Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update

Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update

The Article explains ‘Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update’ and the cases are basically related to the arbitration agreements, fundamental rights, limitations, evidence act, foreign contribution, and so on and so forth. The idea of the author is to make all the readers well-versed with the case laws decided by High Courts or Supreme Court.

Case laws are important to have clarity on any subject matter of law and so the author has tried to make a clear concept of various spheres. Various cases bring certain changes which are generally helpful to the people to understand the dynamic aspect of law with the changing time.

Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update

1. Monirul Molla v. The State of West Bengal[1]

This case was related to Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In this case, the Calcutta High Court issued a directive to trial courts in West Bengal stipulating that a sentence of life imprisonment till death, without any scope of remission, can only be passed in rape cases.

The Court observed that such a sentence of life imprisonment till one’s death can only be imposed by the higher judiciary that is the Supreme Court or the High Court when commuting sentences.

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2. Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd. v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation[2]

This recent case was concerned with Section 31(7)(a) Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 i.e. Power of the arbitral tribunal to award interest if parties are subject to an agreement on the same. In this case, the issue which was raised was Can an arbitral tribunal award interest if the parties have agreed otherwise? In answer to this the Supreme Court held that when the parties have an agreement between themselves that governs the issue of interest, the arbitrator would lose its discretion and will be guided by the agreement between the parties.

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3. Jacob Pulivel v. Union Of India[3]

In this case, it was held that, as no substantial data has been produced on record to show that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus from the unvaccinated persons is higher than from vaccinated persons, vaccine mandates imposed by various state governments and other authorities in the context of COVID-19 pandemic are “not proportionate” when the raised issue was whether the policy of the Union and State Government on COVID-19 vaccination policy is a reasonable restriction to the right to bodily integrity of a person under Article 21.

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4. Mahesh Lal N.Y. v. State of Kerala[4]

In the following case, the Kerala High Court has ruled that the consent of an accused is not necessary to acquire their voice sample for the purpose of comparison, since it has already been established obtaining that voice samples of the accused do not infringe Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India.

While dismissing a petition alleging that the accused was not given an opportunity of being heard before being directed to produce his voice sample, Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi held that the accused had no right of option in the matter.

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5. The Secretary of Govt. of Kerala Irrigation Department And Ors. v. James Varghese And Ors.[5]

This case was related to the Constitutional validity of the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998 in which the main issue was whether the Kerala state legislature is competent to enact the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998, and whether its state legislature violated and encroached judicial power.

In this regard, the Supreme Court held the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998 to be unconstitutional as it had the effect of annulling the awards passed by the arbitrators and the judgments and decrees passed by the courts.

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6. Basant v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.[6]

In this case, a crucial question came up before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh whether hearsay statements made contemporaneously with the acts or immediately thereafter will be admissible in the evidence as per the provisions of Section 6 of the Evidence Act.

The Hon’ble court held that the statement made by the deceased contemporaneously with the act or immediately thereafter would be admissible as a dying declaration under Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act. (Rule of res gestae). Herein the related provision was Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act Relevancy of facts forming part of the same transaction.

7. Periyakaruppan v. The Principal Secretary to Govt. and Anr.[7]

In this case, a petition was filed by a former Taluk Tahsildar to quash the Govt. The order imposing compulsory retirement and a penalty of reduction of 1/3rd pension and other retirement benefits for colluding with other officers and granting Patta in forest lands to private individuals and the issue that came forward was whether penalty be imposed on the petitioner, in case the punishment of co-delinquent was quashed or dropped and the entries’ land records were also modified and pattas canceled.

The Kerala High Court opined that since the land in question was classified as “Forest Land” necessary intervention was needed. The court modified the order of compulsory retirement as a stoppage of increment for six months without cumulative effect.

The Court also observed that nature shall have fundamental rights/legal rights and constitutional rights for its survival, safety and sustenance, and resurgence in order to maintain its status and also to promote its health and wellbeing. The court also directed the State Government and the Central Government to take appropriate steps to protect the mother earth in all possible ways.

8. Sunil Kumar Maity v. State Bank of India[8]

This case dealt with Section 5 of the limitation act that does not apply to the institution of the civil suit in the Civil Court, the supreme court said in a judgment on 21st January 2022. The court observed thus while setting aside judgment a passed by the NCDRC in which it observed that the complainant would be at liberty to seek remedy in the competent Civil Court.

The Commission further observed that if he chooses to bring an action in a Civil Court, he is free to file an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963. The commission also recorded the statement of the council for the SBI that it will not press the issue of limitation affection as brought by the complainant in a Civil Court.

9. Haryana Urban Development Authority, Karnal v. M/s. Mehta Construction Company and another [9]

This case was in relation to section 34 of the arbitration and conciliation act of 1996. According to Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996-

an application for setting aside an award is to be made within three months from the date on which a party filing objections under sub-section (1) to Section 34 has received the arbitral award proviso court may condone the delay of a period up to thirty days in filing of the objections if it is satisfied that the applicant is prevented by sufficient cause from making an application under Section 34(1) of the Act – there were only eight days’ delay – the reason was provided – inter alia, it took time to get sanction from the concerned authorities – Courts below ought to have condoned the delay.

