“Many people with mental health disorders are willing and able to work. However, socio-structural barriers impede their participation in the workforce. People diagnosed with mental health disorders are less likely to be employed or are relegated to low-paying jobs that are not commensurate with their qualifications and interests. Exclusion from the workforce not only creates conditions of material deprivation, but it also impacts self-confidence, and results in isolation and marginalization which exacerbates mental distress.”

Ravindra Kumar Dhariwal v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1293


Disciplinary proceedings against person with mental disability is a facet of indirect discrimination; SC sets aside action against CRPF personnel

In a case where the CRPF had initiated disciplinary proceeding against a person with a medical history of obsessive compulsive disorder  and depression and has been undergoing treatment for the same since 2009, the 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud*, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, JJ has held that the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against persons with mental disabilities is a facet of indirect discrimination as such persons suffer a disproportionate disadvantage due to the impairment and are more likely to be subjected to disciplinary proceedings.

“… while the stigma and discrimination against persons with mental health disorders are rampant in society, as the highest constitutional court of the country, it falls upon us to ensure that societal discrimination does not translate into legal discrimination.”

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Bank not a trustee of money deposited by Customers

The relationship between customer and Bank is one of a creditor and a debtor and not of a trustee.

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Consumer Protection| Can written statement be accepted beyond 45 days? SC settles pre and post New India Assurance Company Verdict conundrum once and for all

In a case where the NCDRC had condoned a delay for a period beyond the prescribed statutory outer limit just before the decision of the Constitution Bench on 4 March 2020 wherein it was held that the consumer fora has no power and/or jurisdiction to accept the written statement beyond the statutory period prescribed under the Act, i.e., 45 days in all, the 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud*, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath, JJ has held that the Constitution Bench judgment would not affect applications that were pending or decided before 4 March 2020.

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Three death row convicts to walk free as SC finds them “not guilty” of murdering six family members

“We are at pains to observe the manner in which the present case has been dealt with by the trial court as well as by the High Court, particularly, when the trial court awarded death penalty to the accused and the High Court confirmed it.”

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‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ may soon be a reality? Read SC’s suggestion to Ministry of Law and Justice

With an aim to curtail the pendency before the High Courts and for speedy disposal of the appeals concerning payment of compensation to the victims of road accident, the bench of SA Nazeer* and Krishna Murari, JJ has asked the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice to consider constituting ‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ by amending Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act so that the appeals challenging the award of a Tribunal could be filed before the Appellate Tribunal so constituted.

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Raped in matrimonial home; disbelieved; beaten up! SC believes woman’s sole testimony; finds act of female members of the family “unfortunate”

“Being women at least the sister-in-law and mother-in-law ought to have supported the prosecutrix, rather than beating her and not believing the prosecutrix.”

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Divorce| Wife’s act of rejecting posh accommodations of up to Rs. 30 lakhs rent per month “unreasonable”; “Similar” doesn’t mean “totally identical”

“… the conduct of the respondentwife in firstly not choosing any house as per her choice and secondly, in rejecting all the properties, which have been identified by the Architect, only on the ground that they are not similar and therefore, not in accordance with the order dated 6th March 2020, to say the least is unreasonable.”

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Lifting differently abled persons without consent; removing their prosthetic limbs/calipers for security checks, inhuman

After multiple objections were raised to the draft guidelines on ‘Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility’, the bench of Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ has asked the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to allow 30 days’ time to the petitioners to submit their objections/suggestions “even if the time limit for submission of the suggestions has come to an end.”

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State can’t use mere possibility of more money in the public coffers to forgo contractual obligations

“Equity demands that when the State failed to produce an iota of evidence of either financial loss or any other public interest that has been affected, it should be compelled to fulfill its promises.”

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Lessee learns of cancellation of tender from Newspaper Report. SC holds authority can’t circumvent the requirement of providing effective hearing

“Natural justice is the sworn enemy of intolerant authority”

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Does pointing towards victim’s hiding place make one a part of a “murderous” unlawful assembly? “Not brave enough” at most, holds SC

“Given that a murderous mob fully armed was hunting for him, the appellant at best can be said not to be brave enough to conceal the deceased or even to have not pointed out where he was, but that by itself cannot rope in the appellant under Section 149 of the IPC.”

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Not open for Courts to usurp function of disciplinary authority; Can’t substitute one disciplinary punishment with other

“The scope of judicial review on the quantum of punishment is available but with a limited scope. It is only when the penalty imposed appears to be shockingly disproportionate to the nature of misconduct that the Courts would frown upon.”

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Can NCLT entertain an arbitrable dispute? SC sets the yardsticks of residuary powers of NCLT under IBC

“The residuary jurisdiction of the NCLT cannot be invoked if the termination of a contract is based on grounds unrelated to the insolvency of the Corporate Debtor.”

