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Compliance Report by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology on Regulation of Social Media Platforms: Delhi High Court

Title:  X & Ors. v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) & Anr.

Ordered on:  17th August, 2023

+  CRL.M.C. 2214/2020, CRL.M.C. 2399/2020 & CRL.M.C. 2215/2020

CORAM: HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE SWARANA KANTA SHARMA

Introduction

The Delhi High Court received a compliance report from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) in response to a previous order seeking compliance with the court’s judgment. The judgment had addressed the regulation of social media platforms and intermediaries to make them safer by curbing the use of vulgar language and profanity.

Facts

The compliance report was submitted as per the court’s order dated April 12, 2023. The court had requested compliance with its judgment issued on March 6, 2023, in petitions related to the regulation of social media platforms. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) filed the report, acknowledging the court’s directions and observations and assuring that the concerns raised by the court would be considered in the formulation of policies and regulations.

Analysis

The compliance report stated that MeitY had taken note of the directions and observations provided in the court’s judgment, along with subsequent orders dated April 12, 2023, and June 1, 2023. The report highlighted specific paragraphs (60, 76, 84, and 85) of the judgment that were of relevance. MeitY affirmed that it would incorporate rules and regulations to regulate social media platforms and intermediaries in order to make them safer from the use of vulgar language, profanity, and bad words, as per the court’s judgment.

Order

The court, after reviewing the compliance report, acknowledged that the matter pertained to a policy decision to be taken by the Ministry and the legislature. The court expressed satisfaction with the compliance report, considering it as sufficient compliance with its order. The court was assured that the concerns raised in its judgment would be addressed and incorporated into future rules and regulations pertaining to social media platforms.

Conclusion

The compliance report submitted by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology reflects the government’s acknowledgment of the court’s concerns regarding the regulation of social media platforms. The court’s decision to accept the compliance report as sufficient indicates its confidence that the Ministry will undertake the necessary policy measures to address the issues raised in the court’s judgment and ensure a safer online environment.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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Delhi High Court Awards Compensation to Acquitted Accused in Murder Case Due to Terrible Investigation

Title:  State v. Usha Devi & Anr.

Decided on:  01st August, 2023

+  CRL. A.229/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SURESH KUMAR KAIT & HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE NEENA BANSAL KRISHNA 

Introduction

The Delhi High Court has awarded a compensation of Rs. 50,000 each to two acquitted accused in a murder case. The accused, who were the grandmother and father of a 2-year-old deceased child, had been acquitted by the Trial Court for offenses under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The High Court found that the investigation conducted by the prosecution agency was severely lacking.

Facts

The High Court heard an appeal filed by the State against the judgment of the Trial Court, which had acquitted the accused persons. The accused were the grandmother and father of a 2-year-old child who had been charged under Section 302 of the IPC. The prosecution agency’s investigation had led to their trial.

Analysis

The High Court observed that it is a settled legal principle that the guilty should not go free, and the innocent should not be falsely accused and punished. In this case, the High Court criticized the terrible investigation conducted by the prosecution agency, which lacked material substance against the accused. The Court emphasized that the accused had suffered due to the unfair investigation, enduring a long trial and undeserved punishment.

The High Court also cautioned prosecution agencies to conduct investigations prudently and urged trial courts to carefully assess the evidence so that innocent individuals do not have to endure the suffering of incarceration.

Held

The High Court, acknowledging that the matter involved a policy decision to be taken by the Ministry and the legislature, found the compliance report submitted by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) to be sufficient. The Court appreciated the Ministry’s acknowledgment of the concerns raised in its judgment and expressed confidence that the Ministry would incorporate the necessary rules and regulations to regulate social media platforms as per the court’s directions.

Conclusion

The Delhi High Court’s decision to award compensation to the acquitted accused underscores the importance of conducting fair and thorough investigations. The Court’s strong words against the prosecution agency’s inadequate investigation serve as a reminder of the responsibility to ensure that justice is served and innocent individuals are not wrongfully implicated. The compensation awarded to the accused acknowledges the ordeal they went through due to the flawed investigation process.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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Delhi High Court Denies Bail in 498A/306 IPC Case Citing Extramarital Affair and Mental Torture

Title:  SAGAR Vs THE STATE (GOVT. OF NCT)

Decided on:  11th August, 2023

+  BAIL APPLN. 1968/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE SWARANA KANTA SHARMA

Introduction

The Delhi High Court recently rejected a bail application in a case involving offenses under IPC Sections 498A (cruelty towards a married woman) and 306 (abetment of suicide). The decision was based on specific allegations against the applicant, including his extramarital affair and mental and physical torture of the deceased wife. The court emphasized the devastating impact of discovering infidelity shortly after marriage on the victim’s emotional well-being.

Facts

The case revolved around the marriage between the deceased, Panina, and the accused applicant. Tragically, Panina took her own life just 13 days after their marriage, leading to the filing of an FIR by her father. The FIR alleged that the applicant had engaged in an extramarital affair and was responsible for Panina’s suicide.

Analysis

The applicant’s counsel argued for his innocence, claiming a harmonious relationship between the couple after marriage. They pointed out the absence of a suicide note or dowry demand as evidence supporting their case. On the other hand, the State’s counsel argued that the allegations were grave, underscoring Panina’s mental distress resulting from the applicant’s extramarital affair, substantiated by witness testimonies.

The Court carefully considered both arguments, evaluating the available evidence. Notably, specific allegations against the applicant, including his extramarital affair and the mental and physical torture of Panina, were found to be credible. These allegations were supported by Panina’s mother’s statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C.

