Supreme Court Monthly Digest : March 2020


29 May 2020 7:16 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Monthly Digest : March 2020

    1. Second Complaint On Same Facts Not Maintainable : SC [Read Judgment]A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices UU Lalit & Vineet Saran held that a second complaint on same facts as the first complaint shall not be maintainable. The bench pointed out that if the core of both complaints was same, the second complaint ought not to be maintained.(Case : Samta Naidu and Anr vs State of...

    1. Second Complaint On Same Facts Not Maintainable : SC [Read Judgment]

    A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices UU Lalit & Vineet Saran held that a second complaint on same facts as the first complaint shall not be maintainable.

    The bench pointed out that if the core of both complaints was same, the second complaint ought not to be maintained.

    (Case : Samta Naidu and Anr vs State of MP)

    2. SC Quashes RBI Ban On Banking Services To Cryptocurrency Dealers [Read Judgment]

    In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court lifted the curbs imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on regulated entities such as banks and NBFCs from dealing with virtual currencies and from providing services to crypto businesses.

    A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman,Aniruddha Bose and V Ramasubramanian held that the RBI's circular, which prevented regulated entities from providing banking services to those engaged in the trading or facilitating the trading in VCs, was liable to be set aside on the "ground of proportionality".

    Cryptocurrencies Capable Of Performing Most Functions Of Real Money Though Not Legal Tender : SC

    (Case : Internet and Mobile Association vs Reserve Bank of India)

    3. Immovable Property Cannot Be Seized By Police Under Section 102 CrPC, Reiterates SC [Read Order]

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that an immovable property cannot be seized by Police under Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

    (Case : Downtown Temptations Pvt Ltd vs State of WB, Bench of JJ R F Nariman and Ravindra Bhat )

    4. Section 173(8) CrPC: Courts Not Obliged To Hear Accused While Considering Plea For Further Investigation: SC

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that a court is not obliged to hear the accused before any direction for further investigation is made under Section 173(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

    (Case : Satishkumar Nyalchand Shah vs. State of Gujarat, bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah)

    5. Statement U/s 161 CrPC Inadmissible In Evidence And Cannot Be Relied Upon For Conviction: SC 

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that a statement recorded under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be relied upon or used to convict the accused.

    While setting aside a concurrent conviction in a murder case, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah observed that a statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. can be used only to prove the contradictions and/or omissions.

    (Case name: Parvat Singh Vs.State of Madhya Pradesh)

    6. DRAT Cannot Entertain An Appeal U/s 18 SARFAESI Act Without Insisting On Pre- Deposit: SC

    The Supreme Court has observed that the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal cannot entertain an appeal under Section 18 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, without insisting on pre­-deposit.

    The bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose set aside the judgment of the Bombay High Court that held that no pre-­deposit was required to entertain an appeal by DRAT.


    7. Consumer Forum Has No Power To Extend Time Beyond 45 Days For Opposite Party's Version : SC Constitution Bench

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that the time period for filing opposite party's version in Consumer case cannot be extended beyond the period of 45 days prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act.

    The Court held that Consumer Protection Act 1986 did not empower the Consumer Forum to extend the time beyond the period of 45 days. The time period prescribed under Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act is mandatory, and not directory, held the judgment authored by Justice Vineet Saran for the bench.

    Case : New India Assurance Co Ltd vs Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Pvt Ltd, Bench : Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat)

    8. Appointment Secured On The Basis Of A Fraudulent Caste Certificate Is Void Ab Initio: SC 

    The Supreme Court has observed that an appointment secured on the basis of a fraudulent caste certificate is void ab initio and Government Resolutions and Circulars cannot protect such appointees.

    The bench of Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Sanjeev Khanna was considering an appeal filed against a Bombay High Court judgment.

    Case name: Vijay Kishanrao Kurundkar vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors

    9. Farmer Entering Into Buyback Transaction With Seed Company Is A 'Consumer': SC [Read Judgment]

    The Supreme Court has held that a farmer is a 'consumer' for the purpose of filing complaints under Consumer Protection Act even when he has entered into a buyback

    (Case name: M/S NANDAN BIOMATRIX LTD. VS S. AMBIKA DEVI Coram: Justices Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and R. Subhash Reddy)

    10. Sexual Harassment At Workplace Is An Affront to Women's Fundamental Rights: SC 

    Sexual harassment at the workplace is an affront to the fundamental rights of a woman, the Supreme Court remarked while upholding a High Court judgment that quashed a transfer of a woman bank employee.

    Case name: Punjab and Sind Bank vs. Durgesh Kuwar

    Coram: Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi

    11. Pharmacy Council Alone Has Jurisdiction In The Field Of Pharmacy Education, Not AICTE: SC [Read Judgment]

    The Supreme Court has held that the Pharmacy Council of India shall alone have the Jurisdiction in the field of pharmacy, and not the All India Council for Technical Education.

    The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and MR Shah observed that in the field of Pharmacy Education and more particularly so far as the recognition of degrees and diplomas of Pharmacy Education is concerned, the Pharmacy Act, 1948 shall prevail.

