Two years ago, I had penned a piece on the reluctance of the Supreme Court of India to judge its own ilk. From the petition against former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, to allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court judges, all cases were either given a decent burial, or have been pending before the Supreme Court for a very long time. The main prayer in the PIL against Justice Balakrishnan to remove him from the post of NHRC Chairperson was rendered infructuous two years ago when he retired. Likewise, the petition to transfer the trial of Justice Swatanter […]

Anupam Lal Das The regulatory regime in education offered through the distance mode has been marred with controversy since its inception. The regulator viz. Distance Education Council (DEC) was created under the Indira Gandhi National Open University Act, 1985 (IGNOU) in the year 1992. What was perplexing was the fact that IGNOU was the largest player in distance education, and the regulator was created under the IGNOU Act. Nonetheless, despite the said apparent conflict of interest, DEC continued to regulate distance education till the year 2012. The Supreme Court of India in the case of Orissa Lift Irrigation Corporation Limited […]

Somasekhar Sundaresan A Bench of the Supreme Court is reported to have criticized the Government of West Bengal and its advocate for filing a writ petition challenging the mandatory introduction of Aadhaar. According to news reports, a judge is reported to have asked the lawyer how a state can challenge law made by Parliament. Taking the cue, it is learnt that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s lawyer agreed to get the individual who is the Chief Minister to be the petitioner instead of the state government. According to this report in Bar and Bench, the judges are reported to […]

On October 27, a Bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit had issued notice to the Central government in a matter pertaining to the delay in finalizing the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP). However, today, a 3-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was constituted to hear the case, and it subsequently disposed of the case. The Centre and the Collegium have long been at loggerheads over the finalisation of the MoP, ever since the Constitution Bench in the NJAC matter floated the idea of framing a new one. On, October 16, 2015, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court struck down the […]

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Centre’s decision to do away with Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, ostensibly to curb the proliferation of black money. Exactly one year later, the jury is still out on whether the demonetisation move actually proved successful in any way, shape or form. Pursuant to Modi’s announcement, citizens across the country found themselves inconvenienced by the move in various ways, whether it was having to wait in . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of […]

In 1959, Anna Chandy created history by becoming the first woman to be appointed as a high court judge in India. It was touted as a watershed moment that could potentially pave the way for women in India to occupy positions in the higher judiciary. But the reality has been quite different. It would take thirty more years for another woman from Kerala, Justice Fathima Beevi, to become the first woman judge to hold a post as a Supreme Court judge. Since 1989, only five other women have been appointed as judges of the apex court. And as this article […]

Aankhi Ghosh The Triple Talaq case decided by the Supreme Court has won it a lot of appreciation in the last couple of months. A catena of similar judgments has been delivered by constitutional Courts in India in the recent and not-so-recent past in the matters of regulating noise pollution levels – be it the azaan or during Diwali, regulating the formation of pyramids (dahi-handi) during Janmashtami or even the ban on animal sacrifice for religious festivals. Although each of these individual cases seemingly stems from a completely different subject area, the common strain that ties all of them in […]

By Swaroop George The Law of Limitation has sounded the death knell for many a claim by creditors at the very threshold, regardless of how strong the claim may have been on merits. While traditional legal systems for recovery of debts are bound by the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963, the newly introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (the Code) has, till date, not attracted the full rigour of the Limitation Act, 1963. The issue of applicability of the Limitation Act, 1963 to the working of the Code was considered by the National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the […]

A couple of weeks ago, the resignation of Justice Jayant Patel of the Karnataka High Court caused quite the furore among the legal fraternity in Karnataka, with members junior and senior unequivocally condemning the treatment meted out to the much-respected judge. However, another judge of the High Court – outgoing Chief Justice SK Mukherjee – has not quite received the same unanimous support of lawyers in the state. This fact was made most clear last week, when the Karnataka State Bar Council and the Advocates Association, Bangalore refused to organize the customary farewell ceremony for the former Calcutta High Court […]

Twenty-four years ago this very day (October 6, 1993), a 9-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India pronounced a landmark judgment, which would spark a debate in the years to come. Interpreting Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the Court, in the Second Judges case, went on to hold that, “….if conflicting opinions emerge at the end of the process, then only the question of giving primacy to the opinion of any of the consultees arises. For reason indicated earlier, primacy to the executive is negatived by the historical change and the nature of functions required to be […]

