Allahabad High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: In a bail application filed by the applicant charged under Sections 376-A, 376-B, 354 of Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), Sections 9-D and 10 of Protection of children from sexual offences, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’), and Section 3(2)(v) of Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act), Sadhna Rani Thakur, J. has without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, released the applicant on bail subject to some conditions.

The Court noted that on the perusal of the First information report (FIR), it appears that in the absence of other family members, when the eight years old victim was alone at her home, she called the applicant to repair the dish connection, seeing the girl alone at her home, he started vulgar activities with her. In the statement under Section 161 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the victim has stated that when applicant came in the house to repair the dish connection, seeing the girl alone, he inserted his hand in her clothes and kissed her on lips. However, as per statement under Section 164 CrPC of the victim, the applicant after repairing the dish connection held her tightly and kissed on her lips, inserted his hand into her panty and also pressed her breast by inserting her hands therein.

The applicant submitted that there are no ingredients of Section 376 IPC as per the statements of the victim under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC. Further, no medical examination has been conducted as the parents of the victim refused to get her daughter medically examined. Moreover, the father of the victim is police personnel, and the FIR is only the misuse of that power. The applicant is 50 years of age and has been in jail since 13.04.2022.

The Court considering the seriousness of the charge, severity of punishment in case of conviction, the nature of supporting evidence, prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge, reformative theory of punishment, larger mandate of the Article 21 of the Constitution of India, and the decision in the case of Dataram Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 22 and without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, released the applicant on bail subject to certain conditions.

[Manoj Saxena v. State of U.P, 2022 SCC OnLine All 624, decided on 2.9.2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Umesh Pal Singh, Advocate, Counsel for the Applicant;

Government Advocate, Counsel for the Opposite Party.

Gauhati High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gauhati High Court:In a case relating to suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the police atrocities, which took place at Paltan Bazar, Guwahati City on 17.03.2022, the division bench of R.M. Chhaya, CJ. Soumitra Saikia, J. has observed that Police may have the authority to control the traffic but the same cannot be handled as a tool to violate the fundamental rights of the citizen. Further, the steps taken by the authorities against the erring police personnel do not end the agony of the citizens at large, and if there is any breach of traffic rules, the police personnel could have taken an action in accordance with law instead of using force on the innocent citizens and issued certain directions to the State authorities.

In this case, the victim was riding a two-wheeler along with his wife and his three-year-old child at Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati. On an allegation of a minor traffic violation, the Police Constable on duty assaulted him and a heated argument took place leading to a brawl. Such action of the constable involved in the incident was captured on camera and had also gone viral on social media. Moreover, a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against the bike rider for alleged offences under Sections 294, 341, 353 and 325 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and also, against the constable under Sections 294, 325, 34 of IPC. The respondent authorities have taken departmental action against the constable and suspended him from service, pending the enquiry.

The Court observed that “we stay in a society where rule of law prevails and, therefore, it is eminently necessary for the respondent authorities to impart appropriate training to their police personnel and make them citizen centric while discharging their duties”. It further noted that the allegations levelled against the victim were without any foundation.

The Court further observed that such an incident occurred because of lack of training in police personnel and viewed that the State authorities should periodically apprise their police personnel and must give practical training to the higher officers. Moreover, the police personnel, who are handling the traffic at traffic junctions, must keep a citizen centric approach instead of using their might. Thus, directed the State authorities:

(i) To impart training to all Police Constables, who are handing traffic in cities, more particularly at all district levels, to remain citizen centric.

(ii) To educate the police personnel about their rights and responsibilities as a public servant.

(iii) To impart appropriate basic knowledge of law by conducting training of police personnel by taking help and guidance of the Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) for the same.

(iv) To constitute a committee for the same also consisting of the Member Secretary, Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) in order to avoid any such similar incident in future.

[XXX v. State of Assam, 2022 SCC OnLine Gau 1270, decided on 05.09.2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Senior Advocate U.K. Nair, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

Advocate S.S. Hazarika;

Government Advocate R.K. Borah, Advocate, for the Respondents.

Madras High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madras High Court: In a case relating to a writ petition filed by Tamil Nadu electricity minister V. Senthil Balaji for issuance of a writ of certiorari, to call for the entire records in connection with the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and to quash the same as illegal and unconstitutional, the division bench of T.Raja and K. Kumaresh Babu, JJ. observed that the quashing of the proceedings in Complaint case of 2021 and staying of the proceedings in Complaint Case of 2020 and of 2021, the scheduled offence for the present case is eclipsed, suspended or stop operating during the period of stay, and the ED should have awaited the finality of the said proceedings, thus, refrained ED from proceeding any further pursuant to the impugned proceedings.

