Madras High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Madras High Court: Anita Sumanth, J. set aside the impugned order which rejected a registration application filed under Section 22 read with Section 25 of Central Goods and Service Tax (‘CGST Act') and Rule 8 of CGST Rules, without assigning proper reasons and adhering to proper procedure.

The petitioner filed an application seeking registration in accordance with Section 22 read with Section 25 of the CGST Act, 2017 and Rule 8 of the CGST Rules, 2017 in respect of a rice mandi which was duly acknowledged, and physical verification was also duly undertaken. A notice was issued by the respondent officer seeking clarification as the application did not enclose the details of the principal place of business of the petitioner. Pursuant to which, a copy of the rental / lease deed was uploaded however, registration was refused by way of a monosyllabic order simply mentioning ‘rejected’ without assigning any reasons or explanation for rejection. Aggrieved by this, the present petition was filed.

Rule 9(4) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 states:

‘9. Verification of the application and approval

………….(4) Where no reply is furnished by the applicant in response to the notice issued under sub-rule (2) or where the proper officer is not satisfied with the clarification, information or documents furnished, he [may], for reasons to be recorded in writing, reject such application and inform the applicant electronically in FORM GST REG-05.’

The Court noted that the word ‘may’ only refers to the discretion to reject and not to blatantly violate the principles of natural justice. If the assessing authority is inclined to reject the application, which he is entitled to, he must assign reasons for such objection and adhere to proper procedure, including due process.

Thus, the Court allowed the petition and set aside the impugned order.

[B C Mohankumar v. Superintendant of Central Goods and Service Tax, WP No. 13272 of 2022, decided on 16-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Adithya Reddy, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

Prakash for Mr. Rajendran Raghavan Senior Standing Counsel, Advocates, for the Respondent.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Delhi High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Jyoti Singh, J. in a case where patent was granted without delving and dealing with the grounds raised in the pre-grant opposition stage remanded it back to the Deputy Controller of Patent for reconsideration of the pre-grant opposition as the impugned order violates principles of natural justice.

GSP Crop Science Pvt. Ltd. (‘Respondent 2′) filed patent application for ‘A synergistic suspo-emulsion formulation of Pyriproxyfen and Diafenthiuron’ which was published under Section 11-A of the Patents Act, 1970. The Deputy Controller of Patents (‘Respondent 1′) issued the First Examination Report objecting to the claims inter alia on grounds of lack of novelty, inventive step etc. Reply was filed by Respondent 2 and claims were thereby amended. Best Agro Life Limited ‘Petitioner’ however filed a pre-grant opposition under Section 25(1) Patents Act, 1970, opposing the grant of patent on several grounds including lack of novelty under Section 25(1)(b) and non-patentability under Section 25(1)(f) read with Section 3(d) and 3(e) Patents Act, 1970 as well as objecting to the scope of the amended claims. Six other persons along with petitioner filed opposition which were amended without providing the petitioner(s) any notice to respond to the amendments and the patent was eventually granted. Aggrieved by this, the present petition was filed.

The question under consideration was whether there was violation of principles of natural justice while passing the impugned order, requiring judicial interference in a writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

The Court noted that on a plain reading of the two provisions i.e., Section 3(d) and 3(e) of Patents Act, 1970, Section 3(d) entails an assessment of ‘enhanced efficacy’ of the claimed composition in comparison to the efficacy of the known substance while the assessment under Section 3(e) is with a view to determine the synergistic effect of claimed composition with the individual properties of each component comprising the composition.

The Court categorically noted that none of the factors mentioned in the impugned order are germane to answer the real question of opposition raised under Section 3(d) as Respondent 1 ought to have examined whether the data and other factors brought forth by the Applicant had the effect of enhancement of efficacy from a known substance, which is the legislative intent of amendment of Section 3(d).

Thus, the Court observed that a number of crucial and relevant documents placed on record by the Petitioner were not even considered by Respondent 1 under the grounds of lack of novelty and lack of inventive step. Perusal of the impugned order clearly shows that the Authority comes to a conclusion that the documents are irrelevant, without recording a reasoned finding to that effect. Thus, the impugned order being non-speaking and unreasoned is violative of principles of natural justice.

Secondly, Respondent 2 sought to amend the claim two days prior to passing of the impugned order which was allowed without notifying the Petitioner and granting the Petitioner an opportunity to respond to the amendment. It was observed that the Patents Act is a complete Code which provides a mechanism and a procedure for carrying out amendment of an application, specifications, etc., before the Deputy Controller of Patents under Sections 57 and 59 Patents Act, 1970.

Thus, the procedure, as mandated under the Act, was not followed by Respondent 1 before permitting Respondent 2 to carry out the amendment. It is pertinent to note that strangely and significantly the order impugned herein does not even mention that an amendment was made to the original claims and specifications by Respondent. 2, which were allowed.

Thus, the Court held that the impugned order suffers from legal infirmities and is a non-speaking and unreasoned order and results in violations of principles of natural justice.

[Best Agrolife Limited v Deputy Controller of Patents, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1982, decided on 07-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Chander M. Lall, Senior Advocate with Dr. Shilpa Arora, Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Mr. Vivek Ranjan, Mr. Vinod Chauhan, Mr. Munesh Kumar Sharma, Ms. Shreya Chaudhary and Ms. Ananya Chugh, Advocates, for the petitioner;

Mr. Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar, Central Government Standing Counsel with Ms. S. Bushra Kazim, Mr. Srish Kumar Mishra and Mr. Sagar Mehlawat, Advocates for R-1. Mr. Guruswamy Nataraj, Mr. Ankur Vyas, Mr. Shashikant Yadav and Mr. Shahid Khan, Advocates for R-2.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In an interesting case the Vacation Bench comprising Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari, JJ., disapproved a strange bail condition imposed by the M.P. High Court. The High Court had directed the husband to surrender as a condition for pre-arrest bail of his wife.

The petitioner’s wife (applicant herein after) had approached the M.P. High Court with an application for pre-arrest bail apprehending her arrest in connection with a case registered against her husband’s family for offences punishable under Sections 304-B, 498-A, 34 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Considering that the applicant’s husband is posted at Mohana, District Gwalior which is a distant place from where the deceased resided last and the applicant has to take care of her children (two children aged 6 years and 3 years respectively), the High Court granted her pre-arrest bail with a direction to her husband to immediately surrender.

Aggrieved thereby, the petitioner, elder brother of the husband of the deceased, assailed the impugned order in the instant petition. The petitioner contended that the High Court had—while granting the prayer for pre-arrest bail to his wife— apart from the requirements of furnishing the bail bonds and surety, imposed further several conditions and then, before concluding the matter, observed as under:

“It is expected that husband of the applicant shall immediately surrender to the course of justice.”

The petitioner contended that such an observation of the High Court, practically forming a condition for grant of bail to his wife, has put all his rights in jeopardy and his plea for grant of pre-arrest bail is not being considered by the Sessions Judge because of such an observation.

Opining that the petitioner’s grievances were justified, the Court stated that it is inexplicable how the High Court can, while granting pre-arrest bail to the petitioner’s wife make such an observation that may operate against the interests of the petitioner; that too without extending him an opportunity to be heard. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the nature of accusations, the Court remarked,

“We are unable to find any logic in such a condition.”  

Hence, the Court disapproved of the condition imposed on the petitioner by the High Court.

Though the Court refrained to comment on the merits of the petitioner’s case for grant of pre-arrest bail, it held that the observations occurring in the impugned order cannot and shall not operate for being prejudicial to the interests of the petitioner.

Consequently, the Court directed that the petitioner’s bail plea shall be examined by the Court concerned on its own merits. Additionally, the Court added that since the instant order was passed without notice to the other side, the respondent-State will have the liberty to apply for a modification or for any other order, if necessary.

[Ajay Singh Rajpoot v. State of M.P., 2022 SCC OnLine SC 875, decided on 07-07-2022]


Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: Mr. Shishir Kumar Saxena, Adv., Mr. R.N. Pareek, Adv., Ms. Payal Swarup, Adv. and Mr. Praveen Swarup, AOR


*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Allahabad High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: While dismissing the bail application in case registered under Section 302, 120-B Penal Code, 1860, Sameer Jain, J. held that parity cannot become the sole criteria to grant bail.

Applicant is the cousin brother of the deceased. FIR was lodged against the applicant and his parents with the allegation that applicant along with his parents ablazed the sister of informant by pouring kerosene oil and during the course of treatment she succumbed to her injuries. The dying declaration of the deceased was recorded by the Additional City Magistrate-III on the date of incident in the hospital in which she stated that applicant, his parents and brother of applicant dragged her in their home and after pouring kerosine oil ablazed her.

Counsel for the applicant submitted that entire allegation made in the FIR and in the dying declaration of the deceased was totally false and baseless and initially, during investigation, the accusation made against the applicant and his parents were found false. He vehemently submitted that co-accused have already been enlarged on bail by the co-ordinate Bench of this Court and as per dying declaration the allegation against the applicant is also at par with those accused persons, who have been enlarged on bail, therefore, on the ground of parity applicant should also be released on bail.

AGA submitted that there is specific allegation against the applicant in the dying declaration of the deceased recorded by the Additional City Magistrate-III and while granting bail to co-accused the dying declaration of the deceased could not be discussed, therefore, on the ground of parity applicant should not be released on bail.

The Court noted that the informant was not the eye-witness but Additional City Magistrate- III recorded the dying declaration of the deceased and from its perusal there is specific allegation against the applicant and co-accused. The Court from the perusal of the bail orders of other co-accused found that they were given bail without assigning any reasons. They were released on bail merely on the basis of argument advanced by counsel for the co-accused persons.

The Court reiterated the recent Supreme Court case of Birjmani Devi v. Pappu Kumar, (2022) 4 SCC 497 where the Court deprecated the practice to allow bail application without assigning any reason observing,

“38. Thus, while elaborating reasons may not be assigned for grant of bail, at the same time an order de hors reasoning or bereft of the relevant reasons cannot result in grant of bail. It would be only a non speaking order which is an instance of violation of principles of natural justice. In such a case the prosecution or the informant has a right to assail the order before a higher forum.”

The Court dismissed the bail application stating that parity cannot become the sole criteria to grant bail and if the bail granted to similarly placed co-accused persons without assigning any reasons then on the basis of such bail orders merely on the ground of parity, the bail application should not be allowed and parity can only be persuasive in nature and cannot be binding.

[Manish v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 429, decided on 22-06-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr Kapil Tyagi, Advocate, for the Applicant;

Mr Arvind Kumar, Advocate, for the Opposite Party.


*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Atul Sreedharan, J. allowed a petition which was filed aggrieved by the order where after deciding a criminal case, the Additional Sessions Judge passed an order asking the Superintendent of Police to take action against the petitioner, who was the Investigating Officer of the case.

The petitioner is a police officer and was part of an investigation for offences punishable under Sections 25 and 27 Arms Act along with Sections 399 and 402 IPC. After completion of investigation, the charge sheet was filed against the accused and the charges were framed. Pursuant to the trial, the accused persons were acquitted. Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner has discharged his responsibilities with utmost honesty and sincerity in the capacity of the Investigating Officer. He had further stated that merely because the case had ended in an acquittal, it cannot be a ground for initiating action against the Investigating Officer. Counsel further stated that even otherwise, where the court feels that certain strictures must be passed against an Investigating Officer or action taken against him, it was essential in the interest of complying with the provisions of natural justice that he be given an opportunity and be heard with regard to those lapses.

The Court noted that the trial court has not put any questions to the witness or even suggested to the witness that it has deliberately botched up the investigation in order to protect the accused persons. The Court further reiterated the view of the Supreme Court in State of W.B. v. Babu Chakraborthy, (2004) 12 SCC 201 where it was held that the officers who were discharging their statutory duties cannot be blamed and that the action taken by the State Government and the officials concerned was for implementing the objects behind the act.

The Court was of the view that the present impugned order reflects that no opportunity of hearing was ever given to the petitioner herein to state his position with regard to the investigation. The petition succeeded and the impugned order was quashed finding it to be violative of principles of natural justice.[Himanshudhar Dwivedi v. State of Madhya Pradesh, Misc. Criminal Case No. 4531 of 2014, decided on 12-05-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For petitioner: Mr Bhupendra Shukla

For respondent: Mr C.M. Tiwari


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Calcutta High Court: Md. Nizamuddin, J. allowed a petition which was filed challenging the impugned assessment order under Section 147 read with Section 144B of the Income Tax Act, 1961 relating to assessment year 2013-2014 on the ground of violation of principle of natural justice by not providing the petitioner with an opportunity to file reply to the show-cause-notice.

The show cause notice asked the petitioner to give his reply/show-cause-notice to the proposed draft assesment through Department’s Register e-filing account by 23:17:59 hours IST of 30-03-2022, on the ground that before expiry of such time granted to file such reply/objection to the aforesaid showcause- notice/draft assessment. Respondent/Assessing Officer passed the impugned assessment order on 30-03-2022 at 15:17:08 IST and it is the specific case of the petitioner that the petitioner could not file reply or objection to the aforesaid show-cause-notice due to technical glitches in the portal of the Department.

The Court was of the view that the impugned assessment order which had been passed before the expiry of the time granted by the Assessing Officer to the petitioner to file reply to the aforesasid show- cause-notice relating to the draft assessment in question and further in view of the technical glitches in the portal of the Department by which petitioner could not file his aforesaid objection.

The Court found that the impugned assessment order is not sustainable in law and the same was set aside and the case was remanded back to the Assessing Officer concerned to pass a fresh assessment order in accordance with law after giving an opportunity to the petitioner to file reply to the aforesaid show-cause-notice which shall be filed by the petitioner within seven days from date and shall pass a reasoned and speaking order and by observing principle of natural justice.[Bhadrish Jayantilal Sheth v. Income Tax Officer, WPA 8232 of 2022, decided on 17-05-2022]


Mr Avra Majumder, Sk. Md. Bilwal Hossain : For the Petitioner.

Mr Om Narayan Rai :  For the Respondents


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Chandra Dhari Singh, J., while addressing a matter, expressed that,

Under Principles of Natural Justice, it is settled law that (a) where at the stage where an authority is merely required to form an opinion as to whether an enquiry should be held into allegations or contraventions, it is not required to give to the notice details of nature of evidence and documents, and (b) where a hearing for determination of guilt is to be held de novo, without any reference to any preliminary enquiry report, then the report need not be disclosed to the party affected.

Petitioner approached the Court praying for mandamus to the respondents to make full disclosure of the evidence collected during investigation of the crime of rape registered against the petitioner in London.

Question for Consideration


Whether petitioner is entitled to disclosure of evidence qua the extradition proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India?

Analysis, Law and Decision


Extradition is a formal process by which one state requests another to deliver/handover an individual accused of having committed an offence for the purposes of trial or prosecution in the requesting state. Extraditable persons may include those charged with a crime but not yet tried, those tried and convicted who have escaped custody, and those convicted in absentia.

High Court expressed that, an essential condition that is mandatory for the process of initiating extradition is that those crimes of which an individual is accused of, must be punishable by law in the requesting state and be committed outside the state of the offender. Along with this, the necessity is that two countries have entered into the Extradition Treaty.

In the instant case, the evidence envisaged under Section 10 of the Extradition Act was produced before the Magistrate for inquiry into extradition proceedings. Court has to arrive at a conclusion where there is prima facie evidence that an extraditable offence may have been committed.

Further, the Court stated that, there is ample jurisprudence to suggest that the scope of inquiry of this Court should be limited unless there are exceptional circumstances, as was held in Pragnesh Desai v. Union of India, 2004 SCC OnLine Del 68.

Hence, the only circumstances where the petitioner’s concern of ‘lack of disclosure of evidence’ would require an intervention from this Court would be if such alleged lack of disclosure amounts to a violation of the Principles of Natural Justice, which was not the case in the present circumstances.

Bench found no violation of the duty to adequate disclosure in the present case.

“…within the domestic law, whereas the courts recognize and act against the presence of “actual bias‟ as a Principle of Natural Justice, “a mere apprehension of bias” is not enough to claim relief by the parties.”

High Court added to its observation that,

A mere unsubstantiated apprehension of discrimination or bias cannot be held to be a sufficient reason to mistrust the state functionaries of the United Kingdom, hence, a case for claiming relief under Article 9 of the Treaty is not made out.

Court also noted that the petitioner had been escaping arrest on frivolous grounds and the present petition was one such attempt.

Conclusion


  • the petitioner has been evading the process of law
  • requisite evidence for extradition proceedings against the petitioner has already been supplied
  • only a prima facie case is to be seen by the ACMM in the course of extradition proceedings
  • no case of violation of scheme or provisions of the Extradition Act or Treaty has been made out
  • there is also no justiciable proof of the petitioner being arraigned due to racial discrimination

Hence, in view of the above writ petition was dismissed. [Jose Inacio Cota v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1417, decided on 11-5-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the petitioner:

Arpit Batra and Abhilasha, Advocates

For the respondent:

Rekha Pandey, SPP for UOI

Nishi Raman, CGSC for R-2

High Court Round UpLegal RoundUp

110 Reports from 20 High Courts


Allahabad High Court


  • Money Laundering

For money launderers “jail is the rule and bail is an exception”

While addressing a matter with regard to anticipatory bail, Krishan Pahal, J., observed that, Money Laundering being an offence is economic threat to national interest and is committed by the white-collar offenders who are deeply rooted in society and cannot be traced out easily.

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  • Right to Approach the Court

Person whose case is based on falsehood has no right to approach the Court

Expressing that Courts of law are meant for imparting justice, Sanjay Kumar Singh, J., observed that more often the process of Court is being abused by unscrupulous litigants to achieve their nefarious design.

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  • Bail

Cogent and clinching evidence found regarding conversion of deaf and dumb students to Islam; Bail denied

The Division Bench of Brij Raj Singh and Ramesh Sinha, JJ. dismissed a criminal appeal which was filed under Section 21 (4) of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 of refusal of bail to the appellant.

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Unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans; foundations of our nation are more enduring: All HC while granting bail to Kashmiri Students

Expressing that Students travelling freely to different parts of the country in the quest for knowledge is the true celebration of India diversity and a vivid manifestation of India’s unity, Ajay Bhanot, J., stated that it is the duty of the people of the hosting State to create enabling conditions for visiting scholars to learn and to live the constitutional values of our nation.

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Andhra Pradesh High Court


  • Arms Act

Will carrying of toy gun in public attract S. 25 of Arms Act? Bail granted to a man giving stills as a hero with an air gun in a cinema theatre

“…the offences punishable under Sections 290, 506(2) IPC are bailable in nature. As regards the offence punishable under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959, is concerned, the pistol which was seized from the possession of A-1 is an air gun. It is a toy gun.”

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  • Wilful Negligence

No offence made out under POA Act against bank officials who misplaced the house documents and title deeds of a claimant as FIR does not show wilful Negligence by a public servant

The Court after perusing Section 3(1) (v) and 3(2) (vii) and Section 4 of POA, Act, which deals with punishment for neglect of duties it is clear that these cannot be made applicable to the facts in issue. Section 3(2)(vii) postulates a situation where a person being a public servant commits any offence under this section i.e., Section 3(2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence. 

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  • Vakalat and Written

Signatures on the Vakalat and the Written Statement cannot be considered as signatures of comparable and assured standard for want of expert opinion under S. 45 Evidence Act

Ninala Surya, J., decided to not interfere with the impugned order and dismissed the civil writ petition.

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Bombay High Court


  • Child Marriages

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

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

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  • Decorum of Court

Advocate to maintain dignity & decorum of Court, no room for arrogance and no license to intimidate Court

Anuja Prabhudessai, J., expressed that an advocate as an Officer of the Court is under an obligation to maintain the dignity and decorum of the Court. There is no room for arrogance and there is no license to intimidate the Court, make reckless accusations and allegations against a Judge and pollute the very fountain of justice.

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  • Compassionate Appointment

Can legal heir of deceased employee be granted compassionate appointment, who took voluntary retirement due to being medically unfit?

Ravindra V. Ghuge, J., decides a matter as to whether the benefit of compassionate appointment can be granted to the legal heir of the employee, who took voluntary retirement and was never certified as being medically unfit to perform any work, though the reason for opting for retirement was a serious medical condition.

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  • Religious Verses

Declaration of reciting religious verses at someone’s residence: Act of breaching personal liberty of another person?

Stating that, “Great power comes with greater responsibility”, the Division Bench of Prasanna B. Varale and S.M. Modak, JJ., expressed that, the expectation of responsible behaviour or responsible conduct from those persons who are active in public life cannot be an extra expectation but would be a basic expectation.

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  • Eviction

Son not expected to brand his aged father a ‘swindler’ or allege that aged parents have lost mental balance

In a matter wherein, the parents sought eviction of their sonRohit B. Deo, J., expressed that,

“In the conservative Indian society, a son is not expected to brand his aged father a ‘swindler’ or then allege that the aged parents have lost mental balance.”

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Can mere filing of proceedings under S. 7 IBC be treated as an embargo on Court exercising jurisdiction under S. 11 of Arbitration & Conciliation Act?

A very interesting question was considered by G.S. Kulkarni, J., the question being, whether mere filing of a proceeding under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 would amount to an embargo on the Court considering an application under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, to appoint an arbitral tribunal?

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  • Land Acquisition

For determining land acquisition compensation, market value, if any, specified in Stamp Act for registration of Sale Deed and/or Agreement of Sale has to be considered

The Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Vinay Joshi, JJ., expressed that only because 83% of the property for the project is acquired, it would be egregious not to apply the provision of the statute for determination of compensation.

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  • Pension

If service of an employee at his superannuation is less than ten years, then previous temporary or officiating service needed to be counted for qualifying service for pension

The Division Bench of R.D. Dhanuka and S.G. Mehare, JJ., expressed that, for condoning the interruption in service, the total service pensionary benefit in respect of which will lost should not be less than five years duration, excluding one or two interruptions.

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  • Partition

In a suit for partition, the heads of all the branches are necessary parties

Mangesh S. Patil, J., decided on the following questions for consideration:

  • Whether in a suit for partition and possession of the field all the sharers and co-partners are necessary parties?
  • Whether suit for partition and possession is bad for non-joinder of necessary parties and therefore ought to have been dismissed?
  • Whether in the circumstances of the case, the observation regarding non-joinder of necessary parties, made by the appellate court, are proper?

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  • Maintenance

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?

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.

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  • “No Confidence”

If directly elected Sarpanch acts in a manner rendering functioning of Panchayat at a standstill, would member of panchayat get right to move motion of ‘no confidence’?

Stating that in the democratic setup, the will of the majority is the rule, the Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Shrikant D. Kulkarni, JJ., held that if the directly elected Sarpanch fails to call the meetings of the Panchayat or acts in a manner rendering the functioning of the Panchayat at a standstill, the member of the Panchayat would certainly get a right to move a motion of no confidence.

