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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
20 Dec 2020 2:43 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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Week Commencing December 13 to December 20, 2020

Top Stories:1. Farmers Protests can Continue Without Impediment And Breach Of Peace By Protestors And Police:Supreme Court [Rakesh Vaishnav & Ors. V. UOI & Ors./ Batch Plea's]The Supreme Court on Thursday refrained from passing any substantive directions in the PILs seeking removal of farmers protests as there was no appearance for the farmers unions who were added...

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Top Stories:

1. Farmers Protests can Continue Without Impediment And Breach Of Peace By Protestors And Police:Supreme Court [Rakesh Vaishnav & Ors. V. UOI & Ors./ Batch Plea's]

The Supreme Court on Thursday refrained from passing any substantive directions in the PILs seeking removal of farmers protests as there was no appearance for the farmers unions who were added as respondents in the case. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde reiterated its suggestion to constitute a committee to facilitate talks between the protesting farmers and the Central Government to resolve the disputes over the recently passed farm laws.

Also Read: "Your Negotiation Does Not Work Apparently, We Will Form A Committee To Resolve The Issue":Supreme Court On Farmers Protest

2. Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice To Rachita Taneja For Caricatures Of 'Sanitary Panels' About Judiciary [Aditya Kashyap V. Rachita Taneja]

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to comic illustrator Rachita Taneja on the petitions seeking criminal contempt action against her over her caricatures published in 'Sanitary Panels' social media handles about the judiciary. The notice is returnable within 6 weeks. The bench has dispensed with the personal presence of Taneja.

3. Supreme Court Issues Notice To Kunal Kamra In Contempt Petitions Over Tweets About Judiciary [Abhuday Mishra V. Kunal Kamra]

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to comedian Kunal Kamra on the petitions seeking criminal contempt action against him for his tweets made about the top court and judges. The notice is returnable within 6 weeks. The bench has dispensed with the personal presence of Kamra. The bench noted that the Attorney General for India has granted consent for initiating contempt action against the comedian.

4. Supreme Court Dismisses Republic TV's Plea To Quash FIR For Allegedly Trying To Cause Disaffection Among Police Personal As Withdrawn [ARG Outlier Media Ltd. V. State of Maharahstra]

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a writ petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Ltd (which runs Republic TV channels) against a FIR registered by the Mumbai police against its editors & reporters for allegedly trying to cause "disaffection" among members of the police personnel. A Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde asked the Petitioners to approach the Bombay High Court as the "entire cause of action has arisen in Maharashtra".

5. "Seems Good Order": Supreme Court Refuses To Interfere With Allahabad HC's Order Dropping NSA Charges Against Dr Kafeel Khan [State of Uttar Pradesh V. Nuzhat Perween]

A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde on Thursday refused to interfere with Allahabad High Court Order which quashed the detention of Dr.Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA). "It seems to be a good order by High Court. We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order," CJI SA Bobde remarked. He however clarified that the observations in the High Court order shall not affect the prosecution on criminal cases.

6. Supreme Court Agrees To Examine Whether Probing Constitutionality Of Declaration Of 1975 Emergency Is Feasible After 45 Years [Vinita Sarin V UOI]

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine whether a simplictor declaration that Emergency of 1975 was unconstitutional and that whether it would be feasible or desirable to probe this issue after a passage of 45 years. A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari & Hrishikesh Roy issued notice on the petition by a 94 year old and granted leave to the petitioner to amend the petition on the aspect of the restricted issue.

7. Separate By-polls Permissible For Rajya Sabha Vacancies Which Arose On Different Dates : Jaishankar Defends His Election In Supreme Court [Gaurav Pandya V. UOI]

The External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar has defended his election to the Rajya Sabha last year before the Supreme Court. In his counter-affidavit, Jaishankar has stated that there exists no provision either in the Constitution or the Representation of Peoples Act prescribing election to vacant Rajya Sabha seats via single by-election.

