Challenge to Order Framing of Charge in Writ Jurisdiction

Whether an order on charge would be an interlocutory order for the purposes of Section 19(3)(c) PCA:

If contrary to the above law, at the stage of charge, the High Court adopts the approach of weighing probabilities and re-appreciate the material, it may be certainly a time consuming exercise. The legislative policy of expeditious final disposal of the trial is thus, hampered. Thus, even while reiterating the view that there is no bar to jurisdiction of the High Court to consider a challenge against an order of framing charge in exceptional situation for correcting a patent error of lack of jurisdiction, exercise of such jurisdiction has to be limited to rarest of rare cases.

Continue reading “Challenge to Order Framing of Charge in Writ Jurisdiction”

Abusing a person belonging to Scheduled Caste: Culpability

Offence under SC/ST Act:

Offence under the Act is not established merely on the fact that the informant is a member of Scheduled Caste unless there is an intention to humiliate a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe for the reason that the victim belongs to such caste. In the present case, the parties are litigating over possession of the land. The allegation of hurling of abuses is against a person who claims title over the property. If such person happens to be a Scheduled Caste, the offence under Section 3(1)(r)of the Act is not made out.

Continue reading “Abusing a person belonging to Scheduled Caste: Culpability”

Supreme Court grants bail to Arnab Goswami

The Supreme Court has passed following orders on 11 November 2020:

We are of the considered view that the High Court was in error in rejecting the applications for the grant of interim bail. We accordingly order and direct that Arnab Manoranjan Goswami, Feroz Mohammad Shaikh and Neetish Sarda shall be released on interim bail, subject to each of them executing a personal bond in the amount of Rs 50,000 to be executed before the Jail Superintendent.

(Emphasis Supplied)

The Supreme Court has kept the SLP(Crl) No. 005598 – 005598/2020 (Crl.A. No. 000742 – 000742/2020) pending for final orders on a later date.

Read the full order here:
Continue reading “Supreme Court grants bail to Arnab Goswami”

Power of Police to investigate after submission of closure report

Arnab Goswami vs. State of Maharashtra:

Maharashtra High Court has decided to dismiss the Application seeking interim relief of Stay on arrest holding that there is no illegality in arrest and continued investigation after the submission of closure report due to the reasons stated by police, is not illegal. Hence there is no merit in the contention that arrest is illegal. It observed:

Bail in Writ Jurisdiction:

No doubt, regard being had to the parameters of quashing and the self-restraint imposed by law, this court has jurisdiction to quash the investigation and pass appropriate interim orders as thought apposite in law. However, the powers are to be exercised sparingly and that too, in rare and appropriate cases and in extreme circumstances to prevent abuse of process of law.
44. In State of Telangana vs. Habib Abdullah Jeelani & others (supra), their Lordships have observed that the Courts have to ensure such a power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not to be exercised liberally so as to convert it into section 438 of Cr.P.C. proceedings.

45. The principle stated therein will equally apply to the exercise of this Court’s power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure while considering the applications for
bail since the petitioner is already in Judicial custody. The legislature has provided specific remedy under Section 439 Cr.P.C. for applying for regular bail. Having regard to the alternate and efficacious remedy available to the petitioner under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, this Court has to exercise judicial restraint while entertaining application in the nature of seeking regular bail in a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

Read Full Judgment:

Ingredients for offence of abetment of suicide

Offence of Abetment to commit suicide:

Suicide note naming the accused as abettor if sufficient:

As pointed out by the High Court, of course PW-1 to PW-5 have spoken about the borrowing of money by the deceased and also the execution of the promissory note. The sheet anchor of the prosecution’s case to prove the guilt of the accused is the suicide note (M.O.1)-written by the deceased. On perusal of suicide note (M.O.1), it is seen that in M.O.1 the deceased has written about the financial difficulties faced by him and his inability to meet the financial crunch and also his inability to repay the same. The tenor of M.O.1 only shows that the deceased was subjected to pressure for payment and was facing the financial difficulty. In M.O.1 (letter) there is nothing to indicate that there was instigation by the appellant-accused which had driven the deceased to take the extreme step of committing suicide.

The essential ingredients of the offence under Section 306 I.P.C. are:

(i) the abetment;

(ii) the intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide.

The act of the accused, however, insulting the deceased by using abusive language will not, by itself, constitute the abetment of suicide.

Continue reading “Ingredients for offence of abetment of suicide”

Contempt of court

The right to approach Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India is itself a fundamental right.

