Today’s Legal Updates

Wednesday, 19th October 2022




Article – 318 Power to make regulations as to conditions of service of members and staff of the Commission.

In the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, the President and, in the case of a State Commission, the Governor of the State may by regulations—

(a) determine the number of members of the Commission and their conditions of service.
(b) make provision with respect to the number of members of the staff of the Commission and their conditions of service:
Provided that the conditions of service of a member of a Public Service Commission shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court said it was disturbed to see the stray cattle menace in Ahmedabad and other major cities in the State and ordered the authorities to come up with concrete measures to tackle the issue.
    • Chief Justice Kumar remarked, I have never seen any police constable at any important places in Ahmedabad. You can see one or two at only one or two places but nowhere beyond those places. Only you all (authorities) can come with a solution easily.
    • the Chief Justice remarked, We are very very disturbed to see all this.
    • the AG said, What I propose is, during the festive season, we all will sit together and come out with a concrete proposal for controlling cattle menace. We have increased patrolling. It’s not that we haven’t worked in fact all departments have worked like anything.
    • the AG responded, We will ensure that your perception is changed.
    • CJ told to the AG, But you will have to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during this festive season.
    • CJ Kumar orally observed, Mr. AG, we aren’t happy at all. What is this ₹2 lakh? He (the deceased) was merely 35 (years)… Too small kid he was… Also, what sin he committed? You give ₹3 lakh even to victims of hooch tragedy, so why can’t you just enhance this ₹2 lakh? Please enhance this amount or we will pass orders.
    • CJ Kumar maintained, Now (after enhancing amount) you will be more vigilant on this issue. However, we would give you liberty to recover the amount from the cattle owner too. But this amount of ₹2 lakh is too less.
    • the bench ordered, We thought you (AMC) will be gracious enough to pay an enhanced compensation. But we were probably wrong. Now pay ₹5 lakh by Wednesday since your commissioner is present in the court today.
  2. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court granted ad-interim relief to Pidilite Industries Ltd., manufacturer of adhesive Fevi Kwik, in a trademark infringement suit initiated by it against Fixo Industries which manufactures adhesive Fixo Kwik.  (Pidilite Industries Ltd. vs Fixo Industries and Anr.)
    • the Court said, There is sufficient material placed on record to show that prima facie the mark allegedly being used by the defendants would have the tendency of causing confusion in the mind of a purchaser. The use of the word ‘KWIK’ and the sentence ‘ONE DROP INSTANT ADHESIVE’ along with the image of a globe create deception and it is found that there is a likelihood of consumer being confused when the defendants’ product is placed before him.
  3. On Wednesday a plea has been moved before the Bombay High Court contending that courts taking long vacations is a violation of fundamental rights of citizens since litigants right to seek justice is affected by the such long vacations.  (Sabina Lakdawala v. Chief Justice of Bombay High Court & Ors.)
    • the plea said, Such practice of long vacations is liable to be brought to an end.
    • the plea filed through advocate Mathews Nedumpara stated, The long vacations that are relic of the colonial era has to greater extent contributed in the further collapse of the justice delivery system that is already on the ventilation. The long vacation suits the convenience of elite lawyers, a microscopic minority.
    • the petition said, Court vacation, a relic of our colonial past, was justified at a time when majority of the judges were Englishmen who were not adjusted to the extreme summers of India, and they needed long vacations to travel by sea to England. It was a necessity then, today, it is a luxury that the country can ill afford.
    • Lakdawala contended, Requisite break for lawyers and judges can be provided without the entire institution being shut down.
  4. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court initiated a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) under the caption “Protection and rehabilitation of children in streets” to look into the issues faced by nomadic children who are often found begging or selling knick knacks on the streets.  (Suo Moto v The Secretary to Government & Ors.)
    • the order initiating the PIL stated, Taking note of the incident relating to the nomadic children begging or selling knick-knacks at busy junctions and tourist spots and also their plight that they should be taken care of, sent to shelter homes or repatriated, instant suo motu public interest litigation is initiated. Photographs in the news reports also indicate that the children are sleeping on platforms or roads and that respondents are bound to provide them adequate care and protection in terms of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  5. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court said that it will decide the issue of whether a person charged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) should be provided a copy of report prepared by the public prosecutor at the time of extension of his remand by the trial court for a further period of 90 days.
