Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 5th May 2023

Legal Awareness: – CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Part – Vl THE STATES

CHAPTER- VI SUBORDINATE COURTS

Article – 235 Control over subordinate courts.

The control over district courts and courts subordinates there to including the posting and promotion of, and the grant of leave to, persons belonging to the judicial service of a State and holding any post inferior to the post of district judge shall be vested in the High Court, but nothing in this article shall be construed as taking away from any such person any right of appeal which he may have under the law regulating the conditions of his service or as authorizing the High Court to deal with him otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of his service prescribed under such law.

Today’s Legal Updates: 

  1. On Friday the Karnataka High Court refused to pass orders staying the two road shows of Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to be conducted in Bengaluru this weekend ahead of the State Assembly elections.
    • A Bench of Justices Krishna S Dixit and Vijaykumar A Patil said in its order, Ideally speaking, we would have declined interference in the matter in the absence of the subject political party.. However, we do not chose to do that extreme, since the Petitioner gave up the claim for absolute ban on the scheduled events. In the above circumstances, this Petition is laid to rest.
    • Police takes every precautionary measure. We also have emergency teams in case of any untoward incidents, but so far we have been successful in avoiding.
  2. On Friday the Calcutta High Court put the eviction notice issued by Visva Bharati to Amartya Sen on hold until a district court decides on the stay application filed by the Nobel laureate. (Amartya Kumar Sen v. Visva Bharti & Ors)
    • Justice Bibhas Ranjan De directed the district judge to hear the stay application filed by Sen on 10th May.
    • Having heard the learned advocates, the learned District Judge, Birbhum is requested to hear the stay application on 10th May, 2023 at 2 P.M and till then the order of Joint Registrar Visva Bharati & Estate Officer should not be enforced or till the date of disposal of the stay application, whichever is later.
  3. On Friday the Kerala High Court refused to stay the release of the Hindi movie, The Kerala Story.
    • After watching the teaser and trailer of the movie, a division bench of Justices N Nagaresh and Sophy Thomas said that it does not contain anything against Islam or Muslims as a whole but was about Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
    • the bench remarked, What is against Islam? There is no allegation against the religion. The allegation is against ISIS.
    • the Court noted in its order, Going through the trailers of the movie, we find it does not contain anything offensive to any particular community as a whole. None of the petitioners have watched movie.
    • Justice Nagaresh said, There are umpteen number of movies where Hindu sanyasis are depicted as smugglers or rapists. Nothing happens, no one protests. Many such Hindi and Malayalam films are there.
    • Senior advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for the petitioners said, Merely because one wrong has been allowed, another should not be.
    • the bench said, You have come at the last minute.
    • Senior Advocate George Poonthottam also appearing for the petitioner said that, The theme is that Kerala is the centre of all ISIS activity.
    • the bench replied, We need not go into veracity. This is fiction! Merely because some religious head is shown in bad light is not a reason to ban the movie. This has been happening in Hindi and Malayalam movies for a long time.
    • Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj pointed out that, Your Lordships will perfectly justified in watching the film and deciding.
    • Senior Advocate Ravi Kadam, appearing for the producer of the movie said that, We have put a disclaimer and we have said this is a work of fiction, inspired by true stories. Supreme Court says once there is a disclaimer and film is certified (it can be released).
    • Kadam said, Trailer is an excerpt of the film.. if the film is certified as a whole, it (trailer) is does not need separate certification. Teaser, yes. It is not part of the film, it is only for social media. Reliefs sought are for the film.
    • the Court directed, As provided by guidelines, the board has considered and examined the movie. From the statement of the Deputy Solicitor General, the producers have published a disclaimer that the film is fictionalised and dramatised. We are not inclined to pass an interim order restraining exhibition of film.
  4. On Thursday the Gauhati High Court rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by Youth Congress President Srinivas BV and also refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) lodged against him for allegedly outraging modesty of a former Congress worker. (Srinivas BV vs State of Assam)
    • Single-judge Justice Ajit Borthakur noted that as per the victim’s allegation, Srinivas heckled the victim on February 25 at a hotel in Raipur during the Congress party’s plenary session.
    • the Court noted, As per the victim’s allegation, besides various humiliating verbatim the petitioner uttered the words ‘ei lerki…. aaye ye tum kiya likhte rehte ho…ye sab tum kiya pitaa rehta hei, vodka pitaa ho ya taakila pitaa rehte ho…(Hey girl, what are your always writing… what you keep drinking…vodka or tequila).
    • the bench underlined, There is no indication in the case diary that the FIR is politically motivated and based on some false and concocted story. The nature of offences disclosed in the FIR are crime against the society being basically pertaining to outraging of the modesty of woman. Therefore, at the present stage of investigation, this Court cannot scrutinize the correctness or veracity of those allegations.
    •  Justice Borthakur underscored,  It may pertinently be pointed out that a Judge performs his duties with absolute fairness based on record and relevant laws only applicable to the facts and circumstances in each case, without fear or favour or affection or ill-will.
    • These utterances, as a whole, prima facie constitute the offences which apparently satisfy the ingredients of the penal provisions of Sections 352 (assault or criminal force), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354A (1)(iv) (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code.
