Allahabad High Court
A division bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar ordered for lockdown in 5 cities of Uttar Pradesh citing the rise in Covid-19 cases and also made some strong remarks against the state government for not taking adequate preparatory steps “It is a shame that while the Government knew of the magnitude of the second wave it never planned things in advance”, the Bench said.
The order was however stayed by the Supreme Court.
2. Consider Deletion Of Condition Prohibiting Consideration Of Premature Release, If No Application/Request Presented: Allahabad HC To UP Govt. [Satyavrat Rai v. State of UP & Ors.]
A Division Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal asked the Government of Uttar Pradesh to delete a provision from its policy framed for release of life convicts. It noted that the policy dated 01st August 2018 contains a clause that prohibits the consideration of premature release, if the same is not accompanied by any application / request. “The said condition is in teeth of the statute“, observed the Court.
3. Not Reasonable To Restrain Hospital From Giving Covid Treatment, Merely On Allegation Of Charging Excessive Fees: Allahabad High Court [Medwin Hospital & Research v. State Of UP]
A Division Bench comprising of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Syed Aftab Rizvi set aside an order of the Chief Medical Officer, Varanasi, restraining a hospital from giving treatment to Covid patients, on the allegation that it realized higher amount than the prescribed amount from a Covid-19 patient.
It observed that it is not reasonable to pass such orders restraining hospitals from giving Covid treatment, especially when the State is witnessing a huge spike in Covid cases.
4. Constitution Guarantees Right To Trade, Not Profit-Allahabad High Court Dismisses Stamp Venders’ Plea Seeking Continuation Of Stamp Papers in Physical form [All UP Stamp Vendors Association v. Union of India & Ors.]
A Single Bench of Justice Yashwant Varma dismissed a writ petition filed by the All UP Stamp Vendors Association, seeking continuation of judicial and non-judicial stamp paper in its physical form. It rejected the Association’s contention that discontinuation of paper stamps by the State Government violates the constitutional protections guaranteed by Articles 19(1)(g), 21 and 38 of the Constitution.
“What the Constitution essentially guarantees is the right to engage in a profession, occupation, trade or business. It neither proffers nor holds forth a guarantee of a profit in that trade or business,” the bench observed.
Andhra Pradesh High Court
A Bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C. Praveen Kumar asked the State Government to file a comprehensive affidavit with regard to the steps taken by the State to deal with the present COVID-19 pandemic.
It has directed that the affidavit should include various facets such as: (i) Testing facilities, (ii) Time being taken for giving reports, (iii) Hospitals notified for treatment, (iv) Availability of Oxygen cylinders and (v) Remdesivir injections etc.
Bombay High Court
A division bench of Justices Sunil Sukre and SM Modak at Nagpur Bench of the High Court held an urgent night sitting on Wednesday night to ensure uninterrupted supply of Oxygen to the city hospitals.
It questioned the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for reducing the supply of oxygen to Maharashtra from the Bhilai Plant (Chhattisgarh) despite the State bearing the load of 40% Covid19 patients in India, and directed immediate restoration of supply.
It also pulled up the State Government for not complying with its earlier order directing to supply 10,000 vials of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug, to Hospitals treating Covid-19 patients in the city.
While hearing a PIL, a Bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta asked the State to apprise it about the Oxygen Gas leak tragedy in Nashik which claimed 22 lives, terming it a matter of concern. “How can this happen in a civilized society?” Justice Datta remarked.
After the hearing on the PIL was complete, the AG explained that a preliminary report sent to Chief Secretary by The Nasik Municipal Authority, says in the Dr. Zakir Hussain Hospital, the Oxygen tank was installed based on a contract to a private company, that was responsible for maintaining and filling it. He said that there seemed to be Oxygen pressure, and the leakage was found.
3. Bombay High Court Rejects Plea To Restrain Serum Institute Of India From Using ‘COVISHIELD’ Trademark [Cutis Biotech v. Serum Institute of India]
A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and CV Bhadang refused to grant interim relief to pharmaceutical company Cutis Biotech and restrain Serum Institute of India (SII) from using the trademark ‘Covishield,’ for its coronavirus vaccine. It said that the Nanded civil court’s order, refusing Cutis an injunction against Serum Institute was not “arbitrary or perverse” warranting the HC’s intervention.
