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whether it was a fit case to send the appellants for trial when the FIR failed to make out a prima facie case against them regarding the allegation of inflicting physical and mental torture to the complainant demanding dowry from the complainant. We, therefore, deem it just and legally appropriate to quash the proceedings initiated against the appellants Geeta Mehrotra and Ramji Mehrotra as the FIR does not disclose any material which could be held to be constituting any offence against these two appellants. Merely by making a general allegation that they were also involved in physical and mental torture of the complainant-respondent No.2 without mentioning even a single incident against them as also the fact as to how they could be motivated to demand dowry when they are only related as brother and sister of the complainant’s husband, we are pleased to quash and set aside the criminal proceedings in so far as these appellants are concerned and consequently the order passed by the High Court shall stand overruled. The appeal accordingly is allowed.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1674 OF 2012 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 10547/2010) Geeta Mehrotra & Anr. ..Appellants Versus State of U.P. & Anr. . Respondents J U D G M E N T GYAN SUDHA MISRA, J. 1. This appeal by special leave in … Continue reading

contempt of court =Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned counsel for the applicant, submitted that an apology has been given by the contemnors pursuant to the orders passed by this Court in Criminal Appeal No.968 of 2009 (arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No.5593 of 2006) and this apology is in force. He further submitted that the facts stated in the Contempt Petition would show that the contemnors are repeatedly intimidating the 9 applicant and his family members and for this reason the applicant has made a prayer to the Court to pass an order commanding the contemnors not to enter within 100 metres of the premises of Santosh Medical College and its administrative block, hospital, hostel and the residence of the applicant.=We cannot possibly direct the contemnors not to go to any public place such as the public road, bank, shopping complex but considering all aspects of the matter, we direct that the two contemnors will not enter into the premises of Santosh Medical College, its 10 administrative block, its hospital, its hostel and the residence of the applicant. The Contempt Petition is disposed of accordingly.

1 Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION CONTEMPT PETITION (CRL.) No.7 of 2010 (In Criminal Appeal No.2323 of 2011 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 666 of 2010) P. Mahalingam …… Applicant Versus Monica Kumar & Anr. …… Respondents WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2323 OF 2011 (Arising out of Special … Continue reading

The ambit and scope of power of New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (for short, the `Development Authority’) to permit users, other than residential, in the sectors specifically earmarked for `residential use’ in the Master Plan of the New Okhla Industrial Development Area (for short, the 2 `Development Area’) is the basic question that falls for consideration of this Court in this bunch of appeals= A few officers of the Development Authority cannot collectively act in violation of the law and frustrate the very object and purpose of the Master Plan in force, Regulations and provisions of the Act. 56. For the reasons afore-recorded, we would dispose of the appeals of the Development Authority, the appellants/occupiers/ lessees, interveners and occupants in the following terms:- 1. That banking or nursing homes or any other commercial activity is not permitted in Sector 19 and for that matter, in any sector, in the Development Area earmarked for `residential use’. 2. That the 21 banks and the nursing homes, which are operating in Sector 19 or any other residential sector, shall close their activity forthwith, stop misuse and put the premises to residential use alone, within two months from the date of pronouncement of this judgment. 3. That lessees of the plots shall ensure that the occupant banks, nursing homes, companies or persons carrying on any commercial activity in the residential sector should stop such activity and shift the same to the appropriate sectors i.e. commercial, commercial pockets in

1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.6962 of 2005 R.K. Mittal & Ors. … Appellants Versus State of U.P. & Ors. … Respondents WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO.6963 OF 2005 AND CIVL APPEAL NOS.10535 &10536 OF 2011 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.24029 of 2005 and 9150 of 2007) … Continue reading

