Today’s Legal Updates

Monday, 1st August 2022



CHAPTER- I THE EXECUTIVE (Conduct of Government Business)

Article – 78 Duties of Prime Minister as respects the furnishing of information to the President, etc.

It shall be the duty of the Prime Minister—
(a) to communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation;
(b) to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation as the President may call for; and
(c) if the President so requires, to submit for the consideration of the Council of Ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but which has not been considered by the Council.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Monday the Supreme Court allowed the impleadment applications to make all those High Courts, in the case seeking declaration of virtual hearing as a fundamental right, which have stopped entertaining virtual-hearing requests, a party to the case before the top court.  (All India Association of Jurists vs Uttarakhand High Court and ors)
    • The CJI-led Bench had earlier directed that the case be placed before a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud, who is also the chairman of the e-courts project of the Supreme Court.
    • The plea filed by the All India Jurists Association, a body of more than 5,000 lawyers across the country, and journalist Sparsh Upadhyay of Livelaw, has sought a declaration that right to participate in court proceedings through virtual courts via video conference is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) and (g) of the Constitution.
    • The petitioner-association has contended that the High Courts of Uttarakhand, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala were not providing joining links for attending cases through virtual mode. Their plea argues that the denial of access to the facility of hearing cases through virtual mode is akin to denial of fundamental Rights under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
    • The plea filed through advocate Sriram Parakkat has stated that virtual courts and conducting cases through video conference by resorting to use of information, communication and technology is a fundamental right available to every lawyer under Article 19(1)(a) and (g) of the Constitution.
  2. On Monday A Special Court in Kerala sentenced Thadiyantavida Nazeer and his accomplice to 7 years rigorous imprisonment in the Kalamassery bus burning case of 2005. Another accused was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for the same crime.  (Union of India v Nazeer Thadiyantavidatha @ Ummer Haji & Ors.)
    • The case stems from an incident in September 2005, when a Tamil Nadu government-owned bus operating between Ernakulam and Salem was set on fire.
    • The NIA charge-sheeted 13 persons in the case in 2010, including Thadiyantavida Nazeer, a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who has been behind bars for over a decade now.
    • the Court said in its judgment, The accused persons had been quite young at the time of perpetration of the crime. Their familial circumstances are also among other circumstances to weigh. There has to be a balancing between the aggravating circumstances and mitigating circumstances mentioned supra. The accused persons have volunteered to raise their plea to permit to plead guilty. No proscribed organisation has been seemed to be involved in the perpetration of the crime.
    • the judgment, Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and also considering the fact that no proscribed organisation had been involved in the perpetration of the crime, I find that the accused persons Shri. Nazeer Thadiyantavidatha (A1) and Shri. Sabir Buhari (A5) can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term of 7 years each under those counts. They shall also pay a fine at the rate of Rs.50,000/- each for those offences. Default sentences will follow. In case of Shri. Thajudin (A7), he can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term of 6 years each under those counts. He shall also pay a fine at the rate of Rs.25,000/- each for those offences. Default sentences will follow.
  3. On Monday the Central Administrative Tribunal (Guwahati Bench) Bar Association has moved the Gauhati High Court challenging the appointment of retired Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Justice Ranjit Vasantrao More as the chairperson of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). (Central Administrative Tribunal (Guwahati Bench) Bar Association vs Union of India)
    • the petition said, Such consideration by the SCSC is void ab initio and clearly not sustainable in the eyes of law.
  4. On Monday the Supreme Court declined to entertain a plea by NCLT Bar Association seeking extension of tenure of 23 members of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) who were appointed for a term of three years on September 20, 2019.  (NCLT Bar Association vs Union of India)
    • The Supreme Court said that, the bar association cannot have a choice in which members should be there in the tribunal and for how long.
    • the Court said, We are of the view that the appropriate course of action would be to allow the selection process to continue so that it can be concluded soon. Only point which can be stated is that vacancies should be filled expeditiously.
    • the court noted, When the September 2019 notification was brought to notice, Centre had extended the tenure of 2 judicial and 6 technical members to 5 years.
    • The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that such a request cannot be entertained in the face of two supervening instances, namely:
      1. For the first tranche of 15 vacancies, the appointments by the Union Cabinet will be finalised within four to six weeks.
