Supreme Court Monthly Digest- February 2019

Ashok Kini

7 March 2019 5:08 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Monthly Digest- February 2019

    Significant Rulings Minority Status Of Aligarh Muslim University: SC Refers The Matter To Seven Judge Bench The Supreme Court referred to seven-judge bench the issue of determining the correctness of minority status granted to Aligarh Muslim University. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi referred the matter to the larger bench for defining the parameters...

    Significant Rulings 

    Minority Status Of Aligarh Muslim University: SC Refers The Matter To Seven Judge Bench

    The Supreme Court referred to seven-judge bench the issue of determining the correctness of minority status granted to Aligarh Muslim University. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi referred the matter to the larger bench for defining the parameters for grant of minority status to educational institutions.

    Acquittal If IO & Informant Same Person: Benefit Of 'Mohan Lal' Judgment Not Available To Cases Prior To It

    Varinder Kumar vs. State of Himachal Pradesh

    In an important judgment, the Supreme Court observed that all pending criminal prosecutions, trials and appeals prior to the law laid down in the judgment in Mohan Lal vs. State of Punjab (acquittal if investigator-informant is the same person), shall continue to be governed by the individual facts of the case.

    Bhima Koregaon : SC Sets Aside Bombay HC Judgment Which Refused Additional Time To File Chargesheet

    State of Maharashtra V. Surendra Pundlik Gadling

    The Supreme Court set aside the Bombay High Court judgment which had refused to grant additional time beyond 90 days under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for filing the charge sheet against lawyer SurendraGadling and four other activists arrested in Bhima Koregaon case.

    Anil Ambani Guilty Of Contempt; No Jail If Reliance Pays Ericsson Rs 453 Crores In 4 Weeks

    Reliance Communications Ltd. V. State Bank of India

    The Supreme Court bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran held Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Communications, guilty of contempt of court for defaulting payments to Ericsson as per the undertaking given to the Court. The three Reliance Companies - RCom, Reliance Telecom and Reliance InfraTel- are also held guilty of contempt, and fine of Rs One Crore each has been imposed on them.

    NGT Has No General Power Of Judicial Review Akin To HCs, No 'Leapfrog Appeal' Jurisdiction Also

    Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board V. Sterlite Industries (I) Ltd.

    In a victory to Tamil Nadu Government, the Supreme Court set aside the order of the National Green Tribunal, which permitted the re-opening of the Vedanta-Sterlite plant at Tuticorin. The bench of Justices R F Nariman and Naveen Sinha held that the NGT had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter. The parties are given liberty to approach the Madras High Court.

    Commercial Suits: 120 Days Deadline To File Written Statement Mandatory

    SCG Contracts India Pvt. Ltd vs. K.S. Chamankar Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd

    The Supreme Court observed that proviso added to the Code of Civil Procedure by Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act, 2015, is mandatory and no written statement can be taken on record in commercial suits, if it is not filed within 120 days from the date of service of summons of the Suit.

    Delhi Govt Vs Centre : SC Bench Split On Who Has Powers Over Services; Refers To Larger Bench

    Govt. of NCT of Delhi V. Union of India

    The Supreme Court bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was split on the issue of who has powers to appoint and transfer officers of State Public Services under Entry 41, List II of the Constitution of India. Justice Sikri held that transfers and posting of officers of and above the rank of Joint Secretary are under the powers of Lieutenant General of Delhi; other officers are under the control of Delhi Govt. On this aspect, Justice Bhushan dissented to hold that "services" were totally outside the purview of Delhi Government.

    SC Holds Nageswara Rao Guilty Of Contempt; Sentences Till Rising Of Court & Rs. 1 Lakh Fine

    Nivedita Jha V. State of Bihar & Ors.

    The Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi held CBI Additional Director M Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt of court for transferring the investigating officer heading the probe in Muzaffarpur shelter home case in violation of the orders of the Court.

    Use Of Unconstitutional '66A': SC Directs To Provide Copies Of Shreya Singhal Judgment To All Courts And DGPs

    Agreeing with the suggestion mooted by the Attorney General of India, the Supreme Court directed all High Courts to make available the copies of the Supreme Court judgment in 'Shreya Singhal v. Union of India' to all the District Courts with eight weeks. The bench issued these directions while disposing an application filed by Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), on the continued use of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

    Death Sentence Commutations

    We Feel Somewhat Reluctant In Endorsing The Death Sentence: SC Commutes Death Penalty Awarded To 'Tutor'

    Parsuram V. State of Madhya Pradesh

    The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, commuted the death sentence awarded to a 'tutor' convicted of rape and murder of a seven year old girl, and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment of 30 years (without any remission).

