Weekend Legal Updates

Saturday & Sunday, 19th&20th February 2022



Right to Freedom

Article – 21 Protection of life and personal liberty

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Article – 21A Right to education

The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

Saturday Legal Updates:-

  1. The Allahabad High Court observed while granting bail to a man who married a 14-year-old minor girl the scheme of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) did not intend to bring within its scope, cases where adolescents or teenagers are involved “in dense romantic affair.” (Atul Mishra v. State of Uttar Pradesh)
  2. The Calcutta High Court directed schools in the State to start physical classes in light of the improved COVID-19 situation. (Rajib Chakraborty and Ors v. The State of West Bengal and Ors.)
    •  the High Court had passed an order on October 13, 2020 directing that schools and other educational institutions could only charge fees for essential services rendered online, with 20% deduction.
    • The Court has now decided to modify this order, as well as other interim orders passed in the matter. The modifications are:
      • From February 16, 2022, order permitting deduction of 20% of school fees stands vacated.
      • Schools and other educational institutions shall be permitted to charge fees according to their policy and arrangement with the students.
      • Up to February 28, 2022, students shall pay school fees for online classes according to the interim orders passed by the Court so far.
      • In case of any dispute between the school fees claimed and the school fees payable for the period up to today, 50% of the demand by the school or the admitted amount by the student, whichever is higher, has to be paid by March 15, 2022.
      • Till March 31, 2022 or until further orders, whichever is earlier, no coercive action like expulsion of any student from the school, withholding of admit card to sit for any Board or school examination, withholding of mark-sheets or certificates on the ground of default in payment of school fees, shall be taken by the schools.
  3. The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court deprecated the State authorities for discouraging and depriving authorisation to women-run bachat gats (saving groups).  (Stawan Mahila Bachat Gat & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.)
    • “Woman empowerment being the motto of the State, in utter contrast, in this case the State authorities have undermined the four bachat gats and in a flippant manner have deprived them an opportunity of empowering several women in rural area … It is a matter of serious concern about the whole approach against the petitioner bachat gat who in a perfunctory manner were discouraged and deprived of the authorization granted in their favour on clumsy and a non existent grounds,” 
  4. The Allahabad High Court observed that a plea plea against use of loudspeakers in temples and mosques has been filed with the intention of affecting communal harmony in Uttar Pradesh during the ongoing assembly elections in the State, while rejecting the plea.  (Islamuddin v. Sri Rabindra Kumar Mander, DM Rampur And Another)
  5. Is Hindi the national language of India? This is one of the issues raised in a bail plea filed before the Supreme Court by a Telugu speaker challenging an observation by Bombay High Court in this regard.  (Gangam Sudhir Kumar Reddy v. State of Maharashtra)
    • The Bombay High Court had refused bail to appellant Gangam Sudhir Kumar Reddy with an observation that Hindi, the language in which Reddy was informed of his statutory rights, is the national language.
    • “The applicant was communicated about his right in Hindi which is National language. Applicant was apprehended from Mumbai. The fact that applicant was carrying out business of Tours and Travel, prompts this Court to believe at this stage that he must be aware about the topography and signals of the local language. As such, it can be presumed at this stage that the applicant was aware about Hindi language in which he was communicated about his right under Section 50 of the Act,” 
  6. The Supreme Court observed that in cases where women’s safety at workplace is a concern, the State is duty-bound to create an atmosphere conducive to their employment, rather than thwart and stifle their choice. (Hotel Priya, A Proprietorship v State of Maharashtra)
    • Appellants were owners of orchestra bars who were required to seek licences for the same subject to certain conditions.
    • The Commissioner of Police ordered additional conditions to the already existing including a gender cap on artists.
    • This cap was challenged for being violative of Articles Article 14 and Article 19(1)(g). But the condition was upheld by the High Court.
    • The Supreme Court set aside the High Court order while holding that the conditions directly transgressed Article 15 (1) and Article 19 (1) (g).
    • The court opined that such measures operated to limit or exclude altogether women’s choice of their avocation.
  7. National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU) is preparing to completely digitise its library. This move will not only help students navigate tomes and other information seamlessly, but will also help curb piracy and set an example for other institutions to follow suit. Housing nearly 40,000 books and over 30,000 journals and reports, the library is one of the largest in India.
  8. On Thursday Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy told the Supreme Court that when a person is accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002 (PMLA), the process and procedure under the Act itself becomes a punishment.  (Sweta Mangal vs Union of India and others)
  9. On Thursday the Punjab & Haryana High Court quashed the charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh for using casteist slur ‘bhangi’.  (Yuvraj Singh v. State of Haryana)
    • the first information report (FIR) relating to charges under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (SC/ST Act), stating that the cricketer had used the term in a pejorative sense.
    • the single-Judge observed, “Keeping in view the aims and objectives of the Act, in my opinion if the effect of the word used is causing emotional hurt, humiliation etc. to any members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, a particular caste name having been used in a derogatory manner, even if the intention of the petitioner was obviously not to actually so hurt any person, yet it would not entitle this court to quash the FIR on that ground,
    • The charges under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups, acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the Indian Penal Code were ruled as not being made out as the “the petitioner did not intentionally mean to cause any dis-respect or harm or even humiliation to any class of people,
  10. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to appoint a Lokayukta in Delhi, a post which has been lying vacant since December 2020.  (Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v Union of India and Others)
    • “Petitioner also submits that State Government is not willing to weed-out mafias including land mafia, drug mafia, liquor mafia, mining mafia, medicine mafia, hospital mafia, gold mafia, transfer-posting mafia, betting mafia, tender mafia, hawala mafia, school mafia, coaching mafia, illegal immigration mafia, conversion mafia, superstition and black magic mafia and white-collar mafias, who divide society on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth. Therefore, being protector of fundamental rights, this Hon’ble Court may direct the Government to appoint the Lokayukta within one month,”
    • Petitioner submits that the fulcrum of democracy is the fair electoral process. If the integrity of the electoral process is compromised then the notion of representation becomes vacuous. Political parties are promising irrational freebies but not fulfilling essential promises. So, the danger to democracy and the Indian republic cannot be gained,” 

