Madhya Pradesh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Dwarka Dhish Bansal, J., while dismissing a second appeal held that in presence of prior execution of agreement of Gift, the Will becomes a suspicious document.

The factual matrix of the case was that the land in question belonged to a deceased-Vindeshwari Prasad. It was alleged in the plaint that after the death of Vindeshwari Prasad, the plaintiffs and defendants 1-2 were having 1/3rd share each and there was no right vested in defendants 3-6. The instant suit was filed as second appeal against the judgement rendered by Additional District Judge (Fast Track Court) Rewa which had confirmed the judgment and decree passed by 5th Civil Judge Class-II Rewa.

It was submitted by the appellant that in view of the concurrent finding of the fact that the plaintiff was not in physical possession of the land, the suit filed was not maintainable in view of provision under Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. It was further contended by the appellants that in absence of the evidence of any forged document, the suit was not maintainable. It was contended by the appellants that Will in question was not a proven document and the Trial Court had made an error.

The counsel for the respondent submitted that as the Will was not proved by the defendants 3-5 and could not been found proved by the Courts, no interference could be warranted in the second appeal. It was further contended by the respondents that Will in question was propounded by the defendants 3-5, and therefore they were liable. It was also contended by the respondents that the property in question was an agriculture /revenue paying land and partition had to be effected by the Tehsildar.

The first substantial question of law was whether the declaration of share could be made irrespective of Section 34 of Specific Relief Act, 1963. The High Court came to the conclusion that the declaration of share could be made irrespective of Section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, especially in case where the land was agriculture land. The Court relied on the judgement of Karelal v. Gyanbai, 2018 SCC OnLine MP 1021 where there were identical set of facts and circumstances, and the Court had held that- “The matter can be ascertained from another angle also. In the present case, only the agricultural land is the disputed property. If the defendants had never challenged the rights and title of the plaintiffs, then there was no need for the plaintiffs to file a suit for declaration of title or even for partition.”

The second substantial question of law was that the Will was propounded by defendants 3-5, therefore it was for them to prove Will in question which was not proved by the Courts below. The Court relied on the judgment of Anathula Sudhakar v. P. Bucchi Reddy, (2008) 4 SCC 594 where it was held that “a cloud is said to raise over the person’s title, when some apparent defect in his title to a property, or when some prima facie right of a third party over, is made or shown.” The Court pointed out that the principle enshrined in order 6 rule 13 Civil Procedure Code, 1908 is also worth importance wherein it was specifically laid down that the burden of proving the will always lies upon the propounder, i.e. defendant in the present case. The Court also considered the proposition laid down by Supreme Court in Anathula Sudhakar after which it became apparent that a relief of declaration is required to be sought only when the defendant is able to show any apparent defect in title of plaintiff. It was observed by the Court that the findings with regard to the execution of the will was purely a question of fact and therefore cannot be interfered with by this Court as it was laid down in Sham lal v. Sanjeev Kumar, (2009) 12 SCC 454. The Court held that in presence of prior execution of Agreement of Gift, the Will becomes a suspicious document.

The High Court dismissed the second appeal.

[Ramkali v. Murirtkumari, Second Appeal No.1015 of 2004, decided on 20-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Sankalp Kochar, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

Ashok Lalwani, Advocate, for the Respondent.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: On being apprised of 30 years-long delay in execution of an Arbitration Award, the Division Bench comprising M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ., directed the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to constitute a Special Arrears Committee to address the issue of the long delay in commercial cases. The Court also directed the State government to consider constituting additional commercial courts in the four districts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut, Agra, and Lucknow.

In the instant case, the Arbitration Award had been passed in the year 1992 and the execution petition was filed in the year 2003, however, much to the Court’s surprise, the matter was still pending. Calling it a glaring example of frustrating the arbitration proceedings under the Arbitration Act, the Bench expressed,

“It is very unfortunate that even after a period of 30 years, the party in whose favour the Award is passed is not in a position to enjoy the fruit of the litigation/Award. Even the execution petition is also pending for more than 19 years. This is a very sorry state of affairs that even the execution proceedings to execute the Award passed under the Arbitration Act are pending for more than 20 years.”

Noticing that the statutory mandate requires the commercial dispute to be decided and disposed of at the earliest, i.e., within a year, the Court, by an earlier order, had held that if the Award, under the Arbitration Act, is not executed at the earliest, it will frustrate the purpose and object of the Arbitration Act as well as the Commercial Courts Act.

