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The Suo Moto Case Of Kerala High Court Orders The State Government For Checking Drug Use Inside Educational Institutions [READ JUDGMENT]

The court has ordered the state government to enforce campus police for checking these institutions that can amount for less use of unwanted substances and also asked to enforce the NDPS Act, 1985

By: Sanidhya Sharma, O.P. Jindal Global University

In Kerala High Court, a Division Bench on this Tuesday counseled the State government to institute campus police units in several educational institutions to prevent the use of unwanted substances like drugs in the campuses as the law enforcement agencies were not conducting any search in these institutions. The Bench comprising of the Chief Justice S. Mannikumar and Justice A.M. Shaffique directed the State government to assemble a meeting of all the key officials of Home, Excise, Health, Law, Education and Social Justice departments and representatives of the State Mental Health Authority to point out the programs to reduce the incidence of substance abuse among the youth.1 They have to conduct this regular checking inside these institutions and search each student if they are carrying any drug-related substances. 

This was instituted because of the rising drug use in Kerala which happened because the court issued a directive while organizing a suo moto case, that got started because of the letter issued by the former IPS officer and the former District Police Chief of Kottayam, N. Ramachandran who highlighted the drug use in the campus of schools and colleges and that letter also expressed concern over the increasing rate of crimes committed by youth under the effect of drugs and use of drugs in both the genders.

When the court registered the suo moto case, it had sought several reports from the top-ranking officials, police officers of the State that reported on the drug menace. It was noted that cases of drug abuse had suddenly increased in educational institutions and there has been a sudden rise which was seen by many throughout these years. There was a significant rise in the number of cases reported, and this was stated as a very serious problem in the institutions. 

Justices S Manikumar and AM Shaffique ordered the State government to take various measures to make it easier for the police and the excise personnel to enforce the famous Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 in these institutions.

The court ordered the authorities of colleges, schools, and universities will be provided with the guidelines to make the campuses drug-free as a charter of duties and responsibilities, that will be followed, strictly. 

The court observed, “On enquiry, it came to understand (sic) that around 400 institutions in the State are affected by drug abuse and out of the education institutions, 74.12% are schools, 20.89% are colleges and professional institutions, and 4.97% are other institutions viz., ITI, Polytechnics etc.”

The order also stated that the State Police Chief (SPC) should also seek assistance from the Student Police Cadets, the NCC, NSS, and other organizations that can help in spreading awareness about the legal consequences that will be faced if there are drug usage and any sort of trafficking and should also point out how it will affect the career and health of the students. It was added that “several schemes shall also be issued to ensure that the campuses of schools and the universities remain drug free and steps shall be taken to conduct the anti-drug programs in these institutions, increase the health awareness and they can also use the social media to influence several people.”2

The court also issued that the SPC should also establish several rehabilitation mechanisms and conduct counseling sessions to maintain the safety of the student who in case got into drugs and are not able to control and stop themselves.

Endnotes:

  1. Correspondent, Special. “HC Directive to Set up Campus Police Unit.” The Hindu, The Hindu, 10 Feb. 2021, www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-directive-to-set-up-campus-police-unit/article33802576.ece
  2. Correspondent, Special. “HC Directive to Set up Campus Police Unit.” The Hindu, The Hindu, 10 Feb. 2021, www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-directive-to-set-up-campus-police-unit/article33802576.ece
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Heart Ailments Is Not Covered Under Disability Act: SC [READ JUDGMENT]

The Supreme Court observed that Heart Ailment (Dilated Cardiomyopathy Condition) is not covered within the definition of disability in the Right of Person with the Disability under Disability Act while hearing a case against Patna High Court’s judgment

By: Pragnya Prachurya Acharya, Madhusudan Law University, Cuttack, Odisha

The Supreme Court observed that Heart Ailment is not covered under that disability definition under the Disability Act. The court gave this judgment while dismissing an appeal against the Patna High Court’s judgment. The apex court upheld the judgment of the  Patna High Court order of a shipping corporation of India. In this case, the Patna High Court had rejected a seaman’s claim for disability compensation under the Disability Act and the National Maritime Board Agreement. The bench which gave this judgment comprised of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Hrishikesh Roy.

Majorly there were two issues raised before the Supreme Court:

  • One of the contentions of this case was that petitioner’s heart ailment should be understood as a disability under the Disability Act and consequential benefit should be accorded to him,
  • And the other issue was that the seaman is entitled to 100% disability compensation under Clause 21 of the National Maritime Board Agreement.

To the first issue raised before the Supreme Court, the bench noted that Section 2 (i) of the 1995 Act takes into account visual disability, locomotor disability, mental illness, mental retardation, hearing impairment, and leprosy.

The Supreme Court said that, “We would hesitate to import words which the legislature chose not to in their definition of disability.”

