It would be in the fitness of things to mention at the outset that in a significant development, the Supreme Court as recently as on October 29, 2021 in a cogent, commendable, composed and convincing judgment titled AT Mydeen vs Assistant Commissioner, Customs Department LL 2021 SC 610 in Criminal Appeal No. 1306 of 2021 @ Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 374 of 2020 has held explicitly, elegantly and eloquently that the evidence recorded in a criminal trial against any accused is confined to the culpability of that accused only and it does not have any bearing upon a co-accused, who has been tried on the basis of evidence recorded in a separate trial, though for the commission of the same offence. In other words, the culpability of any accused cannot be decided on the basis of any evidence, which was not recorded in his presence or his pleader’s presence and for which he did not get an opportunity of cross-examination, unless the case falls under exceptions of law. Very rightly so!
To start with, this learned, latest, laudable and landmark judgment authored by Justice Vikram Nath for a Bench of Apex Court comprising of himself, Justice Dr DY Chandrachud and Justice BV Nagarathna sets the ball rolling by first and foremost observing in para 2 that, “Present set of appeals assail the correctness of the judgment and order dated 19.10.2019 passed by the learned Single Judge of the Madras High Court, Madurai Bench in Criminal Appeal Nos. (MD) 58 and 59 of 2009, titled as The Assistant Commissioner, Customs Department, Tuticorin Vs. A. Dhanapal and four others as respondents in Crl.A.(MD) No. 58 of 2009 and K.M.A. Alexander as sole respondent in Crl.A.(MD) No. 59 of 2009.”
In hindsight, the Bench then recalls in para 3 that, “Trial Court vide separate judgments and orders dated 23.05.2008 passed in C.C. No. 2 of 2003 and C.C. No.4 of 2004 under sections 132, 135(1)(a)(ii) read with 135A of the Customs Act 1962, had acquitted all the six accused. However, the High Court, vide impugned judgment, proceeded to record conviction of all the six accused and awarded sentence to undergo imprisonment of one year and fine of Rs. 50,000/- each and in default to undergo further six months rigorous imprisonment. It accordingly allowed both the appeals.”
Truth be told, the Bench then points out in para 4 that, “Anti-Smuggling Wing of the Customs department at Tuticorin, raided a warehouse situated at Door No. 111, Etayapuram Road, Tuticorin town on 10.03.1998 upon receipt of some specific information. In the raid, large quantities of cardboard boxes were recovered. Three persons were also present there, who identified themselves as Rahman Sait alias Nathan, Selvaraj and Sullan. Upon questioning, Nathan admitted that 419 cardboard boxes contained sandalwood billet/sticks and 57 cardboard boxes contained Mangalore tiles. All the above cardboard boxes were kept for export from Tuticorin to Singapore clandestinely and to be delivered to one RN Contractors Enterprise Company, Singapore.”
In addition, the Bench then states in para 5 that, “All the above 476 cartons, plastic strips, packing materials, loose Mangalore tiles, marking stencil plates were seized before two witnesses and separate memos (Mahazars) were prepared. On searching Mr. Nathan, one key chain of Room No. 212, Chitra Lodge was also seized. Seized material was transported to Customs Office. Sandalwood was valued at Rs. 96,52,800/- and Mangalore tiles were valued at Rs. 10,000/-. The total value thus being Rs. 96,62,800/-.”
As we see, the Bench then reveals in para 6 that, “After completing the inquiry, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs filed criminal complaint against five accused namely A. Dhanapal, A.T. Mydeen, Janarthanan, N. Ramesh and Rahman Sait for offence punishable under sections 132, 132(1) (a)(ii) and 135A of the Customs Act. It was registered as Calendar Case No. 2 of 2003 in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Madurai. The prosecution examined seven witnesses and filed 13 documents which were duly proved by the witnesses and marked as exhibits.”
Furthermore, the Bench then puts forth in para 7 that, “The sixth accused K.M.A. Alexander was absconding and was later on arrested, as such separate complaint was filed by Assistant Commissioner against him which was registered as Calendar Case No. 4 of 2004 in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Madurai. In this case also the prosecution examined seven witnesses and filed 13 documents as exhibits duly proved.”
