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We need to protect women’s dignity and enact the uniform civil code

A few days ago, a Single Judge of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her former husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, even after the expiry of the period of iddat as long as she does not remarry. Justice K. S. Pawar allowed the revision application of the petitioner namely Razia and reversed the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh in May 2008. The High Court modified the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate’s court in favour of the petitioner in January 2007. Though justice is delivered, it is certainly a delayed justice. Unfortunately, the High Court took 14 years to decide the issue. This is the pathetic state of affairs of our judicial system. Something must be done to deliver speedy justice to the people otherwise they will lose faith in our judicial system.

Public opinion seems to be divided on this issue. While several constitutional pundits, scholars, thinkers and commentators have appreciated the High Court’s verdict, there are also people who take a different view about this judgment. I am of the view that the judgment delivered by the Lucknow Bench is absolutely correct and needs no overruling or public criticism. The judgment is based on sound statutory principles, and case laws decided by the Apex Court. Let me analyze this ruling in light of the well-established law of precedent on the issue of maintenance for Muslim women.

In this case, the petitioner is a divorced lady who had approached the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Pratapgarh under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and requested the Court to grant maintenance for her and her two kids. The Trial Court allowed her application in 2007 and asked her husband to give the petitioner and her kids monthly maintenance. Thereafter, the petitioner’s husband filed a revision application before the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ), Pratapgarh, who allowed the application, and rejected the maintenance order passed in favour of the petitioner. The ASJ also reduced the maintenance of two kids. While allowing the revision application of the husband, the Additional Sessions Judge observed, relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the Danial Latifi case of 2001, that the matter of maintenance of a divorced Muslim wife was covered by the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, and not by Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Aggrieved against the ASJ’s order passed in May 2008, the petitioner approached the High Court in appeal and challenged the findings delivered by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh.

In appeal, a Single Bench of the Allahabad High Court headed by Justice K. S. Pawar set aside the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh, and held that the petitioner is entitled to get the benefit of Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. While saying so, the High Court relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the case of Sabana Bano v. Imran Khan, (2009) wherein the Apex Court had ruled: “cumulative reading of the relevant portions of the judgments of this Court in Danial Latifi and Iqbal Bano would make it crystal clear that even a divorced Muslim woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from her divorced husband, as long as she does not remarry. This being a piece of beneficial legislation, the benefit thereof must accrue to the divorced Muslim women”. Further, the Court observed that even after divorce, a Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, after the expiry of the iddat period as long as she does not remarry.

Applying the Apex Court’s judgments, Justice K. S. Pawar rightly observed in his judgment: “In view of the aforesaid judgment of Sabana Bano, I have no hesitation in holding that the view taken by the revisional Court is contrary to the law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court. The revisionist no. 1 being a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. There is no illegality in the order passed by the Trial Court”. This is a good judgment which will benefit several divorced Muslim women who are deprived of maintenance by their former husbands getting the cover of the 1986 Muslim Act, an Act enacted by the Congress government to appease Muslims after the Shah Bano verdict of the Supreme Court. The time has come when Parliament should repeal the 1986 Act, and enact the Uniform Civil Code to protect the dignity of women. In a democracy based on the supremacy of the Constitution, there is no place for religious fundamentalism and anti-women interpretations by Islamic Maulvis, Muftis, and Mullahs. In India, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the Sharia. Thankfully, during the last few years, the judiciary has come to the rescue of Muslim women in several cases. The abolition of the unsavory practice of triple divorce is one of them. But more efforts are required to bring gender equality in the Islamic community which needs urgent social reforms. Some Muslim scholars, leaders, and public intellectuals should also come forward to criticize such practices and convince the community to accept the common civil code.

Let me conclude this note with these insightful words of the Supreme Court observed in the Shah Bano case in 1985: “A belief seems to have gained ground that it is for the Muslim community to take a lead in the matter of reforms of their personal law. A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws which have conflicting ideologies. No community is likely to bell the cat by making gratuitous concessions on this issue. It is the State which is charged with the duty of securing a uniform civil code for the citizens of the country and, unquestionably, it has the legislative competence to do so. A counsel in the case whispered, somewhat audibly, that legislative competence is one thing, the political courage to use that competence is quite another. We understand the difficulties involved in bringing persons of different faiths and persuasions on a common platform. But, a beginning has to be made if the Constitution is to have any meaning. Inevitably, the role of the reformer has to be assumed by the courts because, it is beyond the endurance of sensitive minds to allow injustice to be suffered when it is so palpable. But piecemeal attempts of courts to bridge the gap between personal laws cannot take the place of a common civil code. Justice to all is a far more satisfactory way of dispensing justice than justice from case to case”.

