Supreme Court Cases

Latest Supreme Court Judgments

RBI to uphold Public Interest: Ought to act with transparency

In the instant case, RBI does not place itself in a fiduciary relationship with the financial institutions (though, in word it puts itself to be in that position) because, the reports of the inspections, statements of the banks, information related to the business obtained by RBI are not under the pretext of confidence or trust. In this case, neither RBI nor the banks act in the interest of each other. By attaching an additional “fiduciary“ label to the statutory duty, the regulatory authorities have intentionally or unintentionally created an in terrorem effect.
RBI is a statutory body set-up by the RBI Act as India’s Central Bank. It is a statutory regulatory authority to oversee the functioning of the banks and the country‘s banking sector. Under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, RBI has been given powers to issue any direction to the banks in public interest, in the interest of banking policy and to secure proper management of a banking company. It has several other far – reaching statutory powers.
RBI is supposed to uphold public interest and not the interest of individual banks. RBI is clearly not in any fiduciary relationship with any bank. RBI has no legal duty to maximise the benefit of any public sector or private sector bank, and thus there is no relationship of “trust” between them. RBI has a statutory duty to uphold the interest of the public at large, the depositors, the country’s economy and the banking sector. Thus, RBI ought to act with transparency and not hide information that might embarrass individual banks. It is duty – bound to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act and disclose the information sought by the respondents herein.
The baseless and unsubstantiated argument of RBI that the disclosure would hurt the economic interest of the country is totally misconceived. In the impugned order, CIC has given several reasons to state why the disclosure of the information sought by the respondents would hugely serve public interest and non-disclosure would be significantly detrimental to public interest and not in the economic interest of India. RBI’s argument that if people, who are sovereign are made aware of the irregularities being committed by the banks then the country’s economic security would be endangered, is not only absurd but is equally misconceived and baseless.

Reserve Bank of India v. Jayantilal N. Mistry, Transferred Case (C) No. 92 of 2015; [Yusuf Eqbal and Chockalingam Nagappan, JJ.]

Acid Attack Victim: Compensation, Treatment, Aftercare and Rehabilitation

In our opinion, it will be appropriate if the Member- Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority takes up the issue with the State Government so that the orders passed by this Court are compiled with and a minimum of ` 3,00,000 (Rupees three lakhs only) is made available to each victim of acid attack.
From the figures given above, we find that the amount will not be burdensome so far as the State Governments/Union Territories are concerned and, therefore, we do not see any reason why the directions given by this Court should not be accepted by the State Governments/Union Territories since they do not involve any serious financial implication.
We also direct the Member- Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority to obtain a copy of the Victim Compensation Scheme from the State/Union Territory concerned and to give it wide and adequate publicity in the State/ Union Territory so that each acid attack victim in the States/ Union Territories can take the benefit of the Victim Compensation Scheme.
It is noted that there may perhaps be some reluctance on the part of some private hospitals to provide free medical treatment and, therefore the officers concerned in the State Governments should take up the matter with the private hospitals so that they are also required to provide free medical treatment to the victims of acid attack.

Laxmi v. Union of India and Others, WP(Crl.) No. 129 of 2006, decided on February 11, 2011; [R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, JJ]

Trade Mark :” Prior User” Rulu

This section palpably holds that a proprietor of a trade mark does not have the right to prevent the use by another party of an identical or similar mark where that user commenced prior to the user or date of registration of the proprietor. This “first user” rule is seminal, that user commenced prior to that of the appellant- defendant , the entirety of the section needs to be taken into consideration, in that it gives rights to a subsequent user when its user is prior to the user of the proprietor and prior to the date of registration of the defendant filed for registration in 1992, six years prior to the commencement of use by the respondent – plaintiffs. The appellant – defendant was, thus, not prevented from restraining the respondent-plaintiffs’ use of the similar mark Profol, but the intention of the section, which is to protect the prior user from the proprietor who is not exercising the use of its mark prima facie appears to be in favour of the respondent – plaintiffs.
Neon Laboratories Limited v. Medical Technologies Limited and Others, Civil Appeal No. 1018 of 2006, decided on October 5, 2015;

[Vikramajit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh, JJ.]

Service Law: Age Relaxation For Women Candidates

When all the aforesaid Rules are seen in juxtaposition and in conjunction with each other, intention of the rule – making authority becomes apparent and is clearly ascertained. The intention of the rule-making authority was, and it continues to be so, to give benefit of age relaxation to women candidates. That, according to us, represents the true intention. Otherwise the very purpose of such rules is defeated. The rule-making authority has manifest its intention by removing the ambiguity and providing a specific provision even in the 2005 Rules which, according to us, is by way of abundant caution so that such kinds of disputes or situations with which we are confronted here are eliminated. Thus, in ultimate analysis, we hold that the appellant was entitled to age relaxation as per Rule 4 of the 1997 Rules read with the State Services Examination Rules, 2003. She was, therefore eligible to be considered for the post of DSP.

Richa Mishra v. State of Chhattisgarh and Others, Civil Appeal No. 274 of 2016, decided on February 8, 2016; [Dr. A.K. Sikri and Abhay Manohar Sapre, JJ.]

Further Investigation, De Novo Or Fresh Investigation

Be it noted that the constitutional courts can direct for further investigation or investigation by some other investigating agency. The purpose is, there has to be a fair investigation and a fair trial. The fair trial may be quite difficult unless there is a fair investigation. We are absolutely conscious that direction for further investigation by another agency has to be very sparingly issued but the facts depicted in this case compel us to exercise the said power. We are disposed to think that the purpose of justice commands that the cause of the victim, the husband of the deceased, deserves to be answered so that miscarriage of justice is avoided. Therefore, in this case the stage of the case cannot be a governing factor.
The power to order fresh, de novo or re-investigation being vested with the constitutional courts, the commencement of a trial and examination of some witnesses cannot be an absolute impediment for exercising the said constitutional power which is meant to ensure a fair and just investigation. It can never be forgotten that as the great ocean has only one test, the test of salt so does justice has one flavour, the flavour of answering to the distress of the people without any discrimination.

Dharam Pal v. State of Haryana and Others, Criminal Appeal No. 85 of 2016, decided on January 29, 2016; [Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant, JJ.]

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