Legal RoundUpWatch Now

 Supreme Court Updates

Issue of accommodation in a Domestic Violence dispute between husband and wife shall not affect landlord’s right to get possession of his property

Are you a landlord seeking possession of your property but instead find yourself stuck in a domestic violence dispute between your tenants? If yes, then this ruling is in your favour.

In a case where a wife had challenged Trial Court’s order granting the possession of the suit property in favour of the landlord on the ground that her husband should provide her accommodation as per the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Supreme Court has held that in a domestic violence dispute between the husband and wife, the landlord, who otherwise is entitled to the decree of eviction should not be made to suffer. The dispute between the husband and wife under the Domestic Violence Act shall not preclude and/or affect the right of the landlord to get the possession if otherwise he is entitled to.

The Delhi High Court was of the view the issue of accommodation by husband under the Domestic Violence Act cannot be a subject matter of the dispute between the landlord and the tenant.

Upholding the said judgment, the Supreme Court held that if the wife has any grievance against the husband, may be in respect of the alternative accommodation, the same is required to be adjudicated in the proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act and/or any other remedy which may be available to her against the husband.

Permanent Injunction can’t be granted against true owner once the title dispute is settled

Reversing the concurrent findings of all the Court below in a case where the plaintiff was granted the relief of permanent injunction despite having lost the title, the Supreme Court has held that the plaintiff is not entitled to a relief of permanent injunction against the true owner once the dispute is settled and the plaintiff has lost the title.

The Court was deciding the case where the suit filed by the plaintiff for cancellation of the registered sale deed and declaration had been dismissed and the defendant was held to be the true and absolute owner of the suit land in question. Despite the fact that the plaintiff had lost the title, still the Courts below granted relief of permanent injunction against the defendant, the absolute owner of the land in question.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court is usually slow in interfering with the concurrent findings of the Courts below. However, in the case at hand, the Supreme Court reversed the findings of three Courts i.e. the Trial Court-decree, First Appellate Court, and the High Court.

Promotion cannot be granted retrospectively to give benefit and seniority from the date of notional vacancy

In a case where the actual vacancy in Junior Administrative Grade – I (JAG-I) accrued in 2011, however, the respondents sought retrospective promotion from the date of notional vacancy in 2009, the Supreme Court has held that promotion cannot be granted retrospectively and extended to give benefit and seniority from the date of notional vacancy.

Out of the two respondents before the Court, one had taken voluntary retirement in the year 2011 and the other one was appointed to Junior Administrative Grade -I service on an ad hoc basis only on 27.12.2011 after being placed in the select list against a notional vacancy in 2009.

The Court rejected the claim of both the respondents to hold that

  1. a voluntary retiree cannot seek promotion as a matter of right sans rules governing.
  2. a mere existence of vacancy per se will not create a right in favour of an employee for retrospective promotion when the vacancies in the promotional post is specifically prescribed under the rules, which also mandate the clearance through a selection process.

High Court Updates

Bombay High Court 

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

As per Section 93(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act the transport aggregators are required to obtain license for their operation, but certain transport aggregators like UBER were plying in the State of Maharashtra without the same, hence the Bombay High court directed them to apply for the license by 16th March as per the provision concerned otherwise they shall not be able to operate in the State of Maharashtra.

 Delhi High Court 

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

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

In the said matter, High Court observed that the daughter-in-law was accused of theft from the in-laws premises, but the Court ruled that Section 380 IPC will not be attracted since the ingredients of the said Section were not proved as even if she had picked up letter from the premises the wife had no dishonest intention.

District Courts 

Saket Courts 

Wife, a banker, misusing her position to get details of in-laws’ bank accounts to show husband evading payment of maintenance: Is wife guilty of criminal breach of trust? Court analyses

Court expressed that,

Manner of bringing the information before Court of law may not be morally right but it cannot be said by this act of wife that, she caused or intended to cause any wrongful loss to or to cause wrongful gain to herself as merely by disclosing this information, no pecuniary benefit is stated to have been received by petitioner and if any maintenance or any other amount is granted by Court of law, that cannot be termed to be wrongful gain to the wife.

Court of Special Judge under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Fort Greater Mumbai 

Every common woman travelling in public transport have experienced incidents of inappropriate touch by male gender, but ignored: Is this the reason why such assaults go unreported? Read detailed decision on one such incident 

Expressing that essence of a woman’s modesty is her womanhood, Court, remarked that incidents of unwelcome, inappropriate touch by the male accused in the journey are very common sexual assault experience by every common woman travelling in public transport, but ignored by each one of them, thinking that there is no likelihood of coming across, the same assailant after the journey.

Touching ‘bum’ of a minor girl will be sexual assault punished under S. 10 of POCSO Act? POCSO Court explains   

Expressing that, the sexual intention is the state of mind, may not necessarily to be proved by direct evidence, such intention is to be inferred from attending circumstances of the case, POCSO Court, held that touching bum of a girl cannot be said to be without sexual intention.

Bench also expressed that the “term private part is to be interpreted into the context what is meant by it in our society. Google might not be interpreting bums as private part as submitted by the Advocate for the accused, but it is not acceptable interpretation as far as we Indians are concerned.”

The accused committed the said act with full knowledge and intention to outrage her modesty and to assault her sexually.

Tis Hazari Courts 

Children less than 12 years of age are “asexual” and normally take time to recognize that disguised love, affection or warmth by perpetrator is sinful: Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi 

In a case wherein the Tis Hazari Courts found a 28-year-old man guilty of committing aggravated penetrative sexual on a minor aged 11 years old, Court observed that,

“The children often find it difficult to express themselves for variety of reasons, and when someone close to the family subjects them to sexual abuse, they are reluctant to discuss sexual abuses with their parents as they are unsure as to how their parents would react.

The children less than 12 years of age are “asexual” and they normally take time to recognize that the disguised love, affection or warmth by the perpetrator is wrongful or sinful, and on becoming aware of its implications, the next stage is that of putting up resistance and reporting the incident to the near and dear.” 

Updates from the Tribunal

Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) 

Can SEBI proceed against a Chartered Accountant for lack of his due diligence? SAT analyses

SAT while addressing a matter of whether a Chartered Accountant could be held guilty by SEBI for lack of due diligence, it was held that,

Lack of due diligence can only lead to professional negligence which would amount to a misconduct which could be taken up only by ICAI.

Legislation Updates

 Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2022 

The Central Government has made the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2022 to amend the Foreigners Order, 1948. The amendment introduces requirement of holding a valid passport while living in India.

SEBI issues circular on automation of disclosure requirements under SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 

SEBI has issued a circular on Automation of disclosure requirements under SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 in order to streamline the capture and dissemination of the information related to “encumbrances” and thus bring in more transparency, in consultation with the stock exchanges and depositories. The provisions of this circular shall come into effect from July 01, 2022.

Fertiliser (Inorganic, Organic or Mixed) (Control) Amendment Order, 2022 

The Central Government made Fertiliser (Inorganic, Organic or Mixed) (Control) Amendment Order, 2022 Order to amend the Fertiliser (Inorganic, Organic or Mixed) (Control) Order,1985. The amendment provides the cases where the samples were drawn from the dealers out of original sound bags (without any mark of tempering) and are found non-standard, then in such circumstances both dealer and manufacturer shall be made party for filling the case in the concerned court

SEBI issues revision to operational circular for increasing limit for investment through UPI mechanism to Rs. 5 lakh 

On August 10, 2021, SEBI has issued an Operational Circular no. SEBI/HO/DDHS/P/CIR/2021/613 which provided an option to investors to apply in public issues of debt securities with the facility to block funds through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) mechanism for application value upto Rs. 2 lakh

SEBI has now made revisions to the Operational circular in order to bring about uniformity in the requirements and for ease of investment for investors and therefore, increased the limit for investment through UPI mechanism to Rs. 5 lakh.

Employees’ State Insurance (Central) Amendment Rules, 2022 

The Central Government, after consultation with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, notified Employees’ State Insurance (Central) Amendment Rules, 2022 to amend the Employees’ State Insurance (Central) Rules, 1950. The amendment eases conditions for women to claim sickness benefits. It provides that in case of an insured woman who is in receipt of maternity benefit and due to reason of which a shorter contribution period is available to her in the contribution period in which the maternity benefit falls, she shall be qualified to claim sickness benefit in the corresponding benefit period if the contribution in respect of her was payable for not less than half the number of days available for working in such contribution period.”.

