Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Amol Rattan Singh, J., directed protection to couple who were facing threats after getting married against the wishes of their family.

Petitioners sought the protection of life and liberty as the petitioners had married each other against the wishes of the respondents.

Petitioners counsel had submitted that neither the petitioners were in any prohibited relationship to each other, nor any of them were married earlier.

Since the protection of life and liberty was a fundamental right of every citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, without making any comment on the validity of marriage, Court disposed of the petition directing respondents 2 and 3 to ensure that the lives and liberty of the petitioners are not put to any harm or threat.

Bench stated that there was no firm proof of age of either the petitioners other than their Aadhar Cards, which was actually not a firm proof of age.

High Court added to its decision that, if any of the petitioners are found to be below the marriageable age in terms of the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, this order shall not be construed to be a bar on any proceedings initiated under that Act, the offences committed under that Act being cognizable in terms of Section 15.[Navdeep Singh v. State of Punjab, CRWP -7832 of 2021, decided on 7-09-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Karandeep S. Sidhu, Advocate, for the petitioners.

Appointments & TransfersNews

Elevation of 4 Advocates as Judges of Punjab and Haryana High Court


Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for elevation of the following Advocates as Judges in the Punjab & Haryana High Court:

1. Shri Vikas Suri,

2. Shri Vinod Sharma (Bhardwaj),

3. Shri Pankaj Jain, and

4. Shri Jasjit Singh Bedi


Collegium Resolution

[Statement dt. 1-09-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: G. S. Sandhawalia, J., allowed the application for waiving off the mandatory period of six months for divorce by mutual consent.

The instant petition had been filed by the petitioners i.e. Wife and husband who were aggrieved by the order of the Family Court, whereby their application for waiving off the mandatory period of six months had been rejected.

The petitioners submitted that they had sought divorce by mutual consent and their joint statement was recorded under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act on the ground that husband was residing abroad in Houston TX (USA) since 2019. The parties were living separately since then and three children, which were borne out of the wedlock remained with the husband. Therefore, it was submitted by the parties that the mandatory period of six months be waived off.

Reliance was placed by the Family Court on the decision of the Supreme Court in Amandeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, (2017) 8 SCC 746, wherein it had been held that, “where there are no chances of reconciliation, six months period cannot be waived off except in exceptional circumstances and the parties are thus aggrieved by the impugned order.”

Observing that the couple had settled the matter and were mature to the extent that first petitioner was 34 years old and petitioner 2 was 35 years of age and had been blessed with 3 children; moreover, it was not disputed that the husband was also staying abroad for the last more than two years and they had even settled regarding the children; the Bench opined that in such circumstances, further waiting period would only prolong the proceedings and it was a fit case to exercise the jurisdiction of the Court in waiving off the mandatory period of six months.

The Bench opined that the judgment in Amandeep Singh’s case had not been appreciated in its real sense by the Family Court. The relevant portion of the said judgment reads as under:-

“16. The object of the provision is to enable the parties to dissolve a marriage by consent if the marriage has irretrievably broken down and to enable them to rehabilitate them as per available options. The amendment was inspired by the thought that forcible perpetuation of status of matrimony between unwilling partners did not serve any purpose. The object of the cooling off the period was to safeguard against a hurried decision if there was otherwise possibility of differences being reconciled. The object was not to perpetuate a purposeless marriage or to prolong the agony of the parties when there was no chance of reconciliation. Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the Court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option.”

Accordingly, the impugned order was set aside. The Family Court concerned was directed to take up the application again and dispose of the main case within a period of 10 days.[Sukhjeet Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1606, decided on 16-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

Counsel for the Petitioners: Mohd. Salim, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Girish Agnihotri, J., held that the decision of the employer to fill up the vacancies at any particular time depends upon the public need, administrative exigencies and availability of infrastructure or budgetary provision. There was no legal obligation on the part of the State that if the vacancies had fallen vacant, the State must fill up the said vacancies immediately.

The petitioner Navdeep Singh Brar and 55 others had filed the instant writ petition with a prayer to direct the State of Punjab to give age relaxation to them for applying against the posts of Police Sub Inspectors, in the cadre of District Police, Armed Police Intelligence and Investigation advertised on 06-07-2021. A further prayer was made to count their age in lines with the judgment of the Supreme Court in Cognizance for Extension of Limitation whereby the period starting from 15-03-2020 till further orders was directed to be considered as Zero Period in view of COVID-19 pandemic: In Re. The prayer was also made to allow the petitioners to provisionally appear in the examination scheduled for the above-said posts.

Although, the petitioners had conceded that they do not fulfill the age criteria prescribed in the advertisement and that their age was beyond the age of 28 years which was required for the said post. The petitioners had based their case on the official tweet of the Chief Minister of Punjab made on 12-07-2020, wherein the CM had responded to the query of one Mr Amarpal Singh from Ludhiana and had said that, “the official announcement of the increase in recruitment age from 28 years to 32 for DSPs and Sub Inspectors will be made in the coming days…”

The petitioners pleaded that since 2016 to till date, no recruitment process had been initiated by the Government and that the inaction on the part of the respondents had adversely affected their chances to appear and compete for the said posts of Sub Inspector as they had lost their chance to face the recruitment due to non-conducting of the exams by the respondents.

Reliance was placed by the petitioners on the recent decision of the Delhi High Court in Najma v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, WP(C) No. 8956 of 2020, wherein the High Court had held that the promise of CM is of binding nature.

