13 Important Supreme Court Judgments March 5, 2019

1. Sant Dnyaneshwar Shikshan Sansthan v. State of Maharashtra

Education - Closure of School - The students presently enrolled in the Ashram school run by the appellant would be put to great prejudice if the school is to be closed as a result of dismissal of these appeals, it is directed that said school may continue till the academic session 2019-2020. However, the school of the appellant which is presently functioning by virtue of Resolution dated 02.01.2012 shall not be allowed to function from the academic session 2020-2021.

Citations : JT 2019 (3) SC 154 : 2019 (4) Scale 1
Case Number : C.A. No. 9384 of 2014 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Sudhanshu S. Choudhari
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari


2. Asifkhan v. State of Maharashtra

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 302, 323, 504, and 506 read with Section 34 - Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention - Test for applicability of Section 34 in a fact situation of an offence - Discussed.

Citations : JT 2019 (3) SC 172 : 2019 (4) Scale 7
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 286 - 288 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Anurag Kishore
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon'ble Mr. Justice K.M. Joseph

3. Kakadia Builders Pvt. Ltd. v. Income Tax Officer Ward 1(3)

The Income Tax Act, 1961 - Issue relating to waiver of interest payable under Sections 234A , 234B, and 234C of the Act.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 20
Case Number : C.A. No. 2491 - 2492 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Meera Mathur
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari



4. Principal Commissioner of Income Tax (Central) 1 v. NRA Iron and Steel Pvt. Ltd. through Director

The Income-tax Act, 1961 - Section 68 - Cash Credits - The practice of conversion of un-accounted money through the cloak of Share Capital/Premium must be subjected to careful scrutiny. This would be particularly so in the case of private placement of shares, where a higher onus is required to be placed on the Assessee since the information is within the personal knowledge of the Assessee. The Assessee is under a legal obligation to prove the receipt of share capital/premium to the satisfaction of the AO, failure of which, would justify addition of the said amount to the income of the Assessee.

The Income-tax Act, 1961 - Section 68 - Cash Credits - the initial onus is on the Assessee to establish by cogent evidence the genuineness of the transaction, and credit-worthiness of the investors under Section 68 of the Act. The assessee is expected to establish to the satisfaction of the Assessing Officer : Proof of Identity of the creditors; Capacity of creditors to advance money; and Genuineness of transaction.

The Income-tax Act, 1961 - Section 68 - Cash Credits - The use of the words “any sum found credited in the books” in Section 68 of the Act indicates that the section is widely worded, and includes investments made by the introduction of share capital or share premium.

On the facts of the present case, clearly the Assessee Company - Respondent failed to discharge the onus required under Section 68 of the Act, the Assessing Officer was justified in adding back the amounts to the Assessee’s income.

Citations : JT 2019 (3) SC 137 : 2019 (4) Scale 25
Case Number : C.A. No. 2463 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Anil Katiyar
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Hon'ble Ms. Justice Indu Malhotra



5. M.R. Krishna Murthi v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

Motor Accidents Mediation Authority (MAMA)

Directions / Recommendations 

(a) We impress upon the Government to also consider the feasibility of enacting Indian Mediation Act to take care of various aspects of mediation in general. 

(b) The Government may examine the feasibility of setting up MAMA by making necessary amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act. For this purpose, it can consider the two flow charts given by the appellant. 

(c) In the interregnum, NALSA is directed to set up Motor Accident Mediation Cell which can function independently under the aegis of NALSA or can be handed over to MCPC. Such a project should be prepared within a period of two months and it should start functioning immediately thereafter at various levels as suggested in this judgment. We reiterate the directions contained in order dated November 6, 2017 in Jai Prakash case for implementation of the latest Modified Claims Tribunal Agreed Procedure. For ensuring such implementation, NALSA is directed to take up the same in coordination and cooperation with various High Courts. MACAD Scheme shall be implemented by all Claim Tribunals on All India basis. 21 Banks, Members of Indian Banks Assocation, who had taken decision to implement MACAD Scheme would do the same on All India basis. 

(d) We impress upon the Government to look into the feasibility of framing necessary schemes and for the availability of annuity certificates. This exercise may be done within the period of six months and decision be taken thereupon. 

(e) Likewise, we direct that there should be programmes from time to time, in all State Judicial Academies, to sensitizing the Presiding Officers of the Claims Tribunals, Senior Police Officers of the State Police as well as Insurance Company for the implementation of the said Procedure.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 362
Case Number : C.A. No. 2476 - 2477 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Vipin Kumar Jai
Respondent's Advocate : Manjeet Chawla
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer

6. Digamber Vaishnav v. State of Chhattisgarh

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - It is not the discovery of every fact that is admissible but the discovery of relevant fact is alone admissible. Relevancy is nothing but the connection or the link between the facts discovered with the crime.