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  • Motor Accident Case

Determination of a just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza

Addressing a dispute with regard to the percentage of permanent disability and determination of compensation, Shrikant D. Kulkarni, J., remarked that determination of a just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza.

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  • Society

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

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.

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  • Abortion

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

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.

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  • Custody of Child

Non-custodial parent cannot be deprived of his right to spend quality time and enjoy company of children

Anuja Prabhudessai, J., expressed that the children also have the right to love and affection from both parents as well as grandparents as it is essential for the personal development and overall well-being of the children.

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  • Partnership Act

Every partner is liable, jointly with all other partners and also severally for all acts of firm done while he is a partner: Is it true?

Expressing that, a firm is not a legal entity, N.J. Jamadar, J., held that a partnership firm is only a collective or compendious name for all the partners.

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  • Constitutional Validity of S. 29A of Consumer Protection Act

Whether absence of President of State Commission or District Forum for reasons beyond control is sufficient for striking down S. 29A as unconstitutional?

Stating that, the Courts cannot examine the constitutional validity if a situation created by impugned legislation is irremediable, the Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., addressed a matter wherein the constitutional validity of Section 29A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been challenged.

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  • Lawyer-Client Relationship

Lawyer-client relationship is a fiduciary one; any act which is detrimental to legal rights of clients’ needs to be punished

Stating that it is the duty of every Advocate to uphold professional integrity so that citizens can legally secure justicethe Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit B. Borkar, JJ., expressed that, professional misconduct refers to its disgraceful conduct not befitting the profession concerning the legal profession, which is not a business or trade and therefore, it must remain decontaminated.

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  • Sale Deed

Whether a natural guardian having executed sale-deed of property of a minor in favour of a third party and thereafter repurchased part of it, can be prosecuted for offences under Ss. 420, 467, 468, 471 of IPC that too, after more than 35 years from date of attaining majority by minor?

The Division Bench of V.M. Deshpande and Amit Borkar, JJ., expressed that a transaction by a natural guardian of a minor with respect to his immovable properties is valid till a Court strikes it down.

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  • Muslim Personal Law

Under Muslim Personal law, can Family Court dissolve the marriage of a couple?

The Division Bench of V.K. Jadhav and Sandipkumar C. More, JJ., addressed whether Family Court under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 read with Section 7(1)(b) Explanation (b) of the Family Courts Act, 1984 declare the matrimonial status of a wife and husband.

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  • Competition Commission of India

Competition Commission of India not to take any coercive actions against Asianet, Disney and Star India until 8th June

The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., directed the Competition Commission of India not to take any coercive actions against Asianet Star Communications Private Limited, Disney Broadcasting and Star India.

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  • Alimony

Whether the husband is entitled to claim alimony under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955?

Bharati Dangre, J., held that provision of maintenance/permanent alimony being a beneficial provision for the indigent spouse, Section 25 can be invoked by either of the spouse, where a decree of any kind governed by Sections 9 to 13 has been passed and marriage tie is broken, disrupted or adversely affected by such decree of the court.

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  • Properties

Daughters and widow of a deceased would inherit properties of deceased as tenants in common or joint tenants?

Mangesh S. Patil, J., expressed that, by virtue of Section 19 of the Hindu Succession Act, it has been explicitly made clear that if two and more heirs succeed together to the property and in the estate, they take the property as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.

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Calcutta High Court


  • Departmental Proceedings

DGP directed to initiate departmental proceedings against Police Officers; CID to take over investigation

Rajasekhar Mantha, J. while adjudicating a case involving serious offences under Section 365, 354B and other provisions of IPC directed the Director General of Police, West Bengal to initiate appropriate departmental proceeding against the ASI, Arnab Chakraborty and any other person that he may feel was responsible for misleading the Court further handing over the investigation to CID, West Bengal.

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  • Policy Decisions

Policy decisions of State not to be disturbed unless found to be grossly arbitrary or irrational; prayer for extension of lease rejected

Shampa Sarkar, J. decided on a petition which was filed for a direction upon the respondents 7 and 8 to cancel and/or quash the notice dated April 6, 2022, with regard to handing over the possession of the ferry ghat to the Pradhan of the Mahanandatola Gram Panchayat, upon expiry of the lease of the petitioner.

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  • Currency Notes

There are many known heroes and unsung heroes, if everybody starts making such a claim there will not be an end; Petition for printing Netaji’s picture on currency notes dismissed

The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ. and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J. dismissed a petition which was filed by the petitioner with the plea that having regard to the contribution of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the freedom struggle, his picture should be printed on the Indian currency.

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  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Scope of S. 9 of A&C Act cannot be extended to enforcement of award or granting fruits of award to award holder as an interim measure; application dismissed

Ravi Krishan Kapur, J. dismissed an application which was filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘the Act’) wherein liberty to withdraw a sum of Rs 4,11,89,759/- deposited by the award debtor, State of West Bengal, with the Registrar, Original Side of this Court upon furnishing of appropriate security was sought.

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  • Rape

Lady IPS Officer directed to investigate in the recent matter of 4 rape cases in the villages

The Division Bench of Prakash Shrivastava, CJ. and Rajarshi Bharadwaj, J. took up a petition and directed Damayanti Sen, IPS presently working as Special Commissioner of Police to Kolkata Police to investigate in the matter of rape cases at village Nehalpur, Nandipara, incident on Dol Purnima and English Bazar.

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  • Indian Forest Act

Court orders release of vehicles confiscated under the Indian Forest Act with unprecedented observations

Rabindranath Samanta, J. allowed a criminal revision petition which was filed aggrieved by the order of Magistrate wherein he had rejected the prayers made by the petitioners for return of two vehicles which were seized by the Deputy Ranger (Beat Officer), Bamonpokhari Range Office of the Forest Range, Kurseong Forest Range, Darjeeling

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  • GST Act

The interest of revenue has been safeguarded; Order of detention against the State upheld in matter of GST Act

The Division Bench of T. S. Sivagnanam and Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, JJ., dismissed an appeal and connected application which was filed by the State against  the order of detention passed by the authority detaining two trucks containing consignment of steel and other products in WPA 17611 of 2021 dated: 07-12-2021 wherein petitioner was the wife of late Mohit Madhogoria, who was a registered dealer under the provisions of the W.B.V.A.T. Act presently under the GST Act.

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Chhattisgarh High Court


  • Legislation

Whenever substantive obligation/rights/ interests are impaired/adversely affected through any piece of subordinate legislation, then its source must be traced within express provisions in four corners of parent enactment

“…the very object and reason behind framing of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 was to ensure that only persons with a minimum standard of professional education should be permitted to practice the profession of pharmacy.”

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  • Unlawful Detention

Writ of habeas corpus is a writ of right, it is not a writ of course; a prima facie case of unlawful detention must be made

The writ of habeas corpus is an effective means of immediate release from the unlawful detention, whether in prison or in private custody. Physical confinement is not necessary to constitute detention. Control and custody are sufficient. For issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, the applicant must show a prima facie case of unlawful detention of the subject.

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  • Section 304 B of Penal Code, 1860

An order of acquittal is not to be set aside lightly; Chh HC observes in a case where daughter in law committed suicide in unnatural circumstances

The Court after perusing evidence and facts observed that the finding of the Trial Court that the prosecution has failed to prove that soon before the death of the deceased she was subjected to cruelty on account of demand of dowry is totally based on the evidence available on record.

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  • Will

Daughters also entitled for getting equal share in the property inherited by their parents; Court reiterates and allows appeal deciding validity of will

Narendra Kumar Vyas, J. allowed an appeal filed by the defendants setting aside the judgment and decree by the Trial Court whereby trial Court had decreed the suit filed by plaintiff/respondent 1, dismissed the counter claim filed by appellants/defendants 1 to 3.

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  • Criminal Trial

Criminal trial and confiscation proceedings may run simultaneously; Once the information of confiscation proceeding under S. 52 (e) Indian Forest Act is given to DM, Trial Magistrate has no power over it

“…a bare reading of Section 52, Indian Forest Act, 1927 makes it clear that Forest Officer has power to confiscate the vehicle and the Competent Authority after giving show cause notice to the petitioner.”

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  • Abduction

If a girl runs away voluntarily without any persuasion, can boy with whom she eloped be held responsible for abducting the girl?

Deepak Kumar Tiwari, J., held that, when the accused has not played any active role or persuaded the victim and the victim voluntarily left the protection of her parents and having capacity to know her action, no offence of abduction is made out.

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Delhi High Court


  • Maintenance

Husband with sufficient means, is obligated to maintain wife and children?

In a maintenance matter, Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed that, if a husband has sufficient means, he is obligated to maintain his wife and children and not shirk away from his moral and familial responsibilities

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  • Rule of Law

Whether absence of rule of law or utter disregard for the same propels a country towards inevitable ruin?

Expressing that, attempts to circumvent or undermine judicial decisions need to be viewed seriously in order to ensure that the functioning of our country is unhindered, especially during turbulent times, Subramonium Prasad, J., held that,

“It is only the rule of law which not only cements the civilised functioning of a country, but also drives a country towards progress and development.”

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  • Framing of Charge

Does framing of charge means that accused is guilty or does it imply that accused may be guilty?

“The beauty of procedural law lies in the stages and remedies available during the course of a criminal proceeding.”

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  • Levy of Liquidated Damages

 If a contract comprises, several components awarded to different contractors, would it be inapposite to blame contractor that was last in completing work for loss suffered on account of delay in completing Project?

While reiterating the law on award of liquidated damages, Vibhu Bakhru, J., expressed that, where a contract comprises, several components awarded to different contractors, it is inapposite to blame the contractor that is last in completing the work for loss suffered on account of delay in completing the Project.

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  • Arbitration Agreement

Rule of priority in favour of arbitrators is counterbalanced by Courts’ power to review existence and validity of arbitration agreement

“Once a valid arbitration agreement exists between the parties, the issue whether the petitioner is entitled to any relief in the absence of a third party to the agreement or that third party is required to be impleaded in the proceedings, is covered by the Doctrine of Competence-Competence and it will be for the Arbitrator to decide the said issue.”

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  • PC & PNDT Act

Can Court take cognizance of complaint filed by single-member Appropriate Authority for offences under PC&PNDT Act, 1994?

Mukta Gupta, J., held that, the Metropolitan Magistrate/ Judicial Magistrate of the first class is competent to take cognizance and try the offence punishable under the PC&PNDT Act on the complaint of an Appropriate Authority or any officer authorised on this behalf by the Central Government or the State Government or the Appropriate Authority under sub-Section (1) of Section 28 of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal-Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

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  • Jurisdiction

Can power under S. 482 CrPC be exercised where allegations are required to be proved in Court of law?

Rajnish Bhatnagar, J., expressed that the Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC cannot go into the truth or otherwise of the allegations made in the complaint or delve into the disputed question of facts.

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  • Recusal of Judge

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

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.

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  • Adultery

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

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.

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  • Civil Contempt

Disobedience of an order of Court, if permitted, will result in striking at root of rule of law

Whether the third party can be absolved from contempt if they are informed that their conduct would violate the Court order, Subramonium Prasad, J., reiterated the well-settled position that though broadly a person who is not a party to the proceedings cannot be proceeded against for violation of the order, but a third party cannot seek to absolve themselves if they are informed about the fact that their conduct amounts to a violation of the Court and that despite the information, they choose to willfully flout the mandate of the Court.

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  • Denial of Sex

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?

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 full report here…

  • Bail

Person accused of defrauding Government: Will Del HC grant bail to the accused?

Prateek Jalan, J., grants bail to a person who was alleged to cause fraudulent transactions and loss to the government.

Read full report here…

Cocoon of protection, afforded by a bail order insulates suspect and he could thwart interrogation reducing it to futile rituals

Asha Menon, J., expressed that, personal liberty is a very precious fundamental right and it should be curtailed only when it becomes imperative according to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

Read full report here…

  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Scope of examination under S. 11 of A&C Act is confined to existence of arbitration agreement or does it extend to adjudicating nature of contract as well?

Vibhu Bakhru, J., held that whether claims are barred by limitation is a mixed question of fact and law and is required to be examined by the Arbitral Tribunal.

Read full report here…

Whether an award passed under S. 34(4) of the A&C Act is a fresh award for the purpose of S. 34 of the Act?

Vibhu Bakhru, J., allowed an amendment application seeking amendment of a petition filed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Read full report here…

  • Infringement

Red Bull v. Sting | Injunction application against Pepsico’s tagline “STIMULATES MIND ENERGIZES BODY”: Whether Pepsi has committed infringement?

Amit Bansal, J., observed that the taglines of ‘Red Bull’ and ‘Sting’ are descriptive and laudatory in nature.

Read full report here…

  • Scholarship Advertisement

If an advertisement regarding scholarship was published in Urdu language, can it be presumed that it was targeted at students belonging to a particular community only?

The Division Bench of Manmohan and Dinesh Kumar Sharma, JJ., expressed that just because the scholarship advertisement was published in the Urdu language, does not mean that it was targeted at students belonging to a particular community only.

Read full report here…

  • COVID-19

Can Delhi High Court direct State for payment of ex gratia compensation of Rs 1 Crore to families whose members died due to COVID-19?

The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Navin Chawla, J., held that this Court cannot direct payment of ex gratia compensation of Rs 1 Crore to families whose members died due to COVID-19.

Read full report here…

  • Physical relations on Promise to Marry

 Long term relationship with intent of marriage ended on hostile terms, would it be covered under S. 376(2)(n) IPC?

Noting that the Trial Court failed to perform its duty and rendered a mechanical order, Subramonium Prasad, J., set aside the trial Court’s order in a matter wherein, a woman had alleged that she was subjected to physical relationship with a boy on a false promise of marriage.

Read full report here…

  • Political Clearance

Judges required to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad: Did Del HC strike down Ministry of External Affairs’ Office Memorandum requiring the same?

The Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., strikes down the OM dated 13-7-2021, to the extent it requires Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad.

Read full report here…

  • Natural Justice

Refusal of a trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to fundamental tenets of natural justice

Prathiba M. Singh, J., expressed that, refusing trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of natural justice.

Read full report here…

  • LOC issued against Rana Ayyub

Infringement of Human Rights and restraint of her freedom of speech and expression?

While expressing that a LOC is a coercive measure to make a person surrenderChandra Dhari Singh, J., noting that the petitioner had appeared on each and every date before the Investigating Agency when summoned, quashed the LOC issued against Rana Ayyub.

Read full report here…

  • Arbitration and Conciliation Act

Vibhu Bakhru, J., forms an arbitration tribunal to adjudicate the matter with regard to use the brand name/trademark “Hero”.

Read full report here…

  • Custodial Interrogation

Father of deceased accuses brother-in-law for her suicide: If chargesheet has already been filed, is there any need of custodial interrogation?

Chandra Dhari Singh, J., decides a bail matter wherein a woman was alleged to have committed suicide due to harassment and dowry demands by in-laws.

Read full report here…


Gujarat High Court


  • Reinstatement of Employee

Court directs reinstatement of employee alleged of corruption charges; termination order quashed

Biren Vaishnav, J. allowed a petition which was filed challenging the order of termination passed by the respondent – authority, by which, the services as Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector, Class-III of the petitioner has been terminated on the ground of lodging of an FIR under Sections 7, 8, 12, 13(1)(D) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Read full report here…

  • Bail

First step of turning him into a hardcore criminal will be sending him behind bars; Court allows bail

A.S. Supehia, J. allowed a bail application in connection with FIR filed for the offences under Sections 363, 366, 376(2)(n), 376(3) of the Penal Code, 1860 as well as Sections 4, 6, and 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

Read full report here…

  • Custody of Children

Mother alleged to have extra-marital affair, will father be granted custody of children?

Ashok Kumar C. Joshi, J., denied granting child custody to father, wherein the mother was alleged to have extra-marital affairs.

Read full report here…


Himachal Pradesh High Court


  • COVID-19

PIL filed by an advocate for grant of stipend to her as well other Advocates, who have not completed 3 years of practice on account of Covid-19; HP HC directs to approach State Bar

A Division Bench of Mohammad Rafiq CJ. and Jyotsna Rewal Dua JJ. disposed of the petition and directed to approach State Bar Council.

Read full report here…


Jharkhand High Court


  • Natural Justice

Principles of natural justice required to be followed and cannot be waived out depending upon quantum of punishment; Reiterated mandate of natural justice in blacklisting cases

The Court remarked that the cardinal principle of natural justice is mandatory to be followed in a case where any adverse decision/action is being taken against one or the other. The issuance of notice means that the person against whom any adverse action proposed to be taken, is required to be provided with the opportunity of hearing.

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Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court


Advocates are officers of Court and deserve same respect and dignity as is being given to Judicial and Presiding Officers of Courts

Sanjay Dhar, J., expressed that, there may be stray incidents where the advocates have resorted to levelling allegations against the Judicial Officers in order to seek transfer of their cases from one Court to another to suit their convenience, but then this cannot be generalized.

Read full report here…

  • Maintenance

Minor seeks maintenance but issue of her paternity is in question: Will J&K and Ladakh HC grant maintenance amidst the dispute?

“…grant of maintenance to a minor child should be the paramount consideration for a Magistrate dealing with a petition under Section 125 CrPC, but when the paternity of a child is seriously disputed and there is no prima facie material to suggest that the respondent happens to be the father of the child, it would not be prudent for a Magistrate to fasten the respondent with the liability of maintaining the child.”

Read full report here…


Kerala High Court


  • Sexual Assault

In the guise of applying makeup, a bridal make up artist alleged sexually assaulted several women: Can he be granted anticipatory bail?

Gopinath P., J., granted bail to the bridal make up artist who was alleged to have sexually assaulted several women in the guise of applying make up.

Read full report here…

  • Media Trial

Can media be given right to speculate on outcome of one going investigations or Court proceedings or criminal trials?

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 telecast.

Read full report here…

  • Alimony

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

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.

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  • Consensual Sex

Can promise to marry a married woman be legally enforceable wherein she voluntarily formed sexual relations with a man?

Dr Kauser Edappagath, J., addressed a matter wherein a married woman voluntarily had sex with her former lover.

Read full report here…

  • Maintenance Tribunal

Whether power of Maintenance Tribunal under Senior Citizen Act is circumscribed to ordering of monthly allowance?

In a matter, wherein a senior citizen has approached the Court with her grievance with respect to her son, Murali Purushothaman, J., expressed that,

“When the Senior Citizen or parent who has earnings makes an application to the Maintenance Tribunal contending that her right to earning is obstructed by the son who has statutory obligation to maintain the parent, the Maintenance Tribunal has to ensure that the Senior Citizen or parent is able to maintain herself from her earnings.”

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the biggest honours.”

Read full report here…

  • Family Court

Do Family Courts have to remain as a neutral umpire of the real dispute between the parties?

Expressing that, Family Court has been functioning in like manner of an ordinary Civil Court, the Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas, JJ., remarked that, family courts have to be impartial or neutral.

Dissatisfaction with the administration of justice in the Family Courts is writ large on the face of many orders challenged before this Court.

Read full report here…


Karnataka High Court


Mere suspicion is not enough to prosecute the petitioner for offence punishable under S. 370 of the IPC for human trafficking; Kar HC observes in a case where AIO caught 3 Indian nationals on suspicion

The Court after perusing complaint, charge sheet and Section 370 of the IPC observed that the petitioner had indulged himself in human trafficking and thus the soul of the provision is exploitation.

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  • Election

Kar HC quotes “The Vajpayee led NDA–Government was toppled for want of one vote” and Benjamin Franklin while deciding a case of a returning candidate whose election was set aside

“…A right to elect, fundamental though it is to democracy, is, anomalously enough, neither a fundamental right nor a Common Law Right. It is pure and simple, a statutory right. So is the right to be elected. So is the right to dispute an election.”

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  • Solid Waste Management

PIL filed seeking to shift the location identified for setting up solid waste management; directions issued

A Division Bench of Ritu Raj Awasthi CJ. and S. R Krishna Kumar JJ. issued directions regarding setting up of solid waste management units after expert opinion from concerned authorities.

Read full report here…

  • A&C Act

Kar HC deals whether an international commercial arbitral award rendered outside India between the parties who have no connection to India can be enforced in India

“…a foreign award under a New York Convention has been given a special status. India being a signatory to the said New York Convention it is required that all countries which are signatories to the New York Convention enable execution of a foreign arbitral award rendered in a reciprocating country in the event of a property against which the arbitral award is sought to be enforced is situated within the jurisdiction of that particular country.”

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  • Dishonour of Cheque

Kar HC decides contours of law in a classic case where cash of Rs 2 crore was borrowed as hand loan and a cheque obtained for the repayment of the same got dishonoured

The Court observed that the Act was amended by the Amendment Act of 2018 and Section 143A came to be inserted. The purport of the amendment is that the Court may in certain circumstances award interim compensation which shall not exceed 20% of the amount of the cheque and such interim compensation can be permitted to be withdrawn in terms of the said amendment.

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Madras High Court


  • Tax Liability

If an assessee under stress of investigation, signs a statement admitting tax liability and makes a few payments, can it lead to self-ascertainment?

Merely because an assessee has, under stress of investigation, signed a statement admitting tax liability and has also made a few payments as per the statement, cannot lead to self-assessment or self-ascertainment.

Read full report here…

  • Two-Finger Test

Ban the practice of two-finger test on victims of sexual offences by medical professionals

Stating that two-finger test cannot be permitted to be continued, the Division Bench of R. Subramanian and N. Sathish Kumar, JJ., directed the State Government to ban the practice of two-finger test on victims of sexual offences by the medical professionals.

Read full report here…

  • Co-parcenary Right

Are Coparcenary rights taken away by Hindu Succession Act?

Anand Venkatesh, J., addressed a matter with regard to coparcenary rights of sons and daughters

Read full report here…

  • Legal Profession

Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice

Expressing that, Legal profession is a noble profession, and it is the lawyer, who plays a predominant role in securing every citizen life and personal liberty fundamental and statutory rights ensured by the ConstitutionM. Govindaraj, J., observed that, Law Officers perform their duties without profit motive and with a service mentality for a nominal fee as compared to their lucrative private practice.

Read full report here…

  • Law of Limitation

Exercise of power of discretion if made excessively, it would defeat the purpose and object of law of limitation; Courts not to travel beyond permissible extent

Expressing that, Power of discretion is to be exercised to mitigate the injustice if any occurred to the litigantsS.M. Subramaniam, J., remarked that,

“Litigations/appeals are expected to be filed within the period of limitation as contemplated under the Statutes. Rule is to follow limitation. Condonation of delay is an exception. Exceptions are to be exercised discreetly, if the reasons furnished are genuine and acceptable.”

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Madhya Pradesh High Court


  • Live-in Relationships

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

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.

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  • Divorce

Woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman; Appeal for divorce dismissed

“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.”

