Today’s Legal Updates :

Thursday, 16th December 2021

  1. Today fourteenth Day of the ongoing 2021 Winter Session of Parliament witnessed responses received on issues ranging from air pollution to reservation in the judiciary.
    • Reservation in Judiciary 
      • Q. A question was tabled before the Rajya Sabha today by CPI (M) MP K. Somaprasad on statutory reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the higher judiciary.
      • A. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju responded that Articles 124, 217 and 224 of the Constitution don’t provide for reservations in appointment of judges. However, the Central government was requesting Chief Justices of High Courts to consider candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC, other minorities and women while sending proposals for judicial appointments, to ensure diversity in the higher judiciary.
    • Air pollution in metropolitan cities
      • “Government of India has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution levels across the country,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey mentioned while responding to a question by three MPs on the measures being adopted to tackle air pollution.
        • The response also states that ₹4400 crore has been released in the Budget of Financial Year 2020-21 to tackle the problem of air pollution.
          • City Specific Action Plans have been prepared for the identified 132 non-attainment and million plus population cities
          • Public Grievance Redressal System and Graded Response Action Plan have been developed and hot spots identified.
          • City level implementation committees and Air Quality Management Cells (AQMC) at Urban Local Bodies level have been constituted
    • Establishment of Benches of High Courts and Supreme Court 
      • Rijiju admitted that there have been demands to set up Benches of the Supreme Court in different parts of the country, while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha by TDP Member of Parliament Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar.
        • The Supreme Court has consistently not agreed for setting up benches of the Supreme Court outside Delhi,
    • Law entrance exams in regional languages
      • Kiren Rijiju responded to a question in the Rajya Sabha from BJP Member of Parliament Harnath Singh Yadav on conducting the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) and other law entrance exams in regional languages.
        • The Bar Council of India shall write to the Universities asking them to further explore the feasibility of conducting entrance examination in respect of regional languages for the convenience of the locals of the area apart from conducting the same in English language,”
  2. Today the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the parliament, the Supreme Court of India has consistently not agreed to proposals for setting up its Benches outside Delhi.
  3. Today the Delhi High Court held that the authorities’ power to attach assets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) would cease to be exercisable once the liquidation process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is set in motion.  (Nitin Jain Liquidator PSL Limited v Enforcement Directorate)
  4. Today the Supreme Court set aside an Andhra Pradesh High Court ruling which had condoned a delay of 1,011 days in preferring the second appeal.  (Majji Sannemma @ Sanyasirao v Reddy Sridevi & Ors)
  5. Yesterday the Union Cabinet passed a proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years, bringing it at par with the minimum marriageable age for men.
  6. Today A Delhi court has ordered framing of rioting and other charges against ten men in a case related to Delhi riots of 2020 after the court prima facie found that they were members of an unlawful assembly, formed with an object “to create fear and panic” among Hindus and to threaten them to leave the country. (State v. Mohd Shahnawaz)
  7. Today the Uttarakhand High Court expressed its shock over the dismal state of prison infrastructure in the State and observed that inmates were being treated like subjects.  (Santosh Upadhyay and Anr v State of Uttarakhand and Anr)
  8. Today the Central government stated the Bar Council of India (BCI) will write to law universities asking them to conduct entrance exams, including the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for National Law Universities, in regional languages.
  9. Today a special investigation team has informed the Supreme Court at least 92 criminal cases were registered from 2015 to 2021 in Uttar Pradesh in relation to filing of fake motor accident claims.  (Safiq Ahmad v. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. & Other)  
    • 28 lawyers accused in UP for fake motor accident claims
  10. Yesterday the Delhi High Court issued notice in a petition filed by Gopal and Sunil Ansal challenging a trial court order which had declined to suspend their seven-year sentence for evidence tampering in connection with the 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy.  (Sushil Ansal vs. State of NCT of Delhi)
  11. BJP leader Mahesh Shrishrimal who accused Rahul Gandhi of allegedly making defamatory statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi has filed his response to the plea filed by Gandhi before Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the complaint filed by Shrishrimal.
  12. Today the Delhi High Court stayed a part of the guidelines issued by the Delhi Government and the licensing policy by the three municipal corporations, which prohibited cross-gender massages in private spas and wellness centers functioning in the city.  (Delhi Wellness Spa Association v Government of NCT of Delhi and Ors)
  13. Today A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Chief Secretary of Haryana and the State Police for not taking action against right-wing groups who tried to restrain Muslims from offering namaz in open areas in Gurugram.
  14. Yesterday the Kerala High Court held that vague statements from an alleged victim of sexual assault with no indication of penetrative sexual intercourse would not constitute the offence of rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).  (Ranjith v. State of Kerala)
  15. Today the Patna High Court directed the authorities to register a first information report (FIR) against an advocate accused of abusing judges of the Supreme Court, the Patna High Court as well as the Union Law Minister on social media.
    • Justice Sandeep Kumar directed the Economic Offices Unit (EOU) of the Bihar government to register an FIR and constitute an expert team to investigate into the “various objectionable materials” and offences committed by the accused, Advocate Dinesh.
  16. Today the Supreme Court bemoaned the continuing encroachments of government lands, a phenomenon which the top court opined, has continued unabated since independence.  (Utran se Besthan Railway Jhopadpatti Vikas Mandal v. Government of India)
  17. In a separate notification issued this week, the Karnataka High Court designated two more lawyers as Senior Advocates, taking the total to 53.
    • Advocates Kiran S Javali and Suresh S Lokre have been conferred the Senior gown, in addition to 51 others.
  18. The case against Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan and other co-accused in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have been transferred from Mathura court to a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Lucknow.
  19. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has submitted before the Bombay High Court that the objective of the defamation suit filed by Dhyandev Wankhede against Malik is to prevent Malik from revealing the illegalities of Wankhede and his son Sameer Wankhede, who is a Zonal Director at the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  20. Today the Supreme Court appointed retired Supreme Court judges Justices Vikramajit Sen and Kurian Joseph as mediators to settle the family dispute between former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi and his mother Bina Modi.
  21. Today Maharashtra is set to see a bull run of a different kind, with the Supreme Court allowing bull races in the State after a four-year hiatus, subject to conditions.
  22. Today the Supreme Court issued notice to individual respondents in the plea filed by the State of Tamil Nadu challenging a Madras High Court judgment which struck down the law enacted by Tamil Nadu government providing 10.5 percent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs to Vanniyar caste.  (Pattali Makkal Katchi v. A Mayilerumperumal And Ors)
  23. Today the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended that three additional judges of Bombay High Court be made permanent.
    1. Madhav Jayajirao Jamdar
    2. Amit Bhalchandra Borkar
    3. Shrikant Dattatray Kulkarni
  24. Today the Delhi High Cour observed that recovery of stridhan (woman’s estate) alone cannot be the sole ground to arrest a person for offences under Section 498A (cruelty including dowry demands) and Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or to deny him anticipatory bail.  (Pooran Singh v. State of Delhi)
  25. Today the Supreme Court asked the High Courts to entertain applications that are filed before these fora as a stop-gap measure, Given the lack of personnel at the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) and the Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT).
  26. Today A special bench of the Supreme Court will continue hearing the petition by 17-year-old Delhi student Aditya Dubey concerning rising levels of air pollution in Delhi.
  27. Yesterday the Supreme Court granted interim protection to media entrepreneur Raghav Bahl in a money laundering cases initiated against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).  (Raghav Bahl v. Enforcement Directorate)

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