- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
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.
Read Part 1 of November, 2019 here.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
In Anurag Sanghi v. State, the Court held that the offence of infringement of copyright as provided under Section 63 of Copyright Act, 1957 is a non-cognizable and bailable offence.
In Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v. Five Desi, the Court held that a website could be classified as rogue when it was clear that its primary purpose was to provide unauthorized and infringing content to the public, the details of the owners were masked/untraceable, it was non-responsive to legal notices and contained directories or indexes to facilitate infringement of copyright. The Court noted that not only are such websites liable to be blocked, yet further the aggrieved party would also be entitled to a dynamic injunction permitting the subsequent impleadment of mirror/redirect/alphanumeric websites which provided access to the injuncted rogue website.
In Arun Chopra v. Kaka-ka Dhaba Pvt. Ltd., while considering an application for stay of proceedings under Section 124 of the Trademarks Act, 1999 (‘Trademarks Act’), the Court held that there was no illegality in the filing of a rectification application before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (‘IPAB’) by a party before the said party approached the Court seeking stay of suit proceedings under Section 124 and observed that the jurisdiction of the IPAB to entertain the application would always be subject to the decision by the Court in the application for stay.
In Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation v. Sanjeev Gupta, the Court rejected an argument that the right given to a patentee under Section 48 of the Patents Act, 1970 would not cover manufacture undertaken solely for the purposes of export and held that the protection provided under the said provision could not be whittled down to cover only domestic manufacture and sale.
In Mehra Cosmetics v. Ram Kumar Gulati., the Court observed that the registration of a design does not amount to even prima-facie proof of the validity or novel nature of the design. The Court further observed that in matters involving adjudication of pleas of similarity/deceptive similarity, recording of evidence usually does not serve any purpose.
In Vivek Kochher. v. KYK Corporation Ltd., the Court reiterated that the findings by the IPAB in the trademark rectification proceedings filed before it would bind the parties inasmuch as it is a specialized forum to decide the said issues, and any subsequent civil suit initiated by a party in relation to the same question would be liable to be disposed of in conformity with the findings of the IPAB on the issue.
In M/s Laxmi Agro Impex India v. M/s Ladli India Commodities, the Court reiterated that where the get-up and essential features of two trademarks are materially different, then it could not be said that there was any infringement inasmuch as a purchaser of average intelligence and imperfect recollection would also not be confused between the two label marks. However, in appeal against the aforesaid decision, the Division Bench of the Court In Laxmi Agro Impex India v. Ladli India Commodities, prima-facie observed that in a suit for infringement and passing off, when a party had been held entitled to an injunction at the initial stage itself, the same would not be varied upon the defendant proposing to change the manner of it presentation of the mark during the pendency of the suit. Such a comparison between the Plaintiff’s trademark and the modified trademark would be inapposite inasmuch as the original marks in contest in the suit alone are relevant for the purpose of comparison.
In Siddhant Choudhary v. Toasha Agencies, the Court observed that the admitted fact that the defendant had a registered trademark in its name coupled with the fact that the plaintiff had preferred an application for rectification of the same under the provisions of the Trademarks Act would, in normal circumstances, demonstrate a prima-facie entitlement in favor of the defendant.
LABOUR AND SERVICE LAW
In Anju Bala v. GAIL(India) Ltd., the Court reiterated that an order from removal of service could not be passed by an authority which was subordinate to the appointing authority, and subsequent authorization in this regard would not validate the order so passed.
In Delhi International Airport Ltd. v. Archana Sharma, the Court reiterated that it was mandatory for the Labor Court to record reasons for the grant of interim relief to a workman who had sought the same in pending proceedings seeking ex-post-facto approval of dismissal under Section 33(2)(b) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (‘ID Act’).
In Rich Pal Singh v. Asstt. General Manager, Syndicate Bank, the Court reiterated that an employee who through his actions/omissions had lost the confidence of the employer, could not seek reinstatement.
In Dharam Singh v. Delhi Transport Corporation, the Court reiterated that while hearing a challenge to the findings of the enquiry officer which were further upheld by the Labour Court, the Court in writ jurisdiction is not supposed to sit in appeal against the said findings and would interfere only when manifest perversity was demonstrated.
In B.N. Singh v. Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., the Court held that the entitlement of a workman towards last drawn wages under Section 17B of the ID Act commenced on the date of filing of the challenge proceedings before the High Court by the Respondent against the industrial award in his favour, and the date of filing of the affidavit by the workman stating that he/she was not in employment during the relevant period was only a pre-condition for availing of the benefit and not the starting date thereof.
In Sukhdev Jain v. Modern School, the Court reiterated that it is not incumbent upon a disciplinary authority to record details of its own when it agrees with the findings arrived at by the enquiry officer.
In Joginder v. GNCTD, while deprecating the conduct of officers who had purchased tickets from unauthorized agents and availed of the Leave Travel Concession against the same, the Court held that it would be in the interests of justice if the said persons were made to reimburse the difference of the airfare charged by authorized agents and the airfare availed of by them from the unauthorized agents.
