Ram Mehar Singh Vs. State
of N.C.T. of Delhi & Ors.
J U D G M E N T
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
granted in all the cases.
criminal appeals arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) Nos.5998-5999 of 2008 have been
filed against the common judgment and order dated 28.5.2008 passed by the High
Court of Delhi in L.P.A. Nos. 286/2008 and 289/2008.
Though the matters had
arisen before the Division Bench from different judgments of the Single Judge
Bench, however, the same had been heard together and disposed of by the impugned
judgment and in all these cases, the Division Bench dismissed the appeals filed
by the State of N.C.T. of Delhi, respondents herein, against the judgments of
the learned Single Judge dated 28.2.2008 in W.P. (Crl.) No. 1392 of 2007 and
25.2.2008 passed in W.P. (Crl.) No. 2448 of 2006, wherein it has been alleged
by the writ petitioners that the police authorities had misused their powers
while resorting to the provisions of Sections 107/151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973 (hereinafter called Cr.P.C.) and violated their fundamental rights.
A learned Single Judge
had quashed the criminal proceedings under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C.; awarded a
token compensation and further directed the Central Bureau of Investigation
(hereinafter called CBI) to investigate the cases against the police officials who
had allegedly misused their powers, and directed the police administration to
initiate proceedings against such officials.
and circumstances giving rise to Criminal Appeals arising out of SLP (Crl.)
Nos. 5998-5999 of 2008 are that there had been some dispute between one Shri
Raj Kumar Bansal and his wife Smt. Urvashi Bansal. The writ petitioner Shri
Purshottam Ramnani being a family 2friend helped Smt. Urvashi Bansal
financially by giving a huge amount of loan and as the same was not returned,
dispute arose between them regarding the immovable properties.
On the complaint of
Smt. Urvashi Bansal, the proceedings under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. were
initiated against the writ petitioner and in that respect he was produced
before the Special Executive Magistrate, Jahangir Puri, Delhi (hereinafter called
the Magistrate) on 25.8.2007, wherein he was released on furnishing personal bond.
The said Shri Purshottam Ramnani filed W.P.(Crl.) No. 1392 of 2007 on
31.10.2007 alleging that in case there was some dispute regarding the immovable
property, the police could not resort to the provisions of Sections 107/151
Cr.P.C., and since he had been detained in jail for one day, there was violation
of his fundamental rights, therefore, he should be awarded compensation and erring
police officials be punished.
writ petition was heard and disposed of by the learned Single Judge vide judgment
and order dated 28.2.2008 granting all reliefs sought by the writ petitioner to
the effect that proceedings under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. were quashed. The court
held that the writ petitioner was illegally detained by invoking provisions of Sections
107/151 Cr.P.C. and the provisions of Section 145 Cr.P.C. could have been invoked;
a sum of Rs.50,000/- was awarded as token compensation. The court further gave
liberty to the said writ petitioner to file suits for damages for tortuous
liability against the erring police officials and also for recovery of possession
of the immovable property.
aggrieved, the State of NCT of Delhi preferred L.P.A. No.286 of 2008 and the same
was dismissed by the impugned judgment and order dated 28.5.2008.
present appellant was SHO of the police station concerned at the relevant time.
Admittedly, in the writ petition he was not a party by name, nor any notice had
ever been issued to him and he had no opportunity to defend himself. Even
before the Division Bench in the L.P.A. filed by the State he was not impleaded
as a party. Thus, the relevant submission on his behalf is that certain observations
and directions have been made against him though he had never been heard.
on behalf of the learned counsel for the contesting respondents has been that
not giving an opportunity of hearing to the present appellant either before the
learned Single Judge or the Division Bench remains immaterial, for the reason,
that he would be heard by the concerned authorities during the disciplinary proceedings
to be initiated in pursuance of the impugned judgments and orders. However,
there is no denial by him of the fact that the present appellant had neither been
made a party by name nor he had been given any notice of the proceedings and thus,
he had no opportunity of being heard. The judgments of the courts below are
based on the premises that instead of resorting to the provisions of Sections
107/151 Cr.P.C. the provisions of Section 145 Cr.P.C. could have been invoked
in the present situation.
Criminal Appeals arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 6719-6720 of 2008, the facts
had been that the appellant No.1-Sudesh Ranga being the SHO of the Police
Station had received a complaint from Ashok Kumar Munna, the respondent herein against
Keshav Kumar, respondent No.2 that the water from his toilet had been entering
into the house of the complainant and damaged the entire wall because of seepage,
and foul smell was also coming. On being asked, the respondent Keshav Kumar refused
to carry out the repair and quarrelled with him and beaten him. In view of the said
complaint, Keshav Kumar was detained under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. on 16.7.2006
and was produced before the Magistrate on 17.7.2006, wherein he was directed to
be released on furnishing personal bond of Rs.5,000/- with one surety in the
As he failed to
furnish the personal bond he was sent to judicial custody and was released only
on 18.7.2006 on furnishing the said bond. Keshav Kumar filed writ petition on
30.10.2006 alleging the violation of his fundamental rights by the police authorities
by resorting to the provisions of Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. The High Court
entertained the said writ petition and asked the respondent therein to submit the
status report. The High Court after considering the same disposed of the writ petition
vide order dated 25.2.2008 quashing the proceedings under Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C.;
directing to pay a token compensation to the complainant to the tune of
Rs.50,000/- and further direction was issued to the Commissioner of Police to initiate
disciplinary proceedings against the appellants.
aggrieved, the State of NCT of Delhi preferred L.P.A. No. 289 of 2008 which has
been dismissed vide impugned judgment and order dated 28.5.2008. Hence, these
both the matters had been disposed of by the Division Bench by the common judgment,
we have heard them together alongwith other Criminal Appeals arising out of SLP
(Crl) Nos. 1773 of 2008 and 5702 of 2008 and are being disposed of by the
may be the legal position, admittedly, the police officials i.e. appellants had
not been impleaded by name in the writ petitions. The standing counsel appearing
for the State of N.C.T. of Delhi had taken notice on behalf of the parties
excluding the private parties. Thus, while hearing the writ petitions, these
appellants had not been given an opportunity of hearing at all before the writ court
and definitely the learned Single Judge passed certain orders/directions against
aggrieved, the State filed L.P.As. before the Division Bench wherein also none
of these appellants had been impleaded and both the appeals stood dismissed by
the common judgment and order dated 28.5.2008. Thus, even before the Division Bench,
all these appellants had not been given any opportunity to appear or plead
their defence. Even on merit, the opinion of the High Court in first case, that
the proceedings under Section 145 Cr.P.C. could have been 7resorted to instead of
Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. does not seem to be correct. In fact it is the officer
on spot who has to take a decision as what provisions should be resorted to according
to the prevailing circumstances. Even in another case if there had been altercation,
abusing, threatening and beating, by no means, it can be held that resorting to
the provisions of Sections 107/151 Cr.P.C. was totally unwarranted.
have decided other connected appeals arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 1773 of 2008
and 5702 of 2008 giving reasons. These appeals stand disposed of in terms of
the same. In view of the above, the judgments and orders impugned herein are
set aside except to the extent that in all these cases the proceedings under Sections
107/151 Cr.P.C. stood quashed. In first case liberty given by the High Court to
file a civil suit for recovery of immovable property shall remain intact.
(Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)