Gupta & Ors Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh
& Ors  INSC 175 (2 May 1990)
S.R. (J) Pandian, S.R. (J) Reddy, K. Jayachandra (J)
1990 SCR (2) 871 1990 SCC (3) 119 JT 1990 (2) 372 1990 SCALE (1)22
Pradesh Police Regulation: Chapter VII Part 111 Rule
465--Prisoners-handcuffs--Use of--Directions by Court--Person remanded by
judicial order--Escort party to obtain orders of Court.
of India, 1950--Article 32--Handcuffing and parading of offenders; escort party
to record and intimate reasons for imposing fetters--Obtain Court Orders.
petitioners are social workers and Members of Kisan Adivasi Sangathan, Kerala.
They, along with a large number of tribal people, had staged peaceful 'dharnas'
in front of the office of Block Education Officer demanding appointment of
regular teachers in the school located in the tribal ham- lets. The local
police initiated criminal proceedings against them for offences punishable
under section 186 IPC on the allegations that they had obstructed public
servants in discharge of their public functions. The Magistrate convicted
petitioners 1 to 3 and sentenced them to undergo simple imprisonment for a
period of one month. The petition- ers 1 and 2 though having served their one
month imprison- ment from 22.4.1989 to 21.5.1989 were not released from jail
but continued to be detained on the allegation that they were wanted in two
writ petitions filed in this Court the main grievance was that petitioners 1 to
3 on being arrested were subjected to torture and treated in a degrading and
inhuman manner by handcuffing and parading them through the public thoroughfare
during transit to the Court. in utter disregard to the judicial mandates of
this Court. On these allegations the petitioners contended that they were
entitled to compen- sation.
respondents have not denied the allegation of hand- cuffing. but have attempted
to justify the action of the escort police. In this connection. the respondents
have relied on Paragraph 465(1) of Part III dealing with escort- ing of
arrested and convicted persons (including 872 Political Persons) failing under
Chapter VII of Madhya Pradesh Police Regulations. Under this regulation, if the
escort-in-charge feels the necessity of handcuffing persons, he is empowered to
of the petitions, this Court,
spite of weighty pronouncement made by this Court decrying and severely
condemning the conduct of the escort police m' handcuffing the prisoners without
any justification, it is very unfortunate that the Courts have to repeat and
re-repeat its disapproval of unjustifiable handcuffing. ]862G] Prem Shankar Shukla
v. Delhi Administration,  3 SCC 526; Bhim Singh, M.L.A.v. State of Jammu & Kashmir & Ors.,  4 S.C.C. 677; Maneka
Gandhi v. Union of India,  1 SCC 248; Sunil Batra v. Delhi
Administration,  4 SCC 494 and Sunil Batra (II) v. Delhi Administra- tion,
 3 SCC 488, referred to.
The petitioners are educated persons and selflessly devoting their service to
the public cause. They are not the persons who have got tendency to escape from
the jail custo- dy. In fact, the petitioners 1 and 2 even refused to come out
on bail, but chose to continue in prison for a public cause. The offence for
which they were tried and convicted under section 186 of Indian Penal Code is
only a bailable offence. [884B-C]
When a person is remanded by a judicial order by a competent court, that person
comes within the judicial custody of the Court. Therefore. the taking of a
person from a prison to the Court or back from Court to the prison by the
escort party is only under the judicial orders of the Court. [884D]
Even if extreme circumstances necessitate the escort party to bind the prisoners
in fetters, the escort party should record the reasons for doing so in writing
and inti- mate the Court so that the Court considering the circum- stances
either approves or disapproves the action of the escort party and issues
necessary directions. [884D]
Undeniably, the escort party neither got instruc- tions nor obtained any orders
in writing from the Magistrate or the Jail Superintendent regarding handcuffing
of the petitioners. [881D]
Even assuming that the petitioners obstructed public servants in discharge of
their public functions during the 'dharna' or raised any 873 slogans inside or
outside the Court, that would not be sufficient cause to handcuff them.