In GNCTD v. J.M. Sharma, the Court observed that when the order of punishment passed by the disciplinary authority did not specify the period for which the penalty of reduction of pay would be applicable, then it was within the discretion of the Central Administrative Tribunal (‘CAT’) to restrict the operation of the penalty to a relevant period considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
In Amardeep v. GNCTD, the Court refused to permit a candidate to submit deficient documents which would have entitled him to consideration under the OBC category once his application form had already been processed under the General category that he had applied for, and he had failed to make it to the shortlist in the said category.
In Pawan Singh v. Delhi Police, the Court observed that while there can be no quarrel with the proposition that a person desirous of joining the police force must have impeccable credentials, however, the mandate of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, which proscribes any disqualification on account of a conviction under the said Act, is also required to be kept in mind.
In Rajender Prasad v. Chief Secretary, GNCTD, the Court held that guidelines providing for re-employment have to be read in a meaningful manner and the criteria provided in the same cannot be read narrowly or treated as being exhaustive.
In Tulsi Ram v. Union of India, the Court deprecated the listing of a matter before the CAT before the actual fixed date of hearing and the subsequent dismissal of the matter on account of non-appearance. The Court further disapproved of the fact that despite this omission having been brought to the attention of the CAT through a review petition, no hearing was given to the aggrieved party and the order of dismissal was maintained.
In Employees Provident Fund Organization v. Raj Kumar, the Court expressed astonishment at and disapproved of the appointment of a person on an ad-hoc basis in a direct recruitment post which was to be filled through lateral entry.
In Parkash Chandra v. Union of India, the Court held that a delay in payment of the arrears of an employee, which had been withheld pending his prosecution in certain criminal proceedings, for several months after the date of his acquittal, would render the same liable to earn interest.
In Bhavesh Motiani v. Union of India, the Court interfered with a decision by the Chairman of the CAT to transfer a pending case from the Allahabad Bench to the Principal Bench inasmuch as it found that not only were the factors which weighed with the Chairman unmeritorious, yet further the decision of transfer would have led to a delay in the disposal of the matter.
In Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited v. Vipin Kumar, the Court held that it is not open to the Court to direct the promotion of an employee if it found an illegality in the process followed or materials considered by a selection committee and a direction could only be given to re-consider the employee for promotion based on correct parameters.
In Director, Directorate of Income Tax v. Ramesh Dang, the Court held that once the job profiles of two distinct posts were not comparable, then merely because there was pay parity between the two for a short duration of time would not result in an entitlement for an automatic increase in the pay of persons holding one of the posts when the pay for the other post stood increased.
In Jaspal Singh v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that when representations were pending against certain entries, then such entries should not be acted upon for denying promotion. The Court also reiterated that an un-communicated average grading should also not form the basis for denial of promotion.
In Union Public Service Commission v. Rasika Chaube, the Court held that even though the Court would not sit in appeal over a grading given by a selection committee on the overall assessment of the annual confidential reports for the purpose of promotion, however, when the very basis of the consideration by the selection committee had been declared to be non-est by the CAT and the High Court in a prior litigation, then a reiteration of the criteria by the selection committee would render the decision susceptible to interference.
In Union of India v. Satish Kumar Kalothra, the Court held that when a Central Government employee had been detained in custody for a period exceeding 48 hours, then in terms of Rule 10(2)(a) of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, he/she will be deemed to have been placed under suspension and a formal order in this regard would not require to be issued. The Court further held that the mere fact that such an order was issued by an authority not authorized to do so would not make any difference to the fact of deemed suspension.
In GNCTD v. L.K. Bahl, the Court agreed with the view that revised guidelines could not seek to retrospectively apply and take away vested rights of employees who joined a particular service in terms of the existing rules.
In Poonam Sudan v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that when employees who had served for a long time on an ad-hoc basis were not appointed against sanctioned posts, then the prohibition contained in the judgment of the Supreme Court in Secretary, the State of Karnataka v. Uma Devi (2006) 4 SCC 1 would squarely apply and regularization of their services could not be directed.
In Vinod v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that the circular issued by the Railway Board carries statutory force of a rule and, therefore, a circular which permits regularization and absorption would vest concrete legal rights in employees claiming under the same.
In Om Prakash v. Union of India, the Court held that a judicial order declining regularization but allowing the plea for absorption would not preclude a subsequent claim by the absorbed employees for grant of benefits.
In Union of India v. Maqbool Ahmed Qureshi, the Court held that in matters involving administrative convenience, particularly the issue of revival of a post that had been lying vacant for a long period of time and had been deemed to be abolished, the Court would be slow to interfere with the decision of the competent authority in this regard.
In Virender Singh Chankot v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that a discriminatory treatment meted out to an employee charged with certain lapses as compared to a similarly situated officer who had also been similarly charge-sheeted for the same event would be arbitrary and unreasonable.
In Sanjay Doval v. Union of India, the Court directed expunction of adverse remarks against an employee for the reason that the accepting authority had not furnished any rationale for disagreeing with the reviewing officer and agreeing with the reporting officer.
In GNCTD v. Chander Mukh Gauba, the Court held that it is not possible for the Court to determine and specify the essential qualification for a post and, at best, an examination could be carried out if any prescribed requirement was palpably unreasonable or arbitrary so as to justify interference.