      2. For the second tranche of 15 vacancies, the Search-cum-Selection committee headed by a Supreme Court judge has issued an advertisement and the last date of sending applications is by August 15.
  5. On Monday the Delhi High Court has held that individuals who are members of associations or clubs like the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) are not allowed to be in permanent possession of more than two firearms under the Arms Act 1959.  (Meet Malhotra v Union of India and Ors)
    • the Court said, Acceptance of this contention would lead to absurd results with a person by virtue of being a member of an association or club being recognised in law to hold any number of firearms. This would essentially put such an individual at par with a dealer of firearms and rifle associations and clubs.
    • the Court said, the Act on a fundamental plane neither recognises nor confers a special or distinct status upon members of the NRAI or State Rifle Associations or their affiliates. Members of such associations are not conferred a special status either under the Act or the Rules. While a person may be a member of such an association or club, his individual right to bear or possess a firearm continues to be controlled and governed by the provisions of the Act which deal with any other ordinary citizen who may choose to apply for the grant of a licence.
    • (19) “dealer” means a person who, by way of trade or business, buys, sells, tests (other than proof-test), exports, imports or transfers or keeps for sale, or test (other than proof-test) arms or ammunition and includes the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the State Rifle Associations affiliated to NRAI or directly affiliated units of NRAI.
    • the single-judge held, The logic and the reason behind exempting dealers from the restriction of two firearms is neither difficult to comprehend nor far to seek. A person who is engaged in the trade of selling, buying, exporting or importing firearms would obviously have in his possession more than two firearms. Similarly, NRAI or other rifle associations and clubs would undoubtedly have more than two firearms at any given point of time. In any case, any doubt that may have been remotely harboured in this respect is laid to rest by virtue of the express exemption orders issued by the Union Government in exercise of powers conferred by Section 41.
    • The provisions of Section 3(3) cannot be fragmented or dismembered. It must be read cohesively. Viewed in light of the above, the Court comes to the definite conclusion that a member of an association or club is statutorily accorded the permission to temporarily be in possession of a firearm in excess of two only in case he be holding or be in possession of an additional weapon which may be licensed to the club or association.
  6. On Monday Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, Justice SS Shinde retired from office after fourteen years at the bench.
    • he said, My endeavour has always been to ensure speedy justice to all, especially downtrodden, underprivileged and weaker sections of the society so that faith and confidence of the public in judiciary is great.
    • he stated, I used to often sit in court, beyond working hours, sometimes till 8.30 pm or exceptionally till 9 pm. This was only possible with the support and cooperation of my bench partners, members of the bar and my staff members who tirelessly worked to assist me.
    • Justice Shrivastava said, His work with legal service authorities helped make justice for many a reality. For 15 years has been champion of justice, maintaining probity of the highest standard. We’ve been testimony to his hard work across matters and diverse jurisdiction that reflect his understanding of the law with a justice-oriented approach…His utmost humility, sincerity have won him admirers across the country, myself included. Good commitment and hard work, going beyond working hours has been recognised in parliament recently.
    • he said, Today after rendering more than 14 years of service to the temple of justice, I will retiring as Chief Justice with utmost satisfaction as whatever I did was for the betterment of the judiciary…Living like a hermit, and working like a horse.
    • he said, When I came here as Chief Justice, I was extended a warm and affectionate welcome. I was deeply touched and overwhelmed by the humbleness and kindness shown by everyone.
    • he said, Maharashtra has a long history.. It is naturally a beautiful and lively place. Mumbai is fondly called the city of dreams. It is also a city with strong historical links. It is noteworthy that the Bombay High Court enjoys high esteem.. Many multi-talented and versatile personalities practiced law in Bombay High Court at some point or another. It is really a matter of pride for me to appointed as a judge of such a premier institution.
    • he said, Before concluding I may state here that no person is perfect. I am no exception. I always try to be calm, if at all at any point of time, I was harsh to any advocate, especially a young advocate. I can only say that I did it in the interest of institution. My sincere apology if I have hurt anybody even remotely.