Section 34(2)(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 provides that an arbitral award can be set aside by the Court if the Court finds the award is vitiated by patent illegality appearing on the face of the award – proviso – the award shall not be set aside merely on the ground of erroneous application of law or by misappreciation of evidence.

10. Noel Harper and Ors. v. Union of India[10]

This case was related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010. In this case, the Court upheld the 2020 amendments made to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act restrictions in the handling of foreign contributions organizations in India.

The Court interpreted that the payment to third-party agencies in furtherance of the purposes of the recipient would be a case of “utilization” and not “transfer”. “Transfer” within the meaning of Section 7 would be transferred to third parties for acts beyond the purposes for which the FCRA approval has been granted. Based on this interpretation the court said that section 7 was intra-vires.

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11. Sulaxani & Anr v. Sattar Ali & Ors.[11]

In this interesting case, a question was raised whether a Mohammedan person can execute his will for more than 1/3rd share of his property without the consent of all legal heirs? In which the Chattisgarh High Court held that Mahommedan can’t execute a will for more than 1/3rd share of his property without the consent of all legal heirs. The Court further observed that the following conditions must be filled up for a valid will to be executed by Mohammedan:

(a) A bequest may be executed by any Muslim to another, including an institution and a class of people;

(b) The persons entitled to make or take a will must have the capacity to make or take a will;

(c) A bequest must be made of some subject;

(d) Formalities of making a will must be fulfilled;

(e) Only one-third of property can be bequeathed;

(f) Bequest to heirs is restricted;

(g) Conditional contingent and future bequests are void.

12. X v. The Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr.[12]

This case revolves around the interpretation of Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules. The appellant here was an unmarried woman aged 25 years who became pregnant out of a consensual relationship. The appellant here decided to terminate her pregnancy fearful of ‘raising and nurturing the child as an unmarried mother’ when her partner refused to marry her at the last stage.

The appellant sought permission for the same under Section 3(2)(b) and Rule 3B(c) of the MTP Rules 2003. The High Court rejected the same justification that ‘unmarried women’ are not covered under any clauses of the said Act, therefore, Section 3(2)(b) would not be applicable to the facts of this case. The Apex Court passed an interim order permitting the appellant to terminate her pregnancy. The Supreme Court gave a remarkable judgment highlighting the issue that unmarried women cannot be denied their right to safe abortion merely because of the orthodox rules of society and thus enabled the unmarried woman to live a dignified life as per her own choice.

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13. Aishat Shifa v. State of Karnataka & Ors.[13]

On 13 October 2022, the Supreme Court issued a split decision regarding the ban on wearing the hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka. One judge ruled that the state government has the right to enforce uniform policies in schools, while the other judge argued that wearing the hijab is a personal choice that cannot be restricted by the government.

All appeals against the Karnataka High Court decision, which held in March that wearing the hijab by Muslim women is not required by Islam and that the Karnataka government has the authority to implement the uniform requirement, were rejected by Justice Hemant Gupta in his ruling. Contrary to the senior judge on the bench, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia allowed all of the appeals. In the main body of his decision, Justice Dhulia stated that a Muslim girl’s decision to wear a headscarf is her own and that there cannot be any restrictions placed on that decision.

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14. Vinod Katara v. State of Uttar Pradesh[14]

It is one of the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, which emphasized that even after the final disposition of a Special Leave Petition, the plea of juvenility may be brought in any court at any time. When the plea of juvenility is raised at a late stage, various medical tests are frequently used to make a determination in the absence of the necessary documentation. While considering the evidence presented on behalf of the accused to support his claim that he is a juvenile, the court shall err on the side of holding the accused to be a juvenile in circumstances where there is a question of fact. This is not a roving inquiry that is being considered.

The Court may accept other proof of age, such as documents, certificates, etc., in lieu of an affidavit. A simple statement that the accused appeared to be one or two years older than the age he claimed to be (as the headmaster in this case said) or that the accused stated his age to be higher than what he claims in the case while being arrested by the police officer would not be very persuasive. The age of a juvenile involved in a legal dispute is often determined by the documentation that has been made public. And the only instances in which the Court, the Juvenile Justice Board, or the Committee must order a medical examination to determine the accused’s age are those in which the documents or certificates submitted by the accused in support of his claim of juvenility are discovered to be falsified or manipulated.

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15. More Judgments to Follow…


[1] C.R.A. 604 of 2014

[2] Civil Appeal No. 5628 of 2021

[3] WP (C) 607 of 2021

[4] CRL.MC NO. 3358 OF 2021

[5] Civil Appeal No. 6258 of 2014

[6] Writ Petition No. 6022 of 2005

[7] W.P(MD)No. 18636 of 2013

[8] Civil Appeal 432 of 202

[9] Civil Appeal No. 2693 of 2022

[10] Writ Petition (Civil) No. 566 of 2021

[11] Second Appeal No.474 of 2007

[12] Special Leave Petition (Civil) No 12612 of 2022

[13] Civil Appeal No. 7095 of 2022

[14] Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 121 of 2022

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