2016 SCC Vol. 8 September 28, 2016 Part 3

vol-8-pt-3-28-09

Constitution of India — Art. 14 — PIL: U.P. Ex-Chief Ministers Residence Allotment Rules, 1997 which permitted ex-CMs to continue occupation of government bungalows for lifetime after demitting office, invalid and ultra vires U.P. Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981. [Lok Prahari v. State of U.P., (2016) 8 SCC 389]

Consumer Protection — Services — Housing: What is to be determined in building construction agreement between landlord/holder of land and builder is whether such agreement can be treated as joint venture in which both landlord and builder intend to have joint control over building activity, and this alone would take landlord/landholder out of definition of “consumer”. It is only joint control by landlord and builder that can make agreement as joint venture, irrespective of title or nomenclature or caption given to such agreement or contents of body. In absence of such joint control/true joint venture, fact that landlord/landholder’s purpose is to re-sell constructed flats is not relevant. [Bunga Daniel Babu v. Sri Vasudeva Constructions, (2016) 8 SCC 429]

Contempt of Court — Contempt by advocates — Advocate convicted for criminal contempt — Sanctions/Punishments that may be imposed in addition to punishments that may be imposed for criminal contempt under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971: Court can bar convicted advocate from appearing/pleading before any court for an appropriate period of time, till convicted advocate purges himself of the contempt, even in absence of suspension or termination of enrolment/right to practise/licence to practice. Bar from appearing/pleading in court till contempt is purged can be imposed by court whether or not High Court Rules have been framed therefore. Even post enrolment, said S. 24-A leads to debarment/suspension of enrolment of convicted advocate for a maximum of two years. Suspension/Termination of enrolment/licence to practise/right to practise of convicted advocate beyond 2 years’ maximum under S. 24-A, Advocates Act, 1961, till contempt is purged. It is preposterous to suggest that if convicted person undergoes punishment or if he tenders fine amount for having committed criminal contempt, purge would be completed. There must be something more, and there is no need for any Rules to have been framed therefore. Contempt can be purged inter alia in the manner laid down in Bar Council of India, (2004) 6 SCC 311 and R.K. Anand, (2009) 8 SCC 106. [Mahipal Singh Rana v. State of U.P., (2016) 8 SCC 335]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 432, 433 and 433-A — Life convict — Premature release of: In this case as only unserved sentences, at this stage being those of life imprisonment under TADA Act, and there was denial of benefit of premature release/remission by Government, interference with the order, by High Court, not proper. [State of Gujarat v. Lal Singh, (2016) 8 SCC 370]

Government Contracts/Tenders — Notice Inviting Tenders (NIT)/ Tender Conditions/Eligibility/RFP conditions: Essential conditions of tender are required to be strictly complied with. There is no power to relax such conditions. Rejection of bid for non-compliance with essential conditions is valid. Courts cannot exercise writ jurisdiction to revise tender conditions or to make new contract between parties when parties themselves have not made it. [Bakshi Security & Personnel Services (P) Ltd. v. Devkishan Computed (P) Ltd.,  (2016) 8 SCC 446]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 — Ss. 57(8), 63, 68-B, 68-C, 68-D, 68-E, 68-F(1-D) and 68-FF: S. 68-FF restricts grant of permits in respect of notified area or notified route once approved scheme is published except what is specifically permitted or provided under that scheme itself. Thus, under the scheme while the State transport undertaking is alone exclusively permitted to operate service in any particular area or route, if the operation of any existing permit-holder is saved either wholly or partially, then such operation gets frozen and it can be changed thereafter only by way of the permitted process. [G.T. Venkataswamy Reddy v. State Transport Authority, (2016) 8 SCC 402]

Municipalities — Property tax — Exigibility to — Government land exempted from property tax: Under the scheme contemplated by the Delhi Electricity Reforms Act and the Rules framed therein, assets of erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board initially stood transferred and vested absolutely in Government and then undertakings were transferred to electricity generation, transmission and distribution companies. Shares of these companies were then allotted to the holding company, Delhi Power Company Ltd., a wholly owned government company. Held, transfer of all assets including land to the Government was a transitory step as holding company was to be in total control. Therefore, Government was not the owner of such transferred land. Thus, S. 119 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, not applicable. Hence, transferred land was exigible to tax. [MCD v. North Delhi Power Ltd., (2016) 8 SCC 456]

Service Law — Appointment — Eligibility conditions/criteria — Character/Antecedents: Employees are required to furnish correct information relating to their character and antecedents in the verification form, before or after their induction in the service. The verification of antecedents is necessary to find out fitness of incumbent. Information given to the employer by a candidate as to conviction, acquittal or arrest, or pendency of a criminal case, whether before or after entering into service must be true and there should be no suppression or false mention of required information. The employer is given “discretion” to terminate or otherwise to condone the omission. [Avtar Singh v. Union of India, (2016) 8 SCC 471]

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