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]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 — Regns. 2(c), 2(e)(i), 2(e)(ii), 2(h), 2(ha) and 3 — Insider trading: Regn. 2(e)(i) is in two parts; first part has reference to any person who is connected with company or is deemed to be connected with company and the second part being that such person must reasonably be expected to have access to unpublished price sensitive information by virtue of such connection in respect of securities of a company. Giving the word “and” its ordinary meaning and in a conjunctive sense, second limb of Regn. 2(e)(i) is also to be satisfied. Further, under second part of Regn. 2(e)(i), connected person must be “reasonably expected” to have access to unpublished price sensitive information and expression “reasonably expected” cannot be a mere ipse dixit. There must be material to show that such person can reasonably be so expected to have access to unpublished price sensitive information. [Chintalapati Srinivasa Raju v. SEBI, (2018) 7 SCC 443]

Insurance — Payment of claim — Currency exchange rate — Relevant date for conversion of currency in an action to recover an amount payable in foreign currency — Determination of, as per insurance contract: Six dates compete for fixing rate of exchange at which foreign currency amount has to be converted into currency of the country in which action for recovery has been commenced and decided, namely, (1) date when amount became due and payable; (2) date of commencement of action; (3) date of decree; (4) date when Court orders execution to issue; (5) date when the decretal amount is paid or realised; and (6) where decree is passed in terms of award made in a foreign currency, then date of the award. [Meenakshi Saxena v. ECGC Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 479]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 23 — Compensation — Computation of — Exemplar sales deeds — When to be relied on: In this case, Reference Court, as well as High Court, have not considered sale deeds produced on behalf of State, which reveals prima facie value of certain lands as being in middle of acquired land, in close proximity to and adjoining land acquired under notification of present case. No reason was given as to why High Court, while coming to its conclusion, has not referred to sale statistics. If sale statistics are to be ignored, High Court should have furnished reasons for doing so. Method of granting compensation on basis of cumulative increase as done in Ashrafi case was not permissible on facts, in view of sale deeds produced. Compensation without considering evidence on record cannot be said to be justifiable. Land in Ashrafi case was acquired in 1995 and was very small and was for a commercial purpose, however, land in question now was acquired in 2005. There being a gap of about 10 yrs between two acquisitions, relying on such an acquisition of a decade ago may be unsafe. Present case involves more than 229 acres of land. Court cannot lose sight of facts and documents. Moreover, land in question is acquired mainly for a residential colony, and about 5% commercial area to cater to needs of such residential colony will also be built. Since reasons assigned by High Court while coming to conclusion were assigned solely based on Ashrafi case, and as evidence on record adduced by both parties was not considered, much less properly considered, matter, needs reconsideration by High Court inasmuch as High Court in such matters would be last Court to decide matter on facts. Impugned judgment passed by High Court set aside, and matter remitted to High Court for fresh consideration in accordance with law, to decide first appeals on merits as early as possible, keeping in mind that land was acquired in 2005. [Loveleen Kumar v. State of Haryana, (2018) 7 SCC 492]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 228-A, 376 and 342 — Rape case: Use of name of victim all through in judgments of both trial court and High Court is not consistent with S. 228-A, though Expln. makes exception in favour of superior court judgments. Nonetheless, every attempt should be made by all courts not to disclose identity of victim in terms of S. 228-A. [Lalit Yadav v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2018) 7 SCC 499]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 100, 99, 104 and Chs. V and VI — State Transport Undertaking (STUs) — State monopoly of notified routes in public Interest: A temporary permit cannot be issued to a private stage carriage operator to traverse on the notified route which is being served by the State Transport Undertaking, in excess of the permissible distance provided under the scheme. [Kerala SRTC v. Baby P.P., (2018) 7 SCC 501]

U.P. Kshettra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961 (32 of 1961) — S. 15(12) r/w S. 15(1) — Notice of no-confidence motion against Pramukh — Validity of: The conditions precedent for stipulation of the period of one year after the expiration from the date of the meeting are dependent on three situations, namely, (i) if the motion is not carried out as contemplated under S. 15(11), (ii) if the meeting would not be held for want of the quorum, and (iii) the notice of no-confidence motion should be in respect of the same Pramukh. [Kiran Pal Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 7 SCC 521]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 23 and 54 — Compensation — Computation of — Capitalisation method: In this case it was held that High Court, while discussing material on record to arrive at conclusion based on a capitalisation method, had overlooked ample material on record. Though, High Court, while observing that plantation of about 325 orange trees was done in 1981-1982, as was apparent from Ext. 27, as well as relying upon report of Tahsildar, disclosing about 300 to 325 plants of oranges, had strangely refused to grant compensation for orange trees solely on ground that these orange trees were not fruit-bearing trees. Except referring to aforementioned factor, no other factor was discussed by High Court while erroneously coming to conclusion on grant of compensation based on capitalisation method. [Bilquis v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 7 SCC 530]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302 and 324 — Murder trial: In this case there was fight between accused and deceased and assault was alleged by appellant-accused on head of deceased with a wooden log, resulted in his death. As there were material variations/ contradictions in testimonies of witnesses and serious lacunae in prosecution case, accused was entitled to benefit of doubt. Hence, conviction of accused reversed. [Kumar v. State, (2018) 7 SCC 536]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 11: Setting off, of excess expenditure incurred by the trust/charitable institution in earlier assessment year against income of subsequent years. [CIT v. Subros Educational Society, (2018) 7 SCC 548]

Representation of the People Act, 1951 — S. 151-A proviso (a) — Holding of bye-election within six months from date of occurrence of vacancy — Conditions for: When election petition is pending against election of Member then even if he/she tenders resignation and same accepted by Speaker, bye-election cannot be held. [Pramod Laxman Gudadhe v. Election Commission of India, (2018) 7 SCC 550]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149(2), (1), 66(1), (3), 2(28), (31), (47) and 166 — Defences available to insurer: Having regard to S. 66(1) of MV Act, 1988 which prescribes that no owner of a motor vehicle shall use or permit the use of the vehicle as a transport vehicle in any public place whether or not such vehicle is actually carrying any passengers or goods save in accordance with the conditions of a permit granted or countersigned by a Regional or State Transport Authority or any prescribed authority, held, use of a vehicle as a transport vehicle in public place without a permit is a fundamental statutory infraction. Though S. 66(3) of MV Act, 1988 carves out certain exceptions to S. 66(1), in order to invoke those exceptions the same must be pleaded and proved. Said exceptions cannot be taken aid of in the course of argument to seek absolution from liability. [Amrit Paul Singh v. Tata AIG General Insurance Co Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 558]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 154 and 460 — General Diary: Non-maintenance of General Diary prior to preliminary enquiry not per se illegal though an irregularity. Consequences of non-maintenance depend on merits of case, a matter of trial. It is for trial court to decide effect and find out whether it causes any prejudice and not High Court. Moreover, aim of preliminary enquiry is to check false prosecution against public servants by misusing process of law for personal vengeance. [State v. H. Srinivas, (2018) 7 SCC 572]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 463, 465 & 464 and Expln. 2 to S. 464 — Conviction for making of false document — When sustainable: S. 463 defines offence of forgery, while S. 464 substantiates the same by providing answer as to when a false document could be said to have been made for the purpose of committing offence of forgery under S. 463. Therefore, S. 464 defines one of ingredients of forgery i.e. making of false document. Charge of forgery cannot be imposed on/sustained against a person who is not the maker of false document in question. Making of a document is different than causing it to be made. As Expln. 2 to S. 464 further clarifies, for constituting offence under S. 464, it is imperative that a false document is made and accused person is maker of the same, otherwise accused person is not liable for offence of forgery. [Sheila Sebastian v. R. Jawaharaj, (2018) 7 SCC 581]

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 — Ss. 3, 4, 13, 14, 15 Sch. II Para 29 — Object — Socio-economic legislation: As delay in payment of wages and compensation to beneficiaries; and reduction in person days and consequent reduction in allocation of funds from projections made by State Governments and UTs have been alleged, directions issued to remedy the situation. [Swaraj Abhiyan (VI) v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 591]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Remedies/Relief — Restitutionary remedies — Recompense for benefit conferred — Recovery of Money Paid/Interest/Profit Earned — Revival of Super Bazar at New Delhi: In this case there was termination of arrangement of revival and the investment made by the bidder (WPL) was refunded along with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. Denial of interest on investment brought in by way of share capital by bidder and adjustment of losses incurred in Super Bazar from the amount to be refunded to bidder, not proper. [Writers And Publisher (P) Ltd. v. A.K. Mishra, (2018) 7 SCC 608]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Advocates — Government Law Officers/Counsel/Pleader/Public Prosecutor: Method of appointment and conditions of service of Asstt. Public Prosecutors and Public Prosecutors are qualitatively different inasmuch as Asstt. Public Prosecutors are appointed through competitive selection process conducted by PSC as per prevalent rules and are entitled to all service benefits enjoyed by government employees, while Public Prosecutors are appointed from panel of advocates furnished by Advocate General for a term of three years only and are neither considered as government employees nor do they derive any service benefits enjoyed by government employees. The fact that nature of duties and functions of Asstt. Public Prosecutors and Public Prosecutors are similar, per se, cannot be basis to claim parity with Public Prosecutors in respect of age of superannuation. It was further held that disparity in age of Asstt. PPs appointed on or before 31-3-2013 and those which joined on or after 1-4-2013 inconsequential since those appointed on or before 31-3-2013 were governed by statutory Pension Scheme as applicable to other government employees while those appointed on or after 1-4-2013 were governed by new Contributory Pension Scheme which was again applicable to all government employees. [Kerala Asstt. Public Prosecutors Assn. v. State of Kerala, (2018) 7 SCC 314]

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Pt. I or Pt. II and S. 34 — International commercial arbitration or Foreign-seated arbitration — Determination of: For determination and effect of “seat” of arbitration on maintainability of challenge to award rendered in international commercial arbitration, as in the present case between the appellant (Union of India) and the respondent (foreign company), under S. 34 in courts in India, when the arbitration agreement specifies the “venue” for holding the arbitration but does not specify the “seat”, exercising the power under Or. 6 R. 2 of Supreme Court Rules, 2013 appeal referred to larger Bench for hearing. [Union of India v. Hardy Exploration and Production (India) Inc., (2018) 7 SCC 374]

Armed Forces — Navy — Service conditions — Pension — Reservist pension — Entitlement to: Ex-Navy Direct Entry Artificers are entitled to special pension instead of reservist pension. [Ex Navy Direct Entry Artificers Assn. v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 386]

Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 — Ss. 2, 3(o) and 14 — Jurisdiction of AFT — Service conditions: For a matter to be treated as service matter, it must relate to conditions of service of persons subject to Army Act, 1950, Navy Act, 1957 and Air Force Act, 1950. Decision not to grant permanent secondment to appellant in DGQA (Directorate General of Quality Assurance) by QASB (Quality Assurance Selection Board) which was a different organisation did not in any manner affect service conditions of appellant as Commissioned Officer in Army. Hence, as rightly found by Tribunal it had no jurisdiction to entertain appellant’s original application. [Vijaynath Jha v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 303]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 21 Rr. 90, 92(1) & (3) and Ss. 47, 104(1)(ffa) — Res judicata: Application was filed under Or. 21 R. 90 r/w S. 47 for setting aside court auction-sale. Order dismissing application though appealable but no appeal was filed, sale was confirmed under Or. 21 R. 92(1), and confirmation of sale was not questioned whereby auction purchase attained finality. It was held that by virtue of R. 92(3) applicant/objector would be barred from bringing fresh suit to set aside sale on same ground. [Siddagangaiah v. N.K. Giriraja Shetty, (2018) 7 SCC 278]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 97 and Or. 7 R. 7: Challenge to correctness of preliminary decree in final decree proceedings barred when no appeal was preferred by defendant against preliminary decree. Fundamental issue (as to boundaries nad description of suit properties) was consistently and sufficiently averred by defendant to warrant enquiry by trial court, however still it was not enquired into by trial court. Thus, even in absence of appeal against preliminary decree, since defendant had consistently raised fundamental averment in question, to warrant enquiry thereinto by trial court, matter remitted to trial court for consideration of disputed question on basis of evidence. [Selvi v. Gopalakrishnan Nair, (2018) 7 SCC 319]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 21 — Multi-State crime involving high officials of State and Centre: In this case of illegal manufacture and sale of gutkha and pan masala, containing tobacco and/or nicotine, transfer of investigation to CBI to ensure fair investigation and instil confidence of public and victims, upheld. [E. Sivakumar v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 365]

Consumer Protection — Consumer Forums — National Forum — Inadequate infrastructure: Central Government directed to take following measures and apprise court: (a) To sanction additional posts to enhance work efficiency. Sanctioned posts being only about one-fourth of that required/ recommended by Staff Inspection Unit, (b) to take urgent steps to provide additional space to store files as filing of cases going up by nearly 300%, and (c) to state its concurrence about proposed amendment to R. 11 of Consumer Protection Rules, 1987 relating to salaries, honorarium and other allowances of National Forum. [State of U.P. v. ALL U.P. Consumer Protection Bar Assn., (2018) 7 SCC 423]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 407 — Transfer of case within the State — When permissible: As no possibility for conduct of fair and impartial trial at present place, was clearly visible, apprehension of threat to life of appellants, was obvious and as Respondent-accused being very influential in their locality, witnesses were not coming forward to depose and turning hostile due to pressure tactics of accused and no prejudice was being caused to respondent-accused in any manner from such transfer, rejection of transfer petitions by High Court, set aside and transfer of cases, directed. [Sarasamma v. State, (2018) 7 SCC 339]

Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 — Ss. 6-A, 3, 5 and 6 — Adjudication of Cauvery Water Dispute between riparian States by Tribunal: Corrected Draft Scheme (Cauvery Water Management Scheme) issued and modified in terms of directions of Supreme Court, affirmed and directed to be notified at the earliest. Objections to said Scheme by States of Karnataka and Kerala, rejected. [State of T.N. v. P.K. Sinha, (2018) 7 SCC 403]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. II and Ss. 341, 323 and 34 [S. 300 Exception 4] — Ingredients and applicability of Exception 4 to S. 300:  In this case of land dispute between parties. injuries caused by sudden attack on deceased by accused persons, resulted in his death after sometime. It was a sudden verbal quarrel and there was no premeditated plan to attack deceased. Civil disputes was already pending between both families. Minor verbal exchange bloated into a sudden physical attack. Hence, conviction converted from S. 302 to S. 304 Pt. II. [Manoj Kumar v. State of H.P., (2018) 7 SCC 327]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 307, 323, 149 and 148: In this case where in a dispute related to watering of field from tubewell of accused party infliction of several injuries by appellant-accused on complainant’s party using lethal weapons, after appreciation of evidence, conviction of accused confirmed. [Suresh Singh v. State of M.P., (2018) 7 SCC 381]

Ranbir Penal Code, 1989 (2 of 1989 Smvt.) (1932 AD) — Ss. 302/341 — Murder trial: In this case accused assaulted deceased on his head with iron rod, resulting in his death. Acquittal of accused was reversed by the High Court, convicting him under Ss. 302/341 RPC. As direct oral evidence coupled with medical evidence, clearly pointed at guilt of accused, testimony of eyewitness was wholly trustworthy, evidence of other prosecution witnesses also found reliable, FIR was lodged promptly, motive also stood established and prosecution proved guilt of accused beyond reasonable doubt, hence, reversal of acquittal, confirmed. [Khurshid Ahmed v. State of J&K, (2018) 7 SCC 429]

Service Law — Judiciary — Conditions/Benefits of service — Unreasonable condition(s): Denial of benefit of increment/seniority until candidate cleared Hindi examination in “higher grade”, not proper. [Ashok Kumar v. State of Jharkhand, (2018) 7 SCC 296]

