Supreme Court Weekly Digest With Subject /Statute Wise Index [May 01 to 10]

Update: 2024-06-14 12:20 GMT
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Citations 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 340 to 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 360BankRecipients of a fixed deposit cannot suffer at the cost of the criminal conduct of the Bank officials and that, in such an event the Bank would be held vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees. Leelawati Devi v. District Cooperative Bank Ltd., 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 346Bar AssociationThe Supreme Court directs minimum...

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Citations 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 340 to 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 360


Recipients of a fixed deposit cannot suffer at the cost of the criminal conduct of the Bank officials and that, in such an event the Bank would be held vicariously liable for the conduct of their employees. Leelawati Devi v. District Cooperative Bank Ltd., 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 346

Bar Association

The Supreme Court directs minimum 1/3rd women's reservation in Supreme Court Bar Association posts from 2024 elections. Supreme Court Bar Association v. B.D. Kaushik, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 340

Civil Appeal

Application for condonation of delay filed by stranger to suit – Held, the approach of the trial court in entertaining an application filed at the behest of a stranger for condonation of delay in filing an application for restoration of the subject suit is totally unsustainable in law and illegal. (Para 9) Vijay Laxman Bhawe v. P and S Nirman Pvt. Ltd, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 360

The appellant was an elected representative. Held, the elected members cannot be removed at the whims and fancies of the civil servants or their political masters only because some of such elected members are found to be inconvenient within the system. The removal of the appellant from the office of Councilor/Vice-President with a further ban on him to contest election for six years is highly excessive and disproportionate to the nature of the so-called misconduct attributed to him. (Para 10, 11, 12) Makarand @ Nandu v. State of Maharashtra, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 354

Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Section 13 – Bar of Res Judicata – Maintainability of suit challenged – Held, the suit is filed with a different set of facts and another set of litigants have raised additional contentions. Therefore, the writ petition should not be dismissed on the ground of res-judicata. (Para 23) Abhimeet Sinha v. High Court of Judicature at Patna, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 350

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Section 161(1) & 162(1) – The statement made by a witness before the police under Section 161(1) Cr.P.C. can be used only for the purpose of contradicting such witness on what he has stated at the trial. The statements under Section 161 Cr.P.C. recorded during the investigation are not substantive pieces of evidence but can be used primarily for the limited purpose: (i) of contradicting such witness by an accused under Section 145 of the Evidence Act; (ii) the contradiction of such witness also by the prosecution but with the leave of the Court; and (iii) the re-examination of the witness if necessary. (Para 63) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 299 - The statements of the prosecution witness recorded in the absence of the accused can be read as a substantive piece of evidence when the prosecution witness could not be traced out and produced in the witness box for deposition during trial after the accused had been arrested. The statements of the prosecution witness recorded in the absence of the accused under Section 299 of Cr.P.C. (i.e., when an accused person has absconded, and that there is no immediate prospect of arresting him) could be used against the accused after his arrest in the event of non-availability of the prosecution witness. Sukhpal Singh v. NCT of Delhi, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 359

Section 319 – Legality of summon order – Power under Section 319 can only be excercised if evidence against the accused is strong and reliable i.e. much stronger evidence than mere probability of his complicity. The evidence before the trial court should be such that if it goes unrebutted, then it should result in the conviction of the person who is sought to be summoned. Held, deposition of PW-1, not being an eye-witness, is not sufficient enough to invoke the extra-ordinary jurisdiction under Section 319 to summon the appellants. There are no other witnesses or documentary evidence against the appellants. The higher degree of satisfaction that is required for exercising power under Section 319 Cr.P.C. is not met. Hence, the trial Court committed a serious error in allowing the application under Section 319 and issuing summons to the appellants. Summon order is set aside. (Para 16, 23, 24 & 25) Shankar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 345

Section 482 – Power to quash chargesheet – The power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution, only where such exercise is justified by the tests laid down in the Section itself. Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. does not confer any new power on the High Court but only saves the inherent power, which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Code. There are three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely (i) to give effect to an order under the Code, (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of Court, and (iii) to otherwise secure the ends of justice. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone courts exist. If the Court is convinced by the fact that the involvement by the complainant of her husband and his close relatives is with an oblique motive then even if the FIR and the chargesheet disclose the commission of a cognizable offence the Court with a view to doing substantial justice should read in between the lines the oblique motive of the complainant and take a pragmatic view of the matter. Held, if the criminal proceedings are allowed to continue against the Appellant, the same will be nothing short of abuse of process of law & travesty of justice. The High Court should have exercised its inherent power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. for the purpose of quashing the criminal proceedings. (Para 20, 21, 31 & 36) Achin Gupta v. State of Haryana, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 343

