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CAN MINISTER INTERFERE IN INVESTIGATION?

October 25, 2021

We will discuss following issues in this write-up What are the Minister’s general power to review the working of the investigating agency and to give broad policy directions regarding the functioning of the agencies ? What is oath and what are constitutional provisions? Consequences of breach thereof? If Minister exceeds power, does it amount to breach of oath? What recourse open to the Chief Minister /State Government or Governor ? Can they approach Court under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution of India? Let us first learn provisions of the Constitution of India: CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS For State the Constitution provides 159. Oath or affirmation by the Governor.—Every Governor and every person discharging the functions of the Governor shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to the State, or, in his absence, the senior-most Judge of that Court available, an oath or affirmation in the following form, that is to say— ―I, A. B., do swear in the name of God that I will faithfully execute the solemnly affirm office of Governor (or discharge the functions of the Governor) of ………(name of the State)and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of ..……(name of the State).‖ Under Article 164 every minister has to take oath before entering into his office it says: 164. (1) Other provisions as to Ministers.—(1) The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister, and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor…. (3) Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule… Article 193 provides for penalty Penalty for sitting and voting before making oath or affirmation under article 188 or when not qualified or when disqualified.—If a person sits or votes as a member of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State before he has complied with the requirements of article 188, or when he knows that he is not qualified or that he is disqualified for membership thereof, or that he is prohibited from so doing by the provisions of any law made by Parliament or the Legislature of the State, he shall be liable in respect of each day on which he so sits or votes to a penalty of five hundred rupees to be recovered as a debt due to the State. Form of oath of secrecy for a Minister for a State:— ―I, A.B., do swear in the name of God that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal solemnly affirm to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as a Minister for the State of ………………..except as […]

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WHETHER UNSTAMPED ARBITRATION AGREEMENT IS EXECUTABLE? THE CONCEPT OF SEPARABILITY OF THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE/AGREEMENT FROM THE UNDERLYING CONTRACT

September 14, 2021

Here we will discuss the following issues: (i) Whether an arbitration agreement contained in an unregistered (but compulsorily registrable) instrument is valid and enforceable? (ii) Whether an arbitration agreement in an unregistered instrument which is not duly stamped, is valid and enforceable? (iii) Whether there is an arbitration agreement between the parties and whether an Arbitrator should be appointed? What is an Arbitration Agreement? Its provided in Section 7 of the Arbitration Act, 1996. It reads as under: Arbitration agreement.—(1) In this Part, “arbitration agreement” means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not. (2) An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement. (3) An arbitration agreement shall be in writing. (4) An arbitration agreement is in writing if it is contained in— (a) a document signed by the parties; (b) exchange of letters, telex, telegrams or other means of telecommunication 1 [including communication through electronic means] which provide a record of the agreement; or (c) an exchange of statements of claim and defense in which the existence of the agreement is alleged by one party and not denied by the other. (5) The reference in a contract to a document containing an arbitration clause constitutes an arbitration agreement if the contract is in writing and the reference is such as to make that arbitration clause part of the contract. Section 17 of Registration Act provides for compulsory Registration: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/561156/ ( click on the link for detailed provision.) Section 49 of the said Act lays down the effect of the non-registration of documents. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1768154/ ( click on the link for detailed provision.) Section 49 makes it clear that a document which is compulsorily registrable, if not registered, will not affect the immovable property comprised therein in any manner. It will also not be received as evidence of any transaction affecting such property, except for two limited purposes. First is as evidence of a contract in a suit for specific performance. The second is as evidence of any collateral transaction which by itself is not required to be effected by a registered instrument. A collateral transaction is not the transaction affecting the immovable property, but a transaction which is incidentally connected with that transaction. The question is whether a provision for arbitration in an unregistered document (which is compulsorily registrable) is a collateral transaction, in respect of which such unregistered document can be received as evidence under the proviso to section 49 of the Registration Act. English Law Views on distinct identity and separation of Arbitration Clause: Lord Wright in his opinion stated that: “An arbitration agreement is a collateral to the substantial stipulations of the contract. It is merely procedural and ancillary, it is a mode of settling disputes, though the agreement to do so is itself subject to the discretion of the court.” Lord MacMillan in his opinion stated that “It survives for the purpose of measuring the claims […]

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UNDER INDIAN LAW ONLY SIGNATORIES TO THE AGREEMENT INVARIABLY PROPER PARTIES TO THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT? DOES INTERNATIONAL PRINCIPLES  OF “GROUP OF COMPANIES” APPLY TO INDIAN ARBITRATION ?