    Inordinate & Unexplained Delay In Deciding Mercy Petition: SC Commutes Death Sentence

    Jagdish V. State of Madhya Pradesh

    The Supreme Court commuted death sentence awarded to a man convicted for murder of his wife and five children, mainly on the ground of inordinate and unexplained delay in deciding the mercy petition.

    HC Judgment Confirming Death Sentence Silent On The Question Of Conviction: SC Remits It For Fresh Consideration

    Pappu@chandra Kumar V. State of Uttar Pradesh

    The Supreme Court set aside an Allahabad High Court judgment that confirmed a death sentence without dealing with the issue as to whether the conviction recorded by the trial court was justified or not. The bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, remitted the case to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits.

    Rape & Murder Of 7.5 Year Old: SC Commutes Death Sentence

    Vijay Raikwar V. State of Madhya Pradesh

    The Supreme Court commuted the death sentence awarded to a man convicted for rape and murder of 7 1/2 year old girl. Three Judge Bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, upheld the conviction, but observed that, though the crime can be said to be brutal, but does not warrant death sentence.

    Criminal Matters

    Compromise Between Complainant & Accused Does Not Mean That The Criminal Case Would Always End In Acquittal

    State of Madhya Pradesh V. DhruvGurjar

    The Supreme Court observed that, in every case, it cannot be concluded that there would be no conviction in a criminal case, if the complainant and the accused arrive in a compromise.

    Only 4 Months Jail For Killing Own Father? SC Restores Sentence Of 3 Years RI

    State of Madhya Pradesh V. Suresh

    The Supreme Court restored rigorous imprisonment of 3 years awarded to a man by trial court for killing his own father by setting aside the High Court judgment which had reduced the same to the period of imprisonment already undergone (3 months 21 days). The bench observed that the High Court was not justified in reducing the sentence to an abysmally inadequate period of less than 4 months.

    Entire Testimony Of Witness Cannot Be Discarded Merely Because Part Of It Was Found To Be False

    Mahendran vs. State of Tamil Nadu

    Is the Principle of "falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" (false in one thing, false in everything) applicable in Indian context? The Supreme Court, in a judgment reiterated the well settled position that the maxim has no application in India. The bench comprising Justice Sanjay KishanKaul and Justice Hemant Gupta again dealt with the contention put forth on behalf of the accused-appellant that, if the testimony of the witness is found to be unreliable in respect of part of the statement, then the other part of the statement cannot be made basis to convict the accused.

    Merely Because FIR Contains The Inquest Number It Cannot Be Said That FIR Was Registered After Inquest

    Harnam Singh vs. State of MP

    The Supreme Court observed that merely because Inquest number is mentioned in First Information Report, it does not affect the prosecution case nor does it affect the credibility of the eye witnesses. In a criminal appeal

    Injury On Vital Part Not An Essential Ingredient Of Section 307 IPC (Attempt To Murder)

    State of Madhya Pradesh V. Harjeet Singh

    There is no requirement for the injury to be on a "vital part" of the body, merely causing 'hurt' is sufficient to attract S. 307 I.P.C, the Supreme Court held. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that, if the assailant acts with the intention or knowledge that such action might cause death, and hurt is caused, then the provisions of Section 307 I.P.C. would be applicable.

    SC-ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act: Sentence Less Than The Minimum Prescribed By The Act Cannot Be Imposed

    State of Madhya Pradesh V. Vikram Das

    The Supreme Court observed that a sentence lesser than the minimum sentence prescribed by the statute cannot be imposed. The court was dealing with an appeal against High court order which had reduced a convict's sentence to period already undergone.

    138 NI Act- Subsequent Filling Of An Unfilled Signed Cheque Is Not An Alteration

    Bir Singh V. Mukesh Kumar

    The Supreme Court has held that subsequent filling in of an unfilled signed cheque is not an alteration and even a blank cheque leaf, voluntarily signed and handed over by the accused, which is towards some payment, would attract presumption under Section 139 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, in the absence of any cogent evidence to show that the cheque was not issued in discharge of a debt.

    Private Complaint Alleging Offence Under Section 193 IPC Not Maintainable

    SH Narendra Kumar Srivastava V. State of Bihar

    The Supreme Court reiterated that a private complaint alleging an offence under Section 193 IPC [False Evidence in Judicial Proceedings] is not maintainable. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer upheld the Patna High Court order that had set aside a Magistrate's order taking cognizance of the offence under the said provision on the basis of a private complaint.

