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In this week’s edition of Judgment Reserved, we find that the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment in a case seven months after reserving it.
The Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer delivered the judgment in Atma Ram Properties Private Ltd v The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, on December 6, seven months after reserving it. Arguments in the case were concluded on April 25.
The judgment, authored by Justice Nazeer, decided an important question of law as to whether property tax recoverable from the tenant under Section 67(3) of the New Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994, as arrears of rent by the landlord/owner can be considered to be forming part of the rent for the purpose of seeking eviction of such tenant who defaults in payment of such tax.
The Bench answered the question in the negative, saying the NDMC Act, which merely gives a right to recover the tax in respect of the premises as rent, does not override the Delhi Rent Act, as the latter is a special Act, compared to the former, which is a general legislation.
It is debatable, however, whether it should have taken more than seven months for the Bench to answer the question. This series has earlier debated the merits of delivering judgments soon after the conclusion of arguments.
Last week, 12 judges authored and pronounced as many as 26 judgments, on behalf of the benches in which they sat. Of these, Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre has authored five reportable and two non-reportable judgments. Previously, this column had the opportunity to highlight a similar distinction of Justice Sapre, when he wrote seven of the 31 judgments in one week.
Justice Deepak Gupta authored three reportable and one non-reportable judgment, while Justice R Banumathi authored three reportable judgments. Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Adarsh Kumar Goel authored two reportable judgments each.
Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar authored two non-reportable judgments, while Justices Kurian Joseph and Arun Mishra have one each to their credit. Justice Navin Sinha has authored one reportable and one non-reportable judgments. Justices J Chelameswar and Amitava Roy have each authored one reportable judgment.
The Bench of Justices NV Ramana and S Abdul Nazeer has finished hearing in M/s Fortune Infrastructure v Trevor Dlima and others, and in D Srinivas v SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
The three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud reserved judgment in one civil SLP, Pappuu and others v Vinod Kumar Lamba, while the Bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, concluded hearings in another civil SLP, Sunil B Naik v Geowave Commander.