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Review of Judgements or orders passed by the High Court in February.
With its vast and varied case-docket, the High Court of Delhi has occasion to pronounce verdicts on diverse subjects and myriad areas of law. This two-part monthly column attempts to offer a brief over- view of the important pronouncements of the High Court of Delhi over the period of the relevant month in review. While an attempt has been made to ensure the widest possible coverage of the various judgments rendered, comprehensive analysis and critique of the individual judgments is eschewed for the sake of brevity.
In continuation of the judgments discussed in Part I of the column, below are the further judgments from the Delhi High Court for the month of February, segregated as per practice areas.
Intellectual Property Rights
In Steelbird Hi-Tech India Limited v. Asia Fibre Glass Products , the Court observed that while quantifying the entitlement towards damages in a suit for infringement, damages could not be awarded on the basis of the entire sales proceeds of the infringing goods inasmuch as the same would include cost of manufacture and sale, and only the profits earned by the defendants would be liable to be taken into account. The Court observed that a profit element of 15 % was a reasonable estimate considering the contemporary market conditions.
In CDE Asia Limited v. Jaideep Shekhar , the Court held that the right of a patent holder under Section 48 of the Patent Act, 1970 (‘Patent Act’) can be exercised even prior to the expiry of the permissible one year post-grant opposition period, and accordingly, any suit filed prior to the expiry of the said period could not be said to be non-maintainable.
In KBM Foods Private Limited v. Subhash Tayal , the Court reiterated that a mere delay in instituting proceedings against dishonest adoption of a mark would not by itself defeat the right of the plaintiff if it was otherwise able to establish a prima-facie case in its favour.
In H. T. Media Limited v. www.theworldnews.net , while reiterating the parameters for identifying a ‘rogue website’, the Court observed that insisting upon the plaintiff to keep communicating specified URL’s to the intermediary defendants for taking down the same would not be practical in a case where the offending defendants were uploading infringing content on a large scale on a daily basis.
In Central Park Estates Private Limited v. Provident Housing Limited , the Court held that the word ‘Central Park’ was an essential feature of the plaintiff’s mark, and therefore, the defendant could not be permitted to use the said mark simply by volunteering to display its own name in a more pronounced manner before the said mark.
In Unikill Pesticides Private Limited v. Union of India , the Court held that when an entity was desirous of registering an insecticide which was being imported from a different source from the molecule which already stood approved under section 9(3) of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (‘Insecticides Act’), then the said entity would be required to make an application under Section 9(3) of the said Insecticides Act and could not be permitted to maintain an application simpliciter under section 9(4) of the Act.
In S. K. Cosmetics v. The Controller General of Patients, Designs and Trademarks , the Court observed that the purpose of forms TM-33 and 34 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 (‘Trademarks Act’) is limited to carrying out changes in description or address etc. and in order to seek a change as regards the ownership or to modify the proprietary nature of the trademark, the request must necessarily be made through the route of form TM-P, which would then be subject to objections by any interested party and the further specified process in this regard.
In Vasundhara Prakash v. Half Baked Beans Literature Private Limited , the Court observed that when there was clear allegation in the suit against an intermediary and as also against its group entities and specific instances of default were pointed out, then it was not proper for the trial court to come to a perfunctory finding in an application under Order 1 Rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (‘CPC’) completely exonerating the said intermediary and a more detailed examination was required to be undertaken.
In Roche Products (India) Private Limited v. Cadila Healthcare Limited , the Court held that in light of the coming into force of the Drugs and Clinical Trial Rules, 2019, the remedy of appeal against the approval granted to a drug by the Drugs Controller General of India (‘DCGI’) and the department of Bio-Technology is confined only to the applicant before the DCGI, and in light of the same, a suit impugning the said decision filed by other aggrieved parties could no longer be said to be non-maintainable inasmuch as an alternative remedy could no longer be said to be available.
In Merck Sharp and Dohme Corporation v. Union of India , the Court again expressed its displeasure at the abysmal state of infrastructure and manpower available with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (‘IPAB’) and observed that the said situation had rendered the IPAB completely ineffectual.
In Hi-Tech Products Private Limited v. Union of India , the Court deprecated the negligence shown by the examiner of trademarks in disposing of a request for assignment on the ostensible ground that no response had been filed, whereas a simple search on the website of the Trademark Registry revealed that such a response had in fact been duly filed.
Labour and Service
In Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Limited v. Vikram Chaudhary , while construing an agreement for the running of a radio-taxi service between a taxi-owner and a business associate tasked with the running of the taxi, the Court held that there was no employer-employee relationship inasmuch as there was a clear principal-to-principal relationship without any direct supervision of the business associate who was free to operate the taxi in any manner within the overall framework of the agreement. The Court further observed that one crucial test for consideration of a person as an employee would be that the said person himself / herself would provide the requisite services in exchange for the necessary remuneration, and where an agreement provided for any other person being allowed to discharge the said service also in order for the business associate to be entitled to the agreed remuneration, then no employer-employee relationship could said to be existing between the taxi-owner and the business associate.
In Amrish Kumar v. Indian Institute of mass Communication, while noting the evolution of the law since the decision of the Supreme Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka & Ors. v. Umadevi & Ors., the Court directed the regularisation of workmen who had put in uninterrupted service for 23 years on a casual and ad-hoc basis while noting that denying them the status and privilege of a permanent workman despite this long period of service would amount to an unfair labour practice which could not be countenanced.
