A weekly round-up of important cases from Madras High Court and its subordinate courts.
Citations: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 448 To 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 455
Commissioner of Income Tax v. M/s MAC Public Charitable Trust (batch), 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 448
S Mukanchand Bothra (Died) and another v. The Chief Secretary and others, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 449
Senthil Balaji v State, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 450
Prasanna Gunasundari v The Deputy Inspector General of Police and others, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 451
K Kala v Secretary, Education Department and others, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 452
V Vijay and another v. The State and another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 453
R Karthikeyan v. K Phanindra Reddy IAS, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 454
Life Insurance Corporation of India v. The National Commission for Scheduled Caste and another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 455
1. Education Not Commercial Activity, Collection Of Capitation Fee For Admission Illegal, No Tax Exemption: Madras High Court
Case Title: Commissioner of Income Tax v. M/s MAC Public Charitable Trust (batch)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 448
The Madras High Court on Monday deprecated the practice of receiving capitation fee in exchange of admissions. The bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq held that such practice of receiving capitation fee is against the Tamil Nadu Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Collection of Capitation Fee) Act, 1992.
It is therefore beyond the pale of any doubt that education can never be a commercial activity or a trade or business and those in the field of education will have to constantly and consistently abide by this guiding principle. However, the undeniable reality staring at our face is the collection of capitation fee as a condition precedent for admission into educational institutions.
2. Failure To Act Upon Complaints Against Govt Officials Unconstitutional, Causes No Confidence In Public Authorities: Madras High Court
Case Title: S Mukanchand Bothra (Died) and another v. The Chief Secretary and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 449
The Madras High Court came down heavily on public authorities delaying action upon complaints by citizens against government officials. The court was hearing a plea by a man who had given a complaint to the Chief Secretary against an officer in 2016. When the complaint was not acted upon, he approached the court.
The bench of Justice SM Subramaniam observed that failure of public authorities take action upon complaints would result in people’s “no confidence” in the public authorities. Further, such inaction/omission was also unconstitutional and authorities had to ensure that such delay does not arise in the future.
3. [Cash-For-Job Scam] Madras High Court Refuses To Discharge Minister Senthil Balaji, Orders Fresh Enquiry
Case Title: Senthil Balaji v State
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 450
Madras High Court has ordered a fresh enquiry into the cash-for-job scam, a case involving irregularities in the appointment in State Transport Corporation.
Justice V Sivagnanam observed that there were irregularities in the investigation conducted by the investigating agency as the agency had failed to include certain crucial aspects.
The court also dismissed the discharge petitions filed by the Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji, stating that the case impacts the society. The court also noted that there were materials against the Minister and there was no infirmity in framing of charge by the court below.
4. DGP Entertaining ‘Mercy Petitions’ Against Departmental Action Is Unconstitutional: Madras High Court
Case Title: Prasanna Gunasundari v The Deputy Inspector General of Police and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 451
The Madras High Court recently observed that the power to entertain mercy petition of any convicted person under any law to which the executive power of the State extends is only available to the Governor of the State.
Thus, the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) has no statutory power to entertain mercy petitions against orders passed in departmental action. Such an exercise of power by the DGP is thus in violation of the Indian Constitution. The court noted that the exercise of jurisdiction by authorities in excess of their jurisdiction would result in colorable exercise of power.
5. Blaming School Authorities For Student’s Suicide Without Evidence Not Right, Parents Also Responsible To Monitor Child’s Mental Health: Madras HC
Case Title: K Kala v Secretary, Education Department and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 452
The Madras High Court criticized the recent trend of parents implicating school authorities and teachers whenever a school student commits suicide. Justice SM Subramaniam noted that teachers and headmasters could be made liable only if there was sufficient evidence regarding their misconduct.
The court also noted that while it is easier to engage in blame-game, it is much difficult to maintain discipline in schools. Further, such general blaming would also negatively affect the students studying in the institution.
The court also highlighted that the duties of parents co-exists with that of the teachers. The court noted that being the natural guardians, the role played by parents was pivotal and had great importance in shaping the lives of children. It said that parents are expected to be the “watchdog” regarding the activities of their own children, both inside the house and outside.
6. Satisfied With CB-CID Investigation, Madras High Court Refuses CBI Probe Into Custodial Death
Case Title: V Vijay and another v. The State and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 453
The Madras High Court recently refused to transfer the investigation of the alleged custodial death of Vignesh to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Justice V Sivagnanam observed that the investigation by CB-CID was satisfactory and that there was no need to transfer the case.
Vignesh, who was intercepted by the police was allegedly assaulted by the authorities and later died.
7. Madras High Court Allows RSS To Hold Processions At 44 Places in Tamil Nadu On November 6; Imposes 11 Conditions
Case Title: R Karthikeyan v. K Phanindra Reddy IAS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 454
The Madras High Court on Friday permitted the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to carry out a procession at 44 locations out of the 50 requested for, on November 6.
Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan said the procession could be carried out in 44 locations, after perusing the sealed cover report. For six locations i.e., Nagercoil, Coimbatore city, Pollachi, Tirupur, Palladam, and Arumani, the court did not grant permission procession as it found “some materials”.
The court directed the organization to conduct the proceeding in compounded premises such as Ground or Stadium. The participants were directed to go by their respective vehicles without causing any hindrance to the general public and traffic. Even during the programs, the participants were directed not to make adverse remarks against any of the individuals or the organisations banned by the Government.
The participants shall not bring any stick, lathi or weapon that may cause injury to any one.
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8. SC Commission Cannot Order Promotion Or Posting Of A Person At A Particular Place Or Cadre: Madras High Court
Case Title: Life Insurance Corporation of India v. The National Commission for Scheduled Caste and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 455
The Madras High Court recently observed that while the National Commission for Scheduled Castes can exercise the powers of the civil court for the purpose of conducting an adjudication in an effective manner, it cannot direct the authorities to grant promotion to a person or post her at a particular station or place.
“More specifically, National Commission is not empowered to issue any direction to transfer an employee in a particular post or place. Promotion is also a condition of service and all promotions are to be granted strictly in accordance with the Service rules in force,” said Justice SM Subramaniam.
1. Man Who Set Himself Ablaze In Madras HC Over Denial Of Tribal Certificate To Son Actually Belonged To SC Community: State Claims
Additional Advocate General J Ravindran on Monday told the Madras High Court that the man who set himself ablaze in the court premises over non issuance of community certificate to his son actually belonged to the Scheduled Caste (Hindu Kuravan) community and not the Scheduled Tribe community (as he had claimed in his application).
The bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice Krishnakumar had previously directed the District Revenue Officer to conduct a field enquiry and ascertain the facts related to the caste of the deceased Velmurugan. It was initially alleged that the authorities had failed to provide Velmurugan a community certificate for his son even after he made repeated rounds of the office, following which he attempted suicide.
2. Madras High Court Premises To Be Made Plastic Free From November 10
The Madras High Court premises will soon become a plastic free zone. Additional Advocate General J Ravindran informed the bench of Justice N Sathish Kumar and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy that five “manjappai” (yellow cotton bag) vending machines would be installed in the campus. Apart from the Madras campus, the Madurai campus will also be made plastic free.
Ravindran informed the court that the Acting Chief Justice T Raja was set to inaugurate these vending machines on November 10 along with a plastic bottle crushing unit.