Delhi High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: In a case filed by a father of a student (‘petitioner’) challenging the validity and constitutionality of a Circular of the Government of NCT of Delhi/respondent 1 dated 27-07-2022 whereby the respondent 1 has mandated minimum 71% marks for admission in Science Stream in Class XI in respondent 2 School for the academic year 2022-23, Chandra Dhari Singh, J. upheld the validity of the circular stating that every school, including schools under State Government , has the liberty and autonomy to maintain the standards it has set out for itself and thus, laying down an eligibility criterion for admission in different classes cannot be said to be arbitrary or illegal.

Counsel for petitioner submitted that the petitioner belongs to OBC Category and shall be eligible for 5% relaxation in marks, as per the terms of Circular dated 07-02-2022, thus securing 81.80% in Class X CBSE examinations 2022, however, she was denied admission in the Science Stream stating the reason that she secured 69 marks in science and admission in Science Stream required a minimum of 71 marks, as per the impugned Circular.

It was also submitted that respondent 1 has issued different circulars for admission in Class XI in different types of schools under it and is hence, creating discrepancy in education between students studying in school run by the Government and is discriminatory in nature and hit by Articles 14, 21 & 21-A.

The Court noted that every school, including schools under the State Government , has the liberty and autonomy to maintain the standards it has set for itself. Laying down an eligibility criterion for admission in different classes cannot be said to be arbitrary or illegal. Moreover, this discretion lies with the school or any other authority under which the said school lies.

The Court further noted that since, the petitioner could not meet the eligibility criteria, she chose to challenge the criteria itself; however, such a challenge does not stand ground since the school had only exercised its discretion to set out the minimum requirements for admission in Class XI.

The Court rejected admission to the petitioner, in so far as the petitioner did not meet the eligibility criteria and nor was the relaxation for SC/ST/OBC and other categories available to her as per the admission requirements of the School, and thus, held that there is no error, illegality or impropriety found in the eligibility criteria provided for in the impugned circular.

[Natural Father Ravinder Singh v. Govt of NCT of Delhi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2940, decided on 26-08-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For petitioner- Mr. Ashok Agarwal, Mr. Kumar Utkarsh and Mr. Manoj Kumar, Advocates

For respondent- Mr. Santosh K. Tripathi, Standing Counsel (Civil) for GNCTD with Mr. Arun Panwar, Mr. Siddharth Krishna Dwivedi, Mr. Pradeep and Ms. Mahak Rankawat, Advocates for R1/DoE


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Anand Pathak and Satish Kumar Sharma, JJ., dismissed a writ appeal under Section 2(1) of the Madhya Pradesh Uchcha Nyayalaya (Khand Nyay Peeth Ko Appeal) Adhiniyam, 2005.

Appellant was tried for offence under Sections 294, 336, 341, 506-B of IPC. On the basis of witnesses turned hostile, acquittal has been recorded in favour of appellant so far as offence under Sections 294 and 336 of IPC are concerned. In respect of offence under Sections 341 and 506-B of IPC, complainant and accused entered into settlement and matter has been compromised in respect of those set of allegations pertaining to those offence under Sections 341 and 506-B of IPC.

Counsel for the appellant/petitioner submitted that Single Bench of the Court did not consider the correct import of judgment rendered by the Supreme Court in the case of Avtar Singh v. Union of India, (2016) 8 SCC 471 and caused illegality while affirming the impugned order whereby appellant had been found unfit for appointment on the post of police constable.

Advocate General for the respondents/State submitted that the authorities exercising discretion came to the conclusion that under the present facts and circumstances of the case, appellant did not deserve to be retained in the department as police constable. It was further observed by the Superintendent of Police, District Shivpuri that his acquittal does not come under clean acquittal, therefore, he was not befitting to be retained in police department.

The Court opined that in Avtar Singh (supra) case the Supreme Court had delineated the principles in detail and sufficient discretion had been given to the departmental authorities to look into the matter of different exigencies and thereafter, take a call regarding suitability of candidate if he suffers any criminal trial or registration of offence. The Court was of the view that the Single Judge had considered all the necessary contours of the controversy in detail and thereafter, came to the conclusion about role of appellant vis-a-vis allegations and thereafter, dismissed the petition.

The Court dismissed the appeal holding that when authorities take a view in a particular manner then scope of discretion is limited and thus there is no case of interference.[Bhagwat Singh v. State of M.P., 2022 SCC OnLine MP 457, decided on 11-03-2022]


For the appellant/petitioner: Mr Nirmal Sharma

For the respondents/State: Mr MPS Raghuwanshi


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: S. Talpatra, J. disposed of the petition holding that the discretion lies with the respondents to provide job for livelihood.

