Supreme Court Roundup October 2023| Same-Sex marriage; Manual Scavenging; Senior Advocate Designation; Termination of Pregnancy; Family Planning and more

Supreme Court round up October

The momentous Same-Sex marriage verdict

Supreme Court Verdict on Same Sex Marriage: Breakdown of the Agreements and Disagreements

The 5-judge Constitution Bench of Dr DY Chandrachud, CJI and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S. Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, PS Narasimha, JJ wrote 4 opinions on the Same Sex Marriage/Marriage Equality matter where they agreed on some points and disagreed on others. In a 366 pages long verdict, heavy on words, all judges said in one voice that there was no fundamental right to marry and that the Supreme Court could not enter judicial legislation to read words into the Special Marriage Act and make it a gender-neutral legislation. The Court left it to Parliament to undertake this process. There were however some disagreements on certain points where Bhat, Kohli and Narasimha, JJ formed the majority and Chandrachud, CJI and Kaul, J were in dissent. Read more

[Supriyo v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1348]

Senior Advocate Designation

‘Expertise and Merit are the criteria for Senior Advocates’ designation’; Know Why SC rejected plea against validity of S. 16 of Advocates Act

In a writ petition by advocates under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for a declaration that the designation of Advocates as Senior Advocates under Sections 16 and 23(5) of the Advocates Act, 1961 (‘Act’) as well as under Rule 2 of Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, creating a special class of Advocates with special rights, privileges and status not available to ordinary Advocates is unconstitutional being violative of the mandate of equality under Article 14 and Right to Practice any Profession under Article 19 as well as Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the three Judge Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul*, C.T. Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia, JJ., dismissed the petition and upheld the validity of the Act and the Senior Advocates designation. Read more

[Mathews J. Nedumpara v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1339]

Eradication of Manual Scavenging

Inside Supreme Court verdict on the eradication of Manual Scavenging in India

In a writ petition seeking directions to Union of India and all the States and Union Territories to implement provisions, inter alia, of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 (‘Act, 1993’) and Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (‘Act, 2013’), the division bench of S. Ravindra Bhat* and Aravind Kumar, JJ. Gave slew of directions. Read more

[Balram Singh v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1386]

Criminal Cases

Is Second Petition under Section 482 CrPC maintainable on grounds available at the time of First Petition? Supreme Court determines

The bench of CT Ravikumar and Sanjay Kumar, JJ was posed with the question as to whether a second petition is maintainable under Section 482 Cr.P.C. on grounds that were available for challenge even at the time of filing of the first petition thereunder. Deciding the same, the Court held that though there can be no blanket rule that a second petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. would not lie in any situation and it would depend upon the facts and circumstances of the individual case, it is not open to a person aggrieved to raise one plea after the other, by invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C., though all such pleas were very much available even at the first instance. Read more

[Bhisham Lal Verma v. State of Uttar Pradesh]

[Conviction for offence not charged] Acquittal in 304B by Supreme Court accompanies clutches of Section 306 of IPC

In an appeal against judgment passed by Karnataka High Court on 20-07-2022 affirming sentence convicting the appellants for offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 304-B read with Section 34 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (‘DP Act’), the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar, JJ. modified the impugned order by acquitting for dowry death but convicting for offence punishable under Section 306 for abetment to suicide, in the absence of any charge framed, but appellants having knowledge of the acts being tried for. Read more

[Paranagouda v. State of Karnataka, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1369]

Disclosures in criminal matter cannot unreasonably step over right to privacy: Supreme Court acquits woman accused of killing newborn

In a criminal appeal filed by the convict against the impugned judgment passed by the Chhattisgarh High Court, wherein the Court convicted the accused under Section 302 of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the division bench of Abhay S. Oka and Sanjay Karol*, JJ. while setting aside the impugned judgment, has observed that the High Court has confirmed the view of the Trial Court awarding life imprisonment without supplying any cogent reasons. Further, acquitted the convict of all charges and set her at liberty. Further, it said that although there is a requirement by law to disclose the aspects required to adjudicate in a criminal matter, such duty cannot unreasonably and unwarrantedly step over the fundamental right of privacy. Read more

[Indrakunwar v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1364]

SC cancels murder accused’s bail as witnesses turn hostile; Orders fresh cross-examination and witness protection

