The suit filed by the plaintiff was for specific performance of the agreement of reconveyance dated 23.04.1975. Alternatively, he had also sought for a declaration that the sale deed dated 23.04.1975 was null and void and not binding on the plaintiff. whether the sale deed dated 23.04.1975 executed by the plaintiff in favour of the defendants is a nominal sale deed obtained as security for the loan advanced by the defendants.?The deed of re-conveyance, contains a clause for payment of interest on the consideration amount of Rs.35,000/-. However, the plaintiff has pleaded that there is no agreement to pay the interest. This shows that the plaintiff was not ready to perform his part of the obligation as per the agreement. Further, the plaintiff had mortgaged the property with the bank and the bank had obtained an award against the plaintiff. When the suit property was put up for auction, the defendants paid the entire amount to the bank which was payable by the plaintiff under this award. This aspect also indicates the conduct of the plaintiff.Taking an overall view of the matter, the trial court has rightly held that the plaintiff was not ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. The High Court, in our view, was not justified in reversing the well-reasoned judgment of the trial court. In the result, this appeal succeeds and it is accordingly allowed. The judgment of the High Court in R.F.A. No.626 of 2001 dated 21.08.2006 is set aside and the judgment and decree passed by the trial court in O.S. No.3308 of 1988 dated 12.04.2001 is restored.

REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCIVIL APPEAL NO. 8425 OF 2009C.S. VENKATESH … APPELLANTVERSUSA.S.C. MURTHY (D) BYLRS. & ORS. … RESPONDENTSJ U D G M E N TS. ABDUL NAZEER, J. This appeal is directed against the judgment and decree in RFA No.626 of2001 dated 21.08.2006 passed by the High Court of Karnataka… Read More The suit filed by the plaintiff was for specific performance of the agreement of reconveyance dated 23.04.1975. Alternatively, he had also sought for a declaration that the sale deed dated 23.04.1975 was null and void and not binding on the plaintiff. whether the sale deed dated 23.04.1975 executed by the plaintiff in favour of the defendants is a nominal sale deed obtained as security for the loan advanced by the defendants.?The deed of re-conveyance, contains a clause for payment of interest on the consideration amount of Rs.35,000/-. However, the plaintiff has pleaded that there is no agreement to pay the interest. This shows that the plaintiff was not ready to perform his part of the obligation as per the agreement. Further, the plaintiff had mortgaged the property with the bank and the bank had obtained an award against the plaintiff. When the suit property was put up for auction, the defendants paid the entire amount to the bank which was payable by the plaintiff under this award. This aspect also indicates the conduct of the plaintiff.Taking an overall view of the matter, the trial court has rightly held that the plaintiff was not ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. The High Court, in our view, was not justified in reversing the well-reasoned judgment of the trial court. In the result, this appeal succeeds and it is accordingly allowed. The judgment of the High Court in R.F.A. No.626 of 2001 dated 21.08.2006 is set aside and the judgment and decree passed by the trial court in O.S. No.3308 of 1988 dated 12.04.2001 is restored.

Corporate Laws :- Sales Tax -Sales Tax Holidays = whether the Government Order No.CI 30 SPC 96 dated 15th March, 1996, namely, the Industrial Policy merely provides for sales tax concession and incentives and nothing more.? The core issue raised in these appeals, in our opinion, is no more res integra. It has been answered in the decision of this Court in “Malnad Areca Processing and Marketing Limited vs. Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Assessment) and Others”, reported in (2008) 11 SCC 536. This very Industrial Policy, 1996 was considered by the Court. The Court opined that the same provides for exemption only in respect of sales tax and not for purchase tax as such. As observed in the case of Malnad (supra), the State can levy tax both at the sale point and/or at the purchase point. That distinction being clear, the question of assuming that the purchase tax was also part of the industrial policy under consideration cannot be countenanced. As a result, we find no reason to deviate from the view taken by the High Court in following the principle expounded in the decision of Malnad (supra).

1REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCIVIL APPEAL NO(S).10680-10683 OF 2011M/S HIGH RANGE COFFEE CURING PVT.LTD. APPELLANT(S)VERSUSTHE STATE OF KARNATAKA & ORS.ETC. RESPONDENT(S)WITHCIVIL APPEAL NO.10684 OF 2011O R D E R Heard counsel for the parties. The opening ground urged by theappellant is that the High Court ought not tohave entertained the appeals on… Read More Corporate Laws :- Sales Tax -Sales Tax Holidays = whether the Government Order No.CI 30 SPC 96 dated 15th March, 1996, namely, the Industrial Policy merely provides for sales tax concession and incentives and nothing more.? The core issue raised in these appeals, in our opinion, is no more res integra. It has been answered in the decision of this Court in “Malnad Areca Processing and Marketing Limited vs. Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Assessment) and Others”, reported in (2008) 11 SCC 536. This very Industrial Policy, 1996 was considered by the Court. The Court opined that the same provides for exemption only in respect of sales tax and not for purchase tax as such. As observed in the case of Malnad (supra), the State can levy tax both at the sale point and/or at the purchase point. That distinction being clear, the question of assuming that the purchase tax was also part of the industrial policy under consideration cannot be countenanced. As a result, we find no reason to deviate from the view taken by the High Court in following the principle expounded in the decision of Malnad (supra).

whether the service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee prior to the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 is to be counted while calculating their qualifying service for determination of pension. ? The Union of India has raised a two­fold submission. It is first submitted that the service of the petitioners rendered prior to 03.07.2000 cannot be taken into consideration while quantifying the qualifying service or determining their retiral benefits. It is secondly contended that this plea could have been taken in the earlier writ petition and, in fact, such a plea was raised but finally the Court did not grant this relief and, therefore, they cannot file the second petition. From the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was created under administrative instructions of the Government. Thereafter, the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 came into force. The services of the officers and employees were governed by Rule 3A and after 2000, they are governed by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 2000. They have been rendering service uninterruptedly as employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and no distinction can be made between the service prior to 03.07.2000 and the service rendered thereafter. The petitioners have been regular employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and their entire service must be counted for determining their pension and other retiral benefits. This entire service is to be treated as their qualifying service in accordance with the Rules. As far as the second submission made on behalf of the Union of India is concerned, we have carefully gone through the earlier order and the writ petition. Though it is correct that in the writ petition there was a general claim to grant all the benefits under Rule 6 which would include retiral benefits but it appears that the Court did not go into the same. There is no rejection of the plea and as such we are of the considered view that this petition is maintainable and cannot be rejected on this hyper­technical ground. In relation to applicability of Order II Rule 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 this Court has held in Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others1 as follows: 1 AIR 1962 SC 1334 7 “12. …The bar of O.2 R. 2 of the Civil Procedure Code on which the High Court apparently relied may not apply to a petition for a high prerogative writ under Art. 226 of the Constitution, but the High Court having disallowed the claim of the appellant for salary prior to the date of the suit, we do not think that we would be justified in interfering with the exercise of its discretion by the High Court.” Placing reliance on the case of Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma (supra), this Court in Gulabchand Chhotalal Parikh v. State of Gujarat2 in relation to Order II Rule 2 held as follows: “23. …By its very language, these provisions do not apply to the contents of a writ petition and consequently do not apply to the contents of a subsequent suit…” In view of the above, we allow the petition and direct that the entire service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be treated as qualifying service for the purpose of pension and shall be taken into consideration for calculating their retiral benefits. Pending application(s), if any, stand(s) disposed of.

