Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While deciding the instant petition seeking quashment of FIR against the media outlet Kashmiryat and Kashmir Walla regarding an article on their news portal claiming that the Army had forced the school authorities of Siraj-ul-Uloom to celebrate Republic Day; the Bench of Vinod Chatterji Koul, J., held that the instant case when examined on the touchstone of law laid down by the Supreme Court, has not persuaded this Bench to grant the relief prayed for by the petitioner. It was further held that since the FIR has been registered alleging the commission of offences punishable under Sections 153, 505 IPC, which requires to be investigated by the police and during the investigation the petitioners can take the defence which may be available to them.

An FIR was registered with Police station, Imam Sahib, Shopian, based on a written complaint made by Company Commander D-Coy 44 1- Rashtriya Rifles Camp under Section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and Section 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of Penal Code, 1860, for publishing an article on 27-01-2021, alleging that Siraj-ul-Uloom was pressurized by the Army to hold the 72nd Republic Day function in their school. The article also stated that the National Flag was unfurled, and celebrations of Republic Day were carried out in presence of the Army,

During the investigation, it was found that article was published by Mir Junaid of Kashmiryat and Yashraj Sharma of Kashmir Walla. Further during investigation, the statement of Yousuf Matoo, Chairman, Siraj-ul-Uloom, was recorded, wherein he stated that allegation made against the army were baseless. The investigation in the matter is still underway.

The respondents submitted that the impugned article has falsely accused the Army of using force for celebrating Republic Day at Siraj-ul-Uloom; and by such false publication, the petitioners had intended to cause provocation to commit riots. Thus, they have committed offences punishable under Section 153 as well as Section 505 of IPC.

The petitioner on the other hand, prayed to the Court to exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC.

Perusing the facts of the case and the contentions presented, the Court relied on Rajiv Thapar v. Madan Lal Kapoor, 2013 (3) SCC 330, wherein the Supreme Court delineated the steps to determine the veracity of a prayer for quashment raised by an accused, by invoking the power vested in the High Court under Section 482 of CrPC. It was held that the Court was not persuaded to grant any quashment in the present matter.

Vis-a vis the inherent powers of the High Court under Section 482, the Bench while relied on State of Andhra Pradesh v. Golconda Linga Swamy, (2004) 6 SCC 522, where it was observed that Section 482 does not confer any new powers on the High Court. It only saves the inherent power which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Code.

The High Court further noted that Section 482 of CrPC preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent an abuse of the process of any court or to secure the ends of justice. It was further pointed out that while inherent power of the High Court has a wide ambit and plenitude, it must be exercised to secure ends of justice or to prevent an abuse of the process of any court.

[Shah Fahad Peerzada v. UT of J&K, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 894, decided on 17-11-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Hashir Shafiq, Advocate and Mohammad Altaf Khan, Advocate for the Petitioners;

Sheikh Mushtaq, AAG for R-1 and T. M. Shamsi, DSGI of R-2.


*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has prepared this brief.

Delhi High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Delhi High Court: In a PIL filed by Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds ‘(petitioner'), a registered Trust represented by Naresh Kadyan alleging transportation of camels into the State of Delhi from Rajasthan in violation of the statutory provisions as contained under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, a Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma, CJ., and Subramonium Prasad J. studied the status report filed by Union of India (‘respondent') and concluded that transport of camel has to take place strictly in consonance with the statutory provisions governing the field. It further clarified that the respondents shall ensure strict compliance of the amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The Transport of Animals) Rules, 2020 while transporting the camels in future also for the purpose of their participation in Republic Day Parade, or any other purpose.

The petitioner has stated in the writ petition that almost 100 camels are brought every year in goods transport vehicles to Delhi violating the statutory provisions, and therefore, action should be initiated for safe transport of camels against the persons who are involved in transport of camels.

The Court noted that the Border Security Force while transporting the camels issues an Expression of Interest (EOI) providing all minute details in respect of the vehicle in which the animals can be transported. The animals are being transported in specialized vehicles and four camels in sitting position along with accessories and fodder are transported in one vehicle.

