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Nobody can directly or indirectly try to influence the Court : Mystery caller draws Gujarat HC Judge s ire inquiry ordered
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-07-01 00:57:23

A routine bail hearing assumed importance touching on the independence of the judiciary on Monday after the Gujarat High Court Judge hearing the plea divulged that she had received a call on her mobile phone with enquiries regarding the case.

Justice Bela M Trivedi detailed the unprecedented incident in her June 22 order, which is stated to have taken place around 8.55 am that day.

As recorded in the order, Justice Trivedi received a call from an unknown caller, who introduced himself as Niranjan Patel, MLA, Petlad. When enquired why he was calling, the caller mentioned to the judge that a criminal case was listed before the Court that day.

The Judge states that the mention of a case immediately prompted her to cut short the caller, tell him that he cannot call the judge like this and disconnect the call.

Three calls made by the same unknown caller, one after the other were left unanswered. However, this led to a message being sent around 9 am, stating the details of the criminal case fixed for hearing that day.

Disturbed and furious over the calls, the judge requested the Registrar (IT) of the High Court to inquire into the mobile number of the unknown caller. On Truecaller, the number was found to have belonged to "Tosif Faiz Xerox”, on Vodafone connection.

During the hearing on Monday, the lawyer appearing for the bail applicant in the particular case mentioned told the Court that his client had no connection with "Mr Niranjan Patel."

Rather, Advocate Ashish M Dagli stated that Patel was interested in getting his client arrested, alleging that Patel had also approached the police to ensure his client's arrest.

The Judge proceeded to order further inquiry by the Registrar (IT) into the caller's details, observing that,

"Since, nobody can directly or indirectly try to approach the Court or to influence the Court, in a way try to pollute the stream of justice, it is necessary to obtain the details of the call."

Gujarat High Court

When the matter was taken up today, the Court was informed that the number had been ported to a Jio service and that the given name of the subscribed was Tofikbhai Vhora, son of Salimbhai Vhora.

Appearing for the bail applicant whose case was mentioned by the caller, Advocate Dagli told the Court that his client does not know of any such person either.

On its part, the Court observed that the identity of the caller had to be discerned before contempt proceedings can be initiated.

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Court Staff allegedly rapes woman in Rouse Avenue District Court Complex: Accused Arrested
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  • 2020-07-01 00:45:21

A court staff at the Rouse Avenue District Court on Monday allegedly raped a woman in the court premises, has been arrested.

Bar & Bench spoke to IP Estate Police who confirmed that "a Court orderly has been arrested on charges of rape. He was arrested and produced before the Court".

A 38-year-old woman was allegedly raped inside one of the rooms of the Rouse Avenue Court Complex.

Rajendra Singh Rawat is the Court orderly who has been allegedly arrested on charges of raping a woman in the Court complex

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Will expeditiously examine the aspect of setting up a fund for needy members of Clerks Association: DHCBA assures Delhi HC
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-07-01 00:24:05

The Delhi High Court Bar Association has assured the Delhi High Court that it would expeditiously examine the aspect of setting up a fund to provide aid to the needy members of the Court's Clerks' Association. (Delhi High Court Bar Clerks' Association vs UOI & Ors)

The assurance was given by Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur, President DHCBA before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli in a petition preferred by Delhi High Court Bar Clerks' Association.

The Clerks' Association had sought the creation of a Rs. 5 crore fund for the welfare of its members, as to ensure their survival during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court was informed that the Petitioner Association is a registered association which is duly recognized by DHCBA and has 3500 members.

It was submitted that the members of the Association were finding it very difficult to survive during this grim period as their employers, who are Advocates practicing in this Court, were not in a position to pay them any salary because of insufficient availability of work.

The Petitioner Association stated that they had not received any assistance from any of the authorities, including the Government of NCT of Delhi and since DHCBA had already set up a COVID Relief Fund for Advocates in need, there was no reason to deny creation of a similar fund to help the clerks.

