Today’s Legal Updates

Wednesday, 27th April 2022




Article – 300A     Persons not to be deprived of property save by authority of law

No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Wednesday the Supreme Court pulled up the Telangana government for cancelling nearly 22 lakh ration cards without prior notice to the beneficiaries.  (SQ Masood vs State of Telangana And Ors)
    • Justice Rao asked the State, Can you deprive them of rations? What is problem of notice before en masse cancellation? Without knowing it is bogus how can you cancel unilaterally?
    • the Court ordered, We deem it that the Chief Secretary should file a report about cancellation of ration cards. We direct the State to conduct field verification of all cancelled cards pursuant to Central government orders. Authorities are directed to conduct verification of all the cards and also deal with the representations referred by any aggrieved card-holder whose card was cancelled, expeditiously.
    • Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves said, 21.94 lakh cards were cancelled which were given after verification by ration authorities. One day [they] say sorry, discontinued. An act of extreme cruelty, poor families rendered without cards. Total ration cards are between 83-87 lakh, roughly a quarter of total that have been cancelled.
    • Justice Gavai asked, Where is the statement that those not given cards can approach local authorities … Is there any statement that verification was done at household before cancellation.
  2. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court observed while dismissing a plea filed by Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha requesting to be transferred to house arrest from jail, Jail authorities should have considered books as an essential commodity during COVID-19 pandemic.  (Gautam Navlakha v. National Investigation Agency & Anr.)
    • the Court emphasized, we find that outright rejection of a parcel containing book by a humorist on such a ground was not proper. Covid pandemic was a period of distress, isolation and nervousness for most of the people, and more so for the jail inmates. During such terrible times, nothing more could have provided solace to a jail inmate than a book of his choice.
    • the order said, If Covid protocol demanded rejection of outside parcel, the jail authorities were required to apply the rule not only generally but also with all it’s exceptions…exceptions to general rule permitted acceptance of essential items from out-side, like grocery, vegetables, toiletries, medicines etc. subject to procedure of sanitation. In Covid times the books also could have been looked upon as essential commodities, just like medicines and hence worthy of acceptance.
    • the High Court said, It is pertinent to note that the jail custody of the petitioner is regulated by the Presiding Officer of the Special NIA Court. The Presiding Officer of Special NIA Court is bound to take care of the grievance, if any, made by the under trial prisoner.
    • the Court explained, It is seen that the petitioner without making a grievance before the learned Presiding Officer of the Special NIA Court, has come before this Court. If the petitioner had made a grievance or a request to the learned Presiding Officer of the Special NIA Court and if the same had not been considered, in that event, he would have been justified in making grievance and asserting his rights before this Court.
  3. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court directed the State governement to invoke the provisions of the Kerala Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1994 (ESMA) if the ongoing strike of employees of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) disrupts the supply of electricity in the State.  (Arun Jose v State of Kerala & Ors.)
    • the Court said in its order, Therefore, any disruption in power supply due to the cessation of work, concerted refusal, or retardation of work by the employees of the Board would prejudicially affect and inflict grave hardship on the normal life of the citizens in general andconsumers of the Board in particular, which necessarily has to be prevented by the 1st respondent. At the same time, we are of the definite view that the Government has to play an active role as a Conciliator between the Board and its employees and amicably sort out their differences which would be in the better interest of all the stakeholders.
    • the interim order stated, Nonetheless, if the employees of the 2nd respondent Board go ahead and indulge in any conduct falling within the purview of Section 2 of the Kerala Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1994, under any banner or nomenclature, in violation of the rules of the Board, which disrupts the generation, distribution and supply of electricity in the State of Kerala, the 1st respondent (State Government) shall immediately issue appropriate orders under the Kerala Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1994, and prohibit such conduct. Needless to mention, the Board would be at liberty to take appropriate action against the erring employees in accordance with law.
  4. On Wednesday Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) member and youngest accused in the Bhima Koregaon case Jyoti Jagtap has filed an application before the Special Court seeking discharge from all charges in the 2018 case.
  5. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court has decided to monitor the progress of trial in cases sitting and former Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on a district to district basis.
    • the Court said, We will see the frequency of dates when the trial is listed. How often are adjournments being taken.
    • This may be special bench, but then it has to be a larger bench in order to pass that order (seeking review on orders staying trials)
    • the Court stated, Let the public prosecutor go before the respective court and point out that there is an order staying the trial proceedings. Because as a special bench of two judges we cannot order co-ordinate benches.
