Singh Bagga Vs. State of U.P  INSC 485 (16 November 1993)
S. (J) MOHAN, S. (J) VENKATACHALLIAH, M.N.(CJ) CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 500
JT 1993 Supl. 594 1993 SCALE (4)418
Judgment of the Court was delivered by MOHAN, J.- By this petition under
Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner sought a writ in the
nature of habeas corpus to produce Smt Nidhi Bagga Nidhi Khandelwal w/o Charanjit
Khandelwal and Charanjit Singh Bagga got married on July 16, 1993 by performing Hindu rites at Arya Samaj Mandir, Arya Nagar,
Bhoor, Distt. Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
marriage was not acceptable to the family of Nidhi Khandelwal. Therefore, on July 17, 1993 an FIR was lodged with Police Station
Prem Nagar, Bareilly. The case was registered as Case
No. 635 of 1993 under Sections 363/366/506 IPC. After the registration of case,
the entire family of the husband was taken into custody including minor girls
aged 10 and 15 1/2 years. While the female members were released, the male
members continued to be in detention. Smt Nidhi Bagga continued to be held by
the police and illegally detained.
Though a writ petition was filed before the High Court of Allahabad under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India, on account of the lawyers strike, the
Allahabad High Court did not function. This necessitated the cousin of Charanjit
Singh Bagga to move this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.
4. On August 3, 1993, the following order was passed by
this Court "We have heard learned counsel on both sides.
time the petition was moved, the girl was in police custody. She has since been
released. But, we are afraid, this cannot be the end of the matter. The writ
petition shall continue as one for qualified habeas corpus for examining the
legality of the detention for determining whether the petitioner is entitled to
be + Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India 501 compensated for the
illegal detention as a public law remedy for violation of her Fundamental
Rights under Article 21 of the Constitution, quite apart from criminal or civil
liability which may be pursued in the ordinary course.
respondents are directed to file a counter-affidavit within two weeks.
request of Mr R.S. Sodhi, learned counsel for the petitioner, notice against
respondent 3 is discharged."
obedience to this order, the Station House Officer (J.C. Upadhyaya) has filed a
counter-affidavit strongly denying that Mrs Nidhi Khandelwal alias Nidhi Bagga
was ever arrested or detained by the police, much less illegally. On July 17, 1993 Vikas Khandelwal brother of Nidhi Khandelwal
lodged an FIR for offences punishable under Sections 363/366 IPC alleging that Charanjit
Singh alias Channi had kidnapped/abducted his minor sister Nidhi aged 16 years
with the connivance of other named co-accused persons. On the basis of that
FIR, Case No. 635 of 1993 was registered at Police Station Prem Nagar on July 17, 1993 against various persons including Charanjit
Singh Bagga. During investigation, the abducted girl Mrs Nidhi was recovered by
the police of Prem Nagar on July 24, 1993
at 4.30 p.m. from Bareilly Junction Railway
Station in the company of two accused persons and they were brought to the
Police Station, Prem Nagar, Bareilly. The
accused persons were produced before the Magistrate who remanded them to
judicial custody on July
Soon thereafter,, Mrs Nidhi was brought to the Police Station Prem Nagar on July 24, 1993 at 5.30 p.m., her mother Smt Seema Khandelwal was informed of her
recovery. Her mother and brother came to the police station. Mrs Nidhi had to
be medically examined for ascertaining her age.
it was noticed that lot of people belonging to Sikh community had gathered
around the police station.
was reasonable apprehension that the girl might be snatched and forcibly taken
away by the people of Sikh community. Therefore, it was considered necessary
and proper that she be allowed to stay in Police Station Prem Nagar along with
her mother. This was agreed to by both the mother and brother. On the next day
i.e. on July 25, 1993, Nidhi was sent for radiological
examination. Since it was a Sunday, the Radiology Department was not working.
So, she was brought back to the police station. Thereafter, on July 26, 1993 she was sent for radiological
examination. All these are mentioned in G.D. reports. Then Nidhi came back to
police station after radiological examination with her mother and lady
constable who had escorted her to the district hospital.
7. On July 27, 1993, she was produced before IInd
A.C.J.M., Bareilly for recording her statement under
Section 164 CrPC. Her statement was not recorded since the situation outside
the court was tense. There was apprehension of breach of peace. The Magistrate
directed that she be produced on July 30, 1993. Under these circumstances, she was sent to Nari Niketan, Bareilly.
8. On July 30, 1993, after perusal of preliminary X-ray
report, the Magistrate ordered the release of four accused persons namely lqbal
Singh, Amarjeet Singh, Rajender Singh and Charanjit alias Channi on their
furnishing personal bonds. They were accordingly, released on the same day.
arrest of these persons had to be made because a cognizable offence was alleged.
view of above, it is denied that there was any illegal detention of anyone. Mrs
Nidhi was taken for radiological examination promptly. The allegation of
alleged detention and harassment are totally false and denied.
rejoinder has been filed by Mrs Nidhi who would describe as to how she and her
husband were taken into custody and were taken to Hotel Prayag. While in the
police station, she was threatened by Sub-Inspector Narinder Pal Singh and SHO
J.C. Upadhyaya and SSI Sukhpal Singh. She was directed to implicate her husband
and his family to the effect that she was abducted and forcibly married
thereafter. She was made to sleep on the floor in the office of Station House
Officer, Police Station Prem Nagar all by herself. However, she was allowed to
have food brought by her mother. She further states that before she was taken
to hospital, Sub-Inspector Narinder Pal Singh, Station House Officer J.C. Upadhyaya
and SSI Sukhpal Singh, turn by turn abused and jostled her around the room threatening
to cause her injuries if she did not write down the note they wished to
dictate. SSI Sukhpal Singh went to the extent of using his 'danda' on her legs
and poking it in her stomach. This harassment continued inspite of her telling
them that she had married of her own free will During her stay in the police
station, a lady constable was deputed to guard her.
the morning of July 26,
1993, SSI Sukhpal
Singh along with Station House Officer J.C. Upadhyaya began using foul language
and making threatening gestures intimidating her to write a dictated note. Only
when SSI Sukhpal Singh once again hit her with a danda on her legs and made
threatening gestures aiming his danda at her head, upon which she became
petrified and wrote in her own hand whatever was dictated to her by J.C. Upadhyaya,
Station House Officer, P.S. Prem Nagar. Likewise, she alleges harassment
throughout her stay in police station. She further alleges that J.C. Upadhyaya,
Station House Officer threatened her that even if the marriage was declared
valid by court, he would make her life miserable.
Having regard to these allegations and counter- allegations, we think before we
arrive at a conclusion, it is highly desirable to call for a report from the
District Judge, Bareilly who will make a thorough enquiry of
all the persons. Accordingly, we direct that he shall submit a report within
eight weeks from the date of the receipt of this order.