Tag Archives: criminal proceedings

Acquittal – Double Presumption in Favour of Accused

There is an acquittal and therefore, there is double presumption in favour of the accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence available to the accused under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, the accused having secured acquittal, the presumption of their innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by the Trial Court. For acquitting accused, the Trial Court observed that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. State of Maharashtra v. Chandrakant Bhagwan Katkar, Cri. Appeal No. 677 of 2003 decided on 16.12.2019

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Pendency of Judicial Proceedings – Does Not Confer A Right to Withhold Pension

A Division Bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court in State of U.P. v. Faini Singh, Special Appeal No. 416 of 2014 decided on 25.04.2014, while considering the provisions of Regulation 919 A (3) of Civil Service Regulations observed that the power of withholding or withdrawing pension is to be used in cases where allegations are of serious nature or grave misconduct and of causing pecuniary loss and it cannot be exercised mechanically merely on the pendency of any judicial proceedings without considering the allegations against the retired Government Servant. In other words, pendency of even judicial proceedings has not been recognized as a matter of right to withhold the pension.

        In Bangali Babu Misra v. State of U.P., 2003 (3) AWC 1760, a Division Bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court seised of a similar controversy held that in the absence of any provision under law, even if the petitioner is subjected to punishment in criminal proceedings that would not be a ground for withholding the post retiral benefits admissible to him. Radhey Shyam Chaubey v. High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, 2018 (3) AWC 2521.

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Concurrent Sentence

 In the case of Anil Kumar v. State of Punjab(2017) 5 SCC 53, it was held by the Hon’ble court that “in terms of sub-section (1) of Section 427 of CrPC, if a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment, such subsequent term of imprisonment would normally commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he was previously sentenced. Only in appropriate cases, considering the facts of the case, the court can make the sentence run concurrently with an earlier sentence imposed. The investiture of such discretion, presupposes that such discretion be exercised by the court on sound judicial principles and not in a mechanical manner. Whether or not the discretion is to be exercised in directing sentences to run concurrently would depend upon the nature of the offence/offences and the facts and circumstances of each case.” Vickyalias Vikas v. State, Cri. Appeal No. 208 of 2020 (Arising out of SLP (cri) No. 4201 of 2019.

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Unlawful Assembly – Ingredients Of

The basic principles remain that the important ingredients of an unlawful assembly are the number of persons forming it, i.e. five, and their common object. Common object of the persons composing that assembly could be formed on the spur of the moment and does not require prior deliberations. The course of conduct adopted by the members of such assembly; their behavior before, during, and after the incident; and the arms carried by them are a few basic and relevant factors to determine the common object. Manjit Singh v. State of Punjab, (2019) 8 SCC 529.

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Evidence of Eyewitness

While appreciating the evidence of a witness, the approach must be to assess whether the evidence of a witness read as a whole appears to be truthful. Once the impression is formed, it is necessary for the court to evaluate the evidence and the alleged discrepancies and then, to find out whether it is against the general tenor of the prosecution case. If the evidence of eyewitness is found to be credible and trustworthy, minor discrepancies which do not affect the core of the prosecution case, cannot be made a ground to doubt the trustworthiness of the witness. Mallikarjun v. State of Karnataka, (2019) 8 SCC 359.

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Protest Petition – Consideration of

It is undoubtedly trues that before a Magistrate proceeds to accept a final report under Section 173 CrPC and exonerates the accused, it is incumbent upon the Magistrate to apply his mind to the contents of the protest petition and arrive at a conclusion thereafter. While the investigating officer may rest content by producing the final report, which, according to him, is the culmination of his efforts, the duty of the Magistrate is not one limited to readily accepting the final report. It is incumbent upon him to go through the materials, and after hearing the complainant and considering the contents of the protest petition, final decide the future course of action to be, whether to continue with the matter or to bring the curtains down.

If a protest petition fulfills the requirements of a complaint, the Magistrate may treat the protest petition as a complaint and deal with the same as required under Section 200 read with Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code.  Vishnu Kumar Tiwari v. State of U.P., (2019) 8 SCC 27.

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Breach of Trust – With Mens Rea

Though the contract is of a civil nature, if there is an element of cheating and fraud, it is always open for a party in a contract, to prosecute the other side for the offences alleged. In S.W. Palanitkar v. State of Bihar, (2002) 1 SCC 241 it was held that every breach of contract may not result in a penal offence, but in the very same judgments, it was further held that breach of trust with mens rea gives rise to a criminal prosecution as well. In a given case, whether there is any mens rea on the part of the accused or not is a matter which is required to be considered having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and contents of the complaint etc.         In Anil Mahajan v. Bhor Industries Ltd., (2005) 10 SCC 228, it has been held that where there exists a fraudulent and dishonest intention at the time of the commission of the offence, law permits the victim to proceed against the wrongdoer for having committed an offence of criminal breach of trust or cheating. D R Lakshman v. State of Karnataka, (2019) 9 SCC 677.

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