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In Re Madhu Limaye Versus State of Maharashtra

1968 (12) TMI 97 - SUPREME COURT

W.P. No. 355 of 1968 - Dated:- 18-12-1968 - A G Shah And V Ramaswami JJ. JUDGMENT 1. Madhu Limaye, Member of Lok Sabha, and several other persons were arrested on November 6, 1968, at Lakhisarai Railway Station near Monghyr. On the same date Madhu Limaye addressed a petition in the form of a letter to this court under Article 32 of the Constitution mentioning that he along with his companions had been arrested but had not been communicated the reasons or the grounds for arrest. It was stated tha .....

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Magistrate had, thereupon, remanded them to custody up to November 20, 1968. This court issued a rule nisi to the Government of Bihar and Supdt. District Jail, Monghyr to produce Madhu Limaye and others whose names were given in the order, dated November 12, 1968, on November 25, 1968. 2. The State of Bihar filed a return but on November 25, 1968, the Court directed the Advocate-General of Bihar to procedure the relevant documents in connection with the recording of the first information report .....

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he report submitted by the Sub-Inspector in-charge of the Government Railway Police Station, Kiul to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Madhu Limaye and others had defied the prohibitory orders issued under Section 144, Cr. P.C., by holding and addressing a public meeting at the railway ground at Lakhisarai Railway Station between 4-30 p.m. and 6-30 p.m. on November 5, 1968, and some out of them had exhorted the public in provocative language to offer satyagrah at the Railway Station and to d .....

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on for launching a strike shouting slogans. This group had been followed by several other groups of persons the last being the 8th group (the names in each group were mentioned). All these persons had been arrested under Section 151, Cr. P.C. and had been sent to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Monghyr. These incidents happened in the presence of Shri Mathur, Magistrate Ist Class, Monghyr, Shri B. N. Singh, Railway Magistrate Kiul, etc. It was stated that the report was being submitted &qu .....

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ng of the railway and had committed offences under Section 143, I.P. C. and Section 122 of the Railways Act. 4. The State of Bihar has filed a return according to which the circumstances in which the prohibitory order was promulgated under Section 144, Cr. P.C., are set out. It was stated that from the leaflets circulated by the Lakhisarai unit of the Samyukta Socialist Party on November 4, 1968, it appeared that the party had decided to hold a public meeting on November 5, 1968, and to launch s .....

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vember 11, 1968, directing show cause notices to be issued to Madhu Limaye and others as to why action under Section 188, Indian Penal Code, should not be taken against them. On November 6, 1968, a procession of about 200 persons of Samyukta Socialist Party led by Madhu Limaye and others came to the main gate of the platform of Lakhisarai Railway Station where a Magistrate, Inspector of Railway Police and Officer-in-charge of Kiul, Government Railway Police Station were present. When these perso .....

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fficer-in-charge, Kiul Government Railway Police Station, for the incidents which happened on November 6, 1968. A case had been started on that report and show cause notices had been issued on November 20, 1968, as to why action should not be taken under Section 188, I.P.C. It was claimed that Madhu Limaye and others had committed offences under Section 188 and under Section 143, Indian Penal Code (which is cognizable) by violating the orders made under Section 144, Cr. P.C., and by forming unla .....

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participating in a peaceful satyagraha or that the officer-in-charge, Kiul, purported to arrest all these persons only under Section 151, 107 and 117 of the Cr. P.C. 5. The annexures attached to the return filed by the State and the documents contained in the original records which were sent for have reveal the following state of affairs : On November 6, the officer-in-charge, Government Railway Police Station Kiul, made what is called report (Annexure-D) under Section 107(3), Cr. P.C. This con .....

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l Magistrate, Sadar, to the following effect : "I am forwarding herewith the following accused persons (list attached herewith) in custody as they have been arrested under Sections 151, 107, 117(3), Cr. P.C. They may kindly be remanded in jail Hazat for a fortnight by which time report under Sections 107, 117(3), Cr. P.C. and 188, I.P.C. be routed through proper channel." As stated in the return two show cause notices were issued by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Shri, P. P. N. Sahi on .....

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with the common object of committing criminal trespass in violation of the duly promulgated order under Section 144, Cr. P.C. It was prayed that these persons be summoned for being tried for offences under the aforesaid sections. A show cause notices appears to have been issued on or about November 20, 1968. The remand orders which were passed on November 6 and 20, 1968, were made on the basis that the accused persons had been "arrested and forwarded under custody under Sections 151, 107, .....

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ed for extraneous considerations and were actuated by mala fides. 7. The entire sequence of events from November 5, 1968, onwards is somewhat unusual and has certain features which have not been explained on behalf of the State. In the first place when the arrests were effected by the Sub-Inspector in-charge of Government Railway Police Station on November 6, 1968, the offences for which the arrest was made were not stated to be cognizable. In the various reports etc., to which reference has bee .....

