12 Feb 2024 7:30 AM GMT
Nominal Index [Citations: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 88-105]Radhika v. Unnikrishnan 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 88Deputy Commissioner (Works Contract), Kerala State Goods and Services Tax Department vs. National Company Law Tribunal 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 89Shinoj Singh & Ors. v. State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 90Sreeranj v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 91K. G. Mohandas v Central Bureau Of...
Radhika v. Unnikrishnan 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 88
Deputy Commissioner (Works Contract), Kerala State Goods and Services Tax Department vs. National Company Law Tribunal 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 89
Shinoj Singh & Ors. v. State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 90
Sreeranj v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 91
K. G. Mohandas v Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 92
Sandeep v. State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 93
Deekshit VR v. The State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 94
Sanjay Oraon v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 95
Joji Varghese v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 96
S. Manimekhala v. State of Kerala & Ors. 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 97
Union of India v. Udayachandran P 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 98
Bichitra Mohanty v. State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 99
Noushid P A v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 100
Ratheesh K R v Director, Akshaya Project & Connected Case 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 101
Arun Joseph v Union of India 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 102
Jebin Joseph v. State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 103
Babu @Palraj v State of Kerala 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 104
AD v. B 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 105
Previously Instituted Suit Can't Be Stayed U/S 10 CPC On Ground That Subsequent Suit On Same Issue Is Pending Between Parties: Kerala High Court
Case Title: Meenakshi and ors. v. P Soman Nadar and ors.
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 88
The Kerala High Court has held that the obligation to engross the final decree on stamp paper lies with the appellate court which passed the final decree.
A division bench comprising Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice PG Ajithkumar has held the decision in Brenda Barbara Francis v. Adrian Miranda 'Halcyon' Pakkattuvila, Kunnukuzhi (2016) to be per incuriam, observing that the obligation to engross the final decree on stamp paper is with the appellate court which passed the final decree.
Case Title: Deputy Commissioner (Works Contract), Kerala State Goods and Services Tax Department vs. National Company Law Tribunal
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 89
While allowing a Writ Petition, the Kerala High Court bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh recently observed that an Order passed by the National Company Law Tribunal ('NCLT') Kochi Bench was 'preposterous' and 'untenable'.
NCLT Kochi had held an Assessment Order by Kerala Value Added Tax ('KVAT') Works Contract Authorities against Albana Engineering (India) Pvt. Ltd. (Respondent 2) to be void ab initio in violation of Section 14(1)(a) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
Case Title: Shinoj Singh & Ors. v. State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 90
The Kerala High Court recently acquitted five RSS/BJP activists alleged of assaulting a CPI (M) worker due to political rivalry, on noting the absence of evidence to prove the identity of such persons beyond a reasonable doubt.
The conviction of respondent no 1 was, however, upheld.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice P.G. Ajithkumar relied upon the Apex Court decision in Ashish Batham v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2002), which laid down that the fundamental and basic presumption in the administration of criminal law and justice delivery system is the innocence of the accused.
Case title: Sreeranj v State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 91
Justice Devan Ramachandran stated that groundwater is an essential component of groundwater resources and a special type of mineral wealth and its uncontrolled usage can even affect ecosystems.
“ Being so, ground water is vulnerable and limited, despite its replenishable nature and vast reserves, impelling unexpendable regulations in most parts of the world; especially since uncontrolled exploitation of aquifers by even small water users can affect the ecosystems,” stated the Court.
It further stated that regulations on the usage of groundwater resources should not be dealt casually and as a mere formality.
“This preface is to remind the statutory Regulators that when enforcing the Regulations qua ground water use, their focus ought to be on rationality, control, safety, sustainability and care for future generations,” added the Court.
Case title: K. G. Mohandas v Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI)
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 92
The Kerala High Court today dismissed the writ petition filed by Dr Vandana's parents seeking transfer of probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Dr. Vandana Das, the 23-year-old house surgeon was stabbed to death by an injured man who was brought to the government hospital by Pooyappally police. The young house surgeon was stabbed sixteen times by Sandeep, a school teacher, using dressing room scissors.
Dismissing the writ petition, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas stated that Dr Vandana's parents have not raised allegations stating the police officers have any motive or criminal intent.
Case Title: Sandeep v. State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 93
The Kerala High Court today rejected the bail application moved by accused Sandeep in Dr Vandana Das murder case.
