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Complaint Seeking An Action Under Sub-Section (3) Of Section 156 Of Cr.P.C., The Learned Magistrate Cannot Act Mechanically: High Court of Bombay

Title : Satish Panchariya v The State of Maharashtra

Citation : WP-1009-2012

Decided On: 4th November, 2023.

Coram: Justice A. S. Gadkari And Justice Shyam C. Chandak.

Introduction:

The Petitioners have invoked jurisdiction of the Court under Article 226 of Constitution of India read with Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code [for short “Cr.P.C.”] for quashing of M.E.C.R. No. 2 of 2012, registered with Malad Police Station, Mumbai, in furtherance of Order dated 9th January, 2012 passed by the learned Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 24th Court, Borivali, Mumbai in C.C. No.04/SW/2012.

Facts:

The learned Magistrate by its impugned Order dated 9th January, 2012, while directing the Police to conduct investigation under Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C., has himself admitted that without applying judicious mind to the case, he has passed the said Order by relying on the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Shrinivas Gundluri and Ors v/s. SEPCO Electric Power Constructions Corporation & Ors. It is the settled position of law and as has been enunciated by this Court in the case of Sayed Anwar Ahmed & Anr. vs. The State of Maharashtra & Anr., reported in 2017 SCC OnLine Bom 3972, while dealing with the complaint seeking an action under Sub-Section (3) of Section 156 of Cr.P.C., the learned Magistrate cannot act mechanically. He is required to apply his mind to the contents of the complaint and the documents produced along with the complaint. That, an Order passed on the said complaint must record reasons in brief which should indicate application of mind by the Magistrate. However, it is not necessary to record detailed reasons.

There is another facet to the present Petition. In the complaint the Respondent Nos. 3 and 4 have represented themselves to be the authorized representatives of the Respondent No.2, Company for filing the said complaint and persuading the learned Magistrate in passing the impugned Order dated 9th January, 2012. The Authorised Representative/Director of Respondent No.2, Company, namely Retired Wing Commander Ajai Sharma has filed an Affidavit on behalf of Respondent No.2 dated 3rd April, 2012, duly affirmed before the Assistant Registrar of this Court.

he Respondent No.2 has not filed any complaint against any person and has also not authorised any person to file any complaint. That, the complaint bearing C.C. No. 04/SW/2012 filed before the learned Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 24th Court, Borivali, Mumbai, is without the knowledge of the Company and the Board of Respondent No.2 never passed any resolution to file any complaint or authorized Respondent No.3 to file any such complaint. That, the said complaint is filed without any authorization and without knowledge, consent or assent of the Board of Directors.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The court held that a priori that, it is apparent that the Respondent Nos.3 and 4, has filed the said complaint without having any lawful authority. It is clearly a sheer sheer abuse of process of law adopted by Respondent Nos. 3 and 4 in the name of Respondent No.2 and as continuation of the said proceedings, would cause undue harassment and agony to the Petitioners for no illegal act committed by them.

The Court also did  not appreciate the mode and manner in which the impugned Order dated 9th January, 2012 is mechanically passed by the learned Magistrate, which is in utter disregard to the settled principles of law. Hence the order dated 9th January 2012 is quashed and set aside by the Court.

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Written By : Sanjana Ravichandran

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System Default is the standard excuse given by the Department when it comes to giving refunds

 High Court of Bombay Observed System Default is the standard excuse given by the Department when it comes to giving refunds.

Title : Matrix Publicities and Media India Pvt. Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Circle16(1), Mumbai & Ors

Decided on : 25th October 2023

Case No. : W.P (L) No.16764/2023

CORAM : HON’BLE Mr K. R. SHRIRAM, HON’BLE Ms NEELA GOKHALE

Introduction

The bench of Justice K. R. Shriram and Justice Neela Gokhale has observed that the excuse used is that the system under the control of the Centralized Processing Centre (CPC), Bangalore, has some issues and, therefore, amounts are not being released to assesses. Interest is payable by law until the date of refund, and the Department does not realize that it is public money that is used to pay interest. That is a waste and a burden on the exchequer.

Facts of the Case

The Petition is restricted to seeking refund amount of Rs.19,69,46,789/- for Assessment Year 2020-21. But it appears amount payable is Rs.19,79,40,376/- and Mr. Singh has nothing to dispute this amount. Mr. Singh relies on affidavit of reply of one Mr. Parmanand Pravin Darade, Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax16(1), Mumbai affirmed on 20th October 2023.

“A copy of this order be sent to the PMO, the Hon’ble Finance Minister GOI, the Hon’ble Law Minister GOI, the Central Board of Direct Taxes and to the Attorney General for India for information and necessary action”.

Case Analysis and Decision

The department sorted out its technical issues, totally unrelated to any substantial legal issue, nevertheless contravening the fundamental right of Petitioner to receive undisputed amount of refund, the present proceedings would not have crept into the litigation arena.

The Court ordered Respondents either by itself or through CC shall ensure that the amount is credited to Petitioner’s account on or before 4th November 2023 with interest up to the date of payment in accordance with law.

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Written by- Nimisha Sunny

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Bata questioned the status of such salesman as ‘workman’ under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and consequently as ‘employee’ under the MRTU & PULP Act.

High Court of Bombay on Bata’s  status of such salesman as ‘workman’ under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and consequently as ‘employee’ under the MRTU & PULP Act.

Title : M/s. Bata India Ltd v. Mr. Yellappa Satyappa Patil

Decided on :01 November,2023

Case No. : W.P. No. 1815/2016

CORAM : HON’BLE MR. SANDEEP V. MARNE

Introduction

Labour Court has however held those salesmen as workmen under the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act and ‘employees’ under MRTU & PULP Act and held the complaints to be maintainable. In two sets of complaints, Bata is before this Court challenging findings on preliminary point of status of salesman as workman.

Facts of the Case

Accordingly, by Notification dated 02 February 2007, the State Government granted permission to Bata to keep its retail outlets open for 07 days in a week and during extended working hours subject to various conditions.

Bata accordingly issued notices to the employees employed in the showrooms in November 2007 giving them intimation about the permission granted by the State Government. Bata prepared a duty chart with a view to man its showrooms during the extended hours for keeping them open for 07 days in a week. It appears that some of the salesmen in the showrooms were not willing to accept the sudden change in the working hours.

Courts analysis and decision

Bata unsuccessfully challenged Labour Court’s decision in revision before the Industrial Court and upon dismissal of its revisions, has filed Writ Petition . In rest of the cases, the Labour Court not only held the Complainants to be workmen but proceeded to set aside the termination orders by directing reinstatement with 50% back wages.

Appellant Court could not find any error in the orders passed by Labour Court holding the termination of employees to be illegal. The Industrial Court has rightly rejected the Revisions filed by the Bata challenging the relief of reinstatement granted by the Labour Court.

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Written by- Nimisha Sunny