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Supreme Court Monthly Digest: June 2022

Shruti Kakkar
6 July 2022 4:34 AM GMT
Supreme Court Monthly Digest: June 2022
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  1. Pension Is A Continuous Cause Of Action; Arrears Can't Be Denied On Ground Of Delay : Supreme Court

Case Name: Shri M.L.Patil (Dead) Through LRs v. State of Goa And Anr.| Civil Appeal No. 4100 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 537

The Supreme Court, recently, held that arrears of pension cannot be denied on the ground of delay in approaching the Court as pension is a continuous cause of action. A Bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna set aside the order of the High Court to the extent it denied arrears of pension. It held that the appellant are entitled to pension at the revised rates from the day they turn 60. Furthermore, arrears of pension were directed to be paid to the appellant within a period of four weeks.

  1. GUJCOTOC Act Can't Be Invoked If Only One Chargesheet Has Been Filed Against Accused : Supreme Court

Case Title: Mohamad Iliyas Mohamad Bilal Kapadiya V. The State Of Gujarat

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 538

Opining that for invoking the provisions of the draconian Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act, 2015, it is necessary that more than one charge-sheet must have been filed in respect of an activity which can be said to have been undertaken by one as a member of an organised crime syndicate on behalf of such syndicate, the Supreme Court on Monday released the petitioner on bail.

The bench of Justices B. R. Gavai and Hima Kohli was hearing an SLP against the January decision of the Gujarat High Court rejecting the application filed by the petitioner/applicant for grant of bail in connection with a 2021 FIR for offense under Sections 3(1)(2), 3(2) and 3(4) of the GUJCTOC Act.

  1. "For Benefit Of Devotees" : Supreme Court Dismisses Pleas Challenging Construction Activities In Puri Jagannath Temple By Odisha Govt

Case Title: Ardhendu Kumar Das vs State of Odisha & ors, Sumanta Kumar Ghadei vs State of Orissa & Ors

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 539

The Supreme Court dismissed two petitions filed against the construction and redevelopment works undertaken by the Odisha Government at the iconic Shree Jagannath Temple premises at Puri. Terming the petitions as frivolous and contrary to public interest, the Court dismissed them with a cost of Rupees one lakh each.

"In the recent past it is noticed that there's a mushrooming growth of PILs.Many such petitions are either publicity interest litigation or personal interest litigation. We deprecate the practice of filing such PIL as it is a waste of judicial time and it needs to be nipped in the bud so that development work is not stalled", the bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Hima Kohli observed.

Also Read: Construction Of Essential Facilities Like Toilets, Water Supply Permissible In Prohibited Areas Near Archaeological Monuments : Supreme Court

Frivolous PILs Should Be Nipped In Bud; They Encroach Judicial Time, Stall Development Activities : Supreme Court

  1. Supreme Court Mandates Minimum 1 KM ESZ For Protected Forests; Bans Permanent Structures There; No Mining In Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks

Case Title : In Re : TN Godavarman Thirumalpad versus Union of India

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 540

In a significant order, the Supreme Court directed that each protected forest should have an Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of 1 kilometer. The Court further directed that no permanent structure will be allowed within the ESZ. Mining within national wildlife sanctuary or national park cannot be permitted and thus will not be allowed.

If the existing ESZ goes beyond the 1 km buffer zone or if any statutory instrument prescribes a higher limit, then such an extended boundary shall prevail. A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and Aniruddha Bose passed the directions in applications filed in the TN Godavarman Thirumulpad case.

  1. NCLT/NCLAT Should Not Sit In Appeal Over Commercial Wisdom Of CoC To Allow Withdrawal Of CIRP : Supreme Court

Case Name: Vallal Rck v. M/s. Siva Industries And Holdings Limited And Ors| Civil Appeal Nos. 1811-1812 of 2022

Citation: 2022 SC LiveLaw 441

The Supreme Court held that when 90% or more of the creditors decide that it will be in the interest of all the stake­holders to permit Settlement Plan filed by promoter of the Corporate Debtor and withdraw Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process as per Section 12A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the adjudicating authority (NCLT) or the appellate authority (NCLAT) cannot sit in appeal over such commercial wisdom of Committee of Creditors (CoC).

  1. "Totally Misread The Judgment": SC Sets Aside Bombay HC Judgment That Dismissed A Writ Petition In A Tender Matter By Citing 'N. G. Projects Ltd.' Case

Case Title: Jai Bholenath Construction vs Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad Nanded | CA 4140 OF 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 542

The Supreme Court set aside a Bombay High Court judgment which dismissed a writ petition by referring to observations made in M/s N. G. Projects Ltd. Vs. M/s Vinod Kumar Jain and others, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 302. We find that the High court has totally misread the Judgment of this Court, the bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian observed.

