Today Legal Updates

Friday, 14th October 2022




Council of Ministers

Article – 164 Other provisions as to Ministers.

(1) The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister, and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor:

Provided that in the States of [Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand], Madhya Pradesh and [Odisha] there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes or any other work.
(1A) The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed fifteen per cent. of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State:
Provided that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve:
Provided further that where the total number of Ministers including the Chief Minister in the Council of Ministers in any State at the commencement of the Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2003 exceeds the said fifteen per cent. or the number specified in the first proviso, as the case may be, then
the total number of Ministers in that State shall be brought in conformity with the provisions of this clause within six months from such date as the President may by public notification appoint.
(1B) A member of the Legislative Assembly of a State or either House of the Legislature of a State having Legislative Council belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of that House under paragraph of the Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister under clause (1) for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or where he contests any election to the Legislative Assembly of a State or either House of the Legislature of a State having Legislative Council,
as the case may be, before the expiry of such period, till the date on which he is declared elected, whichever is earlier.
(2) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
(3) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

(4) A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
(5) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as the Legislature of the State may from time to time by law determine and, until the Legislature of the State so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Friday the Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court’s decision dismissing the challenge by WhatsApp against an order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) directing an investigation into its privacy policy.
    • the Delhi High Court had refused to stay the probe ordered by the CCI last year. While doing so, it held that WhatsApp occupies a dominant position in the relevant product market and that there exists a strong lock-in effect which renders its users incapable of shifting to another platform despite dissatisfaction with the product.
    • The High Court had said that the 2021 policy was a substantially modified version of its 2016 policy since under the new terms, there is no “opt-out” option, the presence of which led the CCI to conclude that the 2016 Policy did not violate the Competition Act.
    • the judgment had stated, These circumstances necessitate the presence of Facebook as a proper party in the investigation related to the 2021 policy and the alleged anti-competitive practices they trigger.
  2. On Friday the Kerala High Court observed that there seemed to be more moral policing on social media than in real life outside the virtual world.
    • the judge orally remarked, Moral Policing in this (social media) is more than the actual moral policing.
    • Justice VG Arun made the observation while hearing a petition seeking removal of an Instagram Reel (video) of an actress which was posted on the popular image-sharing platform by a user who was accused in a POSCO case.
    • The petitioner further submitted that the instagrammer later got arrayed as an accused in a crime alleging commission of offenses under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
    • the Court directed the Department of Information and Technology and Department of Home Affairs to consider the complaint and make sure that Instagram takes appropriate action by deleting the objectionable Instagram reel if necessary, after affording an opportunity for hearing to the Meta Platforms.
  3. Today the Supreme Court will hold a special sitting tomorrow to hear the appeal filed by Maharashtra government against the decision of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, acquitting former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case.
    • The two main grounds invoked by Maharashtra government for challenging GN Saibaba acquittal are:
      •  Matter decided on sanction without adverting to evidence,
      • High Court relies on TADA judgments when the case matrix of UAPA offence is different.
    • the judgment said, We are inclined to hold, that every safeguard, however miniscule, legislatively provided to the accused, must be zealously protected.
    • the High Court had said, In view of the well-entrenched position of law, that the rule against double jeopardy has no application if the trial is held vitiated due to invalidity or absence of sanction, we see no reason to dilate any further on the said submission.
  4. On Friday the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to conduct an inquiry to ascertain reasons for the rampant rise in viral infections across the State “one after the other since COVID-19.”  (S Muthumalai Rani v. The Secretary)
    • The Court said, After COVID-19, Monkey Pox, and thereafter, Influenza, and many more are spreading continuously across Tamil Nadu. These viral diseases are spreading continuously and the reason for such spreading over are not found out by the Medical Researchers, and competent authorities of the State.
