In a case concerning anticipatory bail, a question arose before the Chhattisgarh High Court as to whether the counsel engaged by the first informant or complainant has the right of audience before the court when a public prosecutor is already presenting the case. Ruling in the negative, the high court held that only the State and the public prosecutor are supposed to be putting facts before the court on the principle that the prosecutor should be fair to the accused. The court, however, gave liberty to the informant’s counsel to assist the prosecutor while opposing the bail application (Dr Sunil Puri vs State of Chhattisgarh).
Power of attorney
In a case of enforcement of a sale agreement, the defendant gave the power of attorney to a person to defend the suit. The prosecution argued that the power of attorney holder could not depose on behalf of the principal when the witness was being examined. The Madhya Pradesh High Court held that while the Civil Procedure Code empowered the power of attorney holder to act on behalf of the principal, the term ‘act’ could not be interpreted to mean that he could also depose regarding the principal’s acts. The court also held that the trial court ought to have appreciated that the defendant himself should have been examined, as that is the right of the plaintiff (Mohd Mansur Ali Khan versus Saifia Education Society, Bhopal, and others).
An accused person appealed against an order convicting him for outraging the modesty of a woman. The woman had filed a complaint that the accused had caught hold of her hair and slapped her, causing pain and humiliation. The accused argued that his action did not amount to outraging the woman’s modesty. The Kerala High Court held that while assault and criminal force on a woman is one of the ingredients of the offence, the same has to be done with the intent to outrage modesty. Here a case of causing hurt (Section 323) had been converted into a case of outraging a woman’s modesty (Section 354). The court set aside the conviction under Section 354, but held the accused guilty for causing hurt (Section 323) and for trespassing into her house (Section 451) (Vasudevan versus State of Kerala).