In response, Senior Advocate Mathur assured that the Bar Association would expeditiously examine the aspect of setting up a separate fund for the Petitioner Association.

He added that he would voluntarily donate a sum of Rs 2 lakh to the fund, as soon as it is set up.

"..in a similar vein of magnanimity, Mr.Dayan Krishnan learned Senior Counsel has already pledged a sum of Rs. 2 lakh while Mr (Inder Singh) Alag, learned Senior Counsel who is appearing for the petitioners herein has volunteered to donate a sum of Rs. 1 lakh to this fund as well.", the Court recorded.

While appreciating the voluntary offers made by the Senior Counsel, the Court said,

..hope that their generosity motivates other senior members of the Bar, especially those who are regularly appearing before Courts in video conferencing hearings for the last few months, to contribute benevolently and unsparingly to this fund, as and when it is created..The members of the petitioner association serve a crucial role and are so intrinsically linked to the work discharged by the Bar that they are indispensable to the smooth functioning of this entire institution. While considering the matter of setting up such a fund or making contributions to it, this Court hopes that all members of the Bar Association, including its senior-most members, will remain conscious of this fact and that, without the assistance rendered by the members of the petitioner association, no member of the Bar could effectively discharge their duties.

Delhi High Court

The counsel for Delhi Government also assured the Court that he would obtain instructions regarding the outcome of the representations claimed to have been made by the Petitioner Association to the Government.

The matter would be heard next on July 1.

Senior Advocate Inder Singh Alag with Advocates NK Aggarwal, Sanjana Antil, Yogita Sunaria, Atul Tanwar appeared for the Petitioner Association

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An advocate “cannot take the Court for a ride”, Calcutta High Court imposes Rs.50,000 costs on lawyer who moved repeated bail pleas in the same case
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-30 23:36:04

An advocate was the subject of remonstrance in an Order passed by a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court yesterday.

The Bench, comprising of Justices Harish Tandon and Tirtankar Ghosh rebuked the advocate for his repeated applications to the High Court for the grant of bail to his client. (In re Affiruddin Sk v. State).

These pleas were moved despite the Court’s direction on April 23 that the bail application be listed after the resumption of the Court’s ordinary functioning.

“It is alarming and shocking state of affairs that the member of the bar taking advantage of the matter being taken on a virtual platform filed the application for bail when being alive of the fact that an earlier application for bail in connection with the same offence and the same police station case number was directed to be listed before this Court after resumption of normalcy in its functioning.”

The Bench rejected the advocate’s reason for the repeated applications describing the tendered reason as a “lame excuse."

The advocate had told the Court that a certificate acknowledging receipt of the application had not been issued to him, as a result of which several applications were posted on the email of the Registrar-General.

The Court in its order notes that the same advocate had appeared in the previous proceedings on April 23 as well.

When the advocate prayed for permission to withdraw the bail application that is the subject of yesterday’s order, the Bench instead rejected the application, imposing costs to the tune of Rupees 50,000 on the advocate.

In so doing the Bench remarked,

“The member of the bar has not only the onerous duty to his client but have more responsible duty towards the Court. He cannot take the Court for a ride nor any attempt in this behalf can be compromised by the Bench. Such brazen attempt on the part of the member of the bar would not only tarnish the image of the judiciary but would also percolate wrong signal to the litigants as well as the society.”

Calcutta High Court

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Interim orders passed by Calcutta HC, subordinate courts extended till September 30, 2020
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-25 23:29:31

The Calcutta High Court has extended the life of all interim orders passed by the High Court and subordinate courts in the State until September 30, in view of the continuing COVID-19 situation.

To this end, an order passed on Tuesday has extended the application of earlier orders for the extension of interim orders until September 30.

The first order extending the life on interim orders amid the pandemic was passed on March 24. On April 23, the application of this order was extended until June 30.

