Today’s Legal Updates

Thursday, 23rd February 2023




Powers, Privileges and Immunities of State Legislatures and their Members

Article – 194 Powers, privileges, etc., of the Houses of Legislatures and of the members and committees thereof.

  1. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of the Legislature, there shall be freedom of speech in the Legislature of every State.
  2. No member of the Legislature of a State shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the Legislature or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of a House of such a Legislature of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.
  3. In other respects, the powers, privileges and immunities of a House of the Legislature of a State, and of the members and the committees of a House of such Legislature, shall be such as may from time to time be defined by the Legislature by law, and, until so defined,
    [shall be those of that House and of its members and committees immediately before the coming into force of section 26 of the Constitution (Forty-fourth Amendment) Act, 1978].
  4. The provisions of clauses (1), (2) and (3) shall apply in relation to persons who by virtue of this Constitution have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, a House of the Legislature of a State or any committee thereof as they apply in relation to members of that Legislature.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Thursday the Calcutta High Court held that a person cannot be said to be suffering from a mental illness only because of his conduct or because he wrote letters raising allegations against judges of the High Court. (Akhil Bandhu Saha vs Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority)
    • Justice Sinha said, A person cannot be said to be suffering from mental illness only upon judging his behaviour or after going through certain communications made by the said person. I have perused the communications by the petitioner and it goes without saying that the contents of the letters are extremely disturbing, responsible, reckless and far from truth.
    • the High Court, There are certain limitations which every individual ought to follow. If a litigant is aggrieved by any order passed by a judicial officer it is always open for him to challenge the same before a superior forum. A litigant cannot and should not make wild and untrue allegations against judges of this Court, who passed the orders. The same is not permissible. The said action of the petitioner cannot be supported or tolerated at all and is required to be dealt with a firm hand failing which the rule of law cannot be maintained.
    • the bench opined, Out of despair and frustration on account of delayed disposal of his legal proceedings, the petitioner shot letters to the high ranking officials and also to the judges of this Court. The contents of the letters are undoubtedly derogatory, offensive, nasty, false and leaves a bad taste in the mouth but the same does not have anything to do with his mental health.
    • the bench said, Possibly, it may be for this reason that the doctor who examined the petitioner on the first day failed to notice anything significant with regard to his mental health and advised routine tests to be done. It seems that it was a dirty ploy to draw attention of the Court for early disposal of the pending legal proceedings.
    • the Court, The petitioner is strictly warned and cautioned not to repeat such behaviour in future and he dare not point fingers at any judicial officer, far less; the judges of this Court, failing which serious consequences would follow.
  2. On Thursday a Bengaluru court passed an ex-parte temporary injunction restraining IPS officer D Roopa Moudgil and 59 media companies from broadcasting defamatory content and making objectionable statements against IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri.
    • the order, As such at this stage it is noticed that issuance of TI against defendant No.60 would not come in the conduct and discharge of duties and functions of a public servant. Hence, emergent notice of TI shall be issued to defendant No.60. At the same time, it is made clear that plaintiff shall restrain herself from publishing or circulating any statements or expressions or views concerning the subject matter of this suit.
  3. On Thursday the Allahabad High Court observed while granting bail to two men accused of raping a woman in Varanasi in 2019, the Indian society has undergone a complete change during the last four decades and now it is more often observed that false implication in sexual offences is on a rise.  (Sandeep Kumar Mishra vs State of UP)
    • the Court said, Much water has flown down the Ganges since passing of the aforesaid judgment by the Apex Court. The Indian society has undergone a complete change during the said period of about 40 years and now it is more often observed that false implication in sexual offences is on a rise. The inordinate delay in lodging the FIR is to be considered at the time of adjudicating the bail.
    • The First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the accused at Meerut on August 5, 2019 under Sections 376-D (intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
    • The FIR was sent to be investigated by the police of Rohaniya of Varanasi District on a letter sent by Senior Superintendent of Police, Meerut as the matter fell within the jurisdiction of District Varanasi.
    • The counsel further argued that the survivor, who was the National President of ‘Janeu Kranti Abhiyan’ could have lodged the FIR at Varanasi itself, and lodging the FIR at a far place like Meerut, that too after over a month, indicated malicious intent.
