TRIPLE TALAQ BILL PASSED IN LOKSABHA

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 (Triple Talaq Bill) has been passed in the Loksabha.

The Bill has been drafted in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Shayara Bano v. Union of India & Ors., wherein the Court declared the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill notes that the judgment has not worked as a deterrent in bringing down the number of instances of triple talaq.

Section 3 of the Bill states that “talaq-e-biddat” shall be ‘void’ and ‘illegal’. This is followed by consequence of such void action in terms of Section 4 thereof, stating, whoever pronounces talaq-e-biddat shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years and fine.

SUPREME COURT TELLS MAHARASHTRA FEE REGULATING AUTHORITY TO HEAR STUDENTS, PARENTS BEFORE RAISING FEE OF UNAIDED PRIVATE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

The Supreme Court vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice UU Lalit observed that the fee regulating authority constituted under Section 11(3) of the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions and Fees) Act of 2015 must devise a mechanism to afford an opportunity of being heard to affected students in its decisions to enhance the fee structure of institutions.

The bench was hearing the SLP arising out of judgment dated November 29 of the Bombay High Court in Sucheta Das & Ors v State of Maharashtra & Ors [W.P. (C) 10927/2017], wherein the High Court has upheld the order of the authority increasing the fee.

MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT ASKS STATE: ENSURE WOMEN EMPLOYEES GET CHILD CARE LEAVE

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government to issue directions to all concerned to ensure that women employees get child care leave. The Court took a tough view on a Petition filed by a woman employee seeking direction to the authorities to grant her child care leave. Issuing directives to the Chief Secretary of the State Government, the Court observed “filing of such Petitions may be stopped, and the concerned employee may be saved from incurring unnecessary expenses”.

SPECIAL COURTS FOR SPEEDY DISPOSAL OF CASES AGAINST LEGISLATORS: CENTRE SUBMITS A SCHEME FOR SETTING UP OF 12 COURTS.

The Centre has submitted a scheme for setting up of Special Courts for exclusively dealing with criminal cases involving Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) before the Supreme Court of India.

In an Additional Affidavit, the Centre has submitted that the scheme envisages setting up of 12 Special Courts at an expenditure of Rs. 7.80 crores. It further submitted that the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has given in-principle approval for the same on 8 December.

The Court observed that once the scheme is submitted before it, the Court will deal with the issue of appointing judicial officers, public prosecutors and court staff by interacting with the representatives of the States.

DELHI HIGH COURT: THERE CAN BE SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS UNDER SARFAESI AND ARBITRATION ACT FOR RECOVERY OF LOAN ARREARS.

The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, held that arbitration and SARFAESI proceedings can be resorted to simultaneously for recovery of loan arrears.

According to Justice Navin Chawla, “As the SARFAESI Act and the Arbitration /Debt Recovery Act are held to be complementary in nature and the doctrine of election has been held to be not applicable, it cannot be said that if a party has invoked one remedy, it is debarred from invoking the other during the pendency of the first one. Under the SARFAESI Act, especially under Section 13 thereof, the secured creditor will proceed against the security given for the loan. The Arbitration Proceedings and SARFAESI Act proceedings can go hand in hand. It has held that the provisions of SARFAESI Act are a remedy in addition to the provisions of the Arbitration Act. The two Acts are cumulative remedies to the secured creditors. While SARFAESI Act proceedings are in nature of enforcement proceeding, the arbitration proceedings would be in form of an adjudicatory process. In the event that the secured assets are insufficient to satisfy the debt, the secured creditor can proceed against other assets in execution against the debtor, after determination of pending outstanding amount by a competent forum i.e. in this case the arbitration.”

GUJARAT HIGH COURT: ‘FORMER WIFE’ NOT A ‘RELATIVE’ OF HUSBAND AND CAN’T BE PROSECUTED FOR 498A IPC

The Gujarat High Court has quashed a case against the former wife of a man whose present wife had filed a criminal case under Section 498A IPC arraying her as well, as an accused. The complainant wife had alleged that her husband after getting married to her, went back to his divorced wife. She had arrayed the former wife also as accused in her complaint, along with her husband.

Justice JB Pardiwala observed that even if it is assumed that the husband went back to his first wife, the fact remains that as the marriage was dissolved, the former wife would not fall within the ambit of “the relative of the husband”.

