High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

110 Reports from 20 High Courts


Allahabad High Court


  • Money Laundering

For money launderers “jail is the rule and bail is an exception”

While addressing a matter with regard to anticipatory bail, Krishan Pahal, J., observed that, Money Laundering being an offence is economic threat to national interest and is committed by the white-collar offenders who are deeply rooted in society and cannot be traced out easily.

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  • Right to Approach the Court

Person whose case is based on falsehood has no right to approach the Court

Expressing that Courts of law are meant for imparting justice, Sanjay Kumar Singh, J., observed that more often the process of Court is being abused by unscrupulous litigants to achieve their nefarious design.

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  • Bail

Cogent and clinching evidence found regarding conversion of deaf and dumb students to Islam; Bail denied

The Division Bench of Brij Raj Singh and Ramesh Sinha, JJ. dismissed a criminal appeal which was filed under Section 21 (4) of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 of refusal of bail to the appellant.

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Unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans; foundations of our nation are more enduring: All HC while granting bail to Kashmiri Students

Expressing that Students travelling freely to different parts of the country in the quest for knowledge is the true celebration of India diversity and a vivid manifestation of India’s unity, Ajay Bhanot, J., stated that it is the duty of the people of the hosting State to create enabling conditions for visiting scholars to learn and to live the constitutional values of our nation.

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Andhra Pradesh High Court


  • Arms Act

Will carrying of toy gun in public attract S. 25 of Arms Act? Bail granted to a man giving stills as a hero with an air gun in a cinema theatre

“…the offences punishable under Sections 290, 506(2) IPC are bailable in nature. As regards the offence punishable under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959, is concerned, the pistol which was seized from the possession of A-1 is an air gun. It is a toy gun.”

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  • Wilful Negligence

No offence made out under POA Act against bank officials who misplaced the house documents and title deeds of a claimant as FIR does not show wilful Negligence by a public servant

The Court after perusing Section 3(1) (v) and 3(2) (vii) and Section 4 of POA, Act, which deals with punishment for neglect of duties it is clear that these cannot be made applicable to the facts in issue. Section 3(2)(vii) postulates a situation where a person being a public servant commits any offence under this section i.e., Section 3(2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence. 

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  • Vakalat and Written

Signatures on the Vakalat and the Written Statement cannot be considered as signatures of comparable and assured standard for want of expert opinion under S. 45 Evidence Act

Ninala Surya, J., decided to not interfere with the impugned order and dismissed the civil writ petition.

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Bombay High Court


  • Child Marriages

Child marriages will have to be stopped and no person can be allowed to take advantage of any such situation

Vibha Kankanwadi, J., expressed that Child marriages are hazardous to the social fabric of this Country.

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  • Decorum of Court

Advocate to maintain dignity & decorum of Court, no room for arrogance and no license to intimidate Court

Anuja Prabhudessai, J., expressed that an advocate as an Officer of the Court is under an obligation to maintain the dignity and decorum of the Court. There is no room for arrogance and there is no license to intimidate the Court, make reckless accusations and allegations against a Judge and pollute the very fountain of justice.

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  • Compassionate Appointment

Can legal heir of deceased employee be granted compassionate appointment, who took voluntary retirement due to being medically unfit?

Ravindra V. Ghuge, J., decides a matter as to whether the benefit of compassionate appointment can be granted to the legal heir of the employee, who took voluntary retirement and was never certified as being medically unfit to perform any work, though the reason for opting for retirement was a serious medical condition.

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  • Religious Verses

Declaration of reciting religious verses at someone’s residence: Act of breaching personal liberty of another person?

Stating that, “Great power comes with greater responsibility”, the Division Bench of Prasanna B. Varale and S.M. Modak, JJ., expressed that, the expectation of responsible behaviour or responsible conduct from those persons who are active in public life cannot be an extra expectation but would be a basic expectation.

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  • Eviction

Son not expected to brand his aged father a ‘swindler’ or allege that aged parents have lost mental balance

In a matter wherein, the parents sought eviction of their sonRohit B. Deo, J., expressed that,

“In the conservative Indian society, a son is not expected to brand his aged father a ‘swindler’ or then allege that the aged parents have lost mental balance.”

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Can mere filing of proceedings under S. 7 IBC be treated as an embargo on Court exercising jurisdiction under S. 11 of Arbitration & Conciliation Act?

A very interesting question was considered by G.S. Kulkarni, J., the question being, whether mere filing of a proceeding under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 would amount to an embargo on the Court considering an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, to appoint an arbitral tribunal?

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  • Land Acquisition

For determining land acquisition compensation, market value, if any, specified in Stamp Act for registration of Sale Deed and/or Agreement of Sale has to be considered

The Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Vinay Joshi, JJ., expressed that only because 83% of the property for the project is acquired, it would be egregious not to apply the provision of the statute for determination of compensation.

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  • Pension

If service of an employee at his superannuation is less than ten years, then previous temporary or officiating service needed to be counted for qualifying service for pension

The Division Bench of R.D. Dhanuka and S.G. Mehare, JJ., expressed that, for condoning the interruption in service, the total service pensionary benefit in respect of which will lost should not be less than five years duration, excluding one or two interruptions.

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  • Partition

In a suit for partition, the heads of all the branches are necessary parties

Mangesh S. Patil, J., decided on the following questions for consideration:

  • Whether in a suit for partition and possession of the field all the sharers and co-partners are necessary parties?
  • Whether suit for partition and possession is bad for non-joinder of necessary parties and therefore ought to have been dismissed?
  • Whether in the circumstances of the case, the observation regarding non-joinder of necessary parties, made by the appellate court, are proper?

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  • Maintenance

Can filing of a maintenance proceeding, a criminal case for harassment be said to be sufficient to jump to a conclusion that wife intended to harass husband and his relations?

In a matter of matrimonial discord, Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, when admittedly, for whatever reason, there was a marital discord and the wife had started residing with the infant child at her parental house barely within three years of her marriage, it cannot be expected of her not to prosecute whatever rights and remedies she has under the law.

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  • “No Confidence”

If directly elected Sarpanch acts in a manner rendering functioning of Panchayat at a standstill, would member of panchayat get right to move motion of ‘no confidence’?

Stating that in the democratic setup, the will of the majority is the rule, the Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Shrikant D. Kulkarni, JJ., held that if the directly elected Sarpanch fails to call the meetings of the Panchayat or acts in a manner rendering the functioning of the Panchayat at a standstill, the member of the Panchayat would certainly get a right to move a motion of no confidence.

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  • Motor Accident Case

Determination of a just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza

Addressing a dispute with regard to the percentage of permanent disability and determination of compensation, Shrikant D. Kulkarni, J., remarked that determination of a just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza.

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  • Society

Can minority members of a Society act against will of majority members and foist delay in commencement of redevelopment work of Society?

Observing that, a developer who has been appointed by the Society and who is eager to proceed with the redevelopment, was in some manner left baffled and dragged into litigationG.S. Kulkarni, J., held that, non-cooperating members cannot foist a delay on the builder and the society in the commencement of the redevelopment work resulting in the project costs being increased every passing day.

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  • Abortion

Past pregnancy can be determined on account of permanent changes in the body of a woman

While addressing a matter, wherein the accused who was a doctor charged for raping a minor stated that there was not any proof that the girl ever conceived or had undergone any abortion, M.G. Sewlikar, J., expressed that, Medical science is so advanced that now a days past pregnancy also can be determined on the basis of changes in the body of a woman on account of pregnancy.

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  • Custody of Child

Non-custodial parent cannot be deprived of his right to spend quality time and enjoy company of children

Anuja Prabhudessai, J., expressed that the children also have the right to love and affection from both parents as well as grandparents as it is essential for the personal development and overall well-being of the children.

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  • Partnership Act

Every partner is liable, jointly with all other partners and also severally for all acts of firm done while he is a partner: Is it true?

Expressing that, a firm is not a legal entity, N.J. Jamadar, J., held that a partnership firm is only a collective or compendious name for all the partners.

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  • Constitutional Validity of S. 29A of Consumer Protection Act

Whether absence of President of State Commission or District Forum for reasons beyond control is sufficient for striking down S. 29A as unconstitutional?

Stating that, the Courts cannot examine the constitutional validity if a situation created by impugned legislation is irremediable, the Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., addressed a matter wherein the constitutional validity of Section 29A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been challenged.

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  • Lawyer-Client Relationship

Lawyer-client relationship is a fiduciary one; any act which is detrimental to legal rights of clients’ needs to be punished

Stating that it is the duty of every Advocate to uphold professional integrity so that citizens can legally secure justicethe Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., expressed that, professional misconduct refers to its disgraceful conduct not befitting the profession concerning the legal profession, which is not a business or trade and therefore, it must remain decontaminated.

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  • Sale Deed

Whether a natural guardian having executed sale-deed of property of a minor in favour of a third party and thereafter repurchased part of it, can be prosecuted for offences under Ss. 420, 467, 468, 471 of IPC that too, after more than 35 years from date of attaining majority by minor?

The Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit Borkar, JJ., expressed that a transaction by a natural guardian of a minor with respect to his immovable properties is valid till a Court strikes it down.

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  • Muslim Personal Law

Under Muslim Personal law, can Family Court dissolve the marriage of a couple?

The Division Bench of V.K. Jadhav and Sandipkumar C. More, JJ., addressed whether Family Court under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 read with Section 7(1)(b) Explanation (b) of the Family Courts Act, 1984 declare the matrimonial status of a wife and husband.

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  • Competition Commission of India

Competition Commission of India not to take any coercive actions against Asianet, Disney and Star India until 8th June

The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., directed the Competition Commission of India not to take any coercive actions against Asianet Star Communications Private Limited, Disney Broadcasting and Star India.

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  • Alimony

Whether the husband is entitled to claim alimony under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955?

Bharati Dangre, J., held that provision of maintenance/permanent alimony being a beneficial provision for the indigent spouse, Section 25 can be invoked by either of the spouse, where a decree of any kind governed by Sections 9 to 13 has been passed and marriage tie is broken, disrupted or adversely affected by such decree of the court.

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  • Properties

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 of the Hindu Succession Act, 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


  • Departmental Proceedings

DGP directed to initiate departmental proceedings against Police Officers; CID to take over investigation

Rajasekhar Mantha, J. while adjudicating a case involving serious offences under Section 365, 354B and other provisions of IPC directed the Director General of Police, West Bengal to initiate appropriate departmental proceeding against the ASI, Arnab Chakraborty and any other person that he may feel was responsible for misleading the Court further handing over the investigation to CID, West Bengal.

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  • Policy Decisions

Policy decisions of State not to be disturbed unless found to be grossly arbitrary or irrational; prayer for extension of lease rejected

Shampa Sarkar, J. decided on a petition which was filed for a direction upon the respondents 7 and 8 to cancel and/or quash the notice dated April 6, 2022, with regard to handing over the possession of the ferry ghat to the Pradhan of the Mahanandatola Gram Panchayat, upon expiry of the lease of the petitioner.

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  • Currency Notes

There are many known heroes and unsung heroes, if everybody starts making such a claim there will not be an end; Petition for printing Netaji’s picture on currency notes dismissed

The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ. and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J. dismissed a petition which was filed by the petitioner with the plea that having regard to the contribution of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the freedom struggle, his picture should be printed on the Indian currency.

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Scope of S. 9 of A&C Act cannot be extended to enforcement of award or granting fruits of award to award holder as an interim measure; application dismissed

Ravi Krishan Kapur, J. dismissed an application which was filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘the Act’) wherein liberty to withdraw a sum of Rs 4,11,89,759/- deposited by the award debtor, State of West Bengal, with the Registrar, Original Side of this Court upon furnishing of appropriate security was sought.

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  • Rape

Lady IPS Officer directed to investigate in the recent matter of 4 rape cases in the villages

The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ. and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J. took up a petition and directed Damayanti Sen, IPS presently working as Special Commissioner of Police to Kolkata Police to investigate in the matter of rape cases at village Nehalpur, Nandipara, incident on Dol Purnima and English Bazar.

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  • Indian Forest Act

Court orders release of vehicles confiscated under the Indian Forest Act with unprecedented observations

Rabindranath Samanta, J. allowed a criminal revision petition which was filed aggrieved by the order of Magistrate wherein he had rejected the prayers made by the petitioners for return of two vehicles which were seized by the Deputy Ranger (Beat Officer), Bamonpokhari Range Office of the Forest Range, Kurseong Forest Range, Darjeeling

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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


  • Legislation

Whenever substantive obligation/rights/ interests are impaired/adversely affected through any piece of subordinate legislation, then its source must be traced within express provisions in four corners of parent enactment

“…the very object and reason behind framing of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 was to ensure that only persons with a minimum standard of professional education should be permitted to practice the profession of pharmacy.”

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  • Unlawful Detention

Writ of habeas corpus is a writ of right, it is not a writ of course; a prima facie case of unlawful detention must be made

The writ of habeas corpus is an effective means of immediate release from the unlawful detention, whether in prison or in private custody. Physical confinement is not necessary to constitute detention. Control and custody are sufficient. For issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, the applicant must show a prima facie case of unlawful detention of the subject.

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  • Section 304 B of Penal Code, 1860

An order of acquittal is not to be set aside lightly; Chh HC observes in a case where daughter in law committed suicide in unnatural circumstances

The Court after perusing evidence and facts observed that the finding of the Trial Court that the prosecution has failed to prove that soon before the death of the deceased she was subjected to cruelty on account of demand of dowry is totally based on the evidence available on record.

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  • Will

Daughters also entitled for getting equal share in the property inherited by their parents; Court reiterates and allows appeal deciding validity of will

Narendra Kumar Vyas, J. allowed an appeal filed by the defendants setting aside the judgment and decree by the Trial Court whereby trial Court had decreed the suit filed by plaintiff/respondent 1, dismissed the counter claim filed by appellants/defendants 1 to 3.

