High Courts Weekly Roundup [March 15 – March 21]

first_imgNews UpdatesHigh Courts Weekly Roundup [March 15 – March 21] Akshita Saxena21 March 2021 1:19 AMShare This – xImportant Judgments/ Orders this week:Allahabad High Court 1. Hathras Case Trial- Threats Extended To Victim’s Counsel, Family In Open Court: Allahabad High Court Directs Inquiry Into The Incident, Warns Of Contempt Action [Suo-Moto Inre: Right To Decent & Dignified Last Rites/Cremation] Taking into account the complaint made by the Victim’s family in Hathras Rape and Murder case regarding the threats extended…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginAllahabad High Court 1. Hathras Case Trial- Threats Extended To Victim’s Counsel, Family In Open Court: Allahabad High Court Directs Inquiry Into The Incident, Warns Of Contempt Action [Suo-Moto Inre: Right To Decent & Dignified Last Rites/Cremation] Taking into account the complaint made by the Victim’s family in Hathras Rape and Murder case regarding the threats extended to them, including the Counsel for the Victim’s family in open Court, a bench of Justices Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh directed an inquiry into the allegations. It also warned of initiating contempt proceedings against the culprits. The counsel for the victim’s brother apprised the Court of an incident which took place on 05th March 2021, when two prosecution witnesses (including the victim’s brother) had presented themselves before the Special Court at Hathras where the matter is pending trial. Allegedly, shortly after the prosecution witness began deposing before the Presiding Officer, Special Court (SC/ST Act), Hathras on 05th March 2021, an advocate stormed into the courtroom and charged towards the applicant and the complainant counsel, shouting and issuing threats. Allegedly, at the same time, a large mob, including lawyers, entered the courtroom and surrounded the applicant and the complainant’s counsel in order to threaten and intimidate them. 2. UP Panchayat Polls- “Consider 2015 And Not 1995 As ‘Base Year’ For Reserving Seats, Hold Elections By May 25”: Allahabad High Court [Ajay Kumar v. State Of UP & Ors.] A Division Bench of Justices Manish Mathur and Ritu Raj Awasthi quashed an order of the Uttar Pradesh government dealing with the reservation of seats (for various categories of candidates) for the upcoming panchayat polls, taking 1995 as the base year. The Government submitted that it has no objection to implement the reservation and allotment of seats of constituencies in Panchayat’s elections taking 2015 as the base year. Citing demographic changes on the basis of census of 2001 and 2011, it was argued that it wouldn’t be conducive to have 1995 as the base year for purposes of applying reservation and that the base year in view of the changed demographic situation was required to be taken as 2015. 3. Allahabad High Court Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Re-Allocation Of Territorial Jurisdiction Between Benches At Prayagraj & Lucknow [Ashok Pandey & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.] A Division Bench comprising of Justices Ritu Raj Awasthi and Manish Mathur issued notice to the Awadh Bar Association on a PIL seeking re-allocation of territorial jurisdiction between the two benches of the High Court at Prayagraj and Lucknow. It said that it would like the Association to express its views and address the Court on the abovesaid issue. The development comes at a time when the High Court Bar Associations of the two Benches are already at loggerheads with respect to establishment of Tribunals in the State. The instant PIL emphasizes that under the current system, cases from 60 districts of UP fall under the jurisdiction of the Principal seat at Prayaraj whereas cases from only 15 districts are filed at Lucknow. The plea also challenges the applicability of the United Provinces’ High Court Amalgamation Order, 1948 and the Indian High Court’s Act, 1861, which declare that the principal seat of the High Court will be at Allahabad. It is argued that the Act of 1861 and the Order of 1948 ceased to operate after coming into force of the Indian Constitution in 1950. The plea further states, “the present high courts are the creation of our Constitution through its Article 216 and not some Act passed by the invaders (British Parliament).” 