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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, June 28 To July 4, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal
4 July 2021 11:42 AM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, June 28 To July 4, 2021
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JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK1. Persons With Disabilities Have Right To Reservation In Promotions : Supreme CourtTitle : State of Kerala and others vs Leesamma JosephCitation : LL 2021 SC 273The Supreme Court this week held that persons with physical disabilities have right to reservation in promotions also.A 2-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy held so dismissing...

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JUDGMENTS THIS WEEK

1. Persons With Disabilities Have Right To Reservation In Promotions : Supreme Court

Title : State of Kerala and others vs Leesamma Joseph
Citation : LL 2021 SC 273

The Supreme Court this week held that persons with physical disabilities have right to reservation in promotions also.

A 2-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy held so dismissing an appeal filed by the State of Kerala against a judgment of the Kerala High Court(State of Kerala vs Leesamma Joseph).

The Supreme Court said that the High Court judgment was "salutary" and did not require any interference. 

Further, the Supreme Court directed the Kerala Government to implement reservation in promotion for disabled within 3 months.

2. Kidnapping For Ransom - Necessary To Prove Threat To Cause Death Or Harm For Conviction Under Section 364A IPC : Supreme Court

Title : Shaik Ahmed v State of Telangana
Citation : LL 2021 SC 272

The Supreme Court has held that merely proving the kidnap of a person is not sufficient for conviction for the offfence of 'kidnapping for ransom' under Section 364A of the Indian Penal Code. It must also be proved that there was threat to cause death or harm to the kidnapped person or the kidnapper, by his conduct, gave rise to a reasonable apprehension that such person may be put to death.

A bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhuhsan and Justice R Subhash Reddy was considering a criminal appeal filed against the conviction of a person under Section 364A IPC (Shaik Ahmed v State of Telangana).

The appellant, an auto-rickshaw driver, was convicted for kidnapping a school boy who had taken ride in the auto and for demanding a ransom of Rs 2 lakhs from his father.

3. States Must Implement 'One Nation, One Ration Card' Scheme By July 31; Run Community Kitchens For Migrants : Supreme Court

Case: Re: Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers [SMWP(C) 6/2020]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 274

The Supreme Court this week directed that all states must implement the "one nation, one ration card" scheme - which enables migrant workers to avail ration benefits from any part of the country - by July 31.

The Court directed the Central Government to develop the Portal in consultation with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers.

It also directed that the Central Government as well as the respective States and the Union Territories to complete the process of Portal for registration under National Data Base for Unorganised Workers (NDUW Project) as well as implement the same, which by all means may commence not later than 31.07.2021. 

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah passed the order in the suo moto case 'In Re Problems and Miseries of Migrant Labourers'. With the above directions, the bench disposed of the suo moto case. 

Also Read: 'Fundamental Right To Life Under Article 21 Includes Right To Food & Other Basic Necessities': Read Supreme Court Directions In Migrants Case

4. Limitation Act Provisions Will Apply To Arbitration Proceedings Initiated Under Section 18(3) MSMED Act: Supreme Court

Case: M/s. Silpi Industries vs. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation [CA 1570-1578 OF 2021]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 276

The Supreme Court held that the provisions of Limitation Act will apply to to arbitration proceedings initiated under Section 18(3) of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006.

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that counter-claim is maintainable before the statutory authorities under MSMED Act.

"Thus, we are of the view that no further elaboration is necessary on this issue and we hold that the provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 will apply to the arbitrations covered by Section 18(3) of the 2006 Act. We make it clear that as the judgment of the High Court is an order of remand, we need not enter into the controversy whether the claims/counter claims are within time or not. We keep it open to the primary authority to go into such issues and record its own findings on merits" the bench held.

5. COVID Victims Entitled to Ex-Gratia Compensation; Supreme Court Directs NDMA To Frame Guidelines Within 6 Weeks

Title : Reepak Kansal vs Union of India
Citation : LL 2021 SC 276

The National Disaster Management Authority has a statutory obligation to frame guidelines for recommending minimum ex-gratia assistance for the victims of COVID pandemic, held the Supreme Court.

The Court held that Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act cast a statutory obligation on the part of the National Disaster Management Authority to recommend minimum relief for the victims of a national disaster. Such minimum relief will also include 'ex-gratia assistance' as per Section 12(iii), the Court held.

The Court rejected the argument of the Union Government that Section 12 was not a mandatory provision. The Court noted that Section 12 uses the word 'shall' and hence concluded that the provision was mandatory. The Union had argued for reading 'shall' in Section 12 as 'may' .

However, the Court said that it cannot direct the Union Government to pay a particular amount as compensation. The Court has directed the National Authority to frame guidelines within 6 weeks on providing ex-gratia assistance to COVID victims.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah delivered the judgment in the cases Gaurav Kumar Bansal vs Union of India and Reepak Kansal vs Union of India and others.

6. Bar Under Order XXIII Rule 3A Attracted If Compromise On The Basis Of Which Decree Was Passed Was Void Or Voidable: Supreme Court

Case: R. Janakiammal vs. SK Kumarasamy (Deceased) [CA 1537 OF 2016]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 280

Bar under Rule 3A shall be attracted if compromise on the basis of which decree was passed was void or voidable, the Supreme Court has held.

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that only remedy available to a party to a consent decree to avoid such consent decree is to approach the court which recorded the compromise and separate suit is not maintainable.

7. Hindu Joint Family Even If Partitioned Can Revert Back And Reunite To Continue Joint Family Status: Supreme Court

Case: R. Janakiammal vs. SK Kumarasamy (Deceased) [CA 1537 OF 2016]
Citation: LL 2021 SC 280

Hindu Joint Family even if partitioned can revert back and reunite to continue the status of joint family, the Supreme Court observed in a judgment delivered on Wednesday.

