Today’s Legal Updates

Saturday & Sunday, 15th & 16th January 2022


Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

  • RashtriyaMahilaKosh (The National Credit Fund for Women) was created by the Government of India in 1993.
  • Its purpose is to provide lower income women with access to loans to begin small businesses.

Sunday, 16th January 2022

  1. Last week a sessions court in Delhi was denied bail on the ground that he was a “flight risk”, a person accused in a rioting and murder case connected to the Delhi riots of February 2020, who had surrendered.  (State v. Mohd Imran)
  2. Last week the Gujarat High Court asked the Central government to consider allowing physical filing of Income Tax (IT) Returns because of technical glitches on the Income Tax Portal. (Vikash Jain v. Union of India)
  3. The Rajasthan High Court upheld a condition mandating that candidates who apply for the post of District Judge via direct recruitment, have to submit certified copies of ten judgments argued by them along with their online application form.  (Laxmilal Salvi and Another v. Registrar General, Rajasthan High Court)
    • Rule 36 of the Rajasthan Judiciary Rules 2010 provides:
      • “36. Submission of application.- (1) While submitting application, candidate shall furnish particulars of 10 judgments of the preceding seven years. He shall produce the certified copies of such judgments before the Main Examination, as prescribed by the Recruiting Authority. The Candidate is required to provide particulars of final orders/judgments personally argued by him, not being interlocutory orders, bail orders, orders based on compromise or orders of withdrawal of case.”
  4. On Thursday the Allahabad High Court directed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to ensure participation of the Indian National Team in the 20th Asian Men’s Handball Championship scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia from January 18, 2022 to January 31, 2022.  (Mohit Yadav v. Union of India and Others)
  5. On Friday the Delhi High Court ruled that the requirement of giving an assessee under the Income Tax Act a reasonable opportunity of personal hearing is mandatory (if the assessee asks for it) and the provision of Faceless Assessment Scheme does not mean that no personal hearing can be granted.  (Bharat Aluminium Company Limited v Union of India and Ors)
  6. The Bombay High Court quashed a first information report (FIR) against two accused men subject to the condition that they and the complainant plant ten trees in their residential society within a period of six weeks.  (Suresh Nivrutti Gangurde and anr. v. Pooja Nilesh Dalavi and anr.)
  7. The Rajasthan High Court has sought the response of the Central and State governments on whether after the insertion of Article 363A to the Constitution, titles like Raja/ Nawab/ Maharaja/ Rajkumar can be used as prefix by individuals while filing cases in courts.  (Bhagwati Singh v. Raja Laxman Singh)

