A man filed an appeal before the Kerala High Court to set aside a sale deed because, he claimed, the buyer had got him to execute it by fraud. According to the deed the petitioner, Chacko, had sold three cents (100 cents = 1 acre) of land to one Mahadevan for Rs 1,000 in 1983. Now, Chacko had sold one cent of land in 1982 for Rs 18,000. He contended that Mahadevan had got him to execute the deed by getting him drunk; Mahadevan denied the allegation. When the case reached the Supreme Court, it quashed the sale deed by invoking the principle of res ipsa loquitur, that is, the thing speaks for itself. The court held that no one in his right mind would sell property worth Rs 54,000 for only Rs 1,000. As Chacko was treated for alcoholic psychosis, the court ruled that he was of unsound mind when the deed was executed and some fraud had been played upon him (Chacko vs Mahadevan).
Pay for your sins
The Karnataka High Court has held that even if a person who is illegally detained is released after a habeus corpus petition has been filed, the court can still decide on the question of illegal custody and torture under Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life and livelihood) and also award compensation. This ruling came in connection with a case in which when the police produced the detained persons in court after a habeus corpus, they complained that they had been ill-treated at the police station. The court directed an enquiry and on the basis of its findings directed that the victims be paid Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 5,000 as legal costs (S. Srinidhi vs State of Karnataka).
When a woman found out that her husband had concealed he was an HIV positive and married her, she wanted to file a complaint under Sections 420 and 308 of the IPC. The police, however, refused to register her complaint. The Bombay High Court ruled that whenever a complainant discloses a cognizable offence, the police is bound to register it and start an investigation. The court directed the hospital where the man was undergoing treatment to co-operate with the police by giving access to all relevant documents and the (Smt. Archana Harshwardhan Chaturvedi and another vs Commissioner of Police and others).