Section 482 – Quashing of chargesheet – Object – The court owes a duty to subject the allegations levelled in the complaint to a thorough scrutiny to find out, prima facie, whether there is any grain of truth in the allegations or whether they are made only with the sole object of involving certain individuals in a criminal charge, more particularly when a prosecution arises from a matrimonial dispute. (Para 25) Achin Gupta v. State of Haryana, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 343

Section 482 – Quashing of chargesheet – Stages at which the power to quash can be used – There is nothing in the words of Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. which restricts the exercise of the power of the court to prevent the abuse of process of court or miscarriage of justice only to the stage of the FIR. It would be a travesty of justice to hold that the proceedings initiated against a person can be interfered with at the stage of FIR but not if it has materialized into a chargesheet. (Para 22) Achin Gupta v. State of Haryana, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 343

Constitution of India

Article 14 & 16 and Gujarat Rules, 2005; Rule 8 – Constitutionality of the Rules stipulating minimum qualifying marks in the viva voce test, as a part of the selection criteria, is challenged – Held, the Prescription of minimum qualifying marks for interview is permissible and this is not in violation of All India Judges Association and Others vs. Union of India and Others which accepted certain recommendations of the Shetty Commission. Further held, the minimum cut-off of 20% for the Bihar recruitment and 40% for the Gujarat recruitment cannot be considered to provide a high threshold if one keeps in mind that the recruitment is for selection of judicial officers. The object of viva voce set out in Rule 8(5) of Gujarat Rules, 2005 has a reasonable and direct nexus with the object sought to be achieved i.e. the appointment of well-rounded judicial officers. For recruitment of judicial officers, ideally the effort should be to not only test the candidate's intellect but also their personality. The prescription of minimum cut off is also not perceived to be of such a nature that it reeks of irrationality, or was capricious and/or without any adequate determining principle. It does not appear to be disproportionate so as to adversely affect “meritorious” candidates and certainly not manifestly arbitrary, or irrational or violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The concerned recruitment Rules cannot be said to be unconstitutional. The impugned selection process in the State of Bihar and Gujarat are found to be legally valid and are upheld. (Para 66, 67 & 102) Abhimeet Sinha v. High Court of Judicature at Patna, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 350

Article 14 and Income Tax Rules, 1962; Rule 3(7) (i) – Fixing single benchmark for interest rates charged by different banks – Rule 3(7) (i) is challenged to be arbitrary and violative of Article 14 insofar as it treats the PLR of SBI as the benchmark to determine the value of benefit to the assessee in comparison to the rate of interest charged by other individual banks – Held, it is neither arbitrary nor unequal exercise of power. By fixing a single clear benchmark for computation of the perquisite or fringe benefit, the rule prevents ascertainment of the interest rates being charged by different banks from the customers and, thus, checks unnecessary litigation. Rule 3(7) (i) ensures consistency in application, provides clarity for both the assessee and the revenue department, and provides certainty as to the amount to be taxed. Rule 3(7) (i) is based on a uniform approach and fair determining principle which aligns with constitutional values. Hence, Rule 3(7) is held to be intra vires Article 14 of the Constitution of India. (Para 32 & 33) All India Bank Officers' Confederation v. Central Bank of India, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 352

Article 21 – Primacy of consent of pregnant person in abortion – The right to choose and reproductive freedom is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. The consent of a pregnant person in decisions of reproductive autonomy and termination of pregnancy is paramount and the MTP Act does not allow any interference with the personal choice of a pregnant person in terms of proceeding with the termination. The Act or indeed the jurisprudence around abortion developed by the courts leave no scope for interference by the family or the partner of a pregnant person in matters of reproductive choice. In case there is a divergence in the opinion of a pregnant person and her guardian, the opinion of the minor or mentally ill pregnant person must be taken into consideration as an important aspect in enabling the court to arrive at a just conclusion. (Para 32, 35 & 37) A (Mother of X) v. State of Maharashtra, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 349