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  • Criminal Trial

Criminal trial and confiscation proceedings may run simultaneously; Once the information of confiscation proceeding under S. 52 (e) Indian Forest Act is given to DM, Trial Magistrate has no power over it

“…a bare reading of Section 52, Indian Forest Act, 1927 makes it clear that Forest Officer has power to confiscate the vehicle and the Competent Authority after giving show cause notice to the petitioner.”

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  • Abduction

If a girl runs away voluntarily without any persuasion, can boy with whom she eloped be held responsible for abducting the girl?

Deepak Kumar Tiwari, J., held that, when the accused has not played any active role or persuaded the victim and the victim voluntarily left the protection of her parents and having capacity to know her action, no offence of abduction is made out.

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Delhi High Court


  • Maintenance

Husband with sufficient means, is obligated to maintain wife and children?

In a maintenance matter, Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed that, if a husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities

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  • Rule of Law

Whether absence of rule of law or utter disregard for the same propels a country towards inevitable ruin?

Expressing that, attempts to circumvent or undermine judicial decisions need to be viewed seriously in order to ensure that the functioning of our country is unhindered, especially during turbulent times, Subramonium Prasad, J., held that,

“It is only the rule of law which not only cements the civilised functioning of a country, but also drives a country towards progress and development.”

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  • Framing of Charge

Does framing of charge means that accused is guilty or does it imply that accused may be guilty?

“The beauty of procedural law lies in the stages and remedies available during the course of a criminal proceeding.”

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  • Levy of Liquidated Damages

 If a contract comprises, several components awarded to different contractors, would it be inapposite to blame contractor that was last in completing work for loss suffered on account of delay in completing Project?

While reiterating the law on award of liquidated damages, Vibhu Bakhru, J., expressed that, where a contract comprises, several components awarded to different contractors, it is inapposite to blame the contractor that is last in completing the work for loss suffered on account of delay in completing the Project.

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  • Arbitration Agreement

Rule of priority in favour of arbitrators is counterbalanced by Courts’ power to review existence and validity of arbitration agreement

“Once a valid arbitration agreement exists between the parties, the issue whether the petitioner is entitled to any relief in the absence of a third party to the agreement or that third party is required to be impleaded in the proceedings, is covered by the Doctrine of Competence-Competence and it will be for the Arbitrator to decide the said issue.”

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  • PC & PNDT Act

Can Court take cognizance of complaint filed by single-member Appropriate Authority for offences under PC&PNDT Act, 1994?

Mukta Gupta, J., held that, the Metropolitan Magistrate/ Judicial Magistrate of the first class is competent to take cognizance and try the offence punishable under the PC&PNDT Act on the complaint of an Appropriate Authority or any officer authorised on this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government or the Appropriate Authority under sub-Section (1) of Section 28 of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal-Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

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  • Jurisdiction

Can power under S. 482 CrPC be exercised where allegations are required to be proved in Court of law?

Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., expressed that the Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC cannot go into the truth or otherwise of the allegations made in the complaint or delve into the disputed question of facts.

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  • Recusal of Judge

When a Judge recuses without reasons, can a litigant or third party intervene, comment or enquire?

Asha Menon, J., held that, when a Judge recuses, no litigant or third party has any right to intervene, comment or enquire. The recusal has to be respected, whether a reason has been spelt out in detail or not.

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  • Adultery

Only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract rigours of provision under S. 125(4) CrPC

While addressing a matter with regard to a wife’s right to maintenance Chandra Dhari Singh, J., expressed that, only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract the rigours of the provision under Section 125(4) CrPC.

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  • Civil Contempt

Disobedience of an order of Court, if permitted, will result in striking at root of rule of law

Whether the third party can be absolved from contempt if they are informed that their conduct would violate the Court order, Subramonium Prasad, J., reiterated the well-settled position that though broadly a person who is not a party to the proceedings cannot be proceeded against for violation of the order, but a third party cannot seek to absolve themselves if they are informed about the fact that their conduct amounts to a violation of the Court and that despite the information, they choose to willfully flout the mandate of the Court.

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  • Denial of Sex

Whether denial of sex can qualify as “exceptional depravity” under S. 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act and allow waiver of one-year mandatory period?

Noting that, Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act intends to discourage the couples from breaking the sacred bond of marriage in haste, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., held that, a mandatory one year period granted under Section 14 of the Act, encourages couples to cool down, and give a rethink to preserve their marriage.

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  • Bail

Person accused of defrauding Government: Will Del HC grant bail to the accused?

Prateek Jalan, J., grants bail to a person who was alleged to cause fraudulent transactions and loss to the government.

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Cocoon of protection, afforded by a bail order insulates suspect and he could thwart interrogation reducing it to futile rituals

Asha Menon, J., expressed that, personal liberty is a very precious fundamental right and it should be curtailed only when it becomes imperative according to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Scope of examination under S. 11 of A&C Act is confined to existence of arbitration agreement or does it extend to adjudicating nature of contract as well?

Vibhu Bakhru, J., held that whether claims are barred by limitation is a mixed question of fact and law and is required to be examined by the Arbitral Tribunal.

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Whether an award passed under S. 34(4) of the A&C Act is a fresh award for the purpose of S. 34 of the Act?

Vibhu Bakhru, J., allowed an amendment application seeking amendment of a petition filed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

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  • Infringement

Red Bull v. Sting | Injunction application against Pepsico’s tagline “STIMULATES MIND ENERGIZES BODY”: Whether Pepsi has committed infringement?

Amit Bansal, J., observed that the taglines of ‘Red Bull’ and ‘Sting’ are descriptive and laudatory in nature.

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  • Scholarship Advertisement

If an advertisement regarding scholarship was published in Urdu language, can it be presumed that it was targeted at students belonging to a particular community only?

The Division Bench of Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma, JJ., expressed that just because the scholarship advertisement was published in the Urdu language, does not mean that it was targeted at students belonging to a particular community only.

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  • COVID-19

Can Delhi High Court direct State for payment of ex gratia compensation of Rs 1 Crore to families whose members died due to COVID-19?

The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Navin Chawla, J., held that this Court cannot direct payment of ex gratia compensation of Rs 1 Crore to families whose members died due to COVID-19.

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  • Physical relations on Promise to Marry

 Long term relationship with intent of marriage ended on hostile terms, would it be covered under S. 376(2)(n) IPC?

Noting that the Trial Court failed to perform its duty and rendered a mechanical order, Subramonium Prasad, J., set aside the trial Court’s order in a matter wherein, a woman had alleged that she was subjected to physical relationship with a boy on a false promise of marriage.

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  • Political Clearance

Judges required to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad: Did Del HC strike down Ministry of External Affairs’ Office Memorandum requiring the same?

The Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., strikes down the OM dated 13-7-2021, to the extent it requires Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad.

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  • Natural Justice

Refusal of a trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to fundamental tenets of natural justice

Prathiba M. Singh, J., expressed that, refusing trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of natural justice.

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  • LOC issued against Rana Ayyub

Infringement of Human Rights and restraint of her freedom of speech and expression?

While expressing that a LOC is a coercive measure to make a person surrenderChandra Dhari Singh, J., noting that the petitioner had appeared on each and every date before the Investigating Agency when summoned, quashed the LOC issued against Rana Ayyub.

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Vibhu Bakhru, J., forms an arbitration tribunal to adjudicate the matter with regard to use the brand name/trademark “Hero”.

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  • Custodial Interrogation

Father of deceased accuses brother-in-law for her suicide: If chargesheet has already been filed, is there any need of custodial interrogation?

Chandra Dhari Singh, J., decides a bail matter wherein a woman was alleged to have committed suicide due to harassment and dowry demands by in-laws.

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Gujarat High Court


  • Reinstatement of Employee

Court directs reinstatement of employee alleged of corruption charges; termination order quashed

Biren Vaishnav, J. allowed a petition which was filed challenging the order of termination passed by the respondent – authority, by which, the services as Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector, Class-III of the petitioner has been terminated on the ground of lodging of an FIR under Sections 7, 8, 12, 13(1)(D) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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  • Bail

First step of turning him into a hardcore criminal will be sending him behind bars; Court allows bail

A.S. Supehia, J. allowed a bail application in connection with FIR filed for the offences under Sections 363, 366, 376(2)(n), 376(3) of the Penal Code, 1860 as well as Sections 4, 6, and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

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  • Custody of Children

Mother alleged to have extra-marital affair, will father be granted custody of children?

Ashok Kumar C. Joshi, J., denied granting child custody to father, wherein the mother was alleged to have extra-marital affairs.

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Himachal Pradesh High Court


  • COVID-19

PIL filed by an advocate for grant of stipend to her as well other Advocates, who have not completed 3 years of practice on account of Covid-19; HP HC directs to approach State Bar

A Division Bench of Mohammad Rafiq CJ. and Jyotsna Rewal Dua JJ. disposed of the petition and directed to approach State Bar Council.

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Jharkhand High Court


  • Natural Justice

Principles of natural justice required to be followed and cannot be waived out depending upon quantum of punishment; Reiterated mandate of natural justice in blacklisting cases

The Court remarked that the cardinal principle of natural justice is mandatory to be followed in a case where any adverse decision/action is being taken against one or the other. The issuance of notice means that the person against whom any adverse action proposed to be taken, is required to be provided with the opportunity of hearing.

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Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court


Advocates are officers of Court and deserve same respect and dignity as is being given to Judicial and Presiding Officers of Courts

Sanjay Dhar, J., expressed that, there may be stray incidents where the advocates have resorted to levelling allegations against the Judicial Officers in order to seek transfer of their cases from one Court to another to suit their convenience, but then this cannot be generalized.

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  • Maintenance

Minor seeks maintenance but issue of her paternity is in question: Will J&K and Ladakh HC grant maintenance amidst the dispute?

“…grant of maintenance to a minor child should be the paramount consideration for a Magistrate dealing with a petition under Section 125 CrPC, but when the paternity of a child is seriously disputed and there is no prima facie material to suggest that the respondent happens to be the father of the child, it would not be prudent for a Magistrate to fasten the respondent with the liability of maintaining the child.”

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Kerala High Court


  • Sexual Assault

In the guise of applying makeup, a bridal make up artist alleged sexually assaulted several women: Can he be granted anticipatory bail?

Gopinath P., J., granted bail to the bridal make up artist who was alleged to have sexually assaulted several women in the guise of applying make up.

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  • Media Trial

Can media be given right to speculate on outcome of one going investigations or Court proceedings or criminal trials?

While addressing the matter with regard to the media trial, Mohammed Nias C.P., J., expressed that, half-truths and misinformation cannot be the basis of publications or telecast.

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  • Alimony

Can children claim any amount under the head of permanent alimony under S. 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act?

Observing that trauma in a marital discord is common to both parties, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., expressed that as per Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, while awarding permanent alimony and maintenance, the husband’s income and other property, if any, and the income and property of the wife, conduct of the parties and other circumstances are to be taken into account.

Read full report here…

  • Consensual Sex

Can promise to marry a married woman be legally enforceable wherein she voluntarily formed sexual relations with a man?

Dr Kauser Edappagath, J., addressed a matter wherein a married woman voluntarily had sex with her former lover.

Read full report here…

  • Maintenance Tribunal

Whether power of Maintenance Tribunal under Senior Citizen Act is circumscribed to ordering of monthly allowance?

In a matter, wherein a senior citizen has approached the Court with her grievance with respect to her son, Murali Purushothaman, J., expressed that,

“When the Senior Citizen or parent who has earnings makes an application to the Maintenance Tribunal contending that her right to earning is obstructed by the son who has statutory obligation to maintain the parent, the Maintenance Tribunal has to ensure that the Senior Citizen or parent is able to maintain herself from her earnings.”

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the biggest honours.”

Read full report here…

  • Family Court

Do Family Courts have to remain as a neutral umpire of the real dispute between the parties?

Expressing that, Family Court has been functioning in like manner of an ordinary Civil Court, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., remarked that, family courts have to be impartial or neutral.

Dissatisfaction with the administration of justice in the Family Courts is writ large on the face of many orders challenged before this Court.

Read full report here…


Karnataka High Court


Mere suspicion is not enough to prosecute the petitioner for offence punishable under S. 370 of the IPC for human trafficking; Kar HC observes in a case where AIO caught 3 Indian nationals on suspicion

The Court after perusing complaint, charge sheet and Section 370 of the IPC observed that the petitioner had indulged himself in human trafficking and thus the soul of the provision is exploitation.

Read full report here…

  • Election

Kar HC quotes “The Vajpayee led NDA–Government was toppled for want of one vote” and Benjamin Franklin while deciding a case of a returning candidate whose election was set aside

“…A right to elect, fundamental though it is to democracy, is, anomalously enough, neither a fundamental right nor a Common Law Right. It is pure and simple, a statutory right. So is the right to be elected. So is the right to dispute an election.”

Read full report here…

  • Solid Waste Management

PIL filed seeking to shift the location identified for setting up solid waste management; directions issued

A Division Bench of Ritu Raj Awasthi CJ. and S. R Krishna Kumar JJ. issued directions regarding setting up of solid waste management units after expert opinion from concerned authorities.

Read full report here…

  • A&C Act

Kar HC deals whether an international commercial arbitral award rendered outside India between the parties who have no connection to India can be enforced in India

“…a foreign award under a New York Convention has been given a special status. India being a signatory to the said New York Convention it is required that all countries which are signatories to the New York Convention enable execution of a foreign arbitral award rendered in a reciprocating country in the event of a property against which the arbitral award is sought to be enforced is situated within the jurisdiction of that particular country.”

