2021 SCC Vol. 7 Part 2

Courts, Tribunals and Judiciary — Courts, Tribunals and Special Courts — Tribunals: Extensive directions issued by Supreme Court relating to selection, appointment, tenure, conditions of service, etc. relating to various tribunals, 19 in number, thereby calling for certain modifications to the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities. [Qualification, Experience and Other Conditions of Service of Members] Rules, 2020. [Madras Bar Assn. v. Union of India, (2021) 7 SCC 369]

Courts, Tribunals and Judiciary — Courts, Tribunals and Special Courts — Tribunals: Search and Selection Committees to be constituted as per directions issued in Madras Bar Assn., (2021) 7 SCC 369. Modification suggested by Attorney General regarding composition of Committees, not objected to by Amicus Curiae, accepted. [Madras Bar Assn. v. Union of India, (2021) 7 SCC 409]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 439 — Bail — Successive bail applications upon denial/cancellation of bail on earlier occasions — Circumstances whether had changed sufficiently to warrant grant of bail: In this case, bail was granted by High Court on fourth bail application of accused without assigning any reasons. Accused, main conspirator in crime led to killing of one person. Earlier grant of bail to accused by High Court was cancelled by Supreme Court on finding of prima facie material against him. Thereafter, mere examination of principal star witness (wife of deceased), held, cannot be considered as change in circumstance for High Court to reconsider fourth bail application of accused and enlarge him on bail. Therefore, impugned order passed by High Court is not sustainable, hence, set aside. Bail granted to accused, cancelled. [Mamta Nair v. State of Rajasthan, (2021) 7 SCC 442]

Human and Civil Rights — Humanitarian and Natural Disasters, Epidemics and Pandemics — Epidemics and Pandemics — COVID-19 Pandemic: CBSE and ICSE Boards decided to cancel Class XII Board Examination and presented schemes, though slightly different, to award marks for Class XII/ Said schemes, prima facie, held, acceptable subject to conditions. Prayer to revisit said decision to cancel Class XII CBSE and ICSE Board Examination, rejected and clarifications and directions issued. [Mamta Sharma v. CBSE, (2021) 7 SCC 364]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 254(2-A) (as amended by the Finance Act, 2008 w.e.f. 1-10-2008): Third proviso to S. 254(2-A), limiting extension of stay order to a maximum period of 365 days i.e. there would be automatic vacation of the stayafter 365 days, even where assessee is not responsible for delay in hearing the appeal, is invalid. Existence of discrimination as well as manifest arbitrariness in such provision being violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution. Treatment of unequals as equals i.e. assessees responsible for delay, in the same manner as those not responsible for it, is not permissible. Thus, held, third proviso to S. 254(2-A) shall be read down i.e. it is to be read without the word “even” and the words “is not” after the words “delay in disposing of the appeal”. That is to say, the net result, held, is that any order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of the period or periods mentioned in the Section only if the delay in disposing of the appeal is attributable to the assessee. [CIT v. Pepsi Foods Ltd., (2021) 7 SCC 413]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — S. 238-A r/w S. 7 — Time-barred debts — Non-entertainability of — Condonation of delay — Denial of, when delay is highly excessive i.e. nearly 15 years and debt barred by limitation: Art. 137 of the Limitation Act gets attracted to applications filed under Ss. 7 and 9 IBC. The right to sue accrues when a default occurs, and if that default has occurred over three years prior to the date of filing of an application under S. 7 IBC, the application would be barred under Art. 137 of the Limitation Act. [Reliance Asset Reconstruction Co. Ltd. v. Hotel Poonja International (P) Ltd., (2021) 7 SCC 352]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — S. 60(5) — Residuary power of NCLT — When may be exercised/limitations upon: Considering the text of S. 60(5)(c) and the interpretation of similar provisions in other insolvency related statutes, NCLT has jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes, which arise solely from or which relate to the insolvency of the corporate debtor. However, in doing do, NCLT and NCLAT have to ensure that they do not usurp the legitimate jurisdiction of other courts, tribunals and fora when the dispute is one that does not arise solely from or relate to the insolvency of the corporate debtor. Further, the residuary jurisdiction of NCLT under S. 60(5)(c) provides it a wide discretion to adjudicate questions of law or fact arising from or in relation to the insolvency resolution proceedings, but only in relation to insolvency resolution proceedings. [Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. v. Amit Gupta, (2021) 7 SCC 209]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — Ss. 238-A and 7: S. 14 of the Limitation Act, 1963 i.e. for exclusion of time in proceeding bona fide wrong court or forum is applicable to applications preferred under S. 7 IBC once it is shown that all conditions for application of S. 14 of the Limitation Act are satisfied in the facts of the case. The expression “as far as may be” (in ref. to S. 238-A) is indicative of the fact that all or any of the provisions of the Limitation Act may not apply to proceedings before the adjudicating authority (NCLT) or the appellate authority (NCLAT) if they are patently inconsistent with some provisions of the IBC. The words “as far as may be” cannot be construed as a total exclusion of the requirements of the basic principles of S. 14 of the Limitation Act, but permit a wider, more liberal, contextual and purposive interpretation by necessary modification, which is in harmony with the principles of the said section. [Sesh Nath Singh v. Baidyabati Sheoraphuli Coop. Bank Ltd., (2021) 7 SCC 313]

Registration Act, 1908 — S. 17(2)(vi) and Ss. 17(1)(b) & (c): Second part of S. 17(2)(vi) which is an exception to the exception carved out by S. 17(2)(vi), and hence to which said second part, Ss. 17(1)(b) & (c) normally apply. Ss. 17(1)(b) & (c) are not applicable to compromise decree comprising immovable property other than that which is subject-matter of the suit, when compromise in question pertains only to pre-existing rights i.e. no new right, title or interest in immovable property is created vide the compromise in question. Family settlement/compromise, or, settlement/compromise in respect of family property are exempt from compulsory registration so long as they pertain to pre-existing rights of the parties and no new right, title or interest is created vide such settlement or compromise. Principles explained regarding the same. [Ripudaman Singh v. Tikka Maheshwar Chand, (2021) 7 SCC 446]

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