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.”
The Supreme Court has granted a further period of three months to the CBI to complete its investigation in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.
The vacation bench of Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice MR Shah took note of interim status report filed by the CBI in this case.
The bench also directed the investigating agency to conduct investigation on following aspects of the case (i) the offences alleged under Section 377 IPC.
(ii) the offences under the IT Act regarding video recording of the sexual exploitation of the inmates of the shelter homes,
(iii) the other persons, including the outsiders and officers who were involved and facilitated in the sexual abuse of the inmates who were being abused under intoxication of drugs;
(iv) the illegal trafficking of the girls by this Institute.
CBI has also been directed to submit the final report within a period of three months. In November, last year, the Supreme Court had transferred to the CBI the investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse of the residents of 16 children’s homes in the state.
“It is difficult to draw an inference that the appellants had committed the crime.”
In yet another judgment delivered on Tuesday, the Supreme Court acquitted two men whose death sentence was confirmed by the Chhattisgarh High Court.
The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah, acquitted Digamber Vaishnav and Girdhari Vaishnav who were accused of robbery and murder of five women.
Perusing the evidence on record, the bench noted that the case of prosecution mainly relied on the deposition made by the child witness. The court said that it is clear from the testimony of the child witness that she was not an eyewitness to the incident and that her evidence is fraught with inconsistencies. The bench said:
“This Court has consistently held that evidence of a child witness must be evaluated carefully as the child may be swayed by what others tell him and he is an easy prey to tutoring. Therefore, the evidence of a child witness must find adequate corroboration before it can be relied upon. It is more a rule of practical wisdom than law.”
The court also observed that there was an unexplained delay in reporting the crime. The examination of expert is crucial especially if reliance is placed on the finger print report to suspect the guilt of the accused, the bench said as it noted that the person who took the sample finger prints was not examined by the prosecution.
The court also noted that, even in FIR, there is no averment of any article or money being stolen or lost. Therefore, when the money allegedly recovered is being sought to be relied upon as stolen from the house of the deceased, the same is unreliable when there is nothing on record to support the claim of theft or robbery from the scene of crime, the court added.
On ‘last seen together’ aspect, the bench said that, to constitute the last seen together factor as an incriminating circumstance, there must be close proximity between the time of seeing and recovery of dead body.
Holding that it is difficult to draw an inference that the accused had committed the crime, the bench acquitted them and ordered their release.