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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
13 Dec 2020 1:39 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
Week Commencing December 6 to December 13, 2020

Top Stories This Week:1. Central Vista Project: Supreme Court Allows Foundation Ceremony For New Parliament Building Without Altering Site In Any Manner [Rajeev Suri V. UOI]Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Central Government to conduct the foundation ceremony of the Central Vista project without altering the status of the site in any manner. After the Court slammed the...

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Top Stories This Week:

1. Central Vista Project: Supreme Court Allows Foundation Ceremony For New Parliament Building Without Altering Site In Any Manner [Rajeev Suri V. UOI]

Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Central Government to conduct the foundation ceremony of the Central Vista project without altering the status of the site in any manner. After the Court slammed the Central Government for going ahead with the construction works of the project even when the judgment on the petitions against it is awaited, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta undertook that no construction or demolition of structures or cutting down of trees will take place.

2. Supreme Court Refuses To Quash FIRs Against Journalist Amish Devgan For Remarks Against Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chishti [Amish Devgan V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to quash FIRs registered against Journalist Amish Devgan for his remarks against Sufi Saint Moinnuddin Chisthi. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar & Sanjiv Khanna however, clubbed all FIR's filed against Devgan and transferred them to Ajmer. The July 8 stay on investigation and coercive action against the journalist will continue.

Also Read: Hate Speech Repudiates Right To Equality In A Polity Committed To Pluralism : Supreme Court

Also Read: Persons Of Influence Have To Be More Responsible In Speech : Supreme Court In Amish Devgan's Case

3. No COVID-19 Posters Outside Patients Homes Without Direction From Competent Authority Under DMA : Supreme Court [Kush Kalra V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that affixing of COVID-19 posters outside the homes of patients can be done only if there is a direction from the competent authority under the National Disaster Management Act. The order was passed in the case Kush Kalra v Union of India. The Court noted that the Centra has already clarified this stand on the issue and directed the States and Union Territories to follow the same.

4. No Coercive Action Against 'Roshni Act' Beneficiaries For Now, Centre Tells Supreme Court; SC Asks J&K HC To Hear Review Petitions [Broadway Enterprises V. SK Bhalla/ Batch pleas]

The Solicitor General on Thursday told the Supreme Court that no coercive action will be taken for now against the beneficiaries under the 'Roshni Act', which has been declared as unconstitutional by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in October. The submission was made before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana during the hearing of petitions filed against the High Court verdict by persons who claimed to be a lawful leaseholders.

5. Supreme Court Allows Ashok Arora To Argue In Person Plea Against His Suspension As SCBA Secretary [Ashoka Arora V. SCBA]

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the special leave petition filed by former Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Ashok Arora against the Delhi High Court order wherein his plea seeking a stay on his suspension from SCBA was rejected. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and BR Gavai heard the matter and allowed Arora to argue in person.

6. Supreme Court Vacates 2-Yr old Blanket Ban Restraining Other Courts From Hearing Disputes Related To BCCI, State Cricket Associations [BCCI V. Cricket Association of Bihar & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated its nearly two-year old blanket ban restraining other courts from hearing disputes related to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and state cricket associations. The apex court, on March 14, 2019, had restrained all other courts across the country from entertaining or proceeding with any matter pertaining to cash-rich BCCI and state cricket associations till the court-appointed mediator and senior advocate P S Narasimha submitted his report on pending disputes.

7. Fire At COVID-19 Hospitals : Supreme Court Calls For Fire Safety Audit Report From States [In Re: The Proper Treatment of COVID19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in The Hospitals Etc.]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the State of Gujarat to file the report of the inquiry into the fire incidents in COVID-19 hospitals by December 11. Solicitor General appeared for the Centre and informed a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah that the report with regard to the fire safety audit of states is under preparation.

8. Maratha Quota : Supreme Court Constitution Bench To Start Final Hearing From Jan 25; Stay Order Continues [Jaisrilaxmanrao Patil V. State of Maharashtra]

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear from January 25 the challenge against the the constitutionality of the Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018, which provided for a quota to Marathas in jobs and education. The bench refused to pass any order to lift the stay put by a three-judge bench in September this year on making appointments and admissions under the Maratha quota. The stay order was passed by the 3-judge bench which referred the appeals to the larger bench.

