Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A.C. Rao, J., dismissed a bail application in connection with an FIR registered for the offences under Sections 302, 201 and 114 of the Penal Code, 1860.

The counsel for the applicant, B.M. Mangukiya contended that the victim was drunk and fell down in the well, but the complainant had got up the story of throttle and thrown. It was vehemently contended that there was no mark of resistance found on the body of the victim, only one nail injury was found on the neck of the victim, so it is an only plausible explanation to the fact that he was not killed as relied on the prosecution and therefore, the present application may be released on bail. The counsel for the respondent, H.K. Patel submitted that this was a successive bail application and previous bail application was withdrawn. In the present application, the applicant has not stated anything about the previous withdrawal, so the successive bail application was not maintainable, except there is a change in circumstances.

The Court referred to the judgment of the Supreme Court in Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan, (2005) 2 SCC 42 where it was held that,

“this Court also observed that though the accused has a right to make a successive application for grant of bail, the Court entertaining such subsequent bail applications has duty to consider the reasons and grounds on which the earlier bail applications were rejected and in such cases, the Court also has a duty to record what are the fresh grounds which persuaded it to take a view different from the one taken in the earlier application.”

The Court while dismissing the application observed that the previous bail application was withdrawn after the filing of charge sheet and this bail application is also filed after filing of charge sheet. The advocate for the petitioner has not been able to point out any change in the circumstances, thus no ground is made out by the petitioner.[Rakesh Makhabhai Bamaniya v. State of Gujarat, R/Criminal Misc. Application No. 14175 of 2020, decided on 20-10-2020]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A.G. Uraizee, J., dismissed a petition which was filed aggrieved by the dismissal of Revision Application by the Secretary, Forest and Environment Department which had upheld the order of the Deputy Collector.

Respondent 7 was the Sarpanch of Jetpur Gram Panchayat, according to the petitioner, by misusing the position of Sarpanch, around more than 150 trees standing on Gauchar land of village Jetpur, were cut in violation of law and sold for the monetary benefits. The petitioner had therefore filed an application before the District Development Officer for removal of respondent 7 from the post of Sarpanch. As a result, respondent was removed from the post of Sarpanch under Section 57(1) of the Gujarat Panchayat Act. The respondent challenged her removal by filing Appeal before the Deputy Collector who had partly allowed the Appeal and set aside the order of removal and remanded the case to the Mamlatdar, Bayad, for fresh consideration. Consequently, District Development Officer reinstated the respondent 7 on the post of Sarpanch. Aggrieved by which the petitioner had filed Revision Application before the Secretary, Forest and Environment Department which was dismissed. The present petition was filed aggrieved by the dismissal.

The Court observed that petition made it abundantly clear that the procedure under Section 57 of the Panchayat Act were initiated against the petitioner on the basis of the complaint/application filed by the petitioner with Mamlatdar, Bayad on account of felling of 153 trees and that the Mamlatdar, Bayad, after receipt of complaint about felling of the trees did not conduct the proper inquiry and Panchnama of place of incident was not prepared in presence of Range Forest Officer. They also found that the Mamlatdar had imposed punishment of fine on the basis of a presumption that 150 trees felled and there was no solid proof that the respondent, who had herself felled the trees. The Court while dismissing the petition mentioned that the matter is remanded for fresh consideration in light of the observation made in the order and all concerns will get an opportunity of hearing. Thus, the lower Authorities have given sound reasons for setting aside the removal of respondent 7 from the post of Sarpanch and remanded the matter for fresh consideration.[Patel Ramanbhai Hargovanbhai v. State of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 45, decided on 21-01-2020]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Hot Off The PressNews

Appointments of Judges

President appoints the following to be the Judges of Gujarat High Court:

  • Vaibhavi Devan Nanavati
  • Nirzarkumar Sushilkumar Desai
  • Nikhil Shreedharan Kariel

Here’s the notification: APPOINTMENT


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Press Release dt. 01-10-2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari, JJ has said that it would wait for the order of the Gujarat High Court before passing any orders in the issue relating to withdrawal of senior Designation of advocate Narendra Oza.

