Here are Legal Bites January 2024 monthly GK updates. The notable happenings of the months were related to the apex court, RBI, Shimla Development Plan, and so on.

Here are Legal Bites January 2024 monthly GK updates. The notable happenings of the months were related to the apex court, RBI, Shimla Development Plan, and so on. We have covered all the happenings in the gist so that it helps the readers to remember all legal and current updates about January 2023 most efficiently and easily.

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Key Highlights: Legal Bites January 2024

1. The Ayodhya Land Dispute - A Timeline of Events

2. An Overview of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021

3. Book Review: Life is What You Make It

4. Strategies for Excelling in Judiciary Prelims

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Legal Bites January 2024: Monthly Legal GK Updates

1. History made by Punjab App that has mapped all accident spots

On 1st January 2024, Punjab Police by collaborating with MapMyIndia, mapped all 784 accident black spots across the state on their navigation system Mappls App. Punjab has thereby become the first state to have mapped all the spots that are prone to accidents.

2. Exchange of Nuclear installations and facilities list between India and Pakistan

On 1st January 2024, Pakistan and India exchanged a list of nuclear installations and facilities, covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between the two countries. This agreement was signed between the two countries in the year 1988.

3. Global shift signalled from the entry of 5 new members in BRICS

On 1st January 2024, BRICS has thereby decided to include five new nations alongside the original founding five – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This will significantly change the landscape of BRICS thereby transforming it into a new arena and opening up a wide avenue of opportunities for the countries that are already members and the new joiners as well.

4. Extension by 1 year of the PLI Scheme for the Auto Industry by the Government

On 1st January 2024, the government extended the tenure of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Automobile and Auto Components by one year with partial amendments. The Ministry of Heavy Industries stated that the benefit shall be applicable for 5 consecutive FYs beginning 2024-25.

5. Conviction of Nobel peace winner Muhammad Yunus in Labour Law case in Bangladesh

On 1st January 2024, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus was convicted of violating Bangladesh's labour laws in a case criticized as politically motivated. Yunus is currently 83 years old and was awarded with Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2006.

6. Multi-development projects worth over Rs 20, 000 crore to be launched by Prime Minister Modi in Tiruchirappalli

On 2nd January 2024, while attending the 38th Convocation Ceremony of Bharathidasan University in Tiruchirappalli, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated, dedicated, and laid the foundation stone for development projects worth over ₹20,000 crore.

7. E-commerce startup “OppDoor” launched by Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s co-founder

On 2nd January 2024, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal has come up with a new venture –'OppDoor’. The same is said to assist e-commerce companies in globally expanding their operations and also providing more efficient and quick solutions.

8. Tata Pay has been granted ‘payment aggregator license’ by RBI

On 2nd January 2024, RBI gave a PA (payment aggregator) license to Tata Pay thereby enabling it to facilitate e-commerce transactions through its platform which is Tata Group's digital payments app. This has further made Tata Pay to join Razorpay, Cashfree, and Google Pay in attaining the much-awaited payments license.

9. Internet Cable Project launched by PM Modi in Lakshadweep

On 3rd January 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kochi–Lakshadweep submarine optical fibre cable project. The cost of the project is ₹1,072 crore. The main objective is to connect Lakshadweep islands to high-speed internet for the first time.

10. No humiliation of government officials for summoning them: directions by Supreme Court

On 3rd January 2024, the apex court issued a set of SOPS (Standard Operating Procedures) to be followed by courts in cases where government officials have to be summoned in any case. The court also advised all the subordinate courts to check that there mustn’t be any arbitrary summoning of any such government officials.

11. The Supreme Court stated that no reliance can be laid on press reports that are unverified in the Adani-Hinderburg case

On 3rd January 2024, the apex court stated that it is not appropriate to blame the security market regulator (SEBI) for regulatory failure based on reports that are extracted from unverified press sources. This was stated by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice J.B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra. There had been several petitions filed seeking the intervention of an independent authority for investigation stating that there was some foul play at SEBI’s end.

