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J. JAYALALITHA Versus UNION OF INDIA AND ANR.

Appeal (civil) 3142-3143 of 1999 - Dated:- 14-5-1999 - G.T. NANAVATI & S.P. KURDUKAR, JJ. JUDGMENT G.T. NANAVATI, J. Leave granted in the Special Leave Petitions. There appeals arise out of the common judgment of the High Court of Judicature at Madras in a batch of writ petitions filed by Ms. Jayalalitha- former Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu, her cabinet colleagues, some ML As of the AlADMK Party and some officer of the Government, challenging the validity of Section 3 of the Pre .....

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tioners under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The High Court by two separate judgments of the two learned Judges who constituted the Division Bench, dismissed the writ petitions, by holding that Section 3 insofar as it empowers the Government to appoint special Judges "for such case or group of cases" is constitutionally valid and not violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. It also held that the establishment of three additional Sessions Courts at Chennai and appointment .....

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it powers under sub-section (1) of Section 3 issued a notification on 5:2.1999 appointing the XIth, XIIth and XIIIth Additional City Civil and Sessions Judges, Chennai as Special Judges for trial of offences specified in sub- section (I) of Section 3 of the Act and investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) and committed within the area comprised in the Chennai Sessions Division. By another notification of the same date issued in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section .....

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al for the State Government to make allotment of cases amongst those three Special Judges by me said notification dated 30.4.1997, The appellants were happy with me said notification and, therefore, obviously did not challenge the same. However, feeling aggrieved by the said notification, the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu and one Mr. M. A. Chinnaswamy-an Advocate practising in this Court- have filed writ petitions in this Court challenging the legality and propriety of the said notification. On .....

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and ancillary issues are now pending before the Hon'ble Supreme Court and, therefore, it is not desirable or appropriate for us to go into the question as to whether the Central Government has jurisdiction to issue such notification and to consider its effect, pending decision by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and pass any order or issue notice to the other side at this stage. Admittedly, the matter is subjudice and seized by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. In view of the above facts, we do no .....

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is stated therein, it becomes clear that the writ petition is filed by him not in his personal capacity as an enlightened citizen or as an advocate interested in proper working of the Courts but in his capacity as the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu. He had appeared on behalf of the State of Tamil Nadu before the Madras High Court in the writ petitions filed by Ms. Jayalalitha and others. The State of Tamil Nadu has not filed any petition challenging the notification issued by the Central Govern .....

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ns of law which arise in this case. We are not in favour of entertaining the writ petition filed by the Advocate General but we have permitted him to assist this Court as an intervenor only. So far as Writ Petition No. 97 of 1999 filed by Shri M.A. Chinnaswamy is concerned, we are of the view that it does not deserve to be entertained and, therefore, it is dismissed on that ground alone. Briefly stated the relevant facts are as follows. Ms. Jayalalitha was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during .....

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te assets. Considering the public importance and sensitive nature of those cases and desirability of expedient disposal of those cases on day-to-day basis, the Government of Tamil Nadu thought it necessary to appoint three Special Judges in the cadre of District Judges to try those cases exclusively. It, therefore requested the High Court of Madras for concurrence for constitution of three Additional Courts in the City Civil Court at Chennai for the said purpose and to appoint the Judges of thos .....

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ention of Corruption Act shall be tried by each Special Judge. This notification was challenged by Ms, Jayalalitha and others by filing 14 separate writ petitions before the Madras High Court In all these writ petitions the points raised were almost identical. Therefore, they were all heard together and disposed of by two common judgments, as stated above. Before the High Court various contentions were raised on behalf of the appellants. However, we need not refer to them all as-only a few out o .....

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Judge to try a ease against an individual and deny him a fair and equal treatment that an accused placed in similar circumstances would otherwise get. In the alternative, it was contended that the exercise of power by the State Government under Section 3 of the Act was mala fide as it was exercised with a view to victimise the political opponents who are now out of power. It was also contended that by specifying certain cases as triable only by Special Judges preciding over Courts No. XI, XII an .....

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to appoint three more Special Judges to try their cases only. On the other hand, the State Government had stated in their counter affidavits that the Courts in Chennai city were overburdened with the existing work load of eases under the P.C. Act. That during 1996 and April 1997, 31 cases were filed against the former Chief Minister, former Ministers, certain civil servants and other public servants and that total number of accused in those cases is 93 and hundreds of witnesses will have to be e .....

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ortance and sensitive nature of those cases was of the view that those cases should be tried expeditiously as per the expectations of the law abiding citizens of this country. It was denied that the power under Section 3 was exercised mala fide for any other consideration and in this connection it was pointed out that out of 46 cases allocated under the impugned notification former Chief Minister and Ministers are not involved tit 18 cases and in 13 cases out of those 18 cases only officials and .....