    • The questions framed by the bench are:
      • Whether at the time of grant of extension of time for further period of 90 days of remand by judge under section 43D(2) of UAPA, copy of report of the public prosecutor has to be provided to the accused;
      • Whether at the stage of extension of remand for the period of 90 days, the report of the public prosecutor should satisfy the three requirements i.e. progress of investigation carried out, whether further investigation is required to be done and whether continued detention of the accused for further investigation for the next 90 days is necessary;
      • Whether the special court can grant extension of remand for further 90 days beyond the initial period of 90 days in one go or the said remand should be granted as per requirement of investigation so as to oversee progress of investigation in next 90 days.
  6. On Wednesday the Supreme Court held that for an educational charitable institution, society or trust to claim income tax exemption under under Section 10(23C) of the Income Act, such institutions cannot have objects which are unrelated to education and should not engage in any activity of profit.  (New Noble Education Society vs Chief Commissioner of IT)
    • the Court held, All objects of the society, trust etc., must relate to imparting education or be in relation to educational activities….Where the objective of the institution appears to be profit-oriented, such institutions would not be entitled to approval under Section 10(23C) of the IT Act. At the same time, where surplus accrues in a given year or set of years per se, it is not a bar, provided such surplus is generated in the course of providing education or educational activities.
  7. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court asked the Delhi government to decide within four months a representation demanding recognition of transgender persons as third gender in the tickets handed out in city’s public transport buses run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
    • the plea stated, The misery of the members of the transgender community is further enhanced, when the conductor on a routine basis berates such persons for choosing the female gender, as the conductor accuses them of trying to procure free bus tickets.
    • it said, Furthermore, providing cost-free travel to persons belonging to the TG (transgender) community in DTC buses would be a promotion of social equality as the TG Community has always been shunned by society and treated as a community of untouchables.
    • The plea added, A reduction in cost of travel for the TG Community would help in integrating them into the larger societal framework and give them an opportunity to live with dignity as currently a large number of persons belonging to the community are economically/socially downtrodden.
  8. On Wednesday the Madras High Court observed that Thirukkural, the classic Tamil language text that consists of couplets propagating a virtuous way of life, is a holy book like Bible and Quran.
    • the Court said, There can be no dispute that Thirukkural, a Holy book like the Bible and Quran, has been accepted to be universally applicable to every day life to every sphere and has been translated in more than 90 languages. It has been considered as the gem of moral philosophies covering all branches of life. It is also known as truthful utterances.
    • the high court said, This court deems it appropriate to direct the respondent authorities to give wide publication about the availability of sangam literature, including Thirukkural in braille form in Tamil language, so as to enable all the persons visually challenged, to read, recite, understandand enjoy the glory and culture of this land.
  9. On Wednesday the Supreme Court refused to stay the Delhi High Court order that directed St Stephen’s College, Delhi to admit non-minority students only on the basis of their scores in the Common Undergraduate Entrance Test (CUET) without any weightage to interviews.  (St Stephens College v. Delhi University and ors)
    • Sibal submitted, If my Lordships say no [to our argument that only marks should not determine merit], my Article 30 right to select is gone.
    • Justice Rastogi asked, Mr Sibal, everyone may be desperate for admission but not fortunate enough to get it [admission in St Stephen’s]. Does your interview process make it tougher? Our question is what is the mechanism and objective assessment available in black and white that you have?
    • Justice Ravikumar asked Sibal, If uniformity is now being brought in [through CUET], what is the relevance of the interview any more?
  10. On Wednesday A Kerala Court discharged Sriram Venkitaraman of a culpable homicide charge in a 2019 road rage case which resulted in the death of journalist, KM Basheer.
    • Additional District and Sessions Judge -I, Thiruvananthapuram discharged Venkitaraman for the offences under 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 201(causing disappearance of evidence of commission of offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act (MV Act), and Section 3(1)(2) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
    • the Court framed charges against Venkitaraman under Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304(A) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and Section 184 Of MV Act.
