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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Ashok Kini
11 March 2019 4:56 AM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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Teachers Are Entitled To Gratuity, Holds SC After Recalling Erroneous Judgment [Birla Institute of Technology V. State of Jharkhand] Correcting its earlier erroneous judgment, the Supreme Court held that the teachers are entitled to invoke Payment of Gratuity Act for claiming gratuity from his/her employer. The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra...

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Teachers Are Entitled To Gratuity, Holds SC After Recalling Erroneous Judgment [Birla Institute of Technology V. State of Jharkhand]

Correcting its earlier erroneous judgment, the Supreme Court held that the teachers are entitled to invoke Payment of Gratuity Act for claiming gratuity from his/her employer. The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra also slapped a cost of Rupees 25,000, on Birla Institute of Technology, the appellant in the case.

No Limitation Period To Seek Declaration Of A Marriage As 'Null And Void' [Swapnanjali Sandeep Patil V. Sandeep AnandaPatil]

The Supreme Court observed that no period of limitation is prescribed so far as presentation of petition for declaration to declare a marriage being nullity/void marriage, under Section 24 of the Special Marriage Act. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah observed that once the marriage is void the same is a nullity and at any time the same can be declared as nullity being a void marriage.

Consumer Forums Have Jurisdiction To Dismiss Complaints In Limine [M/S Anjaneya Jewellery V. New India Assurance Co Ltd.]

The Supreme Court observed that consumer forums have the jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint in limine and decline its admission without notice to the opposite party. The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, taking note of the amendment brought to Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act, observed that such jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint in limine has to be exercised by the Commission having regard to facts of each case, i.e., in appropriate case.

Medical Negligence- Award Of Compensation Cannot Go Restrictive When The Victim Is From Poor And Rural Background [Shoda Devi V. DDU/Ripon Hospital Shimla]

Responsiveness and diligence of Medical Professionals has to be equi-balanced for all their consumers, said the Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari while enhancing compensation to a woman who suffered due to medical negligence.

Conversion Of Unaccounted Money Through The Cloak Of Share Capital/Premium Must Be Carefully Scrutinised [Principal Commissioner of Income tax (central)-1 V. NRA Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd]

The Supreme Court observed that the Assessee is under a legal obligation to prove the receipt of share capital/premium to the satisfaction of the Assessing Officer, failure of which, would justify addition of the said amount to the income of the Assessee. The bench comprising Justice UdayUmesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that the practice of conversion of un-accounted money through the cloak of Share Capital/Premium must be subjected to careful scrutiny

SC Finally Corrects The Error: Acquits Six Persons Sentenced To Death By A 2009 Judgment [Ankush Maruti Shinde V. State of Maharashtra]

The Supreme Court acquitted three persons who were sentenced to death by it in 2009, and also three others whose death penalty was confirmed by it. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, also ordered the State of Maharashtra to pay Rupees 5 Lakh as damages to each of them.

SC Confirms Death Penalty Awarded To Man Accused Of Killing Six Persons [Khushwinder Singh V. State of Punjab]

The Supreme Court, after a long gap and a series of commutations, confirmed a death sentence in a judgment. Ironically, this judgment has been delivered on the same day when the same bench, in another case, acquitted six 'death convicts' who were sentenced to death by the Apex Court in 2009. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah upheld the death penalty imposed on Khushwinder Singh, convicted of murdering six persons belonging to a family, out of which two were minors – below 10 years of age.

SC Acquits Two Men Sentenced To Death By Chhattisgarh HC [Digamber Vaishnav&Anr. V.State of Chhattisgarh]

In yet another judgment the Supreme Court acquitted two men whose death sentence was confirmed by the Chhattisgarh High Court. The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, acquitted DigamberVaishnav and GirdhariVaishnav who were accused of robbery and murder of five women.

SC Acquits Forest Range Officer Who Killed A 'Smuggler' In 'Self Defence' [Sukumaran V. State]

The Supreme Court acquitted a Forest Range Officer accused of killing a man allegedly belonging to a smuggling party, on the ground that he did it in his self defence.

