Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: B. Pugalendhi, J., while refusing to recuse from the present case reminded himself of the harsh criticism of Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer.

Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer had addressed a letter to His Excellency the Governor of Kerala as well as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, on the recusal of three Judges of the Kerala High Court from hearing an appeal, stated that every Judge is obliged by his oath of his office to hear every case posted before him and do justice and that not to hear a case or decline to do justice is breach of the solemn obligation vested in them. In fact, His Lordship has also opined that such recusal should invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President.

Present criminal appeals were filed by the State against the Judicial Magistrates’ Order under Section 256 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

Magistrate had dismissed the District Collector’s complaint about his non-appearance under Section 256 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and acquitted the respondents/accused from the charges under Section 4(1-A) read with 21(1) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Further complaints were also filed to confiscate the multicolour granite block seized from the accused’s land and dispose of the same.

Aggrieved in view of the above, State preferred the criminal appeals.

Certain observations that were made by the Magistrate:

  • Anshul Mishra, I.A.S, the then-District Collector who had filed the complaints in his official duty as the District Collector was on the date of complaint he was not the District Collector and hence committed the offence under Sections 181, 182, 193 and 199 of Penal Code, 1860.
  • Special Public Prosecutors also aided the complainant in the said offence.

In view of the above observations, Anshul Mishra, I.A.S, the then-District Collector filed the Crl. OP (MD) Nos. 7655 & 7656 of 2016 to expunge the remarks made against him.

Grievance

Petitioner stated that on receiving the complaints in regard to illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals, he formed a special team to conduct a comprehensive, scientific, systematic inspection in all the granite quarries in Madurai.

Based on the special teams report District Collector took action in accordance with the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, by filing the complaints before the competent Court under Section 200 CrPC read with Section 22 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

Analysis

“Nowadays, if anybody, reminds the duty, they are viewed differently. As an individual person, everybody expects their servants to be loyal and sincere to them, but, at the same time, if the Government servant does his duty sincerely and diligently, it is viewed in a different manner, as a sin. This is how our values have evolved.”

Respondents / Accused have pressurised this Court to get away from the cases.

Bench stated that,

“…though the respondents / accused pointed out in their complaint that as a Government Counsel I appeared against these respondents / accused in certain proceedings for more than 200 occasions, they did not point out any single instance, where I misled or wrongly projected the case of the respondents / accused, in those proceedings.”

Judicial Independence

Court added that “Judicial Independence” is defined as a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of fair proceedings.

A Judge shall exercise the judicial function independently on the basis of the Judge’s assessment of the facts and in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law, free of any extraneous influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.

In the Supreme Court’s decision of Trishala v. M.V. Sundar Raj, (2010) 15 SCC 714, it was held that simply because the Judge whilst at the Bar was a Standing Counsel for the Municipal Corporation, it cannot be held that he is precluded either in law or on propriety from hearing any case in which a Corporator is a party in his personal capacity; more so, when the relevant facts were not brought to his notice.

Order of Acquittal

In the present matter, with no complicated legal issue, appeals have been pending for 3 years, respondents/accused are enjoying the acquittal for 3 years even without a trial and they may intent to retain this favourable order of acquittal for some more time. But the Advocates, being the Officers of the Court, owe certain duties not only to their clients, but also to the Court.

Mud on the Judge

The Advocates before throwing mud on the Judge must realise that by doing so, they are attacking themselves and the Institution. As a Judge and an Advocate, we command certain respect and privileges in the society and the same is derived from this Institution and its judgment.

Non-Appearance of Complainant

Appeals are arising out of an order passed under Section 256 CrPC for the non-appearance of the complainant. The grievance of the State in the appeals is without providing an opportunity to adduce evidence, the learned Judicial Magistrate adopted a shortcut method to acquit the accused.

“The parties, who are enjoying favourable orders, will not come forward to proceed with the case and the other side are the ultimate sufferer.”

“District Collector/petitioner in Criminal Original Petitions is vindicated for having discharged his duty diligently. He is waiting for justice for the past four years. But the petitions could not be taken up for hearing, one way or the other. “

Judicial Magistrate’s Order has not followed the basic principles in deciding the issue.

