High Court weekly Roundup-4


No sufficient evidence to prove prosecution’s case beyond reasonable doubt’; Allahabad HC acquits 3 convicts in 1999 rape and murder case of a 13-year-old girl

In a batch of appeals filed by the convicts against their conviction order for offences under Sections 376(2)(g) and 302 read with 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) passed by Additional Sessions Judge, the division bench of Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi*, JJ. while acquitting the convicts, said that the sole testimony of the informant, who is a chance witness, is not inspiring and trustworthy. There are serious discrepancies, which makes it highly doubtful that he has seen the occurrence. No doubt that the victim has been sexually assaulted and was strangled to death, but it is not proved that the convicts are the real culprits. Their false implication on the basis of suspicion or with ulterior motive cannot be ruled out. There is no sufficient evidence on record to prove the prosecution case beyond reasonable doubt. Further, it said that the Trial Court has failed to notice the serious discrepancies in the ocular testimony of informant. Read more

Whether bar on review of decision by any Court under S.17 of UP Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act applies to High Court? Allahabad HC answers

In a writ petition filed against an order of suspension from service pending inquiry dated 21-06-2023 passed against the petitioner by the Chairman, Nagar Palika Parishad without jurisdiction, J.J. Munir, JJ. while dismissing the petition, has directed that the inquiry against the petitioner to be concluded within a period of three months. Further, the petitioner, during the period of suspension, shall be paid his subsistence allowance regularly. It also said that the reference to ‘Court’ or bar to the Court’s jurisdiction under Section 17(2) of the Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta and Up-Lokayuktas Act, 1975 would apply to Courts of ordinary jurisdiction; not the High Court exercising its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. Read more

Allahabad HC asks UP Bar Council to issue guidelines, restraining Advocates from wearing uniforms outside Court premises

In a petition filed, praying for directing the State to have the CBI or any other independent investigative agency to take over the investigation and prosecution with respect to the complaint regarding assault in Court premises, made by the petitioner and to direct the Investigating agency to conduct the prompt and impartial investigation in first information report (‘FIR’) for offences under Sections 323, 504, 506, 392 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the division bench of Sangeeta Chandra and Narendra Kumar Johari, JJ. has directed the State to inform the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police of the area concerned of filing of the writ petition and seek instructions with regard to what has been done in pursuance of the FIR lodged by the petitioner. Further, it has asked the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh to issue guidelines that the Advocates should avoid wearing uniforms outside the Court premises. Read more


‘In accordance with Article 16(5) of Constitution’; Andhra Pradesh High Court upholds termination of employee from service who ceased to be a Hindu

The Writ Petition was filed challenging the proceedings issued by Respondent 4, whereby petitioner’s appointment as a record assistant was terminated w.e.f 05-08-2012. Harinath.N, J.*, held that the action of Respondents 3 and 4 terminating the services of petitioner, was in accordance with the constitutional powers, more particularly, Article 16(5) of Constitution and the Statutory Power conferred by Rule 3 of the AP Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Office Holders and Servant Service Rules, 2000 (‘the 2000 Rules’). Read more


‘A detailed enquiry be initiated on the failure on the part of the Faceless Assessing Officer’; Bombay HC holds assessment order by FAO as time barred

A petition was filed questioning the failure of respondent 1 and 2 to refund the amount paid by the petitioner for Assessment Year (‘AY’) 2016-2017, which the petitioner claims to have paid in excess of the legitimate tax due on the returned income of Petitioner and seeks a refund of the said amount along with applicable interest. A division bench of K R Shriram and Neela Gokhale, JJ., held that the assessment order dated 31-08-2023 passed by FAO two years after the DRP directions, is time barred and cannot be sustained and the petitioner is entitled to receive the refund together with interest, in accordance with law. Read more


‘Compassionate appointment not vested/hereditary right’, Calcutta High Court upholds rejection of compassionate appointment

While determining the maintainability of the writ petition, preferred by the petitioners seeking compassionate appointment, without making trade unions as the respondent party, a single-judge bench comprising of Shekhar B. Saraf,* J., denied compassionate appointment to the petitioners due to a lack of financial dependency. The Court stated that providing false information and filing delayed applications further impact petitioner’s credibility. The Court also dismisses claims of non-maintainability, affirming the applicability of NCWA and the ‘State Authority’ status of CIL and ECL. Read more


Delhi HC grants stay on Tiz Hazari Court’s order vacating ad-interim injunction restraining Home Needs from using marks ‘POLO LIFETIME’, ‘RALPH LAUREN’ and word ‘POLO’