The latest order states,

"The order issued on 24th March, 2020 and corrected by later order of even date and extended till 30th June, 2020 by order dated 23rd April, 2020 will stand extended till 30th September, 2020 or until further orders of Court, unless specifically dealt with by any judicial order to the contrary."

As with the earlier orders, the Court has clarified that parties aggrieved by such extension can apply to the appropriate court to vacate or vary such extended interim orders.

The order was passed by a Full Bench comprising of Chief Justice Thottathil B RadhakrishnanSanjib Banerjee, IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon and Joymalya Bagchi.

 

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Telangana HC Issues Notices In Plea Seeking Removal Of Communal Hashtags From Twitter
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-23 04:21:35

The High Court of Telangana on Monday issued notices on a  petition seeking removal of 'communal hashtags' trending on Twitter,which  demonise and blame the entire Muslim community of deliberately spreading the  corona virus across the country.
   
The division bench comprised by Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh  Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy has issued  notices to the Central Government, the State Government and to Twitter. The court has asked the Respondents to file their counter  affidavits in the matter within four weeks, and explain why such tweets had not  been removed.
The Petitioner, Advocate  Khaja Aijazuddin had earlier approached  the Supreme Court seeking restraint on all websites in India from carrying 'islamophobic'  posts, that have the potential to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.

He had stated that due to the 'massive publicity' given to  the members of the Tablighi Jamaat, who later tested Covid positive, the  religious congregation was given a communal color, leading to widespread social  media posts, linking the religion to the disease.
He averred that such posts are contrary to the India laws, particularly  the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits and penalizes 'insulting the religion, hurting the feelings of the community and  disturbing the communal harmony of the Country.

The same is also averred to be contrary to the Guidelines  issued by the WHO on March 18, laying down that 'religion shall not be attached with the pandemic

In this backdrop, the Petitioner-advocate had prayed for a  direction to the Centre and to the Telangana Police to require the social media  platform Twitter to 'stop the  illegal trending attaching the religion to the pandemic disease', for  it is 'highly unwarranted, illegal  and unconstitutional'. Further, he had prayed that 'online social media networks or sites be  restrained from carrying any messages hurting or insulting the feelings of the  particular community.   

The Supreme Court however refused  to intervene in the matter and allowed the Petitioner to withdraw the plea  with the liberty to approach the Telangana High Court, pursuant to which the  present petition was filed.
The High Court has issued notices and has posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.",

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Midnight Hearing: Gujarat High Court declines to grant permission for Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-23 03:55:53

Midnight Hearing: Gujarat High Court declines to grant permission for Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad

Following a midnight hearing, the Gujarat High Court has declined, for a third time, to give permission for the conduct of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra this year at Ahmedabad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order was passed by the Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala.

The State of Gujarat moved the High Court late at night urging the High Court to review its stay order passed last Saturday on the Yatra and to allow the same to happen in Ahmedabad.

In its application, the State had emphasised that it appreciates the present pandemic situation in Ahmedabad.

However, keeping in mind the 142-year old tradition involved in the regular conduct of the Rath Yatra every year in the city, and given the religious sentiments attached to the event, the High Court was urged to modify its order halting its conduct this year.

To buttress its argument, the Gujarat Government highlighted that the Supreme Court itself on Monday modified its earlier order on the issue with a view to balancing the interests of religious sentiments and public safety amid the pandemic situation in Odisha.

On similar lines, the High Court was urged to allow the Yatra’s conduct in Ahmedabad while unconditionally undertaking to strictly abide by various safety measures. The safety measures proposed included the following:

* The imposition of a curfew from 9 pm on Monday to 11 am on Tuesday,

* The condition that the Rath Yatra will be completed by 11 am on Monday.

* A condition that the Yatra will not stop at any place till it returns to the Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur after having gone upto Ranchodji Temple at Saraspur, Ahmedabad.

* Only three chariots (Raths) will be permitted to go for the Yatra

* There will be mechanised vehicles to pull the chariots to make the movement faster.

