Bombay High Court Weekly Round-Up: April 08 To April 14, 2024

Amisha Shrivastava

18 April 2024 5:00 AM GMT

  • Bombay High Court Weekly Round-Up: April 08 To April 14, 2024

    Nominal Index [Citation 188 - 199] Kalpita Arun Lanjekar v. Income Tax Officer 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 188 PCIT v. M/s. Tata Capital Ltd. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 189 Sarang Wadhawan v. Directorate of Enforcement 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 190 Nitin Rajendra Gupta v. Deputy Collector, Mumbai and Ors. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 191 Vodafone India Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 192 ABC v....

    Nominal Index [Citation 188 - 199]

    Kalpita Arun Lanjekar v. Income Tax Officer 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 188

    PCIT v. M/s. Tata Capital Ltd. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 189

    Sarang Wadhawan v. Directorate of Enforcement 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 190

    Nitin Rajendra Gupta v. Deputy Collector, Mumbai and Ors. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 191

    Vodafone India Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 192

    ABC v. State of Maharashtra 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 193

    XYZ v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 194

    ABC v. State of Maharashtra 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 195

    Pankaj Kailash Agarwal v. Assistant Commissioner Of Income Tax 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 196

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. v. Mavji Jethalal Rathod 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 197

    Arun P. Gidh v. Chandraprakash Singh and Ors. 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 198

    Anand Narayan Sakpal v. State of Maharashtra 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 199


    Bombay High Court Quashes Reassessment Order Against Housewife When Property Was Purchased By Her Husband

    Case Title: Kalpita Arun Lanjekar v. Income Tax Officer

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 188

    The Bombay High Court quashed a reassessment order against a housewife when the alleged investment was made by her husband.

    The bench of Justice KR Shriram and Justice Neela Gokhale observed, “We also have to notice that, surprisingly, the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax has also accorded sanction for the issuance of this order instead of directing the AO to drop the proceedings against the petitioner.”

    The petitioner/assessee, a housewife who had no income and therefore was not filing any income tax return, received a notice from the Income Tax Officer under Section 148A(b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. In the notice, it was stated that the officer has information that suggests that income chargeable to tax for Assessment Year 2016–2017 has escaped assessment.

    AO To Record Dissatisfaction With Correctness Of Claim Of Assessee In Respect Of Expenditure: Bombay High Court

    Case Title: PCIT v. M/s. Tata Capital Ltd.

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 189

    The Bombay High Court held that the Assessing Officer should record his dissatisfaction with the correctness of the claim of the assessee in respect of the expenditure, and to arrive at such dissatisfaction, he should give cogent reasons.

    The Bench of Justice K. R. Shriram and Justice Neela Gokhale observed that though the AO has stated that the assessee's explanation is not acceptable, he has not given reasons why it is not acceptable to him. Section 14A(2) and Rule 8D provide that if the Assessing Officer is not satisfied with the correctness of the claim in respect of expenditure made by the assessee in relation to income that does not form part of the total income under the Act, he shall determine the amount of expenditure in relation to such income in accordance with the provisions prescribed.

    Pending Money Laundering Cases: Bombay High Court Says Collective Responsibility Of Probe Agencies, Defence Counsel To Make System Work

    Case Title: Sarang Wadhawan v. Directorate of Enforcement

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 190

    The Bombay High Court directed the Registrar General of the High Court to assess and solve the problem of total backlog of cases, staffing levels, and the allocation of judges for both scheduled offenses and those under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Mumbai City Civil and Sessions Court.

    Justice SM Modak added that Registrar General may also seek necessary directions from the Chief Justice in order to mitigate problems faced by the prosecuting agency as well as by under trial prisoners. "It may happen that due to intervention of learned Registrar General, the City Civil Court administration may be boosted to deal with huge pendency for scheduled and PMLA offence", the court remarked.