Service Law — Judiciary — Recruitment process — Vacancy — Determination of: Appeals challenging the advertisement and process of recruitment to Punjab Superior Judicial Service conducted in year 2008, dismissed while holding that a seat that fell vacant on elevation of a judge after the publication of advertisement cannot be included in the recruitment. [Gurmeet Pal Singh v. State of Punjab, (2018) 7 SCC 260]

Service Law — Judiciary — Retirement/Superannuation — Retiral benefits — Computation of qualifying service:  Service rendered by appellant Judicial Officers as Fast Track Court Judges is liable to be counted for pensionary and other benefits, post joining regular judicial service. Methodology of non-creation of adequate regular cadre posts and consequent establishment of Fast Track Courts manned by appellants cannot be used as ruse to deny dues of appellants. [Mahesh Chandra Verma v. State of Jharkhand, (2018) 7 SCC 270]

Tenancy and Land Laws — Revenue Records — Entry in revenue records — Substantive error or clerical error — Determination of: In this case appellant Housing Board acquired and took possession of entire Survey No. 1009. Allegedly survey records did not depict exact extent of land. Some additional area probably should have been included in description of Survey No. 1009. Respondent landowners, taking chance and claiming that additional area under said Survey was not acquired by filing application under S. 87, Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli, for correction of clerical error. Said application, held, could not have been entertained because said error was not a clerical or mathematical error but a substantive error. [Telangana Housing Board v. Azamunnisa Begum, (2018) 7 SCC 346]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Central Excise Act, 1944 — Ss. 3 and 4 (as substituted with effect from 1-7-2000) — Operation, scope and ambit of — Value of exigible goods — Determination of: Impost is on manufacture but it is the value up to the stage of the first sale that is taken as the measure and doing so does not introduce any inconsistency between the nature and character of the levy and the measure adopted. [CCE v. Grasim Industries Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 233]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 19(1)(a) and 14 — Right to marry person of one’s choice — Honour killing and other forms of honour crimes inflicted on young couples/families by Khap Panchayat: Consent of family or community or clan, not necessary when two adults agree to enter into a wedlock. Rule of Law that only formal institutions under law deal with such situations. Khap panchayat or any panchayat of any nomenclature cannot create a dent in exercise of human right, protected by rule of law. Rule of law as a concept is meant to have order in a society. Elders of family or clan can never be allowed to proclaim a verdict guided by some notion of passion and eliminate life of young who have exercised their choice to get married against wishes of their elders or contrary to customary practice of clan. Honour killing guillotines individual liberty, freedom of choice and one’s own perception of choice. When two adults consensually choose each other as life partners, it is a manifestation of their choice which is recognized under Arts. 19 and 21 of the Constitution. Such a right has constitutional sanction and thus needs protection and cannot succumb to class honour or group thinking which has no legitimacy. Constitution and the laws of country do not countenance such an act and, in fact, whole activity is illegal and punishable as offence under the criminal law. [Shakti Vahini v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 192]

Education Law — Medical and Dental Colleges — Affiliation/Recognition — Renewal of — Applicability of Regn. 8(3)(1)(a) of 1999 MCI Regulations at first renewal stage: The Supreme Court held that High Court erred in holding that Regn. 8(3)(1)(a) would be applicable only to colleges seeking second renewal i.e. admissions of the third batch — First renewal is covered by proviso (a) to Regn. 8(3)(1) as language used is “up to second renewal”. If minimum requirements under Regn. 8(3) (1) not met, letter of permission cannot be granted and further compliance reinspection not permissible. Respondent colleges, thus not entitled to reinspection. [MCI v. Vedantaa Institute of Academic Excellence (P) Ltd., (2018) 7 SCC 225]

Parliament and State Legislatures — Facts and Observations contained in published Parliamentary Committee Reports — Extent to which may be relied on, in court and probative value: Said reports, held, per curiam, admissible in evidence under S. 74, Evidence Act of which judicial notice shall be taken under S. 57(4), Evidence Act. Moreover, for their production in court, permission of Speaker is also not necessary as they are already in public domain. It is court and not Parliament which has to adjudicate all factual and legal issues. People also have a right to know. No exception can be taken to the petitioners obtaining 72nd and 81st Reports of Parliamentary Standing Committee, for using it as evidence in court but Parliamentary Committee Report is not substantive evidence in case of findings of misdemeanour implicating a breach of duty by public officials or private individuals or an evasion of law or any other lis or dispute. Court has to consider other evidence and adudicate independently upon any lis/dispute(s) arising, in accordance with law. Court proceedings are independent of Parliament and based on multiple inputs and evidence. It is certainly possible for court to determine facts and form an opinion in law at variance with Parliamentary Committee report. [Kalpana Mehta v. Union of India, (2018) 7 SCC 1]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 326 — Murder trial: In this case of assault by appellant-accused and 4 others (A-2 to A-5), using lethal weapons, causing death of two and grievous hurt to informant, after trespassing into informant’s house, property dispute was the cause. High Court reversed acquittal of appellant and convicted him under Ss. 302 and 326 IPC, while upholding acquittal of other 4. While determining the validity of acquittal, the Court acquitted the appellant under S. 302, but maintained the conviction under S. 326. [Jayaswamy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 7 SCC 219]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Examination — Scope of Judicial Review/Interference under Art. 226 of the Constitution — Interference with key answers provided by Expert Committee — Need forn judicial restraint: Constitutional courts must exercise great restraint in such matters and should be reluctant to entertain plea challenging correctness of key answers. [U.P. Public Service Commission v. Rahul Singh, (2018) 7 SCC 254]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 2 R. 2 — Bar of second suit: Bar of second suit under this provision is applicable when relief claimed in second suit was also available but not claimed in first suit. [Sucha Singh Sodhi v. Baldev Raj Walia, (2018) 6 SCC 733]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 8 R. 1 proviso — Extension of period of filing written statement: Court has discretion to allow defendant to file WS beyond that period in exceptional cases for proper and satisfactory reasons to be recorded in writing. Onus is on defendant to plead and show convincing and cogent reason for filing WS beyond prescribed period. [Atcom Technologies Ltd. v. Y.A. Chunawala & Co., (2018) 6 SCC 639]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100(5) proviso — Disposal of second appeal on substantial question(s) of law other than such questions formulated at time of admission of second appeal — Proper exercise of such power — Requirements of, clarified: Deciding the second appeal on substantial questions of law formulated in the judgment alone and which questions were not framed at admission stage, does not meet the requirements of S. 100(5) proviso. Proviso to S. 100(5) recognises power of High Court to hear appeal on any other substantial question of law which was not initially framed by High Court under S. 100(4). However, this power can be exercised by High Court only after assigning reasons for framing such additional question of law at the time of hearing of the appeal — Thus High Court though has the jurisdiction to frame additional question(s) by taking recourse to proviso to S. 100(5) but it is subject to fulfilling the three conditions, first “such questions should arise in the appeal”, second, “assign the reasons for framing the additional questions” and third, “frame the questions at the time of hearing the appeal”. [Vijay Arjun Bhagat v. Nana Laxman Tapkire, (2018) 6 SCC 727]

Competition Act, 2002 — S. 6(2) r/w Ss. 5(a), 5(b), 31, 42 and 43-A — Penalty for non-compliance with S. 6(2): The proposal to enter into combination was required to be notified to the Commission and the legislative mandate was that the notification had to be made before entering into the combination. Further, the intent being that the Commission has an opportunity to assess whether the proposed combination would cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition and in case combination was to be notified ex post facto for approval, it would defeat the very intendment of the provisions of the Act. [SCM Solifert Ltd. v. CCI, (2018) 6 SCC 631]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Writ appeal — Proper mode of disposal: As Division Bench failed to notice averments in writ petition and dismissed writ appeal, writ appeal restored for hearing afresh. [Hemraj Chandrakar v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2018) 6 SCC 628]

Constitution of India — Art. 30(1) — Minority educational institution status — Authority empowered to decide: All questions relating to minority educational institution status, held, have to be decided by National Commission for Minorities. Ss. 11(f) and 12-B of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 as amended are wholesome provisions for deciding all these issues. [Paramveer Albert Ekka Memorial College v. State of Jharkhand, (2018) 6 SCC 788]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 199(2), (4) and (6) — Prosecution for defamation — Special procedure with regard to S. 199(2): Section 199(2) CrPC provides for a special procedure with regard to initiation of a prosecution for the offence of defamation committed against the constitutional functionaries and public servants mentioned therein. However, the offence alleged to have been committed must be in respect of acts/conduct in the discharge of public functions of the functionary or public servant concerned, as may be. The prosecution under Section 199(2) CrPC is required to be initiated by the Public Prosecutor on receipt of a previous sanction of the competent authority in the State/Central Government under Section 199(4) CrPC. Such a complaint is required to be filed in a Court of Session that is alone vested with the jurisdiction to hear and try the alleged offence and even without the case being committed to the said court by a subordinate court. Section 199(2) CrPC read with Section 199(4) CrPC, therefore, envisages a departure from the normal rule of initiation of a complaint before a Magistrate by the affected persons alleging the offence of defamation. The said right, however, is saved even in cases of the category of persons mentioned in subsection (2) of Section 199 CrPC by sub-section (6) thereof. [K.K. Mishra v. State of M.P., (2018) 6 SCC 676]

Income Tax — Reassessment of income: The power to reassess income is conditional upon the fact that the assessing officer has some reason to believe that the income has escaped assessment. Further, a liberal interpretation of the words “reason to believe” would have the consequence of conferring arbitrary powers on the assessing officer. S. 147 does not allow the reassessment of an income merely because of the fact that the assessing officer has a change of opinion with regard to the interpretation of law differently on the facts that were well within his knowledge even at the time of assessment and doing so would have the effect of giving the assessing officer the power of review and S. 147 confers the power to reassess and not the power to review. [CIT v. Techspan India (P) Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 685]

Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 — S. 17 and Statement of Objects and Reasons — Indigenous systems — Uniform qualification and registration — No exemption under IMCC Act: Appellants not registered either under State Act nor Central Act, cannot be allowed to practice. Quacks cannot be allowed to play with lives of people. S. 17(3)(c) protects indigenous practitioners having practise of more than 5 yrs on date of commencement of IMCC Act only in case State concerned did not have a State Register under State law. [Kerala Ayurveda Paramparya Vaidya Forum v. State of Kerala, (2018) 6 SCC 648]

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 — Ss. 11(1) and 17-A(2) — Reservation of land for public sector company: Central Government order taking into account various factors while rejecting proposal of State Government, on facts and law, held, valid. Central Government can consider any factor, while considering an approval under S. 17-A(2). Under S. 11(1), preference has to be given to an RP holder(s) who has carried out reconnaissance, while considering grant of PL and when land is held under PL or ML even reservation under S. 17-A(2) is prohibited. [Geomysore Services (India) (P) Ltd. v. Hutti Goldmines Co. Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 791]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 166 — Collision of car into rear end of truck resulting in death of one of the passengers in car: Finding of Tribunal was that truck did not brake too suddenly nor veer to centre/right side of narrow road causing the collision, rather cause of collision was that said car did not maintain “sufficient distance” from truck, thus car was being driven rashly and negligently. Claim of contributory negligence re manner in which truckcsuddenly braked, not tenable as when Maruti car was following truck and no fault can be attributed to truck driver, blame must rest on driver of Maruti car for having driven his vehicle rashly and negligently. Hence, plea of contributory negligence on part of truck driver, correctly rejected. [Nishan Singh v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 765]

National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 — Ss. 10(1) and 11(f) and 12, 12-A, 12-B, 12-C, 12-F, 2 and 22 — Harmonious construction of Ss. 10(1) and 11(f) — Powers of NCMEI to issue minority status certificate — Scope of: Even if S. 10(1) requires a no-objection certificate for starting a minority institution (which appellant did not have), it should be harmoniously construed with S. 11(f). So construing, S. 11(f) powers are wide enough and NCMEI is empowered to decide any question directly or indirectly relating to minority educational status of an institution. This is clear from effect of wide expressions “all questions” and “relating to” in S. 11(f). Hence, NCMEI conferring minority status to an institution in midstream, which originally started as a secular institution, held, valid. [Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny v. State of W.B., (2018) 6 SCC 772]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 366 — Ingredients of: Mere abduction does not bring accused under ambit of S. 366. It must be proved that accused abducted woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled to marry any person or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse. Unless prosecution proves that abduction is for purposes mentioned in S. 366, court cannot hold accused guilty and punish him under S. 366. [Kavita Chandrakant Lakhani v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 6 SCC 664]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/34 and 201 — Dowry death — Demand for dowry — Wife shot to death because of — Circumstantial evidence: In this case evidence to prove demand of dowry by appellant-accused (husband and brother-in-law of deceased), present. Story of suicide set up by appellants is wholly unbelievable in the light of evidence brought on record. Circumstances establish chain of events being directly connected with incident, proving involvement of appellants in aforesaid crime beyond reasonable doubt, hence, their conviction confirmed. [Chandra Bhawan Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 6 SCC 670]

Rent Control and Eviction — Acquisition of Residential Building by Tenant — Eviction decree on ground under S. 20(2)(a) of U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 — Proviso to S. 20(4) — Applicability: Proviso provides that if tenant or any member of his family builds or acquires in vacant state any residential building in same city, then tenant would not be saved from liability of eviction even if he pays/deposits entire rent amount with damages, interest, etc. in terms of main S. 20(4). To attract proviso, member of family who owns a residential building need not be shown to be living with the tenant. [Sudama Devi v. Vijay Nath Gupta, (2018) 6 SCC 759]

Rent Control and Eviction — Tenancy/Tenant — Attornment by tenant: By attornment old tenancy continues and attornment can be proved by several circumstances including conduct of tenant. [Apollo Zipper India Ltd. v. W. Newman & Co. Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 744]

Rent Control and Eviction — Tenancy/Tenant — Statutory tenancy — Heirs and LRs — Status: They inherit statutory tenancy as joint tenantsand not as tenants-in-common, despite Personal Law to the contrary. [Suresh Kumar Kohli v. Rakesh Jain, (2018) 6 SCC 708]

Service Law — Police — Recruitment procedure — Selection Process/Procedure — Selected candidates directed to be sent for training: Additional Advocate General directed to file affidavit stating number of candidates who had qualified in examination in respective categories but were yet to be considered and also outcome of verification of those people who had approached High Court, either as petitioners or as interveners. [Alok Kumar Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 6 SCC 813]

U.P. Kshettra Panchayats and Zila Panchayats Adhiniyam, 1961 (33 of 1961) (as adopted in Uttaranchal) — S. 15 — No-confidence motion: No-confidence motion against Pramukh of Kshettra Panchayat, is valid when it is signed by more than 50% of members. [Ram Pal Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 6 SCC 692]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 7, 8 and 11(6) — Arbitration clause — Interpretation of: The parties are bound by the clauses enumerated in the policy and the court does not transplant any equity to the same by rewriting a clause. Further, an arbitration clause is required to be strictly construed and if a clause stipulates that under certain circumstances there can be no arbitration, and the circumstances are demonstrably clear then the controversy pertaining to the appointment of arbitrator has to be put to rest. [Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Narbheram Power and Steel (P) Ltd.,  (2018) 6 SCC 534]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 6 R. 17 proviso (as amended by Act 22 of 2002) — Amendment of plaint after commencement of trial — Relevant Considerations: Appellants in this case filed present suit for setting aside ex parte decree passed against their predecessor-in-interest in Civil Suit No. 195 of 1968. Record of suit in which ex parte decree was passed was not traceable in record room. In such circumstances, there could possibly be some inability in obtaining correct particulars well in time on part of appellants. Further: (i) at the time when application for amendment was preferred, only two official witnesses were examined, and (ii) proposed amendment neither changing the nature of suit nor introducing any fresh groun. On these facts, held, the proposed amendment ought to have been allowed, more so when it could not have caused any prejudice to defendants. [Gurbakhsh Singh v. Buta Singh, (2018) 6 SCC 567]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 7 R. 11(d) — Application for rejection of plaint: The plaint is required to be read as a whole. The defence available to the defendants or the plea taken by them in the written statement or any application filed by them, cannot be the basis to decide the application under Order 7 Rule 11(d). Only the averments in the plaint are germane. [Chhotanben v. Kiritbhai Jalkrushnabhai Thakkar, (2018) 6 SCC 422]

