100 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2023 [Part 1]


18 Dec 2023 7:11 AM GMT

  • 100 Important Supreme Court Judgments Of 2023 [Part 1]

    As is the annual tradition, LiveLaw brings to you the list of 100 important Supreme Court judgments of the current year - a much awaited article by our dear readers.The judgments are selected based on the following criteria - (i) importance to the general public; (ii) settlement of a contested position of law; (iii) utility for practising lawyers, judges and students.A disclaimer is added...

    As is the annual tradition, LiveLaw brings to you the list of 100 important Supreme Court judgments of the current year - a much awaited article by our dear readers.

    The judgments are selected based on the following criteria - (i) importance to the general public; (ii) settlement of a contested position of law; (iii) utility for practising lawyers, judges and students.

    A disclaimer is added here that the judgments included in the list are not necessarily good or the best judgments; some of them are controversial and regarding some others, there are strong counter-views. Yet, these judgments are worthy of being noted and discussed upon, considering their general importance and impact on litigation and general socio-political arena. Hence, the inclusion in this list. The judgments are arranged in the chronological order. The reports about the judgments are hyperlinked at the case description.

    The list of 100 judgments will be published in four parts and this is the first part. Part 2 can be found here. Part 3 can be found here.  Part 4 can be found here.

    1. Demonetisation Decision Making Process Lawful, Supreme Court Holds By 4:1 Majority; Justice Nagarathna Dissents

    Case Title: Vivek Narayan Sharma v. Union Of India [WP (C) No. 906/2016] and other connected matters

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1

    Coram: Justices S Abdul Nazeer, BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian and BV Nagarathna

    The Supreme Court Constitution Bench upheld by 4:1 majority the decision taken by the Union Government six years ago to demonetise the currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 denominations. The majority held that Centre's notification dated November 8, 2016 is valid and satisfies the test of proportionality. Justice BV Nagarathna in her dissenting view held that though demonetization was well-intentioned and well thought of, it has to be declared unlawful on legal grounds (and not on the basis of objects).

    Other reports on the judgement can be found here.

    2. Additional Restrictions Not Found In Article 19(2) Cannot Be Imposed On Right To Free Speech: Supreme Court

    Case Title: Kaushal Kishor v. State of UP | WP (Crl) No. 113/2016

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 4

    Coram: Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice A.S. Bopanna, Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice B.V. Nagarathna

    The Supreme Court Constitution Bench has held that additional restrictions, not found in Article 19(2), cannot be imposed on the exercise of right to free speech under Article 19(1)(a) of Ministers, MPs and MLAs. It held that the grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) for restricting free speech are exhaustive. The Court by 4:1 majority added that statements made by Minister, even if traceable to any affairs of state or protecting the govt, cannot be attributed vicariously to the govt even applying the principle of collective responsibility. In her dissenting opinion, Justice B.V. Nagarathna agreed that greater restriction cannot be imposed on free speech, in addition to grounds under Article 19(2). However, she observed that in case a Minister makes disparaging statements in his "official capacity", then such statements can be vicariously attributed to the government.

    Other reports on the judgement can be found here.

    3. Parole Period Can't Be Included In Period Of Actual Imprisonment : Supreme Court

    Case Title: Rohan Dhungat vs State of Goa and Ors | Diary No. 29535 - 2022

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 10

    Coram: Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar

    Supreme Court held that the Parole period has to be excluded from the period of sentence under the Goa Prison Rules, 2006 while considering 14 years of imprisonment for premature release. The bench held that if the parole period is included as part of the sentence period, then any prisoner who is influential enough may get parole several times.

    4. 'Woman Not A Chattel, Has Identity Of Her Own; Marriage Won't Take Away Her Identity' : Supreme Court Strikes Down Income Tax Provision

    Case Title: Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim vs Union of India | WP(C) 59 OF 2013 | 13 January 2023

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 28

    Coram: Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna

    The Supreme Court held that excluding Sikkimese woman merely because she marries a non-Sikkimese after 01.04.2008 from exemption provision under Section 10(26AAA) Income Tax Act is is totally discriminatory and thus unconstitutional. The Court also held that the exclusion of old Indian settlers, who have permanently settled in Sikkim prior to merger of Sikkim with India on 26.04.1975 from the definition of “Sikkimese” in Section 10(26AAA) of Income Tax Act is unconstitutional.

    5. Default Bail Can Be Cancelled On Merits After Presentation Of Chargesheet : Supreme Court

    Case Title: State through CBI v. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gnagi Reddy | SLP (Crl) No. 9573/2022

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 37

    Coram: Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar

    The Supreme Court has held that there is no bar in cancelling default bail on merits after the presentation of chargesheet. The question that arose in the case was whether default bail can be cancelled after presentation of chargesheet, when it was granted for not filing it within 90 days as per the CrPC.