In Dhananjay Kumar Mishra v. Airports Authority of India, the Court observed that the mere usage of the term ‘cadre’ in a public advertisement would not necessarily indicate that the required experience for candidates would only be that earned on a permanent or regular post, and it could very well be argued that the experience being referred to could also be that garnered by employment in a temporary capacity or on a contractual basis.
In Spirited Auto Car (I) Limited (Espirit Toyota) v. State (Government of NCT of Delhi, the Court held that the complete failure of the management to file a written statement or any evidence rebutting the stand of the workmen first before the conciliation officer, and subsequently before the labour commissioner, would justify the grant of relief to the workmen by accepting their statements as at face value.
In Subhash Kumar v. M/s Manoj Repairing and Job Works, the Court observed that when a workman had refused to re-join duty after a long term of unauthorised absence despite various entreaties to this effect by the management, then the management could not be mulcted with liability to make payment of any amounts to the workman for this period. However, in a situation where the converse was true, i.e. where the workman was not allowed to re-join employment, the Court in East Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Sanjay Upadhyay , held the management liable for payment of wages for the said period.
In South Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Sripal Singh , while deprecating the uneven application of a regularisation policy, the Court further observed that if a workman who had been appointed subsequent to the petitioner was being granted the benefit of regularisation, then the petitioner was definitely entitled to a favourable consideration in relation to his request for regularisation.
In Raj Kumari v. Chairman, Local Implementation Committee, State Bank of India , the Court reiterated that an employee of a canteen being run in the premises of a bank branch cannot be termed as the employee of the bank in the absence of any obligation for the running of a canteen by the bank being demonstrated.
In D.T.C. v. Radha Charan , the Court held that when despite a specific requirement for a prospective candidate to disclose information regarding pending criminal cases, when the said information was suppressed, then the principle of ‘good faith’ which was the fundamental basis for the induction of an employee would be violated, and the employer would be justified in terminating the employment of the said employee.
In Management of Birla Textile Mills v. Kanhiya Lal , while considering the case of a workman employed in a company which had admittedly being closed down, the Court held that upon the company seizing to exist, no services could be said to be renderable to it, and the workman would not be entitled to seek gratuity for the period post the closure.
In D. T. C v. Hukum , the Court observed that in a case where a minor deviation from the procedure had been occasioned on account of extenuating circumstances and the said course had been adopted in the best interests of the employer and without causing any pecuniary loss, then a punishment of dismissal from services would be grossly disproportionate and unsustainable.
In Rumal Singh v. D.T.C. , the Court observed that merely because a person was registered with an employment exchange would not necessarily mean that the said person was in employment, and this aspect alone would not defeat the entitlement towards back wages.
In Aarti Gupta v. Jubilant Oil & Gas Private Limited , the Court observed that irrespective of the validity of the termination of the employment, the management is duty bound to tender the admitted legitimate dues of the employee and could not retain the said amount on the specious ground that the employee concerned had not personally approached it for the release of the said sum.
In Jagdish Chander v. All India Institue of Medical Sciences , the Court observed that a workman could not seek recourse to a regularisation policy which had come into effect after his services were terminated by the management, particularly when the decision to terminate the services could not be demonstrated to be illegal.
In Bal Kishan v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi , the Court observed that denying a workman the same treatment and benefit which was extended to his identically placed colleagues will be an unfair and discriminatory practice which could not be countenanced.
In Madhu Kalra v. Manjit Singh G. K. , the Court observed that when the management of a school had admittedly not provided free-transport facility to a teacher, then amounts towards travel allowance would undoubtedly be due and payable.
In M/s Kodar Industries v. Sandeep Chopra , the Court held that merely because the workman was demonstrated to have pursued labour litigations against other entities after his dismissal from services would not necessarily mean that the said workman had been gainfully employed with the said entities.
In North Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Champa Devi , the Court held that a demonstrably incorrect and misleading description of the position assigned to a workman would not be solely determinative of the nature and extent of work being rendered.
In Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner v. Shri Krishna Polyurethane Industries Private Limited , the Court held that in the absence of the essential test for clubbing i.e. whether there was interdependency and functional integrality between two separate companies, Section 2A of the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (‘PF Act’) would not be applicable and the two companies would have to be treated as separate entities for the purpose of the PF Act.
In Sentinels Security Private Limited v. Sudha Singh , the Court held that in the absence of any evidence that the workman had abandoned the service, the presumption of continuity of service would be attracted and reinstatement could legitimately be ordered along with grant of continuity of service.
In DDA v. Jamila, through General Secretary, Municipal Employees Union , the Court held that a formal order of reinstatement along with continuity of service having been passed in favour of a workman, would demonstrate the permanent nature of employment and he/she would be entitled for all the benefits available to a regular employee as a result thereof.
In Smt. Vinita v. Management of NHAI , the Court a workman would not be in a position to prove the negative i.e. that he/ she was not gainfully employed after the termination of services and it was for the management to produce evidence to demonstrate to the contrary.
In Executive Engineer Division CPWD v. Bijender and Anr., the Court reiterated that Section 2 (oo)(bb) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (‘ID Act’) should be interpreted in the background that it was introduced to protect a workman whose services have been engaged for a considerable period of time, and an employer should not be permitted to misuse the said provision to avoid a statutory liability.
In Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation v. Employees State Insurance Corporation , the Court held that a minor delay in depositing the requisite statutory amount for maintaining an appeal under Section 45AA of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 should not result in the harsh decision to reject the appeal itself and that the delay can be condoned subject to payment of reasonable costs.
In Jugesh Aspal v. Association of Indian Industries , the Court deprecated the procedure adopted by the selection committee to appoint the persons to public office without preparing any working sheets or notes in relation to the merits of the respective candidates. The Court further observed that a selection process which was non-transparent and shrouded in mystery would vitiate the entire selection process and even in the absence of impleadment of all the selected candidates, if it could be shown from the record that their interests were being adequately defended in a representative capacity, then there would be no illegality if the Court determined the lis in their absence.
In Mitul Goel v. Food Corporation of India ,and Mukesh Thakur v. Chairman cum Managing Director , the Court reiterated that there is no automatic confirmation of employment on the expiry of the period of probation and the terms of appointment and the relevant rules have to be considered in this regard. The Court further held that a deemed confirmation could be presumed only if the relevant rule did not prescribe any other condition, and would not apply when there was a necessary stipulation that the employer was required to specifically confirm an employee after the expiry of the period of probation. Similarly, in Shayada Abbasi v. The Register General, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi , the Court on an interpretation of the Delhi High Court Establishment (Appointments and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1972, observed that there was no automatic confirmation in services merely because the initial period of appointment on probation had been completed thereunder.
In Bhavna Gupta v. The Union of India , the Court observed that in the absence of any order for restraining the transfer of a government servant or the said government servant being required to be personally present in the Court in certain pending proceedings in relation to an event where the concerned employee had become involved on account of discharge of official duties, the same could not be the solitary reason to deny transfer.
In Govt. of NCT of Delhi v. Harsh Chaliha (TGT) , the Court observed that a caste certificate issued to a particular person, and which had formed the basis for recruitment into service, could not be cancelled without the concerned authority issuing a show-cause notice and holding a proper enquiry after extending an opportunity of hearing to the said person.
In Sushma Gupta v. Chief Secretary, Govt. of NCT of Delhi , the Court held that once the maximum permissible age relaxation had already been granted in terms of the recruitment rules, then, no further relief could be sought for in this regard by approaching the Court.
In Jagat Narayan v. Union of India , the Court held that once the advertisement in terms of which a person had been appointed to a particular post stood quashed by a competent court and all consequential actions taken thereunder were also invalidated, then there was no requirement to issue a specific show-cause notice to the candidate who had been selected under the said advertisement before proceeding to terminate his/her employment.
In Sushil Kumar v. Govt of NCT of Delhi , the Court observed that the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi was required to strictly adhere to the Cabinet Decision No. 2323 dated 22.03.2016 which had put in various ameliorative measures to ensure prompt payment of wages to contractual/outsource workers working under different departments of the government.
In Narendra Kumar v. Union of India, through the Secretary , the Court held that when the appointment letter clearly provided for the applicability of the new pension scheme, which had also been accepted by the employee concerned, the said employee could not stake a claim to be covered by the old pension scheme many years thereafter.
In Rajesh Kumar Singh v. Union of India , the Court held that an employee who had rejoined the service for a period of one day and had again proceeded on an unauthorized absence could not be heard to say that there was no deemed resignation from service as there was no continuous absence. The Court held that imputing such a premium on mere re-joining of work for one day would amount to making a mockery of Rule 7 of the All India Service (Leave) Rules, 1955 which stipulates that an employee should have been in continued absence for deeming that the employee concerned had resigned from employment.
In Union of India v. Beena Devi , the Court reiterated that family pension could be granted to the widow of a deceased employee who was not a regular employee when it could be demonstrated that the deceased had worked on the said position for a long period of time stretching into several decades.
In Union of India. v. Sangeeta Singh , the Court observed that an enquiry report returning a finding of guilt premised purely on a handwritten apology of the employee tendered during the proceedings, would attract suspicion, and in case of imposition of an extremely harsh punishment as a result of the same, the appropriate course would be to institute an enquiry afresh on the merits.
In Union Public Service Commission v. Nidhi Pandey , in the context of an amendment to a recruitment rule which prescribed an essential qualification not stipulated in Rule 49 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 for the post of Drug Inspector, the Court observed that such an inclusion was impermissible in law inasmuch as it amounted to amending a statutory rule by amendment of the concerned recruitment rules.
In Ajay Singh v. Union of India , the Court allowed a review petition and recalled its earlier judgment permitting the rounding off of the marks obtained in the LL.B. examination for construing eligibility for the post of a Judge/Advocate General, and observed that rounding off of marks is not permissible in the absence of rules that permit the same.
In Chandan Singh v. Union of India , the Court reiterated that in matters relating purely to pay fixation and grant of financial benefits, the Court is entitled to take a liberal view as regards delay and laches inasmuch as the said cases would not adversely affect the overall seniority of the persons in service.
In Indian Ex Bordermen Movement v. Union of India , the Court reiterated that the benefit under the Assured Career Progression Scheme (‘ACP Scheme’) constituted a part of pay structure and could not be termed as mere allowance. The Court further held that the said benefit was required to be extended to all the Central Armed Police Forces personnel and that the entitlement to the benefit of the ACP scheme would be effective from 1st January, 1996.
In Pushpendra Yadav v. Union of India , the Court held that a requirement in a pre-employment questionnaire requiring a candidate to disclose as to whether any case has been made against him/her is broad enough to encompass within it the furnishing of information as to any pending First Information Report (‘FIR’) against a candidate.
