Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Karamajit Singh, J., directed the State of Punjab not to take “coercive steps” against Raveena Tandon, Farah Khan, Bharti Singh, Screen Abbas Aziz Dalal & Frames Production on their plea, seeking quashing of an FIR registered against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a web show titled as ‘Backbenchers’ released by Flipkart.

Background


The show Backbenchers, which was launched on October 19, 2019, is a one-of-its-kind non-scripted comedy-based web quiz show hosted by Bollywood director Farah Khan. The show invites some of the Bollywood and Sports’ finest and tests their general knowledge through several rounds of written and oral tests.

The alleged incident arose from an unintentional conversation during the quizzing of the two participants, Raveena Tandon and Bharti Singh by the host Farah Khan. In the show Raveena Tandon and Bharti Singh were asked by Farah Khan to spell the word “Hallelujah” and also to disclose its meaning by narrating the same. While Raveena Tandon spelled it correctly but did not explain its meaning or narrate anything as regards to the word,  Bharti Singh not knowing the origin and context of the word, mis-spelled it and referred it to an identical word in Hindi, of which only the pronunciation resembled.

Allegations were raised that, in the said show a joke of the word “Hallelujah” had been made, which played with the religious sentiments of a particular community.

Advocate Abhinav Sood argued that none of the ingredients of the alleged offence under Section 295-A of Penal Code, 1860 of hurting the religious sentiments were made out and there was no deliberate and malicious intention by anyone for outraging the religious feelings of a class.

Further, he contended that the petitioners’ statements could not be perceived to be disrespectful or hurtful to the sentiments of the Christian brothers or do not remotely qualify to constitute the offence under Section 295-A IPC.

High Court while issuing the notice of motion for 05-12-2022 directed that no coercive steps shall be taken by the State of Punjab against the petitioners. [Raveena Tandon v. State of Punjab, CRM-M-44189-2021, decided on 1-6-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Abhinav Sood, Advocate with Mr Gaurav Shukla, Advocate, Mr Anmol Gupta, Advocate,

Mr Dhruv Chowfla, Advocate, Mr Jashan Mehta, Advocate and Mr Shivjot Arya, Advocate, for the petitioners.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Monga, J., held that the Maintenance Tribunal has no jurisdiction under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007 if a person is aged below 58 years old.

Instant petition was for issuance of a writ of certiorari to set aside the impugned order passed by respondent 1 whereby application filed by respondent 2 under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007 was allowed and petitioner was directed to vacate the property of respondent 2 within 30 days of the order passed.

Decision

Respondent 2 on her own volition stated her age to be less than 58 years as on the date of instituting proceedings before the Maintenance Tribunal.

High Court held that, Tribunal could not have invoked the jurisdiction of the Maintenance Tribunal under the Act, as respondent 2 was less than 58 years not a senior citizen on the relevant date.

Further, the impugned order dated 1-6-2021 passed by respondent 1 was quashed for lack of jurisdiction, hence writ petition was allowed. [Rani v. Additional District Magistrate, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 1089, decided on 16-5-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Manav Bajaj, Advocate, For the petitioner

Mr Pankaj Middha, Additional Advocate General, Haryana.

Mr Sahil Goel, Advocate, For respondent 2.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Vikas Bahl, J., granted bail to mother-in-law and wife alleged to have incited husband to commit suicide.

Regular bail for the petitioners was sought in an FIR under Sections 306 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (Section 506 IPC has been added later on).

Petitioners’ counsel submitted that the petitioner-Babita was the mother-in-law of the deceased Vipan and petitioner-Anjali was the wife of the said Vipan and both the petitioners have been in custody.

In the present case, neither there was any suicide note, nor any dying declaration and the present FIR had been registered at the instance of the father of the deceased and a perusal of the FIR would show that no offence under Section 306 IPC was made out.

It was argued that the said Vipan had committed suicide on 22nd September, 2021, whereas Anjali-petitioner had left the matrimonial house on 15th September, 2021.

State Counsel as well as counsel for the complainant, opposed the present petitions for regular bails and submitted that petitioner-Anjali had not left her matrimonial house by her own consent, was in fact had been taken forcibly from there.

Analysis, Law and Decision

The Bench stated that this Court’s decision in State of Punjab v. Kamaljit Kaur, 2008 (2) RCR (Criminal) 562, would show that the said case was also a case under Section 306 IPC in which two persons i.e., husband of the accused and their son had committed suicide and there was a suicide note to the effect that Kamaljit Kaur, wife of the deceased was a lady of bd character and had illicit relations with three persons and in the suicide note, it was stated that action should be taken against such a woman.

In the above case, after considering the provisions of Sections 306 and 107 of Cr.P.C., it was observed by the Sessions Court as well as by this Court that even in a case where the wife is alleged of being a woman of easy virtue, then also, it cannot be said that she has instigated or aided the commission of suicide and had observed that in case the husband was feeling harassed or mentally disturbed due to the alleged illicit relationship of his wife, then the harassment and mental disturbance would not constitute the offence of abetment.

High Court noted that the petitioners were in custody since 12-10-2021 and the challan had already been present and there was total of 21 prosecution witnesses, none of whom were examined, hence the trial was likely to take some time.

Court also stated that in the present case, whether an offence under Section 306 IPC was made out or not, would be a debatable issue, which will be finally adjudicated during the course of the trial.

Hence, the petitioners were ordered to be released on bail and in addition to this Court stated that if any act was done by the petitioners to threaten or influence the complainant or any other witnesses, then it would be open to the State to move an application for cancellation of bail. [Babita v. State of Haryana, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 1087, decided on 13-5-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Ajay Kumar Dahiya, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr. Amit Aggarwal, DAG, Haryana.

Mr. Gautam Kumar, Advocate for the complainant.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Stating that, every citizen of the country is entitled to the protection of his life and liberty under the Constitution of India even though he may be a hardened criminal, Vinod S. Bhardwaj, J., held that protection of law cannot be denied to a person except where the rights of the person or his liberties are to be denied to him by operation of law.

High Court remarked that, Courts’ responsibility to uphold the principles of constitutional morality, there exists a parallel duty to not infringe upon the personal relationship between two free willed adults.

Petitioners approached this Court seeking protection of their life and personal liberty from private respondents 4 to 6.

