Supreme Court of India Weekly Reporter January 7 - 11, 2019

Abkari Act (Kerala) - Ss. 8(2) & 63 - Possession of 4.5 litres of arrack in a plastic can and 3.750 litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor - the interest of justice would be met if the imprisonment is reduced to the period, already undergone by the accused. Lalichan v. State of Kerala, Crl.A. No. 22 of 2019 07-01-2019


Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 - Ss. 30 & 31 - In terms of Section 31 of the Act, an appeal to this Court is maintainable with the leave of the Tribunal and such leave can be granted on the ground “that a point of law of general public importance” or “it appears to the Supreme Court that the point is one which ought to be considered by that Court”. The point on which this Court will exercise jurisdiction is a point of law of general public importance. We do not find that any point of law of general public importance is involved which may warrant grant of leave to the appellant. Consequently, I.A.No.1 of 2016 along with Civil Appeal is dismissed. Ex. Lac Yogesh Pathania v. Union of India, C.A. No. 14214 of 2016 08-01-2019



Cable Television Network (Amendment) Rules, 2012 - Rule 11C - Registration as multi­system operator - grant of permission is subject to issue of security clearance from the Central Government. Since the grant of permission was subject to obtaining of the security clearance from the concerned Ministry, the competent authority was justified in cancelling the conditional permission for want of security clearance. Digi Cable Network (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of IndiaC.A. No. 120 of 2019 07-01-2019

Central Bureau of Investigation - The organization i.e. CBI has grown over the years in its role, power and importance and today has become the premier investigative and prosecution agency of the country. The high stature and the pre­eminent position that the institution has acquired is largely on account of a strong perception of the necessity of having such a premier agency. Such a perception finds reflection in the conscious attempts of the Government of the day to introduce reforms, from time to time, so as to enable the institution to reach greater heights in terms of integrity, independence and confidence. A close look at such attempts will now be in order. Common Cause (Registered Society) v. Union of India, W.P. (C) No. 1315 of 2018 08-01-2019

Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 - Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 - Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Court set aside the following orders dated 23rd October, 2018: (i) of the CVC divesting the powers, functions, duties, supervisory role, etc. of Shri Alok Kumar Verma as Director, CBI (ii) of the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training divesting Shri Alok Kumar Verma, Director, CBI of his functions, powers, duties and supervisory role with immediate effect and until further orders. (iii) of the Government of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training by which one Shri M. Nageshwar Rao, IPS, Joint Director, CBI has been asked to look after the duties and functions of Director, CBI with immediate effect. Alok Kumar Verma v. Union of India, W. P. (C) No. 1309 of 2018 08-01-2019

Civil P.C. 1908 - S. 100 - Second Appeal - who is the owner of the land and who is in its possession, whether the plaintiff as claimed was able to prove their title over the suit land to the exclusion of the rights of the State and, if so, on what basis and whether his possession if proved, is legal or not, etc. requires elaborate discussion. It should have been adjudicated in the light of legal principle applicable to the case, pleadings and evidence. It is for these reasons, the case needs to be remanded to the High Court for deciding of the Second Appeal afresh on all such questions which do arise in the case but were not decided much less in accordance with law. State of Rajasthan v. Gram Vikas Samiti, Shivdaspura, C.A. No. 3505 of 2009 07-01-2019

Civil P.C. 1908 - O. IX, R. 9 - Restoration of Suit - both the Trial Court as well as the High Court were not right in observing that the plaintiff was not interested in pursuing the restoration application - Application for restoration of the suit filed by the plaintiff was well within the period of limitation - Plaintiff was present in almost all hearings before the Trial Court which indicates that he was genuinely pursing the matter - Plaintiff having filed the suit for declaration and injunction - Ought to be given an opportunity to pursue his suit. Kusumben Indersingh Dhupia v. Sudhaben Biharilalji Bhaiya, C.A. No. 230 of 2019 09-01-2019

Civil P.C. 1908 - O. XXXIII R.1 & O. XLIV R. 1 - Appeal by Indigent Persons - the dismissal of application made under Order 33 Rule 1 of the Code by the Trial Court in the earlier round of litigation is not a bar against the plaintiff to file an application/appeal under Order 44 Rule 1 of the Code before the Appellate Court. Sushil Thomas Abraham v. M/s Skyline Build. Thru. Its Partner, C.A. No. 117 of 2019 07-01-2019

