2017 SCC Vol. 4 April 28, 2017 Part 1

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 41 R. 23-A and Or. 27 R. 5-B — Remand of case: In this suit against Government and local bodies for declaration of plaintiff’s title to land, permanent injunction and recovery of possession, decree passed by trial court in favour of plaintiff, reversed by High Court in appeal on ground of appellant-plaintiff’s failure to prove ownership over suit land without affording him opportunity to prove his title by remanding case to trial court for retrial. It was held that case deserves to be remanded to trial court in exercise of power under Or. 41 R. 23-A for retrial of suit on merits by affording parties to adduce additional evidence in support of their case. However, court must in first instance act in terms of Or. 27 R. 5-B by endeavouring to assist parties in arriving at a settlement. [Mohan Kumar v. State of M.P., (2017) 4 SCC 92]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — S. 100 — Second appeal: In this suit concerning taxes levied by local authorities, various issues arouse out of challenge to levy of municipal taxes but High Court dismissed second appeal in limine holding that no substantial questions of law arose in the case, hence, the order of High Court was not sustainable and set aside. [Faridabad Complex Admn. v. Iron Master India (P) Ltd., (2017) 4 SCC 136]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Ss. 50 & 146 and Or. 21 Rr. 32 & 16 — Execution proceedings against legal representatives of judgment-debtor: In this case after passing of decree for permanent injunction against defendant in respect of heritable property in possession of plaintiff title-holder, defendant died and execution petition was filed by decree-holder plaintiff against heirs of deceased defendant-judgment-debtor, it was held that heirs of judgment-debtor are bound by decree and decree is enforceable against them by virtue of S. 50 r/w Or. 21 R. 32. Maxim “actio personalis moritur cum persona” i.e. personal action dies with the person, applicable to limited kinds of causes of action and not applicable to this case. [Prabhakara Adiga v. Gowri, (2017) 4 SCC 97]

Constitution of India — Art. 226 — Maintainability — Disputed questions of fact: Respondent Corporation issued show-cause notices to appellant-petitioner, through which it was informed that electricity supply and water supply would be disconnected. When these show-cause notices were challenged in writ proceedings, High Court declined to interfere on ground of disputed questions of fact and suit for specific performance in respect of the same property being pending before civil court. Supreme Court held that when the show-cause notices issued by statutory authorities were challenged on permissible grounds, disputed questions of fact involved in matter cannot preclude High Court from exercising judicial review. Pendency of civil suit between parties or failure of parties to arrive at settlement cannot be ground for declining to examine challenge to show-cause notices. Hence, order passed by High Court set aside and matter remanded to High Court for fresh consideration. [Rufina D’Souza v. Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai, (2017) 4 SCC 81]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 235(2) — Right of being heard before sentence is awarded: It is true that the convict has a right to be heard before sentence, but, there is no mandate in S. 235(2) CrPC to fix separate date for hearing on sentence. It depends on facts and circumstances as to whether a separate date is required for hearing on sentence or parties feel convenient to argue on sentence on the same day. [B.A. Umesh v. High Court of Karnataka, (2017) 4 SCC 124]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 173(8), 156(3) and 202 — Relative scope of role and powers of Magistrate under, explained: Considering the scheme of CrPC, held, though Magistrate can direct further investigation under S. 156(3) CrPC at pre-cognizance stage even after a charge-sheet or a closure report is submitted, but if cognizance has been taken and accused appears before court in pursuance of process issued by court or where accused is discharged, Magistrate, in absence of any request by investigating agency, possesses no power to direct further investigation in the case either suo motu or on prayer made by complainant/informant. Further investigation at that stage can be directed by Magistrate only on request of investigating agency/officer and that too in circumstances warranting further investigation on detection of material evidence to secure fair investigation and trial. Reason therefor is that by virtue of insertion of sub-section (8) to S. 173 in new CrPC of 1973 pursuant to recommendations made by Law Commission of India in its 41st Report, the investigating agency/officer alone has been authorised to conduct further investigation, desirably after informing the court and obtaining its approval, at any stage of the proceedings. Further clarified, though the investigation that can be directed by Magistrate under S. 202 CrPC is at a post-cognizance stage, such a direction is not in the nature of further investigation as contemplated under S. 173(8) CrPC. [Amrutbhai Shambhubhai Patel v. Sumanbhai Kantibhai Patel, (2017) 4 SCC 177]

Criminal Trial — Motive — When becomes relevant — Murder trial: Though motive of crime is not necessarily required to be proved, but in case like present one, where appellant-accused are named on suspicion by informant PW 6 in the FIR (which does not contain names of PWs 4 and 5 as witnesses who had seen the occurrence), the motive appears to be a relevant fact. [Pawan v. State of Haryana, (2017) 4 SCC 140]

