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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
12 July 2020 2:33 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Week Commencing July 6 To July 12, 2020

1. [Suo Motu Limitation] SC Allows Service Through Instant Tele-Messenger Services Like Whatsapp, Email & Fax [In Re: Extension of Limitation]

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed service of summons & notices through instant tele-messenger services like Whatsapp as well as via email & fax. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna & Subhash Reddy clarified that all methods are to be employed to prove a valid service on a party . CJI refused the request of the Attorney General for specifically naming Whatsapp as a mode of effectuating service stating that it was not prudent to specify Whatsapp only.

Also Read: [Suo Motu Extension Of Limitation] Have Reservations Against Whatsapp For Effectuating Summons/Service, Centre Tells SC

2. SC Nullifies Post-March 31 Sale Of BS-IV Vehicles ; Bars Registration Of Such Vehicles [M.C. Mehta V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court recalled its March 27 order which allowed sale of 10% of unsold BS-IV vehicles for ten days after the lockdown, in areas except Delhi-NCR, after noting that the automobile dealers sold such vehicles during the lockdown in violation of the order. Following the recall of the order, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer & Indira Banerjee held that such vehicles sold during lockdown should not be treated as sold, and that the consideration received should be refunded to the purchasers. The Court also ordered that no such vehicle sold after March 31 should be registered.

3. Amish Devgan Case : SC Extends Interim Orders Staying Investigation & Coercive Action [Amish Devgan V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court directed that that the interim orders staying investigation and coercive action against journalist Amish Devgan for multiple FIRs filed against him in connection with his remarks against Sufi Saint Moinnuddin Chishti shall continue. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar & Sanjiv Khanna allowed the Petitioner to serve copies on the de facto complainants who had not been served and directed the Union and other respondents to file a reply in two weeks. The Petitioner can file rejoinder thereafter.

4. SC Grants Interim Bail to Unitech Promoter Sanjay Chandra [Sanjay Chandra V. Union of India]

Promoter and former Managing Director of Unitech Ltd., Sanjay Chandra, who has been in jail for approximately 3 years, was granted interim bail on Tuesday by Supreme Court. Accepting his plea for bail on account of both his parents being COVID-19 positive, the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud & MR Shah allowed him to be released for a period of one month.

5. SC Grants One Month's Time To Implement The Grant of Permanent Commission and Command Posts for Eligible Women Officers in Army [Secretary, Ministry of Defence V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court granted one month's time to implement the grant of Permanent Commission and Command Posts for eligible women officers in the Indian Army. A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud heard the Application filed by the Centre seeking for an extension of 6 months to implement the judgement that had been delivered by Justices DY Chandrachud and Ajay Rastogi on 17th February 2020.

6. [COVID19 In Children's Homes] SC Directs States of UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Tripura To File Affidavits In Suo Motu Matter [In Re: Contagion of COVID 19 Virus In Children's Protection Homes]

The Supreme Court directed the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Tripura to file their respective Affidavits By Friday in its suo motu case pertaining to the condition of children in protection, juvenile and foster or kinship homes amid the Coronavirus outbreak. A bench of Justices LN Rao, Hemant Gupta & S. Ravindra Bhat also directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to file an additional reply pertaining to the issue of apprehensions of COVID cases at Shelter homes in Kanpur, UP. Further to this, Court also appointed Advocate Gaurav Agarwala as Amicus Curaie and asked all Counsel of State to submit their affidavits to him. In this backdrop, bench adjourned the matter to Monday, July 10.

7. 'Registry Blamed Unnecessarily' : SC Dismisses Plea Alleging Bias In Listing Matters With 100 Rupees Cost [Reepak Kansal V. Secretary General]

The Supreme Court dismissed a petition alleging alleging adoption of a "pick and choose" policy by its Registry and of routinely giving preference to influential advocates in listings. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra dismissed petition filed by lawyer, Reepak Kansal, and imposed a fine of Rs 100 on him for filing the plea in which he had sought seeking a direction to its Secretary General & Registrar/officers in "not to give preferences to cases filed by influential lawyers/petitioners".

