Guidelines regarding arrest and handcuffing of a person: Bombay HC 2016

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE SIDE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.1545 OF 2016
Mr. Satish Banwarilal Sharma. .. Petitioner
Vs
Union Territory of Diu, Daman and
Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Others. .. Respondents

Shri M.K. Kocharekar i/b Shri Pawan Mali for the Petitioner.
Ms. Purnima H. Kantharia for the Respondent Nos.1, 4 and 5.
Shri   Ashish   Singh   and   Shri   Rahul   Sinha   i/b   DSK   Legal   for   the
Respondent Nos.2 and 3.
Mrs.S.V. Sonawane, APP for the State.
­­
CORAM  :  A.S. OKA & A.A. SAYED, JJ
DATE ON WHICH SUBMISSIONS WERE HEARD : 26TH OCTOBER 2016
DATE ON WHICH JUDGMENT IS PRONOUNCED: 22ND DECEMBER 2016
JUDGMENT ( PER A.S. OKA, J )
1. The case made out in the Petition is that on 2nd July 2009
after the  Petitioner was remanded to the police custody remand in
connection   with   a   criminal   case   for   the   offences   punishable   under
Sections 384 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, from Bus Stand at
Daman  to  Police  Station   Daman, he   was paraded  through  crowded
market area in handcuffed condition by three police constables.   The
contention is that the said act was in gross violation of the rights and
liberty guaranteed to the Petitioner under Articles 14 and 21 of the
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Constitution   of   India.     Therefore,   the   prayer   in   this   Petition   under
Article 226 of the Constitution of India is for grant of compensation of
Rs.5 crores. The second substantive prayer is for issuing a direction to
the Administrator of Union Territory of Daman & Diu and Dadra &
Nagar Haveli (for short “The Union Territory”) as well as the Union of
India   to   initiate   departmental   action   against   the   second   to   eighth
Respondents for their misconduct.
2. The Petitioner is claiming to be a Managing Editor of a
daily newspaper (Savera India Times).  It is claimed in the Petition that
the said newspaper is widely circulated in the area of Daman, Diu,  and
Gujarat since the last 16 years.   It is alleged that various misdeeds of
the Government officials have been exposed by the Petitioner in the said
newspaper without any fear or favour.  It is claimed that the Petitioner
has gained a reputation as a clean and honest journalist.
3. The   Petitioner,   as   set   out   in   the   Petition,   has   written
articles in the newspaper on the high­handed action of the police of the
said Union Territory.  According to the Petitioner, he exposed ill­deeds of
Shri Satyagopal who was the  then Administrator of the said Union
Territory.  He has referred to various news items published in June 2009
for  exposing the  alleged misdeeds of  the  said Shri Satyagopal  (the
second Respondent).  The allegation is that the second Respondent got
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angry and got registered a false First Information Report (FIR) bearing
No.31 of 2009 against the Petitioner at Diu Police Station.  The FIR was
registered   with   the   Police   Station   at   Diu   making   allegations   of
commission of offence under Sections 384, 504 and 506 of the Indian
Penal Code.  It is claimed by the Petitioner that he surrendered to the
police after registration of the said FIR and he was arrested on 30th June
2009 at about 20.30 hrs by Diu Police Station.  The allegation is that
though   the   Petitioner   was   arrested   by   Diu   Police   Station,   he   was
brought to the City of Daman in police custody which is 700 kms away
from Diu area. He was taken by bus from Diu Bus Station to Daman
which arrived at Daman on 2nd  July 2009 at about 16.30 hrs.   It is
alleged that on that date, he was paraded in handcuffed condition from
Daman Bus Stand to Daman Police Station.  He was taken through the
main and crowded market area of Daman City.  It is alleged that by this
conduct,   the   image   of   the   Petitioner   in   the   eyes   of   Society   was
tarnished.
