Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

 


TOP STORY OF THE WEEK


Right to Abortion no longer a Constitutional right in the USA

In a far-reaching decision concerning American women’s right to abortion, the Supreme Court of the United States, has held that the Constitution of the United States does not confer any right to obtain abortions. The judgment decisively overrules the landmark SCOTUS ruling of Roe v. Wade, 1973 SCC OnLine US SC 20, which granted this constitutional right in the first place and also Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1994 SCC OnLine US SC 11 which upheld Roe. Furthermore, by this mandate the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.

While Chief Justice Roberts agreed with the majority opinion that the viability line established by Roe and Casey should be discarded, he however took a “measured course” and said that the right should extend far enough to ensure a reasonable opportunity to choose but need not extend any further certainly not all the way to viability.

However, the dissenting opinion termed the decision to be catastrophic and stated that the majority has given the ruling out of despise and has substituted a rule by judges for the rule of law. Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other,

The dissent concluded with the following words,

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”

Detailed Analysis: SCOTUS| United States’ Constitution does not confer any right to abortion; Roe v. Wade overruled after 49 years

Also read: “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many mil­lions of American women…we dissent.” Read SCOTUS dissent on Right to Abortion case 


APPOINTMENTS AND TRANSFERS


6 High Courts get new Chiefs

6 High Courts have got new Chief Justices. While Telangana High Court’s current Chief, Justice Satish Chandra Sharma will now be assuming the charge of the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, 5 judges have been promoted to be the Chief Justices of Gauhati, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana High Courts.

Full Story: 5 Appointments and one Transfer lead to 6 High Courts getting new Chiefs


SUPREME COURT


Clean Chit to PM Modi in 2002 Gujarat Riots

Supreme Court has dismissed Zakia Jafri’ss plea challenging the clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Special Investigation Team in 2002 Gujarat riots case. The Court observed that no fault can be found with the approach of the SIT in submitting final report back in 2012, which is backed by firm logic, expositing analytical mind and dealing with all aspects objectively for discarding the allegations regarding larger criminal conspiracy (at the highest level) for causing and precipitating mass violence across the State against the minority community.

Detailed Analysis: “SIT Officials have come out with flying colours unscathed despite all odds”; Read SC’s key observations while upholding SIT’s clean chit to PM Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots

Man set free in a 28-year-old honour killing case

In 1994, a young couple belonging to different castes was found hanging from a tree after having gone missing for days. The love affair did not sit well with the girl’s father and uncle. It was alleged her uncle had killed both of them and had kept the bodies in the house for 3 days, after which he had taken the bodies to the cashew nursery and had hung them on a cashew tree to give it the shape of them having committed suicide.

Noting that the prosecution had miserably failed to bring home the charges levelled against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, the Court observed that conviction could not be based on a very weak kind of evidence of extra judicial confession by the co-accused and the theory of “Last seen together” propounded by the prime witness.

Detailed Analysis: No conviction based on ‘last seen together’ theory when possibility of suicidal death not ruled out; SC sets man free in a 28-year-old honour killing case


HIGH COURTS


Bombay High Court| Unmarried major Daughter’s right to maintenance

In a case where a father had refused to maintain his unmarried major daughter on the ground that the daughter was earning Rs.72 lakhs to Rs.80 lakhs by merely posting photographs on Instagram, the Bombay High Court has held that the father had the responsibility to maintain his daughter and her Instagram biography is not enough to prove that she has independent and sufficient income.

The Court remarked,

it is a well-known fact that it is the habit of the youth of today to project a glossy picture and post the same in the social media though its contents may not always be true.”

Detailed Analysis: Bombay High Court| Unmarried major Daughter entitled for maintenance from her father; Glossy life on Instagram does not prove independent and sufficient income

Orissa High Court | Vigilance Department vis-à-vis Right to Information

The Orissa High Court has held that the Government of Odisha cannot deny information pertaining to the Vigilance Department involving allegations of corruption and human rights violations, and other information that does not touch upon any of the sensitive and confidential activities undertaken by the Vigilance Department. The Court held that if under the RTI Act disclosure is the norm, and non-disclosure is the exception, then the notification by the Odisha Government’s Information and Public Relations Department seeks to take away what is provided by the RTI Act and is therefore ultra vires the RTI Act.

Detailed Analysis: Orissa High Court | Notification exempting Orissa Vigilance Department from the purview of RTI is ultra vires of RTI Act, 2005

Patna High Court| Right to Sanitation a fundamental right

Sanitation is personal and private, inextricably linked to human dignity. At the same time, sanitation has an essential public health dimension. The Patna High Court observed that the right to sanitation comes within the scope of Article 21 and therefore, directed the State, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), and Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) to construct public toilets and public conveniences on highways across the state of Bihar.

Detailed Analysis: Right to Sanitation a fundamental right: Patna HC issues directions to Bihar Govt and NHAI to construct “Public toilets” on highways


NATIONAL COMMISSIONS


NCDRC| Women with sponge left in abdomen after Caesarean Surgery gets Rs. 5 Lakhs Compensation

In a consumer dispute where a woman had alleged medical negligence on part of the doctors who had left a sponge in her abdomen after performing a Caesarean surgery; NCDRC has held that, since a foreign body was left in the system of the complainant during the surgery, it clearly indicated a failure of reasonable degree of care and thus it constitutes medical negligence. As a result, the woman will now get the compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs.

Detailed Analysis: Infected sponge left in the abdomen of a woman post Caesarean surgery, constitutes medical negligence; NCDRC directs compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to the aggrieved party


LEGISLATIONS


TDS exemption on rent of ‘aircraft’ leased out by IFSC units on certain conditions

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has exempted TDS on lease rentals under Section 194-I of Income Tax Act, 1961 paid to Aircraft Leasing Units. The Notification will come into force on July 1, 2022. The Exemption is applicable on certain conditions. You can read the same on the SCC Online Blog.

Full Report: CBDT notifies exemption of TDS on rent of ‘aircraft’ leased out by IFSC units on certain conditions

Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022

Central Government, after consulting the Election Commission of India has notified Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022 A new Rule has been inserted which provides Merger and integration of list of amendments. The rule provides that the list of amendments prepared with reference to the qualifying dates shall be merged and integrated with the last finally published roll and published as draft roll, before every election and bye-election and shall be put in public domain with reference to the qualifying date, proximate to the said election, as the Election Commission may direct.

Full Report: Centre notifies linking of Aadhaar with electoral roll vide Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules, 2022

NFRA Amendment Rules, 2022

The National Financial Reporting Authority Amendment Rules, 2022 introduces the penalty in case of non-compliance of the provisions of the Rules. Whoever contravenes any of the provisions of these rules, shall be punishable with fine not exceeding five thousand rupees, and where the contravention is a continuing one, with a further fine not exceeding five hundred rupees for every day after the first during which the contravention continues.”.

Full Report: MCA introduces maximum penalty upto Rs. 5000 in case non-compliance of NFRA Rules, 2018 vide NFRA Amendment Rules, 2022


Curated and presented by Prachi Bhardwaj, Associate Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 65 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court 


Capital Punishment| Supreme Court allows Project 39A of NLU Delhi to conduct psychological evaluation of a death row convict to bring out mitigating factors   

Adopting a humanitarian approach, the Supreme Court has allowed Project 39- A of the National Law University, Delhi, to have access a death row convict to interview him and conduct a psychological analysis in order to bring out mitigating circumstances.   

The death row convict had approached the Court against the order of confirmation of the death sentence awarded by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The Court, while admitting the appeal had stayed the execution of the death sentence for now.   

Read more

Old Age Home inmates can’t get away with causing disruption of peace of other inmates; Administration can ask them to vacate the room 

In a case where an old age home inmate was accused of misbehaving with other inmates and was hence, asked to vacate the room, the Supreme Court has held that if one parent is the cause of disruption of peace of other inmates in the old age home, the administration of the old age home is at liberty to terminate the license and ask the inmate to vacate the room allotted to them. 

The Court observed that, 

“one can understand the mental trauma which the parents face in the evening of their life but the agony suffered by a parent cannot be a cause of disturbance to the other inmates or to the organizers who have resolved to take care and run the old age home.” 

Read more

Railway doubling project on Karnataka-Goa route antithesis to biodiversity and ecology; Supreme Court revokes approval for railway doubling in Western Ghats  

In an important case regarding environment Law, the Supreme Court has revoked the approval granted by the Standing Committee of NBWL for doubling the railway line between Castlerock to Kulem. Pertinently, western ghats eco-system which is one of world’s eight hotspots, which spreads across 9 National Tiger Reserves, 20 National Parks and about 68 Wildlife Sanctuaries and the landscape forms one of the largest and most contiguous Protected Area networks in the country.   

Since the project involved diversion of significant area of forest land and sanctuary land, the Court remarked,   

“…in case of doubt, protection of environment would have precedence over the economic interest.” 

Read more


High Courts 


Does DRT has power to restrain a person from travelling abroad? Does Art. 21 includes right to travel abroad? Bom HC discusses 

Answering two important questions on whether DRT has power to restrain a person from travelling abroad and does Art. 21 include right to travel abroad, Bombay High Court expressed that the right to travel abroad has been spelt out from the expression “personal liberty” in Article 21 of the Constitution. Justices A.S. Chandurkar and Amit Borkar observed that, the provisions under the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, do not impliedly confer such powers on the Debt Recovery Tribunal to restrain a person from travelling abroad.

Read more 

Child suffering from mental illness, requires a disability certificate, can certifying authority insist him to come to premises of institution? Madras HC analyses  

Whether the certifying authority can insist that the person for whom the certificate of disability is sought should come to the premises of the institution for the purpose of assessment even though he or she is unable to come? G.R. Swaminathan, J., held that the persons suffering from mental retardation or mental illness are entitled to have the assessment done at the place where they reside. gh Court stated that, Article 41 of the Constitution of India mandates that the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to public assistance in cases of sickness and disablement and in other cases of undeserved want. 

Further, the Bench expressed that, 

State has the obligation to design a special approach depending upon the special needs of the concerned category of disabled.  

Article 14 of the Constitution of India guarantees that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws. But unequals cannot be treated equally. Persons with severe disabilities will have to be treated on a different footing altogether.

Read More

Can merely smuggling of gold without any connection to threat to economic security of India amount to terrorist act? Read what Del HC says  

While granting bail to men accused of smuggling gold, the Division Bench of Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna, JJ., expressed that, the mere smuggling of gold without any connection to a threat to the economic security or monetary stability of the country is not a “terrorist act” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

Read more


Legislation Updates 


Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022 

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has issued Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022 to provide for the prevention of false or misleading advertisements and making endorsements.  They are applicable to all advertisements regardless of form, format or medium; a manufacturer, service provider or trader whose goods, product or service is the subject of an advertisement, or to an advertising agency or endorser whose service is availed for the advertisement of such goods, product or service. 

Read more

Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies) Amendment Rules, 2022 

The Central Government has notified Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies) Amendment Rules, 2022 to amend the Companies (Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies) Rules, 2016 and thereby modifying the norms relating to the Application for removal of name of company. 

Read more 

Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Rules, 2022 

The Central Government has notified the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Rules, 2022 in order to regulate the functioning of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinics and banks. 

Read full story on SCC Online Blog 

Read more

Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022 

The Central Government notifies Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2022 for purchase and consumption of green energy including the energy from Waste-to-Energy plants. This rules shall be applicable for generation, purchase and consumption of green energy including the energy from Waste-to-Energy plant.
 

Read more


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

 


Top Story


 Thane Court

Man allegedly cheats a woman by suppressing material fact of him being homosexual: Will Thane Court grant him bail? Read

Noting the fact that a man suppressed the material fact of his private life before marriage i.e., about him being a homosexual, Rajesh S. Gupta, J., found that, the whole life of a young girl had been spoiled due to the material suppression, if the same would have been shared prior to the marriage then the consequence would be different.

Bench expressed that,

No doubt, every individual has its dignity to live in the society. No other person can interfere into lifestyle but that does not mean that a person gets liberty to spoil the life of either of spouse.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/12/man-cheats-woman-not-disclosing-homosexuality/


Supreme Court | Updates


Husband suspects paternity of child; Supreme Court allows DNA test while granting conditional compensation of 30 lakhs to wife if suspicion proves to be wrong

In a very interesting case where the husband had disputed paternity of child on suspicion, though the Supreme Court has allowed the DNA test, it has also granted a conditional compensation of thirty lakhs to the wife if the suspicion proves to be wrong and husband turns out to be the father of the child.

The couple got married on 05-02-2014 and the marriage was consummated on 09-02-2014. The child was born after 261 days, i.e., about 17 days earlier which was almost after 9 months, therefore, the wife had contended that there was no reason to presume that the petitioner was pregnant when she married the respondent.

Before the Supreme Court, the Bombay High Court had also directed the DNA test.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/12/paternity-dna-test-compnesation-husband-wife-family-supreme-court/

2006 Meerut Fire Tragedy| Organizers held guilty! 60:40 liability to compensate victims fixed on Organizers & State

In the 2006 Meerut fire case, the Supreme Court has held the Organizers responsible for the incident and not the Contractor as the Contractor was only responsible for executing work as assigned to him by the Organizers.

The victims can finally see some ray of hope after 16 years of the unfortunate incident that claimed 65 lives and left 161 or more with burn injuries as the Supreme Court has now directed the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to entrust the work of determination of compensation to a Judicial Officer in the rank of District Judge/Additional District Judge at Meerut within two weeks of the present order to work exclusively on the question of determination of the compensation on day-to-day basis.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/13/meerut-fire-tragedy-compensation-organizers-supreme-court-judgments-legal-research-updates-news/


High Court | Updates


Bombay High Court

Whether absence of President of State Commission or District Forum for reasons beyond control is sufficient for striking down S. 29A as unconstitutional? Bom HC decides

Stating that, the Courts cannot examine the constitutional validity if a situation created by impugned legislation is irremediable, the Division Bench of Bombay HC, addressed a matter wherein the constitutional validity of Section 29A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was challenged.

High Court observed that, the language of Section 29A of the Consumer protection Act is intended to provide for a situation where a President of State Commission or District Forum is non-functional, either having not been appointed in time or is on leave due to reasons beyond his control.

The scheme of appointment and adjudication of consumer disputes is laid down under the Act to make the District Forum or State Commission continuously functional, allowing the Members in the absence of the President to function in a situation beyond the control of the Members of the Forum.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/12/constitutional-validity-of-section-29a-of-consumer-protection-act-district-forum-state-commision-president/

Lawyer-client relationship is a fiduciary one; any act which is detrimental to legal rights of clients’ needs to be punished 

Stating that it is the duty of every Advocate to uphold professional integrity so that citizens can legally secure justicethe Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., expressed that, professional misconduct refers to its disgraceful conduct not befitting the profession concerning the legal profession, which is not a business or trade and therefore, it must remain decontaminated

In this case, the Court was perturbed by the act of the Advocate to keep valuable security owned by the Client with him.”

Bench also observed that, The Advocates owe a social obligation to the Society while discharging professional services to the litigant. The Advocate should not commit any act by which a litigant could be deprived of his statutory and constitutional rights on account of the sublime position conferred upon him under the judicial system in the country.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/12/lawyer-client-relationship-is-a-fiduciary-one/

Every partner is liable, jointly with all other partners and also severally for all acts of firm done while he is a partner: Is it true? Bom HC answers

Expressing that, a firm is not a legal entity, the Bombay High court, held that a partnership firm is only a collective or compendious name for all the partners. A partnership firm does not have any existence apart from its partners. Therefore, a decree in favour of or against the firm in the name of the firm has the same effect like a decree in favour of or against the partners.

Hence, when a firm incurs a liability, it can be assumed that all the partners have incurred that liability and so the partners remain liable jointly and severally for all the acts of the firm.

https://www.scconliane.com/blog/post/2022/04/15/every-partner-is-liable-jointly-with-all-other-partners-and-also-severally-for-all-acts-of-firm-done-while-he-is-a-partner/


 Punjab & Haryana High Court

Wife makes unfounded, indecent and defamatory allegations against husband to his senior officers, destroying his career & reputation: Mental Cruelty or not? P&H HC elaborates

Expressing that, Matrimonial cases are matters of delicate human and emotional relationshipthe Division Bench of P&H HC., expressed that, the Court no doubt should seriously make an endeavour to reconcile the parties, yet, if it is found that the breakdown is irreparable, then divorce should not be withheld.

The Court remarked that, The consequences of preservation in law of the unworkable marriage which has long ceased to be effective are bound to be a source of greater misery for the parties

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/11/wife-destroying-career-and-reputation-of-the-husband-irretrievable-breakdown-of-marriage-mental-cruelty/


Rajasthan High Court

Raj HC reiterated “Right to Procreation survives during incarceration” and “is traceable and squarely falls within the ambit of Article 21 of our Constitution; Parole granted

Rajasthan High Court granted parole to a convict whose wife sought 15 days of emergent parole for want of progeny.

