2017 SCC Vol. 2 February 28, 2017 Part 3

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 11(5), (9) and (12) — International commercial arbitration: In dispute between two foreign parties which had agreed to resolve disputes between them as per Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, in exercise of its powers under S. 11(5), Supreme Court appointed a former Judge of Supreme Court to act as sole arbitrator. [Mears Group Inc. v. Fernas Insaat A.S., (2017) 2 SCC 429]

 Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 39 Rr. 1 & 2 and Or. 43 R. 1(r) — Powers at interim stage — Scope of: Passing of final order on issue concerned at interlocutory stage, not permissible. [Vishnu Babu Tambe v. Apurva Vishnu Tambe, (2017) 2 SCC 454]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 96, Or. 41 R. 31 and Or. 20 R. 5 — Judgment in first appeal — Powers and duties of first appellate court: First appellate court is the final court of facts. Hence, its judgment must reflect application of mind. In its judgment, first appellate court must state points for determination, decision thereon and reasons for decision. However, mere omission to frame point(s) for determination does not vitiate the judgment of first appellate court provided that appellate court records its reasons based on evidence adduced by both parties. Points arising for determination must cover all important issues involved in the case and should not be general and vague in nature. Where appellate court agrees with the views of trial court on evidence, it need not restate effect of evidence or reiterate reasons given by trial court. Expression of general agreement with reasons given by trial court would ordinarily suffice in such a case. However, where appellate court reverses the findings of trial court, it must record the findings in clear terms explaining how the reasonings of trial court are erroneous. [Laliteshwar Prasad Singh v. S.P. Srivastava, (2017) 2 SCC 415]

Constitution of India — Art. 19(1)(a): Voters have right to know about educational qualification of candidate contesting election. [Mairembam Prithviraj v. Pukhrem Sharatchandra Singh, (2017) 2 SCC 487]

Constitution of India — Arts. 105(1) & (2), 121, 122 & 118 and Art. 19(1)(a) — Parliamentary privileges: Parliament has power to pass resolutions condemning any adverse remarks against historically respected personalities made by a stranger/non-Member (a former Judge of Supreme Court and former Chairman of Press Council of India) in public domain for consumption of general public, without making a reference in the resolutions about conduct or character of maker of remarks. Art. 19(1)(a) which recognises freedom to publicly express dissenting opinions as well, not affected by such resolutions made purely in form of declaration of opinion of Houses. Collective expression of opinion by all Members culminating in passing of Resolutions by the Houses, entitled to protection under Art. 105. Hence, Writ petition seeking quashment of Resolutions passed by both Houses of Parliament condemning in public interest, remarks made by a former Judge of Supreme Court and former Chairman of Press Council of India, against historically respected personalities, dismissed. [Markandey Katju v. Lok Sabha, (2017) 2 SCC 384]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 19(1)(a) — Comments of authority in charge of governance lacking constitutional compassion and sensitivity: Affidavit filed by R-2 authority regarding his comment that FIR in rape and dacoity case was “an outcome of political controversy”, cannot be treated as an unconditional apology. [Kaushal Kishor v. State of U.P., (2017) 2 SCC 369]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 136 — Interference in tax matters — Penalty: High Court refused to grant an interim order, as was granted in other cases pending before it but given detailed reasons, as to why departure was made, but still penalty stayed since penalty could not have been imposed without granting an opportunity for hearing, since connected matters are pending before High Court, refraining from making any observation on merits of matter, appellant permitted to deposit 50% of demand minus penalty within four weeks. [Century 21 Malls (P) Ltd. v. State of M.P., (2017) 2 SCC 447]

Constitution of India — Arts. 370, 254, 246 and Sch. VII List I Entries 45, 95, 97 and List III Entries 6 and 11-A — Legislative competence of Parliament — Law relating to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K): Right of banks to enforce security interests outside court’s process by acting under S. 13, SARFAESI Act to sell secured assets of borrower and other provisions like Ss. 17-A, 18-B, 34, 35 and 36 of SARFAESI Act, applicable to State of J&K. Recovery of debts and adjudicatory mechanism provided therefor in SARFAESI Act come within subject “banking” in Sch. VII List I Entry 45 r/w Entry 95. Parliament has been empowered by Presidential Order under Art. 370 to legislate on Sch. VII List I Entry 45 r/w Entry 95 in respect of State of J&K. Thus SARFAESI Act can be validly applied to State of J&K even if S. 140, Transfer of Property Act of J&K, 1920 conflicts with SARFAESI Act. [SBI v. Santosh Gupta, (2017) 2 SCC 538]

Contempt of Court — Nature and Scope — Broadly — Aiding and abetting contempt: Proceeding against a person for breach of court order where he is bound by that order is one thing and proceeding against a person who is not party to that court order but he is conducting himself so as to obstruct course of justice is different thing. In former case, court proceeds against violator for enforcing its order for benefit of person who got it. In latter case, court will not allow its process to be set at naught and treated with contempt. A third person can also be held liable for contempt of court if he, knowing terms of order wilfully assists person bound by it to disobey that order. [Sita Ram v. Balbir, (2017) 2 SCC 456]

Cooperative Societies — Election: As writ petition was pending before High Court regarding dispute concerning election to Managing Committee, newly elected Managing Committee directed not to take policy decision till writ petitions are decided by High Court. [Registrar of Coop. Societies v. Cherian Eapen, (2017) 2 SCC 375]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashing of FIR and consequential charge-sheet — Prayer as to — Present dispute if civil in nature: If on basis of false and fraudulent documents a claim was made which led to award of compensation in land acquisition matter, the interest of the State was compromised or adversely affected. Hence, matter concerned could not be termed as a civil dispute simpliciter. [Jairam v. State of Maharashtra, (2017) 2 SCC 371]

Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 — Ss. 7, 12 and 17 — Child custody dispute — Visitation rights of respondent mother as to her two minor children: Interim order as to visitation rights of respondent mother as to her two minor children, passed by High Court and confirmed by Supreme Court, modified to a limited extent of changing the venue of visit. [Harshita Bhasin v. State of W.B., (2017) 2 SCC 377]

Income Tax — Attachment: In this appeal against interim orders directing redeposit of amounts received on the sale of the stocks attached by the Income Tax Department, it was not necessary for Supreme Court, to go into the various disputed contentions since the writ petitions were pending before the High Court, in view thereof, appeals disposed of with direction of High Court to dispose of the writ petitions expeditiously and till the writ petitions are disposed of, there should be no recovery of the dues in terms of the impugned order. [State of A.P. v. CIT, (2017) 2 SCC 482]

Labour Law — Penalty/Punishment — Judicial Review/Validity — Scope — Limited: Decision qua nature and quantum of punishment is prerogative of disciplinary authority and courts while exercising power of judicial review do not sit as appellate authority. Only in exceptional circumstances based on doctrine of proportionality, where penalty/punishment awarded by disciplinary authority is found wholly disproportionate so as to shock conscience of Court, Court can interfere therewith. As there were allegations of dereliction of duties as supervisor leading to misappropriation of funds of society, amounting to Rs 46,87,950.10 found to have been proved against respondent, order of High Court altering penalty of dismissal to that of stoppage of two increments for a period of three years finding that there were no allegations of misappropriation against respondent and accusation of lack of proper supervision holds good against top administration as well, not sustainable. Hence, dismissal of respondent, restored. [Krishna District Coop. Central Bank Ltd. v. K. Hanumantha Rao, (2017) 2 SCC 528]

Labour Law — Reinstatement/Back Wages/Arrears — Back wages — Entitlement to: Workman being acquitted of criminal charges on being given benefit of doubt, grant of back wages not justified. [H.V.P.N. Ltd. v. Bal Govind, (2017) 2 SCC 382]

Labour Law — Reinstatement/Back Wages/Arrears — Back wages/Other consequential relief — Lump sum compensation: Labour Court reinstated appellant with 20% back wages, however, High Court, finding lump sum compensation of Rs 50,000 (Rupees fifty thousand) just and proper, substituted the same, held, for twenty years, though intermittently, appellant having been working, compensation awarded by High Court too meager. Hence, agreeing with High Court that reinstatement was not the proper relief, compensation to tune of Rs 5,00,000 (Rupees five lakhs) would be just and proper in peculiar facts of the present case without being treated as a precedent. [Vashrambhai Dhanabhai Vegad v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 2 SCC 508]

Labour Law — Reinstatement/Back Wages/Arrears — Back wages/Other consequential relief — Golden handshake instead of back wages — When warranted: In this case, respondent, PG Assistant in Biology, with minority institution run by appellants, was terminated from service for allegedly disobeying authorities and assaulting and neglecting his duty in a number of instances, as respondent had lost confidence of management (appellants), order of reinstatement with back wages substituted by directing appellants to pay Rs 50 lakhs in three instalments, as compensation to respondent, appears to be just and proper. [Anaikar Oriental (Arabic) Higher Secondary School v. A. Haroon, (2017) 2 SCC 510]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 23 — Market value — Enhanced cost of land: Appellant is entitled to 20% rebate on additional cost of land since that factor is included in enhanced cost of land. [Hamdard Laboratories v. Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corpn., (2017) 2 SCC 536]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 54 and 23 — Market value — Parity in award for land acquired under same notifications: Land acquired under same acquisition notifications, came to be decided by Court determining market value of Rs 65 per square yard, attaining finality after dismissal of appeals by High Court as well as Supreme Court, hence, no justification for High Court to remand matter to Reference Court for fresh consideration. Market value fixed at Rs 65 per square yard and beside market value, appellants also to be entitled to all statutory benefits. [Ram Swaroop v. State of U.P., (2017) 2 SCC 413]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 304 Pt. I r/w Ss. 147, 148 and 149 [S. 300 Exceptions 1 and 4] — Culpable homicide not amounting to murder: As testimony of eyewitnesses was found trustworthy, medical evidence corroborated ocular evidence, place of occurrence was also corroborated by bloodstained earth collected therefrom in course of investigation, blood proved to be human blood, by report of chemical analyst and incident happened on the spur of moment and in an uncontrollable, embittered and agitated state of enragement, thus depriving accused persons of their power of self-control, hence,  on a consideration of totality of circumstances, conviction of appellant-accused under S. 304 Pt. I r/w Ss. 147, 148 and 149 IPC, as recorded by High Court, confirmed. [Ram Autar v. State of U.P., (2017) 2 SCC 449]

Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 — S. 22 — Advertisements relating to pre-conception and prenatal determination of sex or sex selection — Prohibition of, on internet: There has to be freedom of access to information but, such freedom cannot violate a law that holds the field such as the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. [Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, (2017) 2 SCC 514]

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 — Grievance as to (a) ineffective implementation of Act and indifferent attitude of authorities in implementation of Act; and (b) failure to strictly comply with Rr. 3, 8, 9, 10, 15(1), 16 and 17 of 1995 Rules: Directions issued to Central Government, State Governments, National Commissions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for effective implementation of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995. [National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights v. Union of India, (2017) 2 SCC 432]

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