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Public Accountability for Violation of Human Rights and Judicial Activism in India: Some Observations*
by Dr Paramjit S. Jaswal**

Cite as : (2002) 3 SCC (Jour) 6

Part III of the Indian Constitution dealing with fundamental rights, weaves a "pattern of guarantee" on the basic structure of human rights and imposes negative obligations on the State not to encroach on individual liberty in its various dimensions.

But the declaration of fundamental rights in the Constitution is meaningless unless there is effective machinery for the enforcement of the rights. It is the remedy, which makes the right real. If there is no remedy there is no right at all. The founding fathers of the Constitution, therefore, provided for an effective remedy for the enforcement of these rights under Article 32 of the Constitution, which itself is a fundamental right.

In the last few years through judicial activism the scope and ambit of these rights has been widened. The Supreme Court has re-enunciated the "State liability" in case of violation of these rights and thus the age-old British concept of "sovereign immunity"1 has been eroded. One of the impacts of this new approach of the Supreme Court through judicial activism has been that in case of violation of the fundamental rights of the individual it has granted monetary compensation to one who might have suffered unduly or illegally and developed the concept of "public accountability". A study of the following cases will demonstrate this trend of the Supreme Court.

Khatri (II) v. State of Bihar2 popularly known as Bhagalpur Blinding case was the first case where the question of granting monetary compensation was considered by the Supreme Court. In this case, it was alleged that the police had blinded certain prisoners depriving them of their right to life and liberty. The question posed before the Court was whether a person who has been deprived of his right to life or personal liberty by the State, could be compensated by granting monetary relief. Bhagwati, J. (as he then was) answered it in the affirmative by raising a counter thus:

"Why should the Court not be prepared to forge new tools and devise new remedies for the purpose of vindicating the most precious of the precious fundamental right to life and personal liberty?"3

If compensation was not to be granted, Article 21 would be reduced to a nullity, "a mere rope of sand"4 But since the matter as to the responsibility of the police officers was still under investigation, the Court did not decide the issue. Belatedly though, justice has finally caught up with the perpetrators of the blinding in Bhagalpur. The three police officers who were involved in the shocking incident were finally convicted for taking the law into their own hands.5

The Supreme Court's reticence in granting monetary compensation despite its formulation of justification for adopting such a tool was got over by it in Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar6 wherein it granted monetary compensation of rupees thirty-five thousand to the petitioner against the lawless act of the Bihar Government which kept him in illegal detention for over fourteen years after acquittal.

It was pointed out that Article 21 would be denuded of its significant content if the power of the Court was limited to passing of orders of release from illegal detention. The Supreme Court reasoned:

"One of the telling ways in which the violation of that right can reasonably be prevented and due compliance with the mandate of Article 21 secured, is to mulct its violators in the payment of monetary compensation. Administrative sclerosis leading to flagrant infringements of fundamental rights cannot be corrected by any other method open to the judiciary to adopt. The right to compensation is some palliative for the unlawful acts of instrumentalities which act in the name of public interest and which present for their protection the powers of the State as a shield. ... Therefore, the State must repair the damage done by its officers to the petitioners' rights. It may have recourse against those officers.7" (emphasis added)

The decision in Sebastian M. Hongray v. Union of India8 involved the failure of the Government to produce two persons in the court. In fact the truth was that these two persons who were taken into custody by the military had met unnatural death. The Court, in the circumstances, keeping in view the torture, the agony and mental oppression undergone by the wives of the persons directed to be produced, instead of imposing fine on the Government for civil contempt of the Court, required that "as a measure of exemplary costs as is permissible in such cases", the Government must pay rupees one lakh to each one of the aforesaid two women.9

In yet another important case of Bhim Singh v. State of J&K10 the Supreme Court noted that the police officer acted in the most high-handed way and it awarded rupees fifty thousand as monetary compensation by way of exemplary costs to the petitioner so as to compensate him "suitably and adequately".11

In the decisions from Rudul Sah6 to Bhim Singh10 the Court laid down no basis for quantification of the amount of exemplary costs. And perhaps this was the reason that the amount of monetary compensation varied in these cases. The discretion to award monetary compensation for the gross violation of Article 21 was left to the individual Judge who decided the case.

