1. Consider Vaccinating Students Appearing For Board Exams Against COVID19 : Allahabad High Court [In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…]
In a suo moto action taken in view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a division bench of Justice Siddhartha Verma and Ajit Kumar directed the Central Government and Indian Counsel for Medical Research to consider giving vaccination to students pursing higher education and giving board examinations.
“Central Government and Indian Counsel for Medical Research must rethink for extending the benefit of vaccination to students pursuing higher education and those appearing in Board examination of high school and intermediate looking to the large scale infection in population of younger generation. If the Board and other examination conducting bodies are going for offline examination then government must explore viability to extend benefit of vaccination to such students as well”, the Court observed.
An urgent application has been moved by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Varanasi before the Allahabad High Court in the title dispute concerning Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Gyanvapi Mosque case stating that the Civil Judge acted in the “most arbitrary manner” while passing the order to allow the Archaeological Survey of India for undertaking a survey at the disputed site.
The application prays for staying the effect and operation of the impugned order dated 8th April 2021.
3. Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea Against Delegating Powers Of Chief Justice ‘s Power To Senior Judges In His Absence [Ashok Pandey v. Allahabad High Court & Anr.]
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saroj Yadav dismissed a petition against delegating the power of Chief Justice (Master of Roster) to Senior Judges in his absence. It said that the petition, on the face appears to be “fundamentally misconceived”.
The PIL, filed by one Ashok Pandey, sought directions for not giving effect to provisions contained in Chapter V Rule 9 of the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952. The said provision prescribes for appointment of Senior Judges at Allahabad and Lucknow to exercise jurisdiction at their respective places in connection with arrangement of Benches, listing of cases and like other matters.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice JJ Munir observed that an externment order is a “serious inroad on citizen’s liberty” and that the innate declaration that a person is a “goonda” is “irreversibly ruinous of his reputation.”
Through its order, the bench set aside orders made by the District Magistrate externing the petitioner under sec. 3(3) of the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act, 1970 along with an appellate approval order for the reason that they did not disclose “general nature of material allegations” against him within the mandate of the Act.
Bombay High Court
1. Second Covid Wave: Bombay HC Directs Installation Of CCTV Cameras In All Institutional Quarantined Centres In Nagpur [Court on its own motion v. Union of India & Ors.]
A division bench comprising of Justice Sunil B Shukre and Justice Avinash G Gharote directed the Collector of Nagpur, Commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation and other heads to “prepare proposals for installing CCTV cameras in the corridors of all institutional quarantine centres” and where the corridors are not available, at suitable places, for having “electronic surveillance” in order to check the movements of quarantined patients in and out of the rooms at the State’s expenses. The Court gave a time of 10 days from the passing of the said order for sending names to the State or Central Government and to place the copy of the proposal on record.
2. “Can’t Consider Delhi HC’s Order As A Precedent”: Bombay High Court Refuses To Allow Ramadan Prayers In Juma Masjid Mosque [Juma Masjid of Bombay Trust v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.]
A division of Justices RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht refused to allow the Juma Masjid mosque in Mumbai to open up for prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, in view of the ongoing critical covid situation in the State. It dismissed a petition filed by the Juma Masjid of Bombay Trust, seeking directions for merely 50 people to pray five times Namaaz and Taraweeh on the one-acre plot, near Crawford Market in South Mumbai.
The Bench observed that the Delhi High Court’s order of April 12 2021, in Delhi Waqf Board v/s. Government of NCT of Delhi and Anr. could not be considered as a precedent, as the Union had consented to prayers in Delhi mosque.
3. “Just Because Wife Died In Matrimonial House Within Two Months Of Marriage, Entire Family Cannot Be Stigmatized For Serious Offence Of Murder”: Bombay HC [Sachin Ramchandra Teke v. State of Maharashtra]
A division bench comprising of Justice NR Borkar and Justice Sadhana S Jadhav acquitted husband and in laws of a deceased wife who committed suicide within two months of marriage after observing that just because the wife died in the matrimonial house within a period of two months, the entire family cannot be stigmatized as having committed offences as serious as offence under sec. 302 of Indian Penal Code providing for the punishment for murder.
