-Report by Rhea Mistry

The Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench in the case of Vijay Darda & Anr. v. Ravindra Gupta ruled that the media has their right to report on the registration of FIRs, arrest of persons, and filing of cases in the courts and quashed the FIR filed against Lokmat Media.

Lokmat Media is a daily newspaper publishing company in the State of Maharashtra. Mr. Vijay Darda (Applicant No. 1) is the Chairman of the Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd. And Mr. Rajendra Darda (Applicant No. 2) is an Editor in Chief of the Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd.

On 25th May 2016, Lokmat Media in their newspaper published a news item stating the FIR that had been then recently registered against Mr. Ravindra Gupta along with the officials. Mr. Ravindra Gupta felt the published news item was against him and filed a private complaint against Lokmat Media.

Complainant’s Contention

The complainant contended that the news/information published by the respondent’s firm i.e., Lokmat Media in their newspaper is allegedly published to defame the complainant. Mr. Ravindra Gupta felt aggrieved by the news information which was published and filed a private complaint against the Chairman and the Editor in Chief, of Lokmat Media i.e., Mr. Vijay Darda, and Mr. Rajendra Darda respectively. He stated that the information that Lokmat media had published was false, frivolous, and intending to defame him, damaging his reputation in society.

The complaint filed by, Ashok Gupta, who was also one of the accused in the FIR, was later produced to be untrue. He was not present at the time of the occurrence of the crime and was dismissed from the charge. The complainant had filed a private complaint before the court of judicial magistrates, first class. The complainants then proceeded to the court referring to the case of Prabhu Chawla v. the State of Rajasthan and Anr. (2016) 16 SCC 30 regarding section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The complainant filed the complaint alleging that the applicants have committed an offense under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which provides the punishment for defamation and stated that the applicants should have investigated the matter thoroughly and made sure that the facts and information that were to be published were true and genuine.

Respondent’s Contention

Considering the accusations made by the complainant, the respondent contends that firstly, the information published by the Lokmat Media was only the information that a police report was filed, and an FIR was registered against Mr. Ravindra Gupta. There was no such news item published that could harm the reputation of the complainant and was not in accord with the police report.

The counsel of the applicants presented that under section 7 of The Press and Registration of Books Act,1867, the applicants are the chairman and editor-in-chief, not the editor of the newspaper. Considering this, the applicants are not responsible for the contents of the newspaper just because of the ownership. They do not know about every article and information published in their newspaper.

According to the Act, the person who is responsible for the content is the Editor as described in Section 1 of the act, which says “Editor” is the person who determines which content is to be published in the newspaper. The name of the editor is mentioned below the article in every newspaper. The editor of Lokmat Media is Dilip Tikhile and the person responsible for the content of the newspaper. The counsel also referred to the supreme court case K.M. Matthew v. the State of Kerela and Anr. (1992) 1 SCC 217. That the person who should be responsible is the editor only and not every person who is connected to the newspaper. On the acts of the employees, the owners and chairman cannot be held responsible for vicarious liability as referred to in the above case.

The counsel of the applicants also held that as the FIR is registered, it is published on the official website which is in the public domain, and the public has every right to know about the cases and registered FIRs. There was no such information that was not published. Relying on the supreme court case of Youth Bar Association v. Union of India and Anr. (2016) 9 SCC 473, the registration of crime is not a private affair anymore. This presented that the applicants did not commit any crime under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

Bombay High Court Judgement

The bench considered all the points made by the complainant and the respondent and held that the person responsible for the content in the newspaper is the Editor and not the people who are connected or merely connected with the newspaper company.
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on 20th June 2022 ruled that the media reporters have a right to report news information on the registered FIRs, arrests of persons, and cases filed as the information is in the public domain. It is the job of the media to let people know what is happening around the world. The order dated 16th January 2018 against the applicants is quashed and set aside. The criminal complaint against the applicants stands dismissed and disposed of.

The High Court held that urgent measures should be taken to control the deaths of children due to malnutrition or lack of medical facilities in Melghat, Amravati District tribal areas. Considering the case of Dr. Rajendra Sadanand Burma vs State of Maharashtra and numerous PILs, the Division Bench held that all the necessary public health facilities associated with nutrition, pregnancy, and specialists should be provided in the region immediately.

