Born on 02-06-1965, Justice Manoj Misra graduated with a law degree from the University of Allahabad in 1988. He was enrolled with the Bar Council on 12-12-1988 and dealt in matters related to Civil, Revenue, Criminal and Constitutional sides at High Court of Judicature at Allahabad.1
After 23 years of practice, Justice Misra was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad on 21-11-2011. Two years later, on 06-08-2013, he was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad.2 Justice Manoj Misra was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 06-02-2023.3 He is due to retire on 01-06-2030.
Important Judgments by Justice Manoj Misra
Some of his prominent Supreme Court and High Court judgements are discussed below.
In Prakash Raj Pathak v. Rajasthan High Court,4 the Supreme Court has constituted a new 5- Judge comprising of Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, CJ., Hrishikesh Roy, P.S. Narasimha, J.B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, JJ., to decide the matter pertaining with the issue of whether the ‘rules of the game’ in a selection process for a public post can be changed after the selection process has been initiated.5 The present matter was earlier listed before a Constitution Bench led by Justice Indira Banerjee which was dissolved after her retirement on 23-09-2022.
In Cox and Kings Ltd. v. SAP India (P) Ltd.,6 a 5-Judge Bench comprising of Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud C.J., Hrishikesh Roy, Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra JJ., considered the existence of Doctrine of Group of Companies in Indian jurisprudence vis-à-vis Arbitration Act. The issue in hand is that if parties who did not sign an arbitration agreement can be made parties to arbitration proceedings. Read More…
In Mohd. Arif v. Enforcement Directorate,7 the full bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Manoj Misra and Aravind Kumar JJ., granted interim bail to the petitioner while noting that the petitioner had almost served 50% of the sentence, the wife had passed away because of cancer and there was a child from the marriage. Read More…
In BLS Infrastructure Ltd. v. Rajwant Singh,8 a Division Bench comprising of Sudhanshu Dhulia and Manoj Misra,* JJ., while deciding a matter related to dismissal of complaint for non-appearance of complainant, held that the Magistrate was not justified in straight away dismissing complaints and ordering acquittal of accused on mere non-appearance of complainant where complainant’s statement had been recorded. The Court further explained the principles related to applicability of the proviso of S. 256(1) of the CrPC.
In Ravi Mandal v. State of Uttarakhand,9 a 22 year old murder case, a Division bench constituting of Hrishikesh Roy and Manoj Misra*, JJ., acquitted the two persons convicted under Ss. 302, 34 and 201 of the IPC and Ss. 4 and 25 of Arms Act, on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased as last seen alive in the company of the accused near the spot at the relevant time and held that “Courts below failed to properly evaluate and test the evidence”.
In Santhakumari v. State of T.N.,10 a Division bench comprising of Hrishikesh Roy and Manoj Misra*, JJ., held that a proposed accused has a right to be heard in Revisional proceedings under S. 401 of the CrPC which is filed against the dismissal of the petition under S. 156(3) of the CrPC and remitted back the matter to the High Court so that the same can be decided afresh and in accordance with law.
While upholding the Gujarat High Court’s Order directing the accused to give voice samples to the police, a Division Bench comprising of Hrishikesh Roy and Manoj Misra*, JJ., in Pravinsinh Nrupatsinh Chauhan v. State of Gujarat,11 reiterated that a Magistrate can direct for the collection of voice samples of the accused.
“…until explicit provisions are engrafted in the Code of Criminal Procedure by Parliament, a Judicial Magistrate must be conceded the power to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation of a crime. Such power has to be conferred on a Magistrate by a process of judicial interpretation and in exercise of jurisdiction vested in this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution of India.”
While setting aside the conviction of the accused and acquittal of the co-accused in a 23 year old Murder case, a 3-judge bench consisting of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Manoj Misra* and Aravind Kumar, JJ., in Santosh v. State (NCT of Delhi),12 held that the prosecution has failed to prove the chain of incriminating circumstances as to conclusively prove the guilt of the accused persons. The Court remarked that
“…it is a case where the prosecution failed to elevate its case from the realm of “may be true” to the plane of “must be true” as is indispensably required for conviction on a criminal charge.”
In State of M.P. v. Phoolchand Rathore,13 a 3-judge bench consisting of Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Manoj Misra* and Aravind Kumar, JJ., upheld the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order of acquittal of the death row convict for the alleged murder of his wife on the grounds that the prosecution has failed to prove the circumstances beyond reasonable doubt in terms of (a) Motive; (b) Disclosure Statement and Recovery; (c) Extra Judicial Confession; and (d) Accused taking the deceased with him and soon thereafter the deceased was found in an injured state.
In Kunnel Engineers & Contractors (P) Ltd. v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.,14 a matter related to payment of interest on compensation where there is a contractual exception for the insurer on payment of interest, the Court observed that “When parties have agreed upon the terms of the insurance contract, the Court cannot interpret the clauses in the contract, by adverting to equity principles.” The Court opined that the liability of the insurance company does not fall under the Employees Compensation Act, 1923 and the same is governed only by the terms of the contract.
While setting aside the decree of eviction in Shanti Prasad v. Thakur Dass,15 a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Aravind Kumar, JJ., held that the appellant/tenant is entitled to the benefit of S. 20(4) of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 and cannot be denied the same only on the ground that the plea taken by him with regard to the rate of rent was found incorrect.
