Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vivek Agarwal, J., took up a bail application moved by the Applicant accused for offences punishable under Sections 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) IPC, under Sections 3,4 POCSO Act, under Sections 3(1)(W)(ii), 3(2)(v) SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and under Sections 67, 67(A) The Information Technology Act.

As per the prosecution story, the Applicant was known to the Prosecutrix and had committed rape upon her. He took a video of the same and threatened her not to speak of it with anyone. Later on, the Prosecutrix received the said video on her mobile phone. She then brought it to the notice of her mother who took her to the police station to register the crime. The Court, while examining the submissions of the parties, drew its attention to the fact that despite the Prosecutrix producing the video clip before the police, the same was not made a part of the case diary. The Court, vide order dated 22-03-2022, directed the police to provide an explanation for the lapse.

T.I Bahoriband, District Katni tendered her unconditional apology for not making it a part of the case diary sent to the Office of the Advocate General and based on the which it was evident that the T.I of Police Station Sleemnabad, District Katni was prima facie guilty of suppressing the correct facts & not forwarding the relevant copies of the document(s), which were filed before the competent Court.

The Court directed the Deputy Inspector General of Police to conduct an inquiry into the conduct of delinquency on the part of the T.I. Sleemnabad, District Katni, who had forwarded incomplete case diary pertaining to Crime No.424/2021 suppressing the material document(s) so as to facilitate bail of the accused & furnish its report through Principal Registrar (Judicial).

The bail application was dismissed as withdrawn after the counsel for the applicant was informed that a compact disc of obscene video had been recovered from the mobile of the applicant.[Shivkumar Kushwaha v. State of Madhya Pradesh, Misc. Criminal Case No. 5948 of 2022, decided on 24-03-2022]


For applicant: Mr Ram Bihari Gautam

For State: Mr Piyush Jain


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court at Goa: A Division Bench of Revati Mohite Dere and M.S. Jawalkar, JJ. rejected Tarun Tejpal’s plea to conduct “in camera” proceedings in connection with the appeal filed against his acquittal in a rape case. The High Court held that:

“Section 327(2) CrPC would only be applicable to ‘inquiry’ or ‘trial’ and that the same will not apply to appeals, either appeal against conviction or an application seeking leave to file appeal against acquittal.”  

Backdrop

The applicant Tarun Tejpal, former Editor-in-Chief of Tahelka magazine, was accused of committing rape on a journalist working with Tahelka. After a trial which went on for 7 years 2 months and 25 days, the Additional Sessions Judge, Mapusa, acquitted him. The Sessions Court gave him benefit of doubt, noting major lapses in investigation and major contradictions/improvements in testimony of the prosecutrix. The incident was of 2013 which allegedly happened during the annual THiNK Fest of Tehelka organised in Goa.

Aggrieved by the judgment and order of acquittal passed by the Sessions Court, the State of Goa filed an application before the Bombay High Court seeking leave to appeal. The High Court issued notice to Tarun Tejpal, who subsequently filed the instant criminal miscellaneous application seeking a direction that all the proceedings connected with the special leave to appeal be conducted “in camera” as per Section 327 CrPC.

Question

The short question for consideration before the High Court was: Whether Section 327 CrPC applies to the proceedings before the appellate court?

Law, Analysis and Decision

At the outset, the High Court referred to Section 327 CrPC (Court to be open) and noted that the words use in sub-section (1) thereof are “inquiring into or trying any offence“. Sub-section (1) of Section 327 states that the place in which any criminal court is held for the purpose of inquiring into or trying any offence shall be deemed to be an open court. However, sub-section (2) makes an exception to the principle of open court. It says that the inquiry into and trial of rape or an offence under Sections 376, 376-A, 376-AB, 376-B, 376-C, 376-D, 376-DA, 376-DB or Section 376-E IPC shall be conducted “in camera”.

