Today’s Legal Updates

Monday, 5th June 2023

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – IXA THE MUNICIPALITIES

Article – 243P Definitions

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, —
(a) “Committee” means a committee constituted under article 243S.
(b) “district” means a district in a State;
(c) “Metropolitan area” means an area having a population of ten lakhs or more, comprised in one or more districts and consisting of two or more Municipalities or Panchayats or other contiguous areas, specified by the Governor by public notification to be a Metropolitan area for the purposes of this Part.
(d) “Municipal area” means the territorial area of a Municipality as is notified by the Governor.
(e) “Municipality” means an institution of selfgovernment constituted under article 243Q;
(f) “Panchayat” means a Panchayat constituted under article 243B.
(g) “population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Monday the Patiala House Court Delhi set aside a ₹90 lakh arbitral award in favour of BMW India Financial Services Private Limited.
    • Commercial Courts District Judge Anurag Sain of the Patiala House Court stated that as per settled law, unilateral appointment of sole arbitrators was not permissible and vitiated the entire process.
    • The Sole Arbitrator has been appointed by respondent no.1 unilaterally without the consent of the petitioner and thus, the entire arbitration proceedings stands vitiated and also nothing further survives and all the proceedings held thereafter and thereunder are void ab initio.
    • It is not open to the court to set aside a finding of fact arrived at by the arbitrator and only grounds on which the award can be cancelled are those mentioned in the Arbitration Act. Where the arbitrator assigns cogent grounds and sufficient reasons and no error of law or misconduct is cited, the award will not call for interference by the court in exercise of the power vested in it.
    • This clause is ex­facie bad and is in contravention of the provision of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act which goes to the root of the matter and arbitrator become de jure ineligible to act as an arbitrator by operation of law.
  2. On Monday the Madras High Court held using abusive language or getting into a heated argument with a superior may not necessarily warrant the “capital punishment” of dismissal from service.
    • A Bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and R Kalaimathi allowed the appeal filed by one S Raja, a former trade union member who was expelled from one of the tea companies owned by Hindustan Unilever (HUL).
    • the Bench said that while imposing punishment, an authority must take into account, the “extenuating or aggravating situation, as well as the past record of an employee.”
    • the judgment, In this case, the Workman was imposed with a punishment in the year 2001 and the present incident has taken place after a decade. It cannot be construed that the Workman has been indulging in exhibition of such misbehaviour frequently. As stated earlier, the usage of abusive language may not be a serious one to impose a capital punishment of dismissal from service.
    • the Court said, as to what induced the Workman to behave like this against his Superior Officer that made him to hold his collar and who was the root cause for the sudden provocation of the Workman, which is of course construed to be unbecoming of a Workman, is a question of fact. We cannot expect a low-level employee to behave like Jesus so as to turn his other cheek for getting a voluntary slap. The disputed question of fact cannot be gone into in this Appeal. This observation does not mean that we justify the act of the employee and approve his misconduct.
  3. On Monday the Delhi High Court issued an office order directing district courts in the national capital to allow hybrid hearing of cases before them.
    • the office order issued by the High Court said, The hearings shall be conducted in hybrid/video-conferencing mode in conformity with the High Court of Delhi Rules for Video Conferencing for Courts, 2021 and also bearing in mind the provisions of the Live Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings Rules of the High Court of Delhi, 2022.
    • the office order said, Further in a given case, the Court may for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct the parties and/or their Counsel to appear physically where in the opinion of the Court the physical presence of the parties/counsel in the court is required or where the court is otherwise of the opinion that the matter should be heard physically in the court.
  4. On Monday the Bombay High Court directed P Varavara Rao, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, to approach a division bench of the High Court for permission to travel from Mumbai to Hyderabad to undergo cataract surgery.
    • Single-judge Justice SV Kotwal observed that the application by Rao amounted to seeking modification of his bail conditions as per which Rao cannot leave Mumbai during the trial.
    • the single-judge stated, Both counsel agree that prayers in application are essentially for modification of bail granted to applicant. Therefore in view of the law laid down by Supreme Court, the matter lies only before division bench.
  5. On Monday a Varanasi Court sentenced former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mukhtar Ansari to life imprisonment for the murder of Awadhesh Rai who was the brother of a Congress leader.
    • Special Judge Avanish Gautam of the MP-MLA court awarded life sentence to Ansari today for the murder of Awadhesh Rai, the brother of ex-MLA Ajay Rai who was shot dead in August 1991 in Varanasi.
  6. On Monday the Rajasthan High Court upheld the State’s ban on laminated paper cups, plates and glasses.  (Khandelwal Paper Industries vs Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board)
    • Justice Sameer Jain observed that plastic-coated paper comprises 95% paper and 5% of a thin layer of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is utilized to provide water resistance to the resulting sheet.
    • The petitioners further argued that the state board was not authorized to enforce such a ban as it would infringe upon various fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, including Article 19 (1) (g) (right to practice any profession), Article 21 (right to life), and Article 14 (right to equality).
  7. On Monday a petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the indefinite internet ban imposed in Manipur since 3rd May after violence broke out in the State.
    • The petitioners, lawyer Chongtham Victor Singh and businessman Mayengbam James, pointed out that despite ‘a clear and admitted de-escalation’ of the situation’, State-wide internet shutdown orders have repeatedly been issued by the Manipur government.
    • the plea said, Not only have they [residents of the State] experienced feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness, and frustration as a result of the shutdown, but they have also been unable to communicate with their loved ones or office colleagues, straining personal, professional, and social relationships. Additionally, they have been unable to send their children to school, access their bank accounts, receive or send payments, obtain essential supplies and medicines, and more, bringing their lives and livelihoods to a standstill.
    • The suspension orders do not explicitly mention reasons that fall within the contours of Article 19(2) of the Constitution; therefore, they violate Rule 2(2) of the Telecom Suspension Rules, and do not pass constitutional muster. For this reason alone, they must be declared unconstitutional and illegal.
  8. The Delhi High Court issued summons to Ramacivil India Construction Private Limited, the contractors who constructed the Green View project at sector 37-D, Gurugram which has been declared unfit for human habitation.
    • Justice Yogesh Khanna passed the order on June 1 on a suit filed by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) seeking damages of ₹750 crores from the firm.
    • Justice Khanna said, Considering the photographs filed on record depicting the dilapidated condition of building and since it poses a serious threat to human habitation, even to the passerbys and to the structures erected nearby, viz. a school andalso in view of urgent prayers made in this applications, pre-mediation in these circumstance would not serve any purpose as there is nothing to mediate in view of prayers qua demolition and considering the condition of building, thus the application is allowed. The plaintiff herein is allowed to file the suit without pre institution mediation.

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