2019 APEX COURT DIGEST – Vol No.1

2019 APEX COURT DIGEST – Vol No.1

  1. Sec.482 of Cr.P.C. – On 16.03.2011 Civil Suit for declaration and injunction was filed by the appellant – An order of Interim relief was granted in favour of the appellant and the suit is still pending – Fifteen days thereafter, a criminal complaint was filed by respondent No.2 herein, alleging that — got a sale deed done fraudulently and had committed offences under Sections 420, 468 and 471 IPC. An FIR No.157 of 2011 was registered.-Apex court held that We have heard learned counsel and are satisfied that the controversy in question is purely civil in nature which will be gone into the suit and the present criminal proceedings initiated by respondent No.2 are nothing but an abuse of the process of Court.We, therefore, accept this appeal and quash the criminal proceedings initiated by respondent No.2, namely, FIR .
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  3. Resjudicata – The suit O.S. No.10836/1991 filed by the appellant seeking possession and permanent injunction in respect of Survey No.124/3 to an extent of 2 acres 26 guntas land -was dismissed and admittedly no appeal was filed against the said judgment of the trial court.-The respondents filed a suit seeking relief of declaration, injunction and recovery of possession.-The suit filed by the respondents was dismissed – The respondent filed appeal – the appellant filed cross appeal – both were dismissed – the High Court held that O.S. No.10836/1991 filed by the appellant in respect of 2 acres 26 guntas in Survey No.124/3 was dismissed by the Trial Court. It was held by the Trial Court that the appellants failed to prove their possession. As no appeal was filed against the judgment in O.S. No.10836/1991 the High Court observed that the said judgment operates as res judicata in respect of possession to the extent of 2 acres 26 guntas in Survey No.124/3. On the basis of the said findings the High Court held that the respondents were entitled for an injunction in respect of the scheduled properties. -Apex court held that nothing to interfer with the order of High court.
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  5. Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 & subsection 3 of section 41(3) of the

Competition Act, 2002 read with section 240A of the Companies Act, 1956 – the Competition Commission of India passed an order under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 directing the Director General to make an investigation into certain allegations against the first and second respondent on the basis of information which disclosed a prima facie case of the abuse of dominance- The first respondent filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court – In an interim order , the High Court directed that while the appellant may require the first and second respondents to furnish the information called by the Director General of the Competition Commission, no final order/report shall be passed either by the Commission or by its Director General.- During the pendency of the writ petition, the Additional Director General filed an application before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate under Section 41(3) read with Section 240A of the Companies Act, 1956 seeking authorisation to conduct a search in the premises of the first respondent. -The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate allowed the application .- The search operation was carried out -.An interim application was filed before the Delhi High Court in the pending writ petition for quashing the search and seizure and for the return of all documents, hard drives and laptops seized during the course of the search and seizure operation and for a stay on the investigation.-The Delhi High Court, by its order stayed further proceedings before the Director General of Investigation. In appeal, the Division Bench by an order directed that the parties would be at liberty to raise their contentions before the learned Single judge and left it open to the Competition Commission or, as the case may be, the Director General to apply for vacating the order dated 26 September 2014. The appeals arise from an ad interim order of the learned Single Judge of the Delhi High Court On a petition instituted under Article 136 of the Constitution of India read with Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure – the High Court has issued the following direction:

“In my opinion, prima facie, the impugned

order did not in any manner, authorize

respondent No. 1 to seize the said material

for which a search warrant had been issued.

In view of the foregoing, the respondent

No. 1, who have seized the subject

material, are restrained from utilizing the

same for any purpose whatsoever, till the

next date of hearing”

Apex court held that

Section 41(3) specifically incorporates a reference to Section 240A in its application to an investigation by the Director General under the provisions of the Competition Act 2002.

Under Section 240A, an Inspector who has reasonable ground to believe that books and papers of, or relating to, any company may be destroyed, mutilated, altered, falsified or secreted may apply to the Magistrate to secure an authorisation for the seizure of the books and

papers.

The provisions of Section 240A do not merely relate to an authorisation for a search but extend to the authorisation of a seizure as well.

Unless the seizure were to be authorised, a mere search by itself will not be sufficient for the purposes of investigation.

Having due regard to the provisions of Section 240A and the underlying purpose of Section 41(3), we are of the view that the blanket restraint which has been imposed by the learned Single Judge on the appellants utilising the seized material for any purpose whatsoever was not warranted.

The High Court has blocked the investigation on an erroneous construction of the powers of the Director General. The High Court should, in our view, be more circumspect before it restrains an investigation under the statutory authority of the Director General.

Having said this, we are of the view that since the writ proceedings before the High Court are pending, the ultimate order that we pass would be such as would protect the interests of the appellants in a fair investigation and would not prejudice the case of the respondents on the issue of jurisdiction which has been raised before the Delhi High Court.

Accordingly, we vacate the order of injunction which has been granted by the learned Single Judge on 2 June 2016.

While vacating the injunction, we leave it open to the Delhi High Court, at the hearing of the writ petitions to determine whether and if so to what extent a reference

to the seized material should be permitted to be made for the purposes of testing the issue of jurisdiction.

We have been apprised of the issues in these writ petitions and we are of the opinion that it would be appropriate if the petitions are remitted back to the Delhi High Court for

determination by a Division Bench of the High Court. We order accordingly.