Weekly Legal Updates (26 November to 2 December 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 dismisses PIL seeking ban on Pakistani artistes in India; says don’t be narrow-minded

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking a complete ban on employing Pakistani artistes in India and asked the petitioner not to be narrow-minded.

“Do not press this appeal… Do not be so narrow minded,” a Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice SVN Bhatti told the advocate representing petitioner Faaiz Anwar Qureshi, rejecting his plea.

Qureshi – a cine worker had sought directions to the Information and the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to issue notifications imposing a ban on grant of visas to Pakistani artistes.

He contended that engaging Pakistani artistes would lead to discrimination against Indian artistes and cine workers as a similar favourable atmosphere to work was not available to Indian artists to work in Pakistan.

Qureshi sought to highlight a resolution passed by the All-Indian Cine Workers Association after the Pulwama terror attack and similar resolutions by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees against engaging Pakistani artists.

He had challenged a Bombay High Court order dismissing his petition in October. Noting that his petition was devoid of any merit, the high court had termed his demand as a retrograde step that was against cultural harmony, unity and peace.

The High Court had referred to the recent participation of the Pakistani cricket team in the Cricket World Cup tournament in India. Imposing such a ban would also violate Indian citizens’ fundamental right to carry on business, trade and occupation under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, the high court had said.

“One must understand that in order to be a patriot, one need not be inimical to those from abroad, especially, from the neighbouring country. A true patriot is a person who is selfless, who is devoted to the cause of his country, which he cannot be, unless he is a person who is good at heart. A person who is good at heart would welcome in his country any activity which promotes peace, harmony, and tranquility within the country and across the border…

Arts, music, sports, culture, dance and so on are the activities which rise above nationalities, cultures and nations and truly bring about peace, tranquility, unity and harmony in a nation and between nations,” the HC had said.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 28 November 2023)

Action must follow on hate speeches: Supreme Court

Earlier, the Court had directed police chiefs of all states and Union Territories to file suo motu cases against hate speeches made by people from any religion.

Action must be taken against any and all kinds of hate speech, said the Supreme Court on Wednesday, as it agreed to hear in February a clutch of petitions seeking to put in place a mechanism to curb hate speeches.

Dealing with applications filed by individuals and groups citing several instances of hate speeches, a bench headed by justice Sanjiv Khanna said, “We cannot have a pan-India monitoring of the problem of hate speeches. In a country as big as India, there will be problems. But the question to be asked is whether we have an administrative mechanism to deal with it.”

Posting the case for hearing in February next year, the bench, also comprising justice SVN Bhatti said, “Society must know if a law is violated, there will be an action that follows. We cannot have these proceedings on a pan-India basis or else every day, applications will keep coming.”

This judgment was passed in the context of increasing instances of mob lynching and hate crimes by cow vigilante groups. The Court ordered every district in the country to have a nodal officer not below the rank of superintendent of police (SP) to take preventive steps against mob lynching and hate crimes.

Many contempt petitions have been filed since then which formed part of the bunch of petitions heard by the Court. In these petitions, contempt action was sought against states that failed to act against hate speeches and hate crimes in terms of the 2018 order.

Earlier in April, emphasising the importance of preserving the secular character of the country, the Court had directed police chiefs of all states and Union Territories to file suo motu (on their own) cases against hate speeches made by people from any religion and warned of contempt action if its direction is not complied with.

A similar direction passed in October 2022 for the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi will now be extended to the entire country.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) KM Nataraj informed the Court that on October 11, the Union ministry of home affairs convened a meeting of chief secretaries of all states/UTs to ascertain compliance with the 2018 Court’s judgment. He said that 28 states and UTs have a nodal officer in place, while the states of Gujarat, Kerala, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu have not responded on this aspect.

The bench issued notices to the four states seeking their responses within four weeks. Lawyers appearing in certain applications raising individual instances of hate crimes sought urgent orders in their matter to ensure hate speeches are not repeated.

