Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Jyotsna Rewal Dua, J. disposed of a petition seeking ad-interim and regular bail due to inappropriate charges put forth in the First Information Report.

In the present case, the petitioner aged 18 years was arrested and charged under Sections 342, 323, 500, 504, 506-B read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, 1860. The petitioner was also granted bail by the 1st Class Judicial Magistrate vide order dated 26-09-2019. Later on, it came to the notice of the petitioner that Section 3(1)(e)(r) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, had also been added in the FIR in question. Thereafter, the bail application was moved and interim protection was granted to the petitioner.

The Additional Advocate General, Anil Jaswal, representing the respondent-State and submitted a status report regarding the additional charge under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

High Court upon perusal of the status report stated that the charge under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was added on 01-10-2019 whereas the charges under the Penal Code were in the FIR dated 24-09-2019. The Bench also took note of the fact that the status report does not disclose the basis for incorporating the particular section in the FIR. Thereafter the court stated that the petitioner was falsely implicated in the case and since he had been already granted bail there were no necessity for sending an eighteen-year-old student to judicial custody in such circumstances. [Abhishek Chaudhary v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 1808, decided on 01-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: The Bench of S.H. Vora, J., allowed an appeal made for granting of bail.

The facts of the case are that the appellant was booked for offences committed under Sections 306, 385 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3(2), 5(a) and 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Sessions Judge had rejected the application moved for bail in reference to this. Present appeal was filed under Section 14-A(2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The Court, considering the fact that the complaint filed by the complainant did not disclose any role against the appellant, the suicide note was silent and the FIR was registered after 27 days of delay, allowed the current appeal and the appellant was ordered to be released on bail. [Chintan Kaushikbhai Patel v. State Of Gujarat, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 23, Order dated 10-01-2019]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Upholding the validity of the investigative process, under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the 3-Judge Bench of J.S. Khehar, CJ and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and S.K. Kaul, JJ held that there is no infirmity in the determination of the Central Government in vesting the investigative power by making Rules under the SCST Act namely the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, with reference to offences committed under the SCST Act, with an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

The Court explained that on account of the harsh consequences of the offences contemplated under the provisions of the SCST Act, under the SCST Rules, the Central Government considered it expedient to vest the investigative power, for offences under the ‘SCST Act’ to officers, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police. This determination at the hands of the Central Government, had an all India effect, and was not State specific. The Central Government considered it expedient to require investigation to be carried out, by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Regarding the question as to whether the State Government, could in its discretion, in furtherance of the power vested with it under Section 9 of the SCST Act, relax the provision made by Rule 7 of the SCST Rules, the Court said that Section 9(1)(b) confers on the State Government, the power to further delegate the power of arrest, investigation and prosecution. This power vested with the State Government, through a non obstante clause, cannot be neutralized by any rule framed under Section 23 of the SCST Act. The non obstante clause, extended to the State Government, power to overlook and provide differently, from the position contemplated under the SCST Act, as well as the SCST Rules.

Discussing the nature and scope of Section 9 of the SCST Act that dealt with conferment of powers, the Court said that the said provision was aimed at, and provided for, an effective mechanism for arrest, investigation and prosecution, in addition to the provisions in place. In case the State Government found the same as necessary and expedient, for an effective implementation of the provisions of the SCST Act, it had the right and the responsibility, to vest the power of arrest, investigation and prosecution, in additional personnel. [State of Bihar v, Anil Kumar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 422, decided on 23.03.2017]