High Court observed that, having progeny for the purpose of preservation of lineage has been recognized through religious philosophies, the Indian culture and various judicial pronouncements. the right of progeny can be performed by conjugal association; the same has an effect of normalizing the convict and also helps to alter the behavior of the convict prisoner.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/11/raj-hc-reiterated-right-to-procreation-survives-during-incarceration/


Legislation Updates 


Income-tax (8th Amendment) Rules, 2022 

Ministry of Finance notified Income Tax (8th Amendment) Rule, 2022 in order to amend the guidelines of Infrastructure Debt Fund in the parent rules of Income Tax Rules, 1961. The 8th amendment will be in force with immediate effect. The amendment set up the Infrastructure Debt Fund as a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) according to the conditions set by the Reserve Bank of India in the Infrastructure-Debt Fund–Non-Banking Financial Companies (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/09/infrastructure-debt-fund-guidelines-modified-vide-income-tax-8th-amendment-rules-2022/

SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) (3rd Amendment) Regulations, 2022 

On 11th April, 2022, Securities and Exchange Board of India issues Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) (3rd Amendment) Regulations, 2022. This regulation comes into effect with immediate effect and aims to replace “asset cover” with “security cover” for the listed debt with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Asset cover certificate is used to monitor the adequacy of assets charged against the debt obligations of the person issuing it. It is submitted to the Debenture Trustee.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/12/asset-cover-sebi-security-cover-legal-research/

Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) (Amendment) Rules, 2022 

On April 12, 2022, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has issued the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) (Amendment) Rules, 2022 to further amend the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019. The amendment modifies the period of “Convertible note”from 5 years to 10 years.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/15/foreign-exchange-management-non-debt-instruments-amendment-rules-2022/

National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Amendment Scheme, 2022 

The Central Government notifies National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Amendment Scheme, 2022 to amend the National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Scheme, 1973.

In the National Insurance Company Limited (Merger) Scheme, 1973, the authorised share capital of three public sector general insurance companies has been enhanced from ‘seven thousand five hundred crore divided into seven hundred fifty crore’ to ‘fifteen thousand crore divided into fifteen hundred crore’.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/15/authorised-share-capital-of-three-public-sector-general-insurance-companies-enhanced-vide-national-insurance-company-limited-merger-amendment-scheme-2022/

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 56 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court


 

Amendments to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 upheld 

The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the amendments to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 vide the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020. The amendments were challenged for being manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable and impinging upon the fundamental rights guaranteed to the NGOs under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. 

The Court, however, was of the opinion that receiving foreign donation cannot be an absolute or even a vested right. By its very expression, it is a reflection on the constitutional morality of the nation as a whole being incapable of looking after its own needs and problems.  

Asking the question that “in normal times”, why developing or developed countries would need foreign contribution to cater to their own needs and aspirations, the Court observed that the aspirations of any country cannot be fulfilled on the hope of foreign donation, but by firm and resolute approach of its own citizens to achieve the goal by sheer dint of their hard work and industry.  

The Court also observed that the foreign aid can create presence of a foreign contributor and influence the policies of the country and hence, the presence/inflow of foreign contribution in the country ought to be at the minimum level, if not completely eschewed. 

Read more

“State cannot hide behind delay & laches to evade it’s responsibility after acquiring land” 

In a case where the Supreme Court was posed with the question as to whether the State can, merely on the ground of delay and laches, evade its legal responsibility towards those from whom private property has been expropriated, answering in negative, the bench held that the State cannot shield itself behind the ground of delay and laches as there cannot be a ‘limitation’ to doing justice. 

The State of Himachal Pradesh utilised the subject land and adjoining lands for the construction of the ‘Narag Fagla Road’ in 1972-73, but allegedly no land acquisition proceedings were initiated, nor compensation given to the appellants or owners of the adjoining land. 

The Court noticed that the State had, in a clandestine and arbitrary manner, actively tried to limit disbursal of compensation as required by law, only to those for which it was specifically prodded by the courts, rather than to all those who are entitled. Hence, the Court not only directed the State to pay compensation to the said landowners but also imposed cost on the State.  

Read more

Amalgamation does not necessarily nullify tax assessment as only the outer shell of the amalgamating company gets destroyed but the business and the adventure lives on 

In another case, the Supreme Court has held that whether corporate death of an entity upon amalgamation per se invalidates a tax assessment order ordinarily cannot be determined on a bare application of Section 481 of the Companies Act, 1956 (and its equivalent in the 2013 Act), but would depend on the terms of the amalgamation and the facts of each case. 

In the case at hand, Mahagun Realtors Private Limited, a real estate company, amalgamated with Mahagun India Private Limited but the assessment order showed the assessee as “Mahagun Relators Private Ltd, represented by Mahagun India Private Ltd”. 

Finding no fault with the assessment order, the Court observed that despite amalgamation, the business, enterprise and undertaking of the transferee or amalgamated company- which ceases to exist, after amalgamation, is treated as a continuing one, and any benefits, by way of carry forward of losses (of the transferor company), depreciation, etc., are allowed to the transferee. Therefore, unlike a winding up, there is no end to the enterprise, with the entity. The enterprise in the case of amalgamation, continues. 

Read more


High Courts


 Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice: Madras HC 

Expressing that, Legal profession is a noble profession, and it is the lawyer, who plays a predominant role in securing every citizen’s life and personal liberty fundamental and statutory rights ensured by the Constitution, Madras High Court, observed that, Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice. 

Bench also remarked that, 

“Once you accept to defend the Government or its agencies, you cannot complain of the poor and nominal fee paid by them, for, the Government is for the people and it is not destined to make profit, but to serve the people.” 

With regard to the legal profession being a noble profession, the Court expressed that, when a lawyer for an individual client fight for the life and liberty of his client, the Law Officers of the State are cast with onerous responsibilities to strike a balance of individual and fellow citizens rights along with State, its policies, welfare schemes, etc. 

Read more

Do Family Courts have to remain as a neutral umpire of the real dispute between the parties? Ker HC decides 

Expressing that, Family Court has been functioning in like manner of an ordinary Civil Court, the Division Bench of Kerala High Court, remarked that, family courts have to be impartial or neutral. 

Kerala High Court noted that, the sad plight of the functioning of the Family Court often is portrayed before High Court by challenging the orders invoking Article 227 of the Constitution. Further, the Court stated that the purpose of restricting the challenge to the final order has been lost as the Family Court is more engrossed in passing interim orders focusing on rights, obligations or disputes rather than focusing on the parties before them. 

High Court while answered the question “Do Family Courts have to remain as a neutral umpire of the real dispute between the parties?” in negative and elaborated stating that, no doubt judges of Family Courts have to be impartial or neutral, but proceedings or processed are not ordained to be away or aloof from making enquiry to find the truth of the real dispute. 

Read more

 Whether power of Maintenance Tribunal under Senior Citizen Act is circumscribed to ordering of monthly allowance? Ker HC elaborates 

Expressing that, “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the biggest honours.”, Kerala High Court in a matter wherein a senior citizen approached the Court with her grievance with respect to her son, observed that, 

“When the Senior Citizen or parent who has earnings makes an application to the Maintenance Tribunal contending that her right to earning is obstructed by the son who has statutory obligation to maintain the parent, the Maintenance Tribunal has to ensure that the Senior Citizen or parent is able to maintain herself from her earnings.” 

Read more

Whether husband is entitled to claim alimony under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955? Bom HC decides 

Bharati Dangre, J., held that provision of maintenance/permanent alimony being a beneficial provision for the indigent spouse, Section 25 can be invoked by either of the spouse, where a decree of any kind governed by Sections 9 to 13 has been passed and marriage tie is broken, disrupted or adversely affected by such decree of the court. 

Read more


Legislation Updates 


 Drugs (4th Amendment) Rules, 2022 

On April 04, 2022, the Central Government has notified the Drugs (4th Amendment) Rules, 2022 to further amend the Drugs Rules, 1945. The amendment modifies the time period  for the application of renewal of license and provides that it must be made within 18 months of expiry.  

Read more

  Companies (Management and Administration) Amendment Rules, 2022 

The Central Government has notified Companies (Management and Administration) Amendment Rules, 2022 to amend the Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, 2014. The amendment inserts a proviso in Rule 14 which deals with Inspection of registers, returns. The proviso states a list of particulars of the register or index or return in respect of the members of a company shall not be made available for any inspection. 

Read more

 CBDT notifies e-Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2022 

On April 05, 2022, the Central Board Of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued the e-Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2022 by the Dispute Resolution Committee on applications made for dispute resolution under Chapter XIX-AA of the Act in respect of dispute arising from any variation in the specified order by such persons or class of persons, as may be specified by the Board. 

Read more

 Income Tax (7th Amendment) Rules, 2022 

On 5th April, 2022, Ministry of Finance notified Income Tax (7th Amendment) Rules, 2022. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) with the new financial year aims to bring more transparency in tax payments and returns by reducing disputes between officials /authorities and taxpayers. These rules will be made applicable with immediate effect. 

Read more

 

Income-tax (6th Amendment), Rules, 2022 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes notified amendment to Income Tax Rules,1961 through Income-tax (6th Amendment), Rules, 2022. This amendment aims to tax incomes from retirement benefit account from 1st April, 2022. 

Read more

Finance Act, 2022 

On 30th March, Central Government passed Finance Act, 2022 for the financial year 2022-2023. The Act will be effective from 1st April. The Government adopts the various changes in direct and indirect taxes. It also introduces Virtual Digital Asset (VDA) as a taxable asset under Income Tax Act, 1961. The Act modifies Income Tax Act to provide relief to disable persons by paying annuity or lump sum amount for the benefit of a dependant. 

For more details, read our full story on SCC Online Blog 

Read more


 

 

 

 

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 52 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below. 


Supreme Court 


‘Business to business’ dispute not a consumer dispute 

Are you someone who has availed Banking Services to expand your Business and planning to seek relief against the Bank under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986? As per a recent Supreme Court ruling, you cannot do so. The Court has held that the ‘business to business’ disputes cannot be construed as consumer disputes as the Consumer Protection Act revolves around “business-to-consumer” disputes and not for “business-to-business” disputes. 

The Court was deciding the case where a person had opened an account with the Punjab National Bank, took overdraft facility to expand his business profits, and subsequently from time to time the overdraft facility was enhanced so as to further expand his business and increase his profits.  

In such circumstances, the Court held that this relation was purely “business to business” relationship. As such, transactions would clearly come within the ambit of ‘commercial purpose’. It cannot be said that the services were availed “exclusively for the purposes of earning his livelihood” “by means of self-employment”. 

Read more

Can State discriminate between persons having experience in home State from those having experience in other States? Is there any intelligible differentia? 

In an interesting ruling, the Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal challenging the decision of State of Rajasthan to place persons having experience in Rajasthan and those having experience in other States on different footings for extending benefits of State notification proving bonus marks. 

The case relates to “discrimination” between candidates with experience in National Health Mission and National Rural Health Mission in Rajasthan as against those working outside of Rajasthan. Noticeably, the Government of Rajasthan had conducted several training programmes for the persons working with, pertaining to the peculiar working pattern in the rural areas of the State of Rajasthan including tribal and arid zones and such a training is mandatory and non-joining of the same would result in non-renewal of service contracts. It had been held by the High Court that persons having special knowledge in working in the State of Rajasthan form a class different than the persons not having such experience of working in the State. 

Approving the findings of Rajasthan High Court, the Bench held, 

“…every State has its own problems and issues and the persons trained to meet such circumstances, stand on a different pedestal.” 

 Read more


High Courts


Kerala High Court: At odd hours, if wife continues making discreet phone calls with another man even after a warning by husband, would it constitute matrimonial cruelty? Ker HC decides 

While addressing holding that making discreet phone calls frequently by the wife with another man disregarding the warning of the husband, that too at odd hours, would amount to matrimonial cruelty, High Court also made another significant observation that normally matrimonial cruelty takes place within the four walls of the matrimonial home and therefore independent witness may not be available, hence the Court can even act upon the sole testimony of the spouse if found convincing and reliable. 

Read more

P&H HC :In ever-evolving society, evolving law with it, time to shift perspective from didactics of orthodox society, shackled with strong strings of morality to one that values an individual’s life: P&H HC 

While dealing with a matter regarding protection to live-in relationship, P&H HC held that, every person in the territory of India has an inherent and indefeasible fundamental right to life flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the State is duty-bound to protect life. 

In this matter, the couple was in a live-in relationship and were fearing for their lives and liberty, hence they had approached the Court. 

High Court observed that,  “We are governed by the rule of law and follow the Constitutional dharma. In the ever-evolving society, evolving the law with it, the time is to shift perspective from didactics of the orthodox society, shackled with the strong strings of morality supported by religions to one that values an individual’s life above all.” 

Read more

Allahabad High Court: People using cyberspace to vent out anger and frustration by travestying key-figures holding highest office in country, is abhorrent and violates right to reputation: All HC 

While dealing with a case wherein as per the allegations levelled in the FIR, a a morphed photo showing Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with dreaded and wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed was posted on Facebook in the name of Anil Sharma and said objectionable post in question was shared by the applicant, Allahabad HC observed that, 

“The internet and social media has become an important tool through which individuals can exercise their right to freedom of expression but the right to freedom of expression comes with its own set of special responsibilities and duties.” 

Further the Court also expressed that, 

“Posting & sharing unhealthy materials with unparliamentary language and remarks, etc. on social media without any solid basis cause a deleterious effect on society at large, ergo in order to protect reputation and character of individuals, it should be completely stopped.” 

Read more

Chhattisgarh High Court: If husband brings home concubine due to which wife leaves house, would that lead to desertion by wife? 

Chhattisgarh High Court while addressing a case of divorce, expressed that, “If the husband keeps another lady; gives shelter to her; and proceeds to have child with the said lady and for that reason if the first wife has to leave the matrimonial home because of physical and mental torture meted out to her it cannot be presumed as a desertion on the part of wife.” 

In this case, the wife was subjected to mental and physical cruelty and was forced to leave her matrimonial home as the husband had kept one concubine. 

Read more


Legislation Updates 


 Central Motor Vehicles (fifth Amendment) Rules, 2022 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued notification to mandate the procedure for detailed investigation of road accidents, the Detailed Accident Report (DAR) and its reporting, along with timelines for different stakeholders, for quick settlements of claims by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal ( MACT). 

Further, it has also mandated incorporation of  validated mobile number in the Certificate of Insurance. 

Read more

Central Motor Vehicles (Motor Vehicle Accident Fund) Rules, 2022 

Central Government has notified Central Motor Vehicles (Motor Vehicle Accident Fund) Rules, 2022 which will come into force on April 1, 2022. The Rules provides for  

  • Establishment of Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and  
  • Disbursement of fund for hit and run compensation under Section 161 

Section 161 of the Motor Vehicles Act provides for enhanced compensation for hit-and-run cases of death and injuries. Section 161 (effective April, 2022), as amended by the Motor Vehicles Act 2019, increased the compensation for death  in hit-and-run cases from Rs 25,000 to Rs. 2 Lakhs; in cases of grievous injuries, the compensation was enhanced from Rs.12,500 to Rs 50,000. 

On February 25, 2022, the Central Government notified the Compensation to Victims of Hit and Run Motor Accidents Scheme, 2022 which will come into force from April 01, 2022. The Scheme is issued in supersession of the Solatium Scheme, 1989. The Scheme provides for  

  • Constitution of Standing Committee and District Level Committee  
  • Procedure for making claim application
  • Payment of Compensation 

To read the detailed report, refer SCC Online Blog 

Read more

e-Filing Rules of the High Court of Delhi, 2021 

Delhi High Court announced to make electronic filing compulsory and e-filing rules have been notified with the motive to reduce physical appearances in the Courts due to Covid and will continue to be applicable even after physical filing is resumed. 

Read more

National Financial Reporting Authority (Manner of Appointment and other Terms and Conditions of Service of Chairperson and Members) Amendment Rules, 2022 

MCA has modified NFRA Rules relating to salary and various allowances for Chairperson and members of authority.  Among other changes, the Rules are modified to increase the consolidated monthly salary of Chairperson from two lakhs fifty thousand rupees to four lakh fifty thousand rupees.  

Read more


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 49 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court 


Battle half won for MP District Judge in alleged sexual harassment case as SC orders her reinstatement 

In the case where one Additional District and Sessions Judge of Madhya Pradesh was “was left with no other alternative” but to resign after she was transferred as a consequence of the sexual harassment allegations levelled by her against the then Portfolio/Administrative Judge of Madhya Pradesh High court, the bench of L. Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai has held that the said resignation cannot be said to be voluntary and hence, set aside the order accepting her resignation and directed her reinstatement directed as an Additional District & Sessions Judge. 

The District Judge was transferred mid-term from Gwalior to Sidhi I.e. from Category A to Category C which is against the Transfer Rules. Also, her representation regarding her daughter’s education was also not paid heed to.  

All the frustration actuated by the thought that injustice was being meted out to her by the very Institution of Judiciary , led to her resigning from the post and choosing her daughter’s education over her own career. The Court observed that  

“It appears that in a gruesome battle between a mother and a Judicial Officer, the Judicial Officer lost the battle to the mother.” 

 Read more

 

Bank Employees misappropriate funds. Confession by one leads to mild penalty; No evidence against another leads to dismissal! SC directs reinstatement 

In a case where a bank employee was dismissed from services despite lack of evidence, the Supreme Court has directed his reinstatement and has held that  even in departmental proceedings, there had to be some overt evidence, and not mere suspicion, to support a valid finding of complicity of the employee. 

In the case at hand, it was alleged that the respondent had disbursed loan in favour of twelve fictitious persons and had misappropriated the amount of ₹ 60,000/- forming the subsidy component. Interestingly, confession of guilt by his colleague resulted in a mild penalty of withholding of increments. However, the respondent, who did not admit his guilt, or confess to it, was dismissed from his service despite no credible evidence. 

