This post gives insights into the IMPORTANT JUDGMENT OF 2023 in India
1.Case Title: TATA Sons Pvt. Ltd. (Formerly TATA Sons Ltd) v. Siva Industries and Holdings Ltd & Ors (2023) (Important Judgment of 2023)
Disputes arose between the Applicant and Respondents and the notice of arbitration was issued by the Applicant in 2017. Therefore, the Applicant filed a petition under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Act) before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking constitution of an arbitral tribunal.
- In 2006, TATA Sons Pvt Ltd (Applicant), Siva Industries and Holdings Ltd (Respondent No. 1) and Tata Tele Services Ltd (TTSL) executed a Share Subscription Agreement for the issuance and allotment of shares of TTSL to the First Respondent.
- Subsequently, the Applicant, TTSL and NTT Docomo Inc. (Docomo) executed a share purchase agreement, whereby Docomo acquired certain equity shares of TTSL from Respondent No. 1. The rights, obligations, and duties of Docomo’s ownership of TTSL’s shares were recorded in a Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) executed between the three parties.
- The Respondents then entered into an Inter se Agreement with the Applicant and TTSL, which placed an obligation over the Respondents to purchase the TTSL shares on a pro-rata basis if Docomo exercises its sale option under the SHA.
- Thereafter, arbitration proceedings were initiated by Docomo to resolve the dispute between the parties. Pursuant to the decision of the Arbitrator, the Applicant was directed to acquire Docomo’s shareholding in TTSL and make the necessary payments for the same to Docomo.
- As per the Inter se Agreement, a foreign resident, Mr. C. Sivasankaran (Respondent No. 2) being the promoter of Respondent No. 1, was liable to the Applicant in the instances where Respondent No. 1 failed to fulfil its obligation and pertaining to the said Agreement, the Respondents were asked to acquire back its shareholdings in TTSL and proportionately pay Docomo.
- Disputes arose between the Applicant and Respondents and the notice of arbitration was issued by the Applicant in 2017. The Respondents failed to appoint their nominee arbitrator. As Respondent No. 2 was a foreign citizen, the Applicant filed a petition under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (Act) before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking constitution of an arbitral tribunal.
- Vide Order dated January 17, 2018, SC appointed a Sole Arbitrator i.e., (Retd.) Mr. Justice S.N. Variava, who granted extension of six months for delivering the arbitral award, till August 14, 2019, on mutual consent.
- During the pendency of the arbitration proceedings, insolvency proceedings were initiated by the IDBI Bank Ltd against Respondent No. 1. Vide Order dated July 05, 2019, NCLT initiated CIRP under the IBC and a moratorium was placed on all the proceedings, including the arbitral proceedings against Respondent No. 1.
- Vide Order dated June 03, 2022 passed by the SC, Respondent No. 1 was freed from the CIRP, and the moratorium was lifted. In the meantime, Section 29A was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019, w.e.f August 30, 2019.
- In view of the above, the Applicant filed the present Application before the SC seeking to allow the Sole Arbitrator to continue the proceedings without the need of extension of time, on the grounds that the time limit stated in Section 29A (1) of Act would not be applicable to international commercial arbitrations.
Held By Court:
Hence, it was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India that Section being remedial in nature and having no express bar in retrospective application by the legislature, hereafter that the Section 29A (1) of the Arbitration Act, 2019 is applicable retrospectively.
On the basis of the abovementioned observations, the SC allowed the present application and held that the Sole Arbitrator, acting within his domain and jurisdiction, was to decide upon whether further extension was to be given to the parties and the arbitrator is expected to endeavour expeditious conclusion of the arbitration.
2.Case Title: Shilpi Lenka Vs Susanta Kumar Lenka & Anr.(Important Judgment of 2023)
In this case, the Calcutta High Court dismissed a wife’s plea for enhanced maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The Court pointed out that the enhancement of maintenance after blocking a substantial source of the husband’s income is plainly against the interests of justice and an abuse of the process of law.
- The petitioner was beaten and mentally tortured after she got married and after come time the husband left for air force and they were living separately for quit long period of time.
- On 15th May 2017 husband deserted the wife and daughter and stated living alone. Husband receive pension plus the money earned from working in bank is about Rs. 40,000/-.
- Petition was file for the maintenance of Rs. 25,000/- in total for the petitioner and the daughter.
- It was contented by the husband that she left the house by her own and those entire allegations were false. Also his pension was stalled due to this complaint.
- The affidavits were filed before the Magistrate including the husbands salary slip, school fee of the minor and others; on bases of such documents the court ruled that wife and the child will be entitled for the maintenance. It was further stated by the court that in order to eliminate homelessness and the state of poverty the provision comes into picture.
