Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

Article 226 Can’t Be Used For Deciding Disputes For Which Civil And Criminal Remedies Are Available [Roshina T V. Abdul Azeez K.T.& Ors]

The Supreme Court observed that a regular suit, and not a writ petition, is the appropriate remedy for settlement of the disputes relating to property rights between private persons.

Even Heinous/Brutal Crimes May Not Be Rarest Of Rare [Sukhlal V. State of Madhya Pradesh]

The Supreme Court, reiterating the principle that life imprisonment is the rule and death penalty is the exception,observed that even when a crime is heinous or brutal, it may not still fall under the rarest of rare category. A three-judge bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer observed thus while commuting death penalty awarded to Sukhlal, who was found guilty of murdering a lady in whose house he was working as a gardener.

High Courts, Being Constitutional Courts Of Record, Has Inherent Jurisdiction To Recall Their Own Orders [Municipal Corporation Of Greater Mumbai vs. Pratibha Industries Ltd]

The Supreme Court observed that the High Courts, being courts of record, has inherent jurisdiction to recall their own orders. In Municipal Corporation Of Greater Mumbai vs. Pratibha Industries Ltd,, the supreme court dealt with the question on  High Court’s power of recall of its orders.

Imposition Of Penalty In Disciplinary Proceeding Lies In Sole Domain Of Employer [State of Tamil Nadu vs. M. Mangayarkarasi]

The Supreme Court reiterated that the imposition of a penalty in disciplinary proceeding lies in the sole domain of the employer and the court cannot interfere unless the penalty is found to be shockingly disproportionate.

Unauthorised Bulk Possession Of Manufactured Drugs Containing Narcotic Drugs Or Psychotropic Substances Triable Under NDPS Act As Well [State of Punjab V. Rajesh Kumar]

The Supreme Court held that persons who are found in bulk possession of manufactured drugs without any valid authorization can be tried under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, apart from the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

HCs Cannot Adjudicate Upon Affidavits Or Disputed Questions Of Fact Under Article 226 [Sanjay Kumar Jha V. Prakash Chandra Chaudhary]

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, reiterated that high courts cannot adjudicate upon affidavits or disputed questions of fact while hearing petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, except in the “rarest of cases”.

 Retrenchment Procedure Under Section 25F ID Act Not Applicable To Employee Who Abandons Work [Manju Saxena V. Union ofIndia]

The Supreme Court held that an employee who voluntarily abandons work cannot be treated as on in “continuous service” of the employer as per Section 2(oo) of the Industrial Disputes Act. Therefore, procedure for retrenchment as per under Section 25F of the ID Act will not apply to such an employee.

Chapter XXXII Of Kerala Education Rules Shall Alone Be Applicable While Making Recruitment To Teaching Posts [VK Girija vs. Reshma Parayil]

The Supreme Court reiterated that the Statutory Scheme as delineated by Chapter XXXII of Kerala Education Rules shall alone be applicable while making recruitment to the teaching posts and Rule 5 Note (3) of Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958 is not attracted. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Ajay Rastogi upheld the judgment passed by a division bench of the Kerala High Court which had followed the dictum laid down in Maya Mathew vs. State of Kerala.

‘Administrative Difficulties’ Not A Valid Reason To Condone Delay In Filing Application To Set Aside Arbitral Award [Simplex Infrastructure Ltd V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court held that administrative difficulties would not be a valid reason to condone a delay above and beyond the statutory prescribed period under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to file an application to set aside arbitration award.

Any Challenge To Arbitrator Appointed Should Be Raised Before The Arbitrator Himself In First Instance [SP Singla Constructions Pvt. Ltd. V. State of Himachal Pradesh]

The Supreme Court reiterated that any challenge to the arbitrator appointed should be raised before the arbitrator himself under Section 13 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, in the first instance and thereafter under Section 34 of the Act. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee was considering high court order that held that the appointment of arbitrator could not be challenged by way of an application under Section 11(6) of the Act.

 SC Sets Aside Allahabad HC Orders In Sec. 482 Petitions [Omveer Singh V. State of Uttar Pradesh]

On Monday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre set aside four orders passed by the Allahabad High Court in different criminal petitions as those did not contain ‘facts’ of the case. The bench, also comprising of Justice Indu Malhotra, observed that the high court in these orders has not even referred to the facts of the case, and it only quotes the decisions of the Supreme Court.

Brevity Must Be Observed In Judgments/Orders While Expressing An Opinion [Surjeet Singh V. Sadhu Singh]

Brevity being a virtue, it must be observed as far as possible while expressing an opinion, remarked a Supreme Court bench while disposing of an appeal against a 60-page ‘remand order’ by the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

Order Of Acquittal Cannot Be Interfered With On Ground That Different View Is Possible [Mohd. Akhtar@ Kari V. State of Bihar]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asserted that an order of acquittal cannot be interfered with on the ground that a different view was possible on the basis of evidence available on record. A bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice R. Subhash Reddy asserted, “Interference with an order of acquittal is not permissible on the ground that a different view is possible. If the acquittal is justified on a probable view taken by the trial court, it should not be interfered with.”

