Supreme Court Monthly Roundup – September 2020


Advance tax ruling system| Detailed report on what the Supreme Court said

The bench of SK Kaul and Indu Malhotra, JJ has recommended the Central Government to consider the efficacy of the advance tax ruling system and make it more comprehensive as a tool for settlement of disputes rather than battling it through different tiers, whether private or public sectors are involved. It suggested that a council for Advance Tax Ruling based on the Swedish model and the New Zealand system may be a possible way forward.

SC gives 10 years’ time to Telecos to pay AGR dues

“The TSPs make payment in yearly instalments commencing from 1.4.2021 up to 31.3.2031 payable by 31st March of every succeeding financial year.”

Can an unmarried Hindu daughter claim maintenance from her father? SC clarifies the legal position

“The maintenance as contemplated under Act, 1956 is a larger concept as compared to concept of maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C..”

The ‘precise’ time of publication of E-gazette significant to determine enforceability of Notifications

“In the era of the electronic publication of gazette notifications and electronic filing of bills of entry, the revised rate of import duty under the Notification 5/2019 applies to bills of entry presented for home consumption after the notification was uploaded in the e-Gazette at 20:46:58 hours on 16 February 2019.”

SC acquits a man in a rape case dating back to 1999| How a failed love affair led to a 21-year-long legal battle

“If the appellant had married her, she would not have lodged the case.”

NLAT Quashed; CLAT-2020 to be conducted on September 28 for all NLUs including NLSIU, Bengaluru

The Universities are not powerless to modify their Academic Calendar looking to the pandemic. The Academic year 2020-21 is not a normal academic year in which Universities are expected to carry on their teaching and other activities in normal mode and manner. NLSIU could have very well found out ways and means to start the academic Under-Graduate Law course even if it starts in mid of October 2020 after conduct of the CLAT on 28.09.2020.

NLU Jodhpur student’s death| SC orders fresh investigation by a new Investigation team after Rajasthan Police hastily submits a ‘very lengthy’ closure report

The interest of justice requires a de novo investigation to be done, to sustain the confidence of the society in the rule of law irrespective of who the actors may be.

SC stays the telecast of Sudarshan News’ ‘UPSC Jihad’ show; says it prima facie appears like an attempt to vilify the Muslim community

“An insidious attempt has been made to insinuate that the community is involved in a conspiracy to infiltrate the civil services.”

Maratha Reservation| Implementation of Maharashtra State Reservation Act stayed; Larger bench to interpret Constitution (102nd Amendment) Act, 2018

“Implementation of the Act for admissions in educational institutions and appointments to public posts during the pendency of these Appeals will cause irreparable loss to the candidates belonging to the open category. It will be difficult to cancel the admissions made in the educational institutions and appointments made to the public posts by implementing the reservations as per the Act.”


When can a subsequent legislation be applied retrospectively? SC explains

For application of a subsequent legislation retrospectively it is necessary to show that the previous legislation had any omission or ambiguity or it was intended to explain an earlier act. In absence of the above ingredients, a legislation cannot be regarded as having retrospective effect.

SC lists 8 directions to prevent deterioration of Shivlinga at Mahakaleshwar Temple Ujjain

In a bid to prevent the deterioration of Shivlinga at Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, the 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, JJ has issued elaborate directions.

Scandalous allegations against SC judges| Exemplary cost of Rs. 25, 000 on Rashid Khan Pathan for filing repetitive applications seeking recall of May 4 order

“If the Appellant continues to file such repetitive applications in this litigation which are not maintainable, he will be visited with deterrent actions referred above such as initiation of criminal contempt proceedings or a direction to the Registry that no further applications in this litigation will be received.”

Bangalore Club not liable to pay wealth tax; SC explains when Section 21AA of Wealth Tax Act applies

“Bangalore Club is an association of persons and not the creation, by a person who is otherwise assessable, of one among a large number of associations of persons without defining the shares of the members so as to escape tax liability. For all these reasons, it is clear that Section 21AA of the Wealth Tax Act does not get attracted to the facts of the present case.”

