Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 3rd June 2022



Article – 326 Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage

The elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than [eighteen years] of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Friday the Delhi High Court said that it cannot examine a public interest litigation (PIL) petition alleging forced religious conversion when the plea is based on information derived from social media platforms and WhatsApp.
    • A division bench of Justices Sanjeev Sachdeva and Tushar Rao Gedela noted that religious conversion is a Constitutional right and not prohibited by law and is an individual’s prerogative to choose his/ her religion.
    •  the Court said, Social media is not data. Things can be morphed there. Conversion is not prohibited. It is a right of person to profess any religion or chose any religion. That is the constitutional right. Each religion has beliefs. If someone is forced to convert, that is different but to convert is a person’s prerogative.
    • the plea said, Presently, religious conversion by intimidating, threatening and deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits is an offence in Ghaziabad but not in adjoining East Delhi. Similarly, religious conversion by using black magic and superstition is an offence in Gurugram but not in adjoining West Delhi.
    • Justice Sachdeva remarked, You are saying mass conversions. Where have these conversions happened? You are saying carrot and stick. We are not commenting on your bona fide. This court has to be satisfied to even issue notice.
  2. On Friday the Karnataka High Court observed while restraining it from proceeding with the auction of sites that were earlier allotted to the petitioners before they were cancelled and realloted, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) should not act as a private real estate company to maximise profits. (Manjula R Shetty v. Bangalore Development Authority)
    • the Court said in its order, The BDA cannot act as a private real estate company to maximise the profit by auctioning corner sites but has to have empathy to resolve the dispute of existing allottees.
    • I am of the considered opinion that when there are several issues relating to the allottees which are pending resolution and those allottees are being made to run from pillar to post and are approaching this Court seeking various reliefs, it would not be to any one’s benefit if the BDA is permitted to go on with auctioning corner site or otherwise until the issues relating to the existing allottees are sorted out. The preference of allotment, in my considered opinion ought to be given to the allottees who have already been allotted sites instead of bringing new persons as auction purchasers thereby increasing the litigation pertaining to the Arkavathy layout.
    • The present case though is a gross dereliction of duty by the concerned persons, inasmuch as sites have been formed by the BDA in the buffer zone of a secondary Nala, same has resulted in re-doing of the layout plan virtually obliterating the sites which have been allotted to the petitioners
  3. On Friday the Kerala High Court granted more time to the Crime Branch to complete further investigation into the 2017 actress assault case in which Malayalam cine actor Dileep is an accused [State of Kerala v P Gopalakrishnan alias Dileep)
    • Considering the fact that the analysis of voluminous evidence collected during further investigation is yet to be completed, reports from FSL regarding the examination of voice samples and handwriting are yet to be received, some more witnesses have to be questioned, and also taking into account the entire facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the prayer for extension of time has to be favourably considered to meet the ends of justice. However, further investigation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely.
    • Your lordship permitted further investigation on a petition filed by them(Dileep). We could have challenged the short time that was given but we also wanted to complete it as fast as possible even though the amount of material to be examined is huge.
    • For the last five years, I am living in the dark. This is a society where victims are not accepted. In such a situation, leaking the visuals, even media reports say it’s there is phones of many individuals, it affects me. I was in depression. Investigation is a must.
  4. On Friday the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) held that the liabilities of the Corporate Debtor should be included in the Information Memorandum, regardless of any delay by the Financial Creditors in filing their claims.  (Puneet Kaur v KV Developers Private Limited & Ors.)
    • The liabilities which have been undertaken by the Corporate Debtor, huge money received by the Corporate Debtor from Homebuyers, whose claims, which could not be filed within time, could not be wished away by the Resolution Professional, on the convenient ground that claims have not been filed by such Homebuyers. The purpose of CIRP of Corporate Debtor is to find out all liabilities of the Corporate Debtor and take steps towards resolution.
  5. On Friday the Supreme Court rejected a public interest litigation petition against construction activities around the Jagannath Temple, Puri.
    • the Court said, In the recent past there is a mushroom growth there is an increase of publicity interest litigation. We deprecate the practice of filing such PIL. its a waste of judicial time and it needs to be nipped in bud so that development work is not stalled.
    • Can state be denied to make necessary arrangements to provide basic facilities to devotees ? The answer is an emphatic no. Activity undertaken is in sync with our earlier order of Mrinalini Padhi case.
    • The two-judge bench has imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on each of the PIL petitioners to be paid to State of Odisha within a month of this judgment.
  6. A plea by a Jahangirpuri resident seeking relief from alleged “police harassment” was rejected by the Delhi High Court which held that the petition was of a “phishing kind“, and was filed to seek anticipatory bail in the guise of seeking protection from police. (Sheikh Ishrafil v. State)
    • this petition appears to be of a phishing kind, seeking anticipatory bail, in the garb of directions to the police not to harass the petitioner and his family.
