2024 SCC Vol. 1 Part 3

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or 304 Pt. II r/w S. 300 Exceptions 1 & 4 — Murder or culpable homicide: Plea of grave and sudden provocation and absence of premeditated mind, whether tenable in this case, determined. [Anil Kumar v. State of Kerala, (2024) 1 SCC 327]

Contract and Specific Relief — Construction/Interpretation of Contract — General Principles — Purpose and intendment of parties — Primacy of: A commercial document cannot be interpreted in a manner that is at odds with the original purpose and intendment of the parties to the document. Further, a deviation from the plain terms of the contract is warranted only when it serves business efficacy better. [Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v. Ratnagiri Gas & Power (P) Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 333]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 141(1) — Offence of dishonour of cheque by a Company/Partnership firm: Vicarious liability would be attracted only when the ingredients of S. 141(1) are satisfied. Further, merely because somebody is managing the affairs of the company, per se, he would not become in charge of the conduct of the business of the company or the person responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company and only that person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company alone shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished. [Siby Thomas v. Somany Ceramics Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 348]

Consumer Protection — Consumer Forums — Practice and Procedure — Withdrawal of complaint — Fresh complaint — Maintainability of, on withdrawal of earlier complaint: Withdrawal of earlier complaint is not a bar to fresh complaint when earlier complaint filed prior to repudiation of insurance claim and withdrawn without express instructions from consumer. [Ashok Kumar v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 357]

Insurance — General Insurance — Motor Vehicle Insurance — Theft Policy: Grantability of insurance claim on account of theft of vehicle, when: (i) there is delay in lodging FIR, (ii) want of reasonable care on the part of owner or his employees, and also (iii) delay in informing Insurance Company of incidence of theft, determined. [Kanwarjit Singh Kang v. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 375]

Insurance — General Insurance — Motor Vehicle Insurance — Theft Policy — Delay in informing incidence of theft to Insurance Company — Whether sufficient, to repudiate insurance claim when FIR duly lodged: Principles clarified relating to whether defence of Insurance Company, may be considered, when such defence was not raised earlier. [Dharamender v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 381]

Constitution of India — Arts. 200, 207, 199 and 168 — Power of Governor to exercise option under Art. 200: Exercising the second option of withholding assent but not acting further on it, held, impermissible unconstitutional and undemocratic. After withholding assent, the Governor must act “as soon as possible”. [State of Punjab v. Governor of Punjab, (2024) 1 SCC 384]

Constitution of India — Art. 200 — Non-Money Bill: Since no Bill is pending with the Governor “without action” it does not become necessary to dwell any further on the issues sought to be raised in the petition, at this stage. They are left open to be decided in an appropriate case. [State of Telangana v. Governor of Telangana, (2024) 1 SCC 405]

Constitution of India — Arts. 167 and 174: Roles and responsibilities of Chief Minister, and Governor, summed up. [State of Punjab v. Governor of Punjab, (2024) 1 SCC 407]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 107 and 306 — Ingredients: S. 107 defines “abetment of a thing”. S. 306 makes abetment to commit suicide as an offence. [Mohit Singhal v. State of Uttarakhand, (2024) 1 SCC 417]

Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 — Ss. 3(h), 5, 8, 12 and 27 — Maternity benefits: Once lady employee fulfils entitlement criteria specified in S. 5(2), she would be eligible for full maternity benefits even if such benefits exceed duration of her contract. Any attempt to enforce contract duration term within such period constitute “discharge” and attract embargo specified in S. 12(2)(a), which creates fiction by treating her to be in employment for sole purpose of availing maternity benefits. Thus, maternity benefits not coterminous with employment tenure. Expression “discharge” is of wide import and includes “discharge on conclusion of contractual period”. [Kavita Yadav v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2024) 1 SCC 421]

Motor Vehicles — Taxis, Cabs and Vehicle Aggregators — Licence — Public Notice dt. 19-2-2023, issued by Government of NCT of Delhi: On 19-2-2023, the Government of NCT of Delhi had issued a public notice, prohibiting use of two-wheelers by the aggregators. High Court, upon consideration of the submission that a policy was under active consideration, inter alia, stayed the notice and made it clear that the stay shall operate till the final policy if notified. It was held, interim orders ought not to have been passed staying wholescale operation of a statutory regime till the finalisation of the policy. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Roppen Transportation Services (P) Ltd., (2024) 1 SCC 429]

Motor Vehicles — Taxis, Cabs and Vehicle Aggregators — Licence to aggregator: Conditions imposed by State Government for grant of licence to aggregator i.e. a digital intermediary/marketplace for a passenger to connect with a driver for the purpose of transportation cannot be interfered with, being a policy matter. [Uber India Systems (P) Ltd. v. Union of India, (2024) 1 SCC 438]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 34 — Common intention: Principles summarized relating to when S. 34 is attracted. [Ram Naresh v. State of U.P., (2024) 1 SCC 443]

Constitution of India — Arts. 16(6) and 15(6) — Economic Backwardness/EWS Category — Entitlement to benefit of: Income and assets for the particular financial year, prior to the year of submission, go to the root of eligibility of the candidate in the EWS category. Candidates whose I&ACs are not in order did not have any legal right to be considered. [Divya v. Union of India, (2024) 1 SCC 448]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 34 and 37 — Scope of challenge to award under S. 34, and, scope of appeal under S. 37: The key principles being that: (i) in an application under S. 34, the Court is not expected to act as an appellate court and reappreciate the evidence; (ii) the scope of interference would be limited to grounds provided under S. 34; (iii) interference under S. 37 cannot travel beyond the restrictions laid down under S. 34 i.e. the Court cannot undertake an independent assessment of the merits of the award, and must only ascertain that the exercise of power by the Court under S. 34 has not exceeded the scope of the provision. [Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. v. State of Goa, (2024) 1 SCC 479]

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