Weekly Highlights (14 Feb 2022- 20 Feb 2022)

The Supreme Court ruled that an employee is not exempt from liability just because he has retired.

The Supreme Court stated that simply because an employee was superannuated did not acquit him of the misbehavior he committed while in service.

In the case of United Bank of India v. Bachan Prasad Lal, a Division Bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka observed while dealing with an appeal filed by United Bank of India against a 2010 Order of the Patna High Court upholding the Industrial Tribunal’s decision to reduce the punishment handed down to the Respondent-employee.

The details of the case were that the Respondent employee began working as a Clerk-cum-Typist in 1973 and, after committing major irregularities in the performance of his responsibilities while on the job, was placed on leave by an order dated August 7, 1995.

The Charge Sheet was eventually served on him. The Charges were proven after the disciplinary hearing. As a result, the Respondent was removed from service by an Order dated December 6, 2000, and the Appellate Authority likewise dismissed the Respondent employee’s appeal.

The Kerala High Court ordered that the abuse of government boards on cars to escape inspecting and paying tolls to be addressed.

The Kerala High Court has ordered the Kerala State Police and Motor Vehicles Department Enforcement Officials to take strict action against vehicle drivers/owners who violate the Road Safety Policy guidelines, particularly those who overload their vehicles or use a government nameplate without the proper authorization.

As mandated by the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, Justice Anil K Narendran gave several directives to strengthen the rigorous application of the Road Safety Policy, Motor Vehicles Act, and Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations in the State.

The news comes as part of a contempt petition filed by the All Kerala Truck Owners Association, which is seeking contempt for wilfully disobeying the High Court’s ruling in Anoop K.A. & Anr v. State of Kerala & Ors. Carrying overload in goods carriages, according to Rule 21(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, is conduct likely to create a nuisance or danger to the public under Section 19(1)(f) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

It was also decided that if this directive was not followed, the Transport Commissioner, Deputy Transport Commissioner, and Regional Transport Officer should transmit the driver’s license to the Licensing Authority to begin proceedings under Section 19 of the Motor Vehicle Act (1).

The need for a 50% pre-deposit to challenge an NCDRC order doesn’t apply to complaints filed before the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 enacted: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that the onerous condition of paying half of the amount awarded to seek an appeal against an NCDRC judgement would not apply to complaints lodged before the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 took effect. In this case, the consumer complaint was submitted with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission before the 2019 Act took effect. However, the NCDRC granted the complaint on 27.1.2021, although the 2019 Act took effect on July 7, 2020.

So the question before the Supreme Court bench was whether the appeal will be regulated by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 or the preceding 1986 Act. This difficulty arose because, according to Section 67 of the 2019 Act, no appeal against a National Commission ruling would be heard by the Supreme Court unless the appellant has paid fifty percent of the requisite sum. Whereas, under the 1986 Act, no appeal to the Supreme Court may be filed until the individual who was forced to pay the money paid fifty percent of the sum of fifty thousand dollars, whichever was less.

By 2030, will India be able to handle 34,000 tones of solar waste? NGT take suo motu cognizance

The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) Principal Bench in New Delhi recently took suo motu cognizance of India’s absence of a solar waste management strategy and mandated the formation of a Joint Committee to develop one.

The NGT took suo motu cognizance of an article titled ‘Time’s running out; Is India ready to handle 34,000 tonnes of Solar Waste by 2030?’ that appeared in the magazine ‘Down to Earth’ on January 13, 2022. The article covered India’s ambitious solar target of 280 GW by 2030, as well as the importance of developing a good solar waste management strategy. It also said that India lacks a policy on solar waste management.

The bench, which included Justice Brijesh Sethi (judicial member) and Prof A Senthil Vel (technical member), ordered the formation of a Joint Committee to determine the facts surrounding the problem. The secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) and the secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy shall form the joint committee (MNRE). In addition, the MoEF & CC will serve as the coordination and compliance nodal agency.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a notice in BJP MLA’s request for a gag order prohibiting the use of his identity in media reports about his son’s marital conflict.

Recently, the Hon’ble Madhya Pradesh High Court gave notice in a plea filed by BJP legislator Jalam Singh Patel, seeking a gag order prohibiting the publishing of news citing his name when reporting on his son’s marital problem.

In the meantime, Justice Vishal Dhagat of the Court’s Principal Bench in Jabalpur has instructed the respondents to ensure that they follow journalistic standards and do not publicize the petitioner’s identity.

