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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
8 Nov 2020 11:54 AM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up
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November 2, 2020 to November 8, 2020.

1. Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice To Maharashtra Assembly Secretary Over Letter To Arnab Goswami; Stays Arrest Of Republic TV Anchor In Plea Challenging Issuance of Privilege Motion [Arnab Ranjan Goswami V. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly]In an extraordinary development, the Supreme Court on Friday issued contempt notice to the Assistant Secretary of the Maharashtra...

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1. Supreme Court Issues Contempt Notice To Maharashtra Assembly Secretary Over Letter To Arnab Goswami; Stays Arrest Of Republic TV Anchor In Plea Challenging Issuance of Privilege Motion [Arnab Ranjan Goswami V. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly]

In an extraordinary development, the Supreme Court on Friday issued contempt notice to the Assistant Secretary of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for sending a letter to Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of Republic TV, for allegedly intimidating him for approaching the court against the privilege notice issued by the Assembly. The top court also ordered that Goswami should not be arrested in the pursuance of the privilege notice issued by the Assembly against him.

Also Read: "How Dare He Says? What is Article 32 For?" CJI Bobde While Issuing Contempt Notice To Maharashtra Assembly Secy. In Arnab Goswami Case

2. Top Court Issues Notice On Andhra Govt's Plea Against HC Order Staying SIT Probe In Amaravati Land Case [State of Andhra Pradesh V. Varla Ramaih]

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice on the appeal by Andhra Pradesh Government challenging stay granted by Andhra Pradesh HC of the SIT probe, into alleged irregularities into projects started by the previous TDP govt, including land acquisition in Amaravati. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah & Subhash Reddy also issued notice on the plea seeking revival of the SIT Probe and posted the matter after 4 weeks for final disposal.

3. "Interim Order Posing Difficulties": RBI Tells SC While Seeking Lifting Of Restrictions On Declaration Of Accounts As NPAs In Loan Moratorium Plea's [Gajendra Sharma V. UOI]

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informed the Supreme Court today that it was seeking lifting of restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court whereby it, protected those accounts from being declared as Non-performing Assets (NPAs), which were not classified as NPAs on August 31. Senior Advocate VV Giri who appeared for the RBI told the Court that the Top Court must hear the RBI's stand on the next date of hearing.

4. This Is An Opportunity To Impart Gender Sensitisation To Judges: AG Tells SC On Plea Against Bail Condition Asking Sexual Offender To Get Rakhi Tied By Victim [Aparna Bhat V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stated that it shall deliberate on the limitations of judges in imposing conditions for bail, in view of 9 women lawyers seeking a stay on the bail condition imposed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on July 30, in releasing a person, apprehended for outraging the modesty of a woman, provided he visits the house of the complainant and requests her to tie the Rakhi band to him "with the promise to protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come."

5. Supreme Court Stays International Award Asking ISRO Arm Antrix To Pay Compensation To Devas [DEVAS MULTIMEDIA PRIVATE LIMTED V. ANTRIX CORPORATION LIMITED]

The Supreme Court has put on hold an international award which had directed Antrix Corporation, (the commercial arm of ISRO) to pay compensation of USD 1.2 billion (INR 8,88,65,100,000) to Bengaluru-based startup "Devas Multimedia", for cancelling a satellite deal of 2005. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun also transferred the pending application under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act against the award from Bengaluru to Delhi High Court.

6. "We Are Not Concerned With Commissions, Ensure That There Is No Smog In The City Now": Supreme Court Tells Centre In Stubble Burning Case [MC Mehta V. UOI/ Batch Pleas]

The Supreme Court on Friday heard the plea concerning the issue of stubble burning and consequent Air Pollution in Delhi. "We are not concerned with that. There are many commissions and brains working. We just want you to ensure that there is no smog in the city now", said CJ S. A. Bobde, inclined to take up the matter post the Diwali vacation. The SG pointed out that the members of the Commission are a professor of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, an Ex-Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD), and some representatives of NGOs, all of whom are experts in the field and would start working from today (November 5).