- The awarded maintenance was Rs. 3000/- to the daughter and Rs. 4000/- to the wife.
- The revision petition was filed against the order dated 12th February 2019 under section 125 of Criminal Procedure code 1973.
Held By Court:
It was ordered by the court in Shilpi Lenka Vs Susanta Kumar Lenka & Anr.(Important Judgment of 2023 that pension was blocked by the Air Force authorities due to the complaint filed by the petitioner. This reduced the actual income earned by the respondent. Due to such reduction the prayed maintenance amount will accordingly be reduced Here, petitioner needs to take care of the lodged complaint against the respondent for any enhancement of the maintenance amount. The court awarding the maintenance will follow the guidelines mentioned in the case of ‘Ranjesh V. Neha’. Under this case the Supreme Court gave criteria for the payment of maintenance, deciding the amount of maintenance and the provisions under which such maintenance be awarded. It further included the measures with regards to the age and the employment of the said parties, situation where the wife is having come source of income and about maintenance of the minor child. The court modified the judgment and ordered that the child will be getting Rs. 5000/- per month as Rs. 3000/- will not be enough for a school going child. The maintenance amount for the wife will remain unchanged. Accordingly the revision is disposed and any other interim order stands vacated.
3.Case Title: PSV v. Indian School & Anr (Important Judgment of 2023)
This case reflects upon how the rights of a child, as guaranteed under Article 21, are explained to be non-negotiable while also balancing the rights and authorities of the private schools to collect fees. This case is an important judgement with regard to the autonomy enjoyed by the private unaided schools as it defines the limit and scope of the same.
In the facts and circumstances of the case, since it has been expressed on behalf of the father of the petitioner that the family is undergoing financial constraints, it is directed that the petitioner shall pay an amount of Rs.30,000/- to the school within a period of four weeks.
Held By Court:
Delhi high court observed that stopping a student from writing board exams on the ground of non payment of tuition fees would be infringement of fundamental right of a child as guaranteed under article 21 of Indian Constitution. Justice Mini Pushkarna observed that a child’s future cannot be allowed to be spoiled and blemished by barring him or her from taking examinations. Thus, a child cannot be made to suffer by being denied access to classes or barred from taking exams in the middle of an academic session.The plea was listed on January 17 upon urgent mentioning since the practical exams for class X board examination were scheduled from January 18.While providing the petitioner with relief, the court condemned the parent’s behaviour for contacting the court at the last minute when the practical board exams were set to start in just one day. The court directed the school to issue the CBSE Roll Number to the petitioner to enable him to take up the Board Examinations. The school was also directed to allow the child to attend special classes.
4.Case Title: Shri Ram Shridhar Chimurkar v. Union of India.
A case regarding whether the child adopted after the death of a government employee is entitled to a pension was decided on 17 January 2023 by the two-judge bench, Justice V. Ramasubramanian, and Justice B.V. Nagarathna. The Appellant (Shri Ram Shridhar Chimurkar) was represented by the learned counsel, Mrs. K. Sarada Devi, and the respondent (Union of India) by the Additional Solicitor General of India, Mrs. Madhvi Goradia Divan.
- Shridhar Chimurkar was superintendent in the office of Deputy Director and HO National Survey Organisation. In 1993, he retired after attaining superannuation; in 1994 he died issueless, leaving only his wife Maya Motghare. In 1996, two years after the death of Shridhar Chimurkar, his wife adopted Sri Ram Shridhar Chimurkar. In 1998, Maya married Chandra Prakash and resided with him in Janakpuri, New Delhi so the appellant, Shri Ram Shridhar Chimurkar claimed a family pension and with this regard, he wrote a letter to respondents dated 18 January 2000. The decision of the letter written by the appellant was given on 23 February 2000 and the claim for family pension was rejected on the ground that children adopted by the widow after the death of the government officials could not be entitled to receive a pension as per Rule 54 (14)(b) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules [CCS Pension Rules]
- Aggrieved by the decision of the respondents(UOI) the appellant took the matter to Central Administrative Tribunal, Mumbai and filed original application praying that the order of UOI is quashed and set aside. The tribunal gave a decision in favour of the appellant by giving the following reason .
- Initially, Rule 54(14)(b) of CCS (Pension) Rules excluded sons or daughters born or adopted by the government servant after retirement from the benefit of family pension.
- But the amendment to the above rule in 1990 and 1993 removed the bar against children born or adopted after retirement.
- The order dated 23 February 2000 by the respondents, Union of India was set-aside.
