Legal Weekly ( The Indian Express) is a compilation of landmark rulings passed by the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the country during the week. Read upon Meghalaya HC observation on humanity above religion and Gujarat HC’s nod to a live-in of a inter-faith couple.
Date: December 9, 2017
The Meghalaya High Court ruled in favour of the followers of Niam Khasi faith, after a few residents of Mylliem moved the court to allow its members to perform the last rites of deceased members. It directed East Khasi Hills to construct a crematorium for the followers of the indigenous religious faith.
“I am pained that even after so many years of independence, now at the 21st Century, people are not aware of the Constitution of the country where they live in and violate the Constitution.
“If the water that we drink does not ask about our faith, caste and religion; if the air that we breathe do not ask about our faith, caste and religion; and if the land where we all live do not ask about our faith, caste and religion; if the cosmos do not ask about our faith, caste and religion, then who are we to ask about others faith, caste and religion. Therefore, let the dead rest in peace.
“I further mention that no person can practice religion or become spiritual, until and unless he or she becomes a good human being because humanity comes first, then religion,” Justice S.R. Sen said in his judgment.
The Uttarakhand High Court reversed a trial court’s order and convicted a 30-year-old man on charges of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a minor girl.
The court held him guilty for luring a 15-year-old Nepali girl on the pretext of taking her on a shopping trip to Banbasa in Uttarakhand. The minor girl was then subjected to sexual harassment by the man during their travel, the court held. The man was arrested after a sub-inspector at Shadra Bairaj police station was tipped off about the crime.
While delivering the judgment, the high court passed certain directions for the State to curb human trafficking:
Police should verify identity documents of all minor girls coming from Nepal and take contact numbers of their guardians in India and Nepal.
Police should book human traffickers under the Money Laundering Act and attach their properties. The police should increase patrolling on borders and human trafficking units should be headed by officers not below the rank of DSP/CO.
Since minors are kidnapped and made to beg in India, police should conduct DNA test of the child beggars and people claiming to be their parents. It further directed a ban on begging in the State.
State government should constitute a separate wing and set up a photo bank data to trace missing boys and girls, the photo bank should be displayed on the state department’s website and should flashed at bus depots and railway stations by the police.
The Gujarat High Court allowed an inter-faith couple to live together after the woman’s mother alleged that she was forcibly abducted. The court concluded that the 20-year-old woman and the 18-year-old respondent have know each other for eight years and has voluntarily chosen to got with him.
The woman informed the court that she fled from her house after her parents forced her to get engaged to another man. She also expressed her desire to live with the man before they get married.
The court therefore held that, the corpus is an adult and is capable of taking her own decisions regarding her life and future. She has voluntarily chosen to go with respondent No.4, knowingly, in spite of the opposition from her parents and the parents of respondent No.4. Respondent No.4 is equally adamant to stay with the corpus. We, therefore, have no other option but to permit the corpus and respondent No.4 to live together.
Dismissing a petition filed by a former music teacher who was accused of sexual harassment, the Delhi High Court asked the management of a Delhi school to ensure the safety of children and strictly deal with those who pose a risk to students.
The former music teacher moved the court alleging that he was made to resign by school authorities by force and coercion. He further contended that he withdrew his resignation before it was sent to the Director of Education. The school authorities, however, claimed the petitioner was accused of outraging the modesty of female students and misbehaving with fellow female faculty.
The court held that once a resignation has been accepted by the authorities, it cannot be withdrawn. Withdrawal of the resignation is only allowed before its acceptance, it said.
Forty two years after the Maharashtra government acquired a piece of land in Sangli, the Bombay High Court declared the acquisition as lapsed after it failed to compensate the landowner.
The petitioners claimed that only a fraction of the promised amount was paid for removing debris on the land. The State, however, claimed that a part of the compensation was held back due to an ongoing pending partition suit on the land.
The court observed that since the land has been submerged in water, restoration would not be possible. The court further directed the State to reacquire the land within a year.
Read The Indian Express (Source) Article here.