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Top Story

Inherited property of a female Hindu dying issueless and intestate to return to source

In an important ruling on the property of female Hindu, the Supreme Court has held that the property of a female Hindu dying intestate would return to source I.e. if a female Hindu dies intestate without leaving any issue, then the property inherited by her from her father or mother would go to the heirs of her father whereas the property inherited from her husband or father-in-law would go to the heirs of the husband. However, if she dies leaving behind her husband or any issue, then Section 15(1)(a) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 comes into operation and the properties left behind including the properties which she inherited from her parents would devolve simultaneously upon her husband and her issues as provided in Section 15(1)(a) of the Act.

Supreme Court 

Suspension of 12 Maharashtra BJP MLAs for one year “grossly illegal”; worse than expulsion, disqualification or resignation 

In a big relief to the 12 BJP MLAs who were suspended by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 05.07.2021, for a period of 1 year due to “indisciplined and unbecoming behavior resulting in maligning the dignity of the House”, the Supreme Court has held that the suspension beyond the remainder of the concerned (ongoing) Session is unconstitutional, grossly illegal and irrational.

The Court observed that suspension beyond the Session would be bordering on punishing not only the member concerned, but also inevitably impact the legitimate rights of the constituency from where the member had been elected.

The suspended MLAs belong to BJP, the principal Opposition Party in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. The Ruling Party is a coalition between the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) christened as “Maha Vikas Aghadi”.

On July 5, 2021, 12 BJP MLAs were suspended after the house witnessed heated exchanges between the members of the Opposition Party and the Ruling Party due to an impression formed by the former that the business of the House was being conducted   in unilateral manner, with conscious and engineered effort to suppress voice of the Opposition Party.

Cheque gets deposited to the account of account holder with strikingly similar name. Bank blames customer. SC “surprised” at NCDRC’s ruling  

In an interesting case where one SBI account holder was left with a balance of Rs. 59/- only in his account due to the existence of another bank account with strikingly similar name in the same branch, the Supreme Court has set aside the “highly erroneous” impugned order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission solely relying upon the suo-moto report called for from SBI during the pendency of the revision application.

The Account Holder Sunil Kumar Maity was informed by the bank that his account number has changed. A sum of Rs. 3, 00, 000 was deposited in this new account number. However, a few days later, his passbook showed a balance of Rs. 59 only. Interestingly, this “new” account number belonged one “Sunil Maity” who had withdrawn a sum of Rs. 1 lakh and 2 lakhs on two occasions.

The bank report submitted before the NCDRC indicated that the bank had every reason to believe that wrong account number was intentionally inserted by the appellant himself. Surprised that the NCDRC relied on this report to pass an order in favour of the bank, the Supreme Court observed that “There was no way that the appellant would have known that the second respondent, namely Sunil Maity had an account in the same branch. No sane person would deposit cash or cheque meant to be deposited in his account in an account number belonging to another person with similar name.”

High Court Updates

  Madhya Pradesh High Court

Can a Kazi adjudicate disputes like a Court and pass an order like a decree?

In a recent ruling, the Madhya Pradesh High Court while entertaining a Public Interest Litigation observed that if a Kazi entertains a dispute and acts as a mediator to settle the dispute between the members of the community that would be permissible, but he cannot adjudicate the dispute like a court and pass an order like a decree.

Allahabad High Court

“…we boast ourselves as an educated society, but we live our lives with double standards”: Allahabad HC condemns prevailing caste system even after 75 years of independence

While condemning the prevailing caste system even after 75 years of independence, Allahabad High Court made a very significant observation in a cold-blooded murder in an alleged honour killing case, that,

 Caste system in our society is deep rooted, we boast ourselves as educated society, but we live our lives with double standards. Even after 75 years of Independence we are not able to get out with this social menace. This is pitiable and tragic. It is the moral duty of those sane person, who are well-off, to protect the under-privileged and downtrodden, so that they feel themselves safe, secure and comfortable. Simultaneously, the other group also feel that they are the integral and inseparable part of the society, and it is in the larger interest of the country and high time for the introspection for everyone to give serious thought over the matter.

Can wife claim maintenance under S. 125 CrPC where appeal is pending against divorce granted under S. 13 HMA?

 A husband approached the Allahabad High Court claiming that the Family Court could not have granted maintenance to wife under Section 125 CrPC when divorce was already granted in his favour under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act.

Allahabad High Court answered to this claim by stating that When a divorce decree under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act is passed the wife of such annulled marriage can claim maintenance under Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act.

Bombay High Court

Can a girl be treated as property and given in donation? Bom HC addresses in light of “Daanpatra” executed by father of a daughter

Bombay High Court while addressing a case wherein a father executed Daanpatra to give the minor daughter in donation to a baba observed that  A girl is not property that can be donated and further directed the Child welfare committee to ascertain if the child could be declared as a child in need of protection.

High Court made a very pertinent observation in the case which was,

When the girl as per her own statement is minor, then why the father who is in all respect guardian of the girl should give the girl as Daan? A girl is not a property which can be given in donation.

Calcutta High Court

Daughter-in-law who obtains compassionate appointment by stating that she will take responsibility of her mother-in-law is bound by that undertaking

Moving to another very interesting matter from Calcutta High Court, it was noted that a 80 year old widow had approached the Court to seek direction towards her daughter-in-law to provide for her maintenance as she had taken compassionate appointment on the death of her son.

High Court held that the daughter in law was bound by the undertaking by which she had obtained the compassionate appointment.

Delhi High Court

False invocation of Ss. 354A, 506 IPC merely trivalises offence of sexual harassment casting doubt on veracity of allegations by victim who has in reality faced sexual harassment

Delhi High Court in a recent decision expressed its anguish at how provisions such as Sections 354A/506 IPC are falsely invoked at the drop of a hat to register one’s displeasure at the conduct of another individual.

In this false invocation of sections pertaining to sexual assault case, the Court stated that such instances merely trivalise the offence of sexual harassment and casts a doubt on the veracity of the allegations filed by every other victim who has in reality faced sexual harassment, thereby setting back the cause of women empowerment.

District Court Updates

53-year-old man molested a 9-year-old minor boy by pressing his private parts: Court sentences man under POCSO Act

A Fast Track Court of Thiruvanathapuram addressed a case wherein a minor boy aged 9 years old was sexually assaulted by a 53-year-old man who had squeezed the boy’s private part causing him pain.

In this case, Bench expressed that the accused is a prudent man, well acquainted with the prose and cons of his misdeeds. His attitude shows his scant respect and honour for the legal system and morality. So he is not entitled to get the benevolent provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958.

In view of the said observation, the accused did not deserve any leniency for the sentence and was imprisoned for 5 years along with Rs 25000 fine.

Husband’s company can have ‘Virat Kohli’ as a brand ambassador, but cannot provide maintenance to wife: Man tried appearing as a pauper? Saket Courts adjudicates

A District Court while addressing a case of maintenance claimed by a wife wherein the husband stated that he was a businessman but had no monthly income and was sustaining himself on charity and borrowing from relatives and friends, found that the husband’s company was one of the manufacturers of brand “too yum” and the brand ambassador of the said brand was ‘Virat Kohli’, hence it looked highly improbable that a company which is running into great losses was in a position to afford a celebrity of such stature for the advertisement of its product.

Court made an observation that “It cannot be believed that a person who was capable of supporting a family by getting married, would all of a sudden become devoid of all sources of income.”

This is indeed is a very interesting case from Saket Court of Delhi.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

 Minor treated for “Measles” instead of “Stevens-Johnson Syndrome” due to wrong diagnosis and leading to medical negligence

Due to doctor’s lack of skill and reasonable standard of care a minor was wrongly treated due to wrong diagnosis.

In an unfortunate case of medical negligence, wherein an Ayurveda Doctor gave wrong treatment to a child i.e. gave the treatment of Measles instead of Steven Johnson Syndrome, Commission observed that,

 The patient at her young age of 12 years suffered very serious and potentially fatal SJ syndrome. It was the patient’s sheer good luck that she survived in spite of such grossly inappropriate/inadequate treatment at every stage.