    The court also highlighted the shared responsibilities of investigating agencies, courts, and defence counsels in ensuring efficient case management and emphasized the need for collective efforts to expedite trials.

    there is also onerous responsibility on the prosecuting Agency by remaining vigilant. If their case is not progressed (due to pendency), they are not remediless. They can request the head of that establishment (i.e. Principal Judge) to assign the case to another Court. Ultimately, running of a system is collective responsibility. The defense Counsels have also a role to play. On one hand, they have got every right to protect the interest of their clients and at the same time, they have to come forward for early disposal of the case. Because, they are also part and parcel of the system. And the system must work. Defence Counsels are also part of the same Society for betterment of which system is created. Unfortunately, nothing has happened of the sort mentioned above

    The court made these observations while granting bail to HDIL Promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan in a money laundering case arising out of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Limited (PMC Bank) loan fraud case.

    Senior Citizens Act Cannot Be Used As Machinery For Settling Property Disputes Between Heirs Of Senior Citizens: Bombay High Court

    Case Title: Nitin Rajendra Gupta v. Deputy Collector, Mumbai and Ors.

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 191

    The Bombay High Court recently observed that the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 cannot be used as a machinery for settling property disputes between the heirs of senior citizens.

    Justice Sandeep Marne made these observations while dealing with a writ petition by a man challenging the order of the maintenance tribunal nullifying various gift deeds executed by his senior citizen father in his favour.

    The petitioner had alleged that his brother instigated his father to seek annulment of gift deeds as he wants a share in the gifted flats.

    The provision of Section 23(1) of Senior Citizens Act cannot be used as a machinery for settling property disputes between the heirs of senior citizens. However, unfortunately in many cases, it is observed that such a course of action is taken by the parties…The Tribunal therefore has to ensure that the provision is not misused by children who are denied share in the immovable properties by seeking to get gift-deed annulled by filing application through senior citizens”, the court observed.

    The court observed that the objective of Section 23(1) of the Senior Citizens Act is to ensure basic amenities for seniors, not to nullify valid transfers.

    Approval To Reopen Assessment Against Vodafone Granted By The Dept. In A Most Casual Manner: Bombay High Court

    Case Title: Vodafone India Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 192

    The Bombay High Court held that the approval has been granted in a most casual manner. The power vested in the authorities under Section 151 to grant or not grant approval to the AO to reopen the assessment is coupled with a duty. The authorities were duty-bound to apply their minds to the proposal put up for approval in light of material relied upon by the AO.

    The bench of Justice KR Shriram and Justice Neela Gokhale observed that it was obligatory on all the authorities and PCCIT in particular to consider whether or not power to reopen is being invoked properly.

    “We are of the opinion that if only the authorities had read the record carefully, they would never have come to the conclusion that this is a fit case for issuance of notice under Section 148 of the Act. They would have either told the AO to correct the figures in Column 7 or would have sent the papers back for reconsideration. These officers have substituted form for substance,” the bench said.

    Bombay High Court Allows 2010 Acid Attack Victims To Seek Compensation Despite Lapse Of Limitation Period

    Case Title: ABC v. State of Maharashtra

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 193

    The Bombay High Court allowed three victims in a 2010 acid attack case to seek compensation beyond the limitation period of three years provided in the Maharashtra Victim Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/Other Crimes, 2022.

    A division bench of Justice AS Chandurkar and Justice Jitendra Jain found the case deserving as the 2022 Scheme was implemented during the pendency of the victims' petition for compensation.

    We find the present case to be a deserving one for the reason that after being subjected to an acid attack, the petitioners were required to approach this Court in the matter of grant of compensation. During pendency of this writ petition, the Scheme of 2022 came to be implemented. We therefore find that the petitioners can be permitted to move an application seeking compensation in accordance with the Scheme of 2022.

    Hospitals Can't Insist On Police Complaint As A Pre-Condition To Provide Medical Care To Pregnant Minor: Bombay High Court

    Case Title: XYZ v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 194

    The Bombay High Court recently directed the state government to provide medical care to a 17-year-old pregnant girl who didn't file a police complaint against her partner, also a minor, and was refused treatment as a result.

    A division bench of Justice GS Kulkarni and Justice Firdosh P Pooniwalla said that hospitals cannot insist that the girl's mother register a police complaint as a condition to receive medical treatment.

