• Scope of application filed U/s. 311 CrPC

1) Application U/s. 311 CrPC Cannot Be Dismissed On Ground That It Will Lead To Filling Of Loopholes In Prosecution's Case – The Supreme Court heard a Petition challenging an order which rejected an application under Section 311 of CrPC seeking to summon nodal officers of certain cellular entities along with the decoding register to trace the mobile location of accused.

The Bench also observed that the resultant filling of loopholes on account of allowing an application under Section 311 CrPC is merely a subsidiary factor and the Court's determination of the application should only be based on the test of the essentiality of the evidence.

Cause Title – Varsha Garg v. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 8, 2022

Coram – Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud & Justice AS Bopanna

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  • Reduction of sentence of senior citizen under NDPS Act

2) "Poor Illiterate Lady": Supreme Court Reduces Sentence Of Senior Citizen Convicted Under NDPS Act - The Supreme Court reduced the sentence of imprisonment given to a senior citizen woman who was convicted and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The Court held that considering the old age of the appellant accused, who is a poor illiterate lady completely unaware of the consequences it was appropriate that the sentence of the accused appellant to be reduced.

Cause Title – Budhiyarin Bai v. State of Chattisgarh

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice Ajay Rastogi & Justice CT Ravikumar

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  • Applicability of rule of evidence under MV Act for compensation

3) MV Act - Rule Of Evidence To Prove Charges In Criminal Trial Cannot Be Used For Determining Compensation – While enhancing the compensation in a motor accident case, the Supreme Court observed that rule of evidence to prove charges in a criminal trial cannot be used while deciding an application under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Court held, "We find that the rule of evidence to prove charges in a criminal trial cannot be used while deciding an application under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which is summary in nature. There is no reason to doubt the veracity of the statement of appellant No. 1 who suffered injuries in the accident. The application under the Act has to be decided on the basis of evidence led before it and not on the basis of evidence which should have been or could have been led in a criminal trial."

Cause Title – Janabai WD/O Dinkarraro Ghorpade & Ors. v. M/s. ICICI Lombard Insurance Company Limited

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice Vikram Nath

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  • Inconsistency in evidence, acquittal in murder case

4) Serious Inconsistencies In Evidence Of Witnesses - SC While Acquitting Murder Accused – The Supreme Court while acquitting the accused in a murder case held that there were serious inconsistencies and discrepancies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses and this was a case where the accused were entitled to benefit of doubt.

The Bench also observed, ""Though independent witnesses were available, the prosecution has failed to examine them. We therefore find that this is a case wherein the appellants are entitled for benefit of doubt."

Cause Title – Khema @ Khem Chandra Etc. v. State Of Uttar Pradesh

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice BR Gavai & Justice PS Narasimha

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  • No separate zone for consideration of promotion of SC/ST candidates

5) Supreme Court Sets Aside CAT Order Directing Separate Zone Of Consideration For Promotion Of SC/ST Candidates – The Supreme Court set aside the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, affirmed by the Delhi High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing separate zone of consideration for the promotion of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates to the post of Superintendent from the post of Inspector in the Customs and Central Excise Commissionerate.

In this case, the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes had prayed for a separate zone of consideration to be created for the Scheduled Tribe candidates so that the vacancies in the cadre of Superintendent meant for them could be filled up.

Cause Title – Union of India & Ors. v. Gopal Meena & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice Vikram Nath

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  • Can a person be prosecuted for similar allegations under NI Act and IPC

6) Can Person Be Tried Under NI Act And Also Under IPC For Similar Allegations - SC Refers Question To Larger Bench - Whether on a similar set of allegations of fact the accused can be tried for an offence under the Negotiable Instrument Act and also for offences under the Indian Penal Code unaffected by the prior conviction or acquittal, the issue has been referred to a larger Bench by the Supreme Court.

The Bench was dealing with a case where proceedings against a person for offences under Sections 120B, 406, 420 and 34 of Indian Penal Code was quashed by the High Court considering that proceedings under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act pertaining to the same cause of action and on the same facts and grounds were pending, prior to the registration of the proceedings under IPC.

Cause Title – J. Vedhasingh v. R.M. Govindan & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 11, 2022

Coram – Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice JK Maheshwari

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  • For overturning acquittal, strong reasons must be given

7) To Overturn Acquittal, High Court Should Provide Strong And Cogent Reasons – The Supreme Court observed that in a case where acquittal has been made owing to glaring contradictions between the testimony of prosecution witnesses, to overturn such a verdict the Court must provide strong and cogent reasons.

The Court noted, ""To overturn such a verdict of acquittal, handed over by the Sessions Court after disbelieving PW­1 and PW­4, the High Court should have come up with more stronger and cogent reasons than what has been recorded. The law on the scope of Section 378 of the Cr.P.C., is too well settled."

Cause Title – [email protected] & Anr. v. State of Karnataka

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice Indira Banerjee & Justice V. Ramasubramanian

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  • Can a sale deed be executed after 16 years?

8) Too Much To Ask Developer To Accept Balance Consideration And Execute Sale Deed After 16 Years- SC Modifies NCDRC's Order - The Supreme Court held that it would be "too much" to ask a developer to execute the sale deed for a property by accepting the balance consideration of Rs 6.49 lakh after 16 years.

