Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Public Premises — Transfer of lease/allotted plot: In this case, industrial land was given to the original allottee at a price fixed by Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA). The Supreme Court held that when the allottee transfers and gets something more for the land and the market value as reflected in the circle rate is much more than the price at which the land was allotted to the allottee, BIADA, which was the original owner of the land should not be deprived of a reasonable portion of the unearned increase from the value of the land. Therefore the policy of BIADA fixing the cost of the land on the basis of the circle rate applicable, legal and valid. [Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority v. Amit Kumar, (2019) 10 SCC 733]

Administrative Law — Judicial Review: Principles summarized regarding scope of judicial review of administrative action. Municipal Council, [Neemuch v. Mahadeo Real Estate, (2019) 10 SCC 738]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — Ss. 238-A and 7 r/w S. 433(e) of the Companies Act, 1956: An application under S. 7 before NCLT, pursuant to transfer of winding-up petition (on ground of company being unable to pay its debts) by High Court, held, would be barred by limitation when the winding-up petition itself was filed beyond the prescribed period of limitation. Filing of a civil suit for recovery would not extend the period of limitation for filing a winding-up petition. If a winding-up petition, on the date that it was filed, is barred by lapse of time then S. 238-A of the Code will not give a new lease of life to such a time-barred petition.  Further held, a suit for recovery based upon a cause of action that is within limitation cannot in any manner impact the separate and independent remedy of a winding-up proceeding. Further, qua winding-up petition on ground of company being unable to pay its debts under S. 433(e) of the Companies Act, 1956, the trigger for limitation is the inability of a company to pay its debts and this trigger occurs when a default takes place, after which the debt remains outstanding and is not paid. It is this date alone that is relevant for the purpose of triggering limitation for the filing of a winding-up petition. [Jignesh Shah v. Union of India, (2019) 10 SCC 750]

Criminal Trial — Medical Jurisprudence/Evidence — Medical evidence of throttling, strangulation and hanging: Medical jurisprudence and case-law extensively surveyed and medical evidence of throttling, strangulation and hanging, meticulously distinguished. [Javed Abdul Rajjaq Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 10 SCC 778]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Prayer for bail to be granted directly by Supreme Court in a group of registered cases or cases likely to be registered in connection with same transaction: In this case involving “Grand Venice” Mall and a Commercial Tower Project, the Supreme Court directly granted bail to accused in cases registered or likely to be registered in different States arising out of same transaction. Several conditions also imposed for grant of bail. The prayer of petitioner-accused to transfer all cases to CBI and consolidation of all FIRs and criminal proceedings in State of U.P. and NCT of Delhi, declined. Some relief granted in terms of consolidation of cases before SIT constituted by State of U.P. and stay of proceedings in NCT of Delhi to enable the same. [Satinder Singh Bhasin v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2019) 10 SCC 800]

Constitution of India — Art. 32: In this case, bail was granted by imposing conditions in writ petition with common prayer seeking bail directly from Supreme Court in different criminal cases. [Surinder Singh Alagh v. Union of India, (2019) 10 SCC 807]

Constitution of India — Arts. 164, 188, 189, 178 & 212 and 75, 100 & 122 and Art. 32 — Floor test in legislature to determine which party/grouping of parties has a majority, so as to be invited to form Government — When can be directed: In this case, as no single party was having a majority in newly elected House and different parties were claiming conflicting alliances and support from different parties/groups of MLAs, floor test, held, can be directed to prevent unlawful practices such as horse-trading, to avoid uncertainty and to effectuate smooth running of democracy by ensuring a stable Government. [Shiv Sena v. Union of India, (2019) 10 SCC 809]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Service Law — Pension — Work-Charged Employee: Period of work-charged service can be reckoned for purpose of computation of qualifying service for grant of pension. [Habib Khan v. State of Uttarakhand, (2019) 10 SCC 542]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws — Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016 — Regn. 38 (as existing prior to amendment made on 5-10-2018): Differential treatment of dissenting financial creditor i.e. differential liquidation value that would be paid to dissenting financial creditors is permissible under unamended regulations. [Rahul Jain v. Rave Scans (P) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 548]

Criminal Trial — Appreciation of Evidence — Contradictions, inconsistencies, exaggerations or embellishments — Minor discrepancies: Undue importance should not be attached to omissions, contradictions and discrepancies which do not go to the heart of the matter and do not shake the basic version of prosecution witness — This is particularly true when prosecution case is corroborated by medical and forensic evidence. [Rohtas v. State of Haryana, (2019) 10 SCC 554]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — Ss. 238-A and 7: Art. 137 of Limitation Act provides for a limitation period of 3 years, while Art. 62 of Limitation Act providing for limitation period of 12 years for recovery of debts secured with immovable property. Date of enforcement of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is irrelevant for computation of limitation period i.e. no new lease of life to be given to debts which are already time-barred. [Gaurav Hargovindbhai Dave v. Asset Reconstruction Co. (India) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 572]

Administrative Law — Promissory Estoppel — Applicability — Nature and Scope — Invocation of the Doctrine — Principles summarized: Fundamental principles of equity must for ever be present to mind of court, while considering applicability of the doctrine. Doctrine must yield when equity so demands if it can be shown having regard to facts and circumstances of the case that it would be inequitable to hold the Government or the public authority to its promise, assurance or representation. Public interest is the superior equity which can override individual equity. Moreover, the doctrine of cannot be invoked for enforcement of a promise made contrary to law. [Union of India v. Unicorn Industries, (2019) 10 SCC 575]

M.P. Land Revenue Code, 1959 (20 of 1959) — S. 158(v)(b) — Bhumiswami rights — Tenability of claim as to: As the grassland under personal cultivation of erstwhile zamindar was not found to be khudkasht land of proprietor within meaning of S. 2(c) of M.B. Zamindari Abolition Act and not fulfilling essential conditions under S. 4(2), hence stood vested in the State under S. 4(1) thereof, claim of bhumiswami right, held untenable. [State of M.P. v. Sabal Singh, (2019) 10 SCC 595]

Constitution of India — Arts. 141 and 144: Judgment and order of the Supreme Court disposing of appeal against decision of High Court arising out of representative suit is final and binding on all concerned. All courts and civil and judicial authorities are required to act in aid thereof. [ISSAC Mattammel Cor-Episcopa v. St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, (2019) 10 SCC 606]

Town Planning — Parking Area — Infrastructure need, policy initiatives, pilot project and desired administrative action with regard to parking in Delhi: Directions issued with regard to — (a) Clearance of encroachments in pavements of residential areas and framing of rules for discouraging such encroachers, (b) expeditious notification of the draft rules of Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules, 2019 not later than 30-9-2019 and enforcement of same in letter and spirit by all concerned, (c) proper assessment of parking needs for next 25 yrs while granting building permissions, (d) considerations while evaluating feasibility and effectiveness of pilot project, (e) considering viability and effectiveness of introducing modern technology, that is, RFID tags, parking guidance and information systems and last mile connectivity from parking spaces to commercial areas, institutions, etc. and submit a report in this behalf by 30-9-2019. [M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2019) 10 SCC 614]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 120-B and S. 302 — Criminal conspiracy — Existence of — Proof of — Essential elements summarized: Three essential elements must be shown: a criminal object, a plan or scheme embodying means to accomplish that object, and agreement between two or more persons to cooperate for accomplishment of such object. In this case, conspiracy to murder was not established against A-1 and A-5, but they were correctly convicted under Ss. 302/34. [Rajender v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2019) 10 SCC 623]

Constitution of India — Art. 235 — Powers of High Court of supervision of subordinate courts — Exercise of disciplinary powers — Scope:  High Court’s role as guardian and protector of District Judiciary in maintaining its independence, explained. Misconduct distinguished from mere passing of erroneous orders. Erroneous orders to form part of service record to determine career progression of judicial officer concerned, but cannot, held, by themselves be considered as misconduct, unless they are passed for extraneous reasons, illegal gratification, etc. [Krishna Prasad Verma v. State of Bihar, (2019) 10 SCC 640]

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 — Ss. 42 and 8/15 — Search and seizure: When seizure of material is proved on record and is not even doubted or disputed, entire contraband material need not be placed before court. At times the material could be so bulky, that it may not be possible and feasible to produce the entire bulk before the court. Further, if seizure is otherwise proved, what is required to be proved, is fact that samples taken from and out of contraband material were kept intact, that when samples were submitted for forensic examination seals were intact, that report of forensic experts shows potency, nature and quality of contraband material and that based on such material, essential ingredients constituting an offence are made out. [State of Rajasthan v. Sahi Ram, (2019) 10 SCC 649]

W.B. Premises Tenancy Act, 1997 (37 of 1997) — S. 7 — Scope and Nature of: S. 7(2), held, is mandatory in nature. Courts lack power to extend time where tenant defaults in payment of rent. S. 5 of Limitation Act, 1963 is not applicable to proceedings under S. 7(2). [Bijay Kumar Singh v. Amit Kumar Chamariya, (2019) 10 SCC 660]

Service Law — Pay — Pay scale, fixation and revision — Differentiation based on training — Classification based on academic qualifications and experience — Legality of: Nature of work may be more or less the same but scale of pay may vary based on academic qualification or experience which justifies classification. “Principle of equal pay for equal work” cannot be applied in mechanical manner. Classification made by body of experts after full study and analysis of work should not be disturbed except for strong reasons which indicate classification made to be unreasonable. Inequality of men in different groups excludes applicability of principle of equal pay for equal work to them. Hence, validity of lower pay scale for untrained teachers, affirmed. [Director of Elementary Education v. Pramod Kumar Sahoo, (2019) 10 SCC 674]

Education Law — Employment and Service Matters re Educational Institutions — Appointment/Recruitment: As illegal appointment was made by Management of college concerned, denial of financial approval by State, held proper. [Ravindra Singh v. Distt. Inspector of Schools, (2019) 10 SCC 679]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashment power under: Minute consideration of evidence and defence put forth at S. 482 stage is not permissible. [CBI v. Arvind Khanna, (2019) 10 SCC 686]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 136 — Writ of certiorari — Nature and scope — Principles summarized:  Writ of certiorari, held, is intended to correct jurisdictional excesses and the writ court cannot sit as appellate court and reappreciate evidence. [Electrical Rengali Hydro Electric Project v. Giridhari Sahu, (2019) 10 SCC 695]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — S. 238-A (as inserted w.e.f. 6-6-2018) r/w Ss. 7 and 9 — Art. 137 of Limitation Act, 1963 — Applicability: Date of coming into force of IB Code does not and cannot form a trigger point of limitation for applications filed under the Code and since “applications” are petitions which are filed under the Code, it is Art. 137 of the Limitation Act which will apply to such applications. [Sagar Sharma v. Phoenix ARC (P) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 353]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 227 — Maintainability of writ petition — Alternative remedy/Exhaustion of remedies: In this case there was sale of immovable property belonging to deity, to appellant K, after following the procedure mandated by law (under Religious Endowments Act concerned). The Supreme Court held that the interference made by Division Bench of High Court in writ appeals considering the so-called lucrative offer made by R-4 and R-5 who were merely interveners, was not proper. [K. Arjun Das v. Commr. of Endowments, (2019) 10 SCC 355]

Service Law — Departmental Enquiry — Criminal proceedings — Acquittal: Law summarized regarding effect of acquittal in criminal proceedings on punishment imposed in departmental enquiry. [Karnataka Power Transmission Corpn. Ltd. v. C. Nagaraju, (2019) 10 SCC 367]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashment of proceedings: Where the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute a case against the accused, the High Court would be justified in quashing the proceedings. [M. Srikanth v. State of Telangana, (2019) 10 SCC 373]

Education Law — Employment and Service Matters re Educational Institutions — Appointment/Recruitment — Recruitment process — Eligibility criteria: In this case in recruitment of teachers in Zila Parishads, in terms of advertisement, applicants were required to fulfil requisite eligibility before last date of submission of application form while in terms of proviso proof of eligibility could be submitted before declaration of result. While determining the effect of the amendment of the R. 266(3) of the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, the Supreme Court held that the amendment which substitutes provision essentially does two things viz. firstly, provision which is substituted undergoes repeal and secondly, there is re-enactment through newly inserted provision. Further held, proviso being an integral part of cl. (3) of R. 266 it would not survive after substitution of R. 266(3). Thus candidates were required to possess stipulated educational qualifications on last date of submission of application form. Advertisement was thus, in consonance with statutory rules. Furthermore, Circular dt. 29-2-2012 extending benefit of proviso to candidates after changing conditions of advertisement related to advertisement issued in 2012 and would have no bearing on advertisement issued in this case in year 2013. Hence, High Court erred in extending benefit of proviso to respondent. [State of Rajasthan v. Trilok Ram, (2019) 10 SCC 383]

Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 (29 of 1950) — Ss. 2(13), 19 and 28: “Public trust” includes constructive public trust. Court’s jurisdiction to declare existence of constructive trust can be derived from S. 88 of Trust Act, 1882 and S. 151 CPC, notwithstanding repeal of S. 94 of Trusts Act, 1882. [Janardan Dagdu Khomane v. Eknath Bhiku Yadav, (2019) 10 SCC 395]

Limitation Act, 1963 — Ss. 5 and 14 — Condonation of delay: Factors to be considered for condonation of delay in application filed by State, delineated. [State of Manipur v. Koting Lamkang, (2019) 10 SCC 408]

U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950 (1 of 1951) — Ss. 166, 167 and 161 [before and after amendment vide U.P. Act 20 of 1982 w.e.f. 3-6-1981]: Before Amendment, held, transfers illegal by virtue of S. 166 r/w S. 167 including exchange of land in violation of S. 161 i.e. exchange without permission of Assistant Collector, were only voidable as per procedure provided in 1950 Act. After Amendment, they are void and vest in State free of all encumbrances. [Sita Ram v. Bharat Singh, (2019) 10 SCC 412]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/34 and 201 — Death sentence — When justified: In this case, accused (tantric husband and wife) gruesomely murdered 2 yr old boy of their neighbour as human sacrifice to God. Head of boy was severed and tongue and cheeks were also cut out. Having regard to age of the accused, they were not possessed of the basic humanness, they completely lacked the psyche or mindset which can be amenable for any reformation. Furthermore, accused had previously committed similar murder of a six year old girl and were sentenced to life imprisonment till the end of their lives without remission in Ishwari Lal Yadav, (2019) 10 SCC 437. Thus, death sentence was confirmed. [Ishwari Lal Yadav v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2019) 10 SCC 423]

Criminal Trial — Confession — Extra-judicial confession/Hearsay — Evidentiary value of: Extra-judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence but, at the same time, if the same is corroborated by other evidence on record, such confession can be taken into consideration to prove guilt of accused. [Ishwari Lal Yadav v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2019) 10 SCC 437]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 11 and 12 — Appointment of arbitrator: In this case though arbitration clause provided for Tribunal of three members, at the request of parties sole arbitrator was appointed. Clarification was issued on place of arbitration and remuneration. 12 months’ duration was provided for completion of proceedings. [Shaf Broadcast (P) Ltd. v. Doordarshan, (2019) 10 SCC 447]

Armed Forces — Penalty/Punishment — Subjective satisfaction of competent authority — Interference with — Scope — Principles explained: In this case, AFT despite noting that punishment of censure awarded by competent authority was justified interfering on specious ground that punishment of “Severe Displeasure (Recordable)” was not commensurate with misconduct proved. This was held to be not proper. [Union of India v. Kuldeep Yadav, (2019) 10 SCC 449]

Goa, Daman and Diu Land Revenue Code, 1968 (9 of 1969) — Ss. 32(2)(c), (3) & (6): Procedure laid down under, for levy of conversion charges, explained. While determining the effect of amendment to S. 32, it was held that relevant date for fixing conversion charges is date on which decision is taken to grant sanad. [State of Goa v. Alvaro Alberto Mousinho De Noronha Ferreira, (2019) 10 SCC 465]

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 — S. 50 — Object and applicability: Mandate of S. 50 is confined to “personal search” and not to search of vehicle or container or premises. Thus, illicit article seized from person during personal search conducted in violation of safeguards provided in S. 50, cannot by itself be used as admissible evidence of proof of unlawful possession of contraband. However, as held in Baldev Singh, (1999) 6 SCC 172, conviction may not be based “only” on basis of possession of illicit article recovered from personal search in violation of requirements under S. 50 but if there is other evidence on record, such material can certainly be looked into, including material recovered from search of vehicle or container or premises which was not in compliance with S. 50. [State of Punjab v. Baljinder Singh, (2019) 10 SCC 473]

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Public Premises — Allotment without advertisement — Impermissibility of: Public property cannot be disposed of without any advertisement and without giving opportunity to eligible persons to apply and seek consideration of allotment of public property in transparent and non-discriminatory manner. State and its instrumentalities must act in consonance with Art. 14 of the Constitution. [Bihar State Housing Board v. Radha Ballabh Health Care & Research Institute (P) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 483]

Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 — S. 15 — Jurisdiction of Tribunal — Scope: S. 15 confers wide power on Tribunal to allow appeal against conviction by court martial where finding of court martial is legally unsustainable i.e. where finding involves wrong decision on question of law or where there is material irregularity in course of trial resulting in miscarriage of justice. However, mere difference of opinion on appreciation of evidence cannot be a ground for interference. [Union of India v. Sandeep Kumar, (2019) 10 SCC 496]

Service Law — Pension — Work-Charged Employee — Service rendered as work-charged employee — Whether can be reckoned for computation of qualifying service: In terms of Note appended to R. 3(8) of the U.P. Retirement Benefit Rules, if service is rendered by work-charged employee in non-pensionable establishment, work-charged establishment, or, in post paid from contingencies falls between two periods of temporary service in pensionable establishment or period between temporary and permanent service in pensionable establishment, it would be counted as qualifying service for computation of pensionary benefits. Regn. 370 of the U.P. Civil Services Regulations exclude service in non-pensionable establishment, work-charged establishment and in post paid from contingencies from purview of qualifying service. Para 669 of Financial Handbook, Vol. VI relating to engagement of employees in work-charged establishment provide that except in cases mentioned thereunder members of work-charged establishment were not entitled to any pension, leave salary or allowances. Hence, in thid case, it was held that it would be highly discriminatory and irrational because of the rider contained in the Note to R. 3(8) of the 1961 Rules, not to count service rendered as work-charged employee particularly, when it can be counted, in case such service is sandwiched between two temporary or in-between temporary and permanent services. Impermissible classification has been made under R. 3(8). Service of work-charged period remains same for all employees and once it is counted for one class it must be counted for all to prevent discrimination. Reading down R. 3(8) to make it valid and non-discriminatory, service rendered as work-charged employees, contingency paid fund employees or non-pensionable establishment, held, shall also be counted as qualifying service even if such service is not preceded by temporary or regular appointment in pensionable establishment. Consequently, Regn. 370 and Para 669 are liable to be struck down. Service rendered in work-charged establishment directed to be treated as qualifying service for grant of pension. However, clarified that arrears of pension would be limited to three years before date of order.[Prem Singh v. State of U.P., (2019) 10 SCC 516]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Advocates — Strike/Boycott by Lawyers: Strike by Advocates of Odisha High Court over a decision of the Collegium clearing names of some candidate (who practises in Supreme Court) and not clearing name of another candidate, held, unwarranted and cannot be a ground for lawyers to abstain from work. [PLR Projects (P) Ltd. v. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 306]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 16 — Scope of reference: Dismissal of counterclaims by arbitrator, at threshold on the ground of being beyond the scope and jurisdiction of arbitrator without any enquiry is not proper. Decision by arbitrator only on disputes raised by claimant/applicant under S. 11 and not counterclaims of the other party, not permissible. [Bharat Petroleum Corpn. Ltd. v. Go Airlines (India) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 250]

Armed Forces — Discharge/Dismissal — Unsustainability — Violation of principles of natural justice and statutory rules: In this case, respondent was alleged to have caused grievous hurt to one S with talwar (sword) without provocation. There were irreconcilable inconsistencies between medical and oral evidence, and Tribunal took a probable view that evidence was not sufficient to establish guilt of respondent. Hence, held, impugned judgment setting aside punishment of dismissal called for no interference. [Union of India v. Pravat Kumar Behuria, (2019) 10 SCC 220]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 7 R. 11 — Rejection of plaint: Entirety of plaint averments have to be taken into consideration. Rejection of plaint without considering crucial aspects of case is not permissible. [Shaukathussain Mohammed Patel v. Khatunben Mohmmedbhai Polara, (2019) 10 SCC 226]

Constitution of India — Art. 137: In review of Azizia Bee, (2018) 15 SCC 206, in para 12 of judgment dt. 16-8-2017, (2018) 15 SCC 206, words “prima facie” added. It was clarified that the entire judgment of Single Judge stood affirmed and order of Division Bench was set aside. [State of A.P. v. Grace Sathyavathy Shashikant, (2019) 10 SCC 281]

