Year-End Round-Up of District Courts | From #MeToo Verdicts, ICICI — Videocon Scam, Toolkit Case to Delhi Riots: Get a Glimpse of it All

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.

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ICICI – Videocon Scam

‘It APPEARS that Chanda Kochhar has misused her official position in sanctioning loans to Videocon Group’: Read Court’s order issuing process against the former MD & CEO of ICICI Bank

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.

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MJ Akbar v. Priya Ramani | #MeToo

Woman has a right to put her grievance at any platform of her choice even after decades || No defamation case against Priya Ramani

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.

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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.

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Toolkit Case

Freedom of speech includes ‘Right to seek a Global Audience’, Court draws distinction between dissenting opinion & seditious activities: Bail Granted to Disha Ravi || Detailed report

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.

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Delhi Riots

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.

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“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.”

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Consumer Protection

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’.

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.

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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.

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Defamation

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.

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Crypto frauds

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.

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COVID-19

Sessions Court, Jammu and Kashmir denied anticipatory bail to the person accused of obstructing the vaccination drive and spreading rumours regarding the vaccination.

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“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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Property Dispute

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.

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Dishonour of Cheque

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Divorce

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.

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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.

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Family Court, Ahmednagar allowed a petition granting a decree of divorce by mutual consent to the petitioners.

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Medical Negligence

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.

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Domestic Violence & Maintenance

Saket Courts, New Delhi, dismissed an appeal filed by the husband against the order of the trial court granting maintenance to the wife.

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Although the domestic violence is incident which happens within four walls of the house. No independent evidence can be expected.

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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.

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Coparcener

Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, discussed the legal position on a coparcener’s daughter also being a coparcener of the Hindu Undivided Property.

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Drink and Drive

“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.”

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Theft of Electricity

Karkardooma Courts, Delhi, decided a matter wherein a person was found guilty of direct theft of electricity.

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Termination of 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.

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Condonation of Delay

“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.”

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Failure to file Charge Sheet

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.

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