Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 40 with Devika Sharma

SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 40 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

Supreme Court Updates

‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ may soon be a reality!   

With an aim to curtail the pendency before the High Courts and for speedy disposal of the appeals concerning payment of compensation to the victims of road accident, the Supreme Court has asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to consider constituting ‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ by amending Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act so that the appeals challenging the award of a Tribunal could be filed before the Appellate Tribunal so constituted. 

The Supreme Court has suggested that there is no need for further appeal against the order of the Appellate Tribunal as the party always has the option of invoking the writ jurisdiction of the High Court for appropriate reliefs.  

SC frowns on rising trend to invalidate sexual misconduct proceedings on hyper-technical points 

In a case where there was a minor discrepancy regarding the date of occurrence of the act of sexual harassment of a constable at the hands of his superior i.e. the head constable, the Supreme Court has held that deeming such a trivial aspect to be of monumental relevance, while invalidating the entirety of the disciplinary proceedings against the superior and reinstating him to his position renders the complainant‘s remedy at nought. 

The Court took the opportunity to highlight the rising trend of invalidation of proceedings inquiring into sexual misconduct, on hyper-technical interpretations of the applicable service rules. It hence urged the Courts to be mindful of the fact that there are several considerations and deterrents that a subordinate aggrieved of sexual harassment has to face when they consider reporting sexual misconduct of their superior.  

Consumer Protection| Open to NCDRC to direct deposit of entire or more than 50 % of the amount ordered by SCDRC while staying SCDRC ‘s order 

Explaining the scope of Section 51 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Supreme Court has held that NCDRC can pass an order to deposit the entire amount and/or any amount higher than 50 per cent of the amount in terms of the order of the State Commission while staying its order. 

However, while doing so the NCDRC has to assign some reasons and pass a speaking order as such an order on the stay application is not to be passed mechanically. 

High Court Updates

Bombay High Court

Rape by person claiming to have supernatural powers

You must have heard about the unfortunate events happening due to blind faith of people and one such incident was addressed by the Bombay HC recently wherein a person was accused of asking a couple who were issueless to perform sexual acts in his presence and on one such occasion he raped the woman. Court noted that the woman had deep faith in the said man and only on account of such faith the husband and wife indulged in sex in his presence which otherwise could have been quite embarrassing.

Bombay High Court while addressing the matter with regard to rape committed by a person claiming to have supernatural powers expressed that,

“It is significant to note that the blind faith of the parties/victim on the accused is the real driver in such cases.”

High Court upheld the conviction of the accused under Section 376 IPC.

Does S. 327(2) CrPC providing for “in camera” proceedings apply to appeals? Bom HC decides while rejecting Tarun Tejpal’s application

The Bombay High Court at Goa rejected Tarun Tejpal’s plea to conduct “in camera” proceedings in connection with the appeal filed against his acquittal in a rape case. The High Court held that:

“Section 327(2) CrPC would only be applicable to ‘inquiry’ or ‘trial’ and that the same will not apply to appeals, either appeal against conviction or an application seeking leave to file appeal against acquittal.” 

The Court observed:

“In proceedings such as these, i.e. rape cases in general, it is expected that all parties conduct themselves with dignity, sobriety and some sensitivity that is required, particularly, whilst reading evidence pertaining to intimate details. This, we think is not too much to expect from the Advocates appearing for the respective parties. Maintaining decorum in the courtroom is not merely a superficial means of protecting the image of lawyers and judges – but it is absolutely essential to the administration of justice.”

Rape, Murder of Ragpicker: Merely because crime is heinous and brutal, it won’t be just to get carried away sans any legal proof to substantiate charges

Bombay High Court while addressing a sordid story of two poor, helpless and hapless victims who had not only been raped but one of them had been brutally murdered, held that,

“…prosecution has utterly failed in connecting the dots and bringing home the guilt of the accused.”

To read the detailed brief, please check out the SCC Online Blog.

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

 Mandatory Vehicle Location Tracker and insertion of Panic button

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court directed the Union government to implement mandatory Vehicle Location Tracking Devices and Panic Button for all public service vehicles in the tune of Rule 125-H of Motor Vehicles Rules. The Bench remarked,

“It goes without saying that the provisions of Section 136A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Rule 125-H have to be complied with in their letter and spirit. The exemption granted by the Government was limited in a period of time and has since expired.”

Calcutta High Court

Can mere failure to keep a promise without anything more lead to irresistible conclusion that promise had been dishonestly made from inception?