Appellant, the Polo/Lauren Company L.P., filed an appeal against the order dated 14-07-2023 passed by the District Judge (Commercial Court-01) Central, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi (‘Tis Hazari Court’) vacating the ad-interim injunction restraining defendant, Home Needs, from exporting, manufacturing, marketing, using, selling/soliciting, advertising, etc. and the trade mark/label ‘POLOLIFETIME’, word ‘POLO’ and the mark ‘RALPH LAUREN’ carrying with it a picture of a polo player. The Division Judge Bench of Yashwant Varma and Ravinder Dudeja, JJ., found merit in the appeal challenging the order passed by the Tis Hazari Court and thus held that till the next date of hearing, there shall be a stay on the impugned order dated 14-07-2023. Read more

Delhi High Court directs Chief Secretary of Government of Delhi to undertake security, social audit of all Shelter Homes

The Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, C.J., and Tushar Rao Gedela, J., noted that in many Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (‘DUSIB’) Shelter Homes, there was an issue of security, and the Shelter Homes were being occupied by persons who were ineligible to occupy such Shelter Homes. Thus, the Court directed Chief Secretary of Government of Delhi to undertake a security and social audit of all DUSIB Shelter Homes. Read more

Delhi High Court directs Government of Delhi to finalise proposal for establishment of specialised training academy for public prosecutors

The Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, C.J.*, and Tushar Rao Gedela, J.*, directed the Government of Delhi to finalize its proposal qua the establishment of a specialized training academy for public prosecutors within four weeks’ form the date of this order and file an affidavit outlining the steps taken in furtherance of the same before the next date of hearing. Read more

Delhi High Court sets aside direction furnishing bank guarantee being violative of principles underlying Order 38 Rule 5 CPC

The appeals were filed by the appellants Section 37(1)(b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 read with Section 13 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 impugning a common judgment dated 22-06-2020 passed by the Single Judge directing the appellants to furnish a bank guarantee to secure a sum equal to 50% of the total of USD 34,133,214 within four weeks. A division bench of Amit Mahajan, and Vibhu Bakhru JJ., sets aside the impugned judgment directing the appellants to provide a bank guarantee to partly secure the claims of the respondent. Read more

Delhi High Court directs Mohalla Tech (P) Ltd. to remove Zee’s copyrighted content from ShareChat and Moj Apps and websites

Plaintiff, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (‘Zee’) sought interim injunction only against the continued availability of Zee’s copyrighted recordings on the library of the defendant, Mohalla Tech (P) Ltd. (‘MTPL’), thereby making the said recordings available to users who could exploit the recordings through the ShareChat and Moj Apps and websites. C. Hari Shankar, J., directed MTPL to ensure that, in its library, from which recordings could be accessed by users using the ShareChat and Moj Apps and websites, none of the 134 films/clips recordings were made available. Read more

Delhi High Court| Increasing MRP of non-scheduled formulation to maximum permissible increase of 10% in a year not necessary

A batch of appeals were filed challenging a common judgment arising from various petitions filed by pharmaceutical companies assailing the demand notices issued to them by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (‘NPPA’), holding the respondents guilty of overcharging consumers for certain drug formulations manufactured by them, in contravention of Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013 (‘DPCO 2013’). A division bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Subramonium Prasad, JJ., disposed of the appeal finding no infirmity in the impugned judgment. Read more

Delhi High Court restrains use of words ‘SHRINATH’ and ‘SHREENATH’ in relation to tour and travel services; grants injunction to Shrinath Travel Agency

Plaintiffs sought interlocutory injunction, restraining Defendant 3 from using the mark , Defendant 4 from using the marks Shrinath Tourist Agency, Shrinath Nandu Travels, , and Defendant 5 from using the mark . C. Hari Shankar, J.* granted an injunction against defendants and all others acting on their behalf from using the words ‘SHRINATH’ or ‘SHREENATH’, or the marks , , and in any manner whatsoever or any other mark which might be similar to plaintiffs’ registered trade marks SHRINATH, and . However, the prayer for injunction against the use of the mark by Defendant 5 was rejected. Read more

Delhi High Court issues directions in relation to guidelines for inspections by Child Safety Monitoring Committee

The Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, C.J., and Tushar Rao Gedela, J., issued certain directions in relation to guidelines/procedures to be adopted by the Child Safety Monitoring Committee (‘the Committee’) during its inspections in relation to minimum standards of school safety. Read more

