2016 SCC Vol. 2 February 21, 2016 Part 3

scccover 21.02

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 311 and 313 — Recall of witnesses under S. 311 — When permissible and warranted: Plea of recall has to be bona fide. Mere (in)competence/change of counsel cannot be ground for recall of witnesses. Recall cannot be allowed on plea that defence counsel (previous) was not competent and had not effectively crossexamined witnesses. Recall is not a matter of course and discretion given to court has to be exercised judiciously to prevent failure of justice and not arbitrarily. Plea for recall for advancing justice has to be bona fide and has to be balanced carefully with other relevant considerations including uncalled for hardship to witnesses and uncalled for delay in trial. Mere observation that recall was necessary “for ensuring fair of trial” is not enough unless there are tangible reasons to show how fairness of trial suffered without recall. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Shiv Kumar Yadav, (2016) 2 SCC 402]

Customs — Concession/Exemption/Rebate/Incentive/Subsidy — Notification No. 4/2006-CE exempting mineral ores from duty — Addition of Ch. Note 4 to Ch. 26 of CETA, 1985 by amendment carried out in the year 2011: With the addition of Note 4, a legal fiction is created treating the process of converting ores into concentrates as manufacture. Thus, held, Notification No. 4/2006-CE which exempts only ores would not include within itself “concentrates” also because of the reason that after the insertion of Note 4, concentrate is to be treated as a different product than ores, in law for the purposes of products of Ch. 26 of CETA, 1985. [Star Industries v. Commr. of Customs (Imports), (2016) 2 SCC 362]

Customs Valuation Rules, 1988 — Rr. 8, 4(2)(g), 9(1)(d) and 9(1)(e) — New replacement parts/re-exported and refurbished parts imported under maintenance agreement for service and supply of parts of a (power) plant —Valuation of such parts: Rr. 4 and 9 would only apply in case imported goods are “sold” for export to India. For application of Rr. 4(2)(g) and 9(1)(d), what is necessary is that there should be proceeds which arise from resale, disposal, or use of the very imported goods by the buyer. R. 9(1)(e) would also have no application when there is no other payment actually made or to be made as a condition of sale of the imported goods by the buyer to the seller. [GMR Energy Ltd. v. Commr. of Customs, (2016) 2 SCC 427]

Education and Universities — Reservation of Seats/Quota/Exemption/Priority/Affirmative Action/Reverse Discrimination — Postgraduate/Superspeciality courses: Reservation of seats in postgraduate/superspeciality courses, not permissible. But there is exception for States of A.P. and Telangana for reservation based on domicile and institutional preference, on basis of Presidential Order under Art. 371-D of the Constitution. There is necessity of amendment and revision of reservation policy due to changed situation and development of States of A.P. and Telangana. Suggestions regarding such amendment given 27 years back in C. Surekha v. Union of India, (1988) 4 SCC 526, reiterated. [Sandeep v. Union of India, (2016) 2 SCC 328]

Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 (as amended by Amendment Act 8 of 2015) — Ss. 175(1)(t) & (u)  S. 175(1)(v) — Disqualification: S. 175(1)(v) prescribing minimum educational qualification for contesting election, not unconstitutional merely because it disqualifies a large section of rural population, in view of illiteracy, who would otherwise be eligible. Numerical dimension of that class of persons is not relevant for determining constitutionality of cl. (v). Object sought to be achieved is not irrational and has reasonable nexus with scheme and purpose of the Act. Hence cl. (v) not violative of Art. 14. [Rajbala v. State of Haryana, (2016) 2 SCC 445]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 168, 147, 149, 157 and 2(30) — Motor accident — Liability to pay compensation: Under lease agreement, it was liability of owner to provide comprehensive insurance cover for all kinds of accidental risks. Owner was under liability to: (a) provide bus regularly, (b) employ a driver, who was to be duly licensed and not disqualified as provided in agreement, and (c) make payment of salary to driver. Further, bus was to be plied on routes as specified by SRTC and hiring charges were to be paid to registered owner. As per the agreement, owner of bus was to be solely liable for any claim arising out of any accident met by bus, however, if SRTC had to pay compensation arising out of any such accident, SRTC could recover that amount from owner out of the amount payable by it to owner or from the amount payable by insurer to owner. [Karnataka SRTC v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2016) 2 SCC 382]

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