Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the instant petition preferred by the petitioners to seek protection from the threats received for being in Live-in relationship, Vikas Bahl, J., held that every major person has a right to live with a person of their choice and in case the relatives are unhappy with the “Live in Relationship” and can cause harm then the Court will have to take necessary directions to protect the aggrieved.

Facts:

Both the petitioners are major and are in a “Live in relationship.” One of the petitioners is still married to the respondent and no legal divorce has been taken yet. The petitioners seek protection from their relatives as they are a threat to the petitioners’ life. On 13-09-2022, the petitioners made representation to the Punjab police which was not decided by the authorities.

Observation and Analysis:

The Court cited Ishrat Bano v. State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 1726, wherein it was held that “ No doubt in case a criminal case is registered against any of the parties, the law should take its own course, however, the life and liberty of any person who has approached the Court with such a grievance need to be taken care of and the protection be provided as permissible in law. No person can be permitted or allowed to take law in his hands.”

In view of the above, the Court granted protection of life and liberty to the petitioners without taking into consideration the issue as to whether the relationship between the parties was legal or not.

The Court said that protection of life and liberty is a basic feature of the Constitution, and every major person has a right to live their life with the person of their choice.

Further, the Court said that if the relatives of the persons in such a relationship are unhappy and threaten them to cause harm to their life and liberty then the Court will have to take necessary steps to protect them.

The Court, without commenting on the legality of the relationship, directed the Punjab police to assess the threat perception to the petitioners and after considering the same, take appropriate action in accordance with law.

[Manjeet Kaur v. State of Punjab, CRWP-9051-2022, decided on 20-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

For the Petitioners: Ms. Akshita Charak, Advocate;

Mr. Sahil Goel, Advocate;

For the Respondents: Mr. Tarun Aggarwal, Sr. DAG, Punjab.

Meghalaya High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Meghalaya High Court: W. Diengdoh, J. allowed a petition where a man was arrested under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’) for allegedly having ‘consensual sex’ with his minor wife. 

Petitioner 1(husband) and 2 (wife) were in a love relationship since the year 2018 and in the year 2019 started living together as husband and wife with the knowledge and consent of the family members of petitioner 2. The relevant fact being that petitioner 2 was about 16 years old at that time. In October 2019 she stated complaining of weakness with bouts of vomiting following which she was taken to the Hospital. After conducting the required examination on 22-10-2019 it was confirmed that the petitioner 2 was pregnant for 16 weeks 4 days. As is duty bound, the Medical Officer informed the petitioner 1, the petitioner 3 and the uncle of the petitioner 2 that they need to report the matter to the police station as the petitioner 2 is still a minor.  

Consequently, an FIR was lodged by petitioner 3 and a case under Section 5(j) (ii) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 was registered. Petitioner 1 was arrested after the investigation. 

Counsel for the appellant led this Court to the statement of the petitioner 2 made under Section 161 Criminal procedure Code, 1973 and has submitted that the petitioner 2 has confirmed that she was in a relationship with the petitioner 1 since 2018 and has had physical relationship with him on several occasions and that too, with her consent, coupled with the fact that they were now staying together as husband and wife. She reiterated this in her statement under Section 164 CrPC and even in her evidence before the Special Court. It was also further submitted that in the meantime the petitioner  1 and 2 have solemnized their marriage on 30-05-2022 on petitioner having attained the age of majority. 

The Court remarked that the procedure for trial under the POCSO Act is in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and as such, the High Court, if it chooses to interfere with any proceeding under the POCSO Act can do so by exercising its inherent power under Section 482 of the CrPC. 

The Court looking at the facts at hand observed that in the event it is apparent that a young couple are in a relationship where love is the deciding factor even to the extent that it has culminated into a marriage relationship, it may be the case that in such a relationship even if the girl involved is legally a minor, if she has the capacity to procreate and her age is perhaps ranging from about 16 to 17 years and more but below 18 years, it would not shock their conscience if hypothetically speaking such a girl enters into a marriage relationship on her own free will, as oppose to a child of about 12 or 13 years voluntarily entering into a marriage relationship. 

The Court relied on Skhemborlang Suting v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 SCC OnLine Megh 66 and Ranjit Rajbanshi v. State of W.B., 2021 SCC OnLine Cal 2470 and stated that as the present case is at the evidence stage, this Court can exercise its inherent power to ensure ends of justice is met. 

It would be an injustice to separate or to divide a well knitted family unit. 

Thus, the Court was convinced that the petitioners have made out a case for quashing of the said proceedings in Special (POCSO) Case and consequently the petition was allowed.  

[Kwantar Khongsit v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 SCC OnLine Megh 393, decided on 10-08-2022] 


For the Appellants : A. Syiem 

For the Respondents : H. Kharmih 


*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief. 

Allahabad High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The Division Bench of Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi, JJ. dismissed a writ petition with costs which was filed by the petitioners seeking protection of their lives and liberties.

Petitioner 1 was married to respondent 3 and there were children born out of the said wedlock. Petitioner 1 alleged that she was harassed as respondent 3 had come in contact with bad elements and used to come home only at midnight. In the complaint dated 01-09-2021, she also alleged that on the night of 07-09-2021, he came with his friends and wanted her to have illicit relations with his friends which she refused and at night, when her husband and children were sleeping, she left the matrimonial home. She later on went to live with petitioner 2.

The Court noted that till September, 2021, petitioner 1 was with respondent 3 and the daughters but it has not been disclosed that since when petitioner 1 and 2 were living as husband and wife and as to when respondent 3 had threatened their relation. The Court was unable to reconcile as to how the incident of 07-09-2021 can be narrated in a complaint dated 01-09-2021.

The Court distinguished on facts the case of Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755 relied on by the counsel of the petitioner regarding the belief of relationship where there is domestic violence perpetrated and defence was taken that there was no marriage. However, the Court said the marriage and family are social institution of vital importance reiterating relevant part of the same judgment. The Court thus concluded that it cannot be said that the relationship outside the matrimony has also to be recognized under Indian law. Paragraph 52 of the said judgment categorically mentions that Live-in relation as such is a relation which has not been socially accepted in India unlike many other Countries.

The Court clarified that the contention that India is governed by Constitution of India and we are not living in primitive days makes no difference as in the present case it cannot be said that petitioners are living as husband and wife and it is evident from the record and submission that the marriage of petitioner 1 with respondent 3 has not yet been dissolved. Further, there was nothing on record to show as to when respondent 3 threatened her while being in live-in-relation.

Constitution of India may permit live-in relation but, this writ petition is nothing else but filed with a purpose of obtaining seal of this Court on their illegal relationship.

The Court determined whether there is any act, omission or conduct of the respondent which would permit us to issue direction of no coercive action or granting protection and found that petitioner 1 had come with incorrect facts deliberately as her complaint has not culminated into F.I.R. being lodged. The Court was of the opinion that there are grey areas in the facts of the case which police will have to investigate. There is no threat perception, and no such complaint has been made to the police authority.

The petition was dismissed with costs Rs.5,000/- because there is no threat perception as prayed by petitioners from respondent 3.

[Sunita Devi v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 488, decided on 18-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shyam Shankar Mishra, Advocate, Counsel for the Petitioner;

C.S.C., Counsel for the Respondent.


*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore: Subodh Abhyankar, J., expressed that, the bane of live-in-relationship is a by-product of the Constitutional guarantee as provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Applicant’s application under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for grant of anticipatory bail as he was apprehending his arrest with regard to an offence punishable under Sections 376(2)(N), 328, 313, 506 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860.

An FIR was lodged against the applicant alleging that she was friends with the present applicant and came to know him in the year 2016 and used to meet him for the purpose of studies only. However, at one point of time he called her to his room and offered her a drink after which she fell unconscious and committed rape on her.

Once the complainant came to her senses, she saw that her clothes were removed by the applicant and when she asked him about the same, he told her that she has had sexual intercourse with her and had also made a video of the same and if she informed to any other person, he would viral the same.

Subsequently, the applicant kept on committing rape on her with the threat that he would viral her video with him. In the year 2017, it was found that she was pregnant. When the applicant came to know about the pregnancy of the complainant, he forced her to terminate the same and thereafter, he again started having physical relationship with her.

The prosecutrix kept on following the dictates of the present applicant and again got pregnant. The said pregnancy was again aborted. Thereafter, the applicant stopped meeting her and subsequently her father engaged her to a boy, but someone sent the applicant the said information, after which the applicant started harassing her parents, her uncle and her fiancé and his family, by sending messages, photographs and also threatened them that if the prosecutrix marry some other person, he would viral her videos and photographs.

Analysis, Law and Decision


High Court observed that the present matter was not a case where the rape was committed on the pretext of marriage, but a case where the prosecutrix was raped after the applicant spiked her drink and took advantage of her.

As per the case diary and various documents filed by the applicant, the prosecutrix and applicant were having live-in-relationship for quite some time and during the said time, the prosecutrix also got pregnant more than a couple of times and got it terminated under the pressure of the present applicant.

In Court’s opinion, the act of the applicant needed to be viewed seriously as how much stress his acts must have caused to the prosecutrix, her family members as also other persons was not difficult to comprehend.

“…the bane of live-in-relationship is a by-product of Constitutional guarantee as provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, engulfing the ethos of Indian society, and promoting promiscuity and lascivious behavior, giving further rise to sexual offences. Those who wanted to exploit this freedom are quick to embrace it but are totally ignorant that it has its own limitations, and does not confer any right on any of the partners to such relationship.”

High Court held that the applicant fell into the above-stated trap and portrayed himself as a victim and assumed that once he had a relationship with the prosecutrix, he could also force himself upon her for the time to come having her photographs and video clips, etc.

Therefore, the custodial interrogation of the applicant was necessary. [Abhishek v. State of M.P., Misc. Criminal Case No. 15851 of 2022, decided on 12-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the applicant: Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Advocate

For the respondent: Amit Singh Sisodiya, G.S. and O.P. Solanki, Objector

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

112 significant Reports from 22 High Courts


 

Allahabad High Court


 Right to Reputation


People using cyberspace to vent out anger and frustration by travestying key-figures holding highest office in country, is abhorrent and violates right to reputation

Sanjay Kumar Singh, J., expressed that,

“The internet and social media has become an important tool through which individuals can exercise their right to freedom of expression but the right to freedom of expression comes with its own set of special responsibilities and duties.”

Read full report here…

Corruption


Corruption is a termite in every system; a root cause of all problems but has to be put to account

While expressing that medical and legal fields are more a service than a profession especially the stream of oncology which deals with life and death, Krishan Pahal, J., held that “Corruption is a termite in every system.”