Court added that, most of the Government servants lose their sincerity since their salary is assured, even if they do not work. At present, very few officials are working with honesty, integrity and sincerity and even those officers are afraid of the consequences and avoid their duties.

Illegal Mining Activities

Object for which the amendments were made in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, by introducing the provisions under Sections 4(1A), 21, 21(4A) and 23(C) by Act 38 of 1999 is only to curb the rampant illegal mining activities.

Bench stated that,

The Tamil Nadu Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage of Minerals and Mineral Dealers Rules, 2011, was framed by the State only on the powers conferred under Section 23(C) and it cannot override the provisions under Section 4(1-A), 21 and 21(4-A) of the Act.

Hence, the Judicial Magistrates’ order referring the provisions under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage of Minerals and Mineral Dealers Rules, 2011, when the complaint itself was filed for taking cognizance under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, was not proper.

In view of the above, the impugned order cannot be maintained.

“Condemnation of the petitioner without giving him an opportunity of being heard was a complete negation of the fundamental principle of natural justice.”

The following directions were passed by the Court:

  • Matter to be remitted back to the trial court.
  • Observations made by the Judicial Magistrate as against the District Collector and Special Public Prosecutors stand expunged.
  • District Collector shall appear before the trial court within a period of 2 months.

Before parting, Court expressed with pain that even for answering 1+1= 2, at times, it has to explain in detail. [Anshul Mishra v. District Collector, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1725, decided on 12-08-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: Abdul Quddhose, J., partly allowed an appeal that had been filed by the claimants seeking enhancement of compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal under the impugned Award had directed the respondents to pay the Appellants/claimants a compensation of Rs 5,10,200 together with interest and cost for the death of Venkatesh as a result of an accident caused by a vehicle owned by the first respondent and insured with the second respondent. In the claim petition, the claimants had pleaded that the deceased was aged 28 years and was a businessman earning Rs 10,000 per month at the time of the accident but no documentary evidence was produced in support of the monthly income of the deceased, the Tribunal under the impugned Award had fixed the monthly income of the deceased on notional basis at Rs 3,300.

The Court while partly allowing the appeal enhanced the compensation stating Tribunal ought to have given due consideration to the year of the accident which happened in the year 2004 before assessing the notional monthly income of the deceased making it 4,500. Further, the Court relying on the Supreme Court judgment of National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680 stated that the Tribunal had not awarded any compensation towards loss of future prospects and loss of estate which the Appellants/claimants were legally entitled, it further reduced the deduction of personal expenses to 1/4th from 1/3rd calling it erroneous, further increasing the loss of consortium and funeral expenses in accordance with the judgment. Lastly, relying on the Supreme Court judgment of Sarla Verma v. DTC, (2009) 6 SCC 121 the Court held that Tribunal had erroneously adopted 18 multiplier instead of 17 while calculating the loss of dependency as correct multiplier to be adopted for a person aged 28 years was 17 multiplier and not 18. The Court however removed the compensation towards loss of love and affection to the Appellants/claimants which they were not entitled to as seen from the evidence available on record. The compensation awarded by the Tribunal under the impugned Award thus was enhanced from Rs 5,10,200 to Rs 10,33,900. [Lakshmi v. S. Rajashekar, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 2647, decided on 29-09-2020]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium

Supreme Court Collegium on 23-09-2020, approved the proposal for elevation of the following Judicial Officers, as Judges of the Madras High Court:

1. Shri G. Chandrasekharan,

2. Shri A.A. Nakkiran,

3. Shri Sivagnanam Veerasamy,

4. Shri Ilangovan Ganesan, and

5. Smt. Ananthi Subramanian.

6. Smt. Kannammal Shanmuga Sundaram,

7. Shri Sathikumar Sukumara Kurup,

8. Shri Murali Shankar Kuppuraju,

9. Ms. Manjula Ramaraju Nalliah, and

10. Smt. Thamilselvi T. Valayapalayam.

COLLEGIUM STATEMENT

COLLEGIUM STATEMENT


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 23-09-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Physical Court Hearing

Administrative Committee of the Madras High Court has decided to open physical court hearing partially with 6 Division Benches at Principal Seat at Madras and 2 Division Benches at Madurai, with a combination of the physical court hearing and virtual court hearing with effect from 07-09-2020.

