Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Ashok Kini

13 May 2019 3:23 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

    Statutory Appeal Can Be Filed Even If Application To Set Aside Ex-Parte Decree [ Order IX Rule 13 CPC] Is Dismissed [Bhivchandra Shankar More vs. Balu Gangaram More] The Supreme Court observed that the right of appeal under Section 96(2) CPC is a statutory right and the defendant cannot be deprived of the statutory right of appeal merely on the ground that the application filed by...

    Statutory Appeal Can Be Filed Even If Application To Set Aside Ex-Parte Decree [ Order IX Rule 13 CPC] Is Dismissed [Bhivchandra Shankar More vs. Balu Gangaram More]

    The Supreme Court observed that the right of appeal under Section 96(2) CPC is a statutory right and the defendant cannot be deprived of the statutory right of appeal merely on the ground that the application filed by him under Order IX Rule 13 CPC [to set aside ex-parte decree] has been dismissed.

    Writ Of Habeas Corpus Can Be Issued When The Detention Of A Minor Is By A Person Who Is Not Entitled To His Legal Custody [Tejaswini Gaud vs. Shekhar Jagdish Prasad Tewari]

    The Supreme Court observed that the writ of habeas corpus is maintainable where it is proved that the detention of a minor child by a parent or others was illegal and without any authority of law. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice R. Subhash Reddy affirmed a Bombay High Court judgment that directed the relatives of a deceased mother to hand over the custody of the child to the-father. The contention raised in this case

    Specific Performance: Plea Of Hardship Cannot Be Raised If Not Pleaded In Written Statement [Beemaneni Maha Lakshmi vs. Gangumalla Appa Rao]

    The Supreme Court observed that a defendant in a specific performance suit should plead in his written statement the hardship that will be caused if the decree of specific performance of the contract is passed against him. Otherwise, such plea cannot be permitted to be raised in a later stage, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah said while confirming the judgment and decree passed by the trial Court for specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 30.12.1985.

    Information Contained In A Document Is A 'Corporeal Property' And Can Be Subject Matter Of Theft [Birla Corporation Limited Vs. Adventz Investments And Holdings Limited]

    The Supreme Court held that the "document" as defined in Section 29 of the Indian Penal Code is a "moveable property" within the meaning of Section 22 IPC and the information contained thereon in the documents would also fall within the purview of the "corporeal property" and can be the subject matter of the theft.

    Lawyer Is Not Just His Client's Mouthpiece; Be Responsible While Making Presentation To The Court [Lal Bahadur Gautam V. State of U.P.]

    Everyone has to be responsible and careful in what they present to the Court, said the Supreme Court while reiterating that a lawyer demeans himself if he acts merely as a mouthpiece of his client. This observation was made by a bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha on Wednesday while allowing an appeal filed by a lecturer in a private unaided college affiliated to the Chaudhary Charan Singh University.

    Mere Incorrect Statement In Vakalatnama Not Forgery, SC Quashes Criminal Case Against MP Sasikala Pushpa [Sasikala Pushpa V. State of Tamil Nadu]

    The Supreme Court quashed a criminal case lodged against expelled AIADMK Leader and Member of Parliament Sasikala Pushpa and her husband with respect to the alleged forgery committed by them in signing the Vakalatnama.

    Borrower Has No Right To Be Represented By Lawyer Before In-House Committee Probing 'Wilful Default' [SBI V M/s Jah Developers Pvt. Ltd]

    The Supreme Court observed that a borrower has no right to be represented by a lawyer before the In-House Committee of banks constituted for the purpose of determining whether he is a willful defaulter or not. The bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran set aside a Delhi High Court judgment that held that a lawyer has the right to represent his client before such in-house committees.

    Quantity Of Narcotic Substance A Relevant Factor To Award Punishment Higher Than The Minimum Under NDPS Act [Rafiq Qureshi V. Narcotic Control Bureau Eastern Zonal Unit]

    The Supreme Court observed that the decision to impose a punishment higher than the minimum prescribed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 is not confined or limited to the factors enumerated in clauses (a) to (f) of Section 32B of the. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph observed that the quantity of substance with which an accused is charged is a relevant factor, which can be taken into consideration while fixing quantum of the punishment.

    Revision Petition Before NCDRC Not Maintainable Against An Order Passed In Execution Proceedings [Karnataka Housing Board V. K.A. Nagamani]

    The Supreme Court held that a Revision Petition before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission [NCDRC] is not maintainable against an order passed by the State Consumer Commission in execution proceedings. The bench comprising Justice UU Lalit and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that orders passed for enforcement of the final order in the Consumer dispute, cannot be construed to be orders passed in the 'consumer dispute'.