The Gujarat High Court had, on August 26, 2020, rejected the request for restoration of the gown of the senior counsel and had rejected the apology offered by Oza. The matter has been listed for further consideration September 17, 2020. Taking note of this fact, the bench said,

“On hearing learned counsels for the parties, we are of the view it would be appropriate that both aspects are taken together after the orders are pronounced in the contempt petition. List on 29th September, 2020, at the end of the Board.”

The Court gave liberty to the Oza’s counsel to serve a copy of the appeal, in case Oza is aggrieved by the orders in the contempt petition and of sentence, if any, on the counsel for the High Court and if the same is served well in advance, response to the same can be filed by the High Court.

The bench of SK Kaul and Ajay Rastogi, JJ had earlier, on August 6, 2020, said,

“Grievances may exist but can always be conveyed in a better language. Systems can be improved but imputations should not unnecessarily be made.”

Noticing that the contempt proceedings are still pending and in view of his unconditional apology both before the Full Court, the contempt proceedings and before the Supreme Court, the bench had considered it appropriate that the contempt court itself first applies its mind to the issue.

Oza, who is also the the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association, was stripped off his Senior Advocate designation. This has been done after Advocate Oza had levelled charges of corruption against the registry of the Gujarat High Court. The Court cited Rule 26 of the High Court of Gujarat (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules 2018, which states “In the event a Senior Advocate is found guilty of conduct which according to the Full Court disentitles the Senior Advocate concerned to be worthy of the designation, the Full Court may review its decision to designate the person concerned and recall the same”. Read more

[Yatin Narendra Oza v. High Court of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 724, order dated 09.09.2020]


Also read:

Gujarat HC withdraws GHCAA President Yatin Oza’s Senior Advocate status

Guj HC | Mere apology may be no reason to an act, utterance or publication of contempt which scandalize the majesty of Court; Advocate Yatin Oza’s unconditional apology rejected

Guj HC | President GHCAA levelled allegations of corruption, malpractices against HC Registry & called this August Institution a ‘Gambling Den’; Contempt Proceedings initiated

Yatin Oza offers unconditional apology; SC says one can improve system without imputations

Full Court of Gujarat HC rejects Yatin Oza’s unconditional apology and denies to re-confer his Senior Advocate Designation

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Sonia Gokani and N.V. Anjaria, JJ., while rejecting the unconditional apology of the Yatin Oza, observed that,

“Entire gamut of facts when dispassionately and objectively viewed, we are unable to accept these words as true words of remorse and contrition and therefore, request to accept apology even if termed as unqualified, cannot be acceded to.”

Gambling Den

Respondent Yatin Narendra Oza is the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association and was designated as a Senior Advocate of the Bar and in a press conference, he uttered certain statements showing the institution of the Gujarat High Court in very low esteem and terming it as a gambling den.

Suo Motu Notice

On 9-06-2020, suo motu notice was issued taking cognizance by way of the said act, utterances, statement and representations under the Article 215 of the Constitution and under the Cotempt of Courts Act, 1971.

Notice under Section 17 of the Contempt of Courts Act came to be issued to the respondent which was accompanied by the order and the entire material on record.

On 10-06-2020, Full Court of the Gujarat High Court unanimously resolved that proceedings for cancellation/withdrawal of conferment of designation of senior advocate to Yatin Oza be initiated forthwith.

On 18-07-2020, Full Court ended up with the decision.

Disentitled to continue to be worthy of Senior Advocate Designation

Full Court taking view that the President of the Advocates’ Association and the Senior Advocate was guilty of the conduct which has disentitled him to continue to be worthy of the designation of the Senior Advocate, the Full Court had reviewed its earlier decision dated 25th September, 1999 designating him as Senior Advocate and recalled the said decision.

Unqualified Apology

Respondent on 11-08-2020, filed an additional affidavit reiterating that he had no intention whatsoever of scandalizing or lowering the authority of the High Court and further requested to accept the unqualified apology he was tendering.

Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act

Court while considering the materials on record referred to Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act which deals with the punishment for contempt of courts while considering the issue whether the apology by a contemnor could be accepted or rejected.

It is not sine qua non to hold a person guilty before the apology is accepted as the provision of the Contempt of Courts Act itself permits both eventualities as mentioned above in Section 12 of the said Act, to discharge an alleged contemnor, if apology is tendered before further proceeding with the matter or for remission of punishment at the end of full fledged trial/proceedings.

“…a deliberate attempt to scandalize the Court which would shake the conscience of the litigating public in the system would cause a very serious damage to the name of the judiciary.”

Court while relying on a nuber of cases, relied on L.D. Jaikwal v. State of U.P, (1984) 3 SCC 405, wherein the Court was more than emphatic that merely because the appellant tendered his apology, he should not go unpunished, otherwise all the persons would intimidate a Judge by make grossest imputation against him, scandalize him and later tender formal empty apology, which costs him practically nothing.

Bench in the present case discharged the respondent on not being satified with the apology.

Not only the present strength of the Bar and Bench and the members of Registry but all those who have in the past 60 years have given their toil and blood to this institution to bring it to the present level, ought to have been regarded.

Further the Court observed that soon after the notice of contempt was issued by this court on 9-06- 2020, the respondent approached the Supreme Court seeking the quashment of notice and although it is right of every litigant to approach the highest court of the country against any action of the court below, this aspect is to be examined when the timings of tendering the apology assumes importance.

Weapon of Unconditional Apology

Bench observed that every time scurrilous remarks against the Judges and the institution are made and when he realises that there is no escape route, the weapon of unconditional apology comes to his rescue.

A clear and loud message is a must to be sent that we are open to every healthy criticism respecting the fundamental right of freedom of expression and at the same time, we are obligated not to permit any attempt to tarnish the image of the Institution.

Therefore Court while refusing to accept Advocate Yatin Oza’a unconditional apology and denying to re-confer him Senior Designation, stated that

“To accept any apology for the conduct of this kind and to condone it would tantamount to a failure on the part of the High Court as an institution of the judiciary to uphold the majesty of the law, the dignity of the institution and to maintain the confidence of people in the judiciary.” [Suo Motu v. Yatin Narendra Oza, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 1175, decided on 26-08-2020]


Read More:

Guj HC | President GHCAA levelled allegations of corruption, malpractices against HC Registry & called this August Institution a ‘Gambling Den’; Contempt Proceedings initiated

Yatin Oza offers unconditional apology; SC says one can improve system without imputations

Full Court of Gujarat HC rejects Yatin Oza’s unconditional apology and denies to re-confer his Senior Advocate Designation

Hot Off The PressNews

Gujarat High Court’s Full Court rejects Yatin Oza’s apology and denied to re-confer him Senior Designation.

On 21-07-2020, Senior Advocate Yatin Oza was stripped off his Senior Advocate designation as a consequence of his attempt to cause damage to the prestige of the Gujarat High Court.

Following allegations were made by the President of GHCAA against the registry of Gujarat High Court:

  1. corrupt practices being adopted by the registry of the High Court of Gujarat,
  2. undue favour is shown to high-profile industrialist and smugglers and traitors,
  3. The High Court functioning is for influential and rich people and their advocates,
  4. The billionaires walk away with order from the High Court in two days whereas the poor and non VIPs need to suffer,
  5. if the litigants want to file any matter in the High Court person has to be either Mr Khambhata or the builder or the company. This also was circulated in Gujarati daily Sandesh titled as ‘Gujarat HighCourt has become a gambling den – Yatin Oza’

Gujarat High Court by 09-06-2020 observed that,

President by his scandalous expressions and indiscriminate as well as baseless utterances attempted to cause damage to the prestige of the High Court and attempted to lower the image of Administration, thus Court found him responsible for committing the criminal contempt of this Court under Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act and took cognizance of the same under Section 15 of the said Act.

Later, the Supreme Court of India on 06-08-2020, while deferring the matter for 2 weeks, said that

“as a leader of the Bar and as a senior member, a far greater responsibility is expected of him to not only be more restrained but also to guide the younger lawyers in these difficult times.”