In Rajindra Singh v. Commissioner of Police , the Court held that in the absence of any vacancies it is not possible to accommodate persons who are left out as a result of a re-evaluation exercise.
In Union of India v. Ashes Kiran Prasad , Court held that a circular for instructions pertaining to retention of official accommodation in case of posting on transfer to a specific limited posting could not be sought to be extended to any further posting beyond the said post.
In Union of India v. Sudhir Chopra , the Court held that incomplete Annual Confidential Rolls (‘ACRs’) and ACRs with uncommunicated entries before a Departmental Promotion Committee (‘DPC’), coupled with the competent authority dealing with the representations made by the employee concerned in a manner lacking any application of mind would lead to the vitiation of the entire proceedings.
In Vasudev v. Union of India , the Court held that once the regularization of a temporary employee has been effected then all benefits flowing from the said regularization are required to be extended to the concerned employees and the earlier temporary status cannot be utilized to deny any entitlement.
In Vir Sain Chauhan v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation , the Court held that even within the limited jurisdiction, while examining the orders of disciplinary authority in exercise of writ jurisdiction, the Court would always intervene when it was established that the conclusions drawn by the investigating officer could not have been arrived at by any reasonable person and also when the crucial pieces of evidence were overlooked in the process.
In S. S. Dahiya v. Union of India , the Court reiterated that once the possession of the land had been taken over by the government pursuant to land acquisition proceedings then the only surviving right of the owner was towards compensation and accordingly any status-quo order holding up execution of infrastructure development work on the land so acquired was liable to be vacated.
In BM traders v. Union of India , Baldev Singh v. Union of India , Brahm Prakash v. Lt. Governor of Delhi , and Naunihal Singh Kakkar v. Land & Building Department , the Court rejected petitions under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (‘Land Acquisition Act’) seeking a declaration qua lapsing of the acquisition proceedings on the ground of delay and laches and reiterated that the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (‘LA Act, 2013’) does not revive claims that are patently time-barred.
In M/s. Tirupati Cement Products v. Delhi Jal Board , while relying upon Article 55 of the Limitation Act, 1963 (‘Limitation Act’) the Court observed that in a suit seeking recovery of various amounts including damages in a contract, the limitation thereof would begin on the date of completion of work and subsequent unilateral communications would not extend the period of limitation.
In Gaon Sabha Bijwasan v. Rohit Ralhan , the Court held that in terms of Entry 17 of the First Schedule to the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 (‘DLR Act’) a suit for ejectment has to necessary be filed within a period of three years from the date of commencement of unlawful use of the land.
In Parmeet Singh Chatwal v. Ashwani Sahani , while reiterating that it is obligatory that there must be reciprocal demands for a mutual and current account to be said to exist and a relationship where only one party was incurring obligations and which were to be recompensed by the other party would not fall within the said definition, the Court held that Article 1 of the Schedule to the Limitation Act would not be attracted in the latter case.
In Bank Kreiss A. G. v. Ashok K. Chauhan , the Court observed that in the case of a private bank which would evidently have significant manpower and other resources at its disposal, an application for condoning a huge delay in filing an appeal should be dealt with even more strictly.
In Union of India. v. Karam Chand , the Court held that even in a case where a consent order was sought to be assailed on the ground that the concession made by the counsel for one of the parties was contrary to the legal position, a huge unexplained delay in challenging the said order would set at naught any such plea.
Matrimonial Disputes, Custody And Maintenance
In Smriti Madan Kansagra v. Perry Kansagra , the Court observed that the jurisdiction under the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 (‘Hindu Guardianship Act’) is in addition to, and not in derogation of, the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and the former can be invoked even when one of the parties is a Hindu of Indian domicile, and the other party, even if not so domiciled within India but is a Hindu and volunteers to be governed by the Hindu Guardianship Act. The Court further held that after an elaborate enquiry and consideration of all relevant aspects in a guardianship petition, a direction to repatriate the child to the father who was residing in a foreign country could be passed, and there was no such general proposition that repatriation should be avoided unless a very high standard of overwhelming exigency of the welfare of the child is demonstrated.
In Vijayanti v. Suraj Suhag , the Court observed that when neither the pleadings nor the relevant documentary evidence demonstrated that the child whose custody was being sought in fact resided in Delhi, then a guardianship petition could not be entertained by the courts at Delhi. The Court further observed that the mere dismissal of a connected transfer petition by the Supreme Court would not confer jurisdiction on the court if it otherwise lacked the same.
In Sehnaz v. Nazim , the Court held that in a case where it was clearly demonstrated that the wife had to leave the matrimonial home on account of physical and mental harassment emanating from a demand for dowry, then the bar towards payment of maintenance under Section 125(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘Cr.P.C.’) would not be applicable.
In Ms. Afreen v. Government of NCT Delhi  the Court reiterated that merely because an estranged wife was capable of earning could not be a ground to deny her maintenance.
In Anita v. Amit , and in Sarvan Kumar Sharma v. Ranjana Sharma @ Ranjana Rani , the Court further observed that it was not a pre-condition, for invoking the right of maintenance under Section 125 of the Cr.P.C., that the wife must be absolutely destitute.
In Sapna v. The State (Government of NCT of Delhi) , the Court observed that while arriving at the requisite amount of maintenance, the standard approach should be to divide the salary earned by the estranged husband into different portions amongst all concerned such as the wife, dependent children etc. subject to the stipulation that the husband would be entitled to two portions on account of the fact that he would have to incur extra expenditure in the course of earning his income.
