Shawarma Death Case: Kerala High Court Rejects Bail for Restaurant Operator

The Kerala High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a restaurant operator accused of selling adulterated shawarma, allegedly leading to a customer’s death. Justice Mohammed Nias CP denied bail, considering the serious nature of the allegations and the potential threat to public health.

The court emphasized the need for a thorough investigation, stating that granting anticipatory bail could adversely affect the ongoing inquiry. Justice Nias expressed concern over the sale of adulterated food in restaurants, highlighting the health risks and the potential threat to life.

The case revolved around an anticipatory bail application filed by the operator of Le Hayath restaurant in Thrikkakkara. The restaurant was accused of selling adulterated shawarma, which reportedly caused the death of a customer who ordered through Zomato.

The prosecution charged the restaurant under Sections 284 (negligent conduct involving poisonous substances) and 308 (culpable homicide with intent) of the Indian Penal Code. It alleged that the restaurant knowingly prepared and sold the harmful shawarma, intending to cause death.

The accused denied any wrongdoing, arguing that the shawarma in question was prepared with care. The defense pointed out that there were no complaints about other orders served on the same day and highlighted the Zomato bills’ instructions to consume the food within two hours of delivery.

Despite these arguments, the High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea, considering the severity of the allegations. The court noted the violation of shawarma preparation guidelines, widespread food poisoning, and the use of substandard raw materials in unhygienic conditions.

The prosecution presented statements from affected individuals, including Swiggy customers, to support claims of food poisoning. The court was informed that the restaurant’s actions not only caused the death of the customer but also affected others in two additional cases.

This incident prompted the High Court to order food safety authorities to instruct eateries to display the exact time of food preparation, aiming to prevent further deaths caused by the consumption of spoiled shawarmas.

It’s worth mentioning that the High Court had initiated a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2022 on the issue of food safety after a 16-year-old girl died from consuming a contaminated shawarma.

In conclusion, the denial of anticipatory bail underscores the gravity of the allegations against the restaurant operator and the court’s commitment to public safety in food consumption. The case highlights the ongoing challenges in ensuring food safety and the legal consequences for those who compromise it.

Kerala High Court: Introducing Malayalam Version of Indian Law Reports

The Kerala High Court has broken new ground by launching a Malayalam version of the Indian Law Reports (ILR) on its website. This marks a pioneering effort by a High Court in India to make law journals available in a regional language. The decision to publish the law reports in Malayalam is driven by the aim to enhance legal accessibility for the general public.

With this initiative, important judgments from the Supreme Court and High Courts will be accessible to a wider audience, without language barriers. By providing legal information in the local language, the Kerala High Court hopes to make the legal landscape more understandable and approachable for the common people.

The inauguration of this unique venture took place on November 1, Kerala Piravi Dinam, which commemorates the founding of the state. Chief Justice AJ Desai inaugurated the initiative at 9:50 am.

In summary, the Kerala High Court has set a significant precedent by launching a Malayalam version of the Indian Law Reports, thereby making legal knowledge more accessible to the public.

Kerala High Court Rules Section 498A IPC Doesn’t Apply to Live-in Relationships

The Kerala High Court ruled that Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with cruelty to married women, should not be invoked in cases of live-in relationships. This means that individuals in live-in relationships cannot use Section 498A to allege cruelty, even if they have lived together and presented themselves as a married couple. The court emphasized the need for a legal framework that distinguishes between traditional marriages and live-in relationships to address the rights and responsibilities of individuals in such relationships.

Kerala High Court Reunites Senior Couple Separated by Son

The Kerala High Court recently made a compassionate decision to reunite an elderly couple who had been separated due to the husband’s dementia. The heartwarming case unfolded when an 80-year-old woman sought the court’s intervention to bring her 92-year-old husband back into her care. The husband had been taken away from their family home by their son, who believed it was necessary to care for his father due to his dementia.

Justice Devan Ramachandran presided over the case and emphasized the sacredness of marital vows, stating, “Till death do us part.” The judge’s intervention paved the way for the elderly couple to be reunited at their family home.

The son had taken his father away from the family home, asserting that his mother was too frail and elderly to provide the necessary care for her husband. The son also cited a dispute with neighbors as a reason for not staying at the family home.

The mother, in her petition to the High Court, expressed her reluctance to live with her son, fearing potential mistreatment based on past incidents.

Reports from a social justice officer and the local police shed light on the husband’s happiness when he was with his wife. The wife had made it clear that she wanted to live with her husband at the family home, and the reports reinforced her preference.

The government pleader confirmed that the police had found no threats from the neighbors and expressed their readiness to take the necessary steps to ensure the family’s safety.

The son, appearing in person before the Court, contested the reports, suggesting that they had been manipulated to favor his mother. He argued that he was the most suitable person to care for his father, especially given that his mother was unwell.

However, the Court ruled that the son could indeed care for his father within the family home. The High Court’s directive was for a social justice officer to accompany the senior citizens to their home, visiting them weekly and filing monthly reports.

The Court also clarified that the son could visit the family home as long as it aligned with his mother’s wishes. The son was also granted the option to seek police protection should he perceive any threats or potential issues.

The case is set to be heard again on November 13, and Advocate Ramkumar Nambiar will continue to assist the Court as amicus curiae, providing valuable insights and expertise.

This heartwarming case underscores the importance of familial bonds, compassion, and the rights of senior citizens. It serves as a reminder of the reverence attached to marriage and the sanctity of the commitment of “till death do us part.” The Court’s decision showcases the legal system’s role in safeguarding the well-being and happiness of senior citizens, particularly in situations where dementia is a concern.

Kerala High Court Grants Murder Convict Admission to LL.B. Course

The Kerala High Court has given approval for a murder convict to complete the admission process for a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) course. The convict, Pattakka Suresh Babu, has been directed to complete the admission formalities online through KMCT Law College, Kuttipuram, by October 7. Babu is currently serving his sentence at the Open Prison and Correctional Home in Cheemeni, Kannur. He had previously completed a distant education program in MA (Sociology) from Indira Gandhi National Open University while in prison and secured admission to the law college after passing the law entrance exam.

To facilitate his admission process and allow him to pursue his LL.B., Babu requested bail from the High Court. The Court engaged with the Controller of Examinations and the college’s Principal to determine the feasibility of conducting the admission process and permitting Babu to pursue his studies online. Both authorities confirmed that the admission process could be conducted online, and arrangements would be made accordingly. The Court directed the jail and college authorities to facilitate this process.

Regarding the possibility of Babu pursuing the course online, the college’s Principal stated that she would consult with college authorities and present a proposal at the next hearing scheduled for October 25. This decision opens a path for the murder convict to further his education while serving his sentence.