Delhi High Court directs GNCTD to operationalise Online Single Window System portal for faster lawyer bill clearance

A petition was filed concerning the outstanding bills of the petitioner who is a lawyer and was a counsel engaged by the GNCTD as she had raised various memos for her professional services, which were outstanding and not being cleared by the respondents. Prathiba M Singh, J., directed GNCTD to take steps immediately for operationalising the OSWS portal and for inaugurating/starting the same within the next one month. Read more


J&K and Ladakh HC quashes detention order over snapped live link to illicit activities and vague Daily Diary Reports

While considering the instant petition wherein the petitioner challenged the order detaining him under Section 3 of Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 on the ground that the impugned order was vague, suffers from non-application of mind etc., the bench of Rajnesh Oswal, J.*, quashed the impugned order for being unsustainable in law stating that the live link between petitioner’s illicit activities has been snapped and the Daily Diary Reports (DDRs) presented before the Court contained vague and bereft of necessary details in respect of the specific activities of the petitioner. Read more


Karnataka HC refuses to interfere with State Govt’s decision to cancel recruitment examination for the post of Police Sub-Inspector and order a re-examination

While considering a bunch of petitions which had challenged the decision of the State Government to conduct fresh written examinations for all the candidates who had earlier appeared in the examination for the post of ‘Police Sub-Inspector (Civil)’ in the State of Karnataka on 21-01-2021; the Division Bench of P.S. Dinesh Kumar* and T.G. Shivashankare Gowda, JJ., refused to interfere with the decision of the State Government stating that the evaluation of academic achievement or the suitability of a candidate for public employment necessitates an examination process that adheres to principles of rationality. “Rationality stands as a fundamental requirement within the realm of public administration. The decision to cancel an examination is an extreme step usually taken in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the examination process and to ensure absolute fairness to all the candidates both successful and unsuccessful”. Read more


Madras HC directs tax department to investigate misuse of login ID and Password of dealer by third party, enabling tax evasion

In a writ petition challenging the notice dated 29-07-2022 issued by the State Tax Officer seeking to recover a sum of Rs. 11,63,24,233/- from the petitioner for the assessment years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 without even serving a copy of the assessment order, C. Saravanan, J. has directed the Commercial Tax Department to co-ordinate with the respondents and investigate the complaint of the petitioner within 18 months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. Read more

[Trade mark Infringement] Madras HC restrains sale of Sunfeast Mom’s Magic butter cookies in blue wrapper, being deceptively similar to Britannia Good day

In batch of appeals against the order of the Single Judge, dated 10-10-2023, wherein the Court has injuncted ITC Ltd. from marking its product Sunfeast Mom’s Magic Butter Cookies in the blue colour wrapper, the division bench of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ. and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, J. upheld the impugned order. However, it permitted ITC Ltd. to sell the existing stock which is already packed in the offending blue colour wrappers. Read more

TN Online Gaming Act applies only to games of chance and not games of skill : Madras High Court

In a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a writ of declaration to declare Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022 as ultra vires, the bench comprising of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ and P.D. Audikesavalu J held the impugned Act can only apply to games of chance and not games of skill. Hence, the Act in its entirety, need not be held to be ultra vires. The Court also noted that the State is competent to legislate to the extent of prohibiting online gambling, i.e., games of chance. At the same time, it has got the authority to regulate online games of skill. Read more


‘Married man living a lustful and adulterous life with unmarried woman, may constitute bigamy’; Punjab and Haryana High Court refuses relief to live-in couple

In a petition under Article 226 of Constitution of India seeking issuance of writ of mandamus upon State authorities to protect their lives and liberties at the hands of private respondents, their friends and relatives, along with the direction not to falsely implicate them in any false criminal case at the behest of private respondents, their friends and relatives, Kuldeep Tiwari, J. refused to grant any relief to the couple approaching the Court to avoid criminal prosecution and obliquely obtain the seal of the Court on their conduct. Read more


Mother cannot be discriminated, as far as maternity leave is concerned; Rajasthan HC grants maternity leave to surrogate mother

In a writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, Anoop Kumar Dhand, J. opined that a mother could not be discriminated, as far as maternity leave was concerned, only because she had begotten the child through the process of surrogacy. Newly born babies through this process could not be left at the mercy of others. The bond of love and affection develops between the mother and children during the period after birth, as these infants needed love, care, protection and attention of mother during the early crucial time after their birth. Thus, the Court set aside the impugned order and directed the respondent to sanction 180 days maternity leave to the petitioner. Read more

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