2016 SCC Vol. 6 July 7, 2016 Part 2

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 148 and 151 — Discretion of court to extend time for doing any act prescribed/allowed by CPC: Words “not exceeding thirty days in total” have been inserted vide Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act, 1999, with a view to curtail procedural delay caused by any party to the suit or proceeding. Therefore, enlargement of time under S. 148 CPC, whether one-time or phased, cannot exceed thirty days but, if act could not be performed within thirty days for reasons beyond control of parties, time beyond maximum thirty days can be extended under S. 151 CPC. [Nashik Municipal Corpn. v. R.M. Bhandari, (2016) 6 SCC 245]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Service matters — Interference with quantum of punishment — When permissible: High Court can interfere with quantum of punishment only after taking into consideration totality of facts and circumstances of case, such as nature and gravity of charges levelled against employee, whether proved and, if so, to what extent, entire service record, remaining tenure, etc. [Delhi Police v. Sat Narayan Kaushik, (2016) 6 SCC 303]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 195 — Perjury — Unconditional apology — False statements before Company Court: As appellant (a company secretary) tendered unconditional apology and humbly begged to be pardoned and in affidavit before Supreme Court he stated that he never had intention to show any disrespect or dishonour to court; that alleged false statements were unintentional; that appellant would not indulge in anysuch adventures in future, in view of said apology, unconditional apology tendered by appellant accepted. Therefore, other parallel proceedings under Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and S. 21, Company Secretaries Act, 1980 would not be proper to continue and thus directed to be closed. [Dhiren Dave v. Surat Dyes, (2016) 6 SCC 253]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Power of High Court under — When to be exercised: There was alleged forgery and misappropriation of funds re creation of a website which tried to set up a concern independent of concern that paid for the website. In criminal proceedings which constitute abuse of process of court, Supreme Court held that as allegations inherently improbable and no sufficient ground to proceed further, evident from complaint itself, prosecution quashed. [Ramesh Rajagopal v. Devi Polymers (P) Ltd., (2016) 6 SCC 310]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 154, 156(1) & (3) and 36 — Non-registration of FIR or improper investigation by police — Remedy in matters of: Remedy in such matters does not lie before High Court under Art. 226 of Constitution but before Magistrate concerned under S. 156(3) CrPC. If on an application under S. 156(3) CrPC, Magistrate is prima facie satisfied, he can: (i) direct registration of FIR, (ii) if FIR has already been registered, issue a direction for proper investigation to be made, which includes, if he deems it necessary, recommending change of investigating officer, and can also (iii) monitor the investigation. [Sudhir Bhaskarrao Tambe v. Hemant Yashwant Dhage, (2016) 6 SCC 277]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 156(3) and 154 — Power of Magistrate under S. 156(3) CrPC to direct police to register an FIR before commencing investigation in a matter: To enable police to start investigation in a matter, Magistrate can direct police to register an FIR in that case. Even where a Magistrate does not do so in explicit words but directs or investigation under S. 156(3) CrPC, the police should register an FIR. [Hemant Yashwant Dhage v. State of Maharashtra, (2016) 6 SCC 273]

Debt, Debt Recovery and Relief — Sale of debtor’s property: As auction-sale of property of defaulter conducted pursuant to decree (of Rs 92,94,183) obtained by Bank to recover loan amount but Court was not satisfied about adequacy of the price, grant of opportunity to defaulter subsequent to such auction-sale to pay the complete outstanding dues of the Bank in instalments, before auction-sale had been confirmed, and as there was large shortfall between highest bid and total dues. [D. Nageswar Rao v. SBI, (2016) 6 SCC 279]

Election — Corrupt Practices/Electoral Offences — Bribery — Whether pleading in election petition in present case disclosed cause of action: In this case where pleading about corrupt practice, more particularly about violation of directions/instructions of Election Commissioner of India [in Para 7(B) of election petition] included that returned candidate used vehicles without permission of Returning Officer and campaigned after closure of electioneering, bribed and influenced voters and when this was objected to by some voters and police was informed, only a station diary entry was made instead of an FIR, High Court held that Para 7(B) even if proved would not be sufficient to establish corrupt practice as detailed particulars about the time, place and persons to whom bribe of cash and gift of other articles were given and the amount of cash and the nature of articles given by way of gifts have not been pleaded, High Court view on Para 7(B), reversed and held that material particulars had been given in Para 7(B) which disclosed cause of action. Hence only said para, forming the part of the election petition is ordered to be restored. Further held that so far as rest of the paras are concerned the High Court was right while striking them off. [Jagabandhu Behera v. Subrat Tarai, (2016) 6 SCC 256]

