Allahabad High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The Division Bench of Sunita Agarwal and Om Prakash Shukla, JJ. dismissed and appeal on the admission stage itself which was directed against the order passed by the family court under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 in a proceeding for divorce instituted by the appellant husband.

It was noted from the impugned order that only Rs. 3000/- per month had been granted towards interim maintenance to the respondent wife apart from Rs. 5000/- towards the cost of the proceeding. Counsel of the appellant had challenged the order contending that the appellant was unemployed and he has no source of income. It was further submitted that the respondent wife has independent income as she is running a medical store along with his father who is a doctor.

The Court was of the opinion that the mere fact that the respondent wife is educated and is doing something to survive since she has been thrown out of her matrimonial home cannot be a reason to deny interim maintenance.

An able-bodied husband cannot argue that he is not in a position to maintain his wife. It is social, legal and moral responsibility of a man to maintain his wife and no exception to the same can be taken by us, in view of bald assertions of the appellant.

The Court dismissed the appeal referring to the decision of the Supreme Court in Rajnesh v. Neha , (2021) 2 SCC 324 where law of maintenance was discussed.

[Vaibhav Singh v. Divyashika Singh, 2022 SCC OnLine All 577, decided on 03-08-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Santosh Kumar Singh, Advocate, Counsel for the Appellant.


*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Madras High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: G R Swaminathan J. dismissed the petition of an inter-faith couple seeking registration of their self-respect marriage on the ground that Section 7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 dealing with such marriages can have no application as both are not Hindus.

The petitioner, who is a Hindu and his wife Lediya, who is a Christian with the consent of both the families in the presence of the local panchayat president and a political functionary, solemnized their marriage. The couple then submitted a joint application before the Sub Registrar ‘R2′ and only a notice was submitted under Section 5 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 for registration of their marriage and issue of certificate. The registration was denied because Ms. Lediya was yet to turn 21. Assailing the said dismissal, instant petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking issuance of writ of Mandamus directing R2 to register the petitioner’s marriage.

The Court observed that Section 15 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 expressly excludes marriages solemnized under the Act and it deals only with marriages celebrated in other forms. In the present case, the petitioner is a Hindu while Lediya is a Christian. They underwent what is apparently a self-respect marriage. But, Section 7-A of the Hindu Marriage Act dealing with such marriages can have no application. The said provision was introduced in the year 1967 to confer recognition for marriages held without religious ceremonies.

The Court noted that a sacramental marriage performed as per ceremonies as well as a marriage celebrated in terms of Section 7-A Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is both valid. However, Suyamariyathai and Seerthiruththa marriages (reformist/self-respect marriages) can be performed only between two Hindus. Therefore, what was performed on 10-06-2022 between the petitioner and Ms. Lediya cannot be considered as one solemnized under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The Court further noted that the petitioner can hope to succeed only if he can show that his marriage was solemnized under the Special Marriage Act. Even according to the petitioner, the marriage was performed on 10-06-2022. Only thereafter, notice was given under Section 5 of the Act. Observing that giving notice under Section 5 is the first step, the Court Said,

The couples in question have put the cart before the horse. The parties after performing their so-called marriage had given notice under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The language of Section 5Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 is clear. The petitioner did not marry Ms. Lediya under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. He cannot avail himself of the benefit set out in Section 4 of the Act.”

While the Court noticed that the petitioner and Ms.Lediya did not undergo any marriage in the legal sense of the term on 10.06.2022, it was of the opinion that nothing stops them from solemnizing their marriage under the Special Marriage Act.

The Court opined that the petitioner gave notice under Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 only on 17-06-2022. The said notice will be valid for a period of three months. He can very well follow the procedure set out in the said Act. In that event, the second respondent cannot refuse to issue a marriage certificate on the grounds that Ms. Lediya has not yet turned 21.

The Court held “The second respondent rightly declined the petitioner’s request. No mandamus can be issued contrary to law. The writ petition stands dismissed.”

[S. Sarath Kumar v. The District Collector, W.P. (MD) No. 13304 of 2022, decided on 30-06-2022]


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

Allahabad High Court

Disability

In a case where an employee of Central Bank of India petitioned to be exempted from routine transfers due to permanent disability of wife, Rajesh Singh Chauhan, J. held that the transfer is an exigency/ incidence of service and no courts are ordinarily interfered with the transfer orders but if such transfer may be avoided for any specific compelling reason and that reason is unavoidable, the Competent Authority being model employer should consider such condition sympathetically. Read more

Right to Education

The Division Bench of Rajesh Singh Chauhan and Subhash Vidyarthi, JJ., dealt with a case where the admission of a class VIII student was rejected by the school authorities without proper information being given to the parents on time, so that such student could get his admission in any other institution inasmuch as to receive proper education is a Fundamental Right enshrined under Article 21-A of the Constitution of India. Read more

Manual Scavenging

The Division Bench of Manoj Kumar Gupta and Chandra Kumar Rai, JJ., took up suo motu cognizance and directed the authorities concerned to take concrete measures for implementation so that some change is discernible in the working conditions of the sanitary workers in line with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be followed in cleaning sewers and septic tanks. Read more

Andhra Pradesh High Court

Habeas Corpus

A Division Bench of Tarlada Rajashekhar Rao and K Manmadha Rao, JJ., directed the State authorities to produce the detenu-wife before Court as couple is major and have agreed to live together. Read more

Bombay High Court

POCSO

The Division Bench of Prasanna B. Varale and S.M. Modak, JJ. dismissed an FIR lodged under Section 376 of the Penal Code, 1860, and Section 4 of the POCSO Act, observing that the conflict had been addressed and the girl and boy intended to marry. Read more

Personal Liberty

A.S. Chandurkar and Amit Borkar, JJ., stated that the right to travel abroad is spelled out in Article 21 of the Constitution and that the provisions of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, do not implicitly confer such powers on the Debt Recovery Tribunal to restrain a person from travelling abroad. Read more

Extra-Marital Affair

The Division Bench of Sunil B. Shukre and G.A. Sanap, JJ., granted an application to quash an FIR filed under Section 306, 34 Penal Code. Read more

Advertisement/ Qualification

The petitioners contested a School Tribunal judgement ordering them to reinstate the respondent/employee. In overturning the Tribunal’s decision, the Bench of Rohit B. Deo, J. clarified that job advertisements are not limited to reserved positions. Under the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Regulation Act, 1977, it is also obligatory to advertise the positions in the open category. Read more

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

S.G. Mehare, J., authorised an appeal against the July 30, 2001 order of the Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation and Judge Labour Court. Read more

Burden of Proof

The appeal against the appellant’s conviction for the offence is punishable under section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860, whereby he was sentenced to suffer R.I. for life and a fine of Rs. 5,000, was permitted by the Division Bench of Sadhana S. Jadhav and Milind N. Jadhav, JJ. Read more

Copyright Infringement

RI Chagla J. awarded an ad-interim injunction in favour of the “Janhit Mein Jaari” film’s creators and ordered the defendants to take down infringing links right away. Read more

Hindu Marriage Act

Bharati Dangre, J. dismissed a writ petition brought by the petitioner-husband against maintenance order towards his daughter stating that an unmarried major Daughter is entitled for maintenance from her father and glossy life on Instagram do not prove independent and sufficient income to exempt petitioner’s responsibility/liability. Read more

Consent vis a vis Sexual Relationship

Bharati Dangre, J. rejected an anticipatory bail application which was filed apprehending arrest for the offences punishable under Sections 376(2)(n), 376(2)(h) and 417 of the Penal Code, 1860 and held that merely sharing friendly relationship with a girl does not permit a boy to take her for granted and construe it as her consent to establish physical relationship. Read more

Departmental Proceedings

The Division Bench of S.B. Shukre and G. A. Sanap, JJ. sets aside an FIR for the offences punishable under Sections 13(1)(c)(d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in the matter of departmental proceedings being based on identical/similar charges as criminal proceedings cannot be proceeded with if accused was exonerated in departmental proceedings based on identical/similar charges. Read more

Calcutta High Court

Gratuity/ Pension

Amrita Sinha, J. dismissed a petition filed by an Assistant Teacher who retired on October 31, 2020, concerning the delayed payment of the gratuity and arrear pension amount. Read more

Dispute Bill

Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, J. granted a petition directing CESC Ltd. to restore the petitioner’s electricity supply unconditionally. Read more

Peaceful Procession

Shampa Sarkar, J. heard a petition alleging that the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, denied Utshi United Primary Teachers Welfare Association permission to march peacefully from Raja Subodh Mullick Square Park to Rani Rashmoni Avenue on June 11, 2022. Read more

Reasonable Opportunity

The Division Bench of Debangsu Basak and Bibhas Ranjan De, JJ. dismissed an appeal directed against the order dated 09-02-2022, holding that, despite the assessee receiving additional evidence regarding the quantum of tax liability after the conclusion of the order or refund, there was no material irregularity in the order of refund warranting interference under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. Read more

Child Trafficking

Ananya Bandyopadhyay and Joymalya Bagchi, JJ., the division bench, denied a request for bail in a human trafficking case. The report was read in court, and it said that on June 14, 2022, psychological treatment was provided to trafficking victims. A request has been submitted for the lawful award of interim compensation. To provide the aforementioned witnesses with the security they need, measures were taken. Read more

Prostitution

A revisional application was filed for the quashing of the proceedings under Sections 3, 4, 5, 7, and 18 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (commonly referred to as the “I.T.(P) Act”) read with Section 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860,” and also for the setting aside of the order by which the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate took cognizance against the current petitioner. This application was granted by Judge Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee. Read more

Victim Compensation Scheme

After hearing a petition, Moushumi Bhattacharya, J. gave instructions about the non-payment of victim compensation following a decision made by the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority setting the compensation amount at Rs. 1,50,000/-. Read more

Arbitration

The Arbitral Tribunal’s award was affirmed by Shekhar B. Saraf, J., who also ruled that the award holder should be held liable for the full sum, plus interest and additional fees. Read more

Delhi High Court

Arbitration & Conciliation

While addressing the ineligibility of an arbitrator to be appointed, Vibhu Bhakru, J., elaborated on the expression ‘close family member’ and the likelihood of bias. Read more

Dishonour of Cheque

Asha Menon, J. refused to allow a petition filed under Section 482 CrPC seeking quashing of summoning order passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House Courts in a complaint filed by the respondents 1 and 2 against the petitioner under Section 138 read with Section 142 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. Read more

Income Tax Act

The Division Bench of Manmohan and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, JJ., expressed that, merely because there was a delay of one day in asking for an adjournment, the assessee living outside India cannot be denied his right to file an objection to Show Cause notice. The present petition had been filed challenging the order passed under Section 148 A (d) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and the notice was passed under Section 148 of the Act. Read more

A Division Bench of Manmohan and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora JJ. dismissed the petition and ordered the respondents to refund the amount adjusted more than 10% of the disputed tax demands for the Assessment Year 2017-18 to the petitioner. Read more

Arbitration

While hearing an application against an arbitral tribunal’s award, Vibhu Bakhru, J. ruled that the arbitral tribunal could not rewrite or examine the parties’ agreement. Read more

FATF/ Economic Security

The Division Bench of Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna, JJ., stated that the simple smuggling of gold without any link to a danger to the country’s economic security or monetary stability is not a “terrorist crime” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Read more

Police Post

In a case where a police officer was injured after being attacked with an illegal weapon outside of the police station, Talwant Singh, J., stated that a police station is a place where people go to lodge complaints about disputes among themselves, not a place where public servants are supposed to be attacked. Read more

Trademark Infringement

Prathiba M. Singh, J. granted Colorbar Cosmetics Private Limited an ad interim ex parte injunction, restraining the Canada-based Faces Cosmetics India Private Limited from manufacturing, selling, and offering for sale cosmetics and other products under the trademark “Velvet matte.” Read more

Jyoti Singh, J. granted an ex-parte injunction and noted that a stricter approach is required in cases of medicinal preparations and products because any confusion between the respective medicinal products is likely to have a disastrous effect on public health. Read more

Dinesh Kumar Sharma J. granted an ex parte injunction to Voltas Limited restraining a website from using their registered trademark and logo VOLTAS and block and suspend the website. Read more

Matrimonial Offences

Swarana Kanta Sharma, J., stated that cases under Section 376 of the Penal Code, 1860 should not be quashed and should not be considered a crime against the society at large. However, in unusual circumstances, where the complainant states that her future depends on the quashing of the FIR and adds that the rape was not committed upon her, it would be in the interest of justice to quash the FIR. Read more

Illegality

Geetanjali Goel, J. upholds the discharge of Delhi CM and others in the Anshu Prakash assault case, finding no reason to interfere with the Trial Court’s impugned order and dismissing the petition as without merit. Read more

Adjudication

A Division Bench of Manmohan and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, JJ., dismissed the petition and ordered a new adjudication since the Assessing Officer did not examine any of the representations and contentions. Read more

Organ Donation

Yashwant Verma, J. dismissed the petition and directed the respondent hospital to process the petitioner’s application and request following the law. Read more

POCSO

A Division Bench of Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna, JJ., maintained the assailed conviction decision, citing the accused’s terrible act of rape on a four-year-old child from his close family. Read more