In Union of India v. Sonwati Sharma, the mere fact that medical examination and police verification of the prospective candidates was carried out to complete the Board of Officers proceedings would not give candidates a vested right of appointment and the right of evaluation would survive.
In Directorate of Education v. Manisha Sharma, the Court observed that once a resignation stood accepted, then Rule 26(4) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 providing for withdrawal of resignation in certain situations would have no application. In this regard, the Court disagreed with and proceeded to overrule a judgment to the contrary of a Single Judge of the Court in Nirmal Verma v. MCD
In Union of India v. Devender Kumar Goel, while reiterating that charge-sheeting an employee after a long delay would result in the process itself turning into a punishment, the Court specifically observed that when the charges involved allegations of infraction of a purported un-codified ‘practice’ being followed in a department, then it was incumbent to demonstrate that the employee concerned was aware of the said practice and despite being so aware did not adhere to the same.
In Shambhu Sharma v. High Court of Delhi, while reiterating that disparate grant of allowances or special pay to similarly situated employees is impermissible, the Court noted that a distinction sought to be drawn, between employees who were directly assisting Judges inside the courtroom as compared to employees who were working in the Registry or outside the Court hall, in the manner of payment of clothing & washing allowance within the same category was artificial and unsustainable inasmuch as all employees who were prescribed uniforms were required to be well-attired irrespective of their rank or status.
In Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board v. S.N. Sharma, the Court held that it was unjust to uphold a penalty of removal from service when the said order was served on the employee concerned after a gross and unexplained delay of 17 years and during which period the order was lying prepared but un-served in the record of the department.
In Prowiz Mansystems Pvt. Ltd. v. Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner, the Court held that an employer could not be heard to say that there was a bona-fide error on its part in depositing the Provident Fund (‘PF’), and thus there was consequent lack of mens-rea inasmuch as it found that the employer had, in fact, made deductions from the incentives payable to its employees. The Court further noted that the PF Commissioner was under no obligation, statutorily or otherwise, to issue monthly reminders to the defaulting employer as regards the default in deposit of the PF.
In Manoj Kumar Jain v. GNCTD, the Court noted that material documents which had not been placed before the competent authority under the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act, 1954 in proceedings for recovery of unpaid wages could not be sought to be brought on record for the first time before the High Court in writ proceedings.
In Rampal v. I.B.P. Co. Ltd., the Court deprecated the approach followed by the Labor Court in passing an award rejecting the workman’s claim without adverting to or appreciating the material aspects which were revealed during the cross-examination of the witnesses produced by the employee.
In Ashok Hotel (Unit of ITDC) through its General Manager v. Shri Aditya Prasad Nayak through Ashok Hotel Employees Union, the Court reiterated that in terms of the proviso to Section 20(2) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, discretion lay with the competent authority to entertain a claim beyond the six-month period stipulated under the foregoing section, though this could only be done on an application being made by the workman in this regard and not suo-motu.
In Central Board of Trustees EPFO through APFC Delhi (South) v. Kendriya Bhandar, the Court after considering Section 7(O) of the Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 held that once the said provision vested discretion with the Employees’ Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal to grant a complete or partial waiver of the requirement of making a pre-deposit upon a strong prima-facie case being made out, the Tribunal was not necessitated to set out its reasons for grant of waiver in a detailed and exhaustive fashion.
In The Management of M/s Birla TE v. Chunni Lal, the Court reiterated that the rejection of an approval application under Section 33(2)(b) of the ID Act filed by the employer would axiomatically result in termination / dismissal being rendered non-est, and the workman would in such a situation not even be required to raise a formal claim.
In Management of Birla Textiles v. Ram Swaroop, the Court reduced the grant of 100% back wages to an illegally terminated workman to a lesser figure of 50% inasmuch as it was found that in other matters arising out of the same incident, similarly situated workmen had only been awarded 50% back wages.
In Rakesh Mishra v. M/s Hukson Trading Corporation, the Court observed that the mere acceptance by a workman of a meagre amount in lieu of resignation would not be an indicator of a forced removal from service if it was otherwise evident from the record that the workman had being desirous of joining another organization at the contemporaneous time and had also in fact done so subsequent to his leaving service.
In Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) v. Joint Labour Commissioner, the Court held that where an award was otherwise unambiguous as to the entitlement of the workman and only a limited exercise of arithmetical calculation of verification was required for arriving at the exact amounts due to the workman, then summary proceedings under Section 33C(1) of ID Act could be invoked by the workman and it was not necessary to file an application for quantification under Section 33C(2) of the ID Act.
In Krishna Dev v. Central Bank of India, the Court noted that when the finding of the Labor Court upholding the disciplinary action taken against the workman was premised purely on the pendency of criminal proceedings, then a subsequent honorable discharge in the criminal proceedings of the workman concerned would be a justifiable ground for quashing the award of the Labor Court.
In National Bal Bhawan v. Vandana, the Court held that the Gratuity Act, 1972 (‘Gratuity Act’) does not discriminate between different categories of employees i.e., regular, ad hoc, part-time etc. and is only concerned with an assessment of eligibility premised upon the basis of wages / emoluments being within the ceiling limits as prescribed under the Gratuity Act.