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy observed that the acts of the parties may lead to the inference that parties reunited after previous partition.

Referring to the concept of reunion in Hindu Law explained in Mulla on Hindu Law, 22nd Edition, the court noted:

"Effect of reunion,­ The effect of a reunion is to remit the reunited members to their former status as members of a joint Hindu family. Intention necessary to constitute reunion: To constitute a reunion, there must be an intention of the parties to reunite in estate and interest."

IMPORTANT APEX COURT UPDATES

1. Supreme Court Dismisses PIL For Action Against Alleged Forceful Conversion Of Hindus At Mewat Nuh, Haryana

The Supreme Court has this week dismissed a PIL which sought action against alleged forceful religious conversion of Hindus at District Mewat Nuh in Haryana by the Muslim Community.

A three-Judge bench of CJI Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy dismissed the petition observing that the Court cannot entertain a matter merely on the basis of newspaper reports(Ranjana Agnihtori and others v Union of India).

2. CA Exams -No RTPCR Needed For Opt-Out; Student Can Opt-Out For COVID Related Difficulties Of Oneself Or Family Members : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court this week directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India(ICAI) to give "opt-out" option to a candidate in the CA exams, scheduled to start from July 5, on account of COVID-related difficulties for herself or her family members, on the basis of a medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner.

The Court also did away with the ICAI's requirement of producing RT-PCR certificate for seeking "opt-out" option.

"We make it clear that the the candidate need not produce RTPCR report if medical certificate issued by registered medical practitioners for his family members is produced along with request for opting out", the Court said in its order.

Further, the Court disapproved the ICAI's policy of not giving "opt-out" option if the last minute change of exam centre is within the same city. The Court said that "opt-out" option should be given even if the change of exam centre is within the city.

3. Detained For FB Post Criticizing Cow Dung Cure For COVID' : Habeas Plea In Supreme Court Against Detention Of Manipur Activist Under National Security Act

Seeking the release of Manipur based political activist Leichobam Erendro, who was detained under the stringent National Security Act over a Facebook post that cow dung or cow urine will not cure COVID, a habeas corpus petition has been filed in the Supreme Court.

The petition has been moved by Erendro's father L. Raghumani Singh through Advocate Shadan Farasat.

Erendro was initially arrested on 13.05.2021 for his Facebook post of 13.05.2021 where he had stated that: "The cure for Corona is Not cow dung & cow urine. The cure is science & common sense Professor ji RIP". The statement was made in the context of the death of the President of the Manipur BJP, Prof. Tikendra Singh, was meant as a criticism of the BJP politicians who had been advocating cow-urine and cow-dung as cures for COVID-19. Enraged by the Facebook post, few local BJP leaders filed complaint, leading to his arrest.

4. Selective Challenge By Petitioners' : Supreme Court Affirms Delhi High Court's Refusal To Suspend Central Vista Project Work During COVID

The Supreme Court this week dismissed petitions challenging the Delhi High Court judgment which dismissed a plea to halt the Central Vista Redevelopment project work during the second wave of the COVID pandemic.

The Supreme Court expressed agreement with the High Court's view that the petitioners had "selectively" challenged one project.

The bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose observed:

"Petitioners are not in a position to point out that as public spirited citizens they had researched on other projects", the bench observed in the order. The bench said that despite the project contractor reporting compliance with the COVID protocol, the petitioners chose to pursue the PIL for "reasons best known to them".

5. Supreme Court Asks Baba Ramdev To Produce Video & Transcripts Of His Statements On Allopathy Cure For COVID

The Supreme Court this week asked Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to produce before it the video and transcripts of his statements on Allopathy cure for COVID.

A bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy was considering a writ petition filed by Ramdev seeking the clubbing of the multiple multiple FIRs registered against him in different states over his alleged remarks that Allopathy cannot cure COVID.

The FIRs were registered in States of Bihar and Chhattisgarh based on complaints by Indian Medical Association.

Also Read: Ramdev Started False Propaganda On COVID Treatment To Promote Patanjali Products : Delhi Medical Association Tells Supreme Court

6. No Power For States To Identify SEBCs : Supreme Court Dismisses Centre's Review Petition Against Interpretation of 102nd Constitution Amendment

The Supreme Court has dismissed the review petition filed by the Central Government against the 5-judge bench judgment of the Supreme Court which held that the 102nd Constitution Amendment abrogated the power of State Governments to identify and notify Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs).

"The grounds taken in the review petition do not fall within the limited ground on which review petition can be considered. The various grounds taken in the review petition have already been dealt with in the main judgment. We do not find any sufficient ground to entertain this review petition. The review petition is dismissed," reads the review order.

On May 5, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court, while dealing with the constitutionality of Maratha quota, had by 3:2 majority held that after the 102nd Constitution Amendment, only the President has the power to notify SEBCs, and that the power of states was only to make recommendations. While Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat were on the majority on this point, the minority comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer held that the effect of the amendment was only related to the power of Centre to identify SEBCs for the central list.

7.  Supreme Court Refuses To Stay NLSIU's 25% Reservation For Karnataka Students In 2021-22 Admissions

The Supreme Court this week issued notice in a plea filed seeking directions to the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) to release the counselling date for NEET-MDS 2021 at the earliest and not later than three weeks in any event.

A Division Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah issued the following order:

"Mr Vikas Singh, Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that the petitioners appeared for MDS- NEET 2021 examination conducted on Dec 16th 2020 by National Board of Examination whose results were declared on Dec 31st 2020. However there's no update to student candidates on counselling until date, as a result of which valuable months in the lives and careers of students are being wasted. Issue notice. Returnable in 2 weeks."

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