Today’s Legal Updates

Friday, 6th May 2022




Article – 308  Interpretation

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, the expression “State”

Today’s Legal Updates :-

  1. On Friday the State of Punjab has filed a Habeas Corpus petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court against Haryana government alleging that 12 Punjab Police personnel, who were involved in the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tajinder Bagga, have been detained by Haryana Police in Kurukshetra.
  2. On Friday the Delhi High Court granted bail to a 19-year-old law student and son of a retired bureaucrat, who is accused of hitting a man with his car, dragging him on the bonnet for nearly a hundred meters and then running away.  (K Rajapandian v State of NCT of Delhi)
    • the Court said in its order, The fact that the petitioner failed to stop the car on indication from a distance of 14-15 yards and further drove for about 100 meters with injured clung to the bonnet does not lead to a conclusive inference that injured was hit with an intention to kill. At this stage, the matter only needs to be prima facie seen for granting or declining of bail and whether an offence under Sections 307/308 IPC is made out is best to be left to be decided by the ld. Trial Court at the appropriate stage of consideration of framing of charge
    • No purpose may be served by keeping the petitioner behind the bars who happens to be a second-year student of law aged about 19 years and has clean past antecedents.
  3. On Friday the Bombay High Court on Friday held that construction of a cycling track near the city’s Powai lake was illegal and directed BMC to stop its work at the site and restore the ground in a major setback for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
    • the Court said, It is declared that the work of cycling and jogging track being carried out by respondent BMC inside the boundaries and its catchment area of the Powai lake is illegal.
    • CJ Datta said, If the court stays its own order, then it shows that the court is not sure of its order. We don’t pass orders like that. We are sure it (cycling track work) is illegal and so it has been stopped.
    • Common sense would prompt a disturbing conclusion that construction of cycle track or any slightest disturbance to the otherwise serene water body of the surrounding area would have far reaching efects on the ecology and acquatic life of the lake… To show and submit that the project is being carried out to create a community access to the lake front and to enable access to the la e front for maintenance of lake, its periphery and for preservation of erosion, siltation and encroachment, is a bit hard to swallow, considering the material on record.
  4. On Last Week the Bombay High Court ruled thay Prisoners can no longer seek parole citing COVID-19.  (Sachin Gabrel v. State of Maharashtra & Ors)
    • the Court observed, The privilege of emergency parole on the ground of subsistence of Covid 19 pandemic will not be available to a prisoner as the very basis of conferring privilege on a Prisoner has been extinguished.
    • the Court said, On perusal of newly substituted Rule 19(1) would show that the intention of the Respondent No. 1 is clear that the prisoner is not entitled to be released on emergency parole on the ground of the Covid 19 pandemic.
  5. On Friday BJP leader Tajinder Bagga, who was arrested by Punjab Police from his residence in Delhi this morning, has been brought back to Delhi after intervention by Haryana and Delhi Police.
    • Bagga’s lawyer Monika Arora who narrated the incident:-  
      • Punjab Police arrived at Bagga’s residence this morning at 8.30 AM and assaulted Bagga’s father and did not inform him about his constitutional right as to the reason for his arrest.
      • unjab Police broke the door of Bagga’s residence and dragged Bagga and did not allow him to wear his pagadi (head scarf). Punjab Police did not identify itself and the some officers were carrying weapons while in plain clothes.
      • Bagga’s father registered a case of kidnapping before Delhi Police.
      • Based on the same Dwarka Court issued a search warrant.
      • After the search warrant was delivered to Haryana Police, they stopped Punjab Police team which was taking Bagga to Mohali.
      • Bagga then was handed over to the Delhi Police personnel who brought him back to Delhi and he is being presented before Metropolitan Magistrate Neetika Kapoor.
      • Since the judge is residing in Gurugram, Bagga is being taken to her residence to be presented before the judge.
    • There was no local police along with Punjab Police, no transit remand and no one accompanied Bagga along with Punjab Police.
