Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar

20 Sep 2020 2:50 PM GMT

  • Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

    Week Commencing September 13, 2020 to September 20, 2020

    Top Stories This Week:1. "You Cannot Target One Community And Brand Them In A Particular Manner": SC Restrains Sudarshan TV From Telecasting "UPSC Jihad" Show [Firoz Iqbal Khan V. UOI]The Supreme Court restrained the Sudarshan TV News from telecasting the remaining episodes of the 'Bindas Bol' show about Muslims clearing the UPSC exam until further orders, after prima facie observing that...

    Top Stories This Week:

    1. "You Cannot Target One Community And Brand Them In A Particular Manner": SC Restrains Sudarshan TV From Telecasting "UPSC Jihad" Show [Firoz Iqbal Khan V. UOI]

    The Supreme Court restrained the Sudarshan TV News from telecasting the remaining episodes of the 'Bindas Bol' show about Muslims clearing the UPSC exam until further orders, after prima facie observing that the object of the show was to vilify Muslims. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra & KM Joseph was hearing a petition filed against the telecast of the show hosted by the channel's Chief Editor Mr. Suresh Chavhanke on the ground that it was communalizing the entry of Muslims into UPSC. The hearing is ongoing in this case and it will be taken up for further consideration on September 21.

    Also Read: Sudarshan TV Moves SC Seeking Live Telecast Of Hearing In Case Against 'Bindas Bol' Show

    Also Read: 'Do You Watch TV?', SC Asks News Broadcasters Association(NBA); Calls It 'Toothless'

    Also Read: Selection Of Marginalized Communities In UPSC A Matter OF Joy; Your Show Running Them Down: Justice Joseph Tells Sudarshan TV 

    2. 'Defence Of Fair Comment Ignored': Prashant Bhushan Files Review Against Contempt Verdict [In Re: Prashant Bhushan & Anr.]

    Advocate Prashant Bhushan has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of the contempt verdict passed against him by a Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra for his remarks over CJI and functioning of the Supreme Court. Mr. Bhushan has cited various instances suggesting that Justice Mishra's presence on the Bench raises a reasonable apprehension on his part of getting a "fair and impartial hearing".

    3. Supreme Court To Deliver Judgment On Plea Against NLAT2020 On Monday, September 21 [Rakesh Kumar Agarwalla V. NLSIU]

    The Supreme Court observed that it shall deliver judgment on the plea challenging the conduct of a separate examination (NLAT) by National Law University of India, Bangalore on Monday. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah was hearing a plea filed by Former VC of NLSIU, Prof. (Dr.) RV Rao and an aggrieved law school aspirant challenging the sudden withdrawal of NLSIU from Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2020 and its decision to hold the separate National Law Admission Test (NLAT). Om September 11, Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the National Law School of India to conduct the Admission Test-NLAT2020 as per the schedule Tomorrow. However the Bench has restrained the Administration from declaring the results and making Admissions.

    4. "Sardesai's Statement Not Serious As To Undermine The Majesty Of Supreme Court":AG Declines Consent To Initiate Contempt Against Rajdeep Sardesai

    Attorney General KK Venugopal has rejected an application seeking his consent for the initiation of contempt proceedings against Consulting Editor of the India Today Group, Rajdeep Sardesai for his tweets in relation to Prashant Bhushan Contempt Case. "Mr. Sardesai's statements are not of "so serious a nature as to undermine the majesty of the Supreme Court or lower its stature in the minds of the public. "The reputation of the SC as one of the great pillars of our democracy has been built assiduously over the last 70 years. Trifling remarks and mere passing of criticism though perhaps distasteful are unlikely to tarnish the image of the institution," AG had stated in the Order.

    5. SC Rejects SBI Plea Seeking Vacation Of Stay On Insolvency Proceedings Against Anil Ambani [SBI V. Anil Ambani]

    The Supreme Court has declined to vacate a stay, earlier granted by Delhi High Court towards the ongoing IBC proceedings against Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta & S. Ravindra Bhat asked the petitioner bank (State Bank of India) to complete proceedings before the High Court and seek modification as prayed for, adding that the case will be taken up before the Delhi High Court on October 6. The plea comes in light of the an order passed by the Delhi High Court staying the IBC proceedings against Ambani in terms of an INR 1200 crore loan, disbursed by SBI to two of Ambani's firms. The SBI invoked personal guarantee in terms of the same but a Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajneesh Bhatnagar restricted Anil Ambani from alienating his assets till the next date of hearing.

