2 May 2023 3:39 PM GMT
While considering compliance of its directions in Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, from illustrative cases mentioned by the Amicus Curiae, Amicus Curiae Siddharth Luthra identified a Judge of a Sessions Court in Lucknow, who the bench felt that should be sent to the judicial academy for upgradation of his skill. It asked the Allahabad High Court to do the needful...
While considering compliance of its directions in Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, from illustrative cases mentioned by the Amicus Curiae, Amicus Curiae Siddharth Luthra identified a Judge of a Sessions Court in Lucknow, who the bench felt that should be sent to the judicial academy for upgradation of his skill. It asked the Allahabad High Court to do the needful with respect to the concerned judicial officer.
“Certainly, the Ld. Judge concerned meets the parameter for upgradation of his skill in a judicial academy and the needful be done by the High Court.”
On the last date of hearing, noting that even after 10 months of the judgment being passed, the District judiciary is not complying with directions issued in Satender Kumar Antil vs Central Bureau Of Investigation 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 577, wherein it had laid down elaborate guidelines regarding arrest and bail, a displeased Apex Court stated that if magistrates are passing orders in derogation of the law laid down in the said judgment, they may be required to be sent to judicial academies for upgradation of their skills. The High Court having supervision over the District judiciary was also advised to ensure that the law laid by the Supreme Court is followed. The Court had also observed in the March 21 order that large number of illegal custody orders are coming from Uttar Pradesh judiciary and sought the intervention of Allahabad High Court.
In Antil, the Apex Court had laid down guidelines on the aspect of grant of bail to accused who are not arrested during investigation on charge sheet being filed.
On Tuesday, a Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, on perusal of an illustrative order, was perturbed to note that even after the stern observation of the Apex Court on the last date of hearing (21.03.203), the Magistrates are passing orders (26.04.2023) in breach of its judgments.
The Bench noted that Sessions Judge Lucknow had rejected an anticipatory bail application wherein it was argued before the Court that the applicants were not arrested during investigation and chargesheet has already been filed. The Bench was baffled to note that while rejecting the anticipatory bail applications, the Judge had observed, “Since ample safeguards in this situation are already given to the accused therefore no ground exists for anticipatory bail”. Moreso, when in the previous order, it had categorically clarified, “what we have enunciated qua bail would equally apply to anticipatory bail cases. Anticipatory bail after all is one of the species of a bail.”
Another order was also pointed out wherein a CBI Court at Ghaziabad had been found to be non-compliant. The Bench asked the Allahabad High Court to look into the same.
The Bench asked the Counsel appearing on behalf of the Allahabad High Court regarding the steps taken to ensure that its judgment in Antil is complied with. The Counsel responded that another standing order has been issued to district judges requesting strict compliance. He sought a week’s time to file the affidavit in this regard. Justice Kaul took note of the fact that the affidavit was not filed on time. In this regard he said, “The only way is to keep calling Registrars. Is this the way the registry of the High Court should conduct. You have a problem. You are not even willing to point out to us in time how you have tackled the problem.”
Justice Amanullah remarked, “You are requesting a lower court, as if cajoling them…Is this the level of supervision?”
The Counsel submitted that directions have been issued to the district judiciary.
Justice Kaul asked the Counsel for the High Court, “Have you found any Magistrate who as a routine has not been following it. Or have you sent anybody for further training to academy. I would like to know.”The Counsel indicated that he would file an affidavit in case there is non-compliance. In view of the same, the Bench passed the following order -
“The Registrar, Allahabad High Court has not filed an affidavit.. And it is now stated before us that it would be filed. We find this completely unacceptable. A date is fixed and considerable time is spent in this matter to ensure that the law is followed. The least we expect is that the affidavits will be filed with copies to Amicus so that he can help us….
We call upon the High Court to file an affidavit within 4 weeks…setting out the steps taken and whether it has been identified if some judicial officer is still frequently passing orders not in conformity with the judgment and whether any of these officers have been sent to judicial academy for further upgradation of their skills.”
On the last date of hearing the Additional Solicitor General, Mr. SV Raju had submitted that it is the bounden duty of the Public Prosecutors to bring to the notice of the Court the correct position of law. He assured the Bench that he would ask the CBI to issue directions to the Public Prosecutors in this respect. However, considering that the prosecuting agency is yet to file an affidavit, the Bench, on Tuesday, directed it to do so within 4 weeks or else the concerned person from the Prosecuting Agency is directed to remain present in Court on the next date of hearing, should remain in court.
[Case Title: Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI And Anr. MA 2034/2022 in MA 1849/2021 IN SLP(Crl) No. 5191/2021]
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 410
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