“In matters pertaining to national security, the scope of judicial review is limited. However, this does not mean that the State gets a free pass every time the spectre of “national security” is raised. National security cannot be the bugbear that the judiciary shies away from, by virtue of its mere mentioning. Although this Court should be circumspect in encroaching upon the domain of national security, no omnibus prohibition can be called for against judicial review.”
Manohar Lal Sharma v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 985
STORY OF THE MONTH
PEGASUS SPYWARE CASE
The what, the why, the who and the how: All you need to know about SC’s independent probe order in Pegasus case
“… it was an extremely uphill task to find and select experts who are free from prejudices, are independent and competent.”
‘National security cannot be the bugbear that the judiciary shies away from’. Here’s why the initially reluctant Supreme Court finally decided to interfere
Surveillance versus right to privacy| Five unmissable quotes from the Pegasus Order
Pupil-teacher ratio for special schools; special teachers for Children with Special Needs in general schools: Read SC’s stopgap arrangement till Centre notifies norms
The Court has directed the Central Government to notify the norms and standards of pupil-teacher ratio for special schools and also separate norms for special teachers who alone can impart education and training to Children/Child with Special Needs (CwSN) in the general schools.
Karnataka High Court calls person committing suicide a ‘weakling’! Don’t diminish the gravity of mental health issues, says SC
“The mental health of a person cannot be compressed into a one size fits all approach.”
Supreme Court temporarily restores Yatin Oza’s Senior Advocate designation for two years
“All we are seeking to do is to give him a chance by providing a window of two years to show that he truly means what he has assured us. We can only hope that the petitioner abides by his assurances and does not give any cause for the High Court or for us to think otherwise.”
Gauri Lankesh murder| Direct role in commission of an organized crime not necessary. HC “manifestly wrong” in quashing charges against Mohan Nayak N: SC
The High Court, without analysing the material presented along with chargesheet on the basis of which cognizance has been taken by the competent Court including against Mohan Nayak. N, concerning commission of organized crime by the organized crime syndicate of which he is allegedly a member, committed manifest error and exceeded its jurisdiction in quashing the chargesheet.
Reprimand for indiscipline does not amount to abetment of suicide of a “hypersensitive” student: SC
‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ an old saying may have lost its relevance in present days and Corporal punishment to the child is not recognised by law but that does not mean that a teacher or school authorities have to shut their eyes to any indiscipline act of a student.
“Revenue record is not a document of title”; Mere mentioning of name in revenue records will not create any right, title or interest over forest land: SC
“It would be sufficient to describe the limits of the forest by roads, rivers, ridges or other well-known or readily intelligible boundaries for notification Section 4 of the Forest Act…specific details are not required.”
- Sections 138 and 141 of NI Act: Vicarious liability of directors of a company for dishonour of cheques
- Section 263 of Income Tax Act: Date of order or receipt of order – When does the limitation clock starts ticking?
- Can proceeding under SC/ST Act be quashed on the basis of compromise between accused and victim?
- ‘Furlough not a legal right’: Parole and furlough differentiated
- Can arbitrator grant pendente lite interest if contract expressly bars payment of interest?
- Getting date of birth changed at fag end of your career? STOP! First read the law laid down by the Supreme Court
- Can dependent seek Compassionate appointment to a post higher than what was held by the deceased employee?
- Principles governing power of Courts to direct Retrial and Joint Trial
- For purpose of passing a decree of specific performance, what is essential?
- Pre-deposit of 75% of arbitration award amount under Section 19 of the MSME Act, 2006 mandatory or discretionary?
- Is Preliminary Enquiry mandatory in all corruption cases?
- What invalidates surrender of tenancy under the Andhra Pradesh Tenancy (Andhra Area) Act, 1956?
- Can, in a declaratory suit, plaintiff be subjected to DNA test against his will?
- “A very strange provision”: Section 85A of the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948
- Is Irrigation Department a factory? Will it be governed by Industrial Disputes Act?
Section 138 of NI Act| No hard and fast rule that a cheque issued as security can never be presented by drawee: Supreme Court
“A cheque issued as security pursuant to a financial transaction cannot be considered as a worthless piece of paper under every circumstance.”
Section 138 NI Act| Once settlement has been entered into, the complainant cannot pursue the original complaint: Supreme Court
The settlement agreement subsumes the original complaint.
In absence of any settlement, Lok Adalat can’t enter into merits of writ petition and dismiss it on merits: Supreme Court
“Once there is no compromise and/or a settlement between the parties before the Lok Adalat, as provided in sub-section (5) of Section 20, the matter has to be returned to the Court from where the matter was referred to Lok Adalat for deciding the matter on merits by the concerned court.”
UAPA| ‘Mere association with a terrorist organisation not enough’. SC grants bail to 2 Kerala men booked over Maoist links
“The association and the support have to be with intention of furthering the activities of a terrorist organisation. In a given case, such intention can be inferred from the overt acts or acts of active participation of the accused in the activities of a terrorist organization which are borne out from the materials forming a part of charge sheet.”
IBC and Limitation| Words “order is made available to the aggrieved party” consciously omitted from Section 61(1)&(2): SC
“The IBC, as a prescriptive mechanism, affecting rights of stakeholders who are not necessarily parties to the proceedings, mandates diligence on the part of applicants who are aggrieved by the outcome of their litigation.”
Vicarious liability in a contempt case? Contempt jurisdiction knows no such concept: Supreme Court
“Merely because a subordinate official acted in disregard of an order passed by the Court, a liability cannot be fastened on a higher official in the absence of knowledge.”