Advocate Nizam Pasha who appeared for an applicant pointed out that persons indulging in hate speeches have again been permitted to hold similar events by the state administrations.

Another applicant represented by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain highlighted another set of cases in which some Muslim men were engaging in hate speech and no action was taken by the police.

“If we entertain contempt petitions like this, we will be flooded with cases,” the bench observed, adding that individual cases cannot be gone into. “If we start entertaining petitions directly under Article 32 of the Constitution (Supreme Court’s power to enforce fundamental rights), we must do it across the board. We cannot be saying in one case that we will entertain, while in another case, we won’t do,” the bench observed.

Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who has filed a petition in these proceedings seeking a separate penal provision on hate crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), said, “Cases are not being registered by police as there is no definition of hate speech under IPC.” He requested the Court to consider referring the matter to the Law Commission.

“Hate speech has been defined by this Court in several decisions. The question is of implementation as to which cases it is to be applied and which cases not to apply,” the bench noted.

The Court had in January this year sought to sensitise Centre and states on taking hate speech offences seriously and said that such speeches had the potential of becoming a “Frankenstein” that could gobble up people.

The Court sought to strengthen the mechanism under the 2018 judgment and had in the past passed numerous orders requiring nodal officers to maintain case diaries of hate speeches, installing CCTVs at places where the police apprehended trouble and sensitising police about reporting hate speeches to the nodal officer.

(Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 29 November 2023)

Supreme Court upholds extension of Delhi Chief Secretary’s tenure

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Centre’s decision to extend the tenure of Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by six months. The tenure of the current Delhi Chief Secretary was scheduled to end on November 30.

During the hearing, the top court said that the Centre’s decision was “not violative of Constitutional distribution of powers”.

The Centre is empowered to extend the tenure of the Chief Secretary who deals with police, land, and public order, which are beyond the Delhi government’s ambit, the top court noted, reported news agency.

The court also said that the judgement was based on “prima facie view” and that an evaluation of the legal and constitutional principles would be done by the five-judge constitution bench.

The development came a day after the Centre told the Supreme Court that it intends to extend the tenure of Naresh Kumar for a limited period. The top court bench then asked the Solicitor General, representing the Centre, under what provisions the government intended to do so.

“Till a new appointment is done, we intend to extend the tenure of the present Chief Secretary,” a three-judge bench was told by the Solicitor General.

At this, the bench asked the Solicitor General, “Under what power are you extending the tenure of the Chief Secretary? Bring us that law. Or you make a fresh appointment.”

However, the Solicitor General told the bench that the extension was for a limited period only and that a new appointment will be done.

The Centre was given time till Wednesday to provide grounds on which it wanted to extend the tenure of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by six more months. 

(Courtesy:- India Today, 29 November 2023)

Nepal becomes first South Asian country to officially register same-sex marriage

Five months after the Supreme Court legalised it, Nepal on Wednesday formally registered the first case of same-sex marriage, making it the first South Asian country to do so.

Trans-woman Maya Gurung, 35 and Surendra Pandey, 27, a gay, got legally married and their marriage was registered at Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung district in Western Nepal, according to Sanjib Gurung (Pinky), President of Blue Diamond Society, an organization working for the rights and welfare of the sexual minorities in Nepal.

Way back in 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court had allowed same-sex marriage. Even the Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, explicitly states that there can be no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

On June 27, 2023, the Supreme Court issued an interim order to legalise same-sex marriage in Nepal in a writ petition filed by multiple people, including Gurung. But despite the historic order to temporarily register same-sex marriage, Kathmandu District Court four months ago rejected the move citing a lack of necessary laws.

Surendra Pandey and Maya’s marriage application was rejected at that time.

“It’s a great pleasure to learn about this, it is a great achievement for us, the third gender community of Nepal,” Pinky said. “This is the first case not only in Nepal but also in the whole of South Asia, and we welcome the decision.”      

Married in the traditional manner with the approval of their families, Surendra, a resident of Nawalparasi, and Maya, a resident of Lamjung, have been living together as husband and wife for the past six years.

