Tuesday, 19th December 2023

The Constitution is not a mere Lawyers Document, it is a Vehicle of Life, and its Spirit is always the Spirit of Age.

Notes: – UN predicts groundwater level in India will reduce to ‘low’ by 2025.’

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – XVIII EMERGENCY PROVISIONS

Article – 353 Effect of Proclamation of Emergency.

While a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, then—
(a) notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to any State as to the manner in which the executive power thereof is to be exercised;
(b) the power of Parliament to make laws with respect to any matter shall include power to make laws conferring powers and imposing duties, or authorising the conferring of powers and the imposition of duties, upon the Union or officers and authorities of the Union as respects that matter, notwithstanding that it is one which is not enumerated in the Union List:
Provided that where a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation only in any part of the territory of India,
(i) the executive power of the Union to give directions under clause (a), and
(ii) the power of Parliament to make laws under clause (b),
shall also extend to any State other than a State in which or in any part of which the Proclamation of Emergency is in operation if and in so far as the security of India or any part of the territory thereof is threatened by activities in or in relation to the part of the territory of India in which the Proclamation of Emergency is in operation.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the ground that the petitioner was facing six first information reports (FIRs).  (Bhagirathsinh Solanki vs State of Gujarat)
    • A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee said it cannot entertain a PIL by a petitioner who is facing series of criminal prosecutions. 
    • Chief Justice Agarwal said, You are facing 6 FIRs. Your credentials do not convince us to hear this PIL. We cannot entertain a PIL by such a petitioner. Sorry
    • the Chief Justice underscored, Though you have raised a cause of corruption in implementation of MNREGA scheme but we cannot consider your plea because you have six FIRs. Deal with all your own cases first and then do social work. We can’t hear your plea.
    • the Court said Let anyone else come directly with this issue but not you.
  2. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court constituted a monitoring committee to periodically review the recruitment and requirement of public prosecutors and additional public prosecutors in the trial courts of Delhi.
    • A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna said that the Committee will have Delhi government’s secretaries of Home, Law and Justice, Finance as well as Director, Directorate of Prosecution, Senior Advocate Rajiv K Virmani (amicus curiae in the case) and a representative of the Delhi High Court as its members.
    • The Court passed the directions while hearing a batch of petitions on issues related to recruitment, appointment and working of public prosecutors in the national capital. One of the petitions is a suo motu case initiated by the High Court and has been pending since the year 2009.
    • acting Chief Justice Manmohan highlighted that there is an urgent need to recruit more prosecutors as cases are piling up in trial courts and judges are waiting in their chambers because public prosecutors are being shared between many courts.
  3. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court denied bail to Jaysukhbhai Bhalodia (Patel), the Managing Director of Oreva Group, which was overseeing the maintenance and operations of the century-old suspension bridge called Julto Pul alias Morbi bridge.  (Jaysukhbhai Bhalodia (Patel) vs State of Gujarat)
    • Single-judge Justice Divyesh Joshi while denying bail to Bhalodia noted that he had made correspondence to the Collector as well as the Morbi Nagarpalika chief highlighting the fact that the bridge is old and badly in need of repairs.
    • Justice Joshi noted in the order, Therefore, at this juncture, at least, it can be said that the fact about dilapidated condition of the bridge was well within the knowledge of the applicant (Bhalodia). It is found that prima facie, he was having knowledge that this kind of unfortunate incident might occur for want of proper maintenance of the suspension bridge and even after having sufficient knowledge of the bridge’s condition, despite that, he gave permission to open the bridge for public.
    • Justice Joshi underscored, If he being the head of the company would have taken sufficient corrective measures then this kind of unforeseen incident could have been prevented and valuable and precious lives of innocent persons could have been saved.
    • the Court said it would not want to discuss anything on the merits and demerits of the case, since it has considered only the prima facie fact that Bhalodia was having sufficient knowledge right from the beginning about the condition of the bridge.
  4. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court ordered the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to “meticulously and expeditiously” look into the allegations of over-invoicing by power companies belonging to the Adani Group, Essar Group and others. (Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Anr v Union of India and Ors)
    • A Division Bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Mini Pushkarna asked the authorities to “unearth actual factual position” and “take appropriate action” as per law against the erring companies.
    • the Court ordered, In the peculiar facts of these cases, this Court finds it appropriate to direct the respondents to meticulously and expeditiously look into the allegations of the petitioners to unearth actual factual position and take appropriate actions against the erring companies, if any, as per law.
    • The petitions were filed in the year 2017 and sought the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the allegations.