In such circumstances the Court observed that the bank’s charge about his complicity had to be proved by evidence and the document, containing others’ confession, could not have been used against him. 

Read more

 

POCSO Offenders Deserve No Leniency; “A Message Must Be Conveyed To The Society At Large” 

In a case where a 65-year-old man committed aggravated penetrative sexual assault on his 4-year-old neighbor, the bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has observed that any act of sexual assault or sexual harassment to the children should be viewed very seriously and all such offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment on the children have to be dealt with in a stringent manner and no leniency should be shown to a person who has committed the offence under the POCSO Act. 

Noticing that the children and more particularly the girl child deserve full protection and need greater care and protection whether in the urban or rural areas, the Court observed that 

“Cases of sexual assault or sexual harassment on the children are instances of perverse lust for sex where even innocent children are not spared in pursuit of such debased sexual pleasure.” 

Read more


High Courts


Tripura High Court: Exclusion of married daughters from the die-in-harness scheme of the State Government discriminatory? Court discusses 

  Deciding the question pertaining to exclusion of married daughters from the die-in-harness scheme of the State Government, Tripura high Court while explaining the object of the scheme expressed that, 

  

Marriage does not break the bond between a daughter and her parents as it does not do between a son and his parents. A crisis in the family of her parents equally worries a married daughter. As such, there is no rationale behind exclusion of a married daughter from the scheme

  

High Court held that a die-in-harness policy inasmuch as it operates as a disqualification in the case of a married woman, as against a married man must be held to be discriminatory and such policy, tested on the touchstone of Articles 14 to 16 of the Constitution, cannot be held to be valid. 

 Read more

  

Bombay High Court : 9-year-old child prefers to stay with mother’s father and his family members and shows animosity towards father: Whether father will get custody of child or not? Bom HC decides 

Addressing a matter wherein a child’s mother was diagnosed with cancer due to which she started living at her parental home with the child, and after the passing of the mother, a custody battle arose between the father of the child and the father and brother of wife, Bombay High Court, noted animosity of the child towards his father, to which the Court expressed that, the same must have occurred due to ‘parental alienation syndrome’. 

  Expressing that preference of child alone cannot be a decisive factor, High Court gave the custody to the father, and stated that the child has already lost his mother at a young age and he requires parental love, care, affection and protection for overall development. 

Read more

 


Legislation Updates 


Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2022

 The Unique Identification Authority of India notifies Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2022 to further amend the Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2021. The Amendment inserts various definitions such as Aadhaar Letter, Aadhaar PVC Card, e–Aadhaar” and mAadhaar’.  

Read more

SEBI issues circular on Audit Committee of Asset Management Companies (AMCs) 

SEBI has issued a circular on Audit Committee of Asset Management Companies (AMCs). It has been decided that the AMCs of mutual funds shall be required to constitute an Audit Committee. The circular provides the role, responsibility, membership and other features of the Audit Committee of AMC. It shall come into force with effect from August 01, 2022. 

Read more

 

Delhi Judicial Service (Amendment) Rules, 2022 

The Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi in consultation with the High Court of Delhi notified Delhi Judicial Service (Amendment) Rules, 2022 to amend the Delhi Judicial Service Rules, 1970.  

  • Rule 7 has been modified to include a proviso providing that the quorum for any meeting of the Selection Committee. 
  • Rule 13 has been modified to provide the recruitment process. 
  • Rule 14 has been modified to include the eligibility criteria where the candidate is not more than 32 years of age on the 1st day of January of the year in which the applications for appointment are invited. 

Read more


New Feature on SCC Online


Search through ‘funnel’ for notifications now gets easier as we start adding headings to the Notifications. 

 Hope you will find this effort by SCC Online team useful.


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 46 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

 


Top News of the Week


 Bishop Franco Mulakkal; A victim of faction feud in the Church and group fights of nuns? Read why Sessions Court acquitted the Bishop in nun rape case 

  While hearing a case which had lead nation to one of the most controversial outbreak and had lifted the veil to showcase the alleged atrocities and harassment behind the four walls of the Church, Gopakumar G., Addl. Sessions Judge held that what seem to be a disturbing case of sexual violence by a Bishop, intoxicated with power, authority and position was nothing but a faction feud in the Church and the victim was a mere scapegoat in the hands of priests. 

Kerala High Court acquitted the Former Bishop Mulakkal in the nun rape case, wherein it was alleged that the nun was raped 13 times. 

 Read a comprehensive report on this very interesting and awaited decision on the SCC Online blog. 

Read more


Supreme Court 


“Reservation is not at odds with merit”; SC upholds OBC reservation in NEET PG and UG Admissions in AIQ quota  

In a detailed judgment, the bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna, JJ has upheld the Constitutional validity of the reservation for OBC candidates in the All India Quota seats for PG and UG  medical and dental courses and noticed that while an open competitive exam may ensure formal equality where everyone has an equal opportunity to participate, however, widespread inequalities in the availability of and access to educational facilities will result in the deprivation of certain classes of people who would be unable to effectively compete in such a system. 

On the question that whether after graduation, an individual is entitled to reservation on the ground that they belong to a class that suffers from social and educational backwardness, the Court said that it cannot be said that the impact of backwardness simply disappears because a candidate has a graduate qualification. It was hence held that no prohibition in introducing reservation for socially and educationally backward classes (or the OBCs) in PG courses. 

Read more

 

“Can’t allow Devas and its shareholders to reap the benefits of their fraudulent action”; SC upholds NCLAT’s order to wind up Devas   

The bench of Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ has upheld NCLAT’s order of winding up of Devas Multimedia Private Limited and has observed that allowing Devas and its shareholders to reap the benefits of their fraudulent action, may send wrong message that by adopting fraudulent means and by bringing into India an investment in a sum of INR 579 crores, the 133 investors can hope to get tens of thousands of crores of rupees, even after siphoning off INR 488 crores. 

The winding up of Devas was initiated on the ground that the agreement with Devas, a joint venture between ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix and USA’s Forge Advisors, was a result of a fraudulent and criminal conspiracy between the persons in management of the affairs of the company and the officials of Antrix/Government of India, to award a lease of scarce and   valuable   S­band   spectrum,   without   obtaining   necessary approvals and without following applicable norms and procedures. 

The Supreme Court, in such facts and circumstances observed that, 

“If the seeds of the commercial relationship between Antrix and Devas were a product of fraud perpetrated by Devas, every part of the plant that grew out of those seeds, such as the Agreement, the disputes, arbitral awards etc., are all infected with the poison of fraud.” 

Read more


High Courts


Madras High Court: On Judgement Day, God shall admonish petitioner for committing un-Christian act’: Read weather Madras HC holds Catholic Priest prima facie accountable under S. 295A IPC for using ‘Bharat Mata’ and ‘Bhuma Devi’ in offensive manner 

While addressing a case wherein a catholic priest’s speech created public outcry and the offending speech prima facie attracted the offences under Sections 153A, 295A and 505(2) of IPC. 

 Court found that the catholic priest outraged the religious beliefs and further observed that, 

  Bhuma Devi is considered as a Goddess by all believing Hindus. I use the expression “believing” because, even materialists, rationalists and non-believers also can be counted as Hindus. I may add tongue-in-cheek that even the great iconoclast and rationalist Periyar did not cease to be a Hindu. Bharat Mata evokes a deeply emotional veneration in a very large number of Hindus. She is often portrayed carrying the national flag and riding a lion. She is to many Hindus a Goddess in her own right. 

Further, Court also expressed that, 

To uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and maintain public order, the strong arm of law will have to come down heavily on those who seek to disrupt communal peace and amity. 

Read more

 

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Dowry Prohibition Act vis-a-vis J&K Dowry Restraint Act; HC blurs the line between the two. In a case alleging dowry death, Rajnesh Oswal, J., clarified the scope and applicability of Jammu and Kashmir Dowry Restraint Act 1960. Observing that the Trial Court had conducted mini trial at the stage of framing of charge, the Bench expressed, 

   “The trial court was considering issue with regard to framing of charge under section 304-B RPC but the trial court got swayed by the definition of dowry as defined under the Act of 1960 forgetting the legislative intent behind making the amendment, more when the definition was elastic even for the purpose of Act of 1960 by the use of expression “In this Act unless the context otherwise requires”. 

The petition had been filed by the mother of the deceased against the impugned order of the Trial Court by which the respondents were discharged of offence under section 304-B RPC and instead charges were framed for offences under sections 306 and 498-A/34 RPC. 

 Read more


 Commissions 


  District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Kolkata: Consumer cannot be forced to pay “service charge” in a restaurant: Consumer Forum finds conduct of restaurant contrary to principles of Consumer Protection Act 

While holding against the service charge, charged by a restaurant, Coram of Swapan Kumar Mahanty (President) and Ashoke Kumar Ganguly (Member) directed for return of the amount charged as “service charge” along with compensation. 

  Commission held that the restaurant committed unfair trade practice and further expressed that restaurant must have been aware of the guidelines of Fair Trade Practice related to changing of service charge from the consumers by hotels/restaurant issued by Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, inter alia, stipulating that service charge on hotel and restaurant bill is “totally voluntarily” and not mandatory. 

  Read more


Legislation Updates


Securities and Exchange Board of India (Settlement Proceedings) (Amendment) Regulations 

SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 has been notified in order to amend Securities and Exchange Board of India (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, 2018. 

The amendment modifies the period for permitting the applicant to submit revised settlement terms from 10 working days to 15 working days;  It also modifies the Table specifying mathematical basis for calculating the settlement amount under Chapter III under the regulations by 

  • Reducing the value of Proceeding Conversion Factor (PCF) which was earlier ‘0.65’ for voluntary or confidential settlement, and now reduced to ‘0.40’. 
  • Base amount for each unit of alleged default or on joint liability basis has been revised such as for each count of violation for a body corporate, in a case not involving FUTP or Insider Trading etc. has been revised to Rs. 10 lakhs in comparison to earlier Rs. 15 lakhs. 

Read more

 

Registration of Factors (Reserve Bank) Regulations, 2022 

the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued the Registration of Factors (Reserve Bank) Regulations, 2022 relating to the manner of granting Certificate of Registration to companies which propose to do factoring business. 

The Regulations provide that the company seeking registration as NBFC-Factor shall have a minimum Net Owned Fund (NOF) of ₹5 crore, or as specified by the Reserve Bank from time to time. 

For more details about the Regulation, read our full story on the blog 

Read more

 

Securities Transaction Tax (1st Amendment), Rules, 2022 

the Central Government notifies Securities Transaction Tax (1st Amendment), Rules, 2022 to amend the Securities Transaction Tax Rules, 2004

The Amendment introduces Provision for collection and payment of securities transaction tax in case of insurance company  

Read more

 

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Amendment) Rules, 2022 

Central Government notifies Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Amendment) Rules, 2022  and introduces Criteria based on which sums may be released by Government .  The Criteria is:  

(a) the beneficiary of the fund shall be a micro or small or medium enterprise and shall file the memorandum; 

(b) the fund shall be mandatorily utilised for the project or scheme or activity for which it is approved by the Governing Council; 

(c) the fund shall be disbursed as per the guidelines notified for that particular project or scheme or activity ; and 

(d) beneficiary of this fund cannot claim benefits from any other Scheme or programme of Central Government or any State Government or Union territory Administration for that project or scheme or activity. 


 New Feature

 New Topics: IBC and Arbitration introduced in Curated Topics


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind


Top Story


PM Modi Security Lapse: SC asks P&H HC to ‘secure and preserve’ all records relating to PM’s Punjab tour   
After a massive security breach that left Prime Minister Narendra Modi stuck on a highway in Punjab for 20 minutes on January 5, 2022, the 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, JJ has directed the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve the records relating to Prime Minister’s scheduled tour of Punjab on 05th January 2022.  

Due to bad weather the Prime Minister’s convoy took off by road for a two-hour journey instead of flying to the rally site at Ferozepur Punjab by helicopter. Around 10 km short of the rally venue, the convoy was stranded on a flyover because of protesting farmers. The Convoy turned back after waiting for around 20 minutes. All the further programmes were cancelled. 

The Supreme Court is now due to take up the matter of January 10, 2022. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/08/pm-modi-security-lapse-sc-asks-ph-hc-to-secure-and-preserve-all-records-relating-to-pms-punjab-tour/  


Supreme Court Updates


Justice R. Subhash Reddy retires  

On January 4, 2022, Justice R. Subhash Reddy bid adieu to the Supreme Court after serving as a Supreme Court judge for a little over 3 years. Born in an agricultural family, Justice Reddy began his career as an Advocate in the year 1980. His stint as an advocate stretched over a staggering period of 22 years. He also served as a judge at the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, before his elevation to the Supreme Court.  

Read all about him and his notable judgments on the SCC Online Blog.  

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/04/bidding-adieu-to-justice-ramayyagari-subhash-reddy/  

NEET 2021-22: Supreme Court allows Counselling with 27% Quota for OBCs and 10% Quota for EWS in All India Quota 

Considering the urgent need to commence the process of Counselling so that the admission process is not dislocated, the Supreme Court has directed that counselling on the basis of NEET-UG and PG 2021 shall be conducted by giving effect to the reservation as provided by the notice dated 29 July 2021, including the 27 per cent reservation for the OBC category and 10 per cent reservation for EWS category in the All-India Quota seats. 

The order came after the notice issued by the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 29 July 2021 was challenged by the doctors who appeared in the NEET- PG 2021 examination. 

The notice implements a 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes1 (non-creamy layer) and a 10 per cent reservation for the Economically Weaker Section, while filling up 15 per cent undergraduate and 50 per cent post-graduate All India Quota seats in pursuance of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.  

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/07/neet-2021-22-supreme-court-allows-counselling-with-27-quota-for-obcs-and-10-quota-for-ews-in-all-india-quota/  

Award cannot be remitted to the arbitrator in absence of findings on the contentious issues 

Explaining the provision of remission under Section 34 (4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Supreme Court has held that under guise of additional reasons and filling up the gaps in the reasoning, no award can be remitted to the Arbitrator, where there are no findings on the contentious issues in the award. 

The Court explained that if there are no findings on the contentious issues in the award or if any findings are recorded ignoring the material evidence on record, the same are acceptable grounds for setting aside the award itself. Under guise of either additional reasons or filling up the gaps in the reasoning, the power conferred on the Court cannot be relegated to the Arbitrator. In absence of any finding on contentious issue, no amount of reasons can cure the defect in the award. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/07/explained-can-an-award-be-remitted-to-the-arbitrator-in-absence-of-findings-on-the-contentious-issues/  


High Court Updates


Madras High Court 

Would installing CCTVs in spas and massage parlours infringe bodily autonomy of a person? 

Expressing that right to life and personal liberty enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to relax, Madras High Court, held that the said right can be exercised in a variety of forms. 

Bench observed that, 

Suspicion that immoral activities are taking place in massage centres cannot be reason enough to intrude into an individual’s right to relax for it intrinsically is part and parcel of his fundamental right to privacy. 

Further, the Court noted that, the installation of CCTV equipment inside premises such as a spa would unquestionably infract upon a person’s bodily autonomy. These are inviolable spaces where the prying eye of the state simply cannot be allowed to enter.

https://bit.ly/3qot2Nk

Clubs allowing members to bring liquor purchased from outside, and drink without FL-2 license. Is it permissible? 

In another significant decision, Madras High Court decided whether consumption of liquor in an Association, Club or in similar places is permitted or not 

High Court observed that Any Association, Club or otherwise cannot go beyond the scope of its bye laws and the Competent Authorities under the Societies Registration Act are also empowered to initiate action for violation of the bye-laws. 

https://bit.ly/32XE96T 

Chhattisgarh High Court 

 Wife who refuses to join company of husband on ground of ‘auspicious time’ would lead to desertion? 

Chhattisgarh HC granted divorce to husband and wife, on noting that despite efforts taken by the husband to restore the matrimonial home, wife did not cooperate and under the guise of auspicious time to return, she continued at her maternal home leading to desertion by wife. 

 https://bit.ly/3G3ZERK 

Delhi High Court 

“Overseas wife”, husband visited wife for few days only on yearly visits from Canada: Whether moribund marriage or not?  

Delhi High Court while deciding the matter expressed that “…every marriage, where the couple stays apart from each other for work or other obligations consensually, is a broken one.” 

Court held that there was neither a matrimonial home, nor the possibility of ever having one and the damage to the marriage was evident. Hence while dissolving marriage, Bench added that  

The parties were at an age, where they may start a new life, if given a chance. However, keeping them tied to a legal bond would only mean snatching away from them the chance to ever lead a fulfilling life.

https://bit.ly/3f37L5j 

Bombay High Court 

Can ‘minor’ who succumbed to an accident during course of employment be compensated under Employees Compensation Act or Insurance Company will be absolved of its liability? 

Bombay High Court held that Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 does not prohibits payment of compensation to a minor.