A Section 498A IPC offence came up for consideration before Kerala High Court in M Abdul Sathar v Aneesa. In the said case, the court had held that if the former husband had subjected a divorced wife to cruelty in his status as her husband during subsistence of their marriage, he will be liable for offence under Section 498A of IPC. But, if the alleged act of cruelty is committed by a former husband on the divorced wife after divorce, no offence under Section 498A IPC will lie against him.

PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT: INSURANCE COMPANY TO PAY EVEN IF ACCIDENT NOT IN INDIA

Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that if a vehicle registered and insured in India meets with an accident in another country, the insurance company would be liable to pay the claim.
The order pertained to compensation to the kin of 54 pilgrims from Kurukshetra who lost their lives in an accident in Nepal on June 18, 1995. The driver of the bus had lost control and the vehicle had fallen into Nepal’s Trishuli Nadi.

Court was of the view that the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act make it clear that the insurance policy is “attached to the vehicle in question and not to geographical expanse of the area of operation of the vehicle.”

DELHI HIGH COURT REQUESTS LAW COMMISSION: EXAMINE THE POSSIBILITY OF LAW FOR RELIEF TO THOSE WRONGLY PROSECUTED AND JAILED

The Delhi High Court requested the Law Commission of India to examine the possibility of legislation for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of wrongful prosecution and incarceration in India.

The Bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta highlighted the “urgent need” for a framework, observing, “There is an urgent need, therefore, for a legal (preferably legislative) framework for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of wrongful prosecution and incarceration. Whether this should be an omnibus legislation or scheme that caters to both the needs of the victim of the crime, as well those wrongfully incarcerated, including the family and dependents of the prisoner, or these have to be dealt with in separate legislation or schemes is a matter for discussion, deliberation and consultation

GUJARAT HIGH COURT: INVESTIGATION OFFICER CAN’T PROVE CONTENTS OF FIR IN CASE OF DEATH OF INFORMANT UNLESS HIS DEATH HAS A NEXUS WITH THE FIR LODGED

The Gujarat High Court, in Bhavanbhai Premjibhai Vaghela vs State of Gujarat, has held that an Investigating Officer cannot depose the contents of the FIR in the absence of the informant, who died a natural death, or whose death has no nexus with the with the complaint lodged.

In the instant case, the informant, during the pendency of the trial, died a natural death. The Investigation Officer, during his examination, deposed exact contents of the entire FIR. The objection by the defence counsel that it is not permissible in law for the investigating officer to prove the contents of the FIR if the first informant is dead was over-ruled by the trial court. This was challenged before the High Court. Justice JB Pardiwala observed that the investigating officer, in the course of his deposition, should not be permitted to depose the exact contents of the FIR so as to make them admissible in evidence.

SUPREME COURT: INSURER HAS NO LIABILITY ONCE THERE IS BREACH OF CONDITION OF INSURANCE POLICY

The Supreme Court, in MS Middle High School v. HDFC Ergo General Insurance Co Ltd, has upheld a high court judgment which held that once there is breach of condition of insurance policy, the liability cannot be fastened on the insurer.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had affirmed the findings of the tribunal that the offending vehicle did not possess a permit and that constituted breach of condition in insurance policy. The said judgment was assailed through a special leave petition.

Dismissing the SLP, the bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit observed: “We do not find any ground to interfere with the impugned order. The High court rightly held that once there is breach of condition of policy, the liability cannot be fastened on the insurer.” The Bench also observed that high court had relied upon apex court decisions in National Insurance Company Limited v. Challa Bharathamma and Ors., (2004) 8 SCC 517, New India Assurance Company Limited v. Asha Rani & Ors., (2003) 2 SCC 223 and National Insurance Company Limited v. Nicolleta Rohtagi & Ors., (2002) 7 SCC 456.

SUPREME COURT ‘HOPES’ PROPOSED LAW TO DEAL WITH DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTIES DURING BANDHS/HARTALS/AGITATIONS WILL BE BROUGHT INTO FORCE SOON BY CENTRE

The Supreme Court has expressed its hope that the proposed central law to deal with all issues of bandhs/hartals/agitations and consequent destruction of private and public property, will be brought into force within a reasonable time.

