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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 Larsen & Toubro Limited v. Public Works Department , the Court held that while considering whether an arbitrator is de-jure or de-facto ineligible to continue to act in terms of Section 14(1)(a) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (‘Arbitration Act’), the Court is not restricted to only to the ineligibility criteria prescribed under the VIIth Schedule of the Arbitration Act, but also other distinct aspects, such as the empanelment criteria adopted for the arbitrator in question, which might demonstrate that the impartiality or the independence of the arbitrator stood compromised.
In National Highways Authority of India v. National Commission for Women , the Court held that the mere presence of an arbitral clause would not oust the jurisdiction of the National Commission for Women in the context of a dispute over extending of benefits under the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961 inasmuch as Section 10 of the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 empowered the Commission inter-alia to look into issues regarding deprivation of woman’s rights and non-implementation of laws enacted to provide protection to women.
In BBEL-MIPL Joint Venture v. National Highways Authority of India , the Court held that when the award has clearly limited the grant of post-award interest on a particular identified sum alone, then in execution proceedings, the said express directions could not be sought to be enlarged by reference to an otherwise permissive provision in the Arbitration Act.
In Union of India through Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Department of Sports CWG Delhi 2010 Cell v. G L Litmus Events Private Limited , the Court reiterated that the question whether a particular clause in a contract would prohibit the payment of compensation in any or all circumstances would be a matter of interpretation which fell within the domain of the arbitral tribunal, and that any interpretation could not be interfered with merely because another view was possible in the matter.
In Chief General Manager (Contracts) Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited v Driplex Water Engineering Limited , while approving the verdict of a Single Bench of the Court in GE T&D India Limited v. Reliable Engineering Projects and Marketing , a Division Bench of the Court held that with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 (‘MSMED Act’) being a beneficial legislation, a supplier that was already in existence at the time of the commencement of the MSMED Act and which had not obtained registration within the period prescribed but had done so after entering into a contract with the buyer, was entitled to seek recourse to the beneficial provision of statutory arbitration as contained in the MSMED Act.
In First Global Stock Broking Private Limited v. Tarun Gupta , the Court upheld the order setting aside an arbitral award under exercise of jurisdiction under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act wherein the Court had found that various vital documents relevant to the controversy had not been taken into consideration by the arbitral tribunal.
In China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau v. Indian Oil Corporation Limited , the Court observed that when a contract contained a specific stipulation that only certain ‘notified claims’ could be referred for arbitration, and it was admitted by the party seeking reference to arbitration that its claims did not fall within the aforesaid category, then the said claims could not be referred to arbitration.
In Inter Ads Exhibition Private Limited v. Busworld International Cooperative Vennootschap Met Beperkte Anasprakelijkheid , the Court reiterated that an injunction under Section 9 of the Arbitration Act could not be granted to revive or restore a contract which is specifically determinable in nature, and has been duly terminated by one party to the contract.
In Akash Gupta v. Praveen Kumar Gupta , the Court observed that a postal receipt coupled with the tracking report demonstrating delivery of a signed copy of the arbitral award by the arbitrator to one of the parties would be clinching evidence of delivery of the arbitral award in terms of Section 31(5) of the Arbitration Act, in the absence of concrete evidence demonstrating to the contrary.
In Sona Corporation India Private Limited v. Ingram Micro India Private Limited , the Court held that there was no bar in law for an arbitral tribunal to pass an order in a subsequent application filed before it under Section 17 of the Arbitration Act, in variation of an order passed in the original Section 17 application, if it could be demonstrated that material subsequent developments had occurred in the interregnum.
In Proddatur Cable TV Digi Services v. Siti Cable Network Limited , the Court held that the prohibition against the appointment of a sole arbitrator by one of the parties to the agreement as articulated in Perkins Eastman Architects DPC. v. HSCC (India) Limited  would also apply to ongoing arbitrations which were being conducted under the Arbitration Act as amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 (‘Amendment Act’).
In Cinepolis India Private Limited v. Celebration City Projects Limited , the Court reiterated that the seat of the arbitration would take precedence over an exclusive jurisdiction clause in the agreement between the parties for determining the competent court to which an application under the Arbitration Act would lie.
In Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited , the Court observed when an agreement between the parties contained two distinct covenants, with one providing for jurisdiction of a particular court in the case of disputes in general, and the other providing for jurisdiction of a particular court in the case of disputes pertaining to arbitration proceedings, then the latter covenant would determine the relevant court for adjudicating an application under the Arbitration Act.
In SMS Limited v. Rail Vikas Nigam Limited , the Court reiterated that a panel being maintained with the vast majority of the persons being connected with the said Public Sector Undertaking and/or its affiliates as also lacking persons with legal and accountancy backgrounds etc. could not to be said to be a ‘broad-based’ panel in terms of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Voestalpine Schienen GMBH v. DMRC  and the party seeking arbitration could not be forced to appoint an arbitrator from such a panel.
In STCI Finance Limited v. Shreyas Kirti Lal Doshi , the Court held that even though a loan agreement and a corresponding guarantee deed can be said to be inter-connected in some sense, they are ultimately independent contracts and the arbitration clause in the main agreement would have to be specifically incorporated in the guarantee deed for arbitration to be sought under the latter.
While considering a case of an arbitral award which had partially allowed certain claims and counter-claims and which was the subject matter of challenge by both parties before the Court, the Court in Mukti Credits Private Limited v. Indraprastha Power Generation Company Limited , held that upon an overall perspective if it was clear that, notwithstanding the merits of the challenge, amounts were in fact due to one party by the other under the arbitral award, then there was no question of the other party seeking to encash a bank guarantee which had been provided as an interim measure of protection during the arbitration proceedings.
