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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Ashok Kini
1 April 2019 1:09 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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'Second FIR Not Barred Merely Because Motive In Both Offences Are The Same'; SC Upholds Life Sentence Of Saravana Bhavan Founder For Murder [Pattu Rajan V. State of Tamil Nadu] The Supreme Court upheld the life sentence awarded to P Rajagopal - the founder of famous South Indian restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan - and five of his aides for murder of Santhakumar in 2001. The bench...

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'Second FIR Not Barred Merely Because Motive In Both Offences Are The Same'; SC Upholds Life Sentence Of Saravana Bhavan Founder For Murder [Pattu Rajan V. State of Tamil Nadu]

The Supreme Court upheld the life sentence awarded to P Rajagopal - the founder of famous South Indian restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan - and five of his aides for murder of Santhakumar in 2001. The bench of Justices N V Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee dismissed the batch of appeals filed by accused against the 2009 judgment of Madras High Court. 
Health Of Environment Is The Key To Preserve The Right To Life Under Article 21 [Hanuman Laxman Aroskar V. Union of India]
The Supreme Court suspended the Environmental Clearance granted for the development of Greenfield international airport at Mopa in Goa. The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta directed Expert Appraisal Committee to revisit the recommendations made by it for the grant of clearance.

Court Can Appoint Independent Arbitrator Only After Resorting To The Procedure In Arbitration Agreement [Union Of India V. Parmar Construction Company]

The Supreme Court observed that the High Court, while dealing with an application under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, seeking appointment of an 'independent Arbitrator', should first resort to the mechanism in appointment of an arbitrator as per the terms of contract as agreed by the parties. One of the issue in a batch of appeals

Drunkenness While On Duty A Serious Misconduct: SC Upholds Dismissal Of A Police Constable [State of Uttarakhand v. Prem Ram]

The Supreme Court upheld dismissal of a police constable for drunkenness and misbehavior with the public. "Having regard to the seriousness of the charge of misconduct and the fact that the respondent was a member of the police service, we find no justification for the High Court to interfere with the order of dismissal" the court held.

Companies Act Does Not Stipulate Any Period For Completion Of Serious Fraud Investigation [Serious Fraud Investigation Office V. Rahul Modi]

Holding that there is no stipulation of any fixed period for completion of a Serious Fraud investigation, the Supreme Court observed that the stipulation in sub-section (3) of Section 212 of the Companies Act, 2013, in relation to the submission of the report, is not mandatory, but directory. The bench comprising Justice AM Sapre and Justice UU Lalit were dealing with an appeal filed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office against Delhi High Court order that termed arrests illegal because the period of investigation was 'over'.
State Can Include Proceeds From Inter-State Sale In Total Turnover To Classify Dealers For Sales Tax Slab [M/s Achal Industries V. State of Karnataka]
The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi of the Supreme Court held that state can include proceeds from inter-state sale in total turnover to classify dealers for sales tax slab.
Buyer Cannot Be Required To Wait Indefinitely For Possession: SC Asks Developer To Refund The Buyer [Kolkata West International City Pvt. Ltd. vs. Devasis Rudra]

A buyer cannot be required to wait indefinitely for possession, said the Supreme Court while affirming Consumer Commission order directing the developer to refund the amount to the buyer. 
Complaint Under Section 138 NI Act Maintainable Against Dishonour Of Cheques Issued In Pursuance Of Agreement For Sale [Ripudaman Singh vs. Balkrishna]

The Supreme Court observed that a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act is maintainable when there is dishonour of cheques issued under and in pursuance of the agreement to sell.

Forest Act- Magistrate Can't Invoke Jurisdiction Under S.451 CrPC To Release A Seized Vehicle, Once Authorized Officer Initiates Confiscation Proceedings [State of Madhya radish V. Uday Singh]

Statutory interpretation must remain eternally vigilant to the daily assaults on the environment, said the Supreme Court while it set aside the Madhya Pradesh High Court order that directed the Magistrate to order interim release of a vehicle seized for being involved in the illegal excavation of sand from the Chambal River. The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta held that a Magistrate has no jurisdiction under Section 451 of the Criminal Procedure to release a seized vehicle, once the Authorised Officer initiated confiscation proceedings.

Averment Of Political Rivalry By Itself Does Not Constitute A 'Plea Of Mala Fides' [V. Krishnamurthy V. State of Tamil Nadu]

The Supreme Courtobserved that mere averment of political rivalry by itself would not constitute a plea of malafides to interfere with an administrative decision taken by the state.The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed that the State has only exercised the right of resumption of the land for a public purpose and it is entitled to do so.

Prosecuterix Was In The Habit Of Implicating People: SC Sets Aside Concurrent Conviction In A Rape Case [Ganga Prasad Mahto V. State of Bihar]

The Supreme Court, acquitted a man who faced concurrent conviction in a rape case. To acquit the accused, the bench noted that the prosecutrix was in the habit of making such complaints, and in fact similar complaints she had made against others were later found false.

