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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up April 26 To May 2, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal
2 May 2021 2:12 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up April 26 To May 2, 2021
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JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Deduction Under Section 80-IA Income Tax Act Not Restricted To 'Business Income' Only: Supreme CourtCase: Commissioner of Income Tax-I Vs. Reliance Energy Ltd. [CA 1327 of 2021] Citation: LL 2021 SC 235The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran held that the scope of sub-section (5) of Section 80- IA of the Act is limited to determination of quantum...

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JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK

1. Deduction Under Section 80-IA Income Tax Act Not Restricted To 'Business Income' Only: Supreme Court

Case: Commissioner of Income Tax-I Vs. Reliance Energy Ltd. [CA 1327 of 2021]

Citation: LL 2021 SC 235

The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Vineet Saran held that the scope of sub-section (5) of Section 80- IA of the Act is limited to determination of quantum of deduction under sub-section (1) of Section 80-IA of the Act by treating 'eligible business' as the 'only source of income'.

The court observed that the essential ingredients of Section 80-IA (1) of the Act are: a) the 'gross total income' of an assessee should include profits and gains; b) those profits and gains are derived by an undertaking or an enterprise from a business referred to in subsection (4); c) the assessee is entitled for deduction of an amount equal to 100% of the profits and gains derived from such business for 10 consecutive assessment years; and d) in computing the 'total income' of the Assessee, such deduction shall be allowed.

"We hold that the scope of sub-section (5) of Section 80- IA of the Act is limited to determination of quantum of deduction under sub-section (1) of Section 80-IA of the Act by treating 'eligible business' as the 'only source of income'. Sub-section (5) cannot be pressed into service for reading a limitation of the deduction under sub-section (1) only to 'business income'." The bench held.

2. Supreme Court Directs High Courts To Reconsider And Update Rules Relating To Execution Of Decrees

Case: Rahul S Shah vs. Jinendra Kumar Gandhi [CA 1659-1660 of 2021]

Citation: LL 2021 SC 230

The bench comprising former CJI SA Bobde, Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat directed the High Courts to reconsider and update all the Rules relating to Execution of Decrees, made under exercise of its powers under Article 227 of the Constitution of India and Section 122 of CPC, within one year.

The observation came while issuing directions to reduce delays in the execution proceedings which shall be enforceable till the Rules are updated by High Courts. The court said that it must be ensured that the Rules are in consonance with CPC and the directions (issued now), with an endeavour to expedite the process of execution with the use of Information Technology tools.

The Court observed that in suits relating to delivery of possession, the court must examine the parties to the suit under Order X in relation to third party interest and further exercise the power under Order XI Rule 14 asking parties to disclose and produce documents, upon oath, which are in possession of the parties including declaration pertaining to third party interest in such properties. In appropriate cases, where the possession is not in dispute and not a question of fact for adjudication before the Court, the Court may appoint Commissioner to assess the accurate description and status of the property.

3. Section 3(2)(v) of SC/ST Act Will Attract As Long As Caste Identity Is One Of The Grounds For The Occurrence Of Offence: SC Doubts Earlier Judgments

Case: Patan Jamal Vali vs. State of Andhra Pradesh [CrA 452 of 2021]

Citation: LL 2021 SC 231

The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah doubted the earlier judgments which interpreted Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989, to mean that the offence should have been committed "only on the ground that the victim was a member of the Scheduled Caste.

The Court observed that this provision will attract as long as caste identity is one of the grounds for the occurrence of the offence. To deny the protection of Section 3 (2) (v) on the premise that the crime was not committed against an SC & ST person solely on the ground of their caste identity is to deny how social inequalities function in a cumulative fashion, the court said.

The bench was considering the appeal filed by one Patan Jamal Vali, the sole accused tried for the offences punishable under Section 376(1) of the IPC and under Section 3(2)(v) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for committing rape on the victim girl who is aged about 20 years and blind by birth, on 31.03.2011 at about 9:30 AM in her house. The High Court had affirmed the conviction of the accused by the Trial Court on these charges. The Supreme Court finally set aside the conviction of the accused under Section 3(2)(v) of the SC and ST Act but upheld the conviction and life sentence punishable under Section 376 IPC.

Read Also: Testimony Of Disabled Witness Cannot Be Considered Weak Or Inferior: SC Issues Guidelines To Make Criminal Justice System More Disabled-friendly

IMPORTANT APEX COURT UPDATES

1. Supreme Court Allows UP Panchayat Elections Counting To Take Place Tomorrow With COVID Safeguards

After a special sitting held on Saturday, the Supreme Court this week refused to defer the counting of the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections, scheduled to take place tomorrow, amid concerns about spread of COVID infection.

A division bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy allowed the counting to take place tomorrow based on the "solemn assurances" given by the Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission that sufficient safeguards have been taken to ensure that COVID protocol is followed at counting centres.

"We reject the request for deferring the counting by recording the submissions of the SEC that all protocols will be observed in letter and spirit", the bench said in the order.

2. COVID- Supreme Court Asks Centre Whether It Intends To Frame National Policy On Admission Guidelines To Hospitals

In view of the arbitrary and unjust treatment being meted out by hospitals to patients in matters of admission, the Supreme Court this week inquired from the Centre if it intends to formulate a national policy to serve as admission guidelines for all hospitals.

If the answer to the above is in the affirmative, the bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud, L. Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat seeks to know what the centre proposes the time-frame of the policy to be, and if the states/UTs, the medical fraternity and the other stakeholders have been consulted in the framing of the policy.