Read full report here…


Andhra Pradesh High Court


Bail


”…being an educated man and Software Engineer, he is not justified in making such irresponsible comments against the Judiciary and the High Court”, Bail denied

Cheekathi Manavendranath Roy J. dismissed the criminal petition and granted bail to the accused advocates and denied bail to accused software engineer.

Read full report here…

Reckless Driving


In the case of reckless driving, injured party will have to always prove that either side was negligent?

The Division Bench of Dr Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi, JJ., while addressing a case of negligent driving, expressed that,

“…if the injury rather death is caused by something owned or controlled by the negligent party then he is directly liable.”

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Evidence


Prosecution must stand on its own legs basing its findings on the evidence that has been led by it

Siddhartha Varma, J., held that it is the bounden duty of the enquiry officer to have seen whether the charges were proved on the basis of the evidence which was led by it.

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Bombay High Court


Nomination of a Councillor


Can a nominated Councillor be appointed as Leader of the House under Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949? 

“The term ‘elected Councillor’ in Section 19-1A would necessarily have to be read as an exclusion and bar to any other Councillor i.e ‘nominated Councillor’ to become the Leader of the House.”

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Negligence


When a person suffers injury without any negligence on his part, but result of combined effect of negligence of two other persons: Is it a case of composite or contributory negligence?

Expressing that, Negligence does not always mean absolute carelessness, but want of such a degree of care as required in particular circumstances, Vinay Joshi, J., held that no absolute standard can be fixed as to what constitutes negligence differs from case to case.

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License


To operate in State of Maharashtra, Uber and other unlicensed aggregators to apply for license before 16th March 2022

The Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ and Vinay Joshi, J., directed UBER and other transport aggregators who have not obtained a license as per Section 93(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act to apply for the license before 16th March 2022 otherwise they shall not be able to operate in the State of Maharashtra.

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State Quota


If an aspirant has not completed her 10th and 12th standard from State of Maharashtra, can she still be covered under State Quota of Maharashtra for M.B.B.S?

The Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and S.G. Dige, JJ., addressed a matter wherein an aspirant of M.B.B.S Course approached the Court praying that the petitioner be considered in State Quota from NRI Quota.

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IBC


Can Additional Sessions Judge or Sessions Judge try offences under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016?

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., held that Special Court which is to try offences under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is the Special Court established under Section 436(2) (b) of the Companies Act, 2013 which consisted of Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate First Class.

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Parent’s Property


When parents are alive, can a son claim his share in the property of his parents?

The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., held that Asif i.e. son has no rights in his father’s flats.

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Film ‘83’


No stay on OTT Release of film ‘83’: Bom HC | Netflix and Star India already have antecedent rights, both digital and satellite for 10 years

While refusing to restrain Star India and Netflix from streaming the film ‘83’ on their respective broadcasting portals, R.I. Chagla, J., observed that, prospective owner of copyright in a future work may also assign to any person the copyright in the future work.

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Child in Conflict


When a Child in Conflict with Law is to be tried as an adult, an assessment under S. 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is required to be done?

M.G. Sewlikar, J., held that, in terms of Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Juvenile Justice Board has to make assessment into heinous offences to determine whether CCL is to be tried as an adult.

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Currency Notes


Can Currency Notes in police custody pre-demonetisation, be replaced with current valid tender?

The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., addressed a matter concerning currency notes pre-demonetisation and their replacement with current valid tender.

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Karta


Daughters and widow of a deceased would inherit properties of deceased as tenants in common or joint tenants?

Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, by virtue of Section 19 it has been explicitly made clear that if two and more heirs succeed together to the property and in the estate, they take the property as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.

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Calcutta High Court


Rape


Penetration even of the slightest degree is necessary to establish the offence of rape; Court modifies order after 8 years of imprisonment

“It is settled law penetration even of the slightest degree is necessary to establish the offence of rape.”

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Tax


No intention of any evasion of tax; Court directs refund of penalty and tax paid on protest

Md. Nizamuddin, J. decided on a petition which was filed challenging the impugned order of the appellate commissioner confirming the original order passed by the adjudicating authority under section 129 of the West Bengal Goods and Services Act, 2017 for detention of the goods in question on the grounds that the e-way bill relating to the consignment in question had expired one day before, i.e. in the midnight of September 8, 2019, and that the goods was detained in the morning of September 9, 2019 on the grounds that the e-way bill has expired which is even less than one day and extension could not be made and petitioner submits that delay of few hours even less than a day of expiry of the validity of the tenure of the e-way bill was not deliberate and willful and was due to break down of the vehicle in question and there was no intention of any evasion of tax on the part of the petitioner.

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Repealed Acts


Whether the orders passed under a repealed Act be executed? Court discusses

Rajasekhar Mantha, J. disposed of a petition observing that the Supreme Court is the only authority to clarify  whether the orders passed under a repealed Act can be executed or not

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Breach of Contract


Parties to agreement of sale consciously changing their relationship cannot seek relief on the basis of previously established relationship

The Division Bench of Soumen Sen and  Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee, JJ., dismissed an appeal concerned with a breach of contract. The appeal arose out of a judgment in a suit for recovery of possession and injunction. Trial Court had decreed the suit on contest and dismissed the counter claim filed by the defendant.

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Detention Order


Detention order quashed due to lack of opportunity of hearing in the matter of S. 129 of the West Bengal Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017

Md. Nizamuddin, J. disposed of a petition which was filed challenging the impugned order passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue on the ground that the said impugned order was bad in law for the reasons that the petitioners being the owner of the goods in question, which had been detained without giving any opportunity of hearing to the petitioners under the relevant provision of Section 129 of the West Bengal Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.

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GST Act


The interest of revenue has been safeguarded; Order of detention against the State upheld in matter of GST Act

The Division Bench of T. S. Sivagnanam and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, JJ., dismissed an appeal and connected application which was filed by the State against the order of detention passed by the authority detaining two trucks containing consignment of steel and other products in WPA 17611 of 2021 dated: 07-12-2021 wherein petitioner was the wife of late Mohit Madhogoria, who was a registered dealer under the provisions of the W.B.V.A.T. Act presently under the GST Act.

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Chhattisgarh High Court


Compassionate Appointment


Illegitimate child’s right to be considered for Compassionate appointment

Sanjay K. Agarwal, J., held that an illegitimate son would be entitled to consideration on compassionate ground and cannot be denied consideration on the ground that he is the illegitimate son of the deceased Government servant.

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Rape


In view of changed definition of rape under S. 375 (b) of  IPC pari materia to S. 3(b) of POCSO Act, whether sexual intercourse is necessary to attract ingredients of offence of rape or penetrative sexual assault?

Addressing a case wherein a minor girl was subjected to sexual, Deepak Kumar Tiwari, J., held that,

In view of the changed definition of rape under Section 375 (b) of the IPC pari materia to Section 3(b) of the POCSO Act, sexual intercourse is not necessary to attract the ingredients of offence of rape or penetrative sexual assault.

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Delhi High Court


Dishonour of Cheque


To prove that cheque amount was larger than debt due, can defence of Issuer be looked at stage of issuing summons?

While addressing a matter revolving around Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, Subramonium Prasad, J., held that Courts should primarily proceed on the averments in the complaint, and the defence of the accused cannot be looked at the stage of issuing summons unless it can be shown on admitted documents which the Supreme Court described as “unimpeachable in nature and sterling in quality” to substantiate that there was no debt due and payable by the person who has issued the cheque or that the cheque amount is large than the debt due.

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If a cheque is not honoured by issuer and even after a legal notice he doesn’t pay, he is bound to face criminal trial

Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., dismissed a matter revolving around the dishonour of cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

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Yes Bank Loan Fraud


Public money under garb of Term loan siphoned off, resulting in generation of ‘proceeds of crime’ as well as its layering and ultimate projection as untainted money: Del HC while denying bail to Gautam Thapar

While addressing a matter wherein bail of Gautam Thapar accused in Yes Bank Loan Fraud case, was sought, Manoj Kumar Ohri, J., expressed that it is well settled that, economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach, given their severity and magnitude. Albeit these offences are likely to adversely impact the economic fabric of the country, bail shall not be denied to a person accused of an economic offence in a routine manner.

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Jurisdiction


Can partners in dispute of an LLP or any other business entity carrying out business in different parts of country, file suit in any place where business is carried out?

Amit Bansal, J., expressed that an LLP or any other business entity can carry out business in different parts of the country, but that would not mean that a suit with regard to disputes between the partners, could be filed in any place where the business of the firm/LLP is carried out.

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Ownership of YouTube Channel


Who ‘owns’ a YouTube channel?: Del HC passes interim directions in dispute over channel ‘Shabad Kirtan Gurbani – Divine Amrit Bani’

Asha Menon, J., considered a very interesting case where the dispute between the parties is regarding the ownership of a YouTube channel. The Court has found a prima facie case in favour of the plaintiff and issued certain directions.

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Bail


On pretext of removing evil spirit from body of a woman who was bipolar in nature, a man lured woman and committed sexual intercourse, but ADJ granted bail: Will HC cancel his bail? Del HC analyses

Mukta Gupta, J., cancelled the bail of an accused who lured a female on the pretext of removing an evil spirit from her body and further committing sexual intercourse with her.

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Theft


Daughter-in-law thrown out of matrimonial home and accused of removal of letters from possession of matrimonial home: Whether Del HC will find her guilty under S. 380 IPC or not?

Chandra Dhari Singh, J., noted that instant dispute has arisen out of matrimonial discord between two people which had also, led to the filing of more than 50 criminal and civil cases between not only the husband and the wife but also their family members. It was found that for the sole purpose of harassing the other party such cases were filed by persons with no just cause or reason and substantial ground for allegations.

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Right of Residence


Right of residence under DV Act is exclusive to and isolated from any right that may arise under S. 9 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

“The existence of the strained relationship between the Petitioner and the Respondent has been well established by the fact that there are more than about 60 criminal and civil cases pending between the parties.”

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Desertion and Cruelty


Wife leaves matrimonial home and never returns after several requests and legal notice under S. 9 of HMA, alleges husband of several cruelties without any evidence: Would it amount to desertion and cruelty by wife?

Noting the separation of 12 years between the husband and wife, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., found that the wife had subjected the husband to desertion and cruelty, hence decree of divorce be granted.

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Accusation of extra-marital relationship is a grave assault on character, status, reputation as well as health of spouse against whom such allegations are made: Would this come under ambit of cruelty?

While addressing a matter surrounding the issue of cruelty by wife, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Dinesh Kumar Sharma, J., expressed that,

“It has repeatedly been held that accusations of unchastity or extra marital relationship is a grave assault on character, status, reputation as well as health of the spouse against whom such allegations were made.”

