Transfer of criminal investigation to CBI

Writ petition in Supreme Court seeking transfer:

The petitioner, the President of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (hereinafter referred to as “GJM”), has filed this Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for transfer of investigation of all First Information Reports lodged against the petitioner and other members of GJM, to any independent investigation agency.

Principle for transfer:

This Court does not direct transfer of investigation just for the asking nor is transfer directed only to satisfy the ego or vindicate the prestige of a party interested in such investigation. The decision whether transfer should or should not be ordered rests on the Court’s satisfaction whether the facts and circumstances of a given case demand such an order. Continue reading “Transfer of criminal investigation to CBI”


Objections to the execution of decree for possession

Scope of powers of Executing Court:

The respondents instituted a suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act against the appellant, alleging that the appellant had forcibly taken possession of the land. In response it was the case of the appellant that he was neither in possession of the land nor had he dispossessed the respondents. The suit was decreed by the trial court ex-parte on 30 May 2009, upon which execution was initiated by the respondents as decree-holders.

Bar u/s 185 of Land Reforms Act:

The appellant appears to have filed objections to the execution of the decree on 12 July 2010 on the ground that Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act bars a civil suit for the recovery of possession. The objections were dismissed by the executing Court on 21 August 2010 with the following observations:

“The Delhi Land Reforms Act is applicable with regard to the agricultural land only but the land in question is not agriculture land which has been vehemently argued by the counsel for the DH and in support of her contention placed on record the copies of the electricity bills pertaining to the same khasra number which is subject matter of the instant execution proceedings. Even otherwise, it is a matter of common knowledge that most of the rural land in Delhi has become urbanized and private colonies, may be unauthorized, have mushroomed on such agricultural land. This fact has since been substantiated with the help of electricity bills which takes out the sting from the contentions raised by the counsel for the objector and in the process strengthens the case of the DH, the arguments is thus, brushed aside that the court lack of inherent jurisdiction on account of the fact that land in question is governed by the Delhi Land Reforms Act being agriculture land.” The order of the executing court was challenged by the appellant under Article 227 of the Constitution. The High Court dismissed the petition by its judgment dated 19 September 2014. The High Court rejected the submission that the decree obtained under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act was a nullity on the ground that the suit was barred by Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954.”

The High Court has relied upon the earlier decisions of the court following Ram Lubbaya Kapoor v J R Chawla (1986 RLR 432), in which it has been held that to be ‘land’ for the purpose of the Delhi Land Reforms Act,1954, the land must be held or occupied for purposes connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry and if it is not used for such purposes, it ceases to be land for the purposes of the Act. The same view has been taken by the Delhi High Court in Narain Singh and Anr v Financial Commissioner ((2008) 105 DRJ 122), Neelima Gupta and Ors v Yogesh Saroha (156 (2009) DLT 129), and Anand J Datwani v Ms Geeti Bhagat Datwani (2013 (137) DRJ 146).

Scope of power of executing court: (See section 47 of CPC)

The validity of a decree can be challenged before an executing court only on the ground of an inherent lack of jurisdiction which renders the decree a nullity. In Hira Lal Patni v Sri Kali Nath ((1962) 2 SCR 747),  Court held thus: Continue reading “Objections to the execution of decree for possession”

Form of demand notice under Insolvency Code.

Validity of demand notice by lawyer:

Whether a demand notice of an unpaid operational debt can be issued by a lawyer on behalf of the operational creditor?

5. Demand notice by operational creditor.— (1) An operational creditor shall deliver to the corporate debtor, the following documents, namely.-

(a) a demand notice in Form 3; or

(b) a copy of an invoice attached with a notice in Form 4.

(2) The demand notice or the copy of the invoice demanding payment referred to in sub-section (2) of section 8 of the Code, may be delivered to the corporate debtor,

(a) at the registered office by hand, registered post or speed post with acknowledgement due; or

(b) by electronic mail service to a whole time director or designated partner or key managerial personnel, if any, of the corporate debtor. (3) A copy of demand notice or invoice demanding payment served under this rule by an operational creditor shall also be filed with an information utility, if any.

