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Supreme Court Weekly Round Up

Sanya Talwar
2 Aug 2020 9:28 AM GMT
Supreme  Court Weekly Round Up

Week Commencing July 27 to August 2, 2020.

The Supreme Court adjourned till August 10 the hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the UGC direction to hold final year exams by September 30. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan directed that the parties should complete the pleadings by that time. Affidavits are to be filed by August 7 and rejoinders to be filed a day after August 7. Though Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, appearing for 31 students, pressed for a stay of the notification in the light of the 'deadly floods' in Assam and Bihar, Justice Ashok Bhushan said that no interim order can be passed at this stage.

2. [Maratha Reservations] SC Refuses To Interfere In PG Admissions, Maharashtra Govt. Undertakes That No Recruitments Will Be Conducted Till Sept-15 [Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v. Chief Minister, Maharashtra]

The Supreme Court observed that it shall consider the issue of whether reservations viz. the Maratha Community as per the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes Act shall apply in Undergraduate medical Courses on September 1. "Admissions to undergraduate medical courses without applying reservation as per the impugned legislation will be considered at the next date of hearing" A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta & S. Ravindra Bhat adjourned the plea(s) challenging a 2019 Bombay High Court judgment which upheld the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act 2019 to extend reservations to the Maratha community, while taking note of the Maharastra Government's submission that it shall not make regular appointments in Public posts till September 15, except in government departments relating to public health while relying on a Government Resolution dated May 4, 2020.

3. [Central Vista Project] SC Allows Filing Of Writ Petition Against Environmental Clearance Granted To New Parliament Building; Expands Scope Of Hearing [Rajeev Suri V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court allowed the filing of a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the Environmental Clearance granted on June 17 for the construction of a new Parliament building as part of Union Government's ambitious Central Vista Project. A bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar told Senior Advocate Shyam Divan that his clients will be given a week's time to file the writ petition, thereby expanding the scope of the hearing to include the issue of Environmental Clearances granted on June 17. This will be in addition to the issue surrounding the legality of the change in land use which is already under the consideration of the top court through two petitions pending before it.

4. SC Grants 3 More Weeks To States/UTs For Providing Requisite Details Of Migrant Workers Back To Native Places [In Re: Problems & Miseries of Migrant Workers]

The Supreme Court on Friday granted three more weeks to States/Union Territories to bring on record details of migrants workers back to their native places vis-à-vis their skill, earlier place and nature of employment in compliance with its June 9 order. Further to this, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul & MR Shah noted that inspite of steps taken by states and UTs in terms of the Top Court's directions to transport migrant workers within 15 days back to their native places as per the June 9 order, "there are still migrant workers stranded in different States including State of Maharashtra".

5. SC Refuses To Stay HC Order Denying Permission For Shravani Mela At Baidyanath Temple Amid COVID-19 [Nishikant Dubey V. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court on Friday refused permission to hold the annual Shravani Mela at Baidyanath Temple in wake of the pandemic situation. A bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, BR Gavai & Krishna Murari was hearing a plea challenging the Jharkhand High Court order, denying permission to hold the annual festival at Baidyanath Temple with requisite precautions.

6. "Doctors Mandatorily Quarantined Not Being Paid Dues" : SC Directs Centre To Ensure Payment Of Salaries To Covid-19 Frontline Warriors [Arushi Jain V. Union of India]

The Centre on Friday informed Supreme Court that Delhi, Punjab, Tripura, Karnataka & Maharashtra - have not made timely payment of salaries to healthcare workers despite the Centre' Notification under National Disaster Management Act which lays down strict penal action for non-payment. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, MR Shah & R. Subhash Reddy told the Centre to do the needful so as to ensure that salaries to frontline healthcare workers battling Covid19 are effectuated timely. The bench was hearing an IA filed on behalf of United Residents and Doctors Association in a plea filed by Udaipur-based Doctor Arushi Jain seeking suitable accommodation and quarantine facilities for medical workers who are involved in treating of COVID-19 patients.

7. SC Directs DU To Declare Result Of Law Student Withheld Due To Lack Of Attendance Because Of Her Pregnancy [Dhananjay Kumar & Ors. V. University of Delhi & Others]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi University to declare the result of a law student whose result for IV and VI semesters was withheld even when the University had declared the result of other similarly situated batchmates. "We direct that the results of the present applicant/petitioner viz., Ankita Meena, for the IV and VI Semesters shall be declared by the respondent(s). The instant application for directions stand disposed of accordingly," the bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian directed.

8. [India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway] SC Stays Ongoing Proceedings Before Manipur HC; Clears Impediment In Highway Construction [M/S Niraj Cement Structurals Ltd. In Joint Venture With M/S Manipur Tribal Development Corporation Ltd. & Ors.

The Supreme Court recently stayed proceedings initiated by the defaulting Contractor in the Trilateral Highway Project between India, Manipur & Thailand before Manipur High Court. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobe, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun issued notice on a plea filed by the Ministry of External Affair, also seeking a stay on the ongoing proceedings before the Manipur High Court [in Niraj Cement Structurals Ltd. V. Union of India WA 17/2019] which had hauled up the project for construction of the road project connecting Manipur to Thailand.

9. Centre Agrees To Immediately Release JKHCBA President Mian Abdul Qayoom From Detention Lasting Nearly 1 Year [Mian Abdul Qayoom V. UT Of Jammu & Kashmi & Ors.]

The Central Government told a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi & Aniruddha Bose of Supreme Court that Mian Abdqul Qayoom, advocate and President of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, will be released from detention immediately. Based on this submission by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, the court allowed his release, subject to the condition that Qayoom will remain in Delhi and not go to Kashmir till August 7 and that he will also not issue any public statements till then.

Also Read: [Kashmir] It is Time For All Wounds To Be Healed And Look To The Future: Supreme Court

10. [Motor Accident Compensation] For Age Group 15-25, Multiplier To Be Applied Is '18', Reiterates SC [Ved Prakash Goel @ Ved Goel & Anr. V. SD Singh & Anr.]

The Supreme Court has reiterated that, while computing Motor Accident Compensation, for the age group of 15-25 years, the multiplier has to be '18'. Two recent judgments of the Supreme court has modified the award of MACT Tribunals on this ground. The MACT determined the total compensation as Rs.25,48,050/- but on account of contributory negligence to the extent of 50%, it directed the the insurer, to pay only half of the said amount to the claimant. The High Court upheld the MACT order. Though the Apex Court bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose upheld the contributory negligence finding, it observed: "We have examined the impugned judgment and all other perspective also and do not find any infirmity except two aspects: (a) the multiplier applied was 13 while as per the judgment in Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr.- (2009) 6 SCC 121, it should have been 18.(b) The interest granted is of 6% which generally the interest being granted is of 9%".

11. Hospitals Which Provide Free Services To Some Patients But Charge A Bulk Of Others Fall Under Consumer Protection Act: SC [Union of India V. NK Srivastava]

The Supreme Court has observed that it is only where a hospital provides medical services free of charge across the board to all patients that it would stand outside the purview of the Consumer Protection Act. A hospital which renders free services to a certain category of patients, while providing services which are charged to the bulk of others would not lie outside the purview of the jurisdiction of the consumer fora, the bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph said.

12. State Can Revoke 'Essentiality Certificate' Granted To Medical College On The Ground Of 'Gross Deficiencies': SC [Sukh Sagar Medical College & Hospital V. State of Madhya Pradesh]

The Supreme Court has held that State Government has power to revoke the 'Essentiality Certificate' once granted for opening of a new medical college on the ground of 'gross deficiency'. It would not be in public interest nor appropriate for the State Government to remain a mute spectator and not move into action when the college miserably fails to translate the spirit behind the Essentiality Certificate within a reasonable time, the bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said.

13. Memorandum Of Family Settlement Binding On Parties; Does Not Require Registration: SC [Ravinder Kaur Grewal V. Manjit Kaur]

The Supreme Court has observed that a 'memorandum of family settlement' is not required to be registered and is binding on the parties. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar & Dinesh Maheshwari in this regard, referred to Kale & Ors. vs. Deputy Director of Consolidation & Ors (1976) 3 SCC 119 and said: "When by virtue of a family settlement or arrangement, members of a family descending from a common ancestor or a near relation seek to sink their differences and disputes, settle and resolve their conflicting claims or disputed titles once and for all in order to buy peace of mind and bring about complete harmony and goodwill in the family, such arrangement ought to be governed by a special equity peculiar to them and would be enforced if honestly made. The object of such arrangement is to protect the family from long drawn litigation or perpetual strives which mar the unity and solidarity of the family and create hatred and bad blood between the various members of the family."

