Supreme Court Monthly Roundup – May 2021

“This Court stands as a staunch proponent of the freedom of the media to report court proceedings. This we believe is integral to the freedom of speech and expression of those who speak, of those who wish to hear and to be heard and above all, in holding the judiciary accountable to the values which justify its existence as a constitutional institution.”

Chief Election Commissioner of India v. M.R Vijayabhaskar, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 364


UNMISSABLE STORIES 


Practice and Procedure

Open for Courts to order house arrest under Section 167 CrPC

In a major verdict, the bench of UU Lalit and KM Joseph*, JJ has held that it is open for Courts to order house arrest under Section 167 CrPC in appropriate cases. The order comes as a milestone for curbing the problem of overcrowded prisons and high cost for their maintenance.

Read more…

Judges need to be extra careful while conducting criminal trials relating to dowry deaths

In a case relating to dowry death, the bench of NV Ramana*, CJ and Aniruddha Bose, J has said that judges need to be extra careful while conducting criminal trials relating to Section 304-B, IPC. The Court went on to summarise the law under Section 304­B, IPC read with Section 113­B, Evidence Act and the guidelines to be followed by the Courts while conducting trials in such cases.

Read guidelines

“No coercive measures to be taken”| Can High Courts pass such blanket orders while refusing to quash investigation? Here’s the law laid down by the Supreme Court

“Granting of such blanket order would not only adversely affect the investigation but would have far reaching implications for maintaining the Rule of Law.”

Read more...

Apprehension of COVID-19 a ground for anticipatory bail: Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court’s order

The vacation bench of Vineet Saran and BR Gavai, JJ has stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order wherein it was held that apprehension of being infected with COVID-19 after coming into contact with authorities was a valid ground for anticipatory bail.

Read more…


NCLT/NCLAT vacancies

39 members for a sanctioned strength of 63! Supreme Court asks Centre to complete reappointment process within 2 months

“As the Government has already initiated the process of reappointment by writing to the Hon’ble Chief Justice, we trust and hope that the reappointment process should be completed expeditiously, as there is no necessity of issuance of any advertisement for participation of other eligible candidates.”

Read more…


Sedition

Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of Section 124A IPC

The 3-judge bench of UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph, JJ has issued notice in a plea seeking declaration of Section 124-A IPC to as unconstitutional and void. The order came after Senior Advocate Colin Gonalves submitted before the Court that the decision of the Court in Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar, 1962 Supp. (2) SCR 769 requires reconsideration.

Read why Section 124A IPC came into force and why 5-judge bench in Kedar Nath Singh verdict found it constitutional

Need to interpret sedition law in context of freedom of media; No coercive steps against TV5, ABN till next hearing

The two channels had broadcasted certain programmes wherein Raghurama Krishnam Raju, Member of Parliament had allegedly expressed views critical of the State Government and the Chief Minister. While Raju, has been named as the first accused, TV5 and ABN have been named as the second and third accused.

Read more…


Free Press/ Freedom of Speech and Expression

Madras High Court’s remarks harsh, metaphor inappropriate but can’t be expunged; Supreme Court junks EC’s plea seeking restrain on Media reporting Court proceedings

During the course of the hearing, the Madras High Court had allegedly orally observed that the EC is “the institution that is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19” and that the EC “should be put up for murder charges”.

Read more…

Open courts and freedom of media to report Court Proceedings: Unmissable Supreme Court quotes and the iconic Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak’s sedition trial

“Acceptance of a new reality is the surest way of adapting to it. Our public constitutional institutions must find better responses than to complain.”

Read more…


BOWC Cess

Levy of building cess on a contract for supply and delivery of equipment and materials? Impermissible, holds Supreme Court

In the case where Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd had levied cess on CG Power and Industrial Solutions Limited based on CAG report only and had withheld dues in respect of other contracts, the bench of UU Lalit and Indira Banerjee*, JJ has termed such levy a forcible extraction of cess.

Read more…


Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Nothing wrong with IBC Notification treating personal guarantors differently from other categories of individuals

Adding to the series of verdicts on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the bench of L. Negaswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat* has upheld the legality of the notification dated 15.11.2019 which notified provisions of Part III of the Code only in respect of personal guarantors to corporate debtors and has held that approval of a resolution plan does not ipso facto discharge a personal guarantor to a corporate debtor of her or his liabilities under the contract of guarantee.

Read more…


COVID-19 STORIES


National Task Force for allocation of oxygen to States: Who are the experts and what will they do? All you need to know

“Estimating projected needs is crucial to ensure that the country remains prepared to meet future eventualities, which will cause a demand for oxygen, medicines, infrastructure, manpower and logistics.”

Read more…

Schools can’t profit from unutilised facilities; Rajasthan Schools to provide 15% deduction of annual fees for academic year 2020-21: Supreme Court

“The school Management supposedly engaged in doing charitable activity of imparting education, is expected to be responsive and alive to that situation and take necessary remedial measures to mitigate the hardship suffered by the students and their parents. It is for the school Management to reschedule payment of school fee in such a way that not even a single student is left out or denied opportunity of pursuing his/her education, so as to effectuate the adage “live and let live”.”

Read more…

Dry Ration/Community kitchen for stranded migrant workers; Common National Database for all organised workers: Supreme Court issues directions

“…for accessing of any benefit percolating from any scheme framed by the Centre or the States for the benefit of unorganized workers or migrant workers, registration of workers is essential, which registration shall facilitate the unorganized workers to assess the scheme and reap the benefit.”

Read more…

Limit arrests, release prisoners on parole: Read Supreme Court directions on containing COVID-19 spread in overcrowded prisons

India has more than four lakh prison inmates. Some of the prisons in India are overburdened and are housing inmates beyond optimal capacity.

Read more…

What is your policy for issuing death certificates in case of COVID-19 deaths? How do you provide compensation? Supreme Court issues notice to Central Government

It was argued before the Court that,

  1. under the revised list of items and norms of assistance from State disaster response fund which is part of the letter dated 08.04.2015, Rs.4,00,000/- as exgratia compensation is required to be made.
  2. there is no uniform policy for issuing the certificate or any official document regarding causes of death to the deceased families due to which there is a difficulty on availing various benefits.

 Read more…


MORE STORIES


No default bail to Gautam Navlakha

The Court held that the house arrest of the appellant was not purported to be under Section 167 and hence, cannot be included within the period of 90 days under Section 167 of CrPC. 

Read more…

After one year of marriage, woman burnt to death over dowry. Supreme Court finds accused guilty; explains the true import of “soon before” under Section 304-IPC

“When the legislature used the words, “soon before” they did not mean “immediately before”. Rather, they left its determination in the hands of the courts.”

Read more…

Narada Scam Case| CBI withdraws appeal from Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court’s order putting TMC leaders under house arrest

After accepting the fact that the Narada Scam Case is being heard by a 5-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation has withdrawn the case filed before the Supreme Court challenging the May 21 order of the High Court that had put the 4 TMC Leaders under House Arrest.

Read more…


EXPLAINERS


Interpretation of Contracts: Not our duty to delve deep into the intricacies of human mind: Supreme Court

When can High Court entertain a writ petition, notwithstanding the availability of an alternative remedy?


IN OTHER NEWS


Supreme Court’s E-Committee releases Manual for its free “e-Courts Services Mobile App” in 14 languages

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