The Article explains 'Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update' and the cases are basically related to the arbitration agreements, fundamental rights, limitations, evidence act, foreign contribution, and so on and so forth. The idea of the author is to make all the readers well-versed with the case laws decided by High Courts or Supreme Court.

The Article explains 'Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update' and the cases are basically related to the arbitration agreements, fundamental rights, limitations, evidence act, foreign contribution, and so on and so forth. The idea of the author is to make all the readers well-versed with the case laws decided by High Courts or Supreme Court.

Case laws are important to have clarity on any subject matter of law and so the author has tried to make a clear concept of various spheres. Various cases bring certain changes which are generally helpful to the people to understand the dynamic aspect of law with the changing time.

Important Judgments of 2022: Legal Bites Year Update

1. Monirul Molla v. The State of West Bengal[1]

This case was related to Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In this case, the Calcutta High Court issued a directive to trial courts in West Bengal stipulating that a sentence of life imprisonment till death, without any scope of remission, can only be passed in rape cases.

The Court observed that such a sentence of life imprisonment till one's death can only be imposed by the higher judiciary that is the Supreme Court or the High Court when commuting sentences.

Click Here and read more about this case.

2. Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt. Ltd. v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation[2]

This recent case was concerned with Section 31(7)(a) Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 i.e. Power of the arbitral tribunal to award interest if parties are subject to an agreement on the same. In this case, the issue which was raised was Can an arbitral tribunal award interest if the parties have agreed otherwise? In answer to this the Supreme Court held that when the parties have an agreement between themselves that governs the issue of interest, the arbitrator would lose its discretion and will be guided by the agreement between the parties.

Click Here and read more about this case.

3. Jacob Pulivel v. Union Of India[3]

In this case, it was held that, as no substantial data has been produced on record to show that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus from the unvaccinated persons is higher than from vaccinated persons, vaccine mandates imposed by various state governments and other authorities in the context of COVID-19 pandemic are "not proportionate" when the raised issue was whether the policy of the Union and State Government on COVID-19 vaccination policy is a reasonable restriction to the right to bodily integrity of a person under Article 21.

Click Here and read more about this case.

4. Mahesh Lal N.Y. v. State of Kerala[4]

In the following case, the Kerala High Court has ruled that the consent of an accused is not necessary to acquire their voice sample for the purpose of comparison, since it has already been established obtaining that voice samples of the accused do not infringe Article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India.

While dismissing a petition alleging that the accused was not given an opportunity of being heard before being directed to produce his voice sample, Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi held that the accused had no right of option in the matter.

Click Here and read more about this case.

5. The Secretary of Govt. of Kerala Irrigation Department And Ors. v. James Varghese And Ors.[5]

This case was related to the Constitutional validity of the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998 in which the main issue was whether the Kerala state legislature is competent to enact the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998, and whether its state legislature violated and encroached judicial power.

In this regard, the Supreme Court held the Kerala Revocation of Arbitration Clauses and Reopening of Awards Act, 1998 to be unconstitutional as it had the effect of annulling the awards passed by the arbitrators and the judgments and decrees passed by the courts.

Click Here and read more about this case.

6. Basant v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.[6]

In this case, a crucial question came up before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh whether hearsay statements made contemporaneously with the acts or immediately thereafter will be admissible in the evidence as per the provisions of Section 6 of the Evidence Act.

The Hon'ble court held that the statement made by the deceased contemporaneously with the act or immediately thereafter would be admissible as a dying declaration under Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act. (Rule of res gestae). Herein the related provision was Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act Relevancy of facts forming part of the same transaction.

7. Periyakaruppan v. The Principal Secretary to Govt. and Anr.

In this case, a petition was filed by a former Taluk Tahsildar to quash the Govt. The order imposing compulsory retirement and a penalty of reduction of 1/3rd pension and other retirement benefits for colluding with other officers and granting Patta in forest lands to private individuals and the issue that came forward was whether penalty be imposed on the petitioner, in case the punishment of co-delinquent was quashed or dropped and the entries' land records were also modified and pattas canceled.

