Remedy to An Allottee — Under RERA Act

In terms of Section 18 of the RERA Ct, if a promoter fails to complete or is unable to give possession of an apartment duly completed by the date specified in the agreement, the promoter would be liable, on demand, to return the amount received by him in respect of that apartment if the allottee wishes to withdraw from the project. Such right of an allottee is specifically made “without prejudice to any other remedy available to him”. The rights so given to the allottee is unqualified and if availed, the money deposited by the allottee has to be refunded with interest at such rate as may be prescribed. The proviso to Section 18(1) contemplates a situation where the allottee does not intend to withdraw from the project. In that case he is entitled to an must be paid interest for every month of delay till the handing over of the possession. It is up to the allottee to proceed either under Section 18(1) or under proviso to Section 18(1). Imperia Structures Ltd. v. Anil Patni, (2020) 10 SCC 783.

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Compromise Decree Comprising of Immovable Property Other Than That Which is subject matter of Suit or Proceeding – Requires Registration

A compromise decree passed by a court would ordinarily be covered by Section 17(1)(b) but sub-section (2) of Section 17 provides for an exception for any decree or order of a court except a decree or order expressed to be made on a compromise and comprising immovable property other than that which is the subject matter of the suit or proceeding. Thus, by virtue of sub-section 2(vi) of Section 17 any decree or order of a court does not require registration. In sub-clause (vi) of sub-section 2, one category is excepted from sub-clause (vi), a decree or order expressed to be made on a compromise and comprising immovable property other than that which is the subject matter of the suit or proceeding. Thus, by conjointly reading Section 17(1)(b) and Section 17(2)(vi), it is clear that a compromise decree comprising immovable property other than which is the subject matter, of the suit or proceeding requires registration, although any decree or order of a court is exempted from registration by virtue of Section 17(2)(vi). Mohd. Yusuf v. Rajkumar, (2020) 10 SCC 264.

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Triple Talaq – Grant of Anticipatory Bail

The statutory text indicates that Section 7(c) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 does not impose an absolute bar on grant of bail. On the contrary, the Magistrate may grant bail, if satisfied that “there are reasonable grounds for granting bail to such person” and upon complying with the requirement of hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced. Hence, though Section 7 begins with a non obstante clause which operates in relation to the CrPC, a plain construction of Section 7(c) of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 would indicate that it does not impose a fetter on the power of the Magistrate to grant bail, save and except, for the stipulation that before doing so, the married Muslim Woman, upon whom talaq is pronounced, must be heard and there should be a satisfaction of the Magistrate of the existence of reasonable grounds for granting bail to the person. This implies that even while entertaining an application for grant of anticipatory bail for an offence under the Act, the competent court must hear the married muslim woman who has made the complaint, as prescribed under Section 7(c) of the Act. Only after giving the married Muslim woman a hearing, can the competent court grant bail to the accused. Rahna Jalal v. State of Kerala, (2021) 1 SCC 733.

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Gift Deed – Required to be Compulsorily Attested

A gift deed is required to be compulsorily attested in terms of Section 123 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. Similar is the provision in respect of execution of a Will which is required to be attested in terms of Section 63 of the Succession Act, 1925. Section 68 of the Evidence Act makes it mandatory to examine one of the attesting witnesses for the purpose of proving of the execution of the Will but such limitation is not applicable in respect of proof of execution of any document which has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the Registration Act, 1908, unless the execution is specifically denied. Govindbhai Chhotabhai Patel v. Patel Ramanbhai Mathurbhai, (2020) 16 SCC 255.

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Proceedings under the Rent Act – Is of Summary Nature

The proceedings under the Rent Act is of summary nature wherein the jural relationship of landlord and tenant is to be taken note of to the extent it is required for considering such eviction petition and the rigour of examining the ownership ought not to be indulged in the manner as is done in a title suit unless the respondent sets up title to the very rented property which is adverse to that of the landlord. Santosh Chaturvedi v. Kailash Chandra, (2020) 16 SCC 672.