Therefore, the patient was awarded a lump sum amount of Rs 10 lakhs.

Legislation Updates

CISF issues circular to implement “One Hand Bag Rule” in airports more strictly 

A new circular has been issued by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which handles airport security on January 19, 2022. As per the circular, no passenger shall be permitted to carry more than one hand bag, other than the exceptions issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation (BCAS). The circular noted that passengers are flouting the rule and on average carrying 2-3 bags to the screening point which causes congestion and inconvenience to other passengers.

CISF has instructed all airlines and airport operators to implement the ‘One Hand Bag Rule’ more meticulously to ease out congestion.

Gas Cylinders (Amendment) Rules, 2022 

The Amendment requires all the high pressure cylinders and Cryogenic containers used for filling of Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable Gases and Liquids to have permanent and tamper proof marking in form of Bar Code or RFID or QR code or any means of electronic identification number at conspicuous place on cylinders and containers.

Drugs (Amendment) Rules, 2022 

The amendment requires every active pharmaceutical ingredient (bulk drug) manufactured or imported in India to bear Quick Response code on its label at each level packaging that store data or information readable with software application to facilitate tracking and tracing.

The Amendment Rules will come into force from January 01, 2023.

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 37 with Devika Sharma

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

Supreme Court  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High Court Updates

Kerala High Court

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

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

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

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

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

Delhi High Court

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

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

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

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

  • J&K and Ladakh HC holds higher qualification than the maximum qualification prescribed is not suitable qualificationThe Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has held that in case of Class IV posts, higher qualification then the prescribed 10+2 may not be suitable for many reasons. The court reiterated that the suitability and qualifications for any posts have to be let down by the employer and the same are not liable to be interfered with judicially, until and unless the policy decision in that regard is found to be irrational and arbitrary.

Allahabad High Court

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

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

 Uttaranchal High Court

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

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

Madhya Pradesh High Court

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

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

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

Legislation Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 

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


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

Kesavananda Bharati: 151

Golak Nath: 120

Winners are:

Tanishq Aggarwal and Pulkit Agarwal

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 34 with Devika Sharma

SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 34 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

Supreme Court 

  • Independent probe in Pegasus case  

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, JJ has appointed an Expert Committee to look into the truth or falsity of the allegations in the Pegasus Spyware case, “taking into account the public importance and the alleged scope and nature of the large-scale violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country.” 

The Pegasus suite of spywares, being produced by an Israeli Technology firm, viz., the NSO Group, can allegedly be used to compromise the digital devices of an individual through zero click vulnerabilities, i.e., without requiring any action on the part of the target of the software. This extremely powerful software is sold only to certain undisclosed Governments and reports indicate that individuals from nearly 45 countries are suspected to have been affected.

The Court said that it was an extremely uphill task to find and select experts who are free from prejudices, are independent and competent but it eventually appointed the Committee headed by Former Supreme Court Judge Justice R.V. Raveendran and highly qualified technical member. 

Read the details about all the members of the Committee on the SCC Online Blog. 

  • Yatin Oza’s Senior Advocate designation temporarily restored for two years 

In a major relief to Advocate Yatin Oza, the Supreme Court has temporarily restored the senior designation for a period of two years from 1.1.2022.

On 21.03.2020, Oza wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India making serious allegations against a senior-most Judge of the Gujarat High Court in his capacity as President of the Bar Association. He then circulated the letter in the Bar Association’s WhatsApp group after calling the High Court a “Gamblers Den” in a Press Conference. Oza was then stripped off his Senior Advocate designation.

Holding that the High Court would be well within its rights to withdraw the indulgence, the Court said that it was giving Oza a last chance by providing a window of two years to show that he truly means what he has assured the Court. 

  • Karnataka High Court calls person committing suicide a ‘weakling’! Don’t diminish the gravity of mental health issues, says SC  

In a case where the Single Judge of Karnataka High Court had termed persons committing suicide a ‘weakling’ and also made observations on how the behavior of the deceased before he committed suicide was not that of a person suffering from mental health issues, the Supreme Court has held that such observations describing the manner in which a depressed person ought to have behaved deeply diminishes the gravity of mental health issues.

The High Court had “judged” the deceased for attending relative’s marriage in a different town and interacting with friends and relatives and had said that all such actions were that of a normal person and not of a person under severe duress. The High Court had also diminished the gravity of deceased’s mental health on the ground that he had taken “considerable time” to write a 12 pages long suicide note. 

On this the Supreme Court said that individual personality differences manifest as a variation in the behavior of people and that,

“The mental health of a person cannot be compressed into a one size fits all approach.”

High Court Updates 

Kerala High Court 

  • Absence of salutation like M/s, Mr or Miss while drawing a cheque is immaterial for offence under S. 138 of NI Act; HC sets aside the acquittal, directs Trial Court to re-address the issue 

 Another interesting matter from the Kerala High Court came up, wherein an allegation was made with regard commission of an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, wherein the Trial Court had acquitted the respondent-accused on the sole ground that the subject cheque was drawn in favour of ‘Lakshmi Finance’ and not ‘M/s.Lakshmi Finance’   

On hearing the matter, Court expressed that,

“The alphabets ‘M/s’ which is short form for ‘Messrs’ is normally a salutation intended to refer to a group of unincorporated persons, such as a partnership firm. The absence of such salutation while drawing the cheque by the respondent-accused cannot be a ground for the accused to be acquitted.” 

Delhi High Court 

  •  Law on Article 12 of Constitution of India | World Bank a Government Agency or not? Del HC decides 

 Whether World Bank is a Government Agency or not? 

Delhi High Court while deciding this issue answered in negative and opined that World Bank or any of the other international bodies, which have proceeded to debar the petitioner in the case, cannot be considered as a “Government Agency”. This is for the reason that none of the international bodies are bound by any directions issued by the Government of India. 

  •  POSH Act | Jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee and Local Committee 

In an unfortunate case, Noting the allegations against an employer with regard to sexual harassment of a women, the Delhi High Court expressed that  

“…instead of providing assistance to the aggrieved woman in prosecuting her complaint of sexual harassment, the respondent has been opposing her tooth and nail and has even terminated her services pending the inquiry before the Local Committee.”

 Expressing its opinion on the jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee, the Court added that,  

“…since the Secretary was the employer for the purposes of the Act, the complaint of the said employer would not lie to the Internal Committee but shall lie only to the Local Committee.”  

 Bombay High Court 

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

The Bombay High Court granted bail to three accused persons in the infamous Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case where Aryan Shah Rukh Khan, Arbaaz A. Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha were accused for offence under the NDPS Act. 

 The Court laid down 14 bail conditions which you can read on the SCC Online Blog. 

Madras High Court 

  •  Mushrooming Unemployment | Madras HC on menace of job racketing and scams cropping up || Detailed report on how a person fraudulently acted as an employee of Court cheated several people 

Addressing the issue of the growing menace of job racketing and tackling the unemployment problem, the Madras High Court suggested the Central and State Government promote entrepreneurs and create self-employment opportunities for youth so that the future of this country can be safeguarded from falling prey to such money mongering vultures. 

The Court was hearing a petition relating to a case where fake interview and appointment letters were being prepared with an intention to defraud innocent public for making unlawful gain. 

A detailed report can be followed on the SCC Online blog.

Legislation Updates

  • Centre notifies new road safety draft rules for children below 4 years 

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified draft rules for safety of children below 4 years.

The Draft Rules recommends 

  • For children below four years, safety harness shall be used for attaching the child to the driver of the motorcycle.
  • It also provides that the Driver must ensure that the child pillion passenger aged between 09 months and 4 years must wear his/her own crash helmet which fits his/her head or wear bicycle helmet till such time that the specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016.
  • The Draft Rules also ensures that Speed of the motorcycle with the child upto age 4 years being carried as a pillion, shall not be more than 40 kmph.

  • Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021 

The Central Government notified Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021.

The Rules provide that A must–run power plant shall not be subjected to curtailment or regulation of generation or supply of electricity on account of merit order dispatch or any other commercial consideration. 

It also provides that in the event of a curtailment of supply from a must–run power plant, compensation shall be payable by the procurer to the must–run power plant at the rates specified in the agreement for purchase or supply of electricity. 

