Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Division Bench of Akil Kureshi, CJ and Arindam Lodh, J., allowed and disposed of an appeal filed aggrieved by the order of the Single Judge.

Petitioner was the second wife of a deceased government servant Nani Gopal Roy and was entitled to a family pension as her nomination was also made by the deceased government servant during his lifetime. Despite which the respondents were not giving her the pension to which she had filed a writ petition. While allowing the writ petition the Single Judge ordered the respondents to release the pension subject to the production of the survival certificate of Nani Gopal Roy and Mamata Bala Roy, the first wife of the deceased government servant. The petitioner’s grievance was that she was unable to produce those documents because of which she was not receiving her pension.

The Court while allowing and disposing of the appeal stated that the government has not shown any rule which would require the claimant of the family pension to produce the documents of the first wife, thus, that direction needs to be deleted and with respect to the document of the husband, a No-objection of all legal heirs of a deceased is not a requirement for issuance of survival certificate. Thereupon, the Court directed the petitioner to apply to the concerned Sub Divisional Magistrate for issuance of survival certificate of deceased Nani Gopal Roy and then approach the State-authorities for release of her family pension. [Maya Rani Roy v. State of Tripura, 2020 SCC OnLine Tri 62 , decided on 11-02-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: Ashutosh Kumar, J. directed the petitioner to make a representation before the municipal corporation to be considered for appointment on compassionate ground.

The petitioner was the daughter of a man who was working as Pump Khalasi with the Municipal Corporation of Munger. Her father, the employee, died on 09-10-2014. The wife of the deceased employee made an application for being considered for the compassionate appointment but no order was passed in this regard as the corporation kept on seeking directions and guidelines for providing appointment on compassionate ground. In the meantime, the petitioner, who was married to a poor person, became a widow and during the lifetime of the deceased employee, she became dependent on him. The brother of the petitioner, who was in government service, was also not affording any help to the family of the deceased employee. Sometime later, her mother also passed away.

The petitioner was absolutely dependent on her father, and therefore sought compassionate appointment in place of her deceased father.

The Court was of the opinion that since there was no other claimant for being considered for appointment on compassionate ground, it directed the petitioner to make a representation before the Municipal Commissioner, for them to consider her for being appointed on compassionate ground on any Class-IV post, subject to the scheme of such compassionate appointment which may be prevalent in the corporation. The Court directed the Municipal Commissioner of Munger to look into the case of the petitioner in the right perspective and the law which has developed with regard to grant of compassionate appointment in order to provide succour to the family of the deceased employee.[Moti Devi v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 1372, decided on 07-08-2019]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Uday U. Lalit, J. speaking for himself and Arun Mishra, J., delivered the judgment of the vacation bench holding that ‘workload’ or ‘work stress’, by itself, is not a ground to prove a charge of abetment to suicide against the employer/superior officer.

The Hon’ble bench was deciding a criminal appeal directed against the judgment of the Bombay High Court, whereby the appellant’s application under Section 482 CrPC for quashing of FIR was dismissed. The deceased was serving in the Office of Deputy Director, Education. He committed suicide. The wife of the deceased alleged that the deceased was suffering mental torture as his senior officers were getting heavy work done from him; he was called at odd hours and even on holidays; his salary for one month was not given; he was threatened that his increment would be stopped; due to work pressure, the deceased used to remain silent; she alleged that the senior officers were responsible for abetting the suicide of the deceased.

Hon’ble Bench of the Supreme Court referred to its earlier decision in Madan Mohan Singh v. State of Gujarat, (2010) 8 SCC 628, wherein it was held that there must be allegations to the effect that the accused had either instigated the deceased in some way to commit suicide or had engaged with some other person in conspiracy to do so or that the accused has in some way aided any act or illegal omission to bring about the suicide. In the instant case, the Court went through the record and did not find any such material which would show that the appellant abetted the commission of suicide. It was observed, as a superior officer, if some work was assigned by the appellant to the deceased, merely on that count, it cannot be said that there was any guilty mind or criminal intent. The exigencies of work may call for certain action on part of a superior including stopping of salary for a month. The action simplicitor could not be said to be a pointer against any such superior officer. Holding that the allegations in the FIR were inadequate and did not satisfy requirements of Section 306 IPC, the Hon’ble Court allowed the appeal and quashed the criminal case lodged against the appellant. [Vaijnath Kondiba Khandke v. State of Maharashtra, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 545, decided on 17-05-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: A Single Judge Bench of  S. Talapatra J., addressed a petition seeking claim under the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 by stressing upon the categories of employees constituted under the definition of ‘employee’ under Section 2(dd) of the said Act.

The deceased for whom the compensation was being claimed by the appellant was an employee working under the ‘MGNREGA’ scheme. The Appellant has claimed the compensation under Section 4 of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 stating that her husband died in the course of the employment as he suffered from chest pain during the time he was working on the land under the ‘MGNREGA’ scheme.

The Commissioner of Employee’s Compensation further in regard to providing clarity on the point of whether the employee was entitled to claim compensation under the above-referred act observed the definition of ‘employee’ under Section 2(dd) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923, and in accordance to that in his opinion an employee under the scheme of ‘MGNERGA’ will not be covered under the said definition of ‘employee’ under the said Act.

Therefore, the Hon’ble Court, concluded by appreciating the submissions of the learned counsel of the parties along with no discrepancy on the submissions placed by the Commissioner of Employee’s stated that there is no material found which could cover the deceased under the definition of ‘employee’ in Section 2(dd) of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 which lead to the dismissal of the appeal. [Rirasatnai Halam v. State of Tripura,2018 SCC OnLine Tri 115, order dated 12-06-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A criminal appeal filed against the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court was dismissed by a Division Bench comprising of H.C. Mishra and B.B. Mangalmurti, JJ.

The appellants were accused of assaulting one Mata Sinku and causing his death. The appellants were charged under Section 302 IPC. They were convicted and sentenced of the said offence by the learned trial judge. The appellants contended that their conviction was based only on the testimonies of related witnesses, being the brother, wife and daughter of the deceased. Challenging the admissibility of such evidence, the appellants assailed the order of the trial court.

The High Court considered the submissions made on behalf of the appellants only to reject them. The Court held that the witnesses in the case, although being the brother, mother, and daughter of the deceased, were the only natural witnesses as the incident took place late at night outside their house. Further, the case of the prosecution was also supported by the brother of one of the appellants. The Court held that only because the witnesses were related to the deceased, that fact by itself does not render their evidence to be inadmissible, especially when they were the natural witnesses to the incident. Therefore, the High Court held that there was no infirmity in the order passed by the trial court. The appeals were accordingly dismissed. [Binod Sinku v. State of Jharkhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 360, dated 17-05-2018]