justice pv sanjay kumar

Early Life and Education1

Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar (PV Sanjay Kumar) was born on 14-08-1963 to late P. Ramachandra Reddy and late. P. Padmavathamma. He completed his graduation in Commerce from Nizam College, Hyderabad, and secured his degree in Law from Delhi University in 1988.

Did you Know? Justice P V Sanjay Kumar’s father P. Ramachandra Reddy was the Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh from 1969 to 1982.

Career Trajectory

As an Advocate2

In August, 1988, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar was enrolled as a member of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh. He was attached to the office of his father, P. Ramachandra Reddy and gained exposure to various branches of law. After the retirement of his father from the profession, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar started practicing independently and represented the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Subordinate Judiciary, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Special Officer, Urban Land Ceilings, Hyderabad, in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh.

From 2000 to 2003, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar also served as a Government Pleader in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh until his elevation as a judge.

As a Judge3

Justice PV Sanjay Kumar was elevated to the coveted post of Additional Judge in Andhra Pradesh High Court being appointed on 08-08-2008 where he served till 19-01-2010. He also served as a Permanent Judge from 20-01-2010 to 13-10-2019.

Later, Justice PV Sanjay Kumar was transferred to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana where he assumed charge as a Judge on 14-01-2019. Justice Kumar was then transferred to Manipur High Court where he assumed charge as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court 14-02-2021 and bid farewell on 05-02-2023 after his elevation to the Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court in the collegium resolution dated 13-12-20224 recommended Justice Kumar’s name to the highest court of India. Justice PV Sanjay Kumar was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 04-02-2023 and assumed office on 06-02-2023.

Notable Decisions by Justice P V Sanjay Kumar

‘Ramifications of S. 8 Representation of People Act is wide ranging’; Supreme Court stays conviction passed against Rahul Gandhi in Modi Surname defamation case

An appeal was filed by Rahul Gandhi challenging the judgment and order passed by the Single Judge Bench of Gujarat High Court for an offence punishable under Section 499 of Penal Code, 1860 dismissing the revision petition, which was, in turn filed challenging the order of the Sessions Judge, thereby rejecting the prayer for a stay of conviction. A three-judge bench of B R Gavai, P S Narsimha, and Sanjay Kumar, JJ., stayed the conviction observing that the ramification of subsection (3) of Section 8 of the Representation of People Act are wide-ranging, as they not only affect the right of the appellant to continue in public life but also affect the right of the electorate, who have elected him, to represent their constituency. Read More

[Rahul Gandhi v Purnesh Ishwarbhai Modi, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 929]

Management cannot challenge Award granting reinstatement in service after allowing workmen in regular service for over 2 decades

An appeal was filed to consider whether the action of the management of Food Corporation of India, Patna, retrenching the services of 21 casual workers is justified and legal and the reliefs to be granted. A division bench of Krishna Murari and Sanjay Kumar, JJ., allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned award. The Court observed that-

“Having allowed the workmen to put in regular service to its own benefit for over two decades, the management can no longer claim an indefeasible right to continue with and canvass its challenge to the Award, merely because it made its compliance with the Award conditional long ago. In the light of their absorption in regular service, these workmen, who may have otherwise opted for employment opportunities elsewhere, altered their position and remained with the FCI. Having placed them in that position, it is no longer open to the management of FCI to seek to turn back the clock.” Read More

[Food Corporation of India Executive Staff Union v Food Corporation of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 757]

Manipur High Court upholds compensation of Rs 10 Lakh to MSPDCL due to its negligence which led to disability of a 5-year-old child

In an appeal filed by the Commissioner (Power), State of Manipur challenging and seeking stay on the operation of the judgment directing the appellants to pay compensation of Rs. 10,00,000/- to the writ petitioners within 60-days, after deducting the amount, if any, already paid to them. This is due to a child of 5 sustaining serious injuries resulting in the amputation of both her arms at the shoulder level quantified at 90% after she came in contact with a 11 KV electrical overhead line that passed adjacent to the building where she was playing. A Division Bench of Sanjay Kumar, CJ. And M V Muralidaran, J., held that the Judge was correct and justified in exercising writ jurisdiction and awarding compensation to the petitioners at least to the tune of Rs. 10,00,000/- as the petitioners are only maintaining a claim in tort, the negligence on the part of the MSPDCL is writ large. When the authorities concerned, and more particularly the MSPDCL, were dealing with the distribution and transmission of a potentially dangerous and hazardous commodity, viz., electricity, it was incumbent upon them to abide by all the prescribed statutory norms in the context of safety. The MSPDCL never undertook any such measures as it seems to have failed to maintain safety standards under Rule 29 of the Rules of 1956 and carry out periodical inspections, as mandated by Rule 46 thereof. Read More

[State of Manipur v Baby Khushi Kumari, 2022 SCC OnLine Mani 451]

Manipur High Court grants bail to accused in terrorist attack on convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment of Indian Army

In an appeal filed by the accused in connection with a case where charges were framed against the appellant-accused under Sections 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The case relates to abetment and commission of a terrorist act of attacking a convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment of Indian Army at Paraolon, Chandel District, P.S. Tengnoupal, killing a total of 18 army personnel and grievously injuring 15 army personnel, thereby committed the offence punishable U/S 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and within my cognizance along with being a member of a terrorist organization i.e., NSCN(K), which is involved in terrorist act. The bail was sought on the ground that despite the lapse of several years since the filing of the Charge-Sheet, only a handful of witnesses have been examined till date and argue that there is no possibility of the trial concluding any time soon and the continued incarceration of the appellant was unfair and unjust as he is yet to be found guilty of the charged offences. A division bench of Sanjay Kumar, CJ., and M V Muralidaran, J., held that stringent conditions would have to be imposed while granting him bail.

