2018 SCC Vol. 4 May 28, 2018 Part 5

Election — Democracy and General Principles — Criminalisation of politics/Electoral Reform: Information regarding sources of income of electoral candidates/legislators and their associates would help voter to make informed choice and hence, is part of his fundamental right. Disclosure of movable and immovable assets is already a requirement under Form 26 as subs. w.e.f. 1-8-2012. Non-disclosure of assets and sources of income of candidates/legislators and their associates constitutes corrupt practice amounting to undue influence since it is attempt to suppress, misguide and keep people in the dark. In case of undue accretion of assets of legislators/politicians and their associates/dependants without bearing any relationship to their known sources of income, the only logical inference is that there is some abuse of legislator’s constitutional office. Such abnormal growth of assets not always because of illegal activity but could also be due to improper activities like (i) availing huge amounts of loan for allegedly commercial purposes from public financial institution which become nonperforming assets (NPAs) and despite which they secure huge loan amounts again; and (ii) securing contracts of high monetary value from Government or corporations controlled by Government. It is necessary to of curb such activities. [Lok Prahari v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 699]

Banking Regulation Act, 1949 — S. 21-A — Debts due to banks by agriculturists — Law applicable — Validity and extent of applicability of S. 21-A of 1949 Act vis-à-v-is State Debt Relief Acts: S. 21-A is valid as in pith and substance, S. 21-A relatable to Sch. VII List I Entry 45 of the Constitution. However, insofar as S. 21-A of 1949 Act incidentally encroaches upon relief of agricultural indebtedness, which is covered in Sch. VII List II Entry 30 of the Constitution, it will not operate to the extent that State Debt Relief Acts cover relief of agriculturists from debts due to banks. S. 21-A will not operate in States where there is a State Debt Relief Act which deals with relief of agricultural indebtedness and where State Debt Relief Act covers debts due to “banks”, as defined in those Acts. In States where State Debt Relief Act does not apply to banks at all, S. 21-A will apply in such States. In States where State Debt Relief Act applies only to certain specified banks, S. 21-A will apply only in respect of loans made to agriculturists where such loans are given by banks other than banks specified or covered by State Debt Relief Act concerned, as the case may be. [Jayant Verma v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 743]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 89 — Reference of dispute for arbitration: When there was no arbitration agreement between the parties, reference of dispute for arbitration in the absence of a written memo/joint application is not permissible, even when the counsel of the parties consent to the same. For reference of the parties to arbitration, oral consent given by the counsel without a written memo of instructions does not fulfil the requirement under S. 89 CPC. [Kerala SEB v. Kurien E. Kalathil, (2018) 4 SCC 793]

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