Telangana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Telangana High Court: M Laxman, J. allowed the appeal and remanded the matter for adjudication on merits and held that the deceased beedi worker falls under the definition of ‘workman' as per Section 2(n)(ii) and Clause 2 of Schedule II of Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 as well as Section 2(k) of Factories Act, 1948.

A claim was filed seeking compensation under Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 on death of Yeddandi Yellavva, who is the daughter of the appellant herein which was thereby dismissed. Thus, the present appeal was filed assailing the dismissal order as the death happened during the course of employment while rolling the Beedies.

The Court observed that on perusal of Section 2(n) of the Employees' Compensation Act, 1923 states that any person employed in any such capacity as is specified in Schedule-II, comes under the definition of ‘Workman'. Clause 2 of Schedule-II clearly shows that any person employed otherwise than in clerical capacity in any premises or within the precincts where the manufacturing process is defined under Section 2(k) of Factories Act, 1948 will fall under the definition of ‘workman'.

Further, it was noted that Section 2(k) Factories Act, 1948 also makes it clear that the process of making any article or substance with a view to usage, sale, transport, delivery or disposal is constituted as manufacturing process. The rolling of Beedies is nothing but making of any article or substance with a view to usage or sale or transport. Therefore, the activity of the deceased being the Beedi roller, clearly falls within the definition of a workwoman.

The Court thus held “the order of the Commissioner for Employees Compensation and Assistant Commissioner of Labour at Karimnagar, requires being set aside. The matter requires to be remanded for adjudication of the claim on merits”

[Yeddandi Venkataiah v. Prabhudas Kishoredas Tobacco Products Ltd., C.M.A.No.2065 of 2002, decided on 09-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

K. Vasudeva Reddy, Advocate, for the Appellants;

B.G. Ravinder Reddy, Advocate, for the Respondents.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

District CourtForeign CourtsHigh Court Round UpHigh CourtsLegal RoundUp

Let’s have a look at the most interesting legal stories reported this week on the SCC Online Blog from High Courts, Foreign Court to District Court.


“Islam is not about turban and beard.”

— Federal Court of Putrajaya


Hijab Case | When Karnataka High Court temporarily restrained students from wearing hijab, religious flags, saffron shawls, etc.: Read Court’s interim order || A Recap

While expressing that, “Endless agitations and closure of educational institutions indefinitely are not happy things to happen”, the Bench of Ritu Raj Awasthi, CJ and Krishna S Dixit and JM Khazi, JJ., restrained all the students regardless of their religion or faith from wearing saffron shawls (Bhagwa), scarfs, hijab, religious flags or the like within the classroom, until further orders.

Read more, here.


To Wear or Not to Wear? Precedents on dilemma of wearing ‘Headscarf’ from the Kerala High Court

In Nadha Raheem v. C.B.S.E2015 SCC OnLine Ker 21660, Kerala High Court’s Single Judge Bench in the year 2015 dealt with petitions by two female students belonging to the Muslim community contending that the dress code prescribed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E) of wearing half sleeve kurta/salvar would prejudice them, as their religious custom mandates them to wear a headscarf and also full sleeve dresses.

Read more, here.


Is the Bhinder case relevant in Hijab ban row? Canadian SC’s decision in Rule conflicting with religious tenet of an employee

In this case, a work rule was introduced, as per which all the employees had to wear a hard hat at a particular work site, but Bhinder a Sikh employee refused to comply with the said rule because his religion did not allow the wearing of headgear other than the turban.

Read more, here.


Did You Know? What Bombay High Court held when a Muslim girl raised the issue that asking her not to wear a “headscarf” in school violates her fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution of India?

“A girl student not wearing the head scarf or head covering studying in exclusive girls section cannot be said to in any manner acting inconsistent with the aforesaid verse 31 or violating any injunction provided in Holy Quran. It is not an obligatory overt act enjoined by Muslim religion that a girl studying in all girl section must wear head-covering. The essence of Muslim religion or Islam cannot be said to have been interfered with by directing petitioner not to wear head-scarf in the school.”

Read more, here.


Did you know that 3 minor Muslim boys were expelled from school for not following dress code and for wearing “Serban” (turban) in Malaysia?

“…in a country with many religions being practised, to allow a regulation or law to be declared unconstitutional just because someone claims that it prohibits his “religious practice” no matter how trivial it is and even though in a very limited way, would lead to chaos.”

Read more, here.