4. The Petitioner made representations to various authorities.
The   Petitioner   has   referred   to   certain   civil   and   criminal   cases   filed
against him.   A legal notice was issued by the Petitioner on 6th October
2009 to the second Respondent and others calling upon them to pay
compensation of Rs.1 crore. The Administrator of the Union Territory
appointed the Deputy Collector(HO) and SDM to conduct an inquiry
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into   the   incident   of   handcuffing.   The   said   Officer   came   to   the
conclusion   that   the   incident   was   not   proved.   The   Petitioner   had
complained about the incident to the Press Council of India.  On 17th
November 2011,   the Press Council of India passed a detailed order
directing that a fresh inquiry be held.  On the basis of that order, the
Administrator of the Union Territory appointed the learned Principal
District   &   Sessions   Judge,   Dadra   and   Nagar   Haveli,   Silvassa   as   an
Inquiry   Officer.     After   publishing   a   public   notice,   an   inquiry   was
conducted   by   the   learned   Principal   District   &   Sessions   Judge.     He
recorded   the   statements   of   various   witnesses   and   came   to   the
conclusion that the Petitioner was paraded and handcuffed from Daman
Bus Stand to the Police Station at  Daman.  On 11th December 2015, the
Press Council of India passed an order by which the Report of the
Principal District Judge was accepted.
5. Based on the findings recorded by the learned Principal
District & Sessions Judge, the reliefs in the present Petition have been
prayed.
6. The   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the   Petitioner   while
relying upon various decisions of the Apex Court submitted that the  of
illegal handcuffing of the Petitioner amounts to gross violation of the
fundamental rights guaranteed to the Petitioner under Article 21 of the
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Constitution   of   India.     He   urged   that   apart   from   the   police
constables/police officers, even the second Respondent has played a
major role in hand­cuffing and parading the Petitioner thereby lowering
his dignity and prestige in the eyes of the members of   public.     He
submitted   that   considering   the   gross   violation   of   Article   21   of   the
Constitution of India, the Petitioner has adopted a public law remedy
for seeking compensation and other reliefs.  He urged that substantial
amount be granted by way of compensation.
7. The learned counsel appearing for the Union Territory as
well as fourth, fifth and tenth Respondents urged that the Petitioner
cannot seek reliefs which are prayed for by taking recourse to the writ
jurisdiction.  The learned counsel appearing for the second Respondent
submitted that the second Respondent has played no role in the alleged
act of handcuffing and parading the Petitioner.  On a query made by this
Court   to   the   learned   counsel   representing   the   Administrator   of   the
Union   Territory   and   the   learned   counsel   appearing   for   the   second
Respondent, learned Counsel stated that the inquiry report dated 15th
November 2014 submitted by the learned Principal District & Sessions
Judge at Dadra & Nagar Haveli has not been challenged.
8. We have given careful consideration to the submissions. On
the basis of the directions issued by the Press Council of India that the
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learned Principal District & Sessions Judge was appointed as the Inquiry
Officer by the Administrator of the Union Territory.   It appears that
public notices of the said inquiry were issued.   Copies of the public
notices published in the newspapers are annexed to the Petition.  Before
the learned Principal District Judge, the Petitioner examined himself
and various other witnesses. Paragraphs 23 to 25 of the report dated
15th November 2014 submitted by the learned Principal District Judge,
read thus:
“23. All the witnesses, who are examined on behalf of
the complainant in this enquiry have specifically
deposed that on 02/07/2009 between 4 p.m and
5 p.m they had seen three policemen carrying
complainant   Satish   Sharma   by   road   from   bus
stand to police station Nani Daman and he was
hand cuffed.   Complainant has filed on record
paper cuttings of Jansansar, The Territory Times,
Janakrosh, The India Highlight.  All these papers
would show that news  of  hand cuffing  of  the
complainant and paraded him in roads of Nani
Daman was published in these papers.
