The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fatal loan

A man lent money to another one. When he asked to be repaid, the borrower not only refused but denied having taken the money. The lender then decided to file a case and headed to the police station. On the way, the borrower met him. They had an altercation which led to a fight in which the lender was killed. The accused contended that he had killed in self-defence but both the trial court and the high court rejected the plea and convicted him of murder. Upholding the conviction, the Supreme Court said that the right of private defence is a defensive right; one could not plead self-defence where one went on the offensive and it definitely could not be used as a pretext for killing someone (Krishna vs State of UP).

Better late than never

A draftsman who was a government employee was wrongly denied promotion. He approached the court. The Kerala High Court directed that he be paid a higher scale retrospectively with effect from 1972, the year in which he had filed the case. His employer appealed. Upholding the verdict, the Supreme Court ruled that the principle of “no work, no pay” could not be used uniformly in cases of awarding backwages. It held that since the administration had denied him his due, he should be given monetary benefits subject to change in law in other “supervening” or additional factors (State of Kerala vs E.K. Bhaskaran Pillai).

Not sick enough

A firm that had rented space on another company’s premises had put down a security deposit for it. When the tenant decided to move out, it asked the landlord to return the deposit. Meanwhile, the company that was the landlord had been declared sick under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act. A sick company’s assets are usually exempted from recovery by its creditors. Citing this clause, the company refused to return the security deposit. The tenant approached the court. The Delhi High Court ruled that the security deposit could not be considered an asset of the sick company; it had been kept in trust with the understanding that it would be returned to the tenant later. Therefore, the deposit was not exempt from recovery, the court ruled (LG Electronics vs Usha (India) Ltd).


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