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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, July 5 To July 11, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal
11 July 2021 1:06 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, July 5 To July 11, 2021

JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. 'Delhi Can Ill-Afford Another Riots; Role Of Facebook Must Be Looked Into': Supreme Court Upholds Delhi Assembly SummonsTitle : Ajit Mohan & Others vs Legislative Assembly, National Capital Territory of Delhi and others Citation : LL 2021 SC 288The Supreme Court has refused to quash the summons issued to Facebook India Managing Director Ajit Mohan by the Peace...

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1. 'Delhi Can Ill-Afford Another Riots; Role Of Facebook Must Be Looked Into': Supreme Court Upholds Delhi Assembly Summons

Title : Ajit Mohan & Others vs Legislative Assembly, National Capital Territory of Delhi and others
Citation : LL 2021 SC 288

The Supreme Court has refused to quash the summons issued to Facebook India Managing Director Ajit Mohan by the Peace and Harmony committee of the Delhi Assembly Committee seeking his appearance in an enquiry related to Delhi Riots.

However, the Court held that the Delhi Assembly's enquiry cannot encroach into "prohibited domains" of law and order and criminal prosecution, as they are subjects under the domain of the Union Government. Therefore, the Court held that any representative of the petitioner can deny answering any question by the committee if it falls within the prohibited domains.

Ajit Mohan had approached the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the summons issued by the Peace and Harmony committee of the Delhi Assembly, headed by Raghav Chadha MLA, to probe the role of fake social media posts in creating communal riots in North East Delhi in February 2020.

The Court rejected the argument that the Delhi Assembly has no legislative competence to enquire into the matter of Delhi riots. The committee has right to seek information on any matter related to peace and harmony without encroaching in any subject of the Union under the 7th schedule. 

Also Read: Facebook Can't Disrupt India's 'Unity In Diversity' Claiming Ignorance Or Lack Of Pivotal Role : Supreme Court

2. Recovery Of Weapon Used In Commission Of Offence Is Not A Sine Qua Non For Conviction: Supreme Court

Case: Rakesh vs. State of UP [CrA 556 OF 2021]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 282

For convicting an accused recovery of the weapon used in commission of offence is not a sine qua non, the Supreme Court observed while upholding a conviction of a murder accused.

The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that minor contradictions which do not go to the root of the matter and/or such contradictions are not material contradictions, the evidence of such witnesses cannot be brushed aside and/or disbelieved.

In this case, the accused were convicted under Section 302 r/w 34 of the IPC for having killed one Bhishampal Singh in an incident which happened on 28.01.2006. In appeal, one of the contention raised on behalf of the accused was that as per the ballistic report the bullet found does not match with the fire arm/gun recovered and therefore the use of gun as alleged is doubtful and therefore benefit of doubt must be given to the accused is concerned.

3. CB Judgment Which Held Delay Beyond 45 Days In Filing Written Statement Before NCDRC Can't Be Condoned Applies Only Prospectively: Supreme Court

Case: Dr. A Suresh Kumar vs. Amit Agarwal
Citation: LL 2021 SC 290

The Supreme Court reiterated that the Constitution Bench judgment in New India Assurance Company Limited vs. Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Private Limited [(2020) 5 SCC 757, which held that the delay beyond the period of 30+15 day (45 days) in filing the written statement cannot be condoned by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission operates only prospectively.

In this case, the application for condonation of delay was filed prior to the judgment of the Constitution Bench [ 04.03.2020] with a delay of 7 days beyond the period of 30+15 days (45 days). NCDRC rejected the application for condonation of delay in filing the written statement citing the Constitution Bench judgment. Against this dismissal, the party filed appeal before Apex Court.

4. Grant Of Benefits Of Higher Pay Scale To Central/State Govt Employees Stand On Different Footing Than That By An Instrumentality Of The State: Supreme Court

Case: Punjab State Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd. vs. Balbir Kumar Walia [CA 7427 OF 2011]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 291

The grant of benefits of higher pay scale to the Central/State Government employees stand on different footing than grant of pay scale by an instrumentality of the State, the Supreme Court observed.