While addressing a matter under Section 376 of Penal Code, 1860 Calcutta High Court, observed that, it cannot be said that appellant had no intention to marry from the inception of the relationship, infact the relationship did not fructify due to obstruction from the elders of the family.

High Court observed that

Mere failure to keep a promise without anything more cannot lead to the irresistible conclusion that the promise had been dishonestly made from the inception.

Foreign Court

United Kingdom Supreme Court


Man with autistic disorder expresses desire to engage in sexual relations: Does he understand requirement of ‘consent’ from another sexual partner? UK SC explains

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom dealt with a very interesting matter and laid a detailed decisiom regarding ‘consent’ with respect to sexual relations. The matter before the Court raised issues of profound significance under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for persons with a disturbance in the functioning of mind or brain which potentially renders them unable to make a decision for themselves in relation to having sexual relations. The UK Supreme Court expressed that, the fact that the other person must have the ability to consent to the sexual activity and must in fact consent before and throughout the sexual activity applies to everyone in society.

Read here

Legislation Updates 

Tripura Value Added Tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2021 

On December 07, 2021, the Government of Tripura has issued the Tripura Value Added Tax (Eighth Amendment) Rules, 2021 in order to amend Tripura Value Added Tax Act, 2004. 

A new Rule 45A has been inserted which provides “Every registered dealer whose gross turnover in a year exceeds Rs. 40 lakh shall get his accounts, in respect of that year audited by an accountant within 6 months from the end of that year and obtain a report of such audit in Form-XLIV.”  

Ministry issues clarification on passing general and special resolutions through VC or OAVM 

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued a clarification on passing general and special resolutions through Video Conference (VC) or Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM) or to transact items through postal ballet vide circular dated December 8, 2021. The companies are allowed to conduct their EGMs through Video Conference (VC) or Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM) or transact items through postal ballot till 30th June, 2022.  

 UAE | Government adopts 4.5 days working week 

The UAE Government has adopted a four and half day working week with Saturday Sundays as off days on December 7, 2021. The law will come into effect from January 1, 2022. 

Public sector workers at the ministerial level will adopt a four and a half day working week, with employees working Monday to Thursday. There will be a half day on Fridays. Saturday and Sunday will be the new weekend for government workers.  

SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 

Delisting provisions introduced vide SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 which amends the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011.  

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 37 with Devika Sharma

SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 37 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

Supreme Court  

  • POCSO | “Touch”, “physical contact” can’t be restricted to “skin to skin contact”; “sexual intent” is the key. SC reverses Bombay HC’s “dangerous precedent”

In an important ruling on POCSO Act, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court has set aside the Bombay High Court judgment that had acquitted the accused under Section 8 of the POCSO Act, 2012 on the ground that no direct physical contact i.e. skin to skin with sexual intent without penetration would not amount to ‘sexual assault’.

Bombay High Court’s Nagpur Bench had expressed that the act of pressing of the breast of the child aged 12 years, in the absence of any specific detail as to whether the top was removed or whether he inserted his hand inside top and pressed her breast, would not fall in the definition of ‘sexual assault’. The said judgment had caused a huge uproar in January 2021, especially since the “shocking” opinion had come from a woman judge.

When the matter reached before the Supreme Court, Justice Bela Trivedi, writing for herself and Justice UU Lalit, held that “The most important ingredient for constituting the offence of sexual assault under Section 7 of the Act is the “sexual intent” and not the “skin to skin” contact with the child.”

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, in his concurring opinion said that,

“The reasoning in the High Court’s judgment quite insensitively trivializes – indeed legitimizes – an entire range of unacceptable behaviour which undermines a child’s dignity and autonomy, through unwanted intrusions.”

  • 5-year-old raped, killed, thrown into a stream: SC commutes death sentence to life imprisonment

In a case where a death row convict subjected a 5-year-old girl to rape, killed her by strangulation, and then disposed of her body, tied in a gunny bag, into a stream, the 3-judge bench of L. Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna* and BR Gavai, JJ has, finding hope for reformation and rehabilitation of the appellant, commuted his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.

The trial court had recorded that the death sentence was awarded on the ground that “the crime was committed in an extremely diabolical manner and that it was cruel, barbaric and revolting.” The High Court has noted that there are no mitigating circumstances at all.

While the Court noted that the appellant has committed an abhorrent crime, it said that, considering the mitigating circumstances like his young age, weak socioeconomic background, absence of any criminal antecedents, etc.; there was hope for reformation, rehabilitation, and thus the option of imprisonment for life was certainly not foreclosed. 