Sunday Legal Updates :-

  1. Senior Advocate Manan Kumar Mishra has been elected chairperson of the Bar Council of India (BCI) unopposed for the 6th consecutive term. It is for the first time in the history of the BCI that someone has been elected unopposed, as the BCI chairperson 6 consecutive times. Previously, Senior Advocate late Ram Jethmalani, had been elected as chairperson for four terms.
  2. Senior Advocate S Prabhakaran was elected vice-chairperson for the second consecutive term. He was also elected unopposed. The tenure of the newly elected office-bearers will start from April 17, 2022 and they will hold their respective offices till April 16, 2025.
  3. The Supreme Court observed that once a decree passed by the trial court has merged with the judgment and decree passed by the High Court, any application for correction of decree can then be maintained only before the concerned High Court.  (B Boriah through Legal Representatives v. MG Thirthaprasad and Others)
  4. Today Former Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur lamented the reaction of the executive and courts in India to hate speech, particularly by Ministers. “We’ve had, in Delhi, a Minister saying “Goli Maaro”. What is that, if not incitement to kill?
  5. The Kerala High Court observed that wife making discreet phone calls to another man during odd hours of the night, disregarding the warning of the husband amounts to matrimonial cruelty, while allowing a plea for dissolution of marriage. The judgment which was rendered in August 2021 said that physical violence is not absolutely essential to constitute cruelty.
    • “Making discreet phone calls frequently by the wife with another man disregarding the warning of the husband, that too at odd hours, amounts to matrimonial cruelty,” 
    • the Court said, To constitute cruelty, the conduct and behaviour of one spouse towards the other need only be of such a nature that it causes reasonable apprehension in the mind of the latter that it is not safe for him/her to continue the marital tie.
  6. The Supreme Court deprecated a Bombay High Court order by which the High Court had admitted a petition but refused to grant interim relief, thereby, rendering the matter infructuous.
    • the Court said, “In any matter, more so of this nature, there is no charity to be done by the Court by admitting the matter and making it infructuous and adding to the arrear list of the High Court. Either the writ was liable to be allowed or dismissed. After opining it was required to be dismissed, we see no point why it was admitted,” 
    • the Court directed, “We are thus of the view that the appropriate course of action would be to set aside the impugned order to the extent it grants admission and says no stay with a direction that the matter be examined in the contours of the aforesaid controversy at the admission stage itself and a view taken on merits one way or the other,” 
  7. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) last week rejected a plea by Go Airlines challenging an order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai permitting withdrawal of insolvency proceedings against Sovika Aviation Services.  (Go Airlines (India) Ltd. v. Sovika Aviation Pvt Ltd & Ors)
    • Go Airlines was the operational creditor of Sovika Airlines who filed their claim learning about the insolvency proceedings.
    • When the resolution professional (RP) was in the process of verifying the claims, the NCLT Mumbai had allowed an application filed under Section 12A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) seeking withdrawal of Corporate Insolvency Process (CIRP) against Sovika on September 23, 2021.
    • the NCLAT said, “The fact that claim of the appellant (Go Airlines) has not been entertained in the insolvency resolution process, there shall be no bar for the Appellant to take the appropriate legal remedy as permissible in law,” 

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