Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Constitution of India — Arts. 239-AA and 145(3) — Interpretation of Art. 239-AA: Appeals on the matter need to be heard by a Constitution Bench as these matters involve substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of Art. 239-AA. Registry directed to place papers before Chief Justice for constituting appropriate Constitution Bench. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Union of India, (2018) 8 SCC 813]

Copyright Act, 1957 — Ss. 51 and 55 — Infringement of copyright — Establishment of: Comparison of software of plaintiff with that of defendant by a foreign expert, permitted due to acquiescence of defendant to appointment of such foreign expert and in the light of other facts of the case. [Diyora & Bhanderi Corpn. v. Sarine Technologies Ltd., (2018) 8 SCC 804]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 149 — Insurer’s Liability — Existence of, even in cases of fake/invalid driving licence: Fake/invalid licence of driver of offending vehicle can absolve insurer of liability and make owner of vehicle liable, if it has been established that owner was aware of fact that licence was fake/invalid and still permitted driver to drive the vehicle. [Ram Chandra Singh v. Rajaram, (2018) 8 SCC 799]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitrability of copyright disputes under Indian law: This article is an attempt to analyse some interesting Indian judicial precedents with respect to arbitrable and non-arbitrable aspects of copyright related commercial disputes. [Arbitrability of Copyright Disputes under Indian Law by Gaurav Pachnanda , (2018) 8 SCC (J-1)]

Bias of arbitrator: This article aims to look at biases in the context of arbitration law along with the concepts of impartiality, independence and neutrality. It also examines and critiques the law on arbitration in India to comprehensively combat the vice of bias inhibiting fair adjudication. [Bias of Arbitrator and the need for a Real Danger Test in India with comparison with the English position by Prakhar Singh Chauhan and Siddhant Bhasin, (2018) 8 SCC (J-34)] 

Civil Securities Fraud, Market Manipulation and Insider Trading In India: This article examines the standard of proof in civil actions of securities fraud, market manipulation and insider trading under the SEBI Act. [Standard of Proof: Civil Securities Fraud, Market Manipulation and Insider Trading in India by Armaan Patkar and Diya Uday, (2018) 8 SCC (J-25)] 

Constitution of India — Art. 239-AA(4) proviso — Difference of opinion between Lieutenant Governor and Ministers of representative Government of NCT of Delhi on “any matter” — “Any matter” — Scope of: Lieutenant Governor can exercise such power of reference only in exceptional circumstances and not as a matter of rule or routine. Words “any matter” in Art. 239-AA(4) proviso cannot be inferred to mean “every matter”. Moreover, such difference of opinion should have a sound rationale. Lieutenant Governor should not act in a mechanical manner without due application of mind so as to refer every decision of Council of Ministers of NCT of Delhi, to President Attempt must be made to settle such dispute(s) by way of discussion and dialogue. Lieutenant Governor must work harmoniously with his Ministers and must not seek to resist them at every step of the way. While exercising said power, Lieutenant Governor should keep in mind: (a) the standards of constitutional trust and morality, (b) the principles of collaborative federalism and constitutional balance, (c) the concept of constitutional governance and objectivity, and (d) the nurtured and cultivated idea of respect for a representative Government. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Union of India, (2018) 8 SCC 501]

Issues under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code post admission of insolvency application: While discussing issues relating to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the author concludes that the Code is on the right track to reaffirm and give substance to the vision of the legislators with the adjudicating authorities reinforcing the focus on securing the rights of the creditors as well as assist all the stakeholders in procuring the best resolution plan post the admission of the proceedings. [Issues under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Post Admission of Insolvency Application, (2018) 8 SCC (J-5)] 

Role Of Domestic Courts In The Development Of International Law: This article, in the light of the Supreme Court of India’s decision in Jeeja Ghosh v. Union of India, (2016) 7 SCC 761  seeks to analyse the role that national courts play in the realm of international law, particularly in advancing the objectives of international law through an approach of hyper-alignment. This entails, an evaluation of the subject-matter of the law involved, and the court’s interpretation thereof. This is followed by an appraisal of the nature of alignment of the court’s decision with international law, if at all such alignment exists, and a subsequent review of the possible implications that surface as a corollary thereof. [Role of Domestic Courts in the Development of International Law (Obligations of Private Entities under International Law in Relation to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) by Kritika Sharma, (2018) 8 SCC (J-44)]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Constitution of India — Art. 145 — Chief Justice as master of roster — Practice and procedure: “Chief Justice” in this context under Supreme Court Rules cannot be read as collegium of first five Judges. While discharging administrative function of the Court, Chief Justice in his individual capacity has prerogative to constitute different Benches and allocate cases to those Benches, in accordance with Supreme Court Rules, 2013 and Handbook on Practice and Procedure and Office Procedure (2017). This function of Chief Justice is different from appointment of Judges of Court under Art. 124 in which context expression “Chief Justice” can be read as collegium of Judges. Discharging function of constitution of Benches and listing of cases by collegium would entail practical difficulties and would be unworkable. [Shanti Bhushan v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 8 SCC 396]

Constitution of India — Art. 21 — Deaths/Fatal injuries in road accidents/potholes: Directions issued for mandatory cover of thirdparty insurance in case of two-wheelers and cars. [S. Rajaseekaran v. Union of India, (2018) 8 SCC 447]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 136 — CBI investigation — Power of Court in respect of: Freedom of CBI to determine after preliminary enquiry, whether case was such that it warranted CBI investigation having national or international ramifications, or, could be left to State Police, being an ordinary criminal matter, discussed. Directions that Court may issue after such determination by CBI also noted. Union of India v. Sunil Tripathi, (2018) 8 SCC 463]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 r/w Ss. 420 and 409 IPC — Anticipatory bail — Interference by Supreme Court: In this case under an agreement entered into between the appellant and Bihar State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd., the appellant undertook to mill paddy. The agreements inter alia required the appellant/accused to furnish a bank guarantee equivalent to the value of paddy issued to him and in case he was unable to furnish such bank guarantee to pledge unencumbered immovable property for the equivalent sum (in one of the category of cases, there was no requirement of furnishing any bank guarantee and all that the agreement insisted upon was furnishing of security). Corporation alleged that though the appellant(s) was supplied paddy, he failed to return rice and thus misappropriated and cases were registered against the appellant for the offences punishable under Ss. 409 and 420 IPC. By order dt. 28-2-2017, the Court while refusing to cancel the anticipatory bail/bail granted to the miller/accused added the inter-alia, condition that the accused in all the FIR(s), will ensure that bank guarantee, if not furnished, is furnished and if lapsed, is renewed. In this case, rejecting the contention that the bank guarantee was for the defalcated sum, held, that the expression “bank guarantee” used in Condition 1 pertained to bank guarantee which the miller concerned was obliged, in terms of the agreement in question to furnish and the obligation to furnish the bank guarantee and to keep it alive was referable to the terms of the agreement and not to the “defalcated sum”. Further, if according to the terms of the agreement and the benefit enjoyed by the accused concerned, he had already pledged unencumbered immovable property in the equivalent sum, there was no requirement to furnish and to keep alive additional bank guarantee. Further directed that if on account of failure to submit and to keep the bank guarantee alive in respect of the “defalcated sum”, any benefit of bail/anticipatory bail was withdrawn and orders of non-bailable warrants were issued, such orders stood cancelled and recalled. [Arvind Tiwary v. State of Bihar, (2018) 8 SCC 475]

Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 — Ss. 7-A and 14-B — Remand — When warranted: High Court by impugned judgment dismissed appellant’s claim for recovery of dues and damages for delayed payment amounting to Rs 91,585, for non-payment of Provident Fund Contribution, without dealing with issues raised, while using expression “on due consideration”. Said order is not sustainable. [Central Board of Trustees v. Indore Composite (P) Ltd., (2018) 8 SCC 443]

Family and Personal Laws — Maintenance and Financial Provision/Alimony/Palimony — Generally: In this case respondent husband was sent to civil prison for failure to pay entire amount of maintenance as awarded by lower courts. He sought hearing of appeal on merits by appellate court. In view of facts of case, directions issued for speedy disposal of appeal preferred by respondent husband within six weeks. [Shalu Ojha v. Prashant Ojha, (2018) 8 SCC 461]