9. Supreme Court Directs IIT Bombay To Grant Interim Admission To Student Who Lost Admission After Clicking Wrong Link [Siddhant Batra V. Directory, IIT, Bombay]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday came to the relief of an 18 year old student who lost his admission to IIT-Bombay after he inadvertently clicked a wrong link during the online admission process. A bench of Justices S K Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy passed an interim order directing IIT Bombay to grant provisional admission to Siddhant Batra, a student hailing from Agra, who had secured an all-India rank of 270 in JEE.

10. Public Examinations: Supreme Court Deprecates Practice Of Re-evaluation And Scrutiny Of Answer Sheets By Courts [Vikesh Kumar Gupta vs. State of Rajasthan]

The Supreme Court has observed that assessment of the questions and answer key of public examinations by the courts itself is not permissible. The court was considering an appeal filed against a Rajasthan High Court judgment in which it had examined the correctness of the questions and Answer Keys of an examination conducted by Rajasthan Public Service Commission to the post of Senior Teacher (Grade II) in Social Science and held that the answer key to 5 questions was erroneous.

11. Supreme Court Directs Medical College In Telangana To Pay 10 Lakh Compensation To PG Medical Course Aspirant For Illegally Denying Admission [National Medical Commission V. Mothukuru Sriyah Koumudi & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has directed a medical college in Telangana to pay Rupees Ten Lakh as compensation to a PG Medical Course aspirant for illegally denying admission in the college. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta also observed that one seat in MS (General Surgery) course from the Management Quota of Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Centre for the next academic year (2021-22) shall be granted to Mothukuru Sriyah Koumudi.

12. Won't Pass Any Order Which Will Lead To Economy Going Haywire, Says Supreme Court On Pleas For Loan Moratorium Extension [Batch Petitions]

The Supreme Court continued the hearing in the pleas pertaining to extension of loan moratorium along with petitions by specific sectors. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made submissions on behalf of the Centre bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah, the crux of which were that the the sector specific issues that emanate in the instant petitions could not be granted relief under Article 32.

13. Supreme Court Extends Term Of BSV Prakash Kumar As NCLT Delhi Acting President Till Regular Appointment [National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal Bar Association V. Ministry of Corporate Affairs & Anr.]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the appointment of Mr.B.S.V.Prakash Kumar,Member (Judicial) as acting President of NCLT, New Delhi till regular appointment is made to the post of President, NCLT Delhi. The direction was passed by a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi on a writ petition filed by National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal Bar Association.

Judgments This Week:

14. Supreme Court Upholds Land Acquisition Notifications For Chennai-Salem 8 Lane Expressway [The Project Director, Project Implementation Unit V. P.V. Krishnamoorthy & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the notifications issued for acquiring land for the Chennai-Salem eight-lane greenfield expressway project. Partly allowing the appeals of the Union of India and the National Highways Authority of India, the top court reversed the Madras High Court judgment to the extent it quashed the land acquisition notifications. The Court said that it has negatived the challenge against the notifications issued under the National Highways Act.

Also Read: Prior Environmental Clearance Not Required For Notifying Acquisition Of Land For National Highway: Supreme Court 

15. Acceptance Of Gift Can Be Inferred By Implied Conduct Of Donee: Supreme Court [Daulat Singh Thr. LR's V. The State of Rajasthan]

The Supreme Court has observed that acceptance of a gift can be inferred by the implied conduct of the donee. Such inference can be ascertained from the surrounding circumstances such as taking into possession the property by the donee or by being in the possession of the gift deed itself, the bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer and Surya Kant observed.

16. Standard Of Proof In Motor Accident Claim Cases Is One Of Preponderance Of Probabilities, Reiterates Supreme Court [Anita Sharma & Ors. V. The New India Assurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.]

The Supreme court has observed that the standard of proof in Motor Accident Claim Cases is one of preponderance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt. One needs to be mindful that the approach and role of Courts while examining evidence in accident claim cases ought not to be to find fault with non­-examination of some best eye­witnesses, as may happen in a criminal trial; but, instead should be only to analyze the material placed on record by the parties to ascertain whether the claimant's version is more likely than not true, the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed.