Relying on Sakshi v. Union of India, (2004) 5 SCC 518 and Nipun Saxena v. Union of India, (2019) 2 SCC 703, the High Court observed:

“The object of Section 327(2) is to ensure that the inquiry/trial before the Court being to elicit the truth, it is absolutely necessary that the victim or the witnesses are able to depose about the entire incident in a free atmosphere without any embarrassment. Considering the nature of evidence that is required to be led in such cases, i.e. giving details of the acts committed including intimate details, it is imperative that the atmosphere is conducive for the victim to depose the same, far from the watchful eyes/gaze of the public, ruling out any discomfort whilst deposing. It is in keeping in mind the dignity and self-respect of the victim. The legislative intent is also to infuse confidence in the victim whilst deposing, which ultimately will have an impact on the quality of her evidence, which would ultimately assist the Courts in arriving at the truth and sifting truth from falsehood.”

Coming to the substantive issue, the Court emphatically negatived the contention that the term “inquiry” would apply to the instant proceedings. Referring to the term “inquiry” as defined in Section 2(g) CrPC, the High Court held that instant proceedings cannot be an inquiry by any stretch of imagination. In equally emphatic terms, the Court held that the instant proceedings were not a trial, i.e. continuation of proceedings, for the purpose of extending the benefit of sub-section (2) of Section 327 CrPC.

Discussing the terms “inquiry” and “trial”, the Court observed:

“There is a difference between an ‘inquiry’ and a ‘trial’. In criminal matters, inquiry is something different from a trial. Inquiry stops when trial begins, so all those proceedings before a Magistrate before framing the charge which do not result in conviction or acquittal can be termed as inquiry. Trial presupposes the idea of an offence but inquiry relates to offences and matters which are not offences viz., security proceedings and other inquiries relating to dispute about possession of immovable property, etc. Inquiry is the second stage of a criminal proceeding and is always to be conducted by a Magistrate and not by a police officer. Inquiry relates to proceedings prior to trial. The term ‘trial’ as used in the Code pre-supposes the commission of an offence but an inquiry may cover inquiries into matters other than offences. The word ‘trial’ is not defined in the Code but the definition of ‘inquiry’ impliedly defines ‘trial’ as every proceeding which is not an inquiry.”

Having regard to the above discussion, the High Court held that Section 327(2) CrPC will only apply to “inquiry” or “trial” and that the same will not apply to appeals, either appeal against conviction or an application seeking leave to file appeal against acquittal.

Next, the applicant had contended that having regard to Section 6 CrPC (Classes of Criminal Courts), Section 327 will also apply to proceedings before the High Court as it is also a “Criminal Court”. However, the Court found no merit in this submission. It was observed that the High Court is not created by the Code. Under the Constitution, it has powers of superintendence over all courts and tribunals situated within its territorial jurisdiction.

Lastly, the applicant contended that Article 21 will have to be read in Section 327(2) CrPC, inasmuch as the applicant’s right to privacy and reputation is infringed if “in camera” hearing is not afforded to the applicant in the instant proceedings. The High Court found itself unable to accede to this submission as well. The Court said that the applicant’s apprehension that his right to defend is taken away if he is not permitted to freely argue his case for fear of publication, was not justified. The Court observed:

“In proceedings such as these, i.e. rape cases in general, it is expected that all parties conduct themselves with dignity, sobriety and some sensitivity that is required, particularly, whilst reading evidence pertaining to intimate details. This, we think is not too much to expect from the Advocates appearing for the respective parties. Maintaining decorum in the courtroom is not merely a superficial means of protecting the image of lawyers and judges – but it is absolutely essential to the administration of justice.”

In such view of the matter, the High Court found the instant application was devoid of merits, and therefore it was rejected. [Tarunjit Tejpal v. State of Goa, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 5465, decided on 24-11-2021]


Destruction of crucial evidence, calculated narrative, conduct not natural of rape victim, et al.: 22-pointer comprehensive analysis of the 527-pages judgment of Sessions Court acquitting rape-accused Tarun Tejpal  

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Noting allegations against an employer with regard to the sexual harassment Sanjeev Sachdeva, J., expressed that,

“…instead of providing assistance to the aggrieved woman in prosecuting her complaint of sexual harassment, the Akademi has been opposing her tooth and nail and has even terminated her services pending the inquiry before the Local Committee.”