The bench added that restraining SII from temporarily using the trademark would have large-scale ramifications traversing beyond the parties to the suit. “That ‘Covishield’ is a vaccine to counter Coronavirus is now widely known. A temporary injunction directing Serum Institute to discontinue the use of mark ‘Covishield’ for its vaccine will cause confusion and disruption in the Vaccine administration programme of the State,” the Court said.
4. Disclose All Assets Of Late Music Composer Wajid Khan – Bombay High Court To Mother, Brother Sajid Khan, On Widow’s Testamentary Petition [Kamalrukh Wajid Khan vs Wajid Sharafat Khan (Deceased)]
A Single Bench of Justice Gautam Patel sought a complete disclosure from the mother and brother of late Music composer Wajid Khan about all the assets owned by him, after his widow, Kamalrukh approached the HC in a testamentary petition against Sajid Khan and his mother Razia.
Wajid Sharafat Khan was a well-known music director in the Hindi film industry along with his elder brother Sajid Khan, working under the name of Sajid-Wajid for close to 20 years. Wajid was ailing since January, last year and eventually passed away on June 1, 2020, due to covid at a suburban hospital. Kamalrukh, who is a Parsi by religion, married Wajid in August 2003, and has a 16-year-old daughter and a 9-year old son from the wedlock with the late artist. She has filed a Testamentary Petition seeking probate of her late husband’s last Will of August 2012.
Calcutta High Court
1. COVID Management Amid WB Polls- “No Institution Of Governance Can Excuse Itself From Obeying Election Commission’s Orders”: Calcutta High Court [Nitish Debnath v. Election Commission of India & Ors.]
Censuring the Election Commission over its handling of West Bengal elections amid the COVID crisis, a Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee remarked that no department or institution of governance could excuse itself from obeying the commands of the Election Commission of India.
It observed, “Any restrictive governance imposed by the Election Commission of India as regards public behaviour as regards the protective protocol in relation to Covid management shall be strictly followed and abided by the people.”
2. Residential Certificate Not A Proof Of Citizenship: Calcutta High Court [In the matter of: Khadija Begam]
A Single bench comprising of Justice Bibek Chaudhari observed that residential certificate is not a proof of citizenship as the same can be obtained by any resident, being an Indian National or a foreigner, if such a person is staying at a particular place.
The observation was made while rejecting the bail application of one Khadija Begam in connection with a case registered against her in January this year under Section 14 and 14C of the Foreigners Act.
Also Read: Which Documents Prove Indian Citizenship?
Chhattisgarh High Court
1. ‘Need Concerted Action By All Stakeholders’: Chhattisgarh High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance On COVID Medical Needs [Suo Moto PIL v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.]
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu took suo moto cognizance of the tsunamic second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the inadequacy in medical infrastructure to tackle the same. It asked the State authorities about the plight of plight of patients, who were reportedly administered Oxygen support while they were lying on the hospital floor due to shortage of beds.
It has also directed the State Government to file a proper requisition through the Nodal Officer of the State to the Nodal Officer of the Railways forthwith, for allotment of the Special Medical Coaches based on the SOP issued by the Health Ministry last year.
Delhi High Court
A division bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli observed that steel and petroleum industries should divert their oxygen stock to address the medical emergency in the capital city on account of the COVID19 surge.
The bench pulled up the Central Government for providing exemption to steel and petroleum industries while banning the use of oxygen for industrial purposes. “We direct Centre to protect right to life of citizens who are seriously ill and require medical oxygen and to supply the same by whatever means it is required“, the bench observed.
A single judge bench comprising of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani held that photographs taken from Facebook and Instagram accounts uploaded on pornographic website without the consent of such person amounts to an offence under sec. 67 of the IT Act and that such an act, even if the photographs are not in itself obscene of offensive, without the consent of the party would amount to breach of person’s privacy.
It held that in such cases, the Court may in appropriate cases pass an order of injunction or restrain.
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A single judge bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri issued notice on a petition by late Bollywood actor, Sushant Singh Rajput’s father, seeking a ban on the release of any movie on the actor’s life.
Alleging the violation of right to privacy, and “passing off”, the petition states that in light of recent news articles and publications regarding movies and other ventures depicting his personal life, name/images/caricature/lifestyle/likeness in form of biopic or story, it contends that “any such publication, production, or depiction of the private life of the late actor is a blatant and willful breach of the fundamental right to privacy which includes right to publicity”. The petitioner, the late actor’s father states that the same cannot be undertaken without the prior approval of his legal heir – i.e. his own approval.
asked the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi to ensure that the migrant workers and daily wagers in the region do not undergo the sufferings they had to undergo during the lockdown in 2020. The capital state has announced a lockdown till April 26 (now extended till May 3) in the wake of COVID19 second wave.