14. Charge Under IPC Can Continue Even If Sanction In Respect Of Offence Under Prevention Of Corruption Act Is Not Forthcoming: SC [Satyabrat Gupta V. The State of Jharkhand]

The Supreme Court has observed that the charge against an accused for offence punishable under the Indian Penal Code can continue irrespective of the fact that sanction in respect of offence punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, is not forthcoming. The bench comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna agreed with the view taken by Jharkhand High Court while dismissing a petition filed an employee of BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.).

15. In Income-Tax Matters, The Law To Be Applied Is The Law In Force In The Assessment Year Unless Otherwise Stated Or Implied: SC [Shree Chaudhary Transport Company V. Income Tax Officer]

In income-tax matters the law to be applied is the law in force in the assessment year unless otherwise stated or implied, the Supreme Court has reiterated. In this case, the bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari were considering an appeal assailing computation of total income of the assessee for the assessment year 2005-2006 with disallowance of payments to the tune of Rs. 57,11,625/-, in terms of Section 40(a)(ia) of the Income Tax Act, 1961,for failure of the assessee to deduct the requisite tax at source.

16. Once Accused Makes A Plausible Defence In His 313 CrPC Statement, Burden Is On The Prosecution To Negate It: SC [Parminder Kaur @ PP Kaur @ Soni V. State of Punjabi]

The Supreme Court has held that once a plausible version has been put forth by the defence at the examination stage of Section 313 of the CRPC, then it is for the prosecution to negate such a defense plea. A bench of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant & Krishna Murari has further reiterated that failure of the trial court to fairly trial apply its mind and consider the defence could endanger the conviction itself.

17. [Section 68 FERA] Liability For Offence Depends On Role One Plays In Company Affairs And Not On Mere Designation Or Status: SC [Shailendra Swarup V. Deputy Director, ED]

The Supreme Court has held that, for proceeding against a Director of a company for contravention of provisions of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, the necessary ingredient for proceeding shall be that at the time offence was committed, the Director was in charge of and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company. The liability to be proceeded with for offence under Section 68 of FERA, 1973 depends on the role one plays in the affairs of the company and not on mere designation or status, the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan & R. Subhash Reddy observed.

18. [Motor Accident Compensation]Future Prospects On Advancement In Life And Career Also To Be Considered In Multiplier Method :SC [Erudhaya Priya V. State Express Transport Corporation Ltd.]

The Supreme Court has observed that while applying the multiplier method in computing Motor Accident Compensation, future prospects on advancement in life and career are also to be taken into consideration. While allowing the appeal, the court agreed with the contention of Appellant that, in the age group of 15- 25 years, the multiplier has to be '18' along with factoring in the extent of disability. Referring to , the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose said: "In the age group of 15- 25 years, the multiplier has to be '18' along with factoring in the extent of disability. The aforesaid position is not really disputed by learned counsel for the respondent State Corporation and, thus, we come to the conclusion that the multiplier to be applied in the case of the appellant has to be '18' and not '17'"

19. [IBC] Does Principal Borrower Has To Be Corporate Entity In Order To Maintain Insolvency Proceedings ? SC To Examine [Laxmi Par Surana V. Union Bank of India & Anr.]

Does the principal borrower has to be corporate entity, in order to maintain the proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC)?, the Supreme Court would examine this question that has arisen in an appeal against a judgment of National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). While issuing notice on the above said question, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra,BR Gavai and Krishna Murari stayed the operation of NCLAT judgment till the next date of hearing. The case is posted to last week of August, 2020.

20. Religare Finvest Case : SC Orders Status Quo On Release Of Shivinder Mohan Singh In ED's Challenge [Directorate of Enforcement Thru Deputy Director V. Shivinder Mohan Singh]

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered status quo on the release of former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh in a challenge made by the Enforcement Directorate against the order of Delhi High Court granting him bail. "Until further orders, status quo with respect to release from jail be maintained and impugned Judgment not to be treated as a precedent for any other case", ordered a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, issuing notice on ED's petition.