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ation has been received that he is likely to commit a breach of peace to show cause why he should not be ordered to execute a bond for a period not exceeding one year, for keeping peace. Under Section 117, which was also invoked, the Magistrate makes an enquiry as to the truth of an information. But proceedings under Section 107 have to follow the procedure laid down in Chapter VIII and arrest cannot be effected unless a Magistrate issued a warrant for that purpose under Section 114. Section 151 .....

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ntion of an offence under Section 143, I.P.C. having been committed by Madhu Limaye and other persons who were arrested on November 6, 1968. It was obviously for that reason that no formal first information report was recorded on November 6, 1968 which would have necessarily been done if the police officers effecting arrests had thought of Section 143, Indian Penal Code which is cognizable offence. No explanation has been furnished on behalf of the State as to why the information which was recor .....

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rities then realised that they had been completely obvious of the true position that arrests could not have been effected for a non-cognizable offence made punishable under Section 188, Indian Penal Code or for taking proceedings under Section 107, Cr. P.C. Under Section 151, Cr. P. Code the police officer could have arrested without a warrant but Mr. Chagla has not sought justification for the arrests under that provision. He has pointed out that a prohibitory order had been issued under Sectio .....

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icers present to arrest them. The return is supported by an affidavit of Shri S. C. Prasad, Magistrate Ist Class, Monghyr, according to whom the contents of Para 6 in which this statement occurs were true to his knowledge. It is somewhat surprising that the affidavit of Shri K. B. Mathur has not been filed who would have deposed to all that happened in his presence and the reasons for ordering the arrests. It is most unusual and extraordinary that in spite of arrests having been ordered by the M .....

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Shri Mathur is noted. It would be legitimate to conclude that the arrest of Madhu Limaye and his companions was effected by the police officers concerned without any specific orders or directions of a Magistrate on November 6, 1968, for the offences and the proceedings mentioned before in the various reports made prior to November 19, 1968. 9. The submission of Madhu Limaye on the second point has hardly been effectively met on behalf of the State. Article 22(1) provides that no person who is a .....

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to it. It appears that the authorities wanted to invoke all kinds of provisions like Sections 151, 107, 117 of the Cr. P.C. apart from Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Since no arrest could be effected for an offence under Section 188 by the police officers without proper orders these officers may have been naturally reluctant to comply with the mandatory requirements of Article 22(1) by giving the necessary information. At any rate, whatever the reasons, it has not been explained even duri .....

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nstitution of 1946. In England whenever an arrest is made without a warrant, the arrested person has a right to be informed not only that he is being arrested but also of the reasons or grounds for the arrest. The House of Lords in Christie & Another v. Leachinsky ((1947) 1 All EER 567) went into the origin and development of this rule. In the words of Viscount Simon if a policeman who entertained a reasonable suspicion that X had committed a felony were at liberty to arrest him and march hi .....

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sted of the true ground of arrest. He is not entitled to keep the reason to himself or to give a reason which is not the true reason. In other words, a citizen is entitled to know on what charge or on suspicion of what crime he is seized. 2. X X X X 3. The requirement that the person arrested should be informed of the reason why he is seized naturally does not exist if the circumstances are such that he must know the general nature of the alleged offence for which he is detained." Lord Simo .....

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ation against him is so that he can exercise the second right, namely, of consulting a legal practitioner of his choice and to be defended by him. Clause (2) of Article 22 provides the next and most material safeguard that the arrested person must be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of such arrest so that an independent authority exercising judicial powers may without delay apply is mind to his case. The Criminal Procedure Code contains analogous provisions in Section 60 and 340 but .....

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hese two provisions contained in clause (1) and clause (2) are already to be found in the Criminal Procedure Code and thereby probably it might be said that we are really not making any very fundamental change. But we are, as I contend, making a fundamental change because what we are doing by the introduction of Article 15-A is to put a limitation upon the authority both of Parliament as well as of the Provincial Legislature not to abrogate the two provisions, because they are now introduced in .....

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turn for declining the prayer of Madhu Limaye and other arrested persons for releasing them on the ground that there was non-compliance with the provisions of Art. 22(1) of the Constitution. In Ram Narayan Singh's case it was laid down that the court must have regard to the legality or otherwise of the detention at the time of the return. In the present case the return, dated November 20, 1968, was filed before the date of the first hearing after the rule nisi had been issued. The return, as .....

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es which were issued on November 11, 1968, satisfied the constitutional requirement. Madhu Limaye and others are, therefore, entitled to be released on this ground alone. 12. Once it is shown that the arrests made by the police officers were illegal, it was necessary for the State to establish that at the stage of remand the Magistrate directed detention in jail custody after applying his mind to all relevant matters. This the State has failed to do. The remand orders are patently routine and ap .....

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