* Only five persons will be allowed to attend per chariot while maintaining social distancing norms.

* Only four vehicles will be allowed to accompany the Rath Yatra. Two will be utilised by religious leaders and the remain two will be utilised by the media while mandating all social distancing norms.

* Local TV channels will enable the live telecast of the Yatra for devotees so that they don’t have to come outside.

* Police personnel will bar present throughout.

* There will be no usage of animals.

* Distribution of Prasad will not be allowed in any manner.

 

 

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Delhi High Court grants Safoora Zargar bail in Delhi Riots case
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-23 03:36:59

Delhi High Court grants Safoora Zargar bail in Delhi Riots case

The Delhi High Court today granted activist Safoora Zargar bail in the case against her related to the North-East Delhi riots that took place earlier this year. 

The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakhder via video conferencing.

When the matter was heard today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the prosecution would not object to Zargar being released on regular bail, on "humanitarian grounds".

SG Mehta emphasized that the concession was being given without conceding to the assertions made by Zargar in her reply and without creating any precedent.

SG Mehta suggested that the bail should be subject to conditions, including one that Zargar would not visit Delhi. Advocate Nitya Ramakrishna, appearing for Zargar, however, objected to this condition.

In the meantime, Advocate Richa Kapoor, appearing for the Delhi government, pointed out that the procedure for appointment of special counsel was not followed.

However, Justice Shakhder made it clear,

"We are not going to get into this. Petitioner's interest should not be jeopardized."

After taking note of SG Mehta's submissions, the Court proceeded to grant bail to Zargar on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and surety of the like amount.

The Court has imposed the following conditions for bail:

- Zargar will not indulge in any activity for which she is being investigated which may infract the law.

- She will refrain from influencing witness.

- She will not hampering the investigation.

- She will not leave the National Capital region without seeking permission of the court concerned.

Additionally, Zargar has also been directed to be in touch with the investigating officer through mobile phone once every 15 days.

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Tis Hazari violence: SC lawyers march to India Gate, demand cops’ suspension
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-21 22:39:33

Tis Hazari violence: SC lawyers march to India Gate, demand cops’ suspension

The government should provide compensation to the lawyers who were injured in the Tis Hazari Court, and the money should be deducted from the salaries of the police personnel involved’, President of Supreme Court Bar Association said.

Lawyers of the Supreme Court launched a protest march on Monday from gate number C of the apex court to the India Gate against the “police attack” on the advocates in Tis Hazari Court on Saturday.

The march was led by the Rajesh Kumar Khanna President of Supreme Court Bar Association, which was accompanied by Senior Executive of Supreme Court Bar Association Bhim Singh and senior members of Delhi Court Bar Association along with hundred other advocates.

While addressing the media at India Gate, Rajesh Kumar Khanna said, “The march is in protest against the inhuman act by police under which they entered the chambers of lawyers and thrashed them brutally.”

“The government should provide compensation to the lawyers who were injured in the Tis Hazari Court, and the money should be deducted from the salaries of the police personnel involved,” Khanna said.

“We also demand compensation for the lawyers whose chambers and vehicles were damaged by the police,” he added.

“The senior police authority who ordered the lathi-charge on the lawyers should be suspended by the government. The false cases that are lodged against the advocates regarding the incident should be withdrawn by the police with immediate effect,” he said.

A senior member of Delhi Bar Court Association, Ramesh Gupta, said that this is the second brutal attack on the Tis Hazari Court lawyers after the one ordered by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Kiran Bedi in 1988.

He further said that the Lawyers Protection Act, which the Madhya Pradesh government has planned to implement in the state, should be enacted by the Central government as well.

He promised that the Delhi Bar Court Association will give Rs 2 lakh each to those who are seriously injured while Rs 50,000 to those who suffered minor injuries during the scuffle.

