Today’s Legal Updates

Monday, 25th June 2022



CHAPTER- I THE EXECUTIVE (The President and Vice-President)

Article – 72 Power of President to grant pardons, etc., and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.

  1. The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence –
    1. in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial;
    2. in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
    3. in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
  2. Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the power conferred by law on any officer of the Armed Forces of the Union to suspend, remit or commute a sentence passed by a Court Martial.
  3. Nothing in sub-clause (c) of clause (1) shall affect the power to suspend, remit or commute a sentence of death exercisable by the Governor 1*** of a State under any law for the time being in force.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Monday the Supreme Court said in its order granting bail to the Alt News co-founder, the criminal justice machinery was relentlessly employed against Mohammed Zubair by opening multiple investigations against him across the country for the same set of tweets. (Mohammed Zubair vs State of UP)
    • A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna said that due to such such multiple first information reports, Zubair would have been required to hire multiple advocates across districts, file multiple applications for bail, travel to multiple districts spanning two states for the purposes of investigation, and defend himself before multiple courts, all with respect to substantially the same alleged cause of action.
    • the order said, Resultantly, he is trapped in a vicious cycle of the criminal process where the process has itself become the punishment. It also appears that certain dormant FIRs from 2021 were activated as certain new FIRs were registered, thereby compounding the difficulties faced by the petitioner.
    • the judgment, A fair investigative process would require that the entirety of the investigation in all the FIRs should be consolidated and entrusted to one investigating authority. The overlap in the FIRs, emanating as they do from the tweets of the petitioner, only goes to emphasize the need for a consolidated, as opposed to piece-meal investigation by a diverse set of law enforcement agencies.
    • the judgment said, In terms of Section 41(1)(b)(ii) of the CrPC, the police officer in question must be satisfied that such arrest is necessary to prevent the person sought to be arrested from committing any further offence, for proper investigation of the offence, to prevent the arrestee from tampering with or destroying evidence, to prevent them from influencing or intimidating potential witnesses, or when it is not possible to ensure their presence in court without arresting them.
    • the judgment underlined, When the power to arrest is exercised without application of mind and without due regard to the law, it amounts to an abuse of power. The criminal law and its processes ought not to be instrumentalized as a tool of harassment. Section 41 of the CrPC as well as the safeguards in criminal law exist in recognition of the reality that any criminal proceeding almost inevitably involves the might of the state, with unlimited resources at its disposal, against a lone individual.
    • the Court made it clear, Merely because the complaints filed against the petitioner arise from posts that were made by him on a social media platform, a blanket anticipatory order preventing him from tweeting cannot be made.
    • the bench ruled, The imposition of such a condition would tantamount to a gag order against the petitioner. Gag orders have a chilling effect on the freedom of speech.
  2. On Monday the plea before the Supreme Court to declare access to virtual hearing as a fundamental right will be heard by a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud.  (All India Association of Jurists v High Court of Uttarakhand & Ors)
  3. On Monday the All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Delhi (AICCTU) has flagged that several labourers involved in the renovation of the Delhi High Court building are working without Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits.
  4. On Monday the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informed the Bombay High Court that it has included several tactile features in currency notes to help visually impaired persons to easily identify the denomination. (National Association of Blind v. Reserve Bank of India & Ors.)
    • The submissions by the central bank came in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by National Association of the Blind (NAB) which contended that the new currency notes and coins issued by RBI are unidentifiable for visually impaired persons owing to changes in their physical features.
    • The RBI has developed several tactile features in the currency notes including identification marks and raised lines. The ₹100 note has a triangle and four raised lines, ₹500 note has a circle and five lines and ₹2000 note has a rectangle and seven lines.
    • the RBI affidavit underscored, Based on deliberations with the organisations, new features such as bleed lines in higher denomination notes, ascending size of numerals in the number panels, enlarged identification marks were introduced in the banknotes in 2015. The bleed lines do not require braille literacy as these are unique for each denomination and adequate publicity has been given for dissemination of information.
  5. On Monday the Delhi High Court reserved orders in an appeal by social media giants Facebook and WhatsApp challenging the probe ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the latter’s privacy policy.
    • the ASG pointed out, We succeeded in April 2021. We have a judgment against them. There is no stay. We issued two probe notices. There are reasons strong enough to proceed. Still, 15 months later, we have not been able to proceed.
    • the CCI had held, in a data driven ecosystem, the competition law needs to examine whether the excessive data collection and the extent to which such collected data is subsequently put to use or otherwise shared, have anti-competitive implications, which require anti-trust scrutiny. in digital markets, unreasonable data collection and sharing thereof, may grant competitive advantage to the dominant players and may result in exploitative as well as exclusionary effects, which is a subject matter of examination under competition law.
    • the CCI stated, Simply put, it appears that consent to sharing and integration of user data with other Facebook Companies for a range of purposes including marketing and advertising, has been made a precondition for availing WhatsApp service.
