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1. [Plea against exchange of Rs. 2000 notes without identity proof] The Delhi High Court has "dismissed" a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against permission to exchange Rs. 2,000 denomination banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof. The PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay challenged the two notifications issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 19 and the State Bank of India (SBI) on May 20, as arbitrary, irrational, and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Upadhyay, through the plea, sought directions to the RBI and SBI to ensure that Rs. 2000 banknotes are deposited in respective bank accounts only so that no one could deposit the money in others' bank accounts and people having black money and disproportionate assets could be identified easily.
Bench: Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad
Case Title: Ashiwini Kumar Upadhyay v. UOI & Ors.
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2. [Conservation of Trees] The Delhi High Court has recently sentenced two PWD officials to simple imprisonment for contempt in view of their "recalcitrance" to follow the law and court order in relation to the conservation of trees in the Chittaranjan Park area. Court noted that not only did the court earlier direct the authorities to exercise due caution with respect to the well-being of trees while undertaking any civil work but the National Green Tribunal also passed similar directions, including the removal of the concrete surrounding tree trunks. The single-judge bench opined that there was a consistent disregard for compliance with these orders, which merited a sentence under contempt law and sentenced the executive engineer and the engineer-in-chief of the Public Works Department (PWD) to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of four months and two months, respectively. “In the circumstances, respondents nos.2 and 3 are hereby sentenced under section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of four months and two months respectively, along with fine of Rs. 2000/- each”, the court ordered.
Bench: Justice Najmi Waziri
Case Title: New Delhi Nature Society v. Sh. Rajesh Bansal & Ors.
3. [Judgment] The Delhi High Court has observed that the decision of the government to exchange Rs. 2,000 denomination banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof is purely a “policy decision” and the courts should not sit as an appellate authority over the decision taken by the Government.The court was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against permission to exchange Rs. 2,000 denomination banknotes without obtaining any requisition slip and identity proof. The bench held, “Banknotes of Rs.2000 shall continue to be a legal tender and this policy is only for the exchange of banknotes having a denomination of Rs.2000 with other banknotes. In order to facilitate the exchange of Rs.2000 denomination banknotes with other denomination banknotes, the Government has given a window of four months to the citizens and in order to avoid inconvenience to citizens, the Government is not insisting on providing any kind of identification. As stated earlier, this decision of the Government is purely a policy decision and Courts should not sit as an Appellate Authority over the decision taken by the Government”.
4. [Profession cannot become basis to hold falsity of a complaint] The Delhi High Court recently upheld charges against a person accused of wrongfully restraining and assaulting a lawyer in court premises. Emphasis was however laid upon the responsibility of a lawyer, as an officer of the court, to ensure that his professional obligations are not overpowered by personal biases or prejudices. “The lawyers are officers of the court and should not be presumed to be only defending the party concerned as part of their duty. They are an essential and powerful pillar of judicial adjudicatory process and therefore, their duty towards a client has to be respected by all concerned. The lawyers are bound by their commitment to the duties cast on them by Part VI (Rules Governing Advocates), Chapter II (Standards of Professional Conduct and Etiquette) of Bar Council of India Rules which define their duties towards the Court, Client, Opponent and Colleagues,” Court said. The Court, while dismissing the petition, observed, “… to hold that the present complaint is false because it is lodged by a lawyer, who was representing a client against whom the assaulter had lodged a complaint a few years back, will be, to say the least, unreasonable and absurd. In case, such a finding is returned by this Court, Advocates will not be able to work or discharge their professional duties without fear. In such a scenario, even if a person injures or assaults an advocate or a lawyer he will seek protection under a plea that the advocate has lodged complaint on behalf of her client.”
Bench: Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma
Case Title: Dhanpati v. NCT of Delhi
5. [Terror Funding Case] The Delhi High Court has issued notice to Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) terrorist Yasin Malik through the Jail Superintendent of Tihar Jail on a plea filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) seeking the death penalty for him. Malik was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with a terror funding case. The division bench directed the Jail Superintendent of Tihar Jail, "Let Warrants be issued for the production of Yasin Malik on the next date of hearing. Let him be produced before the court physically". Solicitor General of India (SGI) Tushar Mehta along with Special Public Prosecutor Ashay Malik appeared for the NIA. The NIA in its appeal stated that the NIA court while not applying the “Theory of Deterrence” in the right spirit, held that the present case does not fall within the category of the “rarest of the rare cases” and sentenced the JKLF Terrorist to life imprisonment instead of sentencing him for the death penalty.
