Today’s Legal Updates:

Monday, 20th December 2021

  1. Today the seventeenth day of the ongoing 2021 winter session of the parliament saw the passing of the Electoral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which mandates the linkage of Aadhaar with voter IDs of citizens.
    • Non-compliance of CSR Rules
      • Q. A question was tabled in the Lok Sabha by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP ET Mohammed Basheer on the amendment made to the guidelines on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) spending.
      • A. Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs Rao Inderjeet Singh mentioned in his response that Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 was amended so as to make the non-compliance with CSR provisions a civil wrong with effect from January 22, 2021.
    • Social Security Code
      • a question tabled before the Lok Sabha by three members on the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) COVID-19 Relief Scheme, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Rameswar Teli stated that the scheme was launched on June 3, 2021 and is effective for 2 years from March 24, 2020 to help families of insured persons (IPs) who died due to COVID-19.
    • Electoral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021
      • The Lok Sabha witnessed the passing of the highly contentious Electoral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which effectuates linking of Aadhaar to voter ID card of citizens. Chaotic protests took place in the Lower House today, with several MPs opposing the introduction and passing of the Bill on the ground that it violates the Supreme Court’s Puttaswamy judgment on the right to privacy.
      • It was highlighted by several members that the passing of the Bill would violate the legal right of citizens to vote and would run contrary to the Basic Structure doctrine as envisaged in the Kesavananda Bharati case.
      • Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju defended the Bill saying that it bridges the gaps and shortcomings of the present electoral laws, and quoted the Standing Committee recommendations which rendered the linkage to “purify electoral rolls and consequently reduce electoral malpractices.”
    • The Appropriation Bill, 2021 to authorise payment and appropriation of sums from the Consolidated Fund of India for the FY 2020-21 was also passed after a voice vote in favour of the same in the lower house. The Union Finance Minister defended the questions raised last week by the members of opposition parties on the proposed expenses.
    • The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in the Rajya Sabha today after elaborate discussions that took place last week. The Bill seeks to rectify an error in the Act and was introduced by way of an ordinance. Questions were raised on why the Bill took so long to be introduced for mere rectification of an error. The Union Finance Minister mentioned that the error was inherited by the present government from the UPA government.
  2. Today the Lok Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 which seeks to enable electoral authorities to mandate linking voter identity cards with Aadhaar.
  3. Today the Delhi High Court was rejected a petition filed by a woman seeking possession of the Red Fort on the ground that she is the legal heir of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II. (Sultana Begum v. The Union of India and Ors)
  4. Today the Delhi High Court upheld conviction of a father-uncle duo charged with sodomosing the minor daughter of one of the accused but set aside their conviction for the offence of gang rape on the ground that there was no penile-vaginal penetration, a requirement for rape charge under the unamended Section 375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).  (Kamal v State)
  5. On Thursday the Central Information Commission (CIC) upheld an order of the First Appellate Authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, refusing to divulge details of the decisions taken at the Supreme Court Collegium’s meeting held on December 12, 2018.
  6. Today the Bombay High Court will decide on the administrative side the question of whether a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the lifting of a liquor ban in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra ought to be decided by its Principal Seat or the Nagpur Bench.
  7. Today the one-member tribunal of Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel  issued notice in the plea to confirm the Centre’s decision to declare Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s organization Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
  8. Today the Bombay High Court rejected the application filed by actor Armaan Kohli, seeking bail in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act).
  9. Today the Karnataka High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to a Special Public Prosecutor KSN Rajesh in a sexual assault and attempt to rape case filed by a second-year law student and intern.  (KSN Rajesh v The State)
  10. Today the Kerala High Court held that any refusal by a Muslim man to co-habit or perform marital obligations with his first wife, after a second marriage, violates Quranic injunctions and is a valid ground for divorce.  (Ramla v Abdul Rahuf)
  11. Today the Bar Council of Kerala has notified rules for payment of stipend upto ₹5,000 per month to lawyers with less than three years practice at the Bar and an annual income not exceeding ₹1 lakh.
    • It shall be disbursed from the Kerala Advocates’ Welfare Fund.
