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Top Ten Legal Headlines of The Week-11 Sep 2023

Top Ten Legal Headlines of The Week-11 Sep 2023


1. SLP Cannot Be Filed to Challenge an Order Passed by the High Court on the Administrative Side: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court addressed a special leave petition challenging a High Court's administrative order. Justice KV Viswanathan referred to the precedent of Dev Singh and Others vs. Registrar, Punjab and Haryana High Court and Others (1987) 3 SCC 169. The petitioner contested the administrative decision of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Telangana, which denied online hearings and the filing of certain petitions. The Supreme Court Registrar refused to register the petition, prompting the petitioner to appeal.

2. Consumer Protection Act | If Commercial Use Is by Purchasers Themselves for Earning Livelihood by Self-Employment, They'll Be 'Consumers': Supreme Court

The Supreme Court clarified that individuals purchasing goods for large-scale profit-making activities are not considered 'consumers' under the Consumer Protection Act 1986. However, those using the goods for self-employment and livelihood are still protected. The Court, represented by Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar, emphasised that if the primary purpose is profit-making, as evident from the record, the purchaser does not qualify as a 'consumer' under Section 2(1)(d) of the Act.

3. BSF Act | Even If Officer Pleads Guilty of Misconduct, Court Has to Satisfy That Confession Is Voluntary: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court expressed significant reservations about a conviction stemming from a guilty plea in a case involving a Border Security Force (BSF) constable accused of photographing a lady doctor while she was bathing. The Court underscored crucial aspects that cast doubt on the confession's reliability. These included the absence of an eyewitness, the recovery of the camera from a different person's residence, and discrepancies in witness testimonies. The Court pondered why the respondent would admit guilt in the face of such scant evidence against him.

4. Supreme Court Upholds Centre's Decision to Relax AGR Dues Payment by Telecom Co's, But Says Filing Application to Modify Orders Was More Appropriate

In a recent development, the Supreme Court has rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the Cabinet's September 2021 decision to ease payment terms for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) owed by Telecom Service Providers. The PIL also called for the enforcement of the Supreme Court's verdict dated September 1, 2020, which mandated that telecom companies liable for AGR dues must remit 10% of the total by March 31, 2021. Additionally, the PIL raised concerns regarding the reduction in bank guarantees, a decrease in interest rates, and the exemption of spectrum sharing charges, all introduced by the Centre through its cabinet resolution.

5. Supreme Court Refuses To Hold Pharma Company Liable For Not Mentioning Adverse Reaction of Vaccination, Says Doctor Should Have Advised Patient

The Supreme Court has affirmed a ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which determined that there was no evidence of deficient service or defect on the part of the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd in connection with the administration of the Engerix-B vaccine. The complainant contended that both he and his family received the vaccine from their family doctor and that he allegedly experienced 'myositis' as an adverse reaction to the vaccination.

6. Employee Found Unsuitable For Job Can Be Dismissed Without Notice During Probationary Period: Supreme Court

The recent Supreme Court ruling highlights the crucial difference between simpliciter and punitive termination. If a termination carries punitive implications, due process demands an inquiry and an opportunity for the affected party to be heard. Failing to do so renders the termination unlawful, violating principles of natural justice. Referring to the precedent in State of Punjab v. Balbir Singh (2004), the Court emphasised that an inquiry to uncover misconduct leading to termination is punitive, while assessing suitability for a specific role constitutes simpliciter termination.

7. Supreme Court dismisses challenge to cabinet decision to relax payment of AGR dues by telecom companies.                      

The Supreme Court has recently rejected a plea filed by Anshul Gupta against the Prime Minister's Office to annul the Union government Cabinet's September 2021 decision, which relaxed the payment terms of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) owed by telecom companies. In its ruling on September 1, a bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan emphasised that it would not be warranted to meddle with a 'well-calibrated' policy decision made under expert advice and emerging public interest imperatives.

8. Jammu and Kashmir High Court quashes PSA detention of two religious clerics: Supreme Court.                                           

 In a significant development, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has nullified preventive detention orders against two religious clerics, Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat, known as Veeri, and Molvi Abdul Rashid Sheikh, also known as Dawoodi. The cases were titled (Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat @ Veeri v. UT of J&K) and (Molvi Ab. Rashid Sheikh v. UT of J&K). Justice Rajnesh Oswal presided over Veeri's case, ordering his immediate release. At the same time, Justice Sanjay Dhar oversaw Dawoodi's case, ruling in favour of his release. These clerics had been detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act in September 2022, based on orders from the District Magistrate of Anantnag.

9. Mere Living In A Particular House Would Not Mean It Is Under Ownership Of Person Living There: Supreme Court

In a notable ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court decision, emphasising that mere residence in a house doesn't automatically confer ownership or place it within a society's jurisdiction. Justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal presided over the case, which centred on whether the late Krishna Pal Singh, a society member and his successors were entitled to plot allocation within the society and whether this breached the society's bylaws. This verdict clarifies the intricate issue at hand.

10. Man puts his hand on girl's shoulder, pulling her clothes proof of sexual intent in POCSO case: Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently affirmed the conviction of an individual under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) in the case of Nageshwar v State. In a significant ruling, single-judge Justice Prem Narayan Singh emphasised that, according to the law, any prosecution under the POCSO Act necessitates demonstrating a culpable mental state on the part of the accused. The Special Court shall make this presumption in cases of this nature. The Court noted that the act of a man forcibly pulling a girl's clothes and placing his hand on her shoulder unequivocally signifies his sexual intent.