[Khumlo Abi Anal v NIA, 2022 SCC OnLine Mani 108]

‘India has no refugee protection policy but grants asylum’; Manipur High Court grants protection under Article 21 to Myanmarese refugees who entered India illegally

A petition was filed by a human rights advocate seeking to allow the seven named Myanmarese citizens, who entered India illegally, to travel to New Delhi to seek protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A division bench of Sanjay Kumar, CJ., and Lanusungkum Jamir, J., held that India has no clear refugee protection policy or framework, it does grant asylum to many refugees from nearby countries. India usually respects the UNHCR’s recognition of the status of such asylum seekers, mainly from Afghanistan and Myanmar. Therefore, it would be essential for these seven Myanmarese persons to first approach the UNHCR at New Delhi and only thereafter would the Union of India be able to call whether they can be granted refugee status and asylum in India, as was done earlier. In the alternative, the UNHCR would be at liberty to rehabilitate these people in host countries under the 1951 Refugee Convention. In either event, these people cannot be made to face persecution, if not a threat to their very lives and liberty, by being deported to their home country.

[Nandita Haksar v State of Manipur, 2021 SCC OnLine Mani 176]

Manipur High Court sets aside conviction of husband charged with murder of his wife giving benefit of doubt

In an appeal filed by the husband who was charged with the murder of his newly wedded wife challenging the judgment whereby the Judge convicted the husband of the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC but acquitted his parents of all charges. A division bench of Sanjay Kumar, CJ., and M V Muralidaran, J. held that the conviction of the husband for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC in relation to the homicidal death of his wife, Latabi Devi, cannot be sustained as the charge against him was not proved beyond reasonable doubt and he was entitled to claim the benefit of doubt.

[Ngangbam Premjit Singh v State of Manipur, 2022 SCC OnLine Mani 450]

Punjab and Haryana High Court dismisses petition anticipating threat and danger to the election process relating to Municipal Council of Fazilka, District Fazilka

A petition was filed being aggrieved that the election process relating to the Municipal Council of Fazilka, Tehsil and District Fazilka, is under threat and there is imminent danger to the lives and liberty of the petitioners who are contesting the said election. A division bench of Sanjay Kumar and Archana Puri, JJ., dismissed the petition and directed the State Election Commission, Punjab, to take appropriate measures on the strength of the petitioners’ representation dated 06-02-2021, as warranted, to ensure that the election is held in a free and fair manner.

[Ashok Kumar v Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 294]

Punjab and Haryana High Court directs to submit a representation to the driver challenging his transfer being in violation of Online Transfer Policy

A petition was filed by the petitioner, a driver in the Transport Department of the State of Haryana, assailing the transfer order dated 17-08-2020 whereby he was transferred from Faridabad Depot to Rohtak Depot as the said transfer was in violation of the Online Transfer Policy, which requires sympathetic consideration of cases such as the petitioners, as his son is 100% physically handicapped. Sanjay Kumar, J., directed the petitioner to submit a representation to the duly constituted Grievance Redressal Forum, ventilating his grievance, within one week from today to be considered on merits and in accordance with the policy. The Court further kept the impugned transfer order in abeyance till the consideration of such representation and communication of the decision taken thereon.

[Idu v State of Haryana, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 146]

Punjab and Haryana High Court directs medical termination of pregnancy of a woman having severe congenital malformation of the fetal brain and spinal cord

In a petition filed by the petitioner who was pregnant and seeking to terminate her pregnancy on medical grounds, Sanjay Kumar, J., permitted the petitioner to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy at the second respondent-Institute and directed the Institute to ensure effective measures for termination of the pregnancy at the earliest, considering the advanced stage of her pregnancy.

[Anju Bala v State of Punjab, 2021 SCC OnLine P&H 85]

Punjab and Haryana High Court provides relief to a Kisan seeking issuance of his Kisan Credit Card

A petition was filed by a kisan being aggrieved that he is not being issued a Kisan Credit Card as per the policy guidelines of the Union of India despite he has submitted all the necessary documents but the State Bank of India is not taking a decision in the matter. Sanjay Kumar, J., directed the petitioner to visit the Barwala Branch of the State Bank of India and submit the documents, if any, that are sought by the Bank for processing his application for issuance of a Kisan Credit Card. The Court further directed that upon the petitioner doing so, the State Bank of India shall complete the process and take a decision as to the issuance of a Kisan Credit Card to the petitioner expeditiously and in any event, not later than seven days from the date of receipt of the documents, if any, from the petitioner.

