Supreme Selections: Yearly Digest 2023, PART-VI

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PART-VI: November and December


The Supreme Court of India delivered a total of 74 judgments consisting of 49 Reportable judgments in November this year. In this month, matters related to stray dog menace, anticipatory bail of Teesta Setalvad, stubble burning, seizure of digital devices of media professionals, appointments over advertised vacancies, misleading advertisements by Patanjali, and Wrestling federation were heard by the top Court. Some of the important verdicts delivered by the SC are discussed below:

Non-explanation of injuries creates doubt on the prosecution’s part

Judgment NameParshuram vs. State of M.P. 

Bench: Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice B.V. Nagarathna, and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra

Brief: In this case, the SC held that “Non-explanation of injuries on the persons of the accused would create a doubt, as to, whether, the prosecution has brought on record the real genesis of the incident or not.” Further, the bench disposed of the appeals on November 03, 2023, and illustrated certain directions, “The conviction under Section 302 IPC is altered to Part-II of Section 304 of IPC, and The appellants are sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 7 years.”

Inquiry Authority must be allowed to put questions

Judgment NameUnion of India vs. Dilip Paul 

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra

Brief: On November 06, 2023, the SC was hearing a case related to sexual harassment at the workplace. The bench held that the complaints committee being an inquiry authority and in some sense equivalent to a presiding officer of the court must be allowed to put questions on its own if a proper, fair, and thorough inquiry is to take place. After hearing the contentions, the High Court committed an egregious error in passing the impugned judgment and order; therefore the order of penalty was restored which was imposed by the Disciplinary Authority.  

Eligibility Conditions

Judgment NameAnkita Thakur vs. The H.P. Staff Selection Commission (November 09, 2023) 

Bench: Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Manoj Misra

Brief: In this case, the SC addressed a question of whether candidates holding qualifications other than the one prescribed by the 2014 Rules or the advertisement, though allegedly higher, could be considered eligible. It demonstrated that “there exists no provision in the extant Rules or the advertisement to treat any other qualification as higher or equivalent to the one specified therein, the claim of such candidates, who could not demonstrate that they held the prescribed essential qualifications, is liable to be rejected.” In short, the appointments made under the first advertisement will not be disturbed merely because some of the appointees may have gained eligibility based on the order of relaxation/clarification, approved by the State cabinet.

Lawmaking Power of State Legislatures

Judgment NameState of Punjab vs. Principal Secretary to the Governor of Punjab and Another 

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra

Brief: On November 10 this year, the Supreme Court bench addressed a question, “Whether the Governor can withhold action on Bills that have been passed by the State Legislature?” It stated that “The Governor, as an unelected Head of the State, is entrusted with certain constitutional powers. However, this power cannot be used to thwart the normal course of lawmaking by the State Legislatures.” The bench illustrated that the governor is a symbolic head and cannot withhold action on bills passed by the State Legislature.

Criminal Conspiracy

Judgment NamePavana Dibbur vs. The Directorate of Enforcement 

Bench: Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal

Brief: The SC of India, on November 29, 2023, was hearing a money laundering case where it held that “The offence punishable under Section 120B of the IPC will become a scheduled offence only if the conspiracy alleged is of committing an offence which is specifically included in the Schedule.” The bench further dismissed the complaint against Pavana Dibbur. 

Other Important Judgments of November Month

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Diwali vacation from November 12, 2023, to November 19, 2023.

Week 4


A total of 34 judgments were delivered by the Supreme Court in December including approximately 24 Reportable judgments. In this month, the bench gave important decisions related to arbitration and abrogation of Article 370. Moreover, matters regarding Manipur violence, a ban on adulterated Ayurvedic medicines, reconsideration of the 2018 Asian Resurfacing judgment, and others. Some of the important verdicts delivered by the SC are discussed as follows:

Non-Signatories bound to Arbitration Agreement

Judgment NameCox and Kings Ltd. vs. SAP India Pvt. Ltd. 

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice P.S. Narasimha

Brief: On December 06, 2023, the Constitution bench of the SC ruled that the ‘group of companies’ doctrine (GoC doctrine) will apply to arbitration proceedings in India. While delivering the judgment, the bench concluded “The Group of Companies doctrine is also premised on ascertaining the intention of the non-signatory to be party to an arbitration agreement. The doctrine requires the intention to be gathered from additional factors such as direct relationship with the signatory parties, commonality of subject matter, composite nature of the transaction, and performance of the contract.” In short, the GoC doctrine must be retained in the Indian jurisprudence considering its utility in complex transactions.

Abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution

Judgment NameIn Re Article 370 of the Constitution 

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Surya Kant, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna

Brief: The arguments and discussions concerning the 2019 decision of the Central Government to repeal or abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution of India resulting in the revocation of special status given to Jammu & Kashmir were initiated on August 02, 2023, whereas after hearing the matter for 16 days, the judgment was reserved on 05 September 2023. On December 11, 2023, the SC upheld the validity of the Central Government’s 2019 decision to abrogate Article 370 and said that “the state of Jammu & Kashmir had no internal sovereignty.”

Principle of ‘reasonable time’

Judgment NameM/s North Eastern Chemicals Industries (P) Ltd. vs. M/s Ashok Paper Mill (Assam) Ltd. 

Bench: Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Sanjay Karol

Brief: The Supreme Court of India on December 11, 2023, observed that in the absence of time limitation prescribed to file an appeal, the principle of reasonable time will apply.  

PTI/Sports Officer falls within the definition of ‘teacher’

Judgment NameP.C. Modi vs. The Jawaharlal Nehru Vishwa Vidyalaya

Bench: Justice Rajesh Bindal, and Justice Hima Kohli

Brief: The SC was hearing an appeal against the Madhya Pradesh High Court order stating that PTI/Sports Officer does not fall under the definition of a teacher. The HC reads, “Statute 32 recognizes only professors, associate professors, and assistant professors as teachers, and looking at the job profile of the appellant, he does not fall under the definition of a teacher.” On December 13, 2023, the SC ruled that a PTI/Sports Officer (appellant) falls within the definition of a ‘teacher’ allowing him to continue service till the completion of 62 years.

Unstamped Arbitration Agreements

Judgment NameIn Re Interplay between arbitration agreements under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and the India Stamp Act 1899 

Bench: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice B.R. Gavai, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Surya Kant, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna

Brief: In this case, the seven-judge bench of the SC overruled the April 2023 decision by the 5-judge bench in the N.N. Global Mercantile Pvt. Ltd. vs. M/s. Indo Unique Flame Ltd. and Ors case stating unstamped arbitration agreements are not enforceable. On December 13, 2023, the 7-judge bench with a majority of 6:1 held that “unstamped arbitration agreements are enforceable.” 

Other Important Judgments of December Month

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3- Week 4

Supreme Court on Winter break, will reopen on January 02, 2024.


1. How many total judgments were given by the Supreme Court in November and December?
2. How many were reportable judgments in November and December?