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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
10 May 2020 10:54 AM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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Weekly Round Up Of The Supreme Court Of India [Week Commencing May 4, 2020 To May 10, 2020]

1. SARFEASI Act Applicable To Cooperative Banks : SC [Pandurang Ganpati Chaugule and others V. Vishwasrao Patil Murgud Sahakari Bank Limited]The Supreme Court held that the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security (SARFREZI) Act, 2002 is applicable to Cooperative banks. A Constitution Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira...

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1. SARFEASI Act Applicable To Cooperative Banks : SC  [Pandurang Ganpati Chaugule and others V. Vishwasrao Patil Murgud Sahakari Bank Limited]

The Supreme Court held that the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security (SARFREZI) Act, 2002 is applicable to Cooperative banks. A Constitution Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose upheld the 2003 notification issued under the Banking Regulation Act of 1949, by which co­operative bank was brought within the class of banks entitled to seek recourse to the provisions of the SARFAESI Act. Thus, the court held that Parliament had the legislative competence to bring cooperative banks under the ambit of SARFAESI Act.

2. Order XXIII Rule 3A CPC: Bar To File Separate Suit Challenging Compromise Decree Applies To Stranger Also: SC [Triloki Nath Singh V. Anirudh Singh]

The Supreme Court held that the bar under Order 23 Rule 3A Civil Procedure Code to challenge a decree passed on a compromise in a separate suit, also applied to a stranger to the proceedings. A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi examined the intent behind amending Order 23 and observed that "Finality of decisions is an underlying principle of all adjudicating forums. Thus, creation of further litigation should never be the basis of a compromise between the parties"

3. [Contract Act] Sec 32 Instead Of Sec 56 Applies When Parties Agree In Advance On Contingency Which Makes Performance Impossible : SC [National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation V Alimenta SA]

While discussing circumstances under which provisions of Sections 32 and 56 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 applied, the Supreme Court considered the incidental question of whether the contract had become void under Section 32 or Section 56 of the Contract Act. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, M R Shah and B R Gavai noted that the contract in this particular case had a clear stipulation regarding the necessity of Government sanction, without which export would be impossible. Thus, Section 32 - which applies in case the agreement itself provides for contingencies upon happening of which contract cannot be carried out, would apply. Apart from that, another main point in this case was whether a foreign award was opposed to public policy of India and was therefore unenforceable? [A Report on which may be read here]

4. HC May Decline To Entertain A Writ Petition Which Raises Complex Questions Of Facts: SC [Punjab National Bank Vs. Atmanand Singh]

"The High Court may decline to entertain a writ petition when it raises complex questions of facts" the Supreme Court reiterated. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari noted that "when the petition raises questions of fact of complex nature, such as in the present case, which may for their determination require oral and documentary evidence to be produced and proved by the concerned party and also because the relief sought is merely for ordering a refund of money, the High Court should be loath in entertaining such writ petition and instead must relegate the parties to remedy of a civil suit."

5. Accused Can Challenge Conviction In Appeal Filed By The State Even If He Did Not Prefer A Formal Appeal: SC [State of Rajasthan V. Mehram]

The Supreme Court observed that an accused can challenge the finding and order of conviction in the appeal filed by the State, even though the said accused had not preferred a formal appeal. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari accepted the contention that the accused had a right to challenge the finding of guilt and conviction under Section 326 and 148, IPC, recorded against him, even though the said accused had not preferred a formal appeal against the impugned judgment. Court relied on Chandrakant Patil vs. State through CBI, Sumer Singh vs. Surajbhan Singh & Ors., State of Rajasthan vs. Ramanand vis-à-vis the settled legal position which predicates that in the appeal filed against the sentence on the ground of its inadequacy, the accused may plead for his acquittal or for reduction of the sentence.

6. HC Cannot Disregard Statutory Limitation Period To Entertain Writ Petition Challenging Order Passed By Statutory Authority: SC [Assistant Commissioner (CT) LTU, Kakinada V. M/s. Glaxo Smith KlineConsumer Health Care Limited]

The Supreme Court observed that a High Court cannot disregard the statutory limitation period to entertain writ petition assailing orders passed by statutory authorities which were not appealed against before the expiry of the maximum limitation period. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari held that "the powers of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution are wide, but certainly not wider than the plenary powers bestowed on this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution. Article 142 is a conglomeration and repository of the entire judicial powers under the Constitution, to do complete justice to the parties".

