Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Ashok Kini

18 Feb 2019 5:23 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

    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...

    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.

    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.

    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 Courtreiterated 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.

    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 Surendra Gadling and four other activists arrested in Bhima Koregaon case.

    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.

    Criminal Complaints Cannot Be Quashed Merely Because Allegations Appear To Be Of A Civil Nature [Sau. Kamal Shivaji Pokarnekar 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.

    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 Uday Umesh 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.

    '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 Kishan Kaul 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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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. ChirayuHelth 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 Lokesh Batra and Amrit Johri 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 Courtobserved 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.

    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.

    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 Courtobserved 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 Uppal vs 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 Nad Electricity Board V. TNEB Tozhilalar Aykkiya Sangam]

    The Supreme Courtobserved 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.

    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.

    SC Stays Death Warrant Against Teacher Convicted For Rape Of 4 Year Old Student

    A Special Bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi stayed the execution of death penalty against a school teacher for raping a 4 year-old girl in June last year in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.

    Fulfillment Of International Commitments Cant Be Subject Of Petition Under Art.32:Observes CJI As SC Reserves Jt On PIL For Anti-Torture Law

    The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on former Union Law Minister and Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar's PIL for an effective and purposeful legislation to check instances of custodial torture.

    SC Issues Notice On Plea To Restrain Delhi Govt From Buying Public Buses Which Are Not Disabled Friendly

    The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoiissued notice to Delhi government on the petition filed by wheel chair- bound Disability Rights activist, Nipun Malhotra seeking directions to restraint the state from acquiring 2000 public transport buses which are not disabled friendly.

    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.

    Counsel Being Out Of Station Is Not A Ground To Seek Adjournment

    The Supreme Court observed that non availability of the counsel or he being out of station is not a ground to seek adjournment. The bench, also comprising Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, not only dismissed the appeal for non prosecution, but also made this observation: "We make it clear that since we have not found it to be a good ground for adjournment, under no circumstances, application for restoration shall be entertained."

    Notice Issued On Plea For Recall Of Provisional Permission For Judicial Officers To Appear In ADJ Exam

    In an interesting development, the Supreme Court issued notice on applications filed by the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association (RHCBA), Rajasthan High Court Advocates Association (RHCAA), the Bar Association, Jaipur and Bar Council of Rajasthan seeking recall of the interim relief granted by the Supreme Court allowing judicial officers, who have completed seven years of service as judicial officers and lawyers combined, to participate in the selection process.

    SC Directs Minority Commission To Decide On Representation Seeking Guidelines For Identifying "Minorities"

    The Supreme Court directed the National Commission for Minority (NCM) to take a decision within three months on a representation seeking laying down of guidelines for defining the term 'minority' in the context of state-wise population of a community.

    "Children Writing Exams There": SC Dismisses WB BJP's Plea Against Ban On Mics And Loudspeakers In Residential Areas

    The Supreme Court dismissed the BJP's West Bengal outfit's challenge to an order of the State Pollution Control Board banning the use of mikes and loudspeakers near the residential areas in the state.

    SC Refuses To Monitor Probe In Saradha Chit Fund Scam

    The Supreme Court declined the plea for monitoring by the court of the investigations in the Saradha Chit Fund scam. As the bench observed that it is not inclined to pass any order, the Senior Advocate sought permission to approach the High Court with the same prayer.

    'Reliance Has Money To Pay Rafale; But Not To Pay Our Debts', Ericsson Submits As SC Reserves Orders On Contempt Plea Against Anil Ambani

    The Supreme Court bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran reserved orders on the contempt petitions filed by Ericsson against the Chairman of Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) Anil Ambani and other officials.

    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.

    Hindurashtra Comments In Judgment: SC Declines To Withdraw Judicial Works From Meghalaya HC Judge

    The Supreme Court refused to withdraw judicial work from Meghalaya High Court judge Justice Sudip Ranjan Sen who had created controversy by his remarks that India should have been declared a Hindu country at the time of partition in 1947.

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