  6. On Thursday the Karnataka High Court stayed an order of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seizing the bank accounts of Chinese technology company Xiaomi.  (Xiaomi Technology India Pvt Ltd v. Union of India)
    • Operation of the order dated 29.4.2022 passed by the 2nd respondent at Annexure-A is stayed till the next date of hearing subject to the condition that the petitioner shall operate the Bank accounts which are seized under the impugned order only for the purpose of meeting the expenses for carrying out the day to day activities.
    • The interim prayer for permission to make payments to foreign companies located outside India requires to be considered only after hearing the respondents. Liberty is reserved with the respondents to seek for vacation/modification of this interim order.
    • the Court was told, The seizure of the bank accounts by the ED was disrupting the business of the company and was preventing it from paying salaries and wages to its employees.
    • Technology royalty payments were made by the company from 2015-16 till date through authorised dealers, and there was no evidence to show that Xiaomi was possessing foreign exchange outside India. Thus, the order passed by the ED using its powers under Section 37A of the FEMA was unsustainable.
  7. On Friday the Bombay High Court came down upon the Central government for failing to fill vacancies in tribunals.  (Canara Bank Staff Union v. Union of India & Ors.)
    • CJ Datta said, Who is to provide officers to the tribunals? Look at the plight of the litigants. The situation in Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) is just like Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals (DRAT) then.
    • he demanded, Law provides a remedy and the remedy is rendered futile because of you (centre). Why keep these tribunals (at all).
    • The Court was hearing a plea concerning 131 housekeeping peons of the Canara Bank who had approached the CGIT over a dispute with the bank.
    • Names are shortlisted, but these are not getting selected before July. The interview and processing will take time. Same thing which was happening for DRAT is happening here, where will they go? Is there any provision where the Industrial Tribunal Act provides for a contingency? Once we entertain one matter and pass an order, everyone will start coming.
    • 131 workmen cannot be made to suffer because tribunal is non-functional. We entertain the petition and direct the Bank to not dispense with 126 workmen till end of July 2022, or until the tribunal resumes, whichever is earlier.
  8. On Friday the Delhi High Court ordered the blocking of 12 websites that were illegally streaming, hosting and disseminating the original content of Universal Studios LLC without the company’s authorisation.  (Universal City Studios v. & Ors)
    • Evidence collected by the investigator shows that the operators of the Defendant Websites are using known “pirate branding” to signal to users that the Defendant Websites are merely new iterations of sites that have been blocked earlier. Learned Counsel further submits that the Defendant Websites are in the form of new iterations and that the new iterations almost invariably have the same functionality and purpose as the earlier blocked sites.
    • it is directed that as and when the Plaintiffs file an application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC for impleadment of such websites, Plaintiffs shall file an affidavit confirming that the newly impleaded website is a mirror/redirect/alphanumeric website which appears to be associated with any of the Defendant Websites based on its name, branding or the identity of its operator, or has been discovered to provide additional means of accessing the Defendant Websites and other domains/domain along with their subdomains and subdirectories, owners/website operators/entities which are discovered to have been engaging in infringing the Plaintiffs’ exclusive rights, with sufficient supporting evidence. Such application shall be listed before the Joint Registrar, who on being satisfied with the material placed on record, shall issue appropriate directions to the ISPs.
  9. On Wednesday the Madhya Pradesh High Court acquitted and granted ₹42 lakh compensation to a former medical student from a Scheduled Tribe community who was wrongly convicted for murder. (Chandresh Marskole v State of Madhya Pradesh)
    • the Court said, The case reveals a sordid saga of manipulative and preconceived investigation followed by a malicious prosecution, where the police have investigated the case with the sole purpose of falsely implicating the Appellant and perhaps, deliberately protecting a prosecution witness who may have been the actual culprit.
    • This is a case that has been deliberately botched up and the Appellant falsely implicated to protect perhaps, the actual perpetrators of the offence who may have been known to the higher echelons of the state police,” it was finally held, with the orders of conviction being set aside.
