Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 40 with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 40 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court Updates


‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ may soon be a reality!   

With an aim to curtail the pendency before the High Courts and for speedy disposal of the appeals concerning payment of compensation to the victims of road accident, the Supreme Court has asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to consider constituting ‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ by amending Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act so that the appeals challenging the award of a Tribunal could be filed before the Appellate Tribunal so constituted. 

The Supreme Court has suggested that there is no need for further appeal against the order of the Appellate Tribunal as the party always has the option of invoking the writ jurisdiction of the High Court for appropriate reliefs.  

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/motor-vehicle-appellate-tribunals/  

SC frowns on rising trend to invalidate sexual misconduct proceedings on hyper-technical points 

In a case where there was a minor discrepancy regarding the date of occurrence of the act of sexual harassment of a constable at the hands of his superior i.e. the head constable, the Supreme Court has held that deeming such a trivial aspect to be of monumental relevance, while invalidating the entirety of the disciplinary proceedings against the superior and reinstating him to his position renders the complainant‘s remedy at nought. 

The Court took the opportunity to highlight the rising trend of invalidation of proceedings inquiring into sexual misconduct, on hyper-technical interpretations of the applicable service rules. It hence urged the Courts to be mindful of the fact that there are several considerations and deterrents that a subordinate aggrieved of sexual harassment has to face when they consider reporting sexual misconduct of their superior. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/06/sc-frowns-on-rising-trend-to-invalidate-sexual-misconduct-proceedings-on-hyper-technical-points-after-calcutta-hc-reinstates-bsf-head-constable-based-on-minor-discrepancy/  

Consumer Protection| Open to NCDRC to direct deposit of entire or more than 50 % of the amount ordered by SCDRC while staying SCDRC ‘s order 

Explaining the scope of Section 51 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Supreme Court has held that NCDRC can pass an order to deposit the entire amount and/or any amount higher than 50 per cent of the amount in terms of the order of the State Commission while staying its order. 

However, while doing so the NCDRC has to assign some reasons and pass a speaking order as such an order on the stay application is not to be passed mechanically. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/08/consumer-protection-open-to-ncdrc-to-direct-deposit-of-entire-or-more-than-50-of-the-amount-ordered-by-scdrc-while-staying-scdrc-s-order-sc/ 


High Court Updates


Bombay High Court

Rape by person claiming to have supernatural powers

You must have heard about the unfortunate events happening due to blind faith of people and one such incident was addressed by the Bombay HC recently wherein a person was accused of asking a couple who were issueless to perform sexual acts in his presence and on one such occasion he raped the woman. Court noted that the woman had deep faith in the said man and only on account of such faith the husband and wife indulged in sex in his presence which otherwise could have been quite embarrassing.

Bombay High Court while addressing the matter with regard to rape committed by a person claiming to have supernatural powers expressed that,

“It is significant to note that the blind faith of the parties/victim on the accused is the real driver in such cases.”

High Court upheld the conviction of the accused under Section 376 IPC.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/rape-by-person-claiming-to-have-supernatural-powers/

Does S. 327(2) CrPC providing for “in camera” proceedings apply to appeals? Bom HC decides while rejecting Tarun Tejpal’s application

The Bombay High Court at Goa rejected Tarun Tejpal’s plea to conduct “in camera” proceedings in connection with the appeal filed against his acquittal in a rape case. The High Court held that:

“Section 327(2) CrPC would only be applicable to ‘inquiry’ or ‘trial’ and that the same will not apply to appeals, either appeal against conviction or an application seeking leave to file appeal against acquittal.” 

The Court observed:

“In proceedings such as these, i.e. rape cases in general, it is expected that all parties conduct themselves with dignity, sobriety and some sensitivity that is required, particularly, whilst reading evidence pertaining to intimate details. This, we think is not too much to expect from the Advocates appearing for the respective parties. Maintaining decorum in the courtroom is not merely a superficial means of protecting the image of lawyers and judges – but it is absolutely essential to the administration of justice.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/07/does-s-3272-crpc-providing-for-in-camera-proceedings-apply-to-appeals/

Rape, Murder of Ragpicker: Merely because crime is heinous and brutal, it won’t be just to get carried away sans any legal proof to substantiate charges

Bombay High Court while addressing a sordid story of two poor, helpless and hapless victims who had not only been raped but one of them had been brutally murdered, held that,

“…prosecution has utterly failed in connecting the dots and bringing home the guilt of the accused.”

To read the detailed brief, please check out the SCC Online Blog.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/02/rape-and-murder-of-ragpickers/

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

 Mandatory Vehicle Location Tracker and insertion of Panic button

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court directed the Union government to implement mandatory Vehicle Location Tracking Devices and Panic Button for all public service vehicles in the tune of Rule 125-H of Motor Vehicles Rules. The Bench remarked,

“It goes without saying that the provisions of Section 136A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Rule 125-H have to be complied with in their letter and spirit. The exemption granted by the Government was limited in a period of time and has since expired.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/mandatory-vehicle-location-tracker-and-insertion-of-panic-button/

Calcutta High Court

Can mere failure to keep a promise without anything more lead to irresistible conclusion that promise had been dishonestly made from inception?

While addressing a matter under Section 376 of Penal Code, 1860 Calcutta High Court, observed that, it cannot be said that appellant had no intention to marry from the inception of the relationship, infact the relationship did not fructify due to obstruction from the elders of the family.

High Court observed that

Mere failure to keep a promise without anything more cannot lead to the irresistible conclusion that the promise had been dishonestly made from the inception.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/false-promise-of-marriage-2/


Foreign Court

United Kingdom Supreme Court

 

Man with autistic disorder expresses desire to engage in sexual relations: Does he understand requirement of ‘consent’ from another sexual partner? UK SC explains

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom dealt with a very interesting matter and laid a detailed decisiom regarding ‘consent’ with respect to sexual relations. The matter before the Court raised issues of profound significance under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for persons with a disturbance in the functioning of mind or brain which potentially renders them unable to make a decision for themselves in relation to having sexual relations. The UK Supreme Court expressed that, the fact that the other person must have the ability to consent to the sexual activity and must in fact consent before and throughout the sexual activity applies to everyone in society.

Read here


Legislation Updates 


Tripura Value Added Tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2021 

On December 07, 2021, the Government of Tripura has issued the Tripura Value Added Tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2021 in order to amend Tripura Value Added Tax Act, 2004. 

A new Rule 45A has been inserted which provides “Every registered dealer whose gross turnover in a year exceeds Rs. 40 lakh shall get his accounts, in respect of that year audited by an accountant within 6 months from the end of that year and obtain a report of such audit in Form-XLIV.” 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/tripura-value-added-tax-eighth-amendment-rules-2021/  

Ministry issues clarification on passing general and special resolutions through VC or OAVM 

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued a clarification on passing general and special resolutions through Video Conference (VC) or Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM) or to transact items through postal ballet vide circular dated December 8, 2021. The companies are allowed to conduct their EGMs through Video Conference (VC) or Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM) or transact items through postal ballot till 30th June, 2022. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/ministry-issues-clarification-on-passing-general-and-special-resolutions-through-vc-or-oavm/  

 UAE | Government adopts 4.5 days working week 

The UAE Government has adopted a four and half day working week with Saturday Sundays as off days on December 7, 2021. The law will come into effect from January 1, 2022. 

Public sector workers at the ministerial level will adopt a four and a half day working week, with employees working Monday to Thursday. There will be a half day on Fridays. Saturday and Sunday will be the new weekend for government workers. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/08/uae-government-adopts-4-5-day-working-week-shortest-in-the-world/  

SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 

Delisting provisions introduced vide SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 which amends the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/07/delisting-provisions-introduced-vide-sebi-substantial-acquisition-of-shares-and-takeovers-third-amendment-regulations-2021/  

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 37 with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 37 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court  

  • POCSO | “Touch”, “physical contact” can’t be restricted to “skin to skin contact”; “sexual intent” is the key. SC reverses Bombay HC’s “dangerous precedent”

In an important ruling on POCSO Act, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court has set aside the Bombay High Court judgment that had acquitted the accused under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, 2012 on the ground that no direct physical contact i.e. skin to skin with sexual intent without penetration would not amount to ‘sexual assault’.

Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench had expressed that the act of pressing of the breast of the child aged 12 years, in the absence of any specific detail as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hand inside top and pressed her breast, would not fall in the definition of ‘sexual assault’. The said judgment had caused a huge uproar in January 2021, especially since the “shocking” opinion had come from a woman judge.

When the matter reached before the Supreme Court, Justice Bela Trivedi, writing for herself and Justice UU Lalit, held that “The most important ingredient for constituting the offence of sexual assault under Section 7 of the Act is the “sexual intent” and not the “skin to skin” contact with the child.”

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, in his concurring opinion said that,

“The reasoning in the High Court’s judgment quite insensitively trivializes – indeed legitimizes – an entire range of unacceptable behaviour which undermines a child’s dignity and autonomy, through unwanted intrusions.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/19/pocso-touch-physical-contact-cant-be-restricted-to-skin-to-skin-contact-sexual-intent-is-the-key-sc-reveres-bombay-hcs-danger/

  • 5-year-old raped, killed, thrown into a stream: SC commutes death sentence to life imprisonment

In a case where a death row convict subjected a 5-year-old girl to rape, killed her by strangulation, and then disposed of her body, tied in a gunny bag, into a stream, the 3-judge bench of L. Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna* and BR Gavai, JJ has, finding hope for reformation and rehabilitation of the appellant, commuted his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.

The trial court had recorded that the death sentence was awarded on the ground that “the crime was committed in an extremely diabolical manner and that it was cruel, barbaric and revolting.” The High Court has noted that there are no mitigating circumstances at all.