The Court took note of the ruling in Vijay Madanlal Choudhary v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 3286, wherein the Court dealt with the powers of the authority to proceed against a person under the Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002(‘PMLA’), and held that when a person is finally discharged/acquitted of the scheduled offence or the criminal case against him is quashed by a Court of competent jurisdiction, then, there can be no offence of money-laundering against that person and viewed that the proceedings in complaint case of 2021 have been quashed, the ED would not proceed against Senthil Balaji. However, the respondent submitted that the benefit of the order of quash cannot be extended to the orders of stay granted in two other cases, as they should come for inquiry responding to the summons issued under Section 50 of PMLA.

The Court observed that the effect of an order of stay means that the operation of the impugned order is stayed or stands stalled as if the impugned order does not exist. Moreover, as the ECIR itself was only on the basis of the said three First Information Reports,thus the Court viewed that “when the proceedings pursuant to the FIR have been stayed by the High Court, whether the ECIR,which is also pursuant to the FIR, can be proceeded with, is a question that stares at open, and our considered answer is in the negative”.

The Court further observed that apart from the said FIR’s there were no other materials based upon which the proceedings under PMLA have been initiated, thus,when the cases which culminated from the said FIR’s have been stayed, the authority must have refrained itself from proceeding any further, as the summon issued to Senthil Balaji was pursuant to the initiation of ECIR based upon the FIR’s, and there was no scheduled offence as per Section 2(y) of the PMLA for the  ED to proceed under the said Act.

The Court took note of the ruling in Arun Kumar v. Union of India, (2007) 1 SCC 732,wherein the Court held that an authority by erroneously assuming existence of a jurisdictional fact, cannot confer upon itself jurisdiction which it otherwise does not possess.

Thus, the Court held that the impugned proceedings/summons do not have any legal sanctity and the interim order of stay will be subject to the final orders in the main proceedings, after which the eclipse would also wane away. Hence, it left open all the questions that are raised on the merits and de-merits of the proceedings initiated by the respondent, to be dealt with in appropriate proceedings.

[V.Senthil Balaji v. Karthik Dasari, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 4417, decided on 01.09.2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioners: Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra

Senior Advocate S.Prabhakaran

For Respondent: Additional Solicitor General R.Sankaranarayanan

Special Public Prosecutor S.Sasikumar

Madras High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

   

Madras High Court: In a case related to a reference made by the Additional District and Sessions Judge under S. 366 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for confirmation of the death sentence awarded to Kattai Raja and the criminal appeal filed by him challenging the conviction and sentence, the division bench of P. N Prakash and R. Hemalatha, JJ. held that this is yet another ‘run-of-the mill case' and not a case falling under the category of ‘rarest of rare cases' for awarding death penalty, thus, modified the punishment to life imprisonment without any remission benefits for 25 years and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/-, and in default, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months.

The Court noted that a horrifying murder was committed by Kattai raja aided by four of his accomplices by repeatedly attacking the victim's head and hands with a bill hook. Further, as per the FIR, the time of the complaint was 3.30 p.m., on 18.06.2013, however, the FIR reached the concerned Magistrate only at 12.30 a.m. on 19.06.2013

The Court by placing reliance on the ruling in Ravinder Kumar v. State of Punjab, (2001) 7 SCC 690, held that delayed FIR even by some hours would not by itself adversely affect the case of the prosecution and in some instances, it may not be treated fatal to the prosecution.

The Court, while taking note of all the evidence, viewed that a brutal nature of the assault has been inflicted on the victim and the wild and bizarre attack and the resultant injuries are heart rending. Further, there have been multiple fractures on the two thighs and the skull, and the neck opened up in the attack exposing the brain, blood vessels and other internal organs.

The Court took note of the ruling in Machhi Singh v. State of Punjab, (1983) 3 SCC 470, wherein the Court laid out specific grounds, like, the way of commission of homicide, crime deserving hatred in society, intensity of the crime and character of casualty of homicide, on the basis of which it can be determined if a case is falling under the umbrella of ‘rarest of rare case’ or not.

It further observed that “there is no straight-jacket formula for the ‘rarest of rare doctrine' and it can be divided into two sub-parts; aggravating circumstances and mitigating circumstances; in the instant case, the aggravating circumstances are evidently disturbing especially with having such a notorious track record and criminal background”.

