The Delhi High Court in Review: April, 2021 [Part I]

Review of Judgments and orders passed by the High Court in April
Delhi High Court In Review
Delhi High Court In Review

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 Avon Healthcare Private Limited v. Trade International, the Court held that a party was not entitled to undertake two independent and parallel proceedings for securing the amount awarded under the Arbitral Award. It was observed that once the Court seized of the challenge proceedings under Section 34 has deemed it fit to grant stay of execution of the Arbitral Award subject to deposit of a certain limited component of the awarded amount, then subsequently asking for a higher deposit in parallel Section 9 proceedings, had the potential of resulting in conflicting orders in relation to the same issue and the same would be destructive of the principle of comity of different Benches of the same Court. It was further held that whenever attachment qua properties/monies in hands of third parties is sought, if such third party denies liability and sets up title in itself and such denial raises disputed questions of fact which cannot be adjudicated without trial, then granting relief in a petition under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Arbitration Act’), against such third parties would not be apposite.

While reiterating that the purpose of an Order under Section 9 of the Arbitration Act was to ensure that the eventual award to be passed by the Arbitrator remains executable and is not rendered infructuous, the Court in Savita Jain Sole Proprietor of M S Navkar Sales v. M/s Krishna Packaging held that there was sufficient ground for directing the respondent to provide security for amounts that it had admitted to be due to the petitioner in the balance sheets and books of accounts.

In Megha Enterprises v. Haldiram Snacks Private Limited, while upholding the reliance on certain evidence by the Arbitral Tribunal though the same was unaccompanied by an affidavit under Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (‘Evidence Act’), the Court observed that the Evidence Act is stricto-senso not applicable to arbitration proceedings, and yet further, no such objection was taken on behalf of the objecting party before the Arbitral Tribunal in this regard.

In Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited v. Rattan India Power Limited, the Court observed that the principle of estoppel could be used to bind a party to the arbitration clause associated with the substantive contractual agreement, and proceeded to compel a non-signatory entity to arbitrate inasmuch as there was sufficient material to show that the signatory entity was its alter-ego.

In Steel Authority of India Limited v. Mohan Steel Limited, the Court reiterated that inasmuch as it was incumbent upon a party to raise all possible contentions before the Arbitral Tribunal, an entirely new ground could not be raised in a petition under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act.

In Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited v. Mapsa Tapes Private Limited, the Court reiterated that stringent provisions qua limitation for filing petitions under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act do not make a distinction between a government department and a private entity. The Court further observed that even though the Arbitral Tribunal could be said to be bound by the terms of contract, the Arbitral Tribunal nonetheless retained the power to appropriately mould the relief keeping in mind the relevant parameters.

In Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited v. NS Publicity (I) Private Limited, the Court reiterated that an Arbitral Tribunal could not allow a claim on the basis of material that had not been placed on record and had not been relied on by either of the parties during the proceedings.

In Summit Apartments Private Limited v. Satya Priya Saxena, the Court refused to set aside an arbitral award which had been passed ex-parte against the petitioner inasmuch as it noted that the petitioner had admittedly not filed the Statement of Defence within the time granted by the Delhi International Arbitration Centre, which was administering the proceedings, and had chosen not to participate in the subsequent proceedings as well.

In Supertech Limited v. B. E. Billimoria and Company Limited, the Court repelled the argument that mandatory injunction cannot be granted in exercise of power under Section 17 of the Arbitration Act except to maintain status quo as unmerited. The Court noted that the plain language of Clause (e) of Section 17(1)(ii) of the Arbitration Act revealed that that it is of a wide import and cannot be read in a restricted manner.

In Iworld Business Solutions Private Limited v. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited, it was observed that the decision of the Supreme Court in Central Organisation for Railway Electrification v. ECI-SPIC-SMO-MCML (JV) [2019 SCC OnLine SC1635] would continue to operate till a larger bench answers the reference made to it.

While reiterating that an executing Court could not seek to re-examine controversies already adjudicated upon in the Arbitral Award, the Court in S. E. Investments Limited v. Shakuntla Educational & Welfare Society further held that Tax Deducted at Source (‘TDS’) was not required to be deducted against the decretal amount paid pursuant to an arbitral award.