September 11, 2021

Provisions of Law discussed: Now let us first see what does Act mean by an Agreement and what is format of an Arbitration Agreement? Arbitration Act,1996 7 Arbitration agreement. — (1) In this Part, “arbitration agreement” means an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not. (2) An arbitration agreement may be in the form of an arbitration clause in a contract or in the form of a separate agreement. (3) An arbitration agreement shall be in writing. (4) An arbitration agreement is in writing if it is contained in— (a) a document signed by the parties; (b) an exchange of letters, telex, telegrams or other means of telecommunication which provide a record of the agreement; or (c) an exchange of statements of claim and defence in which the existence of the agreement is alleged by one party and not denied by the other. (5) The reference in a contract to a document containing an arbitration clause constitutes an arbitration agreement if the contract is in writing and the reference is such as to make that arbitration clause part of the contract. PARITIES TO ARBITRATION: 8.Power to refer parties to arbitration where there is an arbitration agreement.—1 [(1)A judicial authority, before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall, if a party to the arbitration agreement or any person claiming through or under him, so applies not later than the date of submitting his first statement on the substance of the dispute, then, notwithstanding any judgment, decree or order of the Supreme Court or any Court, refer the parties to arbitration unless it finds that prima facie no valid arbitration agreement exists.] (2) The application referred to in sub-section (1) shall not be entertained unless it is accompanied by the original arbitration agreement or a duly certified copy thereof: 2 [Provided that where the original arbitration agreement or a certified copy thereof is not available with the party applying for reference to arbitration under sub-section (1), and the said agreement or certified copy is retained by the other party to that agreement, then, the party so applying shall file such application along with a copy of the arbitration agreement and a petition praying the Court to call upon the other party to produce the original arbitration agreement or its duly certified copy before that Court.] (3) Notwithstanding that an application has been made under sub-section (1) and that the issue is pending before the judicial authority, an arbitration may be commenced or continued and an arbitral award made. PART II ENFORCEMENT OF CERTAIN FOREIGN AWARDS CHAPTER I  New York Convention Awards Power of judicial authority to refer parties to arbitration.—Notwithstanding anything contained in Part I or in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908),a judicial authority, when seized of an action in a matter in respect of which the parties have made an agreement referred to in section 44, shall, at the request of one […]

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MODEL TENANCY ACT AND ABSENCE OF DEFINITION OF “LEAVE AND LICENSE” DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LICENSE AND TENANCY HOW TO DETERMINE?

July 11, 2021

Model Tenancy Act 2020 does not contain definition of Leave and License, why? This question crops up in layman’s mind. The definition of Leave and License is found in Section 52 of Indian Easement Act,1882. It defines term License as under:  “License” defined. -Where one person grants to another, or to a definite number of other persons, a right to do, or continue to do, in or upon the immovable property of the grantor, something which would, in the absence of such right, be unlawful, and such right does not amount to an easement or an interest in the property, the right is called a license. Maharashtra Rent Control Act,2000 defines term Licensee as under 7 (5) “Licensee”, in respect of any premises or any part thereof, means the person who is in occupation of the premises or such part, as the case may be, under a subsisting agreement for licence given for a licence fee or charge; and includes any person in such occupation of any premises or part thereof in a building vesting in or leased to a co-operative housing society registered or deemed to be registered under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960; but does not include a paying guest, a member of a family residing together, a person in the service or employment of the licenser, or a person conducting a running business belonging to the licenser or a person having any accommodation for rendering or carrying on medical or para-medical services or activities in or near a nursing home, hospital, or sanitarium or a person having any accommodation in a hotel, lodging house, hostel, guest house, club, nursing home, hospital, sanitarium, dharmashala, home for widows, orphans or like premises, marriage or public hall or like premises, or in a place of amusement or entertainment or like institution, or in any premises belonging to or held by an employee or his spouse who on account of exigencies of service or provisions of residence attached to his or her post or office is temporarily not occupying the premises, provided that he or she charges licence fee or charge for such premises of the employee or spouse not exceeding the standard rent and permitted increase for such premises, and any additional sum for service supplied with such premises or a person having accommodation in any premises or part thereof for conducting a canteen, creche, dispensary or other services as amenities by any undertaking or institution; and the expressions “licence”, “licenser” and “premises given on licence” shall be construed accordingly; Delhi Rent Control Act,1995 defines term is Section 2(n) (ii) any person to whom a licence as defined in section 52 of the Indian Easements Act, 1882 (5 of 1882 .) has been granted; I did not find more such provision in different states rent laws except this two. Under the English law the terms “tenant”, “licence” and “licensee” are not defined and so in every case where the English Courts are called upon to consider whether the relationship between the parties before them is that of landlord and tenant or licensor and licensee, they have always to decide […]

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CAN THERE BE ORAL COPY RIGHT ASSIGNMENT? CAN COPY RIGHTS BE CLAIMED WITHOUT AGREEMENT?

