Legal Funda

Thursday, 29 November 2018

A Law Intern Found Dead After Filing Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Senior Lawyers.

November 29, 2018

A law intern in Banglore was recently found dead. Curiously, the law intern had filed a sexual harassment complaint with Commercial Street police station just days before she was found dead. The intern was from Andaman & Nicobar Islands and had traveled to Bangalore.
A law intern found dead after filing sexual harassment complaint against senior lawyers


Times Of India report, she was assigned to work with an advocate named Chandra Naik T, who introduced her to another advocate called Chetan Desai, a pleader with Karnataka High Court.

She also alleged that the two advocates “used to take her to pubs and bars and force her to consume alcohol. They would then touch her inappropriately and sexually harass her.”.

She had then filed a sexual harassment complaint against those advocates with the Commercial Street police station on 20th November.  However, she was found dead on Saturday, November 24, under mysterious circumstances at her PG in Malleswaram. The matter is now under investigation. 

Death Penalty is a Valid in Law, held Supreme Court in its 2:1 Ruling

November 29, 2018

The Hon'ble Supreme Court, by 2:1 majority, upheld the validity of death sentence in the statute book on Wednesday.


Supreme Court held Death Penalty is Valid in law



On Wednesday, a three-judge bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, Deepak Gupta, and Hemant Gupta, ruled upon the validity of the highest punishment under the penal law in India while dealing with a case of a death sentence.


Justice Kurian Joseph, the most senior judge on the bench, cited the 262nd Law Commission's report to state that death penalty has failed to prove a deterrent for crimes in the society. 


He ruled that trials are usually subject to public opinion and collective demand and that investigating agencies mount pressure on the courts by invoking passions and public sentiments.


But the other two judges in the bench dissented with their senior colleague. 


Justice Deepak Gupta, reading out the majority opinion on this point, held that death penalty is a valid punishment and in view of the Supreme Court's rulings in Bachan Singh and Machhi Singh in 1980s, there is no need to debate the correctness of the capital punishment.


However, in the case concerned, the three judges were unanimous when they commuted the death penalty of convict Chhannu Lal Verma to life term. 


Chhannu Lal Verma was convicted of killing three persons in 2011. The Apex court on Wednesday noted that there was no evidence to show he was beyond reformation and that life term will prove to be an inadequate punishment for his crime.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Supreme Court found Navjot Singh Sidhu not guilty for Culpable Homocide not amounting to murder in 1988 road rage case

May 15, 2018
Supreme Court of India on 15.05.2018 acquitted ex-cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu from the charge of Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder (U/S304 of IPC) in the 1998 road rage Case. But the Hon’ble Bench found him guilty for an offense under Section 323 IPC (voluntarily causing hurt) and sentenced him with a fine of Rs. 1000 only. His co-accused Rupinder Singh Sandhu has been acquitted of all the charges.

A bench headed by Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul had pronounced the judgment on an appeal filed by Navjot Singh Sidhu against a December 2006 Punjab and Haryana High Court decision convicting and sentencing him three years in jail in a road rage case.

"The net result of all the above discussion is that the first accused cannot be held to be responsible for causing the death of Gurnam Singh. Therefore, the judgment under appeal is required to be set aside and is accordingly set aside. The material on record leads us to the only possible conclusion that we can reach that the first accused voluntarily caused hurt to Gurnam Singh punishable under Section 323 IPC", said Justice Chelameswar in the Verdict.


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A litigant cannot plead that he should not be suffer for not giving the correct advise by the advocate, held Madhya Pradesh High Court

April 24, 2018
The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that a litigant cannot plead that if his lawyer had not given correct legal advice to him/her, he should not suffer from adverse orders.

Before the Hon’ble High Court, in an appeal proceeding against a trial court order which had decreed a suit for declaration of title and specific performance of the contract, an interim application was preferred for sending an agreement to sell to a handwriting expert for verification of the signatures of the appellant.

Court held:
A litigant cannot plead that since his lawyer had not given correct legal advice to him, therefore, he should not suffer.

The counsel for the appellants’ argued before the Hon’ble Court that the parties are rural villagers and they are not aware of the technicalities of law and if it was not advised by their advocate. It was a lapse on the part of the advocate in not giving proper and correct advise, the party to a litigant should not suffer.

Dismissing the contentions of the appellant’s, Hon’ble Justice GS Ahluwalia had observed: “Advocates claim themselves to be professionals having knowledge of the law. They are law graduates. They cannot claim that they were not having knowledge of the law. The Advocates cannot say, that the party should not suffer because they were not technically sound.”