12. The Supreme Court clarified the effectiveness of Insurance policy to be from the date of issuance and not from the date of proposal or issuance of receipt

On 3rd January 2024, it was stated by the Supreme Court by a division bench comprising of Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Bindal that the relevant date for making an insurance policy effective is the date when such policy is issued and not any other date. In the words of the court, it was stated that

“We do not find any such issue of backdating but the date of issuance of the policy would be the relevant date for all the purposes and not the date of proposal or the date of issuance of the receipt."

13. Order of Supreme Court to implement Second National Judicial Pay Commission to High Courts

On 4th January 2024, the apex court stated vide a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra directed all High Courts to form committees for the implementation of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission which adheres to salaries and service conditions of members of district judiciary and for dealing with grievances of judicial officers.

14. The Supreme Court stated that facts from the accused not in formal police custody be admissible as evidence

On 4th January 2024, a division bench of the apex court comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti stated that if any facts are stated by an accused who is not yet in any formal custody of the police, then the same shall be admissible in the form of evidence during trial regardless of any questions posed to the credibility of such source of the evidence.

15. Nomination of Indore, Bhopal, Udaipur for ‘International Wetland City’ tag

On 4th January 2024, India nominated three of its states that are, Indore, Bhopal, and Udaipur for the tag of ‘International Wetland City’ under the Wetland City Accreditation (WCA) scheme under the Ramsar Convention. This aims to help cities gain international recognition for their efforts to protect their natural or human-made wetlands.

16. The ‘Prithvi’ programme for earth observation received assent from the Cabinet

On 5th January 2024, the Union Cabinet approved ₹4,797-crore 'Prithvi' program to subsume five existing schemes of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The main aim of the programme is to help in improving long-term observations of the atmosphere, ocean, geosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth, track planet changes, and develop models for weather, ocean, and climate hazards.

17. No requirement for oral information if detenu is told the reason for his detention in language known to him: states the Supreme Court

On 5th January 2024, the apex court by its division bench comprising of Justices MM Sundresh and Aravind Kumar stated that if the detenu has been communicated the reason for his detention and the same also clearly includes the right of representation that he/she has, then there is no need to inform the same to him verbally.

18. More seriousness is required by High Courts when dealing with matters of personal liberty says the Supreme Court

On 6th January 2024, the apex court remarked that “There is 'something seriously wrong' with the high court in dealing with matters of personal liberty.” The court added that it is imperative to fix this situation or else the common public will soon start losing faith in the justice delivery system altogether. This was stated by the Supreme Court about a matter whereby a criminal case had been adjourned for six months.

19. ‘Bilateral Haj Agreement’ signed between India and Saudi Arabia (KSA)

On 7th January 2024, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani accompanied by Shri. V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 with H.E. Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) at Jeddah, KSA. The total quota of pilgrims finalised from India is 1,75,025.

20. HP High Court’s stay on Gaggal Airport expansion lifted by Supreme Court

On 9th January 2024, the apex court lifted the ban that had been imposed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order for stopping the expansion of the Gaggal Airport which is situated in Kangra District. The HP High Court’s order was thereby stayed by the Supreme Court and the expansion was ordered to resume. The bench passing the said decision was led by CJI DY Chandrachud.

21. Non-compliance of payment timeline bars the buyer from seeking specific performance in agreement to sell: states the Supreme Court

On 10th January 2024, the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah held that if there is a time frame enshrined in the contract within which the buyer has to make the payment upon which the execution of the said contract is dependent, and the same is not obeyed by the said buyer then in such case this buyer is not empowered to seek the remedy of specific performance.

22. Clearance granted to ‘Shimla Development Plan’ by the Supreme Court

On 11th January 2024, the apex court approved the ‘Shimla Development Plan 2041’ which primarily focuses on the regulation of activities about construction in Shimla which is Himachal Pradesh’s capital city. The said decision was given by a bench which was headed by Justice Bhushan R Gavi and the same also led to the setting aside of the National Green Tribunal’s decision which stayed the said development plan.

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23. A cost of Rs. 25 lakhs was imposed by the Supreme Court on the petitioner who initiated criminal proceedings in a case that was of a civil nature

On 11th January 2024, the division bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Bindal stated that the litigant portrayed carelessness and thus wasted the court’s time and resources by initiating a criminal suit for a civil case. Thus, the cost of Rs. 25 lakhs were imposed on the said litigant.