  • Ministry of Labour and Employment declares services engaged in Banking industry to be a public utility service 

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has declared the services engaged in the Banking industry, which is covered under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, to be a public utility service for a period of six months with effect from October 21, 2021.

  • IFSCA (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has issued the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021.

Winners for SCC Online Quiz Announced.

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 23rd ft. Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

Kerala High Court

 Is marital rape a form of cruelty?

Treating wife’s body as something owing to husband and committing sexual act against her will is nothing but marital rape.

In a very significant decision, Kerala High Court held that merely for the reason that law does not recognize marital rape under the penal law, it does not inhibit the Court from recognizing the same as a form of cruelty to grant divorce.

High Court expressed:

if marriage is seen as a symbol to project status, without reflecting the values the individuals or society would cherish to profess, we may miss the basic concept required for marriage

Supreme Court

SC issues directions to make voter’s right to information more effective; penalises political parties for non-compliance with earlier directions regarding disclosure of criminal antecedents: Read full report

“The nation continues to wait, and is losing patience. Cleansing the polluted stream of politics is obviously not one of the immediate pressing concerns of the legislative branch of government.”

In a matter arising out of the elections held at Bihar Legislative Assembly, the Supreme Court found several political parties guilty of contempt of court for non-compliance of directions given by the Supreme Court in Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora, in connection with disclosure of information of candidates with criminal antecedents. Penalties have been imposed on the political parties found guilty. The Court also issued further directions in order to make the right of information of a voter more effective and meaningful.

Foreign arbitral award enforceable against non-signatories to agreement; ‘perversity’ no longer a ground to challenge foreign award; tort claims arising in connection with agreement are arbitrable: SC expounds law on foreign awards

 A foreign arbitral award is enforceable against non-signatories to arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court reiterated that grounds for resisting a foreign arbitral award contained in Section 48(1)(a) to (e) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 are to be narrowly construed, and that a non-signatory’s objection cannot possibly fit into Section 48(1)(a). Furthermore, a foreign arbitral award cannot be challenged on the ground of “perversity”.

Incidental to the main issue, it was also held that Section 44 recognises the fact that tort claims may be decided by an arbitrator provided they are disputes that arise in connection with the subject agreement.

The instant appeals before the Supreme Court raised interesting questions relatable to Part II of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act which provisions deal, inter alia, with recognition and enforcement of foreign awards.

Conundrum of res judicata and rejection of plaint: SC summarises guiding principles for deciding an application under Or. 7 R. 11(d) CPC

Another very interesting development from the Supreme Court was that, the Court summarized the guiding principles for deciding an application under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of CPC.

(i) To reject a plaint on the ground that the suit is barred by any law, only the averments in the plaint will have to be referred to;

(ii) The defense made by the defendant in the suit must not be considered while deciding the merits of the application;

(iii) To determine whether a suit is barred by res judicata, it is necessary that (a) the ‘previous suit’ is decided, (b) the issues in the subsequent suit were directly and substantially in issue in the former suit; (c) the former suit was between the same parties or parties through whom they claim, litigating under the same title; and (d) that these issues were adjudicated and finally decided by a court competent to try the subsequent suit; and

(iv) Since an adjudication of the plea of res judicata requires consideration of pleadings, issues and decision in the ‘previous suit’, such a plea will be beyond the scope of Order 7 Rule 11(d), where only the statements in the plaint will have to be perused.

15 years after superannuation, a Govt. Employee still accommodated at Govt. accommodation: Does SC finds this legitimized?

In a conflict of Right to Shelter v. Right to Govt. accommodation, SC noted that a Kashmiri Migrant retired from the Intelligence Bureau was even after 15 years of his retirement still staying at the accommodation provided by the Government.

Court in view of the stated backdrop affirmed that,

If a retired government employee have no residence, they have an option to avail transit accommodation or to receive cash compensation in the place of transit accommodation.

Further, the Government accommodation is only meant for in-service officers and not for the retirees or those who have demitted office.

Holding that the right to shelter does not mean right to government accommodation, the matter was disposed of directing the retired officer to vacant the accommodation.

Telangana High Court

Mother allows her live-in partner to sexually assault minor daughter continuously

 In a gruesome matter, Telangana High Court noted that a mother allowed her live-in partner to commit sexual assault on her minor daughter as result of which the minor became pregnant and gave birth to a male child.

High Court rejected the bail application of the mother.

Kerala High Court

Penetration between thighs of the victim held together; will it fall within the ambit of Rape?

Whether penetration to any part of the body of such woman as mentioned in Section 375(c) of IPC brings within its ambit a penile sexual act committed between the thighs held together; which do not qualify to be called an orifice?

In a historic decision the Kerala High Court held that the sexual act of penetration committed between the thighs of the victim held together is an act of manipulation of the body of the victim to obtain sexual gratification and the same fell within the ambit of the amended definition of rape.

Elaborating more, the Court stated that , when the body of the victim is manipulated to hold the legs together for the purpose of simulating a sensation akin to penetration of an orifice; the offence of rape is attracted. When penetration is thus made in between the thighs so held together, it would certainly amount to “rape” as defined under Section 375.

Kerala HC directs Kerala to reinstate the woman terminated for unauthorised absence on availing maternity leave

While addressing the grievances of a woman whose request for maternity leave was turned down by the State and to then exacerbate her agony, she was terminated from service on the accusation of unauthorised absence. Voicing the plight of the pregnant women in general, the Kerala High Court stated,

“Life as a new mother is like being on a roller-coaster and being a working mother is tougher. The minutiae of motherhood can never be properly contemplated and it involves navigation through myriad daily issues, which ultimately determine the health and future of the child.”

Bombay High Court

Can mere dishonour of cheque amount to abetment of suicide?

In the backdrop of a matter wherein a person committed suicide living behind an alleged suicide note naming the person who did not repay the deceased’s money. Though there was a big question mark on the genuineness of the suicide note.

High Court held that mere dishonour of cheque and refusal to pay the remaining balance amount involved in the transaction does not amount to abetment to commit suicide.

Would throwing love chit on person of a married woman amount to outraging her modesty?

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

Bombay High Court dealt with a matter wherein a 45 year old married woman was subjected to a situation where a man threw a chit on the person of woman professing love for her, noting the said fact Court held that this act was sufficient to be categorized under the ambit of Outraging the modesty of woman, As even on earlier occasions the man used flirted with the woman making gestures like pouting lips and hitting her with small pebbles.

Central Information Commission

Centre’s denial on information relating to committee set up to ensure adequate availability of medical oxygen during COVID-19, is justified?

 Two weeks back, Central Information Commission dealt with a very pertinent matter, wherein an activist approached the Commission seeking certain information on the 9-Member Committee set up in April 2020 to ensure the adequate availability of medical oxygen during COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the arguments submitted by the Centre, they contended that the said information cannot be provided as the High level discussions of the empowered group frequently form part of the discussions within the highest decision-making body to avert and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country and thus must be protected from disclosure given the larger intent to protect such information from being misused or being adversely used against the interest of the state.

The Commission directed the Centre to provide a point wise reply the activist within 10 days and in case if any information was being denied then the same should be suitably justified.


Appointment | Kerala High Court gets 2 new Additional Judges 

Two new Additions in the form of Additional Judges were made to the Kerala High Court vide notification dated 11th August 2021 by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Read the Notification here:


Legislation updates 

IBC (Amendment) Act, 2021 

The Central Government has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Act, 2021 which has brought Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process for MSMEs. The Act repeals the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and amends the provisions of IBC Act, 2016. 

The Application for initiating Prepacked Insolvency Resolution Process may be filed in the event of a default of at least one lakh rupees. However, the Central Government may increase the threshold of minimum default up to one crore rupees through a notification.  

Rent-a-Cab (Amendment) Scheme 2021 

The Central Government has notified Rent-a-Cab (Amendment) Scheme 2021 which provides that the battery-operated motor cabs and motor cabs driven on methanol and ethanol is exempted from the provisions under S. 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.  

Income tax Amendment (22nd Amendment), Rules, 2021 

The Central Board of Direct taxes has notified the Income tax Amendment (22nd Amendment), Rules, 2021 which provides the procedure for computation of income of a specified fund attributable to units held by non-resident as well as the procedure for computation of exempt income of specified funds.  

