Updates by: Abhishek Wadhwan


1. State of Gujarat Vs. Jerambhai Somabhai Makwana

Case No.: R/Criminal Appeal No. 1448 of 2006

Bench and author: Justice G.R. Udhwani

Date: October 24, 2018

The case deals with the offence under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. The accused were charged with the offence of possession, plantation of hemp and also of possessing cultivated hemp.  The Trial Court had acquitted the accused.

The Court ruled that there was no evidence of possession of these drugs by the accused. only on the basis of their presence at the field. But the court held that their mere presence on the field  at the time of the raid is not enough to bring home charge under the said Act. Further, the Court stated that complete reliance was placed upon the revenue entries that showed that the field belonged to the accused yet the Court formed the opinion that the major purpose of revenue entries is just fiscal collection and not that of proving possession. The Court in its judgment also raised the question that even when the revenue records contain names of two people, the prosecution had no answer stating the reason for not accusing the second person. To prosecute a person under the offences of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, the contraband must be found in the possession of the accused and the mere presence of the accused at the time of raid is not enough.

Hence, the appeal was dismissed.

Key takeaway:

Mere presence of a person at the place of raid is not sufficient to prove the possession of contraband with such people and to prosecute them under the sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

2. Ashokbhai Nagjibhai Patel Vs. State of Gujarat

Case No.: R/ Criminal Appeal 1051 of 2002

Bench and author: Justice G.R. Udhwani

Date:  October 1, 2018

In the present case, the appellant was charged for corruption under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. He had allegedly asked for illegal gratification from the complainant (who is a contractor) so as to issue him a certificate which would help him get his dues from the Government.  The Court took into consideration that while the appellant was caught taking the bribe by a trap laid for him with serial numbers of the notes in a Panchnama, the Court held that the lower courts had ignored the show cause notice that was issued to the complainant. The show cause notice for termination of the contract shows the presence of some defects in the work of the contractor. The complainant indeed created an occasion to provide money to the accused rather than him asking for it during the time of the trap, even when the complainant was specifically asked to pay only if the accused asks for the money at the time of recording of the complaint. The court based its decision on the settled principle of law that in absence of a specific legal provision reversing the order of evidence, the accused must be presumed to be innocent so as to enable the court to form an objective outlook. Though the notes with the accused as per the numbers of the notes mentioned in the Panchnama was correct, the suspicion of the complainant charging the accused with false charges cannot be ignored.

Key takeaway:

If the evidence fails to reveal the precise and the concise story along with the motive and intention of the accused behind an act, mere acceptance of an offer along with a simple utterance of certain words regarding the promise, without actually specifying what the promise is, it is not sufficient to prove the demand for an illegal gratification.

3. State of Gujarat Vs. Yusuf Dadu & Yusuf & Yasin Gulamhusen Nalbandh

Case No: R/ Criminal Appeal No. 1502 of 2006

Bench and author: Justice G.R. Udhwani

Date: October 26, 2018

The appeal was sought by the State against the acquittal of the respondents. The only basis for charging the accused under the Arms Act, 1959 and the Explosives Act, 1884 was that a huge number of arms and ammunitions were found from the home in the presence of the accused. The contention that the accused manufactured and possessed these arms in their homes could not be sufficiently proved in the absence of a cogent evidence that proves that the house as well as the arms and ammunition were in their possession.

Key takeaway:  

Mere recovery of arms and ammunitions in the presence of someone from a place is not a cogent evidence to bring home the offence under the Arms Act, 1959 and Explosives Act, 1884 unless it is proved that the place as well as the arms and ammunitions were in the possession of the accused.

4. Prakashbhai Kanubhai Tadvi Vs. State of Gujarat

Case No.: R/ Criminal Appeal No. 1217 of 2013

Bench and author: Dr. Justice A.P. Thaker

Date: October 23, 2018

The case relates to an appeal filed by the convicted accused under the charges of rape, kidnapping, abduction etc. under the Indian Penal Code. The victim in the case had ran away with the accused and had a sexual intercourse with her in her maternal uncle’s house. While the accused claimed that he had sexual intercourse with the consent of the victim, the victim accused him of rape. The medical reports also showed that the victim have had sexual intercourse with the accused many a time before as well. While the date of birth of the victim could not be proved through legitimate sources like birth certificate or school records, the Court relied upon on the result of medical tests which stated that the victim was less than 14 years of age at the time of having sexual intercourse. Accordingly, the Court held that since the victim was a minor, whether her consent was taken before having sexual intercourse with her is immaterial. Such a consent is invalid in the eyes of law. As far as the issue of abducting and kidnapping of the victim is concerned, the Court held that the accused had to take permission from his guardians before taking her away. Whether the victim went with the accused with her own free consent or not is again immaterial since she is a minor.

Key takeaway:

The judgment reiterates the fact that the consent of a minor for sexual intercourse is legally invalid and hence the wrongdoer can be prosecuted for rape under the Indian Penal Code. Even if the minor has had sexual intercourse with the accused on various occasions, it does validate such an action on the part of the accused and he is still guilty of the charges of rape.


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Abhishek is a 2018-2023 batch student at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.

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