Top Legal Headlines - 19th February, 2021


1.    Wife’s habit of chewing tobacco is not sufficient for divorce : Bombay HC

•    In this case, the appellant had appealed to the High Court against the decision of the Family Court which had dismissed his petition.
•    Among other reasons, the husband contended that he had to incur huge medical expenses as the wife was addicted to tobacco and had thus developed a cyst in her stomach.
•    The Court ruled that the habit of the wife of chewing tobacco is not sufficient for the grant of decree of divorce and that the husband had failed to ‘disturb the well-reasoned findings of the Trial Court’.

2.    How can we coerce someone to give consent for physical hearing? : SC

•    A plea was filed by the Omar Abdullah against the circular of the High Court which mandated the consent of both the parties for a matter to be taken up before a final hearing during the pandemic.
•    Omar Abdullah wanted to obtain a divorce from his wife and his wife was allegedly using the High Court’s circular.
•    Asking whether the court could coerce anyone to give consent for physical hearings, the SC opined to consider the matter after 2 weeks.

3.    Mumbai Court on definition of private parts.

•    “The term private part is to be interpreted in the context of what is meant by it in our society”, opined the Mumbai Court. 
•    The Court ruled that “Google may not interpret bum as a private part…but it is not acceptable interpretation as far as we Indians are concerned”.
•    This ruling was given in a case in which the father of a 10 year old girl had filed a case against the accused stating that he had touched his private part, which was the bum in the present case.

4.    Supreme Court on application of S. 89 CPC in private dispute settlement.

•    In the case of High Court of Judicature at Madras v. MC Subramaniam, it was the issue whether refund of fee under Section 89 CPC can be given to parties who privately settle a dispute.
•    The Supreme Court held that those parties who settle their disputes privately will be entitled to refund under Section 89 CPC.
•    “The importance of private amicable negotiation between the parties cannot be understated”, the Court opined.

5.    SC on larger conspiracy behind allegations on ex-CJI Gogoi.

•    The Supreme Court closed the suo moto case regarding the larger conspiracy behind the allegations of sexual harassment on ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
•    The Court stated that after the passing of 2 years, there is a remote possibility of the recovery of any electronic evidence.
•    “No useful purpose will be served by continuing these proceedings”, the Court opined.


1.    North Koreans charged for cyberattacks against the US

•    3 North Korean computer programmers have been charged for a series of cyber attacks against the US.
•    They have been alleged to conspiring to commit a wide range of cybercrimes, including attempting to extort about $1.3 billion from companies.
•    They are alleged to be the members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau of Korea.

2.    The Anti-Radicalism Bill approved in France.

•    The Anti-Radicalism Bill has been approved by the French lawmakers.
•    The Bill aims to promote respect to French values and to counter extremism in religious activities which threaten national unity.
•    Virginity tests and virginity certificates, which were asked to prove the woman’s purity, would also be banned under this new law.
•    The new law also provides for strict surveillance of religious associations as it had been introduced to counter religious fundamentalism. 

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