Competition Act, 2002 — Ss. 5, 6, 43-A and 64(3) — Combination — Regn. 9(4) of Regulations framed under S. 64(3) — Compliance with — Nature of transaction: Substance of transactions to be seen in circumstances of the case. Structuring of transactions should not be to avoid mandatory provisions of the Act. Having regard to facts and circumstances, it was held, transaction in question not independent one but part of a single, composite combination, interconnected and interdependent with other transactions. Hence non-notification of the transaction which formed part of combination amounted to violation of S. 6 and would entail penalty under S. 43-A. [CCI v. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 549]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21, 14, 32 and 136 — Misuse of provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in last three decades: Issue of safeguards against arrest and false implications under provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, laid down to operate prospectively. It was also directed that balance must be maintained between need to check crimes against SCs and STs and there is need to protect innocent persons from abuse of process. There must be preliminary inquiry prior to FIR. To avoid false implication of innocent under Atrocities Act, preliminary inquiry must be made by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) concerned prior to registration of an FIR to find out whether it comes within Atrocities Act and not frivolous or motivated. It should be time bound inquiry not exceeding seven days. Even if case has been registered after preliminary inquiry, arrest is not mandatory. There must be written permission prior to arrest. Further, in such cases, no arrest without written permission from appointing authority (in case of public servants) and Senior Superintendent of Police of District (in case of non-public servants) should be made and such permission must record reasons. Magistrate must also apply mind to see if such reasons are justified prior to taking further action. These directions are prospective in nature. [Subhash Kashinath Mahajan v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 6 SCC 454]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 227: In writ petition against Decree in eviction proceedings under Rent Act for possession and mesne profits, there was delay in complying with High Court directions to tenant to deposit rent and mesne profits. Rejection of tenant’s applications for extension of time and condonation of delay in making said payments without consideration of relevant facts, not proper. [Nonihal Singh v. Maya Devi, (2018) 6 SCC 396]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 — Remand — Dismissal of: As the anticipatory bail application was dismissed by High Court, without assigning any reasons, matter remanded back to High Court for deciding bail application filed under S. 438 CrPC, afresh on merits. [Prem Giri v. State of Rajasthan, (2018) 6 SCC 571]

Criminal Trial — Circumstantial Evidence — Generally — To sustain conviction on basis of circumstantial evidence — Requirements of: All links in the chain of circumstances must be complete leading to only hypothesis for guilt of accused. If there are any missing link in the chain of circumstances and possibility of innocence cannot be ruled out, benefit of doubt must be given by acquittal. [Satpal v. State of Haryana, (2018) 6 SCC 610]

Customs Act, 1962 — S. 130-A (prior to its repeal by Act 49 of 2005): On the matter of necessity of calling for a statement from the Tribunal before deciding application seeking reference under S. 130-A, in view of the ruling rendered in Central Mfg. Tech. Institute, (2018) 13 SCC 812 and considering question of law involved, matter referred to larger Bench. [CCE v. Adani Exports Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 514]

Customs Act, 1962 — S. 135 — Charge under — Bail — Grant of: In the light of period of custody suffered by the appellant-accused and the fact that the co-accused has also been granted bail, the appellant is directed to be released on bail. [Munawwar Ali v. Union of India, (2018) 6 SCC 583]

Education Law — Employment and Service Matters re Educational Institutions — Promotion — Criteria/Eligibility: Cl. 1.1.1, UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and other Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) Regulations, 2010 provided that for teachers in Faculty of Medicine, norms/regulations of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI would apply for promotion to post of Professor in Medical College affiliated to Aligarh Muslim University (Central University). Cl. 12(19), Ch. IV, Aligarh Muslim University Ordinances (Executive) for Promotion under the Career Advancement Scheme stipulated that teachers in Faculty of Medicine should possess qualifications as prescribed by MCI. MCI Regulations provided MD/MS as the minimum qualification for appointment to post of Professor in Medical College. Hence held, finding of High Court that since appellants and R-6 & R-7 did not possess PhD they were not entitled for appointment to post of Professor erroneous and set aside. Matter remitted to High Court for consideration afresh since other issues raised by R-1 were not adjudicated. [Shadab Ahmed Khan v. Mujahid Beg, (2018) 6 SCC 385]

Family Courts Act, 1984 — S. 9: Under S. 9, Family Court has a duty to make endeavour to assist and persuade parties in arriving at settlement. Unlike many other legislations, legislature cast a duty on Family Court in this regard. Jurisdiction is not just to decide dispute but on contrary Family Court also has to involve itself in process of conciliation/mediation between parties for assisting them not only to settle disputes but also secure speedy settlement of disputes. Such timely intervention of Family Court will not only resolve disputes and settle the parties peacefully but also prevent sporadic litigation between the parties. [Anu Bhandari v. Pradip Bhandari, (2018) 6 SCC 389]

Income Tax — Deductions — Deduction of lease equalisation charges from lease rental income — Permissibility of: In this case, Respondent filed return of income for Assessment Year 1999-2000 claiming an amount of Rs 1,65,12,077 as deduction for lease equalization charges while Revenue contended that the respondent could not be allowed to claim such deduction in the absence of an express provision regarding it in the IT Act. It was held that the method of accounting followed, as derived from the ICAI’s Guidance Note, was a valid method of capturing real income based on the substance of finance lease transaction. Further, the difference between capital recovery and interest or finance income was essential for accounting for such a transaction with reference to its substance and if the same was not carried out, the respondent would be assessed for income tax not merely on revenue receipts but also on non-revenue items which was completely contrary to the principles of the IT Act and to its scheme and spirit. Further, the bifurcation of the lease rental was not an artificial calculation and, therefore, lease equalisation was an essential step in the accounting process to ensure that real income from the transaction in the form of revenue receipts only is captured for the purposes of income tax. In this case, held, the respondent/assessee was entitled for bifurcation of lease rental as per the accounting standards prescribed by the ICAI and also there was no express bar in the IT Act regarding the application of such accounting standards. [CIT v. Virtual Soft Systems Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 584]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 5 r/w Sikkim State Income Tax Rules, 1948 — Income by way of prize money from Sikkim State Lottery, prior to 31-3-1989 i.e. the date from which IT Act became applicable in the State of Sikkim — Taxability of: Prior to 26-4-1975, Sikkim was not considered to be a part of India and IT Act was made applicable only by Notification made in 1989. Appellant assessee a resident of Jaipur, Rajasthan, having income from business and property, won Rs 20 lakhs from Sikkim State Lottery and received Rs 16,20,912, after deduction of agent’s/seller’s commission and Rs 1,79,088 being income tax under the Sikkim State Income Tax Rules. It was held that the income accruing and arising in foreign countries can be brought to tax provided the assessee is resident and ordinarily resident and further the income accrued or received in any territory which is considered to be a part of India is within the net of the IT Act. Thus, appellant, being a resident of Rajasthan, the said received income for AY 1986-87 was liable to be included in the hands of the assessee as resident of India. However, since the amount had been earned by the appellant assessee in the State of Sikkim and the amount of lottery prize was sent by the Government of Sikkim to Jaipur on the request made by the appellant, S. 5 of the IT Act would not be applicable. Therefore, income tax would be payable, under the Sikkim State Income Tax Rules and not under the IT Act. Further, in the absence of a specific provision by the legislature for including such an income, the assessee could not be subjected to double taxation. [Mahaveer Kumar Jain v. CIT, (2018) 6 SCC 527]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 80-HHC: Matter regarding entitlement to deduction of export incentives under S. 80-HHC to supporting manufacturer who receives export incentives in the form of duty drawback (DDB), duty entitlement pass book (DEPB), etc., referred to larger Bench. [CIT v. Carpet India, (2018) 6 SCC 620]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 r/w Ss. 149 & 506 and Ss. 147, 148, 458 r/w S. 149 — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, chain of events unequivocally pointing towards guilt of accused, thus, not established. It is the duty of court to separate chaff from husk and to dredge truth from pandemonium of statements. There are no compelling reasons and substantial grounds for High Court to interfere with order of acquittal passed by trial court. Hence, acquittal of accused, restored. [Bhaskarrao v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 6 SCC 591]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/201/149 — Murder trial: In this case of brutal murder of a person with a view to prohibit such person from deposing before court in a case against his assailant, dead body of deceased was cut into two pieces, and thrown at two different places, in order to destroy evidence. There was involvement of 7 accused (including 5 appellant-accused herein, 2 accused since dead). Evidence of 3 eyewitnesses (PWs 6, 11 and 14) was found consistent, cogent and reliable regarding prime appellant-accused K. However, evidence against remaining accused was not as reliable. Hence, conviction of K alone, confirmed. Remaining accused given benefit of doubt and acquitted. [Kameshwar Singh v. State of Bihar, (2018) 6 SCC 433]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 307/34, 323/34, 324/34 and 504: Four accused (appellant-accused) attacked one person T with axe and caused injuries to him on his body. Injuries were abrasion, contusion, and one lacerated wound. Acquittal of all accused reversed by High Court, thereby convicting them under Ss. 307/34, 323/34, 324/34 and 504 and sentencing them accordingly. Interference by Supreme Court with the order of High Court, by modifying respective jail sentences of three accused to that already undergone, while enhancing fine amount awarded by High Court, and also, acquitting the fourth. Reasons for reduction in sentences being: (i) instant litigation is pending in various courts for the past 20 yrs; (ii) seven injuries noticed on body of injured T were not very serious in nature; (iii) T survived leaving no disability much less permanent on his body due to causing of injuries and lived for 20 yrs after the date of alleged incident and died recently; (iv) all appellants underwent almost 1 yr of jail sentence including remission out of total jail sentence awarded by High Court except A-2, who underwent around three months; (v) all appellants were first offender and were not found involved in any criminal activity in the last 20 yrs, though remained on bail throughout; and (vi) Appellants 2 and 3 are reported to be in government service. However, so far as involvement of Appellants 1, 3 and 4, in commission of offence is concerned, from findings of High Court qua each, no case for interference on such findings of fact is called for herein. Hence, finding of conviction of Appellants 1, 3, and 4, is confirmed. For all aforementioned reasons, interference only in quantum of jail sentence awarded by High Court is required and, therefore, their jail sentence is reduced to the sentence already undergone. However, it is just and proper to enhance fine amount imposed by High Court on Appellants 1, 3 and 4 from Rs 7000 to Rs 75,000 for each. [Naresh v. State of Uttarakhand, (2018) 6 SCC 404]

Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 152, 151, 33 & 2(2) and Or. 20 — Amendment of decree in order to make it executable: In partition suit, decree was passed by trial court holding plaintiff and defendants to be entitled to 3/5th share and 2/5th share respectively in suit property. There was no dispute as to share allotted in favour of parties concerned but, in order to make that decree executable, defendants moving an application before trial court for amendment of decree seeking direction that sketch map submitted by plaintiff on 6-2-2001 be marked as an exhibit and a part of judgment and decree by effecting necessary corrections in that regard. It was held that since partition decree could not be given effect to without a sketch map of suit schedule property, at the time of passing decree, trial court should have made the sketch map submitted by plaintiff on 6-2-2001 a part of decree. In absence thereof, no party should suffer for the error of court. Consequently, trial court rightly allowed amendment of decree by making the sketch map submitted by plaintiff a part of decree for effecting partition. High Court erred in setting aside that order. [Subhash Chandra Sen v. Nabin Sain, (2018) 6 SCC 443]

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 — S. 18: Review sought of order dt.20-3-2018, Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, (2018) 6 SCC 454. It was clarified that order sought to be reviewed does not bar compensation or other immediate relief being given to victim member of SC/ST as per law. [Union of India v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 6 SCC 450]

Service Law — Appointment — Judicial Review/Validity of appointment — Exclusion of Judicial Review — Policy/Policy decision/Policy matter — Interference with Equivalence/Marking Systems devised by Appointing Authority — Scope of: Eligibility prescribed for appointment to post of Social Education Organiser was Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from recognised university. K challenged appointment of appellant on ground that appellant did not possess requisite qualifications since she had degree in Malayalam and Sociology (Double Main). High Court by impugned judgment set aside appointment of appellant interfering with marking system. It was held that High Court erred in doing so since only grievance of K was regarding eligibility of appellant. Further held, in such matters it is always advisable to leave award of marks, weightage to be given, etc. to competent authorities. Any interference by court would amount to trenching on wisdom and expertise of selecting authority leading to avoidable litigation and uncertainty of employment unless there is some ex facie perversity or illegality in process. Moreover, University on considering equivalence issue had concluded that degree in Malayalam and Sociology (Double Main) was equivalent to degree in Sociology (Single Main). Appellant, thus, was eligible for appointment. [Thahira P. v. State (UT of Lakshadweep), (2018) 6 SCC 446]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Irregularities/Malpractice/Illegalities: If selection is found to be tainted in any manner, it is always open to authority concerned to annul such selection to maintain purity of selection process since it is not necessary to segregate tainted and untainted candidates when process itself is tainted. Further held, at pre-appointment stage, decision to cancel selection process can be interfered only if it is patently arbitrary, mala fide or illegal. [Avinash C. v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 6 SCC 614]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Irregularities/Malpractice/Illegalities: To maintain purity of selection to public posts directed that as far as possible selection process conducted by selection bodies especially State Public Service Commissions and State Selection Boards be videographed by installing CCTV cameras at examination as well as interview centres to extent viable, footage whereof may be seen by independent committee of three members and report of such committee placed on website concerned. [State of Meghalaya v. Phikirbha Khariah, (2018) 6 SCC 618]

Service Law — Recruitment Process — Test/Written examination — Evaluation of answer scripts — Re-verification: As the Committee appointed by High Court found irregularity, High Court directed re-verification of scripts of all 1068 candidates, which was affirmed and not interfered with. Submission that re-verification should be limited only to those filing writ petition, rejected. [Tongbram Bimolchand Singh v. Yumlembam Surjit Singh, (2018) 6 SCC 564]

Specific Relief Act, 1963 — Ss. 34, 35, 37 and 38: In a case where claim of ownership of property is subsequent to its acquisition, where acquisition proceedings attained finality, declaratory remedy of ownership cannot be granted. Suit of such nature cannot be filed. [Y.P. Sudhanva Reddy v. Karnataka Milk Federation, (2018) 6 SCC 574]

Tenancy and Land Laws — Ceiling on Land — Exemption from land ceiling: It is the duty of landowner to show which portion of land is exempted from land ceiling proceedings. [Vishwasrao Satwarao Naik v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 6 SCC 580]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — Ss. 54, 55, 11 and 31 — Supersession of allotment letter by sale deed: Conditions imposed in allotment letter/contract for sale are not binding if not contained in agreement of sale/sale deed. [A.P. Industrial Infrastructure Corpn. Ltd. v. S.N. Raj Kumar, (2018) 6 SCC 410]

U.P. Sugar Undertakings (Acquisition) Act, 1971 (23 of 1971) — Ss. 3 and 2(h)(vi) — Land leased to an undertaking engaged in the manufacture or production of Sugar: The word “held” connotes a wide meaning and all lands held or occupied lawfully and used for the purposes of the factory stood vested in the Government on the appointed day. Further, the word “held” in S. 2(h)(vi) cannot be interpreted as limited only to a holding as an owner of the property and legal possession was sufficient for the lands to vest in the Government by forming part of the scheduled undertaking. Also, the word “including” in S. 2(h)(vi) indicated that the lands held by way of lease were also part of a scheduled undertaking. Further, rejecting the contention that vesting under the 1971 Act was only in respect of the leasehold rights, held, the words “including any leasehold interest therein” in S. 2(h)(vi) could not be understood to have a limiting effect and result in the acquisition of only the leasehold interest in the land. [Gaurav Aseem Avtej v. U.P. State Sugar Corpn. Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 518]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 36 and 34 (before and after amendment of S. 36 in 2015): S. 36 as amended in 2015, applies to pending S. 34 applications even in arbitrations commenced prior to 23-10-2015 i.e. date of coming into force of Amendment Act, 2015, as S. 36 is a procedural provision. Rule of automatic stay of operation of award on filing of S. 34 application, even in absence of an order of stay/imposition of conditions by court as per unamended S. 36, held, is no longer applicable. [BCCI v. Kochi Cricket (P) Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 287]

Constitution of India — Arts. 32 and 21 — Issue of writs — Habeas corpus — Custody of petitioner — Found clearly illegal: Order related custody of petitioner is non est, nullity and without any jurisdiction. Petitioner’s right under Art. 21 stands offended, as he was detained in custody by adopting totally faulty and illegal process. Petitioner directed to be released forthwith. [Champion R. Sangma v. State of Meghalaya, (2018) 6 SCC 348]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 406 — Transfer petitions — Apprehension of not getting a fair and impartial inquiry or trial besides inconvenience of petitioner in pursuing cases — Grounds of: Such apprehension is required to be reasonable and not based upon conjectures and surmises. Convenience for purposes of transfer means convenience of prosecution, other accused, witnesses and larger interest of society. Court has to visualise comparative inconvenience and hardships likely to be caused to witnesses besides burden to be borne by State Exchequer in making payment of travelling and other expenses of official and non-official witnesses, for attending court proceedings, if cases are ordered to be transferred to transferee court. [Harita Sunil Parab v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 6 SCC 358]

Infrastructure Laws — Energy and Power — Electricity — Connection/Disconnection/Reconnection — Electricity connection: Authorities, held, should point out all defects while rejecting application for electricity connection. [D. Saravanan v. TANGEDCO, (2018) 6 SCC 352]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 48 r/w Ss. 4, 6 and 9 — Withdrawal from acquisition — When is fraudulent: Withdrawal of acquisition for the benefit of builders/private entities, not permissible, when it through an unholy nexus between the government machinery and builders/private entities deprives innocent and gullible landholders. [Rameshwar v. State of Haryana, (2018) 6 SCC 215]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 14(2)(b) and 149 — Statutorily mandated validity period of driving licence (DL) vis-à-vis errors made while issuing DL: As per S. 14(2)(b) licence issued should be for a period of 20 yrs or up to age of 50 yrs whichever is earlier. Date of issuance of original licence in this case was 27-2-1998 and date of birth of driver recorded in licence was 30-4-1961. Hence, licence would had been valid till 29-4-2011 as per statutory mandate, licensing authority erroneously issued DL for a period of 5 yrs when driver concerned was only 37 yrs but since petitioner attained age of 50 yrs on 30-4-2011, licence mentioned expiry date as 29-4-2011. Accident took place on 12-11-2005. High Court judgment setting aside award on ground of invalid licence, reversed. Thus, direction of High Court to recover amounts paid by insurance company to third party injured from appellant (owner of vehicle), set aside. [Compaq International v. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 342]

Statute Law — Validating or Overriding Enactment/Statute/Legislation — Validating Act — Power to enact — Scope — Supersession by legislature, of a judicial verdict — Permissible limits of — Principles summarized: Though legislature has power to enact validating laws including power to amend laws with retrospective effect and thereby remove causes of invalidity i.e. correct errors/mistakes committed in earlier legislation as pointed out by court in a judgment, the effect of which is to remove the basis and foundation of said judgment, but it cannot overturn or set aside that judgment, that too retrospectively by introducing a new provision in the Act concerned. What the legislature can do is that it can amend the provisions of the statute to remove the basis of the judgment. A judicial pronouncement is always binding unless the very fundamentals on which it is based are altered and the decision could not have been given in the altered circumstances. [State of Karnataka v. Karnataka Pawn Brokers Assn., (2018) 6 SCC 363]

Tenancy and Land Laws — Land Grabbing — Frivolous litigation: In this case as there is prolongation of fruitless litigation by the appellants in different forums, no interference is warranted. [M. Durga Singh v. Yadagiri, (2018) 6 SCC 209]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Constitution of India — Art. 14 — Invidious discrimination: Entitlement of former CMs of State of U.P. for allotment of government accommodation for their lifetime in terms of S. 4(3) of U.P. Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981 (as amended by U.P. Act 22 of 2016), violates doctrine of equality and is ultra vires the Constitution. Natural resources, public lands and public goods like government bungalows/official residence are public property and “Doctrine of Equality” which emerges from concepts of justice, fairness must guide State in distribution/allocation of same. Chief Minister, once he demits office is on a par with common citizen, though by virtue of office held, he/she may be entitled to security and other protocols. S. 4(3) of 1981 Act which creates a separate class of citizens for conferment of benefit by way of distribution of public property on basis of previous public office held by them, fails test of reasonable classification violating Art. 14 and is ultra vires the Constitution. Furthremore, U.P. Ex-Chief Ministers Residence Allotment Rules, 1997 were struck down by Supreme Court in Lok Prahari, (2016) 8 SCC 389 on ground that provision for accommodation for ex-CMs as made in the Rules was in direct conflict with S. 4 of 1981 Act. Insertion of S. 4(3), as substantive provision in statute, which sought to bring in same effect as 1997 Rules without curing defect as pointed out, is an invalid attempt to overreach judgment in Lok Prahari case. [Lok Prahari v. State of U.P., (2018) 6 SCC 1]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Maintainability of writ petition: In this case, second writ petition was filed after disposal of earlier one as withdrawn. Earlier petition was withdrawn only on account of pendency of appeal. Second writ petition challenging subsequent order passed in appeal, hence held, was maintainable. [Vinod v. District Selection Committee, (2018) 6 SCC 68]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Misuse of PIL — Casting aspersions on District Judiciary, High Court Judges, misrepresentation of facts, baseless allegations: In a case death of Special Judge conducting alleged Fake Encounter Death case (Sohrabuddin case), there was non-registration of FIR as inquest report and other materials indicated natural death. Discreet inquiry conducted by Commissioner, State Intelligence Department (SID) also concluding similarly. No complaint was lodged by any relative of said Special Judge in local police station about any suspicion regarding cause of death. Prayer for registration of FIR and court monitored investigation rejected. [Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India, (2018) 6 SCC 72]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 32 — Scope of issuance of writ of quo warranto — Principles reiterated: As long as caste and income certificate is valid and in force, a writ of quo warranto cannot be issued on basis of assumptions, inferences and suspicions regarding fact of fulfilment of eligibility criteria. [Bharati Reddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 6 SCC 162]

Contract and Specific Relief — Performance of Contract — Time of Performance — Time of the Essence — Termination/Discharge/Compensation/Penalty for delayed performance: Government entered into power purchase agreement (PPA) with respondent contractor (successful bidder). Respondent got a term loan of Rs 267.37 crores and spent huge amounts to purchase 253 acres of land. Respondent completed project after a delay of only 16 days (claimed by respondent) disputed by appellant authorities. As per appellants 16 days’ delay was beyond extra time of 9 months permissible under PPA. Delay was due to resistance faced by project team like physical attacks at allotted site during land procurement. Said circumstance of delay though not force majeure, are unavoidable circumstances. In case of delay, Arts. 2.5 and 2.6 of agreement provide for penalty. By interim order, High Court direction for encashment of bank guarantee had been stayed subject to condition of restitution depending on outcome of case. Penalty of stated amount directed to be paid. Termination of contract, not proper. [M.P. Power Management Co. Ltd. v. Renew Clean Energy (P) Ltd., (2018) 6 SCC 157]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 340 and 195(1)(b)(i) — Perjury: As case of deliberate falsehood, not made out, initiation of prosecution for perjury in such case, not justified. Proceedings initiated under S. 340 CrPC r/w S. 195(1)(b)(i) CrPC, closed. [Chintamani Malviya v. High Court of M.P., (2018) 6 SCC 151]

Electricity Act, 2003 — Ss. 84(1) & (2) and Ss. 77, 85(2), (3), (5) & (6), 86(1)(f), 86, 112 and 113 and Statement of Objects and Reasons — State Electricity Commission: It is not mandatory that Chairman of State Commission should be a Judge but it is mandatory that there should be at least one person of law as a Member of the Commission, which requires a person, who is, or has been holding a judicial office or is a person possessing professional qualifications with substantial experience in the practice of law, who has the requisite qualifications to have been appointed as a Judge of the High Court or a District Judge. Consequential directions issued, but to apply prospectively. [State of Gujarat v. Utility Users’ Welfare Assn., (2018) 6 SCC 21]

Income Tax — Income: Amount received by assessee acting as a broker of Bank in trust, to be paid to certain parties on behalf of Bank, not income in the hands of assessee and not taxable. [CIT v. T. Jayachandran, (2018) 6 SCC 189]

Income Tax — Non-Residents/Offshore transactions — Permanent establishment (PE) in India — Relevance of — Arm’s length pricing i.e. where a non-resident compensates a Permanent Establishment (PE) at arm’s length price — Effect of: In this case, following the ruling in E-Funds IT Solution Inc., (2018) 13 SCC 294, held, once arm’s length price procedure has been followed, notice for the reassessment based only on the allegation that the appellant(s) has permanent establishment in India, cannot be sustained. [Honda Motor Co. Ltd. v. CIT, (2018) 6 SCC 70]

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 — S. 9-A r/w Sch. IV Cl. 8 — Notice of change in any material terms of service to employee — Principles of Natural Justice — Compliance: Temporary decision to enhance age of superannuation of all Central Public Sector employees from 58 yrs to 60 yrs vide order dt. 19-11-1998 with a view to cut down losses, revoked vide order dt. 17-7-2002 and age of superannuation at 58 yrs restored without granting opportunity of hearing to employees, said order dt. 17-7-2002 was not sustainable. [Paradeep Phosphates Ltd. v. State Of Orissa, (2018) 6 SCC 195]

Labour Law — Workman: Employees working in canteen managed by a another party/contractor, providing canteen services to employees of establishment concerned, are entitled to be treated as employees of appellant with all attendant and monetary benefits on a par with regular employees. [Chennai Port Trust v. Industrial Employees Canteen Workers Welfare Assn., (2018) 6 SCC 202]

Transfer of Property Act, 1882 — Ss. 54, 7 and 8 — Sale of remaindermen’s interest during lifetime of holders of life estate: On partition between two brothers, certain properties including property in question coming to share of one I. On subsequent partition executed insofar as branch of I was concerned, the properties were equally divided among four sons of I. Having given ¼th share to each son, right of enjoyment of properties was retained by I and his wife M till their lifetime. In 1975, two sons of I i.e. K and S transferred their undivided share in property in question by executing registered sale deeds in favour of appellant herein. I and M died in 1975 and 1984 respectively. On basis of above sale deeds executed by K and S, appellant (in 1985) filed a civil suit seeking declaration that he was entitled to undivided half-share in property in question. Though K did not have any son, S had four sons, who were not made parties to above suit. Appellant later filed another suit seeking injunction against defendants named therein. In that suit, the four sons of S were added as parties. Trial court decreed former suit holding appellant to be entitled to one half-share in suit property and accordingly passed a preliminary decree in that behalf. However, it declining to grant any relief of permanent injunction against defendants, but, first appellate court held that since the four sons of S were not parties to suit for declaration and partition, insofar as branch of S was concerned, sale deed in favour of appellant would be valid only in respect of share of S. Thus, first appellate court held that appellant would be entitled to share of S in his branch (i.e. 1/4 × 1/6 = 1/24) and share of K. Resultantly, share of appellant was computed as 5/24. View taken by first appellate court was confirmed by High Court in second appeals. After going through the entirety of matter and relevant record, the Supreme Court held that assessment made by first appellate court and High Court, insofar as merits of matter was concerned, was proper and hence, no interference was called for. [A. Dharmalingam v. V. Lalithambal, (2018) 6 SCC 65]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Administrative Law — Administrative Action — Administrative or Executive Function — Application/Non-Application of Mind: Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) without applying mind to orders of competent authorities and relevant court orders, declined to correct/restore record-of-rights (RoR) in name of appellant, held, which was unsustainable. [Lakshmamma v. BDA, (2018) 5 SCC 760]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Interim relief — P.G. College: In this case involving dispute between Principal and Management, High Court by impugned order restrained appellant from functioning as Principal. Additional interim direction pending disposal, issued. Thus management restrained from filling up post of Principal on a regular basis and High Court directed to dispose of appeal expeditiously before Court closed for summer vacation. [Vandana Tyagi v. Apeejay Saraswati P.G. College for Girls, (2018) 5 SCC 789]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Mohandas Gandhi assassination case: Reopening of long concluded matters based on hearsay evidence and new research by petitioner and only being a futile exercise, not maintainable. [Pankaj Kumudchandra Phadnis v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 785]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Police — Compensation for death during discharge of duty — Entitlement to: In this case, while chasing miscreants, police personnel were fired upon, as a result of which, one member of the police party, son of the petitioner died. Petitioner sought various reliefs like compensation, protection to family and expeditious trial. As far as criminal case is concerned, law to take its own course and as far as compensation and other reliefs are concerned, petitioner given liberty to approach State Government. [Ganga Malik v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 771]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashment of proceedings by High Court: Assessment made by High Court at a stage when investigation was yet to be completed, completely incorrect and uncalled for. Interference by High Court, not proper. Case restored to its file and investigation to proceed to its logical conclusion. [State of T.N. v. S. Martin, (2018) 5 SCC 718]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 88 — Power to release accused on bond upon his appearance in court, under S. 88 — Nature of: Said power under S. 88 is not mandatory. It is discretionary in nature. Ordinarily word “may” implies discretion of court. If there is a legal right, word “may” would mean a mandatory duty but S. 88 does not confer any right on any person to be released on his furnishing a bond. Purpose and object of S. 88 is to enable court to facilitate appearance of person concerned in court. Thus, said power clearly discretionary. [Pankaj Jain v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 743]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 374 and 386(b) — Appeal against conviction: In this case of death by shooting, High Court acquitted all respondent-accused. Acquittal, held, to be justified. [State of U.P. v. Om Pal, (2018) 5 SCC 805]

Criminal Trial — Acquittal — Generally — Presumption of innocence — When strengthened: Presumption of innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened against acquitted accused by judgment in his favour. [Bannareddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 790]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: In this case, E-auction of iron ore was illegally stored and confiscated, by State. High Court mistakenly set aside permission granted by Special Court for such e-auction by State, and directed release of iron-ore to respondent. Said order of the High Court, held to be untenable. Order permitting e-auction passed by Special Court restored and liberty granted to respondent to establish his ownership over iron ore before appropriate court. [State of Karnataka v. Vedanta Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 722]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area: Due to illegal mining in forests of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, PIL regarding illegal extraction of 50.57 metric tonnes of iron ore and its illegal export to foreign companies from port in Karnataka was filed. CBI was directed to register case and conduct investigation. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 730]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: PIL against illegal mining in forest areas of Karnataka and A.P. and illegal export of iron ore to foreign countries from Belekeri Port in Karnataka. CBI investigation directed in the matter. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 732]