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Arbitration and Conciliation Act


Del HC dismisses appeal filed by Indiabulls Housing Finance in Zee Entertainment – Sony Pictures Scheme of Arrangement

Suresh Kumar Kait, J., addressed an appeal under Section 37(2)(b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 against the interim order passed by Arbitrator was preferred.

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Mere use of the word ‘Arbitration’ in the heading of an Agreement would mean existence of an arbitration agreement?

Mukta Gupta, J., decided that mere use of word ‘Arbitration’ in the heading of an Agreement would not mean the existence of an arbitration agreement.

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Religious Structure


State obligated to remove unauthorized constructions from public land, but if it is a religious structure, can State still be obligated to do so?

Expressing that, the mere fact that certain encroachments represent religious structure cannot possibly detract State from its obligation, Yashwant Varma, J., held that, State remains duty-bound to remove all unauthorized constructions which may exist on public land.

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Extraordinary Writ Jurisdiction


Extraordinary writ jurisdiction is to be exercised only in rare cases or certain contingencies in the interest of justice, including exceptional cases

Chandra Dhari Singh, J., expressed that it is settled law that the power to issue writ has its own well-defined limitations imposed by the High Courts, one of which was the availability of alternative efficacious remedy.

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Power to Transfer Cases


Can Chairman of CAT on his own motion, without any notice, transfer any case pending before one Bench for disposal to another Bench?

The Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Jyoti Singh, J., held that the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal has been conferred the power to transfer a matter from one Bench to another, on his own motion, without any application from any party.

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Right to Speedy Trial


Incarcerated for 8 years for an offence punishable with minimum 10 years imprisonment: Violation of Right to Personal Liberty and Right to Speedy Trial

Subramonium Prasad, J., remarked that,

“…achievement of universal equality before the law requires the tenets of personal liberty to be applicable to all similarly circumstanced individuals and must not be restricted unless according to procedure established by law.”

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Arms License


If you are found in possession of live ammunition along with a valid arms licence, can an offence under S. 25 of Arms Act still be registered against you?

Deciding a matter of whether an NRI person in possession of two live ammunitions with a valid license can be registered under Section 25 of Arms Act or not, Asha Menon, J., held that, prima facie no malafide intent was found and the licence found was a valid arms licence.

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Right of Putative Father


Right of Putative Father to visit minor child upheld: Del HC

Upholding the rights of the putative fatherV. Kameswar Rao, J., expressed that while determining and granting such rights, more so when the child is of less than 3 years of age, surely his well-being/welfare is of paramount importance

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Issuance of Notice


Section 292BB of Income Tax Act deals with failure of service of notice or failure to issue notice?

The Division Bench of Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma, JJ., addressed a matter wherein the decision of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal for the Assessment Year 2011-12 was challenged.

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RTI Act


Employees of a security establishment cannot be deprived of their fundamental and legal rights just because they work in an intelligence and security establishment

Expressing that, RTI Act is a tool that facilitates the employees and officers in airing their grievances systematicallythe Division Bench of Manmohan and Sudhir Kumar Jain, JJ., remarked that,

“…both service and RTI laws ‘act like a safety valve in the society’.”

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Maternity Leave


Can maternity leave benefits extend beyond the period when contractual period of an ad hoc employee comes to an end?

In a claim of maternity benefit by a contractual employee, the Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh, JJ., expressed that, The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 Act is a social legislation that should be worked in a manner that progresses not only the best interest of the women-employee but also of the child, both at the pre-natal and post-natal stage.

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Unmarried Daughters


Can unmarried daughters claim expenses of marriage from their parents under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956?

While stating that, in Indian society, normally expenses are required to be incurred for pre-marriage and also at the time of marriagethe Division Bench of Goutam Bhaduri and Sanjay S. Agrawal, JJ., held that unmarried daughters have a right to claim expenses of marriage from their parents under the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956.

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SC Collegium December Meeting


 

Newspaper reports are of no evidentiary value and Courts would be transgressing their well settled limitation if cognizance were to be taken of such unsubstantiated and unverified reports

In a matter wherein, details were sought with regard to Supreme Court Collegium meeting held on 12-12-2018, Yashwant Varma, J., expressed that, newspaper reports are of no evidentiary value and Courts would be clearly transgressing their well-settled limitation if cognizance were to be taken of such unsubstantiated and unverified reports.

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Gujarat High Court


Reasoning in Judgment


Providing reasoning is to give it a value of precedent which can help in reduction of frivolous litigation; Court emphasises on recording reasons in judgments

“It is trite that in a delay application, sufficient cause is the paramount consideration and if sufficient cause is shown, the Court should generally condone the delay. However, if the sufficient cause is imbibed with the laxity on the part of the delayer despite due knowledge, then Court should restrain itself from encouraging such practice and condone the delay.”

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GSTR-6 Return


Court allows writ furnishing the GSTR – 6 return for recording and distributing the ISD credit

“Credit was a tax paid by the registered person on input transactions and such tax already paid to the credit of the Central Government was a vested right of the person. Such vested right cannot be defeated on account of any irregularity in the system evolved by the Government.”

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NDPS


No Conscious possession; Court upholds acquittal under NDPS Act

The Division Bench of S.H. Vora and Sandeep N. Bhatt, JJ., dismissed an application for special leave to appeal which was filed feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and order in NDPS Case whereby the trial Court acquitted the respondent 2 herein-original accused 2 of the offences punishable under Sections 8(c), 20(b) and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (“NDPS Act”).

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Detention Order


Simplicitor registration of FIR/s by itself cannot have any nexus with the breach of maintenance of public order; Detention order quashed

Rajendra M. Sareen, J. allowed a petition which was directed against the detention order passed by respondent–detaining authority in exercise of powers conferred under section 3(2) of the Gujarat Prevention of Anti Social Activities Act, 1985 (“the Act”) by detaining the petitioner-detenue as defined under section 2(b) of the Act.

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Gauhati High Court


Sexual offences against minor cannot be compromised by parents; HC rejects application to enforce compromise

Arun Dev Choudhury, J., held that sexual offences against minor cannot be compromised by parents.

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Himachal Pradesh High Court


Rape


Minor girl students raped and subjected to penetrative sexual assault by their teacher: Sanctity of Teacher-Student relationship polluted

Polluting the sanctity of the relationship of the teacher and students, a teacher committed rape and penetrative sexual assault with minor students, the Division Bench of Sabina and Satyen Vaidya, JJ., noting the harrowing incidents expressed that the said is a sad reflection of the present-day society where a most platonic relationship was exploited.

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Jharkhand High Court


Execution of a Will


Testamentary disposition of property is deviation from natural line of inheritance in lesser or greater degree: Can it result in complete disposition in favour of one heir or exclusion of any other heir?

Expressing that the due execution of a Will is to be proved as per the provisions of law as laid down in Evidence Act as well as that if Indian Succession Act,  Gautam Kumar Choudhary, J., remarked that, a probate court being a Court of conscience, the intention of the testator is paramount and it is the bounden duty of the Court to ascertain the real WILL of the testator if any.

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Karnataka High Court


Domestic Violence Act


Whether the maintenance awarded under the Domestic Violence Act can be sought to be enhanced under the CrPC?

“The language employed in Section 127 of the Cr.P.C. is unequivocal as on a proof of change in the circumstances of any person receiving allowance under Section 125 of Cr.P.C. can maintain a petition under Section 127 of the Cr.P.C.”

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Criminal Proceedings


SC-ST Act is prospective or retrospective? Kar HC quashes criminal proceedings for offences committed in the year 1975

Krishna S Dixit J. quashes the criminal proceedings as the SC-ST act is not retrospective in nature.

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Hijab Ban


16 pointer report on why wearing of Hijab is not a part of essential religious practice in Islam

“Dismayed as to how all of a sudden that too in the middle of an academic term the issue of hijab is generated and blown out of proportion, Court remarked that some ‘unseen hands’ are at work to engineer social unrest and disharmony in the way ‘hijab imbroglio’ unfolded.”

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The uniform can exclude any other apparel like bhagwa or blue shawl that may have the visible religious overtones

“The Holy Quran does not mandate wearing of hijab or headgear for Muslim women rather it was traditionally worn as a measure of social security” 

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POCSO


Whether victim under POCSO Act can be permitted to be cross-examined once she turns hostile?

M Nagaprasanna J. allowed the petition and quashed the impugned order and remitted the matter back to Sessions Judge for cross-examination

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Marital Rape


“Wanton lust, vicious appetite, depravity of senses, loathsome beast of passion, unbridled unleashing of carnal desire of demonish perversion” Kar HC discusses protection provided to husband by the institution of marriage

A man is a man; an act is an act; rape is a rape, be it performed by a man the “husband” on the woman “wife”

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Kerala High Court


Cruelty


At odd hours, if wife continues making discreet phone calls with another man even after a warning by husband, would it constitute matrimonial cruelty?

The Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Dr Justice Kauser Edappagath, JJ., held that, despite a warning by the husband, if the wife continues to make discreet calls with another man that too at odd hours, it would amount to matrimonial cruelty.

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Medical Negligence


Do District and State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions do not have jurisdiction to take cognizance of medical negligence complaints?

Nagaresh, J., decided whether medical service would fall within the ambit of Section 2(42) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 unless of course the service is free of charge or is under a contract of personal service.

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Breach


Compensation payable under Ss. 73, 74 and 75 are only for loss or damage caused by breach or inclusive of mere act of breach as well?

The Division Bench of P.B. Suresh Kumar and C.S. Sudha, JJ., expressed that,

“…compensation payable under Sections 73, 74 as also under Section 75 is only for loss or damage caused by the breach and not account of the mere act of breach. If in any case the breach has not resulted in or caused any loss or damage to a party, person concerned cannot claim compensation.”

The words ‘loss or damage’ in the Sections 73 and 74 would necessarily indicate that the party who complains of breach must have really suffered some loss or damage apart from being faced with the mere act of breach of contract. That is because every breach of every contract need not necessarily result in actual loss or damage.

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Internal Complaints Committee


In the film industry, would production units have to constitute Internal Complaints Committee to deal with harassment against women?

While expressing that, any organisations, establishments, private institutions are employing workers whether for wages or not in contemplation of the provisions of the Act, 2013 coming under the definition of employer, employee and workplace, they are duty bound to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee,  the Division Bench of S. Manikumar, CJ and Shaji P. Chaly, J., held that, a production unit of each film industry is an establishment employing Actor Artists and other workers and therefore, such production units have to maintain an Internal Complaints Committee if they are engaging more than 10 workers

Read full report here…

Moral Policing


Man taking a lady from another community in his car, attacked by violent mob: Act of mob moral policing?

Calling it to be ‘moral policing’ K. Haripal, J., addressed a matter wherein a man had taken a lady from another community in his car due to which a mob attacked him with deadly weapons.