17. Charge Under Section 149 IPC Can Be Altered To Section 34 IPC If Common Intention Among Accused Is Proved : Supreme Court [Bijender V. State of Haryana]

The Supreme Court has held that it is permissible to alter a charge under Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) to a charge under Section 34 IPC if the facts prove that the crime has been committed in furtherance of a common intention. Section 149 IPC provides for vicarious liability of members of an unlawful assembly for the crime committed by any member of the assembly in furtherance of the common object and makes them liable for the same punishment. The condition for invoking this Section is that there should be five or more persons in the assembly.

18. Executive Acting In Breach Of Judgments Would Be Invitation To Anarchy: Supreme Court Pulls Up Centre For Not Making Appointment In CERC [KK Agarwal V. Sanjiv Nandan Sahai & Anr.]

"We have shown considerable restraint in this matter. Our restraint seems to be misunderstood!", remarked the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul while it pulled up the Central Government for not appointing law member in Central Electricity Regulatory Commission [CERC]. Expressing its anguish, the court observed that the 'Government does not seem to be interested in coming to the aid of the consumers or making the Commission functional, which is not an unusual scenario seeing the functioning of the other Tribunals and Commissions, on account of lack of appointments to deal with the matter.'

19. Universities Can Stipulate Enhanced Norms And Standards For Granting Affiliation Than Those Prescribed By AICTE: Supreme Court [APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University & Anr. V. Jai Bharath College of Management & Engineering Technology & Ors.]

The Supreme Court observed that the Universities, though cannot dilute the standards prescribed by AICTE, have the power to stipulate enhanced norms and standards. The CJI SA Bobde led bench observed thus while allowing APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University's appeal against the Kerala High Court judgment which directed it re-consider the application for affiliation of a new B.Tech course, submitted by a college.

Other Important Updates:

20. Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain PC George MLA's Plea To Postpone Kerala Local Body Polls

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by Kerala MLA PC George seeking the postponement of local body polls in the State scheduled to start from tomorrow. A Bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao heard the matter and informed the Advocate for the Petitioner, Adolf Mathew, that the Apex Court would not be entertaining the matter.

21. Supreme Court Stays Contempt Proceedings Against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Over Alleged Non-Payment Of Rent Of Govt. Bungalow

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the contempt proceedings which was sought to be initiated against Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari by the Uttarakhand High Court which had issued notice on the same. The contempt proceedings stem from the alleged failure of the Governor to follow an order of payment of market rent for a government bungalow which was allocated to him in his capacity as a Chief Minister. A Bench of Justices Rohinton F. Nariman, KM Joseph and Krishna Murari heard the submissions of Senior Advocate Aman Sinha, and proceeded to stay the contempt proceedings and issued notice to the State of Uttarakhand. The matter has been tagged with the pending plea.

22. Franklin Templeton : Supreme Court Asks SEBI To Appoint Observer For E-Voting; Stay On Redemption Continues

The Supreme Court on Wednesday continued its interim order of December 3 staying the redemption requests from investors in the Franklin Templeton matter till the next date of hearing in the third week of January. A bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing the plea by Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Pvt Ltd challenging a Karnataka HC order which restrained winding up of six of its debt schemes without obtaining the consent of its investors by a simple majority. On December 3, the bench had allowed Franklin Templeton Trustees to call for a meeting of unit holders to seek their consent/approval.

23. Tax Audit Limit For Chartered Accountants: Supreme Court Transfers To Itself Pleas Challenging Constitutional Validity Of ICAI Guidelines

The Supreme Court has transferred to itself the writ petitions pending before Kerala, Madras and Calcutta High Courts which challenge the constitutional validity of guidelines issued by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) limiting the number of Tax Audits of Chartered Accountants.

24. Supreme Court Issues Notice On SLPs Against Kerala High Court Judgment On Minimum Wages Rules

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices on two special leave petitions filed against a judgment of the Kerala High Court dealing with amendments brought to the Kerala Minimum Wages Rules. The SLPs were filed by the State of Kerala and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. The High Court had struck down an amendment brought to the Rules which mandated the payment of wages electronically through bank accounts.

25. Supreme Court Stays NGT Order Which Led To Halting Of Highway Expansion Work Of NH-844

As regards the highway expansion project between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the NGT order to the extent it required the NHAI to first procure the Environmental Clearance from the Union MoEF, change the alignment to avoid loss to water bodies and construct a flyover for the entire stretch of the reserved forest, on account of which the project to widen NH-844 stood halted.

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