Reminding the Delhi Government of the plight of migrants and daily wagers during the 2020 lockdown, the High Court urged it to take adequate steps to avoid the repeat of the same this year.
Gauhati High Court
1. COVID-19- Jail Inmates Not Being Vaccinated In The State Of Assam: Gauhati High Court Seeks Govt’s Response Within 3 Weeks [XXX v. State of Assam & Ors.]
A Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Kalyan Rai Surana asked the State Government to file its response within 3 weeks, on a suo moto PIL concerning the jail inmates, who are allegedly not being vaccinated in the state of Assam.
Observing that prima facie, the Assam based Writer, Sikha Sarma had expressed her personal views on the use of the term ‘Swahid/martyr’ in respect of 22 CAPF soldiers who laid their lives in action or killed on duty (during Anti-Naxal Operation in Chhattisgarh), a Single Bench of Justice Ajit Borthakur granted her bail.
It observed, “Taking note of the apprehension of threat to health of the prisoners due to the ongoing second wave of novel Covid-19 pandemic, this Court is of the considered opinion that further continuation of detention of the accused petitioner, who is a woman, may not be necessary in the interest of the ongoing investigation.”
Gujarat High Court
1. Reasonable Remdesivir Distribution Policy Needed, Sensitize & Educate Public To Break COVID Chain: Gujarat High Court To State Govt [Suo Moto v. State of Gujarat]
Hearing the suo motu proceedings initiated by it to take stock of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of Gujarat, a Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Bhargav D Karia asked the state Government to come up with Reasonable Remdesivir Distribution Policy.
The Court flagged concerns regarding the procurement, supply and distribution of Remdesivir injection apart from the protocol of its use, application, and administration. It noted that if the Government does not have any surplus or if it is unable to cater to its own in-house demand, it cannot provide it to the private sector.
2. Student Misses Exam As His ‘Mental Health Deteriorated During Lockdown’, Gujarat HC Allows Him To Take Supplementary Exam [Krishabh Kapoor v. Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat]
A Single Bench of Justice NV Anjaria allowed an Engineering student, who claimed that his mental health deteriorated during the Lockdown and thus, he failed to take the earlier semester exams due to depression, to take the supplementary exam. It observed that the petitioner is not placed in the irreversible situation and that the petition does not become meaningless.
3. Unless Self-Administered, No Vaccination Can Cure Evil Of Virus Of Commercial Mindedness Of Educational Institutions: Gujarat High Court [Jawal Suraj Chhasiya v. Dean, Surat Municipal Institute Of Medical Education And Research]
A Single Bench of Justice NV Anjaria came down upon Municipal Institute of Medical Education at Surat, for insisting on payment of late fees penalty and cheque bounce charges from a MBBS student, even though he had cleared the tuition fees and other ancillary charges. The student was even prevented from undertaking the COVID-19 duty and vaccination duty assigned to him as part of an internship, despite payment of tuition fees.
“No vaccination, unless self-administered, can work to contain the evil of virus of commercial mindedness on part of any educational institution in charging exorbitant amounts from the students under one or other head or under one or another pretext, thereby demeaning the sanctity of the very concept of the education,” the Court observed.
Jharkhand High Court
1. “Pathetic Situation In State, Non-Availability Of Remdesivir Injection, Medicines”: Jharkhand High Court Issues Directions On COVID Management [Court on its own motion v. State of Jharkhand & Ors.]
Days after it took note of the issue of non-availability of CT Scan machine in RIMS, a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad expressed concern over the manner in which the State of Jharkhand has been handling the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
The Court called it a “serious issue of concern” that while the Drug Controller submitted that Remdesivir Injection and Favipiravir Tablets were being made available to top medical shops but people were not getting them.
Karnataka High Court
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the State government to within three days set up a grievance redressal mechanism through which citizens can complain about violations of Covid-19 regulations, regarding non wearing of masks and maintaining social distance.
