Supreme Court Criminal Digest January 2024


10 Feb 2024 9:17 AM GMT

  • Supreme Court Criminal Digest January 2024

    BailAnticipatory bail cannot be granted merely because the accused is willing to pay an interim compensation. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 54Bail cannot be cancelled merely due to non-appearance of accused before court. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 65Cancellation of Bail - Merely because the accused did not appear personally could not have been a ground for cancellation of bail. The parameters for grant of bail...


    Anticipatory bail cannot be granted merely because the accused is willing to pay an interim compensation. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 54

    Bail cannot be cancelled merely due to non-appearance of accused before court. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 65

    Cancellation of Bail - Merely because the accused did not appear personally could not have been a ground for cancellation of bail. The parameters for grant of bail and cancellation of bail are totally different. The bail already granted may be cancelled, if it is found that the person who has been granted the benefit of bail has violated any of the conditions or misused the liberty by influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 65

    Delays in the disposal of bail applications - Need for expeditious delivery of judgments - Bail applications should ideally be disposed of within two weeks, and anticipatory bail applications within six weeks. Despite these guidelines, the Court noted persistent delays and directed all courts to strictly adhere to the issued directions. The High Courts were left with the discretion to devise mechanisms for monthly checks on pending cases. (Para 5 – 9) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 50

    Personal Liberty - When the petitioner applied for bail on merits and also on the ground that he had been incarcerated in jail for seven and a half years, the approach of the High Court in only permitting him to file an application for bail before the Trial Court/Sessions Court and not deciding the prayer for bail on merits, would amount to non-exercise of jurisdiction vested in it. The approach of the High Court was not in accordance with the sanctity that has been given to personal liberty in the catena of judgments. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 78

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

    A consideration for remission must be by way of an application under Section 432 of the CrPC which has to be made by the convict or on his behalf. In the first instance whether there is compliance of Section 433A of the CrPC must be noted inasmuch as a person serving a life sentence cannot seek remission unless fourteen years of imprisonment has been completed. (Para 55 (b) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    The power to transfer an investigation is exercised in extraordinary situations. (Para 32) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 2

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167 and 173 - Once from the material produced along with the chargesheet, the court is satisfied about the commission of an offence and takes cognizance of the offence allegedly committed by the accused, it is immaterial whether the further investigation in terms of Section 173(8) is pending or not. The pendency of the further investigation qua the other accused or for production of some documents not available at the time of filing of chargesheet would neither vitiate the chargesheet, nor would it entitle the accused to claim right to get default bail on the ground that the chargesheet was an incomplete chargesheet or that the chargesheet was not filed in terms of Section 173(2) of Cr.P.C. (Para 23) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 58

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 178 (8) - It would be impermissible under the law for a Judicial Magistrate to take cognizance of a supplementary charge-sheet submitted after further investigation if it doesn't contain any fresh oral or documentary evidence, would be impermissible under the law. While submitting the supplementary charge-sheet as a result of an order of further investigation under Section 178 (8) Cr.P.C., the Investigating Officer shall mention new evidence found to substantiate the conclusions drawn by him. Otherwise, such supplementary charge-sheet lacks investigative rigour and fails to satisfy the requisites of Section 173(8) Cr.P.C. The provision for submitting a supplementary report infers that fresh oral or documentary evidence should be obtained rather than reevaluating or reassessing the material already collected and considered by the investigating agency while submitting the initial police report, known as the chargesheet under Section 173(2) CrPC. (Para 26 & 27) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 197 - Fabrication of records cannot be a part of the official duty of a public servant. (Para 25) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 42

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 197 Cr.P.C. does not extend its protective cover to every act or omission of a public servant while in service. It is restricted to only those acts or omissions which are done by public servants in the discharge of official duties. (Para 23) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 42

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 – It is only after the prosecution discharges its duty of proving the case beyond all reasonable doubt that the false explanation or non-explanation of the accused could be taken into consideration. (Para 21) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 60

