53 Important Supreme Court of India Judgments March 2018

1. Bharatkumar Rameshchandra Barot Vs. State of Gujarat

Penal Code, 1860 - S. 302 - Murder - Any punishment less than the life imprisonment, as prescribed under Section 302 IPC, if awarded by any Court is per se illegal and without authority of law. https://goo.gl/8m9jXm

2. University of Mysore Vs. Rajaiah (Dead) By Lrs.

Land Reforms Act, 1961 (Karnataka) - Ss. 44, 107 - Vesting of lands in the State Government - Act not to apply to certain lands - Any land belonging to or held on lease by a University established by law is not subject to the provisions of the KLR Act. The said Act is also not applicable to the land belonging to the Government.

3. Gorusu Nagaraju Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 302 & 201 - Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - S. 235(2) - Appeal against Conviction - Concurrent Findings - Sessions Judge and the High Court, on appreciation of entire oral evidence, held the appellant guilty of the offences - Held, It is a case where the findings of conviction are concurrent in nature and based on appreciation of evidence, therefore, such findings are usually binding on this Court. However, if the appellant is able to show any perversity, arbitrariness, absurdity or illegality in any such concurrent findings then, in such circumstances, the findings though concurrent are not binding on this Court. This Court, therefore, usually does not take upon itself to again appreciate the evidence de novo third time in the appeal subject to the exception pointed out above.

4. Netram Sahu Vs. State of Chhattisgarh

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 - It being a welfare legislation meant for the benefit of the employees, who serve their employer for a long time, it is the duty of the State to voluntarily pay the gratuity amount to the appellant rather than to force the employee to approach the Court to get his genuine claim.

5. All Escorts Employees Union Vs. State of Haryana

Trade Unions Act, 1926 - Ss. 6, 9A - A Union in a particular establishment should have representative character.

6. Sita Ram Bhama Vs. Ramvatar Bhama

Family Law - Family Settlement In a suit for partition, an unregistered document can be relied upon for collateral purpose i.e. severancy of title, nature of possession of various shares but not for the primary purpose i.e. division of joint properties by metes and bounds - Unstamped instrument is not admissible in evidence even for collateral purpose, until the same is impounded.

7. Satyendra Kumar Mehra @ Satendera Kumar Mehra Vs. State of Jharkhand

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - S. 357 (2) - Order to pay Compensation - What is the purpose and object of sub ­Section (2) of section 357 Cr.P.C. ?

8. Union of India Southern Railway General Manager Vs. R. Sethumadhavan

Pension - More than 140 years ago, it was said by the Privy Council: “These proceedings certainly illustrate what was said by Mr. Doyne, and what has been often stated before, that the difficulties of a litigant in India begin when he has obtained a Decree.” A somewhat similar fate seems to await government servants – on getting retired, they have to struggle for the due pension. This is a classic case of a railway employee who retired as a Train Examiner on 31st March, 1991 and his pension woes are being decided after 27 years and unfortunately not in his favour.

9. Krishna Devi Vs. Keshri Nandan

Partition - Suit for partition and separate possession of half share in the suit scheduled property - Suit Decreed by Trial Court - First Appellate Court set aside the judgment of the trial court and allowed the appeal - Second Appeal filed by the appellant / plaintiff was dismissed by the High Court - Do not find any ground to interfere with the judgment of the High Court - Appeal Dismissed.

10. Madiraju Venkata Ramana Raju Vs. Peddireddigari Ramachandra Reddy

Representation of the People Act, 1951 - "Material facts" would mean all the basic facts constituting the ingredients of the grounds stated in the election petition in the context of relief to declare the election to be void.

11. Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan Vs. State of Maharashtra

Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 - To avoid false implication of an innocent, a preliminary enquiry may be conducted by the DSP concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the Atrocities Act and that the allegations are not frivolous or motivated. https://goo.gl/6Vz58H

12. National Campaign Committee For Central Legislation On Construction Labour (ncc Cl) Vs. Union of India

Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 (BOCW Act) - Building and Other Construction Workers‘ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 - Under the Cess Act, more than Rs. 37,400 crores have been collected for the benefit of construction workers, but only about Rs. 9500 crores have been utilized ostensibly for their benefit. What is being done with the remaining about Rs. 28,000 crores? Why is it that construction workers across the country are being denied the benefit of this enormous amount? These are some questions that arise in this petition – are the answers blowing in the wind?

13. ITC Limited Vs. Blue Coast Hotels Ltd.

Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 - Whether sub-section (3A) of Section 13 is mandatory or directory in nature.

14. Director Aryabhatta Research Institute Of Observational Sciences (Aries) Vs. Devendra Joshi

Service Law - Misconduct - Termination - there was a preliminary inquiry conducted by the Management in which there was a prima facie finding recorded against the Respondent No.1 of his involvement in an act of misconduct. The Appellants decided not to proceed further and hold a detailed inquiry to prove the misconduct of Respondent No.1. However, the service of Respondent No.1 was terminated at the end of the period of probation which cannot be said punitive. Therefore, the Order dated 31st December, 2008 is an order of termination simpliciter. In view of the above it cannot be said that misconduct was the foundation for the order of termination.

15. P. Sreekumar Vs. State of Kerala

Second FIR - there is no prohibition in law to file the second FIR and once it is filed, such FIR is capable of being taken note of and tried on merits in accordance with law. https://goo.gl/7iGdDT

16. Ramakanth V Vs. Purnima

Family Law - Meditation - Parties have been in litigation for the last eleven years - Mediator's intensive efforts and marathon sittings, the parties have reached a settlement.

17. Rameshwar Yadav Vs. State of Bihar

Criminal Procedure Code, 1972 - Ss. 205 & 317 - Magistrate may dispense with personal attendance of accused - Provision for inquiries and trial being held in the absence of accused in certain cases - Discussed.

18. Bimal Gurung Vs. Union of India

Darjeeling Blast - SC Dismisses Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Leader Bimal Gurung's Plea seeking Transfer of Case.

19. State of Karnataka Vs. Karnataka Pawn Brokers Assn.

Money Lenders Act, 1961 (Karnataka) - Ss. 7A & 7B - Karnataka Pawn Brokers Act, 1961 - Ss. 4A & 4B - Whether the amendments in the year 1998 providing that the security deposit furnished by the money lenders and pawn brokers shall not carry interest, is constitutional, legal and valid - Held, Valid from the date of their enactment - provisions making these amendments retrospective from 1985 are illegal and invalid.

20. Board Of Control For Cricket In India Vs. Kochi Cricket Pvt. Ltd.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 - Section 26 - Construction of - Act not to apply to pending arbitral proceedings - Discussed.

21. Union of India Vs. Indian Radiological and Imaging Association

Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 - the judgment in Voluntary Health Association of Punjab shall be strictly enforced by all states and union territories untrammelled by any order of any High Court or any other court.

22. Bar Council of India Vs. A.K. Balaji

Advocates - Whether foreign law firms/lawyers are permitted to practice in India.

23. Union of India Vs. Raghuwar Pal Singh

Service Law - Whether the appointment of the respondent to the post of Veterinary Compounder, made by the Director Incharge at the relevant point of time without approval of the Competent Authority, was a nullity or a mere irregularity, which could be glossed over by the department to avert disruption of his services and; in any case, whether his services could be disrupted without giving him an opportunity of hearing.

24. Rameshwar Vs. State of Haryana

Land Acquisition - A complete investigation in the transactions including unearthing unnatural gains received by “middle men” shall be undertaken by the CBI.

25. Sivakami Vs. State of Tamil Nadu

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 - O. 47 R. 1 - Review - The power of review is not to be confused with the appellate power. The review petition/application cannot be decided like a regular intra court appeal. On the other hand, the scope of appeal is much wider wherein all the issues raised by the parties are open for examination by the Appellate Court.