Further, they contended that they were major, aged 18 and 27 years respectively. The petitioners contended that they had performed marriage against the wishes of their parents and apprehended threat to their lives and claimed that there is a constant danger of being implicated in a false case.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court expressed that the Supreme Court time and again observed that, it is not Court’s domain to intervene in the matters of choice or suitability of a marriage/relationship of an individual.

The relief of protection of life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be denied to a citizen merely because he happens to commit an offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code.

With regard to the question of protection to petitioners, it would be prudent to consider the opinion of the Supreme Court in Sunil Batra v. Delhi Admn., (1978) 4 SCC 494.

This Court found itself firmly tied down to the principle of individual autonomy, which cannot be hampered by societal expectations in a vibrant democracy. The State’s respect for individual independent choices has to be held high.

“Public Morality cannot be allowed to overshadow the constitutional morality, particularly when the legal tenability of the right to protection is paramount.”

Further, the Court added that, when the Right to life and liberty is even guaranteed to convicted criminals of serious offences, there can be no reasonable nexus to not grant the same protection to those in an “legal/illegal relationship”.

Without examining the question of legality and validity of the marriage and expressing any opinion thereon, the petition was disposed of with the directions to respondent 2-Superintendent of Police, Panipat to look into the grievances of the petitioners as set out in the petition.

However, it was clarified that, in case any criminal case was registered against the petitioner, nothing in this order shall be construed as a bar for taking appropriate action by the police authorities in accordance with law.

In view of the above, petition was disposed of. [Sunita v. State of Haryana, CRWP-3815-2022(O&M), decided on 26-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Rajesh Duhan, Advocate for the petitioners.

Mr. Ashish Yadav, Additional AG Haryana.

Mr. R.K. Agnihotri, Advocate for the respondents 4 to 6

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Raj Mohan Singh, J., contemplated the present petition and ruled that a short duration of marriage is absolutely no ground to deny an organ transplant.

The petitioner in need of a renal transplant of her husband was denied the same by the respondent. It was the case of the petitioner that marriage was solemnized with Surjit Singh in December 2021. Eventually, Surjit was diagnosed with both kidney failures. Hence, the petitioner being the wife of Surjit came forward to donate one of her kidneys to her husband. Petitioner was found fit enough to be a donor and she is doing it of her own free will.

The respondent has verified the physical and mental health of the petitioner. Even counselling of the petitioner was conducted by a psychiatrist to verify the mental state of the petitioner. Respondent 2-Hospital constituted a competent authority, comprising four members for the purpose of authorization of kidney transplantation between near relatives. The case of the petitioner was placed before the aforesaid authorization committee and the committee has rejected the same on the ground of the short duration of marriage.

The Court observed that respondents could not show any such bar under the rules that a newly wedded wife like the petitioner cannot donate one of her kidneys to her ailing husband. Court further observed that the petitioner had free will and there was no ill motive or coercion involved.

The Court held that the statutory provisions were promulgated to prevent trafficking and commercial practices, but in the present case the petitioner is the wife, there is no material on record to indicate any malpractice or any element of greed or pressure being exerted upon the petitioner. The authorization committee has only rejected the case of the petitioner for kidney transplantation due to short duration of marriage. It was held that, “evidently, the duration of marriage is not a ground to discard the willingness of one of the spouse, to donate kidney in favor of other spouse, particularly when the case of the petitioner has been verified on all legal parameters.”

Hence, petition allowed.[Manpreet Kaur v. State of Punjab, CWP 5480 of 2022, decided on 08-04-2022]


Appearances:

Ms. Surinder Kaur, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr. C.L. Pawar, Sr. D.A.G., Punjab for respondents No.1 & 3.

Mr. Manmeet Singh Bindra, Advocate for respondent No.2


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Avneesh Jhingan, J., entertained a petition under Section 482 CrPC where the petitioner was aggrieved by the directions of the Chief Judicial Magistrate for giving voice samples.

The complainant was running a chemist shop, due to an unauthorized alteration in the shop; it was sealed by the authorities. One Sunil Kumar Gulati was posted in the Land Branch of Municipal Corporation and he allegedly demanded money from the complainant to open the shutter. The amount demanded was to be paid to Rakesh Behal one of the chemists known to the petitioner. Eventually, Rakesh was apprehended red-handed asking for illegal gratification. For the alleged crime a memory card was handed to the investigation agency.

An application was filed by the Vigilance Bureau, seeking voice samples of Rakesh Behal and Sunil Kumar to which the latter objected and filed a reply opposing the application.

Contention of the petitioner:

  • Petitioner contended that the directions issued in the impugned order are for purpose of identifying the petitioner consequently resulting in self-incrimination by the accused. The conversation was recorded without the consent of the petitioner.
  • Right to privacy of the petitioner was invaded and reliance was placed on Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of Inida, (2017) 10 SCC 1.
  • Memory card is secondary evidence and cannot be admissible without certification under Section 65 B of Evidence Act, 1872.

Contention of the State:

  • State disregarded the contention of the petitioner and relied on Ritesh Sinha v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2019) 8 SCC 1, where the Supreme Court had held that, the direction to give voice sample does not infringe Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. It was held that the voice sample is only for purpose of comparison and is not a testimony and the right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute.
  • Voice sample in a sense resembles fingerprints and handwriting, each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic featuresdictated by vocal cavities and articulates. The samples are collected afterhaving permission in accordance with the law. The sample would not be evidence; rather they are for comparing the evidence already collected.
  • It was further contended that Arjun Panditrao Khotkar v. Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal, (2020) 7 SCC 1 held that 65-B (4) of the Act does not mention the stage of furnishing the certificate. Hence, non production of the certificate at an earlier stage is a curable defect.

Decision:

The Court opined that contention of the petitioner was without factual foundation and the pleadings were interrogatory.

The argument that the complainant could not have recorded the conversation without the consent of the petitioner is rejected; seeking the consent of the petitioner would have defeated the very purpose of the recording.

The contentions of the petitioner were rejected and while answering whether certification is needed when recording is produced in trial as evidence, the Court relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in State of Karnataka v. M.R. Hiremath, (2019) 7 SCC 515, where the court had stated that, “The Court emphasised that non-production of a certificate under Section 65B on an earlier occasion is a curable defect.” In another decision in Central Bureau of Investigation v. R.S. Pai, (2002) 5 SCC 82, it was held, “from the aforesaid sub-sections, it is apparent that normally, the investigating officer is required to produce all the relevant documents at the time of submitting the charge-sheet. At the same time, as there is no specific prohibition, it cannot be held that the additional documents cannot be produced subsequently.”