Continue reading “Form of demand notice under Insolvency Code.”

Are you abusing the process of court?

Conduct of a litigant before court.

Whenever a person approaches a Court of Equity, in the exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction, it is expected that he will approach the said court not only with clean hands but also with a clean mind, a clean heart and clean objectives.

Thus, he who seeks equity must do equity. The legal maxim “Jure Naturae Aequum Est Neminem cum Alterius Detrimento Et Injuria Fieri Locupletiorem”, means that it is a law of nature that one should not be enriched by causing loss or injury to another.

The judicial process cannot become an instrument of oppression or abuse, or a means in the process of the court to subvert justice, for the reason that the court exercises its jurisdiction, only in furtherance of justice. The interests of justice and public interest coalesce, and therefore, they are very often one and the same. A petition or an affidavit containing a misleading and/or an inaccurate statement, only to achieve an ulterior purpose, amounts to an abuse of process of the court.

[Source: V.Chandrasekaran vs Administrative Officer, decided on 18 September, 2012 by Supreme Court.]

The quest for personal gain has become so intense that those involved in litigation do not hesitate to seek shelter of falsehood, misrepresentation and suppression of facts in the course of court proceedings. A litigant who attempts to pollute the stream of justice, or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final. Continue reading “Are you abusing the process of court?”

What is cause of action?

A plaint before it can be entertained and registered as suit, it must plead cause of action.

What is cause of action?

While scrutinizing the plaint averments, it is the bounden duty of the trial Court to ascertain the materials for cause of action. The cause of action is a bundle of facts which taken with the law applicable to them gives the plaintiff the right to relief against the defendant. Every fact which is necessary for the plaintiff to prove to enable him to get a decree should be set out in clear terms. It is worthwhile to find out the meaning of the words “cause of action”. A cause of action must include some act done by the defendant since in the absence of such an act no cause of action can possibly accrue.

In A.B.C. Laminart Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. vs. A.P. Agencies, Salem (1989) 2 SCC 163, Supreme Court explained the meaning of “cause of action” as follows: Continue reading “What is cause of action?”

Urdu terms used in land revenue records in India

Revenue Vocabulary:

Revenue records of agricultural lands were first formalized during the Mughal rule under the King Akbar. His revenue minister Raja Man Singh is said to have created the system of accounting of agricultural land in India and till date the same system of book keeping of agricultural records is maintained. While the most records have switched to writing in Hindi but the record keepers still use Urdu words to describe various facts. These are the frequent words and phrases used in the Revenue records:

राजस्व भाषा:

1 आबादी देह→ गॉंव का बसा हुआ क्षेत्र ।

2 मौजा→ ग्राम Continue reading “Urdu terms used in land revenue records in India”

Scope of power of attorney in Criminal Prosecution

Criminal Complaints through a Power of Attorney

The complaint in this case was a summary complaint under section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1888.

Whether a Power of Attorney holder can sign and file a complaint petition on behalf of the complainant ?

Supreme Court has answered the question in affirmative but subject to a few riders. The attorney acts as an agent of the complainant and therefore has to act in the name of principal:

“The power of attorney holder is the agent of the grantor. When the grantor authorizes the attorney holder to initiate legal proceedings and the attorney holder accordingly initiates such legal proceedings, he does so as the agent of the grantor and the initiation is by the grantor represented by his attorney holder and not by the attorney holder in his personal capacity. Therefore, where the payee is a proprietary concern, the complaint can be filed by the proprietor of the proprietary concern, describing himself as the sole proprietor of the payee, the proprietary concern, describing itself as a sole proprietary concern, represented by its sole proprietor, and the proprietor or the proprietary concern represented by the attorney holder under a power of attorney executed by the sole proprietor. However, we make it clear that the power of attorney holder cannot file a complaint in his own name as if he was the complainant. In other words, he can initiate criminal proceedings on behalf of the principal.”