In Badri Singh Vinmay Private Limited v. MMTC Limited , while construing the prerequisites for a notice invoking arbitration under Section 21 of the Arbitration Act and the Rules of the Indian Council of Arbitration, the Court held that a communication specifically claiming a disputed amount and narrating the background facts as also contemplating legal action in general, as against initiation of arbitration proceedings in particular, would qualify as a notice for requesting for arbitration.
In MMTC Limited v. Gian Gupta , while reiterating that gross delay in rendering an arbitral award after the conclusion of oral hearings would render the same susceptible to interference under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act, the Court further noted that when the arbitral tribunal sought for certain clarificatory hearings in the interregnum but had never held the same and proceeded to render an award without actually seeking any clarifications, the said procedure would not only not excuse the delay but would also be violative of Section 18 of the Arbitration Act.
In Sukhbir Singh v. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited , the Court held that Section 24(1) of the Arbitration Act leans in the favor of the grant of oral hearing to a party desiring the same, and this opportunity cannot be denied unless the said right has been waived by a prior agreement between the parties. The Court, however, noted with caution that the said right was not unlimited or permitting of unending cross-examination or oral arguments and that it was always open to the arbitral tribunal to regulate the extent of the said opportunity depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
In GMR Hyderabad Vijayawada Expressways Limited v. National Highways Authority of India , the Court observed that pending the pronouncement of the final arbitral award in the near future, the arbitral tribunal has discretion to pass an appropriate interim order to balance the equities between the parties in the meantime.
In Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Private Limited v. BSC-C&C Joint Venture , the Court reiterated that in exercise of limited jurisdiction under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act, it could not seek to second-guess the basis adopted by the arbitral tribunal to work out the rate of an item of work and its derivation.
In Hiedelberg Cement India Limited v. Indure Private Limited , the Court held that a reasoned finding that an agreement had been illegally and prematurely terminated is a pure finding of fact which cannot be interfered with in the exercise of limited jurisdiction under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act.
In Birla Cable Limited v. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited , the Court noted that the proscription against the unilateral appointment of a sole arbitrator by one of the parties to a dispute would be applicable even if the arbitrator had been appointed from a larger panel maintained by the party making the appointment.
In Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Paramjeet Singh Narula , the Court reiterated that the aspect of responsibility for delay in handing over of the requisite drawings during the 4 currency of a construction contract was a purely factual finding which could not be interfered with in the exercise of limited jurisdiction under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act. While reiterating the settled proposition that the interpretation of the terms of a contract is purely within the domain of the arbitral tribunal, the Court in Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited v. Jaiprakash Associates Limited , further noted the amendment brought about to Section 28(3) of the Arbitration Act by the Amendment Act.
In the case of Shenzhen Shandong Nuclear Power Construction Company Limited v. Vedanta Limited , pertaining to the enforcement of an arbitral award, the Court reiterated the settled proposition that an amount deposited by the judgment debtor towards satisfaction of an arbitral award would be first adjusted towards interest and costs, and only thereafter towards the principal amount.
Banking and Finance
In Rahul Choudhary v. Andhra Bank , the Court held that there is no bar to the appointment of advocates as receivers under Section 14 (1A) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (‘SARFAESI Act’).
In Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited v. Punjab National Bank , the Court held that a bank against which neither any relief had been sought nor had any amounts been received by it from any of the contesting parties, could not be made a party in proceedings before the Debt Recovery Tribunal.
In Kanthi Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited v. GSCO Infrastructure Private Limited , the Court observed that even in the absence of a claim having been raised by the beneficiary of an unconditional bank guarantee against the other party in arbitration proceedings, the beneficiary was entitled to invoke the bank guarantee inasmuch as it represented an independent contract.
In J. S. Sharma v. Shiv Devi Meena , the Court observed that an application filed under Order XXII Rule 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (‘CPC’) seeking to set aside an abatement which had occurred for the reason of non-impleadment of legal heirs within the prescribed time, should be construed liberally, particularly when the abatement would result in gross prejudice to the applicants and manifestly unjustified enrichment to the other side.
In Ketan Ghanshaymdev Tailang v. Dharmesh Mehta , the Court observed that a relief of outright cancellation of a trust deed and a declaration that the same was null and void, would not fall within the ambit of Section 92 of the CPC.
In Raj Kumar Rajora v. Ajay Dhingra , the Court observed that the very purpose of enacting Order XV-A of the CPC is that it provides some benefit to the landlords pending adjudication of the suit and the same would be defeated if only the admitted amount of the rent is paid and the court was required to fix a realistic amount taking into account the relevant circumstances.
In ICICI Bank Ltd. v. Priya Baveja , it was reiterated and further practice directions were issued to the effect that applications for sale of vehicles should ordinarily be disposed of within 60 days.
In Raj Kumar Seth v. Pawan Kumar Seth , the Court held that when there was a manifest lacuna in a settlement agreement leading to ambiguity in its implementation, a court would not be powerless in such a situation and is empowered to issue appropriate directions to ensure that the underlying spirit behind the settlement agreement is given effect to, and that no party is allowed to resile therefrom.
In Delhi Development Authority v. M/s Tirupati Cements , the Court reiterated that even though it is essential to file a list of witnesses specifically indicating the identity of witnesses sought to be produced through assistance of the court, if a witness is produced by a party without summons being required then the court cannot turn back the said witness who is otherwise present in court.
In CNA Exports (P) Limited v. Mansi Sharma , the Court deprecated the usage in the pleadings of intimidating language bordering on outright threats against advocates who are merely acting in their professional capacity.
In Sudhakar Singh v. Webkul Software Pvt. Limited , the Court observed that filing of an affidavit of admission and denial along with the written statement under Order VIII of the CPC is not compulsory in nature insofar as the proceedings before the district courts are concerned inasmuch as the same is a requirement which has been introduced for the trial of civil suits before the High Court in terms of the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018.
In Narang Shoes Private Limited v. M. P. Sharma , the Court held that an allegation in anapplication seeking leave to defend that money had been taken on loan from an unregistered money lender which was contrary to the mandate of the Punjab Registration of Money Lenders Act, 1938 is required to be supported through relevant documentation and a bald averment in this regard would not amount to a credible defence.