Hence, the Court was of the opinion that requisite certificate must accompany the electronic record pertaining to which a statement is sought to be given in evidence when the same is produced in evidence, but it does not mean that it must be produced along with the charge-sheet but can be produced subsequently in any circumstance.[Sunil Kumar Gulati v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 786, decided on 29-03-2022]


Appearances:

Mr. D.S. Sobti and Mr. Prabhneer Swani, Advocates for the petitioner.

Mr. Amit Mehta, Sr. DAG, Punjab.


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench of Ajay Tewari and Pankaj Jain, JJ., contemplated the appeal where the interest on refund of excise duty was rejected by the authorities. The main question before the Court was whether the assessee was entitled to interest.

Factual Matrix of the case:

  • The assessee had registered office in Sonepat and applied for central excise duty along with interest before Deputy Commissioner, Central Excise, (Panipat) in 2017, eventually, the refund was sanctioned however claim w.r.t. interest was rejected.
  • An appeal was filed before the Commissioner of Central Excise, (Panchkula) against the rejection of interest, which was dismissed in 2018.
  • Again an appeal was filed before CESTAT, (Chandigarh), the decision of CESTAT was in favour of the assessee and he was entitled to interest on delayed refund from the date of deposit till its realization. An application was forwarded regarding the said claim.
  • While the application of the Assessee was pending before the authorities, the Commissioner of CGST and Central Excise, (Panchkula) filed rectification of mistakes application before the CESTAT.
  • The rectification application was dismissed in 2021.
  • Hence, the present appeal is filed by the Revenue i.e. Commissioner of Central Excise (Panchkula) against the orders passed by CESTAT, (Chandigarh).

Submissions:

Revenue Authority questioned the change of jurisdiction of the Authorities after the new CGST regime. It was contended that the assessee has impleaded wrong authorities for the claim of refund and interest as after the new regime from June 2017, division Sonepat was brought within the jurisdiction of Rohtak Commissionerate. Hence the proper authority would have been Rohtak.

Another contention of the Revenue Authority was that the tribunal has erred in granting interest as per the amended provisions of Section 35FF of the Central Excise Act, 1944.

Findings:

The Court rejected the contention of the Revenue Authority in the light of Section 142 of CGST Act, 2017. The Court held that, “Section 142 of the Act when read with Section 2(48) of the Act is a complete answer to the plea raised by the appellant qua the issue of jurisdiction.” The Court observed that the Sec explicitly provides that every claim of refund shall be dealt under the existing law i.e. Central Excise Act, 1944 and not by the provisions of the Act. Thus the plea of transfer of jurisdiction due to GST regime is not available to the appellant.

Further adjudicating whether the claim of interest was justified, the Court relied upon the judgment of Supreme Court in Sandvik Asia Ltd v. CIT, (2006) 2 SCC 508, where the Supreme Court answered that the Act provided for payment of compensation for delayed payment of amounts due to an assessee in case where the amounts included the interest and the appellant was entitled to interest u/Ss. 244 and 244-A of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

The Court applied the law laid down in Sandvik Asia Ltd in the case of the present assessee and dismissed the instant appeal.  [Commissioner of Central Excise, Panchkula v. Rabi Textiles Ltd. CEA No.8 of 2022 (O&M), decided on 14-03-2022]


Appearances:

Mr. Sourah Goel, Senior Standing Counsel and Mr. Tej Bahadur, Advocate for the appellant.


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Three petitions are clubbed together where the petitioners intended to withdraw their bail applications as bail was already granted by the different trial courts. The main issue before Jasgurpreet Singh Puri, J. was effect of filing bail applications and passing of bail orders by the trial courts during the pendency of bail application before High Court by the same accused without disclosing such pendency and what safeguards should be adopted by the trial courts in this regard.

Points discussed in the present petition:

  • Whether bail granted to the petitioners should be cancelled/ set aside on the basis of the suppression and concealment of the material fact regarding pendency of the bail application before the Court.
  • Whether pendency of application is ‘material fact’ for cancellation of bail.
  • Whether bail granted to the petitioners by the trial courts should be cancelled/ annulled or not needs to be tested on the anvil of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  • Safeguards to check such wrongful practices.

In all the three petitions the petitioners filed the bail application before the High Court as well as the trial court without disclosing the factum of pendency of the present bail applications except in one case where on the date of the decision of the bail application by the trial courts, it was orally informed that the bail application before the Court has been withdrawn although the same was never withdrawn.

It was submitted by the petitioners that they should not have filed another bail application during the pendency of the bail application before the Court and it was not proper on their part. However, they have submitted that once the trial courts have granted bail to the petitioners on their own merits and the same have not been challenged by the State in any proceedings, the petitioners may be permitted to withdraw the present petitions.

Court appointed Mr. Kanwaljit Singh and Mr. R.S. Rai, Senior Advocates as amicus curiae to assist the Court concerning the further process to be taken in such matters which are not only serious but also affects the administration of justice. In the opinion of Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, such concealment is a fraud upon the Court and must have a deterrent effect, it was submitted that bail granted by the trial courts must be cancelled. By relying upon the judgment of Supreme Court in Dalip Singh v. State of UP., (2010) 2 SCC 114 and Kishore Samrite v. State of U.P., (2013) 2 SCC 398 it was submitted that a party who approaches the court by suppressing the facts and to mislead the court is not entitled to be heard on merits and that it is a bounden duty of anyone approaching the courts to state the whole case fully and fairly and any attempt to mislead and approach with unclean hands should be dealt with severely. On the other hand, Mr. R.S. Rai, suggested that court must strike a balance between the liberty of an individual and the nature and level of misconduct on their part. It was submitted that in all the three cases, the bail applications have been decided by the respective Additional Sessions Judges on their own merits, hence the Court must not cancel or set aside the bail order rather impose a cost.

Mr. Arun Kumar Kaundal, Deputy Advocate General, Punjab submitted that since the petitioners have filed bail applications before the trial courts during the pendency of the present bail applications in all three cases, the present petitions deserve to be dismissed with costs.