Further, there was no reason for handcuffing them while taking them to Court from
jail on 22.4.1989. [884C-D]
is most painful to note that the petitioners who staged a 'dharna' for public
cause and voluntarily submitted themselves for arrest and who had no tendency
to escape had been subjected to humiliation by being handcuffed which act of
the escort party is against all norms of decency and which is in utter
violation of the principle underlying Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The Government of Madhya Pradesh is directed to take appropriate action against
the erring escort party for unjustly and unreasonably handcuffing petitioners 1
and 2 on 22.4.89, in accordance with law. [884H]
is open to the petitioners to take appropriate action against the erring
officials, in accordance with law, if they are so advised, and in that case. the
Court in which the claim is made can examine the claim not being influenced by
any observation made in this judgment. [885C]
JURISDICTION: Writ Petition (Criminal) Nos. 277-80 of 1989.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India).
for the Petitioners.
Uma Nath Singh and N.N. Johri for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by S. RATNAVEL PANDIAN, J. Two important
questions arising for consideration in the above matter are:
Whether the petitioners 1 and 2 have been illegally detained from 21.5. 1989 to
1.8. 1989 without any order of remand?
Whether the petitioners 1 to 3 on being arrested were subjected to torture and
treated in a degrading and inhuman manner by handcuffing and parading them
through the public thorough-fare during transit to the Court in utter disregard
to 874 the judicial mandates declared in a number of decisions of this Court
and whether they are entitled for compensation? The salient and material facts
as set out in the Writ Petitions are as follows:
petitioners are social workers and Members of Kisan Adivasi Sangathan', Kerala.
The said 'Sangathan' is actively working against all kinds of exploitation
purported against the local farmers and tribal people in the district of Hoshangabad.
In villages of Morpani and Madikhoh of Hoshan- gabad District there was only
one school teacher employed in the Morpani school. The teacher was not
attending the school for the last one and half years. Inspite of several com-
plaints lodged against the teacher, the authorities did not pay any attention
in this regard. Therefore on 27/28.7.1988, the petitioners 1 to 3 along with a
large number of tribal women and children staged a peaceful 'dharna' in front
of the office of Block Education Officer, Kesala demanding appointment of two
regular teachers in the schools located in tribal hamlets. The Assistant
District Inspector of Schools gave an assurance in writing stating that he
would make enquiries and initiate action in this regard. But to the
petitioners' dismay, the local police initiated criminal proceedings against
the petitioners 1 to 3 and one old Adivasi widow aged about 65 years who was
not paid her wages by the said teacher, for an offence punishable under Section
186 IPC on the allegations that the petitioners and the Adivasi woman have
obstructed public servants in discharge of their public functions. In
connection with the said criminal proceeding, the petitioners were arrested,
abused, beaten and taken to the Court of 1st Class Judicial Magis- trate, Hoshangabad
by handcuffing them. It seems that the petitioners when questioned refused to
tender apology or repent for their conduct but tried to justify their action of
having staged the dharna for a legitimate cause. The Magistrate convicted the
petitioners 1 to 3 and sentenced them to undergo simple imprisonment for a
period of one month while acquitting the woman. It is stated that even after
the pronouncement of the judgment, the police once again abused them, made
obscene gestures, beat and took them to the penitentiary handcuffed. The fourth
petitioner was arrested in connection with the peaceful dharna on 25.11.1987
before the office of the Block Education Officer, Kesala and put behind the
bars. A warrant was said to have been issued against the second petitioner
directing him to appear before the Magistrate on 8.5. 1989 in connection with
some other false case. According to the petitioner, they all were working for
the welfare of the weaker sections and down-trodden people in 875 a peaceful
manner but they were inhumanly treated against all norms of decency by the
police in utter disregard of the repeated and consistent mandates of this Court
and in utter violation of their fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles
14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. There- after, the petitioners filed
Criminal Miscellaneous Petition Nos. 282 1-24 of 1989 in the above writ
petitions for im- pleading the Superintendent, District Jail and the 1st class
Magistrate, Hoshangabad as additional respondents and to treat the additional
facts as part of the main writ peti- tions. The additional facts are as
petitioners 1 and 2, namely, Sunil Gupta and Raj Narain though have served
their one month imprisonment from 22.4.1989 to 21.5. 1989 they were not
released from the jail but continued to be detained on the allegation that they
were wanted in two more cases, namely, in Case No. 470 of 1988 registered under
Section 341 read with Section 34 IPC pending in the .Court of 1st Class
Magistrate, Hoshangabad and another in a case registered as Criminal Case No.