Note:

In view of Section 16 of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the petitioners name has been kept confidential and would be referred to as the “aggrieved woman” and similarly, the name of the officer against whom the complaint has been made shall be kept confidential and he would be referred to as the “Secretary”.

Questions for Determination:

(i)  Whether the Secretary is an employer in terms of section 2(g) of the Act?; and

(ii)  Whether the complaint of sexual harassment against the Secretary could have been made only to the Local Committee and not to the Internal Complaints Committee in terms of Section 6(1) of the Act?; and

(iii)  Whether the Internal Complaints Committee was validly constituted in terms of Section 4 of the Act?; and

(iv)  Whether the aggrieved woman made any complaint to the Internal Complaints Committee in terms of Section 9 of the Act?’ and

(v)  If the answer to question (iv) is in the negative, then whether the report of the Internal Complaints Committee dismissing the complaint is sustainable?

(vi)  Whether the non confirmation/extension of probation of the aggrieved woman during pendency of the proceedings is sustainable?

(vii)  Whether the Petition by the aggrieved woman is not maintainable as she has not exhausted the alternative remedy of an appeal against the finding of the Internal Complaints Committee?

Background

In the present matter, it was stated that the aggrieved woman faced severe sexual harassment from March 2014 onwards at the hands of the Secretary.

Further, it was alleged that he regularly made racist and sexist comments on women hailing from the North-East, particularly from the home state of the aggrieved woman.

As a counterblast to aggrieved woman’s objections, with regard to inappropriate sexual advances by the Secretary, he in the presence of other officers screamed at her and kept accusing her of poor performance or not working properly.

Adding to the above allegations, the aggrieved woman also stated that he tried to hold her hand, saying that she should have understood his ‘hints’ and should have provided him ‘bodily satisfaction’ if she did not want her probation to get extended.

Further, she was also served with frivolous office memoranda which were sent to tarnish her employment record.

In 2019, she submitted a complaint to the police station detailing out the acts of sexual harassment and assault perpetrated by the Secretary, later an FIR was registered.

Aggrieved woman protested and informed the ICC that it did not have the jurisdiction to look into her complaint against the Secretary and only the Local Committee was vested with the jurisdiction to initiate proceedings based on her complaint, as the Secretary was the employer in terms of Section 2(g) of the Act.

Further, the ICC stated that if the aggrieved woman will not appear, the Committee shall have no option but to terminate the proceedings.

Local Committee granted aggrieved woman relief of 3 months paid leave in terms of Section 12(1) of the Act.

In February 2020, the aggrieved woman was discharged from her duties due to unsatisfactory performance.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court expressed that since the Secretary was the employer for the purposes of the Act, the complaint of the said employer would not lie to the Internal Committee but shall lied only to the Local Committee.

Therefore, ICC does not have any jurisdiction to entertain a complaint against the Secretary.

In the present matter, the aggrieved woman had emailed to the Executive Board requesting them to set up an independent committee to enquire into her complaint of sexual harassment and assault in the same email she had alleged that the ICC lacked jurisdiction to enquire into her complaint as her complaint was against the Secretary who was the ‘employer’ within the meaning of Section 2(g) of the Act.

Since no complaint was made by the aggrieved woman to the Internal Committee in terms of Section 9 of the Act, the Internal Committee could not have conducted any inquiry or submitted a report.

Court while reasoning out further stated that,

  • No rule or provision pointed out on behalf of the Akademi to justify the procedure of constituting a Review Committee to review the performance
  • Office memoranda and calling explanations relied upon were issued either by the Secretary or by the officers junior to the Secretary, who also report to him
  • If there was any merit in the allegations of the aggrieved woman then the office memoranda and calling explanations were all issued because she rebuffed his advances
  • Timing of the termination order was such that it prima facie smacks of malafides. Especially, when a complaint of sexual harassment was pending against the Chief Executive Officer of the Akademi, the Executive Board should have waited for the decision on the complaint of the aggrieved woman.

