Today Legal Updates

Tuesday, 11th October 2022




The Governor

Article – 160 Discharge of the functions of the Governor in certain contingencies.

The President may make such provision as he thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of the Governor of a State in any contingency not provided for in this Chapter.

Article – 161 Power of Governor to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.

The Governor of a State shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Monday Chief Justice of India UU Lalit has requested all Supreme Court judges to be present in the judges lounge by 10.15 am so that the letter recommending Justice DY Chandrachud as the next CJI can be handed over in their presence.
    • As per the Memorandum of Procedure governing the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, “appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office”.
  2. On Tuesday the Bombay High Court came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for not showing urgency to proceed with the hearing in the plea seeking cancellation of bail of Virendrasinh Tawade, accused of murdering left wing politician Govind Pansare.
    • the judge said, This has been pending since 2018 for cancellation of bail. If it is cancellation, there should be urgency by prosecution.
    • Tawade had been initially arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the murder case of activist Narendra Dabholkar in 2016. He was later taken into custody by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) Special Investigation Team (SIT) for Pansare’s murder on the ground that he was the “mastermind brain” behind the murder.
    • They also emphasized they had reasons to believe that Tawade had arranged for stay of two accused who were the alleged assailants who later went absconding; and this was not considered by the Sessions Court while granting bail.
  3. On Tuesday the Supreme Court held that the period of three months prescribed under the Prevention of Corruption Act for the appointing authority to decide upon a request for sanction to prosecute a public servant, is mandatory in nature. (Vijay Rajmohan vs State represented through Inspector, Chennai)
    • the Court said,Non-compliance with a mandatory period cannot and should not automatically lead to the quashing of criminal proceedings because the prosecution of a public servant for corruption has an element of public interest having a direct bearing on the rule of law. It must also be kept in mind that the complainant or victim has no other remedy available for judicial redressal if the criminal proceedings stand automatically quashed.
    • the top court said, We hold that the period of three months, extended by one more month for legal consultation, is mandatory.
    • the apex court held, This is especially crucial if the non-grant of sanction is withheld without reason, resulting in the stifling of a genuine case of corruption. Simultaneously, the CVC shall enquire into the matter in the exercise of its powers under Section 8(1)(e) and (f) and take such corrective action as it is empowered under the CVC Act.
    • the judgment said that, he consequence of non-compliance with this mandatory requirement shall not be quashing of the criminal proceeding for that very reason. The competent authority shall be Accountable for the delay and be subject to judicial review and administrative action by the CVC under Section 8(1)(f) of the CVC Act.
    • The Supreme Court held that that there is no illegality in the action of the appointing authority, the DoPT, if it calls for, refers, and considers the opinion of the CVC before it takes its final decision on the request for sanction for prosecuting a public servant.
    • the Court said, Immunity to public servants and protections are not available to other citizens because of the inherent vulnerabilities of a public servant and the need to protect them. However, the said protection is neither a shield against dereliction of duty nor an absolute immunity against corrupt practices. The limited immunity or bar is only subject to a sanction by the appointing authority.
    •  the bench underscored, Delays in prosecuting the corrupt breeds a culture of impunity and leads to systemic resignation to the existence of corruption in public life. Such inaction is fraught with the risk of making future generations getting accustomed to corruption as a way of life.
  4. On Tuesday the Union Law Ministry asked the Chancellor of NALSAR, Hyderabad and Telangana High Court Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan to look into discrepancies that allegedly took place during the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor Prof Faizan Mustafa.
    • Harinder Pal Singh, Assistant Legal Advisor at the Law Ministry, had forwarded Yadav’s representation to the Chancellor of NALSAR on August 23. The letter states that as Section 7(3) of the NALSAR Act, the Chancellor is empowered to conduct an inspection of the finances and administration of the University.
    • he letter states, Therefore, the same is being forwarded to you with request to take appropriate action at your end.
    • In his representation dated July 6, 2022, Yadav alleged that Prof Mustafa committed “unfair, malpractices, abuse of power, arbitrary practices, unlawful and unconstitutional conduct, cronyism in appointments and biased process adopted in running the University…” during his ten-year tenure as VC.
    • there is no transparency in his functioning as a Vice Chancellor…especially in the appointment of faculty positions which were made by flagrantly violating the rules and procedure of law. When the RTI applications were filed on the recruitment, the University was reluctant to furnish the desired information.
    • The Assistant Legal Advisor writing to the Chief Justice is not an order for enquiry. That decision is to be made by the Chief Justice… Since Prof Balakista Reddy has been the Registrar for 8 long years and is currently the Officiating VC at the University and Section 18 of the NALSAR Act states that the Registrar will be the Principal Adjutant of the Vice Chancellor, all administrative and financial decisions taken by the University VC are taken on the recommendation of the Registrar.
