Tuesday, 30th January 2024

The Constitution is not a mere Lawyers Document, it is a Vehicle of Life, and its Spirit is always the Spirit of Age.

Notes: – UN predicts groundwater level in India will reduce to ‘low’ by 2025.’

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – XIX MISCELLANEOUS

Article – 366 Definitions

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say—

  1. Agricultural income” means agricultural income as defined for the purposes of the enactments relating to Indian income-tax.
  2. an Anglo-Indian” means a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is domiciled within the territory of India and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only.
  3. article” means an article of this Constitution.
  4. borrow” includes the raising of money by the grant of annuities, and “loan” shall be construed accordingly.
  5. clause” means a clause of the article in which the expression occurs.
  6. Corporation tax” means any tax on income, so far as that tax is payable by companies and is a tax in the case of which the following conditions are fulfilled: —
    1. that it is not chargeable in respect of agricultural income.
    2. that no deduction in respect of the tax paid by companies is, by any enactments which may apply to the tax, authorised to be made from dividends payable by the companies to individuals.
    3. that no provision exists for taking the tax so paid into account in computing for the purposes of Indian income-tax the total income of individuals receiving such dividends, or in computing the Indian income-tax payable by, or refundable to, such individuals.
  7. Corresponding Province”, “corresponding Indian State” or “corresponding State” means in cases of doubt such Province, Indian State or State as may be determined by the President to be the corresponding Province, the corresponding Indian State or the corresponding State, as the case may be, for the particular purpose in question.
  8. debt” includes any liability in respect of any obligation to repay capital sums by way of annuities and any liability under any guarantee, and “debt charges” shall be construed accordingly.
  9. Estate duty” means a duty to be assessed on or by reference to the principal value, ascertained in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed by or under laws made by Parliament or the Legislature of a State relating to the duty, of all property passing upon death or deemed, under the provisions of the said laws, so to pass.
  10. Existing law” means any law, Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule or regulation passed or made before the commencement of this Constitution by any Legislature, authority or person having power to make such a law, Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule or regulation.
  11. Federal Court” means the Federal Court constituted under the Government of India Act, 1935.
  12. goods” includes all materials, commodities, and articles.
  13. guarantee” includes any obligation undertaken before the commencement of this Constitution to make payments in the event of the profits of an undertaking falling short of a specified amount.
  14. High Court” means any Court which is deemed for the purposes of this Constitution to be a High Court for any State and includes— (a) any Court in the territory of India constituted or reconstituted under this Constitution as a High Court, and (b) any other Court in the territory of India which may be declared by Parliament by law to be a High Court for all or any of the purposes of this Constitution.
  15. Indian State” means any territory which the Government of the Dominion of India recognised as such a State.
  16. Part” means a Part of this Constitution.
  17. pension” means a pension, whether contributory or not, of any kind whatsoever payable to or in respect of any person, and includes retired pay so payable; a gratuity so payable and any sum or sums so payable by way of the return, with or without interest thereon or any other addition thereto, of subscriptions to a provident fund.
  18. Proclamation of Emergency” means a Proclamation issued under clause (1) of article 352;
  19. Public notification” means a notification in the Gazette of India, or, as the case may be, the Official
  20. Gazette of a State.
  21. railway” does not include—
    1. a tramway wholly within a municipal area, or
    2. any other line of communication wholly situate in one State and declared by Parliament by law not to be a railway.
  22. Ruler” means the Prince, Chief or other person who, at any time before the commencement of the Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1971, was recognised by the President as the Ruler of an Indian State or any person who, at any time before such commencement, was recognised by the President as the successor of such Ruler.
  23. Schedule” means a Schedule to this Constitution.
  24. Scheduled Castes” means such castes, races or tribes or parts of or groups within such castes, races or tribes as are deemed under article 341 to be Scheduled Castes for the purposes of this Constitution.
  25. Scheduled Tribes” means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.
  26. securities” includes stock.
  27. sub-clause” means a sub-clause of the clause in which the expression occurs.
  28. taxation” includes the imposition of any tax or impost, whether general or local or special, and “tax” shall be construed accordingly.
