Friday, June 24, 2016

Deadlocked Supreme Court deals big blow to Obama immigration plan

In a crushing blow to the White House, the Supreme Court announced Thursday it was evenly divided in a case concerning President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration.
The one-sentence ruling, issued without comment or dissent, means that the programs will remain blocked from going into effect, and the issue will return to the lower court. It is exceedingly unlikely the programs will go into effect for the remainder of the Obama presidency.
Obama, speaking at the White House, lamented the ruling.
"For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken," Obama said. "And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be."
The ruling will impact the more than 4 million undocumented immigrants seeking to be able to come out of the shadows and apply for these programs to stay in the United States. Immediately after Obama announced them in late 2014, Texas and 25 other states challenged the plans and they were blocked nationwide by a federal district court the next year.
    Immigration has already been a prominent and highly charged topic of the 2016 election already this year, and this ruling guarantees it will only be more so.
    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton criticized the ruling, saying it is evidence not only of why the Supreme Court needs a ninth justice, but also that the delay of Obama's immigration programs adds importance to putting a Democrat in the White House to continue the fight to put them in place.
    "Today's deadlocked decision from the Supreme Court is unacceptable, and show us all just how high the stakes are in this election," Clinton said in a statement Thursday morning. She later tweeted, calling it "heartbreaking."

    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    Satish Shetty V/s.State of Karnataka

                                                   REPORTABLE


                            IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                           CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                           CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1358 of 2008


    Satish Shetty                                      …..Appellant


          Versus


    State of Karnataka                                 …..Respondent



                                   J U D G M E N T



    SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.


    This appeal by special leave is directed against judgment  and  order  dated
    13.09.2007 passed by  a  Division  Bench  of  High  Court  of  Karnataka  at
    Bangalore in Criminal Appeal  No.  1409  of  2000  preferred  by  the  State
    against judgment dated 16.09.2000 by First Additional Sessions  Judge,  D.K.
    Mangalore in SC No. 150/94 whereby the appellant and both his  parents  were
    acquitted for offences punishable under Sections 3, 4 and  6  of  the  Dowry
    Prohibition Act and under Sections 498-A and  304-B  of   the  Indian  Penal
    Code (IPC). By the impugned order High Court has reversed  the  judgment  of
    acquittal in part. It has  convicted  the  appellant,  the  husband  of  the
    victim lady,  for  the  offence  under  Section  498-A  with  punishment  of
    rigorous imprisonment (RI) of three years and a fine  of  Rs.5000/-  with  a
    default clause. The appellant has also been convicted for the offence  under
    Section 306 of the IPC with RI for five years and  a  fine  of  Rs.10,000/-,
    again with a default clause. Both the sentences are to run concurrently.  If
    realized, the fine amount is to be  paid  to  PW-6  Gulabi,  mother  of  the
    deceased, if she is alive.
    Learned  senior  counsel  Mr.  P.  Vishwanatha  Shetty  appearing  for   the
    appellant has raised three main  contentions  to  assail  the  judgment  and
    order under appeal. According to him, the judgment and  order  of  acquittal
    was not a perverse judgment and required no interference by the High  Court.
    Secondly, it is contended  that  in  absence  of  any  charge  framed  under
    Section 306 of IPC by the  trial  court  the  High  Court  should  not  have
    convicted the appellant under that Section. Lastly but  not  the  least,  is
    the  contention  that  there  is  no  evidence  on  record  to  justify  the
    conviction of the appellant by the High Court for any of the charges.
    Mr. V. N. Raghupathy learned counsel for the respondent has,  on  the  other
    hand, strenuously refuted  all  the  aforesaid  three  submissions  and  has
    placed reliance  on  the  relevant  materials  on  record  as  well  as  the
    discussions made by the High Court in the impugned order  to  fully  support
    that judgment and order reversing the acquittal  of  the  appellant  to  the
    extent indicated above.
    Before adverting  to  specific  contentions  for  deciding  the  main  issue
    whether the impugned judgment and order requires interference,  it  will  be
    useful and relevant to take note of the factual matrix  of  this  case.  The
    story of the deceased young lady, aged about 25  years  who  was  forced  to
    commit suicide by the unfortunate situation  and  circumstances  surrounding
    her life, resembles the tale of so many similar young ladies who  end  their
    life due to untold miseries and hardships faced by them within the  confines
    of the four walls of their matrimonial home. All of  them  enter  such  home
    with hope of leading a  long  and  blissful  married  life  but  this  hope,
    invariably, does not last long, nor their life.  In  the  present  case  the
    victim left behind a son then  aged  about  ten  months  and  she  was  also
    mothering a life of twenty weeks in her womb. The deceased Rekha @ Baby  was
    married with the appellant on 5.06.1991 and immediately she began  her  stay
    in matrimonial home with her husband and in-laws and a son was also born  to
    them who on the date of  her  death  i.e.  19.11.1993  was  aged  about  ten
    months. There is no  dispute  regarding  her  death  and  even  as  per  the
    Unnatural Death Report (UDR) exhibit Ex.P.20, lodged by the  appellant  with
    the local police station on 19.11.1993 at 9.45 a.m, she died of some  poison
    which she had consumed allegedly because  the  appellant  forbade  her  from
    going to  her  mother’s  place  in  the  morning  hours  of  18.11.1993.  As
    described in the said report, the victim had consumed  a  poison  which  was
    kept for spray in the fields. She had been taken to  hospital  but   expired
    there at around 8 a.m. As  per  version  of  the  occurrence  given  by  the
    appellant, the deceased and he  were  living  a  very  happy  life.  He  was
    satisfied with the money and gold given at the time  of  marriage  as  dowry
    and was apparently at a loss as to why the deceased consumed poison.
    The records have been carefully noticed by the High Court  and  they  reveal
    that the police/the investigating agency,  soon  after  learning  about  the
    occurrence made a request to the Tehsildar (Executive Magistrate), PW-15  to
    conduct inquest proceedings under Section 174 of  Criminal  Procedure  Code.
    The High Court has rightly  condemned  the  Tehsildar’s  action  in  causing
    undue delay and holding the inquest two days later on  22.11.1993.   It  was
    after the inquest that the mother of the deceased, Gulabi, PW-6  lodged  the
    complaint with the police on 22.11.1993 and on that basis police  registered
    a Criminal Case No. 136/93 for offences under Section 498-A,  304-B  of  the
    IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.  After  investigation
    police submitted chargesheet against the husband of  the  deceased  and  his
    parents only. Subsequently another relation was summoned  as accused  no.  4
    under Section 319 of CrPC.
    Dr. M.R. Shetty, PW-8 has proved the postmortem report. He has deposed  that
    he conducted the autopsy on the deceased  in  the  afternoon  of  22.11.1993
    along with another Doctor and found the following wounds on the dead body:
    1.    Transverse contusion across  the  lower  part  of  the  rt.  Thigh  2”
    above the knee joint 2” in length.
    2.    Haematoma  6”  x  3”  on  the  lower  part  of  the  left  thigh  with
    abrasion of different sizes on it;
    3.    Abrasion on the rt. Lumbar region 2-1/2”;
    4.    Abrasion on the back of the rt. Thigh 2-1/2”;
    5.    Multiple small abrasions on the rt. Hand of different sizes; and
    6.    Blood strained fluid from the nostrils.
          He had found a twenty weeks embryo in the womb  of  the  deceased.  He
    deposed that as per subsequent chemical  lab  report  of  the  viscera,  the
    death was because of consumption of Organo phosphorous chemical. The  Doctor
    has also deposed that the wounds were ante-mortem caused by hard  and  blunt
    object but they did not cause the death. The unnatural death of  the  victim
    within seven years of marriage is not in dispute.


