Supreme Court Weekly Update March 25th to 30th

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Supreme Court Weekly Update March 25th to 30th 

1. Pattu Rajan V. State of Tamil Nadu

Second FIR Not Barred Merely Because Motive In Both Offences Are The Same’; SC Upholds Life Sentence Of Saravana Bhavan Founder For Murder. 

The bench of Justices N V Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee dismissed the batch of appeals filed by accused against the 2009 judgment of Madras High Court.

“It may be noted that the motive for commission of both the offences may be the same, inasmuch as they were committed to enable Accused No. 1 to marry PW1, but merely because of their common motive, the second offence cannot be said to be in continuation of the first incident, in light of there being distinct intentions behind the two offences”.

2. Hanuman Laxman Aroskar V. Union of India

The health of the environment is key to preserving the right to life as a constitutionally recognized value under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta directed Expert Appraisal Committee to revisit the recommendations made by it for the grant of clearance.

3. Union Of India V. Parmar Construction Company

The Supreme Court said that the High Court, while dealing with an application under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, seeking appointment of an ‘independent Arbitrator’, should first resort to the mechanism in appointment of an arbitrator as per the terms of contract as agreed by the parties.

The bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi

“Where the impartiality of the arbitrator in terms of the arbitration agreement is in doubt or where the Arbitral Tribunal appointed in terms of the arbitration agreement has not functioned, or has failed to conclude the proceedings or to pass an award without assigning any reason and it became necessary to make a fresh appointment, Chief Justice or his designate in the given circumstances after assigning cogent reasons in appropriate cases may resort to an alternative arrangement to give effect to the appointment of independent arbitrator under Section 11(6) of the Act.”

4. State of Uttarakhand v. Prem Ram
Drunkenness While On Duty A Serious Misconduct: SC Upholds Dismissal Of A Police Constable

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed:

“The charge against the respondent was of a serious act of misconduct involving drunkenness and misbehavior with the public. The fact of intoxication was duly proved in the medical report. Having regard to the seriousness of the charge of misconduct and the fact that the respondent was a member of the police service, we find no justification for the High Court to interfere with the order of dismissal.”

5. M/s Achal Industries V. State of Karnataka
A challenge to the constitutionality of Section 6B of the Karnataka Sales Tax Act 1957 on the ground that it permitted State to include proceeds from inter-state sale in ‘total turnover’ was repelled by the Supreme Court.

The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi

6. Kolkata West International City Pvt. Ltd. vs. Devasis Rudra

A buyer cannot be required to wait indefinitely for possession, said the Supreme Court while affirming Consumer Commission order directing the developer to refund the amount to the buyer.

The court bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta refusing : 

“In terms of the agreement, the date for handing over possession was 31 December 2008, with a grace period of six months. Even in 2011, when the buyer filed a consumer complaint, he was ready and willing to accept possession. It would be manifestly unreasonable to construe the contract between the parties as requiring the buyer to wait indefinitely for possession. By 2016, nearly seven years had elapsed from the date of the agreement. Even according to the developer, the completion certificate was received on 29 March 2016. This was nearly seven years after the extended date for the handing over of possession prescribed by the agreement. A buyer can be expected to wait for possession for a reasonable period. A period of seven years is beyond what is reasonable. Hence, it would have been manifestly unfair to non-suit the buyer merely on the basis of the first prayer in the reliefs sought before the SCDRC. There was in any event a prayer for refund.”
7. State of Madhya radish V. Uday Singh
The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta held that a Magistrate has no jurisdiction under Section 451 of the Criminal Procedure to release a seized vehicle, once the Authorised Officer initiated confiscation proceedings.

Forest Act- Magistrate Can’t Invoke Jurisdiction Under S.451 CrPC To Release A Seized Vehicle, Once Authorized Officer Initiates Confiscation Proceedings.
8. Ramakrishna Mission V. KagoKunya

“Contracts of a purely private nature would not be subject to writ jurisdiction merely by reason of the fact that they are structured by statutory provisions”

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta. 
9. Branch Manager, National Insurance Co.Ltd. V. Smt. Mousumi Bhattacharjee

The Supreme Court has observed that where a disease is caused or transmitted by insect bite/virus in the natural course of events, it would not be covered by the definition of an accident.

“In a policy of insurance which covers death due to accident, the peril insured against is an accident: an untoward happening or occurrence which is unforeseen and unexpected in the normal course of human events”The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta observed while dealing with what it called an ‘interesting question of law’.

10. The Managing Director, KTDC Ltd. V. Deepti Singh
A hotel which provides a swimming pool for its guests owes a duty of care, said the Supreme Court while directing the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. to pay Rs.62, 50,000, to the family of a man who died as he drowned in the swimming pool at Hotel Samudra at Kovalam.

The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta , agreed with NCDRC findings and observed

“The duty of care arises from the fact that unless the pool is properly maintained and supervised by trained personnel, it is likely to become a potential source of hazard and danger. Every guest who enters the pool may not have the same level of proficiency as a swimmer. The management of the hotel can reasonably foresee the consequence which may arise if the pool and its facilities are not properly maintained. The observance of safety requires good physical facilities but in addition, human supervision over those who use the pool.”