Constitution of India — Art. 246, Sch. VII List I Entry 77, List II Entry 65 and List III Entry 46 & Arts. 138 and 323-B — Competence to deal with jurisdiction and powers of Supreme Court: Jurisdiction and powers of Supreme Court is beyond competence of State Legislature and such power rests only with Parliament. State Legislature cannot provide appeal directly to Supreme Court arising out of orders passed by Tribunals constituted under Art. 323-B. Consequently, S. 13(2) of Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 providing appeal directly to Supreme Court against orders of Chhattisgarh Rent Control Tribunal, held, ultra vires and struck down. High Court can exercise supervisory jurisdiction under Art. 227 over such Tribunal. [H.S. Yadav v. Shakuntala Devi Parakh, (2019) 10 SCC 265]

Contract and Specific Relief — Contractual obligations and rights — Privity and Third-Parties’ Obligations and Rights — Partnership agreement: Clauses in agreement, against third parties i.e. legal representatives of partners will not bind the said third parties. Such clauses in partnership deed ran contrary to provisions of Partnership Act, 1932, were void, unenforceable and opposed to public policy. [S.P. Misra v. Mohd. Laiquddin Khan, (2019) 10 SCC 329]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Inherent powers of High Court under — When can be exercised: Exercise of inherent powers of High Court under this section to quash FIR, when there are serious triable allegations in complaint, not proper. [XYZ v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 10 SCC 337]

Criminal Trial — Sentence — Principles for sentencing — Tests for analysing sentencing: Crime test, criminal test and comparative proportionality test, explained. [State of M.P. v. Udham, (2019) 10 SCC 300]

Entertainment, Amusement, Leisure and Sports — Liquor — Licence/Levy —Cancellation/Suspension/Revocation of Licence: Grant of refund of licence fee and differential amount for the duration for which the premises of the licensee were sealed and its licence suspended, when such sealing/suspension is unlawful. Grant of opportunity/Issuance of show-cause notice to licensee is necessary prior to taking of punitive actions like cancellation/suspension of licence. [State of Bihar v. Riga Sugar Co. Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 310]

Family and Personal Laws — Hindu Law — Joint Family — Self-acquired Property: Proof of self-acquired Property lies on that member who admits joint family status but contends that some properties are self-acquired properties. Appearance of name in revenue record does not make property as self-acquired property. [Prahlad Pradhan v. Sonu Kumhar, (2019) 10 SCC 259]

Income Tax — Practice and procedure — Notice/Summons/Knowledge of Proceedings — Summons to power-of-attorney holder of Company of court hearing — Validity of — Power-of-attorney holder/agent of Company: The term “agent” [as used in S. 2(35) of the Income Tax Act, 1961] would certainly include a power-of-attorney holder and the CA being the power-of-attorney holder of the Company was the agent of the assessee Company, and hence notice could be served on him. Hence, plea as to the attorney-holder not being aware of the nature of documents (summons) served upon him and not being in the position to inform his principal because of his health, not accepted. [CIT v. NRA Iron & Steel (P) Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 206]

Maharashtra Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Denotified Tribes (Vimukta Jatis), Nomadic Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Special Backward Category (Regulation of Issuance and Verification of) Caste Certificate Act, 2000 (23 of 2001) — S. 6(1): Issuance of caste verification certificate should not be a casual exercise and Scrutiny Committee constituted under the Act, by State Government by issuing Noti. dt. 30-7-2011 to deal with numerous applications of candidates seeking to contest local self-government elections, held, must take assistance of Vigilance Cell to ensure that non-entitled persons do not get benefitted at the cost of entitled persons. [Collector, Satara v. Mangesh Nivrutti Kashid, (2019) 10 SCC 166]

Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 (28 of 1971) — Ss. 2(ga), 3-C, 3-D, 4, 12 and 36 [as they stood prior to 2018 Amendment] — Declaration of slum rehabilitation area: Notification under S. 4, held, not prerequisite for passing orders under Ss. 3-C and 3-D. Ch. I-A of Act is self-contained code for matters dealing with slum rehabilitation schemes. Prior notice under S. 3-C is not required before declaring any area as slum rehabilitation area. Principles of natural justice, also held, are not applicable where there is compliance with S. 36. [Kantabai Vasant Ahir v. Slum Rehabilitation Authority, (2019) 10 SCC 194]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 139 and 138 — Dishonour of cheque: In this case, there was sufficient evidence on record to raise presumption under S. 139 and accused failed to rebut the same, hence, conviction was confirmed. [Rahul Sudhakar Anantwar v. Shivkumar Kanhiyalal Shrivastav, (2019) 10 SCC 203]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 139, 118 and 138 — Dishonour of cheque — Burden of rebuttal of presumption under Ss. 118 and 139 — Matters to be established by accused — Law summarized: The presumption mandated by S. 139 does indeed include the existence of a legally enforceable debt or liability. Bare denial of the passing of the consideration and existence of debt, is not enough to rebut the presumption. To rebut the statutory presumptions an accused is not expected to prove his defence beyond reasonable doubt as is expected of the complainant in a criminal trial. Rather, something which is probable has to be brought on record for getting the burden of proof shifted to the complainant. To disprove the presumptions, the accused should bring on record such facts and circumstances, upon consideration of which, the court may either believe that the consideration and debt did not exist or their non-existence was so probable that a prudent man would under the circumstances of the case, act upon the plea that they did not exist. Apart from adducing direct evidence to prove that the consideration did not exist, or that he had not incurred any debt or liability, the accused may also rely upon circumstantial evidence and if the circumstances so relied upon are compelling, the burden may likewise shift again on to the complainant. Accused may also rely upon presumptions of fact, for instance, those mentioned in S. 114 of the Evidence Act to rebut the presumptions arising under Ss. 118 and 139 of the NI Act. [Uttam Ram v. Devinder Singh Hudan, (2019) 10 SCC 287]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder of wife — Circumstantial evidence — Death if suicidal by hanging, or, homicidal — Determination of — Medical evidence: In this case, fact that neck of deceased was not found stretched and elongated, considering that body was still fresh, ruled out any possibility of suicide by deceased.  The tongue was not protruding. There was no fracture or dislocation of bones in neck area. Saliva was not running down face or chest of deceased but had flowed out at the left of the mouth. Injuries on the person of deceased, as noticed in inquest report as also in post-mortem report, are clearly indicative of a struggle or resistance put up by deceased in the last hour. Hence, it was held that the deceased was strangulated to death as it would not also be possible for appellant to hang the deceased alone. Thus, in light of all the circumstances established against appellant, conviction under S. 302 IPC was confirmed. [Kalu v. State of M.P., (2019) 10 SCC 211]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. I [S. 300 Fourthly or Exception 4] — Murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder — Imminently dangerous act: In this case, incident in question took place half an hour after there was abusive language used by nephew/cousin of A-1. There was no grave and sudden provocation by deceased (mother of complainant). Accused fired from a country-made firearm at deceased from a close range. Accused was supposed to know that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. The Supreme Court held that the High Court erred in applying Exception 4 to S. 300 IPC by holding that it was not a planned crime and there was no prior intention and it took place in the heat of passion on the spur of the moment. It was further held that the case falls under S. 300 Fourthly IPC and conviction under S. 302 IPC was restored. [Awadhesh Kumar v. State of U.P., (2019) 10 SCC 323]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 306 and 107 — Abetment to commit suicide — Ingredients for abetment — Instigation to commit suicide: A word uttered in the fit of anger or emotion without intending the consequences to actually follow cannot be said to be instigation. To draw the inference of instigation it all depends on facts and circumstances of the case. [State of W.B. v. Indrajit Kundu, (2019) 10 SCC 188]

Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 — S. 4 — Grant of probation under: Extension of benefit regarding retention/continuation of service is not permissible. Even in a case where the High Court grants benefit of probation to the accused, held, court has no jurisdiction to pass an order that the employee be retained in service/or grant benefit of continuation in service. [State of M.P. v. Man Singh, (2019) 10 SCC 161]

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 — S. 24(2) — Persons entitled to benefit of: Sale of land involved in acquisition proceedings after issuance of notification under S. 4, LA Act, 1894, is void. Hence, it does not give any right to subsequent purchasers to invoke provisions of S. 24(2) of 2013 Act. Even proviso to S. 24(2) does not recognise such purchasers. [Shiv Kumar v. Union of India, (2019) 10 SCC 229]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Eligibility criteria/conditions — Cut-off date/point — Shifting of date of eligibility — What amounts to: In this case, for recruitment to State and Subordinate Services in State of Rajasthan, last date for submission of application forms stipulated was 31-7-2013. Press Note dt. 12-11-2014 was issued granting opportunity to candidates to make corrections in their online application form and change of category on payment of stipulated amount. While determining that this whether amounts to shift in date of eligibility, the Supreme Court held that the Press Note issued only allowed corrections or to change category in application forms already submitted online and did not grant opportunity to candidates to apply afresh. High Court erred in shifting eligibility date on basis of Press Note. [Rajasthan Public Service Commission v. Shikun Ram Firuda, (2019) 10 SCC 271]

Specific Relief Act, 1963 — Ss. 9 and 13 — Agreement to sell immovable property: Agreement to sell property inherited after death of female Hindu dying intestate must be restricted only to share inherited by executant. [Sirdar K.B. Ramachandra Raj Urs v. Sarah C. Urs, (2019) 10 SCC 343]

Tenancy and Land Laws — Ceiling on Land — Lands declared surplus — Identification of: In this case, to put an end to litigation, exercising power under Art. 142 of the Constitution, land at Survey No. 19/P marked in second survey report as “PQRS” declared as actually being Survey No. 129/45/D. The Supreme Court set aside the allotment made to Andhra Prabha Publications, and directed that land to be delivered by Andhra Prabha to appellants within eight weeks. All amounts paid by Andhra Prabha Publications to Government to be refunded within twelve weeks with simple interest at 6% p.a. [State of A.P. v. Grace Sathyavathy Shashikant, (2019) 10 SCC 276]

Trusts and Trustees — Religious and Charitable Endowments and Trusts — Temple — Private or public: In this case, suit was filed by deity through pujaris claiming ownership of temple lands on ground of temple being private temple. Name of deity consistently entered in revenue record from 1969 to 1977 but in year 1979-1980 correction in revenue entries made by substituting name of Collector in place of deity in respect of temple lands asserting temple to be public temple. First appellate court and High Court concurrently found that procedure prescribed under S. 115 of Code not complied with while making correction. In view of this concurrent finding, it was held that change in entry in revenue record in name of Collector vitiated by absence of proper enquiry and opportunity to affected person in terms of S. 115. [State of M.P. v. Murti Shri Chaturbhujnath, (2019) 10 SCC 319]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Education Law — Medical and Dental Colleges — Postgraduate/Superspeciality courses — Institutional reservation: Institutional preference in PG admissions after introduction of NEET scheme, held, valid. NEET scheme has nothing to do with institutional reservation. The purpose of NEET is uniform entrance examination so that admissions are made on the basis of merit. Even if there is an institutional preference, admissions are made on basis of marks obtained in NEET. [Yatinkumar Jasubhai Patel v. State of Gujarat(2019) 10 SCC 1]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — Ss. 143(2) and 142(1) r/w proviso to S. 143 — Notice/Notice of Demand: Mere mentioning of new address in return of income without specifically intimating assessing officer with respect to change of address and without getting PAN database changed, is not enough and sufficient. Thus, in absence of any specific intimation to assessing officer with respect to change in address and/or change in name of assessee, assessing officer would be justified in sending notice at available address mentioned in PAN database of assessee, more particularly when return has been filed under E-Module scheme. [CIT v. I-Ven Interactive Ltd.(2019) 10 SCC 13]

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 — S. 32 — Governmental educational institutions — Requirement of 5% reservation: Judicial review of the expert opinion regarding eligibility criteria of minimum physical fitness for certain courses like MBBS course, not permissible. [Vidhi Himmat Katariya v. State of Gujarat(2019) 10 SCC 20]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 386 and 374: In this case, the conviction and sentence imposed on the appellant-accused was upheld by High Court without record of the trial court, which was lost during pendency of appeal before it. Hence, the order passed by the High Court, was held unsustainable. The order was set aside and matter was remanded back to it for hearing appeals afresh, after reconstruction of record of the trial court. [Savita v. State of Delhi(2019) 10 SCC 29]

Arbitration — Government/PSUs Inter se disputes: The disputes between public sector undertakings (PSUs), must be referred, first to Administrative Mechanism for Resolution of CPSEs Disputes (AMRCD), and only in event of non-settlement, to Arbitral Tribunal. [MTNL v. Canara Bank(2019) 10 SCC 32]

Armed Forces — Promotion — Promotion to rank of Air Vice-Marshal — Promotion Policy dt. 20-2-2008 — Cls. 11, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 22 — Validity: In this case, appellant though ranking first in merit list was not promoted since he was placed at Sl. No. 3 in seniority list; first officer on select list being promoted on 11-5-2015 against first available vacancy whereas next two vacancies arising on 1-8-2015 and 1-9-2015 after appellant attaining age of superannuation on 30-6-2015. The Supreme Court held that in terms of Cls. 17 and 22 select list of officers was to be prepared from merit list and thereafter rearranged in order of seniority to ensure that candidates falling within zone of consideration were shortlisted for promotion but ultimate promotion was on basis of seniority from amongst selected candidates. Such policy providing equal opportunity to officers falling within zone of consideration cannot be said to be illegal, arbitrary or discriminatory violating Arts. 14 and 16 of the Constitution. It was further held that mere fact that appellant could not be promoted due to non availability of vacancies before his superannuation cannot be a ground to strike down Promotion Policy since policy can be struck down only if it has no reasonable nexus with objective sought to be achieved and is discriminatory. Policy dt. 20-2-2008 suffers from no illegality and hence, Tribunal was justified in not interfering therewith. [Naveen Jain v. Union of India(2019) 10 SCC 34]

Service Law — Promotion — Accelerated/Out of turn promotion — Reasonable classification: Higher educational qualification having nexus to job to be performed, held, can be a basis for exclusive or accelerated promotion since higher qualification intrinsically brings in certain skills. The factum to determine such nexus left to wisdom of administrative authorities. Grant of accelerated promotion on small percentage of posts, as in this case, thus, valid which could also act as incentive to others to acquire higher qualifications. [State of Uttarakhand v. S.K. Singh, (2019) 10 SCC 49]

Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 — S. 10 — Prohibition of employment of contract labour: In this case, the Notification dt. 8-9-1994 prohibiting employment of contract labour in different categories of work in ONGC, was quashed without impleading either ONGC Labour Union or any other recognised ONGC Union, hence the petition was restored. Since affected contract labourers were denied opportunity of hearing, writ petition directed to be restored for fresh consideration. [ONGC Labour Union v. ONGC, Dehradun, (2019) 10 SCC 67]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ch. XIII (Ss. 177 to 210-D) — Provisions for punishment for road traffic and motor vehicle offences: Compatibility of provisions for punishment for road traffic and motor vehicle offences under Ch. XIII (Ss. 177 to 210-D), with related provisions of IPC (Ss. 279, 304 Pt. II, 304-A, 337 and 338), affirmed. It was held, prosecution is maintainable both under MV Act and IPC, which is not barred under S. 26 of General Clauses Act. Offences under Ch. XIII of MV Act cannot abrogate applicability of Ss. 297, 304, 304-A, 337 and 338 IPC. There is no conflict between two statutes as both operate in their own spheres. [State of Arunachal Pradesh v. Ramchandra Rabidas, (2019) 10 SCC 75]

T.N. Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992 (59 of 1992) — Ss. 7 and 14 — Civil suit for damages — Maintainability of: The T.N. Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992, along with Rules, provides for award of compensation in two ways: (i) at the end of trial for any offence punishable under Act, or to be paid out of the fine imposed upon accused which is similar to the power of criminal court to award compensation under S. 357 CrPC, (ii) upon an application as envisaged under S. 10, after a summary inquiry as envisaged under the Rules which is somewhat similar to the summary procedure envisaged under Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Further, S. 7 of the Act recognises the possibility of a civil suit being instituted subsequent to criminal proceedings under the Act, relating to the same matter and even the summary remedy of claiming compensation envisaged under S. 10 of the Act r/w the Rules, does not preclude the filing of a suit for damages — Furthermore, S. 14 provides that the Act is in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other law in force for the time being and permits an aggrieved person to approach civil court for relief if he so desires, instead of availing of the remedy envisaged under S. 10 of the Act. [M. Hariharasudhan v. R. Karmegam,(2019) 10 SCC 94]

Environment Law — Water/River/Coastal Pollution — Effluents, Sewage, River and Lake Pollution: Validity of imposition of “sewerage charges” by National Green Tribunal (NGT), on encroachment and dumping of building debris in riverbed/flood plain and natural water body of River Yamuna in Delhi, affirmed. Directions passed for implementation within two months by NCT of Delhi. [Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. v. Manoj Misra, (2019) 10 SCC 104]

Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 — Ss. 1(3), 3, 2(9)(d), 56 and 86(1): Black Money Act, held, came into force w.e.f 1-4-2016 [i.e. as provided in S. 1(3)] and not retrospectively on 1-7-2015 as provided in Noti. dt. 1-7-2015. Noti. dt. 1-7-2015 providing that Black Money Act, shall come into force on 1-7-2015 i.e. the date on which the order was issued. There will be restricted application of the Notification i.e. only for the purpose of enabling the assessee(s) to take benefit of S. 59. [Union of India v. Gautam Khaitan(2019) 10 SCC 108]

Armed Forces — Promotion — Entitlement to — Navy Order (Spl.) 02/2009 — Cl. 65 — Retrospective application of the Navy Order (Spl.) 02/2009  — Permissibility: In this case it was held that though Navy Order (Spl.) 02/2009 should not have been made applicable for confidential report initiated prior to 1-1-2010, but no prejudice was caused to appellant by applying said order. The violation of every provision does not furnish ground for interference unless prejudice caused. Besides, no benefit would accrue to appellant even if CRs of 2006 and 2009 were taken into consideration since she could not have been promoted due to her comparative merit i.e. she was ranked 17th on 4-11-2009 (Chance I) and 10th on 4-2-2011 (Chance II). [Surgeon Rear Admiral Manisha Jaiprakash v. Union of India(2019) 10 SCC 115]

Education Law — Employment and Service Matters re Educational Institutions — Appointment/Recruitment — Reservation of Seats/Quota/Exemption/Relaxation/Priority and Affirmative Action: In this case, under recruitment of Special Education Teachers under Government of NCT of Delhi, respondents obtained CTET qualification under relaxed pass norms for OBC category in States other than Delhi and eligibility for appointment was under Government of NCT of Delhi against OBC category. The Supreme Court held that since respondents did not possess OBC (Delhi) certificate they cannot be considered for recruitment against OBC category vacancies in Government of NCT of Delhi. Further held, they cannot be allowed to migrate and compete for open category vacancies since they had secured CTET qualification with relaxation of pass marks meant for OBC category. They can compete against unreserved vacancies provided they pass CTET with minimum qualifying marks stipulated for unreserved category candidates. Besides, OMS dt. 1-7-1998 and 4-4-2018 specifically stated that when relaxed standard was applied in selecting reserved category candidate, such candidates would be considered only against reserved vacancies. Moreover, concession in pass marks in qualifying exam would have direct impact on standards of competence and merit in recruitment of Special Education Teachers. It was emphasised that principles of reservation under the Constitution are intended to be confined to specifically earmarked category and unreserved category must be protected to avoid dilution of competence and merit. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Pradeep Kumar(2019) 10 SCC 120]

Service Law — Police — Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) — Grant of status of organised Group A Central Services to Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) — Rights of IPS officers for deputation to CAPF — Effect on: In this case clarification of Supreme Court order dt. 5-2-2019, Union of India v. Sri Harananda, (2019) 14 SCC 126, was prayed. The said prayer was rejected and the Supreme Court held that the  rights of IPS officers for deputation in CAPF was not in issue before Supreme Court while rendering said judgment. Besides, in para 26 of the judgment it was specifically stated that by granting status of Organised Group A Central Services to CAPF, rights of IPS officers, if any, for their appointment on deputation to CAPF would remain unaffected. Hence, no further clarification was required. [Union of India v. Harananda(2019) 10 SCC 129]

Education Law — Employment and Service Matters re Educational Institutions: While determining the issue of entitlement to regularisation/confirmation/absorption, there must be primacy of opinion of State Government regarding rendering of qualifying service. [Kisan Inter College v. State of U.P.(2019) 10 SCC 131]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 21 Rr. 35(3) and 25: The use of police force for delivery of possession without specific orders of court is not permissible.  [Om Parkash v. Amar Singh(2019) 10 SCC 136]

Stamp Act, 1899 — S. 35 — Impounding of agreement to sell for non-payment of stamp duty, after sale deed based thereon, on which entire stamp duty had been paid, stood cancelled by order of court — When inequitable: In this case, said sale deed had been cancelled by court as material facts had been concealed from court by vendor in suit for specific performance of said agreement to sell, in which vendee had succeeded, which had led to execution of the sale deed which was subsequently cancelled. Vendee’s bona fides were not in doubt at any time, sale deed stood cancelled due to no fault of vendee, and no attempt was made by vendee to obtain refund of stamp duty at any stage. It was held that in such circumstances, it would be highly inequitable to impound agreement to sell. Suit for specific performance of said agreement to sell which had been restored for trial afresh with a connected suit could proceed further in accordance with law. It was further held that finding has been affirmed that appellant-plaintiff entitled for refund of Rs 1,85,000 paid towards stamp duty. Appellant-plaintiff had always shown his bona fides. Once such finding has been affirmed, it is not open for respondent-defendants to raise plea that agreement to sell should be impounded. [Terai Tea Co. Ltd. v. Kumkum Mittal(2019) 10 SCC 142]

