2018 SCC Vol. 10 December 14, 2018 Part 3

Constitution of India — Arts. 16(4-A) and 16(4-B), 330, 341 and 342 — Effectuation of Arts. 16(4-A) and 16(4-B): First precondition for reservation in promotion with consequential seniority for SCs and STs under Arts. 16(4-A) and 16(4-B), laid down in M. Nagaraj, (2006) 8 SCC 212, that States had to (i) collect quantifiable data showing backwardness and inadequacy of representation of SCs & STs in public employment, held, invalid as it is contrary to Indra Sawhney (1), 1992 Supp (3) SCC 217. Second precondition of applicability of creamy layer principle to SCs and STs, held, valid. Thus, the judgment in M. Nagaraj, (2006) 8 SCC 212 does not need to be revisited, and consequently, there is no need to refer it to a seven-Judge Bench. Apart from striking down abovesaid Precondition (i) re collection of quantifiable data, M. Nagaraj, (2006) 8 SCC 212 is good law in every other way. [Jarnail Singh v. Lachhmi Narain Gupta, (2018) 10 SCC 396]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 — Ss. 149, 147 and 166 — Breach of policy terms: In this case as tractor was ensured only for agricultural purposes and not for carrying goods, hence held, appellant who travelled on tractor as a passenger, even though tractor could accommodate only one person, namely, driver and hence, Insurance Company was not liable for loss or injuries suffered by appellant or to indemnify owner of tractor. [Shivaraj v. Rajendra, (2018) 10 SCC 432]

Right to Information Act, 2005 — Ss. 6(1), 6(3) and 27 — Right to information qua illiterate persons, visually impaired persons, persons below poverty line: On analysing proviso to S. 6(1), held, it is the duty of the officer concerned to listen to the persons making the request orally and to reduce their request in writing and process the same. Further, for visually impaired persons, who are unable to write or have difficulty in writing, assistance also has to be rendered under S. 6(1). Also, several States provide information in Braille since the year 2012. Further, several hotline numbers providing toll free access to information are available on the RTI website. Further, R. 5 of Right to Information Rules, 2012 takes care of the persons belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category. Thus, held, no further direction needs to be issued except granting liberty to the petitioner to submit a representation to the competent authority pointing out any other mode(s) available for getting information under the Act. [Aseer Jamal v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 437]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 498-A — Cruelty by Husband and his relatives: Sweeping directions contained in Rajesh Sharma, (2018) 10 SCC 472 regarding Family Welfare Committees, and regarding power of Sessions Judge to settle cases, set aside. Further, directions contained regarding preliminary enquiry, arrest, investigation, designation and training of investigating officers, bail, impounding of passport, Red Corner Notice, clubbing of matters, exemption from appearance, affirmed with modifications. [Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 443]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 498-A — Misuse of S. 498-A — Remedial measures — Directions issued: There is need to check tendency to rope in all family members by making omnibus allegations to settle matrimonial disputes. The fact that most of such complaints were filed in heat of moment over trivial issues and were not bona fide, taken judicial notice of. Besides, uncalled for arrests ruin chances of settlement and even when settlement is arrived at, proceedings continue since offence under S. 498-A is non-compoundable resulting in uncalled hardship to parties. Hence, safeguards, against uncalled for arrest or insensitive investigation necessary. [Rajesh Sharma v. State of U.P., (2018) 10 SCC 472]

Penal Code, 1860 — S. 307 r/w S. 25 of Arms Act — Injuries by gunshot — Benefit of doubt: In this case as prosecution was unable to establish the presence of the appellant at the time of occurrence beyond all reasonable doubt, appellant is entitled to benefit of doubt. Hence conviction of appellant, reversed. [Amrish Rana v. State of H.P., (2018) 10 SCC 482]

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 — Or. 41 Rr. 23 (as applicable to the State of Karnataka) and Or. 41 Rr. 23-A, 25, 26, 27 and 28: Or. 41 R. 23, as applicable to the State of Karnataka and reinforced by Amendment Act of 1976 which introduced R. 23-A, held, is not limited to the decree disposing of the suit on a preliminary point but also where the appellate court in reversing or setting aside the decree under appeal, considers it necessary, in the interest of justice, to remand the case. Further, while exercising such discretion of remand, held, the appellate court is duty-bound to keep in mind Rr. 25 and 26 of Or. 41 CPC. Thus, two options are available with the appellate court i.e. to record the additional evidence itself by permitting the parties to produce evidence before it or direct the court from whose decree the appeal under consideration had arisen, to do so. [Uttaradi Mutt v. Raghavendra Swamy Mutt, (2018) 10 SCC 484]

Constitution of India — Art. 136 — Expunction of adverse/disparaging remarks/observation: In this case certain observations were made against conduct of petitioners and interveners in Tehseen Poonawalla, (2018) 6 SCC 72. Application for expunction of those observations by counsel representing one of such petitioners/interveners, rejected, as it was matter of perception of the counsel concerned that those observations were made personally against them. [Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India, (2018) 10 SCC 498]

Arms Act, 1959 — Ss. 25(1)(a) and 25(1-AA) r/w S. 35: Preconditions for conviction under this section are conscious possession, actual or constructive and control. As in this case vehicle was used in contravention of Arms Act by another without knowledge or consent of owner and when owner is nowhere near the vehicle, conviction of such owner is not sustainable. [Mohd. Rafiq Abdul Rahim Shaikh v. State of Gujarat, (2018) 10 SCC 501]

Criminal Trial — Appreciation of evidence — Credibility of witness: In a criminal trial, normally evidence of wife, husband, son or daughter of deceased, is given great weightage on principle that there is no reason for them not to speak truth and shield real culprit. There is no reason why same principle cannot be applied when such a witness deposes against a closely related accused and why same reverse weightage shall not be given to credibility of such a witness. [Shamim v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2018) 10 SCC 509]

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