Bench: Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh
Case Title: State (NIA) v. Yasin Malik
6. [Excise Policy- Manish Sisodia Bail in CBI case] The Delhi High Court has “dismissed” the bail plea filed by former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case. While dismissing the bail plea, the court said, "The allegations made are very serious in nature. That the excise policy was formed at the instance of the 'South Group' with malafide intention to get an undue advantage through them. Manish Sisodia was a public servant and was holding a very high position. The statement of the concerned excise officer has been relied upon by the CBI, the court is restraining itself in making any comments & minute examination of the material on record so that no prejudice is caused to the applicant." "This court is clear of the fact that Excise Policy has not been examined in the present proceedings nor the ... framing of the economic policy. The court has also not examined the administrative decision of the government. However, because there are serious allegations of misconduct against the petitioner (Manish Sisodia). The petition being an influential person... and having 18 portfolios, and most of the witnesses are public servants, there is a possibility of witnesses being influenced", the court added. "The possibility of the witnesses being influenced cannot be put down. In the facts and circumstances, this court is of the considered view that the petitioner (Manish Sisodia) is not entitled to bail. Accordingly, the present petition along with applications if any, is dismissed", the court ordered.
Bench: Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma
Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. CBI
7. [South Korean citizen seeking enrolment in BCD] The Delhi High Court recently allowed the plea filed by one Daeyoung Jung, a South Korean citizen for enrolment as an advocate in the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD). While allowing the plea, the bench quashed the Bar Council of India’s decision refusing to consider Jung’s enrolment in the BCD. “The Instant writ petition is allowed. The impugned order dated July 23, 2020, is quashed and set aside. The Bar Council of India (BCI) is directed to process the petitioner’s application for enrollment”, Justice Varma ordered. Jung challenged the order dated July 23, 2020, passed by the BCI refusing his request for permission to be enrolled as an advocate. He has been residing in India for the past more than 16 years. Upon graduation in 2011, he was admitted to the B.A., LL.B. (Hons.) Course by the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, and graduated on August 6, 2016. Jung had approached the BCD in February 2019, but it was orally rejected. He had then sent a representation to the BCI, it was also rejected. He then approached the high court stating that he wanted to utilise his law degree and form a legal practice in India.
Bench: Justice Yashwant Varma
Case Title: Daeyoung Jung v. Bar Council of India & Others
8. [Minor wrestler's plea against WFI Chief] The Delhi High Court has sought response from the Delhi government and the Registrar General of the High Court, as to which court shall deal with pleas by minor wrestlers seeking a "monitored investigation" against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. During the hearing, Senior Advocate Narendra Hooda appearing for the wrestlers submitted that the case is of minors and against an MP/MLA. Hooda contended that the appropriate court for POCSO matters is Patiala House Court and for MP/MLA matters, it is Rouse Avenue Court. “However, there is no court deal with both, POCSO and MP/MLA and so the matter has been sent here”, he added.
Bench: Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma
Case Title: XYZ-1 v. State of NCT of Delhi
9. [Excise Policy- Manish Sisodia; Bail order] The Delhi High Court has rejected bail application of AAP Leader Manish Sisodia in the CBI case in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy scam. Court observed, "The allegations are very serious...the gravity and allegations do not entitle the accused to be admitted to bail". Court took cognizance of the fact that since the party of the applicant is in power and the primary witnesses involved are public servants, there is a potential case of influencing the witnesses thereby hampering the due process of law. The court, while dismissing the bail application, observed, “… since there are serious allegations of the misconduct against the petitioner, the petitioner being an influential person and having held the position of Deputy Chief Minister having 18 portfolios and the witnesses are mostly public servants, there is a possibility of the witnesses being influenced cannot be ruled out. Thus, the petitioner fails the triple test in the view of the seriousness of the allegations and his position. Though the petitioner has resigned from the post of Minister, but still his position is influential qua the witnesses.”
Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. CBI
10. [Offence under NDPS Act] The Delhi High Court has dismissed bail application of an accused charged with offences under the NDPS Act, 1985 stating that the gravity of the offence is one of the determinative factor while deciding a bail application. Magnitude and extent of illicit drug trade and its impact on the lives of the consumers, cumulatively, guide the Court in assessing severity of the offence, Court said. The court, while rejecting the bail application under section 482 CrPC, observed, “The quantity recovered from the present accused/applicant is commercial in nature. Though the Court has to be conscious of the right of the accused to speedy trial and personal liberty, when the same is weighed in the weighing scale of the offence he is alleged to have committed and its larger repercussions on younger generation, their families and their future, the offence committed by him against which there is a strong suspicion has to give way to his right of personal liberty. Right to personal liberty is subject to restrictions by the State in case of criminal offences for the larger good of the public and their safety. With four kgs of heroin in his possession and the number of people he was supplying it to can also be gauged from the fact that he has made 238 calls to the co-accused persons and some other person regarding such transactions. The target groups of the drug supply are younger generation.” The accused was charged with offences under Ss. 21/61/85/29 of the NDPS Act, 1985.
Case Title: Ankush v. GNCTD of Delhi
11. [Cattle Smuggling case] The Delhi High Court has sought the Enforcement Directorate’s reply on the plea by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Anubrata Mondal claiming that his ongoing custody in Tihar jail in a money laundering case related to multi-crore cattle smuggling in West Bengal is “illegal”. The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Mondal for producing him before a court in person, alleging that he is in “illegal custody or unlawful detention”. During the hearing, Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan along with Advocate Mudit Jain appearing for Mondal contended that there was no valid judicial order remanding him in judicial custody. He contended that the ‘habeas corpus petition’ is maintainable by the high court when the remand is ‘illegal or allowed in a mechanical manner’. It was stated that when Mondal was produced before the trial court on May 8, he was not specifically remanded in judicial custody but was taken to Tihar Jail.
Case Title: Anubrata Mondal v. Directorate of Enforcement
12. [Deputation and Repatriation are Administrative Decisions] The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition by persons serving the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) seeking direction for being posted at the Embassy of India in Afghanistan claiming parity with other similarly situated officers. The petitioners were repatriated back to India on 17.08.2021 due to change in circumstances with the rise of the Taliban and the temporary closure of the Embassy of India. A division bench, while dismissing the petition, observed, “In the case in hand, petitioners have raised issued which are purely administrative in nature. With regard to deployment at a foreign mission, the de-induction and re-induction is upto respondents. The choice to repatriate or retain personnel is purely with the respondents, however, indisputably, as per the policy and without discrimination. By invoking jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, this Court cannot interfere or direct the respondents for posting of any personnel. This Bench has no difference of opinion rendered by this Court in Sunil Kumar and Others (Supra). In the light of the fact that petitioners before this Court have exhausted the minimum period of three months for deployment in Indian Mission Afghanistan and the prerogative of deployment lies with the competent authorities, we find no merit in this petition.”
Bench: Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna
Case Title: HC GD Raghu and Ors. v. Union of India
13. [Sedition Case- Sharjeel Imam] Noting that there is no urgency in the matter, a division bench of the Delhi High Court has said that it will hear the bail plea filed by Sharjeel Imam in connection with the northeast Delhi Riots 2020 case, involving an allegation of sedition on July 7. During the hearing, the counsel for Sharjeel Imam contended, "There are two appeals listed before your lordships today, one is Criminal Appeal 94/2022 which challenges the order of the learned Special Court, whereby my first regular bail matter was dismissed". "This is a case where the escalated bail jurisprudence as provisioned under 43D is not attracted. This is governed by normal bail jurisprudence, the offences are u/S. 124A, 153A, 153B, 505(2) of IPC and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act", he added. Justice Mridul asked, "Where is the urgency today? Tell me. We are asking you a simple question, What is the urgency, today? Where is the other appeal that is pending for 6 months. You haven't argued it." "Keep the powder dry. We'll hear you", Justice Mridul remarked.
Bench: Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh
Case Title: Sharjeel Imam v. State of NCT of Delhi
14. [Sentence of convict under NDPS Act- Judgment] The Delhi High Court has suspended sentence of a convict undergone 5 years of imprisonment under the NDPS Act, 1985, stating that the Standing Orders issued by Narcotics Control Bureau cannot be rendered optional for compliance by the investigating authorities. Noticeably, samples in the present case were drawn at the time of seizure whereas as per the recent Standing Order dated 23rd December, 2022, sampling is to be conducted in the presence of Magistrate. Moreover, separate sampling should have been conducted with respect to mix of packets obtained in the present case which was not done by the authorities. The court was hearing plea by a convict under Ss. 22(c) and 23(c) of the NDPS Act, 1985, charged with 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
Bench: Justice Anish Dayal
Case Title: Betty Rame v. Narcotics Control Bureau
15. [DHFL Scam] The Delhi High Court has dismissed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea seeking cancellation of bail to former Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj Wadhawan in connection with a multi-crore bank loan scam case. Upholding the bail, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma held that the decision to grant them bail was "based on good reasoning and logic". Justice Sharma stated that there was 'no illegality or perversity' in the order of the Sessions Judge and the charge sheet filed by the CBI in the present case was an incomplete/piecemeal charge sheet. "...terming the same as a 'final report' under section 173 (2) CrPC merely to ruse the statutory and fundamental right of default bail to the accused shall negate the provision under Section 167 CrPC and will also be against the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India”, added the court. The single-judge bench said that the investigating agency in its anxiety of keeping the accused persons in custody may take a plea that the investigation is complete, however, the best judge in this regard should be the trial Court.
