Know thy Judge

Freedom to express and speak is the most important condition for political democracy. Law and policies are not democratic unless they have been made and subjected to democratic process including questioning and criticism.

– Justice Sanjiv Khanna

Amish Devgan v. Union of India, (2021) 1 SCC 1


Justice Sanjiv Khanna was born on 14th May 1960. He completed his schooling from Delhi’s prestigious Modern School, Barakhamba Road. He graduated from University of Delhi in 1980 and later studied Law from the Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi.

♦Did You Know? Justice Sanjiv Khanna is the nephew of a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Hans Raj Khanna, who propounded the Basic Structure Doctrine in 1973 and famously delivered the lone dissenting judgement in the ADM Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla case, popularly known as the Habeas Corpus case, in 1976. Justice H. R. Khanna was superseded to the office of the Chief Justice of India by M. H. Beg.


 From an Advocate to a Supreme Court Judge


Justice Sanjiv Khanna enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1983. He began his practice in the District Courts at Tis Hazari in Delhi and soon shifted his practiced to Delhi High Court.

His area of practice was wide and varied from writ petitions in public law matters, direct tax appeals, income tax prosecutions, arbitration cases, commercial suits, environment and pollution laws matters, besides medical negligence cases before consumer forums and company law cases before the Company Law Board.

He had represented the Government of Delhi as an additional Public Prosecutor in various criminal cases. He was a senior standing counsel for the Income Tax Department for about seven years. He was appointed as a standing counsel (Civil) for the Government of Delhi in Delhi High Court in 2004.

♦Did You Know? Justice Sanjiv Khanna never headed any High Court as Chief Justice and was a judge of the Delhi High Court prior to his elevation to SC.

On 24th June, 2005 he was elevated as an additional Judge of the Delhi High Court and became a permanent Judge of the Delhi High Court on 20th February, 2006.[1]

♦Did You Know? Justice Khanna was directly elevated from his parent High Court – the Delhi High Court, which is a rare occurrence. Only six judges have been elevated directly from their parent high court since 1997 – Justices S Abdul Nazeer, Ranjana Prakash Desai, Lokeshwar Singh Panta, G P Mathur, Ruma Pal and S S Quadri.[2]

Justice Khanna was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 18th January, 2019.

♦Did You Know? Going by seniority, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, 61, is in line to become Chief Justice of India (CJI) in November 2024 for a term of seven months.[3]


Notable Judgments at Supreme Court

♦Did You Know? It was a rare coincidence for Justice Sanjiv Khanna to begin his first day as a judge in Supreme Court sitting in the same courtroom from which his uncle, Late Justice H. R. Khanna, last retired.[4]

Amish Devgan v. Union of India, (2021) 1 SCC 1

“Article 19(1)(a) cannot be pressed into service for defeating the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21 as if one claims to right to speech, the others have the right to listen or decline to listen.”

A Division bench comprising of AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna,* JJ has refused to quash the FIRs registered against News18 Journalist Amish Devgan for using the term “Lootera Chisti” in one of his shows but has granted interim protection to him against arrest subject to his joining and cooperating in investigation till completion of the investigation.

Read More…

The Court opined that thetrue test of a valid FIR is only whether the information furnished provides reason to suspect the commission of an offence which the police officer concerned is empowered under Section 156(1) of the Criminal Code to investigate.

“…the FIR registered first in point of time, should be treated as the main FIR and others as statements under Section 162 of the Criminal Code. However, in exceptional cases and for good reasons, it will be open to the High Court or this Court, as the case may be, to treat the subsequently registered FIR as the principal FIR. However, this should not cause any prejudice, inconvenience or harassment to either the victims, witnesses or the person who is accused.”

Read More…

The Court also made an attempt to define “hate speech” and explain what will invite penal action.

Dissent and criticism of the elected government’s policy, when puissant, deceptive or even false would be ethically wrong, but would not invite penal action.”

Read More…


Rajiv Suri v. Delhi Development Authority,  2021 SCC OnLine SC 7

A 3-judge bench comprising of A. M. Khanwilkar*, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna**, JJ, by a 2:1 verdict, held that there is no infirmity in the grant of “no objection” by the Central Vista Committee (CVC) and “approval” by the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and “prior approval” by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) to the Central Vista Project and given a go ahead to the Central Vista Project.

“The project does not involve any conversion into private ownership and has no element whatsoever of permitting commercial use of vital public resources. The proposed project is in line with the standards of public trust.”

Justice Sanjiv Khanna dissented with the opinion expressed by A.M. Khanwilkar, J. on the aspects of public participation on interpretation of the statutory provisions, failure to take prior approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee and the order passed by the Expert Appraisal Committee.

According to Justice Khanna the core issue in the present case is whether or not the authorities have performed their duty to consult the public, followed the prescribed procedure and the authority competent acted to modify or amend in terms of the Development Act and the Development Rules.

Justice Khanna opined that “…mere uploading of the gazette notification giving the present and the proposed land use with plot numbers was not sufficient compliance, but rather an exercise violating the express as well as implied stipulations, that is, necessity and requirement to make adequate and intelligible disclosure.”

Read More…


Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Ltd. v. Haryana Mass Rapid Transport Corporation Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 269

A 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud*, MR Shah and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has directed Haryana government to deposit Rs. 1,925 crore within three months into an escrow account while hearing a dispute between the state’s urban development authority, HSVP, and infrastructure company IL&FS on the Metro corridor in Gurugram.

Read More…


♦Did You Know? Justice Sanjiv Khanna recused himself from hearing Sajjan Kumar’s appeal in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and he is the one who had dismissed Sajjan Kumar’s bail in the Delhi High Court in 2015.[5]


Laxmi Singh v. Rekha Singh, (2020) 6 SCC 812

“The principle of secrecy of ballots is an important postulate of constitutional democracy whose aim is the achievement of this goal.”

A 3-judge bench of N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna* and Krishna Murari, JJ held that the applicable statutory rules providing for voting on no-confidence motion by secret ballot have binding effect. Hence, re-voting or fresh voting, directed on the no-confidence vote in question, in the facts and circumstances of the case, as the same had not been done by secret ballot. Such re-voting, held, must be by way of secret ballot in accordance with the 1966 Rules.

The Court relied on the judgement in the case of Kuldip Nayar v. Union of India, (2006) 7 SCC 1 and S. Raghbir Singh Gill v. S. Gurcharan Singh Tohra, 1980 Supp SCC 53, observed that “The primary principle and test to be applied by the courts is purity of election, that is, free and fair election. Secrecy of voting is an adjunct to the principle of purity of election.”

“Secrecy is not an absolute principle enshrined in law, but a requirement to subserve the larger public interest of purity of election. Secrecy cannot stand aloof, in isolation or in confrontation to the foundation of free and fair elections.”


Vidya Drolia v. Durga Trading Corporation, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 1018

A 3-judge bench of  comprising of N V Ramana***Sanjiv Khanna* and Krishna Murari, JJ overruled the ratio in Himangni Enterprises v. Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, (2017) 10 SCC 706 wherein it was held that landlord-tenant disputes governed by the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, are not arbitrable as this would be contrary to public policy.

“Landlord-tenant disputes are arbitrable as the Transfer of Property Act does not forbid or foreclose arbitration. However, landlord-tenant disputes covered and governed by rent control legislation would not be arbitrable when specific court or forum has been given exclusive jurisdiction to apply and decide special rights and obligations. Such rights and obligations can only be adjudicated and enforced by the specified court/forum, and not through arbitration.”

Read More…


Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Private Limited v. Amruta Garg, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 88

In the case relating to winding up of six schemes of the Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund, a division bench of SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna*, JJ has, rejecting the objections to poll results, upheld the validity of e-voting process for winding up of mutual fund schemes of Franklin Templeton, and opined that the disbursal of funds to unit holders will continue.

The Court held that for the purpose of clause (c) to Regulation 18(15) of the Mutual Fund Regulations, consent of the unit holders would mean consent by majority of the unit holders who have participated in the poll, and not consent of majority of all the unit holders of the scheme.

Read more…


Vikash Kumar v. Union Public Service Commission, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 84

In their blooming and blossoming, we all bloom and blossom.”

In the present case, a citizen suffering from a writer’s cramp knocked on the doors of the Apex Court as he was denied a scribe in the civil services examination and the 3-judge bench comprising of D Y Chandrachud*, Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ held that writer’s cramp can be considered as a disability under Entry IV of the Schedule to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPwD Act 2016).

“To confine the facility of a scribe only to those who have benchmark disabilities would be to deprive a class of persons of their statutorily recognized entitlements. To do so would be contrary to the plain terms as well as the object of the statute.”

The Court opined that the heart of the present case lies in the principle of reasonable accommodation. The principle of reasonable accommodation acknowledges that if disability as a social construct has to be remedied, conditions have to be affirmatively created for facilitating the development of the disabled.

“The principle of reasonable accommodation postulates that the conditions which exclude the disabled from full and effective participation as equal members of society have to give way to an accommodative society which accepts difference, respects their needs and facilitates the creation of an environment in which the societal barriers to disability are progressively answered.”

The Court directed the Centre to frame guidelines in three months to protect the rights of disabled students and enable them to write all competitive examinations with help of a scribe in tune with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

Read More…


Satya Deo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 809

While upholding conviction of the accused, the Division bench of SA Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna*, JJ, set aside the sentence of life imprisonment and held that the 2000 Act would be applicable in a pending proceeding instituted under the 1986 Act in any court or authority, if the person had not completed eighteen years of age as on 1st April 2001, when the 2000 Act came into force.