    The High Court has scrutinized the deposition of mother of the deceased  PW-
    6 and her two younger brothers PW-9 and PW-20 for coming to a  finding  that
    at the time of marriage they had to arrange money to meet the demand of  the
    husband of the  deceased  for  payment  of  dowry  in  cash  and  gold.  The
    witnesses on this aspect were found  trust-worthy  and  not  indulging  into
    exaggeration or false allegations. The trial court on the  other  hand  went
    into unnecessary details to discuss this issue on the basis of  capacity  of
    the complainant to  pay,  source  of  money  arranged  by  her  and  whether
    actually money had been paid at the professed place or not. Though there  is
    difference in the amount but nonetheless in the UDR complaint in Ex.P20  the
    appellant has admitted of taking Rs.25,000/- as dowry. The  High  Court  has
    rightly held that  the  trial  court  should  not  have  gone  into  further
    details. The only relevant issue was initial payment of dowry  and  not  its
    quantum. But this aspect need not be pursued further because the High  Court
    has also, while relying on the evidence of the  prosecution  that  one  year
    after the marriage during her visit to her mother the deceased had  informed
    that the accused were harassing her by making a demand for additional  dowry
    of 20 sovereigns of gold and Rs.1,00,000/- for investment by  the  appellant
    in a wine shop, has held that such  subsequent  demand  being  unrelated  to
    marriage, need not be  accepted  as  demand  for  dowry  and  therefore  the
    offence under Section 304 of the IPC is not attracted.  In  this  regard  it
    was noticed that in Section 304 of the IPC as per the  explanation,  “dowry”
    shall have the same meaning as in Section 2 of the  Dowry  Prohibition  Act,
    1961.
    The High Court has considered the issue whether Section  498-A  and  306  of
    the IPC are attracted or not and after extracting  the  relevant  provisions
    as well as Section 113A of the Evidence Act, has held the  appellant  guilty
    of the offences under Section 498-A and 306 of the IPC. For  that  the  High
    Court has  relied  upon  relevant  materials  consisting  of  oral  evidence
    available on record  as  well  as  documentary  evidence  in  the  forms  of
    letters. Before discussing whether the High Court has  committed  any  error
    of facts or law on this issue, it is useful to examine the first  contention
    advanced on behalf of the appellant that the  High  Court  should  not  have
    interfered with the acquittal of appellant.
    As already noticed, on the issue whether the marriage  was  performed  after
    demanding and accepting dowry, the High Court  found  the  approach  of  the
    trial court totally erroneous. The findings were found  to  be  vitiated  on
    account of trial Judge ignoring the glaring facts emerging  from  deposition
    of PW-6, 9 and 20 as well  as  PW  13  and  16  and  also  by  ignoring  the
    admission of the accused in the UDR complaint at Ex.P.20.
    The High Court has further rightly held that the trial Judge failed to  look
    for the relevant documents already available on the record and wrongly  drew
    inference against the prosecution for not producing  the statements of  PW-6
    and other relations of the deceased recorded by Taluka Executive  Magistrate
    under Section 174 CrPC proceedings. Presently it is not disputed that  those
    statements were/are available on record along with the  inquest  report.  It
    is noted that  such  erroneous  approach  of  the  trial  court  had  strong
    influence on its judgment rendering it perverse.  In  fact,  had  the  trial
    court applied its mind to the scope of Section 174 of the CrPc as  explained
    by this Court in the case of Pedda Narayana and others v.  State  of  Andhra
    Pradesh[1],  such  gross  error  could  have  been  avoided   because   such
    statements  do not have much legal weight as they are beyond  the  scope  of
    inquest proceedings under Section 174 of CrPC.
     On the basis of relevant facts the High Court appears to  be  justified  in
    holding that there is good explanation for the delay in lodging the  FIR  on
    22.11.1993 because PW-15  delayed  the  inquest  proceedings  without  valid
    reasons leading to delay in the postmortem examination as well and  only  on
    knowledge of the injuries etc. the mother of the deceased gathered  strength
    to lodge the FIR. When the deceased died leaving a son  of  ten  months  old
    the mother of the deceased had many other things  to  worry  for,  including
    cremation of the dead body and in such  circumstances  the  High  Court  was
    justified in criticizing the trial court for its  hyper  technical  approach
    in blaming the mother of the deceased for lodging a  delayed  complaint.  It
    will be useful to remember that delay in lodging the  FIR  or  complaint  is
    not fatal in all cases. The Court must show some  sensitivity  in  cases  of
    present nature where the victim’s  closest  relation  -  mother  is  a  poor
    helpless lady. Even a well to  do  person  may  suffer  a  state  of  mental
    confusion when struck by such a tragedy. The prosecution in  such  cases  is
    likely to be delayed further if the deceased has left behind  children.  The
    issues relating to their safety and custody often require  higher  priority.
    Occurrences of the present nature require lodging of criminal  case  against
    persons  who  are  already  in  the  category  of  relation  by  virtue   of
    matrimonial ties through the deceased and it is not always easy  to  take  a
    decision whether to lodge a criminal case against a relation or  not.  Hence
    in such cases the factum of delay  has  to  be  dealt  with  sympathetically
    keeping in mind the mental condition of the close relations of  the  victim.
    The trial court miserably failed on this count too.
    The evidence of PW-6 mother of  the  deceased  is  well  supported  by  PW-7
    Pratap, a cousin of  the  deceased  who  had  visited  the  deceased  during
    Dushera holidays, a month prior to her death. He  found  that  the  deceased
    was getting continuous ill-treatment by her husband. He has deposed  to  the
    extent that the deceased requested PW-7 not to  disclose  the  ill-treatment
    to her mother because she would get upset. The letters contained in  Ex  P-7
    dated 27.9.1993 and exhibit D-3 dated  28.10.1993  have  been  discussed  by
    both the Courts below. We are in agreement with the views of the High  Court
    that those letters written respectively by the deceased to  her  mother  and
    by sister of the deceased to the deceased, do not help the defence  at  all.
    The trial court had clearly adopted  a  perverse  approach  in  appreciating
    those letters as if they are in favour of the defence. Further, the  correct
    and logical inferences from these  documents  were  rejected  by  the  trial
    court in paragraph  37  of  the  judgment  by  again  resorting  to  adverse
    inference on the incorrect ground that statements of PW-6 and PW-9  recorded
    by the Tehsildar at the time of conducting inquest were not produced  before
    the Court. As already noticed earlier, these statements formed part  of  the
    inquest report and were available on record.
    In view of aforesaid discussions we find no merit in  the  first  contention
    that the judgment and order of the acquittal was not  perverse  or  that  it
    required no interference of the High Court.  The views of the High Court  on
    this issue are sound and we are in agreement that the judgment of the  trial
    court suffered from such gross errors in approach and appreciation  that  it
    could not be saved on the principle that if two views  are  possible,  there
    should be no interference with a judgment and order of acquittal.
    So far as the second contention is concerned, the same needs to  be  noticed
    only for rejection. To be fair to the learned counsel, he has not  dealt  on
    this contention at any length nor has cited any judgment. The High Court  on
    the other hand dealt with the issue of conviction under Section 306  of  the
    IPC in absence of a charge under that head in detail in  paragraphs  44  and
    45. It has also noticed some judgments of the Karnataka High Court and  this
    Court in paragraph 44. The issue is definitely not res integra  in  view  of
    judgment of this Court in somewhat similar circumstances in the case  of  K.
    Prema S. Rao and another v. Yadla Srinivasa Rao and others[2]. In that  case
    the acquittal of the husband  of  the  deceased  under  304-B  IPC  was  not
    reversed but this Court while upholding the conviction of the all the  three
    accused under Section 498-A  IPC,  further  convicted  the  husband  of  the
    victim under Section 306 IPC after discussing issues relating to absence  of
    a charge under Section 306 IPC in a case of suicide when  the  relevant  and
    material facts are already part of charge under Section 498-A and  304-B  of
    the IPC. That judgment rendered by a  Bench  of  Three  Judges  in  somewhat
    identical facts, in our view  leaves  no  scope  for  accepting  the  second
    contention on behalf of the appellant.
    The last contention on behalf of the appellant that there is no evidence  to
    justify the conviction of the appellant for any of the  charges,  indirectly
    stands negated by our discussions and  findings  in  respect  of  the  first
    contention itself. However to consider the legality of  the  view  taken  by
    the High Court we propose to deal with this issue further after taking  note
    of the relevant provisions of law i.e. Sections 498-A and 306 of the IPC  as
    well as Section 113A of the Evidence Act which are extracted below:
    “Section 498-A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her  to
    cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative  of  the  husband  of  a
    woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be  punished  with  imprisonment
    for a term which may extend to three years  and  shall  also  be  liable  to
    fine.

    Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, ‘cruelty’ means—
    (a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to  drive  the
    woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb  or
    health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
    (b) harassment of the  woman  where  such  harassment  is  with  a  view  to
    coercing her or any person related to her to meet any  unlawful  demand  for
    any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or  any
    person related to her to meet such demand.”

    Section 306. Abetment of suicide.—If any  person  commits  suicide,  whoever
    abets the commission of such suicide, shall be  punished  with  imprisonment
    of either description for a term which may extend to ten  years,  and  shall
    also be liable to fine.

    Section  113-A.  Presumption  as  to  abetment  of  suicide  by  a   married
    woman.—When the question is whether the commission of  suicide  by  a  woman
    had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her  husband  and  it  is
    shown that she had committed suicide within a period  of  seven  years  from
    the date of her marriage and that  her  husband  or  such  relative  of  her
    husband had subjected her to cruelty, the Court may presume,  having  regard
    to all the other circumstances of the  case,  that  such  suicide  had  been
    abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband.

    Explanation.—For the purposes of this  section,  ‘cruelty’  shall  have  the
    same meaning as in Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.”

    On a plain reading of Section 498-A it transpires that if  a  married  woman
    is subjected to cruelty by the husband or  his  relative,  the  offender  is
    liable to be punished with  the  sentence  indicated  in  the  Section.  But
    cruelty can be of different types and therefore what kind of  cruelty  would
    constitute offence has been defined under  the  explanation.  As  per  first
    definition contained in clause (a) – it means a willful conduct  of  such  a
    nature which is likely to drive the victim woman to  commit  suicide  or  to
    cause grave  injuries  to  health  and  life,  limb  or  health  (mental  or
    physical). The  other  definition  of  cruelty  is  in  clause  (b)  and  is
    attracted when a woman is harassed with a view to coercing  her  or  any  of
    her relation to meet any  unlawful  demand  for  any  property  or  valuable
    security or is on account of failure to meet such demand.
    In the present case after noticing the injuries  on  the  person  of  victim
    which is not at all explained by  the  appellant  husband  although  in  the
    fateful night he and the deceased slept together in  the  same  room  before
    she consumed poison, the High Court has come to a  well  considered  finding
    in paragraph 42 of  the  impugned  judgment  that  the  deceased  was  being
    harassed both physically and mentally and in  direct  as  well  as  indirect
    ways for non compliance with the demand of  the  accused  for  Rs.1,00,000/-
    for investment in  his  wine  business.  The  High  Court  found  that  such
    harassment falls squarely under clause (b) of  the  explanation  of  Section
    498-A of the IPC. We find no good reason to take a different view.
    The High Court after recording the aforesaid finding proceeded  to  consider
    whether Section 306 of the IPC is also attracted against  the  appellant  or
    not. Since the High Court had, on relevant material  returned  a finding  of
    guilt under Section 498-A of the IPC, it  found  the  circumstances  of  the
    case right and proper for resorting to Section  113A  of  the  Evidence  Act
    which permits raising of presumption as to abetment to suicide by a  married
    woman. Such a statutory presumption though discretionary,  may  be  presumed
    by the Court in appropriate cases where the question of abetment of  suicide
    by a woman is under consideration in respect of her husband or  any  of  his
    relative and if the  suicide  has  been  committed  within  seven  years  of
    marriage, provided the  husband  or  such  relative  had  subjected  her  to
    cruelty.
    Since the High Court  had  recorded  a  finding  against  the  appellant  of
    causing cruelty to the deceased for his conviction under Section 498-A,  all
    the essential ingredients for raising of presumption under Section  113A  of
    the Evidence Act were clearly made out. But the issue raised  before  us  is
    whether the High Court  was  justified  in  resorting  to  exercise  such  a
    discretion as was available to it under Section 113A or not.
    That the Court has a discretion in the matter of  resorting  to  presumption
    is clear from the plain  words  used  in  that  Section  –  “the  Court  may
    presume” (emphasis supplied). The law on this issue  is  also  well  settled
    and therefore needs no elaborate discussion but at this stage  the  relevant
    case laws cited by learned senior counsel  for  the  appellant  need  to  be
    taken note of.
    Reliance has been placed on behalf of appellant  on  the  judgment  of  this
    Court in the case of Hans Raj v. State of Haryana[3]. In this  case  it  was
    reiterated that Section 113A of the Evidence Act vests a discretion  in  the
    Court  to  raise  such  a  presumption  having  regard  to  all  the   other
    circumstances of the case. On evidence and facts of that case it  was  found
    that the nature of cruelty proved in that case was not such as is likely  to
    drive the women to commit suicide or to cause grievous injury etc.  Reliance
    was also placed upon the case of Gangula Mohan  Reddy  v.  State  of  Andhra
    Pradesh[4]. The facts of that case  were  entirely  different  and  required
    interpretation of the term “abetment” as defined under Section  107  of  the
    IPC. In that case the victim was a servant of the accused and the  case  did
    not require any examination of inter-dependence  and  inter-connectivity  of
    Section 498A and 306 of the IPC or of Section 113A of the Evidence Act.
    Reliance was also placed upon case  of  M.  Mohan  v.  State[5].  The  Court
    followed the general law with regard  to  ingredients  of  abetment  in  the
    context of Section 306 of the IPC and quashed the  prosecution  of  some  of
    the relations of the husband  on  the  peculiar  facts  of  the  case  which
    disclosed that there was no allegation of any dowry  demand  or  instigation
    against those appellants although they were relatives  of  the  husband.  In
    the case of Mangat Ram v. State of  Haryana[6],  this  Court  acquitted  the
    appellant who was husband of the deceased for the  offences  under  Sections
    498-A and 306 of the  IPC  on  the  ground  that  the  prosecution  had  not
    succeeded in establishing the offences. The  accused  had  merely  left  the
    deceased wife in the matrimonial home in the company of  his  parents  while
    proceeding to report for duty as a constable to another  place.  This  Court
    held that such action would not amount to abetment to commit suicide.
    The aforesaid case laws do not lay down any proposition  of  law  which  may
    warrant interference with the views  of  the  High  Court  in  the  impugned
    judgment. In the case of Narayanamurthy v. State  of  Karnataka[7]  the  law
    was reiterated that if on appreciation of evidence two  views  are  possible
    then  the  appellate  court  should  not  interfere  with  the  judgment  of
    acquittal in favour of the accused.  There  is  no  quarrel  with  the  said
    proposition. The High Court was aware of such legal  principle  and  keeping
    the same in mind, it has discussed the evidence for coming to  a  conclusion
    that the findings of  the  trial  court  leading  to  acquittal  were  fully
    unwarranted and it is not a case where two views  are  possible.  Hence  the
    High Court proceeded  to  convict  the  appellant  for  the  offences  under
    Sections 498-A and 306 of the IPC.
     Once the prosecution succeeds in  establishing  the  component  of  cruelty
    leading to conviction under Section 498A, in our view only in a  rare  case,
    the Court can refuse  to  invoke  the  presumption  of  abetment,  if  other
    requirements of Section 113A of the  Evidence  Act  stand  satisfied.   This
    proposition is amply supported by the view taken by  the  three-Judge  Bench
    of this Court in the case of K. Prema S. Rao and Anr. (Supra). Further,  the
    High Court has given good reasons on the basis of facts  brought  on  record
    through evidence for exercising the discretion of invoking  the  presumption
    under Section 113A of the Evidence Act and thereafter it  has  discussed  in
    detail the explanations given by the appellant in  the  initial  version  by
    way of Unnatural Death Report as well as the later  explanations.  The  High
    Court found the later explanations unacceptable and the initial  explanation
    that the deceased committed suicide because she was not permitted to  go  to
    her mother’s  place  does  not  inspire  confidence  and  has  rightly  been
    rejected by the High Court. Only for such  a  trivial  matter,  a  hale  and
    hearty young woman having a ten months old son and  a  pregnancy  of  twenty
    weeks is not at all expected to take her life. The appellant not  only  gave
    absolutely no explanation for the injuries on the person  of  the  deceased,
    rather he chose to conceal  them  by  keeping  mum.  Clearly  the  appellant
    failed to rebut the presumptions raised against him under  Section  113A  of
    the Evidence Act. Having gone through the relevant facts and the  reasonings
    of the trial court we are not persuaded to take a different view.
    In the result the appeal must fail. We order accordingly. As a  consequence,
    the bail bonds of the appellant are cancelled.  He  be  taken  into  custody
    forthwith to serve out the remaining  part  of  the  sentence  as  per  law.



