Today’s Legal Updates

Monday, 25th April 2022




Article – 299    Contracts

(1) All contracts made in the exercise of the executive power of the Union or of a State shall be expressed to be made by the President, or by the Governor of the State, as the case may be, and all such contracts and all assurances of property made in the exercise of that power shall be executed on behalf of the President or the Governor by such persons and in such manner as he may direct or authorise.

(2) Neither the President nor the Governor shall be personally liable in respect of any contract or assurance made or executed for the purposes of this Constitution, or for the purposes of any enactment relating to the Government of India heretofore in force, nor shall any person making or executing any such contract or assurance on behalf of any of them be personally liable in respect thereof.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. Today the Supreme Court  observed Demand for creation of ‘Judicial Vista’ around the existing premises of the Supreme Court is a logical one.
    • We would normally not be entertaining such matters, but will tell the Union government to consider and take a decision. Judicial Vista in a planned way is a logical and correct thing.
    • Pointing out that the workload and number of judges, advocates and litigants have only increased whereas the size of the premises has not, the plea called for the construction of:-
      • A multi-level complex with 45-50 courtrooms and 5,000 chambers for lawyers.
      • 10,000 car capacity underground parking facility.
      • Adequate office, working and waiting space for law officers, advocates, standing counsel etc.
      • Library, medical and photocopying facilities.
      • Dedicated office space for all lawyer associations and bar councils.
    • Talking of impediments in the path of modernisation, financial constraints must never come in the path of progress. There is a need for the Centre and States to co-operate and create a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation, as a one- time measure, to cater to the need for judicial infrastructure in the country. Such a corporation would bring the uniformity and standardization required to revolutionize judicial infrastructure.
    • Mere allocation of funds is not enough. The challenge is to put the available resources to optimum use. I have been pursuing the government for setting up of statutory authorities, both at the Centre and at the States. I am hoping for a positive response soon.
  2. On Thursday A Mumbai Sessions Court granted anticipatory bail to BYJM (Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha) President Tajinder Singh Tiwana after charges were filed against him for sloganeering outside a mosque on the occasion of Ram Navami.  (Tajinder Singh Tiwana v. The State of Maharashtra)
    • The rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India form the basic structure of the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the State to devise a mechanism, to ensure that the said rights are given effect to, in letter and spirit. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that all steps are taken to promote fraternity among different communities.
    • No purpose is going to be served, by interrogating the applicant, by taking him into custody. No slogans are said to have been raised by one community against another community, thereby directly instigating disharmony and creating hatred inter se two communities. In such scenario, the applicant is entitled to anticipatory bail.
    • The State must focus on different facets of the scenario, which ultimately results into disharmony, and address the same in such a prudent manner, as to ensure that there shall be no interference by any one community into the religious feelings of any other community, so as to ultimately achieve the goal of fraternity, as sought to be promoted by the Constitution.
  3. On Monday the Delhi High Court directed its Registrar General and the Union Ministry of Law and Justice to submit a status report regarding the use of double-sided A4 pages for filing of cases before the Court.
    • the counsel argued, The Government should issue a circular to all High Courts four use of A4 size sheet of adequate quality and for printing of paper on both sides in view to save environment and space.
    • Justice Sanghi stated, Where it is possible, it should be implemented. Why should it not be done in Delhi unless there is some serious difficulty? If the Supreme Court has done it we should do it as well.
  4. On Monday Member of Parliament Naveent Rana and her husband, independent Member of Legislative Assembly Ravi Rana have approached Bombay High Court seeking quashing of case slapped against them for assault of public servant after they threatened to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray’s private residence.
  5. On Monday Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said that he is considering setting up a special bench to hear cases relating to tribunals, their functioning and appointments.  (Madras Bar Association vs Union of India)
    • the CJI remarked, “I cannot hear all the tribunal matters. I will have to constitute a special bench for this.”
    • the Supreme Court had ordered, Consequently, the declaration of this Court in para 53(iv) of (the judgment in) Madras Bar Association-III shall prevail and the term of Chairperson of a Tribunal shall be five years or till she or he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier and the term of Member of a Tribunal shall be five years or till she or he attains the age of 67 years, whichever is earlier.
  6. On Monday the Kerala High Court annulled the appointment of Nireesh Chakkumkulangara as a General Manager (GM) of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) as he had not attained the minimum age required for selection to the post.  (Suresh Geroge v Kochi Metro Rail Ltd & Ors.)
