Important Legal News | December 2023 [Updated Daily]

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Important Legal News | 30 December

Abhijith v. State of Kerala: Brothel Customers Can Be Charged Under Immoral Traffic Act for Procuring Persons: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has ruled that customers in a brothel can be charged under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITP Act). While the ITP Act doesn’t explicitly define “procure,” Section 5 of the Act penalizes “procuring, inducing or taking a person for the sake of prostitution.”

The court concluded that in the context of the statute’s objective to prevent the commercialization of vices and human trafficking, a customer at a brothel can be considered to procure a person for prostitution. The judgment came in response to a criminal revision petition filed by a man found as a customer at a brothel.

Important Legal News | 29 December

President Grants Assent to Bill Governing Appointment and Service Conditions of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners

The President of India has given assent to the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. The bill, which received approval from the Rajya Sabha on December 12 and the Lok Sabha on December 21, outlines the appointment and service conditions of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs).

The selection committee responsible for appointing the CEC and ECs will be chaired by the Prime Minister and include a Union Cabinet Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. The bill has faced criticism for potentially compromising the independence of the Election Commission.

Important Legal News | 28 December

New York Times Files Lawsuit Against Microsoft and OpenAI Alleging Unlawful Use of Copyrighted Content in AI Models

The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, accusing them of unlawfully using copyrighted content to develop their generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools, including Bing Chat (now Copilot) and ChatGPT. The suit alleges extensive copying and incorporation of copyrighted news articles, opinion pieces, and other works from The New York Times.

The lawsuit claims that the GenAI tools closely mimic NYT’s content, attribute false information, and generate responses containing verbatim excerpts and detailed summaries, impacting revenue streams. The NYT seeks substantial damages, asserting that the defendants’ conduct does not qualify as “fair use.”

Important Legal News | 27 December

Vaijanath Vaze v. Registrar General, Bombay High Court

The Maharashtra government has created 348 new judicial officer posts in response to concerns raised by the Bombay High Court. The High Court had expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of expeditious steps taken to appoint district judges, following a 2018 ruling. The creation of these posts increases the sanctioned strength of district court judges from 2,012 to 2,360 in Maharashtra.

The National Court Management Systems Committee had recommended creating 3,211 more judge posts to handle the increased caseload. The Maharashtra government stated that the remaining 2,863 posts’ proposal will be presented to the cabinet for a decision by January 8, 2024.

Important Legal News | 26 December

No important updates.

Important Legal News | 25 December

No important updates.

Important Legal News | 24 December

No important updates.

Important Legal News | 23 December

Kundan Singh v The State Govt of NCT Delhi

Delhi High Court Recognises Convicts’ Fundamental Right to Procreation and Parenthood

The Delhi High Court has ruled that the right to procreation and parenthood is a fundamental right of a convict protected under Article 21 of the Constitution. Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma clarified that this right is not absolute, but a fair and just approach must be adopted, considering factors such as the prisoner’s parental status and age.

The judgment came in response to a plea by Kundan Singh, a murder convict seeking parole to undergo medical tests and pursue In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) with his wife. The court granted Singh four weeks parole, emphasising the importance of balancing individual rights with broader societal considerations.

Bhaiya Lal Singh v. State of UP

SC/ST Act not attracted if caste-based verbal abuse takes place inside house with no outsider


The Allahabad High Court ruled that verbal abuse by uttering caste names within a house, where no outsider is present, does not constitute an offense under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The judgment came in a case involving an educationist accused of abusing a student’s father with his caste name.

Justice Shamim Ahmed stated that an offense under the Act is established when a member of the vulnerable section is subjected to indignities in a place within public view. The court quashed the case, finding the incident did not occur and lacked supporting evidence.

Important Legal News | 22 December

No major update.

Important Legal News | 21 December

The Allahabad High Court stated that allowing lawyers or litigants to carry firearms within court premises poses a threat to public safety. Justice Pankaj Bhatia emphasized that carrying firearms is not a fundamental right under the Constitution and directed district judges and judicial officers in Uttar Pradesh to file cases under the Arms Act against those found carrying arms in court premises.

The Court instructed them to promptly seek cancellation of such arms licenses and clarified that carrying arms in court areas constitutes a breach of public peace or public safety under the Arms Act.

Important Legal News | 20 December

Lok Sabha passes three Criminal Law Amendment Bills in absence of 97 suspended MPs

The Lok Sabha passed three criminal law reform bills, Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, intending to replace key legal frameworks. Despite the absence of 97 suspended opposition MPs, the bills, introduced during the monsoon session and subsequently referred to a parliamentary committee, have faced criticism for not incorporating committee suggestions.