“There are many third-gender couples living without their identities and rights and this is going to help them a lot,” Pinky said, adding that the door has now opened for other people of this community to get their marriage legalised.

“Their marriage has been temporarily registered and after the formulation of necessary laws, it will get permanent recognition automatically.”

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 29 November 2023)

Ensure dignified last rites of 175 victims, Supreme Court tells Manipur Govt

Noting that it didn’t want to keep the pot boiling over bodies, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Manipur Government to ensure dignified burial or cremation of 175 bodies kept in mortuaries by December 11.

A three-judge Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud said either the next of kin of the could claim the bodies or the state of Manipur should go ahead and perform the last rites at nine sites identified for the purpose as per the municipal laws. “We don’t want to keep pot boiling over bodies,” said the Bench which also included Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra.

Passing the order bearing in mind that violence had taken place in May, the Bench said it would not be proper to further keep the bodies in mortuaries in Imphal and Churachandpur. The Bench ordered the state government to intimate the next of kin about the nine sites on or before next Monday. Regarding identified but unclaimed bodies, it said, “the state shall issue a communication on or before Monday (December 4) intimating that they are permitted to carry out last rites in the next one week.”

In view of the fact that criminal investigations were underway, the Bench said in the event DNA samples had not been drawn from the bodies at the time of autopsy, DNA samples shall be taken before burial/cremation.

It asked the Manipur Government to facilitate the relatives to access the bodies for identification and performance of last rites and posted the matter for further hearing on the committee’s report about acceptance of ex gratia to 38 kin of the victims on December 4.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta cited Justice Gita Mittal Committee report to point out that NGOs were not allowing families to claim bodies for performing the last rites.

Mass burial/cremation could lead to fresh tension, Mehta said, adding NGOs were threatening the families coming forward to take bodies for burial. As senior advocate Colin Gonsalves insisted on mass burial as per tribal rites, the Bench took exception to it. “The whole idea seems to keep the pot boiling on bodies… Why do you create obstruction?” the CJI commented.

The hearing witnessed acrimonious scenes with Mehta questioning Gonsalves’ locus standi and the latter accusing him of trying to bully the tribal petitioners. Despite repeated demands, the Bench didn’t allow sharing of the committee’s report with the petitioners. Gonsalves accused the Manipur Government of leaking the report to the media even before the court perused it.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 29 November 2023)

Supreme Court sets aside stay order, paves way for Wrestling Federation of India polls

The Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for holding the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections as it lifted the stay ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the wrestling body’s polls.

“We fail to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught by the high court,” a Bench led by Justice Abhay S Oka said, setting aside the August 11 order of the high court.

“It will be open for the returning officer to proceed with the election by publishing a revised election programme. We make it clear that the outcome of the election will be subject to orders that may be passed in the petition,” the Bench said.

The proper course adopted by the high court would have been to allow the elections to be conducted subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition, it said.

The Haryana Wrestling Association counsel said Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association’s certificate of affiliation with the Haryana Olympic Association was fabricated.

The SC had earlier sought the response of the Centre and others on a plea by the ad-hoc committee constituted to run the WFI challenging a stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on holding elections to the wrestling body. The ad-hoc panel had moved the top court against the September 25 order of the high court putting the elections on hold.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 29 November 2023)

Looking to set up administrative machinery for hate speeches, can’t deal with individual cases: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was looking to put in place an administrative machinery to deal with hate speeches across the country and clarified that it cannot deal with individual cases as it will lead to flooding of cases.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti said hate speech has been defined by the court and the question is of implementation and understanding how it is to be applied.

“We can’t deal with individual aspects. If we start dealing with individual cases, it will lead to flooding of cases. We want to put infrastructure or administrative machinery in place. If there is any breach in that then you may approach the concerned high court.”

“We cannot take pan India cases as it will be impossible for us to handle. In a country as big as India, there will be problems but the question is whether we have enough administrative machinery in place to take action wherever required. Society must know that if you indulge in it then there will be some state action,” the bench said.

