Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 22nd April 2022




Article – 297    Things of value within territorial waters or continental shelf and resources of the exclusive economic zone to vest in the Union.

  1. All lands, minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the continental shelf, or the exclusive economic zone, of India shall vest in the Union and be held for the purposes of the Union.
  2. All other resources of the exclusive economic zone of India shall also vest in the Union and be held for the purposes of the Union.
  3. The limits of the territorial waters, the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone, and other maritime zones, of India shall be such as may be specified, from time to time, by or under any law made by Parliament.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Friday the Supreme Court initiated a suo motu case to examine and institutionalise process involved in collection of data and information to decide award of sentence in death penalty cases.
  2. On Friday the Jharkhand High Court granted bail to former Union Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the ₹139 crore Doranda Treasury case, one of the fodder scam cases in which he was convicted.
    • The ₹950 crore fodder scam had occurred when Yadav was Chief Minister of Bihar between 1991 and 1996. He 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.
  3. On Friday the Delhi High Court acting Chief Justice (ACJ) Vipin Sanghi observed that since large number of competent women lawyers are into serious law practice these days, it is not difficult to pick women candidates for elevation as judges.
  4. On Thursday the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed the State government to immediately ban the practice of the two-finger test conducted by medical professionals on survivors of sexual offences.  (Rajivgandhi v The State)
    • the judgement stated, In view of the above judicial pronouncements, we have no doubt that the two finger test cannot be permitted to be continued. Therefore, we issue a direction to the State Government to ban the practice of two finger test on victims of sexual offences by the medical professionals forthwith.
    • The Criminal Appeal is partly allowed. The conviction and sentence for the offence under Section 363 IPC is set aside in toto. The conviction for the offences under Section 5(l) and 6(1) of the POCSO Act is confirmed and the life sentence is, however, reduced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. The fine of Rs.1,00,000/- and the default sentence of simple imprisonment for 3 months, is confirmed.
  5. On Thursday the Delhi High Court directed University of Delhi (DU) to grant admission to a candidate belonging to the other backward classes (OBC) for the three-year LLM course despite the fact that the exams for first semester are already underway.  (Ashutosh Singh v University of Delhi)
  6. On Friday the Supreme Court dismissed a plea by Maharashtra Cabinet minister Nawab Malik seeking release from judicial custody in the money laundering case involving underworld don Dawood Ibrahim which is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
  7. On Friday the Delhi High Court issued notice in the appeal filed by Umar Khalid against a trial court order which denied him bail in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case registered against him in connection with the Delhi Riots of February 2020.
  8. On Thursday the Supreme Court upheld the compensation awarded to a consumer who suffered injuries due to non-deployment of air bags of his Hyundai Creta car during a collision as a consequence of which he suffered ahead, chest and dental injuries.  (Hyundai Motor India Limited v. Shailendra Bhatnagar)
    • the Court said, Purchase decision of the respondent­-complainant was largely made on the basis of representation of the safety features of the vehicle. The failure to provide an airbag system which would meet the safety standards as perceived by a car­buyer of reasonable prudence, in our view, should be subject to punitive damages which can have deterrent effect.
    • There was no specific exclusion clause to insulate the manufacturer from claim of damages of this nature. Even if there were such a clause, legality thereof could be open to legal scrutiny.
    • The State Commission ordered the following compensation to be paid to the respondent-complainant:-
      • An amount of ₹2,00,000­ for medical expenses and loss of income.
      • An amount of ₹50,000 for mental agony.
      • An amount of ₹50,000­ as cost of litigation.
      • Pertinently, the NCDRC also ordered Hyundai to replace the vehicle with a new one.
    • the Court said, Both the fora, in their decisions, have highlighted the fact that there was significant damage to the front portion of the vehicle. Deployment of the airbags ought to have prevented injuries being caused to those travelling in the vehicle, particularly in the front seat.
    • the judgment reasoned, Such damages, in our view, can be awarded in the event the defect is found to have the potential to cause serious injury or major loss to the consumer, particularly in respect of safety features of a vehicle.
    • the Court concluded, We are also of the view that the directions issued against the appellant by the State Commission and upheld by the National Commission cannot be said to have failed the test of proportionality.
  9. This Week A Bhiwandi court, Maharashtra imposed a fine of ₹1,000 against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Rajesh Kunte for seeking adjournment in the defamation proceedings initiated against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.  (Rajesh Kunte v. Rahul Gandhi)
    • It is settled principle that the complainant (Kunte) has to begin the evidence with his own deposition to prove the basic fact or cause for which the present complaint is instituted. Later he may examine other witness in support of his contention. Having considered the nature of allegations and facts of the case, calling of the proposed witness (policeman) at this stage of the proceeding without evidence of the complainant will result into unnecessary delay to the proceedings. The complainant given no season in the present application as to why the complainant does not want to examine himself first and directly wants to examine the person who conducted inquiry under section 202 of CrPC. There is no reason given by the complainant in the present application.