569/88 against the two petitioners and others under Section 353, 148 and 149,
IPC. The Court proceedings disclosed that the Magistrate issued bailable
warrants as against the petition- ers 1 and 2 and continued the same by issuing
repeated orders of bailable warrants in a very mechanical and casual manner and
without application of mind from 26.5. 1988 to 17.2.1989.
after the two petitioners have been sent to jail in pursuance of their
conviction for the offence under Section 186 IPC, a number of incorrect
nothings were made in the records of the courts as if both the petitioners were
pro- duced from jail. Even after the expiry of the sentence, the Magistrate had
not cared to proceed with the case and to know as to why petitioners 1 and 2
were languishing in jail.
connection with the second case, petitioner No. 3, Puru- shottam Nayak was also
remanded but later on released on bail on 26.4.1989.
Counter-affidavit is filed by one R.K. Shivhare, the then SHO (Police), Itarsi,
Hoshangabad District on behalf of the respondents giving a detailed version
about the incident leading to the registration of various cases and justifying
the conduct of the police officials in handcuffing the petitioners. Alongwith
this affidavit, he has filed Annex- ures I to VI. He justifies the action of
the police stating that the petitioners on pronouncement of their conviction,
got agitated, turned violent and shouted slogans inside the Court which
necessitated the escort police to handcuff the petitioners. He cites Madhya
Pradesh Police Regulation para No. 465(1) as per which if the escort in-charge
876 feels the necessity of handcuffing persons, he is empowered to do so.
However, he denies allegations of torture, obscene gestures etc.
of the police report dated nil and without dis- closing the author of the same
is filed stating that while first and second petitioners were taken to the
prison on their conviction, they turned violent not only inside the Court but
also outside the Court and they were taken to the orison with the help of other
members of the police force.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, Hoshanga- bad has filed a separate
counter-affidavit denying the allegations made in the writ petition. A
rejoinder is filed by the first petitioner reiterating his earlier stand and
annexing certain newspaper clippings and some other docu- ments inclusive of
the copy of the judgment of the IInd Additional Sessions Judge, Hoshangabad
made in Criminal Appeal No. 59 of 1989 setting aside the conviction of the
petitioners recorded by the Judicial Magistrate for the offences under Section
186 IPC, and acquitting the petition- ers of the said offence. Head Constable
No. 66, who was incharge of the escort party has sworn to an affidavit stating
that the petitioners 1 and 2 were taken to the jail on being handed over by the
Court after their conviction and they took them to the prison by handcuffing
them under a bona fide belief that the situation might become worse. He also
cites paragraph 465(1) of the M.P. Police Regulation in support of his action
of putting the petitioners 1 to 3 under shackles. One other supporting
affidavit is also filed by a constable of the escort party. It seems that a
Sub- Inspector of CID made an enquiry on a petition regarding the handcuffing
of petitioners 1 and 2 and submitted his report to the Superintendent of
Police. The relevant portion of the report reads as follows:
..... And the Court called the police guard and as per Court's direction the
three accused were handcuffed and kept in the lock-up, later on the Court again
called all the three accused persons to the Court where Purushottam Nayak was
released on bail .......................... It was found on enquiry that the
appellants Sunil and Rajnarayan were sentenced to one-month imprisonment each
under Section 186 IPC in the Court of Shri Chand Soria and police guards under
the order of the honourable court handcuffed the appellants in the court itself
and lodged them in jail. The appellants say that they should not have been
handcuffed but the guards had no other instruction to the contrary in this
regard." 877 From the writ petition, counter affidavits and rejoinder
affidavit, we are able to gather certain facts, they being:
case in Crime No. 80/87 under Sections 147, 341 was registered against the
petitioners along with some others on 11.12. 1987.
