2019 SCC Vol. 5 June 14, 2019 Part 4

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Acquittal of accused due to tainted investigation: In this case, report of SIT which had re-investigated the case under one of the FIRs, perused. Direction issued to CBI, to take decision on question of re-investigation in FIRs concerned. [Sunita Devi v. Union of India, (2019) 5 SCC 658]

Courts, Tribunals and Judiciary — Judiciary — Adequacy of judicial resources/infrastructure — Funding for infrastructure of subordinate judiciary by Central and State Governments: Out of two reports submitted by Amicus Curiae viz. short-term measures and long-term measures, short-term measures directed to be implemented immediately. Directions issued. For receipt of reply by Central Government on long-term measures, matter directed to be listed on 23-4-2019. [Malik Mazhar Sultan v. U.P. Public Service Commission, (2019) 5 SCC 619]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 154 and 162 — First information report — Legal validity of lodging of a second FIR: Regarding whether the FIR and investigation in pursuance thereof should be straightway quashed or should it require a scrutiny during trial on issue of prejudice to accused, and truthfulness of evidence collected on basis of second FIR, matter referred to larger Bench. [Manoj Kumar v. State of Uttarakhand, (2019) 5 SCC 667]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 173(8), 190(1)(b), 239, 227 and 156(3): Power of Judicial Magistrate concerned to pass order as to Further investigation/Reinvestigation — Scope: Making distinction between the powers to be exercised by Magistrate with respect to further investigation at pre-cognizance stage and post-cognizance stage, held, Magistrate cannot suo motu direct for further investigation/reinvestigation in a matter at post-cognizance stage, more particularly after he discharges the accused. In such cases, it is only on an application moved by the investigating agency for further investigation that the Magistrate may direct the investigating officer to conduct further investigation and submit a fresh report before him for consideration in accordance with law. [Bikash Ranjan Rout v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2019) 5 SCC 542]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 320 — Quashment of non-compoundable offences — When permissible: Key issue while determining quashment of non-compoundable offences is whether offence in question was more in the nature of a crime against society, or more a personal wrong. Offence under S. 307 IPC is non-compoundable and as the offence under S. 307 is not a private dispute between the parties inter se, but is a crime against society, quashing of proceedings on basis of a compromise is not permissible. [State of M.P. v. Dhruv Gurjar, (2019) 5 SCC 570]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 320 — Quashment of non-compoundable offences — When permissible — Effect of compromise: In this case, law summarised regarding seriousness of crime and its social impact, as key consideration. Non-application of mind on sole ground that there is a compromise between accused and complainant, held, unwarranted. Power of quashing different from power of compounding. There is no conflict in decisions. High Court misread and misapplied precedents. Impugned orders of High Court set aside. [State of M.P. v. Laxmi Narayan, (2019) 5 SCC 688]

Foreigners Act, 1946 — Ss. 9 and 14 — Whether appellant declared to be a foreigner incorrectly: Foreigner’s Tribunal after finding discrepancy in name of grandfather, and fact that grandfather and father later lived in different villages, declared appellant to be a foreigner, which was held to be not sustainable by the Supreme Court. [Sirajul Hoque v. State of Assam, (2019) 5 SCC 534]

Insurance — General Insurance — Other Insurances: Insurance claim on account of loss/damage to the road owing to abnormal rainfall and waterlogging, rejected when rains were minimal and normal wear and tear stood excluded in the insurance policy. [Mahavir Road and Infrastructure (P) Ltd. v. IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd., (2019) 5 SCC 677]

Labour Law — Minimum Wages Act, 1948 — Ss. 3, 4 and 20(3) — Quantum of compensation — Determination of — Parity: High Court by impugned judgment granted 200% compensation of claim in this case while in identical cases in case of similarly placed workers awarding 100% compensation, which was held to be unsustainable. [Union of India v. Avtar Chand], (2019) 5 SCC 597]

