November 2023 weekly legal news

Allahabad High Court

[Contempt of Court] Allahabad High Court directs contemnors to annex copy of this order to disclose before Courts their previous conduct in future proceedings

In a contempt proceeding arisen upon the reference made by the then Additional Principal Judge (‘APJ’), Family Court on a written complaint dated 09-05-2022, against the litigant and the other against his lawyer, the division bench of Saumitra Dayal Singh and Rajendra Kumar-IV, JJ. said that lawyers are free to choose their clients, but they should avoid taking up cases of blood relatives, as it may make them emotionally involved in the case. Further, it said that the apology rendered by the contemnors was not genuine, it refused to exercise jurisdiction in the present contempt proceedings and has not absolved the contemnors of their conduct. Read more..

[Forum Shopping] Filing anticipatory bail application, while a regular bail application is pending, is misuse of Court’s process: Allahabad HC

In an anticipatory bail application filed for offences under Sections 420, 406 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) during the pendency of trial, Krishan Pahal, J. while rejecting the anticipatory bail application plea, said that filing an anticipatory bail application, while there being a regular bail application pending, is misuse of process of the Court. Read more..

Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court refuses interim relief against production of Goodachari 2

In a petition filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking interim measure of restraining the respondents from producing sequel to film “Goodachari”, Manish Pitale, J. found that the petitioner failed to make a prima facie case in its favour, and that the film was already in the pre-production phase. Therefore, the Court dismissed the instant petition. Read more..

Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court refuses to interfere with order reducing security deposit in vessel MT TSM Pollux arrest case

In an appeal against an order which modified a previous order directing the arrest of the vessel MT TSM Pollux (IMO No. 9266889), including its tackle, hull, engine, equipment, apparels, furniture, and all movables on board, a Division bench comprising of Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya and Partha Sarathi Chatterjee, JJ., dismissed the appeal, stating that there is no ground to interfere with the impugned order. The Court did not find any fallacy in the refusal of the security amount related to loss of business, it, however, noted that the appellant has established a prima facie case for damages due to the alleged negligence of the respondent. Read more..

To what extent can Court interfere with arbitral award under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996? Calcutta High Court determines

While deciding an application for setting aside of an arbitral award, a single-judge bench comprising of Shekhar B. Saraf,* J., upheld the arbitral award while setting aside the Arbitral Tribunal’s findings on specific issues due to patent illegality. The Court emphasised on the need for careful consideration of claims and adherence to contract terms. The Court clarified the standards for setting aside arbitral awards under the 1996 Act and reinforces the principle that arbitral tribunals are the ultimate authorities within the scope of the contract’s explicit terms. The Court also encouraged reforms to reduce judicial interference in arbitration and promote efficiency. Read more..

Chhattisgarh High Court

[Illegal Coal Levy Scam] ‘Actively participated in extortion racket, managed illegal cash’: Chhattisgarh HC denies anticipatory bail to alleged mastermind’s brother

In a bail application filed by the applicant under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’) for the grant of anticipatory bail, Narendra Kumar Vyas, J., opined that in the present case, statement of the applicant recorded under Section 50(2) of the PMLA, his prima facie involvement was reflected. The material collected by the Enforcement Directorate had also not been rebutted, which prima facie reflected the involvement of the applicant. The Court opined that the applicant was unable to fulfil the twin conditions required for grant of bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (‘PMLA’) was equally applicable for the grant of anticipatory bail, which had not been satisfied by the present applicant. Thus, considering the gravity of offence, possibility of witnesses tampering and prima facie considering that the applicant was unable to satisfy the twin conditions of Section 45 of the PMLA, the Court rejected the bail application filed under Section 438 of the CrPC. Read more..

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court declares ‘NEW BALANCE’ and ‘NB’ marks as well-known trade marks

In a case wherein suit was filed by New Balance Athletics Inc., a U.S. based Company seeking protection of its marks “NEW BALANCE” and “NB” against misuse by defendant, New Balance Immigration (P) Ltd. and apart from permanent injunction, damages, etc., against defendant, plaintiff also sought a declaration of its marks as well-known marks, Prathiba M. Singh, J.*, opined that the global reputation of plaintiff’s marks had been proved and plaintiff had submitted sufficient documentary evidence in support of the prayer for declaration as a well-known mark. The Court thus held that the marks “NEW BALANCE” and “NB” of plaintiff were, accordingly, declared as well-known marks. However, there shall be no monopoly on the words “New” and “Balance”, if separately used in respect of any other goods or services. Read more..