  29. tax on income” includes a tax in the nature of an excess profits tax.
    • (29A) “tax on the sale or purchase of goods” includes—
      1. a tax on the transfer, otherwise than in pursuance of a contract, of property in any goods for cash, deferred payment or other valuable consideration;
      2. a tax on the transfer of property in goods (whether as goods or in some other form) involved in the execution of a works contract;
      3. a tax on the delivery of goods on hirepurchase or any system of payment by instalments.
      4. a tax on the transfer of the right to use any goods for any purpose (whether or not for a specified period) for cash, deferred payment or other valuable consideration;
      5. a tax on the supply of goods by any unincorporated association or body of persons to a member thereof for cash, deferred payment or other valuable consideration;
      6. a tax on the supply, by way of or as part of any service or in any other manner whatsoever, of goods, being food or any other article for human consumption or any drink (whether or not intoxicating), where such supply or service, is for cash, deferred payment or other valuable consideration, and such transfer, delivery or supply of any goods shall be deemed to be a sale of those goods by the person making the transfer, delivery or supply and a purchase of those goods by the person to whom such transfer, delivery or supply is made;]
  30. Union territory” means any Union territory specified in the First Schedule and includes any other territory comprised within the territory of India but not specified in that Schedule.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Tuesday the Supreme Court made it clear that the recognition of history and historical events by enacting laws is in the exclusive domain of parliament.  (Aligarh Muslim University Through its Registrar Faizan Mustafa v Naresh Agarwal and ors)
    • A Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv KhannaSurya KantJB PardiwalaDipankar DattaManoj Misra and Satish Chandra Sharma yesterday continued hearing the batch of petitions concerning the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
    • Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta argued, But I also cannot wish it away. But before that, the Minister said it was a part of the election manifesto. Lordships may realise the danger if the Parliament were to be permitted to recognise hundreds of years ago history. I leave it at that.
    • the SG responded, I am happy; very happy. I am arguing a University matter but Parliament deals with many historical matters.
    • the CJI reminded, Subject to constitutional validity, of course.
    • The CJI remarked that this would depend on the nature of the statute, which could be a “curing statute”, an “altering statute” or a statute that expressly says its effect would be “irrespective of the past.”
    • the CJI opined, There cannot be a general reading like this.
    • The SG went on to submit that, Whenever legislature wants to recognise a founding event, parliament has done it by a legislative enactment but the parties cannot ask the court to do this because both parties can have different take on the founding event.
    • The CJI then posed the question, In the absence of express obliteration of past by the statute, cannot the court look into? Or is there a constitutional bar on the courts to look into the history and circumstances which led to the creation of the institution by a statutory enactment?
    • the SG stressed in conclusion, The test of this court to determine which university is a minority has to be a very strict test. Being an institution of eminence and national importance, AMU has 70 to 80 per cent Muslims and that cannot be so; this is without reservation. An institution recognised as an institution of eminence and national importance must resemble the national structure.
    • he explained, I mean like in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslims are not a minority and is a majority. We say that today Muslims are a minority and we jump to the conclusion that they were a minority in 1920 as well.
    • Justice Khanna added, Who is the majority and minority will be decided on the date the Constitution came into force.
    • the senior lawyer argued, We just assume Muslims as minority and stamp them with benefits. It has to be decided now, whether at all they are minority. The question has been evaded for 75 long years.
    • the CJI pointed out, Why was it there? It was a safeguard to the minority that they will be protected. And one such provision of Article 30, and that they can establish their educational institutions.
    • he added, It is about the group rights here. The group was minority, speaking in a constitutional sense. Saying that the founder was in touch with the ruling powers then is not a means to say that the group is not the minority. A political party in a State may regard a minority as an important vote bank, so can we say that it fulfills all criteria of being minority, but since it is an important vote bank, can we say it is not minority? Then it becomes very subjective.
    • he added, Muslims were rulers before the British and this was nothing but an alliance between two people who used to rule us. And this shows that they set up these institutes to create dominance of the imperial rule!
    • Would this Court ever go into a question of law, which is settled for as long as 56 years? Whether it is Mother Provincial, St Stephen’,s etc. (these cases) have not casted doubt on Basha (judgment) with regard to administer(ation) or establishment of AMU not by minority as held in Azeez Basha.