Income Tax

Jyoti Singh and Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, JJ., of the Division Bench, struck aside notices addressed to a deceased assessee despite being informed of his death by his relatives. Read more

Injunction

Pratibha M Singh, J. issued directives to domain name registrars whose offices are located outside of India and whose details are not disclosed so that they do not avoid injunction orders issued by Indian courts. Read more

Compensation

Manoj Kumar Ohri J. dismissed the petition because the employer-employee relationship was established before the court by a witness and strict rules of evidence are not applicable in such cases. Read more

Controller of Patents

The applicant did not intend to abandon, the court should be lenient in its approach if it is convinced that the patent agent made a mistake and the applicant can demonstrate full diligence, said Pratibha M. Singh J., who also excused the delay in filing the applicant’s reply to the First Examination Reports. Read more

Foreign National Reservation

The refusal of admission by AIIMS and PGIMER was supported by Sanjeev Narula, J., because PGIMER did not promote seats for foreign nationals simply because it mentioned the requirements for admission as a foreign citizen in its prospectus. Read more

Mandamus / Judicial Review

Table tennis players Swastika Ghosh and Manush Shah, who had challenged the decision made by the Table Tennis Federation of India on the athletes who will represent India in the Commonwealth Games in 2022, were refused relief by Dinesh Kumar Sharma, J. Read more

Gujarat High Court

Wages

Biren Vaishnav, J. dismissed a petition filed by a petitioner who was dissatisfied with the award dated 14-02-2020, which directed the petitioner-State of Gujarat to pay the respondent-sweeper salary for four hours of work per day, plus arrears from the date of reinstatement. Read more

Rape/Sodomy

Biren Vaishnav, J. dismissed a petition filed by a petitioner who was dissatisfied with the award dated 14-02-2020, which directed the petitioner-State of Gujarat to pay the respondent-sweeper salary for four hours of work per day, plus arrears from the date of reinstatement. Read more

Family Law

The Division Bench of Vipul M. Pancholi and Rajendra M. Sareen, JJ., rejected a plea brought by the father under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution seeking custody of his daughter. Read more

Arms Act

The licence under the Arms Act of 1959 (“the Arms Act”) for self-defense was rejected by the District Magistrate, and the Additional Secretary Home Department of the State Government upheld the previous ruling in an appeal. The petitioner filed a challenge, which was accepted by Judge A.S. Supehia. Read more

Promotion

A petition asking for a directive to nullify and disregard the Seniority List of Multi-Purpose Health Workers was granted by Judge Biren Vaishnav. Read more

PPF

A.S. Supehia, J. allowed a writ petition directing Bank to deposit PPF amount deducted for settlement of liability that the amount of Public Provident Fund account shall not be liable to any attachment in respect of any debt or liability incurred by the account holder. Read more

Gauhati High Court

Anticipatory Bail

Sanjay Kumar Medhi, J. denied a petitioner’s request for bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC), in a case that was filed under Sections 21(c) and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Read more

Drug and Food Safety

According to Rumi Kumari Phookan J., only a food inspector can investigate offences under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act), and Maharashtra Police lacks both jurisdiction and jurisdictional authority to do so. As a result, the court ordered Maharashtra Police to pay the petitioner Rs. 2,00000 as petition costs. Read more

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

While granting bail to the applicant herein, under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for a case registered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, Ajit Borthakur, J. held that the provisions of Section 37 of the NDPS Act shall not be applicable if the service courier driver is unaware of what is being transported by him. Read more

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Arbitral Proceeding

In the case where it was argued before the Court that the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 does not provide for any remedy to challenge an arbitral order and was therefore contrary to the “public policy of India,” Satyen Vaidya J. observed that, “The term “public policy of India” carries within it innumerable facets. Read more

Bail/ Parole

The plea for a parole extension filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (the “CrPC”) was denied by Judge Vivek Singh Thakur because Article 226 of the Indian Constitution provides the appropriate remedy. Read more

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

Anticipatory Bail

While deliberating on an anticipatory bail application concerning an FIR registered in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh, the Bench of Sanjay Dhar, J., considered whether this High Court has the jurisdiction to grant bail in a case that has been registered beyond its local limits of jurisdiction under Section 438, CrPC. Read more

Right to Life

While reviewing the information and concerns provided by the petitioners, the M.A. Chowdhary, J. bench made some important remarks regarding the voluntary marriage of two adults. The Court declared that Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution properly recognise a couple’s right to get married. Read more

Kashmiri Pandits

The bench of Sindhu Sharma, J., dismissed the petition because the petitioners lacked any inalienable right to allotment of government housing when ruling on the instant petition filed by 3 retired State Bank of India employees who had retained their respective government accommodations and were unhappy with the rent being charged at a commercial rate. Read more

Jharkhand High Court

Qualification for promotion

Anubha Rawat Choudhary, J. held that the respondent had the necessary experience of guiding research at the Doctoral level as of the cut-off date in a case relating to qualification to be appointed as a professor at Vinoba Bhave University, even though the concerned research student did not receive her degree. Read more

Karnataka High Court

Rape

M Nagaprasanna, J., annulled the proceedings against the petitioners in Byadarahalli Police Station Crime No.87 of 2022, which was pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bangalore Rural District, Bangalore. Read more

Agricultural land compensation

A Division Bench of Alok Aradhe and J M Khazi, JJ., rejected the appeal and overturned the impugned verdict, ordering the appellants to determine and pay the compensation to the respondents. Read more

Protection of Witness

S. Sunil Dutt Yadav, J. listed a few causes of investigation delay, the primary causes of low conviction rate, the consequences of investigation delay, and guidelines for speedy investigation. Read more

Bigamy

M. Nagaprasanna, J. granted the petition in part and remarked that the quadrangle’s protagonists should resolve the issue among them rather than drag other people into the proceedings. Read more

Principles of Natural Justice

S.G. Pandit, J. dismissed the petition, leaving respondent-Railway authorities free to take action against the catering services after providing them with an opportunity under the law. Read more

Cruelty/ Divorce

The plea was partially granted by the division bench of S. Sunil Dutt Yadav and K.S. Hemalekha, JJ. The parties’ marriage was ended due to mental cruelty for the wife’s unfounded accusations against the husband. Read more

Domestic Violence

M. Nagaprasanna J. granted the petition and ordered that the application for maintenance be decided within two weeks after receiving a copy of this decision. Read more

Child sexual offence

The victim has now turned 18 years old, so the strictures under S. 33(5) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (the “POCSO Act”) are no longer relevant. Therefore, M. Nagaprasanna, J. granted the petition filed to conduct an additional cross-examination of the child victim. Read more

Dowry Death

The FIR against the lady who had illicit connections with the complainant’s husband and was charged under Section 498-A of the Penal Code, 1860 was dismissed by Hemant Chandangoudar J. Read more

Dishonour of Cheque

M. Nagarprasanna J. allowed a petition filed under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) and directed that interim compensation which would vary from 1% to 20% after recording necessary reasons be given as per the “conduct of the accused” for the applications filed under Section 143-A of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (NI Act). Read more

Kerala High Court

Habeas Corpus/ Special Marriage

A Division Bench of K Vinod Chandra and C Vijayachandran, JJ. dismissed the plea and denied the requested relief, concluding that the detainee maintained that he was not under any unlawful confinement. Read more

POCSO

Taking note of the alarming increase in the number of sexual offences committed against schoolchildren, Bechu Kurian Thomas, J., directed the Kerala Government and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to include sessions/classes in the school curriculum on the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012. Read more

NTPC/ Discrimination

The decision by V.G. Arun, J., that NTPC’s notification for the recruitment of Assistant Law Officers is discriminatory and in violation of Article 16 of the Constitution because it restricts the selection process to only CLAT PG-2021 candidates comes as a significant relief to non-NLU law graduates looking for employment opportunities in PSUs. Read more

Cruelty/Desertion

A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., who made up the Division Bench, ruled that cruelty must be judged from the viewpoint of a spouse, or how that spouse would interpret the actions of the other spouse, to be considered. Read more

Anticipatory Bail

Vijay Babu, a film producer and artist, was granted anticipatory bail by Bechu Kurian Thomas, J., in a high-profile rape case that sparked outrage in the film industry. The Court ruled that there is no legal prohibition against granting anticipatory bail to a person who is physically present overseas. Read more

Reproductive Rights

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act of 2021 prohibits the sale of human gametes, zygotes, and embryos but does not forbid a couple from using their embryo to conceive a child. This is why V.G. Arun, J., allowed a couple to transfer their frozen embryo to another hospital for infertility treatment. Read more

Pre Arrest Bail

In a case concerning attacks against doctors and medical institutions, Bechu Kurian Thomas, J., denied pre arrest bail and held that granting pre-arrest bail to an accused who is alleged to have committed violence against a healthcare professional will send a wrong message to the public. Read more

Compulsory Licensing

While adjudicating a petition filed by a breast cancer patient seeking to afford life-saving medicines which otherwise cost more than twice her monthly income, V. G. Arun, J. directed Central Government to consider compulsory licensing of the breast cancer drug “Ribociclib”. Read more

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Rape

Anand Pathak, J. granted a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the dismissal of an FIR filed against the petitioner and subsequent criminal proceedings for an offence under Sections 376 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860. Read more

Bail/ Corruption

The applicant was arrested on February 3, 2022, for a crime punishable by Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471, 201, and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860, as well as Sections 7, 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Anand Pathak, J. refused the applicant’s motion for bail. Read more

Arya Samaj

A petition was submitted to address and investigate several concerns regarding marriages solemnized in Arya Samaj Vivah Mandir Trust, and the Division Bench of Rohit Arya and Milind Ramesh Phadke, JJ. accepted it. Read more

Motor Vehicle

While dismissing an appeal filed under Section 173(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 , Vishal Dhagat, J. held that the present case is a case of misrepresentation on the part of legal representatives/driver/owner of vehicle in contracting with the appellant for purchase of policy in name of deceased owner as contract entered between the parties is not voidable. Read more

Madras High Court

Mental Illness

G R Swaminathan J. answered in negative to the moot consideration that can certifying authority insist a Child suffering from mental illness, who requires a disability certificate, to come to premises of institution for assessment. Read more

Educational certificate

While addressing the grievance of some qualified doctors, G.R. Swaminathan, J. stated that because an educational certificate is not a marketable commodity, no lien can be exercised under Section 171 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Read more

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

G. Chandrasekharan, J. declined to quash prosecution against actor SJ Suryah as the order of the Income Tax Appellate Authority, cancelling the assessment orders was not on merits. Read more

Social Media Intermediaries

B. Pugalendhi, J., revoked the bail of a YouTuber who made disparaging statements about the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Read more

Documentary/Oral Evidence

Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy, J., stated that a suit cannot be hurriedly determined at the request of a plaintiff unless the plaintiff convinces the court that the suit claim has been fully established. Read more

Income Tax

A Division Bench of R Mahadevan and Sathya Narayan Prasad, JJ. rejected the tax appeal because guarantee commission and royalty must be subtracted from company profit to calculate the deduction under Section 80 HHC of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Read more

Service Rules

S M Subramaniam, J. upheld the decision taken by Indian Banks Association to unilaterally withdraw the facility for State Bank of India officers to visit overseas countries as part of Leave Travel Concession ‘LTC’/ Home Travel Concession ‘HTC’. Read more

Meghalaya High Court

POCSO

W Diengdoh J. quashed a POCSO case opining that just holding the hands of the victim girl and complimenting them would not amount to sexual intent or sexual assault under POCSO. Read more

Rape

The appeal, which challenged the April 27, 2021 judgement of conviction finding the appellant guilty under Section 376(2) of the Penal Code, 1860, was decided by the Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, CJ. and W. Diengdoh, J. The main focus of the appeal was the 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and Rs. 50,000 fine that was imposed. Read more

Public Interest Litigation

A petition concerning the current health-care system was heard by the Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, CJ, and W. Diengdoh, J. Read more

Life Imprisonment

The Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice, and W. Diengdoh, J., dismissed the petition and set aside the conviction order, which was directed against a judgment of conviction under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860 and the order of punishment, which sentenced him to life in prison. Read more

Orissa High Court

Superannuation

S.K. Panigrahi, J., denied the petition, stating that “no plea for a change of date of birth after five years from the joining date will be considered.” Read more

Transgender Rights

A.K. Mohapatra, J., has been instructed to complete the trans-sexual woman’s application for a family pension as soon as feasible, ideally within six weeks after receiving a certified copy of the order. Read more

Administrative laches

S. K. Panigrahi, J., ordered the State to pay simple interest at the rate of 6 percent per year on postponed salary within 30 days of today. Read more

Guardian and Wards Act

The case was dismissed by a Division Bench consisting of SK Sahoo and M S Raman JJ., giving the petitioner the freedom to seek the proper remedy before the proper venue in line with the law. Read more

Central Information Commission

A Division Bench of S. Muralidhar and R.K. Pattnaik, JJ. issued a declaratory writ to the effect that the impugned notification dated 11-08-2016 issued by the Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Odisha under Section 24(4) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (‘RTI Act’), will not permit the Government to deny information pertaining to the Vigilance Department involving allegations of corruption and human rights violations, and other information that does not touch upon any of the sensitive and confidential activities undertaken by the Vigilance Department. Read more

Compensation

Arindam Sinha, J. criticised the State for not following the procedure and granted compensation to a woman who conceived even after being sterilised by the State. Read more

Patna High Court

Right to Sanitation

Sanitation is a private, individual matter that is intimately connected to human dignity. Additionally, cleanliness has a crucial public health component. According to a recent ruling by the Division Bench of Sanjay Karol CJ and S. Kumar J, the right to sanitation falls under the purview of Article 21 and as a result, the State, National Highway Authority of India, and Oil Marketing Companies have been instructed to build public restrooms and other conveniences along all of Bihar’s highways. Read more

Rape

While dealing with a case of rape, A M Badar, J. observed that mere non-offering of physical resistance by a rape survivor cannot amount to the consent given by a woman for sexual activity under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (‘IPC’). Read more

Punjab & Haryana High Court

Religious Beliefs

Karamajit Singh, J., directed the State of Punjab not to take “coercive steps” against Raveena Tandon, Farah Khan, Bharti Singh, Screen Abbas Aziz Dalal, and Frames Production in response to their petition seeking the quashing of an FIR filed against them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a Flipkart web show titled “Backbenchers.” Read more

NDPS Act

In a petition under section 439 CrPC for regular bail under sections 22, 25, 27-A, and 29 of the NDPS Act, Jasjit Singh Bedi, J., expanded the petitioner-accused on bail while repeating the observations made by various Courts, including the Supreme Court, on the requirement that section 42 of the NDPS Act be complied with by the relevant authority. Read more

Muslim Personal Law

After the petitioners were forced into marriage, a writ petition was filed to seek the protection of their life and liberty from family members. Jasjit Singh Bedi, J. instructed the Senior Superintendent of Police to determine the petitioners’ claims regarding the threat to their life and liberty after taking into account the petitioners’ capacity to enter into a legal marriage contract and attending to their concerns. Read more

Rajasthan High Court

Bailable Warrant

Dinesh Mehta, J. granted the petition and stated that while expediting the disposition of cases is important, so is adhering to the mandate of the law, including procedural law. Read more

Culpable Homicide

Farjand Ali, J. rejected the petitioner’s request for bail after finding that the investigating agency had overlooked several relevant pieces of evidence. The petitioner was accused of committing an honour killing. Read more

Police Protection

Sameer Jain J. granted police protection and directed the State authorities to charge an appropriate fee from the couple seeking police protection before the Court, if the income is found to be more than the taxable income under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Read more

Telangana High Court

Anticipatory Bail

Juvvadi Sridevi, J., granted anticipatory bail pending the conclusion of the inquiry and the submission of the final report. The Court remarked that the accused 2/petitioner 2 did not appear to have been served with a notice under Section 41-A CrPC, whereas the accused 1/petitioner 1 was simply provided with the notice. Read more

Prevention of Money Laundering

K. Lakshman, J. upheld the petitioner’s appeal against the Directorate of Enforcement’s (ED) request to extend the petitioner’s judicial custody so that the investigation could be finished, stating that a complaint filed without a complete investigation cannot be used to avoid the right to statutory bail under Section 167(2) CrPC. Read more

Maintenance under Section 125 CrPC

In a maintenance case, Sathish Reddy, J. stated that the wife’s earning capacity cannot be used to deny her maintenance. Read more

Commercial Courts Act

The appeal was allowed by the Division Bench of P. Naveen Rao and Sambasivarao Naidu, JJ., who overturned the impugned order’s stance that any disagreement arising from a contract involving real estate that is solely used for business or commerce and whose “specified value” exceeds one crore belongs in a commercial court alone. Read more

Tripura High Court

Harassment

While noting that there were no legitimate grounds to deny the employee gratuity and other retrial benefits, Arindam Lodh, J. directed the employer to release the employee’s gratuity, pension, and other retrial benefits. Read more


*Arunima Bose has put this report together.

Bombay High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Bharati Dangre, J. rejected a writ petition which was filed by the husband, being aggrieved of the order passed by the Family Court wherein petitioner-husband had sought some modifications in an earlier order dated 01-09-2018 pleading that his daughter was major and had completed her education and working and earning sufficiently for her own maintenance which came to be rejected.

Marital discord among the couple led to the filing of an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for maintenance pendente lite by the respondent-wife which was allowed, and the husband was held liable to pay an amount of Rs.25,000/- per month towards maintenance of his daughter, who was major from 17-07-2015.

The Court considered the reasoning recorded by the Family Court that the settled position of law is to the effect that even when a daughter becomes major, she is entitled for maintenance from her father till her marriage and as far as second ground for modification was concerned, it is to the effect that she on her own, earns a handsome income from her modeling career which is just mentioned in her Instagram biography is not sufficient to hold that she has independent and sufficient income.

The Court further explained that it is a well-known fact that it is the habit of the youth of today to project a glossy picture and post the same in the social media though its contents may not always be true. The Court thus agreed that petitioner’s contention that his daughter’s earning is Rs.72 lakhs to Rs.80 lakhs merely on his daughter’s photographs posted in Instagram and her Instagram history cannot sustain.

The writ petition was rejected holding that there was no illegality or perversity, in the impugned order which was given considering the earnings of the petitioner-husband and his responsibility to maintain his daughter, who was found to be without any source of income.

[Anil Chandravadan Mistry v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 1302, decided on 16-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr Anand Mishra and Mr Ashok M. Saraogi, Advocate, for the petitioner;

Ms Prabha U. Badadare, Advocate, for respondent 2.


*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Karnataka High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: The Division Bench of S. Sunil Dutt Yadav and K.S. Hemalekha, JJ. allowed the petition in part and dissolved the marriage between the parties on account of mental cruelty for levelling unsubstantiated claims against husband by the wife. 

  

The present appeal was preferred by the husband assailing the judgment and decree passed by Principal Judge, Family Court, Dharwad, whereby the petition filed by the husband under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty was dismissed. The grounds for divorce are regarding allegations levelled against him that the husband is impotent in front of relatives which amounts to mental agony and cruelty to the husband. 

  

The issue under consideration is whether the allegation made by the wife that the husband is impotent and not competent to perform matrimonial obligations has resulted in mental cruelty as envisaged under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or not. 

  

The Court observed that cruelty includes both physical and mental cruelty as enumerated under the Section 13(1) (ia) Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and cruelty would require the assessment of the cumulative effect of the attending facts and circumstances established by evidence on record. 

  

The Court noted

No prudent woman would think of making allegation of impotency in the presence of others, rather she would take necessary steps to see that the reputation of the husband is not affected and not thrown out in public.

  

The Court relied on G Padmini v. G Sivananda Babu, 1999 SCC OnLine AP 678 wherein it was observed that putting unnecessary allegations on the husband to not being able to bear children, without presenting any proof, will lead to intense mental agony and anguish for the husband. 

  

The Court also observed, though Section 13 Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 does not consider the impotency as the ground for divorce, the false allegation of impotency being made by the wife would definitely cause mental disharmony and this would amount to mental cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(1)(ia) of the Act, and enables the husband to seek divorce on the ground of cruelty. 

  

The Supreme Court held in Pramila Bhatia v. Vijay Kumar Bhatia, 2000 SCC OnLine Raj 54, as no evidence having been specifically adduced by the wife to prove that the husband is actually impotent; the allegation would remain only an allegation and has the effect of lowering the dignity of the husband, which amounts to cruelty. 

  

The Court held “in light of the allegations having not been proved to be genuine, and calling the husband an impotent without legally substantiating the same, itself would amount to cruelty within the meaning of Section 13(ia) of the Act and the trial Court was not justified in holding that the cruelty asserted by the husband is not proved. Thus, we are of the considered opinion that the judgment and decree of the Family Court needs to be set aside and the petition filed by the husband under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Act needs to be allowed granting a decree of divorce in favour of the husband.”

[X v Y, MFA No. 10265 of 2022, decided on 31-05-2022] 


Appearances:
For the appellant:  Mr. Srinand A. Pachhapure 

For the respondent: Mr. S.R. Hegde 


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief. 

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a matter with regard to mental cruelty, the Division Bench of Ritu Bahri and Ashok Kumar Verma, JJ., observed that, even if the husband and wife were staying together and the husband stopped talking to the wife, it would cause mental cruelty and a spouse staying away by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices by initiating a number of judicial proceedings could make the life of other spouse miserable.

Appellant-wife came up in the present appeal against the decision of the Family Court by the respondent-husband under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce was allowed and he had been granted a divorce.

As per the husband, when he filed a petition under Section 13 of the HMA, the behaviour of the respondent was very cruel, barbaric, rude and crude towards the respondent from the very beginning.

It was stated that, the wife had tried to take forcible possession of the agricultural land owned and possessed by the respondent and a civil suit against the appellant was pending in the District Courts, Karnal.

Further, it was alleged that the appellant was living in adultery with some person in the year 2012 and she forcibly turned out the respondent along with his four children from the house.

When the marriage of the husband and wife was fixed by the respondent, husband had requested the appellant to join the marriage, but she taunted that she had no concern with the respondent and his children.

In view of the above, a divorce petition was filed.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court expressed that, even if husband and wife are staying together and the husband does not speak to the wife, it would cause mental cruelty and a spouse staying away by sending vulgar and defamatory letters or notices or filing complaints containing indecent allegations or by initiating a number of judicial proceedings can make the life of other spouse miserable.

The Bench stated that in the present case, after the acquittal in the FIR and dismissal of the domestic violence complaint, enough mental cruelty had been caused to the husband.

Hence, the appellant’s counsel was unable to point out any illegality or infirmity in the impugned judgment.

In view of the above, the appeal was dismissed. [Harbans v. Joginder Pal, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 1101, decided on 6-5-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Avtar Singh Sandhu, Advocate, for Mr. A.S. Rai, Advocate, for the appellant-wife.

Mr. R.S. Budhwar, Advocate, for the respondent-husband.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Vivek Rusia and Amar Nath (Kesharwani), JJ. dismissed the first appeal filed by the appellant/husband which was filed against the judgment of the Family Court rejecting the decree for divorce.

The marriage of appellant/husband and respondent/ ‘ Wife’ was solemnized on 19-11-1999 under the Hindu ritual and customs. Out of the said wedlock, the respondent/wife gave birth to a son who currently is not residing with the wife. Differences arose between them during 5-6 months of marriage and she went to her parent’s house. Appellant/husband jumped to Family Court by filing a petition under Section 13 (1) (1-A) of Hindu Marriage Act on 13-10-2000 seeking divorce. The respondent/wife applied Section 125 of Cr.P.C. on 09-12-2000 and lodged an FIR for the offence punishable under Section 498-A of I.P.C. on 17-11-2000. She also filed an application under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 seeking restitution of conjugal rights on 13-12-2000. Vide Judgment dated 30-11-2001, the appellant/husband had been acquitted for the offence punishable under Section 498-A of I.P.C. During the pendency of the aforesaid proceedings, several times compromises arrived between the parties and they lived together for some time. According to the husband, the behaviour of his wife towards his father-in-law and mother-in-law was not good, he had to take a rented house, he made all efforts to keep her happy but no improvement was shown which caused mental cruelty to him. Finally, on 05-04-2012, the respondent/wife called her father, mother and brother and went back to Ujjain along with her luggage and son. The husband again approached the Family Court filing the present petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act on 14-07-2012.  Family Court had held that the matrimonial dispute between appellant/husband and respondent/wife was on petty issues, and cannot be termed as cruelty, hence, appellant/husband was not entitled to dissolution of marriage.

The respondent/wife was present with her son and had shown her willingness to live with the appellant/husband. The appellant/husband has shown his adamant attitude and straightway declined to take her back.

The Court was of the opinion that appellant/husband being a husband and father cannot run away from the responsibility towards his son by simply taking divorce on the ground that he wants to serve his mother and father for remaining his life. His son must be the same feeling to serve his father. The appellant has a responsibility toward his son and wife also, he cannot leave them alone at this stage of life. The Court was of the affirm view that the appellant has failed to establish his case to get the decree of divorce. The decree of divorce cannot be granted merely on the ground that husband and wife are living separately since last so many years. The appellant has failed to establish the allegation levelled in the petition by leading evidence.

“Based on Hindu law, marriage is a sacred tie and the last of ten sacraments that can never be broken. Also, it is a relationship that is established by birth to birth. Also, it is not only considered as sacred but it is also a holy union. The main objective of marriage is to enable a woman and a man to perform their religious duties. Along with this, they also have to beget progeny. Based on ancient writings, a woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman.”

[Parag Pandit v. Sadhana, First Appeal No. 905 of 2014, decided on 12-04-2022]


For the appellant: Mr Vinay Puranik

For the respondent: Mr Vibhash Khedekar


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUpTribunals/Regulatory Bodies/Commissions Monthly Roundup

Interesting Stories of the Week


[Media Trial] Can media be given right to speculate on outcome of one going investigations or Court proceedings or criminal trials? Ker HC elucidates

While addressing the matter with regard to the media trial, Mohammed Nias C.P., J., expressed that, half-truths and misinformation cannot be the basis of publications or telecasts7.