NON­REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTIONWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 59 OF 2019BRAHMA SINGH AND OTHERS …PETITIONER(S)VersusUNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS …RESPONDENT(S)J U D G M E N TDEEPAK GUPTA, J.The short issue involved in this case is whether the servicerendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal AidCommittee and Supreme Court Legal… Read More whether the service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee prior to the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 is to be counted while calculating their qualifying service for determination of pension. ? The Union of India has raised a two­fold submission. It is first submitted that the service of the petitioners rendered prior to 03.07.2000 cannot be taken into consideration while quantifying the qualifying service or determining their retiral benefits. It is secondly contended that this plea could have been taken in the earlier writ petition and, in fact, such a plea was raised but finally the Court did not grant this relief and, therefore, they cannot file the second petition. From the facts narrated above, it is apparent that the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee was created under administrative instructions of the Government. Thereafter, the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 came into force. The services of the officers and employees were governed by Rule 3A and after 2000, they are governed by the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Regulations, 2000. They have been rendering service uninterruptedly as employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and no distinction can be made between the service prior to 03.07.2000 and the service rendered thereafter. The petitioners have been regular employees of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee and their entire service must be counted for determining their pension and other retiral benefits. This entire service is to be treated as their qualifying service in accordance with the Rules. As far as the second submission made on behalf of the Union of India is concerned, we have carefully gone through the earlier order and the writ petition. Though it is correct that in the writ petition there was a general claim to grant all the benefits under Rule 6 which would include retiral benefits but it appears that the Court did not go into the same. There is no rejection of the plea and as such we are of the considered view that this petition is maintainable and cannot be rejected on this hyper­technical ground. In relation to applicability of Order II Rule 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 this Court has held in Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others1 as follows: 1 AIR 1962 SC 1334 7 “12. …The bar of O.2 R. 2 of the Civil Procedure Code on which the High Court apparently relied may not apply to a petition for a high prerogative writ under Art. 226 of the Constitution, but the High Court having disallowed the claim of the appellant for salary prior to the date of the suit, we do not think that we would be justified in interfering with the exercise of its discretion by the High Court.” Placing reliance on the case of Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma (supra), this Court in Gulabchand Chhotalal Parikh v. State of Gujarat2 in relation to Order II Rule 2 held as follows: “23. …By its very language, these provisions do not apply to the contents of a writ petition and consequently do not apply to the contents of a subsequent suit…” In view of the above, we allow the petition and direct that the entire service rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall be treated as qualifying service for the purpose of pension and shall be taken into consideration for calculating their retiral benefits. Pending application(s), if any, stand(s) disposed of.

Assumption and Presumtions carries no value = where the defendant No.2 had contested the suit and had put forth the contention that he was a bonafide purchaser without notice and through his evidence had deposed that he had no knowledge of agreement entered into between the defendant No.1 and defendant No.2, that aspect required appropriate consideration. However, the Courts below have on the contrary concluded that the defendants No.1 and 2 being of the same village, the defendant No.2 would have knowledge of the agreement entered into by the defendant No.1 in favour of the plaintiff. Such conclusion is only an assumption and there is no evidence with regard to the knowledge of defendant No.2 even if he was from the same village. In addition, the Lower Appellate Court has concluded that since the defendant No.1 has not caused appearance in spite of notice having been issued and he not being examined as a witness it could be gathered that there is connivance amongst the defendants to defeat the rights of the plaintiff. Such assumption is also not justified since the defendant No.2 had purchased the property for a consideration under a registered document and the defendant No.2 was also put in possession of the property. In that circumstance the defendant No.1 who had lost interest in the property, if had not chosen to appear and defend the suit the same cannot be a presumption of connivance in the absence of evidence to that effect. Wrong Appreciation of Evidence – Readiness and Willingness must be plead and must be proved even in the absence of defence = In the absence of denial by the defendant No.1, even if the payment of Rs.69,500/­ and the claim by the plaintiff of having gone to the office of Sub­Registrar on 15.06.2004 is accepted, the fact as to whether the plaintiff had notified the defendant No.1 about he being ready with the balance sale consideration and calling upon the plaintiff to appear before the Sub­Registrar and execute the Sale Deed was required to be proved. From among the documents produced and marked as Exhibit P1 to P9 there is no document to that effect, more particularly to indicate the availability of the balance sale consideration as on 15.06.2004 and as on the date of filing the suit. Despite the same, merely based on the oral testimony of PW1, the Courts below have accepted the case put forth by the plaintiff to be ready and willing to complete the transaction. Instead of arriving at an appropriate conclusion on that aspect, the Trial Court while answering the issues No.1 and 2 has concluded that the amount of sale consideration has already been paid and the fact that the Civil Suit has been filed by the plaintiff are sufficient to establish that the plaintiff remained ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. On the other hand, it is noticed that what had been paid as on the date of filing the suit was only the earnest money and the balance amount was deposited only on 03.08.2007 after the suit was decreed at the first instance on 14.06.2007 and not as on the date of filing the suit. Hence the concurrent conclusion reached by all the three Courts is an apparent error, the correction of which is necessary. It is no doubt true that as on the date of decision for the second time after restoration, the amount had been deposited which is not the same as having deposited or paid prior to or at the time of filing the suit. Even if the amount had been deposited as on the date of filing the suit, the readiness and willingness with possession of the sale consideration as on 15.06.2004 was necessary to be proved, which has not been done. Hence, in our opinion the Courts below have not appropriately considered this aspect of the matter.

REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCIVIL APPEAL NO. 760 OF 2020(Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.10949 of 2019)Sukhwinder Singh .…Appellant(s)VersusJagroop Singh & Anr. …. Respondent(s)J U D G M E N TA.S. Bopanna,J. The appellant herein was the defendant No.2 in CaseNo.915 of 16.11.2004/17.04.2015. The respondent No.1herein was the plaintiff in the suit.… Read More Assumption and Presumtions carries no value = where the defendant No.2 had contested the suit and had put forth the contention that he was a bonafide purchaser without notice and through his evidence had deposed that he had no knowledge of agreement entered into between the defendant No.1 and defendant No.2, that aspect required appropriate consideration. However, the Courts below have on the contrary concluded that the defendants No.1 and 2 being of the same village, the defendant No.2 would have knowledge of the agreement entered into by the defendant No.1 in favour of the plaintiff. Such conclusion is only an assumption and there is no evidence with regard to the knowledge of defendant No.2 even if he was from the same village. In addition, the Lower Appellate Court has concluded that since the defendant No.1 has not caused appearance in spite of notice having been issued and he not being examined as a witness it could be gathered that there is connivance amongst the defendants to defeat the rights of the plaintiff. Such assumption is also not justified since the defendant No.2 had purchased the property for a consideration under a registered document and the defendant No.2 was also put in possession of the property. In that circumstance the defendant No.1 who had lost interest in the property, if had not chosen to appear and defend the suit the same cannot be a presumption of connivance in the absence of evidence to that effect. Wrong Appreciation of Evidence – Readiness and Willingness must be plead and must be proved even in the absence of defence = In the absence of denial by the defendant No.1, even if the payment of Rs.69,500/­ and the claim by the plaintiff of having gone to the office of Sub­Registrar on 15.06.2004 is accepted, the fact as to whether the plaintiff had notified the defendant No.1 about he being ready with the balance sale consideration and calling upon the plaintiff to appear before the Sub­Registrar and execute the Sale Deed was required to be proved. From among the documents produced and marked as Exhibit P1 to P9 there is no document to that effect, more particularly to indicate the availability of the balance sale consideration as on 15.06.2004 and as on the date of filing the suit. Despite the same, merely based on the oral testimony of PW1, the Courts below have accepted the case put forth by the plaintiff to be ready and willing to complete the transaction. Instead of arriving at an appropriate conclusion on that aspect, the Trial Court while answering the issues No.1 and 2 has concluded that the amount of sale consideration has already been paid and the fact that the Civil Suit has been filed by the plaintiff are sufficient to establish that the plaintiff remained ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. On the other hand, it is noticed that what had been paid as on the date of filing the suit was only the earnest money and the balance amount was deposited only on 03.08.2007 after the suit was decreed at the first instance on 14.06.2007 and not as on the date of filing the suit. Hence the concurrent conclusion reached by all the three Courts is an apparent error, the correction of which is necessary. It is no doubt true that as on the date of decision for the second time after restoration, the amount had been deposited which is not the same as having deposited or paid prior to or at the time of filing the suit. Even if the amount had been deposited as on the date of filing the suit, the readiness and willingness with possession of the sale consideration as on 15.06.2004 was necessary to be proved, which has not been done. Hence, in our opinion the Courts below have not appropriately considered this aspect of the matter.

