Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: Dr A.P. Thaker, J. declined the prayer for the grant of interim relief after considering the averments and documentary evidence on record.

The petitioner had challenged an order passed by the respondent which blacklisted the petitioner due to which it was unable for him to take part in a new tender which was floated by the respondent. Dixa Pandya, advocate for the petitioner also stated that the blacklisting is hampering the petitioner’s reputation.

Per Contra Dr Venugopal Patel submitted that the petitioner was unable to fulfill the earlier responsibilities and the petitioner was not able to give any reasonable explanation for the same in addition to which a show-cause notice was also served to the petitioner which does not give him a chance to put up his case.

The Court while dismissing the application for the grant of interim relief clarified that the respondent had floated the necessary guidelines with certain conditions to the petitioners which were accepted by the petitioner and the petitioner was given proper opportunity in every case to be heard the petitioner, however, can move to respondent for reconsideration for the decision of blacklisting. [Bindiya Enterprise v. State of Gujarat, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 1, Order dated 01-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: M.S. Sonak, J. while disposing of a petition filed by eatery owners whose licences have been cancelled, directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to accept petitioners’ application for renewal of license and thereafter dispose of such application on its own merits and in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible.

The challenge in the present petition was to the order dated 20-4-2019 by which the Additional Chief Judge (Appeal Court) had dismissed petitioners’ application seeking interim relief pending disposal of the Municipal Appeal in which the petitioners have challenged certain orders cancelling the license to operate the eating places. 

The High Court was of the view that no case for interference was established. The grant of an interim injunction would virtually amount to allowing the appeal filed by the petitioners. It is pertinent to note that the petitioners had prayed for an interim mandatory injunction to direct the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to renew their license which has already expired. Such orders, according to the Court, cannot normally be made at the interim stage and that too in the absence of a very strong prima facie case. It was held by the Court: “Since the license has already expired, there is no question of the petitioners claiming for any interim relief and on the basis of same continuing or commencing the business from the suit premises”.

Jamshed Master, Advocate for the petitioners submitted, however, that the Municipal Corporation was not even accepting petitioner’s application for renewal of license, much less considering them in accordance with the law. The High Court held the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai cannot simply refuse to accept the application and thereby avoid making a decision as to whether the petitioners were entitled to renewal or not. 

Accordingly, without disturbing the impugned order, the Court directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to accept petitioners’ application for renewal of license and thereafter dispose of such application on its own merits and in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible and in any case within a period of two months from the date of such application. [Vijay D. Shetty v. Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai, WP (ST) No. 13549 of 2019, dated 03-05-2019]


Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This petition was filed before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Anand Pathak, J., filed against an order where appointment of petitioner was put on hold.

Facts of the case are that petitioner and respondent applied for a post of Anganwadi worker at Gram Panchayat where petitioner was not appointed. Aggrieved by the above an appeal was preferred before the Collector District Gwalior who directed Project Officer to issue appointment order after which petitioner was appointed. Respondent aggrieved by this filed an appeal before the Commissioner/Additional Commissioner where the stay was granted on the order by which petitioner was appointment.

Petitioner submitted that appellant authority was not having the power to issue an interim order. The case of Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund v. Kartick Das, (1994) 4 SCC 225 was referred stating once powers are not given then it cannot be borrowed. Petitioner contended that the nature of order passed would amount to the final relief which could not have been awarded. Whereas respondent submitted that appellant authority has inherent power to issue an interim order by virtue of its power to hear an appeal.

The High Court viewed that impugned order withholds the appointment of petitioner which is a relief final in nature and interim relief which is final in nature could not have been granted, therefore, impugned order was set aside. [Rekha Jatav v. State of M.P.,2018 SCC OnLine MP 679, dated 06-10-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J. rejected plaintiff’s interlocutory application in the suit seeking to restrain respondent-Apple Inc. from using the mark ‘SPLITVIEW’ in relation to any of its software products.

Plaintiff 1 was a software developer working as a consultant with Plaintiff 2. It was submitted that ‘SplitView’ was the trademark ascribed to its most successful commercial product, which was well known and widely recognized. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant Apple Inc. launched an update to their operating software which included a feature named ‘SPLITVIEW’. It was alleged that SPLITVIEW  was functionally identical with plaintiff’s SplitView. In such circumstances, the above-mentioned action was brought by the plaintiffs against the defendant. The defendant contesting the suit submitted that SPLITVIEW or SplitView was a descriptive word and no monopoly could be claimed by the plaintiffs over it. Further, the term SPLIT VIEW was extensively used by other corporations like Microsoft, Samsung, etc.