7. Supreme Court Stays Election Commission's Order Removing Ex-CM Kamal Nath As 'Star Campaigner'; Asks 'Who Gives You Power To Delist A Candidate?' [Kamat Nath V. ECI]

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the order passed by the Election Commission of India delisting Ex Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as a "Star Campaigner" from the Madhya Pradesh By-Election. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun told the Election Commission that the Court will stay the order and will examine if the poll panel has the power to issue such an order.

8. Will Supreme Court Allow The "Sunlight" In? SC Sets Up Panel To Look Into Live-Streaming Of Hearings

Supreme Court has set up a panel in order to formulate rules regulating live-streaming of hearings in High Courts and Trial Courts, the Print reports. The panel formed by e-Committee of top court is expected to examine nuances relating to video conference hearings and digitisation of courts & submit its report to the Chairperson of Committee, Justice DY Chandrachud, within a week. Deliberations revolving around the possibility of live-streaming court proceedings are being held for the first time since a three-judge bench led by then CJI Dipak Mishra referred to Live Streaming as the Sunlight which will act as a disinfectant.

9. "No Reason To Change My Mind": AG Refuses To Reconsider Decision Declining Consent For Contempt Against Andhra CM For Allegations Against Justice Ramana

The Attorney General for India, K K Venugopal, has refused to reconsider his decision declining consent to initiate criminal contempt against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his advisor, Ajeya Kellam IAS for making public allegations against Justice N V Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court. The AG has reiterated that the CJI is seized of the matter and it would not be appropriate for him to grant consent and preclude the determination of the CJI on the matter.

10. Supreme Court Makes Jharkhand Coal Block Auction Provisional And Subject To Orders [State of Jharkhand V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Friday directed that any action in connection with the opening of commercial coal mining in Jharkhand and the coal block auction would be provisional in the sense that the same would be subject to any further orders by the court. The Chief Justice-led bench was hearing the suit by the Jharkhand Government against the launch of the auction process of coal blocks for purposes of commercial mining by the Centre.

11. "Last Opportunity to Deposit Interim Compensation Or Attached Assets Will Be Sold"; Supreme Court Warns Developers In Maradu Flats Demolition Case [Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority V. Maradu Municipality & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the four developers in the Maradu flat demolition case to submit their written submissions pertaining to their proposal to deposit the interim compensation within a period of four weeks. A Bench of Justices RF Nariman, Krishna Murari and Aniruddha Bose heard the matter and warned the developers that this would be the last opportunity to deposit the money or else the Justice Balakrishnan Nair Committee would be empowered to sell the assets of the developers that had been attached.

12. Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Against HC Order Allowing Harper Collins To Publish Book 'Gunning For The Godman' On Asaram Bapu Case [Sachin Gupta V. Harper Collins]

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed against a Delhi High Court interim order allowing publication of Harper Collins' book titled 'Gunning For The Godman', which is based on the criminal case against Asaram Bapu. A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar dismissed the appeal filed by Sanchita Gupta, who was convicted as an aide of the self-styled godman in a case related to rape of a minor, with a liberty to approach the High Court.

13. For Writ Against Stoppage Of Pension, Part Of Cause Of Action Arises Where Pensioner Is Getting Pension : Supreme Court [Shanti Devi Alias Shanti Mishra v Union of India and others]

As per a significant judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on Thursday, a retired employee can file a writ petition against stoppage of pension at the place where she is residing and need not approach the High Court where the pension authority is located. A 3-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan held that part of cause of action under Article 226(2) of the Constitution of India for filing writ arises at the place where the pensioner is residing and drawing pension.

14. [Yatin Oza Contempt] "Withdrawal Of Gown From Senior Advocate is Almost A Death Sentence, But Such Instances Not To Be Repeated", Says Justice Kaul [Yatin Oza V. HC Of Gujarat]

Assuring that he would be given a patient hearing and that the Court would try to put an end to his anguish, the Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the matter of advocate Yatin Oza's contempt and stripping off his seniority to a later date. "I did see the record. There are a lot of question marks, in more than one matters, on his conduct. Yes, I agree that withdrawal of gown from a senior advocate is almost a death sentence", observed Justice S. K. Kaul at the outset.