The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita has 358 sections, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita contains 531 sections, and Bharatiya Sakshya Bill remains unchanged with 170 sections, impacting criminal procedure, citizen protection, and evidence regulations.

Important Legal News | 19 December

Supreme Court: Properties sold in auction before declaration of moratorium cannot be treated as liquidation assets under IBC

The Supreme Court observed that properties of a defaulting borrower sold in an auction sale cannot be treated as liquidation assets if the sale was concluded before the declaration of a moratorium under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016. The court set aside the order passed by the National Company Appellate Tribunal and allowed the appeal.

Insolvency Professionals not considered public servants under Prevention of Corruption Act, says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court ruled that Insolvency Professionals (IPs) or Resolution Professionals (RPs) cannot be classified as “public servants” under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The court rejected arguments made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that the duties of IPs under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) should be treated as “public duties.” The judgment came in response to a plea to quash an FIR registered against an Interim Resolution Professional.

Important Legal News | 18 December

Lok Sabha passes Post Office Bill, 2023

The Lok Sabha has passed the Post Office Bill, 2023, aiming to replace the Indian Post Office Act of 1898. Concerns have been raised about the bill’s provisions, including enabling the interception of mail and exempting India Post from liability for service lapses, except as prescribed by the Central government.

Section 9 allows interception of mail in the interest of security, public order, and other factors, while Section 10 specifies limited liability for lapses. Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan defended these sections, emphasizing national interest and public safety.

Rape is rape even if done by husband: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court has emphasized that rape is rape even if committed by the victim’s husband, stating that marital rape is illegal in several countries. Justice Divyesh Joshi highlighted the need to change social attitudes that trivialize offenses like stalking and eve-teasing.

The court urged breaking the silence on gender violence and emphasized the duty of men in averting and combating violence against women. These remarks were made while dismissing a bail application related to a case of sexual assault and harassment within a family.

Important Legal News | 16 December

“Just looking like a wow”: Delhi High Court restrains VBRO Skincare from imitating products of WOW Skin Science

The Delhi High Court has granted an interim order restraining skincare product manufacturing company VBRO Skincare from manufacturing or selling products with packaging or layout similar to those used by WOW Skin Science.

The court found that VBRO’s products imitated WOW Skin Science’s products, and it restrained VBRO from using marks like ‘WQVV’ or any other mark deceptively similar to the ‘WOW’ trademark. The order also directed Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal to take down listings of VBRO’s products within 72 hours.

Supreme Court allows Madhya Pradesh civil judge aspirants aggrieved by 3-year practice rule to appear for exam

The Supreme Court has granted interim relief to judicial service aspirants in Madhya Pradesh who were aggrieved by a rule mandating three years of law practice as an eligibility criterion to appear for the civil judge examination.

The court ordered that all such aspirants be provisionally allowed to take part in the exam and selection process after the Madhya Pradesh High Court assured that the rule requiring three years of practice would not be enforced for the time being. The petitioners were permitted to withdraw their petitions with the liberty to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court to challenge the validity of the rule concerned.

Important Legal News | 15 December

Calcutta High Court Distributes ‘Dragon Legal Speech Recognition Software’ To Judicial Officers of WB & Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Calcutta High Court has distributed Dragon Legal Speech Recognition Software to judicial officers in West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The cutting-edge software, powered by artificial intelligence, is designed to assist judicial officers in their day-to-day responsibilities, particularly in the absence of support staff such as stenographers. 

By converting spoken words into accurate written text, the software aims to enhance efficiency and reduce dependence on support staff, ensuring confidentiality and flexibility in performing duties. This move follows the recent distribution of 1,000 laptops to judicial officers by the High Court.

Delhi High Court refuses to entertain writ petition to implement Women’s Reservation Bill before 2024 polls

Summary: The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a writ petition seeking the implementation of the Women’s Reservation Bill 2023, which mandates 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha, before the 2024 general elections. 

The petitioner, a Delhi-based lawyer, approached the court with the plea, seeking directions to the Central government for an expedited implementation of the bill, considering the prolonged uncertainty surrounding the delimitation process. However, the court opined that the relief sought was in the nature of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and advised the petitioner to file a PIL instead.

Booking.com using MakeMyTrip trademarks in Google Ads does not amount to infringement: Delhi High Court

Summary: The Delhi High Court has ruled that the mere use of trademarks on the Google Ads program does not constitute infringement or passing off under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The Division Bench emphasized that the use of trademarks as keywords by competitors, without causing confusion or deceit, does not inherently amount to infringing use. 

The decision came in response to appeals filed by Google against an interim order restraining Booking.com from bidding on MakeMyTrip’s trademark in Google AdWords. The Court held that Booking.com’s use of MakeMyTrip’s trademarks as keywords does not give rise to unfair advantage.

