2017 SCC Vol. 8 October 7, 2017 Part 4

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 — S. 37 — Reasoned order — Necessity of: As High Court while dismissing the appeal did not set out the factual controversy properly or deal with any of the grounds taken by the parties in their pleadings and in appeal in support of their respective contentions, the order was not sustainable. [Navnirman Development Consultants (I) (P) Ltd. v. District Sports Complex Executive Committee, Pune, (2017) 8 SCC 603]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 6 R. 17 and Or. 8 — Amendment of written statement after completion of evidence of plaintiffs — When permissible: In this case amendment of written statement was sought by appellants (defendants) only to elaborate and amplify defence already taken, hence, liberty granted to plaintiffs to consequentially amend plaint and lead further evidence. [State of Bihar v. Modern Tent House, (2017) 8 SCC 567]

Constitution of India — Arts. 14, 15(4), 15(5), 16(4), 16(4-A) & 16(4-B) and Arts. 341 & 342 — Caste certificate — Scrutiny Committee: If claim of being member of SC/ST on verification by Scrutiny Committee of claims based on caste certificate found to be false, same would be treated as invalid which would render admission/appointment void ab initio and non est. Thereupon cancellation of admission/appointment would follow as a necessary consequence or corollary. [Food Corporation of India v. Jagdish Balaram Bahira, (2017) 8 SCC 670]

Customs — Anti-dumping duty — Applicability of, to flat roll product of stainless steel having width between 1250 mm to 1280 mm — Noti. No. 86/2011-Cus. dt. 6-9-2011 — Effect of, on anti-dumping duty levied under Noti. No. 14/2010-Cus. dt. 20-2-2010: By Noti. No. 14/2010-Cus. dt. 20-2-2010 anti-dumping duty was imposed by the Central Government on certain goods imported from some specified countries which included cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel of width of 600 mm up to 1250 mm of all series with a thickness of up to 4 mm Noti. dt. 8-6-2011 was subsequently issued after a detailed exercise of review, and the same prescribed that width tolerance of (+) 30 mm was to apply to Mil edged cold-rolled flat products of stainless steel of specified width of 1000 mm or more but not exceeding 1250 mm. It was held that from mid-term review culminating in Noti. dt. 6-9-2011, it became clear that tolerance level of + 30 mm was to be taken into account. Therefore, in this case, as the imports by the respondents were of the period after the issuance of the Noti. dt. 6-9-2011 and the width of their product was between 1251 mm to 1280 mm, therefore, the imports were liable for antidumping duty. [Commr. of Customs v. Mascot International, (2017) 8 SCC 624]

Education Law — Professional Colleges/Education — Medical and Dental Colleges — Admission — Postgraduate/Superspeciality courses’ admission — PG Counselling for 2017-2018 in State of Chhattisgarh: In accordance with time schedule for counselling as approved in Ashish Ranjan, (2016) 11 SCC 225, first round of counselling completed. Hence, prayer for holding of common counselling rejected. Students had already taken admissions pursuant to September 2016 Notification of National Board of Examinations (NBE). [Assn. of Private Medical & Dental Colleges of Chhattisgarh v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2017) 8 SCC 627]

Evidence Act, 1872 — S. 116 — Estoppel of tenant — Principle: Tenant cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate at the same time. Tenant, after being put in possession of suit premises under a lease deed, sought amendment of written statement in eviction petition filed by landlord, so as to deny or dispute his status as landlord. It was held that tenant estopped from denying title of eviction petitioner as landlord. Amendment of written statement to raise plea denying or disputing petitioner’s ownership is not permissible. [Jaspal Kaur Cheema v. Industrial Trade Links, (2017) 8 SCC 592]

Evidence Act, 1872 — S. 65-B(4) — Admissibility of electronic records: Objections regarding admissibility of documents which are per se inadmissible can be taken even at appellate stage. Admissibility of a document which is inherently inadmissible is an issue which can be taken up at appellate stage because it is a fundamental issue. However, mode or method of proof is procedural and objections, if not taken at trial, cannot be permitted at appellate stage. If objections to mode of proof are permitted to be taken at appellate stage by a party, the other side does not have an opportunity of rectifying deficiencies. [Sonu v. State of Haryana, (2017) 8 SCC 570]

