27 June 2020

No need to file appeal against every interlocutory order, it can be challenged in appeal against final decree

Does an interlocutory order becomes final if appeal is not preferred against it?


Is it open to a party to challenge the interlocutory order in an appeal against final decree?


Can appellate court direct the appellant to file revision to challenge the interlocutory order?


Held:

An interlocutory order which had not been appealed from, either because no appeal lay or even though an appeal lay, an appeal was not taken, can be challenged in an appeal from a final decree or order.


No need to file appeal against every interlocutory order, it can be challenged in  appeal against final decree
In Achal Misra (supra), the High Court had allowed the writ petitions filed by the allottees on the ground, that the landlord not having challenged the original order notifying the vacancy then and there, was precluded from challenging the order notifying the vacancy in revision against the final order or in further challenges to it in the High Court. When the judgment of the High Court came up for consideration before the two learned Judges of this Court, it was noticed, that it could not be said that the question of vacancy, if not challenged by a separate writ petition on its notification, could not be questioned along with the final order, in the revision filed under Section 18 of the Act. It was observed, that the question of vacancy pertained to a jurisdictional fact and can be challenged in the revision filed against the allotment order passed by the District Magistrate. It was further observed, that in case it was found, that there was no vacancy, the order of allotment had to be set aside. As such, the learned two Judges referred the matter to a larger Bench. The learned three Judges in the judgment in Achal Misra (supra) observed thus:
“11. On the scheme of the Act, it is clear that the preliminary step is to declare a vacancy. At this stage, an enquiry has to be made including an enquiry involving at least two respectable neighbours. It is thereafter that the vacancy has to be notified and objections invited. This is followed by either dropping of the proceedings on the objections being upheld that there was no vacancy, or by allotment to a tenant on finding the vacancy, or in ordering a release of the building, in case a landlord was found entitled to have such a release under the Act. Therefore, the notifying of a vacancy is only a step in the process of making an allotment of the building to a tenant.
The Act contemplates that no building should be let out by a landlord except through the process of allotment by the Rent Control Authority. Since the order notifying a vacancy is only a step in passing the final order in a proceeding under the Act regarding allotment, it is clear that the same could be challenged while challenging the final order, unless there is anything in the Act precluding such a challenge or conferring a finality to the order notifying a vacancy. It was held long ago by the Privy Council in Moheshur Sing v. Bengal Govt. [(1859) 7 Moo IA 283] (Moo IA at p. 302) “We are not aware of any law or regulation prevailing in India which renders it imperative upon the suitor to appeal from every interlocutory order by which he may conceive himself aggrieved, under the penalty, if he does not so do, of forfeiting forever the benefit of the consideration of the appellate court. No authority or precedent has been cited in support of such a proposition, and we cannot conceive that anything would be more detrimental to the expeditious administration of justice than the establishment of a rule which would impose upon the suitor the necessity of so appealing; whereby on the one hand he might be harassed with endless expense and delay, and on the other inflict upon his opponent similar calamities.”
12. In Sheonoth v. Ramnath [(1865) 10 MIA 413] the Privy Council reiterated that a party is not bound to appeal from every interlocutory order which is a step in the procedure that leads to a final decree. It is open on appeal from such final decree to question an interlocutory order.
13. This principle is recognised by Section 105(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure and reaffirmed by Order 43 Rule 1­A of the Code. The two exceptions to this rule are found in Section 97 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which provides that a preliminary decree passed in a suit could not be challenged in an appeal against the final decree based on that preliminary decree and Section 105(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which precludes a challenge to an order of remand at a subsequent stage while filing an appeal against the decree passed subsequent to the order of remand. All these aspects came to be considered by this Court in Satyadhyan Ghosal v. Deorajin Debi [(1960) 3 SCR 590 : AIR 1960 SC 941. Ed.: See also(1981) 2 SCC 103, (2004) 12 SCC 754 and (2005) 3 SCC 422] wherein, after referring to the decisions of the Privy Council, it was held that an interlocutory order which had not been appealed from either because no appeal lay or even though an appeal lay, an appeal was not taken, can be challenged in an appeal from a final decree or order. It was further held that a special provision was made in Section 105(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure as regards orders of remand where the order of remand itself was made appealable.
Since Section 105(2) did not apply to the Privy Council and can have no application to appeals to the Supreme Court, the Privy Council and the Supreme Court could examine even the correctness of an original order of remand while considering the correctness of the decree passed subsequent to the order of remand. The same principle was reiterated in Amar Chand Butail v. Union of India [AIR 1964 SC 1658] and in other subsequent decisions.
14. It is thus clear that an order notifying a vacancy which leads to the final order of allotment can be challenged in a proceeding taken to challenge the final order, as being an order which is a preliminary step in the process of decision­making in passing the final order. Hence, in a revision against the final order of allotment which is provided for by the Act, the order notifying the vacancy could be challenged. The decision in Ganpat Roy case[(1985) 2 SCC 307] which has disapproved the ratio of the decision in Tirlok Singh and Co.[(1976) 3 SCC 726] cannot be understood as laying down that the failure to challenge the order notifying the vacancy then and there, would result in the loss of right to the aggrieved person of challenging the notifying of vacancy itself, in a revision against the final order of allotment. It has only clarified that even the order notifying the vacancy could be immediately and independently challenged. The High Court, in our view, has misunderstood the effect of the decision of this Court in Ganpat Roy case [(1985) 2 SCC 307] and has not kept in mind the general principles of law governing such a question as expounded by the Privy Council and by this Court. It is nobody's case that there is anything in the Act corresponding either to Section 97 or to Section 105(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 precluding a challenge in respect of an order which ultimately leads to the final order. We overrule the view taken by the Allahabad High Court in the present case and in Kunj Lata v. Xth ADJ [(1991) 2 RCJ 658] that in a revision against the final order, the order notifying the vacancy could not be challenged and that the failure to independently challenge the order notifying the vacancy would preclude a successful challenge to the allotment order itself. In fact, the person aggrieved by the order notifying the vacancy can be said to have two options available. Either to challenge the order notifying the vacancy then and there by way of a writ petition or to make the statutory challenge after a final order of allotment has been made and if he is aggrieved even thereafter, to approach the High Court. It would really be a case of election of remedies.”

