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Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

HC Can’t Modify Life Sentence To ‘Period Already Undergone’ While Upholding Conviction Of Murder [Jitendra @ Kalla V. State of Govt. of NCT Delhi]

The Supreme Court observed that in a murder case, the high court as an appellate court, cannot modify the life imprisonment imposed by the trial court to period already undergone.

‘Fact’ In Section 27 Of Evidence Act Not Limited To ‘Actual Physical Material Object’ And Includes ‘Mental Awareness Of The Accused As To Its Existence [Asar Mohamad and ors V. State of UP]

The Supreme Court observed that the word “fact” as contemplated in Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act is not limited to “actual physical material object”, and it includes mental awareness or the knowledge of the accused as to its existence.

Execution Petition Filed Within 12 Years Of Appellate Court Judgment Affirming Trial Court Decree Won’t Be Barred By Limitation [Shanthi V. T.D. Vishwanathan & Ors.]

The Supreme Court held that an execution petition filed within 12 years of the high court judgment affirming the decree passed by the trial court would not be barred by limitation.

Strict Proof Of Marriage Not Needed For ‘Maintenance’ Proceedings Under Sec. 125 CrPC [Kamala vs. MR Mohan Kumar]

The Supreme Court, while setting aside a Karnataka High Court order that had dismissed a maintenance petition for want of proof of marriage, reiterated that in the proceedings under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, such strict proof of marriage is not necessary.

Conditional Gifts Are Incomplete Until Conditions Are Complied With; Such Gift Deeds Can Be Cancelled By The Donor [S. Sarojini Amma V. Velayudhan Pillai Sreekmar]

The Supreme Court held that a conditional gift only becomes complete on compliance of the conditions in the deed, and the donor is within rights to cancel such a gift deed. The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Indira Banerjee was considering an appeal against Kerala High Court judgment.

 Suit For Mere Injunction Not Maintainable When Defendant Can Successfully Raise Cloud Over Plaintiff’s Title [Jharkhand State Housing Board V. Didar Singh]

The Supreme Court reiterated that a suit for bare injunction would not be maintainable when a defendant could successfully raise cloud over the title of the plaintiff.

If A Religious Practice Threatens People’s Health, It Is Not Entitled To Protection Under Article 25 [Arjun Gopal & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, ruled against imposing complete ban on firecrackers, but said that only less polluting green crackers can be sold, that too only through licensed traders. The court also banned online sale of firecrackers. In doing so, the Bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan examined the interplay between the right to health and environmental protection under Article 21 on one hand, and the rights under Articles 25 and 19(1)(g) on the other.

No Bharat Stage IV Vehicle Shall Be Sold Across The Country From April 1, 2020 [M. C. Mehta V. union of India]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020. The Bharat stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur made it clear that only BS VI compliant vehicle shall be sold in the country from April 1st, 2020.

SC Explains When Doctrine Of Res Judicata As Between Co-Defendants Can Be Applied [Govindammal vs. Vaidiyanathan]

The Supreme Court reiterated that the following four conditions are required to be satisfied while considering the applicability of the doctrine of res judicata as between co-defendants: There must be a conflict of interest between the defendants concerned; It must be necessary to decide the conflict in order to give the reliefs which the plaintiff claims; The question between the defendants must have been finally decided; and The co-defendants were necessary or proper parties in the former suit.

SC Sets Aside ‘Flyover Promotion’ Granted To Officer By Violating Service Rules [Ajit KR Bhuyan & Ors V. Debajit Das & Ors]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside a ‘flyover promotion’ granted to an officer who worked with a former Chief Minister of Assam by violating service rules. The bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan restored the judgment of a single judge of the Gauhati High Court which was earlier set aside by the division bench on the ground of delay and latches.  The division bench had also accepted that 13 vacancies were not in existence and favoritism was shown to Debajit Das.

Remarriage Not A Ground To Deprive A Man Custody Of His Children [Dr. Amit Kumar V. Dr. Sonila & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday held that merely because a man remarried and is residing with second wife’s child, he could not be deprived of the custody of his child. The bench comprising of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul were considering a child custody case between a doctor couple, both serving in CRPF.

 Voluntary Retirement Schemes Have To Be Strictly Adhered To; Parts Of Other Schemes Can’t Be Imported Into Such Schemes [National Insurance Special Voluntary Retired/Retired Employees Association & Anr. V. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr]

The Supreme Court on Friday observed that voluntary retirement schemes have to be strictly adhered to, and the very objective of having such schemes would be defeated, if parts of other schemes are sought to be imported into such voluntary retirement schemes. The bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was considering a batch of appeals filed by associations of employees of Insurance companies, who had availed General Insurance Employees’ Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 2004.

Home Buyer Ought Not To Be Allowed To Reap Benefits Of Their Own Delay In Taking Possession [M/Supertech td. V. Rajni Goyal]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asserted that “purchaser ought not to be allowed to reap the benefits of her own delay in taking possession”. Consequently, while upholding compensation to a disgruntled home buyer, a bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra reduced the time period for computation of the amount, noting the delay on the part of the buyer in taking possession.

IBC Not Intended To Be Substitute To A Recovery Forum [Transmission Corporate of Andhra Pradesh Ltd V. Equipment Conductors and Cables Ltd]

While setting an order of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the Supreme Court  reiterated that existence of an undisputed debt is sine qua non of initiating corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

 SC Upholds Quashing Of Unrecognised Basic Teachers Certificate Course Offered By Deemed University & Rs. 50,000 Compensation To All Students [Nehru Gram Bharati University V. State of UP]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Allahabad High Court order quashing an unrecognised two years Basic Teachers Certificate (BTC) Course introduced by a Deemed University without fulfilling the conditions prescribed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).

