50 Landmark Supreme Court Judgments of 2023: The Year of 1067 Judgments; 14 Appointments; and Important Initiatives

landmark supreme court judgments of 2023


Number of Judgments

2023 was the year of 1067 Judgments, lesser than the number of Judgments delivered in 2022, but definitely a year of impactful and landmark decisions, going down in the history of Indian Judiciary and politics.

In 2023, the Supreme Court of India delivered 11 Constitution Bench verdicts and 5 Larger Bench verdicts.

Also Read: Supreme Court Constitution Bench Yearly Roundup 2023 | Article 370; Same sex marriage verdict; Maharashtra Political Crisis; Demonitisation verdict; Jalikattu; and more

Strength of Judges

The Supreme Court was presided by Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud (CJI), with their achieving the total strength of 34 Judges, in the months of February, as well as November. 9 Supreme Court Judges retired this year, namely Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice M.R. Shah, Justice K.M. Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. 14 new Judges were appointed to the Supreme Court in 2023. As of now, the judicial strength of the Supreme Court stands at 33 sitting Judges, with Justices Hima Kohli, B.V. Nagarathna and Bela M. Trivedi being the only three sitting women Judges.

Also Read: Supreme Court 2023: A Look Back at Judicial Strength, Appointments, Retirements, and Collegium Resolutions

New Initiatives

Justice Clock: Virtual Justice Clock has been introduced to bring awareness and transparency to the public about justice delivery system. It dispenses the information about Institution, disposal and Case clearance rate (CCR) by several Courts. It appears bilingually, both in English and Hindi.

New E-Filing 2.0 – Paperless Filing: The new efiling software can be accessed anywhere, anytime with simplified user registration process. It has a personalised dashboard for AOR/Party.

SuSwagatam: (Entry/Exit Pass portal) An initiative to facilitate the visitors to have a smooth and simple process of getting online ePass. It eliminates all the cumbersome and tedious procedure of making a request for visit.

E-Sewa Kendra: A brainchild of Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, an E-Sewa Kendra, is a citizen service centre set up in the Supreme Court, where any Advocate and member of public can walk in to avail a variety of e-services relating to the Court.

National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG): NJDG provides a comprehensive database of orders, judgements, and case details of Indian Judiciary.

Advocates’ Online Appearance Portal: The Court launched the Advocates’ Online Appearance Portal on 02-01-2023.


Start of 2023 with the Demonetisation Verdict in Vivek Narayan Sharma (Demonetisation Case-5 J.) v. Union of India, (2023) 3 SCC 1

The Constitution Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer, B.R Gavai*, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian, B.V. Nagarathna**, JJ. upheld the Centre’s 2016 demonetisation scheme in a 4:1 majority and held that demonetisation was proportionate to the Union’s stated objectives and was implemented in a reasonable manner. Justice Gavai, wrote the majority opinion for himself and SA Nazeer, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian, JJ, Nagarathna, J was the lone dissenter who held that though demonetisation was well-intentioned and well thought of the manner in which it was carried out was improper and unlawful. Read more

Ministers and their Freedom of Speech

The Constitution Bench of S Abdul Nazeer, AS Bopanna, BR Gavai, V Ramasubramanian & BV Nagarathna, JJ, delivered verdict on the issue relating to freedom of speech of public functionaries and whether the right to life and personal liberty of citizens impedes the same and ruled against imposing further restrictions on freedom of speech of Ministers. Read more

[Kaushal Kishor v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 6]

Euthanasia Judgment guidelines modified by Supreme Court; Procedure to withhold life support simplified

The 5-Judge Constitution Bench of K.M Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, CT Ravikumar, JJ. modified the guidelines for living will and advance medical directive laid down in Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 1. The Bench simplified the process to withdraw life support for a terminally ill patient, by allowing a two-tiered process for authorising passive euthanasia. Read more

[Common Cause (A Regd. Society) v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 99]

