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Minor Girl Commits Suicide: Allahabad High Court Refuses To Grant Bail To The Accused. [READ ORDER]

The girl died by suicide because of her offensive pictures being shared on social media by the applicant.

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

The petition was filed before honorable Justice Rahul Chaturvedi requesting regular bail for the accused Kunal who is in jail since 08/07/2020, in connection with case Crime No.169 of 2020 under Sections 306, 504, 507, of the Indian Penal Code.

The applicant is alleged to post objectionable posts with the deceased girl on social media including Instagram picturing her as a disgrace which breaks her down and blackmailing her about publicizing their relation to defame her. 

The mother of the deceased minor girl filed the complaint, as per the FIR, the girl was under serious depression which was caused by the applicant since he was constantly bugging her by threatening and spilling filthy abusive comments towards her for almost 8-10 days back, other than sending insulting messages and made her virtually naked in front of her family and society which eventually lead her to hang herself on 06/07/2020.

The counsel for the state also argued that the accused had been teasing the deceased against her wish for some years, which provoked the mother to fix her marriage with a boy named Chhotu who is a minor himself to save the family’s dignity. It was also decided that the marriage will be legalized when both attain majority. 

Later when the news reached Kunal, he became infuriated and revengeful that lead him to call her fiancé and inform him about their so-called relationship and dared him to face the consequences.

The petitioner claimed that he and the girl had been in a relationship for so long and the mother arranged her marriage with another boy without her approval which forced the poor girl to commit suicide without any choice.

The court observed that there was a chance the accused snapped some pictures of the girl and she was a puppet in his arms after that.

Also, expressed that no lover would post these kinds of posts about the loved one on a social media platform. 

It was further held that “The girl is in her minority, having no father; the accused/applicant has virtually made her naked among her family and social circle where she was left with no other option but to commit suicide by hanging herself.”

Hence the court rejected the bail application.

News, Top Stories

Hospital Releases Dead Body to Wrong Family: Supreme Court Stays NCDRC Order Reducing Compensation [READ ORDER]

Justice RF Nariman and Navin Sinha issued notice to the Respondent and stayed the order of NCDRC in the case of PR Jayasree & Anr v. Ernakulam Medical Centre & Anr.

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

Brief of the case

The Petitioner’s father’s dead body was mistakenly released from Ernakulam Medical Centre Hospital to Kathy’s family in 2009.The body was cremated by the Kanthy’s family. The mistake was detected after the cremation so the Petitioner is not able to see his father for one last time.

The Petitioner moved the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and they ordered Rs.25 lakhs as compensation.

The hospital filed an appeal to NCDRC and they reduced the compensation to Rs.5 lakhs, Navin Sinha issued notice to the Respondent and stayed the order of NCDRC.

The NCDRC also directed the hospital to pay Rs. 25 lakhs as costs to the Consumer Legal Aid account of the State Commission.

The order has been challenged by the Petitioner on the ground that:

  • The order by the Commission was passed in July, 2019 but it took eight months to issue the full judgment.
  • The award of Rs. 5 lakhs as compensation is inequitable.
  • The fundamental rights were restricted that they cannot perform the last rites of their father.

Order of the court

The Supreme Court stayed the order of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The Court also issued notice to the hospital and said that there shall be stay on operation of the challenged order.

News, Top Stories

Supreme Court provides instructions based on Education of Children.

The apex court supplies commands to the states and union territories over the education for children in Child Care Institutions and the children restored to the families.

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

Honorable bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, and Ajay Rasthogi commands the directions in the suo moto case “In Re Contagion of Covid19 Virus in Children Protection Homes” while approving the suggestions made by the amicus curiae Advocate Gourav Agarwal.

The directions are to provide necessary infrastructure, books, stationery, printers and other important equipments which are needed for the online classes on the basis of recommendations made by the District Child Care Protection Units (DCPUs) within 30 days of time. 

The DCPUs shall report the development made by the children in online classes and about the infrastructure provided for the Child Care Institutions (CCI) to the District Legal Services Authority in every month, and are also directed to appraise the children restored to the families they belong with the assistance of other statutory bodies. 

The DCPUs are also instructed to check whether the families of the children having any difficulties concerning finance for providing education if so, they should recommend for the financial aid by the state government so that the children attend schools, and the concerned authorities are directed to give rupees 2000 each month to the parents, only for the educational purpose. 

Also directed to arrange a guide teacher for the group of 25 children after verifying the number of children restored to the families in particular geographical areas during lockdown.

State governments are instructed to organize required number of teachers available for the children in Child Care Institutions, and can provide extra classes if necessary, for the final exams to be held in the upcoming year.

For any clarifications and recommendations, the state can approach the amicus curiae.The court also directed the National Council for the Protection of Children Rights to oversee the execution of the guidelines as per its sanction under Section 109 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015.

News, Top Stories

Dawoodi Bohra community child custody custom challenged

As per the custom, the custody of a male child above the age of seven, goes to the husband.

By: Shruti Sunil Rebhankar, ILS Law College, Pune.

A writ petition has been filed before the Supreme Court by a young Indian mother Fatema Quaid Zohar Challawala, based in Kuwait, before the Supreme Court, challenging a ‘custom’ in the Dawoodi Bohra community which allows a man to take over from his estranged wife the custody of their child who is above seven without any due process of law.