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A few days ago, a Single Judge of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ruled that a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her former husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, even after the expiry of the period of iddat as long as she does not remarry. Justice K. S. Pawar allowed the revision application of the petitioner namely Razia and reversed the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh in May 2008. The High Court modified the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate’s court in favour of the petitioner in January 2007. Though justice is delivered, it is certainly a delayed justice. Unfortunately, the High Court took 14 years to decide the issue. This is the pathetic state of affairs of our judicial system. Something must be done to deliver speedy justice to the people otherwise they will lose faith in our judicial system.

Public opinion seems to be divided on this issue. While several constitutional pundits, scholars, thinkers and commentators have appreciated the High Court’s verdict, there are also people who take a different view about this judgment. I am of the view that the judgment delivered by the Lucknow Bench is absolutely correct and needs no overruling or public criticism. The judgment is based on sound statutory principles, and case laws decided by the Apex Court. Let me analyze this ruling in light of the well-established law of precedent on the issue of maintenance for Muslim women.

In this case, the petitioner is a divorced lady who had approached the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, Pratapgarh under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and requested the Court to grant maintenance for her and her two kids. The Trial Court allowed her application in 2007 and asked her husband to give the petitioner and her kids monthly maintenance. Thereafter, the petitioner’s husband filed a revision application before the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ), Pratapgarh, who allowed the application, and rejected the maintenance order passed in favour of the petitioner. The ASJ also reduced the maintenance of two kids. While allowing the revision application of the husband, the Additional Sessions Judge observed, relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the Danial Latifi case of 2001, that the matter of maintenance of a divorced Muslim wife was covered by the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, and not by Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Aggrieved against the ASJ’s order passed in May 2008, the petitioner approached the High Court in appeal and challenged the findings delivered by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh.

In appeal, a Single Bench of the Allahabad High Court headed by Justice K. S. Pawar set aside the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Pratapgarh, and held that the petitioner is entitled to get the benefit of Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. While saying so, the High Court relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in the case of Sabana Bano v. Imran Khan, (2009) wherein the Apex Court had ruled: “cumulative reading of the relevant portions of the judgments of this Court in Danial Latifi and Iqbal Bano would make it crystal clear that even a divorced Muslim woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from her divorced husband, as long as she does not remarry. This being a piece of beneficial legislation, the benefit thereof must accrue to the divorced Muslim women”. Further, the Court observed that even after divorce, a Muslim woman is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, after the expiry of the iddat period as long as she does not remarry.

Applying the Apex Court’s judgments, Justice K. S. Pawar rightly observed in his judgment: “In view of the aforesaid judgment of Sabana Bano, I have no hesitation in holding that the view taken by the revisional Court is contrary to the law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court. The revisionist no. 1 being a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. There is no illegality in the order passed by the Trial Court”. This is a good judgment which will benefit several divorced Muslim women who are deprived of maintenance by their former husbands getting the cover of the 1986 Muslim Act, an Act enacted by the Congress government to appease Muslims after the Shah Bano verdict of the Supreme Court. The time has come when Parliament should repeal the 1986 Act, and enact the Uniform Civil Code to protect the dignity of women. In a democracy based on the supremacy of the Constitution, there is no place for religious fundamentalism and anti-women interpretations by Islamic Maulvis, Muftis, and Mullahs. In India, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, not the Sharia. Thankfully, during the last few years, the judiciary has come to the rescue of Muslim women in several cases. The abolition of the unsavory practice of triple divorce is one of them. But more efforts are required to bring gender equality in the Islamic community which needs urgent social reforms. Some Muslim scholars, leaders, and public intellectuals should also come forward to criticize such practices and convince the community to accept the common civil code.

Let me conclude this note with these insightful words of the Supreme Court observed in the Shah Bano case in 1985: “A belief seems to have gained ground that it is for the Muslim community to take a lead in the matter of reforms of their personal law. A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws which have conflicting ideologies. No community is likely to bell the cat by making gratuitous concessions on this issue. It is the State which is charged with the duty of securing a uniform civil code for the citizens of the country and, unquestionably, it has the legislative competence to do so. A counsel in the case whispered, somewhat audibly, that legislative competence is one thing, the political courage to use that competence is quite another. We understand the difficulties involved in bringing persons of different faiths and persuasions on a common platform. But, a beginning has to be made if the Constitution is to have any meaning. Inevitably, the role of the reformer has to be assumed by the courts because, it is beyond the endurance of sensitive minds to allow injustice to be suffered when it is so palpable. But piecemeal attempts of courts to bridge the gap between personal laws cannot take the place of a common civil code. Justice to all is a far more satisfactory way of dispensing justice than justice from case to case”.