Medical Law — Eligibility and Right to Practise Medicine Operate/Run Clinics/Nursing Homes/Hospitals, Etc. — Right to run Clinic/Hospital/ Nursing home/Land use: The relief of the poor is one of the essential requirements of the charity and the claim of the hospitals that they were undertaking charity at their own level could not be used as a shield to the performance of charity in an organised way. Further, charity in its widest sense, denoted all the good affections men ought to bear towards each other; in its most restricted and common sense, relief of the poor. Further, members of the medical profession owed a constitutional duty to treat the have-nots and could not refuse to treat a person in dire need of treatment by a particular medicine or by a particular expert merely on the ground that he was not in a position to afford the fee payable. Thus, when the government land had been obtained for charitable purpose of running the hospital, the Government was within its right to impose such an obligation. Being a recipient of government largesse at concessional rates and continuing to enjoy it, the hospitals owed a duty to act in public interest. Further, held, that in case the hospitals wanted to wriggle out and not comply, they had to surrender the land and gorge out the benefit received by virtue of holding the government land. The action of the State could not be said to be unauthorised, illegal or arbitrary in any manner whatsoever and was in furtherance of the very objectives for which the medical profession exists. Hence, Circular/Order dt. 2-2-2012 issued by the Delhi State Governmant and Central Government respectively, regarding free treatment to the weaker sections of the society, upheld. [Union of India v. Moolchand Kharaiti Ram Trust, (2018) 8 SCC 321]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 138 and 139 — Complaint as to dishonour of cheque: Once a cheque has been signed and issued in favour of holder of cheque, there is statutory presumption under S. 139 of NI Act that the cheque is issued in discharge of a legally enforceable debt or liability. However, said presumption is a rebuttable one. Issuer of cheque can rebut that presumption by adducing credible evidence that the cheque was issued for some other purpose like security for loan. [T.P. Murugan v. Bojan, (2018) 8 SCC 469]

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 — Ss. 12 to 20 — Monetary relief: The proceedings for monetary relief, under 2005 Act are summary in nature. In case of reduction of maintenance amount by appellate court, claim was filed for enhancement of maintenance before Supreme Court while main appeal was still pending before High Court. Parties submitted copious materials to substantiate their claims. Considering peculiarity of case, aggrieved person was relegated to file suit for maintenance under Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act or petition under S. 125 CrPC as process involved proof of such documents after cross-examination of parties. [Shalu Ojha v. Prashant Ojha, (2018) 8 SCC 452]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Administrative Law — Administrative Action — Administrative or Executive Function — Application/Non-Application of Mind: Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) without applying mind to orders of competent authorities and relevant court orders, declined to correct/restore record-of-rights (RoR) in name of appellant, held, which was unsustainable. [Lakshmamma v. BDA, (2018) 5 SCC 760]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Interim relief — P.G. College: In this case involving dispute between Principal and Management, High Court by impugned order restrained appellant from functioning as Principal. Additional interim direction pending disposal, issued. Thus management restrained from filling up post of Principal on a regular basis and High Court directed to dispose of appeal expeditiously before Court closed for summer vacation. [Vandana Tyagi v. Apeejay Saraswati P.G. College for Girls, (2018) 5 SCC 789]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Mohandas Gandhi assassination case: Reopening of long concluded matters based on hearsay evidence and new research by petitioner and only being a futile exercise, not maintainable. [Pankaj Kumudchandra Phadnis v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 785]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Police — Compensation for death during discharge of duty — Entitlement to: In this case, while chasing miscreants, police personnel were fired upon, as a result of which, one member of the police party, son of the petitioner died. Petitioner sought various reliefs like compensation, protection to family and expeditious trial. As far as criminal case is concerned, law to take its own course and as far as compensation and other reliefs are concerned, petitioner given liberty to approach State Government. [Ganga Malik v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 771]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashment of proceedings by High Court: Assessment made by High Court at a stage when investigation was yet to be completed, completely incorrect and uncalled for. Interference by High Court, not proper. Case restored to its file and investigation to proceed to its logical conclusion. [State of T.N. v. S. Martin, (2018) 5 SCC 718]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 88 — Power to release accused on bond upon his appearance in court, under S. 88 — Nature of: Said power under S. 88 is not mandatory. It is discretionary in nature. Ordinarily word “may” implies discretion of court. If there is a legal right, word “may” would mean a mandatory duty but S. 88 does not confer any right on any person to be released on his furnishing a bond. Purpose and object of S. 88 is to enable court to facilitate appearance of person concerned in court. Thus, said power clearly discretionary. [Pankaj Jain v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 743]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 374 and 386(b) — Appeal against conviction: In this case of death by shooting, High Court acquitted all respondent-accused. Acquittal, held, to be justified. [State of U.P. v. Om Pal, (2018) 5 SCC 805]

Criminal Trial — Acquittal — Generally — Presumption of innocence — When strengthened: Presumption of innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened against acquitted accused by judgment in his favour. [Bannareddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 790]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: In this case, E-auction of iron ore was illegally stored and confiscated, by State. High Court mistakenly set aside permission granted by Special Court for such e-auction by State, and directed release of iron-ore to respondent. Said order of the High Court, held to be untenable. Order permitting e-auction passed by Special Court restored and liberty granted to respondent to establish his ownership over iron ore before appropriate court. [State of Karnataka v. Vedanta Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 722]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area: Due to illegal mining in forests of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, PIL regarding illegal extraction of 50.57 metric tonnes of iron ore and its illegal export to foreign companies from port in Karnataka was filed. CBI was directed to register case and conduct investigation. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 730]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: PIL against illegal mining in forest areas of Karnataka and A.P. and illegal export of iron ore to foreign countries from Belekeri Port in Karnataka. CBI investigation directed in the matter. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 732]

Limitation Act, 1963 — S. 14 — Purpose stated: S. 14 is intended to provide relief against bar of limitation in cases of where remedy is mistakenly taken recourse to or selection of a wrong forum. [Mohinder Singh v. Paramjit Singh, (2018) 5 SCC 698]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149 and 166 — Third-party insurance: Insurance Company is liable to satisfy judgments and awards in respect of third-party risks. Principle of pay-and-recover applies even in absence of liability to pay compensation. [Shivawwa v. National India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 762]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation and interest — Computation: In this case, High Court had not computed income towards future prospects and reduced interest from 12% to 9%. Claimants of deceased, held, entitled to additional compensation of 25% towards future prospects. Further amount of Rs 70,000 computed under conventional heads. Award of interest at 9% p.a. by the High Court, upheld. Accordingly total compensation re-computed and enhanced to Rs 12.67 lakhs. [Bhartiben Nayabha Ker v. Sidabha Pethabha Manke, (2018) 5 SCC 716]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/34 — Murder trial — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, prosecution miserably failed to establish chain of events, which points out at guilt of accused. Two complaints (one by brother and other by accused wife, of deceased, respectively) were filed. When accused wife in complaint pointed out that deceased committed suicide by consuming poison, doctor was expected to preserve viscera for chemical analysis, which was not done. Doctor who conducted post-mortem, opined that cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation of throat. Medical evidence in the form of post-mortem report though supports case of prosecution, non-preservation of viscera by doctor, remained fatal to prosecution case. Witnesses specifically supported case of version of accused. There was no apparent injury on dead body of deceased at the time of panchnama. Collective opinion of panch witnesses was that deceased expired due to eating some poisonous substance. There was no direct evidence, as to deceased consuming poison or having been done to death by throttling. Courts below gravely erred in not considering case in accordance with settled principles of law, hence, conviction reversed. [Dev Kanya Tiwari v. State of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 734]

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 — Ss. 32, 2(c), 2(d), 2(e), 2(i), 2(k), 2(p), 3(2), 4, 5 and 6 — Power to prescribe qualifications: Parliament conferred rule-making authority upon Central Government to specify minimum qualifications. Specification of qualification should be read in purposive sense which will fulfil objectives of law. Rationale behind prescription of training is that training would sensitise concerned person to salutary objectives and purpose of legislation. [Union of India v. Indian Radiological & Imaging Assn., (2018) 5 SCC 773]

Service Law — Post — Equivalence — Post of Field Supervisor — Whether equivalent to post of Teacher: Field Supervisor falling under Category II of Statute 19(1), (2) & (3) of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, 1996 can be treated as Teacher only after he is declared as such by the University with prior approval of Board. [Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology v. Upendra Nath Patra, (2018) 5 SCC 693]

Service Law — Promotion — Retrospective promotion: In service matters, especially with regard to promotion, there is always an urgency and aggrieved must approach court at earliest opportunity or within reasonable time as third-party rights accrue in meantime in favour of promotees. Further, any directions at belated stage to consider employees for retrospective promotion after considerable time is bound to have serious administrative implications apart from financial burden on Government. Furthermore, mere repeated filing of representations would not be sufficient explanation for delay in approaching court. [Union of India v. Chaman Rana, (2018) 5 SCC 798]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Election — Democracy and General Principles — Criminalisation of politics/Electoral Reform: Information regarding sources of income of electoral candidates/legislators and their associates would help voter to make informed choice and hence, is part of his fundamental right. Disclosure of movable and immovable assets is already a requirement under Form 26 as subs. w.e.f. 1-8-2012. Non-disclosure of assets and sources of income of candidates/legislators and their associates constitutes corrupt practice amounting to undue influence since it is attempt to suppress, misguide and keep people in the dark. In case of undue accretion of assets of legislators/politicians and their associates/dependants without bearing any relationship to their known sources of income, the only logical inference is that there is some abuse of legislator’s constitutional office. Such abnormal growth of assets not always because of illegal activity but could also be due to improper activities like (i) availing huge amounts of loan for allegedly commercial purposes from public financial institution which become nonperforming assets (NPAs) and despite which they secure huge loan amounts again; and (ii) securing contracts of high monetary value from Government or corporations controlled by Government. It is necessary to of curb such activities. [Lok Prahari v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 699]

