Today’s Legal Updates

Monday, 21st February 2022



Right to Freedom

Article – 22 Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases

(1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.
(2) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.
(3) Nothing in clauses (1) and (2) shall apply—
(a) to any person who for the time being is an enemy alien; or
(b) to any person who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention.
(4) No law providing for preventive detention shall authorise the detention of a person for a longer period than three months unless—
(a) an Advisory Board consisting of persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, Judges of a High Court has reported before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is in its opinion sufficient cause for such detention:
Provided that nothing in this sub-clause shall authorise the detention of any person beyond the maximum period prescribed by any law made by Parliament under sub-clause (b) of clause (7); or
(b) such person is detained in accordance with the provisions of any law made by Parliament under subclauses (a) and (b) of clause (7).
(5) When any person is detained in pursuance of an order made under any law providing for preventive
detention, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, communicate to such person the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.
(6) Nothing in clause (5) shall require the authority making any such order as is referred to in that clause to disclose facts which such authority considers to be against the public interest to disclose.
(7) Parliament may by law prescribe—
(a) the circumstances under which, and the class or classes of cases in which, a person may be detained
for a period longer than three months under any law providing for preventive detention without obtaining the opinion of an Advisory Board in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause (a) of clause (4);
(b) the maximum period for which any person may in any class or classes of cases be detained under any law providing for preventive detention; and
(c) the procedure to be followed by an Advisory Board in an inquiry under ***[sub-clause (a) of clause (4).

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. A full-bench of the Karnataka High Court will continue hearing a batch of petitions filed by female Muslim students against the ban on wearing hijab by certain Karnataka colleges.
    • Today the Karnataka State government told the Karnataka High Court that the petitioners in the hijab ban case were claiming that wearing of hijab was an essential religious practice, with a view to bind every Muslim woman to a particular dress code.
    • AG Prabhuling Navadgi said, “The petitioners are seeking for a declaration of a particular dress format to become part of religious sanction so as to bind every woman who follows Islamic faith. That is the seriousness of the claim.”
    • AG told the Court that the 2018 Sabarimala verdict of the Supreme Court which lays down how to determine essentiality of a religious practice, is currently the law of the land on this issue.
    • Chief Justice Awasthi quizzed AG Navadgi, “What is your stand? Can hijab be permitted in institutions? If institutions permit, then you don’t have any objection?”
    • AG Navadgi’s response, “We will take a decision as and when such a situation comes up,”
    • “The answer is we have not prescribed anything. But as a matter of principle, the answer is in preamble of Karnataka Education Act which is to foster secular environment. So the stand of the State is that anything which introduces religious aspect should not be there.”
    • CJ Awasthi then asked a flurry of questions, “So should Court now go into Article 25 violation etc if that is the stand of the State government? You are saying college committee will decide. So are we supposed to see what they have done? Since they are not statutory bodies, can they be regulated by court order?”
    • Justice Khazi then asked the AG, “Is Essential Religious Practice also applicable to (freedom of) conscience?”
    • the AG replied, “The concept of freedom of conscience is something which relates to belief or non-belief. What you manifest as your conscience results in religious practice,” 
    • Justice Dixit pointed out, “The secularism which the makers of our Constitution [spoke about] is not akin to the American Constitution. It is not a wall between Church and government. We oscillate between Sarva Dharma Samabhava on one hand and Dharma Nirapekshata on the other.”
  2. A petition has been filed before the Karnataka High Court alleging that hijab controversy in the State is a creation of “tool kit” which has plans to create disturbances and anarchy and in the country and bring down the Government in power at the Centre.
  3. A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed before the Karnataka High Court against more than 60 media houses seeking directions to restrain them from chasing and videographing students and teachers who are on their way to schools and colleges wearing hijab.