In Airports Authority of India v. A.S. Yadav, the Court reiterated that once the workmen had admitted before the Labor Court in their pleadings and oral evidence that they were employed by a contractor directly and that their services were terminated by the said contactor directly, without even a whisper that the contract between the contractor and the main employer was a sham or a camouflage, it could not be subsequently pleaded by the said workmen that the said contract should be disregarded as a sham and that they were direct employees of the purported main employer.
In North Delhi Municipal Corporation v. Prema Rai, the Court held that a former employee of the Slum and JJ Wing of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (‘MCD’) which had subsequently been re-designated as the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, could only maintain reliefs against the latter and could not claim an entitlement against the post-bifurcation North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
In Manju Sipayya v. Directorate of Education, the Court noted that in the absence of a mandatory direction having been issued under Section 10 of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 to private unaided schools to implement the modified assured career progression scheme, the general rule that maximum autonomy should be granted in the administration of private unaided institutions would prevail, and the said schools would have sufficient leeway in such matters.
In Union of India v. R.C. Rangray, the Court held that when the rules themselves permitted certain relaxations to be given to eligible candidates in matters of promotion, then such a relaxation was actionable on the part of the candidate concerned.
In Anand Sarup v. Union of India, the Court reiterated that the transfer of a government employee holding a particular post to an equivalent post in another government department cannot result in the obliteration of the service rendered by the said employee in the original post while calculating the eligibility for promotion.
In Paramjeet Singh Suri v. Union of India, the Court held that the market value of the land as prevailing on the date of publication of notification under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (‘1894 Act’) is relevant for determining the quantum of the compensation to be paid to the land owners, and a subsequent circular having a bearing on the rate of market value could not, therefore, be taken into account.
In Ram Dhruv v. Land Acquisition Collector/ADM, the Court held that persons who had purchased the land sought to be acquired post issuance of a notification under Section 4 of the 1894 Act would not acquire a proper title and would have no right to challenge the acquisition proceedings under Section 24(2) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (‘2013 Act’). The Court further held that occupants of unauthorized colonies in Delhi cannot be permitted to invoke Section 24(2) of the 2013 Act.
In Tata Communications Ltd. v. Union of India, the Court rejected an argument that land acquisition proceedings initiated under the 1894 Act immediately prior to the introduction of the 2013 Act would be vitiated by legal malice inasmuch as it noted that if such an argument were to be accepted, then any action taken under a prior enactment some time before the replacement thereof by a new law would stand immediately vitiated and such an interpretation would also be contrary to Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897. The Court further held that a failure to comply with Section 17(3A) of the 1894 Act would not vitiate the acquisition proceedings but only entitle the land owner to interest in accordance with Section 34 of the 1894 Act. The Court finally concluded that having elected to make a reference against the alleged inadequacy of the award under Section 18 of the 1894 Act, a subsequent challenge to the award could not be sought to be made directly under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
In Kawaljeet Singh v. Union of India, the Court noted with concern the huge delay being occasioned in certain cases for forwarding references under the 1894 Act from the concerned land acquisition collector to the concerned designated court inasmuch as it noted that such a delay would obviously result in accumulation of a huge rate of interest to be paid to the affected land owners.
In RITES Limited v. Anupam Kudesia, while examining the purport of the limitation period provided for under Section 21 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, the Court set aside an order of the CAT condoning a huge period of delay on the ground that there was absolutely no reasoning recorded therein for expressing satisfaction with the explanation offered for the cause of the long delay in approaching the CAT.
In Chandro Devi v. M/s. Manav Bharati India International School, while construing the proviso to Section 21(1) of the Limitation Act 1963 (‘Limitation Act’), the Court observed that an inadvertent mistake in not impleading the society running the school as a co-plaintiff along with the school was an error which could be permitted to be rectified within the protective umbrella of limitation under the aforesaid provision.
In Anil Vashisth v. Awaaz India Media P. Ltd., the Court reiterated that in terms of Sections 18 & 19 of the Limitation Act, 1963, an acknowledgement of debt or part payment after the expiry of period of limitation would not have the effect of further extending the period of limitation.
In SMC Comrade Ltd. v. M/s Narnoli Buillion, while construing the scope of benefit available under Section 17 of the Limitation Act, the Court observed that it was obligatory on the part of the person claiming such benefit to demonstrate that the fraud or mistake as alleged was material in nature and had an ascertainable impact on the legal entitlement in question.
In Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd. v. Rakshak Kapoor, the Court reiterated that when there were independent orders placed by one party upon the other creating independent liabilities upon both, and these individual transactions were maintained in the form of a running account which was reconciled every quarter for the purpose of ascertaining the payable amount, then the account would fall within the meaning of a mutual account as defined under Article 1 of the schedule to the Limitation Act. The Court further noted that a unilateral entry in an account would not be sufficient to extent the period of limitation.
MATRIMONIAL DISPUTES, CUSTODY AND MAINTENANCE
In A K v. S S K, while setting aside an order of the Family Court granting an alternate relief of judicial separation while declining the main relief of dissolution of marriage on the ground of cruelty, the Court held that once the Family Court had disbelieved the allegations of cruelty leveled by the husband, it had fallen into error in granting judicial separation by taking recourse to Section 13A of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (‘HMA’). The Court noted that the Family Court had failed to notice that granting of judicial separation has far-reaching consequences and the husband could not be allowed to achieve indirectly what he could not achieve directly.
