♦Did you know? Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud has authored almost 500 Supreme Court judgments so far!
In October 2022, Justice Hemant Gupta retired after a comprehensive term of 4 years as a Supreme Court judge. In his farewell speech, he stated,
“A judge cannot make people happy, that’s not the role assigned to him. That role is assigned to other people in public life. One cannot discharge this role with intention of pleasing people”
The case revolves around a Government Order dated 5.2.2022, that imposed dress code for students of all schools and colleges of Karnataka “in the interests of unity, equality and public order”. The order was passed after it was brought to the education department’s notice that students in a few institutions have been carrying out their religious observances, which has become an obstacle to unity and uniformity in the schools and colleges.
The “two-finger test” or pre vaginum test has no scientific basis and neither proves nor disproves allegations of rape. It instead re-victimizes and re-traumatizes women who may have been sexually assaulted, and is an affront to their dignity.
Concerned with the diagonally opposite stands taken by two ministries of the Union of India, the Court observed that it does not augur well for the Union of India to speak in two contradictory voices. The two departments of the Union of India cannot be permitted to take stands which are diagonally opposite.
Crimes and Criminals
The Court has asked the Union of India to consider enacting an appropriate legislation on exhumation so as to tackle the situations like the one on hand.
Reddy, who is a mining tycoon and also a former Karnataka MLA, has been facing trial for serious offences relating to illegal mining. He has been charged under under Sections 120(B), 420, 379, 409, 468, 411, 427 and 447 of the Penal Code, 1860; Section 2 of the Forest Act, 1927, Rule 21 read with Rules 4(1), 4(1)(A) and 23 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
It has been alleged that on April 5, 2020, Karmuse was taken to the then Cabinet Minister, Jitender Awhad’s bungalow on his instructions, where he was beaten with bamboos, fibre sticks, belts and iron rods by NCP workers in the presence of two police constables and Awhad, for uploading a viral picture of Awhad, criticizing his act of ridiculing the Prime Minister on his Facebook account.
The accused was discharged by the High Court on the ground that, at the time of taking cognizance and/or framing the charge, there was no sanction to prosecute him at all.
Dishonour of Cheques
The Court was deciding the case where the respondent had made part-payments after the debt was incurred and before the cheque was encashed upon maturity. The sum of rupees twenty lakhs represented on the cheque was not the ‘legally enforceable debt’ on the date of maturity. Thus, it was held that the respondent cannot be deemed to have committed an offence under Section 138 of the Act when the cheque was dishonoured for insufficient funds.
In the mop up round of counselling, the respondents did participate, but could not secure admission on merits in the colleges in which subsequently they got admissions through backdoor and, if the respondents were so meritorious, they would have got admissions on merits through mop up round conducted by the Directorate. Thus, this itself suggests that they were not having merit to get admissions in the institutions in which subsequently got admissions.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Law
“If the dues are realised in part from one Corporate Debtor, the balance may be realised from the other Corporate Debtor being the co-borrower. However, once the claim of the Financial Creditor is discharged, there can be no question of recovery of the claim twice over.”
In a review petition filed by Axis Bank against Supreme Court’s judgment in Vidarbha Industries Power Ltd. v. Axis Bank Ltd., (2022) 8 SCC 352, the division bench of Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari, JJ. has dismissed the review petition and reaffirms that the National Company Law Tribunal (‘NCLT’) under section 7(5) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘the Code’) has discretionary power to admit/reject an application.
The division bench of Bela M. Trivedi*. and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ has held that it is unfortunate that such an erroneous and perverse order of Family Court, was confirmed by the High Court in a very perfunctory impugned order, without assigning any reasons.
The Supreme Court was disappointed with the standard of investigation and the defence put up in a gruesome case relating to murder of wife and 4 children by the accused. The Court observed that while the accused was provided with a legal aid, the cross-examination of each and every witness was below average.
he Supreme Court dismissed appeals against the order of Bombay High Court (Division Bench), dismissing the Commercial Arbitration Appeal filed by Essar House Private Limited (hereinafter referred to as Essar House) under Section 37 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as Act), subsequently confirming the order of Single Judge, allowing an application filed by Arcellor Mittal Nippon Steel India Limited (hereinafter referred to as Arcellor), under Section 9 of the Act, wherein the Judge directed Essar House Private and Essar Service to deposit an amount with High Court or, in alternative furnish bank guarantee.
The consistent effort made by all branches of the State, the Judiciary, the Legislative, and the Executive, to ensure early decision-making by the competent authority cannot be watered down by lexical interpretation of the expression endeavour in the proviso.
“The accused may not be entitled to know the contents of the report but he is entitled to oppose the grant of extension of time on the grounds available to him in law.”
Principal question before the Division Bench of Ajay Rastogi and C.T. Ravikumar*, JJ., for contemplation was whether the issue of limitation can be determined as a preliminary issue under Order 14, Rule 2(2) of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (for short ‘CPC’). The Supreme Court while addressing the series of judgments in the instant case dismissed the appeal filed against the judgment of High Court of Delhi.
In a suo motu writ petition, the division bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka, JJ has provided suggestions for effectuating the provisions relating to plea bargaining/ compounding/probation of offenders act; regarding the convicts who are undergoing fixed terms sentences and are in jail, and for the remission of sentence for such convicts.
The bench of Indira Banerjee* and JK Maheshwari, JJ has explained that to be ‘substantial’, a question of law must be debatable, not previously settled by law of the land or a binding precedent, and must have a material bearing on the decision of the case, if answered either way, insofar as the rights of the parties before it are concerned.
In the case at hand, the Manipur High Court had set aside the order of detention passed under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 on the premise that the detaining authority failed to supply the legible copies of documents which were relied upon by it while passing the order of detention.
The Court observed that in the absence of a disciplinary action for imposing minor/major penalties as contemplated under Rule 10 or Rule 8 of the Rules 1969 either initiated or pending, there could not be any occasion of proposing the penalty to be inflicted upon the delinquent officer and that doing so would be nothing but putting a cart before the horse.
Right to Information versus Right to Privacy
“To err is human, and the Courts including the Apex Court are no exception.”
The question for contemplation before the Division Bench of Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud* and Hima Kholi, JJ., was whether the State has authority to appoint or reappoint Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University under Section 8 of the Calcutta University Act, 1979 (hereinafter Act) or by taking recourse to the residuary provisions of Section 60 of the Act.
In a case where a married daughter of the deceased was claiming compassionate appointment, the bench of MR Shah* and Krishna Murari, JJ has held that neither the the daughter was dependent on her mother nor was she entitled to appointment on compassionate ground after a number of years from the death of the deceased employee.
The Court was deciding the special leave petition arising out of a judgment of the division bench of the Calcutta High Court sustaining the orders passed by a single judge, directing investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (‘CBI’) into the allegations of irregularities in the recruitment process of assistant primary teachers, and cancellation of appointment of 269 candidates.
“In a knowledge based, information driven society, true wealth is education – and access to it. Every social order accommodates, and even cherishes, charitable endeavour, since it is impelled by the desire to give back, what one has taken or benefitted from society. Our Constitution reflects a value which equates education with charity. It is not to be treated as business, trade, nor commerce.”
The Court observed that in terms of the Rules, a hybrid method of valuation cannot be applied, while applying Rule 9 of Part C of Schedule III of the W.T. Act, which prescribes the method of valuation for quoted shares.