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5 Important Supreme Court Judgments Pronounced Today [Tuesday, December 4, 2018]

1. Mohd. Akhtar @ Kari v. State of Bihar

Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Section 302 read with Sections 34 and 148 - Whether the High Court was right in setting aside the acquittal of the Appellants and convicting them for an offence of murder.

Interference with the judgment of the trial court in this case by the High Court is on a re-appreciation of evidence which is undoubtedly permissible. Though the High Court was aware of the well-settled principles of law in ma atters relating to appeals against acquittals, it failed to apply the same in their proper perspective. Interference with an order of acquittal is not permissible on the ground that a different view is possible. If the acquittal is justified on a probable view taken by the trial court, it should not be interfered with. The reasons given by the trial court for acquittal mainly pertain to the delay in lodging the FIR, untrustworthy eye witnesses, improbability of identification of the accused, non- examination of independent witnesses, previous enmity between the accused and the witnesses, nonproduction of important prosecution witnesses and improper investigation of the case. On a thorough examination of the entire evidence on record and the judgment of the trial court, we are of the considered view that the judgment of acquittal by the trial court is justified which ought not to have been interfered with by the High Court. The High Court could not have reversed a judgment of acquittal merely because another view is possible. The High Court brushed aside the findings recorded by the trial court relating to certain omissions as being minor and held the omissions should not have been the basis on which the Appellants have been acquitted. The High Court ignored the fact that the presumption of innocence in favour of the Appellants is further strengthened by an order of acquittal. No perversity in the judgment of the trial court in acquitting the Appellants has been demonstrated by the High Court for interfering with the judgment of the trial court. [Para 12]

Petitioner's Advocate : T. Mahipal
Respondent's Advocate : Narendra Kumar
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. A. Bobde, Hon'ble Mr. Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Hon'ble Mr. Justice R. Subhash Reddy
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice L. Nageswara Rao




2. SP Singla Constructions Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Himachal Pradesh

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 - Any challenge to the arbitrator appointed ought to have been raised before the arbitrator himself in the first instance.

When the parties have specifically agreed for appointment of sole Arbitrator of the person appointed by the Engineer-in-Chief/Chief Engineer, HPPWD, the appellant was not right in approaching the High Court seeking appointment of an independent Arbitrator.

Petitioner's Advocate : M.P. Vinod
Bench : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indira Banerjee
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi



3. Farida Begum v. State of Uttarakhand

Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 147, 148 and 302/149 - Arms Act, 1959 - Section 25 

The prosecution has even failed to prove beyond doubt that in fact Accused No. 5 fired from his firearm, which as such has missed, as alleged. There is no evidence on record in the form of recovery of weapon or even the missed bullet. Therefore also A­5 is entitled to be acquitted by giving him benefit of doubt.

Criminal Law - Appeal against Conviction and Sentence - not preferred by 1 accused - Financial Constraint - case is similar to that of other accused - suo moto cognizance by Court - Entitled to acquittal by giving him benefit of doubt.

So far as the original Accused No. 4 is concerned, he has not preferred any appeal against his conviction and sentence. However, there may be number of reasons for that, including the financial constraint. However, we cannot loose sight of the fact that his case is similar to that of the original Accused No. 5 and even original Accused Nos. 6 and 7. Therefore, we take suo moto cognizance and we are of the opinion that the original Accused No. 4 is also entitled to acquittal by giving him benefit of doubt, as the case of the original Accused No. 4 is similar to that of original Accused No. 5 and even the original Accused Nos. 6 and 7.



Petitioner's Advocate : Gaurav Agrawal
Respondent's Advocate : Rajiv Nanda
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice N. V. Ramana, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M. R. Shah
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice M. R. Shah

4. Mahabir Prosad Choudhary v. Octavius Tea and Industries Ltd.

Industrial Disputes Rules, 1958 (West Bengal) - Rule 20B (5) - Statement of case or written statement - the Tribunal was required to intimate date and time for receiving of the written statement by the company. Neither the order sheet of Tribunal indicate that any date was fixed for such service of W/S nor any intimation was sent to the company. Thus, there was a clear breach of sub­rule(5) of Rule 20B, no error has been committed by High Court in taking the view that Rule 20B(5) has been violated, resulting in violation of principles of natural justice.

Industrial Disputes Rules, 1958 (West Bengal) - Rule 21 - Non­appearance on one day does not oblige the Tribunal to proceed ex­parte. The Tribunal or arbitrator can exercise his discretion and may decide to send a notice before proceeding ex­parte in facts of each case, which may be required in facts of a particular case. But even otherwise accepting, the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant that no mandatory notice under Rule 21 was required to be issued by the Tribunal to the company, there being violation of Rule 20B(5), the High Court committed no error in setting aside the order of the Tribunal’s ex­parte award by directing the Tribunal to proceed afresh.

Case Number : C.A. No. 8320 of 2011 04-12-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Dharmendra Kumar Sinha
Respondent's Advocate : Chira Ranjan Addy
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri

5. V.K. Girija v. Reshma Parayil

The Statutory Scheme as delineated by Chapter XXXII of Kerala Education Rules shall alone be applicable while making recruitment to the teaching posts and Rule 5 Note (3) of Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958 is not attracted.

Case Number : C.A. No. 11829 of 2018 04-12-2018
Petitioner's Advocate : Romy Chacko
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri

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