In Neeraj Sharma v. Union of India , while reiterating the limited scope of review, the Court observed that it was impermissible for a counsel to make piece-meal submissions in a case, and apply for review by putting forth fresh arguments once the original arguments had resulted in an adverse judgment.
In Harindar Singh Kochar v. Blue Coast Infrastructure , the Court reiterated that an interim order, which causes grave and substantial injustice to a party as opposed to mere inconvenience, would be an appealable under the provisions of the CPC and Section 10 of the Delhi High Court Act, 1966.
In Anamica Dayal v. Heera Devi (Deceased) , the Court observed that keeping in mind the statutory bar enshrined under Section 97 of the CPC against doubting the correctness of a preliminary decree in an appeal against the final decree, the appellant could not be permitted to raise vague and unsubstantiated allegations of supervening circumstances in the interregnum to try and impugn the preliminary decree as well.
In Indu Dalmia v. Rajasekhar Naidu  the Court held that the mere filing of an affidavit of evidence in lieu of examination-in-chief, without formally tendering the same into evidence subsequently would be of no avail.
In Rajeev Kumar Batra v. Kewal Krishan Kumar , the Court held that an enquiry as to fraudulent transfer within the meaning of Section 53 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (‘TOPA’) can be adjudicated in an execution proceeding under Order XXI Rule 58 of the CPC.
In Sunrise Property Developers Private Limited v. Skipper Properties Private Limited , the Court reiterated that a categorical admission made in a pleading cannot be sought to be withdrawn even when the same can be demonstrated to have been inconsistent with or contrary to a document or an order or a judgment in an earlier proceeding.
In Ravinder Pal Singh Baweja v. Barjinder Pal Singh Baweja , the Court observed that a litigant who was based abroad was not entitled to any special privilege in the conduct of a suit and is required to contest the suit with full vigor and cannot choose to stop appearing at one stage, and then suddenly reappear without any justification.
In Shachi Mahajan v. Santosh Mahajan , the Court reiterated that the findings of a Court while disposing of an application for interim relief under Order XXXIX Rules 1& 2 of the CPC are only prima-facie observations which cannot have a bearing on the final adjudication of the suit.
In Chaudhary Rajender Pawar v. Geeta Singh , the Court held that once the plea of a settlement having been obtained under fraud and collusion had been conclusively rejected at al rungs of the litigation all the way up to the Supreme Court, then it was impermissible for the said plea to be sought to be reiterated subsequently in execution proceedings.
In Friends Motel Private Limited Through Its Director Mr. Arun Dwivedi v. Ved Consultancy LLP , the Court held that inasmuch as a period of 120 days is the outer limit for the filing of a written statement in a commercial suit, a written statement which has been filed beyond the stipulated period of 30 days but within the period of 120 days without an accompanying application for condonation of delay could not be treated as a duly filed written statement. The Court surmised that the application for condonation of delay was mandatorily required to be filed while filing the written statement within the period of 120 days, and if the same was not done then there could not be said to be any written statement on the record.
Company Law and Insolvency
In S.A.R.E. Public Company Limited. v. Avon Infracon Private. Limited , the Court reiterated that a holding company and its wholly owned subsidiary are two distinct legal entities and it could not be said that the holding company had any legal title or ownership over the assets of the subsidiary company. The Court further observed that an allegation that the subsidiary companies had by their consistent conduct or actions made themselves bound to honour a contractual liability incurred by the holding company would be a matter that would require detailed evidence and a full-blown trial, and such an argument could not be accepted at a preliminary stage.
In Col. P.K. Uberoi (Retd.) v. Vigneshwara Developwell Private Limited , the Court while approving a revival scheme for a real estate company observed that when the vast majority of the home-owners had voluntary agreed to the said scheme then the Court would not lightly interfere with the same inasmuch as it was not required to sit in appeal over the commercial wisdom of the majority which had approved the scheme with open eyes. The Court further noted that any creditor which did not find a place in the revival scheme would be required to have its dues settled in the normal course after revival of the company or through the official liquidator as the case maybe.
In Ashok Kumar v. The Director, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Professional Studies , the Court held that even a private educational institution will be amenable to writ jurisdiction inasmuch as with the imparting of education being fundamentally a state function, the activities of the institution are essentially aimed at supplementing the said public function.
In Devesh Gupta v. Ramjas Foundation , the Court held that even though an entity may be said to be discharging a public function in a wider context, a writ petition would not lie thereagainst for the enforcement of a purely private contract of personal service.
In Vandana Tyagi v. Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi , the Court laid down a slew of guidelines for the appointment of persons as guardians vis-a-vis an individual lying in a comatose state, including the requirement of the filing of a bi-annual report of the guardian concerned with the registrar of the Court as regards the transactions undertaken by the guardian in relation to the assets of the concerned person.
In Subhash Chandra Sharma v. Union of India , the Court reiterated that it was only in an exceptional case where there was an evident gap in the law, that the Court could step in and attempt to fill the same through judicial fiat and guidelines.
In M. Omkaram v. GNCTD , the Court reiterated that the vires of subordinate legislations and rules can be adjudicated upon by the relevant tribunals.
In Saddam v, Union of India , the Court held that the Court exercises parens-patriae jurisdiction with a view to securing the rights of animals.
In Sunil Kumar Verma v. Union of India , the Court observed that it would be impermissible to issue directions in a public interest litigation for undertaking of complex and technical activities by the authorities concerned, which are matters which are purely in the domain of policy.
In Sunita Mittal v. Delhi Development Authority , the Court in exercise of writ jurisdiction ordered the refund of an amount which was wrongly deposited with a government department in relation to a housing scheme inasmuch as the Court found that there was no allegation of criminality against the petitioner and that there were specific averments that she had been duped into depositing the money by certain fraudulent middlemen.