 SCBA Membership Mandatory For Chamber Allotment To SC Lawyers; Applications To Be Invited Once Every 3 Years [Gopal Jha V. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India]

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the condition for lawyers to compulsorily be members of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for applying for allotment of Lawyers’ Chambers. The Bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan, however, changed the block period for which the requirement of filing and/or appearance has to be fulfilled to October 01, 2013 to September 30, 2018, instead of June 01, 2011 to June 30, 2016.

PIL To Lower Men’s Marriageable Age From 21 To 18 Dismissed By SC With Rs. 25,000 Cost

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation filed seeking to lower the legal age of men to marry from 21 to 18. The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph also imposed a cost of Rs.25,000/- on the petitioner while dismissing the petition.

‘More Than Two Children’ Disqualification Rule In Orissa Gram Panchayats Act Attracts Even If One Child Is Given For Adoption

The Supreme Court in Minasingh Majhi vs. The Collector, Nuapada interpreted a provision of the Orissa Gram Panchayats Act, 1965, which disqualified a Panchayath member if he has more than two children. It stated that, such disqualification sustains even if one child is given for adoption.

SC Stays NGT Judgment Approving Char Dham Project

The Supreme Court stayed the operation of the judgment of the National Green Tribunal which approved the “Char Dham Highway project” in Uttarakhand. The SC bench of Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice Abdul Nazeer passed the stay order in an application filed by an NGO, ‘Citizens for Green Doon’ and few other local residents, who alleged unfairness and lack of propriety on the part of NGT in dealing with the Original Application filed by them.

 SC Allows Nagaland Student’s Plea For Admission To Medical College Under Central Pool Quota Despite Expiry Of Admission Cut-off Date

The Supreme Court, on Monday, allowed a petition filed by a student from Nagaland, directing AN Magadh Medical College, Gaya, Bihar to admit her under the Central Pool Quota despite expiry of the last date for admissions. The judgment was rendered by a Bench comprising Justice SA Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao on the petition filed by one Ms. Akumsenla Jamir. While Ms. Jamir was represented by Advocate Amit Kumar Singh, the respondent medical college was represented by Advocates Gopal Singh and Manish Kumar.

#MeToo: SC Refuses Urgent Hearing Of Plea For Registration Of FIRs, Fast Track Trial Courts, Etc.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to urgently hear a petition filed by a lawyer seeking registration of FIRs based on allegations of sexual misconduct and assault levelled by women across various sectors during the #MeToo movement. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul said that the petition will come up for hearing in the regular course.

SC Dismisses PIL For Action Against Political Parties And Candidates For Misusing Religion For Electoral Gains

Supreme Court of India on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking directions to the Centre and the Election Commission of India to take strict action against political parties and candidates engaging in misusing religion for electoral gains to ensure free and fair elections.

 Finalize SOP For Handling Complaints Involving Child Pornography By 15 November: SC Directs Centre

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to finalize the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for handling complaints involving child pornography by November 15. The bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice UU Lalit asserted, “We are constrained to fix this deadline because the Union of India has already had more than two months of experience in working the Standard Operating Procedure and the portal and there must be some finality to the process.”

SC Dismisses PIL Seeking Action Against Politicians For Damages In Protests Against SC/ST Verdict

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S. K. Kaul on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking a direction that the politicians, who were allegedly behind the massive unrest across the country fueled by the March 20 verdict of the apex court in Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v. State of Maharashtra diluting the SC/ST Act of 1989, account for the losses and damage to public property so sustained.

 SC Tells Rajasthan To Stop Illegal Mining Over 115.34 Hectares In Aravalli Hills In 48 Hours

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Rajasthan government to stop illegal mining over 115.34-hectare area in the Aravalli Hills within 48 hours while also criticising its unfortunate attitude over the entire issue of mining in the Hills. A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta took note of the status report filed by the Rajasthan government but found it lacking in clarity on the question whether illegal mining has been stopped in the 115.34 hectares.

SC Refers Plea To Make Independent Collegium To Recommend Names For Appointment Of Election Commissioners To Constitution Bench

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul on Tuesday referred a plea, for constituting an independent mechanism for selection of Election Commissioners, for the consideration of Constitution Bench.

Assam NRC:SC Directs All Stakeholders To File Their Stand On NRC Coordinator’s Objection To Five Documents For Claims And Objection by October 30

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman on Tuesday invited all stakeholders to offer their opinion on the stand adopted by Mr. Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator for the Assam NRC, in regarding as inexpedient the allowing of claims for inclusion in the NRC to be filed on the basis of five specific documents.

Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case: SC Issues Notice To Main Accused Brajesh Thakur To Show Cause As To Why He Should Not Be Shifted Outside Bihar

 The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case, Brajesh Thakur, to show cause as to why he should not be shifted outside of the state of Bihar in the interest of a free and fair investigation.

SC Directs CVC To Complete Enquiry Against Alok Verma In Two Weeks Under Supervision Of Justice A K Patnaik;Nageswara Rao Can’t Take Any Policy Decisions Till Then

Hearing the plea of CBI Director Alok Verma against the October 23 orders of the CVC and the Central government divesting him of all powers and functions and giving charge to M. Nageshwara Rao in the meantime, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued a string of interim measures on Friday

SC Prevents Serial PIL Litigant Asok Pande From Filing New Petitions Until Payment Of Costs

The Supreme Court on Friday issued an order preventing Asok Pande, serial PIL litigant, from filing any new petitions until he pays cost of Rs.25,000 imposed by the Court on an earlier occasion for filing another PIL which was found to be frivolous.

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