Note:

Section 19 of the Act stipulates the duties of the employer to inter alia provide a safe working environment at the workplace with shall include safety from the persons coming into contact at the workplace; display at any conspicuous place in the workplace, the penal consequences of sexual harassments; and the order constituting, the Internal Committee under Section 4(1); provide assistance to the woman if she so chooses to file a complaint in relation to the offence under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force; cause to initiate action, under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force, against the perpetrator, or if the aggrieved woman so desires, where the perpetrator is not an employee, in the workplace at which the incident of sexual harassment took place; and treat sexual harassment as a misconduct under the service rules and initiate action for such misconduct.

 Conclusion

Petition was disposed of in the following terms:

(i)  The Secretary is held to be an employer in terms of Section 2(g) of the Act.

(ii)  The complaint of sexual harassment against the Secretary would lie only to the Local Committee and the Internal Complaints Committee would not have any jurisdiction to entertain any complaint against the Secretary.

(iii)  The Inquiry report dated 14.01.2020 of the Internal Complaints Committee and its opinion and recommendations are held to be without jurisdiction and non est.

(iv) Office Memorandum dated 14.02.2020 terminating the services of the aggrieved woman quashed.

(v) The aggrieved woman would be deemed to continue in service but as a probationer in terms of her appointment letter till the conclusion of the inquiry by the Local Committee. She is reinstated to her former position, with continuity of service, full back wages, and other consequential service benefits.

(vi) The Akademi shall forthwith pay her salary for the current month and clear the arrears of her salary within four weeks.

(vii) The aggrieved woman shall be deemed to be on paid leave till the Local Committee passes appropriate interim orders with regard to provision of a safe working environment to her.

(viii) The competent authority of the Akademi would be at liberty to review her performance and take a decision on her employment status after submission and implementation of the report by the Local Committee.

(ix) Since it has been held that the Secretary is the employer in terms of Section 2(g) of the Act and that a complaint against him would not lie to the Internal Committee, the question as to whether the Internal Committee was validly constituted and details thereof displayed in terms of Section 19 of the Act, is left open.

(x) The claim of the aggrieved woman for compensation for alleged mental trauma, pain, suffering and emotional distress caused to her is left open for determination by the Local Committee in terms of Section 15 of the Act.

Therefore, petition was allowed in the above terms.[X v. Y, WP(C) 1103 of 2020, decided on 25-10-201]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioners:

Mr. Ritin Rai, Senior Advocate with Ms. Shreya Munoth, Ms. Kritika Bhardwaj, Mr. Ashwin Pantula, Ms. Aditi Rao and Ms. Suhavi Arya, Advocates.

For the Respondents:

Ms. Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate with Mr. Abhishek Aggarwal, Ms. Damini Thaker and Ms. Kamkashi Gupta, Advocates for Respondent No. 1

Mr. Anupam Srivastava, ASC, GNCTD with Mr. Dhairya Gupta, Advocate for R-2 and 3/GNCTD.

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Securities Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai (SAT): The Coram of Justice Tarun Agarwala, (Presiding Officer) and Justice M.T. Joshi (Judicial Member), while dismissing the appeals at the admission stage on not finding any merit, was of the opinion that, there was an application of mind on the basis of which the opinion was so formed to proceed with the inquiry under Rule 4(3) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Procedure for Holding Inquiry and Imposing Penalties) Rules, 1995.

In the present matter, the impugned order of SEBI was challenged stating that SEBI had already formed an opinion prior to the filing of the reply given by the appellants. Therefore, it was contended that before forming an opinion the appellants should have been heard and by not giving an opportunity of hearing the impugned order is erroneous and violative of the principles of natural justice.

Therefore the issues were,

  1. Whether the opinion formed by the adjudicating authority to initiate an inquiry, is an order that is appealable under Section 15T of the SEBI Act.
  2. Whether any opportunity of hearing was required to be given before forming an opinion under Rule 4(3) of the Rules of 1995.