Companies Act, 1956 — S. 535 — Restoration of possession/exclusion of properties from winding up — Locus standi/Standing to challenge: Mortgagee of the leasehold/lessee’s interest does not have the locus standi to challenge restoration of possession of leased property in which lessee had mortgaged its interest (onerous property qua S. 535), to lessor pursuant to forfeiture of lease by lessor, in the absence of challenge by the mortgagor. [Stressed Assests Stabilization Fund v. W.B. Small Ind. Dev. Corpn. Ltd., (2019) 10 SCC 148]

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 — S. 2 — “Forest” — Determination of whether land in question is forest land — Matters to be considered: For determination of whether land in question is forest land, due weight has to be given to revenue records, especially those pertaining to a period when the dispute regarding the land being forest land did not exist. [Chandra Prakash Budakoti v. Union of India(2019) 10 SCC 154]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 34 and 37 — Award — Non-interference with, when findings of fact arrived at by arbitrators are on basis of evidence on record and not perverse — Concurrent view of courts below in proceedings under Ss. 34 and 37 — Effect of: In this case, Arbitral Tribunal arrived at finding that termination of contract by State was illegal and without following due procedure as required under contract and partly allowed claims of claimants while dismissing counterclaims of State. The Supreme Court held that findings were on appreciation of evidence considering relevant provisions and material on record as well as on interpretation of relevant provisions of the contract, which were neither perverse nor contrary to evidence on record. Further, cogent reasons had been given by Arbitral Tribunal qua respective claims. Thus, held, award was not required to be interfered with, particularly, when in the proceedings under Ss. 34 and 37 of Arbitration Act, petitioners had failed. [State of Jharkhand v. HSS Integrated SDN, (2019) 9 SCC 798]

Criminal Law — Criminal Trial — Medical Jurisprudence/Evidence — Asphyxia/Throttling/Strangulation/Hanging — Cause of death — Whether suicidal or homicide: In this case, medical opinion was that cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation, and it was the prosecution case that deceased had been strangled and then his body had been hanged from ceiling fan. The surrounding factors were that feet of hanging dead body were touching the floor; knees were bent; slippers were not removed; and room in question was wide open. As alleged by accused, as per medical jurisprudence, scratches, abrasions, bruises, etc. are usually present and hyoid bone would be usually found broken in case of strangulation but, in the present case, there being no such marks nor hyoid bone was broken, hence, it was not a case of strangulation. The Supreme Court held that there was no infirmity in findings of courts below that it was a case of strangulation, as could be seen from post-mortem report that dead body carried “well-defined depressed ligature mark measuring 3 cm wide seen encircling the neck around thyroid cartilage with a knot present on left side of neck and this ligature mark was ante-mortem in nature”. Other ligature mark on the neck was 1.5 cm wide and that was post-mortem in nature. The board had undoubtedly been of the opinion that cause of death was “asphyxia due to strangulation”. With such categorical medical opinion coupled with all relevant features surrounding suspended dead body in the room in question, it is difficult to say that it had been a case of suicide merely because hyoid bone was not broken or because marks of resistance like abrasions/scratches were not reported. Presence of marks of resistance would depend on a variety of factors, including the method and manner of execution of the act of strangulation by culprits; and mere want of such marks cannot be decisive of the matter. Equally, it is not laid down as an absolute rule in medical jurisprudence that in all cases of strangulation, hyoid bone would invariably be fractured. On the contrary, medical jurisprudence suggests that only in a fraction of such cases, a fracture of hyoid bone is found. In other words, absence of fracture of hyoid bone would not lead to conclusion that deceased did not die of strangulation. Hence, deceased was done to death by strangulation and thereafter, his dead body was hanged from ceiling fan in the room. [Gargi v. State of Haryana, (2019) 9 SCC 738]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 319: The principles for exercise of power under the section, summarized. It was also held that the issuance of summons under S. 319 in absence of prima facie case of the standard as laid down in Hardeep Singh, (2014) 3 SCC 92, not permissible. [Mani Pushpak Joshi v. State of Uttarakhand, (2019) 9 SCC 805]

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — S. 238 r/w S. 9 — Prior consent of the Central Government as provided under S. 16-G(1)(c) of Tea Act qua winding up/liquidation proceedings — Non-requirement of, for initiation of proceedings under S. 9 IBC: Provisions of IBC, held, have overriding effect over Tea Act, 1953 S. 16-G(1)(c) refers to consent qua proceeding for winding up of company or for appointment of receiver while proceedings under S. 9 IBC are not be limited and/or restricted to winding up and/or appointment of receiver only and the winding up/liquidation of company is to be last resort and only on an eventuality when corporate insolvency resolution process fails. Further, primary focus of legislation while enacting IBC is to ensure revival and continuation of corporate debtor by protecting corporate debtor from its own management and from a corporate debt by liquidation and such corporate insolvency resolution process is to be completed in a time-bound manner. Therefore, entire “corporate insolvency resolution process” as such cannot be equated with “winding-up proceedings”. Further, S. 238 IBC, which is a subsequent Act to Tea Act, 1953, is applicable and the provisions of IBC shall have an overriding effect over Tea Act, 1953. Thus, held, that no prior consent of Central Government before initiation of the proceedings under S. 7 or S. 9 IBC would be required and even without such consent of Central Government, the insolvency proceedings under S. 7 or S. 9 IBC initiated by operational creditor shall be maintainable. [Duncans Industries Ltd. v. AJ Agrochem, (2019) 9 SCC 725]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 376, 376-A and 201 — Death sentence — Cases involving rape and murder of minors/children but based on circumstantial evidence: Death sentence, held, can be awarded in appropriate cases. The act that case is based on circumstantial evidence cannot by itself be a ground for not awarding death sentence. Victims owing to their tender age can put up no resistance. Thus, it is likely that there would be no ocular evidence. Not awarding death sentence for lack of ocular evidence even if case proved beyond reasonable doubt, and if case satisfies all requirements for award of death sentence, is not a correct approach. Such reasoning, if applied uniformly and mechanically will have devastating effects on society which is dominant stakeholder in the administration of our criminal justice system. [Ravishankar v. State of M.P., (2019) 9 SCC 689]

Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board (Sale and Transfer of Plots) Rules, 1999 (as first amended in 2008) — Rr. 3(iii), 3(iii-a) and 3(iv): The imposition of conditions for allotment of shop/plots therein, held, not ultra vires the Constitution. The view that licence is mandatory to carry out business in agricultural market, emphasised. Gap of more than 3 months in expiry of old licence and issuance of new licence cannot be condoned by Market Committee or Market Board unless satisfactory explanation offered by dealer that reasons were beyond his control; then even though he may not be in strict compliance with the Rules, power of relaxation must be read into Rules. [Walaiti Ram Charan Dass v. State of Punjab, (2019) 9 SCC 779]

Service Law — Policy/Policy decision/Policy matter — Rehabilitation policy: Assurance to reserve 25% of future daily wage employment vacancies which would arise in respondent State Corporation for displaced abkari workers who were members of the Abkari Workers Welfare Fund Board and whose services were terminated due to the ban of arrack in the State, held, did not create a vested right of re-employment. [Kerala State Beverages (M&M) Corpn. Ltd. v. P.P. Suresh, (2019) 9 SCC 710]

 Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 — S. 20-A(1) — Applicability when offences are under TADA as well as other statutes — Scope of: Whether police may record information and start investigation as to other offences without waiting to record information in respect of TADA offences, held, depends upon facts of each case. If offences under other Acts are serious like murder, rape, smuggling, NDPS Act, POCSO Act offence(s), etc., investigation cannot be delayed only because TADA Act is involved but if offence(s) under other statutes are of the nature of an ancillary offence, then information cannot be recorded without complying with S. 20-A(1) of TADA. [Ebha Arjun Jadeja v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 9 SCC 789]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. I [S. 300 Thirdly] — Murder or culpable homicide — Injury if sufficient in ordinary course of nature to cause death — Medical evidence: In this case, there were inconsistencies regarding whether head injury (the fatal injury) was inflicted by accused. The deceased died next day of the incident. Giving benefit of doubt to accused, regarding sufficiency of injury to cause death in ordinary course of nature, conviction was altered from S. 302 IPC to S. 304 Pt. I IPC. [Satish Kumar v. State of Haryana, (2019) 9 SCC 529]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 22 R. 10 or Or. 1 R. 10 — Impleadment of transferee/assignee of rights and interest in suit property challenging sale of suit property to another, as plaintiff — Entitlement to: In this case, suit was filed by landowner against his power-of-attorney holder and appellants, challenging sale of land by former in favour of latter on ground that former had not been conferred power to sell. R-1 purchased suit land from plaintiff owner by execution of registered sale deed. After death of original plaintiff, R-1 filed application under Or. 1 R. 10 for impleading himself as plaintiff 2 in suit pending in trial court, alleging that LRs of original plaintiff i.e. R-2 (A to D) were trying to occupy suit land in collusion with appellants. Thereafter, LRs of original plaintiff executed registered declaration deed in favour of appellants confirming sale deed in their favour. Subsequently, pursuant to a settlement between LRs of original plaintiff and appellants, LRs filed memo/application (pursis) for unconditional withdrawal of suit. The Supreme Court held that  R-1 as assignee of rights and interest of original plaintiff and having vital interest in suit, was entitled to be impleaded in suit under Or. 22 R. 10, instead of Or. 1 R. 10. Mentioning of incorrect provision no impediment when court has power to pass appropriate order. [Pruthvirajsinh Nodhubha Jadeja v. Jayeshkumar Chhakaddas Shah, (2019) 9 SCC 533]

Constitution of India — Art. 227 — Maintainability — Alternative remedy/Exhaustion of remedies: Availability of remedy under CPC in cases of suits/proceedings before civil courts is near total bar to exercise of supervisory jurisdiction under Art. 227. [Virudhunagar Hindu Nadargal Dharma Paribalana Sabai v. Tuticorin Educational Society, (2019) 9 SCC 538]

Rent Control and Eviction — Eviction Suit/Trial: In this case repeated adjournments were taken by respondent tenant. The prescribed authority passed ex parte order of eviction against respondent tenant. Time-bound expeditious disposal of the order was directed by the Court. [Krishna Devi Maheshwari v. Surendra Surekha, (2019) 9 SCC 547]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/149, 323/149 and 147 — Murder — Eyewitness: In this case injury report of the related injured witnesses was absent. It was held that the infirmities which were pointed out were at best defects in investigation and did not raise doubts about credibility of related injured witnesses or the prosecution case as a whole, hence, conviction was confirmed. [Fainul Khan v. State Of Jharkhand, (2019) 9 SCC 549]

Service Law — Appointment — Compassionate appointment: In terms of Regn. 4(3) of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation Compassionate Appointment Regulations, 2010  claim for both compassionate appointment and compensation cannot be made against appellant SRTC in case of death of employee occurring while travelling in vehicle of appellant Corporation. The dependants of employee who claim both compensation under MV Act and compassionate appointment from appellant-Corporation are not on same footing as dependants of deceased employee who claim under MV Act against private owner or insurance company, and compassionate appointment from appellant-Corporation, thus forming a separate class. Art. 14 forbids class legislation but does not forbid reasonable classification for purpose of legislation. Besides, intention of Regn. 4(3) is to obviate liability of Corporation from payment of compensation under Act and to provide compassionate appointment to same person. Thus, there is rational nexus between basis of classification and object sought to be achieved. Hence, Regn. 4(3) is valid. [Rajasthan SRTC v. Danish Khan, (2019) 9 SCC 558]

Customs Act, 1962 — Ss. 130-E and 130 — Appeal before Supreme Court — When maintainable: Appeal qua violation of conditions of exemption notification by assessee is maintainable only before High Court. Upon a conjoint reading of Ss. 130 and 130-E, it can be seen that an appeal shall lie to High Court against every order passed in appeal by the Appellate Tribunal, if the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law. An appeal is maintainable before Supreme Court only if any question having relation to the rate of duty is involved or if it relates to value of goods for the purpose of assessment. [Commr. of Customs v. Motorola (India) Ltd., (2019) 9 SCC 563]

Town Planning — Colonisation/Development Project: In this case, there were hindrances in completion/full implementation of colonisation scheme due to negligence of coloniser in paying licence fee as required under scheme, and various other disputes between allottees and colonizer. Arbitrator designated as Court-Appointed Committee and clarifications and directions issued for full implementation of the scheme. It was clarified that arbitrator appointed by Court shall function as a Court-Appointed Committee and not as an arbitrator appointed under Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. [Okhla Enclave Plot Holders’ Welfare Assn. v. Union of (India), (2019) 9 SCC 572]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 498-A, 114 and 323: In this case, cruelty and physical assault of deceased was alleged against father-in-law, appellant (A-1) and brother-in-law (A-3), and cruelty alone against sister-in-law and mother-in-law (A-4 and A-5). All relatives of husband other than appellant father-in-law were acquitted. It was held that evidence against father-in-law is also not sufficient to uphold his conviction alone, hence, he was acquitted. [Kantilal v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 9 SCC 603]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 138 — Dishonour of cheque — Death of convicted accused — Liability of legal heirs in such case, if any: Legal heirs, in such case, are neither liable to pay fine nor to undergo imprisonment. However, they have right to challenge conviction of their predecessor, only for the purpose, that he was not guilty of any offence. [M. Abbas Haji v. T.N. Channakeshava, (2019) 9 SCC 606]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 375 & Expln. 2 thereunder and S. 90 — Meaning of “consent” with respect to S. 375: “Consent” with respect to S. 375 involves an active understanding of circumstances, actions and consequences of proposed act. Individual who makes a reasoned choice to act after evaluating various alternative actions (or inaction) as well as various possible consequences flowing from such action or inaction, consents to such action. Where a woman does not “consent” to sexual acts described in main body of S. 375, offence of rape has occurred. While S. 90 IPC does not define term “consent”, “consent” based on a “misconception of fact” is not consent in the eye of law. Thus, in case of woman engaging in sexual relations on false promise to marriage, her “consent” is based on “misconception of fact”, and such sexual act(s) will amount to rape. [Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State Of Maharashtra, (2019) 9 SCC 608]

Criminal Trial — Sentence — Death sentence — Parliament as repository of will of the people: Legislature has distanced itself from propounders of “No-Death Sentence” in “No Circumstances” theory as recently in 2019. Significantly, by 2019 Amendment of S. 6, POCSO Act, 2012, death sentence has been introduced as a penalty for offence of aggravated penetrative sexual assault on a child below 12 yrs. If Parliament, armed with adequate facts and figures, has decided to introduce capital punishment for the offence of sexual abuse of a child, in 2019, the court hitherto will bear in mind the latest Legislative Policy even though it has no applicability in a case where the offence was committed prior thereto. Judicial precedents rendered before this recent amendment of 2019 came into force, therefore, ought to be viewed with a purposive approach so that the legislative and judicial approaches are well harmonised.  [Ravi v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 9 SCC 622]

Armed Forces — Disability Pension — Requirements for entitlement to — Absence of disability or disease noted at time of enrolment: There can be no mechanical application of principle that any disorder not mentioned at time of enrolment is presumed to be attributed or aggravated by military service. Question is whether because of being posted in harsh and adverse conditions, military personnel suffered disability. Further held, Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensioners Awards, 1982, themselves provide that certain diseases ordinarily escape detection at time of physical examination which have intervals of normalcy unless adequate history is given. Hence, mere fact that schizophrenia was not detected at time of enrolment would not lead to presumption that disease was aggravated or attributable to military service. Each case has to be decided on its own merit on parameters whether duties assigned to individual led to stress and strain leading to psychosis and psychoneurosis. [Narsingh Yadav v. Union of India, (2019) 9 SCC 667]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 403, 406, 420 and 506-B — Cheating — Breach of trust: Where there exists a fraudulent and dishonest intention at time of commission of offence, as appeared to be the case in this case, accused having agreed to sell lands to victim, which had been sold prior to agreement between accused and victim, etc., law permits victim to proceed against wrongdoer for having committed an offence of criminal breach of trust or cheating. [Lakshman v. State Of Karnataka, (2019) 9 SCC 677]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/149 and 148 — Murder: In this case, eyewitness account was belied by medical evidence. There was unnatural conduct of related eyewitnesses and evidence linking recovered firearms and vehicle allegedly used in offence, to accused was also absent. Hence, reversal of conviction, confirmed. [Prem Singh v. Sukhdev Singh, (2019) 9 SCC 683]

National Highways Act, 1956 — Ss. 3-G(5) & (6) — Compensation — Determination of: Madishetti Bala Ramul, (2007) 9 SCC 650 is not applicable to matters governed by NH Act, 1956. If amount determined by competent authority under the 1956 Act is not acceptable to either party, they may apply to Central Government to appoint arbitrator to determine the same. [Union of India v. Balwant Singh, (2019) 9 SCC 687]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 11(6-A) [as inserted by 2015 Amendment Act w.e.f 23-10-2015] and S. 11 [as would come into force upon effectuation of S. 3 of 2019 Amendment Act]: Effect of 2015 Amendment Act as fortified, broadened and deepened by 2019 Amendment Act, held, is to legislatively overrule the position of law as prevailing prior to 2015 Amendment Act, that Court in addition to examination of existence of arbitration agreement, could also go into preliminary questions such as stale claims, accord and satisfaction having been reached, etc. Hence, SBP & Co., (2005) 8 SCC 618 and Boghara Polyfab (P) Ltd., (2009) 1 SCC 267 and other rulings of Supreme Court following these judgments on this point, stand legislatively overruled on this point by the 2015 Amendment Act. Thus, the position of law that prevails after the insertion of S. 11(6-A) is that Supreme Court or, as the case may be, the High Court, while considering any application under Sections 11(4) to 11(6) is to confine itself to examination of existence of arbitration agreement, nothing more, nothing less, and leave all other preliminary issues to be decided by arbitrator. Determining “existence of arbitration agreement”, held, has correctly been explained in paras 48 & 59 of Duro Felguera, SA, (2017) 9 SCC 729, to mean that “all that needs to be done, is to see if the agreement contains a clause which provides for arbitration pertaining to the disputes which have arisen between the parties to the agreement”. [Mayavati Trading (P) Ltd. v. Pradyuat Deb Burman, (2019) 8 SCC 714]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 11 and 8 — Appointment of arbitrator — Allegations of fraud/fabrication — Effect of, on arbitrability of dispute: Where allegations of fraud are leveled against party seeking appointment are “simple allegations” not falling within the realm of public domain, test for distinguishing a “simple allegation” from a “serious allegation” are, namely: (1) does the plea of fraud permeate the entire contract and above all, the agreement of arbitration, rendering it void, or (2) whether allegations of fraud touch upon the internal affairs of the parties inter se having no implication in the public domain. [Rashid Raza v. Sadaf Akhtar, (2019) 8 SCC 710]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 37 and 31(7)(a) — Award of interest by arbitrator as per agreement — Interference by Court when warranted — Public interest and parties leaving matter to discretion of Court: In absence of agreement to contrary between parties, S. 31(7)(a) confers jurisdiction upon Arbitral Tribunal to award interest unless otherwise agreed by parties at such rate as Arbitral Tribunal considers reasonable, on whole or any part of money, for whole or any part of period between date of cause of action and date of award. In this case, parties had agreed to rate of interest at 18% p.a. However, since award is of 1999 and matter related to construction of Paediatrics Centre in a Medical Institute and parties having left matter to discretion of Court, in exercise of power under Art. 142 of the Constitution, interest rate of 18% awarded by Arbitral Tribunal as affirmed by High Court modified and reduced to 10% p.a. simple interest. Award amount along with accrued interest @ 10% p.a. simple interest shall be payable to respondent Company within eight weeks failing which entire award amount will carry interest at 18% as awarded by Tribunal. [Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research v. Kalsi Construction Co., (2019) 8 SCC 726]

Competition Act, 2002 — Ss. 4 and 26(1) — Abuse of dominant position — Predatory pricing: In this case, appellant Uber, was making losses in respect of every trip, it was held that the same does not make any economic sense other than pointing to Uber’s intent to eliminate competition in market. Further, based on the information on record, held, it would be very difficult to say that there is no prima facie case under S. 26(1) as to infringement of S. 4. Further, if in fact, a loss is made for trips made, Expln. (a)(ii) to S. 4 would prima facie be attracted inasmuch as this would certainly affect appellant’s competitors in appellant’s favour or relevant market in its favour. Furthermore, insofar as “abuse” of dominant position is concerned, under S. 4(2)(a), so long as this dominant position, whether directly or indirectly, imposes an unfair price in purchase or sale including predatory price of services, abuse of dominant position also gets attracted. Hence, in this case, the order made by Appellate Tribunal, not interfered with. [Uber (India) Systems (P) Ltd. v. CCI, (2019) 8 SCC 697]

