Hardeep Singh Vs.
State of Madhya Pradesh
(Criminal Appeal No.
2250 of 2011 Arising out of SLP (Criminal) No.1658/2010)
Hardeep Singh Vs.
State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors.
(Criminal Appeal No.
2251 of 2011 Arising out of SLP (Criminal) D No.23364/2008)
J U D G M E N T
two appeals are filed against orders passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in
two separate cases though arising from the same set of facts.
appellant, Hardeep Singh was engaged in running a coaching centre, called "Deepika
Classes" where students were given tuition to prepare them for entrance tests
for different professional courses. On June 8, 1992, it was reported to the Collector,
Jabalpur, Raghav Chandra that the appellant had asked some of his students to
pay him Rs.50,000/- for giving them the question papers for the pre-medical
test in three subjects. The Collector decided to set up a trap for catching the
before the Collector had with him only Rs.10,000/- at that time. The Collector,
therefore, called the City Magistrate and instructed him to take out Rs.10,000/-
from the Collectorate Nazarat. The currency notes taken out from the Nazarat were
marked and the decoy was sent to pay to the appellant Rs.20,000/-, including the
money taken out from the Nazarat. Then a raid was conducted at the house of the
appellant in which Rs. 20,000/- with the marked currency notes of Rs.10,000/- were
The appellant was arrested
and a criminal case (Criminal case No. 314 of 2004) was instituted against him
under Section 420 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section
3/4 of The [Madhya Pradesh] Recognized Examinations Act, 1937. He was brought to
the police station in handcuffs and his photographs in handcuffs appeared in
the local newspapers.
The police submitted
charge sheet in the case on the basis of which the appellant was put up on
trial. The trial went on, as is not uncommon in this country for several years
at the end of which he was acquitted on August 26, 2004.
while facing the trial, the appellant filed a complaint before the Judicial Magistrate
First Class at Jabalpur (which was registered as Criminal Case No.66/2000) alleging
that the Collector Raghav Chandra and other Government functionaries, named as
accused in the complaint had committed offences punishable under Sections 395,
468, 469 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
complaint was also based on the raid conducted by the Collector along with the
police officials at his house on June 8, 1992. The learned Magistrate dismissed
the complaint for want of sanction under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1973. Against the order dismissing the complaint, the appellant
moved the Sessions Court in revision. The revision was allowed and as directed
by the Sessions Court the appellant's complaint came to be registered.
accused in the complaint filed by the appellant then moved the High Court in a quashing
application (Miscellaneous Criminal Case No.1676/2000) and the High Court by order
dated September 17, 2002 allowed the application holding that the complaint was
not maintainable against the public servants in the absence of sanction under
Section 197 Cr.P.C. The appellant challenged the order of the High Court before
this Court in SLP(C) No.179/2003, but it was dismissed in limine.
appellant, then, moved the State Government for grant of sanction under Section
197 Cr.P.C. for prosecution of Raghav Chandra and the other Government officers
named as accused in his complaint. The State Government, however, refused to
give sanction and rejected his application by order dated December 12, 2006.
appellant challenged the Government order in a Writ Petition (Writ Petition No.4777
of 2007) before the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The Writ Petition was dismissed
by a learned Single Judge of the court by order dated August 31, 2007. The
appellant, then, filed a review petition (M.C.C. No.2324/2007) but that too was
dismissed by order dated May 10, 2007. The appellant, then, preferred an
intra-court appeal (W.A. No.1682/2007) which after due consideration by a
Division Bench of the High Court was dismissed by order dated May 14, 2008.
This order comes under challenge in the Criminal Appeal arising from SLP (Criminal)
No.1658 of 2008.
have heard the appellant at length, who appeared in person. We have also carefully
gone through the materials on record. We find that the Division Bench of the High
Court on a detailed examination of the matter found and held that there was no
material to suggest even a prima facie case against the Collector, Jabalpur, and
the other Government officers accused by the complainant and, therefore, there
was no ground to interfere with the decision of the State Government not to accord
sanction for their prosecution. We find the view taken by the High Court is
unexceptionable and there is no scope for any interference in the matter. We,
accordingly, dismiss the appeal arising from Special Leave Petition (criminal)
No.1658 of 2010.
now to the other criminal appeal arising from SLP (Criminal) D No.23364 of 2008,
as noted above, the appellant was acquitted in the criminal case on August 26,
2004. He, then, filed a Writ Petition (Writ Petition No.4368/2004) before the
Madhya Pradesh High Court contending inter alia that while he was taken to the
police station and was kept there in custody in the night of June 8, 1992, he was
handcuffed by the police without there being any valid reason.
