Tuesday, October 13, 2009

High Court’s jurisdiction under S. 482 Cr PC

(M.N. Ojha and Ors. v. Alok Kumar Srivastav and Anr. Cri. Appeal No. 1582 of 2009 Decided on Aug 21, 2009)

The Supreme Court while reiterating that frequent and uncalled for interference by the High Court may result in causing obstruction in progress of the inquiry in a criminal case which may not be in the public interest but nevertheless emphasized that the High Court cannot refuse to exercise its jurisdiction if the interest of justice so required where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no fair minded and informed observer can ever reach a just and proper conclusion as to the existence of sufficient grounds for proceeding.

Interim bail should be granted pending disposal of the final bail application

(Chal Kamlendra Pratap Singh v. State of U.P. & Others, decided on March 23, 2009)

The Supreme Court has held that arrest is not a must in all cases of cognizable offences. In deciding whether to arrest or not the police officer must be guided and act according to the principles laid down in Joginder Kumar v. State of U.P. (1994 Cr.LJ 1981). The Court directed to follow the decision in Amaravati (2005 CrLJ 755); wherein it was held that the court, if deems fit in the facts and circumstances of the case, may grant interim bail pending final disposal of bail application; by all courts in U.P. in letter and spirit especially when the provisions of anticipatory bail does not exist in U.P. As per the apex court, in appropriate cases, interim bail should be granted pending disposal of the final bail application, since arrest and detention of a person can cause irreparable loss to a person’s reputation.

Standard of Proof in Corrupt Practices in Elections

(M.J. Jacob v. A. Narayanan & Ors.Civil Appeal No. 3611 of 2008 decided on March 6, 2009)

In the instant case the election of a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly was declared void by the High Court of Kerala and hence the appeal. The ground was corrupt practice committed by the publication of a pamphlet by the appellant’s election agent. Reversing the impugned judgment the court held thus:

Even assuming that an inference can be drawn from the allegation …, that is only one possible inference. There may be any member of other inference also. It is well settled that in an Election Petition for proving an allegation of corrupt practice the standard of proof is like that in a Criminal case. In other words, the allegation must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, and if two views are possible then the benefit of doubt should go to the elected candidate.

Acts which does not constitute infringement of copyright

[Academy of General Edu., Manipal & Anr. v. B. Malini Mallya, Civil Appeal No. 389 of 2008 decided on January 23, 2009]

The Supreme Court in the instant case held that Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957 provides certain acts which would not constitute an infringement of a copyright. When a fair dealing is made, inter alia, of a literary or dramatic work for the purpose of private use including research and criticism or review, whether of that work or of any other work, the right in terms of the provisions of the Act cannot be claimed. Thus, if some performance or dance is carried out within the purview of the Section 52, the order of injunction shall not be applicable. Similarly, appellant being an educational institution, if the dance is performed within the meaning of provisions of clause (i) of sub-section (1) of Section 52 the order of injunction shall not apply. Yet again, if such performance is conducted before a non-paying audience by the appellant institution, if the institution comes within the purview of amateur club or society, the same would not constitute any violation of the order of injunction.

Importance of Dying Declarations in Criminal Cases
(State of U.P v. Sukhpal Singh and others, Criminal appeal no 1285-1287 of 2001 decided on January 12 2009)
Setting aside the decision of the High Court of judicature at Allahabad, the Supreme Court reemphasized the importance of dying declarations in criminal cases in the following words: “The High Court in the impugned judgment has gravely erred in totally ignoring the dying declarations, which was recorded by the Magistrate.” The apex court also observed that, even though the appellate court is given wide powers to review the trial court’s conclusion, this power must be exercised with great care and caution.

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