Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: Akil Kureshi, CJ., dismissed and disposed of a petition which was filed in order to challenge a final seniority list in the cadre of Radiographer, Department of Health.

The petitioner and respondents 4 and 5 (private respondents) were appointed to the post of Radiographer on 14-08-1987. Respondent 4 was shown at Sl. No.2 in the order of appointment, respondent 5 was at Sl. No. 1 and the petitioner was at Sl. No.4. The order provided that the appointee should join the duties within one month from the date of the issue of the order, failing which the appointment order shall be treated as cancelled. Petitioner raised objection to the draft seniority list wherein in the cadre of Radiographers petitioner was shown junior to the private respondents. Department again for a number of times drafted the seniority list and the petitioner raised objections, ignoring such objections the department issued the impugned final seniority list on 20-12-2015. The petitioner thereupon had filed the instant petition on or around 20-12-2018.

Counsel for the private respondents, Mr Tanmay Debbarma opposed the petition contending that the petition was barred by delay and laches. The select list showed the private respondents as higher ranked than the petitioner and that the seniority has been assigned by the department on the basis of ranking in the select list. He further contended that merely because the petitioner joined the duties a few days earlier, would not make him senior to the private respondents.

The Court found that the petition was frivolous and meritless and it suffered from gross delay and laches. The Court further pointed out that the petitioner never questioned this declaration or the higher ranking given to the private respondents in the selection process.

The Court while dismissing the petition explained that merely because the petitioner joined duty a few days earlier than the private respondents though both were selected in the same selection process and offered appointment under a common order cannot be the ground to upset the seniority position which would relate to the merit position of the respective candidates. The Court further imposed costs on the petitioner for dragging the private respondents into a case which was totally devoid of merits.[Suman Kr Ghosh v. State of Tripura, 2021 SCC OnLine Tri 148, decided on 18-03-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Tripura High Court
Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Tripura High Court: Arindam Lodh, J.,  while terming the doctors as “frontline warriors”, directed the Investigating officer to conduct Test identification parade to ascertain the real offenders responsible for harassing a doctor.

Dr Sangita Chakrobarty was serving as District Health Officer, West Tripura, and was discharging her duties as, in-charge of distribution of COVID-19 patients. Five post-delivery mothers long with their new born babies, who were tested COVID-19 positive, were sent to a COVID Care Centre to ensure maximum safety and were kept under the surveillance of Dr Chakrobarty.

Some of the previously admitted older patients started protesting indiscriminately demanding that they would not allow entry of any new patients in the centre. The protests turned graver shortly and situation worsened. Dr Chakrobarty tried to calm down the protestors, however, they abused her, threw sexually coloured remarks, spat on her face and exhibited more of such uncivilised behaviour. Complaint against these patients was filed by the Director of Health Services, Government of Tripura.

The petitioner was one of the alleged protestors, and therefore, came before the High Court under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for grant of anticipatory bail.

The counsel, Raju Datta, for petitioner argued that the name of the petitioner had not been transpired in the complaint, there was no accusation against him, and on this ground alone, the petitioner should be granted anticipatory bail. High Court raised a question before him, whether mere apprehension of arrest attracts the ingredients of Section 438 of CrPC to which Mr Datta, submitted that mere apprehension of an arrest does not attract the ingredients of Section 438 of CrPC for granting anticipatory bail.

Bench looked into the relevant sections of CrPC. and the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, to consider the bail application. He further explained the importance of doctors in society and especially during the time of COVID-19 when doctors have become the “first-line defence of the country”.

Adding to the above, Court labelled the protest which took place as “detrimental to the sentiment, safety and security of the Doctors and the entire society of our nation as well as of this state.” Therefore, keeping in mind the objective of the latest Epidemic Ordinance, he directed the Investigating Officer to record the confessional statement of the victim and her supporting staff under Section 164(5) of the CrPC.

Bench directed the Investigating officer to arrange for Test Identification parade to identify the real offenders. [Karnajit De v. State of Tripura,  2020 SCC OnLine Tri 353, decided on 30-07-2020]

Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Division Bench of Akil Kureshi, CJ and S. Talapatra, J., initiated suo motu petition with regard to report wherein it was stated that a minor girl from Tripura was probably being pushed into flesh trade outside the State and was traced in Rajasthan.

Girl was found to be pregnant. Eventually it was noted that with the co-operation from various agencies including the National commission for Child Protection, State Commission, State Authorities as well as the State of Rajasthan and the Rajasthan State Authorities, the girl is back in Tripura.

Mother of the minor girl is reluctant to receive the girl.

State Legal Services Authority in conjunction with the State Commission for Child Protection shall continue the efforts to reunite the girl with her family.

Bench stated that the said Legal Services Authority shall also explore if there are any schemes for payment of periodic or lump sum compensation to the victims in such cases. If there is a possibility of payment of ex gratia compensation from the funds of the State Legal Authority, the same may also be explored.

It has been informed to the Court that 4 other minor girls have also been found in Uttar Pradesh and efforts are being made to bring them back and reunite them with their families.

In view of the above, PIL was closed as the same has served its purpose. [Court on its own motion v. State of Tripura, 2020 SCC OnLine Tri 301 , decided on 17-07-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified the setting up of the first-ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tripura on December 16, 2019.

The SEZ is being set-up at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom, South Tripura District, which is 130 km away from Agartala. It will be a Sector-Specific Economic Zone for Agro-Based Food Processing.

The estimated investment in the project will be around 1550 Crore. The developer of the SEZ will be Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Ltd. The SEZ is estimated to generate 12,000 skilled jobs. Rubber-based industries, textile and Apparel Industries, bamboo and Agri-food Processing Industries will be set-up in the SEZ.

Setting up of the SEZ in Sabroom will open up new avenues to attract private investment considering the proximity of the Chittagong Port and construction of the bridge across Feni River in South Tripura which is underway.

After it is set up, 100 percent Income Tax exemption will be provided on export income for SEZ units under Section 10AA of the Income Tax Act for the first 5 years. Also, 50 percent exemption will be provided for the next 5 years and 50 percent of the ploughed back export profit for another 5 years.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

[Press Release dt. 18-12-2019]

[Source: PIB]