Banking Regulation Act, 1949 — S. 21-A — Debts due to banks by agriculturists — Law applicable — Validity and extent of applicability of S. 21-A of 1949 Act vis-à-v-is State Debt Relief Acts: S. 21-A is valid as in pith and substance, S. 21-A relatable to Sch. VII List I Entry 45 of the Constitution. However, insofar as S. 21-A of 1949 Act incidentally encroaches upon relief of agricultural indebtedness, which is covered in Sch. VII List II Entry 30 of the Constitution, it will not operate to the extent that State Debt Relief Acts cover relief of agriculturists from debts due to banks. S. 21-A will not operate in States where there is a State Debt Relief Act which deals with relief of agricultural indebtedness and where State Debt Relief Act covers debts due to “banks”, as defined in those Acts. In States where State Debt Relief Act does not apply to banks at all, S. 21-A will apply in such States. In States where State Debt Relief Act applies only to certain specified banks, S. 21-A will apply only in respect of loans made to agriculturists where such loans are given by banks other than banks specified or covered by State Debt Relief Act concerned, as the case may be. [Jayant Verma v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 743]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 89 — Reference of dispute for arbitration: When there was no arbitration agreement between the parties, reference of dispute for arbitration in the absence of a written memo/joint application is not permissible, even when the counsel of the parties consent to the same. For reference of the parties to arbitration, oral consent given by the counsel without a written memo of instructions does not fulfil the requirement under S. 89 CPC. [Kerala SEB v. Kurien E. Kalathil, (2018) 4 SCC 793]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Contract and Specific Relief — Formation Defects — Fraud and misrepresentation — Matters required to be established: In this case, appellant-plaintiff filed suit for partition and separate possession against her uncle R-2-D-2 and his son respondent-D-1. She contended that suit properties originally belonged to her grandfather and after death of her grandfather, her father and her uncle (R-2-D-2) succeeded. After death of her father, she is entitled for her half-share. This suit was opposed on ground that father of appellant-plaintiff had already sold his share to respondent-D-1. In rejoinder, appellant-plaintiff contended that sale deed executed by her father was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation. Trial court decreed suit. In appeal, first appellate court dismissed suit. High Court upheld dismissal of suit. While determining the validity of the order of High Court, the Supreme Court held that DW 3, Sub-Registrar who registered sale deed executed by father of appellant-plaintiff, deposed that sale deed was executed only after contents were read over to him. PW 2 and PW 3 never stated in their deposition that father of appellant-plaintiff was not in good state of mind at the time of execution of sale deed. Although it was contended that father of appellant-plaintiff was not keeping well, no medical records were submitted to establish it. In absence of any proof, it cannot be said that sale deed executed by father of appellant-plaintiff was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation. Hence, High Court justified in dismissing appeal. [Krishna Devi v. Keshri Nandan, (2018) 4 SCC 481]

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 — Ss. 10 and 11-A — Reference — Termination of workman — Termination by way of punishment — Interference with: Where termination is by way of punishment, preliminary issue to be determined is validity of domestic enquiry. Where domestic enquiry is found legal and proper, next issue would be adjudging proportionality of punishment imposed. Further held, where domestic enquiry is found illegal and improper, issue which need determination is whether employer can be allowed to prove misconduct/charge before Labour Court on merits by adducing independent evidence. [Kurukshetra University v. Prithvi Singh, (2018) 4 SCC 483]

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 — Ss. 8(c), 20(b)(ii)(C), 28/23 and 67 — Search and seizure: In this case there was alleged recovery of contraband from suitcase. Statement of official witness, found impaired due to infirmities, not safe to rely upon and pass conviction order. Statements of independent panch witnesses, depicted a different picture than one portrayed by official witness, as to recovery and seizure. As recovery of narcotic substance was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, reversal of conviction by High Court was confirmed. [Union Of India v. Leen Martin, (2018) 4 SCC 490]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — Ss. 12-A and 12-AA — Cancellation/withdrawal/recall of registration certificates once granted by Commissioner: There was no express provision in Income Tax Act vesting Commissioner with power to cancel registration certificate granted by him under S. 12-A. Commissioner had no express power of cancellation of registration certificate once granted by him under S. 12-A till 1-1-2004. By enactment of S. 12-AA(3), this power is expressly conferred on Commissioner with effect from 1-10-2004, and hence such power of cancellation/withdrawal/recall could be exercised after 1-10-2004. This enactment is not retrospective in nature. Order passed under S. 12-A is quasi-judicial order. Functions exercisable under S. 12-A are neither legislative nor executive but they are essentially quasi-judicial in nature. Therefore, it could have been withdrawn/recalled only when there was express power vested with concerned authority. Order by Commissioner under S. 12-A does not fall in category of ‘orders’ mentioned under S. 21 of General Clauses Act. Expression ‘order’ mentioned under S. 21 of General Clauses Act must be in nature of ‘notification’, ‘rule’ and ‘bye-laws’, etc. Order which can be modified or rescinded under S. 21 of General Clauses Act has to be either legislative or executive in nature. As order passed under S. 12-A is quasi-judicial in nature, S. 21 of General Clauses Act has no application. [Industrial Infrastructure Development Corpn. (Gwalior) M.P. Ltd. v. CIT, (2018) 4 SCC 494]

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Ss. 13 and 13-B r/w Art. 142 of Constitution — Powers under Art. 142 to do complete justice — Invocation of — Settlement of matrimonial dispute through Supreme Court Mediation Centre: FIR lodged by wife quashed and marriage dissolved on consent in terms of settlement. [Sneha Parikh v. Manit Kumar, (2018) 4 SCC 501]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Remand of matter — When not justified: Matter remitted by Supreme Court to High Court for fresh disposal in accordance with law. [IEL Supervisors’ Assn. v. Duncans Industries Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 505]

Election — Election petition/trial — Statutory requirements as to filing of election petition: Under the Rule concerned i.e. R. 3(5)(d) of Rajasthan Municipalities Election Petition Rules, 2009, filing of treasury challan with deposit of requisite amount in treasury at the time of presentation of election petition is mandatory. In absence thereof, election petition is liable to be dismissed in terms of R. 7(3) of aforesaid 2009 Rules. Filing of treasury challan subsequent to presentation of election petition on grant of permission by Election Tribunal to deposit the amount in treasury, would be of no consequence in absence of any rule in this regard. Such permission to deposit, if any, might be sought prior to presentation of election petition. Thus, where the election petition was presented without a treasury challan (though later, deposit was made pursuant to permission granted by Election Tribunal), the same was liable to be rejected in terms of the above stated law. [Sitaram v. Radhey Shyam Vishnav, (2018) 4 SCC 507]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 125 — Maintenance — Grant of: Grant of Maintenance was set aside by High Court, on ground that appellant failed to prove that she was wife of respondent. Claim of appellant was that respondent had fathered three children with her, which was denied by respondent. Parties were directed by Supreme Court to go for DNA test. As DNA test report established that respondent was father of three children born to appellant, hence, impugned order of High Court, was set aside and order in favour of appellant under S. 125 CrPC, granting maintenance @ Rs 4000 p.m. from the month of September 2013, restored. [Pratima Das v. Subudh Das, (2018) 4 SCC 528]

Right to Information Act, 2005 — Ss. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11 r/w Third Recital of Preamble — Exemption from giving information: While balancing right to information, public interest including efficient working of Government, optimum use of fiscal resources and preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information has to be balanced and can be guiding factor to deal with given situation dehors Ss. 8, 9 and 11. [UPSE v. Angesh Kumar, (2018) 4 SCC 530]