8. Siddique Kappan Not A Journalist, He Has Links With SIMI And PFI: UP Government Submits Before Supreme Court [Kerala Union of Working Journalists V. UOI]

The UP Government has told the Supreme Court that independent journalist Sidhique Kappan should not be granted relief as he has links with banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and was heading towards Hathras on the instructions of Delhi Riots accused, Md. Danish.

9. "They Are Doctors, Not Paupers": Supreme Court Asks Centre To Consider Giving A Break To Doctors In Service During Pandemic [n Re: Proper Treatment of COVID-19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in the Hospitals, etc.]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to consider providing a break to doctors who have been consistently serving at the frontline during the pandemic. "They are doctors, not paupers! They haven't been given any break for the last few months. Continuous work affects mental health," said a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah. Bench said that it will take into account submissions and suggestions and will pass a comprehensive order on Friday this week.

10. "High Court Held It As Bad Law": Supreme Court Rejects Plea Against Allahabad High Court's Order Disapproving "Religious Conversion For Marriage" [Aldanish Rein V. UOI]

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court bench including Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justice. AS Bopanna and Justice. V Ramasubramanian dismissed the petition filed by Advocate Aldanish Rein for setting aside an Order passed by Allahabad High Court which held that conversion solely for the purpose of marriage are not valid in the eyes of Law.

11. Supreme Court Reserves Judgment On Issue Of Access To Necessities To Beneficiaries Of Anganwadi Centre's Amid Pandemic [Dipika Sahni V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved judgment on the issue of lack of access to nutritional needs, healthcare facilities & education to beneficiaries of Anganwadi Centre's on account of their closure amid the ongoing pandemic. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah were hearing a public interest litigation seeking directions to provide food and healthcare facilities to children and lactating mothers on account of the Anganwadi System allegedly shutting down completely due to the pandemic situation.

12. Supreme Court Stops Bengal Police From Taking Coercive Action Against 5 BJP Leaders On Criminal Cases Registered Against Them [Arjun Singh & Ors. V. State of West Bengal]

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices on petitions filed by five BJP leaders Arjun Singh, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Pawan Singh, Sourav Singh and Mukul Roy seeking investigation by an independent agency in the criminal cases registered against them by the West Bengal police. A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul also ordered that no coercive action should be taken against the petitioners on the criminal cases till the next date of hearing.

13. 'We Find It Disturbing' : Supreme Court Stays Andhra High Court's Attempt To Examine 'Constitutional Breakdown' In AP

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court whereby it had decided to examine if there is a "constitutional breakdown" in the State of AP. "We find it disturbing", commented the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde about the High Court order. The bench issued notice on the petition. The matter will be listed after Christmas vacations. The development comes after a High Court Division Bench led by Justice Rakesh Kumar rejected an application filed by the State Government seeking recall of the said order.

14. Supreme Court Deprecates Practice Of Pronouncing Final Orders Without Reasoned Judgments [Oriental Insurance Co. Ltds. V. Zaixhu Xie & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has again deprecated the practice of pronouncing the final orders without reasoned judgments. If a judgment cannot be delivered on the same date or immediately thereafter, logically the judgment ought to have been at least reserved to facilitate the Judge to pen down the order, the bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said while setting aside an unreasoned order passed by Delhi High Court.

15. LVS-DBS Merger: Supreme Court Issues Notice On RBI's Plea Seeking Transfer & Stay On Petitions Across High Courts [RBI V. Aum Capital Markets Private Ltd. & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on the RBI's plea, seeking transfer of five writ petitions pending before the High Courts of Madras, Delhi, Karnataka and Bombay challenging the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (Amalgamation with DBS Bank India Limited) Scheme, 2020. A bench of Justice Mohan M. Shantangoudar also issued notice on the stay applications, directing it to be returnable within 10 days.

