May 27, 2020

The Principles of The Law of Liquidated Damages under Indian Laws

Let us first learn Law relating to Liquidated damages in India. Section 73 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872 Compensation for loss or damage caused by breach of contract.—When a contract has been broken, the party who suffers by such breach is entitled to receive, from the party who has broken the contract, compensation for any loss or damage caused to him thereby, which naturally arose in the usual course of things from such breach, or which the parties knew, when they made the contract, to be likely to result from the breach of it. —When a contract has been broken, the party who suffers by such breach is entitled to receive, from the party who has broken the contract, compensation for any loss or damage caused to him thereby, which naturally arose in the usual course of things from such breach, or which the parties knew, when they made the contract, to be likely to result from the breach of it.” Such compensation is not to be given for any remote and indirect loss or damage sustained by reason of the breach. Compensation for failure to discharge obligation resembling those created by contract.—When an obligation resembling those created by contract has been incurred and has not been discharged, any person injured by the failure to discharge it is entitled to receive the same compensation from the party in default, as if such person had contracted to discharge it and had broken his contract. —When an obligation resembling those created by contract has been incurred and has not been discharged, any person injured by the failure to discharge it is entitled to receive the same compensation from the party in default, as if such person had contracted to discharge it and had broken his contract.” Explanation.—In estimating the loss or damage arising from a breach of contract, the means which existed of remedying the inconvenience caused by the non-performance of the contract must be taken into account. Section 74 in The Indian Contract Act, 1872 74 Compensation for breach of contract where penalty stipulated for:- [When a contract has been broken, if a sum is named in the contract as the amount to be paid in case of such breach, or if the contract contains any other stipulation by way of penalty, the party complaining of the breach is entitled, whether or not actual damage or loss is proved to have been caused thereby, to receive from the party who has broken the contract reasonable compensation not exceeding the amount so named or, as the case may be, the penalty stipulated for. Explanation. — A stipulation for increased interest from the date of default may be a stipulation by way of penalty.] (Exception) — When any person enters into any bail-bond, recognizance or other instrument of the same nature or, under the provisions of any law, or under the orders of the  [Central Government] or of any  [State Government], gives any bond for the performance of any public duty or act in which the public are interested, he shall be liable, upon breach of the condition of any such instrument, […]

Continue Reading
June 29, 2022

GOVERNOR’S POWER TO CALL A SPECIAL ASSEMBLY MEETING FOR A FLOOR TEST :   Case Study Maharashtra Crisis:

Before going for a detailed discussion let us see Constitutional Provision related to the Governor in calling a Floor Test Article 174: Sessions of the State Legislature, prorogation, and dissolution (1) The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the State to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, but six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session (2) The Governor may from time to time (a) Prorogue the House or either House; (b) dissolve the Legislative Assembly  Right of the Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses (1) The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that purpose require the attendance of members (2) The Governor may sent messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor (1) There shall be a council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under this constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion (2) If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in his discretion (3) The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court Note : Article 174 of the Constitution authorizes the Governor to summon, dissolve and prorogue the state legislative assembly. Article 174(2)(b) of the Constitution gives powers to the Governor to dissolve the Assembly on the aid and advice of the cabinet. The Governor can implement his own discretion when the advice comes from a Chief Minister whose majority could be in doubt. Under Article 175(2), the Governor can summon the House and call for a floor test to prove whether the government has the numbers.  Though the Governor can exercise the above only as per Article 163 of the Constitution which says that the Governor acts on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. When the House is in session, it is the Speaker who can call for a floor test. But when the Assembly is not in […]

Continue Reading
May 26, 2022

CAN THE COOPERATIVE SOCIETY COMMITTEE BLOCK ACCESS TO THE COMMON TERRACE?

