Today’s Legal Updates

Thursday, 21st April 2022




Article – 296   Property accruing by escheat or lapse or as bona vacantia

Subject as hereinafter provided, any property in the territory of India which, if this Constitution had not
come into operation, would have accrued to His Majesty or, as the case may be, to the Ruler of an Indian State by escheat or lapse, or as bona vacantia for want of a rightful owner, shall, if it is property situate in a State, vest in such State, and shall, in any other case, vest in the Union.
Provided that any property which at the date when it would have so accrued to His Majesty or to the Ruler of an Indian State was in the possession or under the control of the Government of India or the Government of a State shall, according as the purposes for which it was then used or held were purposes of the Union or of a State, vest in the Union or in that State.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Thursday the Supreme Court said that it would take a serious view of the apparent disobedience of its order to maintain status quo in relation to the Jahangirpuri demolition drive that was slated to be carried out by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). (Jamiat Ulama I Hind v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation)
    • “We will take a serious view of the demolition which was carried out even after Supreme Court orders, even after NDMC Mayor was informed. We will take that up later.”
    • Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave told, “They (NDMC) knew we will mention at 10.30 am (on Wednesday) and that is why demolition began at 9 am. They continued even after the status quo order was passed. This affects rule of law and there will be no democracy left.”
    • “There are 731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, with 50 lakh people and how you target only one area since you target only one community?”
    • “These are poor people. If you want to remove encroachments, come to Sainik Farms. Come to Golf Links, where I stay, and every second home is an encroachment somewhere, but you don’t touch it at all.”
    • Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal said, “My plea is that such instances are happening in other states also. When processions are carried out and frictions occur, homes of only one community is bulldozed and the politics in power judges what happens or doesn’t happen.”
    • “We are not staying demolitions in this country.”
    • Advocate PV Surendranath pointed out, She (Karat) informed the authorities. They did not stop and it went on till 12:45. She had to physically stand to stop the process.
    • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, This is what happens when organisation (Jamiat) comes here suddenly. I will show you instances when notice is not required and illegal structures were given the notice. Traders have moved High Court last year and High Court had itself ordered demolition.
    • the petition said, A number of ministers and legislators, including the Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh, have made statements advocating such acts and especially threatened the minority groups with destruction of their homes and commercial properties in case of riots.
  2. On Thursday the Supreme Court held that the phrase ‘soon before her death’ used in Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on dowry death must be interpreted to mean proximately before the death of the wife and not immediately prior to such death. (Devender Singh and ors. v. State of Uttarakhand)
    • the bench opined, As to the phrase ‘soon before her death’, it is well-settled that the same ought to be interpreted to mean proximate and to be linked with but not to be understood to mean immediately prior to the death. While taking note of the evidence and the other aspects of the matter, what is also to be borne in mind in the instant case is that the death which did not take place in normal circumstances, had occurred within just about 6 months from the date of the marriage.
    • the Court said, In the present case, the Court said that the appellants have miserably failed to rebut the presumption drawn against them under Section 113B of the Evidence Act, in a matter relating to an offence under Section 304B of IPC.
  3. On Thursday the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi government to file a status report disclosing the number of toilets it has built for transgender persons and whether all new public toilet facilities being built in the national capital have separate spaces for the community.
    • the Court said, Let a status report be file disclosing what steps have been taken till date for building separate toilets for transgenders. The number of toilets created shall be disclosed. It shall also be disclosed whether new constructions at public toilets have space for transgenders. If not, we direct them to look into this aspect without delay. Let this be filed within a week from next hearing.
    • Justice Sanghi said, This can’t just be raised overnight. As awareness is going up… They have said that in meantime toilets meant for persons with disabilities will be used. As the society becomes more evolved and sensitive people will do it. You have to give them time no.
    • the petition said, The transgenders, male and female, feel uncomfortable and hesitate when the third gender uses the washrooms which are made for male and female. So as a human, every individual deserves a safe and healthy environment while utilising washrooms for their basic necessities. When the third gender uses the washrooms made for male and female, then their Right to Privacy is violated.
    • Centre and state govt should take proper measures to provide medical care to transgenders ill hospitals and also provide them separate public toilets and other facilities.
  4. On Thursday the Supreme Court said that unless and until punishment imposed by a disciplinary authority was shockingly disproportionate or there was procedural irregularity in the inquiry, the High Court would not be justified in interfering with such punishment. (M/s Indian Oil Corporation Ltd v Shri Rajendra D Harmalkar)
  5. On Thursday the Bombay High Court said Maharashtra is a State with rich political heritage and differences in ideologies and political convictions should not come in the way of cordial relationship between political opponents.  (Narayan Rane vs State of Maharashtra)
    • the Court remarked, We have political rights. There is democracy, there are difference of views, there may be difference in ideologies, even 360 degree apart. We are a State of rich heritage.