The Supreme Court in Peoples' Union for Democratic Rights v. State of Bihar12 laid down the working principle for the payment of compensation to the victims of ruthless and unwarranted police firing. In this case, about twenty-one persons including children died and many more were injured due to the unwarranted firing of the police. The Supreme Court observed:

"Ordinarily in the case of death, compensation of rupees twenty thousand is paid.... We may not be taken to suggest that in the case of death the liability of the wrongdoer is absolved when compensation of rupees twenty thousand is paid. But as a working principle and for convenience and with a view to rehabilitating the dependants of the deceased such compensation is being paid."13

The Court further added that without prejudice to any just claim for compensation that may be advanced by the relations of the victims who had died or by the injured persons themselves, for every case of death, compensation of rupees twenty thousand and for every injured person compensation of rupees five thousand shall be paid.14

The working principle was not appropriate. Where the life of the person was lost, his dependants were to be paid only the meagre sum of rupees twenty thousand. The Supreme Court, while evolving the working principles of granting compensation, has also failed to differentiate between the major and minor injury to the limb or body of the person concerned. It appears the Court evolved the working principle of awarding compensation with the primary object of rehabilitating the victims or their dependants. However, it might happen that the person might not die but due to the police atrocities he might lose his eyes, limb and might become unable to earn his livelihood. Can we say that the suggested amount of rupees five thousand to such a person would be sufficient to "rehabilitate" him? The obvious answer would be no. Therefore, it is suggested that if life and liberty is to have some meaning for the millions of Indians, then for rehabilitating persons, who are often victims of police atrocities, some larger amount should be paid as compensation.

The legality or illegality of the detention was irrelevant when it was proved that a person suffered as a result of police atrocities. This was held so in Rajasthan Kisan Sangthan v. State15 It was asserted in this case that right to be treated even during lawful detention in a manner commensurate with human dignity is a well-recognised right under Article 21 of the Constitution and if it is found that the police has maltreated any person in police custody which is not commensurate with human dignity he is at least entitled to monetary compensation for the torturous act by the police.

In C. Ramkonda Reddy v. State16 it was held that suit for compensation against the State, when an undertrial prisoner in jail lost his life due to failure or neglect of its officers to perform their duties, will be maintainable. The Court pointed out that this is the only mode in which right to life guaranteed by Article 21 can be enforced.17

In Saheli, A Women's Resources Centre v. Commr. of Police, Delhi18 the Supreme Court once again considered the question of granting compensation in case of police atrocities. In this case, a 9-year-old child died due to assault and beating by the police officer. The Supreme Court held that the State is liable to pay compensation in case of police atrocities and accordingly it directed the State Government to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation to the mother of the victim.19

In State of Maharashtra v. Ravikant S. Patil20, as the undertrial prisoner was handcuffed and, taken through the streets in a procession by the police during investigation the Court held that Article 21 was violated. However, the Court further held that the police officer responsible for the act, acted only as an official and cannot be made personally liable. The Court directed that compensation of Rs 10,000 be paid by the State and authorities may, if consider necessary, hold an enquiry against the police officer and then decide whether any further action is to be taken against him or not.

It is submitted that when the complainant is entitled to compensation for violation of human rights or for physical or mental harassment, then an award of exemplary costs/damages can serve a useful purpose in vindicating the strength of law and promoting and protecting human rights. However, when the Court directs payments of damages/compensation against the State, the ultimate sufferer is the taxpayer, because it is the taxpayer's money which is paid for the wrong of public official. Therefore, it is suggested that the State should pay the complainant from the public fund but recover the same from those who are responsible for such unpardonable behaviour.21

Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa22, is yet another case of custodial death where the deceased was taken into police custody and the next day his body was found on the railway tracks with multiple injuries. The Supreme Court once again reiterated that in case of violation of fundamental rights by State's instrumentalities or servants, the Court can direct the State to pay compensation to the victim or his heir by way of "monetary amends" and redressal. The principle of "sovereign immunity" shall be inapplicable in such cases. Having regard to the age and income of the deceased, the State was directed in this case to pay Rs 1,50,000 as compensation to the deceased's mother. The Court further held that other liabilities of the respondents or any other person for custodial death remain unafffected. In other words, compensation in civil law or criminal law could still be claimed in addition to this. The Court clarified that "public law proceedings" are different from "private law proceedings" and the award of compensation in proceedings for the enforcement of fundamental right under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution is a remedy available in public law.