In its previous order the court had said, “Right to lead a healthy life is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to lead a healthy life cannot be obstructed by individuals who do not bother to follow the rules regarding masks, maintaining social distance, congregating etc.“
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj directed the Government of India to pay a sum of Rs 3 crore and the State Government to pay a sum of Rs 2 Crore to the Indira Gandhi Institute for treatment of children suffering from rare diseases called Lysosomal storage diseases (LSD’s). The court has directed both the governments to pay 50 percent of the amount to the institute by May 10.
“Suffice it to say that the families of affected children are not in position to bear minimum cost of Rs 40 lakh per year. Therefore, failure of State and Central Government to release the amount for treating the affected children will be in violation of Fundamental Right conferred under Article 21, of the children of Right To Life,” it observed.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindraj rejected two intervention applications filed by State Convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) (Karnataka) Purthvi Chintapalli seeking to stay elections which are scheduled to be held on April 27, for various municipalities.
“Firstly, we must note here that the intervener wants drastic relief of stay of election of several municipalities. We fail to understand under what law such relief can be claimed by the intervener. After March 2020, in a number of states, legislative assembly elections have been held even in the state of Karnataka elections have been held,” it observed.
4. Karnataka High Court Sets Aside Imposition Of Royalty Taxation On Google India; Asks ITAT To Consider Again [M/s Google India Pvt. Ltd. v. M/s Google Ireland Ltd. & Anr.]
In a relief to Google India Private Limited, a division bench of Jusitce Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty set aside the order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (IATA) imposing royalty taxation for ‘Adwords program’. The court has remitted the matter back to the tribunal for fresh consideration.
It allowed the appeal filed by the company and directed the parties to appear before the Tribunal on 3.5.2021. The court has requested the tribunal to make all possible endeavour to decide the matter at an earlier date.
Kerala High Court
1. ‘A Sorry Picture Of System Generated Harassment’:Kerala High Court Expresses Dismay At Delays By Central Registration Centre In Allowing Incorporation Of LLP [Kunhi Muhammed Etayattil v. Assistant Registrar of Companies]
A Single Bench of Justice N Nagaresh expressed dismay at the delays and hardships brought on by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ Central Registration System in processing applications for the incorporation of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP).
“The facts of the case disclose a sorry picture of what could be described as a ‘system generated harassment’ aggravated by non-application of mind by officials who leave everything to be dealt with by the system, thereby putting the common man to an agonising phase of suffering, where he is condemned to deal with faceless men and machines,” the Court said.
2. “Law Does Not Provide For Service Of Summons Via WhatsApp”: Kerala High Court When Keeping In Abeyance Non-Bailable Warrant Against Anoop Jacob [Anoop Jacob v. State of Kerala]
While keeping in abeyance a non-bailable arrest warrant issued by the Special court for Cases Relating to MPs and MLAs against Kerala Member of Legislative Assembly Anoop Jacob, a Single Bench of Justice VG Arun held that a summons over WhatsApp was not an accepted mode of serving a summons.
The legislator was issued a non-bailable warrant after he failed to present himself before the court in response to its summons over WhatsApp. He asserted that he never received the summons, which had been sent over WhatsApp, an application that he had not downloaded on his phone.
A Division Bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Dr Kauser Edappagath held that recovery proceedings instituted under Section 20 of the Domestic Violence Act would not operate as a bar on a Family Court adjudication of the matter. It ruled that proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act were ancillary to the main inquiry of whether the woman faced domestic violence in the home.
A division bench comprising Justices PB Suresh Kumar and K Babu dismissed the writ petition filed by former Minister for Higher Education and Minority Welfare KT Jaleel, challenging a report of the Kerala Lok Ayukta which had found him guilty of nepotism and favouritism.
It affirmed the Lok Ayukta report, stating that Jaleel had not made out any ground for interference in the final opinion formulated by the Lok Ayukta in this proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution. Finding that the Lok Ayukta had acted within the scope of its powers when it arrived at its conclusion, the Court emphasized that only errors of fact which had a direct nexus with the decision-making process could be interfered with, rather than an error that affected the merit.
Madhya Pradesh High Court
1. COVID-19 “No Popular Government Can Afford To Negate The Basic Human Right To Health”: MP High Court Issues Slew Of Directions [PC Sharma v. Union of India & Ors.]
Referring to various Supreme Court judgments which have interpreted Article 21 of the Constitution of India so as to expand the meaning of the right to life to also include the right to health, a Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Atul Sreedharan issued a slew of directions to the State Government to control the Covid crisis.
