Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 25th February 2022



Right to Freedom of Religion

Article – 27 Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

Live Hijab Case

  1. 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 High Court reserved its verdict in the batch of petitions filed by Muslim girl students challenging the government order (GO) which effectively bans the wearing of hijab in educational institutions in the State.
    • Senior Advocate Yusuf Muchchala, appearing for one of the petitioners made rejoinder submission, arguing
      • We have only asked that we should be permitted to cover the head with a piece of cloth. It is not right for the college to prevent us from doing that.
      • The question of essential religious practice cannot be imported from freedom of conscience,
      • Even hadith also says face need not be covered but hijab needs to be worn. This is the admitted position. Government admits this position in its reply.
      • Advocate General said that what is stated in the Koran though obligatory, may not be essential. That is contrary to Shayara Bano.
    • Senior Advocate Ravivarma Kumar was arguing
      • President of College Development Committee (CDC) will be the local MLA of the constituency. Out of the 12 members, 11 will be nominated by MLA. This is absolute power given to the MLA; college is given over on a platter to him.
      • The issue of entrusting a legislative member with executive power is not accepted.
      • There is absolutely no accountability for the MLA. There is no control over him. Suppose there is misuse of funds and the Committee is responsible, who will hold the CDC accountable?
    • Petitioner-in-person Dr Vinod Kulkarni was arguing
      • It is undoubtedly and vehemently denied that sporting of hijab is not in the Quran.
      • It is denied that wearing hijab is against public order, morality and health. Disturbance in social fabric is seen because of the ban.
      • Banning of hijab in schools and colleges has affected the mental health of Muslim girls, more so girls who wear the hijab.
      • Hijab is sported as a cultural practice and custom for 1400 years.
    • An advocate then mentioned petition seeking a direction to restrict the media from videographing Muslim girl students wearing hijab.
    • Advocate Balakrishna submitted, “The media is overtly or covertly doing this. Students are being humiliated and criminalized, their privacy is involved. There are shots of a teacher removing her burkha…there are visuals of girls being chased, when she removes her hijab, the media shoots,” 
    • Advocate Subhash Jha was submissions, “important questions on safety, security, integrity of the nation.” He argued that this issue has been brought before every High Court, and is a “criminal waste of judicial time.” 
    • Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat in his rejoinder arguments, said that the State was citing Constitutional Morality to restrict choice, contrary to how the concept was used in pro-choice decisions of the Supreme Court.
  2. Today the Supreme Court observed that indefinite adjournments in anticipatory bail matters, that too after admitting it, is detrimental to the valuable right of a person.  (Rajesh Seth v. State of Chattisgarh)
    • “We find it necessary to emphasize that when a person is before the Court and that too in a matter involving personal liberty, least what is expected is for such a person to be given the result one way or the other, based on the merit of his case and not push him to a position of uncertainty or be condemned without being heard, when it matters,”
    • “We are of the considered view that this type of indefinite adjournment in a matter relating to anticipatory bail, that too after admitting it, is detrimental to the valuable right of a person,”
    • “When an application for anticipatory bail was listed before the learned single-judge, which was also accompanied by an application for ad-interim relief, the learned Judge should have decided the same one way or the other, so far as the ad-interim prayer or should have taken up for consideration after giving some reasonable time to the State. Even if admitted, the learned Judge should have listed the same for final disposal on a specific date, keeping in view the nature of relief sought in the matter.”
    •  the top court noted in its order, “If the main application cannot be disposed of for any reason, the I.A. for interim relief be considered on its own merits. Till such time, we grant interim protection from arrest to the petitioner herein,”
  3. Today the Bombay High Court quashed the death sentence of a man convicted of killing and raping a teenager on the ground that the accusation of murder could not be proven.  (Ashok Baban Mukane vs The State of Maharashtra)
    • “There is every possibility of committing rape upon the victim when either she was unconscious or there is every possibility of she being brutally assaulted by someone else before she was subjected to rape by the appellant,” 
    • the Court noted, “No doubt, in normal circumstances, one may be compelled to think or presume that due to resistance from the victim while attempting to commit rape, the appellant might have smothered her face with a bag or throttled her neck resulting into her death. However, as already stated, in the absence of any marks or bruises or abrasions on the person of the appellant, it is difficult to reach such conclusion. Moreover, the Investigating Officer had failed to produce hard and blunt object alleged to have been used in giving blows over the head of the victim,” 
    • The District Legal Services Authority, Thane, was ordered to pay ₹5 lakh in compensation to the victim’s mother within six months, and the plea was dismissed.
  4. Today the Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has sought the dismissal of review petition challenging the Supreme Court’s 2018 judgment that had reduced the punishment imposed on him in a 1988 road rage case from 3 years imprisonment to ₹1,000 fine.  (Jaswinder Singh (Dead) through Legal Representative v. Navjot Singh Sidhu and Others)
  5. Today the Central government has notified the appointment of 4 judicial officers as judges of the Delhi High Court.
    1. Neena Bansal Krishna
    2. Dinesh Kumar Sharma
    3. Anoop Kumar Mendiratta
    4. Sudhir Kumar Jain
  6. Today the Supreme Court asked the Central government to make its stand clear on whether bitcoin is illegal.  (Ajay Bhardwaj v. Union of India)
    • The Court was hearing a petition filed by one of the accused in the GainBitcoin scam – Ajay Bhardwaj seeking quashing of the case against him.
    • the scam size which was initially ₹2,000 crores was revised to ₹20,000 crore after increase in bitcoin value.
    • ASG Bhati told the Court that the case involves 87,000 bitcoins and the accused was not cooperating with investigation.
    • Advocate Shoeb Alam said, “Replies have agreed that bitcoins are currencies. My money has been taken away. FIR was in 2018. This person after bail had tried to attack me and its on CCTV cameras,”
    • the Court said, “The IO shall file a status report showing the cooperation meted out by the petitioner accused. List this after 4 weeks. the interim order restraining arrest of the accused will continue till the next date of hearing. interim protection will continue,” 
  7. Today the Delhi High Court reserved its verdict on a plea by former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay challenging the order passed by the principal bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) transferring a case filed by him, from Kolkata to Delhi.  (Alapan Bandyopadhyay v Union of India and Anr)
  8. A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to be issued to the Central government to render assistance to Indian citizens and students stranded in Ukraine in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.  (Vishal Tiwari v. Union of India)
    • Air space of Ukraine has been shut down and the Air India flight sent to Ukraine returned without evacuating any Indian Citizen. This has made the situation for the Stranded Indian Students and families worse,” 
  9. Today the Supreme Court lamented the fact that the Allahabad High Court denied bail to persons languishing in jail for long periods only on account of their lawyers being unprepared.
    • “There is an apparent misconception that a bail plea cannot be considered on circumstances and it is true that counsel cannot get away by being unprepared. But caveat to this will be when accused has undergone 14 years plus in prison and other conditions have to be seen. Thus to deny bail to a person for fault of counsel would be really a travesty of justice.”
    • “We have a report of the High Court which seeks to suggest that the 18 matters remitted to the High Court for bail were listed on November 16 and 18 ,and that appearances were not put in on behalf of the appellants. None appeared to press the matter to be taken up,” 
    • “I have been getting an impression and input that you people don’t want to appear before the High Court and want Supreme Court to look at it as the first court.”
  10. Former Partner at L&L Partners, Kanchan Sinha has joined Acme Solar Holdings as Vice-President Legal.
  11. In a domestic violence case brought by model-actor Rhea Pillai against her former live-in partner, tennis player Leander Paes, a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai held that Paes had “caused various acts of domestic violence.”
  12. Today the Karnataka High Court has constituted a Commercial Division to hear challenges to international commercial arbitration awards.
    • “The Hon’ble Chief Justice has ordered that in view of Section 2(e)(ii) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, a challenge to an award in an International Commercial Arbitration can be made before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka and accordingly has constituted a Commercial Division Under Section 4(1) of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, consisting of Single Judge at the Principal Bench at Bengaluru and Benches at Dharwad and Kalaburagi,” 
  13. Today the Supreme Court has invited applications for conferment of Senior Advocate designation from retired Chief Justices and judges of High Courts as well as Advocates-on-Record and other advocates.
  14. Today a public interest litigation has been filed before the Bombay High Court challenging the procedure of election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.  (Janak N Vyas v. State of Maharashtra)
    • The plea stated that by way of the the amendment, the State has essentially:
      • removed the procedure of secret ballot and replaced it with voice vote.
      • restrict the power of the Governor to notify the date of the election and the same has been transferred to the Chief Minister (which gives absolute power to the Chief Minister of State by holding elections)
      • instead of ‘election’ of the deputy speaker, the amendment provides for ‘selection’.
  15. Today the Supreme Court granted protection from coercive action to Advocate Ehtasham Hashmi and asked him to assist the Tripura High Court in the suo motu case related to the October 2020 Tripura violence.
  16. The Kerala High Court will be reverting to physical hearings from February 28, Monday.
  17. Today the Mumbai Sessions Court stayed summons issued against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a criminal complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mumbai Secretary Vivekanand Gupta alleging Banerjee disrespected the national anthem.
  18. Today A Bengaluru Court granted bail to actor Chetan Kumar in relation to a case filed against him for tweeting against Justice Krishna Dixit of the Karnataka High Court, who is part of the Bench hearing the hijab case.
  19. Today the Delhi High Court issued notice to the resident commissioner of Uttar Pradesh after none of its officials participated in a meeting to chalk out strategy to control the spread of Dengue and other mosquito related diseases in the national capital.  (Court on its own motion v North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Ors)
  20. Today A Delhi Court dismissed the bail plea of a 19-year-old man who was booked on attempt to murder charge for reportedly hitting and dragging a man for 100 meters before stopping in Greater Kailash-I area of the national capital.  (State v. K Rajapandian)
  21. Today the Bombay High Court refused to protect actor-filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar and others in a case filed against them under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) in relation to their film “Varan Bhaat Loncha Kon Nay Koncha” reportedly containing sexually explicit content involving children.
  22. Today the Special Court under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) reserved verdict in the regular bail application filed by former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in the money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

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