Also Read: Arnab Goswami Case Was Listed Urgently As It Pertained To Liberty And Freedom Of Media, Says SC

8. "Duty Of State To Address Lapses" SC Pulls Up State Of Maharashtra For Vague Affidavit In 'Suo Motu' Matter on Migrant Issues [IN RE: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers]

The Supreme Court pulled up the State of Maharashtra for its lackadaisical approach in filing a detailed affidavit in the suo motu case pertaining to the problems and miseries of migrant workers. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul & MR Shah stated that since the instant suo motu case was not adversarial in nature, it was the duty of the State of Maharashtra to file a detailed affidavit and apprise the Court of the real time issues faced by Migrants. The bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the State of Maharashtra to "better advise the state" to file an affidavit regarding details of migrants awaiting to return to state of Maharashtra by next week.

9. Doctor's Suicide Case: SC Refuses To Entertain Plea For Cancellation Of Bail To AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal [Hemant Singh V. State of NCT Delhi]

The Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking cancellation of bail of AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal in connection with the alleged suicide of a doctor in south Delhi in April. A bench of Justices R. Banumathi, Ajay Rastogi & Aniruddha Bose disposed off the plea filed by the deceased doctor's son and granted liberty to the family to move the appropriate court for cancellation of bail. Jarwal was granted bail by the Delhi High Court to on June 24. The Court noted that since Jarwal was already on bail, proper remedy at this juncture was elsewhere and not the Top Court. Further to this, the bench noted that if any condition of bail already is violated, the Petitioner(s) may seek its cancellation.

10. Vinod Dua Case : Will Quash FIR Straightaway If Satisfied With Petitioner's Contentions, Says SC; Asks HP Police To Submit Status Report [Vinod Dua V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court directed the Himachal Pradesh police to file status report in a sealed cover with requisite details within a week in the ongoing investigation against Journalist Vinod Dua on charges of sedition. A bench led by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was hearing the plea seeking quashing of FIR filed against Journalist Vinod Dua and took note of the questionnaire which Dua was made to answer by the Authorities. The bench has said that Dua does not need to answer the supplementary questionnaire sent by the police.

11. Bhima Koregaon : SC Sets Aside Delhi HC Order Calling For NIA Records Of Gautam Navlakha's Transfer To Mumbai; Expunges Remarks [NIA V. Gautam Navlakha]

The Supreme Court set aside the May 27 order passed by the Delhi High Court which had directed the National Investigation Agency to produce the records pertaining to the production warrant issued for the transfer of Gautam Navlakha from Delhi to Mumbai. The direction challenged by NIA was passed by Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani of High Court after making a prima facie observation that the NIA had acted in "unseemly haste" to move Navlakha out of the jurisdiction of the Delhi Court while it was considering his bail application. Allowing NIA's appeal against the HC order, a bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra & Navin Sinha further directed for the expunging of remarks made by the Delhi High Court against NIA while hearing Navlakha's bail plea.

12. Mysterious Death of NLU Jodhpur Student: SC Asks Rajasthan Police To Complete Investigation Within Two Months [Neetu Kumar Nagaich V. State of Rajasthan]

The Supreme Court has directed the Rajasthan Police to complete the investigation into the August 2017 mysterious death of Vikrant Nagaich, a 3rd-year student at National Law University, Jodhpur, within a period of two months. A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha & BR Gavai gave the direction in a plea filed on behalf of Nagaich's mother, which sought for a transfer of investigation from the State Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on account of the former allegedly making no effort to apprehend the offenders.

13. Criminal Appeal Against Order Of Conviction Cannot Be Dismissed For Default: Reiterates SC [Sakunthala V. State]

The Supreme Court recently set aside a Madras High Court order that had dismissed a Criminal Appeal against an order of conviction for default. The bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Navin Sinha & BR Gavai agreed with the contention put forth by the counsel, relying on the decision of the Supreme Court in K. S. Panduranga v. State of Karnataka (2013) 3 SCC 721, that an appeal against an order of conviction cannot be dismissed in default but must be taken up and decided on merits even if the appellant in-person or the counsel representing him, is not present.

14. [Order VII Rule 11 CPC] If Plaint Does Not Disclose Cause Of Action Or Suit Is Barred By Any Law, The Court Has No Option But To Reject The Plaint: SC [Dahiben V. Arvindbhai Kalyanji Bhansuli (Gajra)(D) Thr LRs]

The Supreme Court has observed that the provision of Order VII Rule 11 Code of Civil Procedure regarding 'Rejection of Plaint' is mandatory in nature. A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao & Indu Malhotra said."It states that the plaint "shall" be rejected if any of the grounds specified in clause (a) to (e) are made out. If the Court finds that the plaintiff does not disclose a cause of action, or that the suit is barred by any law, the Court has no option, but to reject the plaintiff."