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 313 - Statement recorded u/s. 313 CrPC cannot form the sole basis of conviction. Mere omission to take a specific plea by accused when examined u/s 313 CrPC, is not enough to denude him of his right if the same can be made out otherwise. (Para 33) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 13

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 357(1) - A victim of a crime cannot be treated merely as a prosecution witness. Section 357(1) of Cr.P.C. empowers the court to order that the fine amount recovered be given to any person as compensation who has suffered any loss or injury caused due to that offence. There may be times when the situation may demand that a substantive amount of compensation be paid to the victim and the convict may not be financially that strong to bear that burden. For such situations, Section 357A was therefore introduced in Criminal Procedure Code for this reason, where compensation to the victims may be paid out of State funds, as the State had the responsibility to protect the victim against the offence that had been committed against the victim of the crime. (Para 19) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 7

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 391 – A party who was not diligent in producing evidence at the trial stage of a criminal case cannot seek to produce the same in appeal. The power to record additional evidence at the appellate stage should not be exercised in a routine and casual manner. Such a power shall only be exercised when non-recording of the evidence may lead to failure to justice. Power to record additional evidence under Section 391 CrPC should only be exercised when the party making such request was prevented from presenting the evidence in the trial despite due diligence being exercised or that the facts giving rise to such prayer came to light at a later stage during pendency of the appeal. (Para 9) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 64

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 432 (2) - The Jail Advisory Committee which has to consider the application for remission may not have the District Judge as a Member inasmuch as the District Judge, being a Judicial Officer may coincidently be the very judge who may have to render an opinion independently in terms of sub-section (2) of Section 432 of the CrPC. (Para 55 (g) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 435 - State Government to act after consultation with Central Government in certain cases - Held, there has also to be consultation in accordance with Section 435 of the CrPC wherever the same is necessitated. (Para 55 (f) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - Allegations made by the complainant do not give rise to the offences for which the accused has been summoned for trial. A commercial dispute, which ought to have been resolved through the forum of Civil Court has been given criminal colour by lifting from the penal code certain words or phrases and implanting them in a criminal complaint. No case at all has been made out that would justify invoking the machinery of the Criminal Courts. The dispute, per se, is commercial in nature having no element of criminality. The Magistrate here failed to apply his mind in issuing summons and the High Court also failed to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the 1973 Code to prevent abuse of the power of the Criminal Court. (Para 18) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 75

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 482 - When the High Court was called upon to invoke power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash a criminal case, it was incumbent upon the High Court to consider the question whether the allegations would constitute the offence(s) alleged against the person-accused. (Para 6) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 40

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 438 and 439 - Bail Applications - Applicants must include : details and copies of previous bail orders. Information on pending bail applications in any court, with a clear statement if none are pending. Bail applications in the same FIR should be heard by the same Judge, unless there are specific circumstances. The application indicates whether it is the first, second, or subsequent one for clarity. The court registry should attach a system-generated report on decided or pending bail applications for the specified crime case. This procedure applies to private complaints as well, with cases assigned specific numbers. The Investigating Officer or State Counsel should inform the court of relevant orders, and counsels must conduct themselves as officers of the Court. These suggestions aim to streamline proceedings and prevent anomalies in bail applications during ongoing trials or sentence suspension. (Para 20 & 21) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 47

    Code of Criminal Procedure, 19783; Section 161 - If the PWs had failed to mention in their statements about the involvement of an accused, their subsequent statement before court during trial regarding involvement of that particular accused cannot be relied upon. Prosecution cannot seek to prove a fact during trial through a witness which such witness had not stated to police during investigation. The evidence of that witness regarding the said improved fact is of no significance. (Para 26) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 13