 SC Reduces Jail Term Awarded To Medical Shop Owner As He Wasn’t Aware That He Has To Obtain Drug Licence [State Rep. by the Drugs Inpector V. Manimaan]

The Supreme Court reduced the sentence of one-year imprisonment to three months to a medical shop owner who stored certain drugs without a valid drug licence taking into account his plea that he was not aware that he has to obtain such a licence for sale of drugs. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee restored the conviction of an accused under Sections 27(b)(ii) and 28 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, by setting aside the high court judgment that had set it aside.

SC Approves Witness Protection Scheme, 2018; Directs Centre, States, UTs To Set Up Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complexes In Every District Within A Year [Mahender Chawla V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018, prepared by Union of India and has directed it and all states and union territories to enforce the same in letter and spirit.

Lack Of Remorse Doesn’t Indicate That There Is No Scope Of Reform: SC Commutes Death Sentence In Kidnap, Rape & Murder Case [Viran Gyanlal Rajput V. The State of Maharashtra]

While commuting a death sentence awarded to a rape and murder accused, the Supreme Court observed that lack of remorse by him after committing the crime and during the hearing does not in any way indicate that there is no scope of his reform. The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Justice Hemant Gupta was considering an appeal filed by Viran Gyanlal Rajput who was sentenced to death by the trial court, for kidnapping, rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl and causing the disappearance of evidence. The Bombay High Court had confirmed the death sentence dismissing his appeal.

CCI Has To Wait For TRAI Findings Before Acting On Jio’s Complaint Of Cartelization By Other Telecos [Competition Commission of India V. Bharti Airtel Limited India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court confirmed the judgment of Bombay High Court which had set aside direction issued by the Competition Commission of India(CCI) to probe Jio’s allegation of cartelization by telecom service providers Idea, Airtel and Vodafone. Yesterday, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan dismissed the appeals filed by CCI and Reliance Jio against the Bombay High Court’s judgment.

SC Relief To Ex-IAF Officer Who Had Married A Foreign National Without Requisite Permission [SQN. LDR. (Retd) Navtej Singh V. Union of Inida & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Indian Air Force authorities to include the names of the wife and daughter of an ex-IAF officer in his Service Certificate, who had married a foreign national without requisite permission.

Higher Qualification Does Not Always Presuppose Having The Basic Qualification For A Post [Zahoor Ahmad Rather V. Sheikh Imtiyaz Ahmed]

The Supreme Court held that a candidate with higher qualification cannot claim right to apply for posts with lower qualification, unless the relevant statutory recruitment rules permit the inference that higher qualification presupposes the acquisition of lower qualification.

Notice Under Order 1 Rule 8(2) CPC Mandatory For Filing ‘Class Action’ Consumer Complaints U/s 12(1)(c) of Consumer Protection Act [Rameshwar Prasad Shrivastava vs. Dwarkadhis Projects Pvt. Ltd.]

The Supreme Court on Friday observed that ‘Class Action’ consumer complaints filed by one or more consumers where there are numerous consumers having the same interest will be maintainable only where the complaint fulfils all the requisite conditions in terms of Section 12(1) (c) of the Consumer Protection Act read with Order I Rule 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

High Courts Must Remain Vigilant Of Attempts To Misuse PILs [Aleemuddin V. State of UP]

The Supreme Court recently reminded the high courts of staying watchful of attempts to misuse public interest litigations for promotion of personal agenda. A Bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah asserted, “The High Courts must remain vigilant to the attempts to misuse PILs to subserve extraneous and motivated purposes. Such efforts must be dealt with firmly. High pre­rogative writs cannot be utilised for such ends.”

Section 114 Evidence Act: Presumption Of Continuity Can Be Drawn Not Only Forward But Backward Also

The Supreme Court observed that presumption of continuity as envisaged in Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act can be drawn backward also. Under Section 114 of the Evidence Act, there is a presumption of continuance of a state of affairs once shown to have prevailed. The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran has now held that the court can presume that such state of affairs might have existed in past also unless discontinuity is proved.

SC Repels Challenge Against Centre’s Nomination Of 3 MLAs To Puducherry Assembly

On Thursday, the Supreme Court repelled the challenge made at the instance of Congress against the nomination of three BJP members to the Puducherry Legislative Assembly by the Central Government. The Bench of  Justices A K Sikri, Ashok Bhushan  and Abdul Nazeer dismissed the appeals filed against the judgment of Madras High Court judgment of March 2018, which had upheld the nominations.

 SC Allows I-T Dept To Reopen Tax Case Linked To National Herald Against Rahul, Sonia

The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the Income Tax Department to reopen the tax assessment of top Congress leaders Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for 2011-12 in connection with the National Herald case. The apex court, however, restrained the I-T department from implementing its order in the proceedings against Rahul, who is the Congress president, and his mother Sonia till the pendency of the matter before the court.