Land Acquisition and Requisition — Resettlement and Rehabilitation — Absorption of displaced person due to establishment of Arrah-Sasaram Railway Project:  In this case entire house belonging to father of appellant acquired for railways project rendering him as displaced person. As per policy Circular of 1983 such displaced persons would be considered for employment in Groups C and D. As case of appellant was not considered, writ petition was filed. High Court directed Railway Authorities to consider claim of appellant in Group D. Relying on subsequent policy Circular of 2006, claim of appellant rejected. Writ petition challenging rejection was dismissed by Single Judge and by Division Bench. The Supreme Court held that as per Circular of 1983 provision made for employment of members of families displaced due to acquisition of land for establishment of project. This Circular of 1983 was adverted to in 2006 and decided that policy to not to offer employment to displaced person where only strip of land acquired but “where large area, house or substantial livelihood has been taken away/snapped in process” such persons can be considered for appointment for Group D posts. Phrases in this paragraph are disjunctive. Further held, it was undisputed that entire house of appellant was demolished. Case of appellant fell within Para 2 of 2006 Circular. Railway Authorities erred in concluding that only strip of land belonging to appellant was acquired and erred in contending that there were no specific guidelines to provide job in lieu of acquisition in project concerned. Rejection of claim of appellant was for extraneous reasons and irrelevant considerations. Once policy has been laid down, terms of policy can be enforced. Policy circulars were substantive attempts to enhance social welfare. Denial of benefits led to long and tortuous road to justice. Hence, directions issued for appointment of appellant for Group D posts within two months by granting age relaxation, if required. [Anil Kumar v. Union of India, (2019) 5 SCC 591]

Maharashtra Municipal Council Nagar Panchayat and Industrial Township Act, 1965 — S. 44(1)(e) — Objective, Nature, Scope and Essentialities for its application — Summarised: It is applicable even in case of temporary construction. Interplay between S. 44(1)(e) and criminal liability for illegal construction. Spouse of Councillor involved in illegal temporary construction — Disqualification of Councillor, held, justified. It was held, after 73rd and 74th Amendments to Constitution, Councillors are democratically elected representatives of people at grass root level. Objective behind S. 44(1)(e) of 1965 Act is to ensure highest level of probity maintained by Councillor and nearest members of his/her family. Legislature distinguished between “illegal or unauthorised construction” and “illegal or unauthorised construction being constructed by Councillor’s spouse or dependants”. Legislative intention is that Councillor would not carry out any such construction and would also be in position to prevent such construction by his/her spouse or dependant. Further held, S. 44(1)(e) requires reasonable interpretation and if ingredients of this section are established, it has to be given full play. Under S. 44(1)(e) even temporary construction or structure illegally made by Councillor or his/her spouse or dependant would incur disqualification. S. 44(1)(e) creates independent liability of disqualification. It is not dependent on criminal action preceding it. Making unauthorized construction would have penal consequence and would not have any influence on courts. [Sampada Yogesh Waghdhare v. State of Maharashtra, (2019) 5 SCC 682]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Compensation — Computation — Multiplier: In case of death of a bachelor computation of compensation is to be based on age of deceased and not age of parents. This position of law has been settled by three three-Judge Bench decisions which have then affirmed by a five-Judge Bench. There is no warrant to once again reopen this issue, contended by the insurance company. [Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mandala Yadagari Goud, (2019) 5 SCC 554]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166, 168 and 173 — Compensation — Just compensation — Future prospects: Deceased self-employed and of 23 yrs of age, an addition of 40% of established income is required to be provided applying Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680. [Shantaben v. National Power Transport, (2019) 5 SCC 623]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Conviction — Sustainability: Reliance on testimony of witness who was disbelieved qua other co-accused, held, did not vitiate the case against appellant, which was proved beyond reasonable doubt, conviction confirmed. [Kripal Singh v. State of Rajasthan, (2019) 5 SCC 646]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder: In this case, it was alleged that deceased was murdered by accused neighbour and frequent visitor, by strangulation for resisting his sexual advances, which he orchestrated as a suicide. On the basis of circumstantial evidence of last seen together, extra-judicial confession, unexplained injuries on accused, abscondence and medical evidence establishing strangulation as cause of death, conviction was confirmed. [Manoj Kumar v. State of Uttarakhand, (2019) 5 SCC 663]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. I — Single blow/injury — Death of deceased because of single injury caused on his head by accused with axe: There is no fixed rule that whenever a single blow is inflicted, S. 302 would not be attracted. Nature of weapon used and vital part of body, where blow is struck, would prove intention of accused to cause death of deceased. Once such ingredients are proved, it is irrelevant whether there was a single blow struck or multiple blows. [State of Rajasthan v. Kanhaiya Lal, (2019) 5 SCC 639]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 or S. 304 Pt. I [S. 300 Exception I] — Murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder: Ingredients of S. 300 Exception 1, held, not attracted in this case. Culpable homicide is not murder if offender causes death of person who gave provocation, whilst deprived of power of self-control by grave and sudden provocation and provocation should be one which is not sought or voluntarily provoked by offender as an excuse for killing or doing harm to any person. No overt act alleged against deceased by which it can be stated that respondent was provoked by deceased to satisfy requirements of first proviso to Exception I to S. 300 IPC. From proved facts of this case it appears that provocation was voluntary on part of offender. Such provocation cannot come to rescue of respondent to claim that he is not liable to be convicted under S. 302 IPC, hence, conviction under S. 302 IPC, restored. [State of U.P. v. Faquirey, (2019) 5 SCC 605]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 376 and 506 — Rape and intimidation alleged — Delay in FIR — Extra-judicial confession — Credibility of prosecutrix: In this case, as prosecution was not able to prove case beyond reasonable doubt, conviction reversed. [Parkash Chand v. State of H.P., (2019) 5 SCC 628]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 379, 427, 447, 504 and 506 r/w S. 149 — Appeal against acquittal: As there were inconsistencies and insufficiency of evidence to prove charges against accused there was no perversity in judgment of acquittal of trial court, hence, acquittal restored. [Puni Devi v. Tulsi Ram, (2019) 5 SCC 588]