Differentiating with the said judgment of the Delhi High Court, the Bench clarified that the decision of the Delhi High Court was with regard to Chief Minister’s statement relating to governmental policy. On the contrary, the case at hand dealt with a prescribed procedure which required to be followed so as to amend the statutory Rules (especially Rule 12.6 of the Rules). Further, observing that after the said tweet, the matter for increase of upper age limit of SI from 28 to 32 years was examined in the office of Director General of Police, Punjab, various field officers were consulted and most of the field officers were not in favour of increase of upper age limit due to the questionable physical fitness at the age of 32 years, particularly physical part of basic training; and also because the same would further increase the upper age limit of reserved categories, the Bench was of the view that the petitioners could not claim to increase the maximum age limit or relaxation merely because the Chief Minister had tweeted in regard thereto.

Cogitating that the Chief Minister along with Council of Ministers had earlier taken a decision as reflected in the memo dated 25-05-2016 (R2) to increase the age limit from 25 to 28 years, the Bench held that the petitioners had no legal right to support the plea that they were entitled to age relaxation/increase in the upper age limit beyond 28 years merely because since 2016, no recruitment process had been initiated by the Government and accordingly their chances of recruitment were affected because the decision of the ‘employer’ whether to fill up the vacancies at any particular time depends upon the public need, administrative exigencies and availability of infrastructure or budgetary provision. There was no legal obligation on the part of the State that if the vacancies had fallen vacant, the State must fill up the said vacancies immediately. The Bench stated,

“There is no legal right with the petitioners to claim that all the vacancies should have been advertised prior to 2021 or even to allege that the inaction of the Department in this regard could be termed as violation of any right.”

In the light of the above, the petition was dismissed and it was held that the petitioners could not claim extension in the upper age limit by taking the plea of COVID situation. More so, because it was not the case of parties that an advertisement in this regard had been initially issued in the year 2019 or 2020 (when the petitioners were allegedly within the maximum age limit) and the selection process had been deferred or delayed because of COVID situation.[Navdeep Sinh Brar v. State of Punjab, CWP-12723 of 2021, decided on 11-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Mr Pardhuman Garg, Advocate, Mr DK Bhatti, Advocate, Mr BS Dhatt, Advocate and Mr Saurav Bhatia, Advocate

For the State of Punjab: Ms Monica Chhibber Sharma, Sr. DAG, Punjab

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Harsimran Singh Sethi, J., held that length of service in the cadre in which the seniority is being prepared is the only relevant factor to be taken into consideration while fixing the seniority.

Factual Matrix

The instant petition was filed to assail the impugned order by which the objections raised by the petitioner to the provisional seniority list in the cadre of Assistant Secretary had been rejected.

The backdrop of the case was that the petitioner was promoted to the post of District Manager in the respondent-Bank in 2012. In the cadre of District Manager, the name of the petitioner was at Sr. No.7 in the seniority list and the names of the private respondents 4 to 6 were from Sr. No.9 to 11 t. Petitioner was admittedly senior to the respondents in the cadre of District Manager and had a preferential right for promotion to the post of Assistant Secretary, i.e. the next promotional post. However, prior to the consideration of his case for promotion to the post of Assistant Secretary in the year 2014, the petitioner made a request to the Bank that he should not be considered for promotion because of his prevailing family circumstances and he should be allowed to continue working as District Manager which was accepted by the respondent-Bank and ultimately, other employees including respondents 4 to 6 were considered for promotion to the post of Assistant Secretary. Later on, owing to changed family circumstances, the petitioner was promoted to the post of Assistant Secretary in the year 2018.

Contentions Raised

The grievance of the petitioner was with regard to the tentative seniority list in the cadre of Assistant Secretary wherein, the name of the petitioner was mentioned at Sr. No.6 whereas the names of respondents 4 to 6 were mentioned at Sr. No. 3 to 5. An objection was filed by the petitioner but the same was rejected.

The petitioner argued that as he was senior to the private respondents 4 to 6 in the cadre of District Manager, hence, upon promotion as Assistant Secretary in the year 2018, he would regain seniority over and above those junior persons in the cadre of Assistant Secretary. The petitioner contended that it is a settled principle of law that where a person, who is senior in the feeder cadre, will regain his seniority in the promoted cadre even if, the senior is promoted to the said promoted cadre after his juniors. The reliance was placed by the petitioner upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Ajit Singh Januja v. State of Punjab, 1996(2) SCC 715.

The second objection taken by the petitioner was that the Managing Director should not have decided his objections as his representation/objections were raised before the Board of Directors and therefore, the rejection of the objections/representation by the Managing Director was without jurisdiction.

Analysis and Decision

Noticeably, though the petitioner was senior to the private respondents 4 to 6 in the cadre of District Manager, but when his turn came for promotion to the next higher post of Assistant Secretary, he himself had foregone his promotion in writing. Hence, the question before the Bench was, whether an employee, though senior in the feeder cadre but had foregone his promotion and juniors were promoted, will regain his seniority in the promoted cadre despite the fact that the said employee was promoted at a later stage as compared to the employees who were junior in the feeder cadre.