    • Whether pharmaceutical companies are indulging in any other illegal activities for spreading these kind of viral diseases or not, are also to be enquired into and an investigation is imminent.
  5. On Friday the Delhi government assured the Delhi High Court that it will ensure that cows dying of lumpy skin disease are accorded a dignified without hurting sentiments of people.
    • A status report was filed by the Delhi government stating that till now no case of cattle death due to lumpy disease has been recorded in the national capital and that helpline numbers have been issued to report lumpy skin disease cases and that a location has also been identified for burial.
    • The Court has also issued notices to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and the Delhi Police directing them to file their responses on the issue.
  6. On Friday the National Green Tribunal (NGT) imposed a fine of ₹500 crores on the Karnataka government for failure to maintain and restore Chandapura lake in Bengaluru.
    • the NGT said, From the study report prepared at the instance of the State of Karnataka, it is patent that huge damage has been caused to the lake in question. Such damage is clearly attributable to inaction or complicity of the authorities of the State of Karnataka. There are illegal encroachments and construction activities, unchecked violations of environmental norms by the industries, failure to protect and regulate buffer zones and catchment areas of the lake and to control pollution.
    • The State has failed to protect environment and provide clean environment to citizens in breach of its to enforce right to life and ‘Sustainable Development’ principle. Lake ecology and eco-system have hugely suffered.
    • It is matter of common knowledge that there is general degradation of environment and much more proactive approach is expected from the State. Further, it is made clear that the quantum of compensation can be reconsidered if data is produced by the State within one month, justifying such reconsideration.
  7. On Friday the Allahabad High Court granted bail to a rape accused in a Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) case on the condition that he marries the victim within fifteen days of his release. (Monu v. State of UP)
    • the Court directed, Soon after the accused-applicant comes out of jail on bail, he will perform the marriage within 15 days from the date of release with the prosecutrix and get the same registered before the appropriate officer within a period of one month from the date of performing the marriage. He will give all rights to the prosecutrix and his child as wife and daughter.
    • When the victim and her father appeared in court, they said that they had no objection to the accused’s release, provided that he performs the marriage in accordance with Hindu rites.
  8. On Friday the Madras High Court refused to discharge a specially-abled lawyer from Madurai who was booked by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for sharing a Facebook post two years ago that allegedly promoted the ideology of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a banned organisation.  (Mohan v. Union of India)
    • the Court said, Just because it was withdrawn subsequently, cannot by itself, a reason to discharge the accused from prosecution…The allegations against the accused is uploading a call to follow the footsteps of Naxalbari. This overt act is sufficient to frame charges under UAPA.
    • The independence obtained on August 15, 1947 was a farce because the country is yet to get rid of feudalism, imperialism, and exploitation of the poor. In order to gain real independence, let us mobilise in the path of war shown by Naxalbari.
    • the Bench held, The appellant is being prosecuted under Sections 13 (1)(b), 38 & 39 of UAP Act for being part of a banned terrorist outfit viz., CPI (Maoist) and promoting its ideologies. It is trite that a strong suspicion is enough to frame charges. Therefore, we find no merits in the present Criminal Appeal and the same deserves only to be dismissed.
  9. On Friday the Karkardooma courts Delhi dealing with Delhi Riots cases has framed criminal conspiracy, rioting and other charges against former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain and others in two cases. (State v. Tanveer Malik & Ors)
    • the order noted, Every member of the mob assembled there, participated in achieving and encouraging others, to target Hindus. Such conducts of the members of this mob, show that they were acting out of meeting of their mind and with a clear-cut objective in mind, to kill and harm Hindus.
    • the orders underlined, It is also well apparent that this mob continuously indulged into firing of gunshots, pelting of stones and petrol bombs towards Hindus and houses of Hindus. These acts of the mob make it clear that their objective was to harm Hindus in their body and property to maximum possible extent. Indiscriminate firing at others makes it clear that this mob consciously wanted to even kill Hindus. It cannot be said that accused persons were oblivious of such objective of this mob. Apparently, this was an unlawful assembly, acting in pursuance of aforesaid object.
    • Planning to ignite a communal riot and taking steps for prosecution of such plan, could be umbrella Conspiracy and participants to this conspiracy may or may not be part of each smaller conspiracies and vice versa.
    • The Court further framed charges under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 149 (member of unlawful assembly with common object) IPC.
  10. On Friday the Supreme Court granted bail to suspended Assam Deputy Inspector General Rounak Ali Hazarika in a disproportionate assets case.  (Rounak Ali Hazarika vs State of Assam)
