Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: S. Sunil Dutt Yadav, J. allowed this writ petition which was preferred to set aside the order of the Deputy Commissioner.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner claimed to be the legal heir of the original grantee while claiming the land, granted in favour of his grandfather on 15-07-1935 and the evidence for this lies in the extract of Saguvali Chit Register. The land was sold on multiple occasions. The respondent claimed to be the purchaser on the last occasion under the sale deed dated 11-04-1973. The Petitioner sought resumption and restoration claiming that the last sale deed was executed within the non-alienation/prohibition period of twenty years. The Writ Petition was filed about nine years later from the order of the Deputy Commissioner. Poverty and ignorance were stated to be the reason for such a delay by the petitioner.

The Petitioner contended that in the period between the last sale and the present writ petition there had been no sale transaction and no third party rights created. The petitioner further contended that the same relief should be given as granted to the parties who have approached the authority well beyond the reasonable time.

Counsel for respondent S.S. Naganand contended that the petitioner has crossed the reasonable time for a writ petition to be maintainable while placing on record the cases – Nekkanti Rama Lakshmi v. State of Karnataka, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1862 and Vivek M. Hinduja v. M. Ashwatha, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1858.

Therefore, the Court held that being ignorant and poor are not sufficient reasons for looking into the reasonableness of delay at all. In these nine years, the respondent had also applied for the conversion of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural purpose. Thus, the writ petition was dismissed and the order of the Deputy Commissioner stood confirmed.[Muniyappa v. Special Deputy Commr., Bengaluru, Writ Petition No. 35155 of 2018 (SCST), decided on 07-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Madhuresh Prasad, J. dismissed a civil writ petition, challenging cancellation of a lady’s appointment as Angan Bari Sevika, holding that the petition was devoid of merits.

The instant petition was filed praying for quashing the order issued by the District Programme Officer (DPO) whereby and whereunder petitioner’s selection as Angan Bari Sevika had been cancelled. The Court, at the very outset, noted that the petition had been filed without challenging the DPO’s order.

Contention of the respondent-State, as well as the private respondent, was that the Aam Sabha, wherein the petitioner was selected, was conducted in absence of the Child Development Project Officer. Further, the number of beneficiaries in the service area was not ascertained prior to petitioner’ selection.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Sanjay Kumar, submitted that the population of Scheduled Caste for the Center in question was 300, the population of Extremely Backward Class was 150, the population of Backward Class was 250 and population of General Class was 400. Petitioner, being a member of the General Class, was of the predominant class in the area and, therefore, her selection was rightly done by the Aam Sabha. Further, the determination as to the number of beneficiaries was not relevant in terms of the Circular dated 25-09-2001 issued by the Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar.

The Court noted that the concerned Circular clearly contemplated that selection for Angan Bari Sevika must be done from the predominant class based on the population of beneficiaries. In view of such situation, selection of a candidate on the basis of predominance of caste or class without ascertaining the number of beneficiaries, i.e., actual population below poverty line within the various castes/class, could not be sustained and would defeat the very purpose of social welfare sought to be achieved by the Integrated Child Development Scheme through establishment of Angan Bari Centre. Thus, it was held that the selection of petitioner had rightly been cancelled.[Nirmala Kumari v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 566, Order dated 22-04-2019]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: The Division Bench of Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, JJ. dismissed a petition challenging assailing the judgment of Peshawar High Court vide which custody of a minor girl was handed over to her mother.

Petitioner herein, father of the minor, submitted that the child did not even recognize her mother and was not ready to go with her. He also relied on the decision of a jirga, which had decided that the custody of child should remain with the petitioner-father.

The Court noted that the petitioner worked as a labourer in Dubai and her stepmother and a divorcee sister of the petitioner looked after the child. The petitioner also had three children from his second wife. However, the respondent had not married again after divorce from the petitioner.

At the outset, the Court opined that a jirga has no legal authority to decide custody of children, and in doing so, it violated the law and Islamic injunctions. A mother cannot be compelled to part with her child by a jirga. Mother cannot be called upon to barter the right to her child’s custody to secure a divorce, nor can a child be used to settle personal scores.

The Court placed reliance on Razia Bibi v. Riaz Ahmad, 2004 SCMR 821 and opined that poverty on the part of a lady is no ground to disentitle her from the custody of minor. It was held that welfare of the minor is of paramount consideration in determining custody, and principles of hizanat must be adhered to unless there are valid reasons not to do so. The dictum in Rubia Jilani v. Zahoor Akhtar Raja, 1999 SCMR 1834 was relied on in this regard.

In view of the above, the petitioner was directed to, immediately and peacefully, handover the minor girl to her mother.[Bat Khan v. Sherin Bibi, Civil Petition No. 809-P of 2018, Order dated 08-02-2019]