To support the above conclusion the Court rightly referred to Article 9(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 and held that the said provision indicates that an enforceable right to compensation is not alien to the concept of guaranteed right.23

Dr A.S. Anand, J. (as he then was), while delivering a separate but concurring judgment in this case pointed out in sonorous terms that convicts, prisoners and undertrials also have the right under Article 21 of the Constitution and the State has strict duty to ensure that a person in custody of police is not deprived of his right except in accordance with law.24

In Pratul Kumar Sinha v. State of Bihar25, police atrocities led to the death of three young persons. One of them was a bachelor while the other two were married and left behind their young widows. The Court issued directions for the ex gratia payment of Rs 25,000 to the families of the deceased. The Court further held that if the State Government so desired it would be free to take such action as it considers necessary to recover this amount from the tortfeasors.

Whenever any case of human rights violation as a result of police atrocities has been brought before the Supreme Court, it has always taken a serious note of it and directed to make either judicial enquiry into the allegations of police atrocities or directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an enquiry independently so as to fix the responsibility for violation of human rights.26

In Inder Singh v. State of Punjab27, according to the Court, the report of CBI which investigated the case as per its directions clearly established that the police was guilty of illegal abduction and detention of the persons.28 The Court directed the State of Punjab to pay to the legal representatives of each of the said seven persons an amount of Rs 1.50 lakhs within 2 weeks.29 It further directed that the guilty persons should be identified by the State and it should endeavour to recover the said amount, which is the taxpayers' money. The Court further directed that disciplinary inquiries must be started against those police officials who were responsible for delaying the registration of the complaint earlier and the guilty officials must be proceeded against.

In Charanjit Kaur v. Union of India30, an Army Officer died while in service in mysterious circumstances. On facts, authorities were found guilty of criminal omissions and commissions resulting in great mental agony and physical and financial hardship to the widow and children of the deceased. The Court granted to the dependants rupees six lakhs as compensation and special family pension and children allowance.

It is submitted that this new concept of "personal liability" of the police officials concerned for violating the human rights is a welcome feature of the Indian judiciary on the path of protecting human rights of people. This will definitely have some deterrent effect on the police. However, in this case the amount paid to the victims was too meagre.

The Supreme Court has also granted compensation to rape victims in certain cases.31 The Court has rightly pointed out that women also have the right to life and liberty; they also have the right to be respected and treated as equal citizens. Their honour and dignity cannot be touched or violated.

In D.G. & I.G. of Police v. Prem Sagar32 on the direction of the High Court, the Sessions Judge conducted an inquiry in which it was found that the detenu was illegally detained by the police for a period of one month. Accepting the findings of the Sessions Judge, the High Court awarded Rs 20,000 as compensation for violation of his basic human right to life. This was approved by the Supreme Court.

In Union of India v. Luithukla33 a compensation of rupees one lakh was awarded to the wife of the detenu who disappeared from the custody of the security forces. The Gauhati High Court in Aheibam Ongbi Leihao Devi v. State of Manipur34 awarded a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakhs to the victim's wife and his unmarried daughter. In this case, the members of Manipur Rifles fired as many as 83 rounds and killed the driver of a lone jeep who allegedly refused to halt on being ordered to do so.

Can the police official be held guilty for launching malicious prosecution when the prosecution fails? This question was considered by the Supreme Court in Ravinder Kumar Sharma v. State of Assam35 The Apex Court in this case held that where the prosecution was launched by the police under instructions from the State Government, even though such a prosecution failed ultimately, it cannot be said to be malicious or without reasonable or probable cause and thus no violation of human rights can be claimed in such a case.

These cases apart, the Supreme Court showed particular interest in unearthing the circumstances leading to the violation of human rights.36 Also it used to order CBI to conduct independent investigation.

In Khedat Mazdoor Chetna Sangath v. State of M.P.37 where the tribals alleged the human rights violation and commission of inhuman atrocities on them by the police, the Supreme Court not only directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the whole matter but also register cases and prosecute officers, however, high or low in the hierarchy of administration for these lapses. Further to ensure an independent trial, the Court directed that the trial of such cases should take place outside the district concerned.38 These directions were given to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Arvinder Singh Bagga v. State of U.P.39 is yet another case of police atrocities where police officers subjected a married woman to physical, mental and psychological torture calculated to create fright to make her submit to the demands of the police and abandon her legal marriage. Her husband and family members were also tortured. The Court took serious note of the human rights violation and directed the State to launch prosecution and to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 to the victim woman and her husband and Rs 5000 to each of the other victims. The Court further pointed out that upon such payment it will be open to the State to recover the amount of compensation from the police officers concerned.40 It could have been better if the Supreme Court had made it obligatory for the State Government to recover the amount of compensation from the guilty officials.