Overcrowding of the Courts

Physical Court Hearing of three Division Benches in Principal Seat at Madras will be pre-lunch session and Three Division Benches in the post-lunch session in order to avoid overcrowding in Courts.

Virtual Court Hearings will be alternatively conducted for the rest of the day.

Benches would be functioning for half a day through the physical court hearing and for the next half a day through a virtual court hearing, so as to facilitate the lawyers of both categories, who opt for physical court or virtual court hearings.

Trial Basis

The above-stated categories will be adopted on a trial basis in order to assess the feasibility of the running of physical court hearings, which can be suitably varied after observing the functioning of the Courts in this manner for two weeks.

Other respective Benches will continue to function through virtual court hearing as before, subject to any modification to be announced upon a decision to be taken by the High Court in the future.

Read the notification here: NOTIFICATION


Madras High Court

[Notification dt. 29-08-2020]

Fact ChecksNews

In a Whatsapp forward circulating alongwith screenshots of a newspaper article, social media in Tamil Nadu is abuzz with the news that Madras High Court has ordered landlords not to collect rent for the months of April, May and June.

The screenshots of the four messages are given below:

If we look at the third image, mischievously certain words have been underlined to give the impression that Madras High Court has waived off rent for 3 months. However this is not the case. In reality, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Court to waive off rent for these months of the Lockdown. The Court has issued notice to the government to reply to the PIL filed. No order has been issued by the Court and the matter is still subjudice.

The plea was moved by the petitioner Advocate LK Charles Alexander, citing that governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka have deferred rent payments for tenants owing to the Covid crisis. He moved the High Court seeking the state government of Tamil Nadu  to restrain landlords from demanding rent during this period.

The order of the High Court has not yet been uploaded on the Court website therefore we approached the petitioner L.K. Charles Alexander directly, who confirmed to us that the case of LK Charles Alexander vs.The Secretary to Government, Writ Petition No. 8378/2020 was heard on 2nd July, 2020.  The matter was taken up by the division bench of R. Subbiah and Krishnan Ramaswamy, JJ. and they had ordered that two weeks time is given to the government to file an affidavit.

On March 29 and March 30, 2020  the centre and state government of Tamil Nadu had issued orders to defer payment of rent for the month of March however no such decision has been taken until now for the months of April, May and June.

Therefore, we can safely say that the social media message with the maroon background is clearly misleading. No order has been issued by the Courts or the State Government of Tamil Nadu to defer payment of rent and the matter is subjudice. The Court has merely issued a notice to the Government to reply to the PIL.


Nilufer Bhateja, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of the persisting status of the Corona Virus Pandemic, particularly as reported in the State of Tamil Nadu, and the same is likely to continue for some time in future, Hon’ble the Administrative Committee of the High Court of Madras has resolved to continue the functioning of the High Court and the Subordinate Courts as per the Circular dated 24-3-2020, till 30th April, 2020.


Madras High Court

[Circular dt. 12-04-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium recommends the transfer of Justice Subramonium Prasad, Judge, Madras High Court to Delhi High Court.

He was Elevated as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Madras on 04.06.2018


Supreme Court Collegium

[Collegium Statement dt. 12-02-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani has tendered her resignation from the office of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from the afternoon of 06-09-2019.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 20-09-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by PTI, the Division Bench comprising of  M.M Sundaresh and M. Nirmal Kumar, JJ. gave permission to Nalini, who is a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case for appearance in person to argue her case, for six months ordinary leave to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.

Nalini was initially sentenced to death for her involvement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. However, her death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Tamil Nadu government on 24-04-2000.

Nalini will appear in person on 05-07-2019 to argue on her case.


[Source: PTI]

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appointed following Additional Judges of the Madras High Court as Permanent Judges:

  1. Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan
  2. Justice A.D. Jagdish Chandira
  3. Justice G.R. Swaminathan
  4. Justice Abdul Quddhose
  5. Justice M. Dhandapani
  6. Justice Pondicherry Daivasigamani Audikesavalu

[Notification dt. 05-04-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following six Additional Judges of the Madras High Court, as Permanent Judges of that High Court:

1. Mrs Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan
2. Mr Justice A.D. Jagadish Chandira
3. Mr Justice G.R. Swaminathan
4. Mr Justice Abdul Quddhose
5. Mr Justice M. Dhandapani and
6. Mr Justice P.D. Audikesavalu

The Committee constituted in terms of the Resolution dated 26th October, 2017 of the Supreme Court Collegium to assess the Judgments of the above-named recommendees, has submitted its report.