In Tantia Construction Limited v. IRCON International Limited, the Court reiterated that unless there was an agreement to the contrary between the parties, the period of 30 days for preferring an application before the Arbitral Tribunal under Section 33 (1) of the Arbitration Act could not be extended and any delay in this regard could not be condoned. The Court further observed that the arbitrator could not decide an application under Section 33(1) the Arbitration Act without hearing both the parties.

In Pothens Vehicles and Services Limited v. Honda Cars India Limited, the Court reiterated that while adjudicating upon a petition for appointment of an Arbitrator under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act, a Court is not concerned with the allegations and counter-allegations raised by the parties in relation to the merits of the dispute.

In Raj Sharma v. General Manager, Northern Railway, the Court held that it was not open to a party which had its unilateral appointment of a sole arbitrator set aside by the Court, to suggest that the substitute arbitrator should be chosen from amongst a panel maintained by it.

In MX Media and Entertainment Private Limited v. Contagious Online Media Networks Private Limited, the Court held that in the absence of a concluded contract containing an arbitration clause, recourse could not be had to the remedy under Section 9 of the Arbitration Act.

In Fivestar Dehydration Private Limited v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that once the respondent had admittedly defaulted in complying with the appointment procedure enshrined under the arbitration clause, and the petitioner has approached the Court subsequently, the locus of the respondent to suggest the appointment of any particular person as the arbitrator would stand foreclosed.

In ILFS Engineering and Construction Company Limited v. India Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited, the Court observed that it was only required to undertake a prima-facie examination of the arbitrability of the disputes in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act.

In Dr. Sanjay Singh Negi v. Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Managing Society, the Court held that once the arbitration clause in question had been rendered inoperable in terms of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Perkins Eastman Architects DPC v. HSCC (India) Ltd. [2019 SCC OnLine SC 1517] it was not open to a party to rely on the said clause for the purpose of determination of the composition of the Arbitral Tribunal.

In Sagar Ratna Restaurants Private Limited v. D & S Foods, the Court held that once the parties in an earlier proceeding under Section 11 of the Arbitration Act were ad-idem that the subject matter of the dispute was not capable of being referred to arbitration, then a subsequent application under Section 8 of the Arbitration Act in a suit filed by one of the parties would not be maintainable.

In Manikaran Power Limited v. Valuehunt Advisors LLP, the Court observed that once parties consciously chose to refer disputes to arbitration, then they must also be ready to be bound by the spirit underlying the same i.e. their disputes shall be adjudicated by a tribunal of their choosing and not in the Courts of law. The Court further held that a mere change of the advocate would not result in a right to a party to put forth an argument which was otherwise not taken before an Arbitral Tribunal.

In Union of India v. Manraj Enterprises, the Court observed that the decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India v. M/s Pradeep Vinod Construction Co. [Civil Appeal No.2099/2017 decided on 03.08.2017] was the binding precedent on the interpretation of Clause 16(2) of the General Conditions of Contract in the said case and reiterated the finding of the Supreme Court that the bar against payment of interest under the said clause would apply only to earnest money and security deposit and not to other payments.


In Sheikh M Maroof v. Phoenix ARC Private Limited, the Court held that when the petitioner had voluntarily furnished an undertaking before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (‘DRT’) that he would hand over the physical possession of the property in question within a specified time-period, then upon failure to honor the said undertaking, he could not be heard to contend that notwithstanding the same, he should be heard on merits on his securitization application.

In Hassad Food Company Q.S.C. v. Reliance Asset Reconstruction Company Limited, the Court held that when the petitioner had admittedly availed of the statutory remedy of appeal and not pursued the same by making the pre-deposit of 50% of the outstanding debt before the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (‘DRAT’) in terms of Section 21 of the Recovery of Debts and Bankruptcy Act,1993, it was subsequently not open to the petitioner to approach the Court to assail the order passed by the DRT granting a Recovery Certificate against the petitioner on the ground of patent illegality.


In Nutrica Pusti Healthcare Private Limited v. Morepen Laboratories Limited, the Court held that the appellant/defendant to make pleadings in the memorandum of appeal with respect to the all the material on record of the Suit which can be relied upon by the respondent/plaintiff for supporting the impugned judgment, irrespective of whether the said material was considered by the Court below in coming to the impugned conclusion or not.

