A weekly round-up of important cases from Madras High Court and its subordinate courts.
Citations: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 270 To 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 280
Mohamed Jiyaputheen v. State of Tamil Nadu and Another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 270
M/s.Progressive Stone Works Versus The Joint Commissioner (ST), 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 271
Mahalakshmi v. The Superintendent of Police and others, 2022 Livelaw (Mad) 272
St. Mary’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School v. .The Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and others, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 273
Sunku Vasundhara v State Bank of India, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 274
Dinesh v. State, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 275
P.Sudha v. The Secretary and another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 276
S.Sarath Kumar v. The District Collector and another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 277
M/s. Dishnet Wireless Limited versus the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (OSD), 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 278
Ganesan v. SHO and another, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 279
M/s. Redington (India) Limited versus Principal Additional Director General, 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 280
1. Plea To Substitute Order Of ‘Compulsory’ Retirement With ‘Voluntary’ Doesn’t Require Adjudication On Merits: Madras HC Grants Relief To Retd Judge
Case Title: Mohamed Jiyaputheen v. State of Tamil Nadu and Another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 270
The Madras High Court recently allowed the plea filed by a former District Judge seeking to amend an order for compulsory retirement as that of voluntary retirement.
The bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala observed that the issue did not require adjudication on merits. The court noticed that the order of compulsory retirement was not being challenged and the prayer was limited to substituting the order of compulsory retirement with the order of voluntary retirement. As this prayer did not require any adjudication of merits, the court allowed the application.
2. Writ Petition Not Maintainable If Alternative Statutory Remedy Was Available With The Taxpayer: Madras High Court Reiterates
Case Title: M/s.Progressive Stone Works Versus The Joint Commissioner (ST)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 271
The Madras High Court has reiterated that a writ petition is not maintainable if an alternative statutory remedy was available to the taxpayer.
The single bench of Justice C. Saravanan has observed that there are a few exceptions to the rule of alternative remedy. Firstly, where the statutory authority has not acted in accordance with the provisions of the enactment in question. Secondly, in defiance of the fundamental principles of judicial procedure. Thirdly, authorities have resorted to invoking the provisions that were repealed. Fourthly, when an order has been passed in total violation of the principles of natural justice,
3. Allegations Of Illegal Detention By Police Officers: Madras High Court Directs To Preserve CCTV Footage
Case Title: Mahalakshmi v. The Superintendent of Police and others
Citation: 2022 Livelaw (Mad) 272
Justice V. Sivagnanam of the Madurai Bench recently directed the Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent Of Police and Inspector of Police of Sankarankovil Town Police Station, Tenkasi District and Inspector of Police, Rajapalam Police Station, Viruthunagar District to preserve the CCTV footages recorded on the 6th and 7th April in connection with an allegation of illegal detention against certain police officials after observing that the same was important to adjudicate the issue involved in the case.
4. Madras High Court Dismisses School’s Plea Against Adjacent Opening Of Fuel Pump
Case Title: St. Mary’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School v. .The Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and others
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 273
The Madras High court recently dismissed a petition moved by a school challenging grant of NOC to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, for opening of a fuel pump adjacent to its building.
The bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala opined that the contentions raised in the challenge were not maintainable. The court however directed HPCL to ensure that all the necessary safety measures were observed while operating the retail outlet and no inconvenience should be caused.
5. Cannot Invoke Article 226 If An Effective And Statutory Remedy Exists Before NCLAT: Madras High Court
Case Title: Sunku Vasundhara v State Bank of India
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 274
The High Court of Madras Bench comprising of Justice T. Raja and Justice K. Kumaresh Babu, while adjudicating a writ petition filed in Sunku Vasundhara v State Bank of India, has held that when an effective and statutory remedy lies before the Appellate Authority i.e. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), aggrieved parties cannot invoke Article 226 of the Constitution of India for relief. The order was passed on 15.06.2022.
6. Conviction Cannot Be Solely On Extra Judicial Confession Unless Supported By Chain Of Cogent Circumstances: Madras High Court
Case Title: Dinesh v. State
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 275
Finding laches in the case of the prosecution, the Madras High Court recently set aside the order of conviction and sentence of a man who was accused of murdering his friend and burying his body, allegedly over the friend’s refusal to perform homosexual activities with him.
The bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay and Justice AD Jagdish Chandira observed that since the prosecution case could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, it was not safe to convict the man on the basis of an extra-judicial confession.
The bench further observed that the burden of proving facts within special knowledge does not shift on the accused by pressing into service Section 106 of the Evidence Act when the prosecution could not prove the basic facts as alleged against the accused.
