Weekly Highlights (7th – 13th Feb)

Weekly Highlights (7th - 13th Feb)

Failure To Marry Does Not Mean A Promise To Marry Was False Since Its Inception-Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur single-judge Bench of Justice SP Tavade recently granted anticipatory bail to a man accused of raping a woman under the guise of marrying her in the case of Gulab Laxman Meshram v. State Of Maharashtra.

Gulab Meshram, the applicant, allegedly promised to marry the complainant woman and had sexual relations with her for four years before expressing his unwillingness to marry her. When the woman learned of Meshram’s disinclination, she filed a complaint against him, and a first information report (FIR) was filed under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. Meshram applied for anticipatory bail after being arrested. There is no allegation in the FIR that when the applicant promised to marry the complainant, he did so in bad faith and with the intent to deceive her. The said fact is established by the parties’ long-standing physical relationship. “The applicant’s failure to fulfill his promise to marry cannot be interpreted to mean that the promise was false in and of itself,” the Court stated. In the event of arrest, the Court ordered that the applicant be released on bail after posting a bail bond of Rs15,000 and reporting to the concerned Police Station for 3 weeks.

Filing of charge sheet needs compliance with Sec 167 CrPC; accused cannot claim default bail: SC

The Supreme Court ruled that filing a charge sheet is sufficient compliance with Section 167 of the (CrPC) and that an accused cannot seek release on default bail because cognisance was not taken within 60 days.

A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai was hearing the SFIO’s challenge to a Delhi High Court order granting statutory bail to the Adarsh Group of Companies and LLP partners. The two respondents were arrested as a result of the SFIO’s investigation into the affairs of the Adarsh Group of Companies and LLPs. Both were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. Meanwhile, a criminal complaint was filed against both in the Special Court of Gurugram under Section 439(2) read with Section 212(15) of the Companies Act, 2013. 

When the two applied to a lower court for statutory bail under Section 167 CrPC their applications were dismissed by the Gurugram Sessions Judge, the complaint under Section 439(2) of the Companies Act was filed before the 60 days prescribed in proviso (a) to Section 167(2) of the CrPC. Later, the High Court, on appeal granted the respondents statutory bail as the trial court had not taken cognizance of the complaint before the 60-day period expired, entitling the respondents to statutory bail. The Apex Court ruled that the accused remains in the custody of the Magistrate until cognizance is taken by the court trying the offence, which then assumes custody of the accused for remand.

20 People Acquitted, Accused Of Murder By Bombay HC

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court recently acquitted 20 people accused of murder, observing that the eyewitness testimonies were nearly identical, which was humanly impossible. The Court noted that the identical and parrot-like versions of all the prosecution’s star witnesses raised serious doubts about the veracity of their testimony. As a result, the Court stated that it could not accept the contention that the testimonies were mutually corroborative because they were nearly identical

Appellant Komal Babusingh Ade and 23 others were charged with murder and rioting during a Holi celebration in 2014. The appellants allegedly assaulted four men, one of whom died as a result of his injuries. This prompted the mother of the deceased to file a complaint, which resulted in the filing of an FIR. There were 23 arrests. The Additional Sessions Judge convicted 20 people after a trial that included 29 witnesses. Two of the accused were acquitted, and one was not tried by the Sessions court because he was a minor. The trial court questioned the three assault victims and three eyewitnesses. Following a careful examination of these witnesses’ testimonies, the High Court concluded that they are nearly identical.

Case Name: Komal Babusingh Ade & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & connected appeals

Bench: Justices SB Shukre and PV Ganediwala

Married Daughters Eligible To Apply For Die-In-Harness Scheme: Tripura HC

The Tripura High Court ruled that the State government’s exclusion of married daughters from compassionate appointments under the die-in-harness scheme of the state government had no rationale and overturned a government notification that did so. The die-in-harness scheme offers immediate relief after the death of an earning family member.

In this case, Anita Chakraborty, mother of the respondent, Debashri Chakraborty was a Group-D staff in the office of the Superintendent of Police who expired in 2016. Debashri Chakraborty applied to the State Government seeking an appointment on compassionate ground as per the die-in-harness scheme of the State Government.

 The division bench upheld a single-judge ruling that the Tripura government’s exclusion of married daughters from compassionate appointments was unconstitutional and violative of articles 14 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.

Case Name: State of Tripura vs Debashri Chakraborty and ors.

“Determination Of Compensation Applying Two Multipliers Is Erroneous”: SC

The legal heirs of the deceased, V. Rajasekaran have filed an appeal in Supreme Court after being aggrieved by the decision of the Madras HC which awarded compensation of Rs.15,12,628/. The deceased, 54 years old, was on a two-wheeler when a city bus collided with him due to the rash and negligent driving of the bus driver and perished in an instant. The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal awarded a sum of Rs.13,82,628/- keeping in mind the income and age of the deceased.

The Supreme Court, relying upon its judgment in Pranay Sethi held that the age of the deceased and future prospects (which is 15 % in the instant case) should be the basis for determining the compensation. The appeal was allowed, and the claimants were awarded compensation of Rs. 24,33,064/- plus interest at 9% from the date of filing the claim application.

 DNA evidence not a ground for Bail in a Rape Case: Karnataka HC

In the case ofChikkaiah and Anr. v. State of Karnataka, Justice HP Sandesh rejected the bail application of the rape accused, though no DNA record was available to prove their guilt. The rape survivor was a disabled woman, who had given birth to a child as a result of the sexual assault and her statement was recorded. The rape accused was found out to be the victim’s neighbours, who she was able to identify through photographs that were given to her. The Court decided that even without a DNA test, there was enough evidence to create a prima facie case against the accused.  The accused was charged under sections 376(2)(L) (rape on a woman with a mental or physical disability), 376(2)(n), (committing rape on the same woman again), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (acts done in furtherance of a common intention) of the IPC.

Parole Granted To Accused To Attend Sister’s Wedding For 2 Days: SC

The Supreme Court overturned an order of the Allahabad High Court, which had denied the petitioner’s motion for parole to attend his sister’s wedding. It ruled that the State could keep him under police escort during his parole period if required.

A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari cited Rule 3(1)(c) of the Uttar Pradesh (Suspension of Sentences of Prisoners) Rules, 2007, which allows the government to suspend a prisoner’s sentence for up to a month to allow him or her to attend the wedding of a son, daughter, brother or sister. It also stated that the accused has to surrender within the time, if he fails to surrender then the state can take coercive action to secure custody.

Anubhuti Awasthi
Hi! I am Anubhuti Awasthi. I am pursuing B.A. LL.B (Hons) from Amity University, Lucknow. Reading and writing keep me alive. I like to explain legal concepts easily. I have a keen interest to take part in moot court competitions and public speaking. I've been an active volunteer of the human rights cause and have worked for it through the various initiatives led at my alma mater. No wonder I've continued to do intensive research and studies on human rights, socio-environmental issues, and criminology. I am driven to contribute my bit towards society at large, by using law as a weapon.