The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta allowed the appeal filed by Punjab State Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd.against the judgment of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana which held that the Federation is a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India and that the employees are therefore entitled to pay scale equivalent to their counterparts in the State of Punjab from 1.1.1986, though the revised pay scale was allowed by the Federation w.e.f. 1.1.1994.


1. IT Rules : Supreme Court Posts Centre's Plea To Transfer Petitions Filed By 'The Wire', 'The Quint' & 'LiveLaw' On July 16

The Supreme Court this week posted to July 16 the petition filed by the Central Government seeking to transfer to the top court petitions filed in High Courts of Delhi and Kerala challenging the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna tagged the transfer petition with the Special Leave Petition Justice for Rights Foundation vs Union of India and posted it before the appropriate bench on July 16

2. 'Shocking' : Supreme Court On Registering FIRs Under Struck Down Section 66A IT Act; Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Action

The Supreme Court has expressed shock at the practice of police registering FIRs under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, which was struck down by the top court in the 2015 judgment in the Shreya Singhal case.

A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman was hearing an application filed by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) seeking various directions and guidelines against the FIRs under the struck down provision of Section 66A.

"Amazing. That's all what I can say. Shreya Singhal is a 2015 judgment. What is going on is terrible", Justice Nariman observed.

3. Vaccinate Mentally Ill People Institutionalized In Hospitals & Asylums : Supreme Court Directs Centre, States

The Supreme Court has issued directions to the Union Government to ensure vaccination takes place for mentally ill patients who have been institutionalized in hospitals and mental asylums.

"Persons who have been institutionalized must be vaccinated to protect them from the onset of infection. ASG Madhavi Divan has stated that they will take it up with utmost priority and chalk up a plan to vaccinate them", ordered the Court.

The direction was given by a Bench of Justices Chandrachud and MR Shah who were hearing a matter pertaining to directions being sought to rehabilitate thousands of mentally ill patients who had been languishing in hospitals and asylums.

4. Supreme Court Seeks Responses Of HCs To NCMSC Report On Aspects Of Judge Strength, Case Load, Infrastructure

The Supreme Court this week called for the responses of all High Courts to the suggestions and recommendations of the NCMSC on the aspects of judge strength, case load and infrastructure.

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah passed this direction in connection with the Imtiyaz Ahmad v. State of UP matter, where on January 2, 2017, the court had ordered that until the National Court Management Systems Committee (NCMSC) formulates a scientific method for determining the basis for computing the required judge strength of the district judiciary, the judge strength shall be computed for each state, in accordance with the interim approach indicated in the note submitted by the Chairperson, NCMSC. 

5. Supreme Court Directs Union, States To File Status Reports On Vacancies In Central & State Information Commissions

The Supreme Court has directed Union of India and all States to file status reports on the latest developments regarding vacancies and pendency in the Central Information Commission (CIC) and State Information Commissions (SICs).

A Bench headed by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer issued the direction in a 2018 plea filed by RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri and Commodore (Retd.) Lokesh K. Batra, seeking directions for the expeditious filling up of vacancies for Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission and State Information Commission as per the Right to Information Act, 2015.

6. 'Hope God Will Allow Rath Yatra Next Year': Supreme Court Refuses To Allow Rath Yatras In Odisha In Places Other Puri Jagannath Temple

The Supreme Court this week dismissed a batch of petitions seeking permission to hold Rath Yatras in other temples in the State of Odisha at par with with Rath Yatra at the iconic Puri Jagannath Temple. It held that given the country is only recovering from second wave of Covid-19, the Odisha Government has taken a considered decision.

The High Court had declined permission for holding Rath Yatras at other places saying that Puri "constitutes a class apart" and has been implicitly recognized by the Supreme Court in last year's decision in Odisha Bikash Parishad v. Union of India whereby specific directions were issued in relation to the holding of the Ratha Yatra in Puri last year during the first covid wave.