Consumer Protection and Real Estate Regulation
In Rashmi Pal v. State , while rejecting the challenge to an order absolving a team of doctors from the charge of medical negligence, the Court reiterated that an opinion rendered by medical experts could not be lightly interfered with unless they were demonstrated to be totally perverse and unreasonable.
Criminal Law and Procedure
In Ajay Kumar Saini v. State , the Court held that an allegation that the mother of the child victim was apparently complicit in enabling the sexual abuse of her daughter for commercial gain, even if presumed to be correct, would in no manner affect the culpability of the accused nor rebut the presumption enshrined under Section 29 and 30 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’).
In State v. Bhaskar , the Court held that when a trial court is presented with contradictory medical opinions, then it is incumbent upon the trial court to examine both the opinions and specify as to why it was accepting one opinion over the other.
In Niranjan v. State , the Court held that an inconsequential overwriting in a medico-legal certificate (‘MLC’) and for which there was a plausible explanation would not vitiate the conviction.
In State v. Ramji Ram , the Court reiterated that in order to bring home a charge of rape on a false promise to marry, it was not only necessary to establish that a false promise was, in fact, made but also to demonstrate that the promise was of immediate relevance to or bore a direct nexus to the prosecutrix’s decision to engage in sexual intercourse.
In Ranjeet Singh v. State , while reiterating that the issuance of a medical certificate by a doctor as regards the mental fitness of the victim to make a dying declaration is not a mandatory prerequisite, the Court further observed that it was similarly not mandatory that a dying declaration has to necessarily be recorded in a question-answer format.
In Inder Pal v. State , the Court held that gross unexplained delay in filing a leave petition under Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’) for setting aside a judgment of acquittal would be fatal to its consideration.
In Anil Kumar Sharma @ Pandit v. State , while reiterating that a failure to conduct a test identification parade (‘TIP’) would not render the evidence of identification in court as being inadmissible, the Court noted that an unreasoned refusal to participate in a TIP would be sufficient to draw an adverse inference against the accused.
In Inder Pal v. State , the Court reiterated that the testimony of a witness could not be disregarded on the sole ground that he/she was a close relative of the victim and though a court should be cautious while weighing such testimony, there is no bar in law from considering the same if it otherwise inspires confidence.
In Mohammad Seddiq Yousufi v. Union of India , while refusing to set aside a detention order issued under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (‘COFEPOSA’), the Court held that once the detenu himself along with his counsel was present before the advisory board and advisory board concluded the proceedings without the detenu raising any such objection before it, the subsequent plea of ineffective representation was held to be not available to the detenu.
In Resham v. State , the Court observed that when there was no manifest perversity in the approach of the trial court in acquitting the accused after comprehensive examination of the evidence, then there was no justification to direct a re-trial to be conducted.
In Lal Mohammed v. State , the Court reiterated that the absence of any semen would not vitiate a conviction of rape if penetration was otherwise proven.
In State v. Bunty , while upholding an order of acquittal in proceedings under the POCSO Act, the Court observed that the vague testimony of the mother of the prosecutrix could not form the basis for determining the age of the prosecutrix, particularly when the other relevant documents including the school records did not offer any clarity on the issue.
In State v. Om Prakash Yadav @ Prem Alam , the Court reiterated the various factors that must be established before a conviction can be maintained on circumstantial evidence alone.
In State v. Ram Nath Chaudhary , the Court crystallized the ingredients for invoking the fourth exception under Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) as there having been a sudden fight without pre-meditation which occurred in the heat of the moment, and that the accused had not acted in a cruel manner or taken undue advantage of the situation.
In Krishna v. State , the Court observed that in order to establish the commission of an offence under Section 34 of the IPC, common intention and meeting of the minds of all the accused persons must be demonstrated to have necessarily occurred before the commission of the offence.
In Jai Narayan v. State , the Court observed that Section 106 of the Evidence Act, 1872 (‘Evidence Act’) does not in any manner change the general position that the burden of proof in a criminal trial is always upon the prosecution.
In Satish @ Pintu v. State , the Court reiterated that it was impermissible to raise an issue at the appellate stage with respect to the ballistics report or the recovery memo once the relevant witnesses were not subjected to any cross-examination on the said aspects.
In State v. Saida , the Court observed that the testimony of a witness who was never present at the place of the incident at the relevant time and whose testimony was based purely on hearsay would not inspire any confidence.
In Rohit @ Golu v. State , the Court observed that a mere discrepancy in recording the pet-name of the accused would be immaterial when the accused had been identified and arrestedat the instance of the victim.
In Har SarupBhasin v. Origo Commodities India Pvt. Limited , the Court reiterated that an independent and non-executive director of a company cannot be fastened with liability for the dishonor of a cheque issued on behalf of a company when no specific role was attributed to him/her nor was he/she a signatory to the cheque.
In Arvind Kumar v. State through the Inspector, Central Bureau of Narcotics , the Court reiterated that the provisions of the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (‘NDPS Act’), operate in addition to those of the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and an offence which fell within the scope of the former could not be sought to be tried under the latter.
While reconciling disparate verdicts of the Supreme Court on the issue, the Court in Akhilesh Bharti v. State , held that where the alleged drug in question is recovered from an object held by the accused in his hand and the search of the body of the accused is also carried out, which does not lead to the recovery of any contraband, then, non-compliance of Section 50 of the NDPS Act would vitiate the recovery.
In Daya Nand Chandela v. State , the Court rejected an application preferred by an accused who had been convicted under Sections 452 and 307 of the IPC, seeking permission for contesting the forthcoming elections inasmuch as it noted that prima-facie there was no merit in the averments made challenging the order of conviction.
In Mohd. Zafar v. State , the Court while refusing to transfer a part-heard matter from one district court to the other on account of the transfer of the judge concerned, observed that the administrative inconvenience and logistical difficulties on the part of the prosecution side would override the relative inconvenience caused to the accused and the delay which might arise in the matter.
