Delhi HC Regarding Women Nurses 80% AIIMS Reservation Opposition: Reservation For Women Under Article 15(3) Has Been Long Due.

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court observed that the reservation quote provision under Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India is long overdue. The High Court sought response from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) while addressing a petition opposing its reservation policy that reserved 80% seats for female nurses (Harish Kumar Kajla & Ors vs AIIMS &Ors).

A notice was issued in the petition brought by three male aspirants that had applied for the positions of nurses at AIIMS, by a division bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh. The Court dismissed the request for interim relief in this matter at the current stage and stated “Needless to state that any appointments made to the subject posts shall abide with further orders that may be passed in the present proceedings.”

The Central Administrative Tribunal’s judgment that rejected the petitioners’ plea is now being challenged in the High Court. The petition includes prayers regarding the alleged “lopsided” gender reservation.

The petitioners argued that the reservation policy of AIIMS is not in accordance with the 50% overall ceiling contemplated for reservation in public employment. They also submitted that the intelligible nexus between object and the classification is lacking since there exists no relation between patient care and the gender of the nurse. Additionally, the petitioners claim that this reservation policy is ultra vires the AIIMS Act, 1956 since it was framed excluding the amendment to AIIMS Regulations of 1999 that only makes provisions for reservation in favour of SC/ST applicants.

 

The petitioners were represented by Advocate Santhish Krishnan and Sayid Marzook Bafaki and the counsel appearing for AIIMS was Advocate Anand Varma. The next decided date for hearing the matter is 22nd  February.

Regulation Of Entry, Operation Of Facebook, Google, Amazon In Financial Sector: Delhi HC Seeks Centre’s Response In PIL.

 Yesterday, a notice was issued by the Delhi High Court in a PIL that sought directions to be issued to the Central Government and Reserve Bank of India asking them to frame proper guidelines to regulate entry and operation of “TechFin” companies in the financial sector, for example, Facebook, Google, Amazon. (Dr Resmi P Bhaskaran vs UOI &Ors)

Along with the Centre and RBI, the responses of SEBI, Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India, National Payments Corporation of India and Pension Regulatory & Development Authority of India were also sought by the petition. The matter was addressed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan. Dr Resmi P Bhaskaran, the petitioner has claimed to be a practicing applied economist. According to the petition, the existing approach of finance regulators in India is “lackadaisical” due to their allowance of “unregulated” operation and the entry of global tech corporations.

The petition submitted that tech giants, i.e. non-licensed financial institutions have gained entry into financial domain through partnerships with existing entities due to the absence of appropriate regulations. They can now compete with regulated financial institutions in various areas, without having to observe the same regulations.

The petition also adds that TechFins like these are do not abide by any client/customer/investor protection rules or regulations that exist to ascertain the prevention of build-up systematic risks.

Additionally, issues of data privacy were emphasised, and the petitioner also claimed that an undue advantage is possessed by TechFin institutions that own very accurate, detailed and extensive digitised data about customers. This gives them an advantage over the more traditional financial institutions as these factors can influence the decision of customers.

 

The petition makes requests for a stringent and robust framework to be provided for the entry and operation of TechFins. The counsel for the petitioner was Advocate Deepak Prakash. The next hearing of the matter would be on 29th January. 

Prevention Bill Prohibiting Cow Slaughter Gets Passed By Karnataka Assembly.

On Wednesday, the Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill of 2020 has been passed by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. This act forbids the slaughter of cows, buffalos, and bulls under a certain age. This anti-cow slaughter legislation has defined “beef” as the flesh of cattle (cow, calf, bull, bullock and male or female buffalo that are below the age of 13 years)

The punishment as provided in the Amendment Bill are imprisonment for a period between three years and seven years and/or a fine of an amount up to five lakh rupees. In the case of subsequent offences, a fine up to ten lakh rupees can be imposed along with an imprisonment term of up to seven years.

