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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, October 11 To October 17, 2021

Nupur Thapliyal
17 Oct 2021 12:23 PM GMT
Supreme Court Weekly Round Up, October 11 To October 17, 2021
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SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS1. Income Tax Act - Date Of Receipt Of Order Irrelevant For Computing Limitation Under Section 263(2) : Supreme CourtCase Title : Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai vs Mohammed Meeran Shahul HameedCitation : LL 2021 SC 572The Supreme Court has held that the date of the receipt of the assessment order has no relevance in computing the limitation period for the Revision...

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SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS

1. Income Tax Act - Date Of Receipt Of Order Irrelevant For Computing Limitation Under Section 263(2) : Supreme Court

Case Title : Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai vs Mohammed Meeran Shahul Hameed

Citation : LL 2021 SC 572

The Supreme Court has held that the date of the receipt of the assessment order has no relevance in computing the limitation period for the Revision by the Principal Commissioner under Section 263 of the Income Tax Act.

A Bench of Justices M.R.Shah and A.S.Bopanna made the above observation in Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai vs Mohammed Meeran Shahul Hameed- a case dealing with the calculation of limitation period under S.263 of the Income Tax Act.

The Bench held that S.263 (2) of the Act requires that no revision order be made after the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which order sought to be revised was passed. Since S.263 uses the word made and not received, the Bench holds, the receipt of the order has no relevance for the purpose of determining limitation.

2. Mere Failure To Avoid Collision By Taking Some Extraordinary Precaution Does Not In Itself Constitute Contributory Negligence: Supreme Court

Case name: K. Anusha Vs Regional Manager, Shriram General Insurance Co.Ltd.

Citation: LL 2021 SC 571

The Supreme Court observed that mere failure to avoid the collision by taking some extraordinary precaution, does not in itself constitute negligence.

To establish contributory negligence, some act or omission, which materially contributed to the accident or the damage, should be attributed to the person against whom it is alleged, the bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian observed.

In this case, the High Court while upholding a finding of contributory negligence in a motor accident compensation claim, observed that if the deceased driver of the car had been vigilant and driving the vehicle carefully following the traffic rules, the accident would not have happened.

3. Judgment Debtor Can't Raise Objections In Instalments; Res Judicata Applicable To Execution Proceedings : Supreme Court

Case Title : Dipali Biswas and others versus Nirmalendu Mukherjee and others | C.A 4557/2012

Citation : LL 2021 SC 538

The Supreme Court has observed that the principle of res judicata will apply to execution proceedings as well. The Court added that a judgment debtor cannot raise objections to executions in installments.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasburmanian made this observation while rejecting a new objection raised by a judgment-debtor against the auction-sale proceedings in the fifth round.

"A judgment­-debtor cannot be allowed to raise objections as to the method of execution in instalments. After having failed to raise the issue in four earlier rounds of litigation, the appellants cannot be permitted to raise it now", the judgment authored by Justice Ramasubramanian observed.

The judgment explained the the principle of res judicata will apply to Execution Proceedings as well.

4. No Limitation Period In Case Of A Usufructuary Mortgage : Supreme Court

Case Title : Ram Dattan (Dead) by LRs versus Devi Ram and others

Citation : LL 2021 SC 562

The Supreme Court has observed that there is no limitation period in case of a usufructuary mortgage.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian was dealing with an appeal filed by a mortgagee, who claimed ownership of the mortgaged property on the ground that 45 years had elapsed after the mortgage.

The Supreme Court noted that the Full Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court, in "Ram Kishan & Ors. Vs. Sheo Ram & Ors.", has held that there is no limitation period in case of usufructuary mortgage. "Once a mortgage always a mortgage" was the principle applied

5. Consumer Complaint Not Maintainable Against Power Distributor For Raising Additional Bill Due To Short Assessment : Supreme Court

Case Title: M/S Prem Cottex v Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd & Ors| Civil Appeal Number 7235 of 2009

Citation : LL 2021 SC 541

The Supreme Court has held that a consumer complaint is not maintainable against a power distributor for raising an additional bill on account of short-assessment.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian agreed with the finding of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission that the raising of additional bill did not amount to "deficiency in service" as defined under the Consumer Protection Act.

The Court held that raising additional demand by itself will not amount to a "deficiency in service".