whether the case of the appellant is a fit case for exercising the discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence of imprisonment imposed in the earlier case ? Since the appellant was already undergoing imprisonment in FIR No.64/2011, in terms of Section 427 Crl.P.C., subsequent sentences shall run consecutively until and unless the court specifically directs that they shall run concurrently. The appellant has already undergone 10 years of imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.64/2011. The appellant is currently undergoing imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.67/2011 out of which he has already undergone 01 year 06 months and 16 days as of 29.01.2020 . If the appellant is to undergo the sentences consecutively, the appellant has to undergo another about five years plus four years of imprisonment for the conviction in FIR No.263/2009. Pursuant to the order dated 13.12.2019, the Probation Officer, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had sent the report dated 10.01.2020 stating the family background and also that there is ample scope of improvement in the behaviour of the appellant and that he may be given a chance for reformation and reintegration with the family and the society. As per the report filed by the Probation officer dated 10.01.2020, on visiting the residential address of the appellant, it was found that his family is very poor and residing in a 50 yard house for the last 20 years. The father of the appellant is 11 58 years old, having ill health and the only bread winner in the family, was working as carpenter. The mother of the appellant was suffering from cancer and was not able to take treatment due to the poor economic condition. The father of the appellant submitted that the appellant was helping in his work before conviction. The elder sister of the appellant is married, but since the last one and a half year, she has been living in her maternal house due to domestic violence in her in-laws’ house. On enquiring from neighbours, they reported in favour of the appellant and his family. The family of the appellant expressed positive attitude to be reunited with the appellant and desired to live a normal social life. The appellant has full acceptance of his family and the appellant has also shown keen interest and willingness to re-unite with them. Considering the report of the Probation Officer, illness of the mother of the appellant, his family background, facts and circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice, in our view, this is a fit case for exercising discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently. Since the appellant has a poor economic background, fine amount of Rs.10,000/- imposed on him each in FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009 are set aside and therefore, the appellant need not to undergo default sentence of 12 imprisonment. This order to run the sentence of imprisonment concurrently has been made in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and the illness of the appellant’s mother and hence, the same may not be quoted as precedent in other cases

NON-REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 208 OF 2020(Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.4201 of 2019)VICKY @ VIKAS …AppellantVERSUSSTATE (GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI) …RespondentJ U D G M E N TR. BANUMATHI, J.Leave granted. This appeal has been filed by the appellant against theimpugned judgment dated 20.05.2016 passed by the High… Read More whether the case of the appellant is a fit case for exercising the discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently with the sentence of imprisonment imposed in the earlier case ? Since the appellant was already undergoing imprisonment in FIR No.64/2011, in terms of Section 427 Crl.P.C., subsequent sentences shall run consecutively until and unless the court specifically directs that they shall run concurrently. The appellant has already undergone 10 years of imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.64/2011. The appellant is currently undergoing imprisonment for conviction in FIR No.67/2011 out of which he has already undergone 01 year 06 months and 16 days as of 29.01.2020 . If the appellant is to undergo the sentences consecutively, the appellant has to undergo another about five years plus four years of imprisonment for the conviction in FIR No.263/2009. Pursuant to the order dated 13.12.2019, the Probation Officer, Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of NCT of Delhi had sent the report dated 10.01.2020 stating the family background and also that there is ample scope of improvement in the behaviour of the appellant and that he may be given a chance for reformation and reintegration with the family and the society. As per the report filed by the Probation officer dated 10.01.2020, on visiting the residential address of the appellant, it was found that his family is very poor and residing in a 50 yard house for the last 20 years. The father of the appellant is 11 58 years old, having