Weekly Highlights (21th -27th Feb)

Weekly Highlights

Confession made to a passer-by unacceptable: Bombay High Court acquits the murder accused

An extra-judicial confession would normally be given only to a person in whom the confessor has faith, not to a passer-by, as per a bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Prithwiraj Chavan. As a result, the petitioners were cleared of allegations of murder, causing the loss of evidence, and common criminal intent.

In 2006, the defendants were arrested and charged with the murders of Dilshad Khan and Suresh Murav, a former employee of the store that Dilshad was managing the shop. An eyewitness who had seen the three defendants in the shop was disbelieved and lacked circumstantial evidence. As a result, while an accused may be convicted based on an extrajudicial confession, the confession must inspire faith, which it did not in this case.

Pharmaceutical Companies Gifting Freebies Cannot Claim Tax Deductions: SC

In Apex Laboratories Pvt Ltd vs Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, the Supreme Court declared that pharmaceutical companies distributing freebies to doctors is unconstitutional under Section 37 (1) of the Income Tax Act. The bench of Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat held that allowing such pharmaceutical enterprises to claim tax exemption for the same “would contradict public policy.” Pharmaceutical corporations’ “freebies” are “technically not free,” and medical practitioners may face penalties or possibly be barred from practising medicine.

Admin cannot be held vicariously liable for posts by other members in Whatsapp Group: Kerela HC

In the case of  Manual vs. State of Kerela, Justice Kauser Edappagath has ruled following the precedents set by Delhi and Bombay High court that the admin of a Whatsapp group cannot be held vicariously liable for the objectionable post of other members as he fails to have any control over their posts. The petitioner has been accused of violating Sections 67B (a)(b) and (d)Information Technology Act (IT Act) and sections 13, 14, and 15 Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO Act). According to the Court, none of these rules allows for vicarious liability, therefore holding an admin accountable for posts on a Whatsapp group would violate basic principles enshrined in the criminal law.

Quashing of FIR cannot be done under Article 32 by the SC

In the case, Gayatri Prasad Prajapati v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, the Supreme Court division bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna recently observed that a relief that can be considered by the High Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and not in an Article 32 writ petition by the Apex court As a result, the Court turned down a request from Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, a former Uttar Pradesh minister of quashing the FIR. The Supreme Court made this observation while examining the petitioner-motion counsel’s to withdraw the petition because it had grown infructuous with time.

The Wire to take down 14 articles against Bharat Biotech, Covaxin in a 100 crore defamation suit: Telangana Court orders

Recently, the Telangana court has ordered The Wire (news website) to remove fourteen articles about COVID-19 vaccine maker Bharat Biotech International Limited from its domain within 48 hours. The Court also barred The Wire from posting any more defamatory articles against Bharat Biotech or its vaccine COVAXIN. The complaint was launched against The Wire’s publisher, the Foundation for Independent Journalism, as well as its editors Siddharth Vardarajan, Siddharth Roshanlal Bhatia, and MK Venu, as well as nine other individuals who contributed to the pieces critical of Bharat Biotech and COVAXIN. The Court further noted that Bharat Biotech is the sole contender who has been granted permission to manufacture the vaccine for children aged 15 to 18 and that the defamatory articles written on the website may cause vaccine hesitancy.

No Treatment Should Be Denied On The Basis Of Residence: Punjab And Haryana HC

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that a patient cannot be discriminated against because of his/her place of residence. The Bench further stated that denying treatment to a woman because she was an outsider at a government hospital in Chandigarh was a violation of her right to life and liberty under Article 21.

Justice Rajbir Sehrawat ruled in favour of a petition filed by a five-month pregnant woman who claimed she was denied medical treatment because she was a Punjab resident and patients from outside Chandigarh could not be treated at the GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh.

A long delay in applying for redressal calls for rejection even if it’s a genuine grievance: SC

The Supreme Court has stated that during a recruitment process, an applicant cannot seek redressal at any point in time, regardless of the validity of the grievance, because the recruitment process must be completed. The division bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh was hearing an appeal against the judgment of the Calcutta High Court. Hence, it dismissed the appeal of a Bangladesh national, the bench stated that the appellant seeking relief after waiting for 7 years of an appointment letter and then filing an original application before the tribunal was itself a ground to non-suit his case. 

Case Name: Sankar Mondal v. State of West Bengal and Others

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Hi! I am Anubhuti Awasthi. I am pursuing B.A. LL.B (Hons) from Amity University, Lucknow. Reading and writing keep me alive. I like to explain legal concepts easily. I have a keen interest to take part in moot court competitions and public speaking. I've been an active volunteer of the human rights cause and have worked for it through the various initiatives led at my alma mater. No wonder I've continued to do intensive research and studies on human rights, socio-environmental issues, and criminology. I am driven to contribute my bit towards society at large, by using law as a weapon.