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Mere breach of contract cannot give rise to criminal prosecution for cheating: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court observed that a mere allegation of failure to keep up promise will not be enough to initiate criminal proceedings.
A breach of contract does not give rise to criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction, the bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal said.
The bench added that the criminal Courts are not meant to be used for settling scores or pressurise parties to settle civil disputes.
In this case, the F.I.R. was registered against the accused under Sections 420, 120-B and 506 IPC on the basis of complaint made by the informant. The accused approached the High Court seeking quashing of the FIR. The High Court refused to quash the complaint.
In appeal, the Apex Court noted that the allegations made are of civil nature. Perusing the complaints, the bench noted:
“The entire idea seems to be to convert a civil dispute into criminal and put pressure on the appellant for return of the amount allegedly paid. The criminal Courts are not meant to be used for settling scores or pressurise parties to settle civil disputes. Wherever ingredients of criminal offences are made out, criminal courts have to take cognizance. The complaint in question on the basis of which F.I.R. was registered was filed nearly three years after the last date fixed for registration of the sale deed. Allowing the proceedings to continue would be an abuse of process of the Court.” (Courtesy:- Deccan Herald , 6 March 2023)
Tighten rules to check language across OTT mediums, Delhi high court tells govt
(Case Details:- TVF MEDIA LABS PVT LTD & ORS v. STATE (GOVT.OF NCT OF DELHI) & ANR., CRL.M.C. 2214/2020 & CRL.M.A. 15761/2020 , Delhi High Court)
The Delhi High Court exhorted the Union government to tighten regulations on the language used in web series streamed on OTT (over the top) platforms while asking the legislature to consider framing laws or rules for enforcing stricter application of Information Technology Rules, 2021 for the intermediaries.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma heavily criticized the language used in TVF web series “College Romance” observing that it does not pass “morale decency community test” of a common man and transgresses into the area of obscenity.
“The challenge faced by our country, as faced by many other countries, for enacting appropriate law, guidelines and rules to regulate the content on social media and on OTT platforms needs urgent attention,” the court said.
Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma’s observation came while upholding a direction to register an FIR against TVF Media Labs and actors of its web series under Section 67A (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) and Section 67 (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form). The court, however, dropped charges of obscenity and its circulation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“This court draws the attention of the Ministry of Information and Technology to the situations which are fast emerging on a daily basis and to take steps for enforcing stricter application of its rules qua the intermediaries as notified in Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and make any laws or rules as deemed appropriate in its wisdom, in light of the observations made in this judgment,” the court said in its judgment. (Courtesy:- Hindustan Times, 7 March 2023)
Supreme Court of Canada restores voyeurism conviction against B.C. hockey coach
The Supreme Court of Canada has overturned a British Columbia court ruling and restored two voyeurism convictions against a former Metro Vancouver minor hockey coach.
Randy Downes had coached minor hockey and children’s baseball in Burnaby and Coquitlam for 30 years when he was charged in 2016 after border agents found images on his phone as he returned to Canada from Washington state.
All the images involved youths who were clothed and none were deemed pornographic, but Downes was convicted of two counts of voyeurism in 2019 for separate events where surreptitious cellphone photos were taken of two youths in their underwear in hockey changing rooms.
He was 62-years old when he was handed a suspended sentence in 2020 and placed on six months of probation.
The B.C. Court of Appeal rejected the lower court ruling in a split decision last year, finding that a conviction of voyeurism requires the subject of the photo to be in a place where it “can reasonably be expected” nudity will occur at the time the photo is taken.
In the unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision, Justice Mahmud Jamal says the Criminal Code section used to convict Downes does not include a “temporal component,” so the Crown did not need to prove the photos were taken in a place where nudity is reasonably expected at that time. (Courtesy:- Terrace Standard, 10 March 2023)
Supreme Court to host 3-day meeting of Chief Justices of SCO member states
THE SUPREME Court of India will host the 18th meeting of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states from March 10 to 12 in the national capital.
The Indian participation in the meeting will include Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and SC judges Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph.
CJI Chandrachud will speak on “Smart Courts” and the future of the judiciary, while Justice Kaul will speak on facilitating access to justice. Justice Joseph will address the gathering on institutional challenges facing the judiciary.
An official note said the meeting will involve a joint interaction with the Chief Justices/Chairpersons/Judges from the member/observer states and representatives from SCO Secretariat and SCO RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) and will conclude with the signing of a joint statement.
Committee to oversee transfer and import of captive wild animals in India: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has increased the jurisdiction and powers of a high-powered committee led by its former judge, Justice Deepak Verma, to conduct necessary checks and undertake fact-finding exercises concerning the import, transfer, procurement, rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals, including those in captivity, across India.
The ambit of the committee was earlier restricted to Tripura and Gujarat.
Now, the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the States would be co-opted as members of the committee. The panel would look into all pending and future complaints on the issue.
“The Committee may also consider the request for approval, dispute or grievance, concerning transfer or import into India or procurement or welfare of wild animals by any rescue or rehabilitation centre or zoo, by taking assistance and co-operation whenever needed from all departments and authorities across India. We also direct that all complaints in this regard may be forwarded forthwith to the High-Powered Committee for consideration and recommending appropriate action,” a Bench led by Justice Krishna Murari said in a recent order. (Courtesy:- The Hindu, 11 March 2023)
Canada Supreme Court justice on indefinite paid leave after he had a fight in Arizona hotel over his alleged ‘creepy’ behavior toward female guests while drunk
Russell Brown, a justice of Canada’s Supreme Court, is on indefinite paid leave following an altercation that occurred while he was on vacation after he is alleged to have drunkenly attempted to follow hotel guests back to their rooms, according to a police report reviewed by Insider.
On January 28, Brown was a speaker at a gala at the luxury Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, celebrating a former colleague’s receipt of the Sandra Day O’Connor Justice Prize from Arizona State University. Following the celebrations, the reportedly inebriated judge approached a group in the hotel lounge and sat with them. (Courtesy:- Business Insider, 11 March 2023)
*Disclaimer: – Always check with the original copy of judgment from the Court website.
Legal News in this Weekly Legal Update are compiled by Team www.deepakmiglani.com