Appointment of Election Commissioners by 3-member Committee of Prime Minister of India, leader of Opposition and Chief Justice: SC

The 5-judge Constitution Bench of K.M. Joseph*, Ajay Rastogi**, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar, JJ. settled the dispute revolving around appointment of members of the Election Commission of India and held that the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners shall appointed by the President on the advice of a 3-member committee consisting of, the Prime Minister of India; the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha or in case, there is no such Leader, the Leader of the largest Party in the Opposition in the Lok Sabha having the largest numerical strength; and the Chief Justice of India. The Court clarified that this norm would continue to hold good till a law is made by Parliament. Read more

[Anoop Baranwal v. Union of India [Election Commission Appointments], (2023) 6 SCC 161]

Bhopal Gas Tragedy| Supreme Court Constitution Bench dismisses Centre’s plea for enhanced compensation from Union Carbide Corporation

The Constitution Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul*, Sanjiv Khanna, Abhay S. Oka, Vikram Nath and J.K. Maheshwari, J.J., dismissed the curative petition seeking enhancement of compensation for the victims of the world’s largest industrial disaster- the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Read more

[Union of India v. Union Carbide Corpn., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 264]

Grant of divorce under Article 142 of Constitution on grounds of Irretrievable breakdown of marriage

The Constitution Bench comprising of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna*, A.S. Oka, Vikram Nath, and J.K. Maheshwari, JJ. held that the Supreme Court has the discretion to dissolve the marriage by passing a decree of divorce by mutual consent, without being bound by the procedural requirement to move the second motion subject to the requirements and conditions laid down under Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, (2017) 8 SCC 746 and Amit Kumar v. Suman Beniwal, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1270. It held that in exercise of power under Article 142(1) of the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court has the discretion to dissolve the marriage on the ground of its irretrievable breakdown. Read more

[Shilpa Sailesh v. Varun Sreenivasan 2023 SCC OnLine SC 544]

The Mega Political Crisis between Shiv Sena’s Ekanth Shinde and Uddhav Thackrey of Maharashtra

Putting an end to the Maharashtra’s Political Crisis that was witnessed by the nation after the split between Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray factions within Shiv Sena, leading to a change in the State government in the year 2022, the five Judge Constitution Bench of Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud*, CJI and M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P.S. Narasimha JJ., upheld the Governor’s decision of inviting Eknath Shinde to form the Government in the State and has refused to quash Udhav Thackeray’s resignation as it was submitted voluntarily before the floor test. Read More

[Subhash Desai v. Governor of Maharashtra, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 607]

Abrogation of Article 370 was unanimously upheld

The five-Judge Constitution Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, and Surya Kant, JJ., delivered its verdict, unanimously upholding the Union’s action abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and directed the restoration of statehood in the State at the earliest. Three Judgments were delivered, one was authored by Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI on behalf of himself, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, JJ., while Justice Kaul and Khanna, J. authored separate but concurring Judgments. The concurrence of the State Government was not required for the exercise power under Article 370(1)(d) to apply all provisions of the Constitution to the State, the President securing the concurrence of the Union of India on behalf of the State Government is not mala fide. Read more

[Article 370 of the Constitution, In re, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1647]

“What is at stake is not simply preventing the recurrence of injustice, but the burden of restoring the region’s social fabric to what it has historically been based on — coexistence, tolerance and mutual respect.”

-Justice SK Kaul

Also read: Article 370| “Whatever has been, has been…”: Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul calls for “Truth and Reconciliation” in Kashmir

Credible evidence is must to substantiate claim of loss of profitability; SC sets aside arbitral award in conflict with ‘public policy of India’

In an appeal by Unibros (‘appellant’) against the Judgment and Order of the Delhi High Court, whereby, the appellant’s appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Act’) was dismissed and the Single Judge’s order was affirmed, whereby the All India Radio’s (‘respondent’) objection under Section 34 of the Act was allowed resulting in setting aside of an arbitral Award wherein, a sum of Rs. 1,44,83,830 was awarded for delay in completing the work beyond the stipulated contract period, the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta, JJ. dismissed the appeal for being devoid of merits and held that the arbitral award was in conflict with the ‘public policy of India’ as contemplated by Section 34(2)(b) of the Act. Read more

[Unibros v. All India Radio, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1366]

A no to Same Sex Marriage

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.