    Sec.34 Arbitration Act- Unilateral Addition To Contract By Arbitral Tribunal Violates Most Basic Notions Of Justice [Ssangyong Engineering and Construction Company Ltd. V. NHAI]

    Holding that "a unilateral addition or alteration of a contract can never be foisted upon an unwilling party", the Supreme Court set aside an arbitral award on the grounds of it being in conflict with "most basic notions of justice" and thereby conflicting with "public policy of India" as per Section 34(2)(b)(ii)(iii) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

    Constitutional Validity Of 2018 Karnataka Law Granting Reservation In Promotion For SC-ST Staffs Upheld [B K Pavitra V. Union of India]

    The Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act 2018. The said enactment provided for consequential seniority to persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes promoted under the reservation policy of the State of Karnataka.

    SC-ST Reservations Are True Fulfillment Of Effective And Substantive Equality [[B K Pavitra V. Union of India]

    In its judgment upholding the 2018 Karnataka Law granting reservation in promotion for staffs belonging to Scheduled-Caste and Scheduled-Tribe communities, the Supreme Court observed SC-ST Reservations are the true fulfilment of effective and substantive equality by accounting for the structural conditions into which people are born.

    Judges Are Not Fearful Saints: SC Bars Lawyer Convicted For Criminal Contempt From Entering Allahabad District Court For 3 Years [Rakesh Tiwari, Adv V. Alok Pandey, CJM]

    Judges are not fearful saints, but have to fearless preachers, said the Supreme Court while upholding the Allahabad High Court order convicting an Advocate for criminal contempt for misbehaving and assaulting a Chief Judicial Magistrate. The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Navin Sinha, however, suspended the sentence of imprisonment of 6 months awarded by the High Court to Advocate Rakesh Tripathi for further period of 3 years subject to his maintaining good and proper conduct with a condition that he shall not enter the premises of the District Judgeship, Allahabad for a further period of three years in addition to what he has undergone already.

    SC Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Share Holders Accused Of 'Stealing' Company Documents To Produce Before Company Law [Birla Corporation Limited vs. Adventz Investments and Holdings Limited]

    The Supreme Court judgment in Birla Corporation Limited vs. Adventz Investments and Holdings Limited drew some parallels with its recent order in Rafale Review Petitions. While in Rafale, the issue was about admissibility of documents allegedly 'stolen' from the Ministry, here the issue before the bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice R. Subhash Reddy was whether the act of some shareholders accused of 'stealing' some documents of a company to present it before Company Law Board [CLB] and other judicial forums amounted to 'theft and misappropriation' under Indian Penal Code.

    In Limine Dismissal Of SLP At Threshold Neither Constitutes Declaration Of Law Nor A Binding Precedent, Reiterates SC [State of Orissa vs. Dhirendra Sundar Das]

    The Supreme Court has reiterated that in-limine dismissal of Special Leave Petition at the threshold without giving any detailed reasons, does not constitute any declaration of law or a binding precedent under Article 141 of the Constitution. In this case

    Unregistered Family Settlement Will Operate As A Complete Estoppel Against The Parties To It [Thulasidhara vs. Narayanappa]

    The Supreme Court observed that even if the family settlement was not registered, it would operate as a complete estoppel against the original plaintiff who was party to such settlement.

    Migrant Scheduled Tribes Can Be Given Benefit Of Reservation In Dadra & Nagar Haveli UT [Director Transport Dept. UT administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli V. Mr. Abhinav Dipakbhai Patel]

    The Supreme Court observed that that a migrant Scheduled Tribe can be given the benefit of reservation in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah rejected the contention of the Union Territory that a person should be a local in the Union Territory and amigrant Scheduled Tribes cannot be given the benefit of reservation.

    Successive Bail Applications Should Be Placed Before The Same Judge Who Considered The First One [Gati Limited vs.T. Nagarajan Piramiajee]

    The Supreme Court reiterated that successive bail applications filed by an accused should be placed before the same Judge who had refused bail in the first instance, unless that Judge is not available.

    Contract [Niyojit] Teachers Are Not Entitled To Salary At Par With Regular Permanent Teachers: SC Sets Aside Patna HC Judgment [State of Bihar V. Bihar Secondary Teachers Struggle Committee Munger]

    In a setback to about 4 Lakh Niyojit Teachers (contract Teachers) in Bihar, the Supreme Court set aside a Patna High Court judgment which had held that they are entitled to a salary at par with regular permanent teachers. Allowing the appeals filed by the State, the bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit observed that such a situation could create tremendous imbalance and cause great strain on budgetary resources.

    The 'Acid' Undoubtedly A 'Corrosive' Substance Within The Meaning Of S.326 IPC [Omanakuttan v. The State of Kerala]

    With acid attack cases seeing a phenomenal increase in country and victims literally "living under the shadows" for the rest of their lives, Bench of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari, while dismissing appeal of the accused appellant observed that "the acid is undoubtedly a corrosive substance within the meaning of Section 326 IPC.

    When Does Death Of A Co-Appellant Result In The Abatement Of Appeal As A Whole? SC Answers

    Hemareddi vs Ramachandra Yallappa Hosmari 

    The Supreme Court noted that if the decree is joint and indivisible and the situation is such that it would lead to irreconcilable decrees between the parties, the appeal will abate as a whole.

