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Mangammal @ Thulasi vs. T.B. Raju (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 18, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (HUF Law): U/s 29-A of the TN Amendment, only daughters of a coparcener who were not married at the time of commencement of the amendment of 1989 are is entitled to claim partition in the Hindu Joint Family Property. Married daughters are not coparceners and are not entitled to institute suit for partition and separate possession (Danamma @ Suman Surpur Vs. Amar 2018 (1) Scale 657 distinguished)

Any property inherited upto four generations of male lineage from the father, father’s father or father’s father’s father i.e. father, grand father etc., is termed as ancestral property. In other words, property inherited from mother, grandmother, uncle and even brother is not ancestral property. In ancestral property, the right of property accrues to the coparcener on birth. The concept of ancestral property is in existence since time immemorial. In the State of Tamil Nadu, in order to give equal position to the females in ancestral property, in the year 1989, the State Government enacted the Hindu Succession (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 1989 effective from March 25, 1989 which brought an amendment in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (for brevity “the Act”) by adding Section 29-A vide Chapter II-A under the heading of Succession by Survivorship

Union of India vs. Pirthwi Singh (Supreme Court)

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DATE: April 24, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 10, 2018 (Date of publication)
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When will the Rip Van Winkleism stop and Union of India wake up to its duties and responsibilities to the justice delivery system? To make matters worse, in this appeal, the Union of India has engaged 10 lawyers, including an Additional Solicitor General and a Senior Advocate! In other words, the Union of India has created a huge financial liability by engaging so many lawyers for an appeal whose fate can be easily imagined on the basis of existing orders of dismissal in similar cases. Yet the Union of India is increasing its liability and asking the taxpayers to bear an avoidable financial burden for the misadventure

To say the least, this is an extremely unfortunate situation of unnecessary and avoidable burdening of this Court through frivolous litigation which calls for yet another reminder through the imposition of costs on the Union of India while dismissing this appeal. We hope that someday some sense, if not better sense, will prevail on the Union of India with regard to the formulation of a realistic and meaningful National Litigation Policy and what it calls ‘ease of doing business’, which can, if faithfully implemented benefit litigants across the country

Danamma @ Suman Surpur vs Amar (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 1, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) Law: The very factum of birth in a coparcenary creates the coparcenary. Therefore the sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth. The amendment to s. 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in 2005 statutorily recognizes the rights of coparceners of daughters as well since birth. Consequently, married daughters can be said to be the coparceners in the HUF and are entitled to the ancestral property even if they were born prior to the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act

Section 6, as amended, stipulates that on and from the commencement of the amended Act, 2005, the daughter of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son. It is apparent that the status conferred upon sons under the old section and the old Hindu Law was to treat them as coparceners since birth. The amended provision now statutorily recognizes the rights of coparceners of daughters as well since birth. The section uses the words in the same manner as the son. It should therefore be apparent that both the sons and the daughters of a coparcener have been conferred the right of becoming coparceners by birth. It is the very factum of birth in a coparcenary that creates the coparcenary, therefore the sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth

Anand Agarwal vs. Vilas Chandrakant Gaokar (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: March 5, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 13, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Certain Advocates have forgotten the code of eithcs. They facilitate the unethical misadventures of their clients, encouraging their clients' dishonest practices, causing grave stress to the Judiciary, and bringing the entire judicial system to disrepute. It has become a vicious and despicable cycle wherein dishonest litigants with malafide intentions seek out unethical Advocates, who for hefty fee and the lure of attracting similar new and unscrupulous clients, choose to disregard all ethics and the code of conduct enjoined upon this august profession

This malicious and mala-fide Notice of Motion sets out/alleges totally baseless and contemptible allegations against this Court, which are completely unacceptable and are a mere shenanigan to circumvent the action of contempt of Court. This reprehensible attempt at intimidating and manipulating this Court into not taking any action under the Law of Contempt calls for censure in the strongest terms. In an attempt to cover up the mala-fide intent, which is crystal clear and amply evident, the litigant Shri Vilas Chandrakant Gaokar dishonestly/falsely reiterates in the Application that he holds the Court in the highest esteem and respects its integrity. It will not be out of place to mention here that in an earlier matter before me, in which Mr. Mathew Nedumpurra appeared for one of the parties, he, after repeatedly reiterating that he holds the Court in the highest esteem and respects its integrity, had proceeded to pray that I recuse myself from all the matters in which he appears

Ram Nagar Trust No.1 vs. Mehtab L Sheikh (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: February 27, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 6, 2018 (Date of publication)
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No more adjournments. No more ‘tareek pe tareek’. Enough is enough. That a Court will endlessly grant adjournments is not something that parties or advocates can take for granted. Nor should they assume that there will be no consequences to continued defaults and unexplained delay

The time has gone when a Court could, would or should pick up some utterly random figure like Rs.5,000 or Rs.25,000, a number wholly without tether to the actual days of delay. Fixing ad hoc figures like this is counter-productive. Parties believe that even if the delay is inordinate, the costs of that delay will be negligible; and hence they continue to extend the delay. The costs must be real. They must be sufficient to convey the message that non-compliance with our orders brings consequences; that these consequences are inevitable and unavoidable; and the consequences are not some piffling trifle

CST vs. Shri Krishna Chaitanya Enterprises (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: January 25, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 17, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Service-tax on maintenance of property: Under the MOFA, the builder/ developer is under a statutory obligation to look after the day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair of the property till conveyance to the co-op society. Such maintenance of the structure is not rendering a taxable service as per s. 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994

