1. Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel – When can be applied against Government – Administrative Law

It is not the law that there can be no promissory estoppel against the Government in the exercise of its Government, public or executive powers. That would be in complete contradiction of the decisions of the Supreme Court. It is true that taxation is a sovereign or governmental function, but no distinction can be made between the exercise of a sovereign or governmental function and a trading or business activity of the Government, so far as the doctrine of promissory estoppel is concerned.

Where the Government makes a promise knowing or intending that it would be acted on by the promisee and, in fact, the promisee, acting in reliance on it, alters his position, the Government would be held bound by the promise and the promise would be enforceable against the Government at the instance of the promisee, notwithstanding that there is no consideration for the promise and the promise is not recorded in the form of a formal contract as required by Article 299 of the Constitution. It is elementary that in a republic governed by the rule of law, no one, howsoever high or low, is above the law. Everyone is subject to the law as fully and completely as any other and the Government is no exception. It is not necessary for the petitioner to show that it has suffered any detriment, and it is enough that the petitioner relied upon the promise or representation held out, and altered its position relying upon such assurance.

Manuelsons Hotels Private Limited v. State of Kerala and Others.: (2016) 8 Supreme Court 766.

2. Dishonour of cheque – Offence by company – Vicarious liability of persons in charge of and responsible for conduct of business of company – Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, section 141

In the instant case, Company was arrayed as Accused 1 along with Chairman and other Directors. Accused 2 & 3 were Chairman and Managing Director, respectively and Accused 6 & 7 were signatory to cheques which were dishonoured. Accused 4 & 5 were Whole-time Directors and they were in charge of day-to-day business of Company. All of them had, with active connivance, mischievously and intentionally issued cheques in question. The High Court by the common impugned order, quashed the orders of issuance of summons against Accused 5 and 4. Considering totality of assertions made in complaint and also taking note of averments put forth relating to Accused 4 & 5 herein, that they were Whole-time Director and Executive Director and they were in charge of day-to-day affairs of Company, Held, High Court fell into grave error in concluding that there are no specific averments in complaint for issuance of summons against them and, hence, quashing the same. Therefore, order passed by High Court is set aside and Magistrate is directed to-proceed with complaint cases in accordance with law.

Standard Chartered Bank v. State of Maharashtra and Others. (2016) 6 Supreme Court Cases 62

3. Educational institution is an “industry’ – Workman for purpose of the Industrial Dispute Act

The question “who is a workman?” has been well settled by various decisions of the Supreme Court. A person to be a “workman” under the ID Act must be employed to do the work of any of the categories viz. manual, unskilled, skilled, technical, operational, clerical or supervisory.

The issue whether educational institution is an “industry’. and its employees are “workmen” for the purpose of the ID Act has been answered by a seven-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in
A. Rajappa, (1978) 2 SCC 213 wherein it was held that educational institution is an industry in terms of Section 2(j) of the ID Act, though not all of its employees are workmen. Thus, a driver employed by a school, being a skilled person, is workman for the purpose of the ID Act.

Raj Kumar v. Director of Education And Others : (2016) 6 Supreme Court Cases 541

4. Locus standi – Meaning

Term “locus standi” is Latin term, general meaning of which is “place of standing”. Concise Oxford English Dictionary, defines “locus standi” as the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court. Traditional view of “locus standi” has been, that person who is aggrieved or affected alone has the standing before court i.e. to say he only has a right to move court for seeking justice. Later, Supreme Court, with justice-oriented approach, has relaxed the strict rule with regard to “locus standi”, allowing any person from society not related to cause of action to approach the court, bona fide seeking justice for those who could not themselves approach the court

Amanullah v. State of Bihar. (2016) 6 Supreme Court Cases 699.

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