  • HC quashes proceedings based on “draft charge-sheet” yet to be placed before Magistrate! Clear abuse of S. 482 CrPC, holds SC

In a case where the Gujarat High Court had quashed criminal proceedings at the behest of persons who were not named in the FIR purely on the basis of their names appearing in the draft charge-sheet, the bench of SC has found it to be a “clear abuse” of High Court’s jurisdiction under Section 482 of the CrPC. The Court noticed that the High Court cannot place reliance on a “draft charge-sheet” which is yet to be placed before the Magistrate to quash the criminal proceedings under Section 482.

The Court said that the course followed by the High Court was unusual, if not extraordinary.

High Court Updates

Kerala High Court

  • Swap Kidney Transplantation between on relatives: HC removes legal hurdles

In an important decision, the Kerala High Court has allowed swap kidney transplant between on relatives. Opening that law prescribing procedure for organ transplantation should satisfy the test of reasonableness, the Court remarked:
“When Section 9(3) of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 permits transplant of organs to persons being relative, with the prior approval of the authorisation committee, there is no logic or rationale to say that swap transaction will not be allowed when members of each pair are not near relatives, even if the authorisation committee approves search transaction.”

  • “Child molestation is a shame on society; but if the allegations are false, it is lethal to the life of the accused”; HC acquits father accused of raping his minor daughter

The Kerala HC acquitted the father accused of raping his own minor daughter. Considering the contention that the allegation was raised due to instigation by the stepmother, observing discrepancies in statements of victim and her stepmother and failure to prove age of the victim by the prosecution, the Court remarked that,

“Forensic and semantics apart, the child molestation is a shame on society. But If the allegations are false, it is lethal to the life of the accused, more so if the accused is a parent; even if he is eventually acquitted.

Delhi High Court

  • Where can a petition under S. 125 CrPC be filed? HC discusses law on territorial jurisdiction

Discussing the law on territorial jurisdiction of courts to entertain a petition under Section 125 CrPC, the Delhi High Court said that ” while deciding the matter of maintenance, it is important for the court to bear in mind that technicalities such as jurisdiction should not impede the object that is sought to be achieved by a provision such as Section 125 CrPC which is essentially social welfare legislation.” On facts, the Court held that parents of the wife head to houses, one in Faridabad and mother in Vasant Kunj, Delhi, the territorial jurisdiction can be conferred in both faridabad as well as delhi.

  • Can wife claim maintenance under S. 125 CrPC where she as well as husband had spouses at the time of alleged marriage? Del HC decidesIn another case, the Delhi HC reversed the order of the family Court which had granted maintenance to the wife under Section 125 CrPC. The Court noted that the petitioner husband and claimant wife, both were already married two other individuals when there a legend marriage took place. It was held that second wife whose marriage is void on account of survival of the first marriage would not be a legally wedded wife, and therefore would not be entitled to maintenance under this provision.

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

  • J&K and Ladakh HC holds higher qualification than the maximum qualification prescribed is not suitable qualificationThe Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has held that in case of Class IV posts, higher qualification then the prescribed 10+2 may not be suitable for many reasons. The court reiterated that the suitability and qualifications for any posts have to be let down by the employer and the same are not liable to be interfered with judicially, until and unless the policy decision in that regard is found to be irrational and arbitrary.

Allahabad High Court

  • If arbitrator becomes functus officio, can provisions under Ss. 14 and 15 of A&C Act to appoint substitute arbitrator be invoked?

    Disposing of an application seeking the appointment of an independent arbitrator under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Allahabad High Court held that if the arbitrator had been rendered functus officio, there existed no occasion to invoke the provisions of Sections 14 and 15 of the Act for appointing a substitute arbitrator.

 Uttaranchal High Court

  •  Relief under S. 9 of A&C Act: Can it be granted to a party who is not party to arbitration agreement?

In another case, the Uttaranchal High Court emphasized on the purpose and object of Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and held that a person not a party to an arbitration cannot invoke jurisdiction of the court for interim relief under Section 9. The court added that Section 9 was enacted with the intention of preserving and protecting the subject matter of the arbitral proceedings, hence for invoking the jurisdiction of the court under Section 9, the person should be a party to an arbitration agreement.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

  • “To err is human and to forgive is divine”; Court directs advocate to plant and take care of saplings as punishment for contempt of female judge after unconditional apology

The MP HC decided a petition which was in reference under Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act and directed an advocate to plant and take care of 20 saplings as punishment for contempt of a female judge after unconditional apology. The Court said that,

The learned judge was a female Judge and it was expected from the bar members that they will appreciate the multitasking performed by a lady judge while taking care of her home, family as well as work front and therefore, more thoughtfulness and sensitivity is required in this regard. Read the full report on SCC Online Blog.