[Story to be updated]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Collegium Statement

Supreme Court Collegium approves the proposal for elevation of the following Advocates as Judges of the Gujarat High Court:

  • Vaibhavi Devang Nanavati,
  • Nirzarkumar Sushilkumar Desai, and
  • Nikhil Shreedharan Kariel.

Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 14-08-2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

“Grievances may exist but can always be conveyed in a better language. Systems can be improved but imputations should not unnecessarily be made.”

Supreme Court: In the case, where Gujarat High Court had withdrawn the Senior Advocate status of advocate Yatin Oza after he had levelled charges of corruption against the registry of the Gujarat High Court, the bench of SK Kaul and Ajay Rastogi, JJ deferred the matter for 2 weeks and said that

“as a leader of the Bar and as a senior member, a far greater responsibility is expected of him to not only be more restrained but also to guide the younger lawyers in these difficult times.”

The Court was apprised of the fact that Oza has been a leader of the Bar and has made considerable contribution but at times has exceeded his brief in expressing his sentiments in a language which is best avoided. This appears to be another incident of the same nature as in the past.

Oza, however, told the Court there was an unqualified apology even before the Full Court and before the Court seized of the contempt matter. He submitted that his statements were uncalled for which he deeply regrets and assured not to ever in future repeat such conduct.

On this the Court noted,

“the petitioner himself has been quite apologetic before us and states that he should not have used the words he used and those words were used in the heat of the situation where everybody is troubled by the prevailing problem of Covid and the grievances of the younger members of Bar.”

Noticing that the contempt proceedings are still pending and in view of his unconditional apology both before the Full Court, the contempt proceedings and before the Supreme Court, the bench considered it appropriate that the contempt court itself first applies its mind to the issue.

Oza said that he has no hesitation in saying that he has apologized unconditionally and will apologise unconditionally in the contempt proceedings and pray for bringing to closure those proceedings. He said that he will also make a representation to the Full Court stating that the deprivation of his gown for the existing period already is sufficient punishment for him and he stood chastened and that the Full Court may reconsider the aspect of the restoration of the senior’s gown rather than depriving him for all times to come.

The Court, hence, deferred the matter by two weeks in the hope that, in the meantime, a finality would be given to the matter by the contempt court. The matter will now be heard on August 26, 2020.

Advocate Yatin Oza, who is the president of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) was stripped off his Senior Advocate designation. This has been done after Advocate Oza had levelled charges of corruption against the registry of the Gujarat High Court. The Court cited Rule 26 of the High Court of Gujarat (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules 2018, which states “In the event a Senior Advocate is found guilty of conduct which according to the Full Court disentitles the Senior Advocate concerned to be worthy of the designation, the Full Court may review its decision to designate the person concerned and recall the same”. Read more

[Yatin Narendra Oza v. High Court of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 628, order dated 06.08.2020]


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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Vikram Nath, CJ and P.B. Pardiwala, J., while addressing an issue with regard to the live streaming of the Court proceedings held that a committee to work out the modalities for the said purpose has been constituted comprising of two Judges of this Court.

A law student raised the issue with regard to the Live Streaming/Open Access of the Court proceedings and in the public interest Gujarat High court should work out the necessary modalities for the said purpose.

Bench on perusal of the material on record, stated that to observe the  requirement of an open Court proceedings, members of the public should be allowed to view the Court hearings through video conferencing except the proceedings ordered for the reasons recorded in writing to be conducted in-camera.

Right to Know and receive information is one of the facts of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and for which reason the public is entitled to witness the Court proceedings.

As, the above-stated Court proceedings involve the issue impacting the public at large or a section of the public.

Bench appreciated the efforts of the 3rd year law student appeared in person in the public interest.

Further, in line of the above-stated observations, Bench stated that to work out the modalities to facilitate the people at large including the media to watch the virtual hearing, Committee of two Judges of this High Court has been constituted pursuant to Standing Committee’s decision on 25-06-2020.