“The Constitution does not expressly recognize a fundamental right to marry. An institution cannot be elevated to the realm of a fundamental right based on the content accorded to it by law. However, several facets of the marital relationship are reflections of constitutional values including the right to human dignity and the right to life and personal liberty.”

– CJI DY Chandrachud

“An entitlement to legal recognition of the right to union — akin to marriage or civil union, or conferring legal status upon the parties to the relationship can be only through enacted law. A sequitur of this is that the court cannot enjoin or direct the creation of such regulatory framework resulting in legal status.”

– Justice S. Ravindra Bhat

Read more

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

Delhi LG versus Delhi Government

The 5-Judge Constitution bench of Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud*, C.J., M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P.S. Narasimha, J.J. held that there does not exist a homogeneous class of Union Territories with similar governance structures; NCTD is not similar to other Union Territories. By virtue of Article 239AA, NCTD is accorded a “sui generis” status, setting it apart from other Union Territories; the Legislative Assembly of NCTD has competence over entries in List II and List III except for the expressly excluded entries of List II. In addition to the Entries in List I, Parliament has legislative competence over all matters in List II and List III in relation to NCTD, including the entries which have been kept out of the legislative domain of NCTD by virtue of Article 239AA(3)(a).Read more

[Government of NCT of Delhi v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 606]

Animal Cruelty versus Jalikattu

The 5-Judge Constitution Bench of KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose*, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar, JJ. upheld the Constitutional validity of the State amendments made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (‘PCA Act’) by the Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra and allowed the conduct of animal sports like Jallikattu, Kambala and bull-cart racing in these respective States. Read more

[Animal Welfare Board of India v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 661]

Woman’s unnatural death in matrimonial home, within 7 years of marriage, not sufficient to convict husband/in-laws for dowry death: Supreme Court

The bench of Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal*, JJ held that mere death of the deceased being unnatural in the matrimonial home within seven years of marriage will not be sufficient to convict the accused under Section 304-B and 498-A IPC if the cruelty or harassment has not been proved to be soon before the death. Read more

[Charan Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 454]

Supreme Court decided the enforceability of unstamped arbitration agreement

The 7 Judge bench comprising of Dr. DY Chandrachud*, C.J.I, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna*, BR Gavai, Surya Kant, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, JJ. gave a unanimous judgment, holding that the unstamped agreement is inadmissible under the Stamp Act, but cannot be rendered void ab initio. Thus, arbitration clauses in unstamped or inadequately stamped agreements are enforceable. Justice Khanna has written a concurring judgment. Read more

[In Re, Interplay Between Arbitration Agreements Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and the Indian Stamp Act 1899, Curative Petition (C) No. 44 of 2023]

Application of Group of Companies Doctrine in Indian Arbitration Regime

The 5 Judge Bench comprising of Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud C.J.*, Hrishikesh Roy, Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha*, J B Pardiwala, Manoj Misra, JJ. were called upon in a reference by the 3-Judges Bench to determine the validity of the ‘Group of Companies’ doctrine (‘Doctrine’) in the Indian arbitration jurisprudence. The Court unanimously upheld the application of the Doctrine in the Indian Arbitration regime. Read More

[Cox & Kings Ltd. v. SAP India (P) Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1634]

Unilateral revision of fee won’t hold Arbitral Tribunal ineligible

In an application against the unilateral revision of the Tribunal’s fee in an ongoing Arbitration proceeding, an objection was placed against the same, the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat* and Aravind Kumar, JJ held that that the increase of fee does not amount to a per se ineligibility, reaching to the level of voiding the Tribunal’s appointment, and terminating its mandate. Read more

[Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. v. Transtonnelstroy Afcons (JV), 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1370]

‘Court cannot modify arbitral award under Section 34 of Arbitration Act’

In an appeal against Union of India v. Larsen Air Conditioning & Regrigeration Co., 2019 SCC OnLine All 7205 seeking to decide “whether the High Court erred in modifying the arbitral award to the extent of reducing the interest, from compound interest of 18% to 9% simple interest p.a.”, the Division Bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta, JJ. set aside the said decision while reiterating the scope of interference with arbitral award. Read more

[Larsen Air Conditioning & Refrigration Co. v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 982]

Seeking appointment of Arbitrator beyond three years is barred by limitation

In a petition filed under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, (‘the Act 1996’), filed at the instance of a company based in Switzerland and engaged in the business of manufacturing of arms etc., praying for appointment of an arbitrator for the adjudication of disputes and claims arising out of the Contract dated 27-03-2012 executed with the Government of India in its Ministry of Defence, the Division Bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI and J.B. Pardiwala, J. rejected the petition and held that the claim in the petition is a barred claim as the petitioner by its conduct slept over its right for more than five years. Read more

[B & T AG v. Ministry of Defence, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 657]

Constitutional validity of provisions of Personal Guarantors in IBC

In a batch of 384 petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution, challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 95 to 100 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘IBC’), the three-Judge Bench of Dr DY Chandrachud*, CJI., J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, JJ. held that, no judicial adjudication is involved at the stages envisaged in Sections 95 to Section 99 of the IBC; The resolution professional appointed under Section 97 serves a facilitative role of collating all the facts relevant to the examination of the application for the commencement of the insolvency resolution process which has been preferred under Section 94 or Section 95. The purpose of the interim moratorium under Section 96 is to protect the debtors from further legal proceedings. The provisions of Section 95 to Section 100 of the IBC are not unconstitutional as they do not violate Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution. Read more

[Dilip B. Jiwrajka v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1530]

Supreme Court issues directions to streamline adoption process under Juvenile Justice Act

In an ongoing matter regarding the issue of adoption under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 (‘JJ Act’), when the Central Adoption and Research Agency (‘CARA’) brought in certain suggestions for the Court’s consideration, the Bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI, J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, JJ. issued several directions to ensure a streamlined and expeditious process of adoption. Read more

[The Temple of Healing v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1590]

Constitutionality of Section 140(5) of Companies Act

The Bench of MR Shah* and MM Sundresh, JJ held that Section 140(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 that deals with Removal, Resignation of Auditor and Giving of Special Notice” appears in Chapter X of the Act which is titled as “Audit and Auditors”, is not discriminatory, arbitrary and/or violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and that subsequent resignation of an auditor after the application is filed under Section 140(5) by itself shall not terminate the proceedings under Section 140(5) of the Act. Read more

[Union of India v. Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 557]

SC resolves enigma around applicability of Arbitration Amendment Act 2015

The bench of MR Shah* and CT Ravikumar, JJ has held that in a case where the notice invoking arbitration is issued prior to the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 and the application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for appointment of an arbitrator is made post Amendment Act, 2015, the provisions of pre-Amendment Act, 2015 shall be applicable and not the Amendment Act, 2015. Read more

[Shree Vishnu Constructions v. Engineer in Chief Military Engineering Service, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 600]

Validity of Section 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, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1339]

ED probe against TN Minister Senthil Balaji in Cash for Job Scam

batch of appeals by the Enforcement Directorate(‘ED’) against two independent orders, one passed by Single Judge Bench of Madras High Court disposing of a batch of criminal petitions and the other passed by the Division Bench of the Madras High Court holding an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate, the division bench of Krishna Murari and V. Ramasubramanian*, JJ. has allowed the appeals arising out of the order for de novo investigation and set aside the directions issued in the original petition for de novo investigation. Read more

Directions for PoSH Act implementation

With the intent to fulfil the promise that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 [PoSH Act] holds out to working women all over the country, the bench of AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli*, JJ issued extensive directions to ensure the implementation of the law after observing that,

“However salutary this enactment may be, it will never succeed in providing dignity and respect that women deserve at the workplace unless and until there is strict adherence to the enforcement regime and a proactive approach by all the State and non-State actors.”