Estoppel, Acquiescence and Waiver — Estoppel — Applicability of: As award of contract of ghat in question by way of public auction and persons who participated in bid including the highest bidder, were not interested in taking said contract, consequently, appellant Society, which neither participated in auction nor submitted its bid, given an offer to have the ghat settled in its favour on payment of Rs 16,00,000 i.e. the highest bid received and acceptance of bid by Society but under protest, hence subsequent challenge to bid amount by Society, not justified. [Alauli Anchal Boat Traffic Coop. Society Ltd. v. State of Bihar, (2016) 6 SCC 296]

Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 — S. 13(1): To constitute an offence under S. 13(1), goods in relation to gold, silver, precious stones or foreign currency have to be brought from abroad to India. As goods brought by appellant were not such goods, conviction under S. 13(1)(a) of accused, cannot be sustained. [V. Varadarajan v. CCE, (2016) 6 SCC 264]

Government Grants, Largesse, Public Property and Premises — Eligibility criteria: School leaving certificate issued by a higher secondary school although not in list of documents mentioned as proof of age, held, cannot be rejected. It is relevant that even a mere affidavit as proof of age was acceptable as per list of mentioned documents. Requirements as per Cl. 2(c) of eligibility criteria are as follows: attested copy of either matriculation or secondary school leaving certificate indicating date of birth or identity card issued by Election Commission or PAN card or passport or an affidavit as proof of age. Held, school leaving certificate, as the very expression indicates, is issued by the school since the pupil leaves the school. The requirement of the Corporation is only a proof regarding the age. No doubt, certain documents are specified in the eligibility criteria which would be accepted by the Corporation as proof of age. In case a copy of the secondary school leaving certificate can be accepted as proof of age, it does not even strike to common sense as to why the copy of the higher secondary school leaving certificate, duly attested, cannot be accepted. [Hina v. Union of India, (2016) 6 SCC 293] 

Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959 (11 of 1959) — S. 30(5) — Powers of Registrar of Cooperative Societies under — Scope of: Registrar is bound to supersede Managing Committee of cooperative bank when a written requisition is made by Reserve Bank of India in relation thereto. [RBI v. N. Venkateshaiah, (2016) 6 SCC 266]

Labour Law — Labour Court/Industrial Tribunal — Jurisdiction — Cause of action — Situs of employment — Relevance: As appellant was employed by respondent Company in Aurangabad, transferred to Pondicherry, and consequent upon decision to close down unit at Pondicherry by Company in Aurangabad, his services terminated. held, both Labour Courts at Pondicherry and Aurangabad would have jurisdiction to decide appellant’s case viz. Labour Court at Pondicherry since appellant’s services were terminated there and Labour Court at Aurangabad because decision to terminate him was taken at Aurangabad and thus, part of cause of action had arisen there. [Nandram v. Garware Polyster Ltd., (2016) 6 SCC 290]

Land Acquisition Act, 1894 — S. 23 — Compensation — Comparable instances — Enhancement of compensation: In this case, big chunk of land admeasuring approximately 270 bighas and 15 biswas was acquired in three different villages, for establishment of a power house by S. 4 Noti. on 3-6-1987 and since for land abutting subject-matter of present appeals forming part of one chunk of land, a sum of Rs 32,951 per bigha had been awarded by High Court in Ram Kishan, 2004 SCC OnLine Del 155 decided on 4-3-2004, same amount of compensation awarded to present appellants in respect of their acquired land and statutory benefits to be awarded to appellants. [N.D. Sharma v. Union of India, (2016) 6 SCC 281]

Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 (1 of 1972) — Ss. 30, 32 and Sch. IV — “Appropriate Government”: In this case where complaint was filed against respondent HAL for reinstatement of trainees with continuity of service and back wages, “appropriate Government” in relation to respondent Company is the State Government and not Central Government as erroneously found by Division Bench in impugned judgment. Hence, matter remitted to High Court for reconsideration afresh since Division Bench had not dwelt on merits of case but only decided appeal on grounds of maintainability. [Nashik Workers Union v. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., (2016) 6 SCC 224]

