Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: A Division Bench of K.K. Wickremasinghe and Devika Abeyratne, JJ., allowed a Revision Application which was filed in order to set aside the order of the High Court Judge of Kandy and impose an appropriate sentence.

The prosecutrix was aged 12 years at the time of the commission of the alleged offence committed by her biological father and he was booked under two charges first one being Section 364 (3) of the Penal Code amended by Act no. 22 of 1995 and secondly under Section 365 B (2) b of the Penal Code amended by Act No. 22 of 1995. When the charges were being read out the accused-respondent had pleaded not guilty and later before the conclusion of evidence he had pleaded guilty to both charges. Accordingly, the High court had imposed 1-year rigorous imprisonment suspended for 20 years and a fine of Rs 10,000 for both the charges each. He was also ordered to give Rs 2,00,000 to the prosecutrix as compensation.

The Counsel for the petitioner, Chathuri Wijesuriya had submitted various grounds as exceptional circumstances which warranted exercising revisionary jurisdiction the Court which included Lawful sentence to be imposed as per the amended Penal Code, Applicability of SC Appeal No. 17 of 2013 and factors to be considered while determining a sentence.

The Court relied on a number of landmark Judgments as of The Attorney General v. H.N. de Silva, 57 NLR 121; Attorney General v. Jinak Sri Uluwaduge, [1995] 1 Sri LR 157; The Attorney General v. Mendis, [1995] 1 Sri LR 138 and concluded that the accused-respondent should have been given deterrent punishment. The Court while allowing the Revision Application stated that the Respondent had committed the grave crime with proper pre-planning to his own daughter thus the sentence imposed by the High Court was grossly inadequate. The Court further modified the sentence making the imprisonment of 15 years in the first charge and 7 years in the second charge respectively. [Attorney General v. Hewaduragedara Nilantha Dilruksha Kumara, CA (PHC) APN: 01 of 2017, decided on 26-08-2020]

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National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): The NCDRC recently rejected an appeal against the West Bengal State Commission’s judgment, stating that the Commission’s intervention is called for only where there is an evident instance of the jurisdictional error. If not, the scope for interfering with the State Commission’s order is limited.

A home loan was procured by depositing loan document, memo of title deed etc. with the bank. When these documents were demanded back by the customer upon repayment of the loan, the bank refused, saying that despite several requests, the customer had not deposited the sale deed with the bank.

The aggrieved customer approached the district forum which held in his favour and ordered the bank to return all documents with a sum of Rs 35,000 in compensation. The bank appealed with the state commission which upheld the district forum’s order, observing that the bank requested for the sale deed two years after furnishing the loan, and had, earlier, already issued a no dues certificate to the customer, which indicated that the bank accepted completion of formalities by the customer.

The bank then approached the Commission and contended that the customer has not produced any evidence to show that he has deposited the relevant documents, while the customer maintained that the bank would not have issued the loan in the first place in absence of securing possession of a collateral, and the no dues certificate proved that the bank accepted the deposition of the title deeds and other loan documents.

The Commission held that the correspondence between the bank and the customer revealed how the bank of its own accord furnished the loan and issued a no dues certificate to the customer without ensuring completion of formalities and two years after issuing the loan it dawned upon the bank that it needs to obtain the sales deed. This callous attitude by the bank was surprising and as a matter of equity, a person sleeping on their rights cannot be granted a remedy. Hence the Commission was of the view that the bank could not file frivolous claims arising out of its own faults.

The Commission also referred to Ruby Chandra Dutta v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2011) 11 SCC 269 where the Supreme Court held that the revisionary powers of the NCDRC should be invoked only when there are glaring errors in the interpretation of the law by the lower fora and not otherwise. Relying on this, the Commission found no lacunae in the decision by the State commission and rejected the Bank’s revision petition. [Manager, Bank of Baroda, Jodhpur Park branch, Kolkata v. Susanta Saha, Revision Petition No. 676/2017, decided on 16.05.2018]