Contract and Specific Relief — Formation Defects Rendering Contracts Voidable — Undue Influence — Clear and specific pleadings setting out details — Cardinal necessity of: General allegations are insufficient even to amount to an averment of fraud, undue influence or coercion however strong may be the language in which such allegations are couched. Furthermore, undue influence and coercion may overlap in part in some cases but they are separate and there must be clear and separate pleading. Onus would shift onto defendant under S. 16 of Contract Act, 1872 r/w S. 111 of Evidence Act, 1872 only after plaintiff establishes a prima facie case. Close relation between parties would not lead to presumption of undue influence, particularly in a case where some only of the siblings are/is providing care to parent(s)/the elderly. [Raja Ram v. Jai Prakash Singh, (2019) 8 SCC 701]

Evidence Act, 1872 — S. 32(1) — Multiple dying declarations which are divergent and cannot be reconciled — Determining which dying declaration is to be believed: When there are multiple dying declarations, and in the earlier dying declaration, accused is not sought to be roped in but in the later dying declaration, a somersault is made by the deceased, the case must be decided on the facts of each case. The court will not be relived of its duty to carefully examine the entirety of materials as also the circumstances surrounding the making of different dying declarations. It is the compatibility with the remaining evidence/circumstantial evidence that will be vital in determining which dying declaration(s) are to be believed, as in present case. If the court finds that the incriminatory dying declaration brings out the truthful position in conjunction with capacity of deceased to make such declaration, and voluntariness with which it was made is established, ruling out tutoring and prompting; and the other evidence support the contents of the incriminatory dying declaration, it can be acted upon. Equally, circumstances which render earlier dying declaration, worthy or unworthy of acceptance, can be considered. However it is equally true that when there are divergent dying declarations it is not the law that the court must invariably prefer the statement which is incriminatory and must reject the statement which does not implicate the accused. The real point is to ascertain which one(s) contain the truth. [Jagbir Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2019) 8 SCC 779]

Evidence Act, 1872 — Ss. 30 and 114 Ill. (b) — Confession recorded in custody (assumed to be admissible in present case under S. 67 of NDPS Act) — Confession of co-accused — Evidentiary value: A confession, recorded when accused is in custody, even when admissible, is a weak piece of evidence and there must be some corroborative evidence. Moreover, evidence of co-accused is also a very weak type of evidence which needs to be corroborated by some other evidence. No such corroborative evidence has been led in this case. Even if confession is admissible, court has to be satisfied that it is a voluntary statement, free from any pressure and also that accused was apprised of his rights before recording the confession. In this case, no such material has been brought on the record, hence, conviction reversed. [Mohd. Fasrin v. State, (2019) 8 SCC 811]

Limitation Act, 1963 — S. 27 and Arts. 65 & 64 — Acquisition of ownership by possession — Effect of elapse of period prescribed for loss of ownership by adverse possession — Nature of rights acquired by adverse possessee thereupon: Remedies available to person who perfects his title to property by adverse possession (Art. 65), and even to person in settled possession who is yet to perfect his title by adverse possession (Art. 64) are: (1) Firstly, held, once 12 years’ period of adverse possession is over, the owner’s right to eject the person in adverse possession (adverse possessee/possessory owner) is lost and the possessory owner acquires the right, title and interest possessed by the outgoing person/owner, as the case may be, against whom he has established the period of prescription. (2) Secondly, held, such adverse possessee/possessory owner can not only seek to protect his title as defendant in a suit but can also file suit for declaration of his title and for permanent injunction restraining defendant from interfering with his possession, where owner whose title stood extinguished, or any other person seeks to dispossess him from property. This would include the case where the property is sold away by the owner after the extinguishment of his title: in which case also a suit can be filed by a person who has perfected his title by adverse possession to question alienation and attempt of dispossession. Rulings of Supreme Court holding that person who had perfected his title by adverse possession could only protect his title as defendant in a suit, but could not file a suit for declaration of his title/protection of his possession, overruled. (3) Thirdly, held, even before ripening of his title by adverse possession, possessory suit under Art. 64 can be maintained by person in settled possession against person seeking to dispossess him by force without recourse to law. Possession confers enforceable right under S. 6 of Specific Relief Act, 1963. [Ravinder Kaur Grewal v. Manjit Kaur, (2019) 8 SCC 729]

T.N. Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 (22 of 1959) — Ss. 6(16), 6(19), 63 and 70 — Religious endowments and trusts — Public and Private — Distinction between, summarized: “Specific endowment” means any property or money endowed for performance of any specific service or charity in math or temple or for performance of any other religious charity. Specific endowment includes any money that has been endowed for performance of religious charity. “Religious charity” means public charity associated with Hindu festival or observance of religious character. Public charity need not be connected with temple or math. Expression “associated” means being connected with or in relation to. This expression does not import any control by authorities who manage or administer festival. “Endow” and “endowment” have not been defined in Act. However, they relate to idea of giving, bequeathing or dedicating something, whether property or otherwise, for some purpose. In context of Act, purpose is with respect to religion or charity. While explaining meaning of “divest”, held, to create endowment settlor must give it and if he has given it, he has not retained it. He has then divested himself of property endowed. Settlor divested himself of right to receive certain part of income derived from such properties. There is deprivation of right to deal with properties free of charge as absolute owners which he previously was. In public trust, beneficial interest is vested in uncertain and fluctuating body of persons. It could be either public at large or some considerable portion of it answering particular description. In private trust, beneficiaries are definite and ascertained individuals or who within a definite time can be definitely ascertained. Uncertain and fluctuating body of persons is a section of public following particular religious faith or only a sect of persons of certain religious persuasion would not make any difference in matter. It would not make the trust a private trust. [M.J. Thulasiraman v. Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowment Admn., (2019) 8 SCC 689]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 7 and 8 — Arbitration agreement/clause — Applicability of: In this case, Respondent developer filed a petition under S. 23 of the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 before the Principal District Judge making an allegation that their purported share in the rentals were not being paid to them and prayed for a direction to A-1 Society to produce the entire accounts for the rental amounts received by it from tenants along with audit reports and minute books from 2011 to 2015. In light of arbitration agreement i.e. Cl. 19 of addendum to supplementary development agreement, appellants filed petitions under S. 8 of 1996 Act seeking appointment of arbitrator. On analysing Cl. 19, it was held that clause was applicable in event of any dispute and difference arising among parties out of, in connection with or relating to the agreement. Further, rejecting the contention that dispute between respondents and appellants did not fall in any of the sub-clauses of Cl. 19, held, developers, owners, societies and original owners and even subsequent societies formed were parties to agreement and addendum. Also, the dispute was with respect to sharing of rent of the leased space and respondents were claiming the share relying upon development agreements, supplementary development agreements and addendum, and therefore, the dispute could be said to be in connection with or relating to agreements. Thus, order passed by District Judge rejecting applications submitted by appellants under S. 8 quashed and set aside and disputes between respondents and appellants directed to be referred to arbitration. [Avinash Hitech City 2 Society v. Boddu Manikya Malini, (2019) 8 SCC 666]

Armed Forces — Discharge/Dismissal — Discharge on ground of medical unfitness: In this case, it was held that in case of discharge on ground of medical unfitness, Cl. (iii) of R. 13(3) Item III of 1954 Rules are applicable and appellant could not have been invalidated without recommendation of Invalidating Board. It was further held, submission of respondent that discharge of appellant was under Cl. (v) of R. 13(3) Item III which is a residual clause liable to be rejected in absence of any reference to it in order of discharge. Besides, it is not recital of provision in charge which is relevant for determining clause of discharge but object, language and purport of discharge, hence, discharge order was held unsustainable. While considering that appellant had joined service on 23-10-1987 and was entitled to be retained for ten years being in rank of personnel of other ranks, he would be deemed to be discharged only on 22-10-1997. Consequently, appellant was also held to be entitled to pension in addition to disability pension. [Ram Khilawan v. Union of India, (2019) 8 SCC 581]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal — Concurrent findings of the two courts below: Though concurrent finding of fact is usually binding on High Court while hearing second appeal, this rule of law is subject to certain exceptions. Where concurrent finding of fact is recorded dehors the pleadings, or is based on no evidence or misreading of material documentary evidence, or is recorded against any provision of law, or the decision is one which no Judge acting judicially could reasonably have reached, such grounds will constitute substantial question of law within the meaning of S. 100 CPC. Hence, concurrent finding in such a case can be interfered with in second appeal. [State of Rajasthan v. Shiv Dayal, (2019) 8 SCC 637]

Constitution of India — Art. 162 and Sch. VII List III Entry 25 and List I Entries 63, 64, 65 and 66 — Subject of education, including technical education, medical education and Universities: In case of absence of legislation regarding education, including technical education, medical education and Universities, State Government, held, competent to issue executive instructions imposing condition of service bonds at time of admission to postgraduate courses and superspeciality courses in medical science. [Assn. of Medical Superspeciality Aspirants & Residents v. Union of India, (2019) 8 SCC 607]

Contempt of Court — Nature and Scope — Broadly — Aiding and abetting contempt: In this case, scandalous allegations were made in alleged communication but there was no direct material to connect R-4 with said communication, hence, R-4 was discharged but it was clarified that if during hearing of contempt petition against R-1 to R-3, if it is found that R-4 is behind communication, or that he has connived with R-1 and R-2, he might be summoned again. [Vijay Kurle, In re, (2019) 8 SCC 658]

Criminal Law — Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302 & 364 r/w S. 34 and S. 420 — Cheating and abduction followed by murder — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, none of the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution were proved beyond reasonable doubt. Complete chain of circumstances was also not formed that would point towards guilt of accused persons, thus, accused was entitled to benefit of doubt, hence, conviction of accused was reversed. [Umesh Tukaram Padwal v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 8 SCC 567]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 319 — Summoning of additional accused: In this case, as exercise required to be undertaken by trial court before exercising power under S. 319 CrPC, as laid down by Supreme Court, not having been undertaken, matter remanded to trial court to decide the issue in accordance with law. [Shishupal Singh v. State of U.P., (2019) 8 SCC 682]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Matrimonial proceedings — Abuse of process of law — Quashment of proceedings against near relatives of husband, who resided at different address than matrimonial home of complaint: In this case, A-5, sister of mother of husband and wife of husband’s paternal uncle; A-6, her son (appellant herein), and A-7, wife of A-6, as proceedings had been quashed against A-7, held, appellant stood on no different a footing, hence, proceedings quashed against him also. [Seenivasan v. State, (2019) 8 SCC 642]

Education Law — Medical and Dental Colleges — Admission — Postgraduate/Superspeciality courses’ admission: Regarding eligibility for admission against 15% all-India quota as fixed by CBSE in consultation with MCI under modified scheme approved by Supreme Court, it was clarified that satisfaction of “State requirements” cannot be insisted upon i.e. fixation of additional eligibility criteria impermissible in view of three-Judge Bench decision in Harsh Pratap Sisodia, (1999) 2 SCC 575. It was further clarified that allotment of seats can obviously only be in respect of seats approved by MCI. [Anand S. Biji v. State of Kerala, (2019) 8 SCC 630]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 11-A and 16 — Passing of award within two years and taking possession — Stay granted in respect of one pocket of land — Effect of: Stay granted in respect of one pocket of land operates concerning entire notification and, consequently, authorities were justified in not proceeding ahead in given facts and circumstances of case. Such period of stay is excluded in computation of two years. Even stay regarding possession also saves acquisition. Expression “stay of the action or proceedings under S. 11-A of the Act” means any interim effective order passed by court which may come in the way of the authorities to proceed further. [State of Maharashtra v. Moti Ratan Estate, (2019) 8 SCC 552]

Local Government — Town Planning — Slum redevelopment/rehabilitation scheme (SR Scheme): Withdrawal of consent by Slum Dwellers’ Society for slum development, being based on fabricated document, held, cannot be taken into account. Thus, considering interest of slum dwellers, societies involved in litigation permitted to independently develop respective slums. [Adarsh Estate Sahakari Griha Nirman Sanstha Maryadit v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 8 SCC 632]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Compensation — Computation of — Income: In this case, deceased bachelor was on consolidated fellowship as Fellow A (Hydro Power) having an MTech degree working in IIT Roorkee. It was held that there was no justification and ground to interfere with findings recorded by High Court in adding fellowship of Rs 12,000 p.m. to salary of Rs 3000 p.m. for computing loss of dependency. Tribunal clearly erred in excluding fellowship component notwithstanding annual income certificate issued by IIT. Salary of Rs 3000 p.m. was ridiculously low and entire compensation package has to be taken into account. It was held that the High Court was right in computing annual income at Rs 3,00,000 p.a. with benefit of future prospects. [National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Satish Kumar Verma, (2019) 8 SCC 660]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, last seen evidence, recovery of murder weapon and other circumstances in the chain established by prosecution squarely led to one inference alone, that of guilt of appellant and there were only minor contradictions, hence, conviction of accused was confirmed. [Laxminath v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2019) 8 SCC 685]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder of wife — Circumstantial evidence: In this case of murder of wife, death was caused by suffocation with hands/smothering. Medical evidence established violent asphyxial death in the form of suffocation by use of the hands, causing smothering, hence, conviction of accused was confirmed. [Vijay Nathalal Gohil v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 8 SCC 663]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder: In this case, conviction was based solely on dying declarations as all material witnesses turning hostile. First dying declaration being in the nature of FIR and second dying declaration being statement of deceased was recorded under S. 161 CrPC. Infirmities and omissions therein, held, raised reasonable doubt as to identity of accused persons and accused have not been linked clearly with the offence. Thus, it was held that benefit of doubt has to be given to them, hence, appellants were acquitted. [Hari Singh v. State of M.P., (2019) 8 SCC 677]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 r/w S. 34 or S. 149, or S. 302 simpliciter or S. 324 — Invocation of S. 34 or S. 149 — When permissible: In this case, all other accused were acquitted of offence of murder, except A-1 (appellant herein). A-2 was convicted only for inflicting simple injuries. Hence, it was held that A-1 could not be convicted for murder with aid of either S. 34 nor S. 149. Fatal injuries on deceased were not matching injuries alleged to be inflicted by A-1, hence, held, he could not be convicted for murder under S. 302 simpliciter. Hence, benefit of doubt given to A-1 acquitting him of offence of murder, but was convicted under S. 324. [Karuppanna Gounder v. State, (2019) 8 SCC 673]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 141 and 149 — Ingredients of unlawful assembly: The important ingredients of an unlawful assembly are the number of persons forming it i.e. five; and their common object. Common object of the persons composing that assembly could be formed on the spur of the moment and does not require prior deliberations. The course of conduct adopted by the members of such assembly; their behaviour before, during, and after the incident; and the arms carried by them are a few basic and relevant factors to determine the common object. [Manjit Singh v. State of Punjab, (2019) 8 SCC 529]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 141 to 149 — Unlawful assembly and punishment for offence(s) committed in furtherance of common object of unlawful assembly: Non-inclusion of S. 141 while framing charges, would not render complete trial illegal, nor would it result in finding that there would be no occasion to invoke S. 149, held, as long as necessary ingredients of unlawful assembly are set out and proved, as enunciated in S. 141. Actions of unlawful assembly and punishment thereafter, are set out in subsequent provisions, after S. 141, and as long as such ingredients are met, S. 149 can be invoked. S. 141 IPC only defines what is an unlawful assembly and in what manner the unlawful assembly conducts itself, and in what cases the common object would make the assembly unlawful is specified in the sections thereafter, inviting the consequences of the appropriate punishment in the context of S. 149 IPC. [Dev Karan v. State of Haryana, (2019) 8 SCC 596]

Service Law — Appointment — Eligibility conditions/criteria: Eligibility conditions/criteria cannot be changed midstream during selection process nor can qualifications other than notified ones be accepted. Jurisdiction of Court to determine equivalence of qualifications, held, is limited. Moreover, once having participated in selection process, candidates are bound by decision of appointing authority as to equivalence/non-equivalence of prescribed requirements with qualifications possessed by them. [Bank of India v. Aarya K. Babu, (2019) 8 SCC 587]

Service Law — Practice and Procedure — Evidence/Additional Evidence: Records maintained by employer can be considered when brought on record in appropriate manner unless authenticity of said documents in doubt. [Supt. of Post Offices v. Hanuman Giri, (2019) 8 SCC 645]

 Specific Relief Act, 1963 — Ss. 16(c) and 20 — Grant of discretionary relief of specific performance — Principles summarized: Specific performance cannot be enforced in favour of a person who fails to prove that he has performed or was always ready and willing to perform essential terms of contract which were to be performed by him. Jurisdiction to decree a suit for specific performance is discretionary jurisdiction. Court is not bound to grant such relief merely because it is lawful. A party cannot claim that though he may not perform his part of contract he is entitled for specific performance of same. It is incumbent on party, who wants to enforce specific performance of contract, to aver and prove that he has performed or has always been ready and willing to perform essential terms of contract. Merely because plaintiff is legally right, court is not bound to grant him relief. Court while exercising discretionary power is bound to exercise the same on established judicial principles and in reasonable manner. Discretion cannot be exercised in arbitrary or whimsical manner. Even if contract is otherwise not voidable but circumstances make it inequitable to enforce specific performance, courts can refuse to grant such discretionary relief. [Surinder Kaur v. Bahadur Singh, (2019) 8 SCC 575]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — S. 58(c) — Conditional sale mortgage (CSM) or absolute sale — Determination of: Question regarding determination of conditional sale mortgage (CSM) or absolute sale has to be considered in facts of each case. Where document appearing to be sale deed contains clause for reconveyance as per S. 58(c), it will be agreement of mortgage by conditional sale. However, execution of separate agreement for reconveyance either contemporaneously or subsequently, acts against that agreement being mortgage by conditional sale. There must exist debtor and creditor relationship. The valuation of property, transaction value, along with duration of time for reconveyance, are important considerations to decide then nature of agreement. There will have to be cumulative consideration of these factors, along with recitals in agreement, intention of parties, coupled with other attendant circumstances, considered in holistic manner. [Ganpati Babji Alamwar v. Digambarrao Venkatrao Bhadke, (2019) 8 SCC 651]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 11(6) r/w S. 11(6-A) — Appointment of arbitrator: Appointment of arbitrator is not permissible in the absence of an arbitral dispute. Appointment of arbitrator is a judicial power and is not a mere administrative function, thus leaving room for some degree of judicial intervention. When it comes to the question to examine existence of prima facie arbitration agreement, it is always necessary to ensure that the dispute resolution process does not become unnecessarily protracted. [United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Antique Art Exports (P) Ltd., (2019) 5 SCC 362]

Banking Regulation Act, 1949 — Ss. 21, 35-A, 35-AA, 35-AB and Ss. 36-ACA(1), 36-AE and 36-AF, 45-Y, 52(1) & 55-A and S. 45-L(3) of RBI Act — RBI Circular dt. 12-2-2018 for Resolution of Stressed Assets — Validity of: Without the authorisation of Central Government to RBI to issue directions to a banking company/companies for initiating the insolvency resolution process, RBI would have no such power i.e. after enactment of S. 35-AA, it may do so only within the four corners of S. 35-AA of 1949 Act. Held, when it comes to issuing directions to initiate the insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency Code, S. 35-AA power of RBI to issue directions for initiation of insolvency proceedings is the only source of power. When it comes to issuing directions in respect of stressed assets, which directions are directions other than resolving this problem under the Insolvency Code, such power falls within S. 35-A r/w S. 35-AB. Further, the power to be exercised under the authorisation of the Central Government requires “due deliberation and care” to refer specific defaults. Thus, the impugned circular, held, is ultra vires S. 35-AA of the Banking Regulation Act. [Dharani Sugars & Chemicals Ltd. v. Union of India, (2019) 5 SCC 480]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 6 R. 17 proviso — Amendment of plaint — When not permissible: In this case, R-1 filed an application for amendment of plaint in partition suit rejected by trial court and High Court allowed it by impugned order The Supreme Court held that trial court was right in rejecting application, firstly, because it was wholly belated; secondly, it was filed when trial in suit was almost over and case was fixed for final arguments; and thirdly, suit could still be decided even without there being any necessity to seek any amendment in plaint. Amendment in plaint was not really required for determination of issues in suit. For these reasons, impugned order was held legally unsustainable and set aside and order of trial court was restored. [Vijay Hathising Shah v. Gitaben Parshottamdas Mukhi, (2019) 5 SCC 360]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal — Proper mode of disposal — Substantial question of law: Disposal of second appeal without answering substantial questions of law which were framed, but answering other questions not framed as substantial questions of law, not permissible. [Ranjit Kumar Karmakar v. Hari Shankar Das, (2019) 5 SCC 477]

