheduled tour of Punjab on 05th January 2022.  

Due to bad weather the Prime Minister’s convoy took off by road for a two-hour journey instead of flying to the rally site at Ferozepur Punjab by helicopter. Around 10 km short of the rally venue, the convoy was stranded on a flyover because of protesting farmers. The Convoy turned back after waiting for around 20 minutes. All the further programmes were cancelled. 

The Supreme Court is now due to take up the matter of January 10, 2022.  

Supreme Court Updates

Justice R. Subhash Reddy retires  

On January 4, 2022, Justice R. Subhash Reddy bid adieu to the Supreme Court after serving as a Supreme Court judge for a little over 3 years. Born in an agricultural family, Justice Reddy began his career as an Advocate in the year 1980. His stint as an advocate stretched over a staggering period of 22 years. He also served as a judge at the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, before his elevation to the Supreme Court.  

Read all about him and his notable judgments on the SCC Online Blog.  

NEET 2021-22: Supreme Court allows Counselling with 27% Quota for OBCs and 10% Quota for EWS in All India Quota 

Considering the urgent need to commence the process of Counselling so that the admission process is not dislocated, the Supreme Court has directed that counselling on the basis of NEET-UG and PG 2021 shall be conducted by giving effect to the reservation as provided by the notice dated 29 July 2021, including the 27 per cent reservation for the OBC category and 10 per cent reservation for EWS category in the All-India Quota seats. 

The order came after the notice issued by the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 29 July 2021 was challenged by the doctors who appeared in the NEET- PG 2021 examination. 

The notice implements a 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes1 (non-creamy layer) and a 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section, while filling up 15 per cent undergraduate and 50 per cent post-graduate All India Quota seats in pursuance of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.  

Award cannot be remitted to the arbitrator in absence of findings on the contentious issues 

Explaining the provision of remission under Section 34 (4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Supreme Court has held that under guise of additional reasons and filling up the gaps in the reasoning, no award can be remitted to the Arbitrator, where there are no findings on the contentious issues in the award. 

The Court explained that if there are no findings on the contentious issues in the award or if any findings are recorded ignoring the material evidence on record, the same are acceptable grounds for setting aside the award itself. Under guise of either additional reasons or filling up the gaps in the reasoning, the power conferred on the Court cannot be relegated to the Arbitrator. In absence of any finding on contentious issue, no amount of reasons can cure the defect in the award.  

High Court Updates

Madras High Court 

Would installing CCTVs in spas and massage parlours infringe bodily autonomy of a person? 

Expressing that right to life and personal liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to relax, Madras High Court, held that the said right can be exercised in a variety of forms. 

Bench observed that, 

Suspicion that immoral activities are taking place in massage centres cannot be reason enough to intrude into an individual’s right to relax for it intrinsically is part and parcel of his fundamental right to privacy. 

Further, the Court noted that, the installation of CCTV equipment inside premises such as a spa would unquestionably infract upon a person’s bodily autonomy. These are inviolable spaces where the prying eye of the state simply cannot be allowed to enter.

Clubs allowing members to bring liquor purchased from outside, and drink without FL-2 license. Is it permissible? 

In another significant decision, Madras High Court decided whether consumption of liquor in an Association, Club or in similar places is permitted or not 

High Court observed that Any Association, Club or otherwise cannot go beyond the scope of its bye laws and the Competent Authorities under the Societies Registration Act are also empowered to initiate action for violation of the bye-laws. 

Chhattisgarh High Court 

 Wife who refuses to join company of husband on ground of ‘auspicious time’ would lead to desertion? 

Chhattisgarh HC granted divorce to husband and wife, on noting that despite efforts taken by the husband to restore the matrimonial home, wife did not cooperate and under the guise of auspicious time to return, she continued at her maternal home leading to desertion by wife. 

Delhi High Court 

“Overseas wife”, husband visited wife for few days only on yearly visits from Canada: Whether moribund marriage or not?  

Delhi High Court while deciding the matter expressed that “…every marriage, where the couple stays apart from each other for work or other obligations consensually, is a broken one.” 

Court held that there was neither a matrimonial home, nor the possibility of ever having one and the damage to the marriage was evident. Hence while dissolving marriage, Bench added that  

The parties were at an age, where they may start a new life, if given a chance. However, keeping them tied to a legal bond would only mean snatching away from them the chance to ever lead a fulfilling life. 

Bombay High Court 

Can ‘minor’ who succumbed to an accident during course of employment be compensated under Employees Compensation Act or Insurance Company will be absolved of its liability? 

Bombay High Court held that Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 does not prohibits payment of compensation to a minor.

There is no age limit for a person to be employed as an employee under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, thereforethe Insurance Company cannot be absolved of its liability to pay compensation to the claimants, the dependents of the deceased. 

European Court of Justice 

ECJ holds Bulgaria obligated to recognize same sex couple as parents of a child even when its national law does not recognize the concept of marriage between homosexuals 

Moving to international courts, ECJ directed Bulgaria to recognize same sex couple as parents of a child irrespective of the fact that Bulgaria does not recognizes the concept of marriage between homosexuals. The Bench held that, 

“It would be contrary to the fundamental rights which are guaranteed to the child under Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter for the Child to be deprived of the relationship with one of her parents when exercising her right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States on the ground that her parents are of the same sex.” 

Legislation Updates

Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2021 

The Ministry of Finance has notified the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2021 vide notification dated December 31, 2021, amending the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2005. 

The purpose of the amendment was to include ‘electronic instant messaging service’ to the modes of service of notice/order. It provides that the notice sent should be digitally signed by competent authority and in case of bouncing of the electronic mail, it wouldn’t be considered valid service of notice.  

Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021 

On December 30, 2021, the Central Government notified Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021 in order to revise the pecuniary jurisdiction of District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission. 

Read more details on SCC Online Blog  

Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 

On December 29, 2021, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 received the assent of the President to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The Amendment introduces a provision to link electoral rolls with Aadhaar.  


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