The victim Lalita Kumari is recovered.Lalita Kumari Vs Govt of U.P. and Ors on 19 Feb 2014
The landmark judgment is here.
The victim Lalita Kumari is recovered.Lalita Kumari Vs Govt of U.P. and Ors on 19 Feb 2014
The landmark judgment is here.
A division bench of Apex Court held as follows:
From Para 10,
10. The judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh is incomprehensible. This Court in appeal found it difficult to navigate through the maze of incomprehensible language in the decision of the High Court. A litigant for whom the judgment is primarily meant would be placed in an even more difficult position. Untrained in the law, the litigant is confronted with language which is not heard, written or spoken in contemporary expression. Language of the kind in a judgment defeats the purpose of judicial writing. Judgment writing of the genre before us in appeal detracts from the efficacy of the judicial process. The purpose of judicial writing is not to confuse or confound the reader behind the veneer of complex language. The judge must write to provide an easy-to-understand analysis of the issues of law and fact which arise for decision. Judgments are primarily meant for those whose cases are decided by judges. Judgments of the High Courts and the Supreme Court also serve as precedents to guide future benches. A judgment must make sense to those whose lives and affairs are affected by the outcome of the case. While a judgment is read by those as well who have training in the law, they do not represent the entire universe of discourse. Confidence in the judicial process is predicated on the trust which its written word generates. If the meaning of the written word is lost in language, the ability of the adjudicator to retain the trust of the reader is severely eroded.
11. We are constrained to remit the proceedings back to the High Court for consideration afresh. The judgment of the High Court is simply incomprehensible leaving this Court with no option than to remand the proceedings. The High Court must appreciate the delay and expense occasioned as a consequence and must make an effort to record reasons which are understood by all stake-holders.
From Para 13,
13. Amidst an overburdened judicial docket, a view is sometimes voiced that parties are concerned with the outcome and little else. This view proceeds on the basis that parties value the outcome and not the reasoning which constitutes the foundation. This view undervalues the importance of the judicial function and of the reasons which are critical to it. The work of a judge cannot be reduced to a statistic about the disposal of a case. Every judgment is an incremental step towards consolidation and change. In adhering to precedent, the judgment reflects a commitment to protecting legal principle. This imparts certainty to the law. Each judgment is hence a brick in the consolidation of the fundamental precepts on which a legal order is based. But in incremental steps a judgment addresses the need to evolve and to transform by addressing critical issues which confront human existence. Courts are as much engaged in the slow yet not so silent process of bringing about a social transformation. How good or deficient they are in that quest is tested by the quality of the reasons as much as by the manner in which the judicial process is structured.
From Paras 16, 17 and 18,
16. A judgment culminates in a conclusion. But its content represents the basis for the conclusion. A judgment is hence a manifestation of reason. The reasons provide the basis of the view which the decision maker has espoused, of the balances which have been drawn. That is why reasons are crucial to the legitimacy of a judge’s work. They provide an insight into judicial analysis, explaining to the reader why what is written has been written. The reasons, as much as the final conclusion, are open to scrutiny. A judgment is written primarily for the parties in a forensic contest. The scrutiny is first and foremost by the person for whom the decision is meant – the conflicting parties before the court. At a secondary level, reasons furnish the basis for challenging a judicial outcome in a higher forum. The validity of the decision is tested by the underlying content and reasons. But there is more. Equally significant is the fact that a judgment speaks to the present and to the future. Judicial outcomes taken singularly or in combination have an impact upon human lives. Hence, a judgment is amenable to wider critique and scrutiny, going beyond the immediate contest in a courtroom. Citizens, researchers and journalists continuously evaluate the work of courts as public institutions committed to governance under law. Judgment writing is hence a critical instrument in fostering the rule of law and in curbing rule by the law.