Read full report here…

Pre-arrest Bail


Trespassed in house, committed rape, misappropriated money, threatened: Kerala HC denied pre-arrest bail in view of such allegations

Shircy V. J., dismissed a bail application wherein a man committed rape with a woman and misappropriated her money after putting her under threat.

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Strikes


Bar on Government servants to engage in strikes?

While expressing that, it is the duty of the welfare Government to protect not only the citizens, but to continue with, all the Government work as expected, the Division Bench of S. Manikumar, CJ and Shaji P. Chaly, J., directed that Government servants should be prevented from engaging in a strike.

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Madras High Court


Central Information Commission


High Court cannot act as a post office to collect and exchange information

While stating that Central Information Commission has only made recommendations, which cannot by any stretch of imagination be taken as a statute so as to give effect, the Division Bench of Munishwar Nath Bhandari, CJ and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, J., dismissed the petition.

Read full report here…

Promotion


Can an employee claim promotion as a matter of right?

S.M. Subramaniam, J., expressed that employees cannot seek any direction to fill up the post or claim a promotional post.

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Bribe


Every Advocate is a Court officer and part & parcel of justice delivery system: Madras HC found a Govt. Advocate demanding bribes at the cost of justice

The Division Bench of K. Kalyanasundaram and R. Hemalatha, JJ., expressed that, the Government advocate being the representative of the Government has to act in an honest manner. If he/she goes around with the intention to make money at the cost of justice, only chaos will prevail.

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Manipur High Court


Appointment/Promotion of High School Teachers


All resolutions passed at the emergency meeting will be subject to confirmation or revision at the next ordinary meeting; Court allows petition

“Rule 14 (b) of the Rules of 1975 provides that all resolutions passed at the emergency meeting will be subject to confirmation or revision at the next ordinary meeting, none of the respondents, either the State or the respondent 3 to 10 has brought on record that the resolution passed in the emergency meeting held on 21-02-2015 was confirmed or revised in the next ordinary meeting.”

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Madhya Pradesh High Court


Writ of Mandamus


A writ for mandamus cannot lie to direct the State to enact a law; Petition dismissed

The Division Bench of Ravi Malimath, CJ. and Dinesh Kumar Paliwal, J.dismissed a petition which was filed in public interest praying for a writ of mandamus to incorporate certain provisions in the law, namely, Section 14-A of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 and Section 32-A of the Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1961.

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Election Dispute


Registrar exercising power of the election tribunal cannot pass interim directions of any nature; Court allows appeal

“…Registrar who was trying the election dispute was exercising the power of the election tribunal. Therefore, he could not have passed orders even though it was in the interest of society.”

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Custody


Technical objections cannot come in way of custody; Court allows 16-year-old to choose to live with father

The Division Bench of Subodh Abhyankar and Satyendra Kumar Singh, JJ., dismissed an appeal which was filed being aggrieved of the order passed by Single Judge wherein he quashed the earlier impugned order passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate whereby custody of the children of the appellant was given to her husband (respondent 4). The Single Judge had only partly granted relief by not giving any express direction restoring the custody of the children in favour of the appellant.

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Appointment Order


Cancellation of candidature on the ground of typographical error arbitrary and grossly disproportionate; Court allows petition

Pranay Verma, J., allowed a petition which was filed praying for a direction to consider petitioner’s candidature for the post of Office Assistant (Multi purpose) and to issue appointment order in her favour in light of offer letter.

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Meghalaya High Court


Family Pension


Court decides on eligibility of family pension under Rule 48 of Meghalaya Civil Services Pension Rules of 1983

“Rule 48, provides that an unmarried/widowed/divorced daughter, would be entitled to family pension and that a person would be entitled for family pension, only after other eligible family members in the first category have ceased to be eligible to receive it.”

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Companies Act


If an advertisement for petition filed under S. 433 of Companies Act, 1956 is not published, will entire matter be transferred to NCLT?

Sanjib Banerjee, CJ, addressed a petition wherein a creditor’s winding-up petition was instituted under Section 433 of the Companies Act, 1956 and the same was not yet advertised.

Read full report here…

Testimony


Court affirms trial court’s conviction on the basis of victim’s testimony in POCSO matter

The Division Bench of  Sanjib Banerjee and W. Diengdoh, JJ., while hearing an appeal which challenged the judgment of conviction of December 21, 2018, which convicted the appellant under Section 3(a) R/W Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, upheld the same and stated that there was no good reason to interfere with the judgement of the trial court.

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Compromise Deed


Lower Courts to deal with entire process expeditiously after receipt of the application under S. 151 read with Or. 20 R. 6-A CPC

H.S. Thangkhiew, J. while hearing a revision application allowed the same and directed the lower court to deal with the entire process expeditiously immediately on receipt of the application under Section 151 read with Order 20 Rule 6-A CPC.

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Inherent Power


fraus et jus nunquam cohabitant; Ori HC analyses how does prohibition under S. 362 CrPC operate viz-a- viz the inherent power of the High Court

It is the oft-repeated and a salutary principle of law that fraud and justice never dwell together (fraus et jus nunquam cohabitant)

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Rape


If a man rubs his organ on vagina over victim’s underpants, would that amount to rape?

The Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, CJ and W. Diengdoh, J., addressed that, if the victim’s underwear was not taken down and the man merely rubbed himself on the victim’s crotch while she still wore her underpants, would that amount to commission of rape.

Read full report here…

POCSO


FIR and proceedings in Special POCSO Case quashed; Minor ‘victim’ gave birth to child while living with accused as his wife

Diengdoh, J. allowed a petition which was filed praying to quash the criminal proceedings pending in the Court of the Special Judge (POCSO) under Section 5(j)(ii)/6 POCSO Act, 2012.

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Punjab and Haryana High Court


Live-in Relationship


In ever-evolving society, evolving law with it, time to shift perspective from didactics of orthodox society, shackled with strong strings of morality to one that values an individual’s life

While dealing with a matter regarding protection to live-in relationship, Anoop Chitkara, J., held that, every person in the territory of India has an inherent and indefeasible fundamental right to life flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the State is duty-bound to protect life.

Read full report here…

Laws governing ‘Live-in-relationships’ is need of the hour; Court directs State to file response on the social predicament

‘Live-in-relationships’ has always been a debatable issue because of the absence of any law on the said practice. The Legislation has not yet consolidated any Act in this regard; on the other hand the Judiciary, through several decisions has made a clear stand to protect the various rights of such couples. Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475S. Khushbhoo v. Kanniammal(2010) 5 SCC 600, and Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma(2013) 15 SCC 755, has upheld the status of live-in-relationships and issued certain direction to protect life and liberty of the individuals.

Read full report here…

MBBS Course


Whether Court can issue directions for filling up the vacant seat for the MBBS Course?

S. Thangkhiew, J. allowed a petition in which he had to consider whether this Court can direct the respondents to consider the petitioner for filling up the vacant seat for the MBBS Course.

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Recission of Contract


Application for rescission of contract ‘mandatory’ to avail the relief, as S. 28, Specific Relief Act, 1963 doesn’t confer indefeasible right

Sudhir Mittal, J. dismissed the revision petition filed by the petitioners (in this case the judgment-debtors) against the action of the Executing Court for refusing to recall the impugned order. According to the petitioners, the execution order was passed, ex parte hence, the fundamental principle of natural justice was violated.

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Carnal Intercourse


Use of phrase “carnal intercourse” considered as a conscious act of the legislature reflecting the clear intent to engraft an offence under S. 377 IPC, conviction upheld

Vinod S. Bhardwaj, J. contemplated the revision petition filed by the accused/ children in conflict with the law, challenging the dismissal of appeal by Additional District and Sessions Judge along with the order of conviction and sentence passed by the Juvenile Justice Board, for the commission of offence punishable under Section 377 of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 10 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

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Cooling Off Period


Cooling off period under S. 13-B (2) HMA directory and not mandatory, court must waive off statutory period where marriage is irreconcilable

Rajbir Sehrawat, J., allowed the instant revision petition, filed against the order of Family Court, where the joint application for waving off the statutory period of 6 months for cooling off, had been dismissed.

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CBSE


Schools succeeded in hoodwinking CBSE, however, no fault can be attributed to the students; direction for issuance of class 12th result

Sudhir Mittal, J. allowed the writ petitions filed against the action of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) declaring petitioners ineligible for evaluation of class 12th and to issue the final result.

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Fundamental Rights vis a vis Judicial Review


Answer to the question on ‘fundamental rights vis-a-vis judicial review’ considered as ‘National Confusion’ as different interpretation possible

Rajbir Sehrawat. J., contemplated and answered the interesting question asked in the recruitment test on which the dispute of the petitioner revolves around. Thorough interpretation of judgments starting from Sankari Prasad to I.R. Coelho was analysed by the Court to formulate the correct answer asked in the recruitment test.

73. Which of the following schedule of the Constitution is immune from judicial review on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights?

  1. A) Seventh Schedule B) Ninth Schedule C) Tenth Schedule D) None of the above”

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Material Fact


Suppression of a ‘material fact’ of non-disclosure of pendency of bail application considered, subservient to the right of liberty granted to the petitioners; Guidelines issued

Three petitions are clubbed together where the petitioners intended to withdraw their bail applications as bail was already granted by the different trial courts. The main issue before Jasgurpreet Singh Puri, J. was effect of filing bail applications and passing of bail orders by the trial courts during the pendency of bail application before High Court by the same accused without disclosing such pendency and what safeguards should be adopted by the trial courts in this regard.

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Compensation


Entitlement to compensation on general principles for inordinate delay in receiving monies due; Interest on refund of excise duty granted

The Division Bench of Ajay Tewari and Pankaj Jain, JJ., contemplated the appeal where the interest on refund of excise duty was rejected by the authorities. The main question before the Court was whether the assessee was entitled to interest.

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Departmental Punishment


Departmental punishment of government servant is not a necessary and automatic consequence of conviction on a criminal charge

Jaishree Thakur, J. set aside and quashed the dismissal of the petitioner and remanded back the matter to the punishing authority for reconsideration. The Court directed that punishing authority to apply its mind and to form an opinion as to whether the conviction of the petitioner deserves the penalty of dismissal, removal or reduction in rank or any other lesser penalty.

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Patna High Court


Economic Offence


Entire community is aggrieved if economic offenders, who ruin economy of the State are not brought to book

Expressing that the entire community is aggrieved if the economic offenders, who ruin the economy of the State are not brought to bookAnjani Kumar Sharan, J., held that economic offence is committed with cool calculation and deliberate design with an eye on personal profit regardless of the consequence to the community.