A legislation similar to the above mentioned bill was passed in 2010 by the BJP government when it was in power. But, after the Congress government came to power, in 2013, this law had been shelved.

 

The Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed on Wednesday, despite protests and disagreement from opposition members. The grounds for their protests were that the bill had not been discussed before its tabling in the House. 

Warning Posters Outside COVID-19 Patients Houses, Unnecessary Unless Mandated By Appropriate Authorities: Supreme Court To States And Union Territories.


Putting up posters outside the residences of of COVID-19 positive patients is not required. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court directed the State and Union Territory Governments to resort to these measures only if instructions were given by competent authorities.

The order was given by a Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah while addressing a petition brought by Kush Kalra opposing the decision of various State governments under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 to display posters outside the residences of COVID-19 positive patients who are in quarantine. Previously, during the case’s hearing, the bench held that this practice of government authorities affixing posters outside the homes of COVID-19 positive patients was resulting into the “stigmatisation of such persons.”

These concerns were found despite the Central government assuaging the Court that State authorities do not compulsorily have to affix such posters. Counsel for the Central Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that these posters intended to prevent people from inadvertently entering the house of a COVID positive patient.

Filed through advocates Chinmoy Sharma and Puneet Taneja, this petition requested directions to be issued to States to do the necessary and ensure that such disclosure of names is prevented. The PIL also requested the Court to quash the executive orders of the States and Union Territories that permitted affixing these posters outside patients’ residences. The petition submitted that such circulation of patient’s names on WhatsApp groups and social media is an infringement of their fundamental right of privacy and the right to live with dignity as protected by Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The mental trauma and weakness that COVID positive patients go through was emphasised by the petitioners. They argued that the addition of “stigmatisation by the members of neighbourhood and community” would only increase their troubles.

Additionally, the plea stated that such public announcement posters would turn COVID-19 patients into the talk of the community and a topic of unnecessary “idle gossip”.

Conduct Of CBI Is Irresponsibility Regarding The Sushant Singh Rajput Investigation: Plea Seeks CBI Report In 2 Months.

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court, that states that the Central Bureau of Investigation has acted “irresponsibly” in the investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The plea seeks directions for the probe to be concluded within two months.

Puneet Kaur Dhanda filed the plea through Advocate Vineet Dhanda. It submitted that ever since the Apex Court handed over the investigation regarding this matter to the CBI on 19th August, barely any development has been seen. Allegations such as the CBI’s refusal to act in a responsible manner in the present case and the delay in the conclusion of the investigation of the case, were included in the petition.

The petition also points out that the law stipulates filing of charges sheets within 90 days even in serious offences like murder. In this case, the investigating agency has shown inadequacy in their role and the case’s unnecessary delay is defaming the administration of justice. The petitioner requested the Supreme Court to intervene and issue directions instructing the CBI to submit a status report on the investigation progress and to conclude its probe within two months. In August 2020, Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed that the CBI’s investigation into Rhea Chakraborty regarding Sushant Singh Rajput’s death is lawful. This order was passed following the Centre requesting the Supreme Court’s approval for the CBI and Enforcement Directorate investigating the case. Mumbai Police was directed to turn over all the evidence to the CBI.

Rhea Chakraborty was entangled in a controversy following the lodging of an FIR against her by the father of her deceased partner, Sushant Singh Rajput. This FIR was registered with the Patna Police when the Mumbai Police was conducting an investigation into the actor’s death. On July 30, Chakraborty approached the Apex Court requesting the transfer of her case. She submitted, that the FIR in Patna alleging abetment to suicide charges was an act of “connivance” between the State of Bihar and the deceased’s father.

 

Earlier, Mumbai Police informed the Supreme Court that no reason for suspicion on the cause of his death was indicated in all the initial recorded statements of his family. 

Petitioner Castigated By Allahabad High For Making Reckless Accusations Against Woman.

