2016 SCC Vol. 4 April 28, 2016 Part 2


Armed Forces — Promotion — Criteria/Eligibility — Feeder post: Recommendations of AVS Committee recommending lowering of age profile of officers in Indian Army and consequent creation of additional vacancies in post of Colonel, limited to officers serving in Arms and Arms Support corps/units only. 750 vacancies sanctioned in first tranche were erroneously distributed pro rata amongst all corps. This was sought to be remedied when 1484 additional vacancies were specially created for allocation on “Command Exit Model” limited to Arms and Arms Support corps/units only. Entitlement to share in newly created vacancies depended upon whether AVS Committee had recommended lowering of age profile for officers serving in “Services” since creation of additional vacancies was meant to achieve purpose of lowering of age profile of Commanding Officers. Report of AVS Committee clearly stated that age profile of officers serving in “Services” could be higher than what was required in combat conditions. Hence, contention that AVS Committee had recommended creation of 1484 vacancies for benefit of officers serving in all formations, rejected. Additional vacancies were recommended for operational formations only and were meant to be allocated to them depending upon recommended tenure of Commissioning Officers in these formations and possibility of re-command. There were thus, neither any violation of recommendations of AVS Committee nor was distribution of additional vacancies discriminatory. [Union of India v. Lt. Col. P.K. Choudhary, (2016) 4 SCC 236]

Constitution of India — Art. 21 — Vehicular pollution in Delhi: On consensus of all sides while vehicles “bound for Delhi” allowed to enter on payment of Environment Compensation Charge (ECC), those registered in 2005 or earlier, held, do not qualify for such entry. State Governments and UTs concerned to ensure that vehicles bearing registration numbers of 2005 or earlier do not enter Delhi. New commercial light duty diesel vehicles can for the present continue to be registered in Delhi on account of dependence of public on such vehicles for supply of essentials. There is no reason however why registration of private cars and SUVs using diesel with an engine capacity of 2000 cc and above should not be banned up to 31-3-2016 when diesel vehicles of 2000 cc and above and SUVs are generally used by more affluent sections of society and because of higher engine capacity are more prone to cause higher levels of pollution. Registration of such vehicles banned in NCR up to 31-3-2016. All taxis including those operating under aggregators like Ola and Uber in NCR of Delhi, plying under city permits to move to CNG not later than 31-3-2016. Other directions also issued to reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi. [M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2016) 4 SCC 269]

Education and Universities — Medical and Dental Colleges — Admission — Entrance examination/Common entrance examination: Review petitions filed against declaring National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), as being ultra vires the Constitution in Christian Medical College, (2014) 2 SCC 305 by MCI, referred to Constitution Bench and majority judgment in Christian Medical College case, recalled by Constitution Bench and appeals directed to be heard afresh. Detailed reasons not given, so as not to prejudice re-hearing of said appeals, however it was observed that reasons for recall were, inter alia, that said majority view had not taken into consideration binding precedents and there was no discussion among members of the Bench before pronouncement of the judgment. [Medical Council of India v. Christian Medical College, (2016) 4 SCC 342]

General Clauses Act, 1897 — S. 6 — Vested right — Crystallisation/Accrual of, to survive change in law — Requirements of: All preconditions for entitlement to the right claimed must stand satisfied before the law changes, for a vested right to survive change in the law. There is need for vested right to have its origin in a proceeding which was instituted on such right having been crystallised at the time of its origin itself, in which event all future claims on that basis to be pursued would get preserved till the said right is to be ultimately examined. In the event of such preservation of the future remedy having come into existence and got crystallised, that would date back to the date of origin when the so-called vested right commenced, that then and then only it can be held that the said right became a vested right and it is not defeated by the law that prevails at the date of its decision or at the date of subsequent filing of the claim. [VKNM Vocational Higher Secondary School v. State of Kerala, (2016) 4 SCC 216]

