Supreme Court Monthly Digest- July 2019


Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC: Plaint Can Either Be Rejected As A Whole Or Not At All

Madhav Prasad Aggarwal vs. Axis Bank

Plaint can either be rejected as a whole or not at all, remarked the Supreme Court 
while reiterating that it is not permissible to reject plaint qua any particular portion of 
a plaint including against some of the defendant(s) and continue the same against the others.

SC Declines To Apply ‘Group Of Companies’ Doctrine To Implead Foreign Company In Arbitration With Its Indian Affiliate

Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited V. Reynders Label Printing India Private Limited and Anr.

The Supreme Court refused to invoke the ‘group of companies’ doctrine to implead a 
a foreign company in an application for appointment of an arbitrator for a dispute arising 
out an agreement with its Indian affiliate.

No Prohibition Against Adoption In Christian Law Even If Couple Have Natural Born Child


Pharez John Abraham (Dead) vs. Arul JothiSivasubramaniam K

The Supreme Court held that there is no prohibition against adoption in Christian law.
Unlike in the Hindu Law, there is no law prohibiting the Christian couple to adopt male or female child, although they may have natural born male or female child, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah observed. 

PFI Leader’s Plea Seeking Discharge In RSS Worker Murder Case Dismissed

AsimShariff V. National Investigation Agency

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a Popular Front of India leader accused in the murder of a RSS worker Rudresh in Karnataka. The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi reiterated that while examining the discharge application filed under Section 227 CrPC, it is expected from the trial Judge to exercise its judicial mind to determine as to whether a case for trial has been made out or not.

Consuming Liquor In A Private Vehicle In A Place Accessible To Public Is Punishable Under Bihar Excise Act

Satvinder Singh @ Satvinder Singh Saluja& Ors. V. The State Of Bihar

The Supreme Court held that a private vehicle is not exempted from the definition of ‘public place’ under the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act 2016. The ruling was given by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhuhsan and K M Joseph in the case Satvinder Singh v State of Bihar while dismissing an appeal filed against the refusal of the Patna High Court to exercise powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the charge-sheet filed against the appellants.

Judicial Review: Only Palpably Arbitrary Decisions Of Executive In Economic Matters Can Be Interfered With

Vasavi Engineering College Parents Association V. State Of Telangana And Others

The Supreme Court, observed that while adjudging the validity of an executive decision in economic matters by exercising power of judicial review, it is not errors, but only palpably arbitrary decisions alone can be interfered with by the High Courts.


Principle Of ‘Pay And Recover’ Can Be Ordered If Driver Of Offending Vehicle Does Not Possess A Valid Driving License

Parminder Singh v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. & Ors.

The Supreme Court reiterated that, if the driver of the offending vehicle does not possess a valid driving license, the principle of ‘pay and recover’ can be ordered to direct the insurance company to the pay the victim, and then recover the amount from the owner of the offending vehicle.

Courts Can Imply A Term In Contract Only If Literal Interpretation Fails To Give The Result Intended By Parties

M/S Adani Power (Mundra) Ltd. V. Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission And Ors.

The Court should give effect to “plain, literal and grammatical” meaning of the clauses used in a contract, reiterated the Supreme Court while upholding Adani Power’s termination of the Power Purchase Agreement with Gujarat UrjaVikas Ltd(GUVL).The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Surya Kant held that the Court can read a term into the agreement on the basis of ‘business efficacy doctrine’ only if it is not possible otherwise to give effect to the intention of the parties.

Land Owners Not Entitled To An Alternative Site Or Flat In All Cases Of Acquisition

State of Tamil Nadu vs. Dr. VasanthiVeerasekaran

The Supreme Court observed that there is no rule that in all cases of acquisition of the land that the owner must be given an alternative site or flat. The contention of the state in appeal [State of Tamil Nadu vs. Dr. VasanthiVeerasekaran] was that the High Court order is in the nature of granting an extra-legal concession by way of allotment of an alternative site in lieu of acquired lands sans any such legal obligation on the State under the 1894 Act or any policy in force pertaining to the project of MRTS (Railways) to be implemented by the Ministry of Railway, Government of India.

Mitakshara Law – Property Inherited By A Male Will Remain As Coparcenary Property For Descendants Upto Three Degrees Below Him

Arshnoor Singh V. Harpal Kaur & Ors.