Education and Universities — Admission — Admission Procedure — Allotment of campus — Transfer of campus: As norms of admission of University absolutely prohibit permission of transfer, merely because vacancy occurs at other campus, no right accrues in favour of candidate who already had exercised option. Further held, where University decides to grant request of transfer it must be in exceptional and extraordinary circumstances (student suffering from malignancy and lack of medical facility in campus concerned) which is subject to judicial scrutiny. [Anna Juhi John v. English & Foreign Languages Universities, (2017) 4 SCC 144]

Education and Universities — Examination — Unfair means/Cheating/Leakage of question paper/Cancellation of examination — Mass copying and use of unfair means on large scale — Vyapam Scam: Appellants who had participated in a well thought out and meticulously orchestrated fraudulent plan to get MBBS admissions/degrees, are not entitled to any relief in exercise of extraordinary power under Art. 142 of the Constitution. Hence, their admissions and results in MBBS examinations based thereon, rightly cancelled. [Nidhi Kaim v. State of M.P., (2017) 4 SCC 1]

Family and Personal Laws — Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — S. 13(1)(ia) — Mental cruelty — When may not be inferred: Some isolated incidents alleged to have occurred 8-10 yrs prior to filing of petition cannot furnish subsisting cause of action and also cannot constitute an act of cruelty to grant divorce. Incidents alleged should be of recurring or continuing nature and should occur in near proximity to filing of petition. [Suman Singh v. Sanjay Singh, (2017) 4 SCC 85]

Government Contracts and Tenders — Formation of Government Contract — Notice inviting tenders (NIT) — Interpretation by courts: Words used in document cannot be treated to be surplusage or superfluous or redundant. They must be given some meaning and weightage. Courts should be inclined to suppose that every word is intended to have some effect or be of some use. Rejecting words as insensible should be last resort of judicial interpretation. As far as possible, courts should avoid construction which would render words used by author of document meaningless and futile or reduce or silence any part of document and make it altogether inapplicable. If interpretation of tender documents adopted by tender inviting authority suffers from mala fide or perversity then courts can interpret documents. Interpretation given by tender inviting authority not acceptable to courts is no reason for interfering with interpretation adopted by authority. [JSW Infrastructure Ltd. v. Kakinada Seaports Ltd., (2017) 4 SCC 170]

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 — Ss. 19 and 13 — Transfer of proceedings — Alternatives to transfer of proceedings, to suit convenience of both parties and also serve ends of justice: Directions issued that in matrimonial or custody matters wherever defendants/respondents are located outside jurisdiction of court, court where proceedings are instituted may examine whether it is in interest of justice to incorporate any safeguards like: (i) availability of videoconferencing facility; (ii) availability of legal aid service; (iii) deposit of costs of travel, lodging and boarding in terms of Or. 25 R. 1 CPC; and (iv) e-mail address/phone number, if any, at which litigant from outstation may communicate and in case found feasible order incorporating such safeguards may be sent along with summons. [Krishna Veni Nagam v. Harish Nagam, (2017) 4 SCC 150]

Labour Law — Penalty/Punishment — Judicial review/Validity — Jurisdiction of High Court: In this case where forging passing certificate for drawing additional monetary benefits by the delinquent employee was concluded, High Court will not reappreciate evidence and its jurisdiction is limited only to examine whether there is evidence in support of impugned conclusion. [SBI v. Smita Sharad Deshmukh, (2017) 4 SCC 75]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166, 167 and 168 — Compensation — Amount received in excess due to withdrawal of sums awarded by Tribunal, which were later much reduced in appeal: Though liberty was given to appellant Insurance Company to recover excess sum payable to respondents, however, having regard to peculiar facts of present case, it is an eminently fit case to invoke jurisdiction under Art. 142 of Constitution for reason that deceased employee died at 32 yrs and claimants having not been granted 50% of enhancement in salary, no amount given to minor towards loss of love, care and protection and further that for consortium only Rs 25,000 was paid, appeal by Insurance Company, dismissed. [Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Radhika Gupta, (2017) 4 SCC 159]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 302 — Murder trial — Death by shooting: As reversal of conviction by High Court was based on improper reasoning of High Court, on basis of minor doubts and technicalities and trial court had advantage of observing demeanour of witnesses, hence conviction recorded by it could not have been lightly set aside. There was also presence of credible ocular evidence of eyewitness who witnessed the shooting which was found truthful and stood corroborated by fact that bullets were recovered from body of deceased and also stood corroborated by testimony of other witness. No evidence of false implication of accused was also present, hence, conviction of accused, restored. [Himanshu Mohan Rai v. State of U.P., (2017) 4 SCC 161]

Rent Control and Eviction — Rent Control Act — Applicability of, to pending proceedings — Law summarized: Rent Act would apply to pending proceedings, only if Rent Act contains specific provision to that effect. [Rajender Bansal v. Bhuru, (2017) 4 SCC 202]

Service Law — Regularisation — Entitlement to — Principles summarized: Part-time or casual employment is meant to serve exigencies of administration and continuance in such service for long period confers no right to regularisation especially when scheme of regularisation is missing from rule-book and regularisation casts huge financial implications on public exchequer. [State of T.N. v. A. Singamuthu, (2017) 4 SCC 113]

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × one =