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SC frowns on rising trend to invalidate sexual misconduct proceedings on hyper-technical points after Calcutta HC reinstates BSF head constable based on minor discrepancy

“The history of legal proceedings such as these is a major factor that contributes to the deterrence that civil and criminal mechanisms pose to persons aggrieved of sexual harassment.”

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Consumer Protection| Open to NCDRC to direct deposit of entire or more than 50 % of the amount ordered by SCDRC while staying SCDRC ‘s order

“Such an order on the stay application is not to be passed mechanically.”

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UAPA| No day-to-day hearing, 298 prosecution witnesses yet to be examined? 74-year-old gets bail after 9.5 years

In a case where a 74-year-old has been behind the bars since 2012 as an undertrial prisoner, after being arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), the bench of Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka, JJ has directed that the accused be released on post-­arrest bail by the trial Court.

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Also read: ‘Only one Special Court trying cases under NIA Act frustrates the purpose’; SC directs West Bengal to designate more courts

Flimsy plea, feeble excuse; Here’s why Supreme Court barred Bharti Airtel from seeking GST refund of Rs. 923 crores

“The common portal is only a facilitator to feed or retrieve such information and need not be the primary source for doing self-assessment.”

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Accused cannot be convicted for conspiracy only on the basis of co-accused’s confession: SC

“A few bits here and a few bits there on which prosecution relies, cannot be held to be adequate for connecting the accused with the commission of crime of criminal conspiracy.”

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Right to promotion is not considered to be a fundamental right but consideration for promotion has now been evolved as a fundamental right

“The Appointing Authority ought to have prepared a combined merit list based upon the performance or the proficiency on the basis of the marks received in the selection test as prepared by the Commission; otherwise, it would amount to denial of the right of consideration for promotion to a more meritorious candidate as against a candidate having lesser merit.”

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SC awards 30 years RI to man who killed 2 brothers & nephew; Finds imposition of death penalty on the day of conviction itself, wrong

“The trial court as well as the High Court has only taken into consideration the crime but have not taken into consideration the criminal, his state of mind, his socioeconomic background etc.”

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Supreme Court affirms HC’s order upholding appointment of Mr. Dinkar Gupta as Punjab DSP

“When a person takes a chance and participates, thereafter he cannot, because the result is unpalatable, turn around to contend that the process was unfair or the selection committee was not properly constituted.”

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Trial Courts have freedom of mind to decide sensitive cases on merit; Appellate courts must refrain from reversing acquittal just for the sake of it

“Every case has its own journey towards the truth and it is the Court’s role undertake. Truth has to be found on the basis of evidence available before it. There is no room for subjectivity nor the nature of offence affects its performance.”

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Notice must be given to the person holding the tainted property; Primary notice to convict not mandatory under Section 6 of SAFEMA

“Section 6(1) posits that notice must be given to the person who is holding the tainted property and is likely to be affected by the proposed forfeiture of the property. The person immediately and directly to be affected is the person who is the recorded owner of the property and in possession thereof himself or through some other person on his behalf.”

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Chardham Highway Project| Environmental compliance not a mere “checkbox”; Committee headed by Justice AK Sikri to oversee implementation of HPC’s recommendations

“Piecemeal implementation of some mitigation measures for protection of the environment, without any concrete strategy in place, cannot pass muster.”

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Insurer can’t repudiate mediclaim alleging pre-existing illness where policy was issued after considering necessary medical records

“A prudent insurer has to gauge possible risks.”

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Compassionate Appointment| Applicability of Scheme in force on date of employee’s death OR date of consideration of the application? SC resolves the conflict

“A rule of interpretation which produces different results, depending upon what the individuals do or do not do, is inconceivable.”

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No borrower can claim benefit of One Time Settlement Scheme as a right; Can’t encourage dishonest borrowers

“If it is held that the borrower can still, as a matter of right, pray for benefit under the OTS Scheme, in that case, it would be giving a premium to a dishonest borrower.”

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Not open to approach M.P. Arbitration Tribunal in reference when the very same claim is already decided by Arbitrator appointed by High Court

Noticing that the award had attained finality, the Bench while rejecting the respondent’s claim of award being void, stated that,

“Even the award or a nullity order has to be challenged before the appropriate forum/higher forum.”

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‘Bombay HC has “virtually” acquitted Chota Shakil aid of MCOCA charges at interim relief stage’; SC sets aside bail order; directs immediate surrender

“Virtually the High Court has acquitted the accused for the offence under the MCOCA at the interim relief stage and has granted the final relief at the interim stage exonerating the respondent from   MCOCA, which is wholly impermissible.”