By an order dated 01-04-2022, the Court had asked the Allahabad High Court to submit a report indicating the status of pendency of commercial cases. Pursuant to the said order the High Court had filed the Status Report with respect to the pending execution petitions in the State of Uttar Pradesh, to execute the Awards, both under the Arbitration Act, 1940 and under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as well as the statement showing the total number of applications pending under Section 34 of the Act, 1996 in the State as well as the statement showing the total number of execution petitions to execute the Award both under Section 37 of the Arbitration Act, 1940 and under the 1996 Act pending in the Commercial Courts in the State.

The Status Report revealed the following:

  • About 30,154 execution petitions are pending with various District Courts/ Regular Courts in the State of U.P. and the oldest one is of the year 1981.
  • Similarly, in the Commercial Courts, 13,367 execution petitions/ applications are reported to be pending and the oldest one seems to be of the year 2002.
  • As on 31-03-2022, approximately 10,436 execution petitions/applications under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act are reported to be pending before the Regular Courts (non-commercial courts) with the oldest one of the year 1987.
  • About 1,209 execution petitions/applications are pending before the Commercial Courts and the oldest one seems to be of the year 1998.

The Court had asked the High Court to prepare a road-map and to take a call as to how the problem of the pendency of the execution petitions/applications to execute the Awards passed under the 1940 Act and 1996 Act and the applications under Section 34 are decided/disposed of at the earliest, so that the ultimate object and purpose of the Arbitration Act and Commercial Courts Act is achieved. Additionally, the Court requested the Chief Justice of the High Court to constitute a Special Arrears Committee of the Judges of the High Court and invite the suggestions and formulate a mechanism to tackle with the problem of arrears.

The Court remarked,

“If, the commercial disputes are not decided/ disposed of at the earliest, it may ultimately affect the economy of the country and may spoil the business relations between the parties.”  

However, no committee was constituted in spite of clear directions by the Court and the Court had to adjourn the matter to next day. Similarly, no sincere efforts were shown by the High Court in preparing the required road map, which made the Court to observe,

“It is reported that now the Special Arrears Committee has been constituted only yesterday.  Our earlier order dated 28.04.2022 was very clear and there was no ambiguity at all. Despite the above, for whatever reason, the Special Arrears Committee has not been constituted till yesterday and the same has been constituted only after yesterday’s hearing. We were not satisfied at all with the report submitted by the High Court yesterday (18.05.2022) and the road-map and the action proposed in tackling the arrears so far as the commercial matters are concerned.”

Interestingly, the Court noted that from the constitution of the Special Arrears Committee to make suggestions and formulate a mechanism to tackle with the problem of arrears, only the judges from the Allahabad Bench of the High Court were involved and none of the Judges from the Lucknow Bench was part of the Committee. Therefore, the Court directed the Chief Justice to reconstitute the Committee by including the judges from Lucknow Bench as well, since a large number of commercial matters were pending within the jurisdiction of the Lucknow Bench also.

On the suggestions to create additional commercial courts in the four districts of Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut, Agra and Lucknow where the pendency of such cases is comparatively larger, the Court directed the State Government to consider the proposal and take a final decision within a period of four weeks.

The matter is listed on 12-07-2022 for further hearing.[Chopra Fabricators and Manufacturers Pvt. Ltd. v. Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd., 2022 SCC OnLine SC 711, order dated 19-05-2022]


Appearance by:

For Petitioner(s): Mr. Rakesh U. Upadhyay, Advocate Mr. Rishabh Kumar Pandey, Advocate Ms. Aarti Upadhyay Mishra, AOR Mr. Pawanshree Agrawal, AOR Mr. Aneesh Mittal, Advocate Ms. Soumya Dhankani, Advocate Mr. Shaunik Gupta, Advocate

For Respondent(s): Mr. Nikhil Goel, Advocate Mr. Yashvardhan, Advocate Mr. Apoorv Shukla, AOR Ms. Smita Kant, Advocate Prabhleen Kana, Advocate Ms. Kritika Nagpal, Advocate Mr. Nitin Mishra, AOR Ms. Madhavi Divan, ASG Ms. Garima Prashad, Sr. Advocate


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Meghalaya High Court: H.S. Thangkhiew, J. while hearing a revision application allowed the same and directed the lower court to deal with the entire process expeditiously immediately on receipt of the application under Section 151 read with Order 20 Rule 6-A CPC.