In Centre for Development of Telematics v. Rajiv Bhasin, the Court held that when a plea of res judicata or constructive res judicata is taken, the said plea has to be decided in the proceedings in which the same has been taken and not by approaching the Court which passed the concerned Order/ Judgment for clarification as to whether it decided and/or did not decide the aspect which in the subsequent proceedings is pleaded to be barred by principles of res judicata or constructive res judicata.

In Virender Singh v. The Delhi State Cooperative Bank Limited, the Court held that once an application under Order VII Rule 11 challenging the maintainability of the Suit had been rejected and the said Order had attained finality, then the appellate Court dealing with the challenge to an ad-interim Order passed under Order XXXIX Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”), could not render a finding in relation to the maintainability of the Suit itself.

In a case which arose from an interesting controversy in relation to the entitlement towards a 100-gram gold coin won as a third prize in a contest by a car manufacturer under a sales promotion scheme, the Court in Hyundai Motor India Limited v. Dr. T. N. Grover reiterated that where the title or entitlement of the plaintiff was clearly demonstrated from contemporaneous communication exchanged between the parties, then the relief of mandatory injunction simpliciter would be maintainable even in the absence of a prayer for declaration.

While upholding the rejection of an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, the Court in Jamna Devi v. Ayodhya Prasad reiterated that with limitation being a mixed question of law and fact, the point of commencement of limitation could result in disputed issues giving rise to a factual controversy and accordingly the matter was required to be set down for trial.

In Harjyot Singh v. Manpreet Kaur, the Court reiterated that Rule 4 of the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018 (‘DHC Rules’) does not grant the Court the power to condone the delay for filing of a Written Statement beyond the extended period of 90 days provided therein. The said limitation would apply even in cases when the parties attempt to resolve their disputes in the interregnum. The Court further held that it is not necessary that the summons can only be served in the manner as prescribed under Section 27 of the CPC and any defect or irregularity in the same would render the summons as non-est so long as the basic requirement, that the defendant be provided with the plaint and the documents filed by the plaintiff in order to answer to the same, is met.

In Hira Sweets & Confectionary Private Limited v. Hira Confectioners, while rejecting an application Order IX Rule 13 of the CPC for setting aside an ex-parte decree, the Court observed that even though a party should not suffer as a result of the inaction of its lawyer, however, when the facts clearly demonstrated that the party did not take any action against the erstwhile counsel for several months even after been aware of the ex-parte decree, no indulgence could be extended in this regard by the Court.

In Anil Kumar Sethi v. Government of NCT of Delhi, the Court deprecated the actions of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in conducting independent and parallel proceedings in relation to unauthorized constructions when the issue was alive before the Court.

In Rakesh Sharma v. Bhuvneshwar Dayal, the Court reiterated that once a matter had been heard for a considerable period by a particular District Court, then merely because of an objection of lack of territorial jurisdiction, the discretionary power of the High Court under Section 24 of the CPC to permit the existing District Court to continue to hear the matter would not be obliterated.

In Nidhi Solanki v. Puneet Solanki, the Court reiterated that the possibility of conflicting findings or conclusions by two different Family Courts was a relevant factor in directing transfer of proceedings in exercise of power under Section 24 of the CPC.

In Kalawati v. The State of NCT of Delhi, the Court issued directions to the police authorities to ensure that whenever eviction orders were passed by a competent Court/Tribunal, which had not been stayed or set aside by an appellate forum, the said orders were to be give effect to with the assistance of the Station House Officers (‘SHOs’) of the concerned area.

In Abhijeet Das v. R. N. Biswas, the Court observed that while adjudicating upon a regular second appeal under Order XLII of the CPC, purely factual issues such as whether the appellant was occupying the suit property as a tenant or as a licensee would not be re-appreciated by the Court especially when there were concurrent findings in this regard by the Courts below.

In Rajinder Lal Arora v. Monu Dhingra, the Court held that when the impugned orders had clearly sought to nip in the bud the fervent attempts of the defendant to delay the adjudication of the suit, no ground for interference under Article 227 of the Constitution of India could be said to be made out.

In Geeta Rai Devi v. Shushila Devi, the Court held that an important concession/averment in a written statement which would have a bearing on the very jurisdiction of the Court to entertain the suit could not be permitted to be withdrawn through an amendment application.