SC Grants Interim Protection From Arrest To Rape Accused Who Later Married The Victim

The Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest to a ‘rape’ accused who later married the victim. Jaigopal Saiyam was accused of kidnapping a girl and committing rape on her repeatedly.

SC Slaps 1 Lakh Fine Each On 5 States, 2 Lakh on Delhi Govt For Not Taking Mid-Day Meal Scheme “Seriously”

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, slapped a fine of Rs. 1 lakh on five States—Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir, and Rs. 2 lakh on the Government of NCT of Delhi in a matter related to the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in schools.

 SC Upholds Allahabad HC Order Setting Aside Premature Release Of Murder Convict By UP Governor Ram Naik

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Special Leave Petition filed against Allahabad High Court order that set aside Governor Ram Naik’s order prematurely releasing a murder convict who had hardly completed less than 8 years’ incarceration. The bench of Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar, while dismissing the SLP filed by murder accused- Markendey @ Ashok Sahi in limine, reportedly remarked that such cases “shock the conscience of the court”.

SC ‘Effaces’ Uttarakhand HC Direction Restraining Criticism Of EVMs Used In State Assembly Elections

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that the observation made by the Uttarakhand High Court restraining political parties from criticizing Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in elections to state assemblies would be deemed to have been effaced from the record for all purposes.

SC Directs Uttarakhand Govt To Take Over Pvt Medical College After Students Complain Of Shortcomings

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, directed the state government to take over privately owned Shridev Suman Subharti Medical College in Uttarakhand within 24 hours, after its students complained of lack of infrastructure and teaching faculty therein.

Sabarimala: SC Declines Urgent Hearing On Kerala Govt.’s Plea For Transfer Of Pending Petitions Before HC To SC

The Supreme Court on Friday turned down the request for an early hearing on Kerala government’s application seeking the transfer to the apex court of the petitions pending in the High Court of Kerala in relation to Sabarimala temple. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that the matter shall come up on the docket in the normal course, not on an urgent basis.

SC Dismisses Plea Against FM Arun Jaitley On NPAs With 50K Cost, Restrains Petitioner ML Sharma From Filing PILs Till Payment Of Cost

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL contending that Finance Minister (FM) Arun Jaitley has “plundered” the RBI in waiving off the loans of certain companies. Further, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi came down heavily on Advocate and petitioner-in-person M. L. Sharma for the joinder as a respondent to his plea of the FM in person.

Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Case: SC Orders Medical Examination Of Brajesh Kumar Thakur As His Children Allege That He Is Being Tortured In Jail

Taking note of the allegations made by children of Brajesh Thakur that he is being tortured in Patiala Central Jail, the main accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home case, the Supreme Court ordered his medical examination.

SC Dismisses Plea Against Appointment Of Madras HC Judge Justice Subramonium Prasad Alleging That He Has Not Practiced Before Madras HC

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph on Monday dismissed the challenge to the elevation of Justice Subramonium Prasad as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court in June this year.

Gujarat Fake Encounters Between 2002 And 2006: SC Asks State Govt. To Respond To Bedi Committee Report

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph on Monday allowed a week’s time to the Gujarat Government to file its reply to the final report of the court-appointed committee monitoring the investigation into alleged fake encounters in the state between 2002 and 2006 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister.

Dispose Of Cases Against Legislators On Priority Basis : SC Directs Kerala And Patna HCs

The Supreme Court on Tuesday required the High Courts of Bihar and Kerala to dispose of on a priority basis pending criminal matters in which existing or former legislators are implicated and to this end, designate as many Sessions and Magistrate’s courts in each district as Special Courts as it may be deemed necessary.

SC Tells Centre, 8 States To File Status Report Regarding Steps Taken To Fill Up Vacancies In Central And State Information Commissions

The Supreme Court directed Union of India and states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Karnataka to file their status report indicating the steps which have been taken for filling up of vacant posts in Central and State Information Commissions.

 SC Refuses Stay Of Proceedings Against Vijay Mallya Under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on a plea filed by Vijay Mallya against its endeavour to have him declared a ‘Fugitive Economic Offender’ and for the confiscation of his property.  Though notice was issued, the apex court did not stay proceedings against Mallya.

“Extremely Unfortunate”: SC Raps Jharkhand Govt For Lack Of Winter Action Plan For Urban Homeless

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, asserted that it was “extremely unfortunate” that the Jharkhand government has not yet prepared an action plan for its urban homeless. Directing the State to have a plan in place soon, a bench comprising Justice MB Lokur, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Hemant Gupta ordered, “It appears that the State of Jharkhand has no plan for the Winter. This is extremely unfortunate. We expect the State of Jharkhand to prepare a plan within next couple of days so that urban homeless are spared the vagaries of Winter Season.”