Delhi-High-Court

On Thursday, 7th December, 2017 the Delhi High Court in the case of Lalit Mohan Madhan and Ors. vs. Reliance Capital Ltd., held that arbitration and SARFAESI proceedings can be carried simultaneously for recovery of loan arrears.

Justice Navin Chawla ruled that “As the SARFAESI Act and the Arbitration /Debt Recovery Act are held to be complementary in nature and the doctrine of election has been held to be not applicable, it cannot be said that if a party has invoked one remedy, it is debarred from invoking the other during the pendency of the first one. Under the SARFAESI Act, specially under Section 13 thereof, the secured creditor will proceed against the security given for the loan. If the amount recovered from the secured asset is less than the amount claimed as due by the financial institution, it would necessarily have to go for an adjudication proceeding before proceeding against the other assets of the debtor. However, that does not mean that if it has invoked the adjudicatory process for determination of its loan amount, it stands denuded of recovering its loan from the secured assets in accordance with law i.e. SARFAESI Act,”.

The Court was hearing a Petition filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, demanding that the Respondent, Reliance Capital Ltd., be debarred from taking any coercive action through notices issued under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) for recovery of the alleged amount of Rs. 6.4 crore.

The Petitioner had contended that the impugned notices under Section 13(2) and 13(4) of the SARFAESI Act should be stayed as the liability under the loan agreement has been adjudicated through arbitration. The arbitral award had not attained finality, as the same was under challenge before the Court.

It had further submitted that since the bank had taken recourse to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, it cannot now resort to the SARFAESI Act for making any recovery.

The Bank, on the other hand, had contended that the SARFAESI Act provides for an alternate remedy to financial institutions for recovering loan amount. The Bank further contended that the Act itself does not bar the application of other legislations that the remedies can simultaneously sustain.

The Court relied on the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in the case of M.D. Frozen Foods Exports Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. vs. Hero Fincorp Ltd., AIR 2017 SC 4481, “the arbitration proceedings and SARFAESI Act proceedings can go hand in hand. It has held that the provisions of SARFAESI Act are a remedy in addition to the provisions of the Arbitration Act. The two Acts are cumulative remedies to the secured creditors. While SARFAESI Act proceedings are in nature of enforcement proceeding, the arbitration proceedings would be in form of an adjudicatory process. In the event that the secured assets are insufficient to satisfy the debt, the secured creditor can proceed against other assets in execution against the debtor, after determination of pending outstanding amount by a competent forum i.e. in this case the arbitration.”

The Court ruled that the Petitioner had failed to make out any prima facie case in its favour and dismissed the Petition  allowing the Bank to initiate proceedings under the SARFAESI Act.

Taruna Verma

Senior Advocate

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f0fdfca4-d0d4-4eb9-9f41-167722da56fcRERA

The Bombay High Court ruled on Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 in the matter of Neelkamal Realtors Suburban Pvt. Ltd. and Anr. vs. Union of India and Ors., that all provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), 2016 are constitutional and valid.

RERA came into effect on 1st May 2017, a year after both Houses of the Parliament passed it. In September, after several petitions challenging RERA were filed in High Courts across the country, the Supreme Court stayed the proceedings in other Courts. The Supreme Court said that other Courts should wait for the Bombay High Court’s decision before hearing RERA-related matters and also asked the Bombay High Court to expedite the hearings on pending matters.

A Bench comprising of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Rajesh Ketkar, in their 330 page Judgement, upheld various provisions of the Act in ten petitions filed by real estate developers and individual plot owners, all challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.

The builders had challenged Section 18 of the Act, under which they will have to return monies received with interest, if they fail to hand over possession or complete the project in a time bound manner, if the allottee wishes to withdraw from a project. It also contemplates the payment of monthly interest for the period of the delay to those allottees who choose not to withdraw.

To this the Court said, “….  in case the allottee wishes to withdraw from the project, without prejudice to any other remedy available, to return the amount received by him in respect of that apartment with interest at such rate as may be prescribed in this behalf including compensation.

If the allottee does not intend to withdraw from the project he shall be paid by the promoter interest for every month’s delay till handing over of the possession. The requirement to pay interest is not a penalty as the payment of interest is compensatory in nature in the light of the delay suffered by the allottee who has paid for his apartment but has not received possession of it. The obligation imposed on the promoter to pay interest till such time as the apartment is handed over to him is not unreasonable. The interest is merely compensation for use of money.”