Whether prohibition of ‘purdah’ is an infringement of constitutional right? What the Supreme Court of Kuala Lumpur (Federal Court of Malaysia) decided

“…there seem to be a myth or misconception by certain groups of Muslim in Malaysia regarding the wearing of purdah which covers the entire face except the eyes. They believe that it is one of the Islamic injunctions which must be followed strictly.”

Read more, here.


Uphaar Case | Manner in which judicial records tampered revealed well-planned & methodical attempt to subvert justice system: Suspending sentence of Ansal brothers would amount eroding faith of public? Read Del HC’s decision

Stating that the manner in which Court records tampered was insidious and revealed a well-planned and methodical attempt to subvert the justice system in order to escape conviction in the Main Uphaar Case, Subramonium Prasad, J., held that since the matter relates to tampering of judicial record, the same has to be decided expeditiously in order to ensure faith of the public in the judicial system.

Read more, here.


If Court finds that marriage failed due to incompatibility, but one of the parties withholds consent for mutual separation, would that be ‘Cruelty’? Kerala HC elaborates

Expressing that, “If the conduct and character of one party causes misery and agony to the other spouse, the element of cruelty to the spouse would surface, justifying grant of divorce”, the Division bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., held that, Court cannot leave the life of a spouse to the mercy of the opposite spouse.

Read more, here.


Teacher administering moderate and reasonable force to enforce discipline in classroom, can be exposed to criminal prosecution? Kerala HC answers

While explaining that inflicting corporal punishment on a Child by a parent or teacher is forbidden, Dr Kauser Edappagath, J., observed that,

“Hurt of a less serious crime is not forbidden when inflicted in the reasonable chastisement of a child by a parent or by a school teacher.”

Read more, here.


If a person keeps tobacco at residence, would that amount to being an offence? Ker HC answers

While addressing a matter for an offence alleged under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, Juvenile Justice Act and Kerala Police Act, Dr Kauser Edappagath, J., expressed that mere keeping tobacco at residence would not amount to being an offence.

Read more, here.


Expression of a victim’s trauma or experience is his/her fundamental right which can only be curtailed if it falls under 4 broad categories: Read on to know categories | Alleged sexual harassment case of a ScoopWhoop employee

Patiala House Court, while addressing the alleged case of sexual harassment against the CEO of ScoopWhoop, wherein it sought an interim injunction, Court expressed that,

Expression of a victim’s trauma or experience is his / her fundamental right which can only be curtained it is falls under four broad categories i.e. “libel, slander, defamation”, “contempt of court”, “offends against decency or morality” and “undermines the security or tends to overthrow the State”. 

Read more, here.

Kerala High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: While addressing a matter for an offence alleged under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, Juvenile Justice Act and Kerala Police Act, Dr Kauser Edappagath, J., expressed that mere keeping tobacco at residence would not amount to being an offence.

In the present matter, accused was alleged of an offence under Section 6 read with 24 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (for short COTPA Act), under Section 77 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Section 118(i) of the Kerala Police Act, 2011.

The accused without any valid license or documents was found in possession of prohibited tobacco products of GANESH and HANS of total 2770 packets which were kept at his residence with intention to sell the same to the children.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court analyzed that Section 6 of the COTPA Act prohibits sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 years and in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.

As per the said Section, one must actually sell or offer to sell or expose to sell or permit the sale of cigarette or tobacco products to a person below the age of 18 years or in an area within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution.

High Court remarked that, mere keeping of the tobacco products at the residence of the accused will not in any way attract the offence.  

Prosecution had no case that the petitioner had sole or offered for sale or permitted sale of the cigarette or tobacco products, also there was no case that any educational institution was situated within a radius of 100 yards of the petitioner’s house. Hence, Section 6 of the COTPA Act was not attracted.

Section 77 of the JJ Act says that whoever gives, or causes to be given, to any child any intoxicating liquor or any narcotic drug or tobacco products or psychotropic substance, except on the order of a duly qualified medical practitioner, shall be punishable.

The Bench found no case for the prosecution that the petitioner had given or causes to be given tobacco products to any minor child. The only allegation was that the petitioner had kept the tobacco products at his house, and it was presumed by police that they were kept for sale to minors. Hence the said Section will not be attracted.

Section 118(i) of the KP Act, provides that any person who gives or sells to those who are below 18 years of age any intoxicating substance or any articles or substance to children which are harmful for their physical and mental health or procure the same near school premises for that purpose, shall be punishable.