Terms contained in approved Resolution Plan also binding on stakeholders who can file claims, but did not do so

In a case wherein the issue for consideration before the Court was whether the assessment orders dated 21-11-2019 and 06-12-2019 and two demand notices of the same date respectively (‘impugned assessment orders and notices’) were sustainable in law, the Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher* and Girish Kathpalia, JJ., opined that the terms contained in the approved Resolution Plan (‘RP’) was binding on all the stakeholders, including those who could had filed claims, but did not do so. Since, the respondent failed to lodge its claim, they could not enforce the impugned orders and notices, given the binding nature of the approved RP. The Court opined that since the respondent failed to lodge its claims, the impugned demand raised by the respondent automatically stood extinguished. Thus, the Court quashed the impugned assessment orders and notices. Read more..

Delhi High Court imposes cost on Union of India for lackadaisical approach while dealing with a 96-year-old freedom fighter

A petition filed by a 96 year old freedom fighter seeking grant of ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension’ from the date of application, i.e. 29.03.1982, along with interest @ 18% per annum. Subramonium Prasad, J., directed respondents to release the pension of the petitioner and imposed costs on the Union of India for their lackadaisical approach while dealing with a freedom fighter who had suffered for the country about half-a-century back and had not expected to be rewarded for the imprisonment suffered by them. Read more..

Delhi High Court directs State, Delhi Jal Board and MCD to comply with Supreme Court directions for enforcement of PEMSR Act, 2013

A petition was filed for strict enforcement of the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (“PEMSR Act”) and the Rules framed thereunder. A division bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Tushar Rao Gedela, J., directed the Government of NCT of Delhi, the Delhi Jal Board, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to strictly comply with the directions as laid down by the Supreme Court in Balram Singh v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1386. Read more..

Explain pros and cons of medical termination of pregnancy in rape cases, in Hindi or English: Delhi High Court

In the present case, vide order dated 03-11-2023, this Court had directed the Medical Board constituted at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi, to examine the petitioner, victim child on 04-11-2023 to assess as to whether the medical termination of pregnancy would carry a risk to petitioner’s life at the stage of gestational period of her pregnancy. Swarana Kanta Sharma, J., opined that the Medical Board should seek petitioner’s opinion once again and in case she and her guardian were willing for medical termination of pregnancy and the Medical Board found it a fit case for the same, medical termination of pregnancy of petitioner should be conducted. The Court directed the Medical Board to explain the pros and cons of the medical termination of pregnancy, as well as pros and cons of continuing with the pregnancy if any, to petitioner and her guardian in Hindi which was her mother tongue so that there was no miscommunication. Read more..

[Oreo v. Fabio] Specific challenge to validity of mark to be made u/s 124 of Trade Marks Act, 1999 to ascertain prima facie tenability of challenge

In an application filed by the plaintiff under Section 124 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (‘the Act’), C. Hari Shankar, J.*, opined that if the plaintiff desired to question the validity of the mark ‘FABIO’, then as per Section 124(1)(b) of the Act, the plaintiff had to specifically challenge that mark. The Court by straining its interpretative faculties could not read into the plaint a plea that the registration of the defendant’s mark was invalid, where no such plea was actually made in the plaint. Thus, the Court opined that since the mark ‘FABIO’ was not the subject matter of challenge in the plaint and the plaintiff had not challenged the registration of the mark ‘FABIO’ in the defendant’s favour, the present application of the plaintiff failed, and accordingly dismissed the application. Read more..

