Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. addressed the urgent matter with regard to a direction being sought to Yes Bank regarding not taking any coercive steps against petitioner.

Yes Bank Limited had through emails informed the petitioner that his account will be declared as non-performing asset, due to non-payment of installments for the months of January and February, 2020.

Advocates for the petitioner, Saket Sikri and Nikhil Singhvi, contended that in view of the RBI Circular dated 27-03-2020, respondent cannot declare the account of petitioner as a non-performing asset and any action in that regards needs to be deferred till 01-06-2020.

Advocate for the respondent Ashwani Chawla submitted that,

Moratorium is applicable only with regard to instalments which fell due after 01-03-2020 and are not applicable in respect of the instalments that had fallen due as on 01-03-2020

Further the advocate has asked time to file response for the same.

Thus Court while providing time for response has listed the matter for 03-04-2020. [Anant Raj Ltd. v. Yes Bank Ltd., 2020 SCC OnLine Del 493 , decided on 01-04-2020]

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Uttaranchal High Court: Alok Kumar Verma, J., allowed a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the impugned First Information Report dated 28-12-2019, seeking a writ of certiorari to quash the impugned FIR; and a writ of mandamus, commanding and directing the Respondents 1 & 2 not to arrest the petitioner in connection with the FIR.

The FIR stated that Respondent 3 had some conflict with her husband and the petitioner gave emotional support to her, later, they ended up in a hotel having physical relations in Dehradun, further, it stated that they again met in a hotel in Mumbai after few months. Respondent 3 stated that she wanted him to marry her or secure the future of her children.

The counsel for the petitioner Ranveer Singh Kundu and Raj Kumar Singh submitted that in the first instance given by the respondent the petitioner was detained at RVC Centre and College, Meerut Cantt. on duty, and regarding the second instance the petitioner did not go to Mumbai in the month mentioned by the respondent.

The Court while allowing the petition directed that no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner as the respondent was an adult and had her willful consent in the physical relations. [Rajendra Kumar Swain v. State of Uttarakhand, 2020 SCC OnLine Utt 42, decided on 28-01-2020]

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Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and C. Hari Shankar, J., clarified the earlier order dated 03-11-2019 passed in connection with the recent scuffle that took place at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex between Advocates and Police personals.

In its order dated 03-11-2019, the High Court had directed that no coercive action shall be taken against the Advocates involved in the incident. In the same order, the Court had made certain observations against the Delhi Police and named certain officers responsible for the unfortunate incident.

Two separate applications were filed: one by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Union of India and the other by the Delhi Police. The home ministry sought clarification of the earlier order, to the effect that there is no impediment in taking action against the erring Advocates. The Delhi Police, on the other hand, prayed for modification of the earlier order, to the effect that the observations made against the DelhiPolice be excluded so that they could not be read as conclusive findings against the police officers in question.

On such applications being filed, the High Court clarified its earlier order dated 3-11-2019, to the effect that the direction protecting Advocates against coercive action only relates to the FIRs, filed on 2-11-2019 pertaining to the scuffle that broke out at Tis Hazari Courts, and not against any incident that took place thereafter. Also, in regard to observations made against certain Police officers, the High Court clarified that such observations were only prima facie and tentative in nature; the facts are to be proved on the basis of evidence on record without being influenced by such observations.

Before parting with the order, the High Court noted a sense of anguish over the instant state of affairs. It observed:

“In our view, therefore, it would be advisable, in this case, that a joint meeting, of responsible representatives of the Advocates and the police establishment, be convened, who should make a sincere effort to meet and sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations, with the objective of dissolution of their differences, which, in our view, have essentially arisen owing to a communication gap, during the last few days. We are hopeful that, if a sincere attempt is made in this direction, peace and harmony will ultimately prevail.”

The applications were disposed of accordingly. [Tis Hazari Incident, In re (Court on its own Motion v. Union of India), 2019 SCC OnLine Del 10918, decided on 06-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: N. Nagaresh, J. disposed of the writ petition seeking to consider and dispose of appeals by the appellant prior to coercive action by the Income Tax authorities.

In the present case, the petitioner-Bank, being a Service Co-operative Bank registered under the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969 were issued with income tax assessment orders for the years 2009-2010, 2010-11, 2016-17 and 2015-16. The petitioner bank had filed an appeal being aggrieved by the assessment orders. During the pendency of the appeals, the Income-tax Officer had issued notices under Section 221(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 seeking recovery of the amount.

Sri O.D. Sivadas counsel representing the petitioner-Bank, by placing reliance on the judgments passed by the present High Court, submitted that the appellate authority should consider the appeals preferred by the Banks on a priority basis and until the final disposition of the case, any coercive action shall be avoided. The counsel relied on Mavilayi Service Co-operative bank Ltd. v. Income Tax Officer, 2013 SCC OnLine Ker 838 wherein it directed that the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) consider and dispose of statutory appeals filed by the appellant therein at the earliest.

High Court upon hearing the pleadings of the petitioner decided on disposing of the present case in a similar manner. Hence, the court directed that the further steps of coercive action shall not be resorted to against the petitioner.[Annamanada Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. v CIT, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 3011 , decided on 17-09-2019]