IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS 2022
1. Gurmail Singh & Anr. Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr
Impact or effect if one of the convicted co-accused has died during the pendency of Criminal Appeal.
Ten defendants were found guilty in this case under Section 302/149 IPC by the Trial Court, and each appealed to the Allahabad High Court. Seven passed away while the appeal was pending, so the appeal was dismissed as abated. Gurmail Singh and Kewal Singh were the only remaining appellants; Karnail Singh had not joined the appeal and had passed away. Therefore, only in the Gurmail Singh case did the appeal succeeds.
When it came to establishing the convict(s) who were still alive, their vicarious liability under Section 149, I.P.C., were one of the issues raised in this appeal was whether the fact that there were four convicts instead of five because the co-accused had passed away had any significant impact or effect on them.
"The Criminal Procedure Code does not define the terms "abatement" or "abate. It is necessary to check the word's definition in the aforementioned context. Abatement, as it relates to criminal proceedings, is defined as "the discontinuation of criminal proceedings before they are concluded in the normal course of litigation, as when the defendant dies" in Black's Law Dictionary. As a result, it is clear that the meaning of abatement in criminal proceedings can only be interpreted as "cessation of such proceedings due to the death of the accused/convict pending such litigation."In short, it would reveal that an appeal against conviction (except an appeal from a sentence of fine) would abate on the Appellant's death as in such a situation, the sentence under appeal could no longer be executed. The abatement is undoubtedly different from acquittal, and a mere glance at the proviso to Section 394 (2), Cr.P.C., will make this position very clear."
According to the court's ruling, if the appellant dies while the appeal is pending and the appeal is against a conviction and death or prison sentence, the appellant must apply to the appellate court for permission to continue the appeal within 30 days of his or her passing. If permission is granted, the appeal will not be dismissed. The short version of the aforementioned discussion is that it is not possible to argue that the provision for constructive liability, which results from the accomplishment of the common goal by an unlawful assembly, is not applicable simply because seven out of the ten convicts passed away either during the pendency of the Criminal Appeal before the High Court or during the pendency of this appeal.
The bench of Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and CT Ravikumar noted that "abatement" is unquestionably distinct from "acquittal" and that, as a result, the impact and influence of fewer convicts awaiting appeal due to the passing of fellow convicts "is obligated to differ from the effect and impact of fewer accused/convicts due to acquittal.”
2. M S Madhanagopal vs K Lalitha
Absence of words that contain some salacious elements or words that arouse sexual thoughts or feelings does not constitute an offense under Section 294 of the Penal Code (b).
A woman filed a complaint against the accused in this case before a judicial magistrate for the offences covered by Sections 294(b) and 341 of the Indian Penal Code, respectively. Before the Madras High Court, the accused filed a petition under Section 482 CrPC, which was denied. The Apex Court bench noted in the appeal that the only allegation in the complaint was that the accused used profane language toward the complainant. According to the court, the test for obscenity under Section 294(b) of the I.P.C. is whether the allegedly obscene material has the propensity to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are susceptible to such immoral influences.
It must be noted that in this specific instance, the absence of words that contain some salacious elements or words that arouse sexual thoughts or feelings does not constitute an offense under Section 294 of the Penal Code (b). None of the records discloses the alleged words used by the accused. If the offensive words are lengthy, it might not always be necessary to reproduce them, but in this particular case, there isn't much to record. Under Section 294(b) IPC, merely abusive, demeaning, or misleading language is not enough to constitute a crime.To prove the offense under Section 294 of IPC, mere utterance of obscene words is not sufficient, but there must be further proof to establish that it was to the annoyance of others, which is lacking in the case. No one has spoken about the obscene words. They felt annoyed. It cannot be claimed that the elements of the offense under Section 294(b) of the IPC are made out in the absence of legal proof that the appellants' alleged offensive words irritated others.
The court ruled that issuing processes under Section 204 and taking cognizance of a charge under Section 190(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code are judicial functions that call for discretion. This idea is supported by both sound reasoning and essential principles of justice, as it is unlawful to harass someone for whom no offense has been disclosed. The application of the judicial mind to the evidence before the court must come before the issuance of any process in order to ascertain whether there is sufficient justification for prosecution against the defendant.
Additionally, the order of the Magistrate issuance process based on the complaint would not be justified because there must be material prima facie for the issuance of the process when the allegations made in the complaint are found to be too general and vague without providing any material particulars of the offense alleged against the accused. Before taking cognizance and issuing a process, we question whether even the original complainant's oath verification was documented.The Apex Court bench noted in the appeal that the only allegation in the complaint was that the accused used profane language toward the complainant. According to the court, Section 294(b) of the I.P.C.'s definition of obscenity asks whether the allegedly offensive material has the propensity to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are susceptible to such immoral influences.
3. Lalankumar Singh vs State of Maharashtra
To decide whether there is sufficient justification to proceed with the case or not, the Magistrate must exercise judgement.
Under Sections 16 and 34 of the aforementioned Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Section 18(a)(i), a complaint was brought against them before Chief Judicial Magistrate. The Directors of M/s Cachet Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd. are the defendants in this case ( "CPPL"). The "Hemfer Syrup," which is covered by Schedule C & C(1) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules of 1945, may now be manufactured by CPPL. The accused, including the aforementioned accused, received summons from CJM. Because there are no specific allegations under Section 34 of the Act mentioned above regarding the role played by the Directors, these accused filed a Criminal Revision Petition against the summoning order before Sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge rejected this petition. They turned to the Supreme Court after having a Criminal Writ Petition dismissed by the Bombay High Court.
The bench that heard the appeal noted that no specific allegations were made regarding the current appellants and that they were neither the managing director nor one of the full-time directors of the accused company. The bench also cited rulings that stated that merely repeating the words of fact regarding how and in what capacity a company director was accountable for the conduct of the company's business would not automatically subject the director to vicarious liability.
"The Magistrate is required to apply his mind as to whether the sufficient ground for proceeding exists in the case or not. The formation of such an opinion must be stated in the order itself."
"The order of issuance of process is not an empty formality. The Magistrate is required to apply his mind as to whether sufficient ground for proceeding exists in the case or not. The formation of such an opinion must be stated in the order itself. The order is liable to be set aside if no reasons are given therein while concluding that there is a prima facie case against the accused. No doubt that the order need not contain detailed reasons. In the present case, leaving aside no reasons in support of the order of the issuance of the process, it is clear from the learned Single Judge of the High Court order that no such order was passed at all. Based on the record, the learned Single Judge of the High Court has presumed that there was an order of issuance of process. It is concluded that a legal system cannot support such an approach. As a result, the appeal warrants approval.The Supreme Court noted that if no justification is provided when determining that there is a prima facie case against the accused, an order of issuance of process is subject to being overturned. The court made this observation while overturning a magistrate's summons order in a complaint brought under the 1940 Drugs and Cosmetics Act. To decide whether there is sufficient justification to proceed with the case or not, the Magistrate must exercise judgement. The order shall specify the manner in which such opinion was formed Justices CT Ravikumar and BR Gavai's panel noted. The court clarified that such an order does not have to give a specific justification.
Tags :civil law