Today’s Legal Updates
Thursday, 21st June 2022
Legal Awareness :- CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
Part – V THE UNION
CHAPTER- I THE EXECUTIVE (The President and Vice-President)
Article – 68 Time of holding election to fill vacancy in the office of Vice-President and the term of office of person elected to fill casual vacancy.
- An election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of Vice-President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.
- An election to fill a vacancy in the office of Vice-President occurring by reason of his death, resignation or removal, or otherwise shall be held as soon as possible after the occurrence of the vacancy, and the person elected to fill the vacancy shall, subject to the provisions of article 67, be entitled to hold office for the full term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
Monsoon Session of Parliament 2022
Steps taken by RBI to restrict flow of Cryptocurrency
- A question raised by Thol Thirumaavalavan about Cryptocurrency and its regulation in India.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied in the Lok Sabha that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has called for the prohibition of such currencies, RBI mentioned that cryptocurrencies are not a currency because every modern currency needs to be issued by the Central Bank Government. Further, the value of fiat currencies is anchored by monetary policy and their status as legal tender, however the value of cryptocurrencies rests solely on the speculations and expectations of high returns that are not well anchored, so it will have a de-stabilising effect on the monetary and fiscal stability of a country.
- On the topic of legislation to regulate Cryptocurrency, the Finance Minister said in the reply-
- Cryptocurrencies are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore any legislation for regulation or for banning can be effective only after significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards.
- During last year’s Winter Session, the government had tabled The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 that seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India.
Reservation in private sector
- A question raised by D Ravikumar in the Lok Sabha about reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the private sector.
- Minister of State in the Ministry pf Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh stated :-
- Industry representatives are also of the view that reservation is not a solution but they are willing to partner with the Government and appropriate agencies in enhancing and expanding the current recruitment policy for the marginalized section, especially the SC and ST at all levels, as also to encourage skill development and training.
- that the Apex Industry Associations have prepared a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for their member companies to focus on education, employability, entrepreneurship and employment of disadvantaged sections.
Complaints against Uber, Ola
- A question raised on increasing complaints against cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.
- Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food And Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey revealed that 8,740 grievances were registered by consumers between January 2020 and July 2022. The complaints were made for deficiency in services, inadequate consumer grievance redressal mechanism, cancellation by drivers etc.
- Based on various complaints registered by consumers on NCH, notices have been issued to two major online ride hailing platforms. The notices raise multiple issues of violation of consumer rights and unfair trade practices by the platforms.
Unprecedented hike in air fares
- General VK Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry Of Civil Aviation, replying to a question on rise in air fares, revealed the reason for the same.
- Due to unprecedented geo-political situation, the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices have increased manifold, which accounts to about 50% of the fare charged.
- Illuminating on the measures undertaken by the government.
- The Government, however, as an extraordinary measure during the COVID 19 pandemic and in exercise of special powers conferred under the Aircraft Act, 1934, notified fare bands for economy tickets for scheduled domestic sector. This was done to ensure that the airlines do not charge excessive fare on one hand and also to ensure that the journey is performed only for essential purposes. The Fare Capping orders are currently operational on a rolling basis of 15 days cycle.
No need to amend anti-defection law
- In the backdrop of the ongoing Maharashtra political crisis, the Central government has stated that there is no need for amendments to the anti-defection law. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, replying to question pertaining to the adequacy of the anti-defection law, stated,
- Although, some Courts have examined the provisions in the past, no specific directions have been given for amendments. Since, the provisions of the Tenth Schedule have stood the test of time and several judicial scrutinies, there does not appear to be any need for carrying out any amendments as of now.
Remarks of judicial officers
- Perhaps in the context of a Supreme Court judge’s recent remarks against a litigant, a question was raised on whether there should be a mechanism to monitor objectionable remarks by judicial authorities.
- Rijiju replied, Court proceedings and the issues like decisions pronounced by judges, including in respect of grant of bail, remission etc. are within the domain of judiciary and the Government has no role in these issues.
