Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In an appeal against the order where the Madras High Court had after giving detailed findings on merits, relegated to the statutory remedy of filing the appeal before Appellate Authority (Alternative Remedy) under section 45 IA (7) of Reserve Bank of India Act 1934, the bench of Arun Mishra and MR Shah, JJ ordered that the proceedings before the Appellate Authority will not be affected by the findings recorded by the High Court. It said,

“Since the petitioner has been relegated to the statutory remedy of filing the appeal, the observation made by the High Court shall not come in the way of the petitioner.”

The Court was hearing the case wherein the RBI had cancelled the registration of petitioner company Nahar Finance and Leasing Limited for non-compliance of the minimum criteria of net owned fund. Hence,

  • a Writ petition was filed by the said company challenging the order of the cancellation of registration on the ground of natural justice as the cancellation order showed that the RBI rejected the replies of the company in one line.
  • The single judge granted time for compliance.
  • RBI filed a Writ Petition against the order of the Single Judge.
  • Division bench set aside the judgment of the Single Judge after deciding the matter on merits and relegated the parties to Appellate Authority (Alternative Remedy) under section 45 IA (7) of Reserve Bank of India Act 1934.

Advocate Swarnendu Chatterjee, in his plea, had argued that the High Court has,

“put a full stop which is akin to civil death of the petitioner companies even when it was relegating the matter to the appellate authority.”

The Madras HC verdict in Viswapriya Financial Services and Securities Limited V. Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India, No 1932 of 2015 was also referred to wherein the Honourable Division Bench remitted the matter to the Appellate Authority but refrained from giving any finding on merit and especially on similar issue regarding opportunity of being heard prior to cancellation of registration under section 45 IA (6) of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 was also not given as the bench was remitting the matter to the Appellate Authority envisaged under subsection 7 to section 45 IA of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Pertinently the honourable Division Bench therein had directed the Appellate Authority to consider the matter independently without being influenced by the judgments of learned Single Judge and Division Bench.

[Nahar Finance and Leasing Ltd v. Regional Director, RBI, Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s).17243-17245/2019, order dated 29.07.2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: S. Sunil Dutt Yadav, J. allowed this writ petition which was preferred to set aside the order of the Deputy Commissioner.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner claimed to be the legal heir of the original grantee while claiming the land, granted in favour of his grandfather on 15-07-1935 and the evidence for this lies in the extract of Saguvali Chit Register. The land was sold on multiple occasions. The respondent claimed to be the purchaser on the last occasion under the sale deed dated 11-04-1973. The Petitioner sought resumption and restoration claiming that the last sale deed was executed within the non-alienation/prohibition period of twenty years. The Writ Petition was filed about nine years later from the order of the Deputy Commissioner. Poverty and ignorance were stated to be the reason for such a delay by the petitioner.

The Petitioner contended that in the period between the last sale and the present writ petition there had been no sale transaction and no third party rights created. The petitioner further contended that the same relief should be given as granted to the parties who have approached the authority well beyond the reasonable time.

Counsel for respondent S.S. Naganand contended that the petitioner has crossed the reasonable time for a writ petition to be maintainable while placing on record the cases – Nekkanti Rama Lakshmi v. State of Karnataka, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1862 and Vivek M. Hinduja v. M. Ashwatha, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1858.

Therefore, the Court held that being ignorant and poor are not sufficient reasons for looking into the reasonableness of delay at all. In these nine years, the respondent had also applied for the conversion of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural purpose. Thus, the writ petition was dismissed and the order of the Deputy Commissioner stood confirmed.[Muniyappa v. Special Deputy Commr., Bengaluru, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 678, decided on 07-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Shivaji Pandey, J. dismissed a writ petition filed by an employer, challenging the amount of compensation directed to be paid to its employee by the Labour Court, on the ground that the petitioner had not exhausted the alternative statutory remedy.

The instant petition was filed is challenging the order passed by the Presiding Officer of Bhagalpur Labour Court whereby and whereunder petitioner’s employee was awarded a compensation of around Rs 4.72 lakhs. Additionally, it was also ordered that if the said amount was not paid to the concerned employee within a period of thirty days, it would carry a simple interest of 12 percent on the principal amount of around Rs 2,03,771.

The Court noted that Section 30 of the Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923 has a provision of appeal. But instead of exhausting the alternative remedy of appeal, the present petition was filed directly before this Court. In view thereof, the petition was held to be not maintainable.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed with a liberty to the petitioner to file an appeal as provided under Section 30 of the Employee’s Compensation Act.[Frontline (NCR) Business Solutions (P) Ltd. v. Anita Devi, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 564, Order dated 19-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: The Single Judge Bench of S. Sujatha, J. dismissed a petition challenging the decision of  Returning Officer of Kadaragundi Milk Producers Co-operative Society whereby petitioner’s nomination for contesting elections to Board of Directors of the said society, was rejected.

The ground for Returning Officer’s decision was that petitioner was in default of loan taken from the bank. Aggrieved thereby, petitioner filed the instant petition submitting that he was required to pay the loan taken from bank by March 2019 but he had already paid the said loan by January, 2019. Hence, rejection on the said ground was unsustainable. He further contended that his nomination paper had been scrutinized and accepted by the respondent Returning Officer in his presence, but was rejected behind his back later on without providing him an opportunity of hearing.

The Court observed that rejection of petitioner’s nomination behind his back was a disputed question of fact which could not be determined in writ jurisdiction. Relying on the judgment in Umesh Shivappa Ambi v. Angadi Shekara Basappa, (1998) 4 SCC 529 it was opined that the Court will not ordinarily interfere in matters where an equally efficacious remedy is available under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed granting liberty to the petitioner to resort to appropriate proceedings in accordance with law.[Jayaram K.P. v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 91, Order dated 01-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: A Single judge bench comprising of Birendra Kumar, J. while hearing a civil writ petition against an Arbitrator’s order held that since the statutory remedy provided under Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 had not been exhausted, the High Court could not exercise its writ jurisdiction.

The respondent had acquired petitioner’s land for construction of ‘Dedicated Freight Corridor Project’ under the Railways Act, 1989. The dispute involved was regarding the nature of acquired land – while the petitioner claimed it to a residential-cum-commercial land, the respondent treated it as agricultural land while deciding the payable compensation. Petitioner challenged the said order of the respondent authority before an Arbitrator under Section 20-F (6) of the Railways Act; but his claim was rejected by the Arbitral Tribunal. Aggrieved by the said order, petitioner preferred the present petition before the Hon’ble High Court praying for a direction to the respondent authority to treat the acquired land as a commercial land and to quash the Arbitrator’s order.

The High Court noted that Section 20-F (7) of the Railways Act provides that the provisions of the Arbitration Act would be applicable in respect of all arbitration proceedings instituted under the Railways Act. Further, Section 34 of Arbitration Act provides a detailed provision to challenge an Arbitrator’s award before Court. In view of a statutory remedy being available to the petitioner, the Court refused to exercise its writ jurisdiction. Further, it was also observed that the question as to whether the nature of acquired land was commercial or agricultural, would be a question of fact requiring an appreciation of evidence; and the said exercise lay outside the jurisdiction of a writ court.

Therefore, the petition was disposed of granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the appropriate forum under Section 34 of Arbitration Act. [Dilip Kumar v Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Pat 1906, decided on 11-09-2018]