Read Time: 23 minutes
1. [IIT Delhi Fest] The Delhi High Court on has directed the Delhi Police, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Delhi University (DU), and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University to hold a meeting and come up with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for security measures to be put in place during college festivals. A division bench said, "In the meantime, DCP (Legal) is directed to convene a meeting in which representatives IIT Delhi, Indraprastha University and Delhi University shall be called and SOPs shall be put in place to provide security measures for the annual college festivals organised by the colleges". The court was dealing with a suo moto plea relating to an incident wherein women students of Bharati College, University of Delhi were ‘secretly filmed’ in the washroom, while they were changing costumes during the “Rendezvous festival”, organized by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on October 6.
Bench: Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna
Case Title: Court on its own motion v. Govt of NCT of Delhi & Ors
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2. [Anticipatory Bail Plea] While adjudicating an anticipatory bail plea, the Delhi High Court recently underscored the distinction between merely joining and actively participating in an investigation. The bench in an order dated November 7, emphasized that once an accused is granted bail, he/she is not only expected to join the investigation but to actively engage in it. The case before the court involved a man facing various charges, including rape, as per the FIR lodged against him. The judge took note of a concerning trend where accused individuals, despite court's directions and imposed conditions, were merely superficially 'joining' the investigation without genuine participation. This observation arose when the counsel representing the Delhi police disputed the man's claim of being actively involved in the ongoing investigation. Justice Banerjee acknowledged that an accused can invoke constitutional safeguards such as Articles 20(3) (right against self-incrimination) and 21 (right to life). However, the court stressed that the very purpose of granting anticipatory bail would be defeated if the accused failed to actively participate in the investigative process. "The applicant is expected to show high sensitivity, diligence, and understanding, not only of the purpose but also the consequences of any non-compliance with the conditions imposed by the court while granting bail," remarked Justice Banerjee.
Bench: Justice Saurabh Banerjee
Case Title: Vineet Surelia v. The State of NCT of Delhi
3. [Transwoman's plea for passport reissuance] The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has recently informed the Delhi High Court that it needed more time to consider the suggestion for a policy that enabled individuals who undergo sex change surgery outside India to get fresh passports without hassle. The bench was dealing with a transgender woman’s plea seeking direction to the authorities to re-issue her passport with her revised particulars, including her new name and gender since her appearance changed after undergoing sex reassignment surgery. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that it had suggested to the MEA that it come up with a policy to fast-track the process of passport issuance to individuals who undergo sex reassignment surgery abroad, as biometrics do not change after such medical procedures. The court was informed that the identity of such Indian citizens can be verified through biometric records, which are already available to the authorities.
Bench: Justice Subramonium Prasad
Case Title: Anahita Chaudhary v. Union of India & Anr.
4. [Policy for Children without both parents] The Delhi High Court is poised to deliberate on formulating a comprehensive policy addressing the management of property belonging to children who have lost both parents. The bench recently designated Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan as an amicus curiae in the matter. Krishnan has been entrusted with providing valuable insights to assist the court in establishing a policy for such circumstances. This initiative stems from a petition filed by two children, orphaned after their father killed their mother and subsequently died by suicide in September 2022. The children have been placed under the care of Udayan Ghar for Boys by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Despite the expressed willingness of relatives to take custody of the children, the siblings declined to go with them. Through a petition facilitated by the children's home, it was brought to the court's attention that the properties belonging to their parents were at risk of mismanagement. In light of this concern, the children approached the high court, invoking its parens patriae jurisdiction to safeguard their interests.
Case Title: Master G Through Guardian & Anr. v. State (NCT Of Delhi), Home Department & Anr.
5. [Woman's plea to travel to Yemen] The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to decide the representation of a woman seeking to travel to Yemen to save her daughter from the gallows within one week. The court was dealing with a plea by the mother of a woman from Kerala, who is facing the death penalty in Yemen for the murder of a national, to travel to the country to save her daughter from the gallows. On the outset, the counsel appearing for the Central Government submitted, “The issue is that they want to go to Yemen. Now there is a bar…this is the gazette notification wherein they are supposed to apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and they will get the permission, then they can apply”. On the contrary, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that they have already made a representation on April 25, 2022. The bench noted that the travel ban can be relaxed by the central government for specific and essential reasons for a limited period of time.