Social Activist, Bandu Sampatrao Sane also played a major role in providing justice to the needy people seeking help. Since last 4 months, more than seventy percent of children below 6 years died and 20 were stillborns in the Melghat region

Chief Justice firmly asks why the help is not provided in the region as there is not even a single gynecologist and pediatrician. The High Court directed the state to monitor the situation quickly, else the State Public Health Department and The Public Health Department Secretary have to rise to the occasion and will be held guilty. Justice Dipankar Datta also warned the Health Secretary that no more deaths should be there by 6 September due to malnutrition. The court adjourned the matter to September 6 and asked for immediate relief and regular health checkups for pregnant women in the Chikhaldara region.


The Bombay High Court on Friday, ordered to remove certain content from the internet that was prima facie defamatory to the Actress. Shilpa Shetty on Thursday filed a defamation suit against several media organizations seeking an injunction against false, malicious, and defamatory content published by them. This came after the husband of the actress, Raj Kundra was arrested for his alleged involvement in a porn production case.

The court said imposing a blanket order on the media personnel against the alleged defamatory content would have a “chilling effect on the freedom of the press”. However, the court ordered one media house from Uttar Pradesh to take down a video that portrayed her as ‘duplicitous’ at a personal level, while two others removed their content themselves. The court while ordering the same said that this order shall not act as a gag except for the two or three instances mentioned above.

The court said news reports which are based on police information cannot be construed as defamation. The matter needs to be looked at closely, it cannot be said that all the statements made are defamatory or not.

Shetty has filed a 25 crore defamation suit against 29 media houses- print, electronic and social media to prevent them from circulating derogatory content which is an invasion of her privacy. The Court said, there has to be a certain level of balance between freedom of press and the right of privacy. It simply cannot be said that because a person is a celebrity, such person has forfeited his/her right to privacy.

One video uploaded on the Shudh Manoranjan channel portrayed Shetty on moral grounds commenting on her parenting to her minor children. This video was removed from the online platform and the court said that it shall remain so.

The court has sought responses from the defendants by August 18 and the next date of hearing is to be on September 20th.



An Assistant Conservator of Forests accused of abetting a female subordinate officer in committing suicide was granted bail by the Nagpur Bench. While granting bail to an applicant accused of abetting the death of a forest officer, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court stated that bail cannot be denied to quell society’s collective fury.


  • Mrs. ‘D’ (Deepali Chavan ) penned three suicide notes. The first note is a letter addressed to Mr. Reddy the then Additional Chief Conservator of Forest, Melghat Tiger Project, Amravati, who is also arraigned as accused. The succeeding note is a letter addressed by Mrs. ‘D’ to her mother and the third note is a letter addressed by Mrs. ‘D’ to her husband.
  • The deceased’s husband filed a report with Police Station Dharni, District Amravati, under Crime 211/2021, for offences punishable under Sections 306, 312, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and the applicant, who was direct superior at that time of Mrs. ‘D’s, and who is a member of the Indian Forest Service, was arrested on 27.03.2021.
  • The applicant attempted to persuade the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Achalpur to grant bail, but in vain.
  • Opposing Shivkumar’s bail application, district government pleader (DGP) Parikshit Ganorkar said There are accusations made against the defendants that led to Chavan’s suicide. There is prima facie evidence against the accused and He could have obstructed investigations and tamper with prosecution witnesses because he held a top position.
  • Ganorkar testified in court that Shivkumar attempted to run and was apprehended dramatically at Nagpur train station. If he gets released on bail, He may attempt to flee justice as well and pleaded for discharge of his bail application.
  • From the case diary and explicit, it is clear that Shivkumar had been tormenting Chavan for over a year. In March 2020, He even threatened to implicate Deepali in a case of atrocities and put her behind the bar.
  • “The issues that have been raised when the accused forced her to perform field duties while pregnant, resulting in her abortion. The applicant used to call her at odd hours at night and disgustingly speak to her. The accused sought to take advantage of her loneliness, and when she refused, he used to punish her, according to the suicide note,” the court said.