Reports/telecast having the effect of prejudicing mankind against the parties and the court before the case is heard clearly interferes with the course of justice.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/37DrXKX


Whether denial of sex can qualify as “exceptional depravity” under S. 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act and allow waiver of one-year mandatory period? Del HC unfolds

Noting that, Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act intends to discourage the couples from breaking the sacred bond of marriage in haste, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., held that, a mandatory one year period granted under Section 14 of the Act, encourages couples to cool down, and give a rethink to preserve their marriage.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v5iYen


Can children claim any amount under the head of permanent alimony under S. 25 of Hindu Marriage Act? Ker HC explains

Observing that trauma in a marital discord is common to both parties, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., expressed that as per Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, while awarding permanent alimony and maintenance, the husband’s income and other property, if any, and the income and property of the wife, conduct of the parties and other circumstances are to be taken into account.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3EAH18c


Child marriages will have to be stopped and no person can be allowed to take advantage of any such situation: Bom HC

Vibha Kankanwadi, J., expressed that Child marriages are hazardous to the social fabric of this Country.

Read more here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/04/16/child-marriages/


Past pregnancy can be determined on account of permanent changes in the body of a woman: Bom HC

While addressing a matter, wherein the accused who was a doctor charged for raping a minor stated that there was not any proof that the girl ever conceived or had undergone any abortion, M.G. Sewlikar, J., expressed that, Medical science is so advanced that now a days past pregnancy also can be determined on the basis of changes in the body of a woman on account of pregnancy.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v4cuwb


Can minority members of a Society act against will of majority members and foist delay in commencement of redevelopment work of Society? Bom HC addresses

Observing that, a developer who has been appointed by the Society and who is eager to proceed with the redevelopment, was in some manner left baffled and dragged into litigationG.S. Kulkarni, J., held that, non-cooperating members cannot foist a delay on the builder and the society in the commencement of the redevelopment work resulting in the project costs being increased every passing day.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3ED6cHa


Live-in relationships are engulfing ethos of Indian society, and promoting promiscuity and lascivious behavior, giving further rise to sexual offences: Madhya Pradesh HC

Subodh Abhyankar, J., expressed that, the bane of live-in-relationship is a by-product of the Constitutional guarantee as provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3Os1ocf


Can filing of a maintenance proceeding, a criminal case for harassment be said to be sufficient to jump to a conclusion that wife intended to harass husband and his relations? Bom HC throws light

In a matter of matrimonial discord, Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, when admittedly, for whatever reason, there was a marital discord and the wife had started residing with the infant child at her parental house barely within three years of her marriage, it cannot be expected of her not to prosecute whatever rights and remedies she has under the law.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3ECAiuk


Only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract rigours of provision under S. 125(4) CrPC: Del HC

While addressing a matter with regard to a wife’s right to maintenance Chandra Dhari Singh, J., expressed that, only continuous and repeated acts of adultery and/or cohabitation in adultery would attract the rigours of the provision under Section 125(4) CrPC.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/37DrUPh


When a Judge recuses without reasons, can a litigant or third party intervene, comment or enquire? Del HC answers

Asha Menon, J., held that, when a Judge recuses, no litigant or third party has any right to intervene, comment or enquire. The recusal has to be respected, whether a reason has been spelt out in detail or not.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3v4AvDq


Sudden cancellation of rooms booked for daughter’s marriage 3 months prior on account of maintenance: Is it an acceptable reason? Can consumers claim compensation? NCDRC explains

“The memories of marriage ceremonies are lifetime events in the life of bride and bridegroom and their family members to make their moments memorable. In our country, certainly, it is not an easy task for the parents to arrange their daughter’s marriage in a five-star hotel in place like Jaipur or any big cities. All of sudden cancellation of booking about 3 months prior to the date of marriage on account of maintenance is not acceptable reason.”

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3K2xpnH

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Anand Pathak, JJ., allowed an appeal which was preferred under Section 19 of the Family Court Act, 1984 against the judgment and decree dated 27-03- 2019 passed by the Link Family Court whereby the application preferred by the appellant/applicant/husband under Section 13(1)(iA) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 had been rejected.

The marriage of the appellant and respondent was solemnized in 2004 according to Hindu Rites and Rituals. The respondent/wife insisted on living separately as a nuclear family and in order to maintain domestic peace, after 6 months of marriage, appellant and respondent started living separately but despite that respondent/wife used to quarrel with appellant and left for her maternal home without any information. She did not take any interest in household work. Out of their wedlock two children born but due to negligence on part of wife, one child died and only one survived. Respondent/wife used to talk on mobile for hours together and used to move with unknown persons during late night in city which led to filing of application under Section 13 of the Act seeking divorce. Respondent/wife did not appear in the trial Court and remained ex parte.

There were several instances of mediation but none of them were of avail. After perusal of the documents and allegations as contained in appeal, divorce application and affidavit, the Court derived that they shared domestic incompatibility and conduct of the respondent wherein she constantly for more than fifteen years or since 2004, caused irritation, threat, intimidation and avoiding cohabitation on the pretext or the other collectively entitled the appellant to get the decree of divorce.

The Court further considered the case of N.G. Dastane v. S. Dastane, (1975) 2 SCC 326 to emphasize on the understanding of mental cruelty. Court further mentioned a number of cases wherein the Supreme Court had enumerated the illustrative instances of human behaviour which may be relevant for dealing with the cases of mental cruelty the most important being Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511.

The Court stated that for very long time parties shared domestic dispute and irritability and mental cruelty inflicted by the wife over her husband through her conduct and through her denial of cohabitation. In absence of any cross-examination or rebuttal, allegations of appellant assume importance.

The Court found that the Family Court had erred in rejecting the application for divorce preferred by the appellant whereas divorce decree ought to have been passed in the case. The application under Section 13 of the Act was allowed and it was held that Appellant was entitled to get divorce from his wife, respondent.[Rajesh Bhoyale v. Mahadevi, 2022 SCC OnLine MP 553, decided on 29-03-2022]


Shri T.C. Narwariya, counsel for the appellant.

None for the respondent


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Op EdsOP. ED.

“Neither the State nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters.”[Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M.,  (2018) 16 SCC 368]


The Right to make choices come from freedom and forms an integral part of one’s dignity.

75 years of independence and we are still boarded in the train of struggle when it comes to granting liberty to the younger boys and girls who want to choose their life partners.

The country which gives us the right to choose our own leaders is still witnessing the harrowing incidents of caste and community playing a major role in deciding one’s life partner.

Fortunately, the Courts of this country as a rescuer in these situations are saving a few lives and their freedom.

Right to Marry one person’s choice


In the recent Supreme Court decision in Laxmibai Chandaragi B v. State of Karnataka, (2021) 3 SCC 360, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul made very pertinent observations that,

Educated younger boys and girls are choosing their life partners which, in turn is a departure from the earlier norms of society where caste and community play a major role. Possibly, this is the way forward where caste and community tensions will reduce by such inter marriage but in the meantime these youngsters face threats from the elders and the Courts have been coming to the aid of these youngsters.

Stressing upon one’s own choices, the Court added that,

“…choice of an individual is an inextricable part of dignity, for dignity cannot be thought of where there is erosion of choice.”

The said right is an integral part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

“Intimacies of marriage lie within a core zone of privacy, which is inviolable and even matters of faith would have the least effect on them.”

A very pertinent remark that this Court made was,

“Under the garb of caste and community to alienate the child and the son-in-law will hardly be a desirable social exercise.” 

What is the “Honour” in “Honour Killings”?


Stating that the caste system is a curse on the nation and opining that the sooner it is destroyed the better, Supreme Court highlighted in the decision of Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475 that “honour killings” of such persons who undergo inter-caste or inter-religious marriage of their own will. There is nothing honourable in such killings, and in fact, they are nothing, but barbaric and shameful acts of murder committed by brutal, feudal-minded persons who deserve harsh punishment.

The Division Bench of this Court expressed that the nation is passing through a crucial transitional period in our history, and this Court cannot remain silent in matters of great public concern.

“There is no bar to an inter-caste marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act or any other law.”

State’s duty to protect individual’s freedom of choice in marriage


In 2014, the Supreme Court expressed that, the State is duty-bound to protect the Fundamental Rights of its citizens; and an inherent aspect of Article 21 of the Constitution would be the freedom of choice in marriage. [Gang-Rape Ordered by Village Kangaroo Court in W.B., In re, (2014) 4 SCC 786]

The role of Khap Panchayats in decreeing or encouraging the honour killings or other atrocities was noted in the Supreme Court decision of Arumugam Servai v. State of T.N., (2011) 6 SCC 405, wherein the Court expressed that these Panchayats encourage such atrocities in an institutionalized way on boys and girls of different castes and religion, who wish to get married or have been married, or interfere with personal lives of people.

Bench opined that the above is wholly illegal and has to be ruthlessly stamped out.

In the very famous Hadiya Case, the Supreme Court pressed upon the concept of individualistic entity observed that,

“…observed that expression of choice in accord with law is acceptance of individual identity. Curtailment of that expression and the ultimate action emanating therefrom on the concept structuralism of obeisance to the societal will destroy the individualistic entity of a person.”

“Non acceptance of her choice would simply mean creating discomfort to the constitutional right by a constitutional court which is meant to be the protector of fundamental rights.”

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud while concurring with the opinion of Chief Justice also made a significant observation that,

“The choice of a partner whether within or outside marriage lies within the exclusive domain of each individual.”

“The absolute right of an individual to choose a life partner is not in the least affected by matters of faith.”[Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., (2018) 16 SCC 368]

In the fight to save dignity, let’s not be blinded with the fact that dignity comes with the freedom to make choices as rightly expressed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that, “Our choices are respected because they are ours. Social approval for intimate personal decision is not the basis for recognizing them.”

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Chandra Dhari Singh, J., addressed a matter wherein the right of residence was claimed by the wife.

In the present matter, marriage between respondent 1 and the son of the petitioners was solemnized according to Hindu rites and rituals and petitioner 1 (since deceased) and petitioner 2 are mother-in-law and father-in-law of the respondent.

Petitioner 1 has been represented by her legal representatives as petitioner 2(a), (b) and (c).

Between the respondent and her in-laws was cordial in the beginning and eventually it started to deteriorate with time. Further, the respondent left her matrimonial home and consequently more than 50 cases, both civil and criminal were filed by the parties.

In one of the cases, the respondent claimed the right of residence.

Aggrieved by the order of Metropolitan Magistrate that had entitled the right to residence, petitioner filed the criminal appeal.

Appellate Court considered the facts and circumstances and upheld the order of Metropolitan Magistrate observing that the respondent had been living in the said premises since her marriage and her husband was the 50% shareholder to the house which gave her the right to continue to live there.

In the present petition, order of the Appellate Court has been impugned.

Analysis, Law and Decision

The existence of the strained relationship between the Petitioner and the Respondent has been well established by the fact that there are more than about 60 criminal and civil cases pending between the parties.

High Court found that the decision of Metropolitan Magistrate was in consonance with the findings of the Supreme Court in SR Batra v. Tarun Batra, (2007) 3 SCC 169,  as well as the fact that the respondent had an emotional attachment to the house given that she had lived there for over 20 years of her married life and even the Appellate Court was right in upholding the same while passing the impugned Order.

Therefore, the Appellate Court rightly appreciated that the respondent has the right to live at her husband’s co-owned property.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed.[Om Prakash Gupta v. Anjani Gupta, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 701, decided on 8-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioners: Anurag Jain, Advocate

For the Respondents: Arvind Varma, Sr. Advocate with Abhishek Chhabra, Advocate for R-1 along with R-1 in person

Raghuvinder Varma, APP for R-2/State

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Expressing that the Family Court’s decision was based on optimism and hope rather than the actual factual matrix of the case, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., while addressing a matter wherein matrimonial dispute occurred between the parties, observed that,

“..a decree of judicial separation can be rescinded by the same court; but a decree of divorce can be reversed only by a judicial order: either in review or in appeal. If it is passed ex parte, it may be recalled on an application being made for that purpose.”

“Judicial separation and divorce are completely different reliefs– granted on the same grounds–as contained in Section 13 (1), and in the case of a wife, also on any of the grounds specified in sub-Section (2) of Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,1955.”

Appellant-husband filed the matrimonial application challenging decision passed by the Family Court wherein the relief of judicial separation was granted instead of the relief of divorce-as had been sought by the appellant.

On the other hand, the respondent-wife filed a matrimonial application challenging the findings referred by the Family Court against the respondent in the said decision.

Family Court had opined that the respondent-wife was guilty of matrimonial misconduct and was what was asked by her family members, without applying her independent mind. Respondent was also advised by the Court to think again, independently, without any pressure of her family members, in order to settle and re-establish her matrimonial home.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Whether the finding of cruelty returned by the Family Court against the respondent-wife calls for interference?

High Court stated that it was difficult for them to accept the respondent’s version that she was thrown out of her matrimonial home, or that the members of the appellant’s family tried to take her life – in respect whereof there was no complaint or evidence, is difficult for us to accept.

Bench found the allegations of demand of dowry by the appellant or his family members not to inspire the confidence and the same remained unsubstantiated.