Be it noted, the Bench then envisages in para 8 that, “The Trial Court on 23.05.2008 delivered two separate judgments in both the cases i.e. C.C. Nos. 2 of 2003 and 4 of 2004 and recorded acquittal of all the accused on the following findings:
a) No evidence was shown to prove that the accused are Customs House Agents and they packed and kept the boxes and had an intention to attempt to export Sandal Wood, illegally to Singapore.
b) It was proved that the sandalwood had arrived at Tuticorin two months before and arrangements were made to cancel the shipping bill. Accordingly, it cannot be said that accused had an intention to evade the customs duty levied by the customs department by crossing the green gate and having escaped by wrong declaration contravening section 135 of the Customs Act.
c) With regard to section 132 of Customs Act, there are no documents on record to show that the accused forged the documents and produced the same before anybody.
d) It was not proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused, with the intention of evading customs duty under section 135 (1)(a)(ii) of the Customs Act, had attempted to export carton containing prohibited sandalwood by means of forged documents thereby causing revenue loss to the customs department and contravention of section 135A of the Customs Act.
e) The case is pending before the Forest Department officials and hence this court cannot pass any order permitting customs officials under Section 126 of Customs Act either for sale or for auction. Further, the sandalwood not been deposited in the Trial Court under section 95 CrPC, therefore, it was not in the custody of the Trial Court.”
As a corollary, the Bench then enunciates in para 9 that, “Aggrieved by the acquittal, the Customs Department preferred two appeals before the High Court. The learned Single Judge, Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, by judgment dated 19.10.2019 recorded conviction of all six accused under section 135(1)(a)(ii) read with 135A of the Customs Act. However, it confirmed the acquittal under Section 132 of the Customs Act. Later on, by order dated 23.11.2019, it awarded sentence as already mentioned in paragraph No.3. The judgment of the High Court is a common judgment in both the appeals.”
Needless to say, the Bench then discloses in para 10 that, “Aggrieved by the above conviction and sentence, the six accused have separately approached this Court and have filed three separate appeals (@ special leave petitions). Appellant No.1, Janarthanan in appeals @ SLP (Crl.) Nos 833-34/2020 is reported to have died on 28.09.2021, as such the appeal stands dismissed as abated against him.”
Quite rightly, the Bench then holds in para 18 that, “The issue which thus falls for our consideration at this stage is whether the evidence recorded in a separate trial of co-accused can be read and considered by the appellate court in a criminal appeal arising out of another separate trial conducted against another accused, though for the commission of the same offence.”
Simply put, the Bench then remarkably observes in para 19 that, “To consider and dissect this issue, we have to bear in mind that fair trial is the foundation of the criminal justice delivery system and there are certain guiding principles to ensure a fair trial against an accused. The statutory arrangement of our criminal justice delivery system encompasses few provisions in that regard under the Cr.P.C. and the Evidence Act, 1872.”
It is worth noting that the Bench observes in para 25 that, “So far as the law for trial of the cross cases is concerned, it is fairly well settled that each case has to be decided on its own merit and the evidence recorded in one case cannot be used in its cross case. Whatever evidence is available on the record of the case only that has to be considered. The only caution is that both the trials should be conducted simultaneously or in case of the appeal, they should be heard simultaneously. However, we are not concerned with cross-cases but are concerned with an eventuality of two separate trials for the commission of the same offence (two complaints for the same offence) for two sets of accused, on account of one of them absconding.”
Briefly stated, the Bench then brings out in para 36 that, “Further, it would be worthwhile to mention here that the prosecution in both the trials produced seven witnesses and filed 13 documents which were proved and exhibited. The witnesses in the second case were not examined in the same sequence as the first case and consequently, the 13 documents filed were also not given the same exhibit numbers in the second case as in the first case.”