    Summons - A Magistrate, while issuing the summoning order, shall not act in a casual manner; rather they should be satisfied that there exists a sufficient ground for proceedings against the accused. The recording of the satisfaction of the Magistrate while issuing the summons should not be in a cryptic manner but only when a prima facie case is made out from the allegations. Detailed reasoning is not required from the Magistrate while issuing summons, but the Magistrate also needs to record satisfaction that there exists a sufficient ground for proceedings. (Para 18) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 75

    The application for remission under Section 432 of the CrPC could be only before the Government of the State within whose territorial jurisdiction the applicant was convicted (appropriate Government) and not before any other Government within whose territorial jurisdiction the applicant may have been transferred on conviction or where the offence has occurred. (Para 55 (a) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    The guidelines under Section 432(2) with regard to the opinion to be sought from the Presiding Judge of the Court which had convicted the applicant must be complied with mandatorily. While doing so it is necessary to follow the requirements of the said Section which are highlighted, namely, (i) the opinion must state as to whether the application for remission should be granted or refused and for either of the said opinions, the reasons must be stated; (ii) the reasons must have a bearing on the facts and circumstances of the case; (iii) the opinion must have a nexus to the record of the trial or of such record thereof as exists; (iv) the Presiding Judge of the Court before or by which the conviction was had or confirmed, must also forward along with the statement of such opinion granting or refusing remission, a certified copy of the record of the trial or of such record thereof as exists. (Para 55 (c) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22


    illiterate witness - Appreciation of evidence led by such a witness has to be treated differently from other kinds of witnesses. It cannot be subjected to a hyper-technical inquiry and much emphasis ought not to be given to imprecise details that may have been brought out in the evidence. The evidence of a rustic/illiterate witness must not be disregarded if there were to be certain minor contradictions or inconsistencies in the deposition. (Para 27) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 13

    illiterate witness - However, the testimony of an illiterate witness suffers not merely from technical imperfections, there are glaring omissions and improvements that have been brought out in the cross-examination, which cannot be attributed to the illiteracy of the individual deposition. If there were minor contradictions and inconsistencies, that could have been ignored since the recollection of exact details as to location and time can be attributed to the lack of literacy. (Para 28) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 13

    Injured Witness - The importance of an injured witness in a criminal trial cannot be overstated. Unless there are compelling circumstances or evidence placed by the defence to doubt such a witness, this has to be accepted as extremely valuable evidence in a criminal Trial. (Para 11) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 7

    Evidence Act, 1872 - As soon as an accused or suspected person comes into the hands of a police officer, he is no longer at liberty and is under a check, and is, therefore, in “custody” within the meaning of Sections 25 to 27 of the Evidence Act. (Para 28) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 8

    Evidence Act, 1872; Sections 17 and 18 – Admission is a conscious and deliberate act and not something that could be inferred. An admission could be a positive act of acknowledgement or confession. To constitute an admission, one of the requirements is a voluntary acknowledgement through a statement of the existence of certain facts during the judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, which conclude as true or valid the allegations made in the proceedings or in the notice. The formal act of acknowledgement during the proceedings waives or dispenses with the production of evidence by the contesting party. The admission concedes, for the purpose of litigation, the proposition of fact claimed by the opponents as true. An admission is also the best evidence the opposite party can rely upon, and though inconclusive, is decisive of the matter unless successfully withdrawn or proved erroneous by the other side. (Para 13.1) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 48

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 18 – A statement made by a person is not only evidence against the person but is also evidence against those who claim through him. Section 18 of the Act lays down the conditions and the requirements satisfied for applying to a statement as an admission. (Para 14) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 48

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 18 – Admission by party to proceeding or his agent - Section 18 of the Act deals with: (i) admission by a party to a proceeding, (ii) his agent, (iii) by a suitor in a representative character, (iv) statements made by a party in trusted subject matter, (v) statements made by a person from whom interest is derived. The qualifying circumstances to merit as admission are subject to satisfying the requirements. (Para 13.2 & 13.3) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 48