December 3, 2020

Sections 18 and 19 of Copy Right Act 1957 is important for discussion. Let’s see provision of two relevant Sections. 18. Assignment of copyright.— (1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole of the copyright or any part thereof: Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence. (2) Where the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights so assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly. (3) In this section, the expression “assignee” as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence. 19. Mode of assignment.—[ (1) ] No assignment of the copyright in any work shall be valid unless it is in writing signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent  [(2) The assignment of copyright in any work shall identify such work, and shall specify the rights assigned and the duration and territorial extent of such assignment. (3) The assignment of copyright in any work shall also specify the amount of royalty payable, if any, to the author or his legal heirs during the currency of the assignment and the assignment shall be subject to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed upon by the parties. (4) Where the assignee does not exercise the right assigned to him under any of the other sub-sections of this section within period of one year from the date of assignment, the assignment in respect of such rights shall be deemed to have lapsed after the expiry of the said period unless otherwise specified in the assignment. (5) If the period of assignment is not stated, it shall be deemed to be five years from the date of assignment. (6) If the territorial extent of assignment of the rights is not specified, it shall be presumed to extend within India. (7) Nothing in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) shall be applicable to assignments made before the coming into force of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1994.]] There is landmark judgment on this issue passed by Karnataka High Court. Judicial Views: In K.A. Venugopala Setty vs Dr. Suryakantha U. Kamath, Karnataka High Court  it framed question on oral agreement for Assignment and held that, “from the aforesaid provisions contained in S. 19 of the Act, it is clear that assignment of the copyright must be in writing and signed by the assignor or his duly authorised agent. In addition to this, the assignment must in clear terms state the rights proposed to be assigned and the size of the work. […]

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MOTIVE, GUILT, CULPABLE HOMICIDE WHEN PROVED BY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

September 17, 2020

Now a days we hear lots about circumstantial evidence in television debate especially in #SushantSinghCase. How  prosecution can prove case on basis of Circumstantial  Evidence. So let us first see what is legal provisions: Since we are learning about evidence let us understand provisions of Evidence Act, 1872 Section 32 – Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant Statements, written or verbal, of relevant facts made by a person who is dead, or who cannot be found, or who has become incapable of giving evidence, or whose attendance cannot be procured, without an amount of delay or expense which under the circumstances of the case appears to the Court unreasonable, are themselves relevant facts in the following cases:– (1) when it relates to cause of death.-When the statement is made by a person as to the cause of his death, or as to any of the circumstances of the transaction which resulted in his death, in cases in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question. Such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not, at the time when they were made, under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question. (2) or is made in course of business.-When the statement was made by such person in the ordinary course of business, and in particular when it consists of any entry or memorandum made by him in books kept in the ordinary course of business, or in the discharge of professional duly; or of an acknowledgment written or signed by him of the receipt of money, goods, securities or property of any kind; or of a document used in commerce written or signed by him; or of the date of a letter or other document usually dated, written or signed by him. (3) or against interest of maker.-When the statement is against the pecuniary or proprietary interest of the person making it or when, if true, it would expose him or would have exposed him to a criminal prosecution or to a suit for damages. (4) or gives opinion as to public right or custom, or matters of general interests.-When the statement gives the opinion of any such person, as to the existence of any public right or custom or matter of public or general interest, of the existence of which, if it existed he would have been likely to be aware, and when such statement was made before any controversy as to such right, custom or matter had arisen. (5) or relates to existence of relationship.-When the statement relates to the existence of any relationship  [by blood, marriage or adoption] between persons as to whose relationship  [by blood, marriage or adoption] the person making the statement had special means of knowledge, and when the statement was made before the question in dispute was raised. (6) or is made in will or deed relating to family affairs.-When the statement relates to the existence of any relationship  [by […]

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Can You Transfer Property on basis of Power of Attorney?