Since there was no case of petitioner giving or selling any intoxicating substance or tobacco products to any person below eighteen years of age, the above said Section will not be attracted.

In view of the above discussion, the present Crl MC was allowed. [Abhijith v. State of Kerala, 2022 SCC OnLine Ker 916, decided on 17-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

By Advocates:

K.R. Vinod

SMT. M.S. Letha

KUM. K.S. Sreerekha

SHRI. Arun Sebastian

For Respondent:

By Advocate Addl. Director-General of Prosecution, C.K. Suresh

COVID 19Law made Easy

As the world is struggling to overcome the mass destruction that deadly COVID-19 disease is causing, India is also scuffling to eradicate and aware the citizens about the effects that spitting in open public spaces leads to.

Spitting in India is as common as that warning sign of “no spitting” at all places possible. Though a number of laws and provisions by the Centre and State have been laid down, yet this particular issue is a major hurdle that our country needs to surpass.

Especially in these times of COVID-19, spitting could be one of the major stumbling block that would only increase the precariousness of this disease and if we as a country could overcome this peril then we could probably be able to move one step ahead in defeating this deadly pandemic.

Laws against Spitting in India

Central Acts & Rules [List is inclusive, not exhaustive]

Spittoons- (1) In every factory there shall be provided a sufficient number of spittoons in convenient places and they shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.

(2) The State Government may make rules, prescribing the type and the number of spittoons to be provided and their location in any factory and provide for such further matters relating to their maintenance in a clean and hygienic condition.

(3) No person shall spit within the premises of a factory except in the spittoons provided for the purpose and a notice containing this provision and the penalty for its violation shall be prominently displayed at suitable places in the premises.

(4) Whoever spits in contravention of sub-section (3) shall be punishable with fine not exceeding five rupees.

Rule 3 Clause (b) read with Rule 4

Rule 3 talks about the — Prohibition of activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene in the railway premises

Under the above rule, clause(b) specifically talks about that No Person shall cook, bathe, spit, urinate, defecate , feed animals or birds, repair or wash vehicles , washing utensils or clothes or any other objects or keep any type of storage in any railway premises except in such facilities or conveniences specifically provided for any of these purposes

Further, Rule 4 is the penal provision for violation of the above stated Rule, wherein the Fine would amount to Rupees 500.

What is to be read in the said regulation?

Regulation 98 [sub-rule (2) in specific] 

Now, Regulation 98 specifically talks about “Spittoons”

  1. In every portion of a dock including warehouses and store places, sufficient number of spittoons shall be provided in convenient places and they shall be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition.
  2. No person shall spit in the dock area except in the spittoons provided for the purpose and a notice containing this provision shall be prominently displayed at suitable places.
  3. Whoever spits in contravention of sub-regulation (2) shall be punishable with a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees.
  4. The spittoons shall be of an approved type.
  5. The spittoons shall be emptied, cleaned and disinfected at least once in every day.

State Acts

Almost every State has similar provisions against the menace of spitting in public in their Municipal Acts. Similar anti-spitting provisions are also noticed in Police Acts of various States. However, a few States also have specific Acts prohibiting/penalising spitting in public. Again, the following list is inclusive, not exhaustive.

  • Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Act, 2010 : Section 81(9) r/w Section 82 Madhya Pradesh Public Health Act, 1949
  • Nagaland Municipal Act, 2001 : Section 441 r/w Sections 471, 472
  • Orissa Urban Police Act, 2003 : Sections 80 [clause (c) to be specific], 83 r/w Section 84
  • T.N. Prohibition of Smoking and Spitting Act, 2002 : Sections 4, 5, 8 r/w Section 2(h) r/w Sections 9(1), 12
  • W.B. of Smoking & Spitting and Protection of Health of Non-smokers and Minors Act, 2001 : Sections 5, 6, 10 r/w Section 2(8) r/w Sections 11(1), 14

Below is an awareness video by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare highlighting the dangers that is lead towards on spitting in public spaces in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Following are the points that have been featured in the video:

  • Spitting in public spaces is in itself “PROHIBITED” and the same stand can be maintained various Central and State Rules and Regulations as underlined above.
  • Spitting in public places increased the dangers of COVID-19.
  • To contain the outbreak of COVID-19, cleanliness of circumambient should be looked after
  • Spitting in public places and open surfaces adds to the danger and outbreak of COVID19.