Court held, “that cancellation of bail and annulment/setting aside of bail orders are two different aspects. Cancellation of bail is based upon violation of terms and conditions of the bail order and other parameters as aforesaid but setting aside/annulment of bail order by a higher Court is based upon different parameters i.e. legality or perversity in the passing of the order of bail”.

The foremost question before the Court was, whether such bail orders should be set aside or cancelled on the ground of suppression of material fact regarding the pendency of the bail application before the Court or not. It was observed that all the orders granting bail have been passed on their own merits and there was no illegality or perversity in the orders passed by the Courts.

 It was observed that the Supreme Court in Arunima Baruah v. Union of India, (2007) 6 SCC 120, discussed the meaning and scope of the expression ‘material fact’ and the effect of suppression of the same. It was observed that a material fact would mean material for determination of the lis and the logical corollary whereof would be that whether the same was material for grant or denial of the relief. In the present cases although there was a suppression of material fact before the trial court, but the fact was not material determination of the lis and the orders of bail have been passed on their merit. Therefore, the suppression of a material fact of non-disclosure of pendency of bail application before this Court would be subservient to the right of liberty granted to the petitioners under Article 21 of the Constitution of India since the bail orders were decided on merits.

However, Court did not ignore the misconduct on the part of the petitioners and, therefore, in order to secure the ends of justice, cost was imposed on the petitioners.

Court discussed the various safeguards to be adopted to curb the wrongful practice, “It must be mandatorily mentioned in every application for bail (regular/anticipatory) as to whether such or similar application for bail has or has not been made before any other Court. In case the same was made, then its status must be also mentioned”.

[Kulwant Singh v. State of Punjab, CRM-M-52620-2019 (O&M), decided on 11-03-2022]


Appearance:

Ms. G.K. Mann, Senior Advocate and Mr. Gursewak Singh, Advocate, for the petitioner in CRM-M-52620-2019.

Mr. Karan Nanda, Advocate, for the petitioner in CRM-M-17512-2019.

Mr. Rishu Mahajan, Advocate, for the petitioner in CRM-M-2593-2021.

Mr. Kanwaljit Singh and Mr. R.S. Rai, Senior Advocates as Amicus Curiae.

Mr. Arun Kumar Kaundal, DAG, Punjab.

Mr. Shivam Joshi, Mr. Karanjit Singh and Mr. Vijay Bhaskar, Advocates in CRM-M-52620-2019.


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: ‘Live-in-relationships’ has always been a debatable issue because of the absence of any law on the said practice. The Legislation has not yet consolidated any Act in this regard; on the other hand the Judiciary, through several decisions has made a clear stand to protect the various rights of such couples. Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, S. Khushbhoo v. Kanniammal, (2010) 5 SCC 600, and Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755, has upheld the status of live-in-relationships and issued certain direction to protect life and liberty of the individuals.

Yet once again a similar situation has been placed before Anmol Rattan Singh, J., where the petitioners have sought protection of life and liberty upon them being in live-in relationships with each other. The main concern of the Court was, as there is no law on live-in-relationships, a number of adolescents are coming to the judiciary for the protection of their life and liberty. The courts are bound to grant protection in such cases if the parties have attained the age of majority.

CRWP 8809 of 2021: The petitioners referred to an earlier order of the court, in one such petition, the girl was cohabiting with the boy when she was allegedly taken away from the custody of the boy by the family, it was contended that the girl has attained majority and has a right to decide where she wants to live. The court had held that there was no firm proof submitted regarding the age of the parties. However, it was directed that the girl will be taken to the Magistrate for recording of her statement and no related party will accompany her. Further, it was directed that she would also take with her documentary proof of her age; and if the Magistrate finds that she is, as per said documentary proof, below the age of 18 years, even if then she expresses her wish to reside with the petitioner, she would be returned to the custody of her parents, and if she is above the age of 18 years and states that she wishes to reside with the petitioner, then a report in that regard would be made to this court. The petitioner requested to withdraw the case as they don’t want to live together for now.

CRWP 941 of 2022: In another petition, it was alleged that the age of the petitioners were 24 (woman) and 20 (man) respectively and, the woman was married to the respondent. The Court observed that, “Though petitioner No.2 is not of marriageable age in terms of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 as also the provisions of the Child Marriage Act, 2006, yet, firstly of course this being a petition seeking protection of life and liberty which is a basic fundamental right enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and secondly, Section 497 of the IPC has been struck down as being unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.” Hence, the Court directed protection of life and liberty to the petitioners.

Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India, informed the court that as per his instructions an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, has been proposed, with a Bill already produced in Parliament for that purpose, to bring the marriageable age for females also upto 21 years of age (from 18 years), to bring them on par with males. Notably, no bill in regarding live-in-relationship has been introduced so far.

Hence, Court while disposing of the petition stated that if the petitioners perceived any threat in future, they would approach the SSP, Rural Amritsar, who would ensure that their lives and liberty are duly protected, as per law.[Rohit Kumar v. UT of Chandigarh, CRWP-8809 of 2021, decided on 07-03-2022]


Appearances :

Mr. Vinod K. Kanwal, Advocate, for the petitioner in CRWP-8809 of 2021

Mr. Varinder Basa, Advocate, for the petitioners in CRWP-941 of 2022

Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India

Ms. Saigeeta Srivastava, Central Govt. Counsel for Union of India

Ms. Vasundhara Dalal, Addl. P.P., U.T. Chandigarh.

Mr. Neeraj Poswal, AAG, Haryana

Mr. Rana Harjasdeep Singh, DAG, Punjab

Ms. Naveen Malik, Advocate, for respondent no.5 in CRWP-8809 of 2021


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While dealing with a matter regarding protection to live-in relationship, Anoop Chitkara, J., held that, every person in the territory of India has an inherent and indefeasible fundamental right to life flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the State is duty-bound to protect life.

Fearing for their lives and liberty at the hands of the private respondents, petitioners who are in live-in relationship approached this Court seeking protection through the State by invoking fundamental rights of life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that petitioner 2 was a married woman and had voluntarily gone to the company of petitioner 1. Petitioners were facing grave danger from the private respondents and their lives be protected even though petitioner 2 was married to respondent 4.

High Court remarked that,

“…times are changing fast, even in those lands that were left behind and stuck with the old ethos and conservative social milieu.”

Bench added that,

“We are governed by the rule of law and follow the Constitutional dharma. In the ever-evolving society, evolving the law with it, the time is to shift perspective from didactics of the orthodox society, shackled with the strong strings of morality supported by religions to one that values an individual’s life above all.”