17. Judgment writing is a layered exercise. In one layer, a judgment addresses the concerns and arguments of parties to a forensic contest. In another layer, a judgment addresses stake-holders beyond the conflict. It speaks to those in society who are impacted by the discourse. In the layered formulation of analysis, a judgment speaks to the present and to the future. Whether or not the writer of a judgment envisions it, the written product remains for the future, representing another incremental step in societal dialogue. If a judgment does not measure up, it can be critiqued and criticized. Behind the layers of reason is the vision of the adjudicator over the values which a just society must embody and defend. In a constitutional framework, these values have to be grounded in the Constitution. The reasons which a judge furnishes provides a window – an insight – into the work of the court in espousing these values as an integral element of the judicial function.
18. Many judgments do decide complex questions of law and of fact. Brevity is an unwitting victim of an overburdened judiciary. It is also becoming a victim of the cut-copy-paste convenience afforded by software developers. This Court has been providing headings and sub-headings to assist the reader in providing a structured sequence. Introduced and popularized in judgment writing by Lord Denning, this development has been replicated across jurisdictions.
From Paras 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24,
20. It is also useful for all judgments to carry paragraph numbers as it allows for ease of reference and enhances the structure, improving the readability and accessibility of the judgments. A Table of Contents in a longer version assists access to the reader.
21. On the note of accessibility, the importance of making judgments accessible to persons from all sections of society, especially persons with disability needs emphasis. All judicial institutions must ensure that the judgments and orders being published by them do not carry improperly placed watermarks as they end up making the documents inaccessible for persons with visual disability who use screen readers to access them. On the same note, courts and tribunals must also ensure that the version of the judgments and orders uploaded is accessible and signed using digital signatures. They should not be scanned versions of printed copies. The practice of printing and scanning documents is a futile and time-consuming process which does not serve any purpose. The practice should be eradicated from the litigation process as it tends to make documents as well as the process inaccessible for an entire gamut of citizens.
22. In terms of structuring judgments, it would be beneficial for courts to structure them in a manner such that the “Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion‟ are easily identifiable. The well-renowned “IRAC‟ method generally followed for analyzing cases and structuring submissions can also benefit judgments when it is complemented by recording the facts and submissions.
23. The “Issue” refers to the question of law that the court is deciding. A court may be dealing with multiple issues in the same judgment. Identifying these issues clearly helps structure the judgment and provides clarity for the reader on the specific issue of law being decided in a particular segment of a judgment. The „Rule‟ refers to the portion of the judgment which distils the submissions of counsel on the applicable law and doctrine for the issue identified. This rule is applied to the facts of the case in which the issue has arisen. The analysis recording the reasoning of a court forms the “Application‟ section.
24. Finally, it is always useful for a court to summarize and lay out the “Conclusion‟ on the basis of its determination of the application of the rule to the issue along with the decision vis-à-vis the specific facts. This allows stakeholders, especially members of the bar as well as judges relying upon the case in the future, to concisely understand the holding of the case.
Finally from Para 27,
State Bank of India and Anr Vs Ajay Kumar Sood on 16 Aug 2022
27. While we have laid down some broad guidelines, individual judges can indeed have different ways of writing judgments and continue to have variations in their styles of expression. The expression of a judge is an unfolding of the recesses of the mind. However, while recesses of the mind may be inscrutable, the reasoning in judgment cannot be. While judges may have their own style of judgment writing, they must ensure lucidity in writing across these styles.
A division bench of Apex Court held as follows:
From Para 20,
20. It is a fundamental principle of law that a party who is in enjoyment of an interim order, is bound to lose the benefit of such interim order when the ultimate outcome of the case goes against him.
Note: If only such illegally obtained benefits are legally reimbursed to the payer!CMD Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd and Anr Vs Rajesh Chandra Shrivastava and Ors on 07 Apr 2022
A division bench of Supreme Court held as follows,
From Para 15,
15. Before discussing the fact proposition, we would notice the principle of law as laid down by this Court. It is settled law that non-entertainment of petitions under writ jurisdiction by the High Court when an efficacious alternative remedy is available is a rule of self-imposed limitation. It is essentially a rule of policy, convenience and discretion rather than a rule of law. Undoubtedly, it is within the discretion of the High Court to grant relief under Article 226 despite the existence of an alternative remedy. However, the High Court must not interfere if there is an adequate efficacious alternative remedy available to the petitioner and he has approached the High Court without availing the same unless he has made out an exceptional case warranting such interference or there exist sufficient grounds to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226. (See: State of U.P. vs. Mohammad Nooh, AIR 1958 SC 86; Titaghur Paper Mills Co. Ltd. vs. State of Orissa, (1983) 2 SCC 433; Harbanslal Sahnia vs. Indian Oil Corpn.
