Consume

“As per Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Twelfth South Asian Edition, Page 307), one of the meanings assigned to the verb ‘consume’, derived from latin ‘consumere’ (con – ‘altogether’ + sumere – ‘take out’), is ‘eat, drink or ingest – use up – (especially of a fire) completely destroy’. The noun derived from this verb is […]

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As Far As Possible

“The expression ‘as far as possible’ was relied upon by this Court in Paragraph 34 of its decision in High Court of Judicature For Rajasthan v. Veena Verma, (2009) 14 SCC 734. It would also be instructive to refer to a decision of this Court in State of M.P. v. Narmada Bachao Andolan, (2011) 7 […]

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Generalia Specialibus Non Derogant

“The maxim is quite well-known. The rule flowing from the maxim ‘generalia specialibus non derogant’ has been i) considered in Hari Shankar Jain, (1978) 4 SCC 16 and ii) explained in Mary Seward v. Owner of “Vera Cruz”, (1884) 10 AC 59, 68. “Where there are general words in a later legislation capable of reasonable […]

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Unconscionable Bargain

“In Brojo Nath Ganguly, (1986) 3 SCC 156 this Court considered the concept of unconscionable bargain. “The word ‘unconscionable’ is defined in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, [Third Edition, Volume II, Page 2288] when used with reference to actions, etc. as “showing no regard for conscience; irreconcilable with what is right or reasonable”. An unconscionable […]

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May & Shall

“It is not quite accurate to say that the word ‘may’, by itself, acquires the meaning of ‘must’ or ‘shall’ sometimes.” – Dharti Dhan, (1977) 2 SCC 166. “It is not to be taken that once the word ‘may’ is used, it per se would be directory. In other words, it is not merely the […]

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Quia Timet

“In Fletcher v. Bealey (1884) 28 Ch. D. 688 a quia timet action was asked for to interdict the tort of nuisance in order to prevent noxious liquid from flowing into a river. Pearson, J. after referring to earlier Judgments on quia timet action then held: “I do not think, therefore, that I shall be […]

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Legal Malice

“In a Judgment reported as HMT Ltd. v. Mudappa, (2007) 9 SCC 768 quoting from earlier Judgment of this Court reported as State of A.P. v. Goverdhanlal Pitti, (2003) 4 SCC 739 it was held that ‘legal malice’ or ‘malice in law’ means ‘something done without lawful excuse’. It is an act done wrongfully and […]

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The Myth of Peaceful Protest

538 is the number of former students of National Law School of India University, Bangalore [NLSIU] who ‘demanded’ repeal of The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 [CAA]. They extended unconditional support to all those who choose to exercise their fundamental right to speech and assembly to ‘express dissent peacefully’. 402 is the number of former students […]

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Rule of Law

“The expression ‘rule of law’ can be traced back to the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived 2,400 years ago. “It is better for the law to rule than one of the citizens… so that even the guardians of the law are obeying the laws.” –  Brian Z. Tamanaha, Rule of Law. Bona fide criticism […]

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Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio

Kedar Nath Motani, (1960) 1 SCR 861 had an occasion to consider the question of application of the maxims ‘ex turpi causa non oritur actio‘ and ‘ex dolo malo non oritur actio‘. The Three-­Judge Bench, speaking through M. Hidayatullah, J. (as His Lordship then was), observed thus: “The correct position in law, in our opinion, […]

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Albert, Albert Einstein

A. “Albert Einstein spoke of change when he said, ‘the world as we have created is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking’.” – Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice T.S. Thakur, Board of Control for Cricket v. Cricket Association of Bihar, (2016) 8 SCC 535. B. “We would […]

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Hard Cases Make Bad Law

Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao in State of Tamil Nadu v. G. Hemalathaa, Civil Appeal No. 6669 of 2019 quoted Chief Justice John Roberts in Caperton v. A.T. Massey, 556 U.S. 868 (2009). “Extreme cases often test the bounds of established legal principles. There is a cost to yielding to the desire to correct the […]

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The Revival of Ray XXIV

“Justice Krishna Iyer delivered a concurring opinion in Sushil Kumar Sen v. State of Bihar, (1975) 1 SCC 774, expressing a thought process which would be of significant relevance to the issue in hand. “The humanist rule that procedure should be the handmaid, not the mistress, of legal justice compels consideration of vesting a residuary […]

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The Revival of Ray XXII

Hon’ble Justice Arun Misra, while explaining Section 108 of The Companies Act [Ram Parshottam Mittal v. Hotel Queen Road Pvt. Ltd., Civil Appeal No. 3934 of 2017], quoted Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice A.N. Ray [Mannalal Khetan v. Kedar Nath Khetan, (1977) 2 SCC 424]; My Lord, Mannalal Khetan v. Kedar Nath Khetan, […]

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Moral Turpitude II

“Respondent who was working with State Bank of India at Puducherry was discharged from service for an offence involving moral turpitude. Whether an offence involves moral turpitude or not depends upon the facts and the circumstances of the case. Ordinarily, the tests that can be applied for judging an offence involving moral turpitude are: a) […]

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Then Mark, Denmark

“Something is rotten in the State of Denmark“, sensed Marcellus, said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court, said Hon’ble Judges Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra in Raja Khan vs. U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board, (2011) 1 SCC (LS) 359. The rot was, […]

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