Read Time: 19 minutes
1. [Charges unframed for 5 years] The Bombay High Court recently granted bail to a man, noting the "shocking state of affairs" due to the absence of framed charges in the case, even after 5 years since the registration of the FIR and 4 years since the date of arrest. “The shocking state of affairs would reveal that down the line four years from his arrest and almost five years from the date of registration of the C.R. dated 16/12/2018, charge is not yet framed,” the bench noted. The single-judge bench of the High Court, led by Justice Bharathi Dangre was hearing the second bail application of a man accused of assaulting and causing grievous injuries using a scythe. The charges included a Crushed and Lacerated Wound (CLW) over the left parietal region, a Crushed and Lacerated Wound (CLW) over the left ear and trauma over the right arm. The man was booked under the Indian Penal Code and Maharashtra Police Act.
Bench: Justice Bharathi Dangre.
Case title: Ajey Kamble vs State of Maharashtra.
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2. [Prevention of Corruption Act] The Bombay High Court has discharged a former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) in a corruption case registered against him in 2015. Anil Goel, the former CCIT, was booked by the CBI Cochin under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly staying in a guesthouse without paying any rent. The CCIT allegedly occupied the guesthouse belonging to Heera Constructions from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015. According to the CBI, Heera Constructions fell within Goel's IT assessment jurisdiction. The agency claimed that Goel's act of staying in the flat without paying rent amounted to an offence under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Goel was granted bail in September 2022 after a charge sheet was filed against him, with the court noting that he was never arrested during the investigation.
Bench: Justice Bharathi Dangre.
Case title: Anil Goel vs UOI.
3. [498A] The Bombay High Court recently observed that to prove an offence under Section 498A, the woman has to be subjected to cruelty continuously in close proximity to the time of lodging the complaint. “It is well settled that to prove offence under Section 498-A, it has to be established that the woman has been subjected to cruelty continuously or persistently or at least in close proximity of time of lodging the complaint. Petty quarrels do not amount to cruelty,” the court said. The division bench, consisting of Justice Anuja Prabhudesai and Justice NR Borkar was hearing a petition filed by the 80 and 75-year-old in-laws who were booked under Section 498A based on a complaint filed by their daughter-in-law. The victim (complainant), who married the adopted son of the petitioners in 2018, lived with him in Dubai. However, when she returned to India, she stayed with her in-laws. The woman complained that her mother-in-law used to instigate fights over trivial issues, and her father-in-law used to taunt her. She further stated that her husband subjected her to both mental and physical cruelty.
Bench: Justice Anuja Prabhudesai and Justice NR Borkar.
Case title: ABC vs State of Maharashtra.
4. [Demolition Notice To Senior Adv] The Bombay High Court has stayed the demolition notice served to Senior Advocate V Shridhar, who is the co-founder of the tax firm Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan. The division bench of Justice GS Patel and Justice Kamal Khata was hearing a petition filed by Shridhar in response to a notice issued to him, alleging the unauthorized merging of a niche area with the advocate's office premises. The notice was issued by the executive engineer of BMC on October 23 for alleged illegal construction. The notice asked the lawyer to restore, remove or demolish the concerned structure by November 15. Sridharan, in his plea, contended that the order was passed without any notice or opportunity to be heard, that it is a non-speaking order, and that it does not address the merits of the case, among other issues.
Bench: Justice GS Patel and Justice Kamal Khata.
Case title: V Sridhar vs MCGM.
5. [DNA of Minor Victim] The Bombay High Court recently denied bail to a man, stating that the DNA test of the minor rape victim may not be in the best interest and future of the child. “It is further pertinent to note that in the factual situation since the child is given in adoption, the DNA test of the said child may not be in the interest of the child or the future of the child,” the court said. The single-judge bench of the Bombay High Court, led by Justice GA Sanap, heard the bail application of a man booker under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act for raping a minor. The applicant's counsel argued that the prosecution failed to collect the child's sample, resulting in the absence of a DNA report. Additionally, he submitted that the ossification test's report certified the victim's age as 17 years but not exceeding 18 years, adding to the defense's perspective. He also argued that the victim had attained the age of understanding and that the physical relationship between the applicant and her was consensual.
Bench: Justice GA Sanap.
Case Title: Surender Vijay Paswan vs State of Maharashtra.
6. [Bhopal Gas Tragedy] The Bombay High Court has recently refused to stay the release of the series "Railway Man: Untold Story of Bhopal 1984" on OTT. A single-judge bench of the high court, presided over by Justice Arif Doctor, heard the appeal filed by two former employees convicted in the 2010 Bhopal Gas Tragedy case. The two employees sought a stay on the release, contending that the series portrayed inaccurate facts about the gas leak. The Bhopal Gas Leak tragedy occurred on December 3, 1984, in Bhopal, India, when methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant. It led to the death of thousands and left many with long-term health issues. In its order, the High Court stated that it is well-established that those seeking to restrain the release of a film or similar work must approach the court promptly and not at the eleventh hour.
Bench: Justice Arif Doctor.
Case Title: Satya Prakash Chaudhary vs Yash Raj Films & Ors.
7. [Website of MSTT] The Bombay High Court recently criticized the Maharashtra state government for its failure to establish a website for the Maharashtra Sales Tax Tribunal (MSTT). The division bench of the High Court, consisting of GS Kulkarni and Justice Jitendra Jain, remarked that a progressive state like Maharashtra cannot afford to lag behind in adopting technology. “In embracing technology, the tribunals in a progressive State like Maharashtra cannot remain primitive. Providing of a website would certainly enhance the efficiency in the working of the tribunal and make effective the access to justice,” the bench observed. In its previous order dated 24th August, the division bench noted that the National Informatics Centre (NIC) had agreed to develop the website for the Maharashtra Sales Tax Tribunal (MSTT). The bench had recorded that the Secretary of the Department of Finance should review the report for budgetary approval, emphasizing that the matter pertains to access to justice. Advocate Shruti Vyas, representing the State Government, submitted a compliance report dated 11th October 2023. The report outlined the ongoing development and the planned steps that the Maharashtra Sales Tax Tribunal (MSTT) intends to take, including the procurement of technical manpower and cloud infrastructure, for the creation of the website.
Bench: Justice GS Kulkarni and Justice Jitendra Jain.
Case title: Ascendas IT Park (Pune) Pvt. Ltd. vs State of Maharashtra & Ors.
8. [Munnabhai MBBS] The Bombay High Court recently noted that instances of candidates engaging in malpractices during examinations remind the high court of the movie 'Munnabhai MBBS'. “It does not require any debate that as a result of technological advancement and development, there are instances when students have resorted to various methods/tactics of manufacturing admit cards, identity cards, hacking websites and carrying air-pods or electronic earbuds in the examination hall, in order to resort to malpractices in the examinations. We are reminded of the movie 'Munnabhai MBBS', and it would not be too much to say that there are several candidates who resort to such practices. There are instances when the results of the NEET-UG and PG exams are hacked by hackers, results are manufactured and higher scores in the examination results are published on such fictitious websites,” the bench observed. The division bench of the high court comprising Justice Ravindra Ghuge and YG Khobragade was hearing a petition filed by a doctor who was denied entry to his Doctor of Medicine entrance examination for failing to present his permanent registration certificate. The petitioner had informed authorities that he possessed a soft copy of the registration certificate. However, he was barred from taking the mobile containing the soft copy into the exam hall.
Bench: Justice Ravindra Ghuge and Justice YG Khobragade.
Case title: Dr Shyamsundar vs UOI & Anr.
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