In the near future, a report of the committee is expected after which to allow access to the public at large including the media persons of print digital and electronic media shall be finalized.

Petition was disposed of in view of the above. [Pruthvirajsinh Zala v. Gujarat High Court, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 1055 , decided on 20-07-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Advocate Yatin Oza, who is the president of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) has been stripped off his Senior Advocate designation. This has been done after Advocate Oza had levelled charges of corruption against the registry of the Gujarat High Court. The Court cited Rule 26 of the High Court of Gujarat (Designation of Senior Advocates) Rules 2018, which states “In the event a Senior Advocate is found guilty of conduct which according to the Full Court disentitles the Senior Advocate concerned to be worthy of the designation, the Full Court may review its decision to designate the person concerned and recall the same”.

On June 10,  the following allegations were made by the President of GHCAA against the registry of Gujarat High Court in a live press conference held by him:

  1. corrupt practices being adopted by the registry of the High Court of Gujarat,
  2. undue favour is shown to high-profile industrialist and smugglers and traitors,
  3. The High Court functioning is for influential and rich people and their advocates,
  4. The billionaires walk away with order from the High Court in two days whereas the poor and non VIPs need to suffer,
  5. if the litigants want to file any matter in the High Court person has to be either Mr Khambhata or the builder or the company. This also was circulated in Gujarati daily Sandesh titled as ‘Gujarat HighCourt has become a gambling den – Yatin Oza

Subsequently, the Division Bench of Sonia Gokani and N.V. Anjaria, JJ., initiated suo motu contempt proceeding,[1] stating that it was an extremely unfortunate event, wherein fingers had been raised against the High Court, Administration of High Court and Registry by irresponsible, sensational and intemperate delivery in an interview by the President of Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association. The Court further noted that President of GHCAA had made serious allegations of corruption against the registry and also categorically alleged forum shopping in no uncertain terms without any valid, significant or true basis. The Court noted that, Advocate Oza had questioned the very credibility of High Court Administration and raised fingers at some of the Honourable Judges indirectly with scandalous remarks of a few Advocates being successful in getting their matters circulated in three courts and also getting contemplated orders.[2] The Court found him responsible for committing the criminal contempt of thus Court under Section 2(c) of Contempt of Courts Act and took cognizance of the same under Section 15 of the said Act.

As reported by Indian Express, Advocate Oza subsequently challenged the High Court order before the Supreme Court. He contended that the Gujarat High Court had “committed grave error in taking cognizance and issuing a notice without adherence to Rule 11 of the Contempt of Courts (Gujarat High Court) Rules, 1984 which requires that court can only record reason and then refer it to the Hon’ble Chief Justice for it being placed before the Bench having the said Roster.” However, after the top Court orally expressed its disinclination to entertain the plea, Oza withdrew his petition before the Supreme Court.


Photo Credit: Ahmedabad Mirror

[1] Suo Motu v. Yatin Narendra Oza, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 856 , decided on 09-06-2020

[2] https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2020/06/10/guj-hc-president-ghcaa-levelled-allegations-of-corruption-malpractices-against-hc-registry-contempt-proceedings-initiated/

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

7 persons (6 staff members of the High Court Registry and one constable from the Vigilance Department) were found to be COVID -19 positive.

It was further communicated that as per the latest COVID control strategy adopted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, any area in which 3 or more COVID -19 cases are found positive, the said area is declared as Micro Containment Zone and there is complete restriction of movement in such Containment Zone for atleast 14 days.

After due deliberations, Standing Committee passed the following resolution:

“…Premises of the High Court be shut down for 3 days starting from Wednesday 8th July to 10th July, 2020.The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to carry out a thorough and comprehensive exercise for cleaning and sanitising the entire premises of the High Court, Judicial Academy and Auditorium , including inside of the buildings such as chambers, officers, record rooms, washrooms, etc., during this period.

Judicial functioning of the High Court will remain suspended for the above period.”