  11. On Tuesday the Allahabad High Court observed that a special court for trying cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act), can treat an application under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) as a complaint.  (Naresh Kumar Valmiki & Ors. v State of UP & Ors)
    • the Court held, The view taken in the case of Soni Devi vs. State of UP that an application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. cannot be treated as a complaint case is incorrect. The court concerned while exercising its judicial discretion can treat the said application as a complaint case also…In view of our aforesaid discussions, a Special Judge or court so established can treat an application under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. as a complaint and proceed further in accordance with law.
    • the Court held, The second proviso to Section 14 of the Act makes it clear that the Special Court so established or specified shall have powers to directly take cognizance of offence under this Act.
  12. On Wednesday the Madras High Court quashed a sexual harassment case against self-proclaimed godman Siva Shankar Baba, after noting that while the incident allegedly occurred between the years 2010 and 2011, the first information report (FIR) was registered only in 2021 and the prosecution failed to file an application before the magistrate seeking condonation of such delay.
    • the judgment said, Though the allegations made by the second respondent is serious in nature, because of the absence of any petition under Section 473 Cr.P.C. to condone the delay filed along with the complainant, the case becomes barred by limitation. In the said circumstances, I feel that the investigation cannot serve any fruitful purpose and for the reasons of technical flaw, the FIR is liable to be quashed.
    • the Court said, In the instant case, the petitioner / accused is an influential religious person who projected himself as the star of hope for many people and for whom there were lot of devotees. The serious allegations of beastful attitude of the petitioner have been made recently. There are serious complaints against the petitioner that the children studying in his school were the targets for his sexual exploitations. It is not uncommon when long suppressed illegal acts of any influential person is brought out, many people affected by him will get emboldened and courageous to report about the unlawful acts. The second respondent / de facto complaint has stated in her complaint that she tried to swallow the bitter part of her life as she was helpless at the time when the offence was committed.
    • the Court ordered, Accordingly, the Criminal Original Petition is allowed and the case in Cr. No.2 of 2021 on the file of the first respondent is hereby quashed,.
  13. Ahead of Diwali festivities this year, the Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government and the Pollution Control Board to ensure that only green firecrackers with QR codes are sold in the State. (Sabuj Mancha v. the State of West Bengal)
    • the Court said, We hope and trust that the festival of lights does not become a cause for concern where the demon of pollution poisons our air and leads to irreparable damage to the health of the population at large.
    • The directions issued are:
      • a) No firecrackers other than green crackers bearing QR Code would be sold in the Bazi-Bazar which is proposed to be held in Kolkata on and from 18.10.2022.
      • b) State Pollution Control Board as well as the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata shall deploy appropriate number of personnel in the Bazi Bazar to ensure implementation of the aforesaid direction.
      • c) The representatives of the State Pollution Control Board and the police personnel shall be at liberty to inspect the firecrackers which are sold at Bazi Bazar and the police personnel shall seize any banned firecrackers which are offered for sale in the bazar.
      • d) Representatives of PESO/NEERI shall also be present at the Bazi Bazar and assist the Pollution Control Board/ police personnel to determine whether the firecrackers which are offered for sale bearing the requisite QR Code;
      • e) Similar exercise shall be undertaken by Pollution Control Board and police authorities to prevent importation and sale of firecrackers other than green firecrackers bearing QR Code in any place in the State of West Bengal;
      • f) All necessary steps shall be taken by the police authorities/PCB Officials to ensure only green crackers are burst during the festive season strictly in compliance with the directions of the Pollution Control Board vide Memo No. 321-3L/WPBE(VI)/2020 dated 26.10.2021.
      • g) State Pollution Control Board and the State of West Bengal shall undertake public awareness measures including issuance of advertisements in newspapers, announcements on radio/ television/social media platforms etc. to spread awareness with regard to restrictions on sale and bursting of crackers during festive season and its beneficial impact on pollution and environment. It shall also make members of the public aware of the penal consequences arising from sale and bursting of banned crackers.
