Karnataka HC decides bank clerk gratuity cannot be adjusted on their outstanding loan

In this week’s review of court judgments, we look at the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s verdict reducing the sentence of a convict for raping a minor child, the Karnataka High Court’s guidelines on compensation of loan outstanding by employee gratuity, J&K&L’s High Court observation of domestic violence claim and the Competition Commission of India’s imposition of sanctions on companies for their practices anti-competitive.

Karnataka HC: Bank employee gratuity cannot be adjusted on their outstanding loan

The Single Judge Bench of Judge Suraj Govindaraj dismissed a motion filed by Canara Bank and held that the amount of gratuity payable to an employee could not be adjusted by the bank with the amount of its outstanding loan.

In the case, M/S Canara Bank v Mr. Shantha Kumarithe respondent’s husband in the case, joined Canara Bank in 1975 as a peon and was later promoted to clerk in 1987.

He received a housing loan which was repaid from time to time. In 2005, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him with allegations of serious misconduct. The mandatory retirement sentence was handed down in 2006.

He filed a request for release of the gratuity amount, which was denied. He approached the supervisory authority to ask for instructions to make the payments. The bank said there were contributions receivable for the housing loan as well as to the Staff Provident Fund account. Consequently, these contributions must be adjusted according to the amount of the gratuity.

The bench noted that there is special treatment for the gratuity payment, both under Gratuity Payment Act and also under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. According to them, the gratuity received special protection and the amount of the gratuity cannot be attached.

The court heard the petition, in which the bank sought to adjust a sum of approximately Rs. 9.85 lakhs for a housing loan and Rs. 1.29 lakhs because of the Welfare Fund debt. be staff. She observed that while the Staff Provident Fund falls under the terms of service area, the home loan is a different proposition. The terms of the loan agreement, which is a commercial transaction between the bank and the debtor, govern the home loan. This is regardless of whether the debtor is an employee of the bank.

The court also noted that the employee did not apply for the gratuity until 2017, that is, after reaching retirement age.

The court ordered the bank to comply with the appeals authority’s earlier order and proceeded to dismiss the bank’s petition.

Madhya Pradesh HC: Rape convict’s sentence reduced as he left underage victim alive

The Indore Bench of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, comprising Justice Subodh Abhyankar and Justice SKSingh, reduced the sentence of a rape convict from life imprisonment to 20 years on the grounds that he did not did not kill the victim of 4 years after the odious law.

The Appellant in this case was charged and convicted under Article 376(2)(f) of the ICC for committing the rape of a 4-year-old girl. The appellant appealed the conviction.

He maintained that he had been falsely implicated in the affair. He further pointed out that FSL’s report was not recorded by the prosecution. Another argument was that this was not a case where he deserved the life sentence.

The state argued that the appellant deserved no leniency and that the appeal should be dismissed. The court reviewed the submissions of the parties and the trial court record and found that the appellant was properly convicted. The court said the failure to submit the FSL report in court was gross negligence by the police. However, the evidence established the appellant’s guilt beyond any doubt.

Therefore, the court upheld the conviction. On appeal, he was also asked to reduce the sentence to the time he had already served in prison. The court rejected this appeal and declared that the sentence cannot be reduced to the time already served in prison.

However, he noted that the appellant was kind enough to leave the victim alive, therefore the life sentence is reduced to 20 years criminal imprisonment.

J&K&L HC: Once the marriage is validly dissolved by a foreign court, proceedings under the Domestic Violence Act cannot be initiated

A petition has been filed in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh challenging the complaint filed against the petitioner under the Domestic Violence Act. The complaint was challenged on the ground that there had been no husband and wife relationship between the petitioner and the defendant since the adoption of the decree by which the marriage was dissolved.

The couple got married in 2007 in Jammu and after the wedding they became permanent residents in Germany. The relationship turned hostile after moving to Germany. According to the petitioner, he came to India in February 2014, for a period of 10 days.

Upon his return to Germany, he discovered that the respondent, that is his wife, had left the marital home with gold, property and money. Efforts to find out where she was were in vain and she was nowhere to be found. According to the petitioner, the wife filed a false and frivolous complaint in Germany and began to reside separately. Several attempts at reconciliation by the court in Germany failed because she refused to stay with him. He went to the district court in Wisman, Germany, and filed for divorce. The foreign court granted the divorce petition in July 2017.

The domestic violence complaint filed by the defendant/complainant does not disclose the divorce petition in the foreign court and that the marriage has been dissolved.

