Media Scan

Legal Snippets

• The Punjab and Haryana High Court has struck down a 2005  notification of the Mines Department of the Haryana Government increasing the rate of royalty to 50 per cent from 24 per cent and also enhancing the rate of dead rent to `2000 per hectare. The higher rate was notified amending the schedule to the central law, the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act

• If one of the companies in an arbitration case is incorporated outside India, the Chief Justice of a High Court has no power to appoint an arbitrator even if the parties agree to arbitration and name arbitrators. This power belongs only to the Chief Justice of India or his designate as it is an “international commercial arbitration” under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The High Court can initiate arbitration only in disputes between domestic parties.

• The Supreme Court has ruled that excavators belonging to the Western Coalfields would fall within the meaning of the definition of ‘motor vehicles’ in the Motor Vehicles Act. Dismissing the appeal of the firm, the judgment was pronounced in the case, Western Coalfields v. State of Maharashtra.

Assessment of central sales tax cannot be re-opened because one assessment officer held one way and a succeeding officer took a different view. In the judgment of the Supreme Court, Ravi Prakash Refineries v. State of Karnataka, the Deputy Commissioner of commerce taxes imposed a levy of two per cent, accepting the declaration regarding inter-state sales of sunflower de-oiled cakes.

• In an instance of glaring abuse of the powers under the old Land Acquisition Act, the Supreme Court has castigated the Haryana Government for acquiring land from farmers in the name of public purpose and giving it to a builder to advance his business interests.

• Corporate litigants appear to be at the receiving end of judicial ire, with the lead taken by the Supreme Court in the case of Star India which was imposed a heavy penalty for dragging proceedings.

• The Supreme Court has asked the nomination committee of the director of UCO Bank to re-consider the case of a director who was declared ineligible to continue in the post because he was over-aged (65) and he had already served two years in that capacity.

• The Delhi High Court directed the customs authorities and food safety officials to coordinate their functions in the matter of import of food items. They must work out the modalities of ensuring the requirements of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

• It is a sign of the times that an income tax assessment case took 32 years to be finally decided by the Supreme Court. The revenue authorities ultimately won on the point whether the case was time-barred taking the various provisions of the Income Tax in CIT v. Saurashtra Cement & Chemical Industries.

The authorities can deviate from the conditions for sale tender if the terms are not essential parts of the offer. In such cases, strict literal compliance is not required, the Supreme Court has stated in its judgment in Om Prakash v. Ramesh Chand.

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