While the Court noted that the appellant has committed an abhorrent crime, it said that, considering the mitigating circumstances like his young age, weak socioeconomic background, absence of any criminal antecedents, etc.; there was hope for reformation, rehabilitation, and thus the option of imprisonment for life was certainly not foreclosed.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/14/5-year-old-raped-killed-thrown-into-a-stream-sc-commutes-death-sentence-to-life-imprisonment/ 

  • HC quashes proceedings based on “draft charge-sheet” yet to be placed before Magistrate! Clear abuse of S. 482 CrPC, holds SC

In a case where the Gujarat High Court had quashed criminal proceedings at the behest of persons who were not named in the FIR purely on the basis of their names appearing in the draft charge-sheet, the bench of SC has found it to be a “clear abuse” of High Court’s jurisdiction under Section 482 of the CrPC. The Court noticed that the High Court cannot place reliance on a “draft charge-sheet” which is yet to be placed before the Magistrate to quash the criminal proceedings under Section 482.

The Court said that the course followed by the High Court was unusual, if not extraordinary.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/hc-quashes-proceedings-based-on-draft-charge-sheet-yet-to-be-placed-before-the-magistrate-clear-abuse-of-s-482-crpc-says-sc/


High Court Updates

Kerala High Court

  • Swap Kidney Transplantation between on relatives: HC removes legal hurdles

In an important decision, the Kerala High Court has allowed swap kidney transplant between on relatives. Opening that law prescribing procedure for organ transplantation should satisfy the test of reasonableness, the Court remarked:
“When Section 9(3) of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 permits transplant of organs to persons being relative, with the prior approval of the authorisation committee, there is no logic or rationale to say that swap transaction will not be allowed when members of each pair are not near relatives, even if the authorisation committee approves search transaction.”
https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/18/ker-hc-swap-kidney-transplantation-between-non-relatives-hc-removes-legal-hurdles/

  • “Child molestation is a shame on society; but if the allegations are false, it is lethal to the life of the accused”; HC acquits father accused of raping his minor daughter

The Kerala HC acquitted the father accused of raping his own minor daughter. Considering the contention that the allegation was raised due to instigation by the stepmother, observing discrepancies in statements of victim and her stepmother and failure to prove age of the victim by the prosecution, the Court remarked that,

“Forensic and semantics apart, the child molestation is a shame on society. But If the allegations are false, it is lethal to the life of the accused, more so if the accused is a parent; even if he is eventually acquitted.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/ker-hc-child-molestation-is-a-shame-on-society-but-if-the-allegations-are-false-it-is-lethal-to-the-life-of-the-accused-hc-acquits-father-accused-of-raping-his-minor-daughter/

Delhi High Court

  • Where can a petition under S. 125 CrPC be filed? HC discusses law on territorial jurisdiction

Discussing the law on territorial jurisdiction of courts to entertain a petition under Section 125 CrPC, the Delhi High Court said that ” while deciding the matter of maintenance, it is important for the court to bear in mind that technicalities such as jurisdiction should not impede the object that is sought to be achieved by a provision such as Section 125 CrPC which is essentially social welfare legislation.” On facts, the Court held that parents of the wife head to houses, one in Faridabad and mother in Vasant Kunj, Delhi, the territorial jurisdiction can be conferred in both faridabad as well as delhi.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/17/territorial-jurisdiction-2/

  • Can wife claim maintenance under S. 125 CrPC where she as well as husband had spouses at the time of alleged marriage? Del HC decidesIn another case, the Delhi HC reversed the order of the family Court which had granted maintenance to the wife under Section 125 CrPC. The Court noted that the petitioner husband and claimant wife, both were already married two other individuals when there a legend marriage took place. It was held that second wife whose marriage is void on account of survival of the first marriage would not be a legally wedded wife, and therefore would not be entitled to maintenance under this provision.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/can-wife-claim-maintenance-under-s-125-crpc-where-she-as-well-as-husband-had-spouses-living-at-the-time-of-alleged-marriage/

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

  • J&K and Ladakh HC holds higher qualification than the maximum qualification prescribed is not suitable qualificationThe Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has held that in case of Class IV posts, higher qualification then the prescribed 10+2 may not be suitable for many reasons. The court reiterated that the suitability and qualifications for any posts have to be let down by the employer and the same are not liable to be interfered with judicially, until and unless the policy decision in that regard is found to be irrational and arbitrary.
    https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/18/neither-irrational-unreasonable-nor-arbitrary/

Allahabad High Court

  • If arbitrator becomes functus officio, can provisions under Ss. 14 and 15 of A&C Act to appoint substitute arbitrator be invoked?

    Disposing of an application seeking the appointment of an independent arbitrator under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Allahabad High Court held that if the arbitrator had been rendered functus officio, there existed no occasion to invoke the provisions of Sections 14 and 15 of the Act for appointing a substitute arbitrator.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/17/substitute-arbitrator/

 Uttaranchal High Court

  •  Relief under S. 9 of A&C Act: Can it be granted to a party who is not party to arbitration agreement?

In another case, the Uttaranchal High Court emphasized on the purpose and object of Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and held that a person not a party to an arbitration cannot invoke jurisdiction of the court for interim relief under Section 9. The court added that Section 9 was enacted with the intention of preserving and protecting the subject matter of the arbitral proceedings, hence for invoking the jurisdiction of the court under Section 9, the person should be a party to an arbitration agreement.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/17/relief-under-s-9-of-the-arbitration-and-conciliation-act/

Madhya Pradesh High Court

  • “To err is human and to forgive is divine”; Court directs advocate to plant and take care of saplings as punishment for contempt of female judge after unconditional apology

The MP HC decided a petition which was in reference under Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act and directed an advocate to plant and take care of 20 saplings as punishment for contempt of a female judge after unconditional apology. The Court said that,

The learned judge was a female Judge and it was expected from the bar members that they will appreciate the multitasking performed by a lady judge while taking care of her home, family as well as work front and therefore, more thoughtfulness and sensitivity is required in this regard. Read the full report on SCC Online Blog.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/to-err-is-human-and-to-forgive-is-divine/


Legislation Updates

  • Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 
  • Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 

The President has promulgated Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021  to extend the tenure of Director of CBI and Enforcement Directorate upto five years.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/central-vigilance-commission-amendment-ordinance-2021/

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/15/delhi-special-police-establishment-amendment-ordinance-2021/

  • RBI introduces internal ombudsman mechanism for select Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) 

The Reserve Bank has directed Deposit-taking NBFCs (NBFCs-D) with 10 or more branches and Non-Deposit taking NBFCs (NBFCs-ND) with asset size of Rs.5,000 crore and above having public customer interface to appoint Internal Ombudsman (IO) at the apex of their internal grievance redress mechanism within a period of six months from the date of issue of the direction.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/16/rbi-introduces-internal-ombudsman-mechanism-for-select-non-banking-financial-companies-nbfcs/

  • IFSCA clarifies minimum holding period on sale or transfer of loan assets 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority has notified that the Authority does not mandate any Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement with respect to sale or transfer of loan assets (by any means) by/to IFSCA banking unit (IBU).

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/17/ifsca-clarifies-minimum-holding-period-on-sale-or-transfer-of-loan-assets/

  • Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 

The Labour Department, Delhi has issued Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to further amend the Delhi Shops and Establishments Rules, 1954.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/11/18/delhi-shops-and-establishments-amendment-rules-2021-2/


SCC ONLINE QUIZ

In this week’s SCC Online Quiz, we had asked How many points of law have been extracted for Kesavananda Bharti and Golak Nath cases?

Kesavananda Bharati: 151

Golak Nath: 120

Winners are:

Tanishq Aggarwal and Pulkit Agarwal

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 20 ft. Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court

Part IX-B of Constitution relating to cooperative societies unconstitutional for want of ratification by half of the States; Provisions relating to multi-State cooperative societies severable and valid: SC

In a major ruling this week, a 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court held that the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 which inter alia inserted Part IX-B, is ultra vires the Constitution insofar it is concerned with the subject of Cooperative Societies, for want of the requisite ratification under Article 368(2) proviso. At the same time, the Court by a majority of 2:1, followed doctrine of severability in declaring that Part IX-B is operative insofar as it concerns Multi-State Cooperative Societies both within various States and in Union Territories. Justice R.F. Nariman and Justice B.R. Gavai formed the majority. Whereas Justice K.M. Joseph penned a separate opinion dissenting partly with the majority. He expressed inability to concur with the view on the application of doctrine of severability.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/21/constitution-97th-amendment-act-2011/

Can Courts modify Arbitral Awards under S. 34 of Arbitration Act or is power limited? SC decides

Whether the power of a Court under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to ‘set aside’ an award of an arbitrator would include the power to modify such an award? Answering this interesting and important question in the negative, the Supreme Court said that:

“If one were to include the power to modify an award in Section 34, one would be crossing the Lakshman Rekha.”

While laying down this law, the Supreme Court reversed a Madras High Court judgment which had ruled that at least insofar as arbitral awards made under the National Highways Act, 1956 are concerned, Section 34 of the Arbitration Act must be so read as to permit modification of an arbitral award made under the National Highways Act so as to enhance compensation awarded by an Arbitrator.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/22/arbitral-award-3/

Supreme Court closes suo motu case as U.P. Government expresses decision to postpone Kanwar Yatra to next year

In another case, while closing the suo motu case regarding “Kanwar Yatra during pandemic”; the Division Bench comprising of Justice R.F. Nariman and Justice B.R. Gavai directed the authorities to be cautious towards public health and safety. The Bench stated,

“We may only remind the authorities at all levels to have regard to Article 144 of the Constitution, and ensure that untoward incidents which directly affect the lives of the public will be looked upon sternly and prompt action taken immediately.” 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/19/kanwar-yatra-2/

Will a subsequent purchaser stepping into shoes of original allottee in housing project have same rights as that of original allottee? SC explains

Giving a major relief to homebuyers, the Supreme Court held that rights of a subsequent purchaser are the same as that of an original allottee in a housing project. The Court said that in the event the subsequent purchaser claims refund, on an assessment that he too can (like the original allottee) no longer wait, and face intolerable burdens, the equities would have to be moulded.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/23/will-a-subsequent-purchaser-who-steps-into-the-shoes-of-an-original-allottee-have-the-same-rights-as-that-of-the-original-allottee-sc-explains/


High Court

Delhi High Court

Whether a Chief Minister’s promise to its citizens is enforceable?

Whether a promise made by a Chief Minister to its citizens is enforceable?

Well, the Delhi High Court says yes it is! Justice Prathiba M. Singh pronounced a one of its kind ruling. The Court said that the Law has evolved the doctrines of  legitimate expectation and promissory estoppel to ensure that promises made by the Government, its officials and other authorities are not broken and are, in fact, judicially enforceable, subject to certain conditions.

