Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 13th May 2022




Article – 315 Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the States

  1. Subject to the provisions of this article, there shall be a Public Service Commission for the Union and a Public Service Commission for each State.
  2. Two or more States may agree that there shall be one Public Service Commission for that group of States, and if a resolution to that effect is passed by the House or, where there are two Houses, by each House of the Legislature of each of those States, Parliament may by law provide for the appointment of a Joint State Public Service Commission (referred to in this Chapter as Joint
    Commission) to serve the needs of those States.
  3. Any such law as aforesaid may contain such incidental and consequential provisions as may be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the purposes of the law.
  4. The Public Service Commission for the Union, if requested so to do by the Governor of a State, may, with the approval of the President, agree to serve all or any of the needs of the State.
  5. References in this Constitution to the Union Public Service Commission or a State Public Service Commission shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as references to the Commission serving the needs of the Union or, as the case may be, the State as respects the particular matter in question.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud will hear the appeal filed before the Supreme Court against an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court appointed commissioner to inspect, conduct survey and videography of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for right to worship.  (Committee of Management of Anjuman Intezamia Masajid vs Rakhi Singh & others)
    • the order said, Upon being mentioned by Mr. Huzefa Ahmadi, learned Senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, we deem it appropriate to direct the Registry to list the matter before the Bench presided over by Hon’ble Dr. Justice DY Chandrachud.
    • It has been claimed that there are deities such as Maa Gauri, Lord Ganesh and Hanuman etc at the site and that Hindus should be allowed to enter the site and offer their prayers and perform pooja and offer bhog to their deities.
    • The civil judge after hearing the contentions had passed an order on August 18, 2021 appointing an advocate commissioner. The judge had also ordered the commissioner to visit the site and inspect and collect evidence as to whether the deities exist at the site. The commissioner was further given liberty to seek police force assistance in case of any disturbance or resistance to collection of evidence by virtue of videography.
  2. In an interesting judgment widening the ambit of sexual harassment, an Employment Tribunal in the United Kingdom (UK) has ruled that calling a man “bald” is sexual harassment.
    • Employment Judge Brain opined that there is a connection between the word “bald” on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other.
    • In our judgment, there is a connection between the word “bald” on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other as all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women. We find it to be inherently related to sex. (In contrast, we accept that baldness affects (predominantly) adult males of all ages so is inherently not a characteristic of age)
    • the judgment stated, Mr King (the employer) made the remark with a view to hurting the claimant by commenting on his appearance which is often found amongst men. The Tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a “bald” on July 24, 2019 Mr King’s conduct was unwanted, it was a violation of the claimant’s dignity, it created an intimidating etc environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant’s sex. The complaint of harassment related to sex is meritorious. The claimant is entitled to remedy provided the Tribunal is vested with jurisdiction to consider it.
  3. On Friday the Delhi High Court directed search engine Google and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to remove defamatory and offending video uploaded by the admin of a vegan group called ‘Activism for Animals’, which alleged that diary brand Amul was indulging in cruelty to cows.  (Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation vs Rishabh Kaushal & Ors.)
    • the single-judge demanded, Utterly Butterly Murderous? Calling people murderous is not innocent. After meeting him, I feel like he’s being helped. These posts are very derogatory and this is not an innocent act. Either he comes clean and tells us which individual or organisation paid him rather than taking the entire blame on himself and getting that deleted. You put up these videos but did you verify them once?
    • Appearing on behalf of Amul, advocate Abhishek Singh submitted that the defendants had initiated a malicious, slanderous campaign against the dairy brand that was defamatory and launched with the sole intention of creating bias, fear and psychosis in the minds of the public to give up Amul dairy products and instead shift to plant-based products like almond milk, soy milk, tofu, etc.
    • Singh said that various well known advertisements and jingles of the brand were taken and edited with clippings of dairy animals being brutally tortured, with the ulterior motive of causing serious harm and injury to the highly reputed brand, Amul and it’s well-known brand name and trademark.
    • the defendant’s counsel submitted that the boy had deleted the videos the minute he received a legal notice by Amul on June 9, 2021. She also submitted that he needs counselling, not punishment as he just wanted to create awareness after being inspired by some documentaries he saw on Netflix.
    • the defendant also said that after removing the video from social media, he had deactivated all his accounts and submitted that neither was he part of any organisation or association, nor did he receive any payment from any third party.
  4. On Friday Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal said the order passed by the Supreme Court in the sedition case is a wishy-washy one and the top court failed to exercise its jurisdiction.
    • he said, I find it baffling, actually. I think the Supreme Court has failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it, pass a reasoned detailed order as to why the sedition law is bad and direct the government not to register FIR, quash or stay pending proceedings. Instead, they’ve made a rather wishy-washy statement. You can never hope and expect that a government does something.