The top court also issued notices to the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland and Gujarat over the non-appointment of nodal officers.

The top court had earlier said defining hate speech is complex but the real problem in tackling it lies in the implementation and execution of law and judicial pronouncements.

On October 21 last year, the top court had directed Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand to crack down hard on those making hate speeches, calling them shocking for a country that is religion-neutral.

Holding that the Constitution of India envisages a secular nation, the court had directed the three states to promptly register criminal cases against the offenders without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

(Courtesy:- Indian Express, 29 November 2023)

Supreme Court Raps Tamil Nadu Governor For Referring Bills To President

The Supreme Court today asked Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi to hold a meeting with Chief Minister MK Stalin and resolve the impasse over delays in clearing bills.

“We would like the Governor to resolve the impasse. I think the governor invites the chief minister and let them sit down and discuss it,” the Supreme court said.

The Supreme Court’s observation came after senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the state government, told the top court that the Governor has referred the 10 bills re-adopted by the assembly to President Droupadi Murmu.

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said that the Governor observed that the bills re-adopted by the assembly cannot be reserved for the President.

The Supreme Court will now take up the matter on December 11.

Mr Ravi earlier this month returned ten bills – two of which were passed by the earlier AIADMK government. The Tamil Nadu Assembly then held a special session to re-adopt all ten bills, which were sent back to the Governor for his assent.

The Tamil Nadu government has accused the BJP-appointed Governor of deliberately delaying the bills’ clearance and scuttling the state’s development by “undermining the elected administration”.

Mr Stalin, in a stinging attack on Mr Ravi, told the assembly that withholding assent without any reason was unacceptable.

“He returned the bills due to his personal whims and fancies… it is undemocratic and anti-people to not give assent. The Governor can’t withhold assent if the bills are passed in the assembly again and sent to him,” he said.

“Governor R N Ravi does this to keep all the powers with himself. He believes an elected government has no powers,” said Tamil Nadu Law Minister Sevugan Regupathy.

The Supreme Court on November 10, while hearing a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Government, expressed “serious concern” over the delay by governors in giving assent to the bills passed by the state assemblies.

“These bills were pending since 2020. What was he doing for three years?” it asked.

Courtesy:- NDTV, 1 December 2023)

Governor as chancellor can independently appoint VCs, state can’t interfere: Supreme court

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that governors as chancellors of universities are to act independent of state governments for appointment of vice-chancellors and quashed Kannur University VC’s reappointment, terming it as ‘unwarranted interference” by the Kerala government – a verdict which also underscored the autonomous powers conferred on the governor to conduct the affairs of a university as the chancellor.

A bench of CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra quashed the reappointment of G Ravindran as VC of Kannur University in 2021 after it found that the
state had overreached its powers to reappoint its nominee even when the governor had set in motion the selection process for filling the VC post.

Justice Pardiwala said, “We have reached the conclusion that though the notification reappointing Ravindran to the post of VC was issued by the chancellor, yet the decision stood vitiated by the influence of extraneous considerations or to put it in other words by the unwarranted intervention of the state.”

(Courtesy:- The Times of India, 1 December 2023)

Russian Supreme Court bans LGBT movement

Russia’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that LGBT activists should be designated as extremists, in a move that representatives of gay and transgender people fear would lead to arrests and prosecutions. The presiding judge announced that he had endorsed a request from the justice ministry to ban what it called “the international LGBT social movement”.

The move is part of a pattern of increasing restrictions in Russia on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity, including laws outlawing the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations and banning legal or medical changes of gender. President Vladimir Putin has long sought to promote an image of Russia as a guardian of traditional moral values.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 1 December 2023)

Himachal Pradesh High Court notice to 13 stone crushers operating illegally in Nalagarh

The HP High Court has issued notices to the state government, State Pollution Control Board and 13 stone crushers in Nalagarh on a petition alleging that they are operating without permission.

