As we are approaching the end of 2021, let’s dive in to know all the important decisions that District Courts of India delivered along with some decisions on very important settled laws.
ICICI – Videocon Scam
Sessions Court, Greater Bombay issued summons, being of the prima facie opinion that Chanda Kochhar, Former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank may have misused her official position in sanctioning loans to Videocon Group and got illegal gratification through her husband.
MJ Akbar v. Priya Ramani | #MeToo
Rouse Avenue Court, New Delhi in an essentially significant decision revolving around the #MeToo movement, acquitted Priya Ramani (accused) and held that no case under Section 500 of the Penal Code, 1860 was found against her.
State v. Tarun Tejpal | #MeToo
Destruction of crucial evidence, calculated narrative, conduct not natural of rape victim, et al.: 22-pointer comprehensive analysis of the 527-pages judgment of Sessions Court acquitting rape-accused Tarun Tejpal
District and Sessions Court at Panaji, after a trial which went on for 7 years 2 months and 25 days, Kshama M. Joshi, Additional Sessions Judge, Mapusa, acquitted Tarun Tejpal, former Editor-in-Chief of Tehelka, who was accused of committing rape on a journalist working with Tehelka. The court gave benefit of doubt to accused, noting major lapses in investigation and major contradictions/improvements in testimony of the prosecutirx. The incident is of 2013 which allegedly happened during the annual THiNK Fest of Tehelka organised in Goa.
Law prescribes only such activities would be intended, or have intended, or have a tendency, to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence. ‘Violence’ seems to be the gravamen of the charge.
- Lofty case of criminal conspiracy could not be inferred; Chargesheeting on basis of insignificant material unwarranted: Court while granting bail to Umar Khalid
Delhi Court held that Umar Khalid cannot be permitted to remain behind bars in the present case on the basis of such a sketchy material against him and added that he cannot be made incarcerate in jail for infinity merely on account of the fact that other persons who were part of the riotous mob were to be identified and arrested in the matter.
- Riotous incident took place, shop, as well as house, vandalized and looted, yet bail granted to accused persons: Why? Karkardooma Court’s opinion on not finding ‘sufficient evidence’
“Court is not insensitive towards the mental agony and the financial loss suffered by the complainant due to this incident. However, the sensitivity or the emotions alone are not the factors to be taken into consideration by the court while deciding the fate of any accused. These cannot take place of evidence. There should be sufficient and legally admissible evidence on the basis of which charges can be framed against an accused, which is lacking in the instant case.”
- Amazon to pay Rs 45000 for rowing back on confirmed order for laptop by Law student, can’t evade responsibility when it allowed ‘Rockery Marketing’
State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Odisha modified the compensation amount awarded to a Law Student in light of being subjected to ‘Deficiency of Service’ and ‘Unfair Trade by ‘Amazon’.
- ‘Using customers as Advertising Agents’: Charging money for carry bags with printed logo is spurious, unfair trade practice with deceptive nature
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-II, Hyderabad ordered More Megastore Retails Ltd. to payback Rs 3 (with interest) that were charged from the complainant as the cost of the carry bag with company’s name and logo printed on it. The Commission also ordered More Megastore pay a compensation of Rs 15,000 to the complainant.
- Can retailers/shopkeepers charge for ‘carry bags’ with their brand logos printed on them? Consumer Forum explains
Retailers/shopkeepers charging for plastic/paper/cloth carry bags with their Brand logos printed on them for which the consumers have to shell out extra amount from their pocket is not only unfair trade practice but also undue profiteering at the expense of the common man.
- Anticipatory bail granted to an advocate accused of publishing defamatory articles against PM of India and CM of Karnataka in Kannada daily newspaper, Prajavani
Any dereliction, negligence on the part of the editor, publisher of the newspaper would cause severe damage to the safety of the public, harmony among communities in the society. Public peace and tranquillity is the prime issue to be maintained in the civilized society.
- Allegations of cheating in Bitcoin transactions: Magistrate, Tis Hazari Courts directs Delhi Police to register FIR and investigate
KYC is the responsibility of the intermediary and cannot be left to the individuals be it institutional transfer or person to person trade, with the intermediary shying away from the responsibility to ensure legitimacy of the source of money and establishment of real identity of the parties.
- Anti Vaxxers need to be treated strenuously with an iron hand; Such haters do not deserve concession of anticipatory bail, their free movement and free speech is a threat to society at large
Sessions Court, Jammu and Kashmir denied anticipatory bail to the person accused of obstructing the vaccination drive and spreading rumours regarding the vaccination.