Petitioners were engaged as the Daily Rated Worker (DRW) under respondent 2, which is admittedly a Society for promotion of self-employment activities. They have contended that they have completed ten years of service as DRWs and as such, they should be considered for regularization in terms of the policy declared by the State by the memorandum dated 01-09-2008.

Petitioners had challenged the decision contained in the communication dated 24-08-2020 whereby one agency called DREAMZ Services had been given the contract for the works catalogued therein under the terms and conditions that have been agreed upon by SWAVALAMBAN and the said DREAMZ Service. Its tenure was one year, hence, that is assumed to be not in vogue.

They had urged to issue direction in the form of mandamus upon the respondents to quash the NIQ dated 03-07-2020 issued by the Nodal Officer, SWAVALAMBAN. In terms of the earlier note in terms of NIQ, one agency for services had been engaged. The said agency was engaged by a formal letter dated 24-08-2020 which had been sought to be interfered with.

Court opined that the petitioner have failed to substantiate that they were working as the Daily Rated Worker/Contingent Workers in the Government departments for which the memorandum dated 01-09-2008 and the subsequent memorandum dated 21-01-2009 were framed.

Petitioners could not produce the term of their engagements and as such does not have any indefeasible right to continue in such capacity.

But a Society which has been working for the benefit of the people, particularly for promotion of self-employment activities is not expected to disengage the petitioners in the manner they have done so. They should have taken a sincere effort but they have not done so. It was not a matter of compassion, it was completely a matter of approach how to deal with new situation, particularly when the petitioners have worked in their Society for more than ten years.

Court held that it cannot intervene in such matter. Therefore, the respondents were asked to consider the aspect so that the petitioners may get some engagement for livelihood, even through the outsourcing agency which had been providing several services in the Society. The respondents were allowed to be at their discretion to consider whether the petitioners can be provided job so that they can live, as they do not have any other livelihood. Such consideration was made expeditiously. The writ petition was disposed of.[Harmila Uchai v. State of Tripura, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 117, decided on 23-02-2022]


For Petitioner(s): Ms A. Debbarma

For respondent(s): Mr D. Bhattacharya, G.A. Mr S. Saha


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where a Pakistan national was convicted under the NDPS Act by two Courts in two different trials and it was argued that the sentences should run concurrently, the bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that the offences under the NDPS Act are very serious in nature and against the society at large, hence, no discretion under Section 427 CrPC shall be exercised in favour of such accused who is indulging into the offence under the NDPS .

Factual background

In the case that dates back to 1999, the appellant – accused was convicted by two different courts in two different trials for the offences with respect to the different transactions.

  1. Amritsar Court: Sentenced to undergo 12 years RI for the offence under Section 23 and Section 21 of the NDPS Act by Amritsar Court for having in possession of 4 kg of heroin.
  2. Delhi Court: Sentenced to undergo 15 years RI for the offence under Section 29 read with Section 21(c) of the NDPS for having 750 grams of heroin.

The judgments in both the cases were delivered one after another and in the subsequent judgment by the Delhi court there is no specific order passed stating that the sentences have to run concurrently.

It was argued that the conduct of the appellant, who was 30 years of age when he was convicted and presently, he is 52 years old, in jail is good and there is no adverse remark made against him by the Jail Superintendent. Hence, the two sentences which the appellant is now undergoing, may be held to run concurrently under Section 427 Cr.P.C.

Analysis

Section 427 of Cr.PC – Explained

Under Section 427 of Cr.PC, when a person who is already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment or imprisonment for life, such imprisonment or imprisonment for life shall commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he has been   previously sentenced.  Meaning thereby the sentences in both the conviction shall run consecutively.

However, there is an exception to that, namely unless the Court directs that the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence.

Further, as per Sub-section (2) of Section 427 of Cr.PC, when a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for life is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term or imprisonment for life, the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with such previous sentence. Therefore, in aforesaid two cases only the subsequent sentence shall run concurrently with previous sentence. Otherwise the subsequent sentence shall run consecutively and the imprisonment in subsequent sentence shall commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he has been previously sentenced.

Principles laid down in a series of Supreme Court Rulings

(i) If a person already undergoing a sentence of imprisonment is sentenced on a subsequent conviction to imprisonment, such subsequent term of imprisonment would normally commence at the expiration of the imprisonment to which he was previously sentenced;

(ii) ordinarily the subsequent sentence would commence at the expiration of the first term of imprisonment unless the court directs the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence;

(iii) the general rule is that where there are different transactions, different crime numbers and cases have been decided by the different judgments, concurrent sentence cannot be awarded under Section 427 of Cr.PC;

(iv) under Section 427 (1) of Cr.PC the court has the power and discretion to issue a direction that all the   subsequent sentences run concurrently with the previous sentence, however discretion has to be exercised judiciously depending upon the nature of the offence or the offences committed and the facts in situation. However, there must be a specific direction or order by the court that the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence.

