Arguments in Kashmir petitions have begun: The Supreme Court, after almost 90 days, began to hear the arguments in the petitions challenging the internet shutdown as well as the validity of abrogation of Article 370. In Anuradha Bhasin’s petition, it was argued that internet shutdown and complete blockade of media for more than three months was totally arbitrary, disproportionate, and without any application of mind. Under the Telegraph Act, the police officials have no power to pass shutdown orders, which was the case in the present matter. In a petition filed by Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior Congress leader from Kashmir, it was argued that lockdown of an entire state can be imposed only by invoking emergency provisions under the Constitution, and cannot be done by invoking powers under Section 144, CrPC. The hearings in these two petitions will continue this week also.
- Supreme Court sets aside the NCLAT order in favour of the dissenting financial creditor: In a recent case, the Supreme Court overturned an order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that had held that a dissenting financial creditor could not be discriminated against. In the present case, the Supreme Court was hearing an appeal from resolution applicant who had challenged an order of NCLAT, wherein the NCLAT modified the NCLT’s final order of corporate insolvency reolution process. Setting aside this order, the Supreme Court observed that the NCLAT could not have applied the amended Regulation 38 to the CIRP which began in January, 2017. [Rahul Jain v. Rave Scans Ltd. & Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 7940 of 2019, date of order: 08.11.2019)]
iii. Supreme Court bars government servants from raising disputes relating to service conditions before Consumer Forum: In a significant decision, the Supreme Court held that a government servant is not a ‘consumer’ within the meaning of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and cannot raise any dispute regarding his service conditions or for payment of gratuity or GPF or any of her retiral benefits before any of the forum under the Act. Referring to an earlier decision, the Court said that “it is evident that by no stretch of imagination can a government servant raise any dispute regarding his service conditions or for payment of gratuity or GPF or any of his retiral benefits before any of the forum under the Act. The government servant does not fall under the definition of a “consumer” as defined under Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Act. Such government servant is entitled to claim his retiral benefits strictly in accordance with his service conditions and regulations or statutory rules framed for that purpose. The appropriate forum, for redressal of any of his grievance, may be the State Administrative Tribunal, if any, or the civil court but certainly not a forum under the Act.” [Ministry of Water Resources v. Shreepat Rao Kamde, Civil Appeal No. 8472 of 2019, date of order: 06.11.2019]
- Supreme Court directs corporate insolvency resolution process of Jaypee Infratech within 90 days: The Supreme Court allowed the Insolvency Resolution Professional IRP to invite revised resolution plan only from Suraksha Realty and NBCC respectively, who were the final bidders and had submitted resolution plan before. The limited issue that was examined in these appeals was about the power of the NCLT or NCLAT, as the case may be, toexclude any period from the statutory period in exercise of inherentpowers sans any express provision in the IBC. Accordingly, the Court held that “taking an overall view of the matter, we deem it just, proper and expedient to issue directions under Article 142 of the Constitution of India to all concerned to reckon 90 days extended period from the date of this order instead of the date of commencement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Act, 2019. That means, in terms of this order, the CIRP concerning JIL shall be completed within a period of 90 days from today.” [Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. V. IDBI Bank Ltd., Civil Appeal No. 6486 of 2019, date of order: 06.11.2019]
- Delhi High Court reserves order in Chidambaram’s bail plea in the ED case relating to INX Media: Judgment is reserved by Delhi High Court, after hearing substantive arguments in Chidambaram’s bail application in the ED case of INX media. Following the Judge’s question if there was any evidence of Chidambaram trying to influence the witnesses, the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, submitted a letter by one of the witnesses alleged to be influenced in sealed cover. This was totally countered by Chidambaram’s lawyer stating that the latter was in custody, and there was no way he could influence the witnesses.
- Court cannot quash medical certificate issued by competent medical authority: The Delhi High Court held that when a disability certificate is issued by a competent medical authority, the plea demanding the quashing of such certificate cannot be granted. In the present case, the petitioner had challenged an amendment to Appendix H of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Regulations, 1999, which provided sub-classification with PwD category, stating that persons suffering from locomotor disability in excess of 80% were ineligible for admission in medical course at all. Rejecting his plea, the High Court held that “in matters involving medical education, courts are required to exercise a considerably greater degree of circumspection.” [Rakshit Yadav v. University College of Medical Sciences, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 8572 of 2019, date of judgment: 07.11.2019]
vii. Insolvency proceedings against Flipkart stayed: The Karnataka High Court had stayed the commencement of insolvency proceedings initiated by NCLT against Flipkart on the basis of NCLT exceeding its jurisdiction. Flipkart argued that a claim for damages by one of the vendors was filed before NCLT, which the NCLT converted into an insolvency proceeding, without any basis.NCLT Bengaluru admitted the insolvency petition in respect of Flipkart in the absence of any pre-existing dispute and imposed moratorium under the IBC.
viii. Divisional Commissioner does not have power to rescind the appointment of an Aanganwadi worker under the ICD scheme: The Bombay High Court, in a full bench decision, held that Divisional Commissioner does not have jurisdiction under Section 267A of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 to set asideto set aside appointment of Anganwadi Sevika/Madatnis made pursuant to recommendation of the Selection Committee constituted under the Integrated Child Development Scheme. After considering the relevant laws and notifications, the full bench noted that there was no appointment order issued by Zila Parishad to the Anganwadi Sevikas, but they were appointed by a committee as prescribed in a Government resolution of 1999. Accordingly, the Divisional Commissioner has no authority to quash the appointment of an Anganwadi worker. [Sangita Gadilkar v. State of Maharashtra, Writ Petition No. 4542 of 2011, date of judgment: 08.11.2019] (IPA Service)