    • the order states, there appears to be no justifiable reason as to why users should not have any control or say over such cross-product processing of their data by way of voluntary consent, and not as a precondition for availing WhatsApp’s services.
  6. On Monday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the appointment of two judicial officers as judges of the Himachal Pradesh High Court.
  7. On Monday the Supreme Court Colegium has recommended the elevation of 6 lawyers as judges of the Telangana High Court.
  8. On Monday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of thirteen lawyers for elevation as judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
  9. On Monday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the names of nine judicial officers for elevation as judges of the Calcutta High Court.
  10. On Monday the Bombay High Court remarked Air Traffic Control (ATC) plays a crucial role in aviation safety, sometimes more crucial than the pilot himself.
  11. On Monday the Bombay High Court came down heavily on the State of Maharashtra for not having taken effective and adequate measures to maintain clean and hygienic toilets in government schools.  (Nikita Narayan Gore v. Union of India)
  12. On Monday the Bombay High Court came down heavily on the State of Maharashtra for not having taken effective and adequate measures to maintain clean and hygienic toilets in government schools.  (Nikita Narayan Gore v. Union of India)
  13. Last Week the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the Delhi High Court Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo’s act of alleged money laundering is not merely an economic offence but an attempt to destabilise the country’s financial system, thereby, threatening the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  14. On Monday the Delhi High Court, remarked that parliament and State legislatures are free to make laws prohibiting forced conversions, but for the court to make any such recommendation, a strong case has to be made.
  15. On Monday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Central government, the Election Commission of India and the States of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradhesh on a public interest litigation petition seeking delimitation exercise to be carried out in the four States.  (Delimitation Demand Committee for the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in North East India vs Union of India and ors)
  16. On Saturday the Supreme Court’s Justice Dinesh Maheshwari inaugurated a two-day conference on Sensitization of District Court Judges on Gender Justice and Differently Abled Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
  17. On Monday the Bombay High Court directed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not to take coercive action till August 23 against the alleged unauthorised constructions by Union Minister Narayan Rane in his Juhu bungalow.
  18. On Monday the Supreme Court urged a petitioner challenging recent allotment of newly constructed chambers on twin sharing basis, to withdraw his plea in the larger interest of the Bar.
    • a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said that twin sharing allotment will ensure that twice the number of lawyer get chambers which would be a boon in a city like Delhi with extreme weather.
    • Justice Chandrachud remarked, Whatever you do will hurt members of the bar. There are lawyers waiting since 1975. When you say single allotment, automatically the lawyers are cut to half. You must also look at how difficult this will be as opposed to people sitting outside in the Delhi heat.
    • Justice Chandrachud said, I had a chamber of 120 square feet in Mumbai. But still we conducted our affairs. Delhi is also becoming like Mumbai.
    • Senior Adv (Fali) Nariman used to conduct his affairs from the hallways of the court.
    • Senior Advocate PS Patwalia said, In 2019 July, decision was taken that chambers will be allotted on double allotment basis. We challenged it saying it was 9 by 16 room and thus not possible. Later, double allotment was suspended and a committee was formed. Then there was demand for more chambers. The 3-member committee then saw the chambers and said it should be single allotment.
    • Justice Chandrachud remarked, Let us do this in spirit of unity which will benefit Bar & Bench of this court. We will permit you to withdraw this and approach the committee…To assert that there should only be single allotment means that half your colleagues also lose out.
    • Patwalia requested, I tried to divide the chamber in any way but not possible. you need a lawyer, a clerk someone in your chamber. But its not possible. Please defer allotment till representation is decided.
    • the Court said, No no, all members of the committee are members of this bar also. We are not granting any stay. We will keep after 2 weeks.
    • the Court directed, Petitioners say genuine apprehensions will be placed before committee. We permit written representation to be filed. List after 2 weeks.
  19. Last Week the Karnataka High Court dismissed pleas challenging the acquisition of land for the implementation of the Upper Krishna Project (UKP) which was for the avowed public purpose of irrigating large tracts of land in various districts of North Karnataka. (Gopal v. State of Karnataka)
  20. On Monday the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking relaxation of dress code for lawyers during the summer season.  (Shailendra Tripathi vs Bar Council of India and ors)
  21. On Monday the Uddhav Thackeray camp of Shiv Sena has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on Election Commission of India (ECI) proceedings which were initiated on a plea by the Eknath Shinde faction to be recognised as the ‘real’ Shiv Sena. (Subhash Desai v Principal Secretary)
  22. On Monday the Kerala High Court upheld the condition mandating that applicants to the post of Assistant Law Officer at National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) should have cleared the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).
  23. On Monday the Himachal Pradesh High Court ordered all public prosecutors to take a ‘refresher course’ on ethics and morality after noticing the recent trend to “shamelessly” hobnob with politicians to procure transfer orders suiting their convenience.  (Tarsen Kumar vs State of Himachal Pradesh)
  24. The Bombay High Court observed the Maharashtra government should take more proactive steps to ensure that citizens come to know about the literature published by the State government about Dr BR Ambedkar and social reformists like Shahu Maharaj and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.

Legal Prudent Fraternity