Prolawctor Daily Legal Update|08 August, 2020

Daily Legal Update

  • Judicial custody of DU professor Hany Babu:

Associate professor, Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, at the Department of English of the university, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 28 for his alleged involvement in the case. According to National Investigation Agency the accused had links with the CPI (Maoists).

  • Anticipatory bail plea by activist Rehana Fathima dismissed, Apex Court said “It will leave society in a very bad taste”

“Why do you do all this? You might be an activist but why do this? What kind of nonsense is this? It is obscenity clearly which you are spreading”, the Court observed.
The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari observed that Fathima ‘s video of her semi-nude body being painted on by her children was “clearly obscene,” and “prima facie falls within child pornography.”
Senior counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing Fathima, argued that child pornography charges against her are not brought against her, given that the children in the video are clothed in full. The Court stated, however, that the offense was made prima facie and proceeded to dismiss the plea.

Earlier the activist had moved the Kerala High Court to seek anticipatory bail. She moved the Supreme Court after the appeal was dismissed. The following questions were put to her complaint before the Apex Court:

  • “Whether female nudity (even when not visible) per se constitutes obscenity?
  • Whether children painting on their mother’s body can be concluded to be “sexual gratification” and “child abuse” under the stringent laws?”

The complainant had posted a video on YouTube titled “Body Art and Politics” showing her kids painting on her semi-nude body. The video, the petitioner points out, has not been downloaded by the site itself as there is no nudity in it. Nevertheless, the prosecution has filed a case against her for offences punishable under Sections 13 , 14 and 15 of the POCSO Act, Section 67B of the Information Technology Act and Section 17 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Although the high court rejected Fathima’s petition, it was reported that it was essentially appropriate to determine whether or not to publish pictures of this nature on the Internet for the purpose of educating people about gender, but prima facie it was “problematic.”

Fathima’s plea before Supreme Court said,

“The Petitioner, while being semi-nude, has allowed her body to be used as a canvas by her children to paint on, and there can probably be nobody except a pervert who would be aroused to sexual desire by seeing the nature of the work. In addition, the Petitioner’s message accompanying the uploaded edited video makes it clear that she intended to normalize the female form for her children and not allow the distorted ideas of sexualization to pervade their minds.”

  • Premature Release of Prisoner cannot be on the basis of Heinousness of Crime

The case Shor v. State of Uttar Pradesh, was recently heard by the apex court bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha. In the judgement the court has stated that no prisoner can be prematurely released on the basis of heinousness of crime, as doing so would be unjust. The bench further in their judgment have analysed the Section 2 of the United Provinces Prisoner Release on Prohibition Act 1938, and has stated that the prisoner can solely be released only on the basis of his behaviour i.e. the premature release could only take place on the likely hood of the person not committing any offence. If the prematurely released prisoner was to commit an offence it would send a negative image to the society.

Further the bench also stated that having Heinousness of Crime as a basis would be unjust towards the candidates who meet the parameters to be prematurely released. The bench also added that the government of Uttar Pradesh has failed to take into consideration Section 2 of the above act.

  • Update to the UGC Guidelines Case: Maharashtra Government to not conduct examinations

Following the recent plea filled by AOR Raj Kamal, representing a Law Student Yash Dubey, against the recent UGC guideline of mandatory examination for final year students before 30th September. The Supreme Court has filed for a rejoinder stating that the University Grants Commission has failed to take into the account the rapid pace of the rise of the global pandemic cases. This rejoinder reply was filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava.

Following this Advocate Alakh also filled a rejoinder on the behalf of students affected by folds in Assam, and their incapability to sit foe an examination. Further, even the Delhi Universities open book examination has been challenged by the students due to the rapid pace of this global pandemic Following this Advocate Alakh Alok had filled a plea for postponement of JEE (Main), NEET Examination which are scheduled to take place on September. The exams were initially supposed to take place in April but due to the pandemic there were postponed. Earlier today the Govt of Maharashtra has reported to the Supreme Court that will be further postponing their examinations from the earlier date which was decided on a meeting held at July 13 stating that, conducting their examinations shall not be conducted as it didn’t take into account to the rising threat possessed by the COVID-19.

  • A plea has been passed in the Supreme Court seeking extension of the loan Moratorium announced by the Reserve Bank of India as well as fixing lending rates.

The writ passed by Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association requesting the courts to instruct the reserve bank to extend the Loan Moratorium beyond the 31st of this month. The plea further urges the apex court to order a fixation in lending rates offered by the banks contending that “banks have failed to pass on the benefits of reduced rates of interest to their customers despite multiple cuts in policy rates (repo, reverse repo and bank rate) made by RBI”. Highlighting that despite lower repo, reverse repo and bank rates assigned there are no signs of relief due to high interest rates charged upon loans.

  • The madras high court observes that “’Virtual Court Is Boon For Legal Fraternity; Even Moffusil Advocate Can Comfortably Present Case Anywhere”.

A single bench constituting, Justice Pugalendhi on being questioned about the listing of cases for the final hearing through virtual means, says that “this system of Virtual Courts are comfortable for admission for the learned Counsel this Court fails to understand why it is difficult for them to conduct the final hearing cases”. The judge drawing the attention to the plight of the advocates which is actively being highlighted in media, reiterated that none of the associations or advocates have resorted to the court objecting the decision of the court to hear the matters virtually “But, in contrary, they are participating in debates, tarnishing the image of this Institution that the Judges, sitting in Ivory Towers, are not inclined to conduct the cases”. Emphasising that the decision to conduct virtual hearing was decided upon by the Administrative Committee after taking all the stakeholders such as the “Advocates, Litigants, Staff” into consideration.

  • “Final year Students of Delhi University start preparing for Online Open Book Examination (OBE) – Delhi HC.”

On Friday, Justice Pratibha Singh of Delhi HC permitted Online Open Book Examination (OBE) for final year students of Delhi University. The order so passed, quashed the pleas of petitioners which was to stay the examination and allowed Delhi University to conduct online OBE as per the guidelines of University Grants Commission (UGC). The order also instructed the university to abide by the directions laid down by HC and see to it that all the grievances if any are sorted within 48 hours, if not, the matter to be heard by Grievance Redressal Committee.

  • Centre to respond on translation of  EIA draft notification says Madras HC

The Madras HC on Friday asked the centre to respond on feasibility of translating the draft notification of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into vernacular language. As the fishermen of the villages could not understand the languages other than local language and are unable to raise their objections says petitioner in his plea. In the plea, petitioner also mentioned that he is not against the draft notification but only his concern towards people to understand it. The court adjourned the hearing to August 13, directing the central to respond whether it is feasible or not. If so, then can it publish in local administrative languages also?

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