case in Crime No. 86/87 under Section 353, 323, 332 read with Sec. 34 IPC was
registered against the petitioners on 25.11.87 by Kesala police.
case in Crime No. 87/87 under Section 34 1 read with Sec. 34 was registered
against the petitioners on 25.11. 1987 itself. This case was tried in criminal
case No. 470/88 which ended in conviction and the petitioners were released on
probation on 11.7. 1989.
case in Crime No. 52/88 under Section 186 and 447 was registered on 28.7. 1987
by Kesala police which case was tried as case No. 58/88 on the file of the
Judicial Magis- trate 1st Class, Hoshangabad which ultimately ended in
conviction. This conviction has been set aside by the appel- late Court.
stated that the petitioners 1 and 2 were avoiding warrants of arrest in Crime
Nos. 86/87 and 87/87. It seems that a number of cases were registered against
the petition- ers 1 and 2 and both of them did not avail bail and they were in
this connection, we would like to dispose of the Criminal Miscellaneous
Petition Nos. 2821-24 of 1989. As we are not satisfied that the Superintendent
of Jail and the Magistrate are necessary parties for disposal of these writ
petitions, these petitions are dismissed.
to Mr. R.B. Mehrotra, the learned counsel for the petitioners, the sentence of
imprisonment for a period of one month imposed on petitioners 1 and 2 for the
offence under Section 186 IPC expired on 21.5. 1989 and, therefore, their
subsequent detention till 1.8. 1989 was unauthorised and illegal. A perusal of
the materials placed on record, it is seen that the case in crime No. 87/87 was
registered as criminal case No. 470/88 and it came to an end on 11.7.89 when
the petitioners were released on probation. The case in crime No. 86/87 was
registered as criminal case No. 569/89.
were 8 accused in that case inclusive of these two petitioners who were 878
arrayed as accused Nos. 3 and 4. This case went on for several adjournments on
the ground that one or other accused was either not produced before the Court
or not appeared on the hearing date. However, on 1.8.1989 the first petitioner
was released on his personal bond as per the orders of this Court. On
11.8.1989, the case was adjourned to 21.8. 1989 for further proceedings. Though
notes of the case diary, copies of which are filed before us, are not very
clear as to the reasons of repeated issue of warrants yet we find that these
petitioners were under remand in both the cases namely criminal case Nos.
470/88 and 569/88. Though the petitioners were released on probation in criminal
case No. 470/88 yet on 11.7. 1989 the petitioner No. 1, namely, Sunil Gupta was
in jail in case No. 569/89 till he was released under the orders of this Court.
It is not the case of the petitioners that any complaint was made before this
Court in the previous occasion when their release was sought for that they were
in prison without orders of remand or that this Court made any observation
about it. Under these circum- stances, we do not see any force in the
contention that the petitioners were illegally detained till 1.8. 1989. Accord-
ingly, the first question is negatived and answered against the petitioners.
we shall examine whether petitioners 1 to 3 were subjected to all kinds of humilitation
by being abused, beaten up and ultimately handcuffed. At the threshold, it may
be noted that the writ petition is filed by Mr. R.B. Mehrotra, Advocate for the
petitioners whose registered clerk has filed an affidavit of verification. The
following averments are made in the writ petition:
the petitioners were beaten, abused and they were taken handcuffed to the Court
of Shri Chansoria, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Hosangabad" (vide
had been handcuffed and were beaten by the police on number of earlier
occasions for holding peaceful dharna and for making representations on behalf
of the tribal people" (vide paragraph 10) "That the authorities have
caused injuries, physical pain, mental agony and insult to the
petitioners" (vide paragraph 13) "That the petitioners have suffered
grave mental agony, insult and physical pain at the hands of the police and the
local authorities". (vide paragraph 14) 879 The above allegations are
stoutly refuted on behalf of the respondents. However, the complaint of
handcuffing is not denied and that action of the escort police is attempted to
be justified mainly on the following grounds:
After pronouncement of the judgment in criminal case No. 248/88 arising out of
crime No. 52/88 registered under sections 186 and 447 IPC, the petitioners 1 to
3 on their conviction got agitated, turned violent and shouted slogans outside
and inside the Court and in such turbulent circum- stances, the escort party
felt that it was necessary to handcuff the petitioners.
