On Friday, the Supreme Court Judge, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud reckoned that the institution aims to change its image as a ‘tareek pe tareek’ court, perturbed that the routine practice followed by the Advocates to seek adjournment has besmirched the reputation of the Apex Court.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud remarked that We want to change the image of the Supreme Court as the ‘tareekh pe tareekh’ court.
However, as an advocate apprised the bench comprising of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and the Justice Hima Kohli observed that he has circulated a letter seeking adjournment. Thus, Justice Chandrachud vehemently refused to stand over the matter to some other day. Further, he asked the Counsel to argue then and there or take a pass over, prepare and then argue the matter.
He emphasised that the People will have to argue matters. As this being the highest court of the land. Also, we need to have a certain dignity of the institution.
It was observed that this is not the first time that the Judge has objected to adjournments. Recently, he of being informed that a letter for adjournment has been circulated, he was concerned that while the judges burn the midnight oil and read case files, the Counsels appearing conveniently shirk their responsibilities towards the Court by seeking adjournments.
Justice Chandrachud remarked that No, not like this. We sat down and had read 61 matters… the last batch came to me last night. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to complete reading the files and if you want, we can pass it over. On another occasion, when it was requested by the counsel appearing for the petitioner for a matter to be adjourned stating that the Senior Advocate engaged in the matter is held up in another court. It was remarked by Justice Chandrachud that “Now you are a Senior for us. We give you the designation for the afternoon and If you don’t argue…We are sworn to the Constitution so we’ll go ahead and will pass the judgment.
As the counsel appearing for the respondent claimed in indicating that he had not objected to the adjournment.
It had been commented by Justice Chandrachud, “Adjournment is the only aspect on which the lawyers of both sides agree”.
Justice Chandrachud remarked that No, not like this. We sat down and had read 61 matters… the last batch came to me last night. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to complete reading the files and if you want, we can pass it over. On another occasion, when it was requested by the counsel appearing for the petitioner for a matter to be adjourned stating that the Senior Advocate engaged in the matter is held up in another court.
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Who will be next APTEL Chairman ?
Justice Hemant Gupta, currently serving as Judge, Supreme Court of India may be appointed as the next Chairman of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL). Justice Hemant Gupta’s tenure as Judge of Supreme Court comes to an end on October 16th.
Justice Gupta enrolled as an advocate in July 1980 and started practice in the District Court of Chandigarh. He entered in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and worked on Civil, Labour, Company and Constitutional matters. In 1997 he was appointed Additional Advocate General of Punjab and elevated as a Judge of High Court of Punjab and Haryana on 2 July 2002. Justice Gupta was transferred to the Patna High Court in February 2016, thereafter took over the charge of acting chief justice of the Patna High Court after the retirement of Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari on 29 October 2016. He was appointed the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 18 March 2017.In November 2018 he became Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Delhi HC asks trial court to consider Sharjeel Imam’s bail plea for relief
The Delhi High Court has instructed a trial court to first consider former JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s application for relief under Section 436-A CrPC on the grounds that he has been in custody for 31 months following a 2019 sedition FIR, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive to keep sedition cases on hold.
According to Section 436-A, a person might well be released on bail by the court after serving a sentence of up to one-half the maximum allowed for the offence against him up until the end of the trial.
Imam claims that because he has been imprisoned for more than a year and a half since his arrest in February 2020 and has served more than half of the maximum sentence of three years under Section 153A (promoting hostility among religious groups), he is entitled to the advantage of being released.
A speech that Imam delivered at Jamia Millia Islamia in 2019 is the subject of a charge against him that was filed at the New Friends Colony (NFC) Police station.
Justice Anoop Mendiratta asked the trial court to consider the Supreme Court’s order keeping the offence of sedition in abeyance when deciding whether to grant the applicant’s request for default bail on Monday (September 26), while permitting him to withdraw his application for regular bail in a 2019 sedition case.
