Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 4th March 2022



Cultural and Educational Rights

Article – 31C Saving of laws giving effect to certain directive principles

Notwithstanding anything contained in article 13, no law giving effect to the policy of the State towards securing all or any of the principles laid down in Part IV shall be deemed to be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with, or takes away or abridges any of the rights conferred by [article 14 or article 19]; and no law containing a declaration that it is for giving effect to such policy shall be called in question in any court on the ground that it does not give effect to such policy
Provided that where such law is made by the Legislature of a State, the provisions of this article shall not apply thereto unless such law, having been reserved for the consideration of the President, has received his assent.

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. Today the Chhattisgarh High Court held that right to cross-examination is part of right to fair trial which every person is entitled to in the spirit of right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.  (Manish Sonkar v. State of Chhattisgarh)
    • “In the case in hand, the ground of re-examination is that earlier the statement of the prosecutrix was recorded under duress but the learned trial court ignoring the aforesaid facts and summarily dismissed the application filed by the petitioner. The learned court below ought to have allowed the petition by exercising the jurisdiction under Section 311 CrPC.”
    • “The learned trial court shall afford a chance to the petitioner to cross-examine the prosecutrix. The petitioner shall bear the expenses of the witness which would be fixed by the learned trial court. The trial court is free to impose conditions as it thinks fit,” 
    • The petitioner was booked under Sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) and 376 (rape) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 and Sections 5 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
  2. Today the Karnataka High Court has directed that the investigation officer or the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) must inform a minor survivor’s parents, caregiver, or guardian and lawyer (if appointed), if the accused files for bail or if there is any other application by the accused or the prosecution in cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).
    • “Though the prosecution of such offences rests with the State, who is to act impartially, the prosecution system is overburdened, many a time prosecutors not having been appointed, leading to inordinate delay. If a victim or complainant wants to and can effectively assist the prosecution, the same is required to be permitted, albeit with the caveat that the prosecutor would always be in charge of the prosecution and would be the deciding authority as regards the mode and manner of conducting of the prosecution. For this to happen it is essential that the complainant/Victim is aware of the proceedings in court,” 
    • The investigating officer or the SJPU shall inform the victim’s parents /caregivers/guardian, and legal counsel if any, about any application for bail or if any other application is filed by the accused or the prosecution.
    • The public prosecutor shall serve a copy of any application or objections to be filed in the proceedings to the victim’s parents/caregiver/guardian and legal counsel, along with relevant documents and records necessary for their effective participation in the proceedings.
    • In the event that the accused is a close family member or an acquaintance of the family, a copy of any application or objections to be filed in the proceedings shall also be served on the relevant Child Welfare Committee (CWC) along with all relevant documents and records necessary.
    • The concerned court should ascertain the status of service of notice before hearing any application, and if it is found that notice has not been issued or served, the court may make a reasoned order to secure the ends of justice, by taking into account any emergent circumstances that warrant dealing with the application in the absence of the victim’s parents/caregiver/ guardian or legal counsel.
    • Despite service of notice, if none were to appear, the court may proceed further or issue a fresh notice, considering the interest of justice.
    • When the proceedings under the POCSO Act also involve offences under Sections 376(3), (rape on a woman under 16 years of age) 376-AB, (rape on a woman under 12 years of age) 376-DA gang rape on a woman under 16 years of age) or 376-DB (gang rape on a woman under 12 years of age) of the Indian Penal Code, the notice to the victim shall be issued under Section 439(1-A) (Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail) read with Rule 4(13) and 4(15) of the POCSO rules (duty to inform the child/child’s family).
    • When an accused who is charged under Sections 376(3), 376-AB, 376-DA or 376 DB of the IPC or the provisions of the POCSO Act moves any application for any type of bail, notice shall be issued by the accused to the investigating officer, SJPU, public prosecutor and also any counsel on record for the victim/ complainant/informant.