Article 21 – Right to abortion – The right to abortion is a concomitant right of dignity, autonomy and reproductive choice guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The fundamental right of a pregnant person is not compromised for reasons other than to protect the physical and mental health of the pregnant person. (Para 21) A (Mother of X) v. State of Maharashtra, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 349

Article 21 – The expression 'life' unequivocally includes the right to live a life worthy of human honour and dignity. Self-regard, social image and an honest space for oneself in one's surrounding society, are just as significant to a dignified life as are adequate food, clothing and shelter. Held, pre-conceived notions of prevailing stereotypes associated with a particular community, often render them 'invisible victims' and impede their right to live a life with self-respect. (Para 14 & 15) Amanatullah Khan v. Commissioner of Police, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 351

Article 234 and Gujarat Rules, 2005; Rule 8 – Consultation with public service commission required under Article 234 of the Constitution for amending the rules –The prescription of minimum qualifying marks in the viva-voce under Rule 8(3) of Gujarat Rules, 2005 as amended in 2011 was only in consultation with the High Court of Gujarat but not with the Gujarat Public Service Commission. Held, the Governor is under no compulsion to consult the Public Service Commission in case the Commission does not wish to be consulted. The concerned Gujarat Rules cannot, therefore, be declared to be void particularly when the Rules were framed with due consultation with the High Court. (Para 93, 97 & 102) Abhimeet Sinha v. High Court of Judicature at Patna, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 350

Remission – Appellant granted liberty to prefer an appropriate representation addressed to the State Government praying for remission of sentence. Considering the fact that the appellant has undergone almost 11 years of imprisonment so far i.e. almost half of his life lived so far has been spent undergoing the ordeal of the criminal prosecution. Held, when a crime is committed, a variety of factors are responsible for making the offender commit the crime. Those factors may be social and economic, may be the result of value erosion or parental neglect; may be because of the stress of circumstances, or the manifestation of temptations in a milieu of affluence contrasted with indigence or other privations. (Para 85 & 86) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Criminal Law

History Sheet entries challenged – Applicability of amended standing order – Held, as per the amended Standing Order, in the column of “relations and connection” no details of any minor relatives, i.e., son, daughter, siblings shall be recorded, unless there is evidence that such minor, has or earlier had, afforded shelter to the offender. Further held, the amended provision mandates that Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 shall be meticulously followed, whereunder there is a prohibition on disclosing the identity of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or a witness of a crime through a report etc. Held, the amended Standing Order be given effect in the present case. (Para 6, 7 & 10) Amanatullah Khan v. Commissioner of Police, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 351

Criminal Law – Entries in History Sheet challenged – Direction given to state governments and police authorities – Held, the police authorities may consider the desirability of ensuring that no mechanical entries in History Sheet are made of innocent individuals, simply because they happen to hail from the socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, along with those belonging to Backward Communities, Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes. All the State Governments are therefore expected to take necessary preventive measures to safeguard such communities from being subjected to inexcusable targeting or prejudicial treatment. Further held, a periodic audit mechanism overseen by a senior police officer, as directed for the NCT of Delhi, will serve as a critical tool to review and scrutinize the entries made, so as to ascertain that these are devoid of any biases or discriminatory practices. (Para 14 & 16) Amanatullah Khan v. Commissioner of Police, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 351

Debt Recovery

Whether debts, which cannot be recovered by filing civil suits as they are time-barred under the Limitation Act 1963, can be recovered by invoking other remedies under special statutes for debt recovery ? The matter needs to be placed before the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India to constitute an appropriate three-judge bench. K.P. Khemka v. Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd., 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 357

Evidence Act, 1872

Duty of public prosecutor to cross-examine hostile witness – It is the duty of the Public Prosecutor to cross-examine a hostile witness in detail and try to elucidate the truth & also establish that the witness is speaking lie and has deliberately resiled from his police statement recorded under Section 161 of the Cr.P.C. A good, seasoned and experienced Public Prosecutor will not only bring the contradictions on record, but will also cross-examine the hostile witness at length to establish that he or she had actually witnessed the incident as narrated in his/her police statement. Only bringing the contradictions on record and thereafter proving such contradictions through the evidence of the Investigating Officer is not sufficient. (Para 69) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Evidentiary value of a hostile witness – The evidence of a prosecution witness cannot be rejected in toto merely because the prosecution chose to treat him as hostile and cross-examined him. It was further held that the evidence of such witnesses cannot be treated as effaced or washed off the record altogether but the same can be accepted to the extent their version is found to be dependable on a careful scrutiny thereof. (Para 9) Selvamani v. State, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 358

