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DATE: August 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 12, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
(i) S. 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 confers status of coparcener on daughters born before or after amendment in the same manner as son with the same rights and liabilities, (ii) The rights can be claimed by the daughter born earlier with effect from 9.9.2005 with savings as provided in Section 6(1) as to the disposition or alienation, partition or testamentary disposition which had taken place before 20th day of December, 2004, (iii) Since the right in coparcenary is by birth, it is not necessary that father coparcener should be living as on 9.9.2005 (Entire law on family settlements under Hindu Law (HUFs) explained)

The object of preventing, setting up of false or frivolous defence to set at naught the benefit emanating from amended provisions, has to be given full effect. Otherwise, it would become very easy to deprive the daughter of her rights as a coparcener. When such a defence is taken, the Court has to be very extremely careful in accepting the same, and only if very cogent, impeccable, and contemporaneous documentary evidence in shape of public documents in support are available, such a plea may be entertained, not otherwise. We reiterate that the plea of an oral partition or memorandum of partition, unregistered one can be manufactured at any point in time, without any contemporaneous public document needs rejection at all costs. We say so for exceptionally good cases where partition is proved conclusively and we caution the courts that the finding is not to be based on the preponderance of probabilities in view of provisions of gender justice and the rigor of very heavy burden of proof which meet intendment of Explanation to Section 6(5). It has to be remembered that courts cannot defeat the object of the beneficial provisions made by the Amendment Act

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DATE: July 31, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
The settled legal position is that when by virtue of a family settlement or arrangement, members of a family descending from a common ancestor or a near relation seek to sink their differences and disputes, settle and resolve their conflicting claims or disputed titles once and for all in order to buy peace of mind and bring about complete harmony and goodwill in the family, such arrangement ought to be governed by a special equity peculiar to them and would be enforced if honestly made. The object of such arrangement is to protect the family from long drawn litigation or perpetual strives which mar the unity and solidarity of the family and create hatred and bad blood between the various members of the family (All imp judgements referred)

It is wellsettled that registration would be necessary only if the terms of the family arrangement are reduced into writing. Here also, a distinction should be made between a document containing the terms and recitals of a family arrangement made under the document and a mere memorandum prepared after the family arrangement had already been made either for the purpose of the record or for information of the court for making necessary mutation. In such a case the memorandum itself does not create or extinguish any rights in immovable properties and therefore does not fall within the mischief of Section 17(2) of the Registration Act and is, therefore, not compulsorily registrable;

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DATE: July 10, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 15, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Extension of limitation period due to Covid-19 Lock down: Service of all notices, summons and exchange of pleadings may be effected by e-mail, FAX, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc in addition to service of the same document by e-mail simultaneously on the same date. The Reserve Bank of India may consider whether the validity period of a cheque under the Negotiable Instruments Act should be extended or not

Extension of validity of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. With reference to the prayer, that the period of validity of a cheque be extended, we find that the said period has not been prescribed by any Statute but it is a period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India under Section 35-A of the Banking Regulation Act,1949. We do not consider it appropriate to interfere with the period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India, particularly, since the entire banking system functions on the basis of the period so prescribed.

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DATE: May 26, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 28, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
There is a clear distinction between ‘retirement of a partner’ and ‘dissolution of a partnership firm’. On retirement of the partner, the reconstituted firm continues and the retiring partner is to be paid his dues in terms of Section 37 of the Partnership Act. In case of dissolution, accounts have to be settled and distributed as per the mode prescribed in Section 48 of the Partnership Act. When the partners agree to dissolve a partnership, it is a case of dissolution and not retirement A partnership firm must have at least two partners. When there are only two partners and one has agreed to retire, then the retirement amounts to dissolution of the firm (Imp judgements referred)

The primary claim and submission of the appellants is that Amar Singh had resigned as a partner and, therefore, in terms of clause (10) of the partnership deed (Exhibit P-3) dated 6 th May 1981, he would be entitled to only the capital standing in his credit in the books of accounts. However, the argument has to be rejected as in the present case there were only two partners and there is overwhelming evidence on record that Amar Singh had not resigned as a partner. On the other hand, there was mutual understanding and agreement that the partnership firm would be dissolved

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DATE: May 11, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 16, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Doctrine of "Force Majeure" & "Frustration of Contract": Under Indian contract law, the consequences of a force majeure event are provided for u/s 56 of the Contract Act, which states that on the occurrence of an event which renders the performance impossible, the contract becomes void thereafter. When the parties have not provided for what would take place when an event which renders the performance of the contract impossible, then S. 56 of the Contract Act applies. The effect of the doctrine of frustration is that it discharges all the parties from future obligations (Imp judgements referred)

From the aforesaid discussion, it can be said that the contract was based on a fixed rate. The party, before entering the tender process, entered the contract after mitigating the risk of such an increase. If the purpose of the tender was to limit the risks of price variations, then the interpretation placed by the Arbitral Tribunal cannot be said to be possible one, as it would completely defeat the explicit wordings and purpose of the contract. There is no gainsaying that there will be price fluctuations which a prudent contractor would have taken into margin, while bidding in the tender. Such price fluctuations cannot be brought under Clause 23 unless specific language points to the inclusion.

