Thursday, 4th 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.’



Article – 363 Bar to interference by courts in disputes arising out of certain treaties, agreements, etc.

  1. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution but subject to the provisions of article 143, neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall have jurisdiction in any dispute arising out of any provision of a treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad or other similar instrument which was entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution by any Ruler of an Indian State and to which the Government of the Dominion of India or any of its predecessor Governments was a party and which has or has been continued in operation after such commencement, or in any dispute in respect of any right accruing under or any liability or obligation arising out of any of the provisions of this Constitution relating to any such treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad or other similar instrument.
  2. In this article—
    1. “Indian State” means any territory recognised before the commencement of this Constitution by His Majesty or the Government of the Dominion of India as being such a State; and
    2. “Ruler” includes the Prince, Chief or other person recognised before such commencement by His Majesty or the Government of the Dominion of India as the Ruler of any Indian State.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Thursday the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointment of three additional judges – two from the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and one from the Bombay High Court – as permanent judges.
    • Justice Rahul Bharti – Jammu and Kashmir High Court
    • Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi – Jammu and Kashmir High Court
    • Justice Abhay Ahuja – Bombay High Court
  2. On Thursday the Supreme Court collegium recommended the appointment of judicial officer Arvind Kumar Verma as a judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
    • the resolution said, Bearing in mind the views of the consultee-Judge on the suitability of the candidate, the report of the Judgment Assessment Committee and the assessment made by the Government of India in the file, the Collegium is of the considered view that the officer is suitable for appointment as a judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh.
  3. On Thursday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the elevation of Registrar General Chaitali Chatterjee as a judge of the Calcutta High Court.
    • All the three consultee Judges have unanimously and emphatically opined that the candidate is suitable for being appointed as a High Court Judge. We have duly considered the inputs provided by the Government. The professional competence of the officer is reported to be good.She has held various positions as judicial officer at sensitive postings in the State and is presently posted as Registrar General of the High Court at Calcutta. The Judgment Evaluation Committee constituted by the Chief Justice of the High Court has rated the quality of judgments authored by her as very good by awarding 70 marks.
    • the resolution stated, Cogent reasons have been recorded by the Collegium of the High Court for not recommending her name. We are, therefore, in agreement with the High Court Collegium for overlooking that officer.
  4. On Thursday the Supreme Court remarked that the Calcutta High Court order which called for adolescent girls to “control” their sexual urges sends wrong signals.  (In Re: Right to Privacy of Adolescent)
    • A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan also briefly raised concerns about the manner in which judges were invoking their inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in making such observations.
    • the top court remarked, The order sends absolutely wrong signals. What kind of principles the judges are applying under Section 482.
    • Control sexual urge/urges as in the eyes of society she is the looser when she gives in to enjoy the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes.
    • the Court replied, From where such concepts come, we do not know. We want to address (the issue).
  5. On Thursday the Supreme Court refused to quash the criminal case registered against Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera for botching up the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference.  (Pawan Khera v. State of Uttar Pradesh and anr)
    • A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta noted Khera’s repeated apologies in other defamation matters, and said an offence cannot be wished away.
    • Justice Gavai remarked, “Anyways now you go on apologising”, with Justice Mehta weighing in saying, “Trying to wish away the offence”.
    • If Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem does Narendra Gautam Das…sorry Damodardas Modi have?
  6. On Thursday the Supreme Court refused to entertain a Habeas Corpus plea filed by a family member of Indian national Nikhil Gupta who is currently detained in Czech Republic for conspiring to assassinate Khalistani separatist and US-Canadian citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
    • A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta observed that since the case is a sensitive one involving questions of international law, it will be appropriate for the Central government to take a call on the same by treating the plea as a representation.
    • Senior Advocate Aryama Sundaram with advocate Rohini Musa appeared for the petitioner.
    • advocate Rohini Musa said, We are hopeful that the Government of India would render the assistance necessary to enable an Indian citizen to adequately defend himself before a foreign court and to ensure no further violations of his human rights.
    • As per the plea, just as the petitioner was exiting the airport, he was approached by certain individuals who identified themselves to be law enforcement and detained the petitioner without declaring any reason as to why he was being detained.
    • the plea claimed, the petitioner was not stopped at the immigration counter and was actually apprehended after immigration when he had in fact exited the Airport at Prague.
    • the petition said, a devout Hindu and vegetarian, was subjected to forced consumption of beef and pork during his detention in Czech custody, a direct violation of his religious beliefs.