Read full report here…

  • Dishonour of Cheque

Kar HC decides contours of law in a classic case where cash of Rs 2 crore was borrowed as hand loan and a cheque obtained for the repayment of the same got dishonoured

The Court observed that the Act was amended by the Amendment Act of 2018 and Section 143A came to be inserted. The purport of the amendment is that the Court may in certain circumstances award interim compensation which shall not exceed 20% of the amount of the cheque and such interim compensation can be permitted to be withdrawn in terms of the said amendment.

Read full report here…


Madras High Court


  • Tax Liability

If an assessee under stress of investigation, signs a statement admitting tax liability and makes a few payments, can it lead to self-ascertainment?

Merely because an assessee has, under stress of investigation, signed a statement admitting tax liability and has also made a few payments as per the statement, cannot lead to self-assessment or self-ascertainment.

Read full report here…

  • Two-Finger Test

Ban the practice of two-finger test on victims of sexual offences by medical professionals

Stating that two-finger test cannot be permitted to be continued, the Division Bench of R. Subramanian and N. Sathish Kumar, JJ., directed the State Government to ban the practice of two-finger test on victims of sexual offences by the medical professionals.

Read full report here…

  • Co-parcenary Right

Are Coparcenary rights taken away by Hindu Succession Act?

Anand Venkatesh, J., addressed a matter with regard to coparcenary rights of sons and daughters

Read full report here…

  • Legal Profession

Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice

Expressing that, Legal profession is a noble profession, and it is the lawyer, who plays a predominant role in securing every citizen life and personal liberty fundamental and statutory rights ensured by the ConstitutionM. Govindaraj, J., observed that, Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice.

Read full report here…

  • Law of Limitation

Exercise of power of discretion if made excessively, it would defeat the purpose and object of law of limitation; Courts not to travel beyond permissible extent

Expressing that, Power of discretion is to be exercised to mitigate the injustice if any occurred to the litigantsS.M. Subramaniam, J., remarked that,

“Litigations/appeals are expected to be filed within the period of limitation as contemplated under the Statutes. Rule is to follow limitation. Condonation of delay is an exception. Exceptions are to be exercised discreetly, if the reasons furnished are genuine and acceptable.”

Read full report here…


Madhya Pradesh High Court


  • Live-in Relationships

Live-in relationships are engulfing ethos of Indian society, and promoting promiscuity and lascivious behavior, giving further rise to sexual offences

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.

Read full report here…

  • Divorce

Woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman; Appeal for divorce dismissed

“Based on Hindu law, marriage is a sacred tie and the last of ten sacraments that can never be broken. Also, it is a relationship that is established by birth to birth. Also, it is not only considered as sacred but it is also a holy union. The main objective of marriage is to enable a woman and a man to perform their religious duties. Along with this, they also have to beget progeny. Based on ancient writings, a woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman.”

Read full report here…

  • Criminal Proceeding

Criminal proceeding maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wrecking vengeance deserves to be quashed; Court allows petition by husband

Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava, J. allowed a petition which was filed to quash FIR for offence under Sections 498-A, 506, 34 of IPC and other subsequent proceedings initiated therefrom.

Read full report here…

  • Bail

Warning issued to Additional Session Judge for granting bail on caste and bias

Vivek Agarwal, J. allowed a bail application issuing a warning to First Additional Session Judge, Maihar, District Satna to be more cautious and judicious in his approach in future so that image of the judiciary can be saved and allegations of casteism and bias are not allowed to be levied so to tarnish collective image of judiciary.

Read full report here…

  • Mental Cruelty

Mental cruelty inflicted by the wife over her husband through her conduct a valid ground for divorce; Court allows appeal

The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Anand Pathak, JJ., allowed an appeal which was preferred under Section 19 of the Family Court Act, 1984 against the judgment and decree dated 27-03- 2019 passed by the Link Family Court whereby the application preferred by the appellant/applicant/husband under Section 13(1)(iA) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 had been rejected.

Read full report here…

  • Dishonour of Cheque

Whether dishonour of cheques could have only given a cause of action to register an FIR for an offence under S. 420 IPC?

The Court stated it is a well-settled principle of law that the general law will not prevail over the Special Law as enshrined in the maxim generalia specialibus non derogant.

Read full report here…


Orissa High Court


  • Dishonour of Cheque

Ori HC considers whether any difference exists between a case where default is committed and prosecution immediately launched and where prosecution is deferred till cheque presented again gets dishonored for second or successive time?

R K Pattnaik, J. dismissed the petition and held that the ground on which the petition is raised is misconceived and therefore, cannot be sustained.

Read full report here…


Rajasthan High Court


  • Sexual Assault

Ex–fiancée levelled charges of sexual assault to harass and destroy present married life of the boy; Raj HC issues notice and directs police to neither harass nor arrest him

Dinesh Mehta, J., issues notice and directs police to neither harass nor arrest the petitioner boy.

Read full report here…

  • Bail

Raj HC granted temporary bail for a period of 15 days to enable the appellant to perform Kanyadaan on daughter’s marriage

A Division bench of Manindra Mohan Srivastava, CJ. and Madan Gopal Vyas J. allowed the application and granted bail for a period of 15 days.

Read full report here…

  • Mining Operations

PIL filed seeking permit for gypsum mining in the districts Shriganganagar and Haumangarh; Raj HC observes citizen does not have any vested right to carry on mining operations, absolute right lies with State

A Division Bench of Farjand Ali J and Sandeep Mehta JJ.  directed that as and when the gypsum mining operations are opened in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, the petitioners shall not be entitled to apply for mining licenses for this purpose in either of these two districts.

Read full report here…

  • Maintenance of Senior Citizens

Ill-treatment meted out to respondent-mother, expelled from her own house, allegations of mental, physical and social abuse; Raj HC directs petitioner-son to vacate the house with his family

The Court observed that Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted by the Legislature in the background that the traditional norms and values of the Indian Society are lost due to withering of the joint family system as a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family, particularly the widowed women, who are forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect, lack of financial support and are rather treated as a waste.

Read full report here…

  • Right to Procreation

Raj HC reiterated “Right to Procreation survives during incarceration” and “is traceable and squarely falls within the ambit of Article 21 of our Constitution; Parole granted

The Division Bench of Farjand Ali and Sandeep Mehta, JJ. allowed the petition and granted parole after considering the religious philosophies, cultural, sociological and humanitarian aspects, coupled with the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

Read full report here…


Punjab and Haryana High Court


  • Duration of Marriage

Short duration of marriage cannot be the only ground to disallow organ transplant by spouse; writ petition allowed

 Raj Mohan Singh, J., contemplated the present petition and ruled that a short duration of marriage is absolutely no ground to deny an organ transplant.

Read full report here…

  • Mental Cruelty

Unworkable Marriage | Wife makes unfounded, indecent and defamatory allegations against husband to his senior officers, destroying his career & reputation: Mental Cruelty or not?

Expressing that, Matrimonial cases are matters of delicate human and emotional relationshipthe Division Bench of Ritu Bhari and Ashok Kumar Verma, JJ., expressed that, the Court no doubt should seriously make an endeavour to reconcile the parties, yet, if it is found that the breakdown is irreparable, then divorce should not be withheld.

Read full report here…

  • Voice Sample

S. 65-B (4) of the Evidence Act does not mention the stage of furnishing the certificate for admissibility; Court directs to give voice sample

Avneesh Jhingan, J., entertained a petition under Section 482 CrPC where the petitioner was aggrieved by the directions of the Chief Judicial Magistrate for giving voice samples.

Read full report here…


Telangana High Court


  • Employees State Insurance Act

Exhausting the remedy available for appeal is the rule and entertaining a writ petition is an exception

G Radha Rani, J., disposed of the petition and directed the petitioner to approach the EI Court under Section 75 of the ESI Act by filing an appropriate application.

Read full report here…


Tripura High Court


  • POCSO

Offence under S. 8 of the POCSO Act not been established beyond reasonable doubt; Court acquits man of POCSO charges

Arindam Lodh, J. partly allowed an appeal which was filed against the judgment and order of conviction whereby and whereunder the appellant has been found guilty for committing an offence punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and sentenced him to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 3 years for the said offence and also found guilty under Section 448 of IPC and sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 1 year for the said offence.

Read full report here…

Statement of the victim show exaggerations and improved versions; Court reduces sentence in POCSO matter

Arindam Lodh, J. partly allowed an appeal which was filed challenging the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by Special POCSO judge wherein the appellant had been convicted under Section 10 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 5 years and to pay a fine of Rs 20,000/- with default stipulation and further convicted under Section 451 IPC and sentenced him to suffer simple imprisonment for 6 months and to pay fine of Rs. 5000 with default stipulation.

Read full report here…


Sikkim High Court

State directed to ensure immediate escalation of progress of work of repairing of NH-10; meeting called to chalk out the immediate course of action before monsoon arrival

The Division Bench of Biswanath Somadder and Meenakshi Madan Rai, JJ. took up the PIL in order the peruse the status report concerned with the damaged roads and highways in the State.

Read full report here…

  • Missing Children

Directions issued for tracing out the missing children in the State; CCTV’s installed in police stations

The Division Bench of Biswanath Somadder, CJ. and Meenakshi Madan Rai, J. issued certain directions in the matter of a PIL concerning missing children in the State.

Read full report here…

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUpTribunals/Regulatory Bodies/Commissions Monthly Roundup

Interesting Stories of the Week


[Media Trial] Can media be given right to speculate on outcome of one going investigations or Court proceedings or criminal trials? Ker HC elucidates

While addressing the matter with regard to the media trial, Mohammed Nias C.P., J., expressed that, half-truths and misinformation cannot be the basis of publications or telecasts7.

Reports/telecast having the effect of prejudicing mankind against the parties and the court before the case is heard clearly interferes with the course of justice.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/37DrXKX


Whether denial of sex can qualify as “exceptional depravity” under S. 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act and allow waiver of one-year mandatory period? Del HC unfolds

Noting that, Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act intends to discourage the couples from breaking the sacred bond of marriage in haste, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., held that, a mandatory one year period granted under Section 14 of the Act, encourages couples to cool down, and give a rethink to preserve their marriage.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v5iYen


Can children claim any amount under the head of permanent alimony under S. 25 of Hindu Marriage Act? Ker HC explains

Observing that trauma in a marital discord is common to both parties, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., expressed that as per Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, while awarding permanent alimony and maintenance, the husband’s income and other property, if any, and the income and property of the wife, conduct of the parties and other circumstances are to be taken into account.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3EAH18c


Child marriages will have to be stopped and no person can be allowed to take advantage of any such situation: Bom HC

Vibha Kankanwadi, J., expressed that Child marriages are hazardous to the social fabric of this Country.

Read more here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/16/child-marriages/


Past pregnancy can be determined on account of permanent changes in the body of a woman: Bom HC

While addressing a matter, wherein the accused who was a doctor charged for raping a minor stated that there was not any proof that the girl ever conceived or had undergone any abortion, M.G. Sewlikar, J., expressed that, Medical science is so advanced that now a days past pregnancy also can be determined on the basis of changes in the body of a woman on account of pregnancy.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v4cuwb


Can minority members of a Society act against will of majority members and foist delay in commencement of redevelopment work of Society? Bom HC addresses

Observing that, a developer who has been appointed by the Society and who is eager to proceed with the redevelopment, was in some manner left baffled and dragged into litigationG.S. Kulkarni, J., held that, non-cooperating members cannot foist a delay on the builder and the society in the commencement of the redevelopment work resulting in the project costs being increased every passing day.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3ED6cHa


Live-in relationships are engulfing ethos of Indian society, and promoting promiscuity and lascivious behavior, giving further rise to sexual offences: Madhya Pradesh HC

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.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3Os1ocf


Can filing of a maintenance proceeding, a criminal case for harassment be said to be sufficient to jump to a conclusion that wife intended to harass husband and his relations? Bom HC throws light

In a matter of matrimonial discord, Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, when admittedly, for whatever reason, there was a marital discord and the wife had started residing with the infant child at her parental house barely within three years of her marriage, it cannot be expected of her not to prosecute whatever rights and remedies she has under the law.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3ECAiuk


Only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract rigours of provision under S. 125(4) CrPC: Del HC

While addressing a matter with regard to a wife’s right to maintenance Chandra Dhari Singh, J., expressed that, only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract the rigours of the provision under Section 125(4) CrPC.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/37DrUPh


When a Judge recuses without reasons, can a litigant or third party intervene, comment or enquire? Del HC answers

Asha Menon, J., held that, when a Judge recuses, no litigant or third party has any right to intervene, comment or enquire. The recusal has to be respected, whether a reason has been spelt out in detail or not.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v4AvDq


Sudden cancellation of rooms booked for daughter’s marriage 3 months prior on account of maintenance: Is it an acceptable reason? Can consumers claim compensation? NCDRC explains

“The memories of marriage ceremonies are lifetime events in the life of bride and bridegroom and their family members to make their moments memorable. In our country, certainly, it is not an easy task for the parents to arrange their daughter’s marriage in a five-star hotel in place like Jaipur or any big cities. All of sudden cancellation of booking about 3 months prior to the date of marriage on account of maintenance is not acceptable reason.”

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3K2xpnH

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: While addressing the matter with regard to the media trial, Mohammed Nias C.P., J., expressed that, half-truths and misinformation cannot be the basis of publications or telecast.

Reports/telecast having the effect of prejudicing mankind against the parties and the court before the case is heard clearly interferes with the course of justice.

Petitioner was arrayed as the third accused alleged for the commission of offences under Sections 116, 118, 120-B and 506 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, 1860, though a report was filed by the investigating officer changing Section 120B to Section 120 B (1) for adding offence under Section 302 IPC.