Further, the Supreme Court decisions in Mangayakarasi v. M. Yuvaraj, (2020) 3 SCC 786 and Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh, (2007) 4 SCC 511, were referred.

As per a statement of the father of the respondent, it was him who forbade the appellant from coming to his house or making any calls. Hence, the onus shifted on the respondent to show her intent and the effort that she made to re-join the company of the appellant. No evidence on record was there to show any effort made by respondent.

No doubt in the credibility of the witnesses was found who were from the appellant’s side and tried to repair the matrimonial bond of the parties. They even endeavoured to help the parties to live together and solve their differences. Their evidence was corroborated by documentary evidence viz the statement made by the respondent’s own father in the appellant’s suit and the lack of intent to resume cohabitation exhibited by the respondent.

Court expressed that the respondent’s attitude, reluctance and obstinacy to join the appellant despite his, his relatives and friends’ effort to bring her back amounted to cruelty. In fact, it was noted that the respondent-wife left the matrimonial home for no reason and levelled false allegations.

The appellant did not get married to the respondent to lead a bachelor’s life. He got married in the hope, and with the expectation, of leading a happy and fulfilling married life. The respondent, by not joining him, has denied him conjugal satisfaction. He has been denied the companionship that he would have been legitimately and rightfully hoping to experience with the respondent.

By the Family Court’s decision, the respondent-wife was asked to give her marriage another chance and think independently of her family members. However, there was no positive move on the part of the respondent.

In view of the above discussion, the respondent-wife perpetrated mental cruelty upon the appellant, and nothing remained in the said marriage.

Legality of the relief granted by the Family Court of judicial separation to the appellant, instead of a decree of divorce

As per the scheme of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1995 the ambit and the scope of the Judicial Separation and Divorce is qualitatively different.

“Judicial Separation is a completely different relief that the aggrieved spouse may seek against the other, under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act.”

High Court remarked that,

“While judicial separation does not end the matrimonial relationship and the marriage is preserved – after a declaration is made establishing the matrimonial misconduct by the other spouse, and it entitles the aggrieved spouse/petitioner to deny conjugal relationships to the other spouse/respondent, a decree of Divorce puts an end to the jural relationship of marriage between the parties, thus liberating them from their marital bond.”

Another, significant observation is that the parties cannot remarry during the period of judicial separation, since the status of marriage subsists. Whereas, once a decree of divorce is granted, parties are free to remarry once the statutory period of appeal expires and there is no restrain passed by a competent court against remarriage.

With regard to the explanation of the concept of Judicial Separation, the Supreme Court decision in Hirachand Srinivas Managaonkar v. Sunanda (2001) 4 SCC 125, was cited.

Elaborating the analysis, in view of the present facts, this Court opined that the Family Court’s decision in ordering the judicial separation instead of Divorce was faulty.

It is not for the Court to decide to substitute the relief sought by the petitioner who has approached the Court.

Can the family Court grant any other relief instead of the one sought?

 “The powers of the Family Court to change the nature of the relief sought is absent. The Family Court cannot be heard to tell the petitioner before it, what is “good” for him/her. It may render its advice to the parties when the matter is pending before it, but when it comes to adjudication, the Family Court is bound to bear in mind the relief sought by the petitioner.”

Another stark observation of this Court was that, the Family Court expected the respondent to come out of the influence of her brother and father, and resume cohabitation with the appellant, but, on the other hand, failed to appreciate that the respondent cannot seek to resume cohabitation with the appellant, when the decree of Judicial Separation was operating against her, unless the appellant consented.

Appellant had clearly expressed his intention of ending the relationship. Family Court should have realized that if the respondent had been unable to come out of the influence of her family members for the last 13 years, there was very little likelihood of her doing so in the near future.

Hence, in view of this Court, the relief of Divorce could not have been denied to the husband, once the ground of cruelty was established under Section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

“…parties were living separately for 12 years now, and the marriage was completely broken.”

The adamance of the wife in regard to refusal to cohabitate with the appellant over the last 12 years showed this Court that there was nothing remaining in their marriage.

Therefore, the family Court’s decision was set aside in so far as it granted a decree of judicial separation to the husband. [Vinay Khurana v. Shweta Khurana, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 517, decided on 18-2-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Appellant: Appellant-in-person

For the Respondent: Naman Joshi, Guneet Sidhu, Advocate with respondent -in-person

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where it was argued that merely because husband and wife are staying separately since a long time, an inference regarding desertion cannot be drawn, the bench of Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka*, JJ has held that whether a case of desertion is established or not will depend on the peculiar facts of each case. It is a matter of drawing an inference based on the facts brought on record by way of evidence.

The Court explained that desertion means the intentional abandonment of one spouse by the other without the consent of the other and without a reasonable cause. The deserted spouse must prove that there is a factum of separation and there is an intention on the part of deserting spouse to bring the cohabitation to a permanent end. In other words, there should be animus deserendi on the part of the deserting spouse. There must be an absence of consent on the part of the deserted spouse and the conduct of the deserted spouse should not give a reasonable cause to the deserting spouse to leave the matrimonial home.

“The reasons for a dispute between husband and wife are always very complex. Every matrimonial dispute is different from another. Whether a case of desertion is established or not will depend on the peculiar facts of each case. It is a matter of drawing an inference based on the facts brought on record by way of evidence.”

In the case at hand, the marriage between the parties was solemnized on 17th June 2009 and that they stayed together only till 30th June 2009. The petition for divorce was filed on 9th September 2011. As per clause (ib) of sub-section (1) of Section 13 of HM Act, the desertion must be for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the institution of the petition. According to the wife, who is working as a Lecturer in University Law College at Gauhati, after she became aware of the serious illness of the appellant’s mother, she came to Tezpur on 19th December 2009. She stayed with her sister-in-law and left the next day. After she was informed about the death of the appellant’s mother, she came back to Tezpur and visited the appellant’s house on 21st December 2009, and left on the next day.

The Court, however, took note of the wife’s evidence which did not disclose any effort made by her to resume the matrimonial relationship. She has also not filed a petition for restitution of conjugal rights. Merely because on account of the death of the appellant’s mother, the wife visited her matrimonial home in December 2009 and stayed there only for one day, it cannot be said that there was a resumption of cohabitation. She has not stated that she came to her matrimonial home on 21st December 2009 with the intention to resume cohabitation.

The Court, hence, held that the intention on the part of the respondent to resume cohabitation is not established. Thus, in the facts of the case, the factum of separation has been proved.

[DEBANANDA TAMULI v. KAKUMONI KATAKY, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 187, decided on 15.02.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice Abhay S. Oka


Counsels

For appellants: Advocate Manish Goswami

For respondent: Advocate Nidhi

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

82 Judgments from the High Courts of the Country, you wouldn’t want to miss. Here’s a short recap from the month of January 2022.


Allahabad High Court


Strikes by Advocates

To condole demise of any member or anyone else, can Members of Bar obstruct functioning of Courts? All HC decides

J.J. Munir, J., expressed that,

The Members of the Bar are free to hold a meeting to condole the demise of any member or anyone else, but they do not have the right to obstruct the functioning of Courts.

Read full report here…

Motor Accident Claim 

Taking Rs 15,000 as notional income of a family member who is non-earning, in a motor accident claim: Is it reasonable? All HC decides

The Division Bench of Dr Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi, JJ., enhances quantum of award of a non-earning member in a motor accident claim, while referring to the Supreme Court decision in Kurvan Ansari v. Shyam Kishore Murmu, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1060.

Read full report here…

Settlement

Settlement terms decided by Mediation and Conciliation Centre, can be the reason for quashing of an FIR under S. 482 CrPC: All HC

Rajeev Singh, J., reiterated that under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an FIR i.e. First Information Report can be quashed in view of the settlement terms.

Read full report here…

Maintenance

Can wife claim maintenance under S. 125 CrPC where appeal is pending against divorce granted under S. 13 HMA? All HC decides

When a divorce decree under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act is passed the wife of such annulled marriage can claim maintenance under Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act.

Read full report here…

Caste System

“…we boast ourselves as an educated society, but we live our lives with double standards”: Allahabad HC condemns prevailing caste system even after 75 years of independence

While expressing that “Caste system in our society is deeply rooted, we boast ourselves as educated society, but we live our lives with double standards” Rahul Chaturvedi, J., granted bail to an accused of cold-blooded murder in an alleged honour killing case. 

Read full report here…


Andhra Pradesh High Court


 LGBTQ+ community’s right to reservation; Can a transgender claim to be appointed by reservation in spite of failure to secure minimum cut off marks in screening test? HC answers

In a significant case wherein, a transgender had approached the Court seeking benefit of reservation for appointment in police department, M. Satyanarayana Murthy, J., denied to issue direction to the State in favour of the petitioner

Read full report here…


Bombay High Court


Feeding of Dogs

Feeding of Dogs inside complex v. Feeding of Dogs outside complex: Bom HC appoints amicus curiae to assist Court in resolving dispute

The Division Bench of S.J. Kathawalla and Milind N. Jadhav, JJ., addressed a matter in which a dispute revolved with regard to the feeding of dogs in the society complex.

Read full report here…

Elections for Sarpanch

Candidate contesting elections for Sarpanch post making “self-declaration” that he/she has “toilet” at their residence, is sufficient compliance under Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act? Bom HC examines

G.S. Kulkarni, J., considered the question,

Whether a “self-declaration” made by a candidate contesting elections to the post of Sarpanch, that he/she has a “toilet” in a house where he/she resides was sufficient compliance, to be not disqualified under Section 14(1) (j-5) of the Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act, 1959?

Read full report here…

Domestic Violence Act

Whether right to claim monetary reliefs, protection order and compensation under the D.V. Act, extinguish on death of “aggrieved person”? Bom HC explains

Sandeep K. Shinde, J., examines whether an application under Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act on behalf of relatives of deceased seeking monetary relief, possession of ‘stridhan’ and compensation was maintainable or not.

Read full report here…

Employees Compensation Act

Can ‘minor’ who succumbed to an accident during course of employment be compensated under Employees Compensation Act or Insurance Company will be absolved of its liability? Bom HC explains

Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 does not prohibit payment of compensation to a minor.

Read full report here…

False Promise of Marriage

False promise of marriage to satisfy lust, leading to offence of cheating and rape?: Bom HC refuses to quash FIR for offences under Ss. 376, 417 IPC

The Division Bench of A.S. Chandurkar and G.A. Sanap, JJ.,  refused to exercise jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC for quashing an FIR in offences of cheating and rape in the matter wherein the applicant/accused committed sexual intercourse with the girl against her will in the pretext of the false promise of marriage.

Read full report here…

Law on Section 498-A IPC

Can an alleged girlfriend be arrayed as an accused in a crime registered under S. 498-A IPC? Bom HC reiterates SC’s observation

The Division Bench of V.K. Jadhav and Shrikant D. Kulkarni, JJ., reiterated that an alleged girlfriend cannot be arrayed as accused in an offence registered under Section 498-A of Penal Code, 1860.

Read full report here…

Maintenance to Senior Citizen

Son ousted benighted widowed mother, deprived her right to “live a normal life” apart from maintaining and supporting her livelihood: Bom HC

G.S. Kulkarni, J., while addressing another unfortunate case concerning a mother who was ousted from the tenement she owned by her own son. In view of the said, Court expressed that,

This appears to be another clear case where the petitioner(son) has no other intention but to enjoy the tenement exclusively, ousting the roof over his mother’s head, taking advantage of her incapacity at such an old age.

Read full report here…

Property

Can a girl be treated as property and given in donation? Bom HC addresses in light of “Daanpatra” executed by father of a daughter

“When the girl as per her own statement is minor, then why the father who is in all respect guardian of the girl should give the girl as Daan? A girl is not a property which can be given in donation.”

Read full report here…


 Calcutta High Court


 Compassionate Appointment

Daughter-in-law who obtains compassionate appointment by stating that she will take responsibility of her mother-in-law is bound by that undertaking: Cal HC

80-year-old widow approaches Court to seek direction towards her daughter-in-law to provide for her maintenance as she had taken compassionate appointment on the death of her son, Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J., held that the daughter-in-law is bound by the undertaking by which she had obtained a compassionate appointment.

Read full report here…


 Delhi High Court


Termination of Pregnancy

Foetus with severe cardiac anomaly, but pregnancy beyond 24 weeks: Can a mother be permitted for termination of pregnancy? Del HC explains in light of ‘mental health’ of mother

“…entire medical regime would expose the child to intra and post-operative complications and may lead to further complexities, adversely impacting the quality of the child’s life.”

Read full report here…

Arbitration

Future Retail seeking to terminate arbitration proceedings with Amazon: Read Delhi HC’s decision on 4 significant points

Amit Bansal, J., noted that,

“…there is only a very small window for interference with orders passed by the Arbitral Tribunal while exercising jurisdiction under Article 227. The said window becomes even narrower where the orders passed by the Arbitral Tribunal are procedural in nature.”

Read full report here…

‘Stay’ on proceedings before Singapore Tribunal; Prima Facie case in favour of Future Group

The Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Jyoti Singh, J., stayed the arbitration proceeding in Amazon v. Future Group before the Singapore Tribunal.