    • The victim/complainant/informant who appears before the court may be represented by own counsel or by a counsel appointed by the Karnataka State Legal Service Authority or the concerned District Legal Services Authority, or Taluka Legal Services Authority.
    • The State government should provide for sufficient funds in order to make payments to the counsel.
    • The victim’s parents/caregiver/guardian and legal counsel should be informed about the protection available under Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 and it must be enquired if they require any such protection. If a request made for police protection, it should be considered and granted according to the Witness Protection Scheme 2018. If information is provided by a whistleblower, necessary protection should be provided according to the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014.
  3. Today the Supreme Court said that it will hear on March 11, 2022 an appeal against the order of the Allahabad High Court granting bail to Ashish Mishra, who is the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people were killed.
  4. Today the Supreme Court expressed shock at the order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court granting protection from arrest to former Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini in cases pending against him or likely to be registered against him in future.
    • “This is unprecedented order. How can future course of action be stayed? It is shocking and three of us (judges) feel that it is unprecedented. This will require hearing,” 
    • “We will request the High Court to dispose of the petition by another judge and not the same judge within 2 weeks. We request the Chief Justice to take it up himself or by any other judge and we will keep this matter pending (SLP) in (Supreme) Court,”
  5. Today the Bombay High Court granted ad-interim protection to IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in connection with the alleged phone tapping case of State Congress president Nana Patole during the tenure of previous BJP government.  (Rashmi Shukla v. State of Maharashtra)
  6. Today the sheer number of public interest litigation (PIL) petitions filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay prompted some remarks from the Delhi High Court.  (Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay vs Union of India and ors)
  7. The Rajasthan High Court current Chief Justice Akil Kureshi retirement on 7th March 2022, after Justice MM Shrivastava will take over as acting Chief Justice.
  8. Today Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi has resigned from the post of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of India.
  9. Today the Kerala High Court issued a slew of directions to ensure road safety and compliance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, in view of increasing accidents involving Sabarimala pilgrims travelling in buses and other contract carriers.
    •  the High Court issued the following directions to the Transport Commissioner and the State Police Chief, and the various officers under them.
      1.  Said officers shall ensure strict enforcement of the Road Safety Policy and also the provisions under the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations, 2017, in terms of the directions contained in the decision of the apex court in S Rajaseekaran v Union of India and they shall also ensure strict enforcement of the prohibition contained in the decision of the apex court in Avishek Goenka v Union of India against tampering with the percentage of visual transmission of light of the safety glass of the windscreen, rear window and side windows of motor vehicles.
      2. In view of the law laid down in the decisions in various cases by the Kerala High Court, and since use of such vehicles in public place, flouting the standards in relation to road safety, is likely to endanger the safety of the passengers of such vehicles and also other road users, said officers shall prevent the use of contract carriages and other transport vehicles in public places.
        • flouting the safety standards after replacing the prototype approved lights, light-signalling devices and reflectors with after- market multi-coloured LED/laser/neon lights, flash lights, etc.
        • without maintaining lighting and light-signalling devices and also retro-reflectors as per the individual specifications, namely, number, position, width, height, length, geometric visibility, orientation, etc. specified in AIS-008 (Installation Requirements of Lighting and Light – signalling devices for motor vehicle having more than three wheels including quadricycles, trailer and semi-trailer excluding agricultural tractors.
        • with high-power audio systems producing loud sound with rating of several thousand watts PMPO, impairing the hearing of the driver and the passengers and causing distraction to other road users.
        • with continuously blinking DJ rotating LED lights, multi-coloured LED/laser/neon lights in the passenger compartment, by converting the passenger compartment as a dancing floor,causing distraction to the driver of that vehicle and also to other road users.
        • with multi-coloured LED/laser/neon lights and also booster amplifiers, equalizer, DJ mixer, etc., with illuminated control panels in the driver cabin, causing glare and reflection of light on the windscreen of the vehicle, endangering the safety of the passengers and other road users.