The Kerala High Court opined that since the land in question was classified as "Forest Land" necessary intervention was needed. The court modified the order of compulsory retirement as a stoppage of increment for six months without cumulative effect.

The Court also observed that nature shall have fundamental rights/legal rights and constitutional rights for its survival, safety and sustenance, and resurgence in order to maintain its status and also to promote its health and wellbeing. The court also directed the State Government and the Central Government to take appropriate steps to protect the mother earth in all possible ways.

8. Sunil Kumar Maity v. State Bank of India[8]

This case dealt with Section 5 of the limitation act that does not apply to the institution of the civil suit in the Civil Court, the supreme court said in a judgment on 21st January 2022. The court observed thus while setting aside judgment a passed by the NCDRC in which it observed that the complainant would be at liberty to seek remedy in the competent Civil Court.

The Commission further observed that if he chooses to bring an action in a Civil Court, he is free to file an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963. The commission also recorded the statement of the council for the SBI that it will not press the issue of limitation affection as brought by the complainant in a Civil Court.

9. Haryana Urban Development Authority, Karnal v. M/s. Mehta Construction Company and another

This case was in relation to section 34 of the arbitration and conciliation act of 1996. According to Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996-

an application for setting aside an award is to be made within three months from the date on which a party filing objections under sub-section (1) to Section 34 has received the arbitral award proviso court may condone the delay of a period up to thirty days in filing of the objections if it is satisfied that the applicant is prevented by sufficient cause from making an application under Section 34(1) of the Act – there were only eight days' delay – the reason was provided – inter alia, it took time to get sanction from the concerned authorities – Courts below ought to have condoned the delay.

Section 34(2)(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 provides that an arbitral award can be set aside by the Court if the Court finds the award is vitiated by patent illegality appearing on the face of the award – proviso – the award shall not be set aside merely on the ground of erroneous application of law or by misappreciation of evidence.

10. Noel Harper and Ors. v. Union of India[10]

This case was related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010. In this case, the Court upheld the 2020 amendments made to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act restrictions in the handling of foreign contributions organizations in India.

The Court interpreted that the payment to third-party agencies in furtherance of the purposes of the recipient would be a case of "utilization" and not "transfer". "Transfer" within the meaning of Section 7 would be transferred to third parties for acts beyond the purposes for which the FCRA approval has been granted. Based on this interpretation the court said that section 7 was intra-vires.

Click Here and read more about this case.

11. Sulaxani & Anr v. Sattar Ali & Ors.[11]

In this interesting case, a question was raised whether a Mohammedan person can execute his will for more than 1/3rd share of his property without the consent of all legal heirs? In which the Chattisgarh High Court held that Mahommedan can't execute a will for more than 1/3rd share of his property without the consent of all legal heirs. The Court further observed that the following conditions must be filled up for a valid will to be executed by Mohammedan:

(a) A bequest may be executed by any Muslim to another, including an institution and a class of people;

(b) The persons entitled to make or take a will must have the capacity to make or take a will;

(c) A bequest must be made of some subject;

(d) Formalities of making a will must be fulfilled;

(e) Only one-third of property can be bequeathed;

(f) Bequest to heirs is restricted;

(g) Conditional contingent and future bequests are void.

12. X v. The Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt. of NCT of Delhi & Anr.[12]

This case revolves around the interpretation of Rule 3B of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Rules. The appellant here was an unmarried woman aged 25 years who became pregnant out of a consensual relationship. The appellant here decided to terminate her pregnancy fearful of 'raising and nurturing the child as an unmarried mother' when her partner refused to marry her at the last stage.