Limitation Act, 1963 — S. 14 — Purpose stated: S. 14 is intended to provide relief against bar of limitation in cases of where remedy is mistakenly taken recourse to or selection of a wrong forum. [Mohinder Singh v. Paramjit Singh, (2018) 5 SCC 698]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149 and 166 — Third-party insurance: Insurance Company is liable to satisfy judgments and awards in respect of third-party risks. Principle of pay-and-recover applies even in absence of liability to pay compensation. [Shivawwa v. National India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 762]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation and interest — Computation: In this case, High Court had not computed income towards future prospects and reduced interest from 12% to 9%. Claimants of deceased, held, entitled to additional compensation of 25% towards future prospects. Further amount of Rs 70,000 computed under conventional heads. Award of interest at 9% p.a. by the High Court, upheld. Accordingly total compensation re-computed and enhanced to Rs 12.67 lakhs. [Bhartiben Nayabha Ker v. Sidabha Pethabha Manke, (2018) 5 SCC 716]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/34 — Murder trial — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, prosecution miserably failed to establish chain of events, which points out at guilt of accused. Two complaints (one by brother and other by accused wife, of deceased, respectively) were filed. When accused wife in complaint pointed out that deceased committed suicide by consuming poison, doctor was expected to preserve viscera for chemical analysis, which was not done. Doctor who conducted post-mortem, opined that cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation of throat. Medical evidence in the form of post-mortem report though supports case of prosecution, non-preservation of viscera by doctor, remained fatal to prosecution case. Witnesses specifically supported case of version of accused. There was no apparent injury on dead body of deceased at the time of panchnama. Collective opinion of panch witnesses was that deceased expired due to eating some poisonous substance. There was no direct evidence, as to deceased consuming poison or having been done to death by throttling. Courts below gravely erred in not considering case in accordance with settled principles of law, hence, conviction reversed. [Dev Kanya Tiwari v. State of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 734]

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 — Ss. 32, 2(c), 2(d), 2(e), 2(i), 2(k), 2(p), 3(2), 4, 5 and 6 — Power to prescribe qualifications: Parliament conferred rule-making authority upon Central Government to specify minimum qualifications. Specification of qualification should be read in purposive sense which will fulfil objectives of law. Rationale behind prescription of training is that training would sensitise concerned person to salutary objectives and purpose of legislation. [Union of India v. Indian Radiological & Imaging Assn., (2018) 5 SCC 773]

Service Law — Post — Equivalence — Post of Field Supervisor — Whether equivalent to post of Teacher: Field Supervisor falling under Category II of Statute 19(1), (2) & (3) of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, 1996 can be treated as Teacher only after he is declared as such by the University with prior approval of Board. [Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology v. Upendra Nath Patra, (2018) 5 SCC 693]

Service Law — Promotion — Retrospective promotion: In service matters, especially with regard to promotion, there is always an urgency and aggrieved must approach court at earliest opportunity or within reasonable time as third-party rights accrue in meantime in favour of promotees. Further, any directions at belated stage to consider employees for retrospective promotion after considerable time is bound to have serious administrative implications apart from financial burden on Government. Furthermore, mere repeated filing of representations would not be sufficient explanation for delay in approaching court. [Union of India v. Chaman Rana, (2018) 5 SCC 798]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Building and Other Construction Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 — SOR and Ss. 1(4), 1(5), 2(1)(d), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24, 60, 62, Chs. VI and VII — Effective and meaningful implementation of: Directions issued with regard to effective and meaningful implementation of the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and the Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996. [National Campaign Committee for Central Legislation on Construction Labour (NCC-CL) v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 607]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 7 R. 11, S. 11 and Or. 2 R. 2: Rejection of plaint on grounds of res judicata, which required consideration of pleadings in written statement, is permissible. While considering application for rejection of plaint, averments in plaint must be considered and not what is stated in written statement. [Soumitra Kumar Sen v. Shyamal Kumar Sen, (2018) 5 SCC 644]

Companies Act, 2013 — Ss. 58(2) and (4) — Public limited company — Free transfer of shares — Right of public limited company to refuse registration of transfer of shares on sufficient: Expression “without sufficient cause” does not mean only illegal transfers or transfers impermissible under any law, can be refused. Transfer can be refused on any other sufficient cause. [Mackintosh Burn Ltd. v. Sarkar & Chowdhury Enterprises (P) Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 575]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482Quashment of FIR: S. 482 has to be cautiously utilised while quashing FIR. In this case of abetment of suicide, High Court prematurely quashed FIR without proper investigation having been conducted by police. Hence, impugned judgment of High Court set aside with directions to investigating authorities to complete investigation with promptness and to take it to its logical conclusion. [Munshiram v. State of Rajasthan, (2018) 5 SCC 678]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 156(3) vis-à-vis 202(1) and Ch. XII vis-à-vis Ch. XIV and S. 190: Established law is that direction under S. 156(3) does not amount to taking cognizance but there being divergent views of Supreme Court as to applicability of this principle to offences under PC Act: as to whether prior sanction is required or not, before a direction can be issued under S. 156(3) CrPC vis-à-vis PC Act offences, matter referred to larger Bench. [Manju Surana v. Sunil Arora, (2018) 5 SCC 557]

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Public Premises — Relief/Remedies/Moulding Relief, Judicial Review/Public Interest Litigation (PIL) — Writ jurisdiction in respect of public property: Re-auction of leased municipal property directed by High Court without adverting to efficacy of existing lease or the reliefs prayed for in the writ petition, not proper. [State of H.P. v. Ravinder Kumar Sankhayan, (2018) 5 SCC 584]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — S. 80-P r/w S. 80-P(4) coming into effect from 1-4-2007: Review petition challenging order declaring Society giving loans to members as well as general public, non-eligibile to grant of deduction, dismissed being devoid of merits. [Citizen Coop. Society Ltd. v. CIT, (2018) 5 SCC 548]

Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 (10 of 1962) — Ss. 107(1)(i) and (iii) and S. 44(1): Lands which belong to Government or University as specified in the 1961 Act, held, are not within purview of the Act. [University of Mysore v. Rajaiah, (2018) 5 SCC 684]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 173 — Compensation claims under S. 166 — Proper manner of disposal: While dealing with a claim petition in terms of Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a Tribunal stricto sensu is not bound by the pleadings of the parties; its function being to determine the amount of fair compensation in the event an accident has taken place by reason of negligence of that driver of a motor vehicle. The Tribunal has to take a holistic view of the matter. A strict proof of an accident caused by a particular vehicle in a particular manner may not be possible. The claimants are merely required to establish their case on the touchstone of preponderance of probability. The standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt cannot be applied. The approach of the Tribunal should be holistic analysis of the entire pleadings and evidence by applying the principles of preponderance of probability. [Mangla Ram v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 656]

Mysore Land Reforms Act, 1961 (10 of 1962) — Ss. 14(1), (5) and 111 — Resumption of land from tenant: In this case resumption and taking possession vide compromise was effected by Tribunal instead of through procedure contemplated under S. 14(5). Though procedure for taking possession under S. 14(5), was allegedly not complied with, but properly explained by landlord by drawing attention to compromise decree. Hence, the impugned order holding that procedure contemplated under S. 14(5) was not followed, set aside. [Raghunath Prasad Pande v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 594]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder trial: In this case strained relations between couple and their families, leading to murder of husband and his sister, by his wife and her family members. Evidence of ocular witnesses, father and brother of deceased husband, and daughter of deceased sister of husband, was found consistent and inspired confidence. Evidence established guilt of accused beyond reasonable doubt and corroborates with that of medical evidence and motive of crime was very clear. Hence, there was no error in appreciation of evidence and conviction confirmed. [Ganapathi v. State of T.N., (2018) 5 SCC 549]

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 — Chs. II to VIII — Sexual offences against children: Directions issued for speedy disposal of cases involving sexual offences against children. [Alakh Alok Srivastava v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 651]

Representation of the People Act, 1951 — Ss. 86, 81, 82 and 117 — Maintainability of election petition: Where Court granted time to cure defects raised by Registry, and such defects were rectified within stipulated time, election petition not barred by limitation under S. 81(1). Correctness of translated copy of vernacular language cannot be decided at threshold level but it is subject of trial. When copies of materials relied upon are reproduced in CD and its transcription is provided, phone (used for conversation) and supply of chip was not necessary. Such step would not impair defence of successful candidate. [Abdulrasakh v. K.P. Mohammed, (2018) 5 SCC 598]

Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules, 2002 — R. 9: In this case the requirement specified under R. 9(4) was to deposit balance 75% purchase price within 15 days of confirmation. It was clarified that day of confirmation was not same as day of auction. Said period of 15 days would start from day of confirmation of sale by secured creditor and it does not start from day of auction. On day of auction authorised officer only accepts or confirms highest bid which is not same as confirmation of sale under R. 9(4). Rr. 9(2), (4), (5) & (6) supports above interpretation. [Rakesh Birani v. Prem Narain Sehgal, (2018) 5 SCC 543]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Constitution of India — Art. 32: In this case, there were 9 FIRs and one criminal complaint case between parties closely related to each other. Parties agreed to settle through mediation. As writ petition was dismissed, interim direction regarding deposit by petitioner into Registry of Court of specified amount, recalled. Resultantly, subsequent orders of refund adjustments, recalled. Resultantly petitioner also entitled to any interest accumulated thereon. [Saraswati Singh v. Shailesh Singh, (2018) 5 SCC 370]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Maintainability: In this case, there were 9 FIRs and one criminal complaint case between parties closely related to each other. During present proceedings parties referred to mediation but failed. Parties sought investigation by Special Investigation Team (SIT) and other reliefs relating to investigation. Allegedly a similar writ petition was withdrawn and 10 transfer petitions were dismissed. Hence, petition under Art. 32, held, not maintainable. Remedy of quashing of FIRs or such other relief can be addressed before High Court. [Saraswati Singh v. Shailesh Singh, (2018) 5 SCC 373]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal — Substantial question of law: In the suit for partition and separate possession, unregistered partition deed (document) was relied on by defendants. Questions relating to admissibility and contents thereof, held, substantial questions of law. [Uma Pandey v. Munna Pandey, (2018) 5 SCC 376]

Advocates — Right to Practise — Right to practise law in India: Foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers cannot practise law in India either on litigation or on non-litigation side. [Bar Council of India v. A.K. Balaji, (2018) 5 SCC 379]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482, 216, 173, 200 and 202 — Directions issued by High Court in petition filed under S. 482 in interest of justice: In this case of offence of attacking petitioner in courtroom in presence of Presiding Officer by Advocates, while several persons were attacked, charge-sheet was submitted by police against three of them only. Prayers were made before High Court in petition filed under S. 482 pertaining inter alia to inclusion of certain provisions of IPC and other Acts in charge-sheet filed against three persons before trial court, framing of proper charges against one and taking cognizance against another person, discovering all accused. High Court directed that if petitioner raises his grievance before trial Magistrate same shall be considered and decided by it in accordance with law expeditiously. Keeping in view manner in which offence was committed by Advocates who are also part of the system, High Court considered it necessary to issue certain directions regarding petitioner’s security. The Supreme Court held that High Court itself was cognizant of seriousness of allegations against persons involved in crime and made it clear that all contentions could be raised and all aspects will have to be considered by trial court on merits. Observation made by High Court will not come in way in pursuing criminal cases and for taking same to its logical end. [Osama Aziz v. State Of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 415]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 195(1)(b)(ii) — Applicability of: S. 195(1)(b)(ii) is applicable only in case the offences enumerated therein have been committed with respect to a document after that document has been produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in any court i.e. during the time when that document was in custodia legis, and not prior thereto. [Chandru Gaonkar v. N.M. Dessai, (2018) 5 SCC 422]

Labour Law — Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 — S. 2(e) r/w S. 2-A — Gratuity — Entitlement to: Having regularised services of appellant, State had no justifiable reason to deny benefit of gratuity to appellant which was his statutory right. Question as to from which date services were regularised was of no consequence for calculating total length of service for claiming gratuity once services were regularized. 1972 Act being welfare legislation meant for benefit of employees who serve their employer for long time, duty of State to pay gratuity to employee rather than deny benefit on some technical ground and force employee to approach Court to get his genuine claim. [Netram Sahu v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2018) 5 SCC 430]

Criminal Trial — Witnesses — Interested/Partisan witness — Evidence of interested witness — Admissibility: It is settled law that there cannot be any hard-and-fast rule that evidence of interested witness cannot be taken into consideration and they cannot be termed as witnesses but, the only burden that is cast upon courts in such cases is that courts have to be cautious while evaluating evidence to exclude possibility of false implication. Relationship can never be a factor to affect credibility of witness as it is not possible always to get an independent witness. [Sudhakar v. State, (2018) 5 SCC 435]

Consumer Protection — Services — Housing — Non-delivery of flat/house — Damages for price escalation — Reckoning date: Damages become due from time of breach but on facts, courts can deviate. In case of non-delivery of flat/house, and developer refusing alternative equivalent accommodation and buyer lacking means to purchase substitute from market, it would not be reasonable to assess damages from date of breach because of price escalation. [Fortune Infrastructure v. Trevor D’Lima, (2018) 5 SCC 442]

Trusts and Trustees — Religious and Charitable Endowments and Trusts — Administration of institutions — Claim of transfer to particular place based on station seniority and/or service seniority: Station seniority, held, has to be reckoned with reference to last date of the submission of application and not with reference to date of order of transfer. Eligibility must depend on that date, otherwise it would lead to arbitrary exercise of power. [V. Padmakumar v. S. Chandrasekharan Potty, (2018) 5 SCC 454]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. I [S. 300 Exception 4]: In this case wife was strangulated death by husband. Incident occurred all of a sudden, without any premeditation. Accused did not take undue advantage or acting in cruel or unusual manner. Hence, conviction was rightly altered by High Court from S. 302 to S. 304 Pt. I. [State of M.P. v. Abdul Latif, (2018) 5 SCC 456]

Family and Personal Laws — Family Property, Succession and Inheritance — Will — Suspicious circumstances/Undue influence re making of will/Substance of will if arouses suspicion: In this case estator drew will in his own handwriting, in 1945 in favour of his grandson (respondent-plaintiff). PW 5 grandson-in-law of testator who used to correspond with him and thereby was well acquainted with his handwriting, duly proved said handwriting in will. PW 2 (bank clerk) deposed that respondent secured loan from bank by pledging will in 1964 and since then will kept in bank — PW 2 was cross-examined. On facts, it was held, there were no suspicious circumstances raising doubts about genuineness of will and concurrent findings by court below by reasoned judgments, not disturbed. [Mohan Lal v. Nand Lal, (2018) 5 SCC 459]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Formation of Government Contract — Modes of entering into a Government Contract — Public Auction/Tender: High Court cannot ordinarily interfere with judgment of expert consultant on issues of technical qualifications of a bidder when consultant takes into consideration various factors including basis of non-performance of the bidder. It is not open to Court to independently evaluate technical bids and financial bids of parties as an appellate authority for coming to its conclusion inasmuch as unless thresholds of mala fides, intention to favour someone or bias, arbitrariness, irrationality or perversity are met, where a decision is taken purely on public interest, Court ordinarily should exercise judicial restraint. [Municipal Corpn, Ujjain v. BVG India Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 462]

Contempt of Court — Art. 129 — Civil Contempt — Contempt of Supreme Court: In this case there were violation of successive orders passed by Supreme Court in Civil Appeal, Contempt Petition and violation of undertakings was given to Supreme Court. In Civil Appeal No. 394 of 2009, while allowing appeal Supreme Court passed an order that Respondent D was to remove entire construction at her own cost and hand over vacant and peaceful possession of land to appellant within 30 days failing which appellant can take assistance of Court to take possession of land and building in which event, D will not be entitled to cost of structure or any other damages. It was held, conduct of Respondent D was contemptuous. She had earlier disobeyed injunction passed by Supreme Court and after filing first Contempt Petition No. 258 of 2010, had demolished construction raised by her and had given a solemn undertaking to Supreme Court that she would not raise any fresh construction nor would she use it for human habitation. Despite earlier order and undertaking, she had not only raised fresh construction but obviously used it for human habitation. Since D got off very lightly in earlier contempt proceedings, she feels that she can take law into her own hands. Reply filed by her virtually aggravates contempt, where she stated that she had not raised any construction in violation to orders of Supreme Court, is obviously false and even her counsel could not enlighten as to how construction, evident from photographs, which are not even denied, does not violate orders of Supreme Court. Not only that, with regard to signboard outside property informing general public that airconditioned and non-airconditioned rooms are were available for rent, explanation given is totally false No material was been placed on record to support averments made by D. Concluding that D had wilfully and knowingly disobeyed the interim order of Supreme Court. Not only that, she had also violated her solemn undertaking given to Supreme Court and the order passed by Supreme Court in earlier contempt proceedings. Therefore, she was held to be guilty of civil contempt. [Dwarika Prasad v. State of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 491]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 32 — Concept of fair trial, discussed — Transfer of trial when warranted, stated: Court should balance rights of accused and victims and thereafter weigh on scale of fair trial whether shifting is necessary or not. [Mohd. Akhtar v. State of J&K, (2018) 5 SCC 497]

Infrastructure Laws — Maritime Laws — Maritime claim: Maritime claim for charter hire dues i.e. a right in rem to proceed against the ship/cargo is not maintainable against a vessel/ship owned by a person not responsible for payment of such dues. [Sunil B. Naik v. Geowave Commander, (2018) 5 SCC 505]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 9 — Abuse of process of court — Suppression of material facts: In this case, appellant-plaintiff filed suit for specific performance of contract against D-1 on basis of a power of attorney by suppressing material facts that title and possession regarding said suit land already stood adjudicated in favour of another person D-2 and not D-1, hence, High Court order setting aside decree of specific performance, affirmed. [Baxis Singh v. Sukhdev Singh], (2018) 5 SCC 338]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 9 — Civil suit — Maintainability: Dispute principally as to succession to property, turning on question of legitimacy/legal status of parties concerned as legal heirs of deceased person concerned, could only be resolved vide a civil suit. [R. Kasthuri v. M. Kasthuri, (2018) 5 SCC 353]

Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA) — S. 3(1)(ii) — Preventive detention order under: COFEPOSA does not require detaining authority to specify period for which a detenu is required to be detained, hence, order of detention, not rendered invalid/illegal in absence of such specification. [State of T.N. v. Kamala], (2018) 5 SCC 322]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Exercise of power by High Court — Approach: considerations therein: In this case, Division Bench by impugned judgment without considering background of case and reasons which weighed with Single Judge while passing order, modified interim order passed by Single Judge directing payment of salary considering long service of 30 yrs rendered by appellant, to effect that status quo prevailing on date of filing of writ petition to be maintained i.e. non-payment of salary to appellant on account of impugned orders, which was not proper. [Aparbal Yadav v. State of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 363]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — PIL — Maintainability: Petitioner’s main prayer seeking: (a) direction for CBI investigation into allegations of reported cases of oil adulteration by mafias, and (b) mandamus directing direct transfer of cash subsidy to intended beneficiaries of kerosene oil, in lieu of kerosene itself, on basis of Aadhaar card or through PDS or other credible mechanism. Petition disposed of with certain directions and clarifications. Initial inquiry conducted by petitioner revealing some truth in allegations. Petitioner was given liberty to approach oil companies with material for redressal of his grievance as per law. However, it was clarified that no opinion was expressed on merits of claim. [Seema Upadhyay v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 325]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21 and 32 — Abduction, rape and murder of 8 yr old minor girl by juvenile accused: In this case there was apprehension of no fair trial as members of Bar were protesting against prosecution of the accused, and their implication/prosecution sought to be given communal overtones. Chargesheet was filed and there was possibility of filing of supplementary charge-sheet. Prayer for transfer of case from a court in J&K to a court in Chandigarh kept open and notice issued. Prayer for providing security to victims’ family members, her counsel and another person assisting them, was acceptable to State Government and accordingly directed. Prayer for strengthening of security in juvenile home, where juvenile accused lodged, accepted and accordingly directed, but with clarification that this shall be done keeping in view care and protection of children. [Mohd. Akhtar v. State of J&K, (2018) 5 SCC 336]

Criminal Trial — Investigation — Videography: In the light of importance of capturing crucial evidence in credible manner, suggestions made by MHA considering report and suggestion of Committee for a centrally driven action plan and phased manner of implementation, accepted and consequential directions issued in the matter. [Shafhi Mohammad v. State of H.P., (2018) 5 SCC 311]

Election — Local Government/Bodies/Municipalities/Panchayats/Autonomous and Other Bodies — Conduct of Election: Incidents of violence were allegedly taking place when candidates went to obtain and file nomination papers. In such situations statute empowered the Election Commissioner to pass appropriate orders. Hence, parties were given liberty to approach State Election Commission and Election Commission was directed to dispose of their grievance as per law. [Bharatiya Janata Party v. State of W.B., (2018) 5 SCC 365]

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Ss. 24 and 13 — Interim maintenance under S. 24 — Effect of maintenance already granted under S. 125 CrPC: Maintenance granted by Family Court under S. 24, 1955 Act would supersede maintenance granted under S. 125 CrPC. [Sanjay Kumar Sinha v. Asha Kumari, (2018) 5 SCC 333]

Supreme Court Rules, 2013 — Or. VI Rr. 1, 2 and 4: Constitution of Benches of Supreme Court is exclusively in domain of prerogative powers of Chief Justice. [Asok Pande v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 5 SCC 341]

Tenancy and Land Laws — Judicial Interference/Validity — Necessary/Proper parties: In this case, appellant’s land purportedly stood vested in Government. Government executed deeds and transferred said land to tenants R-1 and R-2 as per statutory objective of W.B. Land Reforms Act. Earlier writ petition and resultant transferred proceedings before Land Tribunal concerning challenge to such vesting, allowed in appellant’s favour but in said writ petition and proceedings before Tribunal, R-1 and R-2 not made parties and not heard. High Court by impugned order allowed subsequent writ petition of R-1 and R-2 and remanded matter to Tribunal for giving them opportunity of hearing. Said order of high Court not interfered with. [Ashim Ranjan Das v. Shibu Bodhak, (2018) 5 SCC 356]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

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

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

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

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Contract and Specific Relief — Formation Defects — Fraud and misrepresentation — Matters required to be established: In this case, appellant-plaintiff filed suit for partition and separate possession against her uncle R-2-D-2 and his son respondent-D-1. She contended that suit properties originally belonged to her grandfather and after death of her grandfather, her father and her uncle (R-2-D-2) succeeded. After death of her father, she is entitled for her half-share. This suit was opposed on ground that father of appellant-plaintiff had already sold his share to respondent-D-1. In rejoinder, appellant-plaintiff contended that sale deed executed by her father was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation. Trial court decreed suit. In appeal, first appellate court dismissed suit. High Court upheld dismissal of suit. While determining the validity of the order of High Court, the Supreme Court held that DW 3, Sub-Registrar who registered sale deed executed by father of appellant-plaintiff, deposed that sale deed was executed only after contents were read over to him. PW 2 and PW 3 never stated in their deposition that father of appellant-plaintiff was not in good state of mind at the time of execution of sale deed. Although it was contended that father of appellant-plaintiff was not keeping well, no medical records were submitted to establish it. In absence of any proof, it cannot be said that sale deed executed by father of appellant-plaintiff was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation. Hence, High Court justified in dismissing appeal. [Krishna Devi v. Keshri Nandan, (2018) 4 SCC 481]

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 — Ss. 10 and 11-A — Reference — Termination of workman — Termination by way of punishment — Interference with: Where termination is by way of punishment, preliminary issue to be determined is validity of domestic enquiry. Where domestic enquiry is found legal and proper, next issue would be adjudging proportionality of punishment imposed. Further held, where domestic enquiry is found illegal and improper, issue which need determination is whether employer can be allowed to prove misconduct/charge before Labour Court on merits by adducing independent evidence. [Kurukshetra University v. Prithvi Singh, (2018) 4 SCC 483]

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 — Ss. 8(c), 20(b)(ii)(C), 28/23 and 67 — Search and seizure: In this case there was alleged recovery of contraband from suitcase. Statement of official witness, found impaired due to infirmities, not safe to rely upon and pass conviction order. Statements of independent panch witnesses, depicted a different picture than one portrayed by official witness, as to recovery and seizure. As recovery of narcotic substance was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, reversal of conviction by High Court was confirmed. [Union Of India v. Leen Martin, (2018) 4 SCC 490]

Income Tax Act, 1961 — Ss. 12-A and 12-AA — Cancellation/withdrawal/recall of registration certificates once granted by Commissioner: There was no express provision in Income Tax Act vesting Commissioner with power to cancel registration certificate granted by him under S. 12-A. Commissioner had no express power of cancellation of registration certificate once granted by him under S. 12-A till 1-1-2004. By enactment of S. 12-AA(3), this power is expressly conferred on Commissioner with effect from 1-10-2004, and hence such power of cancellation/withdrawal/recall could be exercised after 1-10-2004. This enactment is not retrospective in nature. Order passed under S. 12-A is quasi-judicial order. Functions exercisable under S. 12-A are neither legislative nor executive but they are essentially quasi-judicial in nature. Therefore, it could have been withdrawn/recalled only when there was express power vested with concerned authority. Order by Commissioner under S. 12-A does not fall in category of ‘orders’ mentioned under S. 21 of General Clauses Act. Expression ‘order’ mentioned under S. 21 of General Clauses Act must be in nature of ‘notification’, ‘rule’ and ‘bye-laws’, etc. Order which can be modified or rescinded under S. 21 of General Clauses Act has to be either legislative or executive in nature. As order passed under S. 12-A is quasi-judicial in nature, S. 21 of General Clauses Act has no application. [Industrial Infrastructure Development Corpn. (Gwalior) M.P. Ltd. v. CIT, (2018) 4 SCC 494]

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Ss. 13 and 13-B r/w Art. 142 of Constitution — Powers under Art. 142 to do complete justice — Invocation of — Settlement of matrimonial dispute through Supreme Court Mediation Centre: FIR lodged by wife quashed and marriage dissolved on consent in terms of settlement. [Sneha Parikh v. Manit Kumar, (2018) 4 SCC 501]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Remand of matter — When not justified: Matter remitted by Supreme Court to High Court for fresh disposal in accordance with law. [IEL Supervisors’ Assn. v. Duncans Industries Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 505]

Election — Election petition/trial — Statutory requirements as to filing of election petition: Under the Rule concerned i.e. R. 3(5)(d) of Rajasthan Municipalities Election Petition Rules, 2009, filing of treasury challan with deposit of requisite amount in treasury at the time of presentation of election petition is mandatory. In absence thereof, election petition is liable to be dismissed in terms of R. 7(3) of aforesaid 2009 Rules. Filing of treasury challan subsequent to presentation of election petition on grant of permission by Election Tribunal to deposit the amount in treasury, would be of no consequence in absence of any rule in this regard. Such permission to deposit, if any, might be sought prior to presentation of election petition. Thus, where the election petition was presented without a treasury challan (though later, deposit was made pursuant to permission granted by Election Tribunal), the same was liable to be rejected in terms of the above stated law. [Sitaram v. Radhey Shyam Vishnav, (2018) 4 SCC 507]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 125 — Maintenance — Grant of: Grant of Maintenance was set aside by High Court, on ground that appellant failed to prove that she was wife of respondent. Claim of appellant was that respondent had fathered three children with her, which was denied by respondent. Parties were directed by Supreme Court to go for DNA test. As DNA test report established that respondent was father of three children born to appellant, hence, impugned order of High Court, was set aside and order in favour of appellant under S. 125 CrPC, granting maintenance @ Rs 4000 p.m. from the month of September 2013, restored. [Pratima Das v. Subudh Das, (2018) 4 SCC 528]

Right to Information Act, 2005 — Ss. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11 r/w Third Recital of Preamble — Exemption from giving information: While balancing right to information, public interest including efficient working of Government, optimum use of fiscal resources and preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information has to be balanced and can be guiding factor to deal with given situation dehors Ss. 8, 9 and 11. [UPSE v. Angesh Kumar, (2018) 4 SCC 530]

Kerala Education Act, 1958 (6 of 1959) — S. 15 — Taking over of schools in public interest and in interest of education: Notification under S. 15 issued after closure of schools but satisfaction under S. 15(1) which was made prior to closure, valid. Submission that schools having already been closed and that too as per directions of Court and having attained finality in Supreme Court, State Government could not have issued belated notification under S. 15, not tenable. [A.A. Padmanbhan v. State of Kerala, (2018) 4 SCC 537]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal: Once High Court is satisfied after hearing appellant or his counsel that appeal involved substantial question of law, it has to formulate same under S. 100(4). Once, substantial question of law is framed, direction for issuance of notice to respondent of memo of appeal along with substantial question of law is passed. Jurisdiction of High Court is confined only to substantial question of law framed by it under S. 100(4). Respondent can raise objections under S. 100(5) that appeal did not involve any substantial question of law. S. 100(5) gives respondent right to know on which substantial question of law, second appeal had been admitted. As substantial question of law framed behind back of respondent, S. 100(5) enables him to raise such objection. As per proviso to S. 100(5), High Court can hear second appeal on any other substantial question of law not framed earlier under S. 100(4). However, while exercising such power, High Court is required to assign reasons for framing additional substantial questions of law at the time of hearing second appeal. Further held, while hearing second appeal, respondent required to oppose only substantial question of law so framed under S. 100(4) and not beyond that. If substantial question of law itself is not framed under S. 100(4), then there remains nothing to oppose for respondent. Further, High Court also loses its jurisdiction to decide second appeal finally. It is framing of substantial question of law which empowers High Court to finally decide appeal. If High Court is satisfied that appeal does not involve any substantial question of law, it can be dismissed in limine without even issuing notice to respondents. While dismissing appeal for want of substantial questions of law, High Court is required to assign its reasons. Whether respondent appeared at the time of final hearing or not is of no significance. High Court has to proceed in accordance with procedure prescribed under S. 100 for disposing second appeal either in limine or at final hearing. [Surat Singh v. Siri Bhagwan, (2018) 4 SCC 562]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 163-A — Permanent total disability — Compensation — Computation of Income — Loss of future prospects — Self-employed carpenter: Claim of appellant carpenter that his earnings were Rs 6000 p.m. cannot be discarded or cannot be regarded as being unreasonable or contrary to a realistic assessment of situation on date of accident. Following five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, held that benefit of future prospects should not be confined only to those who have a permanent job and would extend to self-employed individuals. In case of a self-employed person, an addition of 40% of established income should be made where age of victim at time of the accident was below 40 yrs. Hence, in this case, appellant be entitled to an enhancement of Rs 2400 towards loss of future prospects. [Jagdish v. Mohan, (2018) 4 SCC 571]

Constitution of India — Arts. 139-A, 136 and 226 — Transfer of writ proceedings to Supreme Court: In this case transfer petitions were dismissed on the ground that issue involved were pending consideration in a civil appeal in Supreme Court. Decision of Supreme Court can be brought to notice of High Court once civil appeal decided by Supreme Court and parties in meantime can request High Court to defer proceedings in pending writ petitions. [Commr. of Service Tax (Appeals 1) v. Sri Selvaganapathy & Co., (2018) 4 SCC 578]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 154, 200 and 482 — Second FIR and Counter-complaint — Maintainability of — Second FIR — When can be lodged: In this case two FIRs were filed in relation to same offence and against same accused but second FIR was not filed by same person, who filed first FIR . Moreover, second FIR contained a different version of events than contained in first FIR. While determining that whether subsequent FIR is liable to be quashed or not, the Supreme Court held that High Court committed jurisdictional error in quashing subsequent FIR/charge-sheet under S. 482 CrPC, without adverting to law on subject. Impugned order was set aside and case was restored to its file for being tried on merits, in accordance with law. [P. Sreekumar v. State of Kerala, (2018) 4 SCC 579]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Writ appeal — Proper mode of Disposal: For proper disposal of writ appeal Court has to deal with issues raised by parties and pass reasoned order. [Sivakami v. State of T.N., (2018) 4 SCC 587]

Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 — Ss. 2(o), 42, 48, 49, 51 and 60 — Demurrage/storage charges in respect of goods not cleared by the consignee — Who is liable to pay i.e. a consignor, steamer agent or consignee: In view of the inconsistencies in the decisions in K.P.V. Sheik Mohamed Rowther & Co. (Rowther-I), 1963 Supp (2) SCR 915; K.P.V. Sheikh Mohd. Rowther & Co. (P) Ltd. (Rowther-II), (1997) 10 SCC 285; Sriyanesh Knitters, (1999) 7 SCC 359; Forbes Forbes Campbell & Co. Ltd. (Forbes-II), (2015) 1 SCC 228 and Rasiklal Kantilal & Co., (2017) 11 SCC 1, matter referred to a larger Bench. [Cochin Port Trust v. Arebee Star Maritime Agencies (P) Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 592]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 12 R. 6 — Judgment on admission — When proper: In this case, Defendant 2 (Bank) in written statement not specifically denied undertaking to honour cheques issued by Defendant 1 but deliberately attempted to frustrate legal right of plaintiff by producing only a xerox copy and not original undertaking. Trial court in said suit for recovery allowed Or. 12 R. 6 application of plaintiff. The said order was affirmed by the Supreme Court. [Indian Bank v. S.N. Engineers & Suppliers, (2018) 4 SCC 606]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 205, 317 and 482 — Personal appearance of accused — When can be exempted — Case under S. 498-A IPC and S. 4, Dowry Prohibition Act: When sufficient grounds made out for granting exemption from personal appearance of accused persons in trial, Judicial Magistrate committed error in not adverting to such grounds and rejected application filed under S. 205 CrPC, on unfounded reasons. Challenge to sais order, before High Court, under S. 482 CrPC, was also incorrectly rejected, on some different reasonings and High Court took entirely new grounds for dismissing application filed under S. 482 CrPC without adverting to grounds which were taken by Magistrate for declining prayer. Orders of High Court and Judicial Magistrate, set aside and personal appearance of accused, exempted. [Rameshwar Yadav v. State of Bihar, (2018) 4 SCC 608]

Family and Personal Laws — Muslim Law — Burial Norms and Rights: As disputed land was used for Muslim graveyard from time immemorial, High Court declaring that Muslim community entitled to said burial ground of 2.49 acres, not disturbed. [Sattar V. High School Boarding Committee, (2018) 4 SCC 613]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Condonation of delay — Adoption of liberal approach in respect of, when warranted: A defective review petition was filed in High Court but petitioners concerned failed to cure those defects despite several opportunities granted to them in that regard. Review petition was consequently dismissed by Registrar of High Court. Application was filed before High Court for setting aside the order of Registrar and restoring the review petition, which was dismissed on ground of delay. While hearing the petition challenging the said order, the Supreme Court noted that keeping in view the observations made by Supreme Court in Sangram Singh, AIR 1955 SC 425 and having regard to the nature of controversy involved herein, held, High Court should have condoned the delay taking a liberal view in the matter. Interest of justice demanded one more opportunity to be given to the review petitioners (appellants herein) to cure the defects. [Pralhad Shankarrao Tajale v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 4 SCC 615]

Constitution of India — Art. 233 — Appointment to Higher Judicial Service — Appointment to post of District Judge — Eligibility: Matter referred to larger Bench on issues: (i) whether eligibility is to be adjudged only at time of appointment or at time of application or both; and (ii) whether in computing period of 7 yrs of practice for being eligible for appointment as District Judge, period during which candidate has held judicial office to be included and interpretation of Art. 233 of the Constitution. [Dheeraj Mor v. High Court of Delhi, (2018) 4 SCC 619]

Constitution of India — Arts. 233 and 309 — Appointment to posts of Higher Judicial Service — Rr. 31(3) and 33(iii) of Rajasthan Judicial Service Rules, 2010 — Validity: For appointment to posts of District Judges in State of Rajasthan, Rules were framed by certain States including State of Rajasthan and State of Gujarat in exercise of their powers under Art. 309 of the Constitution that in computing period of 7 yrs of practice by candidate for appointment to post of District Judge, period during which candidate was holding judicial office would also be computed. Interim orders were passed by Supreme Court in two writ petitions pertaining to appointment to Higher Judicial Service wherein benefit similar to one extended by State of Gujarat was claimed. In this case, it was prayed to pass similar orders while declaring impugned Rules requiring a candidate to have not less than 7 yrs of practice for being eligible for appointment to post of District Judge in State of Rajasthan. The Supreme Court held that impugned Rules are in consonance with Art. 233 of the Constitution. However, considering that validity of Rules framed by State of Gujarat had not been tested so far and to avoid proliferation of litigation, matter referred to larger Bench. [Sukhda Pritam v. High Court of Rajasthan, (2018) 4 SCC 627]

Rent Control and Eviction — Allotment/Deemed Vacancy/Vacancy/Release of Building — Review power under S. 16(5)(a), U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 — When can be exercised: If District Magistrate returns a wrong finding regarding vacancy, it is always open to him to review same. Question of allotment or release under S. 16(1)(a) or (b) can arise only if there is a vacancy. Once finding that there is no vacancy, same certainly open to be reviewed under S. 16(5)(a), 1972 Act. Thus District Magistrate was justified in exercising review jurisdiction. [Rajendra Kumar Verma v. Additional District Magistrate (Civil Supplies), (2018) 4 SCC 630]

Karnataka Value Added Tax Act, 2003 (32 of 2004) — Ss. 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(b) — Rate of tax on goods used in the execution of works contract prior to 1-4-2006 i.e. prior to insertion of cl. (c) in S. 4(1) prescribing a uniform rate of tax on such goods — Determination of: The expression “other goods” means those goods which are not governed by S. 4(1)(a) and where goods are specifically covered by any of the entries of the Second, Third and Fourth Schedules, such goods would be covered by the specific entry relating to those goods. Thus, recourse to the residual provisions of S. 4(1)(b) would be available only in respect of “other goods” i.e. goods which did not fall within the purview of S. 4(1)(a). Further, though it was permissible for the State Legislatures to prescribe a uniform rate of tax for all goods involved in the execution of works contracts, the KVAT Act, 2003 did not provide a uniform rate of tax prior to 1-4-2006. Therefore, tax prior to 1-4-2006 was to be levied as per the rate applicable on the value of each class of goods involved in the execution of works contract. [State of Karnataka v. Durga Projects Inc., (2018) 4 SCC 633]

Constitution of India — Pt. III — Linking of Aadhaar with bank account, mobile number and social welfare schemes: Last date for linking of Aadhaar with bank account, mobile number and social welfare schemes, having been extended in earlier order to 31-3-2018, further extended till matter finally heard and decided by Court. Further, said interim order would also govern Passports (First Amendment) Rules, 2018. [K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 651]

Constitution of India — Arts. 145(3) and 136 — Ram Janmabhoomi/Babri Masjid suits — Issue as to whether matter should be referred to Constitution Bench: Directions regarding completion of procedural formalities with regard to addition, deletion, substitution of parties and submission of documents and translated copies of documents, issued. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, (2018) 4 SCC 655]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 41 Rr. 27 and 2 — Admission of additional evidence by appellate court — Procedure to be adopted subsequent to: Though Or. 41 R. 27 CPC is silent as to the procedure to be adopted by appellate court after admission of additional evidence, however, in view of provisions contained in Or. 41 R. 2 CPC, when appellate court admits additional evidence, it is necessary for said court to grant an opportunity to other party to lead evidence in rebuttal thereof. [Akhilesh Singh v. Lal Babu Singh, (2018) 4 SCC 659]

Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006 — R. 5 — Validity of: As per the charging section i.e. S. 66 of Finance Act, 1994, service tax is to be charged only on the value of taxable services. Further, as per S. 67 of Finance Act, 1994, for valuation of taxable services, the authorities are to find what is the gross amount charged for providing “such” taxable services. Thus, any other amount which is calculated not for providing such taxable service cannot be a part of that valuation. Further, rules cannot go beyond the statute i.e. a rule which comes in conflict with the main enactment has to give way to the provisions of the Act. Therefore, service tax is to be paid only on the services actually provided by the service provider i.e. R. 5 is ultra vires the provisions of Ss. 66 and 67 of Finance Act, 1994. [Union of India v. Intercontinental Consultants & Technocrats Private Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 669]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 7(5) r/w S. 11 — Intention to incorporate arbitration clause from another agreement — When cannot be inferred: In this case agreement between appellant and respondent did not contain any arbitration clause, however, Cl. 2 of agreement provided that conditions relating to works and quality specified in agreement between Construction Contractor and employer would be binding on subcontractor/appellant and cl. 9.10 provided that terms and conditions of agreement between Contractor and employer will be applicable for items not mentioned in agreement clauses. Hence, following the ruling in M.R. Engineers and Contractors (P) Ltd., (2009) 7 SCC 696, wherein it was inter alia, held, that where a contract between the parties provides that execution or performance of that contract shall be in terms of another contract (which contains terms and conditions relating to performance and a provision for settlement of disputes by arbitration), then, terms of referred contract in regard to execution/performance alone will apply, and not arbitration agreement in referred contract, unless there is special reference to arbitration clause also, held, that arbitration clause was not intended to be made as a part of contract between appellant and respondent. Thus, appellant’s petition under S. 11 rightly dismissed by High Court. [Elite Engg. and Construction (Hyd.) (P) Ltd. v. Techtrans Construction India (P) Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 281]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 43 R. 1(r) and Or. 39 R. 1 — Interference in interim order/Interlocutory Orders/Injunction/Stay: When main appeal itself is pending for consideration before High Court and order being interim in nature, interference with interim order must be declined. Expeditious disposal of first appeal on merits, emphasized. [B. Muthukrishnan v. S.T. Reddiar Educational & Charitable Trust, (2018) 4 SCC 298]

Competition Act, 2002 — Ss. 4(2)(c) Expln. (a), 2(b), (f)(ii) & (m): Abuse of dominant position by cable operators’ group by unlawful premature termination of agreement with broadcaster of a TV channel resulting in denial to broadcaster of market access, is violative of S. 4(2)(c). Words “in any manner” in S. 4(2)(c) are of wide import and should be given natural meaning. Once dominant position of the group made out on facts, question whether broadcaster is in competition with the group irrelevant for purpose of application of S. 4(2)(c). [CCI v. Fast Way Transmission (P) Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 316]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 439 — Bail: Grant of bail by High Court, in a case of murder, being on a very little reference to/or discussion on merits of bail applications. Reason for release mainly one, which reason can, on a fair reading, be understood or misunderstood almost as a mitigating circumstance or a kind of a justification for murder. High Court’s order(s) set aside and bail applications restored to file of High Court, for hearing matter(s) afresh, after giving liberty to parties to file additional affidavits. [Mubin Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 4 SCC 312]

Family and Personal Laws — Guardians and Wards — Custody of Child/Minor — Jurisdiction/Judicial Interference/Parens Patriae Jurisdiction/Conflict of Laws/Private International Law: Principle of comity of courts or forum conveniens cannot alone determine threshold bar of jurisdiction. In these matters, paramount consideration is always best interest of child. This cannot be subject-matter of final determination in proceedings under Or. 7 R. 11 CPC. [Jasmeet Kaur v. Navtej Singh, (2018) 4 SCC 295]

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 — Ss. 8(2), (3), 10-B and 11 — Mining leases declared to be illegal in Goa Foundation, (2014) 6 SCC 590 — Grant of second renewal — Impermissibility of: State of Goa should have granted fresh mining leases instead of granting a second renewal. Such second renewal, held, illegal in view of Goa Foundation, (2014) 6 SCC 590. Second renewal of mining leases set aside and consequential directions also issued. [Goa Foundation v. Sesa Sterlite Ltd., (2018) 4 SCC 218]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 467, 468 and 471 r/w S. 120-B — Bail — Grant of — Reasons for: Appellant-accused was facing trial under Ss. 467, 468 and 471 r/w S. 120-B IPC. His period of custody was more than one year. High Court rejected his bail application mainly on basis of FSL Report. Though case is pending for a long time, trial has not yet commenced. Evidently, co-accused was granted bail. In aforesaid circumstances, held, it is just and proper to release appellant on bail. Hence, appellant directed to be released on bail on certain conditions. [Vijay Kumar v. State of Rajasthan, (2018) 4 SCC 315]

Public Accountability, Vigilance and Prevention of Corruption — Government Contracts and Tenders — Purchase of helicopters by State Governments — Unsubstantiated and baseless allegations: In this case involving purchase of Agusta Westland helicopter by the State of Chhattisgarh, where allegations of kickbacks and deposit in foreign accounts, specific allegation of deposit in account of Chief Minister’s son were imposed. Prayer for direction for investigation into allegations, was rejected as there was nothing on record to show that said purchases could have been made at a lesser price. CAG did not attribute any extraneous consideration in deal concerned. It was clarified that Government was entitled to make choice in purchase of helicopters which were purchased after evaluation of global tenders. Son of the Chief Minister was not personally a party. Disclosure in Panama Papers is a matter which is still under investigation. Hence, petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan seeking probe into the alleged anomalies in the purchase of Agusta Westland helicopter by the State of Chhattisgarh, dismissed. [Swaraj Abhiyan v. Union of India, (2018) 4 SCC 300]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — Ss. 36, 32 and 42 — Execution/enforcement of arbitral award — Court through which may be effected: Execution/enforcement of award can be done/filed anywhere in country where such decree can be executed and there is no requirement for obtaining a transfer of decree from court which has jurisdiction over arbitral proceedings/award/within whose jurisdiction award is passed. [Sundaram Finance Ltd. v. Abdul Samad, (2018) 3 SCC 622]

Electricity Act, 2003 — Ss. 127, 126 and 135 — Need to adhere to statutory dispute resolution mechanism/scheme: Once proceedings are initiated under Ss. 126 and/or 135, they must be brought logical conclusion in accordance with law after hearing consumer/concerned person as per statutory scheme. [Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. v. Appellate Authority, (2018) 3 SCC 608]

Insurance — Life Insurance — Contract of life insurance: Acceptance of premium, amounts to waiving precondition of medical examination of insured. Such acceptance of premium results in concluded contract. Subsequent repudiation of policy amounts to deficiency in service. [D. Srinivas v. SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 653]

Labour Law — Regularisation — Questions of fact — Proper forum: As several questions of fact arose in present case and MoU between employer and employee provided for arbitration, therefore, matter referred to Arbitral Tribunal for adjudication of factual disputes. [Ennore Port Trust v. V. Manoharan, (2018) 3 SCC 612]