The de facto complainant was one of the investigating officers. Initially, there were only 7 accused in the case but later Mr Gopalakrishnan, the brother-in-law of the petitioner and a film actor was also arrayed as the 8th accused.

It was stated that the 6th respondent using his online news portal telecasted items regarding the cases in question from 25-12-2021 onwards fabricating more and more allegations against Mr Dileep and the petitioner about matters which were sub judice in the ongoing trial and the pending investigation.

It was alleged that the 6th respondent was resorting to sensationalism/publication/broadcast of fabricated allegations against the accused persons and their associates.

There was a specific allegation that respondents 3 to 5 were instrumental in leaking out the reports of the alleged investigation which led to the parallel trial by the media.

The first among the interim reliefs sought was to prohibit publication/broadcast of matters relating to the above said crime and the Sessions Case except the orders passed by the courts of law till the disposal of the Writ Petition and also to direct the 6th respondent to produce the contents of the entire telecast from 25-12-2021 till date in Report TV Channel and their Portal concerning the matter.

Analysis and Decision

High Court observed that the media interest or media debate, are all permitted in a democracy government by rule of law subject to one inviolable exception namely that the media cannot during the course of trial or investigation suggest/publish/telecast that A or B is guilty or that C or D is untrustworthy or an honest witness.

The above said are impermissible as the said suggestions of guilt of innocence or creditworthiness of witness etc.. are beyond the permissible rights of the media.

Media cannot usurp the jurisdiction of the courts which alone has the constitutional authority to decide the guilt/innocence of a person or decide on the content, quality or the width of any right available to any citizen/accused/suspect.                                                                          

Further, it was observed that,

Publication of leaks from the investigation agencies and to level allegations against individuals based on such leaks are not protected by the freedom of press under Article 19 (a) of the Constitution and it cannot be a defense that what was telecast was the allegation based on the prima facie findings of an investigating agency or worse on the basis of suspicions of Investigating agency.

Bench noted that, even the accused who is arrested during investigation and produced before a Magistrate under Section 167 (1) CrPC is entitled only to get a copy of the remand report as on the said basis his custody is sought. The Code only directs the investigating Officer to transmit to the Magistrate a copy of the entries in the case diary and when even the accused is not entitled to get the copy of any of the documents except remand report at that stage, it is difficult to comprehend as to how any other person/citizen/media can get copies of the details which even the accused is not entitled.

High Court observed that the during the course of the investigation, the investigating agency is not allowed to divulge the details of the investigation of any crime to the public at large on three counts:

  • Principle
  • Authority
  • Propriety

The Court suggested that the members of the electronic media should be bound by the spirit of guidelines issued under Norms of Journalist Conduct published by the Press Council of India, 2019.

The Bench held that the 6th respondent is to be prevented from telecasting/publishing the reports, therefore Court held that the present case warrants the extreme steps of passing directions against the 6th respondent to prevent such publications relating to the petitioner.

The matter is to be posted on 29-4-2022. [T.N. Suraj v. State of Kerala, WP (Crl.) No. 346 of 2022 (S), decided on 19-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Sr. Advocate and Additional Director General of Prosecutions Sri. Gracious Kuriakose

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

This year the Bombay High Court dealt with several heart-wrenching matters to some very pertinent and significant decisions for the society at large. Let’s sail into these 124 Judgments carefully selected and briefed in the year 2021.

These reports are categorised into over 90+ topics.


Transgender’s Right to Contest Election


Can a transgender contest election from a seat reserved for women candidates? HC espouses transgender people’s “Right to Self-Perceived Gender Identity”

 A Vacation Bench of Bombay High Court allowed the petitioner, a transgender person, to contest the panchayat elections from a seat reserved for women candidates.

Read more…


Sexual Assault


  • “Opening zip of pants”, Does it NOT “fit in the definition of sexual assault” under POCSO Act? Bom HC says so

Bombay High Court observed that acts of ‘holding the hands of the prosecutrix’, or ‘opened zip of the pant’ in Court’s opinion does not fit in the definition of ‘sexual assault’.

Read more…

  • [Reversed] Bombay HC on Sexual Assault | Would ‘pressing of breast’ and ‘attempt to remove salwar’ of a child fall under S. 7 and punishable under S. 8 of POCSO Act?

Bombay High Court had expressed that since there was no direct physical contact i.e. skin to skin with sexual intent without penetration, they said would not amount to ‘sexual assault’.

UPDATE: This Judgment of the Bombay High Court has now been reversed by a 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India after the matter was mentioned by the Attorney General for India and appeals were filed by the State of Maharashtra and the National Commission for Women.

Read more…


Media Trial


Bombay HC on Media Reporting, Obligation of Investigators, Media Trial, Freedom of Press and the proverbial ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for Media Houses || Read this detailed report unravelling several significant aspects cropped in light of Sushant Singh Case

“Any report of the press/media, having the propensity of tilting the balance against fair and impartial “administration of justice”, could make a mockery of the justice delivery system rendering ‘truth’ a casualty. “

 Read more…


 Judicial Over-Reach


If Judges interfere in academic matters or step into other Organs of State, would that amount to Judicial Over-Reach? Court addresses

Bombay High Court expressed that “As Judge, we primarily don the hat of an adjudicator.”

 Read more…


Unfair Labour Practice


Classic case of unfair labour practice: Workmen not given permanency on being engaged in a rotational pattern || Pool of Temporaries, Termination, Perennial Work & more

 Clear recipe of an unfair labour practice, notorious in the industry, of employing ‘badlis’, casuals or temporaries and continuing them as such for years, with the object of depriving them of the status and privileges of permanent employees.

Read more…


Cruelty


Husband making wild allegations that wife, her relatives, secured false certificates to get employment. Does husband’s conduct amount to ‘Mental Cruelty’ to wife? HC explains while upholding Family Court’s decision

 “…making of unfounded allegations against the spouse or his/her relatives in the pleadings or making complaints with a view to affect the job of the spouse amounts to causing mental cruelty to the said spouse.”

 Read more…


Abetment to Suicide


Child commits suicide, mentions drinking habit of father in suicide note. Can the father be held liable for abetment to suicide? Law explained

Lower Court’s Judge swayed away with the fact that the deceased boy committed suicide for an admitted position that the appellant was a drunkard.

Read more…


Well-Known Mark || IPR


ISKCON, Infringement of well-known mark: Read why Justice G.S. Patel deferred grant of discretionary relief in view of past history which may materially affect the action

 “The very least a Court of equity expects when asked to grant discretionary relief is complete and honest disclosure of the relevant facts.”

 Read more…


Homicidal Death


Can a person be held liable under S. 302 IPC on the basis of ‘last seen’ theory and not being able to offer sufficient explanation? Significance of ‘last seen’ theory in establishing homicidal nature of death discussed

 Where the prosecution succeeds in discharging its primary burden and brings evidence on record which indicates that the facts, thereby proved, rest within the special knowledge of the accused, Section 106 of the Evidence Act comes into play.

Suspicion, however strong, cannot take the place of proof.

 Read more… 


Sushant Singh Rajput Case


Power of quashing a criminal proceeding should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases: FIR against late actor Sushant Singh’s Sister not to be quashed

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court found prima facie case against Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s sister Priyanka Singh.

 Read more…


Maintenance to Widowed Daughter-in-Law


Father-in-law denies maintenance to widowed daughter-in-law and her children. Will he be obligated to maintain them if late son had a share in ancestral property? HC Decodes

Sections 19 and 22 of the Act create first obligation to maintain a widowed daughter-in- law on the father-in-law. The obligation only shifts on the father of the widow, if the father-in-law prove his inability to maintain her.

Read more…


 Fraud by Wife?


Husband alleged that wife hid her actual date of birth & since he intended to marry a ‘Mangalik Yog’ girl, fraud was played upon him. Here’s how HC solved the matter

Read this significant matter revolving around ‘fraud’ by the Bombay High Court.

Read more…


 Section 417 of Penal Code, 1860


  • Whether absence of ‘dishonest concealment of fact’ exempt a person from being punished under S. 417 IPC? Read on

“…here was no ‘promise to marry’ nor intentional deception by misrepresentation or deceitfulness practised before establishing physical relationship with prosecutrix.”

Read more…

  • If two people have consensual sexual relationship but boy later refuses to marry, Will that attract offence of cheating under S. 417 IPC? Bom HC explains

Evidence on record revealed that the sexual relationship between the prosecutrix and the accused was consensual.

Read more…


 Legal Heirs | Property


Relinquishment of self-acquired properties of a deceased by legal heirs. Will such release enure to benefit of all other legal heirs? Court explains

Relinquishment of properties inherited by the legal heirs of the person whose properties were self-acquired properties would not enure for the benefit of all the legal heirs of the said deceased but would enure only for those persons in whose favour such deed of relinquishment/release was executed.

Read more…


Defamation


Can a person’s image be used for a commercial purpose, without his/her express written consent? Justice G.S. Patel elaborates directing Amazon Prime to take down the telecast of a movie using a person’s private image

Simply using another’s image, and most especially a private image, without consent is prima facie impermissible, unlawful and entirely illegal. In a given case, it may also be defamatory, depending on the type of use.

Read more…


 Suicide


  • Woman commits suicide along with her infant daughter within 7 years of marriage. Can husband of deceased be held guilty for offences under Ss. 498-A, 304-B read with 34 IPC? Mere suspicion of Cruelty & Harassment is enough?

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court, upheld the decision of Additional Sessions Judge wherein a woman committed suicide along with her infant daughter within 7 years of marriage and allegations were placed that she committed suicide on the pretext of cruelty and harassment, but same could not be proved.

Read more…

  • Woman commits suicide due to alleged illicit relationship of husband; mother registers case but seeks to withdraw stating she had lodged report under ‘rage’ | Bom HC Demystifies

The Division Bench of M.S. Sonal and Pushpa V. Ganediwala, JJ., quashed the charges of abetment of suicide and other offences under IPC against the applicants, on finding that no purpose would be served in continuing criminal proceedings against them.

Read more…


 Agreement


Can a development agreement signed between Chairman of Society and one of the Managing Committee members be binding upon non-signatory? Court discusses while ordering redevelopment of building

This is the usual story of a solitary member of a society obstructing the redevelopment of the society building.

It does not matter to this member that the building is in a dilapidated condition unfit for human habitation.

Read more…


 Copyright Registration


Does Copyright Act requires mandatory registration to seek protection under the Act? Justice G.S. Patel explains

“Copyright Act gives a range of rights and privileges to the first owner of copyright without requiring prior registration.”

Read more…


 Daughter approaches Family Court on behalf of father’s Marriage


Can a daughter approach Family Court on behalf of her father to challenge validity of his marriage? OR only parties to marriage can challenge validity? Read in light of S. 7 of Family Courts Act

Bombay High Court addressed a concern wherein a daughter filed a petition seeking a declaration of her father’s marriage to be null and void on knowing that the lady concealed the fact of her being married and not divorced from her earlier marriage.

Read more…


Co-operative Societies


Board of Directors of Co-operative Bank: Power of Registrar of Co-operative Societies under Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act & RBI’s role || Detailed Report

“The Registrar, Co-operative Societies has not acted as a rubber stamp of the RBI.”

Read more…


COVID-19


  • Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections to be regulated; Collector Nagpur to examine regarding feasibility of making beds available at Mankapur Stadium, Nagpur and Nagpur Nagrik Sahakari Rugnalaya

Bombay High Court issued directions till the regulation of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections.

Read more…

  • Reports of RT-PCR Tests to be made available on Whatsapp; COVID positive patients reports to be uploaded within 24 hours on ICMR portal

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court, directed that reports for RT PCR test shall be made available to patients on WhatsApp.

Read more…

  • Rise of COVID-19 Cases in State of Maharashtra: State to file information on measures to de-congest jails, to control spread of virus & status of COVID cases

“…reports show a sudden rise of the COVID-19 cases in the State prisons, indicating a need for the Court’s intervention to revisit the measures.”

Read more…

  • MoH communication reducing oxygen supply to Maharashtra is “bolt from the blue”: Court directs PRAX AIR to keep supplying 110 MT oxygen per day

“…something for the present is required to be done, if we have to perform our duty of preservation of precious human life arising from Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

Read more…

  • Deficient Remdesivir Drug and Oxygen to COVID-19 Patients: HC directs to hold meeting with manufacturers and procure

Bombay High Court addressed the suo motu public interest litigation raising concern with regard to a deficient supply of Remdesivir Drug and Oxygen Supply.

Read more…

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

If indeed, vaccination of elderly citizens by adopting a door-to-door vaccination policy is being avoided because such elderly citizens are aged and suffer from comorbidities, we regretfully record that the elderly citizens are literally being asked to choose between the devil and the deep sea.

Read more…

  • Modern ventilators, Doctors are not properly trained to operate”; HC raps centre for blame game on PM Cares Ventilators

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court, addressed the issue relating to supply of dysfunctional ventilators through PM Cares Fund. The Bench slammed the Center for contending that the ventilators were in working condition and the deficiencies were with the hospital staffs, the Bench remarked,

“We would have appreciated had the affiant avoided entering into a blame game and instead shown sensitivity towards the patients, it being the paramount object of the welfare State to take care of the health of its citizens.”

Read more…

  • 75% ventilators supplied through PM Cares Fund found dysfunctional; HC seeks response from Center

Bombay High Court addressed the issue of dysfunctional ventilators supplied through PM Cares Fund. The Bench remarked,

“We find the above situation as regards the dysfunctional ventilators supplied through the PM Cares Fund, to be quite serious. We, therefore, call upon the learned ASGI to state, as to what action would the Union of India initiate in these circumstances.”

Read more…

  • “Take immediate actions against e-commerce websites for supplying non-essential items”, HC directs Maharashtra government

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court asked State Government to actions against the dealers and e-commerce websites for supplying various nonessential items in violation of government order.

