Prolawctor Daily Legal Updates|15 August, 2020

Daily Legal Updates

  • The bail plea filed by Swapna Suresh is set aside by National Investigation Agency special court.

The special court after examining all the details of the case and evidences presented by the NIA, rejected the plea for bail filed by Swapna Suresh, who is considered a prime accused for using diplomatic connections to smuggle in the “Kerala gold smuggling case.” Not only was the plea rejected, but the court also ordered a thorough and exhaustive investigation in the present case. Swapna Suresh has been accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

  • The apex court in the Prashant Bhushan contempt case stated that “if such an attack is not dealt with, it may affect national honour and prestige”

The Supreme Court bench constituting of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, held Prashant Bhushan, an advocate guilty of criminal contempt of the court. The bench while delivering the verdict referred to several judgements and precedents that illustrated the power of the court to implement contempt jurisdiction and reiterated that “when a statement is made against a judge as an individual, the contempt jurisdiction would not be available. However, when the statement is made against a judge as a judge and which has an adverse effect in the administration of justice, the Court would certainly be entitled to invoke the contempt jurisdiction.” Further emphasizing that a comment of such intensity is “calculated in order to malign the image of judiciary, the Court would not remain a silent spectator.” Consequently, the court expressed its opinion stating “In this premise, making such wild allegation thereby giving an impression, that the CJI is enjoying riding an expensive bike, while he keeps the SC in lockdown mode and thereby denying citizens their fundamental right to access justice, is undoubtedly false, malicious and scandalous. It has the tendency to shake the confidence of the public at large in the institution of judiciary and the institution of the CJI and undermining the dignity and authority of the administration of justice. We are unable to accept the contention of the alleged contemnor No.1, that the said statement was a bona fide criticism made by him on account of his anguish of non-functioning of the courts physically.” The proceedings were concluded by the bench asserting that in their opinion such comments made in the tweet are capable of undermining and tarnishing the “dignity and authority of the institution of the Supreme Court of India and the CJI. the tweets which are based on the distorted facts, in our considered view, amount to committing of ‘criminal contempt.’”

  • The madras high court while hearing a case opined that “Before throwing mud on a Judge, Advocates must realise they are attacking themselves and the Institution”

While hearing a case which dealt with illicit mining of granite, Justice B Pugalendhi communicated his grief and agony upon the request filed for his recusal, regardless of an order which laid down an in depth explanation of stating why such an recusal is unnecessary and uncalled for in the present matter. The court in the present case emphasised that “though there is no complicated legal issue involved in these cases, the appeals are pending for three years… The respondents / accused are enjoying the order of acquittal for three years, even without a trial and they may intend to retain this favourable order of acquittal for some more time. But the Advocates, being the Officers of the Court, owe certain duties not only to their clients, but also to the Court. No party to a litigation may stoop to this extent, without the knowledge of his Advocate.” Therefore, the court remarked that such recusals are often a move by the respondents to delay the court hearings and the verdict of the court. The court further expressed its frustration stating “Even for answering 1 + 1 = 2, at times, we have to explain in detail”.

  • AGR Dues to be paid – Supreme Court hears Telcos case.

On Friday a three- judge bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Shah, heard the matter relating to the payment of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

Justice Arun Mishra questions that why Jio Pay AGR dues for Reliance communications (RCom) spectrum. It shouldn’t is observed by court that Jio is using RCom spectrum since 2016 and that it should be held liable to pay the AGR dues.

Court has directed that spectrum belongs to government and all those users using the spectrum have to pay usage charges. Also the revenue earned by them should be shared. The court has ordered to submit all the agreements between parties and also asked to share the the usage details of all insolvent Telcoms with court and to bring them on record.

The court has also ordered Department of Telecommunications to submit all the details of agreements relating the usage of spectrum the names of user, date of usage and deposit or dues paid by the insolvent telcoms before court. Thus the apex court has adjourned the hearing in this matter on Monday, 17 August.

  • Patanjali Ayurved Permitted to use mark “CORONIL” for a period of 2 weeks – Madras HC.

Patanjali  Ayurved and the Divya Yog  Mandir Trust have been granted permission to use Coronil as mark for a period of 2 weeks. This is an interim stay passed by a division bench of Justice R. Subbiah and Justice C. Saravanan of Madras HC on the previous order of a single judge bench  Justice CV Karthikeyan who had opposed the use of term coronil and had also ordered  to pay Rs. 10 Lakhs as infringement of usage of trademark.

On August 6 single Judge Bench of Madras HC had ordered Patanjali Ayurved and Divya Yog Mandir Trust to not use the term Coronil as it is considered to be infringement of trademarks Act and had ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs.

This order has been challenged before a division bench of Madras HC and the court has issued an interim stay on the injunction so issued by previous bench. The court therefore permits the use of term Coronil for a period of 2 weeks and then the court shall have a final hearing in the matter after 2 weeks.

  • No intent to scandalize or lower the court authority says Yatin Oza in a suo motu case

The Gujarat HC has issued a suo motu case against the Gujarat High court Advocates Association (GHCAA) President Yatin Oza. In one of his live conference in facebook he allegedly passed statements against the court and it’s registry. The HC withdrawn the senior designation from Oza. Then he moved the case to SC. In SC he expressed his apology on passing those alleged statements. The SC ordered Oza to submit an apology to Gujarat High court. Oza filed an affidavit in expressing his apology and mentioned that it was not his intention to lower the court authority and also urged to discharge him from proceedings. The Gujarat HC recorded his statements and adjourned the next hearing to August 17.

  • Delhi HC allows DU to add a member in its committee

The Delhi High court on Friday passed an order to allow Delhi University to add a member of its own choice in the court constituted grievance redressal committee for open book examination for final year students. While giving an order to conduct online open book examination for final year students, the HC appointed a committee under justice Prathiba Rani with few other members. A case has been filed. After hearing arguments the court stated that the committee by single judge, it had no role to play in internal functions of the university and allowed the university to choose one of its member on its own in the committee. The university chose prof. Rai as the member of the Grievances Redressal committee.

  • The Supreme Court of India is all set regarding the guidelines of final year examination:

The conduct of the final year exam has been a matter of discussion due to the pandemic situation.

The Supreme Court is going to hear the petition by the University Grants Commission (UGC) regarding the new guidelines for the conduct of the final year examination to be held in the recent situation.

After several days of holding back, it was earlier expected that the hearing on August 10, however again it was adjourned to August 14 keeping in view the academic interest of the students.

  • Approach by Bar council of India (BCI) to provide free help to the needy lawyers to virtual hearings:

Due to the Covid situation, it is not possible to carry out the direct proceedings in the court. So the Bar Council of India has decided to approach to the Governmental authorities in order of to get assistance and regarding the needs and demands with respect to the conduct of virtual proceedings in Court.

Bar Council of India, has the intention to put forward the problems regarding lawyers’ inability to access and utilise virtual hearings, and the need for the resumption of limited physical hearings with adequate safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that it will be fruitful to the Indian judiciary system in such a global pandemic situation.

The Chairman of BCI clearly remarked that BCI will be requesting the government to provide iPads or computers to facilitate the access of needy lawyers to virtual hearings and e-filing in the courts.

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