Necessity of personal knowledge of attorney

Continue reading “Scope of power of attorney in Criminal Prosecution”

Family Court Act (Bare Act)


(No.66 of 1984)
[14th September, 1984]

An Act to provide for the establishment of Family Courts with a view to promote conciliation in, and
secure speedy settlement of, disputes relating to marriage and family affairs and for matters
connected therewith.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows:


1. Short title, extent and commencement. – 1) This Act may be called the Family Courts Act,
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States.
2. Definitions.- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
a. “Judge” means the Judge or, as the case may be, the Principal Judge, Additional
Principal Judge or other Judge of a Family Court;
b.”notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;
c. “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
d. “Family Court” means a Family Court established under Sec.3;
all other words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code
of Civil Procedure, 1908(5 of 1908), shall have the meanings respectively assigned to
them in that Code.


(3) Establishment of Family Courts.-(1) For the purpose of exercising the jurisdiction and
powers conferred on a Family Court by this Act, the State Government after consultation with the High Court, and by notification,-
a. shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, establish for every area in
the State comprising a city or town whose population exceeds one million, a Family
b. may establish Family Courts for such other areas in the State as it may deem necessary.

(2) The State Government shall, after consultation with the High Court specify, by notification, the local limits of the area to which the jurisdiction of a Family Court shall extend and may, at any time, increase, reduce or alter such limits.

Continue reading “Family Court Act (Bare Act)”

Witness in court through attorney

Is power of attorney holder, a competent witness to depose on behalf of the principal?

Attorney is a mere legal representative or an agent. Without anything more s/he can not have personal knowledge of the acts done by the principal, directly. Can such an attorney be competent witness?

Agent/ attorney under Civil Procedure code 1908, Order 3 Rule 1 & 2.

There was a divergence of opinion in different High Courts on the above question which was settled by Supreme Court as under:

The question whether the appellants have any independent source of income and have contributed towards the purchase of the property from their own independent income can be only answered by the appellants themselves and not by a mere holder of power of attorney from them. The power of attorney holder does not have the personal knowledge of the matter of the appellants and therefore he can neither depose on his personal knowledge nor can he be cross-examined on those facts which are to the personal knowledge of the principal. Order III, Rules 1 and 2 CPC, empowers the holder of power of attorney to “act” on behalf of the principal. In our view the word “acts” employed in Order III, Rules 1 and 2 CPC, confines only in respect of “acts” done by the power of attorney holder in exercise of power granted by the instrument. The term “acts” would not include deposing in place and instead of the principal. In other words, if the power of attorney holder has rendered some “acts” in pursuance to power of attorney, he may depose for the principal in respect of such acts, but he cannot depose for the principal for the acts done by the principal and not by him. Similarly, he cannot depose for the principal in respect of the matter which only the principal can have a personal knowledge and in respect of which the principal is entitled to be cross-examined.
[Source: Janki Vashdeo Bhojwani v. Indusind Bank Ltd., (2005) 2 SCC 217.]

Corruption: Procedure for investigation

Investigation into the complaints against Public Servants
for abuse of their Official position:

Necessity of investigation into allegations of corruption:

The adverse impact of lack of probity in public life leading to a high degree of corruption is manifold. It also has adverse effect on foreign investment and funding from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank who have warned that future aid to under-developed countries may be subject to the requisite steps being taken to eradicate corruption, which prevents international aid from reaching those for whom it is meant. Increasing corruption has led to investigative journalism which is of value to a free society. The need to highlight corruption in public life through the medium of public interest litigation invoking judicial review may be frequent in India but is not unknown in other countries.
[See R v Secretary of State for Foreign andCommonwealth Affairs, (1995) 1 WLR 386.]

Of course, the necessity of desirable procedures evolved by court rules to ensure that such a litigation is properly conducted and confined only to mattes of public interest is obvious. This is the effort made in these proceedings for the enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution in exercise of powers conferred on this Court for doing complete justice in a cause. It cannot be doubted that there is a serious human rights aspect involved in such a proceeding because the prevailing corruption in public life, if permitted to continue unchecked, has ultimately the deleterious effect of eroding the Indian polity. As a result of the aforesaid discussion, we hereby direct as under:

Procedure for investigation laid down by Supreme Court of India:


1. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) shall be given statutory status.
2. Selection for the post of Central Vigilance Commissioner shall be made by a Committee comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Leader of the Opposition from a panel of outstanding civil servants and others with impeccable integrity to be furnished by the Cabinet Secretary. The appointment shall be made by the President on the basis of the recommendations made by the Committee. This shall be done immediately.
3. The CVC shall be responsible for the efficient functioning of the CBI. While Government shall remain answerable for the CBI’s functioning, to introduce visible objectivity in the mechanism to be established for over viewing the CBI’s working, the CVC shall be entrusted with the responsibility of superintendence over the CBI’s functioning. The CBI shall report to the CVC about cases taken up by it for investigation; progress of investigations; cases in which chargesheets are filed and their progress. The CVC shall review the progress of all cases moved by the CBI for sanction of prosecution of public servants which are pending with competent authorities, specially those in which sanction has been delayed or refused.
4. The Central Government shall take all measures necessary to ensure that the CBI functions effectively and efficiently and is viewed as a non-partisan agency.
5. The CVC shall have a separate section in its Annual Report on the CBI’s functioning after the supervisory function is transferred to it.
6. Recommendations for appointment of the Director, CBI shall be made by a Committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner with the Home Secretary and Secretary (Personnel) as members. The views of the incumbent Director shall be considered by the Committee for making the best choice. The Committee shall draw up a panel of IPS officers on the basis of their seniority, integrity, experience in investigation and anti – corruption work. The final selection shall be made by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) from the panel recommended by the Selection Committee. If none among the panel is found suitable, the reasons the reasons thereof shall be recorded and the Committee asked to draw up a fresh panel.
7. The Director, CBI shall have a minimum tenure of two years, regardless of the date of his superannuation. This would ensure that an officer suitable in all respects is not ignored merely because he has less than two years to superannuate from the date of his appointment.
8. The transfer of an incumber Director, CBI in an extraordinary situation, including the need for him to take up a more important assignment, should have the approval of the Selection Committee.
9. The Director, CBI shall have full freedom for allocation of work within the agency as also for constituting teams for investigations. Any change made by the Director, CBI in the Head of an investigative team should be for cogent reasons and for improvement in investigation, the reasons being recorded.
10. Selection/extention of tenure of officers upto the level of Joint Director (JD) shall be decided by a Board comprising the central Vigilance Commissioner, Home Secretary and Secretary (Personnel) with the Director, CBI providing the necessary inputs. The extension of tenure or premature repatriation of officers upto the level of Joint Director shall be with final approval of the Board. Only cases pertaining to the appointment or extension of tenure of officers of the rank of Joint Director or above shall be referred to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for decision.
11. Proposals for improvement of infrastructure, methods of investigation, etc. should be decided urgently. In order to strengthen CBI’s in-house expertise, professionals from the revenue, banking and security sectors should be inducted into the CBI.
12. The CBI Manual based on statutory provisions of the Cr. P.C. provides essential guidelines for the CBI’s functioning. It is imperative that the CBI adheres scrupulously to the provisions in the Manual in relation to its investigative functions, like raids, scizure and arrests. Any deviation from the established procedure should be viewed seriously and severe disciplinary action taken against the concerned officials.
13. The Director, CBI shall be responsible for ensuring the filing of chargesheets in courts within the stipulated time limits, and the matter should be kept under constant review by the Director, CBI
14. A document on CBI’s functioning should be published within three months to provide the general public with a feedback on investigations and information for redress of genuine grievances in a manner which does not compromise with the operational requirements of the CBI.
15. Time limit of three months for grant of sanction for prosecution must be strictly adhered to. However, additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General (AG) or any other law officer in the AG’s office.
16. The Director, CBI should conduct regular appraisal of personnel to prevent corruption and/or inefficiency in the agency.


