Kerala High Court becomes first in the country to do so

Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Manjula Chellur has formed two special Benches in the High Court for hearing cases relating to violence against women.

With the formation of the Benches, the Kerala High Court has become the first High Court in the country to establish such special benches to fast track cases relating to atrocities against women.

A Division Bench comprising Justice T.R. Ramachandran Nair and Justice A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai will hear cases relating to the offences, including rape cases, while Justice P. Bhavadasan will take up cases such as bail moved by the accused in the rape cases.

However, the single judge would not hear dowry harassment cases under Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code and the cases under the provision of the Negotiable Instruments Act (cheque bouncing cases).

The Chief Justice had recently at a function announced that a division bench and a single bench would be formed to exclusively deal with cases pertaining to atrocities against women.

She made the announcement while referring to the recent gang rape in New Delhi and the countrywide outcry against the incident.

Writ plea dismissed

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest writ petition seeking a directive to the Central and State governments to evolve a scheme for providing minimum wages for housework for housewives.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice K. Vinod Chandran dismissed the petition at the admission stage itself. The petition was filed by Women's Voice, an NGO in Wayanad.

According to the petitioner, the women spent 10-14 hours a day in household chores, while in rural areas they spend the whole day for such activities. Therefore, they should be adequately compensated. They were doing the chores without any remuneration.

Court orders probe

The Kerala High Court on Thursday observed that a probe into the affairs of Chennai-based multi-level marketing company, K-Link Health Center (India) Ltd., engaged in selling health and Ayurveda products was essential.

Justice P. Bhavadasan made the observation while dismissing an anticipatory bail petition filed by director of the company Payyakkal Devadas.

The company is a subsidiary of K-Link Sendrian Bernad of Malaysia.

According to the police, the company was functioning in violation of the provision of the Price Chits and Money (Banning) Act.

The court observed that the products of the company were exorbitantly priced and were not in the reach of ordinary man.

Therefore, a probe into the functioning of the company and custodial interrogation of the person in charge of the company was needed, the court said.