4. Allahabad High Court To Decide Maintainability Of Civil Suit Filed In Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Masjid Land Title Dispute; Order Reserved [Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Varanasi v. Ist Additional District Judge, Varanasi & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice Prakash Padia reserved its judgment on a plea challenging maintainability of a civil suit pending before the Varansi District Court with respect to land-title dispute in the Kashi Vishwanath – Gyanvapi Masjid case. The land title dispute relates to the Gyanpavi Mosque, allegedly built on the ruins of Kashi Vishwanath temple. According to the suit filed by the Temple’s Trust in 1991 in the Varansi District Court, the temple was destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1664 and the mosque was built using the remains of the temple. In the instant petition, Anjuman Intazamia Masazid, Varanasi had challenged the maintainability of the said suit. The case of the Petitioner is that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 bars filing of suit or any other legal proceedings with respect to conversion of religious character of any place of worship, existing on August 15, 1947. Other developments: Allahabad High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance On Report About Missing Children Of Couple Released After Imprisonment In False Case”Under Which Authority Of Law Shia Waqf Board-Administrator Appointed When Waqf Act Doesn’t Permit So?”: Allahabad High Court To Govt. Andhra Pradesh High Court 1. Andhra Pradesh High Court Stays investigation Against TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu In Amaravati Land Scam High Court stayed the CID investigation against Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and former minister P Narayana in the ‘Amaravati Land Scam’ for four weeks. Senior Supreme Court advocate Sidharth Luthra, who argued in favour of Naidu and former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas who argued for Narayana, told the court that the CID cases were politically motivated. The FIR was filed on March 12 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, and also the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Section 7 of AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfer) Act, 1977 was also invoked in the case. The CID’s FIR was based on a complaint filed by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy on February 24, more than a month after the High Court struck down a case pertaining to “insider trading” in the Amaravati land scam. Bombay High Court 1. TRP Scam : Prima Facie Nothing Substantial On Record Against Arnab Goswami & Republic TV Even After 3 Months Of Investigation, Observes Bombay High Court A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale indicated that even after three months of investigation by the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch, prima facie, there is nothing substantial on the record against Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and Republic TV. It further said that they will examine if the case falls under any of the categories enumerated in Bhajan Lal’s Case which deals with the extraordinary powers of the court under Article 226 and Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Also Read: ‘Isn’t This A Sword Hanging?’ :Bombay High Court Asks Mumbai Police If They Intend To Further Investigate Arnab Goswami, Republic TV In TRP Case Also Read: “The Target Is Arnab Goswami, No One Else”: Republic TV Tells Bombay High Court In Plea Challenging FIR In TRP Scam 2. Registration Of Copyright Not Mandatory For Seeking Protection Under Copyright Act: Bombay High Court [Sanjay Soya Pvt. Ltd. v. Narayani Trading Company] A Single Bench of Justice GS Patel held that registration of copyright is not mandatory under the Copyright Act, 1957 for seeking an injunction against infringement. It emphasized that Section 51 of the Copyright Act, which speaks of infringement of copyright, does not restrict itself to works that have been registered with the Registrar of Copyright. The provision was also compared to Section 27 of the Trade Marks Act which creates a conspicuous bar on institution of any proceeding in regard to infringement of an unregistered trade mark. 3. ‘Alarming Situation Where Large Number Of Citizens Are Homeless’: Bombay High Court Expresses Concern Over Unfinished Development Projects [Shakil Mohammed & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] A Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and GS Kulkarni took judicial notice of the fact that developers have failed to complete slum schemes/redevelopment projects in time, leading to a spate of litigation in this respect. Recording its concern, the Court said, This has created an alarming situation, to the effect that large number of citizens are homeless and are made to suffer at the hands of such developers.” The Court was hearing a plea moved by Shakil Mohammad and 36 others, tenants of corporation land handed over to a developer in 2015 for the construction of a building. The building that originally stood in the area was demolished to make way for the new one, the Chief Justice’s Order narrates. 