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Date Case Detail
August 26,2014
Murder – Conviction/Acquittal
2014 STPL(Web) 540 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 1842 of 2014 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.6673 of 2012]-Decided on 26-8-2014.
While considering the involvement of Satbir Singh in the occurrence, we find some difficulty. The eye witnesses PW4 Rekha and PW5 Sudha have testified Satish @ Shakti gave a gandasa blow on the neck of Bani Singh and thereafter Satbir Singh gave a gandasa blow on the neck of Bani Singh. PW14 Dr. N.K. Chaudhary who conducted autopsy on the body of Bani Singh found a single injury on the neck of Bani Singh. Hence the overt act attributed to Satbir Singh, namely, attack on neck of Bani Singh with gandasa, becomes doubtful and his presence cannot be said to be established and the benefit of doubt has to be given to him. But so far as the other appellants are concerned, the prosecution version is consistent, namely, that they were armed with the lethal weapons and attacked the deceased and others and the conviction and sentences recorded by the Courts below are correct and does not call for any interference.
August 25,2014
Industrial Dispute – Canteen worker engaged through Contractor
2014 STPL(Web) 539 SC
Civil Appeal Nos. 10264-10266 of 2013-Decided on 25-8-2014.
The question before this bench is whether the workmen engaged in statutory canteens, through a contractor, could be treated as employees of the principal establishment. …. whether such workmen should be treated as employees of the principal employer only for the purposes of the Factories Act, 1948 (for short, “the Act, 1948”) or for other purposes as well. …. Therefore, in our considered view and in light of the above, the appellants-workmen could not be said to be under the effective and absolute control of Air India. The Air India merely has control of supervision over the working of the given statutory canteen. Issues regarding appointment of the said workmen, their dismissal, payment of their salaries, etc. are within the control of the HCI. It cannot be then said that the appellants are the workmen of Air India and therefore are entitled to regularization of their services. …. The workers engaged by a contractor to work in the statutory canteen of a factory would be the workers of the said factory, but only for the purposes of the Act, 1948, and not for other purposes, and further for the said workers, to be called the employees of the factory for all purposes, they would need to satisfy the test of employer-employee relationship and it must be shown that the employer exercises absolute and effective control over the said workers.
August 21,2014
Murder – Conviction set aside
2014 STPL(Web) 538 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 822 of 2012-Decided on 21-8-2014.
On a careful conspectus of the facts and the law, we are of the view that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of Mahesh beyond reasonable doubt. There is no evidence of his having played any part in the crime. He was merely seen by the witness as standing outside the house when the witness came home. Mahesh did not even act as a guard; he did not prevent Anil Kumar (PW-21) from entering the house. There is no evidence of the formation or sharing of any common intention with the other accused. There is no reference to a third person in the FIR; no evidence that he came with the other accused or left with them. No weapon was seized from him, nor was any property connected with the crime, seized. Having regard to the role attributed to him and the absence of incriminating factors we find that it is not safe to convict Mahesh of the offence of murder with the aid of Sections 34 and 120(B)….. We therefore, hold that the accused Mahesh (accused no. 3) in Criminal Appeal No. 867 of 2013 is innocent and the conviction against him is set aside.
August 21,2014
Customs - Comparable imports
2014 STPL(Web) 537 SC
Civil Appeal Nos. 433-434 of 2006-Decided on 21-8-2014.
In the absence of any material produced by the Revenue in proof of the alleged comparable imports at a higher value, the impugned order which eventually confirmed the original order of assessment by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs dated 31.3.2001 cannot be sustained for two reasons – (1) the mere existence of an alleged computer printout is not proof of the existence of comparable imports; (2) assuming such a printout exists and the contents thereof are true, the question still remains whether the transaction evidenced by the said computer printout are comparable to the transaction of the appellant. The appellant will have to be given reasonable opportunity to establish (if he can) that the transactions are not comparable.