Further, the Court stated that if the allegations of apprehension of threat to their lives turn out to be true, it might lead to an irreversible loss.

Stating that this Court will not adjudicate on the validity of petitioner’s marriage or her decision of cohabiting with petitioner 1 but adhering to its fundamental duty of guarding their lives, Bench held that it shall be appropriate that the Superintendent of Police, SHO concerned or any officer to whom such powers have been delegated or have been authorized in this regard, provide appropriate protection to the petitioners.

With regard to the protection, High Court held that it is subject to the stringent condition that from the time such protection is given, the petitioners shall not go outside the boundaries of the place of their residence, except for medical necessities, to buy household necessities, and for bereavements in the families of the persons who are close to them, as it would save them from apprehended risk.

Lastly, the Bench clarified that the present order is not a blanket bail in any FIR.

In view of the above, petition was allowed. [Jai Narain v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 584, decided on 18-2-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Vishneet Singh Kathpal, Advocate for the petitioners.

Mr. Rehatbir Singh Mann, DAG, Punjab.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Expressing that, State of Punjab which was known as one of the prosperous States is now at the brink of drug-trafficking, Harnaresh Singh Gill, J., held that in order to curb the menace of drug trafficking the accused person are to be dealt with stringently even at the stage of granting her/him bail in NDPS Act cases involving commercial quantity.

Petitioner sought bail in a case registered under Sections 21 and 29 of the NDPS Act, 1985. The prosecution case was that 19000 intoxicating capsules ‘RIDLEY’ were recovered from the petitioner and the co-accused.

High Court stated the recovery effected in the present matter fell under the commercial quantity.

Section 37 of the NDPS Act barred the grant of bail to the accused in cases involving commercial quantity.

Another point the Court noted was that the petitioner was also involved in another case of similar nature, which had shown his tendency of committing repeated offence (s) of similar nature.

Bench denied concession of regular bail to the petitioner. [Harbhajan Singh v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 526, decided on 14-2-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Ritesh Pandey, Advocate, for the petitioner.

Mr. Davinder Bir Singh, DAG, Punjab.

Hot Off The PressNews

Punjab and Haryana High Court: By a momentous ruling, the Division Bench of Ajay Tewari and Pankaj Jain, JJ.,[i] imposed stay on implementation of the controversial Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 (3 of 2020).

Acting in furtherance of the key poll promises made by Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), a partner of BJP in Haryana ahead of the Assembly polls in the state in 2019 for providing 75 per cent reservation in the private sector[ii], the BJP led government had enacted the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act 2020. The object of the Act reads as:

“To provide seventy-five percent employment of local candidates by employer in the State of Haryana and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.”

As per Section 1(5) of the Act, the Act is to be applicable to all the Companies, Societies, Trusts, Limited Liability Partnership firms, Partnership Firm and any person employing ten or more persons and an entity, as may be notified by the Government.

The provision that created furore among industrialist particularly relates to Section 4 which obligates every employer to employ seventy-five percent of the local candidates with respect to such posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than fifty thousand rupees or as notified by the Government.

Although, extending some liberty to the employers the Act provided that the but the employer may restrict the employment of local candidates from any district to ten percent of the total number of local candidates, meaning thereby, reservation limit could be restricted district wise to 10% at the discretion of the employers. Further, the Act is to remain in effect for a period of 10 years from the date of its commencement.

The Haryana government last year had notified that its act of implementing 75% reservation for local people in private jobs with a monthly salary ceiling of ₹50,000 will come into force from January 15, 2022.

Owing to its restrictive and anti-competitive nature demands had been raised by various industrial associations for revisiting the provisions of the Act contending that it will lead to multinational firms moving out of the state.[iii]

The industry bodies including Gurgaon Industrial Association had been assailing the Act for being in contravention to the Constitution, particularly Article 14 and 19 (1)(g), argued that the law is against the provisions of the Constitution and also against the basic principle of meritocracy which meant the Act is promoting anti-competitiveness in the State. The rationale behind assailing the Act was,

“It will affect the industry productivity and industrial competitiveness and post-Covid 19 recovery of industry, the pleas said, adding that the government by introducing this policy of “son of the soils” want to create reservation in the private sector, which is an infringement of constitutional rights of the employees and citizens of India because private sector jobs are based on the skills and analytical bent of mind of employees.”[iv]

On the contrary, the State had defended the Act stating that industrialisation and urbanisation in the State had resulted in huge land acquisition reducing the employment opportunities in the agriculture sector, therefore enactment was made observing the compelling situation of increasing unemployment in the State. The government said that the reservation being on the basis of domicile it in manner frustrated the Constitutional mandate, as what is prohibited under the Constitution is reservation on the basis of ‘place of birth’ not employment on the basis of ‘domicile’.

(To be updated with the Order)


[i] https://prsindia.org/files/bills_acts/acts_states/haryana/2021/Haryana%20Act%203%20of%202021.pdf

[ii] https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/high-court-stays-haryana-law-on-75-job-quota-in-private-sector-101643874484713.html

[iii] https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/high-court-stays-haryana-government-75-percent-reservation-for-locals-in-private-jobs-2022-02-03-757805

[iv] https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/high-court-stays-haryana-law-on-75-job-quota-in-private-sector-101643874484713.html


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this story.

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Punjab and Haryana High Court orders that:

  • Hearing of cases to be held in Virtual Mode/Video Conferencing Mode only, w.e.f.5-1-2022
  • The present system of filing, listing and mentioning of cases will continue as such.
  • The decision to list freshly registered ordinary cases in the month of January passed vide Order No. 119/RG/Spl./Misc. dated 23-12-2021 will be kept in abeyance.

Punjab and Haryana High Court

[Order dt. 3-1-2022]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench of Ritu Bahri and Arun Monga, JJ., held that marriage with minor is valid if no attempt is made to declare the same invalid once the child turns 18.

The brief facts of the present case were that at the time of marriage in 2009, the respondent-wife was of the age 17 years, 6 months and 8 days. Both the parties continued to live together and cohabited as husband and wife till 31-08-2017 and a male child namely Manas was born out of the wedlock, who had been living with the appellant-husband since 2017.