Can Section 302 IPC be applied in a case of single injury? SC clarifies

“The nature of injury, the part of the body where it is caused, the weapon used in causing such injury are the indicators of the fact whether the accused caused the death of the deceased with an intention of causing death or not.”

Can strict rules of evidence be applied to disciplinary proceedings? Here’s what SC says

“… in a disciplinary enquiry, strict rules of evidence and procedure of a criminal trial are inapplicable, like say, statements made before enquiry officers can be relied upon in certain instances.”

SC gives a go ahead to enforcement of Malaysian arbitral award in Government versus Vedanta; says it doesn’t contravene public policy of India

“The enforcement court may “refuse” enforcement of a foreign award, if the conditions contained in Section 48 are made out. This would be evident from the language of the Section itself, which provides that enforcement of a foreign award may be “refused” only if the applicant furnishes proof of any of the conditions contained in Section 48 of the Act.”

Section 12 of the Specific Relief Act has to be construed in a liberal, purposive manner that is fair and promotes justice

Even though the power of the Court to direct specific performance of an agreement may have been discretionary, such power could not be arbitrary. The discretion had necessarily to be exercised in accordance with sound and reasonable judicial principles.

Is active involvement in the commission of offence a pre-condition for common intention? SC answers

The presence of the mental element or the intention to commit the act if cogently established is sufficient for conviction, without actual participation in the assault. It is therefore not necessary that before a person is convicted on the ground of common intention, he must be actively involved in the physical activity of assault. If the nature of evidence displays a pre-arranged plan and acting in concert pursuant to the plan, common intention can be inferred.

CLAT| Nothing wrong with WB NUJS’s decision to apply 30% domicile reservation rule from next year: SC

“The grievance of the appellant was that 30% of the seats were reserved for the students domiciled in the State of West Bengal when the Act was amended on 21st May 2019. The Act had come into force before CLAT was conducted, but the benefit of reservation had not been extended to the students by the University in the Academic Session 2019-2020.”

To prove case under NDPS Act, ownership of the vehicle not required to be established and proved

What is required to be established and proved is the recovery of the contraband articles and the commission of an offence under the NDPS Act.

Are words “tries an offence” more appropriate than “tries an offender” in section 461(l) CrPC? Here’s what SC says

The words “tries an offence” are more appropriate than the words “tries an offender” in section 461 (l). This is because, lack of jurisdiction to try an offence cannot be cured by section 462 and hence section 461, logically, could have included the trial of an offence by a Magistrate, not empowered by law to do so, as one of the several items which make the proceedings void.

Jharkhand State Open School a sham; SC ‘reluctantly’ refuses to allow students with JSOS certificates to continue their courses at APJAKTU

“We do have sympathy but this is not a case where we can really translate our sympathy to a relief in the present case, more so, in view of the fact that since this exam system is found to be fraudulent, the petitioners before us will never have a recognized plus two status and to give such students the opportunity to get a degree from the University will create a great anomaly.”

Can’t allow Judicial officers to club their services rendered as advocates to claim eligibility for elevation as High Court judge: SC

“Hopping on and hopping off from one queue to the other, is not permissible. Today, if any of the petitioners cease to be Judicial Officers and become Advocates, they may be eligible to be considered against the quota intended for the Bar. But while continuing as Judicial Officers, they cannot seek to invoke Explanation (a) as it applies only to those who have become advocates after having held a judicial office.”

SC orders revised schedule for appointment of judicial officers in West Bengal; MP HC’s Examination Committee to review the situation within a month before taking a decision

SC refuses to direct MoE and UGC to frame guidelines for regulation of fees structure in Universities and Central Institutions

Withdrawal of GHCAA President Yatin Oza’s senior designation| SC decides to wait for Gujarat High Court’s order


6 Years and over 300 Judgments later, Justice Arun Mishra bids adieu to the Supreme Court

Supreme Court releases a 17-page User Guide for limited physical hearings

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