March 14,2014
Specific Performance – Performance of Contract
2014 STPL(Web) 536 SC
Civil Appeal No.3672 of 2007-Decided on 14-3-2014.
whereby the judgment and decree passed by the Trial Court as also the Appellate Court has been reversed and the suit was dismissed holding that the suit itself was barred by limitation and lack of relevant pleading and evidence disentitle the plaintiff-appellant to get a decree for specific performance and for re-conveyance of the suit property….. In sum and substance, in our considered opinion, the readiness and willingness of person seeking performance means that the person claiming performance has kept the contract subsisting with preparedness to fulfill his obligation and accept the performance when the time for performance arrive….. From the aforementioned sequence of facts and events, it can be safely inferred that the plaintiffs-appellants were always ready and willing to discharge their obligation and perform their part of the agreement. In our considered opinion, the undisputed facts and events referred to hereinabove shall amount to sufficient compliance of the requirements of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act.
August 25,2014
Coal Block allocation – Held to be illegal
2014 STPL(Web) 535 SC
Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 120 of 2012 with Writ Petition [C] No. 463 of 2012, Writ Petition [C] No. 515 of 2012 and Writ Petition [C] No. 283 of 2013-Decided on 25-8-2014.
To sum up, the entire allocation of coal block as per recommendations made by the Screening Committee from 14.07.1993 in 36 meetings and the allocation through the Government dispensation route suffers from the vice of arbitrariness and legal flaws. The Screening Committee has never been consistent, it has not been transparent, there is no proper application of mind, it has acted on no material in many cases, relevant factors have seldom been its guiding factors, there was no transparency and guidelines have seldom guided it. On many occasions, guidelines have been honoured more in their breach. There was no objective criteria, nay, no criteria for evaluation of comparative merits. The approach had been ad-hoc and casual. There was no fair and transparent procedure, all resulting in unfair distribution of the national wealth. Common good and public interest have, thus, suffered heavily. Hence, the allocation of coal blocks based on the recommendations made in all the 36 meetings of the Screening Committee is illegal.
August 22,2014
Sale of land without consideration is null and void
2014 STPL(Web) 534 SC
Civil Appeal Nos. 6471 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.7039 of 2006)-Decided on 22-8-2014.
we find that in the instant case the land, which was declared surplus land, was allotted by the State in purported exercise of power under Section 35 of the said Act giving Bhumiswami right to the appellants. The said allotment was made in the year 1973. Within two years from the date of the said allotment, the land was purchased by the respondent by sale deed dated 4.7.1975, which, according to the appellants, was without consideration and the respondent in connivance with the other persons managed to keep the appellants out of possession. Prima facie, therefore, the sale deed alleged to have been executed by the appellants in favour of the respondent on 4.7.1975 is null and void and the same does not confer any right, title or interest in favour of the respondent-Sattar Khan.
August 22,2014
Quashing of Complaint – Dishonour of Cheque – Quashing set aside
2014 STPL(Web) 533 SC
Criminal Appeal No. 1808 of 2014 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.9901 of 2011] with Criminal Appeal No.1807 of 2014 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.9915 of 2011]-Decided on 22-8-2014.
Whether complainant had failed to discharge its obligations or not could not have been decided by the High Court conclusively at this stage. The High Court was dealing with a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code for quashing the complaint. On factual issue, as to whether the complainant had discharged its obligations or not, the High Court could not have given its final verdict at this stage. It is matter of evidence….. The High Court also erred in quashing the complaint on the ground that the contents of the reply sent by the accused were not disclosed in the complaint. Whether any money is paid by the accused to the complainant is a matter of evidence. The accused has ample opportunity to probabilis his defence. On that count, in the facts of this case, complaint cannot be quashed.
