Supreme Court
Supreme Court

This segment highlights the important issues of the Indian Legal System of the week objectively and with a magnified legal lens factually.

What made Headlines from the Supreme Court of India this week?

SC refuses to interfere with Bombay HC ruling, allows CBI probe into corruption charges against Anil Deshmukh
SC refuses to interfere with Bombay HC ruling, allows CBI probe into corruption charges against Anil Deshmukh

1. Supreme Court Bench dismissed the plea filed by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh against the Bombay High Court order for conduct of CBI probe into corruption allegations made by Param Bir Singh. “Keeping into consideration the nature of allegations & persona involved, an investigation by an independent agency is required. We are not inclined to interfere.”, Justice SK Kaul ordered.
Bench: Justice Hemant Gupta & Justice SK Kaul
Case Title:
Anil Deshmukh V. The State Of Maharashtra And Ors & Parambir Singh v. State of Maharashtra

2. The Supreme Court, while hearing the PIL which sought to investigate into Nandigram Violence, directed the petitioner to approach the Calcutta High Court. Thus, the top court dismissed the petition. The PIL had been instituted under Article 32 of the Constitution praying for direction to Union of India to investigate the incident against Chief Minister of West Bengal and issue guidelines against management of future incidents which affect the Electoral Machinery.
Bench: Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian
Case Title: Shubham Awasthi & Ors Vs. UOI & Ors.

3. The Centre moved Supreme Court in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Espionage Case seeking acceptance of a sealed cover report by former Supreme Court judge Justice DK Jain. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated before a bench led by CJI SA Bobde that the issue be heard, in light of the fact that the Justice DK Jain report has been submitted. The bench stated that the case will be taken up next week. The development comes after panel appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the illegal arrest of Scientist S. Nambi Narayanan in the ISRO espionage case of 1994 submitted its report to the Apex court.
Bench: Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian
Case Title: S. Nambi Narayanan Vs. Siby Mathew & Ors.

Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone

4. The Supreme Court while hearing the matter of Italian marines, directed the Republic of Italy to pay compensation due as per order dated May 21, 2020 to the Ministry of External Affairs, and the same amount to be deposited within one week to the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Solicitor General had informed the Court that the victims had already been compensated and there was nothing left to be adjudicated in the matter. A request was made for an urgent hearing pursuant to which the matter was listed today for appropriate direction in the pending IA.
Bench: Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian
Case Title: Massimilano Latorre & Ors v UOI & Ors

5. Supreme Court Bench continued hearing the plea filed by Forum For Peoples Collective Efforts (FPCE) this week, an umbrella homebuyers association challenging the constitutional validity of West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act, 2017 (“WB-HIRA”) which was notified on June 1, 2018. “Art 254 even if a state law has received presidential assent then the law would still be repugnant to the extent it deals with the Central Law. The Presidential Assent does not prevent the Parliament from legislating in the matter," Justice DY Chandrachud remarked.
Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud & Justice MR Shah
Case Title: Forum For Peoples Collective Efforts (FPCE) And Anr. v. The State Of West Bengal And Anr.

Apex Court Judgments for The Week [April 5 to April 10, 2021]

1. The Top Court turned down the plea seeking direction to the Union of India, not to deport the Rohingya refugees who have been detained in the sub-jail in Jammu. The bench added that no deportation shall take place without compliance with due procedure. Court noted, “It is also true that the right guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 are available to all persons who may or may not be citizens. But the Right not to be deported, is ancillary or concomitant to the Right to reside or settle in any part of the territory of India guaranteed under Article 19(1)(e).”
Bench: Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian
Case Title: Mohammad Salimullah v. Union of India

2. The Apex Court has ruled that there can be no doubt that the third proviso to Section 254 (2A), would be both arbitrary and discriminatory and, therefore, liable to be struck down as offending Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
Bench: Justice RF Nariman, Justice BR Gavai & Justice Hrishikesh Roy
Case Title: Deputy CIT vs Pepsi Foods

3. The Top Court has noted that while awarding punishment under the NDPS Act, interest of the society as a whole must be of prime consideration and that merely because one is poor or a sole breadwinner of a family, the punishment awarded cannot be mitigated.
Bench: Justice DY Chandrachud & Justice MR Shah
Case Title: Gurdev Singh v. State of Punjab

High Courts & Other Court Updates for the Week

1. Orissa High Court has directed Commissioner GST to issue clear instructions to all the officers in the GST Commissionerates in Odisha that no notice demanding payment of service tax/GST will be issued to lawyers rendering legal services and falling in the negative list, as far as GST regime is concerned.

2. The Bombay High Court has recently warned the father of a 18 year old girl residing with a 20 year old boy that stringent action will be taken against him if he tries to harm and confine her. The bench disposed of the petition to grant relief to the father of the woman who had approached the Court by way of a Habeas Corpus petition.

3. The Calcutta High Court has recently observed that the amount of maintenance that is being paid by husband u/s 125 CrPC is adjustable in a subsequent proceeding u/s 23 of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 ("Act").

Analysis: Here's what the Supreme Court and High Courts of India had to say this week
Image by sandip patel from Pixabay

4. Civil judge Senior Division, Varanasi Civil Court has allowed ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Government has been directed to bear the expenses. Direction has further been issued to constitute a commission for survey. The plea by the devotees and worshippers as next friend of the plaintiff deities, avers, “Asthan Lord Adi Visheshwar, Jyotirlinga” was damaged in 1669 under the orders of Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb but “Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh and other subsidiary deities” continued to exist within the ancient temple, which is claimed by Muslims to be part of the “Gyanvapi Mosque”.

- Sanya Talwar is the Editor of Lawbeat

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