  4. On Thursday the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh ruled that merely because a woman has filed an application under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (DV Act), she cannot be barred from lodging a first information report (FIR) against her husband for cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). (Danish Chauhan V/s Director General J&K Police and others)
    • the Court said, While in proceedings under Section 12 of the DV Act, the victim of domestic violence can be awarded monetary compensation and she can also be given certain protective orders in her favour, but the criminal proceedings are intended to punish the perpetrator of a crime, may be a matrimonial crime. So, the provisions of DV Act and IPC act in different fields.
    • the Court said, Merely because wife has filed an application under DV Act, she cannot be debarred from lodging FIR against the petitioner for investigating the acts of cruelty alleged to have been perpetrated by her husband against her.
  5. On Thursday the Bombay High Court ruled that the trials against Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor and DHFL promoter Kapil Wadhawan in cases probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) will be conducted together in a special ED court.
    • the accused-petitioners, The intention of Legislature in contemplating trial of the cases under the scheduled offence and the offence under Section 4 PMLA by the same court is that accused should not face multiple prosecutions and the dual agony of trial as the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate is nothing but an off shoot of the main scheduled offence case and the substratum of the both the cases remain the same.
    • The CBI’s case is that between April to June 2018, Yes Bank had invested around ₹4,727 crores in short-term non-convertible debentures of DHFL. 
    • The bank subsequently sanctioned a term loan of ₹750 crores to a DHFL group firm. 
    • In return, Kapoor had received a kickback of ₹600 crores from DHFL in the form of a loan to his family firm, Do It Urban Ventures (India) Private Limited, CBI alleged.
  6. On Wednesday the Kerala High Court strongly rebuked the State government for delaying the implementation its previous orders to create a prevention-oriented programme on sexual abuse as part of the school curriculum.  (Anoop v State of Kerala)
    • at the hearing today, advocate Parvathy Menon, appearing for the Kerala State Legal Services Authority (KELSA) informed the Court that the committee had not even met once or officially intimated KELSA about any meetings.
    • the court said in its order, It is an unpardonable state of affairs by practically amounting to defiling the orders of this Court and even misleading this Court by stating in the report dated 17.02.2023 that “the Committee has suggested measures.
    • the Court has passed orders directing that school curriculum ought to include sessions/classes on the provisions of the POCSO Act as well as the amendments brought into Section 376 of IPC. For formulating an appropriate sexual abuse prevention program, different education boards were directed to form expert committees.
    • The counsel for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is concerned submitted on Wednesday that it had formed such a committee and that a draft report has been prepared.
  7. On Thursday the Madras High Court issued notice to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami on a petition filed by NGO ‘Arappor Iyakkam’ challenging a single-judge gag order restraining the NGO from making any statements against the politician.
    • The single-judge had restrained the NGO from making any public statements or publishing anything that could be deemed defamatory against Palaniswami in the context of alleged irregularities committed in awarding tenders for laying of roads and highways.
    • Palaniswami had told the court that the NGO had falsely named him in the alleged ₹692 crore worth of illegal tenders awarded by the State Highways department between 2019 and 2021.
  8. On Thursday the Google told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order imposing a fine of ₹1,337.76 crore on it for allegedly misusing its dominant position in the Android ecosystem is unreasoned and without any basis.
    • They (CCI) say Google apps can only be disabled. The question then is how much additional space the uninstallation will free, and if disabling slows up device. There is not an iota of finding on this. There is no inquiry or analysis on whether this has any effect on running of the device.
    • The charge against me is by pre-installing Google Chrome, I am ousting somebody. The ban was imposed on UC Browser in June 2020. In the first six months of that year, the app was downloaded over 104 million times. The figure is from Google Play Store. Can we even countenance that there is an exclusion on account of my MADA? None of this has been considered in the CCI order.
    • By virtue of the agreements discussed above, Google ensured that users continue to use its search services on mobile devices which facilitated un-interrupted growth of advertisement revenue for Google.
  9. On Thursday the Calcutta High Court observed while refusing to quash a criminal case involving charges under Section 377 and allegations of sexual torture of a medical student by his senior. (Dr Raunak Hajari @ Raunak Hajari & Anr v. The State of West Bengal & Anr)
    • the judgment, Penetration, however little is an offence. In the present case the opinion in the medical report is “No injury or evidence of complete anal intercourse could be detected” (so penetration however little (incomplete) in this case)…No injury or evidence of ‘Complete anal intercourse’ could be detected “is to be proved in trial as even incomplete anal intercourse prima facie proves penetration however little and is thus an essential ingredient (evidence) to prove the commission of offence under Section 377 IPC in this case.