The Supreme Court held that the rule under Mitakshara law that whenever a male ancestor inherits any property from any of his paternal ancestors upto three degrees above him, then his male legal heirs upto three degrees below him would get an equal right as coparceners in that property will apply in cases of succession which opened before Hindu Succession Act 1956.

Outer Limitation For Suit For Possession Based On Title Is Not Lost Merely Because Relief Of Declaration Is Also Sought

Sopanrao& Anr. V. Syed Mehmood& Ors.

The Supreme Court held that merely because relief of declaration is also sought in a suit for possession, the outer limitation of 12 years is not lost. The three judge bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Indira Banerjee observed that the suit is not only for declaration but the plaintiffs also prayed for possession of the suit land.

An Accused on Bail Cannot Be Arrested on Addition Of New Offences Without Order of The Court Which Granted Bail

Pradeep Ram V. The State Of Jharkhand & Anr.

The Supreme Court held that, in a case where an accused has already been granted bail, the investigating authority on addition of an offence or offences needs to obtain an order to arrest the accused from the Court which had granted the bail.


No Party Could Be Left Remediless: SC Upholds HC Order Reviewing Its Earlier Judgment Rendered Without Noticing Statutory Provision

Sunil Vasudeva v. Sundar Gupta.

No party could be left remediless, said the Supreme Court while upholding a Calcutta High Court which reviewed its earlier judgment rendered without noticing a statutory provision.

Liberal View Is To Be Adopted In Matters Of Condonation Of Delay, SC Tells NCDRC

Hemlata Verma vs. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd

The Supreme Court reiterated that, in matter of condonation of delay, the Consumer Commission should take liberal view. The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra set aside an order of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which had refused to condone a delay of 207 days in filing the revision petition before it.

Member Of Air Force Has No Unqualified Right To Leave Service

Amit Kumar Roy V. Union Of India & Ors

A person who has been enrolled as a member of the Air Force does not have an unqualified right to depart from service at his or her will during the term of engagement, the Supreme Court held.

A Candidate Once Availed Age Relaxation For Reserved Category Can’t Later Migrate To General Category

NiravkumarDilipbhaiMakwana V. Gujarat Public Service Commission & Ors.

The Supreme Court held that a candidate who has availed of an age relaxation in a selection process as a result of belonging to a reserved category, thereafter, cannot seek to be accommodated in/or migrated to the general category seat.

SC Restores Conviction And Sentence Of Accused In Former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya Murder Case

Central Bureau Of Investigation & Anr. V. Mohd. Parvez Abdul Kayuum Etc.

Supreme Court of India restored the conviction and sentence of accused in the murder case of former state Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003.The Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was pronouncing the verdict on the appeals filed by CBI and the Gujarat government challenging the acquittal of 12 persons facing charges of murdering former state Home Minister Haren Pandya in 2003. The bench dismissed a fresh PIL filed by NGO ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation’ (CPIL) which has sought court-monitored fresh investigation into the killing with Rs 50000 as Cost.

Lawyer Cannot Represent An Organization If He Is Part Of Its Executive Committee

: SC In CPIL Plea In Haren Pandya Case

Central Bureau Of Investigation & Anr. V. Mohd. Parvez Abdul Kayuum Etc.

While restoring the conviction and sentence of twelve accused in the Haren Pandya murder case, the Supreme Court dismissed the PIL filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation(CPIL) demanding further probe in the case. Observing that the PIL lacked bona fides and was motivated by extraneous reasons, the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran imposed a cost of Rs.50,000 on CPIL.


HC Cannot Reverse Acquittal Without Affording Opportunity Of Hearing To Accused Or By Appointing An Amicus Curiae

Christopher Raj vs. K Vijayakumar

The Supreme Court observed, the High Court, in a criminal appeal, cannot reverse the acquittal without affording any opportunity of hearing to the accused or by appointing an amicus curiae to argue the matter on his behalf if he does not enter appearance. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna found favour with the contention that, in the absence of the counsel for the accused, the High Court should not have decided the appeal on merits.

General Assam Rifles Court Can Try Offences Under Prevention Of Corruption Act Against Members Of Assam Rifles

Union Of India V. Ranjit Kumar Saha& Anr.

The Supreme Court held that General Assam Rifles Court (GARC) has the jurisdiction to try offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the members of the Assam Rifles.The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah set aside Gauhati High Court order which held otherwise. The High Court was of the view that an offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act is triable only by a special Judge in view of Section 4 of the PC Act.