  7. On Monday the Central Government has notified the appointment of seven judicial officers as judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
    • The four judicial officers appointed as permanent judges are:
      1. Adusumalli Venkata Ravindra Babu
      2. Dr Vakkalagadda Radha Krishna Krupa Sagar
      3. Syamsunder Bandaru
      4. Srinivas Vutukuru
    • The three judicial officers appointed as additional judges are:
      1. Boppana Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Chakravarthi
      2. Tallapragada Mallikarjuna Rao
      3. Duppala Venkata Ramana
  8. On Monday the State CID’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) told the Bombay High Court that it would either form a fresh team of officers to further investigate the murder of activist Govind Pansare or is willing to transfer the probe to the State’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).
    • Justice Dere said, We believe that if a new team of the CID is appointed or even if the probe is transferred to the ATS, it would mean to start from point zero. Thus, we would suggest if few officers of the ATS could be made part of the existing SIT to probe the case further.
    • At this, Justice Dere said, But Mr Mundargi, this would serve the purpose. Please take instructions if officers from the ATS, especially those who probed the Nalasopara arms haul case in 2018 could be made part of the present SIT.
    • Nevagi highlighted, The crime took place in 2013 yet the trial in this case has not commenced. It may be noted that in similar crimes wherein these accused shot down rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, the trial has started.
    • he contended, They got a breakthrough from that case. Some accused arrested in that case were named as accused and identified as sharp shooters in the cases of Kalburgi and Dabholkar. The sharpshooters, who shot Pansare are yet to be brought to the book.
    • the Court enquired, When it is your case that some competent officers were looking after this case. What are you going to achieve by bringing in fresh officers in the team?
    • judges Mundargi told, The duo is wanted even in Kalburgi case. In fact, CBI, NIA both the central agencies have failed in tracing them. Our existing SIT comprising of 30 to 35 officers also have been trying our best to locate them. We are yet to succeed.
  9. On Monday the Gwalior Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court refused to interfere with an order of the trial court denying a request for DNA testing for determination of paternity in a property dispute. (Urmila Singh v Saudan Singh)
    • the judge reasoned, This is because such tests impinge upon the right of privacy of an individual and could also have major societal repercussions.
  10. On Monday the Calcutta High Court allowed the office-bearers of the High Court Bar Association to complete the last rites of a deceased advocate whose body went unclaimed.  (Manabendranath Bandhopadhyay v. State of West Bengal & Ors)
    • The State authorities are directed to hand over the dead body of deceased Kaushik Dey to the petitioner/Mr. Kallol Mondal (Vice President of Bar Association)/Mr. Biswabrata Basu Mallick (Secretary of the Bar Association) without any unnecessary delay as per rule on completion of due formalities. We make it clear that handing over of the body is for the limited purpose of performance of last rites and will not affect any legal right of any legal heir etc.
    • the Court concluded, The State authorities will extend full cooperation for smooth performance of the last rites of the deceased advocate.
  11. On Saturday Students and faculty members of NALSAR Hyderabad bid a fond farewell to Prof Faizan Mustafa, who served as Vice-Chancellor for ten years.
    • Prof Mustafa said, This is the decade in which NALSAR has gone way ahead of other national law schools. How a public university should behave, and what kind of university administration we should have, and how students can be involved in the administration of the university and how they should take ownership in making of the regulations is something which we have shown. From a VC-centric administration, we have made it into a student-centric administration, and this is my singular achievement.
    • Prof Mustafa concluded, I do not need a certificate for what I have done, the students have given me my certificate.
  12. On Monday the Delhi High Court has held that there are no documents on record to show that Union Minister Smriti Irani or her daughter Zoish Irani were ever issued any license for the restaurant, Silly Souls Café and Bar in Goa or that they even applied for it.
    • the Court said in its order, Neither the restaurant nor the land on which the restaurant exists is owned by the plaintiff or her daughter even the show cause notice issued by the Government of Goa is not in the name of the plaintiff or her daughter.
    • the Court ordered, In the event defendant Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (Congress leaders) fail to comply with the directions as hereinabove within 24 hours of pronouncement of this order, defendant Nos. 4 to 6 (social media companies) are directed to take down the tweets and other materials on the URLs as well as other tweets which may appear in the plaint thereof.