There is no age limit for a person to be employed as an employee under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, thereforethe Insurance Company cannot be absolved of its liability to pay compensation to the claimants, the dependents of the deceased. 

https://bit.ly/3zzS7rk 


European Court of Justice 


ECJ holds Bulgaria obligated to recognize same sex couple as parents of a child even when its national law does not recognize the concept of marriage between homosexuals 

Moving to international courts, ECJ directed Bulgaria to recognize same sex couple as parents of a child irrespective of the fact that Bulgaria does not recognizes the concept of marriage between homosexuals. The Bench held that, 

“It would be contrary to the fundamental rights which are guaranteed to the child under Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter for the Child to be deprived of the relationship with one of her parents when exercising her right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States on the ground that her parents are of the same sex.” 

https://bit.ly/3G7fHOG 


Legislation Updates


Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2021 

The Ministry of Finance has notified the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2021 vide notification dated December 31, 2021, amending the Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 2005. 

The purpose of the amendment was to include ‘electronic instant messaging service’ to the modes of service of notice/order. It provides that the notice sent should be digitally signed by competent authority and in case of bouncing of the electronic mail, it wouldn’t be considered valid service of notice. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/04/securities-contracts-regulation-procedure-for-holding-inquiry-and-imposing-penalties-rules-2021-to-include-instant-messaging-for-service-of-notice-order/  

Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021 

On December 30, 2021, the Central Government notified Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021 in order to revise the pecuniary jurisdiction of District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission. 

Read more details on SCC Online Blog 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/01/03/pecuniary-jurisdiction-of-district-state-and-national-commissions-revised-vide-consumer-protection-jurisdiction-of-the-district-commission-the-state-commission-and-the-national-commission-rules-2/  

Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 

On December 29, 2021, the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 received the assent of the President to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The Amendment introduces a provision to link electoral rolls with Aadhaar. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/31/provision-to-link-electoral-rolls-with-aadhaar-introduced-vide-election-laws-amendment-act-2021/  

 

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind


STORY OF THE WEEK 


Three death row convicts to walk free as SC finds them “not guilty” of murdering six family members  

In a big relief to three death row convicts, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court has acquitted all of them of charges of killing 6 members of their own family after it was found that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. 

On 23rd January, 2014, 6 members of a family, including two children aged 15 and 8 were found brutally murdered.  

It was Prosecution’s case that one Momin Khan, with his wife Nazra, along with his first cousin and nephew came armed with knives and assaulted his parents, his brother, sister-in-law and two children. While the Trial Court convicted and sentenced all 4 to death, the Allahabad High Court affirmed the sentence imposed on 3 men but acquitted the woman.  

The Supreme Court, however, found several loopholes and inconsistencies in the prosecution story and was surprised at how the Trial Court and the High Court had dealt with the case in such a casual manner while considering the question of life and death of the accused. 

The Court observed that a greater degree of scrutiny, care and circumspection was expected while directing the accused to be hanged till death. 

Read here: Three death row convicts to walk free as SC finds them “not guilty” of murdering six family members 


SUPREME COURT


Consumer Protection| Can written statement be accepted beyond 45 days? SC settles the conundrum once and for all 

After a series of judgments, before and after the Constitution Bench verdict in New India Assurance company Limited case on March 4, 2020, gave contradictory views with respect to discretion of NCDRC to condone the delay beyond 45 days, thereby creating uncertainty over the applicability of the Constitution Bench verdict, the Supreme Court has settled the controversy once and for all and has held that the Constitution Bench judgment would not affect applications that were pending or decided before March 4, 2020. 

On March 4, 2020, the Constitution Bench had held that the limitation period under Section 13(2)3 of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 could not be extended beyond the statutorily prescribed period of forty-five days. 

Read here: Can written statement be accepted beyond 45 days? SC settles the conundrum once and for all 

Time to do away with Discretionary quota for allotment of Government Largesse 

Noticing that the allotment of government largesse on the basis of discretionary quota inevitably leads to corruption, nepotism and favouritism, the Supreme Court has suggested that discretionary quota should be done away with, and allotments of the public properties/plots must be through public auction by and large. 

The observation came in a case where the officials of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and the Housing and Urban Development Department, Odisha Deptt hatched a criminal conspiracy for allotment of 10 plots in the discretionary quota arbitrarily and to their own family members/relatives. 

Read here: Time to do away with Discretionary quota for allotment of Government Largesse 


HIGH COURTS


KERALA HIGH COURT

Forced Conversion Therapy of LGBTQA+ community; HC directs State to constitute an expert committee for forming guidelines against such therapies 

In an important ruling on the rights of the LGBTQA community, the Kerala High Court has directed the Kerala Government to take strict action against the forced conversion therapy of LGBTQIA+ Community in the State. The Bench also directed the government to constitute an expert committee and form a guideline based on that in this regard. 

Read here: Forced Conversion Therapy of LGBTQA+ community; HC directs State to constitute an expert committee for forming guidelines against such therapies

Husband harasses wife, portrays her as a psychiatric patient; HC slams Child Right Commission for directing psychiatric treatment of wife without any medical assessment 

In an interesting development, Kerala High Court slammed the Kerala State Commission for Child Rights for directing psychiatric treatment for wife of the accused without any jurisdiction. Expressing anguish over the factum that the Commission had aided the accused in trespassing the house of the victim and forcefully admitting her in the hospital, the Bench remarked, 

“The case is very distressing insofar as, the respondent , prima facie has been attempting to style his wife as a mental patient before various forums.” 

The Court noticed that the respondent; employed in the Law Department of the State and also once appointed as a temporary Magistrate, wants to use his official clout to witch-hunt his wife and children.

Read here: Husband harasses wife, portrays her as a psychiatric patient; HC slams Child Right Commission for directing psychiatric treatment of wife without any medical assessment

Accused has no right to Narco Analysis Test to prove innocence; HC denies permission to 68 years old POCSO accused from voluntarily undergoing Narco Test 

Holding that accused have no rights to claim subjecting themselves to Narcotic Analysis Test to prove innocence, the Kerala High Court observed the limitation of Narco Test and stated that,  

“The possibility of accused himself making exculpatory statements to support his defence also cannot be ruled out. There is no mechanism or the present Investigating Agency is also not equipped to assess the credibility of such revelations of the accused.”

Read here: Accused has no right to Narco Analysis Test to prove innocence; HC denies permission to 68 years old POCSO accused from voluntarily undergoing Narco Test

Whether gifts given to the bride during marriage by parents will be covered under ‘Dowry’ or not? 

In a very important decision Kerala High Court held that, 

“Presents given at the time of marriage to the bride without any demand having made in that behalf and which have been entered in a list-maintained in accordance with rules made under the Dowry Prohibition Act will not come within the purview of Section 3(1) of Dowry Prohibition Act which prohibits giving or taking of dowry.”

Read here: Whether gifts given to the bride during marriage by parents will be covered under ‘Dowry’ or not?


DELHI HIGH COURT

“And Then There Were None”: Agatha Christie’s most famous work in Del HC for trademark registration 

Justice Harishankar, expressing that he was an “avowed aficionado and an admirer of Agatha Christie”, quashed the order which refused the trademark registration to Agatha Christies’ most well-known work  “And Then There Were None”. 

Delhi High Court also observed that, If the mark is distinctive, and is not identical or confusingly or deceptively similar to any earlier mark which is registered or in use from a prior date in respect of similar goods or services, or which results in the passing off, by the applicant, of its goods or services as those of another, registration of the mark is a matter of right.. 

Read here: “And Then There Were None”: Agatha Christie’s most famous work in Del HC for trademark registration

If an advocate has appeared for a party in judicial or quasi-judicial capacity or even as a mediator, Can Court injunct him from appearing to maintain stream of justice? 

In another decision, the Delhi High Court while expressing its opinion on the position of an advocate in law expressed that,  

an advocate owes, to the litigating public, the Court, his client and to the opposite parties, the highest degree of probity and transparency. 

The Court elaborated that where the Court finds that the appearance of an advocate, before it, is not in keeping with the standards expected of the legal profession and is likely to prejudice a fair espousal and prosecution of the lis, the Court can step in and restrain such appearance. 

Read here: If an advocate has appeared for a party in judicial or quasi-judicial capacity or even as a mediator, Can Court injunct him from appearing to maintain stream of justice?

Daughter-in-law claims right of residence in late husband’s mothers’ property under the head ‘Shared Household’: Mother-in-law approaches Del HC seeking eviction of daughter-in-law

Explaining the significance of ‘shared household’, the Delh Highi Court, explained that where a residence is clearly a shared household, it would not bar the owner from claiming eviction against her daughter-in-law, if circumstances call for it. While allowing the mother-in-law’s prayer seeking possession of the subject property to the exclusion of the daughter-in-law, the Court said that 

“The protection under the DV Act assuring the residence of the aggrieved person in the shared household does not vest any proprietary or indefeasible right on the aggrieved person. It is also subject to eviction being initiated in accordance with law.” 

Read here: Daughter-in-law claims right of residence in late husband’s mothers’ property under the head ‘Shared Household’: Mother-in-law approaches Del HC seeking eviction of daughter-in-law 


LEGISLATION UPDATES 


Bihar Biological Diversity (Amendment) Rules, 2021 

The Government of Bihar has notified the Bihar Biological Diversity (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to extend the tenure of Biodiversity Management Committees till tenure of Government Advisory Committees. 

Read here: Bihar Biological Diversity (Amendment) Rules, 2021  

Maharashtra Government revises Excise Duty for wine manufacturers 

The Government of Maharashtra has revised the Excise Duty for wine manufacturers holding licence in FORM BRL. 

As a result, the wines manufactured from any substance and without addition of alcohol and without manufacturing or blending with imported concentrate or imported Bulk Wine shall be exempted from Excise Duty in excess of Rs. 10 per bulk litre. 

Read here:Maharashtra Government revises Excise Duty for wine manufacturers

Dam Safety Act, 2021 

The Dam Safety Act received President’s assent in order to provide for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure related disasters and to provide for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning.  

Read details report about the Act on SCC Blog 

Read here: Dam Safety Act, 2021 


 

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.  

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/motor-vehicle-appellate-tribunals/  

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. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/06/sc-frowns-on-rising-trend-to-invalidate-sexual-misconduct-proceedings-on-hyper-technical-points-after-calcutta-hc-reinstates-bsf-head-constable-based-on-minor-discrepancy/  

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. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/08/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-sc/ 


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.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/rape-by-person-claiming-to-have-supernatural-powers/

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.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/07/does-s-3272-crpc-providing-for-in-camera-proceedings-apply-to-appeals/

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.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/02/rape-and-murder-of-ragpickers/

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.”

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/mandatory-vehicle-location-tracker-and-insertion-of-panic-button/

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.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/false-promise-of-marriage-2/


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.” 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/10/tripura-value-added-tax-eighth-amendment-rules-2021/  

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. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/09/ministry-issues-clarification-on-passing-general-and-special-resolutions-through-vc-or-oavm/  

 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. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/08/uae-government-adopts-4-5-day-working-week-shortest-in-the-world/  

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. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/12/07/delisting-provisions-introduced-vide-sebi-substantial-acquisition-of-shares-and-takeovers-third-amendment-regulations-2021/  

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 39 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court Updates


Death row convicts, who killed 8 members of their brother’s family over property dispute, to now serve LI for 30 years 

In a case where 8 members of a family, including 4 minors, were brutally murdered pursuant to property dispute between siblings, the Supreme Court has converted the punishment from death to life. However, keeping in mind the gruesome murder of the entire family of their sibling in a pre-planned manner without provocation due to a property dispute, the Court held that the convicts deserved a sentence of a period of 30 years. 

The Court stressed that the Courts are bound to elicit information of all the relevant factors and consider those regarding the possibility of reformation, even if the accused remains silent.  

Read more

Project Proponent not expected to anticipate changes in Environmental Clearance regimes 

In a case where a Project Proponent had adhered to the applicable legal framework for Environmental Clearance during the concerned period but has been left in the lurch due to changes in the Environmental Clearance regimes, the Supreme Court held that a Project Proponent cannot be expected to anticipate the changes in Environmental Clearance regimes, especially as a result of judicial interventions, and keep revisiting the sanctioned clearances by the competent authority or even raze down validly constructed structures. Neither can it be expected to knock the doors of an authority, not empowered at the relevant time, to process its applications.  

The Court said that  

“Such a scenario would render the process akin to a Sisyphean task, eternally inconclusive and never ending.” 

Read more

74-year-old, arrested under UAPA, gets bail after 9.5 years  

In a big relief to a 74-year-old, who has been behind the bars since 2012 as an undertrial prisoner, after being arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), has directed his release on post-­arrest bail by the trial Court.  

The order came after it was brought to the Court’s notice that after the charge-sheets came to be filed way back in 2012, the charges have been framed after 7 years of filing of the charge-sheet on 20th June, 2019. Also, the hearing was taking place only once a month, as opposed to the “day-to-day” hearing provision under the NIA Act, 2008.  

The Court said that considering that there were 298 prosecution witnesses who were yet to be examined, making a timely trial impossible and the fact that the74-year-old has been incarcerated since almost 9.5 years, it was “obligated to enlarge him on bail”. 

Read more


High Court Updates 


 Ker HC upholds conviction of former priest; reduces 20 years rigorous imprisonment to 10 years 

In an infamous case of sexual assault whereby the priest of the St. Sebastian Church had impregnated a minor girl, Kerala HC, upheld the conviction of the accused. The Bench, however, reduced the sentence of 20 years rigorous imprisonment awarded to the accused to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. 

Noticing that the victim girl told the police that her own father had committed rape on her and that the father of her child was her own father, while the medical report had proved the accused was the father of the child and the paternity was admitted by the accused himself, the Bench observed, 

“In the instant case, from the very beginning, there has been attempt on the part of the family of the victim to save the accused, who was the vicar of the local church, from the clutches of law.” 

Read more

Being in love isn’t synonymous to consent for sexual intercourse; HC upholds conviction for rape 

Kerala High Court held that passive submission made by the victim under unavoidable circumstances as she had no other option is not consent. While clarifying the difference between consent and submission, the Bench expressed, 

“Merely for the reason that the victim was in love with the accused, it cannot be presumed that she had given consent for sexual intercourse.” 

Read more

Harassment to grab senior citizen’s property | 94-year old father approaches Court stating he doesn’t want his daughter even for one-minute longer: Read Bom HC’s decision 

Noting in case after case, complaints from senior citizens that their own sons and daughters are harassing them, Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J Jamdar, JJ., expressed that, 

“…harassment is an attempt to somehow grab the senior citizen’s property in his or her lifetime without thought spared to the mental or physical health well-being or happiness of these seniors.” 

Agreeing with the various decisions of the Courts, Bench expressed that, 

“…it is our experience that in this city, and particularly or most especially amongst the wealthy of this city, senior citizens and elderly parents are being subjected to all kinds of harassment and deprivation in their twilight years.” 

Read more

When LSD Drug is put on blotter paper, would blotter paper form an integral part of drug? Weight of paper will be considered for determining small or commercial quantity? Read on 

Addressing a very crucial question having relevance with the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances cases, Revati Mohite Dere, J., decided whether blotter paper forms an integral part of the LSD Drug when put on blotter paper for consumption. 

Bench expressed that,  

Merely because the blotter paper can be licked or put in a glass of water, does not necessarily mean that the blotter paper has to be excluded whilst determining the LSD on the blotter paper. 

Further, expressed that LSD put on a blotter paper, is capable of being swallowed, after placing it on the tongue. It is thus evident that the blotter paper is capable of being swallowed and is used as one of the methods for consuming LSD. 

Read more

‘Hang by neck till dead’: Bom HC confirms death sentence in a rarest of rare cases for committing rape and murder of a 3-years 9-months old child 

A Division Bench of Sadhana S. Jadhav and Prithviraj K. Chavan, JJ. confirmed the death sentence awarded by the trial court to the accused−appellant for committing heinous crime of brutal sexual assault on a child aged 3-years and 9-months, and after that committing her murder. While confirming the death sentence in this rarest of rare cases, the High Court observed:     

“The act of the accused is gruesome and is committed in a diabolic manner. It is a heinous offence. It is unimaginable that a cheerful, frolicking child enjoying with her pet would provoke the feelings of lust in a man who is a father of two daughters and a son. The perversity in the mind of the accused is apparent and therefore, we are of the opinion that the aggravating circumstances in the present case outweigh the mitigating circumstances placed before the court in the course of hearing of the appeal.” 

Read more


Legislation Updates


 Central Goods and Services Tax (Ninth Amendment) Rules, 2021 

The Central Government, on the recommendations of the Council have extended Tenure of National Anti-profiteering Authority increased from 4 years to 5 years.  

Read more

 

Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021 

The Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021 received the assent of the President on November 30, 2021. 

 The Act repeals the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.   

Read more

 

High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2021 

The Bill on Salaries and Conditions of Service of High Court and Supreme Court Judges introduced in Lok Sabha on November 30, 2021. 

The legislative intent behind insertion of section 17B and section 16B respectively was to provide benefit of additional quantum of pension to a retired Judge from the first day of the month in which he completes the age specified in the first column of the scale and not from the first day of his entering the age specified therein as so interpreted by the High Courts. Therefore, it is proposed to insert an Explanation in section 17B of the said High Court Judges Act and in section 16B of the said Supreme Court Judges Act to clarify the intention and to ensure that there is no scope for any other interpretation. 

Read more

 Draft Code on Wages (Delhi) Rules, 2021 notified 

The Labour Department of Delhi has notified the Draft of the Code on Wages (Delhi) Rules, 2021 which shall extend to the National Capital Territory of Delhi.  

The Code addresses the problems relating to delay in payment of wages whether on monthly, weekly, or daily basis. The Code will safeguard that there is no discrimination between male and female as well as transgenders in getting wages. 