    • The DRI told the Court that the investigation has been divided into multiple cases but due to the voluminous nature of cases, involving several stages and multiple countries, the process of investigation is extremely time consuming and complicated.
    • DRI presented some documents to show that cases are pending against various companies including those under the Adani and Essar Group.
    • the Court observed that as the petitioners are aggrieved by the inaction on part of respondent authorities and because a number of proceedings are pending before several other forums, it is appropriate to direct the authorities to expeditiously look into the allegations.
  5. On Monday the Lok Sabha passed the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023 to amend the CGST Act of 2017.
  6. Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court set aside a criminal case initiated on the orders of a trial court judge against a Haryana police officer, for allegedly submitting false information before the court, on finding that no sanction was obtained from the Haryana government before initiating such a case.  (Muniya Devi V/S State of Haryana)
  7. On Tuesday the Bombay High Court upheld an interim order passed by the court-appointed arbitrator in the contractual dispute between Max Healthcare, Care Hospitals and TPG Inc.  (Max Healthcare v. Care Hospitals)
  8. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court directed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to amend its rules within six months to allow women to join the force as constable/driver and driver-cum-pump operator.  (Kush Kalra v Union of India & Ors)
  9. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court has held that an Insolvency Professional (IP) or Resolution Professional (RP) cannot be held to be a “public servant” under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act).  (Dr Arun Mohan v. Central Bureau of Investigation)
  10. On Tuesday the Allahabad High Court held that the question of whether the Gyanvapi compound in Varanasi is a Hindu or Muslim religious place would have to be decided by a trial court and that the 1991 suit on this issue is not barred by the Places of Worship Act (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
  11. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking directions to replace the term ‘Central Government’ with ‘Union Government’ in all laws, legislations and official communications.  (Atmaram Saraogi v Union of India)
  12. On Tuesday the Makers of the Kannada film Aachar & Co have agreed to alter scenes showing a woman selling “Vimalaya” products after Himalaya Wellness Company filed a suit for copyright and trademark infringement before the Delhi High Court.  (Himalaya Wellness Company and Ors. vs PRK Productions LLP)
  13. On Tuesday the Bombay High Court granted bail to activist Gautam Navlakha, accused in Bhima Koregaon riot case of 2018.
  14. On Tuesday the Former Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar has moved the Bombay High Court challenging the sanction granted by the bank’s Board to prosecute her in the Videocon-ICICI Bank loan case.
  15. Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected a man’s plea for employment on compassionate grounds in view of his father’s death during the 1984 Operation Bluestar. (Bal Amrit Singh V/S Union of India)
  16. On Tuesday the Madras High Court set aside a trial court order that acquitted DMK minister K Ponmudi and his wife in a disproportionate assets case registered against the couple by the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC).
  17. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court imposed costs of ₹10,000 on a man who moved the Court claiming ownership of lands which today form parts of Agra, Meerut, Aligarh and 65 revenue estates of Delhi, Gurgaon and Uttarakhand.  (Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Prasad Singh v Union of India)
  18. Recently the Delhi High Court directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to disclose information related to a sexual harassment case to a complainant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
  19. On Monday the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) along with Live4Freedom LLP organised the first Fight for Justice Awards to honour litigants who won cases in the Supreme Court against all odds and whose tireless efforts resulted in landmark judgments as well as changes in the law.
  20. On Monay the Madhya Pradesh High Court granted bail to two students who were booked for stealing a judge’s car to transport a dying person to the hospital.  (Himanshu Shroti & Anr v. State)
  21. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court refused to pass any order on the plea by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mahua Moitra challenging the Government of India order to evict her from her government-allotted bungalow in the wake of her recent expulsion from the Lok Sabha.
  22. On Tuesday the Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest to officials and teaching staff of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology And Sciences (SHUATS), in a forced religious conversion case.  (Rajendra Bihari Lal and ors vs State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors.)
  23. On Tuesday the Allahabad High Court rejected a plea filed by the Muslim side challenging the maintainability of a 1991 civil suit filed by Hindu worshippers seeking rights to worship in premises currently occupied by the Gyanvapi mosque.
  24. On Monday the Gujarat High Court said the privacy of an individual needs to be protected by investigating agencies while enquiring about any case against him or her. (Maulikkumar Satishbhai Sheth vs Income Tax Officer, Assessment Unit, Ahmedabad)
  25. On Monay former Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said Many lawyers are filing ‘publicity interest litigations’ for media headlines which is subjecting the well-meaning innovation of public interest litigations (PIL) to ridicule.

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