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Date Case Detail
July 23,2014
Cheating – Compounding allowed
2014 STPL(Web) 489 SC
Criminal Appeal No.1165 of 2014-Decided on 23-7-2014.
We are informed that out of two years imprisonment the appellant has undergone six months imprisonment. Offence under Section 420 of the IPC is compoundable with the permission of the court by the person who is cheated. Since the parties are related to each other and they have decided to accord a quietus to their disputes and live peacefully, we permit them to compound the offence. Hence, the offence under Section 420 of the IPC for which the appellant was convicted is compounded because it is compoundable with the permission of the court. The appellant is acquitted of the said charge.
July 23,2014
Dishonour of Cheque – Liability – Conviction set aside.
2014 STPL(Web) 488 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 1522 of 2014 (Arising Out of special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 278 of 2013)-Decided on 23-7-2014.
We find from the record that admittedly, the accused appellant deals with sale and purchase of landed properties and the respondent-complainant works as a Lorry Driver under him with a salary of Rs.2,500/-p.m. and Rs.20/-per day towards miscellaneous expenses (bhatta). Admittedly, the Cheque in question was for Rs.5,00,000/-and all the way the stand of the complainant was that he had given a hand loan of Rs.1,75,000/-to the accused-appellant. We find no material on record in support of the claim of the complainant giving hand loan to the accused-appellant. There was also no calculation of account or stipulation of any interest on the alleged loan amount to show as to how the amount of Rs.5,00,000/-was figured, in return of a hand loan of Rs.1,75,000/-, if at all taken by the appellant from the complainant. It is also not on record whether there was sufficient balance amount or not in the bank account of the accused when the Cheque was dishonoured by the Bank….. In the absence of any authenticated and supporting evidence, we cannot believe that the complainant-respondent who is employed under the appellant-accused, has raised an amount of Rs.1,75,000/-that too by obtaining loan of Rs.1,50,000/-from a Bank, only to give hand loan to his employer. As the complainant himself admitted that his net savings in a year comes to about Rs. 10,000/-, it is not trustworthy that he was in a position to extend hand loan of such big amount to the appellant.
July 23,2014
Contempt – Delay – Closed
2014 STPL(Web) 487 SC
Contempt Petition (Crl.) No. 2 of 1994 with Contempt Petition (Crl.) No. 4A of 1994-Decided on 23-7-2014.
We appreciate the gravity of the subject matter highlighted by Dr. Rajeev Dhawan. We are also not oblivious of the fact that the Court was not satisfied prima facie with the initial response filed by contemner No. 3, Giriraj Kishore and ordered on 06.05.1994 to initiate the contempt proceedings against respondent Nos. 1 to 3. But, the fact of the matter is that despite the order passed on 06.05.1994, the notice accompanied by charges on contemner No. 3 has not been served so far. In this view of the matter, at this distance of time, when the subject matter remained dormant for almost two decades and now contemner No.3 is 96 years and he is not able to respond to the charges due to old age and illness, we do not think that this is a fit case where we should deal with the matter further. …. The contemner Nos.1 and 2 have also tendered unconditional apology. …. we think the contempt matters deserve to be closed.
July 23,2014
Contempt - Commissions of Inquiry is not Court
2014 STPL(Web) 486 SC
Contempt Petition (Crl.) No. 11 of 1990 with contempt petition (Crl.) No. 12 of 1990-Decided on 23-7-2014.
whether the functions which are discharged by the Supreme Court Judge as a Commissioner are purely statutory functions independent of the jurisdiction vested in the Supreme Court? …. Whether truth can be pleaded as defence in contempt proceedings? …. We do not have any doubt that functions of the Commission appointed under the 1952 Act are not like a body discharging judicial functions or judicial power. The Commission appointed under the 1952 Act in our view is not a Court and making the inquiry or determination of facts by the Commission is not of judicial character. …. Commission appointed under the 1952 Act is in the nature of a statutory Commission and merely because a Commission of Inquiry is headed by a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court, it does not become an extended arm of this Court. The Commission constituted under the 1952 Act is a fact finding body to enable the appropriate Government to decide as to the course of action to be followed. Such Commission is not required to adjudicate upon the rights of the parties and has no adjudicatory functions. The Government is not bound to accept its recommendations or act upon its findings. The mere fact that the procedure adopted by the Commission is of a legal character and it has the power to administer oath will not clothe it with the status of Court. That being so, in our view, the Commission appointed under the 1952 Act is not a Court for the purposes of Contempt of Courts Act even though it is headed by a sitting Supreme Court Judge.
