Kerala High Court

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9 Important Supreme Court of India Judgments Pronounced Today [Monday, 2nd July 2018]

1. Common Cause (A Regd. Society) v. Union of India

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) - Quashing the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner - No grounds to quash the appointment - Writ Petitions are disposed.

Case Number :- W. P. (c) No. 505 of 2015 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- Prashant Bhushan
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra

2. Devidas Loka Rathod v. State of Maharashtra

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 302 & 324 - Insanity - Doctrine of burden of proof in the context of the plea of insanity - Accused is entitled to the benefit of the exception under section 84 I.P.C. because of the preponderance of his medical condition at the time of occurrence, as revealed from the materials and evidence on record. 

Case Number :- Crl. A. No. 814 of 2017 02-07-2018 
Petitioner's Advocate : Aparna Jha 
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Arun Mishra, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha 
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Navin Sinha

3. Director General CRPF v. Janardan Singh

Service Law - Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) - Claim of Special (Duty) Allowance - Whether the respondents were entitled for Special (Duty) Allowances for the period during which they were posted in North Eastern Region from the date of their posting in the North Eastern Region or only with effect from 03.08.2005 when the Office Memorandum was issued by the Government of India which allowed the claim of CPF personnels.

Case Number :- C. A. No. 5850 of 2011 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- Sushma Suri
Respondent's Advocate :- E. C. Vidya Sagar
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

4. Union of India v. Ram Lakhan Sharma

A. Service Law - Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) - CRPF Act, 1949 - S.18 - CRPF Rules, 1955 - R.27 (c) - Disciplinary proceedings are quasi-judicial proceedings and Inquiry Officer is in the position of an independent adjudicator and is obliged to act fairly, impartially. The authority exercises quasi-judicial power has to act in good faith without bias, in a fair and impartial manner. [Para 23]

B. CRPF Rules, 1955 - R.27 - When the statutory rule does not contemplate appointment of Presenting Officer whether non-appointment of Presenting Officer ipso facto vitiates the inquiry?

Held:- There is no requirement of appointment of Presenting Officer in each and every case, whether statutory rules enable the authorities to make an appointment or are silent. When the statutory rules are silent with regard to the applicability of any facet of principles of natural justice the applicability of principles of natural justice which are not specifically excluded in the statutory scheme are not prohibited. When there is no express exclusion of particular principle of natural justice, the said principle shall be applicable in a given case to advance the cause of justice. [Para 33]

C. Service Law - Inquiry - Breach of principles of natural justice in Inquiry Officer acting as the prosecutor - Inquiry Officer who has to be independent and not representative of the disciplinary authority if starts acting in any other capacity and proceed to act in a manner as if he is interested in eliciting evidence to punish an employee, the principle of bias comes into place. [Para 27]

Held:- The Inquiry Officer acted himself as prosecutor and Judge in the said disciplinary enquiry. Inquiry Officer has acted as prosecutor also, the capacity of independent adjudicator was lost which adversely affecting his independent role of adjudicator. In the circumstances, the principle of bias shall come into play and the High Court was right in setting aside the dismissal orders by giving liberty to the appellants to proceed with inquiry afresh. In result, all the appeals are dismissed subject to the liberty as granted by the High Court that it shall be open for the appellants to proceed with the inquiry afresh from the stage as directed by the High Court and it shall be open for the appellant to decide on arrear pay and allowances of the respondents. [Paras 35, 36, 37]

Case Number :- C. A. No. 2608 of 2012 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- B. V. Balaram Das
Respondent's Advocate :- Deepak Goel
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

5. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority v. Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

A. Income Tax Act, 1961 - S.142 - Notice - Whether the appellant is a local authority within the meaning of Section 10(20) as amended by Finance Act, 2002 w.e.f. 01.04.2003 - Held, the appellant is not covered by the definition of local authority as contained in Explanation to Section 10(20) - Appeal dismissed.