16. Loan Moratorium Waiver of Interest Case: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment [Batch Petitions]

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment on the pleas pertaining to extension of loan moratorium along with petitions by specific sectors. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah finished hearing the batch of plea's today and heard rejoinder submissions on behalf of various petitioners.

Judgments This Week:

1. Closure Report Cannot Be Filed Merely Because Informant Did Not Supply Adequate Materials To Investigate: Supreme Court [Amar Nath Chaubey V. UOI]

The Supreme Court has observed that a closure report cannot be filed merely on the ground that the investigation was not possible as the informant had not supplied adequate materials to investigate. A fair investigation is a necessary concomitant of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, said the bench headed by Justice RF Nariman, while setting aside closure reports against some accused in a murder case. The court observed that it is the statutory as well as constitutional duty of the police to investigate on receiving report of the commission of a cognizable offence.

2. Landlord-Tenant Disputes Under Transfer Of Property Act Arbitrable Except When Covered By Rent Control Laws : Supreme Court [Vidya Drolia & Ors. V. Durga Trading Corporation]

In a landmark judgment delivered on Monday, the Supreme Court overruled its 2017 judgment in Himangni Enterprises case to hold that landlord-tenant disputes are arbitrable except when they are covered by specific forum created by rent control laws. A three-judge Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana observed, "Landlord-tenant disputes are arbitrable as the Transfer of Property Act does not forbid or foreclose arbitration."

Also Read: Allegations Of Fraud Arbitrable When They Relate To Civil Dispute: Supreme Court Overrules 'N Radhakrishnan' Judgment

Also Read: Expression 'Existence Of Arbitration Agreement' In Section 11 Of Arbitration Act Includes Aspect Of Validity Of Agreement : Supreme Court

3. Vote Cast By Lawmaker Prior To His Conviction On Same Day Cannot Be Termed Invalid : Supreme Court [Pradeep Kumar Sonthalia V. Dhiraj Prasad Sahu & Anr.]

The Supreme Court on Friday held that a vote cast by a lawmaker prior to his conviction in a criminal case on the same day cannot be termed as invalid. A bench led by the Chief Justice of India observed that holding a legislator disqualified even before he was convicted "would grossly violate his substantive right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty".

4. 114 Evidence Act- Adverse Inference Can Be Drawn Against Party Who Does Not Appear In Person To Depose: Supreme Court [Iqbal Basith & Ors. V. N. Subbalakshni & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has observed that adverse inference can be drawn against a party who does not appear in person to depose. The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari observed thus while allowing appeal against the concurrent findings by the Trial Court and the High court dismissing a suit filed by plaintiff seeking the relief for permanent injunction.

5. Selective Leaks During Investigation To Media Affect Rights Of Accused And Victims: Supreme Court [Dr Naresh Kumar Mangla vs. Anita Agarwal]

The Supreme Court has observed that selective disclosures to the media during investigation of crime affect the rights of the accused and the rights of victims. The bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud observed thus while cancelling anticipatory bail granted to in-laws of a deceased woman in a dowry death case. The Court has also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to further investigate the case.

6. Summary Eviction Procedure Under Senior Citizens Act Cannot Be Invoked To Defeat Right Of Residence Of Woman In A Shared Household As Per DV Act: Supreme Court [S Vanitha vs. Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District]

The Supreme Court has held that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has no overriding effect over the right of residence of a woman in a shared household within the meaning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

7. Homeopathy Can Be Used In Preventing & Mitigating COVD-19 As Per AYUSH Ministry Guidelines: SC Modifies Kerala HC Judgment [Dr. AKB Sadbhavana Mission School of Homeo Pharmacy V. Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH]

Homeopathy medicine is contemplated to be used in preventing and mitigating COVID-19 as is reflected by the advisory and guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH, the Supreme Court observed while modifying some observations made by the Kerala High Court. The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed that the High Court is right in its observation that no medical practitioner can claim that it can cure COVID-19.