The grievance of the appellant was that the Family Court had dismissed the petition filed under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for divorce by mutual consent by holding that the marriage of the parties was not a valid marriage as the respondent (wife) had not completed the age of 18 years as per the mandate of Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Family Court had referred to a judgment passed by the Madras High Court in Prema Kumari v. M. Palani, 2011 SCC OnLine Mad 1815, and held that parties were required to get their marriage nullified as per Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Opinion and Analysis

Section 13(2)(iv) is reproduced as under:-

13-(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground- (iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnised before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years. The girl who has attained 15 years of age and has got married can seek dissolution of marriage before she attains the age of 18 years by filing a petition under Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Differentiating the judgment relied by the Family Court, the Bench stated that the wife was not 15 years of age and could not invoke the provisions of Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act and had she been 15 years of age, she could have invoked the provisions only when she attains the age of 18.

In Lajja Devi v. State, 2012 SCC OnLine Del 3937, the Delhi High Court had observed that  a marriage contracted with a female of less than 18 years or a male of less than 21 years, would not be a void marriage but voidable one, which would become valid if no steps are taken by such “child” within the meaning of Section 2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 seeking declaration of this marriage as void.

In the present case, after marriage both the parties continued to live together till 2017 and the respondent (wife) wife had not chosen to file a petition for getting her marriage void before turning major, therefore, the Bench held that the Family Court had wrongly dismissed the petition as when the couple made a petition under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the respondent-wife was major and the marriage was valid.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the impugned order was set aside. The decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was granted to the parties. [Yogesh Kumar v. Priya, FAO 855 of 2021, decided on 26-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Appellant: Gitanjali Chhabra, Advocate

For the Respondent: Raman B.Garg, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Noting the incident of prima facie hurting of religious feelings, Anupinder Singh Grewal, J., dismissed the anticipatory bail of a person who video graphed a man without turban aged 65 years old who was beaten up repeatedly and his video was circulated on social media.

Petitioner sought anticipatory bail in FIR registered under Sections 323, 341, 506, 148 of Penal Code (offences under Sections 295-A and 149 IPC and 66-E of the Information Technology Act, 200 added later on), 1860.

Counsel for the petitioner contends that aforenoted sections are bailable and prima facie case under Section 295-A would not be made out in as much as DSP in the inquiry has stated that the allegations of hurting the religious feelings of the complainant are not made out.

Counsel for the complainant contended that the turban of the complainant who was 65 years of age had been removed and he was repeatedly beaten up and abused. The said incident was video-recorded and uploaded on Facebook.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench noted that the turban of the complainant who was 65 years old was taken off and he had been repeatedly beaten up.

Petitioner and other accused video graphed him without the turban when he was bleeding and the same had been uploaded on Facebook.

The turban is an essential religious symbol and photographing of an elderly person in an injured condition without the turban and uploading it for public viewing on a social platform would prima facie amount to hurting the religious feelings.

In view of the above observation, the Court disagreed with the contention of the petitioner’s counsel that a prima facie case under Section 295-A IPC was not made out.

Petition was dismissed while not granting anticipatory bail. [Gurpreet Singh v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 2285, decided on 28-10-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Amit Arora, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr Dhruv Dayal, Senior DAG, Punjab.

Mr Vikas Gupta, Advocate for the complainant.

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Judges | Punjab and Haryana High Court


President appoints the following Additional Judges as Judges of the P&H High Court:

  1. Suvir Sehgal
  2. Alka Sarin
  3. Jasgurpreet Singh Puri
  4. Ashok Kumar Verma
  5. Sant Parkash
  6. Meenakshi I. Mehta
  7. Karamjit Singh
  8. Vivek Puri
  9. Archana Puri
  10. Rajesh Bhardwaj

Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 24-10-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Expressing that when the children, who the parents have reared with untold sorrows and miseries, throw them at the mercy of their destiny and use their muscle power to torture and harass them, the parents’ world get totally shattered which marks as the beginning for the unfortunate tale of their moving from one Forum to another for redressal, Harnaresh Singh Gill, J., while quoting from the holy script of  Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Sri Guru Ram Dass has written ‘KAAHAY POOT JHAGRAT HA-O SANG BAAP/ JIN KAY JANAY BADEERAY TUM HA-O TIN SIO JHAGRAT PAPP//” (O son, why do you argue with your father? It is a sin to argue with the one who fathered you and raised you) stated that “we have to treat our parents as God.


Life is full with extraordinary challenges and unrivalled opportunities, but such chances must not be used against those who parented you.

Classic Example

Instant matter was a classic example, wherein the petitioners sought equities entirely forgetting that it is because of their conduct that their old and aged parents had to seek their eviction so as to buy back their peace and freedom.

Grievance

Issuance of writ of mandamus was sought for directing respondents 1 to 3 to protect the life and liberty of the petitioners at the hands of respondents 4 and 5 and mandate them not to interfere in the property of the petitioners.

Application filed by respondent 4 under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 wherein the petitioners have been ordered to be ejected from the house is also sought to be dismissed.

Factual Background

Respondent 4 had filed an application under the provisions of the 2007 Act against the petitioners i.e. his son and daughter-in-law. Petitioners were not treating respondent 4 and 5 properly and depriving them even of the basic necessities and just wanted to grab respondents’ property and owing to their behaviour, respondents 4 and 5 had disowned petitioner 1 from their movable and immovable property.

Respondents had even requested the petitioners to vacate the house in question, but they did not. Sub Divisional Magistrate in his report recommended the ejectment of the petitioners and sent the same to the District Magistrate who ordered the ejectment of the petitioners from the house.

Petitioners’ Contention

Counsel for the petitioner contended that the house in question was a joint Hindu Family Property and petitioner 1 had also contributed to the construction of ground floor of the house, he also started a business in which respondent 4 was shown the proprietor.

Another submission was that the respondents had ill-treated petitioner 2 and accordingly FIR under Sections 498-A, 406, 323, 506 and 34 of Penal Code, 1860 were registered against the respondents.

Adding to its submissions, the petitioners counsel also contended that the District Magistrate had no power under Section 23 of the 2007 Act to direct a son to vacate the house of his parents because none of the circumstances contemplated in the statutory provisions, is attracted in a father-son-relationship.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Respondent 4’s case was that the house in question was his self-acquired property, and rather it was not a Joint Hindu Family Property.

SDM in its report had stated that as per the sale deed, respondent 4 was the owner of the house in question.