The court said section 2(f) of the Domestic Violence Act defines “domestic relationship” and that there was no domestic relationship between the parties. Otherwise the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act cannot be invoked.

The consideration in court was the jurisdiction of the foreign court. She observed that since both were permanent residents of Germany, they were subject to the laws of the country. Therefore, the foreign court’s decision to allow the application for dissolution of marriage stands. He also noted that there was no challenge to the court’s decision by the respondent, ie the wife, implying that she accepted the dissolution of the marriage. Therefore, according to the decree, the relationship ceases to exist. Therefore, the court quashed the domestic violence complaint.

Penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India on Google, Go-Ibibo, Make My Trip, OYO

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) ruled that the business arrangement between Make My Trip, GoIbibo and OYO was anti-competitive and imposed an aggregate penalty of Rs. 392.36 crores.

In another case, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs. 1.33 thousand crores on Google for anti-competitive practices in relation to Android mobile devices.

Rs. 392 crore penalty on GoIbibo, Make my Trip & Oyo.

The ICC bench was hearing the case of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and Anr, v MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd(MMT) & Ors. She found that the commercial agreement between MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo and OYO was anti-competitive because it led to the delisting of FabHotels, Treebo and independent hotels that used the services of these franchisors.

FHRAI has brought a complaint under section 19(1) of the Competition Act 2002 against Make My Trip and GoIbibo (collectively “MMT-GO”) and Oravel Stays Pvt. (“OYO”). The allegation was that there was a business deal to remove OYO’s competitors from MMT-GO online portals.

FHRAI alleged that MMT-GO imposed price parity in its contracts with hotel partners, which ensured that hotel partners were not allowed to sell their rooms to another online travel agency (OTA) or on its own online portal at a lower price than MMT-GO platform. However, MMT-Go may cause the prices of these rooms to fluctuate. Additionally, partners cannot refuse to provide rooms on the MMT-Go platform when they were provided on other OTAs.

MMT-GO was accused of predatory pricing by offering hotel rooms at a lower price. Customers have benefited from significant discounts which have contributed to the expansion of their own network and customer loyalty. This has had an impact on the smaller OTAs on the market. Treebo & FabHotels were denied market access as they were removed from the MMT-Go platform as they did not agree to pay the brokerage commission charged by the platform. Meanwhile, MMT-Go entered into a confidential business agreement with OYO, in which the latter received preferential treatment on the platform. CCI deemed this business arrangement to be uncompetitive and issued instructions to MMT-Go.

It imposed a fine of Rs. 223.48 crores on Make My Trip and GoIbibo and penalty of Rs. 168.8 crores on OYO which is 5% of their turnover.

Penalty of Rs. 1.34 thousand crores imposed on Google

In another case, CCI found that Google was abusing its dominant position in several markets in the Android device ecosystem and issued a cease and desist order against Google. It imposed a penalty of Rs. 1,337.76 crores and also set out measures that Google must adhere to.

The mobile operating system (OS) – Android, was acquired by Google in 2005. CCI in its press release said that it studied various business practices of Google, including its licensing of Android mobile OS as well as other proprietary mobile apps like Play Store, Google Search, Google Chrome, and YouTube.

He examined the substitutability between Google’s Android Play Store and Apple’s iOS AppStore and found that there was no substitutability between them. CCI noted that Google is dominant in all relevant markets in India, including licensed operating systems (OS) for smart mobile devices, application store for Android smart mobile services and general web search and Online Video Hosting Platforms (OVHP) in India.

CCI observed that Google operates and manages the Android operating system and other proprietary licenses and has entered into several agreements with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to use the Android operating system and Google applications in their smart devices.

The commission concluded that these agreements ensured that the search app, widget, and Chrome browser were pre-installed on Android devices, giving Google’s search services a significant competitive advantage. This benefit has been extended to its other apps like YouTube.

He noted that with those deals in place, Google’s competitors had no chance to compete. Moreover, these agreements have also eliminated choice for users. The ICC held that markets should be allowed to compete on the merits and that it is up to the dominant player, namely Google in this case, to prove that its behavior does not affect competition on the merits .

In addition to the monetary penalty, CCI issued certain measures, including: prohibiting Google from forcing OEMs to pre-install Google’s apps, not preventing OEMs from choosing among Google’s proprietary apps, prohibiting offering monetary or others to OEMs, prohibiting the conclusion of agreements guaranteeing exclusivity, etc.

The featured image: Revision of Court Judgments

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