In Dhananjay Sharma v. State of Haryana41 the detenu, while going by taxi, was waylaid by the State police and detained in the police station for two days along with the taxi driver. Pursuant to the habeas corpus petition, the senior police officials not only denied the waylaying and subsequent detention but also filed wrong affidavits in court regarding the whole episode. CBI report showed that the statements made by the police officials in their affidavits were wrong. The Court held that filing of false affidavits by the police officials amounted to contempt calling for stern action. Accordingly, they were sentenced to imprisonment and were also fined. The Court rightly pointed out that it would be a great public disorder if the fountain of justice is allowed to be poisoned by anyone resorting to filing of false affidavits or giving false statements and fabricating false evidence in a court of law.42

Regarding the liability of the State, the Court once again reiterated that "the State must be held responsible for the unlawful acts of its officers and it must repair the damage done to the citizens by its officers for violating the infeasible fundamental rights of personal liberty without any authority of law in an absolutely high-handed manner".43 However, in the present case the detenus themselves were not fair before the Court, filed false affidavits, and exaggerated the incident by involving persons who were not present at the scene. Therefore, the Court disentitled them from receiving any compensation as monetary amends for the wrong done by the police officials by violating their basic human right to liberty.44

In D.K. Basu v. State of W.B.45 the Supreme Court while disposing of a public interest litigation considered the important issue of police atrocities and custodial violence in detail. A.S. Anand, J. (as he then was) while speaking for the Court observed:

"Any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment would fall within the inhibition of Article 21 of the Constitution, whether it occurs during investigation, interrogation or otherwise. If the functionaries of the Government become law-breakers, it is bound to breed contempt for law and would encourage lawlessness and every man would have the tendency to become law unto himself thereby leading to anarchism. No civilised nation can permit that to happen."46

The Court suggested two possible safeguards to check the abuse of police power. First, transparency of action and secondly, accountability. In addition to this, the Court also stressed the need to pay attention to properly developed work culture, training and orientation of the police force consistent with basic human values.47

It is submitted that this important decision of the Supreme Court will certainly help in curbing, if not in eliminating, police atrocities. Now it is in the hands of the administration to ensure that the "requirements" as well as the "punitive measures" suggested by the Apex Court should be implemented in true spirit. Relying on this case, the Supreme Court has awarded compensation in many cases48 of established violation of fundamental right to life and personal liberty.

In Ajab Singh v. State of U.P.49 the writ petition was filed by the parents of one Rishipal who died while in the judicial custody. The jail and police authorities gave concocted explanation for the death. The Supreme Court relying on D.K. Basu case45 held that the State Government is responsible for the death of the deceased and ordered it to pay Rs 5 lakhs as compensation within three months to the petitioner without prejudice to the rights of the LRs of the deceased to claim compensation in private law proceedings if so entitled in law. In order to fix the public accountability, it was further directed that the State Government shall take disciplinary action against those responsible for the death.

In Hussain v. State of Kerala50 the appellant languished in jail for a long period of 5 years, when as a matter of law he should have been moving about as a free citizen. He was wrongly convicted and remained in wrongful imprisonment due to inadequate legal representation. The Supreme Court though acquitted him but did not consider the question of awarding compensation to him for the violation of his basic human right. The Court only observed that he was free to resort to his remedies under the law for that purpose. It is submitted that the Court should have granted exemplary damages in the instant case itself.

In certain cases the Supreme Court has also considered, reviewed and revised compensation granted for violation of human rights. For example, in Amitadyuti Kumar v. State of W.B.51 the Calcutta High Court had directed the payment of compensation to the tune of Rs 20,000 to the widow of the deceased who died a custodial death. The said direction was in lieu of the compensation granted by the Human Rights Commission. The Supreme Court enhanced the amount of compensation to Rs 70,000 and directed the State to pay the balance amount within eight weeks.