7. Transgender Persons Classified As “Most Backward Class” For Reservation In Educational Institutions, Govt Jobs: TN Govt Tells High Court
Case Title: P.Sudha v. The Secretary and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 276
The Madras High Court on Wednesday disposed of a writ petition seeking reservation for third gender in government jobs after it was informed by the Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram that the Government had already issued necessary orders way back in 2015, granting the benefit of reservation to the community and had brought Transgender persons under the category of “Most Backward Class” for reservation of seats in educational institutions and appointments in the services of the State.
The bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala opined that no further directions were necessary and that the present writ petition was unnecessary.
8. Notice Of Intended Marriage U/S 5 Of Special Marriage Act Must Be Given “Prior” To Solemnisation Of Marriage: Madras High Court
Case Title: S.Sarath Kumar v. The District Collector and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 277
The Madras High Court recently refused to issued directions for registration of a couple’s marriage under the Special Marriage Act, stating that the conditions stipulated under Section 4 of the Act for solemnization of special marriages and the procedure thereof contained under Sections 5-13 has to be mandatorily complied with.
Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madurai Bench observed that the marriage was performed on 10.06.2022. Only thereafter, notice was given under Section 5 of the Act. Therefore, it was not solemnized as per the procedure laid down under the Special Marriage Act. The court observed that since the petitioner did not marry Lediya under the Special Marriage Act, he could not claim benefits under Section 4 of the Act.
9. IBC Proceedings Can’t Dilute Rights Of The Income Tax Department To Reopen Assessment: Madras High Court
Case Title: M/s. Dishnet Wireless Limited versus the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax (OSD)
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 278
The Madras High Court has ruled that proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 cannot dilute the rights of the Income Tax Department to reopen the assessment under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Court noted that the Resolution Plan submitted by the assessee did not contemplate any concession from the Income Tax Department, even though notice under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act was issued to the assessee prior to the submission of the Resolution Plan.
The Single Bench of Justice C. Saravanan held that the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code cannot be interpreted in a manner which is inconsistent with any other law in the time being in force. Thus, the Court ruled that the proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code cannot dilute the rights of the Income Tax Department to reopen the assessment under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act.
10. Application For Further Investigation Can Be Filed Even After Commencement Of Trial: Madras High Court
Case Title: Ganesan v. SHO and another
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 279
While allowing a revision of the order of the Judicial Magistrate rejecting the application for further investigation, the Madras High Court recently observed that an application for further investigation can be made even after the commencement of trial. The court observed that bringing out the truth was of utmost importance and that Section 173(8) of CrPC does not put any fetter on the Police to conduct a further investigation after the commencement of trial.
Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy observed that “Section 173(8) of Cr.P.C., does not place any fetter on the Police to conduct further investigation in the case after commencement of trial and whenever they come across any additional information it is just and necessary that the same be brought to the notice of the Court”
The court also observed that by filing the revision, the de facto complainant was only bringing to the notice of the court that an erroneous order had been passed which according to him will lead to injustice. The same would, therefore, not amount to taking over of the prosecution.
11. Officers Of DGGI Are “Central Excise Officers”; Can Issue Show Cause Notices And Adjudicate Service Tax Demand: Madras High Court
Case Title: M/s. Redington (India) Limited versus Principal Additional Director General
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 280
The Madras High Court has ruled that officers of the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) are “Central Excise Officers” for the purpose of Rule 3 of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 since they are vested with the powers of Central Excise Officers by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
The Single Bench of Justice C. Saravanan, while considering a bunch of writ petitions, held that that the definition of “Central Excise Officer” in Section 2(b) of Central Excise Act, 1944 is expansive and that any person, including an officer of the State Government, who is invested by the CBEC with any of the powers of a Central Excise Officer under the Central Excise Act, is a “Central Excise Officer”.
1. Money Laundering: Madras High Court Stays ED Proceedings Against TN Fisheries Minister Anitha Radhakrishnan
Case Title: Anitha R Radhakrishnan v. The Directorate of Enforcement and Another
Case No: W.P.No.16467 of 2022
The Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed, till the next date of hearing, the money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate against Minister of Fisheries, Fishermen Welfare and Animal Husbandry for the State of Tamil Nadu, Anitha Radhakrishnan.
The interim relief was granted by the bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay and Justice AD Jagdish Chandira in a plea by the Minister seeking to quash the enforcement proceedings. The court also granted time to the Enforcement Directorate to file their counter.