Civil P.C. 1908 - O. XXXIX, R. 1 & 2 - Revocation of patent based on a counter claim in a suit. The issues raised were complicated requiring technological and expert evidence with regard to issues of chemical process, biochemical, biotechnical and microbiological processes and more importantly whether the nucleic acid sequence trait once inserted could be removed from that variety or not and whether the patented DNA sequence was a plant or a part of a plant etc. are again all matters which were required to be considered at the final hearing of the suit. Monsanto Technology LIC thru the Authorised Representative Ms. Natalia Voruz v. Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. thru the DirectorC.A. No. 4616 of 2018 08-01-2019

Criminal P.C. 1973 - Steps to determine the veracity of a prayer for quashment raised by an accused by invoking the power vested in the High Court. Suresh Kumar Goyal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Crl.A. No. 56 of 2019 11-01-2019

Criminal P.C. 1973 - S. 482 - the Single Judge ought to have first set out the brief facts of the case with a view to understand the factual matrix and then should have examined the challenge made to the proceedings in the light of the principles of law on the question involved with a view to record the findings on the grounds urged by the appellant as to whether any case for interference therein is made out or not - the aforementioned exercise was not done by the High Court while passing an unreasoned impugned order, which does not disclose any application of mind to the case - Unable to concur with such casual disposal of the application by the High Court and feel inclined to set aside the impugned order and remand the case to the High Court (Single Judge) with a request to decide the application afresh on merits in accordance with law keeping in view the aforementioned observations. Monu v. State of Uttar Pradesh, Crl.A. No. 21 of 2019 07-01-2019

Criminal Trial - In a criminal trial, suspicion, howsoever grave, cannot substitute proof. Devi Lal v. State of RajasthanCrl.A. No. 148 of 2010 08-01-2019

Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 - Ss. 3 & 4 - the Single Judge ought to have first set out the brief facts of the case with a view to understand the factual matrix and then should have examined the challenge made to the proceedings in the light of the principles of law on the question involved with a view to record the findings on the grounds urged by the appellant as to whether any case for interference therein is made out or not - the aforementioned exercise was not done by the High Court while passing an unreasoned impugned order, which does not disclose any application of mind to the case - Unable to concur with such casual disposal of the application by the High Court and feel inclined to set aside the impugned order and remand the case to the High Court (Single Judge) with a request to decide the application afresh on merits in accordance with law keeping in view the aforementioned observations. Monu v. State of Uttar PradeshCrl.A. No. 21 of 2019 07-01-2019

Evidence Act, 1872 - S.113B - three ingredients necessary to draw the presumption of commission of the offence under Section 304­ B IPC have been proved and established by the prosecution. Consequently, the presumption under Section 113­B of the Indian Evidence Act has to be drawn against the accused and in the absence of any defence evidence to rebut the same, the Court has to hold the accused guilty of the offence under Section 304­B IPC. Jagdish Chand v. State of HaryanaCrl.A. No. 767 of 2012 07-01-2019

Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - the respondent claimed to have worked as daily wager hardly for a period of one year or so in PWD of the State - he had no right to claim regularization - he had no right to continue as daily wager - the dispute was raised by the workman almost after 25 years of the alleged termination before the Labour Court - it would be just, proper and reasonable to award lump sum monetary compensation to the respondent in full and final satisfaction of his claim of re­instatement and other consequential benefits by taking recourse to the powers under Section 11­A of the Act. State of Uttarakhand v. Raj Kumar, C.A. No. 124 of 2019 07-01-2019

Judicial Remarks - these disparaging remarks/strictures coupled with the directions of how one should behave and pass orders was unnecessary in the facts of this case, and nor they were germane for deciding the lis between the parties. Such remarks/strictures, therefore, should not have been made. They are accordingly expunged and stand deleted from the impugned order. Mahadevappa v. State of Karnataka Tr. Pub. Prosecutor, Crl.A. No. 1261 of 2008 07-01-2019

Judiciary - What should be the role of the higher judiciary in making adverse remarks and passing strictures against the judicial/administrative authorities, whose order/action is under challenge - the higher judiciary must avoid as far as possible from making any disparaging harsh remarks and strictures against any judicial/administrative officer while examining their action/order impugned in the judicial proceedings. Manish S. Pardasani v. Inspector State ExciseC.A. No. 126 of 2019 07-01-2019

