#1: Madras HC says no to liquor sale ban on Kalam’s funeral, terms it as ‘essential commodity’ for 30% people
On 29 July 2015, Madras High Court denied to entertain a PIL petition filed by advocate K Baalu of the Advocates Forum for Social Justice who wanted court to order closure of all Tasmac shops in the state on Thursday when former President APJ Abdul Kalam was scheduled to be laid to rest at Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district.
Petitioner referred to the state notification declaring a public holiday for all government as well as private establishments in Tamil Nadu under the provisions of the Negotiable Instruments Act and pleaded that the benefit of leave should be extended to the 28,000 Tasmac employees as well.
Justice C S Karnan said that he had great respect for Kalam observed that like fire, police and milk supply services, liquor too was an essential commodity for 30% of people. He observed:
In five star hotels, liquor is served from 5am to 11pm. When people in five star hotels can drink, why not these people.
However during the arguments State’s counsel, informed the court that a government order had already been issued declaring a holiday for Tasmac shops in Ramanathapuram district on29th and 30th July.
#2. ‘Malafide’ and ‘politically motivated’ PIL to increase Delhi Govt’s power dismissed.
On 14 July 2015, Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL filed by NGO ‘Campaign Fort People Participation in Development Planning’ which sought to declare as unconstitutional the Article 239AA (3) and 239AA (4) of the Constitution of India and Sections 24 and 25 of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 which restrict the legislative powers of the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi and restrict the Petitioner also sought to declare that Chief Minister and other ministers of Delhi Govt can exercise the executive powers under all the entries of the Concurrent and State list of Schedule VII of the Constitution
Petition had claimed:
The present elected Government of NCT of Delhi headed by novice but progressive legislators of the newly founded Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are being deprived, by the respondents headed by the conventional and orthodox political adversaries, of their constitutional mandate of democratic governance and public administration of Delhi in all subjects and matters falling in List II – State List and List III.
…petition is instituted by a voluntary organization which claims to have no political association, the tenor of the petition and the pleadings particularly, the relief sought in the petition make us feel that the petitioner is seeking to espouse the cause of one of the political parties that are specifically referred to in the petition.
After referring to the case laws, bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath observed that the petition was not bona fide since the approach of the petitioner appeared to be motivated to settle the political scores. Dismissing the petition Court held that the writ petition could not be maintained as a Public Interest Litigation.
# 3: Supreme Court says no problem in doing business using names of God and Goddesses
On 24 July 2015, Supreme Court of India refused to entertain a PIL which sought prohibition on the use of the names and images of Gods and Goddesses for business purposes.
Hearing the petition, bench comprising of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, observed that citizens cannot be restrained from carrying their business enterprises on the names of any God or Goddess in which they have belief and faith.
It is a case of the faith of the people…A businessman can keep the name of Laxmi stores. Can he not name his daughter Laxmi … I like to worship that God. I want to put the name and I want to have the image of that particular God. How can somebody stop.
Dismissing the PIL, bench said:
I like to worship that God. I want to put the name and I want to have the image of that particular God. How can somebody stop
#4 Kerala HC dismisses PIL challenging Sharia based ‘discriminatory’ inheritance laws
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court dismissed a batch of PIL petitions challenging the inheritance rights based on Sharia law in the Muslim community.
Petitioners had sought a prayer to declare that the practice now followed by the Muslims based on Shariat, which is a Law under Article 13, in regard to inheritance of Muslim women is violative of Articles 14, 15, 19, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India and therefore, void and unenforceable. They claimed that Shariat law which is applicable with regard to succession in Muslim Community is based on misinterpretation of various Quranic principles.
However the Kerala High court observed that the reliefs sought were the issues which are to be taken by the Legislature and cannot adjudicated by the Court in a Public Interest Litigation. It also referred to the Supreme Court decision in Maharshi Avadhesh v. Union of India ( Suppl. 1 SCC 713) on the similar issue.
#5: Del HC dismisses PIL for separate police lock-ups for female detainees
On 21 July 2015, Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL which sought a direction to the Union of India and Delhi Government to implement the Supreme Court’s judgment in Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra, 1983(2) SCC 96
and to set up separate police lock-ups in reasonably good localities in Delhi where only female suspects should be kept and who should be guarded by female police personnel only. PIL had further asked Delhi High Court to appoint and nominate one Additional Sessions Judge preferably a lady judge to make periodical, surprise and random visits to lock-ups especially at nights to see the condition of the female suspects.
Court observed that the Petitioner lacked bonafide for the petition to be treated as a public interest litigation as he was lawyer for a woman accused in a related matter.
Though the petition ostensibly seeks to implement directions of the Supreme Court in the case of Sheela Barse v. State of Maharashtra, the petition is more or less centered around the allegations levelled by [accused woman] before the ASJ which are already subject matter of judicial proceedings.
Holding the above, bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed the PIL observing that it had not in any manner gone into the obvious duty of the respondent authorities to ensure due protection of female accused when in police lock-up.