Read more…

  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Mucormycosis and shortage of drugs, HC urges Central Drug Controller to increase production capacity and reduce prices of drugs

The Division Bench addressed the issue of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus disease and reluctance of public and private sector companies to abide by their corporate social responsibility. The Bench stated,

“When these corporate entities are enjoined with a statutory duty (See section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013), it is expected that these companies discharge their duties whenever they are called upon to do so and in our opinion, there could have been no better opportunity than the present time and present cause to discharge such duty.”

Read more…

  • “Are you prepared to introduce door to door vaccination for senior citizens?” HC sanctions door to door vaccination after noticing center’s disinclination to formulate a universal scheme

Read more…

  • [Remdesivir shortage] “How such drug in such short supply, is available to Politicians and Actors for distribution to public at large?” HC pulls up state over inadequate crisis management

“The allotment of Remdesivir appears to have been made on the basis of ‘functional bed capacity’ of each of the hospitals. Such allocation whether would cater to the actual need of the patients has not been explained to us.”

Read more…

  • Do not insist on production of Aadhar Cards by correctional home inmates for Vaccination, HC directs State

The Division Bench of Bombay High Court. had addressed a suo motu case on the issue of alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in prisons of the State of Maharashtra.

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  • “Article 21 casts corresponding duty on State to ensure no life is extinguished due to unavailability of oxygen”; HC tells State

“We have long passed the stage of determining whether patients are suffering from the lack of oxygen or not. The material placed before us establishes that patients are indeed suffering and even in some cases succumbing for want of the supply of oxygen, in the State of Goa.”

Read more…

  • Allow entry in Goa for medical emergency even without Covid negative certificate; HC modifies its earlier order. Deprecates DMs for amending Court orders on their own

“…the magistrates are bound by Court’s order and they cannot modify the same on their own.”

Read more…

  • Biovet Pvt. Ltd. allowed to use idle vaccine manufacturing unit for Covaxin production; directs Maharashtra to cooperate

Read more…

  • “Not a case of sealing the borders”; HC tells State to ensure person entering in Goa carry a Covid-19 “negative” certificate

“This is not a case of sealing the borders. This is only a case where steps are taken to ensure that the persons who are entering into Goa are not already tested as COVID positive so that they do not contribute to the spread of the epidemic and at the same time are cared for better in their own State.”

Read more…

  • CSR, Mucormycosis and Deficit Drug Supply; HC reminds Center, “the situation is war like”

“This is a sort of war like situation for Maharashtra and in particular city of Nagpur, which calls for rapid response and mighty one. We hope that these entreaties would be positively answered by the Central Government and if not, further loss of lives of a few more patients, unfortunate as it may be, may be a fait accompli.”

Read more…

  • [PM Cares Ventilators] “Will not permit experimentation of faulty ventilators”; HC warns Union Government

“We would not permit experimentation of the ventilators which have undergone major repairs, in treating the patients, since this would be causing a risk/health hazard to the patients and unfortunately, the use of such ventilators may cause loss of life.”

Read more…

  • No prohibition by Center on door-to-door vaccination; HC gives Maharashtra one week time to sanction door to door vaccination

It clearly appears to us that there is no categorical prohibition imposed by the Central Government for the States to undertake a door to door vaccination programme, for the elderly and disabled citizens…”

Read more…


COVID-19 and Article 25


Religious places of worship closed; Prayer offering in mosque during Ramzaan not allowed in wake of COVID-19: Court discusses scope of Art. 25

Bench while expressing that Article 25 of the Constitution of India permits all persons equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion, the same is subject to public order, morality and health, held that:

such congregation which is apprehended by the State, if such permission is granted, it is likely that it would seriously affect the public order and health. If such permission is granted, it would violate the condition imposed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

Read more…


 COVID Vaccine and Intellectual Property Rights


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

“…foundation of passing off action is the existence of goodwill. Further as to who conceived and adopted the mark earlier is also relevant.”

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 CBI Investigation


Anil Deshmukh ‘prima facie’ committed cognizable offence, but No immediate FIR by CBI. Credibility of State machinery at stake: HC directs CBI to conclude preliminary investigation preferably within 15 days

“It is said that none can see time, but many a time, time makes us see many things hitherto before unseen. So true.”

Read more…


 Circumstantial Evidence


Circumstantial Evidence. Wife found dead, can husband be convicted on the basis of him being last seen with wife? Do Police Officers need to substantiate their stand on basis of documents? Read on

Law does not require a particular number of circumstance so as to establish the chain. It altogether depends upon the nature of the transaction.

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 Criminal liability


Can administrator of WhatsApp group be held criminally liable for objectionable posts of a group member? HC answers

Common intention cannot be established in the case of WhatsApp service user merely acting as a group administrator.

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            Minor’s Consent


‘Consent’ of minor for sexual act who conceived and delivered a baby will be immaterial

“…the victim was minor at the time of alleged incident and during that period she conceived and delivered a baby. Her consent for the sexual act was immaterial.”

Read more…


 Minor’s property


Minor’s property fraudulently transferred. Can application for such declaration and order for recovery lie in Guardianship Petition? HC elucidates

…what lies before a court, other than a family court under Section 7 of the Family Courts Act, is an application for appointment of guardian of the property of a minor or an application for permission to deal with such property. It is only these applications which are made by means of a guardianship or a miscellaneous petition before this court.

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 Rape and conviction


Father rapes minor daughter, but conviction under S. 376(2) (i) IPC set aside. Why? Read Court’s opinion in light of S. 164 CrPC || Detailed Report

“…relationship in between brother and sister, relationship in between mother and son, relationship in between father and daughter and so on were considered as sacrosanct. However, due to passage of time, these relationships have no more remained sacrosanct and there are various instances of overstepping the sacrosanct relationship by the near relationship.”

Read more…


 Domestic Violence


Daughter caught in crossfire between parents; Accused under DV Act by mother. HC decides whether allegations inherently probable? [Exhaustive Report]

The intent of the DV Act is to ensure that a woman who faces abuse at the hands of her husband or a male partner has an avenue to raise her grievance against such person and also any relative of such person. Ordinarily, this would include the relatives on the side of the husband or male partner.

Read more…


 Quota


Explainer | Bombay HC at Goa on Quota in Municipal Polls [Detailed Report]

“Democratically elected nations burgeon on absolutely free and impartial elections and India being a colossal democracy demands such a process.”

Read more…


Hate Speech


“Extreme or harsh opinion is not a hate speech”; HC quashes FIR against Sunaina Holey terming it “hypersensitive and over cautious”

“The right to express one’s views is a protected and cherished right in our democracy. Merely because the point of view of the Petitioner is extreme or harsh will not make it a hate speech as it is only expressing a different point of view.”

Read more…


Search Warrant


What is proper procedure for executing a search warrant in a jurisdiction outside of issuing court? HC decides whether Ss. 101 and 105 CrPC are directory or mandatory

A Division Bench of Bombay High Court addressed a very pertinent issue of what is the proper procedure for execution of a search and seizure warrant when such warrant is sought to be executed outside of the local jurisdiction of the court issuing the warrant.

Read more…


Property Suit


In a property suit in which decree has been passed, can a third party’s intervention application claiming his right to recovery be maintainable? Read on

“..in a suit for specific performance, a third party’s assertion that he has a stake in the subject matter of the suit counts to noting (sic). What matters is the contract, not the property covered by the contract. “

Read more…


Commercial Bid


Can possible case of cartelization be determined only after opening of commercial bid? HC answers

There is nothing sacrosanct about finding the technical bid of a bidder responsive in a two bid system so as to make it obligatory on the employer to open the commercial bid. The employer may well come upon knowledge of some relevant information, which disqualifies the particular bidder, and in that case may choose not to open his commercial bid. If his disqualification is supported by some material on record, there is nothing further for this Court to inquire.

Read more…


Matrimonial Dispute 


  • Whether HC should quash an FIR arising out of matrimonial dispute on ground of same being settled amicably? Gian Singh v. State of Punjab referred

High Court reiterated the observation of Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303, while quashing an FIR registered for offences under Sections 498(A), 406, 504, 323, 34 of the Penal Code and Sections 3, 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, on the ground of matter being resolved amicably.

Read more…

  • Is it necessary for the wife to file an application for permanent alimony in ‘writing’ under S. 25 of Hindu Marriage Act? Court unfolds dilemma of ‘oral’ & ‘written’ application

In the case of a decree by mutual consent, if relief for permanent alimony is sought, there is no occasion for the Court to observe the conduct of the parties, to examine their financial stability and other circumstances of the case to pass any order of permanent alimony at the time of passing of the decree of divorce by mutual consent. Essential element is that the Court should be able to comprehend the financial position and conduct of parties to pass permanent alimony order.

Read more…

  • Wife, a chattel? On refusing to make tea, husband assaults wife with a hammer. HC observes ‘imbalance of gender – skewed patriarchy’

 “There is imbalance of gender roles, where wife as a homemaker is expected to do all the household chores.”

 Read more…


Bail


  • Read why Bombay HC granted anticipatory bail to ‘Constable’ accused of rape and other offences | Succinct Report

Read more…

  • Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case | Bom HC grants bail to Aryan Khan, 2 others: Read the fourteen bail conditions

 Nitin W. Sambre, J., grants bail to accused Aryan Shah Rukh Khan, Arbaaz A. Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha while laying down 14 conditions.

Read more…

  • Bom HC discusses law where accused already granted bail but further non-bailable offences are added by prosecution

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., reiterated the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Pradip Ram v. State of Jharkhand(2019) 17 SCC 326 wherein it was held:

 “where the accused is bailed out under orders of the Court and new offences are added including the offences of serious nature, it is not necessary that in all cases earlier bail should be cancelled by the Court before granting permission to arrest an accused on the basis of new offences. The Powers under Sections 437(5) and 439(2) are wide powers granted to the Courts by the legislature under which Court can permit an accused to be arrested and commit him to custody without even cancelling the bail with regard to the earlier offences.”

Read more…

  • [Elgar Parishad Case] Bombay High Court grants default bail to activist Sudha Bhardwaj

“Once the period of detention expired and the accused manifested the intent to avail the right by making an application, no subterfuge to defeat the said indefeasible right can be countenanced. The factors like the bail application was not decided, or wrongly decided, or subsequently charge-sheet came to be fled, or a report seeking extension of period of detention came to be fled and allowed, are of no significance.”

Read more…


Amendment of Pleadings


In case of an application for amendment of pleadings, what would be the principal condition that Courts need to consider? Read on

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Adoption


Whether adoption can be restricted only to children in conflict with law, or in need of care and protection, or who are orphaned, abandoned or surrendered under provisions of JJ Act and Adoption Regulations? Elaborate report

The practice of adoption has been prevalent since ancient times and in different societies, the established practices and norms have evolved over a period of time.

Read more…


Right to Property


Right to Property under Art. 300 A – A Human and Constitutional Right? Court decides in a dispute of construction of National Highway [Land Owners v. State]

It is not permissible for any welfare State to uproot a person and deprive him of his fundamental/constitutional/human rights, under the garb of industrial development.

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Cooling Period under Hindu marriage Act


Is the 6 months period stipulated under S. 13-B(2) of Hindu Marriage Act mandatory or relaxation in exceptional situations is permitted? Read on

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Bribe | Prevention of Corruption Act


Mere recovery of tainted money without sufficient evidence to prove payment of bribe or to show voluntary receipt of money. Can accused be convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act? Read on

Mere recovery of tainted money is not sufficient to convict the accused when substantive evidence in the case is not reliable, unless there is evidence to prove payment of bribe or to show that the money was taken voluntarily as a bribe.

Read more…


Homebuyers & Builders


Builders taking flat purchasers for a ride, taking money but not delivering flats: Court asks builders to prove they are paupers, show standard of living bears out the same

Bombay High Court directed the builders who failed to refund the buyers their amount to date to establish that they are virtually paupers not having funds in their bank accounts and their standard of living also bears out the same.

Read more…


Cheating


For the offence of cheating under Penal Code, 1860, is intention of cheating important from inception? Read on

“…in the case of cheating, the intention of cheating right from the inception is important.”

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Departmental Enquiry


Departmental enquiry and criminal proceedings can go on simultaneously: Court refuses to quash departmental enquiry.

The Division Bench of R.D. Dhanuka and R.I. Chagla, JJ., refused to quash departmental enquiry against the petitioner even when there were pending criminal proceedings against him.

Read more…


Opportunity of Hearing


Denial of urgent hearing by DRT: Court says opportunity of hearing is integral part of constitutional philosophy well embedded in Arts. 14 and 21

“…opportunity of hearing is an integral part of our constitutional philosophy and it is well embedded in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.”

 Read more…


 Right to Education Act


Can minority educational institution refuse admission to autistic child contravening statutory direction given before grant of minority status? Court answers

The disobedience of the directives issued by the Education Department cannot be condoned by obtaining certificate as minority education institution subsequently.

 Read more…


Principle of Double Jeopardy


Do principles laid under S. 300 CrPC and principle of double jeopardy under Art. 20(2) of Constitution differ? Explained

Bombay High Court while setting aside an impugned order explained the slight difference between principles laid down under Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 from the principle of double jeopardy under Article 20 (2) of the Constitution of India.

 Read more… 


Registration Act


Does a Registering Officer has right to decide whether person presenting document for registration has marketable title or not? Court answers

 It is well settled that when a property is sold by public auction, in pursuance of an order of the Court and the sale is confirmed by the Court in favour of the purchaser, the said becomes absolute and the title vests in the purchaser. A sale certificate is issued to the purchaser only when the sale becomes absolute.