The appellant sought permission for the same under Section 3(2)(b) and Rule 3B(c) of the MTP Rules 2003. The High Court rejected the same justification that 'unmarried women' are not covered under any clauses of the said Act, therefore, Section 3(2)(b) would not be applicable to the facts of this case. The Apex Court passed an interim order permitting the appellant to terminate her pregnancy. The Supreme Court gave a remarkable judgment highlighting the issue that unmarried women cannot be denied their right to safe abortion merely because of the orthodox rules of society and thus enabled the unmarried woman to live a dignified life as per her own choice.

Click Here and read more about this case

13. Aishat Shifa v. State of Karnataka & Ors.[13]

On 13 October 2022, the Supreme Court issued a split decision regarding the ban on wearing the hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka. One judge ruled that the state government has the right to enforce uniform policies in schools, while the other judge argued that wearing the hijab is a personal choice that cannot be restricted by the government.

All appeals against the Karnataka High Court decision, which held in March that wearing the hijab by Muslim women is not required by Islam and that the Karnataka government has the authority to implement the uniform requirement, were rejected by Justice Hemant Gupta in his ruling. Contrary to the senior judge on the bench, Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia allowed all of the appeals. In the main body of his decision, Justice Dhulia stated that a Muslim girl's decision to wear a headscarf is her own and that there cannot be any restrictions placed on that decision.

Click Here and read more about this case.

14. Vinod Katara v. State of Uttar Pradesh[14]

It is one of the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, which emphasized that even after the final disposition of a Special Leave Petition, the plea of juvenility may be brought in any court at any time. When the plea of juvenility is raised at a late stage, various medical tests are frequently used to make a determination in the absence of the necessary documentation. While considering the evidence presented on behalf of the accused to support his claim that he is a juvenile, the court shall err on the side of holding the accused to be a juvenile in circumstances where there is a question of fact. This is not a roving inquiry that is being considered.

The Court may accept other proof of age, such as documents, certificates, etc., in lieu of an affidavit. A simple statement that the accused appeared to be one or two years older than the age he claimed to be (as the headmaster in this case said) or that the accused stated his age to be higher than what he claims in the case while being arrested by the police officer would not be very persuasive. The age of a juvenile involved in a legal dispute is often determined by the documentation that has been made public. And the only instances in which the Court, the Juvenile Justice Board, or the Committee must order a medical examination to determine the accused's age are those in which the documents or certificates submitted by the accused in support of his claim of juvenility are discovered to be falsified or manipulated.

Click Here and read more about this case.

15. Pattali Makkal Katchi v. Mayileruperumal[15]

The reservation for Vanniyars under Tamil Nadu's Most Backward Classes category in employment and education was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. The Court noted that there was no empirical evidence of backwardness to back up the reservation. The Tamil Nadu Special Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions, including Private Educational Institutions, and of Appointments or Posts in the State Services within the Reservation for the Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities Act, 2021 (The Tamil Nadu Act) was passed on February 26th, 2021. The Act established a 20% reservation for the Most Backward Classes and a 10.5% reservation for Vanniyars in public jobs and education. With the introduction of MBC reservation by the Tamil Nadu government in 1993, it is not consistent across States.

On December 16th, a number of petitions, including those by the TN State Government and the Pattali Makkal Katchi that sought to uphold the Act, were admitted by a Bench made up of L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, and BV Nagarathna JJ. The Vanniyar reservations law in Tamil Nadu was ruled unlawful by Justices Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai in a judgement issued on March 31st, 2022. The SC said that even though the State government had the legal authority to offer internal reservations, it erred by basing the 2021 Act on outdated and incorrect facts. The Court determined that the 2021 Act discriminates against other MBC groups, who suffer since they are unable to obtain such a significant portion of the reserved seats.

16. Jarnail Singh v. Lacchmi Narain Gupta[16]

In Jarnail Singh v. Lacchmi Narain [Jarnail Singh - II], a three-judge Supreme Court panel clarified some of the problems raised by the previous year's [Jarnail Singh - I] verdict from the Constitution Bench. In Jarnail Singh II, the Court made it clear that the standard for determining what constitutes "inadequacy of representation" in the services was a matter of executive discretion; (ii) determining inadequacy of representation as a prerequisite to granting reservations was mandatory and would have to be reviewed on a periodic and "reasonable" basis; (iii) the "cadre," and not the service as a whole, was the unit of determination; and (iv) that the judgment in M. Nagaraj would operate prospectively.