    The fact situation is clear that relations of the petitioner's daughter with the boy who is also a minor, were consensual. Neither the petitioner in the capacity of a parent nor the petitioner's daughter say's that she is a victim, and in fact she was conscious and aware of her actions, hence they are not desirous of registering any police complaint under the provisions of the Protection of Cildren from Sexual Offences Act, 2012…Merely for the reason that there is no police complaint, the petitioner's daughter cannot be denied medical aid.

    The court was dealing with a writ petition filed by the girl's mother seeking access to medical treatment which was denied to her due to the requirement of filing a police complaint.

    The petitioner's grievance was that medical facilities demanded a police complain

    Formulate SOP For Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Beyond 24 Weeks To Prevent Need For Court Intervention: Bombay High Court To State

    Case Title: ABC v. State of Maharashtra

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 195

    The Bombay High Court recently directed the state government to formulate a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) within two months to be followed by all government hospitals and medical colleges in the state for medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) beyond 24 weeks.

    A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Nitin W Sambre sitting at Nagpur directed the registration of a petition seeking permission for MTP as a separate PIL to prevent the need for court intervention in such matters.

    The learned Government Pleader is requested to not only apprise the authorities concerned about this order but also to use his good offices to ensure that workable Standard Operating Procedure is put in place and implemented so that no one needs to travel to this Court for seeking any permission for termination of pregnancy, if the woman is entitled to do so under the provisions of the MTP Act, 1971 and MTP Rules, 2003.

    The Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary of the Department of Public Health, as well as the Medical Education and Drugs Department, State of Maharashtra, were impleaded as party respondents to the PIL.

    The court passed these directions while allowing a writ petition by a thirty-two weeks pregnant woman seeking permission for medical termination of pregnancy due to fetal abnormalities.

    No Order Passed On Rectification Application Filed By Assessee For Six Years: Bombay High Court Directs Disciplinary Action Against AO

    Case Title: Pankaj Kailash Agarwal v. Assistant Commissioner Of Income Tax

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 196

    The Bombay High Court directed the disciplinary action against AO as no order has been passed on the rectification application filed by the assessee for six years.

    The bench of Justice KR Shriram and Justice Neela Gokhale observed that the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (ACIT) Officer was duty-bound to pass orders on the application, which has been pending for almost 6 years, instead of making baseless statements in the affidavit in reply. Perhaps ACIT thinks that he or she is not accountable to any citizen of this country. A copy of this order shall be placed before the PCCIT to take disciplinary action against ACIT for dereliction of duty.

    Bombay High Court Upholds Termination Of HPCL Workman Who Slapped Supervisor, Says Astounding That CGIT Didn't Find It Serious

    Case Title: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. v. Mavji Jethalal Rathod

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 197

    Observing that assault on a superior is a grave form of misconduct warranting termination to maintain discipline in the workplace, the Bombay High Court set aside the reinstatement of a Hindustan Petroleum workman who was terminated after he slapped his supervisor.

    Justice Sandeep V Marne sharply criticized the Central Government Industrial Tribunal's (CGIT) decision to reinstate the workman with 20 percent back wages and seniority and instead award a punishment of withholding of one increment.

    CGIT has arrived at a conclusion that the acts of insubordination and assault are not serious enough to inflict punishment of termination. The view taken by CGIT that act of assault on co-employee is not serious is startling. Commission of assault on a co-employee is the gravest form of misconduct which a workman can commit. Far from penalty shocking my conscious, actually the findings recorded by the learned Presiding Officer of CGIT are shocking”, the court stated.

    The Presiding Officer of CGIT considered the act of the workman 'not too serious to inflict the punishment of termination' as it did not cause any bodily injury. The court found the CGIT's reasoning “shocking” and “astounding” and emphasized that such leniency could encourage similar acts by other employees.

    The finding recorded by the Presiding Officer of CGIT that only when bodily injury is suffered by person, who is assaulted, the penalty of discharge/termination can be imposed is totally unsustainable…if an employee slapping his superior in front of others is retained in service, the same would encourage similar acts by others. Slapping his superior by the workman is one of the gravest forms of misconduct, which ought to be visited with penalty of discharge/termination.

    S.397 CrPC | FIR Won't Stand Quashed If Revision Court Sets Aside Magistrate's Order For Police Investigation Into Cognizable Offence: Bombay HC Full Bench

    Case Title: Arun P. Gidh v. Chandraprakash Singh and Ors.