Important Legal News | 14 December

No important news.

Important Legal News | 13 December

Lok Sabha Passes Bills to Reserve 33% Seats in Legislative Assemblies of J&K, Puducherry for Women

The Lok Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, 2023. These bills, introduced by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, aim to reserve 33 percent of seats in the legislative assemblies of Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry for women.

This legislative move follows the Parliament’s recent passage of bills implementing reservation policies in the Union Territory of J&K across various sectors. Additionally, a Women’s Reservation Bill was passed earlier, reserving one-third of seats for women in Parliament and State legislative assemblies.

Reservation Policy Not Applicable to Law Officers Engaged by the Government: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court has ruled that the reservation policy mandated under Article 16(4) of the Constitution is not applicable to law officers engaged by the government. The Court emphasized that law officers do not hold a civil post, and their engagement is based on legal expertise and merit, with the government duty-bound to appoint the most competent practitioners.

The judgment came in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking horizontal and vertical reservation for women, Scheduled Caste (SC), and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities in law officer appointments. The PIL was dismissed by the Court.

Important Legal News | 12 December

Rajya Sabha Passes Bill on Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners

The Rajya Sabha has passed the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023. The bill, introduced in response to a Supreme Court judgment highlighting a legal vacuum in the appointment of Election Commissioners, outlines that the selection committee for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) will be chaired by the Prime Minister.

The committee will also include a Union Cabinet Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. The bill includes amendments related to the composition of the search committee, allowances, service conditions, removal procedures, and legal immunity for CEC and ECs. The Supreme Court had previously recommended a law on Election Commission appointments and suggested the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the Election Commission of India.

Lok Sabha Passes Bills to Reserve 33% Seats in Legislative Assemblies of J&K, Puducherry for Women

The Lok Sabha has passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Government of Union Territories (Amendment) Bill, 2023. These bills, introduced by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, aim to reserve 33 percent of seats in the legislative assemblies of Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry for women.

This legislative move follows the Parliament’s recent passage of bills implementing reservation policies in the Union Territory of J&K across various sectors. Additionally, a Women’s Reservation Bill was passed earlier, reserving one-third of seats for women in Parliament and State legislative assemblies.

Important Legal News | 11 December

Delhi High Court Questions Feasibility of Implementing Common School Syllabus Across India

The Delhi High Court questioned the feasibility of passing directions to implement a common school syllabus in mother tongue across all schools in India. The court, responding to a plea by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, noted that education falls under the Concurrent list of the Constitution, and each state has its own education board and syllabus.

The court raised concerns about restricting states from having different curricula, citing the authority of states in education matters. Upadhyay argued for a common syllabus, emphasizing equal opportunity and referring to an order by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on the issue. The case will be heard again on May 14.

Supreme Court Refuses to Decide Validity of Bifurcating J&K into Two Union Territories

The Supreme Court, while upholding the abrogation of Article 370, refused to decide on the validity of the 2019 law that bifurcated Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) into two Union Territories (UT). The court considered the Central government’s assurance that statehood would be restored to J&K, and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s statement that the status of Union Territory of Ladakh would not be affected.

The judgment directed the Election Commission of India to conduct elections for the legislative assembly of J&K by September 30, 2024, emphasizing the restoration of statehood at the earliest. The court left open the question of whether Parliament can “extinguish” statehood by converting a state into one or more Union Territories and its impact on federalism and representative democracy.

Supreme Court Constitution Bench Unanimously Upholds Abrogation of Article 370

A Supreme Court Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, unanimously upheld the Central government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The court stated that Article 370 was a temporary provision enacted partly due to wartime conditions in the region. The judgment asserted that the President had the power to issue a notification declaring that Article 370(3) ceases to operate without the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly.

While upholding the abrogation, the court struck down certain portions of Constitutional Order 272 (CO 272). The ruling did not address the validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. The court ordered the Election Commission of India to conduct elections to the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly by September 30, 2024, and emphasized the restoration of statehood at the earliest.

Important Legal News | 08 December

Tribunal Vacancies Persist Due to Control Dispute Over Appointments, Says CJI DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud highlighted challenges in the appointment of judges to tribunals during the inauguration of the new office premises of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in Mumbai. He discussed the prolonged vacancies and the ongoing struggle for control over judicial appointments.

The CJI praised the CAT’s contribution to expedite justice delivery in service matters and emphasized the need for inclusive and accessible infrastructure in the judiciary. Chief Justice Chandrachud acknowledged the infrastructural gaps in the judiciary and stressed the importance of continuous improvements.