According to the Rule, the seniority is to be determined on the basis of continuous length of service in a cadre, Rule 13 which governs fixing of the seniority states that:

“13. Fixation of Seniority

13.1 The seniority shall be determined separately in each category/cadre of service.

13.2 The inter se seniority of the employee shall be from the date of joining that category of service as a regular employee subject to the provision detailed in subsequent paragraph.” 

Hence, seniority was to be considered in each cadre separately and the inter se seniority of the employees working in a particular cadre was to be taken from the date of joining the said cadre meaning thereby that seniority of the candidate in the feeder cadre did not have any relevance in the promoted cadre unless and until a junior had been promoted by superseding a senior by way of reservation.

In the present case, it was not a case where the petitioner was superseded by respondents 4 to 6 on the basis of reservation rather, they were promoted on their own turn, therefore, the seniority in the cadre of District Manager was irrelative to the seniority to be maintained in the cadre of Assistant Secretary.

The Haryana Civil Services Rules as framed in the year 2016 clearly deals with the issue regarding the deferment of promotion.

 “6. Deferment of Promotion:

When an official forgoes his promotion, his name may not be reconsidered for at least one year and the person promoted during this period will rank senior to him. On these conditions the deferment of promotions may be allowed.”

 Admittedly, the continuous length of the service of private respondents 4 to 6 was more than that of petitioner in the cadre of Assistant Secretary and therefore, giving them seniority over and above the petitioner in the tentative seniority list could not be faulted with and the rejection of the prayer of the petitioner for amending the said seniority by the respondents-authorities was also in consonance with the rules governing the service. Differentiating the judgment relied by the petitioner, the Bench stated that,

“Ajit Singh Januja’s case only applies in the case of reservation, where a reserved category junior employee supersedes a senior by availing the benefit of reservation to be appointed on roster point available for the said reserved category in the promotional cadre.”

Regarding the argument that the representation/objections which were raised by the petitioner against the tentative seniority list were before the Board of Directors and not before the Managing Director, therefore, Managing Director did not have any jurisdiction to pass the order rejecting the representation/objections, the Bench opined that,

 “A bare perusal of the tentative seniority list would show that the same was issued by the Managing Director. Once, a tentative seniority list has been issued by a particular authority, the objections have to be heard and decided by the said authority.”

The Bench stated further that once the Court had decided the claim of the petitioner on merits, the request of the petitioner to remand the case back to the Board of Directors for a fresh decision could not be accepted. Hence, in the light of the above, the petition was dismissed.[Pradyumna Singh v. Haryana State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd.,    2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1517, decided on 06-07-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the petitioner: Sunil Kumar Nehra, Advocate

For the Respondent: Sharad Aggarwal, Assistant Advocate General, Haryana

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Calling it unfortunate, Arvind Singh Sangwan, J., dismissed the petition filed by a man who was trying to oust his mother from her property to usurp the same. Additionally, the Bench imposed a cost of 1 lakh Rupees on the petitioner which was directed to be paid to the respondent mother.

The petitioner, one Sunny Goyal had approached the Court praying protection of his life and liberty against his mother-Suresh Goel, and one Subhash Garg (mama of the petitioner).

The father of the petitioner and husband of the respondent, late Raj Kumar Goyal had executed a Will vide which 100% share of the booth and 50% share of the house was given to the petitioner and 50% share of the house was already in the name of his wife-respondent-Suresh Goel for obvious reason that the petitioner being son will inherit his business and his wife will have a house to live in for rest of her life.

Observing that the petitioner had become dishonest, as it was stated that he got a General Power of Attorney of share of his mother in his name to deal with house in any manner and by way of filing the petition, he wanted to create grounds to oust his own mother from the house, who was a senior citizen and further to sell it; the Bench opined that the perusal of the representation made by the petitioner suggested that the same had been filed with an oblique motive of harassing his own mother so that on the basis of GPA given by her, the petitioner may usurp the house and oust her in old age.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed with a cost of Rs 1 lakh. The Chief Judicial Magistrate was directed to ensure that costs is recovered from the petitioner and is paid to respondent-Suresh Goel i.e. mother of the petitioner within a period of two months.[Sunny Goyal v. State of Punjab, CRWP-7121 of 2021, decided on 30-07-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Avneesh Jhingan, J., while answering the question as to whether compelling an accused to give voice samples would amount to self-incrimination and hence, is violative of Article 20(3), stated,

“The infringement of Fundamental Right to Privacy cannot be raised to create a bubble to scuttle the investigation nullifying the evidence collected by merely denying that the voice of the tapped phone calls is not of the petitioners and there being no comparables.”

The instant revision petition had been filed to assail the order of Additional Sessions Judge, allowing the application of the Vigilance Bureau for taking voice samples of the petitioners.

The allegation was that the petitioners (both typist at Tehsil Banga Complex) were collecting money for getting the sale deeds registered from the Tehsildar and other revenue officials of the revenue department. After taking approval, the mobile used by the petitioners were tapped and after obtaining sufficient evidence from the transcripts the FIR was registered. During the proceedings, an application was filed by the Vigilance Bureau for permission to take voice samples of the petitioners and the same was allowed.

The petitioners argued that the impugned order was in violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution as it would violate the right to privacy. The contention was that in Section 53 of the CrPC, 1973 there is no power to order taking of voice samples as the same is self incriminatory.

Analysis by the Court

  1. Would a judicial order compelling a person to give a sample of his voice violate the fundamental right to privacy under Article 20 (3)?