  10. On Friday the Delhi Police agreed to file a fresh affidavit in the alleged hate speech case relating to Delhi Dharam Sansad after the Supreme Court questioned the police on whether any senior official applied his mind before filing its earlier affidavit.
  11. On Friday the Bombay High Court ordered that no coercive action be taken against Union Minister Narayan Rane for two weeks in connection with the first information report (FIR) registered against him by the Dhule Police for allegedly making derogatory statements against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
  12. On Friday Justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the Bombay High Court took strong exception to the conduct of a lawyer who went on a tirade against her accusing her of bias and threatening to lodge a complaint against her with the Chief Justice.  (Dipak Kalicharan Kanojiya v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.)
  13. On Friday the Allahabad High Court has ordered the Uttar Pradesh police to take action on priority basis, in a matter concerning a girl’s abduction from the chamber of a lawyer. (Ankita Mishra v State of UP)
  14. Today A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Delhi High Court refusing to pass directions for rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Sarojini Nagar whose jhuggis are being demolished. (Vaishali (Minor) (Through Next Friend Mrs. Sita Devi) v Union of India)
  15. The Bombay High Court has issued corrective measures to be followed by the Inspector General Prison (IG Prisons) of Maharashtra and Principal District Judges in Maharashtra to ensure that all prisons in the State have adequate medical facilities.  (Dr. P. Varavara Rao v. NIA)
    • the Bench suggested the following measures to be followed by the IG Prisons: –
      • to collect the information from Taloja Central prison and all prisons in Maharashtra about appointment of the medical officers, nursing and other staff and other facilities and provisions required to be made available.
      • submit his report with regard to the steps taken by him so far to ensure compliance with Prison Rules before April 30, 2022.
      • to ensure that henceforth there should not be scope for the prisoners to make grievance about lack of medical facilities and timely medical aid.
    • The Principal District Judges are required to take following measures:-
      • pay periodical visits to the prisons.
      • pay sufficient attention to the affairs of the prisons in the monthly meetings and ensure that the provisions of the Maharashtra Prisons (Prison Hospital) Rules, 1970 are complied with in letter and spirit.
    • Rao had approached the High Court with:-
      • An application seeking extension of the interim bail granted in February 2021.
      • A writ petition seeking permanent bail on medical grounds.
      • An application seeking permission to stay in Hyderabad during the duration of bail on the grounds that staying in Mumbai is expensive.
  16. On Wednesday the Supreme Court observed, A medical professional cannot assure that a patient will successfully overcome medical crisis and all that doctors are expected to do is to take reasonable care in discharge of their duties. (Dr Chanda Rani Akhouri vs Dr M A Methusethupathi)
  17. On Friday the Delhi High Court issued notices on a review petition filed by former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Chairman’s decision to transfer his case from Kolkata Bench to Delhi.
  18. In Jahangirpuri Demolition Drive : After the Supreme Court order, residents pick up the pieces and look for peace.
    • Rihana Bibi, 44, is worried for her family’s livelihood. As the only earning member, she had started a food stall near her settlement in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. However, as part of the demolition drive conducted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Bibi’s shop and several others in the area were razed to the ground.
    • A day after the demolition drive, the area that witnessed communal riots is packed with security personnel, some of whom could be spotted stationed on rooftops of houses while drones surveyed the area.
  19. On Friday the Supreme Court held that court cannot usurp the power of the government and grant remission of sentence of convicts. (Ram Chander v. State of Chattisgarh & ors.)
  20. Today the Bombay High Court took exception to jail superintendents in Maharashtra not producing accused before trial courts for extension of judicial custody.  (Sushil Lohiya v. CBI & Anr.)
    • the High Court observed, Every one is aware that for judicial custody virtual production is recognized by Code of Criminal Procedure. So, why Superintendents of jail can wait for the orders from the courts allowing the virtual production. At the same time, we also feel that a Judge seized of the matter may also mention in the order that virtual production is permitted when physical production is not possible for some reasons. We are saying this only when there is an extension of remand till filing of the charge-sheet.
    • the Bench held, The report filed by the Investigating Officer does not give some satisfactory reason for non-production of the accused. Even though there are certain defects, we feel that they are not of such nature, so as to issue of writ of habeas corpus. So we do not think that writ can be entertained. It is liable to be dismissed.
    • during this COVID-19 pandemic period, Courts could not function to their fullest extent. So there is a need to revive all the existing systems. Even we are told that in some Courts in State of Maharashtra, State of Maharashtra through Home Department has made available Video Conferencing setup.
    • the Bench directed, If such meetings are conducted, learned PDJs to verify whether reports are sent to the High Court Administration or or if the meeting having been discontinued for some reasons, PDJs are directed to see that such meetings are periodically held.
  21. On Friday the Bombay High Court observed while issuing directions to all special POCSO courts in Maharashtra on recording evidence of child/victim, If delay in examination of child victim under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act will benefit only the accused.  (Atul Gorakhnath Ambale v. State of Maharashtra)

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