Case Title: Central Bureau of Investigation v. Kapil Wadhawan & Anr.
16. [Absconding self-styled spiritual preacher of Rohini Ashram] The Delhi High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to take steps to arrest absconding self-styled spiritual preacher, Virender Dev Dixit of Rohini-Ashram, who has been declared a proclaimed offender in a sexual exploitation case. A division bench said, “The CBI is directed to take further steps for arresting Virendra Dev Dixit as he is still absconding by taking all possible appropriate measures. Let the matter be called after six weeks. Let CBI file a fresh status report in the matter”. The court was hearing pleas related to the welfare of women living in Rohini Ashram founded by self-styled spiritual preacher Virender Dev Dixit. During the hearing, the bench was apprised that Dixit or his followers have been uploading videos on YouTube channels and social media handles since March 2018.
Bench: Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad
Case Title: Dumpala Meenavathi and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors. (a batch of petitions)
17. [Interim bail to arrange a loan for son's further education] The Delhi High Court has suspended the sentence of a father and directed him to be released on interim bail for a period of 6 weeks to arrange loan for his son who has cleared the Joint Entrance Examination- JEE (Mains) Exam with a percentile of around 84.84. The court said that the son would require the support and assistance of his father in securing admission for the B.E./B.Tech. Courses. Dev Kumar, the father, who has already undergone 10 years’ incarceration, approached the Delhi High Court seeking interim suspension of sentence and his release on interim bail. The Delhi police in its status report filed before the court revealed that the applicant’s son has successfully qualified for the National Test Agency (NTA) Exam for Joint Entrance Examination -JEE (Mains) Exam and has scored a percentile of 84.8434112, as mentioned on the official website of the Department of Higher Education.
Case Title: Dev Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi
18. [Case against Major General (retired) V.K. Singh for allegedly revealing secret information in his book] The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to quash the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case registered against Major General (retired) V.K. Singh for allegedly revealing secret information in his book "India's External Intelligence- Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing”. While dismissing the plea by the former RAW officer, the bench stated that whether the revelations in the book were likely to affect the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country was a matter of trial and what prejudices national security cannot be decided by courts. "It would be a matter of trial after the witnesses are examined to see whether the revelations by the petitioner in his book are likely to affect the sovereignty and integrity of India and/or the security of the State. In view of the discussion aforesaid, this Court finds no merit in the petition. Petition and application are dismissed," the court said. A complaint was filed by B. Bhattacharjee, Deputy Secretary, Government of India, Cabinet Secretariat with CBI seeking legal action against the petitioner Major General (retired) V.K. Singh under the provisions of the Officials Secrets Act, 1923. Subsequently, an FIR was registered against Singh on September 20, 2007, by the CBI.
Bench: Justice Mukta Gupta
Case Title: Maj Gen V.K. Singh (Retd.) v. CBI
19. [Excise Policy- Abhishek Boinpally] During hearing of Hyderabad-business man and accused in the Delhi excise policy case Abhishek Boinpally's bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor Zoheb Hossain told the Delhi High Court that, “Boinpally is one of the key persons from the South Group in giving bribes of Rs.200 crore through Vijay Nair. He has been 'neck deep' in the conspiracy”. Hossain, on behalf of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), dealing with the allegation of 'Illegal arrest', stated that there was absolutely no violation, nor the Special Judge had pointed out any violation. He contended, “Today, this argument is taken only to circumvent the twin conditions of the PMLA. The only two reasonable grounds for bail are; a. Reasonable grounds he's not guilty, b. If released on bail, he'll not indulge in the same activity”. Taking note of the submissions, the bench “reserved order” in the bail plea.