Marital Discord Between Parents Adversely Affects Child’s Personality

Sheoli Hati V. Somanth Das

The ill consequences of the discord between mother and father effect the child in her normal upbringing and is a negative factor on child’s personality and upbringing, said the Supreme Court while declining to interfere with a High Court order directing to admit a child in a boarding school.


Classification Of Pensioners By Providing Cut-Off Date For The Purpose Of Grant Of Revised Pension Unconstitutional

All Manipur Pensioners Association vs. State of Manipur

The Supreme Court held that the classification of pensioners into two categories by providing cut-off date for the purpose of grant of revised pension is unconstitutional. The bench observed that there is no valid justification to create two classes, viz., one who retired pre-1996 and another who retired post-1996, for the purpose of grant of revised pension

No Exceptional Treatment To Be Given To The Government While Considering The Application For Stay Of Arbitral Award

Pam Developments Private Ltd. vs. State of West Bengal

The Supreme Court has observed there is no exceptional treatment to be given to the Government while considering the application for stay under Section 36 filed by the Government in proceedings under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The bench comprising of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran set aside a Calcutta High Court order which granted unconditional stay of the award passed against the Government after relying on the provisions of Order XXVII Rule 8A, Code of Civil Procedure.

Victim Need Not Obtain Leave For Filing Appeal Against Acquittal, It Should Be Dealt As A Regular Appeal

Naval Kishore Mishra v. State of U.P.

Reiterating that victim has a right to file the appeal against acquittal of the accused without seeking leave to Appeal, the Supreme Court observed that such appeal has to be dealt as a regular appeal. The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph set aside the High Court judgment which had dismissed appeal of the victim (in fact styled as leave to appeal) on the ground that leave had not been granted to the Government to file the appeal.

Plant 100 Trees Within A Year: SC Frees Man Found To Be Juvenile At The Time Of Alleged Attempt To Murder

Solemen S.K. V. State of West Bengal

Ordering release of a ‘convict’ who was later found to be a juvenile at the time of incident of crime, the Supreme Court directed him to plant 100 trees within a period of one year. Solemen SK was convicted under Section 307 IPC [Attempt to Murder] and sentenced to three years imprisonment. The conviction and sentence was later upheld by the High Court. The special leave petition filed by him before the Apex Court was also dismissed.

Summary Court Martial Should Be Ordered Only In A Situation Where It Is Absolutely Imperative That Immediate Action Is Necessary
Randhir Singh vs. Union of India

The Supreme Court reiterated that the power to order a Summary Court Martial is a drastic power which must be exercised in a situation where it is absolutely imperative that immediate action is necessary.


SC Pronouncement Binding On HCs Even If It Cannot Be Strictly Called ‘Ratio Decidendi’

The Peerless General Finance And Investment Company Ltd. V. Commissioner Of Income Tax

A pronouncement by the Supreme Court, even if it cannot be strictly called the ratio decidendi of the judgment, would certainly be binding on the High Court, the Supreme Court held. The bench comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that when the character of the transaction is a capital receipt in the hands of the assessee, it cannot possibly be taxed as income in the assessee’s hands.


Principle Of ‘No Work No Pay’ Applies When Employee Was Not Kept Away From Work By Any Order Of Employer

Chief Regional Manager, United India Insurance Company Limited vs. Siraj Uddin Khan

The Supreme Court observed that the principle of ‘No Work No Pay’ can be applied when the employee was not kept away from work by any order of the employer. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha, reiterated the settled principle that nobody could be directed to claim wages for the period that he remained absent without leave or without justification.

Annual Performance Appraisal Reports Must Be Communicated To Public Servants Pankaj

Prakash vs. United India Insurance Co Ltd.

The Supreme Court reiterated that entries in an Annual Performance Appraisal Report must be communicated to a public servant.

State Empowered To Levy Charges On Foreign Liquor (IMFL) Manufactured By Use Of Imported Rectified Spirit

State of Jharkhand vs. Ajanta Bottlers & Blenders Pvt. Ltd

The Supreme Court held that the State of Jharkhand is empowered to levy charges on foreign liquor (IMFL) manufactured by use of imported rectified spirit. The bench comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajoy Rastogi set aside the Jharkhand High Court judgment which had held otherwise and held that the challenge to the amended Rule 106 (Tha) framed under under  section 90 of the Jharkhand Excise Act, 1915, is unfounded and is based on erroneous assumption that it purports to authorise the State to levy charges on the imported rectified spirit as such.