In State of Punjab v. Vinod Kumar52 the learned Single Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court while hearing the writ petition in respect of the alleged disappearance of three persons (including the respondent), inter alia, directed that by way of an interim measure the State Government was to pay a sum of Rs 2 lakhs each to the wife and children of the persons disappeared allegedly due to police atrocities. It was made clear that such payment was to be made without prejudice to the right of those persons to claim compensation against the State or any other person who may be ultimately found responsible in the matter. In order to fix the public accountability of the officials for violation of the human rights of those persons, the learned Judge also directed the State Government to accord necessary sanction as provided under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the prosecution of the guilty officials concerned without any delay when asked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (to whom the investigation had been entrusted). The State of Punjab filed a special leave petition challenging the direction of the High Court for granting sanction for prosecution of the officials concerned. However, the SLP became infructuous because during the pendency of the SLP before the Supreme Court, the Governor of Punjab granted the said sanction. The Supreme Court further pointed out that the question of deciding the grant of compensation would arise only after the trial court entered upon a finding regarding the liability to be fixed on the delinquent officers.53

R.D. Upadhyay v. State of A.P.54 is yet another case which points out the sad state of affairs concerning the human rights of prisoners. In this case, it was brought to the notice of the Court that a lunatic undertrial prisoner was languishing in jail for over 30 years and no action was taken by the Court of ACMM and the jail authorities. Even the medical treatment was provided only after the High Court intervened. Thus there had been total violation of Article 21 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court expressing its anguish pointed out that the authorities are required to act according to law. In this case the officials broke the law.

Considering the undertrial's mental and physical health and the fact that he had no known relatives either, the Supreme Court, as an interim measure, directed that a sum of Rs 2 lakhs shall be paid by the State by way of donation to the Missionaries of Charity, where he was accommodated for the time being. The Supreme Court rightly expressed the inadequacy of the remedy thus:

"Money award cannot, however, renew a physical frame that has been battered and shattered due to callous attitude of others. All that the courts can do in such cases is to award such sums of money, which may appear to be giving of some reasonable compensation, assessed with moderation, to express the court's condemnation of the tortious act committed by the State."55

From the perusal of the above cases it is evident that the Indian judiciary has been very sensitive and alive to the protection of the human rights of the people. It has, through judicial activism forged new tools and devised new remedies for the purpose of vindicating the most precious of the precious human right to life and personal liberty.

* LLM (Gold Medallist), PhD, PDF (London), Professor of Law, Deptt. of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Return to Text