In Banana IP Counsels LLP v. Nisha Kurian, the Court reiterated that there could not be a partial rejection of the Suit under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC.


In Sudheer Kumar @ S. Baliyan v. Vinay Kumar G. B., the Court observed that in a commercial suit, recourse to filing additional documents cannot be claimed as a matter of parity and the prayer of each party was required to be considered on its own merit. The Court further observed that when the documents in question were admittedly available with the party concerned at the stage of filing of the suit and were not filed solely on account of them being voluminous, this by itself would not be a sufficient justification particularly when no application under Order 11 Rule 1(4) of the CPC had been filed along with the Suit in this regard.

In Hapag Lloyd India Private Limited v. Hotel Needs India, the Court deprecated the approach of the Trial Court in passing an interim Order under Order XXXIX Rule 1 & 2 of the CPC in a commercial matter without engaging in any manner with the arguments preferred by the defendants and by merely unquestioningly accepting the submissions of the plaintiff.


In Axis Ispat Private limited v. Union of India, the Court held that an inquiry as contemplated under Section 206(4) of Companies Act, 2013 (‘Companies Act’), is to be conducted by the Registrar of Companies only after providing the company reasonable opportunity of being heard.

In Sandeep Ahuja v. Union of India, the Court observed that the disqualification of a Director and deactivation of his/her Director Identification Number results in a continuing cause of action inasmuch as the person is unable to make any compliances owing to the disqualification and as long as the period of disqualification is not complete, there cannot be said to be any delay and laches in approaching the Court.

In Group Captain Atul Jain v. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, the Court reiterated that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (‘NCLAT’), was free to regulate the procedure and manner of hearing of matters listed before it, and this would include the power to issue directions for filing of written submissions and supporting judgments.


In WhatsApp LLC v. Competition Commission of India, the Court reiterated that at the stage of proceeding under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, only a prima-facie opinion was required for directing an investigation to be carried out by the Director General and the same amounts to a purely administrative action not entailing civil consequences. The Court further held that even if certain similar issues in relation to the privacy policy of the petitioner were undergoing adjudication in other proceedings before the Supreme Court and the High Courts, that by itself would not mean that the Competition Commission of India was completely denuded of its power to undertake investigation or that it would have to necessarily await the outcome of the proceedings pending before the Courts. The Court further observed that this was a matter of prudence and discretion to be exercised by the concerned authority and could not be said to amount to an absolute bar on the exercise of the requisite jurisdiction.


In Squirrel Design House v. National Fertilizers Limited, the Court observed that the issue as to whether extension of time to complete the work should have been granted or as to whether there was a delay in the work were purely factual in nature and could not be adjudicated upon in writ proceedings.

In The Delhi Golf Club Employees Union v. Union of India, the Court held that the Delhi Golf Club could not be said to be a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India inter-alia on the ground that there was no funding from the government, and neither was there any administrative control by the government. The Court observed that the mere leasing of the land on a nominal rent to the entity concerned would not by itself be sufficient to change the aforesaid conclusion.

In Ericsson India Global Services Private Limited v. Union of India, the Court held that where the applicable instructions or administrative orders are contrary to Law and are liable to be set aside then the remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution of India would not be barred on account of the availability of an alternative remedy of appeal inasmuch as any such appeal would evidently be decided based upon the very same instruction / administrative order. The Court further held that when a statute was silent on a particular aspect then it was permissible to examine other statutes to come to a conclusion on the issue in controversy.

In MEP Infrastructure Developers Limited v. South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Court reiterated that in exercise of power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Court would not adjudicate a purely contractual dispute especially when there was no demonstration that the action of the respondent was arbitrary or discriminatory and thus violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

In Mrigank Mishra v. Union of India, the Court deprecated the trend of filing of Public Interest Litigation’s without adequate background research and merely as a mechanism for generating publicity.

In All India Institute of Medical Sciences v. Elsy Jacob, the Court held that while exercising writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Court can, in certain exceptional situations, on an overall conspectus of the facts and the issues involved, refuse to strike down an otherwise illegal order.

In Mahima Yadav v. Government of NCT of Delhi, while exercising writ jurisdiction and granting the relief prayed for, the Court observed that after the amendment introduced by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act, 2021, to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the settled legal position in this regard is that termination of a pregnancy even beyond a period of 24 weeks could be permitted when substantial fetal abnormalities were evident and which could have deleterious impact on the health of the mother as well.