Read full report here…

  • Criminal Proceeding

Criminal proceeding maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wrecking vengeance deserves to be quashed; Court allows petition by husband

Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava, J. allowed a petition which was filed to quash FIR for offence under Sections 498-A, 506, 34 of IPC and other subsequent proceedings initiated therefrom.

Read full report here…

  • Bail

Warning issued to Additional Session Judge for granting bail on caste and bias

Vivek Agarwal, J. allowed a bail application issuing a warning to First Additional Session Judge, Maihar, District Satna to be more cautious and judicious in his approach in future so that image of the judiciary can be saved and allegations of casteism and bias are not allowed to be levied so to tarnish collective image of judiciary.

Read full report here…

  • Mental Cruelty

Mental cruelty inflicted by the wife over her husband through her conduct a valid ground for divorce; Court allows appeal

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.

Read full report here…

  • Dishonour of Cheque

Whether dishonour of cheques could have only given a cause of action to register an FIR for an offence under S. 420 IPC?

The Court stated it is a well-settled principle of law that the general law will not prevail over the Special Law as enshrined in the maxim generalia specialibus non derogant.

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Orissa High Court


  • Dishonour of Cheque

Ori HC considers whether any difference exists between a case where default is committed and prosecution immediately launched and where prosecution is deferred till cheque presented again gets dishonored for second or successive time?

R K Pattnaik, J. dismissed the petition and held that the ground on which the petition is raised is misconceived and therefore, cannot be sustained.

Read full report here…


Rajasthan High Court


  • Sexual Assault

Ex–fiancée levelled charges of sexual assault to harass and destroy present married life of the boy; Raj HC issues notice and directs police to neither harass nor arrest him

Dinesh Mehta, J., issues notice and directs police to neither harass nor arrest the petitioner boy.

Read full report here…

  • Bail

Raj HC granted temporary bail for a period of 15 days to enable the appellant to perform Kanyadaan on daughter’s marriage

A Division bench of Manindra Mohan Srivastava, CJ. and Madan Gopal Vyas J. allowed the application and granted bail for a period of 15 days.

Read full report here…

  • Mining Operations

PIL filed seeking permit for gypsum mining in the districts Shriganganagar and Haumangarh; Raj HC observes citizen does not have any vested right to carry on mining operations, absolute right lies with State

A Division Bench of Farjand Ali J and Sandeep Mehta JJ.  directed that as and when the gypsum mining operations are opened in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, the petitioners shall not be entitled to apply for mining licenses for this purpose in either of these two districts.

Read full report here…

  • Maintenance of Senior Citizens

Ill-treatment meted out to respondent-mother, expelled from her own house, allegations of mental, physical and social abuse; Raj HC directs petitioner-son to vacate the house with his family

The Court observed that Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted by the Legislature in the background that the traditional norms and values of the Indian Society are lost due to withering of the joint family system as a large number of elderly are not being looked after by their family, particularly the widowed women, who are forced to spend their twilight years all alone and are exposed to emotional neglect, lack of financial support and are rather treated as a waste.

Read full report here…

  • Right to Procreation

Raj HC reiterated “Right to Procreation survives during incarceration” and “is traceable and squarely falls within the ambit of Article 21 of our Constitution; Parole granted

The Division Bench of Farjand Ali and Sandeep Mehta, JJ. allowed the petition and granted parole after considering the religious philosophies, cultural, sociological and humanitarian aspects, coupled with the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

Read full report here…


Punjab and Haryana High Court


  • Duration of Marriage

Short duration of marriage cannot be the only ground to disallow organ transplant by spouse; writ petition allowed

 Raj Mohan Singh, J., contemplated the present petition and ruled that a short duration of marriage is absolutely no ground to deny an organ transplant.

Read full report here…

  • Mental Cruelty

Unworkable Marriage | Wife makes unfounded, indecent and defamatory allegations against husband to his senior officers, destroying his career & reputation: Mental Cruelty or not?

Expressing that, Matrimonial cases are matters of delicate human and emotional relationshipthe Division Bench of Ritu Bhari and Ashok Kumar Verma, JJ., expressed that, the Court no doubt should seriously make an endeavour to reconcile the parties, yet, if it is found that the breakdown is irreparable, then divorce should not be withheld.

Read full report here…

  • Voice Sample

S. 65-B (4) of the Evidence Act does not mention the stage of furnishing the certificate for admissibility; Court directs to give voice sample

Avneesh Jhingan, J., entertained a petition under Section 482 CrPC where the petitioner was aggrieved by the directions of the Chief Judicial Magistrate for giving voice samples.

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Telangana High Court


  • Employees State Insurance Act

Exhausting the remedy available for appeal is the rule and entertaining a writ petition is an exception

G Radha Rani, J., disposed of the petition and directed the petitioner to approach the EI Court under Section 75 of the ESI Act by filing an appropriate application.

Read full report here…


Tripura High Court


  • POCSO

Offence under S. 8 of the POCSO Act not been established beyond reasonable doubt; Court acquits man of POCSO charges

Arindam Lodh, J. partly allowed an appeal which was filed against the judgment and order of conviction whereby and whereunder the appellant has been found guilty for committing an offence punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and sentenced him to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 3 years for the said offence and also found guilty under Section 448 of IPC and sentenced to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for 1 year for the said offence.

Read full report here…

Statement of the victim show exaggerations and improved versions; Court reduces sentence in POCSO matter

Arindam Lodh, J. partly allowed an appeal which was filed challenging the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by Special POCSO judge wherein the appellant had been convicted under Section 10 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 5 years and to pay a fine of Rs 20,000/- with default stipulation and further convicted under Section 451 IPC and sentenced him to suffer simple imprisonment for 6 months and to pay fine of Rs. 5000 with default stipulation.

Read full report here…


Sikkim High Court

State directed to ensure immediate escalation of progress of work of repairing of NH-10; meeting called to chalk out the immediate course of action before monsoon arrival

The Division Bench of Biswanath Somadder and Meenakshi Madan Rai, JJ. took up the PIL in order the peruse the status report concerned with the damaged roads and highways in the State.

Read full report here…

  • Missing Children

Directions issued for tracing out the missing children in the State; CCTV’s installed in police stations

The Division Bench of Biswanath Somadder, CJ. and Meenakshi Madan Rai, J. issued certain directions in the matter of a PIL concerning missing children in the State.

Read full report here…

Jharkhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A Division Bench of Ravi Ranjan, CJ and Sujit Narayan Prasad, J. allowed the appeal and quashed the impugned order as it suffers from material irregularities.

The facts of the case are such that the a notice inviting tender was issued by the respondent-BCCL on inviting applications from reputed and experienced contractors for repairing of drain in upgradation colonies under CV Area of BCCL. The writ petitioner-appellant participated in the process of bid along with other bidders and the writ petitioner-appellant was declared successful. The Letter of Acceptance for awarding the work was issued in favour of the writ petitioner which contained a condition wherein the writ petitioner-appellant was required to furnish performance security within the period of 28 days from the date of issuance of Letter of Acceptance. The writ petitioner-appellant did not furnish the performance security since the site plan was not furnished. The respondent-BCCL issued several reminders but to no avail. Thus, the respondent-BCCL cancelled the Letter of Acceptance and debarred/blacklisted the writ petitioner-appellant for participating in the future tender for a period of 12 months. A writ petition was filed challenging the same but the Court refused to interfere with the same on the ground of latches. Thus, the instant intra-court appeal was preferred under Clause 10 of the Letters Patent.

Counsel for the writ petitioner-appellant submitted that it was incumbent upon the respondent-management to provide an opportunity of hearing by issuing notice before passing an order of blacklisting for a period of 12 months but having not done so, the impugned order is not sustainable in the eye of law for utter violation of principles of natural justice

Counsel for the respondent submitted that several reminders have been given to the writ petitioner-appellant to complete the work within the period stipulated in the agreement, but having not done so, the order of blacklisting for 12 months has been passed. It was further submitted that a specific stipulation was made for furnishing the performance security, stating that apart from cancelling the Letter of Acceptance and forfeiting the earnest money, the decision will also be taken for debarment from participating in future tenders for a minimum period of 12 months Thus, such a stipulation made therein that action for debarment from participating in future tenders for a minimum period of 12 months is nothing but be treated as show cause.

The Court relied on Gorkha Security Services vs. Govt. (NCT of Delhi), (2014) 9 SCC 105 and reiterated that the principles of natural justice be followed in cases of blacklisting. The Court remarked that the cardinal principle of natural justice is mandatory to be followed in a case where any adverse decision/action is being taken against one or the other. The issuance of notice means that the person against whom any adverse action proposed to be taken, is required to be provided with the opportunity of hearing.

The Court thus held “on the basis of the facts discussed above, that the order passed by the learned Single Jude in refusing to interfere with the decision of the administrative authority, so far as it relates to debarring the writ petitioner-appellant from participating in future tenders for a period of 12 months, is not sustainable in the eye of law.” [Sanjay Kumar Sharma v. Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, L.P.A. No.304 of 2021, decided on 10-02-2022]


Appearances

For the Appellant: Mr. Amritansh Vats

For the Respondents: Mr. Anoop Kumar Mehta


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Prathiba M. Singh, J., expressed that, refusing trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of natural justice.

Petitioner in the present matter was aggrieved that the trademark application of the petitioner bearing no. 3981639 dated 24th October, 2018 in Class – 17 for the registration of the mark ‘SWISS’ has been refused without even affording a hearing to the Petitioner.

Two notices for hearing were given to the petitioner. It was stated that, even though the agent for the petitioner logged in for hearing, the official concerned did not log in, on both occasions. Further, emails were petitioner’s counsel in respect of the same, but no response was received.

Finally, the refusal order was issued on 25-1-2022.

Hence the matter was taken up for hearing on 22-3-2022 and the Senior Examiner of Trademarks was directed to join the Court proceedings in order to clarify as to whether any hearing was in fact given to the petitioner, in case it was, the reason for the same.

Analysis and Decision


High Court stated that the orders passed by the Registrar of Trademarks dealt with precious rights relating to the trademarks of individuals and businesses.

The refusal of a trade mark without even affording a hearing would be contrary to the fundamental tenets of natural justice.  

Further, illegality was compounded when the order captures that hearing took place, whereas in the face the counsel was kept waiting in the WAITING ROOM but was not admitted.

The Bench expressed that the Trade Mark registry deals with lakhs of applications every year and therefore, the utilization of a platform for a virtual conference hearing wherein only three individuals are permitted to join at a time, would be grossly insufficient and an outdated mode of holding hearings.

The Court opined that, the office of the Registrar of Trademarks should encourage and move towards having a much more transparent system of hearings in the presence of Agents/lawyers/Applicants who may be permitted to join through an open link.

“…hearings can also be held by publishing daily cause lists with a serial number for the applications being taken up and allotting at least two- hour slots where the open link is made available on the website of the Trade Mark Registry.”

High Court held that, the Lawyers/Applicants/Agents ought to be permitted to appear through the open link and make submissions before the Examiner without disturbance.

Further, Bench observed that, there is need to alter the current mode and manner of holding hearings from publishing monthly cause lists to publishing daily cause lists with proper serial numbers, giving open links to Counsels/Applicants individually or publishing the same on the Trade Mark Registry website and by moving to a platform which would permit more individuals to join the hearings simultaneously at a time.

High Court found that, in the present case, the hearing was not held and the application had been refused by wrongly recording that a hearing had been granted.