    • the Court said, But the indignity, discrimination and oppression, that members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes face in the state is a “notorious fact” and does not require any extraneous evidence to be led to prove the same.
    • the Court ruled, Therefore, in the unique factual circumstances of this case, we hold that the Appellant is eligible for compensation on account of the violation of his fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  10. On Friday Advocate Murari Tiwari was unanimously elected as chairperson of Bar Council of Delhi (BCD).
  11. TMT Law Practices has promoted five of its lawyers, including Anushree Yewale to Associate Partner.
  12. On Friday Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain and five others were charged with offences of criminal conspiracy and rioting, among various others, in a case connected to the Delhi Riots of 2020.
    • He was not a mute spectator but was taking active part in the riots and instigating other members of the unlawful assembly to teach lesson to the persons belonging to the other community.
    • The above referred circumstances nowhere indicate that it was a spontaneous act but clearly reveal that there had been an agreement between the accused herein to commit vandalisation and arson in the properties belonging to Hindu community from the building E-17 belonging to accused Tahir Hussain and elaborate preparations had been done to fulfil the object of the agreement/conspiracy.
  13. On Friday the Kerala High Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition which sought to prevent alleged forced vaccination of children across the State.  (Thampi VS v State of Kerala)
    • Justice Ramachandran orally remarked, Don’t go by this WhatsApp University. You are here with a speculative cause of action. We are not going to create confusion in the minds of people.
    • the court said in its order, It is pertinent that not a single specific incident has been pleaded by the petitioner and he appears to be acting on some information he says he obtained through social media. None of the mainline media have reported any instance of any child being vaccinated against their will or that of their parents. We do not think a speculative cause of action as projected by the petitioner should engage us especially during a vacation sitting.
    • the Court demanded, The order of the District Collector is only an exhortation to every parent to get their children vaccinated. That doesn’t mean he will forcibly take them and then get them vaccinated. Where does it say that people who are not willing will be vaccinated.
  14. On Friday the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the name of advocate Mehabub Subhani Shaik alias SM Subhani for appointment as judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
  15. On Wednesday the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the elevation of seven judicial officers as judges of the Patna High Court.
    1. Shailendra Singh
    2. Arun Kumar Jha
    3. Jitendra Kumar
    4.  Alok Kumar Pandey
    5. Sunil Dutta Mishra
    6. Chandra Prakash Singh
    7. Chandra Shekhar Jha
  16. On Friday the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the appointment of seven lawyers as judges of the Delhi High Court.
    1. Vikas Mahajan
    2. Tushar Rao Gedela
    3. Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora
    4. Sachin Datta
    5. Amit Mahajan
    6. Gaurang Kanth
    7. Saurabh Banerjee
  17. On Friday the Delhi High Court refused to entertain a petition by a bunch of Delhi University students challenging the university’s decision to conduct semester exams in offline mode.  (Vernika Verma and Ors v University of Delhi and Anr)
    • The petition had been filed by eight students of DU arguing that considering the rise in the Covid-19 cases in Delhi, the university should reconsider its notice of February 11 where it said that the exams will be held only in physical mode.
    • he plea, filed through advocate Ajay Kumar Srivastava, said that nearly two-thirds of the students studying at DU come from outside the national capital, have to stay in PGs, and travel through public transport.
  18. On Thursday the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Delhi High Court on the aspect of interest to be paid by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on the amount awarded by an arbitral tribunal in favour of Anil Ambani-owned Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL).  (Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation)
    • The phrase “unless otherwise agreed by the parties” clearly emphasizes that when the parties have agreed with regard to any of the aspects covered under clause (a) of sub­section (7) of Section 31 of the 1996 Act, the Arbitral Tribunal would cease to have any discretion with regard to the aspects mentioned in the said provision. Only in the absence of such an agreement, the Arbitral Tribunal would have a discretion to exercise its powers under clause (a) of sub­section (7) of Section 31 of the 1996 Act. The discretion is wide enough. It may grant or may not grant interest. It may grant interest for the entire period or any part thereof. It may also grant interest on the whole or any part of the money.