While issuing notices, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua observed that “we fail to understand that how the respondents are operating stone crushers without having the permission to operate.”

The court was informed that the stone crusher owners were operating their units and also mining leases though the Pollution Control Board had not issued the consent to operate to them.

The court directed the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Solan, to visit the place where the stone crushers were said to be operating and submit a report about whether these units had removed the deficiencies pointed out in the show-cause notice issued by the Pollution Control Board to them.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 1 December 2023)

High Court: Can’t hold wife liable for cheque issued by husband

Making it clear that legal culpability rests solely on the party endorsing the cheque, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that wives cannot be held liable for cheques drawn by their husbands from joint accounts shared by both spouses.

The ruling by Justice NS Shekhawat, signifying that one spouse cannot be held liable for the action of the other, came on a petition filed by a wife for quashing a complaint in a cheque bounce case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Directions were also sought for quashing the summoning order and all subsequent proceedings.

Justice Shekhawat’s Bench, among other things, was told that the petitioner was arrayed as an accused only on the ground that she and her husband were joint holders of an account from which the cheque was issued. She was not a signatory to the cheque. The petitioner could not have been summoned in the present case only on the ground that the cheque was issued from the joint account, her counsel had added.

Referring to Section 138, Justice Shekhawat asserted it was the drawer of the cheque, who could be prosecuted following his failure to make the payment on receipt of the statutory notice. The cheque was signed by the husband alone. The liability regarding its dishonour could be fastened only on the drawer, even though it was drawn on a joint bank account of the petitioner and her husband.

Justice Shekhawat ruled: “The cheque in question was issued by the petitioner’s husband in discharge of his liability and not by her. She was admittedly not the drawer. The mere fact that the petitioner happens to be the spouse of the co-accused is hardly sufficient to condemn her as co-accused with him. Even, from the scheme of the Act, it is apparent that there is no provision in the Act regarding taking cognizance against a person other than the `drawer’ of the cheque”.

Justice Shekhawat added the only exception was in case the person committing the offence under Section 138 was a company. The person in-charge as well as the company would be deemed guilty of the offence as provided under Section 141 of the Act.

“It will be safe to observe that the petitioner is not liable for the cheque drawn by her husband from the joint account relating to both of them. However, the proceedings may continue against the husband as he had signed the cheque in question,” Justice Shekhawat concluded.

The judgment is significant as it hinges on the notion that mere association with a joint account does not automatically translate into shared responsibility for all transactions conducted from that account.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 1 December 2023)

Supreme Court directs Bihar government to ensure no further construction takes place adjacent to Ganga

The Supreme Court has directed the Bihar government to ensure that no further construction takes place adjacent to the Ganga River particularly in and around Patna.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih directed the state government to file an affidavit informing it about the removal of identified illegal structures, which have been raised on the floodplains of Ganga River in Patna.

“When the matter is called on for hearing, counsel for the state of Bihar submits that the state has identified 213 unauthorised constructions adjacent to the river Ganga in and around Patna and steps have been taken to remove these encroachments/constructions,” the Bench said.

“On that date (February 5, 2024) the state shall report to this court the progress in getting these unauthorised structures removed by filing an affidavit. Such affidavit shall be filed by the chief secretary of Bihar. The state shall also ensure no further construction takes place adjacent to the river Ganga particularly in and around the city of Patna,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Patna resident Ashok Kumar Sinha against the June 30, 2020, order of the National Green Tribunal dismissing his plea against illegal constructions and permanent encroachments on the eco-fragile floodplains.

The plea contended that the tribunal passed the order without examining the detailed particulars of the violators encroaching upon the Ganga floodplains in Patna submitted by the appellant.

“The illegal and unauthorised constructions and permanent encroachments on the floodplain of Ganga are creating tremendous amounts of waste, noise and generating vast quantum of sewage,” said the plea filed through advocate Akash Vashishtha.

“They are aggravating the risk to life and property of the dwellers occupying the surroundings since every year, the areas stated in preceding paras go down under flood waters. The illegal constructions were obstructing the natural course of the river,” it said.