    • the Bench added, he intention of the Supreme Court directions was to be expedited and should ensure that trial not be halted.
  6. On Tuesday the Supreme Court held that an accused can be prosecuted under the the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 even if only a single first information report (FIR) or chargesheet is filed. (Shraddha Gupta v. State of Uttar Pradesh)
    • the judgment stated, so far as the Gangsters Act, 1986 is concerned, there can be prosecution against a person even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Act provided such an anti-social activity is by violence, or threat or show of violence, or intimidation, or coercion or otherwise with the object of disturbing public order or of gaining any undue temporal, pecuniary, material or other advantage for himself or any other person.
    • the Court noted, Even a single crime committed by a ‘Gang’ is sufficient to implant Gangsters Act on such members of the ‘Gang’. The definition clause does not engulf plurality of offence before the Gangsters Act is invoked.
    • the Court held, It is also to be noted that the other co-accused were already charge sheeted / prosecuted for the offence under the Gangsters Act and therefore the appellant and the other two co-accused being members of the ‘Gang’ were also required to be prosecuted for the offences under the Gangsters Act also like other co-accused.
  7. On Wednesday the Supreme Court held that a non-signatory to a contract containing an arbitration clause, may be bound by the arbitration agreement, if it is an alter-ego of the party which executed the arbitration agreement.  (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. v Discovery Enterprises Private Ltd. & Ors.)
    • the judgement stated, A party, which is not a signatory to a contract containing an arbitration clause, may be bound by the agreement to arbitrate if it is an alter ego of a party which executed the agreement.
    • the Court said, Consent and party autonomy are undergirded in Section 7 of the Act of 1996. However, a non-signatory may be held to be bound on a consensual theory, founded on agency and assignment or on a non-consensual basis such as estoppel or alter ego.
    • the apex court said in its judgment, The first arbitral tribunal has made a fundamental error of law in not deciding the application by ONGC on discovery and inspection of documents before it ruled on jurisdiction. In doing so, the first arbitral tribunal’s interim award dated 27 October 2010 goes against the principles of natural justice. The failure to consider the application for discovery and inspection of documents results in a situation where vital evidence that could have assisted the Tribunal in its determination of the challenge under Section 16 was shut out.
  8. On Wednesday NALSAR Hyderabad is looking for a new Vice-Chancellor in light of the impending retirement of Prof Faizan Mustafa, the student body has called for his re-appointment to the post.
    • Under Prof. Mustafa’s leadership over the last ten years, the University has grown incrementally both in terms of its academic offerings and overall reputation. We believe that it is in the best interests of the University to ensure administrative continuity at this point of time. At present, we are transitioning back to regular academic activities after the pandemic-induced shift towards online education over the last two years. In such an uncertain time, the institution will benefit from stability in its leadership, even as we collectively prepare to navigate a post-pandemic future.
  9. On Last Week the Chhattisgarh High Court quashed two orders of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) imposing a moratorium on the opening of new pharmacy colleges for 5 years. (Chouksey College Of Pharmacy v Pharmacy Council Of India)
    • Since the ‘executive instructions’ failed to meet the basic character required to impinging upon the fundamental rights, therefore on the said ground, the ‘executive instructions’ cannot hit or adversely affect the fundamental rights of the Petitioners to start a new Pharmacy Institution at the time and moment of their choice,” observed the single-judge, concluding that the orders under challenge needed to be treated as ineffective and ‘bereft of any fangs’.
    • the Court said, It is evidently clear that mere information being provided to the Central Government would not suffice in the course of framing of Regulations by the Central Council.
    • It is evidently clear that Act does not provide for a necessary power with the PCI empowering them to take decisions particularly putting an embargo on the establishment of new institutions imparting courses in Pharmacy.
    • As such, regulations and resolutions in the nature of executive instructions issued by the PCI amounts to impingement upon the fundamental right of a citizen and or a juristic person.
  10. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court observed that though Umar Khalid’s speech preceding Delhi riots of 2020, might sound innocuous, it leaves enough room for people to interpret it as sounding a bugle for something to follow.
  11. On Wednesday the Supreme Court asked the Central government why it should not release Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict AG Perarivalan instead of letting him remain imprisoned because of the protracted legal issue of who is the competent authority to grant remission – the Governor or the President.  (AG Perarivalan Vs State of Tamil Nadu)
    • Justice Rao stated, It sets a bad precedent against the federal structure of country, saying he will refer every decision (of the State to the President).