Please follow the link to have a look at the video:

Video


† Legal Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

Hot Off The PressNews

The target envisaged in National Health Policy, 2017 for a relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use is 30% by 2025.

The National Health Policy 2017 of the Government of India identifies coordinated action on ‘Addressing tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse’ as one of the seven priority areas as outlined for improving the environment for health. Accordingly, Nasha Mukti Abhiyan Task Force (including tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse) was constituted to formulate a detailed ‘Preventive and Promotive Care Strategy’ for addressing tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse (Nasha Mukti Abhiyan). Pursuant to its first meeting, three Working Groups viz. Working Group on Preventive Aspects; Regulatory Mechanisms; and Curative Aspects to formulate a strategy for Nasha Mukti Abhiyan were constituted. The Working Group on Regulatory Mechanisms has the mandate to explore the existing provisions of the concerned laws/schemes and to analyse whether any amendment is required in the existing provision/scheme. The recommendations of the Working Group for redrafting/modifying the existing provisions of COTPA are awaited.

Further, the Inter-Ministerial Committee for prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has been constituted in this Ministry to facilitate the implementation of actions required for prevention and control of NCDs as outlined in National Multi sectorial Action Plan (NMAP). The NCD Committee does not work on legal reforms.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Mithlesh Kumar Tiwari, J. while allowing a petition quashed the impugned order whereby the petitioner was awarded a punishment of stoppage of two annual increments on a permanent basis.

The present petition was filed pertaining to challenging an order, according to which the petitioner in the present case had been inflicted the punishment of stoppage of two annual increments permanently. The said punishment was awarded through the order based on the allegation against the petitioner that he was found in possession of and consuming tobacco/pan masala in office premises in an excessive quantity during the course of an inspection.

The submission of the learned Counsel for the petitioner Mr Arvind Kumar was that the punishment imposed is a major punishment under the U.P. Government Servant (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1999 which could not have been inflicted unless the respondents had followed the detailed procedure of holding a disciplinary enquiry.

The High Court stated that stoppage of two annual increments on a permanent basis is a major punishment and is also not disputed by the learned standing counsel. If that was so it was incumbent upon the respondents to follow the due process as stipulated under the 1999 Rules and which must mandatorily be adhered to before the imposition of a major punishment.

Therefore, on an overall conspectus of the aforesaid facts, the Court allowed the writ petition and reversed the impugned order by quashing the same. [Mithlesh Kumar Tiwari v. State of U.P., Writ-A No. 11408 of 2018, Order dated 13-11-2018]

Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In the present case, the Court set aside  the decision of Bombay, Madras and Gujarat High Courts barring the restaurants to provide tobacco products including cigarettes and hookah in smoking area of the licensed premises viz. restaurants, airports etc. The Court was hearing challenge against the Circulars issued by Municipal Corporations of Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad implementing Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply & Distribution) Act, 2003 and Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules, 2008, which allegedly banned serving of hookah in licensed premises.

The counsel for appellant C.U.Singh, contended that the circular by Mumbai Municipal Corporation was in excess of the provisions provided in the above mentioned Acts. The counsel for respondents R.P.Bhatt said the circular provided only what was stated in the respective Act and Rules, read with harmonious construction, and nothing extra was provided in the Circulars.

The Court hearing the appeal against Bombay HC, held that the circular exceeded its power since Section 6 of Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 bars selling of cigarettes and other tobacco products only to a minor and within 100 yards of educational institutions and clearly adding any new condition i.e. of barring licensed premises to serve tobacco products, to the existing ones would be impermissible by law. The Court further said that Rule 3 (1)(a) of Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules 2008 makes it incumbent upon owner of a licensed premises to prohibit smoking in such places but where smoking in smoking area is allowed by Rule 4(3) therefore smoking hookah would be allowed in such places as the same comes under the definition of smoking provided under Section 3(n) of the  Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act, 2003. The Court added that the dimensions for smoking area provided in the Circular is within ambit of municipal corporations and thus have to be adhered to. Similarly decision of Madras HC was set aside banning sale of tobacco products within 300 feet of educational institution as the Act provided for 100 yards. The decision of Gujarat HC upholding the ban implemented under Section 144 of CrPC was also set aside holding that the Order under said Section was only valid for 2 months and the same cannot be extended  for long in name of equity as it would be in contravention of law. Narinder S. Chadha v.Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumba, 2014 SCC OnLine SC 981, decided on 8.12.2014)