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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Ashok Kini
5 May 2019 1:59 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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A Dying Declaration Is Not Invalid Merely Because It Was Not Certified By A Doctor [Poonam Bai V. State of Chhatisgarh] The Supreme Court acquitted a convict by setting aside the judgment of the High Court of Chhattisgarh which had convicted her for murder, after finding lacunae in the dying declarations. Considering the appeal, the bench of Supreme Court comprising...

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A Dying Declaration Is Not Invalid Merely Because It Was Not Certified By A Doctor [Poonam Bai V. State of Chhatisgarh]

The Supreme Court acquitted a convict by setting aside the judgment of the High Court of Chhattisgarh which had convicted her for murder, after finding lacunae in the dying declarations. Considering the appeal, the bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice N.V.Ramana, Justice Mohan.M.Shantanagoudar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer observed that the dying declaration can be the sole basis of conviction only when it is "trustworthy, voluntary, blemishless and reliable".

Section 498A IPC: Complaint Need Not Be Filed By The Woman Subjected To Cruelty Herself [Rashmi Chopra vs. State of UP]

The Supreme Court held that the Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code does not contemplate that complaint for offence under Section 498A should be filed only by women, who is subjected to cruelty by husband or his relative.

Writ Petition Not Maintainable Against Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) [Rajbir Surajbhan Singh V. Chairman, IBPS Mumbai]

The Supreme Court held that the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) is not a 'State' and thus not amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court. Upholding the Bombay High Court judgment, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah observed that conducting recruitment tests for appointment in banking and other financial institutions, is not a public duty.

Limitation Act Applicable To Suits, Appeals, Application Filed In Courts, Not Before Statutory Authorities [Ganesan V. The commissioner, TN Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board]

The Supreme Court observed that the suits, appeals and applications referred to in the Limitation Act, 1963 are suits, appeals and applications which are to be filed in a Court, and not before a statutory authority. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph held that the 'Commissioner' under Hindu Religious Endowment Charitable Act, 1959 while hearing the appeal under Section 69 of Act, is not a 'Court' within the meaning of the Limitation Act.

Mere Summary Disposal Of SLP Does Not Conclude The Issue On Merits [State of J&K vs. Farid Ahmed Tak]

Mere summary disposal of a Special Leave Petition does not conclude the issue on merits, the Supreme Court observed while setting aside a Jammu and Kashmir High Court judgment. The bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra made this observation in response to the contention raised by respondent in an appeal filed against the High Court judgment.

Minimum Wages Act: Categorization Of Unskilled Employees As Semi-Skilled And Semi-Skilled As Skilled On The Basis Of Their Experience Is Ultra Vires [Hindustan Sanitaryware and Industries Ltd. V. The State of Haryana]

The Supreme Court held that the categorization of unskilled employees as semiskilled and semi-skilled as skilled on the basis of their experience in the notification issued for fixing/revising the minimum rates of wages is beyond jurisdiction of Government.

'No Public Interest'-SC Sets Aside The First Forced Merger Of Two Companies Ordered By Central Govt [63 Moons Technologies Ltd. V. Union of India]

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court set aside the forced merger of two companies ordered by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which was the first ever instance of invocation of Section 396 of the Companies Act 1956.

Manager Of A Nationalized Bank Though A Public Servant Can't Claim Protection U/S 197 CrPC [S. K. Miglant V. State NCT of Delhi]

The Supreme Court observed that a public servant working in a nationalized bank cannot claim benefit of Sanction under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code. To hold thus, the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph relied on a 1987 judgment of the Supreme Court in K.CH. Prasad Vs. J. Vanalatha Devi.

Legal Principles Governing Suspension Of Conviction Cannot Be Applied To Suspend The Sentence [N. Ramamurthy V. State]

The Supreme Court set aside a High Court judgment which applied principles governing suspension of conviction to reject a plea seeking suspension of execution of sentence. The Apex Court bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari observed that the High Court erred in observing that sentence comes to 45 years of imprisonment. It noted that the sentences were ordered to run concurrently by the Trial Court and hence, the maximum period of imprisonment is 7 years apart from certain default stipulations, which would come in operation only if the fine is not paid.

Solitary Confinement Of Death Convict Prior To Rejection Of Mercy Petition Palpably Illegal [Union of India V. Dharam Pal]

The Supreme Court observed that solitary confinement of a person sentenced to death prior to the rejection of mercy petition is palpably illegal. The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer upheld the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment that had commuted death sentence awarded to a murder accused whose mercy petition was rejected by the President of India in 2013.

SC Upholds Constitutionality Of Section 23 Of PCPNDT Act, Complete Contents Of Form 'F' Mandatory [Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional Validity of Sections 23(1) and 23(2) of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 . Dismissing a writ petition filed by Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), the bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran observed that dilution of the provisions of the Act or the Rules would only defeat the purpose of the Act to prevent female foeticide, and relegate the right to life of the girl child under Article 21 of the Constitution, to a mere formality.

Giving Preference To Male Child Is Against Constitutional Duty To Renounce Practices Derogatory To Women's Dignity [Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court observed that giving preference to male child is violative of Article 39A of the constitution and against mandate of Article 51A (e) which casts a Constitutional duty on citizens to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. While upholding the constitutional validity of Section 23 of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, the bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran observed that that female foeticide is most inhumane,immoral and anti-social act.

