Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Vehicle Piloting Another Vehicle Carrying Contraband Is Not Vehicle Used As Conveyance; Cannot Be Confiscated: Kerala High Court


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The Kerala High Court recently considered the question as to whether a vehicle piloting or accompanying another vehicle, which is transporting Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances could be held as vehicle used as conveyance in carrying the contraband so as to confiscate the same under Section 52-A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), and answered the same in the negative.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen observed that to hold that the vehicle accompanying or piloting another vehicle carrying the contraband, also as a vehicle carrying the contraband, and to treat the same also as conveyance is beyond the statutory intent of Section 60(3) of NDPS Act.

"...when the statute says an animal or conveyance used in carrying any narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances alone is subject matter of confiscation, the horizon of the legislative intent cannot be extended to a wider magnitude to hold that the vehicle piloting or accompanying another vehicle, which carried the contraband also as one carrying the contraband. Therefore, the vehicle piloting or accompanying another vehicle transporting Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances cannot be held as vehicle used as conveyance in carrying the contraband and the said vehicle is not a subject matter of confiscation under Section 52-A of the NDPS Act".

Monday, January 23, 2023

Section 113 (3) Motor Vehicles Act - Owners Also Liable When Vehicle Driven With Excess Weight: Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court on 20/01/23 observed that owners of the vehicles are also liable to be prosecuted under Section 113(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in case they have permitted the vehicle to be driven with excess weight.

Hearing a batch of petitions challenging the proceedings initiated under Sections 113(3)(b) r/w. Section 194(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, the court said the complaints raise specific allegations against the registered owners of the vehicles that they had permitted the vehicle to be driven with excess weight.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Personal Info Not Serving Public Interest Can't Be Disclosed: Gujarat HC

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The judicial officer had sought information with regard to the transfer requests of other judicial officers and the High Court's internal communications on such requests. He had also sought information with respect to complaints and resolutions against a Judge.

The Public Information Officer denied the request. In an appeal filed before the appellate authority, the judicial officer (respondent no. 2) contended that information regarding certain items had not been provided. The Appellate authority while rejecting the appeal observed that since the information was personal in nature, could not be provided and certain other information was not clear.




Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Delhi High Court Upholds Recovery Of Compensation From Underage Driver’s Father In Road Accident Case



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The Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal challenging the grant of recovery rights to an insurer against the registered owner of the car whose son was involved in a road accident leading to the death of a 42 year old man in 2013.

Justice Rekha Palli said the 42-year-old man lost his life only because the minor's father did not take appropriate steps to ensure that his vehicle is driven only by a person holding a valid driving licence.

"This Court, therefore, cannot condone such an act of the appellant and fasten the liability on the insurance company when it is evident that the terms of the insurance policy were breached by the appellant himself," the court said.

Justice Palli further observed that when the parents of minor children permit them to drive a motor vehicle, they not only put the lives of their own children in danger but also endanger the life of common citizens. 

"In the present case, the deceased Mr. Harinder Kumar, a young man of 42 years lost his life only because the appellant did not take appropriate steps to ensure that his vehicle is driven only by a person holding a valid driving licence”, the Court remarked," it added.

A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Rohini in November 2021 awarded a compensation of Rs.16,32,700 in favour of Kumar's wife and daughter. The tribunal in the order also said that the insurance company would have the right to recover the amount from the registered owner in appropriate proceedings as per law. It observed that that car owner by permitting his minor son to drive the vehicle, acted in breach of the terms of the insurance policy.

Referring to the award passed by the MACT, the court observed that the plea that his minor son had taken the car without his permission was not raised by the appellant/registered owner of the car either before the concerned police authority or the Juvenile Justice Board. 

“Once the appellant, despite being aware that his son was a minor child, left the keys of his car at home and has failed to give any explanation as to why the keys of the car at home were left unattended when he himself was not there, the defence being taken by the appellant is apparently an afterthought in an attempt to somehow to escape his liability," the court observed. 