8. Court Cannot Alter Presidential Order On Scheduled Tribes: SC Reverses Bombay HC Judgment Declaring 'Gowari' As ST [State of Maharashtra V. Keshao Vishwanath Sonone]

The Supreme Court has held that a High Court cannot look into the evidences to find out and decide that a particular tribe is part of Scheduled Tribe which is included in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. The caste 'Gowari' and 'Gond Gowari' are two distinct and separate castes, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed while it set aside the Bombay High Court that had held that the Gowari community cannot be denied benefits of a Scheduled Tribe status.

Important Updates:

1. 'Fundamental Right To Health Includes Affordable Treatment': Supreme Court Suggests Cap On Fee Charged By Private Hospitals

The Supreme Court has observed that fundamental Right to health includes affordable treatment. Either more and more provisions are to be made by the State Government and the local administration or there shall be cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals which can be in exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah observed.

2. Supreme Court Issues Notice In Plea Against Regularisation Of Illegal Constructions; Directs Impleadment Of All States & UT's

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Environment, Forest and Urban Development Ministry, CBI and states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, National Disaster Management Authority in a case pertaining to regularization of illegal layouts and constructions. Justice L. Nageswara Rao led bench also directed the petitioner to implead all other States and Union Territories and issued notice to them, thereby posting the case for further hearing after 8 weeks.

3. Supreme Court Dismisses Judicial Officer's Petition Alleging Unprofessional Activities By Top Court's Registry

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition by a Judicial Officer of Maharashtra alleging unprofessional activities of it's Registry in terms of unequal treatment to him as well as the common man in terms of listings as well as pointing unnecessary defects.

4. 'Whether Mandatory Sacramental Confessions Before Priests In Churches Violates Article 21 & 25 Of Constitution': Supreme Court Issues Notice

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on a petition challenging the alleged practice of mandatory sacramental confessions in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde issued notice notice on petition filed by Mathew Mathachan and CV Jose who seek protection of their rights as well as the rights of similarly placed persons within the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

5. Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre, States On Plea Against Mining in Densely-Forested, Eco-Sensitive Areas

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to various States and the Union on a PIL against mining in densely- forested and eco-sensitive areas of the country. The petition by was heard by a bench led by the Chief Justice S. A. Bobde by Sudeip Shrivastava through advocate Prashant Bhushan.

6. Petitioner Cites Pegasus Issue In Supreme Court To Argue Against Allowing WhatsApp Payment Services

The controversy regarding snooping of WhatsApp users using Israeli spy software 'Pegasus' found a mention in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The 'Pegasus-Whatsapp' issue was referred to by Senior Advocate Krishnan Venugopal to argue that the system of WhatsApp was not secure and reliable so as to allow it to launch payment services.

7. "Suit is Withdrawn, All Questions Of Law Shall Remain Open": Supreme Court Disposes Ex SCBA Secy. Ashok Arora's Plea Against His Suspension

The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed off SCBA's erstwhile Secretary Ashok Arora's plea against his suspension as having become infructuous, while observing that "all questions of law shall remain open". With feuding leaders of the Supreme Court Bar Association consenting for a settlement, the Delhi High Court had on Friday closed a suit filed by Arora challenging the decision of the SCBA to suspend him from the post of secretary, observing that when the bar gets divided, it also weakens the bench which gets strength from lawyers.

8. SC Issues Directions To States/UTs For Education Of Children In Child Care Institutions And Children Restored To Families

The Supreme Court on Tuesday passed a slew of directions to States/Union Territories to cater to the educational needs of children in Child Care Institutions(CCI) and children who have been restored to families from CCIs. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi issued the directions in the suo moto case "In Re Contagion of COVID19 Virus in Children Protection Homes", after accepting the suggestions made by amicus curiae Advocate Gaurav Agarwal.