4. Telephonic/Email Communications No Substitute For In-Person Hearing In GST Refund Claims: Bombay High Court [BA Continuum v. Union of India] A Bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Abhay Ahuja ruled that telephonic or email communications could not be a substitute for the right of a personal hearing in a GST refund claim. “The expression ‘opportunity of being heard’ is not an expression of empty formality. It is a part of the well-recognized principle of audi alteram partem which forms the fulcrum of natural justice and is central to fair procedure,” it observed. The observation was made while deciding a plea arising from the petitioner aggrieved that its application for a Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund was rejected without being allowed a right of personal hearing. 5. ‘Black Friday’ Judgement Not Applicable To ‘Mumbai Saga’ : Bombay High Court Refuses ’11th Hour’ Plea To Stay Film Release [Ravi Mallesh Bohra & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.] A division bench of Justices AA Sayyed and Madhav Jamdar refused to stall the release of John- Abraham starrer Mumbai Saga on a plea by gangster Ravi Mallesh Bohra alias DK Rao. It dismissed the petition filed at the “11th hour,” after recording respondents’ statement that the movie was only ‘inspired by true events,’ and there was a clear disclaimer to the effect at the beginning of the film. Bohra, along with the family members of late gangster Amar Naik and gangster Ashwin Naik’s, have alleged that the film based on their lives violates their right to a fair trial, right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. 6. “Huge Political Influence”- Sachin Waze’s Brother Files Habeas Corpus Plea In Bombay High Court Against His Arrest In Ambani House Explosives Scare Suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze, through his brother, Sudharm has filed a habeas corpus petition in the Bombay High Court calling his arrest by the National Investigating Agency “illegal,” and seeking his immediate release from custody. Waze was arrested by the National Investigating Agency on Saturday, in connection with his involvement in the explosives-laden vehicle and threat letter found near Mukesh Ambani’s house, in Mumbai, on February 25, 2021. He was remanded to NIA’s custody till March 25, the next day. In a petition filed on Monday under Article 266, his brother states that there were several lapses in Waze arrest, and violations of CrPC provisions. He was not served with a 41(A) notice under the CrPC, a copy of the FIR wasn’t given, neither were the reasons for arresting him explained, it claims. The brother has alleged “ulterior motives” and “political agenda” for Waze’s arrest by the central agency. Also Read: “He Is A Police Officer, Knows His Rights” – Special NIA Court On Waze’s Allegations That Guidelines Of Arrest Were Not Followed 7. Daughter Has Every Locus To Question Validity Of Father’s Second Marriage: Bombay High Court [Narayana M. Ramani v. Fizzah Navnitlal Shah] A Division Bench of Justices VG Bisht and RD Dhanuka authoritatively ruled that a daughter could present a petition challenging the validity of her parent(s)’ second marriage. It interpreted clause (b) of the Explanation appended to Section 7 to hold that a daughter has every locus to bring in question the validity of her father’s marriage. The Bench pronounced judgment in an appeal against a Family Court’s dismissal of a woman’s petition (appellant) against her father’s second wife. The appellant filed a petition questioning the validity of the respondent’s marriage to the appellant’s father. Her father, a wealthy industrialist, married the respondent after the death of the appellant’s mother. 8. PMLA- Even If Predicate Offence Is Compromised, Compounded, Quashed, ED’s Investigation Is Not Affected Or Wiped Away: Bombay High Court [Babulal Verma v. ED] A Single Judge Bench of Justice AS Gadkari held that the Enforcement Directorate could continue investigation into cases of money-laundering even after investigation into the base/scheduled offences were closed. It ruled to the effect stating, “Once an offence under the PMLA is registered on the basis of a Scheduled Offence, then it stands on its own and it thereafter does not require support of Predicate/Scheduled Offence. It further does not depend upon the ultimate result of the Predicate/Scheduled Offence. Even if the Predicate/Scheduled Offence is compromised, compounded, quashed or the accused therein is/are acquitted, the investigation of ED under PMLA does not get affected, wiped away or ceased to continue.” Calcutta High Court 1. No Bar In CPC/ Arbitration Act For Accepting Immovable Property As Security For Stay Of Decree: Calcutta High Court [Nitu Shaw v. Bharat Hitech (Cements) Pvt. Ltd.] A Single Bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya held that there is no bar in the Code of Civil Procedure or under the Arbitration Act, 1996, in accepting immovable property as security for stay of decree. While emphasizing that the intention behind seeking security is simply to furnish an effective cushion for the decree-holder in case the challenge to the decree fails, the Court held that cash security is not sine qua non under the statutes. The Bench noted that Section 36(3) of the Arbitration