Rent Control and Eviction — Writ jurisdiction — New plea: It is settled law that if plea is not taken in pleadings by parties and no issue on such plea was, therefore, framed and no finding was recorded either way by trial court or first appellate court, such plea cannot be allowed to be raised by party for the first time in third court whether in appeal, revision or writ, for want of any factual foundation and finding. More so, when such plea is founded on factual pleadings and requires evidence to prove i.e. a mixed question of law and fact and not pure jurisdictional legal issue requiring no facts to probe. [Deepak Tandon v. Rajesh Kumar Gupta, (2019) 5 SCC 537]

Service Law — Appointment — Compassionate appointment — Claim for: Regarding applicability of old scheme for compassionate appointment vis-à-vis new substituted scheme for ex gratia payment, as there were conflicting decisions of two-Judge Benches of Supreme Court regarding applicability of governing scheme, matter referred to larger Bench. [SBI v. Sheo Shankar Tewari, (2019) 5 SCC 600]

Service Law — Pay — Parity in Pay/Pay Scale — Petitioners working in National Institute like appellants in Yogeshwar Prasad, (2010) 14 SCC 323 — Prayer to grant pay scale of Rs 1640-2900 w.e.f. 1-1-1986 pursuant to 4th Central Pay Commission recommendation and consequent revisions on parity with appellants in Yogeshwar Prasad case — Sustainability: In this case, petitioners were appointed as Junior Stenographer/Stenographer Grade II which was post lower than post of Stenographer/Stenographer Grade I held by appellants carrying different pay scales. The Supreme Court held that UDCs/Junior Stenographer (Stenographer Grade I) who acquired identical pay scales as those of Assistants/Senior Stenographers/Stenographer Grade I by virtue of ACP/MACP cannot be considered on par so as to be entitled to parity of pay scales. Pay scale of Rs 1640-2900 for post of Senior Stenographer/Stenographer Grade I was operationalised during 5th Pay Commission w.e.f. 1-1-1996 till 31-12-2005. Petitioners were not holding Senior Stenographer Grade I position then but were promoted subsequently. Petitioners not being similarly situated as appellants cannot be granted parity in pay scale. [Anjali Arora v. Union of India, (2019) 5 SCC 609]

Service Law — Pay — Pay scale, fixation and revision — Pay revision — Reduction in pay — Permissibility: In this case appellant posted at Johannesburg in appellant Bank on 24-6-2002 on fixed salary of US $1965 p.m. “subject to change”. Salary of respondent re-fixed as US $1300 w.e.f. 1-1-2001 which was subsequently revised to US $1380 on 14-12-2001 based on non-discriminatory formula approved by Standing Committee applicable to all officers of PSU banks posted abroad, hence, affirmed. [SBI v. Ravindra Nath, (2019) 5 SCC 612]

Service Law — Promotion — Criteria/Eligibility — Promotion to post of Deputy Tahsildar: Direction to classify Direct Recruit Assistants, Promotee Graduate Assistants and Promotee Non-Graduate Assistants as one group for drawing seniority list for promotion by relying on Letter No. 392 dt. 30-12-2011 whereby Government had accepted proposal of Principal Secretary to dispense with graduation as minimum educational qualification for post of Deputy Tahsildar, unsustainable. [A. Rajagopalan v. District Collector, (2019) 5 SCC 560]

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