21. SC Asks Centre To File Detailed Affidavit Regarding Completion Of Smog Tower Project In Delhi [M.C. Mehta V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre to file a comprehensive affidavit highlighting all details about the smog tower project in Delhi and why the same was not completed as per Court Orders. A Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari had several questions about various aspects regarding the implementation of this project, which aims to help the National Capital deal with the menace of air pollution and smog every winter.

22. 'Looking At This Matter With Anxiety': SC Mulls Over Alternative Solutions To Protect Crops Without Killing Wild Animals [Anubhav Mohanty V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to States of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, among others in a plea seeking action against the indiscriminate use of snares, traps etc to save standing crops from wildlife attack, which often leads to the death of animals. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun mulled over the issue of killing of wild animals and asked Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra who appeared for the petitioner - BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty, whether any alternatives to deal with the issue of wild animals that wander into fields where standing crops persist could be adopted instead of killing them brutally.

23. SC Reserves Order On Plea Seeking Transfer Of PMCARES Fund To National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) [Central for Public Interest Litigations V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court on Monday reserved judgment on the issue of transfer of funds from PMCARES Fund to NDRF for relief works in combating the Covid19 pandemic. A bench of Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah was hearing the suo motu case pertaining to the plight of migrant workers amid Coronavirus induced lockdown. The bench also took up the plea by Centre for Public Interest Litigation, filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan setting up of a National Covid Plan and lack of the same thereof along with the issue of existence of PMCARES Fund while a National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) was already in existence under the DMA.

24. No Permission Granted To Whatsapp For Full Scale Operations On UPI System : RBI Tells SC [Centre For Accountability for Systematic Change V. UOI]

The Reserve Bank of India has told the Supreme Court that it has not granted permission to Whatsapp to go live for full-scale operations on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system. The RBI further told the Court that it "concerned that WhatsApp was storing some payment data elements outside India beyond the permitted timelines indicated in the circular and the Frequently Asked Questions on 'Storage of Payment System Data' issued by RBI on June 26, 2019" thereby stating that it was not to go live until all norms were met by the company.

25. SC Issues Notice In Homebuyers' Appeal Against NCLAT Order Giving Conditional Nod To NBCC Take Over Of Jaypee Infratech Project [Ishwar Jha & Ors. V. NBCC India Ltd. & Ors.]

The Supreme Court issued notice in an appeal by 7 homebuyers under Section 62 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 against an order of the NCLAT dated April 22, 2020 whereby the tribunal also directed Jaypee Infratech's Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Anuj Jain to constitute an interim monitoring committee, comprising representatives of the NBCC and its three main lenders IDBI Bank, IIFCL and LIC. A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari & Sanjiv Khanna posted the matter for further consideration on August 6 on grounds of urgency, observing that it was keen to hear all Respondents.

26. NEET 2020: SC Issues Notice In Plea Seeking Examination Centres In Gulf Countries [Abdul Azeez V. Union of India]

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice in a plea has seeking allocation of Test Centres for NEET in gulf countries or to postpone the examination until the COVID-19 pandemic subsists. A bench of Justices L.Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta & S. Ravindra Bhat took up the petition, filed by Advocate Haris Beeran and Pallavi Pratap on behalf of parents of students who are applicants for the NEET UG 2020 entrance examination and reside in Doha, Qatar, challenges the Kerala High Court judgement which dismissed the plea holding that the Court cannot issue directions to the Medical Council of India and National Testing Agency as they were expert bodies.

27. 2018 Karnataka Law Granting Reservation In Promotion For SC-ST Govt. Employees Constitutionally Valid: SC Dismisses Review Petitions [BK Pavitra & Ors. V. Union of India & Ors.]

The Supreme Court has dismissed Review Petitions filed against its judgment (BK Pavitra vs. Union of India) that upheld the Constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act 2018. Dismissing the review petitions, the bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud observed: We have gone through the contents of the Review Petitions. Every ground urged in the review petitions has been addressed on merits in the judgment under review

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