[Rajinder Kumar Sharma v Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 2134]

Andhra Pradesh High Court| ‘Graduation’ degree must for promotion as Administrative Officers from Superintendent as per AP Judicial Ministerial Service Rules, 2003

A case was filed for considering whether Superintendents in the Judicial Ministerial Service who were originally appointed under the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Ministerial Service Rules, 1964, are required to possess the qualification of Graduation, prescribed under the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Ministerial Service Rules, 2003, to be promoted as Administrative Officers. A full bench of Goa Raghuram, P V Sanjay Kumar and G Krishna Mohan Reddy, JJ., held that the Rules of 2003 require that a person promoted to the post of Administrative Officer from the category of Superintendent, after the advent of the said rules, must possess the qualification of Graduation, irrespective of whether he entered the service under the Rules of 1964 or under the Rules of 2003.

[B Mutyalamma v Andhra Pradesh High Court, 2012 SCC OnLine AP 726]

Whether term of the Members of the Wakf Board under Wakf Act, 1995 co-terminus with their terms as the Members of Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly? Andhra Pradesh High Court answers

A case was filed to consider whether the term of the Members of the Wakf Board under Section 14(1)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Wakf Act, 1995 is co-terminus with their terms as the Members of Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly. A full bench of V Eswaraiah, C V Nagarjuna Reddy and PV Sanjay Kumar JJ., held that mere expiry of the term of a Member of Parliament or of the State Legislature would not impact his elected Membership of the Wakf Board under Section 14(1)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Act of 1995 and he would be entitled to continue as a Member of the Wakf Board for the full term.

[Shaik Farid v Government of AP, 2012 SCC OnLine AP 946]

Whether person appointed by Government on contract basis under Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rules, 1996 holds a civil post under the State? Andhra Pradesh High Court clarifies

A case involving an important question of law to be settled, the Division bench referred the matter to Full Bench to consider Whether a person appointed by the Government on contract basis under Rule 9(a) of the Andhra Pradesh State and Subordinate Service Rules, 1996 holds a civil post under the State. A full bench of VVS Rao, Ramesh Ranganathan and P V Sanjay Kumar, JJ., held that the service of the appellant/writ petitioner demonstrated that the appellant/writ petitioner was under the total control of the college, and he was appointed under a ‘contract of service’ and not a ‘contract for service’. Therefore, viewed in the context of the constitutional/statutory framework this contract of service qualified the appellant/writ petitioner as a holder of a ‘civil post’ under the State governed by the Rules of 1996.

[Mohammed Azmat Ali v Directorate of Intermediate Education, 2011 SCC OnLine AP 769]

Whether secured creditors seeking to initiate proceedings under SARFAESI Act have right to publish/display personal details of default borrowers? Telangana High Court analyses

A case was filed to consider whether a secured creditor who seeks to initiate proceedings under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 has the right to publish/display the photographs of borrowers in default along with their names and addresses in newspapers or other places. A division bench of Sanjay Kumar and P Keshava Rao, JJ., held that in light of RBI instructions, secured creditors under the SARFAESI Act cannot resort to publication of photographs of borrowers’ as defined in the Act unless they have been declared wilful defaulters in terms of the Master Circular on Wilful Defaulters dated 01-07-2015.

[Crimson Sky Ventures Private Limited v Reserve Bank of India, 2019 SCC OnLine TS 1011]

Telangana High Court decides the fate of appeals passed by Common High Court at Hyderabad but relates to only residents of Andhra Pradesh considering Andra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014

In a batch of appeals filed seeking to identify all the cases where the subject matter of the lis is situated in the State of Andhra Pradesh or where the parties thereto are residents of Andhra Pradesh and to pass appropriate orders for transfer of all such cases to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi, by exercising power under the proviso to Section 40(3) of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, in the interest of justice and for the convenience of the Advocates as well as the public in general. The case relates to the fate of the writ appeals and cases of like nature, which either arise out of or pertain to orders passed by the erstwhile common High Court at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but relate wholly and only to the people of the present State of Andhra Pradesh and/or the properties situated in the said State. A division bench of Thotthatil B Radhakrishnan, CJ., and Sanjay Kumar, J., held that the Hyderabad High Court has the sole jurisdiction to continue to deal with the writ appeals on hand and all such other matters which would come within the ambit of Section 40(3) of the Act of 2014, it would be well within the administrative power of the Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court under the proviso to Section 40(3) of the Act of 2014 and given the circumstances, it would perhaps be advisable, to transfer these writ appeals and all such cases akin thereto, including contempt cases, review petitions and applications seeking leave to approach the Supreme Court in relation to the orders passed by the erstwhile common High Court at Hyderabad, to the newly constituted High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi.

[Andhra Pradesh High Court Advocates Association v Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine TS 1253]

1. Manipur High Court

2. Telangana High Court

3. Supreme Court Observer

4. Supreme Court Collegium Resolution

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