Kerala Education Act, 1958 (6 of 1959) — S. 15 — Taking over of schools in public interest and in interest of education: Notification under S. 15 issued after closure of schools but satisfaction under S. 15(1) which was made prior to closure, valid. Submission that schools having already been closed and that too as per directions of Court and having attained finality in Supreme Court, State Government could not have issued belated notification under S. 15, not tenable. [A.A. Padmanbhan v. State of Kerala, (2018) 4 SCC 537]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal: Once High Court is satisfied after hearing appellant or his counsel that appeal involved substantial question of law, it has to formulate same under S. 100(4). Once, substantial question of law is framed, direction for issuance of notice to respondent of memo of appeal along with substantial question of law is passed. Jurisdiction of High Court is confined only to substantial question of law framed by it under S. 100(4). Respondent can raise objections under S. 100(5) that appeal did not involve any substantial question of law. S. 100(5) gives respondent right to know on which substantial question of law, second appeal had been admitted. As substantial question of law framed behind back of respondent, S. 100(5) enables him to raise such objection. As per proviso to S. 100(5), High Court can hear second appeal on any other substantial question of law not framed earlier under S. 100(4). However, while exercising such power, High Court is required to assign reasons for framing additional substantial questions of law at the time of hearing second appeal. Further held, while hearing second appeal, respondent required to oppose only substantial question of law so framed under S. 100(4) and not beyond that. If substantial question of law itself is not framed under S. 100(4), then there remains nothing to oppose for respondent. Further, High Court also loses its jurisdiction to decide second appeal finally. It is framing of substantial question of law which empowers High Court to finally decide appeal. If High Court is satisfied that appeal does not involve any substantial question of law, it can be dismissed in limine without even issuing notice to respondents. While dismissing appeal for want of substantial questions of law, High Court is required to assign its reasons. Whether respondent appeared at the time of final hearing or not is of no significance. High Court has to proceed in accordance with procedure prescribed under S. 100 for disposing second appeal either in limine or at final hearing. [Surat Singh v. Siri Bhagwan, (2018) 4 SCC 562]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 163-A — Permanent total disability — Compensation — Computation of Income — Loss of future prospects — Self-employed carpenter: Claim of appellant carpenter that his earnings were Rs 6000 p.m. cannot be discarded or cannot be regarded as being unreasonable or contrary to a realistic assessment of situation on date of accident. Following five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, held that benefit of future prospects should not be confined only to those who have a permanent job and would extend to self-employed individuals. In case of a self-employed person, an addition of 40% of established income should be made where age of victim at time of the accident was below 40 yrs. Hence, in this case, appellant be entitled to an enhancement of Rs 2400 towards loss of future prospects. [Jagdish v. Mohan, (2018) 4 SCC 571]

Constitution of India — Arts. 139-A, 136 and 226 — Transfer of writ proceedings to Supreme Court: In this case transfer petitions were dismissed on the ground that issue involved were pending consideration in a civil appeal in Supreme Court. Decision of Supreme Court can be brought to notice of High Court once civil appeal decided by Supreme Court and parties in meantime can request High Court to defer proceedings in pending writ petitions. [Commr. of Service Tax (Appeals 1) v. Sri Selvaganapathy & Co., (2018) 4 SCC 578]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 154, 200 and 482 — Second FIR and Counter-complaint — Maintainability of — Second FIR — When can be lodged: In this case two FIRs were filed in relation to same offence and against same accused but second FIR was not filed by same person, who filed first FIR . Moreover, second FIR contained a different version of events than contained in first FIR. While determining that whether subsequent FIR is liable to be quashed or not, the Supreme Court held that High Court committed jurisdictional error in quashing subsequent FIR/charge-sheet under S. 482 CrPC, without adverting to law on subject. Impugned order was set aside and case was restored to its file for being tried on merits, in accordance with law. [P. Sreekumar v. State of Kerala, (2018) 4 SCC 579]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Writ appeal — Proper mode of Disposal: For proper disposal of writ appeal Court has to deal with issues raised by parties and pass reasoned order. [Sivakami v. State of T.N., (2018) 4 SCC 587]

Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 — Ss. 2(o), 42, 48, 49, 51 and 60 — Demurrage/storage charges in respect of goods not cleared by the consignee — Who is liable to pay i.e. a consignor, steamer agent or consignee: In view of the inconsistencies in the decisions in K.P.V. Sheik Mohamed Rowther & Co. (Rowther-I), 1963 Supp (2) SCR 915; K.P.V. Sheikh Mohd. Rowther & Co. (P) Ltd. (Rowther-II), (1997) 10 SCC 285; Sriyanesh Knitters, (1999) 7 SCC 359; Forbes Forbes Campbell & Co. Ltd. (Forbes-II), (2015) 1 SCC 228 and Rasiklal Kantilal & Co., (2017) 11 SCC 1, matter referred to a larger Bench. [Cochin Port Trust v. Arebee Star Maritime Agencies (P) Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 592]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 12 R. 6 — Judgment on admission — When proper: In this case, Defendant 2 (Bank) in written statement not specifically denied undertaking to honour cheques issued by Defendant 1 but deliberately attempted to frustrate legal right of plaintiff by producing only a xerox copy and not original undertaking. Trial court in said suit for recovery allowed Or. 12 R. 6 application of plaintiff. The said order was affirmed by the Supreme Court. [Indian Bank v. S.N. Engineers & Suppliers, (2018) 4 SCC 606]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 205, 317 and 482 — Personal appearance of accused — When can be exempted — Case under S. 498-A IPC and S. 4, Dowry Prohibition Act: When sufficient grounds made out for granting exemption from personal appearance of accused persons in trial, Judicial Magistrate committed error in not adverting to such grounds and rejected application filed under S. 205 CrPC, on unfounded reasons. Challenge to sais order, before High Court, under S. 482 CrPC, was also incorrectly rejected, on some different reasonings and High Court took entirely new grounds for dismissing application filed under S. 482 CrPC without adverting to grounds which were taken by Magistrate for declining prayer. Orders of High Court and Judicial Magistrate, set aside and personal appearance of accused, exempted. [Rameshwar Yadav v. State of Bihar, (2018) 4 SCC 608]

Family and Personal Laws — Muslim Law — Burial Norms and Rights: As disputed land was used for Muslim graveyard from time immemorial, High Court declaring that Muslim community entitled to said burial ground of 2.49 acres, not disturbed. [Sattar V. High School Boarding Committee, (2018) 4 SCC 613]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Condonation of delay — Adoption of liberal approach in respect of, when warranted: A defective review petition was filed in High Court but petitioners concerned failed to cure those defects despite several opportunities granted to them in that regard. Review petition was consequently dismissed by Registrar of High Court. Application was filed before High Court for setting aside the order of Registrar and restoring the review petition, which was dismissed on ground of delay. While hearing the petition challenging the said order, the Supreme Court noted that keeping in view the observations made by Supreme Court in Sangram Singh, AIR 1955 SC 425 and having regard to the nature of controversy involved herein, held, High Court should have condoned the delay taking a liberal view in the matter. Interest of justice demanded one more opportunity to be given to the review petitioners (appellants herein) to cure the defects. [Pralhad Shankarrao Tajale v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 4 SCC 615]

Constitution of India — Art. 233 — Appointment to Higher Judicial Service — Appointment to post of District Judge — Eligibility: Matter referred to larger Bench on issues: (i) whether eligibility is to be adjudged only at time of appointment or at time of application or both; and (ii) whether in computing period of 7 yrs of practice for being eligible for appointment as District Judge, period during which candidate has held judicial office to be included and interpretation of Art. 233 of the Constitution. [Dheeraj Mor v. High Court of Delhi, (2018) 4 SCC 619]

Constitution of India — Arts. 233 and 309 — Appointment to posts of Higher Judicial Service — Rr. 31(3) and 33(iii) of Rajasthan Judicial Service Rules, 2010 — Validity: For appointment to posts of District Judges in State of Rajasthan, Rules were framed by certain States including State of Rajasthan and State of Gujarat in exercise of their powers under Art. 309 of the Constitution that in computing period of 7 yrs of practice by candidate for appointment to post of District Judge, period during which candidate was holding judicial office would also be computed. Interim orders were passed by Supreme Court in two writ petitions pertaining to appointment to Higher Judicial Service wherein benefit similar to one extended by State of Gujarat was claimed. In this case, it was prayed to pass similar orders while declaring impugned Rules requiring a candidate to have not less than 7 yrs of practice for being eligible for appointment to post of District Judge in State of Rajasthan. The Supreme Court held that impugned Rules are in consonance with Art. 233 of the Constitution. However, considering that validity of Rules framed by State of Gujarat had not been tested so far and to avoid proliferation of litigation, matter referred to larger Bench. [Sukhda Pritam v. High Court of Rajasthan, (2018) 4 SCC 627]

Rent Control and Eviction — Allotment/Deemed Vacancy/Vacancy/Release of Building — Review power under S. 16(5)(a), U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 — When can be exercised: If District Magistrate returns a wrong finding regarding vacancy, it is always open to him to review same. Question of allotment or release under S. 16(1)(a) or (b) can arise only if there is a vacancy. Once finding that there is no vacancy, same certainly open to be reviewed under S. 16(5)(a), 1972 Act. Thus District Magistrate was justified in exercising review jurisdiction. [Rajendra Kumar Verma v. Additional District Magistrate (Civil Supplies), (2018) 4 SCC 630]

Karnataka Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (32 of 2004) — Ss. 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(b) — Rate of tax on goods used in the execution of works contract prior to 1-4-2006 i.e. prior to insertion of cl. (c) in S. 4(1) prescribing a uniform rate of tax on such goods — Determination of: The expression “other goods” means those goods which are not governed by S. 4(1)(a) and where goods are specifically covered by any of the entries of the Second, Third and Fourth Schedules, such goods would be covered by the specific entry relating to those goods. Thus, recourse to the residual provisions of S. 4(1)(b) would be available only in respect of “other goods” i.e. goods which did not fall within the purview of S. 4(1)(a). Further, though it was permissible for the State Legislatures to prescribe a uniform rate of tax for all goods involved in the execution of works contracts, the KVAT Act, 2003 did not provide a uniform rate of tax prior to 1-4-2006. Therefore, tax prior to 1-4-2006 was to be levied as per the rate applicable on the value of each class of goods involved in the execution of works contract. [State of Karnataka v. Durga Projects Inc., (2018) 4 SCC 633]