24. Zerox copy of enquiry report of Chanchal Yadav,
IAS, SDM, Daman is filed on record.   There is
reference of statements of ASI Shri Govind Raja,
Police Head Constable Shri Bharat Devji Bamania
and Police Constable Shri Kishore P. Solanki.  All
these police officials in their respective statement
before SDM, Daman/Enquiry Officer contended
that they had carried complainant Satish Sharma
on   02/07/2009   to   Daman   from   Diu   in   Crime
No.31/2009 of Police Station Diu.
25. So taking into consideration oral evidence of
the complainant referred above together with
the fact that said version is supported by as
many as 15 witnesses and news published in
the newspapers referred above, in my opinion,
the complainant has proved that after he was
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remanded to police custody remand in Crime
No.31/2009 for the offences punishable under
Sections 384, 506 of the Indian Penal Code of
Police   Station   Diu,   on   02/07/2009   he   was
taken to Daman from Diu and from bus stand
Nani Daman to Police Station Daman, he was
paraded in the streets in hand cuff condition
by  three   police   officials   namely   ASI   Shri
Govind Raja, Police Head Constable Shri Barat
Devji   Bamania and   Police   Constable   Shri
Kishore P. Solanki.”
(emphasis added)
9. It  is   pointed   out   that   the   Press  Council   of   India   by  its
Adjudication dated 11th December 2015 accepted the detailed report of
the Inquiry Officer (the Principal District & Sessions Judge) running
into 17 pages. The administration of the Union Territory did not dispute
or challenge the report of the Learned Principal District Judge.
10. In view of the unchallenged report of the learned Principal
District & Sessions Judge which is based on the appreciation of evidence
of the witnesses examined before him, we will have to proceed on the
footing that the Petitioner was paraded through the streets from the bus
stand at Nani Daman to Daman Police Station in handcuffed condition,
as found by the learned Principal District & Sessions Judge.  As stated
earlier, at that time, the Petitioner was an under­trial prisoner. As far as
the handcuffing is concerned, the law has been laid down by the Apex
Court in the decision in the case of  Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi
Administration1
.  Paragraphs 22 to 27 of the said decision read thus:
1 (1980)3 SCC 526
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“22.  Handcuffing   is   prima   facie   inhuman   and,
therefore,   unreasonable,   is   over­harsh   and   at
the first flush, arbitrary. Absent fair procedure
and objective monitoring, to inflict ‘irons’ is to
resort   to   zoological   strategies   repugnant   to
Article 21. Thus, we must critically examine the
justification offered by the State for this mode of
restraint.   Surely,   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   hand­and­foot,   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?
23. Insurance   against   escape   does   not
compulsorily require handcuffing. There are
other measures whereby an escort can keep
safe   custody   of   a   detenu   without   the
indignity and cruelty implicit in handcuffs or
other   iron   contraptions.   Indeed,   binding
together either the hands or the feet or both
has not merely a preventive impact, but also
a punitive hurtfulness. Manacles are mayhem
on the human person and inflict humiliation
on   the   bearer. The   Encyclopaedia   Britannica,
Vol. II (1973 Edn.) at p. 53 states “Handcuffs
and   fetters   are   instruments   for   securing   the
hands or feet of prisoners under arrest, or as a
means of punishment”. The three components of
‘irons’   forced   on   the   human   person   must   be
distinctly understood. Firstly, to handcuff is to
hoop harshly. Further, to handcuff is to punish
humiliatingly and to vulgarise the viewers also.
Iron   straps   are   insult   and   pain   writ   large,
animalising victim and keeper. Since there are
other ways of ensuring security, it can be laid
down as a rule that handcuffs or other fetters
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shall not be forced on the person of an under
trial   prisoner  ordinarily.  The   latest   police
instructions   produced   before   us   hearteningly
reflect   this   view.   We   lay   down   as   necessarily
implicit in Articles 14 and 19 that when there is
no compulsive need to fetter a person’s limbs, it is
sadistic, capricious, despotic and demoralizing
to   humble   a   man   by   manacling   him.   Such
arbitrary conduct surely slaps Article 14 on the
face. The minimal freedom of movement which
even a detainee is entitled to under Article 19
(see Sunil Batra [(1978) 4 SCC 494 : 1979 SCC
(Cri)   155]   )   cannot   be   cut   down   cruelly   by
application of handcuffs or other hoops. It will
be unreasonable so to do unless the State is able
to   make   out   that   no   other   practical   way   of
forbidding   escape   is   available,   the   prisoner
being   so   dangerous   and   desperate   and   the
circumstances so hostile to safe keeping.