Read full report here…

Arrest and Incarcerations

‘Arrest, incarceration destroys a person and affects innocent relatives’: Del HC sentences police officer to 1-day SI for contempt of court, breach of directions in Arnesh Kumar case

Najmi Waziri, J., observed that “Arrest and incarceration destroys a person and collaterally affects many other innocent relatives. Subsequent release or acquittal of an innocent, is of no solace and offers no reparation to the loss of reputation or for the temporary loss of precious personal liberty.”

Read full report here…

Divorce

“Overseas wife”, 11 years old marriage, husband visited wife for few days on yearly visits from Canada: A moribund marriage or not? Del HC decides

While addressing a matter of divorce proceedings, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., expressed that,

“…every marriage, where the couple stays apart from each other for work or other obligations consensually, is a broken one.”

Read full report here…

Bail

Delhi HC explains when a Court can seize liberty of an accused undertrial

Subramonium Prasad, J., while explaining the facets of cancellation of bail and rejection of an application for bail, made an observation that,

Personal liberty is one of the cherished constitutional freedoms. Once granted to an accused pending completion of the Trial, it must only be retracted in the face of grave and exacerbating circumstances.

Read full report here…

Can gravity of offence be the sole ground to deny bail? Del HC decides in a multi-person scam involving Rs 200 Crores

Subramonium Prasad, J., addressed whether the magnitude of offence can be the only criterion for granting bail and further explained the object of bail.

Read full report here… 

Compromise

Will Delhi HC allow waiving off alleged offence of rape in view of compromise and subsequent marriage between complainant and accused? Read to know

Stating that, Rape is an act against society, Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., held that simply entering into a compromise allegation of rape will not lose its gravity.

Read full report here…

Desertion

Wife refused to join company of husband on ground of ‘auspicious time’. Would this amount to ‘desertion’ by wife? Chh HC elucidates

The Division Bench of Goutam Bhaduri and Rajani Dubey, JJ., held that the wife refusing to join the company of her husband in view of waiting for auspicious time, would amount to desertion. 

Read full report here…

Disinvestment

Dr Subramanian Swamy’s plea that Air India’s Disinvestment is arbitrary, illegal, corrupt: 5-pointer report of Del HC decision

The Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and Jyoti Singh, J., dismisses Dr Subramanian Swamy’s plea stating that any delay in the process of disinvestment of Air India would cause loss to public exchequer, besides creating uncertainty amongst the existing employees.

Read full report here…

Matrimonial Expenses

‘Unmarried daughter, even if earning, can’t be assumed to have sufficient resources to meet matrimonial expenses’: Del HC orders father to pay marriage expenses of daughters

 Father’s duty to maintain his unmarried daughters, including his duty to provide for their marriage is clearly recognized by the law.

Read full report here…

Sexual Assault

 Del HC upholds conviction for rape and penetrative sexual assault where ‘wife’ was below 18 yrs of age

Mukta Gupta, J., decided an appeal challenging the impugned decision whereby the appellant had been convicted for the impugned decision whereby he had been convicted for offences punishable under Section 376 of Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 4 of the POCSO Act and the order on sentence dated 15-1-2020 whereby the appellant had been directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 10 years and a fine of Rs 10,000, in default whereof to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months. 

Read full report here…

False invocation of Ss. 354A, 506 IPC merely trivalises offence of sexual harassment casting doubt on veracity of allegations by victim who has in reality faced sexual harassment: Del HC

Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed its anguish at how provisions such as Sections 354A/506 of Penal Code, 1860 are falsely invoked at the drop of a hat to register one’s displeasure at the conduct of another individual.

Read full report here…

Trademark

Why is ‘Rooh Afza’ seeking injunction against ‘Dil Afza’? Here’s how Del HC stressed upon ‘deep emotion’ while deciding

Buying a bottle of sharbat may involve emotions, but not deep to the extent hoped for by the learned counsel for the plaintiffs. In any case, those who appreciate this deep emotion would be the first to be able to distinguish between ‘Rooh’ and ‘Dil’.

Read full report here…

Del HC restrains Courtyard Holidays World Private Limited from using registered trademark “COURTYARD”: Read a detailed report on trademark infringement case

Asha Menon, J., in a trademark infringement case, restrained the ‘Courtyard Holidays World Private Limited’ from using the impugned marks “COURTYARD”, “COURTYARD HOLIDAYS”, “COURTYARD HOLIDAYS WORLD”, and/or any other mark/logo or label and/or domain name which is identical or similar to the Plaintiff’s registered trademarks “COURTYARD”.

Read full report here…

Conviction

Son-in-law inflicts injury with axe on mother-in-law and wife, Challenges conviction under S. 307 IPC: Del HC revisits law while refusing to interfere

It is trite law that for conviction for an offence punishable under Section 307 IPC, it is not necessary that the victim should suffer an injury and, in a case, where the offence is committed with an intention to commit the murder of the victim, Section 307 IPC would be attracted as in the case of firing when no resultant injury is suffered by the victim.

Read full report here…

Faceless Assessment Scheme

Provision of Personal Hearing would defeat the purpose of Faceless Assessment Scheme? Del HC decides

The Division Bench of Manmohan and Navin Chawla, JJ., while focusing on the principles of natural justice and right to personal hearing observed that,

“Faceless Assessment Scheme does not mean no personal hearing.”

“An assessee has a vested right to personal hearing and the same has to be given, if an assessee asks for it.”

Read full report here…

Judicial Overreach

Photograph of summons sent through WhatsApp as an addition to ordinary process would amount to Judicial Overreach? Del HC decides

Amit Bansal, J., expressed that

Just because the photograph of the summons were sent by the plaintiff to the defendant through WhatsApp cannot amount to overreaching the judicial system or running a parallel system with the judicial system.

Read full report here…

Insurance Claim

Whether insurance company is liable to pay claim even if vehicle stolen and unauthorisedly driven? Del HC decides

…if the proposition of the insurance company was accepted, it would militate against the very concept of a beneficial legislation for the victims of an accident. If such a finding were to be returned then the effect would be that even though a vehicle is insured but is stolen, not only would the insurance company be entitled to avoid its liability but the owner of the vehicle who has insured his vehicle against theft and accident would be saddled with a liability for no fault of his.”

Read full report here…

Law on Rejection of Plaint

Contents of plaint or Examining sufficiency of plaint? Del HC explains the bounden duty of Court

Prateek Jalan, J., expressed that,

For the purposes of an order under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, the Court must come to the conclusion that the plaint is required to be rejected.

Read full report here…

Victims’ Rights | Fair Trial

Fair trial is the hallmark of criminal procedure, it entails not only rights of victims but also interest of accused: Delhi HC

“It is the duty of every Court to ensure that fair and proper opportunities are granted to the accused for just decision of the case.” 

Read full report here…

Maintenance

Court under maintenance proceedings under S. 125 of CrPC, can usurp jurisdiction of Civil Courts? Del HC decides

Chandra Dhari Singh, J., decided a maintenance case wherein the marital status of the parties was the crux of the matter and expressed that,

“…there is no straight jacket formula for judging the validity of the marriage between the parties.”

Read full report here…

Misconduct

Customer produced to prove the guilt of misconduct by Conductor of DTC Bus: Is it correct? Del HC answers while reiterating established position of law

Prathiba M. Singh, J., while examining a case which was dismissed 30 years ago with regard to a workman’s misconduct, reiterated the well-established law that, customers’ need not be produced in such proceedings in order to prove the misconduct of the workman.

Read full report here…


 Gujarat High Court


Conjugal Rights

Can a wife be forced to cohabit and establish conjugal rights? Or can a decree do so? Guj HC answers

A marriage between Mohammedans is a civil contract and a suit for restitution of conjugal rights is nothing more than an enforcement of the right to consortium under this contract.

Read full report here…

POCSO

Court goes beyond the relief sought, helps POCSO victim to become self-sufficient

The Division Bench of Sonia Gokani and N.V. Anjaria, JJ. went beyond the case to help a POCSO victim to continue her further studies from her parental home. Order was issued against a Criminal Misc. Application filed by the desirous victim pleading the Court to allow her to handover the custody of her minor daughter and join her parents. The applicant was called before the Court with her child before passing of the order.

Read full report here…

Senior Citizen Act

Senior Citizen Act cannot rescind Domestic Violence Act

“The law protecting the interest of senior citizens is intended to ensure that they are not left destitute, or at the mercy of their children or relatives. Equally, the purpose of the PWDV Act 2005 cannot be ignored by a sleight of statutory interpretation. Both sets of legislation have to be harmoniously construed.”

Read full report here…


Himachal Pradesh High Court


Internet Services

Petition filed highlighting the plight of residents of the State regarding internet services in view of virtual classes/courtrooms etc.; Elaborate suggestions laid down

A Division Bench of Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Chander Singh Barowalia JJ.  directed the respondents to comply with the directions given and report compliance on the next date of hearing.

Read full report here… 

Compassionate Appointment

Compassionate appointment is not a matter of right but subject to policy changes; appointment rightly rejected to son as mother is already employed with PWD

Read full report here…

Order 18 Rule 17-A CPC

Power under Or. 18 R. 17 CPC cannot be invoked to fill up omission in the evidence already led by a witness

“…basic purpose of Rule 17 is to enable the Court to clarify any position or doubt. While exercising power Under Order 18 Rule 17-A CPC, Court may, either suo motu or on the request of any party, recall any witness at any stage in this regard. No doubt, power can be exercised at any stage, once the Court recalls the witness for the purpose of any such clarification, the court may permit the parties to assist the court by examining the witness for the purpose of clarification required or permitted by the Court.”

Read full report here…


Jammu and Kashmir High Court


Dowry Death

Dowry Prohibition Act vis-a-vis J&K Dowry Restraint Act; HC blurs the line between the two

In a case alleging dowry death, Rajnesh Oswal, J., clarified the scope and applicability of Jammu and Kashmir Dowry Restraint Act 1960. Observing that the Trial Court had conducted mini trial at the stage of framing of charge, the Bench expressed,

“The trial court was considering issue with regard to framing of charge under section 304-B RPC but the trial court got swayed by the definition of dowry as defined under the Act of 1960 forgetting the legislative intent behind making the amendment, more when the definition was elastic even for the purpose of Act of 1960 by the use of expression “In this Act unless the context otherwise requires”.

Read full report here…


Jharkhand High Court


 Maintenance

What is the effective date of grant of maintenance? Is it the date of judgment or the date of filing of maintenance application?

Anubha Rawat Choudhary, J., held that right to claim maintenance must date back to the date of filing the application since the period during which the maintenance proceedings remained pending is not within the control of the applicant.

Read full report here…

Civil Services

Mistakenly entered wrong digit of Roll No. in OMR sheet? Can one seek to add obtained scores when the sheet is rejected by Scanning Machine? HC answers

 S.N. Pathak, J., rejected the petition filed by a civil services candidate, who was declared unsuccessful in prelims examination due to darkening wrong last digit of roll number in OMR sheet. The Bench stated,

“May be the petitioner has not intentionally darkened digit 6 instead of 8, but sympathy has no place in the eyes of law. The law will prevail in view of the terms and conditions as mentioned in the Advertisement, Admit Card and that of the Rules framed by the JPSC.”

Read full report here…


Kerala High Court


 CLAT PG-2021

Is confining Selection process of NTPC to CLAT PG-2021 candidates only prima facie discriminatory? HC to decide

V.G. Arun, J., held that the practice of confining selection process to CLAT PG-2021 candidates only for the post of Assistant Law Officer at NTPC was prima facie discriminatory. However, without expressing anything further on the matter the Bench had adjourned the matter for further hearing with the direction to the Central Government and NTPC to file a detailed counter affidavit in that regard.

Read full report here…

Guardian of Property

Guardian of Property v/s Guardian of Person of the minor; HC clarifies jurisdiction of District Court

The Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas held that the District Court cannot entertain petition to appoint guardian of the person of the minor child, however power to appoint guardian of the property of the minor is well within the jurisdiction of the District Court. The Bench clarified, the fact that a court cannot appoint a guardian of the person, is no bar for appointing a guardian of the property.

Read full report here…

Maintenance

Right to maintenance of child born out of inter-faith marriage: Is father under obligation to maintain his children even when there’s no statutory stipulation? HC answers 

In a significant case regarding Right to maintenance of child born out of inter-faith marriage, the Division Bench of Dr. Kausar Edappagath and A. Muhamed Mustaque JJ., held that the child being non sui juris, the State and the Courts as Parens Patriae are bound to protect it irrespective of law being silent in this regard. The Bench expressed,

“We see no reason to deny the children born to an inter-faith couple legal right to claim maintenance from their father for the reason that there is no specific statutory provision mandating such a father to maintain his children.” 

Read full report here…


Karnataka High Court


 Sale Deed

Will an ex post facto approval validate a sale deed where prior approval by State Government was a statutory prerequisite? HC answers

Read full report here…

Bail

Bail order not containing cogent reasons liable to be set aside for non-application of mind

The Court observed that The reasons assigned by the Trial Court is nothing but perverse and though elaborately discussed in the order, but the very approach in exercising the discretion under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. it is nothing but capricious order

Read full report here…

Social Classification

Persons with disability are a homogenous class irrespective of social classification; such classification can’t be impeached by linking it with Art. 16 or Art 15

“Persons claiming social reservation fall in one compartment and persons with disabilities who are included in the quota fall on a different distinct compartment so there arises no question of violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.”

