The Week That Was: The Delhi High Court

Smrithi Suresh

The Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court

Here are the some of the significant developments from the Delhi High Court in the past week.

Monday, May 23

Delhi University admissions under scanner

With the admission season soon to kick in at all universities, a petition was filed last week in the Delhi High Court which sought a direction to Delhi University for centralization of the admission process in sports quota and also for devising a mechanism for coordination between colleges in this regard.

The plea filed by an NGO Child Health Organization, also mentioned that the need for streamlining the sports quota admissions was necessary so that every applicant under that specified category would get a fair chance. The plea further stated,

“An individual seeking admission cannot attend two trials at the same time and on same date at different colleges. This plays a pivotal role in jeopardising the future plan of the meritorious students/players.”

The Division Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the University to apprise the Court of the current process of facilitating admissions under sports quota, before the next date of hearing. The case will now be heard on August 17.

Tuesday, May 24

Centre Vs State: Bench reserves order on stay application

Previously, the AAP-led Delhi Government had approached the High Court seeking a stay on further proceedings in the batch matters relating to the tussle over apportionment of powers between the L-G and Delhi Chief Minister. The Government had told the Court that it had moved the Supreme Court over the issue, which it claimed, had ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ to hear disputes of this nature.

This week, the Bench reserved its orders on the stay application. Delhi Government, represented by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising had also told the Court earlier that since the issues involved a dispute of “federal nature” between the Centre and Delhi Government, the Apex Court assumed jurisdiction in such a situation.

Wednesday, May 25

PIL against frivolous litigation, dismissed as ‘frivolous’

In an amusing episode witnessed in the Chief’s Court this week, a PIL that was filed seeking directions to the “concerned authorities” not to hear false and frivolous cases and complaints, particularly against judicial officers; was dismissed.

The Bench held that there was no inherent public interest in the plea and termed it as ‘frivolous.’

The petition that was filed by an advocate, Pradeep Sharma, referred to a recent news piece that highlighted a letter written against a judge of High Court by a complainant while alleging that “blaming an individual (judge) shows frustration of the complainant” and sometimes the same was also done to “attract cheap publicity”.

Thursday, May 26

De-registration of Shiromani Akali Dal: hearing deferred till August

The Delhi High Court has begun hearing final arguments in the petition seeking de-registration of the political party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). On the last date of hearing, the question pertained to whether the source of the impugned order/order under challenge, is legislative in character or quasi-judicial.

This week, it was argued by counsel for the SAD, that the decision by the Election Commission of India to register a political party is a ‘statutory’ one and therefore, not open to interference by the court. However the petitioner’s counsel differed and argued that the decision by the Election Commission to register a political party under S 29(A)(5) of The Representation of People Act, 1951 is a ‘quasi-judicial one’.  The petitioner further submitted that in a quasi-judicial decision by a constitutional authority such as the ECI, the court can interfere with a judicial review.

Adhering to the Bench’s directions, the ECI produced its records with all the prior representations / letters by the petitioner in this regard. Now the case will be heard on August 12.

Friday, May 27

Breather for RED FM as Home Ministry relents on migration

The patrons of radio channel Red FM were in for a huge relief this week when the Home Ministry granted a go-ahead to the channel for migrating from Phase II to Phase III frequency.

When the case came up for hearing before a Single Bench of Justice JR Midha, the Government informed the Bench that the necessary security clearance had been granted to Digital Media, the company which owns the radio channel.

Red FM has been fighting a legal battle in the High Court over the past year when the MHA had disallowed migration to Red FM citing the channel as a national security threat.

HC stays disciplinary action against other JNU students

Umar Khalid & Anirban Bhattacharya, students of JNU moved the High Court for extension of the same relief granted to JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and others earlier when the High Court had stayed their orders of rustication.

This week, a Single Bench of Justice Manmohan passed the same order in favour of Khalid & Bhattacharya as well and directed both of them to appeal against the rustication orders to the necessary authority, in this case the Vice-Chancellor, before knocking the doors of the Court.

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