Sunday, 15 April 2018

Supreme court: Daughter become coparcener in joint family irrespective of when she was born

Accordingly, we hold that the rights under the amendment
are applicable to living daughters of living coparceners as on
9-9-2005 irrespective of when such daughters are born.
Disposition or alienation including partitions which may have
taken place before 20-12-2004 as per law applicable prior to
the said date will remain unaffected. Any transaction of
partition effected thereafter will be governed by the
23) The law relating to a joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara
law has undergone unprecedented changes. The said changes have
been brought forward to address the growing need to merit equal
treatment to the nearest female relatives, namely daughters of a
coparcener. The section stipulates that a daughter would be a
coparcener from her birth, and would have the same rights and liabilities
as that of a son. The daughter would hold property to which she is
entitled as a coparcenary property, which would be construed as
property being capable of being disposed of by her either by a will or any
other testamentary disposition. These changes have been sought to be
made on the touchstone of equality, thus seeking to remove the
perceived disability and prejudice to which a daughter was subjected.
The fundamental changes brought forward about in the Hindu
Succession Act, 1956 by amending it in 2005, are perhaps a realization
of the immortal words of Roscoe Pound as appearing in his celebrated
treaties, The Ideal Element in Law, that “the law must be stable and yet
it cannot stand still. Hence all thinking about law has struggled to
reconcile the conflicting demands of the need of stability and the need of
24) Section 6, as amended, stipulates that on and from the
commencement of the amended Act, 2005, the daughter of a
coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the
same manner as the son. It is apparent that the status conferred upon
sons under the old section and the old Hindu Law was to treat them as
coparceners since birth. 
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 188-189 OF 2018
[@SLP(C) Nos. 10638-10639 of 2013]

Dated: FEBRUARY 1, 2018.
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Whether it is necessary to issue notice to account holder prior to freezing of bank Account?

As regards the procedure for issuing instructions to freeze the bank accounts, it is noticed that the same has been followed by giving intimation to the concerned Magistrate on 21st November, 2014 as required in terms of Section 102 of the Code. There is nothing in Section 102 which mandates giving of prior notice to the account holder before the seizure of his bank account. The Magistrate after noticing that the principle stated by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court in the case of Dr. Shashikant D. Karnik v. State of Maharashtra MANU/MH/0213/2007 : (2008) Cri.L.J. 148 (Bom.) has been overruled in terms of the Full Bench judgment of the Bombay High Court in the case of Vinoskumar Ramachandran Valluvar (supra), rightly negatived that contention. The Full Bench of the Bombay High Court has expounded that Section 102 does not require issuance of notice to a person before or simultaneously with the action attaching his bank account. In the case of Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society Limited v. Union of India and Ors. MANU/MH/0932/2011 : (2012) Cri.L.J. 520 (Bom.), the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court once again considered the issue and rejected the argument that prior notice to the account holder was required to be given before seizure of his bank account. It also noted that the bank account need not be only of the Accused but it can be any account creating suspicion about the commission of an offence. The view so taken commends us.

Criminal Appeal No. 1099 of 2017 

Decided On: 15.12.2017

Teesta Atul Setalvad and Ors. Vs. The State of Gujarat and Ors.
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Whether bank account is a property which can be freezed during course of investigation?

Having considered the divergent views taken by different High Courts with regard to the power of seizure Under Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and whether the bank account can be held to be 'property' within the meaning of the said Section 102(1), we see no justification to give any narrow interpretation to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is well known that corruption in public offices has become so rampant that it has become difficult to cope up with the same. Then again the time consumed by the Courts in concluding the trials is another factor which should be borne in mind in interpreting the provisions of Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the underlying object engrafted therein, inasmuch as if there can be no order of seizure of the bank account of the Accused then the entire money deposited in a bank which is ultimately held in the trial to be the outcome of the illegal gratification, could be withdrawn by the Accused and the Courts would be powerless to get the said money which has any direct link with the commission of the offence committed by the Accused as a public officer. We are, therefore, persuaded to take the view that the bank account of the Accused or any of his relations is 'property' within the meaning of Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and a police officer in course of investigation can seize or prohibit the operation of the said account if such assets have direct links with the commission of the offence for which the police officer is investigating into.


Criminal Appeal No. 1099 of 2017 

Decided On: 15.12.2017

Teesta Atul Setalvad and Ors. Vs. The State of Gujarat and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dipak Misra, C.J.I. and A.M. Khanwilkar, J.

Citation:(2018) 2 SCC 372
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Whether court can direct prosecution to produce documents prior to framing of charge as per request of accused?

It is settled law that at the stage of framing of charge, the Accused cannot ordinarily invoke Section 91. However, the court being under the obligation to impart justice and to uphold the law, is not debarred from exercising its power, if the interest of justice in a given case so require, even if the Accused may have no right to invoke Section 91. To exercise this power, the court is to be satisfied that the material available with the investigator, not made part of the chargesheet, has crucial bearing on the issue of framing of charge.

7. In Debendra Nath Padhi, supra, it was observed:

25. Any document or other thing envisaged under the aforesaid provision can be ordered to be produced on finding that the same is "necessary or desirable for the purpose of investigation, inquiry, trial or other proceedings under the Code". The first and foremost requirement of the Section is about the document being necessary or desirable. The necessity or desirability would have to be seen with reference to the stage when a prayer is made for the production. If any document is necessary or desirable for the defence of the accused, the question of invoking Section 91 at the initial stage of framing of a charge would not arise since defence of the Accused is not relevant at that stage. When the Section refers to investigation, inquiry, trial or other proceedings, it is to be borne in mind that under the Section a police officer may move the court for summoning and production of a document as may be necessary at any of the stages mentioned in the section. Insofar as the Accused is concerned, his entitlement to seek order Under Section 91 would ordinarily not come till the stage of defence. When the Section talks of the document being necessary and desirable, it is implicit that necessity and desirability is to be examined considering the stage when such a prayer for summoning and production is made and the party who makes it, whether police or accused. If Under Section 227, what is necessary and relevant is only the record produced in terms of Section 173 of the Code, the Accused cannot at that stage invoke Section 91 to seek production of any document to show his innocence. Under Section 91 summons for production of document can be issued by court and under a written order an officer in charge of a police station can also direct production thereof. Section 91 does not confer any right on the Accused to produce document in his possession to prove his defence. Section 91 presupposes that when the document is not produced process may be initiated to compel production thereof.


Criminal Appeal No. 2114 of 2017 

Decided On: 07.12.2017

 Nitya Dharmananda and Ors. Vs. Gopal Sheelum Reddy and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
A.K. Goel and U.U. Lalit, JJ.

Citation:(2018) 2 SCC 93
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