Judgments

1. Supreme Court Issues Guidelines On Payment Of Maintenance In Matrimonial Matters [Rajnesh V. Neha & Anr.]

In a significant, judgment, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines on payment of maintenance in matrimonial matters. The bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and R. Subhash Reddy held that maintenance in all cases will be awarded from the date of filing the application for maintenance. The court said that for payment of Interim Maintenance, the Affidavit of Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities, shall be filed by both parties in all maintenance proceedings, including pending proceedings before the concerned Family Court / District Court / Magistrates Court, as the case may be, throughout the country. The model affidavit is annexed as Enclosures I, II and III of this judgment.

2. [Rape & Murder Of 2.5 Year Old Niece] "Injury Not With The Intention To Extinguish Victim's Life": Supreme Court Commutes Death Sentence [SHATRUGHNA BABAN MESHRAM vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA]

The Supreme Court has commuted death sentence awarded to a man accused of rape and murder of his two and half year old niece. He did not consciously cause any injury with the intent to extinguish the life of the victim, the bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Krishna Murari and Indu Malhotra observed while commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC and to that of rigorous imprisonment for 25 years for the offence punishable under Section 376A IPC.

3. [SC-ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act] Mere Insult Of A Person Is Not An Offence Unless It's On Account of Him/Her Belonging To SC-ST: Supreme Court [Hitesh Verma V. State of Uttarakhand]

The Supreme Court has observed that the offence under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is not established merely on the fact that the informant is a member of Scheduled Caste unless there is an intention to humiliate a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe for the reason that the victim belongs to such caste. The bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao observed thus while quashing a part of charge sheet against a person accused under Section 3(1)(x) and 3(1)(e) of the SC-ST Act. The High Court had refused to quash the criminal proceedings against the accused.

4. Powers Of Review U/s 114 CPC Cannot Be Exercised As An Inherent Or Appellate Power: Supreme Court [SHRI RAM SAHU (DEAD) vs. VINOD KUMAR RAWAT]

The Supreme court has observed that the powers of review under Section 114 read with Order 47 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure cannot be exercised as an inherent power or an appellate power. In this case, the High Court had allowed an application seeking review of its judgment which had contained some observations regarding possession of disputed property. The High Court allowed the review petition observing that as regards the possession of the disputed property the issue of possession was neither raised before the Trial Court nor before the First Appellate Court and even no issue with respect to possession was framed by the Trial Court.

5. Entitlement Of Homebuyer Starts From Date Of Agreement And Not RERA Registration: Supreme Court [IMPERIA STRUCTURES LTD. vs. ANIL PATNI]

The Supreme Court has held that period for allotment of flat to a homebuyer has to be reckoned from the date of the buyer agreement and not from the date of the registration of the project under the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA Act). A division bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran made this observation in the judgment in the case M/s Imperia Structures Ltd vs Anil Patni and another.

6. Blacklisting Orders May Cause Civil Death Of Institutions: SC Sets Aside Indefinite Blacklist Order Issued Against A Pharma Company [VETINDIA PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH]

The Supreme Court has set aside an indefinite blacklisting order issued in the year 2009 against VETINDIA Pharmaceuticals Limited. An order of blacklisting operates to the prejudice of a commercial person not only in praesenti but also puts a taint which attaches far beyond and may well spell the death knell of the organisation/institution for all times to come described as a civil death, said the bench comprising Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari.

