Important Legal News | 14 October

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Supreme Court Adjourns Pawan Khera’s Plea to Quash Criminal Proceedings Over ‘Gautam Das’ Remark Against PM Modi

The Supreme Court has deferred Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera’s plea to quash criminal proceedings related to his alleged ‘Narendra Gautam Das Modi’ comment about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The hearing, adjourned until Monday, followed Khera’s claims that his comment was inadvertent and he promptly apologised for it.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Khera, argued that the charges, including defamation and promoting enmity between different groups, were stretched beyond intent. Khera has faced charges under several sections of the Indian Penal Code. Despite approaching the Allahabad High Court for relief, it declined to grant it, directing Khera to raise contentions before the jurisdictional court.

Chhattisgarh High Court Grants Visitation Rights to Grandparents in Custody Battle

In a custody dispute, Chhattisgarh High Court has allowed an 80-year-old grandfather to visit his grandchildren, modifying the lower court’s order that denied him visitation rights. The division bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri and Justice Deepak Kumar Tiwari emphasised the essential role grandparents play in a child’s upbringing and their contribution to the child’s welfare.

The court disapproved of the lower court’s decision to allow the father to meet his children inside the court premises and instead granted visitation rights at an independent venue, allowing the grandfather to accompany the father. The decision underscores the importance of maintaining familial bonds in custody battles, ensuring the child’s well-being.

Supreme Court Emphasises Reputation Cannot Be Based Solely on Education and Religiosity

The Supreme Court, in a recent judgment, highlighted that a person’s reputation cannot be determined solely by their level of education and religiosity. The case involved a challenge to a life imprisonment conviction where the High Court had primarily relied on the testimony of an educated and God-fearing witness to convict the appellant.

 The Supreme Court, in its verdict, stressed the importance of considering the conduct of a witness to determine reputation. It further cautioned that courts should not overlook a person’s conduct, especially when it deviates from normal human behaviour. The Supreme Court ultimately set aside the High Court’s decision, restoring the order of acquittal by the trial court, emphasising the need for proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases.

Racket in Disability Pension Cases Uncovered by Defence Ministry: Supreme Court Hears Transfer Challenge

The Attorney General for India, R Venkataramani, informed the Supreme Court that a “racket” operating in disability pension petition cases at the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) had been uncovered by the Ministry of Defence. He questioned the authenticity of the petition filed by the Armed Forces Tribunal Chandigarh Bar Association, which challenged the transfer of a judicial member from Chandigarh to the Calcutta Bench of the AFT.

The Attorney General argued that the petition was “collusive” and “an abuse of process.” While the bench rejected the challenge to the transfer, it agreed to consider concerns about the control of the tribunal by the Ministry and gave the Union two weeks to respond.

Abusing Police Over Phone Not Obscenity: Kerala High Court Quashes Case

The Kerala High Court has ruled that using abusive language in a phone call to the police does not constitute an offense of obscenity under Section 294(b) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court quashed a criminal case against a 51-year-old woman who was accused of using abusive language while speaking to a Station House Officer over the phone.

The court observed that even if the allegations against the woman were accepted, the offenses under Section 294(b) of the IPC, Section 506(i) of the IPC and Section 120(o) of the Police Act were not made out in this case. The court also directed an inquiry into the filing of the criminal complaint against the woman, suggesting it might be a counterblast to her complaint against the police official.

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