 Recently, the Allahabad High Court reprimanded a petitioner for including casual allegations against a woman in his petition. She had not even been made a party to the proceedings in question. (Shiv Ram v. State of UP and ors)

The petition included allegations regarding the existence of a sex racket that was knitted by numerous women. The petitioner urged the Allahabad High Court to instruct the Kanpur Nagar Senior Superintendent of Police, to take strict measures regarding the same. The division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Piyush Agrawal observed that one specific woman had been targeted in the petition, and even though she was even not made a party to the case, multiple allegations were levelled against her. The order stated that although several women were implicated, ill-founded and reckless allegations were made against a woman in particular.

The High Court bench observed that in accordance with the averments in the representation, the petitioner possesses multiple video cassettes and audio recordings regarding the issue. However, the woman implicated in these allegations has not been made a party to the proceedings.

The High Court disapproved of the petitioner’s conduct and opined that the woman’s identification was needlessly disclosed in the writ petition. Concluding, the Court held that minimum standard of decency should have been maintained and disclosing the identification of the woman, in the manner displayed in the instant petition for writ, was unnecessary.

 

The Allahabad High Court dismissed the petition, while adding that the police authority was permitted to make discreet inquiry regarding the matter at hand. 

Supreme Court’s Directions Ignored By Maharashtra government: Arnab Goswami Assails Chargesheet In Suicide Abetment Case.

Arnab Goswami, the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, filed another interim application before the Bombay High Court, requesting directions to be given to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Alibaug to not take cognizance of the charge sheet registered by the Raigad Police with regards to the case of abetment to suicide of Anvay Naik, an interior designer and his mother Kumud Naik.

Goswami filed the application in a pending plea seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) that had been filed against him. An additional request was made for an early listing of the plea and the interim applications filed in it. Recently, he filed an application that sought a stay on the filing of the charge sheet by the Raigad Police and stay on any further related action. Goswami’s lawyers, Phoenix Legal, requested an urgent hearing of the matter on 3rd December. However, this request was not allowed by the Court.

In the plea Goswami filed today, he claimed that Raigad police went ahead and filed a charge sheet before the Magistrate at Alibaug despite his pending application and did not him any notice or it’s copy. Goswami also argued that this filing of charge sheet was a “complete subversion of due process given that it comes within hours of a political instruction being declared publicly by the Home Minister of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh.” He submitted that the Supreme Court’s observations made in the 27th November judgement, that upheld due process and personal liberty, had fallen on deaf ears of the machinery in State of Maharashtra. He also stated that it was proof of the desperate predetermined conspiracy in operation against him.

His allegations include the malicious conduct and malafide intent of the Raigad Police against him, shown by filing the charge sheet against Goswami, in order to render his earlier application moot.

 

He called the charge sheet a continuation of a series of actions with ulterior motives. His plea concluded by stating that “the filing of a malicious charge sheet in the present matter pending the hearing of his plea is aiding the instrumentality of the State which is being weaponised for using the force of criminal law against him” 

Chief Justice Decides Bombay High Court Will Continue With Physical Hearings.

On Friday, Dipankar Datta, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, decided that physical hearings, that began on 1st December, will continue in the Court. This decision was made due to the lack of incidents of concern in hearings. The Registrar General of the Court noted in the issued order that following an inspection of physical courts on 3rd December, the Chief Justice established that hearings were proceeding smoothly with no overcrowding.

While the physical courts were in session, the Chief Justice, accompanied by Shri Justice S. Kulkarni found the overcrowding allegations in some representations to be untrue. Till date, there is an absence of any incident that would justify the discontinuation of these hearings that have recommenced on an experimental basis.

Adhering to COVID protocols, a decision to continue such hearings was made. On 27th November, the High Court announced that physical hearings will be conducted on an experimental basis beginning from December 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021. However, this decision was not welcomed by the Bombay Bar Association (BBA) and 452 practising Mumbai lawyers. They requested the Chief Justice to give lawyers a choice between physical and virtual hearings.

