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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

DISHONOUR OF CHEQUE: Liability of Directors of a Company

For making Directors liable for the offences committed by the company under Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, there must be specific averments against the Directors, showing as to how and in what manner the Directors were responsible for the conduct of the business of the company. It is, therefore, not sufficient to make a bald cursory statement in a complaint that the Director (arrayed as an accused) is in charge of and responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company without anything more as to the role of the Director. But the complaint should spell out as to how and in what manner, the accused was in-charge of or was responsible to the accused company for the conduct of its business.

A company may have a number of Directors and to make any or all the Directors as accused in a complaint merely on the basis of a statement that they are in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company without anything more is not a sufficient or adequate fulfilment of the requirements under Section 141 of the Act.

National Small Industries Corpn. v. H.S. Paintal , Crl. A. Nos. 320-336 of 2010; Decided on 15-2-2010 (SC) [P. Sathasivam and H.L. Dattu, JJ.] [2010 (2) SCALE 372]

LAND ACQUISITION: Withdrawal from Acquisition, Discriminatory

Section 48 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, empowers the State Government to withdraw from the acquisition of the land provided possession has not been taken. The said power is given to the Government by a statutory provision and is not restricted by any condition except that such power must be exercised before possession is taken.

It is equally true that a landowner whose land has been acquired for public purpose by following the prescribed procedure cannot claim as a matter of right for release of his/her land from acquisition but where the State Government exercises its power under Section 48 of the Act for withdrawal from acquisition in respect of a particular land, the landowners who are similarly situated have right of similar treatment by the State Government. The State Government cannot pick and choose some landowners and release their land from acquisition and deny the same benefit to other landowners by creating artificial distinction. Passing different orders in exercise of its powers under Section 48 of the Act in respect of persons similarly situated relating to same acquisition proceedings for same public purpose is definitely violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and must be held to be discriminatory.

Hari Ram v. State of Haryana , C.A. No. 5440 of 2000 with C.A. No. 5442 of 2000 etc; Decided on 11-2-2010 (SC) [D.K. Jain and R.M. Lodha, JJ.]

CBI INVESTIGATION: Direction by High Court without Consent of State, Valid

A direction by the High Court, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, to the CBI to investigate a cognizable offence alleged to have been committed within the territory of a State without the consent of that State will neither impinge upon the federal structure of the Constitution nor violate the doctrine of separation of power and shall be valid in law. However, time and again it has been reiterated that such an order is not to be passed as a matter of routine or merely because a party has leveled some allegations against the local police. The extraordinary power must be exercised sparingly, cautiously and in exceptional situations where it becomes necessary to provide credibility and instill confidence in investigation or where the incident may have national and international ramifications or where such an order may be necessary for doing complete justice and enforcing the fundamental rights.

State of W.B. v. Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights , C.A. Nos. 6249-6250 of 2001 with W.P. (Crl) No. 24 of 2008 etc.; Decided on 17-2-2010 [K.G. Balakrishnan, CJI, R.V. Raveendran, D.K. Jain, P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal, JJ.] 2010 (2) SCALE 457

RENT CONTROL: Death of Landlord

The legal representatives of the deceased landlord cannot be allowed to set up a case before the appellate court which was never set up before the courts below so as to bring forth a requirement that was never pleaded at any stage of the proceedings. Allowing the legal heirs to do so would amount to permitting them to introduce a case which is totally different from the one set up before the Rent Controller, the Appellate Authority or even the High Court.

In the eviction petition the owners had pleaded their own bona fide requirement and not the requirement of the members of their family. The deceased couple did not have any dependent member of the family for whose benefit they could have sought eviction. On the death of the petitioners in the original eviction petition, their right to seek eviction on the ground of personal requirement for the demised premises became extinct and no order could on the basis of any such requirement be passed in favour of the legal representatives of the deceased landlord who were married daughters of the deceased.

Seshambal (Dead) through LRs v. M/s Chelur Corporation , C.A. No. 565 of 2005; Decided on 17-12-2010 (SC) [Markandey Katju and T.S. Thakur, JJ.]

HINDU LAW: Cruelty, concept of

To establish cruelty it is not necessary that physical violence should be used. However, continued ill-treatment, cessation of marital intercourse, studied neglect, indifference of one spouse to the other may lead to an inference of cruelty.

The word 'cruelty' has not been defined in the Hindu Marriage Act. It has been used in Section 13(1)(i-a) of the Act in the context of human conduct or behaviour in relation to or in respect of matrimonial duties or obligations. It is a course of conduct of one which is adversely affecting the other. Whether it caused reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to live with the other, ultimately, is a matter of inference to be drawn by taking into account the nature of the conduct and its effect on the complaining spouse.

Manisha Tyagi v. Deepak Kumar , C.A. No. 5387 of 2007; Decided on 10-2-2010 (SC) [V.S. Sirpurkar and Surinder Singh Nijjar, JJ.]


In matrimonial relationship, cruelty would obviously mean absence of mutual respect and understanding between the spouses which embitters the relationship and often leads to various outbursts of behaviour which can be termed as cruelty. Sometimes cruelty in a matrimonial relationship may take the form of violence, sometimes it may take a different form. At times, it may be just an attitude or an approach. Silence in some situations may amount to cruelty. Therefore, cruelty in matrimonial behaviour defies any definition and its category can never be closed.

Whether husband is cruel to his wife or the wife is cruel to her husband has to be ascertained and judged by taking into account the entire facts and circumstances of the given case and not by any pre-determined rigid formula. Cruelty in matrimonial cases can be of infinite variety, it may be subtle or even brutal and may be by gestures and words. Categories of cruelty in matrimonial cases are never closed.

Ravi Kumar v. Julmidevi , C.A. No. 1868 of 2007; Decided on 9-2-2010 (SC) [P. Sathasivam and Asok Kumar Ganguly, JJ.]

RITA ARYAN LL.M. (Medalist)

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