Constitution of India — Arts. 139-A and 32 — Remand/Transfer — Transfer of case from Supreme Court to High Court: In these writ petitions constitutional validity of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 was challenged. Similar reliefs were prayed in transferred case as well. The Supreme Court held, transferring of these matters would enable Supreme Court to have benefit of findings of High Court, if required. Further, no prejudice would be caused to parties if matter transferred to High Court for decision as court of first instance instead of Supreme Court acting as court of first instance. Hence, all matters transferred to Bombay High Court for expeditious disposal on merits. [Lunawat Construction Co. v. Union of India, (2019) 5 SCC 467]

Consumer Protection — Services — Supply of goods/Service-supply contracts: Supply of instruments without there being commitment in brochure about particular specifications, and insistence by supplier to comply with pre-installation conditions, held, do not amount to deficiency in service or restrictive trade practice. Further held, communication of foreign manufacturer of the instruments cannot override locally prescribed pre-installation requirements. [D.J. De Souza v. CPC Diagnostics (P) Ltd., (2019) 5 SCC 414]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 357-A — Acid attack victims — Rehabilitation — Compensation to victim: In this case in addition to 5 yrs’ RI, both accused directed to pay Rs 1.50 lakhs each as additional compensation to the victim in addition to Rs 25,000 already paid by each of them. Default sentence of six months’ RI to be served in case of non-payment of said additional compensation. State to further pay compensation as admissible under Victim Compensation Scheme. [State of H.P. v. Vijay Kumar, (2019) 5 SCC 373]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482: In this case, High Court partly allowed application for quashing and setting aside FIR, insofar it related to offences punishable under Ss. 392, 395 and 397 IPC and upheld it insofar as it relates to offences punishable under Ss. 143, 147, 148 and 323 IPC r/w S. 135(1) of the GP Act. Pursuant to directions issued by High Court, charge-sheet has been filed in relation to minor offences, which survived after quashing of FIR. The Supreme Court held, FIR did disclose prima facie allegations of commission of offences concerned. High Court erred in entertaining petition filed under S. 482 CrPC and further erred in allowing it in part. No proper investigation could be made by investigating officer. High Court should have directed the IO to make proper investigation on basis of FIR. IO shall now make full and proper investigation into allegations made in original FIR and after conclusion of investigation will file additional charge-sheet in relation to any other offences, if found made out. [Rafiq Ahmedbhai Paliwala v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 5 SCC 464]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 178, 179 and 177 — Exceptions under Ss. 178 and 179, to the “ordinary rule” contained in S. 177 — Scheme explained: S. 178 creates an exception to the “ordinary rule” engrafted in S. 177 by permitting the courts in another local area where the offence is partly committed to take cognizance. Also if the offence committed in one local area continues in another local area, the courts in the latter place would be competent to take cognizance of the matter. Under S. 179, if by reason of the consequences emanating from a criminal act an offence is occasioned in another jurisdiction, the court in that jurisdiction would also be competent to take cognizance. Thus, if an offence is committed partly in one place and partly in another; or if the offence is a continuing offence or where the consequences of a criminal act result in an offence being committed at another place, the exception to the “ordinary rule” would be attracted and the courts within whose jurisdiction the criminal act is committed will cease to have exclusive jurisdiction to try the offence. [Rupali Devi v. State of U.P., (2019) 5 SCC 384]

Education Law — Professional Colleges/Education — Nursing Colleges/Institutions — Affiliation/Recognition: As there was non-compliance with requirements for recognition under M.P Nursing Shikshan Sanstha Manyata Niyam, 2018, High Court judgment affirming denial of recognition for academic year 2018-2019, affirmed. [Pt. Bateswari Dayal Mishr Shiksha Samiti v.  M.P. Nurses Registration Council, (2019) 5 SCC 379]

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Public Premises — Arbitrary/Improper Allocation and Cancellation/Mala fide/Biased Action/Irregularities — Land reserved for primary school: In exercise of power under Art. 142 of the Constitution and on basis of submissions and facts, and in public interest land reserved for primary school, directed to be allotted to R-3, Municipal Corporation for starting a primary school to cater to needs of growing population of area. Arbitrary and illegal allotment to R-4, cancelled. Appellant’s prayer for allotment rejected as it had never made a proper application specifically asking for land for primary school. [Jawed Urdu Primary School v. Collector, Mumbai, (2019) 5 SCC 451]

Insurance — Personal Accident Insurance — Insurer’s liability — “Accident” — What is — Death or injury caused by disease, if included: Death due to mosquito bite i.e. as a result of encephalitis malaria, in a malaria prone area cannot be considered as an “accident” and thereby not covered under insurance policy covering accidental death. [National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mousumi Bhattacharjee, (2019) 5 SCC 391]

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules, 2016 — R. 48 r/w R. 52 — Service of notice of appeal to respondent — Necessity of: An advance copy of the appeal cannot be treated as service of notice as stipulated under R. 48 of the NCLAT Rules. Further, R. 52 of the NCLAT Rules categorically states that Judicial Section of Registry of NCLAT shall record, in “Notes of the Registry” column in order-sheet, details regarding completion of service of notice on respondents. In this case, held, no notice was served upon appellant before NCLAT as stipulated under the Rules, and right of appellant to be heard, audi alteram partem, had been violated. Thus, matter remanded to NCLAT for fresh consideration. [Jai Balaji Industries Ltd. v. SBI, (2019) 5 SCC 410]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 118, 138 and 139: Principles summarized regarding drawing of presumption under, and how said presumption can be rebutted. While prosecution must establish its case beyond reasonable doubt, accused to prove a defence must only meet standard of preponderance of probabilities. [Basalingappa v. Mudibasappa, (2019) 5 SCC 418]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 304-B — Dowry death — Appeal against acquittal: No perversity was found in judgment of trial court finding that prosecution was unable to prove cruelty on the part of appellant and other accused, nor demand nor payment of dowry. Possibility of another view cannot be a ground for reversing acquittal by appellate court. Hence, acquittal restored. [Sham Lal v. State of Haryana, (2019) 5 SCC 460]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302 and 498-A: In this case of dowry murder, victim wife burnt to death by A-1 husband for not bringing additional dowry. Dying declaration, held, was reliable and thus, reversal of acquittal confirmed. [Vijay Mohan Singh v. State of Karnataka, (2019) 5 SCC 436]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 302/149, 307/34, 436/149, 323/34 and 148 — Murder trial: In this case, deceased was shot dead and others injured due to firing by accused persons. Main assailant alone, held, could be convicted under S. 302 simpliciter. It could not be established that other accused shared common object to murder. Rather, it could only be established that they shared common object of rioting and setting fire to house of deceased, etc. Hence, accused other than main assailant, acquitted under Ss. 302/149, but their conviction under lesser offences i.e. Ss. 436/149, 323/34 and 148 IPC, confirmed. [Bal Mukund Sharma v. State of Bihar, (2019) 5 SCC 469]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 365 and 352: In this case of kidnapping in order to compel marriage, A-1, proprietor of a chain of hotels allegedly had illegal intention of taking PW 1 J, as his third wife, even though his second wife was still alive, conviction of A-1 to A-9, all implicated for the above offences, confirmed. [P. Rajagopal v. State of T.N., (2019) 5 SCC 403]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Constitution of India — Arts. 16(4), 341, 342, 14, 15(1) and 15(4) — State/UT benefits or concessions allowed to SCs/STs in matter of employment or education in a particular State/UT: Person belonging to SC/ST in one State cannot be deemed to be SC/ST person in State of his migration for purpose of employment or education. Expressions “in relation to State or Union Territory” and “for the purpose of this Constitution” used in Arts. 341 and 342 mean that benefits of reservation stand confined to geographical territories of State/UT in respect of which lists of SCs/STs have been notified by Presidential Orders under Arts. 341 and 342. Further held, any expansion/deletion of list of SCs/STs notified by President by any authority except Parliament would be against constitutional mandate. Furthermore, unquestionable principle of interpretation is that interrelated statutory as well as constitutional provisions must be harmoniously construed to avoid making any provisions nugatory or redundant. Enabling provision under Art. 16(4) is available only to provide reservation to classes or categories of SCs/STs enumerated in Presidential Orders for a particular State/UT within its geographical area and cannot be extended beyond those categories within that State/UT. [Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board, (2018) 10 SCC 312]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Penal Code,1860 — S. 377 — Constitutional validity: Section 377, insofar as it criminalizes/penalizes any consensual sexual conduct/relationship between two adults, be it homosexuals (man and a man), heterosexuals (man and a woman) or lesbians (woman and a woman), cannot be regarded as constitutional. However, if anyone, i.e. both a man and a woman, engages in any kind of sexual activity with an animal, the said aspect of Section 377 is constitutional and it shall remain a penal offence under the said section. Any act of the description covered under Section 377 IPC done between two individuals without the consent of any one of them would invite penal liability under the said section, Suresh Kumar Koushal v. Naz Foundation, (2014) 1 SCC 1, is overruled. [Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 1]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 7 and 11(5) — Arbitration agreement/clause — Existence of: Agreement between the parties giving an option to the parties to choose dispute resolution by “arbitration” or “court”, can be considered as a valid arbitration agreement. [Zhejiang Bonly Elevator Guide Rail Manufacture Co. Ltd. v. Jade Elevator Components, (2018) 9 SCC 774]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Appeal against order of Single Judge under Art. 226 (Writ Appeal/Letters Patent Appeal): Once legal and factual issues are raised in intra-court appeal challenging order passed by Single Judge, it is incumbent upon Division Bench to deal with all such issues raised. Then record its finding on such issues keeping in view the submissions urged and applicability of legal provisions. [BDA v. B.N. Ramalingaswamy, (2018) 9 SCC 778]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — CBI Investigation: Prayer for CBI investigation into degradation of forest due to illegal mining activities declined as requisite steps has been taken by State Government. [T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 760]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Public Interest Litigation — Frivolous or vexatious PIL: In PIL filed seeking guidelines for conducting Caesarean deliveries, it was alleged that there was flagrant violation of health norms and C-sections performed without there being medical necessity. Through this PIL, constitution of Medical Board for supervising such activities was prayed for. Treating this writ petition as abuse of process of court, Supreme Court dismissed it by imposing costs of Rs 25,000. [Reepak Kansal v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 744]

Constitution of India — Arts. 19(1)(a) and 19(2) — Restrictions upon free speech, expression, creativity and imagination of poets and authors: Meesha published in the weekly Mathrubhumi is not derogatory to women nor obscene, thus does not require intervention of the Court. Creative voices cannot be stifled or silenced and intellectual freedom cannot be annihilated and the culture of banning books directly impacts the free flow of ideas and is an affront to the freedom of speech, thought and expression. Further, a creative work has to be read with a matured spirit, catholicity of approach, objective tolerance and a sense of acceptability founded on reality that is differently projected but not with the obsessed idea of perversity that immediately connects one with the passion of didacticism or, for that matter, perception of puritanical attitude. The freedom enjoyed by an author is not absolute, but before imposition of any restriction, the duty of the Court is to see whether there is really something that comes within the ambit and sweep of Art. 19(2) of the Constitution. Also, a book should not be read in a fragmented manner and has to be read as a whole. The language used, the ideas developed, the style adopted, the manner in which the characters are portrayed, the type of imagery taken aid of for depiction, the thematic subsidiary concepts projected and the nature of delineation of situations have to be understood from an objective point of view. Further, there may be subjective perception of a book as regards its worth and evaluation but the said subjectivity cannot be allowed to enter into the legal arena for censorship or ban of a book. The craftsmanship of a writer deserves respect by acceptation of the concept of objective perceptibility. [N. Radhakrishnan v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 725]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226, 32, 21 and 22(2) — Habeas corpus petition — Maintainability: When no challenge has been made to remand order in force, writ petition filed restricting it to relief of habeas corpus with respect to a person who is in police custody pursuant to the said remand order passed by the jurisdictional Magistrate in connection with the offence under investigation is not maintainable in such a case. [State of Maharashtra v. Tasneem Rizwan Siddiquee, (2018) 9 SCC 745]

Education Law — Medical and Dental Colleges — New College/Courses/Upgradation of College/Increase in capacity/seats: Medical Council of India (MCI) conducting surprise inspection in spite of observation of Hearing Committee (of Central Government) that deficiencies detected earlier had been prima facie removed, held, permissible and valid. In case where actual physical verification is required, it is within discretion of MCI to cause such physical verification. MCI can conduct compliance verification in manner in which it decides. It can look for additional deficiencies and if deficiencies detected earlier are not removed or additional deficiencies detected, college is not entitled for renewal of permission. [Medical Council of India v. KMCT Medical College, (2018) 9 SCC 766]

Election — Election Petition/Trial — Maintainability — Limitation/Delay/Laches: The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 is a complete code for presentation of election petitions. It mandates that an election petition must be filed within 30 days from the date of declaration of results of election. Under the Act, there is no provision for condoning delay or extending the period of limitation. Hence, extension of that period of limitation by virtue of provisions under Limitation Act, 1963 (i.e. S. 14, Limitation Act, 1963 herein), not permissible. Legislature having prescribed a specific period for filing an election petition, any petition which fails to comply therewith is liable to be dismissed. [Suman Devi v. Manisha Devi, (2018) 9 SCC 808]

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — S. 15 — Interpretation of: Restriction placed on second marriage under S. 15 till dismissal of appeal, held, would not apply to such cases, where the facts establish, that the parties have decided not to pursue appeal. [Anurag Mittal v. Shaily Mishra Mittal, (2018) 9 SCC 691]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 80-IC (as inserted by virtue of the Finance Act, 2003, applicable w.e.f. 1-4-2004): Availing of 100% deduction from sixth year onwards, in lieu of 25% deduction otherwise available, on the premise of having made substantial expansion is not permissible when the assessee had already claimed deduction under S. 80-IC @ 100% for five years. [CIT v. Classic Binding Industries, (2018) 9 SCC 753]

Insurance — Repudiation/Rescission of Insurance Policy — Repudiation of claim on ground of delay — When permissible: It is the duty of insured to inform insurer of loss forthwith so that insurer may make a meaningful investigation into cause of damage and nature of loss. This is of crucial importance in insurance claims. Breach of policy term stipulating such condition, given the crucial importance of such term, held, is a material breach. It is not a technical matter but sine qua non for a valid claim to be pursued by the insured. [Sonell Clocks & Gifts Ltd. v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 9 SCC 784]

Insurance — Repudiation/Rescission of Insurance Policy — Repudiation of claim on ground of delay — When permissible: As per terms of insurance policy insured is duty-bound to inform insurer about the loss immediately after the incident. On account of delayed intimation, insurer was deprived of its legitimate right to get an inquiry conducted into cause and nature of the loss, hence, held, repudiation of claim on ground of delay, was proper. [Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Parvesh Chander Chadha, (2018) 9 SCC 798]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 147: When death of owner-cum-driver of motor vehicle has been caused due to his own negligence, claim for compensation is not maintainable. [National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Ashalata Bhowmik, (2018) 9 SCC 801]

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 — Ss. 42, 43 and 20(b)(ii)(C) — Search and seizure: In case of search and seizure in public place, when contraband has been recovered from bag carried by accused, compliance with S. 42 is not mandatory in such circumstances. Rather it is S. 43 which would apply. [Raju v. State of W.B., (2018) 9 SCC 708]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 304 Pt. II/34, 323/34 & 324/34 or 307/34: In this case regarding dispute between neighbours with regard to cattle which had strayed and resulted in assault by accused persons which led to death of one and injuries to others, it was held by the Supreme Court that as occurrence took place on the spur of the moment without premeditation and assault was not made on vital part of body and no common intention was found to kill or knowledge that death was likely to ensue, conviction under Ss. 307/34 set aside, but under Ss. 304 Pt. II/34, 323/324/34, confirmed. [Lakshmi Chand v. State of U.P., (2018) 9 SCC 704]

Practice and Procedure — Appeal — Locus standi/Standing — Appeal at the instance of stranger to proceedings: A stranger to proceedings does not have locus standi to question legality of order passed in those proceedings. [Ashok Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 9 SCC 723]

Service Law — Promotion — Ad hoc promotion: Ad hoc promotions in excess of eligible quota, not permissible. [Abdul Jawad M.F. v. R. Raj Pradeep, (2018) 9 SCC 781]

Specific Relief Act, 1963 — S. 16(c) — Readiness and willingness on part of plaintiff as condition precedent: Plaintiff must always plead and prove that he was always ready and willing to perform his part of contract — It must be established that he was ready and willing and has had capacity to perform his part of contract from date of contract up to date of filing of suit. If case of failure of plaintiff to establish readiness and willingness on his part, he is disentitled to specific performance of contract. [Jagjit Singh v. Amarjit Singh, (2018) 9 SCC 805]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Armed Forces — Pension — Computation: Cl. 4(a) of Navy Instruction No. 2/S/74 defined “basic pay” to denote pay “actually drawn” in scale prescribed for rank and group, which was issued to give effect to recommendations of Third Pay Commission and remained in force till 1-1-1986. It was held that appellants’ case was governed by said Instructions as they retired on 1-1-1983. Submission of respondents that submarine pay was excluded from ambit of basic pay as per Special Navy Instructions Nos. 1/S/86, 1/S/9-W and 1/S/08 liable to be rejected, since these notifications came into force subsequent to date of superannuation of appellants. Thus, submarine pay was includible in “pay” for purposes of computing Service Pension of appellants. [N.N. Godfred v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 666]

Associations, Societies and Clubs — Body discharging public function but not amounting to “State” — BCCI: Draft Constitution prepared by Committee of Administrators of BCCI keeping in view recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee Report, approved. [BCCI v. Cricket Assn. of Bihar, (2018) 9 SCC 624]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Writs —Habeas corpus: In a habeas corpus petition the High Court must examine at the threshold whether the minor is in lawful or unlawful custody of another person. The Court must take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances whilst ensuring the best interest of the minor child. Further, the fact that the minor child will have better prospects upon return to his/her native country, may be a relevant aspect in a substantive proceedings for grant of custody of the minor child but will not be decisive to examine the threshold issues in a habeas corpus petition. For the purpose of habeas corpus petition, the Court ought to focus on the obtaining circumstances of the minor child having been removed from the native country and taken to a place to encounter alien environment, language, custom, etc. interfering with his/her overall growth and grooming and whether continuance there will be harmful. [Kanika Goel v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 9 SCC 578]

Constitution of India — Arts. 25 and 26 r/w Art. 145(3) — Freedom to follow faith and manage religious affairs: 1934 Constitution of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, cannot be said to be in violation of Arts. 25 and 26. [Mathews Mar Koorilos v. M. Pappy, (2018) 9 SCC 672]

Constitution of India — Arts. 27, 19(1)(g), 19(6) and 14 — Haj Policy of Private Tour Operators, 2018, Annexure-A — Rejection of claim of petitioner for registration of PTO for Haj 2018: In this case petitioner applied for quota as private limited company but turnover relied upon was of proprietorship firm without offering any satisfactory explanation therefor nor submitting any relevant documents including conversion of proprietorship firm into private limited company with transfer of its assets and liabilities as alleged. Hence it was held that there was no infirmity in order dt. 31-5-2018 refusing registration for non-compliance with Clause (iv), Appendix A, Haj Policy, 2018. [Ruby Tour Services (P) Ltd. v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 537]

Crimes Against Women and Children — Sexual Abuse and Rape of Minor Girls in Shelter Homes/Child Homes: Repeated interrogation, questioning, visiting/interviewing of victims regarding incident by officials and journalist is hardly conducive for the welfare and well-being of minor victims of sexual abuse and rape in Shelter Homes/Child Homes. Media must be restrained from publishing images of victims even in morphed or blurred form. Media directed to keep interests of victims in mind while dissemination of news. Process to be followed by investigating agencies dealing with case, set out. Various Authorities/Institutions directed to submit reports, for further directions. [Sampurna Behura v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 555]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 320 and 482 — Compounding of offences with permission of Court: In this case related to offences under Ss. 406 and 420 IPC, as complainant was satisfied that his amount was received as per direction of Supreme Court, parties were relegated to trial court for compounding. Trial court directed to pass appropriate orders and coercive orders passed against accused withdrawn. [Raj Sharma v. State of U.P., (2018) 9 SCC 660]

Criminal Trial — Confession — Extra-judicial confession/Hearsay — Evidentiary value of: Extra-judicial confession is a weak piece of evidence. It cannot form basis for conviction, unless supported by other substantive evidence. [State of Karnataka v. P. Ravikumar, (2018) 9 SCC 614]

Family and Personal Laws — Hindu Law — Adoption — Proof of — Principles summarized: Factum of adoption and its validity has to be duly proved. Though formal ceremony of giving and taking is essential ingredient for valid adoption, long duration of time during which a person is treated as adopted cannot be ignored. Such fact by itself may carry a presumption in favour of adoption. [Kamla Rani v. Ram Lalit Rai, (2018) 9 SCC 663]

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Public Premises — Recovery of possession/Re-entry by State upon Termination/Cancellation/Resumption/Lapse: In this case lease was expired a long time ago, and was not renewed, but tenants continued to be in possession. Eviction order was passed in such without opportunity of hearing. Tenant cannot claim indefeasible right to continue in premises. Balancing of this principle with fact that rights of tenants under Art. 19(1)(g) of the Constitution might be affected, open auction of such premises in bidding and allotment to highest bidder, directed. On facts, balancing rights of both parties, occupation of premises by tenant, directed not to be disturbed till bidding process is completed. [Bharmal Medical Store v. State of M.P., (2018) 9 SCC 617]