  2. On Monday the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government and the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department to ensure non-Hindus are not permitted to enter beyond the flagpole area of the Palani temple (Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple) and its sub-temples in Tamil Nadu.
    • Justice S Srimathy of the Madurai bench said that temples are not picnic spots and Hindus too like other communities have the right to practice their religion without interference.
    • The Court proceeded to issue the following directions:
      • (i)The respondents are directed to install Boards indicating that “Non-Hindus are not allowed inside temple after Kodimaram” in the entrance of the temples, near Kodimaram and at prominent places in the temple.
      • ii) The respondents are directed not to allow the Non-Hindus who do not believe in Hindu religion.
      • iii) If any Non-Hindu claims to visit particular deity in the temple, then the respondents shall obtain undertaking from the said Non-Hindu that he is having faith in the deity and he would follow the customs and practices of Hindu religion and also abide by the Temple customs and on such undertaking the said Non-Hindu may be allowed to visit the temple.
      • iv) Whenever a Non-Hindu is allowed based on the undertaking the same shall be entered in the register which shall be maintained by the temple.
      • v) The respondents shall maintain the temple premises by strictly following the agamas, customs and practices of the temple.
    • the Court opined, If a non-Hindu is not having faith and decline to follow the customs and practices of the Hindu religion and decline to follow the temple customs, then the said non-Hindu cannot be allowed and hence there is no question of hurting his sentiments. On the other hand if the non-Hindu who declines to follow the customs and practices of the Hindu religion and decline to follow the temple customs is allowed inside the temple, it would affect the sentiments of the large number of Hindus who practices the faith as Hindu reverently.
    • the Court said, In fact the Hindu Religion & Charitable Endowment Department is mandated to protect the Hindu religion, Hindu temples, its customs and practices, temple customs etc. The respondents are having misplaced sympathy and misplaced worry on sentiments of Non-Hindus.
    • Justice Srimathy went to say that “temples were purposefully not included within the purview of Article 15.”
    • the High Court said, But the examples cited by the petitioner are real concern for Hindus devotees. Even though the respondent deny the incident cited by the petitioner, there is a newspaper reporting wherein it is stated that group of persons belonging to other religion tried to enter the temple as tourists. It was also reported that in Arulmighu Brahadeeswarar Temple a group of persons belonging to other religion had treated the temple premises as picnic spot and had non vegetarian food inside the temple premises. Likewise recently on 11.01.2024 a newspaper had reported that a group of persons belonging to the other religion had entered the Arulmighu Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai with “their sacred book” near sanctum and sanctorum and was attempting to do their prayers before sanctum sanctorum. These incidents are absolutely interfering in the fundamental rights guaranteed to the Hindus under the constitution. The Hindus also have fundamental right to profess and practice their religion freely and propagate their religion without interfering in their way of practice. Therefore, the Hindus have right to maintain their temples.
  3. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court Advocates Association (KHCAA) has opposed the proposal to move Kerala High Court to Kalamassery.
    • A resolution to this effect was passed at a general body meeting of the KHCAA.
    • The association has demanded the High Court establishment committee to secure 17 acres of Housing Board land available near the current High Court location, for future expansion.
  4. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Central government, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Delhi Police on a plea to take steps to prevent ‘new age cybercrimes’ where scamsters are forging court documents and posing as government officials to defraud people.  (Akshya and Anr v. Union of India and Ors)
    • A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora ordered the respondents to file their replies within two weeks.
    • the High Court had asked the Central government to consider having a unified system where an individual can verify whether he or she is being investigated by federal agencies like CBI, ED Income Tax Department (IT Department) or Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
    • the Court had said, You [Delhi Police] must have a centre where people can lodge complaints through WhatsApp, SMS or e-mail and on that basis the complaint gets registered. You have done it for missing children. A child goes missing and if a person filed a complaint through WhatsApp, the complaint is registered. You can do something like this in cases of these frauds also.