Paragraph 465(1) of Part III dealing with escorting of arrested and convicted
persons (including political persons) falling under Chapter VII of Madhya
Pradesh Police Regula- tions captioned 'Protection and Escort' empowers the
escort police to handcuff the arrested or convicted persons if the escort
police feels the necessity.
has been reported by the Jail Superintendent that in several cases the
under-trial prisoners have run away from police custody while being taken from
jail to Court or vice-versa.
scrutinising the material in regard to the com- plaint of handcuffing, we shall
dispose of the allegations of abuse, obscene gestures, beating and torture etc.
At the cost of repetition, it may be stated that all those allega- tions except
the handcuffing are denied. Sunil Gupta, the first petitioner has filed an
additional reply affidavit dated 8th July 1989 in which there is no allegation
about the alleged torture, abuse, obscene gestures etc. In his rejoinder
affidavit filed in September 1989 by Sunil Gupta himself while referring to the
incident relating to Criminal Case No. 569/88, he has stated.
are doing only peaceful picketing. On this police and the Gundas of the ruling
party came and we were beaten by the police and Gundas of ruling party and were
forcibly removed from the Block Office." Barring that, there is no
allegation of abuse and obscene gestures etc. In view of the conspicuous
omission in both the affidavits filed by Sunil Gupta, we see no force in the
complaint that the police abused, tortured and made obscene gestures etc.
The only remaining complaint to be considered is in regard to the handcuffing.
We have already mentioned in the preceding part of the judgment the reasons
given by the respondents in justification of the conduct of the escort party in
putting menacles on the petitioners 1 and 2. With regard to the reasons
assigned by the police, Sunil Gupta in his additional affidavit has stated
act is incorrect, firstly neither myself nor Raj Narain did shout any slogan in
the Court though I was hand- cuffed in the Court itself but the handcuffing was
not done with the consent of the Magistrate nor it was done under his
direction. Raj Narain was taken to jail on 21st April, 1989 and was brought in the Court on 22nd April 1989 under hand- cuffs from the jail
itself to Court lock-up and then taken under handcuffs in the Court itself in
the presence of the Magistrate." Coming to the Regulation relied upon by
the police, we would like to reproduce the relevant instructions of the Madhya
Pradesh Police Regulation hereunder for proper under- standing the plea of
Police Regulation CHAPTER VII Protection and Escort Part III-Escorting of the
arrested and convicted per- sons (including political persons) 465. When to use
handcuffs Handcuffing will be resorted to only when it is necessary.
use will be regulated by following instructions.
regarding use of handcuffs (1) When a prisoner is to be taken from court to
jail or jail to court in the custody; the Magistrate or the Jail Superintendent
should give instructions in writing as to whether the prisoner will be
handcuffed or not and the escort commander will follow the instructions but
when 881 the instructions are for not to handcuff the prisoner and thereafter,
due to some reasons if the escort commander feels that it is necessary to
handcuff the prisoner, he should do so inspite of the instructions to the
The escort commander should ask and obtain orders in writing without fail, regarding
handcuffing of prisoners, from the Magistrate or the Jail Superintendent before
taking into custody the prisoner for escorting from the court or the jail.