Whether stamp duty payable on sale deed to be calculated as per prevailing market value of property on execution date? Supreme Court answers

The Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka* and Rajesh Bindal, JJ., opined that the stamp duty on a conveyance will be payable as per the market value prevailing on the date of conveyance according to Article 23 of Schedule IB of the Act applicable in the State of Uttar Pradesh. It was also opined that the stamp duty is payable on the basis of such market value and not on the consideration mentioned in the document. Read more

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, 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]

Section 6A of DSPE Act unconstitutional from date of insertion: Supreme Court Constitution Bench

While considering whether declaration made in Subramanian Swamy v. CBI, (2014) 8 SCC 682 regarding unconstitutionality of Section 6-A of Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (‘DSPE Act’) could be applied retrospectively in context of Article 20 of Constitution of India, the Constitution Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, Abhay S. Oka, Vikram Nath* and J.K. Maheshwari, JJ. held that its decision in Subramanian Swamy (supra) declaring Section 6-A of DSPE Act unconstitutional, shall have retrospective effect, to be ineffective from the date of its insertion. Read more

Evidentiary value of disclosure statements under S.27 of Evidence Act

The division of S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta*, JJ., while setting aside the impugned conviction orders, held that while the recoveries made by the IO under Section 27, Evidence Act upon the disclosure statements by all the convicts could be held to have led to discovery of facts and may be admissible, the same cannot be held to be credible in view of the other evidence available on record. Read more

[Manoj Kumar Soni v. State of M.P., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 984]

Requirement of public declaration for soleminisation of self-respect and secular marriages

In an appeal against the Madras High Court order holding public declaration, a mandatory requirement for solemnization of marriage under Section 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the division bench of S. Ravindra Bhat* and Aravind Kumar, JJ. has said that to superimpose the condition of a public declaration for solemnizing marriage, which is absent in Section 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is not only narrowing the otherwise wide import of the statue but also would be violative of the rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Further, the Court overruled S. Balakrishnan Pandiyan v. Superintendent of Police, 2014 SCC OnLine Mad 8815 in S. Nagalingam v. Sivagami, (2001) 7 SCC 487.Read more

[Ilavarasan v. State, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1120]

Object and Purpose of inclusion of Sec. 10-A of MMDR Act by MMDR Amendment Act, 2015

The Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna and Aravind Kumar, JJ. discussed the object and purpose of the Amendment Act, 2015, which is to ensure that allocation of mineral resources is done through auctioning and for this same reason, the Section 10-A(1) of the MMDR Act, 1957 mandates that all applications received prior to 12-01-2015 shall become ineligible. The Court explained that the exceptions or the saving clause applies to three kinds of situations specified in Section 10-A(2) of the MMDR Act. 1957: Where an application has been received under Section 11-A of the MMDR Act,1957. Where a reconnaissance permit or a prospecting licence has been granted to the permit holder or the licensee has the right to obtain a prospecting licence followed by a mining lease and the State Government is satisfied that the permit holder or the licensee has complied with the requirements specified in sub-clauses (i) to (iv) of clause (b) of Section 10-A(2) of the MMDR Act, 1957; Where the Central Government had already communicated their previous approval, or the State Government had issue Letter of Intent for grant of mining lease before coming into force of the Amendment Act 2015. Read more

[State of W.B. v. Chiranjilal (Mineral) Industries of Bagandih, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1149]

RPF Constable is a railway servant and entitled to claim under Employees Compensation Act, 1923

