Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Judges

President appoints Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, Additional Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be a Judge of the Calcutta High Court and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, Additional Judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, to be a Judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

 


[Notification dt. 27-07-2020]

Ministry of Law and Justice

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Chief Justice, High Court, Calcutta has extended the period of suspension of judicial and administrative works of High Court, Calcutta till 19th July, 2020 on account of new phase of lockdown in Kolkata and constant increase in the containment zones and rapid increase of COVID-19 patients in the city of Kolkata and its suburbs.

NOTIFICATION


Calcutta High Court

[Notification dt. 13-07-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

The judicial and administrative works of Calcutta High Court to be suspended from 10.07.2020  to 13.07.2020 on account of new phase of lock down in Kolkata declaring considerable part of it as containment zones as also to conduct a thorough sanitization process in the 3(three) Buildings of Calcutta High Court.


Calcutta High Court

[Notification dt. 09-07-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Collegium Statement

Supreme Court Collegium on 18th April, 2020 has recommended elevation of Mr Justice Dipankar Datta, Judge, Calcutta High Court as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.

Justice Dipankar Datta

Born on February 9, 1965. Son of late Salil Kumar Datta, a former Judge of the High Court at Calcutta, and brother-in-law of Justice Amitava Roy, former Judge of the Supreme Court. Awarded LL.B. degree by the University of Calcutta (First batch of 5 year Law course) in 1989. Enrolled as an Advocate on November 16, 1989. Practised mainly in the High Court at Calcutta, as well as in the Supreme Court of India and other High Courts in Constitutional and Civil matters. Was the Junior Standing Counsel for the State of West Bengal from May 16, 2002 to January 16, 2004. Was Counsel for the Union of India since 1998. Appeared for a number of educational authorities and institutions including the University of Calcutta, W.B. School Service Commission and W.B. Board of Secondary Education. Was Guest Lecturer on Constitutional Law of India in the University College of Law, University of Calcutta, from 1996-97 to 1999-2000. Was elevated to the Bench of the High Court at Calcutta as a permanent Judge on June 22, 2006.


Supreme Court Collegium

[Collegium Statement dt. 18-04-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium recommends the appointment of an Additional Judge of the Calcutta High Court.

Following are the Judges:

  • Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay — for a fresh term of 6 months w.e.f. 02-05-2020.

Supreme Court Collegium

[Statement dt. 06-04-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following six Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, as Permanent Judges of that High Court:

1. Justice Rajasekhar Mantha,
2. Justice Protik Prakash Banerjee,
3. Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya,
4. Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya,
5. Justice Shekhar Bobby Saraf, and
6. Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj

Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ. stated that,

For the purpose of assessing merit and suitability of the abovenamed recommendees for appointment as Permanent Judges, we have carefully scrutinized the material placed on record, including certain complaints against some of the above-named recommendees. 

On overall assessment and having regard to all relevant factors including the views of our consultee-colleagues, concurrence of the State Government, the Judgment Committee Report and the observations made by the Department of Justice in the file, the Collegium is of the view that

Justices (1) Rajasekhar Mantha, (2) Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, (3) Moushumi Bhattacharya, (4) Shekhar Bobby Saraf, and (5) Rajarshi Bharadwaj, Additional Judges, are suitable for being appointed as Permanent Judges.

Whereas, in regards to Justice Protik Prakash Banerjee Collegium is of the considered view that, for the present, he be appointed as Additional Judge for a fresh term of six months w.e.f. 21-09-2019.


[Collegium Resolution dt. 31-07-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

The Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana and Arun Mishra resolves to reiterate its recommendation dated 10th January, 2019 for transfer of Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan, CJ of Telangana High Court to Calcutta High Court.

[Dated: 19-02-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of Circuit Bench of Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri. It will have jurisdiction over four districts namely Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.

The decision comes in the backdrop of the decision of the Calcutta High Court Full Court Meeting in 1988, Cabinet Decision on 16-6-2006 which approved the setting up of Circuit Bench of Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri and the visit by a team of Judges led by Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court to the proposed site of the Circuit Bench at Jalpaiguri on 30-08-2018 to assess the progress regarding the infrastructure facilities there.

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President appointed Justice Debasish Kar Gupta (senior-most Judge of Calcutta HC), to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of Calcutta HC, w.e.f. 25-09-2018 consequent upon the retirement of Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya (current Chief Justice of Calcutta HC).

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India appointed Shri Biswajit Basu, Smt. Amrita Sinha, Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay, and Shri Jay Sengupta, to be Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India appointed Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India, appointed  (i) Smt Shampa Sarkar, (ii) Shri Ravi Krishan Kapur and (iii) Shri Arindam Mukherjee, to be Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry   of Law and  Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India  appointed Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, senior-most Judge of Calcutta High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from 25th October, 2017 consequent upon the retirement of Shri Justice Rakesh Tiwari, Acting Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: While condemning the practice of witch hunting, the Court issued certain directives for the State Government in order to eradicate the evil practice of witch hunting.