The Supreme Court while dealing with the question “Whether Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India, which protects a person accused of an offence from being compelled to be a witness against himself, extends to protecting such an accused from being compelled to give his voice sample during the course of investigation into an offence” in Ritesh Sinha v. State of U. P., 2019 (8) SCC 1, held that the directions to take voice sample does not infringe Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. Similarly, in State of Bombay vs. Kathi Kalu Oghad; (1962) 3 SCR 10, the Supreme Court while addressing the issue with regard to specimen writings taken from the accused for comparison with other writings in order to determine the culpability of the accused and whether such a course of action was prohibited under Article 20(3) of the Constitution, held that,

the prohibition contemplated by the constitutional provision contained in Article 20(3) would come in only in cases of testimony of an accused which are self-incriminatory or of a character which has the tendency of incriminating the accused himself…A specimen handwriting or signature or finger impressions by themselves are no testimony at all, being wholly innocuous, because they are unchangeable; except, in rare cases where the ridges of the fingers or the style of writing have been tampered with. They are only materials for comparison in order to lend assurance to the Court that its inference based on other pieces of evidence is reliable. They are neither oral nor documentary evidence but belong to the third category of material evidence which is outside the limit of ‘testimony’.”

The nine Judges Bench of the Supreme Court in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India; 2017 (10) SCC 1, held that right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21. However, holding that this right is not an absolute right, the Bench stated,

“In the context of Article 21 an invasion of privacy must be justified on the basis of a law which stipulates a procedure which is fair, just and reasonable…An invasion of life or personal liberty must meet the threefold requirement of

  1. legality, which postulates the existence of law;
  2. need, defined in terms of a legitimate State aim; and
  3. proportionality which ensures a rational nexus between the objects and the means adopted to achieve them.”

Considering the above mentioned, the Bench held that voice sample in a sense resemble finger prints and hand writing, each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic features dictated by vocal cavities and articulates. Hence, the samples collected after having permission in accordance with law would not be a evidence, rather a mean to compare evidence already collected. The Bench clarified,

“To keep pace with the change, new technology is required to be used for collecting and comparing evidence. One method being tapping of communication devices but after compliance of the procedure laid down. It is in that context that taking of voice samples are necessitated. The samples collected are not evidence in itself, rather are tools to identify the voice recording collected as evidence.”

  1. Whether in absence of any provision in CrPC, can a Magistrate authorize the investigating agency to record voice sample of the accused?

The next question before the Bench was “Assuming that there is no violation of Article 20(3) of the, whether in the absence of any provision in the Code, can a Magistrate authorize the investigating agency to record the voice sample of the person accused of an offence?” Reliance was placed by the Court on Ritesh Sinha’s case, (2019) 8 SCC 1, wherein the Supreme Court had stated,

 “We unhesitatingly take the view that until explicit provisions are engrafted in CrPC by Parliament, a Judicial Magistrate must be conceded the power to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime. Such power has to be conferred on a Magistrate by a process of judicial interpretation and in exercise of jurisdiction vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. We order accordingly and consequently dispose the appeals in terms of the above.”

In view of the above discussion, the contentions raised by the petitioners were rejected and the impugned order was upheld.

[Kamal Pal v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1541, decided on 09-07-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

Counsel for the Petitioners: Manbir Singh Batth. Advocate

Counsel for the State: Monika Jalota, DAG, Punjab

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Monga, J., held that inaction to legitimately end matrimonial alliance from wife while seeking protection for live-in-relationship, suggest lack of bonafide on the part of the husband.

The petitioners, claiming to be in live-in-relationship had approached the Court for seeking to protect their lives and liberty apprehending threat from the parents and relatives of the female partner, who were unhappy with their relationship. Regarding the status of the previous marriage of the live-in partners, counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Impinder Singh Dhaliwal stated that, petitioner 1 (male partner) had been deserted by his wife for another man. Out of his wedlock, he had two children i.e. son aged 19 years old and daughter aged 16 years old, who were in his custody. While on the other hand, petitioner 2 was stated to be a widow and out of her wedlock she too was blessed with two children i.e. two sons aged 12 years and 7 years, respectively. The petitioner submitted that the live-in-relationship was merely for the sake of better upbringing of the four children and both the petitioners had decided to live under the same roof for providing them better co-parenting.

Finding it incongruous on the part of petitioner 1 that he had not taken any steps to file appropriate matrimonial proceedings seeking divorce on the ground of desertion and/or otherwise as provided under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, in spit of the claim that he had been compelled to provide motherly care to his children through petitioner 2, since his wife has deserted him, the Bench stated,

“…from his inaction to legitimately end his matrimonial alliance from the biological mother of his children, there appears to be lack of bona fides on his part.”

In view of the above, the Bench held that there was no ground to interfere in the matter. However, in order to avoid any possibility of petitioner 2 being put to any unnecessary perils and/or having been misled by petitioner 1, who has started living with him, the Bench held that petitioner 2 deserved to be protected to that extent. Accordingly, the police officials were directed to look into the threat perception of petitioner 2 and provide her with the mobile number of a lady police official to whom she can approach, in case of any untoward incident at odd hours in case of any threat to her life. Further, the Bench clarified that the protection granted to petitioner 2 should neither be treated as a stamp of approval qua the self-proclaimed relationship of the petitioners nor any reflection on the merits of the contentions raised by them in their petition.[Nirbhey Singh v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1281, decided on 16-06-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioners: Adv. Impinder Singh Dhaliwal,

For the State: DAG Amit Mehta

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Bench of Arun Monga, J., allowed waiver statutory period of 6 months for dissolution of marriage and granted divorce to the couple entrapped in an irretrievably broken marriage.