The High Court considered the controversy and after examining each contention found that plaintiffs were not entitled to any interim relief. The Court noted that it was required to protect the plaintiffs only if it found the defendant to be passing off its goods and services as that of the plaintiffs. That was however not the case of the plaintiffs here. Further, the elements of irreparable injury and balance of convenience were not satisfied to merit grant of an interim injunction on the basis thereof. Accordingly, the interlocutory application was dismissed. [Rohit Singh v. Apple Inc., 2018 SCC OnLine Del 9635, order dated 04-07-2018]

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Supreme Court: The 5-judge Constitution Bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY CHandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, after hearing the counsels at length, said that it will pronounce the interim order on the issue of linking Aadhaar Number to Bank Accounts, Mobile Numbers, etc, tomorrow.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan brought all the interim orders to the Court’s notice that said that no person should suffer for not having an Aadhaar card, till the case is heard and decided. He also brought to the Court’s notice that the Government had made the Aadhaar mandatory for 139 schemes including rehabilitation of bonded labour, mid-day meals for children, school admissions, scholarships, etc. He said:

“if people are being deprived of retroviral treatment because they don’t have an Aadhaar, it is a sad day for the country.”

Attorney General KK Venugopal, on the other hand, said that the arguments advanced Shyam Divan were not in the pleadings. He also said that in the Aadhaar/PAN judgement it has already been held that the earlier orders have been overridden by an Act.

Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium submitted before the Court:

“This Court has exercised judicial power in favour of citizens, to insulate them against compulsion, duress, or any form of force through which they would have to part with their personal information. That is the spirit of this Court’s orders. All the orders have one pattern. The reason why this Court specifically asked the government to comply was because there were numerous violations. There were cases of exclusion. Cases of compulsion. That’s why interim orders were passed.”

Stating that  Central Government has passed 139 notifications under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, he asked whether Section 7 can authorise a compulsion contrary to the orders of the Court.

Adding to argument, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar said even if it was assumed that Aadhaar can be made compulsory under Section 7, it can only be done for services paid for by the Consolidated Fund and that making Aadhaar compulsory for death certificate or exam hall tickets was a ‘clear overreach’.

Examples of data leaks were also presented before the Court and that an RTI has been filed asking about which companies have been given the data but it has not yet been answered.

Attorney General again submitted before the Court that the deadline for linking Aadhaar can be extended to March 31, 2018 except in case of new accounts.

Before rising, CJI said that he will decide whether new bank accounts have to be linked with Aadhaar. The Bench said it will pronounce the interim order tomorrow and that the final hearing in the matter begin from January 17, 2018.


Case Briefs

Supreme Court: After the Aadhaar matter was mentioned before the CJI Court by Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, Dipak Misra, CJ said that the matter will be heard next week for interim relief.

Shyam Divan had told the Court that the original deadline for linking Aadhaar to Mobile numbers, bank accounts, etc. will soon expire and hence, the matter should be heard urgently for interim relief. Attorney General KK Venugopal, on the hand, told that the the dates for linking Aadhaar card to bank account, mobile and many other services will likely be extended to 31st March, 2018. The current deadline for Aadhaan linking in 31st December, 2017.

Last month, when Shyam Divan mentioned the matter for interim hearing and said that the matter be heard by a Constitution Bench, CJI said that not just the main matter but even the interim hearing must be done by a Constitution Bench, but when Shyam Divan asked for a fixed date, he simply said “we’ll see”.

Source: ANI

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Supreme Court: Aadhaar issue that has been lingering on for over 2 years before the Supreme Court, was mentioned before CJI Justice Dipak Misra’s court today wherein the CJI said that the interim hearing in the matter will also be heard by a Constitution bench but refused to fix any date for the same as of now.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan brought to the Court’s notice that the matter was due to be heard in early November, and then in the last week of November, but it had not yet been listed. He said that if the main case could not be heard now, a bench should be constituted to hear a prayer for interim relief as the deadline for linking was 31st December, 2017

Attorney General KK Venugopal, on the other hand, said that the Srikrishna Committee was about to come out with a White Paper on data protection, which might involve recommendations to amend the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and hence, the Court should wait till the report is out. He suggested that the matter be heard at length in the month of January, 2018. Though Shyam Divan had no issue with the main matter being heard in January, he said that the 31st December deadline made the interim hearing urgent.

To this the Attorney General responded by saying that the Government was willing to extend the deadline on “the same terms and conditions” to 31st March, 2018. Shyam Divan, however, said that the “same terms and conditions” were not acceptable, and that the case needed to be heard.

Though the CJI said that not just the main matter but even the interim hearing must be done by a Constitution Bench, but when Shyam Divan asked for a fixed date, he simply said “we’ll see”.