    • A Bench of Justices BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna granted bail subject to furnishing bond of ₹5 lakh and two sureties of the same amount.
  11. The Maharashtra government has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, which was pronounced this morning, acquitting former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case.
    • erson who’s from CPI Maoist acquitted by Bombay High Court, order uploaded today. Limited prayer is that if your lordships can hear the matter on Monday.
    • the judgment said, We are inclined to hold, that every safeguard, however miniscule, legislatively provided to the accused, must be zealously protected.
    • the bench said, In view of the well-entrenched position of law, that the rule against double jeopardy has no application if the trial is held vitiated due to invalidity or absence of sanction, we see no reason to dilate any further on the said submission.
  12. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has opposed the bail application filed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in the corruption case filed against him.
    • The applicant is man of ways and means, he may abuse his position/status to influence the potential witnesses to be examined and may also tamper with evidence to be collected during the course of further investigation if enlarged on bail, at this stage.
    • the bail application stated, The credibility of the statements on which the case of the CBI rests is extremely doubtful and the credentials of all such people raise a question mark of serious nature. The entire case is based on the statement of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh and dismissed Mumbai cop Sachin Waze against whom there is ample evidence available on record that Waze himself was in fact the sole person instrumental in the collection of illegal bribe money from the bar owners.
    • the application said, The investigation carried out by CBI do not inspire any confidence and on the contrary expose the premiere instigating agency of the country to have become a mere pawn in the hands of vested interests and acting for extraneous and malafide considerations.
    • Deshmukh emphasized, The arrest therefore, is in itself an act of malice.
  13. On Friday the Supreme Court was rejected a plea seeking disqualification of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Satyendar Jain from Delhi Assembly for being of unsound mind. (Ashish Kumar Srivastava v Government of NCT)
    • A bench of Justices SK Kaul and AS Oka said that the plea was “frivolous” and imposed costs of ₹20,000 on the petitioner, a member of the All India Professional Congress.
    • The plea argued that as per Article 191(1)(b) of the Constitution, a person will be disqualified from being a member of legislative assembly or legislative council if he or she is of unsound mind and the same is declared by a competent court.
    • The minister’s plea before the Supreme Court challenging a transfer of his bail plea in a money laundering case from the judge who was hearing the matter, to another judge is yet to be decided.
  14. On Thursday the Kerala High Court observed that objectification of women based on the clothing they chose to wear cannot be justified, and norms that categorise women based on their choice of attire cannot be tolerated. (State of Kerala v Civic Chandran)
    • the High Court said, Everyone has the freedom to wear whatever he/she wants to wear subject to the laws of the land. Objectifying women in regard to what she wears cannot be justified. There is no reason why a woman should be judged by her clothes. Norms that categorize women based on their attire and expressions can never be tolerated.
    • the order said, There cannot be any thought that women dress only to lure male attention. It is wrong to say that a woman was sexually assaulted just because she was wearing provocative clothes. Sexually provocative dressing of a victim cannot be construed as a legal ground to absolve an accused from the charge of insulting the modesty of a woman. The right to wear any dress is a natural extension of personal freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Even if a woman wears a sexually provocative dress, that cannot give a licence to a man to outrage her modesty.
    • the order of the Sessions Court said, In order to attract this Section, there must be a physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours. There must be sexually colored remarks. The photographs produced along with the bail application by the accused would reveal that defacto complainant herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one (sic). So Section 354A will not prima facie stand against the accused.
    • the order stated, The Apex Court in Aparna Bhat (supra) has held that discussion about the dress, behaviour, or past conduct of the victim should not enter the verdict while granting bail to the accused. It was further observed in the said judgment that the Judges should not use any words, spoken or written, that would undermine or shake the confidence of the survivor in the fairness or impartiality of the court. For these reasons, the remarks in the impugned order regarding provocative dress of the victim cannot be sustained and they are hereby expunged.
  15. On Friday Supreme Court judge Justice Hemant Gupta said A judge’s duty is to not please anybody since one of the parties will be unhappy with an order passed by the court.
    • One cannot be discharging his duties as a judge by trying to please people. That role is for others in public life.
