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Top Ten Headlines of The Week-12 Feb 2024

Top Ten Headlines of The Week-12 Feb 2024


1."Father critical": Son of Asaram Bapu seeks temporary bail from Gujarat High Court to see ailing father

 Self-styled Godman Narayan Sai, convicted in a rape case, has appealed for temporary bail to visit his ailing father, Asaram Bapu, who is also in jail. The court had previously rejected a similar plea due to forged medical documents. Hearing the new plea, the division bench expressed distrust and stated the need to verify Sai's claims about his father's health.

2. Jharkhand High Court quashes criminal proceedings against filmmaker Prakash Jha in 2011 cheating case

The Jharkhand High Court dismissed a 2011 cheating case against filmmaker Prakash Jha. The complaint involved promises related to a multiplex project in Jamshedpur, which the court deemed a civil matter due to a breach of the agreement. The court also nullified the order, taking cognisance and emphasising that criminal courts shouldn't be used for settling disputes.

3. States can introduce measures for sub-categorisation of SC/STs under Article 16(4): Supreme Court reserves judgment

During a hearing, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud distinguished between "sub-classification" and "sub-categorisation" of communities. The Supreme Court, in the case of the State of Punjab vs Davinder Singh, reserved its verdict after a three-day hearing on the legality of sub-classifying reserved category groups. The CJI suggested that states may need to sub-categorise to ensure a wider distribution of reservation benefits to more backward groups.

4. The Supreme Court directs its Registry to refrain from referring to trial courts as lower courts.

In November 2022, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud stressed that district courts should not be termed "subordinate courts," emphasising their integral role in the justice system. The Supreme Court recently instructed its Registry to refrain from using 'lower courts' when referring to trial courts, as noted in the case of Sakhawat vs State of Uttar Pradesh, during the hearing of a criminal appeal before Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan.

5. Bombay High Court quashes Section 498A IPC case filed by judge against her husband-in-laws for cruelty

A judicial officer in Maharashtra, who met her husband through a matrimonial site and married him in February 2018, filed a cruelty case under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against her husband and his family. However, the Bombay High Court recently quashed the case, with Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain stating that the FIR appeared to be a retaliatory move amid the matrimonial disputes between the couple.

6. Hybrid hearings in District Courts: Delhi High Court orders prompt decision on financial estimate for required equipment

The Delhi High Court, in response to a petition by senior citizen lawyers, directed the Public Works Department to estimate funds needed for hybrid hearing equipment in district courts within ten days. The Finance Department is to decide within four weeks based on the estimate. This follows the court's monitoring of progress since 2021 [Case: Anil Kumar Hajelay & Ors v. Hon'ble High Court of Delhi]. 

7. International Court of Justice, Supreme Court of India operate in highly charged political environments: Judge Hilary Charlesworth

During a lecture for the Supreme Court's foundation day, Judge Hilary Charlesworth from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) noted similarities in the political contexts of cases at the ICJ and the Supreme Court of India. She highlighted the potential for the ICJ to learn about judicial independence from national courts and shared insights into her academic journey with Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud.

8. The Registry should call for soft copies of trial court records as soon as leave is granted in appeals: Supreme Court                  

During a bail hearing, the Supreme Court faced an adjournment due to the absence of trial court records in a criminal appeal admitted in August 2023. The court directed its Registry to promptly obtain soft copies of the records for the next hearing on April 3. Citing Mijai Molla and Ors vs State of West Bengal, the Supreme Court recommended acquiring soft copies of trial court records in all admitted criminal appeals to expedite final disposal. Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan stressed that not doing so could cause unnecessary delays.

9. Supreme Court to examine rising instances of pregnancies in women's prisons

The Supreme Court, led by Justice Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, will examine the issue of pregnancies in West Bengal jails after it was highlighted in the Calcutta High Court. Senior Advocate Gaurav Agrawal, the amicus curiae in the suo motu case on prison conditions, was directed to investigate and report back to the court [In Re: Inhuman conditions in 1382 prisons]

10. Bombay High Court grants temporary relief to Mercedes Benz, stays GST demand on expat salary payment

   The Bombay High Court granted temporary relief to Mercedes Benz by staying the enforcement of an order demanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) on expatriate salary payments. The company had contested the Additional Commissioner of Central GST and Customs order, seeking approximately ?10 crores in GST. Justices GS Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla directed the CGST commissioner to respond to the petition and scheduled a hearing for February 20, suspending the effect of the contested order until then.