The petitioners had approached the Court under Article 227 of Constitution for setting aside the impugned order of the Family Court whereby application for waiver of the statutory period of 6 months filed in a joint petition under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, had been dismissed, being not in consonance with the guidelines laid down by Supreme Court in case of  Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, (2017) 8 SCC 746. The marriage of the parties was solemnized in 2001 according to Hindu Rites and Ceremonies. The parties had two children, one son who unfortunately died. While the daughter was married and was living in a matrimonial home. Due to temperamental differences, the parties had been living separately since December, 2015.

Since there were no chances of reconciliation, therefore, the parties filed a joint petition for the dissolution of their marriage by way of mutual consent, under Section 13-B of HMA. All the disputes regarding permanent alimony etc. were settled and a sum of Rs. 2 lakhs (out of the settled amount of Rs.5 lakhs) was paid by petitioner 2 to petitioner 1. Hence, both the parties had moved an application for waiver of statutory period of six months, which had been dismissed by the Family Court.

The petitioners argued that the Court below had not rightly appreciated the facts and circumstances of the case while not waiving the period of 6 months. It was contended that they had consented to part their ways and were being unnecessarily asked to wait for another six months.

In the light of the above, the Bench opined that the marriage of the petitioners had broken down irretrievably and there was no possibility of any reconciliation between them. Therefore, the order of the Court below in insisting the parties to wait for another six months for the second motion hearing, was totally uncalled for. Holding that the marriage between the parties had irretrievably broken and now they had decided to part their ways, so that they both have an opportunity to live their lives in the manner they like, hence, insistence of the Court below to wait to another six months would result in adding to their woes. Consequently, the revision petition was allowed and the impugned order was set-aside. The Family Court was directed to entertain the petition filed by the petitioners by waiving off six months period and proceed with the petition in accordance with law.[Sunita v. Yogesh Kumar, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1057, decided on 19-04-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant ahs reported this brief.


Appearance before the Courts by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Amit Choudhary

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Opining that extreme technicality in times of pandemic is deplorable and may lead to fatalities, the Division Bench of Jitendra Chauhan and Vivek Puri, JJ., allowed the petitioner to import the ventilators without further delay.

Noticing the urgency of the matter and the fact that the instant petition was filed on 15-06-2020 yet the grievance of the petitioner had not been addressed by the authorities, the Bench opined that,

“This extreme technicality in difficult times of Covid-19 pandemic is highly deplorable. In fact, the State ought to have facilitated import of the ventilators. Thousands of people, who are lying admitted, are not getting oxygen or ventilators, which is very vital for the treatment of Covid patients.”

The Bench stated that the oxygen and ICUs are required here and now. Any delay by the administration in providing the ventilators would definitely result into fatalities. In the circumstances, when the nation is witnessing huge number of deaths everyday and certain deaths had happened for want of ventilators, the denial of permission to import the ventilators by the administration was not in the interest of the patients. Hence, the Bench ordered that the import of ventilators in question be allowed without further delay if the same carry certification from the manufacturer.

However, in the larger interest of the patients and to ensure that the ventilators received are as per the specifications prescribed by the competent authority, the Bench directed the petitioner to inform within 24 hours after their receipt to the competent authority to inspect the same with regard to quality thereof. On receipt of such information, the competent authority was directed to depute official concerned to determine the factum that the ventilators are fit to be utilized. The Bench added, if the ventilators are found to be deficient as per the specifications laid down by the Union Government, it shall not be put to use. Further, the petitioner was directed to pay all duties admissible on such goods and to use the same only after the certification by the competent authority.[S.B. Medical Systems v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1066, Order Dated 28-05-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Sudhir Malhotra

For Union of India: ASGI SP Jain with Sr.Adv. Dheeraj Jain

For Respondent 4: Adv. Anshuman Chopra

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Additional Judge

Vikas Bahl to be an Additional Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, for a period of 2 years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


[Notification dt. 24-05-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arvind Singh Sangwan, J., dismissed a petition wherein the petitioner/Advocate filed a petition seeking legal action against Prince Harry Middleton and to direct the United Kingdom Police Cell to take action against him, as despite a promise to marry the petitioner, said promise has not been fulfilled.

Prayer for his arrest was also placed so that no further delay could occur in their marriage.

High Court expressed that the instant petition was nothing but just a day-dreamer’s fantasy about marrying Prince Harry.

The petition mentioned some emails between the petitioner and Prince Harry, in which the person, sending the email stated that he promised to marry soon.

When Court enquired whether the petitioner had ever travelled to the United Kingdom, the reply was negative and petitioner only stated that she had a conversation through social media, where she had even sent messages to Prince Charles that his son Prince Harry was engaged with her.

On perusal of the annexures wherein the attachments of so-called conversations were attached it was noted that the same were not even true copies as the said portion had been deleted/erased.

Further, the Bench expressed that:

It is well-known fact that fake IDs are created on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. and authenticity of such conversation cannot be relied upon by this Court. There is every possibility that so-called Prince Harry may be sitting in a Cyber Café of a village in Punjab, looking for greener pastures for himself.