    Proof Of Grievous/Life Threatening Hurt Not Necessary For Conviction Under Section 307 IPC [Attempt To Murder]

    The State of Madhya Pradesh V. Kanha @ Omprakash

    The Supreme Court observed that proof of grievous or life-threatening hurt is not a sine qua non for the offence under Section 307 [Attempt to Murder] of the Indian Penal Code. The bench comprising Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah set aside the Madhya Pradesh High Court judgment that had acquitted the accused from attempt to murder charges on the ground that there was no evidence to prove that the injuries caused to the deceased were grievous in nature or life-threatening.

    Magistrate Is Not Required To Record Reasons For Summoning Accused in Cases Instituted On Police Report

    State of Gujarat V. Afroz Mohammed Hasanfatta

    Allowing appeal against a Gujarat High Court Judgment the bench of Justices R. Banumati and Indira Banerjee has explained the procedure to be adopted by a Magistrate in a case instituted upon a Police Report. The Bench observed that in summoning the accused, it is not necessary for the Magistrate to examine the merits and demerits of the case and whether the materials collected is adequate for supporting the conviction.

    Inability To Establish Motive In A Case Of Circumstantial Evidence Not Always Fatal

    Sukhpal Singh V. State of Punjab

    The inability of the prosecution to establish motive in a case of circumstantial evidence is not always fatal to the prosecution case, held the Supreme Court. The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and K M Joseph held so while dismissing a criminal appeal.

    Successive Applications For Recalling Witnesses Should Not Be Encouraged

    Swapan Kumar Chatterjee vs. CBI

    The Supreme Court observed that filing of successive applications for recall of a witness under Section 311 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should not be encouraged. The Bench comprising of Justice AK Sikri and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer were considering the appeal against a Calcutta High Court order which upheld the Trial Court order allowing the application filed by the prosecution for summoning a hand writing expert in a corruption case, the trial of which started in 1985!

    Mere Inability To Repay Loan Does Not Constitute 'Cheating'

    Satishchandra Ratanlal Shah vs. State of Gujarat

    The Supreme Court observed that inability of a person to return the loan amount cannot give rise to a criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or diishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction. The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar was dealing with an appeal against a High Court order refusing to quash summons issued to the accused in a cheating case.

    Evidence Of Police Officials Can't Be Disregarded Merely Because It Was Not Supported By Independent Witnesses

    Kripal Singh V. State of Rajasthan

    The Supreme Court observed that there is no legal proposition that the evidence of police officials unless supported by independent witness is unworthy of acceptance or the evidence of police officials can be outrightly disregarded. The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi was dealing with contention in a criminal appeal (against conviction in a murder case) that the recovery memos has been attested by the police personnel themselves with no independent witnesses and a presumption with regard to statement by police officer as independent evidence cannot be presumed under Section 114 of the Evidence Act.

    'Voluntary Provocation' Cannot Attract Exception To Offence Of Murder

    State of Uttar Pradesh V. Faquirey

    The Supreme Court observed that if the provocation was voluntary on the part of the accused, it would not attract exception 1 to Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code (Exception to the offence of murder). The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjay KishanKaul set aside a High Court judgment that had converted the conviction of the accused from under Section 302 IPC to Section 304 Part I, IPC.

    Criminal Complaints Cannot Be Quashed Merely Because Allegations Appear To Be Of A Civil Nature

    Sau. Kamal ShivajiPokarnekar V. State of Maharashtra

    The Supreme Court observed that criminal complaints cannot be quashed only on the ground that the allegations made therein appear to be of a civil nature. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah said that, if the ingredients of the offence alleged against the accused are prima facie made out in the complaint, the criminal proceeding shall not be interdicted by invoking powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

    Section 482 CrPC: HC Should Examine Whether The Complaint Is A Civil Dispute Cloaked With Criminal Nature

    Prof. R. K. Vijayasarathy& Anr. V. Sudha Seetharam & Anr

    The Supreme Court reiterated that a High Court, while exercising jurisdiction under 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, can examine whether a matter which is essentially of a civil nature has been given a cloak of a criminal offence

    Magistrate Shall Specify Whether Sentences Awarded Would Run Concurrently Or Consecutively in The Order

    Gagan Kumar V. State of Punjab

    The Supreme Court held that it is a mandatory legal requirement to specify whether sentences awarded to an accused convicted for two or more offences, would run concurrently or consecutively.