The High Court was of the view that the marriage was hurriedly effected by the parents of deceased wife since they found a suitable match for their daughter thereby going against her wishes and will of continuing her education. The Court also opined that the suicide was committed in a “state of stress”.
Calcutta High Court
A Division of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee issued directions to the District Magistrate of all districts and Chief Election Officer, West Bengal, to ensure that COVID guidelines for conducting elections are implemented in a strict manner in wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the State.
Noting that the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India and Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, “need to be implemented in the strictest manner possible”, the Court has directed the Administration to ensure the same. Further, the Court has directed that stringent measures must be taken “against persons who fail, neglect or refuse to obey the COVID protocols”.
2. Calcutta HC Sets Aside Single Judge’s Order Reviving Criminal Proceedings Against Anisur Rehman, Remands Back Matter [Anisur Rehman v. Jahar Sha & Ors.]
A Division Bench of CJ Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee set aside an order of a Single Judge reviving criminal proceedings against erstwhile West Bengal BJP leader Anisur Rehman without granting him an opportunity of being heard and remanded the matter back for being considered afresh.
Rehman was arrested in the October 2019 murder of Trinamool Congress functionary Kurban Shah. Rehman had defected to the BJP from the TMC ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Reportedly, Rehman had recently announced his decision to quit the BJP and ally with the Trinamul again.
3. After Arbitral Award Is Set Aside, Can The Court Appoint A New Arbitrator With Parties’ Assent? Yes, Rules Calcutta High Court [Jagdish Kishinchand Valecha v Srei Equipment Finance Limited & Anr.]
The Calcutta High Court was recently called to decide whether a Court can appoint an Arbitrator different to the one who has passed the award challenged when the award-debtor and the award-holder both desired it. Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya, after holding that the arbitral award under challenge was liable to be set aside, drew from the emphasis of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (the Act) upon the autonomy of parties to find that a different arbitrator could be appointed.
Drawing from Section 43(4) of the Act which recognises that all redressal-doors were to be kept open and from Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, which encourages the Court to participate in the formulation of the settlement terms, the Court said, “The above provisions have been highlighted as enablers for the Court to chart the future course of action where parties consent to a particular way forward. The basic premise is that the parties who have come to the Court cannot be without a remedy when they have agreed that the matter should go before a different Arbitrator. The 1996 Act does not curtail the power of a Court to mould the relief in fit cases provided the relief is not repugnant to the law as existing on that date.”
Chhattisgarh High Court
1. Chhattisgarh High Court Quashes FIRs Against BJP Leaders Sambit Patra, Tajinder Bagga For Alleged Defamation Of Congress [Dr. Sambit Patra v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]
A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay K. Agrawal quashed the FIRs registered against BJP National Spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra and Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.
The FIRs against Sambit Patra was lodged after a complaint about his tweet about Congress Party and for making derogatory remarks against Congress party and its leaders. FIR against Bagga was in relation to complaint about making defamatory statement in Twitter against former PMs Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi. Two FIRs were lodged against Patra, one under Sections 499, 500, 501 & 505(1) of the IPC and another under Sections 298, 153A & 505(2) of the IPC. FIR against Bagga was under Sections 153A, 505 of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Delhi High Court
A Single Judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta permitted upto 50 persons to offer namaz 5 times a day in Bangley Wali Masjid of Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, which was shut since Mar 23 last year due to several FIRs against a Tablighi Jamat congregation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The order has been passed on a plea moved by the Delhi Waqf Board seeking permission for performance of prayers during the month of Ramdan. Until now, only 5 persons were permitted per day to offer prayers in the masjid.
While passing the order the Court directed that the Standard Operating Protocol of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority dated Apr 10 would have to be abided by.
Hearing a final year law student of Campus Law Centre, New Delhi who approached court seeking door-to-door Covid-19 vaccination, the Delhi High Court asked the student if his institution was not keeping him busy enough, when the petitioner was unable to present the court with data on the issue as enquired during the hearing.
The court said, “It seems Campus Law Centre is not keeping you busy, without going through the whole facts, you have filed a PIL?” The matter was listed before the Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, however was heard by Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal in the former bench’s absence.