In an appeal against judgment and order passed by Gujarat High Court dismissing appeal under Section 30 of Employees Compensation Act, 1923 (‘1923 Act’) against order passed by Workmen Compensation Commissioner, the Division Bench of B.V. Nagarathna and Manoj Misra, JJ. upheld the maintainability of claim of compensation of Railway Protection Special Force (‘RPF’) Constable disputed to be part of the Armed Forces of the Union. Read more

[RPSF v. Bhavnaben Dinshbhai Bhabhor, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1218]

Supreme Court restores penalty withholding 50% of monthly pension in Sexual Harassment at Workplace case

In an appeal challenging judgment and order passed by the Gauhati High Court on 15-05-2019 setting aside order of penalty of withholding of 50% pension imposed upon the respondent in connection with the disciplinary proceedings initiated following allegations of sexual harassment, the Bench of Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, CJI, J.B. Pardiwala* and Manoj Misra, JJ. set aside the impugned judgment and restored the penalty imposed. Read more

[Union of India v. Dilip Paul, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1423]

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]

Termination of unplanned pregnancy at 26 weeks allowed by Supreme Court

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]

Compensation to IAF veteran infected with HIV

In a case where a radar operative/technician with the Indian Air Force (IAF) tested HIV positive after receiving a transfusion of virus-infected blood at a Military Hospital, the bench of S. Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta, JJ has issued a series of directions to the Central and State Governments to frame guidelines relating to diagnostic facilities, Antiretroviral therapy and opportunistic Infection Management, and welfare schemes for the people affected by HIV/AIDS. Read more

[CPL Ashish Kumar Chauhan v. Commanding Officer, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1220]

Rights of Children from Null and Void Marriages

The 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, JJ has settled the issue as to whether a child, born from a marriage that is null and void under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA), is entitled to ancestral/coparcenary property or only to the self-earned/separate property of the parents and has held that when an individual falls within the protective ambit of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of Section 16 of the HMA, they would be entitled to rights in or to the absolute property of the parents and no other person. Read more

[Revanasiddappa v. Mallikarjun, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1087]

Modi Surname Defamation Case

The Three Judge Bench comprising of B.R. Gavai, PS Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar, JJ. held that considering that there are wide ramifications of the conviction order and Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (‘Act’) and they not only affect Rahul Gandhi’s right to continue in public life but also affect the right of the electorate, who elected him, to represent their constituency therefore, the conviction order was stayed. Read more

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

Compassionate appointment not a vested right

In an appeal filed by the Bank of Baroda (‘Bank’) against judgment and decree passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, wherein the Court has set aside the judgment of the First Appellate Court and has restored the judgment of the Trial Court, granting the respondent declaration and mandatory injunction vis-a-vis his appointment in the Bank on a compassionate basis, the division bench of BV Nagarathna and Manoj Misra, JJ. while setting aside the impugned judgment, reiterated that the appointment of a candidate on compassionate basis does not create any vested right and that it is only when a candidate is covered under all clauses of the Scheme applicable at the relevant point of time that he/she could be considered for compassionate appointment. Read More

[Bank of Baroda v. Baljit Singh, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 745]

1996 Lajpat Nagar Blast: 27 years later, SC awards life term to 4; expresses anguish at slow trial due to ‘possible involvement of influential persons’

The 3-judge bench of BR Gavai, Vikram Nath and Sanjay Karol severely criticised the way the case was handled and observed, “A prominent market in the heart of the capital city is attacked and we may point out that it has not been dealt with the required degree of promptitude and attention. To our great dismay, we are forced to observe that this may be due to the involvement of influential persons which is evident from the fact that out of several accused persons, only few have been put to trial. In our considered view, the matter ought to have been handled with urgency and sensitivity at all levels.” Read more

[Mohd. Naushad v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 SCC OnLine SC 784]

Constitutionality of Section 327(7) of Companies Act vis-à-vis preferential payment of dues to workers after liquidation