    • You going against Constitution Bench judgment. It is decision of government not Governor. He doesn’t have individual role to have own view against (view of State) cabinet prima facie.
  12. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court’s Justice Talwant Singh recused from hearing a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against a Special Court order setting aside the Look Out Circular (LOC) issued by CBI against former Amnesty International India chair Aakar Patel. (CBI v. Aakar Patel)
  13. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court said that courts should not hesitate in “wielding the sword of contempt” when grappling with “wilful disobedience”, while holding a party guilty in a contempt case. (Navin Soni v. Munish Soni & Ors)
    • the order stated, Courts should not hesitate in wielding the sword of contempt when grappling with a situation pertaining to wilful disobedience.
    • Attempts to circumvent or undermine judicial decisions need to be viewed seriously in order to ensure that the functioning of our country is unhindered, especially during turbulent times. It is only the rule of law which not only cements the civilised functioning of a country, but also drives a country towards progress and development.
    • the Court observed, The receipt of ₹1 crore has also been acknowledged in the application filed under Order XXIII Rule 3 in the case. The respondents were also present in the Court when the learned Counsel for the parties stated before the Court that a settlement has been arrived at between the parties out of their own free will, volition, consent and without undue influence. The respondents – in persons also confirmed the receipt of the ₹1 crore. It is now, therefore, not open to the respondents to contend that they have not received the remaining sum of ₹80 lakh.
  14. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta expressed his disapproval at the insistence on the part of lawyers to orally mention cases for urgent listing.
    • the bench demanded, We must play a broken record – ‘Handover your precipes (urgent mentioning application)!’ My learned brother checks all precipes to list matters! Why not trust the Court.
  15. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court asked the authorities including South Delhi Municipal Corporation to make their stand clear on the issue of regularisation of Delhi’s Sainik Farms neighbourhood.
    • the court asked, If you are wanting to regularise then we will say what is the solution. You cannot keep this in limbo. There are hundreds of thousands of houses there and you are not permitting them to even do the repair work. Who will take the responsibility.
    • You have not even conducted a survey as to whether they are occupying the government land, forest land or agriculture land. Please tell us if there is any unauthorised occupation of government or forest land. If that is the situation, please tell us which is that area. To that extent, we may understand that there is an issue with regularisation.
  16. On Wednesday the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court observed while dismissing a man’s plea challenging his preventive detention, the menace of drug addiction in the Kashmir Valley has destroyed the very fabric of society.  (Jahangir Bhat vs UT of Jammu & Kashmir)
    • the order passed on April 25 said, The spreading of the drugs in Kashmir Valley is becoming day by day a terrible menace which has completely destroyed the very fabric of our society and are eating into the vitals of our society, therefore, such activities are not ignorable.
    • the High Court said, During recent years variety of drugs of addiction have appeared, posing serious problems endangering the health and safety of the citizens seriously eroding the morale of the society. The multifarious impact of the narcotic drugs on a person coming thereunder are well known. Normally, such a person ceases to be a normal human being. Drug addiction eats into the vitals of the society, having a tendency to depersonalise those who consume them and reduce them to worthless freaks of nature.
  17. On Monday the Supreme Court directed the Central and State governments to respond to the suggestions made by the Amicus Curiae for declaring the right to physical activity and literacy as a fundamental right. (Kanishka Pandey vs Union of India)
    • the order stated, The Union of India and State governments are directed to respond to the listed suggestions made by the Learned Amicus, Gopal Sankaranarayanan. List after vacations.
    • Mount Everest is next to us but 99% of the people who are climbing the Everest are from the western countries. We don’t have physical literacy to make our kids and youth strong enough to climb the Mount Everest.
    • Implementation can take time, the Supreme Court can issue continuing mandamus. We can take small term and long term measures. Direction to CBSE/ICSE and all boards that they must allow 90 minutes to be there in school allocated for physical activity.
    •  the Amicus submitted, The schools makes very little allowance for children with disabled and differently abled. This is unfortunate that these children are sidelined and they are discriminated. This is unfortunate. The small child must not feel that the world discriminates against them.
    • “So this is also a generational gap like how we saw the judges defeated the lawyers in the Supreme Court Judges v. Bar Association match. The judges have retained their skills because they did not use phones and technological gadgets.
  18. On Wednesday the Supreme Court ordered the Central government to file by April 30 its response to the plea challenging Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalises sedition.
