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Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

Arabhi Anandan
17 Feb 2020 4:46 AM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up
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 Settlement Between Victim & Accused Not A Valid Ground To Quash FIR/charge-sheet When Offences Are Serious & Against Society, Reiterates SC [Arjun Singh v. State of UP]

The Supreme Court has reiterated that settlement between the victim and the accused cannot be a valid ground to quash the FIR. or the charge sheet when the offences alleged are against society and not private in nature. In this case, the accused were charged with Section 493 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 read with Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari noted that though the offence in question are non-compoundable the power of the High Court under Section 482 CrPC of the Court to quash the proceedings in such offences is well recognised by the various decision of this court and the issue is no longer res Integra.

Section 438 (Anticipatory Bail) Has No Application To Cases Under SC/ST Act Except When There Is No Prima Facie Case Is Made Out [Prathvi Raj Chauhan v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has observed that provisions of section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Anticipatory Bail) shall not apply to the cases under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, except when the complaint does not make out a prima facie case for applicability of the provisions of the Act. In cases where prima facie case is not made out, the bar created by section 18 and 18A (i) of the Act excluding provisions of Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Anticipatory Bail), shall not apply, observed the bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat while upholding the constitutionality of Section 18A of the SC-ST Act, inserted vide an amendment in 2018.

Condition Restraining Alienation Of Property By Donee In A Gift Deed Is Void [Sridhar v. N. Reveanna]

The Supreme Court has observed that a condition in the gift deed that the donee shall not alienate the subject property is a void condition as per Section 10 of the Transfer of Property Act. The issue in this appeal was whether the condition imposed in a gift deed that "the donee or his younger brothers who may be born hereafter have no right to alienate the schedule property in any manner whatsoever by way of sale, gift mortgage or otherwise" is void or not. The Trial Court had held that this condition is void, but the High Court held that it is valid. The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha referred to Section 10 of the Transfer of Property Act on Condition restraining alienation.

Complaint U/s 138 NI Act Cannot Be Quashed When Disputed Question Of Facts Are Involved [Rajeshbhai Mujlibhai Patel v. State of Gujarat]

The bench comprising Justices R. Banumathi and AS Bopanna observed that a cheque bounce complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act cannot be quashed when disputed questions of facts are involved. In this case, the High Court, in a petition filed by the accused, observed that the criminal case has been filed under Section 138 of N.I. Act based on the alleged forged receipts, and thus quashed the complaint.

No Presumption That A Decision Taken By Persons Occupying High Posts Is Valid [Brig. Nalin Kumar Bhatia v. Union of India]

There is no presumption that a decision taken by persons occupying high posts is valid, remarked the Apex Court in a judgment delivered on Tuesday. The bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta was concerned with an appeal filed by a Brigadier against his non-empanelment for promotion to the rank of Major General.

[Section 482 CrPC] HC Cannot Quash Criminal Proceedings On The Basis Of Its Assessment Of 161 Statements [Rajeev Kourav v. Baisahab & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has held today that Criminal Proceedings cannot be quashed on the basis of statements recorded before Police officials in terms of Section 161 CrPc. The Judgment rendered by a bench of Justices L. Nageshwar Rao & Deepak Gupta has laid down that interference by High Court's under Section 482 Crpc is only warranted in order to prevent abuse of process of court and to secure tends of justice.

'Hampi A Site Of Historic Importance' : SC Upholds Direction To Demolish Constructions In Virupapura Gaddi [Sakkubai & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.]

Acknowledging the historic importance of the Hampi heritage site, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the demolition of unauthorized constructions in Virupapura Gaddi, an oval islet formed by Tungabhadra river on the west of Hampi. A bench comprising Justices Mohan M Shantanagoudar and R Subhash Reddy dismissed the appeals filed against a judgment passed by the High Court of Karnataka in 2015, which upheld the orders passed by Hampi World Heritage Management Authority (HWHMA) for the demolition of restaurants, guest houses, hotels etc built along the Virupapura Gaddi islet. The apex court has directed the authorities to proceed with their demolition work within a month of the judgment.