July 22,2014
Contempt - Sahara Case – No Parole
2014 STPL(Web) 485 SC
I.A. NOS. 8-9 & 10-12 of 2014 in Contempt Petition (C) No.412 of 2012 in Civil Appeal No. 9813 of 2011 with I.A. Nos. 8-9 & 10-12 of 2014 in Contempt Petition (C) No.413 of 2012 in Civil Appeal No. 9833 of 2011 and I.A. Nos. 10-12 of 2014 In Contempt Petition (C) No.260 of 2013 in Civil Appeal No. 8643 of 2012-Decided on 22-7-2014.
Saharas have now made the present applications seeking certain directions. In I.As No. 8-9 of 2014, Shri Subrata Roy Sahara has prayed for temporary/conditional release from judicial custody for a period of 15 days or so to meet his nonagenarian and ailing mother as also for taking steps for compliance with the order of this Court …. That brings us to the question whether the contemnors can be granted parole as prayed for in the applications? We regret to say that we do not, for the present, see any justification for us to take a view different from the one taken in our order dated 4th June, 2014. There is nothing before us to show that Shri Subrata Roy Sahara suffers from any serious medical condition….. There is, at present, no concrete proposal with Saharas for sale of the properties situate in India or abroad that may call for any negotiation by Shri Subrata Roy Sahara. While it may be true that such negotiations cannot be said to be advisable when properties of such magnitude as in the instant case are sought to be sold, yet it is pre-mature for us to make any arrangement to facilitate any such negotiations either by directing release of Shri Subrata Roy Sahara on parole or otherwise.
July 22,2014
Writ of habeas corpus – Not made out
2014 STPL(Web) 484 SC
Writ petition (Crl.) No. 147 of 2013-Decided on 22-7-2014.
it is evident that there are series of cases pertaining to land disputes between the family of the alleged detenu and other villagers. Civil cases were filed initially….. It is clear from the said narration of facts that the petitioner is in judicial custody by virtue of an order passed by the Judicial Magistrate….. Hence, the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that there was illegal detention without any case is incorrect. Therefore, the relief sought for by the petitioner cannot be granted….. I entirely agree with the view taken by him that the petitioner cannot be said to be in illegal custody so as to warrant the issue of a writ of Habeas Corpus….. whether the petitioner can be said to be in the unlawful custody. Our answer to that question is in the negative. The record which we have carefully perused shows that the petitioner is an accused facing prosecution for offences, cognizance whereof has already been taken by the competent Court. He is presently in custody pursuant to the order of remand made by the said Court. A writ of Habeas Corpus is, in the circumstances, totally mis-placed.
July 22,2014
Bail – Convicted in offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life or for a term not less than ten years - Opportunity to the public prosecutor required
2014 STPL(Web) 483 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 1516 of 2014 [Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 261 of 2013] with Criminal Appeal Nos. 1517-1518 of 2014 [Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) Nos. 262-263 of 2013]-Decided on 22-7-2014.
At the post conviction stage, whether the appellate court, while considering the release of the convict on bail, should give an opportunity to the public prosecutor for showing cause in writing against such release where the conviction is on an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life or for a term not less than ten years, is the issue falling for consideration in these appeals….. To sum up the legal position, a. The appellate court, if inclined to consider the release of a convict sentenced to punishment for death or imprisonment for life or for a period of ten years or more, shall first give an opportunity to the public prosecutor to show cause in writing against such release. b. On such opportunity being given, the State is required to file its objections, if any, in writing. c. In case the public prosecutor does not file the objections in writing, the appellate court shall, in its order, specify that no objection had been filed despite the opportunity granted by the court. d. The court shall judiciously consider all the relevant factors whether specified in the objections or not, like gravity of offence, nature of the crime, age, criminal antecedents of the convict, impact on public confidence in court, etc. before passing an order for release. Admittedly, no such opportunity was granted to the State as contemplated under the first proviso of Section 389 Cr.PC in these appeals. Therefore, the impugned orders to the extent of release of the private respondents on bail are set aside.
July 22,2014
Criminal Procedure – Stay of Conviction
2014 STPL(Web) 482 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 1515 of 2014 [Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No.5654 of 2014 Crlmp No. 8191 of 2014]-Decided on 22-7-2014.
Scope of stay of conviction under Section 389(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Cr.PC’), is the subject matter of this appeal….. We are afraid none of these contentions can be appreciated. The appellant has been convicted under Sections 147, 148, 302/144 IPC read with Section 120B IPC and is sentenced to undergo life imprisonment. ‘Convict’ means declared to be guilty of criminal offence by the verdict of court of law. …. It has been consistently held by this Court that unless there are exceptional circumstances, the appellate court shall not stay the conviction, though the sentence may be suspended. …. the contention that the appellant will be deprived of his source of livelihood if the conviction is not stayed cannot be appreciated. For the appellant, it is a matter of deprivation of livelihood but he is convicted for deprivation of life of another person. Until he is otherwise declared innocent in appeal, the stain stands. …. The High Court has discussed in detail the background of the appellant, the nature of the crime, manner in which it was committed, etc. and has rightly held that it is not a very rare and exceptional case for staying the conviction.