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Rajasthan High Court


Whenever there is a conflict between substantial justice and hyper-technicality then substantial justice should be preferred to avoid defeat for the ends of justice: Raj HC observes in a case where candidature was rejected on a hyper-technical approach

A Division Bench of Anoop Kumar Dhand and Pankaj Bharadwaj, JJ., disposed of the petition and directed the Department to appoint the respondent.

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Cause Title


“..use of salutation and titles is prohibited in terms of Arts. 14 18 and 363A of the Constitution of India in public documents and public offices”; Raj HC observes in a case where hereditary title was mentioned in a cause title

“…any title awarded to the citizen of India by a Foreign State cannot be accepted nor used and no such title, other than the military or academic distinctions, can be conferred other than by the State. In terms of Article 363A of the Constitution of India, the heredity titles of nobility being in conflict with the principles of equality and contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution of India cannot be used as prefixes or suffixes.”

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Provisional Attachment


Order of provisional attachment cannot survive beyond a period of one year in terms of S. 83 (2) CGST Act; Provisional attachment order stayed

“Section 83 of the CGST Act pertains to provisional attachment to protect the revenue in certain cases. In sub-section (1) of Section 83 the commissioner is empowered to order provisional attachment of the property of the assessee including bank account where proceedings under Chapters XII, XIV and XV are pending and the commissioner is of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the interest of government revenue it is necessary so to do.”

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Public Interest Litigation


“Citizen approaching Court in a public interest jurisdiction holds greater duty to make full research” PIL dismissed due to lack of necessary evidence presented

A Division Bench of Akil Kureshi, CJ and Rekha Borana, J. dismissed the petition and kept it open for the petitioners to file a fresh public interest petition.

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Private Entity


In absence of any factual foundation to show whether a particular entity is State or not, writ jurisdiction not maintainable

Mahendar Kumar Goyal J. dismissed the petition being not maintainable against a private entity. 

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Interim Maintenance


Raj HC dealt with whether husband can be absolved from his duty to pay interim maintenance if there is delay of 30+ years in filing application

“…an order under Section 125 of CrPC is in the nature of interim maintenance and husband, who admittedly earns Rs 40, 000/- per month cannot be absolved of his obligation to pay interim maintenance, merely because the respondent – wife has chosen to file the application after 36 years of marriage.”

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Transfer Petition


Transfer petition for trial of Salman Khan’s deer hunting case allowed; High Court to take charge

Pushpendra Singh Bhati, J., allowed a transfer petition in the infamous deer hunting case of actor Salman Khan.

Read full report here…

Bail


Economic offender should not be dealt as general offender because economic offenders run parallel economy; bail rejected

Narendra Singh Dhaddha rejected bail and dismissed the petition being devoid of merits.

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Sikkim High Court


Compromise


Handing out punishment is not the sole form of delivering justice; Court allows compromise

Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, J. allowed the compromise to bury the difference between parties and gives them their lives as good citizens.

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Tripura High Court


Disposal of Garbage


Court directs AMC to set up proper slaughterhouses and ensure garbage disposal in scientific manner

Court issued directions to the Corporation to prepare a long-term plan for not only setting up the abattoir/slaughter house but also for ensuring disposal of garbage in an appropriate scientific manner, rendering all authorities including the local police authorities for enforcing/assisting in carrying out its duties, considering application for licenses and disposing of at an early date so that people are not deprived of essential needs, maintaining hygienic conditions and carrying out inspection of all the license premises.

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Divorce


Unable to approve this kind of matrimonial conduct or filing a suit for divorce on such coloured narrative; Court dismisses appeal in matter of divorce

The Division Bench of S. Talapatra and S.G. Chattopadhyay, JJ. dismissed an appeal which was filed under Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 from the judgment by the Additional District Judge declining to grant the divorce and consequently dismissing the suit. It was observed that case did not reflect any such situation which can demand the dissolution of marriage between the petitioner [the appellant and the respondent].

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Uttaranchal High Court


Personal Rights


Irrespective of the personal rights of a person or a community, it can under no set of circumstances, override the rights or need of the defence of the country; Petition dismissed

Sharad Kumar Sharma, J. dismissed a writ petition which involved the issue pertaining to regulating the frontier borders of the country, adjoining to the ‘Line of Actual Control’, which adjoins and shares the boundary lines of our neighbouring country, China, which is approximately about 20 to 25 Kms. only away from the land, in dispute, which is proposed to be acquired for the purposes of meeting out the defence need of the ITBPF, i.e. ITBP.

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Judgment of Acquittal


There have to be very substantial and compelling reasons for setting aside a judgment of acquittal; petition dismissed

The Division Bench of S.K. Mishra and A.K. Verma, JJ., dismissed the appeal for acquittal considering it to be devoid of substantial and compelling reasons.

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Hate Speech


Right to freedom, as granted under the Constitution is not an absolute right; Court rejects bail in Hate Speech matter

Ravindra Maithani, J., rejected a bail application which was filed by the applicant who was in judicial custody under Sections 153A, 298 Penal code, 1860.

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Public Service Commission


Public Service Commission directed to declare result of candidate who submitted late fees

The Division Bench of Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, CJ. and Ramesh Chandra Khulbe, J. allowed a petition which was filed by an aspirant seeking a direction to respondents to allow the petitioner to appear for the mains examination of the Assistant Conservator of Forest.

Read full report here…

Registration of Sikh Marriages


State directed to take steps to frame and notify Rules for Registration of Sikh Marriages

The Division Bench of Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, ACJ. and Ramesh Chandra Khulbe, J. took up a PIL filed by the petitioner commanding the respondent State to notify the Rules under Anand Marriage Act, 1909 and also to issue guidelines to register the marriage of people of Sikh Community under the Anand Marriage Act, 1909.

Read full report here…

Bail


Society has a vital interest in grant or refusal of bail because criminal offence is the offence against the society; Bail applications rejected in fraud case under Epidemic Diseases Act

Alok Kumar Verma, J. rejected three bail applications of the applicants who were in custody for the offence under Sections 188, 269, 270, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B of IPC, Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Section 53 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Read full report here…



Weekly Roundups from March


Stories of sexual assault of a minor, woman travelling in public transport experiencing inappropriate touch and how children below 12 years of age are ‘asexual’ | Read 7 Legal Stories of the week

9 Legal Stories of the Week | Unlicensed transport aggregators to Spanking back of a woman without her consent, read more such stories in this weekly roundup

From Hijab Ban to Bloomberg Privacy Case and more | 7 Legal Stories of the Week

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: ‘Live-in-relationships’ has always been a debatable issue because of the absence of any law on the said practice. The Legislation has not yet consolidated any Act in this regard; on the other hand the Judiciary, through several decisions has made a clear stand to protect the various rights of such couples. Supreme Court in Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, S. Khushbhoo v. Kanniammal, (2010) 5 SCC 600, and Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755, has upheld the status of live-in-relationships and issued certain direction to protect life and liberty of the individuals.

Yet once again a similar situation has been placed before Anmol Rattan Singh, J., where the petitioners have sought protection of life and liberty upon them being in live-in relationships with each other. The main concern of the Court was, as there is no law on live-in-relationships, a number of adolescents are coming to the judiciary for the protection of their life and liberty. The courts are bound to grant protection in such cases if the parties have attained the age of majority.

CRWP 8809 of 2021: The petitioners referred to an earlier order of the court, in one such petition, the girl was cohabiting with the boy when she was allegedly taken away from the custody of the boy by the family, it was contended that the girl has attained majority and has a right to decide where she wants to live. The court had held that there was no firm proof submitted regarding the age of the parties. However, it was directed that the girl will be taken to the Magistrate for recording of her statement and no related party will accompany her. Further, it was directed that she would also take with her documentary proof of her age; and if the Magistrate finds that she is, as per said documentary proof, below the age of 18 years, even if then she expresses her wish to reside with the petitioner, she would be returned to the custody of her parents, and if she is above the age of 18 years and states that she wishes to reside with the petitioner, then a report in that regard would be made to this court. The petitioner requested to withdraw the case as they don’t want to live together for now.

CRWP 941 of 2022: In another petition, it was alleged that the age of the petitioners were 24 (woman) and 20 (man) respectively and, the woman was married to the respondent. The Court observed that, “Though petitioner No.2 is not of marriageable age in terms of the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 as also the provisions of the Child Marriage Act, 2006, yet, firstly of course this being a petition seeking protection of life and liberty which is a basic fundamental right enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and secondly, Section 497 of the IPC has been struck down as being unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.” Hence, the Court directed protection of life and liberty to the petitioners.

Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India, informed the court that as per his instructions an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, has been proposed, with a Bill already produced in Parliament for that purpose, to bring the marriageable age for females also upto 21 years of age (from 18 years), to bring them on par with males. Notably, no bill in regarding live-in-relationship has been introduced so far.

Hence, Court while disposing of the petition stated that if the petitioners perceived any threat in future, they would approach the SSP, Rural Amritsar, who would ensure that their lives and liberty are duly protected, as per law.[Rohit Kumar v. UT of Chandigarh, CRWP-8809 of 2021, decided on 07-03-2022]


Appearances :

Mr. Vinod K. Kanwal, Advocate, for the petitioner in CRWP-8809 of 2021

Mr. Varinder Basa, Advocate, for the petitioners in CRWP-941 of 2022

Mr. Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India

Ms. Saigeeta Srivastava, Central Govt. Counsel for Union of India

Ms. Vasundhara Dalal, Addl. P.P., U.T. Chandigarh.

Mr. Neeraj Poswal, AAG, Haryana

Mr. Rana Harjasdeep Singh, DAG, Punjab

Ms. Naveen Malik, Advocate, for respondent no.5 in CRWP-8809 of 2021


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While dealing with a matter regarding protection to live-in relationship, Anoop Chitkara, J., held that, every person in the territory of India has an inherent and indefeasible fundamental right to life flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the State is duty-bound to protect life.

Fearing for their lives and liberty at the hands of the private respondents, petitioners who are in live-in relationship approached this Court seeking protection through the State by invoking fundamental rights of life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that petitioner 2 was a married woman and had voluntarily gone to the company of petitioner 1. Petitioners were facing grave danger from the private respondents and their lives be protected even though petitioner 2 was married to respondent 4.

High Court remarked that,

“…times are changing fast, even in those lands that were left behind and stuck with the old ethos and conservative social milieu.”

Bench added that,

“We are governed by the rule of law and follow the Constitutional dharma. In the ever-evolving society, evolving the law with it, the time is to shift perspective from didactics of the orthodox society, shackled with the strong strings of morality supported by religions to one that values an individual’s life above all.”

Further, the Court stated that if the allegations of apprehension of threat to their lives turn out to be true, it might lead to an irreversible loss.