The Court held that “the 2000 Act would have prospective effect and not retrospective effect except in cases where the person had not completed the age of eighteen years on the date of commencement of the 2000 Act. Other pending cases would be governed by the provisions of the 1986 Act.”

Read More


Central Public Information Officer v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1459

“Judicial independence and accountability go hand in hand as accountability ensures, and is a facet of judicial independence.”

The 5-judge constitution Bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and NV Ramana***, Dr. DY Chandrachud***, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna,* JJ upholding the 2010 landmark judgment of the Delhi high court bringing the Chief Justice of India’s office under Right to Information, held that the office of the Chief Justice of India comes under the definition of ‘public authority’ in the Right to Information Act.

Justice Chandrachud is his separate but concurring opinion opined that “To use judicial independence as a plea to refuse accountability is fallacious. Independence is secured by accountability. Transparency and scrutiny are instruments to secure accountability.”

Read More… 


Roger Mathew v. South India Bank Ltd., 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1456

A 5-judge Constitution Bench of Ranjan Gogoi*, CJ and NV Ramana, Dr. DY Chandrachud***, Deepak Gupta*** and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ., assessing the constitutional validity of Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 and held that Section 184 is valid and does not suffer from excessive delegation of legislative functions as there are adequate principles to guide framing of delegated legislation, which would include the binding dictums of this Court.

The Court struck down the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017, made under Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017, for being contrary to the parent enactment and the principles envisaged in the Constitution i.e. being destructive of judicial independence.

The Court also dealt with the difference with money bill and finance bill and held that the Money bill can be introduced only in Lok Sabha and the role of the Rajya Sabha is merely consultative.

Read More 


Harbhajan Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1546

A 3-judge bench comprising of NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna* and Krishna Murar, JJ upheld the constitutional validity of the Punjab Religious Premises and Land (Eviction and Rent Recovery) Act, 1997.

The Court held that the separate classification of properties of religious institutions for rent legislation will pass the test under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

Read More…


Manoharan v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 951

“There can be no doubt that today’s judgment is in keeping with the legislature’s realisation that such crimes are on the rise and must be dealt with severely.”

Considering the serious nature of the crime involving rape and murder of 2 children, a 3-judge bench comprising of RF Nariman,* Surya Kant and Sanjiv Khanna,** JJ., with 2:1 verdict upheld the death sentence confirmed by the High Court.

Justice Khanna, while dissenting only on the issue of upholding death sentence confirmed by the High Court, held that the present case does not fall under the category of ‘rarest of rare’ case but would fall within the special category of cases, where the appellant should be directed to suffer sentence for life.

Read More…


Manoharan v. State, (2020) 5 SCC 782

Dismissing the review petition filed by Appellant to review it’s 2:1 verdict awarding death sentence, a 3-judge bench of RF Nariman, Surya Kant* and Sanjiv Khanna,* JJ., held that the dissent by one Judge is not a bar for upholding death penalty.

The Court held that in the present case the appellant misused societal trust and the crime was not a crime a passion but a well crafted crime. The Crime committed by the Appellant were grave and shock the conscience of this Court and society that we cannot commute the sentence and without any doubt it will fall under rarest of the rare category.

 “It was not in the spur of the moment or a crime of passion; but craftily planned, meticulously executed and with multiple opportunities to cease and desist.”

Agreeing with the Justice Surya Kant on the dismissal of review petition and upholding of the conviction of the accused, Justice Khanna held that there is no good ground and reasons to review his observations and findings in the minority judgment.

Read More…


Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil v. Hon’ble Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1454

A 3-judge bench comprising Justices N.V. Ramana*, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari upheld the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar’s decision disqualifying 17 MLAs, but struck down the period of disqualification.

The Court opined that the Speaker is not empowered to disqualify any member till the end of the term.

The Court also discussed about the growing trend of Speakers acting against constitutional mandate and observed that

“There is a growing trend of the Speaker acting against the constitutional duty of being neutral. Further horse trading and corrupt practices associated with defection and change of loyalty or lure of office or wrong reasons have not abated. Thereby the citizens are denied stable governments. In these circumstances, there is need to consider strengthening certain aspects, so that such undemocratic practices are discouraged and checked.”

Read More…


Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure Ltd. v. Union of India, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1005

A 3-judge bench consisting of RF Nariman*, Sanjiv Khanna and Surya Kant, JJ has held the Amendment Act to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 made pursuant to a report prepared by the Insolvency Law Committee dated 26th March, 2018 does not infringe Articles 14, 19(1)(g) read with Article 19(6), or 300-A of the Constitution of India.

Read More…


Ritesh Sinha v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 956

“The law on the point should emanate from the Legislature and not from the Court”

A 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi,* CJ and Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ, has held that until explicit provisions are engrafted in the Code of Criminal Procedure by Parliament, a Judicial Magistrate must be conceded the power to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime.

Read More…


♦Did You Know?A five-member collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi recommended the elevation of Justice Maheshwari and Justice Khanna to the top court after reviewing its earlier deliberations held on December 12, 2018, in which Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog were said to have been considered for elevation.[6]


Notable Judgments at High Court


♦Did You Know? 32 judges were being superseded by the elevation of Justice Khanna.[7]

Kailash Gahlot v. Election Commission of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 8125

The Division bench of Sanjiv Khanna* and Chander Shekhar, JJ while deciding the validity of disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit as ‘parliamentary secretaries’ in the Delhi government by President Ram Nath Kovind, set aside the disqualification on the ground of failing to comply with the principles of natural justice by the Election Commission as the MLAs were not given an oral hearing or an opportunity of being heard.


ATV Projects (India) Ltd. v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 12136

The Division Bench of Sanjiv Khanna and Prathiba M. Singh*, JJ., while upholdimg the validity of Section 4(b) of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Repeal Act, 2003, observed that

“…once a law is repealed and a new legislation has been put in its place, it is not open for anyone to contend that it should be continued to be governed by the old enactment, except where actions under the existing laws had concluded. The applicability of the repealed legislation is only to the extent as provided in the Savings clause and nothing more.”

Read More…


Wing Commander Arvind Kumar v. Directorate General, BSF, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 10880

A Division Bench comprising of Sanjiv Khanna* and Navin Chawla, JJ, ruled in favour of an Air Force officer on deputation to the BSF Air Wing, enforcing the rule laid down in Group Captain Joe Emmanuel Stephen v. Directorate General of BSF, 2013 SCC OnLine Del 2472, that there cannot be two different pay scales, one applicable to deputationists and the other to the officer of the parent cadre/department when both are performing identical and same duties.

Read More…


Sterling Agro Industries Ltd. v. Union of India, 2011 SCC OnLine Del 3162

A 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra*, CJ and Vikramajit Sen, A.K. Sikri, Sanjiv Khanna and Manmohan, JJ., while deciding a petition challenging the validity of an order dated 9th July, 2010 passed by the Ministry of Finance dismissing its revision application, dealt with a very important question i.e. whether the High Court of Delhi can issue a writ against a person or authority not located within its territories, simply because the quasi judicial tribunal which passed the impugned order is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court.

While entertaining a writ petition, the Court held that an order of the appellate authority constitutes a part of cause of action to make the writ petition maintainable in the High Court within whose jurisdiction the appellate authority is situated but, the same may not be the singular factor to compel the High Court to decide the matter on merits. The High Court may refuse to exercise its discretionary jurisdiction by invoking the doctrine of forum conveniens.

“The principle of forum conveniens in its ambit and sweep encapsulates the concept that a cause of action arising within the jurisdiction of the Court would not itself constitute to be the determining factor compelling the Court to entertain the matter. While exercising jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the Court cannot be totally oblivious of the concept of forum conveniens.”


Nand Kishore Garg v. Govt. (NCT of Delhi), 2011 SCC OnLine Del 2366

The division bench of  Dipak Misra*, CJ and Sanjiv Khanna, J., while disposing of a petition that demanded implementation of the tariff order passed by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), directed the Commission to proceed afresh by following the due procedure and do the needful.

The court observed that, “The commission under the 2003 Act is required to deal with the aspect of tariff determination with intellectual integrity, transparent functionalism and normative objectivity and not act in a manner by which its functioning invite doubt with regard to its credibility.”

The Court reprimanded the Delhi government for “unjustifiably intruding and encroaching on the functions of the commission by interdicting”.


Rajinder Jaina v. Central Information Commission, 2009 SCC OnLine Del 3511

Sanjiv Khanna*, J., while deciding the writ petition challenging the disclosure on grounds of infringement of the right to privacy, held that the information was already existed in the public domain therefore no claims as to privacy could be made.

The court applied the ratio laid down in Raj Gopal v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1994) 6 SCC 632, whereby the Court held that once a matter becomes an issue of public record, no privacy can be claimed for it.


Union of India v. Central Information Commission, 2009 SCC OnLine Del 3876

While dealing with yet another case related to refusal of the Central Information Commission to divulge information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 and involving an interpretation of S. 8(1)(i), Sanjiv Khanna*, J., held that the purpose of the proviso is only to clarify that while deciding the question of larger public interest i.e., the question of balance between ‘public interest in form of right to privacy’ and ‘public interest in access to information’ is to be balanced.

The proviso is a guiding factor and not a substantive provision which overrides Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. It does not undo or rewrite Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act and does not itself create any new right.”