July 21,2014
Compounding – Non Compoundable offences
2014 STPL(Web) 481 SC
Criminal Appeal No.1205 of 2014, Criminal Appeal No.1498 of 2014 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.8795 of 2012] and Criminal Appeal No.1169 of 2014-Decided on 21-7-2014.
whether this Court can compound the offences under Sections 326 and 307 of the IPC which are non- compoundable….. In the affidavit he has stated that a compromise petition has been filed in the lower court. It is further stated that he and the appellants are neighbours, that there is harmonious relationship between the two sides and that they are living peacefully. He has further stated that he does not want to contest the present appeal and he has no grievance against the appellants….. we set aside the impugned order dated 4/7/2012 and quash the proceedings in S.C.No.9/05 pending on the file of 2nd Additional Sessions Judge, Godda….. In the circumstances, the appeal is partly allowed. The conviction of the appellant under Section 498-A of the IPC and under Section 4 of the Dowry Act is maintained but the sentence awarded to the appellant is reduced to sentence already undergone by him, subject to the condition that the appellant pays a sum of Rs.2,50,000/- (Rupees two lacs fifty thousand only) to respondent No.2-wife as compensation. Impugned order stands modified to the above extent. …. Offences under Sections 341 and 325 are compoundable. In view of the settlement they can be permitted to be compounded. However, offences under Sections 148 and 149 of the IPC are not compoundable. Hence, permission to compound them cannot be granted. However, since the accused and the victim have entered into a compromise, we feel that it would be in the interest of both sides to reduce the sentence awarded to the accused under Sections 325 and 341 of the IPC to the sentence already undergone.
July 10,2014
Property Dispute – Marriage
2014 STPL(Web) 480 SC
Civil Appeal No.1103 of 2004-Decided on 10-7-2014.
whether the first defendant, the appellant herein, is the second wife of the deceased Ponnangatti Gounder and whether she is entitled to have a share in the suit “A” schedule property…..For the proof of marriage, there is no evidence except Ex.B-8 which although was produced from lawful custody of the trustee of the temple, but it did not mention anything about the marriage ceremony or the conduct and solemnization of the marriage at all. The claim of the respondent herein that Murugan and Selvi were born to Ponnangatti but no birth certificate was produced before the Court and in these circumstances the High Court held that the Lower Appellate Court, without proper evidence of marriage of the first defendant (appellant herein) with Ponnangatti, had erroneously come to the conclusion as if the marriage had been conducted properly. …. In light of the above decisions we are of the opinion that the High Court cannot be precluded from reversing the order and judgment of the Lower Appellate Court if there is perversity in the decision due to mis- appreciation of evidence. …. In our opinion, the High Court correctly assessed and appreciated the facts in the instant case and we concur with the views expressed by the High Court. We also endorse the reasoning given by the High Court. In our opinion, from the evidence on record it cannot be said that the marriage between Ponnangatti Gounder and Easwari was proved.
July 10,2014
Medical negligence – Case not made out
2014 STPL(Web) 479 SC
Civil Appeal No. 6284 of 2014 (@Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 18367 of 2012)-Decided on 10-7-2014.
It is nobody’s case that Dr. Chawla is not a competent coronary expert or he lacked adequate knowledge in the field of coronary surgery. He is duly qualified and has good academic credentials. We have not found his conduct to be below the normal standard of a reasonably competent practitioner in his field. We are in agreement with the reasoning and the conclusion arrived at by the National Commission that the complainant has not been able to prove medical negligence on the part of Dr. Chawla.
July 10,2014
Lease – Destruction/Demolition of property
2014 STPL(Web) 478 SC
Civil Appeal No. 127 of 2007-Decided on 10-7-2014.
In the present case, it is not in dispute that the respondent purchased the lessor’s interest. The lease continued even thereafter and did not extinguish. The lease was subsisting when the shares of the land were purchased by the respondent. But the interest of the lessee was not purchased by the respondent. What has been purchased by the respondent is the right and interest of ownership of the property. The interest of the appellant as lessee has not been vested with the respondent. Therefore, we are of the view that the tenancy of the appellant cannot be said to have been determined consequent upon demolition and destruction of the tenanted premises. …. taking into consideration the fact that the appellant is not in possession of the suit property since long, we are not inclined to direct restoration of possession of suit property to the appellant. Instead we direct the respondent to pay a sum of Rs. 20,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty Lakhs only) in favour of the appellant towards compensation for depriving the appellant from enjoying the suit property,
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