Daily Digest

Important Case Laws of August 2, 2019

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 156 (3) – CBI Investigation – The writ petitioners did not, at any stage of the investigation, approach the Magistrate concerned for any direction under Section 156 (3). Even after the final reports were laid before the Criminal Court, they did not approach either the said Court or the High Court for any direction. The said inaction of the writ petitioners impinges upon the bona fides of their claim that there was no fair investigation of the case. [Para 9.5] Hrishikesh Roy (C.J.) & A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar, J. State of Kerala v. C.P. Mohammed [Kerala High Court, W.A. No. 628 of 2018 02-08-2019]

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 319 – Power to proceed against other persons appearing to be guilty of offence – From the evidences collected during course of any inquiry into, or trial of, an offence, it must appear to the Court that someone, who being not arraigned as an accused in the case had committed an offence for which he could be tried together with the accused. If the Court entertains only doubt about the involvement of another person in the offence from the evidence collected during trial, in that case it would not be appropriate to proceed against such person in terms of Section 319 of the Cr. P.C. Only where strong and cogent evidence are available against a person, such power should be exercised. It is not to be exercised in a casual or a cavalier manner. Sudhir Singh, J. Vinod Deo v. State of Bihar [Patna High Court, Crl. Rev. No. 171 of 2019 02-08-2019]

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 439 – National Investigating Agency Act, 2008 – Section 21 (4) – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 – Sections 13,17,18 and 20 – Bail Application – A priori, the exercise to be undertaken by the Court at this stage – of giving reasons for grant of non-grant of bail – is markedly different from discussing merits or demerits of the evidence. The elaborate examination or dissection of the evidence is not required to be done at this stage. The Court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities regarding the involvement of the accused in the commission of the stated offence or otherwise. Siddharth Mridul & Brijesh Sethi, JJ. Ghulam Mohd. Bhat v. National Investigating Agency [Delhi High Court, 02-08-2019]

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 439 – National Investigating Agency Act, 2008 – Section 21 (4) – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 – Sections 13,17,18 and 20 – Framing of Charge – Once charges are framed, it would be safe to assume that a very strong suspicion was founded upon the materials before the Court, which prompted the Court to form a presumptive opinion as to the existence of the factual ingredients constituting the offence alleged against the accused, to justify the framing of charge. Siddharth Mridul & Brijesh Sethi, JJ. Ghulam Mohd. Bhat v. National Investigating Agency [Delhi High Court, 02-08-2019]

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 439 – National Investigating Agency Act, 2008 – Section 21 (4) – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 – Sections 13,17,18 and 20 – Bail Application – the relevant provision of the UA(P) Act, in relation to the grant or release on bail to an accused person, is enunciated as a non-obstante clause, which clearly and unequivocally postulates that, if the court is of the opinion that, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against such person are prima facie true, he shall not to be released on bail. Siddharth Mridul & Brijesh Sethi, JJ. Ghulam Mohd. Bhat v. National Investigating Agency [Delhi High Court, 02-08-2019]

Evidence Law – Witness – Motive – Where direct evidence is worthy and it can be believed, then motive does not carry much weight. It is also notable that mind set of accused persons differs from each other. Thus merely because that there was no strong motive to commit the offence, prosecution case cannot be disbelieved. [Para 27] Sudhir Agarwal & Rajendra Kumar-IV, JJ. Ram Surat v. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, J.A. No. 1917 of 2015 02-08-2019]

Evidence Law – Witness – Close Relatives – Merely because witnesses are closed relatives of victim, their testimonies cannot be discarded. Relationship with one of the parties is not a factor that affects credibility of witness, more so, a relative would not conceal the actual culprit and make allegation against an innocent person. However, in such a case Court has to adopt a careful approach and analyse the evidence to find out, whether it is cogent and credible evidence. [Para 26] Sudhir Agarwal & Rajendra Kumar-IV, JJ. Ram Surat v. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, J.A. No. 1917 of 2015 02-08-2019]

Irrigation Act, 1931 (Chhattisgarh) – Sections 26, 37, 40, 44 and 58 – Irrigation Rules, 1974 (Chhattisgarh) – Rule 71-A and Rule 73(1) – Constitutional Validity of – Rights of the Government in Water – Purpose for which water may be supplied – Supply of water for industrial, urban or other purposes – Rates for unauthorized use and waste of water – Powers to make rules – Whether the demand for levy of water charges in respect of the use of water, which gets collected on rains in the natural course, in the worked out pits left out in the leased area after mining, is devoid of any power or authority and bad in all respects. P.R. Ramachandra Menon (CJ) & Parth Prateem Sahu, J. Acc Limited v. State [Chattisgarh High Court, W.P. (C) No. 774 of 2015 02-08-2019]

Penal Code, 1860 – Section 149 – Unlawful Assembly – Common Object – To ascertain whether a particular person shared the common object of the unlawful assembly it is not essential to prove that he committed some illegal overt act or had been guilty of some illegal omission in pursuance of the common object. Once it is demonstrated from all the facts and circumstances of a given case that he shared the common object of the unlawful assembly in furtherance of which some offence was committed – or he knew was likely to be committed – by any other person, he would be guilty of that offence. Undoubtedly, commission of an overt act by such a person would be one of the tests to prove that he shared the common object, but it is not the sole test. [Para 167] Ritu Raj Awasthi & Virendra Kumar-II, JJ. Meera @ Ashmeer v. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, Crl.A. No. 1739 of 2007 02-08-2019]

Penal Code, 1860 – Sections 363, 366 and 376 – Rape – The testimony of prosecutrix stands at higher footing to that of an injured witness. It is not legally required to insist for corroboration if the evidence of the prosecutrix inspires confidence and appears to be credible. A woman or girl who is victim of rape is not an accomplice and her sole testimony without any further corroboration is enough for conviction of the accused if inspires confidence and appears to be natural and truthful. Corroboration in the form of eye-witness account of an independent witness may often be forthcoming in physical assault cases but such evidence cannot be expected in sexual assault cases having regard to the very nature of the offence. If the evidence of the victim does not suffer from any basic infirmity, there is no need to insist on further corroboration in terms of medical evidence. Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, J. Sanjay v. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, Crl.A. No. 2027 of 2015 02-08-2019]

Preventive Detention – When the detenus are in judicial custody and there is no imminent possibility of their release on bail and even no bail applications are pending, the power of preventive detention ought not to be exercised. Siddharth Mridul & Brijesh Sethi, JJ. Ankit Ashok Jalan v. Union of India [Delhi High Court, 02-08-2019]

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 – Sections 12 and 18 – Application to Magistrate – Protection Orders – What should be the period of limitation for filling a complaint under Sections 12 and 18 of the Act. Dinesh Kumar Singh, J. Trilochan Singh v. Manpreet Kaur [Allahabad High Court, Misc. Single No. 4177 of 2012 02-08-2019]

Stamp Act, 1899 – Sections 47A, 56 and 57 – Any person aggrieved by the order of the Revenue Authority can approach the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority under Section 57 of the Act, 1899 for reference of his case to the High Court if it involves substantial question of law, and the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority is under obligation to refer the case to the High Court. Under the scheme of the Act, there is nothing from which it can be inferred that the words ‘otherwise coming to its notice’ used in Section 57 (1) of the Act, 1899 can be stretched to such an extent so as to include within its periphery any person and not only the persons who are party to the lis. [Para 29] Saral Srivastava, J. Sushil Kumar Jain v. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, 02-08-2019]

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