Hence, in order to avoid inconvenience and expense for the applicants to knock on the doors of High Courts by way of writ petitions for such procedural lapses, it is necessary for the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks to device a proper mechanism for holding a show cause hearing including the following features:

i. Publication of cause list notice on a daily basis, with serial numbers for the applications to be taken up, preferably with morning and afternoon slots, if required.

ii. Utilising a platform with an open link which permits more individuals to join a hearing at a time.

iii. Matters be called serial number-wise for the purpose of certainty and convenience of the applicants, so that the concerned Applicant/Agent/Counsel can make submissions in respect of the application being examined when the appropriate number is called out, instead of waiting endlessly in the waiting room.

iv. Removal of templates from the order statements such as ‘hearing took place before me’ which may vary on case-to- case basis.

v. Some extra space being made available in the order for Senior Examiners to put their brief reasons for allowing or refusing the application.

In view of the above, the impugned order was set aside and remanded to the Trade Marks Registry.[Pawandeep Singh v. Registrar of Trademarks, WP(C) – IPD 7/2022, decided on 23-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Mr. Chander Mohan Lall, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Jatin Sharma, Advocate

For the Respondents:

Mr. Harish Vaidyanathan Shankar, CGSC, Ms. S. Bushra Kazim, Mr. Srish Kumar Mishra, Advocates for UOI

Ms. Shikha Dewan, Sr. Examiner of trademarks

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: Ashok Kumar C. Joshi, J., denied granting child custody to father, wherein the mother was alleged to have extra-marital affairs.

A petition was filed against an order of the Family Court by which the petitioner-applicant sought interim custody for his children, which came to be rejected by the Court’s Order.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court referred to the Supreme Court decision in Shalini Shyam Shetty v. Rajendra Shankar Patil, (2010) 8 SCC 329, wherein the Court considered in detail the scope of interference by this Court to hold and observed that Article 227 can be invoked by the High Court Suo motu as a custodian of justice. An improper and a frequent exercise of this power would be counterproductive and will divest this extraordinary power of its strength and vitality. The power is discretionary and has to be exercised very sparingly on equitable principles.

The Bench expressed that, the exercise of power under Article 227 of the Constitution of India should be with a view to keep the tribunals/Courts within the bounds of their authority, to ensure that law is followed by tribunals/Courts by exercising jurisdiction which is vested in them and/or when there has been a patent perversity in the orders of tribunals and Courts subordinate to it or where there has been a gross and manifest failure of justice or the basic principles of natural justice have been flouted.

“Jurisdiction has to be very sparingly exercised.”

A petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India cannot be given a shape of appeal in disguise.

In the present matter, the petitioner had alleged that the respondent had extramarital affair with two persons.

Petitioner had also produced an FIR copy filed by the brother of the respondent against Shrirang Dharmendra, with whom the respondent indulged in an extra-marital affair. Family Judge opined that there is nothing on record to show as to how it was unsafe for his children and as to how the life of his children is at stake with the respondent.

Further, so far as the allegations qua the character of the respondent is concerned, the Family Judge opined that same could not be believed only on the basis of the FIR, photographs and/or the chatting details.

The Family Judge had further observed that since the beginning, the children were residing with the respondent only, however, only on bare averments qua character of the respondent, sans any corroborative evidence, it was not proper to hand over the custody of the children to the petitioner.

High Court opined that the Family Judge had committed no error and did not require interference at the hands of this Court. [Shehjada Hanifbhai Patel v. Bilkis, R/Special Civil Application No. 20048 of 2021, decided on 24-3-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

MR MTM HAKIM with MR VA MANSURI(2880) for the Petitioner(s) No. 1

NOTICE SERVED BY DS for the Respondent(s) No. 1

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The question before Jaishree Thakur J., was whether physical verification conducted by Food Corporation of India was arbitrary, incomplete and in violation of principles of natural justice when the agreement of the petitioner was made with Punjab State Co-operative Supply & Marketing Federation Ltd. (MARKFED).

Petitioner-miller had been allotted paddy for custom milling under the policy framed by the Government of Punjab. An agreement was signed between the petitioner and MARKFED. As per the agreement the petitioner was bound to deliver the resultant rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) within the prescribed period. However, the period of delivery was extended and the Government of India while allowing the extension imposed a condition that the Food Corporation must ensure that the paddy was physically available on the premises of the miller before accepting the consignment. The Branch Manager of the FCI along with other members visited the mill for physical verification of stock. As per the physical verification done, it was reported that 57713 bags of rice were short in the mill premises.

 Submissions:

  • The petitioner vehemently contended that the physical verification was conducted arbitrarily and part of the stock was lying in another unit of the petitioner was not taken into consideration. It was further submitted that Food Corporation of India allowed the delivery of rice only to the extent of 760 MT paddy and did not accept the rice out of the paddy allegedly found short to the tune of 57713 bags whereas, the said paddy was not short, but was lying in the processing unit, godown and transferred to another unit for fortification of the rice.
  • No proper representative was present from the side of the petitioner during the verification which makes it improper. The petitioner requested a fresh verification by writing it to the MARKFED and other respondents.
  • It was submitted that thereafter on, a physical verification was done by the MARKFED through its In-charge, as per which there was no shortfall.
  • Petitioner insisted that agreement was signed only between the petitioner and the MARKFED and MARKFED being satisfied with the petitioner’s storage of paddy, there can be no case for the FCI to intrude into the bilateral and inter-se relationship between the petitioner and the procuring agency.
  • On the contrary FCI submitted that the physical verification conducted on the petitioner’s mill was by the team constituted after following the due procedure including the representative of the MARKFED. It was a special physical verification, as such; the miller was not required to be intimated in advance.
  • It was contended that the petitioner-miller was taking different pleas for non-availability of the stock at the time of physical verification, which being disputed questions of facts, cannot be accepted in the writ jurisdiction.
  • MARKFED submitted that in terms of Clause 16 of the policy, the physical verification was to be done fortnightly and as per Clause 16(v) of the policy, when the physical verification was to be done, the miller/his authorized representative has to be associated and they were to sign the physical verification report. However, MARKFED doubted FCI’s procedure while conducting the verification. Requirements of Clause 16 were not duly followed by FCI.

Decision and Analysis:

The Court analysed the stand of the MARKFED that the physical verification is done by the MARKFED at its level after every fourteen days and in the instant case, the last physical verification was done 3 days before the physical verification done by the FCI and even at that time, the stocks were found intact and there was no shortfall.

It was found that no prior intimation was provided to the petitioner which violated Clause 16 of the agreement. Also, no proper representative was present at the time of verification. It was also found that in the subsequent verification the stock was intact and no discrepancy was found. The Court while applying the principles of natural justice found that at time of verification it was the right of the petitioner to be present.

The Court observed that, “The petitioner has a privity of contract with the procurement agency and is bound by the terms and conditions therein. As per clause 16 of the policy, the physical verification report is to be signed by the miller, which signatures are not available in the instant case when FCI did its own physical verification of stock available at the petitioner’s Mill. Even the rules of natural justice would demand that a person would be associated at the time of doing any stock verification.”

The impugned verification was held unsustainable.[Gurdial Mal  v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 764, decided on 25-03-2022]


Appearances:

Mr. Sushant Kareer, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr. Kanisth Ganeriwala, AAG Punjab.

Mr. K.K. Gupta, Advocate for the FCI.

Mr. A.P.S. Mann, Advocate for the MARKFED.


Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of M. R. Shah* and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ., held that if a tentative decision is taken before any show cause notice is issued for any action, it cannot be said that subsequent decision was a pre-determined one. The Bench expressed,

“Merely because the show cause notice was issued after the inquiry committee report was considered and thereafter the State Government took the decision to initiate proceedings for blacklisting, that by itself it cannot be said that the order of blacklisting was predetermined as observed by the High Court.”

The respondent–contractor was awarded a contract for construction of a flyover over the railway level crossing at Bomikhal Junction in Bhubaneswar. In 2017, the constructed flyover collapsed during concreting of the railway over bridge at the level crossing, which resulted in loss of life and property including death of one person and injury to eleven others.

High-level Committee Report and Blacklisting of Contractor

A highlevel inquiry was conducted by the two member committee of Chief Engineer (Design) and Chief Engineer (DPI and Roads) which revealed following discrepancies:

  • The contractor did not submit the formwork design and adopted his own arrangement leading to collapse a huge structure during construction.
  • The contractor had not ensured adequate safety measures during the period of construction.
  • The quality assurance had not been maintained as stipulated in the codes and manuals and as per the agreement.
  • There were a lot many deficiencies in workmanship that could affect the quality of work.

On considering the committee report, the State directed that immediate necessary action be taken for blacklisting the contractor following the procedure as per the Orissa Public Works Department (OPWD) Code. Consequently, after issuing show cause notice to the contractor and going through his reply, the State government blacklisted him with immediate effect. Additionally, the contractor was banned from participating or bidding for any work to be undertaken by the Government of Odisha and also from transacting business with Government of Odisha, either directly or indirectly.

Impugned Decision of the High Court

Noticing that before a show cause notice was issued to the contractor, a communication dated 10-10-2017 was already written by the Under Secretary which showed that the Government had already ordered blacklisting of the contractor and the Engineer-in-Chief was directed to take immediate action for blacklisting the contractor, the High Court opined that the order of blacklisting was predetermined and thus was in the teeth of natural justice.

Therefore, the High Court had quashed and set aside the order of the State banning the respondent from participating or bidding for any work to be undertaken by Government of Odisha and transacting any business with Government of Odisha, either directly in the name of propriety bidder or indirectly under any different name or title. Further, the High Court also directed the State to remove the name of the respondent from the blacklist.

Whether the order of blacklisting was pre-determined?

Observing that in the communication dated 10-10-2017, it had been specifically mentioned that the action be taken for blacklisting after following the procedure as per the OPWD Code, the Bench opined that at most the order could be said to be a proposed decision to initiate the proceedings for blacklisting and not a pre-determined one. The Bench opined,

“Before any show cause notice is issued for any action when a tentative decision is taken, it cannot be said that subsequent decision followed by a show cause notice and the proceedings as per the OPWD Code can be said to be pre-determined.”

The Bench held that the action initiated against the respondent was not in a vacuum but after considering the committee’s report and after following the due procedure as required. Therefore, the High Court has erred in holding that the blacklisting order was predetermined. Further, the Bench opined that the High Court ought to have considered the seriousness of the incident in which due to omission and commission on the part of the contractor in constructing the flyover one person died and eleven others were injured and ought not to have quashed the blacklisting order.

Is there an ideal duration for blacklisting?

Noticeably, the State Government had formulated guidelines by O.M. dated 26-11-2021 which provides as under:

“The blacklisting period per offence shall be limited to 03 (Three) years subject to an overall maximum cumulative period of 10 (Ten) years for multiple offences”

Disapproving the guidelines issued by the State, the Bench opined that duration of blacklisting cannot be solely per offence. Seriousness of the lapse and the incident and/or gravity of commission and omission on the part of the contractor which led to the incident should be the relevant considerations. The Bench added,

“In a given case, it may happen that the commission and omission is very grave and because of the serious lapse and/or negligence, a major incident would have taken place. In such a case, it may be the contractor’s first offence, in such a case, the period/duration of the blacklisting/banning can be more than three years.”

However, since the said guidelines were not under challenge, the Bench abstained to interfere with the same leaving it to the State Government to suitably amend and/or modify the said office memorandum.

Conclusion

In the view of the above, the appeal was partly allowed. The Bench concluded that though the contractor did not deserve any leniency, to debar him permanently can be said to be too harsh a punishment. Hence, the duration of blacklisting was restricted to five years. The impugned judgment and order was set aside and quashed.