Quite rightly, the Bench then remarked in para 37 that, “Now, merely because the seven witnesses produced by the prosecution were the same in both the cases would not mean that the evidence was identical and similar because in the oral testimony, not only the examination-in-chief but also the cross-examination is equally important and relevant, if not more. Even if the examination-in-chief of all the seven witnesses in both the cases, although examined in different sequence, was the same, there could have been an element of some benefit accruing to the accused in each case depending upon the cross-examination which could have been conducted maybe by the same counsel or a different counsel. The role of each accused cannot be said to be the same. The same witnesses could have deposed differently in different trials against different accused differently depending upon the complicity or/and culpability of such accused. All these aspects were to be examined and scrutinised by the Appellate Court while dealing with both the appeals separately and the evidence recorded in the respective trials giving rise to the appeals.”
Quite forthrightly, the Bench then also hastened to add in para 38 that, “We cannot proceed on presumption and assume that everything was identical word to word. We are therefore, not inclined to accept the submission of Mr. Banerjee and in fact both the judgments relied upon by Mr. Banerjee having similar facts as the present case lay down the same proposition of law that evidence of one trial can be read only for the purposes of the accused tried in that trial and cannot be used for any accused tried in a separate trial. The view taken by the Calcutta High Court in 1928, expressed by Rankin, C.J., has been appropriately followed and accepted and is the correct view.”
To be sure, the Bench then also mentions in para 39 that, “The provisions of law and the essence of case-laws, as discussed above, give a clear impression that in the matter of a criminal trial against any accused, the distinctiveness of evidence is paramount in light of accused’s right to fair trial, which encompasses two important facets along with others i.e., firstly, the recording of evidence in the presence of accused or his pleader and secondly, the right of accused to cross-examine the witnesses. These facts are, of course, subject to exceptions provided under law. In other words, the culpability of any accused cannot be decided on the basis of any evidence, which was not recorded in his presence or his pleader’s presence and for which he did not get an opportunity of cross-examination, unless the case falls under exceptions of law, as noted above.”
In short, the Bench then puts forth in para 40 that, “The essence of the above synthesis is that evidence recorded in a criminal trial against any accused is confined to the culpability of that accused only and it does not have any bearing upon a co-accused, who has been tried on the basis of evidence recorded in a separate trial, though for the commission of the same offence.”
Of course, the Bench then clearly states in para 41 that, “It is also an undisputed proposition of law that in a criminal appeal against conviction, the appellate court examines the evidence recorded by the trial court and takes a call upon the issue of guilt and innocence of the accused. Hence, the scope of the appellate court’s power does not go beyond the evidence available before it in the form of a trial court record of a particular case, unless section 367 or section 391 of Cr.P.C. comes into play in a given case, which are meant for further inquiry or additional evidence while dealing with any criminal appeal.”
Quite significantly, the Bench then stipulates in para 42 that, “In the present controversy, two different criminal appeals were being heard and decided against two different judgments based upon evidence recorded in separate trials, though for the commission of the same offence. As such, the High Court fell into an error while passing a common judgement, based on evidence recorded in only one trial, against two sets of accused persons having been subjected to separate trials. The High Court ought to have distinctly considered and dealt with the evidence of both the trials and then to decide the culpability of the accused persons.”
What’s more, the Bench then states in para 43 that, “There is one more angle to be considered i.e. whether to remand one case to the High Court for fresh decision i.e. the case in which the evidence was not considered and we may proceed to decide the other case here. We find, if we adopt such a procedure, then no fruitful purpose would be served and in fact, it would be an exercise resulting in complications and contradictions and even conflicts. If we proceed to hear one appeal wherein the evidence has been considered by the High Court and we agree with the same, then it would influence the High Court in deciding the other matter on remand. Further, even if we could hold back this appeal and await decision of the High Court in the matter which we remand, then also the High Court would not be able to take an independent decision and would be influenced by the judgment as we would be entertaining one appeal. Moreover, if we allow one of the appeals which we are holding back, then, nothing may remain for the High Court to decide.”