  5. On Thursday the Supreme Court reiterated that as a judicial institution, it is not meant to be lecturing society, but rather, it is bound by the rule of law while taking its decisions.  (Nagarathinam v. State Through Inspector of Police)
    • A Bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Ahsanuddin Amanullah made the observation while granting premature release to a woman who was behind bars for 20 years after being convicted of killing her twin sons by poisoning them following a spat with her paramour.
    • This Court is not an institution to sermonize society on morality and ethics and we say no further on this score, bound as we are, by the brooding presence of the rule of law. That said, it cannot be simply bracketed as a ‘cruel and brutal’ offence as the Appellant herself was trying to end her life but was prevented by her niece in the nick of time.
    • The apex court said, We are not oblivious to the crime but we are equally not oblivious to the fact that the Appellant (mother) has already suffered at the cruel hands of fate. The reason thereof is an arena this Court would avoid entering.
  6. On Thursday the Supreme Court sought the response of the Rajasthan government on a plea moved by the uncle of a rape-survivor, seeking cancellation of bail granted to the son of a sitting Congress MLA, Johari Lal in the rape case.  (Bhagwan Singh vs Dilip Kumar @ Deepu @ Deepak and anr)
    • A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta issued notice to the accused and the State, after hearing counsel for the petitioner, advocate Anuj Bhandari.
    • The petitioner was submitted, Accused Deepak is son of sitting MLA Shri Johari Lal and is highly influential. There are bright chances of Accused tampering with the evidence and witnesses during the trial if they are enlarged on bail. There has already been tampering with evidence which is apparent from the record.
    • The appellant moved the Court challenging an April 6 order of the Jaipur bench of the Rajasthan High Court, granting bail to two accused in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl.
    • The minor had named the accused in her statements, and submitted that she had been threatened against revealing the incident since they had taken photos and videos at the time and would make those viral.
  7. On Tuesday the National Green Tribunal directed the Ludhiana district magistrate (DM) to pay ₹20 lakh each to kin of the 11 persons who died in the gas leak incident in Ludhiana’s Giaspur locality on 30th April.
    • A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal, and expert member Prof. A Senthil Veil recollected that in the recent past, in cases of deaths and injuries on account of environmental law violations by the State and private entities, victims are normally entitles to compensation at the rate of ₹20 lakhs in case of death.
    • the Tribunal said, The Tribunal has dealt with incidents of deaths and injuries on account of violation of environmental norms by State and private entities in recent past and held that in such cases victims are normally entitled to compensation at the rate of Rs. 20 lakhs in case of death and at varying rates in case of injuries depending upon the extent of injuries.
  8. On Thursday the Bombay High Court granted a ‘dynamic injunction’ against 32 Instagram account holders and John Doe (unknown parties) in a copyright infringement suit filed by the makers of the web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story.
    • Justice Manish Pitale held that 32 social media accounts added as defendants in the suit had used Instagram to illegally use parts or clips of the audio-visual content of the web series on their handles to promote their own business activities.
    • This violated the proprietary rights of the makers, Applause Entertainment Private Limited.
    • The Court restrained the defendants from infringing Applause’s exclusive copyright subsisting in the web-series and asked them to delete the existing infringing posts on their accounts. Meta Platforms was also directed to remove/delete/take down the infringing posts from Instagram.
  9. On Thursday the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notified the transfer of Justice Annireddy Abhishek Reddy from the Telangana High Court to the Patna High Court.
  10. On Thursday the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notified the transfer of Justice VM Velumani from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court.
    • the notification issued by the Ministry, In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution, the President, after consultation with The Chief Justice of India is pleased to transfer Justice VM Velumani, judge of Madras High Cour, as a judge of the Calcutta High Court.
  11. On Thursday the Bombay High Court quashed a First Information Report (FIR) lodged against Wingame Enterprises proprietor booked for gambling’ under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.  (Akshay Anant Matkar vs State of Maharashtra)
    • A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and MM Sathaye quashed the FIR lodged against Akshay Matkar observing that the game is one of skill and not chance and thus does not come within the ambit of ‘gambling’.
    • The game comprises Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on geometrical and mathematical problems.
    • the bench observed in its order, After the activity is carried out in time bound manner, the player advances in the stages of the game. From the perusal of the examples given in the manual, as well as the model answer sheet in which points are calculated on the basis of answer to various Quizzes, we are of the considered opinion that this online game is not game of chance but there is mathematical skill involved. Apart from said skill, observation and ability to solve mathematical equations within time bound manner is also required, which definitely requires skills.
    • the bench held, In our view, the present online game stands on better footing and the it is definitely preponderantly a game of skill and therefore, it cannot be said from mere averments in the FIR that any offence was committed under the said Act.
    • the bench said while quashing the FIR in question, Therefore, in our view with the allegations in the FIR as they stand, if the Petitioners are made to face trial, it will be an abuse of process of law, since no offence is made out as alleged in the facts and circumstances of the case.

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