Appearing for Imam, his counsel Ahmad Ibrahim told the judge that the trial court, while dismissing his bail plea, had only made observations against him with respect to offences under Section 153A and 124A (sedition) and opined that no case was made out under other offences.
The counsel argued that the only offence which now warrants consideration of the trial court during the hearing of bail plea is Section 153A as offence of sedition has been kept abeyance.
Special public prosecutor Amit Prasad told the court that Imam’s bail plea pending before High Court may be withdrawn in entirety, as it may not be appropriate to consider the application under Section 436A CrPC in a piecemeal with reference to Section 153A of IPC.
Delhi High Court restrains Axis Bank from substituting PS Toll Road Pvt Ltd (PSTR) as the concessionaire of the Pune Satara Toll Road Project
The Delhi High Court has restrained Axis bank from substituting PS Toll Road Pvt. Ltd (PSTR) as a concessionaire of the Pune Satara Toll Road Project. The order authored by Justice Anup Jairam Bhambani found Axis Bank in breach of its own undertaking given before the court.
The court says Axis Bank is bound by its undertaking given to the court in February 2021 & then in March 2021 that it will not go ahead with the substitution of the concessionaire in the PS Toll Road project, without the court’s nod.
Delhi HC says Axis Bank’s undertaking was unconditional, and therefore it cannot rely upon any event under the Concession Agreement or the Substitution Agreement, to appoint a new concessionaire in the project.
PS Toll Road Pvt Ltd (PSTR), the concessionaire of the Pune Satara Toll Road project, had challenged the appointment of a new concessionaire in the project by the Axis Bank despite a stay on the process by the Delhi HC in March 2021.
PS Toll Road Pvt Ltd, in its appeal before the Delhi HC, has contended that Axis Bank was in breach of its own undertaking given before the court in 2021, that it will not finalize the bids or award the contract to a third party, thereby substituting the PS Toll Road Pvt Ltd.
Sr. Adv. Neeraj Kishan Kaul with Sr. Adv. Dayan Krishnan and Adv. Mahesh Agarwal of Agarwal Law Associates (ALA) represented PS Toll Road Pvt. Ltd.
Court has issued notice to Axis Bank and the matter will be heard on 28 September.
PS Toll Road Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. and was awarded the contract for six laning of 140 KM of stretch between Pune and Satara in Maharashtra on BOT basis. The project is now complete.
Supreme Court: Permanent injunction cannot be sought on the basis of an unregistered agreement to sell
The Supreme Court in the case Balram Singh vs Kelo Devi observed and stated that a relief of permanent injunction cannot be sought on the basis of such an unregistered document/agreement to sell.
The bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari observed that a plaintiff cannot get the relief indirectly which otherwise he/she cannot get in a suit for specific performance.
In the present case, a suit has been filled by the plaintiff praying for a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendant from disturbing her possession in the suit property, which was claimed on the basis of the agreement to sell of which was an unregistered agreement/document to sell on ten rupees stamp paper. The suit was dismissed by the Trial Court by the original plaintiff and refused to grant permanent injunction and allowed the counter-claim of the defendant. However, the First Appellate Court reversed the Trial Court judgment and decreed the suit. The second appeal filled by the defendant was dismissed by the High Court.
In appeal, the defendant-appellant contended that an unregistered agreement to sell is not admissible in evidence and that the suit filed by the original plaintiff was only for permanent injunction and she did not seek the relief for specific performance of agreement to sell by adopting a clever drafting as she was well aware that she would not succeed in the suit filled for specific performance on the basis of an unregistered agreement to sell. On the other hand, it was contended by the respondent-plaintiff that an unregistered document can be used for collateral purpose and therefore both, the first appellate Court as well as the High Court have rightly passed a decree for permanent injunction while considering the agreement for selling of collateral purpose for grant of permanent injunction.