While declining relief under writ jurisdiction, the Court in Sunil Bagai v. Government of NCT of Delhi, reiterated that in the absence of any rules or regulations which prevented the electrical utility in question from replacing the electricity meter in question with a more advanced option, no relief could be sought against such an action particularly when no cost towards the same was being passed onto the consumer.


While noting that the understanding and meaning of the term ‘public place’ would vary depending on the context, the Court in Saurabh Sharma v. Sub-Divisional Magistrate (East), held that in the background of the COVID-19 pandemic even when a person is travelling alone in a car, the car would amount to a ‘public place’. The Court further held that, in the background of the pandemic, the definition of authorized persons in charge of enforcement of safety guidelines has to be read in an inclusive and expansive manner.

In Natasha Narwal v. DG Prisons, the Court held that the office order issued by the High Court dealing with physical production of under-trial prisoners before the Trial Courts could not be read in a manner that every under-trail prisoner was to be compulsory physically produced before the Court even when the pandemic was subsisting.

In Vinay Jaidka v. Chief Secretary, the Court directed the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (‘IRDAI’) to issue immediate instructions to insurance companies so as to ensure that whenever requests are received for approval for discharge of patients who were affected by COVID-19 and are covered by insurance policies, no delay occurs in giving the approvals.

In Indian Commercial Pilots Association v. Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Court directed for the setting up of a medical committee to examine the issue of exemption from undergoing breathe-analyser tests by commercial pilots.

In Jaideep Ahuja v. Government of NCT of Delhi, the Court stressed on the need to have more testing centers and to upgrade the infrastructure for streamlining the sample collection for the RT-PCR test in order to ensure that the timeline fixed for generation of the RT-PCR report may be complied with.


In Registrar Cooperative Societies v. Deepak Tyagi, the Court deprecated the obstructionist attitude of the statutory authorities and the administrators of the cooperative societies in harassing eligible and bona-fide members and called for eschewing a narrow and pedantic approach to the Delhi Cooperative Societies Act, 2003, and the Rules. The Court observed that a cooperative society was entitled to deal with additional flats available with it in a manner which would be beneficial and prudent but also transparent. The Court observed that conducting an auction of additional flats at market price was such a permissible method, and there could not be an insistence that the society should allow the sale of the flats only on the cost of construction with equalization charges.


In ‘X’ v. Union of India, the Court held that the act of uploading of the photographs of a person, though not in themselves offensive, on a pornographic website without consent would constitute an offence inter alia under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act 2000 (‘IT Act’). The Court observed that once an intermediary has received the knowledge of the offending content by way of a Court Order or upon being notified by the appropriate authority then refusal to remove and disable access to the offending content would disentitle it to the protection offered in terms of exemption from liability available to it under Section 79(1) of the IT Act. The Court further observed that even if the offending content cannot be completely removed from the internet, efforts are required to be made to restrict access to the offending content by making such content ‘non searchable’ by de-indexing and de-referencing it from the search results of the most widely used search engines. The Court summarized the statutory scheme for exemption of liability under the IT Act as under:

“82. (a) The exemption applies only if the function of the intermediary is limited to providing access to a communication system over which information is transmitted, temporarily stored or hosted;

(b) The exemption applies only if the intermediary does not initiate the transmission nor selects the receiver of the transmission nor selects or modifies the information contained in the transmission;

(c) The exemption applies only if the intermediary observes due diligence while discharging its duties under the IT Act and observes all other guidelines prescribed by the Central Government in relation to its duties;

(d) The exemption is not available if the intermediary has conspired, abetted or induced the commission of an unlawful act;

(e) Most importantly, the exemption is not available if the intermediary fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to material upon receiving actual knowledge or being notified by the appropriate government or its agencies that any information/data/communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource controlled by that intermediary is being used to commit an unlawful act.”

The Court in Himanshu Dabas v. State, Government of NCT of Delhi, deprecated the practice of providing vague, sketchy and incomplete medical reports which are then misused by the accused to try to get bail even though they are not suffering from any serious ailments. While observing that doctors who submitted such reports are guilty of an offence under Section 192 of IPC, the Court further laid down the following guidelines for issuance of medical reports:

“24. The medical reports from the Jail Hospital must clearly state the history, examination findings and the clinical diagnosis, the interpretation of the diagnosis in simpler terms for the Judges to understand the following:

i. What is the diagnosis?

ii. Whether it can be simply treated by giving medical treatment in the Jail Hospital.

iii. If there is any urgency and if it is an emergency then the nature of emergency must be clearly mentioned.