  7. On Wednesday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Allahabad High Court Registrar General on a plea challenging the latter’s decision to defer setting up of E-Seva Kendras in district courts of Uttar Pradesh (UP).  (Md Anas Chaudhary vs Registrar General High Court of Judicature at Allahabad)
    • A bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra issued notice and listed the matter for hearing after four weeks.
    • The public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by advocate Ansar Ahmad Chaudhary raised grievance against a letter by the Registrar of the High Court dated November 28, 2023 effectively putting in abeyance the setting up of such kendras in district courts in UP.
    • The plea said that the absence of the technology assistance kiosks has made it difficult for lawyers of Western UP to electronically file and appear in their cases.
  8. On Wednesday the Supreme Court stayed a Patna High Court judgment that had annulled a marriage on the grounds that the groom was forced to marry at gunpoint and because saptapadi (seven steps taken by the couple around a sacred fire) under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was not performed.
    • A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah issued notice in response to a plea challenging the High Court verdict.
    • the order said, Issue notice. Till further orders, operation and implementation of the impugned judgment shall remain stayed.
    • the Court had said, From bare perusal of the aforesaid provision (of the Hindu Marriage Act), it is obvious that when such rites and ceremonies including Saptapadi the marriage becomes complete and binding, when seventh step is taken. Conversely, if ‘saptapadi’ has not been completed, the marriage would not be considered to be complete and binding.
    • The High Court had also a relied on a 2001 Supreme Court judgment which had laid down that a traditional Hindu marriage would not be valid in absence of the saptapadi and datta homam (offering of ghee into a sacred fire).
    • the High Court allowed the petitioner’s plea after concluding that the marriage ceremony was forced on him.
  9. On Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled Facts sourced from a statement made by accused is admissible as evidence during trial even if such accused is not in the “formal” custody of the police. (Perumal Raja vs State Rep by Inspector of Police)
    • A division bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti stressed that the pre-requisite of police custody under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, should be read pragmatically, rather than formalistically or euphemistically.
    • Section 27 allows for the admission of facts that are discovered from statements made by “a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer.”
    • the Court explained, The expression ‘custody’ under Section 27 of the Evidence Act does not mean formal custody. It includes any kind of restriction, restraint or even surveillance by the police. Even if the accused was not formally arrested at the time of giving information, the accused ought to be deemed, for all practical purposes, in the custody of the police.
    • the division bench added, A person giving word of mouth information to police, which may be used as evidence against him, may be deemed to have submitted himself to the ‘custody’ of the police officer. Reference can also be made to decision of this Court in Vikram Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab , which discusses and applies Deoman Upadhyay (supra), to hold that formal arrest is not a necessity for operation of Section 27 of the Evidence Act.
    • the Court added, The wide and pragmatic interpretation of the term “police custody” is supported by the fact that if a narrow or technical view is taken, it will be very easy for the police to delay the time of filing the FIR and arrest, and thereby evade the contours of Sections 25 to 27 of the Evidence Act. Thus, in our considered view the correct interpretation would be that as soon as an accused or suspected person comes into the hands of a police officer, he is no longer at liberty and is under a check, and is, therefore, in ‘custody’ within the meaning of Sections 25 to 27 of the Evidence Act. It is for this reason that the expression ‘custody’ has been held, as earlier observed, to include surveillance, restriction or restraint by the police.
  10. On Thursday the Delhi High Court passed a detailed judgement fixing timelines for processing of applications, verification/completion of documents and scheduling of interviews for organ and tissue transplantations.  (Amar Singh Bhatia & Anr v Sir Ganga Ram Hospital & Ors)
    • Justice Prathiba M Singh said that processing of application under Rule 10 of Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 should be completed within 10 days and the verification of documents as per Form 20 of these rules should be considered within a maximum of 14 days.
    • the Court ordered, Within the prescribed timeline under the 2014 Rules, any opportunity given to the donor or recipient to complete the required documentation must be communicated. The donor or recipient should be given a maximum of one week to respond. If further opportunities need to be given, the same ought to be given after due consideration, with a strict deadline. Upon expiry of this timeline, the case should be presented to the Authorisation Committee.
    • the single-judge stressed, The entire process, from submission to decision, ought not to ideally exceed 6 to 8 weeks.
    • the Court ordered, Let the present judgment be placed before the Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare so as to ensure that timelines under the 1994 Act and 2014 Rules are prescribed for all the steps in the process of consideration of applications for organ donation, after consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
  11. On Thursday Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament (MP) Mahua Moitra withdrew her plea filed before the Delhi High Court challenging the Government of India order to evict her from her government-allotted bungalow in New Delhi.
    • Justice Subramonium Prasad observed in his order that the Government shall take action in the case as per law.