In the Monsoon Session, Various Bills Have Been Passed by Parliament Such as:

  1. Tribunal Reforms Bill, 2021 []
  2. General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 [
  3. National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 
  4. National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021  

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

Watch the latest episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 17 featuring Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant (Legal).

Highlight of the Week

Allegations of cheating in Bitcoin transactions: Magistrate, Tis Hazari Courts directs Delhi Police to register FIR and investigate

The Magistrate, Tis Hazari Courts in Delhi, has directed the Delhi Police to register an FIR and investigate the allegations of the complainant who has alleged that he was cheated by the accused while making Bitcoin transactions. The Court found that offences under Sections 403, 411 and 420 of IPC are prima facie committed and the real culprits need to be identified.

Supreme Court 

  • No conviction under Section 364A IPC if kidnapper treats victim in “a good manner  

In an interesting ruling, the Supreme Court has laid down the essential ingredients required to be proved by prosecution to convict an accused under Section 364A IPC i.e. kidnapping for ransom. The Court has held that an accused cannot be convicted under Section 364A IPC if he or she treats the victim in “a good manner”NDMA to come up with uniform guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of lives lost due to Covid-19  

The order came in a case where a 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped, recorded in his statement that the kidnapper had treated him in a good manner and that no threat to cause death or hurt was made.

  • NDMA to come up with uniform guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of lives lost due to Covid-19  

After the Court was approached seeking direction to the Government to provide notified ex-gratia monitory compensation of Rs.4,00,000/- to the families of deceased who succumbed to COVID-19,the Court has issued directions asking the National Disaster Management Authority to make uniform guidelines for ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of the persons who died due to Covid-19 within 6 weeks.

According to the official figure, the pandemic has caused more than 3,85,000 deaths, the same is likely to increase further. 

In such circumstances, the Court said that by not recommending any Guidelines so far, the National Authority has failed to perform its statutory duty cast under Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act.

  • ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Scheme to be a reality in all States by July 31st! 

Issuing extensive directions to ensure the welfare of the migrant labourers who have been severely affected due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has asked all the States to implement “One nation, One Ration card” Scheme by July 31st.

The Central Government has also been directed to develop the Portal in consultation with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers. The registration process by all means has to commence by July 31st.

  • Persons with Disabilities have right to promotion under the 1995 PwD Act 

In an important development concerning the rights of the persons with disabilities, the Supreme Court has held that the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 protects the right of promotion and enjoins the government to identify posts in promotional cadre that can be filled up with persons with disability.

Although the 2016 Act has now taken care of how to deal with the aspect of reservation in promotion, the law laid down, in this case, is important as a large number of cases may still arise in the context of the 1995 Act.

High Courts

Delhi High Court

Del HC | Stray Dogs have right to food and citizens have right to feed | Indispensable 22 Guidelines on Feeding of Stray Dogs

Animals breathe like us and have emotions.

In a significant ruling, Delhi High Court issued guidelines with regard to the feeding of stray dogs and observed that stray dogs have the right to feed and citizens have the right to feed community dogs but in exercising this right, care and caution should be taken to ensure that it does not impinge upon the rights of others or cause any harm, hinderance, harassment and nuisance to other individuals or members of the society.

Calcutta High Court

Is mere demand of money, property, etc. sufficient to penalise for demanding dowry? Court answers; says gifts exchanged out of love are not dowry

If a bride or bridegroom is presented gifts in a voluntary nature at or before a wedding, would that be covered under the ambit of ‘dowry’ under the Dowry Prohibition Act?

Calcutta High Court addressing this connected question while deciding a case, elaborated on the concept of dowry and observed that dowry as per Section 2 Of the Dowry Prohibition Act cannot be applied merely to the demand of money, property or valuable security made at or after the performance of marriage.

Bombay High Court

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 

Faced with the question of child welfare, the Bombay High Court held that on appreciation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 read with Regulations of 2017, adoption of children cannot be restricted only to children in conflict with law or those in need of care and protection or only those children who are orphaned, abandoned or surrendered children.

The High Court opined against a restrictive interpretation of the JJ Act. 5XLT

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Bail denied to juvenile in Rape Case; Court questions lawmakers conscience, How many more Nirbhayas’ sacrifice would be required?

Anguished over lackadaisical approach of the State, Madhya Pradesh HC while denying bail to a Juvenile for committing rape of a minor girl observed that,

“The Legislature has still not learnt any lesson from the case of Nirbhaya, as the age of a child is still kept below 16 years in heinous offences under s.15 of the Act of 2015 giving a free hand to the delinquents under the age of 16 years to commit heinous offences. Thus, apparently, despite committing a heinous offence, the petitioner would be tried as a juvenile only, because he is less than 16 years old as provided under Section 15 Act of 2015. Apparently, the present law to deal with such cases is totally inadequate and ill equipped and this Court really wonders as to how many more Nirbhayas’ sacrifice would be required to shake the conscious of the lawmakers of this Country.”

Bombay High Court

Bom HC on Cruelty & Desertion | Wife wishing to stay abroad. Is that an act of selfishness? Can it be ground of divorce? Court answers

Can a wife wishing to stay abroad with her child in order to maintain her lifestyle be covered under the umbrella of cruelty and desertion?

Answering this question, the Bombay High Court expressed that such an act of the wife cannot be branded as an act of selfishness or unjustified. Hence, the Court held that wife did not treat the husband with cruelty nor did she desire to desert him.

Madras High Court

Ban Online Games or not? Read HC’s opinion on not entering into such matters. Is it a policy matter?

Mad HC while addressed concerns over menace of online gambling. It noted that children and young adults these days are addicted to their phones and their worlds appear to revolve around their mobile phones.

The Court also expressed it’s opinion on  whether online games can be banned and expressed that:

There is no doubt that when there is some illegal action or something which is detrimental to larger public interest, constitutional courts intervene; but in the matters of the present kind, especially when elected governments are in place, such matters of policy should be left to the wisdom of those representing the people and having their mandate instead of the Court issuing a diktat.

Uttaranchal High Court

Re-opening Char Dham Yatra would lead to inviting a calamity, Kumbh 2021 example of poor implementation of SOP; HC directs live streaming of ceremonies carried out at Shrines

Utt HC dealt with a very pivotal question of Whether Char dham Yatra should be re-opened or not?

High Court expressed that the

“…second wave struck the country like a tsunami. It not only killed about three lakh people in the country, but in its wake it has also left devastated families, and orphaned children.”

“The health care system began to crumble. It is common knowledge that as people began to die, there were insufficient spaces in our crematorium and burial grounds. People could not perform a decent cremation, or decent burial to our lost brethren.” 

The Court finally held that Char Dham Yatra should not be permitted even for a limited period and Government should make sure that the live streaming is done throughout the country, so that the devotees may not only witness the deity, but may also pray to the same.

Madras High Court

A person can be a silent carrier of COVID-19 on not taking vaccine: Can Right to Refuse Vaccine in such circumstances be exercised?

 Whether Right to Refuse Vaccine can be exercised in circumstances wherein a person can be as a silent carrier of COVID-19 on not being vaccinated?

Discussing this issue, the High Court expressed that

when a larger interest of public health comes into play, it is possible that a person who has not taken the vaccine may not reveal the symptoms but still be a silent carrier, it is doubtful whether in such circumstances the right to refuse vaccine can be exercised.

The Court then asked the State to try and persuade persons with awareness campaigns and scientific data to indicate the efficacy of the vaccines and the indispensable nature in dealing with the present pandemic

Competition Commission of India

Co-location facility of the National Stock Exchange is anti-competitive? Is the service an autocratic move against traders? Comprehensive Report

A complaint was filed with the Competition Commission of India CCI alleging that the National Stock Exchange contravened provisions of the Competition Act. Questions were raised over the co-locations facility which was launched by NSE in 2009.

The CCI rejected the allegations and stated that stopping the Co-location facility will be retrogade. It said that

A robust exchange acts as a backbone of the financial system and the provision of co-location facility by exchanges help increase volumes of trades manifold and provides liquidity to investors. This augurs well for the market, the companies and the economy.

Legislation Updates  

Tripura Government revises Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA) 

On June 21, 2021, the Labour Department of Tripura issued a notification on revision of Variable Dearness Allowance on the basis of 6-monthly average Consumer Price Index Numbers for the period of twelve months for different categories of workers engaged in the employment of shops and establishments in Tripura and shall be payable with effect from April 01, 2021.