Dr. Vandana Das, the 23-year-old house surgeon was stabbed to death by an injured man who was brought to the government hospital by Pooyappally police. The young house surgeon was stabbed sixteen times by Sandeep, a school teacher, using dressing room scissors
While dismissing the bail application, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas stated thus:
“Accused is known to have a history of alcohol abuse disorder and was separated from his wife and children as he had attempted to kill her in a fit of rage. He is stated to have an anti-social personality disorder too”
Case Title: Deekshit VR v. The State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 94
Justice PV Kunhikrishnan held: “it is the duty of the State Election Commission to ask the petitioner whether he intends to cross examine the Secretary who gave the statement. A perusal of the statement recorded by the State Election Commission would not show that any such question was put by the Election Commission regarding the right of the petitioner to cross examine the Secretary. Relying on an uncontroverted statement of one party without giving an opportunity to the other side to cross examine cannot be relied on.
The petitioner had contested in the Mogral Puthur Grama Panchayat elections in the seat for the scheduled caste candidates. Petitioner belongs to Mogar Caste, and submitted that his mother tongue is Kannada, he does not know how to read or write in Malayalam.
Case title: Sanjay Oraon v State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 95
The Kerala High Court has emphasized the importance of scientific evidence in criminal cases and observed that the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) cannot delay scientific reports stating a dearth of staff and lack of infrastructure.
The petitioner, a native of West Bengal, with no roots in Kerala, was an accused in a murder case and has approached the Kerala High Court seeking bail due to a delay in commencing the trial. The Court found that the trial had not commenced due to the delay on the part of the FSL in submitting the scientific reports on material objects.
Case title: Joji Varghese v State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 96
Justice Devan Ramachandran however criticised the “intolerance to cultural and artistic expressions" in a civilized nation like ours and said that if any scene in a film is in fact uncharitable, it is for the statutory authorities to decide.
The petitioner had approached the Court stating that a scene in the film depicts a firearm hidden inside the Bible, which hurt the religious sentiments of the Christian community.
The Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) stated that the scene was a fleeting one, without any reference to any particular scripture. It submitted that the competent Committee did not feel the scene to be contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups; and that during the review screening, the members of the Committee did not even notice the Bible.
Case Title: S. Manimekhala v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 97
The Kerala High Court has laid down that mere procedural violations in appointment of a person to a post cannot always lead to the inference that the appointee and the appointing authority had a dishonest intention in making such appointment.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice K. Babu made the observation while dismissing the plea challenging the Special Court's dismissal of the complaint alleging irregularity in the appointment of MLA Anoop Jacob's wife to the post of Assistant Director of the Kerala Bhasha Institute.
"In the present case, the complaint is silent as to whether the person benefitted and the person who effected the appointment are part of a vicious link. There may be cases of misfeasance or, wrong administration. In all cases of malfeasance or, misfeasance or wrong administration, a prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be initiated," Justice Babu observed.
The Kerala High Court has made it clear that a candidate cannot be denied employment merely by stating that he has a disease without finding that it would impact his capacity to perform functional duties or responsibilities.
The applicant, an ex-serviceman was denied employment to the post of Ticket Examiner in the Indian Railway since he was unfit by the medical board due to diabetes.
The Division Bench comprising Justice A.Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Shoba Annamma Eapen stated thus:
“Merely citing a disease one cannot be denied employment unless it is found that such a disease would have impact on his functional duties or responsibilities. Thus we dismiss this original petition. “
Case Title: Bichitra Mohanty v. State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 99
The Kerala High Court has made it clear that if an accused pleads guilty to a particular offence, the plea of guilt cannot extend to new offences invoked upon alteration of charge.
A single judge bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that in this case the Petitioner, involved in a motor accident, had pleaded guilty to the offences under sections 279 and 338 IPC and not under section 304A IPC. However, if the plea of guilt remains, the petitioner's defence could be prejudiced since the charge had been altered to section 304A IPC.
“The plea of guilt and the consequent conviction is not an empty formality, and the procedure has to be strictly followed...In the instant case, it is evident that the plea of guilt made by the accused was not for the offence under section 304A IPC. When the accused pleaded guilty, the offence was only under sections 279 and 338 IPC. The situation would have been different had the accused been informed that the offence included section 304A IPC as well.”
Case title: Noushid P A v State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 100
Justice K Babu stated that there was no hard and fast rule in granting or refusing bail and each case had to be considered on its own merits. However, it stated that the Court cannot shut its eyes when the offences alleged were atrocious.
“In serious offences, the courts should not lightly entertain the bail application when there is a prima facie case. Where the offence complained is of such nature as to shake the confidence of the public, bail shall not be granted. Bail is a rule, and jail is an exception, but the accused involved in offences, which are grave, serious and heinous, fall within the exception and not the rule,” he said.
Case title: Ratheesh K R v Director, Akshaya Project & Connected Case
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 101
The Kerala High Court has stated that authorities should step in and take action if any person uses Akshaya Centres to enter into illicit financial transactions and create unauthorized wealth and illegal gains, contrary to public interest.
