Tis-hazari
Case BriefsDistrict Court

Tis Hazari Court, Delhi: While deciding a bail application, Kamini Lau, J. granted anticipatory in a case where the complainant-girl was a major and was held to be in a consensual relationship and thus, consent forms part of the subject matter in the said case. The Court granted bail since the accused joined the investigations and therefore, his custodial interrogation was not warranted.The applicant/accused got into a relationship with the prosecutrix/complainant after getting acquainted at work. The applicant had also introduced the complainant to his parents, and they approved of her. Subsequently, since March 2021, they started developing sexual relations on various occasions at different places like his residence, office and different hotels. The complainant alleged that these relations were non-consensual, and she was coerced based on the false promise of marriageby the applicant. The applicant contended that due to professional and personal issues he had been unable to marry the complainant, but she was pressurizing him to marry her. However, the complainant contended that after their last encounter on 11-06-2022, the applicant started ignoring her and avoided all communication with her. Pursuant to this,, the complainant filed a case against the applicant under Sections 354-D and 376 Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’). The applicant filed the instant anticipatory bail application under Section 438 Criminal Procedure Code (‘CrPC’)

The Court vide order dated 12-07-2022 granted interim protection to the applicant/accused and directed them to file a detailed report at the next hearing. Thus, a detailed report was filed by the Investigating officer who admitted that the applicant/accused Rahul Sharma joined investigations on 13-07-2022.

The Court observed that there is rarely any cogent or tangible proof to establish/ prove the existence of a criminal intention which has to be gathered, deciphered or inferred from circumstances.

Placing reliance on Uday v. State of Karnataka (2003) 4 SCC 46, and Jayanti Rani Panda v. State 1983 SCC OnLine Cal 98, the Courtobserved that “it is evident that there is no straitjacket formula which can be evolved for determining whether the consent was given under a misconception of fact or not and it has to be deciphered from the facts and circumstances of each case.”

The court concluded to note that, according to the applicant, he was ready and willing to marry the complainant, but it was the family of the complainant who had an issue with an inter-caste marriage. Additionally, the applicant joined the investigation and therefore, his custodial interrogation is not required , thus, the court granted anticipatory bail to the applicant on a bail bond of Rs. 1 lakh subject to the conditions as mentioned in the order.

[Rahul Sharma v. State, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 27, decided on 19-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr Pankaj Bhatia, Advocate, for the State;

Mr Kapil Madan, Mr Gurmukh Singh Arora and Mr Saurabh Gauba, Advocates, for the Applicant/Accused;

Complainant in person with Ms Sudershna Chakraborty Advocate from Delhi Commission, for the Women.

Delhi High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Single Judge Bench of Yogesh Khanna, J., ordered the release of a 27-year-old accused of rape on bail, as the prosecutrix has already been examined as per the requirements of Section 164, CrPC, thus there is no apprehension that the petitioner may influence the prosecutrix. The Court also pointed out that the arguments raised by the petitioner vis-a-vis delay in lodging of FIR; discrepancy in the place of incident and photographs taken thereafter and a legal notice regarding refund of ‘roka‘ expenses without there being an iota of rape allegation- such facts do make out a case for bail.

Facts of the Case: The petitioner is a businessman running a restaurant and beverage business. The petitioner and the prosecutrix met through mediators and their marriage was later fixed through the roka ceremony on 14-02-2021. At the petitioner’s birthday party, the two allegedly got intimate. It was also alleged that the prosecutrix entered into such intimacy, in order to save their relationship. The prosecutrix alleged that the petitioner demanded dowry from her. Thus, an FIR was registered alleging rape on the false pretext of marriage and demand for dowry under Sections 376/354-A/406/506/34 of IPC read with Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, at Paschim Vihar West, Delhi Police Station.

It is also pertinent to mention that after the prosecutrix’s mother also issued a legal notice to the petitioner on 07-09-2021, seeking refund of the expenses incurred during the roka ceremony.

The petitioner’s bail application was already denied by the Tis Hazari Court; therefore, the High Court was approached to with the instant application.

Contentions: The State vehemently opposed the bail application on the grounds that once out, the petitioner may seek to influence the prosecutrix.

Per contra, the counsels for the petitioner argued that the petitioner is a law-abiding citizen with no criminal antecedents and the allegations of rape on the false pretext of marriage are an afterthought in as much the IO has not collected any exculpatory evidence for the same. The petitioner also contends that the legal notice to refund the expenses of roka ceremony also does not mention any allegations as to rape.

Observations: Though the Court did not give any opinion on the merits of the case, it took into consideration the facts related to the delay in lodging of FIR etc. The Court also pointed out that the prosecutrix has already recorded her deposition as per the requirements of CrPC. Hence, the Court ordered that the accused who was in custody since 27-11-2021, be released on bail during the pendency of the trial, upon execution of a personal bond of Rs. 1 Lac with surety. The petitioner was directed to not contact or threaten the prosecutrix in any way, which shall become grounds for cancellation of bail.