In a criminal appeal against an order passed by the Karnataka High Court, wherein the Court granted regular bail to the man accused of conspiring to murder his wife after she refused to give consent for mutual divorce, the division bench of Surya Kant* and Dipankar Datta, JJ. while setting aside the impugned order, gave the following directions: Directed the accused to surrender not later than one week, and to remain in custody till the conclusion of trial or till this Court releases him on bail in changed circumstances. Directed the Trial Court to recall the witnesses (family members of deceased) for their further cross-examination. Directed the Commissioner of Police, to provide security to the Appellant and her family, including her daughter, round the clock at least till their fresh depositions. Directed the Commissioner of Police to investigate as to whether the Appellant and her family members were threatened, induced, or subjected to any extraneous pressure for retracting their statements. Read more

[Munilakshmi v. Narendra Babu, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1380]

“Multiple inconsistencies in evidence”; Supreme Court acquits murder convicts after 10 years in prison

In an appeal filed by the two convicts against the judgment and order of the Allahabad High Court, wherein the Court upheld the conviction order by the Trial Court for offences under Sections 147, 302 read with Sections 149 and 324 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), granting them life imprisonment, the division bench of Hrishikesh Roy and Sanjay Karol, JJ. while setting aside the conviction order, said that the prosecution has failed to prove the case against the convicts with consistent and acceptable evidence. Thus, the convicts are entitled to the benefit of doubt. Read more

[Amar Nath v. State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1322]

Dying declaration may be sole basis of conviction, but Courts must conclude it to be trustworthy, reliable and one which inspires confidence: Supreme Court

In an appeal challenging judgment and order passed by the Division Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court on 24-07-2009 wherein, the appellant’s father was acquitted of charge under Section 304-B of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), but the conviction and sentence against the appellant was upheld for the same offence and revision petition against his acquittal for charge under Section 302 IPC was dismissed, the Bench of B.R. Gavai*, Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and Prashant Kumar Mishra, JJ. acquitted the appellant expressing ‘grave doubt’ on whether the dying declaration recorded by the Executive Magistrate was a voluntary one or tutored at the instance of another. Read more

[Phulel Singh v. State of Harayana, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1227]

Mere acquittal in criminal case will not automatically qualify candidate for appointment to a post in law enforcement agency: Supreme Court

In an appeal filed by the State against the judgment of Madhya Pradesh High Court, wherein the Court set aside the order passed by the Superintendent of Police (‘SP’) communicating to the respondent that he was found to be unfit to be recruited as a constable, after he disclosed his involvement in a criminal case; and relegated the matter back to the competent authority for passing a fresh order, the division bench of Hima Kohli* and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. while upholding the judgment dated 17-11-2017, passed by the Single Judge, quashed the impugned judgment passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, and said that even though the respondent had truthfully declared that he was involved in a criminal case, as per the judgement, this was not a case of clean acquittal, as it was based on benefit of doubt. Therefore, it was held that the said decision taken by the State Government is not tainted by any malafides or arbitrariness for the High Court to have interfered therewith. Read more

[State of M.P. v. Bhupendra Yadav, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1181]

Supreme Court on Common Intention IPC Section 34 | A case of indiscriminate firing, 2 deaths and several injured

Appeals challenging judgment and order passed by Delhi High Court affirming Trial Court’s order of conviction and sentence of the appellants under Sections 302, 307 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) against 4 of the appellants, the Division Bench of Hrishikesh Roy and Manoj Misra*, JJ. Partly allowed the appeal, being convinced that the appellants may not be regarded to have common intention for offence under Section 302, but upheld conviction under Section 307 read with Section 34. Read more

[Sunil v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1203]

Bail over Jail

SC grants bail to accused in minor’s gang rape case considering the 5 years period spent in custody and slow progress of trial

In a criminal appeal against the Bombay High Court’s order whereby, the accused person’s bail application under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for offences under Sections 376(3), 376(d)(a), 376(2)(f)(j)(n), 354(D), 504, 506, read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3, 8, 10, 12, 14, 25 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and under Section 67(A), 67(B), 66(E) of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 was dismissed, the Division Bench of A.S. Bopanna and Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, JJ. allowed the appeal and ordered the release of the accused person on bail, considering that the accused was in custody for a period of more than five years. Read more

[Javed Shah Abdul Shah v. State of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1337]