†Editorial Assistant, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 

* Judge who has penned the judgment.

** Judge who has penned the dissenting opinion

*** Judge who has penned a concurring opinion.

[1] https://main.sci.gov.in/chief-justice-judges

[2] https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2019/jan/16/ignoring-elevation-row-centre-appoints-justice-sanjiv-khanna-of-delhi-hc-as-sc-judge-1925928.html

[3] https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/cji-succession-line-key-to-justice-sanjiv-khanna-s-elevation/story-5tOCtBTNu7iWJFVlMMIEmM.html

[4] https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-justice-sanjiv-khanna-sits-in-his-uncle-s-court-portrait-in-backdrop-2709576

[5] https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2019/02/26/justice-sanjiv-khanna-recuses-himself-from-hearing-sajjan-kumars-appeal-in-1984-anti-sikh-riots-case/

[6] https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/nation/news-detail-715379

[7] https://www.thestatesman.com/india/controversy-elevation-two-hc-judges-supreme-court-1502725097.html

Know thy JudgeObituariesOP. ED.

“An irreducible core of right to life is “dignity”. Right to human dignity comes in different shades and colours. (…) The right to dignity of an accused does not dry out with the Judges’ ink, rather, it subsists well beyond the prison gates and operates until his last breath.”

-Justice MM Shantanagoudar

‘X’ v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 7 SCC 1


Born on 5th May, 1958, Justice Shantanagoudar enrolled as an Advocate on 05.09.1980 and practiced mainly in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional matters.

He also served as Vice-Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council from 1991 to 1993 and as Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council during 1995 and 1996 and later served as State Public Prosecutor of Karnataka State from 1999 to 2002.

He was then appointed as Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on 12.05.2003 and as Permanent Judge on 24.09.2004. He was also the President of Bangalore Mediation Centre and Karnataka Judicial Academy.

He assumed charge as Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court on 01.08.2016 and was then sworn in as the Chief Justice on 22.09.2016. Read more…

He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 17th February, 2017. Read more…

Justice Shantanagoudar, who left for heavenly abode on April 24, 2021, left behind a legacy of significant rulings.

Let’s remember him through some of his notable judgments as a Supreme Court judge:

Bhima Razu Prasad v. State, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 210

The bench of MM Shantanagoudar* and Vineet Saran, JJ has held that Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC will not bar prosecution by the investigating agency for offence punishable under Section 193 IPC, which is committed during the stage of investigation. This is provided that the investigating agency has lodged complaint or registered the case under Section 193, IPC prior to commencement of proceedings and production of such evidence before the trial court. In such circumstance, the same would not be considered an offence committed in, or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court for the purpose of Section 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC.

Read more


High Court of Judicature at Madras Rep. by its Registrar General v. MC Subramaniam, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 109

The bench of MM Shantanagoudar* and Vineet Saran, JJ has held that Section 89 of CPC and Section 69-A of Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suit Valuation Act, 1955 contemplate the refund of court fees in all methods of out-of-court dispute settlement between parties that the Court subsequently finds to have been legally arrived at and not just to those cases where the Court itself refers the parties to any of the alternative dispute settlement mechanisms listed in Section 89 of the CPC.

Read more


Amitabha Dasgupta v. United Bank of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 124

In a case where United Bank of India inadvertently broke the Appellant’s locker, without any just or reasonable cause, even though he had already cleared his pending dues, the bench of MM Shantanagoudar* and Vineet Sarana, JJ Imposed costs of Rs. 5,00,000/­ on the Bank to be paid to the Appellant as compensation. The said is to be deducted from the salary of the erring officers, if they are still in service and if they have already retired, the amount of costs should be paid by the Bank. Additionally, the Appellant shall be paid Rs. 1,00,000/- as litigation expense.

Read more


M. Ravindran v. Intelligence Officer, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence,  (2021) 2 SCC 485

Interpreting Section 167(2) CrPC, the 3-judge bench of UU Lalit, MM Shantanagoudar and Vineet Sarah, JJ has said that the Courts cannot adopt a rigid or formalistic approach whilst considering any issue that touches upon the rights contained in Article 21. It said,

“The history of the enactment of Section 167(2), CrPC and the safeguard of ‘default bail’ contained in the Proviso thereto is intrinsically linked to Article 21 and is nothing but a legislative exposition of the constitutional safeguard that no person shall be detained except in accordance with rule of law.”

Read more


Krishna Lal Chawla v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 191

The bench of Justice Shantanagoudar and Justice R. Subhash Reddy held that the Trial Judge has a duty under the Constitution and the CrPC, to identify and dispose of frivolous litigation at an early stage by exercising, substantially and to the fullest extent, the powers conferred on him.

“Frivolous litigation should not become the order of the day in India. From misusing the Public Interest Litigation jurisdiction of the Indian courts to abusing the criminal procedure for harassing their adversaries, the justice delivery system should not be used as a tool to fulfil personal vendetta.“

Read more


Rekha Muraka v. State of West Bengal, (2020) 2 SCC 474

Dealing with the question relating to the extent to which a victim’s counsel can participate in the prosecution of a case, the bench of MM Shantanagoudar and Deepak Gupta, JJ has held that the victim’s counsel is subject to the directions of the Public Prosecutor and that the victim’s counsel should ordinarily not be given the right to make oral arguments or examine and cross­examine witnesses.

Read more


‘X’ v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 7 SCC 1

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, MM Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee, JJ held

“it needs to be understood that prisoners tend to have increased affinity to mental illness. Moreover, due to legal constraints on the recognition of broad­spectrum mental illness within the Criminal Justice System, prisons inevitably become home for a greater number of mentally­ill prisoners of various degrees. There is no overlooking of the fact that the realities within the prison walls may well compound and complicate these problems.”

Read more


Rekha Sengar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 173

In the case where the investigative team has seized the sonography machine and made out a strong prima-facie case against the petitioner, the 3-judge bench of MM Shantanagoudar, Vineet Saran and Ajay Rastogi, JJ held no leniency should be granted at this stage as the same may reinforce the notion that the PC&PNDT Act is only a paper tiger and that clinics and laboratories can carry out sex-determination and feticide with impunity.

“A strict approach has to be adopted if we are to eliminate the scourge of female feticide and iniquity towards girl children from our society.”


Laltu Ghosh v. State of West Bengal, (2019) 15 SCC 344

The bench of MM Shantanagoudar and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ has held that it cannot be laid down as an absolute rule of law that a dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated by other evidence. It was held that:

“A dying declaration, if found reliable, and if it is not an attempt by the deceased to cover the truth or to falsely implicate the accused, can be safely relied upon by the courts and can form the basis of conviction. More so, where the version given by the deceased as the dying declaration is supported and corroborated by other prosecution evidence, there is no reason for the courts to doubt the truthfulness of such dying declaration.”

Read more


Mohammed Salim v. Shamsudeen,  (2019) 4 SCC 130

The bench of NV Ramana and MM Shantanagoudar, JJ, on the issue relating to legality of the marriage of a Muslim man with an idolater or fireworshipper, said that such marriage “is neither a valid (sahih) nor a void (batil) marriage, but is merely an irregular (fasid) marriage.”

Read more


Indore Development Authority v. Shailendra,  (2018) 3 SCC 412

In the case where the Court was deciding the issue relating to interpretation of section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, the 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, AK Goel and MM Shantanagoudar, JJ held that Non-deposit of compensation under Section 31 of LA Act, 1894 does not result in lapse of acquisition under 2013 Act.

Read more


Commr. of Customs v. Dilip Kumar and Co.,   (2018) 9 SCC 1

A five-Judge Constitution Bench speaking through N.V. Ramana, J., while invalidating the ratio of Sun Export Corpn. v. Collector of Customs(1997) 6 SCC 564, laid at rest the controversy regarding the interpretation of an ambiguous provision exempting tax. The Bench comprised of Ranjan Gogoi, N.V. Ramana, R. Banumathi, M.M. Shantanagoudar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ.

Read more


 

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In a sad news coming from the Supreme Court, Justice MM Shantanagoudar has passed away on 24.04.2021 after a prolonged illness. He was 62. As per an NDTV report, Justice Shantanagoudar was admitted to a private hospital in Gurgaon due to lung infection. 

Born on 5th May, 1958, Justice Shantanagoudar enrolled as an Advocate on 05.09.1980 and practiced mainly in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional matters.He also served as Vice-Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council from 1991 to 1993 and as Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council during 1995 and 1996 and later served as State Public Prosecutor of Karnataka State from 1999 to 2002.He was then appointed as Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on 12.05.2003 and as Permanent Judge on 24.09.2004.

He was also the President of Bangalore Mediation Centre and Karnataka Judicial Academy.He assumed charge as Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court on 01.08.2016 and was then sworn in as the Chief Justice on 22.09.2016. Read more…

He was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 17th February, 2017. 


ALSO READ

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/04/25/the-judicial-legacy-of-justice-mm-shantanagoudar/

Know thy Judge

Early Life and Career[1]


Hon’ble Mr. Justice Aniruddha Bose was born on 11th April, 1959 in Kolkata (then Calcutta). In 1976, he passed his Higher Secondary Examination from St. Lawrence High School, Kolkata. He did his B.Com from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and Law from Surendranath College of Law in Kolkata as well.