In Nittin Johari v. Serious Fraud Investigation Office , the Court reiterated that the limitation on granting of bail in relation to matters which are the subject of investigation by the serious fraud investigation office being in addition to the limitation provided under Section 439 of the CrPC, the twin conditions as contemplated in Section 212 (6) of the Companies Act, 2013 have to necessarily be met before bail can be granted.
In Salim Hussain v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) , the Court set aside the punishment ofstoppage of meetings with relatives as had been awarded by the jail superintendent foralleged involvement in a brawl in the jail premises inasmuch as it was found that no specific role was attributed to the prisoner, and that he had in fact suffered injuries during the incident.
In Amit Goyal v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) , and in Anuradha Goyal v. The State of Delhi , the Court reiterated that it is within the discretion of the investigating officer as to whether or not to arrest an accused during the course of investigation and that it is not mandatory that the accused should be arrested in all situations.
In Megan Theresa Shinabery v. State , Hardeep Kaur Gill v. State  and Rajesh Singh v. State , the Court reiterated that it is permissible to quash proceedings for offences punishable Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 when it was evident from the record that there was only a single cartridge recovered from the accused person, without an accompanying firearm, and there was no allegation that the same posed any threat to any person at the place of recovery.
In Shaukat @ Aayan v. State of NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that an accused who has been declared as a proclaimed offender is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail.
In Amit Kumar Mishra v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) , the Court reiterated that in the event of failure in issuance of a legal notice raising demand for payment under Section 138(1)(b) of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (‘NI Act’) within 30 days from the date of the return memo, proceedings under Section 138 could not be maintained.
In Pankaj v. State , the Court observed that it would not be proper to place reliance on identification of currency notes allegedly snatched by the accused when neither the serial numbers of the currency notes were mentioned in the complaint nor were the notes shown to have any distinguishing identification mark. While upholding an order of discharge in a case involving allegations of rape, the Court in
Gunjan Sehgal v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) , observed that the complete silence of the complainant as regards the commission of the alleged offense for a very long period of time, even while undergoing prosecution in a connected criminal proceeding initiated by the accused would raise serious doubts as to the veracity of the complaint.
In Mohd. Atiq v. State , the Court reiterated that in a case involving an offense under Section 279 and 304 of the IPC for causing death by negligence through rash driving, the victim or his dependents would be entitled to compensation under the Section 357 A of the CrPC read with the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme, 2018.
In Rachna Malaviya v. State, NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that a revision petition against an order dismissing an application under Section 311 of the CrPC is barred under Section 397 (2) of the CrPC.
In Sudarshan Mishra v. State , while noting that even though the testimony of a child witness has to be evaluated carefully in the background of the possibility of tutoring by the parents or other elder members of the family when the testimony was otherwise cogent, consistent and reliable, then the said testimony could alone be the basis of a conviction.
While reiterating the distinction between rape and consensual sex, the Court in Vikas v. State (NCT) of Delhi , refused to interfere with an order framing charge under Sections 417 and 376 of the IPC when there were categorical allegations by the prosecutrix that forcible physical relations were established with her during the course of her relationship with the accused.
In Bharat Goyal v. State , the Court quashed an FIR against the petitioner when it found that none of the documents pertaining to the alleged fraudulent property transaction which was the subject matter of the complaint were signed by the petitioner nor was any specific role attributed to him and the primary allegation was against his father alone.
In Joseph Fernandis v. State , the Court quashed an FIR pertaining to allegations of kidnapping inasmuch as it found that the statement of the victim made it clear that she had accompanied the petitioner out of her own volition and she was above 16 years of age.
In Maa Tarini Industries Limited v. PEC Limited , the Court observed that inasmuch as the evidence given by the complainant in a proceeding under Section 138 of the NI Act is sufficient proof of the offence and the said evidence is not required to be reiterated and has to be read during the trial, considering the summary nature of the proceedings the complainantor other witnesses can be recalled only upon cogent reasons for doing so being put forth by the accused and not otherwise in a cavalier manner.
In Shailendra Kumar Yadav v. State , the Court observed that anticipatory bail cannot be rejected on the mere ground that non-bailable warrants are issued against the accused if he/she is otherwise able to demonstrate a strong case for grant of bail inasmuch as it is natural for a person who has applied for anticipatory bail to keep away from the investigation till the application is decided.
In Deepak Jonia v. State , while granting bail to an accused in a dowry death case, the Court observed that the allegations regarding demand of money by the relatives of the deceased wife were significantly contradicted by the details of the expenditure incurred by the husband on the marriage and that specific allegations about demands, such as the need to purchase an office, had conclusively been demonstrated to have been paid for by the accused himself.
In Directorate of Enforcement v. Ratul Puri , the Court reiterated that bail once granted can be cancelled only in exceptional circumstances when it is clearly established that the concession of bail is being misused by the accused and the investigation is in danger of being compromised.
In Faeem @ Bona v. The State of NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that a juvenile is entitled to beneficial consideration in relation to the determination of his/her age and the benefit of deduction of some years is to be done from the outer age indicated and not from the lower age.
In Kulwinder Singh v. State , while quashing an FIR under Sections 420 read with 486 of the IPC and Sections 78, 79 of The Trademarks Act, 1999 and Section 63, 64 and 68-A of the Copyright Act, 1957, the Court observed that when there was already a criminal proceeding pending in relation to allegations of illegal use of infringing material in a different state qua the only manufacturing unit of the accused, then a subsequent FIR on the same allegation in Delhi would amount to double jeopardy and could not be permitted.
In Leena Kataria v. State , while upholding a conviction under the NI Act, the Court observed that bare denial of the signatures on the cheque would be of no avail if the accused failed to conclusively demonstrate the said fact including by getting the document examined by a forensic expert.