- By way of appeal, the case went to the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court. The respondents (UOI) filed a writ petition and the High Court allowed the same. The court reversed the order and judgment passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal. The High Court passed an order in favour of the respondents (UOI).
Held By Court:
The Court held in Shri Ram Shridhar Chimurkar v. Union of India (important judgment of 2023) that the above provisions of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956 determine the rights of a son adopted by Hindu widow only against his adoptive family and he cannot be deemed to have the same rights and entitlements against the government.
5.Case Title: B V Seshaiah v. State of Telangana (Important Judgment of 2023)
This case is a remarkable decision of the Supreme Court related to section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881. Telangana High Court’s ruling, which overruled the parties’ agreement to compound the offence and confirmed the conviction in a case involving a dishonoured check, was recently overturned by the Supreme Court. When parties to a litigation proceeding have agreed to compound a compoundable offence, the High Courts cannot overrule such compounding and force their will on the parties, according to a bench made up of Justices Krishna Murari and V. Ramasubramanian.
- In the case at hand, allegedly, the Appellants, under the guise of making investments took money from Respondent No. 2 and made wrongful gain for their profits. Hence, on a private complaint initiated by the Respondent No. 2, proceedings under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 were initiated against the Appellants which to the conviction of the Appellants by the trial court.
- After this, a revision was preferred by the Appellants in the High Court. However, during the course of the revision, the parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to settle the dispute within themselves. As per the terms of the agreement, the Respondent No. 2 was bound to file a compromise petition before the High Court, however his failed to do so, led to the High Court dismissing the Revision and confirming the Conviction of the Appellants.
Held By Court:
The Supreme Court, disagreed with the High Court’s order and observed in B V Seshaiah v. State of Telangana (Important Judgment of 2023)that the parties were bound by the terms and conditions of the settlement to settle the dispute amicably, or through an arbitration as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding. In such a circumstance, the Appellants cannot be convicted on the basis of the orders passed by the courts below, as the settlement is nothing but a compounding of the offence.
The Supreme Court observed that , “This is a very clear case of the parties entering into an agreement for compounding the offence to save themselves from the process of litigation. When such a step has been taken by the parties, and the law very clearly allows them to do the same, the High Court then cannot override such compounding and impose its will.”
The Court, hence, set aside the conviction and kept open to the parties to settle their dispute as per the terms of the Memorandum Of Understanding.
6.Case Title: Ganesh Pawar & Ors. V. Union of India
Ganesh Pawar and Ors v. Union of India, (2023) contains the decision of the Supreme Court related to the postponement of NEET PG 2023. A plea by doctors asking for the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) postgraduate test, which is planned for March 5, 2023, to be delayed was denied by the Supreme Court on Monday (27th February 2023). The petition unequivocally states that the petitioners are prepared and eager to take the NEET-PG 2023–24 exam, but because the NBE’s (National Board of Examination) conduct is arbitrary and unreasonable, it has been contested. The candidates are made to suffer due to NBE’s poor management. NBE announced the examination date without consulting the State Medical bodies, there was not enough time to prepare in addition to the busy internship schedules, timely notification of eligibility was not given, and the examination schedule as it is now will not regularise the examination process as the 2023–24 session cannot be held.
7.Case Title:Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Union of India and Ors. (Important Judgment of 2023)
Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Union of India and Ors., (2023) describes the PIL filed by Advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi seeking menstrual leave for women and female students. During the hearing, a law student argued that allowing menstrual leave could discourage employers from hiring women. In response to this argument, CJI DY Chandrachud stated that it was true that if employers were forced to provide menstrual leave, they would hesitate to hire women in workplaces. The bench also suggested that the petitioner could present their case to the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development.
- A public interest litigation (PIL) petition was filed before the Supreme Court for the introduction of menstrual pain leave or period leave for female students and working women throughout India [Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Union of India and Ors.]
- The plea stated that menstrual periods have been largely disregarded by society, the government and other stakeholders, but some organizations and state governments have taken notice. It specifically mentioned companies such as Ivipanan, Zomato, Byju’s, Swiggy, Mathrubhumi, Magzter, Industry, ARC, FlyMyBiz, and Gozoop, which provide paid period leaves.
Held By Court:
The Supreme Court disposed of a plea seeking menstrual pain leave for female students and working women across India while allowing petitioners to make a representation before the Central government
A Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said in Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Union of India and Ors. (Important Judgment of 2023) that since there was a policy dimension in the case, the petitioner could file a representation before the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development.