Act, which contemplates procedure for stay of an Award, does not mention the word “security” and only indicates that the Court may impose suitable terms for stay of the award. The provision states that on filing of an application for stay of award, the Court may, “subject to such conditions as it may deem fit,” grant stay of operation of such award for reasons to be recorded in writing. The Bench observed that the language of Section 36(3) imparts discretion to the Court for deciding the conditions which may be imposed and the only stated requirement is that the Court must indicate its reasons in writing for granting an order of stay of the award in question. Chhattisgarh High Court 1. Chhattisgarh High Court Rejects Challenge Against Civil Judge (Entry Level) Exam, 2020 [Prafull Kumar Tiwari v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy dismissed a batch of 52 writ petitions challenging the Civil Judge (Entry Level) Examination, 2020 conducted by the State Public Service Commission. It returned a finding that the alleged procedural lapses in conducting the exam could not be said to have had a prejudicial effect on the candidates. The Bench further opined that merely because 9 questions were deleted from the final answer key does not mean that the interest of students is affected. It held that deletion of questions and distribution of marks to all candidates on pro rata basis will not vitiate the examination. Delhi High Court 1. Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea By ‘The Quint’ Against New IT Rules On Digital News Media [Quint Digital Media Ltd & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr.] A division bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice on a petition filed by Quint Digital Media Ltd, which owns the online news portal ‘The Quint’, challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to the extent it regulates the publishers of news and current affairs content. The petition, filed through Advocate Prasanna S and Vinoothna Vinjam, contends that the new Rules are ultra vires the Constitution of India as well as the Information Technology Act to the extent they impose unreasonable and arbitrary restrictions on digital news media. It is highlighted that the parent statute of the Rules, the IT Act, does not deal with digital media, and hence, the executive rules made under the said Act to regulate online news publishers are invalid. Also Read: Kerala High Court Issues Notice On LiveLaw’s Plea Challenging New IT Rules; Orders No Coercive Action Also Read: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 2. Stop Implementation Of WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy : Centre Tells Delhi High Court Responding to a public interest litigation before the Delhi High Court, the Centre has sought for WhatsApp to be restrained from implementing its new privacy policy and terms of service dated 04.01.2021 from 08.02.2021 or any subsequent date pending adjudication on the case by the court. The Centre also stated in its reply that in discharge of its obligation imposed by the Supreme Court to frame due guidelines for data protection, it has also framed the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 which introduces a “robust regime” on data protection and privacy, which “will limit the ability of entities” such as WhatsApp to issue privacy policies which do not align with appropriate standards of data protection and that pending passage of the Bill, the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Rules made thereunder form the extant regime on data protection. 3. Any Affected Party May Prefer Appeal Against Order Of Tribunal Under Senior Citizen Act 2007: Delhi High Court [Rakhi Sharma v. State & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh held that any person, affected by an order passed by a Maintenance Tribunal under the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007, is entitled to file an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal. It relied on a ruling of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Paramjit Kumar Saroya v. Union of India & Anr., 2014 SCC OnLine P&H 10864, where it was held that Section 16(1) of the Senior Citizen Act must be read to provide for the right of appeal to any of the affected parties. The findings may be contrasted with a recent judgment of the Madras High Court in K. Raju v. Union of India & Anr. where it was held that that only senior citizens/ parents are entitled to file an appeal against an order passed by the Tribunal under the Senior Citizen Act, 2007. 4. “Will Keep Our Own House In Order”: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Timely Uploading Of Daily Orders Online [Sanser Pal Singh v. Union of India & Anr.] Issuing notice on a petition seeking directions to the Union and state of national capital territory of Delhi to ensure that all courts in Delhi upload daily orders online in a timely fashion, the bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court today remarked, “We will keep our own house in order from next month.” 