Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 29th June 2022



CHAPTER- I THE EXECUTIVE (The Attorney-General for India)

Article – 76 Attorney-General for India

  1. The President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney-General for India.
  2. It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force.
  3. In the performance of his duties the Attorney-General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India.
  4. The Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Friday the Bombay High Court while refusing bail to a rape accused held that a DNA test ruling him out as the biological father of the child is not conclusive evidence that the rape did not occur, but can only be used as corroborative evidence. (Abbas Asmat Ali v. State of Maharashtra)
    • the judge said in her order passed, It is not in dispute that the evidence of DNA analysis can be used for the purpose of corroboration. The DNA test excludes the applicant as the father of the child, but that does not discredit the victim who has reiterated in her statements (recorded under section 164 of CrPC) that he forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her. There is no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the victim who has narrated the act of sexual assault upon her at the instance of the applicant. The DNA test cannot be said to be the conclusive evidence regarding a rape, but it can only be used as a corroborative evidence.
    • Justice Dangre opined, Since in the present case, the victim girl is firm in her version that the applicant had forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her, he shall be subjected to trial and merely because the DNA exclude him to be the biological father of the child, do not deserve the applicant’s release on bail.
  2. On Friday the Central Government has notified the appointment of two additional judges to the Chhattisgarh High Court for a period of two years.
    • Rakesh Mohan Pandey (advocate)
    • Radhakishan Agrawal (judicial officer)
  3. On Friday Actress Kangana Ranaut has approached a Mumbai court requesting it to record the witness statement of her sister Rangoli Chandel before the trial begins in the defamation complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar.
    • Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut taking exception to certain remarks made by her in an interview aired on Republic TV.
  4. On Friday the Rouse Avenue court, Delhi convicted former secretary of Coal Ministry, HC Gupta, Joint Secretary KS Kropha and former director of Grace Industries Limited (GIL) along with its former Director for conspiring to cheat the government for the allocation of Lohara East coal block to GIL. (CBI v M/s Grace Industries Limited)
    • The three were convicted for for the offences of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code as well as criminal misconduct by a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
    • the order, The evidence on record as encapsulated above shows that there was criminal conspiracy amongst M/s. Grace Industries Ltd, Sh. Mukesh Gupta, Sh. H.C. Gupta and Sh. K.S. Kropha for procuring recommendation of allocation of Lohara East Coal Block in favour of M/s Grace Industries.
    • the Court said, There were no ripples in spite of coming to know that M/s. Grace Industries Ltd had made false representations regarding kiln infrastructure and production capacity.
    • the Court held, In the opinion of this court, the circumstantial evidence noted above is sufficient to return a finding that there was a criminal conspiracy amongst these four accused persons for securing recommendation of Screening Committee in favour of M/s Grace Industries Ltd and for allocation of Lohara East Coal Block in favour of M/s GIL.
  5. On Friday the Supreme Court held that criminal proceedings in serious offences like abetment of suicide cannot be quashed by High Courts merely based on a financial settlement between the accused and the relatives of the deceased person.  (Daxaben vs State of Gujarat and ors)
    • the Court ruled, An FIR under Section 306 of the IPC (abetment of suicide) cannot even be quashed on the basis of any financial settlement with the informant, surviving spouse, parents, children, guardians, care-givers or anyone else.
    • the Court said, The wife of the deceased would have greater interest than cousins and employees in prosecuting accused persons charged with the offence of abetting the suicide of her husband.
    • Heinous or serious crimes, which are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society cannot be quashed on the basis of a compromise between the offender and the complainant and/or the victim. Crimes like murder, rape, burglary, dacoity and even abetment to commit suicide are neither private nor civil in nature. Such crimes are against the society.
    • the Court added, Furthermore, financially strong offenders would go scot free, even in cases of grave and serious offences such as murder, rape, bride burning, etc. by buying off informants/complainants and settling with them.
  6. On Friday the Rouse Avenue Courts, Delhi took cognisance of the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain and others in a money laundering case. (ED v. Satyendar Jain)
    • the order, Looking to the material on record, it can be said that there is prima facie sufficient incriminating evidence about the involvement of the accused. Thus, cognizance of the offence under Section 3 of PMLA punishable under Section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 is taken.
    • the court ordered, Considering that they were not arrested during investigation and happen to be present in court today, they are admitted to interim bail till the next date when appropriate bail applications may be filed on their behalf, on furnishing of personal bond in the sum of ₹1 lakh.
  7. On Friday the Delhi High Court has held that the right to free speech and expression includes the right to publish and circulate one’s ideas, opinions and views with complete freedom not only through electronic media and TV channels only but also through social media platforms.  (TV Today Network Limited v News Laundry Media Private Limited & Ors)
    • the right to free speech and expression carries with it the right to publish and circulate one’s ideas, opinions and views with complete freedom and by resorting to the available means of publication, which, in the opinion of this Court, would also mean and include not only the electronic media and T.V. channels, but also the social-media platforms as the object of publication and broadcast is the same i.e., to reach out to the public.
    • It is obvious that there can be no “free for all” in the regulatory sphere. Every individual or organization cannot claim authority to regulate – the chaos can be imagined – there will be only regulators and none willing to bide by regulations!!
    • the single-judge opined, Every media house and channel on T.V. or the social-media platforms, including that of the defendants No.1 to 9, have their own philosophy, which gets reflected in the manner of reportage and content of the programmes and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
    • Also hyperbolic is their claim that it is their criticism of the programmes of the main stream media, including of the plaintiff, that push them into rectifying mistakes and that therefore, their programmes were invaluable in public interest, and as a corollary, therefore, their right to comment and criticize cannot be restricted.