25. In case the patient is referred to a referral hospital then the medical report must state the following:

i. The diagnosis, its simpler interpretation.

ii. Whether the disease/ailment is treatable by conservative medical management or is surgical intervention required. If yes, will it be an emergency surgery.

iii. If any tumour or growth is found is it benign or malign and/or infective.

iv. If any investigations are to be done, then the nature of the investigation, when it can be performed and can it be performed in jail hospital.

26. Post treatment/surgery the medical report must clearly state the result of the surgery and the post-operative care that is required. The report must indicate as to how many days of hospitalization would be required before the patient is sent to the prison.”

In Milen Ivanov Davranski v. Union of India, the Court while rejecting a prayer for issuance of writ of mandamus to expedite the deportation of the accused foreign national, held that the grant of bail or the permission to travel abroad in pending cases/ First Information Reports (‘FIRs’) would not be covered by the phrase “discharged, whether by acquittal or on expiration of his sentence or otherwise” under Section 31(1)(d) of the Extradition Act, 1962 (‘Extradition Act’).

In Dalip v. State NCT of Delhi, the Court held that considering the fact the victim was a minor girl aged 6½ years and immediately after the incident had clearly pointed towards the accused as the perpetrator and her version was corroborated by the fact that her pants were blood stained as also there was clear evidence of injuries in the vagina resulting in bleeding, the charge for the offence punishable under Sections 363 Indian Penal Code,1860 (‘IPC’), and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’), were clearly made out.

In Ameet Khandelwal v. State of NCT of Delhi, the Court noticed that mere issuance of non-bailable warrant could not be a solitary ground for denying grant of anticipatory bail and noted that every reasonable person who has approached the Court for grant of anticipatory bail will keep away from the investigation for some time so that the bail plea does not become infructuous.

In Nastor Farrai Ziso v. Narcotics Control Bureau, the Court reiterated that the mere fact that the accused was a foreign national would not be a ground to deny bail.

In Dhirender Gaba v. State (NCT of Delhi), an application for anticipatory bail was rejected inasmuch as the Court noted that there was enough material on record to demonstrate that the accused had collected money from various investors towards a residential apartment project, whereas no construction activity had taken place on the site and the petitioner had failed to join the investigation.

In Mahender Swami v. State (NCT of Delhi), the Court observed that it would not be proper to examine in detail the inconsistencies and contradictions in the statement of the prosecutrix at the stage of bail inasmuch as the same would otherwise prejudice the parties.

In Aroon Purie v. State, the Court observed that when the allegations against the accused government officials related to leaking of the confidential information pertaining to the complainant to stymie his career and to advance their own nefarious interests, prima-facie there was no requirement of prior sanction to prosecute the officials concerned.

In David Collin @ Madhuabuchi Okoro v. Narcotics Control Bureau, the Court held that when an examination of the contention that the notice under Section 50 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (‘NDPS Act’) was defective in nature required detailed factual examination, then it would not be proper to examine the said issue at the stage of bail inasmuch as the same would otherwise prejudice the parties.

In Vikas Mittal v. State, the Court reiterated that cancellation of bail could be resorted to only if there were overwhelming circumstances resulting in miscarriage of justice or if the Court had ignored the relevant material or placed reliance on material which had no relevance to the issue of grant of bail.

In Vilas Rao Ghodeswar v. CBI, the Court reiterated that it is difficult to obtain direct evidence of the offence of conspiracy and that it is not necessary to prove that all the accused were involved from the start to the finish or that they were involved with each and every act of the fellow conspirators. Further, the Court observed that an alleged irregularity in the case of award of a public tender could not said to be a mere procedural lapse when it was evident that the public officials concerned had subverted the procedure stipulated in the relevant government manuals and rules.

In Sombir Dagar v. The State (Government of NCT of Delhi), while reiterating that Section 362 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (‘Cr.P.C’) bars a Criminal Court from altering a Judgment or final Order except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error, the Court, however, noted that the same could not be a bar on the power of the Court if it was demonstrated that fraud had been played upon it by production of false documents or suppression of material facts.