Constitution of India — Pt. III — Linking of Aadhaar with bank account, mobile number and social welfare schemes: Last date for linking of Aadhaar with bank account, mobile number and social welfare schemes, having been extended in earlier order to 31-3-2018, further extended till matter finally heard and decided by Court. Further, said interim order would also govern Passports (First Amendment) Rules, 2018. [K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 651]

Constitution of India — Arts. 145(3) and 136 — Ram Janmabhoomi/Babri Masjid suits — Issue as to whether matter should be referred to Constitution Bench: Directions regarding completion of procedural formalities with regard to addition, deletion, substitution of parties and submission of documents and translated copies of documents, issued. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, (2018) 4 SCC 655]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 41 Rr. 27 and 2 — Admission of additional evidence by appellate court — Procedure to be adopted subsequent to: Though Or. 41 R. 27 CPC is silent as to the procedure to be adopted by appellate court after admission of additional evidence, however, in view of provisions contained in Or. 41 R. 2 CPC, when appellate court admits additional evidence, it is necessary for said court to grant an opportunity to other party to lead evidence in rebuttal thereof. [Akhilesh Singh v. Lal Babu Singh, (2018) 4 SCC 659]

Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006 — R. 5 — Validity of: As per the charging section i.e. S. 66 of Finance Act, 1994, service tax is to be charged only on the value of taxable services. Further, as per S. 67 of Finance Act, 1994, for valuation of taxable services, the authorities are to find what is the gross amount charged for providing “such” taxable services. Thus, any other amount which is calculated not for providing such taxable service cannot be a part of that valuation. Further, rules cannot go beyond the statute i.e. a rule which comes in conflict with the main enactment has to give way to the provisions of the Act. Therefore, service tax is to be paid only on the services actually provided by the service provider i.e. R. 5 is ultra vires the provisions of Ss. 66 and 67 of Finance Act, 1994. [Union of India v. Intercontinental Consultants & Technocrats Private Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 669]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 — S. 2(l), as existing prior to 1-4-2008 — Circular No. 97/8/2007-ST dt. 23-8-2007 issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) — CENVAT credit in respect of service tax paid on transportation of goods from factory of manufacturer to the place of purchaser — Availment of: Following Vasavadatta Cements Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 769, and in the absence of any challenge by Revenue to the satisfaction of the three conditions laid down in Circular dt. 23-8-2007 by the assessee, namely, (i) the ownership of goods and the property in the goods remains with the seller of the goods till the delivery of the goods in acceptable condition to the purchaser at his doorstep; (ii) seller bears the risk of or loss or damage to the goods during transit to the destination; and (iii) freight charges are integral part of the price of the goods, held, the service used by the manufacturer for clearance of final products “from the place of removal” i.e. factory premises of the assessee, to the warehouse or customer’s place, etc. was exigible for CENVAT credit. [CCE v. Andhra Sugars Ltd.,  (2018) 3 SCC 223]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 — Anticipatory bail — Alleged abetment of suicide: Deceased a Civil Engineer and working as a civil contractor, and accused were other contractors charged under Ss. 306/34 for abetting his suicide. All five accused were implicated in alleged suicide note by deceased. High Court denied protection under S. 438 CrPC. While issuing notice by order dt. 12-1-2018 Supreme Court noted that appellant-accused had already taken voluntary retirement in 2011 and suicide is of 2017. Before High Court also accused had pleaded that none of them was engaged as a contractor by municipal corpn. concerned since 2011. On request counsel for State on instruction submits that investigation is in progress and same is yet to be completed. It was held, it is a case where appellant needs to be given protection on condition that he would cooperate with investigation. In case appellant is arrested he shall be released on bail on his executing bond of Rs 25,000 with two sureties of like amount, subject to conditions under S. 438(2) CrPC and appellant directed to cooperate with investigation. [Bhausaheb v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 221]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 439 — Grant of bail — Foreign citizen: No special consideration can be given to accused in granting bail simply because he is a foreigner. [Lachhman Dass v. Resham Chand Kaler,  (2018) 3 SCC 187]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 320 — Quashing of criminal proceedings — Exercise of power by High Court — Quashing of proceedings based on compromise/settlement between parties: The principles on this point relevant to this case are, that where offences are predominantly of civil character, particularly arising out of commercial transactions, dispute should be quashed when parties have resolved their dispute. Further, timing of settlement would be crucial for exercise of power or declining to exercise power. Where settlement is arrived at between parties immediately after commission of offence and matter is still under investigation, High Court may be liberal in accepting settlement to quash proceedings/investigation as investigation is in its early stage and charge-sheet has not been filed. Where charges are framed and recording of evidence is yet to commence or is at early stage, proceedings can be quashed after prima facie assessment of circumstances/materials. Where trial is at fag end, High Court should refrain from exercising its power as trial court would be in position to decide matter on merits. Where accused already convicted and appeal against conviction is pending, mere settlement or compromise between victim and accused is not ground to accept the same resulting in acquittal of offender. [Anita Maria Dias v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 290]

Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 — S. 30 — Improper disposal of appeal — Remand — When warranted: Judgment of High Court setting aside order of Employees’ Compensation Commissioner awarding Rs 8,70,576 compensation for injuries sustained by appellant claimant without hearing him, not sustainable. Matter remitted to High Court to decide appeal filed by Insurance Company afresh, after granting opportunity of hearing to appellant claimant. [Mohd. Anwar v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 300]

Family and Personal Laws — Family Property, Succession and Inheritance — Will — Subsequent will/Revocation/Alteration/Codicil: First will, a registered deed, executed in favour of minor daughter and minor son from first wife of testator, but kept in possession of the son U (Defendant 1). Subsequent alleged will in favour of defendant unregistered and having no mention of earlier registered document and its revocation. Minor on attaining majority filed suit for declaration of ownership of property on strength of earlier will but having no access to it produced certified copy thereof and proved the same in terms of S. 68 of Evidence Act. It was held on facts that earlier will is genuine. Hence, plaintiff entitled to declaration of her ownership over bequeathed property. [H.V. Nirmala v. R. Sharmila, (2018) 3 SCC 303]

Income Tax Rules, 1962 (as amended by the Noti. dt. 24-3-2008) — R. 8-D — Prospective operation of: S. 14-A was first inserted by the Finance Act, 2001 with retrospective effect from 1-4-1962 and sub-sections (2) & (3) were later inserted w.e.f. 1-4-2007 for the purposes of computing the expenditure incurred in relation to income which did not form part of the total income. R. 8-D was inserted by an amendment to the Rules by Noti. dt. 24-3-2008 to give effect to the provisions of sub-sections (2) & (3) of S. 14-A and provided for the method for determining amount of expenditure in relation to income not includible in total income. Applying the principles of statutory interpretation for interpreting retrospectivity of a fiscal statute, looking into the nature and purpose of subsections (2) & (3) of S. 14-A as well as purpose and intent of R. 8-D coupled with the Explanatory Notes in the Finance Bill, 2006 and the Departmental understanding as reflected by Circular dt. 28-12-2006, held, R. 8-D is intended to operate prospectively i.e. for Assessment Year 2007-2008 and onwards. [CIT v. Essar Teleholdings Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 253]

Infrastructure Laws — Water and Water Resources — Canals, Dams and Irrigation — Flood/Inundation Management and Safety Measures — Apprehended cataclysm and unforeseen calamity to human life and property due to bursting of Mullaperiyar Dam: As far as safety measures of Mullaperiyar Dam are concerned, directions issued by Supreme Court in State of T.N., (2014) 12 SCC 696 would be binding and provisions of 2005 Act implemented. Further held, greater degree of disaster management and better preparedness to face any kind of disaster caused by dam is to be ensured since life without basic needs and liberty replete with fear is meaningless. Hence, it is the duty of States concerned to create sense of confidence in people and to ensure that adequate measures have been taken so that safety of citizens is not compromised at any level. Directions issued for constitution of different Sub-Committees by the Central Government, States of T.N. and Kerala to exclusively monitor measures for ensuring high level preparedness to face any disaster, which would be in addition to existing Committees. [Russel Joy v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 179]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 23, 11 and 18 — Fair market rate of acquired land prevalent on date of acquisition — Determination of: There are several factors which govern determination of fair market rate of acquired land. Said market rate therefore cannot be decided in isolation on basis of only one factor. These factors are required to be proved with sufficient evidence. It must appear that courts have made sincere endeavour to determine fair market rate of acquired land taking into account all relevant aspects of the case. In this regard, duty of landowners and State is to adduce proper and sufficient evidence to enable courts to arrive at a reasonable and fair market rate of acquired land prevalent on date of acquisition. [Surender Singh v. State of Haryana, (2018) 3 SCC 278]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 149(2) — Third-party insurance — Defences available to insurance company — Burden of proof: Following Swaran Singh, (2004) 3 SCC 297, reiterated that insurance company is entitled to take a defence that offending vehicle was driven by an unauthorised person or that person driving vehicle did not have a valid driving licence. Onus would shift on insurance company only after owner of offending vehicle pleads and proves basic facts within his knowledge that driver of offending vehicle was authorised by him to drive vehicle and was having a valid driving licence at relevant time. [Pappu v. Vinod Kumar Lamba, (2018) 3 SCC 208]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation — Computation of — Multiplier — Age of deceased or claimant parents — Future prospects: Deceased, 29 yrs old was serving as an Assistant Teacher in a school run by a Trust on a temporary basis who would have been made permanent and would have been entitled to 6th Pay Commission wages of at least Rs 40,000 p.m. Adopting a multiplier of I7, Tribunal awarded compensation of Rs 61,20,000 and added Rs 35,000 under conventional heads with interest @ 9% p.a. However High Court having regard to age of father at 65 yrs and mother 50 yrs, concluded that a multiplier of 7 should be adopted. The Supreme Court held that in terms of judgment of five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680 and in Sarla Verma, (2009) 6 SCC 121, correct multiplier to be applied in present case would be 17, having regard to age of deceased at 29 yrs. For future prospects, adding 50%, and making a deduction of 50% towards personal expenses (deceased being a bachelor), total compensation quantified at Rs 61,20,000. After making additions on account of conventional heads, total compensation at Rs 61,90,000 carrying interest @ 9% p.a. from date of filing of claim petition awarded. Apportionment to be carried out in terms of award of Tribunal. [Ramrao Lala Borse v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 204]

