Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, J., allowed a criminal petition and quashed proceedings in the criminal case filed against the petitioner protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act.

Case of the prosecution

Petitioner along with other accused persons protested in the public road against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and further demanded the central government to withdraw the said Citizenship Amendment Act without getting prior permission from the authority concerned.

Police filed an FIR on the basis of the above-stated allegation under Sections 143 and 188 of Penal Code, 1860.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that the Supreme Court of India has held that right to freely assemble and also right to freely express once view or constitutionally protected rights under Part III and their enjoyment can be only in proportional manner through a fair and non-arbitrary procedure provided in Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

Bench observed that the petitioner along with other persons protested against the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act and demanded the Central Government to withdraw the same. The protest was conducted on a public road without getting prior permission from the authority concerned.

Thus, on the basis of the above-stated respondent police had levelled charges under Sections 143 and 188 IPC.

Further the Court also noted the fact that no one was examined to substantiate the charges against the petitioner except for the official witnesses.

Only question for consideration is that whether the registration of case under Sections 143, 188 IPC, registered by the respondent is permissible under law or not?

Court referred to Section 195(1)(a)of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for the above stated question, which talks about:

Prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants, for offences against public justice and for offences relating to documents given in evidence.

Referring to the above, Court stated that

it is very clear that for taking cognizance of the offences under Section 188 of IPC, the public servant should lodge a complaint in writing and other than that no Court has power to take cognizance.

Thus, while quashing the proceedings against the petitioner, Court stated that, FIR had been registered by the respondent police for the offences under Sections 143 and 188 IPC. He is not a competent person to register FIR for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. As such, the First Information Report or final report is liable to be quashed for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. Further, the complaint does not even state as to how the protest formed by the petitioner and others is an unlawful protest and does not satisfy the requirements of Section 143 of IPC. Therefore, the final report cannot be sustained and it is liable to be quashed. [Shamsul Huda Bakavi v. State, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1298 , decided on 26-06-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, CJ and  and B.V. Nagarathna, J. while dealing with certain issues amid COVID 19 outbreak, noted a very significant point, that,

media must ensure that no part of the stand taken by the State Government or no part of the orders passed by this Court should be misinterpreted or misquoted

In the present petition, the issue brought in is with regard to the Order issued by Kalaburgi District Administration which suggests that organizations distributing food to beggars, needy and homeless are committing violation of prohibitory order under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

In view of the above, it has been sought that the order should be modified in a manner that individuals, voluntary organizations, NGOs, etc. should be permitted to continue with the work of supplying the food to the underprivileged and poorer sections of the society.

Bench observed that,

“Voluntary organizations cannot be prevented from distributing food to the weaker sections of the society so long as they are following the norms of social distancing and taking other precautionary measures.”

Further the Court added to its observations that,

since its first order, Court has been suggesting to the State Government that activities of NGOs need to be coordinated. Thus State government must respond on the stated.

It will be appropriate if the State Government comes out with a direction for convening meetings with NGOs working in the field at various levels so that their activities can be co- ordinated

On a requisition made by the Chairpersons of the DLSAs to the concerned State officials, requisite number of passes shall be issued forthwith to enable the PLVs to perform the duties which are entrusted to them. The Director General of Police may also consider of issuing necessary guidelines to the police authorities to allow the PLVs to do their work on production of the certificates/passes issued by the DLSAs.

With regard to opening of shelter homes, Court stated that, considering the fact that nearly 1/3rd of positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the State are from Bengaluru Urban District, compliance by BBMP with the directions issued by the State Government is of utmost importance.

Another significant observation made through this order by the bench was that,

“… while reporting our orders, the media and in particular, the electronic media has to be very careful. The media must ensure that no part of the stand taken by the State Government or no part of the orders passed by this Court should be misinterpreted or misquoted.”

Cause of confusion and panic can be misrepresentation of the orders of this Court by the media. 

While noting the above observations and asking for State Governments response, the present petition is to be dealt on 16-04-2020. [Mohammed Arif Jameel v. Union of India, WP No. 6435 of 2020, decided on 13-04-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: A writ petition filed alleging that the petitioner was not granted permission to hold live band performance under Rule 239 of the W.B. Excise (Foreign Liquor Rules) 1998, was dismissed holding that such permission was in the form of a privilege and could be taken away by the concerned Authorities.
The petitioner’s concern was that he has not been granted the renewal of permission under the abovesaid Rule for holding live band performance in his bar-cum-restaurant. Learned Senior Law Officer for the Finance Department, Government of W.B. submitted that the petitioner had been show-caused with a notice due to an untoward incident that took place in his bar-cum-restaurant. He was summoned to appear and explain the incident.
In order to settle the controversy, the High Court gave due consideration to the submissions made on behalf of the parties and found favour with the respondent that the permission under Rule 239 is a privilege and could be taken away in event of an untoward incident taking place in the premises of the applicant. The High Court observed that its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution is extraordinary and discretionary; and in present facts and circumstances, as a show-cause notice was issued to the petitioner, the Court held that there was no need to interfere with the matter at the instant stage. The petition was thus, dismissed. [Tapan Kumar Dari v. State of W.B.,  2018 SCC OnLine Cal 485, order dated 02-04-2018]