In Ram Avtar Bairwa v. Sunita Devi @ Santra, and Rita Vashishtha v. Anil Kumar Vashishtha, the Court held that making of unsubstantiated complaints containing scandalous and defamatory allegations would clearly amount to cruelty. It was further held that irretrievable breakdown of marriage cannot be the sole ground for granting a decree of divorce under the HMA. However, the said factor when blended with an element of proved cruelty would undoubtedly make out a case for dissolution of marriage.
In Rajni v. Vijay, the Court upheld a decree for dissolution of marriage under the HMA inasmuch as it found that the wife had left the matrimonial home without justifiable reasons and had not returned back despite the husband or his family members not having actively tried to prevent her from coming back, and thus a case of desertion was made out.
In Ranjeet Kaur v. Saranjeet, the Court noted that in terms of Section 20 of the HMA, a Court is empowered to treat unfounded allegations in the pleadings as evidence, and if the allegations are proved to be scandalous and defamatory in nature then grave mental cruelty could be said to be established.
In Harjyot Singh v. Manpreet Kaur, the Court held that a suit filed by a husband seeking to injunct his estranged wife from defaming him and harassing him at his place of work would be maintainable before a Civil Court and the bar under Section 7 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 (‘FCA’) would not be attracted to such proceedings and the mere fact that the parties were married would also not be determinative of jurisdiction in this context.
In Manuel Fredrick Baumann v. State, the Court directed that a copy of the report of the child counselor be handed over to the father of the child while noting that in child custody cases a departure can be made from the strict rules of confidentiality that otherwise apply to processes such as mediation and conciliation, and since a review of the counselor’s report would better equip the Court in discharging its role in its capacity as parens-patriae.
In Lavlesh Shukla v. Rukmini, while reiterating the power to award maintenance to the estranged wife from the date of the application, the Court noted that such maintenance was a matter of right and was not a favor being bestowed on the wife nor a charity expended by the husband.
In Rajni Gupta v. Vikas Gupta, the Court held that an order refusing permission to file additional documents or summon additional witnesses passed by a Family Court in proceedings under the HMA would be an interlocutory order and therefore not amenable to appeal under Section 19 of the FCA.
In Vinay Verma v. Kanika Pasricha, the Court while exhaustively considering the interplay between the objectives and provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 & Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 observed that inasmuch as both are special statutes, a delicate balance has to be struck between them. The Court laid down certain broad guidelines in this regard and inter-alia observed that the Court would be required to, at the very outset, ascertain the nature of the relationship between the parents and the son, and as to whether they were colluding with each other.
MEDIA LAW, CENSORSHIP AND DEFAMATION
In Sunil Sachdeva v. Owner of Domain Name www.cjr7.com, the Court exhaustively dealt with the implications of anonymous defamatory statements posted online and held that not only would the same run afoul of Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) as also the victim’s fundamental right to reputation under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (‘Constitution’), yet further, the right to privacy of the victim would also stand breached.
In Subodh Gupta v. Herdsceneand, the Court prima-facie observed that it was not permissible for a litigant to contest a litigation in anonymity and without revealing his/her identity to the other party to the litigation even in a case where the party seeking the said anonymity is allegedly a victim of sexual harassment.
In First Construction Council v. Kamdhenu Ltd., the Court noted that the scope of commercial disparagement would also include so-called ‘test reports’ which are generated at the behest of competitors and an interim injunction would be justified till the independence of the entity carrying out the test is duly established.
PERSONAL LAW AND SUCCESSION
In Naseema v. Munavvar Ali, the Court reiterated that in a suit for partition each party enjoys the same status and it is immaterial whether a party is impleaded as a plaintiff or as a defendant.
In Mona Nanda v. State of NCT of Delhi, the Court while rejecting a prayer for probate moved by the wife of the deceased, observed that a probate in terms of Section 222 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 (‘Succession Act’) can only be granted to a person who is appointed as the executor under the will.
In Bhai Balbir Singh v. Bhai Sardar Singh, the Court observed that inasmuch as dismissal of a partition suit for non-prosecution would not result in final and binding resolution of the controversy, it would be apposite that the suit should be restored and adjudicated on the merits albeit by putting the parties to strict terms.
In Director, Directorate of Education v. Mohammed Shamim, answering a reference made to a Division Bench on the power to condone a delay in filing of a leave to defend application under Section 25B of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (‘DRC ACT’) by a tenant, the Court held that the High Court would be entitled to set aside an order of eviction which had been passed purely on account of the failure of the tenant to file the said application if sufficient cause for the delay is demonstrated along with a substantial case for consideration of the application for leave to defend.
In Sushil Kumar Jain v. Raj Rani, the Court refused to entertain a plea for impleadment in eviction petitions before the Rent Controller premised on the ground that the party seeking impleadment was one of the sons of the deceased sole proprietor who was a tenant, inasmuch as it found from the record that no interest of such nature in the sole proprietorship or a claim to tenancy had been raised for decades together and that it was evident that the brother of the aggrieved party who was contesting the eviction proceedings was the only interested party. It was. Therefore. held that the impleadment application was seemingly a ploy to prolong the proceedings.