Custodial Death – Writ petition alleging custodial death – Compensation sought – State responding that FIR lodged and erring officials charged u/ss.330, 342 and 306 IPC, sanction for prosecution granted and cognizance of offences taken – Held: In view of the facts, no further direction required at this stage – Prayer for compensation not acceptable as the issue as to whether the death was custodial, yet to be decided – Penal Code, 1860 – ss. 330, 342 and 306. Constitution of India, 1950 – Articles 21, 20(3) and 22 – Custodial violence and torture is defiance of the rights flowing from Constitution – Increase of such violence raises serious questions about the credibility of rule of law and administration of criminal justice system — universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 – Article 5. Criminal trial – Adherence to principle of proof beyond reasonable doubt – In Police torture cases – Held: Exaggerated and strict adherence to the principle in such cases, often results in miscarriage of justice – Courts to deal with such cases in realistic manner. The petitioner filed the writ petition before this Court alleging that his son was done to death in police custody and the police officials were giving the death, a colour of suicide, attempting to protect the erring police officials. Petitioner also sought compensation. On notice, respondent-State stated that FIR had been registered and certain police officials had been charged for commission of offences punishable u/ss. 330, 342 and 306 IPC. Sanction for prosecution had also been given. Charge-sheet had been filed. Accused had surrendered before Court and their bail had been rejected. =Disposing of the petition, the Court HELD:1.1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 which marked the emergence of a worldwide trend of protection and guarantee of certain basic human rights stipulates in Article 5 that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Despite this pious declaration, the crime continues unabated, though every civilized nation shows its concern and makes efforts for its eradication. [Para 6] [831-G-H; 832-A-B] 1.2. Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950 mandates that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. This sacred and cherished right i.e. personal liberty has an important role to play in the life of every citizen. Life or personal liberty includes a right to live with human dignity. There is an inbuilt guarantee against torture or assault by the State or its functionaries. Chapter V CrPC deals with the powers of arrest of persons and the safeguards required to be followed by the police to protect the interest of the arrested person. Articles 20(3) and 22 of the Constitution further manifest the constitutional protection extended to every citizen and the guarantees held out for making life meaningful and not a mere animal existence. It is therefore difficult to comprehend how torture and custodial violence can be permitted to defy the rights flowing from the Constitution. The dehumanizing torture, assault and death in custody which have assumed alarming proportions raise serious questions about the credibility of rule of law and administration of criminal justice system. The community rightly gets disturbed. The cry for justice becomes louder and warrants immediate remedial measures. [Para 8] [832-D-H; 833-A] 1.3. The diabolic recurrence of police torture resulting in a terrible scare in the minds of common citizens that their lives and liberty are under a new and unwarranted peril because guardians of law destroy the human rights by custodial violence and torture and invariably resulting in death. The vulnerability of human rights assumes a traumatic torture when functionaries of the State whose paramount duty is to protect the citizens and not to commit gruesome offences against them, in reality perpetrate them. [Para 9] [833-D-E] Raghubir Singh vs. State of Haryana (1980) 3 SCC 70; Gauri Shanker Sharma v. State of U.P. AIR 1990 SC 709; Bhagwan Singh and Anr. v. State of Punjab (1992) 3 SCC 249; Smt. Nilabati Behera @Lalita Behera v. State of Orissa and Ors. AIR (1993) SC 1960; Pratul Kumar Sinha v. State of Bihar and Anr. (1994) Supp. 3 SCC 100; Kewal Pati (Smt.) v. State of U.P. and Ors. (1995) 3 SCC 600; Inder Singh v. State of Punjab and Ors. (1995) 3 SCC 702 and State of M.P. v. Shyamsunder Trivedi and Ors. (1995) 4 SCC 262, relied on. 2.1. Rarely in cases of police torture or custodial death, there is any direct ocular evidence of the complicity of the police personnel alone who can only explain the circumstances in which a person in their custody had died. Bound as they are by the ties of brotherhood, it is not unknown that the police personnel prefer to remain silent and more often than not even pervert the truth to save their colleagues – and the present case is an apt illustration – as to how one after the other police witnesses feigned ignorance about the whole matter. [Para 10] [834-A-B] 2.2. The exaggerated adherence to and insistence upon the establishment of proof beyond every reasonable doubt by the prosecution, at times even when the prosecuting agencies are themselves fixed in the dock, ignoring the ground realities, the fact-situation and the peculiar circumstances of a given case, as in the present case, often results in miscarriage of justice and makes the justice delivery system suspect and vulnerable. In the ultimate analysis the society suffers and a criminal gets encouraged. Tortures in police custody, which of late are on the increase, receive encouragement by this type of an unrealistic approach at times by the courts as well because it reinforces the belief in the mind of the police that no harm would come to them if one prisoner dies in the lock-up because there would hardly be any evidence available to the prosecution to directly implicate them with the torture. [Para 11] [834-C-E] 2.3. The courts must not lose sight of the fact that death in police custody is perhaps one of the worst kind of crimes in a civilized society, governed by the rule of law and poses a serious threat to an orderly civilized society. Torture in custody flouts the basic rights of the citizens recognized by the Constitution and is an affront to human dignity. Police excesses and the maltreatment of detainees/under-trial prisoners or suspects tarnishes the image of any civilised nation and encourages the men in `Khaki’ to consider themselves to be above the law and sometimes even to become law unto themselves. Unless stern measures are taken to check the malady of the very fence eating the crops, the foundations of the criminal justice delivery system would be shaken and the civilization itself would risk the consequence of heading, towards total decay resulting in anarchy and authoritarianism reminiscent of barbarism. The courts must, therefore, deal with such cases in a realistic manner and with the sensitivity which they deserve, otherwise the common man may tend to gradually lose faith in the efficacy of the system of judiciary itself. [Para 11] [834-F-H; 835-A- B] 3. In view of the fact that sanction for prosecution has been granted, charge sheet had been filed and cognizance had been taken, no further direction at present is necessary. If at any point of time, evidence surfaces before the concerned court to show that some other offences appear to have been committed, necessary orders can be passed. The prayer for compensation is also not acceptable because that would depend upon decision of the issue as to whether there was custodial death. [Para 12] [835-C-D] Case Law Reference: (1980) 3 SCC 70 Relied on Para 9 AIR 1990 SC 709 Relied on Para 9 (1992) 3 SCC 249 Relied on Para 9 AIR (1993) SC 1960 Relied on Para 9 (1994) Supp. 3 SCC 100 Relied on Para 9 (1995) 3 SCC 600 Relied on Para 9 (1995) 3 SCC 702 Relied on Para 9 (1995) 4 SCC 262 Relied on Para 9 CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION : Writ Petition (Crl.) No. 193 of 2006. Kamini Jaiswal for the Petitioner. Kamlendra Mishra for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (Crl.) NO. 193 OF 2006 Dalbir Singh …Petitioner Vs. State of U.P. and Ors. …Respondents JUDGMENT Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J. 1. Alleging that because of custodial torture and diabolic acts of the police officials of Noida Police, Somvir Singh @ Sonu aged 17 … Continue reading

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