- Investigation into origins and transmission of Covid-19 virus: Del Court dismisses application seeking registration of FIR, investigation by NIA
“Opinions can never substitute facts and for creation of an offence, certain facts constituting the offence need to be disclosed and not the mere possibilities as has been done in the present matter.”
Red Fort Violence
Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi granted bail to a person alleged of inciting violence at Singhu Border and Red Fort in respect to the Farm Laws.
- Is presence of accused at the Red Fort a very grave offence and non-bailable? Tis Hazari Courts grants bail to the person accused of Red Fort violence
Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi granted bail to the applicant Boota Singh, accused of inciting violence and disturbing law and order at Red Fort during Republic Day protest against controversial farm laws.
- Is carrying a Pharsa or Talwar by Sikhs and Nihangs prohibited? Is presence at the Red Fort a very grave offence and non-bailable? Tis Hazari Courts ask IO
Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi granted bail to the applicant Maninder Singh, accused of severely attacking and assaulting policemen on duty with his sword near the main entrance of Red Fort during Republic Day protest against controversial farm laws.
- Gangster Turned Activist, Lakha Sindhana granted anticipatory bail in Republic Day Violence Case: No prima facie material to show accused was inside Red Fort
Tis Hazari Courts granted bail to an accused Lakhbir Singh in Republic Day Violence, while noting that he had already joined the investigations and produced his mobile phone and disclosed that it was the same mobile phone which was being used by him on 26th January for recording videos and further uploading the same on his Facebook page.
- “Utterly shocked”; “No one allowed to ignite religious riots, blow hatred towards particular group or community”: Court rejects bail plea of accused booked over hate speech
“Freedom of speech has to be an integral part of any democratic country as in ours. However, this freedom has its own limitations and reasonable restrictions.”
“Every citizen has a right to express his thoughts but not in a manner to target a particular community and promoting enmity.”
Sessions Court, Gurugram granted bail to the Ram bhagat identified as Jamia shooter in a hate speech case. However, considering the nature of the offence alleged, the Bench imposed certain restrictions on the accused directing him not to organize or attend or address any public gathering which is likely to promote disharmony or feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between religious/racial groups/community or any gathering which is prejudicial to the maintenance of religious harmony or likely to disturb the public tranquillity.
Out of love and affection, a person can also contribute in the sale amount on behalf of other person and unless said fact is challenged by the former, the other persons have no right to question it. The mentioning of names as vendees in the registered sale deed clearly demonstrates the intention of the persons at the time of execution of the said document to create a right in favour of such persons. Had there been any contrary intention, names of such persons would not have been mentioned in the said sale deed.
Dishonour of Cheque
- Accused has to rebut presumption under NI Act, once signature on cheque is admitted? Delhi Saket Courts examines
Saket District Court found the accused guilty of an offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, where the accused had admitted signatures on the cheque and also failed to make the payment within 15 days of receipt of summons.
- Cheque dishonored, case filed under S. 138 NI Act: Can borrower raise defense that lender had no financial capacity to lend money?
Tis Hazari Courts, New Delhi, while noting the ingredients of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 acquitted a person charged for offence punishable under Section 138 NI Act.
- Loan given in cash, no documentary evidence available. Lender files a complaint under S. 138 NI Act: Read how ‘presumption’ under S. 118 (a) plays a role
Patiala House Courts, New Delhi acquitted the accused of offence under Section 138 (dishonour of cheque) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1885, holding that the accused successfully dislodged the statutory presumption.
- Mere denial is useless, Presumption under S. 138 NI Act can be rebutted only by leading cogent evidence: Court holds accused guilty where “payment stopped by drawer”
Saket Courts, New Delhi reiterated what is expected of an accused to rebut the statutory presumption against him in cases of cheque dishonour under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
- Presumption and Rebuttal under NI Act: Read Court’s verdict discussing onus of proof and nature of defence where “payment stopped by drawer”
If the accused is able to raise a probable defence, which creates doubt about the existence of legally enforceable debt or liability, the onus shifts back to the complainant.
- Not filling details in cheque, Non-filing of ITR by complainant, Handing over cheque as security, etc.: Delhi Court discards all defence, orders conviction under S. 138 NI Act
Saket Courts, Delhi convicted the accused for an offence under Section 138 (dishonour of cheque) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. While delivering the judgment, the Court reiterated the well-settled position of law and discarded various defence taken by the accused.
- If a cheque was issued in favour of complainant, would she still be required to prove loan transaction as she would have been in civil trial recovery? Court explains
Dwarka Courts, New Delhi, resolved the dispute pertaining to Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in light of the 4 conditions laid down under the said Section.