    6. No Immediate Demolition Of Slums Near Delhi Tracks Till Urban Affairs Ministry Takes A Decision: Centre Tells SC [MC Mehta V. UOI (WP Civil No. 13029/1985)]

    The Central Government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that there will not be immediate removal of the slums near the railway track in Delhi, in furtherance of the August 31 order of the apex court. The Solicitor General told a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India that there won't be a removal of jhuggis near rail tracks until the Railways in consultation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs discuss and find a solution within 4 weeks.

    Judgments This Week:

    7. SC Order Extending Limitation Period Does Not Enlarge The Period Upto Which Delay Can Be Condoned In Exercise Of Statutory Discretion: SC [In Re: Extension of Limitation]

    Clarifying its 23 March order, the Supreme court observed that the said order extended only "the period of limitation" and not the period upto which delay can be condoned in exercise of discretion conferred by the statute. The Court held that the expression "prescribed period" appearing in Section 4 of the Limitation Act cannot be construed to mean anything other than the period of limitation.

    8. Relief Of Specific Performance Of Contract Is No Longer Discretionary After 2018 Amendment: SC [B. Santhoshamma V. D. Sarala]

    Relief of specific performance of a contract is no longer discretionary, after the 2018 amendment, observed the Supreme court in a judgment delivered on Friday. The bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Indira Banerjee observed thus in an appeal arising out of a specific performance suit. Though the case involved interpretation of Specific Relief Act prior to 2018 amendment, the bench observed thus: "After the amendment of Section 10 of the S.R.A., the words "specific performance of any contract may, in the discretion of the Court, be enforced" have been substituted with the words "specific performance of a contract shall be enforced subject to ...". The Court is, now obliged to enforce the specific performance of a contract, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 11, Section 14 and Section 16 of the S.R.A. Relief of specific performance of a contract is no longer discretionary, after the amendment."

    9. 'Ten Times Penalty' Prescribed For Deficit Stamp Duty Cannot Be Mechanically Imposed: SC [Trustees of HC Dhanda Trust V. State of Madhya & Ors.]

    The Supreme Court has observed that the penalty of ten times prescribed under Section 40(1) (b) of the Indian Stamp Act cannot be mechanically imposed. The reason such as fraud or deceit in order to deprive the or undue enrichment are relevant factors to arrive at a decision as to what should be the extent of penalty under Section 40(1)(b), the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah and R. Subhash Reddy observed.

    10. [Motor Accidents Claims] Compensation For Loss Of Future Prospects Can Be Awarded In Cases Of Permanent Disablement Also: SC 

    The Supreme court has observed that compensation for loss of future prospects can be awarded in cases of permanent disablement incurred as a result of a motor accident. The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat disagreed with the Delhi High Court view that addition in income towards "future prospects" can only be given in case of death, and not for injury. It observed that that the Courts should not adopt a stereotypical or myopic approach, but instead, view the matter taking into account the realities of life, both in the assessment of the extent of disabilities, and compensation under various heads.

    11. Arbitration -Enforcement Court May Refuse Enforcement Of Foreign Award, But Cannot Set Aside Or Correct It: SC [Govt of India V. Vedanta Ltd.]

    The Supreme Court, in Vedanta case, observed that though enforcement courts may "refuse" enforcement of a foreign award, if the conditions contained in Section 48 are made out, but it cannot set aside or correct a foreign award, even if such conditions are made out. The above observations were made by the bench headed by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer while disagreeing with the view expressed by the High Court that a foreign award is enforceable on its own strength, and is not necessarily dependent on whether or not it goes through the process of Section 48 proceedings. The bench, also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose observed that, it is only after the stages of Sections 47 and 48 are completed, the award becomes enforceable as a deemed decree, as provided by Section 49.

    12. Limitation Period For Filing Petition For Enforcement Of Foreign Award Would Be Governed By Article 137 Of Limitation Act: SC [Government of India V. Vedanta Ltd.]