Read full report here…

Motor Accident

“If relief is not moulded by awarding higher compensation, we will be failing in our duty”; Kar HC discussed compensation vis a vis permanent sexual disability in motor accident cases 

The Court observed that the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, is a benevolent legislation and the duty is cast upon the Tribunal to award just and fair compensation to the victim of a Motor Vehicle Accident and thus taking into consideration the inflation and constantly depreciating purchasing power of the rupee, the court deemed deem it appropriate to enhance the compensation.

Read full report here…


 Madras High Court


 Right to Relax

Right to Relax in danger? Would installing CCTVs in spas and massage parlours infringe bodily autonomy of a person? Madras HC pens down its view

“Suspicion that immoral activities are taking place in massage centres cannot be reason enough to intrude into an individual’s right to relax for it intrinsically is part and parcel of his fundamental right to privacy.”

Read full report here…

License

Clubs allowing members to bring liquor purchased from outside, and drink without FL-2 license. Is it permissible? Madras HC examines, Issues directions 

“Any Association, Club or otherwise cannot go beyond the scope of its bye laws and the Competent Authorities under the Societies Registration Act are also empowered to initiate action for violation of the bye-laws.”

Read full report here 

Compensation

Rat-bite in hospital, compensation claimed: Madras HC relies on newspaper report since no rejoinder was given by Hospital

“….while examining a particular fact in the Writ Petition, strict rules of evidence do not apply but existence of a fact can be taken judicial note by surrounding circumstances…”

Read full report here…

Outrage the religious beliefs

Expressing opinion with regard to temple restoration, would amount to attract an offence under S. 295-A IPC? Report on Madras HC decision 

G.R. Swaminathan, J., quashed an FIR stating that S. 295-A IPC is attracted only if there is deliberate and malicious intent to outrage the religious beliefs of a particular class.

Read the full report here…

‘On Judgement Day, God shall admonish petitioner for committing un-Christian act’: Read whether Madras HC holds Catholic Priest prima facie accountable under S. 295A IPC for using ‘Bharat Mata’ and ‘Bhuma Devi’ in offensive manner

To uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and maintain public order, the strong arm of law will have to come down heavily on those who seek to disrupt communal peace and amity. 

Read full report here…

State Revenues

Cases involving large scale revenue unresolved for several years, leading to looting of nation’s properties: Read what Madras HC observes

There is a Grouping Section, which is functioning in the High Court. The said Section must be utilised for collecting large scale revenue involved cases now pending before the High Court for many years and the Registry must place all those cases before the Hon’ble the Chief Justice for speedy disposal.

Read full report here…

Conjugal Rights

Whether denial of conjugal rights to a prisoner amounts to violation of Art. 21 of the Constitution of India?  Madras HC answers in light of “extraordinary circumstances”

Expressing that, a convict cannot enjoy all the liberties as are available to a common person, otherwise there would no difference between a law-abiding citizen and a law-violating prisoner, the Division Bench of Munishwar Nath Bhandari, ACJ and Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P.D. Audikesavalu, JJ., held that,

The leave for a specific purpose which may be for undergoing infertility treatment, as such, may not be considered for having conjugal relationship in common parlance, but for extraordinary reason, thus we (High Court) can safely hold that the 1982 Rules itself protect the rights of the prisoner guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to the extent it is required.

Read full report here…


 Madhya Pradesh High Court


 Arbitration

Dismissal of application under S. 34 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 on ground of limitation will come within the purview of refusing to set aside an arbitration award 

Vishal Dhagat, J. expressed that, dismissal of application under Section 34 of Act of 1996 on ground of limitation will come within the purview of refusing to set aside an arbitration award, therefore, appeal under Section 37 will be maintainable if application under Section 34 is dismissed on ground of limitation. 

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Does Arbitral Tribunal have exclusive jurisdiction to settle disputes relating to “works contract” in State of Madhya Pradesh under the scheme of M.P Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983? MP HC explains

Bench expressed,

“…the Act of 1983 provides that whether the parties to a “works contract” incorporate an arbitration agreement or not, any dispute relating to “works contract” shall fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribunal.”

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Courts should emphasize on bridging the gap between the time period of reservation and delivery of the judgment

“It is the need of the hour to emphasize over the need to pronounce judgment expeditiously and curtailing the time gap between reserving of a case and pronouncing of judgment to the bare minimum, it is vivid that the Tribunal heard and reserved the original application preferred on 20.02.2019 whereafter the impugned judgment was pronounced by the Tribunal on 17.01.2020 i.e. after nearly 11 months, which is a very long period of time”

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State saddled with costs for colourable exercise of power reflecting favours; petition allowed

The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, JJ. allowed petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution filed by Smt Rampyari Patel and quashed impugned order dated 06-07-2021 passed by State Government.

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Disciplinary Proceedings

Delinquent employee in disciplinary proceedings has statutory right to engage a Defence Assistant

The Division Bench of Sheel Nagu and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav, JJ. allowed the petition filed under Art 226 by an employee facing disciplinary proceedings.

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 Strike

It is duty and obligation of Courts to go on with matters or otherwise it would tantamount to becoming a privy to the strike; Court dismisses appeal

Sujoy Paul, J. dealt and dismissed a petition while highlighting the increasing issues of strikes and boycotts by the lawyers.

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Reservation

Difficult Areas vis-a-vis Difficult Services, Issues of reservation and incentive marks; HC puts an end to the battle between Doctors and State

 “If we hold that the Demonstrators and Tutors are eligible despite being posted in towns (not covered under difficult, rural or remote areas) as in-service candidates and petitioners are not, it will divide a homogeneous class of ‘in-service candidates’ and will create a class within the class without there being any rationale and justification for the same.”

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 Kazi

 Can a Kazi adjudicate disputes like a Court and pass an order like a decree? MP HC answers

“If a Kazi entertains a dispute and acts as a mediator to settle the dispute between the members of the community that would be permissible, but he cannot adjudicate the dispute like a court and pass an order like a decree.”

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Orissa High Court


Investigating Agency

Court can neither be a mute spectator to the whims and fancies of the investigating agency nor be a party to it; Ori HC observes in a case where final form was submitted after 15 years

The Court held that the inaction of the investigating agency to conclude the investigation for as long as 15 years, that too, without offering even a semblance of explanation is a direct affront to the cherished principle of right to speedy trial ingrained in the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

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Public Interest

Retaining an employee in service if he lacks in the standard of efficiency required to discharge the duties of the post he presently holds is not in public interest

“The Court observed that the object of compulsory retirement is to weed out the dishonest, the corrupt and the deadwood. It is true that if an honest Judicial Officer is compulsorily retired it might lower the morale of his colleagues and other members in the service.”

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Punjab and Haryana High Court


 Live-in-relationship

Merely living together for few days is not live-in-relationship; HC imposes cost of Rs 25000 on runaway couple

In a case where a young couple who had started living in a hotel two days ago had approached the Court for protection, Manoj Bajaj, J., imposed a cost of Rs. 25000. The Bench expressed,

“Merely because the two adults are living together for few days, their claim of live-in-relationship based upon bald averment may not be enough to hold that they are truly in live-in-relationship.”

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Bail

Long custody is an essential factor for granting bail under UAPA; HC grants bail to woman lodged in jail along with her infant in connection with a Facebook post

Anupinder Singh Grewal, J., granted bail to the woman who was in custody along with her barely two years old infant in connection with alleged offence committed under UAPA. The main allegation against the petitioner was with regard to a Facebook post supporting banned organization ‘Sikhs for Justice 2020 Referendum’.

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Divorce

Are Recordings of Private Conversation between Husband and Wife permissible as evidence under S. 13 of HMA, 1955? HC decides 

Lisa Gill, J., held that to permit a spouse to record conversations with an unsuspecting partner and to produce the same in a court of law, to be made the basis of deciding a petition under Section 13 of the Act cannot be permitted.

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Investigation

P&H HC stresses upon adopting contemporary methods of investigation rather than taking third-degree shortcuts

Bench reiterated that,

“police faces a very uphill task in dealing with criminals, especially hardened criminals and the work done by the police force and any investigating agency is to be highly appreciated, in trying to apprehending criminals and actually apprehending them and bringing them to justice; yet, as per the constitutional scheme and the statutory provisions framed thereunder in India, not even the worst criminal can be denied a fair procedure in terms of the statutory provisions laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and any such law in force.” 

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Rajasthan High Court


Mother tongue or English as a medium of instruction? Raj HC dealt with the issue when State decided to convert a Hindi medium school to English medium

“…the rights of the petitioners and the pupil of the school to have instructions in Hindi that are protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and such rights can be diluted only by way of a legislation enacted in the contingencies mentioned in cause (2) of Article 19.”

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Police Protection

Courts are not meant to provide police protection to youths who have fled to marry according to their own wishes; Raj HC reiterated

The Court observed that in a deserving case, the Court can provide security to the couple, but cannot lend them the support they have sought. They have to learn to support each other and face the society. If any person misbehaves or manhandles them, the Courts and police authorities are there to come to their rescue, but they cannot claim security as a matter of course or right.

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Pecuniary Jurisdiction

Objection with regard to pecuniary jurisdiction shall be taken at the first instance at the earliest possible opportunity in accordance with S. 21 CPC

“no such objection was taken by the defendants at the earliest stage or not during the course of trial when it reached to its final stage. Now at the stage of final disposal, the application has been submitted which has been accepted by the learned court below by overlooking the mandatory provisions contained under Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure.” 

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Reverse Burden of Proof

Burden on the defence to prove the plea of insanity is only to the extent of establishing the same by preponderance of probabilities, need not be proved beyond all manner of doubt

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Telangana High Court


 Section 138 NI Act

A joint account holder cannot be prosecuted unless and until he/she is a signatory to subject cheque

“…Penal provisions should be construed strictly, but not in a routine/casual manner. The words used in Section 138 of N.I. Act  that “such person shall, be deemed to have committed an offence,, refers to a person who has drawn the cheque, but not any other person, except the contingencies mentioned under Section 141 of the N.I. Act.”

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Tripura High Court


Insurance Company

Compensation amount limited to amount claimed, Insurance Company’s liability reduced

S.G. Chattopadhyay, J. in the concerning matter to Parimal Das, held that the person claiming compensation should receive the amount not more than what he claimed. However, this doesn’t mean that the court is powerless to not award more compensation than the amount claimed.

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DNA Testing

Unless and until there is a challenge to the personal documents, direction cannot be given for DNA testing; Court dismisses appeal

Amarnath Goud, J., dealt with a petition wherein the case of the petitioner was that the respondent was not the son of the deceased Kshitish Ghosh and under the garb of certain Wills the respondent was selling the properties which were in dispute before the trial court. Petition further prayed to reconsider DNA testing approval which was dismissed earlier.

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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi, J., addressed a revision petition filed by the husband who claimed that the Family Court could not have granted maintenance to wife under Section 125 CrPC when divorce was already granted in his favour under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act.

Instant criminal revision was directed against the decision of the Family Court. By the said impugned order, maintenance application under Section 125 CrPC of OP 2 was allowed and a maintenance amount of Rs 25,000 was awarded.

OP 2 submitted that she was mentally and physically tortured and later was left at her maternal house with her father. Opposite Party started ignoring her and not maintaining her, in fact deserted her. Further, she added that she had no source of income while the opposite party was Squadron Leader in Air Force, and his salary was Rs 80,000 per month. Hence, OP 2 had claimed a maintenance allowance of Rs 40,000.

Jurisdiction

High Court stated that, an application under Section 125 CrPC can be moved at a place where the applicant was temporarily residing. It had been alleged in counter affidavit that applicant was temporarily residing at Gautam Budh Nagar and pursuing a course in J.P. Institute of Information Technology at Gautam Budh Nagar. Hence, the ground that Court at Gautam Budh Nagar lacked jurisdiction had no force.

Permanent Alimony

The revisionist husband contended that Family Court, Meerut in divorce petition under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act had granted divorce decree in favour of the revisionist and had also awarded Rs 25 lacs as permanent alimony under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act while passing the decree of divorce and hence, no maintenance under Section 125 CrPC could be awarded and application was not maintainable.

Hence, OP 2 had Rs 25 lakhs at her disposal and it could not be said that there were no financial resources and there was no question of non-sustenance.

The Court below lost its sight in not considering the legal proposition that a divorced wife can claim maintenance under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act and not under Section 125 CrPC. 

When a divorce decree under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act is passed the wife of such annulled marriage can claim maintenance under Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act.

It is only such court which passed the divorce decree who is alone competent to grant maintenance under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Therefore, the impugned order was absolutely illegal, arbitrary and against the said principles of law.

As per the Supreme Court’s decision in Rajnesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324, a wife can make a claim for maintenance under different statutes and there was no bar to seek maintenance both under the protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and Section 125 of CrPC or under Hindu Marriage Act.

