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Landmark Judgements of the Supreme Court of India in 2020 ( In Series...)

Landmark Judgements of the Supreme Court of India in 2020 ( In Series...)

  • 05 Jan 2021

Some Landmark Judgements of the Supreme Court of India in 2020 ( In Series...)

1. Kashmir Lockdown and Internet Shutdown: Anuradha Bhasin v/s Union of India

On January 10, a three-judge bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Surya Kant and B R Gavai delivered the judgment on a batch of petitions which challenged the legality of the curfew orders and internet shutdown imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of the special status of the state in August 2019.

A significant take away from the judgment is its declaration that freedom of speech and expression and also freedom of trade and commerce through the medium of the internet are constitutionally protected rights under Articles 19(1)(a) and Articles 19(1)(g), respectively

The Court said: "We declare that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g)".

The Court observed that indefinite suspension of the internet is not permissible and that repeated orders under Section 144 CrPC will amount to an abuse of power.

2. Anticipatory Bail Cannot Be Limited To A Fixed Period Except In Special And Peculiar Circumstances : Sushila Aggarwal & Ors. v. State (NCT of Delhi) & Anr.

On January 29, a constitution bench of the the Supreme Court held that anticipatory bail should not invariably be limited to a fixed period. But if there are any special or peculiar features necessitating the court to limit the tenure of anticipatory bail, it is open for it to do so, the five-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has held. Justices MR Shah and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat penned separate judgments agreeing with each other.

Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee and Vineet Saran concurred with the conclusion reached by both the judges. The Court also held that life or duration of an anticipatory bail order does not end normally at the time and stage when the accused is summoned by the court, or when charges are framed but can continue till the end of the trial except in special and peculiar cases.

Other reports about the judgment :  Rights Cherished By Citizens Are Fundamental, Not The Restrictions

Accused Released On Anticipatory Bail Need Not Surrender And Seek Regular Bail For Recovery Under Section 27 Evidence Act

The Constitution Bench also discussed in the judgment the impact of recovery under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act on the bail granted.

3. 'No Absolute Right Of Appointment For Minority Educational Institutions' : 

Supreme Court Upholds WB Madrasah Service Commission Act

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission Act 2008 observing that there is no absolute and unqualified right of appointment for minority educational institutions.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit delivered the verdict on Monday in the case SK Md Raffique v Managing Committee, Contai Rehmania High Madrasah and others.

The case concerned the validity of West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission Act 2008, which constituted a commission to appoint teachers in madrasas.

Later, a writ petition was filed against this verdict contending that it was contrary to the judgment of a 3-judge bench in Chandana Das (Malakar) v. State of West Bengal, passed on September 25, 2019, on minority rights.

In Chandana Das case, the bench comprising Justice RF Nariman, Justice R.Subhash Reddy and Justice Surya Kant had held that the fundamental right of Minorities under Article 30 of the Constitution of India to administer educational institutions "cannot be waived".

On January 30, a bench headed by the CJI issued notice on the writ petition which sought reference of the issue to a larger bench.

This is 3rd top judgement given in 2020 by the Supreme Court of India.

4. JJ Act: Offences Prescribing Max Sentence Of More Than 7 Years But Not Providing Minimum Sentence Are Not 'Heinous Offences', But 'Serious Offences': Shilpa Mittal v State of NCT of Delhi and Another

The Supreme Court has observed that an offence prescribing a maximum sentence of more than 7 years imprisonment but not providing any minimum sentence, or providing a minimum sentence of less than 7 years, cannot be considered to be a 'heinous offence' within the meaning of Section 2(33) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Invoking Article 142 of the Constitution, the bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose held that category of offences viz., offence where the maximum sentence is more than 7 years imprisonment, but no minimum sentence or minimum sentence of less than 7 years is provided, shall be treated as 'serious offences' within the meaning of the Act.

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