    • Senior Advocate Pinaki Misra appeared for Moitra and stated that they will approach the Directorate of Estates of the Government of India to allow her to stay in the bungalow till the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
    • Moitra submitted, In the event that the petitioner is so allowed, she will readily undertake to pay any charges that may be applicable for the extended period of stay.
  12. On Thursday the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed the summons issued to certain newspaper editors and journalists including Indian Express Resident Editor by a Gurgaon court in defamation proceedings initiated by retired Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer Param Vir Rathee.  (Vipin Pubby v. State of Haryana and another)
    • Justice Anoop Chitkara concluded that the newspapers and their reporters had not committed any offence by publishing the news report concerning Rathee.
    • the Court said, A complete reading of the news, which contained the complainant’s rebuttal, his version, the version of the police, can be stated to have been published in good faith and discharge of their functions in a democracy, and if restrictions are created to publish such news, it would be just like killing a mockingbird.
    • the Court stressed, To ensure honest and correct reporting of actual events, such journalists require the protection of courts, especially constitutional courts, to enable them to publish news without fear of harmful consequences. Thus, all courts must be more vigilant and proactive while safeguarding the interests of such courageous humans.
    • it said, There is a conspicuous silence about it in the complaint, the statement before the court, and the reply filed to this petition.
    • The reporter and the newspaper did their jobs without committing any offense under section 499 IPC because they exercised restraints, and the news had the inbuilt safeguards, due care and caution, and reasonableness in the reported news. The reporter, Varun Chaddha, and the publisher, Indian Express, acted within the parameters of prudency and reasonableness, and whatever they wrote, they were entitled to publish under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
    • it said, In addition to this there is another angle to disrupt the petitioner’s criminal trial. A bare perusal of the complaint and the alleged offending portion is just a correct reporting of statements given by Sh. Chautala and Sh. Ashok Arora; and the petitioner are entitled to protection under the first and ninth exceptions of Section 499 IPC.
  13. On Thursday the Calcutta High Court asked the Director of the IPGME&R and SSKM Hospital at Kolkata to file a report in the wake of allegations that the hospital has become a “safe shelter” for politically influential persons arrested or accused in cases including the school jobs for cash scam being probed by Central investigating agencies. (Niladri Saha v. State of West Bengal and ors)
    • A bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Supratim Bhattacharya passed the order after two public interest litigation (PIL) petitions were filed raising concerns that ordinary hospital goers were being affected due to the prolonged stay of high-profile and politically influential persons at the hospital.
    • the Chief Justice orally observed, Allegation is, you are sheltering them, as a result of which, the entire infrastructure gets blocked and a third party who is suffering will not be given treatment because a battery of doctors are behind this influential people. What we need to do is, making an independent evaluation of their health condition, that’s the only way. We’ll hear the learned Advocate General … If a person able to move around, speak to people, almost a normal life, walking around corridors … then who is to monitor? It is a very serious allegation against you … File an affidavit giving a list of influential persons in hospital … They say that the doctors are helpless.
    • the Court noted, Admittedly, the SSKM Hospital and the IPGMER is a government establishment which caters to all categories of people, regardless of their social or economic status. If the allegations made in the writ petition (s) turns out to be true, it is a very serious matter. It is no doubt true that the Court cannot embark upon an evaluation exercise of the health condition of those accused who are now being admitted in the hospital and it is for the treating doctors to make an honest assessment as to whether they are continued to be kept in the hospital or fit enough to be sent back to the correctional home.
    • the Court’s order said, In order to get a clearer picture, we direct the director of IPGMER and SSKM hospital, Kolkata to file a report as to the facilities available and to how long such facilities have been availed by the various patients and a brief note on their health conditions. After such report in filed in the form of an affidavit, the Court will hear the learned Advocate General and proceed further in the matter.
  14. On Thursday the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira in a case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. (Sukhpal Singh Khaira v. State of Punjab)
    • Justice Anoop Chitkara recorded a prima facie satisfaction that the Congress party Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) was not guilty of the allegations relating to smuggling of drugs.
    • the Court said, The possibility of the accused influencing the investigation, tampering with evidence, intimidating witnesses, and the likelihood of fleeing justice, can be taken care of by imposing elaborative and stringent conditions.
    • the bench said, The expression “reasonable grounds” means something more than prima facie grounds. It contemplates substantial probable causes for believing the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence. Even on fulfilling one of the conditions, the reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of such an offense, the Court still cannot give a finding on the assurance that the accused is not likely to commit any such crime again.
    • It can be inferred at this stage that for the purpose of satisfying the rigors of section 37 of NDPS Act, the petitioner cannot be said to be prima facie guilty for any allegations, and its most likely effect on the final outcome would be sufficient for satisfaction of conditions of Section 37 of NDPS Act.