Responding to a plea by Delhi-riots accused JNU students Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita, a single judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh of the Delhi High Court today directed the counsel for the Delhi government to seek instructions on prayers for computer, internet facility with limited website access, and physical meeting of under-trial prisoners with their friends and family.
The court said that in a previous hearing of the case, it had directed the government to file a status report, on certain prayers raised by the petitioner in respect of “physical mulaqat”, video conferencing and internet facilities – which was filed by the government. In this regard, certain issues were highlighted by Kalita and Narwal during the course of the hearing today, upon which the court directed the government counsel to seek further instructions. The court also made its own observations.
4. Delhi High Court Rejects Bail Plea Of Delhi Riots Accused Shahrukh Pathan – Accused Of Firing Shots At A Head Constable [Shahrukh Pathan alias Khan v The State of NCT of Delhi]
A single judge bench of Justice Suresh Kait rejected the bail application of a Delhi riots-accused, Shahrukh Pathan Khan, who faces charges of firing shots at a Head Constable of the Delhi Police in Jaffarabad in the Delhi Riots 2020 violence.
Placing reliance upon the video footages produced by the police as evidence, the court said, “The video clipping and pictures played before this Court have shaken the conscience of this Court how petitioner could take law and order in his hands.“
It further said that regardless of his intention to kill the complainant or any person present in the public with his open air pistol shots, it was “hard to believe that he had no knowledge that his act may harm anyone present at the spot.“
Gauhati High Court
A Division Bench comprising of Justices Suman Shyam and Mir Alfaz Ali dismissed the State appeal filed against the order of a Special NIA Court that granted bail to activist Akhil Gogoi last year, in connection with a case of rioting. The Bench made it clear that mere that to attract the offences punishable under the Unlawful Assemblies (Prevention) Act, 1967— the act complained of must be a “terrorist act” committed with the intention to threaten the integrity, sovereignty of India, etc.
It further held that merely causing civil disturbances, without the element of intention to cause ‘terrorist act’ would not fall within the ambit of unlawful activity under section 2(1)(o) of the UAPA Act.
2. ‘Questions About Citizenship Should Be Adjudicated On Merits Hearing Person Concerned’: Gauhati HC Sets Aside Ex-Parte Order Which Declared A Woman Foreigner [Rahima Khatun v. Union of India & Ors.]
Observing that citizenship is one of the most important rights of a person, a division bench comprising of Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Soumitra Saikia said that any question arising about the citizenship of a person must be adjudicated on the basis of merits on hearing the person concerned.
“It is to be remembered that citizenship is one of the most important rights of a person. By virtue of citizenship, one becomes a member of a sovereign country and becomes entitled to various rights and privileges granted by law in the country and, as such, if any question arises about citizenship of a person, in our opinion, the same should be adjudicated as far as possible on the basis of merit and on hearing the person concerned,” the Bench observed.
Gujarat High Court
Stressing the need for transparency in the publication of testing data and availability of amenities in relation to COVID-19, a Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Kania underscored that transparent and honest dialogue by the State would generate trust amongst general public.
In six important directions, the Gujarat High Court has called upon the state to reveal essential data relating to the COVID-19 situation in the state and for a transparent dialogue with the public to foster trust. The order comes in a suo moto case initiated by it to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the State.
Himachal Pradesh High Court
1. Journalist’s Disorderly Conduct Causes Irreparable Damage To Journalism, High Time That Govt. Reviews List Of Accreditations: HP High Court [Vijay Gupta v. State of Himachal Pradesh]
A Bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan opined that because of mushroom growth of journalist and the cut-throat competition amongst the journalists themselves, their standards are declining leading to the decline of the institution of Journalism.
It was hearing the plea of an Editor of the Hindi Weekly namely ‘Him Ujala’ who submitted before the Court that despite working as a Journalist for more than 13 years and winning many awards, his accreditation had been cancelled only on the ground that there are certain FIRs pending against him.
Jharkhand High Court
1. “State Heading Towards Health Emergency, Non Availability Of CT Scan Machine A Matter Of Serious Concern”: Jharkhand HC Seeks Response Of State Authorities [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]
While hearing a bunch of petitions highlighting the shortage of testing facilities, beds, medical facilities and failure of state machinery to cater the need of patients in the difficult times of pandemic, the Jharkhand High Court this week took note of the issue of non availability of CT Scan machine in RIMS, the sole premier institute in the State by calling the same as “a matter of serious concern.”
