2016 SCC Vol. 7 September 7, 2016 Part 5

Constitution of India — Arts. 136 and 145(3): Reference to Constitution Bench to restrict scope of Art. 136, dismissed. Even if a large number of cases is pending, no effort should be made to restrict scope of Art. 136. In Interest of Justice it Would be better to use said power with circumspection, on facts of each case, rather than to limit said power for ever. [Mathai v. George, (2016) 7 SCC 700]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 190, 209, 226, 228 to 235, 240 to 244, 246 to 248, 251 to 255 and 394 — Criminal trial: A criminal court cannot continue proceedings against a dead person and find him guilty. [U. Subhadramma v. State of A.P., (2016) 7 SCC 797]

Human and Civil Rights — Disabled and Differently-Abled Persons — Attitude of non-disabled persons towards disabled/differently-abled persons: Approach towards disabled persons should be from human rights perspective.  Instead of traditional approach of sympathy and help based on medical/welfare model, disabled persons need to be treated with dignity like normal persons based on human rights perspective. Because emphasis is on medical needs, their wider social needs are neglected, thus isolating them from normal people and even their families. Instead of treating them as an object of pity, they should be assimilated in the mainstream of the nation’s life. [Jeeja Ghosh v. Union of India, (2016) 7 SCC 761]

Telecom Consumers Protection (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2015 — Validity of: Call drop compensation provisions in Telecom Consumers Protection (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2015, ultra vires and invalid. Balance between interests of consumers and service providers as mandated by TRAI Act, held, unacceptably violated thereby. By the said amendment, every originating service provider who provided cellular mobile telephone services was made liable to credit calling consumer with one rupee for each call drop which took place within its network, up to a maximum of three call drops per day. It was held that impugned Regulations not referable to Ss. 11(1)(b)(i) and (v) of TRAI Act inasmuch as it has not been made to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the licence nor has it been made to lay down any standard of quality of service that needs compliance, though it cannot be said to be inconsistent with S. 11. Further, under S. 36 of TRAI Act, not only does TRAI have to make regulations consistent with the Act and the Rules made thereunder, but it also has to carry out the purposes of the Act, as can be discerned from the Preamble to the Act i.e. to protect the interests of service providers as well as consumers of the telecom sector. In the present case, in attempting to protect interest of the consumer of the telecom sector at the cost of the interest of a service provider who complies with the leeway of an average of 2% of call drops per month given to it under Regn. 5 of Quality of Telecom Standards of Quality of Service of Basic Telephone Service (Wireline) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service Regulations, 2009 framed under S. 11(1)(b)(v), the balance that was sought to be achieved by TRAI Act for the orderly growth of the telecom sector had been violated. Therefore, impugned Regulations, which did not carry out the purpose of the Act, held ultra vires the Act. [Cellular Operators Assn. of India v. TRAI, (2016) 7 SCC 703]

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