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ARTICLE WRITING COMPETITION: PRIZES UPTO 10,000/- RS.

On the occasion of the second death anniversary of renowned late advocate Lily Thomas, her law office, Lily Thomas and Saju Jakob, Advocates and Solicitors,is organising an Article Writing Competition, as a part of the inaugural Memorial Lecture Series on Constitution, which includes prizes up to Rs. 10,000/-.

The competition is organised with the aim of promoting lawyers as INVENTORS for social transformation and imparting the importance of constitutional morality and values in public life.

The competition is open for law students, advocates, legal professionals, journalists, and academicians and to all those who are interested from other related fields and the articles of the Top Three candidates will be published on our official website. Also, the Top Three participants will be given a two-minute opportunity to present their papers in the virtual webinar.

For more details visit: www.lilythomas.net

India Legal Link of competition: https://www.indialegallive.com/top-news-of-the-day/news/contest-essay-writing-competition-in-honour-of-supreme-court-advocate-and-pil-pioneer-lily-thomas/

News, Top Stories

Revocation of Three Farm Laws in Process: PM Narendra Modi

The Central Government has eventually decided to repeal the three farm laws, and its procedure is already in motion. PM Narendra Modi acknowledged that he has always worked for the benefit of farmers. The Tripura High Court Chief Justice commented on PM Modi’s decision saying, “True statesmanship; if something is unpopular, take it back.” 

By: Hemani Khadai

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, and Amendment to Essential Commodities Act have all been challenged in the Hon’ble Supreme Court multiple times.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court suspended the execution of Farm Laws on January 12, 2021. The Court also ordered the creation of a committee to hear from all parties and stakeholders and provide a report to the Court. In March, the Committee delivered its report to the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

Aside from petitions contesting laws, the Hon’ble Supreme Court also received numerous petitions from both, i.e., “Farmers” who were blocking roads outside of Delhi and “the Citizens” whose commute to the national capital was disrupted by the roadblock. 

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting for more than a year, and it appears that the Central government has decided to remove the three unpopular Farm Laws.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the intention to repeal the controversial agriculture regulations on the occasion of Sri Guru Nanak Dev’s Parkash Purab.

According to the Prime Minister, the central government has chosen to abolish the three Farm Laws, and the process has already begun. He added that the procedure would be finished during the parliament’s winter session, which starts at the end of this month.

Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty made some intriguing remarks during a hearing before the Tripura High Court in a case involving communal violence in the state. He was speaking about the central government’s decision to repeal the contentious Farm Laws.

The Bench, which included Justice S Talapatra, convened shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s decision to overturn the Farm Laws.

Chief Justice Mahanty said, “I am not praising Mr. Modi, but I am just saying this is true statesmanship. If something is unpopular, you take it back. Have you ever heard any PM say that he is apologizing? ” 

He also stated that anyone in a position of power must be willing to accept both praise and criticism as a result of holding public office.

It was added that “If you are in authority, you have to take it both, that is the consequence of holding this chair. We have to be open for criticism and adverse comments. We cannot say that we will not accept criticism, we are holding a public office.”

The Tripura High Court Chief Justice commented on PM Modi’s decision saying, “True statesmanship; if something is unpopular, take it back”.  

In his speech, Prime Minister Modi stated that his government has always worked for the benefit of farmers, particularly small farmers and that he intends to continue doing so.

News, Top Stories

Employee service can be terminated during probation if material facts are suppressed: Hon’ble SC [READ ORDER]

The hon’ble apex court observed that the employee can be terminated without notice during probation if material facts were omitted by relying on its decision in Avatar Singh v. Union of India, wherein it was noted that once a verification form requires certain information, it can be terminated without notice

By: Rashi Jain, SOA National Institute of Law

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has reaffirmed that during an employee’s probationary period, the employer has the right to cancel the employee’s candidature or terminate his employment without notice if the employee conceals material facts or submits misleading information (Rajesh Kumar v. Union of India and Others).

The Division Bench of Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Hrishikesh Roy was hearing an appeal filed by one Rajesh Kumar against a series of Delhi High Court orders dated April 20 and April 29, 2008.

In 1994, the appellant was posted to the Delhi Police as a sub-inspector. In 1996, the respondent authorities received a complaint alleging that the appellant was a deserter from the Army and had been declared an absconder following his 1992 desert from the armed forces. This was corroborated by the Station House Officer at Inderpuri, who also confirmed that he had not reported this information on a paper he had filled up. As a result, the respondent authorities terminated the appellant’s employment during the probationary period.