    • But I think what the court has done here, while its being seen as a great thing, a victory for free speech, I think its not the brightest hour of the Supreme Court.
    • If its bad, then tell us why! Because everything the Supreme Court does percolates down to the other courts in the pyramidal structure of judiciary that we have.
    • CJI Ramana had then said, Dispute is it is a colonial law and was used by British and suppress freedoms and used against Mahatma Gandhi Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Is this law still needed after 75 years of independence? Our concern is misuse of the law and no accountability of the executive.
    • This Section need not be struck down and only guidelines be set out so that section meets its legal purpose.
    • he said, I would exhort the Supreme Court to not send sedition law cases pending before it back to the Centre. Governments will come and go (but) it is important for the court to use its power and strike down Section 124A and offensive portion of UAPA. Then citizens here would breathe more freely.
  5. On Friday the Central government has cleared the names of nine lawyers for appointment as judges of the Delhi High Court.
    1. Tara Vitasta Ganju
    2. Mini Pushkarna
    3. Vikas Mahajan
    4. Tushar Rao Gedela
    5.  Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora
    6. Sachin Datta
    7. Amit Mahajan
    8. Gaurang Kanth
    9. Saurabh Banerjee
  6. On Friday A Delhi court granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Amanatullah Khan and others, following their arrest by the Delhi Police for allegedly obstructing officials of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) from carrying out an anti-encroachment drive at Madanpur Khadar in the national capital.
  7. On Friday the Supreme Court of India minced no words in making it clear that Kashmir has always been an integral part of India irrespective of whether Article 370 of the Constitution was in existence or repealed. (Haji Abdul Ghani Khan and Anr. v. Union of India and ors.)
    • Justice Kaul said, Are you challenging (abrogation of) Article 370? You say no? What are you challenging. I don’t want to get into the merits and demerits of sub-judice matters.
    • The counsel for petitioner is not challenging the Article 370 of the Constitution and the pleadings therein about Article 370 is to be ignored.
  8. On Friday the Supreme Court ordered that all incumbent judicial and administrative members of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) who are due to retire from their posts, should continue holding office till July 26.
    • the Bench observed, How will the tribunal work if appointments are not made? The advertisement (for appointments) was in April 2022. So selection process will obviously take some time. Meanwhile, if the remaining 29 members who are working retire, then the tribunal will collapse. It has already collapsed.
    • the Court remarked, If the Tribunal has to go on, we will exercise [Article] 142 power and say that that judges will go on working. We will say that until we take up the case again in July, the judges who are set to retire will continue till then.
    • the order said, Since vacancies will impinge upon citizens right to access to justice, thus we order that pending further order, incumbents holding posts as judicial or administrative member shall continue to function even after the completion of their tenure. This will be subject to members consent, availability. List on July 26. Order to apply till then.
  9. On Friday Mumbai sessions court rejected the petition filed by former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking permission for transfer to a private hospital of his choice for getting a shoulder surgery.
    • Additional Sessions Judge RN Rokade, Special Judge for Members of Parliament and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, instead directed the former minister to get operated at the JJ Hospital.
    • While being in judicial custody, the accused has all the rights under Constitution to get treated in a doctor of his choice, especially when he is willing to bear expenses of the treatment as well as the escorts.
    • Gonsalves pointed out, Their application is for transfer to private hospital, but their record shows that everything is available in JJ Hospital.
  10. On Friday Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune informed the Vacation Bench of Bombay High Court that it will review the communication compelling employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to go on unpaid leave until they are fully vaccinated.  (Subrata Mazumdar v. Dr Vidya Yeravdekar & Ors)
  11. From the boondocks of the Sundarbans, to the hallowed corridors of the Supreme Court of India, and everywhere in between, comes this insightful and humorous “non-story” that regales the tales of struggling lawyers, of their colourful clients, and the landscape of the Indian judiciary, all through the perspective and experiences of one such lawyer – Gourango, the unwitting star of this narrative.
  12. On Friday the Karnataka High Court directed a husband to pay ₹25,000 to the wife in litigation expenses towards proceedings in the dissolution of their marriage. (Pooja S v Abhishek Shetty)
    • I deem it proper and appropriate to direct respondent-Husband to pay a sum of Rs.25,000/- towards litigation expenses to the petitioner-wife.
  13. In Friday the Supreme Court has sought response from the Central government on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of Section 376DB of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to the extent its prescribes life imprisonment for the remainder of the natural life of the convict, as the minimum sentence. (Nikhil Shivaji Golait vs UOI)
    • Section 376DB, Where a woman under twelve years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting a group or acting in furtherance of a common intention, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of rape and shall be punished with imprisonment for life,which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine, or with death.
