Seeing is all
In a murder case, the trial court’s conviction was based on an eyewitness’s deposition. The accused challenged the court’s order, saying that the eyewitness’s statement was contrary to medical opinion. The Supreme Court held that when there was a discrepancy between the evidence of medical experts and that of eyewitnesses, the latter could not be disregarded even if it went against the medical opinion. It added that medical evidence could be used to oppose the testimony of eyewitnesses only when it was conclusive enough to rule out any possibility of the eyewitness’s version being true. (Ram Swaroop vs State of Rajasthan)
Fake, so what?
After a car accident, the driver of the vehicle was found to hold a fake licence. So when the owner claimed her dues from an insurance company, it refused to pay up. But the Supreme Court ruled that a fake licence did not absolve the insurance company of the obligation of reimbursing the vehicle’s owner. The company was not normally expected to pay when the terms of the contract were violated by the insured. But in spite of taking reasonable care, it might not be possible for the owner to ascertain the genuineness of a driving licence. He or she could not be expected to verify it from the transport officers responsible for issuing it, ruled the court. (National Insurance Company vs Geeta Bhatt and ors)
Don’t ask why
A person in Goa sought information under the Right to Information Act on why no one was promoted to fill the post of the curator of a museum and why the librarian of an engineering college was not being considered for promotion. When the public information officer replied that the information was not available, the Goa information commissioner slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 on her for furnishing incomplete information. But the Bombay High Court annulled the order, holding that ‘information’ referred to material such as records, e-mails, circulars etc. It added that the definition of information could not include ‘why’ within its scope. The authorities could not be expected to provide the reason as to why a thing was not done. (Dr Selsa Pinto vs Goa State Information Commissioner)