The plea said they were causing deleterious environmental impacts on the rich biodiversity and destroying the habitat and, thereby, the very survival of Dolphins, a Schedule I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, on the stretch.

The plea stated that the tribunal failed to note the fact that a clean Ganga was vital and essential to meet the drinking and domestic water needs of the 5.5 lakh population of the city as the groundwater in the district was contaminated with Arsenic.

“A massive 520 acres of ecologically sensitive Ganga floodplain, stretching from Nauzer Ghat to Nurpur Ghat, in Patna, have been usurped. This stretch is prone to recurrent floods every year. A multi-storey building, belonging to the Takhat Shri Harmandir Sahib, has further come up since 2017 and parts, thereof, are still under construction,” the plea said.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 2 December 2023)

Once court concludes accused is entitled to bail, it can’t be for limited period: Supreme Court

Once a court reaches the conclusion that a person is entitled to bail, it can’t grant him bail only for a limited period of time, the Supreme Court has ruled.

When a court concludes that the accused is entitled to be enlarged on bail pending trial, granting bail only for a limited duration is illegal.

Such orders violate the right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Moreover, it puts an additional burden on the litigant as he is forced to file a fresh bail application for an extension of the bail granted earlier,” a Bench led by Justice AS Oka said.

While dealing with a petition filed by a man accused of certain offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, the Bench was surprised to note that the Orissa High Court chose to grant a 45-day interim bail to the accused despite concluding that prolonged incarceration with no prospect of the trial coming to an end made a case for the grant of bail.

“…this is the fifth or sixth order which we came across from the same (Orissa) High Court where, after recording a finding that an accused was entitled to be enlarged on bail, the High Court has chosen to grant either interim bail or bail for a short duration,” it said.

Modifying the impugned order of the high court dated August 11, 2023, the Bench allowed the appeal filed by accused appellant Manoranjan Rout.

“We direct that the appellant shall be enlarged on bail until the final disposal of the case on the same terms and conditions mentioned in the impugned order,” it said in its November 29 order.

After granting interim bail to the accused, the high court had finally disposed of his bail application. “If an order granting interim bail was to be passed, the bail application should have been kept pending,” the top court said.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 2 December 2023)

J-K: UAPA charges dropped against 7 agricultural university students, court grants bail

Seven students, who were arrested under the UAPA for allegedly raising objectionable slogans and celebrating the Indian cricket team’s loss in the World Cup final, were Saturday granted bail by a court after police dropped charges under the stringent anti-terror law.

The students of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district were granted bail by the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Ganderbal, the lawyer representing the students, Shafiq Ahmad Bhat, told PTI. He said the students were released late on Saturday evening.

The lawyer said the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) charges against the students have been dropped.

“The police submitted its report in the CJM court wherein the UAPA charges were dropped,” Bhat said.

The police said the UAPA charges were dropped after a “considerate view was taken” following an undertaking by their parents.

“Under convincing undertaking by the parents of students that no harm will come to anyone else from their children, a considerate view was taken to continue the investigation in IPC offences,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, V K Birdi, told PTI.

The students were arrested after police launched an investigation into a complaint by a non-local student who alleged his college mates had harassed him and raised objectionable slogans after India lost the World Cup’s final match to Australia.

The police had booked the students under Section 13 of UAPA, which deals with the inciting or advising of any unlawful activity and is punishable with seven years’ jail.

The students were also slapped with IPC sections 505 and 506 which deal with public mischief and criminal intimidation, under which, if convicted, the jail term can go up to five years.

The booking of the students under the UAPA had evoked strong criticism from the political parties who had demanded dropping of the charges.

Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti while welcoming the dropping of the charges, said “finally good sense has prevailed”.

“Glad to know that UAPA charges against SKUAST students have been dropped. Finally good sense has prevailed & their future saved from jeopardy,” she said in a post on X.

(Courtesy:- The Tribune, 2 December 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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