The revision application under Article 227 of the Constitution was filed to seek the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court to quash and set aside order dated 18-02-2020, passed by the Court of the Assistant to Deputy Commissioner, Ri Bhoi District, Nongpoh, in Execution Case 01 of 2019. Title Suit 4 of 2016 was instituted by the petitioners as plaintiffs before the Court of the Assistant to Deputy Commissioner in the course of proceedings resulted in a compromise.

Petitioners approached the Lower Court for execution of the compromise deed dated 04-07-2016, vide Execution Case 1 of 2019.

Counsel for the petitioner,  submitted that after the compromise had been arrived at, settling the disputes raised in the Title Suit, the same was reduced to writing, and was jointly presented before the Lower Court on 04-07-2016.

Petitioners submitted that comprise arrived in settling the disputes raised in the Title Suit and the same was reduced to praying for judgment decree and order to be passed by the Court based on the mutual settlement. Court examined the parties, and disposed of the suit by allowing and accepting the settlement arrived at 04-07-2016, but no formal decree was drawn up.

Respondents filed 2 objections on 24-09-2019 and 28-11-2019 on the same premise. Lower Court took up for consideration and disposed of the entire execution case by the impugned order dated 18-02-2020 by holding that there was no decree and that the party were to resolve their own disputes. Petitioners on examination of the records, pointed for consideration before the Court. It was with the correctness of the impugned order which had rejected the application for execution filed under Order 21 Rule 15 of the CPC by the petitioner/plaintiff.

Court drew no decree and the petitioner was required to file an application under Section 151 read with Order 20 Rule 6-A CPC, before the lower Court for drawing the decree in accordance with the order dated 04-07-2016. Consequently, the impugned order dated 18-02-2020 was set aside and quashed. The Court opined that the entire process should be dealt expeditiously by the lower court immediately on receipt of the application under Section 151 read with Order 20 Rule 6-A CPC which shall be filed by the petitioner within a period of 4 weeks.[Delican Shadap v. Dal Nongtri, 2022 SCC OnLine Megh 33, decided on 03-03-2022]


For the Petitioner/Appellant(s) : Mr S.R. Lyngdoh

For the Respondent(s) : None


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Dismissing a half a century old litigation (started in 1971), having five rounds of litigation at the stage of execution of a simple money decree, the Division Bench of Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian*,  JJ., put an end to what appeared as a never ending litigation by holding that res judicata is applicable on execution proceedings and the judgment debtor cannot be allowed to raise objections in instalments.

Background

The appellants-judgment debtor had challenged the impugned order whereby the High Court had confirmed the order of the Executing Court dismissing their application under Section 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

One Rama Rani Devi had filed a simple suit for recovery of money in Money from the appellant-judgment debtor (deceased) for recovery of a sum of Rs.3000. The suit was decreed ex parte and an execution petition was filed praying for the attachment and sale of 17 decimal of land (approximately about 7450 Sq.ft.) of the appellant-judgment debtor. Pursuant to which a sale proclamation was issued by the executing court after which the appellant-judgment debtor filed an application assailing the sale proclamation on the ground of material irregularity and fraud, but the same was dismissed and the auction was held.

Compromise between Judgment debtor and Auction Purchaser

 Initially, the judgment debtor had filed an under Order XXI, Rule 90 read with Section 152 of CPC praying for setting aside the auction sale on the ground of irregularities in the sale proclamation, however, he subsequently entered into a compromise with the auction purchasers. The memo of compromise reads as follows:

“ The petitioner and the auction purchaser Opp. party do settle the suit mutually in the following manner.

1) If the petitioner debtor pays the entire money due to the auction purchaser opposite part in cash within 15th December or if he deposits it in their credit in the court and the auction shall be revoked and the original execution case shall be disposed on full satisfaction.

2) Otherwise that is if the petitioner debtor does not pay the entire money due to the auction purchaser opposite party in cash within 15th December on deposits that amount in court within that date then the said auction shall remain effective and this present suit shall be dismissed with costs.”