9. Actor Sexual Assault Case Involving Dileep : Supreme Court Dismisses Kerala Govt Plea For Change Of Trial Judge

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the special leave petition filed by the State of Kerala seeking the change of the judge holding trial in the 2017 actor sexual assault case in which prominent Malayalam film actor Dileep is accused as a conspirator.

10. Supreme Court Upholds CCI Order Dismissing Complaints Alleging Anti Competitive Practices By Uber, Ola

The Supreme Court has upheld the order of Competition Commission of India dismissing the complaints alleging cartelization and anti-competitive practices by cab aggregators Uber and Ola. The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Krishna Murari and KM Joseph however set aside the NCLAT finding that Samir Agrawal, the informant in this case, had no locus standi to move the CCI in this regard.

11. Supreme Court Asks AG KK Venugopal To Consider Whether NGT's Jurisdiction Can Be Extended To Wildlife Protection Act

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked AG KK Venugopal if the jurisdiction of the NGT can be extended under the Wildlife Protection Act as well. The bench headed by CJ S. A. Bobde was hearing a petition seeking, inter alia, the installation of bird diverters on power lines and the undergrounding of overhead power transmission lines, besides restraint on establishment of windmills and solar infrastructure, in priority and potential habitat areas of the endangered Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican.

12. "Do You Want To Abolish Personal Laws, How Can We Encroach On It" : SC Issues Notice 'With Caution"On PILs For Uniform Law For Divorce, Maintenance and Alimony

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC) comprising of CJI SA Bobde, J. AS Bopanna and J. V Ramasubramanian issued notice on two Public Interest Litigations seeking uniformity in the personal laws regulating divorce, maintenance and alimony for Indian citizens. Senior Advocate Pinky Anand appearing for the petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. prayed that these personal laws and religious practices are discriminatory under Art. 14, 15 and 44 of Indian Constitution as well as other rights conferred under International Instruments.

13. Supreme Court Grants Interim Protection From Arrest To Ekta Kapoor On FIR Against Her Over Alleged Objectionable Content In Web-series XXX Season 2

Supreme Court on Thursday granted protection fro arrest to film/TV producer Ekta Kapoor In relation to an FIR registered by Anapurna Police regarding the transmission of an episode in web series (XXX Uncensored) on Zee 5 which is being promoted by ALT Balaji, a concern owned by her and her mother. The Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was hearing a petition filed by Kapoor against the order passed by Madhya Pradesh High Court which refused to quash the FIR against her.

14. Tata Sons' Process Of Removal Of Cyrus Mistry Against Corporate Democracy: Divan Argues In Supreme Court

The courtroom battle in the Tata Sons case reached to day 6 of continuous hearings by the parties. A three judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard the arguments advanced by Mr. Shyam Divan, another Counsel appearing on behalf of Cyrus Mistry. Mr. Divan presented his arguments on three aspects. First, 10 main aspects relating to corporate governance and relationship between the SPG and Tata Sons; second, two Articles from the AoA and three, statutory provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. According to Mr. Divan, the following were the main points of consideration in the case:

15. Grant Of Extra Chance For UPSC Aspirants In Civil Service Exams Under Consideration Of Centre, Solicitor General Tells Supreme Court

The issue regarding grant of extra chance for UPSC aspirants in civil service exams is under the "active consideration" of the Central Government and the Union Public Services Commission, submitted the Solicitor General of India before the Supreme Court on Friday. The Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, submitted that the centre was not taking an "adversarial stand" with respect to the plea for extra chance and that a decision in that regard was likely within three or four weeks. The rules might need amendment for granting extra chance, he added.

16. Supreme Court Stays Criminal Proceedings Against Azim Premji And Wife Over Merger Of Companies

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on WIPRO founder Azim Premji's petition questioning summons issued by an Additional City Civil and Sessions Court in January on a private complaint over allegations of illegally transferring crores of rupees worth of assets from three companies into a private trust and newly formed company. The bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul also directed stay of proceedings before the trial court in the meantime.


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