    • the judgment said, Satire cannot be explained or else it would lose its flavour. Satire allows the satirist to criticize in the harshest of terms and critique actions of all, particularly of those in positions of power and/or authority and leadership. The intention of the satirist is to simultaneously highlight an action and its negative fallout, so that rectificatory action could be taken.
  8. On Friday the Kerala High Court observed that in the absence of a separate category in sporting events for transgender persons to compete in, they must be permitted to participate in the category of their choice.  (Anamika v State of Kerala & Ors.)
    • the Court said in its order, It is my considered opinion that a transgender person is having equal right to participate in competitions. Here, in the absence of any category for participating transgender persons, the petitioner is seeking to participate in her identity as woman. If the organisers have not made arrangements for participating transgenders, then the petitioner will have to be permitted to participate in her chosen category.
  9. On Friday the Kerala High Court granted bail to a teacher who was accused of sexually abusing a minor boy, over a span of eight years.
    • the order, A perusal of the case diary reveals that prima facie, there are materials on record to connect the petitioner with the crime. However, since petitioner was remanded to judicial custody on 21.06.2022, I am of the view that the continued detention of the petitioner is not required in the circumstances of the case. Therefore, the petitioner is entitled to be released on bail.
  10. On Thursday Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Dipankar Datta said Not all 100-page judgements are well-considered, to highlight how the length of a judgment did not imply that it considered all issues and aspects of a case.
  11. On Thursday National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad has launched the NALSAR Accessibility Lab for students with visual impairment, low vision disability and students with hearing impairment and low hearing disability.
    • The lab was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor Prof Faizan Mustafa and Registrar Prof V Balakista Reddy on July 28, in the presence of other dignitaries. The Library Committee is now working on further projects, including the implementation of the NALSAR Accessibility Audit Report as a pilot project, in order to make NALSAR inclusive and accessible to all.
  12. On Friday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Bar Council of the India, the Central government and the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in a plea filed by an advocate to set up a bar council for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.  (Supriya Pandita vs Union of India and ors)
    • the plea said, There is a gross violation of fundamental rights of the members of the Legal fraternity in the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh under Article 12, 14, 19 of the Constitution.
  13. On Friday the Supreme Court asked the Madras High Court to decide afresh the plea by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam challenging the recent changes made to the by-laws of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). (O Panneerselvam vs AIADMK and ors)
    • the Bench stated in its order, Taking into consideration the difficulty expressed, we feel it necessary that instead of keeping matter here we remand the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits without being influenced by the observations in the order for the SLP. The High Court to decide in 2-3 weeks time. Status quo to be maintained by parties till plea is disposed of.
  14. On Friday the Supreme Court expressed its inability to interfere with the powers of the executive and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) on the administrative side, in a plea seeking setting up of a ‘Judicial Vista’.  (Ardhendumauli Kumar Prasad v Supreme Court of India & Ors.)
    • Justice Gavai orally remarked, It is the duty of the government no doubt, but this is in executive domain.
    • the bench remarked, This is a matter on the administrative side, how can we direct? We have limited jurisdiction, we hear about this so much in conferences of CJI and Law Minister.
    • the Court said, Constitutional obligation to give you chambers? This has to be decided on administrative side, we can’t encroach on CJI’s powers.
  15. On Friday the Kerala High Court called for a report on the status of the trial against State Transport Minister Antony Raju in a case of alleged evidence tampering. (George Vattukulam v State of Kerala)
  16. On Friday the Bombay High Court directed Mumbai Suburban District Collector to initiate steps to demolish unauthorised floors and/or structures of 48 buildings around the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), in an order passed towards augmenting aviation safety in the commercial capital.
  17. On Friday the Central government has notified the appointment of Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava as the acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court with effect from August 2, 2022.
  18. On Friday the Supreme Court issued notice in an appeal filed by a district judge from Bihar challenging his suspension by the Patna High Court.
  19. On Friday the Maharashtra State Wrestling Association (MSWA) has moved the Bombay High Court against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) challenging what it alleged to be a “sudden dissolution” of MSWA’s elected committee led by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.
  20. On Friday the Delhi High Court ordered Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Pawan Khera and Netta D’Souza to remove defamatory material on social media against Union Minister Smriti Irani and her daughter in relation to the recent controversy surrounding the latter’s restaurant and bar in Goa.
  21. On Tuesday the Supreme Court made clear that it would consider initiating contempt of court proceedings against the Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) if it re-notifies local body polls to 367 seats in order to enable reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in some of those seats. (Rahul Ramesh Wagh and ors vs State of Maharashtra)
  22. On Friday the Delhi High Court issued notice to Delhi Police on JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s appeal against a lower court order denying him interim bail in a sedition case.
  23. On Friday the Delhi High Court refused to grant interim relief to TV Today Network — owner of news channels India Today and Aaj Tak — in their defamation and copyright infringement suit against online portal Newslaundry.
  24. On Thursday the Bombay High Court granted ad interim relief to Applause Productions, the producers of web series ‘Criminal Justice’, in a suit instituted against a person who had allegedly pretended to be a casting director for the show.  (Applause Entertainment Private Ltd. vs Krishna Anand)
  25. On Wednesday the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court complimented K Annamalai, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Tamil Nadu State President for having taken up the cause relating to the fraudulent issuance of Indian passports to Sri Lankan and Indian nationals with the use of forged documents. (Sureshkumar v The Regional Passport Officer)

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