Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, August 16 To August 22, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal

22 Aug 2021 8:44 AM GMT

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  • Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, August 16 To August 22, 2021

    JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Default Sentences Cannot Be Directed To Run Concurrently: Supreme CourtCase: Dumya Alias Lakhan Alias Inamdar vs. State of Maharashtra ; CrA 818-820 OF 2021Citation: LL 2021 SC 396The Supreme Court observed that the default sentences imposed on a convict cannot be directed to run concurrently.In this case, the accused were convicted under 3(1)(ii) ,3(2) and 3(4) of...


    1. Default Sentences Cannot Be Directed To Run Concurrently: Supreme Court

    Case: Dumya Alias Lakhan Alias Inamdar vs. State of Maharashtra ; CrA 818-820 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 396

    The Supreme Court observed that the default sentences imposed on a convict cannot be directed to run concurrently.

    In this case, the accused were convicted under 3(1)(ii) ,3(2) and 3(4) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act read with Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and were sentenced to imprisonment of 7/10 years. Rupees Five lacs fine was imposed on each and in default three years rigorous imprisonment was ordered. However, all the sentences was ordered to run concurrently.

    While considering these contentions, the bench of Justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi noted that in Sharad Hiru Kilambe vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. [(2018) 18 SCC 718] it was held that the default sentence cannot be directed to run concurrently.

    2. Investigating Officer Is Not Required To Arrest Each And Every Accused At The Time Of Filing Charge-sheet: Supreme Court

    Case title: Siddharth vs. State of Uttar Pradesh ; SLP(Crl) 5442/2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 391

    The Supreme Court held that Section 170 of the Cr.P.C. that it does not impose an obligation on the Officer-in-charge to arrest each and every accused at the time of filing of the charge sheet.

    The court observed that the practice of some Trial Courts of insisting on the arrest of an accused as a pre-requisite formality to take the charge-sheet on record is misplaced and contrary to the very intent of Section 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

    In the appeal before the Supreme Court against dismissal of an anticipatory bail application, the court noted that the trial court had taken a view that unless the person is taken into custody the chargesheet will not be taken on record in view of Section 170 of the Cr.P.C.

    3. Right Of Equity Of Redemption Of Mortgage Is Subsidiary To Right Of Ownership: Supreme Court

    Case: Narayan Deorao Javle (Deceased) Vs. Krishna ; CA 4726 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 389

    The Supreme Court observed that the right of equity of redemption is subsidiary to the right of ownership.

    The expression equity of redemption is a convenient maxim but an owner, who has stepped into the shoes of the mortgagor, after the purchase from the mortgagor but before filing a suit for foreclosure is entitled to redeem the property in terms of Section 60 of the Transfer of Property Act, the bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and AS Bopanna observed.

    One of the issues raised in appeal was whether the plaintiff was a necessary party in a suit for foreclosure filed by the mortgagee after the purchase? The court observed that the plaintiff rightly claimed that he was required to be impleaded, as he was a necessary party in a suit for foreclosure filed by the mortgagee after the purchase of part of the mortgaged land.

    4. Process Of Determination Of Motor Accident Compensation Cannot Be By A Continuing Mandamus, It Must Take Place At One Go: Supreme Court

    Case: HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Mukesh Kumar; CA 4576/2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 385

    The Supreme Court observed that while determining compensation under the Motor Vehicle Act, a court cannot direct the continued maintenance by Insurance Company of a prosthetic limb for the injured claimant.

    The process of determination of such compensation cannot be by a continuing mandamus, in a colloquial sense, and the determination must take place at one go, the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy observed.

    5. Genuineness Of Property Transaction Cannot Be Doubted Merely Because Thumb Impression Was Affixed Instead Of Signature: Supreme Court

    Case: Lachhmi Narain Singh (D) vs. Sarjug Singh (Dead)
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 388 

    The Supreme Court observed that genuineness of property transaction cannot be doubted merely because thumb impression was affixed instead of signature.