 

The Bench, however, also allowed a significant leeway for the developers in the Judgement by permitting the State-level RERA Authority and the Appellate Tribunal to consider delays on a case-to-case basis, and not to cancel such projects or developers’ registration in cases where the delay was caused due to ‘exceptional and compelling circumstances’.

The Court ruled that “In case the promoter establishes and the authority is convinced that there were compelling circumstances and reasons for the promoter in failing to complete the project during the stipulated time, the authority shall have to examine as to whether there were exceptional circumstances due to which the promoter failed to complete the project. Such an assessment has to be done by the authority on case to case basis and exercise its discretion to advance the purpose and object of RERA by balancing rights of both, the promoter and the allottee.”

The Court also ruled on the appointment of Judicial Members to RERA Tribunals. Section 46 of the Act, which deals with appointments, allows a bureaucrat, who has held the post of Additional Secretary, to hold the post of Judicial Member, however, the Court partially struck down Section 46 (1) (b). The Court has directed that the two-member bench of the Tribunal should always consist a judicial member and majority of the members shall always be judicial members, instead of bureaucrats, as is the formation now.

While the Bench concurred with the State and the Union Government’s arguments, it said that the Authorities must also closely monitor the implementation of the Act, “We are conscious of the fact that the actual implementation of RERA needs to be closely monitored in the years to come,”.

The Bench, while upholding the provisions of RERA said, “RERA is not a law relating to only regulating concerns of the promoters but its object is to develop the real estate sector, particularly the incomplete projects, across the country. The problems are enormous and it’s time to take a step forward to fulfill the dream of the ‘Father of the Nation- To wipe out tears from every eye.”

Finally, the Bench ruled that RERA is crucial to protect the interest of flat buyers across the country.

Taruna Verma

Senior Advocate

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) New Delhi has recently heard the matter involving severe environmental damage caused to the flood plains of River Yamuna. The NGT had earlier in 2015 approved the Delhi Jal Board’s project for cleaning and rejuvenation of River Yamuna (Project) falling in the Delhi NCR region which included construction of sewage treatment plants, rehabilitation of sewer line systems, etc. The NGT had also prohibited carrying out any construction activity in the demarcated flood plains of River Yamuna.

The flood plains of rivers are significant in the following manner:

  1. They facilitate the self cleansing ability of the rivers and their capacity to retain floodwater,
  2. They provide habitat to several riparian plants and animals, natural vegetation including trees, shrubs and other aquatic vegetation,
  3. They create wetlands that help biological cleaning of waste water before it could enter and pollute the river, etc.

 

In the present case, the Art of Living Organization (the Respondent) had organized the World Culture Festival Celebration 2016 (Event), where, they had resorted to illegal and unauthorized dumping of debris and construction on the flood plains of River Yamuna. According to a Committee constituted by the NGT:

  • A huge gathering at this site had caused vast amounts of solid and liquid pollution,
  • Most of the wetland vegetation at the site had been removed by excavation or buried under the debris to provide access to the bridges,
  • The plains were filled with soil or debris and the ground had been leveled flat from the use of heavy vehicles at the site,
  • Construction material used in building huge stage, large cabins/tents were scattered all over,
  • Roads were constructed to provide access to the event, etc.

 

As per the Committee, all these activities led to severe damage to the environment and natural ecosystem, changes in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil and the complete destruction of the flood plains of River Yamuna, which may have adverse affects on the environment including the creation of an oxygen deficient environment, leaching of toxic substances derived from the debris and other wastes, etc.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had initially permitted the Respondent to use the land in the river bed/flood plain for the Event on certain terms and conditions such as use of eco-friendly materials, no dumping of wastes, no carrying out activity in the vicinity of the River, construction of toilets, permissions and sanctions from various authorities concerned, etc. But the NGT held that the Respondent did not comply with most of the terms and conditions of the DDA.

Therefore, the NGT herein adopted the principle of no fault liability i.e. the Respondent had the onus/burden to take all the precautions that were required to be taken prior and subsequent to the Event. Failing which, the Respondent has been held responsible for the environmental degradation of the flood plains of River Yamuna and that it has to restore the place to its original condition as it was prior to the Event. The NGT has also directed the DDA to undertake and execute work of restoration/restitution of the flood plains of River Yamuna and other works connected thereto and use the compensation paid by the Respondent for this purpose, and to ensure construction/establishment of bio-diversity park at the site.