As it turned out, the Bench then observed in para 44 that, “There is another reason why we are inclined to send back both the matters to the High Court which is fundamental. We find that the learned single Judge of the High Court has apparently not adopted the correct procedure prescribed under law and therefore, the judgment of the High Court needs to be set aside. Once a common judgment is set aside for one appeal, it cannot be upheld for another appeal. There cannot be a severance of the judgment particularly when it arises in a criminal case, where the rights of the accused are as important as the rights of a victim. Therefore, it would be in the fitness of things and in the interest of the parties that the matters are remanded to the High Court for a fresh decision in accordance with law and in light of the discussion and observations made above.”
Quite ostensibly, the Bench then holds in para 45 that, “We make it clear that all the questions of law and fact would remain open before the High Court and the parties would be free to address the High Court on all issues both on law and facts.”
Finally, the Bench then holds in para 46 that, “Accordingly, the appeals are allowed. Judgment of the High Court passed on 19.10.2019 is set aside. The appeals shall be heard by the High Court afresh in the light of the observations made above.”
In conclusion, the Bench of Apex Court in this notable judgment has made it abundantly clear that the evidence recorded in a criminal trial against any accused is confined to the culpability of that accused only and it does not have any bearing upon a co-accused, who has been tried on the basis of evidence recorded in a separate trial, though for the commission of the same offence. All the courts must definitely adhere entirely to what has been laid down by the Apex Court so explicitly in this noteworthy case. No denying it!
As we see, the Bench then reveals in para 6 that, “After completing the inquiry, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs filed criminal complaint against five accused namely A. Dhanapal, A.T. Mydeen, Janarthanan, N. Ramesh and Rahman Sait for offence punishable under sections 132, 132(1) (a)(ii) and 135A of the Customs Act. It was registered as Calendar Case No. 2 of 2003 in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Madurai.”
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Judicial officers cannot apply for direct appointment to the post of District Judge: Allahabad HC
In a very significant development pertaining to the qualifications for the post of district judge, the Allahabad High Court in a learned, laudable, landmark and latest judgment titled Shashank Singh and 4 others vs Honourable High Court of Judicature at Allahabad and another in Writ – A No. – 27120 of 2018 that was reserved on November 12 and then finally delivered on December 3, 2021 has held clearly, cogently and convincingly that under Article 233 of the Constitution of India, a Judicial Officer regardless of his or her previous experience, as an Advocate, cannot apply and compete for appointment to any vacancy in the post of District Judge. This will bar judicial officers from now applying to any vacancy in the post of District Judge unless the Apex Court reverses this. Of course, all judicial officers must be definitely aware of this as well as all those who aspire to be judicial officers as it directly concerns them.
To start with, this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment authored by Justice Ashutosh Srivastava for a Bench of Allahabad High Court comprising of himself and Justice Pritinker Diwaker sets the ball rolling by first and foremost observing that, “Heard Sri Ashutosh Mishra, learned counsel for the petitioners and Sri Ashish Mishra, learned counsel, who represents the High Court, Respondent No.1. The learned Standing Counsel has accepted notice of the writ petition on behalf of the Respondent No.2. Sri Ashish Mishra, learned counsel for the respondent High Court has filed counter affidavit. Learned counsel for the petitioners does not want to file rejoinder affidavit. We, therefore, proceed to decide the writ petition on merits.”
To put things in perspective, the Bench then puts forth that, “The subject matter of the writ petition relates to the process of Direct Recruitment to the U.P. Higher Judicial Services-2018 (Part II). The Allahabad High Court issued a Notification dated 12.11.2018 inviting applications for direct recruitment to the Uttar Pradesh High Judicial Service-2018 (Part-II) against 59 vacancies (SC-08, ST-01, OBC-16 and Unreserved-34) in the pay scale of Rs.51550-1230-58930-1380-63070 from Advocates having not less than 7 years standing as on the last date fixed for the submission of application forms, who must have attained the age of 35 years and must not have attained the age of 45 years as on 01.01.2019. The age limit was relaxed by 3 years in case of SC/ST/OBC category candidates, but such candidates must not have attained the age of 48 years as on 01.01.2019. 20% horizontal reservation for women candidates belonging to the State of U.P. only was provided. The applications were required to be filed online. A preliminary examination (objective type) was to be held at Prayagraj (Allahabad) on 03.02.2019. Both Advocates practicing within the State of U.P. and outside the State of U.P. were eligible to apply, but after obtaining requisite forwarding from the District and Sessions Judge/Registrar General/Registrar of the High Court/Secretary General of the Supreme Court as applicable.”