    Proof Of 'Common Intention' Necessary To Alter Conviction From Section 149 IPC To Section 34 IPC

    Mala Singh V. State of Haryana

    The Supreme Court observed that, while convicting accused by altering charge from Section 149 IPC to Section 34 IPC, their 'common intention' should be proved. Eleven accused were convicted by the Trial Court for committing murder of one lady. In the appeal filed by the accused, the High Court acquitted eight persons from all the charges whereas dismissed the appeal in respect of three accused persons, and upheld their conviction by taking recourse to Section 34 IPC.

    Section 456 CrPC: Limitation Of 30 Days Would Not Apply If Trial Court Had Already Ordered Restoration Of Possession

    Mahesh Dube v. Shivbodh DubeI

    The Supreme Court observed that the limitation of 30 days would not apply in preferring an application under Section 456 of the Criminal Procedure Code seeking restoration of immovable property, if the Trial Court had passed an order directing to handover the case property to the, while convicting the accused.

    Accused Can't Be Kept In Custody For A Long Time Citing 'Possible Sentence Of Imprisonment'

    Rameshwar Yadav @ Umesh Singh V. State of Bihar

    Observing that 'Possible Sentence Of Imprisonment' is not a ground for deferment of bail after a long time in custody, the Supreme Court granted bail to a man who is in custody since last July.

    SC Frees Rape Accused Finding That He Was Juvenile At The Time Of Incident

    Raju V. State of Haryana

    The Supreme Court acquitted a rape accused, after it found that he was a juvenile at the time of the incident. The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, and Justice Indira Banerjee ordered his release, considering the fact that he already spent 6 years in jail. The maximum period for which a juvenile may be sent to a special home is only 3 years as per Section 15(1)(g) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

    Civil Matters

    Decree Passed On Plaintiff's Evidence Without Defendant's Appearance At Trial Is Ex-Parte Decree

    Ratna Raj by LRs vs Sri Muthukumaraswamy Permanent Fund Ltd

    The Supreme Court held that a decree passed after taking plaintiff's evidence, without the appearance of defendant at the trial stage, is an ex-parte decree, which could be set aside under Order IX Rule 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The bench of Justice A M Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari passed the order in an appeal against a High Court judgment, which set aside a preliminary decree under Order IX Rule 13 CPC.

    Casual Act Of Possession Over Property Does Not Confer 'Possessory Title' Poona Ram vs. Moti Ram

    Holding that possessory title over property cannot be claimed merely on the basis of 'casual possession', the Supreme Court observed that a casual act of possession does not have the effect of interrupting the possession of the rightful owner.

    Mutation Of Land In Revenue Records Do Not Create Title Over Land

    Bhimabai Mahadeo Kambekar V. Arthur Import and Export Company

    Mutation of a land in the revenue records does not create or extinguish the title over land nor does it have any presumptive value on the title and it only enables the person in whose favour mutation if ordered to pay the land revenue in question, the Supreme Court has reiterated. A bench of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice R Subhash Reddy said so while deciding an appeal against a Bombay High Court order on a dispute arising out of entries made in the revenue records in relation to the disputed land.

    Mere Agreement To Sell The Leased Property To Tenant Would Not Terminate Landlord-Tenant Relationship

    H. K. Sharma V. Sri Ram lal

    The Supreme Court observed that mere agreement to sell the property of the landlord to the tenant would not result in termination of landlord-tenant relationship between the parties unless there is a stipulation in the agreement itself to that effect.

    Legality Of Main Order Cannot Be Challenged In An Appeal Filed Only Against Review Order

    Asharfi Devi V. State of UP

    The Supreme Court observed that legality of a main order passed by the High court cannot be examined in an appeal filed only against the order passed in review petition. The bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari noted that the writ petitioner never challenged the legality and correctness of the main order dated 14.03.2008 passed in the writ petition but confined her challenge only to the order dated 16.12.2008 passed in the review application.

    Insurer Bound By 'Sum Insured'; Depreciation To Be Applied Only For Post Policy Period

    Sumit Kumar SahaV.Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd.

    In a significant judgment on insurance law, the Supreme Court held that an insurer cannot deviate from the 'sum insured' in the policy, and can apply depreciation only on the sum insured, that too only for the post-policy period and not for any period prior to it. The judgment was delivered by a bench of Justices U U Lalit and R Subash Reddy, in an appeal challenging the order of National Consumer Redressal Commission.

    Section 38 Specific Relief Act: Plaintiff Has To Prove His Actual Possession On The Date Of Filing The Suit

    Balakrishna Dattatraya Galande V. Balakrishna Rambharose Gupta

    The Supreme Court observed that in a suit filed under Section 38 of the Specific Relief Act, permanent injunction can be granted only to a person who is in actual possession of the property on the date of suit.