Having obtained his degree in Law, Justice Bose enrolled with the Bar Council of West Bengal as an advocate in October, 1985. He practiced in the Original and the Appellate Side of the Calcutta High Court in Constitutional and Civil matters, with special emphasis on Intellectual Property Law cases.


In the High Courts[2]


After a tenure of roughly 19 years as an advocate in the Calcutta HC, Justice Aniruddha Bose was elevated to the HC Bench as a permanent Judge in 2004. He continued to serve the Calcutta HC till early 2018. He was also in the running for the post of Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, however, on 4th August 2018, upon recommendation by the SC Collegium, Justice Bose was appointed as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court by the President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind.


Journey to becoming Supreme Court Judge


In a Resolution, the Supreme Court Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, C.J., and S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and R.F. Nariman, JJ., reiterated their recommendation (dt. 12-04-2019) to elevate Justice Aniruddha Bose as a Judge of the Supreme Court. Consequently, Justice Bose was appointed as a SC Judge on 24-05-2019 by President Shri Ramnath Kovind.


Notable Judgments that Justice Aniruddha Bose has been a part of


Calcutta High Court [2004 – 2018]

Madan Das v. Lt. Governor, 2011 SCC OnLine Cal 2374

The 7 Judge Bench of the High Court comprising of Jainarayan Patel, C.J. and Bhaskar Bhattacharya, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta, Indira Banerjee, Aniruddha Bose and Sambuddha Chakrabarti, JJ., held that unless special circumstances mentioned in Rule 5 of Order 47, CPC subsist, a Judge who delivered the original judgment or order sought to be reviewed, alone can take up the Application for review as well.

Sony Kabushiki Kaisha v. Mahaluxmi Textile Mills, 2009 SCC OnLine Cal 531

The Bench of S.S. Nijjar, C.J. and Indira Banerjee and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., in this trademark infringement suit, made significant observations as to the necessity and importance of trademark. It was noted that the key function of a trade mark is to indicate the source or origin of goods and services. The tort of passing off is committed if the offending trader applies an established trade mark in such manner so as to cause confusion or deception in the mind of the consumers as regards the source or origin of the goods and the mind of purchasers are directed to the firm whose identity is already linked with the trade mark in the market place.

Union of India v. Pam Development Pvt. Ltd,  2005 SCC OnLine Cal 299

The Division bench of Aloke Chakrabarti and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held, the Chief Justice, under S. 11(6) of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, is not strictly bound to appoint an arbitrator who must have a qualification as agreed upon between the parties, thus, even if the arbitrator does not have the qualification, his appointment would not be rendered invalid.

Jharkhand High Court [2018- 2019]

Hit Narayan Jha v. The State of Jharkhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 1371

The bench of Aniruddha Bose, C.J. and Chandrashekhar, J., set aside the dismissal from service on the charge of taking illegal gratification. It was observed that the writ Court would not interfere with the orders passed by the departmental authority unless it has been passed in breach of the Discipline and Service Rules or in avoidance of the rules of natural justice.

State of Jharkhand v. HSS Integrated SDN, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 172

This was a contractual dispute between the State and the opposite parties in relation to a consultancy agreement over construction of six-lane Divided Carriage-way of certain parts of Ranchi Ring Road. An Arbitral Tribunal was constituted which found that termination of the contract was illegal and invalid. The bench of Aniruddha Bose, C.J. and Ratnaker Bhengra, J., while hearing the challenge to the Tribunal’s Award, held that there was no involvement of any grave violation of public policy by the Arbitral Tribunal in passing the award. The facts narrated in the award do not project any gross misuse of jurisdiction which could shock the conscience of the Court.

Supreme Court

Amit Sahni v. Commissioner of Police, (2020) 10 SCC 439

The 3-judge bench of SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari, JJ., in the Shaheen Bagh protests matter, held that while there exists the right to peaceful protest against a legislation, public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied in such a manner and that too indefinitely. The Court noticed that the Constitutional scheme comes with the right to protest and express dissent, but with an obligation towards certain duties. These rights, in cohesion, enable every citizen to assemble peacefully and protest against the actions or inactions of the State. The same must be respected and encouraged by the State, for the strength of a democracy such as India’s lies in the same.

Read More…

State of Punjab v. Davinder Singh, (2020) 8 SCC 1

5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ upon noticing that SC decision of E.V. Chinnaiah v. State of A.P., (2005) 1 SCC 394, is required to be revisited, referred the matter to a larger bench. While doing so, the Court observed,

Reservation was not contemplated for all the time by the framers of the Constitution.  On the one hand, there is no exclusion of those who have come up, on the other hand, if sub- classification is denied, it would defeat right to equality by treating unequal as equal.”

Read more…

West U.P. Sugar Mills Association v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2020) 9 SCC 548

The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that once the Central Government having exercised the power under Entries 33 and 34 List III of seventh Schedule and fixed the “minimum price”, the State Government cannot fix the “minimum price” of sugarcane.

Read more…

Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 383

The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held the Government Office Ms. No.3 dated 10.1.2000 issued by the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh providing 100% reservation to the Scheduled Tribe candidates (out of whom 33.1/3% shall be women) for the post of teachers in the schools in the scheduled areas in Andhra Pradesh, unconstitutional, as there was no rhyme or reason with the State Government to resort to 100% reservation.

Read more…

TN Medical Officers Association v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 699

The 5-judge Constitution bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that the Medical Council of India has no power to make any reservation for in-service candidates in Post Graduate Medical Course in States and that only States are allowed to grant the benefit of reservation of seats to in-service doctors in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) postgraduate degree courses.

Read more…

Pandurang Ganpati Chaugule v. Vishwasrao Patil Murgud Sahakari Bank Ltd., (2020) 9 SCC 215

The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ held that “’banking’ relating to co­operatives can be included within the purview of Entry 45 of List I, and it cannot be said to be over inclusion to cover provisions of recovery by co­operative banks in the SARFAESI Act.”

Read more

Kalamani Tex v. P. Balasubramanian, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 75

The 3-Judge Bench comprising of N.V. Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that upheld the judgement of High Court of Judicature at Madras, whereby the order of acquittal of the Judicial Magistrate was reversed and the appellants had been convicted under Section 138 of the NIA, 1881. The Bench observed-

“Once the appellant 2 had admitted his signatures on the cheque and the Deed, the trial Court ought to have presumed that the cheque was issued as consideration for a legally enforceable debt.”

Read more…

Rohtas v. State of Haryana, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 1014

Explaining the difference between Sections 34 and 149 of the IPC, the 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that

“Although both Section 34 and 149 of the IPC are modes for apportioning vicarious liability on the individual members of a group, there exist a few important differences between these two provisions. Whereas Section 34 requires active participation and a prior meeting of minds, Section 149 IPC assigns liability merely by membership of the unlawful assembly. In reality, such ‘common intention’ is usually indirectly inferred from conduct of the individuals and only seldom it is done through direct evidence.”

Read More…

Anita Sharma v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2021) 1 SCC 171

The bench of Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, JJ held that the strict principles of evidence and standards of proof like in a criminal trial are inapplicable in Motor Accident Claims cases.

Read More…

Union of India v. KA Najeeb, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 50

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Anirudhha Bose, JJ., refused to interfere with the bail granted by Kerala High Court to KA Najeeb arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 but has imposed the conditions. He shall also refrain from participating in any activity which might enrage communal sentiments.

Read More…

Government of India v. Vedanta Limited, (2020) 10 SCC 1

The 3-judge bench of SA Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose, JJ has dismissed Central Government’s plea against enforcement of a 2011 foreign award passed in favour of Vedanta Limited in a dispute arising out of a contract for exploring and developing the petroleum resources in the Ravva Gas and Oil Fields. The Court held,

“the enforcement of the foreign award does not contravene the public policy of India, or that it is contrary to the basic notions of justice.”

Read More…

Yatin Narendra Oza v. High Court of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 724

The 3-judge bench of SK Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari, JJ., observed that the Court would wait for the order of the Gujarat High Court before passing any orders in the issue relating to withdrawal of senior Designation of advocate Narendra Oza. Oza, who is also the President of the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association, was stripped off his Senior Advocate designation. This has been done after Advocate Oza had levelled charges of corruption against the registry of the Gujarat High Court.

Read More…

United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Satinder Kaur, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 410

Taking note of the fact that several Tribunals and High Courts have been awarding compensation for loss of consortium and loss of love and affection, the bench directed the Tribunals and High Courts to award compensation for loss of consortium, which is a legitimate conventional head.

“There is no justification to award compensation towards loss of love and affection as a separate head.”

The 3-judge bench of SA Nazeer, Indu Malhotra and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., were hearing an issue relating to determination of compensation in a motor vehicle accident case.

Read More…

Murali v. State, (2021) 1 SCC 726

The bench of N.V. Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that unequivocal language of S. 320(9) of CrPC, explicitly prohibits any compounding except as permitted under S. 320 of CrPC. Notwithstanding thereto, fact of amicable settlement/compromise between parties can be a relevant factor for purpose of reduction in quantum of sentence of convicts even in serious non-compoundable offences.


† Editorial Assistant, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 

[1] Calcutta High Court, Former Judges

[2] Hon’ble Judges of Jharkhand HC appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints Naresh Kumar Chandravanshi and Narendra Kumar Vyas to be Additional Judges of the Chhattisgarh High Court, for a period of 2 years.