A number of daily
newspapers published his photographs and on seeing his photograph in handcuffs
his elder sister, who loved him like a son, was so shocked that she expired on
June 17, 1992. The appellant also contended that the prosecution knew from the
beginning that the cases registered against him were false and it purposefully caused
delay in conclusion of the trial causing great harm to his dignity and
reputation and violating his fundamental right to speedy trial guaranteed under
Article 21 of the Constitution.
In that Writ Petition
too, a direction was sought for prosecution of persons impleaded as respondents
2 to 20 for criminal defamation and other provisions of law. A learned Single
Judge of the High Court, however, admitted the writ petition, vide order dated
February 24, 2005, on the limited question of grant of any compensation to the
appellant for the delay in conclusion of the criminal case against him.
The learned Single
Judge came to find and hold that though the prosecution was stretched over a period
of more than 10 years, the appellant himself was responsible for the delay, as on
a majority of occasions adjournments were taken on his behalf. The Single
Judge, therefore, found and held that there was no case for any compensation to
the appellant and, accordingly, dismissed the Writ Petition. The appellant
filed a review petition (M.C.C. No.7325 of 2005) but that too was dismissed.
the orders passed by the Single Judge, the appellant filed an intra-court
appeal (W.A. No.175 of 2007). The Division Bench of the High Court, hearing the
appeal, examined the order-sheet of the trial proceedings and disagreeing with
the learned Single Judge found and held that the responsibility for the delay
in the trial proceedings for five years from March 15, 1999 to May 6, 2004 lay
with the State as no timely steps were taken by the prosecution to produce and
examine the witnesses before the trial court.
The Division Bench observed
that an expeditious trial, ending in acquittal, would have restored the
appellant's personal dignity but the State, instead of taking prompt steps to
produce and examine the prosecution witnesses delayed the trial for long five
Division Bench further held that there was no warrant for putting the appellant
under handcuffs. His handcuffing was without justification and it had not only adversely
affected his dignity as a human being but had also led to unfortunate and
Division Bench, however, noted that even though there was an undue delay of
five years in concluding the appellant's trial, his liberty was not affected inasmuch
as he was not in imprisonment but was on bail.
light of these findings, the Division Bench held that the appellant would not be
entitled to a large amount of compensation as claimed by him and taking an
overall view of the matter awarded him a compensation of Rs.70,000/- (Rupees Seventy
Thousand), without prejudice to any claim that he might make for damages.
appellant is not happy with this order. He has not filed any suit in civil
Court for damages. His constant refrain before us was that the Collector, Jabalpur
and the other Government functionaries whom he perceived as his oppressors and
perpetrators of the alleged offences against him must be sent behind bars. He seems
to suffer from an aggravated sense of persecution and at times emotions and anger
tended to get better of him.
on that issue we cannot help him at all. It is now concluded by an order of
this Court that the complaint filed by the appellant cannot proceed in the
absence of sanction by the government for prosecution of the accused named in the
complaint. The State Government has declined to grant sanction and the High
Court has rightly found that the order of the State Government does not suffer from
any infirmity and does not warrant any interference by the court. The prayer of
the appellant, therefore, to send the accused behind bars cannot be
however, to the issue of compensation, we find that in light of the findings
arrived at by the Division Bench, the compensation of Rs.70,000/- was too small
and did not do justice to the sufferings and humiliation undergone by the
appellant. In the facts and circumstances of the case, we feel that a sum of Rs.2,00,000/-
(Rupees Two Lacs) would be an adequate compensation for the appellant and would
meet the ends of justice. We, accordingly, direct the State of Madhya Pradesh
to pay to the appellant the sum of Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lacs) as
compensation. In case the sum of Rs.70,000/- as awarded by the High Court, has
already been paid to the appellant, the State would naturally pay only the balance
amount of Rs.1,30,000/- (Rupees One Lac thirty thousand)
the result, criminal appeal arising from SLP (Criminal) No.1658 of 2010 is dismissed
and criminal appeal arising from SLP (Criminal) D No.23364 of 2008 is allowed
to the extent stated above.
pending applications are dismissed.
(Ranjana Prakash Desai)