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No Responsibility Or Duty To Run Administration; Can’t Issue Mandamus To Shift Mobile Tower To Another Place: Uttarakhand High Court [READ JUDGMENT]

The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday (15th January) refused to issue a mandamus writ in the case of Samay Sharma v. State of Uttarakhand & Others.

By: Megha Ravindran BBA LLB Nehru Academy of Law.

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari said that it is neither the responsibility nor the duty of the Court to run the administration.

Brief of the case

Indus Tower Ltd was permitted to build a Mobile Tower in Aaganwadi Campus, Shivlok Colony, Ramnagar, Raipur, Dehradun.

So, Samay Sharma filed a petition that the Mobile Tower may adversely affect the children in the residential area of the colony and prayed that the State of Uttarakhand, District Magistrate, Dehradun, Dehradun Smart City Limited, Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority, and Nagar Nigam, Dehradun should be directed to move the Mobile Tower to some other place.

Observation of the Court

The Court remarked that no bar in the law prevents a Mobile Tower from being erected. It is not the responsibility of this Court to run the administration. Consequently, the Court refused to issue mandamus. The Court also directed the Respondent to pass a reasoned order.

News, Top Stories

“At Least In Death She Is Entitled Some Dignity As Every Citizen Blessed By Constitution”; Calcutta HC Orders Second Autopsy On The Body Of A Pregnant Woman [READ ORDER]

The Calcutta High Court ordered a second post-mortem on the body of a Pregnant Woman in the case of Sankar Ruidas Vs. The State of West Bengal & Ors.

By: Megha Ravindran, BBA LLB, Nehru Academy of Law.

Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee was the bench who ordered the second autopsy.

Brief of the case

The bench was hearing the plea of the father of a lady who is 19 years old and was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. On April 14, 2020, she was admitted to Sub-divisional Hospital due to malnutrition and poor health condition.

She underwent a COVID Test in Sanjiban Hospital and after being tested, she was requested to return to the Uluberia SD Hospital. Sanjiban Hospital submitted the test result and the result was negative. The woman died on April 20, 2020. Uluberia Hospital filed the report that the woman died due to malnutrition and related complications.

The father of the woman said that media reports show that her daughter delivered a child at Sanjiban Hospital but the Court couldn’t find that and the State expressed that she did not deliver any child at Uluberia Hospital.

Observation of the court

After observing the facts, the bench observed she weighed 41kg at the time when she was admitted to the Hospital but the post-mortem report indicates she was 25kg, so it is unbelievable that she lost 16kg within four days and also the post-mortem report does not mention that the woman carried a fetus.

The court directed that the body of the woman must be preserved in the same state as now and a second post-mortem should be conducted within 48 hours at R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital and also directed to conduct a DNA test.

The court further ordered to collect DNA samples from the close relatives of her for verifying the lifeless body preserved in the Uluberia Hospital mortuary is that particular lady.

The court also ordered the Directors to show cause as to why appropriate steps, including in contempt, should not be taken against them for failing to file a report despite the clear directions issued by the order dated August 4, 2020.

The bench clearly stated that she was a citizen of India and she is from a poor family, so her family may not able to provide the basic facilities that she needed during pregnancy. So at least in death, she is entitled to get some dignity as every citizen blessed by our glorious Constitution deserves.

News, Top Stories

Plea Moved In Delhi High Court Against New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A petition is moved before the Delhi High Court against WhatsApp claiming the violation of the Right to privacy which is an intrinsic fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

By: Malavika S Menon, BBA LLB, Nehru Academy of Law.

The petition was lodged by Advocate Manohar Lal in favor of Advocate Chaitanya Rohilla seeking immediate relief, and alleging that the new policy is clearly ultra vires and utterly violates fundamental rights provided in Part III of the Indian Constitution and cannot be accepted in a democracy.

The plea claimed that WhatsApp has capriciously changed its privacy policy, forcing users to agree to accept the terms and conditions, demanding the cancellation of services from February 8th, 2021 if not accepted.

It was also argued that the new policy “virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity” without any “government oversight.”

There are concerns from the users that the personal data will be shared through other Facebook-related apps or other third-party apps because of this updated privacy policy.

WhatsApp has made a mockery out of our fundamental right to privacy while discharging a public function in India, besides jeopardizing the National Security of the country by sharing, transmitting and storing the users’ data in some another country and that data, in turn, will be governed by the laws of that foreign country” stated the plea.

Over the years, WhatsApp has become an essential part of the life of citizens including government and judicial officials.

To avoid the applicability of this kind of hysterics, so Whatsapp; a private body, is subject to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court since it is performing a public function as a communication technology.

The plea asserted for the guidelines from the central government in this matter and to exercise the powers under Information Technology Act (IT Act) to ensure that no data can be shared by WhatsApp through Facebook-related or other third-party apps.

News, Top Stories

Delhi Police Approach Supreme Court Seeking Ban For The Tractor Rally On Republic Day

A group of farmers has been alleged to conduct a tractor rally as a part of their protests on January 26th i.e. Republic day.