The Court distinguished the previous judgment in M.A. Murthy by pointing out that its seemingly contradictory statements were obiter dicta and not binding, while nonetheless holding that the judgement in Nagaraj was to be applied prospectively.

17. Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement v. Union of India[17]

The Union government's OROP strategy was communicated by a letter from the Ministry of Defence in November 2015. The Union government asserted that this letter satisfied the demands of the veterans. The "devil in the details" was added, according to army officers. The 2015 notification said that the pensions of former retirees would be periodically reviewed every five years. The officers claimed that this was unfair since, until the fifth year, when the review was finished, prior retirees would receive a lower pension than more recent retirees. This breached Articles 14 and 15 since it formed a class inside the class of retired officers.

The officials said that during negotiations, the Union government had agreed to adopt an automatic review process. According to the Union government, P Chidambaram, the UPA's finance minister, made the pledge in 2014 without seeking advice or direction from the Ministry of Defense. The Union contended that discussions and remarks made prior to the 2015 notification were not binding on it.

The "One Rank, One Pension" rule for former army officers was upheld by the SC. The Union had the freedom to choose how the policy was applied, the Court ruled, and it was not discriminatory.'

18. SG Vombatkere v. Union of India[18]

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India effectively stopped the application of Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code in a brief ruling in the case of S.G. Vombatkere v. Union of India (IPC). The clause, which makes sedition a crime, has been used to quell democratic dissent by numerous administrations, even those in power after independence.

The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana, had previously stated during oral proceedings that it believed the law to be an anachronism and legacy of the colonial era.

The Supreme Court has just ordered that all pending trials, appeals, and actions stemming from an accusation brought under Section 124A be "kept in abeyance" by the Union and the States.

19. New Noble Education Society v. Chief Commissioner of IT[19]

The Supreme Court's three-judge Bench, which included Chief Justice UU Lalit, Justice S Ravindran Bhat, and Justice PS Narasimha, issued a significant decision regarding the exemptions charity institutions sought under the Income-Tax (I-T) Act of 1961.The Supreme Court made rulings on two key issues, namely the definition of "General Public Utility" (GPU) and the scope and length of the exemption granted to educational institutions seeking tax exemption as charity institutions.

The bench held in a landmark ruling that, anyone who engages in "trade or commerce" and charges over cost will no longer qualify as a charitable organisation under the I-Tax Act. Services offered on a cost- or nominal basis will not be considered "trade or commerce," but charges that are significantly above cost would. The three-judge bench noted that they had thoroughly addressed each category of matters including development agencies, cricket associations, trusts, and other similarly situated assessees when they announced the judgement.

20. ITC Ltd. v. Central Park Estates Private Ltd.[20]

This case marked a turning point in determining the significance of well-known marks under Indian law, with a discussion on the territoriality principle and famous marks doctrine under US law running concurrently. The plaintiff used the "Bukhara" registered brand in relation to a well-known restaurant that had built up goodwill and had been in the hospitality industry since 1975. As a result, the Defendants decided to use the name "Balkh Bukhara" for their restaurants. The plaintiff's main argument was that "Bukhara" qualified as a well-known mark under Section 2(zg) of the Act and should be granted protection under Section 11(2) of the Act as a result.

In terms of well-known marks, Indian law has advanced significantly, and it has also acknowledged the international prestige of foreign marks. Prior to the inclusion of the statutory provisions and in accordance with international quality standards, marks were granted protection under common law principles. As a result, the Court stated that the trademark "Bukhara" was extremely well-established when taking into account the overwhelming evidence presented by Plaintiff.