 

Read more


New Feature


We have introduced a new feature on SCC Online this week. Check out the Labour and Employment folder under Curated Topics to access the same. We have also added minimum wages notifications of all Indian States on Web Edition. Hope you will find it useful


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 36 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court 


Land Acquisition| 2-year limitation period as per Section 11A of 1894 Act for passing award in proceedings initiated under the repealed Act, impractical

 In an important ruling on Land Acquisition and Requisition law, the Supreme Court has held that applying the 2-year limitation period as per Section 11A of 1894 Act for passing award in pending cases under Section 24(1)(a) of the 2013 Act is impractical 

Noticing that practical absurdities and anomalies may arise if the two-year period under the 1984 Act is applied, the Court said that this would mitigate against the underlying legislative intent behind prescription of time for making of an award in respect of saved acquisition proceedings initiated under the repealed 1894 Act.  

It was, hence, held that Section 25 of the 2013 Act would apply to the awards made and published under Section 24(1)(a) of the 2013 Act. 

Read more.

Rampant increase in heinous crimes not a ground to shift burden of proof on accused

 In a case where the Trial Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court had shifted the burden of proof on the accused merely for the reason that there has been a rise in the incidents of dacoity, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court has held that the Trial Court and the High Court have erroneously drawn adverse inference against the accused, in spite of the Prosecution having lamentably failed to adequately dispense with its burden of proof to depict culpability of the accused. 

  Applying the principle that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer”, the Court said that, 

“It may not be wise or prudent to convict a person only because there is rampant increase in heinous crimes.” 

Read more

Bail can’t be granted by merely “keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case”

In a case where Rajasthan High Court had granted bail by merely “keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case”, the Supreme Court has held that such orders cannot pass muster. 

The Matter pertained to the alleged murder of a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste. The offence is alleged to be committed by the deceased’s brother-in-law on June 8, 2018. The High Court had only recorded the submission of counsel for the first respondent and did not make any mention of factors relevant for the grant of bail. 

In such circumstances, the Court held that  

“The duty to record reasons cannot be obviated by recording submissions, followed by an omnibus “in the facts and circumstances” formula.”  

And that the Courts must indicate brief reasons  basis for granting bail. 

Read more


 High Court Updates 


“No other person whether a passenger or owner of the vehicle was supposed to share seat of the driver”; Kerala HC exonerates insurer, Bajaj Allianz from liability to pay compensation  

  In a case of motor vehicle accident, The Kerala High Court exonerated the insurance company, Bajaj Allianz from liability to pay compensation. The Court made important observation that  

“In a three wheeler goods carriage, the driver could not have allowed anybody else to share his seat. No other person whether as a passenger or as a owner of the vehicle is supposed to share the seat of the driver.”  

Read more

Del HC on Private individuals subjected to assault by Policemen: Law does not permit people to be beaten-up in police custody or during interrogation  

While addressing a very unfortunate incident of police assault, Delhi HC, expressed that  

Let no one have to repeat the tragic last words like George Perry Floyd, Jr.: “I cant breathe”.  

The Court further elaborated that, Punishment for an assault or a criminal act is to be determined by a court of law. The police cannot be a judge in its own cause. The law does not permit people to be beaten-up in police custody or during interrogation.  

Read more

Whether service provided by doctors in lieu of fees is beyond purview of Consumer Protection Act 2019? Bom HC answers  

 Holding that mere repeal of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 by the 2019 Act, without anything more, would not result in the exclusion of ‘health care’ services rendered by doctors to patients from the definition of service, the Bombay HC, expressed that matter before it was,  

“…a thoroughly misconceived Public Interest Litigation”  

Court expressed that,   

mere repeal of the 1986 Act by the 2019 Act, without anything more, would not result in exclusion of ‘health care’ services rendered by doctors to patients from the definition of the term “service”  

Read more

Turban an essential religious symbol: Photographing an elderly person in injured condition without turban and circulating it on social media: Is it an offence? P&H HC decides  

Noting the incident of prima facie hurting of religious feelings, P&H HC dismissed the anticipatory bail of a person who video graphed a man without turban aged 65 years old who was beaten up repeatedly and his video was circulated on social media.  

Court expressed that, The turban is an essential religious symbol and photographing of an elderly person in an injured condition without the turban and uploading it for public viewing on a social platform would prima facie amount to hurting the religious feelings.  

Read more


  Legislation updates 


 UP Government adds “Married Daughter” in the dependents’ list for government jobs 

UP Government has passed a proposal that married daughter of a government official dying during his service will now be entitled to government jobs on compassionate grounds in Uttar Pradesh. The decision of the Personnel Department was approved by State Cabinet on November 10, 2021. 

Read more 

 Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2021 

The Unique Identification Authority of India has notified the Aadhaar (Authentication and Offline Verification) Regulations, 2021. 

  • Under the regulations, UIDAI provides two types of authentication facilities, i.e. yes/no authentication facility and e-KYC authentication facility and other types of offline verification facility have been introduced such as QR Code Verification, Aadhaar Paperless offline e-KYC verification, e-Aadhaar verification, offline paper based verification and any other type of offline verification introduced by the UIDAI from time to time. The other mode of verifications such as OTP and biometric based authentication will also continue along with offline options. 
  • The regulations prescribe a choice to the Aadhaar holder to share the Aadhaar paperless offline e-KYC with the authorised agency for the Aadhaar e-KYC verification process. The authorised agency will match the Aadhaar number and demographic information obtained by the Aadhaar holder with the demographic information in the central database. 

Read more

 Food Safety and Standards (Import) First Amendment Regulations, 2021 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Import) First Amendment Regulations, 2021 vide notification dated November 3, 2021. The regulations amend the Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulations, 2017 to insert the chapter with respect to registration and inspection of Foreign Food manufacturing facilities. 

Read more

Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2021 

The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 has been amended to provide that in case of formulated supplements for children, a variation of minus 10.0 per cent from the declared value of the nutrients or nutritional ingredients on the label shall be allowed and the nutrient levels shall not exceed maximum limits as specified in the composition tables. 

  Read more

 SEBI: Circular on write-off of debt securities held by FPIs 

SEBI has earlier permitted FPIs who wish to surrender their registration to write-off all shares in their beneficiary account which they are unable to sell for any reason. 

On November 08, 2021, SEBI has issued a circular to permit the FPIs to also write- off all debt securities in their beneficiary account which they are unable to sell for any reason. This shall be applicable only to such FPIs who wish to surrender their registration. 

Read more


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 34 with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 34 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.



Supreme Court 

  • Independent probe in Pegasus case  

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, JJ has appointed an Expert Committee to look into the truth or falsity of the allegations in the Pegasus Spyware case, “taking into account the public importance and the alleged scope and nature of the large-scale violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country.” 

The Pegasus suite of spywares, being produced by an Israeli Technology firm, viz., the NSO Group, can allegedly be used to compromise the digital devices of an individual through zero click vulnerabilities, i.e., without requiring any action on the part of the target of the software. This extremely powerful software is sold only to certain undisclosed Governments and reports indicate that individuals from nearly 45 countries are suspected to have been affected.

The Court said that it was an extremely uphill task to find and select experts who are free from prejudices, are independent and competent but it eventually appointed the Committee headed by Former Supreme Court Judge Justice R.V. Raveendran and highly qualified technical member. 

Read the details about all the members of the Committee on the SCC Online Blog. 

  • Yatin Oza’s Senior Advocate designation temporarily restored for two years 

In a major relief to Advocate Yatin Oza, the Supreme Court has temporarily restored the senior designation for a period of two years from 1.1.2022.

On 21.03.2020, Oza wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India making serious allegations against a senior-most Judge of the Gujarat High Court in his capacity as President of the Bar Association. He then circulated the letter in the Bar Association’s WhatsApp group after calling the High Court a “Gamblers Den” in a Press Conference. Oza was then stripped off his Senior Advocate designation.

Holding that the High Court would be well within its rights to withdraw the indulgence, the Court said that it was giving Oza a last chance by providing a window of two years to show that he truly means what he has assured the Court. 

  • Karnataka High Court calls person committing suicide a ‘weakling’! Don’t diminish the gravity of mental health issues, says SC  

In a case where the Single Judge of Karnataka High Court had termed persons committing suicide a ‘weakling’ and also made observations on how the behavior of the deceased before he committed suicide was not that of a person suffering from mental health issues, the Supreme Court has held that such observations describing the manner in which a depressed person ought to have behaved deeply diminishes the gravity of mental health issues.

The High Court had “judged” the deceased for attending relative’s marriage in a different town and interacting with friends and relatives and had said that all such actions were that of a normal person and not of a person under severe duress. The High Court had also diminished the gravity of deceased’s mental health on the ground that he had taken “considerable time” to write a 12 pages long suicide note. 

On this the Supreme Court said that individual personality differences manifest as a variation in the behavior of people and that,

“The mental health of a person cannot be compressed into a one size fits all approach.”


High Court Updates 


Kerala High Court 

  • Absence of salutation like M/s, Mr or Miss while drawing a cheque is immaterial for offence under S. 138 of NI Act; HC sets aside the acquittal, directs Trial Court to re-address the issue 

 Another interesting matter from the Kerala High Court came up, wherein an allegation was made with regard commission of an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, wherein the Trial Court had acquitted the respondent-accused on the sole ground that the subject cheque was drawn in favour of ‘Lakshmi Finance’ and not ‘M/s.Lakshmi Finance’   

On hearing the matter, Court expressed that,

“The alphabets ‘M/s’ which is short form for ‘Messrs’ is normally a salutation intended to refer to a group of unincorporated persons, such as a partnership firm. The absence of such salutation while drawing the cheque by the respondent-accused cannot be a ground for the accused to be acquitted.” 


Delhi High Court 

  •  Law on Article 12 of Constitution of India | World Bank a Government Agency or not? Del HC decides 

 Whether World Bank is a Government Agency or not? 

Delhi High Court while deciding this issue answered in negative and opined that World Bank or any of the other international bodies, which have proceeded to debar the petitioner in the case, cannot be considered as a “Government Agency”. This is for the reason that none of the international bodies are bound by any directions issued by the Government of India. 

  •  POSH Act | Jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee and Local Committee 

In an unfortunate case, Noting the allegations against an employer with regard to sexual harassment of a women, the Delhi High Court expressed that  

“…instead of providing assistance to the aggrieved woman in prosecuting her complaint of sexual harassment, the respondent has been opposing her tooth and nail and has even terminated her services pending the inquiry before the Local Committee.”

 Expressing its opinion on the jurisdiction of Internal Complaints Committee, the Court added that,  

“…since the Secretary was the employer for the purposes of the Act, the complaint of the said employer would not lie to the Internal Committee but shall lie only to the Local Committee.”  


 Bombay High Court 

  •  Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case | Bom HC grants bail to Aryan Khan, 2 others: Read the fourteen bail conditions 

The Bombay High Court granted bail to three accused persons in the infamous Mumbai Cruise Drugs Case where Aryan Shah Rukh Khan, Arbaaz A. Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha were accused for offence under the NDPS Act. 

 The Court laid down 14 bail conditions which you can read on the SCC Online Blog. 


Madras High Court 

  •  Mushrooming Unemployment | Madras HC on menace of job racketing and scams cropping up || Detailed report on how a person fraudulently acted as an employee of Court cheated several people 

Addressing the issue of the growing menace of job racketing and tackling the unemployment problem, the Madras High Court suggested the Central and State Government promote entrepreneurs and create self-employment opportunities for youth so that the future of this country can be safeguarded from falling prey to such money mongering vultures. 

The Court was hearing a petition relating to a case where fake interview and appointment letters were being prepared with an intention to defraud innocent public for making unlawful gain. 

A detailed report can be followed on the SCC Online blog.


Legislation Updates

  • Centre notifies new road safety draft rules for children below 4 years 

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified draft rules for safety of children below 4 years.

The Draft Rules recommends 

  • For children below four years, safety harness shall be used for attaching the child to the driver of the motorcycle.
  • It also provides that the Driver must ensure that the child pillion passenger aged between 09 months and 4 years must wear his/her own crash helmet which fits his/her head or wear bicycle helmet till such time that the specifications are prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016.
  • The Draft Rules also ensures that Speed of the motorcycle with the child upto age 4 years being carried as a pillion, shall not be more than 40 kmph.

  • Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021 

The Central Government notified Electricity (Promotion of Generation of Electricity from Must-Run Power Plant) Rules, 2021.

The Rules provide that A must–run power plant shall not be subjected to curtailment or regulation of generation or supply of electricity on account of merit order dispatch or any other commercial consideration. 

It also provides that in the event of a curtailment of supply from a must–run power plant, compensation shall be payable by the procurer to the must–run power plant at the rates specified in the agreement for purchase or supply of electricity. 


  • Ministry of Labour and Employment declares services engaged in Banking industry to be a public utility service 

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has declared the services engaged in the Banking industry, which is covered under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, to be a public utility service for a period of six months with effect from October 21, 2021.


  • IFSCA (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021 

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has issued the International Financial Services Centres Authority (Registration of Insurance Business) Regulations, 2021.


Winners for SCC Online Quiz Announced.

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 33rd ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


SUPREME COURT


Gauri Lankesh murder| HC “manifestly wrong” in quashing charges against Mohan Nayak N

In a major development in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, the Supreme Court has set aside the Karnataka High Court order wherein it had quashed chargesheet filed against one Mohan Nayak.N regarding offences under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act, 2000.

On 05.09.2017 in which Gauri Lankesh, who was a leading journalist, was shot dead by certain unknown assailants near her house at Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru.

The Court noticed that the High Court was manifestly wrong in quashing the chargesheet as it ignored the fact that if the material collected by the Investigating Agency reveals that he had nexus with the accused who is a member of the organized crime syndicate or such nexus is related to the offence in the nature of organized crime. Thus, he need not be a person who had direct role in the commission of an organized crime as such. 

Read more.

 

Words “order is made available to the aggrieved party” consciously omitted from Section 61(1)&(2) IBC: SC

Dealing with the question as to when will the clock for calculating the limitation period run for proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that Sections 61(1) and (2) of the IBC consciously omit the requirement of limitation being computed from when the “order is made available to the aggrieved party”, in contradistinction to Section 421(3) of the Companies Act.

The Court noticed that

“The IBC is a watershed legislation which seeks to overhaul the previous bankruptcy regime which was afflicted by delays and indefinite legal proceedings.”

Read more.


High Courts


Pat HC | Can a person be convicted for murder solely on the evidence gathered by the police sniffer dog? Court answers

Noticing discrepancies in the trial the Patna HC acquitted a woman accused of killing a 2 year old kid. Noticing that the Trial Court had convicted the appellant on the evidence of a sniffer dog, the Bench opined, though the police was allowed to use the services of a sniffer dog for investigation, but merely because the dog entered the house of the appellant in her absence, the same could not be treated to be evidence sufficient enough to establish the guilt of the appellant and the appellant could not be convicted only on the basis of evidence gathered by the police sniffer dog.

Read more

Ker HC | “There is gulf of difference between consent and submission”; HC affirms conviction of person accused of raping his own daughter

  Kerala High Court confirmed the conviction of person accused of raping his own daughter. Rejecting the defence that the victim was in a sexual relationship with another person, the Bench stated,

“Even assuming that the victim is previously accustomed to sexual intercourse, that is not a decisive question. On the contrary, the question which is required to be adjudicated is, did the accused commit rape on the victim on the occasion complained of.”

Read more

P&H HC | Whether derogatory remarks made during private conversation would attract provisions of SC & ST Act? Can a stranger to dispute invoke provisions of the Act?

Considering the misuse of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act by the so-called social activists, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Director General of Police to issue instructions to all the Senior Superintendents of Police that no FIR under SC&ST Act be registered at the instance of third party, unless an opinion is sought from the District Attorney (Legal) that the complainant falls within the definition of victim as per SC&ST Act.

Read more

Bom HC | Our educational institutions are so weak that they would fear that students would get adversely affected if a restaurant having liquor license was in school’s vicinity: Is it true? Bom HC finds out

The Bombay High Court in a very interesting case considered the question Whether our educational institutions are so weak that they would fear that the students would get adversely affected if there is a restaurant having a liquor licence in the vicinity of their schools. The Court was deciding a challenge to rejection of liqour license due to the objections which were raised by the petitioners who were running a school in the vicinity of the place where the licence was intended to be transferred and that granting such a transfer would lead to an impending law and order situation.

High Court stated that the petitioner’s institution ought not to have formed such opinion that the education being imparted by their educational institution was so fragile that the students would get easily influenced by a restaurant serving liquor in the vicinity. This is for two-fold reasons:

  • Firstly, this educational institution was never bothered about a similar restaurant having a liquor licence functioning in the vicinity since the last 10 to 12 years.
  • Secondly and most importantly, if the quality of learning and inculcation of moral values in the children is to be of a standard, as what the ‘Father of the Nation’ intended to imbibe in our citizens, then the petitioner’s institution ought not to have worried at all, about any student being adversely affected, by any such place in the vicinity of the school.