In Saroj Bhola v. State of NCT of Delhi, the Court held that it was well within the power of the Magistrate or Additional Sessions Judge to direct further investigation at the stage of hearing arguments on charge even in the absence of a protest petition by a party.

While upholding a conviction under Section 363 of the IPC read with Section 8 of the POCSO Act, the Court in Krishna Murti v. State of NCT of Delhi, disbelieved the stand of the accused, who was the neighbour of the victim, that he had merely given a lift to the victim inasmuch as it noted that there was no occasion for the accused to have taken the victim to a different far-away location when he would have been aware of the residence of the victim.

In Kashish Batra v. State, in a case involving offences under the POCSO Act, the Court observed that delay in filing of a FIR could not be said to fatal to the case inasmuch as the report of the child welfare committee, which had provided counselling to the minor victim, suggested the clear involvement of the accused.

In Zahid @ Mohd Jahid v. State of NCT of Delhi, the Court rejected an application for regular bail inter-alia on the ground that the petitioners were demonstrated to be involved in various prior criminal cases.

In Bobby Collin v. Narcotics Control Bureau, the Court rejected an application for regular bail inter-alia on the ground that the accused had approached the Court when the trail was at the fag-end and that the alleged infirmities sought to be pointed out in the case of the prosecution should be raised during the final arguments before the Trial Court.

While rejecting an application for interim bail, the Court in Preeti Jain v. State (Government of NCT of Delhi) noted that the relevant CCTV footage prima-facie revealed that the accused was a key conspirator in the murder of her husband.

In Shyam S. Bageshra v. State NCT of Delhi, while refusing to quash proceedings initiated under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (‘NI Act’), the Court observed that when there was strenuously contested facts such as whether the petitioner’s employment with the accused-company was confined to maintenance of accounts or he was the Director or Authorized Signatory of accused-company and whether or not the cheque in question was signed by him, then interference by the Court at an initial stage was unwarranted.

In Kusum Lata v. State of NCT of Delhi, the Court reiterated that as per the scheme of Section 156 of Cr.P.C, in a situation where the police fails in its duty to register and investigate a cognizable offence, the aggrieved person may file a complaint before the concerned Magistrate. Upon such a complaint being filed, two courses of action are open to the Court viz. to either take cognizance under Section 190 Cr.P.C or to forward the complaint to the police under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. for investigation

In Mujeebuddin v. The State, the Court reiterated that the power to quash proceedings in exercise of power under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C is available even in the case of non-compoundable offences.

In Sushant Muttreja v. State, the Court denied regular bail in a case involving economic offences inasmuch as the accused duped various investors under garb of selling real estate with a promise of high returns and that even after having been granted interim bail in an effort to facilitate a just proposal for revival of the company and its projects, no concrete action-plan had been put forth by the accused persons.

In Shahrukh Pathan @ Khan v. The State of NCT of Delhi, the Court while rejecting a plea for regular bail in a case involving the Arms Act, 1959 and Section 307 of the IPC, noted that the petitioner had admittedly fired shots from a pistol while leading a mob and the question as to whether the petitioner had the intention to kill the complainant or any other person present at the spot was to be tested at the stage of trial.

In Tanveer Malik v. State, the Court reiterated that rejection of earlier bail applications at the stage when the investigation was in progress would not be a bar to grant of bail at a subsequent stage when the investigation had been completed and a charge sheet had been duly filed.

In Kumod Mishra v. State, the Court observed that it was natural for certain inconsistencies in the statement of the prosecutrix as compared to her eventual testimony when there was a long gap of time in between the two. Further, the Court observed that it was incumbent upon the prosecution to undertake reasonable efforts to garner the necessary corroborative evidence when there were certain material inconsistencies in the statement made by the prosecutrix.

In Brij Bhushan Kathuria v. Union of India, the Court held that unless the conditions in the applicable office memorandum and rules were met, a Look Out Circular (‘LOC’), could not be issued against a person and further observed that phrases such as ‘economic interest’ or ‘larger public interest’ cannot be expanded in a manner so as to include an Independent Director who was in the past associated with the company being investigated, without any specific role being attributed and no criminal case pending against the petitioner.