Labour Law - the respondent was held to have worked as daily wager or muster role employee hardly for a few years - no right to claim regularization & continue as daily wager - the dispute was raised by the workman before the Labour Court almost after 15 years of his alleged termination - it would be just, proper and reasonable to award lump sum monetary compensation to the respondent in full and final satisfaction of his claim of re­instatement and other consequential benefits. Deputy Executive Engineer v. Kuberbhai Kanjibhai, C.A. No. 5810 of 2009 07-01-2019

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Normally the additional component of compensation in terms of Section 23(1)(thirdly) of the Act is granted when, a landholder suffers damage as a result of acquisition to the extent that the holding that he is left with stands comparatively diminished in terms of quality and value. Wazir v. State of Haryana, C.A. No. 264 of 2019 11-01-2019

Land Law - U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953 - U.P. Zamindari Abolition & Land Reforms Act, 1950 - S. 176 - Holding of a bhumidhar or sirdar divisible. ­Hansraj v. Mewalal, C.A. No. 87 of 2019 09-01-2019

Minimum Wages Act, 1948 - the authority has the power under the Act to impose the penalty, once the breaches alleged against the employer are proved. Ragini Sinha v. State of Bihar, C.A. No. 7224 of 2012 07-01-2019

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Alteration in the motor vehicle - No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration. Regional Transport Officer v. K. Jayachandra, C.A. No. 219 of 2019 09-01-2019

Patents Act, 1970 - S. 64 - Revocation of patent based on a counter claim in a suit. The issues raised were complicated requiring technological and expert evidence with regard to issues of chemical process, biochemical, biotechnical and microbiological processes and more importantly whether the nucleic acid sequence trait once inserted could be removed from that variety or not and whether the patented DNA sequence was a plant or a part of a plant etc. are again all matters which were required to be considered at the final hearing of the suit. Monsanto Technology LIC thru the Authorised Representative Ms. Natalia Voruz v. Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. thru the DirectorC.A. No. 4616 of 2018 08-01-2019

Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 - Whether “Teacher” could be regarded as an “employee” under Section 2(e) of the Act and, if so, whether he/she is entitled to claim gratuity amount from his employer in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Birla Institute of Technology v. State of Jharkhand, C.A. No. 2530 of 2012 07-01-2019 [Judgment Recalled]

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 302 & 120 B - An extra judicial confession is used against its maker but as a matter of caution, advisable for the Court to look for a corroboration with the other evidence on record. Devi Lal v. State of Rajasthan, Crl.A. No. 148 of 2010 08-01-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 304­B & 498­A - three ingredients necessary to draw the presumption of commission of the offence under Section 304­ B IPC have been proved and established by the prosecution. Consequently, the presumption under Section 113­B of the Indian Evidence Act has to be drawn against the accused and in the absence of any defence evidence to rebut the same, the Court has to hold the accused guilty of the offence under Section 304­B IPC. On the basis of the same consideration, the offence under Section 498­A must also be held to be proved against the accused persons. Jagdish Chand v. State of Haryana, Crl.A. No. 767 of 2012 07-01-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 406, 420, 467, 471, 323, 504, 506, 447 & 448 - Application for Discharge - complainant has merely alleged that the funds came from his bank account but beyond such allegations no material has been placed on record at any stage - the present criminal complaint is nothing but an attempt to wreck vengeance against the father, brother and the brother in law of the complainant. The instant criminal complaint is an abuse of the process of Court and is required to be quashed. Suresh Kumar Goyal v. State of Uttar PradeshCrl.A. No. 56 of 2019 11-01-2019

Penal Code, 1860 - Ss. 420, 498A, 323, 376, 506 - the Single Judge ought to have first set out the brief facts of the case with a view to understand the factual matrix and then should have examined the challenge made to the proceedings in the light of the principles of law on the question involved with a view to record the findings on the grounds urged by the appellant as to whether any case for interference therein is made out or not - the aforementioned exercise was not done by the High Court while passing an unreasoned impugned order, which does not disclose any application of mind to the case - Unable to concur with such casual disposal of the application by the High Court and feel inclined to set aside the impugned order and remand the case to the High Court (Single Judge) with a request to decide the application afresh on merits in accordance with law keeping in view the aforementioned observations. Monu v. State of Uttar PradeshCrl.A. No. 21 of 2019 07-01-2019