Gujarat High Court

Circular dt. 07-07-2020

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for elevation of the following Judicial Officers as Judges of the Gujarat High Court:

1. Ilesh Jashvantrai Vora,
2. Gita Gopi,
3. Ashokkumar C. Joshi, and
4. Rajendra M. Sareen


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 12-02-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

High Court of Gujarat in a Full Court meeting on 13-08-2019, has designated 12 Advocates as Senior Advocates, which are as follows:

  • Devang Sudhir Nanavati 
  • Mitesh Ramanbhai Amin
  • Satyajeet Atul Desai
  • Jal Soli Unwalla
  • Asim Jayantbhai Pandya
  • Hasmukh Mohanlal Parikh
  • Bharatkumar Shanubhai Patel
  • Iqbal Hasanali Syed
  • Maulin Ramesh Raval
  • Gautam Mansukh Joshi
  • Mahendrakumar Babubhai Gandhi
  • Tushar Pramodchandra Hemani

[Notification by High Court of Gujarat]

Dated: 13-08-2019

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appointed (i) Shri Bhargav Dhirenbhai Karia and (ii) Smt. Sangeeta Kamalsingh Vishen to be Judges of the Gujarat High Court, in that order of seniority, with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.

[Order dt. 28-02-2019]

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  S/Shri Justices (i) KaushaJ Jayendra Thaker, (ii) Ratilal Parshottarnbhai Dholaria, (iii) Ashutosh Jayantilal Shastri, (iv) Siren Aniruddh Vaishnav, (v) Alpesh Yeshvant Kogje, (vi) Arvindsingh Ishwarsingh Supehia, and (vii) Bipinkumar Navalchandbhai Karia, Additional Judges of the Gujarat High Court, to be Judges of the Gujarat High Court with effect from the date they assume  charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: Hearing upon the applications filed by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’s (PAAS) firebrand leader and convener Hardik Patel, who was charged with sedition, the bench of A.J. Desai, J., granted him bail along with certain conditions wherein Patel will have to refrain from taking undue advantage of the liberty provided to him. The Court further directed Patel to issue a declaration that he is ready to remain outside the territorial limits of the State of Gujarat for a period of six months from the date of his release.

The present case is a result of the statewide unrest that prevailed in the State of Gujarat last year where there was an agitation led by the leaders of PAAS demanding reservations in government jobs and educational institutions for the Patidar community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. As per the contentions of Zubin Bharda representing Hardik Patel, the prosecution has vehemently tried to portray that Patel is the one who is solely responsible for the violence that spread in the aftermath of the rallies that were held in the support of the cause championed by PAAS. It was further argued that grave charges were leveled against the applicant under Section 121 of IPC, as if his demand for reservation was akin to waging war against the State. The contentions were opposed by the Public Prosecutor, Mitesh Amin, who stated that the applicant had used the wide array of social networking sites and internet applications such as ‘watsapp’ to mobilize the members of Patidar community and thereby had conspired to overawe the State Government.

Perusing the contentions of the parties and referring to landmark decisions on sedition, the Court observed that the applicant and his association namely PAAS had called on the members of Patidar community to the various rallies that furthered their cause of attaining reservation under the OBC category. The Court also studied the speeches and the interviews given by the applicant and observed that along with the applicant, several other members of the Patidar community were interested in getting reservation. Therefore the applicant alone cannot be kept behind the bars when other leaders of the agitation have been already granted bail. Considering the principles laid down by the Supreme Court in respect to Section 439 of the CrPC, the Court decided to grant bail to the applicant but with certain mandatory conditions. [Hardik Bharatbhai Patel v. State of Gujarat, 2016 SCC OnLine Guj 824, decided on 08.07.2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: Adjourning the court till 25th July, 2016 and issuing notice to the respondents, the 2 Judges Bench of Harsha Devani and Biren Vaishnav, JJ charged all seven accused in the 2002 post–Godhara riots case for the offence of murder.