The increase in countrywide COVID cases was highlighted in the representations along with emphasising the risk of increased transmission. A modification in the order was requested by the BBA. Friday’s order states that every High Court judges “in one voice expressed in favour of continuation of physical hearings in tune with the standard operating procedure dated November 27, 2020 till January 8.”

Regarding the resumption of physical hearings, members of the Bar that interacted with the Chief Justice, expressed their satisfaction. The Chief Justice has decided to continue with the SOP dated November 27, 2020 with liberty granted to members of the Bar of approaching individual Benches to fix desirable separate boards for morning and afternoon sessions. This will facilitate smooth and seamless physical hearings, that comply with COVID norms, in the future.

Police Tells Delhi HC In Tanha’s Interim Bail Plea To Sit For Exams, Many People Study In Jail.

Yesterday, Delhi Police opposed the granting of interim bail to Asif Iqbal Tanha, the accused in a riots case, before the Delhi High Court. The grounds for requesting bail were to enable him to physically attend his graduation examination. (Asif Iqbal Tanha vs State)

The Additional Solicitor General SV Raju submitted before the Single Judge Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri that numerous people study in jail. Nonetheless, he suggested keeping Tanha in a guesthouse close to the centre of his examination instead of jail. Asif Tanha, studying at Jamia Milia Islamia, is currently in the midst of criminal proceedings, facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He was alleged to have conspired to instigate riots, in February 2020, in the capital’s North-East area.

A Karkardooma trial court, last week, granted him custody parole for three days. His parole covers December 4, 5 to 7. Dissatisfied with custody parole, Tanha moved the High Court last week appealing for his release on interim bail by invoking the High Court’s concurrent jurisdiction. Advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, the petitioner’s counsel argued before the court that Tanha’s release on interim bail was required in order to enable him to prepare for the examination.

She justified this requirement by submitted that when Tanha had been allowed custody parole on a previous occasion, a lot of time was wasted due to travel from the jail to hid centre of examination. She added that Tanha undertook to surrender following the expiry of the permitted interim bail period. Delhi Police, represented by ASG Raju, Delhi Police opposed the interim bail because, due to the extension of interim orders resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, interim bail could become permanent. ASG Raju submitted that the trial court was not displaying prejudice against the bail applicant, since he had already been provided access to all required study material for the examination.

He further stated, “A large number of persons study in jail. He would not have asked for time if he had not studied. We will give all material.” The Court asked ASG Raju to return with instructions, following the suggestion that allowed Tanha to stay in a guesthouse.

Supreme Court Rejects Anticipatory Bail Application To Accused In Sexual Harassment Case.

On Tuesday, the Apex Court dismissed the petition for anticipatory bail filed by the accused in an eve-teasing case. An FIR had been filed in relation to the same, and charges under Section 354 of the IPC (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) had been registered.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao was addressing a SLP that opposed the 21st January judgement of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that refused anticipatory bail to the applicant with regards to the FIR that included charges under Sections 354, 506 (criminal intimidation), 341 (wrongful restraint), 34 of the IPC.

Case Background:

A young girl was subjected to indecent comments and eve teasing while being accompanied by her family members. The allegations included in the FIR state that the petitioner displayed offensive behaviour and passed inappropriate remarks. On being confronted by the complainant, the petitioner revealed his name and address without any hesitation and went on to threaten her to do whatever she wanted to. These statements were noted in the impugned judgment by the High Court.

The counsel of the petitioner argued that at best the case tested on charges under sections 354A (sexual harassment) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) but could not include Section 354.

He submitted that all the offences were in bailable and the addition of charges under Section 354 only existed to make the whole case non-bailable. The counsel stated, in Tuesday, that at most, indecent comments were passed but there was no actual danger of bodily harm, no assault or criminal force.

 

The bench also comprising Justice Hemant Gupta questioned the petitioner, “In a public place in Jalandhar, you are teasing a young girl, threatening her family?” He ordered the petitioner to make his arguments applying for regular bail. In conclusion, the bench dismissed the SLP while observing that the applicant is not entitled to anticipatory bail.