    • And as a citizen of this country, it was only expected that while the petitioner seeks enforcement of his fundamental rights, he would also do his duties and help the police resolve the crime and apprehend the perpetrators.
    • For abundant measure, it is recorded that the observations made in this order are only for the purposes of disposal of the present petition.
    • It was the petitioner who was actively involved in aggravating the situation and instigating his community in pelting stones, bottles, and attacking the Hanuman Jayanti procession with firearms, swords, bricks, bottles and other weapons.
    • It is evident that the petitioner has moved this petition to thwart investigations. The court cannot allow itself to be used in such a fashion, which may lead to interference with the investigations, and which has been always frowned upon by the courts.
  7. On Friday the Delhi High Court restrained major Japanese multinational conglomerate, Panasonic, from manufacturing, marketing and selling ceiling fans belonging to its ‘Venice Prime’ series of fans as it was found to be deceptively similar to those made by Indian electrical equipment company, Havells under its Enticer Art-NS Stone series. (Havells India Ltd. vs. Panasonic Life Solutions India Pvt. Ltd)
    • the Court observed, It is prima facie evident from a mere visual comparison that every attempt has been made by Defendant No.1 to come as close as possible to Plaintiff’s Fans.The impugned product has a same shape and configuration, ornamentation on the blade, body ring on bottom cover, layout and placement of the ornamentation. It is relevant to note that not only has the idea of using marble on the blades of the fan has been copied, but even the shape in which it is cut, the size and the metallic border as well as its placement and layout have been substantially copied by Defendant No.1.
    • the Court said, comparing the design on the impugned products with the Plaintiff’s Design 2020, it is established that Defendant No.1 has slavishly copied and imitated the Plaintiff’s design, thereby satisfying the tests laid down in the judgments aforementioned and the provisions of Section 22 (1) of the Act.
    • The Court issued the judgment on a plea by moved by Havells seeking an interim injunction against Panasonic on grounds of unauthorized imitation, identical reproduction and piracy of their registered design which would constitute as an infringement under Section 22 of The Designs Act, 2000.
  8. On Friday the Delhi High Court asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to issue binding guidelines for enforceability of mask mandates and COVID protocol at airports and in airplanes.  (Court on its own motion vs DGCA and ors)
    • Norms seen to not be seriously implemented. Necessary for respondents to ensure implementation on ground is effective. For this purpose, DGCA should issue separate binding guidelines authorising staff at airports, flights, captains, pilots etc to take strict action against passengers and others violating masking and hand-hygiene norms. Such persons should be booked and fined and placed in no-fly list. In our view this is essential to be a deterrence for enforcement of such norms. Let report on action taken in this regard be placed on record, list sometime in July.
    •  the Bench remarked, Tell staff to implement this strictly and authorise them to take strict action on those not masking. Impose heavy fines.
    • The High Court was hearing a suo motu petition registered by Justice C Hari Shankar in March last year regarding non-adherence by air passengers to social distancing norms and COVID protocol like wearing masks.
  9. On Friday the Supreme Court came down heavily on a petitioner for filing what the Court deemed a “luxury litigation“, and imposed ₹2 lakh costs on the him. (Nilesh v Mahesh)
    • the bench said, This is nothing but a luxury litigation between two warring factions to exert control over an educational institution. Thus we impose exemplary costs. Party has to pay ₹1 lakh to SCAORA and ₹1 lakh to SCBA.
    • the bench remarked, We warned you of costs but you went on arguing for 22 minutes.
    • Justice Gavai said, But we warned you. Cost of ₹2 lakh to remain.
  10. On Friday the Delhi High Court reserved its order on a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging a lower court order allowing a counsel to be present during the interrogations of Delhi Cabinet Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with a money-laundering case.
    • the ASG said, We anyways have facilities for video recording but he (Jain) has given a written statement saying he does not want this facility. I can submit his statement in a sealed cover as well.
    • Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, They have repeatedly called me an accused. Their remand application starts with the word accused. I am searching for his certificate of not being an accused.
    • They have had a lawyer present during his investigation at a distance for the last few days. It has been going on without any issue. This petition is an abuse of process of law and should therefore be dismissed with costs.
  11. On Thursday the Supreme Court judge and Executive Chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) Justice UU Lalit exhorted citizens to reduce and reuse plastic items so as to safeguard the environment.
    • Justice UU Lalit urged, It is only the force of citizenry, it is only the force of the population, it is only the wisdom of the entire nation, which will determine what shall be the profile when it is we say no to plastics, we must say emphatically, ‘no’ to plastic.
    • The third principle is actually referred to as Vellore Citizen’s Council, that to the extent possible given the circumstances, in environmental law, we must err to the safer side that given the options we can’t be adventurist, we will rather be conservative and err on the side which is the safer side.
    • We have new rules which are supposed to come into effect from 1st July that single use plastic would be banned. The rules were promulgated in October. Sufficient time was given to the manufacturers because there are beautiful judgments from the National Green Tribunal which has actually put the responsibility on the manufacturer to say that the product that he is manufacturing is capable of getting degraded or it is not going to be a menace in case it is not recycled, on what is called Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR).
  12. On Friday Rouse Avenue Courts, Delhi rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Congress lawmaker Karti Chidambaram and others who are facing probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case connected to allotment of Chinese visas. (Karti Chidambaram v. ED)
    • The nature and gravity of the alleged offences, the nascent stage of investigation and also the previous criminal antecedents of the accused Karti P Chidambaram and S Bhaskararaman do not make it out a case for grant of anticipatory bail to the applicants or for any further interim protection to them for joining of the investigation of this case as it will seriously hamper the process and progress of investigation.
    • the argued plea, The gist of the allegations in the subject FIR is that TSPL paid a sum of ₹50 lakh by cheque to BTL, Mumbai and, in turn, the said BTL paid ₹50 lakh by cash to S Bhaskararaman as gratification. There is no allegation that Bhaskararaman paid the whole or any part of ₹50 lakh to the applicant. There is no specific allegation that either Bhaskararaman or the applicant influenced any public servant or paid any gratification to any public servant. In fact, no overt act concerning the transaction in question has been attributed to or alleged against the applicant.
  13. On Friday the Supreme Court mandated that every protected forest should have a 1 kilometre eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) where no developmental work shall be allowed, and any existing work going in such areas can continue only after obtaining permission from the concerned State’s Chief Forest Conservator.  (TN Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union Of India & Ors)
    • the Court said, We direct that each protected forest will have ESZ [Ecologically-Sensitive Zone] of 1 km. If ESZ is prescribed already which goes beyond 1 km buffer zone then such an extended boundary shall prevail. The Chief Conservator of Forests of each State shall make a list of subsisting structures under the ESZ, and submit a report to this Court within 3-months period.
  14. On Friday the Central government has notified the appointment of two lawyers as judges of Patna High Court.
    1. Khatim Reza
    2. Dr. Anshuman Pandey
  15. On Friday the Central government notified the appointment of two lawyers as additional judges of the Madras High Court.
    1. Sunder Mohan 
    2. Kabali Kumaresh Babu
  16. On Friday the Central Government has notified the appointment of two judicial officers as additional judges of the Bombay High Court.
    1. Urmila Sachin Joshi-Phalke (who is presently the principal district judge at the City Civil and Sessions Court at Mumbai)
    2. Bharat Pandurang Deshpande
  17. On Friday the Central government has notified the appointment of two lawyers as additional judges of Calcutta High Court.
    1. Raju Basu Chowdhury
    2. Lapita Banerji
  18. On Friday the Central government has approved appointments of an advocate and a judicial officer as judges of the Rajasthan High Court.
    1. Judicial officer Shubha Mehta
    2. Advocate Kuldeep Mathur
  19. On Friday the Central government notified the appointment of one lawyer as a judge of the Orissa High Court, and one judicial officer as an additional judge of the Jharkhand High Court.
    1. Advocate Sanjay Kumar Mishra
    2. judicial officer Pradeep Kumar Srivastava
  20. On Friday the Delhi High Court held that in the absence of a binding obligation on the employer to absorb apprentices as regular employees, the latter cannot claim a right to be absorbed in the company on completion of apprenticeship. (Shiwang Tripathi & Ors v. Union of India & Ors)
    • the judgment held, The petitioners were admittedly taken in as apprentices, and merely because their apprenticeship was extended in accordance with the advertisement, they cannot claim that they are akin to regular employees, or that the period of apprenticeship should be treated as a probation period.
  21. On Friday the Delhi High Court has ruled that mere smuggling of gold which does not threaten the economic security or monetary stability of India will not amount to a terrorist act under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
    • the Court said in its judgment, possession, use, production, transfer of counterfeit currency or coin is per-se illegal and an offence, however, production, possession, use etc. of ‘gold’ is not per-se illegal or an offence… Thus mere smuggling of gold without any connection whatsoever to threatening economic security or monetary stability of India cannot be a terrorist act.
    • A Division Bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna, therefore, granted bail to nine men accused of being involved in smuggling of 83.6Kg gold which was seized at New Delhi Railway Station in 2020.

Legal Prudent Fraternity