Today’s Legal Updates:

Tuesday, 14th December 2021

  1. Today twelve Day of the ongoing 2021 Winter Session of Parliament witnessed responses on issues like details of persons arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), online investigation tracking system, and more.
    • Persons arrested under UAPA
      • Q. Questions were raised by 11 Members of Parliament on details of the number of persons arrested under the UAPA in the last three years.
      • A. Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai responded that only one case was registered under UAPA in 2019 in the State of Orissa, and that the data regarding the period of detention is not maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Persons arrested, on bail and convicted under UAPA
  • Online Investigation Tracking System for sexual assault cases
    • Q. A question was tabled by YSR Congress MP Lavu Krishna Devarayalu regarding the implementation of a system to track police investigations in sexual assault cases.
      • A. Minster of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra responded that the Ministry has launched an online analytical tool called the ‘Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offenses’ for states and union territories to monitor and track time-bound investigations in sexual assault cases.
    • Atrocities against Schedule Castes/Schedule Tribes
      • Q. a question tabled by BSP MP Girish Chandra on atrocities committed against the SC/ST communities.
      • A. Minister of State for Social Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, gave a detailed account of the state-wise number of cases registered under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in conjunction with the Indian Penal Code.
        • 2016 – 47,338, out of which 4,355 led to conviction
        • 2017 – 50,094 – out of which 5,555 led to conviction
        • 2018 – 44,505 – 3,936 convicted
        • 2019 – 49,608 – 4,749 convicted
        • 2020 – 53,886 – 3,599 convicted
    • Protection for students from North-East
      • Q. A question was tabled before the Lok Sabha by NCP MP Agatha K Sangma on the measures undertaken to prevent racial attacks on people from the North-East.
      • A. Nityanand Rai response was sought on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bezbaruah Committee, set up in February 2014 after the death of 19-year-old Nido Taniam who was killed in Delhi.
        • Issued advisories to the States/Union Territory (UT) Governments to provide security for people from the North East;
        • Appointed Nodal Officers in States / UTs to address grievances of people from North East;
        • Conducted sensitization of enforcement agencies to take appropriate action in any case of harassment;
        • A three member Monitoring Committee has been set up by Ministry of Home Affairs with two members belonging to North East Region for monitoring of issues and redressal of grievances relating to racial discrimination faced by people from North East residing in different parts of the country.
    • Shortage of health workers, beds and ICU equipment
      • Q.question was tabled by BJP MP Vinay Dinu Tendulkar regarding the initiatives taken by the Central government to provide affordable and accessible medical facilities and its plan to set up government hospitals.
      • A. Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar mentioned that the Government of India has taken several steps to reduce out of pocket expenditure. Some of the initiatives are:
        • Implementation of Free Drugs and Free Diagnostics initiative under National Health Mission to provide essential drugs and diagnostics free of cost in public health facilities.
        • Under National Health Mission, states are supported for augmenting the referral network in the country by Advanced Life Support (ALS), Basic Life Support (BLS) and Patient Transport Vehicle (PTV) ambulance system in both rural and urban areas.
        • Support is provided for Telemedicine under NHM to improve healthcare access including in urban areas.
        • As part of Ayushman Bharat, the Government is supporting the States for transformation of Sub Health Centres and Primary Health Centres into 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres across the country by December, 2022 for provision of Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC).
        • The Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (AB-PMJAY) provides health coverage up to Rs 5 Lakh per family per year to around 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families as per Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC).
        • PM-ABHIM has been launched with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crores till 2025-26. It envisages increased investments in public health and other health reforms to safeguard against future public health emergencies by focusing on health infrastructure.
        • Critical care hospital blocks are being developed in 602 districts under PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).
  1. Today the Supreme Court allowed the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to widen the three strategic highways part of the Char Dham project in compliance with the recommendations on environmental concerns made by the High Powered Committee (HPC).  (Citizens for Green Doon v. Union of India)
  2. Today Delhi High Court judge Justice Prathiba M Singh urged women lawyers not to seek sympathy from court since it will lead to the Bench stereotyping them.
  3. Today the Kerala High Court ruled that gifts given to a woman during her wedding, without any such demand having been made from the groom’s side, cannot be considered dowry.  (Vishnu R v State of Kerala & Ors.)
  4. Today Bollywood actor Sonu Sood appeared before a Mumbai court to depose as a witness in the ongoing trial of a 2014 case under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in relation to the firing on Bollywood film-maker Karim Morani.
  5. Today the Karnataka High Court has made 51 lawyers as Senior Advocates in the latest round of designations.
  6. Today the Central government has told the Delhi High Court that the country’s top expert bodies are currently deliberating upon and considering scientific evidence related to the need for booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.  (Rakesh Malhotra & Ors. vs. GNCTD)
  7. Today the Supreme Court issued notice to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on a plea by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) law makers, led by Ashish Shelar, challenging its resolution suspending 12 BJP Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) for a year.  (Ashish Shelar vs Maharashtra Legislative Assembly)
  8. Today the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police’s Joint-Commissioner to file a status report in the case of an alleged staged encounter of a ‘gangster’ who was picked from his house and then shot in the leg.  (Rohit Gehlot v State and Ors)
  9. And Then There Were None‘, one of the most celebrated books in crime fiction genre authored by Agatha Christie, is set to receive trademark registration more than 80 years after its publication with the Delhi High Court ruling in favour of Christie’s company which had sought trademark registration.  (Agatha Christie Limited v Registrar of Trademarks)
  10. Today the Supreme Court Judge Justice Hima Kohli said that there will never be a right time for women to enter legal profession, while urging women lawyers to shatter all glass ceilings and break barriers.
  11. Today the Central government informed the Bombay High Court that it was willing to stay its hands on the those appeals being heard under the Faceless Appeal Scheme where the appellants were specifically praying for physical hearings.  (Chamber of Tax Consultants v. Central Board of Direct Taxes & Anr)
  12. Today the Supreme Court has held that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) cannot act as courts of equity by directing parties to settle the dispute before it.  (ES Krishnamurthy v. M/S Bharath Hi Tech Builders Pvt Ltd)
  13. Today the Supreme Court upheld a Delhi High Court judgment which called for a successful Delhi Judicial Services candidate who suffered from Bipolar Affective Disorder (BPAD) to be appointed as a judicial officer.  (Akanksha Singh v. High Court of Delhi & Ors)
  14. Today the Delhi High Court issued notice in a petition challenging an office memorandum issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) prescribing a procedure for granting retrospective environmental clearance to projects.  (Nishtha Shukla v. Union of India)
  15. Today A Mumbai court issued notice to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik in a defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Mohit Bharatiya, the second such complaint filed by Bharatiya by Malik in the recent past.
  16. Today the Kerala High Court directed the State government to frame guidelines to ensure that stringent action is taken to prevent the practice of forced conversion therapy that persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community are often subject to.  (Queerala & Anr. v State of Kerala & Ors)
  17. Today Four men have been put on trial after being charged for attempt to murder and rioting by a Delhi Court in connection with the Delhi Riots of 2020. (State v. Mohd Juber)

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