Important Supreme Court of India Judgments in October 2016

Arbitration – A fresh line must be drawn to ensure the fulfilment of the intent of Parliament in enacting the Act of 1996 and towards supporting commercial understandings grounded in the faith in arbitration. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Allegations of criminal wrongdoing or of statutory violation would not detract from the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal to resolve a dispute arising out of a civil or contractual relationship on the basis of the jurisdiction conferred by the arbitration agreement. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Certain disputes like criminal offences of a public nature, disputes arising out of illegal agreements and disputes relating to status, such as divorce, cannot be referred to arbitration. Following categories of disputes are generally treated as non-arbitrable: (i) patent, trademarks and copyright; (ii) anti-trust/competition laws; (iii) insolvency/winding up; (iv) bribery/corruption; (v) fraud; (vi) criminal matters. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Even the invalidity of the main agreement does not ipso jure result in the invalidity of the arbitration agreement. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Insofar as the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is concerned, it does not make any specific provision excluding any category of disputes terming them to be non-arbitrable. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Mere allegation of fraud simplicitor may not be a ground to nullify the effect of arbitration agreement between the parties. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, should be interpreted so as to bring in line the principles underlying its interpretation in a manner that is consistent with prevailing approaches in the common law world. Jurisprudence in India must evolve towards strengthening the institutional efficacy of arbitration. Deference to a forum chosen by parties as a complete remedy for resolving all their claims is but part of that evolution. Minimising the intervention of courts is again a recognition of the same principle. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – The basic principle which must guide judicial decision making is that arbitration is essentially a voluntary assumption of an obligation by contracting parties to resolve their disputes through a private tribunal. The intent of the parties is expressed in the terms of their agreement. Where commercial entities and persons of business enter into such dealings, they do so with a knowledge of the efficacy of the arbitral process. The commercial understanding is reflected in the terms of the agreement between the parties. The duty of the court is to impart to that commercial understanding a sense of business efficacy. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Arbitration – Where there is an arbitration agreement, it is obligatory for the court to refer parties to arbitration and nothing remains to be decided in the original action after such an application is made, except to refer the dispute to an arbitrator. [A. Ayyaswamy Vs. A. Paramasivam; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NF


Benefit of Doubt – Exaggerated to the rule of benefit of doubt can result in miscarriage of justice. Letting the guilty escape is not doing justice. A Judge presides over the trial not only to ensure that no innocent is punished but also to see that guilty does not escape. [Bhagwan Jagannath Markad Vs. State of Maharashtra; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NJ


Burden of Proof – It is accepted principle of criminal jurisprudence that the burden of proof is always on the prosecution and the accused is presumed to be innocent unless proved guilty. The prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the accused is entitled to the benefit of the reasonable doubt. The reasonable doubt is one which occurs to a prudent and reasonable man. Section 3 of the Evidence Act refers to two conditions – (i) when a person feels absolutely certain of a fact – “believe it to exist” and (ii) when he is not absolutely certain and thinks it so extremely probable that a prudent man would, under the circumstances, act on the assumption of its existence. The doubt which the law contemplates is not of a confused mind but of prudent man who is assumed to possess the capacity to “separate the chaff from the grain”. The degree of proof need not reach certainty but must carry a high degree of probability. [Bhagwan Jagannath Markad Vs. State of Maharashtra; Supreme Court of India, 04-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2NJ


Company – A reading of Section 87 (2) of the Companies Act, 1956 would clearly indicate that except in situations where dividends have not been paid, holders of preference shares do not have a right to vote except in matters which directly affects the rights attached to the preference shares. [Tin Plate Dealers Association Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Satish Chandra Sanwalka, Supreme Court of India, 07-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2Nz


Constitution – Fundamental rights and human rights of convicts and under trial prisoners – Discussed. [Re – Inhuman Conditions In 1382 Prisons (II) Supreme Court of India, 03-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2O9


Constitution – Principles for the exercise of jurisdiction in a petition under Article 136 discussed. [Saddik @ Lalo Gulam Hussein Shaikh Vs. State of Gujarat Supreme Court of India, 03-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2Oc


Constitution – Unless due importance is given to the fundamental rights and human rights of the people, the right to life and the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution will have no meaning. [Re – Inhuman Conditions In 1382 Prisons (II) Supreme Court of India, 03-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2O9


Criminal Law – In a criminal prosecution, the court has a duty to ensure that mere conjectures or suspicion do not take the place of legal proof and in a situation where a reasonable doubt is entertained in the backdrop of the evidence available, to prevent miscarriage of justice, benefit of doubt is to be extended to the accused. Such a doubt essentially has to be reasonable and not imaginary, fanciful, intangible or non-existent but as entertainable by an impartial, prudent and analytical mind, judged on the touch stone of reason and common sense. [Jose @ Pappachan Vs. Sub-Inspector of Police, Koyilandy Supreme Court of India, 03-10-2016] http://wp.me/p67iIm-2Mj