Be it noted, the Bench then discloses in the next para that, “All the petitioners, who are five in number, although enrolled with the Bar Council of U.P. are members of the M.P. Judicial Services and working as Judicial Officers in the State of M.P. under the supervision of the M.P. High Court at Jabalpur. The petitioners are aggrieved by Rule 5 of the U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1975 insofar as it bars the Judicial Officers from participating in the recruitment process for filing up the vacancies by direct recruitment.”
As it turned out, the Bench then envisages that, “It is contended on behalf of the petitioners that the Rule 5 of the 1975 Rules is violative of the fundamental rights of the petitioners and the source of direct recruitment cannot be restricted to practicing Advocates only. The petitioners were once practicing Advocates and later on got selected as Judicial Officers and otherwise satisfy the eligibility criteria laid down in the notification dated 12.11.2018 issued for filing up the vacancies. The 1975 Rules are liable to be declared unconstitutional to the extent it excludes the persons possessing requisite experience in the field of law of more than 7 years cumulatively as an Advocate and as a Judicial Officer for being considered eligible to appear in the U.P.H.J.S. Exams.”
As we see, the Bench then brings out that, “For appreciating the arguments raised on behalf of the writ petitioners, it would be appropriate to refer to Rule 5 of the U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules 1975, which is reproduced as under:-
5. Sources of recruitment.- The recruitment to the Service shall be made
a) by promotion from amongst the Civil Judges (Senior Division) on the basis of Principle of merit-cum-seniority and passing a suitability test.
b) by promotion strictly on the basis of merit through limited competitive examination of Civil Judges (Senior Division) having not less than five years qualifying service;
c) by direct recruitment from amongst the Advocates of not less than seven years standing as on the last date fixed for the submission of application forms.”
Needless to say, it is then pointed out by the Bench that, “A perusal of the Rule 5 of the 1975 Rules reveals that the source of recruitment to the U.P.H.J.S. is by promotion as also by direct recruitment. The source of recruitment by promotion is confined to Judicial Officers [Civil Judge (Senior Division)] while the source of direct recruitment is confined to Advocates with not less than 7 years standing. The U.P. Higher Judicial Service Rules, 1975 have been framed in exercise of the power conferred by the Proviso to Article 309 read with Article 233 of the Constitution of India.”
As a corollary, the Bench then adds that, “Article 309 of the Constitution of India deals with the recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving the Union or a State. The Article 309 provides the competence for the Governor of a State or such person as he may direct to make the rules regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the State. Article 233 of the Constitution of India deals with the appointment of District Judges. The Article 233 of the Constitution of India is reproduced here-under:-
“Article 233 of Constitution of India “Appointment of District Judges”
(1) Appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion of, district judges in any State shall be made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such State.
(2) A person not already in the service of the Union or of the State shall only be eligible to be appointed a district judge if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate or a pleader and is recommended by the High Court for appointment.””
It is worth noting that the Bench then enunciates that, “The Article 233 of the Constitution of India has been recently interpreted by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the Civil Appeal No.1698 of 2020 (Dheeraj Mor Vs. Hon’ble High Court of Delhi) arising out of SLP (C) No. 14156 of 2015 and other connected matters vide decision dated February 19th, 2020 reported in 2020 SCC online SC 213. The Hon’ble Apex Court after considering all aspects of the matter observed as under:-
“59. In view of the aforesaid interpretation of Article 233, we find that rules debarring judicial officers from staking their claim as against the posts reserved for direct recruitment from bar are not ultra vires as rules are subservient to the provisions of the Constitution.
60. We answer the reference as under:-
(i) The members in the judicial service of the State can be appointed as District Judges by way of promotion or limited competitive examination.