    • the plea said, “Repeated attempts are being made to polarize, divide, and to communalize the student community by injecting the venom of hate, disrespect, and vengeance which ultimately culminates into violent actions and reactions,” 
    • “Since one month, the cameramen and reporters are seen assembling in and around premises of government colleges and schools wherever the female children and teachers are proceeding to attend their classes, they were being chased, abusing, screaming, sloganeering, targeting, demeaning, compelling to uncloth themselves which are being photographed, videographed, and being printed and telecasted around 24/7 hours with the sole intention of belittling the democratic values and cherished principles of unity in diversity,” 
    • It is humbly prayed before this Hon’ble court to issue appropriate writ to restraining Respondent Nos.3 to 73 from chasing the students and teachers who are proceeding to their schools & colleges and videographing and photographing them, telecasting on day-to-day basis , in the interest of justice and equity,” 
  4. The Delhi High will continue hearing a batch of petitions demanding the criminalisation of marital rape. The petitions challenge Exception 2 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which exempts non-consensual sex between husband and wife from the ambit of rape.
  5. Today the Central government told the Delhi High Court that it would not be prudent for it to take a stand on the issue of criminalisation of marital rape until it consults all stakeholders involved.  (RIT Foundation v. Union of India)
  6. Today the Delhi High Court reserved its judgment in a batch of petitions demanding the criminalisation of marital rape.  (RIT Foundation v Union of India)
  7. Former Union Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has been sentenced to five years in prison in the Doranda treasury case related to the fodder scam. A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court in Ranchi last week convicted the former Bihar Chief Minister in the ₹139 crore Doranda treasury scam case. The order was pronounced by Judge CK Shashi.
    • Yadav has already been convicted in four other fodder scam cases for illegal withdrawals of ₹37.7 crore and ₹ 33.13 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, ₹89.27 crore from the Deoghar treasury, and ₹3.76 crore from the Dumka treasury. The ₹950 crore scam had occurred when Yadav was Chief Minister of Bihar between 1991 and 1996.
    • He was sentenced to a total of 14 years’ imprisonment for his involvement in the fodder scam cases, and has challenged all convictions. He secured bail in the Chaibasa Treasury Scam case in October 2020, and in the Deoghar Treasury Scam case in February 2020. Most recently, he was granted bail in the Dumka Treasury case.
  8. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for the appointment of 18 Presiding Officers in Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs).
    1. DRT Jabalpur
      • Ram Niwas Patel, Retired District Judge (Madhya Pradesh Judicial Service)
    2. DRT Hyderabad-1
      • Gummadi Gopichand, Retired District Judge (Andhra Pradesh Judicial Service)
    3. DRT Chennai-1
      • A.S. Jayachandra, Retired District Judge (Delhi Higher Judicial Service)
    4. DRT, Chandigarh-1
      • Anand Sagar Narang, Retired District Judge (HCS- Judicial Branch)
    5. DRT, Delhi-1
      • Basant Kumar Goswami, Retired District Judge (Superior Judicial Service, Jharkhand)
    6. DRT, Chandigarh-2
      • Man Mohan Dhonchak, Retired District Judge (Judicial Department, Punjab and Haryana High Court.
    7. DRT, Delhi-2
      • Rajesh Malhotra, District Judge (Haryana Superior Judicial Service)
    8. DRT, Cuttack
      • Jitendra Prasad Singh, Retired District Judge (Bihar Judicial Service)
    9.  DRT, Guwahati
      • Shiv Sharan Dubey, Retired Principal and District Sessions Judge (Jharkhand Judicial Service)
    10. DRT, Siliguri
      • Rakesh Pati Tiwari, Retired District Judge (Bihar Judicial Service)
    11. DRT, Ernakulam-1
      • Su Willyahm, Retired District Judge (Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service)
    12. DRT, Ahmedabad -1
      • Padam Singh Thakur, Retired District Judge (HP Higher Judicial Service)
    13. DRT, Hyderabad-2
      • Dr. Baldev Singh, Registrar (Vigilance), High Court of Himachal Pradesh
    14. DRT, Mumbai-3
      • Arun Kumar Singal, District Judge (Haryana Judicial Service)
    15. DRT, Bengaluru-1
      • Imtiaz Ali, District and Sessions Judge (Assam Judicial Service)
    16. DRT, Madurai
      • Kuldeep Kumar Kareer, Retired District Judge (Punjab Superior Judicial Service)
    17. DRT, Visakhapatnam
      • Krishna Gopal Dwivedi, Retired District Judge (Bihar Judicial Service)
    18. DRT, Ernakulam-2
      • Sovan Kumar Dash, Retired District Judge (Odisha Judicial Service)
  9. The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking ban on practice of slaughtering animals as part of religious sacrifices.