                                        .…………………………………….J.
                                        [DIPAK MISRA]


                             ……………………………………..J.
                              [SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]
    New Delhi.
    June 03, 2016.
    -----------------------
    [1]    (1975) 4 SCC 153 = AIR 1975 SC 1252
    [2]    (2003) 1 SCC 217
    [3]    (2004) 12 SCC 257
    [4]    (2010) 1 SCC 750
    [5]    (2011) 3 SCC 626
    [6]    (2014) 12 SCC 595
    [7]    (2008) 16 SCC 512

    -----------------------
    19


    Dr. Rini Johar & Anr. V/s.State of M.P. & Ors. June 03, 2016.

                                               REPORTABLE
                            IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                           CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                       WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 30 OF 2015


    Dr. Rini Johar & Anr.                   ... Petitioners
                                       Versus
    State of M.P. & Ors.                    ... Respondents


                                   J U D G M E N T

    Dipak Misra, J.
          The petitioner no.1 is a doctor and she is presently  pursuing  higher
    studies in United States of  America  (USA).   She  runs  an  NGO  meant  to
    provide services for South Asian Abused Women in USA.   Petitioner  no.2,  a
    septuagenarian lady, is a practicing Advocate in the District Court at  Pune
    for last 36 years.  Petitioner no.1 is associated with  M/s.  Progen,  a  US
    company.
    2.    As the facts would unveil, the informant, respondent no.8 herein,  had
    sent an email to the company for purchase of machine Aura Cam,  6000,  which
    is an Aura Imaging Equipment, in India and the  concerned  company  sent  an
    email  to  the  respondent  making  a  reference  to  the  petitioner  no.1.
    Thereafter, the said respondent  sent  an  email  asking  her  to  send  the
    address where he could meet her and have details  for  making  payment.   He
    also expressed his interest to become a distributor.
    3.    The informant visited the petitioner no.1 at Pune and received a  demo
    of Aura Cam 6000 and being satisfied decided  to  purchase  a  lesser  price
    machine i.e. “Twinaura Pro” for a total sum of Rs.2,54,800/-.    He  paid  a
    sum of Rs.2,50,000/- for which a hand  written  receipt  was  given  as  the
    proof  of  payment.   During  the  course  of  the  said  meeting,  the  8th
    respondent expressed his desire to purchase  a  laptop  of  M/s.  Progen  of
    which the petitioner no. 1 was the  representative.   In  pursuance  of  the
    discussion, the laptop was given to him who acknowledged it by stating  that
    he owed a sum of Rs.4,800/- as balance consideration towards  the  Aura  Cam
    and an amount of USD 350 towards the laptop.  An  assurance  was  given  for
    remitting the money within a short time.  As averred,  the  respondent  no.8
    had never raised any  grievance  relating  either  to  the  machine  or  the
    laptop.   Certain transactions between the  informant  and  the  US  company
    have been mentioned and the allegations  have  been  made  against  the  8th
    respondent that he represented himself as  the  sole  distributor  in  India
    which was brought to the notice of the concerned  police  in  the  State  of
    M.P. by the competent authority of the company.  The said  facts  really  do
    not have much relevance to the lis which we are going to adjudicate  in  the
    present writ petition.
    4.    When the matter stood thus, the  respondent  no.8  filed  a  complaint
    before the Inspector General of Police, Cyber  Cell,  Bhopal  alleging  that
    the petitioner no.1 and Mr. Guy Coggin had committed  fraud  of  US  10,500.
    On the basis of the complaint made, FIR no. 24/2012 under  Section  420  and
    34 of the Indian Penal Code  (IPC)  and  Section  66-D  of  the  Information
    Technology Act, 2000 (for brevity, ‘the Act’)  was  registered  against  the
    petitioners by Cyber  Police  Headquarters,  Bhopal,  M.P.   The  respondent
    no.2, I.G. Cyber Cell, issued  an  order  on  20.11.2012  which  is  to  the
    following effect:-
    “Cyber state police having registered FIR 24/2012 under S 420, 34 of  Indian
    Penal Code and 66 D  of  IT  Act  search  and  information  the  undersigned
    persons are asked to go to Pune.
    1. R.R. Devendra Sisodia
    2. R.R. (Lady) Ishrat Praveen Khan
    3. RR (Lady) Valari Upadhyay”

    5.    On 21.11.2012, Dy. S.P. State Cyber Police, Bhopal proceeded  to  pass
    the following order:-
    “Cyber state police having registered FIR 24/2012 under  S  420,  34  Indian
    Penal Code and S 66 D of IT Act accused Rini Johar and Gulshan Johar  should
    be arrested and for that lady constable Ishrat Khan has  been  deputed  with
    case diary with address from where they are to be found and arrested and  it
    is ordered that they be brought to Bhopal.  In reference to which  you  have
    been given possession of the said case diary.”