MV Act| Tribunals, Courts must recognize actual needs; award just compensation to help restore dignity of claimant with permanent disability: SC
“The very fact that a healthy person turns into an invalid, being deprived of normal companionship, and incapable of leading a productive life, makes one suffer the loss of self-dignity. Such a Claimant must not be viewed as a modern day Oliver Twist, having to make entreaties as the boy in the orphanage in Charles Dickens’s classic, “Please Sir, I want some more”. The efforts must be to substantially ameliorate the misery of the claimant and recognize his actual needs by accounting for the ground realities. The measures should however be in correct proportion.”
Nomenclature of a Tax does not determine the nature of the levy or its true character: Supreme Court
“The legislature may choose a label for the tax based on the nature of the levy. On the other hand, the legislature may choose a label having a relationship with the function of the authority which imposes the tax …”
Anticipatory bail to an absconder? Supreme Court says no!
If anyone is declared as an absconder/proclaimed offender in terms of section 82 of Cr.PC, he is not entitled to relief of anticipatory bail.
Respondent can’t seek declaration of petitioner’s “second marriage” in a divorce proceeding; Relief can’t be prayed qua third party under Section 23A HMA: SC
Under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, the relief of divorce, judicial separation etc. can be between the husband and the wife only and cannot extend to the third party.
Appellate Courts can’t “unnecessarily create” suspicion in absence of objection to validity of a Will: Supreme Court
“A testamentary court is not a court of suspicion but that of conscience.”
What amounts to attempt to rape? Supreme Court explains in a 2005 attempted rape of minor girls
`Attempt’ starts where ‘preparation’ comes to an end, though it falls short of actual commission of the crime.
Creation and/or sanction of the posts is the sole prerogative of Government; Courts cannot interfere: Supreme Court
Framing of any scheme is no function of the Court and is the sole prerogative of the Government.
Kashmiri migrants can’t retain Government accommodation for indefinite period after retirement: Supreme Court
The compassion shown to Kashmiri Migrants has to be balanced with the expectations of the serving officers to discharge their duties effectively.
‘Half a century old litigation, we wish it is the knock out round!’ SC holds objections can’t be raised in instalments; Res judicata applicable on execution proceedings
“…the case on hand is fit to be included in the syllabus of a law school as a study material for students to get equipped with the various provisions of the Code relating to execution.”
Dowry Death| Absconding mother-in-law’s alleged ‘key role’ not at par with deceased’s brother-in-law. Bail cancelled: Supreme Court
The Investigating Agency, deserves a free hand to investigate the role of the Respondent-Mother-in-law, if any, in the unnatural and untimely death of her daughter in-law.
Not ‘honourably’ acquitted in a case? Employer can’t be compelled to give appointment: SC
Acquittal giving benefit of doubt would not automatically lead to reinstatement of candidate unless the rules provide so.
“Voluntary retirement v/s Resignation”; Supreme Court cogitates technicalities of legal terms and their implication in Armed Forces
“Having tendered ‘resignation’, the respondent had to suffer the consequences and could not be permitted to take ‘U’ turn and say that what the respondent wanted was ‘premature retirement’ and not ‘resignation’.”
Municipal Council Delhi, whether owner or licensee of the land transferred by the Government? Supreme Court clarifies nature of the title
“…the letters dated 21-05-2008 and 08-07-2008 are interdepartmental communication and not any policy decision or circular meant for public. Thus, such interdepartmental communications are not the enforceable orders of the Union or of the Council.”
Environmental Watchdog | NGT could act upon a letter written to it but cannot be triggered suo motu on learning about an environmental exigency? Supreme Court Verdict
Whether the National Green Tribunal has the power to exercise Suo Motu jurisdiction in discharge of its functions under the NGT Act, 2010?
Whether registration of family settlement not “affecting” immovable property compulsory? Supreme Court decides admissibility of such settlement as evidence
“If the Khararunama by itself, does not ‘affect’ immovable property… there would be no breach of Section 49(1)(c), as it is not being used as evidence of a transaction effecting such property.”
Dismissal of SLP by reasoned order would not attract doctrine of merger but will be binding on all courts/tribunals in India
If the order of dismissal be supported by reasons then also the doctrine of merger would not be attracted because the jurisdiction exercised was not an appellate jurisdiction but merely a discretionary jurisdiction refusing to grant leave to appeal.
Supreme Court sets aside Allahabad HC’s decision declaring Regulation 101 framed under Intermediate Education Act unconstitutional
“It is clear that recruitment by way of “Outsourcing” may have its own deficiencies and pit falls, however, a decision to take “Outsourcing” cannot be declared as ultra vires of the constitution on the basis of mere presumption and assumption.”
‘You are throwing mud at all and sundry but we refuse to back off’; Supreme Court holds Suraz India Trust Chairman guilty of contempt
“Such litigants cannot be permitted to have their way only because they can plead and write anything they feel like and keep on approbating by sometimes apologising and then again bringing forth those allegations.”
CASES REPORTED IN SUPREME COURT CASES
An overview of the cases reported in the latest SCC Volumes
- 2021 SCC Vol. 5 Part 4
- 2021 SCC Vol. 6 Part 1
- 2021 SCC Vol. 6 Part 2
- 2021 SCC Vol. 6 Part 3
- 2021 SCC Vol. 6 Part 4
- 2021 SCC Vol. 7 Part 1
- 2021 SCC Vol. 7 Part 2
SCC Snippets on important law points