Delhi High Court directs MCD to conduct regular monitoring of Azad Market, Delhi to identify persons violating fire norms

The present petition was filed as a public interest litigation (‘PIL’) seeking directions from this Court to be issued to respondents in relation to inter alia (i) conducting a survey in order to identify unauthorized and illegal construction in the Azad Market, Delhi (‘the Subject Area’); and (ii) to take action against such properties situated in the Subject Area. The Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, C.J.*, and Tushar Rao Gedela, J., opined that the grievance raised by petitioner had been sufficiently addressed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (‘MCD’) through the considerable efforts it had made in relation to clearing unauthorized and illegal construction in the Subject Area. However, the Court opined that it could not turn a blind eye towards any potential violations of Fire Norms, and accordingly directed the MCD and the Delhi Fire Services to ensure scrupulous and rigorous enforcement of the Fire Norms pertaining to premises specified under Rule 27 of the Delhi Fire Service Rules, 2010 (‘the Delhi Fire Rules’). Read more..

Making unsubstantiated allegations and waging legal war against husband and his family member amounts to extreme cruelty: Delhi High Court sets aside divorce decree

In an appeal filed under Section 19 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 against the judgment dated 10-02-2020, whereby the Principal Judge, Family Court (‘Family Court’) had dismissed the divorce petition, the Division Bench of Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna*, JJ., opined that the Family Court had erred in ignoring the overwhelming evidence of false and defamatory accusations made by the respondent-wife and also, the multifarious litigations initiated by the wife against the appellant-husband and his family members, clearly established the cruelty by the wife and thus, the Court set aside the impugned judgment and granted divorce on the ground of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 2005. Read more..

Simple act of touch cannot be considered manipulation for penetrative sexual assault under POCSO Act

In an appeal filed by the appellant to set aside the judgment of conviction and order on sentence dated 28-10-2020, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge (POCSO Act), Central District, Tis Hazari Courts, New Delhi, (‘the Trial Court’) Amit Bansal, J.*, opined that the offence of aggravated penetrative sexual assault provided under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’), had not been proved against the appellant beyond all reasonable doubt, but the offence of aggravated sexual assault provided under Section 10 of the POCSO Act, was proved beyond all reasonable doubt against the appellant. Thus, the Court partially allowed and modified the impugned judgment and sentenced the appellant to undergo rigorous imprisonment of five years for the offence under Section 10 of the POCSO Act and retained the fine of Rs. 5000 awarded by the Trial Court. Read more..

Claim for refund of CENVAT credit cannot be negated in the absence of self-assessed return being questioned, reviewed or re-assessed

A petition was filed challenging an order dated 04-10-2021 passed by the second respondent and in terms of which its applications for refund of unutilized CENVAT credit have come to be negatived, a division bench of Yashwant Varma and Dharmesh Sharma, JJ., quashed the impugned order and held that the respondents shall process the claim as submitted by the petitioner and effect refunds in accordance with law. Read more..

Delhi High Court upholds Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (Renewable Purchase Obligation and Renewable Energy Certificate Framework Implementation) Regulations, 2021

The present writ petition challenged the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (Renewable Purchase Obligation and Renewable Energy Certificate Framework Implementation) Regulations, 2021 (‘2021 Regulations’) and the Open Access Charges and Related Matters (Fourth Amendment) Order, 2021 (‘Order’), which increased the renewable purchase obligations and imposed additional surcharges. Petitioner, Juniper Hotels (P) Ltd. contended that the changes introduced by 2021 Regulations and Order were anti-consumer and rendered procurement of green energy unviable. Sanjeev Narula, J.*, opined that petitioner had not explained as to how the 2021 Regulations affected competition and fairness rendering electricity in Delhi more oligopoly and likewise, there was no substantiation or foundation in the allegation that procurement of power from green sources had been rendered unviable. The Court thus rejected these grounds as unsustainable. Read more..

Delhi High Court dismisses plea challenging appointment of Dr. Ishwarappa as Director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga

A Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) was filed as a writ of Quo Warranto seeking a judicial inquiry into the legitimacy of the appointment of Respondent 3, Dr. Ishwarappa Veerbhadrappa Basavaraddi as Director of the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (‘MDNIY’), a distinguished autonomous institution under the Ministry of AYUSH, Union of India (‘AYUSH’). The Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, C.J., and Sanjeev Narula, J.*, held that it was established through careful evaluation of the service records and educational qualifications that Respondent 3 had met the essential criteria for the appointment as Director of MDNIY, as applicable at the time of his appointment and compliance with the prescribed qualifications was a central pillar in upholding the legitimacy of his position. Read more..