7. SC Extends Limitation Under Arbitration Act & Sec 138 Of Negotiable Instruments Act With Effect From March 15 [IN RE : Cognisance For Extension of Limitation]

The Supreme Court extended the limitation period for statutory provisions under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act & the Arbitration & Concilliation Act with effect from March 15 until further orders. A bench of CJI S A Bobde, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Hrishikesh Roy took note of its earlier March 23 order which had extended the limitation for filings in Courts/Tribunals and extended limitation vis-à-vis statutory provisions as aforementioned.

8. SC Stays Orissa HC Order On Mandatory COVID-19 Testing For Migrants To Enter Odisha [Union of India V. Narayan Chandra Jena]

The Supreme Court  stayed the order passed by the Orissa High Court on Thursday which directed that migrant workers should be allowed entry to Odisha only after testing negative for COVID-19. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and B R Gavai took up the issue  basis a mentioning made by Solicitor General of India. The bench observed that the impugned order created an unreasonable and impossible pre-condition on the part of governments and the migrant workers who wish to travel back to their places.

9. Babri Demolition Case : SC Extends Deadline For CBI Court To Deliver Judgment Till August 31,2020 [State through CBI V. Kalyan Singh]

Supreme Court extended the deadline for Special CBI Court, Lucknow to deliver judgment till August 31, 2020 criminal case pertianing to the the demolition of Babri Masjid. On July 19, 2019, the same bench of A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Surya Kant had directed the Trial Court to complete the recording of evidence within six months and deliver judgment within nine months. The Court had also directed the UP Government to issue administrative orders to extend the tenure of the Special Judge of CBI Court, Lucknow, who is holding the trial, till the delivery of judgment. On May 6, the trial judge, Sri Yadav, wrote to the SC seeking extension of time stating that even recording of evidence has not been completed

10. Lack Of 4G Net Affecting Health Services & Online Education In J&K, Submit Petitioners; SC Reserves Orders [Foundation For Media Professionald V. Union of India, Soayib Qureshi V. Union of India, Private Schools Association Jammu & Kashmir V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court reserved orders on the petitions seeking restoration of 4G internet speed in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly to enable access to health services and online education during COVID-19 lockdown. A bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Surya Kant and B R Gavai also took on record written submissions of the parties.

11Plea Challenging Levy Of Interest On Loans During Lockdown: SC Asks SG To Take Instructions From RBI,Centre [Gajendra Sharma V. Union Of India]

In a plea before the Supreme Court which sought to challenge on levy of interest on loan amounts during moratorium period as stipulated in RBI's March 27 Notification, the Centre stated that it shall obtain instructions. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul & BR Gavai permitted Solicitor General Tushar Mehta time to seek instructions on the issue and listed the matter after two weeks.

Also Read: RBI Advisory On Loan Moratorium : Frequently Asked Questions

12Women At Advance Stage Of Pregnancy Must Be Given Top Priority While Effectuating Cross-Border Evacuation: SC Tells Govt [Sanisha Thomas V. Union of India]

While hearing a plea on behalf of over 250 pregnant Indian women praying for evacuation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Supreme Court observed that women who are at the final stage of pregnancy (Third Trimester) must be given top priority for purposes of repatriation. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul & BR Gavai heard the plea whereunder, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted that the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for purposes of evacuation were being strictly followed.

13'Let the Govt. Decide': SC Dismisses Petition Seeking For Military Deployment For Proper Implementation Of Lockdown [Kamlakar Ratnakar Shenoy V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court while dismissing a plea which sought for deployment of military forces in each state, for purposes of proper implementation of the Coronavirus-induced national lockdown observed that the issue was the prerogative of the Executive. A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and BR Gavai was not inclined to hear the issue and directed the petitioner to withdraw the petition, stating that the government may decide where military is required to be deployed.

14. SC Imposes Costs of Rs. 10,000 and Dismisses Petition Seeking for Use of "Physical Distancing" Instead of "Social Distancing" [Shakeel Qureshi V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking for directions for use of the term "physical distancing" instead of "social distancing". A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and BR Gavai dismissed the petition imposing cost(s) of Rs. 10,000/- (to be deposited in the Supreme Court Mediation Centre) within a period of eight weeks.

15. States Can Consider Home Delivery Of Liquor/Indirect Sale To Facilitate Social Distancing: SC [Guruswamy Nataraj V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court observed that the State can consider selling liquor via Home Delivery and/or inculcate indirect sales during the Coronavirus induced lockdown. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai made this remark while hearing a petition challenging the opening of liquor shops by various State Governments. The bench observed that passing orders on the plea under Article 32 was not feasible and added that States must effectuate social distancing while selling liquor by considering the other viable options.

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