Hindu Law — Marriage and Divorce — Grounds for Divorce — Irretrievable breakdown of marriage: In this case divorce was granted ex parte by impugned judgment, thus prejudicing rights of appellant wife. It was held that logical consequence would normally be to set aside impugned judgment and remit matter for fresh consideration. However, considering that parties were willing to part company on mutually acceptable terms, appellant husband was directed to pay Rs 30 lakhs towards permanent alimony plus Rs 5 lakhs by way of gesture of goodwill towards her medical expenses finding that parties were living separately for more than a decade and there was absolutely no chance of reconciliation, no issue was born from wedlock, appellant wife ailing for long time and staying with her relatives having no independent income while respondent husband was quite resourceful residing in independent bungalow in posh colony in Pune. [Usha Uday Khiwansara v. Uday Kumar Jethamal Khiwansara, (2018) 9 SCC 569]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149, 147 and 168 — Third-party insurance: When award has been passed against insured owner, it is to be paid by insurer and recovered from owner. Insurer is not required to file a suit. It may initiate a proceeding before executing court concerned as if dispute between insurer and owner was subject-matter of determination before Tribunal and issue is decided against owner and in favour of insurer. [Shamanna v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 9 SCC 650]

National Security Act, 1980 — Ss. 3(4) and 8 — Requirement of reporting detention to State Government “forthwith” — “Forthwith” — Connotation of: “Forthwith” does not mean instantaneous, but without undue delay and within reasonable time at the earliest possible. Further held, fact whether detention order was reported to State Government within reasonable time and without undue delay is to be ascertained from facts of each case. Delay between date of detention and date of submitting report to State Government must be due to unavoidable circumstances beyond control of authority and not because of administrative laxity. [Hetchin Haokip v. State of Manipur, (2018) 9 SCC 562]

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 — Ss. 4(5) and (6) — Forfeiture of gratuity — When permissible: Forfeiture of gratuity on the ground of misconduct which constitutes an offence involving moral turpitude, is permissible only if the person is convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for the said offence. [Union Bank of India v. C.G. Ajay Babu, (2018) 9 SCC 529]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 304 Pt. I — Culpable homicide not amounting to murder — Inference of, from nature of injury inflicted: In this case death of one was due to gunshot injury on thigh, and injuries to one other using other weapons. Conviction of accused for firing said gunshot alone, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and acquittal of the rest of the accused, confirmed. [State of M.P. v. Gangabishan, (2018) 9 SCC 574]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 201, 392 and 397 — Murder trial: High Court reversed conviction of all respondent-accused due to inconsistencies and material contradiction present in this case, hence, acquittal confirmed. [State of Karnataka v. A.B. Mahesha, (2018) 9 SCC 612]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 498-A and 306 — Bride committing suicide: In this case harassment due to alleged dowry demand and cruelty meted out to deceased by appellant-accused husband, having illicit relationship with another woman, were established as causes of suicide. It was held that High Court rightly maintained conviction of appellant under Ss. 498-A and 306 IPC, with RI for 2 and 5 years, respectively. Furthermore, held, there were no grounds for reduction of sentence. [Siddaling v. State, (2018) 9 SCC 621]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 34(5) and Ss. 34(6), 34(3) and 29-A: Requirement of issuance of prior notice to the other party and filing of an affidavit endorsing compliance with the said requirement under S. 34(5), is directory and not mandatory. Considerations of convenience and justice are uppermost, and if general inconvenience or injustice results, without promoting the real aim and object of the enactment, the provision must be declared to be directory. Subsection (5) is not a condition precedent, but a procedural provision which seeks to reduce the delay in deciding applications under S. 34. Further, to construe such a provision as being mandatory would defeat the advancement of justice as it would provide the consequence of dismissing an application filed without adhering to the requirements of S. 34(5), thereby scuttling the process of justice by burying the element of fairness. However, it shall be the endeavour of every court in which a S. 34 application is filed, to stick to the time-limit of one year from the date of service of notice to the opposite party by the applicant, or by the court, as the case may be. Further, in case the court issues notice after the period mentioned in S. 34(3) has elapsed, every court shall endeavour to dispose of the S. 34 application within a period of one year from the date of filing of the said application similar to what has been provided in S. 14 of Commercial Courts Act, 2015. Also, in cases covered by S. 10 r/w S. 14 of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, the Commercial Appellate Division shall endeavour to dispose of appeals filed before it within six months, as stipulated and appeals which are not so covered will also be disposed of as expeditiously as possible, preferably within one year from the date on which the appeal is filed. [State of Bihar v. Bihar Rajya Bhumi Vikas Bank Samiti, (2018) 9 SCC 472]

 Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 39 Rr. 1 & 2 — Interim stay — Grant or refusal: While passing an order on interim stay application, justifiable reason(s) to support grant or rejection of prayer as to stay must be stated in the order keeping in view the facts and law applicable to the controversy involved. [Birwati Chaudhary v. State of Haryana, (2018) 9 SCC 458]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 41 R. 27, Or. 41 R. 23-A & Or. 41 R. 25 and Ss. 96 & 100 — Procedure to be followed by appellate courts after receiving additional evidence: Once additional evidence is permitted at appellate stage, other side must be given opportunity to lead rebuttal evidence to counter additional evidence. Appellate courts have two options (i) to take recourse remanding entire matter under Or. 41 R. 23-A for retrial, or (ii) to make limited remand under Or. 41 R. 25 by retaining main appeal with itself so that parties can lead evidence on particular issues in light of additional evidence and then to decide main appeal on merits. [Corpn. of Madras v. M. Parthasarathy, (2018) 9 SCC 445]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 96(3), 100, 114 & Or. 23 R. 3-A: Challenge to compromise decree is not permissible except on ground of fraud. Such challenge can be by way of fresh suit, or review petition. [Ved Pal v. Prem Devi, (2018) 9 SCC 496]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21, 25, 19 and 29 and Preamble — Cow vigilantism and incidents of lynching solely based on perception: There is necessity of strengthening police administration. Pluralism and tolerance is essential values constituting building blocks of free and democratic society. It is the duty of State to promote fraternity amongst all citizens so that dignity of every citizen is protected, nourished and promoted, and to prevent crime and untoward incidents. Lynching affront to rule of law and exalted values of Constitution itself while vigilantism for whatever purpose or borne out of whatever cause undermines legal institutions of State. Such extrajudicial attempts under guise of law required to be nipped in bud lest it leads to anarchy and lawlessness corroding nation. It is the primary responsibility of State to foster secular, pluralistic and multicultural social order so as to allow free play to ideas and beliefs and coexistence of mutually contradictory perspectives. Directions covering areas of preventive, remedial and punitive measures, issued. [Tehseen S. Poonawalla v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 501]

Contempt of Court — Civil Contempt — Purging of contempt/Opportunity to comply: Once the order dt. 8-3-2001 passed by Single Judge directing appellant FCI to frame scheme or to find ways to absorb respondent workmen within one year had attained finality it was required to be complied with in pith and substance. [Food Corpn. of India v. W.B. FCI Workmen’s Union, (2018) 9 SCC 469]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 378(3) — Application for grant of leave to appeal under — Parameters which High Court should keep in mind while deciding — Principles reiterated: In this case Trial court acquitted respondent-accused of charge of offences punishable under Ss. 363, 366, 376 and 120-B IPC. Application was filed by State for leave to appeal against such acquittal before High Court and High Court rejected it without assigning any reasons. Such casual approach of High Court, disapproved by the Supreme Court and matter was remanded back to it for decision afresh on merits, keeping in view law laid down by Supreme Court in Sujay Mangesh Poyarekar, (2008) 9 SCC 475. [State of U.P. v. Anil Kumar, (2018) 9 SCC 492]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482: Quashment of subsequent criminal proceedings based on new set of facts merely because earlier criminal proceedings related to present matter were quashed, not proper. [Om Prakash Singh v. State of Bihar, (2018) 9 SCC 440]

Criminal Trial — Practice and Procedure — Abatement — Abatement of appeal: As there was report by High Court along with copy of death certificate regarding death of sole respondent in appeal, appeal stood abated against deceased and was dismissed as having abated. [State of Karnataka v. Srinivasa, (2018) 9 SCC 463]

Environment Law — Vehicular Pollution: NGT passed an order of plying of only CNG buses/coaches and other vehicles at Delhi Airport. Due to incompatibility of other vehicles to CNG mode, direction issued by NGT restricted to only buses and coaches. [Narangs International Hotels (P) Ltd. v. Society for Protection of CHETNA, (2018) 9 SCC 499]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 10(20) (as amended by the Finance Act, 2002) — Noida Authority: After omission of S. 10(20-A) the only provision under which a body or authority can claim exemption was S. 10(20) and further, local authority having been exhaustively defined in the Explanation to S. 10(20), an entity has to fall under S. 10(20) to claim exemption. Further, the Explanation now containing the exhaustive definition of local authority, the definition of local authority as contained in S. 3(31) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 no more applicable. Also, the Explanatory Note to Finance Act, 2002 clearly indicate that by the Finance Act, 2002 the exemption under S. 10(20) had been restricted to Panchayats and Municipalities as referred to in Arts. 243-P(d) and 243-P(e) of the Constitution, and further by deletion of clause (20-A), the income of the Housing Boards of the States and of Development Authorities became taxable. Noti. dt. 24-12-2001 was issued by the Governor in exercise of the power under the proviso to clause (1) of Art. 243-Q of the Constitution of India specifying the appellant Authority to be an “industrial township” with effect from the date of the notification in the Official Gazette. The proviso did not contemplate constitution of an industrial establishment as a Municipality, rather clarified that an exception where Municipality under clause (1) of Art. 243-Q may not be constituted in an urban area. Further, the object of issuance of notification was to relieve the mandatory requirement of constitution of a Municipality in a State in the circumstances as mentioned in the proviso but exemption from constituting Municipality does not lead to mean that the industrial establishment which is providing municipal services to an industrial township is same as Municipality as defined in Art. 243-P(e).  Thus, held, industrial township as specified under Noti. dt. 24-12-2001 was not akin to Municipality as contemplated under Art. 243-Q. Hence, held, appellant Authority is not covered by the definition of “local authority” as contained in the Explanation to S. 10(20). [NOIDA v. CIT, (2018) 9 SCC 351]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 194-A(3)(iii)(f) — Benefit of exemption given under Noti. No. S.O. 3489 dt. 22-10-1970 — Tax deduction at source on payment of interest by bank to Noida Authority: There is a well-marked distinction between a body which is created by the statute, on the one hand, and a body which after having come into existence is governed in accordance with the provisions of the statute, on the other. For instance, a company incorporated under the Companies Act is not a statutory body because it is not created by the statute but it is a body created in accordance with the provisions of the statute. When the words “by and under an Act” are preceded by the words “established”, the reference is to a corporation established, that it is brought into existence, by an Act or under an Act i.e. the term refers to a statutory corporation as contrasted from a non-statutory corporation incorporated or registered under the Companies Act. The preamble of that Act reads “an Act to provide for the constitution of an Authority for the development of certain areas in the State into industrial and urban township and for matters connected therewith”. Thus, the Act itself provided for constitution of an authority. Further, “the Authority” had been constituted by a Noti. dt. 17-4-1976 issued under S. 3 of the 1976 Act. Further, following the ruling in Satish Prabhakar Padhye, (2010) 4 SCC 378, wherein the State Financial Corporation was stated to be a corporation established under a Central Act, held, the Authority was covered by the Noti. dt. 22-10-1970. [CIT v. Canara Bank, (2018) 9 SCC 322]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 194-I r/w S. 10(20) (as amended by the Finance Act, 2002) — Circular dt. 30-1-1995 — Deduction of income tax at source on payment of lease rent to Noida/Greater Noida Authority: The definition of rent as contained in the Explanation to S. 194-I is a very wide definition and payment to be made as annual rent is rent within the meaning of S. 194-I. Further, Circular dt. 30-1-1995 granting exemption from deduction of income tax at source, was issued on the strength of Ss. 10(20-A) and 10(20) as it existed at the relevant time and the very basis of the circular has been knocked out by the amendments made by the Finance Act, 2002. Thus, the circular could not be relied on by Noida/Greater Noida Authorities to contend that there was no requirement of deduction of tax at source. Therefore, tax is required to be deducted at source on payment of lease rent to Greater Noida Authority, as per S. 194-I. [NOIDA v. CIT, (2018) 9 SCC 342]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 & 173 and Sch. II — Compensation: Award of lump sum compensation without following multiplier method is not permissible. Compensation has to be just compensation. Mode of award in cases of permanent disability has to be based on functional disability or actual loss of income/income-earning capacity. Due to changed scenario in view of cost of living and current rate of inflation, Second Schedule provided under Motor Vehicles Act became redundant. [Anant v. Pratap, (2018) 9 SCC 450]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Accused allegedly strangulated his wife to death: A-1(respondent-accused) was allegedly having illicit relationship with A-2 (since dead) and on account of which, there was altercation between A-1 and his wife, and he allegedly strangulated her to death. However, conviction of A-1 under S. 302, was held to be rightly reversed by High Court. [State of Karnataka v. Srinivasa, (2018) 9 SCC 460]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 147 and 148 r/w S. 149 — Murder trial — Appeal against acquittal: Re-appreciation of evidence was done by High Court as Trial court did not properly appreciate evidence and approach of trial court was found perverse. Testimony of eyewitnesses was also found credible. FIR was lodged promptly. Evidence of eyewitnesses was corroborated by medical evidence. Prosecution case was further corroborated by recovery of weapons from accused. Bloodstains found on weapons recovered from accused, were of blood group of deceased, which was yet another piece of evidence corroborating evidence of eyewitnesses and strengthening prosecution case. Hence, reversal of acquittal by High Court, confirmed. [Motiram Padu Joshi v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 9 SCC 429]

Public Accountability, Vigilance and Prevention of Corruption — Vigilance Authorities: Validity of appointments to post of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Vigilance Commissioner (VC), affirmed. Ground of violation of principle of impeccable integrity and institutional integrity, rejected as aspersions were based on false, vague, non-specific, unsubstantiated and/or baseless allegations/representations/complaints. [Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 382]

Service Law — Regularisation — Entitlement to regularization: The issue raised in this case was whether the employees employed to carry out appellant FCI’s business operations at its branch offices are contractual employees or employees of appellant. Findings of Tribunal to effect that (i) Agreement with contract labourers for doing work had ended in 1991 and thereafter it was not renewed; (ii) All 955 workers were paid wages directly by appellant; (iii) Nature of work which these workers were doing was of perennial nature in the set-up of FCI; (iv) All 955 workmen were performing their duties as permanent workmen; and (v) No evidence was adduced by appellant to rebut claim of respondent Union; were affirmed by the Single Judge as well as Division Bench. The Supreme Court held that the findings of fact recorded against appellant by Tribunal were based on sufficient evidence. Besides, said findings being concurrent in nature were binding on Supreme Court while hearing appeals under Art. 136 of the Constitution. Furthermore, very fact that appellant FCI failed to adduce any evidence to prove their case, Tribunal was justified in drawing adverse inference against them. Respondent employees were entitled to regularisation in services of appellant FCI. [Food Corpn. of India v. Employees Union, (2018) 9 SCC 464]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration Act, 1940 — S. 29 — Award of pre-reference, pendente lite and future interest by arbitrator — Permissibility of: Under the 1940 Act, an arbitrator has power to grant pre-reference interest under the Interest Act as well as pendente lite and future interest, however, he is constricted only by the fact that an agreement between the parties may contain an express bar to the award of pre-reference and/or pendente lite interest. Further, the Court has evolved the test of strict construction of such clauses, and unless there is a clear and express bar to the payment of interest that can be awarded by an arbitrator, clauses which do not refer to claims before the arbitrators or disputes between parties and clearly bar payment of interest, cannot stand in the way of an arbitrator awarding pre-reference or pendente lite interest. Further, unless a contractor agrees that no claim for interest will either be entertained or payable by the other party owing to dispute, difference, or misunderstandings between the parties or in respect of delay on the part of the engineer or in any other respect whatsoever, leading the Court to find an express bar against payment of interest, a clause which merely states that no interest will be payable upon amounts payable to the contractor under the contract would not be sufficient to bar an arbitrator from awarding pendente lite interest. Further, the grant of pendente lite interest depends upon the phraseology used in the agreement, clauses conferring power relating to arbitration, the nature of claim and dispute referred to the arbitrator, and on what items the power to award interest has been taken away and for which period. Also, the position under S. 31(7) of the 1996 Act, is wholly different, inasmuch as S. 31(7) of the 1996 Act sanctifies agreements between the parties and states that the moment the agreement says otherwise, no interest becomes payable right from the date of the cause of action until the award is delivered. [Reliance Cellulose Products Ltd. v. ONGC Ltd., (2018) 9 SCC 266]

Citizens, Migrants and Aliens — National Register of Citizens of India (NRC): Complete draft prepared after claims/objections cannot be basis for any action by authorities. Authorities must grant reasonable opportunity to each concerned. Statements made by authorities before media touching upon matters pending before Supreme Court, strongly deprecated. [Assam Public Works v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 229]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 2 and Or. 6 R. 17, Or. 14 R. 5 and Or. 18 R. 17 — Suit to include whole claim: When family property dispute resulted in two different civil suits before two different courts, respective claims of parties are required to be decided in one suit rather than in two different suits. [P.K. Narayanan Raja v. Ambika, (2018) 9 SCC 164]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 96 and 100 — Appeal — Locus standi to file appeal: Appeal by person who was not a party to the civil suit or in first appeal is not maintainable when the judgment in appeal is not adverse to any party in the suit. [Lakshmi Sreenivasa Coop. Building Society Ltd. v. Puvvada Rama, (2018) 9 SCC 251]

Education Law — Fee Structure/Capitation Fee/Fee Regulatory Committee — Statutory prohibition of fees in excess of that prescribed by Fee Fixation Committee constituted under T.N. Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Collection of Capitation Fee) Act, 1992 — Institutions covered by: T.N. Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Collection of Capitation Fee) Act, 1992 is applicable to medical and engineering courses in Annamalai University deemed to be constituted under Annamalai University Act, 2013. For this it is not necessary to notify a statutory university like present one as an “educational institution” under S. 2(b) of 1992 Act. In relation to imparting of education leading to a degree in Medicine or Engineering, S. 4(2-A) of 1992 Act has been given an overriding effect by incorporating non obstante provision. S. 4(2-A), unlike S. 4(1) of 1992 Act does not require any notification by the Government. [M. Aamira Fathima v. Annamalai University, (2018) 9 SCC 171]

Government Contracts and Tenders Termination/Discharge/Repudiation/ Cancellation/Suspension of Contract — Generally — Proper exercise of power by State: In this case dealership of petroleum products was terminated as factum of breach of conditions of dealership agreement was established. Division Bench of High Court issued mandamus in favour of party who breached standard requirements by overturning Single Judge order. The Supreme Court held that writ court is not appellate court nor can it substitute its decision in administrative matters where there is no case of arbitrariness. Consequently, termination of dealership was upheld. [Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd. v. T. Natarajan, (2018) 9 SCC 235]

Information Technology Act, 2000 — S. 70(1) as existing prior to Amendment Act 10 of 2009 r/w S. 17 r/w Ss. 2(o) and 2(k) of Copyright Act, 1957 — Power to declare “protected system” in respect of “government work” — Permissibility of: The provisions of S. 70(1) of the IT Act have to be read conjointly with Ss. 2(k) and 17 of the Copyright Act, 1957 in order to give due effect to related provisions of the two different enactments made by the legislature. Further, plainly read, the power of declaration of a “protected system” may invade a copyright which may be vested in a private owner, however, such a situation is taken care of by the provisions contained in S. 2(k) of the Copyright Act, 1957 which defines “government work” and S. 17(d) of the Copyright Act, 1957 which vests in the Government, copyright in a government work as defined by S. 2(k). The balance is struck by S. 17 between copyright pertaining to any other person and copyright vested in the Government in a “government work”. Therefore, S. 70 cannot be construed independent of the provisions of the Copyright Act. If S. 70 of the IT Act has to be read in conjunction with Ss. 2(k) and 17 of the Copyright Act, 1957 the rigours that would control the operation of S. 70(1) of the IT Act are clearly manifested. [B.N. Firos v. State of Kerala, (2018) 9 SCC 220]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 23 — Market Value — Compensation — Determination of — Particular class of land — Wet lands vis-à-vis dry and chira lands: Award of Rs 2000 per cent for wet land appears is just, proper and reasonable keeping in view nature of land, its surroundings and location and similarity with land owned by other landowners to whom compensation was awarded at Rs 2000 per cent. [K.S. Rajan v. State of Kerala, (2018) 9 SCC 167]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 326, 331, 343 and 346: In this case of illegal detention and custodial torture of one B, by appellant-accused (police officials), High Court reversed their acquittal, convicting them under Ss. 326, 331, 343 and 346 IPC and imposing 2 yrs’, imprisonment upon them. Occurrence was of year 1992 and appellants, after acquittal by trial court, also attained age of superannuation. One was 80 yrs old and the other was more than 70 yrs. Appellants have already undergone about 15 months’ imprisonment and victim was also given government job and is presently working. Hence, considering facts and circumstance of case, imprisonment of appellants was reduced by the Supreme Court to period already undergone. However, reduction of sentence was in peculiar facts and circumstances of instant case and the same may not be treated as precedent. [Bhagwan Dass v. State of Haryana, (2018) 9 SCC 227]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 363, 366 and 376 — Abduction and rape — Age of prosecutrix — Relevance: In this case, appellant-accused was convicted by High Court under Ss. 363, 366 and 376. Evidence of PW 6 (prosecutrix) regarding incident was contradicted by her previous statement under S. 161 CrPC. Materials on record indicated that PW 6 remained in company of appellant for about 12 days until she was recovered and she had freely moved around with appellant, in course of which movement, she came across many people at different points of time, yet, she did not complain of any criminal act on part of appellant. The Supreme Court held that in view of above, age of prosecutrix becomes relevant for determining whether she was a major so as to give her consent. Herein, prosecution had not succeeded in proving that prosecutrix was a minor on date of alleged occurrence. Possibility of prosecutrix being a consenting party cannot be altogether ruled out. Hence, order of High Court was set aside and appellant was acquitted on benefit of doubt. [Rajak Mohammad v. State of H.P., (2018) 9 SCC 248]