The court added that the appellant did not lead any independent witness before the MACT in support of his plea that the car was driven by his minor son without his knowledge and permission.

It thus upheld the award of the Tribunal and dismissed the appeal.



Electricity Dept Has No Business To Check Property Ownership Of Consumer: Kerala High Court

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The Kerala High Court recently held that where a civil dispute is pending before the Civil Court, the Electricity Department ought to be circumspect in entertaining a complaint, unless there is gross violation of provisions of the Act.

Justice Amit Rawal passed the above order in a petition that was filed challenging the communication issued by the Electricity Board to the petitioner, asking her to show ownership of the property in question.

"Electricity department has no business to check the veracity of the ownership. Once the matter is pending before the civil court, Electricity Department should be circumspect in entertaining the complaint until and unless there is gross violation of provisions of the Act", the Court observed.
"Electricity department has no business to check the veracity of the ownership. Once the matter is pending before the civil court, Electricity Department should be circumspect in entertaining the complaint until and unless there is gross violation of provisions of the Act", the Court observed.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Bombay High Court Raps Maharastra Police For Misusing Official Secrets Act, Says Police Stations Not 'Prohibited Place' For Videography

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The Bombay High Court has pulled up the police for registering FIRs under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act against those videographing "discussions" or taking photographs inside police stations and directed the authorities to take appropriate steps to ensure the law is not misused.


The division bench of Justice Revati Mohite Dere and Justice Prithviraj K. Chavan said it would be open for the Director General of Police, Commissioner of Mumbai Police and Home Department to consider whether a senior high-ranking level officer is informed when an FIR under the Official Secrets Act is lodged, in matters concerning the Police Station, to curb misuse of the Act.

"We regularly come across cases where F.I.R are being registered by the Police, under section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, without application of mind, which is a matter of serious concern i.e., for acts done in the Police Station, video graphing of discussions in the Police Station, taking photographs within the Police Station, etc, more particularly, when a 'Police Station' is not a prohibited place," said the court.

Section 3 (Penalties for spying) of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 provides punishment for spying at a 'prohibited place' under section 2(8) of the Act. It is for acts against the safety or interest of the state.

The court relied on Ravindra Shitalrao Upadyay v. State of Maharashtra wherein it was held that video recording made on a mobile phone within the police station would not attract section 3 of the Act. It said to attract the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, the place where the incident takes place has to be a prohibited place', as defined in section 2(8) of the enactment.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Prasar Bharati Cannot Encrypt DD Sports: Delhi High Court, Dismisses Amazon's Plea Against Broadcast Of India-New Zealand Cricket Series On Dish TV

Upholding an interim order of the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, the Delhi High Court on Friday ruled that Prasar Bharti cannot encrypt the contents of DD Sports as long as it remains in the list of Free-to-air channels which are required to be compulsorily carried by all cable operators.


Justice Yashwant Varma said DD Sports has been made FTA by the government in the exercise of powers conferred by the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and it continues to remain included in the notification dated September 06, 2013.

"Thus, even if the content in question be one which was acquired by Prasar Bharati under Section 12(3)(c) of the [Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act]1990 Act, as long as the same is aired on the DD Sports platform, it would be subject to the power that the Union Government may exercise under Section 8 of the 1995 Act," said the court

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

NI Act | Complainant Can't Seek To Prosecute Company's Former Directors For Cheque Issued To Repay Amount Invested When They Held Office: Karnataka HC

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The Karnataka High Court has quashed the proceedings initiated against two former directors of a company under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act by the complainant claiming that when he invested the money in the company they were directors.

A


single-judge bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar allowed the petition filed by Sunita and Vidya and quashed the proceedings pending against them.

A private complaint was filed under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (for short, 'the Act'), alleging that the cheque, which was issued by the Company in favour of the complainant, when presented for realisation was dishonoured for want of funds. The Magistrate, after recording the sworn statement of the complainant, took cognizance of the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Act and issued summons to the accused.