‘Conclusion of Trial to take reasonable time’; SC grants bail to murder accused in custody for more than 4.5 years

While hearing a criminal special leave to appeal against the Rajasthan High Court’s order whereby, the accused person’s bail was declined for offences under Section 302 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Division bench of Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, JJ. allowed the appeal and released the accused on bail, considering the period spent by the accused in custody. Read more

[Praveen Rathore v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1268]

Trial not likely to be concluded soon; SC grants bail to NDPS accused after 6 years in Jail

In a criminal special leave to appeal against the Judgment of Rajasthan High Court, whereby the accused person’s bail application for offences under Section 8 read with Section 18 and 25 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (‘NDPS’) was dismissed, the Division Bench of Hrishikesh Roy and Sanjay Karol, JJ. allowed the appeal and granted him bail. Read more

[Deva Ram v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1267]

Power of Judicial Review

Courts should exercise restraint in exercising power of judicial review in contracts involving complex technical issues; SC reiterates

In an appeal against the judgment of the division bench of Karnataka High Court, wherein the Court quashed the Letter of Intent which was issued by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(‘BHEL’), in favour of the appellant and directed BHEL to consider the bid submitted by Macawber Beekay Pvt. Ltd. (‘MBP Ltd.) in terms of a notice inviting tenders dated 24 -06-2022, the full bench of Dr. Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud*, CJI, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, JJ. reiterated that in contracts involving complex technical issues, the Court should exercise restraint in exercising the power of judicial review. Even if a party to the contract is ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution, and as such, is amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court, the Court should not readily interfere in commercial or contractual matter. Thus, it was held that the interference of the Division Bench in the judgment of the Single Judge was not warranted. Read more

[BTL EPC Ltd. v. Macawber Beekay (P) Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1223]

NLU Admissions

Lack of facilities, teachers led to cancellation of 2022-2023 admissions; CLAT to cover NLU Tripura Admissions from 2024-2025 onwards: SC

While hearing a civil writ petition challenging the cancellation of 2022-2023 admissions process by the National Law University, Tripura, (‘NLU’) the Division Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia, JJ. noted that the NLU did not function for the academic year 2022-2023 due to lack of facilities and teachers. The Court also noted that the required facilities for the fresh admissions for 2023-2024 admissions were ready. Read more

[Somya Sanjay v. National Law University, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1257]

Termination of Pregnancy

Decoding Supreme Court three Judge bench verdict in 26-week pregnancy case

In an application filed in the 26-week pregnancy case, wherein a married couple filed a writ petition for termination of pregnancy on the grounds of her mental condition that do not permit her to raise another child; and on financial reasons, the three Judge bench of Dr DY Chandrachud*, CJI, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra,JJ. while allowing the application for recall of the order dated 9 — 10-2023, did not accede to the prayer for the medical termination of the pregnancy. Further, it said that the decision of whether to give the child up for adoption is entirely that of the parents. Read more

[X v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1338]

Know how the Question of abortion versus preterm delivery for unplanned pregnancy led to Supreme Court split verdict

When an application was filed by the Union of India seeking to recall the order dated 9-10-2023 allowing medical termination of pregnancy based on report submitted by the Medical Board of AIIMS, this development led the Division Bench of Hima Kohli and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ. have contrasting opinions, putting a hold on the orders allowing termination of pregnancy. Read more

Family Planning | Know why the Supreme Court allowed termination of unplanned pregnancy at 26 weeks

In a petition filed under Article 32 of Constitution of India seeking directions against the authorities to allow medical termination of pregnancy under Sections 3(2)(b)(i), 3(3) and 5 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (‘MTP Act’) read with Rule 3B of MTP Rules, 2003 in any Government Hospital, the Division Bench of Hima Kohli and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ. allowed the instant petition issuing directions for the couple and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (‘AIIMS’) to proceed with MTP procedure at the earliest. Read more

[Poonam Sharma v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1333]

Family Matters

Child Custody| Supreme Court modifies Family Court’s order, allows father to meet child in mall instead of Court premises

In a matter concerning child’s custody, the division bench of A.S. Bopanna and Manoj Misra, JJ. has modified a condition imposed by the Family Court requiring a father to meet the child on the Court’s premises and allowed the father to meet the child in a mall. Read more

[Adarsh C.B. v Aswathy Sidharthan]

Can Karta sell HUF property without the consent of other joint family members? Supreme Court answers

In petitions challenging final judgment and order wherein, the Madras High Court relied on Phoenix ARC (P) Ltd. v. Vishwa Bharati Vidya Mandir, (2022) 5 SCC 345 and dismissed the writ petition challenging sale proceedings of the Recovery Officer, Debt Recovery Tribunal (‘DRT’) under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (‘SARFAESI Act’) on the ground of maintainability, the Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti cleared the clouds around the entitlement of the Karta of a Hindu Undivided Family regarding right to sell/dispose of/alienate an HUF property. Read more

[N.S. Balaji v. Debt Recovery Tribunal, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1266]

Explainers on Principles

Explained | Supreme Court verdict on principles relating to presumption and evidential burden under Ss. 138 & 139 of NI Act

In an appeal against the Judgment and order of Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the Court upheld the acquittal order of the Trial Court concerning an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (‘NI Act’), the division bench of Aravind Kumar and SVN Bhatti, JJ. while setting aside the impugned judgment, allowed the complaint filed under Section 138 NI Act and convicted the accused with fine of twice the amount of the cheque (Rs.13,90,408/-), failing which he shall undergo simple imprisonment for one year. Read more

[Rajesh Jain v. Ajay Singh, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1275]

Other Notable Judgments

Land Acquisition Compensation Rate | ‘11 years gap pretty large’: Supreme Court reduces 15% annual increase to 8%

In appeals challenging the correctness of common judgment and order passed by Punjab and Haryana High Court on 1-06-2016 raising the compensation amount to Rs 493 per square yard on date of notification under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (‘1894 Act’), the Division Bench of Vikram Nath* and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, JJ. found the annual increase at the rate of 8% just and proper, as compared to 15% increase awarded by the High Court, due to a huge gap of 11 years. Read more

[Central Warehousing Corpn. v. Thakur Dwara Kalan ul-Maruf Baraglan Wala, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1361]

Strong incriminating evidence required for application of Res Ipsa Loquitor doctrine; SC upholds NCDRC order denying medical negligence

In an appeal against the order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (‘NCDRC’) dated 03-08-2010 whereby the complaint filed by the appellant under Section 2(c)(iii) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was rejected, the division bench of A.S. Bopanna and Prashant Kumar Mishra*, JJ. while upholding the findings of NCDRC, viewed that the appellant has failed to establish negligence on the part of respondents in taking post operative care. Further, it held that for applying the principles of Res Ipsa Loquitor, it is necessary that a ‘Res’ is present to establish the allegation of negligence. Strong incriminating circumstantial or documentary evidence is required for application of the doctrine. Read more

[Kalyani Rajan v. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1355]

Supreme Court issues directions for lower courts to curb pendency of cases in India

A case pending for the past 41 years prompted the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar, JJ. to request all stakeholders and issue directions for lower courts to curb judicial pendency. Read more

[Yashpal Jain v. Sushila Devi, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1377]

HC Judges taking up case not assigned by the Chief Justice an act of gross impropriety: Supreme Court

A “shocking case of gross abuse of process of law” wherein, the respondents’ failure to get interim relief for quashment of First Information Reports (‘FIRs’) and proceeding with filing of civil writ petition prompted the Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka* and Pankaj Mithal, JJ. to slam the respondents with costs and reprimand the Judge concerned for not converting the writ petition to criminal writ petition for roster Judge taking up criminal writ petitions. Read more

[Ambalal Parihar v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1374]

[Pre-Institution Mediation] Supreme Court rejects an ‘absolute and unfettered right’ interpretation of S. 12A of Commercial Court Act

In a special leave petition filed against the impugned final judgment and order dated 08-05-2023 passed by the Delhi High Court, wherein the Court upheld the order of the District Judge (Commercial Court) dated 06-02-2023, rejecting the application under Order VII, Rule 11 of the Code, the division bench of Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti, JJ. while upholding the impugned judgment and order, held that the words ‘contemplate any urgent interim relief’ in Section 12A(1) of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, (‘CC Act’), with reference to the suit, should be read as conferring power on the court to be satisfied. Read more

[Yamini Manohar v. T.K.D. Keerthi, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1382]

Supreme Court issues notice to Tamil Nadu and its DGP over allegations of biased investigations against AIADMK and DMK ministers