    6. Chargesheets Not 'Public Documents', Can't Direct Investigating Agencies To Upload Them On Websites : Supreme Court

    Case Title : Saurav Das vs Union of India |W.P.(C) No. 1126/2022

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 52

    Coram: Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar

    The Supreme Court held that police and investigating agencies like CBI, ED etc., cannot be directed to upload the chargesheets filed in cases in a public platform for easy access by the general public.

    Case title: Manubhai Sendhabhai Bharwad and Another Versus Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. & Others

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 55

    Coram: Justices MR Shah and MM Sundresh

    The Supreme Court held that, “to continue with the temporary acquisition for number of years would be arbitrary and can be said to be infringing the right to use the property guaranteed under Article 300A of the Constitution of India. Even to continue with the temporary acquisition for a longer period can be said to be unreasonable, infringing the rights of the landowners to deal with and/or use the land.”

    Case Title: Baharul Islam and Ors. v. Indian Medical Association and Ors. | SLP(C) No. 32592-32593/2015

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 57

    Coram: Justices B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna

    The Supreme Court struck down the Assam Rural Health Regulatory Authority Act, 2004 which permitted diploma holders in Medicine and Rural Health Care to treat certain common diseases, perform minor procedures, and prescribe certain drugs. Any variation in the standards of the qualifications required of medical practitioners who render services in rural areas vis-à-vis those rendering services in urban and metropolitan areas is violative of the constitutional values of substantive equality and non-discrimination, said Supreme Court.

    9. Don't Record Witness Testimonies In English Translations Alone; Follow Sec 277 CrPC : Supreme Court To Trial Courts

    Case Title: Naim Ahamed vs State (NCT of Delhi) | CrA 257 OF 2023 | 30 Jan 2023

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 66

    Coram: Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M. Trivedi

    The Supreme Court has disapproved of the practice of trial judges recording the deposition of a witness only in the English language form as translated by the judge, when the witness testifies in a different language. The evidence of the witness has to be recorded in the language of the court or in the language of the witness as may be practicable and then get it translated in the language of the court for forming part of the record.

    10.  Supreme Court Directs All Courts/Tribunals To Mandatorily Deposit Amounts Deposited By Parties With Registry In A Bank/Financial Institution

    Case Title : KL Suneja and others vs Dr(Mrs) Manjeet Kaur Monga (Died) through legal representatives

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 68

    The Supreme Court has issued an important direction that all courts and judicial forums should frame guidelines to ensure that amounts deposited with the office or registry of the Courts or Tribunals are mandatorily deposited in a bank or financial institution. This direction is issued to ensure that litigants do not face any future loss of interest on the amount deposited before Courts.

    Case Title: In Re Policy Strategy for Grant of Bail SMW (Crl.) No. 4/2021

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 76

    The Supreme Court has issued guidelines on the issue of undertrial prisoners who continue to be in custody despite having been granted the benefit of bail on account of their inability to fulfill the conditions stipulated in the bail order or otherwise.

    12. Right to Die: Supreme Court Makes It Easier For Persons To Opt For Passive Euthanasia; Simplifies 2018 Guidelines On Living Will/Advance Directive

    Case Title: Common Cause v. Union of India | Miscellaneous Application No. 1699 of 2019 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 215 of 2005

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 79

    The Supreme Court has modified the slew of directions relating to advance medical directives, or living wills issued in a 2018 judgement that had recognised the right to die with dignity as an inextricable facet of the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution, and had, accordingly, upheld the legal validity of passive euthanasia.

    13.  Bar Council Of India Has Powers To Prescribe All India Bar Examination : Supreme Court; Overrules 'V Sudeer' Judgment

    Case Title: Bar Council of India v. Bonnie Foi Law College & Ors. | Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 22337 of 2008

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 96

    A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the power of the Bar Council of India to require law graduates to qualify for the All-India Bar Examination as an eligibility criterion to practise law in India.

    14.  Children's Right Not To Have Their Legitimacy Questioned Frivolously Part Of Their Privacy Right : Supreme Court On Power To Order 'DNA Test'

    Case Title: Aparna Ajinkya Firodia vs Ajinkya Arun Firodia | SLP (C) No.9855/2022 | 20 Feb 2023

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 122

    The Supreme Court observed that DNA tests of children born during the subsistence of a valid marriage may be directed only when there is sufficient prima-facie material to dislodge the presumption under Section 112 of the Evidence Act.