  • Deepali Chavan penned three suicide notes. The first note is to Mr. Reddy the then Additional Chief Conservator of Forests. Second note to her mother and the third note to her husband.
  • Under Crime 211/2021, for offences punishable under Sections 306, 312, 504, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and the applicant, was arrested on 27.03.2021.
  • The accused argued that he had no criminal antecedent, was a law-abiding citizen, and was working for the betterment of the forest. His deeds were a part of his official responsibilities.
  • The three letters’ contents used as evidence and the accusations contained therein are refuted by additional evidence gathered during the investigation.
  • The application is allowed.


  • Prashant Deshpande, his lawyer, filed a bail application on his behalf that the accused argued that he had no criminal antecedent, was a law-abiding citizen, and was working for the betterment of the forest. He claimed in his application that Chavan’s allegations in her suicide note were ambiguous and did not meet the threshold of abetment. His deeds were a part of his official responsibilities. Prima facie, the allegation that the applicant, As Assistant Conservator of Forests, ordered the deceased to go on a rough terrain trek while she was pregnant, By any stretch of the imagination, this implies a responsible intent to cause a miscarriage.
  • The contents of the letters, which the prosecution claims were written by Mrs. ‘D’ are taken at face value, even a prima facie inference of suicidal abetment cannot be drawn.
  • Even if it is assumed arguendo, that the three letters’ contents will be used as evidence, The accusations contained therein are refuted by additional evidence gathered during the investigation.


  • Despite this, the court noted that if taken at face value, the three letters on which the prosecution is relying do make out a prima facie case of abetment, considering that the applicant is suspended and would not be in a position to influence the witnesses, that the applicant is not a flight risk and that bail cannot be denied as a pre-trial punishment, I’m inclined to believe that a case has been established for granting bail.
  • The application is allowed.
  • The applicant is released on bail on the condition that he deposit a personal bond of Rs.1,00,000/- (One Lakh only) with two solvent sureties of like amount. The applicant shall not, directly or indirectly, make any attempt to contact much less influence, any witness cited in the charge-sheet nor shall the applicant make any attempt but otherwise influence the course of the trial.
  • The applicant shall attend every date of hearing scrupulously and shall report at the Sadar Police Station, Nagpur on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. The applicant shall, within 72 hours of release, he should provide his current address and phone numbers to the Investigating Officer, and keep the Investigating Officer informed of any changes. The applicant must hand over his passport to the Investigating Officer if he has any. Without the authorization of the jurisdictional court, the applicant could not leave the country.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the Federation of Indian Pilots to provide more information about the number of pilots who participated in the Vande Bharat Mission and other similar missions so that the Court can consider their claim for compensation for services rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior Advocate Prasad Dhakephalkar said that Federation pilots were participating in the Central Government’s Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) and Air Bubble missions, which were used to evacuate stranded individuals from overseas and for the transportation of life-saving medicines. He submitted the report that COVID took the lives of roughly thirteen senior pilots, with some of them also suffering from long-term effects due to which they had lost their pilot license.

Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni said that before they could evaluate the prayers of the petitions, they needed further information about the pilots. “We’d like facts and numbers, such as the number of pilots and which airline they work for, their salary and benefits, and how many flights were part in the Vande Bharat Mission or similar missions.”

They postponed the matter’s hearing for two weeks to give the Federation time to file an additional affidavit with these details. The Federation filed public interest litigation (PIL) requesting that the Maharashtra government and the Central government, through the Ministry of Civil Aviation, develop a policy or program providing adequate pay to pilots who were giving emergency services. The Federation also requested that the Ministry issue instructions to develop a comprehensive insurance policy that would cover all pilots. It was also suggested that the Ministry develop a special class of COVID first responders known as ‘Air Transportation Workers’ to receive priority in the vaccines. Finally, the Federation sought perks that could be granted to pilots, such as family employment to the family member of the pilots who succumbed to COVID.

The matter will be heard again after two weeks.