B. Constitution of India - Part IXA - Ss. 243P(e), 243Q, 243R, 243ZF - ”Municipality” - Constitution of Municipalities - Composition of Municipalities - Continuance of existing laws and Municipalities - Object and Purpose of Constitution 74th Amendment Act, 1992.

Held:- The constitutional provisions as contained in Part IXA delineate that the Constitution itself provided for constitution of Municipalities, duration of Municipalities, powers of Authorities and responsibilities of the Municipalities. The Municipalities are created as vibrant democratic units of self-government. The duration of Municipality was provided for five years contemplating regular election for electing representatives to represent the Municipality. [Para 27]

C. U.P. Industrial Area Development Act, 1976 - S.3 - Special features of the Municipality as was contemplated by the constitutional provisions contained in Part IXA cannot be said to be present in Authority as delineated by statutory scheme of Act, 1976. It is true that various municipal functions are also being performed by the Authority as per Act, 1976 but the mere facts that certain municipal functions were also performed by the authority it cannot acquire the essential features of the Municipality which are contemplated by Part IXA of the Constitution. [Para 27]

Case Number :- C. A. No. 792-793 of 2014 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- Jasmeet Singh
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

6. United India Insurance Co. Ltd.

Public Interest Litigation - Insurance Companies - Payment of fee to its Empanelled Advocates - fees schedule framed by General Insurance Public Sector Association (GIPSA).

Appeals are partly allowed and the judgment of the High Court dated 09.12.2016 is modified in the following manner:- 

(i) The direction of High Court directing insurance companies to adhere to fees schedule issued by GIPSA dated 21.02.2005 w.e.f. 01.11.2004 is set aside. We, however, make it clear that any payment of fee made as per said Circular dated 21.02.2005 shall be treated as final and not to be re-opened. 

(ii) The insurance companies shall adhere to the schedule framed by GIPSA, i.e. 01.01.2009 and 01.04.2014 and fee wherever payable shall be paid and balance wherever payable shall be paid as admitted by insurance companies themselves before the High Court. 

(iii) The direction issued by the High Court regarding payment of interest is set aside. 

Case Number : C. A. No. 5953 of 2018 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Vivek Kishore
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

7. Kishan Rao v. Shankargouda

A. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - S.138 - Criminal P.C. 1973 - Ss. 397 & 401 - Scope of - Ground for exercising the revisional jurisdiction by the High Court.

The High Court has not returned any finding that order of conviction based on evidence on record suffers from any perversity or based on no material or there is other valid ground for exercise of revisional jurisdiction. There is no valid basis for the High Court to hold that the accused has been successful in creating doubt in the mind of the Court with regard to the existence of the debt or liability. The complainant has proved the issuance of cheque which contained signatures of the accused and on presentation of the cheque, the cheque was returned with endorsement “insufficient funds”. Bank official was produced as one of the witnesses who proved that the cheque was not returned on the ground that it did not contain signatures of the accused rather it was returned due to insufficient funds. We are of the view that the judgment of High Court is liable to be set aside on this ground alone. [Para 15]

B. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - S. 139 - Presumption in favour of holder - No evidence was led by the accused. The defence taken in the reply to the notice that cheque was stolen having been rejected by the two courts below, we do not see any basis for the High court coming to the conclusion that the accused has been successful in creating doubt in the mind of the Court with regard to the existence of the debt or liability. How the presumption under Section 139 can be rebutted on the evidence of PW.1, himself has not been explained by the High court. High Court committed error in setting aside the order of conviction in exercise of revisional jurisdiction. No sufficient ground has been mentioned by the High Court in its judgment to enable it to exercise its revisional jurisdiction for setting aside the conviction. Appeal is allowed, judgment of the High Court is set aside and judgment of trial court as affirmed by the Appellate Court is restored. [Paras 22, 23 & 24]

Case Number :- Crl. A. No. 803 of 2018 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- M. A. Krishna Moorthy
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

8. Sonvir @ Somvir v. State of Delhi

A. Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 - Ss. 3, 4 & 5 - Objects and Reasons - Taking of measurements etc., of convicted persons - Taking of measurements, etc., of nonconvicted persons - Power of Magistrate to order a person to be measured or photographed - It was not necessary for the Police officer to obtain an order from a Magistrate for obtaining specimen of fingerprints.

B. Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920S. 8 - Power to make rules - Whether the power of the Police Officer under Section 4 cannot be exercised till the State make rules under Section 8?

Held:- Non-framing of any rules under Section 8 by the State Government does not prohibit the exercise of powers given under Sections 3 and 4 of the Act. Exercise of power under Sections 3 and 4 is hedged by conditions as prescribed but in a case where no rules have been framed, the authorities as empowered under Sections 3 and 4 are not denuded of their powers to act under Sections 3 and 4. In a case, the interpretation put by the learned counsel for the appellant that in absence of rules framed under Section 8, no power can be exercised under Sections 3 and 4 is accepted, the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 shall become dead letter, which has never been the intention of the legislature in enacting the 1920 Act. [Para 48]

Case Number :- Crl. A. No. 958 of 2017 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- Harinder Mohan Singh
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan

9. Shyam Narayan Prasad v. Krishna Prasad

A. Transfer of Property Act, 1882 - Ss. 53A, 118 - Part Performance - “Exchange” defined - the defendant who intends to avail the benefit of this provision must plead that he has taken possession of the property in part performance of the contract.

Perusal of the written statement of the first defendant shows that he has not raised such a plea. Pleadings are meant to give to each side, intimation of the case of the other, so that, it may be met to enable courts to determine what is really at issue between the parties. No relief can be granted to a party without the pleadings. Therefore, it is not open for the first defendant/appellant to claim the benefit available under Section 53A of the T.P. Act. In the result, this appeal fails and it is accordingly dismissed. [Para 23 & 24]



B. Registration Act, 1908 - S. 49 - Effect of non-registration of documents required to be registered.

Section 17(i)(b) of the Registration Act mandates that any document which has the effect of creating and taking away the rights in respect of an immovable property must be registered and Section 49 of the Registration Act imposes bar on the admissibility of an unregistered document and deals with the documents that are required to be registered under Section 17 of the Registration Act. Since, the deed of exchange has the effect of creating and taking away the rights in respect of an immovable property, namely, RCC building, it requires registration under Section 17. Since the deed of exchange has not been registered, it cannot be taken into account to the extent of the transfer of an immovable property. [Para 20]

C. Evidence Act, 1872 - S.91- Registration Act, 1908 - S. 49 - Evidence of terms of contracts, grants and other dispositions of property reduced to form of documents - Admissibility of an unregistered partition deed.

The best evidence of the contents of the document is the document itself and as required under Section 91 of the Evidence Act the document itself has to be produced to prove its contents. But having regard to Section 49 of the Registration Act, any document which is not registered as required under law, would be inadmissible in evidence and cannot, therefore, be produced and proved under Section 91 of the Evidence Act. Since Exhibit P2 is an unregistered document, it is inadmissible in evidence and as such it can neither be proved under Section 91 of the Evidence Act nor any oral evidence can be given to prove its contents. Therefore, the High Court has rightly discarded the exchange deed at Exhibit P2. [Para 22]

D. Hindu Law - Property inherited by a male Hindu from his father, father’s father or father’s father’s father is an ancestral property. 

The essential feature of ancestral property, according to Mitakshara Law, is that the sons, grandsons, and great grandsons of the person who inherits it, acquire an interest and the rights attached to such property at the moment of their birth. The share which a coparcener obtains on partition of ancestral property is ancestral property as regards his male issue. After partition, the property in the hands of the son will continue to be the ancestral property and the natural or adopted son of that son will take interest in it and is entitled to it by survivorship. [Para 12]

Case Number :- C. A. No. 5415 of 2011 02-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate :- Kedar Nath Tripathy
Respondent's Advocate :- Tanmaya Agarwal
Bench :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer
Judgment By :- Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer