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Legal Weekly: Right to self-defence extended to protect minor from rape & Justice served to accused even after death

Legal Weekly is a compilation of the landmark rulings passed by the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the country during the week. Read upon right to self-defence extended to protect minor from rape by the Delhi high court & Justice served to accused even after death, followed by legal news about notice to the Centre for imposing GST on sanitary napkins every Saturday

 Indian Express, Indian Express News Delhi High Court extended a right to self-defence to a mother protecting her minor daughter from rape.

Right to self-defence extended to a mother protecting her minor from rape: Delhi High Court

Held guilty for the murder of Satendar alias Nanhe in March, Madhu and Virendar were acquitted by the Delhi High Court on July 21 on the ground that Madhu killed Satendar while protecting her minor daughter from getting raped.

The court also observed that the couple did not have a common intention to cause death and they killed in self-defence to protect the child from rape at the hands of Satendar. Satendar regularly visited Madhu’s house even after leaving the house post-10 years of togetherness with Madhu. On misbehaving with Madhu’s minor daughter one night, a grappling ensued between Virendar,Madhu and Satendar leaving the latter unconscious.

A mother of a mentally impaired 38-year-old challenged the POSCO Act on its exclusion of “mental age” in Supreme Court.

Mentally challenged rape victims cannot plead under POSCO Act: SC

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POSCO Act defines a ‘child’ by an age but excludes the mention of “mental age” in cases where an adult has failed to mature in terms of age. Challenging the POSCO Act, a 60-year-old doctor, mother of a 38-year-old daughter, stated that her daughter had a mental age of a six-year-old when she was raped and asserted that she should have the right to plead under the said Act.

Following the “Golden Rule” of the interpretation of statutes, the judge opined that, “The golden rule in determining whether the judiciary has crossed the Lakshman Rekha in the guise of interpreting a statute is really whether a Judge has only ironed out the creases that he found in a statute in the light of its object, or whether he has altered the material of which the Act is woven.”

Another judge observed that adding the word ‘mental’ in the Act would be a “violence to the legislation.” He further said, “By saying “age” would cover “mental age” has the potential to create the immense anomalous situations without there being any guidelines or statutory provisions.”

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Justice served to the accused even after death by Supreme Court

The apex court acquitted a deceased Station House Officer, Mukhtiar Singh, of Ajnala after being convicted for illegal gratification and criminal misconduct. Falsely convicted, the Station House Officer had died in between his sentence. The Supreme Court awarded an acquittal to the officer when Singh’s heir fought for her father’s innocence after failing in the high court. Due to lack of evidence and vague allegations made against the accused, the Supreme Court criticized the trial court and the high court while passing the judgment. “Such a stray query ipso facto in absence of any other cogent and persuasive evidence on record cannot amount to a demand to be a constituent of the offence under Section 7 or 13 of the Act,” the apex court observed.

A High Court cannot issue directions on an application pending in a trial court: SC

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In a rent control matter, the Kerala High Court passed an order on an application pending in the trial court. The matter centred on the owner and the tenants who did not vacate the premises post-trial court’s order. After a prolonged fight in the trial court, the owner received his shops by order of the court thereby ending the execution proceedings. To this effect, the tenants had filed four applications in the trial court. During the pendency of the applications in the trial court, the tenants approached the high court and filed a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India. The high court allowed the writ petition and quashed all other pending applications in the trial court alongwith the trial court’s order.

Observing this direction of the high court, the apex court ruled that no high court can pass an order or issue directions, allowing or rejecting an application pending in a trial court. “The High Court had no jurisdiction to issue directions to the Trial Court to pass a particular order by either allowing the application or rejecting it. All that the High Court could do in such case was to remand the case and leave the Trial Court to pass appropriate orders on the application(s) in exercise of its judicial discretion.”

The Gujarat High Court directed the state government to compensate a prisoner with Rs. 50,000 for illegal incarceration.

Rs. 50,000 as compensation awarded to a prisoner for spending an extra six months jail term: Gujarat HC

On the grounds of illegal incarceration, the Gujarat High Court directed the state government to compensate the prisoner with Rs. 50,000 as compensation. The state had granted remission in sentence to prisoners who had completed a 12 year jail term and who had not absconded from jail in 10 years during his jail term. Based on the second category, Prabhati Dabji fought his case for spending an extra seven months in prison.

The court, therefore, observed that, “legitimate freedom cannot be equated with money,” and directed the state to pay a compensation for the illegal incarceration.

LEGAL NEWS

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Allahabad High Court on strike: On an adverse comment hitting the dignity of the lawyers by Justice Sudhir Agarwal, the members of the Bar took an offence and took the matter to the Chief Justice of India. Despite trying to resolve the issue, the matter remained unresolved and the Bar passed a resolution to boycott court proceedings on July 21.

Union Health Ministry files for e-portal of medicines: Due to unregulated sale of certain schedule ‘H’ drugs and drugs unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Union Health Ministry has proposed the delivery of medicines via internet. The pointers included registration of manufacturers, distributors and stockholders with the portal, while unregistered retailer or distributor shall not be allowed to sell the drug.

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Delhi and Bombay high court issue notice to the Centre on GST exemption on sanitary napkins issue: The Centre’s decision to levy 12 per cent tax on sanitary napkins post-GST rollout has sparked protests among women. The Bombay High Court has issued a notice to the Centre and state governments to present their stand.

First published on: 22-07-2017 at 06:07:54 pm
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