i. Power To Condone Delay Under Sec 5 Limitation Act Applies To Special Or Local Laws If It Is Not Expressly Excluded: The Supreme Court held that Section 5 of the Limitation Act can be invoked to condone delay in case a revision under Section 48, Himachal Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, is filed beyond 90 days from the date of communication of the Order. The Himachal Pradesh High Court refused to condone the delay in the filing of a revision under Section 48 of the Act, holding that Section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be applied to condone the delay. As per Section 48 of the Act, a Revision has to be filed within 90 days. The Supreme Court refers to Section 29 of the Limitation Act, which is a savings clause and provides that Section 4-24 of the Limitation Act will apply to local and special laws unless expressly excluded, to hold that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable to proceedings under local or special laws, unless specifically excluded by statute. (Superintending Engineer, Dehar Power Circle, Bhakra Beas Management Board (PW) Slapper and another v. Excise and Taxation Officer, Civil Appeal No. 8276 of 2019, date of judgment: 25.10.2019)
ii. Supreme Court reiterates tests formulated in 1968 on ouster of civil jurisdiction: A Bench comprising of Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi reiterated the principles regarding the application of Section of the CPC laid down in Dhulabhai v. State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1969 SC 78. The issue was whether a suit for damages was maintainable, in light of the Tamil Nadu Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992, which depends on whether the jurisdiction of the civil court is ousted by the Act. The Court held that the Act does not stand in place of and preclude a claim for damages under the common law as may fall for determination before a civil court in a civil suit. In doing so, the Court basically reiterated the tests formulated in a 1968 judgment by a Supreme Court Constitution Bench. [M. Hariharasudhan v. R. Karmegam & Ors., Civil Appeal No. 8069 of 2019, date of judgment: 25.10.19]
iii. CBI files review of bail granted to P Chidambaram in INX media Case: The CBI has moved the Supreme Court seeking review of the Supreme Court’s Order dated 22.10.2019 granting bail to P Chidambaram in the INX Media corruption case. The CBI argues that the Court has ignored certain material facts, while rejecting the CBI’s contention of denying bail to Chidambaram. The CBI submits that there is ‘cogent and credible evidence’ in the form Section 161 and 164, CrPC statements, which clearly record that Chidambaram to influence the said witnesses and pressurize them from deposing against Chidambaram and his son.
iv. SC allows centre’s plea to recover adjusted gross revenue of Rs 92k cr from telecom companies: The Supreme Court allowed the Centre’s plea to recover pending license fee worth around Rs. 92,000 Crore from various telecom licensees such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, MTNL and BSNL, upholding the definition of adjusted gross revenue formulated by the Department of Telecom. The Supreme Court rejected the contentions raised by telecom companies, stating that there can be no further litigation on the issue and the Court would formulate a timeline for calculation and payment of dues by telecom companies. As per a recent telecom policy, telecom licensees are required to share a percentage of their adjusted gross revenue with the government as annual license fee. In addition, mobile operators are also required to pay spectrum usage charges for the use of radio frequency spectrums allotted to them. [Union of India v. Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, Civil Appeal No. 6328 of 2015, date of judgment:24.10.2019]
v. Complaint of cheating cannot be quashed on the sole ground of undue delay: In a petition under Section 482, CrPC to quash proceedings initiated against the petitioners under Section 420, IPC, the Kerala High Court held that when there is no period of limitation provided for filing a complaint, it cannot be quashed solely on the ground of delay in filing the complaint. In the case, the complaint was filed almost 4 years after the date of the cheque given by the accused to the complainant. The Court held that the general rule of criminal justice is that “a crime never dies. Mere delay in approaching a court of law would not by itself afford a ground for dismissing the case though it may be a relevant circumstance in reaching a final verdict. [Sindhu S. Panicker v. A. Balakrishnan & Ors., Crl. MC. No. 2345 of 2015, date of judgment: 24.10.19]
vi. Relying only on evidence of an Investigating Officer for convicting accused under NDPS Act is not proper: The Chhattisgarh High Court set aside an order of conviction under the NDPS Act, stating that in the absence of corroboratory evidence by independent witnesses, relying solely on the evidence of Investigating Officers, whose statements were contradictory, is improper. The Court noted that there were material contradictions in the statements made by the Investigating Officer and the constable present on the spot of the alleged crime, such as different dates being mentioned in different documents, the prosecution could not establish that certain sample packets were related to the seized drugs despite the packets being sent to FSL. All the prosecution witnesses also turned hostile during the course of trial. The Investigating Officer also admitted during the course of trial that the documents were all prepared hastily after returning to the station from the spot of the alleged offence.
[Mohd. Guddu & Ors. v. State of Chhattisgarh, Criminal Appeal No. 1190 of 2017, date of judgment: 24.10.19]
Repeated allegations of infidelity leveled by a spouse amount to cruelty: Setting aside a decree of judicial separation passed by the Family Court, Dehradun, the Uttarakhand High Court held that repeated allegations of infidelity leveled by a spouse amount to cruelty. The Court relied on the Supreme Court judgment of Ravinder Kaur v. Manjeet Singh (Dead) 2019 SCC On Line SC 1069, where it was held that bald allegations of infidelity levelled by a husband against his wife amounted to cruelty. The court took note of allegations of infidelity, that were baseless, that were levelled by the husband against his wife, starting from 2006. [Vineet Kumar Jain v. Archana Garg, First Appeal No. 134 of 2013, date of judgment: 23.10.19]