Legislation Updates

  • Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 
  • Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 

The President has promulgated Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 and Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021  to extend the tenure of Director of CBI and Enforcement Directorate upto five years.

  • RBI introduces internal ombudsman mechanism for select Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) 

The Reserve Bank has directed Deposit-taking NBFCs (NBFCs-D) with 10 or more branches and Non-Deposit taking NBFCs (NBFCs-ND) with asset size of Rs.5,000 crore and above having public customer interface to appoint Internal Ombudsman (IO) at the apex of their internal grievance redress mechanism within a period of six months from the date of issue of the direction.

  • IFSCA clarifies minimum holding period on sale or transfer of loan assets 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority has notified that the Authority does not mandate any Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement with respect to sale or transfer of loan assets (by any means) by/to IFSCA banking unit (IBU).

  • Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 

The Labour Department, Delhi has issued Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to further amend the Delhi Shops and Establishments Rules, 1954.


In this week’s SCC Online Quiz, we had asked How many points of law have been extracted for Kesavananda Bharti and Golak Nath cases?

Kesavananda Bharati: 151

Golak Nath: 120

Winners are:

Tanishq Aggarwal and Pulkit Agarwal

Legal RoundUpSupreme Court Roundups

“This Court stands as a staunch proponent of the freedom of the media to report court proceedings. This we believe is integral to the freedom of speech and expression of those who speak, of those who wish to hear and to be heard and above all, in holding the judiciary accountable to the values which justify its existence as a constitutional institution.”

Chief Election Commissioner of India v. M.R Vijayabhaskar, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 364


Practice and Procedure

Open for Courts to order house arrest under Section 167 CrPC

In a major verdict, the bench of UU Lalit and KM Joseph*, JJ has held that it is open for Courts to order house arrest under Section 167 CrPC in appropriate cases. The order comes as a milestone for curbing the problem of overcrowded prisons and high cost for their maintenance.

Read more…

Judges need to be extra careful while conducting criminal trials relating to dowry deaths

In a case relating to dowry death, the bench of NV Ramana*, CJ and Aniruddha Bose, J has said that judges need to be extra careful while conducting criminal trials relating to Section 304-B, IPC. The Court went on to summarise the law under Section 304­B, IPC read with Section 113­B, Evidence Act and the guidelines to be followed by the Courts while conducting trials in such cases.

Read guidelines

“No coercive measures to be taken”| Can High Courts pass such blanket orders while refusing to quash investigation? Here’s the law laid down by the Supreme Court

“Granting of such blanket order would not only adversely affect the investigation but would have far reaching implications for maintaining the Rule of Law.”


Apprehension of COVID-19 a ground for anticipatory bail: Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court’s order

The vacation bench of Vineet Saran and BR Gavai, JJ has stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order wherein it was held that apprehension of being infected with COVID-19 after coming into contact with authorities was a valid ground for anticipatory bail.

Read more…

NCLT/NCLAT vacancies

39 members for a sanctioned strength of 63! Supreme Court asks Centre to complete reappointment process within 2 months

“As the Government has already initiated the process of reappointment by writing to the Hon’ble Chief Justice, we trust and hope that the reappointment process should be completed expeditiously, as there is no necessity of issuance of any advertisement for participation of other eligible candidates.”

Read more…


Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of Section 124A IPC

The 3-judge bench of UU Lalit, Indira Banerjee and KM Joseph, JJ has issued notice in a plea seeking declaration of Section 124-A IPC to as unconstitutional and void. The order came after Senior Advocate Colin Gonalves submitted before the Court that the decision of the Court in Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar, 1962 Supp. (2) SCR 769 requires reconsideration.

Read why Section 124A IPC came into force and why 5-judge bench in Kedar Nath Singh verdict found it constitutional

Need to interpret sedition law in context of freedom of media; No coercive steps against TV5, ABN till next hearing

The two channels had broadcasted certain programmes wherein Raghurama Krishnam Raju, Member of Parliament had allegedly expressed views critical of the State Government and the Chief Minister. While Raju, has been named as the first accused, TV5 and ABN have been named as the second and third accused.

