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Karnataka HC Grants Bail Citing Occupation as Coolie Workers and Absence of Complaint

Case Title: Sannaswamy @ Thimnegowda and Others vs. State

Case Number: CRL.P No. 4323 of 2024

Dated On: 21st May, 2024

Quorum: The Hon’ble Mr. Justice S Rachaih

FACTS OF THE CASE

The case revolves around an incident reported on March 24, 2024, where the complainant, Smt. Akshitha K.P., received credible information about individuals cutting sandalwood trees in a coffee estate owned by Manjunatha. Upon investigation, it was found that four individuals, identified as Sannaswamy, Manjunatha, Anjaneya, and Omkara, were involved in the act. The complainant, along with her staff and witnesses, apprehended the accused at the scene. According to the complaint, the accused were caught red-handed cutting sandalwood trees without the necessary permits or licences, as mandated by the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963. The trees were subsequently seized and weighed, revealing that 18 to 20 kilograms of sandalwood had been cut, with an estimated worth of Rs. 1,20,000. The defence, represented by counsel Girish B. Baladare, argued that the accused were innocent coolie workers falsely implicated in the case. They emphasised that the estate owner, Manjunatha, had not filed any complaint regarding the alleged tree cutting, casting doubt on the veracity of the charges. In opposition, the State argued through its representative, Smt. Sowmya R accused No. 3 had a previous history of similar offences, the involvement of accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 in the current case suggested a pattern of criminal behaviour. Concerns were raised about the possibility of the accused committing further offences if granted bail and the potential for them to abscond. After considering the submissions from both sides and examining the details of the case, the court concluded that while accused No. 3’s bail would be denied due to his history of similar offences, accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 would be granted bail. However, this bail was subject to stringent conditions, including the posting of a substantial personal bond and surety, regular reporting to the Investigating Officer, staying within the court’s jurisdiction, and refraining from threatening or tampering with witnesses.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the accused individuals, identified as Sannaswamy, Manjunatha, Anjaneya, and Omkara, were indeed involved in the cutting of sandalwood trees without the necessary permits or licences, as alleged by the complainant.
  2. Whether the accused were falsely implicated in the case, as claimed by the defence counsel, who argued that they were innocent coolie workers and that the estate owner, Manjunatha, had not filed any complaint regarding the alleged tree cutting.
  3. Whether the previous history of similar offences by accused No. 3 should influence the bail decision for accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4, as argued by the State, which opposed bail for all the accused based on concerns about potential further offences and the likelihood of absconding if bail were granted.

LEGAL PROVISIONS

  1. Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): This section deals with the offence of theft, stating that whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
  2. Sections 86 and 87 of the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963: These sections of the state forest law likely pertain to regulations regarding the cutting, transportation, and possession of forest produce such as sandalwood. They may outline the requirements for obtaining permits or licences for such activities and prescribe penalties for violations, including fines and imprisonment.
  3. Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.): This section deals with the power of the High Court and the Court of Sessions to grant bail in non-bailable offences. It provides the court with the discretion to release an accused person on bail pending trial, subject to certain conditions, if the court deems it appropriate.

CONTENTIONS OF THE APPELLANT

Girish B. Baladare, counsel of the appellant submitted that the accused, namely Sannaswamy, Manjunatha, Anjaneya, and Omkara, were innocent and falsely implicated in the case. They asserted that the accused were merely coolie workers, earning their livelihood through manual labour at various estates in and around Chikmagalur. The defence emphasised that the estate owner, Manjunatha, had not filed any complaint regarding the alleged tree cutting, implying a lack of credible evidence supporting the prosecution’s claims. Furthermore, the defence maintained that the alleged act of cutting sandalwood trees was baseless and false. They contended that there was no substantial proof linking the accused to the crime, especially considering the absence of any complaint from the estate owner. Additionally, the defence highlighted the dependency of the accused’s families on their income from coolie work, implying that their continued detention would cause undue hardship. In summary, the defence argued for the innocence of the accused and sought their release on bail, asserting that they posed no flight risk and would abide by any conditions imposed by the court.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT

The respondent vehemently opposed the bail application put forth by the accused through their counsel. It was argued that accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4, named Sannaswamy, Manjunatha, Anjaneya, and Omkara respectively, were associates of accused No. 3, who had a documented history of similar offences. Accused No. 3, when previously granted bail, had allegedly continued engaging in criminal activities. The respondent contended that upon being released on bail, accused No. 3 formed an association with accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4, resulting in the commission of similar offences. This association suggested a pattern of criminal behaviour, which posed a risk to the community if bail were granted. Moreover, the respondent argued that there were significant concerns regarding the potential for the accused to commit similar offences if released on bail. It was asserted that granting bail to the accused could lead to further instances of forest-related crimes, posing a threat to the environment and public safety. The respondent emphasised that the alleged offence had been committed against the State, indicating the seriousness of the matter and the need for stringent measures to prevent recurrence. Furthermore, the respondent highlighted the possibility of the accused absconding if granted bail. Given the gravity of the charges and the potential consequences of the accused failing to appear for trial, it was argued that bail should be denied to ensure the accused’s presence throughout legal proceedings. In summary, the respondent opposed the bail application for accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 based on concerns regarding their association with a habitual offender, the risk of further offences, and the potential for absconding. These arguments were presented to persuade the court to reject the bail application and uphold the interests of justice and public safety.

COURT’S ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

After considering the submissions from both the defence and the prosecution, the court analysed the facts of the case and the arguments presented by each party. The court noted that the complainant had received credible information about the accused individuals allegedly cutting sandalwood trees without the required permits. The accused were apprehended at the scene, and the seized trees were weighed, revealing a significant quantity of sandalwood.

The court acknowledged the defence’s contention that the accused were innocent coolie workers and emphasised the absence of a complaint from the estate owner, Manjunatha. However, the court also took note of the respondent’s argument regarding the association of accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 with a habitual offender, accused No. 3, and the potential for further offences if bail were granted.

Considering the nature of the offence and the prescribed punishment, the court concluded that while accused No. 3’s bail would be denied due to his previous history of similar offences, bail would be granted to accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4. However, this bail was subject to stringent conditions aimed at addressing the concerns raised by the prosecution.

The court ordered accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 to be enlarged on bail in Crime No. 39/2024 of Aldur Police Station, Chikkamagaluru, upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 1,00,000 each with one surety each. Additionally, several conditions were imposed, including refraining from similar offences, regular appearances before the Investigating Officer, staying within the court’s jurisdiction, and not threatening or tampering with witnesses.

In summary, the court allowed the bail application in part, granting bail to accused Nos. 1, 2, and 4 while denying bail to accused No. 3. The court’s judgement aimed to balance the interests of justice with concerns regarding the potential for further offences and the accused’s compliance with bail conditions.

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 Judgement Reviewed by – Shruti Gattani

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Karnataka High Court Grants Bail Amidst Reconciliation Efforts in Domestic Abuse Case

Case Title: Hanish Abdul Khadar vs. State of Karnataka & Shilpa

Case Number: CRL.A No. 582 of 2024

Dated On: 21st May, 2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr. Justice S Rachiah

FACTS OF THE CASE

Hanish Abdul Khadar and Shilpa were married on July 15, 2021. Following their marriage, the couple began residing at Shobha Arcades Apartment in Horamavu, Bangalore. Despite the initial period of settling into their married life, their relationship soon became strained. The environment in their household was marked by frequent quarrels and conflicts, which disrupted their domestic harmony. According to the complaint filed by Shilpa, she faced continuous harassment from Hanish. She alleged that Hanish subjected her to various forms of mistreatment and failed to take proper care of her. The harassment was not limited to physical neglect but also involved emotional and psychological abuse. Shilpa’s dissatisfaction and distress grew as she felt unsupported and mistreated in her matrimonial home. Despite the ongoing marital issues, Shilpa became pregnant and gave birth to a child on April 5, 2022. The birth of their child, instead of bringing the couple closer, further strained their relationship. Shilpa alleged that after the birth of their child, Hanish deserted her. She claimed that he threw her out of their home, citing her scheduled caste background as the primary reason for such drastic action. This act of desertion left Shilpa and their newborn child without support or shelter. Aggrieved by the treatment she received, Shilpa lodged a formal complaint against Hanish with the Hennur Police Station. The police registered a case under Crime No.456/2023. Following the registration of the complaint, the police conducted an investigation into the allegations. The investigation culminated in the submission of a charge sheet against Hanish, detailing the alleged offences and the evidence gathered.