Case Title: Abhishek Boinpally v. ED
20. [PMLA Case- Judgment] The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a Dubai-based businessman arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) following a complaint related to siphoning off an amount of Rs 18.88 crores from one M/s Ligare Aviation Limited in 2014-15 on the basis of fake/fictitious invoices. A single judge bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noted that petitioner Ramesh Manglani had materially co-operated in the investigation and he was not likely to commit any offence under the PMLA while on bail.The bench also said, for the purpose of grant of regular bail, “the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the petitioner is ‘not guilty’ of the offence under section 3 of the PMLA”. The court also noted Sanjay Godhwani, who may be viewed as one of the main accused in this case, had been granted bail by the trial court on May 09, 2023.
Bench: Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani
Case Title: Ramesh Manglani v. ED
21. [SpiceJet to pay Rs. 380 crores to Kal Airways] The Delhi High Court has ordered SpiceJet airline to pay Rs 380 crore to Kalanithi Maran of KAL Airways, while seeking an affidavit of its assets within four weeks. In a setback to SpiceJet, a single judge bench passed the order on May 29. “Since the judgment debtor had failed to pay an amount of Rs 75.00 crores to decree holder, hence in terms of para 15(ii) of the order dated 13.02.2023 of the Supreme Court, there is no other alternative except to call upon the judgment debtors to deposit the entire outstanding amount qua interest forthwith, thus is so directed. Affidavit of assets be also filed within four weeks from today,” the bench said.
Bench: Justice Yogesh Khanna
Case Title: Kal Airways Pvt. Ltd. v. M/S Spicejet Ltd. & Ors
22. [Excise Policy-Bail Order reserved] The Delhi High Court has “reserved order” in former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair's bail plea in connection with the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam. Opposing the bail plea, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju on behalf of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) contended that Vijay Nair had his house next to the Chief Minister's house, and he was actively involved in the policy-making. He could take inputs from the main persons and pass them on to Manish Sisodia, the ASG said. “Vijay Nair is a person supposedly on paper dealing with the Aam Aadmi Party's communication, otherwise he was 'actively involved' with the top-level members of AAP. He was negotiating with people for the policy”, he submitted. On the contrary, Senior Advocate Rebecca John on behalf of Nair argued,“My Lordship! May impose any condition. All the people coming to this court are Influential persons. In a money laundering case, the fulcrum is the money if you don't find the money, then none of us has to be in this court. By finding I mean that money reached this person”.
Case Title: Vijay Nair v. ED
23. [Manish Sisodia- Interim Bail] Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia has moved the Delhi High Court seeking six weeks ‘interim bail’ in the cases registered by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the excise policy scam. The bench allowed Sisodia to meet his ill wife under custody tomorrow i.e. June 3, from 10 am to 5 pm as per rule. "Let the petitioner be taken to his house in custody from 10 am to 5 pm tomorrow as per rules. However, he should not interact with media in any manner. Nor shall the petitioner meet anybody except members of the family, neither should he have any access to the phone/internet", the court ordered.
Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. ED; Manish Sisodia v. CBI
24. [Sharjeel Imam's plea against two parallel FIRs’ in relation to the same incident] The Delhi High Court has sought Delhi Police’s stand on Sharjeel Imam’s plea seeking direction to quash the first supplementary chargesheet in the 2019 Jamia violence case with respect to sedition charges against him over a speech he made at Jamia Millia Islamia University. The bench of issued notice to the Delhi Police and sought a status report from it on the plea. Accordingly, the court posted the matter for further consideration on October 18. Sharjeel Imam has stated that there cannot be ‘two parallel FIRs’ in relation to the same incident— the speech he delivered on December 13, 2019, at Jamia Millia University. Imam has also sought directions to the trial court to proceed with the trial with respect to all other offences, including, rioting, obstructing a public servant in the discharge of public functions, etc, in FIR 242/2019 without any further delay.
Bench: Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar
Case Title: Sharjeel Imam v. State NCT of Delhi
25. [Protection to Interfaith same-sex couple] The Delhi High Court has granted police protection to a same-sex interfaith couple who claimed that they were being threatened by a member of one partner's family. According to a report in The Indian Express, a single judge bench of Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar passed the order after advocate Arundhati Katju argued that the petitioners are a same-sex couple consisting of a Hindu woman and a Muslim woman. "Both are majors. They want to stay together and therefore seek police protection as well as protection for the family members of one of the partners," Katju stated, adding that the couple resided in a municipal shelter. The couple had approached the present court through the Legal Services Committee of the Delhi High Court.
Bench: Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar
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