    • the Court said, Let us give a good example to our youngsters. It happens in political life, one adopts one ideology and someone else adopts some other ideology, they have their own likes and dislikes. Ultimately, State of Maharashtra is where we have rich heritage.
    • “Although this is not advisory jurisdiction, but petitioner (Rane) is occupying a responsible position. But certainly words aren’t used respectably against another person who is also occupying a respectable position. Why doesn’t he come forward in court and make statement that bygones be bygones. Let us decide on being respectable to everyone. Let us not give out a wrong signal to the people,” 
    • “There was an incident, wherein one of the senior most leaders brought Morcha to Mantralaya. The then Chief Minister came down from his chamber, and took him for hearing in his chamber. This was our rich heritage.”
    • There is importance of words… it is described by Sant Tukaram (in Marathi) ‘Shabd dhan vatu jan loka’ [Words (be used in such manner) that it seems like wealth to public] This is what is expected from people in social life…”
    • Rane’s plea stated, “A notice has been issued by the concerned police station stating that the prosecution is going to file a chargesheet and thus I should remain present. It is important to note that before this notice, I was never summoned for investigation purposes by the police,” 
    •  the plea stated, “The criticism of elected representatives in power, in howsoever strong words must be protected and cannot be a ground for initiating penal action, especially, when there isn’t any intention to disturb public harmony. The petition further states that Rane’s words must be judges with a standard of reasonable, strong-minded, firm and courageous men and not by those who are weak and those who scent danger in every hostile point of view,”
  6. On Thursday the Karnataka High Court directed American Road Technology and Solutions to commence the work of repairing potholes on 182 km of major roads in Bengaluru on the basis of a provisional work order issued by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).  (Vijayan Menon v. Secretary and Anr)
  7. On Thursday the Delhi High Court granted an ex parte ad-interim injunction in favour of sports fantasy platform EXCHANGE22 in a copyright battle with another gaming app, MYFAB11. (Hulm Entertainment Pvt Ltd v. Fantasy Sports Myfab11 Pvt Ltd)
  8. On Thursday Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said, Raising the retirement age of High Court judges would require broad-based consultation with stakeholders including the Attorney General for India, Finance Ministry, Legislative Department, Department of Legal Affairs and legal luminaries.
  9. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has held that an amount invested by a promoter in a real estate project would not fall within the ambit of ‘financial debt’ as defined under Section 5(8) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).  (Jagbasera Infratech Private Ltd v. M/s Rawal Variety Construction)
    • A careful perusal of the Memorandum of Understanding shows that the relationship between the Appellant and Respondent is that of land owner and developer and furthermore viewed from any angle the amount invested by the Appellant towards the completion of the Project cannot be termed to be a ‘Financial Debt’ as defined under Section 5(8) of the Code. Having regard to the nature of the transactions between the Appellant and the Respondent this Tribunal is of the earnest view that the Appellant does not fall within the definition of term ‘Allottee’.”
  10. On Thursday the Delhi High Court has directed Parle Biscuits to modify two of its advertisements by blurring the image of the cookies used in the ads since they resemble Britannia’s Good Day biscuits.  (Britannia Industries Private Limited v Parle Biscuits Pvt Ltd and Anr)
  11. On Thursday the Andhra Pradesh High Court passed an interim order in favour of the Multiplex Association of India in a plea challenging the government’s decision to include service charges for online bookings in movie theatres to the overall price for admission. (Multiplex Association of India v State of Andhra)
  12. On Thursday the Supreme Court asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to clarify whether a lawyer who suspends their license to practice in order to pursue alternative employment will have to rewrite and qualify the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) again if he or she wishes to resume law practice.
    • BCI may allow provisional enrolment for 6 months which means the during that period, they will not be entitled to practice, thus balance of convenience can be maintained. This also subserves the object that a person takes the exam and continues in another profession and then claim seniority years later based on that exam. If the person exercises the option to continue in employment then he would have to take the Bar exam again when he seeks to practice again as a lawyer. Thus, 6 months is a good enough period for a person to decide to whether they want to be in law profession or continue in another employment,”
  13. On Wednesday the Supreme Court appointed former Supreme Court judge, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre to assist Unitech Company’s Board of Management in selling off its assets.  (Bhupinder Singh v. Unitech Ltd.)