Madhya Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1994 — Rr. 63, 64 and 65 — Decision regarding modification of time schedule of vehicle route: In this case State Transport Authority took decision by signing of two members when all three members as required for quorum were present during hearing where all parties heard. It was held that as quorum for meeting was satisfied, signing of decision by majority of members (that is by two out of three members), was valid. In present case, normal rule of decision by majority should be followed as no exception is provided in statute. R. 65(4) providing for decision by special majority is not applicable because it is with regard to decision by circulation by votes. Present case is not a case of decision by circulation. [State of M.P. v. Mahendra Gupta, (2018) 3 SCC 635]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Compensation — Total permanent disability — Functional disability — Need to assess: Appellant 26 yrs old at time of accident, riding pillion on a motorcycle, dashed against by a lorry, sustained a fracture in his spinal cord, right leg and right hip bone, losing sensation or movement in his legs. Tribunal determined compensation at Rs 9,72,000; but thereafter on medical opinion of about 70% disability, reduced it to net amount at Rs 6,80,400 and after addition of medical and other expenses, awarded a total compensation of Rs 11,27,359 together with interest of 12% p.a. High Court in appeal reduced interest component from 12% p.a. to 7.5% p.a.. It was held by the Supreme Court that as a result of multiple fractures sustained by him, appellant has lost complete sensation below abdomen. Evidently he cannot work anymore as load man. In these circumstances, assessment of disability at 70% is incorrect. On a realistic view, nature of disability must be regarded as being complete. There was no reason or justification for deduction of Rs 2,91,600 by Tribunal (Rs 9,72,000 minus Rs 6,80,400). Amount so deducted restored and rounded off to Rs 3,00,000, enhancing compensation granted by Tribunal by this amount. Moreover, appellant is entitled to interest at 9% p.a. from date of claim petition on total amount of compensation (instead and in substitution of 7.5% p.a. awarded by High Court). [S. Thangaraj v. National Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 605]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166, 168 and 173 — Enhancement of compensation — Difference claimed only 4% or 5%: Court normally does not interfere where variation in compensation is within permissible limits. [New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Vinish Jain, (2018) 3 SCC 619]

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 — S. 24 — Interpretation of word “paid” in S. 24(2): As there is divergence in opinion of co-equal Benches, proceedings in all affected cases stayed until question is settled by larger Bench. [State of Haryana v. G.D. Goenka Tourism Corpn. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 585]

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Settlement Act, 2013 — S. 24(2) — Lapsing of acquisition proceedings under, in case of nonpayment of compensation within prescribed period — Conduct of landowners concerned in regard to non-payment — Relevance of: Said provision under S. 24(2) of 2013 Act extends protection only to such landowners who are deprived of the compensation and not to those who deliberately do not collect the compensation and avoid to receive the same by their wilful act(s). Failure to deposit compensation in court under S. 31 of LA Act, 1894 in latter case would attract only payment of interest as envisaged under S. 34 of said LA Act. In such latter case, provisions of S. 24 of 2013 Act cannot be invoked seeking lapse of acquisition proceedings. [Mahavir v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 588]

Sales Tax and VAT — Refund: When payment of sales tax has been done on provisional price, in case of subsequent reduction in provisional price, assessee is entitled to refund of tax paid on excess amount, with interest. [Universal Cylinders Ltd. v. CCT, (2018) 3 SCC 648]

Cases ReportedSupreme Court Cases

CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 — S. 2(l), as existing prior to 1-4-2008 — Circular No. 97/8/2007-ST dt. 23-8-2007 issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) — CENVAT credit in respect of service tax paid on transportation of goods from factory of manufacturer to the place of purchaser — Availment of: Following Vasavadatta Cements Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 769, and in the absence of any challenge by Revenue to the satisfaction of the three conditions laid down in Circular dt. 23-8-2007 by the assessee, namely, (i) the ownership of goods and the property in the goods remains with the seller of the goods till the delivery of the goods in acceptable condition to the purchaser at his doorstep; (ii) seller bears the risk of or loss or damage to the goods during transit to the destination; and (iii) freight charges are integral part of the price of the goods, held, the service used by the manufacturer for clearance of final products “from the place of removal” i.e. factory premises of the assessee, to the warehouse or customer’s place, etc. was exigible for CENVAT credit. [CCE v. Andhra Sugars Ltd.,  (2018) 3 SCC 223]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 438 — Anticipatory bail — Alleged abetment of suicide: Deceased a Civil Engineer and working as a civil contractor, and accused were other contractors charged under Ss. 306/34 for abetting his suicide. All five accused were implicated in alleged suicide note by deceased. High Court denied protection under S. 438 CrPC. While issuing notice by order dt. 12-1-2018 Supreme Court noted that appellant-accused had already taken voluntary retirement in 2011 and suicide is of 2017. Before High Court also accused had pleaded that none of them was engaged as a contractor by municipal corpn. concerned since 2011. On request counsel for State on instruction submits that investigation is in progress and same is yet to be completed. It was held, it is a case where appellant needs to be given protection on condition that he would cooperate with investigation. In case appellant is arrested he shall be released on bail on his executing bond of Rs 25,000 with two sureties of like amount, subject to conditions under S. 438(2) CrPC and appellant directed to cooperate with investigation. [Bhausaheb v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 221]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 439 — Grant of bail — Foreign citizen: No special consideration can be given to accused in granting bail simply because he is a foreigner. [Lachhman Dass v. Resham Chand Kaler,  (2018) 3 SCC 187]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 320 — Quashing of criminal proceedings — Exercise of power by High Court — Quashing of proceedings based on compromise/settlement between parties: The principles on this point relevant to this case are, that where offences are predominantly of civil character, particularly arising out of commercial transactions, dispute should be quashed when parties have resolved their dispute. Further, timing of settlement would be crucial for exercise of power or declining to exercise power. Where settlement is arrived at between parties immediately after commission of offence and matter is still under investigation, High Court may be liberal in accepting settlement to quash proceedings/investigation as investigation is in its early stage and charge-sheet has not been filed. Where charges are framed and recording of evidence is yet to commence or is at early stage, proceedings can be quashed after prima facie assessment of circumstances/materials. Where trial is at fag end, High Court should refrain from exercising its power as trial court would be in position to decide matter on merits. Where accused already convicted and appeal against conviction is pending, mere settlement or compromise between victim and accused is not ground to accept the same resulting in acquittal of offender. [Anita Maria Dias v. State of Maharashtra, (2018) 3 SCC 290]

Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923 — S. 30 — Improper disposal of appeal — Remand — When warranted: Judgment of High Court setting aside order of Employees’ Compensation Commissioner awarding Rs 8,70,576 compensation for injuries sustained by appellant claimant without hearing him, not sustainable. Matter remitted to High Court to decide appeal filed by Insurance Company afresh, after granting opportunity of hearing to appellant claimant. [Mohd. Anwar v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 300]

Family and Personal Laws — Family Property, Succession and Inheritance — Will — Subsequent will/Revocation/Alteration/Codicil: First will, a registered deed, executed in favour of minor daughter and minor son from first wife of testator, but kept in possession of the son U (Defendant 1). Subsequent alleged will in favour of defendant unregistered and having no mention of earlier registered document and its revocation. Minor on attaining majority filed suit for declaration of ownership of property on strength of earlier will but having no access to it produced certified copy thereof and proved the same in terms of S. 68 of Evidence Act. It was held on facts that earlier will is genuine. Hence, plaintiff entitled to declaration of her ownership over bequeathed property. [H.V. Nirmala v. R. Sharmila, (2018) 3 SCC 303]

Income Tax Rules, 1962 (as amended by the Noti. dt. 24-3-2008) — R. 8-D — Prospective operation of: S. 14-A was first inserted by the Finance Act, 2001 with retrospective effect from 1-4-1962 and sub-sections (2) & (3) were later inserted w.e.f. 1-4-2007 for the purposes of computing the expenditure incurred in relation to income which did not form part of the total income. R. 8-D was inserted by an amendment to the Rules by Noti. dt. 24-3-2008 to give effect to the provisions of sub-sections (2) & (3) of S. 14-A and provided for the method for determining amount of expenditure in relation to income not includible in total income. Applying the principles of statutory interpretation for interpreting retrospectivity of a fiscal statute, looking into the nature and purpose of subsections (2) & (3) of S. 14-A as well as purpose and intent of R. 8-D coupled with the Explanatory Notes in the Finance Bill, 2006 and the Departmental understanding as reflected by Circular dt. 28-12-2006, held, R. 8-D is intended to operate prospectively i.e. for Assessment Year 2007-2008 and onwards. [CIT v. Essar Teleholdings Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 253]

Infrastructure Laws — Water and Water Resources — Canals, Dams and Irrigation — Flood/Inundation Management and Safety Measures — Apprehended cataclysm and unforeseen calamity to human life and property due to bursting of Mullaperiyar Dam: As far as safety measures of Mullaperiyar Dam are concerned, directions issued by Supreme Court in State of T.N., (2014) 12 SCC 696 would be binding and provisions of 2005 Act implemented. Further held, greater degree of disaster management and better preparedness to face any kind of disaster caused by dam is to be ensured since life without basic needs and liberty replete with fear is meaningless. Hence, it is the duty of States concerned to create sense of confidence in people and to ensure that adequate measures have been taken so that safety of citizens is not compromised at any level. Directions issued for constitution of different Sub-Committees by the Central Government, States of T.N. and Kerala to exclusively monitor measures for ensuring high level preparedness to face any disaster, which would be in addition to existing Committees. [Russel Joy v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 179]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — Ss. 23, 11 and 18 — Fair market rate of acquired land prevalent on date of acquisition — Determination of: There are several factors which govern determination of fair market rate of acquired land. Said market rate therefore cannot be decided in isolation on basis of only one factor. These factors are required to be proved with sufficient evidence. It must appear that courts have made sincere endeavour to determine fair market rate of acquired land taking into account all relevant aspects of the case. In this regard, duty of landowners and State is to adduce proper and sufficient evidence to enable courts to arrive at a reasonable and fair market rate of acquired land prevalent on date of acquisition. [Surender Singh v. State of Haryana, (2018) 3 SCC 278]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — S. 149(2) — Third-party insurance — Defences available to insurance company — Burden of proof: Following Swaran Singh, (2004) 3 SCC 297, reiterated that insurance company is entitled to take a defence that offending vehicle was driven by an unauthorised person or that person driving vehicle did not have a valid driving licence. Onus would shift on insurance company only after owner of offending vehicle pleads and proves basic facts within his knowledge that driver of offending vehicle was authorised by him to drive vehicle and was having a valid driving licence at relevant time. [Pappu v. Vinod Kumar Lamba, (2018) 3 SCC 208]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation — Computation of — Multiplier — Age of deceased or claimant parents — Future prospects: Deceased, 29 yrs old was serving as an Assistant Teacher in a school run by a Trust on a temporary basis who would have been made permanent and would have been entitled to 6th Pay Commission wages of at least Rs 40,000 p.m. Adopting a multiplier of I7, Tribunal awarded compensation of Rs 61,20,000 and added Rs 35,000 under conventional heads with interest @ 9% p.a. However High Court having regard to age of father at 65 yrs and mother 50 yrs, concluded that a multiplier of 7 should be adopted. The Supreme Court held that in terms of judgment of five-Judge Bench in Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680 and in Sarla Verma, (2009) 6 SCC 121, correct multiplier to be applied in present case would be 17, having regard to age of deceased at 29 yrs. For future prospects, adding 50%, and making a deduction of 50% towards personal expenses (deceased being a bachelor), total compensation quantified at Rs 61,20,000. After making additions on account of conventional heads, total compensation at Rs 61,90,000 carrying interest @ 9% p.a. from date of filing of claim petition awarded. Apportionment to be carried out in terms of award of Tribunal. [Ramrao Lala Borse v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 204]

Municipalities — Municipal taxes — External development charges — Liability to pay: Liability to pay the same is on house construction society, colonisers or individual persons. Central Government entities/PSUs like National Fertilizers Ltd. and Gas Authority of India Ltd., (respondentplaintiffs) who were allotted plots and constructed dwelling units for stay of their employees as distinguished from sale or letting out on rent, held, are not liable to pay said charges. [Municipal Council, Raghogarh v. National Fertilizers Ltd., (2018) 3 SCC 200]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 138 — Sentence and compensation: Waiver of imprisonment in lieu of payment of additional compensation, permissible under exceptional circumstances. [Priyanka Nagpal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 3 SCC 249]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — S. 138: Conviction under S. 138, confirmed, however, accused permitted to pay additional compensation amount to complainant, in lieu of simple imprisonment awarded. [P. Ramadas v. State of Kerala, (2018) 3 SCC 287]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 201 — Charge under — When can be independently laid and conviction maintained: Charge under S. 201 can be independently laid and conviction maintained also, in case prosecution is able to establish that an offence was committed, person charged with offence had knowledge or reason to believe that offence was committed, said person has caused disappearance of evidence and such act of disappearance was done with intention of screening offender from legal punishment. Mere suspicion is not sufficient, it must be proved that accused knew or had a reason to believe that offence was committed and yet he caused evidence to disappear so as to screen offender. Offender may be either himself or any other person. [Dinesh Kumar Kalidas Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 3 SCC 313]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 304 Pt. I and 307: There were serious burn injuries caused to a number of women, leading to death of two due to burning cow dung cakes which were hurled by accused at them. High Court reversed conviction of accused under Ss. 304 Pt. I and 307. No enmity was found present between accused and victims and no intention of accused to kill a particular person was also established. Material contradictions in statements of eyewitnesses, present. No explanation was given of huge delay in recording statements of witnesses. Inordinate delay in lodging FIR, also not explained. It was held that guilt of accused was not established beyond reasonable doubt, hence, acquittal by High Court, confirmed. [State of M.P. v. Nande, (2018) 3 SCC 196]

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection ) Act, 1994 — Ss. 22 and 18 — Advertisements relating to pre-conception and pre-natal determination of sex and sex selection: Earlier directions issued regarding prohibition of advertisements relating to pre-conception and pre-natal determination of sex and sex selection, summarised and further directions issued with special reference to search criteria “medical tourism in India” and “gender determination”. [Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 229]

Service Law — Appointment — Contractual appointment — Non-renewal of contract — Absence of any right accruing in favour of contractual employee: Services of petitioner appointed as Technical Assistant (ENT) on contract basis without following any prescribed procedure or adherence to rules, though initially for three months but subsequently renewed, were terminated/not renewed after six months. The Supreme Court held, contractual employee has no right to have his/her contract renewed in absence of any statutory or other right in his favour. At best, petitioner can only claim that due consideration for extending his contract may be granted, which was actually done in instant case, but decision not to continue him was taken. Besides, since petitioner’s appointment was not made in accordance with any regular procedure or by following necessary rules, no right accrued in his favour for regularisation of his services. Furthermore, fact that some persons were appointed as ENT in the year 2016 would have no bearing on events of 2010 when decision to discontinue petitioner was taken since change in circumstance would confer no benefit on him. [Yogesh Mahajan v. AIIMS, (2018) 3 SCC 218]

Service Law — Appointment — Eligibility conditions/criteria: For post of Hindi Language Assistant, carving out specific category in Recruitment Rules postulating additional requirement is permissible. [State of Karnataka v. Shankar Baburao Kangralkar, (2018) 3 SCC 296]

Service Law — Retirement/Superannuation — Voluntary retirement — Housing accommodation — SAIL Scheme for Leasing of Houses to Employees, 2002 — Long term (33 yrs) lease of the houses to serving employees opting for VRS: There was claim of respondent ex-employees of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), a unit of appellant SAIL (who were already in occupation of official quarters on licence basis for 22 months), to their inclusion within said 2002 Scheme. Scheme remained valid for 3 months only. No vested right was conferred on ex-employees under Scheme. State Government had leased entire land to RSP for use of steel plant and ancillary purposes. In view of subsequent plan of RSP of expansion of its production capacity by plant modernisation which would require additional accommodation for various government agencies within township, any long lease of quarters by RSP would not be feasible. In such circumstances, held, appellant cannot be compelled to grant longterm lease of official quarters in RSP township to respondents. However, respondents (writ petitioners before High Court), 53 in number, directed to be allowed to remain in occupation of the quarters for a period of 33 months from date of decision of this appeal. [SAIL v. Choudhary Tilotama Das, (2018) 3 SCC 308]