  5. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court imposed costs of ₹7 lakh on a litigant who did not pursue his public interest litigation (PIL) petition for seven years and instead kept asking for adjournments since 2017.  (Jadeja Dharmendrasinh Ranjitsinh vs State of Gujarat)
    • A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee noted that the PIL was filed in 2017 against land allotment to a private entity for establishing an industry in 2015. 
    • Chief Justice Agarwal told, So for 9 long years, what have you done? Tell us where were you all these years? The land allotment is of 2015. You challenged it after 2 years and came to this court in 2017. And after that you only kept asking for dates. You haven’t argued your matter till date from the last 7 odd years.
    • the Court observed, You cannot file a PIL and then start dealing with people and if you are successful (in dealing) then you withdraw the petition and if not then you pursue it. This isn’t the cause for a public interest. You haven’t pursued this matter for last 7 years.
    • Chief Justice Agarwal told the advocate, Okay so we make the costs amount to ₹7 lakh, which will be a lakh per year (since 2017). You have wasted so much of judicial time.
    • the Chief Justice said, No, we cannot allow withdrawal at this stage. Once you have come to the court, please take an order along.
    • the Court made it clear, Can we or anyone now change the character of the land and bring it back to a mineral-rich nature? Can we order to make the land again a mineral-rich one? Nine long years have passed. The issue isn’t academic now. Also, we cannot order an enquiry at your behest, who did nothing in the last 9 years.
  6. On Tuesday the Gujarat High Court asked Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar to adopt a method to ensure that sexual harassment complaints do not get suppressed or manipulated by anyone before they reach the University’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). 
    • A Bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee said that such complaints must be only dealt with by the ICC and there should not be any scope for external interference.
    • the Chief Justice said, Method is to be evolved by the ICC as to how these complaints reach straight to the ICC without any manual intervention so that the complaints aren’t suppressed or are manipulated. So that complaints from the students directly go to the ICC.
    • the Chief Justice queried, You have only informed us about the formation of the ICC but that is not sufficient. How is this ICC working? How are they receiving complaints? What method they have adopted that these complaints aren’t suppressed because the perpetrator is also inside the campus?
    • the Chief Justice added, For instance, a student wants to lodge a complaint against a professor. The professor may influence everything here. The complaint will never travel to the ICC. How the ICC will ensure that every complaint reaches it without any intervention other than the Secretariat of the ICC?
    • Chief Justice Agarwal underscored, Mr AG, what purpose would the complaint box serve in absence of an ICC? So first we need to constitute an ICC which will be free from external pressure etc. The Act mandates there should be sufficient publicity to the ICC, provisions of POSH Act etc.
    • the Chief Justice observed, We even don’t have complaint boxes in our High Court. In Allahabad, such complaint boxes were opened on every Saturday. We can have something like this here too.
  7. Recently Over 250 lawyers have signed a letter addressed to Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam of the Calcutta High Court condemning the allegedly demeaning and insulting remarks made by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay towards West Bengal Advocate General Kishore Datta.
    • the letter said, We refrain from delving into the developments in connection with the aforesaid proceeding, save to point out that on 25th January 2024, when His Lordship was apprised by the Learned Advocate General of the orders dated 24th January the Hon’ble Division Bench passed in M. A. T. No. 192 of 2024 and M. A. T No. 793 of 2024, the Hon’ble Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay became incensed and made extremely uncharitable, demeaning and defamatory comments about the Learned Advocate General.
    • Whatever has fallen from the Hon’ble Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on 25th January targeting the Learned Advocate General is unacceptable to the entire body of advocates practicing in the State of West Bengal.
    • the letter said, The majesty and dignity of this Hon’ble Court have been severely affected by the aforesaid conduct of the Hon’ble judge towards the leader of the Bar i.e., the Learned Advocate General. Such an unsavory incident cannot be recalled ever, in the annals of this Hon’ble Court.
  8. Recently the Supreme Court held Bail granted to an accused cannot be canceled only because the accused did not appear in person before a cour. (Krishna Kumar Sharma vs State of West Bengal and anr)
    • A bench of Justices BR GavaiSanjay Karol and Sandeep Mehta also made it clear that the considerations for grant of bail and cancellation of bail are different.