Conduct Of A Plaintiff Is Very Crucial In A Suit For Specific Performance [Atma Ram v. Charanjit Singh]

The conduct of a plaintiff is very crucial in a suit for specific performance, observed the bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice V.Ramasubramaniam while dismissing a civil appeal. The plaintiff, in this case, was a party to an agreement for sale dated 12.10.1994. The date for the performance of the contract was fixed under the agreement as 07.10.1996. After more than three years, the plaintiff filed a suit only for the relief of mandatory injunction, which he valued only at Rs.250 and paid a fixed court fee of Rs.25.

A Child In Conflict With Law Cannot Be Kept In Jail Or Police Lockup Under Any Circumstances [In Re: Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of TN v. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has issued notices to the UP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, against the manner in which children in conflict with law are being dealt with by the concerned state authorities. The order has been passed in a miscellaneous application moved by Amicus Curiae Aparna Bhat, in the case titled InRe: Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in State of Tamil Nadu v. Union of India, calling attention to the illegal acts of UP and Delhi police who are alleged to have detained and tortured minors in police stations. After hearing the Petitioner, the division bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose asked both the state Commissions to submit their responses within three weeks.

Maintenance Petition U/s 125 CrPC Filed By Wife, Who Was Granted Permanent Alimony U/s 25 Hindu Marriage Act, Cannot Be Entertained [Rakesh Malhotra v. Krishna Malhotra]

The bench comprising Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran observed that a petition filed by a wife under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure who was earlier granted permanent alimony under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, cannot be entertained. The issue considered by the Apex Court in the appeal was whether after the grant of permanent alimony under Section 25 of the Act, a prayer can be made before the Magistrate under Section 125 of the Code for maintenance over and above what has been granted by the Court while exercising power under Section 25 of the Act.

First Appellate Court Should Comply With Requirements Of Order XLI Rule 31 CPC Even While Affirming Trial Court Judgment [Malluru Mallapada(D) v. Kuruvathappa]

The Supreme Court has observed a judgment of a First Appellate Court has to set out points for determination, record the decision thereon and give its own reasons. Even when the first appellate court affirms the judgment of the trial court, it is required to comply with the requirement of Order XLI Rule 31 of the Code of Civil Procedure and non-observance of this requirement leads to infirmity in the judgment of the first appellate court, the bench comprising Justices S.Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna said. The bench observed thus while allowing an appeal against a High Court judgment which dismissed the first appeal by a cryptic order.

Court Has To Appoint Amicus Curiae Or Request Legal Service Committee To Appoint An Advocate If Accused Is Unrepresented Before It [Shaik Mukthar v. State of Andhra Pradesh Now State of Telangana]

The bench comprising Justices Mohan M Shanthanagoudar and R. Subhash Readdy reiterated that when an accused is unrepresented before a Court, it has to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocate In this case, the High Court of the State of Telangana had confirmed the conviction of the accused for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code even though they were unrepresented before the Court during the hearing of their appeal.

SC Upholds Validity Of SC/ST Amendment Act 2018 [Prathvi Raj Chauhan v. Union of India & Ors.]

In a notable judgment, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018, which was enacted to nullify the effects of the March 20, 2018 judgment of the SC which had diluted the provisions of the Act. A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat had reserved judgment on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of Notably, the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had recalled the conditions introduced by the two judges bench as per the March 20, 2018 judgment by allowing the Centre's review.

SC Directs Political Parties To Publish Criminal Antecedents Of Candidates In LS & Assembly Polls [Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora & Ors.]

Taking note of "alarming" rise of criminalization of politics, the Supreme Court directed that all political parties to publish the details of criminal antecedents of their candidates in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls within 48 hours of selection of the candidate or within two weeks of nomination, whichever is earlier. A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman and Ravindra Bhat passed the order in the contempt petitions filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and Rambabu Singh Thakur complaining that Election Commission of India had failed to comply with the directions laid down by the Constitution Bench in 2018 with respect to decriminalization of politics.