ISSUES 

  1. Whether the order passed by the LXX Addl. City Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Judge at Bengaluru (CCH-71) in Crl.Misc.No.2244/2024 dated 05.03.2024, which denied bail to Hanish Abdul Khadar, should be set aside.
  2. Whether the allegations that Hanish Abdul Khadar deserted and harassed Shilpa based on her scheduled caste background are substantiated and justify the charges under Sections 3(1)(a), 3(1)(r), 3(2)(va), 3(1)(w)(i) of the SC/ST Act.
  3. Whether the reported reconciliation and mutual decision to live together between Hanish Abdul Khadar and Shilpa should influence the court’s decision to grant bail to Hanish, considering the nature and seriousness of the allegations.

LEGAL PROVISIONS

Indian Penal Code (IPC):

  1. Section 498A (Cruelty by Husband or Relatives of Husband):
    • This section deals with the cruelty inflicted by the husband or his relatives on the wife, which includes any willful conduct that is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or cause grave injury to her physical or mental health.

2. Section 354 (Assault or Criminal Force to Woman with Intent to Outrage Her Modesty):

    • This section punishes anyone who assaults or uses criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty.

3. Section 506 (Criminal Intimidation):

    • This section deals with the offense of criminal intimidation, where a person threatens another with injury to their person, reputation, or property, with the intent to cause alarm.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act):

  1. Section 3(1)(a):
    • This section punishes any person who forces a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance.

2. Section 3(1)(r):

    • This section punishes anyone who intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view.

3. Section 3(2)(va):

    • This section provides for enhanced punishment for offenses under the Indian Penal Code, committed against a person on the ground that such person is a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe.

4. Section 3(1)(w)(i):

    • This section deals with the punishment for any person who, being in a position to dominate the will of a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe and uses that position to exploit her sexually to which she would not have otherwise agreed.

Section 14(A)(2) of SC/ST Act, 1989:

  • This provision allows for an appeal against the order of a Special Court or an Exclusive Special Court denying bail to an accused person. The section ensures that the accused has the right to appeal to a higher court for the grant of bail.

CONTENTIONS OF THE APPELLANT

The appellant, Hanish Abdul Khadar, through his counsel, contended that the allegations made by his wife, Shilpa, stemmed from a series of misunderstandings and misconceptions. He argued that despite the serious nature of the accusations, Shilpa had agreed to reconcile with him. The couple had decided to resolve their differences and live together again. The appellant’s counsel emphasised that the willingness to reconcile and cohabit suggested that the situation had been misinterpreted and was capable of amicable resolution outside the judicial process. Hanish’s counsel further argued that the offences charged against him under Sections 498A, 354, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 3(1)(a), 3(1)(r), 3(2)(va), and 3(1)(w)(i) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, were not severe enough to warrant continued denial of bail. It was highlighted that the alleged offences did not involve punishment with death or imprisonment for life, thus meriting consideration for bail. Additionally, the appellant assured the court of his commitment to abide by any conditions imposed as part of his bail. He pledged to appear before the court on all specified dates and to refrain from tampering with evidence or intimidating prosecution witnesses. The counsel stressed that these assurances mitigated the risks associated with granting bail, ensuring compliance with legal protocols and protection of the complainant’s interests. The appellant’s counsel posited that granting bail would facilitate the restoration of the couple’s matrimonial life, benefiting both parties and their child. They argued that the judicial system should support the reconciliation process, enabling the family to overcome past grievances and build a stable future together. The counsel urged the court to consider the broader social and familial implications of granting bail, promoting harmony and resolution over prolonged litigation. These contentions underscored the appellant’s position that the allegations were based on misunderstandings, the offences did not justify prolonged detention, and the reconciliation between the parties warranted a compassionate and practical approach by the court in granting bail.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT

The respondent, represented by the State Public Prosecutor, vehemently opposed the appellant’s appeal for bail. They argued that the allegations levelled against the appellant by his wife, Shilpa, were of a grave nature and warranted serious consideration. The respondent contended that the accusations of harassment, emotional abuse, and discrimination based on caste were significant and could not be dismissed lightly. Furthermore, the respondent highlighted the potential risk of the appellant committing similar offences if released on bail. Given the severity of the charges and the history of discord in the marital relationship, there was concern that granting bail might embolden the appellant to engage in further misconduct or intimidation towards the complainant or other potential witnesses. This risk underscored the necessity of ensuring the safety and security of the complainant and upholding the integrity of the judicial process. The respondent stressed the importance of obtaining formal confirmation from the complainant, Shilpa, regarding any purported reconciliation or settlement between the parties. Without a clear and unequivocal statement from Shilpa, it was argued that the court could not rely solely on the appellant’s assertions regarding reconciliation. The respondent emphasised the need for the complainant’s affidavit or appearance in court to corroborate any claims of reconciliation and assess the voluntariness and sincerity of such actions. In conclusion, the respondent urged the court to deny the appellant’s appeal for bail, citing the seriousness of the allegations, the risk of reoffending, and the absence of clear evidence or confirmation of reconciliation. They emphasised the need to prioritise the protection and welfare of the complainant, ensuring her safety and access to justice without undue influence or intimidation. These contentions presented by the respondent underscored the gravity of the allegations, the potential risks associated with granting bail, and the necessity of formal confirmation from the complainant regarding any reconciliation or settlement between the parties.

COURT’S ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

After carefully considering the arguments presented by both parties and examining the contents of the charge sheet, the court acknowledged the strained nature of the marital relationship between the appellant, Hanish Abdul Khadar, and the respondent, Shilpa. The court noted the serious allegations of harassment, emotional abuse, and discrimination based on caste raised by Shilpa against Hanish. However, the court also took into account the appellant’s contention regarding the possibility of reconciliation between the parties. The reported willingness of Hanish and Shilpa to resolve their differences and live together again suggested the potential for a peaceful resolution outside the judicial process.

In light of the above considerations, the court proceeded to grant bail to the appellant, Hanish Abdul Khadar. The court recognized the importance of facilitating the restoration of the matrimonial life of the parties involved. It emphasised the need to support efforts towards reconciliation and harmony within the family, particularly for the well-being of their child.

The court imposed specific conditions on the bail granted to Hanish Abdul Khadar to ensure compliance with legal protocols and safeguard the interests of the complainant, Shilpa. These conditions included the appellant’s mandatory appearance before the court on all specified dates, refraining from tampering with evidence or intimidating prosecution witnesses, and complying with any other directives issued by the court. Furthermore, the court warned that any violation of the bail conditions would result in the prosecution being at liberty to seek the cancellation of bail. This provision served as a deterrent against potential misconduct by the appellant and reinforced the importance of upholding the integrity of the legal process.

In conclusion, the court’s judgement aimed to strike a balance between the rights of the accused and the protection of the complainant’s interests. It sought to facilitate the reconciliation process while ensuring accountability and adherence to legal norms, thereby promoting the principles of justice and equity in the resolution of the case.

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 Judgement Reviewed by – Shruti Gattani

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Karnataka HC: Gravity of Offence Considered, Bail Granted to Accused in Mangalore Robbery Case

Case Title: LAKSHMAN Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3537 OF 2024

Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024

Coram: HON’BLE MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

Facts:

The case involves the petitioner, Lakshman, who was accused of participating in a robbery on January 15, 2024. According to the prosecution, Lakshman, along with two others, stopped the complainant and his friend, threatened them with a knife, and forcibly took a mobile phone and Rs. 500. Lakshman was specifically accused of snatching the cash. The incident was reported to the police early on January 16, 2024, leading to the registration of a case under Sections 394 and 397 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Lakshman was arrested on January 18, 2024, and a motorcycle used in the crime was recovered. However, no cash or mobile phone was recovered from him. After investigating, the police filed a charge sheet, and the court by considering the gravity of the offense and lack of prior criminal record, granted bail to Lakshman with certain conditions.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether the petitioner had a role in the crime, as alleged by the prosecution.
  2. Whether the allegations against the petitioner, Lakshman, were credible, given that there was no direct recovery of the stolen mobile or cash from him.
  3. Whether the petitioner should be granted bail considering the gravity of the offense.
  4. Whether conditions could be imposed to ensure that the petitioner does not tamper with the evidence or witnesses and appears for future court proceedings.

Legal Provisions:

Section 439 Of Cr.P.C.: It states about Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail.

Section 394 of IPC: It states about the act of voluntarily causing hurt during the commission of a robbery.