Assistant Secretary, Maharashtra Vidhan Mandal Sachivalaya issued this letter to Arnab Goswami, Editor of Republic TV, as follows :

“You were informed that the proceedings of the House are confidential………….despite this, it has been observed that you have presented the proceedings of the House before the Supreme Court on October 8, 2020. No prior permission was taken from the Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly before presenting such proceedings in court. You have knowingly breached the orders of the Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly and your actions amount to breach of confidentiality. This is definitely a serious matter and amounts to contempt,…….”

Article 32(1) of the Constitution of India reads as under :

“32(1). The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.”

There is no doubt that if a citizen of India is deterred in any case from approaching Supreme Court in exercise of his right under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, it would amount to a serious and direct interference in the administration of justice in the country.

Show Cause for contempt:

Continue reading “Contempt of court”

Scope of authority of Telecom Regulatory Authority to seek information.

Application by TRAI to disclose information/details:

Validity of insistence of TRAI about the disclosure of segmented discounts/concessions:

By the Telecommunication Tariff (30th Amendment) Order dated 16.01.2004, the definition of “Reporting Requirement” was substantially modified, so as to include the principles of non­discrimination and non­-predation. This was amended by the 42ndAmendment Order dated 07.03.2006. The 52nd Amendment Order dated 19.09.2012, introduced a penalty clause to the Reporting Requirement. Eventually the impugned order namely the 63rdamendment Order dated 16.02.2018 was issued. The amended definition of Reporting Requirement makes it clear that the Reporting Requirement is for the information and record of the TRAI.

Directions by Supreme Court:

Continue reading “Scope of authority of Telecom Regulatory Authority to seek information.”

Delay in approaching High Court in Writ Jurisdiction

Exercise of discretion by High Court in Writ Petition:

There is no doubt that the High Court in its discretionary jurisdiction may decline to exercise the discretionary writ jurisdiction on ground of delay in approaching the court. But it is only a rule of discretion by exercise of self ­restraint evolved by the court in exercise of the discretionary equitable jurisdiction and not a mandatory requirement that every delayed petition must be dismissed on the ground of delay. The Limitation Act stricto sensu does not apply to the writ jurisdiction. The discretion vested in the court under Article 226 of the Constitution therefore has to be a judicious exercise of the discretion after considering all pros and cons of the matter, including the nature of the dispute, the explanation for the delay, whether any third ­party rights have intervened etc.The jurisdiction under Article 226 being equitable in nature,questions of proportionality in considering whether the impugned order merits interference or not in exercise of the discretionary jurisdiction will also arise. This Court in Basanti Prasad vs. Bihar School Examination Board and others, (2009) 6 SCC791, after referring to Moon Mills Ltd. vs. Industrial Court, AIR1967 SC 1450, Maharashtra SRTC vs. Balwant RegularMotor Service, AIR 1969 SC 329 and State of M.P. and Others vs. Nandlal Jaiswal and others, (1986) 4 SCC 566, held that ifthe delay is properly explained and no third party rights are being affected, the writ court under Article 226 of the Constitution may condone the delay, holding as follows:

“18. In the normal course, we would not have taken exception to the order passed by the High Court.They are justified in saying that a delinquent employee should not be permitted to revive the stale claim and the High Court in exercise of its discretion would not ordinarily assist the tardy and indolent person. This is the traditional view and is well supported by a plethora of decisions of this Court.This Court also has taken the view that there is no inviolable rule, that, whenever there is delay the Court must refuse to entertain a petition. This Court has stated that the writ court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution may condone the delay in filing the petition, if the delay is satisfactorily explained.”

Indefinite black listing of a firm by Government

The aforesaid discussion, therefore, leads us to the conclusion that the writ petition was not barred by unexplained delay as the appellant had been pursuing the matter with the authorities and it is they who sat over it, triggering rejection of appellants tender by the Rajasthan Government on 05.07.2019 leading to the institution of the writ petition on 24.07.2019. The High Court therefore erred in dismissing the writ petition on grounds of delay. The illegality and the disproportionate nature of the order dated 08.09.2009, with no third party rights affected,never engaged the attention of the High Court in judicious exercise of the discretionary equitable jurisdiction.Consequently, the impugned order of the High Court as well as order dated 08.09.2009 of the respondents are set aside, and the appeal is allowed.

[Source: VETINDIA PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED v. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH decided by SC on Nov. 6, 2020]

Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002

Time limit of 60 days under Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002:

Directory or Mandatory:

The true intention of the Legislature is a determining factor herein. Keeping the objective of the Act in mind, the time limit to take action by the District Magistrate has been fixed to impress upon the authority to take possession of the secured assets. However, inability to take possession within time limit does not render the District Magistrate Functus Officio.

Continue reading “Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002”