In a public interest litigation (‘PIL’) filed by an advocate in Madras, for issuing notices to the State of Tamil Nadu and Director General of Police (DGP) on allegations of biased investigations against several ministers of the ruling party and former ministers, the division bench of Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, JJ. issued notice to the State and DGP without prejudice to their right to raise objections regarding maintainability of this PIL. Further, it granted the State three weeks’ time to file their counter affidavit along with the objection to determine maintainability and granted one weeks’ time to the petitioner to file rejoinder affidavit thereafter. Read more

[Karuppiah Gandhi v. State of T.N., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1388]

Notification under Section 90(1) of Income Tax Act mandatory for giving effect to a DTAA or protocol: Supreme Court

In a bunch of appeals against the decision of Delhi High Court regarding interpretation of the Most Favoured Nation (‘MFN’) clause contained in various Indian treaties with countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘OECD’), the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat* and Dipankar Datta held that for benefit of same treatment clause in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (‘DTAA’) with OECD members, the date of entering into treaty is the relevant date and not a later date when such country becomes an OECD member. Read more

[Assessing Officer v. Nestle SA, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1372]

Supreme Court stays NGT order directing prosecution against CECB officials under Section 26 of NGT Act

The Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti, JJ. ordered a stay on the judgment and order passed by the National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’) on 21-08-2023 for lodging criminal complaint against Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (‘CECB’) officials as per Section 30 of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (‘NGT Act’) for offence under Section 26. Read more

[P. Arun Prasad v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1352]

‘Discriminated and arbitrarily deprived of the fruit of selection’; SC directs appointment of 50-year-old as Postal Assistant after 28 year wait

In a civil appeal by Union of India (‘appellant’) against the Allahabad High Court’s judgment and order, whereby, the appellant’s petition was dismissed, and the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (‘Tribunal’) judgment was allowed, wherein the respondent’s removal from the appointment to the post of Postal Assistants and Sorting Assistants was held as unwarranted, the Division Bench of Bela M. Trivedi and Dipankar Datta, JJ. directed for the appointment of the respondent to the post of Postal Assistant for which he was selected. Read more

[Union of India v. Uzair Imran, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1308]

Land sale by fraud | Supreme Court extends interim protection against arrest

As against Rajasthan High Court’s dismissal of anticipatory bail application for a matter involving offences under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Division Bench of A.S. Bopanna and Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, JJ. continued the interim protection already granted vide order dated 19-05-2023. Read more

[Surgyan v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1325]

Supreme Court expands scope of exemption for service tax to include IIT and NIT under the definition of ‘governmental authority’

In two appeals, one against the judgment and order dated 03-03-2016 of the Patna High Court, whereby a writ petition preferred by Shapoorji Pallonji & Company Pvt Ltd (‘SPCL’) was allowed and the service tax collected by the Commissioner, Customs Central Excise and Service Tax was directed to be refunded. The other against the judgment and order dated 05-02-2018 of the Orissa High Court, wherein the Court while relying on the aforesaid decision of the Patna High Court in favour of SPCL, on a similar question of law, allowed for refund of service tax. The division bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta*, JJ. while upholding the impugned orders, said that the scope of the exemption was expanded to cover a larger section of entities answering the definition of “governmental authority” and widened the exemption base for service tax to be provided even to an authority or a board or any other body, set up by an Act of Parliament or a State Legislature without the condition of having been established with 90% or more participation by way of equity or control by Government to carry out any function entrusted to a municipality under Article 243-W of the Constitution. Thus, IIT and NIT will come under the Mega Service Tax Exemption Notification (‘Exemption Notification’). Read more

[CCE v. Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. (P) Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1330]

Sahara City Homes Jaipur Project | Supreme Court asks Sahara Group of Companies to disclose personal assets

In an application highlighting the misrepresentations made before the Court by the petitioners regarding status of completion of the Jaipur’s real estate project — Sahara City Homes, the Division Bench of Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, JJ. has asked the Sahara Group of Companies to place on record the list of personal assets. Read more

[CCE v. Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. (P) Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1330]

State has obligation to provide support persons to POCSO victims, which cannot be made optional: Supreme Court

The Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar, JJ. Recently opined that the need for support person should not be left to parents’ discretion, and that the State has the obligation to provide support persons to victims under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘2012’), which cannot be made optional. Read more