The Hon’ble court also held that since there are two parties in a matter, if a very lenient view is adopted by ignoring the mistake of an advocate, then it would always adversely affect the rights of the other litigant also. The court observed “If a litigant feels that he has been cheated by his Counsel by not giving proper legal advice, then the said litigant has remedy, against his lawyer, under the law of the land, but to the detriment of the interest of the other litigant, no leniency can be shown to a litigant on the ground that the Counsel engaged by such litigant was not professionally competent,” the court said.


Read Order here

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Supreme Court Issue Notices to State of Jammu and Kashmir in Kathua Rape Case

April 17, 2018

Supreme Court has issued a notice to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the writ petition filed on behalf of the Kathua gangrape and murder victim’s father, requesting for the transfer of the trial proceedings outside of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar has also directed protection to victim's family members and Advocates Deepika Singh Rajawat and Talib Hussain. At the commencement of the urgent hearing on Monday of the writ petition instituted by the father of the 8-year-old victim of the Kathua rape and murder.

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has issued following order:-


“As an interim measure, it is directed that the respondent-State shall keep the security, as provided to the family members of the victim, in continuity; provide security to Ms.Deepika Singh Rajawat and her family members; and that protection shall be provided to Mr.Talib Hussain, who is assisting the victim's family in prosecution of the grievance by remaining present in the Court or engaging counsel to assist the public prosecutor. Ms.Deepika Singh Rajawat shall provide the details of Mr.Talib Hussain to Mr.M.Shoeb Alam, learned Sanding Counsel for the State of Jammu & Kashmir to that he can do the needful in the matter. At this juncture, a submission has been advanced by Ms.Indira Jaising, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner that the State authority should provide security in plain clothes. Mr.Shoeb Alam, learned standing counsel for the State of Jammu and Kashmir accepted the same and, therefore, we direct that the security shall be provided in plain clothes.”

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Supreme Court of India dismisses all Petitions Regarding the CBSE Examination paper Leak case

April 05, 2018
Supreme Court of India dismisses all Petitions Regarding the CBSE Examination paper Leak case  

The Supreme Court of India bench headed by Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao on 04.04.2018 dismissed a bunch of writ petitions filed by the CBSE students in the stir of the latest event of the leak of the Economics and Mathematics question papers for class 10 and 12 examinations correspondingly.
It was on the basis of a notification issued by the Controller of Examination, the CBSE made the statement against the re-test of class X mathematics examination

Following petitions were filed in the Supreme Court of India:-

In the case of Rohan Mathew v. CBSE

A student of Class 10 had approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India against the resolution of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE in short) to terminate and re-conduct the Math exam held on March 28 on distrust of question paper leakage. According to the petitioner, around 16 lakh students appeared in the exam in 11 regions across the country. The unverified distrust is that the question papers seeped in certain parts of the Delhi Region of the CBSE.  Therefore, the petitioner stated that to punish the whole student community for an incident which supposedly took place in one center is illegal and arbitrary in the non-appearance of any evidence to show that the whole examination process was abased.

Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, withdrawn the writ petition on the basis of the notification dated 3rd April of the CBSE by which the Board had decided to not re-conduct the Math examination for class 10.

In the case of Reepak Kansal v. UOI

In this petition filed by Counsel Reepak Kansal, it was stated before the Hon’ble bench that on March 28, the CBSE had decided to re-conducting the examinations for the Economics and Mathematics papers for classes XII and X respectively “without considering the impact of the leak”. “The resolution of re-examination controverts the test of proportionality and fairness (as provided under Article 14)”, it was pleaded. Dismissing the petition, the Hon’ble bench stated, “it is not a part of the jurisdiction of this court to see if the paper was leaked...in writ jurisdiction, we cannot examine the impact of the leakage...this falls within the power of the authorities...”

In the case of Mahendra Pratap Singh v. CBSE

Through this petition, the petitioner sought directions to the CBSE to not conduct an Economics paper re-test for class XII students subsequent to the question paper leak issue. It was also stated in the petition that if at all the test will be held, it should be made non-compulsory.

While dismissing the petition, the bench observed, “It is not a moral concept that an examination is made optional”. Alakh Alok Srivastava v. UOI

The petitioner-in-person had prayed that re-examination be conducted of all subjects for Class 12 within four weeks and not only of the Economics paper. Further, he had sought an independent investigation by the CBI into the matter. Also, he requested that the CBSE and the HRD Ministry be directed to pay damages and compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each to the students of Class 12 appearing in the re-examination “towards the mental agony, mental stress and inconvenience caused”.