    • Filing a complaint of such nature on having to face the ordeal for two and half long hours by a student against a superior who is in a position of influence (here in a doctor) in a Medical College requires extreme courage and mental strength and in the interest of justice, the case should proceed towards trial so that the parties have the opportunity to access the protection of justice.
  10. On Thursday the Kerala High Court bemoaned the fact that many youngsters leave Kerala to move abroad or to other States and attributed the same to the lack of infrastructure and aesthetic appeal in the cities in the State.  (CP Ajithkumar & Anr. v State of Kerala & Ors)
    • the judge orally remarked, Why is that we don’t have aesthetics? Only when we have a visual appeal in the city, our children will remain here. Our children are leaving and going because they don’t find the infrastructure they want here. I am talking as a citizen and not as a judge. Even today when I came, cars are parked on the footpath.
    • the court ordered, They (KSEB) should inform all the entities who have taken permission from them in this regard and if there are cables that are still not tagged and identified, steps have to be taken from the 11th day of today to remove them without causing any visual pollution.
    • the court said, The corporation of Kochi on the other hand will also have all the cables running through the poles authorized by them, identified and tagged within the said time, and remove them. The secretary corporation of Kochi is hereby authorized to act with respect to any cable in this city either in the post of KSEB or authorized by them after the said deadline. They shouldn’t find any problem in doing so as they have the liberty to bring it before the court.
  11. The Gujarat Police has justified its public flogging of five Muslim men in October 2022, submitting before the Gujarat High Court that it was done to maintain peace and harmony in the area. (Jahirmiya Rehamumiya Malek vs State of Gujarat)
    • the affidavit, The applicants, who are before this court are the accused who have taken active participation in the case of rioting on October 3 2022. They were part of the mob which pelted stones on the Hindu community while they were playing Garba. It was a pre-planned and pre-mediated rioting which took place only to create fear among the members of the Hindu community and to disturb the law and order in the area.
    • the officer, As a result, there was a huge you and cry, so to maintain peace and harmony in the area the suspects were cornered so that no untoward incident further takes place.
    • the affidavit read, As regards to the alleged incident which took place on October 4, 2022 the accused whilst when they were taken to Undhela village had tried to misbehave and abuse the police officers. They were also instigating the crowd which had gathered at the site.
  12. On Thursday the Tamil Nadu government said that it will provide adequate protection to a woman from Madhya Pradesh approached the Madras High Court claiming that her parents wanted to kill her to offer a “human sacrifice.”
    • Justice Chandrasekharan also remarked orally that it was “disheartening to hear that the practice of human sacrifice was still prevalent in the 21st century.”
    • The woman, who was present in court, claimed that her parents were highly superstitious people, who were planning to offer her as a human sacrifice. She also said that her parents had close links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Further, she alleged that her parents, their acquaintances belonging to the RSS and the ABVP, and members of the Madhya Pradesh Police were all complicit and were looking for her.
  13. On Thursday the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, booked by the Uttar Pradesh and Assam Police for botching up the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference.  (Pawan Khera vs State of Assam and anr)
    • the Court ordered, in order to enable the petitioner to apply for regular bail before the jurisdictional court, upon the FIRs being transferred to one jurisdiction, we direct that the petitioner shall be released on interim bail by the court of the competent Magistrate at Delhi where he is to be produced this evening”.
    • the order said, We are inclined to entertain the petition confined to the issue as to whether the FIRs should be clubbed in one and the same jurisdiction. Such a course of action has been previously adopted by this Court in Arnab Ranjan Goswami v Union of India. We have also noticed the submission which has been urged by senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner that the words taken at their face value as reflected in the FIRs do not establish an offence punishable under the provisions which have been invoked in the FIRs … notice shall issue, at this stage, to the States of Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Khera had said, If Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem does Narendra Gautam Das…sorry Damodardas Modi have?
    • Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Khera, submitted that multiple first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against Khera as Lucknow, Assam, Varanasi … Assam police deplaned him and now he is in airport and to be taken to Dwarka court.
    • the CJI asked, Delhi airport?
    • Singhvi said, Yes. Now UP police too will come.