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AN ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE BODIES CAN ESTABLISH A CAPTIVE POWER PLANT PRIMARILY FOR THEIR OWN USE UNDER THE ELECTRICITY ACT: SUPREME COURT

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The Supreme Court in the case Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Ltd. vs Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission observed that a captive power plant primarily for their own use can be established by an association of corporate bodies.

The requirement would be that the consumption of SBIPL and SBMPL together should not be less than 51% of the power generated. Admittedly, the joint consumption by SBIPL and SBMPL is more than 51% and under the provisions of the said Act, the use of electricity by it would be for captive use only even an association of corporate bodies can establish a power plant. Since SBMPL holds 27.6% of the ownership, the requirement of not less than 26% of shares is fulfilled by SBMPL as SBMPL holds 27.6% equity shares in SBPIL.

The fourth proviso to sub­section (2) of Section 42 of the said Act would also reveal that surcharge would not be leviable in case open access is provided to a person who has established a captive generating plant for carrying the electricity to the destination of his own use and under Section 9 of the said Act, could be an individual or a body corporate or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, it is clear that the person will get benefit even an association of corporate bodies can establish a captive power plant it has been seen. The definition of “person” is wide enough to include any company or body corporate or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, or artificial juridical person it should be primarily for the use of the members of such co­operative society or association is the requirement, the Bench observed while referring to the provisions of the Electricity Act.

The BPIL, the respondent contended and supported the impugned judgment that no permission is required from the Commission for supply of electricity for its own use. Thereafter the appellant Company contended that unless SBPIL consumes 51% of the aggregate electricity generated by it, it will not be entitled to get the benefit under Section 9 of the said Act, in an appeal filled before the Apex Court.

An appeal was dismissed by the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity filed by the Company further The Commission held that SBPIL was entitled to supply electricity to its sister concern SBMPL and the same would qualify to be treating as own consumption and within the ambit of Section 9 read with Section 2(8) of the Electricity Act, 2003 and Rule 3 of the Electricity Rules, 2005 SBPIL submitted a petition for providing open access and wheeling of power through the transmission system of the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Ltd (Company) for captive use by SBMPL to the Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the commission. A Captive Generation Plant is established by SBPIL, and is a sister concern of SBPIL Shri Bajrang Power and I spat Ltd and Shri Bajrang Metallics and Power Ltd, SBMPL.

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Where the crime was committed the remission or premature release policy of the state has to be considered: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court in the case Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah, Lala Vakil vs State of Gujarat observed that where the crime was committed has to be considered in the remission or pre­mature release in terms of the policy which is applicable in the State.

While allowing the writ petition the court observed and contended that Once the crime was committed in the State of Gujarat, after the trial been concluded and judgment of conviction came to be passed, all further proceedings have to be 6 considered including remission or pre­mature release in terms of the policy which is applicable in the State of Gujarat where the crime was committed and not the State where the trial stands transferred and concluded for exceptional reasons under the orders of this Court, as the case may be. The court further stated that under Section 432(7) CrPC the appropriate Government can be either the Central or the State Government but there cannot be a concurrent jurisdiction of two State Governments.

the appropriate Government in the ordinary course would be the State of Gujarat. But the case was transferred in exceptional circumstances by this Court for limited purpose for trial and disposal to the neighboring State i.e., the State of Maharashtra by an order dated 06.08.2004. ordinarily, the trial was to be concluded in the same State and in terms of Section 432(7) CrPC as the crime in the instant case was admittedly committed in the State of Gujarat, observed by the Apex Court.

he application for pre­mature release has to be filed in the State of Maharashtra and not in the State of Gujarat, as prayed by the petitioner by judgment impugned dated 17.07.2009 As His petition filed in the High Court of Gujarat was dismissed taking note of Section 432(7) CrPC on the premise that since the trial has been concluded in the State of Maharashtra. Thereafter He had filed his petition for pre­mature release under Sections 433 and 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 stating that he had undergone more than 15 years 4 months of custody.

