2016 SCC Vol. 9 October 21, 2016 Part 1

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Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1999 — Regn. 45-B: Regn. 45-B is not ultra vires the provisions contained in S. 26(9) of the 1998 Act and S. 62(4) of the 2003 Act. Fuel surcharge formula can be enacted by SERC, in absence of its provision in the statute. [Sai Bhaskar Iron Ltd. v. A.P. Electricity Regulatory Commission, (2016) 9 SCC 134]

Companies Act, 1956 — Ss. 446(2), 443 and 529-A: Any transaction in violation of Company Court conditional leave order on application filed by creditor Bank in pending winding-up petition, for Bank to proceed with DRT proceedings, liable to be set aside. [Anita International v. Tungabadra Sugar Works Mazdoor Sangh, (2016) 9 SCC 44]

Constitution of India — Arts. 323-A and 323-B — Tribunals: Constitution and functioning of: Considering the nature of disputes adjudicated upon by tribunals, their constitution, tenure of members, venue/location of tribunals, bypassing of High Courts and the pendency of litigation before the Supreme Court; Law Commission directed to examine: (i) necessity to bring changes in the statutory framework constituting various tribunals with regard to persons appointed, manner of appointment, duration of appointment, etc. (ii) providing of appeals routinely to Supreme Court on a question of law or substantial question of law which is not of national or public importance (iii) bypassing of the High Courts from the orders of Tribunal (iv) exclusion of jurisdiction of all courts in the absence of equally effective alternative mechanism for access to justice at grass root level. [Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. v. Essar Power Ltd., (2016) 9 SCC 103]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 174, 154, 175, 173, 157, 482 and 397 — Inquiry under S. 174 — Ambit and scope of: In this case of bride committing suicide by hanging in her matrimonial home within 5 months of marriage, inquiry which was conducted for purpose of ascertaining whether death is natural or unnatural cannot be categorised under information relating to commission of cognizable offence within meaning and import of S. 154 CrPC. On information received, police made inquiry as contemplated under S. 174 CrPC and submitted its report before SDM, stating that it was a case of hanging and no cognizable offence was found to have been committed. In the report, it was also mentioned that father of deceased does not want to take any further action in the matter. It clearly goes to show that what was undertaken by police was inquiry under S. 174 CrPC which was limited to the extent of natural or unnatural death and the case was closed. Whereas, condition precedent for recording of FIR is, that there must be an information and that information must disclose a cognizable offence. Herein, undoubtedly, intimation was information of nature contemplated under S. 174 CrPC and it could not be categorised as information disclosing a cognizable offence. Also, there is no material to show, that police after conducting investigation, submitted a report under S. 173 CrPC as contemplated, before the competent authority, which accepted the said report and closed the case. Hence, investigation on inquiry under S. 174 is distinct from investigation as contemplated under S. 154 relating to commission of a cognizable offence and, herein, there was no FIR registered on the date of incident and neither any investigation nor any report under S. 173 was submitted. Therefore, challenge to impugned FIR registered after 5 years, cannot be assailed on ground that it was second FIR in garb of which investigation or fresh investigation of same incident was initiated. [Manoj Kumar Sharma v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2016) 9 SCC 1]

Service Law — Departmental Enquiry — Initiation of departmental enquiry — After retirement: If manner of doing particular act is prescribed under any statute, then act must be done in that manner or not at all. Further, Division Bench erred in holding that once due sanction was obtained by disciplinary authority from President of India, then bar of limitation of four years before institution of disciplinary proceedings contained in R. 9(2)(b)(ii) would not apply, since sanction accorded itself was barred by limitation. Impugned judgment upholding decision of respondents to hold departmental enquiry against appellant, is unsustainable. [Brajendra Singh Yambem v. Union of India,  (2016) 9 SCC 20]

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