Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sunil Kumar V/s. State of Haryana CRL.M.P. NO. 7477 OF 2012 Essen SC - March 27, 2012


                         CRL.M.P. NO. 7477  OF 2012
                        S.L.P(Crl.) No.2430  of 2012

    Sunil Kumar


    State of Haryana

                                  O R D E R

    Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J

    1.      Delay condoned.

    2..     Once it had been commented that anti-social elements i.e.  FERA
    violators, bride burners and whole horde of  reactionaries  have  found
    their safe haven in the Supreme Court and such a comment became subject
    matter of contempt of this Court and had to be dealt with by this Court
    in P.N. Duda v. P. Shiv Shanker & Ors., AIR 1988 SC 1208.

    3.      This Court in Rathinam v. State of Tamil Nadu & Anr., (2011) 11
    SCC 140 quoted the observations made by the High  Court  in  that  case
    expressing its views that common man must feel assured to  get  justice
    and observed as under:
           "Let not the mighty and the rich think  that  courts  are  their
           paradise and in the legal arena they are the dominant players."

    4.      These judgments make one thing crystal clear that criminals  do
    not hesitate  approaching courts even by abusing  the  process  of  the
    court and some times succeed also.  The instant  case  belongs  to  the
    same category.  Petitioner feels that merely because  he  is  a  black-
    marketeer and succeeded in exploiting  the  helplessness  of  the  poor
    people of the Society and is capable of  engaging  lawyers,  he  has  a
    right to use, abuse and  misuse  the  process  of  the  court  and  can
    approach  any  court  any  time  without  any  hesitation  and  without
    observing any required procedure prescribed by law.

    5.      An FIR dated 15.9.1998 was lodged against  the  petitioner  and
    one other person under Section 7 of  Essential  Commodities  Act,  1955
    (hereinafter called the Act 1955) as they were found in  possession  of
    1370 litres of blue kerosene and indulging in unauthorised sale thereof
    in violation of the provisions of Section 7 of  the  Act,  1955.  After
    completing investigation chargesheet was filed and trial commenced.

    6.        The   trial   court   vide   judgment   and    order    dated
    27.10.1999/2.11.1999 found them guilty of the said offence and  awarded
    sentence of imprisonment for one year alongwith a  fine  of  Rs.2,000/-
    each.  Against the aforesaid order, the appeal of the petitioner  stood
    dismissed by the High Court vide judgment and  order  dated  30.7.2010.
    Petitioner preferred an application dated  25.7.2011  before  the  High
    Court for modifying the aforesaid judgment and  order  dated  30.7.2010
    giving him the benefit of the provisions of Section  360   of  Code  of
    Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter called Cr.P.C.) and/or  Section 4
    of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958  (hereinafter  called  the  Act
    1958).  The said application was dismissed vide  impugned  order  dated

    7.      It may be pertinent to mention that against  the  judgment  and
    order dated 30.7.2010, the petitioner had filed SLP (Crl.)  no.1469  of
    2011 on 13.10.2011 which was dismissed by this Court vide  order  dated
    27.1.2012.  Subsequent thereto this special  leave  petition  has  been
    filed  on  29.2.2012  challenging  the  order  dated   19.9.2011.    No
    explanation has been furnished as why the present petition could not be
    filed during the pendency of the earlier SLP or both the  orders  could
    not be challenged simultaneously as the order impugned herein had  been
    passed much prior to the filing of the first  SLP  on  13.10.2011,  and
    petitioner surrendered to serve out the sentence only on 13.1.2012.

    8.      The High Court dealt with various  propositions  of  law  while
    dealing  with  the  averments  raised  on  his  behalf  including   the
    application of the provisions of  Section  362  Cr.P.C.  which  puts  a
    complete embargo  on the criminal court to reconsider  any  case  after
    delivery of the judgment as the court becomes functus officio.

    9.      This Court in a recent judgment in State of Punjab v.  Davinder
    Pal Singh Bhullar & Ors. etc., AIR 2012 SC 364  dealt  with  the  issue
    considering a very large number of  earlier  judgments  of  this  Court
    including Vishnu Agarwal v. State of U.P. & Anr., AIR 2011 SC 1232  and
    came to the conclusion:
           "Thus, the law on the issue can be summarised to the effect that
           the criminal justice delivery system does not clothe  the  court
           to add or delete any words, except to correct  the  clerical  or
           arithmetical error  as  specifically  been  provided  under  the
           statute itself after pronouncement of the judgment as the  Judge
           becomes functus officio.  Any mistake  or  glaring  omission  is
           left to be corrected only by the appropriate forum in accordance
           with law."

