Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Bench of Sanjay Karol, CJ and Arindam Lodh, J. dismissed an appeal filed under Section 19(1) of the Family Courts Act, 1984 against the order of the family Judge whereby the husband was directed to pay pendente lite maintenance of Rs 8000 per month to her wife.

Arijit Bhowmik, Advocate representing the appellant-husband submitted that though the appellant was an employee of ONGC having a salary of Rs 39, 649, however, he received only Rs 19,338 after various deductions. It was prayed that the maintenance allowance may be reduced. per contra, H.K. Bhowmik, Advocate appearing for the respondent-wife submitted that Rs 8,000 per month were minimum to lead a dignified life, which is one of the essential features of Article 21 of the Constitution.

On perusing the record, the High Court found that the wife was forced to stay at her parents’ house. it was noted that there were many bald allegations levelled against her such as she was not interested in having sex with the appellant-husband and that she threatened him to commit suicide. In the Court’s opinion, the allegations were not substantiated by cogent evidence. It was said: “these are the normal wear and tear of marital life and for this, the wife should not be forced to be separated from the appellant-husband. The wife is entitled to lead a life at part the standard of the husband.”

Having considered all the aspects, the court was not inclined to interfere with the order passed by the family Judge. Resultantly, the appeal was dismissed. [Debasish Chakraborty v. Soma Bhattacharjee, 2019 SCC OnLine Tri 159, decided on 29-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: P.V Asha, J. allowed a petition directing the respondent college to issue NOC to the students applying for transfer to another college as per the rules of the concerned university.

The petitioners, in this case, were students pursuing their engineering course from Cochin Institute of Science and Technology which was a self-funded college. All the petitioners were either in their 2nd or 4th semester and wanted to get themselves transferred to another self-funded college, as their institution had a provision of transferring students before the starting of their 3rd and 5th semester as per the wish of the students and after the issuance of  “No Objection Certificate (NOC)” by the principal. The deplorable condition of the college forced 106 students to file an application for their transfer which the college arbitrarily rejected. Principal of the college was even requested by the parents to issue the NOC but there was no revert. Feeling aggrieved by the act of college, students filed this petition requesting the Court to direct the college to issue the NOC.

Learned counsels for the petitioner D. Kishore and A.C Devasia argued that when the petitioners did not want to continue in the College and the University permitted inter-college transfer, denial of NOC recommendation on their applications was derogatory to their fundamental right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution. They also informed the Court that they apprehend vindictive measures against the students on their continuance in the college as such open declarations were made by the College and that such measures could adversely affect the very future and the career of all these petitioners. Furthermore, they placed their reliance on Kottayam Institute of Technology and Science v. Admission Supervisory Committee for Professional Colleges in Kerala, 2016(4) KHC 620 and argued that the transfer could be allowed even without the recommendation of the Principal of the College, as it was only a matter of procedure and not a necessity. Thus, it was submitted that the petitioners were entitled to get their certificates released for admission in another College.

Learned counsel for the respondent P. Ravindran argued that the petitioners did not have any right for transfer and the College was not under any obligation to grant NOC or to recommend their applications, as the applications were made based on the norms issued by the university which did not have any statutory force. It was argued that the petition itself was not maintainable for enforcement of guidelines. It was also argued that even as per the norms, it was open to the Principal to recommend or not and only if the application is recommended, the petitioners could further process the applications.

The Court observed that the petitioners did not come under any prohibited category and were entitled to get the NOC. It was further observed that “compelling the students, who did not want to continue in a college, could only affect the future and career of the students. An atmosphere without room for apprehensions and conducive to carry on the studies peacefully, was essential and hence it required paramount consideration.” Therefore, the Court ordered the principal of the college to recommend the applications of the petitioners for inter-college transfer within three days of passing of this judgment. It was also made clear that in the event of any delay on the part of the respondent, the opted Colleges was free to act upon and process the applications submitted by the petitioners as if the applications were recommended. Thus, the petition was allowed.[Jisin Jijo v. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1691, decided on 31-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab & Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Raj Shekhar Attri, J., allowed a writ petition filed by the petitioners seeking protection from private respondents 4 to 6, since the petitioners apprehend danger to their life, limb and liberty from the hands of private respondents.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the petitioners were entitled to get protection on the basis of apprehension of danger.

The Court observed that the Constitutional philosophy completely eradicates discrimination on the grounds of castes, creed, religion, domicile etc. It has propounded the equality and freedom but after a lapse of 68 years since after coming into force of the Constitution of India, the citizens, especially in the rural areas, are under the influence of orthodox phenomenon and believe in the traditional societies. It gravely affects the doctrine of social justice and equality. The petitioners in the present case had provided sufficient evidences of their age and it was proved that they were both majors who got married and were living together. Since both the petitioners are citizens of India, they have a right to live with dignity. The Court referred to its own decision in the case of Pardeep Kumar Singh v. State of Haryana2007 SCC OnLine P&H 1230, wherein several guidelines with regard to safety concerns of run-away couples were laid down by the Court.

The Court held that the petitioners had every right to seek protection of their lives as the same has been guaranteed to them under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It is incumbent upon the state to ensure the safety of such couples.[Sushmita v. State of Punjab, CRM M No. 49692 of 2018 (O&M), order dated 13-11-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court:  A Division Judge Bench comprising of Surya Kant, CJ and Ajay Mohan Goel, J., disposed of an appeal wherein the right to water and electricity supply was directed as them being the basic necessities of life.

The petitioner constructed a residential house against which eviction proceedings were initiated against the petitioner as the land in possession was owned by the State Government. The petitioner applied for the electricity and water connections, but both these amenities were denied on the premise that ‘No Objection Certificate’ was not issued by the Municipal Council.

The respondents submitted that the same cannot be granted as the petitioner has not risen the construction after getting building plan sanctioned plus the petitioner unauthorizedly occupied the Government land and raised illegal construction, without seeking prior approval of the authorities.

The Court agreed to the fact that ordinarily, it would be reluctant in granting relief to a person alleged to be an encroacher over the Government property, but at the same time, it was not expedient to express any view on merits, as any observation in relation to this issue was likely to have impacted on the merits of the case.

The prime consideration was whether the basic amenities of water and electricity shall be granted to the petitioner or not. It was stated that as they were an integral part of Right to Life within the meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution of India calls for immediate action. Thus till the title dispute remains pending, for that considerable period the petitioner shall be granted the same on subject to their payment of requisite charges and shall remain purely an interim and ad hoc measure till the title dispute was decided. Accordingly, the appeal was disposed of. [Madan Lal v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2018 SCC OnLine HP 1495,  decided on22-10-2018]