 

Harini Daliparthy

Legal Associate

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The Supreme Court, on Thursday, 30th November 2017 issued guidelines to reduce the number of deaths that occur as a result of road accidents and directed States and Union Territories to implement Road Safety Policy dated 2010 with seriousness

The Bench comprising Justice M.B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta were hearing a PIL filed by Dr. S. Rajaseekaran, who is the Chairman and Head of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore. The Petitioner had contended that 90% of deaths in road accidents are due to lack of proper implementation of Road Safety Rules.

An analysis of the Report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways published on September 2017 titled “Road Accidents in India-2016” shows that a total number of 4,80,652 road accidents took place in the country in the year 2016 of which 1,50,785 accidents claimed life and 4,94,624 accidents left persons with grievous injuries.

The Supreme Court noted the statistics given by the Petitioners , which reads as, “the number of deaths due to road accidents in the country was said tobe over 100,000 in a year, which translates to about one death every three minutes.”It further noted that the compensation awarded for deaths and other motor accident claims runs into hundreds of crores of rupees. During the course of arguments in the instant case, the Court had perused all documents, data and reports on road safety and accidents and deaths, which have occurred over the years.

The Apex Court after having considered all aspects in the case and after making detailed study of the suggestions and submissions issued 25 directions, which include directions to 4 Union Territories and 3 States to formulate “Road Safety Policy” by January 2018 and carry out its implementation in an effective manner. The Court has directed the Union Territories and States, which have not formed road safety policies to formulate the same by January 2018. It has also directed all States and Union Territories to prepare a “Road Safety Action Plan” by the end of March 2018. Further, the Court also mandates safety norms as part of school curriculum.

The Court noted that, “It appears that one of the main reasons for road accidents is the poor quality of roads, improper design, etc,”

The Court has now made it mandatory for States and Union Territories to establish Road Safety Fund, the corpus of which would come from traffic fines collected. The money would be used to meet the expenses for road safety.

The Union Ministry of Transport has been asked to frame a protocol for road design, road quality and identification of black spots and also, to implement “traffic calming measures” at accident spots.

One can hope with the Supreme Court judgement road safety will now be given a priority and travelling will be less disastrous.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

 

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New Delhi’s air quality deteriorated on 13th November 2017 morning, with poor visibility leading to cancellation of eight trains. A thick cloud of toxic smog 10 times the recommended limit enveloped the national capital, as Government officials struggled to tackle a public health crisis that is well into its second week.

Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) on Monday was 468. The national capital saw the season’s worst air quality at 486 on November 9. The air quality improved on Friday and Saturday but deteriorated on Sunday. For the last six days, the air quality has remained in the “severe” zone across the National Capital Region, prompting the Indian Medical Association to declare a health emergency.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by small and medium industries for extending deadline to switch from ecologically damaging fuels such as pet coke and furnace oil widely used in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta on 15th November 2017, declined to allow applications for the recall of its order dated October 24, imposing a ban on the use of petcoke and furnace oil as fuels in any industrial process in the states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh w.e.f., November 1. The Bench held, “In view of the deplorable quality of air in Delhi NCR, we do not deem fit to revoke the ban imposed by us on the use of petcoke and furnace oils,”.

The Bench said, “Where are the timelines? It is not enough to have emergency measures which are reactive to a crisis,”. Also, theBench refused to extend any interim relief to the industries, but said it would pass orders as the amicus, assisting the court in tackling the air pollution problem, maintained that they could switch to better fuels that are available in plenty.

The Apex Court had passed the aforesaid order with a view to tackle the increasing menace of air pollution in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Subsequently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFand CC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had issued a notification on 15th November under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act of 1986, prohibiting any industry, process or operation in the complete territory of the three states adjoining Delhi and not merely in the NCRfrom using petcoke and furnace oil.

When senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of Hindalco and other industrial units, contended that if the court refuses to lift the ban, several small and medium enterprises will be compelled to close down, resulting in the unemployment of thousands of persons, the top court reprimanded the senior counsel for making such arguments and retorted, “This court might as well be closed down.”

The Court also declined to entertain the prayers for grant of more time for converting to alternative, cleaner sources of energy, holding, “In view of the notification issued by the Government of India, MoEFand CC on 15th November, 2017, the applications have become infructuous. They are disposed of as such.”