The Apex Court modified the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had directed the developer to hand over possession of the house situated in Nagpur to the complainant and execute the sale deed after obtaining the occupation certificate.

In its December 2019 verdict, the NCDRC had also directed the complainant to pay the balance sale consideration of Rs 6.49 lakh within four weeks to the developer.

Cause Title – M/s. Siddhyvinayak Infrastructure v. Kamalakar Jayant Srivastava & Anr.

Date of Judgment – August 12, 2022

Coram – Justice DY Chandrachud & Justice J B Pardiwala

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  • Suspicion cannot be a ground for conviction

9) Regardless Of How Strong, Mere Suspicion Cannot Be Ground For Conviction Of Accused – The Supreme Court heard an appeal against an order of the Punjab & Haryana High Court which dismissed the Appellant's plea and convicted him for offences under Section 302 and 201 IPC.

Setting aside the order of the High Court, the Supreme Court held that, "It is settled law that the suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot take the place of proof beyond reasonable doubt. An accused cannot be convicted on the ground of suspicion, no matter how strong it is. An accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Cause Title – Ram Niwas v. State of Haryana

Date of Judgment – August 11, 2022

Coram – Justice BR Gavai & Justice PS Narasimha

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  • Workman cannot claim continuity of service if retrenchment is bonafide

10) Only On Bonafide Retrenchment, Workman Not Entitled To Claim Continuity Of Service Upon Reemployment – The Supreme Court in an industrial dispute case held that only if the retrenchment of workmen was bonafide then the retrenched workmen are not entitled to claim continuity of service upon re-employment.

The Bench held, "…there is no quarrel with the principle of law that re-employment of retrenched workmen does not entitle them to claim continuity of service as held in Cement Corpn. of India Ltd. v. Presiding Officer Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court and Anr., as well as the Maruti Udyog Ltd v. Ram Lal and Ors. However, the principle laid down in these judgments will only apply to cases where the retrenchment is bona fide."

Cause Title – Armed Forces Ex Officers Multi Services Cooperative Society Ltd. v. Rashtriya Mazdoor Sangh

Date of Judgment – August 11, 2022

Coram – Justice BR Gavai & Justice PS Narasimha

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  • Whether commission paid to Mutual Fund Distributor is an expense connected with winding up of scheme?

11)Commission Payable To Mutual Fund Distributors Not Expense Connected With Winding Up Of Scheme – The Apex Court held that the commission payable to mutual fund distributors is not an expense that is connected with the winding up of the scheme.

The Court also held, ""The intent behind specifying total expense ratio and the performance disclosure for mutual funds is to bring greater transparency in expenses and to not confer any right on the mutual fund distributors to claim expenses under clause (b) to Regulation 41(2), which pertains to the procedure and manner of winding up."

Cause Title – Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Private Limited & Another v. Amruta Garg & Others Etc.

Date of Order – August 12, 2022

Coram – Justice S. Abdul Nazeer & Justice Sanjiv Khanna

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  • Can the market value of land be determined based on surmises and conjectures?

12) Land Acquisition| Entire Process Of Determining Market Value Based On Surmises And Conjectures - SC Modifies Compensation – While modifying the compensation in a land acquisition case, the Apex Court held that the entire process of determining the market value of the land was based on surmises and conjectures.

In this case, one appeal was filed by the Union of India to reduce the amount of compensation from Rs.19 per square feet and also challenging the grant of compensation for the entire land owned by the Company. The other appeal was preferred by the Company claiming enhancement of compensation of the acquired land to Rs.40/- per square feet.

Cause Title – Union of India v. Ramchandra & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 11, 2022

Coram – Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice Vikram Nath

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  • Whether parties entitled to equal share if property is ancestral

13) Property In Dispute Is Ancestral – Supreme Court Holds Both Parties Entitled To Equal Share – In a property dispute case, the Bench noted that the property was ancestral in nature, thus both the Appellant and Defendants were entitled to equal share in it.

The Court while holding so, observed, "The High Court has misread the most important evidence led by the appellants i.e., one of the brothers, Sopan (PW-2), who had deposed that the land at village Pirangut was ancestral land. The plaintiff and defendants including daughters of Maruti have equal share in the Pirangut and Lavale property."

Cause Title – Gitabai Maruti Raut (Dead) Through LR. & Ors. v. Pandurang Maruti Raut (Dead) Through LRS. & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 11, 2022

Coram – Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vikram Nath

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  • Whether Project Proponent was targeted for not availing EC for cold stone rolling mill

14) Out Of 1689 Cold Stone Rolling Units In Country, Only Project Proponent Was Targeted - SC Terms Petition Motivated – The Bench heard appeals that arose from the same order passed by the National Green Tribunal, filed by the Appellant and Project Proponent.

The Court further observed that out of the 1689 cold stone rolling units in the country, only Project Proponent was targeted for the want of Environment Clearance, hence, the Court termed the Petition to be motivated.

Cause Title – Gajubha Jadeja Jesar v. Union of India & Ors.

Date of Judgment – August 10, 2022

Coram – Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice Vikram Nath

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