Bombay HC rules that a woman has a right to her matrimonial home, no matter her title to the property

The Bombay High Court has ruled that a woman possesses the right to reside in her matrimonial home or shared home under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, whether she has any right to title or interest in the household.

A writ petition was filed by a 38 year old woman against an order of the Family Court vacating a previous order of maintaining status quo about a flat in Mulund, Mumbai. The husband had filed for a decree of nullity which was opposed by her and she filed a statement depicting the torture inflicted on her by her in-laws. The petitioner also alleged that she had been forced back to her paternal house and she could not gain access to her matrimonial home. The family Court later restrained her in laws from dispossessing her from her matrimonial home.

The husband filed an application seeking vacation of the previous status quo on grounds of the petitioner’s second marriage and that the house belonged to the husband’s father which gave the petitioner no title to the said property.

Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing the writ petition and the Court held that-

‘This Act seeks to provide for the rights of women to secure housing. It also provides for the right of a woman to reside in her matrimonial home or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in such home or household. This right is secured by a residence order, which is passed by the Magistrate’

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Kerala HC Division Bench restores life ban on S. Sreesanth

Let’s talk some fair game here. While this does come as a blow to former Indian pacer S. Sreesanth, the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has allowed the appeal filed by the BCCI, thus restoring the life ban on him. Earlier, a single bench of the High Court had rescinded the ban on the cricketer which had been imposed due to match-fixing charges. The BCCI filed an appeal to the Division Bench against the judgement of the single bench.

The Division bench comprising of Chief Justice Navaniti Prasad Singh and Justice Raja Vajayaraghavan held that a judicial review cannot be conducted on the life ban imposed by the BCCI, because scrutiny of such proceedings can only be on limited grounds under writ jurisdiction and the writ court cannot examine the merits of the already made decision.

In 2015, Sreesanth, along with two other players got their charges absolved by the Delhi court but the BCCI Displinary Committe then headed by Arun Jaitley slapped a life ban on Sreesanth.

Now, the Court also ruled that discharge in criminal proceedings has no consequence on disciplinary proceedings. In addition to that, the Court also held that Sreesanth  was bound by the Anti Corruption Code of the BCCI and that by match fixing during IPL matches, he has  committed a breach of the first order.

Considering all of these, the Court arrived at the conclusion that the life ban imposed by the BCCI will not be reduced.

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Supreme Court dismisses petition for ban of Prof. Kancha Ilaiah’s book

The Apex Court dismissed a petition which had sought for the ban of the book ‘Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu’ authored by Professor Kancha Ilaiah and stated that every writer possesses a fundamental right to express himself and banning someone’s books shall not be right under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.

A bench comprising of CJI Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud stated in the order- “Any request for banning a book of the present nature has to be strictly scrutinized because every author or writer has a fundamental right to speak out ideas freely and express thoughts adequately. Curtailment of an individual writer/author’s right to freedom of speech and expression should never be lightly viewed”.

The bench dismissed the petition by saying – “Keeping in view the sanctity of the said right and also bearing in mind that the same has been put on the highest pedestal by this Court, we decline the ambitious prayer made by the petitioner”.

Religion and law share a rather uncomfortable relationship and their clashes have resulted in numerous bans of literary and art work. Think MF Hussain or Salman Rushdie or the recent order of the Karnataka High Court’s ban on Mate Mahadevi’s book, these bans are everywhere.

While this move by the Apex Court is indeed welcome, here’s hoping that this becomes a landmark while deciding such “bans”.

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Delhi HC issues a notice for removal of loudspeakers around religious shrines

While the cracker sale ban did not get an ambiguous nod from everyone around, the Indian Judiciary is tackling environmental issues and how!

The use of loudspeakers, apart from contributing heavily to sound pollution, are also said to be an infringement on a person’s privacy.

The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Union of India on a PIL for the removal of loudspeakers around all religious shrines because they are necessarily an infringement on an individual’s “right to be left alone and spatial control”. The PIL had been filed by social activist Sanjjiiv Kkumaar and the decision on the same had been passed by Acting Chief Justice Geeta Mittal.

Sanjjiiv opined that while every religion practised in India is aeons old, the loudspeakers aren’t even a century old and this makes these loudspeakers totally non-relate to any religion. The Supreme Court’s verdict in Forum, Prevention of Envn. and Sound Pollution, reads as: “No religion ever says to force the unwilling to listen to expressions of religious beliefs.”

The petitioner also drew from the privacy judgement and opined that the use of loudspeakers cause breach of the right to privacy of an individual. He went on to add that loudspeakers have severe health hazards and adverse effect on patients and kids.

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SC on the Rohinga Issue: A balance between humanitarian and security concerns need to be achieved

In what could have been a radical but humane move by the Apex Court of India, a bench of Justices headed by CJI Dipak Misra nearly ordered to put a stop to the deportation of Rohinga Muslims until the petitions pertaining to the same were decided. However, the SC merely asked the Centre to achieve a balance between humanitarian concerns, national security and economic interests.

CJI Dipak Misra was quoted as saying, “Our constitutional ethos makes us lean sympathetically towards humanitarian issues. It is also important not to ignore national and economic interests while dealing with humanitarian issues”

The bench, at one point in time, even observed that there should be absolutely no deportation till the matter is being heard. The Additional Solicitor General object to this and said that this move might embarrass the government in the international fora.

Senior lawyer Fali S Nariman who has been arguing for the Rohingas, stated that Article 21 applies not only to citizens but also non-citizens.

The matter is scheduled for a detailed hearing on the 21st of November.

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Supreme Court to take up issue on app-based cab services on December 7

The Supreme Court has decided to look into the plea for regulating app based cab providers. With a plethora of negative reports against these app based cab services, this move by the Supreme Court does look like a welcome move.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta commented “The issue of regulating public transport, including Internet-based taxi services, will be taken up on December 7,” while hearing a matter pertaining to compensation scheme for sexual offences, acid attacks and other women’s security issues. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising mentioned that there has been several offences committed by drivers of such cabs. She also mentioned that Uber has recently been banned from London because Uber refused to be under the jurisdiction of local courts.

Let’s hope December 7 brings some ray of hope to the agitated customers of these app based cab services!

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Aarushi Talwar Murder Case: The Talwars Acquitted Due to Lack of Evidence

The Allahabad High Court, today, acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar who were convicted for killing their teenage daughter Aarushi and their domestic help in 2013. A bench comprising of Justices BK Narayan and Arvind Kumar Mishra arrived at this decision after pointing out loopholes in the inquiry by the CBI. The Judges have been quoted as saying “The conviction cannot be based on suspicion.”

A brief about the case- 14 year old Aarushi Talwar was found murdered in her bedroom at the Talwars’ residence in Noida. The domestic help was initially suspected but his body was discovered a day later in a room on the building’s terrace. The police started to suspect the Talwars and said that Aarushi’s father had murdered them both after finding them in an objectionable position. The Noida Police handed the case over to the CBI after losing substantial forensic evidence. A court rejected the claim and put the Talwars on trial. Both Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were then pronounced guilty of murder and destruction of evidence. They have been in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail ever since. The Talwars challenged their conviction thereafter.

They even inspired a book and a movie by their ordeal.

The case could not hence be untangled and the mystery continues!

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