Suits With Basic Relief Of Challenging Decree Passed By DRT Not Maintainable: SC

The Supreme Court has observed that the suits with the basic relief of challenging the decree passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) are not maintainable.

In this case, the suits were filed challenging the decree passed by the DRT. The Bank filed applications to reject the plaints in exercise of powers under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the Code of Civil Procedure on the ground that considering the provisions of Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, more particularly Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Act, the suits are not maintainable. The Trial Court and later the High Court dismissed the applications.

Therefore, the issue considered by the Apex Court bench in the appeal filed by the bank was whether the suits filed by the plaintiffs were liable to be rejected in exercise of powers under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the CPC or not?

Allowing the appeal, the bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah noted the judgment in Punjab National Bank v. O.C. Krishnan and others, (2001) 6 SCC 569. Which had held that, without exhaustion of the remedies under the RDDBFI Act, the High Court ought not to have exercised its jurisdiction under Article 227. It observed:

” without exhausting the remedy of appeal provided under the RDDBFI Act, the suits with the basic relief of challenging the decree passed by the DRT were liable to be dismissed, as observed and held by this Court in the case of O.C. Krishnan and others (supra).”
The bench observed that since the plaints are vexatious, frivolous, meritless and nothing but an abuse of process of law and court, it s is a fit case to exercise the powers under Order 7 Rule 11 (d) of the CPC. It added:

“Be that as it may, considering the pleadings/averments in the suits and the allegations of fraud, we are of the opinion that the allegations of fraud are illusory and only with a view to get out of the judgment and decree passed by the DRT. We are of the opinion that therefore the suits are vexatious and are filed with a mala fide intention to get out of the judgment and decree passed by the DRT.”

Death Sentence Can Be Imposed Only When Life Imprisonment Appears To Be An Altogether Inappropriate Punishment: Supreme Court

“We are not convinced that the probability of reform of the accused/appellant is low, in the absence of prior offending history and keeping in mind his overall conduct. ”
While commuting death sentence awarded to a man convicted for rape and murder of a five year old girl, the Supreme Court observed that death sentence must be imposed only when life imprisonment appears to be an altogether inappropriate punishment.

The bench comprising Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Justice Indira Banerjee sentenced Sachin Kumar Singhraha to undergo a sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment (without remission).

The deceased kid was studying in LKG, while she faced the horror and succumbed to it. While confirming the conviction recorded by the Trial court, the Apex court bench observed that though there are certain discrepancies in the evidence and procedural lapses have been brought on record, the same would not warrant giving the benefit of doubt to the accused.

The bench, for holding that death penalty is not justified in this case, said that it is not convinced that the probability of reform of the accused is low, in the absence of prior offending history and keeping in mind his overall conduct. The court said:

As has been well settled, life imprisonment is the rule to which the death penalty is the exception. The death sentence must be imposed only when life imprisonment appears to be an altogether inappropriate punishment, having regard to the relevant facts and circumstances of the crime. As held by this Court in the case of Santosh Kumar Singh v. State through C.B.I., (2010) 9 SCC 747, sentencing is a difficult task and often vexes the mind of the Court, but where the option is between life imprisonment and a death sentence, if the Court itself feels some difficulty in awarding one or the other, it is only appropriate that the lesser punishment be awarded.
The bench then sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment observing that the sentence of life imprisonment simpliciter would be grossly inadequate.

Court declares Bengal Entry Tax Act unconstitutional

In another setback to the Trinamool Congress government, the Calcutta High Court Monday struck down a law levying tax on entry of certain goods into the state, calling it unconstitutional.

“Justice Indira Banerjee in an order today (Monday) struck down the legislation and described it as ultra vires the constitution. The court has given a six week stay on the implementation of its judgment so that the parties can move against the order,” said advocate Niladri Khara, who appeared on behalf of a number of companies.

The West Bengal Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Areas, Act, 2012 was passed last year by the Mamata Banerjee government claiming it was aimed at facilitating trade and industry by creating infrastructure like roads, bridges and cold storage chains.

A number of companies had filed a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court last November challenging its constitutional validity of the Act.

The legislation was passed March 2012, amidst protests by the opposition in the state assembly who had described the Bill as “regressive” and one which would further lead to increase in prices of essential commodities.

The high vourt earlier had struck down as “unconstitutional and void”, the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development, Act 2011- a legislation enacted by the Banerjee regime to return a portion of land “acquired forcibly” by the erstwhile Left Front government for the Tata Motors small car factory at Singur in Hooghly district, to “unwilling farmers”.

(Source:IANS)