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Contract revoked on the grounds that no work had been completed and there was no supervision: Patna High Court

There is a provision in the agreement between the petitioner and the Government of Bihar’s Rural Works Department for adjudication of disputes between the parties arising out of the execution of work that binds both parties where contract revoked on the grounds that no work had been completed and there was no supervision, the petitioner free to approach the appropriate forum as agreed between the parties to resolve their dispute in accordance with the agreement is upheld by the High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE and HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. KUMAR in the case of Shri Brijesh Kumar Vs. The State of Bihar (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No. 14317 of 2022)

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner has requested for the order of the Executive Engineer, Rural Works Department, Works Div., Narkatiyaganj, West Champaran, dated 03.07.2021, rescinding the agreement dated 10.12.2008 executed in favour of the petitioner for the construction of a road under the Prime Minister Rural Road Scheme from Baisakhwa to Sikta in the district of West Champaran and sending a recommendation to the Engineer-in-chief, Bihar, Patna, for blacklisting proprietorship firm of the petitioner.

Furthermore, a writ of mandamus be issued directing the Executive Engineer, Rural Works Department, Works Division, Narkatiyaganj, West Champaran, to make payment of approximately Rs. 76,81,000/- to the petitioner firm under Agreement dated 10.12.2008 towards renovation work of the fully constructed road that was severely damaged in the devastating flood of 2010. Additionally, a writ of Mandamus be issued, directing the Executive Engineer to pay the maintenance amount of approximately Rs. 24,85,364/- for the financial years 2017-18 to 2020-21 under the Agreement dated 10.12.2008, as well as directing the Executive Engineer to pay the petitioner approximately 50 lakhs towards permanent restoration costs for repairing works of the project road in 2020-21 as a result of the damage caused by the flood of 2017.

In this writ application, the petitioner has challenged the Executive Engineer, Rural Works Department, Works Division, Narkatiyaganj, West Champaran’s order dated 03.07.2021, which revoked the contract between the petitioner and the Rural Works Department on the grounds that no work had been completed and there was no supervision. As the writ petition concerns a contested factual issue, the High Court cannot decide it using its discretionary writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution. There is a provision in the agreement between the petitioner and the Government of Bihar’s Rural Works Department for adjudication of disputes between the parties arising out of the execution of work that binds both parties.

In light of the terms of the agreement, the writ petition is dismissed, with the petitioner free to approach the appropriate forum as agreed between the parties to resolve their dispute in accordance with the agreement, and the petitioner free to pursue other legal remedies for redress of his grievance.

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Judgement reviewed by – Pooja Lakshmi

 

 

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“Court cannot be simply to dispose of matters, one way or another at the cost of sacrificing the cause of justice”:Delhi High Court

The issue whether a divorce petition can be dismissed in the family court on the ground that the appellant husband failed to lead evidence was considered by the division bench of the Delhi High Court consisting of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh in the matters between Commodore Pavan Chauhan v Anusha Chauhan MAT.APP. (F.C.) 6/2022 decided on 18.1.2022.

 The facts of the case are that the Family Court dismissed the divorce petition by the appellant husband under section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, when the parties sought direction for adjournment of the matter.The appeal before this court is against the order of the Family Court.

The counsel on behalf of the appellant contended that the parties were negotiating for a settlement, which was repeatedly requested from the family court. No statements were made by way of evidence. However, the court rejected the petition after it determined that the plaintiff did not present evidence and after it closed the right to present evidence. This forced the petitioner to appeal before the High Court.

The counsel on behalf of the respondent also supported the submissions by the appellant and deposed that the position as informed is true.

The Delhi High Court held that the decision reflects the family court’s own position very badly. The Court’s effort cannot be to dispose of matters one way or another at the expense of sacrificing the cause of justice. Family Courts are expected to function in such a way as to reach an agreement where possible. Since the parties requested a postponement on the grounds that they were in negotiation, there was no reason for the Family Court to reject the postponement request made before it. The appellant’s right to present evidence was also forfeited. Hence, the Supreme Court reversed the decision and referred the parties to mediation upon their requests.

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Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar

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Man accused of rape granted bail on grounds of consensual relationship : Karnataka High Court

The issue whether a man accused of raping a female co-worker after assuring to marry her was brought before a bench of Karnataka High Court consisting of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar in the matters between Manoj Kumar M R v. State of Karnataka and Ors. CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1933 OF 2022 decided on 13.1.2022.

The facts of this case are the allegations against the appellant were that while working as an executive at Bajaj Finance Ltd. where he met the second defendant, who worked for the same company. As their relationship developed, he forced her into sexual relations with him after he said he loved her and would marry her and continued the sexual relationship, threatening to upload candid videos on social media. Defendant became pregnant twice in the next two years and was forced by the appellant to terminate both pregnancies. The appellant said he would not marry her because she belonged to the “Madiga” caste and tried to strangle her with a charging cable. Out of desperation, she later tried to end her own life. Later, the victim filed a complaint with the police.The man was booked under section 376 ,313,307 and 417 of IPC and offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The contentions on behalf of the appellant were the close relationship between the appellant and the second defendant was purely consensual. Both presented themselves as husband and wife to terminate the pregnancies, and the woman consented to the procedure. As a 27-year-old woman, she knew the consequences of what she had done. Furthermore, the appellant contacted Vanitha Sahayavani, a community cooperation and helpline of Bengaluru City Police, in August 2021.It was stated that the FIR was considered an afterthought since there was a delay of approximately 2 months in the last alleged incident and the complaint to the police. Given these facts and circumstances of the case and the investigation of the case has already been completed, the appellant should be released on bail.

