Case BriefsHigh Courts

Manipur High Court: Kh. Nobin Singh, J. allowed civil revision petition questioning the validity and correctness of the order passed by the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Imphal East.

In the present case, a suit was instituted by the petitioner in a land dispute, without the originals of the documents being filed in support of his case. When he realised his mistake, he filed an application praying for leave to file original documents which was rejected on the ground that the sufficient cause for non-production of the documents was not shown and that the provision of law under which the application had been filed, was not mentioned in the application. The second application was filed by the petitioner stating that he simply signed the application drafted by his counsel and due to lack of communication and under the impression that since the copies of the documents had been filed, their originals would be allowed to be filed without any objection. The Court of Civil Judge, Senior Division dismissed the application on the ground that the application was barred by the principles of ‘res judicata’ being a successive application in the same court on the same facts. Aggrieved thereby, the petitioner filed the instant civil revision petition before the High Court.

The Court observed, “the earlier application had been rejected on technical grounds and not on merits.” Reliance was placed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Kewal Chand Mimani v. S.K. Sen, (2001) 6 SCC 512, where it was held, “if the earlier suit had not been decided on merits, the mere dismissal thereof could be of no help in invoking the principles of res judicata.”

The Court held that the principles of ‘res judicata’ would not be applicable in the instant case as the same applies to a case “where the earlier application or for that matter, a suit or any petition has been decided on merit and that too, between the same parties.”

Thus, the petition was allowed and parties were directed to appear before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Imphal West.[Moiranthem Basanta Singh v. Thockchom Mangol Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine Mani 63, decided on 02-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Dr A.K.Rath, J., dismissed the petition that was filed against an order of the trial court which rejected the application of the plaintiff to mark the documents as exhibits after closure of evidence.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner instituted a suit for partition. Thereafter the litigation started. After the closure of evidence, the plaintiff filed an application to exhibit a letter which they considered cardinal in the present litigation. The same was rejected which led to the present writ petition. Mr Udgata, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the convention that no application should be entertained once the trial or hearing is concluded and the case is reserved for judgment is not a straitjacket formula and if in the interest o justice it should be allowed. The counsel for the other party argued that the documents were no way connected to the present suit thus the application should not be allowed.

The Court dismissed the petition stating that there was no exceptional or extraordinary circumstance to admit the documents as exhibits. The documents were not relevant to the matter in issue and the application was filed to cover up the lacunae. [Binod Kishore Mohanty v. Hiramani Mohanty,2018 SCC OnLine Ori 427, decided on 12-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Shree Chandrashekhar, J., allowed a writ petition filed against the order of the Appellate Court whereby his application under Order XLI Rule 27 was rejected.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the Appellate Court was justified in rejecting the appellant’s application for filing additional documents under Order XLI Rule 27 of CPC.

The High Court observed that ordinarily in the appellate stage, additional documents should not be allowed, however, there are exceptions to this rule. Such an application for taking on record additional evidence at the appellate stage can be entertained in cases where it can be proved that the party did not get the opportunity to file the same documents at the lower stage. It can also be entertained in cases where it can be proved that in the absence of those additional pieces of evidence justice would not be served. Further, Rule 27(1)(b) empowers the court to admit additional evidence in the appellate stage for any other substantial cause which the court may deem fit. The Court referred to the case of Union of India v. Ibrahim Uddin, (2012) 8 SCC 148 and observed that in cases in which on the face of the records it is apparent that a party to the suit was grossly negligent and fails to establish due diligence on his part and in cases where the application for taking additional evidence is found frivolous, a decision on the application under Order XLI Rule 27 CPC should be taken by the Appellate Court at the end of the final hearings in the appeal.

The Court held that the appellate court had given findings on merits of the lease-deeds which were sought to be brought on record by the petitioner and hence the Appellate Court had prejudged the matter without taking lease deeds on record. The Court set aside the impugned order and restored the application of petitioner under Order XLI Rule 27 of the CPC to its original file. [Uma Shankar Singh v. State of Jharkhand,2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 1263, order dated 12-09-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Shree Chandrashekhar, J., allowed a writ petition filed against the order of Respondent-authority whereby petitioner’s claim for compassionate appointment after the death of his mother was rejected.

The main issue, in this case, was whether the respondent authorities can come up with a new ground for rejection of petitioner’s application in subsequent proceedings.

