Today’s Legal Updates

Thursday, 28th April 2022



Article – 301  Freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse.

Subject to the other provisions of this Part, trade, commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India shall be free.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Thursday the Supreme Court issued notice to the Central government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking to increase the retirement age of Group Captains (Flying Pilots and Navigators) serving in the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 54 to 57 years.  (Group Captain Vikas Sareen vs Union of India)
    • the plea said, The AFT had ordered the ministry to decide within four months if the retirement age could be increased. It has been seven years the authorities haven’t complied with the directions of the AFT.
  2. On Thursday Advocate Sehar Nazir, an acid-attack survivor, has been appointed Standing Counsel by the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration to conduct government cases in Srinagar courts.
  3. This week a  conference of Chief Justices of High Courts as well as a joint conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices will be held in Delhi.
  4. On Thursday JNU student Sharjeel Imam has approached the Delhi High Court challenging the special court’s order denying him bail in the Delhi riots case relating to conspiracy.
    • the appeal said, The Ld. Special Court has failed to appreciate that the entire investigation is faulty and the charge sheet attributes events to the speeches of the Appellant to incidents of violence that are not connected in any direct or indirect way to the Appellant even as per the materials relied upon in the chargesheet.
    • The Ld. Special Court has further failed to appreciate that there was absolutely no admissible evidence whatsoever to come to a prima facie satisfaction that the Appellant was part of any agreement among the co-accused persons to turn the peaceful sitting protests/ chakka jams into communal riots. Rather, it is the admitted case of the prosecution that the Appellant was already in judicial custody for about a month prior to the date of the unfortunate riots which broke out in North East Delhi.
  5. On Thursday the Supreme Court directed the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to submit an affidavit showing the number of cases that have been initiated and are pending under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. (We the Women of India v. Union of India and ors)
    • Justice Lalit remarked, Look at the scenario where exactly it is and at the ground level, everything is missing and there appears to be a complete failure. The legislation is fine, but the promises are not reality.
    • There must be a contact point for the victim to approach or the concerned persons to approach the victim, and then there must be another network for the legal assistance/legal advice and that must be available even on mobile phone. This is what the proposal is and we [NALSA] will start it soon. In every district level, there must be a para volunteer who will work as a protection assistant. One person will also be available, she must be a lady. Probably an angadwadi worker. Such process must begin at district level.
    • Justice Lalit said, NALSA is working because there is no State/Central government intervention. The programs other than NALSA which are handled by others always have political color to it, which is unfortunate.
  6. On Thursday the Bar Council of Delhi has constituted a committee under the Sexual Harassment Of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) for lawyers of the Delhi High Court.
    • It’s very nascent, we will have to sit together and chart out some things…But, for sure we will have a system in place to ensure that some measures are brought about to eliminate discrimination against women in employment due to gender specific violence and harassment.
    • the Senior Counsel said, Also, to make sure that we inspire the confidence amongst young women and girls, to be able to address us. That’s the most important thing I feel right now.
  7. On Thursday Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya has moved the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) which was registered based on the complaint filed by Somaiya himself. (Dr Kirit Somaiya v State of Maharashtra)
    •  the petition said, The malicious intent of the police authorities is evident from the fact that the said FIR was circulated in media and public, portraying the same as a complaint filed by the Petitioner.
  8. On Thursday the Supreme Court held that a reserved category candidate who scores more than the last ranked person in the general category, should be considered for appointment to general category pool so that the remaining seats in the reserved category can filled by another deserving candidate from such category.  (BSNL vs Sandeep Choudhary)
    • the Court said, The High Court has rightly observed and held that two reserved category candidates, namely, Mr. Alok Kumar Yadav and Mr. Dinesh Kumar having more marks than the general category candidates appointed, were entitled to the appointment in the general category and the seats reserved for OBC category were required to be filled in from and amongst the remaining candidates belonging to the OBC category.
  9. On Thursday the Karnataka High Court held Attending jihadi meetings, purchasing training materials, and organising training shelters for members of an organisation which is not banned by the government under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), will not amount to ‘terrorist act’ under Section 2(k) of UAPA.  (Saleem Khan and Anr v. State of Karnataka)
    • the Court said, Admittedly, in the present case, the prosecution has not proved that accused no 11 has associated himself with any organization which is prohibited or barred under the provisions of the UA(P) Act. Admittedly, he is a member of Al-Hind group. It is not a prohibited organization under the Schedule of the UA(P) Act, 1967 and the chargesheet material does not depict that he was convicted for the offences involved or crimes or terrorist activities… there are no reasonable grounds for for believing the accusation against the accused no 11 prima facie true.