- Reference was made to The Restatement of Values of Judicial Life, which lays down certain judicial standards and principles to be followed by judges. It was also stated that the judiciary has an in-house mechanism to deal with complaints against judges.
Today’s Legal Updates :-
- On Thursday Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana recollected his initial days of law practice when lawyers did not have chambers and often used to conduct their work in open air.
- the CJI remarked, Apart from Supreme Court there are chambers no where. We used to practice from under the tree etc.
- said the CJI, You do not want allotment of chambers. Just enjoy the property. As it is I cannot hear it. I am not talking as CJI, We are all suffering and with great difficulty something happened. Don’t expect a palatial chamber.
- Now here some 400 to 500 people have got some benefit. Why to do something (against it) now.
- On Thursday the State of Kerala has been embroiled in a rather unique political controversy which also happens to highlight the snail’s pace at which legal proceedings move.
- The tale begins in April 1990. An Australian man, one Andrew Salvatore Cervelli was arrested at the Thiruvananthapuram airport for allegedly smuggling 61.5 grams of hashish by concealing it in his underwear.
- When Cervelli approached the Kerala High Court in appeal against his conviction and sentence, it was found that the underwear in evidence was much too small to fit him, and smaller than the recorded size. The High Court acquitted Cervelli, who was represented then by a junior lawyer named Antony Raju.
- Cervelli was arrested in Victoria on a murder charge. While in jail, he supposedly told other inmates about his escapades in India, especially a tale of how he managed to hoodwink Indian police and courts.
- The charge sheet names Raju and court clerk Jose, who are accused of having committed offences such as conspiracy, cheating, destruction of evidence, fabrication of evidence, breach of public faith, among others.
- Raju is currently the State Transport Minister and the leader of the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress party, which is part of the ruling Left Democratic Front coalition.
- a petitioner approached the Kerala High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, seeking orders under Section 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for expediting the investigation and trial.
- On Thursday Rajya Sabha member and Senior Advocate P Wilson has written to the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw seeking the establishment of regional benches of the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellant Tribunal (TDSAT).
- On Thursday the Madras High Court emphasised that spouses who had parted ways should treat each other with kindness and empathy in front of the child, while dealing with a case relating to visitation rights between a divorced couple. (Ganesh Kasinathan v Richa Sharma)
- On Thursday the Bombay High Court said that it is the duty of the police to register an FIR when a cognizable offence that has been committed is brought to its notice.
- the Bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh said if there is no evidence appropriate closure report can be filed.
- the bench remarked, Right or wrong, once it is brought to notice that a cognizable offence is committed it is the duty to register FIR. Thereafter, if there is no evidence then appropriate report can be filed.
- The remarks came in a petition that challenged the amended circular issued by Commissioner of Mumbai Police which stipulated seeking approval of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) before registering FIRs under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and in cases of outraging modesty of women.
- Some of the grounds raised seeking quashing of the PIL were as follows:
- Information likely to be false was no ground for not registering the offence.
- Police had enough powers and discretion to defer or not arrest in cases where the allegations levelled in the FIR are believed to be false.
- Section 21 of the POCSO Act makes the failure to register an offence under the Act a punishable offence.
- As such, the compulsion imposed by the legislative mandate has been side lined by the Commissioner and has instead vested absolute discretion with the ACP and then the DCP who would decide whether the offence should be registered or not.
- The circular is arbitrary, perverse and contemptuous to the law laid down by the Supreme Court and High Court, and is also unconstitutional to the provisions of the POCSO Act, 2012.
- On Thursday the Supreme Court directed the Union Home Ministry to prepare a detailed chart outlining compliance with the general directions issued by it in the judgments of Shakti Vahini and Tehseen Poonawalla.
- A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, AS Oka and JB Pardiwala added that the chart should to specify remedial, preventive and corrective steps taken to prevent and address hate speech events.