Strict action should be taken against any disobe- dience of this
instruction." Undeniably, the escort party neither got instructions nor
obtained any orders in writing from the Magistrate or the Jail Superintendent
regarding handcuffing of petitioners 1 to 3 as found under the above
instructions (1) and (2).
escort commander has also not noted any reason for handcuffing the petitioners
on 22.4.1989, on the other hand in the letter dated nil annexed to the counter
of S.H.O., no mention of handcuffing is made at all.
examine whether the plea of justification is supported by the materials placed
before this Court. Nand Lal Sharma (Head Constable No. 66), who presumably
headed the escort party has not stated in his affidavit that he got
instructions in writing, either from the Magistrate or from the Jail
Superintendent to bind the petitioners 1 to 3 in fetters.
in his affidavit he swears that he handcuffed the petitioners 1 to 3 either
under the orders or directions of the Magistrate. Even the counter affidavit
filed by Shivhare, S.H.O. of Itarsi Police there is no averment that the
Magistrate directed the escort party to handcuff the petitioners 1 and 2. For
the first time, only in the report dated 10.7.1989, the relevant portion of
which is extracted above, it is submitted by the Sub-Inspector, CID to the
Superintendent of Police, Hosangabad that the handcuffing was under the
direction of the Court.
in the copies of the daily diary of the 'date 22.4.1989, it 882 is mentioned
that the Head Constable Nand Lal Sharma and the constables of his escort party
have been ordered to produce the accused to the Court from the jail after
handcuffing them and they were further ordered to take the chains be- sides
handcuffs from the armoury. These entries are purport- ed to have been made one
at 10.05 A.M. and another at 5.15 P.M. There is a specific entry in the said daily diary
that the escort party had produced the three accused before the Court after
handcuffing them. It seems that certain state- ments were also recorded from
petitioners 1 and 2 on 4.7. 1989 and 5.7.1989. One, Jasbir has filed reply
affidavit submitting that the petitioners 1 and 2 were handcuffed 'within the
court room without there being any occasion for the same' and 'the Magistrate
never endorsed or directed their handcuffing'. The petitioners have produced
two photo- graphs showing that the left hand of one person and the fight hand
of another person are bound in fetters with a leading chain. In one of the
photographs, yet another person standing behind these two persons is also found
handcuffed with a leading chain. A number of persons inclusive some police
officials also found standing nearby indicating that these petitioners 1 to 3
have been publically handcuffed.
handcuffing of petitioners 1 to 3 with the leading chains might not relate to
the admitted handcuffing of these petitioners on 22.4.1989 while they were
being taken from the prison to the Court and from the Court to the prison
because the close examination of these photographs reveal that the handcuffing
of these three persons should have been on a thorough-fare. Though neither the
enquiry report dated 10.7.89 of the Sub-Inspector of CID nor the counter affida-
vits filed by the SHO, Head Constable and Constables dis- close either about
the handcuffing of these three petition- ers earlier to 22.4.1989 or about the
handcuffing of these petitioners while being taken to Court from the jail. We
are very much distressed the way in which the respondents have come forward to
explain their conduct of handcuffing of these three petitioners while being
taken from the Court to the jail but make no whisper about the handcuffing from
jail to Court.
Court on several occasions has made weighty pro- nouncements decrying and
severely condemning the conduct of the escort police in handcuffing the
prisoners without any justification. Inspite of it, it is very unfortunate that
the Courts have to repeat and re-repeat to disapproval of unjustifiable
handcuffing. As is pointed out by Krishna lyer, J. speaking for himself and Chinnappa Reddy, J. in Prem Shankar Shukla
v. Delhi Administration.  3 SCC 526, this kind of complaint cannot be
dismissed as a daily sight to be pitied and buried but to be examined from funda-
mental view-point. In the same 883 judgment, the following observation is made
with regard to handcuffing:
who are inured to handcuffs and bar fetters on others may ignore this
grievance, but the guarantee of human digni- ty, which forms part of our
constitutional culture, and the positive provisions of Articles 14, 19 and 21
spring into action when we realise that to manacle man is more than to mortify
him; it is to dehumanize him and, therefore, to violate his very person hood,
too often using the mask of 'dangerousness' and security." ............
is prima facie inhuman and, therefore, unrea- sonable, is over-harsh and at the
first flush, arbitrary.
