Case BriefsDistrict Court

   

Karkardooma Court, Delhi: In a bail application moved on behalf of applicant/accused Saleem Malik @ Munna under Section 437 Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) who was arrested under Section 147, 148, 149, 427, 423, 436, 120-B Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) for conspiracy of North-East Delhi riots as part of the CAA-NRC protests that took place on the same day when the then, US President Donald Trump visited India , Amitabh Rawat, J. denied bail to the applicant-accused as the statements of the witnesses show sufficient incriminating material against the present accused Saleem Malik.

Submission

Counsel for State submitted that in the present case, the bar of Section 43-D (5) UAPA for grant of bail would apply as prima facie allegations against the accused are true and the further embargo is created due to Section 437 (1) CrPC.

Observations

The Court noted that Section 437 CrPC places an additional condition before releasing a person on bail if there are reasonable grounds for believing that accused has been guilty of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life and the present case also involves the applicability of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Thus, if the court is of the opinion on the perusal of the charge sheet that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against such person is prima facie true, then, as per this provision, accused shall not be released on bail.

Reliance was placed on National Investigating Agency v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watalli, (2019) 5 SCC 1, wherein it was observed that the Court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities regarding the involvement of the accused in the commission of the stated offence or otherwise. For that, the totality of the material gathered by the Investigating Agency and presented along with the report and including the case diary, is required to be reckoned and not by analysing individual pieces of evidence or circumstance.

Reliance was further placed on Thwaha Fasal v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1000, wherein it was observed that the elaborate examination or dissection of the evidence is not required to be done at this stage. The Court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities regarding the involvement of the accused in the commission of the stated offence or otherwise. The Court is not supposed to examine the merits and demerits of the evidence. If a charge sheet is already filed, the Court has to examine the material forming a part of charge sheet for deciding the issue whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against such a person is prima facie true. While doing so, the Court has to take the material in the charge sheet as it is.

Analysis

The Court opined that the present case pertains to a conspiracy for constituting a conspiracy, meeting of minds of two or more persons for doing an illegal act or any act by illegal means is the condition and it is not at all necessary that all the conspirators must know each and every detail of the conspiracy. It is also not necessary that every one of the conspirators must take active part in commission of each and every conspiratorial act. The existence of conspiracy and its object are normally deduced from the circumstances of the case and the conduct of the accused involved in the conspiracy.

The Court observed that in the present case, as per the chargesheet, there was a premeditated conspiracy of the disruptive chakkajam and a preplanned protest at different planned sites in Delhi which was to escalate and incitement to violence and resulting in riots. There was intentional blocking of roads to cause inconvenience and to cause disruption of the essential services to the life of community residing in NorthEast Delhi, causing violence with various means. The weapons used, manner of attack and the destruction caused shows it to be preplanned. Acts which threaten the unity and integrity of India and causes friction in communal harmony and creates terror in any section of the people, by making them feel surrounded resulting in violence, is also a terrorist act.

Role of Saleem Malik

According to the statement of protected witness and as per the charge sheet, at the time of the riots, accused Saleem Malik was present in North East Delhi and was connected with accused persons namely Saleem Khan, Athar, Shadab and Suleman (Proclaimed Offender). He also took part in the conspiracy. It is not necessary that in a case of a conspiracy, every accused should play part in every aspect of the conspiracy.

Decision

Thus, in view of the perusal of the chargesheet, accompanying documents and the statements of all the witnesses whose veracity will be tested at the time of cross-examination sufficient incriminating material against the present accused Saleem Malik is shown, thus the Court held allegations against the accused Saleem Malik are prima facie true thereby denied him bail.

[State v. Tahir Hussain (Bail application of Saleem Malik), 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 44, decided on 06-10-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

For accused: Advocate Bilal Anwar Khan

For State: Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

Case BriefsDistrict Court

Karkardooma Courts, Delhi: In a matter regarding providing maintenance to wife and children, Ramesh Kumar-1, Principal District & Sessions Judge, expressed that certain, factors such as husband’s liabilities, his standard of living, inflation rates, etc. are to be taken note of when Court decides the quantum of maintenance.

An appeal was filed under Section 29 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 against the impugned decision passed by the Metropolitan Magistrate whereby the maintenance of Rs 40,000 was awarded in favour of the respondent from the month and the year of filing of the petition before the trial court, and further awarded compensation of Rs 1,00,000 in favour of the respondent.