Adjudication Of Litigation Is To Be Done On Merits As Far As Possible

Robin Thapa V. Rohit Dora


While affirming an order of setting aside an ex-parte decree, the Supreme Court, observed that as far as possible, adjudication of cases is to be done on merits. “Litigation should not be terminated by default, either of the plaintiff or the defendant” the court held.

Even Brief Judgments Of Supreme Court Passed After Grant Of Special Leave Are Binding Precedents

S.E. Graphites Private Limited vs. State of Telangana.

The Supreme Court has observed that its judgments which are passed in exercise of appellate jurisdiction are binding precedents, even if they are brief. After the grant of special leave, the order impugned before the Supreme Court becomes an order appealed against and any order passed thereafter would be an appellate order and attract the doctrine of merger despite the fact that the order, speaking or non-speaking one, is of reversal or of modification or of affirming the order appealed against, the bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi observed.

Execution Petition Filed Without Certified Copy Of Decree Maintainable

Sir Sobha Singh And Sons Pvt. Ltd. vs. Shashi Mohan Kapur

In the appeal filed before the Supreme Court, the bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice and Dinesh Maheshwari observed that it is not necessary to file a copy of the decree along with execution application unless the Court directs the decree holder to file a certified copy of the decree.

Cross Objection Should Be Disposed On Merits Notwithstanding Dismissal Of Appeal

Shri Badru (since deceased) vs. NTPC Limited.

The Supreme Court observed that cross has to be disposed of on its merits by assigning reasons notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal. While considering the appeal filed by land owners, the Apex Court bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra noted that the High Court had dismissed the cross objection without assigning any reason. The bench observed that it was obligatory on the part of the High Court to have independently examined the issues raised by the landowners before the High Court in the cross objection with a view to find out as to whether any case was made out on facts by the landowners for further enhancement in the compensation and, if so, to what extent.


Right To Use Passage Granted In The Sale Deed Will Not Extinguish In Terms Of Section 41 Indian Easements Act

Dr. S. Kumar vs. Ramalingam

The Supreme Court has held that right to use passage granted in the sale deed will not extinguish in terms of Section 41 of the Indian Easements Act, 1882. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that grant of easement right of passage granted in the sale deed to the defendant will not be negated only because the recital is generic in nature and usually put by the deed writers.

Sale With A Mere Condition Of Retransfer Is Not A Mortgage

Sopan vs. Syed Nabi

The Supreme Court reiterated that a sale with a mere condition of retransfer is not a mortgage. In this case. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna referring to proviso to Section 58(c) of the Transfer of Property Act observed that, if the sale and agreement to repurchase are embodied in separate documents then the transactions cannot be a mortgage by conditional sale irrespective of whether the documents are the contemporaneously executed

No Mandatory Requirement Of Communicating The Proposed Punishment To A Delinquent Civil Servant

State Bank of India vs, Mohammad Badruddin

The Supreme Court observed that there is no mandatory requirement of communicating the proposed punishment to a delinquent Civil Servant in view of 42nd Amendment to the Constitution of India. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta also held that the non-communication of the previous punishments in the show cause notice will not vitiate the punishment imposed.

Solatium U/S 30 RFCTLARR Act Has To Be Calculated Only On The Market Value Plus The Value Of The Assets Attached To The Land

RB Dealers Private Limited vs. The Metro Railway, Kolkata

The solatium as contemplated under sub-section (1) of Section 30 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 has to be calculated only on the market value plus the value of the assets attached to the land i.e. total compensation amount as determined as per Sections 26, 27 and 28 of the 2013 Act, the Supreme Court held

Section 498A- When Conviction By Trial Court Was Not For Dowry Demand, HC Cant Convict Accused For It Without Appreciating Evidence On Record

Wasim V. State NCT of Delhi

The Supreme Court observed that, when the Trial Court conviction under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was not for demand for dowry, the High Court could not convict the accused under the same for demand of dowry without a detailed discussion of the evidence on record.


Acquittal In Criminal Case By Itself Doesn’t Vitiate Disciplinary Enquiry Findings Of Misconduct

Union of India V. Sitaram Mishra

The Supreme Court reiterated that the acquittal in the course of the criminal trial by itself is not a ground for vitiating the finding of misconduct which has been arrived at during the course of the disciplinary proceedings.