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - Four conditions to invoke Section 27 - First condition imposed and necessary for bringing the section into operation is the discovery of a fact which should be a relevant fact in consequence of information received from a person accused of an offence. The second is that the discovery of such a fact must be deposed to. A fact already known to the police will fall foul and not meet this condition. The third is that at the time of receipt of the information, the accused must be in police custody. Lastly, it is only so much of information which relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered resulting in recovery of a physical object which is admissible. Rest of the information is to be excluded. The word 'distinctly' is used to limit and define the scope of the information and means 'directly', 'indubitably', 'strictly' or 'unmistakably'. Only that part of the information which is clear, immediate and a proximate cause of discovery is admissible. (Para 22) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 8

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 - The expression “custody” under Section 27 of the Evidence Act does not mean formal custody. It includes any kind of restriction, restraint or even surveillance by the police. Even if the accused was not formally arrested at the time of giving information, the accused ought to be deemed, for all practical purposes, in the custody of the police. (Para 25) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 8

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 27 of the Evidence Act is frequently used by the police, and the courts must be vigilant about its application to ensure credibility of evidence, as the provision is vulnerable to abuse. However, this does not mean that in every case invocation of Section 27 of the Evidence Act must be seen with suspicion and is to be discarded as perfunctory and unworthy of credence. (Para 24) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 8

    Evidence Act, 1872; Section 73 - Certified copy of a document issued by a Bank is itself admissible under the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891 without any formal proof thereof. Hence, in an appropriate case, the certified copy of the specimen signature maintained by the Bank can be procured with a request to the Court to compare the same with the signature appearing on the cheque by exercising powers under Section 73 of the Act. (Para 15) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 64


    Juvenile Justice Act, 1986; Section 2 (h) and 21 - Penal Code, 1860; Sections 302 and 201 r/w. 34 – Murder - Issue of juvenility was raised in Appeal - On the date on which the incident constituting the offence took place, the age of the appellant was less than 18 years. The 2000 JJ Act was admittedly not in force when the incident occurred. Therefore, the case will be governed by the 1986 JJ Act. Under clause (h) of Section 2 of the 1986 JJ Act, a 'juvenile' has been defined to mean a boy who has not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who has not attained the age of eighteen years. Thus, on the date of occurrence of the offence, the appellant was a juvenile. As per Section 22(1) of the 1986 JJ Act, there was a prohibition on sentencing a juvenile to undergo imprisonment. As the appellant has undergone incarceration for a period of more than eight years, no purpose will be served by sending the appellant before the Juvenile Justice Board. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 57

    Murder Trial

    Merely on the basis of suspicion, conviction would not be tenable. (Para 20) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 60

    Only on the sole circumstance of recovery of a blood-stained weapon, it cannot be said that the prosecution has discharged its burden of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt. (Para 19) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 60

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 118(e) and 138 - If the accused is disputing the signature on the cheque, then the certified copies of the signatures from the bank could be summoned from the bank to compare the same with the signature appearing on the cheque. The indorsements on a cheque carry a presumption of genuineness as per Section 118(e) of the Act. Hence, it is incumbent upon the accused to lead evidence to rebut the presumption of genuineness of signatures. (Para 16) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 64

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 118(e) and 138 - The accused had not taken any efforts to disprove his signature at the trial stage. No question was put to the witness from the bank regarding the genuineness of the signature. Also, the cheque was returned not on the grounds of any discrepancy in the signatures. If at all, the accused was desirous of proving that the signatures as appearing on the cheque issued from his account were not genuine, then he could have procured a certified copy of his specimen signatures from the Bank and a request could have been made to summon the concerned Bank official in defence for giving evidence regarding the genuineness or otherwise of the signature on the cheque. (Para 16) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 64

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - Accused persons filed an undertaking based on a settlement. Since the amount agreed was not paid, the interim protection, granted via suspension of sentence and bail, was withdrawn. Appeal dismissed with cost of Rs 5 lakhs and directed to surrender within a period of four weeks. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 16