In the present case, the petitioners were driven out of their villages on suspicion of practicing witchcraft. The Counsel appearing for the Petitioners have submitted that the petitioners have been restored to their home and hearth and adequate police assistance has also been given to them.

The Bench comprising of Joymalya Bagchi J. in view of the observation laid down in Gaurav Jain v. State of Bihar, 1991 Supp (2) SCC 133, directed State Government to undertake the following steps in order to ensure and eradicate the evil practice of witch hunting:-

  • The State Government shall form a Committee comprising of experts from the field of public administration, sociologists, etc. to look into the prevalence of the practice of witch hunting in various districts in the State of West Bengal with special emphasis in tribal areas and the Committee shall submit its report to the State Government within six months from date of the order;
  • The Committee shall specify in its report the areas in the State of West Bengal, if any, where there is substantial prevalence of the practice of witch hunting and based on such report the Government shall form special cells in the concerned districts to deal with the issue of witch hunting in the said districts. The Government shall also post intelligence and police officers in such special cells who would carry on surveillance activity, collection of information and/or intelligence in the matter and, if necessary, take preventive measures to ensure that such unlawful practices are not carried on;
  • Officers of the special cell would also, in the event a witch hunting activity is indulged, promptly register criminal cases against the offenders and take necessary remedial measures in the matter;
  • The victims of witch hunting shall be given District legal assistance through the Legal Services Authority as aggrieved persons who are entitled to legal aid under The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and they shall also be extended necessary medical and psychological help and/or protection as they are the vulnerable witnesses of the crime by the State.
  • The State Government may also explore the possibility of formulating a Comprehensive Victim Compensation Scheme under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure for victims of witch hunting.

[Smt. Moyna Murmu v. State of West Bengal, 2016 SCC OnLine Cal 4272, decided on August 2, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: Holding that the show cause notice dated 26th September 2011, demanding service tax from the Petitioner, was barred by limitation, the Court constituted by Justice Arijit Banerjee  quashed it, as well as the Circular of the Central Board for Custom and Excise dated 26th July, 2010 which sought to tax the composite amount of fees paid to IPL players for cricketing and promotional activities, if indistinguishable. The amount of Rs. 1, 51,66,500/- was sought as service tax from Mr Sourav Ganguly, upon amounts received for writing articles in magazines, anchoring TV shows, brand endorsements under ‘business auxiliary services’ [Section 65(19) of the Finance Act, 1994] and IPL fees from KKR as ‘business support service’ under Section 65(105) (zzzq). The Court ordered a refund of the Rs. 1, 51, 66,500/- and Rs. 50 lakhs deposited by the Petitioner.

The Court rejected as ipse dixit grounds of suppression of facts used to extend limitation for demand of service tax, from 1 year to 5 as per Section 73, Finance Act. The Court referred the decision in Simplex Infrastructures Ltd. v. Commissioner of Service Tax, Kolkata 2016 SCC OnLine Cal 571 wherein it was said that question of limitation is a question of jurisdiction and Commission not to have authority to issue notice after a period of limitation. In this connection, the Court held that it cannot be said that the writ petition is not maintainable at all and should not be entertained for adjudication and once a writ petition is admitted, affidavits are invited from respondents and the matter comes up for final hearing before the Court, it would be unjust and unfair to dismiss the writ petition only on the ground of availability of an alternative remedy. and  Commissioner of Central Excise v. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. 2007 (211) ELT 193 .

Though limitation barred its issue, the notice was quashed on other grounds. The Court noted that the definition of ‘business support services’ was exhaustive and indicated activities promoting business or commercial objectives, inapplicable to the Petitioner’s writing articles or anchoring TV shows. Further, brand promotion/endorsement was taxable under Section 65(105)(zzzzq) from 1st July 2010, after which the Petitioner had paid service tax as Celebrity Brand Ambassador. ‘Brand endorsement’ constituted a different category from ‘business auxiliary service’, as it was settled law that a levy introduced by amendment  to the law did not exist prior to the enactment; hence tax from 1 May 2006 to 30th June 2010 upon endorsements as ‘business auxiliary services’ was not recoverable. The Court approved Commissioner of Service Tax, Delhi v. Shriya Saran 2014 (36) STR 641 where it was held activities prior to 1 July 2010 could not be taxable  and Indian National Shipowners’ Association v. Union of India 2009 (14) STR 289.

The Court drew a parallel with the Order in Appeal No. 330-332/SVS/RTK/2014, dated 6 June 2014, where the Appellant, of Chennai Super Kings, was held to be in the employ of IPL and not an independent worker providing taxable service, as he was constrained by the franchisee.

The Court remonstrated with the Central Board of Excise and Custom not to seek to ‘legislate by issuing circulars/instructions’, citing Commissioner of Central Excise, Bolpur v. Ratan Melting & Wire Industries 2008 (12) STR 416 (an instruction/circular issued by a Ministry could not expand the scope of law, nor create tax liability). It would be de hors the statute to levy tax on composite amount of the fees for match playing and participation in promotional activities. [Sourav Ganguly v. Union of India., 2016 SCC OnLine Cal 3234  decided on 30-06-2016]