About:

Narendra Kumar Vyas, B.Sc., L.L.B. had enrolled as Advocate on 16.03.1996. He has over 23 years of experience. He has practiced in Labour Court, Industrial Court, District Court, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Janjgeer-Champa, EPF Tribunal, Central Government Industrial Tribunal cum Labour Court during period 1996 to 2002 and after that has been practicing in the Chhattisgarh High Court till date.

Naresh Kumar Chandravanshi, B.A., LL.B., joined the Judicial Service on 11.07.1990. As a Judicial Officer, he served as Additional District & Sessions Judge, Sakti, Additional Registrar, High Court of Chhattisgarh, District & Sessions Judge, Surguja, Ambikapur, Legal Advisor to Governor of Chhattisgarh and presently he is working as Principal Secretary, Law & Legislative Affairs Department, Govt. of Chhattisgarh, Raipur.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 19-03-2021]

Hot Off The PressNews

Justice Ashis Kumar Chakraborty passed away on 30-01-2021 due to cardiac arrest.


About

He was Born on December 12, 1965. Graduated in Law (five years) from the University of Calcutta in November, 1992. Was enrolled as an Advocate on January 29, 1993. Practised mainly in the High Court at Calcutta as well as the Supreme Court of India in Civil, Company, Arbitration and Constitutional Matters.

Justice  Ashis Kumar Chakraborty was elevated to the Bench as an Additional Judge of the High Court at Calcutta on October 22, 2014. Appointed as Permanent Judge of the Calcutta High Court on 06-10-2016.


Few Judgments

Appointments & TransfersNews

Justice Sunil Kumar Awasthi has tendered his resignation from the office of Judge, Madhya Pradesh High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from 02-01-2021. Department of Justice, Ministry of Law &  Justice has issued today a notification in this regard.

Shri Justice Sunil Kumar Awasthi,  joined Judicial Service on October 15, 1985, as Civil Judge Class Il and served in various capacities at different places as a Judicial Officer. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on October 13, 2016, and as Permanent Judge on March 17, 2018.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Press Release dt. 29-01-2021]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Manju Rani Chauhan, J., expressed that:

“At the present time, only from the temple of justice like Courts, everyone hopes for right and fair justice.”

Pursuant to an order, a letter had been sent by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra along with the explanation, who has passed the cognizance/summoning order on a printed proforma.

For what reasons did the Magistrate tender apology?

Magistrate, in the explanation given, submitted that due to huge workload and by mistake, he/she passed the cognizance/summoning order on a printed proforma for which he/she has tendered his unconditional apology.

Observation

Bench stated that the explanation given by the Magistrate concerned could not be acceptable for the reason that:

“If a Judge makes such a mistake, then from where will the general public get fair justice.

A Judge acts like a God, he/she should not make mistakes due to haste or excess of work. How will a normal man get justice when a judge makes a mistake because of the excess of his/her work?”

Court stated that it would not be in the interest of justice to proceed against the concerned Magistrate.

Bench warned the concerned Judicial Magistrate to remain more careful and cautious in future while passing any judicial orders. Further, added that the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra shall ensure that such orders on a printed proforma are not passed by any judicial officers of Judgeship Agra.

With regard to the application filed under Section 482 CrPC being filed for setting aside the Order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra for quashing the entire proceedings under Sections 498A, 323 IPC and Section 3/4 of D.P. Act, Court observed that the cognizance/summoning order was passed without application of mind on a printed format.

Further, summoning orders passed on a printed proforma had already been set aside by this Court in Application under Section 482 No. 41617 of 2019 (Vishnu Kumar Gupta v. State of U.P.).

Hence, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Agra after perusing the entire records shall pass a fresh speaking and reasoned order, in accordance with law. [Sanjay v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine All 44, decided on 18-01-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Transfer Order

President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transfers Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and directs him to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

ORDER


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 31-12-2020]

 

Appointments & TransfersNews

Transfer Orders

Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court transferred as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Karnataka High Court.

ORDER


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 30-12-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Transfer Orders

President transfers Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, as Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court and directs him to assume charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.

ORDERS


Ministry of Law & Justice

[Press Release dt. 31-12-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Justice G.R. Udhwani

Justice G.R. Udhwani of Gujarat High Court passed away while undergoing treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

[Source: PTI]

BACKGROUND

Born on 25-11-1961 at Ahmedabad in the family of a businessman. Graduated in B.Com from Navgujarat Mahavidhyalaya, Ahmedabad in 1983. Obtained Law Degree from Sir L.A. Shah Law College, Ahmedabad in the year 1986. Was enrolled as an Advocate with Bar Council of Gujarat on 30-06-1987.

Joined the legal profession in 1987 in the High Court of Gujarat. Practised in the High Court of Gujarat in all fields of law i.e. Company Matters, Labour Matters, Industrial Matters, Service Matters, Constitutional Matters, Civil and Criminal Matters. Appointed as Judge in City Civil Court at Ahmedabad on 12-02-1997. Was appointed as Additional Judge, Special Court (POTA) on 18-10-2003. Was appointed as Law Officer on 22-07-2004, which was redesignated as Registrar (Legal) on 01-11-2004 in the High Court of Gujarat. Was repatriated to the State Judiciary as Judge, City Civil Court, Ahmedabad on 13-07-2007. Was appointed as Registrar (Infrastructure & Information Technology) on 18-05-2010 in the High Court of Gujarat. Worked as Incharge Registrar General, High Court of Gujarat from 17-02-2011 to 19-06-2011. Was appointed as Registrar General, High Court of Gujarat from 20-06-2011 to 11-11-2012.

His Lordship was elevated as an Additional Judge, High Court of Gujarat on 12-11-2012 and confirmed as Permanent Judge on 10-07-2014.

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: V.G. Arun J., while disallowing the present petition of transfer, observed, “When the question is one of transfer of a criminal case on the ground of judicial bias, mere allegation of apprehension of bias is not enough, the court has to see whether such apprehension is reasonable or not.”

Background

The Special Public Prosecutor appointed by the State and the de facto complainant/victim seek transfer of the case to another court, on the apprehension that the Special Judge before whom the trial is being conducted is biased against the prosecution.

      The case originated from a complaint filed by the victim, a film actor of repute, stating that, while traveling from Thrissur to Ernakulam on 17-02-2017, she was abducted and subjected to sexual assault and that the sexually-explicit act was recorded. This resulted in Crime no. 297 of 2017 being registered at the Nedumbassery Police Station. After the investigation, the final report was filed alleging commission of offences under Sections 120A, 120B, 109, 342, 366, 354, 354B, 356, 376D, 506(1), 201, 212 read with 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 66E and 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The gist of the findings in the final report was that the crime was committed at the instance of the 8th accused, another film actor, pursuant to a conspiracy hatched by him with the other accused. After completion of necessary formalities, the case was committed to the Principal Sessions Court, Ernakulam and numbered as S.C.No.118 of 2018. While so, the victim approached the present Court seeking transfer of the case to a court presided by a lady judicial officer. After due deliberation, the instant Court, vide its judgment in OP(Crl) 344 of 2018, transferred the case to the court of the Special Judge (SPE/CBI-III), Ernakulam, finding it to be the only court in Ernakulam District, competent to try the case.

                    According to the petitioners, the manner in which the Special Judge is proceeding with the trial, her reluctance to pass orders on petitions filed by the prosecution, and the unwarranted and derogatory comments made against the Special Public Prosecutor and the investigating agency, are reasons for the apprehension of bias.

 Contentions

In addition to the mentioning of events depicting bias by the Special Judge, the counsel for the petitioner cited, State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh, (1996) 2 SCC 384, to highlight the duty bestowed on trial courts to ensure that victims of sexual assault are not harassed during cross-examination. Emphasis was laid on Para 22 of the said judgment, which reads as, “There has been lately, lot of criticism of the treatment of the victims of sexual assault in the court during their cross examination. The provisions of Evidence Act regarding relevancy of facts notwithstanding, some defence counsel adopt the strategy of continual questioning of the prosecutrix as to the details of the rape. The victim is required to repeat again and again the details of the rape incident not so much as to bring out the facts on record or to test her credibility but to test her story for inconsistencies with a view to attempt to twist the interpretation of events given by her so as to make them appear inconsistent with her allegations. The court, therefore, should not sit as a silent spectator while the victim of crime is being cross examined by the defence. It must effectively control the recording of evidence in the court. While every latitude should be given to the accused to test the veracity of the prosecutrix and the credibility of her version through cross-examination, the court must also ensure that cross-examination is not made a means of harassment or causing humiliation to the victim of crime. A victim of rape, it must be remembered, has already undergone a traumatic experience and if she is made to repeat again and again, in unfamiliar surroundings what she had been subjected to, she may be too ashamed and even nervous or confused to speak and her silence or a confused stray sentence may be wrongly interpreted as “discrepancies and contradictions” in her evidence.”

Reliance was further placed on Sakshi v. Union of India, (2004) 5 SCC 518 to reiterate that, rules of procedure are handmaidens of justice and Nirmal Singh Kahlon v. State of Punjab, (2009) 1 SCC 441, wherein the right to fair trial was held to apply to the accused as well as the victim, as embodied under Article 21 of the Constitution. Moreover, the case of Abdul Nazar Madani v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2000) 6 SCC 204 and Satish Jaggi v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2007) 3 SCC 62 were cited in support of the proposition that Section 407, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 clothe the High Court with the power to transfer cases, when it is made to appear that a fair and impartial inquiry cannot be had in any criminal court subordinate to it. The counsel lastly said that in the present facts and circumstances, it would have been fair and proper for the Special Judge to have recused herself from the case.