Stating that this Court will not adjudicate on the validity of petitioner’s marriage or her decision of cohabiting with petitioner 1 but adhering to its fundamental duty of guarding their lives, Bench held that it shall be appropriate that the Superintendent of Police, SHO concerned or any officer to whom such powers have been delegated or have been authorized in this regard, provide appropriate protection to the petitioners.

With regard to the protection, High Court held that it is subject to the stringent condition that from the time such protection is given, the petitioners shall not go outside the boundaries of the place of their residence, except for medical necessities, to buy household necessities, and for bereavements in the families of the persons who are close to them, as it would save them from apprehended risk.

Lastly, the Bench clarified that the present order is not a blanket bail in any FIR.

In view of the above, petition was allowed. [Jai Narain v. State of Punjab, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 584, decided on 18-2-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Vishneet Singh Kathpal, Advocate for the petitioners.

Mr. Rehatbir Singh Mann, DAG, Punjab.

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a case where a young couple who had started living in a hotel two days ago had approached the Court for protection, Manoj Bajaj, J., imposed a cost of Rs. 25000. The Bench expressed,

“Merely because the two adults are living together for few days, their claim of live-in-relationship based upon bald averment may not be enough to hold that they are truly in live-in-relationship.”

The petitioners, one Himani, aged 18 years and Rohit Kumar aged 20 years and 06 months had stated to fell in love with each other, who decided to marry on attaining the age of majority. The petitioners contended that when the relationship of the petitioners came to the knowledge of parents of the girl, they turned against their alliance and decided to marry her with a boy of their own choice, therefore, she ran away from her house on 24-11-2021 and was now residing with petitioner 2 in live in-relationship. The petitioners submitted that the parents of the girl had extended threats to the petitioners that they would implicate them in a false criminal case.

Noticeably, the petitioners had started residing together in live-in relationship only w.e.f. 24-11-2021 and in response to the query that whether they had taken a house on rent, the petitioners  stated that for the time being, they had been living in a hotel. Considering that there was a specific pleading in the petition that petitioner 1 had been given shelter by petitioner 2 and his parents and were taking care of her needs. In the memo of parties also, address of petitioner 2 had been shown as place of residence of both the petitioners, the Bench opined that the apprehension of threat expressed by the petitioners was misplaced, as admittedly, no complaint has been made so far against them by the private respondents. The Bench added,

“Even, if it is assumed, that a complaint is given to the police by any of the private respondents against the petitioners, then it cannot be construed as threat to their life and liberty, as private respondents are also free to avail their remedy in law in case, they feel that some offence has been committed.”

The Bench remarked, amongst exuberant youngsters, who seldom in pursuit of absolute freedom leave the company of their parents etc. to live with the person of their choice, in order to get the seal of the court to their alliance, they file petitions for protection by posing threat to their life and liberty. Majority of such petitions contain formal symbolic averments, grounds with imaginary cause of action, and are rarely founded upon ‘actual’ or ‘real’ existence of threat, and these types of cases consume considerable time of the Court, that too at the cost of many other cases waiting in line for hearing.

Considering that concept of live-in-relationship between two adults of opposite gender has got recognition in India, as the legislature has injected some legitimacy in this kind of alliance, while promulgating “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005” and liberally defined “domestic relationship” in Section 2(f), the Bench reminded,

“It has to be constantly borne in mind that the length of the relationship coupled with discharge of certain duties and responsibilities towards each other makes such relationship akin to the marital relations.”

In view of above, the Bench held that the petition had been filed without a valid cause of action, therefore, the writ petition was dismissed with costs of Rs.25,000 to be borne by the petitioners and it was ordered that the same be deposited with the Institute of Blind. [Himani v. State of Haryana, CRWP-11197-2021, decided on 26-11-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Deepak K. Bartia, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Pushpendra Singh Bhati J. disposed of the instant petition with a direction to the petitioners to appear before the Station House Officer, Police Station, Feench, Luni, District Jodhpur alongwith appropriate representation regarding their grievance. 

Facts

The facts of the present case are that petitioner is in live-in relationship with petitioner even when she was married with one. The petitioner 1 alleged in the petition that due to continuous harassment and violence, resulting out of her giving birth to a girl child, she had to make a choice of entering into a live-in relationship to live life with liberty and dignity. The present petition was filed to seek protection, as right to life is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and protection of right to life is imbibed in the same, and thus, such fundamental right cannot be done away with, except by due process of law.

Issues

The issues before this Court for consideration are:

(i) Whether the State ought to intervene in the personal relationships of adult citizens?

(ii) As to what would prevail, in case there is a conflict between law and morality; and

(iii) Whether the State, having a duty of protecting its citizens, is having any kind of restrictions, reservations or exception?

Observations

The Court relied on judgment Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1 wherein it was observed that surrender of one’s autonomy to another must be willful, and their intimacy and privacy is a matter of their choice.

“64. The right to privacy enables an individual to exercise his or her autonomy, away from the glare of societal expectations. The realisation of the human personality is dependent on the autonomy of an individual. In a liberal democracy, recognition of the individual as an autonomous person is an acknowledgment of the State’s respect for the capacity of the individual to make independent choices.”

The Court relied on judgment in Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M. (2018) 16 SCC 368 wherein it was observed:

“23. . . . . .The High Court has lost sight of the fact that she is a major, capable of taking her own decisions and is entitled to the right recognised by the Constitution to lead her life exactly as she pleases. Intimacies of marriage, including the choices which individuals make on whether or not to marry and on whom to marry, lie outside the control of the state. Courts as upholders of constitutional freedoms must safeguard these freedoms. The cohesion and stability of our society depend on our syncretic culture.”

The Court relied on judgment S.S. Ahluwalia v. Union of India, (2001) 4 SCC 452  wherein it was observed that “it is the duty of the State to create a climate where members of the society belonging to different faiths, caste and creed live together and, therefore, the State has a duty to protect their life, liberty, dignity and worth of an individual which should not be jeopardized or endangered.”

 The Court thus observed that it is well- settled that it is not in the Court’s domain to intrude upon an individual’s privacy. Any scrutiny or remark upon the so-called morality of an individual’s relationship and blanket statements of condemnation especially in matters where it is not called into question, to begin with, would simply bolster an intrusion upon one’s right to choice and condone acts of unwarranted moral policing by the society at large.

It was also observed that the sanctity and supremacy of law must be protected at all costs. Even the due process of law through which the fundamental rights of any person are taken away must conform with the principles of justice and fair play and has to be reasonably administered according to the circumstances of the case i.e. there must be a proportionality between the illegality of the act and the right taken away through the due process of law.

The Court held “the present petition is disposed of, with a direction to the petitioners to appear before the Station House Officer, Police Station, Feench, Luni, District Jodhpur alongwith appropriate representation regarding their grievance. The Station House Officer, Police Station, Feench, Luni, District Jodhpur shall in turn hear the grievance of the petitioners, and after analyzing the threat perceptions, if necessitated, may pass necessary orders to provide adequate security and protection to the petitioners.”

[Leela v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Criminal Misc (Pet.) No. 5045/2021, decided on 15-09-2021]


Appearances

For Petitioner(s): Mr. Gajendra Panwar

For Respondent(s): Mr. Arun Kumar


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief. 

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Amol Rattan Singh, J., held that since adultery is not an offence, no offence would be committed by a married person by him/her being in live-in even when his/her divorce petition is pending before the Court.

By the instant petition, the petitioners had sought issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents not to harass them. Noticeably, petitioner 2 and respondent 4 having earlier been married, petitioner 2 filed a divorce petition, which was dismissed and appeal against which was still pending. However, it was observed by the court that there were no chances of reconciliation.

The petitioners submitted that they were in a live-in relationship with each other and were in apprehension of danger to their life and liberty at the hands of respondents 4 to 6, with the SHO, Police Station Samrala, District Ludhiana, harassing them at the instance of the said respondents.

Differing with the judgement of Allahabad High Court in Aneeta v. State of U.P., WRIT – C No. 14443 of 2021 (dated 29-07-2021), wherein, it had dismissed the petition filed by live-in couple with exemplary cost of Rs. 500 by holding that “without obtaining a divorce, a spouse is not entitled to protection qua a relationship with another person”; the Bench stated that prima facie, no offence would be committed by the petitioners, they being adults in a live-in-relationship with each other, whether or not any divorce petition was pending before the court.

Considering the judgement of Supreme Court in Joseph Shine v.Union of India, (2019) 3 SCC 39, by which the Supreme Court had struck down Section 497 (adultery) of the IPC as being unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, the Bench directed the police officials concerned to ensure that the life and liberty of the petitioners is duly protected at the hands of respondents 4 to 6, as also at the hands of the SHO. The Bench warned of strict actions in case the petitioners are again harassed by the SHO on account of any live-in-relationship that they have with each other. [Paramjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, CRWP-7874 of 2021, decided on 03-09-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Dinesh Mahajan, Advocate

For State of Punjab: Rana Harjasdeep Singh, DAG, Punjab

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Calling itunholy alliance”, Sant Parkash, J., denied protection to a married woman who was residing in live-in with another man.

The petitioners had approached the Court for issuance of directions to the Police official to protect their life and liberty from the hands of their (petitioners’ families) who were opposing their live-in relationship.

Brief facts of the case were that parents of petitioner 1- Simranjeet Kaur got her married with respondent 7 on 29-07-2018 against her wishes and out of that wedlock, a child was born. Petitioner 1 was not happy with her marriage and it was alleged that respondent 7 used to harass her mentally and physically, therefore, she left her matrimonial home. Presently, petitioner 1 was residing with petitioner 2 in live-in relationship.

It was averred in the writ petition that respondents 5 to 7 turned against alliance of the petitioners and were threatening them to eliminate. The petitioners apprehend that the private respondents would cause harm to them, therefore, a representation dated 13-08-2021 was made by them to the Superintendent of Police, whereupon no action had been taken. Hence, the present writ petition.

Considering the arguments made by the petitioners, the Bench observed that petitioner 1 was already married with respondent 7 and out of that wedlock a child was born. After some time of the marriage, petitioner 1 fell in love with petitioner 2 and now they were residing in live-in relationship. Noticing that petitioner 1 had not obtained legal divorce from respondent 7, the Bench held that petitioner 1 had entered into an unholy alliance with petitioner 2.

Moreover, except for the bald allegations that private respondents 5 to 7 were giving threat to the petitioners, no supportive material had been placed on record by the petitioners, much less the manner and mode of alleged threat extended to the petitioners. Furthermore, there was no valid and convincing material in the writ petition for exercising the extra-ordinary writ jurisdiction. In view of the above, the writ petition was dismissed.[Simranjeet Kaur v. State of Haryana, CRWP-7799 of 2021, decided on 18-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioners: Advocate Jarnail S. Saneta

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Satish Kumar Sharma J. dismissed the petition and rejected police protection to a couple.