    • We are therefore of the considered view that in view of the specific agreement between the parties, the interest prior to the date of award so also after the date of award will be governed by Article 29.8 of the Concession Agreement, as has been directed by the Arbitral Tribunal.
  19. On Friday Justice UU Lalit of the Supreme Court offered to recuse from hearing a matter related to appeals against criminal contempt pleas, after stating that he had been involved as Amicus Curiae in one of the cases before his elevation to the Bench.  (Prashant Bhushan v. Union of India and anr)
    • Bhushan was part of contempt proceedings where I was involved as Amicus, in the matter Harish Salve had initiated in the Tehelka matter. So should I go ahead?
    • Lordship can go ahead. It was an entirely different matter. It won’t interfere since that case is dead.
  20. On Friday the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) at National Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai and two other persons including a proprietor of a Mumbai-based firm in a bribery case of Rs.Two Lakh.
  21. On Friday the Supreme Court issued notice to the Central and state governments in a plea seeking directions to carry out artificial insemination of indigenous cows as opposed to foreign breeds.  (A Divya Reddy v. Union of India)
    • the plea stated, Over the past few decades, India’s single-minded pursuit of increasing milk production has resulted in a steady decline in the population of its Indigenous Breeds with a simultaneous manifold increase in the number of Exotic / Cross Breeds, as evidenced by a bare perusal of the various Livestock Censuses issued by the Central government from time to time.
    • the petition noted, When compared with the previous Survey conducted in 2012, it is seen that Exotic/ Foreign Cattle has increased by 29.3% while there has been a decrease of 6% of the Indigenous Cattle. Pertinently, over the past 6 Censuses conducted, Exotic/ Foreign Cattle have been steeply increasing whereas the Indigenous Cattle have been steadily decreasing.
    • The Indian political, religious and cultural landscape is still dominated by Cow worship in many forms. Nowhere else in the world has an animal maintained such consistence and deep-rooted divine significance into modern day. For many Hindus, who make up nearly 80 percent of India’s population, the Cow continues to be a sacred animal.
    • They cannot be allowed to be marginalized at the cost of Exotic/ Foreign Cattle only for the sake of increasing milk production. Indigenous Cattle have various other benefits and attributes that contribute to the Indian society and economy that cannot be found in Exotic/ Foreign Cattle
    • Therefore, if this trend is further encouraged or even allowed to continue with no action from the Governments, we will be forced to face a day where India cannot proudly claim any breed of cattle as its own. Swift and decisive action in the short term, coupled with a sustainable long-term plan is required from the Central and State Governments in order to sufficiently protect and promote the diminishing population of Indigenous Breeds in India…milk from Indigenous Breeds has several health advantages over milk of Exotic/Cross Breeds.
  22. On Friday the Supreme Court took a dim view of the tendency of the Uttar Pradesh government to not take action on issues until a contempt plea is filed against it.  (State of Uttar Pradesh v. Rahul Yadav)
    • Parshad then submitted, Allahabad High Court is asking us to produce the corpus, but in a missing person case, how can we produce the corpus? It is not possible at all…We have apologized before the High Court. Today CMO, Chief Secretary and Additional CS has been called.
    • the apex court said, the tragic incident occurred in May 2021, during the peak of the second wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when hospitals and health care providers were overstretched, and health care and other essential services providers were working under great stress and danger to their own personal safety and health. It was under these extreme circumstances that the tragic lapse seems to have occurred at the TB Sapru Hospital, in which Mr. Ram Lal Yadav, who was last seen on his bed at 10 pm on 07.05.2021, was not found there at 530 am on 08.05.2021. In particular, it is a matter of record that C on the night in question, i.e. the intervening night of 7/8.05.2021, 3 Corona Patients had died at the hospital, due to which there was a huge uproar at the hospital.