5. Section 138 NI Act -Accused Can Seek Conversion Of Summary Trial To Summons Trial Only After Disclosing Defence : Delhi High Court [Sumit Bhasin v. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr.] In a trial for the offence of cheque dishonour under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, the accused can seek the conversion of summary trial as summons trial only after disclosing his plea of defence, observed a single bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar. “It is seen in many cases that the petitioners with malafide intentions and to prolong the litigation raise false and frivolous pleas and in some cases, the petitioners do have genuine defence,” the Bench observed. 6. Legal Vacuum In Respect Of Adoptions Carried Out By Christian Parents Prior To 2016: Delhi High Court Seeks Response From Centre, CARA [JS & Anr. v. CARA & Anr.] A Single Bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh granted protection to a US-based Indian Christian couple, apprehending legal action for adopting a child in India in the year 2014, under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. It noted that prior to coming into effect of the Juvenile Justice Model Rules in 2016, there was no law enabling/ governing adoption of a child by intending Christian parents. Taking into account the submissions made by the Petitioner’s counsel that their ought to be a mechanism for enabling the adoption of a Christian child, the Bench observed, “The present petition raises an issue of enormous importance as it relates to a legal vacuum in respect of adoptions carried out prior to the coming into force of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Model Rules, 2016, framed under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, in respect of a child born to Christian parents, as in the present case.” 7. Amazon-Future Case: Emergency Arbitration Recognized By Current Legal Framework; No Need For Amendment, Says Delhi High Court [(Amazon.Com NV Investment Holdings LLC v. Future Coupons Pvt Ltd & Ors.] An Emergency Arbitrator is an ‘Arbitrator’ for all intents and purposes of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, held a single bench of Justice JR Midha in the high-profile Amazon-Future case. While allowing Amazon’s plea to enforce the emergency award against the Future-Reliance deal, the Court held that an emergency award is enforceable under Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. It held that the current legal framework for recognizing emergency arbitration under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act is sufficient and no amendment in the laws is necessary in this regard. The Court held that sec. 17(1) of the Act empowers the Arbitral Tribunal to pass interim orders which are enforceable under sec. 17(2) of the Act. Such order is thereafter appealable under sec. 37 of the Act. Latest Update: Future -Amazon Case : FRL Appeals To Delhi High Court DB Against Single Bench Order Upholding Emergency Award Other developments: Disha Ravi Media Leak Case- Delhi High Court Gives ‘One Last Opportunity’ To UOI And Delhi Police To File Reply Within 2 WeeksA4 Size Paper Shall Be Used Uniformly In Delhi High Court And District Courts For All Kind Of Pleadings From April 1Delhi High Court Refuses To Stay ED Summons To Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Gauhati High Court 1. ‘Harsh & Unjust’ : Gauhati High Court Sets Aside Bail Condition To Produce Govt Servant As Surety [Moinul Hoque v. State of Assam] A single bench of Justice Hitesh Kumar Sarma set aside a bail condition imposed by a Sessions Court that surety should be obtained from a government servant. It observed: “…this Court is of the view that surety of a government servant, as sought for, is too harsh for the petitioner that it would amount to refusal of bail as he wouldn’t be out on bail if required to produce a Government Servant as surety”. The Additional Sessions Judge, Kamrup, while allowing a bail application, had ordered that the petitioner should furnish two local sureties of Rs.40,000/- each and out of the two local sureties, one must be a government servant in the rank of Grade-III. Challenging the condition to obtain surety from government servant, the petitioner had moved an application under Section 482 of CrPC. Karnataka High Court 1. End Practice Of Giving ‘Plum’ Postings For Money : Karnataka High Court Seeks Suo Moto Case Against State [Jayamma & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.] A single bench of Justice R Devdas has urged the Chief Justice to take up a suo moto case against the State Government to put an end to the pernicious practice of providing postings for monetary considerations and reasons other than public interest. “Every now and then the citizens of this State are given to understand that ‘plum’ postings are assigned for monetary considerations…There cannot be two views that if an Officer shells out money to get a plum posting, he would employ every means possible to recover the money he has invested and makes every effort to make money for future needs and therefore, this forms the vicious circle of corruption,” the Judge noted in his order. 