-Report by Eshan Sharma

A petition was filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 claiming that the new IT Rules violate the law, citing Article 14 (equality before the law), Articles 19 (1) (a) (to freedom of speech and expression), and 19 (1) (g) (to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business).

The rules are being challenged because they seek to impose unreasonable, excessive, and vague burdens on digital news publishers. The Rules seek to these publishers of news and current affairs content under the ambit of the Press Council of India Act, 1978, and the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, without amending the respective legislations.

It is argued in the petition that the new IT Rules 2021 are beyond the Central Government’s legislative power because the Information Technology Act of 2000, does not contain anything that seeks to regulate or enables the regulation of digital content and ethics of online publishers, apart from a single provision that allows for the banning of content available online on specific grounds

The plea says these rules should be deemed unconstitutional under the Information Technology Act of 2000. In the meanwhile, it requested a stay on them.


Bombay HC, recently came through public interest litigation with the comprising bench of Dipankar Datta and justice GS Kulkarni, asking for the private schools to deal with the fees issues directly with the parents instead of debarring the students from attending the online classes and turning it into the legal battle.

In this current pandemic situation, every people and organization are facing tough financial trouble in society. Regarding some of the private schools are pressurizing students to pay their fees by debarring them from the academic facilities. Due to this students are habituated and committed to their work in virtual mode irrespective of the internet issues and distractive surroundings. The main contention of the petitioner is that the private schools are continued to charge the same fees as pre-pandemic despite students are not being able to use the facilities of school physically. With this consideration, the order was passed by the Bombay HC seeking direction to the private schools both aided and unaided to collect only the half amount of fees in the year of 2020-21, though some schools were failed to follow such order passed by HC so came up with petition.

The division bench of Bombay HC stated that the fee is not something that should be turned into a legal issue. This can be amicably settled and worked out. The management can talk face to face with the parents and resolve it there is no need to bring it to resolve legally. Moreover, the state government had informed the court that divisional fees regulatory committees had been set up the various places like Nasik, Pune, and Mumbai and so on to resolve the dispute between the parents and management regarding the fees issues.

Further, the court added that this is not a happy situation. In a pandemic when many families are facing problems, the approach should be different. The pandemic had not only impacted rural India also urban India where there is a serious downfall of the economy.

Regarding these school issues, it would be more beneficial for the college students, if the state or central government take such action regarding the fees issue and pressurizing students to pay and adding additional fines for not payment of fees in this crucial situation private universities. So it would be very much thankful for the government to take private colleges also into consideration than focusing only on private schools. Since every institution comes under the root called education and future of the students, either it is a college or school, equal importance must be given by the government.

-Report by AJISHA

The Bombay High Court upheld the constitutional validity of a tariff order passed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in January 2020 which had prescribed price celling’s on the charged by television channels but struck down one condition which said the price of a single channel cannot be more than one-third of the highest priced channel in that bouquet.

A bench of Justices Amjad Sayyed and Anuja Prabhudessai passed the judgment on a bunch of petitions filed by several broadcasters, like the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, a representative body of TV broadcasters, the Film and Television Producers Union of India, Zee Entertainment Limited, and Sony Pictures Network India.

On January 1st, 2020, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) Act, 1997 issued new tariff rules by which the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) price was lowered, benefitting consumers. Previously, a sum of Rs 130 was applicable for all free-to-air channels, and consumers needed to pay more to watch additional channels. After the amendments to the broadcast sector tariffs, consumers will pay Rs 130 as Network Capacity Fee (NCF) charge, however, they will be entitled to get Two Hundred channels. Changes were additionally mandated to be made within the price of individual channels.

The petitions said that the new laws were arbitrary, unreasonable and Offensive of their fundamental right. The High Court disposed of the petitions and said that The challenge to the constitutional validity of the 2020 rules and regulations of TRAI fails. One condition regarding the average pricing of a channel in a bouquet is arbitrary and hence is struck down, the court said in its judgment. As per this condition, the rates of every pay channel (MRP), forming part of a bouquet, shall in no case exceed 3 times the average rate of a pay channel of that bouquet. The petitioners requested the court to extend its earlier orders of August and October last year directing the TRAI to not take any steps against the stakeholders a few times, so that they may study the judgment and then decide their future course of action.