fair procedure and objective monitoring, to inflict 'irons' is to resort to
zoological strategies repugnant to Article 21. Thus, we must critically examine
the justifica- tion offered by the State for this mode of restraint. Sure- ly,
the competing claims of securing the prisoner from fleeing and protecting his
personality from barbarity have to be harmonised. To prevent the escape of an
under trial is in public interest, reasonable, just and cannot, by itself, be
castigated. But to bind a man hand-and-foot, fetter his limbs with hoops of
steel, shuffle him along in the streets and stand him for hours in the courts
is to torture him, defile his dignity, vulgarise society and foul the soul of
our constitutional culture. Where then do we draw the humane line and how far
do the rules err in print and praxis?" Chinnappa Reddy, J. in Bhim Singh,
MLA v. State of J & K and Others,  4 SCC 677 has expressed his view
that police officers should have greatest regard for personal liberty of
citizens in the following words:
officers who are the custodians of law and order should have the greatest
respect for the personal liberty of citizens and should not flout the laws by
stooping to such bizarre acts of lawlessness. Custodians of law and order
should not become depredators of civil liberties. Their duty is to protect and
not to abduct." See also Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India and Another,1
884 SCC 248; Sunil Batra v. Delhi Administration and Others,  4 SCC 494
and Sunil Batra (II) v. Delhi Administra- tion,  3 SCC 488.
to the case on hand, we are satisfied that the petitioners are educated persons
and selflessly devoting their service to the public cause. They are not the
persons who have got tendency to escape from the jail custody. In fact, the
petitioners 1 and 2 even refused to come out on bail, but chose to continue in
prison for a public cause.
offence for which they were tried and convicted under Section 186 of Indian
Penal Code is only a bailable offence.
assuming that they objected public servants in dis- charge of their public
functions during the 'dharna' or raised any slogan inside or outside the Court,
that would not be sufficient cause to handcuff them. Further, there was no
reason for handcuffing them while taking them to Court from jail on 22.4.89.
One should not lose sight of the fact that when a person is remanded by a
judicial order by a competent Court, that person comes within the judicial
custody of the Court. Therefore, the taking of a person from a prison to the
Court or back from Court to the prison by the escort party is only under the
judicial orders of the Court. Therefore, even if extreme circumstances
necessitate the escort party to bind the prisoners in fetters, the escort party
should record the reasons for doing so in writing and intimate the Court so
that the Court considering the circumstances either approve or disapprove the
action of the escort party and issue necessary directions. It is most painful
to note that the petitioners 1 and 2 who staged a 'dharna' for public cause and
voluntarily submitted them- selves for arrest and who had no tendency to escape
had been subjected to humiliation by being handcuffed which act of the escort
party is against all norms of decency and which is in utter violation of the
principle underlying Article 21 of the Constitution of India. So we strongly
condemn this kind of conduct of the escort party arbitrarily and unrea- sonably
humiliating the citizens of the country with obvious motive of pleasing
the discussion made above, we have no compunction in arriving at a conclusion
that in the present case, the escort party without any justification had
handcuffed the petitioners on 22.4.1989 on both occasions i.e. when taking the
petitioners 1 and 2 from the prison to he Court and then from the Court to the
prison. Hence, we direct the Govern- ment of Madhya Pradesh to take appropriate
action against the erring escort party for having unjustly and unreasonably
handcuffing he petitioners 1 and 2 on 22.4.89 in accordance with law.
has been pointed out supra, the copies of the photo- graphs produced before
this Court clearly reveal that three persons--evidently the petitioners 1 to 3
have been hand- cuffed with leading chains. We are not able to arrive at a
correct conclusion as to when, where and under what circum- stance this had
happened. Therefore, we further direct the Government of Madhya Pradesh to
initiate an enquiry in this matter and to take appropriate action against the
with regard to the prayer of claim for suitable and adequate compensation, we
observe that it is open to the petitioners to take appropriate action against
the erring officials in accordance with law, if they are so advised, and in
that case, the Court in which the claim is made can examine the claim not being
influenced by any observation made in this judgment.
result, the writ petitions are disposed of sub- ject to the observations made
Petitions dis- posed of.