Read more


Tribunals


AFT | Is hypertension a disability attributable to or aggravated by Military Service? Will Invalidation make one entitled to disability pension? Tribunal decides

The Armed Forces Tribunal granted disability pension to the person invalidated from service due to Hypertension. Rejecting the opinion of Release Medical Board that the disease was neither attributable to and aggravated by Military Service because the applicant was posted in Peace location, the Bench opined that denying disability pension to applicant was not convincing and did not reflect complete truth on the matter. The Bench held that peace Stations have their own pressure of rigorous military training and associated stress and strain of military service.

Read more


Legislation updates


Delhi Prevention and Control of Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya or any Vector Borne Disease Regulations, 2021

The Delhi Government has notified the Delhi Prevention and Control of Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya or any Vector Borne Disease Regulations, 2021. The Government has the power to declare any area in Delhi as an infected Area or threatened area or any area contiguous to any infected area in which, in the opinion of State Government, there is danger of outbreak of Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya or any other Vector Borne Disease.

Read more

Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2021

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2021

The Regulations provides that

  1. Each successful Aadhaar e-KYC transaction shall be charged @ Rs. 3 (including applicable taxes) from requesting entities except Telecom Service Providers for whom the rate shall be Re. 1/- (including applicable taxes) for each successful Aadhaar e-KYC transaction.
  2. If an existing requesting entity [except those exempts under Regulation 2(2) above], continues to use Aadhaar authentication services beyond the date of publication of these Regulations, it shall be deemed to have agreed to the specified authentication charges. The entities shall be required to deposit the authentication transaction charges within 15 days of issuance of the invoice based on the usage. The delay in payment beyond 15 days shall attract interest compounded @ 1.5% per month and discontinuation of authentication and e-KYC services.

Read more


Quiz Winners Declared


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While noting some cases where due to counterclaim / dispute from the legal representative of one of the deceased holder, the RTAs have not effected transmission to the surviving joint holder(s), the SEBI has issued a circular advising RTAs to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 and transmit securities in favour of surviving Joint holder(s), in the event of demise of one or more joint holder(s), provided that there is nothing contrary to the same in the Article of Association of the company.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/10/19/sebi-issues-circular-on-transmission-of-securities-to-joint-holders/

 

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind | Episode 32 with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind ft. Episode 32 Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.



SUPREME COURT


  • Objections can’t be raised in instalments; Res judicata applicable on execution proceedings https://bit.ly/3lVF5zz

Dismissing a half a century old litigation (started in 1971), having five rounds of litigation at the stage of execution of a simple money decree, the Supreme Court finally put an end to what appeared to be a never-ending litigation by holding that res judicata is applicable on execution proceedings and the judgment debtor cannot be allowed to raise objections in instalments.

In the case where the appellants had exhausted almost all provisions available to a judgment debtor to stall execution, the Court said that the case was

“fit to be included in the syllabus of a law school as a study material for students to get equipped with the various provisions of the Code relating to execution.”

  • Section 138 NI Act| Once settlement has been entered into, the complainant cannot pursue the original complaint https://bit.ly/3vkLaZ5

In a bid to curb the worrying trend of parallel proceedings for complaints under Section 138 of the NI Act, Supreme Court has held that a complainant cannot pursue two parallel prosecutions for the same underlying transaction. In the case at hand, a set of cheques were dishonoured, leading to filing of the first complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act. The parties thereafter entered into a deed of compromise to settle the matter. While the first complaint was pending, the cheques issued pursuant to the compromise deed were dishonoured leading to the second complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act. The Court, hence, explained that allowing the complainant to pursue parallel proceedings would make the settlement and issuance of fresh cheques or any other partial payment made towards the original liability meaningless.

On the question as to whether the National Green Tribunal has the power to exercise Suo Motu jurisdiction in discharge of its functions under the NGT Act, 2010, the Supreme Court has held that NGT can initiate action when required, to protect the substantive right of a clean environment and the procedural law should not be obstructive in its application.

The issue arose after NGT took suo motu cognizance of the article titled “Garbage Gangs of Deonar: The Kingpins and Their Multi-Crore Trade” in the online news portal, The Quint and ordered MCGM to pay compensation of Rs 5 crores.

NGT’s powers must be understood to be of the widest amplitude within it’s sphere of action, the Court said that,

“NGT, with the distinct role envisaged for it, can hardly afford to remain a mute spectator when no-one knocks its door.”

 


High Courts


Delhi High Court

  • Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Commissioner of Delhi Police challenged | Read Why Del HC upheld Centre’s decision https://bit.ly/3BLnuzA

While dismissing the challenge to Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Commissioner of Delhi Police and upholding the Centre’s decision on the same, Delhi High Court, expressed that,

It ought to be kept in mind that Delhi, being the Capital of India, has a unique, special and specific requirement. It has witnessed several untoward incidences and extremely challenging law and order situations/riots/crimes, which have an international implication, which in the wisdom of the Central Government necessitated appointment of an experienced officer possessing diverse and multifarious experience of heading a large Para-Military Security Force apart from other factors.

  • Husband is bound to compensate wife who, after spending on children, may hardly be left with anything to maintain herself https://bit.ly/3niSfWP

Expressing that husband must also carry the financial burden of making certain that his children are capable of attaining a position in a society wherein they can sufficiently maintain themselves, Delhi High Court stated that, In households wherein the women are working and are earning sufficiently to maintain themselves, it does not automatically mean that the husband is absolved of his responsibility to provide sustenance for his children.

“…if the husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children, and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities.” 

To elaborate more, High Court added that, At the age of 18, it can be safely assumed that the son is either graduating from 12th standard or is in his first year of college. More often than not, it does not place him in a position wherein he can earn to sustain or maintain himself. It further places the entire burden on the mother to bear the expenses of educating the children without any contribution from the father, and this Court cannot countenance such a situation.


Kerala High Court

  • “No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her mom.” HC holds a married daughter and maternal parents are entitled to claim compensation under MV Act https://bit.ly/2Xik3RU

In a very interesting matter, Kerala High Court held that a married daughter and parents of the deceased woman are legal representative under the MV Act and hence, are entitled to claim compensation as a dependant of the deceased. The Bench remarked,

“Even if dependency is a relevant criterion to claim compensation for loss of dependency, it does not mean financial dependency is the ‘ark of the covenant’. Dependency includes gratuitous service dependency, physical dependency, emotional dependency, psychological dependency, and so on and so forth, which can never be equated in terms of money.”

  • “Protection shall be offered discreetly, by women Police Officers not in uniform”; HC directs Kerala to ensure effective protection of victims of sexual harassment https://bit.ly/3pai0e9

In another case, Kerala High Court directed the State of Kerala along with the Commissioner of Police to take steps for effective implementation of victim protection scheme particularly with regard to victims of sexual harassment.

While dealing with a case relating to a minor rape victim; in which, there was an allegation that the accused and others were intimidating and threatening her, so as to force her not to file an appeal against them, the Bench expressed that,

“…unfortunately, allegations are far more grievous because, the petitioner, who is stated to be a rape victim, alleges that she is being harassed, not only by the accused, but by certain Police Officers.”

Bench expressed the need of giving a close look to the stipulations for protection of women, who had faced the agony of sexual harassment and attack.

 


Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh HC

  • Teenager dies due to electrocution; HC grants 3 lakhs compensation holding State strictly liable for negligence in maintaining transmission lines https://bit.ly/3vlQyes

Jammu and Kashmir High Court applied the principle of strict liability to grant compensation to the petitioners who had lost their son due to negligence of the Power Development Department.

Bench held that apart from being vicariously liable for the negligent acts of its employees, who were maintaining and distributing the electricity through transmission lines essentially dealing with a dangerous activity which, having regard to its nature, was hazardous, the department was liable to compensate the petitioners on the principle of strict liability as it was the duty of the respondents to take all care and caution to prevent any mishap.


 

Telangana High Court

  • Law on Termination of Pregnancy | If a pregnancy extends gestation period of 24 weeks, can Constitutional Courts direct termination of pregnancy? Telangana HC explains https://bit.ly/2Z208aS

Expressing that, A woman has the right to make choice to carry pregnancy, at the same time, it’s her right not to carry the pregnancy, subject to conditions and restrictions enumerated under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, Telangana High Court permitted termination of pregnancy of a 16-year-old girl though the gestation period crossed 24 weeks.

Instant petition was filed by a 16-year-old girl through her natural guardian seeking direction to terminate her pregnancy medically, as per the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 and as amended in 2021.

Court stated that,

Though there is restriction under the statute for terminating pregnancy, if the gestation of foetus is more than 24 weeks, it is settled law that the Constitutional Courts are empowered to direct termination of pregnancy.


Tribunals/Commissions

  • Competition Commission of India Competition Watchdog | Know why CCI imposed penalties on beer companies: Nation-wide Cartel? Read Full Report https://bit.ly/3jaeexC

Noting a nationwide cartel amongst certain Beer companies, Competition Commission of India imposed penalty on three beer companies on finding regular communications with respect to planning and coordinating of price hikes to propose to State authorities


Legislation Updates


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind


SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 30th ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.



Supreme Court 


Suraz India Trust Chairman Rajiv Daiya guilty of contempt 

 Coming down heavily upon a contemnor who has apparently “made a profession of filing public interest petitions” and then using dilatory tactics to evade payment of costs imposed on him, the Supreme Court has held that the power to punish for contempt is a constitutional power vested in this Court which cannot be abridged or taken away even by legislative enactment. 

You are throwing mud at all and sundry, but we refuse to back off’. Read more here.

No more Tareekh pe Tareekh! 

In an important verdict on justice delivery system, the Supreme Court has asked the courts to be very slow in granting adjournments. Noticing that many a times, the task of adjournments is used to kill Justice, the Court said that repeated adjournments break the back of the litigants and hence, the courts shall not grant the adjournments in routine manner and mechanically and shall not be a party to cause for delay in dispensing the justice. Read more here

 Compromise cannot be the solitary basis for reduction of sentence  

In a case where a compromise was reached between parties, 28 years after an incident left the victim crippled for life, the Supreme Court has said that compromise cannot be taken to be a solitary basis for mitigating the sentence until the other aggravating and mitigating factors also support the accused. The Court said that such a brutality cannot be ignored which is not against the individual but the crime is against the society which has to be dealt with sternly. 

Read more here.


High Courts


Bombay High Court | POSH Judgments and Order to be delivered only in Chambers or in-camera, media disclosure forbidden: G.S. Patel, J. issues detailed guidelines 

 While addressing an issue revolving around the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013, the Bombay High Court laid down guidelines with an endeavor to anonymize identities of the parties. 

Stating that it is imperative to protect the identities of the parties from disclosure, even accident disclosure Hence, the Bench laid down a working protocol in the form of guidelines for such hearings in the future. Read more 

 Bombay High Court | Custody of minor child, can it be determined on basis of work commitment of one parent and availability of ample time with another? Bom HC decides while determining question of custody, visitation rights and more 

 Stating that welfare of a minor cannot be determined on the sole parameter of the work commitment of one parent and availability of ample time with another, the Bombay High Court expressed that, 

Courts often ensure that even if custody is given to one parent, the non-custodial parent has adequate visitation rights.  Read more

Kerala High Court | Can the fact that minor rape victim attained majority and married the rapist lead to quashment of criminal proceedings? HC answers 

  The Kerala High Court held that the argument that now the victim of rape had attained majority and was living happily with the accused are not valid grounds or justifiable reasons for quashing criminal proceedings. 

  Court remarked, 

“When rape is towards a child the gravity is all the more severe and excruciating as it may even low self-esteem, self-confidence and dignity of the child and that the psychic effect and impact would cause a devastating effect on the minor and result in far-reaching consequences.” Read more

Karnataka High CourtKar HC directs State Government to provide text books in Braille for all special children (visual disabilities) positively within a period of 15 days from the date of order 

In a PIL filed on behalf of children who are specially abled children in State of Karnataka, text books are not available in braille and even the books have not been uploaded on the website in PDF Form so that print out can be taken in braille, Considering the same, Karnataka High Court directed the State Government to provide textbooks in Braille for all specially abled children having visual disabilities within a period of 15 days. Read more.


 Legislation Updates


SEBI issues circular for extension of timeline for Investment Advisors to obtain annual certificate from auditor 

SEBI vide circular dated September, 2020 issued “ Guidelines for Investment Advisers” which prescribed timeline of six months from the end of each financial year for Investment Advisers (IA) to conduct annual audit in respect of compliance of SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013 (“IA Regulations”) and circulars issued thereunder. SEBI has issued a Circular to  extend the timeline till December 30, 2021.  Read more

Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendment) Act, 2021 comes into force with effect from August 15, 2021 

On September 15, 2021, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment notified the date on which the provisions of Constitution (One Hundred and Fifth Amendment) Act, 2021 will come into effect. The said Act comes into force with effect from August 15, 2021. Read more

SEBI issues Risk Management Framework for Mutual Funds 

 The Securities & Exchange Board of India has revised the Risk Management Framework (RMF) for Mutual Funds vide circular dated September 27, 2021. The Circular provides a set of standards comprising the policies, procedures, risk management functions and roles and responsibilities of the management, the Board of Asset Management Companies (AMC) and the Board of Trustees. Read more.


Quiz Winners Declared


New Releases


 1) Child Abuse :Law, Practice and Prevention by Emidio Pinho and Andryusha Pinho [https://bit.ly/2Y3aExI]

2) Second Edition of Intellectual Property by Elizabeth Verkey and Jithin Saji Isaac [https://bit.ly/2Y62t3Q] .


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC online Weekly Rewind | Episode 29th with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 29th ft. Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Most Important Stories


Federal Court of Australia

 How DABUS, an Artificial Intelligence System, was given the status of an “Inventor”?

In a very interesting issue, Federal Court of Australia became the first judicial authority to recognize AI machines as inventors of patents. The decision centered around the question whether Artificial Intelligence Systems can be an inventor for the purposes of the Patent Act, to which the Court asked that:

If the output of an artificial intelligence system is said to be the invention, who is the inventor? And if a human is required, who? The programmer? The owner? The operator? The trainer? The person who provided input data? All of these? None of these?

Court expressed that, in some cases it may be none of these. In some cases, the better analysis,  is to say that the system itself is the inventor. That would reflect the reality. And you would avoid otherwise uncertainty. And indeed that may be the case if the unit embodying the artificial intelligence has its own autonomy. What if it is free to trawl the internet to obtain its own input or training data? What about a robot operating independently in a public space, having its own senses, learning from the environment, and making its own decisions? And what about the more exotic, such as a mobile unit on Mars left to its own devices and not seeking instructions from Earth?

Justice Beach in light of these observations, stated that “we are both created and create. Why cannot our own creations also create?

Thus, in this remarkable decision Court while noting that the name of the inventor can be non-human, held that DABUS, an AI, can be an inventor.

https://bit.ly/3u8X73C


NCDRC

Model loses assignment because of wrong haircut, negligent medical treatment at ITC Maurya salon: NCDRC’s striking decision on ITC’s liability

Have you ever gone to a salon and something unfortunate like a haircut you wished for went all wrong accompanying a bad hair treatment leading to a burnt scalp?

Well, a salon at ITC Maurya became responsible for causing this to a model who came in for the haircut right before a week of her interview. In its striking decision, the National Consumer Forum while expressing that “Women are emotionally attached to their hair”, granted Rs 2 crores compensation as she was not only given wrong haircut but in fact was also subjected to medical negligence. 

https://bit.ly/3kDQhzT


Supreme Court

Imprisonment for life is equivalent to rigorous imprisonment for life: Supreme Court

In a case where a man was convicted for killing his wife on the suspicion of her infidelity and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life, Supreme Court has refused to go into the question of propriety of specifying rigorous imprisonment while imposing life sentence and has held that imprisonment for life is equivalent to rigorous imprisonment for life.

https://bit.ly/2Y0rYDL

Will long possession of a property by a caretaker/servant entitle him to acquire an interest in property? SC decides

In an interesting case, the Supreme Court has succinctly declared that a caretaker/servant can never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession and the caretaker/servant has to give possession forthwith on demand.

https://bit.ly/3kCzPzS


Kerala High Court

Can DNA test be conducted to determine legitimacy of a child in a divorce petition without the child being on the party array?

Can DNA test be conducted to determine legitimacy of a child in a divorce petition?

The Kerala High Court answered this question when it recently held that it would be permissible for a court to direct the holding of a DNA examination, to determine the veracity of the allegations constituting the grounds for divorce if a strong prima facie case is made out.

https://bit.ly/3uazyHD

Priest of Temple commits penetrative sexual assault on young girl: Ker HC observes which God would accept obeisance and offerings of such Priest or make him a medium?

Observing that “When a man abandons his wife and children, roving vultures wait to prey on not only the abandoned woman, but also the helpless children”, the Kerala High Court noted horrendous act of a temple priest who took an abandoned woman and her three children under his wing and repeatedly molested the elder girl child in the presence of her siblings. Expressing anguish, the Court said “We wonder which God would accept the obeisance and offerings of such Priest or make him a medium?”. Upholding his conviction for rape, the High Court awarded the maximum sentence of life imprisonment to the priest.

https://bit.ly/2XXmgT5


Competition Commission of India

 By now you must have come across the decision centered around the dispute with regard to Maruti Suzuki v. It’s dealers. And in case you have not, I have got you covered:

The Competition Commission of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 200 crores on Maruti Suzuki India limited, on finding that Maruti Suzuki used to impose penalties on its dealers for violating its ‘Discount Control Policy’. The CCI held that Maruti Suzuki India Limited was not a third-party in the enforcement of the Discount Control Mechanism, as claimed by it. When a significant player such as MSIL imposes minimum selling price restrictions in the form of maximum discount that can be offered by the dealers, Resale Price Management can decrease the pricing pressure on competing manufacturers. 

