May 2024 Legal Roundup

3 Jun 2024  Read 2130 Views

Want to know what's been happening in the legal world lately? From landmark Supreme Court decisions to a shocking Pune accident and a global human rights campaign, there was no shortage of important events in the month of May. 

Get ready to understand crucial rulings on the validity of Hindu marriages, consumer rights, advocates' liabilities, and the Enforcement Directorate's powers. We'll also see the Bar Council of India's proposed legal education reforms and the ongoing "All Eyes on Rafah" campaign.

In this blog, we have picked out the top 10 legal events of May, offering insights for students, advocates, and anyone interested in India's ever-evolving legal landscape. Let's look into these interesting updates one by one. 

1. Hindu Marriage is not valid if ceremonies are not performed

Case: Dolly Rani v. Manish Kumar Chanchal (2024)

Justices: BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih

The Supreme Court said that Hindu Marriage is a sacred institution and should not be treated like a simple social event with just "song and dance" or "wining and dining."

The Court criticised couples who tried to claim they were married without having a proper marriage ceremony. It emphasised that marriage is not just a deal but a sacred bond between two people. The court advised young couples to understand the true meaning of marriage before getting married, as it creates a deep and important relationship.

The Court also made it clear that for a Hindu marriage to be valid, it must include proper rites and ceremonies, like the saptapadi (seven steps around the sacred fire) if required, and proof of these ceremonies is needed in case of disputes. To know this judgement in detail Click Here!

2. Kejriwal was granted Interim Bail in the Delhi Liquor Policy Scam

Case: Arvind Kejriwal v. Directorate of Enforcement (2024)

Justices: Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta

The Supreme Court allowed the temporary release of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was in jail due to the Delhi liquor policy case, until 1 June 2024.

The court noted that Kejriwal is an elected Chief Minister, not a repeat offender, and general elections happen only once every 5 years. 

Interim bail is a temporary release when a regular bail application is still pending. It is granted in special situations (like the Lok Sabha Elections in this case) with conditions such as providing bail bonds of ₹50,000/, not visiting the Chief Minister's Office or the Delhi Secretariat, not signing official files, not commenting on his role in the case.

Arvind Kejriwal surrendered at Tihar Jail on 2 June 2024. To know about this case in detail Click Here!

3. The right of consumers to know what manufacturers & advertisers are offering

Case: Indian Medical Association v. Union of India (2024)

Justices: Hima Kohli & Ahsanuddin Amanullah

The Supreme Court has declared that the Right to Health includes a consumer's right to know the quality of products sold by manufacturers, service providers, and advertisers. To protect this right, the Court ordered that before any advertisement is printed, aired, or displayed, the advertiser must submit a Self-declaration. This declaration must follow Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

Advertisers must upload this self-declaration to the Broadcast Sewa Portal managed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. For ads in newspapers, print media, or on the internet, the Ministry must create a special portal within four weeks from 7 May.

No advertisements will be allowed on TV, in print media, or online without this Self-declaration. These rules are now considered law as declared by the Court under Article 141 of the Constitution of India.

Do you know what are laws & remedies against Misleading Advertisements? To read more, Click here!

5. Advocates are not liable under the Consumer Protection Act

Case: Bar of Indian Lawyers Through its President Jasbir Singh Malik v. DK Gandhi PS National Institute of Communicable Diseases (2024)

Justices: Bela Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal

The Supreme Court ruled that advocates can't be held responsible under the Consumer Protection Act for deficiency of services. This means you can't file a complaint against lawyers for a deficiency in services in the Consumer Forum.

This decision overturned a 2007 ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which said that lawyers' services were covered under the Consumer Protection Act.

The Supreme Court explained that a lawyer represents and advises their client in court. They must follow their client's instructions and cannot replace their client's decisions with their own.

The court also mentioned that the 1995 judgment in Indian Medical Association v. VP Shantna, which made doctors and medical professionals liable under the Consumer Protection Act, needs to be revisited.

6. SC reduced ED's arresting power

Case: Tarsem Lal v. Directorate of Enforcement (2024)

Justices: Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan.

In a key ruling, the Supreme Court decided that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and its officers cannot arrest someone under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) once the Special Court has taken up the case.

If the ED wants custody of the person, they must request it from the Special Court.

If the ED did not arrest the person before filing the complaint, the Special Court should usually send a summons to the person, not a warrant. Even if the person is already out on bail, a summons should be issued.

If the person shows up in response to the summons, they are not considered in custody and do not need to apply for bail. However, the Special Court can ask the person to provide a bond as per Section 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

7. BCI's 'Legal Education Reforms'

On 20 May, the Bar Council of India told all law schools/ universities to do the following quickly:

  • Add new subjects like Blockchains, Electronic Discovery, Cybersecurity, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Bioethics to their courses.
  • Make 'Mediation' a required subject.
  • Include three new laws in their curriculum: Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (2023), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (2023), and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (2023) from the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • Teach law in both English and the local regional language.

Read more- Bail Provisions in Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita.

8. Pune Porsche Accident Case       

The incident happened on 19 May 2024, when a 17-year-old son of a well-known builder in Pune, who was allegedly driving a Porsche car while drunk, lost control and hit a motorcycle in Kalyani Nagar. The crash caused the deaths of two people on the spot.

The Juvenile Justice Board granted bail to the minor driver on the same day, a few hours after the accident. The bail conditions required him to visit the RTO, study traffic rules, and write a 300-word essay on road accidents and their solutions within 15 days.

However, on 22 May, the Board cancelled his bail and sent him to an observation home until 5 June. The state has also filed an application to try him as an adult, which will be decided soon.

In this present case, can the juvenile be tried as an Adult, Click Here to know more!

9.  Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal wins SCBA Election

This will be the 4th time he has served as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Mr Sibal has been involved in major cases, such as the Ayodhya Title Dispute, Triple Talaq Case, Maggi Noodles Case, and Section 377 of the IPC.

The SCBA is a very important group as it represents lawyers at India's highest court. The President of the SCBA is a key figure in the legal world.

When the independence of the judiciary is threatened or the Constitution is at risk, people look to the bar to push back. If the judiciary doesn't do its job of protecting the Constitution, the bar is expected to speak up first.

10. Principles Relating Dying Declaration

Case: Rajendra S/O Ramdas Kolhe v. State of Maharashtra (2024)

Justices: Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan

The Supreme Court summarised the rules for dying declarations as follows:

  • A dying declaration can be enough for conviction without needing additional evidence.
  • Each case should be judged based on its specific facts and the situation of the dying declaration.
  • A dying declaration is not weaker than other evidence.
  • It should be evaluated like any other evidence, considering the circumstances.
  • If recorded by a qualified Magistrate correctly, it holds more weight than an oral dying declaration.
  • To test its reliability, the court must consider the person's condition, timing, and if it was influenced by others.

Conclusion 

In this monthly round-up, we've covered a wide range of legal events, from significant Supreme Court rulings affecting advocates to the BCI's new rules for law students, these developments are likely to have long-lasting effects.

About the Author: Anirudh Nikhare | 66 Post(s)

Anirudh did his Bachelor's in Law and has practical experience in IPR, Contracts, and Corporate. He is your go-to legal content writer turning head-scratching legal topics into easy-to-understand gems of wisdom. Through his blog, he aims to empower readers with knowledge, making legal concepts digestible and applicable to everyday life.

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