February 2024 top Judgments by the Supreme Court of India

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In February 2024, the Supreme Court of India issued a total of 63 judgments, out of which 42 were reportable.

Key Matters Heard

The court heard a diverse array of cases, including:

  • Reconsideration of the 2018 Asian Resurfacing verdict
  • Electoral Bonds
  • Chandigarh Mayoral elections
  • Delhi Riots Larger Conspiracy Case
  • Defamation case against Tejashwi Yadav
  • Plea to establish Community Kitchens
  • Medical Negligence
  • Specific range of rates for hospital services
  • Demolition of Chennai mosque
  • Reopening Plea for Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper Plant in Thoothkudi
  • Bail Condition: Requirement to Share Google PIN Location

Inauguration of ‘AYUSH Holistic Wellness Centre’

This month saw the Chief Justice of India inaugurate the ‘AYUSH Holistic Wellness Centre’ within the Supreme Court premises, emphasizing the importance of holistic well-being.

Highlights of Significant Judgments

The top court delivered several noteworthy judgments, contributing to legal precedent and societal impact.

These points encapsulate the significant legal activities and developments witnessed in the Supreme Court of India during the month of February.

Significant Rulings in February

Chartered Accountants Rule and the Central Government’s authority in rule-making.

One of the noteworthy verdicts of February pertained to the Chartered Accountants Rule and the Central Government’s authority in rule-making.

Case Title: Naresh Chandra Agrawal vs. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

Judges on the Bench: Presided by Justice PS Narasimha and Justice Aravind Kumar

Synopsis of Verdict: The central query before the Supreme Court bench was whether Rule 9(3)(b) of the Rules, 2007 exceeded the rule-making authority vested in the Central Government. Upon deliberation, the Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the Chartered Accountants’ Rule, stating that “the impugned rule is fully aligned with the objectives and intentions behind formulating the Chapter on ‘Misconduct’ under the Act.” Furthermore, it asserted that the impugned rule falls within the bounds of the broad delegation of authority under Section 29A(1).

Supreme Court Invalidates Electoral Bond Scheme

Case Title: Association for Democratic Reforms & Anr. vs. Union of India & Ors.

Judges on the Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Manoj Misra, Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala

Synopsis of Verdict: The bench presided over a series of petitions contesting the constitutionality of the electoral bond scheme, which facilitated anonymous contributions to political parties. Notably, electoral bonds are bearer banking instruments devoid of the buyer’s identity.

On February 15, 2024, the Supreme Court ruled against the electoral bond scheme, declaring it in violation of Article 19(1)(a) and thus unconstitutional. Furthermore, the Court deemed the removal of the proviso to Section 182(1) of the Companies Act, allowing unlimited corporate donations to political entities, as arbitrary and infringing upon Article 14. The Supreme Court also issued directives, including instructing issuing banks to cease the issuance of electoral bonds.

Supreme Court Ruling on Chandigarh Mayoral Elections

Case Title: Kuldeep Kumar vs. U.T. Chandigarh and Ors

Judges on the Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra

Synopsis of Verdict: The Supreme Court has overturned the outcome of the Chandigarh Mayoral election held on January 30 and upheld Mr. Kuldeep Kumar of the Aam Aadmi Party-Congress alliance as the rightful winner, nullifying the previous declaration of BJP candidate Mr. Manohar Sonkar’s victory. The bench criticized Presiding Officer Mr. Anil Masih for manipulating the election results deliberately. During the proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked,

“In each of the 8 ballots, the vote has been rightfully cast in favor of the petitioner. The Presiding Officer deliberately marked ballots to invalidate them… it’s clear that the Presiding Officer engaged in serious misconduct.” As a consequence, the bench has instigated legal action against Mr. Anil Masih under Section 340 of the CrPC for making false statements to the court.

Permanent Commission to Short Service Commission Officers

Judgment Name: Cdr Seema Chaudhary vs. Union of India and Ors

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud & Justice Hima Kohli

Synopsis of Verdict: In this instance, the Supreme Court was presented with a series of petitions concerning the allocation of Permanent Commission to Short Service Commission Officers within the Indian Navy. The bench ruled that the petitioner’s application for Permanent Commission should undergo fresh consideration by reconvening a Selection Board.

The judgment stipulates, “The Selection Board must evaluate the petitioner’s case independently, given that she was the sole serving JAG Branch officer of the 2007 batch whose eligibility for Permanent Commission required assessment. The assessment by the Selection Board must occur without any influence from prior evaluations of her Permanent Commission application or any remarks made in the Armed Forces Tribunal’s order.”

Reviewing the 2018 Asian Resurfacing Judgment

Case Title: High Court Bar Association, Allahabad vs. State of U.P. & Ors.

Judges on the Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Pankaj Mithal, Justice Manoj Misra, Justice Abhay S Oka, and Justice JB Pardiwala

Synopsis of Verdict: The Supreme Court ruled that automatic vacation of stay orders in both civil and criminal cases after 6 months from the date of the order is not permissible. It overturned its own 2018 ruling in the Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency P.Ltd. Director vs. Central Bureau of Investigation case. The bench emphasized that directives for the automatic expiration of interim orders by High Courts cannot be issued under Article 142 of the Constitution. Additionally, the court emphasized the importance of constitutional courts avoiding the imposition of time constraints on cases pending before other judicial bodies.

These judgments contributed to legal precedent and societal impact, reflecting the significant legal activities witnessed in the Supreme Court of India during February 2024.

read more:

Understanding The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Supreme Court Of India Invalidates Electoral Bonds Scheme Over Right To Information Concerns

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