Case Title: Premakumari v. Union of India & Anr.
6. [Delhi Riots 2020] The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Delhi Police on a plea filed by Delhi riots accused Devangana Kalita. Kalita has sought access to video recordings of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which have been relied upon by the prosecution in the Delhi riots case. Additionally, she has sought access to WhatsApp chats of police groups. The bench directed the Delhi Police to submit their reply. Kalita has lodged two petitions challenging trial court orders that denied her requests for video footage and transcripts of WhatsApp chats. One case pertains to the alleged larger conspiracy behind the Delhi riots, while the other addresses the murder of an individual protesting near the Jafrabad flyover.
Bench: Justice Amit Bansal
Case Title: Devangana Kalita v. State (NCT of Delhi)
7. [Sushant Singh Rajput's Father's plea against Movie] The Delhi High Court posted late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father's plea against an order refusing to restrain the continued online streaming of the movie ‘Nyay: The Justice’, based on his son's life, for hearing on February 12, 2024. The division bench gave time to all the parties involved in the matter to file replies. The court was informed by Singh's father's counsel that four respondents are being represented by their counsel, while notices have been served to others in the case. Notably, on August 18, the court issued notice to several people, including the filmmakers, against whom the late actor's father, Krishna Kishore Singh, has alleged that they are taking "unfair commercial advantage" of his deceased son's life.
Bench: Justice Yashwant Varma and Justice Ravinder Dudeja
Case Title: Krishna Kishore Singh v. Sarla A Saraogi & Ors.
8. [PIL for equal status of National Anthem and Vande Mataram] The Centre apprised the Delhi High Court that the committee it has formed is currently deliberating on recommendations for regulating the playing or singing of the National Anthem exclusively, not extending to the national song, ‘Vande Mataram’. The disclosure came during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, wherein he has sought equal status for Vande Mataram alongside the National Anthem, advocating for its mandatory rendition in all educational institutions on working days. Earlier in the day, a division bench reviewed a 2018 Supreme Court judgment that referenced the constitution of an "Inter-Ministerial Committee" by the Centre in December 2017 specifically focused on the "playing/singing of the National Anthem." The bench noted, "The petitioner appearing in person insists that the committee is also considering recommendations for regulating playing or singing of Vande Mataram. However, counsel for the respondent, Union of India, on instructions states that the committee is considering recommending regulating the playing or singing of the national anthem only and not Vande Mataram."
Bench: Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna
Case Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay Vs. Union of India & Ors.
9. [Excise Policy Case] The Delhi High Court has "dismissed" the interim bail plea of businessman Amit Arora, an accused in the Delhi excise policy scam case. He had sought interim bail on the grounds of his daughter's illness. The bench said, "Dismissed, with directions". A copy of detailed order is awaited. Notably, on November 7, the court had reserved order in the interim bail plea. Amit Arora is one of the directors of Buddy Retail Pvt. Ltd., who was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement in connection with the alleged Delhi Excise Policy Scam case. Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa appeared for Arora and had contended that his daughter was unwell and, as per medical records, required the care of her parents. The senior counsel had submitted that Arora’s daughter had a Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) on December 2, and she was not preparing for the same due to her illness. It was also contended that Arora was also not keeping well and had been in custody since November 29, 2022.
Bench: Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma
Case Title: Amit Arora v. Directorate of Enforcement
10. [Unnao Rape Survivor] The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) to arrange separate accommodation for the Unnao rape survivor, taking into account her marriage and the recent birth of her child. The survivor, who was a minor when the incident occurred, had sought separate housing following the conviction of then-BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The bench emphasized the need for providing independent living arrangements for the survivor. The court directed DCW to ensure the provision of separate accommodation within four weeks, acknowledging the changed circumstances in the survivor's life. As part of the earlier arrangements, the survivor and her family were provided government accommodation and security due to perceived threats. The Uttar Pradesh government had been reimbursing the rent for the accommodation.
Case Title: A.S. v. Delhi Commission for Women & Ors.
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