Municipalities — Municipal taxes — External development charges — Liability to pay: Liability to pay the same is on house construction society, colonisers or individual persons. Central Government entities/PSUs like National Fertilizers Ltd. and Gas Authority of India Ltd., (respondentplaintiffs) who were allotted plots and constructed dwelling units for stay of their employees as distinguished from sale or letting out on rent, held, are not liable to pay said charges. [Municipal Council, Raghogarh v. National Fertilizers Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 200]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 138 — Sentence and compensation: Waiver of imprisonment in lieu of payment of additional compensation, permissible under exceptional circumstances. [Priyanka Nagpal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 3 SCC 249]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 138: Conviction under S. 138, confirmed, however, accused permitted to pay additional compensation amount to complainant, in lieu of simple imprisonment awarded. [P. Ramadas v. State of Kerala, (2018) 3 SCC 287]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 201 — Charge under — When can be independently laid and conviction maintained: Charge under S. 201 can be independently laid and conviction maintained also, in case prosecution is able to establish that an offence was committed, person charged with offence had knowledge or reason to believe that offence was committed, said person has caused disappearance of evidence and such act of disappearance was done with intention of screening offender from legal punishment. Mere suspicion is not sufficient, it must be proved that accused knew or had a reason to believe that offence was committed and yet he caused evidence to disappear so as to screen offender. Offender may be either himself or any other person. [Dinesh Kumar Kalidas Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 3 SCC 313]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 304 Pt. I and 307: There were serious burn injuries caused to a number of women, leading to death of two due to burning cow dung cakes which were hurled by accused at them. High Court reversed conviction of accused under Ss. 304 Pt. I and 307. No enmity was found present between accused and victims and no intention of accused to kill a particular person was also established. Material contradictions in statements of eyewitnesses, present. No explanation was given of huge delay in recording statements of witnesses. Inordinate delay in lodging FIR, also not explained. It was held that guilt of accused was not established beyond reasonable doubt, hence, acquittal by High Court, confirmed. [State of M.P. v. Nande, (2018) 3 SCC 196]

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection ) Act, 1994 — Ss. 22 and 18 — Advertisements relating to pre-conception and pre-natal determination of sex and sex selection: Earlier directions issued regarding prohibition of advertisements relating to pre-conception and pre-natal determination of sex and sex selection, summarised and further directions issued with special reference to search criteria “medical tourism in India” and “gender determination”. [Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 229]

Service Law — Appointment — Contractual appointment — Non-renewal of contract — Absence of any right accruing in favour of contractual employee: Services of petitioner appointed as Technical Assistant (ENT) on contract basis without following any prescribed procedure or adherence to rules, though initially for three months but subsequently renewed, were terminated/not renewed after six months. The Supreme Court held, contractual employee has no right to have his/her contract renewed in absence of any statutory or other right in his favour. At best, petitioner can only claim that due consideration for extending his contract may be granted, which was actually done in instant case, but decision not to continue him was taken. Besides, since petitioner’s appointment was not made in accordance with any regular procedure or by following necessary rules, no right accrued in his favour for regularisation of his services. Furthermore, fact that some persons were appointed as ENT in the year 2016 would have no bearing on events of 2010 when decision to discontinue petitioner was taken since change in circumstance would confer no benefit on him. [Yogesh Mahajan v. AIIMS, (2018) 3 SCC 218]

Service Law — Appointment — Eligibility conditions/criteria: For post of Hindi Language Assistant, carving out specific category in Recruitment Rules postulating additional requirement is permissible. [State of Karnataka v. Shankar Baburao Kangralkar, (2018) 3 SCC 296]

Service Law — Retirement/Superannuation — Voluntary retirement — Housing accommodation — SAIL Scheme for Leasing of Houses to Employees, 2002 — Long term (33 yrs) lease of the houses to serving employees opting for VRS: There was claim of respondent ex-employees of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), a unit of appellant SAIL (who were already in occupation of official quarters on licence basis for 22 months), to their inclusion within said 2002 Scheme. Scheme remained valid for 3 months only. No vested right was conferred on ex-employees under Scheme. State Government had leased entire land to RSP for use of steel plant and ancillary purposes. In view of subsequent plan of RSP of expansion of its production capacity by plant modernisation which would require additional accommodation for various government agencies within township, any long lease of quarters by RSP would not be feasible. In such circumstances, held, appellant cannot be compelled to grant longterm lease of official quarters in RSP township to respondents. However, respondents (writ petitioners before High Court), 53 in number, directed to be allowed to remain in occupation of the quarters for a period of 33 months from date of decision of this appeal. [SAIL v. Choudhary Tilotama Das, (2018) 3 SCC 308]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Companies Act, 2013 — Ss. 421(3) and 433 — Limitation for appeal to Appellate Tribunal: Limitation period of 45 days in S. 421(3) plus additional 45 days grace period in its proviso, held, are peremptory and mandatory in nature. No further time can be granted beyond this total period. [Bengal Chemists & Druggists Assn. v. Kalyan Chowdhury, (2018) 3 SCC 41]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Existence of alternative statutory remedies (under SARFAESI Act in present matter) — Power to exercise writ jurisdiction in case of: Discretionary jurisdiction under Art. 226 is not absolute but has to be exercised judiciously in given facts of a case and in accordance with law. Normally a writ petition under Art. 226 ought not to be entertained if alternative statutory remedies are available, except in cases falling within the well-defined exceptions as observed by Supreme Court in Chhabil Dass Agarwal, (2014) 1 SCC 603. [State Bank of Travancore v. Mathew K.C., (2018) 3 SCC 85]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 136 — Right to bail — Factors and considerations for grant or refusal of bail: Need of humane approach while dealing with applications for remanding matter to police or judicial custody, stressed. There is overcrowding in jails due to non-adherence to basic principles of criminal jurisprudence regarding grant of bail and presumption of innocence. Even if grant or refusal of bail is entirely upon discretion of Judge, it must be exercised in a judicious manner and in a humane way as such remanding hampers dignity of accused howsoever poor he might be. [ Dataram Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 22]