    6.    We have reproduced the  said  orders  in  entirety  as  the  same  has
    immense relevance to the relief sought for by the petitioners.
    7.    As the narration would unfurl, on  27.11.2012,  the  petitioners  were
    arrested from their residence at Pune.  Various assertions  have  been  made
    as regards the legality of the arrest  which  cover  the  spectrum  of  non-
    presence of the witnesses at the time of arrest  of  the  petitioners,  non-
    mentioning of date, and arrest by unauthorized officers, etc.   It  is  also
    asserted after they were arrested, they were taken from Pune  to  Bhopal  in
    an  unreserved  railway  compartment  marked  –   ‘viklang’   (handicapped).
    Despite request, the petitioner no.2, an  old  lady,  was  not  taken  to  a
    doctor, and was compelled to lie on the cold floor of the train  compartment
    without any food and  water.   Indignified  treatment  and  the  humiliation
    faced  by  the  petitioners  have  been  mentioned  in  great  detail.    On
    28.11.2012, they were produced before the learned Magistrate at  Bhopal  and
    the petitioner no. 2 was enlarged on bail after being in custody  for  about
    17 days and the petitioner no.1 was released after more  than  three  weeks.
    There is allegation that they were forced to pay Rs.5  lakhs  to  respondent
    no.3,  Deepak  Thakur,  Dy.  S.P.  Cyber  Cell,  Bhopal.    On   18.12.2012,
    chargesheet was filed and thereafter a petition under Section 482  CrPC  has
    been filed before the High Court for quashment of the FIR.
    8.    At this stage,  it  is  pertinent  to  state  that  on  19.2.2015  the
    petitioners filed an application for discharge and  the  learned  Magistrate
    passed an order discharging  the  petitioners  in  respect  of  the  offence
    punishable under Section 66-D of the Act.  However, learned  Magistrate  has
    opined that there is prima facie  case  for  the  offence  punishable  under
    Section 66-A(b) of the Act read with Section 420 and 34 of the IPC.
    9.    Ordinarily, we would  have  asked  the  petitioners  to  pursue  their
    remedy before the High Court. But,  a   disturbing  one,  petitioners  while
    appearing in person, agonizingly submitted that this Court should look  into
    the manner in which they have been arrested, how the  norms  fixed  by  this
    Court have been flagrantly violated and how their dignity has  been  sullied
    permitting the atrocities to reign.  It was urged  that  if  this  Court  is
    prima facie satisfied that violations are absolutely impermissible  in  law,
    they would be entitled to compensation.   That apart, it was contended  that
    no case is made out against them  and  the  order  of  discharge  is  wholly
    unsustainable.  Regard being had to the said submission,  we  appointed  Mr.
    Sunil Fernandes as Amicus Curiae to assist the Court.
    10.   In this writ  petition,  first  we  shall  address  to  the  challenge
    relating to the validity and  legality  of  arrest,  advert  to  the  aspect
    whether the petitioners  would  be  entitled  to  any  compensation  on  the
    bedrock of public law remedy and thereafter finally  to  the  justifiability
    of the continuance of the criminal proceedings.   Be  it  stated  here  that
    this Court on 7.12.2015, taking note of the submissions of  the  petitioners
    that they are not interested to prosecute their petition under  Section  482
    CrPC directed that the said petition is deemed to  have  been  disposed  of.
    It is also requisite to note here that despite efforts  being  made  by  the
    petitioners as well as the State of M.P, respondent  no.8,  who  belongs  to
    Jabalpur, M.P. could not be served.  This Court is inclined  to  infer  that
    the said respondent is really not interested to appear and contest.
    11.   As stated earlier, first we shall advert to  the  legality  of  arrest
    and detention.  Mr. Saurabh Mishra, learned counsel appearing for the  State
    of M.P. has submitted that as the State Government had already conducted  an
    enquiry  in  this  regard  and  initiated  proceedings   against   the   3rd
    respondent, the matter should not be adjudicated at this stage.  We are  not
    disposed to accept the said submission, for  initiation  of  a  disciplinary
    proceeding  or  criminal  prosecution  should  not  be  an  impediment   for
    delineation as regards the violation of procedure of arrest and  curtailment
    of liberty.
    12.   We consider it imperative to refer to the enquiry made  by  the  State
    and the findings arrived at by the enquiry officer.  It is asserted  in  the
    counter  affidavit  that  the  petitioners  had  made  a  complaint  to  the
    Lokayukta Police (M.P. Special Police Establishment)  alleging  that  Deepak
    Thakur, respondent no.3 herein, demanded a bribe of Rs.10 lakhs for  letting
    them go and pursuant to the said demand, initially a  sum  of  Rs.2,50,000/-
    was paid and subsequently a  sum  of  Rs.2,50,000/-  was  also  given.   The
    Lokayukta Police had already registered a preliminary  enquiry  no.  33/2015
    and after enquiry submitted an enquiry report dated 18.6.2015  stating  that
    prima facie case had been made out against Deepak Thakur,  Dy.  S.P.,  Cyber
    Cell, Bhopal, Ishrat Khan, Head Constable,  Cyber  Cell,  Bhopal,  Inderpal,
    Writer, Cyber Cell Bhopal and Saurabh Bhat, Clerk, Cyber Cell, Bhopal  under
    Section 13(1)(d) and Section 13(2) of  the  Prevention  of  Corruption  Act,
    1988 and Section 120B IPC.  Based on the said  preliminary  enquiry  report,
    FIR No. 273/2015 dated 27.3.2015 has been  registered  against  the  accused
    persons in respect of the said offences and further  steps  under  the  CrPC
    are being taken.   Be it clarified, we are not at  all  concerned  with  the
    launching of said prosecution and accordingly we shall  not  advert  to  the
    same.
    13.   It is perceivable that the State in its initial affidavit  had  stated
    that the Director  General  of  Police  by  its  order  dated  8.7.2015  had
    appointed Inspector General of Police, CID to enquire into  the  allegations
    as regards the violation of the provisions enshrined under Section  41-A  to
    41-C of CrPC.  It needs to be stated here that in  pursuance  of  the  order
    passed by the Director General, an enquiry has been conducted  by  Inspector
    General of Police Administration,  CID,  Bhopal.   It  has  been  styled  as
    “preliminary enquiry”.  The said report dated 19.08.2015  has  been  brought
    on record. The Inquiring Authority has recorded the statement of Ms.  Ishrat
    Praveen Khan.  The part of her statement reads as follows:-
    “… When I received the order, I requested DSP Shri Deepak Thakur that I  was
    not in the District Police  Force.   I  do  not  have  any  knowledge  about
    IPC/Cr.P.C./Police Regulation/Police Act and Evidence Act, IT Act as I  have
    not obtained any training in Police Training  School,  nor  do  I  have  any
    knowledge in this regard, nor do  I  have  any  knowledge  to  fill  up  the
    seizure memo and arrest memo.  Even  after  the  request,  DSP  Shri  Deepak
    Thakur asked in  strict  word  that  I  must  follow  the  order.  The  duty
    certificate was granted to me on 26.11.2012, on  which  Report  No.567  time
    16.30 was registered, in which there are clear  directions.   In  compliance
    with this order, we reached Kondwa Police Station  in  Pune  Maharashtra  on
    27.11.2012 with my team and 2 constables and 1 woman constable were sent  to
    assist us from there.  The persons of the  police  station  Kondwa  came  to
    know reaching Lulla Nagar that the said  area  does  not  fall  under  their
    police station area so the police of Kondwa phoning Banwari  Police  Station
    got to bring the force for help Banwari Police Station.   I  had  given  the
    written application in PS Banwari.  The entire team  reached  the  house  of
    Rini Johar and 01 laptop of  Dell  Company  and  1  data  card  of  Reliance
    Company were seized. Rini Johar called her mother  Gulshan  Johar  from  the
    Court furnishing information to her about  her  custody.   Thereafter,  Shri
    Rini Johar had called up  the  Inspector  General  of  Police,  State  Cyber
    Police Shri Anil Kumar Gupta. I and my team had taken Miss  Rini  Johar  and
    Smt. Gulshan  in  our  custody.   I  and  Constable  Miss  Hemlata  Jharbare
    conduced robe search of Miss Rini Johar and Smt. Gulshan Johar. Nothing  was
    found on their body.”

    14.   He has also recorded the statement of Devender  Sisodia,  Ms.  Vallari
    Upadhyay, Ms. Hemlata Jharbare and thereafter recorded  his  findings.   The
    findings arrived at in the preliminary enquiry read thus:-
    “24.  Finding  of  the  preliminary  inquiry:-  It  was  found  during   the
    preliminary enquiry that  Crime  No.24/12  had  been  registered  after  the
    inquiry of one written complaint of the applicant Shri  Vikram  Rajput,  but
    this complaint inquiry report during the investigation of  the  offence  has
    been kept as the relevant evidence.  The crime was registered on  27.11.2012
    under Section 420, 34 IPC read with Section 66D IT  Act,  2000  against  the
    named accused persons.  The offence  was  to  the  effect  that  though  the
    alleged accused persons obtained Rs.5.00  lakh,  they  did  not  supply  the
    camera etc and they supplied the defective articles.  This sale  –  purchase
    was conducted through the online correspondence, due to  which  the  section
    of IT Act was imposed.  It was found on the preliminary  inquiry  that  Shri
    Vikram Rajput gave the payment of Rs.2.50 lakh by the  bank  draft  and  the
    remaining payment by cash.  The facts of the  payment  and  supply  are  now
    disputed and the trial of Crime No.24/12 is pending in the competent  Court.
     Therefore, to give any inquiry finding on it would not be  proper.   It  is
    clear from the documents attached to the case diary  and  the  statement  of
    Shri Deepak Thakur that Shri Deepak Thakur sent 2  notices  respectively  by
    the post and through the Deputy Commissioner, Economic Crime and Cyber  Pune
    respectively to  Miss  Rini  Johar  on  01.06.2012  and  02.07.2012  in  the
    investigation  of  the  offence,  but  they  did  not  appear   before   the
    Investigator.  It has not been written above both the notices if the  notice
    has been issued under Section 41A of Cr.P.C. It is also  not  clear  whether
    or not these both notices were severed to Miss Rini Johar.
    25. This case is related to the alleged  cheating  between  two  persons  in
    respect of sale and purchase of goods.  The maximum sentence in Section  420
    is the period upto 7 years and  similarly  when  the  reasons  mentioned  in
    Section 41 (1)(B) are not found, the suspects of the crime  should  be  made
    to appear for the interrogation  in  the  investigation  issuing  notice  to
    them.  Justice Late Krishna Ayyer has held in Jolly George Varghese v.  Bank
    of Cochin[1] that “No one shall  be  imprisoned  merely  on  the  ground  of
    inability to fulfill a contractual obligation”.  Section  41(2)  of  Cr.P.C.
    grants power to the Investigator that if the suspect  does  not  appear  for
    the investigation despite the  notice,  he  can  be  arrested,  though  this
    reason having been mentioned in the case diary  should  have  been  produced
    before the Magistrate, but no reason for the arrest has  been  mentioned  in
    the case diary.  No notice has been sent  to  the  old  woman  Smt.  Gulshan
    Johar (aged about 70 years), nor has she played any role in  committing  any
    offence.  Only the draft of Rs.2.50 lakh had been deposited in her  account.
     No binding ground has been mentioned in respect of her arrest in  the  case
    diary.”

