3 Important Supreme Court Judgments Pronounced Today [Monday, February 4, 2019]

1. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Kanha @ Omprakash

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Section 307 - Attempt to murder - The lack of forensic evidence to prove grievous or a life-threatening injury cannot be a basis to hold that Section 307 is inapplicable.

The evidence establishes that the injuries were caused by a fire-arm. The multiplicity of wounds indicates that the respondent fired at the injured more than once. The fact that hurt has been caused by the respondent is sufficiently proven. 

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 147 and 307 read with 149 and 323 - Attempt to murder - proof of grievous or life-threatening hurt is not a sine qua non for the offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code. The intention of the accused can be ascertained from the actual injury, if any, as well as from surrounding circumstances. Among other things, the nature of the weapon used and the severity of the blows inflicted can be considered to infer intent.

In the present case, the nature of the injuries shows that there were eleven punctured wounds. The weapon of offence was a firearm. The circumstances of the case clearly indicate that there was an intention to murder. The presence of 11 punctured and bleeding wounds as well as the use of a fire arm leave no doubt that there was an intention to murder. Thus, the second part of Section 307 of the Penal Code is attracted in the present case.

Petitioner's Advocate : C.D. Singh
Respondent's Advocate : Pashupathi Nath Razdan
Bench : Hon'ble Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah
Judgment By : Hon'ble Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud


2. Federation Haj Ptos of India v. Union of India

Policy decisions of the Executive are best left to it and a court cannot be propelled into the unchartered ocean of Government policy. Public authorities must have liberty and freedom in framing the policies. It is well accepted principle that in complex social, economic and commercial matters, decisions have to be taken by governmental authorities keeping in view several factors and it is not possible for the courts to consider competing claims and to conclude which way the balance tilts. Courts are illequipped to substitute their decisions. It is not within the realm of the courts to go into the issue as to whether there could have been a better policy and on that parameters direct the Executive to formulate, change, vary and/or modify the policy which appears better to the court. Such an exercise is impermissible in policy matters. The scope of judicial review is very limited in such matters. It is only when a particular policy decision is found to be against a statute or it offends any of the provisions of the Constitution or it is manifestly arbitrary, capricious or mala fide, the court would interfere with such policy decisions. 

Petitioner's Advocate : Kripa Shankar Prasad
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A. K. Sikri

3. Ram Lal v. Salig Ram

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 - Section 75, Order XXVI Rule 10 (3) - If the Local Commissioner’s report was found wanting in compliance of applicable instructions for the purpose of demarcation, it was only a matter of irregularity and could have only resulted in discarding of such a report and requiring a fresh report but any such flaw, by itself, could have neither resulted in nullifying the order requiring appointment of Local Commissioner and for recording a finding after taking his report nor in dismissal of the suit. 

Hence, we are unable to approve the approach of High Court, where after rejecting the Commissioner’s report, the High Court straightway proceeded to dismiss the suit. The plaintiffs have been asserting encroachment by the defendants on their land and have also adduced oral and documentary evidence in that regard. As noticed, the First Appellate Court had allowed the appeal and decreed the suit filed by the plaintiff not only with reference to the Commissioner’s report but also with reference to the other evidence of the parties. Unfortunately, the High Court appears to have overlooked the other evidence on record.

Petitioner's Advocate : Priya Puri
Respondent's Advocate : Manju Jetley
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari
Judgment By : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari