2-November-2020 to 21-November-2020
Case Reports: Courts of India
The Data has been updated from the official website of National Judicial Data Grid
CYBER DEFAMATION IS AN OFFENCE PUNISHABLE WITH IMPRISONMENT UPTO 3 YEARS
The Kerala Governor, Arif Mohammed Khan has signed an ordinance to incorporate Section 118A in the Kerala Police Act which makes intimidation, defamation, or insulting of any person through social media as an offence punishable with imprisonment of term upto Three years and/or upto Rs. 10,000/- fine.
PROVISION TO BE READ AS:
118 A. Punishment for making, expressing, publishing or disseminating any matter
which is threatening, abusive, humiliating or defamatory.─Whoever makes, expresses, publishes or disseminates through any kind of mode of communication, any matter or subject for threatening, abusing, humiliating or defaming a person or class of persons, knowing it to be false and that causes injury to the mind, reputation or property of such person or class of persons or any other person in whom they have interest shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
PETITION CHALLENGING ANTI-BEGGING LAWS
Ashma Izzat v. State of UP & Ors.
The Allahabad High Court issued notice to the state government on the recommendations of State law commission to repel the anti-begging law as the provisions of this law violates fundamental rights of citizens under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The Delhi High Court in Harsh Mander v. Union of India struck down the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 and observed, “The State simply cannot fail to do its duty to provide a decent life to its citizens and add insult to injury by arresting, detaining and, if necessary, imprisoning such persons, who beg, in search for essentials of bare survival, which is even below sustenance. A person who is compelled to beg cannot be faulted for such actions in these circumstances. Any legislation, penalizing the people therefore, is in the teeth of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
Last year, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Suhail Rashid Bhat v. State of J&K & Ors, struck down a similar law in J&K. The High Court had held therein:
“The criminalization of begging, undeniably adversely impacts the most vulnerable people in the society i.e., that group of people who do not have access to basic essentialities as food, shelter, health and criminalization of begging ignores the reality that persons who are begging are the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized in the society.”
MERE INSULT OF A PERSON DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFENCE IF THERE IS NO INTENTION TO HUMILIATE SC/ST PERSON: SC
Hitesh verma v. state of uttarakhand
The Supreme Court has observed that the offence under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is not established merely on the fact that the informant is a member of Scheduled Caste unless there is an intention to humiliate a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe for the reason that the victim belongs to such caste.
Referring to the provisions of the Act, the bench also observed that all insults or intimidations to a person will not be an offence under the Act unless such insult or intimidation is on account of victim belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. The court noted that the basic ingredients of the offence under Section 3(1)(r) are: 1) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Schedule Tribe and; 2) in any place within public view.
SUPREME COURT ISSUED GUIDELINES ON PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE IN MATRIMONIAL MATTERS
Rajnesh v Neha
The bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and R. Subhash Reddy by upholding the decision of Delhi High Court held that maintenance in all cases will be awarded from the date of filing the application for maintenance.
The bench was disposing an appeal against a judgment of Delhi High Court. The appeal was against a Delhi High Court order which had upheld the order of Family Court which had directed the husband to pay interim maintenance. The High Court had observed that, a wife is also entitled to a lifestyle similar to that of the husband during the pendency of the proceedings before the Family Court.
MERE REGISTRATION UNDER MULTIPLE CASES NOT A GROUND TO CANCEL BAIL
The Karnataka HC has dismissed a petition filed by a rape survivor seeking to cancel bail granted to the accused on the ground that he is a habitual offender and has similar case registered against him. A bench of Justice H. P. Sandesh said that, ‘in the absence of any cogent material on record, the liberty of any person as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, cannot be curtailed on the mere ground of the number of cases being pending against him. It is settled by law that Section 439(2) of Cr.P.C has to be invoked in exceptional cases when it causes miscarriage of justice, if it is not invoked and the same has to be exercised sparingly and not mere asking of the cancellation of bail.
Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail.
(1) A High Court or Court of Session may direct-
(a) that any person accused of an offence and in custody be released on bail, and if the offence is of the nature specified in subsection (3) of section 437, may impose any condition which it considers necessary for the purposes mentioned in that sub- section;
(b) that any condition imposed by a Magistrate when releasing an person on bail be set aside or modified: Provided that the High Court or the Court of Session shall, before granting bail to a person who is accused of an offence which is triable exclusively by the Court of Session or which, though not so triable, is punishable with imprisonment for life, give notice of the application for bail to the Public Prosecutor unless it is, for reasons to be recorded in writing, of opinion that it is not practicable to give such notice.
(2) A High Court or Court of Session may direct that any person who has been released on bail under this Chapter be arrested and commit him to custody.
AG KK VENUGOPAL CONSENTED TO INITIATE CRIMINAL CONTEMPT PROCEEDING
Attorney general KK Venugopal gave his consent to initiate criminal contempt of court proceedings against stand up comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets against the Supreme Court of India.
Venugopal in his consent letter stated that the tweets are “highly objectionable” and in his opinion “constitutes criminal contempt of court”.
ESTABLISHING SPECIAL COURTS FOR TRIAL OF MPs/MLAs NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY VALID
The three judge bench of Madras High Court had claimed that it is not legally permissible to create Special Courts for trial of MPs/ MLAs as Special Courts can only be “Offence Centric” and not “Offender Centric”. It was further submitted that there are already Special Courts under the SC/ST Act, POCSO Act, and PC Act and other Central and State enactments, for exclusive trial of the offence under those Acts, and there was no scope to establish another set of Courts to try a particular category of offenders.
LACK OF PRIOR CONSENT FROM STATE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT VITIATE CBI INVESTIGATION
Fertico marketing and investment pvt. ltd. v. CBI
The CBI investigation is not vitiated merely for not obtaining prior consent of the State Government under Section 6 of the Delhi special police establishment Act, 1946 (in addition to general consent which was in force), unless it is shown that prejudice has been caused to the accused, the Supreme Court has observed.
SECTION 6. Consent of State Government to exercise of powers and jurisdiction.—Nothing contained in section 5 shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in 2 [a State, not being a Union territory or railway area], without the consent of the Government of that State.