On 17th November 2017, the Supreme Court Bench had urged all state governments and union territories to issue similar directions prohibiting the use of petcoke and furnace oil by anyindustry, operation or process within their jurisdiction as issued by MoEFand CC and CPCB. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing as amicus curiae in the present matter, forwarded a recommendation for imposing a ban on not just the use, but also the sale of the said fuels in the three States surrounding Delhi.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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jail system 2jail system 2 (1)

According to creator all men are born equal and are endowed with some basic rights. Some of these rights are right to life and liberty which are the most basic rights but important one. If any person doesn’t comply with ethics of the society then that person is deprived of these rights with appropriate punishments. It is believed by many experts that the main objective of prisons is to bring the offenders back to the mainstream of the society. Various workshops had been organised by the State Government in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) to bring reforms in the current prison systems. In recent year it was seen that the condition of Indian jails got worse even after time to time guidelines provided to state.

In one of the landmark judgements which will improve prison conditions and helps in setting up mechanisms to lower the number of unnatural deaths in prisons and also compensate families of the deceased, the Supreme Court has directed the chief justices of high courts to register a suo motu public interest petition to identify the next of kin of the prisoners who have admittedly died an unnatural death, as revealed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) between 2012 and 2015, and to “award suitable compensation” in case it has not been paid.

Some of the important guidelines by Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta on prison reforms

  • Prisoners must get more access to their families and lawyer

The Bench after realising the importance of interaction between prisoner and their families and their lawyer said “visits to prison by the family of a prisoner should be encouraged” and noted that “it would be better if there is scope of extending the time or frequency of meetings and also explore the possibility of video conferencing for communications between a prisoner and family members of that prisoner, also between a prisoner and the lawyer.”

  • Medical facilities in prisons do not meet minimum standards

While in a report it has been found that in Karnataka, West Bengal and Delhi “the medical facilities in prisons do not meet minimum standards of care,” the court was in a view that this is an indication that the human right to health is not given adequate importance in prisons and that may also be one of the causes of unnatural deaths in prisons.

Providing medical assistance and facilities to inmates in prisons is necessary as the right to health is undoubtedly a human right, the court said all state governments should concentrate on making this a reality for all, including prisoners. It also directed all state governments to study the availability of medical assistance to prisoners and take remedial steps wherever necessary.

  • Establishment of open jails or open prison

It has also directed that the establishment of ‘open jails’ or ‘open prisons’ be considered and in this respect noted that the experiment was a success in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) and Rajasthan and at the semi-open prison in Delhi.

  • Juvenile care must be given higher priority

Further court has also directed the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which is concerned with the implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, to formulate by December 31 procedures for tabulating the number of children who suffer an unnatural death in childcare institutions where they are kept in custody either because they are in conflict with the law or because they need care and protection. It is also directed to the respective High Court Bench hearing the suo motu PIL as per its directions to “pass necessary orders and directions” in case of any difficulty.

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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credit-ratings

Moody’s Investors Service, a global rating company, is a subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation and has offices across the globe. It is a leading provider of credit ratings, risk analysis and research covering various debt instruments and securities issued by corporate issuers, finance issuers, etc across more than 135 sovereign nations.

As per the newspaper reports dated 17.11.2017, Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded India’s sovereign local currency rating to Baa2 from Baa3 and its short-term local currency rating to P-2 from P-3 and has changed the outlook to stable from positive.

Moody’s Investor Service follows a process of gradation of credit worthiness indicated by the following rating symbols. This gradation may help the investors to know about the credit worthiness of an issuer and its country:

On the Global Long-Term Rating Scale-

  1. Aaa – indicating lowest level of credit risk,
  2. Baa – indicating moderate credit risk and may possess certain speculative characteristics,
  3. Caa – indicating very high credit risk, etc.

On the Global Short-Term Rating Scale-

  1. P-1 – indicating a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations,
  2. P-2 – indicating a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations,
  3. P-3 – indicating an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations, etc.

Generally, international credit ratings relate to either local currency or foreign currency commitments:

  • The local currency international ratings measure the likelihood of repayment of debts and other financial commitments in the currency of the jurisdiction in which the issuer is domiciled;
  • The foreign currency ratings additionally take into account the risk involved in conversion of local currency into foreign currency or in making transfers between sovereign jurisdictions.

