2018 SCC Vol. 2 March 14, 2018 Part 5

Advocates — Bar Councils and Associations — State Bar Councils — Free and fair elections: Order for constitution of Committee by Bar Council of India (BCI) to oversee elections to State Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, not interfered with. Said Committee consisted of retired Chief Justices/Judges of various High Courts. [Ajayinder Sangwan v. Bar Council of Delhi, (2018) 2 SCC 770]

Advocates — Bar Councils and Associations — State Bar Councils — Free and fair elections — Schedule for elections — Compliance with directions of Court: BCCI having finalized schedule for election in respective State Bar Councils (as on date of present order, that is, 5-2-2018), contempt petition against BCI, dismissed. [Ajayinder Sangwan v. K.K. Mohan, (2018) 2 SCC 774]

Advocates — Bar Councils and Associations — State Bar Councils — Free and fair elections — Directions: Elections directed to be held on basis of provisional electoral rolls pending verification of Law degrees. All advocates who submitted applications along with Law degrees for verification be enrolled and shown in electoral list. Of course degrees already verified and found false and fake would be excluded from electoral list. Clarified that said electoral list and result of election would be subject to final decision of Court. Universities directed to expeditiously verify said degrees. Appropriate action would be taken against false and fake degrees after verification. Order in Ajayinder Sangwan, (2018) 2 SCC 780, modified accordingly. [Ajayinder Sangwan v. Bar Council of Delhi, (2018) 2 SCC 776]

Advocates — Election to Bar Councils — Verification of members of Bar Council and/or Bar Association: State Bar Council requested permission for conducting immediate elections as term had expired long back while BCI emphasised need of verification of candidates to eliminate fake lawyers to ensure that deserving practising advocates were elected. To do complete justice following directions issued: (i) BCI and State Bar Councils to grant time to advocates to cure defective applications and submit verified degrees within stipulated time whereafter State Bar Councils to publish final electoral rolls; (ii) BCI to declare election schedule in respective State Bar Councils thereafter. [Ajayinder Sangwan v. Bar Council of Delhi, (2018) 2 SCC 780]

CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 — S. 2(l), as effective from 1-3-2008 — Availing of CENVAT credit in respect of service tax paid on transportation of goods from factory to the place of purchaser — Impermissibility of: Post amendment, “input services” include those services which are used by the manufacturer, in or in relation to the manufacture of final products and clearance of final products “up to the place of removal”. Thus, it is only “up to the place of removal” that service is treated as input service. Therefore, the benefit which was admissible even beyond the place of removal now gets terminated at the place of removal and doors to the CENVAT credit of input tax paid gets closed at that place. [CCE v. Ultra Tech Cement Ltd., (2018) 2 SCC 721]

Evidence Act, 1872 — Ss. 3 to 9, 65-A, 65-B and 62 — Electronic evidence — Standard of proof, authenticity and admissibility — Law summarized: Ss. 65-A and 65-B of the Evidence Act, 1872, cannot be held to be a complete code on the subject. Threshold admissibility of electronic evidence cannot be ruled out on any technicality if same is relevant. Its authenticity and procedure for its admissibility may depend on fact situation such as whether person producing such evidence is in a position to furnish certificate under S. 65-B(4). If party producing electronic evidence is not in possession of device from which electronic document was produced, then such party, held, cannot be required to produce certificate under S. 65-B(4) of the Evidence Act. Requirement of certificate under S. 65-B(4) being procedural, can be relaxed by court wherever interest of justice so justifies. Thus, requirement of certificate under S. 65-B(4) is not always mandatory. [Shafhi Mohammad v. State of H.P., (2018) 2 SCC 801]

Karnataka Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (32 of 2004) — Ss. 2(36), 2(34) and 2(35) — Computation of taxable turnover — Deductions — Entitlement to: Giving benefit of discount at a point of time subsequent to original sale/purchase, held, is a regular trade practice and therefore qualifies for deduction. All regular trade discounts are allowable as permissible deductions if proper proof is shown. Assessee must establish from accounts that the discount relates specifically to sales with reference to which it is allowed. Therefore, R. 3(2)(c) proviso has to be read down to make it workable so that object of providing deductions on account of trade discount is not defeated. Therefore, language of R. 3(2)(c) proviso cannot be construed to mean that discount would be inadmissible as a deduction unless tax invoice pertaining to the goods originally issued shows said discount. [Maya Appliances (P) Ltd. v. CCT, (2018) 2 SCC 756]

