Weekly Legal Updates (1 January 2023 to 7 January 2023)

Weekly Legal Updates main objective is to update the legal knowledge of law students, lawyers, academicians and other professionals. If we do not update our legal knowledge regularly, our knowledge become redundant.

Supreme Court upheld the demonetization process

(Vivek Narayan Sharma vs. Union of India 2023 SCC)

In a 4:1 verdict the Supreme Court upheld the demonetization process. A snapshot of the majority and dissenting observations

Justice B.R.Gavai (for the majority) : Demonetisation notification does not suffer from any flaw in the decision-making process; satisfies the test of the proportionality. The contention that the notification is liable to be set aside on the ground that it caused hardship to individual citizens will hold no water. Individual interest must yield to the larger public interest sought to be achieved.

Justice B.V. Nagarathana (dissenting) : The RBI act does not envisage initiation of the demonetisation if bank notes by the centre. Subsection (2) of the section 26 of the act, contemplates demonetisation of bank notes at the instance of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. ( Courtesy:- The Hindu, 3 January 2023 )

A statement by a minister cannot be attributed vicariously to government by invoking princiole of collective responsibility… PM or CM does not have disciplinary control over all members, says Bench

(Kaushal Kishor vs The State of Uttar Pradesh Govt.)

Justice V.Ramasubramanian : The state is under a duty to affirmatively protect the rights of a person under article 21, whenever there is a threat to personal liberty, even by a non-state actor.

Justice B.V Nagarathna : State has an obligation to intervene when cts of a private actor may threaten the life or liberty of another individual. .(Courtesy:-The Hindu, 3 January 2023)

No prior sanction for his criminal prosecution was required; ‘Causing Bomb Blast Not An Official Duty’: Bombay HC Rejects Lt Col Purohit’s Discharge Plea

(Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit vs. National Investigation Agency Ministry of Home Affairs Shastri Building, New Delhi  and The State of Maharashtra)

Lt Col Prasad Purohit was not performing his official duty when indulging in the activity of bomb explosion causing the death of six persons, the Bombay High Court said on Monday while refusing to discharge him in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case.

In a 24-page order, a division bench comprising justices AS Gadkari and Prakash Naik, while dismissing Purohit’s plea seeking discharge for want of sanction for prosecution from the competent authority, held that if it is to accept the accused’s contention that he was only performing his official duty, then the question remains as to why he did not avert the blast. It held that there was no connection with the blast and purohit official duties and hence no prior sanction for his criminal prosecution was required. The blast on 29 September 2008 killed six people and injured 100 after an explosive device on a motorbike went off in the handloom town.

Purohit has been charged with murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony on him, relevant sections under The Arms Act, The Indian Explosive Substance Act, and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Ensure free food, treatment to poor HIV-positive persons: Delhi HC


The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to ensure free food and medical treatment to HIV-positive people living below the poverty line who are unable to afford the same.A Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad also asked it to strictly comply with provisions of the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 while dealing with grievances of affected patients.

The observation came after hearing a petition by some people suffering from human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and other ailments. The petitioners said they have been abandoned by their families owing to the stigma attached to the infection and provided shelter by an NGO in the city in the absence of a home.(Courtesy:-The Hindu, 3 January 2023)

Portal to access all SC verdicts since 1950 free launched

Judiciary’s endeavour towards complete digitisation of Indian judiciary.

Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud on Monday (2 January) launched the e-SCR project providing over 34,000 judgments pronounced by the Supreme Court in the last 72 years free of cost to all, but especially to young lawyers unable to spend lakhs of rupees to buy the Supreme Court Report volumes since 1950.