Contract and Specific Relief — Termination/Discharge of Contract — Termination/Repudiation for Breach of Contract: Once it is established that the party was justified in terminating the contract on account of fundamental breach thereof, then the said innocent party is entitled to claim damages for the entire contract i.e. for the part which is performed and also for the part of the contract which it was prevented from performing. [Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v.  Datar Switchgear Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 133]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 154 — FIR: Value to be attached to FIR depends upon facts and circumstances of each case. When a person gives a statement to police officer basing on it, FIR is registered. Capacity of reproducing things differs from person to person. Some people may have ability to reproduce things as it is, some may lack the ability to do so. Sometimes in the state of shock, they may miss the important details, because people tend to react differently when they come across a violent act. Merely because names of accused are not stated and their names are not specified in FIR, that may not be a ground to doubt contents of FIR and the case of prosecution cannot be thrown out on such count. [Latesh v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 66]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 — Anticipatory bail — Denial of by High Court — Grant of the same by Supreme Court on terms — When warranted: Supreme Court on 15-9-2017, ordered petitioner to take steps to implead de facto complainant with notice to State as well as de facto complainant and in case petitioner is arrested, he was to be released on bail on furnishing a self-bond, subject to conditions that he shall cooperate with investigation and also to deposit Rs 10 lakhs before Supreme Court within six weeks. Registry was directed to keep amount in an interest-bearing fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, initially for a period of six months, to be renewed from time to time. On submission of de facto complainant, that he has no objection if protection under S. 438(2) CrPC is granted to appellant, in case he is permitted to withdraw amount deposited before Supreme Court and does not want to prosecute appellant, and counsel for appellant not having any objection with regard thereto. Without going into various other disputes, de facto complainant permitted to withdraw amount deposited before Supreme Court pursuant to order dt. 15-9-2017, along with interest accrued. In case of arrest, appellant be released on bail by investigating officer on his executing a bond of Rs 25,000 with two sureties of like amount, subject to other conditions under S. 438(2) CrPC and appellant to cooperate with investigation. [Bikash Manna v. State of W.B., (2018) 3 SCC 47]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Inherent power of High Court under — Proper mode of exercise of: On a petition filed under S. 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR/investigation into case under Ss. 406, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 & 120-B IPC and Ss. 3(1)(iv) and (v), Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, order passed by High Court in, not adverting to merits of case within guidelines laid down by Supreme Court in Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335. Hence, held, High Court’s order, set aside and matter remitted back to High Court to decide the lis afresh, within parameters of S. 482 CrPC, in view of law laid down in Bhajan Lal case. Liberty is granted to appellants to move an application for stay of investigation, if so advised. [Dinesh Chandubhai Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 3 SCC 114]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482, 157 and 154 — Inherent powers of High Court under S. 482 — Exercise of, in context of challenge to FIR — How to be dealt with — Principles summarized: In order to examine as to whether factual contents of FIR disclose any prima facie cognizable offences or not, High Court cannot act like an investigating agency and nor can exercise powers like an appellate court. Question is required to be examined, keeping in view, contents of FIR and prima facie material, if any, requiring no proof. At such stage, High Court cannot appreciate evidence nor can it draw its own inferences from contents of FIR and material relied on. It is more so, when the material relied on is disputed. In such a situation, it becomes the job of investigating authority at such stage, to probe and then of the court to examine questions once the charge-sheet is filed along with such material as to how far and to what extent reliance can be placed on such material. Once the court finds that FIR does disclose prima facie commission of any cognizable offence, it should stay its hand and allow investigating machinery to step in to initiate the probe to unearth crime in accordance with the procedure prescribed in CrPC. [Dineshbhai Chandubhai Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 3 SCC 104]

Employees Compensation Act, 1923 — S. 30 — Appeal — Scope of interference — Need for substantial question of law and proper consideration of findings of Commissioner: Commissioner held that appellant driver lost two toes of his left leg and that there were also burn injuries due to accident and awarded compensation of Rs 2,79,367 with interest @ 12% p.a. from expiry of one month from date of accident till realization. On appreciation of evidence High Court reduced compensation to a meagre sum of Rs 83,664 without discussion as to basis thereof while endorsing findings of fact as recorded by Commissioner, regarding injuries. But, according to High Court, it was not possible that claimant has lost earning capacity by 100%. The Supreme Court held that High Court has not referred to any discussion while reducing compensation to 1/3rd of what has been awarded by Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation. Appeal before High Court against an award of Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation is only on a substantial question of law. No substantial question of law was raised by Insurance Company either. Impugned order set aside and that of Commissioner, Workmen’s Compensation restored. [Osmanali Chous v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 49]

Family and Personal Laws — Family Arrangement/Settlement/Partition — Partition — When possible — Need for joint ownership of property concerned: Absolute owner cannot purport to transfer his absolute interest vide “partition”. Such “partition” has to be construed either as a gift deed or family settlement, for which necessary formalities, conditions or rules laid down for donation inter vivos or gift so as to enforce said document have to be complied with. [Theiry Santhanamal v. Viswanathan, (2018) 3 SCC 117]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Formation of Government Contract — Modes of entering into a Government Contract — Public Auction/Tender — E-Auction — e-Tender system: Bidder had not completed e-Tender system requirements. As a result, data submitted by bidder was lost on portal. This was not due to any technical glitch, but due to defective submission of proposal. Such actions of bidder, held, render bid invalid. Retrieval of lost data submitted by bidder and reconsideration of such data would amount to granting second opportunity to such bidder, which is impermissible. [Mhada v. Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. (P) Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 13]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 2(22)(e) (as amended in 1988) — Amendment brought about to the definition of “dividend” — Effect of: Matter regarding determination of meaning of the expression “shareholder” post amendment, if restricted only to a person who is a beneficial owner of the shares, referred to larger Bench. [National Travel Services v. CIT, (2018) 3 SCC 95]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 11, 12 and 18(2) (as amended in State of U.P.) — Proper application for reference: In this case, the appellants had accepted the compensation under protest on the point of sufficiency of the compensation and made a specific request for reference under S. 18 on 24-7-1999, which indisputably was within the six month period of limitation. It is also seen from the communication from the Land Acquisition Officer to the appellants dt. 25-9-1999, on which date the time under S. 18 had not expired, that certified copy of the award had not been furnished to the appellants. However, a photocopy of the award was given, which the appellants were not inclined to acknowledge. Thus it was held, this is a case where the request under Section 18 of the Act made on 24-7-1999 should be treated as a proper application. Moreover, before rejection, the grounds had also been furnished after receipt of the certified copy of the award. [Shahid Jamal v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 52]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 28, 34, 28-A and 18 — Non-award of interest under Ss. 28 or 34 — Appropriate remedy: Said dispute, held, can be raised only by taking recourse to Art. 226 of the Constitution. Reference under S. 18 or S. 28-A is not an alternative remedy available for non-award of interest under S. 28 or S. 34. [Union of India v. Pushpavathi, (2018) 3 SCC 28]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Compensation — Computation of — Multiplier: Deceased aged 23 yrs, parents being in age group of 40 to 45 yrs, High Court applied multiplier 15, taking age of parents into consideration. Following Sarla Verma, (2009) 6 SCC 121, Munna Lal Jain, (2015) 6 SCC 347, and five-Judge Bench judgment in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, it was reiterated, that legal position is that multiplier should depend on age of deceased and not on age of dependants. Hence, appellants were justified in insisting on applying multiplier 18. [Sube Singh v. Shyam Singh, (2018) 3 SCC 18]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation — Computation of income — Proof of: For deceased bachelor, aged 20 yrs, proceeding on a motorcycle dashed against by a truck leaving him in grievous injuries upon which he died on spot. Tribunal held driver of truck, and insurer jointly and severally liable together with owner, but refused to accept certificates for months of August, September and October 2008 produced by appellant father as proof of monthly earning of Rs 15,000, and adopted an income of Rs 6000 p.m. and for being a bachelor, deducted Rs 3000 p.m. towards personal expenses. It was held that Tribunal has given cogent reasons for declining to accept income certificates and no witnesses were examined on behalf of companies which were alleged to have issued certificates. Evidently there was a failure to establish that deceased, who was a student pursuing his C.A. was in receipt of a monthly income of Rs 15,000. Hence, assessment of income by Tribunal cannot be faulted. [Nagar Mal v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 130]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 2(30), 50, 166, 168, 173, 146(1) and 196 — Motor accident — Liability of “owner” of offending vehicle: Having regard to definition of “owner” under S. 2(30) of MV Act, 1988, held, the person in whose name motor vehicle stands registered (i.e. whose name is reflected in records of Registering Authority) would be treated as “owner” of vehicle for purposes of MV Act. Only where a person is a minor, the guardian of that minor would be treated as owner, and where a motor vehicle is subject to an agreement of hire purchase, lease or hypothecation or is under requisition, the person in possession of vehicle under that agreement or under requisition is treated as owner. [Naveen Kumar v. Vijay Kumar, (2018) 3 SCC 1]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Eligibility criteria/conditions — Post of Psychologist — Advertisement inter alia stating “Graduation in Psychology/LT/BT/BEd in subject of Psychology” as eligibility criterion — Interpretation of: Use of stroke between graduate and LT/BT/BEd indicates that all were alternate qualifications and cannot be read to mean graduate in Psychology with LT/BT/BEd as done by High Court. Besides, from advertisement it is apparent that appointing authority was well aware of meaning of stroke (‘/’) which was used when either of qualifications were required while word “with” was used when both qualifications were required.  Further held, words “in Psychology subject” used as prefix clearly mean that all alternative qualifications were required to have Psychology subject i.e. “Graduation with Psychology/LT/BT/BEd in subject of Psychology”, and as such form one class. Furthermore, in terms of applicable 1991 Rules also qualification for post of Psychologist was MA in Psychology and LT/BT/BEd were not essential qualifications. Thus, non-possession of LT/BT/BEd did not disqualify appellant from being appointed as Psychologist since being postgraduate in Psychology he fulfilled statutory qualifications as well as eligibility criteria stipulated in advertisement. Thus, he could not be denied appointment on ground that he did not possess LT/BT/BEd qualifications. Respondents directed to issue appointment letter to appellant within stipulated time. [Ashish Kumar v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 55]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 34 — Award — Setting aside of, when the same is allegedly contrary to public policy of India, being violative of Indian statute (FEMA) and effected and induced by fraud: Arbitration dispute between Satyam Computer Services Ltd. and Venture Global Engineering LLC, referred to a larger bench in view of divergent opinions. [Venture Global Engg. LLC v. Tech Mahindra Ltd., (2018) 1 SCC 656]