August 21,2014
Transfer of Property - Time limit for usufructuary mortgagor to seek redemption
2014 STPL(Web) 532 SC
Civil Appeal No.5198 of 2008-Decided on 21-8-2014.
whether there is any time limit for usufructuary mortgagor to seek redemption…. We, thus, hold that special right of usufructuary mortgagor under Section 62 of the T.P. Act to recover possession commences in the manner specified therein, i.e., when mortgage money is paid out of rents and profits or partly out of rents and profits and partly by payment or deposit by mortgagor. Until then, limitation does not start for purposes of Article 61 of the Schedule to the Limitation Act. A usufructuary mortgagee is not entitled to file a suit for declaration that he had become an owner merely on the expiry of 30 years from the date of the mortgage
August 21,2014
Muhammaden Law – Conditional Gifts
2014 STPL(Web) 531 SC
Civil Appeal No.2364 of 2005-Decided on 21-8-2014.
A perusal of the above text inter alia reveals, that under Muhammadan Law, a gift has to be unconditional. Therefore, conditions expressed in a gift, are to be treated as void. A conditional gift is valid, but the conditions are void….. while applying the principles of Muhammedan Law expressed in recognized texts, and the decision of the Privy Council in Nawazish Ali Khan's case (supra) it is inevitable to hold, that all conditions depicted in the gift deed dated 26.04.1952, which curtail use or disposal of the property gifted are to be treated as void. In the above view of the matter, the conditions depicted in the gift deed, that the donee would not have any right to gift or sell the gifted property, or that the donee would be precluded from alienating the gifted immovable property during her life time, are void. Similarly, the depiction in the gift deed, that the gifted immovable property after the demise of the donee, would devolve upon her off spring and in the event of her not bearing any children, the same would return back to the donor or to his successors, would likewise be void. …. Having held that the gift deed dated 26.04.1952 irrevocably vested all rights in the immovable property in Banu Bibi, it is natural for us to conclude, that the sale of the gifted immovable property by Banu Bibi to V.Sreeramachandra Avadhani on 02.05.1978, was legal and valid. Consequently, the claim of the respondents to the gifted property, on the demise of Banu Bibi on 17.02.1989, is not sustainable in law.
August 21,2014
Financial Corporation – Power to sell surety property
2014 STPL(Web) 530 SC
Civil Appeal No.7936 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 12961 of 2011)-Decided on 21-8-2014.
Whether the OSFC was legally entitled to invoke Section 29 of the Act and bring the properties of guarantors to sale without resorting to the procedure contemplated under Section 31 of the Act. Whether the High Court was right in entertaining a challenge to the sale from 150 days after the sale took place and the property was handed over to the auction purchaser (appellant herein) …. The right of financial Corporation in terms of Section 29 must be exercised only on a defaulting party. Section 29 does not empower the Corporation to proceed against the surety even if some properties are mortgaged or hypothecated to it. Our view is further strengthened by the provisions of sub-section(4) of Section 29 which lays down appropriation of sale proceeds with reference to only industrial concern and not surety or guarantor. …. The authorities of the 9th respondent Corporation sold the properties to the appellant herein in flagrant violation of the settled position of law. We, therefore, direct the 9th respondent to refund the amount of Rs.10,09,000/- (rupees ten lakhs nine thousands) to the appellant with interest calculated at the rate 12% per annum. However, it is open to the Orissa State Financial Corporation to recover the amounts either from the defaulter - industrial concern or from such other third party against whom the Corporation has a legal right to proceed.
August 20,2014
Eviction – Bonafide requirement
2014 STPL(Web) 529 SC
Civil Appeal Nos.7796-7797 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P(c) Nos.34694-34695 of 2013)-Decided on 20-8-2014.
In our opinion, merely for the reason that some witness has stated that the landlord attempted to sell the property his statement cannot be said to be reliable, as has been believed by the High Court or the Appellate Court, unless such fact is supported with documentary proof. There appears no document on record to support the bald statement of the witness Vijay Kumar Singh to dislodge the case of bonafide requirement of the shop claimed by the appellant for his son who was unemployed. …. but in the present case if one of the sons was running his business that too in a rented accommodation, it cannot be said that the need of the landlord was not bonafide. The sons of the appellant are not supposed to starve on street till the shop is actually vacated for them.
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