Read more…


Domestic Violence Act


 Concept of ‘continuing offences’ & limitation under Domestic Violence Act: Explained

 “…concept of continuing cause of action and continuing offence needs to be appreciated from the point of view of the aggrieved person i.e. wife.”

 Read more…


Income Tax Act


  • When is the intimation for setting off of refunds against tax remaining payable under S. 245, Income Tax Act, be given? Bom HC answers

“…intimation is to be given prior to the officer sets off the amount payable against the amount to be refunded. It can be neither simultaneous nor subsequent.”

 Read more…

  • If a person willfully attempts to evade tax, he can be prosecuted under S. 276C(1) of the Income Tax Act

The Division Bench of K.R. Shriram and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., discussed when a person can be prosecuted under Section 276C(1) of the Income Tax Act.

Read more…


Fair Reporting


 What is legitimate scope of a court reporter? When does a court reporter crosses line? Bom HC lays down

 “…with modern communications technology, the nature of reporting — often from the well of the Court itself — has radically changed: we often now see updates going out every few minutes on digital media.”

“…a fleeting impression by a journalist of the value of evidence is entirely beyond his or her legitimate scope. Such a journalistic pronouncement becomes unacceptable when it is conveyed to the reading audience or public as something already decided, or about which no other view is possible.”

Read more… 


 POCSO Act


 If a minor is made to succumb to penetrative sexual assault by various customers and is induced into prostitution, will person responsible for the same be punishable under POCSO Act? HC explains

Even according to the victim, she was lodged in the house of the appellants for a period of about a month and was subjected to sex twice a day.

Read more… 


Outraging Modesty of Woman


Bom HC on ‘Outraging Modesty of Woman’ | Would throwing love chit on person of a married woman amount to outraging her modesty? Read on

The modesty of a woman is her most precious jewel and there cannot be a straitjacket formula to ascertain whether modesty is outraged.

Read more… 


Dishonour of Cheque


 Can mere dishonour of cheque amount to abetment of suicide? Bom HC decides

Mere dishonour of cheque and refusal to pay remaining balance amount involved in the transaction does not amount to abetment to commit suicide.

Read more… 


Domestic Violence Act


Husband marrying second time after grant of divorce. Is it ‘domestic violence’ within DV Act? Decrypted

Section 3 of the D.V. Act defines ‘domestic violence’ in an elaborate manner and it refers to physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and economic abuse. This is in the context of a domestic relation shared between the aggrieved person and respondent.

 Read more…


Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act | Misery of Parents


  • “Daughters are daughters forever and sons are sons till they are married”: Bom HC orders son to vacate flat of 90 yrs old parents

Noting the misery of parents aged 90 years, G.S. Kulkarni, J., observed that,

“Daughters are daughters forever and sons are sons till they are married” albeit there would surely be exemplary exceptions.

Read more…

  • Under the Parents and Senior Citizens Act, is it necessary to find out whether property belongs to parent exclusively or is a shared household in which daughter-in-law has rights? Bom HC deciphers

The Division Bench of Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., while explaining the provisions under Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 also elaborated upon the concept of shared household and remanded the matter back to the Tribunal for Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens.

Read more…

  • Senior Citizen soon to enter her 90’s desired to end her life: Son and Grandson mentally left no stone unturned to make life of ‘grandmother’ a living hell | Bom HC emphasizes on family and societal values being perished

It is so disheartening that at such old age when the only expectation of a senior citizen, from the near and dear ones is of care, concern, affection and love, instead, what has been returned is harassment, wretchedness, suffering and abuse.

Read more…

  • Harassment to grab senior citizen’s property | 94-year old father approaches Court stating he doesn’t want his daughter even for one-minute longer

Noting in case after case, complaints from senior citizens that their own sons and daughters are harassing them, Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J Jamdar, JJ., expressed that,

“…the harassment is an attempt to somehow grab the senior citizen’s property in his or her lifetime without thought spared to the mental or physical health well-being or happiness of these seniors.”

Read more…


Principle of Equal Pay for Equal Work


Principle of “Equal Pay for Equal Work” does not operate in vacuum, it is not a fundamental right but a Constitutional goal depending on several factors

The principle “Equal Pay For Equal Work” is not a fundamental right but a constitutional goal and entitlement to parity in Pay Scale would depend on several factors such as educational qualifications, nature of the job, duties to be performed, responsibilities to be discharged and experience.

 Read more…


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


 ‘People would be starved of liberty of thought if…’: Know why Bom HC partly stayed IT Rules, 2021

People would be starved of the liberty of thought and feel suffocated to exercise their right of freedom of speech and expression, if they are made to live in present times of content regulation on the internet with the Code of Ethics hanging over their head as the Sword of Damocles.

 Read more…


 Contempt Case


 ‘Judiciary’s dignity cannot be tarnished by irresponsible content’: Bom HC closes contempt case against person uploading contumacious content against Goa District Judiciary on YouTube & WhatsApp

“Court has the duty of protecting the interest of the community in the due administration of justice and, so, it is entrusted with the power to punish for its contempt.”

 Read more… 


Defamation


Gangubai Kathiawadi | Can an adoptive son file for defamation of deceased mother? Bom HC decodes

“The law on the principle of Torts that an action dies with the person, in a defamation proceedings is required to be appreciated.”

 Read more… 


Divorce


 No decision on divorce petition, yet wife creates matrimonial profile expressing will for second marriage. Can this be a ground for divorce?

“…conduct of the respondent to perform the second marriage and not to lead the life with the appellant is writ large from the fact that she did not apply for restitution of conjugal rights.”

 Read more… 


Right of Inheritance


Widow’s right of inheritance after re-marriage: Will mother of deceased be fully entitled to claim dues of deceased son or does wife who re-marries will also have share? Bom HC delves to answer

Addressing a matter pertaining to the widow’s right of inheritance on the property of the deceased husband,S.M. Modak, J., observed that,

Both wife and mother will have an equal share in light of Section 24 of the Hindu Succession Act, which was in existence at the time of the dispute.

Read more…


Supply of Water


Two hours, Twice a month, water supply – Even after 75 years of independence, Bom HC addresses request for regular water supply || State Govt. depriving people of their fundamental right

State Government by providing water to its citizens only twice a month, and that too for a mere two hours, is not only depriving its people of their fundamental right, but in doing so is inviting criticism and tarnishing its image, especially when such is the scenario after 75 years of independence.

Read more…


Rehabilitation


Negligent approach of Govt & a cascading effect: Mere right of rehabilitation will be equivalent to right of ownership? Detailed report on how slum dwellers encroached public land and claimed their right

“It is not new that valuable Government land on account of the negligent approach of the officers in charge by not protecting such lands from encroachment have stood extinguished from the Government’s holding, causing a serious cascading effect.”

Read more…


Sexual Harassment


Fear of stigma, not being believed and being blamed: 17-year-old girl leaving a note to her mother explaining ill deeds of her uncle who sexually harassed her, ended her life | Bom HC delves to know what happened

Unfortunately, we have not been able to create an atmosphere in the Society where parents, teachers and adults in company of the child can identify signs of abuse and make sure children received care and protection.

Read more…


Rape on False Promise of Marriage


‘Astrological Incompatibility’ as reason to refuse marriage: Bom HC refuses to discharge man accused of rape on false promise of marriage

 While noting a case of false promise to marry, Sandeep K. Shinde, J., refused to allow application wherein a man claimed the reason of astrological incompatibility valid for refusing marriage.

Read more…


Contractual Employees


To exercise rights, can contractual employees approach a permanent employer? Bom HC verdict determines

Contractual employees are engaged through contractors, their service conditions are governed by the contracts between them, hence in case of any grievance, they shall approach the contractor and not a principal employer.

Read more…


Conviction under Section 304 Part I Penal Code, 1860


“Necessary to read mind of offender and not consider offence devoid of emotions”: Bom HC acquits accused of offence under S. 302 IPC rather convicts under S. 304 Part I IPC

Convicting a person under Section 304 Part I of Penal Code, 1860 Division Bench of Sadhana S. Jadhav and Sarang V. Kotwal, JJ., held that,

On finding that there was no hope that his beloved wife would return to matrimonial abode, accused got enraged an lost self-control and assaulted his wife with whatever available just nearby.

Read more…


Cheating


Tendency of guaranteeing decision to come in favour of one party or other, amounts to maligning a particular Judge and at large, institution itself by giving an impression that justice can be bought

It is not uncommon feature that when the matter is pending before the particular Court, the parties indulge into transaction under the guise of ‘settlement’ and sometimes it so happens, even without the knowledge of counsel on record, who may prefer to argue the case on its merit. This tendency of guaranteeing the decision to come in favour of one party or the other, amounts to maligning a particular Judge and at large, the institution itself by giving an impression that justice can be bought and the Prosecutors and Judges can be sold.

Read more…


POSH Judgments


POSH Judgments and Order to be delivered only in Chambers or in-camera, media disclosure forbidden: G.S. Patel, J. issues detailed guidelines

While addressing an issue revolving around the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and  Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013,  G.S. Patel, J., laid down guidelines with an endeavour to anonymize the identities of the parties.

Read more…


Trademark


 “Mark is to be taken as a whole”: Bom HC reminds PhonePe while conditionally allowing withdrawal application

G.S. Patel, J., granted ‘conditional’ liberty to Phonepe (P) Ltd. to withdraw its suit and an interim application filed against the use of mark POSTPE by Resilient Innovations (P) Ltd. However, before granting leave to withdraw, the Court passed a reasoned order and decided not to delete those reasons “only because an application for withdrawal is being made at this very late stage”.

 Read more…


Bribe


Law on Discharge of Accused: Read why Bom HC refused to discharge Income Tax Officer accused of demanding bribe

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., refused to discharge an Income Tax Officer from charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The applicant Income Tax Officer was accused of demanding a bribe.

Read more…


Educational Institute


Our educational institutions are so weak that they would fear that students would get adversely affected if a restaurant having liquor license was in school’s vicinity: Is it true? Bom HC finds out

An educational institute certainly contributes in creating ideal citizens. Human virtues and morals can never remain the same. It is thus more important that an endeavour of an educational institution should be to impart such education, so that the basic human values and good virtues are inculcated in the students, to make them ideal citizens.

Read more…


Rape


  •  Lower Court Judge failed in its duty to protect dignity of rape victim: Bom HC’s decision on committing of rape by cab driver joined by his accomplice

 “…object of sentencing policy should be to see that the crime does not go unpunished and the victim of crime as also the society has the satisfaction that justice has been done to it.”

Read more…

  • Rape by person claiming to have supernatural powers: Bom HC upholds conviction under S. 376 IPC, observes blind faith is real driver in such cases

C.V. Bhadang, J., while addressing the matter with regard to rape committed by a person claiming to have supernatural powers, expressed that,

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

Read more…


Custody


Custody of minor child, can it be determined on basis of work commitment of one parent and availability of ample time with another? Bom HC decides while determining question of custody, visitation rights and more

 Love and affection of both parents is considered to be the basic human right of a child.

 Courts often ensure that even if custody is given to one parent, the non-custodial parent has adequate visitation rights.

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NDPS


  • Whether the blotter paper forms an integral part of the LSD drug when put on a blotter paper for consumption?

Addressing a very crucial question having relevance with the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances cases, Revati Mohite Dere, J., decided whether blotter paper forms an integral part of the LSD Drug when put on blotter paper for consumption.

Read more…

  • Did Aryan Khan with other two accused hatch a conspiracy to commit offence under NDPS Act?

Merely because of Applicants were travelling on the cruise, that by itself cannot be termed as satisfying foundation for invoking provisions of Section 29 against the Applicants.

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Documents


Does accused has right to demand production of documents withheld by investigator at framing of charge? Does S. 91 CrPC include witness statement?

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., expressed that it is settled law that at the stage of framing the charge, the trial court is required to consider whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused and at that time, trial court is required to consider only police report referred to under Section 173 of the Code and documents sent with.  

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Rape & Murder


  • ‘Hang by neck till dead’: Bom HC confirms death sentence in a rarest of rare cases for committing rape and murder of a 3-years 9-months old child

While confirming the death sentence in this rarest of rare cases, the High Court observed:    

“The act of the accused is gruesome and is committed in a diabolic manner. It is a heinous offence. It is unimaginable that a cheerful, frolicking child enjoying with her pet would provoke the feelings of lust in a man who is a father of two daughters and a son. The perversity in the mind of the accused is apparent and therefore, we are of the opinion that the aggravating circumstances in the present case outweigh the mitigating circumstances placed before the court in the course of hearing of the appeal.”

Read more…

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

The Division Bench of Sadhana S. Jadhav and Prithviraj K. Chavan, JJ., while addressing an alleged rape and murder case of two rag pickers, held that,

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

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Abetment of Suicide


Is it possible to frame a charge against accused for abetment of suicide and in the alternative for committing murder?

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., explained as to when a charge in the alternative can be framed against an accused and when it is not permissible to do so.

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Eviction


Eviction of tenant, serving of notice by modes laid under S. 106 of Transfer of Property Act: Bom HC discusses all [Detailed report]

A.S. Gadkari, J., while addressing a matter of the eviction of a tenant focused on the modes of serving a notice under Section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

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Sterling Witness


Significance of ‘sterling witness’ in a matter wherein a daughter alleges that her father raped her: Bom HC examines whether daughter’s evidence was of ‘sterling quality’ or not

Anuja Prabhudessai, J., while addressing a matter of a daughter alleging rape by her father expressed the significance of ‘sterling witness’.

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Outraging Modesty of Woman


Touching feet of a woman without her consent: Is it outraging the modesty of a woman?

“…touching any part of the body of a woman without her consent that too in the dead hour of the night by a stranger amounts to a violation of modesty of a woman.”