25 June 2020

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' is cruelty against husband

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' and preventing husband performing duties towards his parents; is cruelty against husband.


   Upon due perusal of the judgment it is seen that the discussion of the court below does not refer to certain pertinent evidences, which were brought before the Court by the contesting parties while adducing evidences. As discussed above, it is not disputed by the respondent wife that there was indeed an agreement entered into by and between the appellant husband and the respondent wife whereby the appellant was required to provide separate accommodation to the respondent wife in a rented house away from the matrimonial house and that the appellant's family members were not to be permitted to come and visit them. The respondent wife categorically admitted in her cross- examination about the presence of the said clause in the said agreement. It is also seen from the evidence that the respondent had filed another case before Digboi Police Station being Digboi P.S. Case No.230/2013, under Sections 471/420 IPC pending before the SDJM, Margherita, District Tinsukia wherein, it was submitted at the bar that charge sheet has been filed against the petitioner and other accused. PW1/appellant also adduced in his evidence that the respondent had refused to wear 'sakha and sindoor' any more. Such statement was not confronted to the appellant during the cross-examination, and accordingly, the same remained uncontroverted and is therefore an evidence material for the purpose of this proceedings. Under the custom of Hindu Marriage, a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs, and which has not been denied by the respondent in her evidence, her refusal to wear ' sakha and sindoor' will project her to be unmarried and/or signify her refusal to accept the marriage with the appellant. Such categorical stand of the respondent points to the clear intention of the respondent that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant. Under such circumstances compelling the appellant husband to continue to be in matrimony with the respondent wife may be construed to be harassment inflicted by the respondent upon the appellant and his family members.

Refusal by Hindu-wife to wear 'sindoor' is cruelty against husband

This evidence although available before  the Family Court during the evidence adduced, was not taken into account during the discussion in the impugned judgment. As such the Family Court erred in evaluating the evidence in the proper perspective. During the course of hearing it was submitted at the bar that the criminal proceedings pursuant to filing of Digboi P.S. Case No.159/2013, under Section 498(A) IPC against the appellant has been dismissed as the informant, namely the respondent wife was not pursuing the said proceeding. As such the allegation of subjecting the respondent wife to cruelty was not sustained. Such acts of lodging criminal cases on unsubstantiated allegations against the husband and/or the husband's family members amounts to cruelty as held by the Supreme Court. In this context, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in a recent judgment being Rani Narasimha Sastri vs. Rani Suneela Rani, 2019 SCC Online SC 1595 has held that filing of criminal cases like case under Sections 498(A) IPC etc. against the husband and the family members and which are subsequently dismissed/rejected by the Family Court, is sufficient to be construed as an act of cruelty by the wife. The Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as under:.....[Para No.15]

22 June 2020

Setting aside of the arbitral Award in rejecting the counter-claims of the respondent does not result in the same being decreed in its favour

Arbitration proceeding - Counter claim by respondent - counter claim dismissed - Award challenged u/s. 34 in District Court - District Court set aside that dismissal-award - consequences of such decision:

Held:

The Court which exercises jurisdiction u/s. 34 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act is not a court of first appeal under the provisions of the C.P.C. hence the setting aside of an arbitral award rejecting a claim/counter claim does not result in the claim/counter claim which was rejected by the Arbitrator being decreed as a result of the judgment of the court in a petition under Section 34 of The Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Setting aside of arbitration award is not decreed award
So, it follows that the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal ensures to the benefit of the petitioners being a successful party. It is the successful party who can seek its enforcement under Section 36 of the Act and also secure the Award under section 9 of the Act and not the respondent being the losing party. This position of law is well settled by the judgment of the Bombay High Court as upheld by the Supreme Court in case of Dirk (Supra) wherein in paragraphs 13 & 14, the Court has held as under:

19 June 2020

Sanction u/s.197 of CrPC, to prosecute a police officer, for act related to the discharge of official duty, is imperative

Law relating to saction for prosecuting police officers and its limitations


Held:
Sanction u/s.197 of CrPC, to prosecute a police officer, for act related to the discharge of official duty, is imperative;
But an offence committed entirely outside the scope of the duty of the police officer, would certainly not require sanction u/s.197 of CrPC.

68. Sanction of the Government, to prosecute a police officer, for any act related to the discharge of an official duty, is imperative to protect the police officer from facing harassive, retaliatory, revengeful and frivolous proceedings. The requirement of sanction from the government, to prosecute would give an upright police officer the confidence to discharge his official duties efficiently, without fear of vindictive retaliation by initiation of criminal action, from which he would be protected under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, read with Section 170 of the Karnataka Police Act. At the same time, if the policeman has committed a wrong, which constitutes a criminal offence and renders him liable for prosecution, he can be prosecuted with sanction from the appropriate government.

Sanction u/s.197 of CrPC, to prosecute a police officer, for act related to the discharge of official duty, is imperative
69. Every offence committed by a police officer does not attract Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure read with Section 170 of the Karnataka Police Act. The protection given under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code read with Section 170 of the Karnataka Police Act has its limitations. The protection is available only when the alleged act done by the public servant is reasonably connected with the discharge of his official duty and official duty is not merely a cloak for the objectionable act.

Ocular evidence can be disbelieved if medical evidence makes ocular evidence improbable

Medical evidence Vs. oral evidence: which evidence has to be accepted?

   Thus, the position of law in cases where there is a contradiction between medical evidence and ocular evidence can be crystallised to the effect, that though the ocular testimony of a witness has greater evidentiary value vis-à-vis medical evidence, when medical evidence makes the ocular testimony improbable, that becomes a relevant factor in the process of the evaluation of evidence. However, where the medical evidence goes so far that it completely rules out all possibility of the ocular evidence being true, the ocular evidence may be disbelieved.

Ocular evidence can be disbelieved if medical evidence makes ocular evidence improbable
40. In the instant case as referred to hereinabove, as many as five assailants attacked one person but the prosecution case from the very inception of FIR, is very clear that accused-appellant Darshan Pasi shot fire when the deceased was sitting under the tree, causing him injury on chest and left palm, Lachiman Pasi and Sahai Pasi fired on his neck and skull inside boundary wall and Maharaj Deen and Gaya Prasad assaulted the deceased with banka. This fact is categorically substantiated by P.W.-1 in his oral testimony. The postmortem report reveals no firearm injury, either on neck or skull or any other part of the dead body, whereas remaining injuries relate to sharp edged weapon, which may be attributed to alleged use of banka by Maharaj Deen and Gaya Prasad.

Divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband

Muslim divorced wife - entitlement of maintenance - sec.125 of CrPC - Sec. 3 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 - jurisdiction and power of family court to convert an application filed u/s.125 of CrPC into an application u/s. 3 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

Held: A divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband after the enactment of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. However, under Section 3  read with Section 4 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women, a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to an order of maintenance, if she is unable to maintain herself after the Iddat period and has not remarried.

Family Court would have jurisdiction under Section 7 of the Family Courts Act to entertain an application under Section 3 and 4 if The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

It is now settled that a divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband after the enactment of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. However, under Section 3 read with Section 4 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women, a divorced Muslim woman is entitled to an order of maintenance, if she is unable to maintain herself after the Iddat period and has not remarried. Section 5 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women provides that a divorced woman and her former husband might decide by an affidavit or any other declaration in writing, that they would prefer to be governed by the provisions of Section 125 to 128 of the Cr.P.C.[Para No.56]

Divorced Muslim woman cannot claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C. from her husband

Sub-section (2) of Section 3 is an enabling provision which enables a divorced Muslim woman to make an application to a Magistrate for an order for payment of maintenance or mehr or dower or delivery of properties, as the case may be. The non- obstante clause is restricted to sub-section (1) of Section 3 and does not cover sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the 1986 Act for Muslim Women. There is no conflict between Section 3(2) of the 1986 Act for Muslim women and the Family Courts Act. On the other hand, Section 20 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 gives overriding effect to the Family Courts Act notwithstanding anything therewith contained in any other law in force. The Family Court is to exercise all the jurisdiction exercisable by any District Court or any other subordinate Civil court in respect of a proceeding for maintenance.

13 June 2020

Daughter-in-law is merely a licensee in house owned by in-laws

Necessary party to suit - Sec. 2 (s) of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act - Scope of definition of Shared Houshold - House property is exclusively own by father-in-law - After marriage daughter-in-law started to live in that house with her husband - Daughter-in-law started harassing her in-laws - father-in-law asked his son to vacate the house - Son alongwith wife left the house - After sometime daughter-in-law came bake and forcibly entered in that house and refused to vacate the house - Father-in-law filed a suit for eviction against his daughter in law without impleading his son as defendant.

  • Is the son necessary party to eviction suit filed against daughter-in-law?
  • Does the property owned by in-laws; in which their son was permitted to live with his wife, falls under the definition of Shared Household as defined u/s.2(s) of PWDV Act?

Held:

In-laws can evict Daughter-in-law from their house without seeking decree of eviction against their son. House exclusively owned by in-laws is not Shared Houshold under PWDV Act. Daughter-in-law is merely a licensee.


12 June 2020

No government servant has a legal right to be posted forever at any one particular place or at a place of his choice

Even if the order, impugned in the Writ Petition, is, as held by the learned Single Judge, a transfer order, it is well settled that transfer from one place to another is an incidence of service, and is made in the exigencies of administration. No person can claim that he should not be transferred from one place to another. No government servant has a legal right to be posted forever at any one particular place or at a place of his choice. (Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan v. Damodar Prasad Pandey (2004) 12 SCC 299; Major General J.K. Bansal v. Union of India (2005) 7 SCC 227 ; Union of India v. Janardhan Debanath (2004) 4 SCC 245; National Hydroelectric Power Corpn. Ltd. v. Shri Bhagwan (2001) 8 SCC 574). Transfer of an employee, appointed to a particular cadre of transferable posts, is an incident of service and is made in administrative exigencies. No government servant has neither a legal right to be posted at any particular place nor any choice in the matter. Transfer is necessary in public interest and efficiency in public administration, and is, normally, not to be interfered with by Courts/Tribunals. (Gujarat Electricity Board v. Atmaram Sungomal Poshani (1989) 2 SCC 602; Public Services Tribunal Bar Association v. State of U.P (2003) 4 SCC 104).[Para No.7]

For claiming payment of agreed amount, claimant need not prove any actual loss

Failure to make payment of compensation payable under contract is not equal to breach of contract.