8.Case Title:Prasanta Kumarsahoo & Ors. V. Charulata Sahu & Ors (Important Judgment of 2023)
Prasanta Kumarsahoo & Ors. V. Charulata Sahu & Ors., (2023) elaborates upon the statement that during the pendency of a partition suit and if no final decree has been passed, the parties can seek the benefit of the amended law and request Trial Court to decide. The Judgment highlighted the enforceability of the amended laws as it was laid down that the same can be enforced during the pendency of a partition suit. The Supreme Court bench upheld the decision of the High Court and concluded by referring to various legal provisions and statutes such as Hindu Succession Act, The Registration Act etc.
- In 1969, one Kumar Sahoo was survived by his three children namely, Ms. Charulata (respondent no.1), Ms. Santilata and Mr. Prafulla (appellant’s father).
- The daughters claimed their rights in the ancestral as well as the self-acquired properties of their late father. Their respective shares were granted to them by the Trial Court.
- While an appeal against the decision of the HC was pending, Ms. Santilata and Mr. Prafulla entered into a settlement deed whereby the former relinquished her rights in the suit property to the latter in lieu of Rs. 50,000/-.
- The HC dismissed the appeal and also invalidated the settlement deed.
- Accordingly, an appeal was filed by the appellants against the impugned order and judgement of the High Court.
Held By Court:
The Ld. Court placed reliance on the Supreme Court judgement in the case of Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma; wherein it was held that the amended Sec.6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 2005 which gave coparcenary rights to a female child was retrospective.
The Court further noted that If a case is pending in a Court and the law governing the parties is amended by way of legislation, then such parties can claim the benefit of the amended law.
The Court also observed that for a settlement deed to attain legality it is a must that all the parties concerning the matter gave their consent in writing. If consent was not given by any of the parties, the deed would be considered not maintainable.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
9.Case Title: Dr Jaya Thakur v. Union of India
Dr Jaya Thakur v. Union of India, (2023) elaborates upon how menstrual hygiene was held to be a sensitive topic and why appropriate emphasis shall be given to the same by Government. The Supreme Court of India, through the Bench comprising of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardi Wala on 10.04.2023, directed the Central government to implement a uniform national policy on menstrual hygiene, including the distribution of free menstrual pads and cups to students.
Present facts of the case, the Writ Petition was filed under Article 32 and challenged the validity of Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act, 2021, the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2021. On 14th November 2021, since Parliament was not in session, the President of India promulgated the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, thereby inserting two new provisos to Section 25(d) of the CVC Act. Simultaneously, the President of India also promulgated the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, thereby inserting two new provisos to Section 4B(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (hereinafter referred to as “the DSPE Act”). Challenging the vires of the Amendment Ordinances and/or the Fundamental (Amendment) Rules, 2021 and/or the said Office Order dated 17th November 2021, Writ Petitions came to be filed before this Court. On 18th December 2021, Parliament enacted the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2021. In some of the petitions, a challenge has also been made to the amendment to the DSPE Act insofar it provides for extension of the tenure of the Director of Central Bureau of Investigation.
Held By Court:
The Supreme Court upheld Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act, 2021, and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2021, which allow the Union to extend the tenure of CBI and ED Directors. The Bench held that the extensions granted to Sanjay Kumar Mishra was illegal, and contrary its 2021 Judgement.
10.Case Title: Shabnam Jahan Moiuddin Ansari v. State of Maharashtra (Important Judgment of 2023)
Shabnam Jahan Moiuddin Ansari v. State of Maharashtra’, (2023) is a recent judgment by the Bombay High Court highlighting the right of a single working woman to adopt. The Case reinforces that adherence to the law is practised and no ‘guesswork’ would permit valid decisions to be taken by the courts of law.
In this case a divorced woman was disallowed from adopt a child on the ground that she was a “working lady” and thus won’t be able to give proper care and attention to the adoptive child.
Held By Court:
“Thus, the reason given by the civil court is not only contrary to the provisions of the JJ Act but is also contrary to the recommendation made by the District Child Welfare Officer and the Assistant Director of CARA. Even otherwise, the reason given by the civil court is unfounded and baseless,” Justice Godse opined. Further said that there was nothing adverse against the adoptive single parent and in fact she had complied with the mandatory norms and even the report of the District Child Welfare Officer held her to be a fit parent for adopting the child. “The impugned order does not record anything adverse regarding the statutory compliances. The application is rejected only on one ground of the adoptive parent being a working lady. The reason recorded by the civil court is unfounded, illegal, perverse, unjust and unacceptable,” the Court held in Shabnam Jahan Moiuddin Ansari v. State of Maharashtra (Important Judgment of 2023).