Bombay High Court Judgement Tracker: June 2022

A review of judgments and orders passed by the Principal Bench of the Bombay High Court in the month of June, 2022.
Judgment Tracker
Judgment Tracker

While sources concerning specific subject matters exist, there exist few sources that allow practitioners to be aware of developments with respect to specific forums. The Bombay High Court Judgment Tracker intends to fill this gap by providing a monthly gist of all decisions of the Bombay Bench of the Bombay High Court.

Since the purpose of the column is to provide a brief snapshot of all decisions to practitioners, the authors have avoided undertaking an analytical critique of the decisions.

Here is a summary of all decisions of the Bombay Bench of the Bombay High Court for the month of June, 2022:

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

In The Executive Engineer Mechanical Div. and Anr. v. Smt. Sulochana Baburao Nille and Ors., the Court, while deciding upon an appeal filed against a 1994 order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Satara held that in accordance with norms and precedents the multiplier for compensation ought to be 15 and not 12 where the deceased is 39 years old at the time of death; and disallowed an appeal preferred by the respondents against the tribunal order of composite negligence as such an appeal had already been preferred in 2003.

In Mrs. Safiakhatoon Kamal Ahmed Khan and Ors. v. Mr. Farooq Merchant and Anr., the Court held that a claim for compensation from the insurance company under Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 would not be maintainable if the deceased were not a third party to the accident. In the present case, the Court denied the conversion of an application for compensation under Section 166 to Section 163-A on the grounds that the deceased was the owner of the vehicle he was riding and not a third party to the accident. Moreover, the annual income of the deceased was above the statutory limit of Rs. 40,000 per annum for relief under Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Thus, the Court upheld the dismissal order of the Motor Vehicles Tribunal.

Mumbai Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947

In Shamrao Rambhau Konde and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra Thr. Dept. of Revenue and Ors., the Court dismissed the Writ Petition on grounds that a delay of 55 years cannot fall within the criteria of a reasonable period of time under Section 32(1) of the Mumbai Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947 and the same cannot be justified under the principle of equity. The Writ Petition was filed by the petitioner against alleged illegal modification of the of Land Records in favour of the respondents.

Central Industrial Security Force Service Rules, 2001

In Mr. Rahul Hiraman Birhade v. The Union of India Through Its Secretary and Ors., the Court held that dismissal from service on the grounds of gross indiscipline and disobedience of orders is not disproportionate for a member of the ‘disciplined forces’. In the present case, the Court distinguished between a charge of wilful absence from service and gross indiscipline and disobedience of orders to hold that under the latter it was not required of the employer to prove wilful absence. The failure of the petitioner to adhere to service leave rules and respond to service notices were sufficient to constitute gross indiscipline and disobedience. Thus, the Court upheld dismissal of the petitioner from the Central Industrial Security Force. 

In Ram Sahodar Rajwade v. The Director-General Central Industrial Security Force and Ors., the Court held that mandatory statutory provisions in service rules, which reflect the principles of natural justice, cannot be deemed to have been waived in a departmental inquiry, and the Court can interfere with the decision of such inquiry if service rules and principles of natural justice are not observed. In the present case, the petitioner had failed to raise Rule 36(18)(b) of the Central Industrial Security Force Service Rules, 2001 before the Inquiry Officer which the respondent contended had been waived. The Court held that Rule 36 reflects principles of natural justice and cannot be deemed to have been waived. Thus, the Court ordered the reopening of the inquiry proceedings and reinstated the petitioner until the departmental proceedings were concluded. 

Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965

In Shri. Dattaray Krishnaji Pawar v. Union of India Through the Jt. Secty. and Ors., the Court held that an order of transfer would amount to punishment if the employee were asked to discharge a duty lower than the duty previously discharged, or if the pay or promotional aspects were reduced, or if such order stigmatized the career of the officer. Moreover, the Court held that it cannot interfere with an order of transfer under Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 unless such order is vitiated by mala fides or is made in violation of any statutory provisions. In the present case, the order of transfer did not amount to punishment or mala fides since the designation and pay of the petitioner remained unchanged. Consequently, the Court upheld the order of dismissal of the petition by the Bombay Branch, Central Administrative Tribunal, Mumbai. 

Employees State Insurance Act, 1948

In The Board Of Control For Cricket In India, Mumbai v. Regional Director, Employees State Insurance Corporation, Mumbai and Anr., the Court held that Board of Control for Cricket in India is a commercial, profit-making entity and is a ‘shop’ as per a notification dated September 18, 1978 issued by the Government of Maharashtra under Section 1(5) of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. In the present case, BCCI’s activities, as per its Memorandum of Association of promoting cricket as a source of entertainment, providing amenities to players and spectators, and acquiring and disposing property are of a commercial nature and covered within the definition of ‘shop’ under Section 1(5) of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. Consequently, the Court upheld the order of the Employees Insurance Court, Bombay ordering BCCI to contribute to the Employees State Insurance Contribution Fund.

Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987

In Mr. Kiran Damodar Paygode and Another v. The Union of India through The General Manager, the Court dismissed the appeal filed against an order of the Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 by condoning the delay, which was more than the 90-day delay, as given under the Act; and remanded back the matter before the R.C.T. for fresh consideration. Here, following an accident the RCT awarded compensation to the mother, wife and children of the victim. However, before receiving the compensation, the mother and wife of the victim died. This application was filed by the children of the victim to claim the compensation given to wife and mother of the victim as the children were their legal representatives.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

In Monika Narendra Sharma v. Mukeshkumar Ramnath Bhagal, the Court dismissed an appeal filed for annulment of marriage under Section 12(1)(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 by the appellant-wife, on grounds of lack of corroboration of oral testimony and no evidence in regards of her claims wherein she alleges to have been ravished, sexually exploited, and subjected to unnatural intercourse by respondent-husband. The application was also barred by limitation.

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

In Sameer Dattatraya Deshapande and Ors. v. Kishor Shamrao Jadhav, the Court held that the appellants can rightfully exercise the remedy under Order 21 Rule 97 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 by claiming independent right, title, interest in the suit property as against the defendant who is claimed to have been erroneously transferred the whole property by the deceased, without consent of the appellants. Earlier, the district judge without proper consideration recorded a finding that the Appellants cannot claim right, title or interest in the suit property as the deceased had not raised any such argument earlier. Thus, the Court vacated such a finding and remanded the matter back to executing court, Kolhapur for fresh consideration.

In M/s Angerlehner Structural and Civil Engineering Company v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the Court allowed the Execution Petition under the Code for Civil Procedure, 1908, filed by the petitioner for enforcement of the full award, considering the deduction of ₹67,94,965.02 by the respondent towards the payment of GST by the petitioner, on grounds that in the instant case, GST would be payable on a reverse charge basis and hence, the respondent himself would be liable to pay the GST. Also, such a liability was never shifted on the petitioner by way of the contract between the parties.

In Ajay Kumar Garg v. Avyaay Anirudh Garg and 26 Ors., the Court held that an appeal against the rejection of plaint under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 would not be interfered with if the order of the court of first instance is measured, careful and plausible. In the present case, the appeal was based on the rejection of a defective plaint and the Court found that the order of the civil judge was measured and plausible. Thus, the Court upheld the rejection of the plaint and dismissed the appeal.

In Jagannath Khanderao Kedar & Anr v. Gopinath Bhimaji Kedar @ Gopinath Bhagwant Mohite, the Court held that a mere agreement to sell does not create any interest in the property and therefore, the third parties cannot be impleaded in the case under Order I Rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 as a necessary and proper party. The Court reiterated that the plaintiff is the master of the suit, and if he is opposing the impleadment of the third parties and they do not have any direct legal interest, they should not be impleaded.

Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947

In Damu Ramu Avhad v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that the appellant could not be held liable for the offenses of criminal misconduct and abuse of position as a public servant under Sections 5(2) read with 5(i)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, since there was no evidence to prove demand of illegal gratification, and mere recovery of tainted money is not sufficient to convict the accused under the said Act.

In Sanjay Janardan Dukre v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court dismissed the appeal preferred by the appellant charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act on grounds that obtaining of a special sanction by the investigative agency does not amount to a second prosecution of the accused and the judgement of the Special Judge acquitting the accused was in want of jurisdiction, and thus, null and void. Consequently, the Court remanded the instant case back to the trial court for fresh consideration with a request to settle the matter within six months. 

Indian Penal Code, 1860

In Parvez Farukh Dalvi v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court acquitted the appellant charged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 on grounds that the whole case of the prosecution was based on the circumstantial evidence and the same was insufficient to establish a singular conclusion of the guilt of the appellant hence, the guilt of the appellant was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, which is necessary for a finding of conviction.

In Naresh Madhu Pawar v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court acquitted the appellant charged under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (murder) and convicted him under Section 304 Part II of the IPC (Culpable Homicide) for the case fell under Exception No. 4 of Section 300 of the IPC. This is because as per the evidence before the Court the act took place without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel.

In Gautam Kamlakar Pardeshi & Anr v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that the ‘last seen theory’, in and of itself, is not sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, unless the prosecution can show proximity between the time when last seen and the time of death. Additionally, the Court held that the material infirmities in the extra-judicial confession would not inspire the confidence of the court to convict the accused, as in such cases, the guilt of the accused would not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

In Roshan Anant Sawant v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that mere recovery of stolen ornaments and blood-stained clothes of the victim would not lead to a definite inference that the accused is guilty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In the instant case, the money received by pledging the ornaments and the ornaments were returned within a day, and there was no other evidence linking the accused with the victim’s death. Thereby, the Court acquitted the accused.

In Vijay Jagannath Khairnar &  Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra & Anr., the Court held that in cases where there exists a doubt regarding the prosecution’s case, the benefit of such doubt must be extended to the accused. In the instant case, the accused was charged under Sections 302, 447 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and the prosecution’s case depended entirely on the wife of the accused who had claimed to be an eyewitness to the case. Moreover, there were multiple discrepancies in the eyewitness’ testimony and variance from her statement recorded in the F.I.R., so, the Court acquitted the accused, since the guilt couldn’t be established beyond reasonable doubt.

In Arun Appaso Dange v. The State of Maharashtra & Anr., the Court held that in cases where the accused has an intention of causing the death of the deceased, and the incident is not a fall out of sudden or grave provocation, the accused would not be entitled to the benefit of the Exception 4 to Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967; Explosive Substances Act, 1908

In Mohammad Raisuddin s/o Mohammad Siddique v. The National Investigating Agency and Anr., the Court allowed the appeal for bail by the petitioner who had been in custody for seven years, on grounds that the embargo under Section 43- D(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 per se does not prevent a constitutional court to grant bail if a case for infringement of the right of protection of life and personal liberty is made out. The accused in the instant case was charged under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 by the National Investigation Agency.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

In Anand Singh v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 does not permit the complainant from preferring an appeal for the enhancement of sentence. However, the Court highlighted that a revision petition under Section 397 read with Section 401 of CrPC can be filed at the instance of the complainant for the enhancement of sentence. In the present case, the Court dismissed the claim of the petitioner under Section 372 but permitted the conversion of the complainant’s petition into a revision petition under Section 401 of CrPC read with Rule 2(II)(a) of Bombay High Court Appellate Rules 1960. 

In Arif Mohd. Rahilla v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that failure to establish the identity of the accused, as the perpetrator, beyond reasonable doubt is sufficient to overturn an order of conviction on appeal. In the present case, the prosecution was unable to sufficiently establish the identity of the accused through the test identification parade and witnesses. Moreover, the Court highlighted that the statement of the victim under Section 164 of the CrPC was tutored, and the victim was shown to the accused before the test identification parade. Thus, the Court overturned the order of conviction and ordered the release of the accused.

In Jai Rawat v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court observed that prima facie evidence against the accused was sufficient to deny a petition under Section 482 of the CrPC. In the present case, the Court observed that a chargesheet had been filed against the accused and he had also been granted bail. Thus, the Court refused to pass an order quashing criminal proceedings under Section 482 of the CrPC.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

In Aditya Anand Varma and Ors. v. The State of Maharashtra and Anr., the Court held that to qualify as an ‘aggrieved person’ under Section 2(a) of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, actual residence of the woman in the shared household is not necessary. The Court highlighted that to qualify as aggrieved person all that is necessary is domestic relationship of the woman with the accused under Section 2(f). In the present case, the Court rejected the contention of the petitioner that actual residence was necessary to claim relief under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and consequently, refused to quash proceedings against the petitioner under Section 482 of CrPC.

In Harsherekha A. Garg & Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that in the light of the existence of an alternative statutory remedy, the Court would not be justified in exercising its powers under writ jurisdiction. Moreover, the Court reiterated the exceptional situations such as infringements of fundamental rights or violations in the judicial process, wherein, in the face of an existing alternative remedy, the Court may exercise its writ jurisdiction. In the instant case, the petitioners were held punishable under Section 31 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (The Act). Therefore, the Court held that instead of the High Court, the petitioners may approach the appellate court under Section 29 of the Act.

Indian Arms Act, 1959

In Dr. Leena Ashay Nandeshwar v. The State of Maharashtra and Ors., the Court held that ‘possession’ under Section 3 and 25 of the Indian Arms Act, 1959 refers only to conscious possession and not unconscious possession, which is not to the knowledge of the person from whom any recovery is made. In the present case, the Court found that the possession of live ammunition was without the knowledge of the accused and consequently not ‘conscious possession’. Thus, the Court quashed criminal proceedings under the Indian Arms Act, 1959 through an order under Section 482 of the CrPC.

Indian Evidence Act, 1872

In Sumit Brijbihari Giri v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that in cases where a crime takes place in the secrecy of a house, then the inmates of such property would be under a duty as per Section 106 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 to explain how the crime took place. In such cases, the burden of proof on the prosecution is much lower and the accused cannot indicate that it is entirely up to the prosecution to show that the accused committed the crime. Moreover, in cases where the accused fails to provide an adequate explanation to prove his innocence, such an inadequate explanation would be taken against such person. In the present case, the crime of murder took place in a room where only the accused and the deceased were present, and the accused failed to adequately dispel the burden under Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Thus, the Court upheld the order of conviction under Section 302 of the IPC. 

In Kisanpal Rampal Paswan v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that in cases where the prosecution has failed to prove the circumstances beyond reasonable doubt, the burden of the accused to provide an explanation under Section 106 of the Evidence Act would be considered irrelevant. Furthermore, the Court held that the falsity of defence or failure to discharge the burden under Section 106 of the Evidence Act could not take the place of proof of facts, which the prosecution must establish independently to succeed.

Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

In Ramchandra Thangappan Aachari v. The State of Maharashtra, the Court held that a reliable, conclusive medical examination report satisfies the presumption of age under Section 29 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and there is no second opinion required in such cases. In the present case, the Court highlighted the conclusive reliability of the medical report establishing the age of the complainant and thus, upheld the conviction of the accused.

Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers and Persons engaged in Black-marketing Essential Commodities Act, 1981

In Ram Raju @ Jatalya Umap v. The Commissioner of Police, Pune and Anr., the Court acquitted the Petitioner charged under Section 3(2) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers and Persons engaged in Black-marketing Essential Commodities Act, 1981 (MPDA Act) read with a Government order (No. MPDA- No.0612/CR-151/Spl-3B) on grounds that the objectionable acts of the petitioner would not fall within ‘law and order’ under the MPDA Act and could have been taken care of by ordinary laws. Thus, the Court vacated the above said charge and quashed the detention order of the Commissioner of Police, Pune City.

In Sachin Parshuram Mane v. The Commissioner of Police, Pune City and Anr., the Court acquitted the petitioner charged under Section 3 of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons, Video Pirates, Sand Smugglers and Persons engaged in Black-marketing Essential Commodities Act, 1981 (MPDA Act) read with a government order on grounds of abnormal delay, in-camera statements of the witnesses not being without fear or false assurances and the explanation for the delay is not sustainable.

In Shivkumar Madeshwaran Devendra Through Manoj Tangraj Devendra (Brother-in-Law of Detenue) v. The State of Maharashtra and Anr., the Court held that an order for preventive detention under Section 3(2) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders and Dangerous Persons Act, 1981 cannot be based on criminal proceedings for which the accused has been granted bail. Moreover, if there is an abnormal delay between the date of offense and date of detention, then such delay must be explainable. In the present case, there was an unexplained delay of 4 months in issuing the detention order and the order was based on offenses for which the detainee had already been granted bail. Thus, the Court set aside the order for detention.

Representation of Peoples Act, 1951

In Mohammad Nawab Mohammad Islam Malik @ Nawab Malik v. The Directorate of Enforcement Thr. Asst. Director and Anr., the Court dismissed the appeal of the appellants (MLAs in the State Legislature Maharashtra) in custody who were praying for directions from the Court to allow them to vote in the Presidential Election 2022, on grounds that section 62(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 expounds that a person in custody, either post-conviction or during the course of investigation or trial, is prohibited from casting their vote in any election.

Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

In Priya Malay Sheth v. VLCC Health Care Ltd., the Court dismissed a suit filed in respect of the dispute resolution clause in a contract between the parties under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 on grounds that since the seat of arbitration is in Delhi as per the contract, any appeal against such clause which deals with dispute resolution in the contract would also lie in Delhi. The Court also negatived the contention that respondent would have the power to unilaterally choose the arbitrator.

In Derivados Consulting Pvt. Ltd. v. Pramara Promotions Pvt. Ltd., the Court dismissed a suit filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, on grounds that there existed no arbitration agreement between the two parties and the existing clause was non-binding, thus, the Court cannot invoke its jurisdiction under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

In Ocean Sparkle Limited v. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited and Anr., the Court partly allowed a petition filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 for interim reliefs pending the arbitral proceedings by directing the respondent to deposit the amount payable to the petitioner under the unpaid invoices in court which will be kept in a fixed deposit, and not invoke the performance bank guarantee on grounds that the contract agreement stands fully performed which is when the bank guarantee itself was to lapse. The Court also directed the petitioner to invoke the arbitral proceedings within a period of one month from order.

In Priya Rishi Bhuta & Anr. v. Vardhaman and Development Corporation & 14 Ors., the Court allowed the applications filed by the petitioner under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by appointing a sole arbitrator, transforming the application under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 into Section 17 applications and keeping all other issues open for the consideration of the arbitrator on grounds that the right of the applicants to take recourse to arbitration is clearly relatable and recognized under Clause 19 read with Clause 17 of the Deed of Partnership in the instant case.

In BSI-JDN Joint Venture & 2 Ors. v. The Board of Trustees of The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, the Court held where considerations in a pending investigation do not interfere with the contractual work of the parties, the contractual obligations for dispute resolution by arbitration could not be disowned on the ground of such pending investigation. In furtherance of the same, the Court allowed the petition filed under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and appointed the arbitrators for both parties.

Finance Act, 2019; Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019

In Quant Broking Private Limited v. Union of India and 4 Ors., the Court remanded the matter back to Designated Committee under Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019, introduced under the Finance Act, 2019, for fresh consideration and disposed off the petition on grounds that since the scheme had been framed for settlement of legacy tax issues, the designated committee must keep an open mind towards the tax demand and be more flexible in their approach in deciding upon the issues of credit claimed by the petitioner, and the net tax incidence, afresh by way of a personal hearing.

In Anjali Services Private Limited v. The Union of India and 3 Ors., the Court held that eligibility for declaration under Section 125 of the Finance Act, 2019 as per the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Regulation) Scheme, 2019 required the admission of quantified tax liability during inquiry, investigation or audit before the cut-off date of June 30, 2019. Further, eligibility would not be affected by the date on which the show-cause notice indicating tax liability was issued. In the present case, the petitioners argued that tax liability had been quantified before the cut-off had been established yet the declaration was denied by the Commissioner GST & Central Excise, Mumbai. The Court overturned the decision of the Commissioner GST & Central Excise, Mumbai and ordered that the declaration of the petitioner be considered.

Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (Election to Committee) Rules, 2014

In Rahul Sambhaji Gaware and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra Thr. Secretary Dept. of Co-Operation and Ors., the Court held that once the Rules under Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (Election to Committee) Rules, 2014 are complied with, the Court cannot intervene with the preparation of the list of eligible voters on the grounds of a fear of impersonation of voters. In the present case, the petitioners raised the possibility of impersonation of voters on the ground that the names of several dead persons had not been removed from the voter list. However, the Court held that all the statutory procedures under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (Election to Committee) Rules, 2014 had been complied with in the preparation of the voter list and the petitioners were free to challenge the impersonation of voters under Rule 40 and 41 during the conduct of elections. Thus, the Court refused to intervene on the possibility of voter impersonation and dismissed the petition. 

Maharashtra Land Revenue (Conversion Of Occupancy Class-II And Leasehold Lands Into Occupancy Class-I) Rules, 2019

In Ananta Landmarks Pvt. Ltd. v. The State of Maharashtra Thr. Principal Secretary and Anr., the Court held that conversion of land allotted for industrial activity under the Part 7 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 into residential/commercial land would be covered by the Maharashtra Land Revenue (Conversion of Occupancy Class-II And Leasehold Lands Into Occupancy Class-I) Rules, 2019. In the present case, the conversion application of the petitioner had been rejected on the ground that the impugned land had been acquired under Land Acquisition Act, 1894 which were not covered under the conversion rules of 2019. Thus, the Court set aside the rejection of the conversion application of the petitioner.

Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools Act, 1977

In Dinesh Kumar Singh and Ors. v. Sainath Education Trust and Ors., the Court highlighted that there was difference in judicial opinion regarding the recommendations of the All India Council for Technical Education and the Rules framed under Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools Act, 1977 prescribing the service conditions for teachers of High School and Junior Colleges. Thus, the Court referred the matter to a larger bench for adjudication.

Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, 2002

In HAL Offshore Ltd. v. The State of Maharashtra and Anr., the Court held that the existence of an alternate remedy of appeal was available against an order of assessment under Section 23 of the Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, 2002 (MVAT), before the appellate authority under Section 26 of the MVAT, a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution would not be entertained unless the petitioner is able to establish exceptional grounds for interference. The Court highlighted that exceptional grounds would imply a failure to follow the principles of natural justice on the part of the assessment officer. In the present case, the petitioner failed to establish any exceptional grounds for the interference since there was no violation of principles of natural justice. Thus, the Court dismissed the petition for interference on merits. 

Bombay High Court Administration Rules, 1995

In Kishore D. Raorane v. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay Through the Prothonotary and Senior Master and 12 Others, the Court distinguished between exams conducted for a promotional exercise and other exams conducted by the department under the Bombay High Court Administration Rules, 1995, to state that a high score in the departmental exam is not a criteria of promotion. In the present case, the Court also held that exemption granted to certain officers, under the Rules, to not take the departmental exam will not affect their eligibility for promotion. Thus, the Court rejected the contention of the petitioner that he had been wrongfully denied promotion on the grounds that the seniority list was prepared as per the Administration Rules and that marks secured in a departmental exam are not the criteria for promotion under the said Rules.

Companies Act, 2013

In World Crest Advisors LLP v. Catalyst Trusteeship Ltd. and 8 Others, the Court held that in an appeal against the rejection of ad-interim relief by a single judge, the division bench will not interfere with the impugned order except where the discretion has been exercised arbitrarily, or capriciously or where the judge ignored settled principles of law. In the present case, the Court concluded that the result arrived at by the single judge was reasonably possible based on the material advanced and thus, refused to grant relief to the petitioner.

Employees (Standing Order) Act, 1946 

In Tanaji Shankar Anuse v. Maharashtra Rajya Doodh Sahakari Mahasangh Maahanand Dudh Shala, the Court held that the employer, by not providing the delinquent employee with an unambiguous charge sheet and by not giving him an opportunity to cross-examine the management witnesses, violated the basic principles of natural justice, which should have been followed during disciplinary proceedings. The court also held that oral evidence recorded behind the back of the employee cannot be used as evidence and must not be acted upon to impose any punishment.

Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960

In Ashwini Sayaji Patil & Ors. v. The State of Maharashtra Thr. Principal Secretary Cooperation and Textile Dept. & Ors., the Court held that wherein document evidence is produced for the first time before the High Court, the court cannot appreciate the evidence as it cannot act as a fact-finding body. The Court concluded that the issue regarding the eligibility of the petitioners as voters was not adjudicated thoroughly in the court of the first instance. Therefore, the case was sent back to Assistant Registrar to determine the eligibility individually.

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

In Seema Jagdish Patil v. The National Hi Speed Rail Corporation Ltd & Anr., the Court relying on Balkrishnan v. Union of India, held that merely because the party agrees to the compensation amount, it will not change the character of the acquisition from ‘compulsory acquisition’ to ‘direct purchase’. On these lines, the Court held that the agreement was exempted from income tax under the Income Tax Act as the nature of the agreement is that of compulsory acquisition and it therefore, falls under Section 96 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017; Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017

In Jar Productions Pvt. Ltd. v. The Union of India & 3 Ors., the Court held that when services are rendered abroad, CGST as under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 will not apply. Since, in the instant case, the respondents had failed to establish that incident tax was passed on to the recipient; thus, both the Adjudicating and Appellate Authority were held to have erred in rejecting the refund of GST to the petitioner. Moreover, for the petitioner was engaged in the export of services (categorized as zero-rated supply under Section 16 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017), respondent’s claim of unjust enrichment would also not be applicable.

Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016

In Ashopalav Coop. Housing Society Ltd. v. Pankaj Bhagubhai Desai & Anr., the Court held that the ‘bar of jurisdiction’ to not make an order of injunction would not apply to the arbitral tribunal under Section 79 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. Moreover, the Court held that the impugned order by the arbitrator could not be sustained as the tribunal had failed to consider and evaluate the appellant’s case based on well-settled principles applicable for granting interim relief thus, causing irreparable injury to the applicant.

Customs Act, 1961

In Helliburton Offshore Services Inc. & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., the Court held that any person who has been issued a show cause notice under the Customs Act, 1961 (the Act), may be eligible to file an application, under Section 127 – B of the Act. Contrary to the respondent’s claims, the Court held that the only requirement for filing an application is that there must be a case properly relating to the applicant concerning a bill of entry.

In Sameer Shah v. The Union of India and Anr., the Court held that not allowing a person to cross-examine the witnesses on whom reliance has been placed by the opposite party would constitute a violation of the principles of natural justice under the Customs Act, 1961. Furthermore, the Court held that in cases where the principles of natural justice have been violated, the court must provide a hearing to the affected party irrespective of the availability of an alternate efficacious remedy.

Indian National Shipowners Association - Maritime Union of India Agreement

In Rajiv Singh v. The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd., the Court relying on Krushnakant B. Parmar v. Union of India & Another, held that in a departmental proceeding, if an allegation of unauthorised absence from duty is made, the disciplinary authority is required to prove that the absence is wilful; otherwise, the absence will not amount to misconduct. The Court further held that in the light of ‘ominous abdication of responsibility’ on behalf of the respondent, there was a need to issue a notice or initiate disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner.

Trade Marks Act, 1999

In Chitali Bottling Limited Thr. Authorized Representative Mr. Mohan Ramanand Chug v. Brihan Karan Sugar Syndicated Private Limited & Ors., the Court held that Section 2(b) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 does not provide for any ‘oral assignment’; thus, there cannot be any perpetual license or vesting of the said trademarks with the appellant. The Court also held that in the light of any existing written license agreement, the respondents could not grant any oral license to the appellant.

Registration Act, 1908

In Shri. Kanji Ravaria Alias Kanji s/o Dharmashi Ravaria v. Anis Ismail Khoja (Karmali) & Ors., the Court held that as the plaintiff was unable to show that any of the defendants appeared before the registering authority or admitted to having signed or executed the sale deed, the registration of the sale deed would be in breach of the statutory requirements under the Registration Act, 1908. The Court further highlighted that the burden of proof, in such cases, would lie on the person who would fail if no evidence at all, were given on either side and for such reason, the defendant cannot be held liable for not being able to prove a negative fact.

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