  15. Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court imposed costs of ₹25,000 on the Central government on finding that the government had effectively re-agitated an issue of law that had already been settled earlier by the Supreme Court. (Union of India and another v. Harbhajan Kaur and others)
    • Justice Rajbir Sehrawat observed that Central government authorities (petitioners, in this case) deserve to be burdened with appropriate costs to “make them realize their mistake in wasting valuable time of the Court.”
    • the High Court said Since the petitioners have unnecessarily gone to the extent of contesting on an issue of law which already stands decided by Hon’ble Supreme Court long ago, therefore, the petitioners deserves to be burdened with an appropriate cost; so as to make them realize their mistake in wasting time of the Court.
    • the judge explained, Hon’ble Supreme Court has clarified the position in the cases of Gurdeep Singh Versus Union of India, 2006 AIR SCW 5813, and Sunder Versus Union of India, AIR 2001 SC 3516, that the additional market value, per se, is part of the compensation. Therefore, the land owner shall be; ipso facto; entitled to the interest even on the amount of additional market value. Hence, the present petition is dismissed being devoid of any merits, as such.
  16. Recently the Himachal Pradesh High Court held that a person levelling disgusting accusations of adultery against spouse would amount to worst form of insult and cruelty to the partner. (Kamlesh Thakur vs Sushil Thakur)
    • A division bench of Justices Vivek Singh Thakur and Sandeep Sharma opined that ‘intention’ is not a necessary element in cruelty and a litigant cannot be denied a relief just because the ill-treatment was unintentional.
    • the Court underlined, Intention is not a necessary element in cruelty. The relief to a party cannot be denied because there was no deliberate or willful ill-treatment.
    • the bench said, Needless to say, matrimonial matters are matters of delicate human and emotional relationship and to maintain such relationship for a long, there is requirement of mutual trust, regard, respect, love and affection. Since in the case at hand, the wife made serious and scandalous allegations regarding adulterous life of her husband, the court below, rightly arrived at a conclusion that false allegation of adultery constitutes mental cruelty.
    • the Court underscored, Levelling disgusting accusations of indecent familiarity with a person outside wedlock and allegations of extra marital relationship constitutes grave assault on the character, honour, reputation and status of the spouse. Definitely, such aspersions amount to worst form of insult and cruelty, which itself is sufficient to substantiate cruelty in law.
    • the bench said, It is a course of conduct of one which adversely affects the other. Cruelty can be mental, physical, intentional or unintentional.
    • the bench said, There may be cases where the conduct complained of itself if bad enough and per se unlawful and illegal. Then, the impact of the injurious effect on the other spouse need not be enquired into. In such like cases, the cruelty will be established if the conduct itself it proved or admitted.
    • the Court said, Though this court is persuaded to agree with the wife that she being educated lady is entitled to do job and qua such fact, no objection could have every been raised by the family members including the husband but whether government job could have been taken by the wife at the distance of 50 kms to 60 kms from their native place, that too leaving her seven months daughter is a debatable question.
  17. On Thursday the Bombay High Court released an action plan for 2024 in order to clear cases pending before district courts across Maharashtra, Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra, Nagar & Haveli and Daman & Diu for 5 years or more.
    • A notice regarding the same was published on the website of the High Court effective from January 2024
    • cases have been divided into five categories – 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40-year-old.
    • The notice states that 30 to 40-year-old cases have to be cleared by the district courts by June 2024 while the deadline to clear 10 to 20-year-old cases is September 2024. 5-year-old cases have to be cleared by December 2024.
    • The judicial officers have been ordered to submit a report on the status of the following cases:
      • Cases stayed by the District/Sessions Court and which are not earlier reported. They will be given priority for expeditious disposal;
      • Review cases stayed by the High Court;
      • Review cases which have no dates or are listed on holidays as per the case information system (CIS).
  18. Recently the Bombay High Court extended the interim relief it had granted to TATA-owned retail company Trent Limited by injuncting unknown infringers from using the company’s registered trademark ZUDIO.  (Trent Limited v. & Ors)
    • ustice RI Chagla passed the order on November 2 without hearing any of the defendants, considering the urgency in the matter. He further directed that the order be uploaded on the High Court website only after the directions have been complied with.
    • the order stated, From the documents filed, I am convinced that the Plaintiff’s trade mark/artistic work of ZUDIO is distinctive and has garnered enormous goodwill and reputation.
    • The Court directed the domain registrar Tucows Domain Inc to file a disclosure affidavit containing details of the persons and entities who registered the domain name which had allegedly infringed the ZUDIO mark.

For Legal Support Contact: –

Adv. Shiv Kumar (Delhi High Court and Subordinate Court Delhi)

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Adv. Aishwarya Dorwekar (Bombay High Court and City Civil & Session Court, Mumbai)

Contact: – 8828275839 And Live Advocate

Adv. Upasna Goyal (Punjab and Haryana High Court)

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Adv. Manpreet Singh Bajwa (Punjab and Haryana High Court)

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Adv. Rajeev Nayan (Patna High Court)

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Adv. Dakshreddy B. (Madras High Court and Madurai Bench)

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