Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before the bench of AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari that as of today only ten petitioners in the Tablighi Jamaat case have decided to contest the criminal cases pending against them and are not willing to exercise the option of plea bargaining, the Bench directed that the criminal cases concerning these ten petitioners pending in different Trial Courts in the NCT of Delhi be brought before the same Court i.e. to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, South-East Delhi, Saket Court Complex, Saket, so that all the cases can be disposed of expeditiously. It further directed the said Court to dispose of all the cases expeditiously preferably within eight weeks from today.

SG also submitted before the Court that  if the concerned petitioners tender apology, as envisaged by the Madras High Court in the concerned criminal case, the said petitioners can be permitted to leave India despite the pendency of the criminal case but subject to such orders that may be passed by the concerned Trial Court.

He also told that Court that the look out notices issued against the petitioner(s) before this Court stand withdrawn and that the concerned petitioner(s) will be free to leave India subject to any other pending proceedings including order passed by the Court requiring his/her presence in the stated proceedings.

The Court has listed the matter after 8 weeks.

Petitioners who are foreign nationals were arrested by respondent police on the ground that they had engaged in religious activities in breach of visa conditions. They defied COVID-19 lockdown norms as were imposed by the Government. In the norms, religious places were ordered for closure, yet the petitioners allegedly stayed inside the mosques in groups by defying the norms laid down by the Government.

Thus, in view of the above stated reasons, FIRs were lodged against the petitioners for committing offences under Section 13 and 14 of the Foreigners Act, 2014, Sections 188, 269, 270, 271 and 278 of IPC, Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Section 58(4), 134, 135 of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 and Section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Madras High Court had, in it’s June 12 order said that the petitioners had come to India to serve the cause of their religion. Circumstances suddenly turned adverse and landed them in prison. They have spent more than 70 days in what are truly difficult conditions.

“Merely because the petitioners have contravened the visa conditions, they cannot be seen as criminals.”

[Maulana Ala Hadrami v. Union of India, Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 600/2020, order dated 06.08.2020]


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Madras HC | Tablighi Jamaat | Foreigners who attended congregation not criminals: HC grants bail and allows return of foreigners to native country


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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: G.R. Swaminathan, J., while addressing a petition with regard to release of Tablighis, stated that,

Covid-19 should teach us to care for each other rather than use the arsenal of law.

Petitioners who are foreign nationals were arrested by respondent police on the ground that they had engaged in religious activities in breach of visa conditions.

They defied COVID-19 lockdown norms as were imposed by the Government.

In the norms, religious places were ordered for closure, yet the petitioners stayed inside the mosques in groups by defying the norms laid down by the Government.

Thus, in view of the above stated reasons, FIRs were lodged against the petitioners for committing offences under Section 13 and 14 of the Foreigners Act, 2014, Sections 188, 269, 270, 271 and 278 of IPC, Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Section 58(4), 134, 135 of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 and Section 51(b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

There are accusations that its puritanical and revivalist project prepares the ground for islamic radicalization.

Court’s opinion on “Tablighis”

[Categorization can have serious pitfalls]

Bench recorded,

Prof. Upendra Baxi’s remark in his recent essay on “Exodus Constitutionalism” published by The India Forum that “there is, also, no such thing as ‘migrants’ but only persons and groups with distinctively (and often disturbingly) different needs and abilities…”

The above stated helped the Court to see the petitioners as “30 individuals” instead of collectively thingifying them as “Tablighis”.

Justicing has to be an individualized exercise.

Further the Court added that, there are scores of foreign Tablighis who are presently in detention. They hail from different countries. Some of them are women. Quite a few are senior citizens. They are normal human beings. They are now stuck in alien surroundings.

The petitioners came to India propelled by a sense of religious idealism. But their mission went awry.

The stated petitioners are eager to return back to their families and are also willing to admit through affidavits that they had violated the visa conditions and were willing to undertake that they will not enter India for the next ten years.

Entitled to bail?

Offences which the petitioners are alleged to have committed are not akin to those offences for which there are limitations for grant of bail.

The Bench states that there cannot be any objection for granting bail to the petitioners.

Continued incarceration of the petitioners will not serve any purpose. Since the petitioners are foreigners, it would obviously be difficult for them to arrange local sureties.

Thus, petitioners shall be released on their own bond.

Right to return to native country

Bench stated that the petitioners had come to India to serve the cause of their religion. Circumstances suddenly turned adverse and landed them in prison. They have spent more than 70 days in what are truly difficult conditions.

Merely because the petitioners have contravened the visa conditions, they cannot be seen as criminals.

Court feeling sensitive to the petitioners’ misery in the present COVID-19 times, posed a question, whether it is acting beyond jurisdiction?

To the above, bench stated,

The Hon’ble Chief Justice has allotted the subject of Criminal Original Petition-Bail, Anticipatory Bail Petitions, Criminal Appeal and Criminal Revision Petitions to be dealt with by me. But, in view of my being a Judge of the High Court, I certainly have the inherent power to make such orders as may be necessary to secure the ends of justice.

Failure to respond to the petitioners’ existential horror would amount to judicial abdication.

Of course, the petitioners having violated the visa conditions cannot demand that they must be allowed to return as a matter of right. But then, the authorities cannot arbitrarily deny the said request.

Unjust, Unreasonable and Unfair

Petitioners are willing to bear the cost of transportation. They will coordinate with their embassies and consulates and arrange their return. All that the respondents need to do is to play a facilitatory role. Instead of doing so, if the respondents insist on detaining the petitioners and prosecuting them, it can only be characterized as unreasonable, unjust and unfair.

Thus, in view of the above, Court issues following directions:

  • Petitioners are granted bail.
  • After the petitioners are released on bail, it is open to the authorities to require the petitioners to stay at the special camp earmarked under Section 3(2)(e) r/w 4(2) of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
  • If the petitioners execute appropriate affidavits expressing their regret for having violated the visa conditions, proceedings against them shall be concluded by filing final reports recording the same.
  • It is for the petitioners to coordinate with their respective embassies/consulates and arrange their return to their respective nations. Government of Tamil Nadu or the Government of India will only play a facilitatory role.

[Md Kameual Islam v. State, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1171 , decided on 12-06-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Shashi Kant Gupta, and Saurabh Shyam Shamshery, JJ., asked the State Government to ensure that persons who have tested negative and completed their quarantine period should be released from the Quarantine Centres.

Present matter was registered on a letter received by an Advocate, Shaad Anwar seeking release of members of Tablighi Jamaat quarantined in Uttar Pradesh.

Pursuant to Court’s Order dated 21st May, 2020, Advocate Shaad Anwar furnished the details of 45 members of Tablighi Jamaat who were sent to the quarantine centre within the  State of Uttar Pradesh.

The said matter was again taken up on 29th May, 2020 by which State was directed to furnish all the details pertaining to the members of Tablighi Jamat, who were quarantined, released after completing the quarantine period or have yet not been released despite completing tenure of quarantine. Further the State was also asked to give reasons for not release of such persons.

Update in the matter

State in today’s hearing provided the details that, total of 3001 Indians as well as 325 foreigners who were the members of Tablighi Jamaat were quarantined.

Further, all the 3001 members of Tablighi Jamat, who were Indians, have been released after competing the quarantine period, however, 21 members out of them have been detained in Jail, as such, none of the members of the Tablighi Jamat are in Quarantine Centers.

Additional Advocate General, Manish Goyal submitted that members of Tablighi Jamaat who were quarantined in the centres within the State of U.P. have returned to their respective States barring a few who have made their own private arrangements for stay.

Thus, in view of the statement made by the Additional Advocate General Court accepted the stand of State, however it would be open for the petitioner to approach the appropriate forum in case it discovers later on that some members of Tablighi Jamat are still detained in the Quarantine Center despite completing the requisite period of quarantine.

In a parting remark, Court added that,

Persons, who have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative can not be further detained in the Quarantine Centers against their wishes. It would be in violation of personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Thus, State Government is directed to ensure that persons who have completed their quarantine period be released from the Quarantine Centres provided they have tested negative.

Bench also directed the Chief Secretary, State of Uttar Pradesh to set up a three members committee in every district to ensure smoother, greater and more effective functioning of the Quarantine Centers.

With the above observations, petition was disposed of.[Shaad Anwar v. State of U.P., 2020 SCC OnLine All 682 , decided on 30-05-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: Alok Kumar Verma, J., allowed a bail application filed in connection for the offences punishable under Sections 3, 5, 11 of the Uttarakhand Protection of Cow Progeny Act, 2007 and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The FIR stated that police party had raided the house of the present applicant on 15-12-2019 and recovered 245 Kg. beef with equipments meant for slaughtering and the applicant was arrested. The counsel for the applicant Mohd Safdar submitted that the applicant was an innocent person; he had been falsely implicated; nothing had been recovered from the possession of the applicant; there was no independent witness of the alleged recovery; the applicant had no criminal history; the applicant was in custody since 15-12-2019; the co-accused had been granted bail by this High Court. 

The Court while allowing the bail application stated that the object of keeping an accused person in detention during the trial was not punishment and as the applicant was a resident of Haridwar his presence can be secured anytime. [Mursalin v. State of Uttarakhand, First Bail Application No. 179 of 2020, decided on 03-03-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and MR Shah, JJ has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration seeking its response on a plea filed by Iltija, daughter of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, challenging her mother’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. The bench also asked Iltija to file an affidavit that no similar case is pending before any other court and posted the matter for hearing to March 18.

During the hearing, senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishna appearing for Iltija assured the court that no petition is pending before any court. The court also asked the counsel about the situation in the Kashmir.

“What’s the position now? Schools have started? It came in the newspaper,”

At the outset, the bench even suggested the counsel to approach Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Senior counsel responded that High Court had taken a view that it can’t go into
the administrative issues, to which the bench replied that it’s not an administrative issue. “Cheap politics among masses,” counsel argued while reading out reasons for Mufti’s detention. The counsel also said that they (administration) have not referred to a single instance against former Chief Minister of inciting people.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had, on February 5, invoked PSA against the former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year. Earlier, the bench had also sought response from Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration on the plea of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has to file a reply by March 2. Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar on Wednesday had recused from hearing the plea.

The Court inquired whether any similar plea filed by any person is pending before the High Court. On this, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who is appearing for Omar’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot, said “no”.

In her plea, Sara Abdullah Pilot, Omar’s sister and wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, said the order of detention is manifestly illegal and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”. She also said that exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly mala fide” to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is “silenced”.

The plea has sought quashing of the February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah under the PSA and also sought his production before the court.

“The intent of exercise of power was to incarcerate not just him but the entire leadership of the National Conference, as well as the leadership of other political parties, who were similarly dealt with including Farooq Abdullah, who has served the State and the Union over several years… stood by India whenever the situation so demanded,”

The plea added that the grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 had invoked the stringent PSA against former Chief Minister Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar on Wednesday has recused from hearing the plea of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister, challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. A three-judge Bench of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was scheduled to hear the case today after the matter was mentioned before the Court on Monday.

Another Bench has agreed to hear the case tomorrow. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sara, mentioned that he will not be available for the hearing on Thursday. Thus, the top court scheduled the matter for hearing on Friday i.e. February 14, 2020.

In her plea, Sara Abdullah Pilot, Omar’s sister and wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, said the order of detention is manifestly illegal and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”. She also said that exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly mala fide” to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is “silenced”.

The plea has sought quashing of the February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah under the PSA and also sought his production before the court.

“The intent of exercise of power was to incarcerate not just him but the entire leadership of the National Conference, as well as the leadership of other political parties, who were similarly dealt with including Farooq Abdullah, who has served the State and the Union over several years… stood by India whenever the situation so demanded,”

The plea added that the grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention. The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 had invoked the stringent PSA against former Chief Minister Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti. Both the former Chief Ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, under the Public Safety Act (PSA). The plea was filed by Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot.

Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti were recently booked under PSA. Both the former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers were detained after the government abrogated Article 370 last year.

On the intervening night of 4 and 5 August 2019, Omar Abdullah was placed under preventive detention by the Indian Government. This came as a backdrop to the government’s decision of scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which gave the state of Jammu & Kashmir semi-autonomous powers. On August 5, the Centre had abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019, bifurcating the former state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir with legislature and Ladakh without one. Following this, a batch of petitions was filed in the top court challenging the move.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by ANI,

Delhi High Court’s Single-Judge Bench transfers petition challenging detention, seeking relief & release of Jamia students, locals detained during protest, to a High Court division bench headed by Delhi High Court’s Chief Justice DN Patel.

Petition to be heard on 19-12-2019, along with other pleas related to protest.

Background

15-12-2019 turned out to be full of fear and violence on the campus of Jamia Milia Islamia University when police forces entered the campus and used tear gas along with lathi-charge on students.

It has been reported that, the students were detained and taken to two of the police stations where for a few hours no lawers, activists, media persons or anyone was allowed to enter. Students were beaten in the libraries, hostels, everywhere.

Several came out in support of the Jamia Students.

As reported by NDTV, Protests swept campuses across the country against the police crackdown at Jamia Millia Islamia after Sunday evening’s violence over the new citizenship law.

The police, which used batons and teargas to contain the violence, later barged into the university and detained around 100 students. All the detained students were released around 3:30 am.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A Division Bench comprising of A. Hariprasad and A.Anil Kumar, JJ., released the appellant as no intention to commit murder was established and he had already undergone more detention than imposed by the law.

The prosecution alleges that the deceased and the accused-appellant used to sleep in the veranda or close shop rooms and in bus waiting sheds. It is pertinent to note that both were in the habit of drinking. The appellant had enmity towards the deceased and physically assaulted him by kicking and hitting on vital body parts with an intention to commit murder. The deceased was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Renjith B. Marar, counsel representing the appellant, argued that the name of the deceased was noted at the hospital. Due to a botched up investigation, the chance of someone else assaulting the deceased with a mistaken identity cannot be ruled out. There is no case that the accused had any weapon which could have been used for causing injuries mentioned in the post-mortem report. He further argued that even if the prosecution case is accepted, the offence under Section 300 of the Penal Code, 1860 is not made out. The counsel submitted that the opposite counsel failed to prove mens rea on the part of the appellant that caused the death of the deceased. 

Alex H. Thombra, counsel for the respondent, argued that on the evening previous to the incident due to a scuffle between the accused and the deceased; the accused was made to apologise to the victim and thus he developed hostility towards him. PW1 confirmed witnessing the accused assaulting the deceased.

The High Court upon perusal of the facts and circumstances of the case held that the appellant and the deceased were known to each other prior to the incident, the appellant was aware of the deceased’s weak physical conditions. Thus the Court held that the appellant had knowledge that by incessantly assaulting the deceased it will likely cause his death and there is the absence of intention to commit murder, thus the appellant has committed an offence under Section 299, Penal Code, 1860 and is liable under Section 304 of the Penal Code, 1860. The Court sentenced him to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment and on finding that he has been undergoing detention for about 10 years directed that authorities release him. [Jomon Kava v. State of Kerala, CRL.A.No. 1276 of 2016 decided on 31-10-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: Alexander Thomas, J., allowed a bail application subject to stringent conditions in child sexual harassment case on the ground that no prima facie offence was made out and the accused already suffered detention for 40 days. 

The prosecution had alleged that the victim aged 13 years was given a lift on a scooter by the petitioner, and the petitioner took the victim to an isolated house and pressed his chest and then kissed his lips, etc. 

Counsel for petitioner, T.K. Vipindas, contended that the allegations are false and fabricated. He also argued that the facts in the FIS do not fulfill the ingredients of Section 377 of the Penal Code, 1860. No allegations were made that the petitioner indulged in anal penetration or any assault using the genital organ. Thus the offence under Section 377 is not made out in the present case. The petitioner further contended that even admitting the allegations, petitioner committed a non-penetrative assault under Section 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act, 2012 punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act. The fact that the petitioner had already suffered detention for 40 days, further detention was not justified and proper, thus considering the nature of allegation the court may release him on bail subject to any strict conditions. 

Public Prosecutor, T.R. Renjith contended that if the petitioner was released on bail there is every possibility that of the petitioner intimidating and influencing the witnesses, victim and his family members. 

The Court after considering the allegations and the fact that the petitioner had already suffered detention for 40 days, was let out on bail, on his executing bond for Rs 40,000 and furnishing two solvent sureties, subject to stringent conditions. The court imposed the following conditions – petitioner has to report to the investigation officer on 2nd and 4th Saturday for three months, he shall not visit victim’s residence or the educational institution of the minor victim, he shall not enter the territorial limits of the police station, where the victim resides. In case of a genuine emergency, the petitioner is allowed to visit the said area after taking permission from the IO. In case of violation of any of the conditions, the court may consider the bail as cancelled. [Rajeevan v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 3993, decided on 06-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: Ali Mohammad Magrey, J. allowed the application filed by the petitioner to free him from detention.

The petitioner filed a Habeas Corpus petition against the order of detention, passed by the Respondent 2 who is the District Magistrate Baramulla, in exercise of powers conferred in him under Clause (a) of Section (8) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (“The Act of 1978”). It was submitted that the detaining authority had failed to apply its mind to the fact whether the preventive detention of the detenue was imperative, notwithstanding his release on bail in substantive offences. It was also submitted that such order was passed on the dictates of the sponsoring agency, i.e. the Officer who had prepared the police dossier and no attempt had been made by the Respondent 2 to scan and evaluate it before issuance of the order of detention. 

The Respondents submitted that the detaining authority had complied with the requirement of Clause 5 of Article 22 read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The detenue did not file any representation against the order of detention. The detenue was involved in two different cases for the commission of offences punishable under the ULA(P) Act and the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). 

The Court emphasized the issues that since the detenue was released on bail in the FIRs that formed the baseline of the order of the detention, therefore, an order of detention could have been passed under such circumstances or not. The Court relied on the law laid down by the Supreme Court in paragraph No. 24 of the judgment delivered in the case of Sama Aruna v. State of Telangana, AIR 2017 SC 2662”:

“24. There is another reason why the detention order is unjustified. It was passed when the accused was in jail in Crime No. 221 of 2016. His custody in jail for the said offence was converted into custody under the impugned detention order. The incident involved in this offence is sometime in the year 2002-03. The detenue could not have been detained preventively by taking this stale incident into account, more so when he was in jail. In Ramesh Yadav v. District Magistrate, Etah and ors, this Court observed as follows: 

“6. On a reading of the grounds, particularly the paragraph which we have extracted above, it is clear that the order of detention was passed as the detaining authority was apprehensive that in case the detenue was released on bail he would again carryon his criminal activities in the area. If the apprehension of the detaining authority was true, the bail application had to be opposed and in case bail was granted, challenge against that order in the higher forum had to be raised. Merely on the ground that an accused in detention as an under trial prisoner was likely to get bail an order of detention under the National Security Act should not ordinarily be passed.” 

The Court held that the detenue could not have been detained after taking recourse to the provisions of “The Act of 1974” when he was already on bail. While discussing the duty of the State to follow the law of the land so as to safeguard the rights of the citizens the Court exclaimed that:

The State could have exercised its right to knock at the doors of a higher forum and seek the reversal of the orders of bail so granted by the competent Court(s). This single infraction knocked the bottom out of the contention raised by the State that the detenue can be detained preventatively when he was released on bail. It cuts at the very root of the State action. The State ought to have taken recourse to the ordinary law of the land. 08. Life and liberty of the citizens of the State are of paramount importance. A duty is cast on the shoulders of the Court to enquire that the decision of the Executive is made upon the matters laid down by the Statute and that these are relevant for arriving at such a decision. A citizen cannot be deprived of personal liberty, guaranteed to him/her by the Constitution, except in due course of law and for the purposes sanctioned by law.”

In view of the above-noted facts, the instant petition was allowed and the impugned order of detention of the petitioner stood to be quashed. [Shabir Ahmad Mir v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 882, decided on 05-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Gurvinder Singh Gill, J. made absolute the interim application for bail in a matrimonial case.

An application for anticipatory bail was made by the petitioner for the offence registered under Sections 323, 325, 326, 406, 506, 498-A, 34 of the Penal Code.

The facts of the case were that FIR was registered at the instance of the petitioner’s wife wherein it was alleged that she was married to the petitioner and had a child from the wedlock. The petitioner and his family used to harass and beat her for no reason. It was also submitted that in-laws of the petitioner had retained all her jewellery articles.

Gautam Dutt, counsel for the petitioner submitted that though there was some matrimonial discord between the parties the complainant herself caused injuries to the petitioner. It was further submitted that complainant is all out to wreak vengeance and went to the extent of leveling allegations of rape against the petitioner’s father which upon inquiry by police were found to be false.

Aditi Girdhar, counsel for the state submitted that one of the injuries found on the person of the complainant has been opined to be grievous injury attracting an offence punishable under Section 325 IPC and that in these circumstances since the allegations stand substantiated, no case for grant of anticipatory bail was made out. It was informed that the alleged jewellery articles, as well as car, were recovered.

The court opined that as the petitioner had already joined the investigation and had got the articles of the dowry and thus petition was accepted and the interim directions by the court were made absolute subject to the condition that petitioner would appear before investigating officer and when called upon to do so and cooperate with the investigating officer.[Nitin Yadav v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1480, decided on 19-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Manoj Bajaj, J., allowed a regular bail application on the ground that the co-accused was also on bail. 

A bail application was made for the grant of regular bail where the offence under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 were registered. 

The brief facts of the case were that the complaint was made herein it was alleged that the complainant was taking a round of the sugar mill when he saw the driver of the tractor-trolley was reversing from the weighing bridge. When inquired regarding the weight, the driver told that the empty trolley was not being weighed on the said machine but the receipt when checked; it was found that he was lying and the receipt was false. The matter was inquired and it was disclosed that he along with Ajay Kumar who was working in the Sugar Mill and some other persons were involved in causing wrongful loss to the Sugar Mill for their gain.

Mukesh Singh, brother of the petitioner submitted that the co-accused, namely Ajay Kumar Sharma, already stands released on regular bail by this Court. It was further revealed that had suffered a confessional statement before the police wherein it was mentioned that he was allegedly involved in five such weighments of the vehicles and a sum of Rs 10,000 came to his share. Thus a prayer that the petitioner be released on regular bail was made.

The court opined that the “investigation qua the petitioner is complete and the trial is likely to consume some time, further detention of the petitioner may not be justified” Thus the petitioner was released on bail subject to furnishing requisite bail bonds and surety bonds to the satisfaction of the trial court. [Ankit Sharma v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1369, decided on 06-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Rashid Ali Dar, J. allowed an appeal against an order of the lower courts whereby appellant’s bail application had been rejected.

In the instant case, one of the accused had received some money from his cousins and handed over the same to the appellants so as to pass on the same to the militants for continuing their militant activities. The accused were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (the Act). The appellants applied for bail in the Trial Court which was disallowed. Thereon, they preferred an application for grant of bail before the Court of learned Additional Sessions Judge, Srinagar, which too was dismissed holding, ” the very seriousness of the offence alleged is sufficient ground to reasonably believe that the accused may misuse his liberty by interference with the evidence that may be available in the case, if possible or by absconding if tempering is not possible.”

The learned counsel for the respondents, Javaid Iqbal, challenged the maintainability of this appeal while relying on Sections 21 and 22 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 read with Section 43-D of the Act. Whereas, M. A. Qayoom, the learned counsel for the appellants, argued that both the sections should be read independently of each other. He further argued that the learned trial Judge and the Addl. Sessions Judge had not examined the matter in its proper perspective and had declined bail to the appellants on flimsy grounds. He contended that in the instant case the appellants completed 90 days in police custody without the ‘challan’ being filed against them, on that ground the appellants were entitled to bail after the expiry of period of 90 days relying on Section 167(2) of CrPC as the police had to complete the investigation within 90 days on failure of which appellants were entitled to bail. 

The Court relied on the judgment of the Apex Court in Rakesh Kumar Paul v. State of Assam, (2017) 15 SCC 67, and held, “the learned Additional Sessions Judge was required to examine the contention raised on behalf of the appellants herein for grant of bail by applicability of the default clause of Section 43 (D) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 which he having not done.” The Court observed that, “Since the investigating agency has omitted to file final report in terms of Section 173 Cr PC within the time prescribed under Section 167(2) of CrPC, the appellants whose appeal is now treated as petition for bail are held entitled to default bail.” 

It was held that “the bar created under Section 43 of the Act would not come in the way of petitioner to seek enforcement of default bail, as their further detention is not permissible.” Thus, the Court admitted the bail of the appellants with the condition of furnishing security to the tune of Rs 50,000/- with one surety in the like amount and not to leave the State without Court’s permission. [Abdul Rehman Mir v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 420, decided on 08-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Anand Pathak, J. directed release of the applicant on bail with sureties in the instant application filed under Section 439 of CrPC. 

V.K. Saxena, counsel for the applicant submitted that it was the second application on behalf of the applicant, where it was requested to release him on bail, as the applicant was in the custody since 3 months. The contention narrated by the counsel was, that an FIR was lodged against the applicant for offence under Sections 27, 29, 50 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the charges were for the entry in a restricted area of Sanctuary and causing destruction. It was further stated by the counsel that the applicant was only the driver of the vehicle which was seized by the police officers and neither the owner nor his accomplices were arrested for the said offences. It was pleaded by the petitioner that due to his detention in the judicial custody, his family was facing financial distress;  he further submitted that any other stringent conditions may be imposed over him but his confinement was not justified on the part of his family. 

Learned counsel for the respondent-State opposed the prayer and prayed for dismissal of the application because the offence had been committed against the motherland.

The Court considered the tender age of the applicant and observed that he had no criminal antecedents and granted bail to the applicant with conditions and sureties. [Vivek v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1069, decided on 30-04-2019]

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As reported by media, the Swedish Court has denied a request to detain him.

The Uppsala Court has stated that Julian Assange should not be extradited to Sweden for the purpose of investigation in the sexual assault case of 2010. But he can be questioned for the same while he is in Britain.

The investigation dates back in 2010, when Assange was accused of sexual molestation, coercion and rape. At the time, Assange denied the accusations but refused to be questioned in Sweden, fearing that Sweden would then extradite him to the US to face conspiracy charges.
Assange fled to Britain soon after and was granted political asylum by the Embassy of Ecuador, where he had lived until April 2019.
The misconduct and coercion cases were dropped in 2015 when the statute of limitations expired. The investigation into the alleged rape does not expire until August 2020, but was closed in 2017 after an assessment that Assange could not be extradited to Sweden for the foreseeable future.
In April 2019, Assange lost diplomatic immunity and was arrested by UK authorities, making it possible for Sweden to resume the investigation.
He was sentenced to 50 weeks in UK jail on May 1 for breaching his bail by entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London seven years ago.
The UK is also currently pursuing an extradition request made by the US, in relation to Wikileak’s release of a number of military and diplomatic documents.”


[Source: CNN]

Picture Credits: CNN

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Supreme Court: Expressing displeasure over the absence of Assam Chief Secretary Alok Kumar during a hearing on the plea seeking humane treatment to immigrants at detention centres, the  Court has asked the state government if “a non-bailable
warrant” should be issued against him.

“There is a reason why we wanted the Chief Secretary to be present. But he is not here. Should we issue a non-bailable warrant against him,”

The bench also observed that the state is dragging its feet in pursuing identification of migrants. After the conclusion of arguments, the CJI headed bench posted the matter for hearing on April 8, and directed Chief Secretary Kumar to be present in the court. Even during an earlier hearing, the Court had pulled up the Centre and Assam government over the deportation of illegal migrants from the state.

“It has become a joke and you haven’t done anything,”

The Court had also slammed Assam government for its laxity in acting against illegal migrants. Reprimanding the state government for inadequate functioning of foreigners’ tribunals, the bench had asked:

“What the state has done to tackle this serious problem.”

The Court was hearing a petition filed by social activist Harsh Mander, seeking the Court’s direction for humane treatment to immigrants held in detention centres in the state. It also submitted that the immigrants should be treated as refugees, pending their repatriation.

The matter will next be taken up on April 8.

(Source: ANI)


Also read:

SC asks Centre to provide details on Detention centres and Foreigners detained in Assam

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Bench of S.A. Dharmadhikari, J. allowed the bail application of an accused whose two previous bail applications had been dismissed on merit.

The applicant was accused of committing offence under Sections 457 and 380 of the Penal Code, 1860. Two bail applications filed by him had been repeatedly dismissed on merits. It was argued by him that he had been kept in custody since May, 2018 but charges against him had not yet been framed and there was a huge delay in the trial. Applicant submitted that his co-accused had been released on bail and thus only he cannot be kept in jail for an indefinite period.

The respondent submitted that no case for grant of bail was made out because as many as twelve criminal cases were pending against the applicant. Applicant’s counter was that out of these twelve cases, he had been acquitted in eight cases whereas four cases were pending in trial.

The Court noted observed that prolonged pre-trial detention is an anathema to the concept of liberty and allowed the applicant to be released on bail subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh.[Dharampal Pardi v. State of MP, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 34, Order dated 07-01-2019]

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Supreme Court: The bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ has directed the Centre to provide the details of the functional detention centres in Assam and the foreigners detained there during the last 10 years. The Court has also asked the authorities to apprise it of the year-wise details as to how many illegal immigrants, after being declared so by the Foreigners Tribunal functioning in Assam, were deported to their native countries in the last decade.

The said order of the Court came in a PIL filed by activist Harsh Mander through advocate Prashant Bhushan on the plight of foreigners in detention centres wherein it has been alleged that foreigners are kept in detention indefinitely just because they are not Indians and are treated as “illegal aliens”. Advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that these persons were facing prolonged detention, adding that they should be treated as refugees and released from the detention centres after imposing certain conditions.

The Court said that foreigners can not be kept in detention centres after being declared as illegal immigrants by tribunals if the Centre had not been able to arrive at a settlement with the countries where they were to be deported. It said:

“You can ask the neighbouring countries to accept their natives, but you cannot keep them in detention centres for all the times.”

The matter will now be taken up on 19.02.2019.

(Source: PTI)