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Punjab & Haryana high court

13 September 2017

A judge of the Punjab & Haryana high court stayed the result of the Haryana Judicial Services (HJS) Exam after allegations of cheating against the topper of the exam. Immediately after his order the case was taken away from him, for unexplained reasons, at the request of the recruitment committee of the high court, reported Live Law.

25 February 2016

The Punjab and Haryana high court took cognisance of news reports alleging that women had been dragged out of their vehicles on National Highway 1 (NH1) and raped, during the Jat riots that broke out in Haryana over caste-based reservations, reported IANS.

The high court’s justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi said the high court could not sit as a “mute spectator” to the reported incidents and that these needed to be probed by a “premier investigation agency”. The case has been referred to the court of the acting Chief Justice for further orders.

The Haryana government however said that the news reports were false and baseless.

Several media, including the Tribune, Huffington Post, India Today and an English daily called Daily Sikh Updates reported the alleged incidents of rape yesterday.

According to the Tribune, at least 10 women were sexually assaulted after vehicles with women passengers were reportedly stopped and set on fire by 30-odd goons on NH1 near Murthal, in the wee hours of Monday morning. The women were allegedly dragged out to the nearby fields and raped, and later given clothes and blankets by nearby villagers, according to “eyewitnesses” cited in the report.

The report cites Amrik Sukhdev dhaba owner Amrik Singh as alleging that he learnt about the incidents at 3am when some travellers heard the victims wailing. The Tribune report also cites other sources: >“Shaken up by the incident, village elders Hari Krishan of Kurad and Zile Singh of Hassanpur said they didn’t want to talk about the incident as “the police are sure to shield the criminals and nobody, not even the locals, are safe.” Jai Bhagwan, who too runs a dhaba on the highway, said four young women took refuge inside a water tank near his dhaba.”

15 July 2014

The Centre asked the collegium to reconsider its recommendation of Karnataka high court justice Manjunath for elevation to chief justice at Punjab & Haryana high court after, according to “highly placed sources in the law ministry”, the Centre received complaints against him, reported The Hindu.

Manjunath was recommended for the post alongside the transfer of present Punjab & Haryana chief justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul to Madras high court. Justice Kaul’s transfer file was cleared, but justice Manjunath’s file was sent back to the collegium for “clarification or reconsideration”.

The nomination of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium elevation to the Supreme Court bench was derailed after a series of media leaks about Subramanium resulted in the advocate declining his nomination.

31 January 2014

Akshay Bhan, who is the first NLSIU Bangalore alumnus advocate designated as a senior counsel, recounts how being a former Supreme Court judge’s son helps, the importance of seniors and how he thinks other NLS alumni are likely to be elevated soon too.

31 January 2014

Akshay Bhan: SeniorNLSIU Bangalore alumnus Akshay Bhan, who is practising in the High Court of Punjab & Haryana in Chandigarh, has been designated as a senior counsel.

12 July 2013

Telegram revival PILs: Two public interest petitions in the Madras HC have asked for restoration of the recently discontinued telegram service in India, for the benefit of the “rural masses, lawyers, litigants, armed force and police” [Hindu]

Separation of vision: The judiciary has the wisdom but not the support system to understand the “vision” of the government and therefore should not interfere in policy making, said law minister Kapil Sibal [BS]

P&H HC systemised: The Punjab & Haryana high court has now started posting daily orders of cases on its website, will hear cases of persons with disabilities on priority, and will set aside Thursday to take up long-pending cases [HT]

M&A guidelines: Details under the broad M&A guidelines announced by the telecom ministry in February are expected before the end of this month [Hindu]

Crooked precedent: The Supreme Court has adopted problematic reasoning and methodology in amending the Representation of People Act to disqualify convicted ministers from contesting elections, argues NLSIU Bangalore graduate researcher Manish [Firstpost]

21 March 2013

The Supreme Court (SC) collegium has approved the nomination of chief justice (CJ) of Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) and former Delhi HC judge Arjan Kumar Sikri for elevation to the SC.

Sikri was sworn in as the HC’s 31st CJ on 22 September 2012, after serving as the Delhi HC’s judge for 13 years. He was designated as a senior advocate by the Delhi HC in September 1997.

Sikri graduated from the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University in 1977 and had served as the vice president of the Delhi High Court Bar Association during 1994-1995. [Punjab Newsline]

In February the collegium elevated Andhra Pradesh HC CJ Pinaki Ghose and Himachal Pradesh HC CJ Kurian Joseph, while superseding the nominations of Bombay, Uttarakhand, and Gujarat HC CJs Mohit Shah, Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Barin Ghosh respectively.

11 March 2013

A social activist called for the Punjab & Haryana HC to prevent lawyers from “browbeating the system”, and “forceful imposition of their collective bargaining power”, as “an impression that lawyers are above the law […] has been created”.

Activist Hemant Goswami filed an intervention application in a dispute between the HC’s lawyers and the Chandigarh Police, asserting that actions of the lawyers in the incident were non-compoundable offences. [Indian Express]

Goswami wrote in his application:

An impression that lawyers are above the law to whom the normal procedure of law, including that of trial and investigation by prescribed state machinery, does not apply has been created.

Special procedure should not be evolved to deal and system followed of investigation and trial, as in all other cases, should be followed in this matter too. Procedure as prescribed under the law must be followed.

Advocates Act gives no special privileges to advocates over and above the law under the Advocates Act. Rather they have greater responsibilities under the rules and codes prescribed under the said legislation.

Collective might and power of a group of people who are collectively registered as a separate juristic person should not be allowed to browbeat the system by putting extraneous pressure and by forceful imposition of their collective bargaining power. Such an impression is detrimental to the interest of 'sovereignty of the state' and is against the interest of 'democracy, the state and just rule of law'.

Many offences allegedly committed during the unfortunate incident come within the category of rioting, disobedience of lawful order and are triable as offences against the State and are therefore not compoundable as per the provisions contained in the Criminal Procedure Code.”

22 October 2012

Punjab and Haryana high court creates the post of “Court manager” on a three-year trial basis, to be held by engineers with an MBA degree. Court managers will manage the court’s budget and stock, human resource, case flow, electronic data, infrastructure, security and records.

Currently, meritorious persons in the court’s clerical staff are awarded some of those duties.

The court has also created additional law researcher posts to be held for two years either by fresh law graduates or by final year students of law. The law researchers will be forbidden to appear in the court in which they assisted, for a year immediately after their appointment as researcher ends. [Day and Night News]

16 October 2012

The now more than one-year old Punjab government-formulated policy for the protection of whistle blowers in the state was notified on the state government’s website last week after the Punjab and Haryana high court reportedly directed the government to make the policy public.

The policy notified on 10 October defines a whistle blower as someone who makes a protected disclosure, and states: “A Whistle Blower/RTI Activist who has a threat perception of danger to his/her life or any liberty may approach the concerned District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police as the case may be. The concerned authority makes an enquiry of the threat perception within 48 hours of receiving the application and if it is found that the threat perception is genuine, then he/she shall be provided security forthwith.”

The policy, which was formulated in May last year, was dormant until Punjab advocate and RTI activist HC Arora moved the high court about RTI activists and whistle blowers in the state being “harassed” and “implicated in false cases”. [Notification/Daily Pioneer/Daily Mail]{jcomments lock}