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - Money - When the money allegedly recovered is being sought to be relied upon as stolen from the house of the deceased, the same is unreliable when there is nothing on record to support the claim of theft or robbery from the scene of crime.



The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 - Section 27 - Recovery - Small broken button found at the scene of crime - there is nothing on record to show that the shirt is unique and cannot be matched with the shirt of any other person. PW-13 has admitted in his testimony that shirts of the same kind are easily available in the market. In such circumstances, it cannot be conclusively proved that the shirts are in any way unique to the 'appellants' shirt to the exclusion of everyone else. Therefore, the reliance placed with analysis of the shirt in the absence of any unique make thereof is improper

Criminal Law - One of the fundamental principles of criminal jurisprudence is undeniably that the burden of proof squarely rests on the prosecution and that the general burden never shifts. There can be no conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be. Strong suspicion, strong coincidences and grave doubt cannot take the place of legal proof. The onus of the prosecution cannot be discharged by referring to very strong suspicion and existence of highly suspicious factors to inculpate the accused nor falsity of defence could take the place of proof which the prosecution has to establish in order to succeed, though a false plea by the defence at best, be considered as an additional circumstance, if other circumstances unfailingly point to the guilt.

Child Witness - Evidence of a child witness must be evaluated carefully as the child may be swayed by what others tell him and he is an easy prey to tutoring. Therefore, the evidence of a child witness must find adequate corroboration before it can be relied upon. It is more a rule of practical wisdom than law.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 254
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 428 - 430 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Pyoli
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

7. Ankush Maruti Shinde v. State of Maharashtra

Murder and rape is indeed a reprehensive act and every perpetrator should be punished. Therefore, Court directs the Chief Secretary, Home Department, State of Maharashtra to look into the matter and identify such erring officers/officials responsible for failure of a prosecution case, on account of sheer negligence or because of culpable lapses, real culprits are out of the clutches of law and because of whose lapses the case has resulted into acquittal in a case where five persons were killed brutally and one lady was subjected to even rape. 

False Implication - It is to be noted that all the accused persons are nomadic tribes coming from the lower strata of the society and are very poor labourers. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, false implication cannot be ruled out since it is common occurrence that in serious offences sometime innocent persons are roped in.

Compensation - There was no fair investigation and fair trial and the fundamental rights of the accused guaranteed under Articles 20 & 21 of the Constitution of India have been infringed. The investigation is not fair and honest. There is no investigation at all qua the four persons who were identified by PW8 on 7.6.2003. On the contrary, the accused in the present case were nomadic tribes and falsely implicated and are roped in. Except one, all of them are in jail since last 16 years. All were facing the hanging sword of death penalty. Out of six accused persons, one was subsequently found to be a juvenile. As per the report of Dr. Ashit Sheth, a Psychiatrist, who examined one of the accused – Ankush Maruti Shinde, who was subsequently found to be a juvenile, he has clearly opined that he has lived under sub-human conditions for several years. He was kept in isolation in solitary confinement with very restricted human contact and under perpetual fear of death. He was only allowed to meet his mother, and that too only infrequently. He was not even allowed to mix with other prisoners. Therefore, all the accused remained under constant stress and in the perpetual fear of death. As they were facing the death penalty, they might not have availed any other facilities of parole, furlon etc. All of them who were between the age of 25-30 years (and one of the accused was a juvenile) have lost their valuable years of their life in jail. Their family members have also suffered. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, and in exercise of our powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, we direct the State of Maharashtra to pay a sum of Rs.5,00,000/- to each of the accused by way of compensation, to be deposited by the State with the learned Sessions Court within a period of four weeks from today and on such deposit, the same be paid to the concerned accused on proper identification.



Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 266
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 1008 - 1009 of 2007 05-03-2019
Bench : Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

8. C.I.T Bombay v. Tasgaon Taluka S.S.K. Ltd.

Tax Law - Whether the sugarcane purchase price paid to the cane growers by the assessee-society more than the SMP and is determined under Clause 5A of the Control Order, 1966, can be said to be the sharing of profit/appropriation of profit or is allowable as expenditure?

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 242
Case Number : C.A. No. 8890 of 2012 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Anil Katiyar
Bench : Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

9. Khushwinder Singh v. State of Punjab

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Section 302 - Murder - “rarest of rare case” - Capital Punishment / Death sentence.