Findings of the High Court

Noticeably, the amount of money deposited by the auction purchasers into court was Rs.5500/, but the decree debt was around Rs.3360/. Though the compromise memo did not refer to the decree debt, but repeatedly mentioned the words, “entire money due to the auction purchasers”, the judgment debtor admittedly deposited only a sum of Rs.3700 on the basis of the calculation provided by the court officer in terms of Order XXI, Rule 89 of CPC. Consequently, after several rounds of litigation, it was held by the High Court that the judgment debtor had failed to honour the commitment made in the compromise memo to deposit the entire amount due to the auction purchasers and that therefore the auction sale should be confirmed in favour of the auction purchasers.

Contention of the Judgment debtor

The only mantra, by the recitation of which the appellants hoped to succeed was Order XXI, Rule 64 of the Code, which enables an executing court to order “that any property attached by it and liable to sale or such portion thereof as may seem necessary to satisfy the decree, shall be sold and that the proceeds of such sale or a sufficient portion thereof 10 shall be paid to the party entitled under the decree to receive the same”.

It was the contention of the appellants that Order XXI, Rule 64 casts not a discretion, but an obligation, to sell only such portion of the property as may be sufficient to satisfy the decree.

Opinion and Analysis

Noticeably, the executing court had ordered the issue of notice of attachment under Order XXI, Rule 54 of the Code and it was only thereafter that the court directed the issue of sale proclamation under Order XXI, Rule 66; which was in conformity with proviso to sub rule (2) of Rule 66 gives a discretion to the court to dispense with a second notice to the judgment debtor of the date to be fixed for settling the terms of the proclamation of sale under Order XXI, Rule 66(2).

The sequence of events showed that the judgment debtor had sufficient opportunity to object to the inclusion of the entire property when an order was passed under Order XXI, Rule 54. Subsequently he had an opportunity to object to the inclusion of the whole of the property, by taking advantage of the amended clause (a) of sub rule (2) of Rule 66 of Order XXI, which speaks about sale of a part of the property that would be sufficient to satisfy the decree. But the judgment debtor despite filing a petition under Section 47, did not point out how the property being a vacant land of an extent of 17 decimals could have been divided.

Noticing that the objection relating to Order XXI, Rule 64 had been raised by the appellants-judgment debtor for the first time in the 5th round of litigation in execution, and that the 2nd round was kickstarted with a suit for a declaration that the auction sale was void despite the express bar of a separate suit, under Section 47(1) of CPC. The Bench remarked,

“…the appellants have  now exhausted almost all provisions available to a judgment debtor to stall execution and the case on hand is fit to be included in the syllabus of a law school as a study material for students to get equipped with the various provisions of the Code relating to execution.”

Findings and Conclusion

In the backdrop of above, the Bench held that the appellants could not be allowed to raise the issue relating to the breach of Order XXI, Rule 64 for the following reasons:

  1. A judgmentdebtor cannot be allowed to raise objections as to the method of execution in instalments. After having failed to raise the issue in four earlier rounds of litigation, the appellants could not be permitted to raise it;
  2. The original judgmentdebtor himself filed a petition under Section 47, and what was on hand was a second petition under Section 47 and, hence, it was barred by res judicata. The Bench explained that post insertion of Explanation VII under Section 11 of CPC by Act 104 of 1976 the provisions of res judicata will apply to a proceeding for the execution of a decree;
  3. The observations of the High Court that, “none of the parties shall have any claim whatsoever as against the applicant in respect of the purchased property which shall be deemed to be his absolute property on and from the expiry of 15th December, 1980”, had attained finality;
  4. Section 65 of the Code says that, “where immovable property is sold in execution of a decree and such sale has become absolute, the property shall be deemed to have vested in the purchaser from the time when the property is sold and not from the time when the sale becomes absolute”.
  5. The sale of a property becomes absolute under Order XXI, Rule 92(1) after an application made under Rule 89, Rule 90 or Rule 91 is disallowed and the court passes an order confirming the same, hence, the Court has to grant a certificate under Rule 94 indicating the date and the day on which the sale became absolute.

“…a conjoint reading of Section 65, Order XXI, Rule 92 and Order XXI, Rule 94 would show that it passes through three important stages (other than certain intervening stages). They are, conduct of sale; (ii) sale becoming absolute; and (iii) issue of sale certificate. After all these three stages are crossed, the 4th stage of delivery of possession comes under Rule 95 of Order XXI.”

