2020 SCC Vol. 10 Part 2

Constitution of India — Arts. 19(1)(g) and (6) — Virtual currencies (VCs) or Cryptocurrencies — Reasonableness and proportionality of restrictions on right to carry on trade/business concerning VCs — Determination: RBI Circular dt. 6-4-2018 directing entities regulated by it (i) not to deal in virtual currencies nor to provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies, and (ii) to exit the relationship with such persons or entities, if they were already providing such services to them is not valid due to its being a disproportionate measure, despite the issuance of the circular being within the ambit of RBI’s powers. Test of proportionality, as laid down in Modern Dental College & Research Centre, (2016) 7 SCC 353, namely: (i) that the measure is designated for a proper purpose, (ii) that the measures are rationally connected to the fulfilment of the purpose, (iii) that there are no alternative less invasive measures, and (iv) that there is a proper relation between the importance of achieving the aim and the importance of limiting the right, is not satisfied by the impugned circular, when virtual currencies are themselves not banned. [Internet & Mobile Assn. of India v. Reserve Bank of India, (2020) 10 SCC 274]

Consumer Protection — Services — Banking/Shares/Securities and other Financial Services — Hire-purchase: Repossession of vehicle by financier/owner in accordance with the terms and conditions of the hire-purchase agreement, hired under a hire-purchase agreement, on default of payment by hirer and nonreleasing of the same on the promise of payment does not amount to deficiency of service. True nature of hire-purchase agreement contrasted with loan transaction (wherein goods are sold to customer and then hypothecated or pledged back to financier by the customer), explained. Financier, as opposed to the hirer is considered as the real owner of the hired vehicle in transaction which is clearly a hire-purchase agreement (and is found not to be a loan transaction). A hire-purchase agreement is an executory contract of sale, conferring no right in rem on the hirer, until the conditions for transfer of the property to him have been fulfilled and the financier continues to be the owner of the goods under a hire-purchase agreement while the hirer simply pays for use of the goods and for the option to purchase them. Until the option to purchase is exercised by the hirer upon payment of all amounts agreed upon between the hirer and the financier, the hirer remains a bailee of the goods covered by the hire-purchase agreement. Whether the transaction between a financier and a purchaser/hirer is a hire-purchase transaction, or a loan transaction, is to be determined from the terms of the agreement, considered in the light of surrounding circumstances. However, even a loan transaction, secured by right of seizure of a financed vehicle, confers licence to the financier to seize the vehicle. [Magma Fincorp Ltd. v. Rajesh Kumar Tiwari, (2020) 10 SCC 399]

Customs Tariff Act, 1975 — S. 9-A — Anti-dumping duty — Purpose of — Dumping — Meaning of and factors constituting it: Completion of investigation into allegations of dumping, within prescribed time period is essential. Designated Authority enlarging period of investigation and seeking contemporaneous data for enlarged time-frame when circumstances so warrant, permissible. Such action cannot be termed as arbitrary. [Directorate General of Trade Remedies v. Andhra Petrochemicals Ltd., (2020) 10 SCC 209]

Education Law — Reservation of Seats/Quota/Exemption/Priority/Affirmative Action/Reverse Discrimination — Generally — Permissibility, Nature and scope — Reservation — Academic session from which to be implemented: In this case, it was observed that since Amending Act does not contemplate that benefit of reservation has to be granted in ongoing academic session, therefore, University was at liberty to decide to extend benefit from next academic session. Provision for commencement of Amending Act “at once” means implementation of the Act within a reasonable time. Decision of Executive Council of University was taken within a reasonable time and cannot be said to be arbitrary as admission process was initiated before Amending Act came into force. Therefore, it was not possible to give effect to provisions of the Amending Act from academic session 2019-2020. Hence, action of University to grant benefit of Amending Act from next academic session of 2020 2021 cannot be said to be unreasonable and is a possible decision in terms of Amending Act. [Shreyas Sinha v. W.B. National University of Juridical Sciences, (2020) 10 SCC 227]

Registration Act, 1908 — S. 17(2)(vi): Compromise decree comprising immovable property which is the subject-matter of the suit or proceeding in question, held, does not require registration. It is only a compromise decree comprising immovable property other than that which is the subject-matter of suit or proceeding in question which requires registration. [Gurcharan Singh v. Angrez Kaur, (2020) 10 SCC 250]

Registration Act, 1908 — S. 17(2)(vi): Compromise decree comprising immovable property which is the subject-matter of the suit or proceeding in question, held, does not require registration. It is only a compromise decree comprising immovable property other than that which is the subject-matter of suit or proceeding in question, which requires registration. [Mohd. Yusuf v. Rajkumar, (2020) 10 SCC 264]

Service Law — Pension — Entitlement to pension: In this case, there was absorption of respondents in Rajasthan SRTC on closing down of Rajasthan State Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. vide order dt. 3-10-1996. Pursuant to Noti. dt. 12-2-1997 applications were invited from absorbed employees to opt for either CPF Scheme or GPF and Pension Scheme, respondents opted for pension within stipulated time. Respondents were governed by CPF Scheme in erstwhile Corporation. Regional Provident Fund Commissioner transferred contribution of employees as well as of employer to Rajasthan SRTC. Denial of pension on ground of non-receipt of capital amount from erstwhile Corporation, held, not proper. [Rajasthan SRTC v. Goverdhan Lal Soni, (2020) 10 SCC 234]

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