By: Malavika S Menon, BBA-LLB, Nehru Academy Of Law.

There has been information about a small group of protesters planning to conduct a tractor rally to shatter Republic day celebrations, states the Delhi police.

The protest didn’t fade up a bit, though several negotiations have taken place between the farmers and the government.

A few deaths have taken place, either by illness or by suicide, not out of any violence.

The protesters including senior citizens, women, and children are out there facing cold and covid.

The several others who joined the protest other than farmers, showing solidarity, may create chaos in agitation which was calm until handled by the farmers without any incidents doubting the plea.

The natives have been already facing problems to move around and maintain their business freely as a citizen because of the blockade of roads and highways.

The Delhi police state that the right to protest never includes maligning the nation globally since the protest on republic day is likely to pull the attention from all over the world and the right to protest is always subject to countervailing public order and the public interest.

Arguing on these grounds, the Delhi police prayed for an injunction that will prohibit anyone from conducting a tractor march, trolley march, or any other vehicle march on republic day at the capital city.

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We are doing this because you have failed to solve the problem: Supreme Court expresses inclination to stay Farm Laws

The Supreme Court, on Monday, stated that it was in favor of staying the three Farm Laws till the deadlock between the Central government and protesting farmers over the contentious laws is resolved. The Union of India has to take responsibility. The laws have resulted in a strike and now you have to solve the strike,” the Court said

By: Kanchan

A Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI), SA Bobde, and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian also expressed disappointment at how the Centre has handled the issue observing that the central government has failed to solve the problem.

“We propose to form a committee and if the government does not (stay the law), then we will stay the implementation of the Farm Acts. We are extremely disappointed with the way Centre is dealing with this. We are doing this because you have failed to solve the problem. Union of India has to take the responsibility. The laws have resulted in a strike and now you have to solve the strike,” the Court said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta vehemently argued that the Centre has done its best to resolve the deadlock and said that observations by the Court in that regard were “harsh.”

The Court did not pass any order on Monday but remarked that it is likely to pass its order later in the day or on Tuesday. The Court also said that it will do its job as the apex court of the country. The CJI also hinted that the Court was in favor of shifting the site of the protest elsewhere.

“We don’t want anyone to say that we stifled the protest. But it needs to be seen if protesters can be removed a bit from there,” CJI Bobde remarked. He further emphasized that the Court is not encouraging lawbreakers. “It should not be understood that we are protecting any lawbreaker. If someone breaks the law they will face the consequences sequences. We are not encouraging the breaking of the law. We propose to pass this order to prevent loss of life and property,” CJI Bobde said. 

We don’t want anybody’s injury or blood on our hands, the Court stated while demanding why the Centre was insisting on not keeping the law in abeyance till the matter was solved. “Our intention is to see if we can bring about an amicable resolution to the problem. That is why we asked you why don’t you put the Farm Bills on hold. You want time for negotiation. If there is some sense of responsibility showing that you will not implement the laws, then we can form a committee with ICAR members to look into this. Till then, you can continue to put the law on hold. Why will you insist on continuing the law anyhow,” CJI Bobde asked. 

Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, objected to the stay stating that the laws are within the legislative competence of the Parliament and are intended to benefit the farmers. “A law cannot be stayed unless its beyond legislative competence or violative of Fundamental rights of against any constitutional provision. Farm Laws are for their benefit,” he said. 

While highlighting that farmers from South India have not protested against the laws, it was said that “Farmers from South India have not protested. Why? Because the laws are for their benefit. That is why we are asking them to understand the law. Haryana CM also wanted to meet the farmers but the entire setup of the meeting was destroyed. Press reporters were assaulted.” Farm laws are for the benefit of farmers. Farmers from South India are not protesting. But the Court maintained that staying the implementation of the law would help ease the tension and prevent any probable violence. “Who is going to be responsible for bloodshed? We need to uphold Article 21 as a Constitutional court. What if some conflagration takes place,” the Bench demanded. CJI Bobde also asked various farmers unions and organizations, who were party to the matter, to persuade the women, old, and child protesters to go back to their native places. 

Can you convey to them that the Chief Justice has made this request,” he told Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and HS Phoolka who were appearing for the farmers.  “Mr.Phoolka you persuade them to go back. At some point of time, we might say in our order that old people and women need not be there in the protests,” he added.  Why don’t you put the laws on hold. Who is going to be responsible for bloodshed?

All the while, the Court maintained that the object of the hearing was to bring the farmers to the discussion table before a committee which the Court was proposing to constitute.  In this regard, the Court also asked parties to suggest names of former judges who could head the committee. 

The three laws, Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance & Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act & Amendment to Essential Commodities Act were assailed before the Court as illegal, arbitrary, and unconstitutional.

It was also contended that the laws passed are “unconstitutional” and “anti-farmer” as it would dismantle the Agriculture Produce Market Committee system intended to ensure fair prices for farm products.“They will pave the way for cartelization and commercialization of agriculture produced and if allowed to stand will completely ruin our country as the corporates can, with one stroke, export our agriculture produce without any regulation,” one of the petitioners have submitted. 

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