High Court stated that even if for the sake of arguments, Court assumes that respondent 4 had gifted the house to the petitioners, even then the transfer of property was to be held void in certain circumstances.

Section 23 of the 2007 Act dealt with the validity of the transfer of property in certain circumstances.

“…if a senior citizen who, after the commencement of the 2007 Act, has transferred by way of gift or otherwise, his property, with the condition that the transferee would provide basic amenities and basic physical needs to the transferor, who thereafter refuses or fails to provide such amenities and physical needs, then the transfer of the property made by the senior citizen shall be deemed to have been made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and shall at the option of the transferor, be declared void by the Tribunal.”

Rule 24 of the Rules provides in the action plan as to how the property of senior citizen, which includes a residential building, can be vacated from his son, daughter or legal heir(s) while in an unauthorized occupation and how the said order is to be enforced.

Court added that though the present matter is not the one wherein any transfer or gift has been executed by respondent 4 and 5. Hence, the petitioners cannot maintain the claim on the alleged ground that petitioner 1 had contributed towards the renovation of the house.

Adding more to the analysis, Bench expressed that even in the cases, where a gift deed was executed by the parents in favour of the children, it was held that irrespective of any condition regarding providing to the transferor the basic amenities, the transferee would be bound to maintain the transferor.

High Court referred to this Court’s decision in Raksha Devi v. Deputy Commr., decided on 3-5-2018.

In view of the above, Court dismissed the petition on not finding any merit. [Anil Kumar Dhiman v. State of Haryana, CRWP 1357 of 2019, decided on 21-9-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Akhil Bhasin, Advocate, for the petitioners.

Mr Pardeep Prakash Chahar, DAG, Haryana.

Mr Anuj Balian, Advocate, for respondents 4 and 5.


Additional Reading:


“Daughters are daughters forever and sons are sons till they are married”: Bom HC orders son to vacate flat of 90 yrs old parents

Under Parents and Senior Citizens Act, is it necessary to find out whether property belongs to parent exclusively or is a shared household in which daughter-in-law has rights? Bom HC deciphers

Children living in parents’ house are at best licensees: Cal HC says senior citizens’ exclusive residentiary rights to be viewed from prism of Art. 21

P&H HC | Maintaining elderly parents is not only a value based principle but a bounden duty under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents Act

Madras HC | Sons turning turtle after giving undertaking to vacate their father’s premises is Contempt of Court: Read synopsis of Court’s opinion

Del HC | Which is the proper forum for filing appeals from the eviction order passed by DM under Delhi Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act? Court answers

All HC | Is the District Magistrate under obligation to provide protection to senior citizens being harassed by their children? HC explains

Bom HC | “If children cannot take care of their parents and allow them to live in peace, they atleast ought not to make their life a living hell”; Court sternly warns daughter to not harass mother physically & mentally

Chh HC | Step-son held duty bound to maintain his step-mother under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act

Maintenance – Children and Parents

Parents can evict children under the provisions of MWPSC Act, 2007 upon being harassed: Bombay HC

Appointments & TransfersNews

Elevation of an Advocate as Judge in Punjab and Haryana High Court


Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for the elevation of Shri Sandeep Moudgil, Advocate, as Judge in the Punjab & Haryana High Court.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 29-9-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Kumar Tyagi, J., while addressing bail application of accused in a case pertaining to Honour Killing, stated it to be a,

“Glaring example how the directions given by Supreme Court are flouted, how the necessity of protection to the couple marrying against the wishes of their family members is ignored.”

The brief facts of the case were that the deceased-Dharambir married to one Sunita against her family’s wish. Pursuant to which the couple were abducted and subsequently, the dead body of Dharambir was recovered from Sidhmukh Canal after two days. Investigation revealed the same two be the outcome of honour killing by the family members of Sunita.

Noticing that the case involved allegations of honour killing of Dharambir by persons whose honour was allegedly subjected to disgrace by the deceased by performing marriage with their relative Sunita Rani, the Bench referred to the decision of Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, wherein the Supreme Court had directed the administration/police authorities throughout the country to “see to it that if any boy or girl who is a major undergoes inter-caste or interreligious marriage with a woman or man who is a major, the couple are not harassed by anyone nor subjected to threats or acts of violence, and anyone who gives such threats or harasses or commits acts of violence either himself or at his instigation, is taken to task by instituting criminal proceedings by the police against such persons and further stern action is taken against such persons as provided by law.” Again in Bhagwan Dass v. State (NCT) of Delhi, (2011)6 SCC 396, the Supreme Court had held,

“In our opinion honour killings, for whatever reason, come within the category of rarest of rare cases deserving death punishment. It is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilized behaviour. All persons who are planning to perpetrate ‘honour’ killings should know that the gallows await them.”

 Similar views were held by the Punjab and Haryana High Court itself in Civil Writ Petition No.6717 of 2009 titled as ‘Asha and another Vs. State of Haryana, 2012 SCC OnLine P&H 12746

Adverting to the disturbing features of the case and adumbrating upon the directions required to be issued for preventing abuse of process and securing ends of justice, the Bench held that since the police had knowledge regarding marriage of Sunita with Dharambir as they had filed a protection petition which was later withdrawn by them, the police was expected to take immediate steps for their rescue on receipt of information regarding their abduction. However, even though Sunita had named the persons with whom her husband Dharambir was last seen, yet no raid had been conducted to arrest the persons named or to join them in investigation for ascertaining the whereabouts of Dharambir. The Bench expressed,

“The present case is a glaring example how…the police tries to understate the offences, delay the investigation, shield the accused by its inaction and still claim that there was no laxity or delay in investigation of the case by it and how the higher police officers, who do not even know that the case falls in the category of honour killing and they are required to follow the directions given by the Supreme Court, look the other way round and ignore the deficiencies surfacing during investigation with almost culpable failure to appropriately supervise/monitor the investigation and take appropriate remedial action to discharge their statutory obligations.”  

Accordingly, the Court directed the Director-General of Police, Haryana to conduct an enquiry into the matter and take appropriate departmental action against the defaulting Police officers/officials.

