Legal wrap of the day: The best stories from courts across India | September 20
In the day’s legal wrapper, India Today takes a look at the top stories of the day from the Supreme Court, various high state courts and trial courts across the country.
SUPREME COURT REPLACES FINE OF RS 10,000 IMPOSED BY NCDRC ON YASH RAJ FILMS
The Supreme Court suspended a fine of Rs 10,000, plus legal costs, imposed on Yash Raj Films by the National Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission (NCDRC). The Court also issued an opinion in the case. The NCDRC fined YRF for “unfair trading practice” by posting a popular Jabra Fan song in the film’s specials that was not included in the film itself.
The song is taken from the film Fan by Shah Rukh Khan in 2016. A movie buff approached the state’s consumer forum claiming that she and her children had gone to see the film solely because of the popularity of the song and that the non-inclusion of the song had harmed his children. The NCDRC, in its order, said that the non-inclusion of the promotional song in the film itself was “misleading” to viewers.
SUPREME COURT REQUESTS THE RESPONSE OF THE ADVOCACY CENTER FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR VACCINATION FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna on Monday asked for the Center’s response to petitions calling for door-to-door vaccination against Covid-19 for people with disabilities, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The judiciary addressed an opinion to the Center and also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to assist the court on what action could be taken while observing that the applicants had raised substantive issues.
READ: India to resume export of Covid vaccines under Vaccine Maitri in October: Center
SUPREME COURT SAYS IT WILL NOT INTERFER IN DECISION TO REOPEN SCHOOLS BY STATES
The Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said on Monday that they would not interfere with the decision by state governments to reopen schools, saying the decision was entirely that of the state. The bench heard a request filed by a class XII student asking for the reopening of schools for physical classes. Judge Chandrachud, during the hearing, advised the young petitioner to focus on his studies rather than filing public interest petitions based on little or no data.
SUPREME COURT TO ISSUE DETAILED ORDERS ON LAWYER STRIKES AND COURT BOYCOTTS
The Supreme Court bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna observed on Monday that they will pass comprehensive orders on the issue of lawyers’ strikes and boycott of the courts. The judiciary said a grievance mechanism should be put in place at all levels where lawyers can argue their concerns so that strikes and boycotts can be avoided. Last year, the Supreme Court heard suo motu of the case.
READ: Ordinary man shouldn’t be afraid of courts: CJI NV Ramana calls for ‘Indianization’ of legal system
BOMBAY HIGH COURT REJECTS ADVOCACY AGAINST RAHUL GANDHI BY RSS OFFICIAL
In relief for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the Bombay High Court rejected the plea of ââRashtriya official Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Rajesh Kunte, who had filed a complaint against the Congress leader in the Bhiwandi court. The case concerns a speech given by Gandhi on March 6, 2014, where he allegedly said it was the RSS that killed Mahatma Gandhi. Kunte had approached the court saying that since he had been associated with the RSS he had been defamed. Gandhi appeared in Bhiwandi court in 2018 and pleaded not guilty.
DELHI HIGH COURT DEMANDS CENTRAL GOVERNMENT POSITION ON ADVOCACY BY TABLE TENNIS STAR MANIKA BATRA AGAINST TTFI
The Delhi High Court has asked the central government council to take instructions on the claim filed by table tennis player Manika Batra against the Indian Table Tennis Federation for dropping her name for the Asian championship. Manika was not included in the Indian team as she did not attend the national camp. Following the Tokyo Games controversy where Manika did not allow Roy to sit in his corner during his singles matches, the TTFI made it compulsory for players to participate in national camps.
READ: Delhi HC asks central government position on table tennis star Manika Batra’s plea against TTFI
A single bench of Judge Rekha Palli has asked the central government council for instructions on the petition filed by Manika Batra. The court registered the case for a new hearing on September 23. The court granted two days to take instructions from and lift its position on the petition.
CHILD MARRIAGE VALID IF “CHILD” DOES NOT DECLARE IT CANCELED AT 18: PUNJAB ET HARYANA HC
A division bench in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has ruled that a marriage contracted with an underage girl will be legally valid if the child at 18 does not declare it void. The High Court ruled that such a marriage is not null but voidable. It would become valid if no action was taken by the “child” to declare the marriage void when he reached majority, the High Court ruled. It was about a couple who got married in February 2009 and went to the High Court to challenge the judgment of a family court in Ludhiana.
READ: Child marriage is valid if ‘child’ does not declare it void by age 18: Punjab and Haryana HC
The couple had taken the Ludhiana court to divorce by mutual consent. The Ludhiana court rejected their divorce petition on the grounds that their marriage was not a valid marriage because the wife was under 18 when the marriage was celebrated in 2009. The high court of judges Ritu Bahri and Arun Monga ruled that the Ludhiana court wrongly dismissed the petition since the wife in the case turned 18 in 2010 and the couple continued to live together until August 2017.
DELHI HC ISSUES ADVOCACY AGAINST GANESH CHATURTHI PUJA ORGANIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF DELHI
The Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Judge Jyoti Singh issued an opinion on Monday on a motion filed by lawyer and PIL enthusiast ML Sharma asking for the disregard of the Aam Aadmi party on the grounds that they had violated the principles of secularism by detaining Ganesh Chaturthi in the capital and broadcast them live on television. The Delhi government lawyer defended the decision saying it was taken to prevent large congregations during the pandemic.
VIRTUAL HEARING IN THE RAPE CASE OF TARUN TEJPAL BEFORE BOMBAY HC ON OCTOBER 27
The Bombay High Court bench in Goa said on Monday it would hold a virtual hearing on October 27 to hear arguments in the Goa State appeal challenging the acquittal of the former editor of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal in the case against a former colleague who accused him of rape and sexual assault. Thanks to this, the judiciary has finally set a date for the start of arguments in the matter with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who will plead for the quashing of the judgment of the trial court.
READ: Maharashtra: Bombay HC upholds life sentence of Kolhapur man convicted of murdering his wife
CASUAL DOOR ENTRY INTO MEDICAL COLLEGES IS STOPPED, SAYS DELHI HIGH COURT
The Delhi High Court has pushed back against backdoors into medical schools, saying thousands of students have worked hard to gain admission to various educational institutions on the basis of merit. The court made the statement while rejecting a plea from five students who had been admitted by LN Medical College Hospital and Research Center, Bhopal, in 2016, bypassing the centralized board led by the Department of Medical Education (DME).
DELHI HC SUSPEND PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE GAUTAM GAMBHIR FOUNDATION IN THE MATTER OF DRUG STORAGE
In what is a relief for Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi High Court on Monday suspended the pending trial in the trial court against Gambhir and his foundation for allegedly hoarding essential Covid-19 drugs during the second wave. Judge Rajnish Bhatnagar’s bench issued a notice in the case and granted a stay of the trial proceedings.
COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE
TWO MONTHS AFTER ARREST, MUMBAI COURT GRANTS RAJ KUNDRA DEPOSIT IN PORN RACKET CASE
The Mumbai court on Monday granted bail to businessman Raj Kundra in the pornography case. Kundra was asked to post a bond of Rs 50,000 by the court. Ryan Thorpe, the IT manager at one of Raj Kundra’s companies, was also released on bail by the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.
Lawyer Prashant Patil, representing Raj Kundra, argued in court that the celebrity and the producer decide what kind of content to upload to the platform. “It was not Kundra or Ryan who decided what should be downloaded. In the 1,400 page charge sheet, there was not a single piece of evidence to show that Kundra was downloading,” he said. Patil said.
READ: Two months after arrest, Mumbai court grants bond to Raj Kundra in porn racketeering case