The bench comprising of Justice Ajay Rastogi and the justice Vikram Nath observed and noted that under Section 432(7) CrPC can be either the Central or the State Government but there cannot be a concurrent jurisdiction of two State Governments of the appropriate Government.

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Adopt roster based reservation for preferential candidates as followed by JIPMER: Supreme Court directs all AIIMS institutes

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The Supreme Court in the case Students Association AIIMS Bhopal And Or’s. v. AllMS and Or’s observed and directed all AIIMS Institutes to adopt roster-based reservation followed by Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry (JIPMER) as a plea was filled in the Court seeking direction to AIIMS to have a defined criteria for arriving at seat matrix for institutional preference candidates in INI-CET examination.

the order of the Apex Court in the case AIIMS Students’ Union v. AIIMS And Or’s, would not be applicable if It emphasized that if the roster-based system is implemented the actual roster points for AIIMS would be different from JIPMER as the same would depend on the percentage of seats decided to be allocated to the preferential candidates but It stated that the reservation would be similar to the one adopted by JIPMER AIIMS New Delhi was willing to provide a roster-point based reservation for its institutional preference candidates, by way of an affidavit 20th January 2022 the Bench was apprised that pursuant to a meeting held on 28th June 2020 as prescribed the relevancy:

It shall not be too wide with the one for the general category candidate, that the margin of difference between the qualifying marks for the Institute’s candidate.

The one who has secured marks at the common entrance PG test less than the one secured by any other candidate belonging to reserved category enjoying constitutional protection such as SC, ST etc. cannot be the AIMS graduate the last student to qualify for admission.

appearing on behalf of AIIMS, Advocate, Mr. Dushyant Parashar, New Delhi was asked to get instructions from AIIMS, Bhubaneswar and Jodhpur so that the Court can pass appropriate orders on the next date of hearing. As that apart from AIIMS, Bhubaneswar and AIIMS, Jodhpur, all other AIIMS before the Apex Court has agreed to implement the roster-based reservation system followed by JIPMER Puducherry for their institutional preference candidates, the Court was informed at the last date of hearing.

the petition had been filed seeking direction to AIIMS to disclose how the seats for institutional preference candidates are to be allotted in the view of the same the petitioners claim that in the INI-CET examination conducted in July, 2021, only 4 seats (1.87%) in AIIMS, New Delhi were allotted to institutional preference candidates. Rivetingly, the petitioners note that no seats were allocated to any other AIIMS for admission of institutional preference candidates.

the Bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and the justice A.S. Bopanna observed and noted that to record in the order that the roaster system would be applicable from this year. Mr. Parashar informed it that since new software is to be put in place for counselling, it might cause some delay. The bench further stated that the court will order it to apply this year but in case of delay AIMS can come later.

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‘The crime committed has to be considered in the remission or premature policy of the state’

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The Supreme Court in the case Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah, Lala Vakil vs State of Gujarat observed that where the crime was committed has to be considered in the remission which is applicable in the State and the pre­mature release in terms of the policy

The Court noted while hearing the writ petition that in terms of the policy which is applicable in the State of Gujarat where the crime was committed and not the State where the trial stands transferred and concluded for exceptional reasons under the orders of this Court once the crime was committed in the State of Gujarat, after the trial been concluded and judgment of conviction came to be passed, all further proceedings have to be 6 considered including remission or pre­mature release, as the case may be, in the instance case. under Section 432(7) CrPC, there cannot be a concurrent jurisdiction of two State Governments, can be either the Central or the State Government of the appropriate government.

in terms of Section 432(7) CrPC, the trial was to be concluded in the same State and ordinarily in the State of Gujrat the crime in the instant case was admittedly committed. by an order 06.08.2004., the case was transferred in exceptional circumstances by this Court for limited purpose for trial and disposal to the neighbouring State i.e., the State of Maharashtra, observed by the bench of Apex Court.

As mentioned by the petitioner in the plea that by judgment impugned dated 17.07.2019., the application for pre­mature release has to be filed in the State of Maharashtra and not in the State of Gujarat and His petition filed in the High Court of Gujarat was dismissed taking note of Section 432(7) CrPC on the premise that since the trial has been concluded in the State of Maharashtra. under Sections 433 and 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the petition was filled by the petitioner for premature release further the petitioner stated that that he had undergone under the custody of more than 15 years 4 months.

Section 302, 376(2) (e) (g) and reading it with Section 149 IPC, Shah was found guilty for the offence, the offence committed by him in the State of Gujrat.