The High Court expressed that,

A statement given in a consciously held press conference, in the background of the lockdown announced due to the pandemic and the mass exodus of migrant labourers, cannot be simply overlooked. Proper governance requires the Government to take a decision on the assurance given by the CM, and inaction on the same cannot be the answer.

In the backdrop of this decision, was a press conference held by the Chief Minister of Delhi during the ongoing Covid pandemic where he gave a solemn assurance that the Government would take care of the tenants who are unable to pay the rent due to poverty.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/23/promise-by-chief-minister-in-press-conference-enforceable/


Andhra Pradesh High Court

AP HC | Is girlfriend or concubine a “relative” of husband, liable to be prosecuted for cruelty under S. 498-A IPC? Court decides

 Can a Girlfriend or concubine of husband be prosecuted for cruelty under the Penal Code, 1860?

Andhra Pradesh High Court held that a Girlfriend or concubine, being not connected by blood or marriage, is not a relative of the husband for the purpose of Section 498-A IPC.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/20/cruelty-5/


Allahabad High Court

Man murdered wife and 4 minor daughters and burned them. Will this case fall under rarest of rare category? Allahabad HC decides

 The Allahabad High Court dealt with a case of an accused who committed murder in most brutal and barbaric manner of his wife and four minor daughter to pave way to marry another lady. Not only this, but he also chopped off various parts of their bodies and inflicted severe incised wounds. In such above background of the case, the High Court upheld the trial court’s decision of awarding death penalty to the accused. Court expressed that

The accused is a menace to the Society and, therefore, imposition of lesser sentence than that of death sentence, would not be adequate and appropriate.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/19/rarest-of-rare-category/


Punjab and Haryana High Court

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

Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court addressed plight of a 72-year-old widowed mother who had been ousted from her house by her son and was given beatings. The Court observed that,

“It is often seen that after receiving property from their parents, children abandon them. In such situation, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is an enabling lifeline for such old, aged parents and senior citizens who are not looked after by their children and become neglected lots.”

Further, the Court held that the children are expected to look after their elderly parents properly which is not only a value based principle but a bounden duty as enshrined within the mandate of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/18/ph-hc-maintaining-elderly-parents-is-not-only-a-value-based-principle-but-a-bounden-duty-under-maintenance-and-welfare-of-parents-act/

“Nightmarish and traumatic”; HC denies bail in a case of sodomy committed to an 8-year-old child

 In a case with very disturbing accusations, the Punjab & Haryana High Court rejected the bail application of the applicant accused of committing an act of sodomy to an 8 year old child. The Bench stated that,

“Accused has spoiled the life of a young child by his hateful acts. The petitioner comes out to be a sex maniac, himself a teenager, indulging in perverse sexual acts. His conduct cannot be taken lightly, since if released on bail, he may victimize several other innocent children and is a grave threat to the society.”

It was alleged that accused had attempted to commit unnatural sex with a child of young age of 8 years, making him undergo nightmarish and traumatic experience, which may haunt him for the rest of his life.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/21/sodomy/


Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court

Harassment, abuse and torture of wife within seven months of marriage; HC denies anticipatory bail to doctor

Expressing concern over violence against married women, the Kerala High Court rejected the bail application of a doctor and his family accused of dowry demand and cruelty against his wife within seven months of marriage. Calling ‘matrimonial homes the most dangerous place to live’ due to harassment, abuse and torture, the Bench remarked that the number of cases of attack towards married women in our country is alarming, though stringent laws are there and the same has to be stopped forever. The Court observed that:

“Harassment, abuse and torture both mental and physical towards married ladies are increasing day by day in our country to pressurize them to bring more wealth to the family of the bridegroom to improve their financial situation. Though so many cases are being registered against husbands and in laws there is no change in the attitude of the society towards married women and family members.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/21/anticipatory-bail-6/


 Gauhati High Court

“Not based on intelligible differentia”; HC stays Arunachal Pradesh Govt.’s order discriminating between vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons

 The Gauhati High Court stayed the order of the State Executive Committee of Arunachal Pradesh whereby non-vaccinated persons for Covid-19 were being discriminated for the purpose of permit to enter the State for developmental works in both public and private sector.

Additionally, the Court stated that,

“if the sole object of issuing the impugned order was for containment of the Covid-19 pandemic and its further spread in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the classification sought to be made between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons was, prima facie, a classification not founded on intelligible differentia nor it was found to have a rational relation/nexus to the object sought to be achieved by such classification, namely, containment and further spread of Covid-19 pandemic.”

 https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/22/covid-19-vaccination-4/


District Court

“Utterly shocked”; “No one allowed to ignite religious riots, blow hatred towards particular group or community”: Court rejects bail plea of accused booked over hate speech

Expressing shock over an incident of hate speech in a public gathering, the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Patuadi, Gurugram dismissed bail plea of Rambhagat Gopal who had allegedly delivered hate speech instigating abduction and killing of girls of a particular community. The Court observed that,

“If right of freedom of speech is allowed to be used to spread hatred amongst the people based on religion, caste, etc. then the very basic nature of the constitution and Indian Society will be shattered and the country will lose its true spirit and soul.”

