Know Thy Judge| Justice Indira Banerjee

As Justice Indira Banerjee, 8th female Judge of the Supreme Court of India, celebrates her 63rd Birthday, we endeavor to recapitulate her journey so far via the following significant decisions-

  • Sushila Aggarwal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2020) 5 SCC 1 : In this significant ruling, a 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Ravindra Bhat, JJ., unanimously ruled that the protection granted to a person under Section 438 Cr.PC should not invariably be limited to a fixed period; it should inure in favour of the accused without any restriction on time. Read more
  • Rajendra Diwan v. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1586: The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., declared Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 that Act purports to confer a right of statutory Second Appeal to the Supreme Court, ultra vires the Constitution of India. The Court said that a provision which mandates the Supreme Court to consider an appeal is clearly beyond the legislative competence of the State Legislature. Read more
  • West U.P. Sugar Mills Association v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 380:  The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that once the Central Government having exercised the power under Entries 33 and 34 List III of seventh Schedule and fixed the “minimum price”, the State Government cannot fix the “minimum price” of sugarcane. Read more
  • Mukesh v. State (Narcotic Branch of Delhi), 2020 SCC OnLine SC 700:  The 5-judge Constitution bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., held that the accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) is not entitled to an acquittal as a blanket rule merely because the complainant is the investigating officer. Read more
  • State of Punjab v. Davinder Singh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 677:  5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ upon noticing that SC decision of E.V. Chinnaiah v. State of A.P., (2005) 1 SCC 394, is required to be revisited, referred the matter to a larger bench. While doing so, the Court observed, “Reservation was not contemplated for all the time by the framers of the Constitution.  On the one hand, there is no exclusion of those who have come up, on the other hand, if sub- classification is denied, it would defeat right to equality by treating unequal as equal.”  Read more
  • P. Rajagopal v. State of T.N., (2019) 5 SCC 403:The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, MM Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee, JJ., upheld the conviction and sentence of life imposed upon Saravana Bhavan owner P. Rajagopal by the Madras High Court for the abduction and murder of his employee Santhakumar. Read more
  • EXL Careers v. Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 621:  Answering a reference the 3-judge bench of RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that if a plaint is returned under Order VII Rule 10 and 10A of CPC, for presentation in the court in which it should have been instituted, the plaint is to be considered as a fresh plaint and the trial is to be conducted de novo. Read more
  • Nazir Mohamed v. J. Kamala, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 676:  The bench of Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, JJ has held that when no substantial question of law is formulated, but a Second Appeal is decided by the High Court, the judgment of the High Court is vitiated in law. Formulation of substantial question of law is mandatory and the mere reference to the ground mentioned in Memorandum of Second Appeal cannot satisfy the mandate of Section 100 of the CPC. Read more
  • Hari Krishna Mandir Trust v. State of Maharashtra 2020 SCC OnLine SC 631:The 2-judge bench of Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, JJ., held that Section 88 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 cannot be read in isolation from the other provisions of the Act, particularly Sections 65, 66, 125 and 126 thereof. It further, said, however laudable be the purpose, the Executive cannot deprive a person of his property without specific legal authority, which can be established in a court of law.” Read More
  • S. Sarojini Amma v. Velayudhan Pillai Sreekumar, (2019) 11 SCC 391:  The Bench comprising of Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee, JJ. allowed an appeal while setting aside the judgment and order of the Kerala High Court concerning a ‘gift deed’. placing the analysis of provisions of Transfer of Property Act along with the decisions pertaining to the same subject matter stated that: “A conditional gift with no recital of acceptance and no evidence in proof of acceptance, where possession remains with the donor as long as he is alive, does not become complete during lifetime of the donor. When a gift is incomplete and title remains with the donor the deed of gift might be cancelled.” Read more
  • Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State Of Maharashtra, (2019) 9 SCC 608:  The Bench of D.Y. Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that “Consent” with respect to S. 375 involves an active understanding of circumstances, actions and consequences of proposed act. Individual who makes a reasoned choice to act after evaluating various alternative actions (or inaction) as well as various possible consequences flowing from such action or inaction, consents to such action. Where a woman does not “consent” to sexual acts described in main body of S. 375, offence of rape has occurred. While S. 90 IPC does not define term “consent”, “consent” based on a “misconception of fact” is not consent in the eye of law. Thus, in case of woman engaging in sexual relations on false promise to marriage, her “consent” is based on “misconception of fact”, and such sexual act(s) will amount to rape.
  • Sarvepalli Ramaiah v. District Collector, Chittoor, (2019) 4 SCC 500:  The Bench comprising of R. Banumathi and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that Ryotwari patta cannot be granted in respect of area declared as water body (tank poramboke) as same vests in Government free from all encumbrances under S. 2-A of Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956. In her concurring opinion, Indira Banerjee, J., observed that, “A decision may sometimes be set aside and quashed under Article 226 on the ground of illegality. This is when there is an apparent error of law on the face of the decision, which goes to the root of the decision and/or in other words an apparent error, but for which the decision would have been otherwise”.

 

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