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 198

    The Bombay High Court held recently that a court in its revisional jurisdiction cannot quash an FIR registered pursuant to the magistrate's order to police under section 156(3) CrPC to investigate a cognizable offence.

    A full bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, Justice NJ Jamadar and Justice Sharmila U Deshmukh observed that FIR is a statutory power of the investigating agency and would not stand quashed if the revision court sets aside the magistrate's order.

    registration of the FIR is not inexorably consequential to the order passed by the Magistrate under Section 156(3) of the Code. At the cost of repetition, it must be noted that the registration of the FIR by the police, upon a cognizable offence having been reported, is the statutory duty of the police. As a principle, therefore, we find it difficult to agree with the submission of Mr. Desai that once the order directing investigation under Section 156(3) is set aside, everything which follows must fall through.

    The court underscored that the power to quash investigations or prosecutions lies within the realm of writ jurisdiction under the Constitution or inherent powers under Section 482 of the CrPC, aimed at preventing abuse of the legal process or ensuring justice.

    The larger bench held that revision under section 397 of CrPC is not an efficacious remedy against an order of the magistrate directing investigation under Section 156(3) after the registration of an FIR. However, the court emphasized that the remedy of revision would not become redundant once the FIR is registered, and the revision court order would still have utility as high court can take it into account while considering writ petition for quashing the FIR.

    Bombay High Court Pulls Up Trial Judge For Overlooking Absence Of Crucial Evidence, Urges Judicial Academy To Address Such Issues During Training

    Case Title: Anand narayan Sakpal v. State of Maharashtra

    Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Bom) 199

    The Bombay High Court pulled up the trial court for convicting a Postmaster for misappropriation overlooking the absence of documentary evidence of registers and journals of the Post Office crucial to verify the misappropriation.

    Justice SM Modak, while setting aside the conviction, criticized the lackadaisical approach of both the prosecution and the judiciary and emphasized the importance of seizing and producing relevant documentary evidence during trial.

    Neither APP in-charge nor the trial Court Judge were vigilant in taking appropriate steps/directions. They conducted trial without registers. Trial Court discussed evidence and convicted the applicant by overlooking absence of important piece of evidence. It is strange even the Appellate Court overlooked this fact and confirmed the conviction. This is blatant disregard to the responsibility bestowed on the stakeholders.

    The court decided to bring this to the notice of the Maharashtra Judicial Academy (MJA) to address this issue, as it imparts training to judges.

    I deem it necessary to bring this lackadaisical approach of Police and Judges to the Joint Director, MJA. Because training is imparted to Judges. He can bring this fact to the notice of trial Court and Appellate Court Judges trained there. It is expected from Joint Director, MJA to inform this Court in what manner these observations were given effect. Copy of this judgment may be sent to him.

    Other Developments

    Bombay High Court Directs DCP To Obtain Call Records, WhatsApp Calls/Messages To Probe Alleged Demand Of Bribe By Police Using Accused's Phone (

    The Bombay High Court directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, Mumbai, to procure the Call Detail Records (CDR) and WhatsApp messages/calls from the mobile phone of an accused in a cheating case who alleged that the investigating officer demanded bribe from his family using his phone.

    A division bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Manjusha Deshpande granted interim bail for six weeks to a resident of Ahmedabad noting that prima facie, there are serious allegations against police officers which need to be investigated.

    Prima facie, it appears that the police have not complied with the provisions of law and as such there is substance in the allegations made by the petitioner in the aforesaid petiton. Custodial torture is also alleged. The allegations as against the police officers are serious and the same need to be responded to by them”, the court observed.

    The court also sought the prosecution's response to a writ petition filed by the accused challenging his arrest by the Maharashtra Police and the subsequent remand to judicial custody by the next date, May 3, 2024.

    Bombay High Court Directs Police To Review Alleged Hate Speech By BJP MLAs Nitish Rane, Geeta Jain & T Raja; Inform Whether FIRs Would Be Registered

    The Bombay High Court directed the Mumbai and Mira Bhayandar Police Commissioners to review recordings and transcripts of alleged hate speeches by BJP MLAs Nitish Rane, Geeta Jain, and T Raja and inform the court if FIRs will be registered against them.