In view of the above, the Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ.,  resolved to recommend that (1) Mrs. Justice V. Bhavani Subbaroyan, Mr. Justices (2) A.D. Jagadish Chandira, (3) G.R. Swaminathan, (4) Abdul Quddhose, (5) M. Dhandapani, and (6) P.D. Audikesavalu, Additional Judges, be appointed as Permanent Judges of the Madras High Court.

Collegium Resolutions

[Dated: 11-03-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appointed Shri Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, to be an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

[Order dt. 18-02-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India appointed Kumari  P.T. Asha, S/Shri M. Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, N. Anand Venkatesh, G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramasamy, and C. Saravanan, to be Additional Judges of the Madras High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Staying the order of the MAdras High Court that stayed the declaration of results of NEET examination for admission in MBBS and BDS courses, the Court asked the CBSE to declare the result by June 26, 2017. The Court directed the authorities concerned to proceed with the process of declaration of results, subsequent counselling and admission as per the schedule fixed by it earlier.

The bench of P.C. Pant and Deepak Gupta, JJ also asked all the High Courts to refrain from entertaining any petition in matters relating to NEET examination 2017 that was conducted on 07.05.2017, as it affects the schedule of the examination.

The cancellation of the exam  and conduct of re-exam was sought due to alleged question paper leak. Madras High Court had, hence, on 24.05.2017, granted stay on the declaration of the result. The CBSE approached the Supreme Court for urgent hearing of the matter praying that it should be allowed to declare the result as the entire schedule of counselling and subsequent admission for medical courses through NEET has gone haywire.

Source: PTI

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: Expressing dismay upon the suffering of the petitioner due to her marriage being conducted without a proper enquiry as to the physical health of the groom, the Bench of N. Kirubakaran, J., observed that it would be prudent for the Central and State Governments to enlighten and sensitize people to go for pre-marital counselling and the same should be promoted by way of short films, advertisements and seminars.

In the present case, the petitioner had moved to the Family Court for annulment of her marriage within 6 months from the date of her marriage. According to the petitioner, the respondent had fraudulently obtained her consent for marriage by hiding that he had a cancerous growth on his left thigh which finally prevented the consummation of their marriage. Further medical investigations revealed that the respondent had a hole in his heart.

Invoking Article 227 of the Constitution and Section 151 of the CPC which bestows the Court with the power to pass appropriate order to meet the ends of justice, the Court was determined to decide the petition on merits, as the parties were very young and in the lengthy court proceedings resulting from transferring the petition to the trial court, the parties would not only lose their precious youth, but will also be rendered with an uncertain future. Perusing the contentions of the parties and the medical records of the respondent, the Court took to task the respondent for suppressing his medical condition from the petitioner. The Court further observed that the shock, pain and agony that the petitioner might have faced upon knowing the medical condition of the respondent, is nothing short of cruelty and her fundamental right to a decent and meaningful life under Article 21 had been grossly violated. The Court also observed that how the society commits crime against women in the name of marriages, thereby maligning the sacred rite of matrimony. The Court stated that the only way the petitioner can be comforted and compensated for her mental agony, is by annulling her marriage with the respondent under Section 13(1)( i-a) of the Hindu Marriage Act. However adding a word of comfort for the respondent, the Court said that the respondent’s only fault was to hide his medical condition from his wife, and that he should not be demoralized as scientists have discovered that several types of cancers are curable.  [A v. B,  2016 SCC OnLine Mad 8908, decided on 05.08.2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: While deciding upon an appeal against the order and decree passed by the Family Court, Tirunelveli, the Division Bench of K.K. Sasidharan and B. Gokuldas, JJ., set aside the decision of the Family Court dismissing the joint petition for dissolution of marriage of the appellants for want of reasons for separation. The Court further observed that the Family Courts are not allowed to enlarge the scope of enquiry under Section 13B (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and once it is satisfied that the essential requirements under Section 13B (2) has been fulfilled and substantiated then the Family Court must venture to grant the decree of divorce to the parties. It is not for the Family Court to decide as to whether parties were justified in living separately as it is not the scope of a petition filed under Section 13-B of the 1955 Act.

