SECTIONS 499, 500 IPC: Constitutionally Valid
Criminal defamation as an offence is not violative of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, being a permissible restriction under Article 19(2). The expression “defamation” in Article 19(2) includes both civil and criminal defamation, therefore sections 499 and 500 IPC are also not discriminatory, arbitrary, excessive or vague and violative of the right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution, being reasonable and proportionate restriction. While in a democracy an individual has a right to criticise and dissent, but his right under Article 19(1)(a) is not absolute and he cannot defame another person as that would offend the victim’s fundamental right to reputation which is a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution. One fundamental right cannot be given a higher status in comparison to the other and what is required is proper balancing of the two and harmonious construction in light of Premabular objective of fraternity and fundamental duties envisaged under Article 51- A(e) and (j) of the Constitution. So section 499 IPC along with its Explanations and Exceptions and section 500 IPC are constitutionally valid.
Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India, Ministry of Law and Others, Writ Petition No. 184 of 2014; decided on May 13, 2016 [Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant, JJ.]
REFERENCE TO BIFR: SICA to prevail over Companies Act
Different situations can arise in the process of winding up of a company under the Companies Act but whatever be the situation, whenever a reference is made to BIFR under sections 15 and 16 of SICA, the provisions of SICA would come into play and they would prevail over the provisions of the Companies Act and proceedings under the Companies Act must give way to proceedings under the SICA.
Madura Coats Limited v. Modi Rubber Limited and Another, Civil Appeal No. 1475 of 2006; decided on June 29, 2016 [Jagdish Singh Khehar, Madan B. Lokur and Chockalingam Nagappan, JJ.]
Examination malpractices, academic fraud or cheating in the examination is as old as the examination itself. Study made by the educationists has revealed that these malpractices are gradually on the rise across the world and has caused a threat to public trust in reliability and credibility to the system as a whole. These malpractices occur within and outside the examination halls and are perpetrated by the candidates, staff and other external agencies before, during and after the examination. Various kinds of strategies are innovated and then applied to enable the candidate to clear the examination anyhow. It has therefore, destroyed the piousness of the examination. With a view to prohibit such activities, the State of Andhra Pradesh had enacted legislation but it was found inadequate to control such activities.
It is, therefore, the collective responsibility of the Government (Central/ States), educational bodies/ institutions to ponder over and evolve a uniform policy in a comprehensive manner to firmly deal with such activities in the larger public good. It is hoped that effective remedial steps would be taken in that regard.
Nidhi Kaim v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Others, Civil Appeal No. 1727 of 2016; decided on May 12, 2016 [Jasti Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre, JJ.]
APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATOR: When No Counter
The averments made in the petition must, in the absence of any counter from the respondent, be taken to be correct, at least, for the purpose of deciding whether the matter ought to be referred to an arbitrator. This is especially so when the averments are supported by an affidavit filed by the petitioner. In that view, therefore, we see no reason to decline the prayer for appointment of an arbitrator made by the petitioner.
Purple India Holdings Limited v. Drilling and Offshore Private Limited, Arbitration Petition No. 23 of 2015; decided on March 30, 2016 [Dr. T.S. Thakur, C.J., R. Banumathi and Uday U. Lalit, JJ.]