Hence, Court found no ground to entertain the present petition and could only show sympathy for the reason that petitioner believed such fake conversation to be true.

In view of the above reasons, present petition was dismissed. [Palwinder Kaur v. Prince Harry Middleton, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 756, decided on 08-04-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Ms Palwinder Kaur, Advocate-petitioner in person

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana Case: Harnaresh Singh Gill, J., dismissed the instant petition filed for issuance of directions to Police officials to hand over the investigation of her case under Section 376 Penal Code, 1860, to the Central Bureau of Investigation or to some other independent agency. The Bench stated,

“…it is clearly established that an attempt has been made to not only abuse the process of law but also overawe the authorities.”

Background

The facts of the case were that the petitioner was working as a Nurse in a dispensary and accused Varun Joshi, who was an active member of the local wing of the ruling party, used to visit the said dispensary and started outraging the modesty of the petitioner. It was submitted that the accused approached the petitioner in her office and threatened her that he was having her nude videos and would upload the same on internet if she did not develop physical relations with him or pay Rs. 5,00,000 to him. Allegedly, Rs. 4 lakhs were paid to the accused as compromise, however, the accused again visited the office of the petitioner and told her that he had deleted only a few clips and demanded Rs. 3 lakhs further to delete them. On the petitioner showing her inability to pay Rs. 3 lakhs, the accused took her in an Innova car and had committed rape upon her.

The grievance of the petitioner was that no action was taken by the Police. The petitioner submitted that although, her statement was recorded instead of registering an FIR, the Police constituted a committee of two members to enquire into the matter. It was further averred that Deputy Superintendent of Police threatened the petitioner to settle the matter with the accused as he happened to be the man of means and belonging to the ruling party.

The respondent submitted that the DG of Police constituted a Special Investigation Team and the place of occurrence was visited by a lady member of the SIT and found the case of the petitioner to be based on false allegations. It was further submitted that a litigant who attempts to pollute the stream of justice or touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief. Therefore, exemplary costs should be imposed upon the petitioner, for such a frivolous litigation.

Observations and Conclusion

The Bench observed that the allegations raised by the petitioner were not proved as the call location of the petitioner and the accused show different places from the one where the alleged rape was committed. The investigation regarding the stay of the petitioner and the accused in Hotel Sneh Mohan was conducted and the statement of the Manager was also recorded and a conclusion was drawn that the petitioner and the accused had stayed there on different dates on friendly basis.

The SIT had also drawn a conclusion that there was a friendly relationship between the petitioner and the accused and the dispute between them arose only when the petitioner made a written complaint to the Gram Panchayat against her husband, daughter and her in-laws’ family and showed her desire to stay away from them. The Bench opined,

“It is clear that the petitioner has levelled false and frivolous allegations against the accused and has gone to the extent of lodging the FIR in question and recording the statement before the Magistrate. The petitioner has not approached this Court with clean hands.”

Relieance was placed on Phool Chandra v. State of U.P., (2014) 13 SCC 112,  wherein, the Supreme Court expressed its concern over the need to curb frivolous petitions in following words, “It is high time that the Courts should come down heavily upon such frivolous litigation and unless we ensure that the wrongdoers are denied profit or undue benefit from the frivolous litigation, it would be difficult to control frivolous and uncalled for litigation.”

Lastly, the Bench stated, from the facts and circumstances delineated above, it is clearly established that an attempt had been made to not only abuse the process of law but also overawe the authorities. In view of the above, the petition was dismissed with costs of Rs. 1 lakhs to be paid and deposited by the petitioner with the Institute for the Blind. [Pritpal Kaur v. State of Punjab, CRM-M No. 14954 of 2020, decided on 16-03-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Rajesh Bhatheja

For the Respondents: AGG. Randhir Singh Thind, AAG, Adv. Shubhra Singh, Adv.  Puru Gupta and Adv. A.S.Brar

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Avneesh Jhingan, J. dismissed the petition on the grounds discussed below.

The facts of the case are such that the prosecutrix alleged that her father-in-law after administering her with tablets which made her unconscious did a wrong act, clicked her photographs and video recorded her. Thereafter, he blackmailed her. A statement of the prosecutrix before the Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Code i.e. CrPC was recorded. Two bail applications filed before the trial Court by the petitioner were dismissed. FIR was registered under Sections 328, 376 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC and he was thereby arrested. Two bail applications were filed before the Trial Court by the petition which was dismissed. The instant petition was filed under Section 439 CrPC for grant of regular bail.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the prosecutrix has not supported the allegations while deposing before the Court.

Counsel for the respondents submitted that opposes the bail stating that the allegations are serious. The prosecutrix has supported the allegations in the statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC.

The Court observed that the issue with regard to the contradiction of statement under Section 164 CrPC and deposition before the Court would be a subject matter of trial. The Court further observed that the nature of allegations made by the prosecutrix, especially the fact that the objectionable video and photographs were clicked were very serious. A U-turn is apparent.

The Court thus held that the prosecutrix not supporting the allegations in a deposition before the Court is not enough to grant bail.

In view of the above, petition was dismissed.[Subhash Chander v. State of Haryana, CRM-M No.12704 of 2021, decided on 25-03-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Ravi Shanker Jha, CJ., and Arun Palli, J., heard the instant petition wherein the issue before the Bench was whether a partner can claim the expedience of erstwhile partnership firm in an individual capacity. The Bench stated,

“The petitioner herein having applied independently without any partners, consortium or joint venture, cannot rely upon the technical qualifications of a third party (erstwhile firm) to claim eligibility.”

