Directions to prevent cow vigilante and mob lynching

Rule of Law:

Law, enacted for the benefit of the society by conferring rights on the citizens and to regulate social behaviour in many a sphere, is required to be implemented by the law enforcing agencies and the citizens are duty bound to follow the law treating it as sacred. Law has to be regarded as the foundation of a civilized society. The primary goal of law is to have an orderly society where the citizenry dreams for change and progress is realized and the individual aspiration finds space for expression of his/her potential. In such an atmosphere while every citizen is entitled to enjoy the rights and interest bestowed under the constitutional and statutory law, he is also obligated to remain obeisant to the command of law.

Duty of authorities:

There can be no shadow of doubt that the authorities which are conferred with the responsibility to maintain law and order in the States have the principal obligation to see that vigilantism, be it cow vigilantism or any other vigilantism of any perception, does not take place. When any core group with some kind of idea take the law into their own hands, it ushers in anarchy, chaos, disorder and, eventually, there is an emergence of a violent society. Vigilantism cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be given room to take shape, for it is absolutely a perverse notion. We may note here that certain applications for intervention and written notes have been filed in this regard supporting the same on the basis that there is cattle smuggling and cruel treatment to animals. In this context, suffice it to say that it is the law enforcing agencies which have to survey, prevent and prosecute. No one has the authority to enter into the said field and harbour the feeling that he is the law and the punisher himself. A country where the rule of law prevails does not allow any such thought. It, in fact, commands for ostracisation of such thoughts with immediacy. Continue reading “Directions to prevent cow vigilante and mob lynching”

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claim of exclusive right to trade mark in common use.

Trade Mark MALABAR in public domain.

The appellant though claims exclusive right over the word ‘MALABAR’ since there is a disclaimer to the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR’, the appellant has no right over the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR’. The respondents have also inter alia brought on record the materials to show the registration of other goods under Class-30 with the word ‘MALABAR MONSOON’ granted in favour of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Limited for Coffee Cream, Coffee included in Class-30. The registration of the mark ‘MALABAR MONSOON’ under Class-30 also contains similar disclaimer of the word ‘MALABAR’. Likewise, the label ‘MALABAR COAST’ has been registered in Class-30 for Coffee, Tea, Cocoa, Sugar etc. in favour of Tropical Retreats Private Limited which again contains a similar disclaimer for the exclusive use of the word ‘MALABAR COAST’. Having regard to the materials placed on record, we are of the view that the High Court rightly held that the appellant cannot claim exclusive right over the use of the word ‘MALABAR’. Continue reading “claim of exclusive right to trade mark in common use.”

Plea of fraud after 16 years delay

Plea of fraud raised at the stage of execution of decree.

The assignment of agreement, which was basis of decree sought to be challenged claiming the signatures on the deed to bea forgery but no explanation offered for delay of 16 years in raising the question.

Kalyani executed an agreement for sale on 27.12.1968 in favour of second plaintiff-Vasudevan Pillai. Second plaintiff assigned the aforesaid agreement on 05.08.1978 in favour of one Rajayyan and the said Rajayyan assigned the agreement in favour of third plaintiff-Selvi on 10.03.1983. As pointed out earlier, all the three plaintiffs filed final decree application in I.A. No.120 of 1985. After the disposal of the matter by the first appellate court and when the second appeal was pending before the High Court, second plaintiff Vasudevan Pillai filed an affidavit on 07.01.2013 before the trial court – District Munsiff Court, Kuzhithurai alleging that a fraud has been played on him and denying the right of third plaintiff-Selvi to pursue the final decree application. Continue reading “Plea of fraud after 16 years delay”

Scope of appeal against acquittal

Duty of appellate court:

It is the duty of an appellate Court to look into the evidence adduced in the case and arrive at an independent conclusion as to whether the said evidence can be relied upon or not and even if it can be relied upon, then whether the prosecution can be said to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt on the said evidence. The credibility of a witness has to be adjudged by the appellate court in drawing inference from proved and admitted facts. It must be remembered that the appellate court, like the trial court, has to be satisfied affirmatively that the prosecution case is substantially true and the guilt of the accused has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt as the presumption of innocence with which the accused starts, continues right through until he is held guilty by the final Court of Appeal and that presumption is neither strengthened by an acquittal nor weakened by a conviction in the trial court.

