COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Order No. 40—3/2020—DM—1(A) dated 29th April, 2020 and 1st May, 2020, had allowed movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons who are stranded at different places due to lockdown.

In view of the above, MHA clarified that the previous MHA orders are meant to facilitate movement of such stranded persons, who had moved from their native places/ workplaces, just before the lockdown period, but could not return to their native places/ workplaces on account of restrictions placed on movement of persons and vehicles as part of lockdown measures. The facilitation envisaged in the aforesaid orders is meant for such distressed persons, but does not extend to those categories of persons, who are otherwise residing normally at places, other than the native places for purposes of work etc., and who wish to Visit their native places in normal course.

*Please click the following link to access the official letter:

LETTER


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Letter dt. 03-05-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: Raja Vijayaraghavan V, J. allowed a civil writ petition filed by a company and directed release of its vehicles and goods that had been detained by the tax officer due to the expiry of its e-way bills.

Petitioner herein was a logistics company which was involved in the transportation of Maruti cars. Petitioner’s vehicle was obstructed, and on inspection, it was found that the validity of the e-way bills had expired. Hence, both – the vehicle and the goods – were detained. This had led to the filing of this writ petition seeking a certiorari quashing of notice issued under Section 129 of Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 whereby his goods were seized; and sought a writ of mandamus directing the 1st respondent to release the goods by accepting a penalty of Rs 500.

The Court relied on the earlier judgment of a Division Bench  in Renji Lal Damodaran v. State Tax Officer (Order dated 06-08-2018 in WA No. 1640 of 2018) in which it was directed to release the goods of the appellant furnishing bank guarantee for tax and penalty found due and a bond for the value of goods in the form as prescribed under Rule 140(1) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017. So, applying the ratio of that judgment, the Court directed the respondent authorities to release the petitioner’s goods and vehicle on the execution of a bank guarantee for tax and penalty found due, and a bond for the value of goods in the form as prescribed under Rule 140(1) of the CGST Rules.

This petition was disposed of in the above terms.[OSL Logistics Private Ltd. v. Assistant State Tax Officer, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1554, decided on 14-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Anant S. Dave, ACJ. and Biren Vaishnav, J. disposed of a writ petition without going into the merits of it. 

This petition was filed by a Gujarat based Non-Profit Organisation as a result of an increase in pollution and environmental degradation. An RTI application was filed, to supply details of a number of BRTS buses plying on CNG based engine and the reply received was that there are no CNG buses in the city of Ahmedabad.

Counsel for the petitioner, N.M. Kapadia alleges that the reply is arbitrary as the State authorities are duty bound under Article 51-A (g) of the Constitution of India to safeguard the environment. The cases like M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2016) 4 SCC 269 and Vardhman Kaushik v. Union of India, Original Application No. 21 of 2014 of the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi were referred to.

The petitioner prayed dutifully for the following:

A. Issuance of Writ of mandamus or order directing the ban on Diesel Goods Carriers including Chhakdas and of BS I and BS-II stage old autorickshaws instead only CNG auto rickshaws of BS IV stage be permitted.

B. Ban on diesel vehicles of more than 10 years old and on petrol vehicles of more than 15 years old.

The Court after observing the matter submitted before it advised the petitioner to take alternative efficacious remedy before the National Green Tribunal and thus, disposed of the petition.[Paryavaran Mitra v. Secretary, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 1193, decided on 24-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Rajendra Menon, C.J. and V. Kameswar Rao, J. dismissed a petition filed by a practicing advocate, in public interest, challenging the government notification increasing the speed limit for plying motor vehicles on national highways.

The Notification impugned, dated 06-04-2018, was issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India whereby speed limit was increased for motor vehicles from 100 kmph to 120 kmph. Further, speed limit for motorcycles was increased from 60 kmph to 80 kmph. The petition was filed on the ground that it violated the fundamental right to life available to citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution; the consequence of increasing the speed limit would be loss of life due to increase in number of accidents which may result due to indiscreet plying of vehicles.

The High Court was of the view that the question of permitting plying of vehicles at a particular speed on a particular road like national highway is an administrative action, an executive action, in fact, a policy decision taken by administrative authorities. Such decision is taken by the authorities after due consideration of various factors based on expert and scientific evaluation. The Court held that merely because there was a possibility of accident due to plying of vehicles on the road on a speed, which according to the petitioner was too high, was no reason to interfere into the matter. It was purely a  policy decision within the domain of legislative power of government; it is not for writ courts to interfere in such matters unless statutory provisions in doing so are found to be breached or violated. Therefore, the petition was dismissed. [Siddhartha Singh v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 11138, dated 05-09-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta JJ., in an order directed the Delhi Police commissioner in order to frame the policy for clearing out the junkyards inside and around police stations from the seized vehicles of the city.

The Delhi police chief Amulya Patnaik who was summoned by the Supreme Court assured the court that he would examine the issue mentioned.

Therefore, the Supreme Court, directed to clear all impounded vehicles from Nizamuddin police station along with framing the policy to get rid of the alleged junkyards due to the seized vehicles.

[Source: The Times of India]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta JJ., ordered that no new vehicle would be sold without the mandatory third-party insurance cover.

In the Supreme Court order, the essentials to be noted were that from September 1, all the new four and two wheeler vehicles would have to get 3 and 5 years premium respectively for third-party insurance. Further, the General Insurance Companies and IRDA together should ensure that the legacy insurance data is shared with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for its integration with Vahaan data. Also, IRDA should ensure that all the general insurers follow its directions dated 01-01-2018 advising them to make available third party insurance cover to all proposers on online channels.

The recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed committee in regard to road safety were accepted by the bench in light of road safety as most vehicle owners don’t renew their cover after the first year, leaving accident victims vulnerable by depriving them of compensation. [S. Rajaseekaran v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 736, dated 20-07-2018]