Statutory Regulation On Private Bodies By Itself Does Not Make Them Subject To Writ Jurisdiction [Ramakrishna Mission V. KagoKunya]

The Supreme Court made it clear that mere regulation by a statute on a private body cannot be conclusive of whether it discharges a public function, to hold it amenable to writ jurisdiction of a High court. The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta, in a judgment delivered last month, held that Ramakrishna Mission and its Hospital at Itanagar would not constitute an authority within the meaning of Article 226 of the Constitution nor a 'State' under Article 12.

Disease Caused By Insect Bite In The Natural Course Of Events Not Covered Under 'Accident' Insurance [Branch Manager, National Insurance Co.Ltd. V. Smt. Mousumi Bhattacharjee]

The Supreme Court observed that where a disease is caused or transmitted by insect bite/virus in the natural course of events, it would not be covered by the definition of an accident. But, in a given case or circumstance, the affliction or bodily condition may be regarded as an accident where its cause or course of transmission is unexpected and unforeseen, the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed while dealing with what it called an 'interesting question of law'.

Hotel Which Provides Swimming Pool Owes Its Guests A Duty Of Care; SC Directs KTDC To Pay Rs.62,50,000 To Family Of The Victim [The Managing Director, KTDC Ltd. V. Deepti Singh]

A hotel which provides a swimming pool for its guests owes a duty of care, said the Supreme Court while directing the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. to pay Rs.62, 50,000, to the family of a man who died as he drowned in the swimming pool at Hotel Samudra at Kovalam.

SC Sentences Nedumpara To 3 Months Jail For Contempt; Bars From Practising In SC; Suspends Sentence On Undertaking

The Supreme Court bench of Justices R F Nariman and Vineet Saran sentenced Advocate Mathews Nedumpara to 3 months imprisonment, which will remain suspended so long as he abides by his undertaking that he will not attempt to browbeat any judge of High Court or Supreme Court.

Criminal Antecedents Of Candidate Cannot Be Said To Be 'Clear' When Acquittal Is By Granting Benefit Of Doubt 
The Supreme Court observed that criminal antecedents of an employee or a candidate cannot be said to be clear when he was acquitted in a criminal case on the ground of benefit of doubt and not because the case against him was found to be false.

Buyer Cannot Be Required To Wait Indefinitely For Possession 

A buyer cannot be required to wait indefinitely for possession, said the Supreme Court while affirming Consumer Commission order directing the developer to refund the amount to the buyer. 

Other important orders and proceedings
  • Hearing an application for the transfer to itself of petitions over the Sabarimala Temple entry controversy pending in the Kerala High Court, the Supreme Court asked the government of Kerala to approach the High Court for the modification of the interim directions.
  • Dismissed a plea challenging the constitutional validity of an ordinance which makes the practice of instant 'triple talaq' a punishable offence. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed a plea of a Kerala-based outfit and said it will not like to interfere.
  • Directed the Election Commission of India to explain on affidavit by Thursday its decision to cross-check the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) of only one randomly selected booth in each constituency.
  • Refused to entertain a plea challenging the Centre's Ordinance which restored the roster based reservation system for appointment of faculty members in higher educational institutions.
  • Directed the State of Tamil Nadu to take all necessary steps to ensure that there is no defacement/disfigurement of any public places including rocks, hills, hillocks, public constructions by writing slogans, messages of political parties including depiction of photographs of public figures/ politicians until further orders.
  • Pulled up the West Bengal Government after it was brought to its notice that the film "BhobishyoterBhoot" has not been screened within the limits of Kolkata. The bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta also disapproved the action of Joint Commissioner of Police in directing the producer to arrange for a private screening of the film for a few senior officials, apprehending that the screening of the film may lead to "political law and order issues".
  • While refusing to acknowledge T.T.V. Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam's (AMMK) claim to pressure cooker as its symbol for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and Tamil Nadu Assembly by-elections, the Supreme Court, in a relief to the faction directed the Election Commission to allot any one of the free symbols to its candidates.
  • Adjourned the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the scheme of electoral bonds for April 2. CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that the court will not be able to hear the case today and ordered the listing of cases before an appropriate bench on April 2.
  • Agreed to hear a petition seeking directions to restrict candidates from contesting from two constituencies simultaneously after two weeks. The bench of Justices S A Bobde, M M Shantanagoudar and S Abdul Nazeer was hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay praying that Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which allows a person to contest a general election or a group of bye-elections or biennial elections from two constituencies, be declared ultra-vires to the Constitution and its basic structure.
  • Observed that criminal antecedents of an employee or a candidate cannot be said to be clear when he was acquitted in a criminal case on the ground of benefit of doubt and not because the case against him was found to be false.
  • Declined request for urgent listing of a Special Leave Petition filed against the order of High Court of Andhra Pradesh staying the release and exhibition of Telugu film 'Lakshmi's NTR'.
  • Reprimanded the state of Assam for its submission that thousands of illegal immigrants declared as foreigners by its Foreigners Tribunals have absconded and merged with the general public.
  • Refused to stall the release of film 'Ram Ki Janmabhoomi' which is scheduled to hit the screens across the country on March 29.
  • Observed that the benefit of Probation of Offenders Act cannot be extended to an accused convicted for an offence punishable with life imprisonment.
  • Issued notice on CBI's plea alleging non-cooperation on the part of telecom operators Vodafone and Airtel in not sharing the Call Detail Records (CDR) of Saradha Group directors Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukherjee. 


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