    And again:-
    “28. It has not been mentioned anywhere in the arrest memo  and  case  diary
    that the information of the arrest of both women was  furnished  to  any  of
    their relatives and friends.  It has become clear from the  statements  that
    when both the women  were  arrested  physically  they  were  brought  to  PS
    Banwari Pune, where the arrest memo was prepared.  There  is  the  signature
    of Shri Amol Shetty as the witness of the seizure memo.  Shri Deepak  Thakur
    has stated in his statement that the handwriting of the seizure memo  is  of
    the constable Shri Indrapal. Shri Indrapal did not go as  a  member  of  the
    arresting persons to Pune.  The seizure memo does not have the signature  of
    Amol Shetty as well, which proves prima facie that the seizure memo was  not
    prepared on 27.11.2012 in Pune.  The report  no.29/12  dated  27.11.2012  of
    seeking police help in  PS  Banwari  is  recorded,  but  no  information  is
    recorded at the police station that MP Police are taking by arresting  these
    citizens with them.  As a result, the information of  the  arrested  persons
    was neither furnished in the District Police Control Room Pune, nor  was  it
    published there.  It has also been  clarified  in  the  preliminary  inquiry
    that the accused persons after they were arrested were not  produced  before
    the Local Judge and they were brought to Bhopal by rail.  Miss  Ishrat  Khan
    stated  that  she  did  not  obtain  the  rail  warrant   of   neither   the
    policepersons nor the accused during return due to paucity of time.”

    And finally:-
    “As such, the facts  of  arresting  both  the  suspected  women  and  making
    seizure memo searching their houses not fully  following  the  procedure  of
    arrest by the Investigator and police team have come  to  the  fore  in  the
    preliminary enquiry prima facie.”

    15.   Keeping the aforesaid facts in view, we may refer to the decisions  in
    the field and the submissions canvassed by  Mr.  Fernandes,  learned  Amicus
    Curiae.
    16.   In Joginder Kumar v. State of U.P.[2] while considering the misuse  of
    police power of arrest, it has been opined:-
    “No arrest can be made because it is lawful for the  police  officer  to  do
    so. The existence of the power to arrest is  one  thing.  The  justification
    for the exercise of it is quite another. … No arrest should be made  without
    a reasonable  satisfaction  reached  after  some  investigation  as  to  the
    genuineness and bona fides of a complaint and a reasonable  belief  both  as
    to the person’s complicity and even so as to  the  need  to  effect  arrest.
    Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter.”

    17.   In the  said  case,  the  Court  also  voiced  its  concern  regarding
    complaints of human rights  pre  and  after  arrests  and  in  that  context
    observed:-
    “The horizon of human rights is expanding. At the same time, the crime  rate
    is also increasing. Of late, this Court has been receiving complaints  about
    violations of human rights because of indiscriminate arrests. How are we  to
    strike a balance between the two?

          A realistic approach should be made in  this  direction.  The  law  of
    arrest is one of balancing individual rights, liberties and  privileges,  on
    the one hand, and individual duties,  obligations  and  responsibilities  on
    the other; of weighing and balancing the rights,  liberties  and  privileges
    of the single individual and those of individuals  collectively;  of  simply
    deciding what is wanted and where to put the weight  and  the  emphasis;  of
    deciding which comes first — the criminal or society, the  law  violator  or
    the law abider ….”

          After so stating, certain procedural requirements were set down.
    18.   In D.K. Basu v. State of W.B.[3], after referring to  the  authorities
    in Joginder Kumar (supra), Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa[4]  and  State
    of M.P. v. Shyamsunder Trivedi[5] the Court laid down certain guidelines  to
    be followed in cases of arrest and detention till legal provisions are  made
    in that behalf as preventive measures. The said guidelines read as follows:-

    “(1)  The  police  personnel  carrying  out  the  arrest  and  handling  the
    interrogation of the  arrestee  should  bear  accurate,  visible  and  clear
    identification and name tags with their  designations.  The  particulars  of
    all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee  must  be
    recorded in a register.
    (2) That the police officer carrying out the arrest of  the  arrestee  shall
    prepare a memo of arrest at the time  of  arrest  and  such  memo  shall  be
    attested by at least one witness, who may either be a member of  the  family
    of the arrestee or a respectable person  of  the  locality  from  where  the
    arrest is made. It shall also be countersigned by  the  arrestee  and  shall
    contain the time and date of arrest.
    (3) A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in  custody
    in a police station or interrogation  centre  or  other  lock-up,  shall  be
    entitled to have one friend or relative or other  person  known  to  him  or
    having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable,  that
    he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular  place,  unless
    the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a  friend  or  a
    relative of the arrestee.
    (4) The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an  arrestee  must  be
    notified by the police where the next friend or  relative  of  the  arrestee
    lives outside the district or town through the  Legal  Aid  Organisation  in
    the District and the police station of the  area  concerned  telegraphically
    within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.
    (5) The person arrested must be made aware of this  right  to  have  someone
    informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or  is
    detained.
    (6) An entry must be made in the diary at the place of  detention  regarding
    the arrest of the person which shall also disclose  the  name  of  the  next
    friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the  names  and
    particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is.
    (7) The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the  time
    of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his/her  body,
    must be recorded at that time. The “Inspection Memo” must be signed both  by
    the arrestee and the police  officer  effecting  the  arrest  and  its  copy
    provided to the arrestee.
    (8) The arrestee should be subjected to medical  examination  by  a  trained
    doctor every 48 hours during his detention in custody by  a  doctor  on  the
    panel of approved doctors appointed by  Director,  Health  Services  of  the
    State  or  Union  Territory  concerned.  Director,  Health  Services  should
    prepare such a panel for all tehsils and districts as well.
    (9) Copies of all the documents including the memo of  arrest,  referred  to
    above, should be sent to the Illaqa Magistrate for his record.
    (10) The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during  interrogation,
    though not throughout the interrogation.
    (11) A police control room should be provided  at  all  district  and  State
    headquarters, where information  regarding  the  arrest  and  the  place  of
    custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by  the  officer  causing  the
    arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at  the  police  control
    room it should be displayed on a conspicuous notice board.”