The Supreme Court said that it cannot adopt a doctrinaire approach. Some sacrifices have to be always made for the greater good, and unless such sacrifices are prima facie apparent and ex facie harsh and unequitable as to classify as manifestly arbitrary, these would not be interfered with by the court. Thus, no priority can be given to workers’ dues after liquidation of the company under the IBC. Read more

[Moser Baer Karamchari Union v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 547]

Daughter’s right to inherit ancestral property before Hindu Succession Act 2005 Amendment and validity of settlement deed

In two interrelated Civil Appeals challenging the judgment, order and decree passed by Division Bench of Orissa High Court affirming the Trial Court’s decision allowing cross-objection invalidating settlement deed entitling the daughters to share in scheduled properties, the Division Bench of J.B. Pardiwala* and A.S. Bopanna, JJ., upheld the two Court’s decision and modified the same to the extent of entitling daughters to 1/3rd share in all the scheduled properties. Read more

[Prasanta Kumar Sahoo v. Charulata Sahu, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 360]

‘Written Grounds of arrest by ED not necessary under S. 19 PMLA and Art. 22’; Vijay Madanlal holds the field

While hearing a criminal appeal against the Delhi High Court’s decision whereby the accused person’s petition seeking declaration of his arrest by Directorate of Enforcement (‘ED’) as illegal and violative of the fundamental rights and to release him, the Division Bench of Bela M. Trivedi and Satish Chandra Sharma, JJ. held that the action of informing the person arrested about the grounds of his arrest is a sufficient compliance of Section 19 of PMLA as also Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, as held in Vijay Madanlal Choudhary and Others vs. Union of India (2022) SCC Online SC 929 and it holds the field. Read more

[Ram Kishor Arora v. Directorate of Enforcement (ED), 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1682]

COVID-19 Parole ends; Undertrial Prisoners/Convicts to return to prisons as Supreme Court directs them to surrender

The Bench of MR Shah* and CT Ravikumar, JJ has directed that all those under trials/convicts who were released on Emergency Parole/Interim Bail pursuant to the recommendation of the High-Powered Committee, in compliance of the Orders passed by the Supreme Court, have to surrender before the concerned prison authorities within 15 days. Read more

[In Re: Contagion of Covid-19 Virus in Prisons 2023 SCC OnLine SC 333]

Constitutionality of S. 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967

In a reference made on behalf of the Union of India and the State of Assam to larger bench, against the judgment and order passed in Arup Bhuyan v. Union of India, (2011) 3 SCC 377 as well as State of Kerala v. Raneef, (2011) 1 SCC 784, pursuant to the order passed by this Court in Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, (2015) 12 SCC 702, the full bench comprising of M.R. Shah*, C.T Ravikumar and Sanjay Karol*, JJ. held that when an association is declared unlawful by notification issued under Section 3 Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act, 1967 (‘UAPA’) which has become effective of sub-section 3 of that Section, a person who is and continues to be a member of such association is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine under Section 10(a)(i) of the UAPA, 1967. Thus, Section 10(a)(i) UAPA was held to be constitutional. Further, it is held that any other decisions of the High Court taking a contrary view is not good law and were specifically overruled by this Judgment. Read more

[Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, (2023) 8 SCC 745]

Pre-amended Section 34(2)(a) shall be applicable on arbitration proceedings commenced and concluded prior to amendment of 2019

In an appeal against the impugned judgment and order passed by the Karnataka High Court, wherein the Court has a set-aside the order passed by the Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, and has permitted the respondents to adduce evidence in an application under Section 34 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘A&C Act’), the division bench of MR Shah* and CT Ravikumar held that in case of arbitration proceedings, commenced and concluded prior to the amendment of Section 34(2)(a) by Act, 2019, pre-amendment of Section 34(2)(a) shall be applicable. Read more

[Alpine Housing Development Corpn. (P) Ltd. v. Ashok S. Dhariwal, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 55]

Scope of Pre-referral jurisdiction of High Court under S. 11 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act

