Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, August 30 To September 5, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal

5 Sep 2021 8:32 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, August 30 To September 5, 2021

    JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Conditions To Attract Presumption As To Abetment Of Suicide By Married Woman U/s 113A Evidence Act: Supreme Court ExplainsCase: Gumansinh @ Lalo @ Raju Bhikhabhai Chauhan Vs. State Of Gujarat ; CrA 940-941 OF 2021Citation: LL 2021 SC 415The Supreme Court observed that to attract the applicability of Section 113-A of the Evidence Act, three conditions are required to...

    Case: Gumansinh @ Lalo @ Raju Bhikhabhai Chauhan Vs. State Of Gujarat ; CrA 940-941 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 415
    The Supreme Court observed that to attract the applicability of Section 113-A of the Evidence Act, three conditions are required to be fulfilled: first, the woman has committed suicide; second, suicide committed within a period of seven years from the date of her marriage and third, the charged-accused had subjected her to cruelty.
    If all the three conditions stand fulfilled, presumption can be drawn against the accused and if he could not rebut the presumption by leading evidence, he can be convicted, the bench observed.
    The bench observed that the Court has to appreciate the evidence of any interested witness it has to be very cautious in weighing their evidence or in other words, the evidence of an interested witness requires a scrutiny with utmost care and caution. 
    Case: Aman Preet Singh vs. CBI ; CrA 929 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 416
    The Supreme Court observed that, while accepting charge-sheet, the Magistrate or the Court is required to invariably issue a process of summons and not warrant of arrest.
    The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M Sundresh also observed that, if an accused in a non-bailable offence has been enlarged and free for many years and has not even been arrested during investigation, it would be contrary to the governing principles for grant of bail to suddenly direct his arrest merely because charge sheet has been filed.
    Case: Somesh Thapliyal Vs. Vice Chancellor, H.N.B. Garhwal University ; CA 3922-3925 OF 2017
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 414
    The Supreme Court observed that employee is not estopped from questioning terms and condition of employment at a stage where he finds himself aggrieved.
    "It is open for the employee to challenge the conditions if it is not being in conformity with the statutory requirement under the law and he is not estopped from questioning at a stage where he finds himself aggrieved.", the bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and Ajay Rastogi observed.
    In this case, the teachers who were substantively appointed after going through the process of selection provided under the Uttar Pradesh State Universities Act, had challenged the arbitrary conditions of the letter of appointment restricting it to be on contract basis limited for a period of three years in contravention to the statutory scheme of the Act. They filed a writ petition seeking a declaration that they are substantively appointed teachers(Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor) and members of service of the Central University HNB Garhwal University for all practical purposes, entitled for a pay scale and notional consequential benefits admissible to a regularly appointed teacher in the service of the Central University under the Act.
    Case: J. Chitra vs. District Collector and Chairman State Level Vigilance Committee ; CA 5160 of 2010
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 413
    Repeated inquiries for verification of caste certificates would be detrimental to the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Supreme Court observed.
    The bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose said that the purpose of verification of caste certificates by Scrutiny Committees is to avoid false and bogus claims and reopening of inquiry can be only in case they are vitiated by fraud or when they were issued without proper inquiry.
    Case: Balasubramanian vs. M. Arockiasamy (dead) ; CA 2066 OF 2012
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 411
    The Supreme Court observed that merely because the High Court, while considering a second appeal, refers to certain factual aspects in the case to raise and conclude on the question of law, the same does not mean that the factual aspect and evidence has been re-appreciated.
    Question of law for consideration will not arise in abstract but in all cases will emerge from the facts peculiar to that case and there cannot be a strait jacket formula, the bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy said.
    Case Title : Sanjay Ramdas Patil v. Sanjay and others
    Citation : LL 2021 SC 412
    The Supreme Court has set aside a judgment delivered by the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad Bench) which had quashed a notification issued by the Maharashtra Government to reserve the post of Mayor in Dhule Municipal Corporation to candidate belonging to Other Backward Class (OBC) category.
    The High Court, in its judgment delivered on May 7 this year, had observed that the OBC reservation was repeated for the second term without providing reservation for Scheduled Caste and hence it violation the policy of rotation.
    Disagreeing with the High Court's opinion, the Supreme Court observed that given the number of municipal corporations in the State of Mahrashstra, it was possible that there will be repeat of OBC reservation in Mayor post even before the turn for SC reservation occurs, and this by itself cannot be termed as violation of rotation policy as per the Maharashtra law.
    Case: Union of India vs. Manoj Kumar ; CA 913-914 OF 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 409
    The Supreme Court observed that the principle of equal pay for equal work cannot be applied merely on basis of designation.
    In this case, the court had to examine the claims made by Private Secretaries (Grade-II) ("PS-II") employed in the Eastern Central Railways (Field Office/Zonal Railways),for parity in pay with their counterparts working in the Central Secretariat Stenographers Service ("CSSS")/Railway Board Secretariat Stenographers Service ("RBSSS")/Central Administrative Tribunal ("CAT").
    Case: Salimbhai Hamidbhai Menon vs. Niteshkumar Maganbhai Patel ; CrA 884 of 2021
    Citation: LL 2021 SC 406
    The Supreme Court has observed that the procedure of 'oral direction' not to arrest an accused is irregular. The court observed that the text of a written order is what is binding and enforceable and such oral directions can cause serious misgivings.
    "Absent a written record of what has transpired in the course of a judicial proceeding, it would set a dangerous precedent if the parties and the investigating officer were expected to rely on unrecorded oral observations.", the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed.
    In this case, the accused had approached the Gujarat High Court by filing a petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code seeking quashing of FIR lodged against him Sections 405, 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code. When this petition was pending, the accused was arrested. When the proceedings were taken up after this arrest, the Court noted that, an oral direction was issued by the Court restraining the arrest, and thus the judge directed that the accused should forthwith be released.
    Case Title: Supertech Ltd v Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Association and Ors
    Citation : LL 2021 SC 407
    The Supreme Court has upheld an order passed by the Allahabad High Court directing the demolition of twin 40 storey towers in the Emerald Court project of Supertech Ltd in Noida for violation of building norms.
    "The order passed by the High Court for the demolition of Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17) does not warrant interference and the direction for demolition issued by the High Court is affirmed", the bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed.
    The work of demolition should be carried out by the appellant Supertech within a period of three months at its own cost under the supervision of NOIDA officials. The demolition shall be overlooked by the Central Building Research Institute(CBRI) to ensure safe demolition.
    The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a special leave petition which assailed Allahabad High Court's order of dismissing the public interest litigation which had challenged Rule 18 of the UP Higher Judicial Services Rules, 1975 ("1975 Rules") on the ground that it prescribed only one minimum qualification (45% aggregate) for all categories of candidates i.e General, SC/ST etc and thereafter defeated the entire purpose of reservation.
    Preferred by Samvidhan Bachao Trust and filed through Advocate on Record Vikalp Mudgal and Advocate Kshitij Mudgal, the Special Leave Petition had stated that in light of the recommendations of the Justice Shetty Commission, Rule 18 of the 1975 Rules was manifestly arbitrary and unreasonable being ultra vires of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 335 of the Constitution, as it did not prescribe lower minimum qualification (than that for General Category) for Reserved category candidates.
    Sufficient safeguards exist in the system, the Supreme Court said while it dismissed a lawyer's plea against proposal to appoint a judicial officer as a judge of the High Court for the State of Telangana. 
    The bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh observed that this writ petition is a gross abuse of law filed to harass the concerned judicial officer and for abusing the court proceedings. Therefore, costs of Rs. 5 lakhs was imposed.
    While challenging the validity of mandates imposed on vaccination in India, an affidavit has been filed before the Supreme Court arguing that administering vaccines through coercion cannot be a matter of public health since the vaccines are not an effective guarantee against infection and transmission.
    The petitioner has argued that as vaccination does not prevent transmission of the disease, therefore discriminating against unvaccinated persons by denying them access to services or the means to earn their livelihood is arbitrary, discriminatory and unconstitutional.
    The Supreme Court this week adjourned to 6th September the plea filed seeking directions to CBSE to declare results & change date sheet of Class XII Private, Patrachar & 2nd Compartment Students to ensure that proposed exams will not clash with other exams.
    A Bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice CT Ravikumar has asked the petitioners' counsel to serve an advanced copy of the petition to the All India Council For Technical Education, a respondent in the present matter.
    The Supreme Court has stayed the decision of the Kerala Government to conduct offline exams for Class XI (Plus One) from September 6 amid the rising cases of COVID.
    A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar noted that COVID cases are continuing to rise in Kerala, with over 30,000 cases being reported daily, which accounts for nearly 70% of the national cases.
    The bench wondered if the Kerala Government has taken into account this fact while deciding to conduct offline exams.

