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A Claim Application before MCAT is not a plaint governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, nor is it a Civil Suit but it is a special proceeding under the Special Act: Bombay High Court

Title: IFFCO TOKIO GENERAL INSURANCE CO.LTD v. KETAN HARISHCHANDRA MHATRE & ORS.

Decided on: 2nd AUGUST, 2023

FIRST APPEAL NO.1084 OF 2017

CORAM: ABHAY AHUJA, J.

Facts of the Case

Tanaji Bhoir was involved in a bike accident in 2009 and he later died while undergoing treatment for the same. His family had filed a Claim before the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal for compensation of Rs. 1.25 Crores under Sec. 166 of MV Act, 1988. The Tribunal granted for a compensation of 56,38, 374 with a 7% interest p.a. Aggrieved by this, the appellant insurance Co. filed before the HC.

Issues

(a) Whether trial Court was correct in considering income from transport business when there are no pleadings to that effect?

(b) Whether the trial Court was correct in discarding a clear admission in the cross examination that on the date of accident, the deceased was not employed and already resigned from his previous job?

Contentions

The Appellant contended that the trial Court was wrong in considering these facts for deciding the claim amount. The widow of the wife had clearly said that his only source of income was from service which was 37,750 and nothing was mentioned about his transport business. The deceased had, in fact, resigned from his Job one month before the accident; so, his salary from his previous job should not be considered to decide the claim amount. The average income of past 3 years should have been considered to decide the compensation.

The defendants contended that the income on the date of death should be considered, not any past years’ average. The deceased was working in Reliance Industries and also had his own transport business. In order to give time to his business, he quit his job. The Income Tax Returns filed include income from both job and business. Even as per MCAT, the year of highest income is considered for compensation.

Decision

The Court accepted the view of the respondents that a claim application before MCAT is not a plaint governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, nor is it a Civil Suit but it is a special proceeding under the Special Act, i.e., the MV Act, 1988.

The evidence of previous year income is fully valid and compensation is rightly based on previous year’s income.

Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.

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Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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Appointment of a part-time teacher as a full-timer valid even after the resolution is passed after 2 years: Bombay High Court

Title: Mrunal Mandar Joshi v. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Decided on: 1st August, 2023

+ WRIT PETITION (ST) NO. 8607 OF 2023

CORAM: G.S.Patel & Neela Gokhale, JJ.

Facts of the Case:

Mrunal Mandar Joshi, the petitioner was an Assistant Teacher for Chemistry in a school. When one of the senior-most teachers retired, there was a vacancy for the post of a Full-time Chemistry teacher. Being eligible for the post she was appointed as a full time teacher on  Dec. 30th 2014.

However, in 2016 when the senior-most faculty retired the decision of the management was sent to the Department which did not approve her appointment on the grounds that the resolution of the management to appoint her was after 2 years and that the particular post was reserved for people under VJ-NT, not for general category.

Issues

Whether the appointment of the petitioner valid because the resolution was passed 2 years after her appointment?

Contentions

The appellants claimed that the appointment was in accordance with the due requirements. In 2016, there were indeed 7 open spots and therefore, it was for the general category as well. Moreover, it is the Government’s Resolution that part-time teacher can be appointed full-time once there is a vacancy for that subject. The petitioner is therefore rightly appointed.

The Respondents contented that as there was a delay of 2 years in filing for approval of the Department, it is not valid. The Department pointed out this delay to buttress their refusal in sanctioning the approval. It was also alleged by them, that he spot was reserved for VJ-NT category and not general.

Decision

The Petitioner cannot be faulted and penalised for the acts or omissions of the Management in completing the requisite formalities. The Petitioner has served as a Chemistry Teacher in the School for as many as 11 years. There are no complaints against her, and she has an unblemished service record. She was appointed as part-time teacher after participating in a duly followed selection procedure. She is otherwise eligible for the post. Even the resolution speaks of retrospective appointment of the petitioner.

Therefore, her appointment to the post was upheld and she was to get her balance salary in 4 weeks with an  interest of 18% p.a.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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After peaceful enjoyment of land for multiple years, there is no cause of action: Bombay High Court

Title: Nana Narayan Bhalerao v. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Decided on: 26th JULY, 2023

WRIT PETITION (ST) NO. 8607 OF 2023

CORAM: G.S. KULKARNI & JITENDRA JAIN, JJ.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner owned 80R of land and due to the Nazare Project, his land was acquired by the Govt in1974. He was given 41R of land in Pune as an alternate. He realised it only later that he had not received a fair valuation for the land he lost.

In 2022, he filed an application before the District Resettlement Officer claiming 80R of land. Since he received no response, he moved to the HC.

Issues

Should the Petitioner get 80R of land even after 49 years of such allotment?

Decision

The Court referred to previous cases especially that of C. Jacob vs. Director of Geology & Mining & Anr., which had similar facts and the decision was that no cause of action arose under Art.226. Such claims were referred to as ‘Deadwood.’ In the present case, the Court reiterated the decision in Jacob’s case and said that the petitioner had enjoyed the land for 40 years without any issue and suddenly had filed for a claim. This according to the Bench was abuse of process. Since there was an unexplained delay in filing the suit, the suit is barred by principles of delay and laches.

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Written by- Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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If the dying declaration is truthful, voluntary and free from suspicion, it CAN be the basis for conviction: Bombay High Court

Title: Bhagwan Ramdas Tupe v. The State of Maharashtra

Decided on: 28th JULY, 2023

+ CRL.A. 530 OF 2016

CORAM: SMT. VIBHA KANKANWADI, J.

Facts of the Case

Bhagwan Ramdas Tupe (BRT) was previously convicted for Murder of one Vithabai, his neighbour and was thereof sentenced to life imprisonment.  BRT appealed to the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay HC and sought acquittal on the basis that there were inconsistencies between the dying declarations of 2 witnesses.

The respondents sought for the dismissal of the appeal for there was no “inconsistency” at all.  According to them the minor details may have been inconsistent, but overall, the story in both the dying declarations and Prime Witnesses is the same.

It was alleged that BRT had poured kerosene and tembha, i.e., burning wood, on Vithabai, due to which she sustained major burn injuries. She had not died instantly, she succumbed to the injuries only 2 months after the incident and before her death she gave her dying declaration to the Inspector.

Issues

Should the Dying Declaration of Vithabai be considered the basis for conviction?

Decision

The Court decided on the dying declaration made by Vithabai that although she had injuries, she was mentally sound and able to speak. In fact, her dying declaration corroborated with the Prime Witnesses’ story and therefore, the dying declaration made by her was truthful, voluntary and free from any suspicion.

Thus, the Court upheld the conviction and dismissed the appeal.

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Written by – Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law

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