The contentions on behalf of the respondent were that the victim was forced into sexual intercourse with the appellant through threats and her pregnancy was forcibly terminated. The relationship was developed under the guise of a false promise of marriage. When the appellant learned of the victim’s caste, she refused to marry him, which was an offense under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. As to the allegations that the appellant had deliberately refused to marry the victim and subsequently tried to commit suicide, the Court observed that it was unclear why he had been waiting for nearly 2 months, if the case was true. He could only have turned to the police when he realized rather the appellant had filed a complaint against Vanitha Sahayavani.

The Karnataka High Court held that the woman is 27 years old and apparently they voluntarily terminated her second pregnancy, she knew the consequences of having sex with the appellant. It is not difficult to conclude that the appellant was able to resolve the case for bail to be granted. The Special Court should have taken these aspects into account when deciding on the bail application. It seems that the following Court very routinely concludes that the appellant denied bail. The man was released on two hundred thousand rupees bail and was told not to threaten witnesses, falsify evidence, or influence the woman. He was ordered to appear before the court when necessary and not to commit another crime.

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Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar

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High Courts have inherent legal limitations while scrutinizing a tribunal award: SC

The Supreme Court observed that while scrutinizing an award of a tribunal, there are certain legal limitations on HC while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of India. If there is no violation of principles of natural justice, the High Court shall not get into the merits of an appellate court. This was held by a supreme court bench, comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh, in the case concerning Indian Overseas Bank & Anr. v Om Prakash Lal Srivastava, decided on 19 January, 2022.

The appellant bank took an ultimate step against the respondent, his employee, after finding him guilty under breach of duty and fraud. However, the Allahabad High Court stated that the five of the charges were not proved. Grieved by the order, the appellants brought the matter to the present court.

The respondent was employed with the bank as clerk-cum-cashier. The respondent forged the signatures of her sister-in-law and encashed a sum more than rupees twenty-thousand. Upon the complaint, the respondent was placed under suspension with 7 charges of fraud and breach of duty. After an enquiry, all the charges were upheld. The matter was taken to tribunal which after giving bank time to prove, upheld the charges. The appellant sought to assail this order by filing a writ petition at Allahabad High Court. The court held that when the earlier departmental proceedings were found to be violative of the principles of natural justice then no findings vis-a-vis charges 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7 should have been arrived at, based on the plea that the Bank led evidence only in respect of charges 4 & 5.The appellants submitted that there has been an error by the High Court since there was sufficient evidence to prove that the respondent had taken advantage of this position and committed fraud.

After observing the laws and facts of the present case, the bench held that there has been an error by the High Court in coming to the conclusion while reviewing the award of the tribunal. Observing the precedent set in GE Power India Ltd. (Formerly Known as M/s. Alstom Projects Ltd.) v. A. Aziz, the court stated that if there is no violation of If there is no jurisdictional error or violation of natural justice or error of law apparent on the face of the record, there is no occasion for the High Court to get into the merits of the controversy as an appellate court. While exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, there are a certain legal implications imposed to scrutinize the award of a tribunal.

The court held that the respondent had breached the confidence, breached the duty and committed fraud. Therefore, he shall no more be entitled to continue the service.

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Reviewed by Namisha Choudhary

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Suit by person Dispossessed of Immovable property: Gauhati High court

Ownership means absolute rights and legitimate claim to the object whereas Possession is more of physical control over the object. A person who has an illegal dispossessed of immovable property may claim to recover such possession by filing a suit held by the Gauhati High Court before the HON’BLE JUSTICE DEVASHIS BARUAH in the matter of Abdul Muhit Barbhuiya and 7 Ors V. Dukar Khasia and Ors. [ CRP/132/2019]

The background of the case arises, from the Respondent having instituted an under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 for restoration of possession of the plaintiff over the suit land. The Respondent trespassed on the suit land and threatened the plaintiff of dire consequences unless the plaintiff leaves the suit land and subsequently, the plaintiff was compelled to leave the suit land. The FIR was lodged against the Respondent. The respondent denied the charges filed. Respondent stated that the suit land was non-agricultural and his father was in possession of the land. The suit land was used for cultivation and dwelling houses. The grandfather of the respondent filed an application before the Assistant Settlement Officer for getting a certificate of suit land along with another land. 

The Respondent has not adduced any evidence. The plaintiff was entitled to a decree for recovery of the Khas possession by evicting the respondent. The nature of the suit under Section 6 of the Act says that any person is dispossessed without his consent of immovable property then in the due course of action can claim to recover the possession. The limitation of a suit is a short period of six months from dispossession.

The Hon’ble Court held that “On considering the lack of Evidence, the instance proceedings under the Section 6 is not maintainable. Respondent is not precluded from instituting a suit based on title and recover possession but only entitled under the law. Petition stand is allowed

 

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Judgement reviewed – Kaviya S

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