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No relief to Pak national serving “consecutive” sentences in two cases since 1999, as SC refuses to show any leniency to offenders under NDPS Act

“No leniency should be shown to an accused who is found to be guilty for the offence under the NDPS Act. Those persons who are dealing in narcotic drugs are instruments in causing death or in inflicting death blow to a number of innocent young victims who are vulnerable.”

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Parties can’t play fraud with the Court by suppressing details of related previous or ongoing legal proceedings

The parties have to disclose the details of all legal proceedings and litigations either past or present concerning any part of the subject-matter of dispute which is within their knowledge.

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Determination of Pension to be governed by the rule as it existed at the time of joining or the rule in force at the time of retirement? SC answers

“Discrimination, which is not based on any reasonable classification, is violative of all canons of equality enshrined in the Constitution of India.”

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Supreme Court directs to speed up insolvency process of Amtek Auto

“Any deviation would defeat the object and purpose of providing such time limit under IBC.”

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In a tiff between “mighty Union of India” & “an ordinary soldier”, the soldier wins as SC holds that members of Ecological Task Force also entitled to Disability Pension

“Can it be said that the mighty Union of India and an ordinary soldier, who having fought for the country and retired from Regular Army, seeking reemployment in the Territorial Army, have an equal bargaining power.”

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SC looks to curb the menace of fake Compensation Claims under Motor Vehicles Act; impleads Ministry of Transport

The Status Report shows that total 1376 cases of suspicious claims from various Districts in the State of U.P. have been received so far by the SIT.

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SC cites R.N. Dey’s case to hold aggrieved party has no right to insist that court should exercise contempt jurisdiction

“Contempt is between contemner and the Court”

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1273 Complaints from State Bar Councils transferred to BCI in last 5 years: SC unimpressed by COVID-19 Pandemic excuse for non-disposal of complaints; Issues Directions

“One can appreciate the delay in disposal of the transferred complaint(s) received in the year 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic but not for the earlier period.”

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NCLT has limited powers to either admit or reject an application u/s 7(5) of IBC

“NCLT can encourage settlements, it cannot direct it by acting as courts of equity”

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When 25% of the bid is already paid, whether failure to deposit the remaining 75% empowers the Bank to direct forfeiture of money even when Bank suffered no loss in subsequent auction? SC answers

Alleging high handedness of the respondent Bank in cancelling the sale and forfeiture of the amount deposited, the petitioner had approached the High Court of the judicature at M.P. seeking refund of the forfeited amount. However, noticing that the petitioner was given proper reminders and Covid 19 extension for the payment of remaining 75% amount of the bid, the High Court had dismissed the petition.

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“Democratic interests cannot be judicially aborted to preserve unfettered freedom to conduct business, of the few”; Govt. decision to ban MTTs in PPE products ensures adequate PPE in India: SC

“This Court must be circumspect that the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution do not become a weapon in the arsenal of private businesses to disable regulation enacted in the public interest.”

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Non-filing of affidavit in Form 25; Is it fatal for maintainability of election petition? Supreme Court decides

“Once there is an affidavit, albeit not in Form 25, the appropriate course would be to permit an affidavit to be filed in Form 25.”

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Delay of 1011 days condoned by Andhra Pradesh HC! What a grave error, holds Supreme Court

“The High Court has not exercised the discretion judiciously. The reasoning given by the High Court while condoning huge delay of 1011 days is not germane.”

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Examination of a ballistic expert is not an inflexible rule in every case involving use of a lethal weapon

The Court was deciding a case where deceased had sustained a gun-shot injury with a point of entry and exit, and it was being argued that the non-recovery of the weapon of offences or the failure to produce a report by a ballistic expert would discredit the case of the prosecution.

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Dowry Death| Wife goes missing from matrimonial home; body found a week later: Circumstances unerringly point to husband’s guilt despite slipshod investigation, holds SC

“The circumstances put together, unerringly point to his guilt in extinguishing the life of his wife within a few months of the marriage on her failing to satisfy the demands of dowry.”

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Notification to exempt land from acquisition under LA Act is not a quasi-judicial order; will not confer any vested rights to the landowner

“It is trite to point out that an order secured by fraud and misrepresentation will not confer any vested right and that, therefore, the land owners cannot pitch their claim either on the basis of vesting or on the basis of Article 300A.”

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Conspiracy and abetment of corruption; SC holds section 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be invoked against non-public servant

“The material to implicate someone as a conspirator acting in concert with a public servant, alleged to have committed misconduct, under the PCA, or amassed assets disproportionate to a public servant’s known sources of income, has to be on firm ground.”

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Mere facility of food and refreshment in a Non-residential Club will not make it fall within the purview of M.P. Shops and Establishments Act

“A club, which is not a residential club, may have been within the ambit of the word ‘establishment’ but for the fact that the word ‘residential hotel’ takes within its sweep only residential club. More importantly, the Act specifically exempts clubs which are not residential clubs.”

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