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Top Ten Legal Headlines of the Week-10 Mar 2024

Top Ten Legal Headlines of the Week-10 Mar 2024


1. Shanghai Electric v Reliance Infra: Delhi High Court restrains Anil Ambani firm from selling assets worth US $135 million

Reliance Infrastructure Limited v. Shanghai Electric Group Co.                                    In a recent legal dispute, the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) upheld an arbitral award, directing Reliance Infrastructure to pay approximately $146 million to Shanghai Electric Group over the Sasan Power Project. Despite the Delhi High Court rejecting Reliance's argument, it now restricts the sale of assets worth $135 million as security for the ongoing arbitration dispute, with the condition that existing charges by banks or financial institutions on the assets will prevail. The division bench clarified that this order is subject to any pre-existing charges in favour of banks or financial institutions on the assets.

2. Allahabad High Court directs State to study 'open jails' concept for welfare for convicts                                                           

During the hearing of a letter petition filed by an acquitted man still serving time in Model Jail, Lucknow, the court converted it into a Suo moto PIL focused on the welfare of convicts and their families. February 7 and 28 Orders emphasized studying reformative models, collecting data on inmates, and assessing the impact on families. The court granted the state one month to assess the impact of incarceration on dependent family members and consider convicts' personal liberty, with the next hearing scheduled for March 29 in the larger public interest.

3. Supreme Court takes Suo moto cognizance of exclusion of visually impaired candidates from Madhya Pradesh judicial service

[In Re Recruitment of visually impaired in judicial services]

The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, suo motu took notice of the Madhya Pradesh Judicial Services (Recruitment and Service Conditions) Rules, excluding visually impaired candidates from the State's judicial service. The bench converted a letter petition into a suo motu plea, issuing notices to the Secretary General of Madhya Pradesh High Court, the State of Madhya Pradesh, and the Union of India. Senior Advocate Gaurav Agrawal was appointed amicus curiae, and Ravi Raghunath was the advocate-on-record for the case.

4. Delhi High Court cites Gita, Qur'an, and Bible on the role of mediation but says POCSO cases cannot be compromised

 [Rajeev Dagar v State & Ors]

The Delhi High Court addressed a complaint filed by a father alleging inappropriate touching of his children by their uncle. The court considered a plea to reopen the case under Section 7 of the POCSO Act, which deals with sexual assault. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma emphasized the importance of mediation, citing verses from religious texts, including the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Qur'an, and Artha shastra, as tools for dispute resolution

5. Mother tutoring daughter to speak against father amounts to cruelty: Madhya Pradesh High Court                              

The Jabalpur family court granted a husband's custody petition after his wife obstructed access to their child. The decision, on May 18, 2017, drew from recent Delhi and Kerala High Court observations on parental alienation as mental cruelty. The Madhya Pradesh High Court, in a divorce case, noted the seriousness of a mother influencing a child against the father, deeming it as cruelty. The bench, with Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Vinay Saraf, granted divorce to a man facing false criminal cases and denial of access to his minor daughter by his wife.

6. Farmers' Protests: Punjab and Haryana High Court orders judicial probe into death of young farmer

[Uday Pratap Singh V/S Union of India and Others]                 

 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a judicial probe into the recent death of a 22-year-old during the ongoing farmers' agitation at the Punjab-Haryana borders. The court issued this direction during the hearing of petitions related to the farmers' protest. A committee, headed by retired Justice Jaishree Thakur and assisted by ADGP Punjab Parmod Ban and ADGP Haryana Amitabh Singh Dhillon, will conduct the probe and submit a report within a month.

7. Courts have to safeguard the family system, which is fast eroding: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court, in a recent case (A Aashifa Begum vs Khader Beevi), emphasized the importance of safeguarding the family system. The court acknowledged the minor girl's tender age of 2.5 years, granting custody to the mother while ensuring reasonable access for the grandparents. Recognizing the child's normal development, the court reduced visitation from twice to once a month, emphasizing the paramount consideration of the child's welfare in custody and guardianship cases.

8. To be judged by talent and not by chromosomes: Justice Neela Gokhale on Women's Day 2024

Speaking at an International Women's Day event organized by the Mumbai City Civil and Sessions Court, Justice Neela Gokhale urged men to be mindful of women's struggles. She encouraged questioning the underrepresentation of women in professional spaces and advised women to let go of the pressure to be 'supermoms' or 'perfect wives.' Justice Gokhale emphasized that women's success sends a message about talent and ideas transcending gender biases.

9. CJI DY Chandrachud Urges Judges To Write Judgments In Simple Language

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, at an event commemorating India's 75th Year as a Republic in Bikaner, Rajasthan, emphasized the importance of judges writing judgments in simple language to reach the common people. He mentioned ongoing efforts to make court decisions accessible in regional languages. The "Nyaya Sahayak" program was launched during the event to raise awareness of legal services. CJI suggested law students participate in spreading this initiative, forming a human chain of knowledge. He commended the increasing number of female law students.

10. Law Commission Recommends Whistleblower Protection, Says Amendments May Be Brought to Mandate Test Data Disclosure

The Law Commission of India's 289th Report, dated March 5, 2024, suggests the need for special legislation to protect Trade Secrets. The proposed law includes exceptions for whistleblower protection, compulsory licensing, government use, and public interest. Additionally, the report recommends separate legislation for Economic Espionage following consultations with various stakeholders and experts in the field.