The petitioners had approached the Court challenging the orders issued by the District Collector and the Director of the Akshaya Project for the cancellation of the licence of Akshaya Centre alleging illegal financial transactions.
“…..when the existing licensee acts illegally and enters into proscribed financial transactions with another qua the 'Akshaya Centre', the Authorities are under an inviolable duty to step in and take action, as is mandated in law. If this is not done, it would be a premium for others to deal with 'Akshaya Centres', as a manner of creating unauthorized wealth and illegal gains, which can never be permitted, since it would tantamount to being flagrantly contrary to public interest, for which alone, such Centres are designed and established.”, stated Justice Devan Ramachandran
Case title: Arun Joseph v Union of India
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 102
Justice Devan Ramachandran noted that the students could not dictate the manner in which the curriculum of the course had to be formulated and that these were matters within the policy realm to be decided by experts.
“I am persuaded to the afore view also because, the course in question is conceded to be a full time one; and hence, no student, normally and without specific permission, is entitled to either study another course, or engage in any other activity. When this factum remains uncontested, one fails to understand how the petitioner can seek that Saturdays be made a holiday”, stated the Court.
The petitioner has approached the Court claiming that if only five days were working in a week, students could do other permissible courses along with ITI to get better job opportunities.
Case Name: Jebin Jospeh v State OF Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 103
The Kerala High Court today permitted a queer man to attend his deceased live-in partner's last rites, given that the said partner's bereaved family does not object to it.
“This court certainly has little doubt that the constitutionally protected and guaranteed right of every individual to dignity and fair treatment specially under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, cannot be construed to cease with death; but continues much beyond, or at least as such time as the mortal remains are dealt with the respect it commands.”
The petitioner had approached the Court stating that his partner passed away on February 3 after falling from his flat. The mortal remains were however being maintained by Aster Medicity hospital, allegedly over failure to clear the medical bills. Petitioner was also told that he is not recognized to have any right qua the deceased under any legislative or customary laws.
Case title: Babu @Palraj v State of Kerala
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 104
The Kerala High Court has granted bail to the relative of Arjun, who was acquittedin the rape and murder of a five-and-a-half-year-old minor girl at Vandiperiyar town in the Idukki district in 2021, accused of attacking the victim's family.
The petitioner in this case was accused of crimes registered under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) , 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means or weapons) and 294 (b) (obscene act and songs) of IPC at the Vandiperiyar Police Station, Idukki.
A single judge bench of Justice C S Dias was hearing the bail application.
Case title: AD v. B
Citation: 2024 LiveLaw (Ker) 105
The Kerala High Court has refused dissolution of marriage in a matrimonial appeal preferred by the husband on grounds of alleged cruelty, desertion and non-fulfilment of marital obligations by the wife, stating that a wife cannot be expected to tolerate husband's acts of cruelty by sacrificing her physical and mental health.
The appellant (husband) had approached the High Court challenging the order of the Family Court by which he was denied dissolution of marriage after the respondent (wife) raised allegations of matrimonial cruelty, including physical and mental abuse.
Other Significant Developments This Week
The Kerala High Court has introduced a continuous page numbering feature for case documents in the e-filing portal for the purposes of simplifying the process of referencing and navigating through case documents in Courts.
The move comes in the wake of CJI Chandrachud's announcement of steps to solve the issue of non-tallying of pagination of copies that often occurs during the pleadings. The CJI, on taking note of the inconvenience faced by the bench in tracing and matching the page numbers which the advocates refer to while submitting their arguments, remarked, "I have always found that members of the bar and the bench aren't on the same page with regards to the paginated soft copies of PDFs”.
Case title: Biju Antony Aloor @ B.A. Aloor v State of Kerala
Case number: BAIL APPL. NO. 963 OF 2024
The Kerala High Court has directed not to arrest Advocate B A Aloor in an allegation of sexual harassment against a woman client without issuance of notice of appearance under Section 41 A CrPC.
The crime was registered under Section 354A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) of IPC at the Ernakulam Central Police Station.
“In the interregnum, there shall be a direction that without giving notice as provided under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the petitioner shall not be arrested in connection with crime No.273 of 2024 of Ernakulam Central Police Station”, stated Justice P G Ajithkumar
Case Title: Jebin Joseph v. State of Kerala
Case Number: WP (C) No. 4636 of 2024
A plea has been moved before the Kerala High Court by a man seeking release of his live-in partner's dead body from the Aster Medicity hospital.
It is alleged that the hospital was not ready to release the body until the petitioner settled the medical bills. Justice Devan Ramachandran inquired whether the family members of the deceased had been involved in this matter.