Registered Trade Union Can File Insolvency Petition As Operational Creditor On Behalf Of Its Members [JK Jute Mill Mazdoor Morcha V. Juggilal Kamlapat Jute Mills Co. Ltd.]

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court held that a registered trade union can maintain a petition as an operational creditor on behalf of its members. The bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran allowed the appeal against the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order which held that a trade union would not be an operational creditor as no services are rendered by the trade union to the corporate debtor.

SC Relief To Man Who Killed His Daughter Amidst Quarrel Over Placing A Bulb [Govind Singh V. State of Chhattisgarh]

The Supreme Court modified the conviction of a man who was accused of killing his daughter to 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder'. Govind Singh was awarded life imprisonment by the Trial Court holding him guilty of murdering his daughter Lalita.

Mother Can't Give Up Maintenance Rights Of Daughter During Mutual Consent Divorce [Ganesh V. Sudhirkumar Shrivastava]

The Supreme Court observed that a mother cannot give up the rights which vest in the daughter insofar as maintenance and other issues are concerned, during divorce by mutual consent. While considering an appeal, the bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra noticed one of the terms agreed between the parties which read thus: The applicant has released the right of monthly maintenance to the daughter with the non-applicant.

A Case Of No Evidence: SC Acquits 7 Accused In 1984 Anti Sikh Riots [Ganeshan V. State]

The Supreme Court recently acquitted 7 persons accused of their involvement in 1984 Anti Sikh Riots who were convicted by the Delhi High Court, in November last year. Referring to their deposition, the Apex Court bench comprising the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that none of them have deposed that these accused were part of the unlawful assembly or they were involved in any acts.

No Relief For Those Who Slept Over Their Rights: SC Upsets Employee's Attempt To Correct DoB In Service Records [Factory Manager, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. V. Laxman]

No relief for those who slept over their rights, the Supreme Court made it clear while upsetting orders of the Labour court and the High Court which had allowed an employee to change his date of birth in service records.

Other Important Orders and Proceedings

  • Slapped costs on a litigant for filing incorrect translation of a Rajasthan High Court judgment impugned in the Special Leave Petition filed by him. The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari asked the petitioner to pay a cost of Rs. 25,000.
  • Restrained the Punjab and Haryana High Court from appointing Junior Civil Judges in Haryana Judicial Service without the leave of the Court. The Court also issued notice on the challenge to the selection process and the evaluation method adopted in the Mains Examination for the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in Haryana, the results of which were declared on April 11.
  • Stayed the trial in the criminal case in which Malayalam cine actor Dileep is accused of hatching the conspiracy behind the abduction and sexual assault of an actor in February 2017.
  • Set aside an order of Jharkhand High Court ordering CBI investigation in the matter of an alleged illegal transfer of a temple property. The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that the High Court misdirected itself in directing the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over investigation in a matter which relates to the rights of the trustees to sell property of a religious Trust or Deity, giving rise to civil dispute.
  • Issued notice to the Election Commission of India and the Union of India on a petition seeking decriminalising the act of reporting of deviant behavior or malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail on the ground that holding voters liable for pointing out any defect in the machine is against their Right of Expression.
  • Asked the CBI to furnish evidence for seeking custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who was earlier heading the West Bengal Police SIT probing the Saradha chit fund scam case. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, to satisfy it that its request for seeking custodial interrogation of Kumar was bonafide and was in the interest of justice.
  • Asked the Central Government to seriously consider the concerns raised by retired army personnels about One Rank One Pension.
  • Adjourned the hearing of Rafale review petitions to next Monday, May 6, after the Central Government sought time for filing counter affidavit in the matter.
  • A three Judge Bench of CJI Gogoi And Justices Dipak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna issued notice to Election Commission on a petition filed by Congress MP and party women wing president Susmita Dev accusing the Election Commission of shying away from taking action against PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for Model Code of Conduct violation in their election speeches.
  • Directed all the States and Union Territories to comply with its earlier order to provide medical facilities to retired Chief Justices and Judges of the High Courts including their spouses and dependent family members.
  • "Laws in the country should be uniform and cannot be for general category or SC/ST category," the top court said while reserving its verdict on the Centre's petition seeking review of its March 20, 2018 judgement which had virtually diluted provisions of arrest under the SC/ST Act.
  • Asked the Election Commission of India to pass necessary orders in a representation which sought voting time to be preponed from 7 am to 5 am in the rest of the phases of General Elections scheduled during Ramzan month.
  • Dismissed a petition filed by petitioner Harsh Mander seeking recusal of Chief Justice Gogoi from hearing the Assam Detention Centres Case. The Chief Justice has refused to recuse from hearing. The Bench also removed the name of the petitioner from the records and appointed Legal Services authority as the petitioner in the case.
  • Directed the Election Commission to decide by May 6 nine complaints of the Congress party alleging MCC violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
  • Appointed former SC Judge Justice A K Sikri to look into the issues pertaining to recruitment to the post of Civil Judges In Haryana Judicial Service. The former judge have been asked to look into the answer scripts of candidates to inform the court whether the pattern followed in evaluation should be accepted by the Court.
  • Agreed to hear on May 10 a petition seeking direction to award consecutive sentence, instead of concurrent sentence to those convicted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Foreign Contributions Regulation Act, Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction etc.

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