    • The Trustee Committee may disburse payment of stipend to the applicant every month as far as possible or at such intervals as decided by the Trustee Committee.
    • The Trustee Committee, from time to time, with the prior approval of the Government, shall determine the amount of stipend payable to an advocate not exceeding ₹5,000 per month.
    • Period of stipend–The maximum period for which stipend shall be granted shall be three years of actual practice from the date of the advocate passing the All India Bar Examination or up to the advocate attaining the age of thirty years, whichever is earlier.
    • The applicant’s annual income, at the time of application should not exceed ₹1 lakh.
    • Applicants who are eligible for receiving stipend under the Act and the Rules must submit an application form along with the necessary documents.
  12. Today the Bombay High Court  issued notice to the Central and Maharashtra governments in a plea filed by a former Mumbai Police Commissioner seeking prosecution of those responsible for the State-wide bandh which was observed in Maharashtra on October 11, 2021.
  13. Yesterday the Gauhati High Court held  a certified copy of a sale deed is admissible in evidence under Section 65(c) of the Indian Evidence Act when the original is lost due to no fault of the party. (Satyendra Medhi vs. Pramod Medhi)
  14. Today the Nagaland Assembly held a special session has “unanimously resolved” to demand the Government of India to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from the North East, specifically from Nagaland.
  15. Today the Kerala High Court questioned the State government’s stand in opposing the plea by an 8-year-old Dalit girl who had approached the Court seeking compensation after she was publicly humiliated by a police officer, who had falsely accused her of stealing a mobile phone.
  16. Today A Delhi court discharged expelled Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in a case against him in which he was accused of masterminding a road accident in which the Unnao rape survivor who had filed rape case against him, was grievously injured.  (CBI v. Kuldeep Singh Sengar & Ors)
  17. Today the Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to see to it that in all the State Medical Colleges of the State, senior-level posts are timely advertised and vacancies are filled expeditiously as it directly affects the teaching of the students.
  18. Today the Kerala High Court directed the State government to produce the video referred to in an affidavit earlier submitted by the IGP, after it denied the existence of any visuals of the incident where a girl and her father were allegedly harassed by a pink police officer.
  19. Today the Delhi High Court has observed that any physical act answering to all the ingredients below committed upon a minor is per-se ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ appearing in section 377 of IPC:
    • it must have to do with flesh and sensuality, namely it must be carnal.
    • there must be intercourse between individuals, without restricting it only to human-to-human intercourse.
    • it must involve penetration other than penile-vaginal penetration, since by the very nature, intent and purpose of section 377, it must refer to an unnatural act, such as ‘penile-anal penetration’.
  20. Today the Karnataka High Court reserved its order on the petition challenging the decision of the Karnataka State Law University to hold exams for 2nd and 4th Semester students in LLB 5 years course.
  21. Today the Kerala High Court pronounced an elaborate judgment observing that the practice of demanding gawking charges, often referred to as ‘nokkukooli’ in Malayalam, had to be banned in the State once and for all.
  22. Today A Delhi Court exempted the personal appearance of Former Union Minister P Chidambaram in connection with the Aircel Maxis case.
  23. Today the Bombay High Court extended Telugu poet Varavara Rao’s time to surrender before prison authorities till 7th January, while posting his application for extension of medical bail for further consideration on 7th January.
  24. Today the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Government to remove a temple, alleged to beillegally constructed on a public land in city’s Defence Colony area, within a period of ten days.
  25. Today the Bombay High Court has rejected a petition filed by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Chhagan Bhujbal challenging a show cause notice issued by the Income Tax department.
  26. Today in a pertinent ruling, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has delved deep into the statutory provisions and precedents that determine the four corners of default bail under Section 167(2) of CrPC and Section 36(A)(4) of NDPS Act.
  27. Today the Karnataka High Court summoned one Revanna Siddappa, President of Dr B R Ambedkar Youth Association, for disobeying court orders and not shifting the statute of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar which they illegally erected on public land in Harappanahalli Taluk, Davanagere District to an alternative land within four months.
  28. The draft guidelines for repatriation of dead bodies have been prepared by Advocate Henri Tiphagne, counsel for the petitioner wife in the case pertaining to the demise of Pudukkottai fisherman in a collision with Sri Lankan Navy Vessel.
  29. Yesterday Senior Advocate Vivek Subba Reddy has been elected as the President of the Advocates Association of Bengaluru.

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