    The bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Krishna Murari also observed that every person has a unique thumb impression and thus 'forgery of thumb impressions is nearly impossible'.

    The court noted that in present case probate applicant never raised any objection in regards to mode of proof of cancellation deed before the Trial Court. The court said that the plea regarding mode of proof cannot be permitted to be taken at the appellate stage for the first time, if not raised before the trial Court at the appropriate stage. 

    6. Mere Over-ruling Of Principles By A Subsequent Judgment Will Not Dilute Binding Effect Of Decision On Inter-parties: Supreme Court

    Case: Neelima Sreevastava vs. State of Uttar Pradesh ; CA . 4840 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 386

    Emphasizing the distinction between over-ruling a principle and reversal of the judgment, the Supreme Court observed that mere over-ruling of the principles by a subsequent judgment will not dilute the binding effect of the decision on inter-parties.

    "Mere over-ruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect of uprooting the final adjudication between the parties and set it at naught.", the bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari said.


    1. Timely Filing Of Appeals In Tax Matters Needed; Supreme Court Calls For E-System To Track Revenue Litigation

    Lamenting the gross delay of over '500 or 600 days' in filing appeals by the Union even in meritorious tax cases, the Supreme Court this week called for a system to track the revenue litigation.

    The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah urged the Centre to adopt a system akin to the 'Case Information System' like the Judiciary for monitoring, at all levels, revenue proceedings and litigation in revenue matters to which Union of India is party.

     2. Enrica Lexie Case : On Plea By Injured Fishermen, Supreme Court Stays Disbursement Of Rs 2 Crores Compensation To Boat Owner

    In a significant development in the Enrica Lexie case, Supreme Court this week ordered a stay on the disbursement of the compensation of 2 crores to the owner of the boat named "St Antony" which was attacked by the Italian Marines in the 2012 sea-firing incident.

    The Court has requested the Kerala High Court to not disburse any amount to the boat owner in terms of the Supreme Court's 15th June order which had directed the disbursement of the amount deposited by the Republic of Italy.

    A division bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V Ramasubramanian was hearing an application filed by seven fishermen who were on board the fishing boat which was attacked, seeking compensation out of the amount of Rupees 2 crores, which the Republic of Italy has deposited in favour of the owner of the boat.

    3. Extension Of Tenure Of ED Director Who Has Already Superannuated Is Wrong : Dave Argues In Supreme Court

    Challenging the order dated November 13, 2020, which retrospectively amended the tenure of the present Director of Enforcement Directorate, Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave argued before the Supreme Court that the Government could not extend the tenure of officer who had already superannuated.

    He was appearing for the NGO Common Cause, which has challenged the ED Director's term extension.

    Mishra was appointed as the Director of ED vide order dated November 19, 2018, and his mandatory two years tenure prescribed under the CVC Act came to an end on November 18, last year. His tenure had however been extended for one more year by the impugned Office Order dated November 13, whereby the 2018 amendment Order for appointment had been amended such that the period of 'two years' written in that order has been modified to a period of 'three years'. Thus, in effect, Mishra has been given an additional one year of service as Director, Enforcement Directorate.

    Also Read: Don't You Think PILs Are Important To Raise The Voice Of People In A Democracy? Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General

    4. EPF Pension Case: Supreme Court To Consider If Reference To Larger Bench Is Needed In View Of 'RC Gupta' Decision

    The Supreme Court this week decided to consider the issue whether to refer to a larger Bench, the appeals filed by Employees Provident Fund Organization and others including Union of India, challenging the judgments of various High Courts which quashed the Employee's Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014.

    A Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ajay Rastogi observed that it will consider if they are of a prima facie view that the matter needs to be heard by a three-judge Bench and accordingly pass an order by Tuesday, August 24.

    The question of referral came up in consideration of submissions made by Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram on behalf of the EPFO, with regards to the top Court's judgement in the case of R.C. Gupta and Ors. v Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation and Ors, which was delivered by a coordinate bench of 2-jude bench.