In Sagar G. R. v. Preety Chowdary , the Court upheld an order of the family court annulling a marriage on the ground that the same was without consent inasmuch as it found that there was a clear pre-planned scheme by the husband to entrap the erstwhile wife into travelling with him to his hometown where she was restrained and the marriage ceremony was conducted against her will.
In Suman v. Kailash Kumar , while upholding an order of the family court dissolving a marriage between the parties on the grounds of cruelty and desertion, the Court observed that an evidently wayward lifestyle being led by the wife which was resulting in the children going astray, coupled with the character assassination of the husband’s younger sister, recurring episodes of deserting the matrimonial home and financially usurious conduct would, in totality, constitute cruelty and lead to a valid apprehension that it would be harmful and injurious for the husband to continue to live together with the wife.
Media Law, Censorship And Defamation
In The Indian Newspaper Society v. The Chairman, Press Council of India , while observing that the Press Council of India was established for preserving the free press and maintaining and improving standards on a national level, the Court held that even though there is a presumption of eligibility of a person being nominated by an association for being considered as the member of the Press Council of India, such a presumption was indeed rebuttable, though the onus on the Press Council of India to rebut such a presumption would be quite high. The Court further observed that section 5(3)(b) of the Press Council Act, 1978 which refers to a person “carrying on the business of management of newspapers” would not be limited to a person who was a manager in the literal sense alone, but also include somebody who exerted overall managerial control over a newspaper.
Personal Law And Succession
In Parminder Kaur Khurana v. Ravinder Singh , the Court observed that a counter-claim in a suit contrary to the contents of a will which is being propounded by the defendant/counter claimant itself as a defence to the suit would be non-maintainable.
In Amit Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that a witness who is seeking to prove his will must specifically identify his signatures on the will and lamented the fact that this basic aspect of leading of evidence was not being adhered to during the proceedings.
In Naval Thapar v. Naveen Thapar , the Court observed that once the existence of a family settlement partitioning the relevant properties is admitted, then in the eventuality of the said settlement not being operationalized, the recourse for a party would not be to file a partition suit seeking de-novo partition, but only to seek specific performance of the unfulfilled part of the family settlement.
In Chitta Ranjan Das v. Jyotsna Das  the Court held that merely because the daughters of the deceased had executed a no-objection certificate for mutation of the property in favour of their brothers would not defeat the right of the daughters to a share in the property when the will of the deceased categorically vested them with rights in the said property. The Court further observed that any averment in the no-objection certificate as regards the purport of the will, if found contrary to the contents of the will, could not be read against the daughters.
In Baba Gopal Dass Sahib Talib Darvesh v. State of NCT of Delhi , the Court held that in-spite of the fact that as per the Delhi High Court Rules, the power to grant succession certificates under Section 371 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (‘Indian Succession Act’) have been vested with the sub-ordinate judges, this would not denude the power of the district judge to consider and pass an order in an application for issuance of a certificate under Section 372 of the Indian Succession Act.
In Manoj Kumar Aggarwal v. Pushpa Rani , the Court observed that a partition of a property by metes and bounds cannot be effected, contrary to the law and applicable regulations.
In Rajeev Chawla v. Deepak Chawla , the Court reiterated the legal position that any claim that a particular property is a joint family property must be supported with specific pleadings as to the origin of the alleged Hindu Undivided Family (‘HUF’), as also particulars as to its creation and ownership of property by it.
In Arvind Nanda v. State , the Court reiterated that the requirement for imposition of a condition of security/surety/indemnity bond under Section 375 of the Indian Succession Act is not to be mechanically insisted upon in every case inasmuch as the same was not mandatory, but something to be directed at the discretion of the Court after considering the relevant circumstances.
In Satish Kumar v. Kanwar Raj Singh , the Court reiterated that while considering a challenge to an order rejecting an application for leave to defend against an eviction petition filed under the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (‘DRC Act’), the Court would restrict itself to the grounds pleaded in the application for leave to defend and would not take into account the additional grounds pleaded in the revision petition.
In Chander Kanta Kainth v. Tulsi Das Talreja , the Court observed that merely because an appeal was filed by the tenant against the dismissal of his suit for specific performance against the landlord on the basis of an alleged agreement to sell in relation to the tenanted premises, would not in any manner obliterate the relationship of landlord and tenant between the parties.
In Aqil Beg v. Mushtaq Beg , the Court held that the protection extended to the family member of a deceased tenant by Explanation II to Section 2(1) of the DRC Act is limited to safeguarding the family member against any eviction except in accordance with the provisions of the DRC Act, and there was no blanket right to continue to occupy the premises.
In Ranjana Dhawan v. Sanket Behari Mittal , the Court reiterated that inasmuch as the legal representatives of a deceased tenant are essentially joint-tenants, impleadment of even one of the legal representatives by the landlord would be sufficient for the eviction petition to be maintainable.
In Arun Kumar Jain v. Bhagwant Singh Pabla , the Court held that when two separate companies were operating from the same premises and one of the companies had third-party directors and shareholders as compared to the first company, then the two companies could not be said to be a corporate reflection and mirror-image of the directors of the first company who were the tenants, and therefore, a case of sub-letting would stand established.