The bench comprising of Justice Ajay Rastogi and the justice Vikram Nath observed that under Section 432(7) CrPC can be either the Central or the State Government but there cannot be a concurrent jurisdiction of two State Governments of that appropriate government.

The bench comprising of Justice Ajay Rastogi and the justice Vikram Nath observed that under Section 432(7) CrPC can be either the Central or the State Government but there cannot be a concurrent jurisdiction of two State Governments of that appropriate government.

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Seeking reduction of qualifying the percentile for admission in ayurveda course: A plea in Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court in the Case Amit Kumar v UOI & Or’s observed in Ayurveda course in view of large number of vacancies and for seeking reduction of qualifying percentile for admission, an ayurveda aspirant who appeared in NEET 2021 has approached the Court.

the court had observed that lowering the minimum marks and reducing the percentile for admission to first year BDS Course would not amount to lowing the standards of Education and further the Court directed to lower the percentile mark by 10 percentiles for admission in first year of BDS Course for academic year 2020-2021, with regards to substantive the contentions made by the petitioner by referring the judgement passed in the case in Harshit Agarwal & Or’s v Union of India.

the percentile may also be reduced for Ayurveda programme enabling the Petitioner to take admissions then If percentile is being reduced/considered for reduction for BDS course was further stated by the petitioner in the plea, while referring to an order dated 04.29.2022. Thereafter the top Court had asked Centre to consider lowering the percentile for BDS Courses.

Seeking the Centre’s response in a plea by filing a counter affidavit, noted by the Top Court specifying the above-mentioned information:

after deducting the admission granted for MBBS Courses (BDS Courses), the total number of Candidates.

in All India Quota and State Quota, the totals number of vacant seats.

in government colleges on one hand & private/deemed colleges on the other hand, the number of seats which are remaining.

the petition was filed through AOR Neeraj Shekhar and for the petitioner Advocate Shivam Singh appeared.

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Bank case rejected by Supreme Court against farmer

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The Supreme Court in the case Bank of Maharashtra & Or’s v Mohanlal Patidar observed an order given by the High Courts of directing the bank the OTS proposal given by a farmer who had availed a loan from the bank, the court further pulled up the Bank of Maharashtra for challenging the order.

The Bank shall complete remaining formalities and provide all consequential benefits flowing therefrom to the petitioners, the court further stated that it is needless to emphasize The OTS proposal given by the petitioners in both the cases shall be accepted by the Bank and ‘sanction letters’ be issued forthwith, the court allowed the petitioner plea.

The petitioner not only promptly challenged the said order, it is noteworthy that petitioner never acceded to the unilateral decision dated 25th August 2021 and even otherwise the letter dated 25th August 2021 is held to be illegal by us, clause-7 of policy cannot take away the fruits of OTS benefits, within two months from the date of issuance of order dated 22th September 2021, the petitioner filled the instant petition and further the court directed we are unable to give stamp of approval to the impugned orders and action of the Bank, observed by the bench comprising of Justice Sujoy Paul and the justice Dwarka Dhish Bansal while setting aside the impugned orders of the bank.

In an order dated 03.09.2021 it was stated and it showed that the petitioner was required to pay minimum 10% of the OTS amount within stipulated time and that he had deposited Rs.35,00,000/- out of Rs.36,50,000/- within the stipulated time, it was argued before the court by the counsel.

As full and final settlement of the dues, he will be required to deposit Rs.50.50 lakhs as he was informed by the Asset Recovery Branch of the Bank.

Whole law comes into place when a matter of farmers come as the down payment were also accepted and it was further stated by the bench in an oral remark You don’t file cases against the ones who loot 1000s of crores.

The respondent had obtained a loan and intended to pay it in terms of a One Time Settlement which was quantified as Rs 3650000/-. in furtherance thereof the respondent had deposited Rs 35,00,000 with the bank, in the above-mentioned matter.

The bank had miserably failed to accept the same and on the contrary, decided to enhance the compromise amount to Rs.50.50 lakhs unilaterally which was contrary to the OTS scheme, contended by the counsel further the counsel stated that the bank had miserably failed to accept the same and on the contrary, decided to enhance the compromise amount to Rs.50.50 lakhs unilaterally which was contrary to the OTS scheme.

The bench comprising of Justice DY Chandrachud and the justice Surya Kant observed and remarked while dismissing the plea assailing Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order dated 02.21.2022 Such a litigation in Supreme Court will spoil the families of farmers financially, Go after bigger fish.

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