In the present case, the appellants had filed a joint petition under Section 13B (2) of the 1955 Act with mutual consent seeking for dissolution of marriage as the appellants were living separately and there was no chance of any re-union. However their petition was dismissed as the Family Judge noted that the parties have not mentioned the reasons for their separation.

Perusing the facts of the case, the Court observed that the parties have been living separately form 18.04.2014 and as per the affidavit presented by the appellants there has been no cohabitation between them since the stated date of separation. The Court observed that the only requisite of Section 13B (2) is that the parties applying for dissolution of marriage must be living separately for a period of one year or more, irrespective of any reason for doing so, and when the ingredient was satisfied by the appellants in the present case, it was unnecessary for the Family Court to enquire about the reasons behind their separation. As per the provision the only duty of the Family Court was to ensure that whether the marriage has been solemnised and that the averments in the petition are true. The Court also observed that when the parties were willing to part ways as their marriage had turned out to be a failure, the Family Court should have respected the sentiments of the parties and should have granted the divorce. With these observations, the Bench set aside the order of the Family Court and granted the decree for dissolution of the marriage of the appellants. [A.C. Mathivanan  v B. Sathyabama, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 8884, decided on 03.08.2016]

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: Reviving a bail order cancelled by the Principal Sessions Judge, Madurai, the bench of P. Devadass J. held that, in matters of cancellation of a bail order due to default in complying with the bail conditions, opportunity must be given to the accused persons to present their case. It was held that the cancellation of a bail order cannot be done mechanically as it involves withdrawal of the liberty that has already given to the accused; hence observance of principles of natural justice is a must.

In the present case the issue was that the petitioners (husband and wife) had been granted anticipatory bail under Section 438 of CrPC and certain conditions were imposed which included regular appearance before the police at a scheduled time. Due to compliance of the same, the bail conditions with respect to the wife were relaxed. However, the police subsequently filed a petition for cancellation of the bail order on the grounds that the petitioners have not obeyed the bail condition as per the order. The Principal Sessions Judge, Madurai had accepted their contention and cancelled the bail order.

While deciding the matter, it was observed that the Court ought to have provided legal assistance in the form of an Amicus Curiae or a counsel to the accused persons so that the fact that their bail conditions had been relaxed could have been brought in to the notice of the Court. It was also observed by the Court that the grounds for the cancellation of a bail are different from the grounds that are requisites for granting a bail, therefore, more consideration is required while cancelling a bail order. It maintained that an accused cannot be at fault merely because he was not present before the police station or the Court as per the bail condition, as number of contingencies could have prevented him from fulfilling the bail conditions. Hence an opportunity should have been given to the accused. Observing that the Sessions Judge had acted mechanically while cancelling the bail order, the Court chided the Judge for acting like a ‘motionless machine’ and observed that the Sessions Judge should have acted more like a human being than as an ‘inanimate computer’, because unlike a computer, a Judge has a sense of justice to understand that cancellation of a bail order is a serious issue. [Uma Maheshwari v. The State, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 6971, decided on 13.06.2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: This division bench of S. Manikumar and D. Krishnakumar, JJ held that there can be no order for condonation of delay beyond the extended period of limitation, stating that when the legislative intent is indicated by the provisions of special laws that exclude the provisions of the Limitation Act, then authorities under such statutes cannot exercise power to condone the delay. The Court dismissed the writ appeal filed by the Appellant under Section 85 of the Finance Act, 1994 against the refusal of condonation of a delay of 223 days in proceedings before the Commissioner of Service Tax (Appeals).