    • The Hon’ble High Court however, has failed to appreciate the aforesaid and has through repeated orders directed that the “corpus” be produced in Court – an order that it has now become clear, would be impossible for the State to implement. This impossibility of implementation has arisen, not on account of any lack of action by the State in searching for Mr. Ram Lal Yadav, but simply on account of the lack of any forthcoming information from any source, other than what has already been placed on record.
  23. On Friday the Delhi High Court said that it wanted to examine the First Information Report (FIR) registered at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh against Sharjeel Imam for his allegedly inflammatory speech delivered at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
    • A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar said that it wanted to see the FIR and the chargesheet filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh since the Allahabad High Court had already granted him bail in the case arising out of the said FIR.
    • Advocate Tanveer Ahmed Mir told the court, There are two speeches attributed to me. One is at Jamia Milia Islamia on 13 December on 2019 and another on 16 Jan 2020 in AMU. FIR in question was lodged on 25 Jan and I am in custody since 28 Jan. More than two years have passed. I am facing five to six FIRs for the same speech. The Allahabad High Court has granted him bail in the same case. The interesting finding by the High Court is that there was no violence.
    • The screen share business has to stop. It’s not a power-point presentation. Chargesheet is a germane document for determining bail, it has to be placed on record. You should put it on record. We don’t have photographic memory.
    • Justice Mridul remarked, Of course, you are entitled to that. But bear in mind that the allegation against you is that you acted in conspiracy.
    • the Bench said, I think it will take us over a week to hear the appeals. We will hear them in a flow so that we understand what the prosecution’s case is.
  24. On Friday the Delhi High Court set aside an arbitral award directing the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to pay over ₹50 crore to a private company for breach of an agreement.  (Director General Central Reserve Police Force v Fibroplast Marine Pvt Ltd)
    • the Court has said, As noted at the outset, the impugned award was rendered after an inordinate and unexplained delay. Further, considering the impugned award on merits, this Court is of the view that the same is vitiated by patent illegality and in conflict with the public policy of India.
    • A large time gap between hearing of the oral submissions and rendering the decision would, in effect, debilitate the purpose of resorting to arbitration for expeditious adjudication of the disputes. No person can be expected to remember the same after a long period of time.
    • Justice Bakhru held, It is difficult to accept that a period of almost one and a half years is reasonable in the given facts and circumstances of this case.
    • The total amount that was thus awarded is in excess of ₹50 crores. This is against an order for purchase of BAUTs for an aggregate value of ₹16,87,79,520/-. Although, the respondent was awarded complete costs of the inventory along with interest and further costs purportedly incurred therewith, there is no mention in the award for delivery of the manufactured BAUTs to the petitioner.
  25. On Friday the Supreme Court referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench the issue of administrative control of IAS and other officers posted in Delhi.
    • A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli ordered.
    • We have perused rival contentions, the main issue is interpretation of Article 239AA. It appears all the issues have been elaborately dealt with. We don’t want to revisit the issues settled by previous Constitution Bench. On the aspect of services, we deem it appropriate to refer it to a Constitution Bench.
  26. On Friday the Kerala High Court set aside the interim order of a single-judge directing certain Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to provide bulk diesel to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) at retail price.  (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd v. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation)
    • he Court said in its judgment, This Court finds that the petitioner has not represented their alleged grievance to the OMCs; instead has rushed to this Court. Therefore, no inaction can be alleged against the respondents 2 to 4, warranting the issuance of a writ of mandamus. Furthermore, the final relief sought in the writ petition has been granted as an interim measure, which again is impermissible in view of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the State of U.P and others v. Ram Sukhi Devi.
    • the Court said while allowing the appeals, the petitioner cannot be treated at par with retail customers because the latter would have to go to a retail outlet and pay for the product then and there. On the contrary, petroleum products are supplied to the petitioner at their doorsteps, with credit facilities and other benefits as envisaged in the contract. Therefore, the petitioner a bulk purchaser, falls ― within a separate class and cannot be treated at par with retail customers.

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