State of Punjab Vs.
Lal Singh and Ors.  INSC 1142 (15 July 2008)
SUPREME COURT OF
INDIA RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS CIVIL APPEAL NO(s). 5488 OF 2000 STATE OF PUNJAB
Appellant (s) VERSUS LAL SINGH AND ORS. Respondent(s) (With appln(s) for
permission to file additional documents and office report ) WITH SLP(C) NO.
11378 of 2006 (With appln. for permission to place addl. documents on record
and prayer for interim relief and office report) Civil Appeal NO. 5489 of 2000
(With office report) Civil Appeal NO. 5490 of 2000 (With office report) Civil
Appeal NO. 5491 of 2000 (With office report) Civil Appeal NO. 5492 of 2000
(With office report) Civil Appeal NO. 5493 of 2000 (With office report) Date:
05/02/2009 This Appeal was called on for hearing today.
HON'BLE THE CHIEF
JUSTICE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE P. SATHASIVAM For Appellant(s) Mr. Ajay Pal,Adv.
Mr. Ashok K. Mahajan,
Mr. Shail Kumar
For Respondent(s) Mr.
D.N. Ray, Adv.
Mrs. Sumita Ray,Adv.
Mr. Bimal Roy Jad
,Adv Mr. B.K. Khurana, Adv.
Mr. Sanjay Jain ,Adv
Mr. Raj Kumar Kapoor, Adv.
Mr. Ramesh Chandra
Dr. Meera Agarwal,
Mr. Prem Sunder Jha,
-2- Mr. S.L. Aneja,
Mr. Yash Pal Dhingra,
Mr. D. Mahesh Babu,
Mr. Sudhir Walia,
Mr. Mahinder Singh
UPON hearing counsel
the Court made the following ORDER Heard learned counsel for the parties.
The appeals and
special leave petition are disposed of in terms of the signed order.
(R.K. Dhawan) (Veera
Verma) Court Master Court Master (Signed order is placed on the file) IN THE
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.5488 OF
2000 STATE OF PUNJAB ...APPELLANT VERSUS WITH C.A.NO.5489/2000,
C.A.NO.5490/2000, C.A.NO.5491/2000, C.A.NO.5492/2000, C.A.NO.5493/2000 AND
S.L.P.(C) NO.11378/2006 ORDER C.A.NO.5488/2000 This appeal is directed against
the judgment of the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The
State of Punjab enacted the Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 (Punjab Act No.3 of 1997).
Section 4 of the Punjab Lokpal Act reads as follows:
1) For the purpose
of the conducting enquiries in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the
Governor shall by warrant under his hand and seal, appoint a person to be known
Provided that the
Lokpal shall be appointed on the advice of the Chief Minister who shall consult
the Speaker of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, and the Chief Justice of India
in case of appointment of a person who is -2- or has been a Judge of the Supreme
Court or Chief Justice of a High Court, and Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana
High Court in case of appointment of a person who is or has been a Judge of a
2) Every person
appointed as the Lokpal shall, before entering upon his office, take and
subscribe, before the Governor, or some person appointed in that behalf by him,
an oath of affirmation in the form set out for the purpose in the Schedule.
Subsequent to the
enactment Mr. Justice Harbans Singh Rai, retired Judge, was appointed as Lokpal
of the State of Punjab. The appointment of Mr. Justice Harbans Singh Rai was
challenged by the petitioner mainly on the ground that the appointment was not
in accordance with Section 4(1) of the Act. The High Court held that the
appointment of Mr. Justice Harbans Singh Rai as Lokpal was ultra vires of
Section 4 of the Punjab Lokpal Act, 1996 and as such it was quashed. The State
has filed this appeal against the common judgment in the writ petitions. In
this appeal it is alleged that the Lokpal appointed under 1996 Act has filed
certain reports and they shall be quashed.
Heard learned counsel
for the parties.
Mr. Justice Harbans
Singh Rai was appointed in 1997 and under Section 6 of the Punjab Lokpal Act,
the period of a -3- person who is appointed as Lokpal shall hold office for a
term of four years after entering the office. Therefore, the appointment if at
all continue would have come to an end by 2001. The matter as regards
appointment has become infructuous. Therefore, we make it clear that the State
of Punjab may take further steps as per the provisions of 1996 Act for fresh
appointment of Lokpal in accordance with the provisions contained in the Punjab
Lokpal Act, 1996.
As regards various
reports filed by the Lokpal, the Government had already taken decision to the
effect and no further action need to be taken.
In this aspect also
it becomes infructuous. The entire prayer in the appeals and in the special
leave petition has become infructuous, so the appeals and the special leave
petition are disposed of accordingly.