2. ‘Once Chargesheet Is Filed, Court Has No Option But To Take Cognizance’ : Karnataka HC Restores Corruption Case Against CM Yediyurappa [A Alam Pasha v. Murugesh R Nirani & Ors.] A single bench of Justice John Michael Cunha set aside the order of a Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act which dismissed a complaint of corruption filed against Chief Minister B S Yeddiyurappa and former Minister of Large and Medium Scale Industries Katta Subramanyam. It observed that the Special Court errred in dismissing the complaint after chargesheet was filed against the accused. “Once the charge sheet is filed, the Magistrate or the Court has no other option than to take cognizance of the offence alleged in the charge sheet and proceed in accordance with law”, the High Court’s order stated. Kerala High Court 1. Electricity Integral Part Of Right To Life; Duty Of Distributor To Provide Connection Within A Month Of Application: Kerala HC [KN Raveendranadhan & Anr. v. Kerala State Electricity Board & Ors.] A single bench of Justice Murali Purushothaman refused to give relief to two Kerala State Electricity Board employees who were found to have delayed on arranging an electricity connection to a person who had applied for the same. It declared, “Electricity is a basic amenity in life. Water and electricity are integral part of right to life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.” Referring to Section 43 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the Court additionally stated that there is a statutory duty on the distribution licensee to provide electric connection to the applicants within one month after receipt of the application requiring such supply. 2. Govt & Establishments Obliged To Provide Full & Effective Participation Of Transgender Persons & Their Inclusion In Society: Kerala High Court In NCC Case [Hina Haneefa v. State of Kerala & Ors.] In a landmark judgment, a Single Bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman gave green signal to the enrolment of transgender persons in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). The pronouncement in a petition filed by transwoman Hina Haneefa, who was denied permission to apply for enrolment in her University’s unit of the NCC. It observed: “I am of the opinion that the petitioner who has opted for the female gender and has undergone sex reassignment surgeries for aiding her self perception as a member of the said gender would definitely be entitled to enrollment in the NCC unit reckoning her as a transgender and further as a member of her self perceived gender, that is, the female gender. The fact that the provisions of the NCC Act do not recognize the third gender or that detailed guidelines are required to be drawn up for the integration of persons of the third gender into the Armed Forces or the National Cadet Corps cannot, according to me, be a justification for denying admission to the petitioner.” Also Read: ‘NCC Act Cannot Preclude Operation Of Transgender Rights Act’-Kerala HC Holds Transwoman Entitled To Enrol In NCC 3. Section 138 NI Act – Demand Notice Need Not Disclose Nature Of Transaction Leading To Issuance Of Cheque : Kerala High Court [K. Basheer v. CK Usman Koya & Anr.] Answering a reference, a Division Bench comprising Justices K Vinod Chandran and MR Anitha held that a demand notice under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act need not disclose the nature of transaction leading to the issuance of cheque. The Bench was answering the reference whether a demand notice without a full disclosure of the details of the transaction would be rendered invalid. It ruled that the Negotiable Instruments Act (the Act) did not mandate a format for a demand notice. It noted the case of K Basheer v. C Usman Koya: “The court cannot legislate by prescribing a particular form and cannot require that the nature of the transaction, leading to the issuance of cheque, be disclosed in the notice when the statute does not provide for it.” Other developments: State Government Bound To Pay Compensation Of Rs 10 Lakh To Families Of Deceased Manhole Workers, Kerala High Court RulesKerala High Court Directs CBI investigation into Walayar Rape And Death Cases Madhya Pradesh High Court 1. MP Freedom Of Religion Ordinance: High Court Grants Pre-Arrest Bail To Catholic Nun/School Principal Accused Of Attempting To Convert Hindu Woman A Bench of Justice Atul Shreedharan granted Anticipatory Bail to a Catholic nun, Principal of the Sacred Heart Convent High School, Khajuraho accused of attempting to convert a Hindu woman to Christianity. It was hearing the pre-areest