Moreover, the court was of the view that in cases like the present one, the attempt to drag the legal proceedings to the maximum extent and intimidate people has been the standard modus operandi and it is disturbing to see that in the instant case, the trial commenced nine years after the murder and Kattai raja not only jumped the bail, but also went into hiding for a prolonged period during which also he was very active in committing heinous crime including murder. It also observed that “the ghastly murder in this case exhibited premeditation and meticulous execution and the attack was a calculated one to annihilate the victim”.

The Court, by applying the principles laid down in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab (1980) 2 SCC 684), viewed that the victim himself had borrowed money from Kattai Raja knowing well his full credentials. Further, murders for disputes involving money, land and women are very common and even though this murder, was shocking, but does not come within the category of “rarest of rare cases” for awarding capital punishment. The Court reduced the punishment to imprisonment for life, with a condition that Kattai raja must not be entitled to any remission benefits for a period of 25 years in the light of the decision in Sahib Hussain Alias Sahib Jan v. State of Rajasthan (2013)9 SCC 778.

[State of Tamil Nadu v Kattai Raja, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 4353, decided on 30.08.2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Appellants: Advocate V. Gopinath

For State: Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohamed Jinnah

Additional Public Prosecutor A.Thiruvadi Kumar

Advocate .S.Santhosh

Advocate.J.R.Archana

Saket Court
Case BriefsDistrict Court

Saket Court (South), Delhi: In a case of alleged leak of details of FIR containing sensitive information, Shilpi Singh J., issued notice to Station House Officer ‘SHO’ to explain how Hindustan Times came in the knowledge of the present FIR, the kinds of complaint in which the complaint is treated as sensitive information.

An FIR was directed to be registered on the orders of the Sessions Court dated 19-04-2022, after an application was moved by the complainant. The complainant states that he has still not received any information regarding registration of FIR but on 29-07-2022 an article was published in Hindustan Times, Hindi Editorial on the first page about the allegations of the complainant in the FIR.

Counsel for complainant submitted that once the FIR is registered it is uploaded on CCTNS which takes some time and to access the FIR, a person requires the name of the complainant, FIR No. and date of registration. He further submitted that the only person in knowledge of such details would be either DO or IO.

Thus, it was alleged that FIR has been deliberately leaked to the media as the complainant is a high-profile person and the said facts would result in tarnishing his image.

The Court noting that FIR was registered on 22-07-2022 and perusing the facts and allegations levelled, issued notice to concerned SHO with direction to explain how Hindustan Times came in the knowledge of the present FIR, the kinds of complaint in which the complaint is treated as sensitive information and discretion be exercised by the SHO to not share the same.

The Court further directed the counsel for complainant to show why such case fall under the sensitive information category.

The matter is next listed for further proceedings on 30-08-2022.

[Ashok Kumar Choudhary v. Jeena Joseph, 2022 SCC OnLine Dis Crt (Del) 30, decided on 03-08-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Sanjay Vashisht, Advocate, Advocate for the Complainant.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Uttarakhand High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: N.S. Dhanik, J. contemplated a criminal application for quashing of the FIR filed against the applicant-husband by his wife for alleged cruelty and criminal intimidation under the relevant sections of IPC.

The respondent had filed an FIR against the applicant and his relatives for harassing and treating her with cruelty for an alleged dowry to an extent that the respondent had to leave her matrimonial house and reside somewhere else. On the impugned FIR the police conducted an investigation and thereafter filed a charge-sheet against the applicant. Applicant was duly summoned by the Magistrate. Charges against the applicant were under Sections 323, 498-A, 504, 506 IPC.

Vikas Kumar Guglani, learned counsel for the applicant submitted that it was a matrimonial dispute and was a private affair between the husband and wife but due to certain misunderstandings the FIR was registered, hence for the betterment of the institution of marriage the Court must quash the proceedings against the applicant.

The Court thus stated that it was settled law that the power under Section 482 CrPC should be exercised very sparingly and this power should not be exercised to stifle the legitimate trial and in cases where facts are hazy. Court doesn’t find reason to interfere in the proceedings against the applicant. However, it directed that if the accused-applicant surrendered him before the Magistrate concerned, his bail application was to be considered and decided as expeditiously as possible.[Ramesh Chandra Joshi v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 505, decided on 17-06-2019]