The Hon’ble bench on 04.04.2018 declined to inherit to any of the above prayers. 


Monday, 2 April 2018

Centre Govt. has filed Review Petition in Supreme Court against Supreme Court judgment diluted SC/ST Act

April 02, 2018

Centre Govt. has filed Review Petition in Supreme Court against Supreme Court judgment diluted SC/ST Act

The Centre govt. today has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the March 20 judgment of a two-judge bench which 'diluted" the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by laying down stringent ‘protections’ before registration of a case under it and barred automatic arrests.

Sources said that the petition has been filed by the Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment contends that the March 20 judgment may dilute the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which was meant at protective the socially relegated. It contends that such a dilution could decrease fear and lead to violations, making Dalit’s and tribal more defenseless.

This judgment had elicited disapprovals from Dalit MPs and outfits, with BJP MPs and the party’s associates, who met Social Justice Minister Tawar Chand Gehlot and conveyed their anxiety that the SC order may end up to disagreeing justice to SC/STs.

They had asked Gehlot to take the matter up with the Prime Minister. Main opposition party Congress also had claimed to file a review petition.

A Congress Party delegation had met the President of India on the issue.

It is to be noted that Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also tweeted yesterday: “Review petition by the Government against the SC judgment on SC/ST Protection Act shall be filed positively tomorrow, Monday, April 2.”

Cracking the thrash on "the rampant misuse of the SC/ST Act", a bench of justices A K Goel and U U Lalit ruled that there shall be no immediate arrest of a public or no-public servant.

They also ruled that the accused can be taken into custody only after an official not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent (in case of public servant) or SSP (non-public servant) makes an inquiry and is satisfied that a prima-facie case existed.

SC also said that the accused is also entitled to grant of anticipatory bail if the complaint would found to be mala fide.


Placing down the protections against “misuse” of the Act, the Hon’ble bench had also observed in the judgment: “It has been judicially acknowledged that there are instances of abuse of the Act by vested interests against political opponents in panchayat, municipal or other elections, to settle private civil disputes arising out of property, monetary disputes, employment disputes and seniority disputes. It may be noticed that by way of rampant misuse, complaints are largely being filed particularly against public servants/ quasi-judicial/judicial officers with an oblique motive for the satisfaction of vested interests.”

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Three Law Students Written a letter to Chief Justice of India to re-examine the ban put on entry of law interns on misc. days

March 31, 2018
Three law students interning at the Supreme Court of India had written a letter to Chief Justice of India Mr. Dipak Misra requesting him to re-examine the ban put five years ago on law students and pre-enrolment interns from entering courtrooms of Supreme Court on miscellaneous days stating that it is resulting in law students getting deprived of important lessons on admission of fresh cases.

Ashwariya Aggarwal, a third-year students at Modern College of Law, along with Aman Shekhar and Nemeezia Amin, fourth-year students at Lloyd Law College, had written to Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra requesting that the notice dated 21.08.2013 be re-examined.

The notice which was issued in 2013 announced that from September 2, 2013, law students and pre-enrolment interns would not be issued passes on Miscellaneous Days and their entry to the Supreme Court.

The move was required due to congestion of courtrooms and corridors in miscellaneous days. Many lawyers complained of not being able to reach the courtroom when their cases were called out due to congestion forcing them to take a Passover.

In their letter to CJI Deepak Misra, the students said, “…notice not allowing interns to enter the courtroom would deprive the students from learning as to the admission of fresh cases”.

They said the complete ban on law students who would be part and parcel of “this valuable institution” requires re-examination and suggested measures to regulate crowd if the law students are allowed entry on miscellaneous days.

The suggestions they have placed before the Chief Justice of India are:

1.     Online application to be submitted by law interns but only 100 may be allowed entry on a given miscellaneous day with 10 in each courtroom. The selection of application may be on first come first serve basis.

2.     A certificate may be issued by the Advocate-on-record concerned in favour of the intern certifying that the intern has read the brief and is interested in witnessing the court proceedings and its outcome.

3.     Interns may be allowed after 1130 HRS inside the courtroom.

They have also sought a meeting with the CJI to explain their “mental agony and hardship” owing to the constraint in place.


Monday, 26 March 2018

Bombay Bar Association established a trust for financial support to the advocates who need it.

March 26, 2018
The Bombay Bar Association (BBA) has made a trust for providing monetary care and support to advocates and their clans who need it.
At the festival of the bar association, BBA President Milind Sathe had announced that the donations received from members will be used for welfare activities.
BBA secretary Birendra Saraf published the scheme on March 5 and invited applications from members for the welfare activities.

