LexisNexis India Newsletter December 2015

Landmark Judgements 

1.  The Supreme Court has held that there is a distinction between a decree for divorce and decree of judicial separation; in the former, there is a severance of status and the parties do not remain as husband and wife, whereas in the later, the relationship between husband and wife continues and the legal relationship continues as it has not been snapped. Therefore, the claim preferred under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is valid as she has not ceased to be an “aggrieved person” under Section 2(a) of the Act.  Krishna Bhatacharjee Vs. Sarathi Choudhury & Anr.  [LNIND 2015 SC 652]. 

2. The Supreme Court has held that Interest is chargeable to tax under the Interest Tax Act only if it arises directly from a loan or advance. Interest payable “on” a discounted bill of exchange cannot be equated with interest payable “on” a loan or advance. The Court further held that the Interest Tax Act, unlike the Income Tax Act, has focused only on a very narrow taxable event which does not include within its ken interest payable on default in payment of amounts due under a discounted bill of exchange. Also, guarantee fees paid to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation cannot be included in the definition of interest under Section 2(7) of the Interest Tax Act, 1974.  M/s. State Bank of Patiala through General Manager Vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, Patiala [LNIND 2015 SC 651]. 

3.  The Supreme Court has held that unless there is a fine balance between prosecuting a guilty officer and protecting an innocent officer from vexatious, frivolous and mala fide prosecution, it would be very difficult for a public servant to discharge his duties in a free and fair manner. The protection to an honest public servant is required not only in his interest but in the larger interest of society. The Court further directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to pay a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs as compensation to a public servant who had undergone a lot of trauma because of the malicious, willful and contemptuous acts of the State and a clear abuse of legal process on account of the actions of the State which implicated him in false vigilance cases. Dr. Ram Lakhan Singh Vs. State Government of Uttar Pradesh through Chief Secretary[LNIND 2015 SC 650].
4.  The Supreme Court has held that no person can claim the name of a holy or religious book as a trade mark for his goods or services marketed by him. The Court further held that registration of the word “RAMAYAN” as a trade mark, being the name of a Holy Book of Hindus, is prohibited under Section Sections 9(2) of the Trade Marks Act. Lal Babu Priyadarshi Vs. Amritpal Singh [LNIND 2015 SC 624]

Legal News

(a)  The Delhi High Court has commenced transfer of cases which have a value of less than one crore to district courts. This is in pursuance of the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Act 2015. An estimated 12000 cases are expected to be transferred to the jurisdictional subordinate courts. However, the Delhi High Court will retain those cases where the trial is complete and the judgment is reserved.
(b)  The Supreme Court has accepted a taped telephonic conversation as defense evidence by a sexual offender to prove that he was wrongfully framed for the offence. The court observed that the CD produced by the accused can be treated as a document under the Indian Evidence Act.
(c) The Central government has notified that 26 November, would be marked as “Constitution Day”. It was on this very day in 1946 that the Indian Constitution was adopted and it subsequently came into force on 26 January, 1950

Legislation Updates

Central Notifications/Rules/Regulations:
Latest Notifications on Food Safety and Standard, Insurance, Drugs & Cosmetics and SEBI are now available online. Few other important notifications which are now online are as follows:
  1. The Aircraft (Investigation Of Accidents and Incidents) Amendment Rules, 2015
  2. The Companies (Share Capital And Debentures) Third Amendment Rules, 2015
  3. The Fiscal Responsibility And Budget Management (Second Amendment) Rules, 2015
  4. The Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme, 2015

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