Section 397 of IPC: Robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.

Section 34 of IPC: When multiple people commit criminal conduct in pursuit of a common intention, each of them is accountable for the act in the same way as if it were committed by him alone.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant, Lakshman, contended that the allegations against him were false and fabricated and that he had been falsely implicated based solely on the voluntary statement of the co-accused, from whom the stolen mobile phone and knife were recovered. He argued that there was no direct recovery of the mobile phone or cash from him, only the motorcycle. Further, he emphasized that he had been in custody since January 18, 2024, the investigation was complete, and the charge sheet had been filed, hence there was no need for his continued detention. However, he requested to be enlarged on bail, asserting that he had no prior criminal record and posed no risk of tampering with evidence or witnesses.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent contended that the petitioner, Lakshman, was involved in the crime, as the motorcycle used in the robbery belonged to him and was recovered at his instance. Moreover, the respondent argued that all the accused acted together in committing the robbery, which involved serious charges under Sections 394 and 397 read with Section 34 of the IPC. The respondent maintained that the mere filing of the charge sheet was not sufficient grounds for granting bail, emphasizing the gravity of the offense and the collective involvement of the accused.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The hon’ble court, upon hearing the arguments from both sides, analyzed the credibility of the allegations and the involvement of the petitioner, Lakshman, in the robbery. It noted that although Lakshman was implicated in the crime and the motorcycle used was recovered from him, there was no direct recovery of the stolen mobile or cash. The court also considered that Lakshman had no prior criminal record, the investigation was complete, and the charge sheet had been filed. Given the gravity of the offense but also recognizing that Lakshman’s specific role and intent would be determined at trial, the court decided to grant bail. However, the court further imposed conditions to prevent tampering with evidence, ensure his appearance at future hearings, and restrict his movement outside the trial court’s jurisdiction without permission. Consequently, the petitioner was released on bail with a personal bond and sureties, along with other specified conditions to safeguard the prosecution’s interests.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

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Karnataka HC grants Bail to Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide.

Case Title: UDAYA KUMAR SHETTY Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3835 OF 2024

Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024

Coram: THE HON’BLE MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

Facts:

In Criminal Petition No. 3835 of 2024, Udaya Kumar Shetty, a Supervisor at SLDCC Bank, sought anticipatory bail after being implicated in a case where the wife of Vijay Kulal allegedly committed suicide. The prosecution claims Shetty harassed the victim with false accusations of fund misappropriation, which led to her suicide on March 20, 2024. Initially, a complaint mentioned she attempted suicide after leaving the office abruptly. A subsequent complaint on March 25, 2024, alleged Shetty and others scolded her at her home, prompting her suicide. The court granted Shetty anticipatory bail, citing inconsistencies in the complaints and imposing conditions for his release.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, has been falsely implicated in the case.
  2. Whether there is sufficient prima facie evidence to suggest Shetty’s involvement in the offenses under Sections 504, 448, 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with Section 34, as alleged by the prosecution.
  3. Whether Shetty is entitled to anticipatory bail, considering the circumstances of the case, the evidence presented, and the potential risk of him absconding or interfering with the investigation.

Legal Provisions:

Section 438 Of Cr.P.C: It deals with the provision of Anticipatory Bail.

Section 504 of IPC: Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace.

Section 448 of IPC: Punishment for house-trespass.

Section 306 of IPC: Abetment of Suicide.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant, Udaya Kumar Shetty, argued that he’s innocent and wrongly accused in the case. He’s just a supervisor at the bank, not involved in any misconduct. The complaint against him changed over time, suggesting inconsistencies. Initially, it was said the victim attempted suicide after leaving her job abruptly. Later, it was claimed that he, along with others, went to her house and scolded her, leading to her suicide. He believes these contradictions cast doubt on the case against him. Therefore, he requested anticipatory bail, asserting that he won’t flee and will cooperate with the investigation.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent, representing the State of Karnataka, argues that Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, should not be granted anticipatory bail. They claim that there is evidence suggesting the petitioner’s involvement in the events leading to the victim’s suicide. According to the respondent, Shetty, along with others, allegedly harassed the victim by falsely accusing her of misusing funds, which ultimately drove her to take her own life. They assert that there is enough initial evidence to suggest Shetty’s complicity in the offenses outlined in the complaint. Therefore, they argue that granting anticipatory bail to Shetty may impede the investigation and compromise justice.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The court examined a case where Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, was accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide. There were two conflicting versions of events which suggests that she attempted suicide after leaving work, along with claim that Shetty and others scolded her at home, prompting the suicide. However, the hon’ble court found these contradictions troubling, leading to doubts about Shetty’s involvement. As a result, they granted him anticipatory bail, meaning he wouldn’t be arrested if the police investigated further. However, certain conditions were imposed, like surrendering to the investigating officer and cooperating with the investigation. This decision was made to ensure fairness and prevent Shetty from fleeing, allowing the investigation to proceed smoothly.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