In Major General SS Dhaka v. CBI , while directing release of a surety given against the money recovered during a raid in with a disproportionate assets case, the Court observed that once it was found that the cash in question belonged to the co-accused/wife who had been acquitted of the offense, then, the general principle of restitution under Section 452 of the CrPC would come into play. The Court further noted that the mere fact that the co-accused/husband stood convicted, would be of no consequence in determining the question of restitution when no role was ascribed to the wife.
In Shiv Shankar Mishra v. State , the Court observed that in the absence of birth certificateand school leaving certificate from the concerned board, it was imperative to conduct a bone ossification test in terms of Section 94(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and the same process is to be followed when doubts are raised about the age of the complainant in proceedings under the POCSO Act.
In Sanjay Mahalwal v. State of NCT of Delhi , one of the factors which weighed with the Court while granting bail to the accused was that even though the POCSO Act provided for a trial to be ideally completed within a period of one year, the accused in the said case had already completed 4 years of incarceration with no possibility of the trial being concluded in the near future.
In Renubala Pradhan v. CBI , the Court reiterated that in order to establish the commission of an offence under Section 420 of the IPC, it is essential to prove existence of mens-rea on the part of the accused.
In Rakesh Kumar v Stellar Information Technology Pvt. Limited , the Court observed that even though criminal and civil proceedings can be initiated simultaneously, however, if the same issues and similar evidence are already being adjudicated upon in a civil suit, then the criminal proceedings should be stayed at least till the witnesses are examined in the civil suit.
In OIS Advanced Technology Pvt. Ltd. v. State of NCT of Delhi , while upholding an order of attachment of property under Sections 82 and 83 of the CrPC against a closely held company on account of criminal proceedings against an accused individual who along with his wife held 100% shares in the company, the Court observed that in cases where it was amply clear from the record that the company in question was a mere shell company and was being clearly utilized for dubious transactions, then it would be a fit case for lifting the corporate veil.
In Abid v. State , the Court held that when the prosecution had failed to establish that the accused had used a knife at the time of committing theft, and in the absence of any grievous injury to the victim, a conviction under Section 397 of the IPC could not be sustained even though the charge under Section 392 of the IPC could be said to have been brought home.
While affirming a conviction under Section 10 of the POCSO Act for aggravated sexual assault on the child victim on the basis of her testimony, the Court in Akhtar Ahmad v. State , however, observed that it was improper for the trial court to have drawn an inference of sexual assault from a completely unrelated sketch drawn by the child victim while waiting for her testimony to be recorded and observed that this was in the realm of conjectures and surmises.
In Apparel Export Promotion Council v. Collage Culture & Ors. , the Court held that a failure to refile a complaint under Section 138 of the NI Act, after having been returned by the trial court, in terms of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Dashrath Rupsingh Rathod v. State of Maharashtra,  would be fatal and the subsequent enactment of the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Act, 2015, would not come to the aid of the party.
In Central Bureau of Investigation v. Vasant S. Bhat , the Court held that proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 could not be sustained when the act complained of was a violation of a contractual obligation, and the factum of which violation was debatable and there was no clear contractual stipulation in this regard.
In Deepak Hooda v. The Excise Commissioner , while reiterating that confiscation proceedings are in the nature of civil proceedings with the standard of proof being ‘preponderance of probabilities’, the Court held that the proceedings for confiscation under Section 59 of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009 are completely independent of the related prosecution for commission of an offence under Section 33 of the Excise Act.
In Innocent Uzoma v. State , the Court observed that the mandate of Section 50 of the NDPS Act could not be said to be violated in a case where a person was not searched before a gazetted officer/magistrate inasmuch as he/she had declined such an offer despite being specifically apprised of the right to be so searched.
In Javed Ahmad Khan v. State , while reiterating that a request by a prisoner for transfer to a prison in his/her home state is to be considered in a sympathetic manner, however, the same would always be subject to security concerns particularly when the prisoner had been convicted of an act of terrorism.
While reiterating that constructive possession of contraband was sufficient to bring home a charge under Section 20 of the NDPS Act and that actual possession need not be established, the Court in Mohd. Ali v. State , held that mere knowledge without accompanying dominion or control is insufficient to establish constructive possession and aside from mere intention to take possession, it must be demonstrated that the accused had access or right over the substance to the exclusion of others, and mere knowledge and intention without the ability to exercise control could not equate to constructive possession. The Court also observed that inasmuch as the punishment for possessing contraband is quite severe, the standard of proof to establish commission must be equally stringent.
In Naresh @ Pappu Pager v. State , the Court reiterated that if the usage of a deadly weapon in the commission of a robbery was established, then its mere non-recovery would not vitiate a conviction under Section 397 of the IPC.
In Rais @ Lala v. The State (NCT of Delhi) , the Court held that even in the absence of a complete penetrative assault, a conviction under Section 6 of the POCSO Act was sustainable inasmuch as Section 3(a) of the POCSO Act contemplates penetration to any extent as constituting ‘penetrative sexual assault’.
In State (NCT of Delhi) v Farooq , the Court observed that non-compliance with the mandate of Section 50 of the NDPS Act would not impact a case premised on a chance recovery.
In State v Salman , the Court observed that the inconsistent testimony of the prosecutrix coupled with a complete absence of any mention of the specific dates when the alleged incidence of forcible sexual intercourse took place would entitle the accused to the benefit of doubt in relation to the offence of rape under Section 376 of the IPC.
In State of NCT of Delhi v. Palgiri Siddique , the Court reiterated that in order to comply with the requirement of Section 50 of the NDPS Act, every effort must be made to ensure that the suspect be searched in the presence of a magistrate.
In State (NCT of Delhi) v Rinku @ Satish , the Court referred to certain letters and SMS’s sent by the prosecutrix to the accused which established the existence of a consensual relationship while upholding an order of acquittal of an offence under Section 376 of the IPC.