[Source:  Padam Singh v. State of U.P., (2000) 1 SCC 621]

Appeal against acquittal:

The power of the appellate Court in an appeal against acquittal is the same as that of an appeal against conviction. But, in an appeal against acquittal, the Court has to bear in mind that the presumption of innocence is in favour of the accused and it is strengthened by the order of acquittal. At the same time, appellate Court will not interfere with the order of acquittal mainly because two views are possible, but only when the High Court feels that the appreciation of evidence is based on erroneous considerations and when there is manifest illegality in the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court.

In the present case, there was manifest irregularity in the appreciation of evidence by the trial Court. The High Court based on sound principles of criminal jurisprudence, has interfered with the judgment of acquittal passed by the trial Court and convicted the accused as the prosecution was successful in proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

[Source: Khurshid Ahmed vs. State of J & K, decided by SC on 15th May 2018]

Death due to brain hemorrhage

Distinction between Murder and Homicide not amounting to murder:

It is important to have a look at the evidence of PW 5-Dr. Arvind Kanwar who has conducted Post mortem and according to him there was an incised wound on the right parietal region of size 4” and 10” above right ear and another incised wound of 1” in size on the right index finger. He has deposed that “the brain was found congested, yet no fracture was seen on the scalp”. Though in the cross examination he has stated at one place that the injury No 2 on the scalp might be ‘grievous’ that caused brain hemorrhage. This particular fact is not noted in the postmortem report. Regarding the cause of such injury, PW5 stated that it can be caused by striking with sharp edged object and the depth of the scalp injury depends upon the force and speed. He maintains the stand that it was a ‘scalp injury’ and not ‘skull injury’. Moreover, he did not measure the depth of the head injury which was necessary for classification of injury. Continue reading “Death due to brain hemorrhage”

Procedure for disposal of Second Appeal by High Court.

Framing of question of law:

High Court framed 6 questions of law at the time of admission of appeal but delivered no judgement on those questions. However it framed two other questions in the judgement and decided the appeal. Procedure if legal?

First, though it rightly framed six substantial questions of law at the time of admission of the appeal on 30.11.2002 as arising in the case but erred in not answering these questions.

The High Court had the jurisdiction to decide the second appeal only on the six substantial questions of law framed at the time of admitting the appeal. In other words, the jurisdiction of the High Court to decide the second appeal was confined only to six questions framed and not beyond it. Continue reading “Procedure for disposal of Second Appeal by High Court.”

Extinguishment of right, title and interest in property

Effect of Re-grant of Land.

Whatever so-called rights, title and interest which the original holders derived from the orders of re-grant in 1973 in the suit property in their favour, the same stood extinguished by efflux of time.

The reason was that in order to keep such new rights intact and enforceable, the original holders (three PATIL) were under a legal obligation to have filed a suit for claiming a declaration and possession of the suit land and this ought to have been done by them within 12 years from the date of re-grant, i.e., 1973.

They, however, failed to do so within 12 years and when they actually tried to exercise their rights by filing the suit in 2004 (after 31 years from 1973), by then it was too late to exercise such rights in law. By that time, their rights in the suit land stood extinguished. Continue reading “Extinguishment of right, title and interest in property”

Arbitration Clause referring to 1940 Act

Applicability of Arbitration Act, 1996.