Moody’s Investor Service has stated the rationale behind upgrading India’s rating. It has cited certain Government measures including those listed below which may help in improving the business environment, enhancing the productivity, reducing the high debt burden on the economy, and encouraging increased investments from across the world, thereby leading to a strong and sustainable growth of the economy:

  1. Adequate support to small scale businesses and exporters such as financial support to Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), exemption from payment of Integrated GST (IGST) provided that exporters furnish a letter of undertaking which will act as a guarantee that if the exporters fail to export the goods and services or is they don’t receive payment for such exports, they will have to pay the IGST.
  2. Enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, which provides for fast track winding up of businesses and addresses the issue of overhanging non-performing loans in the banking system.
  3. Implementation of Demonetization 2016 (i.e. scrapping of old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes) to address the issue of black money, corruption and terrorism, and it has also seen a rise in use of digital money, e-modes of payments, etc.
  4. Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) 2017, which may help in removing barriers to interstate trade, reducing the cost of tax compliance, logistics cost, transaction cost, etc.

Moody’s Investor Service has further stated that although some major reforms such as implementation of GST and demonetization may have adversely affected the growth of the economy for a short term, but it may take time for their impact to be seen. Moreover, from a long term perspective, it said that the potential for growth of the Indian economy is significantly higher than most sovereign nations.

This upgraded rating of India by Moody’s Investor Service may further encourage global investors to make investments in India and thereby improve the business climate in India and ultimately promote strong and sustainable growth of our economy.

 

Harini Daliparthy

Legal Associate

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Defamation is an injury to the reputation of a person. A defamatory statement is a statement calculated to expose a person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to injure him in his trade, business, profession, calling or office, or to cause him to be shunned or avoided in society.

The offence of defamation consists of three essential ingredients:-

  1. Making or publishing any imputation concerning any person.
  2. Such imputation must have been made by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs, or by visible representations.
  3. Such imputation must have been made with the intent to harm, or with knowledge or belief that it will harm the reputation of the person concerned.

 

The wrong of defamation may be committed either by way of writing, or its equivalent, or by way of speech. The term ‘libel’ is used for the former kind of utterances, ‘slander’ for the latter. Libel is a written, and slander is a spoken defamation.

A libel is a publication of a false and defamatory statement tending to injure the reputation of another person without lawful justification or excuse. The statement must be expressed in some permanent form, e.g., writing, printing, pictures, statue, waxwork effigy, etc.

A slander is a false and defamatory statement by spoken words or gestures tending to injure the reputation of another.

In order to find an action for libel, it must be proved that the statement complained of is:-

  1. False
  2. In writing
  3. Defamatory
  4. Published

 

Both libel and slander are criminal offences under The Indian Penal Code, 1860 and both are actionable in Civil Court without proof of special damage.

The offence of defamation consists in the injury offered to reputation not in any breach of the peace or other consequence that may result from it. The essence of the offence consists in its tendency to cause that description of pain, which is felt by a person who knows himself to be the object of the unfavorable sentiments of his fellow creatures, and those inconveniences to which a person who is the object of such unfavorable sentiments is exposed.

Though there is no universal rule that to hold the accused guilty of defamation the actual words used by the accused must be proved; it is nonetheless essential to prove the exact words used in as much as the question whether certain words used are defamatory or not depends solely on the shade of their meaning in the context in which they are used. It thus boils down that the prosecution will be required to prove not only the exact words used but also the context in which they were spoken.

Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both under The Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Following are some of the defenses available under Defamation:-

  1. Imputation of truth which public good requires to be making or publishing.
  2. Public conduct of public servants.
  3. Conduct of any person touching any public question.
  4. Publication of reports of proceedings of courts.
  5. Merits of case decided in Court or conduct of witnesses and others concerned.
  6. Merits of public performance.
  7. Censure passed in good faith by person having lawful authority over another.
  8. Accusation preferred in good faith to authorized person.
  9. Imputation made in good faith by person for protection of his or other’s interests.
  10. Caution intended for good of person to whom conveyed or for public good.

 

Sanchayeeta Das

Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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There is a strong possibility that (the) incident was caused by some outsider,” a bench comprising justices BK Narayana and AK Mishra said, upholding the Talwars’ appeal against the CBI court verdict.

RAJESH

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday, 12th October, 2017 in its 263-page verdict ends, at least for now, the nine-year ordeal of the Noida couple who were sentenced to life by a Ghaziabad CBI court on November 28, 2013 for the double murder that shook the nation with its element of filicide.

The Court acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar of the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj in 2008. The Court give Talwars the “benefit of doubt,” subsequently the Court ordered that the two be immediately released, saying that circumstantial evidence against them was found to be inconclusive and evidence supplied by the prosecution counsel was not sufficient.

The fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars’ Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards 45- year-old Hemraj later he was discovered dead the next day on the terrace of the apartment building in Noida.

On November 26, 2013, a Division Bench of Justice B K Narayana and Justice A K Mishra of the Allahabad High Court admitted the appeals by the Talwars against the Ghaziabad CBI Court order sentencing them to life imprisonment. The CBI Court sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for life, a fine of Rs 10,000 each for murder, rigorous imprisonment for five years and a fine of Rs 5,000 each for destruction of evidence, a one-year sentence of simple imprisonment for Rajesh Talwar and an additional fine of Rs 2,000 for filing a misleading FIR. All sentences were to run concurrently.

The verdict ends a nine-year ordeal of the parents who were found guilty by a CBI court of murdering 14-year-old Aarushi in a fit of rage as they suspected her of having an affair with Hemraj

The Court said, “The chain of evidence stood snapped the moment the prosecution failed to provide evidence that the Talwars’ flat was locked from the inside and the evidence suggests there is strong possibility of outsiders having access to the flat and having left the same after committing the double murders. We do not find any reason to fasten the guilt of double murders on the Talwars merely on the proof of the deceased being last seen in their flat on the night of 15.5.2008, especially in the view of the alternate hypothesis of the double murder by the prosecution.”

Justice Narayana further said, “Suspicion, however great, cannot take the place of proof.

A.N. Mulla, the Additional Government Advocate for the State in the case said, “We will most probably appeal this case in the Supreme Court. But only the CBI can say what the next step will be.

It is shameful that the real killers are still unknown.

 

Taruna Verma

Senior Associate

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After the 23rd GST Council meeting in Guwahati, the tax rates on over 200 items, including beauty products, chewing gums, chocolates, coffee, and custard powder, among others, were slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Only luxury goods are now only in the highest tax bracket and items of daily use are shifted to 18 per cent.

All restaurants will be levied the GST at 5 per cent, without input tax credit (ITC) benefits. However five-star restaurants within starred-hotels with room rent above Rs. 7,500 will attract 18 per cent and can still avail ITC benefits. Outdoor catering will attract 18 per cent GST with input tax credit benefits.

The top tax rate of 28 per cent will now be levied on goods like pan masala, aerated water and beverages, cigars and cigarettes, tobacco products, cement, paints, perfumes, ACs, dish washing machine, washing machine, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, cars and two-wheelers, aircraft and yachts.


Items on which GST was cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent:

  • Wire, cables, insulated conductors, electrical insulators, electrical plugs, switches, sockets, fuses, relays, electrical connectors
  • Electrical boards, panels, consoles, cabinets etc for electric control or distribution
  • Particle/fibre boards and ply wood. Article of wood, wooden frame, paving block
  • Furniture, mattress, bedding and similar furnishing
  • Trunk, suitcase, vanity cases, brief cases, travelling bags and other hand bags, cases
  • Detergents, washing and cleaning preparations
  • Liquid or cream for washing the skin
  • Shampoos; Hair cream, Hair dyes (natural, herbal or synthetic) and similar other goods; henna powder or paste, not mixed with any other ingredient;
  • Pre-shave, shaving or after-shave preparations, personal deodorants, bath preparations, perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations, room deodorizer
  • Perfumes and toilet waters
  • Beauty or make-up preparations
  • Fans, pumps, compressors
  • Lamp and light fitting
  • Primary cell and primary batteries
  • Sanitary ware and parts thereof of all kind
  • Articles of plastic, floor covering, baths, shower, sinks, washbasins, seats, sanitary ware of plastic
  • Slabs of marbles and granite
  • Goods of marble and granite such as tiles
  • Ceramic tiles of all kinds
  • Miscellaneous articles such as vacuum flasks, lighters,
  • Wrist watches, clocks, watch movement, watch cases, straps, parts
  • Article of apparel & clothing accessories of leather, guts, fur skin, artificial fur and other articles such as saddlery and harness for any animal
  • Articles of cutlery, stoves, cookers and similar non electric domestic appliances
  • Razor and razor blades
  • Multi-functional printers, cartridges
  • Office or desk equipment
  • Door, windows and frames of aluminum
  • Articles of plaster such as board, sheet,
  • Articles of cement or concrete or stone and artificial stone,
  • Articles of asphalt or slate,
  • Articles of mica
  • Ceramic flooring blocks, pipes, conduit, pipe fitting
  • Wall paper and wall covering
  • Glass of all kinds and articles thereof such as mirror, safety glass, sheets, glassware
  • Electrical, electronic weighing machinery
  • Fire extinguishers and fire extinguishing charge
  • Fork lifts, lifting and handling equipment,
  • Bull dozers, excavators, loaders, road rollers,
  • Earth moving and leveling machinery,
  • Escalators,
  • Cooling towers, pressure vessels, reactors
  • Crankshaft for sewing machine, tailor’s dummies, bearing housings, gears and gearing; ball or roller screws; gaskets
  • Electrical apparatus for radio and television broadcasting
  • Sound recording or reproducing apparatus
  • Signalling, safety or traffic control equipment for transports
  • Physical exercise equipment, festival and carnival equipment, swings, shooting galleries, roundabouts, gymnastic and athletic equipment
  • All musical instruments and their parts
  • Artificial flowers, foliage and artificial fruits
  • Explosive, anti-knocking preparation, fireworks
  • Cocoa butter, fat, oil powder,
  • Extract, essence ad concentrates of coffee, miscellaneous food preparations, Chocolates, Chewing gum / bubble gum
  • Malt extract and food preparations of flour, starch or malt extract
  • Waffles and wafers coated with chocolate or containing chocolate
  • Rubber tubes and miscellaneous articles of rubber, goggles, binoculars, telescope, cinematographic cameras and projectors, image projector, microscope, specified laboratory equipment, specified scientific equipment such as for meteorology, hydrology, oceanography, geology Solvent, thinners, hydraulic fluids, anti-freezing preparation