Heinous & Serious Offences, Offences By Public Servants Can't Be Quashed On The Ground Of Compromise Between Parties [State of Madhya Pradesh V. Laxmi Narayan & Ors.]

A three Judge Bench of Supreme Court of India issued guidelines regarding quashing of Criminal Proceedings on the ground of compromise between the parties. The Bench of Justices AK Sikri, Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah was considering a reference made by a two Judge bench in view of the apparent conflict between the two decisions of the Court in the cases of Narinder Singh vs. State of Punjab (2014) 6 SCC 466 and State of Rajasthan vs. ShambhuKewat (2014) 4 SCC 149.

SC Directs Govt To Consider Setting Up Of Mediation Authority For Speedy Disposal Of Motor Accident Claims [M. R. Krishna Murthi V. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.]

In an important judgment the Supreme Court issued significant directions to bring in a mechanism which prevents delays and other obstacles in awarding compensation to road accident victims. While considering an appeal filed by a practicing lawyer M.R. Krishna Murthy, who had suffered an accident when he was 18 years of age, the bench noted the submissions made by Senior Advocate Arun Mohan who mooted for establishing a Motor Accident Mediation Authority (MAMA) in every district in the country.

SC Sets Aside NGT Order Enlarging Buffer Zones Around Bengaluru Water Bodies; Upholds Penalty Against Two Builders [Mantri Techzone Pvt. Ltd. V. Forward Foundation]

Allowing the appeals filed by State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court set aside the National Green Tribunal's order enlarging the buffer zone limits around lakes and water bodies in Bengaluru. However, the bench of Justice A K Sikri, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah dismissed the appeals filed by Mantri Tech Zone and Coremind Software Zone against the directions issued by the Tribunal to remove encroachments in water bodies and pay penalties.

SC Discourages 'Dispose Of The Representation' Orders Passed By HCs/Tribunals [The Govt. of India V. P. Venkatesh]

The Supreme Court made a critical observation about the usual 'dispose of the representation' orders passed by the High Courts and the Tribunals. This 'dispose of the representation' mantra is increasingly permeating the judicial process in the High Courts and the Tribunals, said the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta while considering an appeal filed by Central Government.

Other important orders and proceedings

  • Referred to larger bench the correctness of its judgment in Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, in which it was held that where the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 applied between landlord and tenant, disputes between the said parties would not be arbitrable.
  • Noting that there is no legal impediment in doing so, the Supreme Court referred to court-appointed and court-monitored mediation the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in the hope of a "permanent solution".
  • Issued some directives for rehabilitation of those who are cured of mental illness but still languishing in asylums due to unwillingness of their families to take them back.
  • Granted bail to Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi , who is undergoing the Life sentence in the NarodaPatiya massacre, on medical grounds.
  • Ordered grant of interim police protection to a Kashmiri staff nurse, who approached the court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking police protection from those against whom she had made a complaint of sexual harassment.
  • Found "no grounds" to recall its judgment rejecting the plea seeking reinvestigation into the alleged "larger conspiracy leading to" the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The apex court refused to take into account the plea in the review petition that claimed that "fresh" documents and evidence would clear the air in the matter.
  • Asked Attorney General K KVenugopal to inform it within 10 days about a possible date for meeting of the selection committee for appointment of Lokpal and its members.
  • The bench of CJI Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph intensely quizzed Attorney General K KVenugopal on his argument that Court cannot rely upon stolen documents as evidence.
  • In the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute case, the constitution bench reserved orders on whether to refer the case for mediation.
  • Issued notice to the Centre on a petition demanding implementation of the plans and policies for adoption of electric vehicles to tackle air pollution and climate change.
  • Sought response from the Centre on a fresh plea challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Asked the Election Commission of India secretary to appear before it on March 12 in connection with a PIL alleging that several categories of persons in Assam have been deprived of voting rights ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
  • Pulled up Tamil Nadu Government and asked it to explain the steps taken with regard to the defacement/disfigurement on rocks, hills, hillocks and also on public constructions, particularly slogans/messages of political nature depicting the photographs of politicians.

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