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - Once the settlement has been arrived at and the complainant has signed the deed accepting a particular amount in full and final settlement of the default amount and the fine amount awarded by the Trial Court, the proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act need to be quashed. (Para 4) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 23

    Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881; Section 138 - Question regarding the time-barred nature of an underlying debt or liability in proceedings under Section 138 of the NI Act is a mixed question of law and fact which ought not to be decided by the High Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 482 of the CrPC. (Para 7) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 76


    Passports Act, 1967; Section 12(b) - As discernible from the language of the provision, what must be established is that the accused knowingly furnished false information or suppressed material information with the intent of obtaining a passport or travel document. In the present case, it is crucial to consider that the alleged forgery of signatures on the passport application was inconclusive. Moreover, the cognizance of such like offence can be taken only at the instance of the Prescribed Authority. No complaint to that effect has been disclosed against the Appellants. This Court, therefore, will exercise caution before invoking such severe offences and penalties solely on the basis of conjectures and surmises. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 r/w 34 – Murder - Benefit of Doubt - An appellate court should give the benefit of doubt to the accused persons if the evidence on record indicates the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt and that a plausible view, different from the one expressed by the courts below can be taken. (Para 17) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 20

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 302 r/w. 34 – Murder - Circumstantial Evidence - When the prosecution case is solely based on the circumstantial evidence, then the courts must be vigilant while examining the facts proving the circumstantial evidence i.e., it must be consistent with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused and should be free from doubts, improbabilities and inconsistencies. (Para 29 & 30) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 21

    Penal Code, 1860 - Sections 304A and 338 - Fire Accident - Trekking Expedition - Persons who were part of the trekking expedition died owing to a forest fire which is an instance of vis major. No negligence could have been attributed to the trek organiser who only facilitated the organization of the trekking expedition. The organizers and even the members of the trekking expedition were totally unaware of the forest fire as such. Accidentally they were engulfed in the forest fire and they died by sheer accident and not owing to any negligence or any criminal intent attributable to the trek organiser. The trek organiser had no role whatsoever in causing the death of the trekkers who died due to a forest fire which is a natural cause. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 83

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 341, 323 and 302 - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Sections 200, 203 and 227 – Discharge - The version of PW-1 is that the accused repeatedly kicked on chest with a stick. In the post-mortem, no injury was found on the chest or any other part of the body of the deceased. The expert testimony of the doctor who performed the autopsy of the deceased cannot be completely ignored while deciding the guilt of an accused. Therefore, taking the evidence of the witnesses as it is, there was no material to proceed against the accused in the private complaint. (Para 11 & 12) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 45

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 364A - Kidnapping for Ransom - The necessary ingredients which the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, before the Court are not only an act of kidnapping or abduction but thereafter the demand of ransom, coupled with the threat to life of a person who has been kidnapped or abducted, must be there. (Para 14) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 7

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 375 - If it is established that from the inception, the consent by the victim is a result of a false promise to marry, there will be no consent, and in such a case, the offence of rape will be made out. (Para 7) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 68

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376 / 506 - Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; Section 482 - Quashing of Criminal Proceedings - Rape - Lodging a case after 34 years and that too on the basis of a bald statement that the prosecutrix was a minor at the time of commission of offence, could itself be a ground to quash the proceedings. No explanation whatsoever is given in the FIR as to why the prosecutrix was keeping silent for a long period of 34 years. The material on record shows that the relationship was consensual, in as much as the son who is born out of the said relationship has been treated by the accused as his son and all the facilities, including cash money, have been provided to him. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 40

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 376 and 506 – Rape - False promise of marriage - The relationship between the accused and the victim was a consensual relationship which culminated in the marriage. In the legal notice issued on behalf of the victim, the factum of marriage was admitted and the victim has been described as the wife of the accused. Therefore, on the face of it, the allegation that the physical relationship was maintained due to false promise of marriage is without basis, as their relationship led to the solemnization of marriage. Therefore, this is a case where the allegations made in the FIR were such that on the basis of the statements, no prudent person can ever reach a conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. Hence, a case was made out for quashing the FIR. (Para 9) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 18