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad sought response of Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department of the State to apprise the Court about the update of purchasing CT Scan machine and also asked the Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi and Ranchi Municipal Corporation to apprise the Court as to how to make operational the Electric Crematorium constructed near Swarna Rekha River on the next date of hearing.
Karnataka High Court
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj said it is the duty of the Members of the Bar, to ensure that functioning of the court is not affected in any manner. If the said functioning is affected it is the common man who suffers.
It was hearing the suo-motu contempt proceedings initiated against officer bearers of Bar Associations in the state who gave a call to its members for abstaining from court work. The Court has directed them to file a statement on oath tendering apology and giving undertaking that they would not violate the law laid down by Apex court, by April 22.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the state government to respond to a public interest litigation filed seeking directions to frame statutory rules to prevent publishing by of indecent, obscene, violent, sexual video, audio and images and its graphic effects by media houses and to make any such publication as cognizable offence.
The petition has been filed in the backdrop of the Ramesh Jarkiholi CD scandal, in which certain news channels telecasted visuals allegedly involving a state minister. The plea also seeks directions to the respondent police not to leak such video clips and other incriminating material collected in the course of the investigation of any case to the digital media.
Kerala High Court
1. Rajya Sabha Elections For Kerala Seats Must Be Held During Present Assembly Term : High Court Directs ECI [Kerala Legislative Assembly v. Election Commission of India]
A single bench of Justice PV Asha directed the Election Commission of India to hold elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Kerala during the term of the present assembly. It directed the elections to the three seats, which are falling vacant on April 21, to be held before May 2, the date of results of the recently held assembly elections.
The Court passed the order allowing two petitions filed by the Secretary of the Kerala Legislative Assembly and CPIM leader S Sharma, challenging the decision of the ECI to defer the elections which were originally proposed on April 12.
2. [Bonacaud Kurishumala] No Religious Community Has An Unbridled Right To Conduct Pilgrimage Inside A Reserve Forest Land: Kerala High Court [Sukumaran Kani & Anr. v. State of Kerala & Ors.]
A Bench comprising of Justice N Nagaresh emphasized that no religious community had a right to conduct pilgrimage inside reserved forest land. No religious community has an unbridled right to conduct pilgrimage to any place inside a Reserve Forest land. If any group of people forcibly enter any Reserve Forest Area and construct any structures unauthorisedly, such structures are liable to be removed by the Forest Authorities in accordance with law,” it held.
The Court made the observation when disposing of a batch of petitions relating to the Bonacaud Kurishumala, which is part of the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary in Vithura, Thiruvananthapuram.
A Bench of Justice PB Suresh Kumar referred the question of whether the clearance of a Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (Standing Committee) for mining projects within 10 kilometres from the National Parks was necessary for the purpose of obtaining an environmental clearance.
4. Kerala High Court Directs State Government To Ensure Packaged Drinking Water, Ice Bars Meet Standards Prescribed Under Law [Human Rights Mission v. Director, Kerala State Ground Water Department]
A Bench of Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly closed Public Interest Litigation from 2014, which alleged the existence of unauthorised packaged drinking water units that bottled water and distributed ice bars without the required quality markers or licences.
It directed the State Government to ensure that manufacturing units operated in line with statutory prescriptions. The Bench additionally urged the concerned statutory bodies to undertake periodical inspections to ensure units functioned after receiving the required consent/permit/licence.
While upholding the validity of the extra judicial modes of divorce for women, the Kerala High Court recently issued directions to Family Courts on the course to follow while adjudicating cases that involved these methods. Pointing out that the there is no difficulty for the Family Court to endorse an extra-judicial divorce to declare the matrimonial status of a person a bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and CS Dias issued directions on the subject.
The Court directed that in the matter of talaq, khula, mubaraat, talaq-e-tafwiz, the Family Courts shall entertain such applications moved by either of the parties or both parties to declare the marital status of such parties. Where unilateral modes of dissolution such as khula and talaq, the Court stated that the scope of inquiry before the Family Courts would be limited. In such proceedings, the High Court insisted that the court record the khula or talaq to declare the marital status of the parties after due notice to other party.
