Today’s Legal Updates

Thursday, 28th June 2022



CHAPTER- I THE EXECUTIVE (Council of Ministers)

Article – 75 Other provisions as to Ministers. 

  1. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
    • (1A) The total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed fifteen per cent. of the total number of members of the House of the People.
    • (1B) A member of either House of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of that House under paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister under clause (1) for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or where he contests any election to either House of Parliament before the expiry of such period, till the date on which he is declared elected, whichever is earlier.
  2. The Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
  3. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
  4. Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
  5. A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
  6. The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Thursday the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka government to notify within a week ward-wise reservation lists for the pending Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls so that the State Election Commission can take steps to put in place newly-elected local bodies within a ‘reasonable’ time frame.  (State of Karnataka v. M Shivaraju and ors)
    • We direct the State government to immediately notify a ward-wise reservation chart to facilitate the SEC to initiate appropriate steps for ensuring constitution of local bodies within a reasonable time frame strictly in accordance with the provisions of the act and other constitutional parameters.
    • the petition, In other words, the High Court has directed the State to conduct elections in a manner which is contrary to a validly and unanimously enacted piece of legislation.
  2. On Wednesday Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana inaugurated the front office of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC) which will render services including legal advice, attending legal aid helpline and uploading legal aid applications on web portal of SCLSC among other functions.
    • The inaugural ceremony was also attended Justice AM Khanwilkar, who is the chairman of SCLSC, Justice UU Lalit who is the chairman of National Legal Services Authority, and Justices Abhay S Oka, JK Maheshwari, PS Narasimha, JB Pardiwala and other Supreme Court Judges.
    • the front office will provide legal advice, attending legal aid helpline, receiving and maintaining record with regard to legal aid applications, uploading legal aid applications on web portal of SCLSC, maintaining up-to-date data of court based matters on digital platform and informing legal aid beneficiary about particulars of the panel lawyer to whom his matter is assigned.
  3. On Thursday the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that photographs of both the President and Prime Minister of India are published in all the advertisements relating to the 44th International Chess Olympiad. (R Rajesh Kumar v State of Tamil Nadu)
    • The order was passed by a bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice S Ananthi which said that the State government should ensure that if any international event is hosted in the State, the directives issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Common Cause should be adhered to.
    • the Court directed, Considering the national interest and the directives of the Apex Court in the case of Common Cause, it should be ensured that even if the dignitaries like the Hon’ble President or the Prime Minister of India accept the invitation for an international event or not, the advertisements should contain their photographs, inasmuch as they represent the country at the international level.
    • the bench highlighted, What has to be noted here is that despite Parliament session, the Prime Minister has decided to inaugurate the function, considering the significance of the event at the international level.
    • the bench said, The image of the nation should be of foremost concern to everyone and such representation, obviously, would be under the aegis of the Hon’ble President and Prime Minister of India, apart from the Chief Minister of the State, where the tournament is hosted.
    • We find realization of the mistake by the organizers and the best way to seek apology is to respect the sentiments of the public and make the international event a grand success by leaving an indelible mark of our nation at the international level.
  4. On Thursday the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju revealed in the Rajya Sabha, High Courts and district courts around the country have conducted a total of 1.92 crore virtual hearings since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
    • the High Courts heard 63,76,561 cases, the district courts heard 1,28,76,549 cases through video conferencing. The Supreme Court of India held 2,61,338 hearings till June 13, 2022.
    • Among the Karnataka leads with 7,80,305 virtual hearings, the Madhya Pradesh High Courts and Punjab & Haryana are not far behind, having conducted 6,64,649 and 5,81,047 virtual hearings respectively.
    • At the district court level Delhi leads with 29,96,145 virtual hearings, Courts in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar conducted 28,79,359 and 18,05,852 video hearings respectively.
    • live streaming of court cases have started in the High Courts of Gujarat, Karnataka, Orissa, Jharkhand, Patna and Madhya Pradesh, recorded the reply.
  5. 253 lawyers have cleared the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record examination held in December 2021, 71 candidates are eligible to re-appear as per regulation 11(i) of the Regulations regarding Advocates-on-Record Examination made under the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, 23 candidates are eligible to reappear as per Regulation 11(ii).
  6. On Wednesday the Kerala High Court observed that there is no fetter on the Court exercising its power under Article 226 of the Constitution to grant a relief that a party is entitled to, even if the specific relief hadn’t been sought for in the petition.  (Smitha MG v State of Kerala)
    • merely for the reason that a specific relief has not been sought in the writ petition, it is not an impediment for the court exercising power under Article 226 of the Constitution to grant a relief which a party is entitled to.
  7. On Wednesday A special court in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad convicted both the persons accused in the murder of Dhanbad Additional District and Sessions judge Uttam Anand.