[State of Odisha v. Panda Infraproject Ltd., 2022 SCC OnLine SC 228, decided on 24-02-2022]


*Judgment by: Justice M.R. Shah


Appearance by:

For the State: Ashok Kumar Parija, Advocate General

For the Respondent: Sibo Sankar Misra, Advocate


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together


Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of Ajay Rastogi* and Abhay S. Oka, JJ., held that non-supply of demanded documents is not sufficient to challenge a disciplinary inquiry unless it is showed what prejudice has been caused due to non-supply.

Twelve Lakhs Stolen from UCO Bank

The respondent delinquent was an Assistant Manager at UCO Bank when the 10/11-11-1999 when the incident of theft was reported. The respondent being one of the joint custodian of cash was responsible for safety of keys of cash/strong room and failed to take all precautionary steps as being indicated in the guidelines of the Bank and the alleged negligence resulted into theft/loss of cash from the cash safe amounting to 12 lakhs rupees.

Disciplinary Inquiry and Suspension

After affording opportunity of hearing and due compliance of principles of natural justice, the inquiry officer found the respondent guilty.  The disciplinary authority concurred with the findings of the Inquiry Officer and after due compliance of principles of natural justice, inflicted the penalty of dismissal from service with disqualification for future employment. In appeal, the appellate authority modified exonerated the respondent from charges 2 and 5 and modified the decision to the following affect, that the respondent be compulsorily retired, the Basic Pay be reduced by two stages in the time scale of pay for a period of 4 (four) years.

Impugned Judgment

The Single Judge and the Division Bench of the High Court concluded that the conclusion that Mr. Vinod Kumar Khanna was the Branch Manager on the date when the incident had occurred and the joint responsibility was of the Branch Manager and the Assistant Manager (Cash). Since the present respondent delinquent was the Assistant Manager, he could not be held to be responsible for.

Findings and Conclusion

The Bench Opined that factual error was committed by the High Court in passing the impugned judgment as Mr. Vinod Kumar Khanna  was also served with the chargesheet and he too faced departmental inquiry but the allegation against him was that despite being fully aware that the respondent delinquent was the custodian of cash he did not take appropriate steps against the staff who was reportedly keeping overnight safety of the keys of the chest in the Branch itself which was a gross negligence and for his supervisory negligence.

The Bench noted that power of judicial review in the matters of disciplinary actions is well circumscribed by limits of correcting errors of law or procedural errors leading to manifest injustice or violation of principles of natural justice and it is not akin to adjudication of the case on merits as an appellate authority. Therefore, the Bench opined that neither the Single Judge nor the Division Bench of the High Court had taken pains to look into the finding which was recorded by the inquiry officer and appreciated thereafter by the disciplinary/appellate authority.

Therefore, the Bench held that the finding recorded by the High Court was unsustainable and not supported with the report of inquiry available on record. Rejecting the contention of the respondent that the inquiry officer was biased and that caused prejudice to him, the Bench held that merely making allegation of biasness is not sufficient unless supported by the material either during the course of inquiry or before the disciplinary/appellate authority. With regard to the contention that the record demanded by the respondent was not made available to him, the Bench noted that the all the records except the one confidential in nature (which the respondent was permitted to inspect) were made available to the respondent. Further, respondent failed to show what prejudice was caused to him due to non-supply of the document demanded.

In the light of the above, the Bench held that the High Court had exceeded in its jurisdiction while interfering with the disciplinary proceedings and being unsustainable the impugned judgment was set aside.

[UCO Bank v. Krishna Kumar Bhardwaj, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 201, decided on 18-02-2022]


*Judgment by: Justice Ajay Rastogi


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a disciplinary proceeding where it was established that there was a breach of principles of natural justice as the relevant documents mentioned in the charge sheet were not supplied to the delinquent officer, the bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has reiterated the settled legal position that in a case where it is found that the enquiry is not conducted properly and/or the same is in violation of the principles of natural justice, the Court cannot reinstate the employee as such and the matter is to be remanded to the Enquiry Officer/Disciplinary Authority to proceed further with the enquiry from the stage of violation of principles of natural justice is noticed.

Factual Background

The Court was deciding the case where the respondent employee serving as a Junior Engineer at Balia found to have committed financial irregularities causing loss of Rs. 22,48,964.42/- to the Government. The Disciplinary Authority, concurring with the findings recorded by the Enquiry Officer, passed an order of recovery of Government loss from the salary; temporarily stopping two salary increments and the remarks given for the year 2017-2018.

The U.P. State Public Service Tribunal quashed the punishment mainly on the ground of Doctrine of Equality and also on the ground that the enquiry conducted was in breach of principles of natural justice in as much as the relevant documents mentioned in the charge sheet were not supplied to the delinquent officer. Allahabad High Court refused to interfere with the Tribunal’s order.

Analysis

Doctrine of Equality

The Supreme Court did not agree with the Tribunal and High Court’s view on quashing and setting aside the order of punishment imposed by the Disciplinary Authority applying the Doctrine of Equality on the ground that other officers involved in the incident have been exonerated and/or no action has been taken against them. The Court explained,

“The Doctrine of Equality ought not to have been applied when the Enquiry Officer and the Disciplinary Authority held the charges proved against the delinquent officer. The role of the each individual officer even with respect to the same misconduct is required to be considered in light of their duties of office. Even otherwise, merely because some other officers involved in the incident are exonerated and/or no action is taken against other officers cannot be a ground to set aside the order of punishment when the charges against the individual concerned – delinquent officer are held to be proved in a departmental enquiry. There cannot be any claim of negative equality in such cases.”

Therefore, it was held that both the Tribunal as well as the High Court have committed a grave error in quashing and setting aside the order of punishment imposed by the Disciplinary Authority by applying the Doctrine of Equality.

Violation of principle of natural justice

As the enquiry is found to be vitiated and is found to be in violation of the principles of natural justice as the relevant documents mentioned in the charge sheet were not supplied to the delinquent officer, the Court remanded the matter to the Disciplinary Authority to conduct a fresh enquiry from the stage it stood vitiated, i.e., after the issuance of the charge sheet and to proceed further with the enquiry after furnishing all the necessary documents mentioned in the charge sheet and after following due principles of natural justice. The Court directed this exercise to be completed within a period of six months from the date of the present order.

[State of Uttar Pradesh v. Rajit Singh,  2022 SCC OnLine SC 341, decided on 22.03.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah


Counsels

For State: Senior Advocate V.K. Shukla

For respondent: Advocate Utkarsh Srivastava

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: 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.

Instant petition challenged respondent 3’s action in passing the impugned final assessment order under Section 143(3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the impugned notice under Section 156 of the Act for Assessment Year 2018-19.

High Court’s Reasoning

This is unable to comprehend as to how despite ‘nil’ or ‘null’ variation proposed in the show cause notice, the impugned final assessment order and notice makes a demand of Rs 1,69,77,44,240.

High Court expressed that this Court is unable to comprehend as to how despite ‘Nil’ or ‘Null’ variation proposed in the show cause notice, additions had been made to the assessed income in the draft assessment order and the final assessment order. It was noted that while the show cause notice assessed a total loss of Rs 1,76,94,91,428, the impugned final assessment order and notice made a demand of Rs 1,69,77,44,240 as if the petitioner made a super profit!

Further, as mandatorily required by Section 144B(1)(xvi) of the Income Tax Act, no show cause notice was served upon the petitioner.

Petitioner’s response was not considered, and the draft assessment order was issued and the reason for not considering the same response was a technical glitch in the online facility.

Faceless Assessment Scheme does not mean no personal hearing. Not understood as to how grant of personal hearing would either frustrate the concept or defeat the very purpose of Faceless Assessment Scheme.

Bench found that no opportunity of personal hearing was given to the petitioner even after a specific request was made.

High Court opined that a faceless assessment scheme does not mean no personal hearing.

Supreme Court’s decision in Piramal Enterprises Ltd. v. Additional/Joint/Deputy Asst. Commr. Of Income Tax, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 1534 was referred to wherein Section 144B of the Income Tax Act was interpreted.

It is settled law that where exercise of a power results in civil consequences to citizens unless the statute specifically rules out the application of natural justice, the rules of natural justice would apply.

 High Court elaborated that where an action entails civil consequences, observance of natural justice would be warranted and unless the law specifically excludes the application of natural justice, it should be taken as implanted into the scheme.

The opportunity to provide a hearing before making any decision is considered to be a basic requirement in Court proceedings.

In the Supreme Court decision of C.B. Gautam v. Union of India, (1993) 1 SCC 78, Court invoked the same principle and held that even though it was not statutorily required, yet the authority was liable to give notice to the affected parties while purchasing their properties under Section 269-UD of the Act, namely, the compulsory purchase of the property. It was observed that though the time frame within which an order for compulsory purchase has to be made is fairly tight, yet urgency is not such that it would preclude a reasonable opportunity of being heard

Subsequently, in Sahara India (Firm) v. Commissioner of Income-tax, Central-I, [2008] 169 Taxman 328 (SC), the Supreme Court highlighted the necessity and importance of the opportunity of a pre-decisional hearing to an assesee and that too in the absence of any express provision. Infact, the requirement of following principles of natural justice was read into Section 142(2A) of the Income Tax Act following the earlier decisions of the Supreme Court in Swadeshi Cotton Mills v. Union of India, (1981) 1 SCC 664 and C.B. Gautam v. Union of India, (1993) 1 SCC 78.

Use of the expression “may” in Section 144B (7)(VIII) is not decisive where a discretion is conferred upon a quasi-judicial authority whose decision has civil consequences. The word “may” which denotes discretion should be construed to mean a command. Consequently, this Court is of the view that requirement of giving an assessee a reasonable opportunity of personal hearing is mandatory.

Stating that the non-obstante clause and the use of the expression ‘shall be made’ in Section 144B (1) creates a mandatory obligation upon the respondent/Revenue to follow the prescribed procedure, Court expressed that, the use of the expression “may” in Section 144B (7)(viii) is not decisive.

The word “may” is capable of meaning “must” or “shall” in the light of the context.

Court added that, a quasi-judicial body must normally grant a personal hearing as no assessee or litigant should get a feeling that he never got an opportunity or was deprived of an opportunity to clarify the doubts of the assessing officer/decision-maker.

The Bench suggested that, The identity of the assessing officer can be hidden/protected while granting personal hearing by either creating a blank screen or by decreasing the pixel/density/resolution.

Hence, the word “may” in Section 144B(viii) should be read as “must” or “shall” and the requirement of giving an assessee a reasonable opportunity of personal hearing is mandatory.

Conclusion

The impugned final assessment order and impugned notice issued by respondent 3 have been set aside and the matter remanded back to the Assessing Officer [Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd. v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 105, decided on 14-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Mr Arvind Datar, Senior Advocate with Mr Gopal Mundhra, Advocate.

For the Respondents: Mr Gigi C. George, Advocate for UOI.

Mr Sanjay Kumar, Advocate for Revenue.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge Bench comprising of L. Nageswara Rao, B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna*, JJ., held that though it is not necessary for a Court to give elaborate reasons while granting bail particularly when the case is at the initial stage but an order de hors reasoning or bereft of the relevant reasons cannot result in grant of bail. Criticizing the practise of granting cryptic bail in a casual manner, the Bench remarked,

“It would be only a non speaking order which is an instance of violation of principles of natural justice. In such a case the prosecution or the informant has a right to assail the order before a higher forum.”