Armed Forces — Promotion — Criteria/Eligibility — Zone of consideration: In terms of Promotion Policy, Board Members were empowered to award marks not exceeding two (2) out of total marks of 95 on overall profile of officer while 93 marks were to be objectively quantified on basis of ACR, academic qualifications as well as military awards and decorations. In original SPB meeting dt. 20-1-2016, one S awarded 1.70 out of 2 marks by Board Members while respondent was awarded 1.50 marks since marks allotted to him out of 93 were less than S i.e. marks commensurate with quantified marks awarded instead of overall profile of candidates. Subsequently, in terms of redressal granted to respondent vide letter dt. 30-1-2017, quantified marks of respondent became higher than S necessitating Review SPB. However, in Review SPB, Board Members granted him same marks as in original SPB. The Supreme Court held that Review SPB should be on same standards as original SPB since it is only extrusion of original SPB, which would be in conformity with Art. 14 of the Constitution. After redressal, since respondent’s quantified marks had become higher than S, he was entitled to commensurate marks by Board Members. No interference with impugned judgment was called for. It was also clarified that in future selections, Board Members would be at liberty to award 2 marks on basis of overall profile of candidate in terms of Promotion Policy dt. 14-1-2004 as amended vide letter dt. 17-5-2006. [Union of India v. Manomoy Ganguly, (2018) 1 SCC 552]

Citizenship Act, 1955 — S. 6-A — Special provision as to citizenship for persons covered under Assam Accord — Verification of claims by Tribunal under S. 6-A for inclusion in National Register of Citizenship (NRC) — Illustrative list of documents admissible: Document No. xiii, that is, married woman’s migration certificate issued by Secretary of the Village Panchayat and countersigned by local revenue official in respect of females who have migrated to other villages after marriage or such certificates issued by jurisdictional circle officers in respect of urban areas is only a supportive document which enables holder to establish a link with her legacy prior to marriage. Though said document is no proof of citizenship, there is no reason why it cannot be used along with other evidence for establishing claim of citizenship under S. 6-A, if it can be properly verified. [Rupajan Begum v. Union of India, (2018) 1 SCC 579]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 96 and Or. 41 R. 31 — First appeal — Proper mode of disposal of — Principles reiterated: As first appellate court dismissed appeals very cursorily and without undertaking any appreciation of evidence, dealing with various issues arising in case and discussing arguments raised by parties in support of their case, disposal of two first appeals could not be said to be in conformity with requirements of S. 96 r/w Or. 41 R. 31 CPC. Hence, matter remanded for disposal afresh. [C. Venkata Swamy v. H.N. Shivanna, (2018) 1 SCC 604]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Ram Janmabhoomi/Babri Masjid suit — Dispute ownership of land on which stood as to place of worship: Documents and oral evidence in regional languages directed to be translated to English within time specified. Prayer for substitution and deletion of parties, also permitted. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, (2018) 1 SCC 649]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Successive writ petition intending to scandalise highest judicial functionaries with frivolous allegations: As the prayer for constitution of Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by retired Chief Justice with regard to same FIR has already been dismissed by earlier writ petition, present petition, held to be wholly frivolous, contemptuous, unwarranted and without any accountability by petitioner who professes to espouse cause of accountability. Hence, writ petition dismissed with costs of Rs 25 lakhs and warning that such petitions/contemptuous conduct can result in debarring petitioner from filing PILs in future. [Campaign for Judicial Accountability & Reforms v. Union of India, (2018) 1 SCC 589]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 138, 142 to 147 [as amended by Negotiable Instruments (Amendment & Misc. Provisions) Act, 2002] — Trial proceedings: Offence under S. 138 primarily in nature of civil wrong and proceedings primarily compensatory in nature. Summary procedure should normally be followed except where exercise of power under second proviso to S. 143 considered necessary. Court has jurisdiction under S. 357(3) CrPC to award suitable compensation with default sentence under S. 64 IPC with further powers of recovery under S. 431 CrPC. Court may close proceedings if accused deposits amount as assessed by it having regard to cheque amount, interest/costs, etc. within stipulated period. Compounding at initial stage and even at later stage is acceptable. Certain proceedings can be conducted online. [Meters And Instruments (P) Ltd. v. Kanchan Mehta, (2018) 1 SCC 560]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 139, 118, 119 and 138 — Presumptions in favour of holder of cheque — When do not arise — Advocate-client relationship — Burden to prove contract/fee — On whom lies: Advocate claiming fees on contingent fee basis i.e. claim based on percentage of subject-matter/expected decretal amount in litigation, not proper. It was held, firstly, mere issuance of cheque by client may not debar client from contesting liability to pay fees claimed by advocate. If liability is disputed, advocate has to independently prove contract. Secondly, a contingent fee claim cannot be the basis for a complaint by an advocate under S. 138, NI Act. Thirdly, in any case contingent fee claim is a professional misconduct and against public policy. [B. Sunitha v. State of Telangana, (2018) 1 SCC 638]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 499, 500, 501 and 502 — Offence of defamation: To constitute an offence of defamation requires a person to make some imputation concerning any other person; (i) Such imputation must be made either (a) With intention, or (b) Knowledge, or (c) Having a reason to believe that such an imputation will harm the reputation of the person against whom the imputation is made. (ii) Imputation could be, by (a) Words, either spoken or written, or (b) By making signs, or (c) Visible representations (iii) Imputation could be either made or published. [Mohd. Abdulla Khan v. Prakash K., (2018) 1 SCC 615]

Property Law — Adverse Possession: Claim of adverse possession by member of one family against other members in respect of family property, not tenable. There cannot be adverse possession amongst members of one family for want of animus among them over land belonging to their family. [Nanjegowda v. Ramegowda, (2018) 1 SCC 574]

Schedule (Special Provisions as to Manner of Preparation of National Register of Indian Citizen in State of Assam) to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 — Paras 2 and 3 — National Register of Citizens (NRC) for State of Assam — Procedure of identification of citizens: Relaxed standards for original inhabitants, that is, on basis of proof of citizenship alone and nothing else. Apprehension that said procedure would make original inhabitants of Assam superior citizens, conferring on them special status, held to be baseless. All citizens whether original inhabitants of Assam or not are equally entitled to be registered as citizens of India. Clarification of expression “originally inhabitants of the State of Assam” in Para 3(3), not necessary and prayer in this regard, rejected. [Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha v. Union of India, (2018) 1 SCC 594]

Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 — Ss. 13(4), 17(1) & (2) and R. 9(5) of Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules, 2002: Proper forum before which challenge can be made to forfeiture of deposit money of auction-purchaser by secured creditor is DRT. In view of S. 17(2) and R. 9(5), an action of secured creditor in forfeiting the deposit made by the auction-purchaser is a part of the measures taken by the secured creditor under S. 13(4). Further, the expression “any of the measures referred to in S. 13(4) taken by secured creditor or his authorized officer” in S. 17(1) would include all actions taken by the secured creditor under the rules which relate to the measures specified in S. 13(4). Further, the auction-purchaser fell within the expression “any person” as specified under S. 17(1). Therefore, auction-purchaser is entitled to challenge the action of the secured creditor before the DRT by filing an application under S. 17(1) of the SARFAESI Act. [Agarwal Tracom (P) Ltd. v. Punjab National Bank, (2018) 1 SCC 626]

Service Law — Appointment — Nature of — Ad hoc appointment, or, part-time appointment for fixed period and fixed salary: Respondents, have not applied pursuant to advertisement dt. 12-1-1988 inviting applications for post of ad hoc Lecturers but submitted independent applications thereafter seeking appointment against post of part-time Lecturer, in furtherance of which they were appointed as such for a fixed period of three months on fixed salary till end of April 1990. Hence it was held that there was absolutely no question of respondents having been appointed on ad hoc basis or pursuant to advertisement dt. 12-1-1988 or any basis other than part-time. High Court by impugned judgment erred in remanding matter to Director of Education for regularisation of respondents after considering provision of S. 31-C of 1980 Act. Besides, since respondents were not appointed on ad hoc basis they had no right to be regularised even if they fulfilled S. 31-C. Moreover, neither did statue provide for regularisation of part-time Lecturers nor any evidence was produced to prove that they had worked beyond April 1990 and thus, no question of regularisation arose. [LLN Degree College v. Director, Higher Education, (2018) 1 SCC 597]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — S. 53-A — Prospective buyer in possession pursuant to part-performance of agreement for sale — Suit for specific performance filed by such prospective buyer dismissed — Effect thereof: Once suit for specific performance filed by such prospective buyer is dismissed, his possession becomes unauthorized and illegal. Protection under S. 53-A is thereafter no longer available. Seller entitled to claim back possession from prospective buyer on ground of ownership. [Revanasiddayya v. Gangamma, (2018) 1 SCC 610]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — S. 54 — Execution of sale deed: For proof of execution of sale deed absence of attesting witness, is irrelevant. [Bayanabai Kaware v. Rajendra, (2018) 1 SCC 585]