        • mixing up of AC and DC power supply for high- power audio systems with DJ mixer, DJ dancing lights, laser lights, etc., violating safety standards, posing a potential fire hazard to the passengers of such vehicles.
        • tampering with the percentage of visual transmission of light of the safety glass of the windscreen, rear window and side windows, by pasting stickers, tint films, etc. upon the safety glass, fixing sliding cloth cutrains, etc., in violation of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.
        • placing/hanging various objects in front of the windscreen and writing the name of the bus in the middle of the windscreen, above the level of the dashboard, causing obstruction to the clear vision of the driver, both to the front and through an angle of ninety degrees to his right or left hand side, in violation of Rule 278 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules.
        • exhibiting writings, advertisements, graphics, figures, etc. with the sole object to invite public attention and to promote the contract carriage service, causing distraction to the drivers of other vehicles and also cyclists and pedestrians on public road.
      3. Said officers shall prevent the use of contract carriages and other transport vehicles on public place with multi-toned horn giving a succession of different notes or horn giving unduly harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise, in violation of Rule 119(2) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.
      4. In view of the provisions under Section 190(2) of the MV Act, any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control of noise and air-pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both and he shall be disqualified for holding licence for a period of three months and for any second or subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
      5. In view of the provisions under Section 206(4) of the MV Act, a police officer or other person authorised in this behalf by the State Government shall seize the driving licence held by the driver of a motor vehicle who has committed an offence under Section 190 and forward it to the licensing authority for disqualification or revocation proceedings under Section 19.
      6. A transport vehicle governed by AIS-008, which is not installed with lighting and light-signalling devices and also retro-reflectors conforming to the individual specifications, cannot be granted fitness certificate, since such a vehicle cannot be treated as a vehicle which complies with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules made thereunder, for the purpose of grant of certificate of fitness. The certificate of fitness granted to such vehicle shall be cancelled by the prescribed authority, in accordance with the provisions under Section 56(4) of the MV Act. In appropriate cases, the registering authority shall initiate proceedings to suspend or cancel the letter of authority granted or renewed under Rule 63(5) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules or forfeit security deposit, after affording the holder of letter of authority an opportunity of being heard.
  10. Today the Ranga Reddy Court at Kukatpally in Telangana dismissed a petition by independent filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar seeking recall of a January 2021 order where the suit for damages filed by him was disposed of as withdrawn pursuant to a settlement agreement. (Nandi Chinni Kumar v Akhilesh Prakash Paul)
  11. Union Minister Narayan Rane and Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Nitesh Rane were granted interim protection from arrest in connection with case registered against based on complaint by the parents of late Disha Salian, former manager of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
  12. Today the Karnataka High Court permitted KT Naveen Kumar, who is one of the accused in the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh to seek treatment at a private multi specialty hospital.  (KT Naveen Kumar v. State of Karnataka)
  13. Today the Delhi High Court observed that a document circulated by historian Audrey Truschke against historian Vikram Sampath does not prima facie contain any defamatory content.