 

Items on which GST was cut from 28 per cent to 12 per cent 

  • Wet grinders consisting of stone as grinder
  • Tanks and other armored fighting vehicles

 

Items on which GST was cut from 18 per cent to 12 per cent:

  • Condensed milk
  • Refined sugar and sugar cubes
  • Pasta
  • Curry paste, mayonnaise and salad dressings, mixed condiments and mixed seasoning
  • Diabetic food
  • Medicinal grade oxygen
  • Printing ink
  • Hand bags and shopping bags of jute and cotton
  • Hats (knitted or crocheted)
  • Parts of specified agricultural, horticultural, forestry, harvesting or threshing machinery
  • Specified parts of sewing machine
  • Spectacles frames
  • Furniture wholly made of bamboo or cane

 

Items on which GST was cut from 18 per cent to 5 per cent 

  • Puffed rice chikki, peanut chikki, sesame chikki, revdi, tilrevdi, khaza, kazuali, groundnut sweets gatta, kuliya
  • Flour of potatoes put up in unit container bearing a brand name
  • Chutney powder
  • Fly ash
  • Sulphur recovered in refining of crude
  • Fly ash aggregate with 90% or more fly ash content

 

Items on which GST was cut from 12 per cent to 5 per cent:

  • Desiccated coconut
  • Narrow woven fabric including cotton newar [with no refund of unutilised input tax credit]
  • Idli, dosa batter
  • Finished leather, chamois and composition leather
  • Coir cordage and ropes, jute twine, coir products
  • Fishing net and fishing hooks
  • Worn clothing
  • Fly ash brick

 

Items on which GST was cut from 5 per cent to nil 

  • Guar meal
  • Hop cone (other than grounded, powdered or in pellet form)
  • Certain dried vegetables such as sweet potatoes, maniac
  • Unworked coconut shell
  • Fish frozen or dried (not put up in unit container bearing a brand name)
  • Khandsari sugar

 

GST rates on aircraft engines was cut from 28 per cent/18 per cent to 5 per cent, aircraft tyres from 28 per cent to 5 per cent and aircraft seats from 28 per cent to 5 per cent. Also GST rate on bangles of lac/shellac from 3 per cent GST rate to Nil.

Exports of services to Nepal and Bhutan have been exempted from GST. It has now been decided that such exporters will also be eligible for claiming Input Tax Credit in respect of goods or services used for effecting such exempt supply of services to Nepal and Bhutan.

The outcome of 23rd GST Council to reduce GST on AC restaurants from 18% to 5% is a very progressive step which will make eating out and ordering food at home much more affordable for consumers and will lead to a significant growth in the organized restaurant segment.

Sanchayeeta Das

Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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