Factual Background

It was stated that the respondent was treated with love and care, at her matrimonial home, however, she was not happy with the marriage. Further, it was stated that, it was the second marriage of the respondent and the appellant had asked several times for the decree of divorce from her previous husband, but, the respondent never showed the same to him.

Additionally, it was stated that when the appellant tried to stop the respondent from frequently visiting her parental home, the respondent used to abuse and manhandle the appellant and would threaten the appellant to implicate him and his family in false criminal cases or to face the dire consequences.

It was added that the husband tolerated all the cruelties at the hands of the wife to save the matrimonial life.

In the year 2015, the respondent filed a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act against the appellant and his family. Trial Court passed an order for interim maintenance in favour of the respondent and her minor son.

Appellant submitted that due to the prevailing circumstances, he used to remain under depression and could not perform his job obligations and due to his poor performance, he was terminated by his employer.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Court expressed that, it is a well-settled principle of law that,

“…it is the legal duty of every able bodied person to maintain his wife and children and provide them with the basic amenities of the life, as per his financial status.”

 Adding to the above, it was stated that while deciding the quantum of maintenance, the Court should take into account the earnings of the husband as well as his other liabilities and the due regard to be given to the standard of living of the husband as well as the inflation rates and high costs of living.

Bench stated that even if the appellant’s plea that he was terminated from service by his employer was accepted, the fact remained that the appellant was a qualified person and capable of earning. Hence, the trial Court had rightly assumed the appellant’s salary to be Rs 80,000.

“Appellant being the husband of the respondent, and father of minor child, has social as well as moral duty to provide maintenance to respondent.”

Settled Law

The appellant being the husband of the respondent, cannot escape from his moral duty of providing maintenance to his wife as well as a minor child.

Hence, the trial Court had rightly observed that the aspect of financial deprivation of woman, is included in the category of economic abuse.

“…an aggrieved woman needs economic support, in view of the domestic violence, perpetrated upon her, by a person, who is in domestic relation with her.”

Settled Law

Every able-bodied person is bound to maintain his wife and children and cannot run away from this responsibility.

 In view of the above, Court held that there was no infirmity or illegality in the impugned decision. [Pawan Sharma v. Aarti Sharma, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 17, decided on 10-5-2022]

Case BriefsDistrict Court

Karkardooma Courts, Delhi: Ajay Gupta, Additional Sessions Judge (Electricity) decided a matter wherein a person was found guilty of direct theft of electricity.

Background

The complainant made a complaint under Sections 135, 138 of the Electricity Act, 2003 with SHO against the accused to register an FIR.

Inspection was conducted at the premise of the accused wherein it was found that no electricity meter, no DG set or any other source for electricity supply was found installed at the site and the user/accused was found indulged in direct theft of electricity through a Black colour two core illegal wire which was connected to BSES Distribution Box.

The total connected load was found to the tune of 2.039 KW which was being used for domestic purposes. The illegal material which was used for direct theft of electricity was removed and seized at the spot.

As per prosecution, the accused was allegedly indulged in direct theft of electricity. Therefore, the onus was on the prosecution to prove the said allegations against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

Analysis, Law and Decision

The court while analysing the matter, stated that in view of the statutory presumption, mentioned in third proviso Section 135(1) of the Act, once the prosecution successfully establishes the charges against the accused regarding the direct theft of electricity, it is to be presumed that the accused committed direct theft of electricity unless accused brought some evidence to rebut the presumption.

In the present matter, the prosecution proved the charges against the accused that he was indulged in direct theft of electricity.

Supreme Court’s decision in Hiten P. Dalal v. Bratidranath Banerjee, (2001) 6 SCC 16, laid down the law related to the rebuttal of the statutory presumption.

Accused in its statement under Section 313 CrPC stated that he had settled the matter with the complainant company and the settlement amount was already paid, however, the accused did not lead any defence evidence.

If the accused was not indulged in direct theft of electricity or that he was using the electricity through any legal means, then the easiest way to rebut the statutory presumption for the accused was to prove on record that he was having an authorized electricity meter at his premises and at the time of inspection he was drawing electricity through her own electricity meter.

 Therefore, the accused failed to rebut the statutory presumption.

Concluding the matter, Bench held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was indulged in direct theft of electricity punishable under Sections 135/138 of the Electricity Act, 2003. [State v. Sharif, SC No. 114 of 2021, decided on 26-11-2021]