Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
Landlord Can't Be Precluded From Filing Eviction Petition On The Ground Of Bonafide Need Regarding Non-Residential Premise [Vinod Kumar vs. Ashok Kumar Gandhi]
The Supreme Court held that the judgment of Satyawati Sharma Vs. Union of India which held that Section 14(1)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act is unconstitutional to the extent it discriminates between the premises let for residential and non-residential purposes, cannot be held to be per incuriam. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph also rejected the request that Satyawati Sharma judgment needs to be referred to a larger Bench for reconsideration.
Person Claiming Title By Adverse Possession Can Maintain A Suit Under Article 65 Limitation Act [Ravinder Kaur Grewal vs. Manjit Kaur]
In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court held that any person who has perfected title by way of adverse possession, can file a suit for restoration of possession in case of dispossession. The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah observed that plea of acquisition of title by adverse possession can be taken by plaintiff under Article 65 of the Limitation Act and there is no bar under the Limitation Act, 1963 to sue on aforesaid basis in case of infringement of any rights of a plaintiff.
Criminal Trial- Evidence Of A Solitary Witness Will Call For Heightened Scrutiny [Jagdish vs. State of Haryana]
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha observed that the evidence of a solitary witness in a criminal case requires heightened scrutiny.
Victim Has Right To Assist The Court In A Trial Before The Magistrate [Amir Hamza Shaikh vs. State of Maharashtra]
The Supreme Court observed that, though the Magistrate is not bound to grant permission to a victim to conduct prosecution at the mere asking but the victim has a right to assist the Court in a trial before the Magistrate. The bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that if the magistrate is satisfied that the victim is in a position to assist the Court and the trial does not involve such complexities which cannot be handled by the victim, he/she would be within its jurisdiction to grant of permission to the victim to take over the inquiry of the pendency before the Magistrate.
A Few Days Before Article 370 Repeal, SC Decriminalized Adultery In J&K As Well [Col. Rajnish Bhandari vs. Union of India]
Just a few days before the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped by a Presidential order, the Supreme Court held that the entire Section 497 of the Ranbir Penal Code which criminalizes Adultery is also unconstitutional.
Weakness In The Defence Taken Cannot Become The Strength Of The Prosecution [Anand Ramachandra Chougule vs. Sidarai Laxman Chougala]
Weakness in the defence taken cannot become the strength of the prosecution, remarked the Supreme Court while reiterating that the benefit of doubt must follow unless the prosecution is able to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha upheld the acquittal of the accused in a murder case by the High Court granting them benefit of doubt.
DNA Test Cannot Be Ordered Without There Being Appropriate Satisfaction For Its Requirement[Kathi David Raju vs. State of Andhra Pradesh]
The Supreme Court observed that DNA test cannot be ordered without there being appropriate satisfaction for requirement of such test. In this case FIR was registered under Sections 465, 468, 471 and 420 IPC against the accused alleging that he obtained fake caste certificate. The Court allowed an application seeking a DNA test of the accused, his mother two brothers. The High Court refused to quash the order.
Filing Of Criminal Complaint For Settling Civil Dispute Is Abuse Of Process Of Law [Commissioner of Police vs. Devender Anand]
The Supreme Court observed that filing of criminal complaint for settling a dispute of civil nature is abuse of process of law. The Three judge bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah observed thus while setting aside a High Court order issuing directions in a writ petition filed by the complainant.
Filing Of Cross Objections By Defendants Not Necessary To Dispute Adverse Findings In The Dismissed Suit [State Of Andhra Pradesh vs. B. Ranga Reddy]
The Supreme Court observed that it is not necessary that defendants should file cross objections to the appeal against dismissal of a suit to dispute certain findings adverse to them in the judgment appealed against. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that, in such a situation, in the appeal filed by plaintiffs, the defendants have a right to support the ultimate decree passed by the trial court of dismissal of suit on grounds other than which weighed with trial court.
When Can 'Group Of Companies' Doctrine Be Invoked To Bind Non-Signatory Company To Arbitration? SC Explains [Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd vs. Canara Bank ]
The Supreme court, in a judgment explained the circumstances in which the 'Group of Companies' Doctrine could be invoked to bind the non-signatory affiliate of a parent company to an arbitration? The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that the 'Group of Companies' Doctrine could be invoked to bind the non-signatory affiliate of a parent company, or inclusion of a third party to an arbitration, if there is a direct relationship between the party which is a signatory to the arbitration agreement; direct commonality of the subject matter; the composite nature of the transaction between the parties.
Slump In Business Cannot Be The Reason For Default In Payment Of Rent [Chandigarh Administration V. Hari Ram]
Slump in the business cannot be the reason for default in payment of rent, remarked the Apex Court while considering an appeal filed by Chandigarh Administration against the High Court order that granted relief to its Allottee.
Appoint Permanent RERA and Appellate Tribunal Within Three Months, SC Tells 'Recalcitrant' States/UTs [Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd V. Union of India]
The Supreme Court directed the States/Union Territories to appoint permanent adjudicating officers as Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal within a period of three months. The court issued this direction in its judgment upholding the amendments made to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in 2018 to treat homebuyers as financial creditors.
Treating Homebuyers As Financial Creditors Not Arbitrary : SC Upholds 2018 IBC Amendment [Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Ltd and Anr vs Union of India]
Dismissing a bunch of petitions filed by nearly 200 realtors, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the amendments made to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in 2018 to treat homebuyers as financial creditors. The bench of Justices R F Nariman, Sanjiv Khanna and Surya Kant held that the amendments do not violate Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and rejected the argument that they are 'arbitrary, unreasonable, excessive and disproportionate'.
Patient With 92% Burn Injuries Can Be In A Fit State Of Mind To Give Dying Declaration [Bhagwan v State of Maharashtra]
The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by a murder convict by upholding the dying declaration given by his deceased wife. The Court held that the mere fact that the deceased had suffered 92% burn injuries per se would not mean that she was not fit to give the declaration. It also held that the a hyper technical view cannot be adopted by differentiating between 'conscious' and 'fit state of mind' in deciding the veracity of a dying declaration.
Other important orders and proceedings
- Directed Nari Niketan in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh to release a girl detained there against her wishes.
- In the 1984 anti- Sikh riots case, the bench headed by Justice SA Bobde on decided to give final hearing on the appeal and other applications including bail plea of convict Sajjan Kumar for during Apex Court's summer break in May, 2020.
- Dismissed some Special Leave Petitions pertaining to an acquisition matter by refusing to condone delay of 21 Years in filing them.
- Commenced final arguments on a batch of pleas challenging a Reserve Bank of India circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from providing services in relation to cryptocurrencies.
- The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice on a petition filed by an eleven year old child raising the issue whether a school affiliated to an International Board will come under the purview of Right To Education Act, 2009 (RTE).
- Declined urgent listing of a petition, seeking to quash Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019, which scrapped the special status of J&K.