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Madras High Court Issues Directions To Prevent Spread Of Dengue In The State [READ DIRECTIONS]

Madras High Court on Wednesday (6th January 2021) issues directions to prevent the spread of dengue in the case of A.P. Suryaprakasam v. State of T.N. & Ors.

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

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the directions in a writ of mandamus.

Brief of the case

The writ petition was filed for seeking directions on the State Health Department and Municipal Bodies to the widespread cases of dengue infection in different parts of the State in 2009. The State authorities had failed to take appropriate precautions for preventing the spread, because of this reason, the writ of mandamus was filed.

In 2020 also dengue cases were reported in Chennai. During the pandemic situation of coronavirus, the Court must issue appropriate directions on the respondents.

Observation of the court

The Court observed that the issue of dengue is not limited to Chennai alone and it may cover the entire state due to the poor unhygienic conditions of living, water blockage or stagnant water, and breeding of larva.

The court after analyzing the serious conditions, the court issued some directions to the respondents. The directions are as follows :

1. To conduct a meeting of all health departments and Municipal Bodies of principal towns. If physical meetings are not possible then conduct online meetings.

2. Prepare a road map to deal with the dengue.

3. The health departments should seek expert advice and also ensure awareness of spread to the most vulnerable strata.

4. To remove stagnant water and to educate people.

5. Expert Bodies can look into the use of repellents and other chemicals regularly to prevent the spread of dengue and advisories must be issued by the health department.

6. Health department must constantly monitor the implementation of the scheme.

7. Secretary, Health Department to file a report in 8 weeks.

8. File a status report indicating steps taken in clearing railway platforms in and around the city and other areas where vehicles are parked resulting in water stagnation.

9. Areas occupied by fishermen must be given special attention.

10. Explore the possibilities of developing a vaccine.

News, Top Stories

Allahabad High Court: Unnecessary Or Unjustified Arrest Made By Police Leads To Violation Of One’s Private Liberty [READ ORDER]

The Allahabad High Court, while hearing the matter, observed that“Irrational and indiscriminate arrests are gross violation of human rights.”

By: Anish Khondo, 5th Year, BA LLB, School of Law Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore.

The High Court was dealing with the anticipatory bail of the applicant Sachin Saini to release him under section 147, 148, 323, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Learned counsel for the applicant Manoj Kumar Srivastava had submitted that the allegations are absolutely incorrect and the applicant has been falsely implicated. “He has no criminal history to his credit. The applicant has definite apprehension that he may be arrested by the police any time.”

The Learned AGA had opposed the prayer for anticipatory bail of the applicant and“has submitted that in view of the seriousness of the allegations made against the applicant, he is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail.”

The High Court, after observing the statements, said that if an FIR is lodged then it’s up to the will of the police to make an arrest and there is no fixed period for the police to arrest an accused.

Also, the “arrest should be the last option for the police and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative or his custodial interrogation is required. Irrational and indiscriminate arrests are a gross violation of human rights.”

Then the Hon’ble Siddharth, J. also referred a case Joginder Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh (AIR 1994 SC 1349) wherein the apex court had referred the

third report of National Police Commission where it was said that the arrest is one “chief source of corruption” for the police and “nearly 60 percent of the arrests were either unnecessary or unjustified and that such unjustified police action accounted for 43.2 percent of expenditure of the jails.”

In addition to the case, the High court also referred to Personal liberty which “is a very precious fundamental right and it should be curtailed only when it becomes imperative. According to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the peculiar case, the arrest of an accused should be made.”

Lastly, without considering any merit of the case, the High Court released the applicant on anticipatory bail and certain conditions made by the trial court to be followed.

News, Top Stories

Right to religion is not higher than the right to life: Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee

If it is possible to conduct the festivities without compromising on COVID protocol, every endeavor should be made to explore how the traditional festivals may be held, the Court said

By: Kanchan

The Court said that if it is possible to conduct the festivities without compromising on COVID protocol and without allowing outsiders entry to the religious institutions, every endeavor should be made to explore how the traditional festivals may be observed.

The Bench which also comprised Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition moved by Rangarajan Narasimhan, aggrieved over the halt in the conduct of temple festivals and rituals at Srirangam’s Ranganathaswamy Temple from April 2020 onwards.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Banerjee orally remarked, “Your religious rites have to be subject to the public interest and the right to life. The right to religion is not higher than the right to life … If the government has to take measures in a pandemic situation … we will not seek to interfere… With the little that we have heard you, with the present scientific assistance … how can we come to your aid? … Now that we have the help of science, let us use science to promote your religious festivals…”

Chief Justice Banerjee also recalled that the Calcutta High Court had recently passed orders to regulate the conduct of Durga Puja festivities so that crowds may be reduced amid the pandemic.

