Supreme Court Cases

Latest Supreme Court Judgments

TIPS TO EMPLOYEES: Not salary


There is no vested right in the employee to claim any amount of tip from his employer. Tips being purely voluntary amounts that may or may not be paid by customers for services rendered to them would not, therefore, fall within Section 15(b) at all. Also, it is clear that salary must be paid or allowed to an employee in the previous year “by or on behalf of” an employer. Section 15(b) necessarily has reference to the contract of employment between employer and employee, and salary paid or allowed must therefore have reference to such contract of employment.

Amount of tip paid by the employer to the employees has no reference to the contract of employment at all. Tips are received by the employer in a fiduciary capacity as trustee for payments that are received from the customers which they disburse to their employees for service rendered to the customer. There is, therefore, no reference to the contract of employment when these amounts are paid by the employer to the employee.

ITC Limited, Gurgaon v. Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS), Delhi, Civil Appeal Nos. 4435-37 of 2016; decided on April 26, 2016, [Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Fali Nariman, JJ.]


BIFURCATION OF STATES: Equitable bifurcation of assets and liabilities


The issue of bifurcation of States is both sensitive as well as tricky. Adequate care has to be taken by the legislature while drafting legislations such as the Reorganization Act, 2014 to ensure a smooth division of all assets, liabilities and funds between the States to make sure that the interests of the citizens living in these States are protected adequately. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that no discrimination is done against either of the successor State.

It is natural that when an existing State is bifurcated to form two new States, there must be an equitable bifurcation of the assets and liabilities of the statutory bodies among the two successor States as well, to ensure welfare of the public at large residing within these territories.

Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education v. Union of India and Others, Civil Appeal Nos. 3019-20 of 2016; decided on March 18, 2016, [V. Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra, JJ.]


COGNIZANCE OF OFFENCE: Only taken once


Cognizance of an offence can only be taken once. In the event a Magistrate takes cognizance of offence and then commits the case to the Court of Session, the question of taking fresh cognizance of the offence and, thereafter, proceeding to issue summons, is not in accordance with law. If cognizance is to be taken of the offence, it could be taken either by the Magistrate or by the Court of Session. The language of Section 193 of the Code very clearly indicates that once the case is committed to the Court of Session by the Magistrate, the Court of Session assumes original jurisdiction and all that goes with the assumption of such jurisdiction.

Balveer Singh and Another v. State of Rajasthan and Another, Criminal Appeal No. 253 of 2016; decided on May 10, 2016, [Dr A.K. Sikri and R.K. Aggarwal, JJ.]


FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF SPEECH: Scope


While the freedom of speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) is subject to reasonable restrictions that could be imposed by law which is compliant with the limitations specified under Article 19(2), the right of free speech available to a legislator, either under Article 105 or 194, is not subject to any such limitation that could be imposed by law.

One express limitation on such freedom is found under Articles 121 and 211 which prohibit, in express terms, any discussion in the legislative bodies with respect to the conduct of any Judge of the Supreme Court or of the High Court in the discharge of his duties.

Scope and amplitude of the freedom of speech inhering in a citizen and available to a member of the legislative body are totally different. No citizen has a right to enter the legislative body and exercise his freedom of speech unless he first gets elected to such a legislative body in accordance with law. No legislator would continue to enjoy the freedom of speech contemplated under Articles 105 and 194 after the cessation of the membership of the legislative body. No doubt, when a legislator is prevented from participating in the proceedings of the House during the currency of the membership by virtue of some proceedings taken against such a legislator, there would be a curtailment of the legislator’s constitutional right of free speech in the House of which such legislator is a member.

Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj and Others v. Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, Writ Petition (C) No. 455 of 2015; decided on February 12, 2016, [Jasti Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre, JJ.]


LOCUS STANDI: Justice oriented approach


The traditional view of “locus standi” has been that the person who is aggrieved or affected has the standing before the court, that is to say, he only has a right to move the court for seeking justice. Later, this Court, with justice-oriented approach, relaxed the strict rule with regard to “locus standi” allowing any person from the society not related to the cause of action to approach the court seeking justice for those who could not approach themselves. It is the duty of the State to get the culprit booked for the offence committed by him. The focal point, here, is that if the State fails in this regard, the party having bona fide connection with the cause of action, who is aggrieved by the order of the court cannot be left at the mercy of the State and without any option to approach the appellate court for seeking justice.

Amanullah and another v. State of Bihar and others, Criminal Appeal No. 299 of 2016; decided on April 12, 2016, [V. Gopala Gowda and Uday U. Lalit, JJ.]

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