The appellant objected to this. He contended that he was not given an opportunity to provide his version of events and that the order ending his service was obtained through a covert investigation.

To begin, the Hon’ble Supreme Court recognized that the appellant’s employment was terminated simpliciter (simply and unconditionally) and fell squarely within the authorities outlined in Rule 5 of the Central Civil Services (Temporary Service) Rules of 196.

“During the period of probation, it is always open to the employer to verify the antecedents of a temporary appointee, in case any information is received by way of complaint or otherwise. Merely because the antecedents were verified by addressing a letter to the SHO/Inderpuri, it cannot be said that respondents have conducted the regular inquiry so as to give an opportunity to the appellant. In the absence of any allegation in the impugned order, the order of termination dated 14.08.1996 cannot be said to be an order casting stigma on the appellant,” the Court observed.

The Court cited its decision in Avatar Singh v. Union of India and Others, in which it was held that once a verification form requires the particular information to be provided, the declarant is required to provide it accurately, and any omission of material facts may result in service termination.

The Court thus dismissed the appeal, stating that “prior to the declaration of probation, on the grounds that the appellant has not provided details of previous employment, the respondents may always terminate his temporary employment without giving notice.”

Anshu Mahajan argued on behalf of the appellant. Jayant Sud, Additional Solicitor General of India, argued on behalf of the respondents.

News, Top Stories

Duty Of The Authorities Do Not End Just Because Land Acquisition Is For Public Purposes: Hon’ble SC [READ JUDGMENT]

According to the Hon’ble Court, the authorities must respect the precious right of citizens under Section 5A of the Land Acquisition Act, which is not a mere right of passage

By: Rashi Jain, SOA National Institute Of law

Having resolved an old dispute of 12 years, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in Hamid Ali Khan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, ruled that an individual’s inalienable right to voice their grievances against land acquisition cannot be unjustly terminated. 

A Bench of Justices KM Joseph and Ravindra Bhat held, “…merely because the purpose of the acquisition is found to be a public purpose, the duty of the authority does not end. He must be satisfied that there is real agency such that the invaluable right vouchsafed to a person to ventilate his grievances against the acquisition is not unjustifiably extinguished.”

In the case at hand, the Hon’ble Court heard a challenge against the Bulandshahar-Khurja Development Authority and the Kalindi Kunj residential/commercial scheme.

The appellants had claimed that an inquiry under Section 5A (hearing of objections) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was waived after the land was acquired under Section 17(4) of the Act. It was stated by the appellants in their pleading that the land sought was used for running a cattle market, which they derived income from.

The Governor was convinced of the necessity of the land because of the urgent provisions in the Act. The appellants couldn’t argue that the ‘possibility of delay may be abandoned’ because of the necessity for acquiring the land under Section 5A.

TheHon’ble Supreme Court discussed dispensation with Section 5A process in its judgment under Section 17(4) of the Act. The judgment stated, “The power under Section 17(4) is discretionary. Being a discretion, it must be exercised with due care. It is true that if there is relevant material however meagre it may be and the authority has without being guided by extraneous considerations applied his mind and taken a decision, then the Court would adopt a hands-off approach…The authorities must remain alive and alert to the precious right created in favour of the citizens which is not meant to be a mere empty ritual.”

The Bench acknowledged that the apex court has delivered conflicting verdicts on the matter but noted a certain amount of consensus on certain fundamental principles. “The dichotomy essentially has to be resolved by carefully attending to the facts of each case,” the Bench stated.

Furthermore, Section 17(4) was advised against frivolous challenges to the actions of authorities, noting, “When a challenge is made to the invocation of power under Section 17(4) the writ applicant cannot succeed on bare and bald assertions. The facts which are specifically within the exclusive knowledge of the state must be laid before the Court on the basis of the principle in Section 106 of the Evidence Act. Existence of the exceptional circumstances justifying invoking of Section 17(4) must be established in the wake of a challenge.”

As the Court noted in the present case, the project for which the land was sought was not purely residential in nature. The total residential area shown on the plan constituted 38.57% of the total plot area. The commercial portion of the scheme was to account for 4.9% of its total area.

