5 Important Supreme Court of India Judgments Pronounced Today [Tuesday, July 31, 2018]

1. Surinder Kumar Khanna v. Intelligence Officer

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 - Ss. 21(c) r/w. 29 - Confessional statement of a co-accused cannot by itself be taken as a substantive piece of evidence against another co-accused and can at best be used or utilized in order to lend assurance to the Court. In the absence of any substantive evidence it would be inappropriate to base the conviction of the accused purely on the statements of co-accused.

Case Number : Crl. A. No. 949 of 2018, 31-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Pahlad Singh Sharma
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit
Judgment Link : bit.ly/CrlA949of2018

2. Lakshmi Sreenivasa Coop. Bldg. Soty. Ltd. v. Puvvada Rama Rao (d) By Lrs.



Constitution of India - Article 136 - Merely because two Courts have taken a particular view on the material issues, that by itself would not operate as a fetter on Apex Court to exercise jurisdiction under Art.136 - What really matters is whether the finding is manifestly an unreasonable, and unjust one in the context of evidence on record.

Held:- Adverse findings recorded by the two Courts below against the appellant/plaintiff is based on the indisputable facts, such as neither were the attestors and scribe to the suit agreements examined to prove execution thereof by the real owners of the property nor was any explanation or justification forthcoming for such failure. The suit agreements are unregistered. The defendants have denied having signed any such agreement. No attempt was made by the appellant/plaintiff to confront the defendants and discharge the burden by examining any handwriting expert.

Case Number : C. A. No. 6620 of 2008, 31-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : K. Shivraj Choudhuri
Respondent's Advocate : M. A. Chinnasamy
Bench Hon'ble : The Chief Justice, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar

3. Rani Respondent v. National Insurance Company Ltd.

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - S. 149(2)(a)(i)(a) - Offending vehicle did not possess a valid permit to operate in the State of Karnataka - permit was limited to the State of Maharashtra.



Held:- The amount of compensation shall be first paid by the Insurance Company with liberty to recover the same from the owner of the offending vehicle.

The Insurance Company submits that by virtue of statutory provisions, it cannot be made liable to pay the compensation amount as the offending vehicle did not have a valid permit for being operated in the State of Karnataka. It is also contended that no direction be issued against the Insurance Company to pay and recover as it may be difficult for the Insurance Company to trace the owner of the offending vehicle. For, the owner of the offending lorry has not chosen to appear even before this Court. 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Monthly Income of the Deceased - Neither the driving licence nor the training certificate could per se be made the basis to assume or infer that the deceased was gainfully employed at the relevant time.

Held:- The Tribunal has found that no evidence regarding the income of the deceased was produced by the claimants. That finding has not been over turned by the High Court. The High Court, however, relied upon the driving licence of the deceased and training certificate of the deceased issued by Bajaj Auto Limited and on that basis, determined the notional income of Deceased at the time of accident at Rs.10,000/- per month. Neither the driving licence nor the certificate could per se be made the basis to assume or infer that the deceased was gainfully employed at the relevant time and moreso was earning income of Rs.10,000/- per month. In other words, the reason assigned by the High Court for enhancing the notional income of the deceased from Rs. 3000/- to Rs.10,000/- per month is irrational and tenuous. No tangible logic has been assigned to discard the just finding recorded by the Tribunal in the backdrop of lack of evidence regarding the monthly income of the deceased.

Case Number : C. A. No. 9078-9079 of 2017, 31-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Nuli & Nuli
Bench : Hon'ble The Chief Justice, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar

4. Union of India v. Sunil Tripathi

CBI Investigation - The impugned judgment and order is set aside and Writ Petition (Civil) No.12313 of 2015, Writ Petition (Civil) No.602 of 2017 and C.M. No.2775 of 2017 are restored to its original numbers on the file of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, for being decided de novo by the High Court, uninfluenced by any observations made in the impugned judgment. All questions are left open.

Case Number : C. A. No. 5987-5989 of 2018, 31-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Mukesh Kumar Maroria
Bench : Hon'ble The Chief Justice, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, Hon'ble Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar


5. T.P. Murugan (d) Thr. Lrs. v. Bojan

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 - Ss.138 & 139 - Dishonoured due to “Stop Payment” instructions - Under Section 139 of the N.I. Act, once a cheque has been signed and issued in favour of the holder, there is statutory presumption that it is issued in discharge of a legally enforceable debt or liability. This presumption is a rebuttable one, if the issuer of the cheque is able to discharge the burden that it was issued for some other purpose like security for a loan.

In the present case, the respondent has failed to produce any credible evidence to rebut the statutory presumption. The appellants have proved their case by overwhelming evidence to establish that the two cheques were issued towards the discharge of an existing liability and legally enforceable debt. The respondent having admitted that the cheques and Pronote were signed by him, the presumption under S.139 would operate. The respondent failed to rebut the presumption by adducing any cogent or credible evidence. Hence, his defence is rejected.

Case Number : Crl.A. No. 950-951 of 2018, 31-07-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Anup Kumar
Respondent's Advocate : Vijay Kumar
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman