1. Governor Can Exercise Pardon Power Even If Prisoner Has Not Undergone 14 Years Imprisonment : Supreme Court
The Supreme Court hass observed that the power of Governor under Article 161 of the Constitution to commute sentence or to pardon will override the restrictions imposed under Section 433-A of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Even if the prisoner has not undergone 14 years or more of actual imprisonment, the Governor has a power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person, the bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and AS Bopanna
The court held that the power conferred on the Governor, though exercised on the aid and advice of the State, is without any restriction of the actual period of imprisonment undergone by the prisoner.
Referring to various judgments, including that of the Constitution bench in Union of India v. V. Sriharan, the court said that the remission under Article 161 of the Constitution will override Section 433-A of the Code.
Thus, the power under Article 161 of the Constitution can be exercised by the State Governments, not by the Governor on his own. The advice of the appropriate Government binds the Head of the State. No separate order for each individual case is necessary but any general order made must be clear enough to identify the group of cases and indicate the application of mind to the whole group.
Therefore, the policies of the State Government are composite policies encompassing both situations under Article 161 of the Constitution and Sections 432, 433 and 433-A of the Code. The remission under Article 161 of the Constitution will override Section 433-A of the Code, if the State Government decides to be governed of its constitutional power.
Source: Bar & Bench
2. E-Way Bill Not Required For Transportation Of Used Personal Vehicle : Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court while dismissing an appeal ruled that used personal cars are exempted from the requirement of an e-way bill under Rule 138(14)(a) of the Kerala Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017.
A Division Bench of Justice S.V Bhatti and Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas accordingly upheld the decision of the Single Judge that allowed a petition challenging the detention of a used car by the appellant.
The Court while hearing the appeal noted that the only reason stated for detaining the goods was that it was transported without the e-way bill. It was also brought to the attention of the Court that the owners of the vehicle had paid the applicable IGST upon its purchase, and that it had run 43 km before it was detained.
On this aspect, the Bench observed as follows: "It must be remembered that goods that are classifiable as used personal and household effect falls under Rule 138(14) (a) of the Kerala Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 and are exempted from the requirement of e-way bill."
Additionally, reliance was placed by the Bench on the decision of KUN Motor Company Private Ltd & Ors v. Assistant State Tax Officer [(2019) 60 GSRT 144 (Kerala)] where it was held that "The goods having come into the possession of the purchaser, and the vehicle having been used, however negligible the distance run, it is his "used personal effect" and there can be alleged no taxable transaction."
Therefore, the Court while agreeing with the aforementioned decision held that used vehicles, even if it has run only negligible distances are to be categorized as 'used personal effects'.
Source: Bar & Bench
3. Settlement of Whopping Rs 1,313 Crores in Lok Adalat, Highest in Maharashtra So Far
Nearly 3 lakh cases were disposed of by 1,318 benches across Maharashtra on Sunday, August 1, 2021, in the First National Lok Adalat organised after seven months under the State Legal Services Authorities.
Out of the total of 11,28,685 cases taken up, 2, 90,563 cases were settled, in which 1,27,621 were pre-litigation cases, and 80,626 were pending cases. An additional 82,316 pending cases were disposed of in a three-day Special Drive, MSLSA said in a press statement.
"It is material to note that the settlement amount was Rs 1313.34 Crores, the highest so far. The maximum amount was Rs 1090 crore, till now." Dinesh Surana, Member Secretary of the MSLSA said.
"A hybrid mode for settlement was adopted to avoid overcrowding in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, with both virtual and physical mode hearings", MSLSA added.
Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute redressal mechanism where certain disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at the pre-litigation stage are settled/compromised amicably. It has got statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties. No appeal against such an award lies before any court of law.
MSLSA functions under the aegis of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). Chief Justice Dipankar Datta is a patron, Justice A. A. Sayed is the Executive Chairman of MSLSA.
On August 1, Lok Adalats were organised in 34 District Legal Services Authorities (DLSAs) and 3 High Court Legal Services Committee/Sub-Committee (HCLSCs).
Justice A A Sayed stressed upon Pre-Lok Adalat sittings or pre-counselling sessions well before the National Lok Adalat in order to ensure maximum settlement between the parties i.e. in cases like MACT, matrimonial cases, cheque bouncing cases.
This would enable parties to get one or more chances to enter into a dialogue with their opponents to get the maximum settlement.
Source: Bar & Bench
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