** BA (Gold Medallist), LLM, PhD, Reader, Deptt. of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Return to Text

  1. See Kasturi Lal Ralia Ram Jain v. State of U.P., AIR 1965 SC 1039 Return to Text
  2. (1981) 1 SCC 627 Return to Text
  3. Ibid., at p. 630, para 4 Return to Text
  4. Khatri (IV) v. State of Bihar, (1981) 2 SCC 493, at p. 504 Return to Text
  5. "Justice at Last" Editorial, The Hindustan Times, 3-9-1987. See also Sant Bir v. State of Bihar, (1982) 3 SCC 131 and Veena Sethi v. State of Bihar, (1982) 2 SCC 583. In these cases the Court raised the question of granting compensation to the victims for their human rights violation but in the end left it open. Return to Text
  6. (1983) 4 SCC 141 Return to Text
  7. Ibid., at pp. 147-48, para 10 Return to Text
  8. (1984) 1 SCC 339 Return to Text
  9. Sebastian M. Hongray v. Union of India, (1984) 3 SCC 82 Return to Text
  10. (1985) 4 SCC 677. In this case, the petitioner, a member of Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested by the police mala fide and was not produced before the Magistrate within the requisite period. The petitioner alleged that his fundamental rights under Articles 21 and 22(1) were violated. Return to Text
  11. Ibid., at pp. 685-86 Return to Text
  12. (1987) 1 SCC 265 Return to Text
  13. Ibid., at p. 268, para 6 Return to Text
  14. Ibid Return to Text
  15. AIR 1989 Raj 10, at p. 16 Return to Text
  16. AIR 1989 AP 235 Return to Text
  17. Ibid., at p. 247 Return to Text
  18. (1990) 1 SCC 422 Return to Text
  19. Ibid., at p. 427 Return to Text
  20. (1991) 2 SCC 373. See also Sunil Gupta v. State of M.P., (1990) 3 SCC 119; Delhi Judicial Service Assn., Tis Hazari Court v. State of Gujarat, (1991) 4 SCC 406; Paramjit S. Jaswal and Nishtha Jaswal, "Right to Personal Liberty and Handcuffing: Some Observations", 33 JILI 246-253 (1991); President, Citizens for Democracy v. State of Assam, (1995) 3 SCC 743 and M.P. Dwivedi, In re, (1996) 4 SCC 152 Return to Text
  21. See Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K. Gupta, (1994) 1 SCC 243 at p. 264 Return to Text
  22. (1993) 2 SCC 746. See also Dalip Singh v. State of Haryana, 1993 Supp (3) SCC 336; Bhuwneshwar Singh v. Union of India, (1993) 4 SCC 327; N. Nagendra Rao & Co. v. State of A.P., (1994) 6 SCC 205 Return to Text
  23. Ibid., at p. 764 Return to Text
  24. Ibid., at p. 767 Return to Text
  25. 1994 Supp (3) SCC 100. See also R.S. Sodhi v. State of U.P., 1994 Supp (1) SCC 142 and 143 Return to Text
  26. Afzal v. State of Haryana, (1994) 1 SCC 425 and Inder Singh v. State of Punjab, (1994) 6 SCC 275 Return to Text
  27. (1995) 3 SCC 702 Return to Text
  28. Ibid., at p. 704 Return to Text
  29. Ibid., at p. 706 Return to Text
  30. (1994) 2 SCC 1. See also R.S. Sodhi v. State of U.P., 1994 Supp (1) SCC 142 and 143 Return to Text
  31. See Delhi Domestic Working Women's Forum v. Union of India, (1995) 1 SCC 14. See also Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subhra Chakraborty, (1996) 1 SCC 490 Return to Text
  32. (1999) 5 SCC 700 Return to Text
  33. (1999) 9 SCC 273 Return to Text
  34. AIR 1999 Gau 9, at p. 11 Return to Text
  35. (1999) 7 SCC 435 Return to Text
  36. See Arvinder Singh Bagga v. State of U.P., 1994 Supp (1) SCC 500; Afzal v. State of Haryana, (1994) 1 SCC 425 and Inder Singh v. State of Punjab, (1994) 6 SCC 275 Return to Text
  37. (1994) 6 SCC 260. See also Citizens for Democracy v. State of Assam, (1995) 3 SCC 743 Return to Text
  38. Ibid., at p. 271 Return to Text
  39. (1994) 6 SCC 565 Return to Text
  40. Ibid., at p. 568 Return to Text
  41. (1995) 3 SCC 757 Return to Text
  42. Ibid., at p. 777 Return to Text
  43. Ibid., at p. 782 Return to Text
  44. Ibid., at p. 783 Return to Text
  45. (1997) 1 SCC 416. See also (1997) 6 SCC 642; (1998) 6 SCC 380 and (1998) 9 SCC 437 Return to Text
  46. Ibid., at p. 429, para 22 Return to Text
  47. Ibid., at p. 433 Return to Text
  48. See People's Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India, (1997) 3 SCC 433; Thirath Ram Saini v. State of Punjab, (1997) 11 SCC 623; Postsangbam Ningol Thokchom v. General Officer Commanding, (1997) 7 SCC 725; Mohd. Zahid v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, (1998) 5 SCC 419; Malkiat Singh v. State of U.P., (1998) 9 SCC 351 and Murti Devi v. State of Delhi, (1998) 9 SCC 604 Return to Text
  49. (2000) 3 SCC 521 Return to Text
  50. (2000) 8 SCC 139 Return to Text
  51. (2000) 9 SCC 404. See also Shiv Dev Singh v. Senior Supdt. of Police, Batala, (2000) 9 SCC 426. In the latter case the Supreme Court observed that criminal action can be launched against the culprit if the petitioner approaches the Magistrate with a complaint. Return to Text
  52. (2000) 9 SCC 742 Return to Text
  53. Ibid., at p. 744. See also A.K. Singh v. Uttarakhand Jan Morcha, (1999) 4 SCC 476 Return to Text
  54. (2001) 1 SCC 437. See also R.D. Upadhyay v. State of A.P., (2001) 1 SCC 439 Return to Text
  55. Ibid., at p. 439, para 5 Return to Text
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