Bombay High Court Weekly Round Up - News Updates [September 11-17, 2023]

Read Time: 19 minutes

1. [Pandharpur Temple] In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, the State of Maharashtra recently filed its response stating that the Pandharpur Temples Act, 1973 was brought under special circumstances, abolishing certain special rights that were impinging upon the interests of public at large. “Principle of estoppel” and “Presumption of constitutionality” were further invoked by the State in its affidavit.

Bench: Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S. Doctor.

Case Title: Dr. Subramaniam Swamy v. State of Maharashtra.

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2. [Bullet Train] The Bombay High Court on last week directed the Maharashtra Government to decide the plea filed by Godrej & Boyce seeking enhancement of compensation for land acquired by the government for construction of the Mumbai Ahemdabad Bullet Train Project. Godrej & Boyce filed a plea asserting that while the initial compensation was determined at Rs. 572 crores, they were only awarded Rs. 264 crore. The plea sought an increase in the award to Rs. 993 crore from the government.

Bench: Justice PB Collabawala and Justice MM Sathaye.

Case title: Godrej & Boyce vs State of Maharashtra & Ors.

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3. [Sealed Covers] The Bombay High Court in a recent order firmly rejected the practice of allowing litigants to submit documents or information in sealed covers, asserting the importance of transparency and openness in legal proceedings. The case at the center of this landmark decision involved a writ petition filed by Sonali Ashok Tandle, a 67-year-old woman, against developer Ranka Lifestyle Ventures. Tandle, a former tenant of a building slated for redevelopment, argued that she was entitled to a larger flat in the redeveloped structure and claimed that she was being offered a smaller area compared to other tenants.

Bench: Justice GS Patel and Justice Kamal Khata.

Case Title: Sonali Ashok Tandle v. Ranka Lifestyle Ventures and Ors.

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4. [Dowry Death] In a compassionate ruling, the Bombay High Court has temporarily stayed the conviction of a woman-sweeper in a dowry death case, highlighting the necessity for her to provide for her grandchildren. The woman had filed an interim application before the High Court seeking a stay on her conviction, which had been handed down by the Additional Sessions Judge. The applicant, who was the mother-in-law of a deceased woman, had been convicted by the Trial Court for offenses under Sections 498A, 306, and 304B of the Indian Penal Code.

Bench: Justice MS Karnik.

Case Title: Chanda Ram Shivsharan v. The State of Maharashtra.

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5. [3 Lakh Cost] The Bombay High Court recently imposed a fine of Rs. 300,000 on both the member and the chairman of the caste scrutiny committee due to a significant delay in issuing a caste validity certificate to a student. The court characterized this delay as a situation causing extreme stress and inconvenience. The high court was hearing a petition from a student wherein the validity certificate was ready on July 24, 2019, it was not delivered to the student until February 17, 2020, resulting into denial of admission to her in the BHMS Degree Course.

Bench: Justice Sunil B Shukre and Justice Firdosh Pooniwala.

Case title: XYZ vs State of Maharashtra.

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6. [Suo Moto PIL] The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, in the suo moto public interest litigation, has directed the District Collector of Aurangabad to provide a proper boat with a specialized operator and life jackets for students using thermocol boats to reach school through snake-infested backwaters. The division bench had registered a suo moto PIL of children in Bhiw Dhanora village of Aurangabad district using Thermocol rafts to travel across a dam reservoir filled with snakes to reach school. The Suo Moto Cognizance was taken based on a report published in TOI.

Bench: Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice YB Khobragade.

Case title: Suo Moto PIL.

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7. [Anupam Mittal] The Bombay High Court has granted an interim stay on the order of the Singapore High Court that restrained Anupam Mittal, the CEO of, from proceeding against Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai. The dispute between Westbridge Ventures and People Interactive (India) Pvt Ltd, of which Anupam Mittal was the founder, revolved around a shareholder agreement that stipulated Singapore as the seat of arbitration in case of any dispute.

Bench: Justice Manish Pitale.

Case title: Anupam Mittal vs People Interactive India Pvt Ltd and Ors.

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8. [Demonetization] The Bombay High Court has recently rejected a petition lodged by a Mumbai resident claiming that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was involved in irregularities during the demonetization process in 2016. The petitioner alleged that the RBI did not adhere to the prescribed procedures and regulations, allowing certain individuals to exchange their unaccounted old currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 during the 2016 demonetization, with the assistance of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Bench: Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh.

Case title: Manoranjan Santosh Roy vs UOI & Ors.

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9. [POCSO] The Bombay High Court has strongly criticized the trial court for handing down a mere 3-year prison sentence to a POCSO convict who attempted to rape a 10-year-old. The 68-year-old man who was convicted under Section 18 (attempt to commit offence) read with Sections 4 and 6 (sexual assault and penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act was awarded only 3 years of term. The high court was astonished to see how the trial court only awarded 3 years of jail term when Sections 4 and 6 prescribe minimum imprisonment of 7 years and 10 years respectively and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Bench: Justice Bharathi Dangre.

Case title: Rodu Bhaga Wagh vs State of Maharashtra & Anr.

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10. [Maratha Reservation] Amid the ongoing Maratha Reservation agitation in the employment and education section, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court has observed that every person has a fundamental right to protest and it is the duty of the state to prevent any breach. The high court has urged both the Maharashtra Government and its citizens to take measures to maintain law and order within the state amid the ongoing agitation, which is demanding reservation for the Maratha community in both education and employment sectors.

Bench: Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arun Pednekar.

Case title: Nilesh Baburao Shinde vs State of Maharashtra & Ors.

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11. [Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad] The Bombay High Court has reserved its order in the regular bail plea filed by Bhima Koregaon Violence accused Mahesh Raut. Mahesh Raut, who is accused of alleged links with CPI Maoists was earlier denied bail by the Pune Session Court and Special NIA Court in Mumbai. Raut then filed an appeal before the high court against the rejection of bail by the NIA Court.

Bench: Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh.

Case title: Mahesh Raut vs NIA.

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12. [NIA Act] The Bombay High Court has asserted that appellate courts have the authority to condone delays and consider appeals filed under the National Investigation Agency Act (NIA Act) beyond the prescribed 90-day limit, provided sufficient cause for the delay is demonstrated. Section 21(5) of the NIA Act outlines the time frame for filing appeals against special NIA court orders, stating that "no appeal shall be entertained after an expiry of the period of 90 days from the date of the order under challenge."

Bench: Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh.

Case Title: Faizal Hasamali Mirza @ Kasib Vs. The State of Maharashtra & Anr.

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13. [IBC 2016] The Bombay High Court has issued a notice to the Attorney General of India in a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the provision in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, which prohibits an insolvency professional from performing any functions under the code during ongoing disciplinary proceedings against them. The petition argues that the provisions result in the suspension of the insolvency professional from the date of the issuance of a show cause notice which is against the principles of natural justice and principles of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

Bench: Justice BP Collabawala and Justice MM Sathaye.

Case title: Poonam Basak vs UOI & Ors.

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14. [Showik Chakraborty] The Bombay High Court has ordered a temporary suspension of the Look Out Circular against Showik Chakraborty, the brother of Rhea Chakraborty. Both were implicated by the Narcotics Control Bureau in an alleged drug case following the death of the late Bollywood Actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Showik Chakraborty had approached the high court, seeking a stay on the Look Out Circular from September 17th to September 24th, 2023, to facilitate his travel to Australia for work purposes.

Bench: Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Sharmila Deshmukh.

Case title: Showik Indrajit Chakraborty vs Additional Superintendent of Police & Anr.

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