Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 26th May 2023



Article – 243H Powers to impose taxes by, and Funds of, the Panchayats.

The Legislature of a State may, by law,—
(a) authorise a Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject to such limits.
(b) assign to a Panchayat such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the State Government for such purposes and subject to such conditions and limits.
(c) provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the State.
(d) provide for constitution of such Funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Panchayats and also for the withdrawal of such moneys therefrom, as may be specified in the law.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Friday the Supreme Court stayed a Telangana High Court order which granted conditional bail to T Gangi Reddy, prime accused in the YS Vivekananda Reddy murder case.
    • A Bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha stayed the conditional bail granted to Reddy on April 27 by the High Court, and ordered, We do not want to rush all of you…we will just stay the last portion and take it up after vacations…List on July 14. Till next date, the last operational part of the order remains stayed…where High Court ordered the lower court to release the accused on bail upon certain conditions is stayed.
    • Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra argued, CBI has filed a counter saying High Court order is a bad precedent and comments on the kind of state investigation. However, the Supreme Court while sending it back to High Court had observed that it seemed like State was deliberately dragging its feet since this gentleman is involved.
  2. On Friday the Delhi High Court ordered the Delhi government not to take any coercive action against bike taxi aggregators Rapido and Uber till guidelines governing such aggregators are notified.
    • A Division Bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna passed the order on a petition filed by Rapido. The Court also passed a similar order on Uber’s plea.
    • The Delhi government had issued a public notice in February stating that bike taxis are not allowed in the national capital and that the two-wheelers having non-transport (private) registration indulging in purely commercial operations would be in violation of Motor Vehicles Act and rules made under the Act.
  3. On Friday A lawyer has moved the Kerala High Court to set aside a recent order of a single-judge that had granted permission to a 15-year-old girl impregnated by her brother to terminate her 7-month pregnancy.  (Kulathoor Jaising v xxx & Ors.)
    • A division bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Bhatti and Justice Basant Balaji on Thursday granted liberty to the appellant-lawyer, advocate Kulathoor Jaising, to approach the same single-judge for impleading himself as one of the respondents in the matter.
    • Jaising’s plea said, The learned single-judge ought to have found that if the child is kept in the womb for 2 more months in a secret manner, the life of the child and the alleged social and medical complications can be sorted out and the paternity can be medically proved.
    • Jaising submitted, The interim order of this Honourable court is against the conscience of the common and may have a heartbreaking feeling.
  4. On Friday the Central government cleared the appointment of Justice RD Dhanuka as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
    • In exercise of the power conferred by the Constitution of India, the President of India, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to appoint the following High Court Judges as Chief Justices of High Courts.
  5. On Friday the Central government cleared the appointment of Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court SV Gangapurwala as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.
    • the notification reads, In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Sanjay Vijaylcumar Gangapurwala, Judge, Bombay High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
  6. On Friday the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) has announced that the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for the upcoming year 2024 will be conducted on December 3, 2023.
    • the press release, Further details regarding the syllabus, application and counselling process shall be released shortly.
  7. On Friday the Orissa High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to a man booked for hurling communal abuses against Muslim community and ransacking a shop during the recent Hanuman Jayanti procession in the State.  (Aniket Mishra vs State of Odisha)
    • Single-judge Justice Chittaranjan Dash noted from the First Information Report (FIR) that the petitioner had led a mob of miscreants to attack shops as well as the residential houses of the Muslim community.
    • the bench noted in the order passed, The incident occurred in connection with Hanuman Jayanti while the procession being taken and the incident is one out of the retaliation to the incident that occurred just three days before the Hanuman Jayanti on April 14, 2023. The name of the present Petitioner along with others finds place in the FIR who led the mob and attacked the shops as well as the residential houses of the Muslim community.
    • the Court opined, There is nothing in the FIR that the Petitioner holds a prestigious position so as to draw an inference that in a situation of this kind a case could have been hatched against him in order to defame him.
    • the order said, On the contrary, grant of pre arrest bail vis-à-vis the allegations made in the FIR will have a great ramification when the situation is volatile and as such it is not desirable to allow pre-arrest bail in favour of the Petitioner before he is subjected to investigation/interrogation.
  8. On Friday the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has approached the Delhi High Court seeking death sentence for Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief and Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik.
    • The petition is listed for hearing on May 29 before a Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh.
    • Malik was convicted of offences under Section 120B, 121, 121A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 13 and 15 of UAPA read with 120B of the IPC besides Sections 17, 18, 20, 38 and 39 of UAPA.
    • the special court had underscored, Betraying the good intentions of government he took a different path to orchestrate violence in the guise of political struggle. …the evidence on the basis of which charges were framed and to which convict has pleaded guilty, speaks otherwise.
    • the judge underlined, It only took one small incident of violence at Chauri Chaura for the Mahatma to call off the entire non cooperation movement but the convict despite large scale of violence engulfing the valley neither condemned the violence nor withdrew his calendar of protests, which had led to the said violence.