7. [SARFAESI] Time Limit Stipulation For District Magistrates To Deliver Possession Of Secured Asset Is Not Mandatory: Supreme Court [C. Bright V. The District Collector]

The Supreme Court has held that time limit stipulation in Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act mandating the District Magistrate to deliver possession of a secured asset, is directory and not mandatory and that the inability to take possession within time limit does not render the District Magistrate Functus Officio. The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi upheld a judgment of Division Bench of Kerala High Court which held that Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, mandating the District Magistrate to deliver possession of a secured asset within 30 days, extendable to an aggregate of 60 days upon reasons recorded in writing, is a directory provision.

Other Important Updates

1. SC Grants Union Two Weeks To File Affidavit In Plea Seeking Expeditious Disposal Of Criminal Cases Against MPs/MLAs [Ashwini Upadhyay V. UOI]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Union to file an affidavit within two weeks, indicating its stand and on the merits concerning plea seeking setting up of Special Courts to try criminal cases of MPs and MLAs expeditiously. A bench led by Justice NV Ramana also directed the Centre to file a reply on whether funds could be effectuated to High Courts for infrastructural facilities so that expeditious disposal of cases can be done.

2. 'Norms Needed For Adjournment' : Sibal Tells Supreme Court After MP Assembly Case Became Infructuous

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that he was "pained" to see the case on MP assembly MLAs disqualification becoming infructuous on account of delay caused by adjournments. Though the writ petition seeking the disqualification of 22 legislators - who had resigned from Congress party after Jyotiradithya Scindia joined the BJP- was filed in March this year, the same has now become infructuous on account of the repeated adjournments, submitted Sibal before a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India.

3. Judges Pay Revision: Supreme Court To Summon Chief Secretaries If States Fail To Respond To Pay Commission Report [All India Judges Association V UOI]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday passed a peremptory order that the State Governments should file their replies to the recommendations of the Second National Judicial Pay Commission within a period of five weeks from today. If the States default on filing the replies within the said time, the Chief Secretaries will have to personally appear before the court on the notified date, ordered a bench led by the Chief Justice of India.

4. "It's For Employer To Determine Suitability Of Qualifications": Supreme Court Denies Bank Peon Job For Overqualified Candidate [Chief Manager, Punjab National Bank vs. Anit Kumar Das]

The Supreme Court has upheld the cancellation of the candidature of a candidate by Punjab National Bank on the ground that he was overqualified for the post of peon. The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah set aside the Orissa High Court judgment in which it observed that the candidate cannot be denied the appointment solely on the ground that he is possessing a higher qualification. The court also added that suppression of material information and making a false statement has a clear bearing on the character and antecedents of the employee in relation to his continuance in service.

5. Financial Aid For Advocates Amid COVID19: Supreme Court Transfers To Itself Petitions Pending In High Courts [In Re: Financial Assistance For Lawyers]

The Supreme Court on Monday transferred to itself petitions pending in different High Courts seeking financial aid to advocates on account of COVID-19 situation. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian ordered the transfer. In the proceedings on Monday, there was a confusion as to whether the petition in the Madras High Court on the matter was diposed of or not.

6. Plea Seeking Probe Into Allegedly "India's Biggest Franchisee Scam": SC Issues Notice To Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, Central Agencies

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice in a plea seeking investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) & SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office) or by a Special Investigation Team into various offences including money laundering and black money hoarding by directors & beneficiaries of Westland Trade Private Limited. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramniun has issued notice to Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, CBI, ED, SFIO, Police Commissioner Delhi Gurugram and Noida.

7. Supreme Court Stays Allahabad HC Order Directing ECI To Hold Bye-Elections UP's Suar Constituency

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Allahabad High Court order directing the Election Commission for holding by election for the Assembly Constituency Suar, Uttar Pradesh. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun stayed the order of Allahabad High Court dated October 23.

8. Regulatory Regime Needed For Using Disinfectants, Fumigation, UV Rays On Human Body : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that there has to be a regulatory regime for the use of disinfectants, fumigation or UV ray on the human body. The top court strongly urged the Central Government to invoke the powers under the Disaster Management Act 2005 to consider banning or regulating the e usage of disinfection tunnels involving spraying or fumigation of chemical/organic disinfectants for the human beings.


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