Since, the appellants had raised the objection relating to Order XXI, Rule 64 at the 4th stage and it was not the case that the appellants were not aware of the fact that the property in entirety was included in the proclamation of sale, the claim on the basis of Order XXI, Rule 64 was rightly rejected by the High Court. In view of the above, the appeal was dismissed.

[Dipali Biswas v. Nirmalendu Mukherjee, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 869, decided on 05-10-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 


Appearance by:

For the Appellants: Advocate RAUF RAHIM

For the Respondents: Advocate SATISH KUMAR


*Judgment by: Justice V. Ramasubramanian

Know Thy Judge | Justice V. Ramasubramanian

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Putting the last nail in the coffin for the Nirbhaya death row convicts who were hanged this morning, the 3-judge bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ dismissed the plea file by Pawan Kumar Gupta challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President on the ground that his plea of juvenility had not been finally determined and this aspect was not kept in view by the President of India while rejecting his mercy plea.

The hearing that took place late at night at 2:30 AM.

The Court rejected Pawan’s plea of juvenility and held that the said plea has already been duly considered and rejected by the Courts before and there was no need to go into it again.

On the contention that due to torture in the prison the petitioner had sustained head injuries and that he was sutured with more than 10 sutures and proper treatment was not given to the petitioner, the Court held,

“The alleged torture, if any, in the prison cannot be a ground for judicial review of the executive order passed under Article 72 of the Constitution of India rejecting the mercy petition.”

On the ground that petitioner might not have shared the common intention along with other co­-accused and that he cannot be imposed the grave capital punishment, the Court said that the said ground has been considered both by the Trial Court as well as the High Court and by this Court and the petitioner Pawan Kumar Gupta has been found guilty and convicted.

Hence, dismissing the petition the Court concluded,

“when the power is vested in the very high contitutional authority, it must be presumed that the said authority had acted carefully after considering all the aspects of the matter.”

The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The friend with whom Nirbhaya boarded the bus was also beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod by the accused. He suffered broken limbs but survived.

[Pawan Kumar Gupta v. State of NCT of Delhi,  2020 SCC OnLine SC 340, decided on 20.03.2020]


Also read:

[Midnight Hearing of the Gruesome – Nirbhaya Case] |Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed

7 years later, finally, a closure for Nirbhaya’s family; All 4 convicts hanged to death

Hot Off The PressNews

The convicts are to be hanged at 5.30 a.m. and the legal remedies in the Nirbhaya Verdict are still being availed by the convicts.

Special Bench to sit for hearing at Supreme Court after dismissal of petition on stay of execution by Delhi HC.

Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. decided, that

Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed; Convicts to be hanged at 5.30 am today.

Live Updates

Supreme Court to hear the petition of all four death row convicts, seeking stay on execution.

Advocate A.P. Singh has challenged the order passed by the Delhi High Court.

Bench of Justice R. Banumathi to sit for the hearing.

Hearing at the Supreme Court has begun. Less than 3 hours remaining for the scheduled execution of the Nirbhaya Convicts.

Supreme Court begins hearing in the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution. [ANI]

Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. hearing the petition.

Advocate A.P. Singh makes his submissions before the Bench.

Advocate AP Singh appearing for convict Pawan shows to court school certificate, school register,& attendance register of Pawan claiming he was juvenile at the time of crime. Justice Bhushan says these documents were already filed by him before courts. [ANI]

Justice Bhushan asks what are the grounds on which AP Singh (advocate of convicts) is challenging the rejection of mercy petition? Justice Bhushan further says AP Singh is raising grounds which have already been argued. [ANI]

We are not inclined to entertain the plea Supreme Court observes.[ANI]

AP Singh, advocate of death row convicts says – I know they will be hanged but can it (execution) be stayed for two- three days to record (convict Pawan’s) statement. [ANI]

Justice Banumathi is dictating the Order.

Supreme Court dismisses the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution.

A. P Singh, advocate of death row convicts asks court to allow family members of convicts to meet them for the last time for 5-10 minutes. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says jail rules doesn’t permit it and it is painful for both sides. [ANI]

Hot Off The PressNews

LIVE UPDATES OF LATE NIGHT HEARING

Justice Manmohan to AP Singh: We’re close to the time when your client will meet the God. Don’t waste time. We’ll not be able to help you in the eleventh hour if you cannot raise an important point. You have only 4-5 hours. If you have a point then come to it. [ANI]

“Law favours those who take timely action. For 2 and a half years till March 4, 2020, what have you been doing? You are blaming us? It is already 10.45 pm, execution is at 5.30 am. Give us a substantive point.”