7. 'If You Don't Like The Toolkit, Ignore It; India A Democracy' : Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain PIL Against Congress 'Toolkit'

The Supreme Court this week refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking an investigation by the National Investigation Agency into the alleged Congress "toolkit" and subsequent suspension of the registration of Indian National Congress (INC) if the charges against them pertaining to "anti-national acts" are found true.

A bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah asked the petitioner Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha how a petition under Article 32 can be entertained against political propaganda.

"If you don't like the toolkit, ignore it", Justice Chandrachud said.

8. Civil Services Exams : COVID No Ground To Relax Condition To Submit Degree Certificate On Specified Date, UPSC Tells Supreme Court

"Conditions of eligibility cannot be relaxed for certain individuals on different grounds", said the Union Public Service Commission in the Supreme Court responding to pleas filed by civil services aspirants whose candidatures were cancelled due to non-submission of educational qualification proof on the specified date .

The Counter-Affidavit was filed in response to two petitions filed by few civil services aspirants whose candidatures were cancelled on the ground that they had not submitted requisite proof of educational qualification under Rule 7 and Rule 11 of the Civil Services Examination Rules, 2020.

9. 'Senior Designation Through Secret Voting Of Full Court Is Arbitrary' : Indira Jaising Moves Supreme Court

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising has moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the process adopted by certain High Courts to confer senior designations through the process of secret voting of the full court is "arbitrary and discriminatory".

The application points out that recently the High Courts of Delhi and Punjab & Haryana resorted to voting process to confer senior designations. Such voting was done even after marks were assigned to the candidates by the Committee of the High Courts based on the "objective criteria" formulated by the Supreme Court in the 2017 judgment in the case Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India.

10. UAPA : Can Magistrate Extend Time To File Chargesheet Under Section 43D?Supreme Court To Examine

The Supreme Court is examining the issue whether a Magistrate is competent to grant extension of time for filing chargesheet as per section 43 D of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The issue before the bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose is whether such extension of time under Section 43D can only be allowed by a "special court" under the UAPA.

The Petitioner had contended that the term "Court" had to be interpreted in the light of its definition under Section 2(1)(d) of the UAPA, and therefore, the Chief Judicial Magistrate was not competent to grant extension of time under Section 43D of UAPA.

11. NLSIU : Supreme Court Stays Karnataka High Court Direction To Promote Student

The Supreme Court has issued notice on a special leave petition filed by the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) against an order of the Karnataka High Court which directed the promotion of a student to next academic year.

The Supreme Court also stayed the order of the High Court, which had set aside the decision of NLSIU to deny a law student, son of a sitting judge of Karnataka High Court, admission to the fourth year of BA LL.B (Hons).

12. 'Section 124A Being Applied In A Politicised Fashion' : Journalist Sashi Kumar Moves Supreme Court Against Sedition Offence

Senior journalist Sashi Kumar, founder of Asianet and the current Chairman of Asian School of Journalism, has approached the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the offence of sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.

He has filed an intervention application in the writ petition Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha and another versus Union of India filed by two Manipur based journalists questioning the constitutionality of the offence of sedition. A bench led by Justice UU Lalit had issued notice on the writ petition on April 30.

13. "Complete Police Raj In Bihar, Loss Of Liberty Of Person Of Humble Means At Par With That Of Affluent Person": Supreme Court

"Loss of liberty of a person of humble means is not at a lower pedestal compared to that of an affluent person with more resources", observed Supreme Court.

The bench of Justices Chandrachud and Justice M. R. Shah was hearing an SLP against the December 22, 2020 decision of the Patna High Court awarding Rs. 5,00,000/- as compensation to a truck driver who was illegally detained and kept in custody for over 35 days by the Patna Police. The SLP was filed at the instance of the state of Bihar against the quantum of compensation.

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