He further referred to the Calcutta High Court’s decision to curb the use of firecrackers. While both decisions went against how the festivities are usually conducted, Chief Justice Banerjee observed, “It goes against how you celebrate these functions. Fortunately, both (decisions) were upheld by the Supreme Court on the ground that the right to life comes ahead of the right to religion. If you can assure and if it is feasible that the functions can be conducted on a reduced level of participation of the public, so that religious rights are not compromised and public health also not affected, we can go ahead…”

Narasimhan told the Court that there were certain rituals and festivals traditionally conducted at the Srirangam Temple throughout the year under shastras. Responding to the Court’s concerns, he also emphasized that there were ways to conduct the same on a minimal scale while adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols. He argued that the festivities can be conducted while restricting the participation of the general public and following all requisite safety norms.

While there are no two questions about the need to follow COVID-19 norms, Narasimhan argued that the government was halting the conduct of the festivals at the Srirangam temple on its whims and fancies under the guise of COVID-19 related orders.

The relevant government orders also did not prohibit the conduct of festivals, and some festivals were also permitted to be conducted, he submitted. He added that the government’s move to permit some festivals while prohibiting others were contributing to anarchy and confusion.

In this backdrop, he urged the Court that the religious heads should be allowed to decide how the festivities may be conducted within its timeframe in a minimized way while adhering to COVID-19 norms. In the course of his submissions, he also raised concern that the PIL has been pending since August last year.

Appearing for the respondent authorities, Senior Advocate Satish Parasaran told the Court that some of the festivals were conducted, albeit at a later date. He added that the government had acted to ensure that the COVID-19 situation does not worsen.

Opining that this case should not be treated as adversarial and remarking that “it is necessary to look forward”, the Bench proceeded to direct the government to consult the concerned religious heads to examine whether it would be possible to conduct the festivities without compromising public health.

If it is feasible, the Court said that Narasimhan may also be included in the discussions. The Court has called for a report from the government in 6 weeks, indicating how the festivities may be observed for the period until July 2021.

“It is made absolutely clear that hygiene and COVID protocol cannot be compromised for the purpose of any religious celebrations. The celebrations have to be held upon maintaining covid protocol at all times,” the Court added.

Anticipatory Bail in India
News, Top Stories

Possibility Of A Relationship Gone Sour Cannot Be Ruled Out: Sikkim High Court Acquits Rape Accused [READ JUDGMENT]

The Sikkim High Court, on Thursday, remarked that a ruined relationship cannot be ruled out in the case of Makraj Limboo vs. State of Sikkim

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

Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan while acquitting a rape accused on the pretext of a promise of marriage, given that statement.

Brief of the case

On 10/01/2018, the victim filed an FIR accusing Makraj Limboo, that she was raped by him and became pregnant and by his advice, she aborted that child. He raped her again.

The Trail Court charged him under section 376(1) of IPC and punished him to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and also fine of Rs. 50,000.

Observation of the court

The Court noted that there is an unjustifiable delay of five years in registering the FIR, so it is equally important to observe and verify her testimony in court.

After referring to the records of FIR and statement of record under section 164 of Cr.PC, Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan said that there is a serious inconsistency on the one side and the temperament on the other side.

The court said that “The court can, in a given case, rely upon the sole testimony of the victim if it is safe, reliable and worthy of acceptance and convict the accused. However, it is always prudent for the court to seek corroboration when the sole testimony is the only evidence available.” 

The bench further observed that in this case, there is a grave suspicion that the accused had raped the victim but cannot convict the appellant alone on suspicion.

There is evidence that the victim being infatuated with the appellant and also she expressed her wish to marry him. Their physical and sexual relationship was also deposed by many prosecutors and this cannot be the ground of rape.

Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan after observing the case finally stated that “the possibility of a relationship gone sour cannot be ruled out.”

News, Top Stories

‘Expressing Dissent Hallmark of Democracy’: Allahabad High Court Quashes FIR for Tweets Against UP CM [READ ORDER]

The Allahabad High Court quashed the FIR for tweets against the UP Chief minister in the case of Yashwant Singh v. State of UP & Ors.

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

Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal remarked that only expressing disagreement against the affairs of the State is not a criminal offence.

Brief of the case

A writ petition was filed by Yashwant Singh, who had made certain remarks against UP CM through his twitter account. He tweeted that the Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath, has turned UP into a ‘jungleraj’, where law and order have no prevalence. He also referred to incidents of abduction, demand of ransom and murders that rampantly taken place in the State.

An FIR was filed against him, charged under Section 500 of IPC and 66D of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008. He therefore filed a writ petition and also submitted that the right to dissent is a fundamental right which has been enshrined under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Observation of the court

Court observed that they did not find even a remote commission of offence done under Section 66-D of IT Act. The bench also said that the offence was not made out under Section 500 of IPC and the alleged tweet could not fall within the mischief of defamation. The Court expressed that right to dissent is a constitutionally protected right under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal remarked that “Expressing dissent on law and order situation in the State, is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours, constitutionally protected under Article 19 of the Constitution”.

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