24. The Supreme Court stated that the ‘right to clean air’ is for all and diverting the trucks entering Delhi is a wise solution

On 11th January 2024, the Supreme Court expressed its dismay at the order of the NGT whereby it had asked for the diversion of trucks entering Delhi NCR owing to the smog conditions and deteriorating, and quality in the area. The court stated this decision to be unwanted and arbitrary towards the right ht to clean air of the population residing outside Delhi.

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25. The Supreme Court questioned the Centre on why TEC’s report on GM mustard was not considered by the GEAC

On 11th January 2024, the program asked the Centre why it had not made the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee) refer to the report that had been made by the TEC (Technical Experts Committee) on the biosafety of GM (genetically modified) crops. The GEAC is a unit which functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

26. Refusal of Supreme Court to stay appointment of CEC and EC’s as per the new law

On 12th January 2024, the apex court stated that it shall not interfere in the matter by staying the appointment of CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) and ECs (Election Commissioners) as per the new law, because the panel for the appointment does not include the CJI (Chief Justice of India). The court said that it is a statutory provision and that a stay is not possible in this scenario.

27. Stay on Shahi Idgah Survey by Supreme Court: Krishna Janmbhoomi Case

On 16th January 2024, the apex court upheld the decision of the Allahabad High Court whereby it had ordered inspection of the Shahi Idgah complex in Mathura. The same had to be conducted by a court-appointed commissioner. This had been ordered instead of the Krishna Janmbhoomi Dispute. The supreme Court bench which stayed the inspection comprised of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

28. Motor Vehicle Act Amendments to be finalised by April: Supreme Court orders centre

On 17th January 2024, the apex court asked the Centre to complete the entire consultation process with states and Union Territories as is required to amend the MV Act on issues of whether a light motor vehicle (LMV) licence holder can legally drive a transport vehicle of unladen weight of up to 7,500 kg.

29. No provision to put pre-emptive curbs for hate speech states Supreme Court

On 17th January 2024, the apex court stated that despite the ardent need to stop hate speech it is not valid as per law for it to impose pre-emptive curbs on the same. However, the court stated that it agrees with the need for hate speech to stop to put a halt on the violence that is often incited as a result. The same was stated in the petition in the case filed in 2021 by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, demanding a specific definition and a separate law on hate speech.

30. Allahabad High Court’s criticism of strikes by Lawyers stating that the legal profession is different from that of industries

On 17th January 2024, the Allahabad High Court bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Kshitij Shailendra expressed their dismay at the increasing frequency of strikes by lawyers and thereby differentiated the legal profession from that of industries and said that it is not wise for the legal professionals to go on strike and thereby curtail the justice dispensation process.

31. Refusal of Supreme Court to entertain plea of Punjab Government asking for cancellation of bail to MLA Sukhpal Singh

On 18th January 2024, the apex court refused to entertain the plea of the Punjab Government whereby it asked for the cancellation of bail that had been granted to Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a 2015 drug case. The refusal was made by the Supreme Court bench led by Justice Bela M Trivedi.

32. Guidelines introduced by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for ads making ‘green/ environmental claims’

On 18th January 2024, certain guidelines were introduced by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) which are to be made effective by February 15th 2024. These guidelines encompass various rules and regulations for any advertisements ts that make claims regarding the environment to make such claims reliable, transparent and verifiable.

33. Refusal of Supreme Court to extend the deadline for Bilkis Bano convicts for surrender

On 19th January 2024, the apex court stated that it shall not extend for any matter the deadline that has been fixed by it (which was January 21, 2024) for the surrender of the 11 convicts of the Bilkis Bano gang rape and murder of 14 of her family members. The decision was taken by a bench comprising of Justices B V Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan.

