Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: While dismissing the matter, Suresh Kumar Kait, J., stated that a very unpleasant situation came before the Court during the hearing of the present case.

Bench stated that ceratin unidentified persons joined the proceedings and caused hindrance in the submissions of counsels and proper justice dispensation.

Hence, in view of the above stated, the bench directed the Registry/Court Master to not provide the link to video conferencing to any other person or correspondent and the same shall be provided only to the advocates concerned, IO, parties in person in case the petition is filed for quashing and to the persons specifically directed by the Court to join the proceedings.

Court also made it clear that no advocate shall share the link with anyone else except the Senior Advocates or the advocates appearing on their behalf. [Satyam Kumar Sah v. Narcotics Control Bureau, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 1263, decided on 21-09-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Due to an acute shortage of staff because of heavy rains in Mumbai today, the Benches are unable to take up the matters on their respective boards.

Judicial Proceedings for the day have been suspended. Those matters on the board today will be taken up tomorrow, i.e. 24th September, 2020.

Please refer the notice here: NOTICE

Bombay High Court

[Notice dt. 23-09-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: Sharad Kumar Sharma, J. contemplated a criminal revision petition where the issue discussed was related to Section 311 CrPC, it was stated that the Section gave an exclusive power to the Court as defined under the CrPC that it may at ‘any stage’ of an inquiry, trial or other proceedings, and the Court may summon any person as a witness or examine any person in evidence though not summoned as a witness in the earlier set of proceedings.

The counsel for the petitioner challenged the order passed by the Special Judge, POCSO in another case State v. Anand Rana, where the court in trial, exercised its power under Section 311 CrPC for purpose of summoning of the witnesses. It was further alleged that, at the stage, when the proceedings were pending consideration before the court, the prosecution had moved an application, by invoking the provisions of Section 311 CrPC for summoning some of the witnesses at the stage when the trial was pending consideration before the Sessions Court, before it came to any logical conclusion with regard to the offences, which were levied against the accused revisionist.

On the contrary the respondent contended that by the application, preferred under Section 311 of CrPC gave an avenue and ample of powers to the Trial Court to exercise its domain at any stage of the proceedings, to call upon the witness, which the Court considers it to be necessary to be considered for the purposes of better elucidation of the controversy and for settling of the offences as against the present accused persons by their examination and considering their statements before drawing any logical conclusion.

The Court observed that the arguments of the petitioner was not sustainable because it ran contrary to the very spirit and purpose for which legislature had drafted Section 311, “it gave ample of power to the Trial Court to summon and examine the witness which were necessary for the purpose of determination of the issue involved before in the trial at any stage of the proceeding, which according to the Court, included the proceedings even after the closure of the prosecution witnesses or the stage of 313 CrPC.

Another argument raised by the petitioner was that to invoke an application under Section 311 there has had to be a reasonable ground which had to be expressed by the prosecution, to this the Court observed that, it was always a subjective matter for consideration, which depended upon the perception of each and every court as per the requirement of the case and, according to its own wisdom and the intellect which the Court possessed. The Court was of the view that irrespective of whatsoever the logical reasoning was assigned by the prosecution for the purposes of invoking Section 311 CrPC, the accused, who was apprehending the examination of additional witnesses for the purposes of establishment of the offence levied against him, it became inevitable for him to take a stand that the reason given in the application did not justify the invocation of the provisions contained under Section 311 CrPC.

The Court, further mentioned that it did not want to interfere in the challenge because the basic purpose and intention as per the language of Section 311 CrPC was to equip the Court with sufficient power to summon witnesses.

Lastly the argument raised by the petitioner was that the invocation of Section 311 CrPC by prosecution cannot be utilized to fill in the lacunae of the evidence which had already been adduced before the Trial Court by examination of additional witnesses by summoning them under Section 311 of the CrPC the Court to this particular contention stated that at the stage when the Court was under consideration of the application under Section 311 CrPC and considered the justification of summoning the witnesses at the stage when Court decided to summon a witness under Section 311 CrPC, it cannot be a stage where a petitioner had an argument that the prosecution intended to fill in lacunae of the trial, which was pending consideration before the Court. Hence, the revision was dismissed.[Kaushik Bisht v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 794, decided on 30-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: V.M. Deshpande, J. dismissed an appeal filed against the order of the trial judge whereby he rejected the appellant’s application for condonation of delay in filing a complaint for an offence under Section 138 (dishonour of cheque) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.

Firstly, a complaint was filed for offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act by the appellant. Thereafter, he filed an application under Section 143(b) and the said was registered separately.

