"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recent Judgments

Exercise of jurisdiction under Article 136
Anurag Kumar v. Mohan Lal CIVIL APPEAL NO.446 Of 2009, Date of Judgment 27-01-09
1. When the litigants feels injustice is done by a court, there is an option to approach the superior court. It is then the discretion of that court to grant leave to appeal. This is the basic principle under Article 136 [ (1996) 1 SCJ 786, 803]
2. Article 136 is a discretionary power and it is not possible to define with precision how this discretion is to be exercised
3. "The limitations whatever they be, are implicit in the nature and character of the power itself. It being an exceptional and over-riding power, naturally, it has to be exercised sparingly and with caution and in special and extraordinary situations"
4. The discretionary power remains with the court even after the special leave is granted. This discretionary power can be used at any stage in the appeal. [ (1999) 2 SCC 321]
Using this discretionary power the court dismissed the present appeal without going into the merits.
Relevant date for ascertaining whether an accused is a juvenile
Eerati Laxman v. State of A.P. Criminal Appeal No. 139 of 2009. Date of Judgment 23-01-09
"The date on which the offence had been committed and not the date when the accused was first produced before the court/competent authority would be the relevant date for the purpose of ascertaining as to whether the accused before it was a juvenile within the meaning of the provisions of the said Act or not."
There is an interesting observation in this case. Court says that, the Juvenile Justice Act is a beneficial legislation but it does not rule out literal interpretation.
Copy right and fair use
Academy of General Education v. B. Malini Mallya. CIVIL APPEAL NO. 389 of 2008. Date of Judgment 23-01-09
The case is based on the alleged violation of copyright by the appellant. Appellant staged a theatrical performance, which has been developed as Yaksha Ranga by the well known literati figure late Dr. Shivarama Karanth. The respondent claimed copyright in respect of the said form of performance by virtue of the Will of Dr. Karanth.
The Court in the judgment discussed the differentiation between 'literary work' and 'dramatic work' and held that the performance in issue comes within the purview of dramatic work.
The performance by the appellant, considering the fact situation, was held to be covered under Section 52 of the Act and therefore as not falling under the order of injunction.

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