What is material for the purposes of the applicability of 1996 Act is the agreement between the parties to refer the disputes to arbitration. If there be such an arbitration agreement which satisfies the requirements of Section 7 of 1996 Act, and if no arbitral proceeding had commenced before 1996 Act came into force, the matter would be completely governed by the provisions of 1996 Act. Any reference to 1940 Act in the arbitration agreement would be of no consequence and the matter would be referred to arbitration only in terms of 1996 Act consistent with the basic intent of the parties as discernible from the arbitration agreement to refer the disputes to arbitration. Continue reading “Arbitration Clause referring to 1940 Act”

Prosecution for perjury

Scheme of Section 195 read with sec. 340 of Cr. P.C.

The prosecution for perjury should be sanctioned by courts only in those cases where the perjury appears to be deliberate and conscious and the conviction is reasonably probable or likely.

No doubt giving of false evidence and filing false affidavits is an evil which must be effectively curbed with a strong hand but to start prosecution for perjury too readily and too frequently without due care and caution and on inconclusive and doubtful material defeats its very purpose. Prosecution should be ordered when it is considered expedient in the interests of justice to punish the delinquent and not merely because there is some inaccuracy in the statement which may be innocent or immaterial. There must be prima facie case of deliberate falsehood on a matter of substance and the court should be satisfied that there is reasonable foundation for the charge.

[Source: Chajoo Ram v. Radhey Shyam, AIR 1971 SC 1367, 1971 SCR 172]

In view of the language used in Section 340 CrPC the court is not bound to make a complaint regarding commission of an offence referred to in Section 195(1)(b), as the section is conditioned by the words “court is of opinion that it is expedient in the interests of justice”.

Continue reading “Prosecution for perjury”

Compensation for death due to medical negligence

How to value human life?

Human life is most precious. It is extremely difficult to decide on the quantum of compensation in medical negligence case as the same is highly subjective in nature.

In case of Sarla Verma (2009) 6 SCC 121, Supreme Court discussed “just compensation.

In Kunal Saha case (2014) 1 SCC 384, Supreme Court rejected the multiplier method and held that a “no-fault” motor vehicle accident should not be compared with the case of death from medical negligence under any condition. It was held that there were problems in using a “strait-jacket formula” for determining the quantum of compensation. The multiplier method used in motor accident cases thus is not conclusive for just, fair and adequate compensation. I

n Halsbury Laws of England 4thEdition page 446, it has been stated with regard to non-pecuniary loss that pattern of compensation awarded is for pain and suffering and loss of amenity constitutes a conventional sum which is taken to be a sum which society deems fair, fairness being interpreted in the light of previous decisions”.

In Nizam’s case (2009) 6 SCC 1 the Supreme Court did not apply the multiplier method and awarded compensation based on the nature of injury, expenditure incurred and expenditure likely in future. Thus there is no restriction upon courts while awarding compensation it has to be confined to what is demanded by the complainant.

In V. Krishna Kumar (2015) 9 SCC 388, Supreme Court while relying on the principle of “restitutio in integrum” as recognized in Malay Kumar Ganguly case (2009) 9 SCC 221 and Kunal Saha (2014) 1 SCC 384 has further weighed the “apportioning of inflation” based on the RBI data of average inflationary rate between 1990-1991 and 2014-2015 and formulated standard future value; (FV) formula as below:

FV = PV (Present Value) x (1+r)n ( r= rate of return; n = time period)

Recently, the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court in the case of National Insurance Co Ltd (2017) Scale 12 determined just compensation in fatal accident cases has inter alia concluded that while determining the income, an addition of 50% of actual salary to the income of the deceased towards future prospective, where the deceased had a permanent job and was below the age of 40 years, should be made. The addition should be 30%, if the age was between 40-50 years. In case the deceased is was between the age of 50-60 years the addition should be 15%. Actual salary should be read as actual salary less tax. In case the deceased was self employed of on a fixed salary, an addition of 40% of the established income when the deceased was less than 40 years of age, 25% when the deceased was 40 to 50 years and 10% for the age group between 50-60 years. The established income means the income minus the tax component.