   Paragraph 1103 of Halsbury's distinguishes between kinds of money payments. Damages, as dealt with earlier, are said to be distinguishable from debts and from a sum of money payable under a contractual liability to pay a sum on a given event. In fact, damages are sought to be distinguishable from compensation and from a penalty and from costs. In the present case, once we come to the conclusion that the amount awarded is not damages and for breach of contract, the petitioner-Niko has no case whatsoever to challenge the award. It will be also beneficial to consider Anson's on the Law of Contract, which, in Chapter 18, deals with actions to recover an agreed sum. The claim in that case was for a liquidated amount and the defendant was obliged under the contract to pay money. Although in that sense, it is said to be similar to specific performance, it is distinguishable and does not attract the same bar in law. The Law of Contract draws a clear distinction between a claim for an agreed sum and a claim for damages for breach of contract. The claimant need not prove loss where a claim is for payment of an agreed sum and remoteness of damages and mitigation of loss are irrelevant in such situations. In the instant case, the formula is meant to provide for such payment. The application of the formula is a matter which was before the tribunal and which the tribunal has considered. The formula was admittedly applicable being within the contractual scope and was not extraneously sourced. There is no question of any further proof of loss caused. [Para No.54]

10 June 2020

While framing charge court cannot act as a mouthpiece of the prosecution

Now, let us examine the decisions which have a bearing on the point in issue.
   11. In State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh MANU/SC/0139/1977 : (1977) 4 SCC 39 : 1977 SCC (Cri) 533 considering the scope of Sections 227 and 228 of the Code, it was held that at the stage of framing of charge it is not obligatory for the judge to consider in any detail and weigh in a sensitive balance whether the facts, if proved, would be incompatible with the innocence of the accused or not. At that stage, the court is not to see whether there is sufficient ground for conviction of the accused or whether the trial is sure to end in his conviction. Strong suspicion, at the initial stage of framing of charge, is sufficient to frame the charge and in that event it is not open to say that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.
While framing charge court cannot act as a mouthpiece of the prosecution
12. In Supdt. and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, W.B. v. Anil Kumar Bhunja MANU/SC/0266/1979 : (1979) 4 SCC 274 : 1979 SCC (Cri) 1038 : (1980) 1 SCR 323 a three-Judge Bench held that the Magistrate at the stage of framing charges had to see whether the facts alleged and sought to be proved by the prosecution prima facie disclose the commission of offence on general consideration of the materials placed before him by the investigating police officer. (emphasis supplied) Though in this case the specific question whether an accused at the stage of framing of charge has a right to produce any material was not considered as such, but that seems implicit when it was held that the Magistrate had to consider material placed before it by the investigating police officer.
   13. In State of Delhi v. Gyan Devi MANU/SC/0649/2000 : (2000) 8 SCC 239 : 2000 SCC (Cri) 1486 this Court reiterated that at the stage of framing of charge the trial court is not to examine and assess in detail the materials placed on record by the prosecution nor is it for the court to consider the sufficiency of the materials to establish the offence alleged against the accused persons.
   14. In State of M.P. v. S.B. Johari MANU/SC/0025/2000 : (2000) 2 SCC 57 : 2000 SCC (Cri) 311 it was held that the charge can be quashed if the evidence which the prosecutor proposes to adduce to prove the guilt of the accused, even if fully accepted, cannot show that the accused committed the particular offence. In that case, there would be no sufficient ground for proceeding with the trial.
   15. In State of Maharashtra v. Priya Sharan Maharaj MANU/SC/ 1146/1997 : (1997) 4 SCC 393 : 1997 SCC (Cri) 584 it was held that at Sections 227 and 228 stage the court is required to evaluate the material and documents on record with a view to finding out if the facts emerging therefrom taken at their face value disclose the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offence. The court may, for this limited purpose, sift the evidence as it cannot be expected even at that initial stage to accept all that the prosecution states as gospel truth even if it is opposed to common sense or the broad probabilities of the case.
   16. All the decisions, when they hold that there can only be limited evaluation of materials and documents on record and sifting of evidence to prima facie find out whether sufficient ground exists or not for the purpose of proceeding further with the trial, have so held with reference to materials and documents produced by the prosecution and not the accused. The decisions proceed on the basis of settled legal position that the material as produced by the prosecution alone is to be considered and not the one produced by the accused. The latter aspect relating to the accused though has not been specifically stated, yet it is implicit in the decisions. It seems to have not been specifically so stated as it was taken to be a well-settled proposition. This aspect, however, has been adverted to in State Anti-Corruption Bureau v. P. Suryaprakasam 1999 SCC (Cri) 373 where considering the scope of Sections 239 and 240 of the Code it was held that at the time of framing of charge, what the trial court is required to, and can consider are only the police report referred to under Section 173 of the Code and the documents sent with it. The only right the accused has at that stage is of being heard and nothing beyond that.[Para No.10]
   11. Thus it is settled position of law that at the time of framing of charge, the Court is not supposed to look into the evidence of the case in detail and is only to consider whether there is a strong suspicion against the accused on the basis of the material that comes before it. The court has the power to sift the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out, whether or not a prima facie case is made out against the accused. However, the Court is not supposed to delve deeply into the merits of the matter and start a roving expedition into the evidence that is brought forth it, as if conducting a trial. Further there is no one fixed definition that may be ascribed to the term prima facie' nor can the term strong suspicion have a singular meaning. While coming to the conclusion of a strong prima facie case or strong suspicion, the Court shall have to decide each case on the basis of its own independent facts and circumstances.[Para No.11]
   26. It is trite law that at the stage of framing of charge, the Court is not to delve deeply with the evidence brought forth, but the same does not mean that the Court should ignore gaping holes apparent on the face of the record, in the case of the prosecution, and the court cannot act as a mouthpiece of the prosecution.[Para No.26]
Delhi High Court
Reena
Vs.
State Of Nct Of Delhi 
Decided on 08/06/2020