 This is a very common dispute. Most of the time Committee decides on whims and fancies. Which is not permissible. If any untoward incident like a fire happens Managing Committee shall be liable for culpability. To start the discussion first we must know the provisions of Byelaws. When Terrace is a common area as per the official plan and agreement with promoter builders it’s a joint and several ownerships. Every society especially as we are discussing housing society is governed by Model Byelaws.  They are framed under the provisions of the Maharashtra Cooperative Society Act,1960 which is a Central Act. Now let us see the provisions of the model bye-laws. 3 xxi. “Open terraces” means terraces which are otherwise not in the exclusive possession of any of the Members. 3 xxii  “Common Areas and Facilities” means a.the land on which the building is located; b. the foundations, columns, girders, beams, supports, main walls,roofs, halls, corridors, lobbies, stair-ways, lifts / escalators , fire escapes and entrances and exits of the building; c. the basements, cellars, yards, gardens, parking areas undemarcated / demarcated parking slots, and storage spaces; d. the premises for the lodging of janitors or persons employed for the management of the property; e. installations of central services such as power, light, gas, water storage and water heating, water harvesting, pump houses, refrigeration, air conditioning, generators, roof top solar devices, common antennas and mass communication and data sharing devices, f.the elevators, tanks, pumps, motors, fans, compressors, ducts and in general all apparatus and installations existing for common use; g. such community and commercial facilities as may have been provided for; h. all other parts of the property necessary or convenient to its existence, maintenance and safety or normally in common use; Under Bylaw 67 (a) (xiv) members are paying for the maintenance of the terrace being a common facility. What society can do is to, regulate permission to use for functions under bye-law 168. Now moving further a law has been passed in Maharashtra namely the Prevention of Fire and Life Safety Measure Act,2016. Under this law, it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep up fire safety measures. In a matter before the division bench Once a person agrees to the sale/ purchase of a floor in a property, they bind themselves to joint access to common areas, its use, and enjoyment by way of such an agreement. Any obstruction caused that results in deprivation of essential amenities that are water, electricity etc. cannot be permitted and requires immediate intervention to rectify the situation as they have a direct bearing on the right to life of a human” All residents must have access to common areas’ | Delhi News – Times of India (indiatimes.com) In yet another case of Tasneem Dhariwala Bombay High Court Division Bench of Justice S.C Dhamadhikari and Justice Gautam Patel in identical facts held,  Such parties cannot be given any discretionary and equitable relief, much less [allowed] to obstruct a public body from performing the statutory duties and ensuring that there is free access to all persons to an area called terrace and, particularly, to take care […]

Continue Reading
May 22, 2022

GYAN VAPI AND TEMPLES APPLICABILITY OF “PLACES OF WORSHIP LAW- 1991” –DISCUSSION

       MEANING OF GYAN VAPI: This was derived from the name of an adjoining waterbody — Gyan Vapi (“Well of Knowledge”) — which was a sacred site in itself and, in all likelihood, predated the Vishweshwar temple.   CAUSE FOR THIS DISCUSSION: CONTEMPORARY CIRCUMSTANCES  In the year 1991 parliament passed a law namely an Act to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August 1947 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This Act is currently a topic of hot discussion. The incident which brought this law into the public domain is a suit order by Senior Division Civil Court Varanasi in which one Sohanlal Arya has claimed that Gyan Vapi Mosque is the temple. The said temple structure was partially demolished as per orders of the then Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. By an order Civil court carried out the survey in the meantime Muslim community leaders approached the Supreme Court to seek a stay of the proceedings before the Varanasi court. The Supreme Court has granted a stay and is now hearing the matter. The Supreme Court has also by its order transferred the suit to Varanasi Court District Judge. BRUTAL HISTORY OF INVASION, CONVERSION, AND DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLES IN INDIA : Indian history is full of conflict, invasion, and bloodshed. Hindus had to face atrocities at the hands of invaders.  India was invaded by many foreign forces and two large invaders are the Mughals and Britishers. Aurangzeb was a cruel Mughal dynast, and he ordered for demolishing of temples. They converted Hindus to Islam by force. This painful, harsh, brutal, unkind history of this land cannot be erased, forgotten, and denied. Below is a map of the Mughal Empire: Antecedents and history: General Order of the destruction of Temples: 9th April 1669 One of the main objectives of Aurangzeb’s policy was to demolish Hindu temples. When he ordered (13th October 1666) removal of the carved railing, which Prince Dara Shukoh had presented to Keshava Rai temple at Mathura, he had observed ‘In the religion of the Musalmans it is improper even to look at a temple’, and that it was totally unbecoming of a Muslim to act like Dara Shukoh (Exhibit No. 6, Akhbarat, 13th October 1666). This was followed by destruction of the famous Kalka temple in Delhi (Exhibit No. 6, 7, 8, Akhbarat, 3rd and 12th September 1667). In 1669, shortly after the death of Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber, a general order was issued (9th April 1669) for the demolition of temples and established schools of the Hindus throughout the empire and banning public worship (Exhibit Nos. 9 & 10). Soon after this the great temple of Keshava Rai was destroyed (Jan.-Feb. 1670) (Exhibit No. 12) and in its place a lofty mosque was erected. The idols, the author of Maasir-i-Alamgiri informs, were carried to Agra and buried under the steps of the mosque built by Begum Sahiba in order to be continually trodden upon, and the name of […]