    19.   Mr. Fernandes, learned Amicus Curiae, in a tabular chart  has  pointed
    that none of the requirements had been complied with.  Various reasons  have
    been ascribed for the same.   On  a  scrutiny  of  enquiry  report  and  the
    factual assertions made, it is limpid that some of the guidelines have  been
    violated. It is strenuously urged by Mr. Fernandes that Section  66-A(b)  of
    the Information Technology Act, 2000 provides   maximum  sentence  of  three
    years  and  Section  420  CrPC  stipulates  sentence  of  seven  years  and,
    therefore, it was  absolutely  imperative  on  the  part  of  the  arresting
    authority to comply with the procedure postulated in  Section  41-A  of  the
    Code of Criminal Procedure.  The Court in Arnesh Kumar  v.  State  of  Bihar
    and another[6], while dwelling upon the concept of arrest, was compelled  to
    observe thus:-
    “Arrest brings  humiliation,  curtails  freedom  and  casts  scars  forever.
    Lawmakers know it so  also  the  police.  There  is  a  battle  between  the
    lawmakers and the police and it seems that the police  has  not  learnt  its
    lesson: the lesson implicit and embodied in CrPC. It has  not  come  out  of
    its colonial image despite  six  decades  of  Independence,  it  is  largely
    considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not  considered  a
    friend of public. The need for caution in exercising the  drastic  power  of
    arrest has been emphasised time and again by the courts but has not  yielded
    desired result. Power to arrest greatly  contributes  to  its  arrogance  so
    also the failure of the Magistracy to check it. Not only this, the power  of
    arrest is one of the lucrative sources of police  corruption.  The  attitude
    to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable. It has  become
    a handy tool to the  police  officers  who  lack  sensitivity  or  act  with
    oblique motive.”

    20.   Thereafter, the Court referred to Section 41 CrPC  and  analyzing  the
    said provision, opined that a person accused of an offence  punishable  with
    imprisonment for a term which may be less than  seven  years  or  which  may
    extend to seven years with or  without  fine,  cannot  be  arrested  by  the
    police officer only on his satisfaction that such person had  committed  the
    offence.  It has been further held that a police officer before  arrest,  in
    such cases has to be further satisfied that  such  arrest  is  necessary  to
    prevent such person from committing  any  further  offence;  or  for  proper
    investigation of the case; or  to  prevent  the  accused  from  causing  the
    evidence of the offence to disappear; or tampering  with  such  evidence  in
    any manner; or to prevent such person from making any inducement, threat  or
    promise to a witness so as to dissuade him from  disclosing  such  facts  to
    the court or the police officer; or unless such accused person is  arrested,
    his presence in the court whenever required cannot  be  ensured.  These  are
    the conclusions, which one may reach based on facts.  Eventually, the  Court
    was compelled to state:-
    “In pith and core, the police officer before arrest must put a  question  to
    himself, why arrest? Is it really required?  What  purpose  it  will  serve?
    What object it will achieve? It is only after these questions are  addressed
    and one or the other conditions as enumerated above is satisfied, the  power
    of arrest needs to be exercised. In fine, before  arrest  first  the  police
    officers should have reason to believe  on  the  basis  of  information  and
    material that the accused has committed the offence. Apart  from  this,  the
    police officer has to be satisfied further that the arrest is necessary  for
    one or the more purposes envisaged by sub-clauses (a) to (e) of  clause  (1)
    of Section 41 CrPC.”

    21.   In the said authority, Section 41-A CrPC, which has been  inserted  by
    Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure  (Amendment)  Act,  2008  (5  of
    2009) was introduced and in that context, it has been held that Section  41-
    A CrPC makes it clear that where the arrest of  a  person  is  not  required
    under Section 41(1) CrPC, the police officer is  required  to  issue  notice
    directing the accused to appear before him at a specified  place  and  time.
    Law obliges such an accused to appear  before  the  police  officer  and  it
    further mandates that if such an accused complies with the terms  of  notice
    he shall not be arrested, unless for reasons  to  be  recorded,  the  police
    officer is of the opinion that the arrest is necessary. At this stage  also,
    the condition precedent for arrest as envisaged under Section  41  CrPC  has
    to be complied and shall be subject to the same scrutiny by  the  Magistrate
    as aforesaid.
    22.   We have referred  to  the  enquiry  report  and  the  legal   position
    prevalent in the field.  On a studied scrutiny of the report,  it  is  quite
    vivid that the arrest of the petitioners  was  not  made  by  following  the
    procedure of arrest.  Section 41-A CRPC as  has  been  interpreted  by  this
    Court has not been followed.  The  report  clearly  shows  there  have  been
    number of violations in the arrest, and seizure.  Circumstances in  no  case
    justify the manner in which the petitioners were treated.
    23.   In such a situation, we are inclined to think that the dignity of  the
    petitioners,  a  doctor  and  a  practicing  Advocate  has  been   seriously
    jeopardized.  Dignity, as has  been  held  in  Charu  Khurana  v.  Union  of
    India[7], is the quintessential quality  of  a  personality,  for  it  is  a
    highly cherished value.  It is also clear that  liberty  of  the  petitioner
    was curtailed in violation of law.  The freedom of  an  individual  has  its
    sanctity.  When the individual liberty is curtailed in an  unlawful  manner,
    the victim is likely to feel more anguished,  agonized,  shaken,  perturbed,
    disillusioned and emotionally torn.  It is an assault on  his/her  identity.
    The said identity is sacrosanct  under  the  Constitution.   Therefore,  for
    curtailment of liberty, requisite norms are to  be  followed.   Fidelity  to
    statutory safeguards instil faith of the collective in the system.  It  does
    not require wisdom of a seer to visualize that for  some  invisible  reason,
    an attempt has been made to corrode  the  procedural  safeguards  which  are
    meant to sustain the sanguinity of liberty.  The  investigating  agency,  as
    it seems, has put its sense of accountability  to  law  on  the  ventilator.
    The two ladies have been arrested without following the  procedure  and  put
    in the compartment of a  train  without  being  produced  before  the  local
    Magistrate from Pune to Bhopal.  One need not be Argus –  eyed  to  perceive
    the same.  Its visibility is as clear as the cloudless noon day.   It  would
    not be erroneous to say  that  the  enthusiastic  investigating  agency  had
    totally forgotten the golden words of Benjamin Disraeli:
    “I repeat …. that all power is a trust – that we  are  accountable  for  its
    exercise – that, from the people and for the people,  all  springs  and  all
    must exist.”

    24.   We are compelled to say so as liberty which is basically the  splendor
     of beauty of life and bliss of growth, cannot be allowed to  be  frozen  in
    such a contrived winter.  That would tantamount  to  comatosing  of  liberty
    which is the strongest pillar of democracy.
    25.   Having  held  thus,  we  shall  proceed  to  the  facet  of  grant  of
    compensation.  The officers of the State had played with the liberty of  the
    petitioners and, in a way, experimented with it.  Law does  not  countenance
    such kind of experiments as that causes trauma and pain.  In Mehmood  Nayyar
    Azam v. State of Chhattisgarh[8],  while  dealing  with  the  harassment  in
    custody, deliberating on the concept of harassment, the Court stated thus:-
    “22. At this juncture, it becomes absolutely necessary  to  appreciate  what
    is meant by the term “harassment”. In P. Ramanatha Aiyar’s Law Lexicon,  2nd
    Edn., the term “harass” has been defined thus:
    “Harass.—‘Injure’ and ‘injury’ are words having numerous  and  comprehensive
    popular meanings, as well as having a legal import.  A  line  may  be  drawn
    between these words and the word ‘harass’, excluding the latter  from  being
    comprehended within the word ‘injure’ or ‘injury’. The synonyms of  ‘harass’
    are:  to  weary,  tire,  perplex,  distress  tease,  vex,  molest,  trouble,
    disturb. They all have relation to mental annoyance, and a troubling of  the
    spirit.”