The EOI placed on record makes it very clear that there is enough space in the vehicle which is being used for transport of camels and the BSF has taken all precautionary measures to ensure that the camels are not subjected to cruelty.

The Court further noted that the Amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (The Transport of Animals) Rules, 2020 inserted a new chapter, namely, Chapter V A which specifically provides for Transport of Camels.

Thus, the Court remarked that UOI was fair enough in stating that the transportation of camels took place as per the statutory provisions and no violation of any statutory provision took place in respect of the transportation of camels and in future too, they will strictly follow the SOP framed by National Research Centre of Camel, Bikaner.

The Court directed the Union of India to ensure that the statutory provisions as contained in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 are not violated while transporting camels.

The Court further directed the Union of India, the AWBI, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways as well as the BSF to ensure strict compliance of the SOP read with the Rules governing the field in the matter of transport of camels.

[Scouts and Guides for Animals and Birds v. Union of India, WP (C) No 2045 of 2022, decided on 30-08-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner- Mr. Ankur Bhasin, Advocate

For Union of India- Mr. Rajesh Gogna, CGSC with Mr.Vinod Tiwari and Ms.Priya Singh, Advocate for respondents 1, 2 & 4/ UOI. Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, ASC with Ms. Sheenu Priya & Mr.Muhammad Zaid, Advocates for respondent 3.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

Karnataka High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: In a case where the State has filed an appeal to seek modification in an interim order passed by Single Judge giving permission for using Eidgah Maidan, the land under challenge for title, for celebrating Independence Day/Republic Day or as a public playground or for offering prayers by Muslim community only in Ramzan and Bakri Eid festivals, a Division Bench of Abhay Shreeniwas Oka CJ., and Vishwajith Shetty J. permitted the State Government to consider applications filed by organizations seeking use of the land in question for holding religious and cultural activities and pass appropriate orders for a limited period without interfering in the interim directions already laid down by the Single Judge.

A petition was filed by Karnataka State Board of Waqf seeking digitization/computerization of the land namely Eidgah Maidan located in Charamarajpet, Bangalore, in its name. The Joint Commissioner, BBMP rejected the petition by order dated 06-08-2022. An application was filed seeking interim stay on the order dated 06-08-2022. The Court however passed the following relief vide order dated 25-08-2022:

The Court restrained the parties from using the land for any purpose, except;

(i) The State Government / BBMP are permitted to celebrate Independence Day and Republic Day on the subject land.

(ii) The subject land can be continued to be used as a public playground.

(iii) The members of the Muslim community can continue to offer prayers on the subject land on the days of Ramzan and Bakrid festivals, however, are not permitted to offer prayers on any other day.

Aggrieved by this, the present appeal was filed by the Government of Karnataka.

State submitted that that there is a dispute with regard to title of the land in question and the Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore City has received as many as five applications from various organizations seeking permission to use the land in question on 31-08-2022 for a limited period for the purpose of holding religious and cultural activities and the State Government be permitted to take appropriate decision on the aforesaid application.

The Court noted that the Indian society comprises of religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities. The Constitution of India itself fosters brotherhood amongst various sections of the Society. The principle of religious toleration is the characteristic of Indian civilization.

Thus, the Court modified the interim order dated 25-08-2022 to permit the State Government to consider and pass appropriate orders on applications received by the Deputy Commissioner seeking use of the land in question for holding religious and cultural activities for a limited period from 31-08-2022 onwards, subject to no alterations in the interim directions.

[State of Karnataka v. Karnataka State Board of Auqaf, 2022 SCC OnLine Kar 1483, decided on 26-08-2022]

Know thy JudgeOp EdsOP. ED.


On 26th January, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force, also marking the establishment of the Supreme Court of India. The inaugural ceremony of the Supreme Court took place two days later when it succeeded the Federal Court of India and the Privy Council. For the first eight years, the Supreme Court functioned out of the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House. It shifted to its current address in Tilak Marg in the year 1958.