    The Supreme Court has held that the period of limitation for filing a petition for enforcement of a foreign award under Sections 47 and 49 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, would be governed by Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963 which prescribes a period of three years from when the right to apply accrues. The bench comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose observed that a party may file an application under Section 5 for condonation of delay in filing the petition for enforcement of foreign award as the bar contained therein which excludes an application filed under any of the provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, would not be applicable to a substantive petition filed under the Arbitration Act, 1996.

    13. Section 50 NDPS Act Applicable Only In The Case Of Personal Search, Reiterates SC [Jeet Ram V. Narcotics Control Bureau]

    Section 50 of the NDPS Act is applicable only in the case of personal search, the Supreme court has reiterated while affirming the conviction of an accused who was a temple priest. The bench referred to a three judge bench judgment in State of H.P. v. Pawan Kumar which considered the issue whether the safeguards provided by Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, regarding search of any "person" would also apply to any bag, briefcase or any such article or container etc., which is being carried by him.

    14. Major Unmarried Daughter Not Suffering From Any Physical Or Mental Abnormality Not Entitled To Claim Maintenance From Father U/s 125 Of CrPC: SC [Abhilasha V. Parkash]

    The Supreme Court has held that a daughter who attained majority and is still unmarried is not entitled to claim maintenance from her father in proceedings under Section 125 Cr.P.C. if she is not suffering from any physical or mental abnormality/injury. The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan held that unmarried Hindu daughter can claim maintenance from her father till she is married relying on Section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoptions & Maintenance Act, 1956, provided she pleads and proves that she is unable to maintain herself, for enforcement of which right her application/suit has to be under Section 20 of Act.

    Other Important SC Updates:

    15. [Vinod Dua Case] "Violence Not A Sine Qua Non For Sedition, There Can Be Public Disorder Without Violence": Mahesh Jethmalani Tells SC [Vinod Dua V. UOI]

    "I'd like to point out that this gentleman has a leaning against the government," submitted Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani before top Court on Friday, appearing for the complainant, who had lodged an FIR against Journalist Vinod Dua. Dua's has sought quashing of FIR filed against him on charges of sedition for his expressing opinions on his Youtube Channel.

    Also Read: 'Vinod Dua's Show Incited People To Migrate During Pandemic': SG Tushar Mehta Tells SC

    16. SC Reserves Orders On Medha Patkar's Plea For Interim Release Of Maharashtra Prisoners Under Special Acts

    The Supreme Court reserved its orders to pass suitable directions to the Maharashtra High Power Committee in a petition seeking interim release of prisoners from Maharashtra jails on account of the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The Bench comprising CJI SA Bobde along with Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was considering a Special Leave Petition(SLP) challenging Bombay High Court's decision to uphold the Maharashtra State High Powered Committee's recommendations to not release on emergency parole those prisoners convicted for offences punishable with less than 7 years under Special Acts such as NDPS Act, UAPA, MCOCA etc.

    17. [3 Decade Old Multani Murder Case] SC Grants Protection From Arrest To Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini [Sumedh Singh Saini V. State of Punjab]

    Supreme Court granted interim protection from arrest to former Director General of Police in Punjab Sumedh Singh Saini, who is an accused in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani kidnapping and murder case. The Court has issued notice in the anticipatory bail plea filed by him. A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, and comprising of Justices R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, heard the arguments in the plea filed by Saini which challenges the September 7 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court wherein his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed, and proceeded to direct for no arrest till a Reply is filed by the State within a period of 3 weeks.

    18. Considerations On Account Of Delay & Limitation Ought Not To Negate The Right Of Appeal Inhering In An Accused: SC 

    The considerations on account of delay and limitation ought not to negate the right of appeal inhering in an accused, the Supreme Court remarked. In this case, the accused was convicted in a murder case and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The appeal filed by him before the Odisha High Court was dismissed on the ground of delay of 1192 days in preferring the appeal. Later, the Supreme Court, taking note of the fact that the matter was not considered on merits, set aside the High Court order and remitted the appeal back to it. While dismissing the review petition, the bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Indu Malhotra observed thus: "In a criminal matter, where the life and liberty of a person is in question, one right of appeal has always been accepted and appropriate steps must be taken to effectuate that right. The considerations on account of delay and limitation ought not to negate the right of appeal inhering in an accused."

