New Constitution Bench for hearing two cases will sit from March 21

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A new Constitution bench was constituted by the Supreme Court of India for hearing and resolving two cases namely, Cox and Kings vs SAP Pvt Ltd. and Tej Prakash Pathak and Ors. vs. Rajasthan High Court and Ors. The members of the bench include Chief Justice of India DY ChandrachudJustice PS Narasimha, Justice Manoj MisraJustice Hrishikesh Roy, and Justice JB Pardiwala. The bench is scheduled to hear the above-mentioned cases from March 21, 2023. 

In Cox and Kings vs SAP Pvt Ltd. case, issues related to the group of companies doctrine will be considered. The issues considered by the bench include, Whether the group of companies doctrine exists in Indian jurisprudence independent of any statutory provision, whether it can be read into Section 8 of the [Arbitration] Act, whether it should continue to be invoked on grounds of a single economic reality principle, whether it should be construed as a means of interpreting the implied intent or consent to arbitrate between the parties. 

In Tej Prakash Pathak and Ors. vs. Rajasthan High Court and Ors. case, the question to answer in the reference order stated, “No doubt it is a salutary principle not to permit the State or its instrumentalities to tinker with the ‘rules of the game’ insofar as the prescription of eligibility criteria is concerned as was done in the case of Channabasavaiah v. State of Mysore etc. in order to avoid manipulation of the recruitment process and its results. Whether such a principle should be applied in the context of the ‘rules of the game” stipulating the procedure for selection particularly when the change sought is to impose more rigorous scrutiny for selection requires an authoritative pronouncement of a larger Bench of this Court.”

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