3 Important Supreme Court Judgments Pronounced Today [Friday, July 5, 2019]

1. Christopher Raj v. K. Vijayakumar

The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Section 138 - The High Court erred in reversing the acquittal without affording any opportunity to the appellant-accused or by appointing an amicus curiae to argue the matter on his behalf.

Admittedly, the appellant-accused did not appear in the criminal appeal before the High Court. When the accused has not entered appearance in the High Court, in our view, the High Court should have issued second notice to the appellant-accused or the High Court Legal Services Committee to appoint an advocate or the High Court could have taken the assistance of amicus curiae. When the accused was not represented, without appointing any counsel as amicus curiae to defend the accused, the High Court ought not to have decided the criminal appeal on merits; more so, when the appellant-accused had the benefit of the acquittal.

Case Number : Crl.A. No. 986 - 987 of 2019 05-07-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : M.P. Parthiban
Bench : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.S. Bopanna


2. Steel Authority of India Ltd. v. Jaggu

The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 - The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 - In the given circumstances, a mere assertion of fact that the contract labour which was allowed to continue after the prohibition notification came to be published dated 17th March, 1993 in the establishment of the appellant SAIL performing same or similar kind of work in the establishment of the principal employer is not sufficient to endorse their entitlement of claiming wages notified by the NJCS memorandum of agreement for direct/regular employees of the establishment applicable universally to all the steel industries.

Case Number : C.A. No. 8094 of 2011 05-07-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Sunil Kumar Jain
Respondent's Advocate : T.G. Narayanan Nair
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ajay Rastogi

3. The Director, Steel Authority of India Limited v. Ispat Khadan Janta Mazdoor Union

The Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 - Section 10 (1) - if the scheme of the CLRA Act and other legislative enactments which the principal 40 establishment has to comply with under the mandate of law and taking note of the oral and documentary evidence which came on record, the finding which has been recorded by the CGIT under its award dated 16th September, 2009 in absence of the finding of fact recorded being perverse or being of no evidence and even if there are two views which could possibly be arrived at, the view expressed by the Tribunal ordinarily was not open to be interfered with by the High Court under its limited scope of judicial review under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India.

The Tribunal under its award dated 16th September, 2009 has rightly arrived to the conclusion that the contract was not sham and bogus and there shall be no automatic absorption of contract labour on issuance of a prohibition notification under the CLRA Act and the High Court of Madhya Pradesh has committed a manifest error in reversing the finding of fact in return under its impugned judgment dated 6 th September, 2010 which, in our view, is not sustainable and deserves to be set aside.

Case Number : C.A. No. 8081 - 8082 of 2011 05-07-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Sunil Kumar Jain
Respondent's Advocate : T. G. Narayanan Nair
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ajay Rastogi

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