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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
6 Dec 2020 2:45 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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TOP STORIES1. Attorney General Grants Consent For Contempt Action Against Artist Rachita Taneja For Illustrative Tweets Against Supreme CourtThe Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal has granted consent to a law student for initiating contempt of court proceedings against a comic illustrator Rachita Taneja, for her illustrative tweets depicting Supreme Court being hand in glove with...

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TOP STORIES

1. Attorney General Grants Consent For Contempt Action Against Artist Rachita Taneja For Illustrative Tweets Against Supreme Court

The Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal has granted consent to a law student for initiating contempt of court proceedings against a comic illustrator Rachita Taneja, for her illustrative tweets depicting Supreme Court being hand in glove with the ruling party, BJP.

2. "Not Maintainable": Supreme Court Dismisses PIL Seeking Removal Of Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy [GS Mani V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea seeking appropriate action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for making public allegations against Justice N V Ramana, the second senior judge of the Supreme Court.

3. Supreme Court Dismisses Chanda Kochhar's Challenge Against ICICI Bank Terminating Her Services [Chanda Kochhar V. ICICI]

Noting that the only controversy involved is that of the bank having earlier accepted her resignation and subsequently, terminated her, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the issue being of the contractual relationship between a private bank and its employee, it did not call for invocation of the writ jurisdiction, and dismissed former ICICI bank MD Chanda Kochhar's plea.

4. Supreme Court Asks Centre,States To Suggest Measures To Ensure Compliance Of Social Distancing & Mask-Wearing Norms [In Re: Mismanagement of Covid & Manhandling Dead Bodies]

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre and State Governments to put forth suggestions for proper implementation of guidelines and SOP's for social distancing and wearing masks during COVID-19. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah stated that even thought stringent guidelines were in place for ensuring social distancing and wearing masks, they were not achieving desired results and neither were they being followed by most of the states.

5. Supreme Court Reserves Judgment On Legality Of Pasting Posters Outside COVID19 Patients' Homes [Kush Kalra V. UOI]

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the plea which has challenged the decision of various states Governments to affix posters outside the homes of COVID19 patients who are in isolation. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai & MR Shah asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre whether an advisory can be issued in this regard by the centre so that a State is dissuaded by pasting posters on walls of covid positive patients homes. The law officer told court that such an advisory was already in place.

6. Facebook VP's Challenge Against Delhi Assembly Summons : Committee On Peace & Harmony Intervenes; Supreme Court To Hear In January [Ajit Mohan V. Legislative Assembly, NCT Delhi]

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned to January the plea filed by Vice-President of Facebook India Ajit Mohan challenging the summons issued to him by Delhi Assembly's Committe on Peace and Harmony in connection with the February 2020 Delhi Riots. A Bench of Justices SK Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy presided over the matter and issued notice in an Intervention Application filed on behalf of the Committee which was represented by Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan.

7. Supreme Court Stays Gujarat HC Order Directing Persons Not Wearing Masks To Do Community Service At COVID-19 Centres [State of Gujarat V. Vishal Awtani]

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Gujarat High Court order which had directed the State of Gujarat to come up with a policy or order that would direct for those caught without a face cover/mask to be compulsorily sent to COVID-19 care centres for community service. While staying the order, the Supreme Court remarked that the Gujarat High Court direction was disproportionate and may lead to health problems. The top court however asserted that masks are compulsory & violators should be penalized as per law.

8. Franklin Templeton : Supreme Court Asks Trustees To Call Meeting Of Unit Holders; Stay On Redemption 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a stay on redemption requests from investors and allowed Franklin Templeton Trustees to call for meeting of unit holders to seek their consent/approval. A bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a plea by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund's (FT), challenging a Karnataka High Court order according to which the decision to wind down six debt schemes required simple majority consent from unit investors.

9. Supreme Court Stays NCLAT Direction For Probe Against Flipkart Under Competition Act [Flipkart India V. CCI]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the March 4 order of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) directing a probe by the Competition Commission of India against e-commerce major Flipkart for an alleged use of its dominant position. Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Flipkart, argued that the order was passed on an erroneous premise that his client had a "dominant position" in the e-commerce market.

JUDGMENTS

10. Ensure CCTV Cameras Are Installed In Each And Every Police Stations: Supreme Court Directs States/UTs [PARAMVIR SINGH SAINI vs. BALJIT SINGH]

The Supreme Court has observed that the State and Union Territory Governments should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed in each and every Police Station functioning under them. Justice RF Nariman led bench observed that these directives shall be implemented both in letter and in spirit as soon as possible. The court has also directed the Central Government to install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the offices of central agencies like CBI, NIA etc.

11. Conduct Of Public Bodies Has To Be Fair & Not Arbitrary; Do Not Force Citizens To Approach Courts : Supreme Court [Chief Executive Officer And Vice Chairman Gujarat Maritime Board Vs. Asiatic Steel Industries Ltd]

The Supreme Court observed that, the conduct of a public body charged to uphold the rule of law, has to be fair and not arbitrary. The court observed thus while dismissing Gujarat Maritime Board's appeal against the High Court judgment which allowed the writ petition filed by "Asiatic Steel" Court seeking refund of contract consideration of ₹3,61,20,000/- paid by them to the Board.

12. Article 32 Is An Important & Integral Part Of Basic Structure Of Constitution : Supreme Court [Skill Lotto Solutions V. Union of India & Others]

The Supreme Court reiterated the importance of Article 32 of the Constitution of India in a judgment delivered on Thursday. "Article 32 is an important and integral part of the basic structure of the Constitution. Article 32 is meant to ensure observance of rule of law. Article 32 provides for the enforcement of the fundamental rights, which is most potent weapon", observed a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subash Reddy and M R Shah.

Also Read: Supreme Court Upholds Levy Of GST On Lottery, Betting And Gambling

13. Dismissal Of SLP Has No Consequence On Question Of Law: Supreme Court [Inderjit Singh Sodhi V. Chairman, Punjab Electricity Board]

The Supreme Court has observed that the the dismissal of special leave petition is of no consequence on the question of law. In this case, the Division Bench of the High Court set aside the Single Bench judgment that allowed the writ petitions for the grant of 9/16 years' time bound revised promotional scale to the petitioners. The division bench had followed the dictum of the judgment in Bhakra Beas Management Board v. Krishan Kumar Vij to hold that the petitioners are not entitled to relief sought.

14. 'Victim Could Not Understand The Good And Bad': Supreme Courts Upholds Conviction Of Man Accused Of Raping A Mentally Disabled Girl [Chaman Lal V. State of Himachal Pradesh]

The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man accused of raping a mentally disabled girl with low IQ. While considering the appeal filed by accused, the Apex Court bench noted that there is not in dispute that the accused had sexually intercourse with the victim and that the victim delivered a baby child and that the accused is found to be the biological father of the baby child delivered by the victim.

15. High Courts Having No Commercial Division Competent To Consider Cancellation Of Design Under Section 22(4) Of Designs Act : Supreme Court [S D Containers, Indore v M/s Mold Tek Packaging]

The judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on December 1 in the case S D Containers, Indore v M/s Mold Tek Packaging Ltd discusses the interplay between the Designs Act 2000 and the Commercial Courts Act 2015. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi held that it is not necessary that a suit involving the issue of cancellation of design under Section 22(4) of the Designs Act should be heard by a High Court having a Commercial Division. It held that a High Court without original civil jurisdiction and a commercial division is competent to consider such a case.

16. Magistrate Can Order Registration of FIR U/S 156(3) For Offences Under Mines And Minerals Act,No Bar U/S 22: Supreme Court [Jayant vs. State of Madhya Pradesh]

The Supreme Court has observed that the bar under Section 22 of the Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, is not attracted when a Magistrate in exercise of powers under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure orders/directs the concerned Incharge/SHO of the police station to lodge/register crime case/FIR even for the offences under the MMDR Act and the Rules.

17. Long Delay In Lodging FIR A Valid Consideration To Grant Anticipatory Bail : Supreme Court [Sumedh Singh Saini V. State of Punjab]

The Supreme Court has observed that a long delay in lodging FIR can be a valid consideration for grant of anticipatory bail. The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan observed thus while allowing the anticipatory bail plea of former Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini who had sought the bail relation to the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.

18. [Doctrine Of Legitimate Expectation] State Must Discard The Colonial Notion That It Is A Sovereign Handing Out Doles At Its Will: Supreme Court [State of Jharkhand vs. Brahmputra Metallics Ltd., Ranchi]

The state must discard the colonial notion that it is a sovereign handing out doles at its will, remarked the Supreme Court in a judgment delivered on Tuesday. The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra observed that the doctrine of substantive legitimate expectation is one of the ways in which the guarantee of non-arbitrariness enshrined under Article 14 finds concrete expression.