It remarked, “The right to health can be secured to the citizens only if the State provides adequate measures for their treatment, healthcare and takes their care by protecting them from calamities like Coronavirus.”
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Madras High Court
Observing that it was necessary to monitor the steps taken by the Government in Puducherry to deal with the current crisis, a Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy asked the Chief Secretary to the Union Territory to file a report regarding the availability of Remdesivir, Oxygen Cylinders, Doses Of Vaccine, Ventilators etc.
“The Court has made an appeal to the Union to consider how the less-privileged and, particularly those who have been rendered without basic resources or jobs in the wake of the lockdown of last year, may be able to afford vaccination at such high cost. It is hoped that appropriate steps would be taken to take care of the lowest denominations,” the Bench further said.
2. Madras High Court Rejects PIL Challenging Use Of ‘Derogatory Terminologies’ (Divyang/Divyangjan) For Persons With Disabilities [M. Karpagam v. Chief Commissioner & Ors.]
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy disposed of a PIL without giving any directions/relief which sought removal of the ‘derogatory terminologies’ (divyang/divyangjan) or ‘mental retardation’ or any such terminologies from use in all legislation, policies, government regulations and government websites and from public discourse.
“The greater emphasis should be on the effective measures adopted by the State rather than following the fad of political correctness as to the expressions used to describe them,” it observed.
While refusing to suspend the sentence awarded to a couple convicted for the offence under Section 498-A of IPC, a Bench Justice P. Velmurugan observed that the first and foremost responsibility of the parents is to groom their children as responsible citizens.
It noted that the incidents of women committing suicide are rising day by day (due to dowry harassment), and the in-laws of the victim woman are escaping from their liability saying that they are not living with their son. However, the Court noted that despite living separately, they are inducing their son for getting dowry, by way of, money, jewels, two-wheeler, car etc.
Manipur High Court
1. “Principle Of Non Refoulement Where Refugees Are Liable To Be Subjected To Persecution Can Prima Facie Be Read Into Article 21”: Manipur High Court [Nandita Haksar v. State of Manipur & Ors.]
While allowing the interim relief of arranging safe transport and passage of 7 Myanmarese individuals to Imphal, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir observed that the principle of non-Refoulement can prima facie be read within the ambit of Article 21 of the Constitution.
The Court observed “The principle againstrefoulement, i.e., the forcible return of refugees to a country where they are liable to be subjected to persecution, can prima facie be read into Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.”
Orissa High Court
1. Man Spends 18 Yrs In Jail: Orissa High Court Orders De-nove Trial [Habil Sindhu v. State of Odisha]
Disposing of an appeal and setting aside the conviction and sentence of an appellant who spent 18 Years in Jail, a Bench of Justice SK Mishra and Justic Savitri Ratho remitted the matter back to the Sessions Court for de-nove trial.
The Bench was hearing the appeal filed by one Habil Sindhu assailing his conviction under Section 302/201 of the IPC. At the outset, the Bench noted that the appellant was not given proper legal assistance as enshrined under Article 39-A of the Constitution in the true sense.
2. “It Is Inexplicable That In A Democracy Manual Scavengers Sacrifice Their Lives For Better Health Of Their Fellow Beings”: Orissa HC Orders 10L Compensation To Sanitation Workers’ Family Who Lost Life [In Re: Deaths of Sanitation Workers]
It is inexplicable that a democratic country governed by the Constitution, the Preamble to which assures to all Indians social justice, equality of status and of opportunity, fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual, should witness, and condone, in the 21st century, the deplorable practice of making humans enter sewer lines and septic tanks that require cleaning, without protective gear, and in that process sacrifice their lives for the better health of their fellow beings, observed a Division Bench compromising of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray in a suo moto case pertaining to the tragic death of two young men in Cuttack, during manual scavenging on April 15.
It directed the concerned State authorities to pay a compensation of Rs.10 lakhs each is disbursed forthwith to the family of each of the sanitation workers who died in the aforementioned tragic incidents. The Court has also ordered a probe into the incident and institution of relevant criminal proceedings as per the law.
Patna High Court
1. Patna High Court Orders To Create Dedicated Covid Complaint Email ID For Private Hospitals Facing Oxygen Shortage Due To State’s Inaction [Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India & Ors.]
“Refusal of admission of COVID patients by any hospital because of absence of oxygen is a serious matter and is likely to be fatal,” a Division Bench comprising of Justices SC Singh and Mohit Kumar Shah expressed. To prevent the same, it ordered for setting up a dedicated “Covid-complaint” email at the High Court.