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Karnataka HC: “Relief of attachment before judgment being an extraordinary relief the Court should be slow in exercising the power unless it is established that having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case it is absolutely imperative to pass such an order of attachment before Judgment.”

Case title: QUEST OFFICES PRIVATE LIMITED AND ORS. VS. PLATINUM RENT A CAR INDIA PVT LTD

Case no: WRIT PETITION NO. 13526 OF 2024 (GM-CPC)

Order on: 21 May , 2024

Quorum: THE HON’BLE MR JUSTICE M.G.S. KAMAL

Fact of the case:

The case involves a Writ Petition filed by Quest Offices Private Limited and its directors (Petitioners) against Platinum Rent A Car India Pvt Ltd (Respondent). The dispute arose from an ex-parte ad-interim order of attachment sought by Platinum Rent A Car India Pvt Ltd on certain properties owned by Quest Offices Private Limited and its directors. The attachment order was pursued under Order XXXVIII of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The Petitioners upheld that the Commercial Court misinterpreted the application, treating it under Order XXXVIII instead of Order XXXIX of the CPC. The Petitioners challenged this order, arguing that it was passed without hearing them and without sufficient grounds presented by the Respondent to justify such an order.

Issues framed by court:

  1. Whether the order of attachment passed ex-parte was justified under Order XXXVIII of CPC.
  2. Whether the Commercial Court’s treatment of the application under Order XXXVIII instead of Order XXXIX was appropriate.

Legal provisions:

Articles 226 of the Constitution of India: Deals with the power on High Courts to issue writs, orders, or directions for the enforcement of fundamental rights or for any other purpose.

Articles 227 of the Constitution of India: Deals with the power of superintendence of High Courts over all subordinate courts and tribunals within their respective jurisdictions.

Order XXXVIII of the Civil Procedure Code : Deals with “Attachment before Judgment.” This order outlines the procedure for obtaining an attachment order from the court before the final judgment is rendered in a civil suit.

Order XXXIX of the Civil Procedure Code: Deals with “Temporary Injunctions and Interlocutory Orders.”

Contentions of Appellant:

The appellant argued that the order of attachment was passed ex-parte without giving them an opportunity to be heard. They contended that this violated their right to natural justice, as they were not given a chance to present their side before the attachment order was issued. The appellant contended that the Commercial Court incorrectly treated the application under Order XXXVIII of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) instead of Order XXXIX. They argued that the application was misinterpreted, leading to an incorrect application of the law and jurisdictional error.

Contentions of Respondents:

The respondent asserted that the order of attachment was justified under Order XXXVIII of the CPC. They argued that this provision allows for the passing of a conditional order, and the circumstances of the case warranted such action to protect their interests. The respondent upheld that there was no error in the exercise of jurisdiction by the Commercial Court. They argued that the Commercial Court appropriately applied the relevant provisions of the CPC in issuing the attachment order and that the order was within the Court’s jurisdiction.

Court analysis& Judgement:

The Court acknowledged the appellant’s contention that the attachment order was passed without affording them the opportunity to be heard, thus violating their right to natural justice. It also recognized the appellant’s argument regarding the misinterpretation of the application by the Commercial Court. The impugned order lacked reasons justifying the attachment, and the Court found that the Commercial Court did not adequately consider the necessity of such an order.

Therefore, the court directed the parties to cooperate for an expeditious resolution of the matter before the Commercial Court. It instructed the Commercial Court to hear both parties and make a decision in accordance with the law. Pending the resolution of the case, the impugned order of attachment was adjourned. Until the matter is resolved by the Commercial Court, the impugned order of attachment is kept in abeyance.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Antara Ghosh

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