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tter position to judge the needs and exigencies of the situation has exercised the power in public interest. It also stated that the accused of those cases form a class by themselves. The High Court rejected the challenge to the validity of Section 3 by holding that appointment of a Special Judge does not amount to creation of a Special Court and, therefore, even when the Government appoints a Special Judge to try a case or group of cases the accused is tried by the same class of Judges and by t .....

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nes for exercising the power under Section 3 and, therefore, it is not correct to say that the discretion conferred upon me Government is unfettered, unguided and arbitrary. Liberhan, C.J. held that when a Special Judge is appointed to try a case or a group of cases that does not result in classification and what really happens in such a case that there is categorization of persons or categorizations of cases and, thus, it is a matter of only distribution of work, for efficient working of the Co .....

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tation with the High Court and, therefore, it cannot be said that the discretion conferred upon the Government is unfettered, uncontrolled and absolute. The High Court also upheld the validity of the notification as it was of the view that the appellants had failed to establish that the State Government in appointing three Special Judges for trying the cases of Ms. Jayalalitha, her cabinet colleagues and other public servants or persons holding high offices, had acted with malice-cither in law o .....

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ase against those accused. The High Court also held that the impugned notification dated 30.4,1997 was issued by the Government after due consultation with the High Court and, therefore, it was not violative of Articles 50 and 235 of the Constitution. The contentions raised by Mr, K.K. Venugopal, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant Ms. Jayalalitha and other counsel appearing for the other appellants, can be briefly stated as under ;- 1. Section 3(1) of the P,C. Act on a correct in .....

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ded as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, as neither Section 3 nor the Act as a whole discloses any policy or principle for deciding when a Special Judge can be appointed for a case or group of cases and, thus, it enables the Government to exercise the power in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner by picking and choosing a particular case for trial by a particular Special Judge. 3. Even if Section 3(1) is held to be valid, exercise of power by the State Government thereunder and issu .....

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cation issued by the Central Government in exercise of its power under Section 4(2) of the PC. Act being legal and proper, the impugned notification dated 30.4.1997 issued by the State Government stands replaced, and the allocation of work as specified in the notification dated 5.2.1999 issued by the Central Government must be held as valid. We will now deal with the contentions seriatim. Re Contention No. I: It was submitted by the learned counsel that Section 3 empowers the Government to appoi .....

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ecial Judge for an area or areas and also appoint additionally a Special Judge for a case or group of cases within that area. The learned counsel first drew our attention to the meaning of the word or' contained in New Webster's Dictionary of the English Language and the decision of the Allahabad High Court in State of U.P. v.Sat Narain and Ors., (1951) Allahabad 218. So far as the decision of the Allahabad High Court is concerned, we are not able to appreciate how it can be of any use t .....

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stand in isolation and, therefore, it will not be proper to ascribe to it the meaning which is not consistent with the context of Section 3. It is a matter of common knowledge that the word or' is at times used to join terms when either one or the other or both are indicated. Section 3 is an empowering section and depending upon the necessity the Government has to appoint Special Judges for an area or areas or case or group of cases. Even in the same area where a Special Judge has already b .....

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contention raised on behalf of the appellants has to be rejected. Re Contention No. 2. The validity of Section 3(1) of the Act is challenged on the ground that it is violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution as it confers unfettered, unguided and absolute discretion on the Government and is thus capable of leading to abuse of power by the Government. The challenge is not to the whole of Section 3(1) but is confined to that part of the sub- section which empowers the Government to appoi .....

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tive. It was submitted in the alternative that the Act must disclose policy or principle on the basis of which such classification is to be made by the Government. According to the learned counsel neither Section 3 nor the object of the Act or any other provision of the Act indicates any policy or principle which should guide the Government in making appointment of a special Judge for a case or group of cases. Thus in absence of any policy or guidelines the Government can exercise its discretion .....

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ases or classes of cases were to be tried by a Special Court vested an unrestricted discretion in the State Government and as it did not disclose any policy as to when speedier trial was to be considered as necessary, it was violative Of Article 14 of the Constitution, Mukherjee, J. further held that "necessity of speedier trial is too vague, uncertain and elusive a criterion to form a rational basis for the discriminations made. The necessity for speedier trial may be the object which the .....

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he area in which they are committed, nor even by reference to any peculiarities or antecedents of the offenders themselves, but the selection is left to the absolute and unfettered discretion of the executive government with nothing in the law to guide or control its action. This is not a reasonable classification at all but an arbitrary selection. It was submitted by the learned counsel for the appellants that the law laid down by this Court in Anwar Ali's case is still good law as can be n .....