 Observation

The Court, in pursuance of its decision, made the following observation;

  1. Clarifying the meaning of term ‘bias’ and the underlying principle, the Court said, “The dictionary meaning of the word ‘bias’ is ‘inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair’. The foundational principle with regard to Judicial Bias ‘nemo debet esse judex in causa propria sua’, precludes a person from being a Judge in his or her own cause.”
  2. The Court considered the following cases, namely;
    • Maneka Sanjay Gandhi v. Rani Jethmalani, (1979) 4 SCC 167, wherein it was held that, “assurance of a fair trial is the first imperative of the dispensation of justice, and the central criterion for the court to consider, when a motion for transfer is made, is not the hyper sensitivity or relative convenience of a party or easy availability of legal services or like mini-grievances. Something more substantial, more compelling, more imperiling, from the point of view of public justice and its attendant environment, is necessitous, if the court is to exercise its power of transfer.”
    • State of West Bengal v. Shivananda Pathak, (1998) 5 SCC 513, where the Supreme Court defined judicial bias and touched upon its various facets in the following words,

 “Para 25. Bias may be defined as a preconceived opinion or a predisposition or predetermination to decide a case or an issue in a particular manner, so much so that such predisposition does not leave the mind open to conviction. It is, in fact, a condition of mind, which sways judgments and renders the judge unable to exercise impartiality in a particular case.

Para 26. Bias has many forms. It may be pecuniary bias, personal bias, bias as to subject-matter in dispute, or policy bias etc. In the instant case, we are not concerned with any of these forms of bias. We have to deal, as we shall presently see, a new form of bias, namely, bias on account of judicial obstinacy.”

  • K.Anbazhagan v. Superintendent of Police, (2004) 3 SCC 767,  the Supreme Court observed that the question is not whether the judge is actually biased but whether the circumstances are such that there is a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the petitioner.
  • Satish Jaggi v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2007) 3 SCC 62, was a case in which transfer was sought on the ground that the presiding officer was the brother of a sitting MLA, who was a close associate of one of the prime accused. In that factual background, the prayer for transfer was allowed with the following observation, ““We are sure that the present Sessions Judge would have acted in the true sense of a judicial officer. But nevertheless to ensure that justice is not only done, but also seen to be done and in the peculiar facts of the case, we feel that it will be appropriate if the High Court transfers the case to some other Sessions Court in Raipur itself. We make it clear that the transfer shall not be construed as casting any aspersion on the learned Sessions Judge.” The present Court said that the present case ought to be examined in the aforementioned legal backdrop. It went on to say that, “When the question is one of transfer of a criminal case on the ground of judicial bias, mere allegation of apprehension of bias is not enough, the court has to see whether such apprehension is reasonable or not. The moot question here is whether the instances pointed out by the petitioners are sufficient to hold the apprehension of bias to be reasonable.”
  • The Court further referred to the observation held In re: Linahan, 138 F. 2nd 650 (1943), which gives an insight into mental makeup of Judges in the words, “If, however, `bias’ and `partiality’ be defined to mean the total absence of preconceptions in the mind of the Judge, then no one has ever had a fair trial and no one will. The human mind, even at infancy, is no blank piece of paper. We are born with predispositions. Much harm is done by the myth that, merely by taking the oath of office as a judge, a man ceases to be human and strips himself of all predilections, becomes a passionless thinking machine.”
  • Moreover, the Court found it apposite to reproduce the words of Mr. Justice Frankfurter in Public Utilities Commission of the District Columbia v. Franklin S. Pollak, 343 US 451 (1952) 466, “The Judicial process demands that a judge moves within the framework of relevant legal rules and the covenanted modes of thought for ascertaining them. He must think dispassionately and submerge private feeling on every aspect of a case. There is a good deal of shallow talk that the judicial robe does not change the man within it. It does. The fact is that, on the whole, judges do lay aside private views in discharging their judicial functions. This is achieved through training, professional habits, self discipline and that fortunate alchemy by which men are loyal to the obligation with which they are entrusted.”

 Decision

While rejecting contention of the petitioners, Court refrained from transferring the case emphasizing the conjoint duty of the Court and the prosecution in the administration of justice, in the words, “…unless the court and the prosecutor work in sync, it will result in either the guilty escaping from the clutches of law or the innocent being punished.”[Victim X v. State of Kerala, 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 5504, decided on 20-11-2020]


Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

Know thy Judge

 

“ (…)Judgments of Courts are to be based on reason, and discuss fairly, what is argued. Judges, unlike other sections of members of the public cannot meet unjustified personal attacks or tirades carried out against them, or anyone from their fraternity; no clarifications can be issued, no justification is given; propriety and canons of judicial ethics require them to maintain silence.”

  – Justice Ravindra Bhat,

 CPIO, Supreme Court v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal,

2009 SCC OnLine Del 2714.


As a Judge at Supreme Court


  • Prathvi Raj Chauhan v. Union of India, (2020) 4 SCC 727; While clarifying the position of anticipatory bail in cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, S.Ravindra Bhat, J., in his concurring yet separate judgment brought into light, the forgotten sayings of greatest reformers of the Indian History reflecting upon the evil of caste distinctions.

“Kabir, the great saint poet, for instance, in his composition, remarked:

If thou thinkest the Maker distinguished castes:

Birth is according to these penalties for deeds.

Born a Sudra, you die a Sudra;

It is only in this world of illusion that you assume the sacred thread.

If birth from a Brahmin makes you a Brahmin,

Why did you not come by another way?

If birth from a Turk makes you a Turk,

Why were you not circumcised in the womb?…

       Saith Kabir, renounce family, caste, religion, and nation, and live as one”

Guru Nanak, for instance, stated [Guru Granth Saheb, p. 83]:
   “Caste and dynastic pride are condemnable notions; the one Master shelters all existence. Anyone arrogating superiority to himself halt be disillusioned. Saith Nanak : superiority shall be determined by God.”

Making significant observations on the principle of Fraternity, Justice Bhat observed that,

“When the Framers of the Constitution began their daunting task, they had before them a formidable duty and a stupendous opportunity : of forging a nation, out of several splintered sovereign States and city States, with the blueprint of an idea of India. What they envisioned was a common charter of governance and equally a charter for the people. The placement of the concept of fraternity, in this context was neither an accident, nor an idealised emulation of the western notion of fraternity, which finds vision in the French and American Constitutions and charters of independence. It was a unique and poignant reminder of a society riven with acute inequalities : more specifically, the practice of caste discrimination in its virulent form, where the essential humanity of a large mass of people was denied by society—i.e. untouchability.”  Read More

  • Rambabu Singh Thakur v. Sunil Arora, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 178;  Hearing a contempt petition against a PIL on public disclosure of criminal antecedents of politicians, a Division Bench of RF Nariman and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., observed,

It shall be mandatory for political parties [at the Central and State election level] to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases (including the nature of the offences, and relevant particulars such as whether charges have been framed, the court concerned, the case number, etc.) who have been selected as candidates, along with the reasons for such selection, as also as to why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.”  Read More

  • Rajendra Diwan v. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1586; While holding Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act as unconstitutional, a full judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., observed,

While exercising power under Article 136 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court does not re-appreciate evidence which has been appreciated by the Trial Court and the High Courts, unless extraordinary circumstances exist. It is only where the High Court has completely missed the real point requiring adjudication or has missed or ignored the relevant material, would the Supreme Court be justified in getting into evidence for the purpose of preventing grave injustice to a party.” Read More

  • Mukesh Singh v. State (Narcotic Branch of Delhi), 2020 SCC OnLine SC 700; A full judge Constitution bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ has held that the accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) is not entitled to an acquittal as a blanket rule merely because the complainant is the investigating officer. The Court said that;   

“… merely because the informant is the investigator, by that itself the investigation would not suffer the vice of unfairness or bias and therefore on the sole ground that informant is the investigator, the accused is not entitled to acquittal. The matter has to be decided on a case to case basis.” Read More

  • Arjun Panditrao Khotkar v. Kailash Kushanrao Gorantyal, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 571; In a reference dealing with the interpretation of Section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872 that deals with admissibility of electronic records, the three judge bench of RF Nariman, S. Ravindra Bhat and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ., held that the certificate required under Section 65B(4) is a condition precedent to the admissibility of evidence by way of electronic record. Read More

As a Judge at Delhi High Court


  • Sanjeet Singh Kaila v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 8170; A Division bench presided by Justice Bhat, held that though the members of the Armed forces consent to the risk that comes with their enrollment in the forces, one is still entitled to a safe workplace with standard equipment.

