2017 SCC Vol. 10 December 21, 2017 Part 4

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 8 — Reference to arbitration in pending suit — Application under S. 8 of 1996 Arbitration Act — Maintainability: The Delhi Rent Act, which deals with the cases relating to rent and eviction, is a special Act. Though it contains a provision (Section 3) by virtue of which the provisions of the said Act do not apply to certain premises, but that does not mean that the Arbitration Act, ipso facto, would be applicable to such premises conferring jurisdiction on the arbitrator to decide the eviction/rent disputes. In such a situation, the rights of the parties and the demised premises would be governed by the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and the civil suit would be triable by the civil court and not by the arbitrator. In other words, though by virtue of Section 3 of the Delhi Rent Act, the provisions of the said Act are not applicable to certain premises but no sooner the exemption is withdrawn or ceased to have its application to a particular premises, that Act becomes applicable to such premises. In this view of the matter, it cannot be contended that the provisions of the Arbitration Act would, therefore, apply to such premises. [Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, (2017) 10 SCC 706]

Constitution of India — Arts. 25, 26, 14, 17, 21, 38, 51-A(e) and 290-A — Sabarimala Temple: Matter regarding practice of not permitting women of age group of 10 to 50 yrs to enter or offer prayer in Sabarimala Temple, that is, women after menarche up to menopause on grounds: (a) that deity in Sabarimala Temple is a Naisthik Brahmachari, a Yogi, whose celibacy and austerity should not be affected by women of such age group, and (b) that worshippers visit temple after observing penance for 41 days and usually ladies of such age group will not be physically capable of observing “vratham” for 41 days due to biological factor of menstruation, referred to a larger Bench, five issues also formulated. [Indian Young Lawyers Assn. v. State of Kerala, (2017) 10 SCC 689]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 115-O (as inserted by Finance Act, 1997) — Dividend declared, distributed or paid by a tea company, engaged in the business of growing green tea leaves in its tea gardens and manufacturing black tea out of the same — Taxability of: Levy of “additional income tax” under section 115-O, IT Act on “dividend” justified as “dividend” is income and tax thereon can be levied under Entry 82 of List I. [Union of India v. Tata Tea Co. Ltd., (2017) 10 SCC 764]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 3(a) r/w S. 49: Acquisition of mere building/portion of a building, without the underlying land is possible and valid, even when the Government itself is the owner of the underlying land. [State of Maharashtra v. Reliance Industries Ltd., (2017) 10 SCC 713]

Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (30 of 1999) (as extended to NCT of Delhi) — Ss. 2(1)(d) & (1)(e), 1(2) and 3 — “Organised crime” — “Continuing unlawful activity” defined in S. 2(1)(d) for constituting offence as to — Requisites of: Invoking doctrine of territorial nexus in this case of organized crime and adopting construction in favour of advancement of object of statute concerned i.e. MCOCA, it was held that expression “competent court” in S. 2(1)(d) of MCOCA is not restricted to courts in Delhi alone. Perusal of chargesheets filed in competent courts in other State (i.e. State of U.P.) which were relied on by prosecution to prove commission of organised crime established clear nexus between those charge-sheets and State of NCT of Delhi where prosecution was launched under MCOCA. Hence it was held that those chargesheets could be taken into account for purpose of constituting “continuing unlawful activity” to prosecute accused persons under MCOCA at Delhi. Such prosecution could not be said to be invalid on ground of extra-territoriality. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Brijesh Singh], 2017) 10 SCC 779]

Prisons, Prisoners and Probation of Offenders — Prison/Jail Reforms — Unnatural deaths in prisons: Directions issued for measures to be taken to prevent unnatural deaths in prisons, as far as possible and for proper implementation of Modern Prison Manual, 2016 and other guidelines and rules of Central Government and International Bodies. Suggestion was also given for establishment of open jails and use of phone and video confrencing for communication with family and lawyers. [Re-Inhuman Conditions In 1382 Prisons, In re, (2017) 10 SCC 658]

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