    • the Court said, Having found the appointment of the 6th respondent (Nireesh) to be illegal, this Court cannot shirk away from its responsibility by reason of delay in challenging the appointment. An illegal appointment will not get legitimised or sanctified by efflux of time.
    • Being a public body, the action of the first respondent (KMRL) has to be transparent and above suspicion.
    • Therefore, the irrefragable position is that the Scrutiny and Interview Committees had no authority to deviate from the notified qualification with respect to the minimum age of a candidate, whether it be for nineteen days or one day.
  7. On Monday the Delhi High Court issued notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of provisions of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), the Central government’s relief package for the poor and victims of COVID-19.  (Aakash Goel v. Union of India and Ors)
    • the plea said, In light of the mandate of Union Government to use DBT mechanism to directly transfer funds/subsidy/welfare measures into the accounts of poor/needy persons, there is an immediate need to ease the process of opening of/conversion into PMJDY accounts. Crores of intended beneficiaries have been excluded from availing the benefit of subsidies, DBT scheme benefits or services solely for the reason that they are not active Jan Dhan account holders.
  8. On Monday Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana as mentioned the case concerning abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution which conferred special status on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
    • This is before 5 judge bench. Give details we will list it. There are some issues with judges and bench composition.
  9. On Monday Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was forced to purchase a painting by artist MF Husain from Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, for ₹2 crore in 2010.
    • “Despite my (Kapoor’s) best efforts to avoid this deal they (Deoras) were exceptionally persistent to finalise the deal rapidly. …(during a meeting) late Murli Deora told me in no uncertain terms that any further delay in purchasing the painting could have adverse repercussion on me and on my Yes Bank and it could jeopardise my relationship with Deora family. He had tried to convince me that it will also not permit me ever to build me a relationship with Gandhi family.”
  10. On Monday the Bombay High Court set aside a notification of the Maharashtra government which excluded those persons affected under the Nagpur-Mumbai Express Highway Project (Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg) from getting compensation against the land acquisition as per the existing market value of the property.  (Radhika J. Bhalerao & Ors. vs The State of Maharashtra & Ors)
    • The Circular dated 13th August, 2018 appears to be in consonance with the provision of Statute and Rules as referred to (supra), however, the corrigendum dated 11th September, 2018 deviates from the provisions of said statute and rules governing the principle for determination of compensation of the amount. Such an executive instructions contrary to the provision of the statute, rules cannot be sustained. The same would be beyond the purview of the powers conferred on an executive under Article 162 of Constitution of India.
  11. On Monday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended that Justice Satyen Vaidya, additional judge of Himachal Pradesh High Court, be made permanent judge of that Court.
  12. On Monday the Supreme Court held that Anganwadi workers and helpers are entitled to gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act of 1972.  (Maniben Maganbhai Bhariya vs District Development Officer Dahod and ors)
    • the Court said, Time has come when the Central government/State governments has to collectively consider as to whether looking to the nature of work and exponential increase in the Anganwadi centers and to ensure quality in the delivery of services and community participation and … find out modalities in providing better service conditions of the voiceless commensurate to the nature of job discharged by them.
    • Justice Oka said in his judgment, It is high time that the Central government and State governments take serious note of the plight of Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) who are expected to render such important services to the society.
    • Justice Rastogi said, Gratuity, as a social welfare legislation, its effective implementation is of paramount importance to fulfil the legitimate 7 expectation of the employees. So far as the unorganized sectors are concerned, these Acts have been pillars in social security and laid the foundation for improvement in standards of living of the employees.
    • The first and foremost, they are not holders of civil posts due to which they are deprived of a regular salary and other benefits that are available to employees of the State. Instead of a salary, they get only a so called paltry ‘honorarium’ (much lower 24 than the minimum wages) on the specious ground that they are part­time voluntary workers, working only for about 4 hours a day.
    • the Court further directed, All eligible AWWs and AWHs shall be entitled to simple interest @ 10% per annum from the date specified under sub-­section 3A of Section 7 of the 1972 Act.
  13. On Monday the Supreme Court called upon all High Courts to submit before it details with respect to the applications pending before the concerned High Court under Section 11(6) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, seeking appointment of arbitrator. (M/S Shree Vishnu Construction vs The Engineer in Chief Millitary Engineering Service Pvt Ltd)
    • the Court said, If the applications under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act, 1996 are kept pending for a long period and even the appointment of arbitrators are not made at the earliest, it will defeat the object and purpose of the Arbitration Act.