Ltd., (2003) 2 SCC 107; State of H.P. vs. Gujarat Ambuja Cement Ltd., (2005) 6 SCC 499).
16. The Constitution Benches of this Court in K.S. Rashid and Sons vs. Income Tax Investigation Commission, AIR 1954 SC 207; Sangram Singh vs. Election Tribunal, Kotah, AIR 1955 SC 425; Union of India vs. T.R. Varma, AIR 1957 SC 882; State of U.P. vs. Mohd. Nooh, AIR 1958 SC 86 and K.S. Venkataraman and Co. (P) Ltd. vs. State of Madras, AIR 1966 SC 1089 have held that though Article 226 confers a very wide powers in the matter of issuing writs on the High Court, the remedy of writ absolutely discretionary in character. If the High Court is satisfied that the aggrieved party can have an adequate or suitable relief elsewhere, it can refuse to exercise its jurisdiction. The Court, in extraordinary circumstances, may exercise the power if it comes to the conclusion that there has been a breach of principles of natural justice or procedure required for decision has not been adopted.
(See: N.T. Veluswami Thevar vs. G. Raja Nainar, AIR 1959 SC 422; Municipal Council, Khurai vs. Kamal Kumar, (1965) 2 SCR 653; Siliguri Municipality vs. Amalendu Das, (1984) 2 SCC 436; S.T. Muthusami vs. K. Natarajan, (1988) 1 SCC 572; Rajasthan SRTC vs. Krishna Kant, (1995) 5 SCC 75; Kerala SEB vs. Kurien E. Kalathil, (2000) 6 SCC 293; A. Venkatasubbiah Naidu vs. S. Chellappan, (2000) 7 SCC 695; L.L. Sudhakar Reddy vs. State of A.P., (2001) 6 SCC 634; Shri Sant Sadguru Janardan Swami (Moingiri Maharaj) Sahakari Dugdha Utpadak Sanstha vs. State of Maharashtra, (2001) 8 SCC 509; Pratap Singh vs. State of Haryana, (2002) 7 SCC 484 and GKN Driveshafts (India) Ltd. vs. ITO, (2003) 1 SCC 72).
From Para 19,
Commissioner of Income Tax and Ors Vs Chhabil Dass Agarwal on 8 Aug 2013
19. Thus, while it can be said that this Court has recognized some exceptions to the rule of alternative remedy, i.e., where the statutory authority has not acted in accordance with the provisions of the enactment in question, or in defiance of the fundamental principles of judicial procedure, or has resorted to invoke the provisions which are repealed, or when an order has been passed in total violation of the principles of natural justice, the proposition laid down in Thansingh Nathmal case, Titagarh Paper Mills case and other similar judgments that the High Court will not entertain a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution if an effective alternative remedy is available to the aggrieved person or the statute under which the action complained of has been taken itself contains a mechanism for redressal of grievance still holds the field. Therefore, when a statutory forum is created by law for redressal of grievances, a writ petition should not be entertained ignoring the statutory dispensation.
Citations : [2013 AD SC 8 620], [2013 CTR SC 261 113], [2013 ITR SC 357], [2013 JLJR 4 35], [2013 JT SC 11 387], [2013 PLJR 4 179], [2013 SCALE 10 326], [2014 SCC 1 603], [2013 TAXMAN SC 217 143], [2013 SCC ONLINE SC 717], [2013 TAXMANNCOM SC 36]
Other Sources :
Landmark judgment from a division bench of the Apex Court.
From Paras 14 and 15,
Whirlpool Corporation Vs Registrar of Trade Marks Mumbai and Ors on 26 Oct 1998 (CM Ver)
14. The power to issue prerogative writs under Article 226 of the Constitution is plenary in nature and is not limited by any other provision of the Constitution. This power can be exercised by the High Court not only for issuing writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari for the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights contained in Part III of the Constitution but also for “any other purpose”.