  14. On Wednesday the Patna High Court made strong observations against the Bihar government for failing to implement the Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, resulting in risking the lives of citizens. (Niraj Singh v State of Bihar)
    • the order said, Not only the police official, excise official, but also officers of the State Tax department and the transport department love liquor ban, for them it means big money.
    • The life of majority of the poor section of the State who are facing wrath of the Act are daily wagers who are only earning member of their family.
    • The State authorities have failed to implement complete prohibition in the State of Bihar to safeguard the health, life and liberty of the people at large and their confidence.
    • The Bench also asked the State to focus more on preventive steps to stop sale and consumption of liquor in the State. It said that in most of the cases it is the State officers who facilitate the illegal activities which happen under their nose but is the poor people who are caught and put behind bars.
    • The life of the people has been put at great risk not only by spurious liquor but also by the rampant use of illicit drugs.
  15. On Tuesday the Madras High Court dismissed a petition filed by Member of Parliament Thol Thirumavalavan seeking that the court review its September order where it had granted permission to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct a state wide route march on October 2.
    • the Court said, Insofar as the prayer to grant leave is concerned, admittedly, the petitioner is not a party to all the Writ Petitions and he is no way connected with the Writ Petitioners. The relief sought for in the Writ Petitions is that they were seeking permission to conduct procession and public meeting on 02.10.2022. The grievance of the petitioner is that the petitioner also sought for permission to conduct procession on the same day in all parts of Tamil Nadu. However, the said request was also rejected by the authority concerned. If at all the petitioner aggrieved by the order passed by this Court, he can very well challenge the said order in the manner known to law. Therefore, the petitioner has no locus to review the order passed by this Court.
  16. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court dismissed a plea filed by the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena against the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) which had refused permission to the Uddhav faction to organise Diwali Pahat at a Thane location. (Mandar Pramod Vichare  v Thane Municipal Corporation)
    • the plea said, The order is ex-facie illegal and abuse of process of law, nullity, void, against the principles of equity and natural justice, a gross abuse of the powers and jurisdiction, a gross misuse of the process of law, arbitrary and unlawful because the application off the respondent nos. 3 and 4 is shown to have received backdated/ antedated and granted surreptitiously.
    • the plea said, The entire exercise done by the present respondents is completely motivated to harass the petitioners and out of political rivalry.
    • the plea said explaining that the petitioners had no option but to approach the court, All citizens of India have a right of equality. but this very essence of democracy enshrined as a constitutional right has been given a backseat, at the helm of power wielding person.
  17. On Wednesday the A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed before Bombay High Court alleging that Uddhav Thackeray and his family hold disproportionate assets and should be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).  (Gouri Bhide and Anr. vs Union of India and Ors.)
    • the Bench said, First clear out the office objections and when the objections are removed and petition is ready, the same will be taken up for hearing.
    • the plea added, It is crystal clear that the huge undisclosed properties, cash and other wealth found with those persons have a close nexus to Respondent No.5 to No.7.
    • the plea stated, The unaccounted money gathered from BMC and other sources might have been dishonestly digested into the accounts of the above mentioned company and fictitious figures of profit have been shown for this digestion. This is not just a guess or baseless allegation. The Statement of Accounts of these companies will clearly reveal the fact. However, a thorough and impartial investigation needs to be there.
    • I have a hunch that activist Shri Kirit Somaiya or even both the respondent central agencies must have huge information and links pertaining to the respondents 5 to 8.
  18. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court dismissed a petition filed by Samata Party challenging the decision of the Election Commission to allot the symbol of ‘mashal’ (flaming torch) to Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena faction – ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) party’.
    • the Court said, In such circumstances, the petitioner does not have any right over the symbol in question.
    • the Court said in its order, In absence of any right demonstrable before this court, the petitioner cannot seek the mandamus for quashing the impugned (ECI) communication.
  19. Last Week the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court that it will issue occupation certificates (OC) for new projects only after applicants receive a water connection certificate for the said project.
    • the order uploaded on Tuesday, We are entirely satisfied with the statements made on Affidavit by the MCGM. They fully address our concerns. We record our appreciation of the pro-active approach and the cooperative stand taken by the MCGM and its officials, including the Municipal Commissioner.