Court Has To Appoint Amicus Curiae Or Request Legal Service Committee To Appoint An Advocate If Accused Is Unrepresented Before It [Shaik Mukthar v. State of Telangana]

The bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and R. Subhash Reddy reiterated that when an accused is unrepresented before a Court, it has to either appoint an Amicus curiae or to refer the matter to the Legal Services Committee requesting it to appoint an advocate In this case, the High Court of the State of Telangana had confirmed the conviction of the accused for the offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code even though they were unrepresented before the Court during the hearing of their appeal.

[Employee's Compensation Act] Relevant Date For The Determination Of Compensation Payable Is The Date Of The Accident [K Sivaraman v. P. Sathishkumar]

The Supreme Court has observed that the relevant date for the determination of compensation payable under Employee's Compensation Act 1923 is the date of the accident. The bench of Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ajay Rastogi observed that the benefit of the 2009 amendment of the Act which had deleted the provision that capped the monthly wages of an employee at Rs 4,000 does not apply to accidents that took place prior to its coming into force.

Supreme Court's Six Mandatory Directions To Political Parties To End Criminalisation Of Politics [Rambabu Singh v. Sunil Arora]

A two Judge Bench of Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a Judgment on the contempt petitions regarding the criminalisation of politics in India and the non-compliance of the directions of a Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in Public Interest Foundation and Ors. v. Union of India and Anr. (2019) 3 SCC 224. The Bench comprising of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Ravindra Bhat observed that over the last four general elections, there has been an alarming increase in the incidence of criminals in politics. In 2004, 24% of the Members of Parliament had criminal cases pending against them; in 2009, that went up to 30%; in 2014 to 34%; and in 2019 as many as 43% of MPs had criminal cases pending against them.

[Enforcement of Foreign Awards] Minimal Interference by Courts in Terms of Section 48 Of The Arbitration Act [Vijay Karia v. Prysmian Cavi E Sistemi SRL & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has held that while considering grounds for setting aside a foreign award, the Court must warrant minimal interference. The Judgment rendered by a Three-Judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices R.F. Nariman, Aniruddha bose & V. Ramasubramanan, has emphasized that section 48(1)(b) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (referred to hereinafter as The "Act") cannot be given an expansive meaning.

Arbitration Clause In An Insufficiently Stamped Agreement Cannot Be Acted Upon By Court [M/S Dharmaratnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narainswamy Mudaliar Chatteam & Other Charities & Ors. v. M/s Bhaskar Raju & Borters & Ors.]

The Apex Court bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant observed that an arbitration clause in an agreement which is required to be duly stamped, was not sufficiently stamped, cannot be acted upon by the Court. In this case, one of the parties to the agreement filed a petition under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration Act before the High Court of Karnataka.The other party, entered appearance and contended that the lease deed being insufficiently stamped had to be mandatorily impounded under Section 33 of the Karnataka Stamp Act, 1957 and it could not be relied upon unless proper duty and penalty was paid. However, the High Court invoked the power under Section 11(6) of the Act, and appointed an Arbitrator to decide the dispute between the parties.

Defence That 'Cheque Issued As Security' Not Believable In Absence Of Further Evidence To Rebut Presumption U/s 139 NI Act [APS Forex Services Pvt. Ltd. v. Shakti International Fashion Linkers & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has observed that defence of the accused that the cheques were given by way of security is not believable in absence of further evidence to rebut the presumption. The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah reiterated that, once the issuance of the cheque has been admitted and even the signature on the cheque has been admitted, there is always a presumption in favour of the complainant that there exists legally enforceable debt or liability and thereafter it is for the accused to rebut such presumption by leading evidence.