    The term “harassment”  in  its  connotative  expanse  includes  torment  and
    vexation. The term “torture” also engulfs the concept of torment.  The  word
    “torture” in  its  denotative  concept  includes  mental  and  psychological
    harassment.  The  accused  in  custody   can   be   put   under   tremendous
    psychological pressure by cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

    26.   In the said case, emphasizing on dignity, it has been observed:-

    “…..The majesty of law protects the  dignity  of  a  citizen  in  a  society
    governed by law. It cannot be forgotten that the welfare State  is  governed
    by the rule of law which has paramountcy. It has been said by Edward  Biggon
    “the laws of a nation form the most instructive  portion  of  its  history”.
    The Constitution as the organic law of the land has  unfolded  itself  in  a
    manifold manner like a living organism  in  the  various  decisions  of  the
    court about the rights of a person under Article 21 of the  Constitution  of
    India. When citizenry rights are sometimes dashed against  and  pushed  back
    by the members of City Halls, there  has  to  be  a  rebound  and  when  the
    rebound takes place, Article 21 of the Constitution springs up to action  as
    a protector….”

    27.   In the case at hand, there has been violation of Article  21  and  the
    petitioners were compelled to face  humiliation.   They  have  been  treated
    with an  attitude  of  insensibility.   Not  only  there  are  violation  of
    guidelines issued in the case of D.K. Basu (supra), there are also  flagrant
    violation of mandate of law enshrined under Section 41 and Section  41-A  of
    CrPC.  The investigating officers in no  circumstances  can  flout  the  law
    with brazen proclivity.  In such a situation, the public  law  remedy  which
    has been postulated in Nilawati  Behra  (supra),  Sube  Singh  v.  State  of
    Haryana[9], Hardeep Singh v.  State  of  M.P.[10],  comes  into  play.   The
    constitutional courts taking note of suffering and humiliation are  entitled
    to grant compensation.  That has been regarded as a redeeming  feature.   In
    the case at hand, taking  into  consideration  the  totality  of  facts  and
    circumstances, we think it appropriate  to  grant  a  sum  of  Rs.5,00,000/-
    (rupees five lakhs only) towards compensation to each of the petitioners  to
    be paid by the State of M.P. within three months hence.  It will be open  to
    the State to proceed against the erring officials, if so advised.
    28.   The controversy does not  end  here.  Mr.  Fernandes,  learned  Amicus
    Curiae would urge that it was a case  for  discharge  but  the  trial  court
    failed to appreciate the factual  matrix  in  proper  perspective.   As  the
    matter remained pending in this court for some time, and we had  dealt  with
    other aspects, we thought it apt to hear the learned counsel for the  aspect
    of continuance of the criminal prosecution.  We have narrated the  facts  at
    the beginning.  The learned Magistrate by order dated  19.2.2015  has  found
    existence of prima facie case for the offences punishable under Section  420
    IPC and Section 66-A(b) of I.T. Act, 2000 read with Section 34 IPC.   It  is
    submitted by Mr. Fernandes that Section 66-A of the I.T. Act,  2000  is  not
    applicable.  The submission need not detain us any further, for Section  66-
    A of the I.T.  Act,  2000  has  been  struck  down  in  its  entirety  being
    violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article  19(2)  in  Shreya
    Singhal v. Union of India[11].  The only offence,  therefore,  that  remains
    is Section 420 IPC.  The learned Magistrate  has  recorded  a  finding  that
    there has been no impersonation.  However, he  has  opined  that  there  are
    some material to show that the petitioners had intention  to  cheat.   On  a
    perusal of the FIR, it is clear to us that the dispute is purely of a  civil
    nature, but a maladroit effort has been made to give it a  criminal  colour.
    In Devendra v. State of U.P.[12], it has been held thus:-
    “.. it is now well settled that the High  Court  ordinarily  would  exercise
    its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure if  the
    allegations made in the first information report, even if given  face  value
    and taken to be correct in their entirety, do  not  make  out  any  offence.
    When the allegations made in the first information report or  the  evidences
    collected  during  investigation  do  not  satisfy  the  ingredients  of  an
    offence, the superior courts would not encourage harassment of a  person  in
    a criminal court for nothing”.
    29.   In the  present  case,  it  can  be  stated  with  certitude  that  no
    ingredient of Section 420 IPC is  remotely  attracted.   Even  if  it  is  a
    wrong, the complainant has to take recourse to civil action.   The  case  in
    hand does not fall in the categories where cognizance of the offence can  be
    taken by the court and the accused can be  asked  to  face  trial.   In  our
    considered opinion, the entire case projects a  civil  dispute  and  nothing
    else.  Therefore, invoking the principle laid down in State  of  Haryana  v.
    Bhajan Lal[13], we quash the proceedings initiated at the  instance  of  the
    8th respondent and set aside the order negativing the prayer  for  discharge
    of the accused persons.  The prosecution initiated against  the  petitioners
    stands quashed.
    30.   Consequently, the writ petition is allowed  to  the  extent  indicated
    above.  There shall be no order as to costs.


                                      ........................................J.
                                 [DIPAK MISRA]

                                      ........................................J.
                                            [SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]
    NEW DELHI
    June 03, 2016.

    -----------------------
    [1]    AIR 1980 SC 470
    [2]    (1994) 4 SCC 260
    [3]    (1997) 1 SCC 416
    [4]    (1993) 2 SCC 746
    [5]    (1995) 4 SCC 262
    [6]    (2014) 8 SCC 273
    [7]     (2015) 1 SCC 192
    [8]      (2012) 8 SCC 1
    [9]     (2006) 3 SCC 178
    [10]    (2012) 1 SCC 748
    [11]    (2015) 5 SCC 1
    [12]    (2009) 7 SCC 495
    [13]    1992 Supp. (1) SCC 335

    -----------------------
    27


    Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Use of potassium bromate as food additive banned

    The government on Monday banned the use of potassium bromate as a food additive following a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study that found its presence in bread caused cancer.
    “FSSAI [Food Safety Standards Authority of India] has banned potassium bromate,” said its CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal. “A notification has been issued in this regard. As far as potassium iodate is concerned, it has been referred to a scientific panel.”
    Potassium iodate is also used as a food additive and it too is said to be carcinogenic.
    A CSE study had found that 84 per cent of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged breads, including pav and buns, tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate. The two food additives are banned in many countries and are listed as “hazardous” to public health. According to CSE, potassium bromate typically increases dough strength, leads to higher rising and gives uniform finish to baked products. Potassium iodate is a flour treatment agent. — PTI

    NCW comes down hard on Salman Khan, asks him to apologise within 7 days for ‘rape’ remark

    The National Commission for Women (NCW) slammed actor Salman Khan for a ‘rape’ comment he purportedly made during a group interaction with journalists.
    In response to a question on the hectic shooting schedule for his upcoming film in which he plays a wrestler, Khan said, “It is like the most difficult thing….When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out.” Realizing his folly, Khan immediately added, “I don’t think I should have” and proceeded to say, “It feels like the most difficult….I couldn’t take steps. I couldn’t take steps.”
    Lalitha Kumaramangalam, the chief of NCW, told news agency ANI that the commission has sent him a letter asking why he made the remark.
    “This is very sad. Just because he is Salman Khan doesnt mean he will make such a statement,” she told ANI, adding that the commission has given him seven days to apologise.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    D.C. court rules in favor of the FCC on net neutrality

    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of White House-backed FCC net neutrality rules, which are meant to ensure that broadband providers treat all internet traffic equally. The court's upholding is a defeat for major cable and telephone companies as it means internet service providers won't be able to build fast or slow lanes for web traffic. The industry's major trade group, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, had argued that the rules would "undermine future investment... to the detriment of consumers." It also questioned whether the FCC even had the authority to judge wireless and cable companies together.

    India is taking 18 lions to court for murder

    In Gujarat, police have taken 18 male lions into custody for the murder of three people in the Indian state of Gujarat.
    The "suspects" will each have their paw prints taken and their feces tested as officials try to figure out which of the big cats in custody is guilty. "The officials are also studying the animals' behavior," wildlife expert Ruchi Dave told the BBC. "Man eating lions usually get aggressive at the sight of a human being."
    Right now, officials have a strong hunch about which lion committed the crime, but are waiting on the results from nine other lions to come back before they make a ruling, said Gujarat's top forest official, JA Khan. The guilty lion will be sentenced to the animal kingdom's version of life in prison — the zoo. The other lions will be set free.