Supreme Court Monthly Roundup – April 2019


Sexual Harassment allegations against CJI: Justice AK Patnaik to look into ‘conspiracy’ angle

A special 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Rohinton Nariman and Deepak Gupta, JJ has appointed former Supreme Court judge, Justice A. K. Patnaik, to hold an inquiry into the allegations made in the probe an advocate’s claim that there was a “conspiracy” to frame Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.

Rafale deal: Centre’s preliminary objections regarding admissibility of the leaked documents dismissed

No law enacted by Parliament specifically barring or prohibiting the publication  of such documents on any of the grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) of the Constitution has been brought to Court’s notice. Hence, the right to such publication is well within the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

SC asks all parties to submit details of political funding received through electoral bonds

The 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has directed all the political parties who have received donations through Electoral Bonds to submit,

  • detailed particulars of the donors as against each Bond;
  • the amount of each such bond and the full particulars of the credit received against each bond, namely, the particulars of the bank account to which the amount has been credited and the date of each such credit.

Post-conviction mental health & it’s effect on sentencing: SC issues directions

It needs to be understood that prisoners tend to have increased affinity to mental illness. Moreover, due to legal constraints on the recognition of broad­spectrum mental illness within the Criminal Justice System, prisons inevitably become home for a greater number of mentally­ill prisoners of various degrees. There is no overlooking of the fact that the realities within the prison walls may well compound and complicate these problems.

Woman driven out of matrimonial home can file case under Section 498-A from the place she has taken shelter at

The courts at the place where the wife takes shelter after leaving or driven away from the matrimonial home on account of acts of cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives, would, dependent on the factual situation, also have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging commission of offences under Section 498A of the Penal Code.


Payment of Gratuity Act applies to employees of the local bodies

Liberal payment of gratuity is in the interest of the employees, thus, the gratuity would be payable under the Payment of Gratuity Act.

SC declares February 2018 RBI Circular ultra vires

All actions taken under the said circular, including actions by which the Insolvency Code has been triggered must fall along with the said circular.

No bail for businessman Zahoor Watali accused in a terror funding case

The accusation against Watali was of being a part of a larger conspiracy to   systematically upturn the establishment to cause secession of J & K from the Union of India.

Age of the case can’t displace the necessity of taking material evidence on record

The age of a case, by itself, cannot be decisive of the matter when a prayer is made for examination of a material witness.

Widow can’t claim ownership over a mutated property under Section 14 of Hindu Succession Act

The mutation of a property in the revenue records are fiscal proceedings and does not create or extinguish title nor has it any presumptive value on title. It only enables the person in whose favour mutation has been ordered, to pay the land revenue.

Section 44(1)(e) of the Maharashtra Municipal Council Act creates independent liability for unauthorised construction de hors criminal action

Section 44(1)(e) creates an independent liability or rather creates disqualification as provided thereunder. This is de hors the criminal action. There is nothing brought to our notice to conclude that action under Section 44(1)(e) must be preceded by a criminal action and conviction thereunder.

Rule 8(2)(i) of the Rajasthan Prisons (Shortening of Sentences) Rules, 2006 constitutional

Manifestly remission not being a matter of right, much less upon completion of 14 years of custody, but subject to rules framed in that regard, including complete denial of the same in specified circumstances, as a matter of State policy, nothing prevents the State from imposing restrictions  in the manner done by Rule 8(2)(i) to consider claims for remission.

Minimum Wages Act does not empower Govt to alter the terms of contract; June 2007 Notification partly quashed

There is no power vested in the Government by the Act to make alterations to the terms of a contract. The Act only confers jurisdiction in Government to fix/revise the minimum rate of wages notwithstanding the contract.

Bhobishyoter Bhoot row: West Bengal Govt to pay Rs. 20 lakhs to the Producers for attempting to silence speech

The police are not in a free society the self-appointed guardians of public morality. The uniformed authority of their force is subject to the rule of law. They cannot arrogate to themselves the authority to be willing allies in the suppression of dissent and obstruction of speech and expression.

Practice of summoning public officers not proper as public suffers due to their absence

The practice of summoning officers to court is not proper and does not serve the purpose of administration of justice in view of the separation of powers of the Executive and the Judiciary. If an order is not legal, the Courts have ample jurisdiction to set aside such order and to issue such directions as may be warranted in the facts of the case.

Court can’t directly appoint arbitrator if parties have not exhausted remedies under Arbitration Agreement

To fulfil the object with terms and conditions which are cumulative in nature, it is advisable for the Court to ensure that the remedy provided as agreed between the parties in terms of the contract is first exhausted.

Employee is entitled to full back wages if charges against him are found to be malicious

If an employee is involved in embezzlement of funds or is found indulging in demand and acceptance of illegal gratification, the employer cannot be mulcted with full back wages on the acquittal of the person by a criminal Court, unless it is found that the prosecution is malicious.


SC Collegium | Elevation of Judges in the Supreme Court

Collegium Resolutions | Addl. Judges of Gauhati, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh HC to be appointed as Permanent

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