Today’s Legal Updates

Tuesday, 18th January 2022


Nirbhaya fund

  • The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry is the nodal agency for the Nirbhaya Fund which has a total of Rs. 3,000 Crore.
  • The Fund is expected to support initiatives by the government and NGOs working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India.
  • One stop Centres would be set up to provide much needed medical, legal and rehabilitative services to victims of sexual assault.
  • The Nirbhaya Centre will provide support and assistance to all women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces, and will be integrated with a Women Helpline.
  • Medical assistance, Police assistance, Psycho-social support/counseling, Legal aid/case management and Shelter are some of the services which would be provided.

Today’s Legal Updates:-

  1. Today the Kerala High Court, which reverted to complete online hearing as a witnessed a man either brushing his teeth or shaving, often facing the camera, during proceedings before Justice VG Arun.
    • The video shows the man who seems to have just woken up, walking back and forth in what appears to be a washroom with a wash-basin and rather meticulously shaving his face or brushing his teeth.
    • Justice Arun did not seem to have noticed the incident but a video of the same was shared widely and quickly across social media.
  2. Since courts across started hearing cases virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, incidents of unfortunate faux pas and etiquette among lawyers and litigants appearing via various video conferencing platforms have been plenty.
    • On December 21, 2021, the Madras High Court initiated contempt of court proceedings against a lawyer, RD Santhana Krishnan, after he was seen in a compromising position with a woman during Court proceedings being held via video conference.
    • Senior Advocate Indira Jaising announced via Twitter that she would be filing a contempt of court case and sexual harassment complaint against a man who allegedly appeared semi-naked during a virtual hearing before the Karnataka High Court.
    • In April 2020 a lawyer appeared before the the Rajasthan High court in a vest to argue online
    • the Delhi High Court imposing a fine of ₹10,000 on a man who appeared for a virtual hearing in his vest. 
    • In June 2020, an advocate appeared for a hearing before the Supreme Court while lying on his bed, wearing a t-shirt.
    • In August 2020, a lawyer was seen chewing gutka during a virtual hearing before the Supreme Court. When the Bench pulled him up, the counsel could only muster a meek “sorry”.
    • Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan was seen not so subtly smoking his hookah.
    • The Gujarat High Court in September 2020 imposed costs on an accused who was spotted “spitting” on camera during a virtual hearing.
    • The Courts have also pulled up lawyers for appearing via video conference while riding a scooter and from inside their car.
    • Another noteworthy incident was when a fan managed to access the virtual hearing before the Delhi High Court in the case filed by actress Juhi Chawla challenging the roll out of 5G technology. The unidentified youth started singing songs from Chawla’s movies while the hearing was in progress.
  3. A Mumbai court will pronounce its verdict in the bail plea filed by the three accused in the Bulli Bai case on January 20, 2022.
    • The case was triggered by an app called ‘Bulli Bai’, which appeared on open-source platform GitHub, putting out details of more than 100 Muslim women, allowing users to participate in an ‘auction’ of those women.
    • The three accused – Bangalore student Vishal Jha and Uttarakhand residents Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat – pointed out in their petitions that they had been falsely implicated in the case as they had not committed any offence.
  4. Today the Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest to actress and model, Poonam Pandey in a porn video case in which Raj Kundra is one of the main accused.  (Poonam Shobhanath Pandey v. State of Maharashtra)
    • Pandey’s plea for relief was rejected by the Bombay High Court on November 25, 2021 leading to the appeal before the top court.
    • Pandey said that while is not a partner or owner of any of those platforms, the complaint against her was that some video protraying her is available on some such websites.
    • Pandey has submitted that she was a victim and not an accused in this case. It was further claimed that all videos of Pandey on certain porn websites have already been blocked by the Central government, way back in 2015.
  5. Today the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court sought the stand of the Maharashtra government on whether Poker is a game of skill or gambling.
  6. Today A Jharkhand Court refused to grant bail to two men accused of assaulting a mentally ill Muslim man in Dhanbad.
  7. Today the Central government has opposed the plea before the Bombay High Court seeking deletion of name and image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the PM CARES Fund Trust and from the trust’s official website.  (Vikrant Chavan v. PM Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund)
  8. Today the Kerala High Court has extended the life of all interim orders passed by all courts and tribunals falling under the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court till 21st February 2022.
  9. Today A Mumbai court rejected the bail plea of former Maharashtra Home Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh in the money-laundering case against him.
  10. Today the Delhi High Court held as it granted bail to two men accused of duping people to the tune of ₹240 crores, he magnitude or gravity of the offence cannot be the only criterion for denial of bail.  (Sunder Singh Bhati v The State)
  11. Today the Calcutta High Court has extended the life of all interim orders passed by all courts and tribunals falling under the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court till 28th February 2022 in view of the COVID-19 situation.
  12. Today the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Delhi government in a plea seeking steps to remove stray animals, including cows and bulls, from Delhi roads.  (Satish Sharma v State of NCT of Delhi)
  13. Today the Kerala High Court ordered the Kerala Police to investigate into the allegations by cine actor Dileep that news channel Reporter TV and other media outlets violated a trial court order which had imposed a gag on media from reporting proceedings in the actress assault case in which Dileep is one of the main accused.  (P Gopalakrishnan @ Dileep v State of Kerala & Ors.)
  14. Today the Supreme Court today asked the Central government to work in conjunction with the States to provide data on starvation deaths, hunger and malnutrition across the country.
  15. Today the Bombay High Court commuted the death sentence of half sisters Renuka Shinde and Seema Gavit to life imprisonment, in a case of abduction and murder of children between 1990 to 1996.
  16. Today the Supreme Court wondered if persons with criminal antecedents can be prevented from contesting elections.  (Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay vs Union of India)
  17. Today the Calcutta High Court expressed its reservations against holding the Jangal Mahal Utsav Mela in Jhargram district, in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in West Bengal.  (Pratik Maitra v The State of West Bengal and Others)
  18. Today Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao argued before the Delhi High Court that the status of marriage between two parties cannot be sufficient reason to deny a wife the ability to prosecute her husband for marital rape.  (RIT Foundation v Union of India)
  19. Today Senior Advocate and Member of Parliament P Wilson wrote to the Vice-Chancellors of National Law Universities (NLUs) across the country asking them to implement exact State-specific reservations for courses offered by them.
  20. Today the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of a convict belonging to a Scheduled Tribe community, to life imprisonment, in a case of rape and murder of a minor girl.  (Bhagwani v State of Madhya Pradesh)
  21. Following the January 17 notice issued by the Supreme Court urging the lawyers and in-person petitioners to join virtual hearing before it via laptop/desktop, the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) has made a representation to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana to direct the Registry to not insist on a particular kind of equipment or connectivity to join court hearings.

Legal Prudent Fraternity