6. Kerala High Court Quashes Kerala Police FIRs Against Enforcement Directorate [P. Radhakrishnan v. State of Kerala & Ors.]
A Single Bench of Justice VG Arun quashed the two FIRs registered by the Kerala Police Crime Branch against “unnamed officials” of the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly coercing the accused in the gold smuggling case to give false incriminating statements implicate Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state functionaries.
It held that the bar under Section 195(1)(b) of the CrPC was attracted in the case against the FIRs. As per Section 195(1)(b) CrPC, the cognizance of an offecne relating to fabrication of evidence in a matter pending before court can be taken only on the basis of a complaint filed by that Court.
7. Motor Accident Compensation Can’t Be Reduced Saying Pillion Rider Didn’t Wear Helmet; Not Contributory Negligence : Kerala High Court [Kadeeja Musaliyar & Ors. v. Riyas Manakadavan & Ors.]
The Kerala High Court was recently faced with an interesting question of law when deciding appeals against a Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal Order – whether the Tribunal could reduce the compensation payable on a motorcycle accident if the deceased pillion rider rode without a helmet.
The Tribunal, when allowing a family of a person in a motor cycle accident to claim compensation, reduced the quantum of compensation citing that the deceased (who was riding pillion) was not wearing a helmet. Applying the principle of contributory negligence, the Tribunal modified the compensation.
The family of the deceased moved the High Court and the Court was required to decide whether the principle of contributory negligence could be applied to such cases.
Referring to Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act that made the non-wearing of a helmet an offence, the Court underscored the need for a connection between the violation of the helmet rule and the accident or consequences of the accident for the principle of contributory negligence to apply.
8. Women Can’t Be Denied Employment Saying Work Involves Night Hours :Kerala HC Quashes ‘Only Males Can Apply’ Condition [Treasa Josfine v. State Of Kerala]
A Single Bench of Justice Anu Sivaraman observed that a woman who is fully qualified cannot be denied of her right to be considered for employment on the ground that she is a woman and because the nature of the employment would require her to work during night hours. Protective provisions cannot stand in the way of a woman being considered for employment for which she is otherwise eligible, it observed.
The court set aside an embargo contained in a job notification issued by Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited which allowed only male candidates to apply for the post. The court said that the said embargo is violative of the provisions of Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
Manipur High Court
1. Manipur High Court Declares Election Of Congress Leader As Member Of State Assembly Null And Void For Non Disclosure Of Information In Election Affidavit [Yumkham Erabot Singh v. Okram Henry Singh & Anr.]
A single bench comprising of Justice MV Muralidaran declared as null and void the election of Congress leader Okram Henry Singh as a member of State Assembly (Wangkhei Assembly Constituency) in 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly after observing that failure to disclose name of the spouse and his dependents, details of pending criminal cases and educational qualification would constitute a corrupt practice falling within the meaning of ‘undue influence’ under sec. 123(2) of Representative of People Act, 1951.
It was dealing with an election petition filed by Yumkham Erabot Singh under sec. 100(1)(d) and (iv) of the Act seeking declaration of Henry Singh’s election as null and void and to declare himself as the returned candidate for the said election. Moreover, the petitioner also sought initiation of criminal proceedings against him under sec. 125A and 127 of the Act.
Orissa High Court
1. Not Even A Single Person From Vulnerable Categories Should Be Left Out Of Either National Food Security Act Or SFSS: Orissa High Court [Prafulla Samantara v. State of Odisha]
Expressing dissatisfaction with the State Government’s submission that that it has already covered 80% of the population under the targeted public distribution system (PDS), a division bench of Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray observed, “There cannot be any persons belonging to vulnerable categories in Odisha who are left out of either the NFSA (National Food Security Act) or the SFSS (State Food Security Scheme). A constant endeavor must be made to increase the coverage with every passing month.”
Importantly, the Court said, “It is not sufficient to state that the government has already covered 80 pc of the population under the PDS.”
Patna High Court
1. DJ Selection- Subordinate Judicial Officer Cannot Claim The Stream Of Advocate Against Quota For Direct Recruitment From Bar: Patna High Court [Sunil Kumar Verma v. State of Bihar & Ors.]