The bench said, "The cheque in question was issued on 01.08.2019. The petitioners, who were the Directors of the Company, ceased to be the Directors of the Company with effect from 22.03.2017 which is evident from Form No.DIR-12 issued by Registrar of the Companies and the same has remained uncontroverted."

It then held, "Hence, it implies that the petitioners ceased to be the Directors of the Companies as on the date of issuance of the cheque. Hence, registration of the complaint against the petitioners for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Act is not sustainable."

No fine can be imposed for feeding stray dogs: Supreme Court modifies Bombay High Court order

The Supreme Court on Wednesday modified an order of the Bombay High Court that had directed authorities to impose fines on citizens who feed stray dogs in Nagpur [Swati Sudhirchandra Chatterjee and ors v. Vijay Shankarrao Talewar and ors].

The Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and JK Maheshwari said that it is permissible to feed stray dogs without causing a nuisance to the public and that no coercive steps like fines can be imposed for feeding the animals.

"Wherever there are human beings, there is bound to be a conflict of interest. There will be wrongs done by stray dogs as well, we have to be conscious of both. There may be other considerations...You cannot insist that people who feed dogs must adopt them." 

*****



Last month, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court had directed authorities to impose a fine of not more than ₹200 on citizens who feed stray dogs on the roads and in public places in the city.

The High Court had noted that despite measures taken by the authorities, the menace of stray dogs had increased in the city because of the irresponsible behaviour of some citizens, who feed such dogs on the streets.

The Bench had stated that if these so-called friends of stray dogs are really interested in the protection and welfare of the strays, they must adopt them, take them home or at least put them up in dog shelter homes and bear all the expenses for their registration with municipal authorities and towards their maintenance, health and vaccination.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Education is not business to earn profit, tuition fees must be affordable: Supreme Court

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Education is not a business to earn a profit, the Supreme Court observed on Monday while upholding the Andhra Pradesh High Court order to strike down the State government's decision to hike the annual tuition fees for MBBS courses in private unaided medical colleges to ₹24 lakh.


Determination of fee or review of fee, the judges said, shall be within the parameters of the fixation rules and shall have direct nexus to:

- location of the professional Institution

- nature of 
the professional course

- cost of available infrastructure

- expenditure on administration and maintenance

- reasonable surplus required for growth and development of the Institution

- revenue foregone on account of waiver of the fee, if any, in respect of reserved category students.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

'Bribe Giver' Is A Party Connected To 'Proceeds Of Crime' ; Can Be Prosecuted Under PMLA : Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court set aside a Madras High Court judgment which quashed PMLA proceedings initiated against a 'bribe giver'.



"By handing over the money to give a bribe, such person will be assisting or will knowingly be a party to an activity connected with the proceeds of crime. Without such active participation on the part of the person concerned, the money would not assume the character of being the proceeds of crime. The relevant expressions from Section 3 of the PML Act are thus wide enough to cover the role played by such a person.", the bench of CJI UU Lalit and Justice Bela M. Trivedi observed.

Padmanabhan Kishore (A2) allegedly handed over a sum of Rs.50,00,000/- (Rupees fifty lakhs only) to a public servant. An FIR was registered under Section 120B, Indian Penal Code and Sections 7, 12, 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Later, a case was registered by the Enforcement Directorate against the accused including Padmanabhan Kishore under Sections 3 and 4 of the PML Act. Later, the Madras High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the PMLA proceedings against him. According to High Court, the sum of Rs.50,00,000/- as long as it was in the hands of Padmanabhan Kishore (A2) could not have been stated as tainted money because it is not the case of the CBI that he had mobilised Rs.50,00,000/- via criminal activity. The sum of Rs.50,00,000/- became the proceeds of a crime only when Andasu Ravinder (A1) accepted it as a bribe. Even before Andasu Ravinder (A1) could project the sum of Rs.50,00,000/- as untainted money, the CBI intervened and seized the money in the car on 29.08.2011.