[Manmeet Singh v. State (N.C.T. of Delhi), 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2052, decided on 12-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Sanjay Vashistha, Shakir Khan, Rahul Kumar, Advocates, for the Petitioner;

Mukesh Kumar, APP for State and L.S. Saini, Advocate, for the Respondents.


*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Tis-hazari
Case BriefsDistrict Court

Tis Hazari Courts, New Delhi: While addressing a decision revolving around Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, Sanjay Sharma-II, Additional Sessions Judge-03, upheld the decision of the Trial Court and held that all the ingredients of Section 138 NI Act were fulfilled by the complainant.

A criminal appeal under Section 374 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 was directed against the decision in case regarding Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, whereby the trial Court convicted the appellant for the said offence.

Factual Background


The complainant had filed a complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act that the appellant and her husband had friendly relations for 5 years and in the guise of the same, a friendly loan of Rs 1,00,000 was taken by the appellant.

At the time of returning of loan money, two cheques were issued but were returned unpaid with the remark “FUNDS INSUFFICIENT”. On re-representation, the said cheques were returned unpaid with the remark ‘OTHER REASONS’. Despite the receipt of the demand appellant failed to make payment of cheque.

Hence, a complaint under Section 138 NI Act was filed and the trial court while convicting the appellant under Section 138 NI Act, pronounced the following decision:

(a) The appellant admitted that the said cheques were drawn on an account maintained by him;

(b) The said cheques were presented for encashment within period of their validity;

(c) The reason for dishonour of the said cheques i.e. ‘Other reasons’ is a specie covered under the genus ‘dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account’;

(d) The appellant was duly served with the demand notice through his real brother, namely, Lokesh;

(e) There is a legal presumption that the said cheques were drawn for consideration and in discharge of debt or other liability; and

(f) The appellant failed to raise probable defence to rebut presumption of existence of legally enforceable liability.

On being aggrieved with the above, the present appeal was preferred.

Scope of Jurisdiction of First Appellate Court

Appellant Court’s jurisdiction is co-extensive with that of the trial court in the matter of assessment, appraisal and appreciation of the evidence and also to determine the disputed issues.

Points for Consideration

(a) Whether the complainant is required to prove that she received the said cheques in discharge of any debt or other liability? 

Once the signatures of the appellant on cheques were established, ‘reverse onus’ clauses under Sections 118 and 139 NI Act become operative.

The appellant must raise a ‘probable defence’ and the standard of proof is ‘preponderance of probabilities’.

The appellant can lead direct evidence or rely upon evidence adduced by the complainant to show that consideration or debt did not exist, or non-existence of consideration or debt is probable.

(b) Whether dishonour of the said cheques with remark ‘Other reasons’ is covered under Section 138 NI Act?

The appellant had neither attributed nor proved that the said cheques were dishonoured on account of any negligence of his banker. The appellant did not make payment of cheque amount despite receipt of demand notice. Therefore, this Court opined that dishonour of cheques with remark ‘other reasons’ was covered under Section 138 NI Act, as any other interpretation would defeat the object of provisions of Section 138 NI Act.

(c) Whether non-examination of husband of the complainant is fatal to her case?

In Court’s opinion, husband of the complainant was not a material witness. The complainant need not examine him to prove friendly relation with the appellant. Further, the complainant’s husband had no role in a transaction in question and if the appellant wanted to prove absence of the said relation, he could have examined him in defence.

(d) Whether the complainant was required to examine witness from bank to prove cheque returning memos?

It was contended that the complainant did not examine the witness from her bank to prove cheque returning memos and stamps.

Section 146 NI Act provides that bank’s memo is prima facie evidence of the fact of dishonour of cheque.

The complainant had filed original cheque returning memos pertaining to dishonour of the said cheques vide memos and appellant led no evidence to rebut the presumption that the said memos were not issued by his banker in relation to dishonour of the said cheques.

In the present matter, the appellant did not show that he had suffered any prejudice during trial by the Trial Court and neither contended that there was any miscarriage of justice.

Conclusion


In Court’s opinion, the complainant established all pre-requisites as required under Section 138 NI Act, hence the appellant was rightly convicted for committing offence under Section 138 NI Act.

The Bench directed the appellant to surrender before the trial Court. [Deepak Kumar v. Mehnaz, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 14, decided on 9-5-2022]

Tis-hazari
Case BriefsDistrict Court

Tis Hazari Court: Man Mohan Sharma, District Judge, partly disposed of a trademark infringement suit filed by Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd., noting that the plaintiffs and the defendants reached a settlement agreement.

Factual Background

Plaintiff was aggrieved by the actions of the Defendants who committed the trademark infringement and further illegally used and masthead which was exclusively owned by the plaintiff.