In Suresh Kumar Chauhan v. Dr. Puneet Rohtagi , the Court held that in the absence of any record of accounts of the business being run from the tenanted premises, an adverse inference would be drawn against the tenant who sought to claim that the business was actually being run by an employee and not by a sub-tenant.
In Surjeet Singh v. Manju Bala , the Court reiterated that the landlord is not bound by the contractual rate of rent from the date of passing of a decree for eviction under the DRC Act, though he/she would be so bound for the period prior to the decree.
In Aman Khattar v. Jawahar Lal , the Court observed that when an eviction petition was filed by the landlord was also premised on the ground that there was inadequate space in the existing premises for him to carry out the desired business in addition to a need to increase the family income, then the mere fact that that the sons of the landlord where earning handsomely in t[ ]heir individual capacities, would not detract from the genuineness of the need of the landlord.
In Qamruddin v. Ziauddin , the Court reiterated that certain additional documents sought to be placed on record by the tenant even after the filing of the application for leave to defend can be permitted, if the same relate to subsequent events.
Right to Information
In Senior Superintendent Of Post Offices/ Central Public Information Officer v. Ved Prakash , the Court reiterated that the Central Information Commission (‘CIC’) cannot seek to function as an adjudicatory body determining legal rights of the parties, beyond the aspect of supply of information, and accordingly set aside a direction by CIC directing that a security deposit of the applicant be treated by the post-office as a fixed deposit.
In Ved Prakash Aggarwal v. Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Union of India , the Court held that inasmuch as certified copies of the orders of the National Green Tribunal (‘NGT’) could always be applied for by payment of the requisite fees and by following the procedure laid down by the NGT, there was no question of taking recourse to the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (‘RTI Act’) for the very same purpose.
Specific Relief and Property
In Rajan Singh v. Roshan , the Court observed that the coming into force of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorized Colonies) Act, 2019, would not in any manner change the legal position regarding the retrospective operation of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Suraj Lamps and Industries Private Limited v. State of Haryana , regarding the unenforceability of unregistered agreement to sell, power of attorney, will etc.
While holding that Master Plans for Delhi (‘MPD’)-2021 was a legislative document with a legislative character and required to be strictly adhered to, the Court in P.V. Kapur v. Union of India , held that the very underlying theme of the MPD-2021 requires the authorities to conduct a periodic review of the permissible use of residential premises for non-residential purposes keeping in mind the impact on the available infrastructure and resources and the strain on the environment in general.
In Dr. Suraj Prakash Seth v. Dr. Ashok Kumar Seth , the Court held that when the source of the consideration used to purchase the property, the nature and possession of the property, the motive behind its purchase, custody of the title deeds and the overall conduct of the parties showed that the property in question was a joint-property, then even if the property was applied for and purchased by one person then the transaction in question could not be categorised as a benami transaction and would not fall afoul of the provisions of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.
In M/S Pacific Development Corporation Ltd. V. South Delhi Municipal Corporation , while emphasising upon the importance of keeping the common areas in a building free from commercial exploitation in terms of the floor-area-ratio (‘FAR’) policy, the Court observed that a visitor to a mall cannot be expected to maintain common areas such as parking, toilets etc. by paying charges towards the same, and it is for the occupiers to foot the bill for the same.
In Pushpa Vanti v. DDA , while considering the entitlement of certain petitioners to a plot under a government scheme under the ‘Gadgil Assurance Scheme for Refugees’, the Court held that judicial notice was required to be taken of the fact that the mass-migration of people to India post-partition and the turbulence of the times had resulted in the entries of the date of birth in the relevant property records in relation to various persons being based purely upon guess-work.
In M/s G S Bhamra and Sons v. Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation Limited , the Court held that it was inequitable for a land leasing agency to seek watch-and-ward and late construction charges from a person who had admittedly not been put in possession of the land on account of reasons not attributable to him/her.
In S P Kureel v. Delhi Development Authority , the Court observed that a proscription in a housing scheme against two applications for allotment being made by one individual would also extend to a co-applicant who had applied for a flat along with his father after having earlier applied in his individual capacity.
In Swami Viswanath Ji v. Delhi Development Authority , the Court held that in the absence of any reliable title document to prove the claim of ownership over the land which has been acquired, the petitioner could not be permitted to rely on an alleged oral gift deed or vague and unclear revenue records for the said purpose.
In Jaswin Arora v. Harmeet Singh Sood  the Court held that it is just and permissible to implead third-party purchasers in a suit for specific performance unless the subsequent purchaser is guilty of contumacious conduct by benefiting from a transfer in violation of an order of restraint by the Court or if the subsequent purchaser is the beneficiary of a clandestine transaction.
In Mahendar v. Government of NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that the source of power of the revenue assistant under the DLR Act to take action against unauthorised occupants also exists independent of Section 84 & 85 and the revenue assistant need not await action by the Gaon Sabha.
Tax, Excise and Customs
The Court in Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (ACIT) v. V K Gupta , held that inasmuch as it was an admitted position that the copies of all the documents seized during search and seizure operations conducted by the Income Tax authorities were not provided to the assessee despite specific requests, then the assessee could not be said to be guilty of the offence punishable under Section 276CC of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘Income Tax Act’) emanating from failure to furnish the requisite returns in response to the notice under Section 153A of the Act.
In Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited through its Authorized Signatory v. Additional Commissioner Tax Range 12 New Delhi , while reiterating that an assessee is only entitled to claim a deduction towards an actual liability in-praesenti and not for a liability de-future which is contingent in nature, the Court observed that a liability on account of wage revision pursuant to a recommendation given by the Department of Public Enterprises would be a crystallized liability as on the date of commencement of the revised pay and merely because there was some delay in the making of the report and implementation thereof would not make the liability contingent. The Court further reiterated that there can be no liability to pay income tax on a hypothetical income when the right to receive such income itself had not crystalized.
In The Principal Additional Director General Directorate of Revenue Intelligence through Deputy Collector v. Customs, Central, Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission, Principal Bench , the Court reiterated that the settlement commission established under Section 127C of The Customs Act, 1962 (‘Customs Act’) would not have jurisdiction to entertain a reference in relation to goods which have been specifically notified under Section 123 of the Customs Act as on the date when the applications are made before the settlement commission.
In Principal Commissioner Goods and Service Tax Delhi South v. Premium Real Estates Developers , the Court reiterated that if there was a controversy as to the very applicability of the levy of service tax to the transaction in question, then, an appeal against an order rendered by the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (‘CESTAT’) would lie directly before the Supreme Court and not before the High Court.
In Experion Developers Pvt. Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax , the Court reiterated that at the stage of the re-opening of the assessment under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, it was sufficient that only a reason to believe should exist with regard to a statement of income, and a definitive conclusion in this regard would only be arrived at after hearing the assessee in response to the queries raised under Section 68 of the Tax Act. While construing whether a proper sanction under Section 151 of the Income Tax Act Act was indeed obtained, the Court held that as long as the concerned authority had consented to accord sanction after agreeing with the reasons assigned by the assessing officer which were available before him/her, mere absence of elaborate reasoning would not vitiate the sanction. Further, while construing the requirement of issuance of notice under Section 170(2) of the Income Tax Act in the context of the re-assessment notice under Section 148 of the Act, the Court held that there was no such requirement that two separate notices and consequent separate assessment orders should be issued in the name of the erstwhile entity as well as the successor entity into which the former had amalgamated.
In Ericsson India Private Limited v. Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Special Range-3, New Delhi , the Court while reiterating that an order passed under Section 241A of the Income Tax Act has to reflect due application of mind and judicious exercise of discretion, further held that the mere issuance of a notice to the assessee under Section 143(2) of the Income Tax Act doesn’t prevent the revenue from processing a refund under Section 143(1) of the Act on the said sole ground.
In The Indian Institute of Planning Management v. the Commissioner of Service Tax, Delhi , the Court held that a failure by the CESTAT to take into account the plea of the assessee regarding extended period of limitation at various stages of adjudication for confirmation of the service tax demand, would amount to a mistake apparent on the face of the record and render the order susceptible to interference.
In Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi-2 v. MLS CBRE South Asia Private Limited , the Court observed that when the reasoning of the Commissioner of Income Tax in disallowing identical expenditure had been consistently rejected for several previous assessment years, then, in the absence of any significant change in the factual scenario the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (‘ITAT’) could not be faulted in applying the principle of consistency in favor of the Assessee.
In Hawkins Cookers Limited, Mumbai v. Union of India , the Court permitted delayed submission of Form 3CK under the Income Tax Act when it was demonstrated that the said form could not be originally filled on account of bona-fide difficulties and technical glitches being experienced with the online system.
Tender and Blacklisting
In Super Medicare Agencies v. State (NCT of Delhi) , the Court observed that once a bid in response to a tender had been duly accepted, and all necessary documents including the earnest money and requisite bank guarantees had been requisitioned and submitted, and the necessary goods to be supplied in terms of the tender had also been also procured by the successful bidder, then it would be inequitable for the tendering authority to seek to belatedly cancel the tender on account of certain vague subsequent developments.
In DBL- JBL Consortium v. NTPC Limited , the Court held that it was not open for a Court to declare any word or condition in a bid document to be superfluous or unimportant in nature.
In Khera Tourist Service v. Sports Authority of India , the Court held that permitting a bidder to affix the date on an otherwise complete solvency certificate, after the submission of the said document along with the bid was within the permissible power of the authority inviting the bids and the same would fall within the scope of the power of the tendering authority to ask for clarifications from the bidders.
In Rays Power Experts Private Limited v. Indraprastha Power Generation Company Limited , the Court while reiterating that the period of blacklisting should be proportionate to the nature of the default, held that an order imposing a ban for a long period of three years while completely ignoring the extenuating circumstances pointed out by the aggrieved party could not be sustained.
In Nyathar Mal Naresh Kumar v. Government of NCT of Delhi , the Court observed that the cancellation of the trading license of a partnership firm which was otherwise enjoying the license for several decades merely on the ground that one of the partners had not appeared in person before the licensing authority could not be sustained, when it could clearly be demonstrated that the concerned partner was of advanced age and had in fact gone missing and a police case had also been filed in this regard.
The author is Dr. Amit George, an Advocate practicing before the High Court of Delhi. The author would like to place on record his appreciation for the assistance provided by Rishabh Dheer, Amol Acharya, Bharat Rayadurgam and Piyo Harold Jaimon, Advocates.
1.Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 1366/2016.
2 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 124/2019.
3 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CS(COMM) 51/2018
4 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 321/2019.
5 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 194/2019.
6 Judgment dated 10.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 6092/2013.
7 Judgment dated 11.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 53565/2019.
8 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in CM (M) 223/2019.
9 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 1119/2016.
