Constitutional validity of Rule 159 of High Court of Jharkhand Rules, 2001 upheld

Supreme Court: While deciding that whether Rule 159 of High Court of Jharkhand Rules, 2001 which requires surrender to the custody of the Court before filing a revision petition, violates Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and Sections 397 and 401 of CrPC, the Division Bench of T.S. Thakur and A.K. Goel, JJ., upheld the constitutional validity of Rule 159 stating that it is a general practice to file a revision against conviction and sentence is filed after an appeal is dismissed and the convicted person is taken into custody in Court itself. The object of the Rule is to ensure that a person who has been convicted by two courts obeys the law and does not abscond and furthermore the provision does not conflict with the provisions of CrPC.

The instant case came into being when the petitioner’s appeal against conviction under Section 498A of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act failed and he proceeded to file a revision petition before the High Court which was not registered due to the impugned Rule. Pragati Neekhra arguing for the petitioner put forth the contention that the impugned Rule is in conflict with CrPC provisions dealing with related to statutory revisional jurisdiction of the High Court along with contending that the impugned Rule violates fundamental rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The respondent counsel A.K. Sinha presented an affidavit before that Court stating that Order XXI, Rule 6 of Supreme Court Rules, 1966 contains an identical provision to Rule 159, therefore the impugned Rule cannot be termed as arbitrary or inconsistent with the provisions of CrPC.

The Court upon considering the submissions observed that the impugned Rule is a provision to regulate the procedure of the Court and does not conflict with the substantive provisions of CrPC. The Court further observed that the Supreme Court Rules’ prohibition against listing without surrender is not applicable if the Court otherwise directs but such exception is not found in the impugned Rule, thus the exception as found in corresponding Supreme Court Rules that if the Court grants exemption from surrender and directs listing of a case the Rule cannot stand in the way of the Court’s exercise of such jurisdiction, has to be assumed in the impugned Rule. Vivek Rai v. High Court of Jharkhand, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 95, decided on 04.02.1015 

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