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Top Ten Legal Headlines of The Week-26 Sep 2023

Top Ten Legal Headlines of The Week-26 Sep 2023



1. The Fresh Selection Process should not be from the Previous Merit List: Supreme Court

On September 21, 2023, the Supreme Court ruled that a candidate who qualified in the selection process cannot be directly appointed to a vacancy caused by a selected candidate's resignation. The Court emphasised the need for a fresh selection process in such cases. Additionally, the ruling clarified that qualifying in the process does not guarantee an absolute right to appointment. This decision promotes fairness and transparency in appointments.

2. Husband not liable under Section 377 IPC for unnatural sex with wife: Madhya Pradesh High Court,

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently ruled that husbands cannot be charged under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code for non-consensual "unnatural" relations with their wives, as Indian law presently doesn't recognise marital rape (Umang Singhar v State & Anr). The Court cited Section 375, which excludes marital relations from its purview. Justice Sanjay Dwivedi dismissed a filed FIR based on this reasoning, underlining the need for a broader societal conversation on marital rape recognition in the legal framework.

3. Supreme Court refuses to entertain PIL for audit of EVMs; says disclosure of source code can lead to hacking

On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting an audit of the software used in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the case of Sunil Ahya v. Election Commission of India. The PIL aimed for an independent examination of the EVMs' source code and urged the audit report to be made public. The Bench, comprised of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, noted that making the source code public would render the EVMs vulnerable to hacking; hence, it cannot be disclosed.

4. Gender bias starts from the womb; it should be beta padhao, beti bachao: Bombay High Court CJ Devendra Upadhyaya                                                               

Bombay High Court Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya recently underscored that gender discrimination begins right from birth and is deeply entrenched in cultural norms. He emphasised the importance of educating boys about patriarchy and gender biases. Chief Justice Upadhyaya also suggested re-examining slogans like "Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao," advocating for a more nuanced approach to women's empowerment. Speaking at the launch of 'Nirdhar Samantecha,' an initiative promoting women's and girls' rights, he called for a shift away from rigid gender roles in society.

5. NCDRC rules consumer court, and RERA cannot be approached on the same complaint.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) recently dismissed a complaint against a building developer. The complainant had already approached a Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) authority on the same matter. NCDRC Members Ram Surat Ram Maurya and Bharat Kumar Pandya stated that the principle of "estoppel by election of remedy" must be applied to prevent multiple proceedings and conflicting judgments. This ensures fairness and avoids redundancy in legal processes. The case was titled A Infrastructure Limited v Macrotech Developers Limited.

6. Need arbitration centre in Bombay High Court; should not allow Delhi to outdo Mumbai: Chief Justice DK Upadhyay      

Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, at an event organised by the Bombay Bar Association on August 30 to honour his appointment, passionately advocated for establishing an arbitration centre within the Bombay High Court premises. He emphasised Mumbai's status as a commercial powerhouse in arbitration matters yet pointed out its conspicuous absence of a dedicated centre, potentially allowing Delhi to outshine Mumbai in this domain. Chief Justice Upadhyaya's insightful remarks underscored the pressing need for Mumbai to fortify its position as a leading arbitration hub.

7. If a wife without her husband's permission sells property purchased in her name, it does not amount to cruelty: Calcutta High Court

In a recent ruling (MS v. JNS), the Calcutta High Court held that a wife's independent decision to sell property under her name without seeking her husband's approval does not constitute cruelty. This significant observation occurred during a hearing by Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Prasenjit Biswas. The case involved an appeal by a woman against the trial court's decision to grant divorce to her husband based on claims of cruelty and desertion.

8. Government servant bound by code of conduct; cannot lead immoral life citing Indian Mythology: Rajasthan High Court

The Rajasthan High Court underscored the importance of government employees adhering to prescribed conduct rules, regardless of any allowances in Indian mythology. In the case of Hari Singh vs. State of Rajasthan, Justice Ashok Kumar Gaur, a single-judge bench, upheld the removal from service of a married constable in the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary. This constable was found to be in a live-in relationship with a married woman who served as a constable in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

9. Calcutta High Court expunges aspersions by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay against State CID; says judge may have been swayed by emotion

The Calcutta High Court overturned a ? 5 lakh fine on the State Crime Investigation Department (CID). It expunged critical remarks by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay in a ? 50 crore money laundering case (State of West Bengal vs Kalpana Das Sarkar). The case involves the alleged failure of a cooperative society to repay around? 50 crores to depositors.

10. Bombay High Court directs the registry to send a proposal to the Maharashtra government to regularise court managers

In a recent development, the Bombay High Court has directed its administrative body to propose to the Maharashtra government the regularisation of services for court managers already serving in the State. These court managers, equipped with Master of Business Administration degrees, are crucial in assisting the judiciary with their administrative functions in every judicial district. This significant directive emanates from the case of Panchksharayya Mathapati v. UOI & Ors.