In an appeal against the decision of Delhi High Court, wherein the Court allowed the respondent’s application under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for the constitution of an Arbitral Tribunal, the Division Bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, C.J. and P.S. Narasimha*, J. held that the High Court has committed an error in allowing the application under Section 11(6) of the Act. It ought to have examined the issue of the final settlement of disputes in the context of the principles laid down in Vidya Drolia v. Durga Trading Corpn., (2019) 20 SCC 406. Read more

[NTPC Ltd. v. SPML Infra Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 389]

Air Force Tribunal a quasi-judicial body with governing legislation, cannot direct formation of a policy: Supreme Court

In a civil appeal under Section 31(1) of Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 (‘AFT Act’) at the instance of Union of India, challenging judgment and order passed by the AFT on 30-11-2015, the Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka and Sanjay Karol, JJ. quashed and set aside the impugned decision explaining AFT cannot direct formulation of policy in a particular manner and held the challenge baseless at the first instance since the promotion was challenged after participating in the process. Read more

[Union of India v. Air Commodore N.K. Sharma, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1673]

Scope of Judicial Interference with arbitral awards under Section 34 of A&C Act

While hearing a civil appeal by Batliboi Environmental Engineers Limited (‘BEEL’) against the Bombay High Court’s Judgment, whereby the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (‘HPCL’) appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Act’) was allowed and arbitral award was set aside, the Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna* and M.M. Sundresh, JJ. dismissed the appeal and upheld the impugned Judgment. The Court also discussed the scope and ambit of Section 34 of the Act. Read more

[Batliboi Environmental Engineers Ltd. v. Hindustan Petroleum Corpn. Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1208]

SC resolves quandary over interplay of S. 9 and S. 17 of Arbitration Act

A Division Bench comprising of Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari, JJ. held that once an Arbitral Tribunal is constituted, the court would not take up for consideration and apply its mind to an application for an interim measure, unless the remedy of applying to the arbitral tribunal for interim relief is inefficacious. However, this bar does not operate where already the application has been taken up for consideration and the court has applied its mind. Read more

[ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel (India) Ltd. v. Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 718]


January- Note Ban; Free Speech; Euthanasia; Delhi versus Centre; Haldwani Eviction, Dissents, Did You Know Facts, & more

February- Full strength of 34 judges; AIBE; Decriminalisation of adultery; Compensation for bad haircut; DNA test in Divorce cases; and more

March- Constitutionality of UAPA; Covid 19 Parole; Bhopal Gas Tragedy and more from March 2023

April- Marriage Equality, Unstamped Arbitration Agreements, Sealed Covers, Justice Gangopadhyay, Daughter’s Inheritance rights, and more

May- Maharashtra political crisis, Delhi versus Centre, Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage; Senior Designation, Sexual Harassment at workplace, and more

June- New Mentioning/Listing Procedure; Rape Victim’s mangal dosh; Coal India versus CCI; Bike Taxi Ban; Enrolment of Advocates; and more

July- Top Stories on ED Director SK Mishra, Gyanvapi Mosque survey, Section 304 IPC Maze, Guidelines for Senior Advocate designation, and more

August- Modi Surname Defamation; Ex-RJD MP conviction; Dying Declaration; Arnesh Kumar guidelines; Dissenting Opinion in Arbitration, and more

September- DSPE Act; HIV/AIDS Guidelines; Self-Respect & Secular Marriages; Rights of Children from Null & Void Marriages; & more

October- Same-Sex marriage; Manual Scavenging; Senior Advocate Designation; Termination of Pregnancy; Family Planning and more

November- Streamlining Adoption Process; RSS Route March; Scheduled Offences in PMLA; Personal Guarantors in IBC; Electoral bonds and more

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  • Thank you for compiling the top judgments of 2023 from the Supreme Court. This comprehensive list serves as an invaluable resource for legal practitioners and enthusiasts alike, helping us stay informed and abreast of significant legal developments.

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