bail plea of Sister Bhagya who was apprehending her arrest in connection with a case registered for the offences punishable under Sections 3 and 5 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020. Madras High Court 1. Madras High Court Dismisses DMK’s Plea Challenging Postal Ballots Provision In RP Act [Dravida Munnetara Kazhagam v. Union of India & Ors.] A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy dismissed a writ petition filed by political party Dravida Munnetara Kazhagam (DMK) against Section 60(c) of the Representation of Peoples Act which permits issue of postal ballot to electors above the age of 80 years, electors with physical disability, electors in quarantine due to COVID-19 and electors rendering essential services. It held, “all that the Election Commission has done here is to be inclusive and allow certain classes of persons who would have been excluded from exercising their franchise the right to use the postal ballot and participate in the celebration of the festival of democracy” It added, “if the process is made inclusive without compromising on either the secrecy of the ballot or the fairness in the conduct of elections, it would be a greater cause to celebrate and compliment the conducting body” 2. Students Who Followed 10+3 (Diploma)+3 (Degree) Course Structure Granted Interim Permission To Pursue 3 Yr LL.B Course By Madras High Court A Bench of Justice B. Pugalendhi issued an interim direction to the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University to let those students participate in counseling (3-year LLB Course), who, instead of pursuing +2 (Higher Secondary), pursued polytechnic and thereafter, completed their Engineering degree by a regular course. It further directed the University to admit the students, if they are otherwise eligible, after obtaining the undertaking that the admission would be subject to the result of the writ petitions. Other developments: Corporations/Municipalities Heads To Be Held Personally Liable For Any Death To Anyone Engaged In Manual Scavenging Work: Madras High CourtVictim Girl & Man In Love & Living Together For 4 Years Won’t Make POCSO Offence Compoundable Even If Girl Agrees To It: Madras High Court Patna High Court 1. Patna High Court (FB) Halts Construction Of Bihar Sunni Waqf Board’s Proposed Office Located Adjacent To New HC Building Noting that the ‘Structure’ poses serious security concerns for the Judges, lawyers, litigants, staff and security personnel alike, a Full Bench comprising of Justices Ashwani Kumar Singh, Vikash Jain, Ahsanuddin Amanullah, Rajendra Kumar Mishra and Chakradhari Sharan Singh halted the construction of a Bihar Sunni Waqf Board’s Proposed Office located adjacent to HC’s new building. Punjab & Haryana High Court 1. P&H High Court [DB] Allows Registration Of Marriage Through VC Mode, Sets Aside Single Bench ‘Judgment’ [Ami Ranjan and another v. State of Haryana & Anr.] Overruling a Single-Bench Judgment refusing to permit e-registration of marriage, a Division bench comprising of Justices Ritu Bahri and Archana Puri allowed the registration of marriage of a couple through video-conferencing facility. The Single Judge Bench had held that there is no provision for registration of the marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 without parties appearing in person before the marriage officer. The Division Bench however observed that under the criminal law, presence of the witness is not necessary before the Court for recording of his evidence. In the same manner, for the purpose of issuing the marriage registration certificate, as held by the High Court of Jharkhand in Upasana Bali and another vs. State of Jharkhand and others, (2013) 1 AIR Jhar R 741, parties to the marriage can appear before the Registering Officer through video conference.” 2. Punjab & Haryana High Court Directs Inquiry Into Allegations Of Illegal Detention & Custodial Torture Of Labour Activist Shiv Kumar [Rajbir v. State Of Haryana & Ors.] A Single Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan directed the District and Sessions Judge, Faridabad to hold an inquiry with regard to the allegations of Illegal Detention and Custodial Torture of Shiv Kumar. “Part-III of Constitution of India, deals with Fundamental Rights. Article 21 guarantees protection to life and personal liberty. Life and liberty of no person can be deprived except as per the procedure established by law. In a democratic set up, there cannot be even a thought for compromising the life and liberty of the citizen,” the Court observed. The Court was hearing a plea, which was filed by the father of the Labour Activist Shiv Kumar under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for issuance of direction to transfer the investigation of cases in three different FIRs registered under various serious sections of the Indian Penal Code against Kumar, to an independent agency.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more