  13. On Monday A petition has been filed before the Bombay High Court challenging the decision of the State’s new Eknath Shinde-led government to stay circulars relating to appointments and developmental projects taken up by the earlier government. (Kishor Uttamrao Gajbhiye v. State of Maharashtra)
    • the plea, The Hon’ble Chief Minister is not empowered either under the Constitution or under the Conduct of Business Rules framed under Article 166 of the Constitution of India to stay or nullify the decisions of the earlier government which were lawfully taken.
    • In the absence of a duly constituted council of ministers, the government ought not to have taken such major decisions of staying the developmental projects and cancellation of appointments.. particularly when such decisions were underway and partly implemented.
    • The state could not change its stand merely because the other political party has come into power.
    • Political agenda of an individual or a political party should not be subversive of rule of law.
  14. On Monday A Mumbai court remanded Shiv Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till August 4 in a money laundering case.
    • the judge ordered, I am of the opinion that such a long custody of 8 days is not warranted. Besides I am of the opinion that accused is remanded to ED custody upto Aug 4 that will suffice investigation.
    • Special Counsel Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for ED, contended that Pravin Raut received around ₹112 crores from HDIL in 2010.
    • Venegaonkar submitted, Pravin Raut was examined and his statement was recorded under the Section 50 of the PMLA and the investigation revealed that Pravin Raut received ₹112 crores from the HDIL. He failed to explain the rationale behind having received such huge funds.
    • the ED counsel said, Investigation further revealed that Sanjay Raut has infused/ utilised considerable amount of cash in the purchase of the land at Alibaug which has been confirmed by some other sellers and the cash component has been sourced from Pravin Raut.
    • Venegaonkar said, The proceeds of crime were utilised there. The requirement under PMLA, generation of proceeds of crime, which has directly benefited Sanjay Raut and his family members. All ingredients under section 3 are made out.
    • He was summoned on 3 occasions. He appeared on one occasion. He failed to appear on two occasion. He failed to dodge the statutory summons. He tampered with crucial witnesses. These details I will handover, because we are still investigating.
    • Mundargi said, This man was neck-deep in all elections. He intimated, he was not running away from the investigation. He was in Delhi, attending parliament. The need to arrest has to be taken with a punch of salt.
  15. On Monday the Bombay High Court declined to grant urgent hearing to two petitions against the Maharashtra government’s decision to rename the cities of Aurangabad and Osmanabad.
    • the bench said, Mr Talekar, have you seen the list of holidays this month. The government doesn’t work much even during working days, what are you expecting? Nothing is going to happen in an electrifying speed. These petitions can wait.
  16. On Monday Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister Kailash Gahlot has approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of two office memoranda which require State government ministers to obtain Central government clearance before making personal visits abroad.
    • Kejriwal had said, It would have been good if I could go and put forward my point and share with the world the work being done in India…I am not blaming anyone for it.
  17. On Monday Former Head Legal at Disney+Hotstar Amrita Mukherjee has resigned to join Meta as Director Legal.
  18. On Monday the Supreme Court urged the Central government to consider grant of disability pension to a soldier who was discharged on disciplinary grounds due to alcohol dependency.  (Union of India v. Naginder Singh)
    • Justice Chandrachud remarked, We have to look at the human side of justice. This is a man who has served in the front.. We judges are also human. When we see coffins being carried you know.
    • the bench persisted, Please try and carve an exception for him. Have to see and apply a broader perspective looking at his family.
  19. On Monday the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh observed an order passed by Industrial Disputes Tribunal/ Labour Court on disputed questions of fact cannot be challenged by way of a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.  (M/s Manu Mohit Industries v State of J&K & Ors.)
    • Single-judge Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal said that an Industrial Tribunal/ Labour Court exercises powers similar to the jurisdiction of a civil court and that the orders passed by a civil court can only be challenged before the High Court by way of a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.
    • the Court said, If the challenge is limited only to the correctness or otherwise of the award, then it has to be considered that the power under Article 227 of Constitution has been invoked because the cause has not been initiated for the first time before the High Court.
  20. Senior Advocate Abhay Nath Yadav, leading counsel for the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee in the Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath dispute died of cardiac arrest last night.
  21. On Monday Anushree Rauta, Head of media and entertainment practice at ANM Global, gets elevated to equity partnership at the firm with effect from 1st August 2022 as part of the firm’s expansion plan.

Legal Prudent Fraternity