Benefits

The scheme puts a determined yearly income cap of Rs. 4 lakh for members or individuals to be eligible. Following are the assistances divided into 4 different categories:

Category 1
(a) Medical expenses of members/individual practicing lawyers in the Bombay High Court & other Courts or Tribunals in Mumbai having a minimum practice of 3 years;

(b) Medical assistance in terms of hospitalization expenses for family members, i.e. wife, children, dependent parents and unmarried brothers and sisters.
Category 2

(c) Scholarship and/or expenses for attending events related to law study for law students studying in Law Schools;

Category 3
(d) Donation/ financial aid to any person or NGO or state agency for the benefit of persons who are affected by natural calamities or disasters or war or armed conflict.

Category 4

(e) Financial aid to non-political organizations working for human rights, access to Justice, legal education, environmental protection;
For receiving assistance under all 4 categories, certain eligibility criteria have also been specified in the scheme as every category has its own criteria.
The scheme states that the applications as far as possible will be processed within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt and on expiry of 20 days from the date of submission, the status of the application shall be informed to the applicant.

Assistance by the Trust:


(i)  For medical expenses in any category, the amount to be disbursed shall not exceed Rs. 25,000 per application.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Supreme Court of India issued directions to the govt. authorities that RTI application fee should not exceed Rs. 50.

March 23, 2018
Supreme Court of India issued directions to the govt. authorities that RTI application fee should not exceed Rs. 50. The Supreme Court of India on 20.03.2018 directed all government authorities to make sure that the fee for an application under Right to Information (RTI) should not exceed Rupees. 50 and the fee for one page information should not be more than Rupees. 5.

The order had passed by a Bench headed by Justice A.K. Goel and Justice U.U. Lalit on a bundle of Petitions challenging the Right to Information Rules framed by several authorities.

The Hon’ble Bench had issued the following directions to the govt. authorities.

As a normal Rule, the charge for the application should not be more than Rs.50/- and for per page information should not be more than Rs.5/-. However, exceptional situations may be dealt with differently. This will not debar revision in future if the situation so demands”

No motive needs to be disclosed in view of the scheme of the Act
The third objection is to the requirement, in the Allahabad High Court Rules, for permission of the Chief Justice or the Judge concerned to the disclosure of information. The Bench has made it clear that the said requirement will be only in respect of information which is exempted under the scheme of the Act.

As regards the objection that under Section 6(3) of the Act, the public authority has to transfer the application to another public authority if information is not available, the said provision should also normally be complied with except where the public authority dealing with the application is not aware as to which other authority will be the appropriate authority.

As regards Rules 25 to 27 of the Allahabad High Court Rules which debar giving of information with regard to the matters pending adjudication, it is clarified that the same may be read consistently with Section 8 of the Act, more particularly sub-section (1) 3 in Clause (J) thereof.

 Wherever rules do not comply with the above observations, the same be revisited as per this order since it is based on the mandate of the Act which must be complied with.

One of the Petitions, filed in the year 2012 by Common Cause through Advocate Prashant Bhushan, and had challenged the Allahabad High Court (RTI) Rules, 2006, challenging that these were ultra vires the Right to Information Act, 2005. It had pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the Rules compared with the Act.

For example, it had pointed out that Rule 3 constrained the information that could be sought on a subject, by laying down that "every application shall be made only for one particular item of information only". Further, Rule 4 had demanded that each application is accompanied by cash, draft or pay order of Rs. 500, drawn in favor of the High Court Registrar General or the District Judge of the concerned District Court.

The Petition had emphasized the fact that this fee was 50 times the fee prescribed by the Centre govt. authorities, which had fixed it at Rs. 10. In reply, the High Court Allahabad had modified the Rules to lower the fees of Rs. 250 per application.

In the same way, the Petition stated that Rule 5 "impedes the common man's access to information" by prescribing Rs. 15 per page as the cost of spreading of information. In a similar manner, it had challenged Rules 5, 20, 25, 26 and 27 of the Rules, stating that these were in clear violation of Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution of India as well.

While this petition was pending, another Petition was filed challenging the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha Secretariat Right to Information (Regulation of fees and costs) Rules, 2011. Filed by Mr. Dinesh Kumar Soni, the Petition had contended that the Rule requiring an applicant to pay Rs. 300 was ultra vires the Act.

The Rule, it had contended, had the "effect of abridging and infringing the right to information, thus, subverting the very object of the Act".