    5. Supreme Court Dismisses Ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's Plea To Quash CBI FIR In Corruption Case

    The Supreme Court this week dismissed former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's petition seeking to quash the FIR registered by the CBI over the corruption allegations raised by ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

    A division bench comprising Justices DY Chandrahcud and MR Shah was considering the special leave petition filed by the Deshmukh challenging the July 22 judgment of the Bombay High Court which had dismissed his petition seeking to quash the CBI FIR.

    The bench dismissed the petition after hearing Senior Advocate Amit Desai for Deshmukh and Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi for over 2 hours. The bench also had a brief interaction with the complainant in the case, Dr Jaishree Patil.

    6. Supreme Court Directs States To File Status Reports On Vacancies & Pendency In State Information Commissions

    The Supreme Court has directed the States to file status reports indicating the vacancy positions and pendency of appeals in the State Information Commissions.

    A bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari issued the direction in an application filed by RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj seeking compliance on the part of the states with respect to the the directions issued by the Supreme Court in its judgment delivered in February 2019 as regards the posts and vacancies in SICs.

    7. Supreme Court Dismisses Maharashtra Govt Appeal Against CBI Probe Into Transfers & Postings By Ex-HM Anil Deshmukh

    The Supreme Court this week dismissed the plea filed by State of Maharashtra against the Bombay High Court order of allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation ("CBI") to investigate into the transfers and posting connected to former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who had resigned following corruption allegations made by ex-Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

    While dismissing the plea, the division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah asked Senior Advocate Rahul Chitnis as to why it should interdict CBI when Constitutional Courts had approved CBI's investigation.

    8. Pegasus : Supreme Court Refuses To Stay West Bengal Govt Notification Constituting Judicial Commission; Issues Notice

    The Supreme Court has turned down a plea to stay the notification issued by West Bengal Government constituting an Enquiry Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur to investigate into the allegations pertaining to the Pegasus spyware scandal.

    A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant And Justice Aniruddha Bose however issued notice on the writ petition and sought the response of all the respondents including, the Union of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the State of West Bengal

    9. Supreme Court Imposes Rs 1 Lakh Cost On States For Not Filing Affidavit In Case For Judges' Security

    The Supreme Court has imposed costs of Rs. 1 lakh, to be deposited in Supreme Court Bar Association Advocates' Welfare Fund, on states which failed to intimate the top court of the details of the measures for safeguarding the security of judges.

    The bench of CJI N. V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose required the states to file their responses within 10 days subject to deposit of costs.

    The bench warned that should the defaulting states fail to comply with the direction, the Court will demand the presence of the concerned Chief Secretaries.

    10. Pegasus- "We Don't Want A Single Word Relating To National Security, But There Are Civilians, Person Of Eminence Complaining Of Hacking": Supreme Court To SG

    The Centre this week told the Supreme Court that its reply to the petitions over the Pegasus controversy is sufficient and that any further data that they should want to place for the Court's consideration may only be through the medium of an expert committee, to ensure complete confidentiality in view of the sensitivity of the matter.

    The petitioners had raised an objection to it as being "non-committal" on the question of whether the malware was used or not used by the government or its agencies or any private body, and had also expressed dissatisfaction with the route suggested by the government of appointing a committee of experts to inquire into the issue. The Court had described the affidavit of the UOI as a "limited affidavit", and the bench had suggested to SG Tushar Mehta to seek instructions and to introspect if the Centre wished to file a more detailed response.

    11. Supreme Court Asks Why Centre Introduced Tribunals Reforms Bill With Provisions Struck Down By Court

    The Supreme Court this week made critical remarks against the Tribunals Reforms Bill 2021 passed by the Parliament last week re-enacting the very same provisions struck down by the Court in Madras Bar Association case.

    A bench led by the Chief Justice of India asked the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta why the bill was introduced with the provisions invalidated by the Court.

    The bench also said that Centre was not following the repeated directions issued by the Court to ensure the proper functioning of the Tribunals.

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