In the present case, the accused has killed six innocent persons, out of which two were minors – below 10 years of age. Almost, all the family members of PW-5 were done to death in a diabolical and dastardly manner. Fortunately, or unfortunately, only one person of the family of PW-5 could survive. In the present case, the accused has killed six innocent persons in a pre-planned manner. The convict meticulously planned the time. He first kidnapped three persons by way of deception and took them to the canal and after drugging them with sleeping tablets, pushed them in the canal at a mid-night to ensure that the crime is not detected. That, thereafter he killed another three persons in the second stage/instalment. Therefore, the case would fall in the category of the “rarest of rare case” warranting death sentence/capital punishment. The aggravating circumstances are in favour of the prosecution and against the accused. Therefore, striking a balance between the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the aggravating circumstance would tilt the balance in favour of the capital punishment. In the facts and circumstances of the case, there is no alternative punishment suitable, except the death sentence. The crime is committed with extremist brutality and the collective conscious of the society would be shocked. Therefore, the capital punishment/death sentence imposed by the learned Sessions Court and confirmed by the High Court does not warrant any interference by this Court. Therefore, Court confirmed the death sentence of the accused imposed by the learned Sessions Court and confirmed by the High Court while convicting the appellant for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.

Citations : JT 2019 (3) SC 313 : 2019 (4) Scale 187
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 1433 - 1434 of 2014 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Vishnu Sharma
Respondent's Advocate : Jaspreet Gogia
Bench : Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

10. State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 307 and 34 - The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - Sections 320 and 482 - Mechanically quashed the FIR - Non-compoundable offences - Seriousness of the offences and its social impact - Distinction between a personal or private wrong and a social wrong and the social impact.

i) that the power conferred under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences under Section 320 of the Code can be exercised having overwhelmingly and predominantly the civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes and when the parties have resolved the entire dispute amongst themselves; 



ii) such power is not to be exercised in those prosecutions which involved heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society; 

iii) similarly, such power is not to be exercised for the offences under the special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender; 

iv) offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 IPC in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 IPC. For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation. Therefore, the ultimate conclusion in paragraphs 29.6 and 29.7 of the decision of this Court in the case of Narinder Singh (supra) should be read harmoniously and to be read as a whole and in the circumstances stated hereinabove; 

v) while exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impart on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise etc.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 200
Case Number : Crl.A. No. 349 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : C.D. Singh
Respondent's Advocate : Mridula Ray Bharadwaj
Bench : Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

11. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority v. Lt. Col. J. B. Kuchhal (Dead)

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 - Section 4 (1) - It is necessary to notice that it has now been almost 28 years since the subject land had been notified for acquisition. The appellant has put up construction over the land without acquisition of the said land putting public exchequer at risk. It is no doubt true that the writ petition was dismissed for default. However, it has been restored subsequently and the restoration order has not been challenged. The appellant has not produced any document to substantiate its contention that the writ petitioners are not the title holders of the land. On the other hand the writ petitioners have produced their title deeds in relation to the said land. The appellant is not justified in contending that the writ petitioners are not the title holders of the land. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, the direction of the High Court for determination of compensation of the disputed land is just and proper.



Citations : 2019 (4 ) Scale 214
Case Number : C.A. No. 2478 - 2479 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Ravindra Kumar
Bench : Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

12. Mantri Technoze Pvt. Ltd. v. Forward Foundation

The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 - Section 22 - Appeal to Supreme Court - Merely because the remedy of appeal is provided against the decision of the Tribunal on a substantial question of law alone, that does not ipso facto permit the appellants to agitate their appeal to seek re-appreciation of the factual matrix of the entire matter. The appellants cannot seek to re-argue their entire case to seek wholesale re-appreciation of evidence and the factual matrix that has been considered by the Tribunal is ex facie impermissible under Section 22. There cannot be fresh appreciation or re-appreciation of facts and evidence in a statutory appeal under this provision.

The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 - The NGT Act being a beneficial legislation, the power bestowed upon the Tribunal would not be read narrowly. An interpretation which furthers the interests of environment must be given a broader reading.

The findings arrived at by the Tribunal are not only based on the documents that were available on record but also on the pleadings that were made by the parties buttressed by the Committee's report and the inspection note of the Expert Members. Therefore, the directions passed and the penalty imposed by the Tribunal on both project proponents are valid and sustainable and do not suffer from any perversity.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 218
Case Number : C.A. No. 5016 of 2016 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Devasa & Co. 
Bench : Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Hon'ble Mr. Justice M.R. Shah

13. Sudhakar Baburao Nangnure v. Noreshwar Raghunathrao Shende

Service Law - The appellant did not at any stage challenge the appointment of the respondent to the post of JDTP nor did he challenge the GR dated 20 March 2003 providing for consequential seniority. The appellant was not eligible for the post of DTP on 30 April 2016, when the vacancy occurred. He cannot, hence, challenge the appointment of the first respondent.

Citations : 2019 (4) Scale 417
Case Number : C.A. No. 2468 - 2470 of 2019 05-03-2019
Petitioner's Advocate : Ravindra Keshavrao Adsure
Bench : Hon'ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Hon'ble Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta
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