Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A public interest litigation has been filed by a poor tea vendor praying for a ban on “celebratory firing”  which resulted in the  death of his 17 year old daughter, who happened to be watching a marriage procession from the balcony of his house. In view of the increase in the numbers of such deaths caused by unrestrained and indiscriminate celebratory firing in the air in public gatherings, marriage parties, religious places and other functions, the PIL was filed as a public cause.

The petitioner contended that this practice amounted to causing terror in general public and was in violation of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, which included the right to live with dignity. Dignity wold be compromised if one is not allowed to live a terror-free life.

The petitioner contended that “Some baraatis, as a show-off and to unnecessarily demonstrate their jubilation, take pride in firing in air from their licensed firearms which they feel as their prized possession. Little do they realise that such firing is neither desirable nor legal and can also kill someone.”

Setting out several suggestions in the PIL, the petitioner prayed for a direction to the Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure that no incident of celebratory firing should go unattended and unpunished. Indulging in such firing was also suggested to be made an offence, with punishment as jail term and the convict be made to pay adequate compensation to the victim or his kin. He also prayed that the Union of India be directed to frame stringent policy/rules/guidelines to curb the obnoxious practice of celebratory firing and also to devolve a robust mechanism to ensure that the firearm licences are not misused and in the event of such misuse, the licence of such persons should be cancelled. The Court has issued notice. [Shyam Sunder Kausal v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Crl. ) No. 4057 of 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: While dismissing a petition filed in public interest seeking a direction to the respondent to prohibit cow slaughtering and make arrangements to maximise environmental and economic benefits from the cow to mankind, a bench of G Rohini CJ and R.S. Endlaw J. stated that the issue of ban on slaughter of cows is beyond the domain of judicial decision making and is a policy matter in which the courts under the doctrine of separation of powers are not entitled to transgress.

The Court referred Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar AIR 1958 SC 731, Manubhai Nandlal Amorsey v. Popatlal Manilal Joshi (1969) 1 SCC 372 and State of Gujarat v. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat (2005) 8 SCC 534 and stated that the Legislature whenever had deemed necessary has framed appropriate laws in this regard and challenge thereto has also been considered by the Court.

The Court relied on Bal Ram Bali v. Union of India, (2007) 6 SCC 805 where it was held that the Court cannot issue any direction for ban on slaughter of cows as it is a matter of policy on which decision has to be taken by the government, and a complete ban can only be imposed by enactment of an appropriate legislation by the legislature in this regard. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition. [Sadh Foundation v. Union of India, 2015 SCC Online Del 14138, decided on 17-12-2015].

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: Showing anguish over the prevalence of gender inequality in the film industry, which did not allow the qualified make-up artists to become member of the respondent, Cine Costume Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association on grounds that they were women and had not remained in the State of Maharashtra for a span of more than 5 years, the Court held that the Rule being violative of the statutory provision and constitutional mandate, be quashed with immediate effect, thereby putting an obligation on the Registrar of the Trade Unions to see that the petitioners are registered as make-up artists.

The petitioner, represented by Jyotika Kalra, had contended that there is no justification for the classification as per which, the discriminatory clauses were framed and despite the direction of the Registrar of the Trade Unions, the said clauses were not deleted by the Association. K.H. Holambe Patil, the council for the Association put forth the defence that the petitioner was not rejected for being a woman but on the ground that domicile certificates were not presented showing that the petitioners have resided in the State of Maharashtra for more than 5 years.

Giving the aforementioned order, the bench of Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit, JJ, further directed that if the Association would create any hurdle, it will be obligatory on the part of the police administration to see that the female make-up artists are not harassed in any manner whatsoever, for harassment of a woman is absolutely unconscionable, unacceptable and intolerable. Considering the fact that similar situation is prevalent in other States of the country as well, the Court listed the matter to be heard in the first week of January, 2015. Charu Khurana v. Union of India, 2014 SCC OnLine SC 900, decided on 10.11.2014