Supreme Court upheld OBC reservation in NEET PG and UG admissions
The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna upheld the Constitutional validity of the reservation for OBC candidates in the AIQ seats for PG and UG medical and dental courses. The bench observed that, widespread inequalities in the availability of and access to educational facilities will result in the deprivation of certain classes of people who would be unable to effectively compete in such a system.
The court also noticed that it cannot be said that the impact of backwardness simply disappears because a candidate has a graduate qualification.
The court mentioned Articles 15(4) and 15(5) in the judgment and said that it did not find that there is no prohibition in introducing reservation for socially and educationally backward classes (or the OBCs) in PG cases.
PM Modi Security Lapse
In the month of January, the Prime Minister of the country got stuck on a highway in Punjab for 20 minutes, which was only a few kilometres away from the Indo-Pak border. The bench of Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Hima Kohli observed that the matter was of grave concern and it came to a conclusion that the matter has to be assisted by officers who are well acquainted with the security considerations. The Registrar General of the High Court seized the record and was given the responsibility to submit a detailed report. The court,formed a committee to be headed by former Justice of Supreme Court, Indu Malhotra and other officials.
NEET 2021-2022, Counselling with 27% quota for OBCs and 10% quota for EWS in All India Quota
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna directed to conduct counselling on the basis of NEET-PG 2021 and NEET-UG 2021. The Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare faced the protests by the doctors who appeared in the NEET-PG 2021 examination.
The Supreme Court noticed that the formulation of the reasons in the order on the EWS reservation would take some time, the court decided to upheld the validity of the OBC reservation in the AIQs seats in NEET-PG and NEET-UG and directed to conduct counselling of the students so that the admission process doesn’t slow down.
SC in Dowry Case: Mother-in-law must protect the daughter-in-law, not harrass her
The bench of Justice Shah and BV Nagarathna observed that when an offence has been committed by a woman by meting out cruelty to another woman, ie, the daughter-in-law, it becomes a more serious offence and hence, the mother-in-law did not deserve any leniency. The victim of the case committed suicide after facing harassment by her mother-in-law. The court found the mother-in-law guilty for the offence under Section 498A of IPC. However, the fact that the incident was of the year 2006 and the accused mother-in-law was 80 years old, as a mitigating circumstance, the court reduced the sentence from one year to three months.
Reservation for SC/ST in Promotions
The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai held that the State is not bound to make reservation for SCs and STs in matters of promotion. However, the court said that if it wishes to exercise its discretion, the State has to collect quantifiable data showing the backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment, in addition to compliance with Article 335 of the Constitution of India.
The court observed that no yardstick can be laid down for determining the adequacy of representation of SCs and STs in promotional posts for the purpose of providing reservation.
COVID-19 forces Supreme Court to extend period of limitation for filing cases
The bench of Justices NV Ramana, L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant upheld the order dated 23.03.2020 and excluded the purposes of limitation as may be prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi judicial proceedings. The order dated 23.03.2020 was brought to an end. The court excluded the period from 15.03.2020 till 28.02.2022 in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23(4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provisos (b) and (c) of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and any other laws, which prescribe period(s) of limitation for instituting proceedings, outer limits and termination of proceedings.
Tax of Rs 480 Crore to be paid by Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India Limited
A bench of Justices Shah and Sanjiv Khanna set aside the Gujarat High Court verdict, where it ordered that Essar was entitled to the exemption from payment of purchase tax as per the notification dated 05.03.1992. The Essar (now Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India Limited) will now have to pay the purchase tax of Rs 480.99 crores. The Supreme Court observed that the scheme of the statue does not in any manner indicate that the incentive provided has to continue for the consecutive years irrespective of the fulfilling of the eligibility conditions.
The court in its judgment said that the applicability of the incentive is directly related to the eligibility and not dehors the same. If it is found that the industrial undertaking does not fulfil the eligibility criteria, it cannot claim the incentive/exemption. Therefore, the Essar, was found not entitled to the exemption from payment of purchase tax under the original entry no. 255(2) dated 05.03.1992.