In its determination that it was unable to find relevant materials for deciding Section 17(4) of the Act, the Court held that “…on an appreciation of the evidence made available by all the parties it is open to the court to conclude that no occasion arose for resorting to the power under Section 17(4) which indeed must be read as an exception to the general rule that the acquisition of property is made after affording an opportunity the person adversely affected to demonstrate that the acquisition was unjustified.”

Upon quashing the notifications at issue, the top court noted that it had finally taken nearly 12 years to dismiss the case. The Land Acquisition Act was repealed, and the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 has replaced it. Therefore, the Bench determined that the matter was ineligible for an inquiry under Section 5A.

The court concluded that the appellants were correct in asserting that the exemption under Section 17(4) dispensing with the investigation under Section 5A was unjustified. The property was returned to them.

News, Top Stories

No Injunction Orders Against Third Parties Claiming Title In A Property, Without Hearing Them: Hon’ble SC [READ JUDGEMENT]

In the case of Acqua Borewell Pvt. Ltd. v. Swayam Prabha & Ors, the Hon’ble Supreme Court decided that injunction orders affecting suit property cannot be issued without impleading or hearing third parties who are directly impacted

By: Hemani Khadai

The Karnataka High Court, in its common judgment/order, granted an injunction against alienation to the extent of 1/7th share in the suit property without giving third parties (appellants) an opportunity to be heard as they had right, title, or interest in the property by way of development agreements and/or otherwise. This judgment was set aside by a bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court consisting of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna. 

As per the facts of the case, the plaintiffs and defendants sought a declaration on their entitlement to their mother’s property, i.e., 1/7th share, and prayed for a decree for partition & separate possession. 

Round 1

Subsequently, another application was filed for seeking an ex-parte ad-interim injunction on the property. Initially, the trial court granted an ex-parte injunction restraining the defendants in the suit from alienating, creating any charge or third party interest upon the properties in the suit. 

Later, the trial court denied the interim injunction application and declined to grant an interim injunction in favor of the plaintiffs, citing the fact that certain of the suit schedule properties are clearly owned by firms/trusts/companies that have not been made parties to the suit.

Round 2

Aggrieved by the order passed by the trial Court refusing to grant an injunction, the plaintiffs further filed distinguished appeals before the High Court. The High Court partly allowed the said appeals and modified the order passed by the trial Court in the interim injunction application and directed to issue restraint order till the final disposal of the case. 

The High Court also clarified that any activity such as construction, improvements, whether fresh or modification conducted over the schedule properties, will be at the risk of the acting party and, in the end, shall not be entitled to claim equity.

Round 3 (Present Appeal by third parties)

The third parties to the suit preferred the present appeals due to dissatisfaction with the High Court’s impugned joint judgment/order granting an injunction to the extent of 1/7th share in the total plaint schedule properties.

The Third parties, on the basis of development agreements and/or otherwise, claimed to have a right, title, or interest in some of the properties on which an injunction was obtained. As a result, they are directly affected by the High Court’s temporary injunction. They were not constituted as parties to the complaint, and the injunction was granted without hearing them w.r.t. the properties in which they are claiming right, title, title, or interest.

The Third Parties submitted that “the learned trial Court specifically observed while refusing to grant an injunction that some of the properties are standing in the name of the firms/trusts/companies and admittedly the said entities have not been made parties to the suit. Despite the above, the High Court has granted injunction with respect to properties in which the appellants claim right, title or interest, without impleading the appellants and without giving them an opportunity of being heard.”

The Hon’ble Supreme Court Observed, “before granting any injunction with respect to the properties in which the appellants herein (proposed defendants) are claiming right, title or interest on the basis of the development agreements or otherwise they ought to have been given an opportunity of being heard.”

The Court remarked that some properties are clearly owned by firms/trusts/companies that have not been made parties to the litigation.

Eventually, the impugned common judgment/ order passed by the High Court granting injunction with respect to 1/7th share in the total plaint schedule properties was held unsustainable, quashed, and set aside as ; 

  1. It was passed without giving an opportunity of being heard to the third parties; 
  2. It was passed without impleading the third parties as party defendants in the suit by the learned trial Court.

The Court held that the judgment had been passed without giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellants and without impleading them as party-defendants in the suit by the learned trial Court. Hence, it is unsustainable and deserves to be quashed and set aside. 

For the reasons stated above, the Supreme Court allowed all these appeals.

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