Plaintiff Cannot Be Forced To Add Parties Against Whom He Does Not Want To Fight

Gurmit Singh Bhatia V. Krishna Kant Robinson

The Supreme Court reiterated that, in a suit, the plaintiff is the dominus litis and cannot be forced to add parties against whom he does not want to fight unless there is a compulsion of the rule of law.

Public Interest Litigation Should Not Be Entertained In Service Matter

Vishal Ashok Thorat vs. Rajesh Shrirambapu Fate

The Supreme Court has reiterated that a Public Interest Litigation should not be entertained in service. “It is well settled that with regard to service jurisprudence, PIL are not entertained” the Court observed.

Arbitration – Section 31(8), 31A Will Not Apply If Fee Structure Is Laid Down By Agreement

National Highway Authority of India vs Gammon Engineers and Contractors Pvt Ltd

The Supreme Court has held that Section 31(8) and 31A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 will not apply to arbitral fee if a fee structure has already been laid down in the agreement between parties. The bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant overruled the Delhi High Court decision which held that arbitral fee will be governed by Fourth Schedule of the Act superseding the fee fixed by the agreement.

Negotiable Instruments Act: Heavy Burden Cannot Be Placed On The Complainant To Prove The Debt

Pavan Diliprao Dike vs. Vishal Narendrabhai Parmar

The Supreme Court has reiterated that while dealing with a complaint filed under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, heavy burden cannot be placed on the complainant to prove the debt.

Not Always Necessary That Attesting Witnesses Should Actually See The Testator Signing The Will

Ganesan (D) vs. Kalanjiam

The Supreme Court observed that it is not always mandatory that the testator must necessarily sign the Will in presence of the attesting witnesses only or that the two attesting witnesses must put their signatures on the will simultaneously at the same time in presence of each other and the testator.

Objection Regarding Pecuniary Jurisdiction Of Consumer Forums Should Be Raised At The Earliest Opportunity

M/s Treaty Construction vs. M/s Ruby Tower Co-op. Hsg. Society Ltd.

The Supreme Court observed that objection regarding pecuniary jurisdiction should be raised before the Consumer Forum/Commission at the earliest opportunity. The Court held that when the State Commission having already decided the matter on merits, such a technical objection as regards pecuniary jurisdiction could not have been countenanced before the National Commission.

Writ Petition Not Maintainable Against Termination Of Teacher By Private School Management

Trigun Chand Thakur V. State of Bihar

The Supreme Court upheld a Patna High Court judgment that held that the Management Committee of Private School is not “State” within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India and a writ petition is not maintainable.


COFEPOSA: Liberty Of An Individual Has To Be Subordinated Within Reasonable Bounds To The Good Of The People

Union of India V. Dimple Happy Dhakad

While upholding a detention of alleged gold smugglers under COFEPOSA, the Supreme Court observed that when the preventive detention is aimed to protect the safety and security of the nation, balance has to be struck between liberty of an individual and the needs of the society.

Arbitration Award Cannot Be Set Aside By HCs Invoking Writ Jurisdiction

Sterling Industries vs. Jayprakash Associates Ltd.

he Supreme Court reiterated that any award passed by the Arbitral Tribunals cannot be set aside by the High Courts invoking its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India. The bench comprising Justice SA Bobde, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice BR Gavai was dealing with an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order that had set aside a partial award made under Section 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Anticipatory Bail Plea Of The Accused Cannot Be Rejected Solely On The Ground That Petition U/s 482 CrPC Was Dismissed Earlier

Kamlesh vs. State of Rajasthan

The Apex Court Observed that an application for anticipatory bail cannot be rejected merely on the ground that the petition filed by the accused under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure praying for quashing of FIR, has already been rejected.

Delay To File Suit For Specific Performance Not A Ground To Deny Relief If It Was Filed Within Limitation Period

R. Lakshmikantham vs. Devaraji

The Supreme Court observed that the delay in filing suit for specific performance cannot be a ground to deny relief to the plaintiff, as long as it is filed within the period of limitation.

Failure To Recover Dead Body By Itself Doesn’t Entitle Accused To Benefit Of Doubt

Sanjay Rajak vs. State of Bihar

The Supreme Court observed that the failure of the police to recover the corpus delecti will not by itself render the prosecution case doubtful entitling the accused to acquittal on benefit of doubt. It is only one of the relevant factors to be considered along with all other attendant facts and circumstances to arrive at a finding based on reasonability and probability based on normal human prudence and behavior., the bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha said.