- What is the consequence of complainant’s failure to explain the occasion for issuance of cheque in his favour? How does it affect S. 138 NI Act complaint? Del Court answers
Dwarka Courts, Delhi on noting a very weak case of the complainant and not being able to produce sufficient evidence, dismissed his complaint filed for the dishonour of cheque under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
- “Account closed” and Cheque returned: Is it a reason sufficient for convicting a person under S. 138 NI Act? Read detailed decision of CMM Court, Bangalore
In light of the cheque being returned by the bank due to “Account Closed” Bhola Pandit, XX Addl. C.M.M, convicted an accused under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
- When does burden of proof shift to accused to rebut statutory presumption in cheque bounce cases under S. 138 NI Act? CMM Court considers
Court of XX Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru City: convicted a person who presented a cheque to repay a loan but the same was dishonoured due to insufficient funds.
- Husband and Wife separated for more than 1 year. Will 6 months period be waived, if divorce is sought mutually under S. 28 of Special Marriage Act? Pune Family Court decides
Family Court, Pune addressed a petition for divorce by mutual consent under Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and granted the same noting the difference of opinion and incompatibility of petitioner’s temperament.
- Divorce by Mutual Consent: Family Court dissolves marriage where husband and wife had difference of opinions and incompatible temperament
Family Court, Pune granted a decree of divorce by mutual consent to a couple who due to difference of opinion and incompatibility of their temperament could not live together.
- Family Court grants divorce by mutual consent under S. 13-B where parties refuse to cohabit and resolve disputes
Family Court, Ahmednagar allowed a petition granting a decree of divorce by mutual consent to the petitioners.
- When can a doctor be summoned for criminal charges relating to medical negligence? Patiala House Courts explains
Patiala House Courts while addressing a case of medical negligence expressed that d,octors can be summoned for negligence only if the negligence is gross or the doctors did not possess the requisite skill required for the treatment.
Domestic Violence & Maintenance
- Whether a Magistrate is obliged to call for a ‘Domestic Incident Report’ before issuing notice to respondent? Read on
Saket Courts, New Delhi, dismissed an appeal filed by the husband against the order of the trial court granting maintenance to the wife.
- If a wife is able to maintain herself and continue with same lifestyle as she was accustomed to in matrimonial home, can she still be granted maintenance? Court deciphers
Although the domestic violence is incident which happens within four walls of the house. No independent evidence can be expected.
- Does marrying another lady causes emotional abuse so as to come under Domestic Violence? Read Sessions Court decision
LXIII Addl. City Civil & Sessions Judge, Bengaluru, dismissed an appeal filed under Section 29 of the Domestic Violence Act finding that the petitioner wife had proved the factum of domestic violence.
- Daughter of a coparcener will also be a coparcener in Hindu Undivided Property? Tis Hazari Courts decides where father died before coming into force of 2005 Amendment to S. 6
Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, discussed the legal position on a coparcener’s daughter also being a coparcener of the Hindu Undivided Property.
Drink and Drive
- Person found to be driving in a drunk state, can his conviction be reduced in light of no previous conviction, clean past and remorse being expressed for such act? Read what Dwarka Court says
“There has to be a zero-tolerance for drunken driving and such cases should be dealt with stern hands for flashing proper message in the society.”
Theft of Electricity
- No electricity meter, No DG set or any other legal means for electricity supply found, claim for settlement with electricity company would be valid way to rebut statutory presumption under Electricity Act? Court explains
Karkardooma Courts, Delhi, decided a matter wherein a person was found guilty of direct theft of electricity.
Termination of Services
- How is compensation for termination of services to be assessed in absence of applicability of special statute? Court decides in a case of termination of Law Officer’s services
Saket Courts, New Delhi, decided a matter wherein an employee claimed full back wages from the date he was terminated till the date of his superannuation.
Condonation of Delay
- Litigants who indulge in frivolous litigation, clog arteries of justice delivery system: Read Court’s opinion on vexatious litigation
“A litigant who takes liberty with court procedure should anticipate the necessary consequences.”
“…a stern message is required to be sent to the litigants who indulge in frivolous and vexatious litigation as such litigation not only clogs arteries of justice delivery system but also deprives genuine litigants of their fundamental right of speedy trial.”
Failure to file Charge Sheet
- Court admits accused to bail for CBI’s failure to file charge sheet within 60 days; Discusses consequence of incomplete charge sheet vis-a-vis right under S. 167(2) CrPC
District Court Complex, Rouse Avenue, allowed applications filed under Section 167(2) CrPC and granted bail to the accused persons for failure of the Central Bureau of Investigation to file charge sheet within the permissible period of 60 days.