    19. SC Issues Notice On 7 UP Judicial Officers' Plea Against Non-recommendation Of Their Names By SC Collegium For Elevation To Allahabad HC [Parmod Kumar & Ors. V. Honble Supreme Court of India & Ors.]

    The Supreme Court has issued notice on a petition challenging non-inclusion of certain Judicial Officers from the State of Uttar Pradesh, in the SC Collegium's recommendation dated August 14, 2020 for appointment as Judges of the Allahabad High Court. The plea filed by seven JOs from the state, through Advocate Aruna Gupta, seek a direction upon the Collegium to reconsider their cases for elevation. They have submitted that whereas the HC Collegium had recommended their names for elevation, the SC Collegium has proposed to elevate only District and Sessions Judge Subhash Chand. A CJI SA Bobde led bench has issued notice in the petition.

    19. SC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Provisions Of Special Marriages Act Requiring Publication Of Private Details Of Parties Intending Marriage [Nandini Praveen V. UOI]

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice in a plea challenging provisions of the Special Marriages Act, 1954 in so far as they require the parties to the marriage to establish their private details, open for public scrutiny, before 30 days of intended marriage. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun issued notice in the plea which challenged the provisions in context of the Constitutional tenets of Articles 14, 15 & 21 of the Constitution.

    20. SC Stays Kerala HC Judgment Which Quashed Appointment Of Presiding Officer Of Industrial Tribunal 

    The Supreme Court stayed the operation of a Kerala High Court judgement which had restrained V. Vijayakumar from functioning as the Presiding Officer of the Central Government Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court, Ernakulam. A Bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat issued notice in the plea while hearing a batch of petitions concerning appointments to Tribunals and the challenge to the constitutionality of the Tribunal Rules, 2020.

    21. SC Seeks Response From States, UTs On Status Of Installation Of CC TV Cameras And Oversight Committees 

    The Supreme Court has directed Chief Secretary of each State and Union Territory to inform it about the exact position as to CCTV cameras in Police Stations as well as the constitution of Oversight Committees. The bench impleaded all the States and Union Territories in the SLP moved by one Paramvir Singh Saini, which larger questions, viz., audio-video recordings of statements and the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations generally.

    22. "Approach The HC": SC In Law Student's Plea Seeking Relaxations In Time For Payment Of Fees In Universities [Ramey K Rana V. UOI]

    The Supreme Court gave liberty to the petitioner to approach appropriate High Court's in a plea seeking issuance of appropriate directions to the Bar Council of India (BCI) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to issue a circular mandating Universities and institutions across India to provide a reasonable time period for payment of fees by students. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy & MR Shah told the petitioner law student that the petition(s) related to UGC had already been decided and it could not entertain the instant case under Article 32, the appropriate forum being respective High Courts.

    23. Criminal Cases Against MPs/MLAs : SC Asks HC Chief Justices To Submit Action Plan For Expeditious Disposal [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay & Ors. V. UOI & Ors.]

    The Supreme Court asked the Chief Justices of the High Courts to formulate an action plan to rationalize the disposal of criminal cases pending against legislators. The action plan should touch upon the following aspects :
    a. Total number of pending cases in each district;
    b. Required number of proportionate Special Courts;
    c. Number of Courts that are currently available;
    d. Number of Judges and the subject categories of the cases.

    24. SC Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Declaration That There Is No Freedom Of Speech With Respect To sub judice Matters [Dr. Subhash Vijayran V. UOI]

    The Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea which sought for a declaration that the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression did not lie with reference to subjudice matters and final orders, except to the extent of fair and true reporting. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde presided over the matter and informed Petitioner-in-Person Dr. Subash Vijayran that what he was saying was the law in itself.

    25. 'Deceased Was Not Assaulted At Railway Tracks But Elsewhere' : SC On Mysterious Death Of NLU-Jodhpur Student [Neetu Kumar Nagaich V. State of Rajasthan & Ors.]

    The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Rajasthan police for the "hasty action" of filing a closure report in the investigation into the mysterious death of Vikrant Nagaich who was a 3rd-year law student of the National Law University, Jodhpur. While allowing the writ petition filed by Neetu Kumar Nagaich, the mother of the deceased student, the top court made certain significant observations regarding the circumstances of the student's death, which happened in 2017.

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