The Court also looked at the decision of the US Court of Appeals, in a suit filed by ITC for infringement of their trademark. According to the US Court and the territoriality concept in American trademark law, ownership of a mark in one nation does not grant exclusive rights to the same mark in another. Furthermore, the famous Marks doctrine was in question because just one court decision had recognized it. ITC was unable to successfully defend the mark in the US.

Contrarily, the Plaintiff's trademark in India gained considerable goodwill and reputation among both Indians and foreigners who travelled to India and brought the aforementioned reputation back with them. Both in its judicial decisions and in statutes, India likewise acknowledges the notions of trans border repute and "well-known mark." As a result, the decisions of the US Courts were not relevant in this instance, and it was found that the mark was well-known.

21. Texco Marketing (P) Ltd. v/s TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.[21]

The Bench led by Mr Justice M.M. Sundresh stressed the significance of fairness, disclosure, contractual freedom, and level playing fields in the negotiation of contracts in a significant decision pertaining to insurance contracts.

The key issue raised was "Can a party who introduced an exclusion provision use it by subsequently becoming a beneficiary and therefore escape its liability, destroying the very contract that was willingly entered into?" By citing both recent and older judgements, the judgement addresses and deals with the abuse of clients by service providers under adhesion contracts.

22. Food Corpn. of India v. Abhijit Paul[22]

In this case, a clause in a contract between the Food Corporation of India and transport contractors provided that damages, losses, charges, costs, and other expenses incurred as a result of the contractors' negligence would be deducted from the amounts owed to them.

The question in this appeal brought by FCI was whether the Corporation may recover the demurrages imposed on it by the Railways from the contractors as "charges" recoverable under this provision? It was held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India that Latent Ambiguity occurs when the contract on its face of it appears to be free from ambiguity but, upon making attempt to apply it to the things indicated, it eventually occurs that the words are equally applicable to two or more persons, or two or more things, either without any inaccuracy or with a common inaccuracy.

23. Vodafone Idea Cellular Ltd. v. Ajay Kumar Agarwal[23]

Supreme Courts reversed its prior decision and declared that consumer complaints against telecom providers are maintainable under the Consumer Protection Act. The Supreme Court's main concern was whether Section 7B of the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 eliminated the Consumer Protection Act's 1986 Consumer Forum's authority to resolve a dispute between a telecom provider and a consumer. According to the Supreme Court, the Indian Telegraph Act's statutory arbitration provisions will not nullify the authority of a consumer forum.

The Court determined that a consumer is not compulsorily required to submit a complaint to the consumer forum. However, it would be open for him to file a complaint with the consumer forum notwithstanding the availability of arbitration under the Indian Telegraph Act.


[1] C.R.A. 604 of 2014

[2] Civil Appeal No. 5628 of 2021

[3] WP (C) 607 of 2021

[4] CRL.MC NO. 3358 OF 2021

[5] Civil Appeal No. 6258 of 2014

[6] Writ Petition No. 6022 of 2005

[7] W.P(MD)No. 18636 of 2013

[8] Civil Appeal 432 of 202

[9] Civil Appeal No. 2693 of 2022

[10] Writ Petition (Civil) No. 566 of 2021

[11] Second Appeal No.474 of 2007

[12] Special Leave Petition (Civil) No 12612 of 2022

[13] Civil Appeal No. 7095 of 2022

[14] Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 121 of 2022

[15] Civil Appeal No. 2600 of 2022

[16] Civil Appeal No. 629 of 2022

[17] Writ Petition (Civil) No. 419 of 2016

[18] Writ Petition(C) No.682 OF 2021

[19] Civil Appeal No. 3795 of 2014

[20] CS (Comm) 781 of 2022

[21] C.A. No.- 008249-008249 / 2022

[22] Civil Appeal Nos. 8572­8573/2022

[23] Civil Appeal No. 927 of 2017

Updated On 31 Dec 2022 2:45 PM GMT
Mayank Shekhar

Mayank Shekhar

Mayank is an alumnus of the prestigious Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.

Next Story