Kerala Cooperative Societies Act, 1969 (21 of 1969) — Ss. 2(i), 69 and 70 (as amended by Amending Act 1 of 2000 w.e.f. 2-1-2003) r/w S. 10, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947: Jurisdiction of Labour Court under ID Act to decide service disputes between cooperative society’s employee and employer, not barred by Ss. 69 and 70. KCS Act as well as ID Act both possess concurrent jurisdiction to decide any service dispute arising between cooperative society’s employee and his/her employer (cooperative society). Further held, it is choice of employee concerned to choose any one forum out of two forums available under two Acts to get service dispute decided which is however, subject to satisfying test laid down under ID Act that employee concerned is a “workman”, dispute raised is “industrial dispute” and cooperative society (employer) is “industry” as defined under ID Act. [K.A. Annamma v. Cochin Coop. Hospital Society Ltd., (2018) 2 SCC 729]

Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 (37 of 1966) — Ss. 49, 50, 126 and 127 — Areas reserved for acquisition — Delay in acquisition procedure — Right of dereservation — Procedure of dereservation: In this case, purchase notice under S. 49 had been given earlier and was confirmed by authorities but no purchase notice under S. 127 had been given after lapse of 10 yrs from date of publication of plan, hence, exercising jurisdiction under Art. 142 of the Constitution to do complete justice, it was declared and held that reservation of appellant’s land had lapsed. However, it was clarified that in all future cases, a second purchase notice must be served under S. 127 after lapse of 10 yrs (even if it has been served under S. 49 earlier) in order that lapsing can take place under S. 127. [Chhabildas v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 2 SCC 784]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation — Future prospects: In this case, 42 yrs old self-employed deceased was in business of cable networks. Tribunal awarded Rs 30,26,810 with interest at 9% p.a. factoring in a 30% towards loss of future prospects. The Supreme Court held that following principle laid down in judgment of Five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, for deceased who was self-employed, future prospects cannot be denied and since deceased was 42 yrs of age, an addition of 25% on ground of future prospects would be warranted instead of 30% computed by Tribunal. Tribunal’s calculation of annual income based on income tax returns for 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 being Rs 1,81,500, adding a component of 25% for future prospects to get Rs 2,26,875 and deducting one-fourth towards personal expenses, loss of dependency per annum works out to Rs 1,70,156. Applying multiplier of 14, total loss of dependency at Rs 23,82,187 then adding Rs 3,14,335 towards medical expenses. An addition of Rs 70,000 in terms of Pranay Sethi case for conventional heads of loss of estate (Rs 15,000), loss of consortium (Rs 40,000) and funeral expenses (Rs 15,000). Total compensation quantified at Rs 27,66,522 with interest @ 9% p.a. from date of filing of claim petition. Apportionment directed to be carried out in terms of award of Tribunal. [Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Shalu Sharma, (2018) 2 SCC 753]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166, 168 and 173 — Compensation: Adding future prospects to established income of deceased while determining compensation, must be done in all cases as per ruling of five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680. [Munusamy v. T.N. STC (Villupuram) Ltd., (2018) 2 SCC 765]

Rent Control and Eviction — Revision — Jurisdiction as to — Nature and scope — Power to interfere with finding of fact: Appellant herein i.e. owner of shops in question filed eviction petitions relating to said shops against respondent tenants herein under Rent Act concerned on ground that those shops were in dilapidated condition and could not be repaired/reconstructed without evicting tenants. Rent Controller, after going through reports and evidence of expert witnesses produced by both sides, dismissed said petitions opining that appellant was not able to prove that shops were in dilapidated condition. Said finding was affirmed by Appellate Authority. It was held by the Supreme Court that the view taken by courts below was a plausible view which could not be said to be perverse. Hence, High Court in exercise of its limited revisional jurisdiction rightly declined to interfere with such view of courts below. Contention of appellant that Appellate Authority and High Court failed to consider certain subsequent event alleged by him before those courts to fortify his case as to dilapidated condition of shops, held, not tenable as there was nothing on record to show that such contention was raised before said courts. [Surinder v. Nand Lal, (2018) 2 SCC 717]

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