    • The Court said that this gesture of goodwill on part of the developer could not be termed “water supply” to a residential building.
    • The Court also expressed disappointment at BMC’s method of administration of civic affairs and directed it to formulate a policy to protect the interests of residents.
  20. On Tuesday the the Delhi High Court upheld the conviction and life sentence of a man for the rape of his 1-year-old niece in December 2012, While noting the alarming rise in the number of sexual offences against minors.  (Bagender Manjhi v. State (Govt. of NCT) Delhi)
    • the judgment stated, The offences against minors, more particularly sexual assault are increasing alarmingly and it is, therefore, necessary for the courts to imbibe the legislative wisdom. The plight of a victim and the shock suffered can be felt instinctively; as the victim of rape is left devastated by the traumatic experience, as well as an unforgettable shame; being haunted by the memory of the horrific experience forcing her into a state of terrifying melancholia.
    • the judgment stated, Nothing can be more heinous than a crime committed on a child. It is trite to state that it is necessary for the Courts to have a sensitive approach when dealing with cases of child rape. The effect of such a crime on the mind of the child is likely to be lifelong.
  21. On Wednesday the Supreme Court said that a petition before it against frequent internet shutdowns across the country will be listed before a three-judge bench.
    • the counsel for the petitioner submitted, After Anuradha Bhasin it was stated that internet shutdowns cannot happen so rampantly. But we have seen so many internet shutdowns across India.
    • CJI Lalit replied, We will list this before a three-judge bench.
  22. On Wednesday the Supreme Court heard a litigant via mobile phone though it refused to grant any relief to the party.
    • Justice Chandrachud said, We cannot give a seat if haven’t sat for the exam this year, no seat.
    • Justice Kohli said, Ma’am we cannot give admission like this, it will open a floodgate of litigation since she has not sat for the exam.
  23. On Tuesday the Supreme Court opined that homebuyers in the Maradu municipality who purchased flats, which were later demolished for violation of environmental norms, are equally responsible for the same as builders and authorities.
    • Justice Nagarathna remarked, What is the responsibility of the homebuyers? Can they buy anywhere just because builder is building? We have to balance everyone’s interest, everyone must face the music. These were not rural or illiterate people.
  24. On Wednesday the Special Court hearing the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain has said that “judicial propriety demands” it does not further hear the case in view of the recent transfer of the money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Jain to another court. (CBI v. Satyender Kumar Jain & Ors)
    • the order said, Considering the facts and circumstances, which have arisen during the course of arguments on bail application in Directorate of Enforcement v. Satyendar Kumar Jain and subsequent transfer of the said matter from this Court, judicial propriety demands that this Court does not further hear this matter to allay any apprehension of probable bias.
  25. Last Week the Allahabad High Court issued notice to Attorney General for India R Venkataramani and Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh, Ajay Kumar Mishra in a plea challenging constitutionality of the Waqf Act, 1995. (Ashish Tewari v UOI)
    • As validity of an enactment of the parliament is under challenge, let notice be issued to Attorney General of India, Advocate General of U.P. and the respondent no. 3 for December 15, 2022.
    • the petition said, In the impugned Act there is no safeguard for Hindus and non-Islamic communities to save their religious and private properties from being included in the list of Waqf issued by the Government or by the Waqf Boards and Hindu and other religious communities are being discriminated and the impugned provisions violate Articles 14, 15, 25, 27 and 300-A of the Constitution of India. The provisions contained in Sections 4, 5, 36 and 40 of the Waqf Act, 1995 are not in conformity with the theme underlying Article 14 of the Constitution of India as no proper safeguard has been provided against the inclusion of any property as waqf property.
    • In case Waqf Board has reason to believe that any property of Trust or Society is a Waqf property it may call upon the Trust or Society to show cause as to why such property be not registered as Waqf property. The decision of the Board is final subject to any order passed by Tribunal. Thus the fate of properties of Trust or Societies are subject to the will of the Board and in other words they have been placed as Subordinates to Waqf Boards, which is absolutely in violation of the provisions contained in Article 14 15, 26 and 300-A of the Constitution of India.

Legal Prudent Fraternity