Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

Supreme Court Weekly Round-Up

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice C. Nagappan in a judgment observed that the appellant who is an accused person cannot be deprived of hearing on the face of the express provision contained in Section 401(2) of the Code and on this ground, setting aside an order of the High Court and remitting the matter.

The Supreme Court, has delivered a much awaited judgment by the common man. The judgment (Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar & Anr) has effectively rewritten the relationship between the police and public. The important verdict  arises from an appeal preferred by an husband who apprehended his arrest in a case under Section 498-A  of the Indian Penal Code, 1860   and  Section  4  of the Dowry Prohibition  Act,  1961.

Supreme Court has issued following  directions to prevent unnecessary arrest and mechanical detention:

a)      All  the  State  Governments  to  instruct  its  police  officers   not   to automatically arrest  when  a  case  under  Section  498-A  of  the  IPC  is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity  for  arrest  under the parameters laid down above flowing from Section 41, Cr.PC;

b)      All police officers be provided with a check list containing specified  sub- clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii);

c)     The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and  furnish  the reasons   and   materials   which    necessitated    the    arrest,    while forwarding/producing  the  accused  before  the   Magistrate   for   further detention;

d)     The Magistrate while authorising detention of the accused shall  peruse  the report furnished by the police officer in terms  aforesaid  and  only  after recording its satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorise detention;

e)      The decision not to arrest  an  accused,  be  forwarded  to  the  Magistrate within two weeks from the date of the institution of the case  with  a  copy to the Magistrate which may be extended by the Superintendent of  police  of the district for the reasons to be recorded in writing;

f)       Notice of appearance in terms of Section 41A  of  Cr.PC  be  served  on  the accused within two weeks from the date of institution  of  the  case,  which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police  of  the  District  for  the reasons to be recorded in writing;

g)      Failure to comply with the directions aforesaid shall apart  from  rendering the police officers concerned liable for  departmental  action,  they  shall also be liable to be punished for contempt of court to be instituted  before High Court having territorial jurisdiction.

h)      Authorising  detention  without  recording  reasons  as  aforesaid  by   the judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable  for  departmental  action  by the appropriate High Court.

i)        We hasten to add that the directions aforesaid shall not only apply  to  the cases under  Section  498-A  of  the  I.P.C.  or  Section  4  of  the  Dowry Prohibition Act, the case in hand, but also  such  cases  where  offence  is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than  seven  years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.

j)        We direct that a copy of this  judgment  be  forwarded  to  the  Chief Secretaries as also the  Director  Generals  of  Police  of  all  the  State Governments and the Union Territories and the Registrar General of  all  the High Courts for onward transmission and ensuring its compliance “

 A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Dipak Misra has held that in case of a life term, the other sentences would run concurrently. Hence, where a person gets convicted for several charges such as abduction-cum-murder or rape-cum-murder, the sentences won’t run consecutively.

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice N.V. Ramana, while upholding High Court verdict to recall an investigating officer as a witness, observed that the Court can exercise power of resummoning any witness even if once that power under Section 311 of CrPC has been exercised.

Tehelka founder, Tarun Tejpal has been granted regular bail by a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice S.A. Bobde in the sexual harassment case. The Bench directed Goa Government to approach the court in case of any attempt by Tejpal to influence the witnesses. He was also asked to surrender his passport to the trial court if it has not been done already.

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice S.A. Bobde has refused to admit a PIL filed by Biswajit Bhattacharya, former Additional Solicitor general, seeking a direction from the Supreme Court to the centre to recover around Rs 20,000 crore tax dues from UK telecom major Vodafone and to restrain the government from going ahead with arbitration on the issue.

A Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Dipak Misra upheld the High Court’s verdict and granted divorce on the ground of mental cruelty, even though the relief wasn’t prayed in the relief clause.

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice C. Nagappan, in an appeal against U.P. Co-operative Institutional Service Board, has held that disciplinary proceedings cannot be initiated or continued after retirement, while directing the respondent to pay the arrears of salary and allowances, as also the retiral benefits in accordance with the rules, as if there had been no disciplinary proceedings.

The Supreme Court of India in a recent judgment has commuted the death sentence of Amar Singh Yadav , convicted for the death of his wife and two children to life in jail. The Division bench said that death sentence awarded by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad is not warranted in this particular case and commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.

Observing that a person, not a relative of the husband, may not be prosecuted for offence under Section 304B IPC, a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad and Justice P.C. Ghose upheld the quashing of a trial court order summoning the respondent under section 304B. The bench added that this does not mean that such a person cannot be prosecuted for any other offence viz. Section 306 IPC, in case the allegations constitute offence other than Section 304B IPC.

The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice Anil Dave and Justice A.K. Sikri said that the court needs to monitor the sale transactions being undertaken by Sahara to prevent any mischief. The judges added that since they have no expertise in the field, experts should be employed by SEBI in order to scrutinize all dealings. SEBI was also urged to put safeguards into place to maintain transparency in the sale proceeds.

The Supreme Court has denied bail to controversial Godman Asaram Bapu’s in a rape case lodged against him in Gujarat but agreed to hear his petition for bail in another rape case filed in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Asaram is facing trial along with his wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharti and his four women followers in a rape case filed by a Surat-based woman. He had earlier been denied interim relief by the Supreme Court.

Commuting the death sentence of a 26 year old accused, Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice M.Y. Eqbal noted the mitigating circumstances involved in the case and noted that the case doesn’t fall in the “rarest of rare category” even though the accused has committed a heinous crime.