    Suit In Respect To Properties Situated In Jurisdiction Of Different Courts Can Be Instituted In One Of Those Courts

    Shivnarayan V. Manik Lal

    The Supreme Court observed that, a suit in respect to immovable property or properties situate in jurisdiction of different courts may be instituted in any court within whose local limits of jurisdiction, any portion of the property or one or more properties may be situated. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph observed that interpretation of word "portion of the property" in Section 17 CPC cannot only be understood in a limited and restrictive sense of being portion of one property situated in jurisdiction of two courts.

    Civil Court Has No Jurisdiction When There Is A Dispute As To Whether Suit Property Is Wakf Or Not

    Punjab Wakf Board V. Sham Singh Harike

    The Supreme Court observed that when issue in the suit is as to whether suit property is Wakf property or not, it is required to be decided by the Tribunal and the Civil Court would have no jurisdiction. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph were considering appeals filed by Punjab Wakf Board against two orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in different cases.

    Is Amendment Of Pleadings Allowed After Commencement Of Trial? SC Explains

    M. Revanna vs. Anjanamma

    The Supreme Court, in a judgment explained when and on what considerations an application for amendment of pleadings filed after commencement of Trial, can be allowed. The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar observed that, while dealing with such an application, the courts have to consider whether it is bona fide or mala fide and whether it causes such prejudice to the other side which cannot be compensated adequately in terms of money.

    Second Appeal: Obligatory For HC To Frame Substantial Question Of Law Even If Lower Courts' Findings Are Perverse Per Se, Rules SC

    Sreedevi V.Sarojam

    The Supreme Court observed that it is obligatory for a High Court, while considering a Second Appeal, to frame substantial question of law in second appeal even if lower courts' findings are perverse per se. The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi set aside a Kerala High Court order, on the ground that it decided the Second Appeal without formulating any substantial question of law.

    Sec.43 TP Act - Transfer By Erroneous Representation Of Title Will Hold Good If Transferor Acquires Title Later

    Tanu Ram Bora V. Pramod Ch. Das

    Applying the principle of "feeding the grant by estoppel" under Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act, the Supreme Court granted relief to a party, who was misled to purchase a property by erroneous representation of title by the vendor.

    Irregularity In Local Commissioner's Report Not A Ground To Dismiss The Suit: SC

    Ram Lal V. Salig Ram

    The Supreme Court observed that a civil suit could not be dismissed merely for some irregularity in the report of the Local Commissioner appointed for local investigation.

    Section 115 CPC: Revision Petition Not Maintainable Against Interlocutory Orders

    Tek Singh V. Shashi Verma

    The Supreme Court reiterated that revision petitions filed under Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure are not maintainable against interlocutory orders. We are constrained to observe that every legal canon has been thrown to the winds, this is how the bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran described the impugned judgment in the appeal which allowed a revision petition against an interlocutory order.


    CAT Chairman Cannot Stay Pending Proceedings Before A Larger Bench

    All India Institute of Medical Sciences vs. Sanjiv Chaturvedi

    The Supreme Court observed that the Chairman of Central Administrative Tribunal, sitting singly, cannot stay proceedings pending before a larger Bench. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee observed that, the Chairman acting judicially is equal to any other Member and is 'one amongst equals'.

    Existence Of Parity Between Two Allowances For Several Years Does Not Mean It Should Continue In Future Also

    Union of India V. Captain Gurdev Singh & Anr

    The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar observed thus while setting aside a High Court judgment that directed the Union of India and the Ministries of Defence, External Affairs and Finance, to award parity between the Bhutan Compensatory Allowance payable to the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) posted in Bhutan, and the Foreign Allowance payable to Indian diplomatic personnel serving in Bhutan under the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

    Stale Claim By Employee Doesn't Become 'Live Claim' Merely By Filing Belated Representation

    Union of India vs. C. Girija

    The Supreme Court observed that a stale claim of an employee does not become a live claim merely by filing representations before the employer belatedly. In this case , the claim of the railway employee for inclusion of her name in the select panel, which was issued on 09.01.2001, was first raked up by her, by filing representation on 25.09.2007. As the representation was rejected, the employee had approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, which ruled in her favour.

    Bank Employee Has No Right To Be Associated With Decision Making Process For Fixation Of Salary

    The State Bank of India V. Ravindra Nath

    The Supreme Court observed that the employee of a Bank has no right that he should be associated with the decision-making process in respect of the fixation of salary. The bench comprising Justice UdayUmesh Lalit and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that the Officer of the Bank is bound by the salary structure approved by the Bank for its Officers and the decision of the Standing Committee is a part of the decision-making in respect of salary payable to the employees of the Bank.