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Secondary Evidence – No Requirement of Application

There is no requirement that an application is required to be filed in terms of Section 65(c) of the Evidence Act before the secondary evidence is led. A party to the lis may choose to file an application which is required to be considered by the trial court but if any party to the suit has laid foundation of leading of secondary evidence, either in the plaint or in evidence, the secondary evidence cannot be ousted for consideration only because an application for permission to lead secondary evidence was not filed. Dhanpat v. Sheo Ram, (2020) 16 SCC 209.

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Mental Cruelty – Damaging the reputation of the Spouse

The respondent (wife) had made several defamatory complaints to the appellant’s (Husband) superiors in the army for which, a court of inquiry was held by the Army Authorities against the appellant. Primarily for those, the appellant’s career progress got affected. The Respondent was also making complaints to other authorities, such as, the State Commission for Women and has posted defamatory materials on other platforms. The net outcome of above is that the appellant’s career and reputation had suffered.

        When the appellant has suffered adverse consequences in his life and career on account of the allegations made by the respondent, the legal consequences must follow and those cannot be prevented only because, no court has determined that the allegations were false.

The allegations leveled by a highly educated spouse which have the propensity to irreparably damage the character and reputation of the other spouse and when the reputation of the spouse is sullied amongst his colleagues, his superiors and the society at large, it would be difficult to expect condonation of such conduct by the affected party.  

       The explanation of the wife that she made those complaints in order to protect the matrimonial ties would not justify the persistent effort made by her to undermine the dignity and reputation of her husband. In circumstances like this, the wronged party cannot be expected to continue with the matrimonial relationship and there is enough justification for him to seek separation. Joydeep Majumdar v. Bharti Jaiswal Majumdar, Civil Appeal Nos. 3786-3787 of 2020 decided on 26.02.2021

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Appointment of Arbitrator – Expiry of 30 days period

The mandate of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 as contained under Section 11(4) is extremely clear as the time for appointment of Arbitrator is only restricted to 30 days. Admittedly where the arbitrator has not been appointed within 30 days, the applicant is right in approaching the High Court for appointment of an arbitrator in exercise of the powers under Sections 11(4) and 11(6) of the Act. M/s Three Star Engineering Works Pvt. Ltd. v. Diesel Locomotive Works, 2020 (144) ALR 121.

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Arbitral Award – Concept of Public Policy

In Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. v. Saw Pipes Ltd., (2003) 5 SCC 705 it was observed as under:

       “Therefore, in our view, the phrase “public policy of India” used in Section 34 in context is required to be given a wider meaning. It can be stated that the concept of public policy connotes some matter which concerns public good and the public interest. What is for public good or in public interest or what would be injurious or harmful to the public good or public interest has varied from time to time. However, the award which is, on the face of it, patently in violation of statutory provisions cannot be said to be in public interest. Such award/judgment/decision is likely to adversely affect the administration of justice. Hence in addition to the narrower meaning given to the term “public policy” in Renusagar Power Company Ltd. v. General Electric Company, (1994) Supp (1) SCC 644, it is required to be held that the award could be set aside if it is patently illegal. The result would be – award could be set aside if it is contrary to:

  • Fundamental policy of India law; or
  • The interest of India; or
  • Justice or morality; or
  • In addition, if it is patently illegal.

Illegality must go to the root of the matter and if the illegality is of trivial nature, it cannot be held that award is against the public policy. Award could also be set aside if it is so unfair and unreasonable, that it shocks the conscience of the Court. Such award is opposed to public policy and is required to be adjudged void.” Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd. v. M/s P.M. Electronics Ltd., 2020 (140) ALR 852.

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Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act – Object of

The object of the provision is to enable the parties to dissolve a marriage by consent if the marriage has irretrievably broken down and to enable them to rehabilitate them as per available options. The amendment was inspired by the thought that forcible perpetuation of status of matrimony between unwilling partners did not serve any purpose. The object of the cooling off period is a safeguard against a hasty decision if there was otherwise possibility of differences being reconciled. The object is not to perpetuate a purposeless marriage or to prolong the agony of the parties when there is no chance of reconciliation. Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better opinion. Prabhat Singh v. Smt. Sweta Yadav, 2020 (3) AWC 2556.

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