    • The District And Additional Sessions Judge convicted Lakhan Kumar Verma and Rahul Kumar Verma for offences under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (disappearance of evidence) read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
  8. On Thursday the Delhi High Court directed the trial court not to consider Delhi minister Satyender Jain’s medical report received from Delhi Government’s Lok Nayak hospital (LNJP hospital) while considering his interim bail application.
    • the Court directed, It is directed that the special judge shall not consider the medical report from LNJP till the next date of hearing.
    • Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju was argued, For 46 days he has taken advantage of being minister. He was arrested on May 30. He was remanded to judicial custody on 13 June. He has been in judicial custody since then. Till today it has been 46 days. He got himself admitted for 26 days in LNJP and before that he spent 20 days in jail dispensary.
  9. On Wednesday the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) I Bar Association, Kolkata threw its weight behind the Presiding Officer of the DRT after a notice issued by the tribunal went viral on social media as it stated that all matters for the day were adjourned as he felt unwell after hearing the “irrelevant arguments” of a lawyer.
    • the resolution passed by the Bar Association said, Resolved unanimously that this meeting of the members of the DRT Bar Association, Kolkata and the Advocates practising in Kolkata DRTs, strongly condemn the messages going viral on social media and the wrong reports published in legal news portals and newspapers, giving a distorted version of the two notices issued on 26th July 2022 by the Registrar -in Charge of Kolkata DRT-1 and the said viral messages and reports are totally contrary to facts.
    • the resolution stated, Resolved that this meeting further unanimously resolves that DRT Bar Association , Kolkata has full confidence and faith in the Ld. Presiding Officer, DRT-1, Kolkata and holds him in high esteem both as a Judge and a person.
  10. On Thursday the Bombay High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta recused from hearing the petition seeking quashing of the appointment of Subodh Kumar Jaiswal as Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    • CJ Datta said in open court that the petitioner in the case, Rajendrakumar V Trivedi wrote to Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana complaining about Justice Datta.
    • the CJ asked, It seems the petitioner has written a letter to the CJI. It is not in good taste. How do we defend ourselves.
    • Talekar said, My client has never written any letter, I am willing to put on affidavit,.
    •  Justice Datta remarked, Justice should be seem to have been done. It is very easy to tarnish someone’s image.
    • Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh weighed in Nowadays, it has become frequent that when someone doesn’t get relief, they file such letters. This will become a trend.
    • the CJ said recusing himself, It would be most appropriate if you approach any other Bench.
  11. On Thursday the Bombay High Court made stern observations against the conduct of the political leaders and ministers for not proactively curtailing their followers from putting up illegal hoardings in public places.
    • CJ Datta remarked, Those in charge of governance believe that rule of law should not be upheld, that it is of no use. If the ministers and political leaders encourage their followers to take down hoardings then only it will work? Can we expect this much from them? Those whose names are there on hoardings must appeal to their followers, to not put up hoardings, their followers will listen to themWe cannot encroach on the executive, there should be amendment of rules.
    • CJ Datta remarked, If it doesn’t fall in that list, the hoarding can he removed, if not, let it remain. A division bench has already passed an order. Do you want us to come down on streets to implement it?
  12. On Thursday the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court voiced its concern over the trend of roping in the relatives of a husband in cases of cruelty and domestic violence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. (Jyoti Ganesh Patil vs State of Maharashtra)
    • Justice Kankanwadi said, Time and again, this Court as well as the Supreme Court has observed that it is a fashion to array all the relatives of the husband as respondents or to make them as an accused in a complaint under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code and it shows the misuse of the proceedings of law, still the instances have not reduced. Such poor relatives, who were never staying with the husband, cannot be asked to face the proceedings on some stray statements about the domestic violence. Therefore, the application deserves to be allowed.
    • Justice Kankanwadi opined, When she herself had given the address of the in-laws of Pune and then gives address of the applicant of Bhusawal, then, it was incumbent upon the aggrieved person (complainant) to satisfy as to what point of time the applicant and she herself were staying in the shared household after the marriage. When these basic pleadings are lacking and the documents on record are supporting the address given by the aggrieved person of a different place, then, a case is made out to invoke the inherent powers of this Court to quash the entire proceedings against the applicant.
  13. On Monday the Bombay High Court ordered the State of Maharashtra to produce relevant records to assess the progress on enforcement of fire safety regulations in buildings which are vulnerable to man-made disasters.
    • A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik took exception to the fact that a committee, which was to be set up in this regard, had not yet been constituted despite the passage of more than 3.5 months since the last order of the Court.
    • CJ Datta said, Three and half months is not enough for setting up committee? There was some urgency in the last one month but what happened before that? We read in newspapers that 400 Government Resolutions were issued, and a simple committee could not be constitituted and lives of people are at stake.