15. Under Article 226 of the Constitution, the High Court, having regard to the facts of the case, has a discretion to entertain or not to entertain a writ petition. But the High Court has imposed upon itself certain restrictions one of which is that if an effective and efficacious remedy is available, the High Court would not normally exercise its jurisdiction. But the alternative remedy has been consistently held by this Court not to operate as a bar in at least three contingencies, namely, where the writ petition has been filed for the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights or where there has been a violation of the principle of natural justice or where the order or proceedings are wholly without jurisdiction or the vires of an Act is challenged. There is a plethora of case- law on this point but to cut down this circle of forensic whirlpool, we would rely on some old decisions of the evolutionary era of the constitutional law as they still hold the field.
Citations : [1998 SCC 8 1], [1999 AIR SC 22], [1998 AIR SC 3345], [1999 BOMCR SC 2 70], [1998 JT 7 243], [1998 SCALE 5 655], [1998 SUPREME 8 176], [1998 AIR SCW 3345]
Other Sources :
A division bench held that an alternative remedy is not an absolute bar to the invocation of the writ jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court and that without exhausting such alternative remedy, a writ petition would not be maintainable.
From Paras 27 and 28,
UOI and Ors Vs Tantia Construction Pvt Ltd on 18 Apr 2011
27. Apart from the above, even on the question of maintainability of the writ petition on account of the Arbitration Clause included in the agreement between the parties, it is now well-established that an alternative remedy is not an absolute bar to the invocation of the writ jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court and that without exhausting such alternative remedy, a writ petition would not be maintainable. The various decisions cited by Mr. Chakraborty would clearly indicate that the constitutional powers vested in the High Court or the Supreme Court cannot be fettered by any alternative remedy available to the authorities. Injustice, whenever and wherever it takes place, has to be struck down as an anathema to the rule of law and the provisions of the Constitution. We endorse the view of the High Court that notwithstanding the provisions relating to the Arbitration Clause contained in the agreement, the High Court was fully within its competence to entertain and dispose of the Writ Petition filed on behalf of the Respondent Company.
28. We, therefore, see no reason to interfere with the views expressed by the High Court on the maintainability of the Writ Petition and also on its merits. The Special Leave Petition is, accordingly, dismissed, but without any order as to costs.
Citations : [2011 SCC 5 697], [2011 AIOL 293], [2011 SUPREME 3 294], [2011 SCALE 4 745], [2011 RCR CIVIL SC 3 821], [2011 SCC CIV 3 117], [2011 LW 3 691], [2011 ARBLR SC 2 115], [2012 PLJR 1 455], [2011 JCR SC 3 8], [2011 UJ 4 2210], [2011 KLJ 2 15], [2011 AWC SC 5 4568], [2011 SCR 5 397], [2011 JT SC 5 59]
Other Sources :
A division bench of Apex Court held the following principles in regards to approaching a High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.
From Para 27,
MS Radha Krishan Industries Vs State of Himachal Pradesh on 20 Apr 2021
27 The principles of law which emerge are that :
(i) The power under Article 226 of the Constitution to issue writs can be exercised not only for the enforcement of fundamental rights, but for any other purpose as well;
(ii) The High Court has the discretion not to entertain a writ petition. One of the restrictions placed on the power of the High Court is where an effective alternate remedy is available to the aggrieved person;
(iii) Exceptions to the rule of alternate remedy arise where (a) the writ petition has been filed for the enforcement of a fundamental right protected by Part III of the Constitution; (b) there has been a violation of the principles of natural justice; (c) the order or proceedings are wholly without jurisdiction; or (d) the vires of a legislation is challenged;
(iv) An alternate remedy by itself does not divest the High Court of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution in an appropriate case though ordinarily, a writ petition should not be entertained when an efficacious alternate remedy is provided by law;
(v) When a right is created by a statute, which itself prescribes the remedy or procedure for enforcing the right or liability, resort must be had to that particular statutory remedy before invoking the discretionary remedy under Article 226 of the Constitution. This rule of exhaustion of statutory remedies is a rule of policy, convenience and discretion; and
(vi) In cases where there are disputed questions of fact, the High Court may decide to decline jurisdiction in a writ petition. However, if the High Court is objectively of the view that the nature of the controversy requires the exercise of its writ jurisdiction, such a view would not readily be interfered with.
Citations : [2021 SCC ONLINE SC 334]
Other Sources :
A division bench of Gujarat High Court held as follows regarding the language of a High Court.
From Paras 13, 14 and 15,
13. Before we further proceed to examine the aspects of competency to assist the Court, we need to first consider on the aspect of language of the High Court. Article 343 of the Constitution of India provides for official language of the Union. Whereas, Article 348 of the Constitution of India provides for languages of Supreme Court and High Court, etc. It is hardly required to be stated that before the constitution was framed, there were constitutional debates and deliberation on various points including about language to be used in Supreme Court and High Courts. After deliberations constitutional framers have finalised Article 348 of the Constitution. The aforesaid shows that until the Parliament by law otherwise provides, all proceedings in the Supreme Court and every High Court shall be in English. Sub-Article (2) provides that the Governor of the State may with the previous consent of the President Authorise the use of Hindi language or any other language in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State. But such would not be applicable to any judgment decree or order passed or made by such High Court.
14. The Parliament has enacted the Official Language Act, 1963 for providing languages to be used for official purpose of Union for transaction of business in Parliament under Central and State Act and also for certain purposes in the High Courts. The aforesaid shows that the President may authorise the use of Hindi or official language of the State in addition to English language for the purpose of any judgement decree or order passed or made by the High Court, but such shall be accompanied by a translation of the same in English language.
15. The aforesaid are the enabling powers, but so far as High Court of Gujarat is concerned, the learned Advocate General after verification, made a clear statement that no such order has been passed by the Governor under Article 348 (2) of the Constitution nor any order for authorisation has been passed by the President for use of Gujarati language or any other language and he further submitted that English language is already prescribed in the proceedings of the High Court and Supreme Court by Article 348 (1) of the Constitution. To say in other words, in absence of any order of the Governor under Article 348(2) of the Constitution or in absence of any authorisation under Section 7 of the Official Language Act, the language of the High Court of Gujarat as per the Constitution of India has to be English since the word used by the Constitution is “Shall be in English language”. Hence, it can be said that the language of the High Court of Gujarat shall be English unless any authorisation has been issued under Article 348(2) of the Constitution of India or under section 7 of the Official Language Act by the Governor or the President, as the case may be.
From Para 18,
Manish Kanaiyalal Gupta Vs State of Gujarat on 08 Jul 2015
18. It is hardly required to be stated that the Constitution or any provision of the Constitution will prevail over any Act or the law made by the Parliament or the Rules made by any Rule making authority. If Rule 37 is to be given effect read with the above referred constitutional provision, it would mean the memorandum of proceedings by a party may be submitted in Gujarati or in English, but if it is in Gujarati, the party may be asked to supply English translation also and if there has no financial capacity to provide English translation, Court may direct the English translation to be made by the High Court and thereafter, the matter may be considered further. If Rule 37 of the Rules is not interpreted in that manner, it would run counter to Article 348 of the Constitution.
Other Sources :
A division bench of Apex Court passed the following guidelines with respect to Arrest and Bails
From Para 24,
Satender Kumar Antil Vs CBI and Anr on 11 Jul 2022
24.Section 41A deals with the procedure for appearance before the police officer who is required to issue a notice to the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, and arrest is not required under Section 41(1). Section 41B deals with the procedure of arrest along with mandatory duty on the part of the officer.
25.On the scope and objective of Section 41 and 41A, it is obvious that they are facets of Article 21 of the Constitution. We need not elaborate any further, in light of the judgment of this Court in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273:
26.We only reiterate that the directions aforesaid ought to be complied with in letter and spirit by the investigating and prosecuting agencies, while the view expressed by us on the non-compliance of Section 41 and the consequences that flow from it has to be kept in mind by the Court, which is expected to be reflected in the orders.
27.Despite the dictum of this Court in Arnesh Kumar (supra), no concrete step has been taken to comply with the mandate of Section 41A of the Code. This Court has clearly interpreted Section 41(1)(b)(i) and (ii) inter alia holding that notwithstanding the existence of a reason to believe qua a police officer, the satisfaction for the need to arrest shall also be present. Thus, sub-clause (1)(b)(i) of Section 41 has to be read along with sub-clause (ii) and therefore both the elements of ‘reason to believe’ and ‘satisfaction qua an arrest’ are mandated and accordingly are to be recorded by the police officer.
28.It is also brought to our notice that there are no specific guidelines with respect to the mandatory compliance of Section 41A of the Code. An
endeavour was made by the Delhi High Court while deciding Writ Petition (C) No. 7608 of 2017 vide order dated 07.02.2018, followed by order dated
28.10.2021 in Contempt Case (C) No. 480 of 2020 & CM Application No.25054 of 2020, wherein not only the need for guidelines but also the effect of
non-compliance towards taking action against the officers concerned was discussed. We also take note of the fact that a standing order has been passed by the Delhi Police viz., Standing Order No. 109 of 2020, which provides for a set of guidelines in the form of procedure for issuance of notices or orders by the police officers. Considering the aforesaid action taken, in due compliance with the order passed by the Delhi High Court in Writ Petition (C) No.7608 of 2017 dated 07.02.2018, this Court has also passed an order in Writ Petition (Crl.) 420 of 2021 dated 10.05.2021 directing the State of Bihar to look into the said aspect of an appropriate modification to give effect to the mandate of Section 41A. A recent judgment has also been rendered on the same lines by the High Court of Jharkhand in Cr.M.P. No. 1291 of 2021 dated 16.06.2022.
29.Thus, we deem it appropriate to direct all the State Governments and the Union Territories to facilitate standing orders while taking note of the standing order issued by the Delhi Police i.e., Standing Order No. 109 of 2020, to comply with the mandate of Section 41A. We do feel that this would certainly take care of not only the unwarranted arrests, but also the clogging of bail applications before various Courts as they may not even be required for the offences up to seven years.
30.We also expect the courts to come down heavily on the officers effecting arrest without due compliance of Section 41 and Section 41A. We express our hope that the Investigating Agencies would keep in mind the law laid down in Arnesh Kumar (Supra), the discretion to be exercised on the touchstone of presumption of innocence, and the safeguards provided under Section 41, since an arrest is not mandatory. If discretion is exercised to effect such an arrest, there shall be procedural compliance. Our view is also reflected by the interpretation of the specific provision under Section 60A of the Code which warrants the officer concerned to make the arrest strictly in accordance with the Code.
Other Sources :
A division bench of Allahabad High Court held that, Once the written statement contains an admission in favor of the plaintiff, the amendment of such admission of the defendants cannot be allowed to be withdrawn and such withdrawal would amount to totally displacing the case of the plaintiff which would cause him irretrievable prejudice. In the present case the question now is whether the admission made by the defendant in favour of the plaintiff can be withdrawn and the answer in the language of the apex court is ‘not permissible’.
From Para 4,
4. We have heard Sri Madan Mohan Chaurasiya, learned counsel for the review applicants, and requested him to explain the delay in filing the review application, to which he gave a strange reply that he advised his clients that they may take a chance by filing this review application after a period of six years. We are pained to note that an advocate should not give such an advise when there is no error apparent on the face of record nor was there any other reason that why the matter be re-agitated after it was finally decided.
From Para 7,
Malhan and 17 Ors Vs State of UP and Anr on 07 Feb 2022
7. The expression “sufficient cause” in Section 5 of Act, 1963 has been held to receive a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice and generally a delay in preferring appeal may be condoned in interest of justice where no gross negligence or deliberate inaction or lack of bona fide is
imputable to parties, seeking condonation of delay. In Collector, Land Acquisition Vs. Katiji, 1987(2) SCC 107, the Court said, that, when substantial justice and technical considerations are taken against each other, cause of substantial justice deserves to be preferred, for, the other side cannot claim to have vested right in injustice being done because of a non deliberate delay. The Court further said that judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalise injustice on technical grounds but because it is capable of removing injustice and is expected to do so.
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