Cases reported in SCC: 2017 SCC Vol. 1 January 21, 2017 Part 3

Constitution of India — Art. 51-A(a) — Duty to respect ideals and institutions, the National Flag and National Anthem: Interim directions issued including clarifications, regarding what would constitute disrespect and abuse to National Anthem and directions to avoid such disrespect and abuse. [Shyam Narayan Chouksey v. Union of India, (2017) 1 SCC 421]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 19(1)(a) — Heinous crime: In this case where insensitive remark was issued by person in authority or in charge of governance that incident of rape and dacoity alleged “was an outcome of political controversy” (R-2 in present case), directions, including as to consideration of unconditional apology tendered by R-2, issued. [Kaushal Kishor v. State of U.P., (2017) 1 SCC 406]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21, 19, 48-A, 51-A(g) and 32 — Environmental emergency in National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi: Where there are threats of serious and irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation. Court is constitutionally bound to address such concerns. Considering fact that firecrackers shoot up pollution to extreme levels during Diwali and wedding season, Central Government directed to exercise power of suspending licences under R. 118, Explosive Rules, 2008 and suspend all licences permitting sale of fireworks, wholesale or retail, within territory of NCR till further orders. [Arjun Gopal v. Union of India, (2017) 1 SCC 412]

Consumer Protection — Consumer Forums — Inadequacy of Members/Presiding Officers, resources and infras: Factors like, poor organizational set-up, grossly inadequate infrastructure, absence of adequate trained manpower, lack of transparency in selection process, absence of criteria of selection, anomalous situation where service conditions of members of National Commission were inferior to those of State Commission, noted and directions issued in the matter to Central and State Government. [State of U.P. v. All U.P. Consumer Protection Bar Assn., (2017) 1 SCC 444]

Education and Universities — Appointment of teachers — Teachers Eligibility Test (TET): State Government is competent to provide relaxation of passing marks of 60% for various reserved category candidates. Clarified, that the same is not already provided for in amended notification of NCTE Guidelines. [Vikas Sankhala v. Vikas Kumar Agarwal, (2017) 1 SCC 350]

Education and Universities — Appointment of teachers: State Government, competent to relax 5% marks for reserved category candidates in State Teacher Eligibility Test (TET). [V. Lavanya v. State of T.N., (2017) 1 SCC 322]

Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959 (11 of 1959) — Ss. 89-A and 106: Appeal before Dy. Registrar against order of competent authority confirming auction-sale of immovable property mortgaged with Bank by debtor, not maintainable under S. 106. Debtor can file application under S. 89-A r/w R. 38 of 1960 Rules for setting aside sale only after depositing awarded amount and interest thereon with Recovery Officer as per R. 38(4)(a) of 1960 Rules.  In case of dismissal of application, however, no appeal against order confirming sale is provided for. [P.M. Abubakar v. State of Karnataka, (2017) 1 SCC 302]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 11-A — Failure to make award within two years as provided under — Lapsing of acquisition proceedings as a result of: Plea taken that award could not be passed due to stay order granted by Court, not tenable in view of stay apparently not in operation after 2010. [DDA v. Radha Nagpal, (2017) 1 SCC 411]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 149 — Unlawful assembly — Conviction with the aid of S. 149 IPC — Essential requirements: An overt act on part of each member of the unlawful assembly is not always an inflexible requirement to establish culpability of a member of an unlawful assembly. Crucial question is whether the assembly entertained a common unlawful object and whether the accused was one of the members of such an assembly by intentionally joining it or by continuing in it, being aware of the facts which rendered the assembly unlawful. Without unlawful object no assembly becomes an unlawful assembly. [Muthuramalingam v. State, (2017) 1 SCC 477]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 306 and 107 — Abetment of suicide — Essential ingredients of: The basic ingredients of S. 306 IPC are suicidal death and abetment thereof. To constitute abetment, intention and involvement of accused to aid or instigate commission of suicide is imperative. Any severance or absence of any of these constituents would militate against said indictment. Remoteness of culpable acts or omissions rooted in intention of accused to actualise the suicide would fall short of offence of abetment essential to attract S. 306 IPC.  Contiguity, continuity, culpability and complicity of indictable acts or omission are concomitant indices of abetment. S. 306 IPC thus criminalises sustained incitement for suicide. [Gurcharan Singh v. State of Punjab, (2017) 1 SCC 433]

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 — Ss. 2(b), 5-A, 9(f), 38(1) & (2) — Beating of street dogs to death and carcasses taken out in a parade: Directions issued under the Act regarding photographs with caption “Kerala Politicians beat street dogs to death, hang them on a pole and take out a parade” in news item. [Animal Welfare Board of India v. People for Elimination of Stray Troubles, (2017) 1 SCC 394]

Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 — Ss. 7, 17, 23, 24, 29 and 42 and 26(2) — Noti. dt. 8-11-2016 demonetising currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination as legal tender w.e.f. 8-11-2016: Suspension of bar on District Cooperative Banks (DCBs) from accepting deposits or exchanging demonetised notes as an interim measure, declined. [Vivek Narayan Sharma v. Union of India, (2017) 1 SCC 388]

SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997 — Regns. 22(7) and 2(1)(e)(2)(i) &  (iii): Embargo under Regn. 22(7) that acquirer or persons acting in concert with him shall not be entitled to be appointed on Board of Directors of target company during offer period applies to both acquirer and person acting in concert with him. Expression “person acting in concert” includes a corporate entity and also its Directors and associates. [SEBI v. Burren Energy India Ltd., (2017) 1 SCC 345]

Service Law — “Post” and “vacancy” — Difference between, and relevance thereof, in reckoning right to be considered for appointment/quota: Cadre strength is measured by number of posts comprising cadre. Right to be considered for appointment can only be claimed in respect of post in given cadre. Percentage of quota as to each source of recruitment specified in Rules concerned should be worked out in relation to number of posts which form cadre and has no relevance to vacancy that occur. [Srikant Roy v. State of Jharkhand, (2017) 1 SCC 457]

Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 — S. 22-A — Jurisdiction of BIFR: BIFR can issue a direction to not dispose of assets only to a sick industrial company. [J.K. Synthetics Mazdoor Union (CITU) v. Arfat Petrochemicals (P) Ltd., (2017) 1 SCC 427]

Specific Relief Act, 1963 — S. 5 — Suit for possession of leased/tenanted property in question — Determination of tenant thereof: As plaintiff was able to establish tenancy in its favour in respect of suit property, while defendants only able to establish a tenancy in respect of another plot of land, not suit property, hence, suit rightly decreed in favour of respondent-plaintiff in this case. [Kundan Lal v. Kamruddin, (2017) 1 SCC 403]

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