In Kunwar Pal v. State , the Court acquitted the husband of the offences under Sections 498A & 306 of the IPC inter-alia for the reason that the allegations in the suicide note of the deceased wife were completely unsupported by any corroborative evidence.
Disability Law and Mental Health
In Kirori Mal College v. Dr. Kusum Lata , the Court while upholding an order that had directed the appointment of a physically handicapped category candidate, observed that the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (‘PWD Act’) in both letter and spirit was mandatory and that mere technical objections regarding the candidature of the person in question would be of no avail.
In Dileep Kumar Shukla v. Union of India , the Court reiterated that in the absence of any exemption from implementation of the mandate for providing reservation for disabled persons under Section 33 of the PWD Act, the implementation thereof could be held hostage
In Mo Kareem v. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University , the Court held that it was impermissible to seek to make a differentiation between students who had completed their education from a traditional institute or college and those who had graduated from open distant-learning institutions, and held that the same was not based on any intelligible differentia and that it unreasonably excluded otherwise deserving candidates from access to higher education.
In Shaswitha v. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University , the Court held that when the candidate in question had inadvertently applied for admission under the ‘outside Delhi region’ category instead of the ‘under Delhi region’ category to which he was otherwise entitled, then this was an inadvertent error which should be permitted to be corrected, particularly when the university officials had also contributed to the perpetuation of the error.
In Maharishi Dayanand Educational Society v. National Council for Teacher Education , the Court observed that inasmuch as withdrawal of recognition would entail graveconsequences for educational institutions as also its students, an affiliating body is undoubtedly required to accord an opportunity of hearing before taking any such drastic action.
In Amrit Kunwar Mahavidyalaya v. National Council for Teacher Education , the Court observed that when there was an inability to make payment of the requisite fee to an affiliating body for the purpose of affiliation on account of a technical glitch in the payment system, then the institute in question could not be faulted for the same and it was entitled to an extension thereof.
In Deepak Mishra v. The Principal De Indian School , the Court observed that a school which had declared a certain number of seats as open for admission, including a specified number of seats in the economically weaker sections (‘EWS’) category, then the concerned school could not subsequently seek to unilaterally reduce the number of seats offered without the permission of the Department of Education to a long-drawn process for identification of suitable posts for such appointment.
In Nand Kishore Garg v. Jitender Singh Tomar , the Court observed that the statutory requirement to disclose the highest educational qualification and vocation in the nomination form is to be complied with strictly, and the subsequent discovery of the educational qualification so claimed being false and fabricated would necessarily result in the election of the candidate concerned being set aside. The Court further observed that the fact of the said educational qualification not being called into issue or cancelled by the educational institution that issued it would be of no avail if the invalidity of the qualification is otherwise established during the course of trial.
In Kiran Pal Singh Tyagi v. State of NCT of Delhi , the Court reiterated that it was impermissible for a disgruntled candidate to invoke writ jurisdiction to challenge the electoral process once it had been set into motion, and the only permissible course of action for the said person was to file an election petition under the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, after the declaration of the result of the election.
In Youth Hostel Association of India v. Youth Hostel Association Of India, Haryana State Branch , the Court observed that it was incompetent upon an association to ensure that elections are held within the term of the elected body so that the newly elected body can take charge immediately upon expiry of the said term, and also obviate the possibility of office bearers illegally perpetrating control over the office.
In Anju Singh v. Saket Bar Association , the Court rejected an argument that certain persons who were on the verge of achieving the minimum registration-period criteria should be excluded from being registered to vote in a Bar-Association election, and over-ruled the proferred the ground that scrutiny of their declaration forms and subscription dues would be a time-consuming exercise.
In K. K. Balli v. Meharghoob Hussain , the Court held that inasmuch as there was a specific provision under Section 109 of the Evidence Act relating to burden of proof in the case involving a tenancy, the same would have precedence over the general provision for burden of proof contained in Section 101 of the Evidence Act. The Court further observed that as far as the aspect of sub-tenancy is concerned, once the tenant admitted that he was a tenant and later ceased to be so the burden of proof was upon the tenant to prove the fact of surrender of tenancy.
In Ameeka Gupta v. Manish Gupta , the Court opined that in terms of the provisions of the Evidence Act, the aspect as to whether the judgment of a foreign court is unenforceable on account of it being a default judgment and purportedly not on the merits, is an aspect which is required to be specifically pleaded and thereafter proved by the party resisting enforcement. The Court further observed that it is only upon such a pleading being present that the presumption under Section 114 of the Evidence Act could be sought to be pressed into service.
In Munni Devi v. Mahi Pal Singh, , the Court reiterated that a power of attorney-holder could not seek to depose in relation to matters of which the principal alone could have personal knowledge, and it was imperative for the principal to depose in relation to such matters.
Insurance and Motor Vehicles Act
In Delhi Jal Board v. Sanjay Chauhan, , the Court reiterated that the scope of an enquiry by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (‘MACT’) is limited to establishing ‘preponderance of probabilities’ and the higher standard of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ as required in criminal proceedings would not be applicable.
In Shiv Charan v. Raj Kumar , the Court held that an insured who was rendered a paraplegic as a result of the accident would be entitled to be granted an additional 50% towards loss of future prospects.
In Raj Rani Arora v. Vasu , the Court reiterated that the mere fact that the insured vehicle was carrying more passengers than the permitted capacity would not amount to such a fundamental breach of the insurance policy so as to permit the insurer to repudiate the insurance claim as a whole. The Court noted that the insurer would continue to be liable to the extent of the permitted number of passengers.
In Nazira v. Safiq , the Court reiterated that the MACT in proceedings under the MV Act is required to perform a certain inquisitorial role as well, as opposed to usual civil or criminal proceedings which are purely conducted in the form of an adversarial trial.
In United India Insurance Company Limited v. Reshma , the Court held that an allegation that the deceased motorist was under the influence of alcohol could not be proved through mere hearsay, and cogent evidence including specifically testing the degree of alcohol in the deceased’s blood was necessary.
