2017 SCC Vol. 2 March 14, 2017 Part 5

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 33, 2(2) and 35-A & Or. 20, Or. 6 R. 4 and Or. 41 R. 27 — Challenge to a decree on ground that it was obtained by fraud concealing relevant/material facts from court: A mere concealment or non-disclosure of relevant facts without intent to deceive or a bald allegation of fraud without proof and intent to deceive, would not render a decree obtained by a party as fraudulent. Fraud must not merely be alleged but proved. It is only after evidence is led to establish intent to deceive that a conclusion of fraud played on court could be arrived at. [Harjas Rai Makhija v. Pushparani Jain, (2017) 2 SCC 797]

Constitution of India — Art. 227 — Maintainability — Delay/Laches/Limitation: No period of limitation has been prescribed for filing petition under Art. 227. If petition is filed with some delay and satisfactory explanation is given for delay then such petition needed to be entertained. Period of limitation prescribed for S. 115 CPC, is inapplicable to petition under Art. 227. [Bithika Mazumdar v. Sagar Pal, (2017) 2 SCC 748]

Constitution of India — Arts. 226 and 21 — Maintainability of writ petition — Questions of fact: Summary dismissal of writ petition alleging torture of petitioner and her family at the hands of certain police officers and seeking various directions in the matter, in a cryptic manner, merely on ground that some disputed questions of fact were involved therein, not proper. [Sangita Vilas Ingle v. State of Maharashtra, (2017) 2 SCC 728]

Contempt of Court — Nature and Scope — Broadly — Role of party other than court and contemnor: There is no scope of impleadment of third party/parties without due consent and authorization of contemnor. Clarified, contempt proceedings are a matter strictly between Court and alleged contemnor. [C.S. Karnan, In Re, (2017) 2 SCC 756]

Courts, Tribunals and Judiciary — Judiciary — Judicial propriety/Bias — Judicial independence and autonomy vis-à-vis probity of Judges: Petitioner, a retired Supreme Court Judge, while holding said office in one of his judgments had banned Jallikattu and after some months he received an award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in whose favour judgment had been delivered. Proceedings instituted by High Court against petitioner Judge on ground of bias favouring PETA, stayed though permission to file SLP granted. [K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan v. Salai Chakrapani, (2017) 2 SCC 795]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 482 and 438 — Quashing of FIR and consequential investigation — Scope of inherent power of High Court under S. 482: Though in appropriate cases, High Court can quash investigation and pass interim order as considered proper, but while declining to interfere investigation, it cannot direct police not to arrest petitioner as that would amount to converting proceedings under S. 482 into those under S. 438 without satisfying its conditions. Practice of filing petition under S. 482 initially for quashing of FIR and investigation and then seeking relief of enlargement on bail on surrendering of petitioner before Magistrate should be stopped and Court should desist from issuing order on that basis as same would neither fall within ambit of S. 482 CrPC nor S. 438 CrPC nor Art. 226 of the Constitution. Power under S. 482 CrPC (or Art. 226 of the Constitution) should be exercised sparingly with judicial self-restraint and circumspection. [State of Telangana v. Habib Abdullah Jeelani, (2017) 2 SCC 779]

Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 (37 of 1966) — Ss. 2(9), (30), 88(a), 125, 126 and 127 — Land acquired for public purpose under town planning scheme: In this case appellants sought release of their land reserved for public purpose under town planning scheme since respondents failed to acquire said land within 10 yrs from final development plan as provided under S. 127, but Court observed that since, S. 127 is not applicable to town planning schemes and the same was finally sanctioned by Government, there was no error in order passed by High Court dismissing writ petitions on ground that S. 127 does not apply to lands reserved for public purpose under town planning scheme, and, as such, there is no lapsing of reservation of land under S. 127. [Pukhrajmal Sagarmal Lunkad v. Municipal Council, Jalgaon, (2017) 2 SCC 722]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 96 and 97 and S. 300 Exception 2: Right of private defence is a mere reasonable apprehension is enough to put the right of self-defence into operation and it is not necessary that there should be an actual commission of offence in order to give rise to right of private defence. [Suresh Singhal v. State (Delhi Admn.), (2017) 2 SCC 737]

Service Law — Pension — Pension Scheme — Exercise of option within period of six months in terms of Regn. 4 of PEPSU Road Transport Corporation Employees’ Pension/Gratuity and General Provident Fund Regulations, 1992: Employee deemed to continue under existing CPF benefit. Further held, in absence of any exception engrafted in deeming provision and deeming provision being legal fiction, it embraces all employees who do not opt for new pension scheme within prescribed period. Since plaintiff had not opted for pension scheme, and after retirement had received CPF benefits without any protest and never before raised any grievance therefor, he cannot be granted benefit of pension scheme which would amount to conferring of double benefit. [PEPSU RTC v. Amandeep Singh, (2017) 2 SCC 766]

Special Relief Act, 1963 — Ss. 38, 39 and 6: Injunction sought by plaintiff gratuitous licensee for restraining co-owners of suit property from dispossessing plaintiff, held, not maintainable. [Behram Tejani v. Azeem Jagani, (2017) 2 SCC 759]

Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 — Ss. 20-A, 20(8), 3 to 5 and 15 — Infraction of S. 20-A(1): An infraction of S. 20-A(1), TADA Act, would vitiate entire proceedings and result in acquittal of accused for offences under TADA Act. Hence, appellant is entitled to be released on bail for following reasons: (i) prior approval required under S. 20-A(1), TADA Act, was not taken from District Superintendent of Police before FIR was recorded; (ii) admittedly, appellant had been suffering incarceration for more than 12 yrs; (iii) only 25 out of 192 witnesses have been examined so far; (iv) there is no likelihood of completion of trial in the near future; and (v) though there is a confessional statement of appellant recorded under S. 15, TADA Act, same cannot be looked into, in view of violation of S. 20-A(1), TADA Act. Therefore, on aforementioned reasons, conditional bail granted to appellant. Also, as the case pertains to year 1993, Designated Court requested to expedite and complete trial at the earliest. [Umarmia v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 2 SCC 731]

Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 — Ss. 20-A and 3 to 5 — Mandatory nature of S. 20-A: Violation of procedure prescribed under S. 20-A, would vitiate entire proceedings with respect to TADA offences. [Umarmiya Ismailmiya Saiyed v. State of Gujarat, (2017) 2 SCC 752]

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