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2016 (5) TMI 1282 - SUPREME COURT

2016 (5) TMI 1282 - SUPREME COURT - 2016 AIR 2386, 2016 (5) JT 214, - TADA proceedings validity - Held that:- Since the prior approval of the District Superintendent of Police was not taken in the instant case, the trial got vitiated on this ground itself. The appeals filed by the convict persons being Criminal Appeal are allowed setting aside their conviction. - CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(S). 2464-2466/2014 WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 464-466/2013 - Dated:- 4-5-2016 - A.K. SIKRI & R.K. AGRAWAL JJ.

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08. The TADA Court has acquitted two accused, namely, M. Jamal Alvi and Habib Ahmed. Against their acquittal, State of Rajasthan has filed appeals which are registered as Criminal Appeal Nos. 2464-66 of 2014. Other two accused, namely, Abre Rehmat Ansari @ Qari and Dr. Mohd. Jalees Ansari, have been convicted by the TADA Court and challenging that conviction, these persons have filed Criminal Appeal Nos. 464-466 of 2013. It is for this reason, we have heard all these appeals together .....

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that has to be taken under TADA Act and reads as under :- 20-A Cognizance of offence. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, no information about the commission of an offence under this Act shall be recorded by the police without the prior approval of the District Superintendent of Police. (2) No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act without the previous sanction of the Inspector-General of Police, or as the case may be, the Comm .....

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ted the said approval as valid because of the reason that approval is given by an authority which is higher than the District Superintendent of Police. The question, therefore, is as to whether it is only District Superintendent of Police whose approval will meet the requirements of law or it can be given by an Officer higher in rank. This question is no more res integra and is settled by a series of judgments of this Court. It is not necessary to give account of all those judgments as in the la .....

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ove leaves no manner of doubt that the provision starts with a non obstante clause and is couched in negative phraseology. It forbids recording of information about the commission of offences under TADA by the Police without the prior approval of the District Superintendent of Police. The question is whether the power of approval vested in the District Superintendent of Police could be exercised by either the Government or the Additional Police Commissioner, Surat in the instant case. Our answer .....

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pose behind the same - a course that is legally impermissible. In Joint Action Committee of Air Line Pilots Association of India V. Director General of Civil Aviation (2011) 5 SCC 435, this Court declared that even senior officials cannot provide any guidelines or direction to the authority under the statute to act in a particular manner. 21.2. Secondly, because exercise of the power vested in the District Superintendent of Police under Section 20-A (1) would involve application of mi .....

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made out. Exercise of that power by anyone other than the designated authority viz. the District Superintendent of Police would amount to such other authority clutching at the jurisdiction of the designated officer, no matter such officer or authority purporting to exercise that power is superior in rank and position to the officer authorised by law to take the decision. 21.3. Thirdly, because if the Statute provides for a thing to be done in a particular manner, then it must be done .....

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. Mahavir Prasad 1999 (8) SCC 266, Dhananjaya Reddy v. State of Karnataka 2001 (4) SCC 9 and Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd. V. Essar Power Ltd. 2008 (4) SCC 755. The principle stated in the above decisions applies to the cases at hand not because there is any specific procedure that is prescribed by the Statute for grant of approval but because if the approval could be granted by anyone in the police hierarchy the provision specifying the authority for grant of such approval might as well not hav .....

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commission of an offence under TADA. On the contrary, he made a report to the Additional Chief Secretary and asked for permission to proceed under TADA. Why? Was it because he was reluctant to exercise jurisdiction vested in him by the provision of Section 20-A(1)? This is a case of power conferred upon one authority being really exercised by another. If a statutory authority has been vested with jurisdiction, he has to exercise it according to its own discretion. If the discretion is exercised .....

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udhsinhji Karansinhji Jadeja & Anr. (Supra) correctly. As according to him, in Anirudhsinhji Karansinhji Jadeja & Anr. (Supra), this Court had given one more reason for quashing the TADA proceedings which is contained in para 15 of the said judgment, as in the said para, the Court noted that the State Government had given sanction without even discussing the matter with the Investigating Officer and without assessing the situation independently which showed lack of proper and due applica .....

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