    • the Court said, Mere attending meetings and becoming member of Al-Hind group, which is not a banned organization as contemplated under the Schedule of UAPA and attending jihadi meetings, purchasing training materials and organizing shelters for co-members is not an offence as contemplated under the provisions Section 2(k) and 2(m) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
  10. On Thursday the Delhi High Court granted bail to a man alleged to be involved in nearly a dozen-and-half first information reports (FIRs) and defrauding banks by mortgaging same property many times.
  11. On Thursday A Special CBI Court has granted bail to former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar in a case connected to the murder of two people during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. (State v. Sajjan Kumar)
    • Moreover, as already discussed, the accused will not come out of custody merely on grant of bail to him by this court in the present case because he is already undergoing life imprisonment in the above CBI case.
    • Investigation of the case was completed long ago and the trial against the accused has already begun after framing of charges and even eight prosecution witnesses stand examined on record out of the total 21 witnesses cited in the list of witnesses and six other witnesses of the list stand already dropped.
  12. On Thursday Justice GS Kulkarni of the Bombay High Court forbade a lawyer from appearing before him in any matter in the future, citing his allegedly arrogant behaviour within the courtroom.  (Zenobia Poonwalla v. Rustom Ginwalla & Ors)
    • Justice Kulkarni observed, He has not only threatened the Court, but also made arrogant gestures also by raising his voice, totally forgetting that he is an officer of the Court.
    • As noted above, considering the professional interest of Mr. Premlal Krishnan, Advocate, such an apology is being accepted, however with a caution that in no Court Mr. Premlal Krishnan, Advocate shall breach the assurance which is set out in the undertaking/affidavit. For these reasons I do not proceed to initiate an action against Mr. Premlal Krishnan, as initially proposed.
  13. On Thursday the Bombay High Court observed that threatening to recite religious verses either at someone else’s personal residence or at public places breaches the personal liberty of others.  (Navneet Rana vs State of Maharashtra)
    • We have perused the First Information Report it disclosed that the declaration of the petitioners that they would recite religious verses either in personal residence of another person or even at a public place is firstly, not only breaching the personal liberty of another person but also encroachment upon other person’s personal liberty and secondly, if a declaration is made with a particular religious verses would be recited on the public street, the State Government is justified in carrying an apprehension that such act would result in disturbance of law and order.
    • the order said, The petitioners who claims to be active in their public and political life are expected to act with more responsible way. As it is oftenly said that “Great power comes with greater responsibility”. The expectation of responsible behaviour or responsible conduct from those person who are active in public life is cannot be an extra expectation but would be basic expectation.
  14. On Thursday Maharashtra Cabinet minister Nawab Malik has approached the Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) seeking medical bail and permission to conduct surgery in a private hospital in Mumbai.  (Nawab Malik v. Enforcement Directorate & Ors.)
  15. On Thursday the Supreme Court reserved its verdict in the the legal dispute between the Delhi Government and the Central Government regarding control over administrative services in the national capital.
    • Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, Existence of a substantial question of law does not weigh on stakes of the case. Here there is a constitution bench judgment already. There has been 6 requests for adjournment and now they want ref to larger bench.
  16. On Wednesday the Supreme Court held that the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) being a statutory body, is bound by the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India. (Ranbir Singh v SK Roy, Chairman, Life Insurance Corporation of India & Anr.)
    • the Court observed, LIC as a statutory corporation is bound by the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. As a public employer, the recruitment process of the corporation must meet the constitutional standard of a fair and open process. Allowing for back-door entries into service is an anathema to public service.
    • the Supreme Court said in its judgement, LIC having been restrained by judicial orders from pursuing an open recruitment process, the situation which has now arisen is that unless a balance were to be drawn, absorption of part-time and badli workers would become a substitute for a recruitment process based on sanctioned posts, consistent with the principles of reservation and pursued on the basis of a structured recruitment which gives equal opportunities to all applicants. Such a consequence is a serious detriment to constitutional parameters and to the duty of LIC as a public employer to follow a process which is fair and in consonance with Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.
  17. On Thursday A Delhi court acquitted a man in a rioting case in connection with the Delhi Riots of February 2020 after expressing its reservations regarding the statement of a policeman, who was a key witness. (State v. Noor Mohammed)
    • The manner in which PW­3 (beat officer) is stated to have identified Noor Mohammad @ Noora as a rioter on 02.04.2020 in the police station when he was being interrogated by the IO, appears to be absolutely doubtful and devoid of trustworthiness.