Notices on the said applications were issued. No step was taken by the appellant to serve the non-applicants. Not only that, he remained continuously absent. Consequently, the trial judge found that the appellant was not interested in prosecuting the case and, therefore, dismissed the application for condonation of delay as well as the complaint. Against the said, the present criminal appeal was filed.

The High Court observed: “When the complaint and/or proceedings are filed by the litigant before the Court of law, it is the onerous duty to prosecute the same diligently. The applicant cannot be dormant for years together as observed in the present case.” The Court opined that unless and until the non-applicants were served in the proceedings before the trial court, the said proceedings could not proceed further. Since it was a private complaint, it was the duty of the appellant to take all necessary steps to serve the non-applicants. It was said: Unnecessary filing of complaints and/or after filing of complaints, no step is taken and, therefore, the Courts are unnecessarily burdened and learned Judge below is unable to devote time for the litigants who are diligently prosecuting their proceedings has to remain in the queue.”

In such view of the matter, the Court dismissed the present appeal imposing costs of Rs 5000 on the appellant. [Ramzan Khan v. Khadim Tours and Travels, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 709, decided on 24-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: The Bench of Tarlok Singh Chauhan, J., allowed withdrawal of an appeal with the liberty to file a fresh petition on account of “technical defect”.

In the present case, the counsel for the appellant submitted that the client actually intended to file a petition under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. And the cause of action and ground for the petition are entirely different from Section 12 of the same Act, which forms the subject-matter of the present appeal. Therefore, on account of “technical defect”, the appeal is bound to fail. However, the counsel for the respondent submitted that the very basis for withdrawal of the appeal is some kind of medical report that is available on the record and has been submitted in compliance to the orders passed by the learned Mediator in the case. Although, the same has not been open yet.

The Court allowed the application dismissing the present appeal as withdrawn with liberty to the appellant to file appropriate proceedings under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. And directed that report submitted before the learned Mediator shall not be used as evidence by either of the parties, however, that will not debar them to proceed in accordance with law for having either of the parties medically examined under the law.[Ajay Kumar v. Anjana Verma, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 279, Order dated 08-03-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Vipin Sanghi and I.S. Mehta, JJ., pronounced an order in regard to the action report of the Delhi Police, that in accordance to display of immense credibility of performance on the part of the Delhi Police, digital recording of the proceedings should be conducted.

The action report pointed out some very pertinent issues, that the existing technology would soon become obsolete and the devices which are used for storage now, won’t be operable in the near future, which would make retrieving the data an impossible task. The retrieval mechanism as suggested in the report was that it needs to be set with huge capacity which would need “cloud computing technology”.

The High Court while addressing the issues stated that they do not seem to be insurmountable and with the involvement of the experts all the stated issues in the report could be resolved easily.

Further, the Court suggested that digital recording of the proceedings be conducted by the police, inter alia, Section 161 CrPC should completely take over the existing mechanisms/procedures. Court also opined that the storage of digital media in whichever way it is stored is far less space-consuming than the space required for preservation of manually recorded proceedings/statements on paper. In regard to funds needed to adopt such methods, State would be responsible to arrange the same, either by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi or Central Government.

The matter was further listed for 10-09-2018. [Rakesh Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi), CRL.A 395 of 2000, Order dated 20-08-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A bench of Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh, JJ, while relying upon Mathura Prasad Sarjoo Jaiswal v. Dossibai N.B. Jeejeebhoy, (1970) 1 SCC 613, held that the previous proceedings would operate as res judicata only in respect of issues of facts and not on issues of pure questions of law when the subsequent proceeding is based upon a different cause of action and in respect of different property though between the same parties. The Court further observed that the principle of estoppel operates against parties and not the court and hence nothing comes in the way of a competent court to decide a pure question of law differently if it is so warranted.

In the instant case, it was contended that when, in a petition of 1966, it was already held that the illegitimate sons of a person were not entitled to inherit his property, the court was barred from adjudicating same because the previous judgment would operate as res judicata. Allahabad High Court observed that the previous judgment between the parties was in respect of another subject matter/property, and moreover its finding that illegitimate children of a person are not entitled to inherit his property being finding on issues of law would not operate as res judicata in the subsequent proceedings in respect of other properties. The Court, hence, stating that no equitable principle or estoppel can impede powers of the Court to determine an issue of law correctly in a subsequent suit which relates to another property founded upon a different cause of action though parties may be same, upheld High Court’s reasoning, . [Satyendra Kumar v. Raj Nath Dubey, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 478, 06.05. 2016.]