Weekly Legal News Updates [28th September- 04th October 2020]

  • Public Prosecutor’s Statement Cannot Be Said To Be Strictly Correct: SC

Brief Facts

  • On March 2014 the petitioner was arrested, for facilitating the escape of one Barkat Ali, from whose house; huge explosive material was recovered by the police.
  • The Public Prosecutor had for that reason submitted before the Rajasthan High Court that there is prima facie evidence collected by the police through the course of an investigation, indicating the participation of the Petitioner.

SC’s Observation

After perusing Section 43D (5) of the UAPA Act, the Court stated that we are satisfied that the High Court judgment stating that a prima facie case has been made out against the petitioner based on the public prosecutor’s statement cannot be said to be strictly correct.


Case no. (Crl.) No(s). 9385/2019




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  • If the nature of evidence displays a pre­arranged plan and acting in concert pursuant to the plan, common intention can be inferred: SC

Referring to Section 34 of the IPC, the bench observed:

Common intention consists of several persons acting in unison to achieve a common purpose, though their roles may be different. The role may be active or passive is irrelevant, once a common intention is established. There can hardly be any direct evidence of common intention. It is more a matter of inference to be drawn from the facts and circumstances of 10 a case based on the cumulative assessment of the nature of the evidence available against the participants. The foundation for conviction on the basis of common intention is based on the principle of vicarious responsibility by which a person is held to be answerable for the acts of others with whom he shared the common intention. The presence of the mental element or the intention to commit the act if cogently established is sufficient for conviction, without actual participation in the assault. It is therefore not necessary that before a person is convicted on the ground of common intention, he must be actively involved in the physical activity of assault. If the nature of evidence displays a pre­arranged plan and acting in concert pursuant to the plan, common intention can be inferred. A common intention to bring about a particular result may also develop on the spot as between a number of persons deducible from the facts and circumstances of a particular case. The coming together of the accused to the place of occurrence, some or all of whom may be armed, the manner of assault, the active or passive role played by the accused, are but only some of the materials for drawing inferences.


Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1401 OF 2012

Coram: Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee

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  • The circumstances not put to an accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure cannot be used against him, and must be excluded from consideration: Supreme Court 

The Court observed that it stands well settled that circumstances not put to an accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C. cannot be used against him, and must be excluded from consideration. In a criminal trial, the importance of the questions put to an accused is basic to the 6 principles of natural justice as it provides him with the opportunity not only to furnish his defence but also to explain the incriminating circumstances against him. A probable defence raised by an accused is sufficient to rebut the accusation without the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This Court, time and again, has emphasised the importance of putting all relevant questions to an accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C.

Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 635 OF 2020


Coram: Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee

Allahabad HC: Very Strange That Instead Of Procuring Presence Of Accused, Magistrate Dismissed The Complaint

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  • Allahabad High Court quashed the order of chief judicial magistrate, dismissing the complaint registered against a Sub-Inspector, after he failed to appear before the Court.

    While quashing the order Justice KJ Thaker stated “It is very strange that instead of procuring presence of the accused, the learned Magistrate dismissed the complaint”.

The Bench remarked that the non-presence of an accused should be sought to be procured by way of invoking procedure as per provisions of Section 87 (Issue of warrant in lieu of, or in addition to, summons) of the CrPC. However, in the present case, instead of following the procedure, the Magistrate dismissed the complaint.


The Bench observed,

“The learned Magistrate has the duty cast to see that there is no misuse of the Court proceedings. In this case, there is a clear misuse of process of law by the accused who even after coming to know that summons were issued against them and their revision was dismissed, did not appear before the Court below and strange enough the learned Magistrate dismissed that matter of the complainant at the stage of issuance of a bailable warrant as accused had not appeared before it pursuant to the summons already issued. There was no question of affixing process fees and, therefore, the dismissal under Section 204 of Cr.P.C. is bad.”

Case Title :-Rajbahadur Singh v. State Of U.P.


Coram :- Hon’ble Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker,J.

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  • The Phrase Of This Court As ‘Sentinel On The Qui Vive’ May Have Become Weather-Beaten, Judges Must Constantly Remind Themselves Of Its Value: SC

    Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud enunciated in a judgment he deliveredThe phrase of this court as the sentinel on the qui vive may have become weather-beaten…, but judges must constantly remind themselves of its value through their tenures, if the call of the constitutional conscience is to retain meaning.

The Judge remarked thus in his judgment which quashed the notification issued by the Gujarat Labour and Employment Department granting exemptions to all factories in Gujarat from provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 relating to daily working hours, weekly working hours, intervals for rest and spread overs of adult workers as well as from payment of overtime wages at double rates viz. Section 59. The court held that the notifications, in denying humane working conditions and overtime wages provided by law, are an affront to the workers’ right to life and right against forced labour that is secured by Articles 21 and 23 of the Constitution.

The observation about sentinel on the qui vive reads thus:

“The Constitution allows for economic experiments. Judicial review is justifiably held off in matters of policy, particularly economic policy. But the Directive Principles of State Policy cannot be reduced to oblivion by a sleight of interpretation. To a worker who has faced the brunt of the pandemic and is currently labouring in a workplace without the luxury of physical distancing, economic dignity based on the rights available under the statute is the least that this Court can ensure them…Justice Patanjali Sastry immortalized that phrase of this court as the sentinel on the qui vive in our jurisprudence by recognizing it in State of Madras vs. V G Row. The phrase may have become weather-beaten in articles, seminars and now, in the profusion of webinars, amidst the changing times. Familiar as the phrase sounds, judges must constantly remind themselves of its value through their tenures, if the call of the constitutional conscience is to retain meaning”

Case Name: Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha vs. State of Gujarat
Case no. :Writ Petition (Civil) No. 708 of 2020
Coram: Justices DY Chandrachu Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph
Madhya Pradesh HC Registers Suo Moto Petition and Issues NoticesAgainst MPs/MLAs

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  • In compliance of the order of the Supreme Court in Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay & others vs. Union of India & others, the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Jabalpur Bench) registered a suo motu petition on for monitoring the progress of the trials of the pending criminal cases against sitting/former Legislators (MPs & MLAs).

Also, the Division Bench of the then Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Sanjay Yadav on Tuesday (29th September) issued notice to the respondents, namely,

(1) Union of India through Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, New Delhi;

(2) The State of M.P. through the Chief Secretary, Vallabh Bhawan, Bhopal,

(3) High Court of M.P. Jabalpur through the Registrar General and

(4) The Principal Secretary, Department of Law & Legislative Affairs, Govt. of M.P., Vallabh Bhawan, Bhopal (M.P.).

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