The Court, in this case, observed that initially the claim of petitioner was rejected by the respondents on the ground that the petitioner ought to have applied for a compassionate appointment within six months from the death of his mother. The Court had then rejected the plea of the respondent and had directed them to reconsider the case of petitioner, however the same was again rejected on the ground that the petitioner was below fifteen years of age at the time of death of his mother and hence he could not have been kept on live-roaster for compassionate appointment.

This plea was not raised by the respondent authorities previously and the respondents had come up with this new contention only after the matter was once directed to be re-considered. Hence, the Court held that if this is allowed then it would lead to a never-ending series of litigation and the contention of the respondents was rejected. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the order of the respondent authorities was quashed by the Court.[Budhu Oraon v. Central Coal Fields Limited,2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 640, dated 12-07-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court allowed a petition under Section 29-A(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, (hereinafter, the ‘Act’), seeking extension of time for making of the arbitral award by the Tribunal.

The respondents argued that since the Arbitral Tribunal had been constituted on an application under Section 11 of the Act filed before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the present petition would be outside the jurisdiction of this Court in view of Section 42 of the Act. To this argument, the Court relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of State of West Bengal v. Associated Contractors, (2015) 1 SCC 32  to reiterate that applications under Section 11 do not per se count as an application before a Court as to be understood by the language of Section 42, within the meaning of Section 2(1)(e) of the Act. Hence, it was held that the Court, which otherwise has jurisdiction is competent to entertain the petition. Establishing it’s jurisdiction, the Court reiterated the judgment in the Supreme Court case of Indus Mobile Distribution Pvt. Ltd. v. Datawind Innovations Pvt. Ltd., (2017) 7 SCC 678, wherein it was held that the seat of arbitration, which was Delhi in the instant case, would dictate the Court of exclusive jurisdiction.

The Court observed that no submissions were made by the respondent against extension of time and also, in the opinion of the Court, the time for making of award deserved to be extended. The period of time for making of award was extended by a period of six months. Petition allowed. [Raheja Developers Ltd. v. Proto Developers and Technologies Ltd, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 6966, decided on 30.01.2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

High Court of Orissa : In a path breaking decision the Bench comprising of S.K. Sahoo, J.,while answering a vital question that whether a women being an ‘aggrieved person’ can file an application before the Magistrate under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act for domestic violence against the accused/respondent irrespective of the fact whether she is living in with the accused/respondent in share-household or not at the time of filing an application, observed for subjecting a woman to any act of domestic violence as defined under Section 3 of the PWDV Act and maintaining an application under Section 12 of the  Act, it is not necessary that the woman concerned must be living with the accused/respondent under one roof or in a shared household at the time of presenting the application to the Magistrate.

The petitioner had challenged the order passed by learned Sessions Judge and the  SDJM, Bhubaneswar basing its reliance on the case, Amit Agarwal v. Sanjay Aggarwal reported in 2016 (2) Crimes 783, that the suit filed by the opposite party under the provisions of PWDV Act is not maintainable on various grounds including that there existed no “domestic relationship” between the parties for almost 4 years therefore, without existence and continuance of domestic relationship between the parties, taking recourse to the provisions of the PWDV Act by the opposite party against the petitioner is not maintainable in the eye of law.

The Court upholding the contentions of the learned council for the opposite party observed that an ‘aggrieved person’ can file an application in case she is subjected to any act domestic violence although it is it is not necessary that the ‘aggrieved person’ concerned must be living with the respondent under one roof or in a shared household at the time of presenting the application to the Magistrate however,the ‘aggrieved person’ if have lived together with the respondent at any point of time, when they are related by consanguinity, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, can maintain an application before the Magistrate under Section 12.

The Court dismissed the review criminal petition as being devoid of merits and stated that learned Magistrate has rightly rejected the petition filed by the petitioner challenging maintainability of the proceeding under the PWDV Act since the opposite party is the ‘aggrieved person’ within the meaning of the Act and the alleged overt acts committed by the petitioner of regularly coming to the rented house of the opposite party at Bhubaneswar and subjecting her to physical and mental torture after living separately, on the opposite party as mentioned in the application prima facie makes out a case of domestic violence and merely because they are living at separate places since 2012 does not snapped their ‘domestic relationship’ of being husband and wife. [Giridhari Nath v Mamitarani Sutar, 2016 SCC OnLine Ori 818, decided on 11th November, 2016]