"The raising of an additional demand in the form of "short assessment notice", on the ground that in the bills raised during a particular period of time, the multiply factor was wrongly mentioned, cannot tantamount to deficiency in service. If a licensee discovers in the course of audit or otherwise that a consumer has been short billed, the licensee is certainly entitled to raise a demand. So long as the consumer does not dispute the correctness of the claim made by the licensee that there was short assessment, it is not open to the consumer to claim that there was any deficiency. This is why, the National Commission, in the impugned order correctly points out that it is a case of "escaped assessment" and not "deficiency in service".

6. Retrial Can Be Directed Only In 'Exceptional' Circumstances To Avert Miscarriage Of Justice: Supreme Court Formulates Principles

Case name and citation: Nasib Singh vs State of Punjab

Citation: LL 2021 SC 552

In a judgment delivered recently, the Supreme Court formulated principles regarding the power of a court to order retrial in a criminal case.

The court observed that retrial can be directed only in 'exceptional' circumstances to avert a miscarriage of justice. If a matter is directed for re-trial, the evidence and record of the previous trial is completely wiped out, the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and BV Nagarathna observed.

7. Relief Against Third Party Can't Be Claimed In Proceedings Between Husband & Wife Under Hindu Marriage Act : Supreme Court

Case Title : Nitaben Dinesh Patel vs Dinesh Dahyabhai Patel

Citation : LL 2021 SC 570

The Supreme Court has held that in a proceedings under the Hindu Marriage Act between a husband and a wife, a relief against a third party cannot be claimed.

The Court held so while rejecting a wife's plea to seek a declaration that the alleged marriage between her husband and another woman was void.

"Under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, the relief of divorce, judicial separation etc. can be between the husband and the wife only and cannot extend to the third party. Therefore, by virtue of Section 23A of the Hindu Marriage Act, it is not open for the appellant herein – original defendant to seek declaration to the effect that the marriage between the respondent – original plaintiff and the third party is void. No relief can be prayed by way of counter claim even against the son born out of the alleged wedlock between the respondent – original plaintiff and the third party", the Court stated.

8. Court Shall Not Help An Absconding Accused Who Is Not Cooperating With Investigation: Supreme Court

Case name: Sanatan Pandey vs. State of Uttar Pradesh |

Citation: LL 2021 SC 568

The Supreme Court observed that a Court shall not come to the rescue or help an absconding accused who is not cooperating with the investigation.

The bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna observed thus while upholding an Allahabad High Court order refusing anticipatory bail.

The accused, Sanatan Pandey, was charged for the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 323, 324, 307, 308, 504 and 452 of the Indian Penal Code. His application before the High Court to quash the charge-sheet, in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was dismissed by the High Court vide order dated 10.12.2019. He was then directed to surrender before the Court. As he did not surrender and apply for regular bail, a non-bailable warrant has been issued against him and even the proceedings under Section 82 of the Cr.P.C. was initiated. Later, the High court dismissed his anticipatory bail application.

9. Allowing 'Kashmiri Migrant' Retired Govt. Employees To Retain Govt. Accommodation For Indefinite Long Period Unconstitutional: Supreme Court

Case name: Union of India vs. Omkar Nath Dhar (D)

Citation: LL 2021 SC 567

The Supreme Court held that a government employee who is a Kashmiri Migrant cannot retain Government accommodation for a period exceeding three years.

The Court held that the Office Memorandum allowing the retired Government employees who are Kashmiri Migrants to retain Government accommodation for indefinite long period is unconstitutional for being as being totally arbitrary and discriminatory.

There cannot be any justification on the basis of social or economic criteria to allow the Kashmiri Migrants to stay in Government accommodation for indefinite long period, the bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and AS Bopanna observed.

IMPORTANT APEX COURT UPDATES

1. Singhu Lynching: Plea In Supreme Court Seeks Early Hearing Of Plea To Remove Farmers Protesters

In the wake of the recent incident of brutal lynching of a Dalit man at the farmers protest site at Singhu Border, an application has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing of their writ petition which seeks for removal of Farm Law protestors.

The petition filed by Swati Goel and Sanjeev Newar also seeks for issuance of guidelines by the Centre to the States and Union Territories to stop all kinds of protests in their States and not permit them until pandemic gets over.