    Haryana Liquor License Rules: Fin. Commissioner Not Competent To Determine Number Of Licences In The State

    International Spirits and Wines Association of India V. State of Haryana & Ors.

    The Supreme Court struck down Rule 24(i-eeee) of the Haryana Liquor License Rules 1970, holding that the same is ultra vires the Punjab Excise Act, 1914. The majority (CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha) observed that the Financial Commissioner was not competent to amend the Rules with regard to grant of number of licences for the entire state, and which power was exclusive to the State Government under Section 6 read with Section 13(a) and 58(2)(e) of the Act.

    SC Enhances Compensation To Mother Of A Victim Of Medical Negligence Who Is In Vegetative State For A Decade

    Shilaben Ashwinkumar Rana V. Bhavin K.Shah& Anr.

    In a relief to mother of an unfortunate victim of medical negligence who continues to live in the vegetative state for about ten years, the Supreme Court enhanced the compensation awarded by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum by Rupees Seven Lakhs.

    Law Must Adopt Patient Centric Approach : SC Awards 15L Compensation To The Husband Of Medical Negligence Victim

    Arun Kumar Manglik V. Chirayu Health and Medicare Pvt. Ltd

    Our law must take into account advances in medical science and ensure that a patient-centric approach is adopted, observed Justice Chandrachud in a judgment delivered. The Apex Court bench, also comprising of Justice Hemant Gupta, was considering an appeal against an order of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission that had set aside an order of the Madhya Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission holding Doctor and Director of a Hospital guilty of medical negligence.

    Central Info Commissioner Should Have The Status Of Chief Election Commissioner; Do Not Select Bureaucrats Only For The Post

    Anjali Bharadwaj &Ors. V. Union of India &Ors.

    The Supreme Court issued a slew of directives regarding the filling up of vacancies in Central and State Information Commissions under Right To Information Act. The directions were passed in a petition filed by RTI Activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore LokeshBatra and AmritJohri seeking expeditious filing up of vacancies in Information Commissions.

    Non-Examination Of 'Best Witness' Not Fatal In MACT Cases

    Sunita vs. Rajasthan State Transport Corporation

    The Supreme Court observed that non examination of 'best witness' in Motor Accident Claim cases is not fatal. The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi observed that a hyper technical and trivial approach should not be adopted in a case for compensation under the Act, in connection with a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of a family member.

    SC Relief To A Litigant Who Suffered Ex-Parte Decree Due To Bar Association's Call For Court Boycott

    A.Murugesan V. Smt. Jamuna Rani

    "It is unprofessional as well as unbecoming for a lawyer who has accepted a brief to refuse to attend Court even in pursuance of a call for strike or boycott by the Bar Association or the Bar Council.", the Supreme Court said in Ex-Capt. Harish Uppalvs Union Of India, in the year 2002. But calls for court boycott/strike still continue unabated and obviously it is the litigant who suffers. Recently, the Supreme Court set aside an ex-parte decree passed by Sub-court, Chidambaram, in 2009, providing relief to the defendant who suffered the ex-parte decree because of a court-boycott call by Bar Association.

    No Obligation On State Govt. To Always Adopt Dearness Allowance As Revised By Centre

    Tamil Nadu Electricity Board V. TNEB Tozhilalar AykkiyaSangam

    The Supreme Court observed that there is no obligation on the State Government to always adopt the Dearness Allowance as revised by the Central Government. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee was considering appeal against Madras High Court order that directed Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to pay Dearness Allowance at the rate of 49% w.e.f. 01.01.2002 to its employees on par with the Central Government employees.

    Can Report of Child-Counsellor Be Relied to Determine Custody/Guardianship Issues? SC Answers

    Perry Kansagra V. Smriti Madan Kansagra

    The Supreme Court held that a report submitted by child-counsellor about his interaction with the child, can be relied upon by the Courts (in Delhi) to determine custody/guardianship issues.

    ESI Act: Company Directors, Who Receive Remuneration, Are Also 'Employees'

    Employees' State Insurance Corporation vs. Venus Alloy Pvt. Ltd.

    The Supreme Court held that Directors of Company, who are receiving remuneration, comes within the purview of "employee" under sub-section (9) of Section 2 of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948.

