2018 SCC Vol. 5 July 7, 2018 Part 5

Administrative Law — Administrative Action — Administrative or Executive Function — Application/Non-Application of Mind: Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) without applying mind to orders of competent authorities and relevant court orders, declined to correct/restore record-of-rights (RoR) in name of appellant, held, which was unsustainable. [Lakshmamma v. BDA, (2018) 5 SCC 760]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Interim relief — P.G. College: In this case involving dispute between Principal and Management, High Court by impugned order restrained appellant from functioning as Principal. Additional interim direction pending disposal, issued. Thus management restrained from filling up post of Principal on a regular basis and High Court directed to dispose of appeal expeditiously before Court closed for summer vacation. [Vandana Tyagi v. Apeejay Saraswati P.G. College for Girls, (2018) 5 SCC 789]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Mohandas Gandhi assassination case: Reopening of long concluded matters based on hearsay evidence and new research by petitioner and only being a futile exercise, not maintainable. [Pankaj Kumudchandra Phadnis v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 785]

Constitution of India — Art. 32 — Police — Compensation for death during discharge of duty — Entitlement to: In this case, while chasing miscreants, police personnel were fired upon, as a result of which, one member of the police party, son of the petitioner died. Petitioner sought various reliefs like compensation, protection to family and expeditious trial. As far as criminal case is concerned, law to take its own course and as far as compensation and other reliefs are concerned, petitioner given liberty to approach State Government. [Ganga Malik v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 771]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 482 — Quashment of proceedings by High Court: Assessment made by High Court at a stage when investigation was yet to be completed, completely incorrect and uncalled for. Interference by High Court, not proper. Case restored to its file and investigation to proceed to its logical conclusion. [State of T.N. v. S. Martin, (2018) 5 SCC 718]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — S. 88 — Power to release accused on bond upon his appearance in court, under S. 88 — Nature of: Said power under S. 88 is not mandatory. It is discretionary in nature. Ordinarily word “may” implies discretion of court. If there is a legal right, word “may” would mean a mandatory duty but S. 88 does not confer any right on any person to be released on his furnishing a bond. Purpose and object of S. 88 is to enable court to facilitate appearance of person concerned in court. Thus, said power clearly discretionary. [Pankaj Jain v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 743]

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 — Ss. 374 and 386(b) — Appeal against conviction: In this case of death by shooting, High Court acquitted all respondent-accused. Acquittal, held, to be justified. [State of U.P. v. Om Pal, (2018) 5 SCC 805]

Criminal Trial — Acquittal — Generally — Presumption of innocence — When strengthened: Presumption of innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened against acquitted accused by judgment in his favour. [Bannareddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 790]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: In this case, E-auction of iron ore was illegally stored and confiscated, by State. High Court mistakenly set aside permission granted by Special Court for such e-auction by State, and directed release of iron-ore to respondent. Said order of the High Court, held to be untenable. Order permitting e-auction passed by Special Court restored and liberty granted to respondent to establish his ownership over iron ore before appropriate court. [State of Karnataka v. Vedanta Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 722]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area: Due to illegal mining in forests of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, PIL regarding illegal extraction of 50.57 metric tonnes of iron ore and its illegal export to foreign companies from port in Karnataka was filed. CBI was directed to register case and conduct investigation. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 730]

Environment Law — Forests, Wildlife and Zoos — Mining and Industry in Forest Area — Illegal Mining: PIL against illegal mining in forest areas of Karnataka and A.P. and illegal export of iron ore to foreign countries from Belekeri Port in Karnataka. CBI investigation directed in the matter. [Samaj Parivartana Samudaya v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 5 SCC 732]

Limitation Act, 1963 — S. 14 — Purpose stated: S. 14 is intended to provide relief against bar of limitation in cases of where remedy is mistakenly taken recourse to or selection of a wrong forum. [Mohinder Singh v. Paramjit Singh, (2018) 5 SCC 698]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149 and 166 — Third-party insurance: Insurance Company is liable to satisfy judgments and awards in respect of third-party risks. Principle of pay-and-recover applies even in absence of liability to pay compensation. [Shivawwa v. National India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2018) 5 SCC 762]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 166 and 168 — Fatal accident — Compensation and interest — Computation: In this case, High Court had not computed income towards future prospects and reduced interest from 12% to 9%. Claimants of deceased, held, entitled to additional compensation of 25% towards future prospects. Further amount of Rs 70,000 computed under conventional heads. Award of interest at 9% p.a. by the High Court, upheld. Accordingly total compensation re-computed and enhanced to Rs 12.67 lakhs. [Bhartiben Nayabha Ker v. Sidabha Pethabha Manke, (2018) 5 SCC 716]

Penal Code, 1860 — Ss. 302/34 — Murder trial — Circumstantial evidence: In this case, prosecution miserably failed to establish chain of events, which points out at guilt of accused. Two complaints (one by brother and other by accused wife, of deceased, respectively) were filed. When accused wife in complaint pointed out that deceased committed suicide by consuming poison, doctor was expected to preserve viscera for chemical analysis, which was not done. Doctor who conducted post-mortem, opined that cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation of throat. Medical evidence in the form of post-mortem report though supports case of prosecution, non-preservation of viscera by doctor, remained fatal to prosecution case. Witnesses specifically supported case of version of accused. There was no apparent injury on dead body of deceased at the time of panchnama. Collective opinion of panch witnesses was that deceased expired due to eating some poisonous substance. There was no direct evidence, as to deceased consuming poison or having been done to death by throttling. Courts below gravely erred in not considering case in accordance with settled principles of law, hence, conviction reversed. [Dev Kanya Tiwari v. State of U.P., (2018) 5 SCC 734]

Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 — Ss. 32, 2(c), 2(d), 2(e), 2(i), 2(k), 2(p), 3(2), 4, 5 and 6 — Power to prescribe qualifications: Parliament conferred rule-making authority upon Central Government to specify minimum qualifications. Specification of qualification should be read in purposive sense which will fulfil objectives of law. Rationale behind prescription of training is that training would sensitise concerned person to salutary objectives and purpose of legislation. [Union of India v. Indian Radiological & Imaging Assn., (2018) 5 SCC 773]

Service Law — Post — Equivalence — Post of Field Supervisor — Whether equivalent to post of Teacher: Field Supervisor falling under Category II of Statute 19(1), (2) & (3) of the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, 1996 can be treated as Teacher only after he is declared as such by the University with prior approval of Board. [Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology v. Upendra Nath Patra, (2018) 5 SCC 693]

Service Law — Promotion — Retrospective promotion: In service matters, especially with regard to promotion, there is always an urgency and aggrieved must approach court at earliest opportunity or within reasonable time as third-party rights accrue in meantime in favour of promotees. Further, any directions at belated stage to consider employees for retrospective promotion after considerable time is bound to have serious administrative implications apart from financial burden on Government. Furthermore, mere repeated filing of representations would not be sufficient explanation for delay in approaching court. [Union of India v. Chaman Rana, (2018) 5 SCC 798]

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