  9. On Friday the Delhi High Court closed contempt of court case filed against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami by former Executive Vice-chairman of TERI, RK Pachauri.
    • The Court accepted the unconditional apology tendered by Goswami and disposed of the case against him.
    • the Court ordered, Considering the fact that the Respondent Nos. 2 (Economic Times), 3 (Raghav Ohri) and 5 (Arnab Goswami) have at the outset tendered their written unconditional apology by way of their respective affidavits and have admittedly not published any further articles or aired broadcasts in contravention of the ad-interim orders, this Court accepts the said apology. Accordingly, the Respondent Nos. 2, 3 and 5 are discharged and the present petition is disposed of with respect to the said Respondents.
  10. On Friday the Delhi High Court pulled up the Delhi Police for its failure to take any action against one Jagdish Singh who allegedly made a hate speech against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair.
    • Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani said that the Court would not be doing its duty if no action is taken against Singh for making hate speech against Zubair.
    • the Court asked Delhi Police’s counsel, You went hammer and tongs against him (Zubair). But the case has now ended in a whimper as it should have because there was no evidence against him. But what action have you taken against this man (Singh).
    • The tweet read, Hello Jagdish Singh. Does your cute grand daughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media? I suggest you to change your profile pic.
    • the Court remarked, How can we put a quietus to the issue without complying with the Supreme Court’s directions… Supreme Court’s words are our command. How can we let it go like that.
    • The matter has to be taken with seriousness. I cannot let it go like this without compliance of the Supreme Court’s orders. Tell me what steps you (Delhi Police) have taken.
  11. Professor Dr S Surya Prakash, Vice-Chancellor at Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Visakhapatnam has been appointed as Vice-Chancellor of National Law Institute University (NLIU) Bhopal.
    • Prof Prakash will be demoting his current office as Vice Chancellor at DSNLU, Visakhapatnam on May 31 and is slated to join his new stint as VC at NLIU, Bhopal on June 1.
  12. On Friday the Karnataka High Court denied bail to a teacher accused of sexually harassing and assaulting his minor girl students.  (C Manjunath v. State of Karnataka and Anr)
    • Justice Umesh M Adiga observed that the offences were heinous in nature and that the petitioner, without considering his position and status in society as a teacher, allegedly sexually harassed minor students.
    • the Court said, The alleged offence are heinous in nature. Mercilessly, without thinking his status and position in the society, he has sexually harassed students who were studying in IV and V classes. Guru or teacher are considered as God in this Country and respected like a God. However because of alleged behaviour of the petitioner, even the parents think twice about sending of their girl child to the school.
  13. On Friday the Allahabad High Court allowed the plea moved by Hindu side seeking transfer of the suit relating to Krishna Janmabhoomi- Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute, from the trial court to the High Court. (Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman And 7 Others v UP Sunni Central Waqf Board)
    • Today A Bench of Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra passed the order.
    • the Court ordered, he instant transfer application is allowed…Let the District Judge, Mathura prepare a list of all such cases of similar nature involving the subject matter and touching upon its periphery, expressly or by implication include particulars of such cases and these suits/cases along with record, as above, shall be duly forwarded to this Court within two weeks and the same shall stand transferred to this Court in exercise of suo motu powers of this Court.
  14. On Friday the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Friday set aside an order passed by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) at Mumbai directing stock exchanges to reassess their initial approvals granted for the merger of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zee) with Culver Max Entertainment (earlier known as Sony Pictures Networks India).
    • On May 11, the NCLT had directed the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to issue updated no-objection certificates before June 16, 2023.
    • ZEE moved NCLAT against this order of May 11.
  15. On Friday the Editor of the OpIndia website, Nupur Sharma, and its Chief Executive Officer Rahul Roushan have approached the Madras High Court seeking to quash a First Information Report (FIR) registered against them by the Tamil Nadu (TN) Police.
    • The FIR was lodged last month following a complaint by an IT wing member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party against an allegedly false story published by OpIndia claiming that some migrant workers from Bihar had been attacked in TN.
  16. On Friday the Rouse Avenue District Court Delhi allowed the plea filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seeking issuance of a fresh passport.
    • Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta directed that the no objection certificate (NOC) in respect of the passport will be valid for three years.
    • This would mean that Gandhi will have to approach the Court for NOC after 3 years.
    • Gandhi had sought passport for ten years.
    • Swamy argued, That it is submitted, the Application is devoid of any merit for issuance of Passport for 10 years. That it is humbly submitted, this Hon’ble Court, may exercise the discretion to grant permission after scrutinizing and analyzing all other correlated matters in deciding on the litigation of the Applicant in the broad spectrum of areas of justice and law.
  17. On Friday the Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking directions to the Lok Sabha Secretariat to have the new parliament building inaugurated by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu.
    • A vacation Bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha said that the petitioner, advocate CR Jaya Sukin has no locus to file such petitions and that he should be grateful that the Court was not imposing costs.
    • the Court said, What is your locus? We know why you file such petitions. We are not inclined to interfere under article 32. Be grateful we are not imposing costs.
    • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, Withdrawal being allowed will give him liberty to move High Court. These are not justiciable. The court should note it.
    • the Court ordered, fter arguing for quite some time, the petitioner in person seeks to withdraw. We dismiss the petition.
    • the plea pointed out, That President is the First Citizen of India this regard and head of the institution of parliament. That all important decisions regarding the country are taken in the name of Indian President.
  18. On Friday the Supreme Court stayed costs of ₹25 lakh imposed on All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee by Calcutta High Court but refused to stay the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against him in connection with the school jobs for cash sc
    • A vacation Bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha observed that apart from the costs imposed, nothing was prima facie wrong with the order as the High Court could not interfere with the ED and CBI probe.
  19. On Friday the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy informed the Rouse Avenue Court Delhi that he was told by an official in Britain about Rahul Gandhi declaring himself as a British citizen.
    • Subramanian Swamy said, “I was in Britain recently and there, an official told me that Gandhi has declared himself as a British citizen. Under Indian law, his Indian citizenship should be directly cancelled.”
      • Under Indian law, there is currently no scope for dual citizenship.
    • he said, He has asked for passport valid for ten years, which is maximum. But this is a special case. There is no such thing as a fundamental right to passport. He has no valid reason for the passport for ten years. Permission should be granted after analysing the other correlated matters.
    • Advocate Tarannum Cheema, appearing for Gandhi, said that Ten years is given as a matter of routine. Insofar as citizenship part is concerned, firstly the document he has annexed will not amount to criminal proceedings. We have not heard anything from the Ministry since 2019. People who have been involved in graver offences have been granted passports for ten years. It includes 2G and other cases.
  20. On Friday the Supreme Court interim medical bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain who is in jail in a money laundering case. (Satyendar Kumar Jain v Directorate of Enforcement)
    • A vacation bench of Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha said that Jain shall be on interim medical bail till July 11 and permitted him to undergo treatment at a private hospital.
    • the Court said, We are inclined to grant interim medical bail. We allow the petitioner to take treatment at private hospital and we allow him to be released on interim bail as subject to the conditions by the trial court. his order shall remain in operation till July 11, 2023.
    • Senior Counsel AM Singhvi appearing in behalf of Jain said, There are overwhelming grounds for a medical bail. Main bail can be considered later on.
    • Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), said that We doubt Lok Nayak hospital and we feel medical records could be fudged.. let him be examined by AIIMS panel of doctors. We cannot trust medical record of Delhi hospitals since he was a minister. If the AIIMS report in his favour then I will concede. He was a health minister. These Delhi govt hospitals were under him.
    • the bench asked, Why do you have no confidence in his medical records ASG. You convince us.
    • the ASG replied, Petitioner suppressed order of Oct 1, 2022. The HC had observed that petitioner was the health minister and his photo was there on the webpage of these hospitals. On July 14, 2022 jail doctor showed him to have fever etc. Jail hospital was under him. ED then felt there was something wrong. Medical reports were all bogus. He was found to be lying without oxygen mask etc.. as soon as investigating officer came in he wore the oxygen mask etc. The moment we say AIIMS he sought discharge from the hospital. All these medical reports need not be taken by a pinch of salt but a large volume of salt.. they can be fudged.
    • Singhvi contended, GB Pant is mandatory referral hospital for all Tihar prisoners). He does not refer to that. Todays reports cannot be refused on the basis of October 2022 condition. Look at his condition. Where will he run? The man has muscular dystrophy. He has lost 35 kgs. He has a right of private hospital. He has vertebrae and spinal issues. How can we oppose this on humanitarian grounds.
    • the ASG replied, He is losing weight since he is jain and is not eating food in the hospital…Jains believe in fasting.. He fasts in the jail and does not eat food.
  21. On Friday the Karnataka High Court granted anticipatory bail to a man accused of selling beef at a mutton shop.  (Hyder Ali v. State of Karnataka)
    • Justice TG Shivashankare Gowda observed that the offences alleged against the petitioner were not punishable either with death or imprisonment for life.
  22. On Friday the Delhi High Court upheld Income Tax authorities’ decision to transfer the tax assessments of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from faceless assessment to its central circle.
    • A Division Bench of Justices Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma passed the order today after having reserved it on 15thMarch.
    • the Court ordered, Accordingly, the present writ petitions along with pending applications are dismissed.
    • the Court underscored, This Court is of the view that though in the year 2019, the concept of E-assessment and in 2020, the concept of Faceless Assessment was introduced, yet the Jurisdictional Assessing Officer continues to exercise concurrent jurisdiction with Faceless Assessing Officer.

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