The backdrop of this case was that the dealers were discouraged from giving extra discounts, freebies, etc. to consumers beyond what was permitted by MSIL. If found to be violating the Discount Control Policy, the dealers were threatened with imposition of penalty, not only upon the dealership, but also upon its individual persons, including Direct Sales Executive, Regional Manager, Showroom Manager, Team Leader, etc., and stopping of supplies.

https://bit.ly/2WdNt3g


Bombay High Court

Fear of stigma, not being believed and being blamed: 17-year-old girl leaving a note to her mother explaining ill deeds of her uncle who sexually harassed her, ended her life

Sexual violence knows no boundaries, it occurs in every country, across all parts of society. The Bombay High Court while noting a case of sexual harassment caused to a child aged 17 years due to which she took the step of ending her life, rejected the bail of the accused.

In this horrendous incident, the miserable fact was that this young girl was hesitant to disclose the ill intentions of the accused who was her own uncle. In a note scribed by the deceased, she had opened her mind to her mother wherein she spoke about her uncle’s ill deed and also offered an explanation as to why she concealed it from her mother. She expressed her helplessness. She suffered the consequences mutely for a year.

Hearing this harrowing incident, the High Court penned down that a child may be subjected to sexual abuse or exploitation at home too. Unfortunately, we have not been able to create an atmosphere in the society where parents, teachers and adults in company of the child can identify signs of abuse and make sure children received care and protection.

https://bit.ly/3i3MpGR

To exercise rights, can contractual employees approach a permanent employer? Bom HC verdict determines

Reiterating the well-settled position that contractual employees are not the employees of the principal employer, the Bombay High Court held that

Contractual employees are engaged through contractors, their service conditions are governed by the contracts between them, hence in case of any grievance, they shall approach the contractor and not a principal employer.

Court also observed that these employees work with the principal employer through contractor, only during the contract period. After the contract period is over, their contractor may enter into a contract with another establishment and shift them to work there. From that view of the matter also, they cannot be treated like permanent employees of the principal employer, and therefore, they cannot claim voting rights at par with the permanent employees.

https://bit.ly/39zx9wD


Delhi High Court

Person accused under S. 307 IPC if entered into a compromise with victim, can Court quash criminal proceedings in light of settlement?

Emphasizing on the gravity of seriousness of Section 307 of the Penal Code, the Delhi High Court observed that:

“…an offence under Section 307 IPC will fall under the category of heinous offence, and therefore, has to be treated as a crime against the society and not against the individual alone and the proceedings under Section 307 IPC cannot be quashed only on the ground that the parties have resolved the entire disputes amongst themselves.”

Since in this case, the victim was stabbed with a dangerous weapon i.e. a knife and the injuries caused were of such nature that they would have caused death in ordinary circumstances, the High Court declined to quash the criminal proceedings.

https://bit.ly/3CGthGM

On what basis is an employee compulsory retired? An account of Compulsory Retired, IRS Officer 

Opining that an order of compulsory retirement is not a punishment, nor it attaches any stigma to an employee, the Delhi High Court expressed that:

Fundamental source of compulsorily retiring an employee of the Government is derived from “Doctrine of Pleasure” which springs from Article 310 of the Constitution of India.

If any employee of the Union of India has succeeded in litigation(s), that does not mean that looking to the overall service record of the employee, after certain age as per rules, he cannot be retired by the Union of India. It ought to be kept in mind that compulsory retirement is a subjective satisfaction which has been formed on the basis of the entire service record.

In this case, the petitioner was an officer of the 1985 batch of the Indian Revenue Service. In exercise of powers under Rule 56(j) of Fundamental Rules, respondents had compulsorily retired the petitioner.

https://bit.ly/2W9dO2i


Madras High Court

Are Courts bound to protect the interests of the “deity” in temple? Madras HC’s ruling on “Deity” in temple a “Minor”

Asserting that “Deity” in the temple is a “minor” and the court should be astute to protect the interests of an idol in any litigation, the Madras High Court held that,

When the trustee or the Executive Officer or the custodian of the idol, temple and its properties, leave the same in lurch, any person interested in respect of such temple or worshipping deity can certainly be clothed with an ad hoc power of representation to protect its interest. 

https://bit.ly/3i4KotZ


Kerala High Court

 “If leniency is taken, just considering the fact that she is a young lady, it will be a shame for the whole judicial system”; HC dismisses bail application of infamous fake lawyer

Kerala High Court dismissed the bail application of one Sessy Xavier, the infamous fake lawyer. The Bench stated,

“The illegal activities adopted by her that too before the court of law has to be dealt with an iron hand. If leniency is taken, just considering the fact that she is a young lady, it will be a shame for the whole Judicial system and would shake the confidence of the public in judicial system.”

Read here…


 United States District Court, North District of California

 Apple: A monopolist under Federal or State Law? A win for Epic or Apple?

 While issuing a permanent injunction, stating Apple could no longer prohibit developers linking to their own purchasing mechanisms, the United States District Court for the North District of California held that Epic Games failed to show how Apple Inc. was operating an illegal monopoly.

 Epic Games Inc. sued Apple Inc. alleging violations of federal and state antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition laws based upon Apple’s operation of its App Store. 

Trial did show that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive conduct under California’s competition laws. Further, the Court concluded that Apple’s anti-steering provisions hide critical information from consumers and illegally stifle consumer choice.

Since Apple has created an ecosystem with interlocking rules and regulations, it is difficult to evaluate any specific restriction in isolation or in a vacuum. Thus, looking at the combination of the challenged restrictions and Apple’s justifications, and the lack thereof, the Court found that common threads run through Apple’s practices which unreasonably restrains competition and harm consumers, namely the lack of information and transparency about policies that effect consumers’ ability to find cheaper prices, increased customer service, and options regarding their purchases.

Apple employs these policies so that it can extract supra-competitive commissions from this highly lucrative gaming industry.

Apple Inc. and its officers, agents, servants, employees, and any person in active concert or participation with them were permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from

  • including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and
  • communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app.

https://bit.ly/3m0aQ9l


Legislation Updates

Electronic Duty Credit Ledger Regulations, 2021, notified 

The Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs has notified the Electronic Duty Credit Ledger Regulations, 2021. The Regulations provide for

  1. Issuance of duty credit in the scroll
  2. Creation of E-scrip 
  3. Registration and Validity of e-scrip
  4. Suspension or cancellation of duty credit

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/24/electronic-duty-credit-ledger-regulations-2021-notified/ 

Goa | Dues Recovery and Settlement Scheme 2020-21 extended till 31.10.2021 

The Government of Goa has extended the last date for clearing the dues on water charges for all Domestic & non-domestic water consumers under the Dues Recovery and Settlement Scheme 2020-21 till October 31, 2021, vide notification dated September 16, 2021.

The scheme applies:

  • To those water consumers who have defaulted on dues up to 31st October 2020,
  • The defaulting water consumers whose cases are referred to Revenue Recovery Court as on October 31, 2020
  • Those water Consumers whose installations are either temporarily or permanently disconnected as on October 31, 2020.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/23/goa-dues-recovery-and-settlement-scheme-2020-21-extended-till-31-10-2021/ 

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 to come into force on September 24, 2021 

The Central Government notified September 24, 2021 as the date on which the provisions of the  Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021(8 of 2021) will come into force.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/22/medical-termination-of-pregnancy-amendment-act-2021-to-come-into-force-on-september-24-2021/

IRDAI extends timelines for issuance of electronic policies and dispensing with physical signatures on the proposal forms 

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued extension of timelines for Issuance of Electronic Policies and dispensing with Physical Signatures till March 31, 2022.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/21/irdai-extends-timelines-for-issuance-of-electronic-policies-and-dispensing-with-physical-signatures-on-the-proposal-forms/

No TDS under section 194A on interest payment to a member of scheduled tribe of specified areas under section 10(26) of IT Act

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)  has issued a notification  that no deduction of tax shall be made on the following payment under section 194A of the Income-tax Act, 1961, which specifies, Interest other than “interest on securities”, made by a scheduled bank located in a specified area, to a member of Scheduled Tribe residing in any specified area, as referred to in clause (26) of section 10 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 subject to specified conditions.

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/21/no-tds-under-section-194a-on-interest-payment-to-a-member-of-scheduled-tribe-of-specified-areas-under-section-1026-of-it-act/

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 27 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.

 


Supreme Court 


 “There is a disturbing tendency of courts setting aside arbitral awards …”: SC upholds arbitration award of Rs 2728 crore plus interest in favour of Delhi Airport Metro Express (P) Ltd. 

  A Division Bench comprising of L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ. upheld the arbitration award of Rs 2782.33 crore plus interest made by the Arbitral Tribunal in favour of  Delhi Airport Metro Express (P) Ltd. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court which had interfered with the Tribunal’s award. While so deciding, the Supreme Court also observed that: 

“There is a disturbing tendency of courts setting aside arbitral awards, after dissecting and reassessing factual aspects of the cases to come to a conclusion that the award needs intervention …” 

  Read the Full report on the SCC Online Blog here.

  

If public transportation has to survive and compete with private players, they have to improve system and their working culture | Read SC’s opinion on liability of railways towards passengers for delayed train arrival 

While addressing the matter wherein a passenger suffered loss and agony due to delay in the arrival of train, Supreme Court upheld the decision of NCDRC granting compensation to the passenger as 

  No evidence was led by the railways explaining the delay and/or late arrival of train. The railways were required to lead the evidence and explain the late arrival of train to establish and prove that delay occurred because of reasons beyond their control. 

  At least the railways were required to explain the delay which the railways failed. 

  Court also observed that: 

  These are the days of competition and accountability. If public transportation has to survive and compete with private players, they have to improve the system and their working culture. 

Read the link here.

  

SC upholds Govt.’s decision to extend tenure of incumbent Director of Enforcement beyond two years, but orders no further extension to be granted 

 While upholding the Central Government’s order extending the tenure of the incumbent Director of Enforcement Sanjay Kumar Mishra for a period of one year, The Supreme Court held that there is no fetter on the power of the Central Government in appointing the Director of Enforcement beyond a period of two years. Interpreting Section 25 of the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 which prescribes the minimum tenure of the Director of Enforcement, the Court observed: 

“The words ‘not less than two years’ cannot be read to mean ‘not more than two years’ and there is no fetter on the power of the Central Government in appointing the Director of Enforcement beyond a period of two years.” Read here.

  

Nothing wrong with OBC Reservation for consecutive term for the office of Mayor; SC interprets Maharashtra Rules 

Supreme Court set aside the judgment of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court wherein it was held that the reservation of the Office of Mayor for the Dhule Municipal Corporation for Backward Class (OBC) for a second term, coupled with the fact that there has been no reservation for the Scheduled Caste category, amounted to violation of rotation policy. 

Explaining the rules for interpreting a Statute, the Court said, 

 “… the Court will have to prefer an interpretation which makes the Statute workable. The interpretation which gives effect to the intention of the legislature, will have to be preferred. The interpretation which brings about the effect of result, will have to be preferred than the one which defeats the purpose of the enactment.” 

Read here

  

“Writing judgments is an art”: Pained by lack of clarity in HC order, Supreme Court explains importance, purpose, contents and elements of a judgment 

  The Supreme Court found itself at pains to note that the order passed by the Allahabad High Court granting bail to murder convicts lacked total clarity as to which part of the judgment and order could be said to be submissions and which part could be said to be the findings/reasonings. Observing that writing judgment is an art, though it involves skilful application of law and logic, the Supreme Court said: 

“It is very unfortunate that by this judgment, we are required to observe the importance of judgment; purpose of judgment and what should be contained in the judgment.” 

Read the detailed report on SCC Online Blog here.

  

  

Advocate trying to stall elevation of judicial officer as Judge of Telangana HC: Supreme Court terms writ petition ‘gross abuse of process of law’, imposes 5 lakh as costs 

  In a petition filed by an advocate seeking to stall elevation of a judicial officer as a Judge of the Telangana High Court, The Supreme Court said that the petition was a gross abuse of the process of law and imposed costs of Rs 5 lakh on the petitioner. 

  Supreme Court said that it was surprised at the brazenness of the petitioner now filing a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. It was observed: 

“We are surprised as the brazenness of the petitioner now filing the present petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the aforesaid being the finding against him, to now somehow see that the elevation of [the Registrar General] does not take place on the account of these proceedings initiated by the petitioner. This is gross abuse of process of law.” 

Link here.

 


  High Court 


  

Madras HC 

  Madras HC on setting up Benches of Supreme Court: An Indian, from a far-flung corner, has been unable to approach great Citadel of Justice, hailed as the ‘sentinel on the qui vive’ 

  While observing that the Litigants are compelled to accept the wrong orders in view of inaccessibility to New Delhi and the exorbitant expenses towards engaging a counsel, the Madras High Court , emphasized that, 

When approaching the Supreme Court by a common man remains in dreams only, it would amount to denying justice. 

  Justice Kirubakaran further made a very significant point that: 

  Supreme Court is the custodian of rights of not only the litigants but also the entire population. Time has come to establish Benches of Supreme Court at other places apart from New Delhi. 

When people are aware of their rights, they should have accessibility and affordability to reach every level of hierarchy of Courts. 

To read this very interesting report of Madras HC decision, Check out the SCC Online Blog here.

Tripura High Court 

 To determine emergent and immediate exigencies, authorities concerned must be rationale; Court allows petition of reimbursement of medical bills of judicial officer and wife 

 A retired Judicial Officer went on a family tour and during the said tour he fell seriously ill and consulted with the Doctor. Further his wife also fell ill and got treated in Kolkata. Since both the Judicial Officer and his wife were outside the State of Tripura they could not obtain referral certificate from the State Standing Medical Board and while claiming the bills for treatment, objections were raised. To this the High Court opined that, 

  “it would be an absurdity for retiredjudicial officer and his wife to return to Agartala for the referral certificate from the competent medical board. Human life is precious. Article 21 of the Constitution of India enshrines the right to life which includes the valuable right to health.” 

  “to determine the emergent and immediate exigencies, the authorities concerned must be rationale to each and every separate and variable circumstances following Wednesbury’s Principle of Reasonableness so that it does not shock or hit the conscience of the Court, in addition, with utmost humane touch.” 

Link here

Delhi HC 

Under Pension Rules, if a Government Servant seeks voluntary retirement, he must have completed service of 20 years and may serve notice of 3 months 

In a matter wherein, a Judicial Assistant sought voluntary retirement due to his medical condition, Court observed in view of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 that: 

Government Servant at any time, after he has completed 20 years of qualifying service, may give a notice of 3 months to retire from the service.  Link here.

Under Indian Army, can mere acceptance of a resignation create a vacancy for being filled up from cadet in waiting? Read what Del HC says 

While addressing a petition seeking direction for issuance of a joining letter for joining the pre-commission training at Officers Training Academy, Chennai, the Division Bench of Manmohan and Navin Chawla, JJ., made a very significant observation that: 

“Mere acceptance of resignation may not be sufficient to consider creation of a vacancy for being filled up from the cadet in the waiting.” 

Link here.

Custodial Violence in Tihar Jail | Remedial action to be taken so that unscrupulous officers at Jail do not take advantage of knowledge of non-working of CCTVs & get away by doing any illegal act 

  

The Delhi HC has transferred the investigation into death of under-trial prisoner Ankit Gujjar lodged in Tihar Jail, to the Central Bureau of Investigation. It has been alleged that Ankit Gujjar was brutally beaten the Jail Officials and despite repeated PCR calls and messages neither was any effort made to save Ankit nor complaint lodged nor FIR registered. It has been alleged that Ankit Gujjar was  long being harassed by the officials of Tihar Jail as he was unable to meet the regularly increasing demands of money made by them. 

The Court said that if these allegations are correct, it is a very serious offence that requires in-depth investigation to unearth the manner in which alleged extortion was carried out in the prison. Further, an investigation not only as to who all committed the offence of brutally beating Ankit Gujjar resulting in his death has to be carried out, but the role of jail doctors in not providing proper treatment at the right time is also required to be ascertained by a proper inquiry. 

Read here

  

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh HC 

 J&K and Ladakh HC | Right to go abroad to pursue studies cannot be denied only on the ground of involvement in a criminal case; HC waives conditional bail order 

  While allowing a person involved in NDPS case, to travel abroad to pursue higher studies, the J&K and Ladakh High Court noted that charges against him were not grave and further observed that, 

“..petitioner cannot be denied the right to go abroad to pursue studies only on the ground that he is involved in a criminal case. Looking to the gravity of charge and the young age of the petitioner and his quest to acquire quality education, the request made appears to be genuine.” 

 Read here.

Freedom of Press v. Breach of Peace and Defamation of authority; HC holds no fetters can be placed on the press by registering FIR 

 Quashing the FIR registered against a journalist for publishing the news report disclosing an incident of Police Brutality, the Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh HC expressed that, 

  “The mode and manner in which the impugned FIR has been lodged clearly reflects the mala fide on the part of respondents as the respondents could have given their version by similar mode but they chose unique method of silencing the petitioner and it is undoubtedly an attack on the freedom of press.” 