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DATE: May 4, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 9, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Contempt of Court by Advocates: There is not an iota of remorse or any semblance of apology on behalf of the contemnors. In view of the scurrilous and scandalous allegations levelled against the judges of this Court and no remorse being shown by any of the contemnors we are of the considered view that they cannot be let off leniently. It is obvious that this is a concerted effort to virtually hold the Judiciary to ransom. All three contemnors are sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 3 months each with a fine of Rs. 2000

There is not an iota of remorse or any semblance of apology on behalf of the contemnors. Since they have not argued on sentence, we have to decide the sentence without assistance of the contemnors. In view of the scurrilous and scandalous allegations levelled against the judges of this Court and no remorse being shown by any of the contemnors we are of the considered view that they cannot be let off leniently. We have also held in our judgment that the complaints were sent by the contemnors with a view to intimidate the Judges who were yet to hear Shri Nedumpara on the question of punishment, so that no action against Shri Nedumpara is taken. Therefore, it is obvious that this is a concerted effort to virtually hold the Judiciary to ransom.

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DATE: May 6, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 9, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Extension of limitation period: Taking into consideration the effect of the Corona Virus (COVID 19) and resultant difficulties being faced by lawyers and litigants and with a view to obviate such difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunal across the country including this Court, it is hereby ordered that all periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 shall be extended with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders to be passed by this Court in the present proceedings

In case the limitation has expired after 15.03.2020 then the period from 15.03.2020 till the date on which the lockdown is lifted in the jurisdictional area where the dispute lies or where the cause of action arises shall be extended for a period of 15 days after the lifting of lockdown

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DATE: May 6, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 7, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Power of Supreme Court & High Court under Articles 142 and 226 to entertain a challenge to the assessment order on the sole ground that the statutory remedy of appeal against that order stands foreclosed by the law of limitation: The statutory period prescribed for redressal of the grievance cannot be disregarded and a writ petition entertained. Doing so would be in the teeth of the principle that the Court cannot issue a writ which is inconsistent with the legislative intent. That would render the legislative scheme and intention behind the statutory provision otiose

A priori, we have no hesitation in taking the view that what this Court cannot do in exercise of its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, it is unfathomable as to how the High Court can take a different approach in the matter in reference to Article 226 of the Constitution. The principle
underlying the rejection of such argument by this Court would apply on all fours to the exercise of power by the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

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DATE: April 27, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 1, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Contempt of Court: There can be no manner of doubt that any citizen of the country can criticise the judgments delivered by any Court including this Court. However, no party has the right to attribute motives to a Judge or to question the bona fides of the Judge or to raise questions with regard to the competence of the Judge. Judges are part and parcel of the justice delivery system. When there is a concerted attack by members of the Bar, the Court cannot shut its eyes to the slanderous and scandalous allegations made. If such allegations are permitted to remain unchallenged then the public will lose faith not only in those particular Judges but also in the entire justice delivery system and this definitely affects the majesty of law

The purpose of having a law of contempt is not to prevent fair criticism but to ensure that the respect and confidence which the people of this country repose in the judicial system is not undermined in any manner whatsoever. If the confidence of the citizenry in the institution of justice is shattered then not only the judiciary, but democracy itself will be under threat. Contempt powers have been very sparingly used by the Courts and rightly so. The shoulders of this Court are broad enough to withstand criticism, even criticism which may transcend the parameters of fair criticism. However, if the criticism is made in a concerted manner to lower the majesty of the institution of the Courts and with a view to tarnish the image, not only of the Judges, but also the Courts, then if such attempts are not checked the results will be disastrous. Section 5 of the Contempt of Courts Act itself provides that publishing of any fair comment on the merits of any case which has been heard and finally decided does not amount to contempt.

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DATE: April 27, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 30, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
The concept of "constructive delivery" of goods as expounded in Arjan Dass Gupta 45 STC 52 (Del) is not proper to interpret the provisions of s. 3 of the CST Act. A legal fiction is created s. 3 that the movement of goods, from one State to another shall terminate, where the good have been delivered to a carrier for transmission, at the time of when delivery is taken from such carrier. There is no concept of constructive delivery either express or implied in the said provision. On a plain reading of the statute, the movement of the goods would terminate only when delivery is taken. There is no scope of incorporating any further word to qualify the nature and scope of the expression “delivery” within the said section. If the authorities felt any assessee or dealer was taking unintended benefit under the aforesaid provisions of the 1956 Act, then the proper course would be legislative amendment. The Tax Administration Authorities cannot give their own interpretation to legislative provisions on the basis of their own perception of trade practice. This administrative exercise, in effect, would result in supplying words to legislative provisions, as if to cure omissions of the legislature

In the case of Arjan Dass Gupta (supra) principle akin to constructive delivery was expounded and we have quoted the relevant passage from that decision earlier in this judgment. In our opinion, however, such construction would not be proper to interpret the provisions of Section 3 of the 1956 Act. A legal fiction is created in first explanation to that Section. That fiction is that the movement of goods, from one State to another shall terminate, where the good have been delivered to a carrier for transmission, at the time of when delivery is taken from such carrier. There is no concept of constructive delivery either express or implied in the said provision. On a plain reading of the statute, the movement of the goods, for the purposes of clause (b) of Section 3 of the 1956 Act would terminate only when delivery is taken, having regard to first explanation to that Section. There is no scope of incorporating any further word to qualify the nature and scope of the expression “delivery” within the said section. The legislature has eschewed from giving the said word an expansive meaning. The High Court under the judgment which is assailed in Civil Appeal No.2217 of 2011 rightly held that there is no place for any intendment in taxing statutes. We are of the view that the interpretation of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court given in the case of Arjan Dass Gupta does not lays down correct position of law. In the event, the authorities felt any assessee or dealer was taking unintended benefit under the aforesaid provisions of the 1956 Act, then the proper course would be legislative amendment. The Tax Administration Authorities cannot give their own interpretation to legislative provisions on the basis of their own perception of trade practise. This administrative exercise, in effect, would result in supplying words to legislative provisions, as if to cure omissions of the legislature