- TOP 10 LEGAL HEADLINES OF THE WEEK
1. Allahabad HC Grants Protection from Arrest to Actor and Family Members in Molestation Case
A Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising of Justices Manoj Misra and Sanjay Kumar Pichoi granted protection from arrest to actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and his four family members in relation to a molestation case filed by his estranged wife. The order was passed in furtherance to the actor’s plea for quashing of the FIR.
2. Former Union Minister Dilip Ray Gets Three Years Imprisonment in Coal Scam Case
A Delhi Court awarded former Union Minister Dilip Ray a three-year jail term in a coal scam case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 60 Lakh on Castron Technologies Ltd. and Rs 10 Lakh n Castron Mining Ltd., also held guilty in the case.
3. For the First Time in India, Gujarat HC Begins Live YouTube Streaming of Court Proceedings
The Gujarat High Court announced that it would commence living streaming of court proceedings on YouTube with a view to “effectuation and broadening the implementation of Open Court concept even during the virtual hearings…”
4. Mere Deficiencies in Investigation or Chinks in Prosecution Case Cannot Be Sole Ground for Concluding Bias by Investigating Officer: SC in NDPS Case
A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy observed that mere deficiencies in investigation or chinks in the prosecution case could not be the sole basis for concluding bias. The observation was made in an NDPS Case titled as Rajesh Dhiman v State of Himachal Pradesh.
5. Right to Default Bail Enforceable Even if Charge sheet/ Report Seeking Extension of Time is Subsequently FiledThe Supreme Court bench
comprising of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran, noted that where the accused has already applied for default bail, the Prosecutor cannot defeat the enforcement of the right of the accused by subsequently filing a final report, additional complaint or report seeking an extension of time. This observation was made in the case of M Ravindran v. The Intelligence Officer.
6. SC States That HCs Can Formulate Their Own Rules for Hearing Via Video Conferences
The Supreme Court stated that High Courts may formulate their own ruled for video conferencing. The bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao also stated that considering the change of situations since April, the rules for virtual hearings would also extend to trial matters and appellate proceedings.
7. Lack of Independent Witness Not Fatal in NDPS Cases: SC
The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy reiterated that the lack of independent witnesses is not fatal to the prosecution cases in NDPS Case. The bench also observed that a greater degree of care has to be adopted by the Courts while scrutinizing the testimonies of Police Officers in such cases.
8. Power U/s 41A Cannot Be Used to Intimidate, Threaten or Harass; SC Stays Direction to Delhi Resident
The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee stayed a Police Summons served to a Delhi resident accused of making an “objectionable” post on Facebook against the government of West Bengal. The court noted that “There is a need to ensure that the power under section 41A is not used to intimidate, threaten or harass.”
9. Officers Authorized to Investigate NDPS Cases are Police Officers, observes SC; Confessional Statements Made to Them are Not Admissible
The Supreme Court held by a 2:1 majority that officers of the Central and State agencies appointed under the NDPS Act are Police Officers, and thus, the confessional statements recorded by them under Section 67 are not admissible. Justices RF Nariman and Navin Sinha, in the case titled as Tofan Singh v. State of Tamil Nadu observed thus, while Justice Indira Banerjee gave a dissenting opinion.
10. Depression Not Unsoundness of Mind; SC Dismisses Appeal Against Dismissal by Ex-Army Man
A Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari observed that depression does not qualify as an unsound mind for entitling one to the defence under Section 84, IPC.