1. A Selection Committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and including the Home Secretary, Secretary (Personnel) and Revenue Secretary, shall prepare a panel for appointment of the Director, Enforcement Directorate. The appointment to the post of Director shall be made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) from the panel recommended by the Selection Committee.
2. The Director, Enforcement Director like Director, CBI shall have a minimum tenure of two years. In his case also, premature transfer for any extraordinary reason should be approved by the aforesaid Selection Committee headed by the Central Vigilance commissioner.
3. In view of the importance of the post of Director, Enforcement Directorate, it shall be upgraded to that of a Additional Secretary/Special Secretary to the Government.
4. Officers of the Enforcement Directorate handling sensitive assignments shall be provided adequate security to enable them to discharge their functions fearlessly.
5. Extensions of tenure upto the level of Joint Director in the Enforcement Directorate should be decided by the said Committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner.
6. There shall be no premature media publicity by the CBI/Enforcement Directorate.
7. Adjudication/commencement of prosecution shall be made by the enforcement Directorate within a period of one year.
8. The Director, Enforcement Directorate shall monitor and ensure speedy completion of investigations/adjudications and launching of prosecutions. Revenue Secretary must review their progress regularly.
9. For speedy conduct of investigations abroad, the procedure to approve filing of applications for Letters Rogatory shall be streamlined and, if necessary, Revenue Secretary authorised to grant the approval
10. A comprehensive circular shall be published by the Directorate to inform the public about the procedures/systems of its functioning for the sake of transparency.
11. In-house legal advice mechanism shall be strengthened by appointment of competent legal advisers in the CBI/Directorate of Enforcement.
12. The Annual Report of the Department of Revenue shall contain a detailed account on the working of the Enforcement Directorate.


1. A Nodal Agency headed by the Home Secretary with Member (Investigation), Central Board of Direct Taxes, Director General, Revenue Intelligence, Director, Enforcement and Director, CBI as members, shall be constituted for coordinated action in cases having politico-bureaucrat- criminal nexus.
2. The Nodal Agency shall meet at least once every month.
3. Working and efficacy of the Nodal Agency should be watched for about one year so as to improve it upon the basis of the experience gained within this period.


1. A panel of competent lawyers of experience and impeccable reputation shall be prepared with the advice of the Attorney General Their services shall be utilised as Prosecuting Counsel in cases of significance. Even during the course of investigation of an offence, the advice of a lawyer chosen from the panel should be taken by the CBI/Enforcement Directorate.
2. Every prosecution which results in the discharge or acquittal of the accused must be reviewed by a lawyer on the panel and, on the basis of the opinion given, responsibility should be fixed for dereliction of duty, if any, of the concerned officer. In such cases, strict action should be taken against the officer found guilty of dereliction of duty.
3. The preparation of the panel of lawyers with approval of the Attorney General shall be completed within three months.
4. Steps shall be taken immediately for the constitution of an able and impartial agency comprising persons of unimpeachable integrity to perform functions akin to those of the Director of Prosecutions in U.K. On the constitution of such a body, the task of supervising prosecutions launched by the CBI/Enforcement Directorate shall be entrusted to it.
5. Till the constitution of the aforesaid body, Special Counsel shall be appointed for the conduct of important trials on the recommendation of the Attorney General or any other law officer designated by him.
The learned amicus curiae had urged us to issue directions for the appointment of an authority akin to the Special or Independent Counsel in the United States of America for the investigation of charges in politically sensitive matters and for the prosecution of those cases and to ensure that appointments to sensitive posts in the CBI and other enforcement agencies and transfers therefrom were not made by the political executive. We are of the view that the time for these drastic steps has not come. It is our hope that it never will, for we entertain the belief that the investigative agencies shall function far better now, having regard to all that has happened since these writ petition were admitted and to the directions which are contained in this judgment. The personnel of the enforcement agencies should not now lack the courage and independence to go about their task as they should, even where those to be investigated are prominent and powerful persons.

[Source: Vineet Narain Vs. Union of India. (Supreme Court of India)]

Comment: This is an elaborate procedure laid down for investigation. However the procedure works when the human beings follow the procedure with letter and spirit. But since the laying down of procedure, high functionaries in all departments above were found to be not diligently following the procedure. Many resigned due to this reason. It is wondered how the Jan Lokpal or Public Ombudsman, if created by legislation is going to work honestly. How honest persons of integrity will be appointed as Ombudsman if they could not be found for aforesaid mechanism?