Further, the Court stated that,

“Conscience of the Court is utterly shocked while seeing the actual incidents which took place at that time, in video recording. It seems that now a normal parent would tell stories to their children that there used to be a time when talks of hatred or the religious intolerance in our society used to be seen as a sign of diminishing social values.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/19/hate-speech/


International Court

European Court of Justice

Prohibiting Islamic headscarf and other religious signs at workplace isn’t discriminatory

In a significant ruling, the European Court of Justice held that prohibiting Islamic headscarf and any visible sign of political, ideological or religious beliefs does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of religion.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/20/religious-neutrality-policy/

 


 Legislation updates 

Issuance and listing of securities by Start-ups, SMEs and SPAC notified via International Financial Services Centres Authority (Issuance and Listing of Securities) Regulations, 2021 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority has notified the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Issuance and Listing of Securities) Regulations, 2021 to ensure that capital markets in IFSCs support the financing of innovative business models and also, for the Issuance and listing of securities by Start-ups, Small Medium Enterprises and Special Purpose Acquisition Company.  

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/23/issuance-and-listing-of-securities-by-start-ups-smes-and-spac-notified-via-international-financial-services-centres-authority-issuance-and-listing-of-securities-regulations-2021/  

 

Rates of Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees revised 

The Ministry of Finance has issued a memorandum on the revision of Dearness Allowance to the Central Government employees. The dearness allowance has been enhanced from 17% to straight 28% of the basic pay for the employees with effect from July 01, 2021. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/23/rates-of-dearness-allowance-to-central-government-employees-revised/  

 

IBBI issues circular for filing of Form CIRP 8 under the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 

 IBBI has released Form CIRP 8 which as per Regulation 40B of CIRP Regulation, every resolution professional is required to file intimating details of his opinion and determination under regulation 35A, by 140th day of the insolvency  commencement date. The Form CIRP 8 is required to be filed for all corporate insolvency resolution processes ongoing or commencing on or after 14th July 2021. 

For the Format of FORM CIRP 8, read our story on SCC Online Blog 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/22/ibbi-issues-circular-for-filing-of-form-cirp-8-under-the-ibbi-insolvency-resolution-process-for-corporate-persons-regulations-2016/  

SEBI issues Circular on “Block Mechanism in demat account of clients undertaking sale transactions” 

SEBI issues Circular on “Block Mechanism in demat account of clients undertaking sale transactions” after extensive consultations with Depositories, Clearing Corporations and Stock Exchanges to provide a mechanism of block in the demat account of clients undertaking sale transactions. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/07/19/sebi-issues-circular-on-block-mechanism-in-demat-account-of-clients-undertaking-sale-transactions/  

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

The 12th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Devika Sharma, Senior Legal Editor bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law is out now! Check out the written episode below.

TARUN TEJPAL CASE

22-pointer comprehensive analysis of Tarun Tejpal’s acquittal order

The most highlighted development of the week was the judgment of the Additional Sessions Court at Mapusa, Goa, which acquitted Tarun Tejpal, former Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, who was accused of committing rape on a journalist. The court gave benefit of doubt to Tejpal, noting crucial lapses in investigation and major contradictions and improvements in testimony of the prosecutirx. The incident is of 2013 which allegedly happened during THiNK Fest, organised by Tehelka in Goa that year. Now, the State of Goa has appealed against this order before the Bombay High Court. We have studied the entire 527-pages judgment of the Sessions Court and prepared a 22-pointer comprehensive analysis.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/28/rape-accused-tarun-tejpal/


SUPREME COURT

Courts need to be extra careful while dealing with Dowry Death cases; Guidelines issued

Now moving to the Supreme Court, In an important ruling, the Supreme Court has held that Courts need to be extra careful while conducting criminal trials relating to Section 304­B, IPC that deals with Dowry death.

The Court expressed grave concern on the fact that, often, Trial Courts record the statement of an accused under Section 313, CrPC in a very casual and cursory manner, without specifically questioning the accused as to his defense. The Court said that the examination of an accused under Section 313, CrPC cannot be treated as a mere procedural formality, as it is based on the fundamental principle of fairness.

The Court hence issued elaborate guidelines on trial of dowry death cases.

https://bit.ly/3fwnpHj

Apprehension of COVID-19 a ground for anticipatory bail: Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court’s order

In another matter, A vacation bench of the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order wherein it was held that apprehension of being infected with COVID-19 after coming into contact with authorities was a valid ground for anticipatory bail.

The High Court had granted anticipatory bail to one Prateek Jain “on account of special conditions and on special ground” and had also issued direction on grant of anticipatory bail on such special grounds.

The Supreme Court staying the said order, directed that the Courts shall not consider the said directions while considering applications for anticipatory bail and must decide each case on its merits.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/25/apprehension-of-covid-19-a-ground-for-anticipatory-bail-supreme-court-stays-allahabad-high-courts-order-heres-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-case/ 


HIGH COURTS

Delhi High Court

Seizure by police of oxygen concentrators and Covid-related equipment sold at high-profit margins. Is it illegal?