34. ED’s attachment order passed against the ex-Panchkula special judge has been approved by the PMLA Adjudicating Authority

On 21st January 2024, the PMLA Adjudicating Authority approved the possible confiscation of two of the properties of a former special PMLA Judge who was posted in Haryana’s Panchkula. He had been arrested in a case and accused of money laundering. The said properties had been attached by the central authority in August 2023 as per a provisional order that had been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

35. The Supreme Court ordered Tamil Nadu to not reject Ram Mandir’s inauguration ceremony’s screening requests

On 22nd January 2024, the Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to refrain from rejecting any pleas for cancellation or rejection of requests that are being made about the screening of the inauguration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in the state of Tamil Nadu. The state however denied any such ban being imposed on the screening and stated that these were false accusations being made on the state government with ulterior motives.

36. Punjab and Haryana High Court raps Punjab Government for non-compliance of SC’s order for installation of CCTVs in all police stations

On 22nd January 2024, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stated that the Punjab Government has rather failed miserably in implementing the order of the Supreme Court whereby it stated that there must be CCTVs installed in all the police stations. The high court stated that it has reasons to believe that not all police stations have yet received CCTVs for installation and that the apex court’s order has not been fully obeyed by the government.

37. The Supreme Court shall decide if BSF’s territory expansion led to a violation of Pubjab Domain by the Centre

On 22nd January 2024, the Supreme Court admitted the case relating to the Centre’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab from 15 to 50 km along the India-Pakistan border. The legal issues involved in the said matter were framed by a three-judge bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud. The said suit has been filed by the Punjab Government under Article 131 of the Indian Constitution.

38. Appointment of Justice PB Varale leads to the Supreme Court reaching its full strength

On 24th January 2024, the apex court finally achieved its full sanctioned strength of 34 judges. The last judge appointed who led to the full strength is Justice PB Varale. The oath was administered by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud in a ceremony attended by other Supreme Court judges and members of the bar.

39. Cancellation of Wadhawan brothers’ bail by Supreme Court in multi-crore bank scam case

On 24th January 2024, the apex court cancelled the bail that had been granted to DHFL Promoters that is: Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan in multi-crore Yes Bank and DHFL Loan Scam. The brothers had been initially arrested in July 2023 but the High Court stated that the said arrest had not been made as per the merits of the case and thus they were granted bail. The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Bela M Trivedi and SC Sharma stated that the trial court would hear afresh on the brothers’ regular bail, and appeals should be allowed accordingly.

40. The Supreme Court will examine the application of Hindu Law Principles in deciding inheritance rights under Mohammedan Law

On 29th January 2024, the Supreme Court vide its bench comprising of CT Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal issued notices stating the following: “The question of seminal importance, which is required to be decided in this case is whether the principles of Hindu law could be applied while deciding the right of inheritance falling under the Mohammedan law.”

41. Commencement of Inaugural Joint Military Exercise SADA TANSEEQ

On 29th January 2024, the Inaugural Joint Military Exercise SADA TANSEEQ commenced in Rajasthan. This exercise aims to foster interoperability, camaraderie and friendship between the troops.

42. Mascot for ‘2024 Khelo India Winter Games’ revealed: “Sheen-e She” (Shan)

On 30th January 2024, the logo and mascot for the “2024 Khelo India Winter Games” were revealed. a snow leopard named ‘Sheen-e She’ or Shan has been declared the official mascot. The logo on the other hand incorporates the ‘Indian tricolour and symbols of Ladakh’.

43. Revelation of support to ‘One Nation One Election’ by majority as per survey conducted by Law Ministry

On 31st January 2024, it was revealed by a recent press release by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice that a total of 81% of the respondents who were a part of the public survey conducted on the matter of ‘One Nation One Election’ support the said concept. The total number of respondents who participated in the survey was 20,927.

44. Right of Mother as natural guardian in child adoption case upheld by the Court

On 31st January 2024, the Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an order in favour of the mother’s right as a natural guardian in a case concerning child adoption. The decision made by Justice Vinod also stated that only the mother of an illegitimate child was the guardian. The decision also opined the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act’ before ruling that an unwanted child of a sexual assault victim might be declared free for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee.

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Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma is an advocate with an LL.M specializing in Business Law. He is a legal research aficionado and is actively indulged in legal content creation. His forte is researching on contemporary legal issues.

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