Bench noted that, in the present set of facts, it was clear that the wife did not accept the alimony as she had challenged the divorce decree and the same was pending and in those circumstances, she could not have accepted the amount of alimony.

In view of the above, she had no source of income and financial support to maintain her and hence came under the category of destitute. Therefore, the impugned order did not suffer from any illegality or infirmity.

Since no infirmity was found in the order of the Court below, the revision was liable to be dismissed. [Tarun Pandit v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 38, decided on 6-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Revisionist:- Amit Krishna

Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A., Siddharth Khare

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench of Ritu Bahri and Arun Monga, JJ., held that marriage with minor is valid if no attempt is made to declare the same invalid once the child turns 18.

The brief facts of the present case were that at the time of marriage in 2009, the respondent-wife was of the age 17 years, 6 months and 8 days. Both the parties continued to live together and cohabited as husband and wife till 31-08-2017 and a male child namely Manas was born out of the wedlock, who had been living with the appellant-husband since 2017.

The grievance of the appellant was that the Family Court had dismissed the petition filed under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for divorce by mutual consent by holding that the marriage of the parties was not a valid marriage as the respondent (wife) had not completed the age of 18 years as per the mandate of Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Family Court had referred to a judgment passed by the Madras High Court in Prema Kumari v. M. Palani, 2011 SCC OnLine Mad 1815, and held that parties were required to get their marriage nullified as per Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Opinion and Analysis

Section 13(2)(iv) is reproduced as under:-

13-(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground- (iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnised before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years. The girl who has attained 15 years of age and has got married can seek dissolution of marriage before she attains the age of 18 years by filing a petition under Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Differentiating the judgment relied by the Family Court, the Bench stated that the wife was not 15 years of age and could not invoke the provisions of Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act and had she been 15 years of age, she could have invoked the provisions only when she attains the age of 18.

In Lajja Devi v. State, 2012 SCC OnLine Del 3937, the Delhi High Court had observed that  a marriage contracted with a female of less than 18 years or a male of less than 21 years, would not be a void marriage but voidable one, which would become valid if no steps are taken by such “child” within the meaning of Section 2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 seeking declaration of this marriage as void.

In the present case, after marriage both the parties continued to live together till 2017 and the respondent (wife) wife had not chosen to file a petition for getting her marriage void before turning major, therefore, the Bench held that the Family Court had wrongly dismissed the petition as when the couple made a petition under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the respondent-wife was major and the marriage was valid.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed and the impugned order was set aside. The decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was granted to the parties. [Yogesh Kumar v. Priya, FAO 855 of 2021, decided on 26-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Appellant: Gitanjali Chhabra, Advocate

For the Respondent: Raman B.Garg, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Amit Bansal, J., reversed the order of the trial court as it dismissed the application filed by the petitioner under Section 26 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act only on the basis that it had been filed towards execution of maintenance already granted.

Instant petition was filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India impugning the decision of Additional District Judge-I, whereby the application filed by the petition wife under Section 26 of the Protection of Women and Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was dismissed.

Petitioner wife had filed a suit under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 as an indigent person, claiming maintenance before the Court. Family Court had granted maintenance @ Rs 10,000 per month. Petitioner wife stated that she was not paid the stated amount by her husband, hence she filed execution proceedings before the Family Court.

Later, a civil suit was filed by the respondent-husband against the petitioner wife seeking damages of Rs 20,00,000 along with an interest and for pendente lite and future interest in the account of malicious prosecution.

The suit was premised on the discharge of the respondent-husband in a criminal complaint lodged by the petitioner wife against the respondent-husband under Sections 498A and 406 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Further, the petitioner wife filed an application under Section 26 of the DV Act in the said civil suit seeking a direction to respondent-husband to pay the sum of Rs 10,000 as interim maintenance and R 1 lakh towards litigation expenses.

Though Trial Court dismissed the above application.

Analysis, Law and Decision

In Court’s opinion, petitioner wife would be entitled to invoke the provisions of Section 26 read with Section 20 of the Domestic Violence Act to seek monetary relief including maintenance, which would be in addition to the maintenance granted to her vide the Family Courts Order.

Supreme Court in its decision Rajnesh v. Neha, (2021) 2 SCC 324, observed in light of the question of overlapping jurisdictions for grant of maintenance that Section 20(1)(d) of the DV Act makes it clear that the maintenance granted under the DV Act would be in addition to an order of maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.PC) and any other law for the time being in force. It was observed by the Supreme Court that the legislative mandate envisages grant of maintenance to wife under various statutes. There is no bar to seek maintenance both under the DV Act and Section 125 of the Cr.PC or the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.

Therefore, impugned order by the trial court was clearly erroneous inasmuch as it dismissed the application filed by the petitioner wife under Section 26 of the DV Act only on the basis that it has been filed towards execution of the maintenance already granted to the petitioner wife vide the order dated 28th March, 2018. The Trial Court has failed to appreciate that the aforesaid application was an independent remedy invoked by the petitioner wife under the provisions of the DV Act.

Hence, the impugned order was set aside. Matter was remanded back to the trial court. [Mamta Bhardwaj v. Vinod Kumar Bharadwaj, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 4841, decided on 29-10-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

L.K. Singh with Saira Parveen, Advocates

For the Respondents:

Sanjeev Salhan, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: S.A. Dharmadhikari, J., decided in the matter of the petition which was filed challenging the order passed by Additional Principal Judge to the Court of Principal Judge, Family Court, whereby the application filed by the petitioner and respondent under section 13-B of HMA for waiving off cooling period in the light of judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, AIR 2017 SC 4417, had been rejected.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner and the respondent got married according to Hindu, rites and customs and as their marriage was not successful, therefore, they decided to obtain a decree of divorce, hence, they had jointly filed an application u/S. 13B of HMA for grant of divorce by mutual consent. It was stated that since both of them have decided to seek divorce and to live separately, therefore, pendency of the divorce petition for more than six months would seriously affect the future of both therefore, in the light of judgment delivered by the Apex Court in the case of Amardeep Singh, the cooling off period of six months may be waived off adding that there is no possibility of compromise between the parties in future.

Court reiterated the extract from the Amardeep Singh judgment,

“Applying the above to the present petition, we are of the view that where the Court dealing with a matter is satisfied that a case is made out to waive the statutory period under Section 13 B (2), it can do so after considering the following:

i) The statutory period of six months specified in Section 13 B(2), in addition to the statutory period of one year under Section 13B(1) of separation of parties is already over before the first motion itself;

ii) All efforts for mediation/conciliation including efforts in terms of Order XXXIIA Rule 3 CPC/Section 23(2) of the Act/Section 9 of the Family Courts Act to reunite the parties have failed and there is no likelihood of success in that direction by any further efforts;

iii) The parties have genuinely settled their differences including alimony, custody of child or any other pending issues between the parties.

iv) The waiting period will only prolong their agony.”

The Court finally decided to waive off the cooling period of six months’ as provided under Section 13-B of the HMA and directed it to be placed before the family court for consideration.

[Pankaj Rajput v. Kirti Rajput, 2021 SCC OnLine MP 1858, decided on 07-10-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The Division Bench of Ritu Bahri and Arun Monga, JJ., held that in case of child marriage, the marriage is voidable not void and a petition for nullity under Section 13(2)(iv) could only be filed if she-wife had got married at the age of 15 that too only before she attains the age of 18.

Background

The brief facts of the present case were that at the time of marriage i.e. on 27-02-2009, the appellant (husband) was major being of the age of 23 years, 5 months and 10 days the respondent (wife) was of the age of 17 years, 6 months and 8 days. Both the parties continued to live together and cohabited as husband and wife till 31-08-2017 and had a male child out of the wedlock. The child had been living his father since 2017.

Findings of the Family Court

The grievance of the appellant was that the Family Court had dismissed his petition filed under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for divorce by mutual consent. Relying on the decision of Madras High Court in Prema Kumari v. M. Palani, 2013 (6) RCR (Civil) 2953, the Family Court held that the marriage was not a valid one as the respondent (wife) had not completed the age of 18 years as per the mandate of Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, therefore the parties were required to get their marriage nullified as per Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Section 13(2)(iv) is reproduced as under:-

13-(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground- (iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnised before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.

The girl who has attained 15 years of age and has got married can seek dissolution of marriage before she attains the age of 18 years by filing a petition under Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Analysis and Reasoning

Differentiating the judgment relied by the Family Court, the Bench stated that the wife was not 15 years of age and could not invoke the provisions of Section 13(2)(iv) of the Hindu Marriage Act. Had she been 15 years of age, she could have invoked the provisions only before she attains the age of 18. Referring to the Delhi High Court’s decision in Lajja Devi v. State, 2012 (4) R.C.R. (Civil) 821, wherein the Delhi High Court while referring to Sections 5(iii), 11 and 12 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Sections 2 and 3 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, observed that if a marriage contracted with a female of less than 18 years or a male of less than 21 years, it would not be a void marriage but voidable one, which would become valid if no steps are taken by such “child” within the meaning of Section 2(a) of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 seeking declaration of this marriage as void.

Since both the parties continued to live together and cohabited as husband and wife since 2009 till 2017 and the respondent-wife had not chosen to file a petition for declaring her marriage void their marriage became a valid one, for all intents and purposes, when they made a petition under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the respondent-wife was major and the marriage was valid. Hence, the Bench held that the Family Court had wrongly dismissed the petition filed under Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and a petition for nullity under Section 13(2)(iv) could only be filed if she-wife had got married at the age of 15 that too only before she attains the age of 18.

Verdict

In the light of the above, the appeal was allowed and the impugned decision was set aside. The decree of divorce under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was granted to the parties. [Yogesh Kumar v. Priya, FAO-855 of 2021, decided on 26-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

Ms. Gitanjali Chhabra, Advocate for the appellant.

Mr. Raman B.Garg, Advocate for the respondent

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Addressing a matter pertaining to the widow’s right of inheritance on the property of the deceased husband, S.M. Modak, J., observed that,

Both wife and mother will have an equal share in light of Section 24 of the Hindu Succession Act, which was in existence at the time of the dispute.

Substantial Question of Law:

Whether a widow can claim the estate of the husband after re-marriage?

High Court referred to the decision of Supreme Court in Kasturi Devi v. Deputy Director of Consolidation, AIR 1976 SC 2595. In the said decision, “the effect of re-marriage on her right to claim share in the property” was considered, though the status of the woman in the said decision was not of a widow but of a mother. Hence the claim pertained for inheritance not as a widow but as a mother. To this issue it was held that there won’t be any effect on her share of inheritance from a son even after she re-married.

Issue in the present matter was:

What is the effect on widow’s right of inheritance (not in the property of a son) on the property of the deceased husband?

Deceased was married to respondent 1 and the present appellant is the mother of the deceased.

It was stated that deceased had nominated his wife for the dues that he was entitled to from the Indian Railways, though it came on record that the deceased and wife were not living together due to the existence of a dispute between them.

After the death of the husband, defendant-wife re-married.

In view of the above events, the plaintiff claimed dues from Indian Railways and informed Indian Railways about the re-marriage of defendant. On non-provision of marriage certificate, the employer disbursed the dues in favour of the wife.

Trial Court favoured the plaintiff and decreed the suit in toto.

Hence, Indian Railways was directed to pay all the due to the plaintiff, though the Appellate Court recognized the share of defendant and directed the employer to disburse the amount to plaintiff and defendant.

Appellate Court’s decision has been challenged before this Court.

Provisions of Law

It was stated that the dues of employer are nothing but the self-acquired property of the deceased and as per Hindu Succession Act, Section 24, the widow loses rights if she remarries on the date when succession opens. It is also true that the said Section was omitted from the Act o 1956 w.e.f 9th September, 2005.

Since the deceased had expired on 19-04-1991, so we have to see what the position in force at that time was. Section 24 was in existence at that point of time, hence as per the said provision, whether it can be said that defendant can be excluded from succeeding the property of the deceased?

Section 14 of the Act of 1956 makes the female Hindu being absolute owner if she possessed the property. Whereas Section 24 of the said Act disinherits the widow if she re-marries.

A very pertinent fact that was noted by the Bench was that, if the widow had not re-married when the succession opened, the disqualification under Section 24 of the Act of 1956 wouldn’t be applicable.

Defendant-Sunanda re-married in May, 1991 (i.e. after opening of succession on 19-04-1991).

Furthermore, the Court stated that since the plaintiff and defendant were class 1 heirs, they were entitled to get equal share in the property of the deceased and as contemplated under Section 10 of the Act of 1956, the widow and the mother of the intestate takes one share each.

Therefore, both the wife and mother were entitled to get 50% from the property of the deceased.

Doctrine of enrichment

Since the wife is not solely entitled to get the whole amount, she was bound to return 50% of the amount to the plaintiff.

Respondent 1 was to refund the amount with 6% interest.

Appeal was disposed of in view of the above discussion. [Jaiwantabai v. Sunanda, Second Appeal No. 144 of 2007, decided on 23-08-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Shri Ved Deshpande h/f Shri A.S. Mardikar, Senior Advocate for the Appellant Shri J.B. Gandhi, Advocate for Respondent 1.
Shri N.P. Lambat, Advocate for Respondent 2.