Paramvir Singh v. Baljit Singh (2021)

Supreme Court gave directions to install CCTV Cameras in all the Police Stations across India.

Bench: Justice R.F. Nariman, Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Aniruddh Bose.

Facts: While hearing a case involving custodial torture in July 2020, the Supreme Court took note of a 2017 case in which it ordered the installation of CCTV cameras in all police stations to monitor human rights abuses, videography of crime scenes, and the establishment of a Central Oversight Committee and similar panels in all states and union territories.

According to the Supreme Court, it had impleaded all states and UTs in the issue in September 2020 to establish the precise location of CCTV cameras in each police station, as well as the creation of Oversight Committees in accordance with the 03.04.2018 ruling.

At Shahfi Mohammad v. State of Himachal Pradesh, dated 03.04.2018, the Supreme Court ordered the installation of CCTV cameras in police stations to monitor human rights breaches.

In the case of Paramvir Singh Saini v. Baljit Singh & others, dated 02.12.2020, the Supreme Court ordered that CCTV cameras be placed in all police stations and central investigative agencies. The Supreme Court ordered states and union territories to "guarantee that CCTV cameras are placed in each and every Police Station operational" within their jurisdictions, and to store the recordings for at least a year.

In their ruling, a bench of Justices R F Nariman, KM Joseph, and Aniruddha Bose further directed the Centre to "install CCTV cameras and recording equipment in the offices of" the CBI, NIA, ED, NCB, DRI, SFIO, and "any other agency which conducts interrogations and has the power of arrest."

The Supreme Court issued orders establishing "Oversight Committees" at the State (State Level Oversight Committee) and District (District Level Oversight Committee) levels to facilitate the ongoing installation and maintenance of CCTVs in police stations across all UTs and States, as well as directing all UTs and States' Finance Departments to allocate funds for it.

The following people must be on the State Level Oversight Committee:

  • The Secretary/Additional Secretary of the Home Department; the Secretary/Additional Secretary of the Finance Department; the Director-General/Inspector General of Police; and the Chairperson/Member of the State Women's Commission.

The District Level Oversight Committee should consist of the following individuals:

  • The Divisional Commissioner/Commissioner of Divisions/Regional Commissioner/Revenue Commissioner Division of the District (by whatever name called).
  • The District Magistrate, as well as the Superintendent of Police for the District and the Mayor of one of the District's towns.


The bench, which included Justices R.F. Nariman, K.M. Joseph, and Aniruddha Bose, issued the following directives:

  • CCTV cameras will be placed at all access and exit points, as well as the main gate, lock-ups, and corridors.
  • CCTV systems that must be installed must be equipped with night vision and must include both audio and video footage.
  • It is the responsibility of the states and UTs to offer electricity and/or internet in regions that do not have it.
  • CCTV cameras must be outfitted with such recording devices that the data saved on them is kept for a period of 18 months. In any event, the recorded storage period should not be less than one year.
  • The SHO of the police station in question is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and recording of CCTVs.
  • The Court also ordered that CCTV cameras be installed in the offices of Central Agencies.

Satish Ragde v. State of Maharashtra (2021)

No ‘Sexual Assualt’ if there is no skin to skin contact even with sexual intent- A controversial Judgment of Bombay High Court.

Bench: Justice Pushpa V. Ganediwala

Facts: Under false pretenses, the accused kidnapped a 12-year-old girl and took her to his home. The accused squeezed the girl's breasts and even attempted to undress her. At that same time, the girl's mother arrived and rescued her daughter. The mother then filed a complaint with the police station.

The accused was convicted in the Trial Court under Sections 354, 363, and 342 of the IPC, as well as Section 8 of the POCSO Act, and sentenced to three years in jail for sexually abusing a juvenile girl. The accused, feeling aggrieved, filed an appeal with the Nagpur Bench of the High Court of Bombay, seeking acquittal on the charges under Section 8 of the POCSO Act.

Judgement: The High Court overturned the Sessions Judge's ruling and acquitted the accused of sexual assault under Section 8 of the POCSO Act while upholding the conviction under Section 354 of the IPC. The Court noted that the prosecution did not present the case that the accused removed the girl child's clothes before abusing her, and so there was no physical contact, i.e. skin to skin with sexual intent without penetration.

The sentence under Section 7 of the POCSO Act is three years, although the minimum punishment under Section 354, IPC is one year. The result of the alteration of the decision was that the accused was now imprisoned for one year rather than three years. The decision drew widespread condemnation from many groups, who said it would create a "dangerous precedent." The order was later stayed by the Supreme Court.

Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb (2021)

Constitutional Courts to grant bail in UAPA Cases if Fundamental Right of Speedy Trial is violated.

Bench: Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Aniruddha Bose.

Facts: The case is related to an event in which the accused hacked off a Professor's right hand, which occurred after the Professor reportedly insulted Prophet Mohammed in a question paper written by him. The primary offender, who was prosecuted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), was refused bail many times by the Special Court before being granted release by the Kerala High Court. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an appeal against the High Court's ruling in the Supreme Court, claiming that the High Court erred in granting bail without considering the statutory compliances of Section 43D (5) of the UAPA.

Judgment: The Supreme Court stated that the High Court of Kerala had used its discretion to grant bail due to the improbability of the trial being finished anytime soon. The Court ruled that the reasons stated by the High Court are evidently traceable under Article 21 and that the legislative obstacle introduced by Section 43D (5) of UAPA was correctly avoided. The Court further said that the existence of legislative limitations, such as Section 43D (5) of the UAPA, does not preclude Constitutional Courts from granting bail on the basis of a breach of Part III of the Constitution.

The Court further said that since the defendants had already served two-thirds of their sentence, they must be allowed bail. The Supreme Court eventually affirmed the High Court of Kerala's ruling and granted bail to the defendants.

Gautam Navlakha v. National Investigation Agency (2021)

Courts can order for House-Arrest under Section 167 Cr.P.C in appropriate cases.

Bench: Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice K.M. Joseph.

Facts: Gautam Navalakha was one of the defendants in the Bhima Koegaon case. On August 28, 2018, he was detained and placed under house arrest for the first time. The overall length of his confinement is as follows:

28.08.2018 – 01.10.2018 = 34 days in the house

(Navlakha was released by the Delhi High Court between October 2, 2018 and April 14, 2020.)

15.04.2020 – 25.04.2020 = 11 days in NIA police custody

25.04.2020 – 12.06.2020 = 48 days in judicial detention

93 days total custody

The appellant considered 34 days of house arrest from 28.08.2018 to 01.10.2018 in calculating the time of detention for the purpose of submitting the application for default bail, in addition to 11 days of police and 48 days of judicial custody.

The motion for default bail was denied by the NIA Special Court, before which the case was filed. Being dissatisfied with the NIA Special Court's decision, the appellant filed an appeal with the High Court of Bombay. By ruling dated February 8, 2021, the High Court rejected the appeal. As a result, an appeal to the Supreme Court was filed

Judgment: The appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. It was noted that since the order for house arrest was not explicitly issued by the Magistrate, the statutory term of 90 days could not include 34 days of house arrest. While deciding the question of default bail, the Supreme Court also reviewed whether or not home arrest could be deemed a form of detention under Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In answering the aforementioned issue in the yes, the Supreme Court said that courts would be able to impose home arrest under Section 167 in suitable instances. However, requirements such as age, health condition, antecedents of accused, and kind of offense must be met in order to implement the home arrest order.

Dr. Jaishree Laxmanrao Patil v. The Chief Minister & Ors. (2021)

The Supreme Court held Maharashtra State Reservation (SEBC) Act, 2018 (Maratha Reservation) unconstitutional.

Bench: Justices Ashok Bhushan, Justice Abdul Nazeer, Justice Nageswara Rao, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat.

Facts: In 2017, the Maharashtra government formed the M.G. Gaikwad Committee, which advocated 12% quota in educational institutions and 13% reservation in government jobs for the Maratha community. Following such recommendations, the Maharashtra Government enacted the Maharashtra State Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) (Admission in Educational Institutions in the State and for Posts in Public Service and Posts) Reservation Act, 2018 (hereinafter referred to as the 'SEBC Act, 2018'), but the reservation quota was increased to 16%.

The constitutional legality of this Act was challenged in the Bombay High Court because it exceeded the 50% ceiling limit established in Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India. The Bombay High Court affirmed its constitutional legality, ruling that the State Government may expand reservation above the 50 percent ceiling restriction if exceptional conditions continue. This order was appealed to the Supreme Court.

Judgment: The Supreme Court struck down the Maharashtra SEBC Act, 2018, in a landmark decision, and also said that if Marathas are designated a socially and economically backward class, it would be a violation of equality norms. As a result, the court overturned the quota granted to Marathas in education and public jobs.

