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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
 
  July 2014
 
  June. 2014
 
 
SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT
LATEST JUDGEMENTS AT A GLANCE

NON-BAILABLE WARRANTS: Misuse of

Since the execution of a non-bailable warrant directly involves curtailment of liberty of a person, warrant of arrest cannot be issued mechanically, but only after recording satisfaction that in the facts and circumstances of the case, it is warranted. The courts have to be extra-cautious and careful while directing issue of non-bailable warrant. Since discretion in this behalf is entrusted with the court, it is not advisable to lay down immutable formulae on the basis whereof discretion could be exercised.

In the instant case, a complaint was filed against appellant, a practicing Advocate, under section 324 of the Indian Penal Code, in relation to some incident alleged to have taken place in the 'Radio Club' at Mumbai, considered to be a club for the elite. When at a preliminary stage, on 7-8-2002 and finding the Advocate to be absent, the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him returnable on 31-10-2002. However, on 12-8-2002, on appellant's putting in an appearance before the court, the warrant was cancelled.

On 15 th August, 2002, the complainant approached the Police Station and insisted on the arrest of the appellant in pursuance of the said non-bailable warrant. Thereupon, an Inspector of Police at the Police Station, directed a constable to accompany the complainant, and execute the warrant. The Supreme Court held that the conduct of respondent 2 in arresting the appellant Advocate on 15 th August, in front of his fellow members of the club, ignoring his plea that the non-bailable warrant issued by the court in a bailable offence had been cancelled, deserved to be deplored.

Raghuvansh Dewanchand Bhasin v. State of Maharashtra , Crl. A. No. 1758 of 2011; Decided on 9-9-2011 (SC) [D.K. Jain and H.L. Dattu, JJ.]

CONTRACT LABOUR

As observed, in order to avoid their liablility under various labour statutes employers are very often resorting to subterfuge by trying to show that their employees are, in fact, the employees of a contractor. The Supreme Court has held, 'it is high time that this subterfuge must come to an end.... This court cannot countenance such practices any more.'

Labour statutes were meant to protect the employees/workmen because it was realized that the employers and the employees are not on an equal bargaining position. Hence, protection of employees was required so that they may not be exploited. However, this new technique of subterfuge has been adopted by some employers in recent years in order to deny the rights of the workmen under various labour statutes by showing that the concerned workmen are not their employees but are the employees/workmen of a contractor, or that they are merely daily wage or short term or casual employees when in fact they are doing the work of regular employees.

Bhilwara Dugdh Utpadak Sahakari S. Ltd. v. Vinod Kumar Sharma , C.A. No. 2585 of 2006; Decided on 1-9-2011 (SC) [Markandey Katju and Chandramauli Kr. Prasad, JJ.]

EDUCATION: Re-evaluation or Re-examination of Answer Books

A provision barring inspection or disclosure of the answer books or re-evaluation of the answer books and restricting the remedy of the candidates only to re-totaling is valid and binding on the examinee. As a consequence if an examination is governed only by the rules and regulations of the examining body which bar inspection, disclosure or re-evaluation, the examinee will be entitled only for re-totaling by checking whether all the answers have been evaluated and further checking whether there is no mistake in totaling of marks for each question and marks have been transferred correctly to the title (abstract) page. The position may, however, be different, if there is a superior statutory right entitling the examinee, as a citizen to seek access to the answer books, as information.

Central Board of Secondary Education v. Aditya Bandopadhyay , C.A. No. of 6454 of 2011; Decided on 9-8-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, JJ.]; Secretary, All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Examination, C.B.S.E. v. Khushboo Shrivastava , C.A. No. 7024 of 2011; Decided on 17-8-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, JJ.]

RIGHT TO INFORMATION: Nature and Scope

The Right to Information is a cherished right. Information and right to information are intended to be formidable tools in the hands of responsible citizens to fight corruption and to bring in transparency and accountability. As held by the Supreme Court, the provisions of the RTI Act should be enforced strictly and all efforts should be made to bring to light the necessary information under clause (b) of section 4 (1) of the Act which relates to securing transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities and in discouraging corruption. But in regard to other information, equal importance and emphasis are given to other public interests (like confidentiality of sensitive information, fidelity and fiduciary relationship, efficient operation of governments etc.). Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information would be counter productive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administrative and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information.

Central Board of Secondary Education v. Aditya Bandopadhyay , C.A. No. 6454 of 2011; Decided on 9-8-2011 (SC) [R.V. Raveendran and A.K. Patnaik, JJ.]

OFFENCE COMMITTED OUTSIDE INDIA: Cruelty Case

When an offence is committed outside India by a citizen of India, he may be dealt with in respect of such offences as if they had been committed in India. Accordingly, offences committed in Botswana by an Indian citizen would also be amenable to the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, subject to the limitation imposed under the proviso to section 188 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure.

In the instant case, the cases relating to alleged offences under sections 498A and 506, Indian Penal Code had been committed outside India in Botswana, where the husband and wife were residing. As the alleged offences under sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts in India they could, therefore, be tried by the court in India without having to obtain the previous sanction of the Central Government. However, in respect of offences alleged to have been committed outside India, the Magistrate shall not proceed with the trial without the sanction of the Central Government as envisaged in the proviso to section 188 Cr.PC.

Thota Venkateswarlu v. State of AP , SLP (Crl.) No. 7640 of 2008; Decided on 2-9-2011 (SC) [Altamas Kabir, Cyriac Joseph and Surinder Singh Nijjar, JJ.]

DEATH SENTENCE: Murder of Wife and Four Children

Merely because a person is in financial crisis does not mean that he is at liberty to commit ghastly and gruesome murders. The wife of the accused was of a noble character who tried to reform him, but the accused rather than being reformed committed these monstrous crimes.

The accused committed these ghastly and brutal crimes of murdering his wife and four children, who were aged about 10 years, 8 years, 5 years and 2 years respectively. The surviving daughter was an eye witness. The throats of the deceased were cut with a knife and their heads smashed with an axe. The High Court was held, not justified in reducing the death sentence, as awarded by the trial court.

State of UP v. Alok Verma , 2011 (9) SCALE 657; Decided on 2-9-2011(SC) [Markandey Katju and Chandramauli Kr. Prasad, JJ.]

CONSUMER PROTECTION: Ex-parte Orders

The District Consumer Forum and the State Commissions do not have the power to set aside their own ex-parte orders and power of review. After the amendment in section 22 and introduction of section 22A in the Consumer Protection Act in the year 2002, the power of review or recall has been vested with the National Commission only. The Tribunals are creatures of the statute and derive their power from the express provisions of the statute.

Rajeev Hitendra Pathak v. Achyut Kashinath Karekar , C.A. No. 4307 of 2007 with C.A. No. 8155 of 2001; Decided on 19-8-2011 (SC) [Dalveer Bhandari, Mukundakam Sharma and Anil R. Dave, JJ.]

RITA ARYAN
LL.M. (Medalist)

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