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Legal Weekly: Animals have a fundamental right in the Constitution; top judgments of the week

Legal Weekly is a compilation of landmark rulings passed by the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the country during the week. Read upon a court's observation that directed animals have a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution.

Written by Sonakshi Awasthi | New Delhi |
February 10, 2018 3:18:38 pm
top judgments of the week “There is no conflict of interest between animals and humans. Their sufferings need to be lessened and life ameliorated,” said the court.

Madras High Court: Adopted child has same rights as biological one

After a Tehsildar refused to issue a Legal Heirship certificate to the adopted daughter of a couple married in 1987, the mother and daughter approached the high court after the death of the father in 2017. The Tehsildar refused to issue the certificate stating that the adoptive daughter did not fall under Class I heir of the deceased mentioned in the Hindu Succession Act.

The court, therefore, laid down several precedents and held that, “It should be born in mind that such adopted child is the child of the adoptive family by legal creation, which status certainly confers on such child all such rights as a biological child in the adoptive family.”

The court further observed that the prefix “adopted” vanishes or loses its significance from the day the child is adopted and directed the Tehsildar to issue the certificate.

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Animals have a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution

Acting on a letter submitted by a resident of Shimla highlighting the state of ponies at the Ridge, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh High Court passed a favourable order providing shelter to the ponies in extreme weather conditions.

Ponies are a source of recreation for children in the city and the letter pointed out that at the end of recreational activities, the owners of the ponies cover the animals with a plastic sheet in case of rain or snow.

The high court, therefore, passed an order directing the owners to provide worth, dignity and honour to the animals. “There is no conflict of interest between animals and humans. On the contrary, man needs to attend to the animals. Their sufferings need to be lessened and life ameliorated. In our considered view, animals do have a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution,” said the court.

The court directed the Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of the State, the state and the city to take action with the concerned authorities.

Competition Commission of India: Google slapped with Rs. 135.86 crore penalty

Matrimony.com had filed an information with the CCI that Google runs its core business of search and advertising in a discriminatory manner, causing harm to advertisers and indirectly to the consumers. It was alleged that Google is creating an uneven playing field by favouring Google’s own services and partners, through manually manipulating its search results to the advantage of its vertical partners.

It has been averred that in order to promote Google’s own vertical search sites, Google started mixing many of its vertical results into its organic search results. Therefore, when a user searches, for example, the name of a song on Google, he receives links to videos of that song from Google Video or YouTube, both of which are properties owned by Google.

In a comprehensive order, the CCI observed how Google enjoys dominance over Online General Web Search and Web Search Advertising and imposed Rs. 135.86 crore as penalty on Google for creating search bias.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: Hotels liable for cars stolen from their parking lot

While hearing a petition of an aggrieved, whose Maruti Zen was stolen from the parking space at Delhi’s Taj Mansingh Hotel in 1988, the NCDRC held that it is the liability of a hotel if a car is stolen from its parking space.

The case was first heard by the Delhi State Commission, which had imposed a penalty of around Rs 4 lakhs on the hotel, 2.8 lakh to be paid to the insurance company of the car and 1 lakh to the owner.

The hotel proceeded to the NCDRC to argue their liability which upheld the state commission’s order and observed that as per the doctrine of ‘infra hospitium’, the hotel’s ‘duty of care’ towards guests’ vehicle does not end merely by mentioning in the tag “at owner’s risk”.

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