  1. Conviction Cannot Be Based Solely On The Testimony Of A Wholly Unreliable Witness : Supreme Court

Case Title: Mahendra Singh vs State of MP | CrA 764 OF 2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 543

The Supreme Court observed that when the Court finds that a witness is "wholly unreliable", neither conviction nor acquittal can be based on the testimony of such a witness. Bench comprising Justices BR Gavai and Hima Kohli referred to Vadivelu Thevar vs. The State of Madras (1957) SCR 981and observed:

"It could thus be seen that this Court has found that witnesses are of three types, viz., (a) wholly reliable; (b) wholly unreliable; and (c) neither wholly reliable nor wholly unreliable. When the witness is "wholly reliable", the Court should not have any difficulty inasmuch as conviction or acquittal could be based on the testimony of such a single witness. Equally, if the Court finds that the witness is "wholly unreliable", there would be no difficulty inasmuch as neither conviction nor acquittal can be based on the testimony of such witness. It is only in the third category of witnesses that the Court has to be circumspect and has to look for corroboration in material particulars by reliable testimony, direct or circumstantial."

  1. Tribunals Like NGT Are Subordinate To A High Court ; Conflicting Orders Will Lead To Anomalous Situation: Supreme Court

Case Title: State of Andhra Pradesh vs Raghu Rama Krishna Raju Kanumuru (MP) | CA 4522-­4524 OF 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 544

The Supreme Court observed that the Tribunals like National Green Tribunal are subordinate to High Courts.

"There can be no manner of doubt that in such a situation, it is the orders passed by the constitutional courts, which would be prevailing over the orders passed by the statutory tribunals.", the bench comprising Justices B R Gavai observed.

  1. When Remedy Under Statute Is Available, High Court Should Discourage Writs: Supreme Court Reiterates

Case Title: Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited v Dilip Bhosale| SLP (C) 13241 of 2019

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 545

The Supreme Court recently reiterated that when a remedy under the statute is available, filing of a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution is to be discouraged by the High Court. The bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi & Vikram Nath rendered this observation while considering SLP preferred by secured creditor assailing Telangana HC's orders passed in a SARFAESI matter.

  1. High Courts Not To Enquire If There Is Reliable Evidence While Exercising Section 482 CrPC Jurisdiction : Supreme Court

Case Title: Jagmohan Singh V. Vimlesh Kumar & Ors.

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 546

Reiterating that "the Court interferes in criminal proceedings under Cr. P. C. Section 482, in rare and exceptional cases, to give effect to the provisions of the Cr.P.C. or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice", the Supreme Court has stressed that criminal proceedings can be said to be in abuse of the process of court "when the allegations in the FIR do not at all disclose any offense or there are materials on record from which the Court can reasonably arrive at a finding that the proceedings are in abuse of the process of the Court"

The Court has added, "While exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., the High Court should not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry into whether there is reliable evidence or not. The jurisdiction has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution only when such exercise is justified by the specific provisions of Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. itself."

  1. Income, Age, Bigger Family Cannot Be Sole Criteria In Child- Custody Matters : Supreme Court

Case Title: Swaminathan Kunchu Acharya vs State of Gujarat | CrA 898 OF 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 547

The Supreme Court observed that income, age , bigger family cannot be the sole criteria to tilt balance in child- custody cases. The bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose observed thus while it granted custody of a five year boy who lost his parents due to covid to his paternal grandfather.

While agreeing with the submissions made by the appellant-grand father, the court observed:

"There cannot be any presumption that the maternal aunt being unmarried having an independent income; younger than the paternal grandparents and having a bigger family would take better care than the paternal grandparents. In our society still the paternal grandparents would always take better care of their grandson. One should not doubt the capacity and/or ability of the paternal grandparents to take care of their grandson. It is said that the grandparents love the interest rather than the principle. Emotionally also the grandparents will always take better care of their grandson. Grandparents are more emotionally attached with grandchildren."

  1. NEET PG 2021: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea For Special Stray Round Of Counselling

Case Title: Astha Goel v Medical Counseling Committee | WP(C) 409 OF 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 548

The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea seeking a Special Stray Round of counseling for NEET-PG 2021, to allow the candidates to participate for vacant seats available after the conduct of a stray vacant round of AIQ.

A Bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose observed, "When a conscious decision has been taken by the Union of India and Medical Council of India for not conducting any special stray rounds of counseling, it cannot be considered arbitrary."

It added, "Quality of medical education cannot be compromised which affects public health. Petitioners are not entitled to relief. Granting the relief now may affect medical Education and health."

  1. No Need To File Separate Final Decree Proceedings In Partition Suit ; Trial Courts Should Proceed Suo Motu Soon After Passing Preliminary Decree: Supreme Court

Case Title: Kattukandi Edathil Krishnan vs Kattukandi Edathil Valsan | CA 6406­-6407 of 2010

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 549

The Supreme Court has directed the Trial Courts dealing with partition suits to proceed suo motu with the case soon after passing the preliminary decree.

"We direct the Trial Courts to list the matter for taking steps under Order XX Rule 18 of the CPC soon after passing of the preliminary decree for partition and separate possession of the property, suo motu and without requiring initiation of any separate proceedings.", the bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath observed.

Also Read: Long Cohabitation Between Man & Woman Raises Strong Presumption In Favour Of Their Marriage: Supreme Court

  1. Order 41 Rule 31 CPC | First Appellate Court Ought To Consider Evidence On Record, In Particular Those Relied Upon By Trial Court: Supreme Court

Case Name: Somakka (Dead) By Lrs. v. K.P. Basavaraj (Dead) By Lrs.

Citation: 2022 Livelaw (SC) 550

The Supreme Court held that, non-consideration of the evidence on record, in particular those relied upon by the Trial Court and not stating the points for determination, by the First Appellant Court would lead to infirmity in its judgment.

The Apex Court reiterated that it is the duty of the First Appellate Court to decide the appeal keeping in view the scope and powers conferred to it under Section 96 read with Order 41 Rule 31 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 ("CPC").

A Bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Vikram Nath set aside an order of the Karnataka High Court and reinstated the decree passed by the Trial Court. It noted that the High Court had neither formed the points for determination nor considered the evidence on record, especially those appreciated by the Trial Court. It was of the view that the judgment of the Appellate court should reflect application of mind and record findings with reason in respect of all the issues, along with the contentions raised by the parties. It held that in the present case, the judgment of the High Court being non-compliant with the requirements of Order 41 Rule 31 was unsustainable in law.

  1. Accused Taking Plea Of Self Defence Need Not Prove It Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Supreme Court

Case Title: Ex. Ct. Mahadev vs Director General, Border Security Force | CA 2606 of 2012

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 551

The Supreme Court observed that an accused who takes up the plea of self defence need not prove it beyond reasonable doubt and that it would suffice if he could show the preponderance of probabilities.

The accused, who was serving in the BSF, had allegedly caused the death of a civilian namely Nandan Deb. General Security Force Court rejected his plea of private defence and held him guilty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (murder) and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for life. Delhi High Court dismissed his appeal and therefore he approached the Apex Court.

  1. Court Fees Act - Market Value Does Not Become Decisive Of Valuation Merely Because Litigation Involves Immovable Property: Supreme Court

Case Name: Bharat Bhushan Gupta v. Pratap Narain Verma And Anr.| Civil Appeal No. 4577 of 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 552

The Supreme Court has held that the nature of relief claimed in a plaint is decisive in the valuation of the suit. Market value does not become decisive of suit valuation merely because immovable property is the subject-matter of litigation. The Apex Court further stated that it is trite law that a suit for mandatory and prohibitory injunction is not required to be valued at the market value of the property.

A Bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath allowed an appeal assailing the order of the Delhi High Court, which had held that the valuation of the suit for the purpose of Court fees and jurisdiction at Rs. 250 for each of the reliefs of mandatory and prohibitory injunction and at Rs. 1 lakh for damages was wholly arbitrary when it is an admitted fact that the value of the property at the time of filing the suit was as high as Rs. 1.8 crores.

  1. 'Estoppel Cannot Override Law' : Supreme Court Accepts Unsuccessful Candidates' Challenge To Selection Process Held Against Regulations

Case Title : Krishna Rai (Dead) Through LRs versus The Benarus Hindu University & Others

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 553

The Supreme Court recently held that the principle of estoppel or acquiescence will not apply in a selection process when it is held contrary to the relevant rules.

A bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Vikram Nath reiterated that "principle of estoppel cannot override the law" and that the procedure in the relevant service manual will prevail over the principle of estoppel or acquiescence.