The Court maintained the part of the judgment of the trial court for acquitting Devabhai Samatbhai Bharwad and set aside the part of the judgment of  the trial court for the accused Satabhai alias Haider Gela Bharwad, Naranbhai Samantbhai Bharwad and Udaji Ranchhodbhai Thakor and convicted them for the offence punishable under sections 302, 307, 323, 324, 325 and 326 read with section 149 of the Penal Code. For the conviction of Valabhai Gelabhai Bharwad, the Court held him guilty under Section 302, 307, 323, 324 and 325 read with section 149 of the Penal Code. The court also convicted Viththal alias Kuchiyo Moti Bharwad for the offence under sections 302, 324, 325 and 326 read with section 149 of the Penal Code; Mulabhai Gelabhai Bharwad under sections 302, 307, 323 and 325 read with section 149 of the Penal Code and Merabhai Gelabhai Bharwad under section 302, 307, 323, 324 and 326 read with section 149 of the Penal Code, hence calling the accused for questioning on the next hearing. [Valabhai Gelabhai Bharwad & 2 v. State of Gujarat, Criminal Appeal No. 1144 of 2011 With Criminal Appeal No. 1203 of 2011 With Criminal Appeal No. 1204 of 2011 With Criminal Appeal No. 46 of 2012, as on 27th June, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: Considering the fragile physical and mental health of the minor rape victim (‘Petitioner’), the Court allowed the Petitioner to terminate her pregnancy after 22 weeks of pregnancy as an exception to the provision of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The Court said that the continuance of her pregnancy can cause grave injury to her mental health.

The Court followed the reasoning in Bhavakiben v. State of Gujarat in Special Criminal Application (Direction) No. 1155 of 2016, wherein the ‘best interest’ of the victim was to be the parameter, necessitating careful enquiry into medical opinion on the feasibility of the pregnancy as well as the social repercussions. In the present case, the victim suffered from fragile health and severe anemia, at gestation of 22 weeks and 3 days. Learned APP Mr. Ronak Raval while relying upon some of the judgments delivered by this Court and submitted that the Court may direct for termination of pregnancy, if deems fit, considering the mental health and overall picture. The Court allowed the prosecutrix-petitioner and her parents the right to determine the further course of action with the advice of the Senior Expert Doctor (PDU, Government Medical College, Rajkot) and directed the medical team to conduct all the required tests including haemoglobin test and to report her status to the Court in a week’s time before proceeding to terminate her pregnancy. Further, the Medical Superintendent, PDU Civil Hospital Rajkot directed to hand over tissues from the foetus to the Police Inspector at the Mahila Police Station in Rajkot, for transmission to the Forensic Science Laboratory. [Madhuben Arvindbhai Nimavat v. State of Gujarat, 2016 SCC OnLine Guj 662, decided 08.06.2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court– Allowing a plea by applicants to undergo lie detector test or narco analysis test, G.B. Shah J, agreed with view of the trial Court that narco analysis test is always to be in the aid of investigation and cannot be accepted as an evidence of a particular fact, but modified the impugned order stating that the particular fact or any fact comes after the said test is carried out by the concerned authority after following due procedure.

S.K. Bagga, learned advocate for the applicants submitted that no specific finding has been given for not allowing the narco analysis test/lie detector test and placed reliance on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Purshottam Swaroopchand Soni v. State of Gujarat, 2007(3) GLR 2088 wherein the Court observed ‘in a matter where it is the case of the accused that he is falsely involved, he should be permitted to give evidence in any form whether it be in the form of oral deposition before the Court or in the form of scientific nature like that of Brain-mapping test’. After careful perusal of the submissions and the observations the Court observed that it can be concluded from the impugned order that the learned trial Judge has observed to the effect that lie detector test or Narco analysis test is always to be in the aid of investigation and cannot be accepted as an evidence of a particular fact. There is no dispute as to this observation but the particular fact or any fact comes after the said test is carried out by the concerned authority after following due procedure. Under the circumstances, keeping in mind the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court the present Criminal Revision Application deserves to be partly allowed and the impugned order passed by the trial court requires to be modified. [Vinodbhai Gagandas Vanjani v. State Of Gujarat, 2016 SCC OnLine Guj 302, decided on 3.05.2016]