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3 Latest Supreme Court Judgments Published in 2018 All India Reporter (AIR)

1. S. Sarojini Amma v. Velayudhan Pillai Sreekumar, AIR 2018 SC 5232

Transfer of Property Act 1882 - Ss. 122, 123, 124, 125 & 126 - “Gift” defined - Transfer how effected - Gift of existing and future property - Gift to several of whom one does not accept - When gift may be suspended or revoked.

Whether a document styled as gift deed but admittedly executed for consideration, part of which has been paid and the balance promised to be paid, can be treated as formal document or instrument of gift ?

Whether a gift deed reserving the right of the donor to keep possession and right of enjoyment and enforceable after the death of the executant is a gift or a will ?

Gift means to transfer certain existing moveable or immoveable property voluntarily and without consideration by one person called the donor to another called the donee and accepted by or on behalf of the donee. It would be clear that the execution of a registered gift deed, acceptance of the gift and delivery of the property together make the gift complete. Thereafter, the donor is divested of his title and the donee becomes absolute owner of the property. 

A conditional gift with no recital of acceptance and no evidence in proof of acceptance, where possession remains with the donor as long as he is alive, does not become complete during lifetime of the donor. When a gift is incomplete and title remains with the donor the deed of gift might be cancelled.

There is no provision in law that ownership in property cannot be gifted without transfer of possession of such property. However, the conditions precedent of a gift as defined in Section 122 of the Transfer of Property Act must be satisfied. A gift is transfer of property without consideration. Moreover, a conditional gift only becomes complete on compliance of the conditions in the deed.

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2. Mallikarjun Kodagali (Dead) Through Lrs. v. State of Karnataka, AIR 2018 SC 5206

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Ss. 372 & 378 - A victim can file an appeal in the High Court without seeking leave to appeal in terms of Section 378(3) of CrPC.

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - S. 357A - Victim Compensation Schemes - Judiciary is obliged to go and has gone beyond merely awarding compensation and has taken into consideration the larger picture from the perspective of the victim of an offence, relating to infrastructure in court buildings and has recommended and implemented some recommendations such as the construction of child friendly courts and courts that address the concerns of vulnerable witnesses. The Courts have done and are continuing to do their best for the victims of crime.

Criminal Law - Rights of Victims - Victimology - The rights of victims, and indeed victimology, is an evolving jurisprudence and it is more than appropriate to move forward in a positive direction, rather than stand still or worse, take a step backward. A voice has been given to victims of crime by Parliament and the judiciary and that voice needs to be heard, and if not already heard, it needs to be raised to a higher decibel so that it is clearly heard.

Criminal Law - Victim - The rights of victims of crime is a subject that has, unfortunately, only drawn sporadic attention of Parliament, the judiciary and civil society. Yet, it has made great progress over the years. It is our evolving and developing jurisprudence that has made this possible. But we still have a long way to go to bring the rights of victims of crime to the centre stage and to recognise them as human rights and an important component of social justice and the rule of law. The travails and tribulations of victims of crime begin with the trauma of the crime itself and, unfortunately, continue with the difficulties they face in something as simple as the registration of a First Information Report (FIR).

3. Vice Chancellor Ranchi University v. Jharkhand State Housing Board, AIR 2018 SC 5202

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 - the writ petitioners could exercise their right of occupation qua the University only during their service tenure subject to fulfillment of the requisite terms and conditions and their right of occupation was terminable on their service tenure coming to an end. The day on which their services came to an end, whether due to their tendering the resignation, or on attaining the age of superannuation or for any other reasons, their right to continue in occupation of the flats came to an end. Their possession in the flats became unlawful and unauthorized. They were under contractual and legal obligation to handover vacant and peaceful possession of the flats to their employer i.e. the University so as to enable the University to allot the flats to other employees who were eligible for allotment.

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