Discretion under Section 427 CrPC

Even otherwise as observed hereinabove under Section 427 (1) of Cr.PC, the Court has the power and discretion to issue a direction that the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence in that case also, the discretion has to be exercised judiciously depending upon the nature of offence or the offences committed.

“No leniency should be shown to an accused who is found to be guilty for the offence under the NDPS Act. Those persons who are dealing in narcotic drugs are instruments in causing death or in inflicting death blow to a number of innocent young victims who are vulnerable. Such accused causes deleterious effects and deadly impact on the society. They are hazard to the society. Such organized activities of clandestine smuggling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances into this country and illegal trafficking in such drugs and substances have a deadly impact on the society as a whole.”

Therefore, it was noticed that while awarding the sentence or punishment in case of NDPS Act, the interest of the society as a whole is required to be taken into consideration and even while applying discretion under Section 427 of Cr.PC, the discretion shall not be in favour of the accused who is found to be indulging in illegal trafficking in the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Hence, even while exercising discretion under Section 427 of Cr.PC to run subsequent sentence concurrently with the previous sentence, the discretion is to be exercised judiciously and depending upon the offence/offences committed.

Ruling on facts

The Court outrightly rejected the submission of the appellant – accused that his subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence as,

  • the appellant has been convicted with respect to two different transactions, there are different crime numbers and the cases have been decided by the different judgments.
  • there is no specific order or direction issued by the court while imposing the subsequent sentence that the subsequent sentence to run concurrently with the previous sentence.

[Mohd. Zahid v. State through NCB, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1183, decided on 07.12.2021]


Counsels

For appellant: Advocate Sangeeta Kumar

For State: Advocate Akaanksha Kaul


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah

Know Thy Judge | Justice M. R. Shah

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A writ petition filed against the decision of the Collector was allowed holding that the Collector ought to have exercised power of discretion before mechanically disqualifying the petitioner from contesting elections.

The petitioner was elected from Ward No. 3 for the Gram Panchayat at Aurad. She also contested from Ward No. 4 from where she lost the elections. The petitioner was not able to file statement of election expenses pertaining to Ward No. 4 in term of Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act, 1958. The petitioner made an application before the Collector for extension of 5 days time for filing such statement. However, the Collector, without responding to the said application, passed an order disqualifying the petitioner for 5 years from contesting the elections. Appeal preferred by the petitioner against that order was also dismissed by the Divisional Commissioner. Thus, the instant petition.

The Court, after hearing the parties and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, held that the Collector was not right in passing the order disqualifying the petitioner without first considering the application of the petitioner. Section 14B of the Act provides that the Election Commission may remove the disqualifications as provided under sub-section (1) after recording of reasons. The Court held that the Collector ought to have first considered the application of the petitioner and in view of the Court, the extension of 5 days time for filing of expenses statement should have been provided to the petitioner. Therefore, the order of the Collector was set aside and he was directed to first consider the application of the petitioner and appropriately exercise discretion as granted to him under Section 14B. [Tamjodevi Madarsha Bhandari v. Tahsildar, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 936, order dated 04-05-2018]

Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: In a criminal appeal filed before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Arvind Singh Chandel, J., the sentence awarded to the appellants-accused under Section 304 IPC was restricted to the period already undergone by them.
The appellants were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years along with payment of fine by the trial court for the offence committed under Section 304 IPC. Counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that the record did not show that the injury caused to the deceased was caused by the appellants. Further, the appellants were facing the litigation for nearly 16 years; they had already undergone the sentence for 20 months. The counsel prayed that the sentence imposed on the appellants may be restricted to the period already undergone by them. Counsel for the State supported the order of the trial court.
In order to solve the controversy, the High Court referred to a Supreme Court decision passed in Ravinder Singh v. State of Haryana, (2015) 11 SCC 588, wherein it was observed that the question of sentence is always a difficult task requiring balancing of various considerations; it is a matter of discretion to be exercised on consideration of circumstances aggravating and mitigating in individual cases. In the instant case, the High Court found that at the time of the occurrence of incident, the appellants were about 25 years of age and now they are about 40 years of age. They were facing litigation for about last 16 years and they had no criminal antecedents. Court was of the view that it would be in the interest of justice to reduce the sentence of appellants to the period already undergone by them.
Thus, the High Court ordered accordingly and also enhanced the amount of fine imposed on the appellants which was directed to be distributed among the legal representatives of the deceased. [Guddu alias Ram Prasad v. State of Chhattisgarh,  2018 SCC OnLine Chh 155, dated 21-02-2018]