ill health and the only bread winner in the family, was working as carpenter. The mother of the appellant was suffering from cancer and was not able to take treatment due to the poor economic condition. The father of the appellant submitted that the appellant was helping in his work before conviction. The elder sister of the appellant is married, but since the last one and a half year, she has been living in her maternal house due to domestic violence in her in-laws’ house. On enquiring from neighbours, they reported in favour of the appellant and his family. The family of the appellant expressed positive attitude to be reunited with the appellant and desired to live a normal social life. The appellant has full acceptance of his family and the appellant has also shown keen interest and willingness to re-unite with them. Considering the report of the Probation Officer, illness of the mother of the appellant, his family background, facts and circumstances of the case and in the interest of justice, in our view, this is a fit case for exercising discretion in directing the sentence of imprisonment to run concurrently. Since the appellant has a poor economic background, fine amount of Rs.10,000/- imposed on him each in FIR No.67/2011 and FIR No.263/2009 are set aside and therefore, the appellant need not to undergo default sentence of 12 imprisonment. This order to run the sentence of imprisonment concurrently has been made in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and the illness of the appellant’s mother and hence, the same may not be quoted as precedent in other cases

Quashing of Criminal Proceedings – Section 420 read with Section 120B of the IPC – At this stage, it is required to be noted that though the FIR was filed in the year 2000 and the chargesheet was submitted/filed as far back as on 28.5.2004, the appellants were served with the summons only in the year 2017, i.e., after a period of approximately 13 years from the date of filing the chargesheet. Under the circumstances, the High Court has committed a grave error in not quashing and setting aside the impugned criminal proceedings and has erred in not exercising the jurisdiction vested in it under Section 482 Cr.P.C.- there are no specific allegations and averments in the FIR and/or even in the chargesheet that fraudulent and dishonest intention of the accused was from the very beginning of the transaction. It is also required to be noted that contract between M/s SPML Infra Limited and the Government was for supply and commissioning of the Nurang Hydel Power Project including three power generating units. The appellants purchased the turbines for the project from another manufacturer. The company used the said turbines in the power project. The contract was in the year 1993. Thereafter in the year 1996 the project was commissioned. In the year 1997, the Department of Power issued a certificate certifying satisfaction over the execution of the project. Even the defect liability period ended/expired in January, 1998. In the year 2000, there was some defect found with respect to three turbines. Immediately, the turbines were replaced. If the intention of the company/appellants was to cheat the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, they would not have replaced the turbines which were found to be defective. In any case, there are no specific allegations and averments in the complaint that the accused had fraudulent or dishonest intention at the time of entering into the contract. Therefore, applying the law laid down by this Court in the aforesaid decisions, it cannot be said that even a prima facie case for the offence under Section 420 IPC has been made out. It is also required to be noted that the main allegations can be said to be against the company. The company has not been made a party. The allegations are restricted to the Managing Director and the Director of the company respectively. There are no specific allegations against the Managing Director or even the Director. There are no allegations to constitute the vicarious liability. In the case of Maksud Saiyed v. State of Gujarat (2008) 5 SCC 668, it is observed and held by this Court that the penal code does not contain any provision for attaching vicarious liability on the part of the Managing Director or the Directors of the company when the accused is the company. It is further observed and held that the vicarious liability of the Managing Director and Director would arise provided any provision exists in that behalf in the statute. It is further observed that statute indisputably must contain provision fixing such vicarious liabilities. It is further observed that even for the said purpose, it is obligatory on the part of the complainant to make requisite allegations which would attract the provisions constituting vicarious liability. In the present case, there are no such specific allegations against the appellants being Managing Director or the Director of the company respectively. Under the circumstances also, the impugned criminal proceedings are required to be quashed and set aside.

REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 125 OF 2020(Arising from SLP(Crl.) No. 590 of 2019)Sushil Sethi and another ..AppellantsVersusThe State of Arunachal Pradesh and others ..RespondentsJ U D G M E N TM.R. SHAH, J.Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugnedjudgment and order dated 07.09.2018 passed by the High Courtof Gauhati… Read More Quashing of Criminal Proceedings – Section 420 read with Section 120B of the IPC – At this stage, it is required to be noted that though the FIR was filed in the year 2000 and the chargesheet was submitted/filed as far back as on 28.5.2004, the appellants were served with the summons only in the year 2017, i.e., after a period of approximately 13 years from the date of filing the chargesheet. Under the circumstances, the High Court has committed a grave error in not quashing and setting aside the impugned criminal proceedings and has erred in not exercising the jurisdiction vested in it under Section 482 Cr.P.C.- there are no specific allegations and averments in the FIR and/or even in the chargesheet that fraudulent and dishonest intention of the accused was from the very beginning of the transaction. It is also required to be noted that contract between M/s SPML Infra Limited and the Government was for supply and commissioning of the Nurang Hydel Power Project including three power generating units. The appellants purchased the turbines for the project from another manufacturer. The company used the said turbines in the power project. The contract was in the year 1993. Thereafter in the year 1996 the project was commissioned. In the year 1997, the Department of Power issued a certificate certifying satisfaction over the execution of the project. Even the defect liability period ended/expired in January, 1998. In the year 2000, there was some defect found with respect to three turbines. Immediately, the turbines were replaced. If the intention of the company/appellants was to cheat the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, they would not have replaced the turbines which were found to be defective. In any case, there are no specific allegations and averments in the complaint that the accused had fraudulent or dishonest intention at the time of entering into the contract. Therefore, applying the law laid down by this Court in the aforesaid decisions, it cannot be said that even a prima facie case for the offence under Section 420 IPC has been made out. It is also required to be noted that the main allegations can be said to be against the company. The company has not been made a party. The allegations are restricted to the Managing Director and the Director of the company respectively. There are no specific allegations against the Managing Director or even the Director. There are no allegations to constitute the vicarious liability. In the case of Maksud Saiyed v. State of Gujarat (2008) 5 SCC 668, it is observed and held by this Court that the penal code does not contain any provision for attaching vicarious liability on the part of the Managing Director or the Directors of the company when the accused is the company. It is further observed and held that the vicarious liability of the Managing Director and Director would arise provided any provision exists in that behalf in the statute. It is further observed that statute indisputably must contain provision fixing such vicarious liabilities. It is further observed that even for the said purpose, it is obligatory on the part of the complainant to make requisite allegations which would attract the provisions constituting vicarious liability. In the present case, there are no such specific allegations against the appellants being Managing Director or the Director of the company respectively. Under the circumstances also, the impugned criminal proceedings are required to be quashed and set aside.

Whether the ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (“KBC”) programe was unfair Trade Practice ? No Star India (P) Ltd., the Appellant in C.A. No. 6597/2008 (hereinafter “Star India”) used to broadcast the programme ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (“KBC”) between 22.1.2007 and 19.4.2007. The programme was sponsored by Bharti Airtel Limited, the Appellant in C.A. No. 6645/2008 (hereinafter “Airtel”), amongst others. During the telecast of this programme, a contest called ‘Har Seat Hot Seat’ (“HSHS contest”) was conducted, in which the viewers of KBC were invited to participate. An objective­type question with four possible answers was displayed on the screen during each episode, and viewers who wished to participate were required to send in the correct answer, inter alia through SMS services, offered by Airtel, MTNL and BSNL, to a specified number. The winner for each episode was randomly selected out of the persons who had sent in the correct answers, and awarded a prize money of Rs. 2 lakhs. There was no entry fee for the HSHS contest. However, it is not disputed that participants in the HSHS contest were required to pay Rs. 2.40 per SMS message to Airtel, which was higher than the normal rate for SMSes. Hence, Respondent No. 1, which is a consumer society (hereinafter “the complainant”), filed a complaint before the National Commission against Star India and Airtel (but not against BSNL and MTNL), contending that they were committing an ‘unfair trade practice’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)(r)(3)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“the 1986 Act”). It was alleged that the Appellants had created a false impression in viewers’ minds that participation in the HSHS contest was free of cost, whereas the cost of organizing the contest as well the prize money was being reimbursed from the increased rate of SMS charges, and the profits from these charges were being shared by Airtel with Star India. Further, it was alleged that an unfair trade practice had also been committed inasmuch as the contest was essentially a lottery as the questions were simple, and the winners were finally picked by random selection. The purpose of this contest was to promote the business interests of the Appellants by increasing the viewership and Television Rating Points (TRP’s) of the KBC programme, and thus to command higher advertising charges, and also by increasing the revenue earned from SMS messages. Hence the Appellants were culpable for conducting a lottery­like contest to promote their business interests under Section 2(1)(r)(3)(b) of the 1986 Act. Apex court held that we find that the complainant has clearly failed to discharge the burden to prove that the prize money was paid out of SMS revenue, and its averments on this aspect appear to be based on pure conjecture and surmise. We are of the view that there is no basis to conclude that the prize money for the HSHS contest was paid directly out of the SMS revenue earned by Airtel, or that Airtel and Star India had colluded to increase the SMS rates so as to finance the prize money and share the SMS revenue, and the finding of the commission of an “unfair trade practice” rendered by the National Commission on this basis is liable to be set aside.

REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTIONCIVIL APPEAL NO. 6597 OF 2008Star India (P) Ltd. Appellant(s)VERSUSSociety of Catalysts & Anr. Respondent(s)WITHCIVIL APPEAL NO. 6645 OF 2008J U D G M E N TMOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J.These appeals arise out of the judgment dated 11.9.2008 ofthe National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (“NationalCommission”) allowing the consumer… Read More Whether the ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (“KBC”) programe was unfair Trade Practice ? No Star India (P) Ltd., the Appellant in C.A. No. 6597/2008 (hereinafter “Star India”) used to broadcast the programme ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (“KBC”) between 22.1.2007 and 19.4.2007. The programme was sponsored by Bharti Airtel Limited, the Appellant in C.A. No. 6645/2008 (hereinafter “Airtel”), amongst others. During the telecast of this programme, a contest called ‘Har Seat Hot Seat’ (“HSHS contest”) was conducted, in which the viewers of KBC were invited to participate. An objective­type question with four possible answers was displayed on the screen during each episode, and viewers who wished to participate were required to send in the correct answer, inter alia through SMS services, offered by Airtel, MTNL and BSNL, to a specified number. The winner for each episode was randomly selected out of the persons who had sent in the correct answers, and awarded a prize money of Rs. 2 lakhs. There was no entry fee for the HSHS contest. However, it is not disputed that participants in the HSHS contest were required to pay Rs. 2.40 per SMS message to Airtel, which was higher than the normal rate for SMSes. Hence, Respondent No. 1, which is a consumer society (hereinafter “the complainant”), filed a complaint before the National Commission against Star India and Airtel (but not against BSNL and MTNL), contending that they were committing an ‘unfair trade practice’ within the meaning of Section 2(1)(r)(3)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“the 1986 Act”). It was alleged that the Appellants had created a false impression in viewers’ minds that participation in the HSHS contest was free of cost, whereas the cost of organizing the contest as well the prize money was being reimbursed from the increased rate of SMS charges, and the profits from these charges were being shared by Airtel with Star India. Further, it was alleged that an unfair trade practice had also been committed inasmuch as the contest was essentially a lottery as the questions were simple, and the winners were finally picked by random selection. The purpose of this contest was to promote the business interests of the Appellants by increasing the viewership and Television Rating Points (TRP’s) of the KBC programme, and thus to command higher advertising charges, and also by increasing the revenue earned from SMS messages. Hence the Appellants were culpable for conducting a lottery­like contest to promote their business interests under Section 2(1)(r)(3)(b) of the 1986 Act. Apex court held that we find that the complainant has clearly failed to discharge the burden to prove that the prize money was paid out of SMS revenue, and its averments on this aspect appear to be based on pure conjecture and surmise. We are of the view that there is no basis to conclude that the prize money for the HSHS contest was paid directly out of the SMS revenue earned by Airtel, or that Airtel and Star India had colluded to increase the SMS rates so as to finance the prize money and share the SMS revenue, and the finding of the commission of an “unfair trade practice” rendered by the National Commission on this basis is liable to be set aside.