The Coram answering in favour of the Respondent referred to Natwar Singh v. Director of Enforcement, (2010) 13 SCC 255, and quoted the Supreme Court in the order, which stated, 

“…a reasonable opportunity of being heard is to be provided by the adjudicating authority in the manner prescribed for the purpose of imposing any penalty as provided for in the Act and not at the stage where the adjudicating authority is required merely to decide as to whether an inquiry at all be held into the matter. Further, the Court opined, Imposing of penalty after the adjudication is fraught with grave and serious consequences and therefore, the requirement of providing a reasonable opportunity of being heard before imposition of any such penalty is to be met. In contradistinction, the opinion formed by the adjudicating authority whether an inquiry should be held into the allegations made in the complaint are not fraught with such grave consequences and therefore the minimum requirement of a show-cause notice and consideration of cause shown would meet the ends of justice.

While clearing further Chandrakant Amratlal Parekh v. AO, SEBI in Appeal No. 91 of 2007 decided on October 23, 2007, referred to by the Counsel for the Respondent to differentiate between an interlocutory order and an adjudicating order, cleared the possibility since the impugned order was not an order rather an opinion.

The Coram opined,

“This Tribunal held that formation of an opinion is an interlocutory order which is not appealable under Section 15T of the SEBI Act. We beg to differ as in our view the opinion formed is not an order”.

[A.T. Rajan v. SEBI, Misc. Application No. 921 of 2021, decided on 30-08-2021]


Counsel for the Parties:

Mr Ashim Sood, Advocate with Ms Shreya Suri, Ms Vaishnavi Rao, Ms Swati Mittal, Mr Rhythm Buaria, Advocates for the Appellants.

Mr Gaurav Joshi, Senior Advocate with Mr Abhiraj Arora, Ms Rashi Dalmia, Mr Karthik Narayan, Advocates i/b ELP for the Respondent.


Agatha Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Deepak Roshan, J., while allowing the present writ application, said, “This court is having no hesitation to hold that there is a procedural irregularity in passing the impugned order of punishment. As such, the impugned order of punishment and all subsequent orders deserve to be quashed and set aside.”

Background

The facts of the instant writ application are briefly mentioned hereunder;

  1. That while the petitioner was posted as Manager at Jamshedpur Branch of the respondent Bank, a memorandum of charge was issued on 19-07-1999 and delivered to him on 30-07-1999 whereby, it was proposed to hold a departmental enquiry against him with regard to imputation of misconduct.
  2. Thereafter, in terms of the aforesaid charge-sheet, departmental enquiry has been conducted in which the petitioner filed a detailed written brief denying all allegations leveled against him.
  3. Thereafter, the Inquiry officer submitted his enquiry report on 18-02-2002, which was delivered to the petitioner on 28-02-2002.
  4. Pursuant to that, petitioner filed a detailed reply against the finding of the Inquiry Officer and finally the order for removal from service was passed against the petitioner by the Disciplinary authority.
  5. Being aggrieved, the petitioner filed an appeal on 16-01-2003, which was also dismissed vide order dated 02-01-2004.
  6. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a writ application; W.P.(S) No. 444 of 2005 before the present Court and the said writ application was disposed of by order dated 1st March, 2012, whereby the petitioner was directed to prefer a review application and the reviewing authority was directed to consider the case of the petitioner.
  7. Pursuant to the aforesaid order of this court, the petitioner filed a review application which was also dismissed.