    • the Court observed, Even otherwise under the Commercial Courts Act, the commercial disputes are required to be disposed of within a period of one year. Even under the Arbitration (Amendment) Act, 2015, the arbitrator is required to dispose of the arbitral proceedings within a period of one year. Therefore, if the applications under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act are not decided at the earliest and within reasonable time, more particularly within one year from the date of filing, the object and purpose of the Arbitration Act shall be frustrated.
    • Court directed, Before any direction is issued by this Court to the High Courts, we direct the Registry to call the statement/particulars with respect to the pending applications under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act from all the High Courts so as to reach this Court on or before 6th May, 2022. We direct the Registry of all the High Courts to send the statement to the Registry of this Court on or before 6th May, 2022.
  14. The Delhi High Court will organise a speech series on Tuesday to commemorate World Intellectual Property Day.
  15. On Monday the Bombay High Court held that the orders passed by Divisional Commissioners and Sub-divisional Commissioners sitting in appeal against externment orders under the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 are quasi-judicial in nature and should, therefore, be reasoned orders.  (Mayur Vasant Sonawane v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.)
    • A Full Bench comprising Justices SS ShindePrakash D Naik and Sarang Kotwal held as follows:-
      • The power under Section 60 of the Maharashtra Police Act of 1951 (MPA) is quasi judicial in nature and the orders passed under that Section are quasi judicial orders.
      • There is a duty to give reasons, at least in brief, while disposing the appeals under Section 60 of the Act of 1951.
    • the court said in its judgment, The Appellate Authority is not required to reach its subjective satisfaction. It has to objectively test the externment order placed before it. There is a definite material in the form of externment order, which the Appellate Authority has to consider for its correctness. This function is different from arriving at a subjective satisfaction based purely on the material against the Appellant.
    • the judgment stated, The State Government in appeal was not expected to write reasoned order in the nature of a judgment, but, that did not mean that no reasons whatsoever were required to be given. …reasons could be given by testing the impugned externment order objectively. It is possible to give reasons without divulging specific particulars of allegations against the externee. The reasons can be given maintaining confidentiality of the relevant material.
  16. Last Week the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh held that statements that Kashmir is occupied by the military or that people of the region have been reduced to slaves, would not be protected by the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.  (Muzamil Butt v. State of Jammu and Kashmir)
    • the Court said, “In my opinion, the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution cannot be stretched to such a limit as to allow a person to question the status of a part of the country or its people. It is one thing to criticize the government for its negligence and express outrage on the violation of human rights of the people but it is quite another to advocate that the people of a particular part of the country are slaves of the government of India or that they are under occupation of armed forces of the Country,”
    • Justice Dhar held, “By making these comments, he is certainly advocating and supporting the claim that Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India and that it is occupied by Indian military with the people having being reduced to the status of slaves. Thus, he is questioning the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Country,” 
    • the order said, “The petitioner by uploading these posts has cross the Lakshman Rekha which demarcates the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India from the reasonable restrictions imposed on such freedom on the ground of sovereignty and integrity of India. The intention of a person can be gathered from the words spoken or written or other expressions. Therefore, the expressions used by the petitioner, who happens to be a law knowing person, clearly show that he intended to advocate a particular ideology which supports the claim of cessions of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India,” 
    • “This is so because in Vinod Dua’s case (supra), the petitioner therein who happened to be a journalist, had criticized the functioning of the Government of the day and he had not supported and advocated any claim relating to cession of a part of the Country whereas, in the instant case, the petitioner by uploading the posts on his Facebook, has supported the claim of cession of a particular part of the Country.”
  17. On Monday the Kerala High Court granted anticipatory bail to bridal make-up artist Anez Anzare, accused of sexually assaulting several woman under the guise of applying their make-up.  (Anez Anzare v. State of Kerala)
    • the Court said in its order, Further taking into account the allegations raised against the petitioner I am of the view that the custodial interrogation of the petitioner may not be necessary for a proper investigation into the cases registered against the petitioner. I am, therefore, inclined to allow these bail applications.