In another matter, the Delhi High Court has confirmed that it is legal for the police to seize oxygen concentrators and other Covid-related equipment being sold at high profit margins in contravention of laws, rules and executive orders.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/27/oxygen-concentrators/

 

Madras High Court

Malicious prosecution: What, how and who, discussed

Down south, The madras High Court has held that to succeed in a suit for malicious prosecution, the acquittal of the plaintiff alone is not sufficient. Rather, the plaintiff is obliged to prove (i) that the prosecution was without any reasonable and probable cause, and (ii) that it was instituted with a malicious intention, and (iii) that he suffered damage.

Apart from this, the Court also discussed, in detail, the duty of civil court in cases relating to malicious prosecution and also the burden of proof.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/25/malicious-prosecution/

 Gujarat High Court

Compounding of offence under S. 138 NI Act after conviction can be allowed in exceptional circumstances 

In a ruling on Negotiable Instruments Act, the Gujarat High Court compounded an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and set aside the conviction and sentence of the accused, while observing at the same time that generally powers under Section 482 CrPC are not to be exercised when a statutory remedy is available under law but considering the fact that the parties have settled the dispute amicably, the compounding of the offence was permitted.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/26/section-138-ni-act-4/

 Madhya Pradesh High Court

Directions issued to Police, Judicial Magistrates on arrests and bail

On bail jurisprudence, The Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued elaborate directions to Police and Judicial Magistrates in relation to arrests and bail after it noticed that District Judiciary is extremely tight-fisted when it comes to granting bail. 

The Court noticed that applications are being routinely dismissed on cyclostyled grounds that the offence alleged is serious or that the investigation is still in progress or that the accused may influence the witnesses. In such circumstances, huge burden of bail matters has been shifted to the High Court. Hence, the issuance of certain directions was necessary

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/28/mp-hc-district-judiciary-is-extremely-tight-fisted-when-it-comes-to-granting-bail-leads-to-burden-on-the-high-court-directions-on-arrest-and-bail-issued-to-police-judicial-magistrates/ 

 Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Bail cannot be granted on the ground of delay unless the matter was pending for 5 years or more

In another bail matter, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court held that bail cannot be granted on grounds of delay unless the matter was pending for 5 years or more.

In the case before the Court, though the applicant had been behind the bars for over 13 years, but the appeal against the order of conviction and sentence dated 23rd July 2020 was filed only in August 2020.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/28/jk-hc-bail-cannot-be-granted-on-the-ground-of-delay-unless-the-matter-was-pending-for-5-years-or-more/

 Punjab and Haryana High Court

All-men SIT to investigate a rape case: Insensitive and deplorable 

In an important matter, a case where an all-men SIT was deployed to investigate a rape case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court said that it was rather intriguing that no lady police official was involved, which is even otherwise the requirement of law in cases of this kind.

The case pertains to 38-year-old widow giving into the sexual demands of CIA officials, after her 19-year-old son was picked up by them in broad day light while he was recovering from Covid-19 infection at his residence. The woman had also alleged that an FIR, allegedly a fake one, was registered against her son under NDPS Act by planting contraband on him so as to arm twist the petitioner.

Reacting to the allegations, the Court said that the same are so grisly and frightful, one can only hope, that the same are fictitious. 

https://bit.ly/2R7STKD


 LEGISLATION UPDATES 

Union Ministry of Health approves guidelines for ‘Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres (NHCVC) for elderly & differently-abled citizens 

The Union Ministry of Health has accepted the recommendations by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 on the proposed guidelines for Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centres for Elderly & Differently Abled Citizens.

The Technical Expert Committee’s recommendations are aimed to ensure vaccination of Senior Citizens and Differently Abled population having limited mobility due to their physical condition.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/27/union-ministry-of-health-approves-guidelines-for-near-to-home-covid-vaccination-centres-nhcvc-for-elderly-differently-abled-citizens/

Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were notified by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in February, 2021. The Rules provided three-month timeline to social media intermediaries in order to comply with the New IT Rules by May 26, 2021.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/05/26/information-technology-intermediary-guidelines-and-digital-media-ethics-code-rules-2021-2/

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

7th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Bhumika Indulia, Associate Editor bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law is out now! Check out the written episode below.


Supreme Court 

♦ Chief Justice SA Bobde retires; Justice NV Ramana takes oath as the 48th Chief Justice of India

Faced with the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 pandemic forcing the Courts to function virtually, Justice SA Bobde retired on April 23rd after a stint of 17 months as the Chief Justice of India and a total of 8 years as a Supreme Court Judge.  

ON April 24th, Justice NV Ramana took oath as the 48th Chief Justice of India.  

Chief Justice SA Bobde retires: A look at his legacy and justice in the time of COVID-19: https://bit.ly/3ve0DsR

3 Important rulings on pendency of cases and vacancies in High Courts

Right before his retirement, CJI Bobde, aling with Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, gave 3 important rulings to deal with the pendency of cases and vacancies in the High Courts. 