  14. On Thursday the Supreme Court took a stern view of an affidavit filed by the Union Home Secretary in response to the plea filed by 1993 Bombay blasts convict Abu Salem claiming that the 2017 judgment sentencing him to life imprisonment was against the terms of an extradition treaty. (Abu Salem v. State of Maharashtra)
  15. On Thursday the  Delhi High Court  observed the women housed at the ashram of absconding godman Virendra Dev Dixit in Delhi appear to be indoctrinated, resulting in them tolerating the inhuman living conditions in the ashram.
    • “It seems the court previously called the inmates and spoke to them. The judges were satisfied that these women were there due to their own free will and therefore no direction was passed. But there is one aspect which appears to have missed out. That is how we can accept that any sane person can live in this condition. This indoctrination is there. They may say they are there out of their own free will but can shut our eyes to this. Who is funding this institution? Who is providing for it? They are not willing to come up.”
    • We are clear in our mind that no minority institution gets a license only by being such an institution to conduct its affairs so as to violate the fundamental rights of an individual particularly the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21. It falls on the state to ensure that violation of such rights is prevented. We are not for a moment suggesting that the Respondent institution and its inmates should not profess their religious and spiritual belief. They are free to do that so long as they do not contravene any law or constitutional provision. Even if the GNCTD were to take over the institution and appoint an administrator, the freedom of the inmates to exercise their religious and spiritual rights will not be affected.
  16. On Thursday Supreme Court judge Justice AM Khanwilkar took strong exception to lawyers seeking frequent adjournment and passover of cases.
  17. On Thursday the Delhi High Court issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking action against persons pasting printouts of the word ‘Judge’ on their vehicles.
  18. On Thursday the Karnataka High Court declined to quash criminal proceedings against an advocate accused of assaulting and harassing an intern who was working at a law firm.  (Vasanth Aditya J v State of Karnataka)
    • the order stated, “Relief under Section 482 CrPC as sought for by the petitioner cannot be granted by this court for more than one reason. Firstly, the investigation is still under progress and police may file appropriate report after thorough investigation. Secondly, expressing any opinion at this stage in respect of the merits of the matter, the rights of the parties would be put to jeopardy. Thirdly, no Court can stop an investigation in respect of a cognizable offence unless a particular person makes out a case that the very complaint is frivolous in nature and results in abuse of process of court,”
    • “Who is the aggressor party, what exactly that transpired are all subject matter of the investigation and after thorough investigation, police may file appropriate report under section 173 Cr.P.C. Till such time, this Court cannot form any opinion by considering the material on record at this stage”,
  19. On Wednesday the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), Srinagar rejected the bail application of a youth allegedly involved in the Srinagar Acid Attack case.
    • The gravity of the charge, manner of its perpetration, circumstances in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, its immediate and not so immediate impact on the society at large and the locality, in particular, besides its impact on the aggrieved family, are all matters to be taken into reckoning while judging a juvenile’s bail plea. All these factors are relevant under the last disentitling clause postulated under the proviso to Section 12 (1) of the (Juvenile Justice) Act, which says that release of the juvenile would ‘defeat the ends of justice’,
    • In the instant case alleged act of Applicant/CICL wherein he accompanied the main Accused to commit the alleged crime and post occurrence behavior of Applicant/CICL, all point out to the fact that CICL needs reformation of highest degree so as to make him understand that the norms of society and laws of land are to be adhered to,
  20. On Thursday the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Central government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022.
    • the petition said, It is submitted that the aforesaid provisions are arbitrary, excessive, unreasonable, disportionate, devoid of substantive due process and in violation of fundamental rights of the citizens of India as well as of the basic structure of the Constitution of India, 1950 and thus are liable to be struck down by this Hon’ble Court.
    • the Court ordered, Mr Mahajan has raised an issue wrt to maintainability. Issue notice. Respondents to file their reply, including on the aspect of the maintainability of this petition. Same should be in six weeks.
    • Specifically, these terms are open to interpretation to include ‘measurements’ of a testimonial nature taken by way of a compelled psychiatric evaluation. Such evaluation, when it leads to any incriminating admission, would constitute a ‘testimonial compulsion’. This coercive provision therefore transgresses the right against self-incrimination, a well-established principle of our criminal justice system and mandated under Article 20(3) of the Constitution.
    • It is submitted that Sections 3 and 5 of the Act, in flagrant violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, allows excessive, coercive and arbitrary intrusion into the dignity of a convict as well as of an individual who may be called in for simple questioning, or who is involved in the pettiest of offences. These provisions constitute a clear attack on ‘personal liberty’ and clearly fall foul of Article 21 of the Constitution and are thus liable to be struck down.