In the words of Justice Bhat,

“(…) none can be insensible to the piquancy in the pageant of life; more so, those who enlist in the service of their country in its armed forces. Yet to fling that to their teeth when accused of exposing them to more than the risks they had bargained (as the HAL does, here) is to belittle their spirit of sacrifice, which this court finds insensitive, even offensive. A soldier or an air warrior like the petitioner can be expected to be aware of the “normal” risks that he undertakes to accept in the course of a career that is removed from the ordinary. That assumption of risk at the same time raises the threshold bar on his employer and those assigned by the employer to maintain the standards in respect of the workplace and the technical equipment, which such officers and warriors have to handle and live with.” Read More

  • BGP Products v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 12928; Striking down a government notification made under Section 26A of the Drugs Act, to restrict the manufacture and usage of an essential drug likely to be affecting the health of pregnant woman and youth mothers, Justice Bhat observed,

This court notices that the decision of prohibiting a country wide existing manufacturing base for Oxytocin, a life-saving drug (through the over hundred private licensed units spread across the country), for over three decades or so, on the one hand and reserving it to the public sector through a single manufacturing entity, which has no previous record in its production, is thus fraught with potential adverse consequences. One of the important directive principles of State Policy (Article 47) is the that “The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties..”. Maternal welfare too is considered a directive principle (Article 42).Correspondingly, the right of women, generally and pregnant women and young mothers in particular, to have a safe post-partum recovery and avoid risk of haemorrhaging that can be potentially fatal, is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The potential impact may or may not be direct; even if it leads to a few incidents, that would be a grave consequence contrary to public interest.”   

  • CPIO, Supreme Court of India v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, 2009 SCC OnLine Del 2714; While directing the CPIO to release the information sought by the respondent applicant about the declaration of assets (and not the contents of the declarations, as that was not sought for) and holding the office of the CJI as a‘public authority’, significant remarks were made by Justice Ravindra Bhat, about the office of judges and exemption provided under Section 8(1)(j) RTI Act, 2005.

“In this Court’s opinion Section 8(1)(j) is both a check on the power of requiring information dissemination (having regard to its potential impact on individual privacy rights) as well as a mechanism whereby individuals have limited control over whether personal details can be made public. This safeguard is made in public interest in favour of all public officials and public servants. There can be no manner of doubt that Supreme Court and High Court Judges are public servants (K. Veeraswami established that). They are no doubt given a high status, and afforded considerable degree of protections, under the Constitution; yet that does not make them public servants any less. If that is the true position, the protection afforded by Section 8(1)(j) to Judges is of no lesser quality than that given to other public servants, in this regard. To hold otherwise: would be incongruous, because, members of the higher judiciary are held to self imposed obligatory Constitutional standards, and their asset disclosures are held (by this judgment), to be “information” held by the CJI, a public authority, under the Act; yet, they would be deprived of the protection that the same enactment extends to all those covered by it.”

  • Bayer Corporation v. Union of India, 2009 SCC OnLine Del 2469; Rejecting the claim of Bayer that the drug manufactured and sold by Cipla under the name of ‘Soranib’, was infact a spurious drug under 17-B of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and not a generic drug as contended, Justice Bhat held,

This Court is constrained to observe that the present litigation was what may be characterized as a speculative foray; an attempt to ‘tweak’ public policies through Court mandated regimes.”

The instant case discusses at length about patent linkage in Indian context and how imperative it is to balance monopoly rights of any patent holder and the public at large.

  • Mini Appa Kanda Swami v. M.Indra, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 5312; The Division Bench comprising of S. Ravindra Bhat and Deepa Sharma, JJ., held that demand for privacy by the spouse is not cruelty and also reiterated that High Court lacks the jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage on the doctrine of “irretrievable breakdown” under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

“The Court further made observation, as to determination of cruelty for divorce stating, While considering whether a particular conduct constitutes cruelty or not, the social status of parties, cultural background, physical and mental conditions, customs and traditions etc. have to be considered. Mental cruelty can be assessed from the continuous unprovoked conduct of a spouse which causes embarrassment, humiliation, and anguish so as to render the other spouse’s life miserable and unendurable. This conduct should be of such gravity that the wronged party cannot be reasonably asked to put up with such conduct and continue to live with the other party.”  Read More


*Editorial Assistant, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 

Hot Off The PressNews

Former Chief Justice K.K. Usha of Kerala High Court breathed her last breath yesterday.

She served her term as the Judge of Kerala High Court from 25-02-1991 to 03-07-2001, wherein she served as the Chief Justice of the High Court from 2000 to 2001.

Post-retirement she was appointed as president of the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal.

Between 2005 and 2006, she headed an enquiry by the Indian People’s Tribunal (IPT) to investigate the communal situation in Orissa.

Justice Usha represented India at the International Convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers in Hamburg, Germany in 1975.

She was India’s representative at the United Nations’ Joint Seminar on ‘Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women‘ organised by the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the International Federation of Women of Legal Careers.

Justice Usha was the second woman to have served as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

Know thy Judge

As Justice Indira Banerjee, 8th female Judge of the Supreme Court of India, celebrates her 63rd Birthday, we endeavor to recapitulate her journey so far via the following significant decisions-

  • Sushila Aggarwal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2020) 5 SCC 1 : In this significant ruling, a 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah, and Ravindra Bhat, JJ., unanimously ruled that the protection granted to a person under Section 438 Cr.PC should not invariably be limited to a fixed period; it should inure in favour of the accused without any restriction on time. Read more
  • Rajendra Diwan v. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1586: The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., declared Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 that Act purports to confer a right of statutory Second Appeal to the Supreme Court, ultra vires the Constitution of India. The Court said that a provision which mandates the Supreme Court to consider an appeal is clearly beyond the legislative competence of the State Legislature. Read more
  • West U.P. Sugar Mills Association v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 380:  The 5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran, M.R. Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ., held that once the Central Government having exercised the power under Entries 33 and 34 List III of seventh Schedule and fixed the “minimum price”, the State Government cannot fix the “minimum price” of sugarcane. Read more
  • Mukesh v. State (Narcotic Branch of Delhi), 2020 SCC OnLine SC 700:  The 5-judge Constitution bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ., held that the accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) is not entitled to an acquittal as a blanket rule merely because the complainant is the investigating officer. Read more
  • State of Punjab v. Davinder Singh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 677:  5-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose, JJ upon noticing that SC decision of E.V. Chinnaiah v. State of A.P., (2005) 1 SCC 394, is required to be revisited, referred the matter to a larger bench. While doing so, the Court observed, “Reservation was not contemplated for all the time by the framers of the Constitution.  On the one hand, there is no exclusion of those who have come up, on the other hand, if sub- classification is denied, it would defeat right to equality by treating unequal as equal.”  Read more
  • P. Rajagopal v. State of T.N., (2019) 5 SCC 403:The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, MM Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee, JJ., upheld the conviction and sentence of life imposed upon Saravana Bhavan owner P. Rajagopal by the Madras High Court for the abduction and murder of his employee Santhakumar. Read more
  • EXL Careers v. Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 621:  Answering a reference the 3-judge bench of RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that if a plaint is returned under Order VII Rule 10 and 10A of CPC, for presentation in the court in which it should have been instituted, the plaint is to be considered as a fresh plaint and the trial is to be conducted de novo. Read more
  • Nazir Mohamed v. J. Kamala, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 676:  The bench of Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, JJ has held that when no substantial question of law is formulated, but a Second Appeal is decided by the High Court, the judgment of the High Court is vitiated in law. Formulation of substantial question of law is mandatory and the mere reference to the ground mentioned in Memorandum of Second Appeal cannot satisfy the mandate of Section 100 of the CPC. Read more
  • Hari Krishna Mandir Trust v. State of Maharashtra 2020 SCC OnLine SC 631:The 2-judge bench of Indira Banerjee and Indu Malhotra, JJ., held that Section 88 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 cannot be read in isolation from the other provisions of the Act, particularly Sections 65, 66, 125 and 126 thereof. It further, said, however laudable be the purpose, the Executive cannot deprive a person of his property without specific legal authority, which can be established in a court of law.” Read More
  • S. Sarojini Amma v. Velayudhan Pillai Sreekumar, (2019) 11 SCC 391:  The Bench comprising of Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee, JJ. allowed an appeal while setting aside the judgment and order of the Kerala High Court concerning a ‘gift deed’. placing the analysis of provisions of Transfer of Property Act along with the decisions pertaining to the same subject matter stated that: “A conditional gift with no recital of acceptance and no evidence in proof of acceptance, where possession remains with the donor as long as he is alive, does not become complete during lifetime of the donor. When a gift is incomplete and title remains with the donor the deed of gift might be cancelled.” Read more
  • Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State Of Maharashtra, (2019) 9 SCC 608:  The Bench of D.Y. Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that “Consent” with respect to S. 375 involves an active understanding of circumstances, actions and consequences of proposed act. Individual who makes a reasoned choice to act after evaluating various alternative actions (or inaction) as well as various possible consequences flowing from such action or inaction, consents to such action. Where a woman does not “consent” to sexual acts described in main body of S. 375, offence of rape has occurred. While S. 90 IPC does not define term “consent”, “consent” based on a “misconception of fact” is not consent in the eye of law. Thus, in case of woman engaging in sexual relations on false promise to marriage, her “consent” is based on “misconception of fact”, and such sexual act(s) will amount to rape.
  • Sarvepalli Ramaiah v. District Collector, Chittoor, (2019) 4 SCC 500:  The Bench comprising of R. Banumathi and Indira Banerjee, JJ., held that Ryotwari patta cannot be granted in respect of area declared as water body (tank poramboke) as same vests in Government free from all encumbrances under S. 2-A of Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956. In her concurring opinion, Indira Banerjee, J., observed that, “A decision may sometimes be set aside and quashed under Article 226 on the ground of illegality. This is when there is an apparent error of law on the face of the decision, which goes to the root of the decision and/or in other words an apparent error, but for which the decision would have been otherwise”.