In Joginder Dev v. Uzma Sajid, the Court noted that the admitted availability of multiple commercial properties with the landlord coupled with vague and specious averments in the eviction petition as regards nature of business being carried out by him/her would entitle the tenant to leave to defend.
In Gopal Kukreja v. Suman Chabra @ Suman Mehta, the Court held that when a person who was already a joint owner of the tenanted premises enlarged his/her share therein through the execution of a relinquishment deed by a co-owner, it could not be said that he/she originally received the title only pursuant to the said relinquishment deed. Therefore, the embargo contained in Section 14 (6) of the DRC Act would not be applicable.
In M/s Deepak Textile v. Sanjay Gautam, the Court while reiterating that Section 14 of the DRC Act would override a contract between the parties, noted further in this regard that even if it was correct that the tenant had paid rent for many years into the future in accordance with the alleged agreement, it still would not defeat the entitlement of the landlord to seek eviction of the tenant if the prerequisites under Section 14 were duly established. The Court further held that permission under Section 19 of the Slum Areas (Improvement & Clearance) Act, 1956 was not required to maintain an application under Section 14(1)(e) of the DRC act.
In Gurinder Singh v. Jasjit Kaur, the Court held that after the dismissal of a leave to defend application in an eviction petition premised on a bona-fide need of the son of the landlord, a subsequent development as to the death of the landlord’s son would mean that the need could no longer be said to survive and the landlord would be deemed incapable of complying with the requirement of occupying the premises for which the eviction was sought under Section 19 of the DRC Act.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
In Ved Prakash Aggarwal v. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Union of India (Through Secretary), the Court held that inasmuch as the National Green Tribunal had its own rules and procedures for obtaining certified copies of its order, the said certified copies could not be sought for under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005 (‘RTI Act’). The Court further held in this regard that when a statute provided its own mechanism for accessing information, then the provisions of the RTI Act could not be resorted to.
SPECIFIC RELIEF AND PROPERTY
In Mera Baba Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. v. Chailu, the Court reiterated that in the absence of a counter-claim for recovery of loss suffered, a bald plea in a written statement by the defendant of having suffered a loss while defending a suit against the forfeiture of the earnest money paid under an agreement to sell was not sufficient.
In Subhash Arora v. Prasad Process Pvt. Ltd., in a suit for specific performance to sell, the Court held that the defendant cannot seek to avoid payment of interest on the earnest money received by it on the sole ground that it had offered to refund the same to the plaintiff when the defendant had admittedly never offered to deposit the same before the Court.
In Qutab Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. v. Evolve Infotrain India Pvt. Ltd., the Court held that a mere agreement purchaser, in the absence of a registered sale deed, has no right in the property concerned and was only entitled to seek legal remedies for registration of the sale deed or specific performance of the agreement to sell.
In Ritnand Balved Education Foundation v. Om Sai Mandir Nyas Trust (Regd.), the Court reiterated that merely because a party has been in possession of a land for a very long period of time would not result in any title in its favor. The Court further held that the cancellation of allotment in its favor by the concerned authorities would not prevent an allottee from seeking to secure possession of the land and removing encroachers or tenants therefrom.
In Sudesh Bala v. Vinod Kumar, the Court while reiterating the settled law on Hindu Undivided Family (‘HUF’) properties further noted that the situation had become even more stringent after the omission of Section 4(3) of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 (‘Benami Act’) by the Amendment Act of 2016, which did away with the concept of HUF.
In Sakshi v. Darshan Singh, the Court reiterated that in the absence of specific and categorical pleadings in a suit that the properties which were the subject matter thereof were purchased out of the funds of a duly existing HUF, a suit by one of the family members of the registered owner of the properties on the said basis would be barred by the Section 4(1) of the Benami Act.
In Vinay Kumar v. Deepak Mongia, the Court noted that the trial court was correct in allowing a large sum, much in excess of the lease rent, as mesne profits inasmuch as the lease agreement itself contained a stipulation that a large daily sum will be payable by the tenant if he or she fails to vacate the premises after a particular date.
In Hari Kapoor v. South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Court held that a release deed would not be amenable to levy of stamp duty under Section 147 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 inasmuch as there was no transfer involved thereunder. The Court further held that a release deed would not be in the nature of a gift deed.
In National Small Industries Corp. Ltd. v. M/s. Super Packers, the Court while elaborating upon the procedure to be followed under Sections 33 and 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, (‘Stamp Act’) reiterated that a Court had the power to admit insufficiently stamped documents in evidence if the party seeking to rely upon the same was agreeable to pay stamp duty together with the penalty amounting to ten times of the deficient stamp duty. Upon the Court deciding to admit the document through such a process, a copy thereof only needed to be sent to the Collector of Stamps for adjudication. The Court further held that it was only in a case when the party refused to so deposit the amount with the Court, was the Court to impound the document itself and forward the same to the Collector.