Allahabad High Court
In Kishan Kumar v. State of U.P.,16 a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Virendra Kumar Srivastava, JJ., held that the date of birth in Aadhaar Card is not conclusive evidence. The Court clarified that no protection shall be given, and the investigating agency shall be free to take all steps to bring the investigation to its logical conclusion if the victim is not produced by the date fixed. Read More…
In Prabhunath Tiwari v. State of U.P.,17 Manoj Misra, J. held that the Revisional power of the High Court against the order passed under S. 29 of the Domestic Violence Act is “intact and unaffected”. The Court remarked that the supervisory power of the High Court “has not been excluded expressly or impliedly” by the Act, therefore, the Sessions Court was subject to the revisionary power of the High Court.
In Ram Pratap v. State of U.P.,18 the Division bench of Manoj Misra and Sameer Jain, JJ., held that an accused cannot be held guilty merely on account of motive and abscondence even though it may give rise to strong suspicion.
“Merely on the basis of motive and abscondence, though it may give rise to strong suspicion, the accused cannot be held guilty.”
In Bhanu Pratap Singh v. State of U.P.,19 a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Rohit Ranjan Agarwal, JJ., opined that the court cannot presume the consent of wife simply because she was present at the time of adoption. The wife’s silence or lack of protest on her part also cannot give rise to an inference that she had consented to the adoption.
While expressing its dissatisfaction over the manner in which the officers of the State are progressing on serious issues pertaining to infrastructure and functioning of courts in the State of Uttar Pradesh, a full bench of Munishwar Nath Bhandari, ACJ., Naheed Ara Moonis, Manoj Misra, Sunita Agarwal, Surya Prakash Kesarwani, Manoj Kumar Gupta and Anjani Kumar Mishra, JJ., in In Re, Zila Adhivakta Sangh Allahabad,20 directed the District Judges to co-ordinate with the District Magistrates to identify land that can be made available for the construction of the Courts and residential buildings for the Subordinate Courts. The Court also stressed the issue of the unavailability of adequate infrastructure to the POCSO courts in the state.
“The District Magistrates being the Custodian of the records of the districts are required to identify the lands at the local level for their allotment to the Subordinate Courts both for the Court complexes and residential accommodations for the judicial officers.”
In Ram Kishore v. State of U.P.,21 a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi, JJ., remarked that the provisions of S. 106 of the Evidence Act cannot be invoked to place the onus of explaining how the deceased died in presence of the murder suspect because there is insufficient proof that he was there at home with the victim at the relevant time.
While dismissing a PIL challenging the ‘Sugam Darshan’ system in Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which provides priority ‘darshan’ on payment of certain amount of money, a Division bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Sameer Jain, JJ., in Gajendra Singh Yadav v. State of U.P.,22 observed that the decision of the Board of Trustees of providing for a Sugam Darshan system does not fall within the ambit of judicial review.
“…once the Board of Trustees are vested with the power to fix fees for the performance of any worship, service, rituals, ceremony or religious observance in the temple and in exercise of such power, they take a decision to provide a facility of ‘SUGAM DARSHAN’ for those who, on account of their disability, be it physical or otherwise, cannot wait in a queue and, while taking such decision, they do not exclude the common class from exercising their right of worship or perform Puja as per religious practices, in our view, the decision of the Board of Trustees does not fall within the ambit of judicial review.”
In Mukut Nath Verma v. State of U.P.,23 a habeas corpus writ petition seeking production an IPS officer claiming that he has been missing since November 2020, a Division bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Sameer Jain, JJ., while expressing serious concern over the fact that an IPS officer who was implicated in a case of extortion and suicide abetment has gone missing for months, directed the Investigation agency dealing with the investigation of the cases pending against Mani Lal Patidar to file an affidavit in reply to the petition.
While deciding In Re Missing of an LLM Student at Swami Shukdevanand Law College,24 an application moved by the Shahjahanpur law student, alleging bias on the part of SIT who is investigation a rape and extortion case against the former Union Minister and BJP leader, Swami Chinmayanand, a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Deepak Verma, JJ., rejected the application and opined that it would not mean that the investigation is tainted or was biased, merely because press conferences were held by the investigation team. The Court held that the investigating agency has duly investigated all aspects and after thorough investigation has submitted a police report under S. 173(2) CrPC in both the cases.
In Govind Enterprises v. State of U.P.,25 a Division Bench comprising of Manoj Misra and Suresh Kumar Gupta, JJ., upheld a First Information Report (FIR) against GST evaders under the CrPC as the prima facie, the necessary ingredients of an offence of cheating, by submitting false information and documents, are clearly spelt out. The Court refused to stay the arrest for GST evasion.
*Judge who has penned the judgment.
4. C.A. No. 2634/2013
6. Arbitration Petition 38 of 2020, order dated 23-03-2023
7. Special Leave Petition (Criminal) 5709 of 2022, order dated 13-02-2023
10. Crl. Appeal @ SLP (Crl.) No. 4230 of 2023, order dated 12-06-2023
11. SLP (Crl) No(s). 4693/2023, order dated 15-05-2023
20. Public Interest Litiigation (PIL) No. 15895 of 2015, order dated 07-10-2021
21. Criminal Appeal No. 1443 of 2018, order dated 18-07-2022
22. Public Interest Litiigation (PIL) No. 1836 of 2021, order dated 26-11-2021
23. Habeas Corpus Writ Petition No. 353 of 2021, order dated 27-05-2021
24. Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 21181 of 2019, order dated 30-04-2020
25. Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 7303 of 2019, order dated 30-04-2019