    Lieutenant General (Rtd) Cannot Be Tried In A General Court Martial Consisting Of Members Below His Rank

    Ex.Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash V. Union of India

    The Supreme Court observed that an army officer holding the rank of Lieutenant General cannot be tried by the General Court Martial (GCM) consisting of members below his rank. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, was considering an appeal filed by Ex. Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash who was dismissed from service by the GCM for his alleged involvement in 'Sukna Land Scam'.

    Arbitral Tribunal Cannot Award Interest If Agreement expressly Bars Its Payment

    Jaiprakash Associates LTd. V. Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Ltd.

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that arbitrator cannot award interest on award if the agreement expressly prohibits grant of interest. The bench of Justices A K Sikri, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah dismissed an appeal to uphold a judgment of Delhi High Court, which had set aside an arbitration award to the extent it granted interest overlooking the prohibition in the agreement.

    Writ Courts Can Order Revaluation Even When There Is No Provision For It

    High Court of Tripura vs. Tirtha Sarathi Mukherjee

    The Supreme Court held that a writ court is not powerless in 'rare and exceptional' cases to order revaluation even in cases where there is no provision for revaluation. The benchcomprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph set aside the High court judgment on the other grounds raised in the appeal.

    Court Has To Confine Itself To The Four Corners Of 'Disobeyed' Order While Exercising Contempt Jurisdiction

    ER. K. Arumugam vs. V. Balakrishnan

    The Supreme Court reiterated that, while exercising the contempt jurisdiction, the court has to confine itself to the four corners of the order alleged to have been disobeyed. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice R. Subhash Reddy made this observation in an appeal challenging a Madras High Court order in a contempt case, which passed directions beyond the order allegedly disobeyed.

    Haj-HGOs Policy 2019- 2023: Courts Are Ill-Equipped To Substitute Policy Decisions By Executive, Says SC

    Federation Haj PTOs of India V. Union of India

    While disposing of writ petitions challenging certain conditions in the Policy for Haj Group Organisers for Haj 2019-23, the Supreme Court observed that it is not within the realm of the courts to go into the issue as to whether there could have been a better policy. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah observed that in complex social, economic and commercial matters, decisions have to be taken by governmental authorities keeping in view several factors and it is not possible for the courts to consider competing and to conclude which way the balance tilts.

    Liberty Granted By Court To Pursue Appropriate Remedy Does Not Bar Application Of Constructive Res Judicata

    Asgar vs. Mohan Verma

    The Supreme Court observed that liberty granted by court to avail 'appropriate remedies' to a party does not bar application of principle of constructive res judicata when he/she invokes such a remedy. In this case

    Job Experience As Assistant Company Secretary/Management Trainee Cannot Be Treated 'As' That Of Company Secretary

    Ritu Bhatia V. Ministry of Civil supplies consumer affairs & Public Distribution

    The Supreme Court observed that Job Experience as Assistant Company Secretary or a Management Trainee cannot be treated 'as' that of a Company Secretary. The issue before the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah was whether, the period during which a candidate worked as 'Management Trainee' and/or 'Assistant Company Secretary' be considered for treating him/her been appointed 'as' a Company Secretary, when the eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement stipulated experience of five years 'as' a Company Secretary and/or, can it be said that.

    Revenue Record Entries Can Be Challenged On The Ground That It Was Made Fraudulently Or Surreptitiously

    Dharam Singh vs. Prem Singh

    The Supreme Court reiterated that the entries in the revenue records can be challenged on the ground that it was made fraudulently or surreptitiously. The bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph agreed with the High Court view that although correctness of entries in the revenue records cannot be challenged but entries are open to attack on the ground that it was made fraudulently or surreptitiously

    Edible oil, Vanaspati and Sugar Are 'Agricultural Produce': SC Dismisses Britannia's Appeal

    Britannia Industries Ltd. V.Bombay Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee

    Dismissing Britannia's appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the Bombay High Court ruling that "edible oil", "Vanaspati" and "sugar" are 'agricultural produce' within the meaning of Section 2(1) (a) of the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1963.

    'Long Pendency' Amounts To A 'Special Reason' For Imposing Lesser Penalty In Corruption Case Involving Meager Bribe Amount

    Ambi Ram V. State of Uttarakhand

    The Supreme Court reduced punishment imposed on a man who was convicted for receiving a bribe of Rs. 1200 in the year 1985, to 'period already undergone'.