Police — Police Atrocities/Inaction/Custodial Death/Custodial Violence/ Illegal Detention: In this case involving allegation of custodial torture, parties relegated to High Court permitted to seek appropriate remedy. It was, however, clarified that grant of such liberty should not be construed as expression of any doubt regarding investigation process. [Sahil Sharma v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 234]

Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 — Ss. 7, 13(1)(d) and 20 — Illegal gratification: Demand and acceptance of illegal gratification is sine qua non to constitute offence under Ss. 7 and 13(1)(d). In this case demand of money by first accused and acceptance of bribe amount by second accused at the behest of first accused, was proved by evidence of complainant and trap witness. The Supreme Court held that findings of trial court did not suffer from any infirmity and High Court was not justified in setting aside conviction of both accused. No explanation was also offered by accused to rebut presumption under S. 20, hence, conviction under Ss. 7 and 13(1)(d), restored. [State of Gujarat v. Navinbhai Chandrakant Joshi, (2018) 9 SCC 242]

Service Law — Judiciary — Appointment — Nature of appointment: Appointments on ad-hoc basis are not “contractual appointment” when against sanctioned posts or on pay scale. Hence, appointment of appellants as Fast Track Court Judges for five years which was extended against sanctioned posts on ad hoc basis on pay scale, not contractual appointment. [K. Anbazhagan v. High Court of Madras, (2018) 9 SCC 293]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Eligibility criteria/conditions — Relaxation of norms/conditions: In this case, for recruitment to posts of Assistant Traffic Inspectors, 75% was by promotion and 25% by direct recruitment, however, due to existence of large number of vacancies and dire need of Assistant Traffic Inspectors but absence of qualified people for promotion, relaxation of requirement of experience of 5 yrs was given, which was notified as part of educational qualifications in terms of Kolhapur Municipal Corporation Regulation No. 119 dt. 14-5-1991, and appellants (15 candidates) were appointed by direct recruitment. It was held by the Supreme Court that interest of justice would be served if appellants and others recruited along with them who had worked for over 23 yrs now are allowed to continue as having been regularly recruited and appointed since in case their appointments are quashed there would only be 1 Asstt. Traffic Inspector actually working and 2 Assistant Traffic Inspectors eligible for promotion against 25 available posts. It was also noted that notification relaxing criteria was also challenged by respondent Trade Union only after appointments were made. [Sunil Shamrao Jadhav v. Kolhapur Municipal Corpn., (2018) 9 SCC 215]

Trade Marks Act, 1999 — Ss. 9, 11 and 18 — Registration of the phonetically similar mark “NANDHINI” to the earlier registered/in use mark “NANDINI” — Test of deceptiveness/confusion — Application of: Registration is permissible when such latter mark is used for different goods/nature of business and visual appearance of two marks is so different that average person of ordinary intelligence would not be deceived or confused between goods concerned. Further, registration of trade mark qua certain goods falling under one class does not vest monopoly over the entire class of goods with the proprietor of registered mark. [Nandhini Deluxe v. Karnataka Coop. Milk Producers Federation Ltd., (2018) 9 SCC 183]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 34 and S. 13(6) — Practice and procedure qua applications made for setting aside an award under S. 34: An application for setting aside an arbitral award will not ordinarily require anything beyond the record that was before the arbitrator. However, if there are matters not contained in such record, and are relevant to the determination of issues arising under S. 34(2)(a), they may be brought to the notice of the Court by way of affidavits filed by both parties. Further, cross-examination of persons swearing to the affidavits should not be allowed unless absolutely necessary. [Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd. v. Girdhar Sondhi, (2018) 9 SCC 49]

Armed Forces — Appointment — Criteria/Eligibility — Post of DGMS (Army): Word “inter se” in Para (i) of Administrative Instructions dt. 10-7-1992, issued by Government of India, Ministry of Defence, inter alia, stipulating “inter se seniority and suitability of officers in rank of Lieutenant General (and equivalent) … shall be assessed in light of their earlier experience of serving in particular services …” applies both to seniority as well as suitability. As far as inter se seniority is concerned, person who is senior gets precedence. Further held, while assessing “suitability” fitness of the incumbent to post is to be measured and “inter se suitability” has reference to assessing suitability of all eligible officers. Respondent was senior-most Lieutenant General fulfilling eligibility criteria for appointment to post of DGMS (Army). Finding in Para 7 of Note dt. 23-1-2018 issued by DGAFMS that since respondent was newly promoted from rank of Major General, he did not have “previous exposure to working and environs of IHQ of MoD” and hence proposing him to be appointed as DGMS (AF) instead of DGMS (Army) not fair and objective consideration of his suitability to post as it is not necessary to have work experience in IHQ alone. While affirming conclusion of AFT quashing appointment one S as DGMS (Army), but disagreeing with its direction to appoint respondent straightaway to said post, matter remitted to Raksha Mantri for fair, dispassionate and objective consideration. [Union of India v. Manomoy Ganguly, (2018) 9 SCC 65]

Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 (12 of 1976) — Ss. 27, 17, 36, 52, 18, 19 and 15 — Benevolent development scheme in public interest — Delay in implementation of, after issuance of preliminary notification under S. 17, BDA Act: Time constraints under S. 11-A, LA Act not applicable to scheme under BDA Act. Shock expressed at non-consideration of precise law required to adjudicate matter, laid down by Constitution Bench in Offshore Holdings (P) Ltd., (2011) 3 SCC 139. With regard to limitation of 5 years under S. 27 of BDA Act, it was clarified that there is a vast difference between provisions and action taken pursuant to preliminary notification (S. 17) and final notification (S. 19) under BDA Act. [BDA v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 9 SCC 122]

Constitution of India — Art. 136: Permission to file SLPs against High Court order was granted to informant. Subsequently, petitions for withdrawal of SLPs filed by informant. It was held that proceedings of criminal case, specially of instant nature i.e. case under S. 396 IPC, cannot depend on whims of informant, hence, prayer for withdrawal of SLPs rejected. [Amar Nath Jha v. Nand Kishore Singh, (2018) 9 SCC 144]

Constitution of India — Art. 21 — Right to Proper Legal Representation on part of accused lodged in jail: To facilitate dialogue between counsel and his client, which would further cause of justice and make legal aid meaningful, videoconferencing between counsel for accused on one hand and accused lodged in jail or anybody knowing the matter on the other, was made mandatory as per directions of Supreme Court Legal Services Committee (SCLSC). Said directions affirmed, and directed to be extended nationwide. [Imtiyaz Ramzan Khan v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 9 SCC 160]

Constitution of India — Arts. 233 to 235 and 32 — Public Interest Litigation (PIL): Directions were sought for immediate filling of unfilled vacancies in subordinate judiciary leading to pendency of matters but Supreme Court declined to interfere as steps to fill up vacancies had already been taken by High Courts. [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India, (2018) 9 SCC 64]

Constitution of India — Arts. 80(4), 81, 158 and 171 — Elections to Council of States (Rajya Sabha): Introduction of NOTA in election to Council of States (Rajya Sabha) by Election Commission is not permissible, as it is in opposition to discipline of political parties. Votes polled in election to Council of States being of transferable nature, NOTA would alter value of vote. Introduction of NOTA is anathema to free and fair election to Rajya Sabha and brings in likelihood of promoting defection. Distinctions between elections to Council of States (Rajya Sabha)/Legislative Council and House of People (Lok Sabha)/Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha), summarized. [Shailesh Manubhai Parmar v. Election Commission of India, (2018) 9 SCC 100]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 166 — Compensation — Computation of income: Deceased was aged 38 yrs at the time of death and in business of selling desi ghee and namkin bhujia, with monthly income of Rs 3500. Tribunal however, held that deceased had an unnamed shop in a small village not paying tax, assessed income at Rs 1200 p.m. and awarded Rs 1,15,200 after applying a multiplier of 12, with interest at 15 per cent p.a. It was held by the Supreme Court that income should have been assessed at Rs 2500 p.m. having due regard to nature of business, date of accident and all circumstances of case. Following Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, quantum of compensation recomputed as monthly income: Rs 2500, and annual income: Rs 30,000, deduction of one-third for personal expenses: Rs 10,000, net annual income: Rs 20,000, future prospects at 40 per cent: Rs 8000, total income: Rs 28,000, using appropriate multiplier 16, total compensation for loss of dependency: Rs 4,48,000. For conventional heads Rs 75,000, total compensation: Rs 5,23,000, appellants entitled to interest @ 9 per cent p.a. from date of petition until payment. [Santosh Devi v. Mahaveer Singh, (2018) 9 SCC 146]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 363 and 366 — Conviction under: Appellant-accused was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment with Rs 1000 fine but there was subsequent compromise between parties. De facto complainant, since married to another person and living happily, had no complaint against appellant. In such circumstances, conviction confirmed, but, sentence modified, being limited to period already undergone. [Sajid v. State of Uttarakhand, (2018) 9 SCC 159]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 396 and 412 — Dacoity with murder: High Court appreciated every aspect of matter on facts and considered entire material on record, while acquitting two accused and remanded appeal of third accused for consideration by Juvenile Justice Board on finding arrived at by High Court, that he was a juvenile at the time of commission of said offence and as no material was present, to disagree with reasons assigned and conclusions arrived at by High Court, High Court judgment affirmed. [Amar Nath Jha v. Nand Kishore Singh, (2018) 9 SCC 137]

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 — Ss. 3(b), 4 and 7(3) — Jurisdiction of Estate Officer with respect to proceedings relating to public premises: An Estate Officer has to exercise his jurisdiction in relation to public premises falling in local limits specified in notification issued under S. 3 of PP Act, 1971 for exercise of that jurisdiction. [Savatram Rampratap Mills v. Radheyshyam, (2018) 9 SCC 154]

SCs, STs OBCs and Minorities — Caste/Tribe Certificate — Remand — When warranted — Non-consideration of entire evidence: When a party relies upon any evidence in support of his case, the Court/Committee/authority, as the case may be, especially original court is under obligation to apply its mind to entire evidence produced and record its reasoned findings. Consideration of entire evidence in accordance with law is important. [Vilas Dinkar Bhat v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 9 SCC 89]

Service Law — Pay — Pay fixation — Pay protection — Entitlement to — Resolution dt. 27-11-1991 granting benefit of pay scale of Rs 700-1600 from their initial appointment date in Senior College to “rest category” Teachers: Security of tenure for teacher, who dedicates her life for education of students is of utmost importance and insecurity should not be created, more so when they are through a process of really subterfuge of giving artificial breaks. But for artificial break of one day which was due to change in curriculum, appellant was in continuous service for two decades and that was how it was really understood by the college as well as the State Government since they had given pension to her which is admissible only after 20 years of service. Appellant is entitled to be treated in pay scale of Rs 700-1600 and all benefits of Resolution dt. 27-11-1991. Respondents directed to calculate emoluments due to appellant and disburse the same within stipulated time failing which it would carry simple interest @ 12% p.a. [Ahalya A. Samtaney v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 9 SCC 92]

Taxation — Concession/Exemption/Incentive/Rebate/Subsidy — Exemption notification or exemption clause: General principle that in case of ambiguity, a taxing statute should be construed in favour of the assessee, is not applicable to an exempting provision. Every taxing statute including, charging, computation and exemption clauses, at the threshold stage should be interpreted strictly. Further, though in case of ambiguity in charging provisions, the benefit necessarily goes in favour of assessee, but for an exemption notification or exemption clause the benefit of ambiguity must be strictly interpreted in favour of the Revenue/State. [Commr. of Customs v. Dilip Kumar & Co., (2018) 9 SCC 1]

W.B. Premises Tenancy Act, 1997 (37 of 1997) — S. 5(8) (as incorporated by Amendment Act 14 of 2001) — Statutory liability to pay municipal taxes on tenants as occupiers, post amendment — Supersession of contractual liability to pay municipal taxes and enhancements in municipal taxes as part of rent — Effect of: Liability to pay enhanced municipal taxes by tenant as occupier, held, having become a statutory liability, there was no requirement on part of landlord of obtaining formal order of enhancement of rent from Rent Controller. [Popat & Kotecha Property v. Ashim Kumar Dey, (2018) 9 SCC 149]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 7 and 11(6) — Agreement to settle disputes by arbitration — Inference of — When warranted: Cl. 12 of the MoU between the parties provided that any decision to be taken by the specified mediators/arbitrators during the period of entire transaction in the event of any breaches committed by either of the parties shall be final and binding on all the parties. On analysing the various clauses of the MoU, held, that the specified persons though styled as mediators/arbitrators, were escrow agents who had been appointed to keep certain vital documents in escrow, and to ensure a successful completion of the transaction contained in the MoU. Further, the very fact that they were referred to as “mediators/arbitrators” and as “mediators and arbitrators” showed that the language used was loose. Also, the expression “decision” used in Cl. 12 was only a pro tem decision. Namely, that the two escrow agents were to make decisions only during the period of the transaction and not thereafter. Thus, when viewed as a whole, the two escrow agents were not persons who had to decide disputes after hearing the parties and observing the principles of natural justice, in order to arrive at their decision. In the present case, held, the wording of the agreement, was inconsistent with the view that the agreement intended that disputes be decided by arbitration. [Shyam Sunder Agarwal v. P. Narotham Rao, (2018) 8 SCC 230]

Constitution of India — Art. 137 — Review under — Ambit and scope of power to review in criminal proceedings — Review when maintainable — Principles reiterated: Application to review a judgment is not to be lightly entertained and Supreme Court could exercise its review jurisdiction only when grounds are made out as provided in Or. XLVII R. 1, Supreme Court Rules, 2013. Review is not rehearing of original matter. Power of review cannot be confused with appellate power which enables a superior court to correct all errors committed by a subordinate court.  A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications. Normally in a criminal proceeding, review applications cannot be entertained except on ground of error apparent on face of record. Further, power given to Supreme Court under Art. 137, is wider, and in an appropriate case, can be exercised to mitigate a manifest injustice. By review application, applicant cannot be allowed to re-argue appeal on grounds which were urged at the time of hearing of appeal. Even if applicant succeeds in establishing that there may be another view possible on conviction or sentence of accused, that is not a sufficient ground for review. Supreme Court shall exercise its jurisdiction to review only when a glaring omission or patent mistake has crept in earlier decision, due to judicial fallibility. [Vinay Sharma v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 8 SCC 186]

Evidence Act, 1872 — Ss. 30 and 3 — Scope — Confession of co-accused — Admissibility against other accused: As a result of provisions contained in S. 30, confession has no doubt to be regarded as amounting to evidence in a general way, because whatever is considered by court is evidence; circumstances which are considered by court as well as probabilities do amount to evidence in that generic sense. Thus, though confession may be regarded as evidence in that generic sense because of provisions of S. 30, fact remains that it is not evidence as defined by S. 3. Result, therefore is, that in dealing with a case against an accused person, court cannot start with confession of a co-accused person; it must begin with other evidence adduced by prosecution and after it has formed its opinion with regard to quality and effect of said evidence, then it is permissible to turn to confession in order to receive assurance to the conclusion of guilt which the judicial mind is about to reach on the said other evidence. Law so laid down has always been followed except in cases where there is a specific provision in law making such confession of a co-accused admissible against another accused. [Surinder Kumar Khanna v. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, (2018) 8 SCC 271]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Award/Non-award of contract — Conduct of auction/Evaluation/Acceptance/Rejection of Bid/Tender/Scope of judicial review: Right of First Refusal(ROFR)/right to match the lowest bid, granted to claimant/contractor by Arbitral Tribunal qua tender for completion of the balance unfinished works originally awarded to the claimant, is inconsequential, when such original awardee/contractor does not participate in the subsequent tender. Tender documents for balance work making it obligatory for the respondent/contractor to participate in the tender process. Tacit or implied exemption from participating in tender process is not permissible in matters of tender process. [NHAI v. Gwalior-Jhansi Expressway Ltd., (2018) 8 SCC 243]

Infrastructure Laws — Water and Water Resources — Canals, Dams and Irrigation — Multipurpose hydroelectricity projects — Tariff determination under the provision of the 1948 Act: The latter part of the fourth proviso to S. 14 of Electricity Act i.e. “… and the provisions of the Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948 insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall continue to apply to that Corporation…”, is a substantive provision to lay down something more than what a proviso generally deals with and is to bring in the continued application of some of the provisions of the 1948 Act which are not inconsistent with the provisions of the 2003 Act. Also, a comparative reading of the third and the fourth provisos to S. 14 of Electricity Act indicates the intention of the legislature that the second part of the fourth proviso is to bring in the continued application of some of the provisions of the 1948 Act which were not inconsistent with the provisions of the 2003 Act. [Bhaskar Shrachi Alloys Ltd. v. Damodar Valley Corpn., (2018) 8 SCC 281]

Insurance — Fees payable to Investigators/Advocates: Direction to the insurance companies to adhere to fees schedule issued by GIPSA dt. 21-2-2005 qua advocates/investigators by High Court is not warranted, particularly when they were already adhering to the fee structure enforced from 2009 and 2014. [United India Insurance Company Limited, In Re, (2018) 8 SCC 177]

Labour Law — Wages — Overtime Wages — Claim to — Sustainability: Respondents (total 17), employees of appellant’s printing press claimed overtime wages for work allegedly done for period 1986 to 1990. Claim was allowed on following grounds: (i) Respondents no longer in service and either retired or died; (ii) Amount involved not very sizeable; (iii) Relates to period from 1986-1990; (iv) Amount, pursuant to impugned order paid long back; and (v) It relates to overtime work admittedly done by respondents. [Currency Note Press v. N.N. Sardesai, (2018) 8 SCC175]

Labour Law — Wages: Directions issued to pay unpaid wages of workers who had worked for about 20 yrs in tea estates which were later abandoned by tea companies in States of Assam, W.B., T.N. and Kerala. [IUF Workers’ Assn. v. Union of India, (2018) 8 SCC 201]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 18(2)(b), 18(1), 12(2) and 11 — Limitation for filing reference application under S. 18(2)(b): Since notice dt. 4-12-1987 was not accompanied by award, it was not a valid notice as envisaged under S. 12(2). It was only after appellant received certified copy of award on 3-2-1988, there was valid notice. Thus, reference for enhancement was not barred by limitation. Matter remanded to High Court for consideration on merits. [Vijay Mahadeorao Kubade v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 8 SCC 266]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 48 and 16: Release of land from acquisition proceedings is not permissible after possession of land has been taken by State. State is at liberty to withdraw from acquisition of any land “of which possession has not been taken” except in cases falling under S. 36 since acquired land vests in State absolutely free from all encumbrances. In instant case, since possession of land in question was taken by State in accordance with law on 30-5-2004, provisions of S. 48 were inapplicable, disentitling State to release land from acquisition proceedings by taking recourse to S. 48. The then Revenue Minister had no power to deal with land in question in any manner whatsoever after possession was taken. [Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority v. Vishnudev Cooperative Housing Society, (2018) 8 SCC 215]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 139 — Presumption under — When may fail — Ingredients and scope of S. 139 — Principles summarized: Accused may adduce evidence to rebut presumption under S. 139, but mere denial regarding existence of debt shall not serve any purpose. In the event accused is able to raise a probable defence which creates doubt with regard to existence of a debt or liability, the presumption may fail. [Kishan Rao v. Shankargouda, (2018) 8 SCC 165]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. II — Appellant-accused caused death of deceased by a single sword-blow in the rib-cage area of deceased — Offence committed — Determination of: Irked by loud noise of tape recorder being played by deceased in his house, appellant had verbal altercation with deceased, which culminated in the incident. High Court, upon reappreciation of evidence, correctly held, that evidence of PW 4 (injured witness) stands corroborated by PWs 1 to 3 (eyewitnesses), hence, reversed acquittal of appellant, convicting him under S. 302. However, held, occurrence took place in the heat of moment. Assault was made without premeditation on the spur of time. Entire episode lasted for 1½ to 2 minutes. There was no intention to kill and no second assault was made by appellant to ensure death of deceased, but, in the nature of weapon used and position of assault, knowledge that death was likely to ensue, is attributable to appellant. Therefore, conviction of appellant altered from S. 302 to S. 304 Pt. II and sentence altered from life imprisonment to period of custody already undergone. [Deepak v. State of U.P., (2018) 8 SCC 228]