Conviction for committing sexual offences no ground for denying benefit of furlough to an otherwise eligible prisoner

In a writ petition filed by the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution read with Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Swarana Kanta Sharma, J.*, considering the imprisonment awarded to the petitioner and incarceration period undergone by him, coupled with satisfactory conduct of the petitioner inside the jail, set aside the impugned order dated 04-09-2023 and granted furlough to the petitioner for a period of twenty-one days. Read more..

Delhi High Court dismisses PIL seeking to formulate a policy for expeditious disposal of appeals within time limit under Section 250(6A) of IT Act 1961

A PIL was filed under Articles 226 and 227 seeking to formulate a policy and issue necessary directions to Commissioners (Appeals) to take steps for expeditious disposal of appeals or within the time limit envisaged by Section 250(6A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. A division bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Tushar Rao Gedela, J., refuses interference in the petition considering the road map drawn up by the CBDT that adequately addresses the concerns raised in the PIL. Read more..

Delhi High Court directs Centre, MHRD, Government of Delhi to implement policies on ‘skill learning, vocational training’ for children with special needs in letter and spirit

The present petition was in the nature of Public Interest Litigation filed under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking issuance of a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ/order/direction to respondents directing them to formulate a Committee and the Terms of Reference of the Committee must include drafting up and implementing of a Nationwide Plan to impart “skill learning and vocational training” to children with special needs starting from the age group of 7-17 years and to persons with special needs, the Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharama, C.J., and Tushar Rao Gedela, J.*, opined that the grievances raised in the present petition, had been sufficiently and aptly addressed by respondents through their various plans and schemes and the same was also concurred and reiterated by petitioner’s counsel that petitioner was fully satisfied with the action plan of respondents. Read more..

Dowry Death by Suicide| Subjecting a woman to a life akin to a slave merely because of her marital status is an egregious injustice

An appeal was filed under Section 374 read with Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code 1973 (‘CrPC’) by the appellant impugning judgment of conviction and order on sentence dated 16-04-2009 and 21-04-2009 respectively passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Rohini, Delhi in case FIR registered at Police Station Prashant Vihar for offence punishable under Section 498-A, 304-B, 34 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’). Swarana Kanta Sharma, J., did not interfere with the impugned conviction order and directed the appellant to surrender to serve the unexpired portion of his sentence within a period of 30 days since the present appeal pertains to the year 2009 and the appellant has been on bail for more than 14 years. Read more..

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Criminal Justice| Madhya Pradesh High Court directs integration of “SANDES APP” and ICJS for witness protection and improved communication

In a case pertaining to allegations of intimidation directed at the complainant and key witness, a single-judge bench comprising of Anand Pathak, J., issued directions to facilitate an ongoing effort by the Court to promote better coordination and communication within the criminal justice system in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Read more..

Madras High Court

Madras High Court grants relief to TNPSC aspirant who wrote “Jai Hind” while concluding her mains exam essay

In a petition praying for declaring the invalidation of the petitioner’s answer paper in Essay Part-B (Main Exam) for recruitment to posts included in Combined Civil Services Examination-II Group-II Services (2013-2014) conducted by Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (‘TNPSC’), on 08-11-2014 as illegal and consequently to direct the respondent to evaluate the petitioner’s answer paper and award marks and consider the petitioner for appointment to the posts included in Combined Civil Services Examination-II Group II Services, Battu Devanand, JJ. while holding the above action of TNPSC as illegal, unjust and arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, has directed TNPSC to validate the petitioner’s answer papers; and based on the marks awarded in Part-A and Part-B, if the petitioner secured requisite marks, she must be appointed to the post included in Combined Civil Services Examination-II Group-II Services within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. Read more..

Punjab and Haryana High Court

Armed with iron rod but gave leg and fist blows; Punjab and Haryana High Court grants pre-arrest bail in a murder case

In a petition seeking anticipatory bail for offences under Sections 302, 307, 323, 506 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Bench of Rajesh Bhardwaj, J. allowed the same making previous interim order granting bail absolute. Read more..

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