Bench tells advocate AP Singh, time is running out, there is not enough time.

Delhi HC says divorce plea of convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s wife not relevant to stay execution. [PTI]

These are death warrants. This is the fourth one. Some sanctity should be given to them: Court [ANI]

Advocate AP Singh says, justice hurried is justice buried. Court says to Singh, you have not raised a single legal point.

We find no foundation in your plea says Delhi High Court.

Delhi High Court dismisses the petition filed by the death row convicts. To be hanged tomorrow morning at 5.30 a.m.

Lawyer Shams Khawaja, appearing for convicts, begins making submissions.[ANI]

President of India at an event made public his sentiments that death row convicts in sexual assault cases do not deserve mercy. He was prejudiced against us even before the first mercy plea. [ANI]

Court: Once a Judge signs a Judgment, he cannot touch that again. You want to carry on, go on! We will sit here till 5.30 am and pass the judgment. Be our guest to take it beyond 5.30 am and then we will pass the judgment.

Court expresses displeasure over lawyers continuing arguments.

Delhi High Court says no foundation has been given in the petition. It has been filed without any index, list of dates, memo of parties, annexures or any affidavits. [ANI]

Advocate A.P. Singh representing the Convicts says: “Will go to Supreme Court when I get the order copy. I have spoken to Registrar, I will go to him.”

Patiala House Courts, Delhi
Hot Off The PressNews

Delhi’s Patiala House court dismissed the petition filed by the Convicts of the Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder Case.

The petition was filed with regard to staying of their execution scheduled for tomorrow at Tihar Jail.

The four convicts are set to be hanged tomorrow. The four convicts approached courts filing pleas seeking relief from the capital punishment.

The four men have been convicted for the gang-rape and murder of a young woman who was brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012.


What happened in the Supreme Court, earlier this day?

Supreme Court: The Court has dismissed the curative petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, who had moved the court against the dismissal of his review plea. In his petition, Pawan has claimed that he was juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012.

This comes as Gupta, along with three other convicts, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, and Vinay Sharma. are scheduled to be hanged on March 20 at 5.30 am.

Three of the four death row convicts in the Delhi gangrape case, including Gupta, had also approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this month, seeking a stay on the execution of their death sentence.

The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Besides Mukesh, three others – Akshay, Vinay, and Pawan are facing the gallows for the heinous crime that shook the entire nation. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.

On July 9, 2018 , the Court had dismissed the review pleas filed by the three convicts in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.

On December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ rejected the review petition of the last convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, seeking modification and leniency.

On January 21, 2020, the 3-judge bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ had dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya Gang rape case where he “reagitated” the plea of juvenility.

A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. Two of the convicts are yet to file curative petitions before the Supreme Court.

Another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in March 2013 during the trial. Another convict, who was a minor at the time of the crime, was sent to a reform facility and released after three years of the crime.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J., dismissed an execution first appeal filed against the order of Additional District Judge whereby appellants objection to the execution of a money decree sought by decree-holder against the judgment-debtor was dismissed.

It was contended by the appellant-objector that she was the sole owner of the two properties attached in the execution and the judgment-debtor, her son, had no right over them. The Executing Court dismissed the objections of the appellant holding that in proof of her title to the said properties, the appellant filed only a Power of Attorney of her husband in her favour which wasn’t sufficient. Counsel for the appellant submitted that there was a family settlement, however, neither was any such settlement pleaded in the objections nor any document filed in that regard.

The High Court was of the view that it appeared that the purpose was to delay the execution. The appellant and the judgment-debtors were hand-in-glove with each other and were not making a clean breast of state of affairs. In Court’s opinion, it was an attempt to fabricate the documents. Furthermore, one of the judgment-debtors had already left India. The court observed that appellant-objector could not on one hand claim arms length distance from judgment-debtors and on the other hand represent their interest. The appeal was held to be an abuse of process of Court and thus dismissed.[Charanjit Kaur Virk v. Premlata Sharma,2018 SCC OnLine Del 12020, dated 15-10-2018]