 Contentions

Krishna Murari, Counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the impugned order of punishment, as well as the appellate and review order, are bad in law, inasmuch as, the issue raised by the petitioner, right from the stage of enquiry proceedings, has not been considered by either of the authorities. He further referred to Rule 6(5) and 6(10) of the Central Bank of India Officer Employees (Conduct) Regulations, 1976 and contended that it is a mandatory requirement that the Inquiry Authority, where the Officer/Employee does not admit all or any of the article of charge, furnish to such officer a list of documents and list of witnesses along with the article of charge. However, in the instant case, the mandatory requirement as enshrined in the aforesaid Regulation has not been complied with. It was further submitted that the stand taken by the petitioner, wherein it has been specifically stated that the “list of witnesses proposed and the documents relied upon by the Bank were never supplied to the petitioner and the witnesses were produced on a particular date without the knowledge of the petitioner, thus, depriving him of the opportunity to prepare himself for the cross-examination of the witnesses as per rule,” has been replied evasively by the respondent Bank. In this regard, the Counsel emphasized on Order VIII Rule 4 and 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure which clearly says that denial must be specific and not evasive, and further placed reliance on State of U.P. v. Saroj Kumar Sinha, (2010) 2 SCC 772 and G.V. Aswathanarayana v. Central Bank of India, (2004) 1 LLJ 36.

P.A.S. Pati, Counsel for the respondent Bank, supports the impugned order, however, could not demonstrate that the mandatory requirement as envisaged in Rule 6(5) and 6(10) of the Regulation was complied with. He cannot dispute the averment made in the counter affidavit while replying to the categorical statement made in the writ application, however, he reiterated that principle of natural justice has been complied with.

 Observations

Court reproduced the allegation as well as the reply made by the respondent bank and further reproduced the language of Order VIII Rule 4 and 5(1) of the CPC, 1908.

Rule 4. Evasive denial – Where a defendant denies an allegation of fact in the plaint, he must not do so evasively, but answer the point of substance. Thus, if it is alleged that he received a certain sum of money, it shall not be sufficient to deny that he received that particular amount, but he must deny that he received that sum or any part thereof, or else set out how much he received. And if an allegation is made with diverse circumstances, it shall not be sufficient to deny it along with those circumstances.

Rule 5. Specific denial – (1) Every allegation of fact in the plaint, if not denied specifically or by necessary implication, or stated to be not admitted in the pleading of the defendant, shall be taken to be admitted except as against a person under disability: Provided that the Court may in its discretion require any fact so admitted to be proved otherwise than by such admission.”

It went on to conclude, “After going through the specific provision under Code of Civil Procedure and in the background of the statement given in the counter affidavit it can be easily inferred that the statement made in Paragraph 38 of the writ application regarding non-supply of documents and list of witnesses, are not denied specifically by the respondents.

 Decision

Allowing the present writ application, the Court held, “Normally, in such type of cases, the matter should have been remitted back to the competent authority to start the proceeding from the stage of the irregularity commenced, by following principles of natural justice. However, in the instant case, the petitioner has already retired on 31-03-2010 and at present he is about 74 years. Further, the case relates to the year 1999 and calling the management witness now will be a futile exercise, as such, no fruitful purpose would be served to remit the case back to the Disciplinary authority for compliance of mandatory requirements of the Regulation. Consequently, the Impugned Order and all subsequent orders are hereby quashed and set aside. The Respondents are directed to give consequential benefits to the petitioner.”[Rama Shankar v. Central Bank of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Jhar 1039, decided on 15-12-2020]


Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Krishna S. Dixit, J. allowed the writ petition in part by quashing the previous order by the Joint Registrar and reassigning the matter to another Registrar.

In the present case, the petitioner who was the president of DCC Bank Shivamogga was disqualified from his presidentship by the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies. Jayakumar Patil, counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, vehemently opposed this disqualification and submitted that the Joint Registrar took his decision based on a hasty inquiry which trigger the presumption of some ulterior motive. He further submitted that the petitioner was a popular president which resulted in his re-election ten times before his disqualification. Therefore, the petitioner expressed no faith in the Joint Registrar.

Advocate General, Prabhulinga Navadgi, appearing on behalf of the respondents contended that although the Joint Registrar could have refrained from deciding the matter, there cannot be any aspersions cast on him for his decision. Therefore, he suggested that taking into consideration the controversy surrounding the decision, a fresh proceeding should be constituted and be heard by any one of the four Joint Registrars registered in the memo.