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 - Revocation of patent based on a counter claim in a suit. The issues raised were complicated requiring technological and expert evidence with regard to issues of chemical process, biochemical, biotechnical and microbiological processes and more importantly whether the nucleic acid sequence trait once inserted could be removed from that variety or not and whether the patented DNA sequence was a plant or a part of a plant etc. are again all matters which were required to be considered at the final hearing of the suit. Monsanto Technology LIC thru the Authorised Representative Ms. Natalia Voruz v. Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. thru the DirectorC.A. No. 4616 of 2018 08-01-2019

Service Law - Equation of pay scales must be left to the Government and on the decision of the experts and the Court should not interfere with it. Punjab State Electricity Board v. Thana Singh, C.A. No. 193 of 2019 08-01-2019

Service Law - Parity of Pay Scale - Burden of Proof - Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 - Section 79(c) - Punjab Public Works Departments (Electricity Branch) State Service Class-III (Subordinate Posts) Rules, 1958 - Question of parity of pay scale between the Head Clerks and the Internal Auditors - Burden of proof on the person claiming parity of pay scale - Nature of duties and responsibilities of Head Clerks are different from the Internal Auditors - Report of the Pay Anomaly Committee - Internal Auditors cannot claim parity - Conscious exercise of option to go as Internal Auditors - Promotional avenues available to the Internal Auditors - Merely because various different posts have been categorized under Group XII, they cannot claim parity of pay scale as that of the Head Clerk. All the more so, when the Internal Auditors are appointed 55% by direct recruitment and 45% by promotion from Circle Assistant/Assistant Revenue Accountant. The High Court did not keep in view that the duties, nature of work and promotion channel of Head Clerks and Internal Auditors are entirely different and that option to seek promotion apparently as Internal Auditors was the “conscious exercise of option”, the impugned judgment cannot be sustained and is liable to be set aside. Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. v. Rajesh Kumar Jindal, C.A. No. 195 of 2019 08-01-2019

Service Law - Pension - Order of reversion issued nearly twenty­five years later to be highly unjust, inequitable and arbitrary suffering from the vice of unreasonableness. Sukh Bilash Thakur v. Bihar State Electricity Board, C.A. No. 217 of 2019 09-01-2019

Settlement - It was necessary for the High Court to record a categorical finding on the issue as to how and on what basis the respondent has complied with the terms of settlement and has thus discharged its entire liability. It was not done - accordingly allow the appeals, set aside both the orders passed by the High Court, restore the writ petition to its original number and request the High Court to decide the writ petition filed by the respondent afresh on merits in accordance with law. Punjab Financial Corporation v. M/s Paulbro Leathers Pvt. Ltd., C.A. No. 118 of 2019 07-01-2019

Specific Relief Act, 1963 - Ss. 16 (c), 20, 21, 22 & 23 - the grant of relief of specific performance is a discretionary and equitable relief. The material questions, which are required to be gone into for grant of the relief of specific performance, are First, whether there exists a valid and concluded contract between the parties for sale/purchase of the suit property; Second, whether the plaintiff has been ready and willing to perform his part of contract and whether he is still ready and willing to perform his part as mentioned in the contract; Third, whether the plaintiff has, in fact, performed his part of the contract and, if so, how and to what extent and in what manner he has performed and whether such performance was in conformity with the terms of the contract; Fourth, whether it will be equitable to grant the relief of specific performance to the plaintiff against the defendant in relation to suit property or it will cause any kind of hardship to the defendant and, if so, how and in what manner and the extent if such relief is eventually granted to the plaintiff; and lastly, whether the plaintiff is entitled for grant of any other alternative relief, namely, refund of earnest money etc. and, if so, on what grounds. These requirements have to be properly pleaded by the parties in their respective pleadings and proved with the aid of evidence in accordance with law. It is only then the Court is entitled to exercise its discretion and accordingly grant or refuse the relief of specific performance depending upon the case made out by the parties on facts. Kamal Kumar v. Premlata Joshi, C.A. No. 4453 of 2009 07-01-2019

Tax Law - Rajasthan Value Added Tax Act, 2003 - ‘Gypsum’ (calcium sulphate dihydrate – CaSO4.2H2O) - the amended Entry 56 of Schedule IV of the RVAT, read as ‘gypsum in all its forms’, would include ‘gypsum board’ under the term ‘all its forms’. Additional Commissioner (Legal) Commercial Taxes Rajasthan v. M/s Lohiya AgenciesC.A. No. 180 of 2019 08-01-2019
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