Plea Based On Equity/Hardship Not Legally Sustainable In Tax Matters

Prashanti Medical Services & Research Foundation V. Union of India

The Supreme Court observed that, in a taxing statute, a plea based on equity or/and hardship is not legally sustainable and the constitutional validity of taxing provisions cannot be struck down on such reasoning.

Offence Of Abetment To Suicide (Sec 306 IPC) May Attract When Accused Played Active Role In Tarnishing Self Respect Of Deceased Victim

Ude Singh V. State of Haryana

The Supreme Court observed that if the accused is found to have played in an active role in tarnishing the self-esteem and self-respect of the victim, which eventually draws the victim to commit suicide, he can be held guilty of abetment of suicide.


A Person Can Be Held Guilty For Violation Of Injunction Only When Disobedience Was Willful

U.C. Surendranath V. Mambally’s Bakery

The Supreme Court observed that a person can be held guilty of willful disobedience of the Order XXXIX Rule 2A of the Code of Civil Procedure, not for mere “disobedience” but only for “willful disobedience.”

EPF: Merely Because Workers Were Permitted To Do Work Off Site, It Would Not Take Away Their Status As ‘Employees’

The Officer In Charge, Sub ­ Regional Provident Fund Office, vs. M/s Godavari Garments Limited

The Supreme Court observed that merely because workers were permitted to do the work off site, it would not take away their status as employees for the purpose of Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.


A Writ Court Cannot Sit In Appeal Over An Administrative Decision

West Bengal Central School Service Commission vs. Abdul Halim

In a judgment delivered, the Supreme Court reiterated the principles to be followed by a High Court while exercising the power of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.The bench comprising ofJustice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee, while considering the appeal against the High Court judgment, observed that the High Court has lost sight of the limits its extraordinary power of judicial review and has in fact sat in appeal over the decision of the authorities.

Specific Performance Decree Not To Be Rescinded Merely Because Plaintiff Deposited Balance Sale Consideration After Appeal

Surinder Pal Soni V. Sohan Lal

The Supreme Court found fault with the judgment of a Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held that a decree for specific performance to be inexecutable as the balance sale consideration was deposited by the plaintiff after the appeal, beyond the period fixed by the trial court. The SC bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee held that the trial court’s decree had merged with the appeal court’s decree. Hence, there was no delay on the part of plaintiff in depositing the balance sale consideration.

Standard Of Proof For Summoning A Person As An Accused U/s 319 CrPC Higher Than That For Framing A Charge

Shiv Prakash Mishra vs. State of Uttar Pradesh

Reiterating that the power under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be exercised sparingly, the Supreme Court observed that the standard of proof employed for summoning a person as an accused person under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is higher than the standard of proof employed for framing a charge against the accused person. The bench comprising ofJustice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna upheld an order of the High Court refusing to summon a person on the ground that the statements of the witnesses were contradictory.

Special Court Can Take Cognizance Of An Offence Without Committal If The Special Act Empowers It To Do So

A.M.C.S. Swamy, ADE/DPE/Hyd (Central) vs. Mehdi Agah Karbalai

When there is express provision in the Special Act empowering the Special Court to take cognizance of an offence without the accused being committed, it cannot be said that taking cognizance of offence by Special Court is in violation of Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Supreme Court held.

Cruelty Not Related To Dowry Cannot Be Basis For Conviction Under Section 304B IPC

Girish Singh vs. State of Uttarakhand

The Supreme Court observed that, conviction under Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code can be made only if the woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives which must be for or in connection with any demand for dowry, soon before her death. It is not any cruelty that becomes the subject matter of the provision but it is the cruelty or harassment for or in connection with, demand for dowry, said the bench comprising ofJustice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph.

Cannot Record Compromise Between Parties In Non-Compoundable Offences; But It’s A Factor For Considering Quantum Of Sentence

Manjit Singh V. State of Punjab

The Supreme Court observed that no permission can be granted to record the compromise between the parties in non-compoundable offences. The bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna,however, noted that, while sentencing the accused for a non-compoundable offence, the compromise entered into between the parties is indeed a relevant circumstance which the Court may keep in mind for considering the quantum of sentence.


Juvenile Justice Act, 2015: Matriculation Certificate Has No Precedence Over DoB Certificate From School To Determine Juvenility

Sanjeev Kumar Gupta vs. State of Uttar Pradesh

The Supreme Court observed that under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, for determining ‘juvenility’, the matriculation or equivalent certificate from the concerned examination board has no precedence over the date of birth certificate from the school.

Only The HC Which Has Jurisdiction Over ‘Venue’ Of Arbitration Can Entertain Petition Seeking Appointment Of Arbitrator

Brahmani River Pellets Limited vs. Kamachi Industries Limited

When the parties agreed to have the “venue” of arbitration at a particular place, only the High Court which has jurisdiction over the said place can entertain the petition seeking appointment of Arbitrator under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the Supreme Court held. The issue before the bench comprising of Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna, in was whether the Madras High Court could exercise jurisdiction under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 despite the fact that agreement contains the clause that venue of arbitration shall be Bhubaneswar.

SC Cancels RERA Registration Of Amrapali; Asks NBCC To Take Over Noida Projects

Bikram Chatterjee V. Union of India

In a major relief to thousands of homebuyers, the Supreme Court cancelled the registration of Amrapali group under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, and directed the National Building Construction Corporation take over its pending construction projects in Greater Noida and Noida. The bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit found that Amrapali group had siphoned off homebuyers money with the connivance of Greater Noida and Noida authorities.

How To Ascertain The Competency Of A Child Witness?: SC Explains

P. Ramesh vs. State

The Supreme Court observed that child witnesses in a criminal case cannot be termed incompetent merely because they were unable to identify the person before whom they were deposing, i.e. they did not know the judge and the lawyers.


HC Can’t Dispose Appeal Against Conviction On Merits When There Is No Representation For The Convict

Shankar V. State of Maharashtra

The Supreme Court observed that, the appeal filed by the accused against the conviction can be disposed of on merits only after hearing the appellant or his counsel. When there was no representation for the appellant-convict, the High Court ought not to have disposed of the case on merits, the bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice AS Bopanna said.

Grant Of Incentives By Government Under EXIM Policy Is Not A ‘Service’ Within The Meaning Of Consumer Protection Act

Secretary, Ministry of Commerce vs. M/s Vinod and Company

The Supreme Court observed that, while granting incentives to an exporter in terms of the import and export policy [EXIM], no ‘service’ is rendered by the Union government within the meaning of Consumer Protection Act so as to make it a ‘service provider’ amenable to jurisdiction of Consumer Forums.

Court At The Place Where ‘Wife’ Takes Shelter After Leaving Matrimonial Home On Account Of Cruelty Can Entertain Complaints U/s 498A IPC

Nitika vs. Yadwinder Singh

The Supreme Court reiterated that the Courts at the place where the wife takes shelter after leaving or driven away from the matrimonial home on account of acts of cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives, would, dependent on the factual situation, also have jurisdiction to entertain a complaint alleging commission of offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha set aside a Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment that had quashed a First Information Report on the ground that police at Nalagarh had no jurisdiction to enquire into the contents of first information report as the allegations contained in FIR, admittedly took place at another place.



Delaying Tactics Adopted By Litigants Cannot Be Rewarded On The Pretext Of Justice

State Bank of India vs. Atindra Nath Bhattacharyya

The Supreme Court observed that delaying tactics adopted by litigants cannot be rewarded on the pretext of Justice. A petition was filed by a delinquent employee challenging the disciplinary proceedings against him. The Single Bench of the High Court set aside the order of punishment as well as the penalty order directing the employer to serve a notice before imposing penalty.


Landlord Can’t Be Precluded From Filing Eviction Petition On The Ground Of Bonafide Need Regarding Non-Residential Premise

Vinod Kumar vs. Ashok Kumar Gandhi

The Supreme Court held that the judgment of Satyawati Sharma Vs. Union of India which held that Section 14(1)(e) of the Delhi Rent Control Act is unconstitutional to the extent it discriminates between the premises let for residential and non-residential purposes, cannot be held to be per incuriam. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph also rejected the request that Satyawati Sharma judgment needs to be referred to a larger Bench for reconsideration.


Person Claiming Title By Adverse Possession Can Maintain A Suit Under Article 65 Limitation Act

Ravinder Kaur Grewal vs. Manjit Kaur

In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court held that any person who has perfected title by way of adverse possession, can file a suit for restoration of possession in case of dispossession. The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah observed that plea of acquisition of title by adverse possession can be taken by plaintiff under Article 65 of the Limitation Act and there is no bar under the Limitation Act, 1963 to sue on aforesaid basis in case of infringement of any rights of a plaintiff.