  1. CrPC Section 220 - How To Decide If Two Or More Acts Form "Same Transaction" For Joint Trial? Supreme Court Explains

Case Name: Ms. P XXX v. State of Uttarakhand And Anr.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 554

The Supreme Court has reiterated that whether two or more acts constitute the same transaction for the purpose of being tried together under Section 220 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C), is purely a question of fact. The reasonable determination of the same would however depend on elements like proximity of time, unity or proximity of place, continuity of action and community of purpose or design.

A Bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath dismissed an appeal assailing the order of the Uttarakhand High Court, which had upheld the decision of the Court of Sessions Judge, Chamoli to discharge the accused in respect of a set of offenses (S. 376 IPC) for want of jurisdiction. The Sessions Court was of the opinion that the offenses alleged by the appellant (one set under S. 376 IPC; and the other under S. 504 and 506 IPC] did not meet the requirement of Section 220 Cr.P.C. for being tried together.

  1. Posting Anticipatory Bail Plea After 2 Months Can't Be Appreciated : Supreme Court Criticises High Court

Case Title: Sanjay V. The State (NCT Of Delhi) & Anr

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 555

Stating that "in a matter involving personal liberty, the Court is expected to pass orders in one way or other taking into account the merits of the matter at the earliest," the Supreme Court has observed that "posting an application for anticipatory bail after a couple of months cannot be ".

  1. S 311 CrPC - Witness Can't Be Recalled Merely Because He Gave A Different Statement In Another Case Relating To Same Incident : Supreme Court

Case Title: Saud Faisal V. State Of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 556

The Supreme Court has held that "merely because a different statement was given by the same prosecution witness in another case relating to the same incident, that itself would not be a reason for recalling the witness under section 311, Cr. P. C."

  1. 'No Probability Of Reformation, Danger To Society' : Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty To Man For Rape & Murder Of 8 Year Old Disabled Girl

Case Title : Manoj Pratap Singh versus State of Rajasthan

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 557

The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty awarded to a 37-year old man for the rape and murder of a seven and a half year old girl who was mentally and physically challenged.

The crime occurred in 2013 in Rajasthan, when the convict Manoj Pratap Singh was around 28 years old.

A 3-judges bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar observed that the crime in question had been of "extreme depravity", particularly looking at the vulnerable state of the victim and also the manner of committing the crime.

Also Read: It Has Never Been The Effort Of Courts To Make Death Penalty Redundant Or Non Existent : Supreme Court

  1. Supreme Court Dismisses Zakia Jafri's Plea Against SIT Clean Chit To Narendra Modi In 2002 Gujarat Riots Larger Conspiracy Case

Case Title: Zakia Ahsan Jafri and another versus State of Gujarat and another | Diary No.34207/2018

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 558

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Ehsan Jafri challenging the closure report filed by SIT discarding the allegations of larger conspiracy by high state functionaries including the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in the Gujarat riots of 2002 that ensued the Godhra train massacre.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar upheld the decision of the Magistrate in accepting the closure report filed by the Special Investigation Team in the larger conspiracy case.

Also Read: Gujarat Riots : Summary Of Supreme Court Judgment Dismissing Zakia Jafri's Plea To Probe "Larger Conspiracy"

Gujarat Riots - Mere Failure Or Inaction Of State Administration No Basis To Infer Conspiracy : Supreme Court In Zakia Jafri's Plea

  1. Preventive Detention Can't Be Invoked For Ordinary Law & Order Situation : Supreme Court

Case Title: SHAIK NAZNEEN v. THE STATE OF TELANGANA & ORS.

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 559

Stressing that the preventive detention law "strikes hard on the freedom and liberty of an individual, and cannot be exercised in a routine manner", the Supreme Court has observed that "the powers to be exercised under this law are exceptional powers which have been given to the government for its exercise in an exceptional situation".

The Court has once again highlighted the distinction that while a law and order situation can be dealt with under the ordinary law of land, it is only when there is a public order situation that the invocation of the powers under the law of Preventive Detention is justified, absent which the preventive detention would be bad and would be in violation of Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution as it encroaches upon the liberty and freedom of an individual.

  1. Seniority Of Munsiff's Must Be Fixed On Basis Of Inter-Se Merit In Selection Test & Not Roster-Points : Supreme Court

Case Title: Manoj Parihar And Ors v. State of Jammu And Kashmir And Ors. SLP(C) No. 11039 of 2022

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 560

The Supreme Court has upheld the order of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court that inter-se seniority for Munsiffs appointed by way of direct recruitment on the recommendation of the State Public Service Commission is to be determined on the basis of their inter-se merit at the time of selection and not roster points.


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