Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench of Alok Singh and N.S. Dhanik, JJ. dismissed a writ petition filed by the 66-year-old petitioner, who sought mandamus against respondent authority to provide police protection to her as respondents threatened her.

The petitioner contended that her estranged son and daughter-in-law were disowned by the husband of the petitioner from all the movable and immovable properties by way of public notice. She further alleged that she had an apprehension of being killed by the respondents.

The Deputy Advocate General for the State argued that the present petition was not maintainable before this Court, in as much as the petitioner had efficacious and alternative remedy; and in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Sakiri Vasu v. State of U.P., (2008) 2 SCC 409 and Lata Singh v. State of U.P., (2006) 5 SCC 475, the petitioner cannot be granted police protection because she had an efficacious and alternative remedy. It was further contended that the petitioner should have registered an FIR if she apprehended any sort of threat to her life. The counsel submitted that the petitioner may approach the Superintendent of Police under Section 154(3) CrPC by an application in writing; even if that did not give any satisfactory result in the sense that either the FIR was not registered, or that even after registering it no proper investigation was held, it was open to the petitioner to file an application under Section 156 (3) CrPC before the Magistrate concerned. If an application under Section 156(3) CrPC was filed before the Magistrate, the Magistrate would direct the FIR to be registered and also a proper investigation to be made, in a case where, according to the aggrieved person, no proper investigation was made.

The Court held that, it was not a case where the Senior Superintendent of Police concerned had to be directed to provide necessary protection to the petitioner and the petitioner was not permitted to abandon or bypass that remedy and invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, when she had an efficacious and adequate remedy open to her.[Sahjahan Begum v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 567, decided on 08-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: In a case of inter-caste marriage, the Court directed the  Senior Superintendent of Police concerned to provide necessary and immediate protection to the couple if anyone disturbs their peaceful living.

The petitioners approached the Court seeking a writ of Mandamus in order to prevent the respondents from interfering in their peaceful married life. The petitioners are adults and married each other of their own free will but they have been harassed for that.

The Court accepted the precedent set in previous cases and observed that if the persons getting married are major and are marrying of their own free will then the parents of such persons can only cut them off socially. They have no right to harass or commit violence. There is no ‘honour’ to be found in ‘honour killing’. Therefore any person involved in such acts shall be sternly prosecuted. The Court further directed the petitioners to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. [Amna Begum v. State of U.P., 2017 SCC OnLine All 1798, decided on 02.08.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the petition preferred under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, where the petitioner, a hapless and helpless widow of a senior reporter of a news daily, i.e., ‘Dainik Hindustan’ had asserted that her husband, Rajdev Ranjan, was brutally murdered on 13.05.2016 by a group of persons, the bench of Dipak Misra and C. Nagappan, JJ directed the CBI to proceed with the investigation but not finalize it and to file the status report before this Court on the next date of hearing i.e. 17.10.2016. The Court also directed the Superintendent of Police, Siwan District to provide police protection to the petitioner and her family.

Petitioner’s counsel argued that the case at hand depicts a disturbing affair in regard to criminilization of politics, as the people holding party position and position in the political executive do not even think for a moment before associating themselves with such kind of anti-social elements and, in fact, sometimes render assistance. He argued that if the investigation and trial takes place in the Siwan District in the State of Bihar, the respondent nos. 3 and 4 and the other accused persons will terrorise the witnesses as a consequence of which the petitioner would not get any justice and remain a constant victim searching for solace.

Considering the aforementioned arguments, the Court said that it is prima facie discernible that the petitioner who lives with two small children, after losing her husband and the developments that have taken place in the District Siwan, is in a state of continuous fear. It was further said that even though courage is the mother of all virtues and a man with courage can always sustain his or her dignity, but, sometimes, situations are created by certain powerful protagonists which instill fear in the mind of a citizen and that fear has the potentiality to usher in atrophy to the sense of dignity.

Out of the 2 principal accused persons, namely, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, who were declared proclaimed offenders by the Court, Mohammad Kaif, after being spotted with Mohammad Shahabuddin and Tej Pratap Yadav, surrendered to custody on 21.09.2016.

The Court issued notice to all the respondents and placed the matter to be listed on 17.10.2016.  [Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar, 2016 SCC Online SC 988, decided on 23.09.2016]