"Said incidents are neither common, nor acceptable. A protest which in itself is illegal cannot be continued when it is witnessing anti humanitarian acts. The said protests has seen many unforeseen and unacceptable things including the Tractor Rally on Republic Day, rape of a woman and its cover up at the site and murder of Lakhbir Singh on Dusshera," the application states.

2. Rejection Of Permanent Commission Claims Of 72 Women Army Officers: Supreme Court Grants Time To Centre And The Army To Resolve The Issue

The Supreme Court allowed time until October 22 to the Centre and the Indian Army to resolve the issue of grant of Permanent Commission to those women Short Service Commission officers against whom there is no problem of disciplinary or vigilance clearance. 

Posting the matter for October 22, the Court required ASG Sanjay Jain, for the Union, and Senior Advocate R. Balasubramanian, for the Indian army, to personally look into the individual cases in view of its March judgment that if the women officers meet the cut-off of 60% marks and clear the medical fitness criteria and have received vigilance and disciplinary clearances, they shall be entitled to PC.

3. 'No Irregularities In Rituals' : Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam Responds To Devotee's Plea In Supreme Court

In response to a devotee's special leave petition alleging irregularities in in rituals at the iconic Tirupathi Temple, the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam ("TTD") has told Supreme Court that the Sevas to Lord Venkateshwara are performed by Archakas under the supervision of His Holiness Pedda Jeeyangar Swamy and Chinnayajeeyangar swamy strictly in accordance with Vaikhanasa Agama.

"The system of performing sevas/utsavams in the Temple were commenced by His Holiness Sri Ramanujacharya in the 10th century as per the Vaikhanasa Agama. The sevas/ utsavams are performed by Archakas who are well verse in Vaikhanasa Agama and assisted/supervised by His Holiness Pedda Jeeyangar Swamy and Chinnayajeeyangar swamy who are in the lineage of His Holiness Ramanujacharya," the affidavit states.

4. Delhi Gymkhana Club Case: Supreme Court Directs NCLT To Dispose Pending Proceedings Within 4 Months

While declining to interfere in the civil appeal(s) filed challenging NCLAT's order directing the suspension of Delhi Gymkhana Club's General Committee and appointment of an Administrator nominated by the Union of India the Supreme Court directed NCLT, Delhi to dispose of the proceedings pending before it within 4 months.

Noting that the appeal was against an interlocutory order, the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar in their order said,

"Considering the nature of the controversy, it is appropriate that the main proceedings pending before the National Company Law Tribunal are disposed of expeditiously. The NCLT may endeavour to finally dispose of the main proceedings within 4(four) months from receipt of the copy of this order. The parties through learned counsel have assured to extend full cooperation to the NCLT for early disposal of the case."

5. Fake Accident Claim Petitions : Supreme Court Directs BCI To Act Against Erring Lawyers

The Supreme Court recently criticized the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh for its failure to take action against advocates for filing fake claim petitions under Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and Workmen Compensation Act.

"It is very unfortunate that in such a serious matter, where the allegations are of filing of fake claim petitions in which the advocates are also alleged to have been involved, the Bar Council of U.P. is not giving instructions to their advocate. It shows the callousness and insensitiveness on the part of the Bar Council of U.P. Shri Manan Kumar Mishra, learned senior counsel and Chairman Bar Council of India to look into the same," bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna noted in their order.

The Apex Court took note of the Supplementary affidavit dated September 30, 2021, filed on behalf of the UP Government, stating that the Special Investigation Team ("S.I.T.") was constituted pursuant to Allahabad High Court's order dated October 7, 2015.

6. Incomplete Records Being Furnished To Amicus Curiae & Other Counsels: Supreme Court Issues Directions To Ensure Qualitative Legal Aid

Taking note of the problem of incomplete records being furnished to counsel from the panel of Amicus Curiae or those engaged by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, the Supreme Court on Friday was impelled to issue a string of directions to ensure good and qualitative assistance in legal aid matters. 

The bench of Justices U. U. Lalit and Ravindra Bhat was hearing a jail petition in which AOR Karan Bharioke, who was appearing as Amicus Curiae, submitted that the instant matter was assigned to him by communication of August 17 which requested him to file the special leave petition as early as possible and preferably within two weeks.

"Mr. Bharihoke submits that at the stage of filing of the petition, the record in the matter including the depositions of the relevant witnesses was not given to him. He further submits that when he requested for the record, some documents were given to him but not the complete record", recorded the bench.

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