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Legal Weekly: Archaic Revenue Police System to be abolished in Uttarakhand; 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 why the Bombay High Court commuted a death penalty awarded to two young men after being convicted for rape and murder of a 4-year-old.

Written by Sonakshi Awasthi | New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2018 6:16:30 pm
top judgments of the week “Extreme young age is recognized as mitigating circumstance. Hence we hold that this is not the rarest of rare case,” said the court.

Chhattisgarh High Court: Access to electricity is a human right as well as a legal right

Due to non-supply of electricity, three tenants of the M/s Ind Synergy Limited filed a petition against the Superintending Engineer (Raigarh Circle) and the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited, Raigarh (C.G.).

The petitioners, in turn, were informed that the landlord had failed to pay an outstanding payment, which he owed to the respondents and, therefore, no connection was provided.

The court held that under the Electricity Act, 2003, the supply electricity is mandatory and consequences of non-supply are provided under the law as well. It further observed: “..access to electricity is a human right subject to fulfillment of conditions under the Electricity laws and even is a legal right as well as access to electricity supply is included in right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India..”

Supreme Court: Divorce granted to couple on condition they can’t post each other’s photo online

While hearing a marital dispute, the Supreme Court put the marriage of a couple to an end and directed the husband to pay Rs 37 lakh as a permanent alimony to the wife.

Apart from directing to pay an alimony to the wife, the court gave another interesting direction to the couple and said, “Neither the husband nor the wife shall put the photographs of each other in any mode at any place which would also include social media or online.”

Bombay High Court: Commutation of death penalty of two youths accused of rape and murder of a 4-year-old

A trial court in Bombay had convicted two accused of committing rape and murder of a 4-year-old and had awarded death penalty to both. The convicts were accused of luring the young girl with chocolates, having intercourse with her and gagging her to death with raw cotton.

The Bombay high court upheld the findings of the trial court and stated that under such circumstances a death penalty should be awarded. However, the high court stated that both the accused were juveniles and had no past criminal record. Adding to that, the court further observed that individual acts of the two young men could not be established by the respondent.

Sentencing the two accused with 30 years of imprisonment, the court said, “The offence of murder in this case is not diabolical though rape & sodomy are brutal. Extreme young age is recognized as mitigating circumstance. Hence we hold that this is not the rarest of rare case.”

Uttarakhand High Court: Abolish more than a century old practice of Revenue Police system within six months

While hearing an appeal of a man sentenced to a life term by a Uttarakhand trial court for murdering his wife, the Uttarakhand high court upheld the conviction and the sentence passed by the trial court but made observations regarding the archaic Revenue Police system prevailing in the state.

Before independence, revenue Police handled all the matters and the same policy has been prevalent in the State since. In this case, the Revenue Police investigated the case and therefore the court observed that “The Revenue Officers are also not well conversant with the general principles of crime scene investigation, general principles of packaging of exhibits, forensic biology, DNA profiling, bloodstain pattern, explosive substances, acid attack cases, digital evidence, road accidents, image analysis, polygraph test, wildlife, speaker identification etc.”

The court directed the State government to abolish the Revenue Police system within six months and put in place a regular police system as prevalent in the rest of the country.

Delhi High Court: Pay primary school teachers their salaries within a week

Teachers of primary schools run by the East and North Delhi Municipal Corporation had filed a petition in court against the corporation for not emitting their salaries for more than two months.

The court directed the Municipal corporations to pay salaries of the teachers within one week and observed, “No employee cannot be expected to render sincere services without receiving salary, his lawful entitlement for services rendered. It is painful to visualize the quality of services which would be rendered by the teachers to children of critical ages studying in primary schools, without receipt of their salaries.”

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