STREET LEGAL 14-03-2007

Spoilsport state Escape route Biased father

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 14.03.07

Spoilsport state

The Jammu and Kashmir government issued a notice restricting the number of invitees to an engagement ceremony to 50. Only 200 guests can called to a wedding while only 100 guests can attend a bridegroom’s reception. The notification, issued under the Essential Commodities Act, also restricted the quantity of food that could be served. A banquet hall and caterers association challenged the notice. The government contended that it wanted to prevent extravagance and wastage of food. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court set aside the order, pointing out that the state was trying to regulate the personal life of a citizen through this notice, which violated Article 21 of the Constitution of India (J&K Banquet Hall and Caterers Association vs State of Jammu and Kashmir).

Escape route

An umbrella organisation of Catholic schools challenged the steep hike in vehicle tax of commercial vehicles, which included school buses. They argued that they should not have to pay such high taxes since their buses did not generate any profit. Also, they contended, taxing school vehicles went against the constitutional objective of free and compulsory education, enshrined in Article 21A. Madras High Court rejected the petition, holding that educational institutions cannot be exempted from paying taxes that are levied for maintenance and upkeep of roads, especially since many of them charge a hefty sum as transport fees (Association of Management N.P. & M Schools Peelamedu vs Government of Tamil Nadu).

Biased father

A divorced man took care of all the expenses of his elder daughter but refused to pay anything for the younger one. When a case was lodged under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act (maintenance payable to spouse and children if they have no means of financial support) in the Delhi High Court, the man stated that he was unable to maintain both daughters so her mother, who was also earning, should maintain the younger one. The court held that the younger daughter is entitled to equal treatment. Since the father earned much more than the mother, the court directed him to pay Rs 7,000 per month to the younger daughter (Vijaya Maiti vs Rajiv Vig).