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pick and choose has always been regarded as unconstitutional, as can be noticed from the decisions of this court in The State of West Bengal v. Anwar Ali Sarkar, [1952] 2 SCR 284, Lachmandas Kewalram Ahuja and Anr. v. The State of Bombay, [1952] 2 SCR 710 and Dhirendra Kumar Mandal v. The Superintendent, [1955] 1 SCR 224. It is not necessary to deal with all the decisions in this judgment as we are in general agreement with the principle laid down in those cases and also because we are of the vi .....

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. The following observations from the decision of this Court in Re Special Courts Bill, 1978 [1960] 2 SCR 646, to which our attention was drawn by the learned Attorney General are also useful while considering the challenge that the provision of law is ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution : "Whether an enactment providing for special procedure for the trial of certain offences is or is not discriminatory and violative of Article 14 must be determined in each case as it arises, for, no .....

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ances, discloses a definite legislative policy which has been sought to be effectuated by the different provisions contained in the enactment." In Jyoti Prasad v. The Administrator for the Union Territory of Delhi, [1962] 2 SCR 125, this Court has held that : "such guidance may thus be obtained from and afforded by (a) the preamble read in the light of the surrounding circumstances which necessitated the legislation, taken in conjunction with well known facts of which the Court might t .....

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this behalf is, as pointed out in Jyoti Prasad's case (supra) : "the mere fact that the legislation is skeletal, or the fact that a discretion is left to those entrusted with administering the law, affords no basis either for the contention that there has been an excessive delegation of legislative power as to amount to an abdication of its functions, or that the discretion vested is uncanalised and unguided as to amount to a carte blanche to discriminate. The second is that if the powe .....

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ct is to provide speedy trial for offences punishable under the Act. In the statement of objects and reasons for enacting this Act it is stated that "in order to expedite the proceedings provision for day-to-day trial of cases... have also been included". Sub-Section (4) of Section 4 provides that notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 a special judge shall, as far as practicable, hold the trial of an offence on day-to-day basis. Section 5 provides t .....

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all so far as may be, applied to the proceedings before a special judge and for the purpose of the said provisions the special judge shall be deemed to be a Magistrate. These provisions sufficiently indicate the intention of the legislature and also the object of the Act that the cases of corruption shall be tried speedily and completed as early as possible. This is the policy of the Act and it underlies Section 3 also. Therefore, while exercising the power under Section 3 the Government shall h .....

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ould also depend upon various variable circumstances. Therefore, no fixed rule or guideline in that behalf could have been laid down by the legislature. The legislature had to leave it to the discretion of the Government as it would be in a better position to know the requirement Further, the discretion conferred upon the Government is not absolute. It is in the nature of statutory obligation or duty. It is the requirement which would necessitate exercise of power by the Government, When a neces .....

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dy trial. The term necessary' means what is indispensable, needful or essential. On the question as to whether the term necessary' has a precise meaning and connotation or is vague and nebulous, the learned Attorney General drew our attention to the decision of the Gujarat High Court in Jayantilal Purshotamdas v. State, (1970) 72 GLR 403. While construing the meaning of the words necessary' and expedient' used in Section 5(1) of the Bombay Land Acquisition Act, 1948 the Gujarat H .....

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olation and it has to be read in the context of the other parts of the provisions of the law in which it appears. Something more. The legislature has enacted the Prevention of Corruption Act and provided for speedy trial of offences punishable under the Act in public interest as it had become aware of rampant corruption amongst the public servants. While replacing the 1947 Act by the present Act the legislature wanted to make the provisions of the Act more effective and also to widen the scope o .....

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. It is in the context of public interest that we have to construe meaning of the word necessary' appearing in Section 3. Considering the object and scheme of the Act and the context in which it is used it would mean requirement in public interest and cannot be said to be so vague as not to provide a good guideline. Thus the exercise of discretion by the Government under Section 3 has to be guided by the element of requirement in public interest. Again conferment of such wide discretion by S .....

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a special court for trying a case or cases. The accused will be tried by a special judge who is also sessions Judge appointed under the Code of Criminal Procedure, as in the case of an accused tried by the area Special Judge. The procedure to be followed by a special judge whether he is an Area Special Judge or judge appointed specially for a case is the same. Thus the accused is hot exposed to a different treatment as regards the court by which he is to be tried or the procedure to be followed .....

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y person all or any of the powers conferred or conferrable by or under the Code oh Magistrates of the first, second or third class in respect of particular cases and thereby to constitute a Special Magistrate for the trial of an individual case, does not violate the guarantee under Article 14 of the Constitution as the Special Magistrate in the present case had to try the case entirely under the normal procedure and no discrimination of the kind contemplated by the decision in Anwar Alt Sarkar&# .....

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e Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 exclusively by special judges held that "bribery and corruption having been rampant and the need for weeding them out having been urgently felt.; it was necessary to enact the measure for the purpose of curtailing all possible delay in bringing the offenders to book." This Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 6 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1952 which provided for the appointment of Special Judges and empowered the State Governme .....