Honour Killing


‘Could have cut off relations, instead opted to commit cold-blooded murder’: Bom HC upholds death penalty of brother for pre-planned murder of sister and lover

In the absence of proof of other circumstances, the only circumstance of last seen together and absence of satisfactory explanation cannot be made the basis of conviction.

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Maintenance


Trial Court mentions wrong provision of Mahomedan Law while granting maintenance to wife: Judgment of trial court will be defective in eye of law? Bom HC answers

Shrikant D. Kulkarni, J., decides whether the trial court’s decision mentioning the wrong provision pertaining to maintenance to the wife will be defective in the eye of law or not.

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Stamp duty


Stamp Duty correctly payable on instruments typical in Redevelopment Projects: Bom HC to decide

The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., considered petitions which raised questions about the interpretation of the validity of two circulars issued by the Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps, Maharashtra State dated 23-06-2015 and 30-03-2017.

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Daughters as Co-parceners


S. 6 of Hindu Succession Act prevails over S. 29-A inserted by Maharashtra Amendment; wasn’t necessary for Parliament to repeal S. 29-A

“Central enactment, i.e., Section 6 Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 would be applicable to this case and in view thereof, the plaintiff has share in the suit property, which has been rightly adjudicated by both the Courts below.”

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Impotency


Wife seeks to insert averments with respect to impotency of husband, can amendment to petition for annulment of marriage be allowed? Bom HC explains

While addressing a matterMangesh S. Patil, J., laid down significant aspects with regard to when a petition can be amended.

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In-camera proceedings


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

A Division Bench of Revati Mohite Dere and M.S. Jawalkar, JJ. rejected Tarun Tejpal’s plea to conduct “in camera” proceedings in connection with the appeal filed against his acquittal in a rape case. The High Court held that:

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

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Framing of Charges


Can Judge sift and weigh evidence at stage of framing of charges? For what purpose? Bom HC considers while refusing to discharge accused

The judge while considering the question of framing the charges under Section 227 of the Criminal Procedure Code, has the undoubted power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out whether or not, a prima facie case against the accused has been made out.

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Temporary Residence v. Casual Residence


Can Magistrate entertain application under S. 12 DV Act from woman coming to his jurisdiction for casual visit? Is that covered under “temporarily resides”?

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., held that an aggrieved person cannot choose to file a petition under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act at any and every place, even if she was a mere casual visitor to that place.

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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ and G.S. Kulkarni, J., while addressing the several questions on reporting by electronic media, expressed that:

“The duty of the press/media to have news items printed/telecast based on true and correct version relating to incidents worth reporting accurately and without any distortion/embellishment as well as without taking sides, cannot, therefore, be overemphasized.”

Genesis of the Several Public Interest Litigations

In the instant matter, several PIL’s cropped from the unnatural death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14, 2020.

Insensitive and Disparaging Comments by News Channels

On June 20, 2020, a complaint was lodged against one of the prominent news channels before the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting seeking action for insensitive and disparaging comments against the Indian Army and the coverage of the death of the actor, stated to be in defiance with the Programme Code.

Further, it was said that no action against the media channel was taken in regard to the complaint made.

Media Trials

Since the time of death of the actor, several prominent media channels have been literally conducting ‘media trials’ and ‘parallel investigation’ by conducting and broadcasting debates, rendering opinions, exposing the material witnesses, examining and cross-examining the witnesses, chasing the officials of CBI who were investigating the case.

Petitioners added that the above-stated telecast and broadcast are available in the public domain.

Sensationalization and Scandalize the death of the Actor

It is said that the prominent news channels in their attempt to sensationalize the issues have gone as far as displaying the CDR records which is a vital piece of evidence, thereby resulting in the several threat calls and messages sent to the alleged accused.

The petitioners say that to scandalize and sensationalize the death of the actor, irresponsible reporting to implicate one of the prominent ministers of the State of Maharashtra and have been making derogatory, false and distasteful remarks against several ministers.

Further, it was also pointed that the news anchors and reporters were examining and cross-examining all the proposed witnesses exposing the probable evidence to the public which could be examined only by the investigating agency or by the competent courts during the course of the trial.

Press Council of India

PCI had also issued a statement wherein it was stated that the coverage of the alleged suicide of the actor by many media outlets was in contravention of the norms of journalistic conduct.

Undermining the concept of free and fair trial

Petitioners submitted that the freedom of the media, especially of the TV channels, cannot be allowed to super stretch to a point where, by outpouring reprobate information, begins to clog and cloud the pellucid comprehension of ‘facts/news’ in the people’s minds and impinges upon free and fair investigation.

Fundamental Question

Whether the media under the garb of reporting news, can serve their own opinions as facts/news?

Petitioner observed that media works to create or induce opinions by narrating and reporting opinionated and tailored facts as news, which is beyond the scope, power and privilege accorded to the proverbial fourth pillar and a blatant abuse and misuse thereof.

Petitioners assert that media is plagued with the affliction of disproportionate reporting, which may be seen from the undue coverage given to inconsequential and mindless matters, unrelated to the greater good of the people of the country, as opposed to issues of national and international importance which the people are grappling with such as the COVID 19 crisis, mass joblessness, economic downfall, starvation, medical and healthcare structural problems, farmers issues, domestic violence, etc.

Adding to the above, petitioners stated that it is not the media’s domain to prove someone guilty a definitely no question of calling out someone guilty or innocent until the investigation and trial is complete.

Petitioners referred to the Supreme Court decision in Manu Sharma v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2010) 6 SCC 1, wherein the Supreme Court has commented on the danger of serious risk of prejudice if the media exercises unrestricted and unregulated freedom, and stated that people at the helm of affairs should ensure that trial by media does not hamper fair investigation by the investigating agency and more importantly does not prejudice the right of defence of the accused in any manner whatsoever.

Petitioners refer to the decision of the Supreme Court in R.K. Anand v. Delhi High Court, reported in (2009) 8 SCC 106, where the Supreme Court observed that it would be a sad day for the court to employ the media for setting its own house in order and the media too would not relish the role of being the snoopers of the court.

Observation

Contention that media houses have crossed the ‘Lakshman Rekha’

Bench opined that the petitions filed aimed at redressal of genuine public harm or public injury and involve substantial public interest.

Hence, the Court overruled the objections of the media houses to the maintainability of the writ petitions.

Important Legal Questions before the Court

  1. What does the expression “administration of justice in any other manner” in Section 2(c)(iii) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 connote, and whether trial by media/pre-judgment while a police investigation is in progress could lead to interference with/obstruction to “administration of justice”, thereby constituting criminal contempt under the aforesaid section?
  2. Is it necessary to construe “judicial proceedings” in Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 to have commenced with the registration of an FIR? Also, is it at all necessary to read Section 3 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 in the manner the petitioner in PIL (St.) 2339 of 2020 urges us to read?
  3. Whether media trial in respect of matters pending investigation of a criminal complaint, fall within the restrictions as contained in the Programme Code as postulated under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the rules framed thereunder?
  4. Whether the regime of self-regulation adopted by the news channels would have any sanctity within the statutory framework?
  5. While emphasizing on the need to strike the right balance between freedom of speech and expression and fair investigation/right to fair trial, to what extent, if at all, should press/media reporting be regulated if the same interferes with or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, “administration of justice”?

Further, the Court also proposes to address the following incidental questions:

  1. Are the guidelines for reporting cases of deaths by suicide sufficient? If insufficient, should further guidelines be laid down for reporting cases of deaths by suicide?
  2. Has the media coverage complained of in these writ petitions interfered with/obstructed and/or tends to interfere with/obstruct “administration of justice”, and thus amounts to criminal contempt within the meaning of section 2(c)(iii) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971? and whether criticism of Mumbai Police by the electronic media is fair?
  3. Is the accusation that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, being the Nodal Ministry, has abdicated its statutory functions [under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act and the rules framed thereunder read with the Policy Guidelines of 2011 and the license executed with the broadcaster] of deciding complaints received in respect of offending programmes, by forwarding the same to private bodies like the News Broadcasting Authority (NBA) and the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), justified?
  4. Should an order be made, on facts and in the circumstances, postponing reporting of events by the media in respect of investigation by the CBI into the FIR registered by it pursuant to the complaint of the actor’s father? Also, is it necessary for the Court to suggest measures for regulating media coverage of incidents such as the one under consideration to address the concerns expressed in these writ petitions?

Analysis

  • Investigative Journalism

The controversy in the instant matter raises questions of contemporary importance touching upon the right of the press/media to express views freely, the right of the deceased to be treated with respect and dignity after death, the need to ensure investigation of the crime to proceed on the right track without being unduly prejudiced by media reports based on “investigative journalism”, and the right of the accused to a free and fair trial as well as the right to not be prejudged by the media.

“Right guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution is not merely a right of speech and expression but a right to freedom of speech and expression.”

 In Supreme Court’s decision of Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) (P) Ltd. v. Union of India, (1985) 1 SCC 641 the need to protect the ‘Freedom of Press’ was highlighted, which is the heart of social and political intercourse.

Further, the Court referred to in LIC v. Manubhai D. Shah (Prof.), (1992) 3 SCC 637, wherein the flavour of the right to freedom of free speech and expression was brought out by the Supreme Court.

 “What resonates in our ears now is whether the right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) is the most abused right in recent times?”

 To the above stated, Court answered in negative and expressed that “it is a reminder of what has at times been the unsavoury past of the press/media in India crossing the proverbial ‘Lakshman Rekha’.”

Rule of Law

There can be no two opinions that in a society governed by the rule of law, no price is too high to maintain the purity of administration of justice; and, as a Constitutional court, we have the power, nay the duty, to protect not only the Fundamental Rights of the citizens as well as the press/media in the judicious exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution but also to secure that the stream of administration of justice flows unsullied and unpolluted, uninfluenced by extraneous considerations.

 Supreme Court’s decision in Harijai Singh, In Re., (1996) 6 SCC 466 held that:

“10. But it has to be remembered that this freedom of press is not absolute, unlimited and unfettered at all times and in all circumstances as giving unrestricted freedom of speech and expression would amount to an uncontrolled licence. If it were wholly free even from reasonable restraints it would lead to disorder and anarchy. The freedom is not to be misunderstood as to be a press free to disregard its duty to be responsible. In fact, the element of responsibility must be present in the conscience of the journalists.”

PCI Guidelines

Electronic media should also be guided by the contents of the guidelines of the PCI on reporting of death cases by suicide for two reasons: first, the said guidelines have a statutory flavour and similar such binding guidelines on reporting cases of death by suicide are non-existent for the electronic media; and secondly, the absence of such guidelines could lead to the dignity of the dead being breached with impunity.

The death of the actor was followed by such crude, indecent and distasteful news reporting by a few of the TV channels that we do not consider it worthy of being referred to here and be a part of this judgment.

Court’s Ruling

“No report/discussion/debate/ interview should be presented by the press/media which could harm the interests of the accused being investigated or a witness in the case or any such person who may be relevant for any investigation, with a view to satiate the thirst of stealing a march over competitors in the field of reporting.”

High Court opined that the press/media ought to avoid/regulate certain reports/discussions/debates/interviews in respect of and/or touching upon any on-going inquiry/investigation into a criminal offence.

Hence, Bench directed the press/ media to exercise restraint and refrain from printing/displaying any news item and/or initiating any discussion/debate/interview of nature, as indicated hereunder:

  1. In relation to death by suicide, depicting the deceased as one having a weak character or intruding in any manner on the privacy of the deceased;
  2. That causes prejudice to an ongoing inquiry/investigation by:

(i)  Referring to the character of the accused/victim and creating an atmosphere of prejudice for both;

(ii)  Holding interviews with the victim, the witnesses and/or any of their family members and displaying it on screen;

(iii)  Analyzing versions of witnesses, whose evidence could be vital at the stage of trial;

(iv)  Publishing a confession allegedly made to a police officer by an accused and trying to make the public believe that the same is a piece of evidence which is admissible before a Court and there is no reason for the Court not to act upon it, without letting the public know the nitty-gritty of the Evidence Act, 1872;

(v)  Printing photographs of an accused and thereby facilitating his identification;

(vi)  Criticizing the investigative agency based on half-baked information without proper research;

(vii)  Pronouncing on the merits of the case, including pre-judging the guilt or innocence qua an accused or an individual not yet wanted in a case, as the case may be;

(viii)  Recreating/reconstructing a crime scene and depicting how the accused committed the crime;

(ix)  Predicting the proposed/future course of action including steps that ought to be taken in a particular direction to complete the investigation; and

(x)  Leaking sensitive and confidential information from materials collected by the investigating agency;

  1. Acting in any manner so as to violate the provisions of the Programme Code as prescribed under section 5 of the CTVN Act read with rule 6 of the CTVN Rules and thereby inviting contempt of court; and
  2. Indulging in character assassination of any individual and thereby mar his reputation.

Role of Media Houses

Bench advised media houses to inform, guide and advise the guest speakers to refrain from making public utterances which are likely to interfere with and/or obstruct the administration of justice and thereby attract contempt.

The role of the anchor, in such cases, is also important. It is for him/her to apply his/her mind and avoid the programme from drifting beyond the permissible limits. Muting the speaker if he flies off or shows the tendency of flying off at a tangent could be one of several ways to avoid embarrassment as well as contempt.

Investigative Agencies

Court also reminded the investigative agencies that they are entitled to maintain secrecy in the course of the investigation and are under no obligation to divulge materials thus collected.

Further, the Court added that:

If indeed there is leakage or disclosure of materials, which has the potential of stifling a proper investigation, it could pave the way for such information being laid before the competent court having powers to punish for cri6minal contempt under Section 2(c) of the CoC Act and in an appropriate case, for being dealt with in accordance with law.