[We The Women of India v. Union of India]

‘Irretrievable break down of marriage’ not a straight-jacket formula for divorce under Article 142: Supreme Court

While considering the question of “Should the irretrievable breakdown of marriage necessarily result in the dissolution of marriage in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, when such is not a ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955?”, the Division Bench of Aniruddha Bose and Bela M. Trivedi*, JJ. refused to grant divorce due to irretrievable breakdown of marriage to do complete justice to the aged couple. Read more

[Nirmal Singh Panesar v. Paramjit Kaur Panesar, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1297]

Rule 3(1)(a) of Electricity Rules and Proportionality Principle | Apply Weighted average method for proportional electricity consumption if captive user’s shareholding in CGP fluctuates: SC

While hearing a batch of civil appeals for the interpretation of the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 (‘the Act’) and Rule 3 of the Electricity Rules, 2005 (‘the Rules’) for being classified as a Captive Generating Plant (‘CGP’) and a captive user, the division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna* and M.M. Sundresh, JJ. held that in case of change of ownership, shareholding, or consumption, the principle of weighted average should be applied to ensure compliance of the proportional electricity consumption requirement stipulated under the second proviso to Rule 3(1)(a). Read more

[Dakshin Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd. v. Gayatri Shakti Paper & Board Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1276]

Wipro’s ‘Chandrika’ Soap | SC restrains Mariyas Soaps and Chemicals from using mark ‘Chandra’

In a special leave to appeal filed by Wipro Enterprises Limited (‘appellant’) against the Kerala High Court’s Order, whereby, the use of trade mark ‘Chandra’ by Mariyas Soaps and Chemicals (‘respondent’) was refused to be restrained, the Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti, JJ. allowed the appeal and restrained the respondents from using the mark ‘Chandra’. Read more

[Wipro Enterprises Ltd. v. Mariyas Soaps & Chemicals, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1315]

COVID-19 Limitation Period Suspension included outer limit of period to condone delay: Supreme Court

In appeals challenging Calcutta High Court’s dismissal of applications seeking to allow filing of written statements beyond 30 days, restricting benefit of Cognizance for Extension of Limitation, In re, (2020) 19 SCC 10 and Sagufa Ahmed v. Upper Assam Plywood Products (P) Ltd., (2021) 2 SCC 317, since the limitation period for filing written statements expired on 8-03-2020, the Division Bench of J.K. Maheshwari and K.V. Viswanathan*, JJ. allowed the same clarifying that the suspension of limitation during further orders passed after COVID-19 lockdown was for outer limit and included period for condonation of delay. Read more

[Aditya Khaitan v. IL & FS Financial Services Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1241]

Why should grounds of arrest be furnished in writing by ED? SC explains constitutional and statutory mandate

In a criminal special leave to appeal assailing the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision, whereby the accused persons petition to quash their arrest by Directorate of Enforcement (‘ED’) was dismissed, the Division Bench of A.S. Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar*, JJ. set aside the impugned order and held that ED must provide or furnish the grounds of arrest in writing to the arrested person. Read more

[Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1244]

Never Reported Judgments

Never Reported Judgment | Rules of Stock Exchange are mere rules for regulation of business and do not affect general law of contract [(1952) 1 SCC 481]

In a case wherein the respondent was given leave to appeal by the Calcutta High Court (‘High Court’) under Section 109(c) of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the 3-Judges Bench of M.C. Mahajan, Chandrasekhara Aiyar and Vivian Bose*, JJ., held that a right of action would normally accrue to either party on the day following the specified day for delivery and though both parties treated the contract as alive after the specified day for delivery, the condition of payment remained and thus, the respondent’s claim to delivery of shares and also to damages, failed. The Court further held that leave to appeal should not have been given as questions raised on facts were already settled by concurrent findings of the courts below and moreover, there were no questions of law involved relating to general and substantial public importance. Read more

[Jotindra Lal Mitra v. Purshottam Choubey & Co., (1952) 1 SCC 481]

Never Reported Judgment| Restrictions imposed on landlord’s rights in public interest are not unreasonable [(1952) 1 SCC 764]