Background

The appellant, mother of the deceased Rupesh Kumar and also the eyewitness of the killing of her son had assailed the Patna High Court’s order granting bail to the accused. The appellant had filed an FIR in the year 2020 for the offence of murder of her son under section 302 read with section 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 and section 27 of the Arms Act stating that the accused had shot her deceased son with a pistol on two occasions. Earlier, in the year 2017, another FIR was lodged against the same accused by the deceased himself for attempt to murder and causing serious bullet injury to him, under sections 341, 307 read with section 34 of IPC and section 27 of the Arms Act and in that case as well the accused was released on bail.

The appellant contended that the impugned orders granting bail to the respondent accused were bereft of any reasoning and they were cryptic and bail had been granted in a casual manner.

Observations and Analysis

In the impugned order, the High Court had noted that there was a previous enmity between the deceased and the petitioner with regard to contesting an Election as Mukhiya but this fact had not been taken into consideration in the context of the allegation against the accused and with regard to grant of bail. After critically scrutinizing the materials on record, the Bench made following observations:

  1. The offences alleged against the accused were serious vis-a-vis against the very same person, Rupesh Kumar at two points of time, namely, in 2017 when attempt to murder him was alleged and in 2020 allegation of murder had been cast by the appellant.
  2. The accused had been named in about eight cases and though he might have been acquitted in a few of them, there were still cases pending against him. Thus, he was a man with criminal antecedents.
  3. The accused had absconded for a period of seven months after the complaint in respect of the second offence was lodged against him. Therefore, his arrest was delayed.
  4. It was also the case of the appellant that the accused had threatened the informant mother of the deceased.

Thus, the Bench opined that there was a likelihood of the respondent accused absconding or threatening the witnesses if on bail which would have a vital bearing on the trial of the cases. Also, for securing the accused for the purpose of commencement of the trial in right earnest in both the cases, as the accused had earlier absconded, discretion could not have been exercised in favour of the accused in the instant cases.

Reason is the soul of the law

Applying the Latin maxim “cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex” meaning “reason is the soul of the law, and when the reason of any particular law ceases, so does the law itself”, the Bench stated, though liberty of an individual is an invaluable right, at the same time while considering an application for bail Courts cannot lose sight of the serious nature of the accusations against an accused particularly, when the accusations may not be false, frivolous or vexatious in nature but are supported by adequate material so as to enable a Court to arrive at a prima facie conclusion.

As been held by the Supreme Court in catena of cases, the Bench reiterated that a balance would have to be struck between the nature of the allegations made against the accused; severity of the punishment if the allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt and would result in a conviction; reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced by the accused; tampering of the evidence; the frivolity in the case of the prosecution; criminal antecedents of the accused; and a prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge against the accused.

Thus, the Bench emphasised that while elaborating reasons may not be assigned for grant of bail, at the same time an order de hors reasoning or bereft of the relevant reasons cannot result in grant of bail.

Conclusion

Consequently, the Bench opined that the High court had lost sight of the aforesaid vital aspects of the case and in very cryptic orders had granted bail to the accused who had two serious accusations against him vis-à-vis the very same person. Hence, the appeal was allowed and the impugned orders were set aside. The bail bonds submitted by the accused were declared cancelled and he was directed to surrender before the concerned jail authorities within a period of two weeks. [Brijmani Devi v. Pappu Kumar, Cr. A. No. 1663 of 2021, decided on 17-12-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 


Appearance by:

For the Appellant: Smarhar Singh, Advocate

For the Respondent: R. Basant, Senior Counsel

Tags: IPC, Criminal Law, Homicide, Murder, Attempt to Murder, Bail, Reasoned Order, Natural Justice


*Judgment by: Justice B.V. Nagarathna

Jharkhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Shree Chandrashekhar, J. held that a charged employee has no unfettered right to ask for any document on which the department does not intend to place reliance.

The petitioner was an ex Block Co-operative Development Officer who was in-charge of Kuru LAMPS Project as Member Secretary. A departmental proceeding was initiated against him and he was placed under suspension later on.

The memorandum of charges was served upon him contained the following charges:

  1. The delinquent employee defalcated Rs. 12,58,048 in different development projects within Kuru Blocks.
  2. The delinquent employee defalcated Rs. 77,000 from the amount deposited in the recurring deposit scheme under Kuru LAMPS.

A supplementary charge-memo was also served upon the petitioner on an allegation that he defalcated Rs.11,22,125 and destroyed relevant records with a view to cause disappearance of the evidence. In the departmental proceeding, the petitioner asked for some records which were not provided to him and presumably for that reason he did not co-operate in the departmental proceeding. Accordingly, as punishment it was directed that the petitioner should not be entitled for any payment except subsistence allowance during the period of suspension and Rs. 24,57,173 was to be recovered from his post-retiral dues along with deduction of his 10% pension.

The petitioner had assailed the departmental action on the two grounds, namely; the departmental proceeding was conducted in complete breach of the rules of natural justice inasmuch as neither a show-cause notice was issued nor a copy of the inquiry report was furnished to him, and that the right of appeal under Jharkhand Pension Rules had been taken away because the punishment order was approved by the Secretary, Co-operative Department.

Rejecting the second contention, the Bench observed that Rule 43 of the Jharkhand Pension Rules discloses that the appellate authority under Rule 43 is the State Government and not the departmental secretary. Further, the Bench opined that the proceeding was not conducted against the petitioner in violation of the principles of natural justice as the materials on record clearly indicated that the petitioner was afforded opportunity to defend himself but on a specious plea that he was not provided some documents so as to prepare his defence he did not participate in the departmental proceeding.

Noticing that the petitioner had not shown that the documents sought by him were so important that in absence of the same he could not have effectively defended himself, the Bench stated that a charged employee has no unfettered right to ask for any document on which the department does not intend to place reliance–in many cases the procedure adopted by the department is that the charge officer is permitted to inspect the records.

Citing the decision in U.P. State Textile Corpn. Ltd. v. P.C. Chaturvedi, (2005) 8 SCC 211, wherein the Supreme Court had observed that in absence of showing how the alleged non-supply of documents caused prejudice to workman, the same cannot by itself vitiate the enquiry, the Bench stated that in a departmental proceeding in which the delinquent employee refused to co-operate, it was lawful for the departmental authority to proceed in the matter and take a final decision.

Consequently, in the view that the charges framed against the petitioner were very serious, the Bench held that the order of punishment was not outrageous or disproportionate to the charges framed and found proved against the petitioner. Further stating that the quantum of punishment is within the exclusive domain of the departmental authority and the writ Court would not interfere with the same, the Bench dismissed the instant petition. [Bivash Chandra Thakur v. State of Jharkhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Jhar 834, decided on 23-12-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: Abhay Kumar Mishra, Advocate

For the Respondents: Om Prakash Tiwari, GP-III

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Rajendra Badamikar, J., reversed an order of the Magistrate which had directed the petitioner accused to deposit 20% of the cheque amount before the court. The High Court said that Section 143-A of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is not a mandatory provision.

Factual Matrix

The respondent herein had filed a private complaint before the Trial Court against the present petition for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

As per the Respondent-Complainant, the petitioner accused had taken a hand loan of Rs 9 lakhs from the complainant in order to purchase a plot. But the sale deed was not executed and when complainant requested the accused-petitioner for repayment of the amount or else to execute the sale deed he issued a cheque and when the said cheque was presented through the banker of the complainant it was returned for insufficient funds.

Further, it was alleged that the complainant issued a legal notice calling upon the petitioner for payment within 15 days, but he failed to make any payment as such he filed a private complaint under Section 138 of NI Act.

Magistrate passed the impugned order directing the accused-petitioner to deposit 20% of the cheque amount before the Court.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court noted that the complaint was filed under Section 138 of NI Act in respect of bouncing of cheque issued by present accused of a sum of Rs 9 lakhs. After recording the sworn statement, the Magistrate took cognizance and issued the process against the accused/petitioner who appeared and enlarged on bail.

Present petitioner appeared before the Trial Court and was enlarged on bail and the matter was adjourned to 28-11-2019 for recording the plea. On that date, the counsel for the complainant/respondent herein filed an application under Section 143A of NI Act.

Magistrate’s order disclosed that as per the mandatory provisions of Section 143A he passed the impugned order for deposit of 20% of the cheque amount. It was noted that he did not hear the counsel for the accused and no opportunity of being heard was given to him.

Bench expressed that,

Section 143A (1) is not a mandatory provision and it says that Court may order the drawer of the cheque to pay the interim compensation as per conditions stipulated there under.

It was evident that the power under Section 143A was vested with the magistrate to be exercised judiciously after recording the plea and it was not mandatory, but the Magistrate was required to exercise his judicious discretion under Section 143A of the Act.

But in the instant case, the impugned order disclosed that the Magistrate had not even applied his mind and in a mechanical way as per the mandatory provisions of Section 143A he has directed the accused to deposit 20% of the cheque amount. The provisions of Section 143A are not mandatory but the discretion was given to the magistrate to be exercised judiciously.

In Court’s opinion, the entire approach of the Magistrate was against the settled principles of natural justice and he did not even pass a summary speaking order giving reasons for passing such an order.

The order itself disclose that he carried on impression that Section 143(A) of the Act is a

mandatory provision of law but ignored the fact that the word used in the Section is ‘may’ and not ‘shall’ which gives a discretion to the Court to be exercised in a judicious way.

 Therefore, the entire approach of magistrate was against the settled principles and the impugned order called for interference. [Jahangir v. Farooq Ahmed Abdul Razak, Criminal Petition No. 201213 of 2020, decided on 6-7-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Sanjay A. Patil, Advocate

For the Respondent: S.S. Mamadapur, Advocate

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Subodh Abhyankar, J., allowed a writ petition which was filed against the order of externment wherein the respondent had externed the petitioner from the limits of District Indore as also the adjoining Districts. The petitioner had averred that although the remedy of appeal was available to him, however, as the petitioner had been deprived of proper hearing by the respondent and principles of natural justice have been violated, the present petition has been directly filed before this Court.

The petitioner was involved in various criminal activities since 1998, which has led to fear in the minds of public and the public at large was also afraid to lodge any report against the petitioner as per the report of the Superintendent of Police recommending to initiate externment proceedings against the petitioner.

A reply was filed by the petitioner against the show cause notice on the ground that he was a social worker and the 9 cases, which are said to be registered against him are minor in nature, which have been lodged only due to political vendetta and out of the 9 cases, six cases are under Sections 323, 294, 506, 34 of IPC, and one case is under Section 110 of Cr.P.C., whereas other two cases are under Sections 188, 147, 341 of IPC, which are prohibitory in nature. Out of these nine cases, in six cases he has already been acquitted and in other three cases two cases are still under investigation.

The Court was required to see if the remedy of appeal was available to the petitioner or he can also assail the impugned order by way of the present writ, invoking jurisdiction of this court under Art.226 of the Constitution. From the record, it was apparent that none of the offences were serious in nature. The Court also found that the District Magistrate has not recorded the statement of any person from the area, who could say that he was afraid to go to police station only on account of the terror or influence exercised by the petitioner. It further added that it was apparent that by not providing the petitioner sufficient time to produce the orders of acquittal in the cases in which he was already acquitted, the principles of natural justice have been clearly violated and in such peculiar circumstances, even if the petitioner had not availed the remedy of appeal, this Court was of the considered opinion that this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was maintainable.

As far as the contention that the order of externment cannot be passed in respect of other adjoining district was concerned, this court was not required to dwell upon the same as the impugned order is liable to be quashed on the ground of violation of principles of natural justice.[Raju v. Collector, Writ Petition No.21686 of 2021, decided on 24-11-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Shri R. S. Chhabra, Counsel for the petitioner.

Shri Siddharth Jain, Counsel for the respondents/State.