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 405 - Criminal Breach of Trust - Commercial disputes over variation of rate cannot per se give rise to an offence under Section 405 of the 1860 Code without presence of any aggravating factor leading to the substantiation of its ingredients. (Para 14) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 75

    Penal Code, 1860; Ss. 406, 409, 420, 457, 380 - Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; S. 13(1)(d) r/w. 13(2) - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; S. 319 - Demand of money for extending benefits during custody - Application filed under Section 319 Cr.P.C. against the police officials - All the witnesses have equivocally narrated the incidents that took place at different places regarding threats, demand of huge sum of money, torture etc. - According to them, the amount was being demanded for the following benefits to be extended: (i) firstly, not to physically torture; (ii) not to ask for further police remand; (iii) to help get bail; and (iv) to give good treatment during custody. Held, there appears to be prima facie evidence on record to make it a triable case as against the police officials. (Para 8 - 14) Gurdev Singh Bhalla v. State of Punjab, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 28

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - It must also be understood that a statement of fact is deemed 'deceitful' when it is false and is knowingly or recklessly made with the intent that it shall be acted upon by another person, resulting in damage or loss. 'Cheating' therefore, generally involves a preceding deceitful act that dishonestly induces a person to deliver any property or any part of a valuable security, prompting the induced person to undertake the said act, which they would not have done but for the inducement. (Para 12) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - The act of the wife to forge the sign of husband to seek the passport for minor child to travel abroad doesn't amount to cheating punishable under Section 420 IPC, due to the absence of a deceitful act that resulted in a loss or damage of property to a husband. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - The term 'property' employed in Section 420 IPC has a well defined connotation. Every species of valuable right or interest that is subject to ownership and has an exchangeable value – is ordinarily understood as 'property'. It also describes one's exclusive right to possess, use and dispose of a thing. The IPC itself defines the term 'moveable property' as, “intended to include corporeal property of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.” Whereas immoveable property is generally understood to mean land, benefits arising out of land and things attached or permanently fastened to the earth. (Para 13) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 420 - While prosecuting a person for the offence of cheating punishable under Section 420 IPC, it is to be seen whether the deceitful act of cheating was coupled with an inducement leading to the parting of any property by the complainant. To constitute an offence of cheating, merely committing a deceitful act is not sufficient unless the deceitful act dishonestly induced a person to deliver any property or any part of a valuable security, thereby resulting in loss or damage to the person. (Para 10 - 20) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860; Sections 468 and 471 - Forgery - There are two primary components that need to be fulfilled in order to establish the offence of 'forgery', namely: (i) that the accused has fabricated an instrument; and (ii) it was done with the intention that the forged document would be used for the purpose of cheating. Simply put, the offence of forgery requires the preparation of a false document with the dishonest intention of causing damage or injury. (Para 22) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 53

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 500 - A criminal defamation case was filed against the owner of a newspaper for an article published against an advocate. The Magistrate rejected the complaint, stating that the news article in question was published in good faith and in the exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The Magistrate's view cannot be termed as "illegal or unjustified," and therefore, there is no justification for interference by the Sessions Court or the High Court. (Para 8 & 9) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 67

    Penal Code, 1860; Section 506 - Criminal Intimidation - The allegation of criminal intimidation against the accused is made in the complaint statements, no particulars thereof have been given. Both in the complaint petition and the initial deposition of one of the witnesses, there is only reproduction of part of the statutory provision giving rise to the offence of criminal intimidation. This would constitute a mere bald allegation, short of any particulars as regards to the manner in which threat was conveyed. (Para 17) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 75

    Setting a person on fire is an act of extreme cruelty and would fall under Section 302 IPC. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 37