The Apex Court observed, while allowing the appeal:
However, having conscious of the fact that the plaintiff might not succeed in getting the relief of specific performance of such agreement to sell as the same was unregistered, a suit was filed by the plaintiff simplicitor for permanent injunction only. In a given case, it may be true that an unregistered document can be used and/or considered for collateral purpose and at the same time, the plaintiff cannot get the relief indirectly which otherwise he/she cannot get in a suit for substantive relief, namely, in the present case filled for the relief of specific performance. Thus, the plaintiff cannot get the relief even for permanent injunction on the basis of such an unregistered document/agreement to sell, more particularly when the defendant specifically filed the counter-claim for getting back the possession which was being allowed by the learned trial Court. It has been cleverly prayed by the plaintiff for a relief of permanent injunction only and did not seek for the substantive relief of specific performance of the agreement to sell as the agreement to sell was an unregistered document and therefore on such unregistered agreement/document to sell, no decree for specific performance could have been passed. By clever drafting, the plaintiff cannot get relief.
Therefore, the court restored the Trial Court judgment dismissing the suit and allowing the counter-claim.
Supreme Court refuses to stay EC proceedings on Shinde’s claim, ‘real’ Shiv Sena tussle
On Tuesday, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court allowed the Election Commission of India to go ahead and decide Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s claim that his faction represents the “real” Shiv Sena.
The bench comprising of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed the plea of Uddhav Thackeray camps to stay the ECI proceedings. It was argued by Mr. Thackeray that the Shinde faction was facing disqualification proceedings for defection under the 10th schedule and that the ECI should wait until the question of disqualification was decided.
The Supreme Court stated during the hearing that there was a bit of problem with Mr. Thackeray’s argument that the ECI proceedings under the Symbols Order of 1968 should be “stultified” merely because of a disqualification process against the Shinde function was pending before the Assembly Speaker.
Also, the bench comprising of Justice M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P.S. Narasimha stated that “we direct that there would be no stay of the proceedings before the Election Commission”.
It was observed that the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government had collapsed after a revolt by Mr. Shinde and the 39 other legislators against the Sena leadership.
On June 30, Mr. Shinde was sworn in as the CM along with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy.
The Supreme Court had referred to a five-judge bench on August 30, the plea filled by the Thackeray and Shinde-led factions raising several constitutional questions related to defection, disqualification and merger.
It was also stated that it had been asked the Election Commission Of India (ECI) not to pass any orders on the Shinde faction’s petition that it be considered the “real” Shiv Sena and be granted the party’s poll symbol.
However, the bench led by the then Chief Justice N.V. Ramana has said that the batch of petitions raise important constitutional issues which is relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution pertaining to the disqualifications, power of the speaker and the governor, and judicial review.
It is provided by the 10th schedule of the Constitution for the prevention of defection of the elected and the nominated members for their political parties and contains stringent provisions against defection.
Earlier, it has been submitted by Thackeray faction that party MLAs loyal to Shinde can save themselves from disqualification under the 10th schedule of the constitution only by merging with another political party.
It has been contended by the Shinde group that the anti-defection law is not a weapon for a leader who has lost the confidence of his own party.
Supreme Court Collegium Recommends To Elevate Bombay HC Chief Justice Dipankar Datta As Judge Of Supreme Court
The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended to elevate Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Datta is the son of a former Calcutta High Court Judge, late (J) Salil Kumar Datta and brother-in-law of Justice Amitava Roy, former Supreme Court Judge and was born in February 1965.
However, in 1989, he obtained his LL.B. degree from the University of Calcutta and was enrolled as an Advocate on November 16, 1989. Further, he worked as a Junior Standing Counsel for the State of West Bengal from May 16, 2002 to January 16, 2004 and as a Counsel for the Union of India since 1998.
From June 22, 2006., he worked as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court. On April 28, 2020., he was elevated as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.
He has passed several significant judgements as CJ of the Bombay High Court, including home vaccination for the bedridden and has directed a preliminary enquiry against Anil Deshmukh – Maharashtra Home Minister at the time, and an authoritative pronouncement on an illegal construction.
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