8 Important Supreme Court Judgments January 9, 2019

1. Sukh Bilash Thakur v. Bihar State Electricity Board

Service Law - Pension - Order of reversion issued nearly twenty ­five years later to be highly unjust, inequitable and arbitrary suffering from the vice of unreasonableness.

Citations : AIR 2019 SC 501 : JT 2019 (1) SC 107 : 2019 (1) SCALE 301
Case Number : C.A. No. 217 of 2019 09-01-2019
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Narendra Kumar, AOR Mr. Shishir Pinaki, Adv. Mr. Rajiv Kumar Sinha, Adv. Mr. Shashank Singh, Adv. 
For Respondent(s) Mr. Gopal Singh, AOR Mr. Manish Kumar, Adv. Mr. Shivam Singh, Adv. Mr. Aditya Raina, Adv. Mr. Kumar Milind, Adv. Mr. Udian Sharma, Adv. Mr. Shreyas Jain, Adv.
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha

2. Hansraj v. Mewalal

U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953 - U.P. Zamindari Abolition & Land Reforms Act, 1950 - Section 176 - Holding of a bhumidhar or sirdar divisible. ­

Citations : AIR 2019 SC 646 : 2019 (1) SCALE 312
Case Number : C.A. No. 87 - 88 of 2019 09-01-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Ashok Kumar Singh
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon'ble Mr. Justice K.M. Joseph

3. Regional Transport Officer v. K. Jayachandra Etc.

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Sections 32, 52 - Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 - Rule 126 - Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 - Rules 96, 103 and 261 - Alteration in the motor vehicle - Prototype of every motor vehicle to be subject to test - Inspection of vehicle prior to Registration - Application for registration of motor vehicles - Issue of certificate of registration.

No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration.

The object and the clear intent of amended section 52 is that the vehicle cannot be so altered that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those “originally specified by the manufacturer”.

Section 52 has been amended with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of environment.

Citations : AIR 2019 SC 362 : JT 2019 (1) SC 206 : 2019 (1) Scale 317
Case Number : C.A. No. 219 - 222 of 2019 09-01-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Nishe Rajen Shonker
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Vineet Saran
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra

4. Kusumben Indersingh Dhupia v. Sudhaben Biharilalji Bhaiya

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 - Order IX, Rule 9 - Restoration of Suit - Application for restoration of the suit filed by the appellant-plaintiff was well within the period of limitation. The appellant-plaintiff was present in almost all hearings before the Trial Court which indicates that he was genuinely pursing the matter. The appellant-plaintiff having filed the suit for declaration and injunction ought to be given an opportunity to pursue his suit.

Case Number : C.A. No. 230 of 2019 09-01-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Shamik Shirishbhai Sanjanwala
Respondent's Advocate : Haresh Raichura
Bench : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi

5. Arun Kumar Manglik v. Chirayu Health and Medicare Private Ltd.

Medical Negligence - In the practice of medicine, there could be varying approaches to treatment. There can be a genuine difference of opinion. However, while adopting a course of treatment, the medical professional must ensure that it is not unreasonable. The threshold to prove unreasonableness is set with due regard to the risks associated with medical treatment and the conditions under which medical professionals function. This is to avoid a situation where doctors resort to ‘defensive medicine’ to avoid claims of negligence, often to the detriment of the patient. Hence, in a specific case where unreasonableness in professional conduct has been proven with regard to the circumstances of that case, a professional cannot escape liability for medical evidence merely by relying on a body of professional opinion.

Medical Negligence - Bolam Test - The “Bolam test” has been the subject of academic debate and evaluation in India and other jurisdictions. Among scholars, the Bolam test has been criticized on the ground that it fails to make the distinction between the ordinary skilled doctor and the reasonably competent doctor. The former places emphasis on the standards adopted by the profession, while the latter denotes that negligence is concerned with departures from what ought to have been done in the circumstances and may be measured by reference to the hypothetical “reasonable doctor”. The Court must determine what the reasonable doctor would have done and not the profession.

Citations : 2019 (3) SCALE 333
Case Number : C.A. No. 227 - 228 of 2019 09-01-2019
Bench : Hon'ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta
For Appellant(s) Mr. Brijender Chahar, Sr. Adv. Mr. Birendra Kumar Mishra, AOR Mr. Shashi Bhushan, Adv. Ms. Poonam Atey, Adv.
For Respondent(s) Mr. Ankur Mittal, AOR Mr. U.C. Mittal, Adv. Ms. Nidhi Mittal, Adv.
Judgment By : Hon'ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

6. Birla Institute of Technology v. State of Jharkhand

The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 - Section 2(e) - Definition of “employee” - Amending Act No.47 of 2009 with retrospective effect from 03.04.1997 - In view the amendment made in the definition of Section 2(e), was not brought to the notice of the Bench, this issue was not considered though had relevance for deciding the question involved in the appeal. It is for this reason, prima facie find error in the judgment and, therefore, are inclined to stay the operation of judgment dated 07.01.2019 passed in this appeal. The judgment dated 07.01.2019 shall not be given effect to till the matter is reheard finally by the appropriate Bench.

Citations : 2019 (1) Scale 428
Case Number : C.A. 2530 of 2012 09-01-2019
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Mr. Justice R. Subhash Reddy

7. Santosh Maruti Mane v. State of Maharashtra

Criminal Law - Murder - Capital Punishment - Life Imprisonment - Even though the appellant has not been able to establish the defence of insanity, the appellant was under mental strain and stress which resulted into the aforesaid reaction on his part. Otherwise, he is not a person of any criminal antecedents. Nothing is indicated about his propensity of criminality on his part - His conduct in Jail has been satisfactory. There is every possibility of his reform. In fact, he may be a reformed person already, the appellant is regretting his aforesaid action taken in undue palpitation. Therefore, do not agree with the High Court that the appellant has become a menace and threat to the harmonious and peaceful coexistence of the society or that it is a rarest of rare case. For the aforesaid reasons, commute the death sentence and substitute it with the sentence of life imprisonment.

Citations: AIR 2019 SC 527 : 2019 (1) Scale 562 
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 45 of 2019 09-01-2019
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

8. Secrtary / Corresponent St. John's College v. Dr. S. Wilson

Service Law -  Appointments were clearly made in an illegal manner, hence the services were rightly terminated on 17.11.2008 after the interim order had been vacated. It will be futile to afford opportunity of hearing, in the facts and circumstances of these cases. However, the order shall be treated as an order of termination simplicitor, the finding recorded that there was some collusion of the plaintiff with the persons who had been appointed is hereby set aside. Only on the ground of incompetence the termination orders are upheld. The approval of illegal appointments made by the Competent Authority would not change the scenario and confer the legality to appointments which were illegally made. It was further conceded by the learned counsel appearing for the respondents that the only consideration for the university while approving appointments is the required qualification. Be that as it may, possessing the qualification would not change the situation as the appointments had been illegally made. Any approval made by the State Government/University will not come to the rescue of the respondents.

Citations : 2019 (1) Scale 555
Case Number : C.A. No. 10478 of 2011 09-01-2019
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Vineet Saran
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