TAX, EXCISE AND CUSTOMS
In Commissioner, Central Excise, Customs & Service Tax, Sonepat v. Amit Decorative Plywood Private Limited, the Court while elaborating in detail upon the jurisdiction of the Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission (‘Settlement Commission’) under the Central Excise Act, 1944 held that the Settlement Commission is not intended as a summary adjudicatory forum which would run parallel to the regular adjudication before the competent authority. The Court, therefore, held that a detailed appreciation or analysis of evidence amounting to a truncated adjudication of a show cause notice should be eschewed by the Settlement Commission.
In Honeycomb Synergies v. Commissioner of Customs (Export), while reiterating that the Settlement Commission is empowered to grant immunity from penalty either in whole or in part, the Court held that this was conditional upon the entity concerned making a full and true disclosure of liability along with cooperating with the Settlement Commission in all regards.
In M/s Sumat Pershad and Sons v. Commissioner Customs (Export), the Court noted that a professed difficulty in making a mandatory pre-deposit under Section 130EE of the Customs Act, 1962 would not be a justification for filing a writ petition while avoiding a statutory appeal before the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (‘CESTAT’).
In Blue Whale Enterprises v. Union of India, the Court held that there is no requirement for the payment of court fee in the case of a rebate claim while preferring a revision application before the Revisional Authority under Section 35EE(3) of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (‘Excise Act’).
In Orient Micro Abrasives Limited v. Union of India, the Court held that Section 11B of the Excise Act would also apply to claims seeking rebate and, therefore, such a claim was required to be mandatorily filed within one year of the export of the goods in question. While coming to the aforesaid conclusion, the High Court disagreed with the contrary view propounded by the Gujarat High Court and the Rajasthan High Court. The Court further held that the date of submission of the ARE-1 Form to the customs authorities, being earlier in time to the filing of the rebate claim, could not be treated as the date of filing of the claim for rebate.
In Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax-Central 3 v. Ankush Saluja, the Court reiterated that when it was clearly established that the additions made by the Assessing Officer (‘AO’) under Section 168 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘IT Act’) were not based on any incriminating material found while undertaking a search under Section 132 of the IT Act, then the said additions could not be sustained and the assumption of jurisdiction under Section 153C of the IT Act by the AO was not justified.
In Commissioner of Income Tax v. Bhagwan Shree Laxmi Narain, the Court upheld the deduction of one-third expenditure for telecast of samagams by a religious trust inasmuch as it could not be established that the religious preacher who had instituted the said trust had derived any personal benefit from the said activity which would justify the invocation of the provisions of Section 13(1)(c)(ii) of the IT Act so as to deny the benefit of deduction.
In Aaman Services Private Limited v. Union of India,Aman Motors v. Union of India,Shatabdi Switchgears and Controls Private Limited v. Union of India,Asian Polymers v. Union of India, and A.P. Trading Co. v. Union of India,, the Court reiterated that it was permissible to grant further opportunity to manually fill the fill the GST TRAN-I Form when it was demonstrated that the said form could not be originally filled on account of bona-fide difficulties and technical glitches in the system.
In Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax-2 v. Century Metal Recycling Private Limited, the Court held that the Revenue would be entitled to revive re-assessment proceedings if it would succeed at a future date in its challenge against an order of the CESTAT which had quashed the very order which formed the basis of issuance of notice of re-assessment under Section 148 of the IT Act.
In Curewell India v. Income Tax Officer, the Court held that when the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (‘ITAT’) had remanded a matter to the AO in a complete and wholesale manner for framing a fresh assessment, then it was not proper for the AO to reject any claim made by the assessee simply on the ground that it was never raised earlier in time.
In Vashulinga Finance Private Limited v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, the Court held that the ITAT is not required to deal with each and every document presented before it by the assessee and it would be sufficient if the order of the ITAT reflects an in-depth consideration of the relevant facts and circumstances emerging from the record.
TENDER AND BLACKLISTING
In Lakhvinder Singh v. East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the Court distinguished between tender conditions which are essential in nature inasmuch as they are central and critical to the very subject matter to which a tender relates and ancillary conditions, which are intended to sub-serve the aforesaid essential aspects. The Court, therefore, held that if the relevant essential condition stood fulfilled, then non-adherence with the related ancillary condition could be condoned in appropriate circumstances.
In Maheshwari Pharmaceuticals (India) Limited v. GNCTD, the Court held that the earnest money deposit given in pursuance to a bid could not be sought to be forfeited on grounds which did not find mention in the tender documents.
In Virendra Patidar v. GNCTD, the Court held that allegations of breach of tender or contract conditions or non-compliance with Central Vigilance Commission guidelines, being inherently factual aspects, could not be sought to be agitated in a PIL.
In Dr. Raj Narang. v. Directorate General of Health Services, the Court held that a tenderer could not insist on acceptance of its peculiar accounting system in order to treat the bid as responsive when the said system was admittedly not in plain compliance with the tender conditions.
In Gorkha Securities v. Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital through Its Medical Superintendent, the Court reiterated that a decision to cancel a tender cannot be interfered with unless it can be demonstrated that the same has been done for extraneous reasons.
In Bal Vikas Seva Sansthan v. Directorate of Education, the Court reiterated that it is not open for a tenderer to challenge the terms and conditions in the tender as being unreasonable, once it had participated in the same without demur.