The Court also ruled that the SEBC Act of 2018 breaches the equality principle stated in Article 16. The violation of the ceiling limit without any exceptional circumstances plainly breaches Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, rendering the statute extra vires.

Saurabh Sharma v. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, East & Ors. (2021)

A Private Vehicle would amount to a Public Place in the context of Covid-19 regulation.

Bench: Justice Pratibha M. Singh.

Facts: Four distinct writ petitions were filed in this matter, each contesting the imposition of a Rs. 500/- fine for not wearing masks when traveling alone in a private automobile. The Supreme Court combined all four writs into a single decision. The major issue raised in the writ case was whether it was mandatory for people driving alone in their own private automobiles to wear face masks.

Judgment:The Delhi High Court dismissed all four writ petitions contesting the imposition of fines for not wearing masks when traveling alone in a private car, holding that the mask acts as a'suraksha kavach', protecting both the person wearing it and those around him.

"A car driving throughout the city, even if inhabited at a particular moment in time by one person, would constitute a public space due to the imminent possibility of exposure to other individuals under various conditions," the Court concluded. As a result, even if only one person is in the car, it is considered a "public place," and wearing a mask is required. Wearing a mask or a facial cover in a vehicle, whether inhabited by a single person or numerous people, is therefore considered mandatory in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic."

However, in the case of Boota Singh v. State of Haryana, the Supreme Court determined that, under Section 43 of the Narcotics, Drugs, and Psychedelic Substances Act, a private vehicle is not a public venue (NDPS). As a result, we can observe how the understanding of a phrase varies depending on the context.

Imperia Structures v. Anil Patni (2021)

Homebuyers can choose between RERA and Consumer Protection Act

Bench: Justices UU Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran

Facts: The question in this case was whether homebuyers were consumers under the Consumer Protection Act. This decision is seen as a major milestone for homebuyers/allottees.

Judgment: The Supreme Court ruled that homeowners have the right to file a claim with the consumer forum for compensation in circumstances where the money has been received but the developer is either refusing or delaying ownership of the units.

Homeowners may seek the consumer forum if the promised date of possession has passed, as per the agreement between the developers and the homebuyers.

Rachana v. Union of India (2021)

No extra chance for UPSC Exams.

Bench: Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Ajay Rastogi

Facts: Petitioners in this case who had submitted their last effort in the Civil Services Examination wanted an additional opportunity, claiming problems caused by the Covid 19 Pandemic and nationwide shutdown.

Judgment: The court denied the petition and ruled that no relief would be granted to applicants who had exhausted their final try in October 2020 owing to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

PASL Wind Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Vs. GE Power Conversion India Pvt. Ltd. (2021)

Two Indian parties can choose a foreign seat of arbitration.

Bench: Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice B.R. Gavai, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy

Facts: A disagreement occurred between the parties in this case about the acquisition of converters by GE Powers from PASL and the warranty terms. Previously, the Gujarat High Court ruled in favor of GE Power Conversion against PASL Wind Solutions.

Judgment: The Supreme Court ruled that two Indian corporations may arbitrate their disputes in a foreign country. The essential concepts of authority autonomy in arbitration matters were affirmed and enhanced by this decision.

Foreign corporations with Indian subsidiaries may now choose foreign arbitral seats in their arbitration agreements, such as Dubai, London, or Singapore, even though the subject matter of their contracts and counterparties are fully located inside India.

Election Commission of India v. MR Vijaya Bhaskar (2021)

SC upheld Media’s freedom to report Court hearings.

Bench: Justice D.Y Chandrachud and Justice M.R Shah

Facts: In this case, the Election Commission of India filed a petition to prevent media outlets from broadcasting oral statements made by judges in court. This happened after the Madras High Court said that ECI is to blame for the second wave of Covid and should be charged with murder.

Judgment: The Supreme Court issued its decision, allowing the media to report on any oral remarks made by attorneys and justices during a court session. Restricting the media would be unlawful, according to Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution. The court further held that the ECI's request violates two key constitutional principles of freedom of speech and expression, and Observed Court Proceedings

The court also emphasized 'transparency in democratic institutions' since it fosters public trust, accountability, and scrutiny.

About the Author: This Case Brief is prepared by Mr. Himanshu Tripathi, law student at Maharishi Law School, Maharishi University of Information Technology, Noida and presently Campus Ambassador at MyLawman. He can be reached at 

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