Show this in table form in the video:

  • Skilled: Rs.7,618 Per Month
  • Semi-Skilled: Rs.6,812 Per Month
  • Unskilled: Rs.6,209 Per Month

Some of the important amendment which have taken place recently are  

Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) (Amendment) Rules, 2021 in order to amend The Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020

Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Amendment Rules, 2021 to amend the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour) Rules, 2016. They shall be deemed to have come into force on December 26, 2020.

Books Released 

B.S. Murthy’s International Relations and Organisation

by V. Rajyalakshmi

The book deals with the fundamentals of International Relations and Organisation in a simple language and descriptive style. The book starts with an introduction by Prof. N.R. Madhava Menon. The book examines topics such as-the history of the evolution of world community, methods employed to study international relations in the past, participants involved in international decision-making, the settlement of disputes through different methods, etc.

This book is indispensable for students of five-year law courses and for anyone interested in reading about International Relations and Organisation.

EBC’s Master Guide To All India Bar Examination This 2021 Edition of the Guide for All India Bar Examination is a comprehensive book to study for the exam conducted by the Bar Council of India. This Guide has been updated and prepared based on the examination patterns over a period of time.

This Guide is indispensable for law graduates appearing for All India Bar Examination.

Features on SCC Online Web Edition

Let me also tell you about very handy features introduced on SCC Online. Now you can find all the important news about any reported case or legal developments along with the judgment text and authoritative digest notes, all at one place. You just need to select the Legal and Business News section on your dashboard.

Also, now you will save a lot of time and effort while citing cases. You can cite cases accurately with our new feature where you can directly copy citation and party names to your clipboard by a single click and then use it for your research or preparing drafts and other purposes.

Do try out these new features on SCC Online web edition.

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

Watch the latest episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 14 featuring Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant (Legal).

Pride Month

Judge “removes Lordship’s hat” for framing guidelines for proper recognition of LGBTQIA+ rights, acknowledges “gurus” for pulling him out of darkness of ignorance

When the world is celebrating pride month, a very progressive order came from the Madras High Court this week. The Court issued interim directions for proper recognition of the rights of LGBTQIA+ community. Another significant fact about the matter is that before penning this order, the Presiding Judge himself went through a counselling session and interacted with a transwoman to understand the emotions and realities of the community. The order notes that this session “ultimately convinced the Bench that it must change all the preconceived notions and start looking at persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community as they are.”

Supreme Court Updates

Children orphaned by COVID-19| No illegal adoption; no discontinuance of education. Directions issued  

Considering the need for continuous monitoring of the implementation of the schemes in favour of the children who have become orphans or have lost one of their parents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has issued a series of directions to ensure immediate relief to such children. 

The Court emphasised on the need to ensure that the education of such children is not discontinued and also that no illegal adoption takes place.  

Financial relief a policy matter: SC refuse to entertain plea seeking loan moratorium extension 

In another development the Supreme Court has refused to pass any direction in the petition seeking effective and remedial measures to redress and overcome the financial stress and hardship faced by the borrowers of the country during the second wave of Covid 19 and lockdown. The Court said that financial relief is a policy matter and left it to the Government to take a decision.  

AIIMS INI-CET exam to be postponed by at least a month 

Coming to the aid of doctors aspiring for admission to the Post Graduate courses for the July 2021 session in the units of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry and NIMHANS Bengaluru, the Supreme Court has directed AIIMS to postpone the Institute of National Importance Combined Admission Test (INI CET) examination by at least a month.  

 AIIMS had notified the date for conduct of INI CET 2021 on 16th June, 2021.  

High Court Updates

Footpaths are not for campaigns and protests

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court, while addressing the issue of encroachments of footpaths for the purpose of holding assemblies and protests, stated that,

“Footpaths are not intended for the purpose of holding campaigns, demonstrations, etc., by political parties and other organizations, by causing any obstruction whatsoever to free movement of pedestrians. No political party or organization can be permitted to encroach footpath or right of way of public roads…forcing pedestrians including those with disabilities and reduced mobility to walk in unsafe circumstances.”


Toon Controversy | Cartoonist wanting to express anger, cannot be construed as defamation: Madras HC quashes criminal case against cartoonist, says cannot teach ethics to people

In a very interesting case, Madras High Court noted that a cartoonist had published a cartoon on his facebook page regarding a self-immolation incident and complaint was filed against him under Sections 501 of IPC and Section 67 of the Information and Technology Act, 2000, which raised the question Where from the fundamental rights of freedom of thought and expression must begin and where must it end?

To which the Court answered that:

Freedom of thought and expression is subject to the limitations that have been set out in the Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India.

Just like, any other citizen, a cartoonist is also bound by the law and in the form of a cartoon, he cannot defame anyone.


“Singh + Singh” prima facie deceptively similar to “Singh & Singh”: HC grants interim relief to law firm in trademark infringement case

In a very interesting case of trademark infringement, the Delhi High Court has granted interim injunction in favour of Singh and Singh Law Firm LLP. The Court found that “Singh + Singh” – trademark of the defendant firm, prima facie appears to be deceptively similar to “Singh and Singh” – which is the petitioner’s trademark. The defendants Singh
+ Singh Laywers LLP have been restrained from using the impugned mark till the date of next hearing which is on 23rd September.



Tribunals/Commissions Updates

SEBI bars Director of Franklin Templeton AMC, wife from accessing securities markets for 1 yr

SEBI, while barring a director of Franklin Templeton Asset Management Company and his wife from accessing securities markets for 1 yr, made a very significant observation in this insider trading matter that:

while directors are not prohibited from trading in units of the schemes managed by the Asset Management Company, they should ensure that such trading conforms to ethical and moral standards and legal norms expected to be complied by a person entrusted with quasi-fiduciary responsibilities.


NCLAT responds to a very marked question that whether Banks can debit amounts from Corporate Debtor Company after Moratorium Order?

The National Company Appellate Tribunal, while making an observation that Banks cannot freeze accounts, nor can they prohibit the ‘Corporate Debtor’ from withdrawing the amount as available on the date of the moratorium for its day-to-day functioning, held that banks cannot debit any amounts from the account of the ‘Corporate Debtor Company’ after the Order of moratorium, as it amounts to recovery of the amount.



Legislation Updates

FSSAI issues order for mandating the mention of FSSAI license/ registration no. on the receipts and invoices by Food businesses 

On June 08, 2021, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an order for mandating the mentioning of FSSAI license/ registration number on receipts/ invoices/ cash memo/ bills etc. by food business on sale of food products.  

Due date for GST compliances extended 

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs vide notification no. 24/2021 dated 01.06.2021 has extended due date of compliances which fall during the period from “April 15, 2021 to June 29, 2021  has been extended till 30.06.2021.  

Gujarat Goods and Services Tax (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021 

On June 02, 2021, the Finance Department of Gujarat has issued the Gujarat Goods and Services Tax (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend the Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017. 

Refer to the SCC Online Blog for detailed list of Amendments.  

 SC releases draft model rules for Live streaming and recording of proceedings 

The e-committee of the Supreme Court released the Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings on June 7, 2021. A sub-committee consisting of judges of the Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Karnataka High Courts was constituted to frame model live streaming Rules. These model rules are aimed to provide a balanced regulatory framework for live streaming and recording of court proceedings to bring greater transparency, inclusivity, and access to justice.  

Late fee waiver under Maharashtra Value Added Tax 

The Government of Maharashtra has amended the Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, 2002 vide notification dated 03.06.2021. The amendment allows the dealers who are liable to file return under Rule 17(c ) (4B) and Rule 18(1A) of the Act and who have not filed return for the period of March 2021, April 2021 and May 2021; such return shall be filed on or before 30th June, 2021. The late fee charges are subsequently waived. The tax payable, as per the return, shall also be paid by 30th June 2021.  

New Release by Eastern Book Company

Simply, Legal! Torts by Shweta Vishwanathan 

In this simple and very easy to understand book on Torts, the author Shweta Vishwanathan has used illustrations to make it entertaining. All the topics under Tort Law such as Vicarious Liability, Nuisance, Negligence, Defamation, etc. have been taught in a fun and conversational manner to bring back the fun of studying the basic laws of India. In this book, the principles of Tort Law are linked with everyday examples to bring home a realization that law is all around you and not some isolated, complicated thing standing by itself. This book is useful not just for novices who are not initiated into law but also for lawyers and judges who want to brush up their fundamentals over a period of time.  