The Court acknowledged the severe emotional trauma that discovering infidelity shortly after marriage can inflict on an individual. In this case, it was alleged that Panina’s suicide was a direct consequence of her husband’s actions. The absence of dowry demands was a significant factor in the analysis.

Held

Taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court concluded that there were no grounds for granting bail at this stage. The emotional trauma experienced by Panina due to her husband’s alleged infidelity and subsequent ill-treatment was considered a critical factor. Given these circumstances, the bail application was dismissed.

Conclusion

The Delhi High Court’s decision highlights the seriousness with which cases involving cruelty towards married women and abetment of suicide are treated, especially when specific allegations, such as extramarital affairs and mental torture, are involved. The court’s focus on the emotional well-being of the victim and the profound impact of such revelations underscores the need for responsible and compassionate handling of such cases.

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Written by- Ankit Kaushik

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Delhi High Court Denies Additional Increment to Employees Due to Non-fulfilment of Eligibility Criteria

Title:  FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA Vs SMT. SUNITA KUMARI & ANR

Decided on:  10th August, 2023

+  LPA 62/2020 & CM APPLs. 4141/2020, 4142/2020

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE MINI PUSHKARNA 

Introduction

The Delhi High Court recently ruled on a case involving the eligibility for an additional increment under the Stagnation Impact Amelioration Scheme, 2014 (SIA Scheme). The court held that the respondents, who had not completed six years of regular service in their previous post before being promoted to a higher post, were not eligible for the benefit of an additional increment as per the SIA Scheme.

Facts

The respondents were initially appointed to the post of Assistant Grade – III (Accounts) and later promoted to the post of AG – II (Accounts) after which they were further promoted to the post of AG – I (Accounts). The Stagnation Impact Amelioration Scheme, 2014 was introduced to provide additional increments to eligible employees on stagnation after completion of specific years of regular service in the same post/pay scale.

Analysis

The respondents requested an additional increment under the SIA Scheme, arguing that the delay in their promotion was not their fault. However, the appellant declined the request, and the respondents sought the benefit through a petition. The High Court analyzed the eligibility criteria under the SIA Scheme and noted that additional increments were granted to employees who had completed 6, 12, and 20 years of regular service in the same scale. The scheme stated that the additional increment would be applicable from the day next to the actual completion of the required years of service.

The Court also highlighted Clause 22 of the scheme, which specified that the benefit of the additional increment would only be given to those who couldn’t be promoted due to non-availability of vacancies or administrative reasons.

Held

The Court observed that the respondents had not completed six years of regular service in their previous post before being promoted to AG – I (Accounts). Additionally, the SIA Scheme was not in existence before September 1, 2008, and the respondents’ promotion was before this date. As a result, the Court held that the respondents were not eligible for the additional increment under the SIA Scheme as per the scheme’s criteria. Clause 22 or any other provision of the scheme couldn’t be applied retrospectively for the period when the scheme wasn’t even in place.

Conclusion

The Delhi High Court’s decision reaffirms the importance of adhering to the eligibility criteria stipulated under specific schemes. It highlights the need to interpret such schemes based on their effective dates and the existence of necessary conditions at the time of promotion or implementation.

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Delhi High Court Sets Guidelines on Quashing FIRs and Responsible Mediation Practices

Title: Abhishek & Ors. v. The State NCT of Delhi & Ors.

Decided on:  16th August, 2023

+  CRL.M.C. 5720/2023

CORAM: HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE SWARANA KANTASHARMA 

Introduction

In a recent case, the Delhi High Court, while addressing a petition filed under Section 482 of the CrPC seeking the quashing of an FIR, highlighted the importance of responsible mediation practices in resolving serious offenses. The court observed that non-compoundable offenses cannot be resolved solely through monetary agreements and emphasized the need for upholding lawful and principled mediation practices.

Facts

The petitioners sought the quashing of an FIR filed against them for alleged offenses under Sections 308/34 of the IPC. The parties had settled the matter amicably and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a monetary settlement of Rs. 40,000. It was revealed that Rs. 30,000 in cash was intended for the purpose of quashing the FIR.

Analysis

The court examined the principles of law related to quashing FIRs based on settlements as laid down in cases such as Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab, and Parbhatbhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat. It differentiated between compounding offenses under Section 320 and quashing under Section 482 of the CrPC, emphasizing that the latter is discretionary and aimed at preventing process abuse while ensuring justice.

The court scrutinized the mediated settlement agreement, noting that the mediator had exceeded their jurisdiction by attempting to compound a non-compoundable offense. The agreement’s language suggested that serious offenses could be resolved through payments, which misled the parties involved. The court highlighted that quashing non-compoundable offenses is a discretionary decision that must adhere to established principles.

Held

The court held that serious offenses cannot be settled through monetary agreements alone. It stressed that the mediator’s role is not to compound non-compoundable offenses but to facilitate lawful and responsible mediation practices. While the court decided to quash the FIR based on unique circumstances, it imposed costs on the petitioners for misinterpreting the agreement.

The court laid down guidelines for mediators, emphasizing the importance of clarity in mediated settlement agreements. It directed mediators to specify that quashing of FIRs for non-compoundable offenses is at the court’s discretion and depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. The court urged mediators to ensure that parties understand the legal consequences and enforceability of agreements.

Conclusion

The Delhi High Court’s ruling underscores the significance of responsible mediation practices and the proper interpretation of mediated settlement agreements. The judgment establishes that serious offenses cannot be resolved through monetary agreements and encourages mediators to uphold lawful principles while facilitating settlements.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

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