    • The petition by a Hindu pujari also challenged the Constitutional validity of Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
    • the Court said, “Which practice of slaughtering or sacrificing animals is legal or illegal depends upon the traditions and customs of a particular religion and the place of worship. It is a matter of evidence which cannot be appreciated in exercise of discretionary jurisdiction,” 
  10. The Supreme Court berated the State of Gujarat denying pension to an ad-hoc employee who had rendered more than 30 years of continuous service.  (State of Gujarat and Others v. Talsibhai Dhanjibhai Patel)
    • the Court said, “The State cannot be permitted to take the benefit of its own wrong. To take the services continuously for 30 years and thereafter to contend that an employee who has rendered 30 years continuous service shall not be eligible for pension is nothing but unreasonable,” 
  11. Today the Supreme Court said that the petition by school students against holding board exams for classes 10 and 12 via physical/ offline mode, will be listed before a bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar. (Anubha Shrivastava Sahai vs Union of India)
  12. Today the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana remarked in open court that that public interest litigation (PIL) petitions was taking up the Court’s time and attention which could otherwise have been devoted to hearing “real matters.”
  13. Today the Bombay High Court disposed of a petition pertaining to the appointment of the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) after it was informed that the post has been filled based on recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).  (Datta Mane v. State of Maharashtra & Ors)
  14. Today the Supreme Court sought the response of the Central government and the States on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking enforcement of fundamental duties set out in Article 51A of the Constitution. (Durga Dutt v. Union of India)
  15. Family members of deceased farmers who were mowed down by a car belonging to Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri have approached the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted by Allahabad High Court to Mishra.
  16. The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government after it noticed the delay in installation of CCTVs at police stations, has anyone bothered to read the directions of the Supreme Court.  (Somnath Laxman Giri and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra and Anr.)
  17. Today the Delhi High Court restrained the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) from taking any coercive action against Harish Fabiani and other officials of Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited (IHFL) in a case alleging financial irregularities on their part.  (Harish Fabiani and Ors v. Enforcement Directorate and Ors)
  18. A three-member expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court to probe into the Pegasus surveillance scandal has submitted its interim report.  (Manohar Lal Sharma v. Union of India and Others)
    • On October 27 last year, the Supreme Court had appointed an expert committee headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice RV Raveendran, and assisted by Alok Joshi (former IPS Officer) and Dr. Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in (International Organisation of Standardisation / International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee).
    • Israel based spyware firm NSO is best known for its Pegasus spyware, which it claims is sold only to “vetted governments” and not to private entities, though the company does not reveal which governments it sells the controversial product to.
    • An international consortium, including the Indian news portal The Wire, had recently released a series of reports indicating that the said the software may have been used to infect the mobile devices of several persons including Indian journalists, activists, lawyers, officials, a former Supreme Court judge and others.