    • So, if there are any orders passed from the Hon’ble Chief Justice Chancellor, or decisions taken in this regard, the Registrar who is currently the Officiating VC and party to all decisions would respond on behalf of the University.
    • In all our bodies, be it Executive Council, Academic Council or Finance Committee, there will always be a Chancellor nominee who is a retired Supreme Court judge or will be a retired Chief Justice of some High Court. In the Finance Committee and the Executive Council you have the government secretaries… All these people cannot be controlled by the Vice Chancellor, because they are external members. They represent the government.
    • So, whatever I did, I did in accordance with the regulations of the University. There is not a single decision taken by me which is contrary to the regulations of the University. About the appointment, the Academic Council and the Executive Council decide the qualifications. In the Academic Council, it is a bigger body, you have most of the senior teachers of the University there. No teacher ever raised any dissent about any qualification. So whatever qualifications were required by the Academic Council and were approved by the Executive Council, they were advertised.
    • Based on that qualification, a Selection Committee is constituted. In the Selection Committee also, there is always a nominee of the Chief Justice who will ensure that you are not unfair in any appointment, and everything is done as per law. So, I have not held a single Selection Committee where the Chief Justice’s nominee was not there. Section 17(2)(c) says that the Vice Chancellor shall be the appointing authority, but he will make appointments on the recommendation of the Selection Committee, in consultation with the Chief Justice, who is the Chancellor.
    • Prof Mustafa added, he current Registrar, who is the Officiating Vice-Chancellor, is a party to every single decision. You cannot impose on me all the decisions which were taken. They were collectively taken. That is the point I’m trying to make. The mere fact that somebody has left over ₹100 crore in the University corpus shows what kind of financial management was there. Prior to my joining, there were barely any regulations. There were some very sketchy regulations, they were replaced with detailed regulations.
    • The mere fact that my name has been recommended by the Search Committee and the overwhelming support of students for me is also the cause of this motivated campaign – to ensure that I am not appointed, that’s it. This is absolutely a motivated campaign, because so far, no decision has been made. It is a motivated effort to tarnish my image because I am in contention as per the Search Committee, even though I’ve left and joined my parent institution. They said that I speak on controversial topics. As a professor of law, this is what my duty is. I speak and write in the public domain. There is no secret statement by me or no secret video.
    • Prof Mustafa concluded, This same person – Mallesh Yadav, has filed a similar complaint with some wild allegations to the High Court which was dismissed. The judge did not listen to him at all because he was objecting to a towering personality like Prof Upendra Baxi being in the Search Committee. They wanted some lesser mortal whom they could influence in his place. Similarly, they tried their best to ensure that my name is not recommended by the Search Committee. But the case was dismissed and the High Court said that the case was devoid of merit.
  5. On Monday A Lucknow court ordered that a First Information Report (FIR) be lodged against online shopping site Flipkart for allegedly selling fake Apple Air Pods to an advocate. (Abhimanyu Singh v Flipkart)
    • The complainant in the present case preferred an application under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking registration of an FIR for the offence of cheating against Flipkart and its managing directors, Kalyan Krishnamurthy as well as its sellers, Hydtel Retail Sales and Luminary Lifestyle Private Limited.
  6. On Monday the Supreme Court was privy to what perhaps epitomises the depths to which the concept of public interest litigation has plunged and is misused.  (Human Duties Foundation vs Union of India and anr)
    • the petition filed by an organisation named Human Duties Foundation said, Issue an appropriate writ or order declaring the part-3 of the constitution ultravires and void-ab-initio, being contradictory to the true spirit of preamble of the constitution and against the law of nature.
    • This is a case where the petitioner appears to have been completely misguided in filing this writ petition. However, we are inclined to permit the petitioner to withdraw the writ petition but not unconditionally. Accordingly, the writ petition stands dismissed as withdrawn.
  7. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court issued notice to Centre government, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Zoological Survey of India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau on a plea seeking modernisation of techniques and equipment used by laboratories involved in wildlife forensics.
    • the petition said, Consequent to such forensic reports, the accused stakeholders are subjected to onerous customs proceedings, huge monetary losses, huge delays in release of seized shipments leading to loss of business, loss of reputation, mental harassment, and agony, as well as the initiation of multiple criminal proceedings and potential incarceration.
    • the petition said, It is to be noted that in today’s day and age the method of morphological testing through light microscopy, which is the default method utilized by Indian wildlife forensics, is recognized both domestically and globally to be outdated, technologically obsolete & highly prone to false-positive results.
  8. On Tuesday the Madras High Court asked Tamil Nadu Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram to consider invoking the rarely used State law, the Vexatious Litigation (Prevention) Act 1949, against a Chennai resident who seemed to be in the habit of filing frivolous litigation in different courts across the State.