Further, the Supreme Court said that Heart Ailment was not covered in Disability Act when the 1995 Act was replaced by the Right of Persons with Disability Act 2016. The person with a disability as defined under Section 2(s) is a person with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment that prevents his full and effective participation in society. It also noted Section 2(zc) defines “Special Disability” mentioned in the schedule of the 2016 Act.

The Supreme Court finally concluded that heart ailment is neither in special disability nor is same or relatable to what is mentioned in this section of the Disability Act of 1995 and 2016.

So the case of the appellant does not fall within these acts. It also does not hinder a person’s full and effective participation in society. So the Supreme Court believed that the High Court’s judgment was correct and Dilated Cardiomyopathy Condition would not facilitate any benefit to the appellant under section 47 of the Disability Act.

To the second issue raised in front of the Supreme Court that the sea-man be entitled to 100% disability compensation under Clause 21 of the National Maritime Board Agreement, Supreme Court observed that there is no link between the ship duty and the appellant’s medical condition. Therefore, the person is not entitled to 100% disability compensation.

The Supreme Court also noted that under Clause 5.9 F(ii), the compensation would be granted to the sea-man if the sea-man is found medically unfit for sea duties as a result of an injury while employment or an accidental injury in course of his employment in the sea vessel, but in this case, any of these conditions are not there.

It also said about Clause 21, which says that Clause 21 applies to any case of total disability, but this is not a case of 100% disability because heart ailment may stop the sea-man from performing the sea services but it will not be a barrier for him to perform other jobs.

So, the Supreme Court finally upheld what the High Court said and said that the interpretation of the High Court is correct and it granted the sea-man only severance compensation under Clause 25 of the National Maritime Board Agreement.

Anticipatory Bail in India
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Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Applicant Who Was Accused Of Blackmailing Victim To Have Physical Relations With Him [READ ORDER]

“In my opinion, making of tattoo is an art and special machine is required for the same. Moreover, it is also not easy to make such a tattoo which is on the forearm of the complainant if there is some resistance from the other side”. – Delhi High Court

By- Anish Khondo, 5th Year Law Student at Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore

The prosecutrix, in this case, was a married woman who furnished a statement that the accused blackmailed her to have physical relations with him by threatening her and showing her nude photos and videos of her. “According to the prosecutrix between 29 September 2016 till May 2019 the petitioner kept on making physical relations with her by showing her nude photographs and again he made physical relations with her on 6 December, 2019”. It was also noted that the prosecutrix never tried to complain about this incident for the past 3 years.

Advocate Sahil Mongia appeared for the accused (petitioner) here and claimed that the statement about the blackmail and showing nude photos and videos were false. 

It was also stated that it was a consensual relationship which is evident from the fact that respondent No. 2 (prosecutrix) has got the name of the petitioner permanently tattooed on her forearm which shows her love towards the petitioner.

It was said that “that respondent No. 2 has clicked selfies with the petitioner, exchanged garlands with him, attended festivities and celebrated functions which is evident from the photographs filed on record. He further submitted that the respondent No. 2 has even sent friend request to the petitioner on face book.”

It was also said that the house in which the prosecutrix claimed to have been kept by the petitioner was in fact let out to the prosecutrix.

The Court further stated that “In my opinion, making of tattoo is an art and special machine is required for the same. Moreover, it is also not easy to make such a tattoo which is on the forearm of the complainant if there is some resistance from the other side. It is not everybody’s job and it is also not the case of the prosecutrix that the petitioner had anything to do with the tattoo business.”

Further, the mobile phone of the petitioner was seized but no nude photographs were found. The status report of the accused’s phone records showed that there was no recording of threats as alleged by the prosecutrix.

“There is a delay in registration of FIR, though delay is not fatal in every case but at this stage, no opinion is being expressed on the aspect of delay in lodging the FIR,” observed the Court.

Lastly, after examining all the circumstances of the case the Court granted bail to the accused on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with one surety of the like amount subject to the satisfaction of the concerned Court.

News, Top Stories

Orissa HC: Husband’s Family Members Can’t Treat Woman Like Slave Just Because She Is A Psychiatric Patient [READ JUDGMENT]

The Orissa High Court, on 05.2.2021 while denying a regular bail to a husband who was booked for allegedly subjecting her wife to cruelty, observed that “a woman can’t be treated like slave bereft of any mercy and human compassion just because she is she is allegedly a psychiatric patient.”

By: Khushi Yadav, FIMT College, GGSIP University

A bench of Justice S.K Panigrahi observed that “Even the allegation of psychological illness of the complainant victim does not give the petitioner and his family members the handle to treat her like a slave bereft of any mercy and human compassion.”

