Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A petition filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was allowed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Vivek Singh Thakur, J.

The petition was filed for appointment of an arbitrator to adjudicate upon the claim of the petitioner against the respondents arising out of an agreement entered into between them for construction of link road. The respondents controverted the claim of the petitioners and filed counter allegations. The respondents submitted that the Superintending Engineer, Arbitration Circle, HPPWD, Solan was appointed as an arbitrator but it was not accepted by the petitioners.

After considering the record, the High Court observed that there was a dispute arising out of the agreement entered into between the parties. It was an undisputed fact that the said agreement contained an arbitration clause (Clause 25). However the Court held that in light of Section 12 (5) of the Act, the appointment of the Superintending Engineer as an arbitrator was untenable. Thus, the petition was allowed and a retired Judge was appointed as an arbitrator to adjudicate upon the matter. [Tilak Raj v. Chief Engineer, 2018 SCC OnLine HP 563, dated 03.05.2018]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar, Judge of the Madras High Court, presently functioning as Judge in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his charge.

Ministry  of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The  President in  exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Shri Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry  of law  and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India appointed Shri Biswajit Basu, Smt. Amrita Sinha, Shri Abhijit Gangopadhyay, and Shri Jay Sengupta, to be Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Acknowledging the need of having an effective and autonomous oversight body for all the Tribunals, the bench of AK Goel and Indu Malhotra, JJ called for urgent setting up of a committee, preferably of three members, one of whom must be retired judge of this Court who may be served in a Tribunal. The Court said that such body should be responsible for recruitments and oversight of functioning of members of the Tribunals.

During the course of hearing, it was brought to the Court’s notice that appointment, norms and functioning of Debt Recovery Tribunals was not consistent with the observations of this Court in various judgments and hence, restructuring of Tribunals and specially creation of a regular cadre to man the Tribunals was necessary.

Amicus Curiae Arvind P. Datar suggested setting up of all India Tribunal service on the pattern of U.K.  and said that the members can be drawn either from the serving officers in Higher Judicial Service or directly recruited with appropriate qualifications by national competition. He also submitted a Concept Note before the Court in which he suggested:

“The Tribunals should not be heaven for retired persons and appointment process should not result in decisions being influenced if the Government itself is a litigant and the appointing authority at the same time. There should be restriction on acceptance of any employment after retirement.”

The Court, hence, summed up the following issues for the consideration of the committee:

  1. Creation of a regular cadres laying down eligibility for recruitment for Tribunals;
  2. Setting up of an autonomous oversight body for recruitment and overseeing the performance and discipline of the members so recruited and other issues relating thereto;
  3. Amending the scheme of direct appeals to this Court so that the orders of Tribunals are subject to jurisdiction of the High Courts;
  4. Making Benches of Tribunals accessible to common man at convenient locations instead of having only one location at Delhi or elsewhere. In the alternative, conferring jurisdiction on existing courts as special Courts or Tribunals.

The Court directed that the Committee can have inter action with all stakeholders and suggest a mechanism in a time bound manner, consistent with the constitutional scheme as interpreted by this Court in several decisions and also in the light of recommendations of expert bodies.

The Court will next take up the matter on 10.05.2018. [Roger Mathew v. South Indian Bank Limited,  2018 SCC OnLine SC 500, order dated 07.05.2018]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India appointed Shri Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Holding that the decision taken by the Union of India not to make appointments to the Indian Police Service (IPS) pursuant to the Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) which took place from 20.05.2012 to 22.05.2012, is legal and valid, the 3-judge bench of Madan B. Lokur, Kurian Joseph and Deepak Gupta, JJ said:

“the decision to scrap the LCE recruitment has been taken in the larger public interest. The decision is definitely not mala fide. It is not actuated by extraneous reasons.”

The reasons given the Government to support it’s decision were:

  1. percentage of vacancies has gone down;
  2. the selection process has been delayed by many years which will mean that the persons selected will be at least 5 years older than as expected;
  3. many petitions are still pending and the matter has not been finally decided, which could lead to further delay; and
  4. it is apprehended that there would be a surfeit of litigation between candidates, if any, appointed through LCE and those who are recruited by direct recruitment or promotion during the years 2012 to 2018.

The Court noticed that it is the combined effect of all the grounds which will have to be taken into consideration. There is no manner of doubt that it was expected that the result would be declared in the year 2013 and the officers would be sent for training in the same year.

The Court said:

“The officers, who may have been selected in the year 2013 at the upper age limit of 35 years or 36 years would now be 5 years older. No doubt, they are members of the State Police Service or the Central Police Organisation, but their induction or recruitment in the IPS is delayed by more than 5 years. When the Government laid down a policy that upper age limit was 35 years, it must have had some reason for fixing the upper age limit. That purpose is now defeated.”

The Court also said that if the Union is compelled to make the appointments, this will lead to a plethora of litigation where the persons recruited to the IPS between 2013 and 2018 will claim seniority over the persons, who appear in the LCE. It said that such litigation would not be in public good and will achieve no higher purpose.