    Case Name: The Pharmacy Council of India vs. Dr. S.K. Toshniwal Educational Trusts Vidarbha Institute

    12. S.138 NI Act: SC Directs RBI To Consider Developing A New Proforma Cheque To Include Purpose Of Payments [Read Order]

    The Supreme Court has recently asked The Reserve Bank of India to consider developing a new proforma of cheques so as to include the purpose of payment, along with other informations to facilitate adjudication of real issues in cheque bounce cases.

    Case : Makwana Mangaldas Tulsidas v State of Gujarat and others

    13. Expeditious Adjudication Of Cheque Bounce Cases: SC Registers Suo Motu Writ Petition

    The Supreme Court has registered a Suo Motu writ petition to evolving a mechanism for expeditious adjudication of Cheque bounce cases.

    The Court was considering a special leave petition arising out of a cheque dishonour complaint that was filed fifteen years ago. At the outset, the bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao remarked:

    "A matter which is supposed to be disposed of summarily by the trial court in six months, it took seven years for this case to be disposed of at the trial court level. A dispute of such nature has remained pending for 15 years in various courts, taking judicial time and space up till this Court" 

    Case : Makwana Mangaldas Tulsidas v State of Gujarat and others

    14. Criminal Law Reforms: Amicus Curiae Submits Draft 'Criminal Rules Of Practice' Before SC 

    Pursuant to the directions issued by the Supreme Court in suo moto proceedings related to inadequacies in criminal trial system, Senior Advocates R Basant and Sidharth Luthra and Advocate K Parameshwar, amici curiae have submitted a Report outlining the 'Draft Rules of Criminal Practice, 2020'.


    15. [Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act] Consent Of Wife, Actual Ceremony Of Adoption Essential For Valid Adoption: SC 

    The Supreme Court has observed that the consent of the wife of the adopter and actual ceremony of adoption is essential for a valid adoption as per Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.

    Case Name: M. Vanaja vs. M. Sarla Devi Case 

    Coram: Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta

    16. Mere Expression 'Place Of Arbitration' Is Not The Basis To Determine 'Seat Of Arbitration': SC [Read Judgment]

    The Supreme Court has observed that mere expression "place of arbitration" cannot be the basis to determine the 'Seat of Arbitration'.

    The bench of Justices R. Banumathi, AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the intention of the parties as to the "seat" should be determined from other clauses in the agreement and the conduct of the parties. The court was concerned with a petition seeking appointment of an arbitrator.



    17. Land Acquisition : No Lapse Of Proceedings Under Old Act If Compensation Is Deposited In Treasury ; SC 5-Judge Bench Upholds Indore Development Authority Decision 

    A 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Friday held that proceedings under the Land Acquisition Act 1894 will not lapse if the compensation has been tendered by deposit in treasury.

    The Court held that land owners cannot insist that the amount should be deposited in Court so as to sustain the land acquisition proceedings under the old Act on the commencement of the new land acquisition law with effect from January 1, 2014.

    Case : Indore Development Authority and others vs Manohar Lal and others

    Coram : Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R shah and S Ravindra Bhat.

    [Land Acquisition] Why SC Read 'OR' In Sec 24(2) As 'AND'/'NOR' In Indore Development Authority Case?


    18. SC Refers To Larger Bench UP Govt's Appeal Against Allahabad HC Order For Removal Of 'Name & Shame' Banners

    A vacation bench of Supreme Court on Thursday referred to three-judge bench the Special Leave Petition filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh against the March 9 judgment of Allahabad High Court which directed the "forthwith" removal of the banners erected by the UP administration in Lucknow revealing the pictures, identities and addresses of persons alleged of committing violence during anti-CAA protests.

    A bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and Aniruddha Bose said that the the matter involves "issues which need further consideration by a bench of sufficient strength" and referred it to larger bench for consideration next week.

    19. 'Guns Licensed For Self Protection Cannot Be Used For Celebratory Firing': SC Expresses Concern About Rising Incidents 

    While sentencing a man accused of killing two persons in a celebratory firing to ten years rigorous imprisonment, the Supreme Court expressed its concerns about the rising incidents of celebratory firing.

    "Incidents of celebratory firing are regretfully rising, for they are seen as a status symbol. A gun licensed for self protection or safety and security of crops and cattle cannot be fired in celebratory events, it being a potential cause of fatal accidents. Such like misuse of fire arms convert a happy event to a pall of gloom.", the Court said.

    20. SC Restrains Manipur BJP Minister From Entering Legislative Assembly Till Further Orders 

    The Supreme Court restrained Manipur BJP minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar from entering the Legislative Assembly till further orders.

    The bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, also added that he will cease to be a Minister of the Cabinet immediately.

    The Court passed the order after the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly failed to take a decision on his disqualification, within the time period set by the Court.

    21. SC Stays Kerala & Allahabad HC Orders Which Stopped Recovery Measures By Tax Authorities, Banks Citing COVID19

    The Supreme Court  stayed the general orders passed by the High Courts of Allahabad and Kerala which restrained all recovery proceedings by tax authorities under State and Centre, and by Banks and other Financial Institutions until April 6.

    These High Courts had passed the stay orders to cut down litigation in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic.