Important Legal News | 07 December

Madras High Court Seeks ₹20,000 Deposit in Plea Challenging BJP’s Lotus Symbol

The Madras High Court directed T Ramesh, founder of Ahimsa Socialist Party, challenging the allotment of the lotus symbol to BJP, to deposit ₹20,000 by December 18 to establish bona fide. Ramesh argued the lotus is India’s national flower, and allotting it to a political party is a “disgrace to national integrity.”

The court cautioned that the deposit might be forfeited if the matter is settled. The petitioner claims discrimination against other parties. The hearing is scheduled for December 18, and the court will assess Ramesh’s bona fide in the matter.

Important Legal News | 06 December

No major news for the day.

Important Legal News | 05 December

Lok Sabha Passes Bills Extending Reservations in Jammu & Kashmir Assembly, Jobs, and Education

The Lok Sabha has approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, introducing reservations in the Union Territory’s legislative assembly, jobs, and educational institutions. The reservation amendment modifies the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, expanding provisions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.

The reorganisation amendment revises the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, increasing legislative assembly seats to 90 and allocating 7 seats for Scheduled Castes, 9 for Scheduled Tribes, and provisions for representation of migrants and displaced persons.

Important Legal News | 04 December

Supreme Court Clarifies: Section 6A Citizenship Act Rooted in Bangladesh Liberation Aftermath

The Supreme Court emphasized that Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, aimed at granting Indian citizenship to immigrants covered by the Assam accord, was enacted in response to atrocities on East Bengal’s population post the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. Responding to challenges on its constitutionality, the Court rejected likening it to a general amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, highlighted the historical context and asserted the frozen-in-time analysis. The hearing, challenging Section 6A’s validity, holds significance for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list and will continue.

Important Legal News | 03 December

BCCI Initiates Corporate Insolvency Against Byju’s Over ₹158 Crore Unpaid Dues

Summary: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has filed a corporate insolvency plea against EdTech giant Byju’s for an alleged default of ₹158 crores in sponsorship payments for the Indian cricket team’s jerseys. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) at Bengaluru issued a notice to Byju’s, directing a response within two weeks.

The dispute arises from a sponsorship contract that began in 2019 and extended to 2023. Byju’s, facing financial challenges, previously announced the non-renewal of its BCCI sponsorship deal. The case is scheduled for the next hearing on December 22, with reports suggesting ongoing settlement discussions between Byju’s and BCCI.

Lok Sabha Clears Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023: Repealing Outdated Legal Practitioners Act

The Lok Sabha has approved the Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aiming to revoke the 1879 Legal Practitioners Act and amend the Advocates Act, 1961. Introduced by Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, the bill aligns with the government’s initiative to eliminate obsolete laws and pre-independence acts.

It streamlines legal practice regulation solely under the Advocates Act, scrapping the outdated Legal Practitioners Act while retaining provisions related to court touts. Additionally, the bill integrates Section 36 of the 1879 Act into the Advocates Act, 1961, reducing redundant statutes on the books and promoting a more coherent legal framework.

Important Legal News | 02 December

Madhya Pradesh High Court Upholds Wife’s Right to DV Act Maintenance Despite Section 125 CrPC Rejection

Summary: The Madhya Pradesh High Court ruled that a wife can seek maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) even if her application under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is rejected. Justice Prem Narayan Singh emphasised that decisions under Section 125 CrPC and Section 12 of the DV Act do not bind each other. 

The court’s order came in response to a plea challenging a magistrate’s order for a husband to pay ₹5,000 as interim maintenance under the DV Act. The judgment clarifies the independence of proceedings under these statutes.

Karnataka High Court Asserts: State Must Fill Pollution Control Board Chairman Vacancies Promptly

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that the State government cannot leave the position of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Chairman vacant beyond six months. The Court quashed the Congress government’s decision to curtail Dr. Shanth A Thimmaiah’s tenure and directed the State to revise guidelines for timely appointments. 

The bench emphasised that casual vacancies must not be occupied by government functionaries without a selection process and reasons for delays must be recorded in writing. While upholding Thimmaiah’s appointment, the Court rejected an inquiry petition against him, affirming his chairmanship until November 14, 2024.

Important Legal News | 01 December

Supreme Court Rejects PIL on Cab Aggregators, Cautions Against Business-Driven Activism

The Supreme Court dismissed a PIL filed by social activists urging regulation of app-based cab aggregators, emphasising the potential influence of business interests in such pleas. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud highlighted that the court wouldn’t intervene under Article 32 at the behest of social activists, advising them to approach the government. 

The PIL sought regulatory measures for cab services under the Motor Vehicles Act, addressing issues like security, overcharging and ride cancellations. The court’s stance reflects a reluctance to entertain matters driven by motives beyond public welfare, redirecting such concerns towards governmental channels.


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