The petition is filed through Advocates Sriram P. and Debopriyo Pal.

The petitioner, represented by advocate Sriram P., said the custom was in clear violation of the Supreme Court verdicts which have consistently held that the welfare of the child is paramount while deciding custody.

The custom which allows the father “continuous custody” was against the welfare of both the child and the mother, said the petitioner. The custom also impinges upon the right of the wife to have the dispute of custody of her child to be decided just like any other case.

The petitioner, Fatema Quaid Zohar Challawala, who is herself a Dawoodi Bora woman, has contended that the custom is “without any due process of law” and contrary to the judgments of the Supreme Court as per which custody of the child should be given taking into account the welfare of the child.

“Dawoodi Bora Community in which the petitioner and her husband belongs to, grants the custody of a minor boy child to the father without any process of law and merely on the basis of custom. The custom violates the right of the children of the Dawoodi Bora community as their custody is not rules in accordance with the judgments of the Supreme Court which keeps their welfare paramount,” the petition states.

The petitioner said that she got married in 2007 and was blessed with a male child in 2010. She separated from her husband in 2013 and claimed that her 10-year-old son was forcibly taken from her. The petition states that the Shariat law governs the personal lives of all Muslims by virtue of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 (Shariat Act).

It is petitioner’s argument that even though various enactments came into force since the passage of the Shariat Act, including the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, etc., the women who practice Muslim faith are still subjected to grave social evils that find sanction in the Shariat law.

“If any custom or religious practice that is sought to be protected under Article 25 of the Constitution is in violation of Article 14 and 15, the same ought to be struck down as unconstitutional,” the plea states and prays that the custom be declared unconstitutional.

She has urged that any custom is subject to Part III of the Constitution, i.e. Fundamental Rights, as per the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shayara Bano v. Union of India, 2017(9) SCC 1, and hence, it is also subject to Article 14 and its species right of Article 15.

“The custom violates the right of the children of the Dawoodi Bohra community as their custody is not in accordance with the judgments of the Supreme Court, which keeps their welfare paramount. At the same time, the custom goes contrary to the right of the wife…” the petition said.

The petitioner has, therefore, prayed that the practice of granting custody of male child to the father after the child attains 7 years of age be struck down as violative of right to equality enshrined under Article 14 of the Constitution.

News, Top Stories

Supreme Court slams UP Police for “sham” investigation into murder case involving BJP MLA [Read Order]

The Supreme Court notes that “investigation and the closure report are extremely casual and perfunctory in nature.”

By: Kanchan

The Supreme Court censured the Uttar Pradesh police for the lackadaisical manner in which inquiry into a murder case involving BJP MLA Sushil Singh as an accused, was carried out. 

A Bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari termed the investigation a “sham”, “designed to conceal more than to investigate”. It, therefore, constituted a special investigating team under IPS officer, Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj, IPS to probe the case. 

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the victim’s son, Amar Nath Chaubey, challenging the rejection of his plea by the Allahabad High Court for transfer of the case to CBI. 

The deceased, Ram Bihar Chaubey was shot at in his village, Shrikanthpur in Varanasi on December, 2015.

The police, in its case diary, had recorded that as per the police informer, Singh had paid a token of Rs. 5 lakh to the assailants who shot at the petitioner’s father and that political rivalry existed between the deceased and Singh. Later, closure report was filed in which it was stated that there was no concrete evidence against Singh for the offence of conspiracy. 

The petitioner had alleged that the investigation was being tampered with by changing eight investigating officers during the probe. It was also submitted that the present Station House Officer at the police station Chaubeypur, Varanasi was “trying to eliminate and destroy all evidence against the said accused”.

It was submitted that Singh was associated with various high political offices in the State and that he had 24 criminal cases, including six murder cases, pending against him.

Since the affidavit filed by Director General of Police was not satisfactory, the Supreme Court had on October 26, 2020 called for the closure report of the case.

The Court observed that the report “simply stated that there was no concrete evidence of conspiracy against BJP MLA Sushil Singh and that the informant had not placed any materials before the police direct or indirect with regard to the conspiracy.

The “investigation and the closure report are extremely casual and perfunctory in nature,” the top court said, and that “The investigation and closure report do not contain any material with regard to the nature of investigation against the other accused including respondent no.5 for conspiracy to arrive at the conclusion for insufficiency of evidence against them,” 

The Court further said that police has the primary duty to investigate on receiving report of the commission of a cognizable offence. This, the court underscored, is a statutory duty under the Code of Criminal Procedure apart from being a constitutional obligation to ensure that peace is maintained in the society and the rule of law is upheld and applied. 

But the investigation in the present case appeared to be a sham intended to conceal more than to investigate, it concluded. 

If the police does not perform its statutory duty in accordance with law, “the court cannot abdicate its duties on the precocious plea that investigation is the exclusive prerogative of the police,” the apex court added. 

It, therefore, partly set aside the closure report with respect to those accused against whom closure report was filed including Singh. The Court appointed a team headed by Satyarth Anirudh Pankaj to conduct further probe. Pankaj can choose his own team of officers and the probe should be completed within two months, the order said. 

The matter will be taken up thereafter. 

Senior Advocate VK Shukla, assisted by advocate Parul Shukla appeared for the Petitioner.

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