Read Also: 'Don't Leave Vaccine Pricing And Distribution To Manufactures': Supreme Court Questions Centre's COVID Vaccination Policy

3. "We Don't Want To Hear People Crying for Oxygen Cylinders": Supreme Court -Courtroom Exchange In Suo Motu Covid Hearing

"We don't want to hear people crying for cylinders of oxygen. There has to be some difference between today and the next day of hearing. The intervention of the Supreme Court has to result in something for the citizens", observed Justice DY Chandrachud this week.

The bench, also comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat, was hearing SG Tushar Mehta on the issue of oxygen supply to the states and UTs by the Centre.

"Although nobody had anticipated this second wave of Covid, the central government is prepared for it. No country in the world could have anticipated that this quantity of oxygen would be needed. But India was not an oxygen-surplus country before the pandemic.The central government has pulled whatever oxygen we have from whichever source possible – I am not using the word 'get' but 'extract' – we have extracted as much oxygen as we could have from wherever possible…", the SG told the bench.

Read Also: Why Centre Not Considering Compulsory Licensing For COVID Drugs Like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab? Supreme Court Asks

4. Most Precious Fundamental Right To Life Unconditionally Embraces Even An Undertrial: Supreme Court in Sidhique Kappan Case

The most precious fundamental 'right to life' unconditionally embraces even an undertrial, the Supreme Court observed while directing to shift Kerala journalist Sidhique Kappan from Mathura Jail in Uttar Pradesh to a Government hospital in Delhi for medical treatment.

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna observed thus in the order passed in a habeas corpus petition filed by Kerala Union of Working Journalists(KUWJ) seeking Kappan's release.

While considering the plea, the court noted from the Medical Report submitted before it that Kappan had tested COVID-19 Positive on 21st April, 2021, was having fever (T-102F) and had also suffered an injury as he fainted and fell down in the bathroom for which intervention of a surgeon was suggested. It was stated therein that he is having multiple health issues like diabetes, heart ailment, blood pressure and bodily injury. However, the next set of medical reports and the additional affidavit circulated by the State this morning show that he has tested COVID-19 Negative, the court noted.

Also Read: 'In UP Also, COVID Positive People Are Not Getting Hospital Beds', Solicitor General Tells Supreme Court In Siddique Kappan Case

5. Don't Clampdown On Citizens' SOS Calls For Medical Help Through Social Media :Supreme Court Warns Of Contempt Action Against States, Police

There should not be any coercive action against any citizen for putting out an SOS call on social media seeking medical help for COVID, said the Supreme Court this week.

The Court strictly said that contempt action will be taken against police officers who clampdown on citizens who ventilate their grievances with respect to COVID in public platforms.

"If citizens communicate their grievance on social media and internet, then it cannot be said that it's wrong information," observed Justice DY Chandrachud today while hearing the suo moto case pertaining to COVID-19 related issues.

6. Supreme Court To Examine Constitutional Validity Of Offence Of Sedition Under Section 124A IPC

The Supreme Court this week issued notice in a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the provision of the Indian Penal Code that penalises the law of sedition.

A three-judge Bench of Justice UU Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice KM Joseph were hearing a plea filed by challenging section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which penalises the crime of "sedition".

The petitioner has prayed that Section 124-A be declared unconstitutional and void and be struck out of the Indian Penal Code.

The plea has been filed by two journalists working in the states of Manipur and Chhattisgarh. According to them, they have been raising questions against their respective state governments and Central Government, and have been charged with sedition under section 124A of IPC in various FIRs for comments and cartoons shared by them on the social networking website Facebook.

7. Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain PIL Seeking CBI Probe Into Death Of Kalikho Pul, Ex-Arunachal CM

The Supreme Court this week refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) petition which sought CBI investigation into the unnatural death of Kalikho Pul, former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, in August 2016. The PIL was filed by an NGO named "Social Vigilance Team".

A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, KM Joseph and Indira Banerjee allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition to seek other remedies as are open in law.

When the matter was taken, Justice Lalit pointed out to Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave, the counsel for the petitioner, that the widow of Kalikho Pul had approached the Supreme Court in 2017, and that matter was withdrawn with liberty to approach the President of India with a representation.

8. Supreme Court Allows Vedanta To Produce Oxygen At Sterlite Plant In Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court this week permitted Vedanta to operate its Oxygen production unit on standalone basis at Copper plant in Tuticorin, which had been closed for 3 years. The permission has been granted in view of acute Oxygen shortage being faced by many states in the country, amid the second-wave of Covid-19.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud passed the order after taking on record the decision taken by the Tamil Nadu government at an an all party meeting, to allow the re-opening of the Vedanta plant for four months for oxygen production.

"Vedanta can open the plant only to produce medical grade oxygen...The order is passed only in view of the national need for oxygen. The order will not create any equities in favour of Vedanta," clarified the Apex Court.

9. Supreme Court Restores Order Extending Limitation; Period From 14.03.2021 Excluded From Computing Limitation Period Until Further Orders

The Supreme Court this week extended limitation period for the filing of cases in courts and tribunals with effect from 14.03.2021 until further orders in view of the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic.

The Court said the COVID19 second wave has created an "alarming situation" and has put the litigants in a "difficult situation".

The bench extended all periods of limitation ending on 14.03.2021 until further orders, by restoring the order passed on March 23, 2020, which had extended the limitation period. The period from 14.03.2021 will stand excluded from computing the limitation period under all special and general laws.

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