Coolie no. 2

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | Updated: Aug 31 2011, 05:43am hrs
Leather City

The Supreme Court has set aside the acquisition of 71 acres by the UP government in Ghaziabads Hapur area for setting up Leather City to relocate all bone mills and allied industries. It said that the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB), which was entrusted with the statutory duty of planned development of the entire area, had not given any clearance to the Leather City project. The acquisition of land in the absence of express approval in terms of Section 19 of NCRPB Act and operation of Section 27 of the Land Acquisition Act renders the entire acquisition proceedings illegal and hence vitiated, it stated. It quashed the July 3, 2006, notification to acquire 28.804 hectares (71 acres) of land in Imotri, Chitoli and Sabli villages of Hapur-Pargana in Ghaziabad district for the public purpose of planned development of the Leather City project by invoking urgency clause.

Pursuant to the apex court order in another case, the state government had proposed the Leather City project to relocate the bone mills and allied industries as per the recommendations of the Central Pollution Control Board. But the acquisition of land was challenged by farmers who said the invocation of urgency clause was bad in law as no development had taken place even after a year of the acquisition. The state government had contended that urgency provisions were invoked to eliminate the delay that would have been caused by following the inquiry (public hearing) procedure for acquiring lands.

Bounced Cheques

The Supreme Court has said that the magistrate taking cognisance of a complaint should examine whether the partners were in charge of and responsible for the conduct of business of the firm before making them the accused in a cheque bounce case. While setting aside the Gujarat High Court order in the case of Sarojben Ashwinkumar Shah vs State of Gujarat, it asked the high court to reconsider its decision that allowed addition of Sarojben, a partner, as an accused in various complaints against the firm. The apex court said that the high court failed to consider whether the magistrate had addressed the essential aspects as to whether the newly added accused had committed an offence of cheating under Section 420 IPC. There has to be evidence that at the time the offence was committed, the partner was in-charge of and was responsible to the firm for the conduct of the business of the firm, it said. Rashmi Builders, a partnership firm, had issued a cheque of R5 lakh towards repayment of a loan to the complainant. Later, the cheque was dishonoured by the bank with the remark that the account had been closed. The payee filed a criminal complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act against the firm and its two partners in the court of Judicial Magistrate. During the trial, the two partners produced the copy of the registration of the firm indicating that there were two more partners in the firm. So the payee wanted to make the other two partners also as parties, which was allowed by the Magistrate.

Disability Compensation

Enhancing the compensation amount awarded to a coolie, who lost his earning capacity in an accident at 35 years, the Supreme Court has asked Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company to deposit the enhanced compensation of R2 lakh with interest before the tribunal. Stating that a coolie cannot be expected to provide documentary evidence to prove his income, the apex court said that compensation to be awarded is not measured by the nature, location or degree of the injury, but rather by the extent or degree of the incapacity resulting from the injury. The tribunals are expected to make an award determining the amount which should appear to be just, fair and proper. In this case, Sri Ramachandrappa was permanently disabled due to a road accident. The motor accident compensation tribunal assessed his income as R3,000 though he claimed that he was earning R4,500 a month. While the Karnataka High Court raised it to R1.33 lakh, the Supreme Court granted him R2 lakh more as the compensation was abysmally low.

indu.bhan@expressindia.com