The Court held that the interplay between justice and fairness needed the said matter to be put under inquiry again. Hence, the Court quashed the previous order of the Joint Registrar and placed the matter to be heard by the Joint Registrar, Chitradurg.[R.M. Manjunath Gowda v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 1283, decided on 14-08-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Gurvinder Singh Gill, J., disposed of the petition directing the respondents to issue written advance notice to the petitioner in terms of Section 160 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 in case of any inquiry or investigation.

The facts of the case are that the brother-in-law of the petitioner 1, son of petitioner 2 and husband of petitioner 3, have been falsely involved in one FIR under Sections 457, 380, 120-B read with 34 of Penal Code, 1860. Further, in order to pressurize the petitioners, the police have been raiding their house and issuing threats to involve them in some false case, in case aforesaid brother-in-law is not produced. The petitioners have approached this court seeking directions for protection of their lives and liberty.

The Court disposed of the petition with a direction to respondent 4, Senior Superintendent of Police, Amritsar to ensure that in case, the petitioners are required to be associated with any inquiry or investigation or some information is to be elicited from them, then a written advance notice in terms of Section 160 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 be served upon them. The Court further clarified that this order would not act as immunity for the petitioners in case if any wrongful act done by the petitioner has been found. [Prabhleen Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1948, decided on 11-10-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Dinesh Kumar Singh, J. disposed of the petition on the ground that no substantial ground was made for exercising the power under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

A petition was filed in order to quash the summoning order passed by 1st Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate under Section 498-A, 323, 504 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Rajendra Prasad, counsel for the petitioner submits that First Information Report had been lodged against the petitioner on the basis of false and fabricated facts. It was also submitted that the petitioner was ready to surrender before the court below and some protection may be granted to him.

The Additional Government Advocate had opposed the petition. It was discussed that the  power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was not to be exercised in a routine manner, but it is for limited purposes, namely, to give effect to any order under the Code, or to prevent abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure ends of justice. It was reiterated that according to the precedents the power under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 should not preempt a trial and cannot be used in a routine manner so as to cut short the entire process of the trial before the courts below.

Case of  Lee Kun Hee v. State of U.P., JT 2012 (2) SC 237, was brought in light,  in which it was held that “Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC cannot go into the truth or otherwise of the allegations and appreciate evidence, if any, available on record. Interference would be justified only when a clear case of such interference is made out. Frequent and uncalled interference even at the preliminary stage by High Court may result in causing an obstruction in the progress of inquiry in a criminal case which may not be in public interest”

High Court after perusal of matter on record opined it cannot be said that a cognizable offence was not made out and thus there was no sufficient ground to quash the impugned proceedings, although it was directed that if the petitioner surrenders before the court within ten days with an application for bail the same shall be considered and disposed of expeditiously in accordance with the law.[Anil Kumar Srivastava v. State of U.P, 2019 SCC OnLine All 2299, decided on 01-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sunil Gaur, J., disposed of a writ petition before it. The petitioner, an unsuccessful candidate for the post of Trained Graduate Teacher (TGT) in Mathematics, had filed the writ petition against the appointment of Respondent 7, who was selected as TGT in Dhanpatmal Virmani Secondary School, Roop Nagar, Delhi.

The petitioner’s case was that the Masters’ degree held by Respondent 7 was fabricated and that there was interpolation of marks scored by Respondent 7 in the interview. The petitioner submitted that while she was working as a guest teacher in another school, Respondent 7’s ineligibility gave her a valid claim to be appointed as TGT. The petitioner submitted that several representations in this regard were made but to no avail. She also brought to light the fact that she had sent a legal notice to the respondents but there was no response to it.

The Court adjudged that a proper inquiry was called for, considering the fact that Respondent 7’s marks were handwritten whereas the other candidates’ were printed in the interview score sheet and that Respondent 7 claimed to have earned an MA in Mathematics from Kalinga University, Raipur, Chhatisgarh, which is a full time regular course, while she was in regular service in a MCD school within the same period. The Court directed that the conclusions of the inquiry be communicated to the petitioner so she may avail remedy available under law. Petition disposed of. [Ashu Rani v. Dhanpatmal Virmani Senior Secondary School,2018 SCC OnLine Del 7127, decided on 07.02.2018]