    • Singh argued, We all know the pervasive intent of developers lobby. Even if the committee is set up, the final draft regulations will be set up. What happens to the earlier exercise? There is grave apprehension that state will reject the draft of 2009.
  14. On Thursday the Delhi High Court allowed an NGO called ‘United Sikhs‘ (a UN-affiliated organisation) to meet with a Sikh woman who was brutally gang-raped and paraded in East Delhi’s Shahdara area in January this year.  (United Sikhs v. Commissioner of Police, Delhi Police & Ors)
    • Since, at present, there is no restriction or bar in meeting of any individual or organisation with the victim for rendering any assistance as per stand of the respondents, the petitioner through representatives is at liberty to meet or interact with victim “P‟ in accordance with law.
    • the Court said, A meeting generally cannot be denied for providing necessary legal aid and assistance, if so required by the victim, to ensure delivery of justice and fair trial but the caution remains that such meetings are not used inappropriately for creating any ‘law and order’ situation or arousing the emotions of a particular community in an adverse manner, thereby disturbing the public tranquillity or likely to cause breach of peace.
    • the Court added, Wherein a victim is unable to engage a lawyer, secure legal services on account of indigence or poverty or incommunicado situation, the State under such situation is mandated to provide appropriate legal aid even to the victims, if the circumstances so warrant and ensure justice.
  15. The Supreme Court will be on tomorrow heard the plea by All India Trinamool Congress spokesperson Saket Gokhale, challenging the decision of the Central government to grant extension of tenure to the current Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) Sanjay Kumar Mishra.
  16. On Tuesday the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to consider granting employment to one family member of the Hathras gang rape victim, and relocating the family to another part of the State keeping in mind their social and economic rehabilitation. (Suo-Moto Inre Right To Decent And Dignified Last Rites/Cremation v State)
    • the bench recorded, The meaning, purport and scope of all these provisions have to be considered by this Court, and the Special Court, in our opinion, would not be in a position to do so, therefore, it is our constitutional obligation to consider and, if necessary, interpret the provisions referred hereinabove.
    • Considering the subject matter it cannot be said that this is purely an individual grievance as the relief sought is one which is claimed by the victim’s family as being permissible and which the State is obliged to provide to them under the Act 1989 and the Rules made thereunder.
    • the court said, There is no reason why we should give a restrictive meaning to the term ‘relatives’ so as to oust brothers and sisters from its purview.
    • This is especially as the Act 1989 is itself a legislative measure to protect the rights and the interest of the poorest of poor, the downtrodden, who belong to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe.
    • We accordingly direct the State Government to consider employment of one of the family member.. This shall be done within three months from the date of receipt of this order.
    • We are of the opinion that the State should consider their relocation to any other place within the State outside Hathras keeping in mind their social and economic rehabilitation and also the educational needs of the children.
  17. The Supreme Court will hear on tomorrow a plea against construction of a metro car shed under the Mumbai Metro Rail project in Aarey forest area.
    • The matter was mentioned before a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant by Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan who cited urgency contending that more trees in the forest could be cut over the weekend to make space for the construction.
    • Sankaranarayanan said, hey’ll operate more JCBs over the weekend; hence, the urgency my lords. Please list the matter tomorrow.
  18. On Thursday the Supreme Court said that the three pleas to declare access to virtual hearing as a fundamental right will be heard on 1st August 2022.  (All India Association of Jurists v High Court of Uttarakhand & Ors)
    • The larger issue is not about the administrative powers of the High Courts, but the issue of access to justice that is also enshrined under Articles 39 and 39A of the Constitution.
  19. On Thursday the Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud expressed his anguish at the recent of targeting and attributing motives to judges.
    • he said, Give us judges a break. I was down with Covid and hence, the matter was deferred. I read in the news that judges are not taking it up. There is a limit to targeting us.
    • Justice Chandrachud was hearing an oral mentioning seeking listing of a case relating to violence and attacks on Christians, when he pointed out that there was criticism in media about judges not taking up the case.
  20. On Thursday the Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition filed against an 19th April 2021 judgment of the top court by which it had commuted the death sentence of a man convicted for killing a 4-year-old girl after raping her.  (Mohd. Firoz v. State of Madhya Pradesh)
    • the Court said, Thus, the commutation of sentence of death to that of life imprisonment was done by the Court after bestowing attention to the relevant factors. In the circumstances, no case is made out to take a different view in the matter and this Review Petition is dismissed.
    • the judgment under review had said, The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. One of the basic principles of restorative justice as developed by this Court over the years, also is to give an opportunity to the offender to repair the damage caused, and to become a socially useful individual, when he is released from the jail.