The first six judges of the Supreme Court were also appointed on 26th January, 1950. A short brief on the important judgments given by the six judges follows next:

Born in a middle class family of Surat, Sir Harilal Jekisundas Kania was the first Chief Justice of India. He read law at the Government Law College, Bombay. He practiced as a barrister for some time and was later appointed as a judge in the Bombay High Court. Even though he was the senior-most judge, Justice Kania was passed over in favor of an Englishman and didn’t become the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court during the British rule in India in 1943. He later served as Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. When India became a republic he was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Some of the most important judgments of which he was a part include AK Gopalan v. State of Madras 1950 SCR 88, CIT v. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co., 1950 SCR 335, Delhi Laws Act, 1912, In re v. Part ‘C’ States Laws Act 1951 SCR 74 etc.

Justice Patanjali Sastri studied law in Madras University and went on to  become an advocate of repute in Madras before he was elevated to the Bench. He served as the second chief justice of India from 7th November 1951 to 3rd January 1954.  Some of the most important judgments of which he was a part include Romesh Thaper v. State of Madras 1950 SCR 594, Shankari Prasad Singh Deo v. Union of India, 1952 SCR 89, CIT v. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co., 1950 SCR 335, Delhi Laws Act, 1912, In re v. Part ‘C’ States Laws Act 1951 SCR 74, State of Madras v. V.G. Row, 1952 SCR 597 etc.

Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan was the third Chief Justice of India. Prior to becoming a judge he had served in the position of Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and  played a role in the accession of the state to India. He studied law in Government College, Lahore and established a practice of repute there. He was also the president of the High Court Bar Association of Lahore.  Some of the important judgments of which he were a part include Bharat Bank Ltd Delhi v. Employees of the Bharat Bank Limited Delhi  1950 SCR 459, Brij Bhushan v. The State of Delhi 1950 SCR 605, Dwarkadas Shrinivas v. Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd 1954 SCR 674 etc.

Justice Bijan Kumar Mukherjea became a judge of the Federal Court of India in 1947 and the 4th Chief Justice of India on 23rd December 1954. He studied law in the Surendranath Law College affiliated to the University of Calcutta.  Some of the important judgments of which he were a part include CIT v. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co., 1950 SCR 335,  Keshavan Madhava Menon v. State of Bombay 1951 SCR 228, Delhi Laws Act, 1912, In re v. Part ‘C’ States Laws Act 1951 SCR 74 etc.

Justice Sudhi Ranjan Das read law at University College, London and was appointed as a judge at Calcutta High Court. He later served as Chief Justice at the Punjab High Court before being appointed to the Supreme Court. He went on to become the 5th Chief Justice of India and served in the position for 3 years. Some of the important judgments of which he were a part include A K Gopalan v. State of Madras 1950 SCR 88, State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan, 1951 SCR 525,Keshavan Madhava Menon v. State of Bombay 1951 SCR 228, CIT v. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co., 1950 SCR 335, Delhi Laws Act, 1912, In re v. Part ‘C’ States Laws Act 1951 SCR 74, Province of Bombay v. Khushaldas S. Advani, 1950 SCR 621, Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar, 1959 SCR 629, Kerala Education Bill, 1957, Re, 1959 SCR 995 etc

Sir Saiyad Fazi Ali was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court on 26th January, 1950. Post his stint at the Supreme Court he served as governor of two Indian states and the chairman of the States Reorganisation Commission. Some of the important judgments of which he were a part include Bhawanipore Banking Corpn. Ltd. v. Gouri  Shanker Sharma 1950 SCR 25, CIT v. Ahmedbhai Umarbhai & Co., 1950 SCR 335,  Keshavan Madhava Menon v. State of Bombay 1951 SCR 228, Delhi Laws Act, 1912, In re v. Part ‘C’ States Laws Act 1951 SCR 74, Brij Bhushan v. The State of Delhi 1950 SCR 605, Romesh Thaper v. State of Madras 1950 SCR 594 etc.