The statutory proprietary right of exclusive use of the trademarks wherein TIMES is used as distinguishing, key, essential and dominant feature is used was with the plaintiff.

Plaintiff is evidently recognized and distinguished as “Times Group” and the trademark TIMES is identified vis-à-vis the goods, business and services originating or associated with the plaintiff and none else.

Trademark TIMES this constituted a valuable intellectual property owned by the plaintiff.

Proceedings

It was submitted that there are various unknown infringing portals operated by unknown entities which are engaged in unauthorized and illegal use of the trademarks and mastheads of the plaintiff and circulating/broadcasting/communicating the same to users/customers and the general public.

The details of the above-stated websites are unknown and as such have been arrayed as “John Doe/Ashok Kumar” defendants

Adding to the above submissions it was stated that the trademarks, tradenames/mastheads of the plaintiff company were being used by the defendant on their customized and personalized gifts, décor, accessories, etc, are identical and/or similar in order to deceive the public at large to the effect that customized and personalized gifts, décor, accessories etc., are related to the plaintiff in some manner.

It was submitted in the present matter that defendants 1,2,7 and 11 had reached a settlement with the plaintiff and that the said defendants were prepared to suffer an injunction in terms of their respective settlement agreements and that nominal damages of Re 1 had been paid by each of the defendants to the plaintiff.

It was added that the terms of settlement had been reduced into writing in the respective application under Order XXII Rule 3 CPC read with Section 151 CPC and the accompanying settlement agreements.

Analysis and Decision

District Court noted that the terms of respective applications and Settlement Agreements appeared to be within the four corners of law. Hence the said settlement agreement was accepted.

In view of the above, a consent decree was passed and the suit was disposed of vis a vis the plaintiff and defendants 1, 2, 7 and 11.

Also, in view of the statement of plaintiff’s counsel, name of defendant 10 was directed to be removed from array of parties.

Matter to be listed for the appearance of the served defendants and further proceedings on 18-12-2021.[Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. v. Giftcart Ecommerce Pvt. Ltd., CS (Comm) 1932 of 2021, decided on 1-11-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Rahul Malhotra, Counsel for the plaintiff.

Anushkaa Arora, Counsel for the defendant nos. 1, 2 and 10.

Defendant 7 on video conferencing

Rahul Shukla, Counsel for the defendant 7.

Manish Kumar, Counsel for the defendant 14

Tis-hazari
COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Office of the Districts & Sessions Judge, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi issues a Circular dated 18th May, 2020 in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic with following directions:

  • Lawyers/Munshis/Litigants/Naib Courts/Police Officials may be asked through court staff not to use saliva while affixing court fee stamps on the application/petition and envelopes containing summons/notices etc.

  • Officials are also directed to not use saliva while doing the pagination of files etc.

  • Court Staff advise the lawyers to use plastic sponge damper pad while inspecting judicial file.


Office of The District & Sessions Judge (HQs)

Tis Hazari Court, Delhi

[Circular dt. 18-05-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench of D.N. Patel, CJ and C. Hari Shankar, J., clarified the earlier order dated 03-11-2019 passed in connection with the recent scuffle that took place at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex between Advocates and Police personals.

In its order dated 03-11-2019, the High Court had directed that no coercive action shall be taken against the Advocates involved in the incident. In the same order, the Court had made certain observations against the Delhi Police and named certain officers responsible for the unfortunate incident.

Two separate applications were filed: one by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Union of India and the other by the Delhi Police. The home ministry sought clarification of the earlier order, to the effect that there is no impediment in taking action against the erring Advocates. The Delhi Police, on the other hand, prayed for modification of the earlier order, to the effect that the observations made against the DelhiPolice be excluded so that they could not be read as conclusive findings against the police officers in question.

On such applications being filed, the High Court clarified its earlier order dated 3-11-2019, to the effect that the direction protecting Advocates against coercive action only relates to the FIRs, filed on 2-11-2019 pertaining to the scuffle that broke out at Tis Hazari Courts, and not against any incident that took place thereafter. Also, in regard to observations made against certain Police officers, the High Court clarified that such observations were only prima facie and tentative in nature; the facts are to be proved on the basis of evidence on record without being influenced by such observations.

Before parting with the order, the High Court noted a sense of anguish over the instant state of affairs. It observed:

“In our view, therefore, it would be advisable, in this case, that a joint meeting, of responsible representatives of the Advocates and the police establishment, be convened, who should make a sincere effort to meet and sort out their differences amicably, on the basis of discussion and deliberations, with the objective of dissolution of their differences, which, in our view, have essentially arisen owing to a communication gap, during the last few days. We are hopeful that, if a sincere attempt is made in this direction, peace and harmony will ultimately prevail.”

The applications were disposed of accordingly. [Tis Hazari Incident, In re (Court on its own Motion v. Union of India), 2019 SCC OnLine Del 10918, decided on 06-11-2019]