In Sanjeev Goswami v. Kannappa , the Court observed that if after a perusal of the relevant financial records, it was duly established that the amounts earned by the deceased were from legitimate sources and were duly accounted for, then there was no reason to disregard the corresponding income-tax returns filed by the deceased.
In Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited v. Archit Sadh , the Court reiterated its consistent directions regarding the provision of a motorised wheel-chair with a lifetime warranty to the injured insured in the case of debilitating injury, as also mandating its periodic maintenance and upkeep by the insurance company.
In Tarun Chauhan v. Lovekush , the Court held that a mechanical inspection report of the offending vehicle which was conducted many months after the date of the accident would be of no evidentiary value.
In Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited v. Vijay Kumar @ Vijay Bahadur , the Court held that for determining whether the vehicle in question could be considered as a Light Motor Vehicle (‘LMV’)under Section 2 (21) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (‘MV Act’), it was necessary to consider the un-laden weight of the vehicle alone.
In Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited. v. Pawan Kumar Sinha , the Court held that the granting of the license by a concerned authority to drive a LMV would implicitly indicate that the driver concerned had the requisite skills to drive a vehicle not exceeding the unladen weight of 7500 kilograms.
While elaborating upon the concept of contributory negligence, the Court in United India Insurance Company Limited. v. Asharfi Devi , held that a mere traffic violation, which in this case was that the deceased was a learner’s-license holder and was riding a motorcycle with a pillion, could not be ipso-facto equated to contributory negligence and it was required to be further demonstrated that there was a live-link between the traffic violation and the accident in question and that the former had contributed to the latter.
In IFFCO TOKIO General Insurance Company Limited v. Jitender Pal Singh , the Court, however, noted that in the case of certain egregious traffic violations, such as the vehicle being driven on thewrong side of the road, the said offending act would by itself establish contributory negligence on the part of the deceased.
In Oriental Insurance Company Limited v. Som Dutt Shama , the Court rejected a submission that when the mother of the deceased died during the pendency of the claim petition, then no compensation could be granted on her behalf inasmuch as it was observed that the right of the deceased mother crystallised on the date of death of her son and her successors would be entitled to the compensation granted to her in the claim petition.
In V. K. Kapoor v. Oriental Insurance Company Limited , the Court observed that even in a proceeding before the MACT under the MV Act, there is a requirement to make effective service on the parties in strict compliance of the requirements of Order V Rule 15 of theCPC.
In Shabina @ Shamina v. Satvir , the Court noted that when the documents available on record, including a copy of the FIR and the associated police documents, would categorically reveal the negligence of the driver of the offending vehicle, then no further evidence would be required to prove negligence and the ‘preponderance of probabilities’ test could be said to have been met.
Dr. Amit George is an Advocate practicing before the High Court of Delhi. The author would like to place on record his appreciation for the assistance provided by Mr. Rishabh Dheer, Mr. Amol Acharya, Mr. Bharat Rayadurgam and Mr. Piyo Harold Jaimon, Advocates.
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 Judgment dated 20.01.2020 in CRL. L.P. 63/2020 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.01.2020 in CRL. A. 896/2004 (DB).
 Judgment dated 31.01.2020 in CRL. A. No. 31/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 31.01.2020 in CRL. A. NO. 702/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 31.01.2020 in CRL. A. No. 15/2011 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.01.2020 in W.P. (CRL.) 2317/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 30.01.2020 in CRL. A. 1038 / 2015 (DB).
 Judgment dated 24.01.2020 in CRL. A. 1065/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 22.01.2020 in CRL. L. P. 76/2020 (DB).
 Judgment dated 16.01.2020 in CRL. L. P. 48/2020 (DB).
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 Judgment dated 23.01.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 850/2019.
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 Judgment dated 29.01.2020 in W.P. (CRL.) 2426/2019.
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 Judgment dated 17.01.2020 in CRL. M. C. 851/2019.
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 Judgment dated 31.01.2020 in CRL. M. C. 426/2020.
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 Judgment dated 29.01.2020 in CRL. M. C. 2251/2017.
 Judgment dated 20.01.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 422/2019.
 Judgment dated 13.01.2020 in CRL. REV. P. 536/2017.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. A. 582/2016.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. A. 670/2017.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. L.P. 223/2016.
 (2014) 9 SCC 129.
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 Judgment dated 09.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 4760/2014.
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 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. A. 746/2017.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. A. 405/2018.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in CRL. A. 282/2016.
 Judgment dated 08.01.2020 in CRL. L.P. 660/2019.
 Judgment dated 23.01.2020 in CRL. L.P. 253/2017.
[130 Judgment dated 23.01.2020 in CRL. A. 30/2020.
 Judgment dated 23.01.2020 in CRL. A. 52/2020.
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 Judgment dated 20.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 1904/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 30.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 10522/2019.
 Judgment dated 14.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 12109/2019.
 Judgment dated 17.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 13257/2019.
 Judgment dated 22.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 10930/2019.
 Judgment dated 28.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 9528/2019.
 Judgment dated 17.01.2020 in EL. PET.2/2015.
 Judgment dated 15.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 1032/2020
 Judgment dated 08.01.2020 in CM (M) 837/2018.
 Judgment dated 15.01.2020 in W.P. (C) 12429/2019
 Judgment dated 15.01.2020 in C.M. (M) 1047/2017.
 Judgment dated 21.01.2020 in EX.P. 102/2018.
 Judgment dated 10.01.2020 in R.S.A. 2/2020.
 Judgment dated 06.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 1/2020.
 Judgment dated 17.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 728/2019.
 Judgment dated 07.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 946/2019.
 Judgment dated 27.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 964/2017.
 Judgment dated 08.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 812/2019.
 Judgment dated 15.01.2020 in MAC. APP. 54/2016.
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