Hostile witness – Appreciation of the evidence is challenged – The prosecutrix and her mother and aunt in their cross-examination, which was recorded three and a half months after the recording of the examination-in-chief, have turned around and not supported the prosecution case. Held, on account of a long gap between the examination-in-chief and cross examination, the witnesses were won over by the accused and they resiled from the version as deposed in the examination-in-chief which fully incriminates the accused. However, when the evidence of the victim as well as her mother and aunt is tested with the FIR, the statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC and the evidence of the Medical Expert), there is sufficient corroboration to the version given by the prosecutrix in her examination-in-chief. Hence, no reason to interfere with the concurrent findings of fact recorded by the trial court as well as the High Court on appreciation of the evidence. (Para 8, 13 & 15) Selvamani v. State, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 358

Prima facie means “at first sight”, “at first view”, or “based on first impression” – “Evidence sufficient in law to raise a presumption of fact or establish the fact in question unless rebutted”. In both civil and criminal law, the term is used to denote that, upon initial examination, a legal claim has sufficient evidence to proceed to trial or judgment. In most legal proceedings, one party (typically, the plaintiff or the prosecutor) has a burden of proof, which requires them to present prima facie evidence for each element of the case or charges against the defendant. If they cannot present prima facie evidence, the initial claim may be dismissed without any need for a response by other parties. (Para 49) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 8 & 27 – Conduct – The conduct of the appellant in leading the Investigating Officer and others to a drain nearby his house and the discovery of the knife from the drain is a relevant fact. It would be admissible as 'conduct' under Section 8 irrespective of the fact whether the statement made by the accused falls within the purview of Section 27 of the Evidence Act. The conduct of the accused alone, though may be relevant under Section 8 of the Evidence Act, cannot form the basis of conviction is only one of the circumstances which the court may take into consideration along with the other evidence on record, direct or indirect. (Para 56 & 61) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 105 – Presumption – Burden to prove case within exception – It is for the accused to show the applicability of Exception 4 of Section 302. (Para 78) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 106 – Burden of proof – When any fact is especially within the knowledge of any person, the burden of proving that fact is upon him. The word “especially” means facts that are pre-eminently or exceptionally within the knowledge of the accused. Section 106 of the Evidence Act is an exception to Section 101 of the Evidence Act. Section 101 with its illustration (a) lays down the general rule that in a criminal case the burden of proof is on the prosecution and Section 106 is certainly not intended to relieve it of that duty. On the contrary, it is designed to meet certain exceptional cases in which it would be impossible, or at any rate disproportionately difficult, for the prosecution to establish the facts which are, “especially within the knowledge of the accused and which, he can prove without difficulty or inconvenience”. Section 106 of the Evidence Act would apply to cases where the prosecution could be said to have succeeded in proving facts from which a reasonable inference can be drawn regarding guilt of the accused. (Para 35, 36 & 50) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 145 – To contradict the witness – While recording the deposition of a witness, it becomes the duty of the trial court to ensure that the part of the police statement with which it is intended to contradict the witness is brought to the notice of the witness in his cross-examination by reproducing it. If the witness admits the part intended to contradict him, it stands proved and there is no need of further proof of contradiction and it will be read while appreciating the evidence. If he denies having made that part of the statement, the contradiction is merely brought on record, but it is yet to be proved. (Para 66) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 165 and Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; Section 311 – The courts have to take a participatory role in the trial and not act as mere tape recorders to record whatever is being stated by the witnesses. The judge has uninhibited power to put questions to the witness either during the chief examination or cross-examination or even during re-examination for this purpose. The trial judge must exercise the vast powers conferred under Section 165 of the Evidence Act and Section 311 of the Cr.P.C. respectively to elicit all the necessary materials by playing an active role in the evidence collecting process. (Para 69, 73 & 74) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Family Law