    • “I don’t find anything defamatory in this letter, if she (Truschke) is posting it there is nothing wrong in that……….You can’t curtail the subject of discussion in academic world. if the academicians feel or have a view that you have plagiarised something, then you can’t seek injunction against thousand people,” 
    • “There are people who have said that they did not sign this letter. This includes Ramchandra Guha. Then there is Pratap Bhanu Mehta who also said he never signed it,” 
    • “If the name is wrongly mentioned (in the document)… let’s see there are 100 names, and few say they have not signed it. It does not mean there is any defamatory content,”
  14. Today the Delhi High Court has held that parties cannot confer jurisdiction on a court by an agreement if the court otherwise does not have such a jurisdiction.  (Aanchal Mittal and Ors v Ankur Shukla)
    • “An LLP or any other business entity can carry out business in different parts of the country. But that would not mean that a suit, with regard to disputes between the partners, could be filed in any place where the business of the firm/LLP is carried out. What has been raised in the plaint is a dispute with regard to the business accounts of the LLP,” 
    • “It is evident from the facts of the present case that there is no principal or subordinate office of the LLP in the State of Delhi and neither are the books of accounts kept in Delhi, therefore, there is no cause of action in respect of the present suit, which is arising within the territorial limits of the Courts in Delhi. Furthermore, the parties by agreement cannot give jurisdiction to a Court, which otherwise does not have such jurisdiction. Thus, I am of the considered view that the Courts in Delhi lack the territorial jurisdiction to try and entertain the present suit,” 
  15. Today the Bombay High Court directed Member of Legislative Assembly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Girish Mahajan to deposit ₹10 lakh as a pre-condition for hearing his plea challenging rules for election of speaker and deputy speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly.  (Girish Mahajan v. State of Maharashtra)
  16. Today the Delhi High Court has decided to create three new Additional Sessions Judge (ASG) courts to deal with the long pendency of the cases investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). (Manzer Imam v Union of India and Ors)
    • According to an affidavit filed by the Delhi High Court joint-registrar, the Administrative and General Supervision Committee of the High Court has resolved to create the three new courts in the Patiala House Court complex.
    • “The Court of ASJ-02 shall continue to deal with fresh/pending cases filed in it being a Special Court under Section 22 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008… It shall continue to deal with all the pending cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as well as fresh such cases to be filed before it as per the existing practice,” 
  17. The Bombay High Court on Monday set aside the appointment of nominated councillor of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ganesh Bidkar as the Leader of the House in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
  18. Today the Central government has cleared the appointment of Delhi High Court Chief Justice DN Patel to the post of Chairperson of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for a period of four years.
  19. Today the Bombay High Court directed its registry to submit details of criminal cases where the trial court proceedings against sitting or former Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MPs/MLAs) of Maharashtra and Goa have been stayed by the High Court.
    • 51 cases are pending before the High Court which are as follows:
      • Principal Bench (Mumbai) – 19
      • Nagpur Bench – 9
      • Auragabad Bench – 21
      • Goa Bench (Panjim) – 2
    • Around 500 cases are pending in lower courts across Maharashtra and Goa, including the Union Territory of Dadra Nagar and Haveli.
  20. Today the Central government opposed the full reopening of the mosque at Nizamuddin Markaz which has remained closed since March 2020, after a group of Tablighi Jamaat members were found to be living there allegedly in violation of the Covid norms.  (Delhi Waqf Board Through its Chairman v Government of NCT of Delhi and Anr)
    • “What we had permitted was offering of Namaz by 50 people on the first floor. Those people can continue to offer prayers for Shab e-Barat and Ramzan but if he is here for opening of the entire mosque, then I have some issues,” 
    • “When 50 people were allowed into the mosque that was when Delta variant of the Coronavirus was wreaking havoc. Through the February 26 order, DDMA has done away with all the restrictions,”
  21. Today the Karnataka High Court set aside an the order by Magistrate granting permission for investigation against Bengaluru South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya, for an alleged offence under the Representation of People Act.  (Tejasvi Surya v. State of Karnataka)
    • “In light of the same, the endorsement of the Magistrate dated 18.04.2019 is set aside and the matter is relegated to the stage of the informant being referred to the Magistrate in terms of the procedure prescribed under Section 155(1) of Cr.P.C… the Magistrate is required to apply his mind as to whether permission for investigation needs to be granted,” 
  22. Today the Supreme Court issued notice in a public interest litigation filed by Puducherry opposition leader R Siva that challenged the government order discontinuing reservation for backward classes and Scheduled Tribes in local body polls. (R. Siva v. Union Territory of Puducherry)
  23. Today the Delhi High Court cancelled the bail of a man accused of raping a mentally-challenged 37-year-old woman suffering from bipolar mental disorder, episodic mania and psychotic features.  (X v State (NCT of Dellhi) and Anr)

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