While granting the relief claimed in an habeas corpus petition, the Court in Ruma Bibi v. State observed that once the person under detention had been acquitted of the offences under Section 14A and B of the Foreigners Act, 1946, the remanding of the person to a deportation center without any show-cause notice or opportunity of being heard amounted to illegal detention.

In Madan Gopal Yadav v. State, the Court reiterated that when there was definitive evidence and eyewitness accounts proving the occurrence of the offence and the role of the accused, the failure by the prosecution to prove motive is not fatal to the case. The Court further held that even if the intention of the accused was limited to the infliction of a bodily injury sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature, and did not extend to the intention of causing death, the offence would be murder and not culpable homicide.


In Bhim Singh v. AGM State Bank of India, the Court noted that various provisions under disparate statutes viz. Section 14 of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (‘1999 Act’), Regulation 12 of the National Trust Regulations, 2001, Delhi Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2018 and Section 14(4) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (‘Mental Health Act’), envisage the appointment of a family member as the guardian of a disabled person.


In Adil Sajeer Ansari v. University of Delhi, the Court held that educational institutions must exercise administrative flexibility in favour of protecting the interests of students while overlooking minor deviations, when neither the institution nor any other candidate would be prejudiced. The Court further reiterated that in educational matters the Court could always mould the relief and direct admission to be granted to a meritorious candidate in the next academic year as well.

In Shalu Maan v. Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, the Court reiterated that a candidate could not be permitted to change the category under which the admission has been sought for after the results have been declared.

In Shri Baba Mast Nath Ayurvedic College v. Union of India, the Court upheld the rejection of permission to the institution for the increased intake in undergraduate courses inasmuch as it found that the institute concerned was admittedly falling afoul of the applicable regulations.


In Jagmohan Singh v. Government of NCT of Delhi, the Court held that the decision to hold an election is largely a matter of policy and is normally to be left to the executive wing which has the necessary wherewithal to take into account the relevant considerations before arriving into a decision.


In PETA India v. ASIAD Circus through its Proprietors, the Court directed that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and the Central Zoo Authority to proactively consider a representation in respect of framing of rules/guidelines for the protection of exotic animals which would not fall within the purview of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.


In Shikha Nishcal v. National Insurance Company Limited, the Court held that a mental illness cannot be treated differently from a physical illness for the purpose of medical insurance and reiterated the provision of non-discrimination qua mental illnesses as enshrined in Sections 21(1)(a) and 21(4) of the Mental Health Act. The Court further directed the IRDAI to ensure that mental illnesses were covered, without any discrimination, by insurance companies.

In Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited v. Kamal Kumar, the Court reiterated that after the amendment brought in by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 (‘Motor Vehicles Amendment Act’) to Section 149 (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (‘Motor Vehicles Act’), there is no more a provision for the passing of an interim award, and it is only if the claimant accepts the offer made by the insurance company, can the settlement be recorded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. The Court further observed that even under the unamended provision, the amount payable as interim compensation was limited to a fixed amount, and an interim award to the full extent of the offer made by the insurance company could not be passed in any event.

In Feku Lal v. Ashu, while allowing a request by the grandfather for early withdrawal of certain amounts from the insurance disbursal sum deposited in the FDR till the age of majority of his grand-children, the Court noted that he was admittedly looking after the well-being of his children after the death of the father and the subsequent re-marriage of the mother and there an evident financial crisis being faced by the family on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In United India Insurance Company Limited v. Anita Devi, the Court noted that when the deceased was merely standing on the side of the bus-depot when the offending bus being driven by another driver hit him and he passed away as a result of the injuries, the death of the deceased could not be said to be arising out of or in the course of his employment, though the deceased may have been an employee of the insured/bus owner, and accordingly the case would not fall within the exception created by the proviso to Section 147 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

In Jitender Singh v. The Director General Border Security Force BSF Head Quarter, the Court upheld the entitlement of the petitioner to coverage under the insurance policy in question inasmuch as it found that the petitioner had suffered grievous injuries in an Improvised Explosive Device (‘IED’) blast while working with the Border Security Force and the said incident had solely and directly caused complete loss of functionality in one hand resulting in consequential permanent disability and loss of occupation.

Amit George
Amit George

Dr. Amit George is an Advocate practicing before the High Court of Delhi.

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