A division bench comprising of Justice Shivaji Pandey and Justice Partha Sarthy held that judicial officers, who opted to be appointed in subordinate judicial services cannot stake claim of “past experience” of being an advocate for being promoted to direct recruitment from the Bar as a District Judge (Entry Level). It observed that a candidate sitting for direct recruitment examination from the Bar has to remain an advocate with 7 years of experience not only at the time of cut off date but also at the stage of his appointment.
The observation came while the Court dismissed a petition filed by one Sunil Kumar Verma who cleared all the three stages of District Judge (Entry Level) Direct Recruitment from Bar examination having 7 years of experience as an advocate. However, simultaneously he also cleared UP Judicial Services (Junior Division) before his appointment as an Additional Sessions Judge for which a resignation was tendered which was accepted. Later, he was appointed as Additional Sessions Judge in Begusarai.
2. Trial Judge Refers To Sanskrit Shloka, Jagjit Singh Ghazal While Awarding Sentence; Patna HC Says Judge Needs Training [Deepak Mahto v. State of Bihar]
Observing that a Trial Court Judge referred to Sanskrit shloka and ghazals of Late Jagjit Singh while awarding sentence to a man convicted under the POCSO Act, a single judge bench of Justice Birendra Kumar observed that the trial judge “needs special training at the Judicial Academy.” The Court set aside the sentence observing that the evidence brought out in the trial did not disclose the commission of any offence.
It observed that a trial judge, having the power to award a death sentence, must have correct knowledge of legal principles and zeal while exercising “the most onerous responsibility of taking decision on the life and liberty of person”.
3. “No Information Available To Public”: Patna HC Directs State To Ensure Public Briefing Everyday Disclosing Cogent Covid Related Information To Public [Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India]
While observing that the people at large do not have the requisite information about availability of covid related facilities, the Patna High Court this week directed Principal Secretary of the State Health Department to bring such information in public domain through media and ensure that “at-least once every day at a fixed time, a press briefing on behalf of the Government is made disclosing facts, illustratively, the number of COVID cases, the infrastructure which are available at various places in the State to admit and treat COVID patients and other cogent information which are required to be disseminated to the general public in public interest.”
A division bench comprising of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Justice Mohit Kumar Shah was dealing with a bunch of petitions filed in view of the alarming surge in covid 19 cases in the State of Bihar touching upon the issue of lack of facilities and healthcare system to meet the challenges arising out of the second covid wave.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
1. “A Day Dreamer’s Fantasy”: Punjab And Haryana High Court Dismisses Lawyer’s Plea Seeking Action Against Prince Harry For Breach Of Promise To Marry Her [Palwinder Kaur v. Prince Harry Middleton & Ors.]
A Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan dismissed a petition filed by a Lawyer seeking action against Prince Harry of the British royal family for allegedly breaking a promise for marriage. The petitioner also prayed that arrest warrants be issued against him so that no further delay occur in their marriage.
On a Court query from the Court, whether the petitioner has ever travelled to United Kingdom, reply was in negative and the petitioner only stated that she had conversation through social media, where she has even sent messages to Prince Charles that his son Prince Harry is engaged with her.
Uttarakhand High Court
1. Uttarakhand Forest Fire: High Court Asks State To Fill All Vacancies In Forest Department Within 6 Months [In Re, In the matter of, “Protection of Forest Area, Forest Wealth and Wild Life due to devastation from the extensive forest fires in the State of Uttarakhand”]
“For, until and unless sufficient manpower and physical infrastructure are not provided to the Forest Department, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the Forest Department, to carry out its functions,” a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma observed.
It has asked the State Government to take steps for filling up vacancies in its Forest Department, preferably within six months. The directions come during the ongoing forest fire raging in the Districts of Nainital, Champawat, and Udham Singh Nagar districts.
2. Police Personnel Cannot Be Appointed As Jail Superintendents: Uttarakhand High Court [Sanjeev Kumar Akash v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors.]
In a significant judgment relating to prisoners’ right, a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma held that Police personnel cannot be appointed as Jail Superintendents.
It held that the purpose of Police is very different from that of Jail Superintendents and as a natural corollary, their trainings and psyche are poles apart. Hence, the former cannot possess the position of the latter.