    6. Supreme Court Asks Centre To Frame Guidelines On COVID Death Certificate By Sep 11

    The Supreme Court this week directed the Union Government to show compliance by September 11 to the judicial directions passed on June 30 to frame guidelines to simplify the process for issuance of death certificates with respect to those who died due to COVID-19.

    A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose asked the Union Government to file a compliance affidavit with respect to the said directions on or before September 11
    The Supreme Court has dismissed an application filed by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is serving life sentence in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking interim bail on medical grounds.
    A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh dismissed the application noting that his medical condition is stable and is improving.
    The Supreme Court this week noted that it was a 'serious concern' that women who are institutionalised in various mental health institutions across the country face several indignities and violation of human rights.
    A Bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli was adjudicating upon a plea moved by Advocate Gaurav Bansal highlighting the deplorable condition of women inmates in such mental hospitals.
    Accordingly, the Bench directed the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to discuss the grievances raised with the concerned States during the course of its monthly monitoring meetings and accordingly ensure compliance. A status report was directed to be filed by the Centre a week before the next date of hearing which is slated to take place during the last week of December, 2021.
    The Supreme Court this week refused to entertain an application filed by religious leader Asaram Bapu, who is serving life sentence for rape of a minor, seeking temporary suspension of sentence to pursue medical treatment.
    The matter was heard by the bench of Justices Indira Banerjee, V Ramasubramanian and Bela M Trivedi.
    Expressing unwillingness to entertain the plea, Justice Indira Banerjee orally remarked, "Sorry in this sort of a situation, taking an overall view, It's not an ordinary crime at all. You'll get all your ayurvedic treatment in jail. Mr Singh is assuring us that he'll get the treatment. Continuing ayurvedic treatment is not a problem. We'll direct the jail authorities to take care that ayurvedic treatment is granted."
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