    15. 'Service As Adhoc Judges Can't Be Considered For Elevation As HC Judges' : Supreme Court Rejects Plea Of Judicial Officers From AP

    Case Title : C Yamini and others vs High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi and another

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 130

    The Supreme Court dismissed a writ petition filed by nine judicial officers from Andhra Pradesh seeking to direct the Andhra Pradesh High Court to consider them for elevation as HC judges.

    Case Title : The Directorate of Enforcement vs M. Gopal Reddy and another

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 138

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that the conditions under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for grant of bail are applicable to anticipatory bail applications under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as well.

    Case Title: Vishal Tiwari vs Union of India W.P.(C) No. 162/2023, Manohar Lal Sharma vs Union of India W.P.(Crl.) No. 39/2023, Anamika Jaiswal vs Union of India W.P.(C) No. 201/2023, Dr.Jaya Thakur vs Union of India W.P.(Crl.) No. 57/2023

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 160

    The Supreme Court directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to complete the investigation of the Adani-Hindenburg issue within a period of two months and file a status report before the Court.

    18.  Supreme Court Directs Appointment Of Election Commissioners On Advise Of Committee Comprising Prime Minister, Leader Of Opposition And CJI

    Case Title: Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India | WP(C) No. 104/2015

    A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has ordered that Election Commissioners will be appointed by the President of India on the advice of a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister, and leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha (or leader of largest opposition party), and the Chief Justice of India.

    19. Supreme Court Paves Way For Lawyers With 10 Yrs Experience To Be Considered For Consumer Commission Appointments; Upholds Striking Down Of Centre's Rules

    Case Title: The Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs versus Dr.Mahindra Bhaskar Limaye and others SLP(C) 19492/2021

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 161

    The Supreme Court held that persons having a Bachelors degree and having a professional experience of at least 10 years in consumer affairs, law, public affairs, administration etc. should be treated as qualified for appointment as President and members of State Consumer Commissions and District Consumer Forums.

    20. Can HC Exercise Jurisdiction Over A Tribunal Situated Outside Its Territorial Limits? Supreme Court Refers To Larger Bench

    Case Title: Union of India v. Sanjiv Chaturvedi And Ors. SLP(C) No 530 of 2022

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 162

    In a case relating to whistleblower Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the Supreme Court referred to a larger bench the issue regarding the jurisdiction of a High Court to entertain a challenge against an order passed by a Tribunal which is situated outside its territorial limit.

    21. District Judges Appointment - Only 10% Posts Can Be Filled Through Limited Competitive Examination : Supreme Court

    Case Title: Rajendra Kumar Shrivas v. State of Madhya Pradesh And Ors.| 2023 LiveLaw (SC)181 |Civil Appeal No. 1514 of 2023

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 181

    The Supreme Court directed the Madhya Pradesh High Court to comply with the directions of the Apex Court in All India Judges' Association And Ors. v. UoI And Ors. (2010) 15 SCC 170, particularly, the one asking the High Courts to reserve only 10% seats in the higher judiciary to be filled up by limited departmental competitive examination.

    22.Bhopal Gas Tragedy : Supreme Court Dismisses Centre's Curative Petition Seeking Additional Compensation From UCC

    Case Title: UoI And Ors. v. M/s. Union Carbide Corporation And Ors. Curative Petition (C) No. 345-347/2010]

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 200

    A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court dismissed the curative petition filed by Central Government seeking to reopen the settlement with the Union Carbide Corporation (now Dow Chemicals) to claim additional compensation for victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984.

    23. 'Union Govt Has Power To Abolish State Administrative Tribunal' : Supreme Court Affirms Abolition Of Odisha Administrative Tribunal

    Case Title: Orissa Administrative Tribunal Bar Association v. Union of India & others | Civil Appeal No 6805 of 2022

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 216

    The Supreme Court upheld the notification issued by the Central Government in 2019 to abolish the Odisha Administrative Tribunal.

    24. Supreme Court Questions Practice Of Some Trial Courts To Remand Accused The Moment They Appear In Response To Summons

    Case Title- Mahdoom Bava v. Central Bureau of Investigation

    Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 218

    The Supreme Court has noted that in some parts of the country, trial courts follow the practise of remanding the accused when they appear in response of a summoning order. Therefore, accused persons apprehend arrest even in cases when the investigating agencies are not seeking their custody.

    25. 'Courts Should Not Further The Notion That Only Male Child Will Assist Parents In Old Age; Avoid Patriarchal Remarks' : Supreme Court

    Case Title : Sundar @ Sundarrajan v. State by Inspector of Police

    Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 217

    The Supreme Court has advised Courts to refrain from making patriarchal remarks in judgments. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha was deciding a petition seeking to review the death penalty awarded to a convict for the kidnap and murder of a 7-year old boy.

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