    • the bench explained, We find that merely because the appellant did not appear personally could not have been a ground for cancellation of bail. The parameters for grant of bail and cancellation of bail are totally different. The bail already granted may be cancelled, if it is found that the person who has been granted the benefit of bail has violated any of the conditions or misused the liberty by influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence.
    • the Supreme Court said, Nothing of that sort is recorded in the impugned judgment. We therefore set aside the impugned order.
  9. On Tuesday the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai granted three weeks to Sony Pictures Networks India to file its reply to an application seeking the implementation of a $10 billion merger between Sony and Zee Entertainment Enterprises.
    • A coram of judicial member Lakshmi Gurung and a technical member Charanjeet Singh Gulati granted Sony three weeks time to file a reply to Mad Men Venture’s application and posted the matter for hearing on 12th March.
    • Advocate Shyam Kapadia, appearing for the shareholder said, It appears from the media reports that there was a dispute between ZEE and Sony on who would lead the resulting company post the merger, even though the scheme of arrangement (merger) clarified who would head the merger as the CEO of the company. They did not want Punit Goenka to be the CEO. So therefore this application was filed.
    • SeniorAadvocate Darius Khambata, representing Sony, It is crystal clear, not only from the application, but also from the affidavit we received yesterday from the shareholder, that he was nothing but a proxy for ZEE. One of the main clauses of the scheme was 5(1). The clause states that the entire scheme was conditional upon the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent in a separate contract between Zee and Sony under the merger cooperation agreement. The scheme is entirely a conditional one and expressly some of the conditions have not been met.
  10. On Tuesday the Central government notified the appointment of additional judge Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava as a permanent judge of the Jharkhand High Court.
    • the notification said, In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, Additional Judge of the High Court of Jharkhand, to be a Judge of that High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
  11. On Tuesday the Central government cleared the appointment of Justice Lapira Banerji as a permanent judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  12. On Tuesday the Central government cleared the appointment of four additional judges of the Calcutta High Court as permanent judges.
    • Justice Ananya Bandyopadhyay 
    • Justice Rai Chattopadhyay
    • Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)
    • Justice Raja Basu Chowdhury
  13. On Tuesday the Central government has notified the appointment of Justice PS Dinesh Kumar as Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.
  14. On Tuesday the Kerala High Court dismissed the bail pleas filed by Jollyamma Joseph, the prime accused in the infamous Koodathayi murders.  (Jollyamma Joseph v State of Kerala)
  15. On Tuesday Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress Party’s Joint Candidate Kuldeep Kumar has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking setting aside of the election held for the Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation due to alleged fraud and forgery.
  16. Recently the Supreme Court restored a writ petition filed in 1987 before the Uttarakhand High Court in a land acquisition matter.  (JN Puri vs State of Uttar Pradesh now State of Uttarakhand and ors)
  17. Recently the Rajasthan High Court ruled that the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) does not have the authority to retrospectively cancel admissions of students into medical colleges. (Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital v. The Union of India & Ors)
  18. On Monday the Supreme Court quashed criminal defamation proceedings filed by a lawyer against the owner of a Madhya Pradesh-based Hindi daily newspaper, Sunday Blast.  (Sanjay Upadhya vs Anand Dubey)
  19. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court reserved its judgement on a plea filed by two Rohingya refugees seeking directions to social networking platform Facebook (now Meta) to change its algorithm and stop hateful and inflammatory content against the Rohingya community.
  20. On Tuesday A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking directions to prohibit campus politics across colleges and educational institutions in Kerala.  (N Prakash v State of Kerala & Ors.)
  21. On Tuesday the Delhi High Court ordered the trial court to decide the statutory bail plea filed by Sharjeel Imam in the Sedition case against him by 17th February.
  22. On Tuesday A court in Kerala’s Alappuzha district handed down death penalty to 14 of the 15 persons convicted for the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and lawyer, Ranjith Sreenivasan.
  23. On Tuesday the Supreme Court urged the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir to publicise review committee orders related to internet bans in the region.  (Foundation for Media Professionals v. Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Anr)
  24. Recently the Bombay High Court denied bail to a man after noting that he was a close relative of the two minor girls whom he was accused of subjecting to sexual assault.

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