“Respondents are to respect the petitioner’s privacy, and no news shall be disseminated under his name,” the single-Judge wrote. Dainik Bhaskar, Patrika, Nai Duniya, Janta Se Rishta, TV9 Bharatvarsh, Free Press Journal, Hindustan Smart, and Punjab Kesari were among the newspapers that were sued.

The petitioner claimed that his son and daughter-in-law were having a marital conflict and that the press was “unnecessarily broadcasting the petitioner’s identity even though he had nothing to do with the issue.”

[SEBI Regulations] Notice has the right to have material related to the proceedings against him disclosed: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that a notice under the SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) Regulations (PFUTP Regulations) has the right to material relevant to the proceedings against him to be disclosed. However, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Sanjiv Khanna highlighted that this privilege is not absolute and that if the SEBI can establish that the disclosure will have a negative impact, the burden of proof will shift to the notice.

The appellant, among others, was suspected of misrepresenting a company’s financial circumstances, prompting SEBI to issue a show-cause notice. The appellant requested a copy of SEBI’s investigative report, which was denied for a variety of grounds, including the fact that it contained third-party and sensitive market data. The appellant disputed the notice, claiming that the non-disclosure was a violation of natural justice principles. The Supreme Court ruled that the notice has a right to disclosure, subject to third-party rights being protected. As a result, a balanced viewpoint was reached, with responders being instructed to make the report public with redactions based on third-party and market data.

The Tamil Nadu government enacted rules prohibiting police officers from harassing members of the LGBTQIA+ community

The Government of Tamil Nadu has published a law forbidding police officers from harassing LGBTQIA+ people and anyone working for their welfare, in response to a Madras High Court judgement issued last year.

“24-C. No police officer shall engage in any act of harassment of any person belonging to the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) + Community and persons working for the welfare of the said community,” according to the Tamil Nadu Subordinate Police Officers’ Conduct Rules. The new regulation clarifies that harassment does not include the police’s authority to conduct any investigation in accordance with the law’s procedures.

The Madras High Court stated in a judgement issued in August of last year that ongoing measures are required to combat deeply ingrained prejudice against LGBTQIA+ people.

[Orchestra Bars license] The state has a responsibility to promote a favourable working environment for women: SC has overturned the gender limit.

The Supreme Court stated that where women’s workplace safety is an issue, the State has a responsibility to establish an environment that is favorable to their employees rather than hinder and limit their decision.

While striking down a license requirement that put a gender restriction on the number of persons who might be on stage in orchestra bars, Justices KM Joseph and Ravindra Bhat made these observations. Only four ladies and four men (a total of eight performers) were allowed on stage due to a stipulation set by the Commissioner of Police in exchange for granting a license to specific orchestra bars.

Appellants were orchestra bar proprietors who were forced to apply for licenses under specified criteria. In addition to the current requirements, the Commissioner of Police imposed new ones, including a gender cap on artists. This cap was challenged as being in violation of Articles 14 and 19(1) of the Constitution (g). The High Court, however, upheld the requirement. The Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s decision, finding that the requirements directly violated Article 15 (1) and Article 19 (1) of the Constitution (g). According to the court, such regulations serve to limit or eliminate women’s ability to choose their profession.

Calcutta High Court orders opening of schools, directing reduction of fees vacated by 20%

In view of the better COVID-19 scenario, the Calcutta High Court ordered schools in the state to begin physical education programs.

In their ruling, the bench of Justices IP Mukerji and Moushumi Bhattacharya stated, “As things stand now, the pandemic’s impacts have mostly subsided. Life has returned to a more regular state in all areas. Even elementary and upper primary schools have been opened to physical education with effect from February 16, 2022, according to a State Government statement dated February 14, 2022. As a result, all schools and other educational institutions encompassed by this public interest action will henceforth provide physical education.”

The Court was considering several petitions from children and parents who claimed that they were being charged disproportionately high fees although schools were closed during the pandemic. The school administrators, on the other hand, were irritated by the student’s failure to pay or partial payment of tuition.

Arryan Mohanty
I am Arryan Mohanty, a second-year student, pursuing BA-LLB from Symbiosis Law School, Nagpur. Although my interests are constitutional law, administrative law, contracts, torts, and criminal law, I am also keeping a keen interest in other aspects of law as well. I am an analyst who analyses the geo-political situation and political situation during these times. I am a quizzer and actor....sometimes I play volleyball, kabaddi and tennis( not in touch since 2019). I am a big Cricket Enthusiast.