Custody of minor children – Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) – It is challenged that the Minor Children have been influenced against the Respondent and the preference indicated by the Minor Children ought not to be considered representative of the their true emotions. Held, courts ought not to prematurely and without identification of individual instances of 'alienating behaviour', label any parent as propagator and / or potential promoter of such behaviour. The aforesaid label has far-reaching implications which must not be imputed or attributed to an individual parent routinely. Further held, the Minor Children could not be said to have exhibited any indication of 'parental alienation' i.e., there was no overt preference expressed by the Minor Children between the parents and thus, the foundation for any claim of parental alienation was clearly absent. The High Court proceeded on an unsubstantiated assumption of parental alienation and was not justified in interfering with the order granting custody of the Minor Children to the Appellant. (Para 17, 22, 23, 24 & 26) Col. Ramneesh Pal Singhv v. Sugandhi Aggarwal, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 356

Custody of minor children – Decided on the basis of – (i) The socioeconomic and educational opportunities which may be made available to the Minor Children; (ii) healthcare and overall wellbeing of the children; (iii) the ability to provide physical surroundings conducive to growing adolescents; (iv) the preference of the Minor Children as mandated under Section 17(3) of the Act and also (v) the stability of surrounding(s) of the Minor Children. (Para 12) Col. Ramneesh Pal Singhv v. Sugandhi Aggarwal, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 356

Custody of minor children – Welfare – The Court must construe the term 'welfare' in its widest sense i.e., the consideration by the Court would not only extend to moral and ethical welfare but also include the physical well-being of the minor children. (Para 11) Col. Ramneesh Pal Singhv v. Sugandhi Aggarwal, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 356

Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

Section 17(3) – Guardianship – Importance of preference indicated by minor children – The desire / preference of the children to continue to reside with the Appellant, although in itself cannot be determinative of custody of the children, but it must be given due consideration on account of it being a factor of utmost importance. (Para 14) Col. Ramneesh Pal Singhv v. Sugandhi Aggarwal, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 356

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015

Names of presiding officer / members should be specifically mentioned in orders when signed, including interim orders. Child in Conflict with Law through his Mother v. State of Karnataka, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 353

The appeal against the preliminary assessment order of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) under Section 101(2) of JJ Act, 2015 would be filed before the 'Children's Court' if the Children's court is available despite the existence of the Sessions Court. Child in Conflict with Law through his Mother v. State of Karnataka, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 353

The plea of juvenility of the accused may be raised before any court at any stage, even after final disposal of the case, such a plea of juvenility couldn't be rejected without conducting a proper inquiry. Delay in raising the plea of juvenility cannot be a ground for rejection of such a claim. For making a claim with regard to juvenility after conviction, the claimant must produce some material which prima facie may satisfy the court that an inquiry into the claim of juvenility is necessary. Initial burden has to be discharged by the person who claims juvenility. (Para 10 - 13) Rahul Kumar Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 341

The Supreme Court prescribes 30 days time limit to prefer appeal against the juvenile justice board preliminary assessment order. Rahul Kumar Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 341

The time limit of three months prescribed under Section 14(3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act, 2015 for ascertaining the mental and physical capacity of a child below the age of sixteen years to commit a serious offence is not mandatory but directory. Child in Conflict with Law through his Mother v. State of Karnataka, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 353

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971

Section 3(1) – Opinion of the Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) and medical board under the MTP Act – Section 3(1) protects the registered medical practitioner from penal provisions against abortion, under the Indian Penal Code, if it is carried out as per the MTP Act. The MTP Act requires and empowers the RMP to form an opinion, in good faith, on whether a pregnancy may be terminated. The medical board, in forming its opinion on the termination of pregnancies must not restrict itself to the criteria under Section 3(2-B) of the MTP Act and must also evaluate the physical and emotional wellbeing of the pregnant person furnishing full details to the court. Further, while issuing a clarificatory opinion the medical board must provide sound and cogent reasons for any change in opinion and circumstances – Held, the medical board in its clarificatory report restricted itself to the criteria under Section 3(2-B) of the MTP Act and failed to form an opinion on the impact of the pregnancy on the physical and mental health of the pregnant person. Further held, the delays caused by a change in the opinion of the medical board or the procedures of the court must not frustrate the fundamental rights of pregnant people. (Para 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29 & 31) A (Mother of X) v. State of Maharashtra, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 349