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vernment was Challenged on the ground that Section 14 which empowers the Government to issue such a notification infringes Article 14 of the Constitution. The said contention was rejected by the Court following its earlier judgment in M.K. Gopalan's case (supra); It was strenuously contended on behalf of the learned counsel for the appellants that in issuing the impugned notification dated 30.4.1997 the Government has acted mala ride-both in law and fact. It was submitted that the Government .....

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ppointment of three special judges for trying the cases specified in the notification and which were mainly against the Chief Minister and her cabinet colleagues or public officials. He also submitted that many older cases were pending in the courts of special judges in the city of Chennai. if speedier trial of the corruption cases was the genuine concern of the Government then it should have appointed either more special judges for the whole area of Chennai or should have picked up those old ca .....

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e appointment of special judges by the notification is only in respect of the cases against Ms. Jayalalitha and her cabinet colleagues and other co-accused the same should be regarded as actuated by malice. Mr. Rajiv Dhawan, appearing for some of the appellants, submitted that the impugned notification clearly discloses the intention of the Government of picking and choosing cases and political targetting and cited the following decisions to support his Contention that such exercise of power has .....

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round that the government has exercised its power under Section 3 of the Act out of malice. These submissions Were raised by the appellants before the High Court and the High Court has elaborately dealt with the same and after giving good reasons rejected all of them. The High Court has referred to the data which was brought on record to show that large number of cases were pending before the special courts in the city of Chennai. Moreover, the Courts of special Judges were also acting as Additi .....

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over as pointed put by this Court in Re, Special Courts' Bill 197$, [1979] 2 SCR 476, "speedy trial of offences of a public nature committed by persons who have held high public or political offices in the country and others connected with the commission of such offences is the heart of the matter." Thus the speedier trial of corruption eases against public servants/ officers holding high Government officials being a relevant consideration it cannot be said that by appointing separ .....

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rejecting all the submissions made in this behalf by the learned counsel for the appellants we do not think it necessary to deal with them any further. We may only state that no factual averments were made by the appellants in the writ petitions to make out a valid case of malice in fact. We may also state that the material on record justified the exercise of power by the Government and, therefore, the impugned notification cannot be said to be either discriminatory or violative of Article 14. .....

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e High Court in that behalf and thereafter the Full Court had approved the same. Even the posting of Sessions Judges as special judges for those three Additional courts was approved by the Full Court. Only the allocation or distribution of those eases amongst those three Special Judges was done by the Acting Chief Justice. That being a purely administrative Act could have been performed by the Acting Chief Justice alone and even if it is considered as an irregularity it is not of such a magnitud .....

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is the exclusive power of the Central Government to specify which cases shall be tried by which special judge. On the other hand it was contended by Mr. Shanti Bhushan and Anil Dewan, learned senior counsel, appearing for the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu and VOICE respectively that this power of the Central Government has to be read consistently with Section 3 of the Act. Section 3(1) empowers the Central Government or the State Government to appoint as many special judges as may be necessary .....

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the special Judge for the area within which it was committed, or, as the case may be, by the special Judge appointed for the case, or where there are more special Judges than one for such area, by such one of them as may be specified in this behalf by the Central Government." Whereas Section 3 empowers both the Central Government and the State Government to appoint special Judges, sub-section (2) of Section 4 authorises only the Central Government to specify, where there are more special Ju .....

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a within which it was committed. This is consistent with: the general , principle that the Court does not ordinarily have extra territorial jurisdiction. But: as Section 3 empowers both the State Government and the Central Government to appoint a special Judge for a case or group of cases, a provision had to be made to give effect to power and thereafter it further provides that where a special Judge is appointed for a case, then it will have to be tried by a special Judge. in the absence of suc .....

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hat case. But he submitted that, significantly sub-section (2) of Section 4 does hot refer to group of cases' and that indicates that there is no exclusivity of jurisdiction of such a special Judge and consequently the power conferred on the Central Government to allot cases under Section 4(2) would apply to cases tried by such special Judges. He submitted that in such a situation they should really be regarded as Area Special Judges. We are unable to appreciate this submission. Very probabl .....

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Notification: All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback Schedule w.e.f. 1.10.2017

Circular: Investment by Foreign Portfolio Investors in Corporate Debt Securities Review

Notification: Exemptions on supply of services under UTGST Act

Notification: Rates for supply of services under UTGST Act

Notification: Exemptions on supply of services under IGST Act

Notification: Rates for supply of services under IGST Act

Notification: List of Exempted supply of services under the CGST Act

Notification: Rates for supply of services under CGST Act

Highlight: Acceptance of deposits by companies from its members - conditions relaxed in case of Specified IFSC Public company and a private company - Rule 3 amended

Notification: Rate of exchange of conversion of the foreign currency with effect from 8th September, 2017



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