Weekly Legal Updates (18 June to 24 June 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.

Punjab Assembly passes bill amending procedure to select police chief cuts UPSC down to size

Passing the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the state Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday paved way for the State to appoint Director General of Police (DGP) by setting up a parallel mechanism to circumvent the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) procedure, laid down by the Supreme Court.

As per the existing practice, the states send the name of all eligible IPS officers to the UPSC, which then selects three officers, from which the State Government chooses one as the state police chief. Now, the House has amended the Punjab Police Act, 2007; substituting a provision while laying down the procedure for selection of the head of the police force in the state.

Under the Punjab Police (Amendment) Bill, 2023, a panel of three IPS officers would be constituted by a seven-member committee with a retired Chief Justice or a retired Judge from the Punjab and Haryana High Court as its chairperson.

The other members would be the state’s Chief Secretary, a nominee of the UPSC, a nominee of Punjab Public Service Commission, Administrative Secretary of Home Department, a nominee of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and a retired DGP of Punjab Police.

As per the new Act, the committee shall prepare a panel of three senior officers from the pool of eligible names based on the selection criteria, which would include the length of service, work record, and range of experience. “Selection will be made on merit from a pool of eligible officers as per zone of consideration,” the Bill read.

The DGP appointed following the amendments will have a minimum tenure of two years, “irrespective of his date of superannuation”, while also laying down the provisions of relieving the DGP before completion of his period.

In case of vacancy for the post of DGP, the State Government may give the additional charge to any officer of an equivalent rank. “The provisions of this section shall prevail notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, order or decree of any court,” it stated.

The move assumes significance as the AAP Government has not sent any panel of the eligible IPS officers to the UPSC for appointing the state police chief. As of now, Gaurav Yadav has been continuing as the acting DGP for 11 months now, after replacing Viresh Kumar Bhawra, who was appointed the state police chief as per the UPSC procedure during the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress Government.

Giving the objective and the reason for carrying out the amendment in the 2007 Act, the Bill said, “’Public order’ and ‘police’ appear in the ‘State List’ under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India 1950; and, are, thus, matters falling in the exclusive domain of States…The Constitutional framework envisions a ‘federal structure’ — wherein the states are exclusively empowered, through its legislature, to enact laws concerning ‘public order’ and ‘police’.”

“It is necessary to put in place a proper mechanism for selection/appointment and removal of DGP which takes into consideration the peculiar challenges faced by the states of Punjab by virtue of being a border state. In order to achieve this objective it is proposed to amend Section 6 of the Punjab Police Act, 2007,” the Bill reads.

The Bill, tabled by the Chief Minister and Home Minister Bhagwant Mann, was passed without any opposition and any discussion. While the main opposition Congress had staged a walk out earlier, the BJP had boycotted the two-day special session.

(Courtesy:- The Pioneer, 21 June 2023)

Ernakulam Consumer Forum directs printing press to compensate author for failure to print book in time

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Ernakulam recently directed a printing press to compensate the author of a book for its failure to print the author’s book in time.

The Bench comprising President D.B. Binu and Members V. Ramachandran and Sreevidhia T.N. awarded a sum of Rs. 31,460 as compensation to the author.

As per the facts of the case, Theressa Offset Printers & New Indian Press had submitted a quotation offering the complainant to print 500 copies of his book, ‘History & Science of Numbers’, the English version of ‘Akkangalude Charithram’, for Rs. 31,690. The complainant accepted the offer for printed books in ‘word format’, to be delivered by the end of July 2016.

As per the complaint, the opposite party demanded advance payment and subsequently told him that the ‘word format’ of the book would have to be changed to ‘page make format’. For this it demanded additional conversion charges, it is alleged.

The complainant claimed that the book was scheduled for presentation at a function attended by the Governor of Goa but it was delivered to him late. Moreover, he was forced to spend an additional amount of Rs. 16,460, over and above the quote of Opposite party.

He thus sought Rs. 16,460/- towards additional cost incurred, Rs. 10,000/- towards mental agony and hardship suffered by him, Rs. 15,000/- towards deficiency in service and unfair trade practice committed by the opposite party, and Rs. 10,000/- towards the cost of proceedings.

(Courtesy:- The Hindu, 21 June 2023)

Telangana High Court directs MCC to extend benefit of third gender status in addition to schedule caste category to transgender candidate

The Telangana High Court has directed the Medical Counseling Commission to extend the benefit of third gender status, in addition to “Scheduled Caste” status in NEET PG 2023, to a transgender candidate.

“In the meanwhile, as and when counselling commences for NEET PG 2023, respondents, more particularly respondent No.6,(Medical Counseling Commission) shall extend the benefit of third gender status in addition to the petitioner’s status as a “Scheduled Caste” candidate while considering her admission in any of the courses either under the central quota or under the State quota for NEET PG 2023 in a manner which is beneficial to the petitioner,” said the bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N.Tukaram Ji.

Dr. Ruth John Paul, one of the first transgender doctors of Telangana who also belongs to the SC category, filed a plea seeking reservation as a transgender person in Post Graduate medical admissions in Telangana for NEET PG 2022.

Paul had also filed the plea earlier wherein the High Court directed the National Medical Council (NMC) to consider her representation.

In May, the NMC had passed an order holding that since the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 has no provision for reservation on the basis of gender, representation of the petitioner could not be considered.

The order of NMC had compelled the petitioner to approach the Court again through the present petition.

(Courtesy:- Times Now, 22 June 2023)

Kerala HC clears appointment of CPI(M) leader’s wife as professor

A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday set aside a single bench order quashing the selection of CPI(M) leader K K Ragesh’s wife Priya Varghese as an associate professor in Kannur University’s Malayalam department. Ragesh, a former Rajya Sabha MP, is the private secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Allowing a writ appeal filed by Varghese, the bench said that her candidature for the post of associate professor shall be considered.

The single bench of Devan Ramachanran last year had found that Varghese did not have the qualification required, particularly teaching experience, to become an associate professor.

However, the division bench said the period spent by her on research under the faculty Development Programme of the Kannur University should be reckoned towards the research experience. Secondly, the period spent by her on deputation as Director of Student Services/Programme Coordinator of NSS of the Kannur University should be considered as teaching experience required for appointment.

Her selection was among the reasons for the flare-up of tension between the CPI(M)-led LDF government and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

(Courtesy:- The Indian Express, 23 June 2023)

Court acquits 2 AAP leaders for defying public servant’s order regarding maintaining Covid protocol

A New Delhi court here has acquitted the Patel Nagar MLA and an MCD councillor of the charge of defying orders promulgated by a public servant regarding the maintenance of COVID-19 protocols, saying there were innumerable lapses in the investigation.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidhi Gupta Anand was hearing a case against two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders — MLA Raaj Kumar Anand and councillor Ankush Narang — who were accused of participating in a protest near the residence of Delhi BJP chief Aadesh Gupta in West Patel Nagar without prior permission and without maintaining social distancing or wearing masks on February 26 last year.

At the time of the alleged protest, an order issued by the assistant commissioner of police, Patel Nagar was in force. The order said though social restrictions were lifted on account of a declining number of Covid cases, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, as mandated in the National Directives for COVID Management, would continue, the prosecution said.

(Courtesy:- Press Trust of India, 23 June 2023)

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

Legal News in this Weekly Legal Update are compiled by Team www.deepakmiglani.com

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