 

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Ministry of Law and Justice

Central Authority nominates Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Judge Supreme Court of India as Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee with immediate effect.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 03-09-2020]


About Justice Rohinton Nariman:

Date of Birth:13.08.1956

School: Cathedral School, Mumbai (High 1st Division, ISC)

College:

  • Shri Ram College of Commerce-B.Com
  • Faculty of Law, Delhi – L.L.B. (1st Class-2nd in the University)
  • Harvard Law School-L.L.M. (Thesis on affirmative action: a comparison between India and US constitutional law)

Profession:

Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India.
Was made Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice of India.  Justice Venkatachalaiah amended the rules in order to make him a Senior Counsel at the young age of 37 against the mandatory 45.  Has practiced Maritime Law in New York at Haight, Gardener, Poor and Havens for 1 year.  Has practiced law for the last 35 years.  Has over 500 Reported Supreme Court Judgments to his credit.  Expert in Comparative Constitutional Law and Civil Law.

Governing Board: Gujarat Law School, Ahmedabad.

Mediation Committee: Member, Supreme Court of India.

Lectured at:

  • The Delhi Law School, University of Delhi.
  • The Bar Council of India at the Supreme Court of India.
  • Gave the keynote address at the K.L. Misra Lecture on SPIRITUALITY AND LAW along with the Chief Justice of India and other Supreme Court Judges in Allahabad in 2004.
  • Member of the Delegation from the Supreme Court of India to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2002.
  • Gave a talk at IIC Delhi 2007 on Beethoven.

Specializing in Comparative Religious Studies:

  • Ordained Priest from Bandra Agiary.
  • Lectured in New York to the Zoroastrian Federation.
  • Gave the SEARCH lecture at the IIC, Delhi in 200.
  • Gave religious talks at Philadelphia in 2005.
  • Gave two lectures in Ahmedabad at the invitation of the Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat in 2003.
  • Held fortnightly Gatha classes for two years in Delhi.
  • Delivered the Annual K.R. Cama Lecture at K.R. Cama Institute, Mumbai on “Through the Looking Glass”.
  • Zoroastrianism in other faiths on 11.11.2006.
  • Solicitor General of India from July 27, 2011 to February 4, 2013.
  • Elevated as Judge, Supreme Court of India on 7th July, 2014.

Image Credits: DNA India

Know thy Judge

As Justice N. V. Ramana, next in line to become the Chief Justice of India, celebrates his 63rd birthday today, let’s have a look at his journey so far in shaping the justice system.

Here are some of the notable judgments that Justice Ramana has been a part of:

Jindal Stainless Ltd v. State of Haryana, (2017) 12 SCC 1: A 9-judge bench, by 7:2 majority, upheld the validity of the entry tax imposed by the States on goods imported from other States. The Bench held that taxes simpliciter are not within the contemplation of Part XIII of the Constitution of India and that the word ‘Free’ used in Article 301 does not mean “free from taxation”. T.S. Thakur, CJ and Dr.  A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde, Shiva Kirti Singh, N.V. Ramana, R. Banumathi and A.M. Khanwilkar, JJ, giving the majority view said that States are well within their right to design their fiscal legislations to ensure that the tax burden on goods imported from other States and goods produced within the State fall equally. Read more 

Central Public Information Officer v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1459: The 5-judge constitution Bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and NV Ramana, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has held that the office of the Chief Justice of India comes under the purview of the Right to Information. In the 250-pages long judgment, Justice Sanjiv Khanna wrote the majority opinion for the Bench and Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud gave separate but concurring opinion. Read more 

Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, (2020) 3 SCC 637: A 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, JJ has asked J&K administration to review all orders imposing curbs on telecom and internet services in the state in a week and put them in public domain. “The existing Suspension Rules neither provide for a periodic review nor a time limitation for an order issued under the Suspension Rules. Till this gap is filled, the Review Committee constituted under Rule 2(5) of the Suspension Rules must conduct a periodic review within seven working days of the previous review, in terms of the requirements under Rule 2(6).” Read more 

Foundations for Media Professionals v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 453 : A 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, R. Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, JJ has constituted a three-member committee to look into demand for allowing 4G mobile internet in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Noticing that since the issues involved affect the State and the nation, the Court found it appropriate to constitute a Special Committee comprising of the following Secretaries at national, as well as State, level to look into the prevailing circumstances and immediately determine the necessity of the continuation of the restrictions in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Read more 

Nabam Rebia, and Bamang Felix v. Deputy Speaker, (2016) 8 SCC 1: A 5-judge constitutional bench of Jagdish Singh Khehar, Dipak Misra, Madan B. Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose and N.V.Ramana, JJ. quashed the order of the Governor, preponing the 6th session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly by a month without consulting the Chief Minister, Council of Ministers or the Speaker, on account of being violative of Article 163 read with Article 174 of the Constitution of India. Read more 

Commr. of Customs v. Dilip Kumar and Co., (2018) 9 SCC 1 : A five-Judge Constitution Bench speaking through N.V. Ramana, J., while invalidating the ratio of Sun Export Corpn. v. Collector of Customs(1997) 6 SCC 564, laid at rest the controversy regarding the interpretation of an ambiguous provision exempting tax. The Bench noticed that there was distinction between interpreting a charging section and an exempting section. In case of ambiguity in a charging section, the interpretation has to be made in favour of the assessee. Read more

Roger Mathew v. South India Bank Ltd., 2019 SCC OnLine SC 1456 : A 5-judge Constitution Bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and NV Ramana, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has upheld the validity of Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 and held that the said Section does not suffer from excessive delegation of legislative functions as there are adequate principles to guide framing of delegated legislation, which would include the binding dictums of this Court. The Court struck down the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017, made under Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017, for being contrary to the parent enactment and the principles envisaged in the Constitution. Read more 

Adi Saiva Sivachariyargal Nala Sangam v. State of T.N., (2016) 2 SCC 725 : The bench held that the appointment of Archakas in temples will have to be made in accordance with the Agamas, subject to their due identification as well as their conformity with constitutional mandates and principles. Exclusion of some and inclusion of a particular segment or denomination for appointment as Archakas would not violate Article 14 only so long such inclusion/exclusion is not based on criteria of caste, birth or any other constitutionally unacceptable parameter.

Md. Anwar v. State of NCT of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 653:. The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, SA Nazeer and Surya Kant, JJ has held that in order to successfully claim defence of mental unsoundness under Section 84 of IPC, the accused must show by preponderance of probabilities that he/she suffered from a serious-enough mental disease or infirmity which would affect the individual’s ability to distinguish right from wrong. “Mere production of photocopy of an OPD card and statement of mother on affidavit have little, if any, evidentiary value.” Read more 

Hot Off The PressNews

Dr Justice Arunachalam Chettiar Lakshmanan [22-03-1942 to 27-08-2020]

Justice Dr A.R. Lakshmanan, Former Supreme Court Judge passed away today morning, he was 78 years old.

Background

Former Supreme Court Judge A.R. Lakshmanan enrolled as a Lawyer on 10-01-1968 and served as Junior under eminent lawyers Shri. G.Ramanjuan, Shri. K.Venkataswami and R. Krishnamurthy before starting to practice on his own.

He had an independent practice in varied branches of Law including Civil, Criminal, Company Law, Taxation, Insolvency, Trade Marks and Patents Law, Matrimonial, Admiralty, Writ jurisdiction, etc.

After serving as a Lawyer for 23 years, Shri. A.R. Lakshmanan was appointed as Government Pleader for Tamil Nadu to represent their matters in the Madras High Court and Supreme Court. His knowledge and skills as well as the meticulous preparation and hard work he put in to argue various matters were noticed and appreciated by all.

In 1990, he was appointed by the President of India as a Permanent Judge in Madras High Court. After 8 ½ years of tenure in this position, he was transferred to Kerala High Court and was appointed as acting Chief Justice on 3 occasions. From there he went on to serve as Chief Justice at High Courts at Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. He was finally elevated as a Judge of Supreme Court in the year 2002.

During as a Judge and Chief Justice of Kerala, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and as Judge of Supreme Court he had delivered more than 1,37000 Judgments. Many of them are landmark Judgements. His legal acumen reflected in each and every one of his judgment. Many of them have been recognised and appreciated as thought Provoking Judgments in the history of the Indian Judiciary. The landmark Judgment delivered by him as a member of a Division Bench which banned smoking in public places is the one considered by all as an important Judgement.

Supreme Court Judge | Chairman of the 18th Law Commission of India

He retired as a Judge of the Supreme Court in 2007 and was appointed as Chairman of the 18th Law Commission of India. In a short span before retirement from this post in 2009, he had submitted 32 reports to the Government of India recommending various measures to improve the Judicial System in India.

It is natural that the service of a person of the calibre of Shri. A.R. Lakshmanan is much sought after by various Judicial, quasi-Judicial and non-Judicial institutions. He was the secretary of Madras Bar Association for 4 times, the founder-chancellor of the National Law University at Jodhpur, Revising author of Wharton’s Law Lexicon (15th Edition), Editorial member in Indian Law Institute, Delhi, Chairman of COFEPOSA Advisory Board and Chairman of NSA Advisory Board. He served as Legal Advisor for Bank of Madura, City Union Bank, Canara Bank, IOB, New India Assurance Company and was the standing counsel for the University of Madras, Food Corporation of India, MGR Medical University.


[Source: Dr. Justice A.R. Lakshmanan.com]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium approves the proposal for the elevation of Rajesh Kumar Bhardwaj, Advocate, as Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 17-08-2020]