Accused Cannot Be Convicted Of Rape On Basis Of Sole Testimony Of Prosecutrix Unless Her Testimony Is Of "Sterling" Quality [Santosh Prasad v. State of Bihar]

The Supreme Court has held that the conviction of an accused in Rape Cases cannot be done on the basis of sole testimony of the Prosecutrix unless she passes the test of "Sterling Witness". The Judgment rendered by a Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan & M.R. Shah has held that in order to convict an accused on the basis of solitary evidence of the Prosecutrix, the evidence must be absolutely trustworthy, unblemished and of sterling quality.

Associations That Are Formed Due To Mandate Of Law Cannot File A Consumer Complaint [Shobha Hibiscus Condominium v. Managing Director, M/S Sobha Developers Ltd. & Anr]

Explaining the term 'voluntary consumer association' appearing in Section 12(1)(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, the Supreme Court observed that it is a body formed by a group of persons coming together, of their own will and without any pressure or influence from anyone and without being mandated by any other provisions of law. The bench of Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Justice R. Subhash Reddy observed thus while holding that Sobha Hibiscus Condominium, an association which consists of members of flat owners in a building, which has come into existence pursuant to a declaration which is required to be made compulsorily under the provisions of 1972 Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, 1972, cannot be said to be a voluntary association to maintain a complaint under the provisions of the Act.

Discrepancies In Evidence Against Delinquent Not A Ground To Interfere With Findings Of Disciplinary Inquiry [State of Karnataka v. Gangaraj]

The Supreme Court has observed that the findings of disciplinary inquiry cannot be interfered only on the ground that there are discrepancies in the evidence against the delinquent. The bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that, once the evidence has been accepted by the departmental authority, in exercise of power of judicial review, the Tribunal or the High Court could not interfere with the findings of facts recorded by re-appreciating evidence as if the Courts are the Appellate Authority.

Findings Of Fact Cannot Be Interfered With In A Second Appeal Unless Findings Are Perverse, Reiterates SC [C. Doddanarayana Reddy (Dead) v. C. Jayarama Reddy (Dead)]

The bench of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Hemant Gupta, observed that the findings of fact cannot be interfered with in a second appeal unless the findings are perverse. In the appeal filed by the defendants, the court observed that the High Court erred in law in interfering with the finding of fact recorded by the trial court as affirmed by the First Appellate Court. The findings of fact cannot be interfered with in a second appeal unless, the findings are perverse. The High Court could not have interfered with the findings of the fact.

Recourse To Writ Jurisdiction In Election Matters Not Appropriate When Statute Provides An Alternative Machinery [Laxmibai v. The Collector, NAnded & Ors.]

The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hemant Gupta held that Once alternate machinery is provided by the statute, the recourse to writ jurisdiction in matters related to elections is not an appropriate remedy. The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hemant Gupta noted that Article 243-O of the Constitution of India provides that no election to any panchayats shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as provided for by or under any law made under the legislature of the State.

High Courts Are Not Precluded From Entertaining Writ Petitions Even If There Are Disputed Questions Of Facts [Popatrao Vyankitrao Patil v. State of Maharashtra]

The Supreme Court has observed that a High Court is not precluded from entertaining a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India even if there are disputed questions of fact which fall for consideration but if they do not require elaborate evidence to be adduced. The bench of CJI SA Bobde, Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant, was considering an appeal against a Bombay High Court judgment which declined to entertain a writ petition on the ground that it involves question of facts.

Medical Professionals Should Not Be Dragged Into Criminal Proceedings Unless Negligence Of A High Order Is Shown [Anjana Agnihotri v. State of Haryana]

The bench comprising of Justices Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta observed that the medical professionals should not be dragged into criminal proceedings unless negligence of a high order is shown. In this case, a doctor was accused of medical negligence for allegedly not attending a woman after performing cesarean operation, which resulted in her death. She was discharged by the Trial Court by allowing her application. The Appellate Court reversed this order of the Trial Court.

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