07 June 2020

Sterling Witness

Who can be said to be Sterling Witness?

Held: If the version of witness is unassailable, capable of being accepted for its face value without any hesitation then such witness is called as Sterling Witness.


06 June 2020

Bar of period of limitation is a mix question of facts and law

Plaint can not be rejected on the ground of bar by limitation

   Whether plaint can be rejected under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC if defendant claims the suit to be barred by limitations and disputes the time of accrual of cause of action?

Held:
   Plain can not be rejected under Order 7 Rule 11 of C.P.C. if accrual of cause of action as mentioned in the plaint is disputed to be beyond period of limitation.
   Genuineness of assertion in respect of accrual of cause of action is a mix question of facts and law.

Muslim mother is not guardian of minor's property

  • Whether consent of mother is necessary to alienate property of minor?

  • Whether father is required permission of District Court for alienating property of minor?
   Grand mother gave property to minor grandson as a gift - Father without consent of mother of minor and without permission of court executed agreement to sale with third-party - before execution of sale deed, minor attained majority - Notice for specific performance of agreement given to the owner who has attained the majority - suit for specific performance filed against owner who was minor at the time of execution of agreement to sale by his father - Trial court hold that father of the minor was the legal guardian, however, he did not have the authority to execute the agreement, as the defacto guardian was the mother - Suit dismissed - First appellate court reversed the judgment of trial court - Second appeal filed in High Court.

Held: Under Mohammedan Law the mother cannot act or be the guardian of the property of the minor. Consent or permission neither of mother nor of District Court is necessary for father, being natural guardian to alienate property of minor.

02 June 2020

No conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be

There can be no conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be. Strong suspicion, strong coincidences and grave doubt cannot take the place of legal proof.

  In para 14 of its judgment Hon'ble Supreme court in case of Digamber Vaishnav and another vs State of Chandigarh (2019) 4 SCC 522, has held as under:

No conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be
"14. One of the fundamental principles of criminal jurisprudence is undeniably that the burden of proof squarely rests on the prosecution and that the general burden never shifts. There can be no conviction on the basis of surmises and conjectures or suspicion howsoever grave it may be. Strong suspicion, strong coincidences and grave doubt cannot take the place of legal proof. The onus of prosecution can't be discharged by referring to very strong suspicion and existence of highly suspicious factors to inculpate the accused nor falsity of defence could take the place of proof which the prosecution has to establish in order to succeed, though a false plea by the defence at best, be considered as an addition circumstance if other circumstances unfailingly point to the guilt."
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