Weekly Supreme Court Judgments Digest [19th-25th July]

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1. Reference to SC Constitutional Bench: SC has referred a matter of person aged 75 years was released after 8 years of actual sentence invoking a remission policy framed by the State. The person was convicted for murder. (Pyare Lal vs. State of Haryana)

2. Doctrine of Contemporanea Exposition: SC has observed that the Doctrine of Contemporanea Exposition (which means that the words used in a statutory provision must be understood in the same way in which they are usually understood in ordinary common parlance by the people in the area and business) cannot be applied when the construction placed by the contemporary authority is found to be clearly wrong or erroneous. (M/S. Ultratech Cement Ltd. vs. State of Rajasthan & others)

3. Arbitration agreement: SC has observed that High Court cannot appoint an arbitrator ignoring the procedure prescribed in the agreement between parties for the appointment. (State Trading Corp. Of India Lts vs, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.)

4. Section 498A Quashed: SC quashed the Criminal case against the husband charged under Section 498A, 506, 323 & 406 on the basis of the compromise between husband & wife. (Jairaj vs. State of Maharastra & another)

5. Compassionate Appointment to wife: SC has upheld the decision of Calcutta HC, ordering Bharat Coking Coal Ltd to grant compassionate appointment to the wife of its former employee, who was unheard since 20 years. The Court said that presumption under Section 108 of Evidence Act that whether a man is alive or dead and he has not been heard of for seven years, the burden of proving that he is alive is shifted to the person who affirms it. (Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. vs. Ruda Devi & others)

6. Child Protection Homes: SC has directed amicus curiae to file an Affidavit compiling all the “good practices” from each of the States. Earlier, SC in the same case took suo motu cognizance of children protection homes across the country in the wake of the Pandemic. (In Re: Contagion of Covid-19 virus in Child Protection)

7. Contempt case against Prashant Bhushan: SC has registered suo motu contempt of court case against Advocate Prashant Bhusan and Twitter India. (In Re: Prashant Bhusan & Another)

8. Second Appeal Maintainability in HC: SC said HC in second appeal, before allowing the same, ought to have formulated the substantial questions of law and thereafter, to decide the same on consideration of such substantial question. (Kunjumuhammed vs. Mariyumma)

Similar cases:- Sreedevi vs. Sarojam & Bokka Rao vs. Kukkala Balakrishna

9. Appeal u/s 260A of Income Tax Act: SC has made observation that if an appeal is filed under Section 260A of Income Tax Act before the HC, then HC can only answer the substantial question of law framed by it. (Shiv Raj Gupta vs. Commissioner of Income-Tax, Delhi)

10. Disposal of Bio-medical waste: SC has directed the various authorities in Delhi to hold a meeting to make action plan and take immediate measures on disposal of Bio-medical waste by Delhi Pvt. Hospitals. (MC Mehta vs. Union of India)

11. NGT Vacancies: SC has directed centre to fill up vacancies in National Green Tribunal at the earliest. (NGT Bar Association vs. Union of India)

12. Section 8 of IBC: SC has said that “dispute” under Section 8 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code means that dispute must truly exist in the facts and should not be spurious, hypothetical and illusory. (Vishal Vijay Kalantri vs. DBM Geotechnics & Construction Pvt. Ltd. & another)

Similar case: Mobilox Innovations Pvt. Ltd. vs. Kirusa Software Pvt. Ltd. (2018)

13. Advocates not permitted to practice any other Profession: SC said that Advocates cannot practice any other profession and they are not permitted to earn a livelihood “by any other means”. (In Re: Financial Aid for Members of Bar Affected by Pandemic) Earlier, SC in Haniraj Chulani vs. Bar Council of Maharastra said that “Legal Profession requires full time attention and would not countenance an advocate riding two horses or more at a time. He has to be full time advocate or not at all.”

14. Plan of Action to address Long Pendency of Criminal Appeals: Last month, SC has directed various High Courts of the Country like UP, Rajasthan, Bombay, Orissa, Patna & MP to file affidavits submitting their plan of action for deciding the criminal appeals that have been before the HCs for a long period of time. Recently, High Court and Bombay & Orissa have submitted their Affidavits. (Khursheed Ahmed vs. State of UP)

15. Relief to Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.: SC has held that Samsung Project Office located in Mumbai cannot be termed as a “Permanent Establishment” for the purpose of taxation under Double Tax Avoidance Treaty. (Director of Income Tax-II, International Taxation vs. M/S Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.)

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