The Bench directed that if any Dedicated COVID Hospital (private) has a grievance that it is not getting supply of oxygen because of reasons attributable to the State administration, as per its requirement, such hospital shall be at liberty to inform, through the registered/official email ID of the hospital, the learned Registrar General of the High Court on his email ID i.e., email@example.com.
2. Oxygen Shortage: Patna High Court Directs Govt To Submit Plan Of Action; Seeks Report On Availability Of ICU Beds, Ventilators [Shivani Kaushik v. Union of India & Ors.]
A Division Bench of Justices CS Singh and Mohit Kumar Shah took serious note of the paucity of oxygen in the State, which is an essential medical requirement for treatment of COVID-19 patients. It therefore issued directions to the State authorities to present a vivid picture of availability and the mode and manner in which the State-Respondents have planned to supply oxygen to different Hospitals.
Calling the situation to be horrific, the Division Bench has directed the Additional Solicitor General for India to seek instructions from the Central Government as to what immediate and effective steps can be taken to ensure proper and effective supply of oxygen to various hospitals in the State of Bihar.
Punjab & Haryana High Court
1. [Covid-19] Wearing Mask Casually Leaving Mouth/Nose Exposed To Be Treated On Same Footing As Not Wearing Mask, Liable To Same Punitive Action: Punjab & Haryana HC [Rishi v. State of Haryana & Ors.]
While disposing of the petition highlighting the grim situation of covid 19 pandemic, a division bench comprising of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh ordered that the States of Punjab, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh shall depute officials of the municipal bodies or health authorities for ensuring that mask etiquettes are followed by the general public and that the States shall promptly redress grievances on the designated helpline numbers.
It went ahead to order that the persons wearing their masks casually leaving their mouth or nose exposed will be treated on “equal footing as those not wearing the mask at all.”
2. ‘Blemished Investigation With Political Maneuvering’: Punjab & Haryana High Orders Re-Investigation In Kotkapura Firing Case [Gurdeep Singh v. State of Punjab & Ors.]
Tearing into the “blemished” and “impartial” investigation conducted by former IGP of Punjab Police, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has given a clean chit to former CM Parkash Singh Badal in the Kotkapura Firing Case.
A Single Bench of Justice Rajbir Sehrawat noted that the Police firing was neither unprovoked nor intended against peaceful protestors, as otherwise claimed by Singh in his challan report. It further noted that the firing order was passed by the magistrate present on the spot, only after assessing the situation that had arisen on the spot.
Sikkim High Court
Dealing with a case related to a 14-year-old girl who is missing since June 2013, a Bench of Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai directed the State Government and Director General to come up with an SOP in the matter of missing persons including children.
It further directed that the SOP should contain the course of action required to be followed by the Investigating Officers and their team and if violated, responsibility must be fixed on such Investigating Officers.
Telangana High Court
1. Contempt Of Court-“Serve Iftaar Food On A Daily Basis To Avoid Penalty”, Telangana High Court Directs Govt. Officer [Syed Yasin Quereshi v. Jaripete Ramesh]
A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy directed a Government officer to feed at least 20 people during the Iftar period, on a daily basis for a period of one week so as to avoid penalty imposed on him in contempt of a court case.
The Court was hearing a contempt appeal filed by an Excise Deputy Commissioner, Syed Yasin Quereshi. The Contempt appeal was directed against an order dated 20th January 2021 passed by the Single Judge holding the appellant guilty of contempt of court in view of disobedience of the order dated 24th August 2020 passed in W.P.No.13580 of 2020.
Tripura High Court
1. Mere Statement That Complainant’s Political Support Encouraged A Person To Get Involved In Immoral Activities Won’t Be Defamation: Tripura HC [Subal Kumar v. Gora Chakraborty & Anr.]
A Bench of Justice Arindam Lodh ruled that mere statement that a person was providing political support to some person which encouraged him to get involved in immoral activities won’t come within the scope and ambit of Section 499 IPC.
It further held that such a statement cannot be said to be defamatory or derogatory by any sort of imagination as contemplated under Section 499 of IPC.
Uttarakhand High Court
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma issued a slew of directions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the state and to strengthen the existing medical infrastructure to battle the impending cases. This includes a direction to the State to regulate the forthcoming Char Dham Yatra in the pilgrim cities.
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