Sunday, 2 October 2022

Supreme Court: Income Tax Returns And Audit Reports Are Reliable Evidence To Determine Income Of Deceased in motor accident claim petition

  In contrast, the High Court set aside the same on the ground

that the income earned was out of capital assets and cannot be said to

have been earned out of personal skills of the deceased. It

consequently went on to determine the income of the Deceased on a

notional basis as per his educational qualification. Unfortunately,

such an approach, in our opinion, is erroneous in view of the

decisions of this court in Amrit Bhanu Shali v National Insurance

Co. Ltd.10 and Kalpanaraj v Tamil Nadu State Transport Corpn.11

wherein this court has held that documents such as income tax

returns and audit reports are reliable evidence to determine the

income of the deceased. Hence, we are obliged to modify the

compensation, especially when neither any additional evidence has been produced to showcase that the income of the Deceased was contrary to the amount mentioned in the audit reports nor it is the stand taken by the Insurance Company that the said reports inflated the income. {Para 14}

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.7046 OF 2022

K. Ramya & Ors. Vs National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.

Author: Surya Kant, J.
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Whether Issue Of Limitation Can Be Determined As A Preliminary Issue If It Can Be Decided On Admitted Facts?

 After taking note of the fact that going by the decision in Nusli Neville Wadia’s case8, in a case where question of limitation could be decided based on admitted facts it could be decided as a preliminary issue under Order XIV, Rule 2(2)(b), CPC., the two Judge Bench held that in the case before their Lordships the question of limitation could not have been decided as a preliminary issue under Order XIV, Rule 2 of CPC as determination of the issue of limitation in that case was not a pure question of law. In the said contextual situation it is worthy and appropriate to refer to paragraphs 51, in so far as it is relevant, and 52 of the decision in Nusli Neville Wadia’s case8 and they read thus:-

“51.[…] As per Order 14 Rule 1, issues arise when a material proposition of fact or law is affirmed by the one party and denied by the other. The issues are framed on the material proposition, denied by another party. There are issues of facts and issues of law. In case specific facts are admitted, and is the question of law arises which is dependent upon the outcome of admitted facts, it is open to the court to pronounce the judgment based on admitted facts and the preliminary question of law under the provisions of Order 14 Rule 2. In Order 14 Rule 2(1), the court may decide the case on a preliminary issue. It has to pronounce the judgment on all issues. Order 14 Rule 2(2) makes a departure and the court may decide the question of law as to jurisdiction of the court or a bar created to the suit by any law for the time being in force, such as under the Limitation Act.

52. […] In a case, question of limitation can be decided based on admitted facts, it can be decided as a preliminary issue under Order 14 Rule 2(2)(b). Once facts are disputed about limitation, the determination of the question of limitation also cannot be made under Order 14 Rule 2(2) as a preliminary issue or any other such issue of law which requires examination of the disputed facts. In case of dispute as to facts, is necessary to be determined to give a finding on a question of law. Such question cannot be decided as a preliminary issue. In a case, the question of jurisdiction also depends upon the proof of facts which are disputed and the question of law is dependent upon the outcome of the investigation of the facts, such question of law cannot be decided as a preliminary issue, is settled proposition of law either before the amendment of CPC and post amendment in the year 1976.”

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO.10834 OF 2010

SUKHBIRI DEVI & ORS. Vs UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

Coram: AJAY RASTOGI; J., C.T. RAVIKUMAR; J.

Author: C.T. RAVIKUMAR, J.

Dated:  September 29, 2022

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Can Police Disclose WhatsApp Chats and Photos Collected During Investigation Under RTI Act?

I. Conclusions of the Court

28. The competing arguments advanced on behalf of the parties lead to the following conclusions :

a)􀀁 The designated Information Officer has a duty and an obligation to apply his

mind on the nature of the information which is to be furnished to an

applicant who has sought for such information. This obligation calls for an

active determination taking into account Section 8(1) (a)-(j) and whether an

overwhelming pressure of public interest justifies the disclosure of the information at hand.


b)􀀁 The determination must also involve an assessment of whether the personal

information has any nexus with a public activity or furnishing of such

information would cause an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the

individual concerned.

c)􀀁 The IO must also take into account the mechanism provided under section

11 of the Act involving the information supplied by a third party and treated

as confidential by that third party. In essence, the disclosure must be with

the consent of the third party.

d)􀀁 The IO must also consider whether the information is in the public domain

on the date of the application made for it and trace the movement of the

information from the private to the public domain. In other words, the IO

must see whether the information was put in the public sphere voluntarily

or under threat or compulsion.

e)􀀁 The determination must also include a fact-check as to whether the

information travelled to the public domain at the instance of one party or all

the parties who created and shared the content of the information.

f)􀀁 The determination must be nuanced and sensitive where one of the parties

to the conversation is no longer alive. In such cases, the consent of the other

(living) party to the disclosure of the information may not be relevant for the

purposes of section 8(1)(j) of the Act.

g)􀀁 The significance of section 8(1)(j) which upholds the right to privacy and

ultimately the reputation and dignity of an individual under Article 21 of the

Constitution goes against the tide of a free flow of information and remains

steadfast in holding on to the private space of an individual. The significance

of this provision must not be forgotten or diluted under any circumstances

(Ref. Subramanian Swamy vs. Union of India, Ministry of Law; (2016) 7 SCC

221).

29. In view of the above discussion is allowed and disposed

of by directing the Police Authorities to immediately withdraw the entire series of

photographs and WhatsApp messages between the deceased and

and treat the same as private information which falls within the

clamp of section 8(1)(j) of The Right to Information Act. The authorities are to

ensure that the WhatsApp messages and the photographs are not disclosed to any

person or authority by way of an application under the Right to Information Act or

otherwise.

 IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA

Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction

Appellate Side

X Vs. State of West Bengal & Ors.

Present :-

The Hon’ble Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya.

Delivered on : 29.09.2022.

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Thursday, 29 September 2022

Whether Litigant is Entitled To Refund Of Court Fees If Matter is Settled Outside Court Without Invocation Of S.89 CPC?

 In view of the aforesaid, I am of the considered opinion that even if the matter is settled by the parties outside the Court without invoking the provisions of section 89 CPC, the appellant while withdrawing his first appeal, is entitled to the refund of full Court fees as provided under section 16 of the Court Fees. {Para 7} Act, 1870. 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH

AT JABALPUR

FIRST APPEAL No. 222 of 2015

DAYARAM  BALARAM PATEL,  Vs SMT. LAXMI AGRAWAL 

BEFORE

HON'BLE SHRI JUSTICE DWARKA DHISH BANSAL

ON THE 20th OF SEPTEMBER, 2022.

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