26. Union of India Vs. Chaman Rana

Army Law - The benchmark for promotion to the posts in question under the BSF (Seniority, Promotion and Superannuation of Officers) Rules of 1978, as prescribed in paramilitary Promotion DO letter dated 25.11.1988 was modified on 08.05.1990 from ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’. 

27. Income Tax Officer, Mumbai Vs. Venkatesh Premises Coop. Sty. Ltd.

Tax Law - Whether certain receipts by co­operative societies, from its members i.e. non­occupancy charges, transfer charges, common amenity fund charges and certain other charges, are exempt from income tax based on the doctrine of mutuality.

28. Sudhakar @ Sudharasan Vs. State Rep. By Teh Inspector of Police

Evidence Law - What is the difference between a related witness and an interested witness ?

29. Bannareddy Vs. State of Karnataka

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 143, 147, 148, 323, 324, 341, 307, 504, 506 r/w. 149 - When any overt act could not be associated with these accused, provisions of Section 149 IPC will not be attracted.

30. Dev Kanya Tiwari Vs. State Of Uttar Pradesh Home Department Secretary

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 302/34 - If two views are possible basing on the evidence adduced in the case, one pointing to the guilt of the accused and the other to the innocence of accused, the view which is favourable to the accused should normally be adopted.

31. M/s. Fortune Infrastructure (now Known As M/s Hicon Infrstructure) Vs. Trevor Dlima

Consumer Law - Where there is non-delivery of the flat/house, and the developer has refused to provide alternative and equivalent accommodation, and the buyer lacks means to purchase a substitute from the market, then in such circumstances, damages would not be reasonable to be assessed on the breach date.

32. Kerala State Electricity Board Vs. Kurien E. Kalathil

Arbitration - When there was no arbitration agreement between the parties, without a joint memo or a joint application of the parties, the High Court ought not to have referred the parties to arbitration.

33. Common Cause (A Regd. Society) Vs. Union of India

Euthanasia - The right to live with dignity also includes the smoothening of the process of dying in case of a terminally ill patient or a person in PVS with no hope of recovery.

34. Sunil B. Naik Vs. Geowave Commander

Maritime Law - Distinction between a beneficial ownership of a ship and the charterer of a ship.

35. Abdulrasakh Vs. K.P. Mohammed

Election - the law relating to election is a technical one as it amounts to a challenge laid to the democratic process determining the will of the people. An eligible person whether a candidate or a voter coming to Court, seeking to set aside any election has to, thus, meet with the technical natures of the election petition and the provisions prescribed under the said Act as otherwise it would be fatal to the election petition at the threshold itself.

36. Ummer Vs. Pottengal Subida

Delay - The earlier view of this Court that the appellant was required to explain the delay of each day till the date of filing the appeal has since been diluted by the later decisions of this Court and is, therefore, held as no longer good law. 

37. Prahlad Shankarrao Tajale Vs. The State Of Maharashtra Thru Is Secretary (revenue)

Procedural Laws should not be construed like a penal provision to punish the parities as far as possible.

38. Bhupendra Kumar Chimanbhai Kachiya Patel Vs. Divisional Controller GSRTC Nadiad

Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 - Ss. 10, 18, 25C, 29, 43 - “Badli Kamdar” - The concept of “Badli Kamdar” is statutorily recognized under the Act. Explanation to Section 25C defines the term “Badli Kamdar”.

39. The Chairman, Board Of Trustees Cochin Port Trust Vs. M/s Arebee Star Maritime Agencies Pvt. Ltd.

Major Port Trust Act, 1963 - Section 47A - Whether the liability to pay ‘ground rent’ on containers unloaded at Cochin Port, but not cleared by the consignees/importers and refused to be de-stuffed by the Port, on the ground of inadequate storage space, can be imposed on the owners of the vessel/steamer agents beyond the period of 75 days, fixed by the Tariff Authority of Major Ports.

40. Union of India Vs. M/s. Intercontinental Consultants And Technocrats Pvt. Ltd.

Finance Act, 1994 - Chapter V & Ss. 66 & 67 - Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006 - Rule 5 - Consulting Engineering Services - Service tax is to be paid only on the services actually provided by the service provider.

41. Sitaram Vs. Radhey Shyam Vishnav

Election Petition Rules - Deposit of treasury challan which means deposit of the requisite amount in treasury at the time of presentation of the election petition is mandatory.

42. Andanur Kalamma Vs. Gangamma (dead) By L.rs.

Res judicata - The principle of res judicata as enshrined in Section 11 of CPC, is founded on the maxim “Nemo Debet Bis Vexari Pro Una Et Eadem Causa”.

43. Bharati Reddy Vs. State of Karnataka

Writ of quo warranto - High Court could not have issued a writ of quo warranto until the Income and Caste Certificate issued in favour of the appellant, on the basis of which she participated in the election for the post of Adhyaksha and got elected, was to be declared void or invalidated by the Caste Scrutiny Committee.

44. State of Karnataka Vs. M/s Durga Projects Inc

Tax Law - Rate of tax applicable to works contracts prior to 1 April 2006 when Section 4(1)(c) was introduced by an amendment into the Karnataka Value Added Tax Act 2003.

45. Singh Ram Vs. Nirmala

Motor Vehicles Act 1988 - Section 166 - Insured did not hold a valid driving licence at the time of the accident - the direction by the Tribunal, confirmed by the High Court, to pay and recover cannot be faulted.

46. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Ajay Kumar Mohanty

Motor Vehicles Act 1988 - Section 166 - Claim for compensation on the basis that the disability was permanent was clearly not established - The disability being of a temporary nature, we award compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs towards loss of income.

47. S. Thangaraj Vs. National Insurance Co. Ltd. Rep. By The Branch Manager

Disability - As a result of the multiple fractures sustained by him, the appellant has lost complete sensation below the abdomen. Evidently he cannot work any more as load man. In these circumstances, the assessment of disability at 70 per cent is incorrect. On a realistic view of the matter, the nature of the disability must be regarded as being complete.

48. Jagdish Kumar Sood Vs. United India Insurance Co. Ltd.

Light Goods Vehicle - Driver having licence to drive light motor vehicle can drive such a transport vehicle of LMV class and there is no necessity to obtain separate endorsement.

49. Dwarika Prasad Vs. State of U.P.

Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 - Section 13(8) - Education Loan - The right to redemption stands extinguished on the execution of the registered sale deed.

50. Jagdish Vs. Mohan

Motor Accident - Measure of compensation must reflect a genuine attempt of the law to restore the dignity of the being. Our yardsticks of compensation should not be so abysmal as to lead one to question whether our law values human life. If it does, as it must, it must provide a realistic recompense for the pain of loss and the trauma of suffering. Awards of compensation are not law’s doles. In a discourse of rights, they constitute entitlements under law. Our conversations about law must shift from a paternalistic subordination of the individual to an assertion of enforceable rights as intrinsic to human dignity.

51. Vishnu Chandru Gaonkar Vs. N.M. Dessai

Criminal Procedure, Code, 1973 - Section 195 - Prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants, for offences against public justice and for offences relating to documents given in evidence - Forgery of a document if committed far outside the precincts of the Court and long before its production in the Court, the same cannot be treated as one affecting administration of justice.

52. State of Karnataka Vs. M/s Vedanata Limited (formerly Known as Sesa Sterlite Limited)

Forest Act, 1963 (Karnataka) - Ss. 2(7)(b)(iv), 24 (e), 62, 80 - Forests Rules, 1969 (Karnataka) - Rules 143, 162 - illegal storage of iron ore.

53. Anu Bhandari Vs. Pradip Bhandari

Family Courts Act, 1984 - S. 9 - the Court has a duty to make an endeavour to assist and persuade the parties in arriving at a settlement. The jurisdiction is not just to decide a dispute, on the contrary, the court also has to involve itself in the process of conciliation/mediation between the parties for assisting them not only to settle the disputes but also to secure speedy settlement of disputes.

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