    • Singhvi said, I genuinely got confused that whether it is Gautamdas or Damodardas”.. he also apologised and said this was a mistake… Please protect him from arrest.
    • Singhvi said, For any amount of political dialogue… sections like 153(a) or 295(a) IPC cannot be invoked for this.
    • the ASG contended, This statement is made with an intent so that public discourse is taken away and it incites public disaffection. It is against a duly elected Prime Minister of the country. It is deliberate and calculative.
    • Bhati said, Please see the demeanor of the statement made.. It will be clear (whether) it is intentional or not intentional.. Please see the video. See the facial expression… he is smiling.. He says kaam hai yeh and naam hai yeh.. he is the Prime Minister in question.
  14. On Thursday Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera has approached the Supreme Court immediately after he was arrested by the Assam Police from the Delhi airport after he botched up the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference.
    • Singhvi said, He made some statement which he could have avoided making. He was whisked away by police. We are seeking consolidation of first information reports (FIRs) since several are being registered across the country.
    • the CJI asked, Who is Mr Pawan Khera.
    • Singhvi replied, Spokesperson of Congress party. He also makes statements etc for the party.
    • Khera had said, If Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem does Narendra Gautam Das…sorry Damodardas Modi have?
  15. On Thursday the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh granted relief to a candidate who was not allowed to join the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on account of scars (abraded lesions) that remained after a tattoo was removed from his hand and forearm.  (Sunil Kumar V/s Union of India and others)
    • the order stated, Mere abraded lesions on the hand and forearm, which does not have any potentiality to interfere with the working of a Constable GD, cannot be made a ground to declare a candidate unfit for service in CAPF.
    • the Court said, I am aware that the tattoo beyond the prescribed size on the impermissible areas do render a candidate unfit to be appointed as Constable GD in CAPF, as is evident from the revised Guidelines of 2015. However, I am at a loss to understand as to how mere abraded lesions on the hand and forearm would, in any way, interfere in the performance of duties of a Constable GD.
  16. On Thursday the Calcutta High Court opined while dealing with a case concerning ritualistic hunting festivals known as ‘shikhar utsav’ the senseless killing of animals in the wild for pleasure or as a show of prowess is as heinous as the offence of murder. (Human & Environment Alliance League & Anr. v. Mr. Debal Ray, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Ors)
  17. On Thursday the Delhi High Court clarified that a lawyer appearing before the Supreme Court, High Courts or district courts must wear white bands and the law interns can come to courts wearing black tie, coat, pant and white shirt.
  18. On Thursday Justice Prathiba M Singh of Delhi High Court recused herself from hearing a petition filed by former JNU Student Union leader Shehla Rashid seeking an apology from Zee News and journalist Sudhir Chaudhary for airing a news programme against her.
  19. On Thursday the Kerala High Court directed the State government to take appropriate decisions by four months on creating permanent posts and appointments of faculty members in government law colleges within Kerala from the year 2023-24.  (Arun P Wilson and Ors. v State of Kerala and Ors.)
  20. On Thursday the Central Government confirmed the appointment of advocate Venkatachari Lakshminarayanan as an additional judge of the Madras High Court.
  21. On Thursday the Central government notified the appointment of three Advocates Prashant Kumar, Manjive Shukla and Arun Kumar Singh Deshwal as additional judges of the Allahabad High Court.
  22. On Thursday the Bombay High Court quashed the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case against Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal.
    • The order was passed on petitions filed by Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal seeking quashing of the ECIR.
    • The travel agent alleged that it had suffered a loss of over ₹46 crores after the airline company cancelled flight operations from October 2018.
    • the ED counsel argued, ECIR can never be quashed. It is not a statutory documentary and a simple paper. If we want to initiate a civil case, then ECIR helps. You cannot equate ECIR with FIR. What happens to the other actions that I have taken basis the ECIR, like recording statement of witnesses, what happens to that?
  23. On Thursday the Supreme Court upheld a Madras High Court order setting aside the cancellation of the election of Edappadi K Palaniswami as interim General Secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).  (Thiru K Palaniswamy v. M Shanmugam and ors)
  24. On Thursday the Supreme Court of India has introduced neutral citation for all its judgments, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said in open court.
  25. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court admonished the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for issuing an eviction notice that gave only 48 hours time to a man to clear the premises while also not providing him any alternate accommodation.  (Shobhnath Ramchandra Singh v. MMRDA & Anr.)

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