    Other important orders and proceedings

    • In a major relief to the German automobile major Volkswagen, the Supreme Court while staying the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) which had imposed a fine of 500 Crore on it said that no coercive action as of now should be taken against it. National Green Tribunal had imposed a fine of Rs. 500 Crore on Volkswagen for damaging the environment through use of "cheat device" in its diesel cars in India.
    • filed by former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt against the March 7 judgment of the Gujarat High Court which had dismissed his bail application.
    • Dismissed the plea by two private persons to restrain Congress President Rahul Gandhi from contesting the 2019 General Elections until the determination of the 'dual citizenship' issue upon his supposedly procuring British citizenship.
    • Dismissed the petition filed by former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav against the dismissal of his nomination from Varanasi Loksabha constituency. "We don't find any merit to entertain this petition", said the bench headed by Chief Justice Gogoi
    • Reiterated that the final NRC for the state of Assam be readied by July 31, regardless of the failure of the objectors to pursue their objections against those whose names have been included in the draft NRC published in July last year.
    • In its order dismissing Harsh Mander's plea seeking recusal of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi from hearing the Assam Detention Centre cases, the Supreme Court observed that a litigant should not be permitted and allowed to question a Judge on 'perceived bias' during the course of hearing.
    • Comply terms of Compromise of Face Contempt of Court, the Supreme Court told a couple who obtained a divorce by mutual consent from it. The husband had approached the Apex Court as the Allahabad High Court upheld the District court order refusing his plea for divorce.
    • vacated the stay on declaration of results of the Staff Selection Commission Examination 2017—both Combined Graduate Level Examination and Combined Higher Secondary Level Examination while also constituting a six-member expert committee headed by Justice GS Singhvi, former apex court judge, to decide if the entire examination process was tainted by leakage and precautions to be taken in future examinations.
    • Stayed disqualification proceedings against two AIADMK MLAs who were served notice by the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker for allegedly indulging in "anti-party" activities.
    • Modified an order of the Bombay High Court directing the BMC to maintain status quo and stop all reclamation work for the coastal road project in Mumbai for now.
    • Refused to review its order of April 8 raising the VVPAT physical verification from 1 to 5 EVMs in each assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency.
    • Said that it cannot examine the merits of the orders passed by the Election Commission of India giving clean chits to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah in the petition filed by Congress MP Sushmita Dev.
    • Sought the response of Election Commission of India to the petition filed by Ex-BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav challenging the decision of the Returning Officer to reject his nomination as from Varanasi constituency, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election.
    • Constitution bench of the Supreme Court extended the time given to the Ayodhya mediation panel to complete the process till August 15. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the report of the Chairman of the court-appointed mediation committee has been received and the progress made in the process is noted
    • While allowing State of Assam further time to indicate the progress made on the diplomatic level as for the larger issue of deportation of "declared foreigners" and setting up of Additional Foreigners' Tribunals in the state of Assam is concerned, the Supreme Court came to rescue of those who have spent long period of detention in the Assam detention centers' and are awaiting their deportation and said that those amongst them who have completed more than three years of detention should be released.
    • Government working lethargy is not a pretext to condone the delay, said the Supreme Court while imposing cost of Rs. 20,000 on Bihar Government for its extraordinary delay filing special leave petition.
    • Issued notice in the Special Leave Petition filed against the judgment of the Madras High Court that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry has no rightto interefere in the daily affairs of the elected government of Puducherry.
    • Bench headed by Justice SA Bobde issued notice to the Centre on a PIL challenging mandatory death penalty under section 3(2)(i) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
    • Issued a notice in a petition raising an issue whether even disciplinary proceedings initiated and action taken against employees would fall under "personal information" as defined in Clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
    • Reserved verdict in the petition seeking review of the December 14 judgment which had declined to order probe into the alleged corruption in the deal to procure 36 Rafale aircraft from French company Dassault aviation.
    • Referred to larger bench three questions on the scope and ambit of power under Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code which remains unanswered even after the judgment of the Constitution bench in Hardeep Singh.
    • Expressing dissatisfaction at the investigation by SIT constituted by Chattisgarh government, the Supreme Court directed Central Bureue of Investigation to take over the probe into Edesmeta massacre of May 2013 where 8 tribal including 4 children were allegedly killed by CRPF.
    • Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to Delhi government on a petition against the decision of Delhi Government to install CCTV cameras in the classrooms and also the decision to provide live feed to parents.
    • Refused to interfere with the suspension of Dr.Kafeel Ahmed Khan, and dismissed his special leave petition filed against the March 7 judgment of Allahabad High Court.
    • Issued notice in a petition seeking framing of guidelines by the government to regulate the functioning of online media streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar etc.
    • Stayed the Madras HC judgments which had ruled that salaries received by missionaries and nuns of Catholic Church are liable to be subjected to Tax Deduction at Source(TDS) under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act.

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