Supreme Court Cases

Latest Supreme Court Judgments

Arbitrator to award 10% simple interest

This appeal arises out of the impugned judgment and order dated 10.5.2019 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in FAO No. 4045 of 2003 in and by which the High Court has dismissed the appeal of the appellant herein filled under section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and affirmed the Award passed by the Arbitrator including with regard to the rate of interest awarded by the arbitrator at the rate of 18% per annum.

Hon’ble R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna, JJ., have held that in the absence of agreement to the contrary between the parties, section 31(7)(a) of the said Act confers jurisdiction upon the Arbitral Tribunal to award interest unless otherwise agreed by the parties at such rate as the Arbitral Tribunal considers reasonable, on the whole or any part of the money, for the whole or any part of the period between the date on which the cause of action arises and the date on which the award is made. In the present case, the parties have agreed for the rate of interest at 18% per annum. However, since the award is of the year 1999 and considering the facts that the learned Senior Counsel had left the matter to the discretion of the Court. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, in our view in exercise of the power under Article 142 o the Constitution of India, the interest at the rate of 18% awarded by the Arbitral Tribunal is to be reduced.

The orders of the learned Arbitrator as affirmed by the High Court so far as the rate of interest is concerned is modified and the same is reduced from 18% to 10% per annum simple interest. The award amount alongwith the accrued interest at the rate of 10% per annum simple interest shall be payable to the respondent –Company within eight weeks from today failing which the entire award amount will carry interest at the rate of 18% as awarded by the Tribunal.
Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh v. Kalsi Construction Company, 2019 (202) AIC 8 SC

Appellants entitled to benefit of doubt if cause of death not established

This appeal is directed against the judgment dated 9.10.2013 of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Criminal Appeal No. 130 of 2006, confirming the judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kalyan in Sessions Case No. 282 of 2002. The impugned judgment confirmed the conviction of accused No. 1 for the offence punishable under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (for short “I.P.C.”) for cheating the deceased and the informant out of a sum of ` 45,000/-, and of accused Nos. 1 and 2 for the offences punishable under sections 364 and 302 read with section 34, I.P.C., for abducting the deceased in order to murder him, and subsequently committing such murder, in furtherance of their common intention. Accused Nos. 1 and 2 are appellant Nos. 1 and 2 herein.

The evidence relied upon by the prosecution is full of irreconcilable inconsistencies which cast serious doubt on the presence of the panchas during the recording of the disclosure statement and the recovery of the body of the deceased. In our considered opinion, the prosecution has made a botched attempt to improve its case regarding the recovery of the dead body from time to time. Having regard to the totality of the facts and circumstances, we are not satisfied with the evidence on record as well as the reasons assigned by the Courts below in relying on the circumstance of the recovery of the dead body at the behest of accused No.1.

The other recoveries made at the instance of accused Nos. 1 and 2 are also tainted and cannot be relied upon. Importantly, the panchas examined to prove such recoveries did not fully support the case of the prosecution either.

Hon’ble N.V. Ramana, M.M. Shantanagoudar and Ajay Rastogi, JJ., have held that it is also relevant to note at this juncture that the prosecution has even failed to establish probable cause of death of the deceased, though it was recorded in the inquest panchnama (Ext. P-19) that death was caused by strangulation. The doctor who prepared the post- mortem report (Ext. P-18) was not examined by the prosecution to prove the contents of the report. However, as per the report, which has been admitted by the accused, the doctor could not identify any of the injuries on the body as ante-mortem, or give an opinion on the cause of death, since the body was highly decomposed. No ligature marks could be seen on the neck either, because of the state of decomposition.

In a case based on circumstantial evidence, the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution should be proved beyond reasonable doubt, and such proved circumstances should form a complete chain so as not to leave any doubt in the mind of the Court about the complicity of the accused. In the instant case, none of the circumstances relied upon by the prosecution have been proved beyond reasonable doubt, and there is no question of a complete chain of circumstances being formed that would point towards the guilt of the accused. In our considered opinion, the benefit of doubt should therefore be granted in their favour. We are accordingly of the opinion that the Courts below erred in convicting accused Nos. 1 and 2 for the offences of the abduction and murder of the deceased.
Umesh Tukaram Padwal v. State of Maharashtra, 2019 (202) AIC 10 SC

Legal Metrology Act, 2009 does not foresee any offence of cheating

The order dated October 4, 2017 passed by the Lucknow Bench of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad is the subject – matter of challenge in these appeals.

Hon’ble L.N. Rao and Hemant Gupta, JJ., have held that the scheme of the Act is for the offences for use of weights and measures which are non-standard and for tampering with or altering any standards, secondary standards or working standards of any weight or measure. The Act does not foresee any offence relating to cheating as defined in section 415 of I.P.C. or the offences under section 467, 468 and 471 of I.P.C. Similarly, an act performed in furtherance of a common intention disclosing an offence under section 34 is not covered by the provisions of the Act. An offence disclosing a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence which is punishable under section 120-B, I.P.C. is also not an offence under the Act. Since such offences are not punishable under the provinces of the Act, therefore, the prosecution for such offences could be maintained since the trial of such offences is not inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Act. Similar is the provision in respect of the offences under section 467, 468,471, I.P.C. as such offences are not covered by the provisions of the Act.

Thus, we partly allow the present appeals with the following directions:
(i)Directions given by the High Court, as mentioned in para 11 above, are hereby quashed.
(ii) We uphold the order of the High Court that the offences under sections 265 and 267, I.P.C. are liable to be quashed.
State of UP v. Aman Mittal, 2019 (202) AIC 37 SC

Leave a Comment