 Read here

Himachal Pradesh HC 

HP HC | “Dispatching the gallantry medal directly to the writ petitioner through courier amount to breach of protocol”; Such awards must be given only in ceremonial functions of Independence Day/ Republic Day 

  Considering a writ petition where gallantry award was presented to the awardee after more than 3 years, the Himachal Pradesh HC said that delay in the conferment of gallantry awards should be deprecated. The Court observed that while promoting acts of bravery and courage, gallantry awards are made for ensuring the spirit of bravery the recipients of awards must be honored in ceremonial functions of Republic Day or Independence Day.   

Read here


Tribunals/Commissions 


National Company Law Appellate Tribunal

  

 ‘Till further orders’, not in order — No bar in merging unhealthy company with healthy company to succour 

  The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal while addressing appeals under Section 421 of the Companies Act stated that, 

  “There is no bar in merging unhealthy company with healthy company to come over the crisis. There was no need perhaps to pass this specific direction”. 

  Read here.


 LEGISLATION UPDATES 


CBDT extends due dates for filing of Income Tax Returns and various reports of audit for assessment year 2021-22 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to further extend the due dates for filing of Income Tax Returns and various reports of audit for the Assessment Year 2021-22. 

The last date of filing income tax return has been extended till DEcember 31, 2021.  

FOR MORE DETAILS, refer SCC Online Blog here.

 

Government of Goa implements free water scheme for all individual domestic consumers 

The Department of Information & Publicity, Goa has implemented free water scheme for all individual domestic consumers with effect from September 1, 2021. 

Further, it is also informed that in order to implement the scheme, the water supply bills for the water charges upto August 31, 2021 will be issued by Public Works Department for all its consumers as informed by the Department of Information and Publicity. 

Read here 

 

New York Government signs legislation to reduce emissions from vehicles; aims to achieve sale of zero emission vehicles by 2035 

 A new law has been passed by New york Government which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from transportation sector.  

Under the Act, new passenger cars, trucks, off road vehicles and equipment sold in New York are targeted to be zero-emissions by 2035, and new medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045. The Act also seeks to develop a zero-emissions vehicle development strategy by 2023. 

Read here

 

Certification requirements of associated persons functioning as Principal officer of a Portfolio Manager, notified 

SEBI has notified the Certification requirements of associated persons functioning as Principal officer of a Portfolio Manager, such as :   

  • Such persons must obtain certification from the National Institute of Securities Markets by passing the NISM-Series-XXI-B. 
  • The Portfolio Managers mustensure that all such persons who obtain the certification by passing the NISM-Series-XXI-B within 2 years from the date of this notification.  

 Read here.

 


SCC Online Quiz


Judgments from how many historical courts are covered in SCC Online and which is the earliest reported historical case on SCC Online?

Watch the Episode to see the names of the Winners.

 

 


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Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC online Weekly Rewind | Episode 26th with Devika Sharma


SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 26th ft. Devika Sharma, Senior Editorial Assistant is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.



Supreme Court


  • Born in a district of Bihar that’s now a part of Jharkhand? Here’s where you can claim reservation 

In a very interesting decision, Supreme Court held that such persons whose place of origin/domicile on or before the appointed day i.e. 15th November, 2000 was of the State of Bihar now falling within the districts/regions which form a successor State, i.e., State of Jharkhand under Section 3 of the Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000 can claim the benefit of reservation for participation in public employment in either of the successor State of Bihar or State of Jharkhand. Reservation can, however, not be claimed in both the States simultaneously.

Link: https://bit.ly/3BIw95k

  • Issue-wise analysis of why SC ordered demolition of illegal twin towers constructed by Supertech, prosecution of NOIDA and Supertech officials for collusion and possible statutory violations

‘The law must step in to protect legitimate concerns of residents whose quality of life is directly affected by the failure of the planning authority to enforce compliance of law.’

Upholding the Allahabad High Court’s decision with respect to ordering demolition of Tower 16 and 17 of Emerald Court constructed by Supertech Ltd. in Noida, Supreme Court found the construction illegal. The two towers were in violation of statutory regulations.

Supreme Court ordered Supertech to refund with interest the amounts invested by allottees of flats in these two towers. Supertech was also ordered to pay costs of Rs 2 crore to the Resident Welfare Association of Emerald Court Group Housing Society, which had initiated proceedings by filing a writ petition in the High Court.

Court further found that the case was replete with instances which highlight collusion between the officers of NOIDA with Supertech and its management. Therefore, the High Court’s direction for sanctioning prosecution against officials of Supertech and NOIDA was also upheld.

Lastly, the Court observed that

“Unfortunately, the diverse and unseen group of flat buyers suffers the impact of the unholy nexus between builders and planners. Their quality of life is affected the most. Yet, confronted with the economic might of developers and the might of legal authority wielded by planning bodies, the few who raise their voices have to pursue a long and expensive battle for rights with little certainty of outcomes. As this case demonstrates, they are denied access to information and are victims of misinformation.”

  • Extend benefits of welfare schemes not only to children orphaned by Covid-19 but also to children orphaned during Covid-19: Supreme Court

 While addressing the plight of children orphaned during Covid-19 pandemic, and Lauding the steps taken by the Union and State governments to provide succour to the children in need, the Bench expressed,

“It is heart-wrenching to note that the survival of so many children is at stake. We are glad that the UOI and the State Governments / Union Territories have announced schemes to provide succour to the children in need. We have no doubt that the authorities concerned would leave no stone unturned to attend to the immediate basic needs of the crestfallen children.”

https://bit.ly/3DPjvmX

  • Judges speak through their judgments and orders: Supreme Court pens down it’s opinion on oral regimes

Judges speak through their judgments and orders.

Addressing a very significant matter, Supreme Court expressed that the element of judicial accountability is lost where oral regimes prevail. This would set a dangerous precedent and is unacceptable. Judges, as much as public officials over whose conduct they preside, are accountable for their actions.

https://bit.ly/3h0oozQ

  • Repeated inquiries for verification of caste certificates detrimental to members of SC/ST: Supreme Court states when reopening inquiry into caste certificate is permissible

 Supreme Court reversed a judgment of the Madras High Court delivered over a decade ago and held that the State Level Scrutiny Committee had no power to reopen the matter relating to the caste certificate that had been approved by the District Vigilance Committee, without an appeal being filed against such order. The Supreme Court declared that:

“Reopening of inquiry into caste certificates can be only in case they are vitiated by fraud or when they were issued without proper inquiry.”

https://bit.ly/3kOi67A


Supreme Court of the United States


 

  • Texas Legislation imposing a “near complete ban on abortions” gets a green signal as SCOTUS declines to grant any relief on the matter

In a significant decision which can have major repercussions on a woman’s choice to abort in the United States, the full bench of SCOTUS, with a ratio of 5:4, declined to block the Texas law which imposes a near complete ban on abortions

https://bit.ly/3n3S1E7


High Courts


 Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court while addressing the instant suo motu case pertaining to the plight of mentally ill remand prisoners who had been left to languish in prisons due to them being abandoned by family and friends. Calling it blatant violation of basic human rights as well as of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bench expressed,

“The powerless, voiceless mentally ill prisoners languishing in prisons and mental health centres for years together, embroiled in legal quagmire and abandoned by family and friends. The system and the society presume them to be devoid of knowledge and feeling, thereby turning them into stone.”


Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

 While dealing with the intriguing question regarding criminal liability of a debtor of abetment of suicide where the creditor has committed suicide on being prompted by debtor’s refusal to repay the loan amount, Rajnesh Oswal, J., answered in negative. The Bench stated,

“Though the different persons may react or respond to a particular situation differently but this court is of the considered opinion that mere refusal to repay the loan cannot in any way can be considered to be an act of abetment to drive the deceased to commit suicide.” 

https://bit.ly/3jGlcuW


Delhi High Court

Bank Guarantee: Can these be encashed during their validity period? Read Del HC’s opinion on furnishing of bank guarantees

Can Bank Guarantee be encashed during their validity period?

Delhi High Court expressing that no judicial finding is there to state that a Bank Guarantee cannot be encashed during its validity further opined that Bank Guarantees are not furnished for being photo framed and kept in a drawing-room.

https://bit.ly/2WM45Q1


 Meghalaya High Court

State not to insist on production of Aadhaar Card as the only proof of identity for vaccination

 High Court of Meghalaya while observing that in respect of the vaccination policy presently adopted by the State of Meghalaya and particularly in remote villages, there were eligible persons who cannot be vaccinated simply because they do not possess any AADHAAR Card.

The Court thus requested the State not to insist on production of AADHAAR Card as the only proof of identity since there were other recognised options available to citizens of India to present their proofs of identity.

https://bit.ly/3BGgGTl


Tribunals/Commission/Regulatory Bodies


Central Administrative Tribunal

Can family pension be equated with a compassionate appointment? Can employer deny grant of one benefit because the other one was refused by beneficiary? Tribunal answers

Central Administrative Tribunal held that compassionate appointment cannot be equated with family pension. Slamming the respondents for their insensitive and inconsiderate attitude towards a person with 82% permanent disability, the Bench expressed,

“This correspondence between the 2nd and 3rd respondent indicates lack of any sensitivity and concern towards a physically handicapped person…the net result is that a physically handicapped person, whose parents have expired is being denied the family pension which is due to him as a matter of right in terms of extant rules and regulations.”

https://bit.ly/3tddgEP


Advance Rulings


 Maharashtra Authority for Advance Ruling

Whether reimbursement by Industry Partner to Third Party Aggregator of stipend paid to trainees, would attract GST?

 Industry partner that provides training to the trainees is required to pay stipend to the trainees. The said stipend is not directly paid to the trainees by the companies, rather the same are routed through the applicant. Adding to this, it was stated that the entire amounts received as stipend from the companies are paid to the trainees without any amount being retained and the same was not taxable at the hands of the Industry Partner.

https://bit.ly/3BJKBdh

 


Legislation Updates


  • Government introduces a new registration mark for new vehicles “Bharat series (BH-series)” to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles 

The Minstry of Road Transport and Highways in order to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles, has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles  i.e. “Bharat series (BH-series)”.Avehicle bearing this registration mark shall not require assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one State to another. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/08/30/government-introduces-a-new-registration-mark-for-new-vehicles-bharat-series-bh-series-to-facilitate-seamless-transfer-of-vehicles/ 

  •   SEBI issues circular on disclosure of risk-o-meter of scheme, benchmark and portfolio details to the investors 

SEBI has issued a circular for disclosure of risk-o-meter of scheme, benchmark and portfolio details to the investors in order to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.  

A link will be provided to investors to their registered email to enable the investor to directly view/download only the portfolio of schemes subscribed by the said investor. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/01/sebi-issues-circular-on-disclosure-of-risk-o-meter-of-scheme-benchmark-and-portfolio-details-to-the-investors/ 

  •   Income Tax (25th Amendment) Rules, 2021 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has passed Income Tax (25th Amendment) Rules, 2021. The Amendment inserts Rule 9D prescribing calculation of taxable interest relating to contribution in a provident fund, exceeding specified limit. Some points are required to be taken in to considerations for the calculation of taxable interest relating to provident fund which can be read in detail on SCC Blog. 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/02/cbdt-calculation-of-taxable-interest-relating-to-provident-fund-transactions-prescribed-vide-income-tax-25th-amendment-rules-2021/ 

  •   USA – TEXAS | Heartbeat Act, 2021 

After the United States Supreme Court declined the request of urgent stay of Heartbeat Act, 2021, the New Abortion Law comes into force in Texas on September 1, 2021. 

The Act bans abortions if there is a fetal heartbeat that can be detected. It has been in controversy as it bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy as per the medical experts (Act has not specified the weeks). 

https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/09/03/usa-texas-heartbeat-act-2021-prohibits-abortion-if-heartbeat-of-unborn-child-detected-comes-into-effect-as-us-supreme-court-refuses-to-stay-the-law/ 

Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind

SCC Online Weekly Rewind Episode 24 ft. Nilufer Bhateja, Associate Editor is out now. The written episode along with the video episode can be watched and read below.


Supreme Court 


 Natural human conduct is to first save oneself’: SC acquits woman accused of setting husband’s first wife on fire and coming out unscathed from conflagrant house 

The Supreme Court reversed the conviction of the accused−appellant who was convicted for the murder of her husband’s first wife and their children. The Court held that the chain of circumstantial evidence was not complete and gave her benefit of doubt. The Court said that natural human conduct is that when there is any incident or accident, the immediate reaction is to get away from the scene and save oneself.

READ More  HERE

Overruling versus Reversal: SC explains mere overruling of principles by subsequent judgment will not dilute binding effect of decision inter parties 

  In a very interesting matter, Supreme Court held that there is a distinction between overruling a principle and reversal of the judgment. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the settled position of law by explaining that: 

 “Mere overruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect of uprooting the final adjudication between the parties and set it at naught.”

Read More HERE 

  Rent Act would not come to the aid of a “tenant-­in-­sufferance” vis-­à-­vis SARFAESI Act due to operation of S. 13(2) read with S. 13(13) of SARFAESI Act: SC 

  In another case, addressing a very pertinent issue of whether the rent act would come to the aid of a “tenant in sufferance”, the Supreme Court decided that, 

  Rent Act would not come to the aid of a “tenant-­in-­sufferance” vis-­à-­vis SARFAESI Act due to operation of S. 13(2) read with S. 13(13) of SARFAESI Act

Read More HERE

 Can putting thumb impression instead of sign cause adverse presumption on genuineness of deed? SC discusses 

  Supreme Court while addressing an appeal expressed that, 

Key characteristic of thumb impression is that every person has a unique thumb impression. Forgery of thumb impressions is nearly impossible.  

Merely because the testator chose to append his thumb impression, adverse presumption on genuineness of the cancellation deed cannot be drawn.

Read More HERE

 


High Courts

 


Patna High Court

5-Judge Bench of Patna HC directs to demolish entire building of newly erected Waqf Bhawan constructed in close proximity of Centenary Building of the HC; Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah dissents 

 A Special 5-Judges Bench had by the majority of 4:1, directed to demolish the entire building of newly erected Waqf Bhawan which was constructed in close proximity of the northern side of the newly inaugurated Centenary Building of the Patna High Court. The Court opined. 

 “The structure has been constructed in utter and brazen violation of provisions of law across statutes, starting from Section 32 of the Central Act, through the various provisions of the Municipal Act, and finally Bye-law 21, as discussed above, and must be held to be illegal and non-est from the word go.”

Read More HERE

  Bombay High Court

Principle of “Equal Pay for Equal Work” does not operate in vacuum, it is not a fundamental right but a Constitutional goal depending on several factors 

  Addressing the seminal issue whether Minimum Competency Vocational Course (MCVC) Instructors are justified in claiming Pay Scale at par with the Full-Time Teachers in MCVC on the principle of “Equal Pay For Equal Work” which was enshrined in Articles 14 and 39(d) of the Constitution of India, the Bombay High Court expressed its view that, 

  The principle “Equal Pay For Equal Work” is not a fundamental right but a constitutional goal and entitlement to parity in Pay Scale would depend on several factors such as educational qualifications, nature of the job, duties to be performed, responsibilities to be discharged and experience. https://bit.ly/3sKRpEs

Bombay High Court

  ‘People would be starved of liberty of thought if…’: Know why Bom HC partly stayed IT Rules, 2021 

  While addressing the petitions challenging the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, Bombay High Court expressed that, 

Dissent in democracy is vital. 

 People would be starved of the liberty of thought and feel suffocated to exercise their right of freedom of speech and expression, if they are made to live in present times of content regulation on the internet with the Code of Ethics hanging over their head as the Sword of Damocles. 

Read More HERE 

Delhi High Court

 ‘Tragic to note practicing advocates trivialising offence of rape’: Del HC reiterates SC’s stand on whether power under S. 482 CrPC be exercised for quashing offence of rape when parties compromise 

It is tragic to note that practising advocates belonging to the legal fraternity are trivialising the offence of rape. 

In a petition filed under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code for quashing the FIR registered for offences under Section 376 IPC, Delhi High Court observed that, 

Rape is not merely a physical assault; it is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim. The act of rape has the ability to scar the mental psyche of the victim and the trauma can persist for years.

Read More HERE

  Bombay High Court

 Gangubai Kathiawadi | Can an adoptive son file for defamation of deceased mother? 

  The Bombay High Court has refused to grnat injunction against the much talked about movie Gangubhai Kathiawadi. The suit was brought by a person who claimed to be adoptive son of Gangubai, making allegations of defamatory content. The Court said that contents of defamatory nature against so-called adoptive mother of appellant died with her death.

Read More HERE


 LEGISLATION UPDATES 


 

Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibits identified single use plastic items which have low utility and high littering potential by 2022. The Rules also provides for effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. 

Read More HERE

 Essential Defence Services Act, 2021  

The Central Government has notified the Essential Defence Services Act, 2021 on August 11, 2021. THE Act provides power to Central Government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services. 

Read More HERE 

 Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021  

The Amendment Regulations reduces the Lock-in period for promoter contribution from 3 years to 18 months 

Read More HERE

Tamil Nadu Government reduces rate of VAT for sale of petrol 

The Government of Tamil Nadu has reduced the VAT for sale of petrol. The Governor has issued the order for reduction of rate of tax payable by any dealer as per the Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax Act, 2006 on sale of petrol with or without additives from 15% plus Rs.13.02 per litre to 13% plus Rs.11.52 per litre.

Read More HERE