Appointments & TransfersNews

S.O.1299(E)— In accordance of the Notification dated 21-02-2019 regarding constituting a Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities, as published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary Part-II, Section-3, Sub-Section (ii), the Central Government hereby appoints the following persons for the posts of Chairman and Members with effect from the date of assumption of charge by them:-

(1) Sh. Bhiku Ramji Idate: Chairman
(2) Ms. Mittal Patel: Member
(3) Sh. Otaram Dewasi: Member

The tenure of the aforesaid Chairman and the Members shall be three years from the date of assumption of charge by them.

[F. No. 16014/04/2018-BC-III]

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division Bench comprising of P.R. Ramachandra Menon and N. Anil Kumar, JJ. allowed a petition challenging the obstruction caused by Auto Rickshaw Union of Irrity area to the driver who was stopped from plying his vehicle despite possession of a valid permit.

Petitioner, owner of a contract carriage (auto rickshaw) obtained a contract carriage permit to ply the said vehicle in the place mentioned therein, subject to the condition that he shall not park it or pick up passengers in it from/within the city. However, he was forcefully obstructed from parking the vehicle at Iritty by the Irrity Auto Rickshaw Union stating that the same could be done only by members of their Union. Petitioner’s representations to the police yielded no results which prompted him to file the instant petition contending that the actions of Irrity Auto Rickshaw Union were contrary to the provisions of law and his vested rights.

The Court held that in so far as the petitioner was plying the vehicle strictly in terms of contract carriage permit obtained by him, there could not be any forceful obstruction from any corner. The petition was disposed of opining that in case of any such obstruction, the same be brought to the notice of Sub Inspector of Police who was directed to intervene then and there and take appropriate remedial measures to abate the threat to the rule of law. [Sumesh M.G. v. District Collector, Collectorate, Kannur, 2018 SCC OnLine Ker 5795, decided on 20-12-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

The Supreme Court on 26-06-2018 declined to extend the term of three members in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) until all seven vacancies are filled up.

A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while refusing to give any relief said that there were many vacancies in the Supreme Court as well but they could not extend the term of Supreme Court judges like that.

The SC extended the tenure of president and other members of NCDRC twice in the past six months due to delay in completion of the selection process. Recently Justice R K Agrawal, who retired from the SC barely four weeks ago, was appointed as the new NCDRC president. However, he is yet to take over. The increasing vacancy has led to the rise in the average period between two hearings in the NCDRC, which increased to 94 days this year against 81 days in 2015.

[Source: New Indian Express]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Deciding whether under the Electricity Act, 2003 it is mandatory to have a judicial mind presiding the Central and State Regulatory Commissions and whether the expression “may” should be read as “shall”, the bench of J. Chelameswar and S.K. Kaul, JJ held that Section 84(2) of the said Act is only an enabling provision to appoint a High Court Judge as a Chairperson of the State Commission of the said Act and it is not mandatory to do so. It was further held:

“It is mandatory that there should be a person of law as a Member of the Commission, which requires a person, who is, or has been holding a judicial office or is a person possessing professional qualifications with substantial experience in the practice of law, who has the requisite qualifications to have been appointed as a Judge of the High Court or a District Judge.”

The Court noticed that the State Commission, though defined as a ‘Commission’ has all the ‘trappings of the Court and that:

“Once it has the ‘trappings of the Court’ and performs judicial functions, albeit limited ones in the context of the overall functioning of the Commission, still while performing such judicial functions which may be of far reaching effect, the presence of a member having knowledge of law would become necessary. The absence of a member having knowledge of law would make the composition of the State Commission such as would make it incapable of performing the functions under Section 86(1)(f) of the said Act.”

The bench said that in any adjudicatory function of the State Commission, it is mandatory for a member having the aforesaid legal expertise to be a member of the Bench. It further held that in case there is no member from law as a member of the Commission, the next vacancy arising in every State Commission shall be filled in by a Member of law as mentioned above.

To avoid any confusion, the Court made it clear that it’s verdict will apply prospectively and would not affect the orders already passed by the Commission from time to time. [State of Gujarat v. Utility User’s Welfare Association, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 368, deciding 12.04.2018]