Section 3(4)(a) – Consent of guardian in case of abortion of a minor – The guardians of 'X', namely her parents, have consented for taking the pregnancy to term. This is permissible as 'X' is a minor and the consent of the guardian is prescribed under Section 3(4)(a) of the MTP Act. The order of this court allowing 'X' to terminate her pregnancy is recalled. (Para 32, & 33) A (Mother of X) v. State of Maharashtra, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 349

Penal Code, 1860

Section 302 Exception 4 – Sudden provocation/ heat of the moment – Four conditions must be satisfied to bring the matter within Exception 4: (i) it was a sudden fight; (ii) there was no premeditation; (iii) the act was done in the heat of passion; and; that (iv) the assailant had not taken any undue advantage or acted in a cruel manner – Where the offender takes undue advantage or has acted in a cruel or an unusual manner, the benefit of Exception 4 cannot be given to him. If the weapon used or the manner of attack by the assailant is disproportionate, that circumstance must be taken into consideration to decide whether undue advantage has been taken. Held, cannot overlook the fact that the appellant inflicted as many as twelve blows with a knife on the deceased who was unarmed and helpless. Hence, case is not one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder but the same is a case of murder. The High Court committed no error in affirming the judgment and order of conviction passed by the trial court. (Para 79, 82, 83, 84) Anees v. State Govt of NCT, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 344

Section 498A – Cruelty – In all cases, where wife complains of harassment or ill-treatment, Section 498A of the IPC cannot be applied mechanically. Every matrimonial conduct, which may cause annoyance to the other or mere trivial irritations, quarrels between spouses, which happen in day-to-day married life, may not amount to cruelty. The Court must appreciate that all quarrels must be weighed from that point of view in determining what constitutes cruelty in each particular case, always keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their character and social status. A very technical and hyper sensitive approach would prove to be disastrous for the very institution of the marriage. (Para 32) Achin Gupta v. State of Haryana, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 343

Property Law

U.P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953; Section 49 – The power to declare the ownership in an immovable property can be exercised only by a Civil Court save and except when such jurisdiction is barred expressly or by implication under a law. Section 49 cannot be construed as a bar on the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to determine the ownership rights. It contemplates bar to the jurisdiction of the Civil or Revenue Court for the grant of declaration or adjudication of rights of tenure holders in respect of land lying in an area for which consolidation proceedings have commenced. Hence, the power under Section 49 cannot be exercised to take away the vested title of a tenure holder. Kalyan Singh had acquired ancestral rights as a tenure holder and was co-owner in the suit land much before the consolidation proceedings commenced. Held, the Consolidation Officer could not take away the ownership rights of Kalyan Singh which he had already inherited much before the commencement of the consolidation proceedings. Order passed by the Consolidation Officer has rightly been held to be null and void and without any jurisdiction. (Para 9, 12 & 13) Prashant Singh v. Meena, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 355

Service Law

Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination Rules, 2015; Rule 4(3)(d)(III) – Amended Rule 4(3)(d)(III) is challenged to be ultravires– The amended Rule 4(3)(d)(III) read as, that meritorious reservation category candidates, who did not avail any benefit of relaxation, are not to be clubbed with meritorious unreserved category candidates at the time of declaring the result of the preliminary examination itself. Such adjustment will only be at the time of final selection, not at the time of preliminary/main examination – Held, amended Rule 4(3)(d)(III) patently harmed the interests of the reservation category candidates, as even meritorious candidates from such categories, who had not availed any reservation benefit/relaxation, continued to occupy the reservation category slots which would have otherwise gone to deserving reservation category candidates lower down in the merit list of that category, had they been included with meritorious unreserved category candidates on the strength of their marks. Further held, the State of Madhya Pradesh itself realized the harm that it was doing to the reservation category candidates and chose to restore Rule 4, as it stood earlier, which enabled drawing up the result of the preliminary examination by segregating deserving meritorious reservation category candidates with meritorious unreserved category candidates at the preliminary examination stage itself. (Para 8, 30 & 32) Deependra Yadav v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 342