    • I was harsh, blunt, would sometimes lose my cool. I am not perfect, I may have erred. It was wholly unintentional.
    • saw a complete computerization of the High Court including digitization of the entire records of judicial files and developing a mechanism to scan the freshly filed case, introduction of the Case Management System, launching of E-diary, E-filing of the cases, access to paper book module, on-line availability of the judgments and the daily/interim orders, extensive usage of the SMS, dispensing with the manual peshi registers, e-inspection, e-copy of the judgment(s)/order(s) by creating automated centralized copy agency. What defines Justice Hemant Gupta is his going into the smallest details. He makes the best of whatever is there before him.
    • He was on the Bench with me and Justice Indu Malhotra, he was the only one using the laptop or whatever the device was …Justice Gupta no wonder is digitally advanced and part of paperless courts.
    • Any judgment with him would be ready in two weeks’ time, that is the maximum time he would take, and this shows his hard work.
    • He is very helpful, he has maintained his original group of friends from school. His work never interfered with the personal bonds that he created. He is known for his hard work, erudition, and will be deeply missed by the Bar. I know he will [still] be there to guide us.
    • ustice Gupta’ father was arrested in 1992 for being RSS chief, had opposed government policies. Later when ban lifted, FIR was quashed.
  16. On Friday the Madras High Court directed the District Revenue Officer (DRO) of Kancheepuram district to conduct a “field visit” to the deceased’s village to ascertain if his applications for a community certificate deserved to be rejected, after taking suo motu cognisance of a man setting himself ablaze inside the court premises.
    • Ravindran said, I can place the entire records here. The deceased person’s son made an application online on September 20,2022 and it was transferred to the concerned officer on the same date. On September 26, it was rejected. There was no delay. He was not made to run from pillar to post as depicted in the newspapers.
    • he added, If they were indeed brothers, they should have had the same father. So Velmurugan’s children’s application was rejected.
    • Justice Raja said, Generally, if a person comes to you for a certificate, do you just continue sitting on your chair and take a decision? Or do you do an inspection? If I were the collector, I would have really gone to the village, visited his left side neighbour and his right side neighbour and asked them some questions.
    • the Court concluded, Field inspection means somebody living on that same village, same street, at least one person should have been spoken to. We are giving you two weeks. Go to the village, visit the boy’s school. Get all details. We want a proper inquiry. Else this suo motu petition will not serve any purpose.
  17. On Friday A Varanasi Court rejected a the plea filed by by 4 Hindu parties seeking directions to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific investigation to ascertain whether the object found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises is a Shiva linga or a fountain. (Smt. Rakhi Singh and Others v State of Uttar Pradesh)
    • the application said, That for proper adjudication of the case it is necessary that a scientific investigation be made regarding the length, width, height, age, make up and constituents of the Shivalingam.
    • the Court had deferred its order and had posted the matter for October 11 after the Mosque Committee had sought time to respond to the following two clarifications raised by the Court:
      • Whether the Shiva Linga (reported to be found) inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises is a part of suit property or not?
      • – Does the court have power to direct ‘scientific investigation’ of the alleged structure?
  18. On Friday the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) told the Delhi High Court that it is joining hands with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitioner in seeking legal action against Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly revealing the identity of a 9-year-old Dalit girl who was raped and killed in a crematorium in Delhi.
  19. On Friday the Central government told the Supreme Court that electoral bonds scheme floated it by it for funding political parties, is most transparent.  (Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India and ors)
    • the SG contended, Methodology of donation is so transparent, it is impossible to get black money..It is most transparent and to say it strikes at democracy is wrong.
    • Bhushan said, These issues strike at the root of our democracy. We have challenged amendments allowing electoral bonds, unlimited donations even by subsidiaries and retrospective changes to Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
    • The plea by ADR has assailed five major amendments, which have been brought about through the Finance Act, 2017, and the Finance Act, 2016.
      • Section 31, the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 through Part III, Section 135 of the Finance Act, 2017,
      • Section 29C, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 through Part – IV, Section 137 of the Finance Act, 2017
      • Section 13A, the Income Tax Act, 1961 through Chapter III, Section 11 of the Finance Act, 2017 and in
      • Section 182 of the Companies Act, 2013 through Part-XII, Section 154, the Finance Act, 2017.
      • Section 2 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) through Finance Act, 2016.

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