Read more…

Free Press/ Freedom of Speech and Expression

Madras High Court’s remarks harsh, metaphor inappropriate but can’t be expunged; Supreme Court junks EC’s plea seeking restrain on Media reporting Court proceedings

During the course of the hearing, the Madras High Court had allegedly orally observed that the EC is “the institution that is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19” and that the EC “should be put up for murder charges”.

Read more…

Open courts and freedom of media to report Court Proceedings: Unmissable Supreme Court quotes and the iconic Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak’s sedition trial

“Acceptance of a new reality is the surest way of adapting to it. Our public constitutional institutions must find better responses than to complain.”

Read more…


Levy of building cess on a contract for supply and delivery of equipment and materials? Impermissible, holds Supreme Court

In the case where Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Ltd had levied cess on CG Power and Industrial Solutions Limited based on CAG report only and had withheld dues in respect of other contracts, the bench of UU Lalit and Indira Banerjee*, JJ has termed such levy a forcible extraction of cess.

Read more…

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Nothing wrong with IBC Notification treating personal guarantors differently from other categories of individuals

Adding to the series of verdicts on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the bench of L. Negaswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat* has upheld the legality of the notification dated 15.11.2019 which notified provisions of Part III of the Code only in respect of personal guarantors to corporate debtors and has held that approval of a resolution plan does not ipso facto discharge a personal guarantor to a corporate debtor of her or his liabilities under the contract of guarantee.

Read more…


National Task Force for allocation of oxygen to States: Who are the experts and what will they do? All you need to know

“Estimating projected needs is crucial to ensure that the country remains prepared to meet future eventualities, which will cause a demand for oxygen, medicines, infrastructure, manpower and logistics.”

Read more…

Schools can’t profit from unutilised facilities; Rajasthan Schools to provide 15% deduction of annual fees for academic year 2020-21: Supreme Court

“The school Management supposedly engaged in doing charitable activity of imparting education, is expected to be responsive and alive to that situation and take necessary remedial measures to mitigate the hardship suffered by the students and their parents. It is for the school Management to reschedule payment of school fee in such a way that not even a single student is left out or denied opportunity of pursuing his/her education, so as to effectuate the adage “live and let live”.”

Read more…

Dry Ration/Community kitchen for stranded migrant workers; Common National Database for all organised workers: Supreme Court issues directions

“…for accessing of any benefit percolating from any scheme framed by the Centre or the States for the benefit of unorganized workers or migrant workers, registration of workers is essential, which registration shall facilitate the unorganized workers to assess the scheme and reap the benefit.”

Read more…

Limit arrests, release prisoners on parole: Read Supreme Court directions on containing COVID-19 spread in overcrowded prisons

India has more than four lakh prison inmates. Some of the prisons in India are overburdened and are housing inmates beyond optimal capacity.

Read more…

What is your policy for issuing death certificates in case of COVID-19 deaths? How do you provide compensation? Supreme Court issues notice to Central Government

It was argued before the Court that,

  1. under the revised list of items and norms of assistance from State disaster response fund which is part of the letter dated 08.04.2015, Rs.4,00,000/- as exgratia compensation is required to be made.
  2. there is no uniform policy for issuing the certificate or any official document regarding causes of death to the deceased families due to which there is a difficulty on availing various benefits.

 Read more…


No default bail to Gautam Navlakha

The Court held that the house arrest of the appellant was not purported to be under Section 167 and hence, cannot be included within the period of 90 days under Section 167 of CrPC. 

Read more…

After one year of marriage, woman burnt to death over dowry. Supreme Court finds accused guilty; explains the true import of “soon before” under Section 304-IPC

“When the legislature used the words, “soon before” they did not mean “immediately before”. Rather, they left its determination in the hands of the courts.”

Read more…

Narada Scam Case| CBI withdraws appeal from Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court’s order putting TMC leaders under house arrest

After accepting the fact that the Narada Scam Case is being heard by a 5-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation has withdrawn the case filed before the Supreme Court challenging the May 21 order of the High Court that had put the 4 TMC Leaders under House Arrest.

Read more…


Interpretation of Contracts: Not our duty to delve deep into the intricacies of human mind: Supreme Court

When can High Court entertain a writ petition, notwithstanding the availability of an alternative remedy?


Supreme Court’s E-Committee releases Manual for its free “e-Courts Services Mobile App” in 14 languages