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 — Ss. 17-A(2), 2, 10, 18: While State Government retains ownership of minerals in land owned by it, by virtue of S. 2, Parliament controls regulation and development thereof. For reservation of any area by State Government even in land owned by it (coastal stretches in State of Kerala in this case i.e. land owned by State Government) for mining operation in accordance with its policy (State Industrial Policy, 2007), Central Government’s approval and issuance of notification in Official Gazette in terms of S. 17-A(2) is mandatory. In absence of compliance with these essential conditions, there can be no valid reservation under S. 17-A(2). Industrial Policy adopted by State of Kerala of undertaking mining operation only through government company or corporation thus has no statutory status and it also runs contrary to National Mining Policy, 2008. State’s general executive power also cannot be invoked to make reservation of area, dehors requirements of S. 17-A of MMDR Act. [State of Kerala v. Kerala Rare Earth & Minerals Ltd., (2016) 6 SCC 323]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 397/34 and Ss. 302, 390/392/457 r/w S. 34 — Relevant offence(s) not included in charges framed: In this case, Respondent-accused, committed robbery in the house of N and committed murder of N and after investigation charge-sheet under Ss. 120-B/302/380/394 and Ss. 397 r/w S. 34 IPC was laid against respondents, Trial court framed charges under Ss. 120-B/302/390/392/457 r/w S. 34 IPC, two respondents were convicted under Ss. 390/392/457 r/w S. 34 and third respondent additionally convicted under S. 302 but High Court found fault with trial court in omitting to frame charge under S. 397 against respondents and remitted matter to trial court to frame charge under S. 397 against respondent accused and to undertake a fresh consideration of materials on record and to record additional evidence if required It was held by Supreme Court that though S. 397 having regard to case of prosecution, may not be wholly irrelevant, charges framed against respondents by trial court, do adequately encompass all essential facts building up offences imputed against them, hence, impugned decision set aside. Criminal appeals filed by respondents before High Court restored, for disposal afresh in accordance with law. [Bharamappa Gogi v. Praveen Murthy, (2016) 6 SCC 268]

Rent Control and Eviction — Eviction of licensee — Recovery of compensation with interest — Fraud on court to thwart execution: As execution proceedings for recovery of arrears of compensation from licensee by attachment and sale of licensee’s property, initiated by licensor after eviction and delivery of possession but the said execution proceedings opposed by licensee (R-1) by setting up an MoU and an unregistered agreement with her daughter (R-2) indicating that licensee had sold her property to her unmarried daughter who would look after and maintain her mother even after her marriage It was held that MoU and agreement were a sham, set up by licensee in collusion with her daughter to defeat and frustrate execution proceedings, hence, licensor entitled to carry out execution. [Kusum Harilal Soni v. Chandrika Nandlal Mehta, (2016) 6 SCC 317]

Sales Tax and VAT — Concession/Exemption/Incentive/Rebate — AY 1995-1996 — Exemption Noti. No. S.O. 89/CA.74/56/S.8/95 dt. 4-9-1995 issued under S. 8(5) of CST Act r/w R. 28-A(4)(c) of 1975 Rules issued by Haryana State Government: As per Notification dt. 4-9-1995, no sales tax is payable w.e.f. 1-4-1988 on sale of goods during period of exemption that are manufactured in State of Haryana by any dealer who holds a valid exemption certificate under R. 28-A of the Rules. When r/w R. 28-A(4)(c) this exemption is extended to all successive stages of sale and purchase in intra-State trade or commerce i.e. within the State of Haryana. Such sales may be one or successive and tax at all stages is exempt. That is to say cumulative effect of notification r/w R. 28-A(4)(c) is that it extends the benefit granted under R. 28-A(2)(n)(ii) which relates to inter-State trade or commerce to intra-State sale or purchase. The exemption, therefore, is goods specific, subject of course to other conditions being satisfied. Hence, third parties selling exempted goods in course of inter-State sales entitled to exemption under said notification r/w R. 28-A(4)(c), if all other requirements therefor are satisfied. [Casio India Co. (P) Ltd. v. State of Haryana, (2016) 6 SCC 209]

Service Law — Reservation — Prejudice to general merit category candidates, if any, caused by new reservation policy: In this case new reservation policy was made applicable even to competitive examination already held for selection to gazetted posts for which results not announced and selection made pursuant to such examination, held that no prejudice would be caused to general merit category candidates, by new reservation policy. [Mirza Ali Raza v. State of Bihar, (2016) 6 SCC 283]

 

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