    • the order passed by the apex court said, We direct the Centre to file reply by end of this week. Reply to that affidavit to be filed by Tuesday, List the matter for final disposal without any adjournment on May 5, 2021.
    • CJI Ramana had said, Dispute is it is a colonial law and was used by British and suppress freedoms and used against Mahatma Gandhi Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Is this law still needed after 75 years of independence? Our concern is misuse of the law and no accountability of the executive.
  19. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court sought the response of the Central government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking integration of Allopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani and other forms of medicine systems in a holistic integrated common syllabus for all medical colleges.  (Ashwini Upadhyay v Union of India and Ors)
    • the plea said, As doctors are confined to a few States but patients reside across India, it has led to introduction of several health care mediators and they are ruining the integrity of Indian health care system as they tend to fetch more money from patients in the name of providing better treatment. This situation is highly un-ethical and illegal as it will deprive the diseased individuals from attaining health benefits due to their inability to pay high health expenses.
    • Many so-called revolutionary medical innovations have in long-run proven to be dangerous causing severe and long-term side-effects but Centre is not introducing Holistic Integrated Healthcare System.
  20. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court that it is not bothered by the remarks made by political leaders against judges and the shoulders of the Court are broad enough to take criticism.  (Indian Bar Association v. Sanjay Raut & Ors.)
    • the CJ remarked, Let them say anything they want to say about the judiciary. Our shoulders are broad enough for such remarks. As long as our conscience is clean.. let them say whatever.
    • the plea added, Their plan to keep their opponents in jail or to cause them harassment by misuse of power and police machinery are failed due to the orders of this Court and the Supreme Court.
    • the plea stated, The double standards and hypocrisy of respondents can be seen from the fact that whenever judges of this Court are passing orders in favour of State Authority and against people who are connected to BJP like Arnab Goswami and others then they are using said judgments as justice done and whenever the judgment is not as per their wish then they are making baseless, scandalous, unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations against the judges and blaming entire judiciary by terming the corrupt. This proves their dishonesty and such people needs to be punished severely.
    • This is a greatest threat to the independence of judiciary and if such tendency is not checked in time then it will lead to very mischievous consequences thereby putting the rule of law in to jeopardy which cannot be permitted at any cost.
  21. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court held a party in civil contempt, observing that disobedience of court orders, if permitted, will result in striking at the root of the rule of law on which our system of governance is based. (Indra Pasricha v. Deepika Chauhan & Ors)
    • the single-judge observed, If such a conduct is permitted, then it will encourage subversion of judicial orders, which are to be properly understood and complied with. Disobedience of an order of the Court, if permitted, will result in striking at the root of the rule of law on which our system of governance is based. Power to punish for contempt is necessary for the maintenance of an effective legal system and the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 has been primarily legislated to prevent interference in the course of administration of justice.
    • the High Court said, This Court is of the opinion that obstinate and wilful act on the part of the Respondent not to disobey the consent decree amounts to civil contempt under Section 2 (b) of the Contempt of Courts, 1971 Act.
    • The verdict, The fact that the suit is pending is no answer for the contemptuous disobedience on the part of the respondent to violate the consent decree which is based on an undertaking given by R N Kapur through whom respondent number 1 derives title. The respondents have, therefore, committed contempt and are liable for punishment under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
  22. On Tuesday the Supreme Court reiterated that right to claim compensation for land acquired by the government is in-built in Article 300A of the Constitution. (Kalyani (dead) through lrs and ors vs Sulthan Bathery Municipality)
    • the judgment noted, Requirement of public purpose is a pre-condition and right to claim compensation is also inbuilt in Article 300-A.
    • the Court said, The appellants are farmers and the land utilized is agricultural land. It was part of their livelihood. Depriving them of their part of their livelihood and also of their property without authority of law would be violative of Article 21 and Article 300A of the Constitution.
    • The Division Bench also proceeded to note that the appellants were keen on changing their stand by initially claiming from the State and then from the Panchayat. This reasoning is also not tenable. The appellants are farmers. They cannot be treated as the persons conversant with intricacies of law. The Division Bench committed an error in commenting against the appellants and drawing an adverse inference. It took a view too technical, to deprive the appellants of their right to compensation.
    • the Court said, Construction/widening of road no doubt would be a public purpose but there being no justification for not paying compensation the action of the respondents would be arbitrary, unreasonable and clearly violative of Article 300-A of the Constitution.

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