Continue Reading
May 7, 2022

“SECULARISM” IN THE PREAMBLE OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION – A CONTROVERSIAL ZONE

The Preamble was used by Supreme Court as an aid to construction in Behram Khurshed Pasikaka v. The State of Bombay [1955] 1 S.C.R. 613 at p. 653. After referring to Part III, Mahajan, C.J., observed: We think that the rights described as fundamental rights are a necessary consequence of the declaration in the preamble that the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens’ justice, social, economic, and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship; equality of status and of opportunity. These fundamental rights have not been put in the Constitution merely for individual benefits, though ultimately, they come into operation in considering individual rights. They have been put there as a matter of public policy and the doctrine of waiver can have no application to provisions of law which have been enacted as a matter of Constitutional policy. Is the Preamble part of our Constitution? This was decided in the matter of Berubari In Re: The Berubari Union And  vs Unknown on 14 March 1960 Equivalent citations: AIR 1960 SC 845, 1960 3 SCR 250 There is no doubt that the declaration made by the people of India in the exercise of their sovereign will in the preamble to the Constitution is, in the words of Story, “a key to open the mind of the makers” which may show the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the Constitution; but nevertheless the preamble is not a part of the Constitution, and, as Willoughby has observed about the preamble to the American Constitution, “it has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States, or on any of its departments. Such powers embrace only those expressly granted in the body of the Constitution and such as may be implied from those so granted”. In S.R.Bommai vs Union of India: It was held in this landmark judgment that : Secularism is one of the basic features of the Constitution. While freedom of religion is guaranteed to all persons in India, from the point of view of the State, the religion, faith, or belief of a person is immaterial. To the State, all are equal and are entitled to be treated equally. In matters of State, religion has no place. No political party can simultaneously be a religious party. Politics and religion cannot be mixed. Any State Government which pursues unsecular policies or unsecular course of action acts contrary to the constitutional mandate and renders itself amenable to action under Article 356. Note: This feature of secularism was rejected by the Constituent Assembly ( Drafting of Constitution Committee) on 6th December 1948. Bommai ( Supra)  is said to be a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on Article 356, it is true that Secularism is guaranteed as a fundamental right, but the word “Secularism” was never there in the Preamble of the Constitution of India 1949 and the insertion thereof was refused and negatived by the Constituent Assembly. Below is the link to the […]

Continue Reading
May 2, 2022

WHEN THE LAW-AND-ORDER SITUATION IS SCRAMBLED CAN ASSEMBLY BE DISSOLVED? CAN THE PRESIDENT ORDER FOR A FRESH ELECTION? LANDMARK CASES  

Part XVIII of the constitution deals with such a situation that arises in the state of India. Let’s first read those provisions: Duration of State Legislatures.—(1) Every Legislative Assembly of every State, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer and the expiration of the said period of [five years] shall operate as a dissolution of the Assembly: Provided that the said period may, while a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation, be extended by Parliament by law for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate. (2) The Legislative Council of a State shall not be subject to dissolution, but as nearly as possible one-third of the members thereof shall retire as soon as may be on the expiration of every second year in accordance with the provisions made in that behalf by Parliament by law. Article 174(2) (2) The Governor may from time to time (a) Prorogue the House or either House; (b) dissolve the Legislative Assembly Article 355: Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance.—It shall be the duty of the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the Government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. Dictum: Naga Peoples Movement vs Union of India Reference in this context may be made to Article 355 of the Constitution whereunder a duty has been imposed on the Union to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. In view of the said provision, the Union Government is under an obligation to take steps to deal with a situation of internal disturbance in a State. There can be a situation arising out of internal disturbance which may justify the issuance of a proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution enabling the President to assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State. That would depend on the gravity of the situation arising on account of such internal disturbance and on the President being satisfied that a situation has arisen where the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with provisions of the Constitution. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in State: (1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of the State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may be Proclamation (a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State; (b) declare that […]

Continue Reading