The Court noticed that Section 85 of the Finance Act) provides that appeal be filed 3 months from date of communication of order, while the Commissioner (Appeals) is empowered to condone delays of a further three months if satisfied of sufficient cause. The Court noted that Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 which permits the Court to exercise its discretion in condonation of delay, as also sections 4 to 24, were to apply insofar as they were not barred by local or special law. The Court held section 85 of the Finance Act as analogous to limitation restrictions per Section 128 of the Customs Act, 1962; Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996; Section 125 of the Electricity Act, 2003; Section 35-G of the Central Excise Act, 1944, constituting self-contained Acts and codes and that the High Court or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, cannot direct the appellate authority to condone the delay, beyond the extended period of limitation. Further, the Court, in consonance with the decision in Indian Coffee Worker’s Co-operative Society Ltd.  v. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes 2002 (I) CTC 406, stated that the power of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution did not extend to directing the Appellate Authority to consider appeal on merits, even if the High Court were to accept reasons given by the assessee for not filing appeal in the time prescribed under the Act as that would be an extension of limitation and the exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 did not extend to re-writing the provisions of the Act. [R. Gowrishankar v. Commissioner of Service Tax (Appeal)- I., 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 6023, decided on 13-06-2016]

Case BriefsHigh CourtsUniversities and Educational Institutions

Madras High Court: In the matter where the deceased had killed one of his children before committing suicide due to the exorbitant fees charged by the private school, the Court dismissed a writ petition , filed by his widow seeking for compensation from the State Government. The bench of Nooty Ramamohana Rao and S.S. Sundar, JJ; held that the deceased could have taken assistance from the Welfare Officer and philanthropic organizations where they would bear the expenditure for better education instead of taking violent measures. The petitioner had sought for relief of securing free education for the remaining and surviving child and also compensation for the double tragedy.

The Court held that the action of the husband of killing an innocent child cannot be appreciated for which if he was alive, he would have been prosecuted under Section 357 of the Criminal Procedure Court, 1973. The Court also held that the State Government, as a measure of welfare of the Society at large, has been running and maintaining several institutions for promoting the cause of education like a government-run educational institutions or philanthropic organizations for financial support. The Court, hence, held that the claim of the petitioner for payment of compensation against the State Government is an extravagant one as the State is nowhere responsible for the violent action unleashed by the husband of the petitioner. [Easwari v. Principal Secretary, Department of School Education, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 6299 dated on 8th June, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: While deciding upon the issues involving the constitutionality of Section 18 of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 vis-à-vis Article 14 of the Constitution and whether the Parliament can legislate in respect of Micro, Small and Medium Scale industries as the subject falls within the scope of Entry 24 of List II of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the Division Bench of S.K. Kaul, C.J., and R. Mahadevan, J., dismissing the petition, held that Section 18 of the MSMED Act does not violate Article 14 with respect to the right to approach the courts for dispute settlement. The Court further held that the present case falls within the purview of Entry 52 of List I of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution by way of which the Parliament can legislate in respect of the industries in the manufacturing or production sector, as well as the industries engaged in the service sector.

The petitioner’s company placed with the respondent for the supply of Galvanized Steel Structures/Solar Module Mounting Structures. However disputes arose between them due to the respondent making further demands, without making any correlative supplies. According to the petitioner the respondent filed a claim petition under Section 18 of the MSMED Act, 2006, before the Micro Small Medium Enterprises Facilitation Council and the facilitation council, despite the objections from the petitioner, referred the matter to arbitration. While the arbitration is still pending, the petitioner has filed the present petition questioning the validity of Section 18. The petitioner contended that Section 18 is ultravires Article 14 of the Constitution as it takes away the right to approach the Courts for dispute resolution. It was further contended that ‘industry’ is a subject of the State List upon which the Parliament cannot legislate.

Perusing the contentions, the Court examined the provisions of the MSMED Act. Accordingly the Court observed that the definition of ‘enterprise’ as provided in Section 2(e) of the Act includes industrial undertaking or a business concern or any other establishment, engaged in the manufacture or production of goods or engaged in providing or rendering of any service or services. Therefore the definition is wide enough for it to be interpreted as a subject matter of Entry 52 of List I of the 7th Schedule, upon which the Parliament has the right to legislate. The Court further observed that the petitioner’s contention of the impugned Section violating Article 14 of the Constitution is factually erroneous as Section 19 of the 2006 Act provides for the remedy to the person aggrieved by the award or decree to approach the Court. [Refex Energy Ltd. v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 4912, decided on 02.06.2016]