Vishnu Sharma, a senior member of Delhi Court Bar Association said, “We want the police personnel who attacked the lawyers to be immediately arrested and legal action be taken against them. If any common person had done the same with a police personnel, then the situation would have been different, but just because they are police, doesn’t make them immune from the legal proceedings.”

“There is no statement from the Delhi Police Commissioner, Lieutenant Governor or the Home Minister on the incident, which is condemnable,” he added.

Jatan Singh, Vice President of Delhi High Court Bar Association said, “On Saturday when the incident happened, the victim Vijay Varma was campaigning with me in the court premises. With the aim to demand the release of one of his fellow lawyer who was locked up by the police, he started sloganeering. During the process, the police opened fire at the lawyers which is highly condemnable.”

He said that the lawyers “didn’t do anything wrong and that it was the police who initiated the attack and later a herd of 2000 to 3000 personnel attacked and vandalized the chambers of the advocates in the court premises”.

He said that the Delhi High Court Bar Association will support all the steps taken by the Supreme Court Bar Association in the regard.

Rajesh Kumar Khanna also donated 1 lakh to the victim Vijay Verma in his individual capacity as the President of SC bar association.

On Saturday, a clash broke out in between the police and lawyers of Tis Hazari Court over a parking issue. Advocate Vijay Verma was shot during the clash and several other lawyers and police personnel were injured.

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Decriminalization Of Cheque Dishonour
  • posted by Admin |
  • 2020-06-20 00:27:11

Centre Proposes Decriminalization Of  Cheque Dishonor Under Sec 138 NI Act, Other Economic Offenses

The Ministry of Finance has proposed decriminalization of several economic offenses, including the offense of dishonor of cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, and has invited comments from all stakeholders on this.

The Ministry has said that this move is with the aim of 'improving business sentiment and unclogging court processes' in the wake of economic crisis caused due to lock down.

The following offenses are proposed to be decriminalized.

  •     Section 12, Insurance Act, 1938.Section 29, SARFAESI Act, 2002.
  •     Section 16(7), 32(1),PFRDA Act, 2013.Section 58B, RBI Act, 1934.
  •     Section 26(1),26(4), Payment and Settlement Systems Act,2007.
  •     Section 56(1), NABARD Act, 1981.Section 49, NHB Act, 1987.
  •     Section 42, State Financial Corporations Act.1951.
  •     Section 23, Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005
  •     Section 23, Factoring Regulation Act, 2011Section 37, Actuaries Act, 2006.
  •     Section 36AD(2), 46, Banking Regulation Act, 1949Section 30, General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972.
  •     Section 40, LIC Act, 1956.Section 21, Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019.Section 76, Chit funds Act, 1982.
  •     Section 47, DICGC Act, 1961.Section 138, Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
  •     Section 4 &5, Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.

Last month, Union Finance Minster, Nirmala Sitharaman, had announced the decision to decriminalize minor economic offences as a part of 'Atmanirbhar economic package'.

A statement from the Ministry in this regard said :

'Criminalizing procedural lapses and minor non-compliance increases burden on businesses and it is essential that one should re-look at provisions which are merely procedural in nature and do not impact national security or public interest at large. The following principles should be kept in mind when deciding on reclassification of criminal offenses to compoundable offenses:

  •     Decrease the burden on businesses and inspire confidence amongst investors.
  •     Focus on economic growth, public interest and national security should remain paramount.
  •     Mens rea (malafide / criminal intent) plays an important role in imposition of criminal liability, therefore, it is critical to evaluate nature of non-compliance, i.e. fraud as compared to negligence or inadvertent omission; and
  •     The habitual nature of non-compliance'.

     

    Stakeholders can propose and submit their comments/ suggestions regarding decriminalization of a particular Act or particular Sections of an Act, along with the rationale for the same.

The comments/ suggestions may kindly be submitted to the Advocate Vishnu Sharma at the email address advocatevishnu@yahoo.in within 7 days, i.e., by 20 June, 2020.

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