The Court, hence, held:

“When we examine the decision taken by the Central Government in a holistic manner, we have no doubt that the decision to scrap the LCE recruitment has been taken in the larger public interest.”

[Lt. CDR M. Ramesh v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 393, decided on 17.04.2018]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed  S/Shri Justices (1) Rajul Bhargava, (2) Siddhartha Varma, (3) Smt. Sangeeta Chandra, (4) Daya Shankar Tripathi, (5) Shailendra Kumar Agrawal, (6) Sanjay Harkauli, (7) Krishna Pratap Singh, (8) Smt. Rekha  Dikshit and (9) Satya Narain Agnihotri,  Additional Judges of the Allahabad High Court, to be Judges of the Allahabad High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed S/Shri Justices (1) Sathish Ninan, (2) Devan Ramachandran, (3) Somarajan P., (4) Smt. Shirey Y., and (5) Aettupanku Mohammedkhan Babu, Additional Judges of the Kerala High Court, to be Judges of the Kerala High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article  217 of the Constitution of India appointed S/Shri Justice (i) Ashok Kumar, (ii) Vivek Chaudhary, (iii) Saumitra Dayal Singh, and (iv) Akhilesh Chandra Sharma, Additional Judges of the Allahabad High Court, to be Judges of the Allahabad High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (l) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed S/Shri Justices (i) Ganga Ram Moolchandani, (2) Deepak Maheshwari, (3) Vijay Kumar Vyas, (4) Goverdhan Bardhar, (5) Pankaj Bhandari, (6) Dinesh Chandra Somani  (7) Sanjeev Prakash Sharma (8) Dr. Pushpendra Singh Bhati, (9) Dinesh Mehta and (10) Vinit Kumar Mathur, Additional Judges of the Rajasthan  High Court to be Judges of the Rajasthan High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed  S/Shri Justices  (I) Prakash Deu Naik, (ii) Makarand Subhash Karnik, (iii) Smt. Swapna Sanjiv Joshi, (iv) Kishor Kalesh  Sonawane,  (v) Sangitrao  Shamrao  Patil and (vi) Kumari  Nutan D. Sardessai, Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court, to be Judges of the Bombay High Court with effect from the date they assume  charge of their offices.

Ministry   of Law  and  Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed  S/Shri Justices (i) KaushaJ Jayendra Thaker, (ii) Ratilal Parshottarnbhai Dholaria, (iii) Ashutosh Jayantilal Shastri, (iv) Siren Aniruddh Vaishnav, (v) Alpesh Yeshvant Kogje, (vi) Arvindsingh Ishwarsingh Supehia, and (vii) Bipinkumar Navalchandbhai Karia, Additional Judges of the Gujarat High Court, to be Judges of the Gujarat High Court with effect from the date they assume  charge of their offices.

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India, appointed  (i) Smt Shampa Sarkar, (ii) Shri Ravi Krishan Kapur and (iii) Shri Arindam Mukherjee, to be Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority, for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

Ministry   of Law and  Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The  President in  exercise   of  the  powers  conferred   by  clause  (1)  of  Article  224  of  the Constitution   of  India,   appointed   S/Shri   (i) Dixit  Krishna Shripad,  (ii)  Shankar   Ganapathi   Pandit,  (iii)  Ramakrishna   Devdas   (iv)  Bhotanhosur Mallikarjuna   Shyam  Prasad,   and  (v) Siddappa   Sunil  Dutt  Yadav,  to  be  Additional Judges  of  the  Karnataka   High  Court,  in that  order  of  seniority,   for  a period  of two years with effect  from the date they assume  charge  of their offices.

Ministry   of Law  and  Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of TV Nalawade and AM Dhawale, JJ dismissed a criminal appeal filed by the State against the acquittal of the respondent who had been held guilty of committing murder of his wife under S. 302 of the Penal Code of 1860 but acquitted on grounds of insanity. The appellant contended that as per the Evidence Act, the burden to prove insanity in order to avail the exception by preponderance of probability was on the accused, which he failed to show due to failure to examination by a medical expert.

However, the High Court upheld the decision of the trial court, giving the respondent the benefit of the doubt since the issue of his behavior immediately before and after the incident had not been known or not been inquired into but it had been sufficiently shown that the accused was under medical treatment for his mental health. Another issue addressed by the High Court was the failure of the trial court to appoint an advocate with relevant experience in handling Court of Sessions cases involving mental insanity.

Holding that proper legal assistance to the accused was a fundamental right under right to life and personal liberty and also a part of due process of law, the Court issued directions to all police officers and Judicial Magistrates, Sessions Judges/Special Judges to appoint an advocate with sufficient experience, and also mention such experience held in detail in their order for the ease of the appellate courts. [State of Maharashtra v. Sheshrao, 2017 SCC OnLine Bom 9402, order dated 21-12-2017]