Sunday, 9 May 2021

Whether court can discard the exaggerated evidence of a witness as a whole?

It is vehemently contended that the evidence of the prosecution

witnesses is exaggerated and thus false. Cambridge Dictionary defines “exaggeration” as “the fact of making something larger, more important, better or worse than it really is”. MerriamWebster defines the term “exaggerate” as to “enlarge beyond bounds or the truth”. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as “enlarged or altered beyond normal proportions”. These expressions unambiguously suggest that the genesis of an ‘exaggerated statement’ lies in a true fact, to which fictitious additions are made so as to make it more penetrative. Every

exaggeration, therefore, has the ingredients of ‘truth’. No exaggerated statement is possible without an element of truth. On the other hand, Advance Law Lexicon defines “false” as “erroneous, untrue; opposite of correct, or true”. Oxford Concise Dictionary states that “false” is “wrong; not correct or true”. Similar is the explanation in other dictionaries as well. There is, thus, a marked differentia between an ‘exaggerated version’ and a ‘false version’. An exaggerated statement contains both truth and falsity, whereas a false statement has no grain of truth in it (being the ‘opposite’ of ‘true’). It is well said that to make a mountain out of a molehill, the molehill shall have to exist primarily. A Court of law, being mindful of such distinction is duty bound to disseminate ‘truth’ from ‘falsehood’ and sift the grain from the chaff in case of exaggerations. It is only in a case where the grain and the chaff are so inextricably intertwined that in their separation no real evidence survives, that the whole evidence can be discarded. {Para 4}

 REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 1140 1141

OF 2010

Achhar Singh Vs State of Himachal Pradesh 


Author: Surya Kant, J:

DATED : 07.05.2021

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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Whether revision is maintainable against the order of framing of charge or discharge of accused?

 The correct position of law as laid down in Madhu Limaye

(supra), thus, is that orders framing charges or refusing

discharge are neither interlocutory nor final in nature and are

therefore not affected by the bar of Section 397 (2) of CrPC. That

apart, this Court in the above cited cases has unequivocally

acknowledged that the High Court is imbued with inherent

jurisdiction to prevent abuse of process or to secure ends of

justice having regard to the facts and circumstance of individual

cases. As a caveat it may be stated that the High Court, while

exercising its aforestated jurisdiction ought to be circumspect.

The discretion vested in the High Court is to be invoked carefully

and judiciously for effective and timely administration of criminal justice system. This Court, nonetheless, does not recommend a complete hands off approach. Albeit, there should be interference, may be, in exceptional cases, failing which there is likelihood of serious prejudice to the rights of a citizen. For

example, when the contents of a complaint or the other

purported material on record is a brazen attempt to persecute an

innocent person, it becomes imperative upon the Court to

prevent the abuse of process of law. {Para 15}

16. Further, it is well settled that the trial court while considering

the discharge application is not to act as a mere post office. The

Court has to sift through the evidence in order to find out

whether there are sufficient grounds to try the suspect. The court

has to consider the broad probabilities, total effect of evidence

and documents produced and the basic infirmities appearing in

the case and so on. [Union of India v. Prafulla Kumar

Samal(1979) 3 SCC 4]. Likewise, the Court has sufficient discretion to order

further investigation in appropriate cases, if need be.

17. This brings us to the present case wherein the High Court has

not gone into the merits of the case and did not analyze the

case in light of the settled law referred to above.

18. The High Court has committed jurisdictional error by not

entertaining the revision petition on merits and overlooking the

fact that ‘discharge’ is a valuable right provided to the accused.

In line with the fact that the High Court and the court below

have not examined the fairness of criminal investigation in this

case and other related aspects concerning improvement of

witness statements, it is necessary for the High Court to

reconsider the entire matter and decide the revision petition

afresh. Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order dated

28.11.2018 and remand the case back to the High Court for its

reconsideration in accordance with law.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.472 OF 2021


Sanjay Kumar Rai  Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr. 


Author: Surya Kant, J:

DATED : 07.05.2021

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Whether court should release the accused on default bail in the Pocso case if the court fails to record evidence of the victim child within thirty days?

 Be that as it may. The second point of

reference is, whether, the accused is entitled to be

released on bail if the evidence of the child has not been

recorded within a period of thirty days of taking cognizance

of the offence or if the Special Court does not complete the

trial within a period of one year from the date of taking

cognizance. Such an interpretation would be an additional

clause under the said provision and giving an additional

right to the accused. {Para 41}

42. It is observed that the object and purpose of

Section 35 of the POCSO Act is for the benefit of the child

victim and is not to be considered as an additional clause

for the purpose of granting bail to the alleged perpetrator

or the accused.

43. As discussed above, there may be various

reasons and circumstances beyond the control of the

Special Court under which the conclusion of the

proceedings within a period of one year may not happen.

As already noted, the reasons for the same have been

discussed above. Under such circumstances, the accused

cannot enforce the right to be released on bail. No such

right is envisaged under the said provisions of the Act and

the same cannot be read into it by way of an interpretation

which may go against the interest of the child victim. If

the aforesaid interpretation is to be made then, there

would be every attempt made to delay the proceedings

before the Special Court beyond the period of one year and

seek release of accused on bail. Such a position cannot be

encouraged nor is it envisaged under the POCSO Act.

44. Hence, any order passed by following the

dictum in Vinay with regard to grant of bail to the accused

on the premise there has been a delay in recording

evidence or for that matter, non-conclusion of the

proceedings within a period of one year from the date of

taking cognizance by the Special Court, is not good law

and it cannot be a precedent for future cases. In the

circumstances, we hold that the order passed in Vinay

cannot be treated as a judicial precedent in future cases.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU

PRESENT

 MRS. JUSTICE B.V.NAGARATHNA AND MRS. JUSTICE M.G.UMA

CRIMINAL PETITION No.2951 OF 2020


HANUMANTHA MOGAVEERA  Vs STATE OF KARNATAKA 

DATED THIS THE 23rd DAY OF APRIL, 2021

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Whether an entry of debt made in the balance sheet can amount to an acknowledgement of liability as per S 18 of the Limitation Act?

 Going by the above provisions, a balance sheet is the statement of assets and liabilities of the company as at the end of the financial year, approved by the Board of Directors and authenticated in the manner provided by law. The persons who authenticate the document do so in their capacity as agents of the company. The inclusion of a debt in a balance sheet duly prepared and authenticated would amount to admission of a liability and therefore satisfies the requirements of law for a valid acknowledgement under S. 18 of the Limitation Act, even though the directors by authenticating the balance sheet merely discharge a statutory duty and may not have intended to make an acknowledgement.”

31. In Zest Systems Pvt. Ltd. v. Center for Vocational and Entrepreneurship Studies, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 12116, the Delhi High Court held:

“5. In Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd. v. CMD Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. (supra) this court held as follows:— “7. It is hardly necessary to cite authorities in support of the well-established position that an entry made in the company's balance sheet amounts to an acknowledgement of the debt and has the effect of extending the period of limitation under section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963. 

 6. In view of the legal position spelt out in judgments noted above, the acknowledgement of the debt in the balance sheet extends the period of limitation. The acknowledgement is as on 31.3.2015. This suit is filed in 2017. The suit is clearly within limitation. The present application is allowed.”

Supreme Court of India
Asset Reconstruction Company ... vs Bishal Jaiswal on 15 April, 2021
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