Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news

The B&B Causelist #12: July 14, 2015 (Evening updates)

Bar & Bench

Supreme Court

  1. Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India. Ministry of Law & Ors.

[Item 11 in court 5 – Writ Petition (184/2014)]

This is a batch of cases challenging the Constitutionality of provisions pertaining to defamation in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The provisions include Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC and Section 199(2) of the CrPC. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had first approached the Court and the Court had issued notice in the case. Subsequently, other politicians including Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi had also approached the Court with similar prayers. All these cases are now being heard together.

In the last hearing, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had informed the Court that the case involves an important Constitutional issue and should be heard by a Constitution Bench. The Court was, however, not inclined to entertain this plea but said that it will consider this plea when it hears the case on merits. The case was then adjourned to July 14 to allow time to the Central government to file counter affidavit.

Subsequently, the Centre has filed its response saying that the criminal defamation provisions should be retained.

Today in court: Final hearing has commenced in the matter. Subramanian Swamy, the first petitioner in the case, has completed his arguments. Senior Advocate PP Rao is now arguing for Rahul Gandhi.

  1. Parivartan & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors

[Item 108 in court 2 – Writ Petition (Civil) 93/2004]

This petition pertains to the protection of whistleblowers. When the case was last heard, advocate Prashant Bhushan had filed written suggestions for establishment of mechanism for redressal of the grievances of the whistle-blowers. The Centre was directed to respond to the same within 6 weeks.

This petition was not heard today.

3. NJAC: The hearing in the NJAC case will continue today in court room 4.

Today in court: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is making his final submissions. The hearing will resume tomorrow.

4. IPL scandal: The Committee headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha will submit its report today in the IPL scandal. The declaration/ submission will be made at 1 pm at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. This report will pronounce upon the quantum of punishment to be imposed on Gurunath Meiyappan, Raj Kundra and their respective franchisees/teams/owners of the teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. The Committee will also submit its verdict on the role of Sundar Raman, the Chief Operating Officer of IPL.

Today at India Habitat Centre: Both Meyyappan and Kundra have been banned for life from cricket activities. The two franchises, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been slapped with two-year suspension. The Committee has not pronounced upon Sundar Raman but is awaiting the report of CBI officer appointed by the Supreme Court pursuant to which a decision will be taken.

Delhi High Court

1. Apurv Singhvi v. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University & Ors.

[Item 23, Court 9- WP (C) 6260/2015 with CM APPL. 11384/2015]

The matter pertains to a student’s petition against Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, challenging the answer key of the 2015 CLAT examination and seeking of directions from the Court to direct re-evaluation of some answers in the said exam.

Today in Court: The Bench took up the matter with another item of a similar dispute [Pragya Budhraja & Anr. Vs Union of India & Ors WP (C) 6030/2015) and disposed off the petitions in light of the order passed by the Bombay High Court on July 2nd, regarding setting up of a new Expert Committee and coming up with a revised merit-list, if the need so arises.

2. HT Media Ltd & Anr. Vs Sandeep Singh & Ors.

[Item 25, Court 24- CS (OS) 774/2015]

The matter pertains to a trademark infringement suit filed by HT Media against the defendants for fraudulent use of its domain name Shine & HT Media had submitted before the Court that it had received various complaints on how the defendants had approached subscribers of the said portal and projected themselves as representatives of the plaintiff. The said representation was carried out with intent to promise false job opportunities in MNCs’ in exchange for money. HT had also argued that one of the defendants was a subscriber to through which he had gained access to the extensive database.

The Court had then granted interim injunction while noting that the balance of convenience rested with the Petitioners, thereby entitling them to the relief claimed.

Today in Court: The Court issued notices to ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank, after the Petitioner submitted that service was not complete on the defendants as the addresses given by them turned out to be bogus.

Counsel appearing for HT Media argued that seeking a reply from the banks and directing them to furnish details of the Defendants’ accounts would enable the Petitioner to serve them. As it turns out, during their fraudulent misrepresentation to the subscribers of the Petitioner’s portal, the defendants had disclosed their account details, for crediting money in return for job information.