    10.     Learned counsel for the petitioner placed a very heavy reliance
    on the judgment of this Court in Kunhayammed & Ors. v. State of  Kerala
    & Anr., (2000) 6 SCC 359, wherein this court has held that in case  the
    special leave petition is dismissed by  this  Court  in  limine,  party
    aggrieved may file a review petition before the High  Court.  The  said
    judgment has been explained in various subsequent  judgments  observing
    that in case the review petition has been filed before the  High  Court
    prior to the date the special  leave  petition  is  dismissed  by  this
    Court, the same may be entertained. However,  a  party  cannot  file  a
    review petition before the High Court  after  approaching  the  Supreme
    Court as it would amount to  abuse  of  process  of  the  court.  (See:
    Meghmala & Ors. v. G. Narasimha Reddy & Ors. (2010) 8 SCC 383).
            The  ratio of the aforesaid case  has  no  application  in  the
    instant case as that was a matter dealing with civil cases.
    11.     Further reliance has been placed on behalf of the petitioner on
    the judgment of this Court in Chhanni v. State of U.P.,  (2006)  5  SCC
    396, wherein the court itself held as under:
           "9.  The High Court is justified in its view that  there  is  no
           provision for modification of the judgment."

            Further direction has been issued by this court to  re-consider
    the case exercising its power under Article 142 of the Constitution  of
    India. Thus, the aforesaid judgment  does  not  lay  down  the  law  of
    universal application, nor it deals with  the provisions of Section 362
    Cr.P.C.  Thus, in view of the above, the  said  judgment  has  also  no
    application in the instant case.

    12.     The High Court in the impugned  judgment   came  to  the  right
    conclusion that court could not entertain the  petition  having  become
    functus officio.

    13.       Be that as  it  may,  petitioner  being  the  black-marketeer
    presumed that he had a right to dictate terms  to  the  court  and  get
    desired results, thus, approached  this  Court  again  and  sought  the
    relief prayed before  the High Court.   Petitioner  has  lost  in  four
    courts earlier. In this fact-situation  whether  there  should  be  any
    restrain on the petitioner or he  should  be  permitted  to  abuse  the
    judicial process as he likes.

    14.     This Court in Dr. Buddhi Kota Subbarao v. K. Parasaran &  Ors.,
    AIR 1996 SC 2687 observed as under:
        "No litigant has a right to unlimited drought on the Court time and
        public money in order to get his affairs settled in the  manner  as
        he wishes.  Easy  access to justice should  not  be  misused  as  a
        licence to file misconceived or frivolous petitions."

    15.     In Sabia Khan & Ors. v. State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 1999 SC 2284,
    this Court held that filing totally misconceived  petition  amounts  to
    abuse of the process of the Court and  waste  of  courts'  time.   Such
    litigant is not required to be dealt with lightly.
    16.     Similarly, in Abdul Rahman v. Prasony Bai & Anr., (2003) 1  SCC
    488, this Court held that wherever the Court comes  to  the  conclusion
    that the process of the Court is  being  abused,  the  Court  would  be
    justified in refusing to proceed further  and  refuse  the  party  from
    pursuing the remedy in law.

    17.     Even otherwise, the issue as to whether benefit of the Act 1958
    or Section 360 Cr.P.C. can be granted to the petitioner is no more  res
    integra.  In Issar Das v. The State of Punjab, AIR 1972 SC  1295,  this
    Court dealt with the case under the provisions of  Prevention  of  Food
    Adulteration Act observing that adulteration of food  is  a  menace  to
    public health and  the  statute  had  been  enacted  with  the  aim  of
    eradicating that anti-social evils  and  for  ensuring  purity  in  the
    articles of food.  The Legislature thought it fit to prescribe  minimum
    sentence of imprisonment.  Therefore,  the  court  should  not  lightly
    resort to the provisions of the Act 1958 in case of  an  accused  found
    guilty of offences under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

    18.     In M/s. Precious Oil Corporation & Ors. v. State of Assam,  AIR
    2009 SC 1566, this Court dealt with the issue of application of the Act
    1958 in case of offences punishable under Section 7 of the  Act,  1955.
    The Court did not grant the benefit  of  the  said  provisions  to  the
    appellant therein placing reliance upon the judgment of this  Court  in
    Pyarali K. Tejani v. Mahadeo Ramchandra Dange & Ors., AIR 1974  SC  228
    wherein this Court has held as under:
           "The kindly application of the probation principle is  negatived
           by the imperatives of social defence and the improbabilities  of
           moral proselytisation. No chances can be taken by society with a
           man whose anti-social operations,  disguised  as  a  respectable
           trade, imperil  numerous  innocents.  He  is  a  security  risk.
           Secondly, these  economic  offences  committed  by  white-collar
           criminals  are  unlikely  to  be   dissuaded   by   the   gentle
           probationary process.  Neither  casual  provocation  nor  motive
           against  particular  persons  but  planned  profit-making   from
           numbers of  consumers  furnishes  the  incentive  -  not  easily
           humanised by the therapeutic probationary measure."

    19.     Thus, in view of the above, the relief sought by the petitioner
    cannot  be  granted.   Petition  is  misconceived  and  untenable.  The
    petition being devoid of any merit, is accordingly dismissed  with  the
    cost of Rs.20,000/- which the petitioner is directed to deposit  within
    a period of four weeks with the Supreme Court Legal Services  Authority
    and file proof thereof before the  Registrar  of  this  Court,  failing
    which the matter be placed before the Court for  appropriate  direction
    for recovery.

                                  (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)


    New Delhi,
    March 27, 2012

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