    • The reports had referred to a list of phone numbers that were selected as potential targets. Upon analysis by a team from Amnesty International, some of these numbers were found to have traces of a successful Pegasus infection, while some showed attempted infection,
    • the top court said, “State cannot get free pass every time by raising national security concerns. no omnibus prohibition can be called against judicial review. Centre should have justified its stand here and not render the court a mute spectator,” 
    • the top court ordered, “There has been no specific denial by Centre (about use of Pegasus). Thus we have no option but to accept the submissions of petitioner prima facie and thus we appoint an expert committee whose function will be overseen by the supreme court,” 
  19. Today the Dharwad Bench of the Karnataka High Court quashed defamation proceedings against BJP Member of Parliament and Managing Director of Suvarna News Rajeev Chandrasekhar for airing news that allegedly portrayed advocates as “rowdies, vagabonds, scoundrels and goondas.” (Rajeev Chandrasekhar v. K Koteswar Rao)
  20. Senior IRS officer Sameer Wankhede has filed two separate petitions before the Bombay High Courtchallenging the action against him by Maharashtra police and excise authorities in connection with his bar.
  21. A National Seminar on Adjudication of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Disputes in India is scheduled to be held by the Delhi High Court on February 26, 2022 under the leadership of Chief Justice DN Patel.
  22. Former Lok Sabha Member of Parliament and Shiv Sena politician Ravinder Gaikwad has been discharged in a case where he was accused of assaulting an Air India employee in 2017.
    • It is held that the offences under Sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence, or giving false information to screen offender) IPC are prima facie not made out against the accused Ravinder Vishwanath Gaikwad and he is discharged for the same. However, the offence under Section 355 IPC is prima facie made out against the accused.”
    • But it is neither alleged nor it would be plausible that the beatings administered to the complainant by the accused by the slipper were such as could lead to death and thereby to culpable homicide not amounting to murder,”
  23. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear in open court the review petition filed by Shapoorji Pallonji Group challenging the top court’s March 26 verdict in the dispute between Tata Sons Limited and Cyrus Mistry in which the Court had ruled in favour of Tata.
  24. Today the Madras High Court lauded the State government for taking steps to address the issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.
    • “For the first time in India, the State Government has consciously addressed all the persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. This indicates growing awareness in addressing all persons belonging to this community instead of using the terms “transgender” or “thirunangaigal” as an umbrella term for the entire community.”
    • This remark was made in the context of an amendment introduced to the Tamil Nadu Subordinate Police Conduct Rules, 1964 prohibiting police officers from harassing LGBTQIA+ persons as well as persons working for the welfare of the community. The amendment was introduced after the High Court directed the State to do so in August 2021.
  25. Today the Delhi High Court stayed a communication issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) declining to allow the restructuring of Religare Finvest Limited (RFL).  (Religare Finvest Limited v. Reserve Bank of India)
  26. The Supreme Court is set to examine whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT) can hear constitutional challenges to notifications issued under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act.  (Vanashakti and anr vs Union of India and ors)
  27. Today the Bombay High Court enquired whether the Maharashtra government is willing to withdraw the circulars restricting persons who are not fully vaccinated, from travelling in local transport.  (Feroze Mithiborwala v. State of Maharashtra and another)
  28. The Bombay High Court last week acquitted a person of murder charges on the ground that extra-judicial confession made by the accused to a stranger cannot be the basis of conviction.  (Mansoorali Khan Ahmed Khan & Anr. vs State of Maharashtra)
  29. Today the Delhi High Court denied anticipatory bail to Francis Daniel Lee, the former executive director of Religare Enterprise Limited and one of the prime accused in the Religare fraud case. (Francis Daniel Lee v State)
  30. Today the Calcutta High Court took suo motu cognizance of the alleged murder of student leader Anis Khan, who was found dead outside his home in Howrah’s Amta area.
  31. Today the Kerala High Court extended the life of all interim orders passed by all courts and tribunals falling under its supervisory jurisdiction till March 16, 2022.
  32. Today the Kerala High Court permitted the survivor in the 2017 actress abduction and assault case to be impleaded as an additional respondent, in the plea moved by Malayalam cine actor and accused in the case, Dileep to quash any further investigation into the case.  (P Gopalakrishnan alias Dileep & Ors. v State of Kerala & Ors.)

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