Today’s Legal Updates

Saturday, 27th August 2022



CHAPTER- II  PARLIAMENT  (Officers of Parliament)

Article – 90   Vacation and resignation of, and removal from, the office of Deputy Chairman.

A member holding office as Deputy Chairman of the Council of States
(a) shall vacate his office if he ceases to be a member of the Council;
(b) may at any time, by writing under his hand addressed to the Chairman, resign his office; and
(c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council passed by a majority of all the then members of the Council:
Provided that no resolution for the purpose of clause (c) shall be moved unless at least fourteen days’ notice has been given of the intention to move the resolution.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Saturday the Justice UU Lalit took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India (CJI).
    • Today President of India Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Justice Lalit at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
    • Justice Lalit is the second CJI to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court from the Bar.
    • He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014 directly from the Bar and will demit office on November 8 this year.
  2. The farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association for outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana witnessed some friendly banter between the CJI and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
    • the SG said in his speech, From reliable sources I have gathered information which I will make public. CJI Ramana is passionate about Telugu literature and he is contemplating writing a romantic novel in Telegu. I do not know what inspired him to do this.
    • the CJI said in lighter vein, Like your Intelligence Bureau reports, I want to say that the information that I will write a romantic novel in Telugu is not correct.
    • he said, I may write something on literature, if at all.
    • the SG said, The speed with which appointments were made in High Courts and tribunals were made will be remembered. 1/3rd of the judges vacancy was filled by the collegium led by CJI NV Ramana. I have been often at the receiving end trying to help.
  3. On Friday the Supreme Court held that provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) would prevail over the Customs Act once a moratorium is executed.  (Sundaresh Bhatt vs CBITC)
    • A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, and Justices JK Maheshwari and Hima Kohli also held that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has limited authority to determine customs and could not initiate recovery of dues in such cases.
    • The IBC would prevail over The Customs Act, to the extent that once moratorium is imposed in terms of Sections 14 or 33(5) of the IBC as the case may be, the respondent authority only has 35 a limited jurisdiction to assess/determine the quantum of customs duty and other levies. The respondent authority does not have the power to initiate recovery of dues by means of sale/confiscation, as provided under the Customs Act.
    • The Bench at the outset noted that the demand notices issued by the respondent were, plainly in the teeth of Section 14 of the IBC as they were issued after the initiation of the CIRP proceedings … [and] clearly violate the provisions of Sections 14 or 33(5) of the IBC, as the case may be.
    • the Court said, In any case, the IRP/RP/liquidator can immediately secure goods from the respondent authority to be dealt with appropriately, in terms of the IBC.
  4. A Chief Justice of India (CJI) retiring from the Supreme Court will be entitled to domestic help, chauffer and secretarial assistant for life.
    • On Friday the Central government amended the Supreme Court Judges Rules of 159 to bring in these changes.
    • As per the amended Rules, a retired CJI will also be entitled to a rent free Type-VIl accommodation at Delhi (other than the designated official residence) for a period of six months from the date of retirement.
    • the Central government had amended the Supreme Court Rules to extended similar benefits to other judges retiring from Supreme Court for a period of 1 year from retirement.
    • Further, he/ she will also be entitled to round the clock security at his residence and round the clock personal security guard for 5 years after retirement.
  5. On Friday the Karnataka High Court permitted the State government to consider and decide applications seeking use of the Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet for religious and cultural activities for a limited period. (State of Karnataka v. The Karnataka State Board of Auqaf)
    •  the Court while ordering the modification, The Indian Society comprises, religious, linguistic, regional or sectional diversities. The Constitution of India itself fosters brotherhood amongst various sections of the Society. The principle of religious toleration is the characteristic of Indian civilization.
    • Justice Chandangoudar found that the question as to whether the notification issued under the Wakf Act, 1954 was binding on the State government required consideration.
    • the order, It is also clarified that the observations/findings have been made in this order only for the purpose of considering the prayer for interim relief and shall have no bearing on the merits of the matter either in this appeal or in the writ petition pending before the learned Single Judge.
  6. On Wednesday the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities directed a private establishment make its mobile app accessible for persons with disabilities (divyangjan).  (Rahul Bajaj vs Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd. & Ors.)
    • the order said, From the combined reading of Section 40 and Section 46 it becomes clear that private establishments, which are providing information & technology services are bound to make their services and infrastructure accessible for divyangjan in accordance of Section 40 and Section 46.
    • The complainant informed the Court that the app was not accessible for persons with visual impairment owing to the following accessibility barriers:
      • Unorganized home screen which was not accessible with a screen reading software;
      • Unlabeled and, therefore, inaccessible second page;
      • Results after providing inputs were inaccessible owing to the information being produced in open go rather than as different data points;
      • Random crashing of app.
    • Again in this Rule term used is ‘every establishment shall comply with …’. Hence, it is important to look into the meaning of term ‘establishment’. RPwD Rules, 2017 do not define term ‘establishment’ separately. The term is defined in Section 2(i) of Rights of Persons with Disability Act, 2016. It is crystal clear from the reading of the section that private establishments are included in the definition of ‘establishment.
  7. On Friday the Madras High Court took an unfavourable view of the Court being flooded with cases relating to law and order disturbances at temples. (M Sekar v The District Collector)
    • the single-judge said, In such cases, the best course of action will be to close down such temples so that peace and normalcy is restored in the locality. It is a paradox that closure of a temple actually leads to peace.
    • the Court bemoaned while examining the issue, A temple must create an environment to subside the ego of a person and on the contrary it is becoming a breeding ground for clash of ego between persons and God is pushed to the back seat.
    • the judge ordered, The Assistant Commissioner of HR & CE must immediately step in and appoint a fit person for the Temple.
    • It shall be ensured that no one indulges in act of violence resulting in a law and order problem and if any such incidents takes place, the Superintendent of Police shall immediately take charge and action shall be initiated against the concerned persons.
  8. The Madhya Pradesh High Court set aside the conviction of a man accused of raping and murdering his stepmother and ordered an inquiry against the investigating officer who ‘slept over forensic reports’.  (Habu vs The State of Madhya Pradesh)
    • a bench of Justices Subodh Abhyankar and Satyendra Kumar Singh, based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Tomaso Bruno and another v. State of Uttar Pradesh held that appellant was entitled to the benefit of doubt.
    • A bare perusal of the aforesaid decision of the Supreme Court clearly reveals that in a case where the prosecution has the best evidence available with them, but deliberately withholds the same and does not produce, its benefit has to be given to the accused.
    •  the Court said, So far as the facts of the present case are concerned, we have already discussed that the prosecution has relied upon the last seen together evidence, despite having one of the best evidences which could be made available in these modern times to a prosecution agency i.e. the hairs in the hands of the deceased, which could have been very well matched with the hairs of the appellant through DNA profiling. But for reasons best known to the prosecutions, it has not proceeded with this crucial DNA Testing of the hairs.
    • It is inconceivable that after recovering hairs of an accused from the hands of the deceased, and despite a specific observation by the Scientific officer that DNA is necessary for the confirmation of the matching the hairs seized and that of the appellant, no efforts were made by the investigating officer to get the DNA profiling done which has led to sheer injustice, not only to the appellant but also to the deceased whose culprit has never been caught or has walked free today by the order of this court.

Legal Prudent Fraternity