The instant petition was filed under Section 482 Criminal Procedure Code i.e. CrPC for protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioners sought police protection on account of threat on life and liberty of the petitioners as petitioner 1 is a married lady but she has been compelled to leave her matrimonial house. It was also submitted that she is living with petitioner 2. The private respondents and others are not happy with their relation and they are threatening the petitioners.

The Court relied on judgment by a Division Bench of Allahabad High Court in Smt. Aneeta v. State of U.P. (Writ C.No.14443/2021) and observed that live-in relationship cannot be at the cost of social fabric of this country, and directing the police to grant protection may indirectly give our assent to such illicit relations.

The Court thus held “the prayer for granting police protection is rejected; however, in case any offence is committed with the petitioners they are at liberty to lodge FIR in concerned police station or may take available legal recourse.”[Maya Devi v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous (Petition) No. 3314/2021, decided on 13-08-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances

For Petitioner(s): Mr. Krishan Chander Sharma

For Respondent(s): Mr. C.G Chopra

Telangana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: G. Sri Devi, J., rejected a bail application on noting the fact that a minor girl was continuously sexually assaulted by her mother’s live-in partner resulting in her getting pregnant.

Instant criminal petition under Section 437 and 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was filed by the petitioner/A-2 to release her on bail for the offences under Sections 376(2)(f)(n), 376(3), 342 and 50 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench noted that the petitioner/A-2 after the death of her husband had developed intimacy with A-1 and both the petitioner and A-1 were staying together by maintaining a live-in-relationship.

Further, it was noted that the petitioner allowed A-1 to commit sexual assault on her minor daughter, as a result of which her minor daughter, due to a continuous assault upon her by A-1 became pregnant and also gave birth to a male child. After giving birth, also the victim became pregnant twice and A-1 gave pills to her for abortion. The DNA test also revealed that A-1 is the biological father of the male child born to the victim girl.

In view of the above nature of allegations levelled against the petitioner, which were grave and heinous in nature, Court rejected the bail application of the petitioner.

High Court while dismissing the criminal petition, stated that since the charge sheet was already submitted, the trial court was directed to commence and conclude the trial as expeditiously as possible.[Shabana Begum v. State of Telangana, CRLP 4703 of 2021, decided on 3-08-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Petitioner Advocate: Ramani Vemuganti

Respondent Advocate: Public Prosecutor TG

Tis-hazari
Case BriefsDistrict Court

Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi: Ankur Jain, ASJ (SFTC-01), addressed a regular bail application filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In the present bail application, it was stated that the accused was in Judicial Custody since 3-07-2021.

It was submitted that the accused and complainant were in a live-in relationship. Complainant being a lady of about 47 years divorced for 17 years could not be fallen prey to the false promise of marriage.

Subhash Chouhan, Addl. PP for the State, objected to the bail application on the ground that allegations against the accused were serious in nature, accused absconded, hence process under Section 82 CrPC was issued against the accused.

Bench noted that the last incident of sexual intercourse between the complainant and the accused was on 6-12-2020, admittedly as per the complainant, they were in a live-in relationship.

FIR was lodged on 17-02-2021, hence there was a delay in the registration of the FIR.

Court granted bail to accused/applicant without commenting anything further, on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety like amount on the following terms and conditions:

i) Accused shall not contact or threaten the complainant or any other witness in any manner.

ii) The accused shall mark his presence on every second Saturday, of the first month, of every quarter, before IO/SHO concerned either physically or through any other mode which shall be the sole discretion of the IO / SHO.

iii) Accused shall provide his mobile number to the IO/SHO and shall remain present on the date fixed for trial.

[State v. Jagjit Singh, Bail Application No.: 2795, decided on 13-7-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Sh. Subhash Chouhan, Ld. Addl. PP for the State.

Sh.G.S. Sachdeva, Ld. counsel for the accused/applicant (through VC).

Ms. Aarti Pandey, Ld. DCW counsel (through VC).

Complainant is present (through VC).

Naib Court HC Ankit Dahiya.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Mahendra Kumar Goyal, J., disposed of the petition directing the Station House officer of the concerned police station to provide safety and security to the aggrieved couple.

The instant petition was filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code for protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioners.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that both the petitioners are major and are in live-in relationship in pursuance of agreement attested on 17.06.2021; but, the private respondents are not happy with it and they are threatening the petitioners. Given that their life and liberty is in danger, police protection may be granted to them.

Counsel for respondent 5 Mr Sikander Ali Chopdar submitted that FIR has been filed with the Police Station Ringus, District Sikar against the petitioner 2 and hence, the petitioners cannot be extended police protection.

The Court relied on judgment Lata Singh v. State of UP, (2006) 5 SCC 475, S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal, (2010) 5 SCC 600, Indra Sarma v. VKV Sarma, (2013) 15 SCC 755 and Shafin Jahan v. Asokan KM, (2018) 16 SCC 368 and observed that the society cannot determine how individuals live their lives, especially when they are major, irrespective of the fact that the relation between two major individuals may be termed as unsocial. Thus, the life and personal liberty of the individuals has to be protected except according to procedure established by law, as mandated by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Further, as per Section 29 of the Rajasthan Police Act, 2007 every police officer is duty bound to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

The Court further observed that the petitioners are major and petitioner 1, the girl is residing with the petitioner 2 out of her free will. Being major, she is entitled to reside with the person of her choice.

The Court thus held “counsel for the petitioners shall send a copy of the petition along with its annexure to the Station House Officer of concerned Police Station through registered post/e-mail, and on receipt of the same, the Station House Officer concerned shall treat it as a complaint and after due enquiry, he shall take necessary preventive measures and other steps to ensure safety and security of the petitioners in accordance with law.”

[Divya Shekhawat v. State of Rajasthan, S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous (Petition) No. 3522/2021, decided on 24-06-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Punjab and Haryana High Court
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

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: The Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath, JJ., held that:

“…woman in a live-in-relationship, acknowledging the biological father of the child, out of such a relationship, will have to be treated as a married woman for the purpose of Juvenile Justice.”

Present matter unbundles the trauma of a couple in a live-in relationship, isolation of a single mother, love of mother for her child, rights of biological father, entangled in the legal vortex.

Factual Matrix

In the instant case, the couple – John and Anitha are Christian and Hindu by their faith. The couple realized that their intimacy knew no bounds to chart a new path in their life. They started to live together at Ernakulam, 65 km away from the parental house of Anitha. Opposition came from their own kith and kin. They waited to officially marry once their parents were convinced. But the biological instincts of the couple could not be arrested. Anitha became pregnant in the month of May 2019. She gave birth to a baby girl on 3/2/2020 in the Government Hospital, Aluva. The birth certificate indicates the names of father and mother of the child.

Issue in the present case revolves around the importance of the birth certificate.

In the revision memorandum it was stated that the John broke the relationship with Anitha and due to anxiousness, Anitha made attempts to contact John but all were in vain after which she had no option other than to approach the Child Welfare Committee, Ernakulam and handed over the child to the Committee.

Thereafter, she constantly kept in touch with the Committee and the Child Care Institution where the child was put up, to keep a track of the wellbeing of the child.

Further it was stated in view of the above that,

Desperation and plight of the motherhood reflected through the chat messages with the social worker depicted the care for the baby from the womb of the person, Anitha.

Since Anitha had executed the Deed of Surrender the said deed permitted the Committee to give the child for adoption.

Adding to the above, it was stated that the Committee, noting that Anitha is an unmarried mother, followed the procedure that delineated for surrender of the child by an unwed mother as referable under the Adoption Regulations, 2017. On completion of the procedure, the Committee declared that the child is legally free for adoption in the manner contemplated under Section 38 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Child was thereafter given in adoption to a couple by the Family Court order on 02-02-2021.

Petitioners approached the Court claiming themselves as a live-in relationship couple approached the Court.

Government Pleader and counsel appearing for the Committee submitted before the Court that the child had already been given in adoption and based on the submissions the Court had also opined that a writ of Habeas would not lie as the proceedings concluded under JJ Act have a legal colour.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Central issue in the present matter was more related to a perplexing mind; accepting and recognizing live-in relationships.

Did the law differentiate between unwed and legally wed couple in matters or relationships not connected with marriage, as a social institution?

In the context of juvenile justice does the law differentiate unwed couple and legally wed couple to recognize biological parents?

Section 38 of the Juvenile Justice Act declares the procedure for declaring a child legally free for adoption.

Separate procedure has been referred for orphan and abandoned child and a distinct procedure for a surrendered child.

Which of the procedures have to be followed was the question involved in the case.

Under Section 38 of the JJ Act, the procedure for declaration has been made for the abandoned child and surrendered child keeping in mind the paramount parental rights of biological parents.

Bench noted that the Committee had followed the procedure for surrendering the child applicable to an unmarried mother.

Following are the circumstances wherein normally a child needs care and protection from the State/Committee:

  1. Orphan or abandoned child
  2. Surrendered child

‘Surrendered child’ needs further classification under the law:

  1. surrendered by a married couple
  2. Surrendered by an unmarried mother.

Question that perplexed Court’s mind:

High Court expressed while placing their doubt that whether it can hold a couple in a live-in relationship not a married couple for the purpose of law related to surrender?

Married Couple v. Unwed Mother

Court elaborated that a married couple has to be understood in contrast to an unwed mother. Unwed mother must be understood as a mother who begotten a child as a result of sexual assault or in a casual relationship. Law in such circumstances places importance to the right of such mothers.

“… an unmarried mother would be recognised as a single parent and surrender by such mother is legally considered as valid in the light of Section 35(1) of JJ Act and Adoption Regulations 7(4), 7(7) and 7(21).”

Married Couple: Deed of Surrender

The procedure in case of a married couple ensures that both the parents execute deed of surrender and; if the child born to a married couple and surrendered by one of the biological parent, and whereabouts of the other parent are not known, the child shall be treated as an abandoned child and procedure under Regulation 6 will have to be followed. This procedure mandates an inquiry to trace out the biological parents or the legal guardians.

Context of Juvenile Justice Act | Whether a married couple includes a couple in a live-in relationship or not?

Parental right of biological parents is a natural right not preconditioned by institutionalization of legal marriage.

Live-in relationship

In a live-in relationship, a couple acknowledges the mutual rights and obligations. It is more of a contract. Offspring in such a relationship is acknowledging biological parental rights of both.

 Supreme Court in its decision of D. Velusamy v. D. Patchaiammal, (2010) 10 SCC 469, considered live-in relation similar to the marriage provided it fulfills the requirements referred as follows:

(a) The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses.

(b) They must be of legal age to marry.

(c) They must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage, including being unmarried.