19. Dowry Death - No Conviction Under Section 304B IPC If Unnatural Death Is Not Established : Supreme Court [Sandeep Kumar V. State of Uttarakhand]

The Supreme Court has held that the offence of dowry death under Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code cannot be made out if the cause of death has not been established as unnatural. The Court also held that it has to be shown that the deceased wife was subjected to cruelty or harassment in connection with demand for dowry soon before her death.

OTHER IMPORTANT UPDATES

20. Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Seeking Inclusion Of Govt Nominees In Trust To Build Mosque At Ayodhya

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking for directions to the Central Government to create a trust consisting of government nominees belong to the Sunni Muslim Community for building of the mosque on the land in Ayodhya allotted to UP Sunni Waqf Board. A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton F.Nariman heard the arguments of Advocate Hari Shankar Jain and proceeded to dismiss the plea.

21. Plea For Stringent Bail Provisions, Reverse Onus, Death Sentence For Rape: Supreme Court Asks Govt. To Consider

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, refused to entertain a writ petition seeking a direction to the Government to bring certain reforms and amendments in the law to make it stringent and deterrent in cases of rape with grievous injury, gang rape and rape/gang-rape with murder. While disposing the writ petition filed by Advocate Kirti Ahuja and others, the Court, however, granted them liberty to make a representation to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Women and Child Development regarding the issues and said that it 'hopes and trusts that they shall consider the same and take appropriate action on that'.

22. Supreme Court Pulls Up Telangana Govt For 'Insensitivity' Towards Case Of BHEL Officer's Suicide Due To Workplace Sexual Harassment 

The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the Telangana government and the Telangana state police for their insensitive approach towards a BHEL employee who committed suicide last year on account of workplace sexual harassment. The bench of Justice A. M. Khanwilkar was hearing a writ petition, through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, by the victim's mother seeking to urgently transfer the criminal investigation pertaining to the unfortunate death of her young and energetic daughter due to sexual harassment at her workplace at BHEL, Hyderabad from Telangana state police to the CBI or to any other independent central agency.

23. Conversion of Standard Accounts To NPAs In The Absence Of Business Violates Art 19(1)(g) : Stakeholders Seek Loan Moratorium Extension

The Supreme Court continued the hearing in the pleas pertaining to extension of loan moratorium along with petitions by specific sectors. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, BR Gavai & MR Shah stated that it shall hear Solicitor General Tushar Mehta Thursday. On Wednesday, various sectors made submissions before the Supreme Court. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for CREDAI HR informed Court that the conversion of standard accounts to NPA's w.e.f. September 1 in absence of business rolling in was violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.
"State of the economy states that there will be havoc by December 10, RBI is saying that the borrower & lender will decide among themselves. Their (Union) position today is that your lordships have no jurisdiction to go into this," said Sibal.

24. 'Why Can't Road Take A Turn Around A Tree?' Asks CJI On Plea To Cut Trees For Road Development

'Why can't the road take a turn around the tree? That will only mean that speed will be slow. If the speed is slow, it will lower accidents and will be more safer," CJI SA Bobde observed today while hearing an application filed by UP Government for cutting trees for Krishna Goverdhan road project in Mathura. The Public Works Department of Uttar Pradesh Government and the UP Bridge Corporation had filed an application before the Top Court for felling 2,940 trees for the project.

25. Char Dham Road Project: Supreme Court Directs High Powered Committee To Consider Applications Against Reduction Of Width

In Char Dham road project matter, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the High Powered Committee set-up by it to consider the applications filed before the Court by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, against reducing the road width, in two weeks. The ministries had sought permission for the widening of the road in border areas and the completion of the Char Dham road project with the originally specified width.

26. 'Rakhi For Bail' Order : Attorney General Says Judges Should Avoid Patriarchal Approaches; Supreme Court Reserves Judgment

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved orders in a plea filed by eight lawyers which challenged a Madhya Pradesh High Court order wherein a bail condition had been imposed on the accused that he would be tied a Rakhi by his survivor whose modesty he had outraged. A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar was also adjudicating upon directions sought from the Apex Court against similar Orders which trivialize/tend to trivialize the occurrence of serious sexual offences against women and children.

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