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KEY TAKEAWAYS

The Bombay High Court has ordered the Maharashtra government to compensate a 28-year-old man who was detained despite a court order remanding him in judicial custody. The court has also called for an investigation into errant police officials.

DETAILS

  • A writ of habeas corpus was filed by the petitioner Sadiqua Shaikh under Article 226 of the constitution. It was alleged by her that her husband was detained for theft by deonar police on 26th July, 2021 and although a notice should’ve been given under section 42A of the CrPC, no such notice was given.
  • Accused was not produced on 27th July before the jurisdictional Magistrate and was instead produced on 28th July before the Learned Metropolitan Magistrate.
  • On 30th July, 2021, the learned Magistrate declined to extend the police custody and remanded the Accused to judicial custody till 13 August 2021. However, the Accused was kept locked up at Shivaji Nagar Police Station till August 5, 2021 in gross violation of the order passed by the learned Magistrate, remanding the Accused to the judicial custody and the constitutional and legal rights of the Accused.
  • Two contentions were raised by the petitioner –
  1. There was an illegal detention from 26 July 2021 till 28 July 2021.
  2. The Accused was unlawfully detained in police custody, after he was remanded to judicial custody.

COURT PROCEEDINGS

  • The court held the first issue unsustainable as the material shows that the accused was arrested on 27 July 2021 at 6pm and no fault could be found with said observation.
  • The court accepted the second contention that the accused was kept wrongly in custody and that his constitutional rights were violated.
  • However, the court held that a mere declaration of the fact that the authorities acted in violation of the constitutional and legal provisions is of no consequence to the person whose rights have been infringed.
  • Thus, the principle of” public law Damage” comes to the fore. The court noted that the constitutional courts are empowered to award compensation under public law, to redress such grievances.
  • The court listed several judgements of the Apex court to say that adjudication under pubic law domain essentially involves the resolution of disputes between the citizen, on the one hand, and State or its instrumentalities, on the other hand.
  • The court held that where a clear violation of constitutional rights is made out in a case, the remedy of award of compensation under public law domain, has now ingrained in our jurisprudence.
  • The court thus awarded a compensation of rupees 20,000 to the accused as a compensation for the infringement of the constitutional rights.

QUESTIONS

  1. What is the writ of habeas corpus?
  2. Which article of the constitution grant the right to approach HC by writ petition?

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