    • the petitioner has argued that in many cases where a person has been convicted of raping a minor girl, courts have commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment which runs to 20, 25 or 30 years.
    • The plea contended that the provision is “manifestly arbitrary” as under Section 376AB of IPC when a person is convicted of raping a minor under 12, the minimum life sentence awarded is of 20 years. However, the plea pointed out that just because it is gang rape, the term of imprisonment could be 40 or 50 years.
  14. On Friday the Delhi High Court asked the Central government to take all necessary measures to save the declining vulture population in the country since they form an important link in the food chain and are essential for maintaining the environment.
    • A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla also asked the government to examine the request made by the National Vulture Recovery Committee to ban “Aceclofenac” and “Ketoprofen” for veterinary use since the two drugs are particularly toxic to vultures.
    • The bench issued notice to the Central government as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, National Biodiversity Authority and Indian Veterinary Research Institute directing them to file their responses within four weeks.
  15. On Friday the Delhi High Court issued notice to former Amnesty India chair, Aakar Patel on Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea challenging the special court order quashing the Look-Out Circular (LOC) issued against Patel.
    • the special judge had stayed the magistrate’s direction to the CBI Director to issue a written apology to Patel, he had held that the LOC issued was bad in law since he had joined the investigation whenever called for and did not try to hamper the probe or tamper with evidence in any manner.
    • the plea stated, It is respectfully submitted that if the rational of the Ld. Spl Judge is accepted then any investigating agency will have to first await for an accused to abscond and only thereafter it will be permitted to take recourse to the process of LOC.
  16. On Friday the Kerala High Court made some scathing observations regarding the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Popular Front of India (PFI) who are suspected to be behind the murder while declining to order a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member A Sanjith.  (Arshika S v State of Kerala)
    • the Court said, No doubt, SDPI and PFI are extremist organisations indulging in serious acts of violence. All the same, those are not banned organisations. The Investigating Officer has denied the involvement of State level or national level leaders in the commission of the crime. Given the fact that police have taken care to file a final report within 90 days adds to their credibility and prove bona fides.
    • the judgment said, It is the common case that activists of the SDPI/PFI were behind the attack. There were clashes between the activists of the SDPI/PFI on the one hand and activists of the RSS on the other. There are series of attacks and counter attacks between them.
    • the Court said, This Court takes judicial notice of the fact that even after this incident, after completing arguments in this case, two such incidents have happened in Palakkad. Consequently, one person each of the rival groups have been killed.
    • the judgment stated, If investigation is handed over to the CBI, that would result in further delay in the proceedings. It is not in public interest. That may also pave way for raising demand by the accused persons for releasing on bail. Given the mind set of the rival groups, if the accused persons are released on bail that would entail further clashes and may lead to law and order situation.
  17. On Friday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Central government and the Election Commission of India to the plea challenging the notifications for the delimitation of assembly constituencies in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). (Haji Abdul Ghani Khan and Anr. v. Union of India and ors.)
    • The petition filed by two Srinagar residents, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Dr. Mohammad Ayub Mattoo challenged the increase in the number of seats from 107 to 114 in the UT claiming that the same is ultra vires Articles 81, 82, 170, 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution and section 63 of the Jammu & Kashmir Re-organisation Act, 2019.
    • the petition stated, Issuance of Notification by the Law and Legislative Department appointing the Delimitation Commission is without jurisdiction, unconstitutional and ultra vires to the election laws apart from J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019.
    • the 1st and the 2nd Respondents are now responsible for maintaining, sustaining and working of the statutory and constitutional provisions of the Constitution of India, under the much publicized “New Order” of One Nation One Constitution.
    • The classification may be founded on different bases; namely, geographical, or according to objects or occupations or the like. What is necessary is that there must be a nexus between the basis of classification and the object of the Act under consideration. It is also well-established by the decisions of this Court that Article 14 condemns discrimination not only by a substantive law but also by a law of procedure.
    • Jandhyala replied, No. After August 5, 2020, Kashmir became part of India.
    • Justice Kaul responded, No, use (words) properly. It (Kashmir) was always a part of India. Just a special provision was removed.
    • The SG answered these two prayers stating that, “there are two types of delimitation. One is geographical which is conducted by the Delimitation Commission. Second concept which is by Election Commission is for reservation seats.
  18. On Friday A Mumbai court allowed Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik to avail treatment at a private hospital.
  19. On Friday A plea has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking restoration of representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the Parliament and State Assemblies by way of reservation.
    • The petition filed by Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations has challenged the 104th amendment to the Constitution of India which while extending the reservation of seats for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for a further period of ten years, discontinued the same for Anglo-Indian community.
    • ASG said, After 104th amendment, there is an intelligible differentia. If backwardness is the criteria, they (Anglo-Indian community) have all urbanised. Where is the backwardness? There are surveys… Majority of them now live in urban area. They are not backward. For SC/ST there is social backwardness. That’s the difference.