Insecticides Act, 1968 — Ss. 24(3) & (4) — Right of accused to request Magistrate concerned before whom proceedings are pending to send sample produced before court to CIL for testing or analysis — Scope: Such right can be exercised only if complaint is based on report of State Insecticide Analyst. However, if complaint is filed on basis of report of CIL, then such right cannot be exercised since purport of S. 24(4) is that report of CIL shall be conclusive evidence of facts stated therein. Thus, where report of CIL had already been obtained before filing of complaint as in this case, accused (appellants) cannot ask for analysis of sample already used at instance of person from whom it was taken (co-accused). [Indofil Industries Ltd. v. State of Punjab, (2017) 8 SCC 656]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 23 — Compensation — Determination of market value: It is just and reasonable to make appropriate deduction towards expenses for development of acquired land. Percentage of deduction would vary from 10% to 86% and, therefore, deduction should be made keeping in mind nature of land, area under acquisition, whether developed or not and, if so, to what extent, purpose of acquisition, etc. While determining market value of large chunk of land, value of smaller piece of land can be taken into consideration after making proper deduction in value of lands and when sale deeds of larger parcel of land are not available. Court should also take into consideration potentiality of acquired land apart from other relevant considerations. Supreme Court has also recognised that courts can always apply reasonable amount of guesswork to balance equities in order to fix a just and fair market value in terms of parameters specified under S. 23. [Vithal Rao v. Land Acquisition Officer, (2017) 8 SCC 558]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 9, 10(2)(d)(e), 149(2)(a)(ii) 168 and 170 — Tractor attached to trolley carrying goods whether transport vehicle: In this case as the driver was having licence to drive motorcycle, scooter, car, jeep and light motor vehicle, but with no endorsement to drive a transport vehicle, Tribunal held it a violation of policy condition and after making payments to claimant, right of recovery given to insurer from owner, which was affirmed by High Court. The Supreme Court held, following three-Judge Bench ruling in Mukund Dewangan, (2017) 14 SCC 663, driver having licence to drive light motor vehicle can drive such a transport vehicle of LMV class and there is no necessity to obtain separate endorsement, since tractor attached with trolley was transport vehicle of category of light motor vehicle. Hence, there was no breach of conditions of policy Right given to insurer to recover amount from owner, set aside. Liability held to be joint and several of owner, driver and insurer. [Sant Lal v. Rajesh, (2017) 8 SCC 590]

Payment of Wages Act, 1936 — Ss. 15(3), 17 and 18 — Jurisdiction of prescribed authority under 1936 Act to direct refund of delayed/deducted wages, which was done pursuant to disciplinary proceedings in which punishment of withholding increments was imposed: Prescribed authority under Payment of Wages Act is not appellate authority in disciplinary proceedings and hence, has no right to sit in appeal and to set aside order passed in disciplinary proceedings. Without challenging said order in appropriate forum, it was not open to respondent to file application before prescribed authority. [State of Punjab v. Jaswinder Singh, (2017) 8 SCC 621]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder trial — Appreciation of evidence: Conviction and sentence of appellant in respect of offence punishable under Section 302 IPC, confirmed as testimony of related injured eyewitnesses, which was scrutinised with caution, was found trustworthy. Injuries on their person were proved on record and delay in lodging FIR, if any, was also explained. [Muttaicose v. State of T.N., (2017) 8 SCC 598]

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 — Ss. 17, 19, 2(f) and (s) — Residence order — Entitlement to: S. 17 creates entitlement in favour of woman of right of residence under “shared household” irrespective of her having any legal interests in the same. The direction, inter alia, can include an order restraining dispossession or a direction to remove himself from shared household, on being satisfied that domestic violence had taken place. As in this case, admittedly, respondent never stayed with appellant in the premises in which she was directed to be inducted. “Domestic relationship” as defined under S. 2(f), refers to two persons who have lived together in a “shared household” and “shared household” has been defined under S. 2(s). In order for respondent to succeed, it was necessary that two parties had lived in a domestic relationship in the household. However, the parties never lived together in the property in question. It is not as if respondent was subsequently excluded from enjoyment of property or thrown out by appellant in an alleged relationship which goes back 20 years. They fell apart even as per respondent more than 7 years ago. As per appellant, he was a Christian and thus there could be no question of visiting any temple and marrying respondent by applying “kum kum”, as claimed by her, and that too when wife of appellant was alive. Aforementioned factors, clearly show that nature of ex parte order passed by High Court, permitting respondent to occupy premises of appellant, cannot be sustained, hence, set aside. [Manmohan Attavar v. Neelam Manmohan Attavar, (2017) 8 SCC 550]

Rent Control and Eviction — Speedy disposal of eviction cases — Need for: Object of the Rent laws is to ensure speedy disposal of eviction cases between the landlord and tenant and especially those cases where the landlord seek eviction for his bona fide need. Eviction matters should be given priority in their disposal at all stages of litigation and especially where the eviction is claimed on the ground of bona fide need of the landlord. [Hameed Kunju v. Nazim, (2017) 8 SCC 611]

Service Law — Appointment — Reservation/Concession/Exemption/Relaxation and Affirmative Action — Fraud: Appointment not against category for which caste certificate was fraudulently obtained is not a mitigating factor. Hence, cancellation of caste certificate confirmed and removal of respondent on ground of fraud, restored. [State of Orissa v. Bibhisan Kanhar, (2017) 8 SCC 608]

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