24. Once we make it a constitutional mandate
that   no   prisoner   shall   be   handcuffed   or
fettered   routinely   or   merely   for   the
convenience of the custodian or escort — and
we   declare   that   to   be   the   law   —   the
distinction   between   classes   of   prisoners
becomes constitutionally obsolete. Apart from
the  fact that  economic  and  social  importance
cannot be the basis for classifying prisoners for
purposes of handcuffs or otherwise, how can we
assume that a rich criminal or under trial is any
different from a poor or pariah convict or under
trial in the matter of security risk? An affluent in
custody may be as dangerous or desperate as an
indigent, if not more. He may be more prone to
be rescued than an ordinary person. We hold
that   it   is   arbitrary   and   irrational   to   classify
prisoners,   for   purposes   of   handcuffs,   into   ‘B’
class and ordinary class. No one shall be fettered
in any form based on superior class differentia,
as the law treats them equally. It is brutalising to
handcuff   a   person   in   public   and   so   is
unreasonable   to   do   so.   Of   course,   the   police
escort   will   find   it   comfortable   to   fetter   their
charges and be at ease but that is not a relevant
consideration.
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25.  The   only   circumstance   which   validates
incapacitation  by irons — an extreme measure
— is that otherwise there is no other reasonable
way   of   preventing   his   escape,   in   the   given
circumstances.   Securing   the   prisoner   being   a
necessity of judicial trial, the State must take
steps   in   this   behalf.   But   even   here,   the
policeman’s   easy   assumption   or   scary
apprehension or subjective satisfaction of likely
escape if fetters are not fitted on the prisoner is
not enough. The heavy deprivation of personal
liberty   must   be   justifiable   as   reasonable
restriction   in   the   circumstances.   Ignominy,
inhumanity and affliction, implicit in chains and
shackles are permissible, as not unreasonable,
only if every other less cruel means is fraught
with risks or beyond availability. So it is that to
be consistent with Articles 14 and 19 handcuffs
must be the last refuge, not the routine regimen.
If   a   few   more   guards   will   suffice,   then   no
handcuffs. If a close watch by armed policemen
will   do,   then   no   handcuffs.   If   alternative
measures   may   be   provided,   then   no   iron
bondage. This is the legal norm.
26. Functional compulsions of security must reach
that   dismal   degree   where   no   alternative   will
work except manacles. We must realise that our
fundamental rights are heavily loaded in favour
of personal liberty even in prison, and so, the
traditional approaches without reverence for the
worth   of   the   human   person   are   obsolete,
although   they   die   hard.   Discipline   can   be
exaggerated by prison keepers; dangerousness
can   be   physically   worked   up   by   escorts   and
sadistic disposition, where higher awareness of
constitutional rights is absent, may overpower
the  finer  values  of   dignity  and  humanity.  We
regret   to   observe   that   cruel   and   unusual
treatment has an unhappy appeal to jail keepers
and escorting officers, which must be countered
by strict directions to keep to the parameters of
the Constitution. The conclusion flowing from
these considerations is that there must first be
well   grounded   basis   for   drawing   a   strong
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inference that the prisoner is likely to jump jail
or break out of custody or play the vanishing
trick. The belief in this behalf must be based on
antecedents   which   must   be   recorded   and
proneness to violence must be authentic. Vague
surmises or general averments that the under
trial is a crook or desperado, rowdy or maniac,
cannot suffice. In short, save in rare cases of
concrete   proof   readily   available   of   the
dangerousness of the prisoner in transit — the
onus of proof of which is on him who puts the
person under irons — the police escort will be
committing personal assault or mayhem if he
handcuffs or fetters his charge. It is disgusting to
see   the   mechanical   way   in   which   callous
policemen, cavalier  fashion, handcuff  prisoner
in   their   charge,   indifferently   keeping   them
company   assured   by   the   thought   that   the
detainee is under “iron” restraint.
27. Even   orders   of   superiors   are   no   valid
justification  as constitutional  rights cannot be
kept in suspense by superior orders, unless there
is   material,   sufficiently   stringent,   to   satisfy   a
reasonable mind that dangerous and desperate
is   the   prisoner   who   is  being   transported   and
further  that  by  adding  to  the  escort  party  or
other strategy he cannot be kept under control.
It is hard to imagine such situations.  We must
repeat   that   it   is   unconscionable,   indeed,
outrageous,   to   make   the   strange
classification between better class prisoners
and   ordinary   prisoners   in   the   matter   of
handcuffing. This elitist concept has no basis
except that on the assumption the ordinary
Indian is a sub­citizen and freedoms under
Part III of the Constitution are the privilege
of the upper sector of society.”
(emphasis added)

11. In the case of Citizens for Democracy v. State of Assam2
,
the Apex Court reiterated the law as under:
2 (1995) 3 SCC 743
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“KULDIP SINGH, J.—
“We clearly declare — and it shall be obeyed from the
Inspector General of Police and Inspector General of
Prisons to the escort constable and the jailwarder —
that the rule, regarding a prisoner in transit between
prison   house   and   court   house,   is   freedom   from
handcuffs   and   the   exception,   under   conditions   of
judicial supervision we have indicated earlier, will be
restraints with irons, to be justified before or after. We
mandate the judicial officer before whom the prisoner
is   produced   to   interrogate   the   prisoner,   as   a   rule,
whether he has been subjected to handcuffs or other
‘irons’   treatment   and,   if   he   has   been,   the   official
concerned   shall   be   asked   to   explain   the   action
forthwith in the light of this judgment.”
Ordained this Court — speaking through V.R. Krishna
Iyer,   J.   —   in  Prem   Shankar   Shukla v. Delhi   Admn.
[(1980) 3 SCC 526 : 1980 SCC (Cri) 815 : (1980) 3
SCR 855]
2. In Sunil Batra v. Delhi Admn. [(1978) 4 SCC 494
: 1979 SCC (Cri) 155 : (1979) 1 SCR 392] this Court
pronounced that undertrials shall be deemed to be in
custody, but not undergoing punitive imprisonment.
Fetters,   especially   bar   fetters,   shall   be   shunned   as
violative of human dignity, both within and without
prisons. The indiscriminate resort to handcuffs when
accused persons are taken to and from court and the
expedient of forcing irons on prison inmates are illegal
and shall be stopped forthwith save in small category
of cases where an undertrial has a credible tendency
for violence and escape, a humanely graduated degree
of ‘iron’ restraint is permissible if — other disciplinary
alternatives are unworkable. The burden of proof of
the ground is on the custodian. And if he fails, he will
be liable in law. Reckless handcuffing and chaining in
public degrades and puts to shame finer sensibilities
and is a slur on our culture.
3. The   law   declared   by   this   Court   in Shukla
case [(1980)  3 SCC  526 : 1980 SCC  (Cri)  815 :
(1980) 3 SCR 855] and Batra case [(1978) 4 SCC
494 : 1979 SCC (Cri) 155 : (1979) 1 SCR 392] is a
mandate   under   Articles   141   and   144   of   the
Constitution of India and all concerned are bound
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to obey the same. We are constrained to say that the
guidelines laid down by this Court and the directions
issued repeatedly regarding handcuffing of undertrials
and convicts are not being followed by the police, jail
authorities and even by the subordinate judiciary. We
make it clear that the law laid down by this Court in
the abovesaid two judgments and the directions issued
by us are binding on all concerned and any violation
or  circumvention  shall  attract the  provisions of the
Contempt   of   Courts   Act   apart   from   other   penal
consequences under law. ”
In the same decision very clear directions have been issued
by the Apex Court in paragraphs 16 onwards which read thus:
“16. We declare, direct and lay down as a rule that
handcuffs or other fetters shall not be forced
on a prisoner — convicted or undertrial —
while lodged in a jail anywhere in the country
or while transporting or in transit from one
jail to another or from jail to court and back.
The police and the jail authorities, on their
own,   shall   have   no   authority   to   direct   the
handcuffing   of   any   inmate   of   a   jail   in   the
country or during transport from one jail to
another or from jail to court and back.
17. Where the police or the jail authorities have
well­grounded   basis   for   drawing   a   strong
inference that a particular prisoner is likely to
jump jail or break out of the custody then the
said   prisoner   be   produced   before   the
Magistrate   concerned   and   a   prayer   for
permission to handcuff the prisoner be made
before the said Magistrate. Save in rare cases
of   concrete   proof   regarding   proneness   of   the
prisoner to violence, his tendency to escape, he
being so dangerous/desperate  and the  finding
that no other practical way of forbidding escape
is   available,   the   Magistrate   may   grant
permission to handcuff the prisoner.
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18. In all the cases where a person arrested by
police, is produced before the Magistrate and
remand — judicial or non­judicial — is given
by the Magistrate the person concerned shall
not   be  handcuffed   unless   special   orders  in
that respect are obtained from the Magistrate
at   the   time   of   the   grant   of   the   remand.
19. When the police arrests a person in execution of
a warrant of arrest obtained from a Magistrate,
the person so arrested shall not be handcuffed
unless the police has also obtained orders from
the Magistrate for the handcuffing of the person
to be so arrested.
20. Where a person is arrested by the police without
warrant the police officer concerned may if he is
satisfied, on the basis of the guidelines given by
us in para above, that it is necessary to handcuff
such a person, he may do so till the time he is
taken   to   the   police   station   and   thereafter   his
production before the Magistrate. Further use of
fetters thereafter can only be under the orders of
the Magistrate as already indicated by us.
21. We   direct   all   ranks   of   police   and   the   prison
authorities   to   meticulously   obey   the   abovementioned
directions.”
(emphasis added)
Coming back to the facts of the case, the learned Principal
District Judge found that on 1st  July 2009, when the Petitioner was
produced before the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class at Diu, he
was remanded to Police custody till 7th July 2009. Thus, on the date of
the incident of handcuffing, the Petitioner was in Police custody. It is
nobody’s   case   that   the   learned   Magistrate   had   permitted   his
handcuffing.   Hence,   the   action   of   handcuffing   and   parading   the
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Petitioner through the streets is completely contrary to the directions of
the Apex Court in the  aforesaid decision. Moreover, this amounts to
gross   violation   of   the   fundamental   rights   of   the   Petitioner.   The
petitioner   was   thus   humiliated   and   subjected   to   enormous
embarrassment.
12. In the case of Nilabati Behera (Smt) Alias Lalita Behera
(Through the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee) v. State of Orissa
and Others3
in Paragraphs 10 and 22, the Apex Court held thus:
“10. In view of the decisions of this Court in Rudul
Sah  v.  State of Bihar  [(1983) 4 SCC  141 :
1983 SCC (Cri) 798 : (1983) 3 SCR 508] ,
Sebastian   M.   Hongray  v.  Union   of   India
[(1984) 1 SCC 339 : 1984 SCC (Cri) 87 :
(1984) 1 SCR 904(I)] , Sebastian M. Hongray
v. Union of India [(1984) 3 SCC 82 : 1984 SCC
(Cri)   407   :   (1984)   3   SCR   544(II)]   ,  Bhim
Singh v. State of J & K [1984 Supp SCC 504 :
1985 SCC (Cri) 60] , Bhim Singh v. State of J
& K [(1985) 4 SCC 677 : 1986 SCC (Cri) 47] ,
Saheli:   A   Women’s   Resources   Centre  v.
Commissioner   of   Police,   Delhi   Police
Headquarters [(1990) 1 SCC 422 : 1990 SCC
(Cri)   145]   and  State   of   Maharashtra  v.
Ravikant S. Patil  [(1991) 2 SCC 373 : 1991
SCC (Cri) 656] the liability of the State of
Orissa   in   the   present   case   to   pay   the
compensation   cannot   be   doubted   and   was
rightly not disputed by the learned Additional
Solicitor   General.  It   would,   however,   be
appropriate   to   spell   out   clearly   the
principle on which the liability of the State
arises   in   such   cases   for   payment   of
compensation and the distinction between
this liability and the liability in private law
3 (1993)2 SCC 746
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for payment of compensation in an action
on tort. It may be mentioned straightaway
that   award   of   compensation   in   a
proceeding under Article 32 by this Court
or by the High Court under Article 226 of
the Constitution is a remedy available in
public   law,   based   on   strict   liability   for
contravention   of   fundamental   rights   to
which the principle of sovereign immunity
does   not   apply,   even   though   it   may   be
available as a defence in private law in an
action based on tort. This is a distinction
between the two remedies to be borne in
mind   which   also   indicates   the   basis   on
which   compensation   is   awarded   in   such
proceedings. We shall now refer to the earlier
decisions of this Court as well as some other
decisions   before   further   discussion   of   this
principle.
22. The above discussion indicates the principle
on which the court’s power under Articles 32
and  226 of  the  Constitution  is  exercised to
award   monetary   compensation   for
contravention   of   a   fundamental   right.   This
was  indicated in  Rudul Sah  [(1983) 4 SCC
141 : 1983 SCC (Cri) 798 : (1983) 3 SCR
508] and certain further observations therein
adverted   to   earlier,   which   may   tend   to
minimise the effect of the principle indicated
therein,   do   not   really   detract   from   that
principle.   This   is   how   the   decisions   of   this
Court in Rudul Sah [(1983) 4 SCC 141 : 1983
SCC (Cri) 798 : (1983) 3 SCR 508] and others
in   that   line   have   to   be   understood   and
Kasturilal [(1965) 1 SCR 375 : AIR 1965 SC
1039   :   (1965)   2   Cri   LJ   144]   distinguished
therefrom. We have considered this question
at some length in view of the doubt raised, at
times,   about   the   propriety   of   awarding
compensation in such proceedings, instead of
directing the claimant to resort to the ordinary
process of recovery of damages by recourse to
an action in tort. In the present case, on the
finding reached, it is a clear case for award of
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compensation   to   the   petitioner   for   the
custodial death of her son.”
13. In its decision in the case of  Sube Singh v. State of
Haryana4
,  the Apex Court reiterated the law on the issue of grant
of compensation in a public law remedy under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India on the ground of violation of fundamental
rights guaranteed by Article 21. Paragraphs 31 and 38 of the said
decision read thus:
“Compensation as a public law remedy
31. Though   illegal   detention   and   custodial   torture
were recognised as violations of the fundamental
rights of life and liberty guaranteed under Article
21, to begin with, only the following reliefs were
being granted in the writ petitions under Article
32 or 226:
(a)  direction   to   set   at   liberty   the   person
detained, if the complaint was one of
illegal detention.
(b)  direction to the Government concerned
to   hold   an   inquiry   and   take   action
against the officers responsible for the
violation.
(c)  if the enquiry or action taken by the
department concerned was found to be
not satisfactory, to direct an inquiry by
an   independent   agency,   usually   the
Central Bureau of Investigation.
Award   of   compensation   as   a   public   law
remedy   for   violation   of   the   fundamental
rights   enshrined   in   Article   21   of   the
Constitution, in addition to the private law
remedy under the law of torts, was evolved in
the last two­and­a­half decades.
4 (2006) 3 SCC 178
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38. It is thus now well settled that the award of
compensation   against   the   State   is   an
appropriate and effective remedy for redress
of   an   established   infringement   of   a
fundamental   right   under   Article   21,   by   a
public servant. The quantum of compensation
will,   however,   depend   upon   the   facts   and
circumstances   of   each   case.   Award   of   such
compensation (by way of public law remedy)
will   not   come   in   the   way   of   the  aggrieved
person claiming additional compensation in a
civil court, in the enforcement of the private law
remedy   in   tort,   nor   come   in   the   way   of   the
criminal   court   ordering   compensation   under
Section 357 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
(emphasis added)
14.             In the case of Hardeep Singh vs State of M.P5
, the Apex
Court held that the compensation of Rs.70,000/­ granted by a High
Court on account of illegal handcuffing was inadequate.   The Apex
Court   enhanced   the   amount   to   Rs.2,00,000/­.   The   incident   of
handcuffing in the said case was of 1992. The Petitioner has prayed for
grant of compensation of Rs.5 crores.  While we hold that this is a case
of gross violation of the fundamental rights of the Petitioner guaranteed
under Article 21 of the Constitution of India as well as gross breach of
the directions of the Apex Court, we find that there is no basis set out
for the compensation claimed of Rs.5 crores.  Considering the fact that
the Petitioner is a Journalist and claims to have published news items
for   exposing   ill­deeds   of   the   Government   officers,   we   deem   it
appropriate   to   direct   the   Union   Territory   to   pay   compensation
quantified at Rs.4 lakhs to the Petitioner.   If the amount is not paid
5 (2012)1 SCC 748
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within the stipulated time, interest will have to be paid on the said
amount. Moreover, for claiming additional compensation, the regular
remedy of filing a suit is always available to the  Petitioner.
15. As   we   have   held   that   the   action   of   the   concerned
Respondents was completely violative of Article 21 of the Constitution
of India, needless to add that the appropriate disciplinary proceedings
will have to be initiated against the erring officers. The Union Territory
can always hold and inquiry for fixing the responsibility for the lapse. It
is free to recover the amount from those members of the staff who are
found responsible for the violations.
16.           As the Petitioner was driven to file this Petition, we propose
to award costs to him quantified at Rs.25,000/­.
17. Accordingly, we pass the following order:­
ORDER:
(a) We hold that the administration of the said Union
Territory has  violated the fundamental rights of the
Petitioner   guaranteed   under   Article   21   of   the
Constitution   of   India   by   illegally   handcuffing   and
parading him on 2nd July 2009;
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(b) We direct the Administrator of the Union Territory to
initiate inquiry for fixing the responsibility for this
illegality. The proceedings initiated shall be taken to
the logical conclusion;
(c) We direct the Union Territory to pay compensation of
Rs.4,00,000/­ (Rupees four lakhs) to the Petitioner
within   a  period   of   two   months   from   the   date   on
which   this   judgment   and   order   is   uploaded.   We
clarify that the remedy of the Petitioner of filing a
suit to recover additional compensation is kept open;
(d) In the event of the failure to pay the said amount
within the stipulated time, the Union Territory shall
be liable to pay interest on the said amount at the
rate of 9% per annum to the Petitioner till realization
from the date of this judgment and order;
(e) It will be open to the Administrator of the Union
Territory to take steps for recovery of the aforesaid
amount from the erring officers after following due
process of law;
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(f) Rule is partly made absolute on above terms;
(g) By way of costs of this Petition, we direct that the
Union Territory to pay a sum of Rs.25,000/­ to the
Petitioner within a period of two months from today.
( A.A. SAYED, J) ( A.S. OKA, J )
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