    • the counsel said, I would straight away refuse what has been said about numbers. They have said there are only 12 Anglo-Indians in Kerala. The number is much higher. But the real challenge is Part XVI of the constitution. It deals with protection of certain classes. Two categories of people, the SC/ST and Anglo-Indian were put under special safeguard. It allowed for reservation When it comes to smaller microscopic communities, their right to representation gets obliterated.
    • Justice Chawla said, At that time of independence, it was necessary to give some assurance that they will be protected. But now after 70 years, it is time they integrated. What purpose is left now. The objective has been achieved. The community has integrated.
  20. On Friday the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for postponement of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) post graduate (PG) exam 2022, which is scheduled to be held on May 21.
    • the Bench asked, NEET PG will take place on May 21. How can we postpone this? Just to avoid some element of hardship to your client, should we cause hardship to all other candidates who are ready? How can we?
    • the Court said in its order, It must be borne in mind that there is a large body of students and needs of patient care which cannot be ignored. Over 2 lakh students have registered and now this postponement will create chaos and uncertainty.
    • the Court ordered, This plea cannot be entertained since it will seriously impact availability of medical care and have cascading impact on patient care and affect the doctors who have already registered. These are matters of policy domain unless proven that it is without application of mind or manifestly arbitrary. The interest of patient care will remain paramount in these conflicting interests. Thus, this petition cannot be entertained and is thus dismissed.
    • the bench remarked, If the government takes a call that is fine, but we cannot interfere..NEET 2022 is an independent exam. It has no relation to 2021.
    • he said, How does it actually prejudice the States if its deferred for a month or two. It (postponement) does not affect 2.6 lakh candidates but only 50,000.
    • Senior Counsel P Wilson also sought postponement of exam, “There was no time limit prescribed for 2022. The clash again occurs now. Everyone has forgotten about infrastructural facilities available in college. when 2021 and 2022 students study together where is the infrastructure,” 
    • he maintained, “There will be total chaos and confusion as there is no increase in faculty etc. heavens will not fall down if this is postponed,”
    • the Court underscored while dismissing the plea, While considering the rival submissions it must be noted at the outset that the academic session is already delayed by 4 months as per earlier SC order. The schedule of NEET PG 2022 had to be revised due to exigency posed by the pandemic. Petitioners and similarly placed doctors had participated in NEET PG 2021 counselling. They were not barred from registering in NEET PG 2022. Registration was closed on march 25 with 2.6 lakhs registrations by doctors. It must be borne in mind that there is a large body of students and needs of patient care which cannot be ignored.
  21. On Friday an appeal has been filed before the Supreme Court against an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court appointed commissioner to inspect, conduct survey and videography of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for right to worship.  (Anjuman Intezamia Masajid vs Rakhi Singh & 8 others)
    • The appeal by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid was mentioned by Senior Counsel Huzefa Ahmadi before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana seeking urgent listing.
    • Ahmadi said, Please list this milord. The survey is taking place today.
    •  the CJI said, I have no idea about this case. Let me look at the papers. We will list it.
  22. On Friday in an unprecedented development, a lawyer barged inside the chamber of chairperson of Central Administrative Tribunal, Manjula Das and threatened her for passing an order against the Central government in a case pending before the tribunal.  (Delhi Andaman and Nicobar Island Civil Services Officers Association vs Ministry of Home Affairs)
    • the order, Later on, after winding up the court business for the day, when I returned to my chamber at about 5.00 pm, Mr. Gyanendra Singh, Advocate who is representing the respondents in the aforesaid case, suddenly even before I could settle down, barged into my chamber without seeking my permission and bypassing my personal staff in the secretariat. He started behaving in an unruly manner and raised his voice demanding to know how I had stayed the order impugned in the MA without hearing him.
    • the order said, Mr. Gyanendra Singh, would not listen and continued speaking in raised and threatning tone, stating that I could not have passed such order against the Government. He did not even care about the fact that I am an elderly respectable lady, and he should have restrained himself while presenting himself before me. He kept on shouting and also threatened that he could bring about an “earthquake” as an order of his liking was not passed by the court.
    • the order added, I hereby condemn this uncalled for behaviour on the part of Mr. Gyanendra Singh, Advocate, with full force at my command.
    • the order said, Registry shall accordingly ensure that no matter where Mr. Gyanendra Singh is a counsel is listed before me in future.
  23. On Thursday the Central government cleared the proposal to appoint two retired High Court judges and one sitting High Court judge as judicial members of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
    1. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain (Retired judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court)
    2.  Justice Rakesh Kumar (Retired judge of Patna High Court)
    3. Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy (Judge of Andhra Pradesh High Court)

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