  1. All High Courts to take expeditious steps to incorporate the Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2021 as part of the rules governing criminal trials. This will help in removing the common deficiencies in criminal trials thereby leading to faster disposal of cases. 
  2. Taking note of the existing 220 vacancies in the High Court, the Supreme Court has stressed upon the importance of the Chief Justices of the High Courts making recommendations in time. 
  3. General guidelines for the appointment of ad hoc Judges to deal with the unprecedented situation arising from the backlog of cases pending in the High Courts, which has now crossed the figure of 57 lakh coupled with the consistent ratio of vacancies of almost 40 per cent. In the extensive guidelines, the Court has also laid down 5 “trigger points” for activation of dormant Article 224A. 

♦ Allahabad High Court’s “lockdown” judgment stayed https://bit.ly/3aDX3QL


High Courts

♦  Bom HC | “Elderly citizens being asked to choose between devil and the deep sea”: HC not impressed with Centre’s reply on petition for door-to-door vaccination for elderly and disabled citizens

Bombay High Court while addressing a concern regarding the door-to-door vaccination for elderly and disabled citizens said that it is for the government and its appropriate department to explore ways and means to prevent contamination as well as exposure of vaccine beyond recommended temperature so that vaccination programme can be taken to doorsteps of elderly and disabled citizens. 

https://bit.ly/3erNlSR

2. Bom HC | “Serum Institute coined the term ‘Covishield’, took substantial steps towards development and manufacture”: Court finds no merit in Cutis Biotech’s passing off action

In an appeal with respect to passing of an injunction against the use of name COVISHIELD by Serum Institute of India for its COVID-19 Vaccine, Bombay High Court observed that 

A temporary injunction directing Serum Institute to discontinue the use of mark ‘Covishield’ for its vaccine will cause confusion and disruption in the Vaccine administration programme of the State

https://bit.ly/3tQ9D7c

COVID-19 Surge | Bom HC | Reports of RT-PCR Tests to be made available on Whatsapp; COVID positive patients reports to be uploaded within 24 hours on ICMR portal

While addressing the issue with regard to difficulties being faced by the patients in obtaining RT-PCR reports, Bombay High Court directed the laboratories that the said reports be made available on WhatsApp and to be uploaded on ICMR portal within 24 hours for the patients testing positive, whereas for the patients who test negative to be uploaded on the portal within 7 days. 

https://bit.ly/3nqjGgP

Del HC | “Wastage of a single dose of vaccine is a criminal waste”

While addressing the concerns arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, High Court noted that 44 lakhs vaccines were wasted out of the 10 crores vaccines allocated to different State due to the restriction of age or category of people who were entitled to take the vaccine and hence remarked that: 

Wastage of even a single dose of vaccine, when the same is proving to be life–saving, would be a criminal waste. 

https://bit.ly/2Qy6V7M

 

Ori HC | Suo Moto matter taken regarding death of sanitation workers in two incidents; Directions laid down regarding abolition of manual scavenging

Division Bench of Orissa High Court directed compensation to the grieving families of the sanitation workers who were engaged in manually cleaning a sewer line and died of asphyxiation, made noteworthy observations regarding the sorry plight of manual scavengers 

https://bit.ly/3tRnquj

 

 


Legislation Updates

Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2021

https://bit.ly/32NQOWe

 

 

​♦ Union Health Ministry issues Regulatory Pathways for foreign produced COVID-19 Vaccines

https://bit.ly/3tPqbMD

NewsWeekly Rewind

The 4th Episode of our SCC OnLine Weekly Rewind was released on 4-04-2021. If you haven’t yet checked out the latest updates of that week, featuring Bhumika Indulia, Associate Editor, just click on the link below.

Supreme Court

♦ Mukhtar Ansari’s custody transferred to Uttar Pradesh: https://bit.ly/2PnnbIv

♦ Supreme Court refused to interfere with the scheme of sale of electoral bonds by the Political Parties which was challenged on the ground that it allows the donors of political parties to maintain anonymity which is not healthy for a democracy: https://bit.ly/3mhJQ4S

♦ Rapid Rail Case: HSVP to deposit 80% of debt due in Escrow Account: https://bit.ly/3wIparl


High Courts

♦ Madras HC | Quality of education being compromised in course of more law colleges being born in guise of creating opportunities : https://bit.ly/3sRahAI

♦ Madras HC | “Trying to develop the case brick by brick and construct something purposeful”: HC while arranging counselling for same-sex couple and parents: https://bit.ly/31Wpwgd

♦ Ker HC | ‘Ensure ‘no double voting by any voter’; HC directs Election Commission of India to be on war footing to ensure fair and democratic election: https://bit.ly/3rOcH1E

Tribunal

♦ CCI | No ‘opt-out’ option for WhatsApp users in the 2021 Update. Why? Data Sharing with Facebook, Unilateral terms and more. Read CCI’s take on WhatsApp’s conduct in the garb of the policy update: https://bit.ly/39DeG2N


Legislation Updates

♦ Extension of Last Date for Linking Aadhaar number with PAN from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021 : https://bit.ly/31GsfKf

♦ Finance Act, 2021 : https://bit.ly/3sSjcC4

Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021: https://bit.ly/2Px5oOP

♦ Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2021: https://bit.ly/2R4tiSo


Did you check out the 3rd Episode yet? If not, here’s the link:

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Volume 1 Episode 3