Civil  Procedure  Code  by C.K. Takwani , 9th Edition  

Civil  Procedure  Code  by C.K. Takwani provides an interesting and lucid study of the fundamental principles of civil procedure in a logical sequence. The topic-wise treatment of the subject along with references to academic writings and the judicial decisions makes the study of civil procedure  more  meaningful  and  comprehensible.  This book explains complex legal concepts with clarity and coherence as well as covers   all aspects and dimensions of law relating to Civil Procedure and Limitation in India.  

The current edition covers  all legislative developments including a new chapter on Commercial Courts Act, 2015 as well as the Rulings on the subject by the Supreme Court as well as the High Courts up to (2020) 16 SCC.  

R.V. Kelkar’s Criminal Procedure by Revised by K.N Chandrasekharan Pillai 

This classic work provides an interesting study of the fundamental principles of criminal procedure in a logical sequence. The author has incorporated all recent developments in the field of criminal procedure since the publication of the last edition in 2014. 

The author has also drawn attention to some ticklish aspects of the Code with a view to foster new thinking in the light of new developments so that criminal procedure law may grow in tune with the times.  

Lectures on Administrative Law by C.K. Takwani, 7th Edition  

Lectures on Administrative Law by Justice C.K. Thakker (Takwani) is the most sought after work on this subject among law students and members of the Bar. 

The Seventh Edition has taken note of development on the subject in India and also in foreign countries. Case law up to January 2021 has been included along with addition of certain new topics. Further, a new feature of Suggested Readings is included which is a compilation of articles by legal luminaries to widen the scope of discussion.  

This book will be immensely useful to students of LL B and LL M, administrators, judges, advocates, researchers and those interested in acquiring knowledge of this subject. 

P. Sarathi’s Law of Evidence by K. A. Pandey

A classic work,  V. P. Sarathi’s Law of Evidence clarifies and explains the complicated rules governing the law of evidence in a straightforward and easily comprehensible style. 

The revising author has updated the current edition of the book with the latest case law and statutory changes which have taken place since the last edition. 

With the enormous growth of Information Technology, electronic records have replaced paper-based transactions and consequently the use of digital and electronic signatures to authenticate these records. This edition exhaustively deals with this topic including the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Anvar P.V. v. P.K. Basheer, (2014) 10 SCC 473.  

New Feature | SCC Online Web Edition

Before bidding adieu, let me also tell you that SCC Online has designed a very user-oriented feature for saving your time on legal research. Now you can refer to any provision of any statute, or study any Article of the Constitution discussed in the judgments and digest notes by a single click or a single tap through this amazing feature from SCC Online. Our team is committed to cater to all your legal research needs with a single interface.

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Delhi High Court

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

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


Madras High Court

Malicious prosecution: What, how and who, discussed

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

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

 Gujarat High Court

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

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

 Madhya Pradesh High Court

Directions issued to Police, Judicial Magistrates on arrests and bail

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

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

 Jammu and Kashmir High Court

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

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

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

 Punjab and Haryana High Court

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Legal RoundUpWatch Now

6th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Prachi Bhardwaj, Associate Editor bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law is out now! Check out the link below.

Supreme Court 

♦ Enquiry by retired Supreme Court judge into Justice V. Eswaraiah Phone Call controversy uncalled for 

In the case relating to an alleged phone conversation between Justice V. Eswaraiah, former Acting CHief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court and S. Ramakrishna, a suspended District Munsif Magistrate, over the conspiracy to malign the reputation of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the Supreme Court has found no reason to allow the enquiry by former Supreme Court judge Justice R.V. Raveendran to find out the genuineness/authenticity of the conversation as directed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 

The Court said that 

“High Court ought not to have embarked on any other enquiry in the matter except to the maintainability of the PIL.”  

♦ No blood or breath analyser test proving drunk driving? Insurer may still establish a case for exclusion from liability 

In an interesting case, the Supreme Court has held that while in case where there is a blood or breath analyser test indicating no consumption of alcohol by the driver at all, it would not be open to set up the case of exclusion, the absence of such test may not disable the insurer from establishing a case for exclusion from liability on ground of drunk driving.  

♦ Any creditor including Central/State Government or any local authority bound by Resolution Plan approved by adjudicating authority under Section 31(1) IBC 

Adding to the series of significant rulings on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the Supreme Court has held that once a resolution plan is duly approved by the Adjudicating Authority under Section 31 Clause 1 , the claims as provided in the resolution plan shall stand frozen and will be binding on the Corporate Debtor and its employees, members, creditors, including the Central Government, any State Government or any local authority.  

Magistrates must record reasons before converting  summary trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to summons trial 

Closing the week with another important ruling, the Supreme Court has directed the High Courts to issue practice directions to the Magistrates to record reasons before converting summary trial of complaints under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act to summons trial. The decision came after it was brought to the Court’s notice that summary trials were being routinely converted to summons trials in “a mechanical manner”.

High Courts 

Bombay High Court

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

Considering the ground reality prevailing in the State of Maharashtra in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, the Bombay High Court has held the performance of prayers in the Mosque during the period of Ramzaan cannot be allowed. 

Delhi High Court

Allegations against rioter Shahrukh not confined to participation, but leading large crowd releasing open fire shots: Bail denied to Delhi Riots accused

Delhi High Court denied bail application to a person named Shahrukh that headed the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots during the riots that occurred in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk. 

While ordering so, the Court remarked, 

“The video clipping and pictures played before this Court have shaken the conscience of this Court. 

Himachal Pradesh High Court

♦If conduct of an editor of a newspaper is under scanner, suspension of accreditation till charges are cleared would not amount to violation of freedom of press

In a case where certain FIRs were pending against the petitioner working in the field of journalism for over 13 years, leading to the suspension of his accreditation till final outcome of case, the Himachal Pradesh High Court held that If conduct of an editor of a newspaper is under scanner, suspension of accreditation till charges are cleared would not amount to violation of freedom of press. 


Calcutta High Court

♦ Cal HC | Resurgence of COVID-19 | Candidates, aides and associates engaged in election campaigning to encourage and unfailingly observe COVID rules to avert deadly disaster staring at our faces

Taking note of the fact that the people participating in ongoing election campaigns were not adhering to COVID protocols which could result in spike in the COVID-19 cases, the Calcutta High court expressed that 

“We are dealing with an extraordinary situation, and this calls for extraordinary measures. It is in public interest that the Administration must ensure that all the COVID protocols are strictly adhered to by all concerned including those engaged in election campaigning activities.” 

Punjab and Haryana High Court

♦P&H HC | No police action against Prince Harry for breaking promise to marry

In a bizarre case, Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a petition wherein the petitioner sought legal action against Prince Harry and to direct the United Kingdom Police Cell to take action against him, for not fulfilling the promise to marry her. 

High Court remarked: 

It is well-known fact that fake IDs are created on various social media sites land that there is every possibility that so-called Prince Harry may be sitting in a Cyber Café of a village in Punjab, looking for greener pastures for himself.

District Court 

♦ Delhi Riots | Lofty case of criminal conspiracy could not be inferred; Chargesheeting on basis of insignificant material unwarranted: Court while granting bail to Umar Khalid 

Karkardooma Court has granted bail to former JNU Student Umar Khalid in the Delhi Riots Case. 

Khalid was arrested in October in connection with the violence near Delhi’s Khajuri Khas area. 

While granting the bail, Court made an observation that Chargesheeting the applicant on the basis of insignificant material was unwarranted. 

Legislation Updates 

♦ Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Advertisements and Disclosure) Regulations, 2021 

On April 07, 2021, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India published the IRDAI (Insurance Advertisements and Disclosure) Regulations, 2021 with the objective to 

  • to ensure that the insurers, intermediaries or insurance intermediaries adopt fair, honest and transparent practices while issuing advertisements and avoid practices that tend to impair the confidence of the public; and   
  • to ensure that the advertisement is relevant, fair and in simple language enabling informed decision making.  