    • the order said, We note that, on the basis of the material produced before this Court, prima facie we find that appropriate order needs to be passed against the present appellant, invoking provisions of the Vexatious Litigation (Prevention) Act, 1949, however we clarify that, these observations are prima facie in nature and in the event learned Advocate-General arrives at the satisfaction that such an order need not be passed, our observations will not bind him, leaving it open to the respondents of these appeals to take recourse to the remedy available to them under the law.
  9. On Tuesday the Bombay High Court reserved an appeal filed by Salman Khan against a civil court’s interim order refusing to block/suspend his neighbour Ketan Kakkad’s social media accounts on which he allegedly posted derogatory content against the Bollywood actor.
  10. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court has sought the State government’s response in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the appointment of Chairperson and technical members to the Gujarat Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. (Nipun Praveen Singhvi v State of Gujrat)
    • the petition explains, Due to non-appointment on the vacant post in the appellate Tribunal has jeopardized and curtailed the right to appeal of the litigants as no appeal could be preferred or adjudicated before the appellate Tribunal because of Coram Non Judice.
    • It is necessary that those who adjudicate upon these matters should have apart from legal expertise should also have technical knowledge of the subject, therefore, in the bench of the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal, the technical member or the administrative member along with Chairperson should be appointed.
    • the petition reads, However, at present there is no independent website of the appellate tribunal which creates a hurdle in the access/administration of justice.
  11. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court expressed shock and disbelief at the news of human sacrifice that came to light in the State when the dismembered bodies of two women were recovered.
    • Justice Ramachandran orally remarked, Some of the things happening here are beyond the limits of absurdity. Today it is human sacrifice. I wonder where Kerala is going. I went to the chambers for lunchtime and I heard about this human sacrifice case. Is this Kerala now?
    • Justice Ramachandran observed, In the path to becoming more modern, we are getting distracted somewhere. People are behaving in strange ways now. The new generations will be growing up seeing all this. In my 54 years, I have not heard something like this.
  12. On Tuesday the Supreme Court upheld the bail granted by the Bombay High Court to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case.  (ED vs Anil Deshmukh)
  13. On Tuesday the Bombay High Court imposed costs of ₹25,000 on lawyers who annexed objectionable photographs to a writ petition filed by them.  (Jyotsna D’souza vs The State of Maharashtra and Ors.)
  14. On Tuesday the Uttarakhand High Court refused to quash a first information report (FIR) against a father-in-law, booked for outraging modesty of his daughter-in-law.  [Indrajeet Bansal v State of Uttarakhand)
  15. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has told the Delhi High Court that Delhi Police’s stand that no cognisable offence was committed by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in connection with a tweet put out by him in August 2020, is incorrect.
    • Hello Jagdish Singh. Does your cute grand daughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media? I suggest you to change your profile pic.”
    • That NCPCR submits that this case involving harassment and online stalking of a minor is a serious problem that has arisen through the wide usage of social media platforms like Twitter. That the act of the petitioner has not only violated the rights of a minor but has also violated the provisions of law as given under the IT Act, 2000, IPC, 1860 and POCSO Act, 2012.”
  16. The Maharashtra government has informed the Supreme Court that it is ready and willing to transfer the investigation into the Palghar lynching case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  (Shashank Shekhar Jha v Union of India & Anr)
  17. On Tuesday A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on whether the plea concerning rights of Dawoodi Bohra community to excommunicate its members needs to be referred to a larger bench. (Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community & Anr v State of Maharashtra & Anr)
  18. On Monday the Supreme Court passed an interim order extending the tenures of incumbent judicial members of the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal (KSAT).  (Krishna B and Ors v. GOI)
  19. On Tuesday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on a plea by Delhi minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Satyendar Jain challenging a transfer of his bail plea in a money laundering case from the judge who was hearing the matter, to another judge.  (Satyendar Kumar Jain vs ED)
  20. Incumbent Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit has recommended the name of Justice DY Chandrachud to take over as the next CJI.
  21. On Monday the Supreme Court sought production of transcripts of statements made by Yati Narsinghanand against the top court.  (Shachi Nelli vs Yati Narsinghanand @ Deepak Tyagi)
  22. On Tuesday the Central government notified the elevation of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey as Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court.
  23. The Central government has notified the transfer of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal from the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to the Rajasthan High Court.
  24. The Central government has notified elevation of Justice PB Varale of the Bombay High Court as the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. 
  25. Chief Justice of India UU Lalit has requested all Supreme Court judges to be present in the judges lounge today by 10.15 am so that the letter recommending Justice DY Chandrachud as the next CJI can be handed over in their presence.

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