    A division bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere and Justice Manjusha Deshpande also directed the police to take necessary preventive action to ensure communal harmony and maintain law and order during the Ram Navami festival on April 17, 2024.

    The court was dealing with a writ petition seeking action against the three legislators for allegedly delivering hate speeches and inciting violence.

    PIL In Bombay High Court Flags Widespread Absenteeism In Mumbai University Law Schools, Seeks Enforcement Of 75% Attendance Mandate

    A law professor from Mumbai University has filed a PIL before the Bombay High Court seeking enforcement of mandatory attendance requirements among law students enrolled in various colleges affiliated with the university.

    A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S Doctor issued notice returnable by June 19, 2024, to Mumbai University, Bar Council of India, and the University Grants Commission in the PIL filed by Dr. Sharmila Ghuge, an Assistant Professor of Law at Jitendra Chauhan College of Law.

    The PIL highlights that Ordinance 6086 of the University of Mumbai mandates a minimum attendance of 75% during lectures, practical sessions, and tutorials for all law students. However, it claims that there is a significant discrepancy between the required attendance and the actual attendance of students, which often falls well below the stipulated mark, sometimes as low as 0% to 30%.

    The primary reasons cited in the petition for this shortfall include students engaging in internships with law firms or being employed while pursuing their degrees, coupled with the lack of enforcement by law colleges and university authorities.

    Bombay High Court Issues Notice On Plea Seeking Removal Of Decorative Lighting From Tree Trunks & Branches

    The Bombay High Court issued notice to the state government, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), as well the municipal corporations of Thane and Mira Bhayander in a PIL on the ill effects of the installation of decorative lights on trees.

    A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S Doctor opined that the issues raised in the petition are matters of public interest and sought responses from the state government and Tree Authorities of the municipal bodies within four weeks. The court kept the matter for further hearing on June 12, 2024.

    The PIL, filed by activist Rohit Manohar Joshi, highlights the detrimental effects of decorative lighting on trees and organisms living on or around the trees during festivities and other occasions.

    The petition states that the unregulated practice of draping, fixing or wrapping bright lights and high-tension cables across the trunks and branches of trees is detrimental to the health and growth of the trees. The petition highlights that the trees are wrapped with fairy lights and also floodlights which cause light pollution disrupting wildlife and birds.

    Children Drown In Open Water Tank: Bombay High Court Seeks Exact Details Of Family's Hutment Demolition From BMC

    The Bombay High Court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to submit an affidavit providing details on the demolition of a family's hutment, which was the residence of the family of two deceased boys who drowned in an open water tank at a civic garden in Mumbai.

    A division bench of Justice GS Patel and Justice Kamal Khata, in a suo moto PIL for fixing accountability on civic bodies for such accidents and deaths said –

    “The reason we have placed the matter today is to allow the BMC an opportunity to place on Affidavit first, in regard to the demolition, the exact details. In particular, we will need to know whether that demolition was scheduled, was after notice and what procedure was followed prior to the demolition being carried out. We require this because it should not accidentally be suggested without factual basis or contrary to the record that the demolition was some sort of ad hoc action by the BMC.”

    Bombay High Court Asks State To Consider Land In Goregaon For New High Court Complex

    The Bombay High Court directed the State government to explore the availability of land in Goregaon for the construction of a new High Court complex, in place of the previously allocated area in Bandra.

    “This is only a loud thinking on my part, we can just explore it. Vacant land is available (in Goregaon). By this speed we will be having the high court building by 2031”, Chief Justice Devendra Upadhyaya remarked.

    The court clarified that this is tentative and will not stop the State from declaring the current project in Bandra as public project of vital importance.

    A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice AS Doctor was hearing a disposed of PIL filed by Advocate Ahmed Abdi for compliance. In 2019 the HC injuncted the State from taking any decision on a 44-acre plot at Bandra East plot till it took a stand on the new court complex.

    Despite Advocate General Birendra Saraf's insistence that substantial progress has been made towards initiating the project at Bandra, the court urged the state to consider the Goregaon land especially if it could be accessed via the proposed coastal road.

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