According to the petitioner, he was in a live-in relationship with the deceased individual for the past six years. On February 3, the person suffered serious injuries after falling from the flat.
Case Title: Pournami Gopinath v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Case Number: WP(CRL.) NO. 135 OF 2024(S)
The Kerala High Court yesterday granted emergency leave for a period of seven days to a convict in order to attend the funeral rites of his father.
The petitioner's husband had been convicted for attempting to murder his neighbour and had been undergoing incarceration for two years.
It is during this time that the convict's father passed away. Although the convict had been granted the benefit of an escort visit for a day, since the rituals associated with his father's death were taking place on the 7th day and thereafter, the petitioner-wife prayed for grant of a 20-day parole for her husband.
Case title: N Prakash v State of Kerala
Case number: WPC No. 4559/2024
A plea has been moved before the Kerala High Court by a man seeking a hard copy of his renewed driving licence from the Road Transport Department which statedly collected printing and dispatch fee from him.
The petitioner claims he has a valid driving licence which would expire in March 2024. He had thus submitted an application for renewal of his driving licence along with prescribed documents and renewal fees. As per the instructions received, he was informed that a soft copy of the renewed driving licence could be downloaded on DigiLocker and mParivahan mobile apps.
While hearing a live-in partner's plea for release of his deceased partner's body from the hospital, the Kerala High Court today orally remarked that even a deceased person has right over his body and thus, the mortal remains have to be dealt with quickly.
Court said it does not know the status between the parties (petitioner and deceased) and thus refrained from passing any orders for inquest or post-mortem without hearing the deceased's immediate family. It went on to observe,
“I believe that a human being like any of us have a right beyond our death over our body…I am speaking for him (deceased) now. I am treating him as a person who would have control over his body had he been alive. Now the fundamental prerequisite is that the mortal remains is dealt with dignity and that too quickly. You cannot keep it pending forever. Now if there is no legal impediments in conducting the inquest and post mortem being done, I would require that to be done and the report to be placed before the Court.”
Case title: XXX v State of Kerala
Case number: WP (Crl) No. 147/2024
A plea has been moved before the Kerala High Court by the mother of five and a half-year-old minor girl who was raped and murdered in Vandiperiyar, Idukki seeking reinvestigation by constituting a special investigating team.
A local Court had acquitted the sole accused Arjun citing improper investigation and lack of evidence.
The plea moved by the mother stated that the police had conducted a 'planned investigation' to save the real culprits from the law. It was averred that even though it was found that the child was subjected to sexual assault including rape, it was due to the faulty investigation that the Trial Court had to acquit the sole accused for insufficient evidence.
Case Title: Abdul Azeez vs. The Authorized Officer, Phoenix ARC. Ltd. and Anr.
Case No.: WP(C) No. 33707 of 2023 with OP (DRT) No. 453 of 2023
The Kerala High Court dismissing the writ petition held that the transfer of a loan account by a Bank/Financial Institution to an ARC would not amount to “conveyance” as defined in Section 2(d) of the Stamp Act.
It noted that the proceedings under SARFAESI are proceedings to enforce security interest, without the intervention of the court.
The Court noted that what is transferred by a Bank/Financial Institution to an ARC is only economic interest and there is no conveyance of property or proprietary rights. The transfer of legal ownership of the loan is limited to the extent of the economic interest transferred.
Case title: Sangita Iyer v Guruvayoor Dewasom
Case number: W.P.(C)No.16514 of 2023
The Kerala High Court has directed the Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee and its officials to ensure that elephants in Punnathur Anakkotta are properly taken care of in accordance with law. It said:
“The 1st respondent Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee and its officials shall ensure that there is proper care to all elephants of Guruvayur Devaswom in Punnathur Anakkotta, in strict compliance with the relevant statutory provisions and also the directions of the Apex Court [(Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre v. Union of India and others (2014)], and judgement of this Court referred to Supra [(Prema Kumar P. v. Travancore Devaswom Board and others (2022), Mohanan K.S. v. State of Kerala (2023), Sree Kumar v. Travancore Devaswom Board (2003)].”
The Kerala High Court today closed the anticipatory bail application filed by Advocate B A Aloor stating the same is not maintainable as the offence alleged in the FIR is bailable.
The allegation against Advocate Aloor was that he sexually harassed a female client and an offence under Section 354A of IPC was registered against him at the Ernakulam Central Police Station.
While closing the anticipatory bail plea, Justice Sophy Thomas stated thus:
“The offence alleged against the petitioner is under Section 354A of IPC and since it is a bailable offence, an anticipatory bail application is not maintainable. Hence, this application is closed.”