  21. On Thursday Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition before the Supreme Court against the demolition drive in the riot hit area of north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. (Brinda Karat Petitioner v North Delhi Municipal Corporation)
    • the plea said, The entire action is absolutely and manifestly arbitrary and in violation of Article 14, 19 and 21.
    • It may be noted that the majority of people residing and working in this area are of Muslim community. The respondents have not touched buildings in B, H and other blocks. They are selective and discriminatory in their action.
  22. On Tuesday the Supreme Court set aside orders of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) that held the Managing Director of PC Jewellers and some of his relatives guilty of insider-trading.  (Balram Garg and Shivani Gupta vs SEBI)
    • The Appellate Tribunal was exercising jurisdiction of a First Appellate Court and was bound to independently assess the evidenced and material on record, which it evidently failed to do.
    • it has failed to independently assess the evidence and material on record while exercising its jurisdiction as the first appellate court. As reiterated by this Court in a catena of judgments, it is the duty of the first court of appeal to deal with all the issues and evidence led by the parties on both, the questions of law as well as questions of fact and then decide the issue by providing adequate reasons for its findings. Unfortunately, the SAT failed to apply its mind on the issues raised by the parties and routinely affirmed the findings of the WTM without dealing with the issues at hand.
    • The Bench proceeded to reexamine the following issues:-
      • Whether the WTM and SAT rightly rejected 32 the claim of estrangement of the appellants namely, Shivani Gupta, Sachin Gupta and Amit Garg?
      • Could the aforementioned appellants be rightly held to be “insiders” in terms of Regulation 2(1)(g)(ii) of the PIT Regulations, only and entirely on the basis of circumstantial evidence?
    • The approach adopted by the SAT turns the SEBI Act on its head as it places the burden of proving that there was a complete breakdown of ties between the parties on the Appellants in C.A. No.7590 of 2021 while conveniently ignoring the fact that the onus was actually on SEBI to prove that the appellants were in possession of or having access to UPSI. The legislative note to Regulation 2(1)(g) makes the above position of law explicitly clear.
    • data reveals that the share price of the PCJ shares consistently fell during the investigation period and therefore it would be incorrect to say that the price of the shares fell only upon announcement of the withdrawal of the buyback offer. In fact, the records reveal that even after the announcement of the buy­back offer, there was no increase in the share prices of the company. Resultantly, the appellants stopped selling shares on 13.07.2018 because they believed that the market price continued to fall so badly that the shares possessed by them were not being valued accurately.
  23. The death sentence handed down to man convicted for killing a 4-year-old girl after raping her, was commuted by the Supreme Court to life imprisonment.  (Mohd. Firoz v. State of Madhya Pradesh)
    • the Court ordered, The facts and circumstances of the case on hand are similar to the case of Shatrughna Baban Meshram with one distinction in that, Section 376A of IPC being applicable in the instant case Considering the above, we, while affirming the view taken by the courts below with regard to the conviction of the appellant for the offences charged against him, deem it proper to commute, and accordingly commute the sentence of death for the sentence of imprisonment for life, for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.
    • The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. One of the basic principles of restorative justice as developed by this Court over the years, also is to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused, and to become a socially useful individual, when he is released from the jail…….The maximum punishment prescribed may not always be the determinative factor for repairing the crippled psyche of the offender. Hence, while balancing the scales of retributive justice and restorative justice, we deem it appropriate to impose upon the appellant-accused, the sentence of imprisonment for a period of twenty years instead of imprisonment for the remainder of his natural life for the offence under section 376A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
    • the Court said, We may hasten to add at this stage that right to fair and speedy trial applies as much to the victim as the accused. Right to get speedy justice applies to the victim as well. Hence, considering the gravity and seriousness of the crime, if the trial is expedited by the Court, it could not to be said that such trial was not fair to the accused. Though, it is true that the ‘Equality, Justice and Liberty’ is the trinity of fair trial recognised in the administration of justice, it is equally true that such concept of fair trial entails triangulation of interest of the accused, the victim and the society at large. In the overzealous approach to protect the rights of the accused, the rights of the victim who is the most aggrieved should not be either undermined or neglected.
    • “Once again one of the most barbaric and ugly human faces has surfaced. A tiny bud like girl was smothered by the appellant before she could blossom in this world. The monstrous acts of the appellant suffocated the victim to such an extent that she had no option but to leave this world. Once again, all the Constitutional guarantees have failed to protect the victim from the clutches of the demonizing acts of the appellant. In the opinion of the Court, any sympathy shown to the appellant would lead to miscarriage of justice. However, it has been brought to the notice of this Court that in series of judgments, this Court has not treated such case as the rarest of rare case,” 

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