The petitioner-A.G. Construction Co. was a proprietorship, which had submitted a bid in response to a tender released by the respondent authority. The bid submitted by the petitioner was rejected upon technical evaluation by the duly constituted committee; the representation against rejection of its bid had also been declined. Earlier, the petitioner was a partner in B.G. Constructions Co. (erstwhile partnership firm), and held 50% share. The said firm was dissolved on 25-06-2019 and it was agreed between the partners that they were free to set up their new ventures and could also use the technical and financial credentials of the firm corresponding to their respective shares.

The eligibility for applying for tender, as set out by the respondent was:

  • Satisfactorily completed, during the last five years at least three Multi Storey RCC Framed Structure Government Office Building/Institute Building works costing not less than the amount equal to 40% of the estimated cost (Rs. 3,95,47,577) of the tender; or
  • Two Multi Storey RCC Framed Structure Government Office Building/Institute Building works costing not less than the amount equal to 60% of the estimated cost of the tender; or
  • One Multi Storey RCC Framed Structure Government Office Building/Institute Building work of aggregate cost not less than the amount equal to 80% of the estimated cost put to tender.

 The tender submitted by the petitioner was rejected during technical evaluation, for the authority opined that the work experience of B.G. Constructions Co., (erstwhile partnership firm) could not be reckoned as an experience of the petitioner.

The grievance of the petitioner was that the experience gained by the proprietor of the petitioner-concern, as a partner in B.G. Constructions Co., was required to be computed in proportion to his 50% share. Therefore, he was entitled to claim proportionate experience in terms of his share out of the experience acquired by the firm. Accordingly, for the work done by the firm at Rs.852 lakhs, the petitioner, in terms of his share, should be deemed to have executed one work valuing Rs. 426 lakhs (852/2).

Reliance was placed on the judgment of Supreme Court in New Horizons Ltd. v. Union of India, (1995) 1 SCC 478, wherein it was held that in the absence of any exclusionary clause in the tender document, it could not be said that past experience of a partner of the firm could not be considered. The petitioner had argued that partnership firm is not a separate legal entity but only a compendious mode of describing its partners, therefore, the experience of the firm is indeed the experience of its partners, and thus, ought to have been reckoned, while evaluating the eligibility of the petitioner.

Whether the experience gained by erstwhile partnership firm could be construed as experience of the petitioner in his individual capacity?

The experience in the firm is acquired by the combined, collective and integrated labour of its partners, who, apart from their individual investments, had pooled in their respective resources, skill, knowledge, experience, ideas and information.

The Bench opined that it was the firm that had executed the project and not the partners individually. It is true that from the same subject of experience, more than one can gain experience, however, that must not by itself evince the conclusion that each person gaining ‘experience’ (limited to their contribution) in the output jointly created by them, is entitled to the benefit of the output in its entirety.

“…experience of a firm, in reality, is nothing but the experience of the partners who compose it; such experience of a firm is not in its entirety attributable to each individual partner, but attributable only to the collective effort of all partners concerned.”

 The experience gained by the erstwhile firm was acquired owing to combined, collective and integrated labour and resources of its partners, and hence, was so inseparably interwoven that it was neither divisible nor could it be apportioned amongst its partners. Unlike a joint holding where a co-sharer has a right to seek partition of his defined share.

Hence, the Bench opined that coercing a tender inviting authority to blindly treat experience in the name of an erstwhile partnership firm as the experience of the partner in his individual capacity, would militate against every judicious consideration.

Whether the work experience of the firm could be claimed in proportion to the share  held by the petitioner?

The financial stakes or share held by a partner per se has no nexus with the experience he is required to possess in terms of the tender conditions. In other words, experience is not a commodity that could be acquired for consideration

If the project executed by the firm was reduced in proportion to the share of the petitioner (50%), then, as a necessary consequence, not only the work/project but even the experience that stems from its execution would lose its character and conclusivity, for that too would be reduced proportionately.

The petitioner, sole proprietorship concern having applied for the tender independently, had sought to rely on an experience certificate issued to a third party (B.G. Constructions Co.). The relationship of Ajay Kumar Garg (proprietor of the petitioner concern) with such a third party (erstwhile firm) did not engender any benefit to the petitioner. Therefore, the petitioner having applied independently without any partners, consortium or joint venture, could not rely upon the technical qualifications of a third party (erstwhile firm) to claim eligibility.

Lastly, the Bench opined that the interpretation, construction and as to how a provision, clause or a condition of a tender document has to be construed is primarily the domain of the author of such document and in the instant case no one else was better positioned and equipped than the authority itself in understanding the tender document’s requirements. Hence, the Bench denied existence of unfairness, arbitrariness, irrationality or mala fides, either in the respondent authority’s rejection of the experience certificate, or in the decision-making process which preceded the respondent authority’s rejection of the petitioner’s technical bid being non-responsive. Consequently, the petition was dismissed.[A.G. Construction Co. v. Food Corporation of India, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 306, decided on 10-02-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Puneet Gupta,

For the Respondent: Adv. K.K. Gupta,

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arun Kumar Tyagi, J., addressed the instant petition, whereby an inter-caste couple had approached the Court for seeking protection of their life and liberty.