The promoter has to maintain, safeguard and protect the property and look after the day-to-day wear and tear. Therefore, when he maintains the structure or repairs it, he is not rendering a taxable service in the sense envisaged by the Financial Act, 1994. If one loses complete focus or sight of the backdrop in which the so called service is rendered, then, the conclusion as erroneous and suggested by the Revenue will be reached. The deposit or the monies themselves are held and appropriated towards payment of taxes, etc., popularly known as outgoings. The building and the Flats therein has to stand intact till all the Flats or units are sold and the statutory obligations are fully discharged. This is not a service of the nature understood by Section 65 (64) of the Finance Act, 1994. It is not a contractor simplicitor of maintenance of immovable property. It is not as if there is a existing building comprising of Flats, fully occupied, the maintenance and upkeep of which is handed over under a contract. It is a statutory obligation superimposed on a contract to sell a Flat/unit in a building to be constructed on a piece or parcel of land. That cannot be confused with a taxable service as defined under the Finance Act, 1994. The day-to=day upkeep, maintenance and repair is till the statutory duty is fully performed as noted above.

Abicor and Binzel Technoweld Pvt. Ltd vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: February 6, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 16, 2018 (Date of publication)
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GST Network: The regime is not tax friendly. GST was highly publicised and termed as popular but there has been great hue and cry because assessees are unable to obtain access to the GST website. Those in charge of implementation and administration must wake up and put in place the requisite mechanism to preserve the image, prestige and reputation of this country, particularly when we are inviting and welcoming foreign investment in the State and the country

We do not think that these are satisfactory state of affairs. A tax like Goods and Services Tax was highly publicised and termed as popular. We had yet not seen a celebration of New Tax regime, but that has followed with great hue and cry. These celebrations mean nothing. The special sessions of Parliament or special or extraordinary meetings of Council would mean nothing to the assessees unless they obtain easy access to the website and portals. The regime is not tax friendly. We hope and trust that those in charge of implementation and administration of this law will at least now wake up and put in place the requisite mechanism. This is necessary to preserve the image, prestige and reputation of this country, particularly when we are inviting and welcoming foreign investment in the State and the country. We hope and trust that such petitions are rarity and the Court will not be called upon to administer the implementation of the law, leave alone monitoring and supervising the working of the individual officials, howsoever high ranking he may be

Kudrat Sandhu vs. UOI (Supreme Court)

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DATE: February 9, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 10, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Appointment of Tribunal Members under new rules: interim directions issued regarding the method for selection of Tribunal Members and their terms and period of appointment

All appointments to be made in pursuance to the selection made by the interim Search-cum-Selection Committee shall abide by the conditions of service as per the old Acts and the Rules. A further direction to the effect that all the selections made by the aforementioned interim selection committee and the consequential appointment of all the selectees as Chairman/Judicial/Administrative members shall be for a period as has been provided in the old Acts and the Rules

Sales Tax Tribunal Bar Association vs. State of Maharashtra (Bombay High Court)

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DATE: September 29, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 30, 2017 (Date of publication)
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Sales-tax/VAT Tribunal: (i) Only legally qualified, judicially trained and experienced persons can be appointed Members. A Chartered Accountant or Commissioner cannot be appointed unless they have expertise in the subject. (ii) The Selection Committee should be headed by either a sitting Judge or a retired Judge of the High Court. (iii) It is the constitutional obligation of the State to provide proper infrastructure to the Courts, Tribunals and Judicial Officers. Financial constraint on the part of the Government is no ground to deny the adequate infrastructure to the Courts and Tribunal. (iv) For complete transparency, the Tribunal will have to ensure that its records are digitized and all orders, short or long, are uploaded on a dedicated website

For bringing about a complete transparency, the Tribunal will have to ensure that its record is digitized and all orders, short or long, are uploaded on a dedicated website. It will be ideal if the President of Tribunal looks into the eCourt Project Phase I and II initiated by the eCommittee of the Apex Court which is being implemented in all civil and criminal Courts in the State. Needless to add that the State Government will provide necessary infrastructure to ensure that the record of the Tribunal is digitized and the aforesaid projects are implemented in substance. We make it clear that it will be open for the learned President of the Tribunal to seek assistance of the High Court team headed by the Central Project Coordinator for implementation of the project of digitization. Till the larger project is implemented, the President will have to ensure that all orders passed by the Tribunal, small or big, are uploaded on the website

H. Naginchand Kincha vs. Superintendent of Police (Karnataka High Court)

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DATE: September 13, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 4, 2017 (Date of publication)
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A Chartered Accountant who is accused of offering a bribe to an Income-tax Officer for performing an official act can be tried under sections 7 and 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and s. 120-B of the IPC. The fact that the CA is not a “public servant” is irrelevant

The third fold of argument that the accused No.2 is not a public servant and is beyond the contemplation of the statute. The words occurring at Section 8 of the Act “Whoever accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept, or attempts to obtain, from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gratification…………” covers the persons other than the public servants contemplated by definition clause (c) of section 2 of the Act and that does not require much elaboration. Regarding the contention that section 7 of the P.C.Act cannot be invoked against accused No.1 is not within the competency of the petitioner to urge before this court. Even otherwise the charge sheet material contains voice recording of the accused Nos.1 and 2 and the complainant and also there is material that this petitioner made demand for bribe on behalf of the 1st accused

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