(d) They must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time.

Merely spending weekends together or a one night stand would not make it a ‘domestic relationship’.

Bench remarked that, If a mother does not acknowledge any sort of relationship with the biological parent such mother has to be treated as an unmarried mother for the purpose of Juvenile Justice.

The woman in a live-in-relationship, acknowledging the biological father of the child, out of such a relationship, will have to be treated as a married woman for the purpose of Juvenile Justice.

No relevance of Legal Marriage

The dominant object of law in making the distinction between the married couple and unmarried mother is in the context of the nature of inquiry to be conducted for tracing the biological parents to restore the child with biological parents or guardian, and in such circumstances, the legal marriage has no relevance.

In matters of surrender by unwed mother no such inquiry is contemplated as she does not acknowledge any relationship with the biological father. 

A woman’s womb is precious possession of her personhood and no one can claim right over it; except with her consent.

Woman’s decision on fatherhood

Bench expressed that it is for the woman to recognize and decide on the recognition of fatherhood of child. If she chooses the preference to acknowledge the biological father at the time of conceiving, the father has every right to be recognized as a biological father

Adding to the above, Court stated that if at the time of conception, the mother has not recognized the right of fatherhood, in the context of JJ Act, a man has no right to recognize himself as the biological father, except with her consent and; she continues to be recognized as an unwed mother for the purpose of JJ Act.

“Decisional autonomy is the key in privacy rights.”

 Hence, in view of the above discussion, it can be held that a child born in a live-in relationship also has to be construed as a child born to a married couple.

In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, High Court noted that father’s name was disclosed to the hospital authority and name of the child was also given in the birth certificate in which father’s name was mentioned.

Birth certificate is a crucial document for public authority to verify that the child is born to a married couple or not.

 High Court held that Committee is not responsible to inquire about the legal status of the marriage as they are not the competent authority to decide on such status.

 Once it is found that the child is born to a couple, for all practical purposes of JJ Act, inquiry must be initiated as though the child belonged to a married couple. 

Bench held that due enquiry procedure postulates an institutional decision of the Committee treating the child as abandoned or surrendered. The enquiry in this case must have been an enquiry as contemplated for an abandoned child as only one parent alone had executed the surrender deed.

Once the declaration under Section 38 is found invalid, all consequential proceedings would also fall.

While parting with the decision, High Court added that:

“…in a country where the people worship Goddess, in the land where people have been taught about woman : Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra Devata, yatraitaastu na pujyante sarvaastatrafalaahkriyaah”. (Manusmriti (3.56)). [Gods abide where women are worshiped and all actions go futile where they are dishonoured] (Manusmriti 3 : 56),

 In the State where we boast cent percent literacy, our attitude to woman is despising; a single mother has no financial or social support. She faces emotional challenges and forced to believe she is destined to be isolated as result of guilt. She gets hardly any support from the system. It is time for the Government to evolve a scheme to support the single mother.

The anomie Anitha had to face as a single mother is the hurdle created by the society. Anitha never attempted to exterminate her womb; she bore the pain to give birth; like every mother she loved to care the child… but was not allowed by circumstances in the society. She thought without support of man, she cannot survive.”

Therefore, the certificate issued under Section 38 of the JJ Act is set aside and the revision was allowed and in view of the biological father’s willingness to take care of the child, Committee to consider the rights to claim for restoration under Section 37 and 40 of the JJ Act.[ XXXXXXXXXX v. State of Kerala, 2021 SCC OnLine Ker 1709, decided on 09-04-2021]


Advocates before the Court: 

By Advs. Sri. Rajit

Smt. Lekshmi P. Nair

R6 by Adv. Smt. B. Bindu

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Arvind Singh Sangwan, J., addressed the instant petition regarding a new concept of contractual Live-In-Relation wherein the petitioners had sought issuance of direction for the protection of their life and liberty.

Petitioner 1, namely Moyana Khatun was aged about 18 years, whereas, petitioner 2, namely Labh Singh was aged about 19 years and in pursuance to a deed of Live-In-Relationship dated 04-03-2021, which had been executed between the petitioners, wherein, petitioner 1 was referred to as the ‘Female Partner’ and petitioner 2 was referred to as the ‘Male Partner’. Certain terms and conditions had been settled in the said deed of live-in-relationship by way of mutual consent.

The contents of the deed were such that:

  • both the parties had agreed that their live-in-relationship was not ‘Marital Relationship’;
  • that the parties will fully cooperate with each other without any dispute and issue and will not claim anything against each other;
  • if any of the parties backs out from the aforesaid deed, the other party will have a right to approach a competent Court of law for implementation of the same.
  • that the parties are entitled and will be at liberty to terminate this deed any time after giving one month’s notice to other party.

However, it was also stated that on attaining marriageable age the parties were agree to solemnize the marriage. The petitioners contended that the live-in-relationship deed was executed between the parties at Patiala in presence of witnesses though neither the original deed was attached nor names of the witnesses were described; only a typed copy signed as a true copy by the counsel was attached.

Reliance was placed on Simran Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 6710, wherein, the petition relating to live-in-relationship couples was disposed of with a direction to the Senior Superintendent of Police to provide protection to the couple.

Counsel for state, DAG Joginder Pal Ratra argued that such deed of live-in-relationship is impermissible in law when the parties had not attained marriageable age under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. It also submitted that Section 5 (iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 prohibits marriage of a girl below 18 years and boy below 21 years of age and prescribes punishment for two years for contravention of Section 5 (iii) of the Act.

It was also submitted by the state that Section 26 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, also provides that an agreement in restraint of marriage is a void agreement and therefore, it cannot be enforced as per Section 14 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. Thus, the Live-In-Relationship agreement set up by petitioners being void agreement could not be accepted.

The Bench opined that the deed being impermissible in law, no benefit could be claimed by the petitioners. Petitioner 2 was held to be incompetent to have a live-in-relationship since he had not attained marriageable age. The Bench held that the petition was without any merit as the terms and conditions of live-in-relationship relied upon, especially stating that it was not a ‘Marital Relationship’ was nothing but the misuse of the process of law as it could not be morally accepted in society. [Moyna Khatun v. State of Punjab, CRWP-2421-2021, decided on 10-03-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. Sushil K. Sharma,

For The Respondent: DAG Joginder Pal Ratra

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where the petitioner sought recusal of Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud from hearing an application seeking recall of a previous order of which Justice Chandrachud a part of, the bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and MR Shah*, JJ has not found any valid and good ground for recusal and has said that,

“Merely because the order might not be in favour of the applicant earlier, cannot be a ground for recusal. A litigant cannot be permitted to browbeat the Court by seeking a Bench of its choice.”

Background

The petitioner had instituted proceedings under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 against a man with whom she had claimed to have entered into a relationship ‘in the nature of marriage’. She, however, was unable to prove this claim before the Karnataka High Court and hence, the High Court had, on July 31, 2018, noticed that,

“Domestic relationship means, the relationship between two persons who live or have at any point of time, lived together in a shared household. This concept has not been established by the petitioner.”

The petitioner, hence, instituted a case under Article 226 seeking that the decision of the Single Judge of the High Court dated July 31, 2018 “may be declared void/disabled/ recalled”.

It was her case that,

“In order to put forth a claim based on a relationship in the nature of marriage, it is not necessary under the law that neither of the parties should have a subsisting marriage and that notwithstanding the fact that the respondent was in a subsisting marriage, a valid claim under the Act would be maintainable in a situation such as the one which has been set up by the petitioner as the foundation for the grant of relief. She urged that in a situation such as the present, if the respondent who had a subsisting marriage entered into a relationship with her, there is no reason why a woman in the relationship should be left without a remedy.”

Order dated September 3, 2020

The Bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and KM Joseph, JJ had declined to entertain the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution seeking a declaration of the invalidity of the order dated July 31, 2018 while expressly keeping open the rights and remedies available to the petitioner under Article 136 of the Constitution.

It had said,

“A writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution would not be maintainable in order to challenge an order which has been passed by the High Court in the exercise of its judicial powers. In the present case, the High Court has exercised its revisional jurisdiction. Merely assailing the order as an order which is void would not enable a litigant to avoid the consequences which emanate from the order, by instituting a writ petition under Article 226. A litigant is not without her remedies. An order which has been passed by the High Court can either be assailed in a Letters Patent Appeal (in those cases where the remedy of a Letters Patent Appeal is available in law) or by way of a review (where the remedy of a review is available in a certain class of matters). A remedy is available to a litigant against a judicial order of the High Court passed in revisional proceedings, under Article 136 of the Constitution before this court.”

Present order

The Court considered the following factors and dismissed the application at hand:

  • earlier one other application was filed by the petitioner to recall order dated 03.09.2020 which was dismissed.
  • order dated 03.09.2020 was pronounced after hearing the applicant.
  • earlier application for recalling of order dated 03.09.2020 was also dismissed after hearing the petitioner.

The Court also directed that the Registry shall not accept any further miscellaneous application on the subject matter of order dated 03.09.2020 or on the two orders dismissing the application for recall of the order dated 03.09.2020.

[Neelam Manmohan Attavar v. Manmohan Attavar, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 58, decided on 05.02.2021]


*Justice MR Shah has penned this judgment

Also read

Know Thy Judge| Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Alka Sarin, J., allowing the present petition, reemphasized on the extended view of Article 21 as opted by the Supreme Court in Shafin Jahan case.

 The present criminal writ petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners seeking protection of their life and liberty as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. To put it briefly, the petitioners are residing together in a live in relationship and are willing to marry each other, against the wishes of their families. They are met with regular threat from their family members against which the present petition has been moved seeking protection under Article 21 of the Constitution.

 Court observed, “The petitioners are both major and have every right to live their lives as they desire within the four corners of the law. The society cannot determine how an individual should live her or his life. The Constitution of India guarantees every individual the right to life and the choice of a partner is an important facet of the right to life.”  Reliance was placed on the case of Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 368, wherein the Supreme Court observed, The right to marry a person of one’s choice is integral to Article 21 of the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees the right to life. This right cannot be taken away except through a law which is substantively and procedurally fair, just and reasonable. Intrinsic to the liberty which the Constitution guarantees as a fundamental right is the ability of each individual to take decisions on matters central to the pursuit of happiness. Matters of belief and faith, including whether to believe are at the core of constitutional liberty.”

While allowing the petition, the Court further clarified, “Merely because of the fact that petitioner No.2 is not of a marriageable age the petitioners cannot possibly be denied enforcement of their fundamental rights as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners, both being major, have decided to live together in a live-in relationship and there possibly may not be any legally justifiable reason for the respondents to object to the same.”[Priyapreet Kaur v. State of Punjab,  2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2340, decided on 23-12-2020]


Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together