- the Bench remarked, We’ll reactivate those cases if they haven’t been complied with. They’re applicable all over [the country].
- There have been incidents in some states despite Poonawalla, investigations going nowhere. Those states must come forward…Not being adversarial, but today the incidents reported are in public domain. One aspect is preventive measures, if we are bringing 10 such incidents after those judgments, it means nothing has been done.
- The PIL stated that the speeches made at the Haridwar Dharam Sansad “pose a grave threat not just to the unity and integrity of our country but also endanger the lives of millions of Muslim citizens.”
- the petition, delivery of hate speeches with impunity but also shows that the Police authorities are in fact hand in glove with the perpetrators of communal hate.
- The plea highlighted how a video had gone viral in which a police officer was seen acknowledging his allegiance to the alleged offenders.
- On Thursday Senior Advocate Anil Kumar has been appointed as the first Additional Solicitor General of India for the Jharkhand High Court.
- On Thursday the Kerala High Court has decided to introduce paperless courts in the courts considering bail and tax matters, the objectives set forth by the Supreme Court e-Committee, from 1st August 2022.
- the notice, It has been decided to introduce paperless courts in Bail Jurisdiction (Single Bench) and tax related and other subjects (Single Bench) and the Division Bench considering appeals from the said single bench for tax related and other subjects, as part of the first phase of the implementation of paperless courts in the High Court.
- On Thursday the Allahabad High Court refused to grant protection to a live-in couple on the ground that the woman was already married to someone else, and the period of cohabitation between the two petitioners was very less. (Sunita Devi v State of UP)
- On Thursday the Bombay High Court expressed its inclination to pass an order to expedite the trial in the murder case of activist Narendra Dabholkar.
- the High Court said, We will expedite the trial. We will have to go by the chargesheet, not by evidence. We are not inclined to hear this application. We will keep it pending. How can we go into evidence while hearing bail application?.
- Justice Dere said, Give us a reasonable estimate on the time for (examination of) witnesses, and we will pass an order to expedite the trial.
- the judge said, This can’t go on endlessly. A decision has to be taken at the earliest. We can’t wait endlessly. We want a decision on this.
- On Thursday Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha there is no proposal by the government to raise the retirement age of judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
- On Thursday the Supreme Court refused to grant relief for now in a plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order which upheld the appointment of the court commissioner to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi as it sought to await the Varanasi District Judge order on the Order 7 Rule 11 application by the Masjid committee.
- On Thursday the Supreme Court appointed Senior Counsel and former Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh as the Amicus Curiae in the case relating to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
- On Thursday the Bombay High Court took a dim view of a petition seeking potable water on the grounds of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and stated that the plea would be low down on the priority list of cases before it.
- On Thursday the Supreme Court held while allowing an unmarried woman, who became pregnant due to consensual sex, to abort her 24-week-old foetus for beneficial provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act cannot be denied to a woman solely on the ground that she is unmarried.
- On Thursday the Supreme Court explained the scope of interference by it in criminal appeals by special leave moved under Article 136 of the Constitution. (Mekala Sivaiah v. State of Arunachal Pradesh)
- On Thursday the Bombay High Court held that the State cannot levy entertainment tax on the fees charged by the club to allow persons to carry mobile phone inside the race course in a major relief for the Royal Western Indian Turf Club. (The Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd. vs State of Maharashtra)
- On Thursday the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association at Jammu has decided that it will suspend work for two days protesting against non-fulfillment of their long pending demands for construction of a building within the Court premises to house various tribunals.
- On Wednesday the Bombay High Court clarified that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Bangalore is at liberty to establish its claim over the mark,in a trademark battle over the mark ‘ISKCON‘. (International Society for Krishna Consciousness Bangalore vs International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Ors)
- On Wednesday the Delhi High Court observed while allowing a 13-year-old girl, who became pregnant from a sexual assault, to terminate her 25-weeks-old foetus, a teenage girl’s misery and suffering would only compound if she is forced to bear the mantle of motherhood at such a tender age.