CJI Chandrachud announced that the e-SCR link is available on the SC website. “This free service is meant to benefit mainly the young advocates who can research case laws by browsing through the website without spending money to buy the SCR volumes,” (Courtesy:-The Times of Indi,a 3 January 2023)

It’s time to make word ‘ex-servicemen’ gender neutral

(Priyanaka R Patil v. Kendriya Sainik Board)

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday said that there is an imperative need for the Union and State governments to change the nomenclature ‘ex-servicemen’ to ‘ex-service personnel’ to make it gender neutral in tune with ever evolving, dynamic tenets of the fundamental right to equality before law guaranteed under the Constitution.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna made these observations while allowing a petition filed by Priyanka R. Patil, daughter of a martyred ex-serviceman.“The word ‘men’ in the nomenclature portrays such discrimination as it seeks to demonstrate that the forces are still a bastion of the male, while it is not, at the same time pointing out that women nowadays have a role to play in the forces, be it the Army, the Navy or the Air force, the court said that “the word ‘men’ in the nomenclature ex-servicemen, would seek to demonstrate a misogynous posture of an age-old masculine culture.”(The Hindu 3 January 2023)

All Conversion Cannot Be Illegal: SC While Refusing to Stay MP High Court Order

(The State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Samuel Daniel)

A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and C.T. Ravikumar said that all conversions could not be said to be illegal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay a Madhya Pradesh High Court’s decision striking down a mandatory requirement under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act to make a declaration to the District Magistrate for religious conversion. (The tribune 4 January 2023)

Cinema hall owners can restrict outside food, beverages, rules Supreme Court

(K.C.Cinema vs The State of Jammu and Kashmir and Ors)

Hearing a batch of appeals filed by multiplex owners and theatre owners of Jammu and Kashmir, the bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and justice PS Narasimha said, “The property of cinema halls constitutes private property of the owner of the cinema hall. The owner is entitled to fix such terms and conditions so long as it is not opposed to the public interest, safety and welfare.”( Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 4 January 2023)

NCLT stays Reliance Capital resolution

(Reserve Bank of India v Reliance Capital Limited)

The insolvency process of debt-ridden Reliance Capital is set to be delayed as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday stayed the resolution process on a plea by Torrent Group. This means the lenders would not be able to take a call on Hinduja Group’s revised offer till January 12, when the NCLT will next hear the matter.

The interim stay was provided after Torrent Group filed an interlocutory application on Monday. Torrent Investments, a group company filed a petition before NCLT seeking to direct RCap’s administrator not to accept Hinduja’s revised bids that were submitted a day after the e-auctions ended. The petition was filed on Monday, a day before the crucial committee of creditors’ (CoC) meeting was scheduled to take place to finalise the resolution process and decide the winning bidder.The tribunal also asked the administrator to file a reply on Torrent’s petition. Following the order, the CoC has sought time to move the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). If that happens, the insolvency proceedings, the deadline for closure of which is January 31, would get delayed. (Financial Express, 4th January 2023)

President Droupadi Murmu gives assent to Gujarat Bill that gives police power to take action against protesters

A Gujarat Bill facilitating registration of criminal cases against persons who stage protests in violation of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has received Presidential assent on January 4th. The Bill seeks to make any violation of Prohibitory Orders issued under Section 144 CrPC a cognizable offence under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant). (Courtesy The Hindu 4th January 2023)

Supreme Court stops the eviction from Railway land in Haldwani

Justice Kaul : They cannot be uprooted overnight from the land… somebody has to go into the need for rehabilitation while recognizing the need of the railways.

Justice Oka : And it was not right to order bringing in paramilitary forces.( Courtesy : The Hindu, 6 January 2023 )

Can’t put clock back: SC refuses to stop Noida Metro ops, says project complete & running

The Supreme Court (SC) has refused to stay Noida Metro’s operations for want of an environmental clearance in view of the fact that the entire project was complete and running.

“When the entire Metro rail project is complete and the Metro rail is running, the clock cannot be put back and the same shall not be even in the larger public interest. Under the circumstances, we propose to dispose of the present appeals, keeping the questions of law open,” a Bench led by Justice MR Shah said. The Metro services in Delhi and Noida were being used by the public at large, it noted.

Acting on a plea filed by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had on May 31, 2016, said all Metro rail projects needed an environmental clearance after conducting a proper environment impact assessment.

While hearing an appeal against the NGT order, the top court said the green tribunal’s directions couldn’t be acted upon in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case even as it kept the question of law open. (Courtesy:- The Tribune 7 January 2023 https://www.tribuneindia.com/)

*Disclaimer: – Always check with the original copy of judgment from the Court website.

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