Criminal Trial- Evidence Of A Solitary Witness Will Call For Heightened Scrutiny

Jagdish vs. State of Haryana

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha observed that the evidence of a solitary witness in a criminal case requires heightened scrutiny.


Victim Has Right To Assist The Court In A Trial Before The Magistrate

Amir Hamza Shaikh vs. State of Maharashtra

The Supreme Court observed that, though the Magistrate is not bound to grant permission to a victim to conduct prosecution at the mere asking but the victim has a right to assist the Court in a trial before the Magistrate. The bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that if the magistrate is satisfied that the victim is in a position to assist the Court and the trial does not involve such complexities which cannot be handled by the victim, he/she would be within its jurisdiction to grant of permission to the victim to take over the inquiry of the pendency before the Magistrate.

A Few Days Before Article 370 Repeal, SC Decriminalized Adultery In J&K As Well

Col. Rajnish Bhandari vs. Union of India

Just a few days before the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped by a Presidential order, the Supreme Court held that the entire Section 497 of the Ranbir Penal Code which criminalizes Adultery is also unconstitutional.


Weakness In The Defence Taken Cannot Become The Strength Of The Prosecution

Anand Ramachandra Chougule vs. Sidarai Laxman Chougala

Weakness in the defence taken cannot become the strength of the prosecution, remarked the Supreme Court while reiterating that the benefit of doubt must follow unless the prosecution is able to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt. The bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha upheld the acquittal of the accused in a murder case by the High Court granting them benefit of doubt.


DNA Test Cannot Be Ordered Without There Being Appropriate Satisfaction For Its Requirement

Kathi David Raju vs. State of Andhra Pradesh

The Supreme Court observed that DNA test cannot be ordered without there being appropriate satisfaction for requirement of such test. In this case FIR was registered under Sections 465, 468, 471 and 420 IPC against the accused alleging that he obtained fake caste certificate. The Court allowed an application seeking a DNA test of the accused, his mother two brothers. The High Court refused to quash the order.

Unlawful Assembly-Trial Of Offence U/s 149 IPC Not Illegal Merely Because Section 141 IPC Was Not Invoked

Dev Karan vs. State of Haryana

The Supreme Court observed that as long as the ingredients of unlawful assembly are met, Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code can be invoked and non invocation of Section 141 IPC would not render the trial under Section 149 IPC illegal.

Filing Of Criminal Complaint For Settling Civil Dispute Is Abuse Of Process Of Law

Commissioner of Police vs. Devender Anand

The Supreme Court observed that filing of criminal complaint for settling a dispute of civil nature is abuse of process of law. The Three judge bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah observed thus while setting aside a High Court order issuing directions in a writ petition filed by the complainant.

Filing Of Cross Objections By Defendants Not Necessary To Dispute Adverse Findings In The Dismissed Suit

State Of Andhra Pradesh vs. B. Ranga Reddy

The Supreme Court observed that it is not necessary that defendants should file cross objections to the appeal against dismissal of a suit to dispute certain findings adverse to them in the judgment appealed against. The bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that, in such a situation, in the appeal filed by plaintiffs, the defendants have a right to support the ultimate decree passed by the trial court of dismissal of suit on grounds other than which weighed with trial court.


When Can ‘Group Of Companies’ Doctrine Be Invoked To Bind Non-Signatory Company To Arbitration? SC Explains

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd vs. Canara Bank

The Supreme court, in a judgment explained the circumstances in which the ‘Group of Companies’ Doctrine could be invoked to bind the non-signatory affiliate of a parent company to an arbitration? The bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra observed that the ‘Group of Companies’ Doctrine could be invoked to bind the non-signatory affiliate of a parent company, or inclusion of a third party to an arbitration, if there is a direct relationship between the party which is a direct relationship between the party which is a signatory to the arbitration agreement; direct commonality of the subject matter; the composite nature of the transaction between the parties.

Slump In Business Cannot Be The Reason For Default In Payment Of Rent

Chandigarh Administration V. Hari Ram

Slump in the business cannot be the reason for default in payment of rent, remarked the Apex Court while considering an appeal filed by Chandigarh Administration against the High Court order that granted relief to its Allottee.

Appoint Permanent RERA and Appellate Tribunal Within Three Months, SC Tells ‘Recalcitrant’ States/UTs

Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd V. Union of India

The Supreme Court directed the States/Union Territories to appoint permanent adjudicating officers as Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal within a period of three months. The court issued this direction in its judgment upholding the amendments mae to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in 2018 to treat homebuyers as financial creditors.

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