    The fact remains that both the star witnesses of the prosecution are disbelieved in the trial by clearly stating that their statements are contradictory, the facts are twisted and improvements are made. For trial under Section 302 IPC, if a witness is branded as untrustworthy having allegedly twisted the facts and made contrary statements, it is not safe to impose conviction on the basis of a statement made by such witness. When there is an effort to falsely implicate one accused person, statements made by such an eyewitness cannot be relied upon without strong corroboration. Moreover, there is material on record proving previous enmity between the parties. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 36

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 19 - Sanction - The Sessions Court could not have acquitted the accused only on the ground of alleged invalid sanction, without recording its findings on all the issues involved. (Para 8) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 56

    Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; Section 17A - Interpretation of - Split Verdict - Referred to Larger Bench. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 41

    Preventive Detention

    In a case where a detenue receives the ground of detention in the language known to him which contains a clear statement over his right to make a representation, there is no need for informing verbally once again. 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 15


    A woman deserves respect howsoever high or low she may be otherwise considered in society or to whatever faith she may follow or any creed she may belong to. Can heinous crimes, inter alia, against women permit remission of the convicts by a reduction in their sentence and by granting them liberty? These are the issues which arise in these writ petitions. (Para 1) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    If a criminal is curable, he ought to be improved by education and other suitable arts, and then set free again as a better citizen and less of a burden to the state. This postulate lies at the heart of the policy of remission. In addition, there are also competing interests involved– the rights of the victim and the victim's family to justice vis-a-vis a convict's claim to a second chance by way of remission or reduction of his sentence for reformation. (Para 1) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    Reasons for grant or refusal of remission should be clearly delineated in the order by passing a speaking order. (Para 55 (h) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    Remission: Scope & Ambit - Discussed. (Para 22 - 39) Bilkis Yakub Rasool v. Union of India, 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    The factors that govern the grant of remission namely: i. Whether the offence is an individual act of crime without affecting the society at large? ii. Whether there is any chance of future recurrence of committing crime? iii. Whether the convict has lost his potentiality in committing crime? iv. Whether there is any fruitful purpose of confining this convict any more? v. Socio-economic condition of the convict's family. (Para 48) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    The question regarding maintainability of a PIL challenging orders of remission is kept open to be considered in any other appropriate case. (Para 27) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    The policy of remission applicable would therefore be the Policy of the State which is the appropriate Government and which has the jurisdiction to consider that application. The policy of remission applicable at the time of the conviction could apply and only if for any reason, the said policy cannot be made applicable a more benevolent policy, if in vogue, could apply. (Para 55 (d) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    When an application for remission is granted under the provisions of the Constitution, the following among other tests may apply to consider its legality by way of judicial review of the same. (i) that the order has been passed without application of mind; (ii) that the order is mala fide; (iii) that the order has been passed on extraneous or wholly irrelevant considerations; (iv) that relevant materials have been kept out of consideration; (v) that the order suffers from arbitrariness. (Para 55 (i) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    While considering an application for remission, there cannot be any abuse of discretion. In this regard, it is necessary to bear in mind the following aspects as mentioned in Laxman Naskar v. State of West Bengal, (2000) 2 SCC 595, namely, - (i) Whether the offence is an individual act of crime without affecting the society at large? (ii) Whether there is any chance of future recurrence of committing crime? (iii) Whether the convict has lost his potentiality in committing crime? (iv) Whether there is any fruitful purpose of confining this convict any more? (v) Socio-economic condition of the convict's family. (Para 55 (e) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 22

    Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes

    Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989; Section 3(1)(xi) - Conviction for the offence punishable under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act 1989 cannot be sustained if the act of outraging the modesty of a woman was not committed on the ground of caste. (Para 8 & 11) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 66

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

    Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Section 43D(2)(b) - Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 167(2) - Default Bail - Terrorism cases should not to be taken lightly. (Para 13) 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 10

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