The Supreme Court was disposing a plea filed by Koshy Jacob, an advocate, seeking direction for implementation of guidelines issued by this court in Destruction of Public and Private Properties, In Re v. State of Andhra Pradesh and Others. He submitted before the court that large number of strikes/agitations have taken place, resulting in destruction of public property and also resulting in violation of fundamental right of the people for which suitable remedy is not available to the aggrieved victims.

In response to the plea, the Central Government briefed the court that the process has been initiated for amendment of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice and a draft has been prepared and published on the website seeking comments of the public and other stake-holders. The government also told the court that the law may provide for speedy mechanism for criminal liability, action for administrative failures as well as remedies to the victims.

POOR NET CONNECTION: ADVOCATE WINS BATTLE AGAINST MTNL AFTER 2-YR STRUGGLE.

Having suffered due to poor internet connection of MTNL and problems emanating there from, a lady advocate was forced to move the Consumer Forum and two years later, she has been awarded a compensation of Rs. 10,000/- besides the service provider being told to restore her telephone connection and refund the excess amount charged from her.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North East) bench of President NK Sharma and Member Sonica Mehrotra held MTNL deficient in services and guilty of unfair trade practice.

The complainant moved the Forum alleging deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of MTNL and prayed that it be directed to continue her MTNL connection with immediate effect. She also sought compensation of Rs. 80,000 for mental torture, pain and agony and Rs. 15,000 as litigation charges.

JAY SHAH CASE: GUJARAT HIGH COURT REJECTS PLEA AGAINST TRIAL COURT’S GAG ORDER

The Gujarat High Court has rejected a petition by The Wire that challenged a gag order passed by a lower court in a civil defamation case filed by BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah over an article published by the news portal.

The High Court also directed the trial court to decide the matter within 30 days, adding further, that if any of the parties felt aggrieved by the Final Order that may be passed by the Trial Court on the injunction application, it would be open to challenge it before an appropriate forum in accordance with law.

Last month, the Court issued an ex-parte injunction against the portal, prohibiting it from publishing, broadcasting or printing “in any manner” in any language on the basis of the article published by the website about Mr. Jay Shah “directly or indirectly” till the defamation suit has been disposed of.

SUPREME COURT: AUCTION PURCHASER CAN CHALLENGE BEFORE DRT ACTION OF SECURED CREDITOR IN FORFEITING DEPOSIT MADE BY IT

The Supreme Court, in Agarwal Tracom Pvt Ltd Vs Punjab National Bank, has held that an action of secured creditor in forfeiting the deposit made by the auction purchaser is a part of the measures taken by the secured creditor under Section 13(4) of the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002.

The bench comprising of Justice RK Agrawal and Justice AM Sapre upheld a Delhi High Court judgment which had dismissed the Writ petition filed by an auction purchaser on the ground of alternate remedy. The Bench held that the Auction purchaser is entitled to challenge the action of the secured creditor before the DRT by filing an application under Section 17(1) of the SARFAESI Act. Referring to various provisions of the SARFAESI Act, the court observed that the expression “any of the measures referred to in Section 13(4) taken by secured creditor or his authorized officer” in Section 17(1) would include all actions taken by the secured creditor under the Rules which relate to the measures specified in Section 13(4).

SUPREME COURT: INSURER CAN’T RAISE DEFENCE OF VICTIM’S NEGLIGENCE IN PROCEEDINGS UNDER SEC. 163A MV ACT

The Supreme Court, in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Sunil Kumar & Anr, has held that, in a proceeding under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act, it is not open for the insurer to raise any defence of negligence on the part of the victim.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi was answering a reference to it by the division bench wherein it had disagreed with the dictum in National Insurance Company Limited vs. Sinitha and others.

In Sinitha case, the division bench had held that Section 163 A enables an insurer to raise the defence of negligence to counter a claim for compensation. The Section 163A deals with special provisions as to payment of compensation on structured formula basis. The question formulated by the division bench in this case, was whether in a claim proceeding under Section 163 A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 198, it is open for the insurer to raise the defence/plea of negligence?

Answering the reference, the bench, also comprising of Justice AK Goel and Justice Navin Sinha, observed that the grant of compensation under Section 163-A of the Act on the basis of the structured formula is in the nature of a final award and the adjudication thereunder is required to be made without any requirement of any proof of negligence of the driver/owner of the vehicle(s) involved in the accident.