TOP 15 LEGAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
1. Judicial Custody of Social Activists Who Supported Araria Gangrape Survivor was Totally Impermissible: States SC; Directs release.
The Supreme Court Bench of the Apex Court comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murai while hearing the matter titled as Kalyani Badola & Anr. v. State of Bihar & Ors., issued notice and directed the release of two women social activists who had been sent to judicial custody on the 10th of July. They were sent on custody for allegedly misbehaving and indulging in a verbal argument with the Magistrate of the Araria Court. The Court observed that the order by way of which the two women were sent to judicial custody was totally impermissible.
2. SC refuses Anticipatory Bail to Rehana Fathima in POCSO Case Over Video Showing Her Children Painting on Her Semi-Nude Body; Questions Her Act of Using Children for the Same.
The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murai refused to grant anticipatory Bail to Rehana Fathima, a Kerala Activist who was arrested for a video showing her children painting on her semi-nude painting. The Bench also expressed its concern over her act, and asked, “How can you make use of children for this?”
3. SC reiterates that Right to Property is a Constitutional as well as Human Right
The Supreme Court, in the case of Hare Krishna Mandir Trust v. State of Maharashtra reiterated that right to property is a constitutional as well as a human right. The Court also noted that the right to property includes any proprietary or hereditary interests in the right of management of a religious endowment.
The Bench of the Court comprising of Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee stated the same while allowing an appeal filed by Hari Krishna Mandir Trust in the matter of a land dispute with the Municipal Corporation of Pune.
4. Stringent Provisions of the NDPS Act Does Not Dispense with the Requirement to Establish a Prima Facie Case- States the Apex Court
The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman & Navin Sinha, on the 5th of August, acquitted an accused convicted by the Special Court under section 8C read with Section 20(b)(ii)(c) of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, stating that the stringent provisions of the NDPS Act do not dispense with the requirements of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case beyond a reasonable doubt. The said acquittal was made in an appeal filed by the accused in the case titled as Gangadhar Alias Gangaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh.
5. Apex Court Observes Mere Observations That Crime is Heinous and That Release Would Send a Negative Message are Not Applicable Factors to Deny Probation.
The Supreme Court, in the case of Shor v. State of UP & Anr. set a murder convict who served twenty-eight years and eight months in prison free, via order dated 05.08.2020. Previously, an Order passed by the Uttar Pradesh Government had rejected Shor’s plea for premature release, stating that the premature release of a prisoner who along with 20 co-accused had committed the murder of 11 persons, would send a negative message against the judicial system in the society. The Bench of the Court comprising of Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha, noting Section 2 of the United Provinces Prisoners Release on Probation Act, 1938, stated that the factors to be taken into consideration are antecedents, conduct in prison and whether the person if released, is likely to abstain from crime and would lead a peaceable life. The Court also observed that the order of the Government was passed mechanically, without applying the aforementioned provision.
6. SC Upholds the Termination of 8882 Teachers in Tripura, Stating That the Candidate Enjoys No Advantage When the Very Selection is Illegal and Invalid.
The Apex Court on the 5th of August upheld the termination of 8882 ad-hoc teachers in Tripura, observing that no advantage can be conferred upon the candidates as their very selection and appointments were illegal and invalid. The Bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran observed the same while hearing the case of Ajoy Debbarma and Ors. v. State of Tripura and Ors.
7. Promotion May Include an Advancement to Higher Pay Scale Without Moving to a Different Post- Reiterates Supreme Court
The Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices SK Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose reiterated that promotion might include advancement to a higher pay scale without moving to a different post. The civil appeal titled as Rama Nand and Ors. v. Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and Anr. was dismissed on the 6th of August.
8. MBA Degree Not Equivalent to PG Degree or Diploma in Social Work, Labour Welfare, Industrial Relations or Personnel Management – states SC
The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachd, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph, in the case titled as North Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Kavinder and Ors. observed that an MBA degree is not equivalent to a PG degree or diploma in Social Work, Labour Welfare, Industrial Relations or Personnel Management. The Bench stated that the Tribunal had erred in holding that the candidate was qualified merely because he studied two subjects as a part of his MBA programme, i.e., Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and Labour Legislation.
9. Apex Court Allows to Withdraw Petition Against INC, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi Alleging Agreement Between Congress and Communist Party of China; states allegations made are absurd.
The Supreme Court allowed to withdraw a petition filed against Indian National Congress, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, seeking details to the alleged agreement signed between them and the Communist Party of China. The Bench of the Court comprising of CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramaniun asked the petitioner to withdraw the same, stating that the allegations made were absurd.
10. SC Reserves Orders on Contempt case; “Comments were not out of malice”, states Prashant Bhushan
The Apex Court reserved orders on the contempt case initiated against Advocate Prashant Bhushan over his tweets about the CJI and the Supreme Court. The Senior advocate who appeared on behalf of Bhushan submitted that the latter’s comments were not out of malice, that it’s out of love and affection for the Court and also that it is not personal. The Advocate also stated that “This is what the Constitution says regarding the Separation of Powers… the citizen may question”.
11. Kerala HC States That There is No Bar on Filing for Anticipatory Bail in Triple Talaq Cases, However, Should Plead Reasons for Not Approaching Magistrate
The High Court of Kerala held that anticipatory bail application is not barred for an offence under the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. However, it was stated that if an accused wants to avail the right, he should specifically plead about the reasons for not approaching the Magistrate under section 7(c) of the Act of 2019. The observation was made by Justice PV Kunhikrishnan while hearing the case titled as Nahas v. State of Kerala.
12. Delhi HC Directs DSLSA to Apprise Jail Authorities of Relevant Laws, Case-laws and Prisoner Rights
The Delhi High Court opined that officers posted in jails, particularly those holding the ranks of Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents must be apprised of their duties and obligations on the law. The Court made the said observation while addressing the case of unlawful detention of a prisoner for 10 days despite being granted bail, and to prevent the re-occurrence of such an incident.
13. Calcutta HC States That It is the Fundamental Right of Press to Publish News Not Palatable to Administration; Grants Anticipatory Bail to Journalist
The Bench of the Calcutta High Court, comprising of Justices Bibek Chaudhuri and Soumen Sen observed that it is the fundamental right of a press reporter to publish any news, which may not be palatable to the administration. The Court allowed the plea for an anticipatory bail in the matter of Avishek Dutta Roy v. The State. A case was filed against the petitioner for a news report imputing bribery and rash driving, causing death to the state police.
14. Anticipatory Bail Cannot Be Granted Merely Because Nothing Was Recovered From the Accused: Kerala HC on an NDPS case
The High Court of Kerala held that anticipatory bail could not be granted in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Drugs Act, merely because nothing was recovered from the Accused. Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi observed that under section 37(1)(b)(ii) of the Act, two conditions have to be satisfied for enlarging the accused on Bail: “firstly that the Court shall be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence alleged against him and that secondly, that the Court shall be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not likely to commit any offence while on Bail. Only on the satisfaction of these twin conditions, the Court has the power to enlarge the accused on bail”.
The Court observed the same while hearing the case of State of Kerala v. Mohammed Riyas.
15. Judgements of the Supreme Court Now Available in More Regional Languages
The Supreme Court has started uploading its judgement in more regional languages. The translated versions of the judgements are now available in Malayalam, Tamil and Punjabi. Previously, the translation was made to six vernacular languages: Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Odia and Telugu. However, the disclaimer in these versions states that for all official and practical purposed, the judgements published in English shall be used. Additionally, it also states that the translated version is only for a better understanding of the litigants.