In the present case, petitioner 1, an 18 years old Muslim woman, performed marriage with petitioner 2, 25 years old Hindu man in accordance with Hindu rites and ceremonies. The grievance of the petitioners was that the marriage being against the wishes of respondent 4, the petitioners were apprehending threat to their life and liberty.

The Bench opined that since the marriage was solemnized between inter-caste couple as per Hindu rites, it was prima facie invalid since it had been admitted that petitioner 1 did not convert to Hindu religion before solemnization of marriage in accordance with Hindu rites and ceremonies. However, relying on the verdict of the Supreme Court in the case of Nandakumar v. State of Kerala, (2018) 16 SCC 602, the Bench said the petitioner 1 being major, was entitled to live with a person and at a place of her choice. Hence, both the petitioners were held to be entitled to live in live-in-relationship in the nature of marriage and also to protection of their life and liberty.

In the light of above, the petition was disposed of with the directions to the Superintendent of Police to look into the grievances of the petitioners as set out in the petition and take appropriate action for protection of their life and liberty.[Nasima v. State of Haryana, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 613, decided on 03-03-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioners: Adv. Balraj Singh Dhull,

For the Respondents: Addl. A.G. Ranvir Singh Arya

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment Orders

President is pleased to appoint Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


President is pleased to appoint Justice Hima Kohli, Judge of the Delhi High Court, to be the Chief Justice of High Court for the State of Telangana with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office.


President is pleased to appoint Dr Justice S. Muralidhar, Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Sanjay Kumar, J., quashed the proceedings under Section 499 IPC against the petitioner holding that the complainant was neither a family member nor a near relative of the deceased whose defamation was alleged to have been caused by the petitioner, and hence the complaint itself was not maintainable.

The instant petition was filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 seeking to quash complaint titled Sant Kanwar v. Raj Kumar Saini, Complaint No. 83 of 2018 under Sections 499, 500 and 501 of Penal Code, 1860.

It was noted by the Court that the issue of maintainability of the instant petition under Section 482 CrPC stands settled in favour of the petitioner as the inherent powers of this Court cannot be curtailed by existence of the alternative remedy of revision under Section 397 CrPC. 

On perusal of the complaint, respondent-complainant demonstrated that he claimed to be a follower of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, an Arya Samajist and freedom fighter. He stated that late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda was an inspiration and a guiding light for him. While so, he claimed to have read newspapers on 02-04-2018 and 03-04-2018, wherein it was reported that the petitioner had made several defamatory statements against late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda. It is on the strength of these newspaper reports that he filed the subject complaint alleging that the petitioner had committed the offence of defamation.

Section 199 CrPC deals with prosecution for defamation. Sub-section 1 thereof states that no Court should take cognizance of an offence punishable under Chapter XXI of the Penal Code, 1860, except upon a complaint made by some person aggrieved by the offence. The said provision mandates that the complaint made by a ‘person aggrieved’.

Section 499 IPC defines defamation and Explanations 1 and 2 appended thereto give an indication as who would be a ‘person aggrieved’. Explanation 1 states that imputing anything to a deceased person would amount to defamation, if such imputation would have harmed the reputation of that person had he been living and such imputation is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives. Explanation 2 states that it may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such.

In view of the above, the Court stated that the ‘person aggrieved’ must have an element of personal interest, being either the person defamed himself or in the case of a deceased person, his family member or other near relatives.

Section 320 CrPC permits compounding of the offence of defamation but it is only the person who is defamed who can agree to the same. For the said, Patna High Court’s decision in Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh v. State of Bihar, 1986 SCC OnLine Patna 174 was referred to, wherein it was observed that though generally, the person aggrieved is only the person defamed, an exception has been made in the case of a deceased person but the ‘persons aggrieved’ even in such case are limited only to members of his family or his near relatives, whose feelings would be hurt by the defamatory statement, and none else.

In the instant case, the respondent-complainant did not claim to be a member of the family of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda or his near relative. The summoning order manifested that he contended before the Magistrate that he fell within the definition of a ‘person aggrieved’ as his family was closely ‘related’ to late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, but this claim seemed to have been based more on ideological considerations rather than any actual ‘relationship.

Explanation 1 to Section 499 IPC makes it amply clear that it is only the ‘family members’ or ‘near relatives’ of the deceased person, against whom imputations have been made, who can claim to be ‘persons aggrieved’.

Therefore, the respondent-complainant, who is not a ‘family member’ or ‘near relative’ of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, cannot unilaterally assume unto himself the status of an ‘aggrieved person’ under Section 199 CrPC, whereby he could assert that his feelings were hurt and maintain the subject complaint against the petitioner before the Magistrate for the alleged offence of defamation.

In view of the above discussion, the Court stated that the complaint was deficient and tainted in its very inception, therefore not maintainable. [Raj Kumar Saini v. Sant Kanwar, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2165, decided on 02-12-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of an Additional Judge

President appoints appoint Shri Rajesh Bhardwaj, to be an Additional Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Read the notification here: NOTIFICATION


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 11-09-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints 7 Additional Judges as Permanent Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court:

  • Manjari Nehru Kaul
  • Harsimran Singh Sethi
  • Arun Monga
  • Manoj Bajaj
  • Lalit Batra
  • Arun Kumar Tyagi
  • Harnaresh Singh Gill

Read the notification here: NOTIFICATION


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 08-09-2020]