June 7, 2020

Let us understand what id Power of Attorney ( POA) ? The term POA is defined in the Power of Attorney Act,1882 and it says Definition.—In this Act, “Power-of-Attorney” includes any instruments empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it. 1A. Definition.—In this Act, “Power-of-Attorney” includes any instruments empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it. It means that definition is inclusive and any document which empowers to act on behalf of executor is POA. It attracts Stamp Duty and in certain cases if property is transferred by virtue of POA, than Stamp Duty is attracted as on Deed of Conveyance. Scope of Power of Attorney A power of attorney is not an instrument of transfer in regard to any right, title or interest in an immovable property. The power of attorney is creation of an agency whereby the grantor authorizes the grantee to do the acts specified therein, on behalf of grantor, which when executed will be binding on the grantor as if done by him (see section 1A and section 2 of the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882). It is revocable or terminable at any time unless it is made irrevocable in a manner known to law. Even an irrevocable attorney does not have the effect of transferring title to the grantee. In State of Rajasthan v. Basant Nehata – 2005 (12) SCC 77, Court held: A grant of power of attorney is essentially governed by Chapter X of the Contract Act. By reason of a deed of power of attorney, an agent is formally appointed to act for the principal in one transaction or a series of transactions or to manage the affairs of the principal generally conferring necessary authority upon another person. A deed of power of attorney is executed by the principal in favour of the agent. The agent derives a right to use his name and all acts, deeds and things done by him and subject to the limitations contained in the said deed, the same shall be read as if done by the donor. A power of attorney is, as is well known, a document of convenience. Execution of a power of attorney in terms of the provisions of the Contract Act as also the Powers-of-Attorney Act is valid. A power of attorney, we have noticed hereinbefore, is executed by the donor so as to enable the donee to act on his behalf. Except in cases where power of attorney is coupled with interest, it is revocable. The donee in exercise of his power under such power of attorney only acts in place of the donor subject of course to the powers granted to him by reason thereof. He cannot use the power of attorney for his own benefit. He acts in a fiduciary capacity. Any act of infidelity or breach of trust is a matter between the donor and the donee.- An attorney holder may however execute a deed of conveyance in exercise of the power granted under the power of attorney and convey title on […]

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Vexatious Litigation Act

June 7, 2020

Maharashtra has provision to stop vexatious litigant, while for Central Government a Bill No XI is introduced in Rajya Sabha on 11th March 2016. What is Vexatious? In common parlance, “To vex” means anger by a slight or a petty annoyance; irritate. “Vexation” means the act or an instance of vexing or annoying or distressing thing. “Vexatious” means such as to cause vexation. (See The Oxford English Reference Dictionary, Edition 1995). The term “vexatious”, when used in law, signifies an action not having sufficient ground therefore and seeking only to annoy *7* appln. 3397.03. sxw the adversary. The Advanced Law Lexicon, 3rd Edition Reprint 2007, defines the term “Vexation” as under: “The action of troubling or harassing by aggression or interference; the action of troubling or irritating by physical means.” “Vexatious” has been defined as causing or likely to cause vexation. The “vexatious action” or “vexatious proceedings” has been defined as under: “An action brought for the purpose of annoying the opponent and with no reasonable prospect of success.” 10 Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, defines the words “vex”, “vexation”, “vexatious”, “vexatious litigant” and “vexatious proceeding” as under: (a) Vex : to harass, disquiet, or annoy.(b) Vexation : The damage that is suffered as a result of another’s trickery or malice.(c) Vexatious : (Of conduct) without reasonable or probable cause or excuse; harassing; annoying.(d) Vexatious litigant : A litigant who repeatedly files frivolous lawsuits.(e) Vexatious proceeding : A lawsuit instituted maliciously and without good cause. The Object and Reasons of the Bill are : Frivolous and vexatious litigations are the cause of concern for the courts for quite some time. Often, this matter has been highlighted by various courts and the Law Commission as well which favoured for a check on the filing of frivolous and vexatious proceedings. Attimes, it has been seen that many persons abuse the process of law and indulge in the habitual and intentional filing of frivolous and vexatious civil or criminal proceedings to harass other persons without any reasonable ground. It has also been observed by the courts that some persons habitually and persistently file cases on the issues, which have already been decided once or more than once against some parties or their successors or against different parties. Besides the harassment, filing of such proceedings also leads to wastage of the precious time of the law courts which are already burdened. Such frivolous litigation cause unnecessary and avoidable strain on the States’ resources in the area of dispensation of justice. There is no denying of the fact that every person has right to file civil or criminal proceedings against any other person, but a check is necessary to allow the court to examine the bona fide of a person filing the proceeding. Many countries in the world, like the USA, the UK have enacted a law on the filing of frivolous and vexatious litigation. In our country also, there is a law on the subject in two States, i.e., Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In view of the concern expressed by the courts, it is necessary that a central law be enacted to prevent the […]

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