Rupali Samuel The Delhi High Court’s decision to overturn the trial court’s conviction of Mahmood Farooqui under Section 376 raises several far-reaching questions, not only about the meaning of consent and the standard for proving lack of consent in a rape prosecution, but also about the purpose of Criminal Law and the limits of the criminal trial process. The Verdict In the judgement dated September 25, a Single Judge of the High Court set aside the conviction on the basis that, “it remains in doubt as to whether such an incident, as has been narrated by the prosecutrix, took place […]

In the recent nine-judge decision of the Supreme Court on the right to privacy, one argument raised was that if the right to privacy was held to be a fundamental right, it could not be waived. Such a finding would have unfortunate consequences, it was urged. The leading judgment by Justice Chandrachud also refers to this proposition and a reference is made to the decision in Behram Khurshed Pesikaka v. The State of Bombay. That a fundamental right cannot be waived is an erroneous proposition of law that has survived for over 60 years; it is necessary that this principle […]

By Pooja Mahajan The corporate insolvency resolution provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) came into force on December 1, 2016. Nine months later, the Supreme Court has passed a detailed judgment in the matter of M/s Innoventive Industries Ltd. vs. ICICI Bank noting the paradigm shift in law brought about by the IBC and putting to rest certain interpretational issues that had arisen thereunder. The ruling has its genesis in an application filed by ICICI Bank Limited (ICICI) before the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai (NCLT) to initiate corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of Innoventive Industries Limited […]

Kanu Agrawal Privacy, despite not being present in the core text of the Constitution due to the exclusion by the Constituent Assembly, has been held to be a fundamental right. The nine-judge bench interprets ‘life and liberty’ in Article 21, ‘dignity’ mentioned in the Preamble and the freedoms under Article 19, to include privacy as the core of human personality and dignified existence. Much has been written about the highly persuasive judgement from the angle of expansion of rights jurisprudence. Fundamental rights are not unqualified. A common feature across various fundamental rights is the permissibility of the State intervention within […]

By Haris Beeran Consequent to the Supreme Court’s decision on the legality of Instant Triple Talaq, hasty reporting and political expediency seems to have altered the essence of what has been laid down. Since the judgment was not unanimous, the same has to be viewed with surgical precision. Let us cull out what the five Judges that constituted the Bench held in the judgment: CJI JS Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer – held Instant Triple Talaq to be Constitutional Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice UU Lalit – held Instant Triple Talaq to be Unconstitutional Justice Kurian Joseph – held Instant […]

By Shanmugham D Jayan Article 12 of Indian Constitution has undergone a series of interpretations with myriad logic and reasons being used for giving meaning to the content of the Article. Presently, majority of the books on Constitutional law cite the decision in Ajay Hasia v. Khalid Mujib Sehravardi (AIR 1981 SC 487) as the decisive one with respect to interpretation of Article 12. However, if one takes the pain to traverse the case laws that have been relied for the conclusion arrived at in the said case, certain unexpected but interesting facts can be discerned. As mentioned earlier, right […]

It has been a historic week for the Supreme Court of India, with netizens raving (and thanking the government for some reason) first over its Triple Talaq judgment, and now over today’s judgment in KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India declaring the right to privacy as a fundamental right. The nine-judge Constitution Bench also talked about a variety of aspects associated with the right to privacy, including how the declaration of the same . . . Facebook Comment To read the entire article, get a premium account With a premium account you get: One year of unrestrcited access to previous […]

The case on Central Selection Mechanism for subordinate judiciary has generated a lot of debate in the legal circles. The hurried manner in which the Bench wanted to conclude the hearing had led to some strong submissions by Senior Advocates appearing in the matter. The hearing in the case today, however, saw Chief Justice Khehar making some remarks on candidates who opt for lower judiciary.

Even as Triple Talaq was ruled as unconstitutional by a 3:2 majority of a five-judge Constitution Bench today, another pertinent ruling emerged from the judgment penned by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman. The judgment, which Justice UU Lalit concurred with, stated that the 1937 Shariat Act is a law made by the legislature before the Constitution came into force, and would fall squarely within the expression “laws in force” under Article 13(3)(b). Therefore, it would be hit by Article 13(1) if found to be inconsistent with the provisions of Part III of the Constitution. Three judges would ultimately strike down Triple Talaq. […]

While state governments more often than not exhibit a callous lack of understanding of the law, the same is not expected of courts. And a recent dereliction of duty on the part of both, as well as hospital authorities, may result in dire consequences for an HIV positive rape victim who can no longer abort her foetus. A Supreme Court Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar

Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts taking up post-retirement jobs has increasingly become a norm rather than an exception. With the establishment of more and more tribunals and quasi-judicial bodies that are required to be manned by retired judges, we find nearly all former Supreme Court judges holding one post or the other. However, what is interesting is that judges who have not taken up any post-retirement jobs have also been employed in one way or the other. And this is being done through judicial orders of the Supreme Court. For instance, Justice RM Lodha is currently monitoring […]

The Supreme Court of India started functioning on January 28, 1950 from the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House, the seat of the erstwhile Federal Court. Inaugurated just two days after India’s Constitution was adopted and the nation became a sovereign, democratic republic, the Supreme Court shifted to its present building at Tilak Marg in 1958. Besides being the highest Constitutional court which can be moved directly under Article 32 against the violation of fundamental rights, the Supreme Court is also the highest appellate court of the country. As it stands today, it is not just deciding and interpreting the […]

Rishika Taneja and Sidhant Kumar Privacy (with data protection as its subset) in today’s context is not an abstract human rights concern alone. Over time, it has acquired elevated importance owing to the increasing use of data in our social and economic interactions. Therefore, it is imperative that we have a clear legal basis for the fundamental Right to Privacy. The Supreme Court, recently sitting as a nine-judge Constitution Bench, (Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd.) & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors ) has been hearing arguments on the question whether privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. In […]

Two persons with a legal background have emerged as frontrunners for this year’s presidential election. By July 20, we will know who out of Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Ramnath Kovind and law graduate Meira Kumar will become the fourteenth President of India. We will also know which of the above will likely face a round of litigation before the Supreme Court of India. If there has been something almost as certain as death and taxes over the last few decades, it is a challenge to the election of the President of India. The election of all but two Presidents – Sarvepalli […]

Anuroop Omkar and Kritika Krishnamurthy It is our personal opinion that to truly understand mediation, we need to first re-learn the anatomy of disputes. A dispute is like an abstract painting where each party sees different aspects, angles and facets and each party thinks what they see is absolute, unlike connoisseurs of art. While the most logical conclusion to a dispute ought to be a viable solution, with the passage of time, it has branched out into other conclusions such as proving one is right and setting a precedent. Accordingly, the means by which we resolve disputes have also become […]

The Supreme Court is currently functioning with twenty-seven judges as against a sanctioned strength of thirty-one. Just fourteen of the sitting Supreme Court judges have disclosed their assets on the website of Supreme Court of India. The assets of the remaining thirteen judges are yet to be published. Interestingly, the thirteen include all the three judges who have been elevated directly from the Bar. The thirteen judges, whose assets are yet to be published, are: RF Nariman AM Sapre UU Lalit Amitava Roy AM Khanwilkar DY Chandrachud Ashok Bhushan L Nageswara Rao Sanjay Kishan Kaul Mohan M Shantanagoudar S Abdul Nazeer Navin Sinha […]

M Rishi Kumar It’s a coincidence that in the same year Wonder Woman broke the glass ceiling when it stomped on the box-office record of another super-hero movie, Iron Man, history was created at the Madras High Court when the First Bench was an all-woman bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan. In the Madras High Court’s 135 years, it is a first. It took seventy years since independence, in the male-dominated world of higher judiciary, for the four chartered and oldest high courts in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras to be headed by women. To trace the first instances of […]

Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was elevated to the Supreme Court on March 8, 2013. After a tenure of more than four years, or 1541 days to be precise, Justice Ghose was the latest apex court to retire, attaining superannuation on May 27 this year. Justice Ghose enrolled at the Bar in 1976. Born to Justice SC Ghose, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, he went on to practise on both the original as well as the appellate side at the High Court. He made the switch to the Bench in 1997, when he was elevated as a judge […]

This article deals with the tax treatment proposed to be accorded to Senior Advocates under the Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) regime. It also seeks to provide an overview of the manner in which service tax was levied on Senior Advocates under the previous tax regime and its comparison with the impending GST regime, along with the impact on recipient/client companies. Genesis of service tax on legal services In Roscoe Pound’s words, the ideas involved behind a respectable profession are “Organisation, learning, and a spirit of public service, the remaining idea, that of gaining a livelihood, is incidental.” The legal profession […]

Payal Chawla The much awaited decision of the three judge bench in relation to two-tier arbitrations in the matter of M/s Centrotrade Minerals & Metal Inc. v. Hindustan Copper Ltd. was delivered on 15.12.2016. The Supreme Court framed two issues, but answered only one.  On the first issue i.e. validity of two-tier arbitration, the court held the same to be valid and not against public policy of Indian law. On the second issue i.e. whether the award rendered in the appellate arbitration being a ‘foreign award’ is liable to be enforced under the provisions of Section 48…”, the court observed […]