In a case wherein, a petition was filed under Article 32 of the Constitution to set aside the order dated 30-06-1950, the five-judges bench of Patanjali Sastri, CJ., Mehr Chand Mahajan, B.K. Mukherjea*, S.R. Das and Chandrasekhara Aiyar, JJ., opined that it was true that the profit margin allowed to the landlord under the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950 (‘Rent Control Act’) was much less than what he enjoyed before, but that would not make the restrictions imposed upon the rights of the landlord necessarily unreasonable. Such restrictions might be beneficial and absolutely necessary for the interests of the general public and accordingly dismissed the petition. Read more

[Jugal Kishore Dhandhania v. Kabiraj Kali Ranjan Bhattacharjee, (1952) 1 SCC 764]

Never Reported Judgment | Mohammadan Law of pre-emption applies even to Hindus in Benaras [(1952) 1 SCC 423]

The 3-Judges Bench of Mehr Chand Mahajan, Chandrasekhara Aiyar* and Vivian Bose, JJ., opined that after taking all the documents together and having regard to the language used, there appeared to be little doubt that there was no intention to divide the wall in the manner stated by the Allahabad High Court (‘High Court’). Thus, the Supreme Court agreed with the Subordinate Judge’s decision that the wall was a joint wall and both the appellants, and the vendees were entitled equally, to take the property under the Mohammadan Law of pre-emption. The Supreme Court held that the High Court’s decision that the appellants should get 4/9th was based upon a wrong line of reasoning and the share arrived at by the Subordinate Judge was correct. Thus, the Supreme Court set aside the decrees of the High Court in the two appeals and restored that of the trial court. Read more

[Lakshmi Das v. Babu Shri Das, (1952) 1 SCC 423]

Never Reported Judgment| When in a 4:1 verdict, SC refused to release man detained under Preventive Detention Act; Justice M.C. Mahajan dissented [(1952) 1 SCC 769]

In a case wherein, the question arose that whether the grounds provided in the detention order, which detained the petitioner were ambiguous and vague to exercise the fundamental right of making the representation guaranteed under Article 22(5) of the Constitution, the five-judges bench comprising Patanjali Shastri, C.J., Mehr Chand Mahajan, B.K. Mukherjea, S.R. Das* and Chandrasekhara Aiyar, JJ., by a 4:1 majority held that the grounds of detention provided in the present case were not insufficient to enable the petitioner to make his representation and the petitioner’s continuing detention was according to the procedure established by the law. While Mehr Chand Mahajan, J.**, dissented and opined that the grounds furnished to the petitioner were quite vague, indefinite and no representation or their basis could be made to the Government and ordered the release of the petitioner. Read more

[Chandrasinhji Dipsinhji Thakore v. Supt. of Central Jail, (1952) 1 SCC 769]

Never Reported Judgment | When Supreme Court determined title to Pune’s Hadapsar lands that remained undivided in partition of family property [(1952) 2 SCC 104]

In a case wherein the appeal was preferred by Appellants 1 and 2 against the decree of the Bombay High Court (‘High Court’), which reversed the decree of the Extra-Joint First Class Sub-Judge of Poona and awarded respondent a decree for partition and possession of a half-share in what were known as “Hadapsar” lands, the 3-Judges Bench of M.C. Mahajan, Chandrasekhara Aiyar*, N.H. Bhagwati, JJ., held that the High Court did not decide as to how Hadapsar lands were allocated and to whose share they fell and there was no conclusion that the properties remained undivided. The Supreme Court held that the reasoning adopted by the High Court was strange and thus, the decree of the Subordinate Judge was restored with costs throughout, payable by respondent to Appellants 1 and 2. Read more

[Vaman Damodar Moodaliar v. Sardar Sriniwas Coopaswami Moodaliar, (1952) 2 SCC 104]

Know Thy Supreme Court Judges

Justice BV Nagarathna: Igniting Hope for the First Ever Woman Chief Justice of India

Justice B. V Nagarathna is currently serving as a Judge of Supreme Court of India. She formerly served as a Judge of Karnataka High Court until her elevation to the Supreme Court. Justice Nagarathna is also the potential contender for the first ever woman Chief Justice of India. Read more

A Legal Luminary Extraordinaire, Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat bids farewell to the Supreme Court

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, who has been serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India for 4 years is set to retire today, on 20-10-2023. His life has been marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge, dedication and an unswerving commitment to uphold principles of justice. Read more

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