  18. On Monday the Karnataka High Court dismissed a petition filed by three former municipality members who had been disqualified for failing to lodge an account of how much they had spent on the election.  (K Srinivas and Ors vs The Karnataka State Election Commission)
    • the single-judge stated, “Maintaining the purity of the electoral process requires a multi pronged approach, which includes removing the influence of money and criminal elements in politics and introducing strict standards of financial transparency in the functioning of the political parties or candidates. Regulating election expenditure is the first step toward combating corruption,” 
    • “The other objective of limiting expenditure is to eliminate as far as possible, the influence of big money in the electoral process. If there were no limit on expenditure, political parties would go all out for collecting contributions and obviously the largest contributions would be from the rich and affluent who constitute but a fraction of the electorate. The pernicious influence of big money would then play a decisive role in controlling the democratic process in the country. This would inevitably lead to the worst form of political corruption and that in its wake is bound to produce other vices at all levels.”
  19. On Monday the Delhi High Court pulled up the Delhi Police for its failure to prevent the vandalism by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.  (Saurabh Bharadwaj v. Delhi Police, Through Its Commissioner and Anr)
    •  the Court noted in its order, “In our view, the lapse is a serious lapse and should be looked at by the Commissioner of Police and he should enquire into first, whether the bandobast was adequate; the reasons for failure of arrangement made and thirdly fix the responsibility for the lapse that has occurred,”
    • the Court observed, “One thing which emerges from your report is that you have put up these barricades. They were denied permission yet they came. First barricade is breached, second is breached and third is breached. What kind of bandobast is this? You have seriously look at your functioning” 
    • Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued, “For a 20 minute lapse on a flyover, Supreme Court has passed directions. Here people have almost entered the house. If it had been any other functionary, would it had been same? SITs have been constituted for all and sundry cases,
    • Those who were on the video are felicitated by the political powers,
    • the Court said, “Security failure is something that should come with consequences. You present a report on that,” 
    • This is a very important facet of democracy. Irrespective of our ideology, irrespective of our political party… Just like Prime Minister is Prime Minister of country. It is the constitutional office we are concerned with..”
  20. On Monday the Supreme Court stopped the demolition of around 200 jhuggis at Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar, and asked the Central government to not take any coercive action till May 2. (Vaishali (Minor) (Through Next Friend Mrs. Sita Devi) v Union of India)
    • the bench remarked, You say that you have to vacate the land. Now these people have come from all over the country and they cannot afford rates (for rent) elsewhere. As a modern government you cannot say you will throw them out. You have to engage willingly.
    • Senior Advocate Vikas Singh  argued, There has to be some scheme. Board exams are starting from tomorrow and the petitioners are students milords. There are precedents that they have to be rehabilitated.
    • Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed, “Should it be that only 2 persons be protected and others are not protected? See in one week that order applies to the two and not others. Will you conduct this exercise, and then do the demolition? This is a trick submission,”
  21. On Monday the Bombay High Court refused to quash a first information report (FIR) registered against Member of Parliament Navneet Rana and her husband, independent Member of Legislative Assembly Ravi Rana for assault of public servant in relation to the controversy arising out of the Hanuman Chalisa recital episode.
    • the Court observed in the order, Such declaration of reading religious verses in someone else’s house or even in public spaces is certainly breach of the personal liberty of the other person; the State is justified in carrying apprehension that such act will lead to disturbance in law and order situation.
    • the order said, Petitioners who are active politically are expected to behave responsibly. Great power comes with great responsibility. The expectation of responsible conduct of those persons who have an active life, is a reasonable expectation.
    • the Court remarked, “Just two days back, we made observations that even if they are representatives of the people, they have to behave properly with the opposition members as well. Though we have made these observations, but those words fell on deaf ears. We thought our observations will be considered, better sense will prevail, but whatever we observed just fall on deaf ears,”
    • it was submitted, “The first FIR is of 4 am in the morning. During the first remand, there was a statement made that Section 124A (sedition) was added. If you can add 124A then you could have added Section 353 (assault on public servant) also,”
    • the counsel argued, “This FIR cannot be allowed to continued. Because the moment bail is granted in this FIR, they will arrest me in the other FIR. I am told there are FIRs in Pune, Osmanabad and Amravati,”
    • he said, “At this juncture we see the facts and that the ingredients show a prima facie offence. If there is a false case, then then complainant will be liable. I am saying these are two distinct FIRs,”
    • the SPP said, “The reading of Hanuman chalisa was merely a challenge. The CM is head of government machinery. They wanted to challenge the machinery. It was a cold-blooded and calculated move,”
  22. On Monday A Assam court granted bail to Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani in connection with a complaint regarding two of his tweets on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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