The petitioner has filed the instant application under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. seeking bail with a connection in a case registered wherein the accused is alleged of the commission of offenses punishable under Sections 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 294 (Obscene Acts and Songs), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 307 (Attempt to murder), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The prosecution’s case is that the complainant got married to the present petitioner on 20 February 2015 as per cast and customary practices. The complainant’s father had given rupees 5 lakh and gold ornaments of about 200 grams and other household items in the form of dowry. 

She was subjected to cruelty seeking demand for more Dowry of rupees 10 lakh and after two years of her marriage and she was threatened to be burnt alive in case of refusal of the same. 

Due to consistent demand and cruelty meted out to the daughter, the complainant’s father had given further rupees 2 to 4 lakh over a few installments. 

It was further alleged that on 6 June 2020 at about 11:00 P.M., the petitioner along with the mother-in-law and sister-in-law of the informant- victim abused her and assaulted her with a sharp wood threatening to take her life. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law applied ‘baidanka’ plant with poisonous spores to her private part, which is heinous and inhuman. The petitioner poured kerosene on herself and set herself on fire after that. However, she threw the burning apparels and fled from the spot, and somehow saved her life. Thereafter, the complainant lodged the FIR in the Tumusingha Police Station. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the complainant is a psychiatric patient, but the court made the observation that this fact does not give her husband and family members the right to treat her like a slave. 

The court said “In the instant case the investigation is still going on. From perusal of the FIR, it appears that offences under the Indian Penal Code are prima facie definitely made out, though it requires thorough trial. A perusal of the FIR and charge sheet filed in the present case shows that there are very specific allegations against each of the family members of the petitioner who are arrayed as accused. It is not as if all the allegations are casual and sweeping against all the accused generally.” 

The court added, “Upon reading of the FIR and the charge sheet as a whole it is not possible to come to the conclusion that they do not make out even a prima facie case against the petitioner for the offenses in question.  Moreover the allegations are specific qua each of them. The length of detention of the petitioner is not a ground for release him on bail in this kind of offence, which shakes the social fabrics”. In view of the above discussion, the bail application was accordingly dismissed. 

News, Top Stories

Delhi High Court Stays Single-Judge Status Quo Order On Future- Reliance Deal [READ ORDER]

The Delhi High Court declined Amazon’s request to keep in abeyance for a week its decision to stay the status quo order regarding the Future-Reliance deal

By: Shannia Yessenia, LLB, Prima University

The court was hearing an appeal by FRL challenging the February 2 order of a single judge directing it to maintain the status quo on the ₹24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail. The argument was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh by senior advocate Harish Salve after the conclusion of arguments on behalf of the US company.

On Monday, the High Court stayed the implementation of single-judge order to Future Retail Ltd (FRL) and various statutory authorities to maintain the status quo regarding the Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail. The Court also declined Amazon’s request to keep in suspension for a week its decision to stay the status quo order regarding the Future-Reliance deal.

The court said, “Prima facie there was no reason to seek a status quo order before the learned Single Judge.” 

On February 2, the single-bench court of Justice JR Midha had blocked Future Group’s deal with Reliance Industries after Amazon raised objections. The court had passed the order while hearing Amazon’s plea on an emergency award passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which restrained Future from selling retail assets to Reliance.

Amazon, who was represented by senior advocates Gopal Subramanium and Rajiv Nayar, claimed that FRL’s appeal is not maintainable.

Additionally, FRL was directed to state all steps and actions taken by it after the date of the Emergency Award i.e. October 25, 2020, in connection with the deal with Reliance. Amazon also argued that the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) order by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) was a valid award and enforceable. After Amazon concluded its arguments, Salve, in rebuttal, said that if Amazon wanted to salvage FRL, it could have easily invested ₹25,000 crore which was “peanuts” for the US e-commerce giant. He said that Amazon keeps saying it wanted to and wants to help FRL, but it was all “humbug” as it did not take any steps to do so.

Salve further argued that the EA order was not valid as an earlier single judge order of December last year had held that there was no arbitration agreement between FRL and Amazon.

He further said that the instant appeal against the February 2 order was maintainable under the Civil Procedure Code.

FRL, in its appeal filed through law firm Naik and Naik and Company and advocate Harshvardhan Jha, has claimed that if the February 2 order is not stayed, it “would be an absolute disaster” for it as the proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for approving the amalgamation scheme have been put on hold.

Furthermore, FRL had told the court that Amazon was not concerned that if the deal fell through, then all the shops of the Indian company would be closed down and its more than 25,000 employees would be without any livelihood.

Endnote

  1. https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/delhi-hc-stays-single-judge-direction-to-frl-to-maintain-status-quo-on-rs-24-713-crore-deal-with-reliance-retail-11612786082221.html
  2. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/future-vs-amazon-delhi-hc-stays-status-quo-order-on-future–reliance-deal/story/430644.html
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