Service Law — Regularisation — Entitlement to regularisation — Daily wagers/Contractual Employees — Benefit of 2015 Regularisation Rules to employees who had not completed 10 yrs of service on cut-off date of 10-4-2006 on ground that the same was not permitted by Umadevi (3), (2006) 4 SCC 1: Supreme Court in Umadevi (3) case(2006) 4 SCC 1 granted, as one time measure, benefit of regularisation of services to irregularly appointed employees who had put in more than 10 yrs of service on cut-off date of 10-4-2006. High Court by impugned judgment denied benefit of regularisation to appellants in terms of Regularisation Rules of 2015 holding that Umadevi (3) case did not permit regularisation of services of appellants since they had not put in 10 yrs of service on cut-off date of 10-4-2006 when Constitution Bench rendered its decision. The Supreme Court held, intention of Umadevi (3) case was to prevent irregular/illegal appointments and to confer benefit on those who were irregularly appointed in past. Fact that State of Jharkhand continued with irregular appointments for almost a decade after decision in Umadevi (3) case was rendered strongly deprecated, which was nothing but exploitation of employees concerned and which Umadevi (3) case and M.L. Kesari, (2010) 9 SCC 247 precisely sought to avoid. If a strict and literal interpretation, forgetting spirit of decision in Umadevi (3) case is taken into consideration, then no irregularly appointed employee can ever be regularised in State of Jharkhand since it came into existence on 15-11-2000, and the cut-off date was 10-4-2006. High Court as well as the State ought to have considered entire issue in contextual perspective from point of view of interest of State, financial or otherwise, and also the employees. Regularisation Rules of 2015 should be given pragmatic interpretation and in case appellants have completed 10 yrs of service on date of promulgation of Rules, their services should be regularized. State of Jharkhand directed, henceforth, to consider making regular appointments only. [Narendra Kumar Tiwari v. State of Jharkhand, (2018) 8 SCC 238]

T.N. Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 (18 of 1960) — Ss. 10(2)(ii)(a) and 10(3)(c): Eviction by court on the basis of compromise arrived at between landlord and tenant, not permissible when statutory grounds for seeking eviction are not made out. Where protection under a Rent Act is available, no eviction can be ordered unless ground seeking eviction is made out, even if parties had entered into a compromise. [Alagu Pharmacy v. N. Magudeswari, (2018) 8 SCC 311]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 85, 7 and 8: Even if an arbitration agreement entered into after the 1996 Act had come into force were to make a reference to the applicable provisions of those under Indian Arbitration Act or the 1940 Act, such stipulation would be of no consequence and the matter must be governed under provisions of the 1996 Act. Further, an incorrect reference or recital regarding applicability of the 1940 Act would not render the entire arbitration agreement invalid and such stipulation will have to be read in the light of S. 85 of the 1996 Act and principles governing such relationship have to be under and in tune with the 1996 Act. [Purushottam v. Anil, (2018) 8 SCC 95]

Armed Forces — Promotion — Empanelment for Promotion — Entitlement to: In this case chances of being considered for promotion/empanelment for promotion were lost by respondent due to wrongful punishment imposed by GCM. Central Government by Order dt. 20-11-2013 annulled proceedings of GCM and setting aside punishment imposed with all “consequential benefits”. While determining the connotation of “consequential benefits”, it was held that matter which was directly in issue was correctness and validity of GCM proceedings. While annulling findings and effect of proceedings idea was to confer those benefits which were directly denied to officer. Said expression cannot be construed to mean that even promotions which were strictly on basis of comparative merit and selection must also stand conferred upon officer. Further held, though it is true that as result of pendency of GCM proceedings respondent was kept out of service for nearly nine years and as such his profile would show inadequacy to some extent but even Department was denied opportunity of properly assessing his profile. Impugned judgment directing appellants to take decision in view of opinion expressed by Law Officer for promotion of respondent to rank of Brigadier was held to be unsustainable. Besides, opinion of Law Officer was not consistent with provisions of relevant rules and law declared by Supreme Court in K.D. Gupta, 1989 Supp (1) SCC 416. The contention that respondent must be granted those promotions which his batchmates or juniors received and that he must also be considered for selection-based promotions unacceptable. Furthermore, though prejudice was caused to respondent by wrongly proceeding against him in GCM consequent to which he lost 9 yrs of service is apparent but sympathy cannot outweigh considerations on merit since respondent was found unfit for selection as “Colonel” by Selection Board (though he was granted time-scale promotion to rank of Colonel after putting in required service). [Union of India v. Ran Singh Dudee, (2018) 8 SCC 53]

Constitution of India — Art. 14 — Compensation for infringement of Art. 14 — When warranted: State is vicariously liable for public wrongs committed by its officials. Hence, payment of compensation to sufferers o public wrong, awarded. [United Air Travel Services v. Union of India, (2018) 8 SCC 141]

Constitution of India — Arts. 137 and 145 — Review under Art. 137: Power of review by Supreme Court as envisaged under Art. 137, is no doubt wider than review jurisdiction conferred by other statutes on Court. Art. 137 empowers Supreme Court to review any judgment pronounced or made, subject to provisions of any law made by Parliament or any rule made under Art. 145. However, application to review a judgment is not to be lightly entertained and Supreme Court could exercise its review jurisdiction only when grounds are made out as provided in Or. 47 R. 1, Supreme Court Rules, 2013. Review in a criminal proceeding is permissible only on ground of error apparent on face of record. Review is not rehearing of appeal all over again and is not appeal in disguise. In a review petition, it is not open to Court to reappreciate evidence and reach a different conclusion, even if that is possible. Conclusion arrived at on appreciation of evidence cannot be assailed in review petition unless it is shown that there is an error apparent on face of record or for some reason akin thereto. Review is not rehearing of original matter. Power of review cannot be confused with appellate power which enables a superior court to correct all errors committed by a subordinate court. A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications. Power of review can be exercised with extreme care, caution and circumspection and only in exceptional cases. [Mukesh v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 8 SCC 149]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 401 — Revision against conviction: Condition imposed while admitting is not warranted in facts of case, hence, vacated. [M.V. Amreeth v. K. Venkata Krishna, (2018) 8 SCC 118]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 386 and 374 — Appeal against conviction: Passing of impugned order without considering defence evidence due to absence of appellant-defendant or his counsel on various dates posted for final disposal, not proper. [K.S. Kalinga Rayan v. State, (2018) 8 SCC 125]

Election — Panchayat Samiti — Disqualification — “Office of profit”— What is: Candidate holding post of Assistant Government Advocate is not in service of State Government within meaning of S. 139(1)(c) of Bihar Panchayat Raj Act, 1993, hence not disqualified from contesting Panchayat election. [State Election Commr. v. Janakdhari Prasad, (2018) 8 SCC 1]

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 — Ss. 3 to 5, 2(a) and 8 and Statement of Objects and Reasons: Magistrate’s permission is not mandatory for obtaining a specimen of fingerprints of the accused under S. 5 of Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920. [Sonvir v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 8 SCC 24]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — Ss. 153-A, 158-BB and 158-BH r/w Ss. 132 and 132-A — Block assessment: In order to add any income in the block assessment, evidence of such income must be found in the course of the search under S. 132 or in any proceedings simultaneously conducted in the premises of the assessee, relatives and/or persons who are connected with the assessee and are having transaction/ dealings with such assessee. Further, any material or evidence found/collected in a survey which has been simultaneously made at the premises of a connected person can be utilised while making the block assessment in respect of an assessee under S. 158-BB r/w S. 158-BH and the same would fall under the words “and such other materials or information as are available with the assessing officer and relatable to such evidence” occurring in S. 158-BB. [CIT v. S. Ajit Kumar, (2018) 8 SCC 107]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/149 — Murder trial — Unlawful assembly: In this case deceased was shot to death at night and involvement of appellant-accused along with four others was established. Conviction of appellant under Ss. 302/149 was upheld by High Court. The Supreme Court observed that any member of unlawful assembly can be convicted for criminal act with the aid of S. 149. It need not to be proved that he had committed an overt act. Hence, courts below were justified in concluding that appellant is liable to be convicted under S. 149 IPC, inasmuch as he is one of the members of unlawful assembly who had come to the scene of occurrence with common object of committing murder of deceased. Therefore, conviction of appellant under Ss. 302/149 was confirmed. [Prabhu Dayal v. State of Rajasthan, (2018) 8 SCC 127]

Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 — Ss. 13 and 34 — Civil suit in respect of a matter which DRT or DRAT is empowered to determine — Non-maintainability of: Mandate of S. 13 and, in particular, S. 34, bars filing of a civil suit and no civil court can exercise jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which DRT or DRAT is empowered by or under the 2002 Act to determine. Further, no injunction can be granted by any court or authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under the 2002 Act. [SBI v. Allwyn Alloys (P) Ltd., (2018) 8 SCC 120]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Examination — Posts of School Lecturers for various subjects under Secondary Education Department — Examination: Assumption that key answers published is correct unless proved clearly wrong. Publication of key answers is good to achieve transparency. Furthermore, objections to key answers are to be examined by experts and thereafter corrective measures, if required, to be taken by examining body. [Richal v. Rajasthan Public Service Commission, (2018) 8 SCC 81]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — Ss. 8, 7 and 54 — Nemo dat quod non habet: Person is competent to transfer any property only if he has subsisting right, title or interest in it. If on date of transfer, right, title or interest of transferor stood extinguished (in this case under S. 27 of Limitation Act, 1963 by operation of law of adverse possession) transfer would be illegal and void. Right once extinguished by operation of law cannot be revived unless law itself provides therefore. [Eureka Builders v. Gulabchand, (2018) 8 SCC 67]

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 — S. 39(1)(c) [as inserted by Act 44 of 1991 w.e.f. 2-10-1991]: Illegally obtained/procured elephant tusk is property of Government. Once it is treated to be property of Government, presumption under S. 69 of Kerala Forest Act, 1961 attracted. [Wildlife Warden v. Komarrikkal Elias, (2018) 8 SCC 114]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration Act, 1940 — Ss. 29 and 13 — Pendente lite interest: An arbitrator has the power to award interest unless specifically barred from awarding it; and the bar must be clear and specific. [Raveechee & Co. v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 664]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 34 r/w S. 5 — Award — Interference with, when the same causes injustice to either of the parties, contrary to terms of contract — When permissible: The parties are free to decide their own terms and conditions in case of a contract. Once respondent voluntarily agreed that no escalation would be reimbursed even in case of regulation before accepting the contract, respondent could not claim reimbursement of excess of minimum wages on account of hike due to the notification of Government. Further, any departure from the terms and conditions of the contract, unless such condition is arbitrary, would destroy the basic purpose of the contract. [Union of India v. Varindera Constructions Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 794]

Companies Act, 2013 — S. 59 — RTI Circular No. 1 dt. 9-5-2001: Rectification of register, as opposed to filing of a civil suit to prove title over shares, permissible when fraud is perpetuated on the shareholder in possession of original share certificates by issuance of duplicate shares, without following proper procedure, in favour of impersonator. [Adesh Kaur v. Eicher Motors Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 709]

Constitution of India — Arts. 26, 32, 35, 38, 49 and 51-A(f) & (g) — Jagannath Temple, Puri — Mismanagement and difficulties by visitors — Directions: Interim directions issued for management and upkeep of Shri Jagannath Temple at Puri. [Mrinalini Padhi v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 785]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 — Anticipatory bail — Whether should be for a limited period of time: Due to conflicting opinions of different Benches of Supreme Court, matter referred to larger Bench of Supreme Court for authoritative decision. [Sushila Aggarwal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 7 SCC 731]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 211 to 213 — Framing of charge — Proper framing of charge — Cardinality and necessity of — Explained: Accused persons are entitled to know with precision what charge they are required to defend. [Vinubhai Ranchhodbhai Patel v. Rajivbhai Dudabhai Patel, (2018) 7 SCC 743]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 245: Rejection of application under S. 482 CrPC for quashment, when discharge application already stood rejected, proper. [Nayan Prasad v. State of Bihar, (2018) 7 SCC 713]

Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 — Ss. 3 and 4 — Accident arising out of and in course of employment: As deceased driver was treated as employee and his death treated on duty and there was consistency in statement of dependants and there were no contradictions, compensation awarded to claimants. [Tebha Bai v. Raj Kumar Keshwani, (2018) 7 SCC 705]

Family and Personal Laws — Hindu Law — Joint Hindu Family/Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)/Coparcenary/Co-owner/Survivorship: Property inherited by a male Hindu from his father, father’s father or father’s father’s father is an ancestral property. Essential feature of ancestral property, according to Mitakshara Law, is that the sons, grandsons, and great grandsons of the person who inherits it, acquire an interest and rights attached to such property at the moment of their birth. Share which a coparcener obtains on partition of ancestral property is ancestral property as regards his male issue. After partition, property in hands of a son continues to be ancestral property and son of that son (whether natural or adopted) takes interest in it and is entitled to it by survivorship. [Shyam Narayan Prasad v. Krishna Prasad, (2018) 7 SCC 646]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Conduct of auction/Evaluation/Acceptance/ Rejection of Bid/Tender/Scope of judicial review: Directions to Evaluation Committee qua valuation and bids and conditions required to be met by bidders for revival of Super Bazar at New Delhi, issued. [Super Bazar Karamchari Dalit Sangh v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 617]

Importance of maintaining sanctity of DNA samples: This article is primarily intended to emphasise upon the importance of maintaining sanctity of forensic samples by timely conducting forensic medical examination (FME) of individuals or relevant spots to maintain sanctity and reliability of samples. [Management of DNA Sampling in Rape Incidents by G.K. Goswami and Siddhartha Goswami, (2018) 7 SCC (J-4)]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 11 [as existing prior to amendment made in S. 11(6) of the Act vide Finance Act 2 of 2014]: Regarding grant of depreciation claimed by charitable institutions on capital assets, even when the expenditure on acquisition of the assets had been treated earlier as application of income for charitable purposes, approving the ruling in Institute of Banking, Personnel Selection, 2003 SCC OnLine Bom 642, wherein the Court rejecting the view that S. 32 was the only section granting benefit of deduction on account of depreciation, had inter alia held that the income of the Trust is required to be computed under S. 11 on commercial principles after providing for allowance for normal depreciation and deduction thereof from gross income of the Trust, in the present case, orders of the High Courts granting benefit of depreciation on the assets acquired by the respondents assessees/charitable institutions upheld. Further held, the amendment made in S. 11(6) of the Act vide Finance Act 2 of 2014 effective from Assessment Year 2015-16, was prospective in nature. Also, held, that once the assessee is allowed depreciation, he shall be entitled to carry forward the depreciation as well. [CIT v. Rajasthani and Gujarati Charitable Foundation, (2018) 7 SCC 810]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 194-H (w.e.f. 1-6-2001) r/w S. 201 — Tax at source — Deduction of, on payments made by appellants (Prasar Bharati Doordarshan Kendra) to advertising agencies: Payments made by appellants (Prasar Bharati Doordarshan Kendra) to advertising agencies is to be construed as commission to agents not as payments between principal-to- principal. [Prasar Bharati v. CIT, (2018) 7 SCC 800]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 11-A — Object of — Re-emphasised: Exclusion of time spent in stay has to be considered based on facts of each case. [Raj Kumar Gandhi v. Chandigarh Administration, (2018) 7 SCC 763]

Language of the Law: In this article the author emphasis the need to simplify the language of the law in India. [Whereof They’re Ipso Facto Words: India Needs to Simplify the “Language of the Law” by Jyoti Sagar, (2018) 7 SCC (J-1)]

Limitation Act, 1963 — S. 5 — Sufficient cause for condonation of delay in filing appeal — What is: Aggrieved persons not made a party before court against whose order they had appealed, is sufficient cause for condonation of delay in filing appeal. [Hetal Chirag Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 7 SCC 703]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 166 — Fatal accident — Compensation of — Income of deceased: There is nothing in law which requires Tribunal to assess income of deceased only on basis of a salary certificate for arriving at a just and fair compensation to be paid to claimants for loss of life. [United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Indiro Devi, (2018) 7 SCC 715]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 165, 2(28), 2(44) and Statement of Objects and Reasons — Compensation claims under the Act — Maintainability: “Use of motor vehicle”, includes non-traffic use. However, causal relationship should exist between the violation and the accident caused. There has to be some act done by the person concerned in causing the accident. The commission or omission must have some nexus with the accident, though the “use” of the motor vehicle concerned need not have an intimate and direct nexus with the accident. [Kalim Khan v. Fimidabee, (2018) 7 SCC 687]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. II [S. 300 Exception 4]: As ingredients of S. 300 Exception 4 were present, conviction converted from S. 302 to S. 304 Pt. II. [Tularam v. State Of M.P., (2018) 7 SCC 777]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 306 — Abetment of suicide — Ingredients for invoking of S. 306 — Not made out: As allegations in FIR, relating to mental torture of deceased at the hands of his higher officers, in this case, were completely inadequate not satisfying requirements under S. 306, proceedings initiated against accused quashed. [Vaijnath Kondiba Khandke v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 7 SCC 781]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302, 498-A and 506: In this case appellant-accused was convicted for murder of his wife. It was held by the Supreme Court that the due to some extenuating circumstances like, after killing his wife, appellant tried to kill himself, etc., portion of impugned order, prescribing life sentence for minimum period of 30 yrs, deleted, making it a case of life imprisonment simpliciter. [Nitin Balkisan Gaikwad v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 7 SCC 685]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/149 — Murder trial: In this case due to rivalry between two factions in village led to attack using country-made bombs, hunting sickles and iron pipes and there was death of four persons but all respondent-accused were acquitted by High Court. It was held by the Supreme Court that the High Court erred in eschewing testimonies of witnesses in toto. Minor contradictions and omissions in evidence of witnesses were to be ignored. All eyewitnesses including one who turned hostile consistently spoke about attack on one deceased and his supporters. Witness who gave vivid description of incident was corroborated by other witnesses. However, on oral evidence of witnesses and medical evidence, High Court rightly acquitted some respondents giving them benefit of doubt but acquittal of other respondents by High Court, set aside, convicting them under S. 302 IPC and sentencing them to undergo life imprisonment. [State of A.P. v. Pullagummi Kasi Reddy Krishna Reddy, (2018) 7 SCC 623]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 84, 302 and 324 — Murder trial — Applicability of S. 84: Reasonable doubt regarding mental condition of accused at the time of incident was created in the mind of court from materials and evidence available. As prosecution failed to lead any evidence in rebuttal and was not able to establish its case beyond reasonable doubt, conviction of accused under Ss. 302 and 324 IPC, reversed. [Devidas Loka Rathod v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 7 SCC 718]

Registration Act, 1908 — Ss. 17(1-A) and 49 proviso — Requirement of registration: If document containing contract to transfer right, title or interest in immovable property for consideration is not registered but exhibited, it will bear an endorsement that it is admissible only as evidence of agreement to sell in suit for specific performance under Specific Relief Act and shall not have any effect for purposes of S. 53-A of TP Act. Genuineness, validity and binding nature of document or whether it is hit by any provisions of TP Act or Stamp Act, will have to be adjudicated at appropriate stage after parties adduce oral and documentary evidence. [Ameer Minhaj v. Dierdre Elizabeth (Wright) Issar, (2018) 7 SCC 639]

Service Law — Allowances — Special (duty) allowance — Entitlement to — Special duty allowance to CRPF personnel posted in North-Eastern region — Date of reckoning: Respondents are entitled to special (duty) allowance for period during which they were posted in North-Eastern region not w.e.f. 3-8-2005 when office memorandum was issued by Government to that effect. [CRPF v. Janardan Singh, (2018) 7 SCC 656]

Service Law — Departmental Enquiry — Natural justice — Noncompliance — Inference — When warranted: There is no requirement of appointment of Presenting Officer in each and every case, whether statutory rules enable authorities to make appointment or are silent. When statutory rules are silent with regard to applicability of any facet of principles of natural justice, applicability of principles of natural justice which are not specifically excluded in statutory scheme are not prohibited and can be made applicable in given case to advance cause of justice. Furthermore, Enquiry Officer has to be independent and not representative of disciplinary authority. If he starts acting in any other capacity and proceeds to act in manner as if he is interested in eliciting evidence to punish employee, principle of bias comes into play. [Union of India v. Ram Lakhan Sharma,, (2018) 7 SCC 670]