    In SC, a bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, Vineet Saran and Krishna Murari passed the stay order on the petition filed by the Central Government against the HC orders.

    22. Registered Construction Worker Can File Consumer Complaint Against Welfare Board: SC

    The Supreme Court has held that a construction worker who is registered under the Building and Other Construction Workers' (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and is a beneficiary of the Scheme made under the Rules framed pursuant to the enactment, is a 'consumer' within the meaning of Section 2(d) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.

    Case name: The Joint Labour Commissioner and Registering Officers vs. Kesar Lal

    Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi

    23. Limitation Period For Executing A Decree Passed By A Foreign Court Will Be The Limitation Prescribed In The Reciprocating Foreign Country: SC

    The Supreme Court has held that the limitation period for executing a decree passed by a foreign court (from reciprocating country) in India will be the limitation prescribed in the reciprocating foreign country.

    The bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose held that the period of limitation would start running from the date the decree was passed in the foreign court of a reciprocating country. However, if the decree holder first takes steps­in­aid to execute the decree in the cause country, and the decree is not fully satisfied, then he can then file a petition for execution in India within a period of 3 years from the finalisation of the execution proceedings in the cause country, the bench said.


    24. SC Directs Navy To Grant Permanent Commission For Serving Women SSC Officers

    In a land mark verdict on gender equality, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held that serving women Short Service Commission Officers in Indian Navy were entitled to Permanent Commission at par with their male counterparts.

    A division bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi pronounced the verdict in the case Union of India vs Ld Cdr Annie Nagaraja and others and connected matters. It may be noted that the same bench had on February 17 delivered a judgment favouring extension of Permanent Commission for women in the Indian Army, in the case The Secretary, Ministry of Defence vs Babita Puniya and others.

     Case Name : Union of India vs Lt Cdr Annie Nagaraja and others

    25. Nirbhaya Case : SC Dismisses Final Plea Of Convicts To Stay Execution After Past Midnight Hearing 

    Hours before the scheduled execution, the convicts in the Nirbhaya case knocked the doors of the Supreme Court past midnight, hoping for a last minute judicial intervention to extend their lives.

    But the last ditch effort of the convicts met with no success, as the bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna dismissed the plea, after a special sitting which commenced at around 2.45 AM.

    At about 3.30 AM, the bench dictated the order dismissing the writ petition filed on behalf of convict Pawan Kumar Gupta, challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.

    Two hours later, the convicts were hanged to death at 5.30AM at Tihar jail.

    26. SC Directs States/UTs To Consider Granting Parole To Prisoners In Lesser Offences To De-Congest Prisons

    To avoid overcrowding in prisons in the wake of COVID pandemic, the Supreme Court on Monday directed all states and Union Territories to set up high level committees to determine class of prisoners who could be released on parole for four to six weeks

    A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde observed that the prisoners convicted of or charged with offences having jail term of up to seven years can be given parole to decongest jails.

    Case : Suo Moto Writ Petition In Re: Contagion of COVID 19 Virus in Prisons   

    27. SC Extends Limitation For Filing In All Courts/Tribunals With Effect From March 15 Until Further Orders

    With the objective of reducing physical filings in courts and tribunals across the countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court on Monday passed a general order extending the limitation, whether condonable or not, with effect from March 15, until further orders.

    "To obviate such difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunals across the country including this Court, it is hereby ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings", ordered the bench comprising CJI S A Bobde, Justices L Nageshwara Rao and Surya Kant.

    Case : Suo Moto Writ Petition In Re : Cognizance For Extension of Limitation

    28. Application Not Necessary For Producing Secondary Evidence : SC

    The Supreme Court has held that there is no need to file an application seeking permission to produce secondary evidence.

    The secondary evidence cannot be ousted for consideration only because an application for permission to lead secondary evidence was not filed, observed the Court.

    This decision was given by a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta in the case Dhanpat vs Sheo Ram (Deceased) through Legal Representatives.

    29. SC Allows Sale Of 10% Of Unsold BS-IV Vehicles For 10 Days After Lockdown In Regions Except Delhi-NCR

    The Supreme Court granted some relaxations to the March 31 deadline for the sale and registration of BS IV vehicles.

    The Court allowed the sale of 10% of unsold BS IV compliant vehicles for 10 days, after the end of the 21-days countrywide lockdown.

    However, such sale is not permissible in Delhi-National Capital Region. Sold BS IV vehicles have to be registered within 10 days of sale. BS IV vehicles brought before March 31 can be registered later too.

    30. Surrender Of Passport Can Be Ordered To Ensure Presence Of Parties In Contempt Proceedings: SC

    The Supreme Court has observed that a High Court is empowered to pass appropriate orders including the surrender of passport In order to ensure the presence of the parties in the contempt proceedings.

    "In order to ensure the presence of the parties in the contempt proceedings, the Court is empowered to pass appropriate orders including the surrender of passport", observed a bench comprising Justices R Banumathi and AS Bopanna.

    Case : Shyam Sahni vs Arjun Prakash and others

    Supreme Court Monthly Digest : February 2020

    Supreme Court Monthly Digest [January 2020]

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