The court then sought to know if the other stakeholders, who have not approached the HC in a challenge, have implemented the new regulations. Senior counsel Venkatesh Dhond and advocate Ashish Pyasi, appearing for TRAI, said that the other stakeholders have already implemented the rules. Therefore, the order passed earlier asking that the TRAI not to take any coercive steps is extended for six weeks, the court said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) Act, 1997 had defended its regulation, saying it was a consumer-friendly measure and aimed at ensuring ensure transparency and non-discrimination in channel rates.


While putting apart the arbitration award towards the BCCI over the termination of Deccan Chargers from IPL, the Bombay High Court determined that an arbitral tribunal can not observe public regulation ideas on equity and reasonableness.

In attraction towards the arbitration award beneath neath Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, the High Court bench comprising Justice Gautam Patel determined that it turned into immaterial whether or not BCCI turned into a ‘State’ or whether or not it turned into performing ‘public functions’, as public regulation responsibility can not be enforced in a non-public agreement.

“This always method that no arbitral tribunal can go back a locating that something contravenes public coverage until the agreement lets in this kind of route of action. To challenge into this is once more to challenge impermissibly into the area of public regulation. An arbitrator can not, for instance, go back a locating that a selected rule of law is ‘awful in regulation’. That is solely the area of a court. An arbitrator has to use the regulation because it stands”, the judges determined.

“Under Section 28(2), Arbitral Tribunal is needed to determine ex aequo et bono or as amiable compositeur handiest if the events expressly authorize it to do so. The Arbitrator is sure to put in force the contractual clauses and can not move opposite to them. He can not determine primarily based totally on his notions of fairness and equity until the agreement lets in it”.

The High Court cited SC precedents in Associate Builders (2015) three SCC 49, Ssangyong Engineering, Assistant Excise Commissioner v Issac Peter, etc. Justice Patel stated there had been 3 fundamental defaults through DCHL in their contractual obligation – failing to pay gamers and several others, growing prices on belongings (mortgaging belongings to exceptional banks), and insolvency court cases towards the company.

He delivered that during doing so, the arbitrator “disregarded objections approximately inadequate pleadings.” and granted reliefs that had been now no longer even sought.

-Report by Manaswa Sharma

On Thursday Bombay High Court said that doctors cannot be held liable for unavailability of drugs and short supply of medicines. In the last few months of the pandemic, we have come across numerous cases filed against doctors and hospitals. Various allegations have been made on doctors by the covid patience and their family members.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Duttta and Justice Kulkarni while hearing a clutch of PlLs filed relating to Covid management in the state and asked Advocate General Ashutosh kumbhakoni to look into the issue. The doctors are alleged for not giving proper drugs or using the cheaper alternative drugs for covid patience and making money out of it. Replying to which Indian Medical Association stated that Tocilizumab and Dexamethasone have different uses. Patients who don’t respond to the anti-inflammatory action of Dexamethasone usually react to Tocilizumab. In a life-threatening situation, where Daxemathasine doesn’t help, only then Tocilizumab is prescribed. Latter it all depends upon how the patient’s body how it responds to the medication as it always differs from person to person. And it will be wrong to say that doctors are using it indiscriminately and making money out of it. Doctors are been often blamed by relatives for the death of covid patients, often go to the police station and complaint that the application protocols are not been followed by doctors which have led to their relative’s death.

Therefore, a Request was been made in court to issue proper guidelines to the police station that to deal in such matters and how to investigate such matters. On which bench stated that the patient’s treatment procedure is known best to doctors and should be left up to them. Considering the patient’s clinical condition, what drugs are required at a particular point in time is best known to medical experts only, as observed by the court. Court also stated that it will still consider cases that it feels are genuine and needs proper investigation by the investigating officer, but doctors can’t be harassed and be alleged for medical negligence. As in this critical time of the pandemic, the doctors and healthcare staff are “in the frontline and working tirelessly for the wellbeing of the society”.

-Report by Riddhi Dubey