Appointment of an Officer as a Link between the Investigator and Media Houses

Agreeing with Mr Datar’s suggestion Court observed that:

Mumbai Police, as well as the other investigating agencies, may consider the desirability of appointing an officer who could be the link between the investigator and the media houses for holding periodic briefings in sensitive cases or incidents that are likely to affect the public at large and to provide credible information to the extent such officer considers fit and proper to disclose and answer queries as received from the journalists/reporters but he must, at all times, take care to ensure that secret and confidential information/material collected during the investigation, the disclosure whereof could affect the administration of justice, is not divulged.

In case an officer as stated above would be appointed, he would be expected to bear in mind the Supreme Court’s decision in Rajendran Chingaraveluv. R.K. Mishra, (2010) 1 SCC 457.

“Every journalist/reporter has an overriding duty to the society of educating the masses with fair, accurate, trustworthy and responsible reports relating to reportable events/incidents and above all to the standards of his/her profession. Thus, the temptation to sensationalize should be resisted.”

Therefore, in light of the above discussions, the Court disposed of the PIL’s filed.[Nilesh Navalakha v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 56, decided on 18-01-2021]


Advocates for the Parties:

Mr. Devadatt Kamat, Senior Advocate a/w Mr. Rajesh Inamdar with Mr.Shashwat Anand, Mr. Pankaj Kandhari, Ms. Smita Pandey, Mr.Amit Pai, Mr. Vishal Jagwani, Kevin Gala, Siddharth Naik, Pinky Chainani, Mr. Ankur Azad, Mr. Sarveshwari Prasad, Mr. Rahat Bansal, Mr. Faiz Ahmad. i/b Mr. Pankaj Kandhari for Petitioners.

Mr. Anil Singh, Additional Solicitor General a/w Mr. Sandesh Patil, Mr.Aditya Thakkar, Mr.Amogh Singh, Ms. Apurva Gute, Mr. Chintan, Mr. Mayur Prashant Rane, Mr. Sumedh Sahakari, Mr. D. P. Singh, Ms.Reshma Ravapati, Mr. Saurabh Prabhulkar and Medvita Trivedi for respondent Nos.1, 4, 12 and 13.

Mr. Arvind Datar, Senior Advocate i/by Mr. Bharat Manghani for respondent 3 (NBA)

Mr. P. P. Kakade, Govt. Pleader with Mrs. R. A. Salunkhe, AGP for respondent 5 -State.

Mr. Rajeev Pandey with Mr. Madhur Rai i/by PRS Legal for respondent No.6(The India Today Group).

Mr. Kunal Tandon a/w Ms. Prachi Pandya i/by Corporate Attorneys for respondent No.7 (Times Now).

Ms. Malvika Trivdei a/w Mr. Saket Shukla, Mr. Vasanth Rajshekharan, Mr. Mrinal Ojha, Mr. Debashri Datta, Mr.Rajat Pradhan, Ms. Madhavi Joshi and Mr. Siddhant Kumar i/by Phoenix Legal for respondent 8 (Republic TV).

Mr. Angad Dugal, Mr. Govind Singh Grewal, Shiva Kumar, Tanya Vershney, Raj Surana a/w Rishi Murarka for respondent 9 (NDTV Ltd.).

None for respondent  10 (News 18).

Mr. Ankit Lohiya a/w Mr. Hetal Thakore, Mr. Kunal Parekh, Ms. Bhavika Tiwari i/by Dua Associates AOR Mumbai for respondent 11 (Zee News).

Ms. Hetal Jobhanputra for respondent No. 14 (ABP News).

Mr. Jayant Mehta a/w Mr. Alankar Kirpekar a/w Mr. Tejveer Bhatia, Mr. Rohan Swarop, Mr. Shekhar Bhagat i/by MAG Legal for respondent 15 (India TV).

Mr. Siddhesh Bhole, Mr. Rishabh Dhanuka i/by Alba Law Offices for respondent No. 16 (News Nation).

Mr. Siddharth Bhatnagar, Senior Advocate a/w Mr. Pralhad Paranjape for respondent No. 17 (NBF).

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where withing a couple of days of the alleged dowry death of a doctor in Agra, a suicide note was leaked to the newspapers of the city, the 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud*, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, JJ has said that selective disclosures to the media affect the rights of the accused in some cases and the rights of victims families in others.

“The media does have a legitimate stake in fair reporting. But events such as what has happened in this case show how the selective divulging of information, including the disclosure of material which may eventually form a crucial part of the evidentiary record at the criminal trial, can be used to derail the administration of criminal justice.”

Background

The deceased, a doctor by profession, married the accused, also a doctor, in 2014. Over Rs.1.50 crores were spent by the deceased’s father for conducting the marriage. It was alleged that even thereafter, deceased’s husband, his parents, brother-in-law and sister-in-law misbehaved with the deceased on account of dowry. Deceased’s father alleges to have paid money on several occasions by cheque to her in-laws. Also, she was severely assaulted in 2017. In the meantime, the deceased suffered miscarriages on two occasions and ultimately, adopted a daughter. The FIR states,

“… dowry greedy people killed Dipti in [xxx] for non-receipt of dowry and non-fulfilment of the demands, and admitted Dipti in their hospital itself in the almost dead condition, in order to save themselves, but she was not allowed any treatment with the intention of killing her. In order to save the life of Dipti, the applicant took her away to the Sarvodaya hospital Faridabad for treatment, at the earlies.” (sic)

While the Sessions Judge denied anticipatory bail on 21 August 2020, the single judge of Allahabad High Court held that

(a) the FIR prima facie appears to be engineered to implicate the applicants;

(b) there is no corelation in between the various allegations leveled in the FIR; and

(c) the allegations “are general in nature” with no specific role being assigned to the accused.

Analysis

On FIR being “engineered” to implicate the spouse of the deceased and his family

Finding the judgment of the Single Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad unsustainable, the Court held that the FIR contained a recital of allegations bearing on the role of the accused in demanding dowry, of the prior incidents of assault and the payment of moneys by cheque to the in-laws of the deceased. It aslo referred to the telephone calls which were received both from the father-in-law of the deceased on the morning of 3 August 2020 and from the deceased on two occasions on the same day- a few hours before her body was found.

“The grant of anticipatory bail in such a serious offence would operate to obstruct the investigation. The FIR by a father who has suffered the death of his daughter in these circumstances cannot be regarded as “engineered” to falsely implicate the spouse of the deceased and his family.”

On publicity of the alleged suicide by media

“This is not fair to the accused because it pulls the rug below the presumption of innocence. It is not fair to the victims of crime, if they have survived the crime, and where they have not, to their families.”

The investigating officer has a duty to investigate when information about the commission of a cognizable offence is brought to their attention. Unfortunately, this role is being compromised by the manner in which selective leaks take place in the public realm. Neither the victims nor their families have a platform to answer the publication of lurid details about their lives and circumstances.

“The daughter of the appellant had died in mysterious circumstances. The family had completed the last rites. To expect that they should be scouring the pages of the print and electronic media before reporting the crime is a mockery of the human condition.”

Further, the apprehension of the appellant that the deceased’s husband and his family have a prominent social status in Agra and may have used their position in society to thwart a proper investigation cannot be regarded to be unjustified.

On transfer of investigation to CBI

“The investigation by the UP Police in the present case leaves much to be desired.”

The Court said that it would be a travesty if it were to ignore the glaring deficiencies in the investigation conducted so far. Further,

“The status of the accused as propertied and wealthy persons of influence in Agra and the conduct of the investigation thus far diminishes this Court’s faith in directing a further investigation by the same authorities. The cause of justice would not be served if the Court were to confine the scope of its examination to the wisdom of granting anticipatory bail and ignore the possibility of a trial being concluded on the basis of a deficient investigation at best or a biased one at worst.”

Hence, it is necessary to entrust a further investigation of the case to the CBI in exercise of the powers of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution.

Directions

(i) The order passed by the Single Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad allowing the applications for anticipatory bail by the respondents-accused set aside and the bail granted to them stands cancelled; and

(ii) The CBI is directed to conduct a further investigation in the matter.

[Dr. Naresh Kumar Mangla v. Anita Agarwal,  2020 SCC OnLine SC 1031, decided on 17.12.2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of A.A. Sayed and Surendra P. Tavade, JJ. addressed a Public Interest Litigation filed by former IPS officers with regard to the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.

Media Trial

Present PIL was filed by former IPS Officers, raising concerns with regard to media coverage pertaining to the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, which the petitioner’s states may tantamount to media trial.

Petitioners Counsel brought the Court’s attention to the “Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards” issued by respondent 3 — News Broadcasting Association which inter alia speaks of ‘principles of self-regulation’, impartially, objectivity, neutrality and privacy.

Further, the media advisory dated 28-08-2020 of the respondent 2 — Press Council of India has also been observed.

Bench on perusal of the above urged and expected the respondents to exercise restrain in the media reporting pertaining to the investigation of the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput which would in any manner hamper or prejudice the ongoing investigation which is being carried out by the respondent 4 – CBI after imprimatur of the Supreme Court vide judgment and order dated 19-08-2020.

Court directed respondent 4 — CBI along with other respondents to file and affidavit in reply.

Matter to be listed on 10-09-2020.[Nilesh Navlakha v. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 895, decided on 03-09-2020]


Read More:

Sushant Singh Rajput death case| SC dismisses Law student’s petition seeking CBI probe

Sushant Singh Rajput death case| SC asks Mumbai Police to submit status of investigation so far; says truth must come out

Sushant Singh Rajput death | Bom HC defers hearing till 21st August, 2020 on plea seeking CBI investigation

Sushant Singh Rajput Death case| SC reserves verdict in Rhea Chakraborty’s plea seeking transfer of case from Patna to Mumbai

Bom HC | Citing Supreme Court’s verdict on transfer of investigation into unnatural death of Sushant Singh Rajput to CBI, Court declines to entertain PILs

Sushant Singh Rajput| Here’s why SC ordered CBI probe into the actor’s death [DETAILED REPORT]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam, JJ., while addressing the matter of Custodial Death of “Jayaraj & Bennicks” appealed the members of media to not conduct “Media Trial” as that may affect the prosecution and accused both.

Petition was filed to direct respondent 1 to submit a report on the death of Bennicks and Jayaraj, accused in Sathankulam and or pass any other order/direction.

No Media Trial

Bench appealed to members of the Print, Visual and Social Media not to misinterpret the proceedings or observations made during the course of hearing with the further appeal, not to conduct media trial as it may affect both the prosecution as well as the accused.

Additional Advocate General for the State submitted that pursuant to the directions of this Court, Anil Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of police, CBCID had taken over the investigation and effected arrest of the following under Sections 302, 342 and 201 IPC:

  • Raghu Ganesh, Sub Inspector of Police
  • Balakrishnan, Sub Inspector of Police
  • Murugan, Head Constable
  • Muthurajan, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Sridhar, Inspector of Police/Station House Officer, Sathankulam Police Station
  • Pauldurai, Special Sub Inspector of Police
  • Samidurai, Head Constable
  • Vail Muthu, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Chelladurai, Gr-I Police Constable
  • Thomas Fransous, Gr-I Police Constable and steps have already been taken to get their police custody before the expiry of initial period of remand of 15 days.

Assistant Solicitor General of India, V. Kathirvelu submitted that CBI had registered two separate cases under Sections 176 (1-a)(i) CrPC and Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI V.K. Shukla had been nominated as investigating officer.

Bench passed the following orders pertaining to the present petition:

CBCID shall filed a status report as to the investigation carried out so far in a sealed cover before this Court on the next date of hearing.

CBI while investigating the cases registered shall take into account, the materials collected by CBCID so far, for the purpose of carrying out the effective and quality investigation and if it feels that custodial interrogation of any of the accused is necessary, it may take appropriate steps.

Investigating Agency either CBCID or CBI, may take immediate step to file applications for getting police custody of the arrested persons, within fifteen days of remand before the jurisdictional Magistrate as contemplated under Section 167 CrPC.

Matter to be listed on 28-07-2020. [Registrar (Judicial) v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1332 , decided on 9-07-2020]


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Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: A Three-Judge Bench comprising of Mian Saqib Nisar, HCJ and Umar Ata Bandial and Ijaz Ul Ahsan, JJ. issued directives to regulate media discussions in sub judice matters.

The present suo motu proceedings were initiated by the Supreme Court against one Arshad Sharif –  the anchor of show ‘Power Play’ aired on ARY News channel – wherein the panelists’ discussion pertained to inquiry of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against former President Asif Ali Zardari. The court issued a notice to Arshad Sharif seeking his explanation for the content of his show, whereupon he tendered an unconditional apology to the court.

Notice was also issued to the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) asking as to whether there existed any code of professional ethics for the media, whether the same was being followed and if not, what kind of action should be initiated against the delinquents. PBA submitted that a statutory code of conduct namely, Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 did exist; Clause 4(3) whereof prohibited airing of subjective commentary on sub-judice matters by media licensees. However, despite the same, sub-judice matters were being openly discussed in talk shows.

The Court observed that there was a need to strike balance between freedom of speech and right to fair trial. It noted the similarity between Indian law and Pakistan law regarding protection of the right to fair trial and protection from prejudicial comments with regards to sub judice matters as in both the countries, the freedom of speech was subject to reasonable restrictions. The judgment in Sahara India Real Estate Corpn. Ltd. v SEBI, (2012) 10 SCC 603 holding that excessive prejudicial publicity leading to usurpation of functions of the Court interferes with legal proceedings by encroaching upon the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, was also considered by the Court.

In view of the above, the Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure that the parameters laid down in the Code of Conduct are adhered to in letter and spirit and no violations thereof be tolerated. [Discussion in TV Talk Show with regard to a Sub-Judice Matter, In re,2018 SCC OnLine Pak SC 3, decided on 12-09-2018]