Kerala Education Rules, 1959 — Rr. 7-A(3) and 51-A — Preferential appointment — Effect of 2005 Amendment on vested right acquired prior to amendment: As qualifying period of service for preferential appointment increased from two months to one year w.e.f. 27-4-2005 by R. 51-A proviso 2 and contesting respondent had completed the required 2 months of service under the old law, and preferential vacancy having arisen before change in the law i.e. before 27-4-2005, High Court correctly held that contesting respondent had a vested right to preferential appointment under the unamended Rules, which survived the 2005 Amendment. [Kerala School for the Blind v. N.K. Abdulrahiman, (2016) 4 SCC 234]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 2(10), (15), (16), (17), (21), (23), (24), (26), (29), (44), (47), (48), (35), (14), (11), (43), 3, 9, 10, 110, 41, 27, 96, 84, 149, 147, 145, 163-A, 166, 165, 168, 174, 66 and 14: The Central Government has the power to frame the rules provided under Section 27 MV Act, 1988, regarding minimum qualification, regarding forms and contents of the licences referred to in Section 10(1) and providing for authority to grant licences and other matters as provided in Section 27. The State Government is enjoined to maintain a register of motor vehicles under Rule 75 as provided in Form 41 which includes gross vehicle weight, unladen weight, etc. Thus it is clear that the scheme of the Act, Rules and the forms emphasise the gross vehicle weight and unladen weight which is required to be mentioned specifically in the State registration particulars, etc. so as to ascertain the class of vehicle whether it is light, medium or heavy, etc. But in view of conflicting decisions, issues formulated regarding classes of vehicles covered under said licence for “light motor vehicle” as defined under S. 2(21), whether would cover transport vehicles, if so what type of transport vehiclese, effect and purpose of 1994 Amendment, 2001 Amendment and 2007 Amendment, Pre- and post-2001 Amendment position and matter referred to larger Bench. [Mukund Dewangan v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2016) 4 SCC 298]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Age relaxation: R. 4 of M.P. Civil Services (Special Provisions for Appointment of Women) Rules, 1997 provided for age relaxation of 10 yrs for women candidates; Chhattisgarh Police Executive (Gazetted) Service Recruitment and Promotion Rules, 2000 omitted benefit of such relaxation, while in terms of R. 8(f) of Chhattisgarh Police Executive (Gazetted) Service Recruitment and Promotion Rules, 2005 again age relaxation up to 10 yrs granted to women candidates. In instant case, applicable rules were 2000 Rules and reading 2000 Rules in juxtaposition with the 1997 Rules and other relevant applicable provisions, held, 1997 Rules were specific Rules intended specifically to grant benefit of age relaxation to women in public service which was in consonance with constitutional spirit contained in Art. 15(3) of the Constitution. Reading 1997 Rules with 2003 Rules which specifically provides age relaxation of 10 yrs to women candidates, appellant would be entitled to said benefit since competitive examination for recruitment to post of DSP was conducted under the 2003 Rules, thereby filling up lacuna in 2000 Rules. Intention of rule-making authorities was always to grant benefit of age relaxation to women candidates which is also evident from fact that omission in the 2000 Rules was rectified while enacting 2005 Rules. Hence, Appellant entitled to age relaxation as per R. 4 of 1997 Rules r/w 2003 Rules. She is directed to be appointed as DSP w.e.f. the date her juniors in merit list were appointed with all consequential benefits except for claim to salary during the intervening period. [Richa Mishra v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2016) 4 SCC 179]

Service Law — Retirement/Superannuation — Voluntary retirement: Bank of India Voluntary Retirement Scheme, 2000 is partly mandatory so far as employee (being private individual) is concerned while it is directory so far as employer (public functionary) is concerned viz. clauses which provide for filing application by employee by particular date is mandatory for employee whereas clauses which require Bank to pass order on such application by specified date and complete all formalities is merely directory since Scheme does not provide for any consequence that would follow in case of non-compliance therewith by Bank within stipulated date. [Surjeet Singh Bhamra v. Bank of India, (2016) 4 SCC 204]

Specific Relief Act, 1963 — Ss. 9, 20 and 15(1)(b) and proviso thereto: When genuineness of contract is doubtful and it becomes unenforceable, it cannot be specifically enforced. [Satish Kumar v. Karan Singh, (2016) 4 SCC 352]

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