♦ Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Regulations, 2021 (PPIRP Regulations) comes into force 

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Pre-packaged Insolvency Resolution Process) Regulations, 2021 on April 9, 2021. The regulation provides the operationalisation of the pre-pack process, its initiation, cost and termination for MSMEs. It also provides various operational aspects, ranging from the eligibility of resolution professionals to the invitation and submission of resolution plans for stressed MSMEs.  


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

On April 13, 2021, the Union Government approved a significant streamlining and fast tracking of regulatory system for COVID-19 vaccines approved for restricted use by US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or which are listed in WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL).  

♦ States impose night and weekend curfews  

As the nation witnesses the second wave of COVID-19, States have started taking measures to tackle the horrifying and sudden surge in the cases 

Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, etc. have imposed restrictions like night and weekend curfews. You can read the detailed guidelines issued by the State Governments on the SCC Online Blog []  

NewsWatch Now

We are back with the 5th Episode of SCC Online Weekly Rewind featuring Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant bringing you the most important and interesting stories from the field of law. Go check out the link below!


Supreme Court 

♦ President appoints Justice NV Ramana as the next Chief Justice of India  

After the final stamp of approval from the President, Justice Ramana is set to take oath as the 48th Chief Justice of India on April 24, 2021. Justice Ramana who is due to retire on August 26, 2022, will serve as the CJI for 16 months.   

 Rohingya Refugees not to be deported without following prescribed procedure  

 In a significant ruling relating to the rights of the Rohingya Refugees, the Supreme Court has directed that no refugee will be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed.   

The order came in the interim application filed in the Rohingya matter seeking  

(a) the release of the detained Rohingya refugees; and  

(b) a direction to the Union of India not to deport the Rohingya refugees who have been detained in the sub¬jail in Jammu.  

The Court, however, refused to grant the interim relief and said that,    

“Right not to be deported, is ancillary or concomitant to the right to reside or settle in any part of the territory of India.”   

 No automatic vacation of stay under Section 254(2A) Proviso 3 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 if the assessee is not responsible for the delay  

 Dealing with an important question as to the constitutional validity of the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the Supreme Court has held that any order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of the period or periods mentioned in the Section only if the delay in disposing of the appeal is attributable to the assessee 

Upholding the 2015 Delhi High Court verdict, the Court said,    

Unequals have been treated equally so far as assessees who are responsible for delaying appellate proceedings and those who are not so responsible, resulting in a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”   

High Courts 

Delhi High Court

♦ Vehicle even if occupied by only one person would constitute a ‘public place’ and wearing of mask therein would be compulsory 

Did you know that wearing face masks even while travelling alone in your car is compulsory? Well, Delhi High Court in a recent decision held that a vehicle even if occupied by only one person would constitute a ‘public place’ and wearing of a mask therein, would be compulsory. The decision came when petitioners challenged imposition of fine for non-wearing of masks while travelling alone in a private car. 

Madras High Court

♦ Political parties should restrain from making serious allegations or criticism against constitutional functionaries 

Madras High Court while addressing a criminal petition held that “Political parties should restrain from making serious allegations against constitutional functionaries. 


♦ PCOS v. Impotency? Divorce on ground of no cohabitation. Is it a legitimate expectation of husband? HC explains while discussing concept of marriage and S. 12(1)(a), HMA 

While addressing a significant issue with respect to divorce being sought on ground of PCOS in wife, Madras High Court observed that PCOS cannot be termed as impotency and further remarked that  concept of marriage in the present generation has been taken very lightly and even for trivial issues, divorce is filed, and marriage is broken. 

Bombay High Court

♦ 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 

 In a significant development, Bombay High Court directed CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the complaints against the Home Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh. The said order came after Former Commissioner of Mumbai Police Param Bir Singh moved the High Court seeking investigation into the allegation of illegal money collection ordered by the Home Minister. 


Reliance ménage in trouble; Irregular shareholding, default in trading regulations 

SEBI imposed penalty of Rs 25 cores on Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Nita Ambani and Tina Ambani along with others for violation of the provisions of Regulation 11(1) of Takeover Regulations due to some irregularities. 


Foreign Courts 

  SCOTUS decides in favour of Google in a copyright dispute between Google and Oracle. 

In a major decision in the copyright space, in a dispute between Google and Oracle; the Supreme Court of the United States, held that Google’s copying of Oracle’s Java SE API code, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.

Legislation Updates  

♦ Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021:  and Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021:

On April 04, 2021, the President promulgated the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021.  

♦ Central Motor Vehicles (Sixth Amendment) Rules, 2021 

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified Central Motor Vehicles (Sixth Amendment) Rules, 2021, effective from April 1, 2021. The Rules amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989:

Key changes by the amendment  

  1. Minimum training required for driving E-rickshaw or E-cart  
  2. Conditions to be satisfied for learner’s license  
  3. Form of learner‘s licence  
  4. Permanently surrendering a class or classes of vehicles from the driving licence  
  5. Issuance of duplicate driving licence  

 ♦ Gujarat Assembly Passes Freedom of Religion Amendment Bill, 2021 

The Freedom of Religion Amendment Bill, 2021 has been passed by Gujarat Assembly which will modify Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003. The Bill provides that:  

Any marriage which is done for the purpose of unlawful conversion by the person of one religion with the person of another religion, either by converting himself/herself before or after marriage shall be declared void by the Family Court or where the Family Court is not established by the Court having jurisdiction to try such cases.

 Fact Check 

Does Section 354D say that you can go to jail for staring at a woman for 14 seconds? 

Recently an instagram reel went viral which stated that a person could go to jail for staring at a woman for 14 seconds. The reel gave section 354D of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as the source of this information. Our fact-check team found out that this is not true. Section 354D defines stalking but does not mention any 14 seconds anywhere in the definition. The origin of the ‘14 seconds rule’ can be traced back to Kerala Excise Officer Rishi Raj Singh’s statement in an event in Kochi back in 2016. If a woman feels that she is being harassed she can file a complaint with the police, however, there is no criteria of ‘staring for 14 seconds’ mentioned anywhere in the law books.  

SCC Online Weekly Rewind  

NewsWatch Now

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

Supreme Court

♦ Mukhtar Ansari’s custody transferred to Uttar Pradesh:

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

♦ Rapid Rail Case: HSVP to deposit 80% of debt due in Escrow Account:

High Courts

♦ Madras HC | Quality of education being compromised in course of more law colleges being born in guise of creating opportunities :

♦ Madras HC | “Trying to develop the case brick by brick and construct something purposeful”: HC while arranging counselling for same-sex couple and parents:

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


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

Legislation Updates

♦ Extension of Last Date for Linking Aadhaar number with PAN from March 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021 :

♦ Finance Act, 2021 :

Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021:

♦ Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2021:

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

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Volume 1 Episode 3


NewsWatch Now

Welcome to the SCC Online Weekly Rewind where we curate the most important and interesting stories to keep you abreast of all the latest developments in the field of law.

In the first episode featuring our Legal Editor Devika Sharma, we have brought significant judgments delivered by the Supreme Court and High Courts last week, along with legislation updates and fact check.


Supreme Court

A Winner All Along – Justice Indu Malhotra

  • Under IBC, NCLT has jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes arising solely on the ground of insolvency: Supreme Court

  • SC calls for an amendment to Sections 11(7) & 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to bring Sections 8 & 11 at par on appealability. Read how Vidya Drolia judgment has led to an anomaly

  • 3 years’ limitation period ‘unduly long’; Necessary for Parliament to fill the vacuum by prescribing a specific period of limitation under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation 1996: SC

High Courts

Del HC | Sensitization of citizenry has to precede, not succeed, galvanization of governmental machinery: Directions issued to Airlines and DGCA on noting an ‘alarming’ situation in Air India flight

Delhi High Court

Madras HC | Lady IPS Officer harassed by Special DGP. “Court is not going to be a mute spectator”: HC takes suo motu cognizance; decides to monitor investigation; issues directions



HP HC | Whether a contractual woman employee is entitled to avail maternity leave in case of a surrogate child? HC analyses



Legislation Updates

MORTH issues Draft notification for prohibiting Renewal of Registration of Vehicles Owned by Central and State Government after 15 Years

Rights of Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder, notified




Fact Check

Fact Check: Do you need to verify your social media accounts with government ID within three months?