10 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1964/2020
11 Judgment dated 10.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1539/2020.
12 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1511/2019.
13 Judgment dated 14.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 5906/2018.
14 (2006) 4 SCC 1
15 Judgment dated 26.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 9687/2019.
16 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1282/2020.
17 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 2704/2012.
18 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1877/2020.
19 Judgment dated 05.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 8447/2016.
20 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 2751/2011.
21 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 5876/2011.
22 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 10290/2015.
23 Judgment dated 11.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1663/2008.
24 Judgment dated 11.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 4765/2001.
25 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1067/2016.
26 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 5107/2016.
27 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7811/2008.
28 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in CONT. CAS (C) 350/2017.
29 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1983/2020.
30 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 4402/2017.
31 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 9123/2015.
32 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1905/2020.
33 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3266/2018.
34 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in W.P.(C) 2019/2020
35 Judgment dated 28.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 4749/2007.
36 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 2798/2019.
37 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in LPA 710/2019 (DB).
38 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in LPA 364/2019 (DB).
39 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in LPA 83/2020 (DB).
40 Judgment dated 05.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1332/2020 (DB).
41 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 13444/2019 (DB).
42 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 884/2020(DB).
43 Judgment dated 05.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1343/2020 (DB).
44 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1760/2020 (DB).
45 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 842/2020 (DB).
46 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1550/2020 (DB).
47 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 260/2020 (DB).
48 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 10019/2019 (DB).
49 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 13697/2019(DB).
50 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 2475/2019(DB).
51 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7435/2019 (DB).
52 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1557/2019 (DB).
53 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7447/2019(DB).
54 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 9456/2018 (DB).
55 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3520/2017 (DB).
56 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 5812/2018 (DB).
57 Judgment dated 20.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7279/2016 (DB).
58 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1004/2018 (DB).
59 Judgment dated 05.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 9582/2017 (DB).
60 Judgment dated 14.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3949/2013 (DB).
61 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7046/2015 (DB).
62 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 7157/2018 (DB).
63 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 In W. P. (C) 2432/2015 (DB).
64 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 5843/2018 (DB).
65 Judgment dated 20.02.2020 in CS (COMM.) 235/2.
66 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W.P.(C) 4214/2012
67 Judgment dated 14.02.2020 in O. M. P. 1445/2014.
68 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in FAO (OS) (COMM) 239/2019 (DB).
69 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1230/2020 (DB).
70 Judgment dated 25.02.2020 in MAT. APP. (F. C.) 30/2018.
71 Judgment dated 07.02.2020 in CM (M) 393/2019.
72 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 526/2018.
73 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 491/2018.
74 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 515/2018.
75 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 590/2018.
76 Judgment dated 26.02.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 805/2018.
77 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in MAT. APP. (F.C.) 19/2020(DB).
78 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in MAT. APP. (F.C.) 29/2020(DB).
79 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3143/2018.
80 Judgment dated 03.02.2020 in CS (OS) 1515/2008.
81 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in TEST. CAS. 87/2016.
82 Judgment dated 14.02.2020 in CS (OS) 29/2020.
83 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in CS (OS) 263/2018.
84 Judgment dated 11.02.2020 in CM (M) 992/2019.
85 Judgment dated 25.02.2020 in CS (OS) 250/2018.
86 Judgment dated 25.02.2020 in CS(OS) 1214/2014.
87 Judgment dated 28.02.2020 in CM (M) 265/2020.
88 Judgment dated 25.02.2020 in RC. REV. 571/2015.
89 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in RC. REV. 249/2017.
90 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in RC. REV. 463/2019.
91 Judgment dated 14.02.2020 in CM (M) 281/2019.
92 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in CM (M) 600/2019.
93 Judgment dated 26.02.2020 in CM (M) 1592/2018.
94 Judgment dated 05.02.2020 in CM (M) 182/2018.
95 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in RC. REV. 114/2019.
96 Judgment dated 24.02.2020 in CM (M) 1298/2019.
97 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1423/2018.
98 Judgment dated 07.02.2020 in LPA 74/2020 (DB).
99 Judgment dated 12.02.2020 in CS (OS) 603/2019.
100 (2012) 1 SCC 656
101 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 12944/2006.
102 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in CS (OS) 46/2017.
103 Judgment dated 10.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3712/2019.
104 Judgment dated 19.02.2020 in W. P.(C) 925/2015.
105 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 11785/2018.
106 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 354/2016.
107 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1494/2019 (DB).
108 Judgment dated 04.02.2020 in FAO (OS) 157/2018 (DB).
109 Judgment dated 28.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 10731/2015.
110 Judgment dated 17.02.2020 in CRL. L. P. 263/2017.
111 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in ITA 541/2019 (DB).
112 Judgment dated 10.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 4143/2018(DB).
113 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in SERTA 18/2019 (DB).
114 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 11302/2019 (DB).
115 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W.P.(C) 10373/2019 (DB).
116 Judgment dated 28.02.2020 in SERTA 21/2019 (DB).
117 Judgment dated 13.02.2020 in ITA 96/2020 (DB).
118 Judgment dated 27.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 9586/2019.
119 Judgment dated 10.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 10536/2018.
120 Judgment dated 25.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1797/2020 (DB).
121 Judgment dated 18.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 1724/2020 (DB).
122 Judgment dated 11.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 11237/2019.
123 Judgment dated 06.02.2020 in W. P. (C) 3494/2019.