Also Read: Non Payment Of Part Of Sale Consideration Is Not A Ground For Cancellation Of Registered Sale Deed: SC

15. Dispute As To Inheritance Of Shares Cannot Be Decided In Proceedings U/s 241/242 Of Companies Act, 2013: SC [Aruna Oswal V. Pankaj Oswal]

The Supreme Court has observed that a dispute as to inheritance of shares cannot be decided in proceedings under section 241/242 of the Companies Act, 2013. In appeal, the bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra & S. Abdul Nazeer noted that, in Sangramsinh P. Gaekwad and Ors. v. Shantadevi P. Gaekwad (Dead) through LRs. and Ors., (2005) 11 SCC 314, it was held that the dispute as to inheritance of shares is eminently a civil dispute and cannot be said to be a dispute as regards oppression and/or mismanagement so as to attract Company Court's jurisdiction under sections 397 and 398 of Companies Act, 1956.

16. SC Asks Solicitor General To Submit Suggestions on Plea Seeking Closure Of Ashrams By Fake Babas [Dumpala Ramreddy V. Union of India & Anr.]

The Supreme Court asked a petitioner seeking shutting down of Ashrams run by 'fake babas' to serve the petition upon the Centre in order for them to come up with suggestions regarding the the possible course of action. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde. Justices Subhash Reddy & AS Bopanna, directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to read the Petition and seek instructions from the Government regarding suggestions on what could possibly be done.

17. SC Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Waiver Of Private School Fees & Regulatory Mechanism PAN India [Sushil Kumar & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court refused to entertain the plea seeking, inter alia, a waiver of private school fees for a period of three months starting April 1 till July 1 2020 and regulatory mechanisms for structuring and collection mechanism of fees PAN India during lockdown. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna & R. Subash Reddy stated that the bench was not inclined to entertain the plea and would not want to go into merits of the issue and that the Petitioner may approach the High Courts of respective states. CJI also orally remarked that the jurisdiction of Top Court was being consistently invoked by petitioners in matters concerning all aspects as though it had "omnibus jurisdiction".

18. [PM CARES Fund vs NDRF] Mere Existence Of Statutory Fund No Bar To Create Separate Fund For Voluntary Donations : Centre Tells SC [Centre For Public Interest Litigation V. Union of India]

The Central Government told the Supreme Court that there exists no prohibition on creation of PM CARES Fund as it is independent and distinct from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) which is stipulated under the Disaster Management Act. In reply to the PIL, which has sought transfer of funds from PMCARES Fund to NDRF for relief works in combating the Covid19 pandemic, the Centre has taken the stand before A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul & MR Shah that the NDRF, as stipulated under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DMA), consists of funds in the form of budgetary provisions made by the Central and State Governments without any private contributions.

19. Bhima Koregaon: SC Adjourns State Of Maharashtra's Appeal Seeking Setting Aside Of Gautam Navlakha's Transit Remand Order [State of Maharashtra V. Gautam Navlakha]

The Supreme Court adjourned an appeal moved by State of Maharashtra against the Delhi High Court order setting aside Gautam Navlakha's transit remand. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer & Indira Banerjee allowed the State Government to file a compilation earmarking list of dates along with a convenience in the appeal which has contended that the habeas corpus petition filed by Navlakha before the High Court is not maintainable.

20. SC Issues Notice On DMK MLA's Plea To Direct TN Speaker To Decide On Disqualification Of 11 AIADMK MLAs [R. Sakkrapani V. The Secretary, TN Legislative Assembly]

The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, R Subhash Reddy & AS Bopanna issued notice in the plea filed by DMK Leader R. Sakkrapani which seeks for a direction to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker to immediately decide the Disqualification Petition regarding 11 MLAs who had voted against the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in 2017.

21. Kerala Elephant Tragedy: SC Issues Notice To Centre, State of Kerala & 12 Other States In Plea Seeking Stoppage Of Snares & Traps Against Wildlife [Shubham Awasthi V. Union of India & Others]

The Supreme Court issued notice in a plea challenging the practice of using snares and other barbaric means to ward off wild animals in light of the horrific death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna & Subhash Reddy issued notice to the Centre, State of Kerala and 12 other states impleaded in the petition which states that the practices are illegal and unconstitutional, and therefore, seeks for the issuance of guidelines for creation of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to tackle such incidents and fulfilling the vacancies in Forest Forces across the States of the Union.

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