    • the order stated, This is indicative of the fact that till 31.03.2020 PW­3 had not apprised any of his senior officers or fellow police officers about the fact that he had identified one of the rioters as Noor Mohammad @ Noora. PW­3 has deposed in his cross examination that he had told to the SHO as well as to the IO about four or five days after the riotous incident in question that he can identify some of the rioters. Had it been so, the IO would not have waited till 31.03.2020 for identification of accused Noor Mohammad @ Noora as an assailant in this case and to arrest him.
  18. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalises sedition, should be repealed because provisions under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are sufficient to deal with offences against the nation and national security, the Member of Rajya Sabha and Chief of Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar told Bhima Koregaon Inquiry Commission.
    • In recent times, this section is often misused against people who criticize the government suppressing their liberty and tend to stifle any voice of dissent raised in a peaceful and democratic way. Hence, it is proposed that the misuse of Section 124A of IPC should be stopped with amendments or the said section should be repealed. I have a reason to say so because provisions of IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act are sufficient for protecting the national integrity.
    • I have no allegation to make against any political agenda or motive behind search unfortunately incident. It is only an attempt to assist the Commission to the best of my ability and knowledge owing to my long experience in public life.
    • That from responsible media professionals, the first hand information can be gathered regarding any unlawful assembly and intention of such unlawful assembly or mob can be known to such law enforcement to take preemptive action and control / deter riot like situations. …responsible media can even play a role as a bridge of communication between protestors and govt / police authorities and also the buffer to ease the tensions and avoid any misinformation.
  19. On Thursday the Supreme Court expressed its concern over the large number of execution applications pending before the Allahabad High Court under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.  (M/s Chopra Fabricators and Manufacturers Ltd. v. Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd)
    • the Court observed, Time has come to take corrective measures and for that purpose the concerned High Court has to prepare a road map and take a call how to handle the problem to execution proceedings to execute the award passed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and application under Section 34 decided and disposed of at the earliest so that the ultimate objective of arbitration and the Commercial Courts Act is achieved. If such cases are not disposed of at the earliest, it will ultimately affect the economy of the country and spoil business relations between the parties. It may also affect ease of doing business.
    • the Court ordered, We direct the registrar General of Allahabad High Court to present the current case status before the Chief Justice of the High Court. We request the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to constitute a special committee comprising of judges of High Court and invite suggestions to prepare a road map to tackle the arrears. High Court has to present to us before next date of hearing how it will deal with such large number of commercial dispute case pendency.
  20. On Wednesday the Bombay High Court restricted News Nation Network Pvt Ltd from using Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd’s content on its channels. [Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. vs. News Nation Network Pvt Ltd.)
    • the Court said, In the circumstances, the balance of convenience heavily tilts in favour of the plaintiff. If injunctive relief is not granted, the defendant would, in fact, continue to enjoy the benefits under the license agreement despite voluntarily terminating the same. This would result in irreparable loss to the plaintiff.
    • It would be rather difficult to draw an inference that the breach of the obligation on the part of defendant, especially in the context of the prior exploitation of the plaintiff’s content under license regime, would amount to fair dealing and can be condoned on the basis of principle of de minimis.
  21. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court celebrated World IP Day for the very first time by organising a competitive essay-cum-public speaking event titled IP-Eloquence, targeted at young IP practitioners.
    • IP lawyers should form a club and make their services available to encourage young innovators and protect their IP. That way, they will not only get work, but also it will be good for the society at large, and it will encourage them and give them value for their innovations.
    • The IP practice is a very lucrative one. IP lawyers can engage in their own Corporate Social Responsibility or legal social responsibility by setting up a cell within their own offices and firms to only charge the official fee and subsidise the filings for all the youth and start ups in the country. If we can do that, we would have done our bit for IP and youth in India. It is high time that the IP Bar rises up to this occasion and makes sure that in the next 5 years, our IP filings don’t just grow 10 or 20 or 30%, but should at least double.
    • Every child can be taught to channelise their creative talents and energy into products, processes, to think creatively, which will not only give immense joy and pleasure, but will end up increasing the resources and reserve of this country. They would also create enormous wealth and strengthen the economic well-being of our people.
    • There is a need for understanding that Intellectual Property is no different from hard property and if we want to succeed as a nation, the only way forward for us is we fill the stomachs that are hungry, and the only way we can do this is through IP recognition, protection. There are several innovators… but they can’t even market their innovations. So we need to create that infrastructure for knowledge.
  22. On Wednesday the Gujarat High Court quashed a criminal case filed against Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan for allegedly causing a stampede at the Vadodara Railway Station while promoting his film Raees in 2017. (Shah Rukh Khan v. State of Gujarat)
    • In the considered opinion of this Court none of the said act could be termed as having any element of mens rea, which is an essential element to hold negligence as being an offence.

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