Saturday, 15th January 2022

  1. Today Former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay has approached the Delhi High Court challenging the order passed by the principal bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) transferring his case from Kolkata to Delhi.  (Alapan Bandyopadhyay v Union of India and Anr)
  2. Today the Kerala High Court has decided to revert to complete virtual hearings for all cases from January 17, Monday, Amidst soaring COVID-19 cases.
  3. A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to start e-stamping facilities throughout the State of Maharashtra.
  4. An arbitration tribunal awarded Bengal Unitech (claimant) a refund of ₹84 crores along with interest in proceedings against the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority, a statutory body.  (Bengal Unitech Universal Siliguri Projects Ltd. v. Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority)
  5. Today the Supreme Court issued notice on a plea challenging an order passed by the Madras High Court which had convicted and sentenced the appellant for committing offences of aggravated sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 against his student.  (Prem Kumar v. State Rep. by Inspector of Polic)
  6. Three retired Indian Army officers have approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to appoint a new Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged hate speeches delivered at Haridwar and Delhi Dharam Sansads.  (Major General SG Vombatkere & Ors v. Union of India & Ors)
  7. On Friday the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) held that cab aggregator Ola was not in a dominant position and did not indulge in predatory pricing in contravention of provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.  (Meru Travel Solutions v. Competition Commission of India)
  8. Today Saraf and Partners (S&P) moved to a 20,000 sq. ft office space in Film City, Noida.
  9. On Friday A Mumbai court reserved its verdict in the bail application filed by former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in relation to the money-laundering case against him.
  10. A public interest litigation has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Bombay High Court reducing its working hours at the principal Bench to three hours a day in view of COVID-19.
  11. On Friday A Kerala court acquitted former Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese, Franco Mulakkal, accused of repeatedly raping a Nun in Kerala.  (State of Kerala v. Bishop Franco Mulakkal)
    • Below are the grounds on which the Court based its acquittal:
      • Delay in filing complaint
        •  the Court noted, “Prior to that on November 13, 2016, PW16 had submitted Ext.D50 complaint to the congregation. Subsequently, on December 10, 2016, accused had issued Ext.P93 order to commence an enquiry into the complaint. As per Ext.P19 Sec.164 statement, the first disclosure from the side of PW1 about the sexual desires of the accused also came on December 2016,”
      • Sexual harassment allegations emerged after disciplinary proceedings were initiated against prosecutrix
        • The Court held that the sexual allegations against the accused started coming, after the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutrix on the basis of the complaint preferred by Prosecution Witness 16, who was the prosecutrix’s cousin. Certain serious allegations were levelled against the prosecutrix though the accused or the mother general were not at fault for ordering an enquiry into the complaint by PW 16.
      •  Infighting within the congregation reasons for measures by accused against prosecutrix
        • the Court said that “Evidence of PW22 shows that PW1 and her associate sisters were staying the convent like separate group and were not participating in the day-to-day activities of the convent. These developments points towards indiscipline, non-cooperation and lack of mutual respect among the members of the congregation,” 
      • Factional feud within congregation, accused had many rivals
        • the Court noted, “PW9 has also admitted that when the accused took charge as the Bishop there was a protest from the part of the devotees and that he was shown black flag. The defence contends that the protest was organised by his rival faction,” 
      • Inconsistent versions by prosecutrix regarding rape
        • the judgment noted, “Her revelation to PWs 3 and 4 during December 2016 was that Bishop is forcing her to share bed with him. She did not disclose to them that she was subjected to sexual violence on 13 occasions. She did not mention in dispensation letter dated May 26, 2017 that she was subjected to sexual violence. Her version to PW6, Bishop Kurain Valiyakandathil was that accused is taking retaliatory measures for not sharing bed with him and not that she was raped or sexually abused,” 
      • Important evidence (mobile, laptop) not produced
        • the Court noted, “According to the prosecution after issuing dispensation letter, PW1 abandoned her phone and SIM Card, and sent it to her house, along with her other articles. The phone and the SIM card were later sold to a scrap dealer, which could not be recovered. In this connection the evidence,” 
      • No complaint by two witnesses (nuns) of sexual harassment
        • the Court said that “Thus, even if it is assumed that the measures taken against PWs 3 and 4, were retaliatory in nature, there is no conclusive evidence to prove that the retaliatory measures had any connection with the case projected by the prosecution that, the accused was taking revenge against PW3 and PW4 for supporting PW1,” 
      • Ruptured hymen
        • The Court said that it was true that the hymen of the prosecutrix was found torn in her medical examination. But defence contended that there was a complaint against the prosecutrix, by her own cousin that she had indulged in sexual intercourse with her husband.
      • Close interactions between accused and prosecutrix
        • the Court stated that “She had travelled long distance with the accused in his car and had attended many functions on almost all days, next to the days of the alleged forceful sexual violence. PW8 who had travelled with the prosecutrix during some of those occasions had no hint, either from her interaction with the accused or from her interaction with PW8 and others, about the sexual violence,” 
      • Bad character of accused not proved
        • the judgment said “It is true that PW8 has deposed that the accused had once put his hands over her shoulder and pulled her towards him. But as already pointed out, the behaviour of the accused to PW8 is not a relevant issue in this trial,” 
  12. On Friday A Division Bench of Bombay High Court has issued a notice on the administrative side warning advocates against circulating matters which do not require urgent hearing.

Legal Prudent Fraternity