2016 SCC Vol. 2 February 7, 2016 Part 1

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 22 R. 2 — Partial abatement of suit and appeal — When possible: As one of several plaintiffs died during pendency of appeal before High Court and LRs not brought on record and each one of the plaintiffs having independent and distinct right of his own i.e. definite share in estate of deceased without having any conflicting interest inter se, also each of the reversioners claiming his own specific share, hence on death of one of the plaintiffs, right to sue survived of surviving plaintiffs.  Thus, appeal would not abate as a whole but would abate only qua deceased plaintiffs as decree challenged in appeal was not a joint and indivisible decree. Merely because individual claims of plaintiffs being of similar nature were clubbed and dealt with together, it should not be treated as joint claim. [State of A.P. v. Pratap Karan, (2016) 2 SCC 82]

Constitution of India — Arts. 21, 47, 48-A, 51-A(g), 32 and 226 — Vehicular pollution in Delhi: Steps directed to be taken to check pollution by commercial traffic travelling via Delhi, despite alternative routes being available. Direction for imposition of Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) at the rates specified in para 4 of present order with respect to various categories of such commercial vehicles and other directions issued. Instant order, held, will override any order to the contrary by any authority. [M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, (2016) 2 SCC 33]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 197 — Prosecution of public servants — Previous sanction from appropriate Government — Essentials of: For purpose of obtaining previous sanction from appropriate Government under S. 197 CrPC, it is imperative that alleged offence is committed in discharge of official duty by accused. It is also important for court to examine allegations against accused, to decide whether previous sanction is required to be obtained from appropriate Government before taking cognizance of alleged offence against accused. [N.K. Ganguly v. CBI, (2016) 2 SCC 143]

Hindu Succession Act, 1956 — S. 14(1) or S. 14(2) — Applicability: Property given to Hindu woman in lieu of her pre-existing right of maintenance, even if by will creating only life interest, same would get transformed into absolute right by operation of S. 14(1). Even in absence of express words in will that life interest granted to her is in lieu of her maintenance, if same can be gathered from nature of arrangements made in will for her enjoyment of the property and if no one disputed the arrangement pursuant to which she continued to enjoy the property in lieu of maintenance, then no pleading and further proof required to substantiate the fact. [Jupudy Pardha Sarathy v. Pentapati Rama Krishna, (2016) 2 SCC 56]

Hindu Succession Act, 1956 — S. 6 [as substituted by Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 39 of 2005] —Applicability: S. 6 is not retrospective in operation. It applies only when both coparcener and his daughter were alive on date of commencement of Amendment Act i.e. 9-9-2005, irrespective of date of birth of daughter and coparcener who died thereafter. [Prakash v. Phulavati, (2016) 2 SCC 36]

Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 — Ss. 142(2) & 142-A — Dishonour of cheque — Territorial jurisdiction for filing complaint: S. 142(2)(a), vests jurisdiction for initiating proceedings under S. 138, inter alia, in the territorial jurisdiction of court, where cheque is delivered for collection (through an account of branch of bank where payee or holder in due course maintains an account). Again, insofar as offence under S. 138 is concerned, on the issue of jurisdiction, provisions of CrPC would have to give way to provisions of instant enactment on account of non obstante clause in S. 142-A(1). Likewise, based on S. 142-A(1), any judgment, decree, order or direction issued by a court, would have no effect insofar as territorial jurisdiction for initiating proceedings under S. 138 is concerned. [Bridgestone India (P) Ltd. v. Inderpal Singh, (2016) 2 SCC 75]

Property Law — Mortgage — Sale of mortgaged property by mortgagee without intervention of Court: Protection of rights of auction-purchaser in mortgage sale by mortgagee without intervention of court, on sale being set aside, is available only in case auction-purchaser is a bona fide auction-purchaser. [B.S. Sheshagiri Setty v. State of Karnataka, (2016) 2 SCC 123]

Public Accountability, Vigilance and Prevention of Corruption — Vigilance Authorities — CBI and CBI investigation: Due to shortage of manpower overburdened CBI reluctant to take up further cases of Saradha Chit Fund Scam. Hence, absence of comprehensive review of cadre strength since formation of CBI in 1963 and non-filling of vacancies and lackadaisical attitude of Government and non-performance of governmental function and Government not giving priority in filling up vacancies in CBI without any practical explanation for said negligence, strongly deprecated. Directions issued to remedy manpower problems of CBI. Central Government directed to expeditiously take steps within 2 months for a comprehensive review of cadre strength of CBI and thereafter complete such review within 4 months. Central Government also directed to immediately fill up vacancies within existing cadre. Thus, Central Government directed to attend to and process all proposals pending consideration at different levels. [Subrata Chattoraj v. Union of India, (2016) 2 SCC 1]

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