Analysis: Here's what the Supreme Court and High Courts of India had to say this week

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?

1. The Supreme Court has issued notice to Attorney General in a writ petition challenging the constitutional validity of the 102nd Constitutional Amendment 2018 published in the Gazette of India dated 11.08.2018. The 102nd Constitutional Amendment, 2018 introduced Article 338 B, which provides for the constitution of a National Commission for Backward Classes & Article 342A.
Title: Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil Vs. The Chief Minister & Ors.
Bench: Justice Hemant Gupta, Justice Nageswara Rao, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Ravindra Bhat
Supreme Court is currently hearing the Maratha Reservation Matter on a daily Basis.
Arguments for March 15, 2021
Arguments for March 16, 2021
Arguments for March 17, 2021
Arguments for March 18, 2021

2. Top Court, while hearing a PIL against the debate/resolution passed in various State Legislative Assemblies including Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan, West Bengal with regards to CAA and farm laws, noted that the Assemblies in in passing resolutions had only expressed an opinion. The PIL was moved by Samta Andolan Samiti, an NGO based in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is their brief contention that the State Legislative Assemblies of Punjab, Rajasthan, Kerala and West Bengal had no jurisdiction whatsoever to debate/discuss/make any resolution against a statute passed on a matter under List I of Seventh Schedule.
Title: Samta Andolan Samiti v. Union of India
Bench: CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun

3. The Top Court in its judgment today, while setting aside the order of Madhya Pradesh High Court directing tying of rakhi to the perpetrator of sexual assault, noted,“Judges play – at all levels – a vital role as teachers and thought leaders. It is their role to be impartial in words and action, at all times. If they falter, especially in gender related crimes, they imperil fairness and inflict great cruelty in the casual blindness to the despair of the survivors.”
Title: Aparna Bhat v. State of Madhya Pradesh
Bench: Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice S.Ravindra Bhat

4. The Supreme Court allowed the prayer of Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech seeking transfer of petition(s) pending before High Court's viz. priority to legal fraternity for administering the Covid19 vaccine. The Court ordered the transfer of the similar suo motu case pending before the Delhi high court before itself and also granted leave for amending prayer(s) to allow the transfer of similar plea's from other high court's including the Bombay High Court.
Title: Serum Institute Of India Vs. Union Of India, Aravind Singh Vs. Union of india
Bench: Chief Justice S A Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramaniun

5. The Centre informed Supreme Court that it was not on the issue of grant of bail in the case for which it had moved Top Court against the Regular Bail granted to actress Rhea Chakraborty in the drugs case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death but on the aspects related to findings of the Bombay High Court in the Order.
Title: Union of India Vs. Rhea Chakraborty
Bench: CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun

Apex Court Judgments of Week [March 15, 2021 to March 20, 2021]

1. The Supreme Court has held that existence of a civil remedy for breach of contract does not act as a bar from initiation of criminal proceedings. The Bench has observed that the correctness of allegations in the complaint are to be decided on the basis of evidence led during the course of trial.
Title: Priti Saraf v. State of NCT of Delhi
Bench: Justice Indu Malhotra & Justice Ajay Rastogi

2. The Supreme Court has held that there is a need to amend certain provisions in light of the judgment in Vidya Drolia Vs. Durga Trading (2019) 20 SCC 406 in order to increase the ambit of Appealability under Section 37 Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 ("Act").
Title: Pravin Electricals v. Galaxy Infra and Engineering
Bench: Justice RF Nariman, BR Gavai, Hrishikesh Roy

3. The Top Court in its decision on March 16, 2021, held that all consumer complaints instituted before coming into force of the new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 shall continue to be heard by the fora designated by the 1986 Act and not be transferred in terms of the new pecuniary limits established under the Act of 2019.
Title: Neena Aneja v. Jai Prakash Associates
Bench: Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah

High Court Updates Of The Week [March 15, 2021 to March 20, 2021]

1. The Delhi High Court has observed that intention or knowledge that under such circumstances death could have been caused or not is relevant for framing charges u/s 308 IPC.

Antilia bomb scare case: NIA says Sachin Vaze ‘not cooperating’; Thane court orders protection for his family
Antilia bomb scare case: NIA says Sachin Vaze ‘not cooperating’; Thane court orders protection for his family
Photo: BL Soni

2. A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court rejected the contention by suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze who was arrested in the Antilia bomb scare case, that consent was required to arrest him as per a provision in the Criminal Procedure Code.

Analysis: Here's what the Supreme Court and High Courts of India had to say this week

3. The Punjab & Haryana High Court has recently observed that if a muslim girl marries a Hindu boy without converting into Hinduism from Islam, then the couple is entitled to cohabit in a live in relationship in the nature of marriage.

4. The Delhi High Court while recently quashing the FIR registered for offences under S. 308 (Attempt to Culpable Homicide) r/w 34 IPC ordered young petitioners to perform community service for at least one month at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to make them understand that anger does not give them a license to take law in their hands.

5. A Single Judge Bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh of Delhi High Court recently directed the Ministry of External Affairs ("MEA") to facilitate the repatriation of mortal remains of a Hindu Indian Migrant who was buried in Saudi Arabia as per Muslim Rites by seeking cooperation from the Deputy Chief of Saudi Arabian Embassy.

- Sanya Talwar is the Editor of Lawbeat

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