Madhya Pradesh State Service Examination Rules, 2015 – Normalization of marks – Normalization was undertaken in the context of the marks obtained by candidates in the two main examinations by applying a formula, so as to bring them all on an even keel so as to finalize the list of candidates eligible to be interviewed. This was done by applying a formula uniformly to the marks secured by all the candidates who appeared in the two main examinations, so that their marks would become comparable and enable preparation of a unified marks list. Held, the process of normalization and the consequential merger of the marks secured by the candidates who appeared in the two main examinations cannot be found fault with. (Para 26 & 29) Deependra Yadav v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 342


Income Tax Act, 1961; Section 17(2)(viii) and Income Tax Rules, 1962; Rule 3(7)(i) – Delegation of powers – Residuary clause – The residuary leaves it to the rule-making authority to tax 'any other fringe benefit or amenity' within the ambit of 'perquisites', not already covered by clauses (i) to (viia) of Section 17(2), by promulgating a rule. Held, the enactment of subordinate legislation for levying tax on interest free/concessional loans as a fringe benefit is within the rulemaking power under Section 17(2) (viii) of the Act. Section 17(2) (viii) itself, and the enactment of Rule 3(7) (i) is not a case of excessive delegation of the 'essential legislative function' and falls within the parameters of permissible delegation. Hence, Rule 3(7) (i) is intra vires Section 17(2) (viii) of the Act. (Para 10 & 31) All India Bank Officers' Confederation v. Central Bank of India, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 352

Income Tax Act, 1961; Section 17(2) (viii) and Income Tax Rules, 1962; Rule 3(7) (i) – The value of interest-free or concessional loans made available to an employee or a member of his household by the employer or any person on his behalf, is to be treated as 'other fringe benefit or amenity' for the purpose of Section 17(2) (viii) and, therefore, taxable as a 'perquisite'. (Para 19) All India Bank Officers' Confederation v. Central Bank of India, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 352

Value Added Tax Act, 2004 (Delhi); Section 38(3) & 42 – Timeline for refund – As per Section 38(3)(a)(ii), the refund should have been processed within two months from when the returns were filed. Held, the language of Section 38(3) is mandatory and the department must adhere to the timeline stipulated therein. The appellant-department is not justified in retaining the refund amount beyond the stipulated period and then adjusting the refund amount against the amounts due under default notices that were issued subsequent to the refund period. The impugned judgment directing the refund of amounts along with interest as provided under Section 42 of the Act is affirmed. (Para 8, 9, 10 & 11) Commissioner of Trade and Taxes v. Femc Pratibha Joint Venture, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 348

Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Section 41 – Doctrine of transfer by Ostensible owner – Bonafide purchaser for valuable Consideration – Held, once it has been held that the transactions executed by the respondents are illegal due to the doctrine of lis pendens the defence of the respondents that they are bonafide purchasers for valuable consideration and thus, entitled to protection under Section 41 is liable to be rejected. The Release Deed is held to be without any legal sanctity. (Para 21, 24) Chander Bhan v. Mukhtiar Singh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 347

Transfer of Property Act, 1882; Section 52 – Doctrine of lis pendens – Object – The object underlying the doctrine of lis pendens is for maintaining status quo that cannot be affected by an act of any party in a pending litigation. The objective is also to prevent multiple proceedings by parties in different forums. The principle is based on equity and good conscience. (Para 16) Chander Bhan v. Mukhtiar Singh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 347

Transfer of Property Act, 1882; Section 52 – Doctrine of lis pendens – Pendency of a suit shall be deemed to have commenced from the date on which the plaintiff presents the suit and extends till a final decree is passed and is realised. The appellant filed a suit for permanent injunction on 21.07.2003 from which the doctrine of lis pendens would take its effect. The release deed executed is of 28.07.2003, which is subsequent to the filing of the suit. Since the release deed is executed after the suit for temporary injunction was filed by the appellant, the alienation made by release deed would be covered by the doctrine of lis pendens. (Para 18, 19, 20) Chander Bhan v. Mukhtiar Singh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 347

Transfer of Property Act, 1882; Section 52 – Doctrine of lis pendens – Applicability States of Punjab, Delhi or Bombay – Held, even if Section 52 of T.P Act is not applicable in its strict sense in the present case, the principles of lis-pendens, which are based on justice, equity and good conscience, would certainly be applicable. (Para 17) Chander Bhan v. Mukhtiar Singh, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 347


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