In RVJ Musical Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India, the Court upheld the argument of the authority concerned that an opportunity to remedy or explain any deficiency or discrepancy in a document would only be available at the stage of preliminary scrutiny, and if something is by its very nature verifiable at the last stage of the process, such an opportunity cannot be granted inasmuch as the process would become unending.
In Din Bandhu Dass v. AIIMS, the Court held that when the evaluation criteria in a tender has taken into account relevant factors and parameters and apportioned marks accordingly, then the Court would not interfere with such a methodology inasmuch as it is essential to demonstrate that the criteria must be completely subjective or fanciful in order to justify interference.
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.
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in W.P. (CRL) 3422/2018.
 Judgment dated 07.11.2019 in CS (COMM) 1249/2016.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in CS (COMM) 728/2018.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in CS (COMM) 823/2018.
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in CS (COMM) 699/2018.
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in CS (COMM) 152/2018.
 Judgment dated 08.11.2019 in C.S. (COMM.) 86/2019.
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in FAO (OS) (COMM) 341/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in FAO (OS) (COMM) 264/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 13901/2018.
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 13742/2018.
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 6521/2015.
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in L.P.A. 751/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in L.P.A. 506/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 26.11.2019 in L.P.A. 35/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 13.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 3106/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11918/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11940/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11942/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 10280/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12368/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 26.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 10717/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12054/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 20.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 30/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 08.11.2019 in L.P.A. 172/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 5310/2015 (DB).
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 5557/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 9694/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 13.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 8404/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 3414/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 10596/2015 (DB).
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2432/2013 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12073/2016 (DB).
 Judgment dated 22.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 6132/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 4450/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 6350/2018 (DB)
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 7367/2009 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 1026/2011 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 8494/2015 (DB).
 118 (2005) DLT 665
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2743/2011 (DB).
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 9546/2016 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11401/2016 (DB).
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11497/2019.
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11487/2007.
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 5242/2011.
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 8266/2018.
 Judgment dated 07.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 10876/2017.
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2792/2007.
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2814/2007.
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 8244/2017.
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12376/2018.
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2061/2008.
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 10027/2018.
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 5168/2005.
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 8307/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 04.11.2019 in L.P.A. 808/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11636/2016 (DB).
 Judgment dated 26.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 4021/2014 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in L.A. APP. 51/2016.
 Judgment dated 21.10.2019 in W.P. (C) 11196/2019 (DB) (uploaded on 21.11.2019).
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2130/2014 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 1421/2019.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11171/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 14.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 554/2017.
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in R.F.A. 984/2019.
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in R.F.A 178/2019.
 Judgment dated 26.11.2019 in O.M.P. (COMM) 169/2016.
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in MAT.APP. (F.C.) 48/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 20.11.2019 in MAT.APP. (F.C.) 185/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in MAT.APP. (F.C.) 188/2017 (DB).
 Judgment dated 20.11.2019 in MAT. APP. (F.C.) 239/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 20.11.2019 in MAT.APP. (F.C.) 214/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in C.S. (OS) 444/2019.
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (Crl.) 1251/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in Crl. Rev. P. 851/2019.
 Judgment dated 14.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 41114/2019.
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 1582/2019.
 Judgment dated 13.11.2019 in CS (OS) 385/2019.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in CS (OS) 483/2019.
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in FAO (OS) (COMM) 312/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in CS (OS) 190/2019.
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in TEST.CAS. 89/2019.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 1086/2018.
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in RC. Rev. 279/2014.
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in C.M. (M) 746/2018.
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in R.C. Rev. 90/2019.
 Judgment dated 08.11.2019 in R.C. Rev. 394/2019.
 Judgment dated 18.11.2019 in R.C. Rev. 585/2019.
 Judgment dated 20.11.2019 in R.C. Rev. 255/2017.
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 7057/2019.
 Judgment dated 01.11.2019 in CS (OS) 400/2016.
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in CS (OS) 2139/2013.
 Judgment dated 14.11.2019 in CS (OS) 405/2019.
 Judgment dated 29.11.2019 in CS (OS) 1582/2013.
 Judgment dated 13.11.2019 in R.F.A. (OS) 2/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 07.11.2019 in C.R.P. 238/2018.
 Judgment dated 08.11.2019 in R.F.A. 503/2019.
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 3370/2018.
 Judgment dated 05.11.2019 in RFA 1029/2016.
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 822/2015 (DB).
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 6495/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12233/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11490/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 7683/2019 (DB).
 Cosmonaut Chemicals v. Union of India 2009 (233) ELT 46 (Guj)
 Gravita India Ltd. v. Union of India 2016 (334) ELT 321 (Raj)
 Judgment dated 14.11.2019 in I.T.A. 186/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 19.11.2019 in I.T.A. 955/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 1329/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 2478/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 3961/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 4332/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 9886/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 14.11.2019 in I.T.A. 510/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in I.T.A. 259/2018 (DB).
 Judgment dated 15.11.2019 in I.T.A. 811/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 28.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12351/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 07.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11531/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 21.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 7333/2016 (DB).
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11675/2019(DB).
 Judgment dated 07.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11636/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 25.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 12370/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 06.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 4088/2019 (DB).
 Judgment dated 27.11.2019 in W.P. (C) 11341/2019 (DB).