    • The mother of the accused has stated in her review petition that her daughter “was, at the tender age of 3 years and 8 months, deceitfully kidnapped, brutally raped and viciously murdered by the accused in the most brutal, diabolical and revolting manner”.
    • the Court said dismissing the plea, After considering the landmark decisions of this Court in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980 (2) SCC 684) and Machi Singh and Others v. State of Punjab (1983 (3) SCC 470), this Court did not deem it appropriate to sustain the sentence of death awarded under Section 302 of the IPC. As the discussion in Paragraph 40 and 41 indicates, the legislative policy under Sections 354 (3) and 235 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was noted and the commutation as aforesaid was directed.
  21. On Wednesday the Delhi High Court held that the autobiography of former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and news reports by media do not establish whether the decisions allegedly taken in the controversial December 2018 Collegium meeting were merely verbal or had been crystallised into a written resolution.
    • the Court said in its judgment, The reliance placed by the learned counsel for the appellant on the news article and the excerpt from the autobiography fails to demonstrate as to whether the decisions allegedly taken were merely verbal or had been crystallised into a written resolution that could at all come under the ambit of ‘information’ under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, thereby warranting the access to the same by the appellant.
    • High Court said in its order, The resolution dated October 3, 2017 does not indicate that even those decisions that have not been either finalized or crystallized into a resolution have to be uploaded; only those decisions pertaining to information stipulated in the resolution dated October 3, 2017 need to be uploaded on the website.
    • the High Court further said, The Resolution dated January 10, 2019 also indicates that subsequent to the reopening of the Court, the newly constituted Collegium deemed it appropriate to consider the matter afresh and proposals were re-evaluated in light of the additional material that had become available. After further deliberations, resolutions were passed on January 10, 2019.
  22. On Thursday the Bombay High Court held that a person, who has got a job in public service on compassionate grounds, will have to furnish his or her caste/tribe validity certificate, if their parents who had secured employment in reserved category, had failed to submit the same during their lifetime.  (Om Anjanwad vs State of Maharashtra)
    • A full bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Vibha Kankanwadi noted that there were several instances wherein the parents had secured jobs in reserved posts but did not furnish a validity certificate to back their caste or tribe claims, thus, playing fraud on the public at large.
    • Chief Justice Datta observed in his separate but concurring judgment, We have experienced in our country for quite some time past that the dishonest spare no opportunity to obtain benefits and privileges, which are not meant for them, by fraud or deceit.
    •  Chief Justice Datta opined, If an usurper of a public office for decades does not have any right to claim pensionary benefits, a fortiori, any dependent family member of such usurper of public office can have no better rights than him. The petitioners having come into the picture after death of their fathers could not have better rights than their fathers. Allowing them to cling on to the posts, which came in their way fortuitously, would be unjust, unfair and inequitable.
    • the Court held, We, therefore, hold that the legal heir being granted compassionate appointment in view of a vacancy created by the demise of the parent, who was appointed on the post reserved for a backward category believing that he did belong to such category, will mandate the compassionate appointee to tender the validity certificate after gaining compassionate employment.
    • the bench said, If this be so, then, it would be illogical, nay illegal, to permit a compassionate appointee to continue in place of the deceased parent without tendering a validity certificate in the backdrop of the parent having passed away before submitting the validity certificate.
    • the judges observed, Whether, he (compassionate appointee) factually belongs to the caste/tribe on the basis of which he has earned a job, will have to be scrutinized, lest, such selection would amount to an illegality and a worthy candidate belonging to that category would end-up in losing his opportunity of securing employment.
    • the bench opined, Allowing a candidate to enjoy the fruits of employment earned on the basis of a claim of belonging to the reserved category without submitting such validity and permitting the legal heir to gain compassionate appointment only on account of the demise of the parent and that too without demanding a validity certificate, would amount to playing a fraud on the public at large.
    • We cannot permit the illegality to be perpetrated by absolving the compassionate appointee from tendering a validity certificate, which his father was legally obliged to tender.
  23. On Thursday the Supreme Court observed that mother being the only natural guardian of the child has the right to decide the surname of the child, as also give the child up for adoption.  (Akella Lalitha vs Konda Rao and ors)
    • the Bench said, The mother being the only natural guardian of the child has the right to decide the surname of the child. She also has the right to give the child in adoption.
    • the Bench observed, The direction of the High Court to include the name of the Appellant’s husband as step-father in documents is almost cruel and mindless of how it would impact the mental health and self-esteem of the child. A name is important as a child derives his identity from it and a difference in name from his family would act as a constant reminder of the factum of adoption and expose the child to unnecessary questions hindering a smooth, natural relationship between him and his parents.
    • the Court said, When such child takes on to be a kosher member of the adoptive family it is only logical that he takes the surname of the adoptive family and it is thus befuddling to see judicial intervention in such a matter.

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