    Plea Of Maintainability Cannot Be Raised For First Time In Appeal, Revision Or Art.227 Proceedings

    Deepak Tandon&Anr. V. Rajesh Kumar Gupta

    The Supreme Court bench of Justices A M Sapre and Dinesh Maheswarifound fault with a judgment of Allahabad High Court for setting aside an eviction order on the ground of maintainability, which was raised for the first time in HC in proceedings under Article 227 of the Constitution of India

    Was He A Juvenile At The Time Of Occurrence? SC Asks 18 Years After Affirming Death Sentence

    Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary V. State of Maharashtra

    The Supreme Court directed the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Pune, to decide the juvenility of a murder convict at the time of commission of offence, whose death sentence was upheld by the Apex court in the year 2000.

    Don't Deprive Litigants Of Valuable Rights Just For Their Lawyer's Default The Commissioner, Mysore Urban Development Authority V. S.S.Sarvesh

    Emphasizing the need to do 'substantial justice', the Supreme Court observed that valuable right of a litigant to prosecute an appeal should not be deprived merely because of non-appearance of his lawyer.

    SC Upholds Constitutional Validity Of UP Higher Judicial Service Rules Stipulating Cut Off Dates And Age Limit

    Hirandra Kumar V. High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

    The Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutional validity of Rule 12 of the Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1975 which provides cut-off date for the fulfillment of the age criterion (35-45), as the first day of January next following the year in which the notice inviting applications is published.

    Maintainability Of Execution Case To Be Considered Along With Issue Of Enforceability Of Foreign Award

    LMJ International Ltd. V. Sleepwell Industries Co. Ltd.

    The Supreme Court observed that piecemeal consideration of the issue of maintainability of the execution case concerning the foreign awards, in the first place; and then the issue of enforceability thereof, is not envisaged under the scheme of Section 48 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

    Pre-Emptive Judicial Strikes Against Army's Disciplinary Jurisdiction Unwarranted

    Union of India V. Lt. Colonel Dharamvir Singh

    The Supreme Court observed that High Court should not preempt the exercise of disciplinary jurisdiction of the Armed forces by taking over the essential function of determining whether or not recourse to the disciplinary jurisdiction was warranted. The bench comprising Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta was considering appeal filed by Union of India against a Manipur High Court order, which according to it, virtually pre-empts the disciplinary jurisdiction of the competent authority in respect of an officer governed by the Army Act 1950.

    Independent Assessment Of Merits Of Award Cannot Be Made In An Arbitration Appeal

    MMTC Ltd. vs. Vedanta Ltd.

    The Supreme Court observed that, a court while considering an appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, cannot undertake an independent assessment of the merits of the award. The bench comprising Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice Vineet Saran observed that, in such appeals, the court must only ascertain that the exercise of power by the Court under Section 34 has not exceeded the scope of the provision.

    Relaxation Of Recruitment Rules Impermissible If The Advertisement Did Not Mention About It

    Sanjay K. Dixit V. State of Uttar Pradesh

    The Supreme Court held that the exercise of the power of relaxation of Recruitment Rules cannot be done if the existence of such power was not mentioned in the advertisement.

    SC Upholds Dismissal Of Air Force Officer Accused Of Having Sexual Intercourse With Colleague's Minor Daughter

    FLT. LT. S Mahendra V. Union of India

    The Supreme Court upheld dismissal of a Flight Lieutenant of Indian Air Force in view of allegations of his sexual intercourse with a minor daughter of his colleague. After the Court of Inquiry report on the allegations made by his colleague, it was held that it was not practicable to hold a General Court Martial particularly in view of the vulnerability of the minor victim.

    "You Cannot Compare Those In Army With Those Who Want To Race": SC Rejects Plea By Sikh Cyclist

    A turbaned Sikh, barred from participating in a sporting event without a helmet or protective gear, cannot claim discrimination or interference with his religious rights, the Supreme Court. A bench of Justices S A Bobde, S K Kaul and Deepak Gupta also took strong exception to the submission of petitioner Jagdeep Singh Puri that if Army can allow a Sikh to wear a turban on the line of duty, how can the organisers of a sporting event object.

    SC Declines To Interfere In Nageswar Rao's Appointment As CBI Interim Chief

    Common Cause V. Union of India

    The Supreme Court bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Naveen Sinha dismissed the petition filed by Common Cause and RTI Activist Anjali Bharadwaj questioning the appointment of M Nageswar Rao as interim director of the CBI. The bench said that no interference was called for as full time CBI director has already been appointed. The bench also refused to accept the petitioners' prayer for directions to bring in more transparency in the appointment process.

    Candidates For Main Judicial Exam To Be Selected From Prelims In 1: 10 Ratio Of Vacancies; SC Strikes Down Rule 5A Bihar Rules.

    Rahul Dutta V. State of Bihar

    In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court

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