In the backdrop of above, noticing flagrant violation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court and this Court, delay or laxity in proper investigation and collection of evidence available and delay in conclusion of trial and for preventing abuse of process and securing ends of justice and, the Bench issued directions as under:

Directions to State Governments

  1. State government (Punjab and Haryana) and U.T. Chandigarh Administration were directed to appoint Committees consisting of Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Additional Director General of Police, Legal Remembrancer and Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authorities, Punjab, Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh at the State level within one month to examine issues of compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court and this Court and submit their reports with their recommendations within three months.
  2. Governments were directed to consider recommendations so made and take policy based action for implementing them.
  3. The Committee was directed to periodically monitor the issue of compliance with such directions in the States.

Directions to the police

 The Director Generals of Police, Punjab, Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh were directed to

  • create a Special Cell in each Districts to collect and maintain information and prepare the database in respect of couples who approached the Courts for protection and call for reports regarding assessment of threat perception to them and take appropriate action/issue necessary instructions, and
  • set up 24 hour helpline or enable any of the helplines already set up to receive and register request for protection and to coordinate with the concerned police officers/officials for providing necessary assistance/advice/protection to such couples.

The Director Generals of Police were also directed to issue instructions to the Commissioners of Police/Senior Superintendents of Police/ Superintendents of Police for ensuring that,

  • in case of reporting of any violence against inter caste or inter religion marriage or honour killing, FIR is immediately registered and upon registration of FIR, intimation is simultaneously given to the concerned Deputy Superintendent of Police who shall ensure that effective investigation is done and taken to its logical end within 60/90 days.
  • Immediate steps are taken to provide security to the couple/family and, if necessary, to remove them to a safe house keeping in mind their safety and threat perception.
  • Any failure by any police officer/official to comply with the aforesaid directions be considered as an act of misconduct for which departmental action be taken under the service rules.

 Directions for expeditious trial

  • The subordinate Courts were directed to ensure that cases of Honour Killing are assigned to the designated Court/Fast Track Court/one jurisdictional courts to ensure expeditious disposal within the period of six months. The direction was said to apply on pending cases as well with modification of applicability from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
  • In case of non-appearance of any of the witnesses, the concerned Court shall take appropriate action against the concerned witness absenting without any lawful excuse under Section 174 of Penal Code, 1860 or under Section 350 of the CrPC against him.
  • In cases where the trial is not concluded within the period of six months, the concerned Court shall submit the progress report to the High Court seeking extension of time specifically mentioning the period within which the trial is likely to be concluded.

 Directions to the State Legal Services Authorities:-

The State Legal Services Authorities, Punjab, Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh were directed:

  • to prepare a scheme for providing legal aid to couples seeking protection and also legal aid to the complainant for representing him in cases of violence against inter caste/inter religion marriage and honour killings and properly presenting the case before the trial Court for award of compensation to the victims of violence against inter caste/inter religion marriages and dependents of victims of honour killings against accused in the eventuality of their conviction;
  • to further strengthen through para legal volunteers, Anganwadi Workers, National Social Service Volunteers, Saksham Yuva, Students of Law Colleges and School/College Legal Literacy Clubs their public awareness programmes against the social evils of violence against inter caste/inter religion marriages and honour killing; and
  • to take appropriate steps for award of appropriate interim/final compensation to the victims of inter caste/inter religion marriage and dependants/legal heirs of victims of honour killing under the Victim Compensation Scheme including the steps of issuance of appropriate directions by this Court, if so required.

Hence, Haryana State Legal Services Authority was also directed to take appropriate steps for award of compensation to legal heirs of Dharambir within three months. The accused were granted regular bail on the ground of parity as the co-accused had been granted bail, and the trial was likely to take time due to number of prosecution witnesses to be examined and due to restrictions imposed to prevent spread of infection of Covid-19. [Ravi Kumar v. State of Haryana, CRM-M-23537-2020, decided on 31-09-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Advocate Aditya Sanghi, Advocate Vikas Bishnoi,

For State of Haryana: Deepak Sabharwal, Addl. A.G., Haryana

For State of Punjab: P.S. Walia, Asstt. A.G., Punjab

For U.T. of Chandigarh: Amit Kumar Goyal, Addl. Public Prosecutor

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Anil Kshetarpal, J., denied interfering with the decision of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal with regard to age assessed by the Tribunal wherein two contradictory evidences were placed to prove the age of the deceased. The Bench stated,

No doubt, there is a difference between the date of birth in the driving license as well as the income-tax record of the deceased-late Sh. Ravinder Kumar, however, neither of them is a document to prove his age.

The issue arose from a common award, passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, while allowing the claim petitions filed under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The claimants were the widow, two children and aged mother of the deceased Ravinder Kumar, who died in a motor vehicle accident on 11-12-2017. The counsel for the parties had not questioned the findings of the Tribunal with regard to the involvement of the vehicle and rash and negligent driving of respondent 6-Vikram Singh.

The insurance company contended that the Tribunal erred in assessing the compensation by taking the age of the deceased to be 48 years on the basis of the post mortem report as the income-tax returns filed by the deceased stated that he was born on 02-02-1966 and therefore, his age on the date of accident was 51 years.

While the driving license produced by the appellants showed that the deceased was born on 24-04-1970 and hence was 47 years old.

Considering the arguments of both the parties, the Bench held that no doubt, there was a difference between the date of birth in the driving license as well as the income-tax record of the deceased-late Sh.Ravinder Kumar, however, neither of them was a document to prove his age as the insurance company except giving suggestion that the age of the deceased was 51 years at the time of his death, did not lead any evidence. Furthermore, the post mortem report also proved that the age of the deceased was 49 years at the time of the accident, hence, the Bench denied to disturb the finding of the Tribunal.

Rejecting the submission of the claimants that the Tribunal erred in relying upon the income-tax returns for the year 2016-17 rather than of 2017-18, the Bench opined that since the accident took place on 11-12-2017, and the claimants failed to disclose the date on which the income-tax return for the year 2017-18 was filed; the Tribunal had rightly relied upon the income-tax return of the immediate preceding year i.e. 2016-17. In the light of the above, the appeals were found to be without merits and were dismissed. [New India Assurance Company Ltd. v. Ranju, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1783, decided on 16-09-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

Mr. Vipul Sharma, Advocate

for Mr. Paul S. Saini, Advocate

for the appellant (In FAO-7145-2019) and

for respondent No.3 (In FAO-305-2020).

Mr. Shakti Mehta, Advocate

for the appellant (In FAO-305-2020) and

for respondent No.1 to 4 (In FAO-7145-2019)