(ii) The Governor of a State is the authority for the purpose of appointment, promotion, posting and transfer, the eligibility is governed by the Rules framed under Articles 234 and 235.
(iii) Under Article 232(2), an Advocate or a pleader with 7 years of practice can be appointed as District Judge by way of direct recruitment in case he is not already in the judicial service of the Union or a State.
(iv) For the purpose of Article 233(2), an Advocate has to be continuing in practice for not less than 7 years as on the cut-off date and at the time of appointment as District Judge. Members of judicial service having 7 years’ experience of practice before they have joined the service or having combined experience of 7 years as lawyer and member of judiciary, are not eligible to apply for direct recruitment as a District Judge.
(v) The rules framed by the High Court prohibiting judicial service officers from staking claim to the post of District Judge against the posts reserved for Advocates by way of direct recruitment, cannot be said to be ultra vires and are in conformity with Articles 14, 16 and 233 of the Constitution of India.
(vi) The decision in Vijay Kumar Mishra (supra) providing eligibility, of judicial officer to compete as against the post of District Judge by way of direct recruitment, cannot be said to be laying down the law correctly. The same is hereby overruled.
61. In the case of Dheeraj Mor and others cases, time to time interim orders have been passed by this Court, and incumbents in judicial service were permitted to appear in the examination. Though later on, this Court vacated the said interim orders, by that time certain appointments had been made in some of the States and in some of the States results have been withheld by the High Court owing to complication which has arisen due to participation of the ineligible in-service candidates as against the post reserved for the practising advocates. In the cases where such in-service incumbents have been appointed by way of direct recruitment from bar as we find no merit in the petitions and due to dismissal of the writ petitions filed by the judicial officers, as sequel no fruits can be ripened on the basis of selection without eligibility, they cannot continue as District Judges. They have to be reverted to their original post. In case their right in channel for promotion had already been ripened, and their juniors have been promoted, the High Court has to consider their promotion in accordance with prevailing rules. However, they cannot claim any right on the basis of such an appointment obtained under interim order, which was subject to the outcome of the writ petition and they have to be reverted.””
There can be no gainsaying that the Bench then also added that, “It would be apt to also quote the additional reasoning given by Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, in respect of the issue decided by the Hon’ble Apex Court.
“90. A close reading of Article 233, other provisions of the Constitution, and the judgments discussed would show discloses the following:
(a) That the Governor of a State has the authority to make “appointments of persons to be, and the posting and promotion of, district judges in any State (Article 233 );
(b) While so appointing the Governor is bound to consult the High Court (Article 233 :Chandra Mohan (supra) and Chandramouleshwar Prasad v Patna High Court 1970 (2) SCR 6662);
(c) Article 233 (1) cannot be construed as a source of appointment; it merely delineates as to who is the appointing authority;
(d) In matters relating to initial posting, initial appointment, and promotion of District Judges, the Governor has the authority to issue the order; thereafter it is up to the High Court, by virtue of Article 235, to exercise control and superintendence over the conditions of service of such District Judges. (See State of Assam v Ranga Mahammad 1967 (1) SCR 4543);
(e) Article 233 (2) is concerned only with eligibility of those who can be considered for appointment as District Judge. The Constitution clearly states that one who has been for not less than seven years, “an advocate or pleader” and one who is “not already in the service of the Union or of the State” (in the sense that such person is not a holder of a civil or executive post, under the Union or of a State) can be considered for appointment, as a District judge. Significantly, the eligibility- for both categories, is couched in negative terms. Clearly, all that the Constitution envisioned was that an advocate with not less than seven years’ practise could be appointed as a District Judge, under Article 233 (2).
(f) Significantly, Article 233 (2) ex facie does not exclude judicial officers from consideration for appointment to the post of District Judge. It, however, equally does not spell out any criteria for such category of candidates. This does not mean however, that if they or any of them, had seven years’ practise in the past, can be considered eligible, because no one amongst them can be said to answer the description of a candidate who “has been for not less than seven years” “an advocate or a pleader” (per Deepak Agarwal, i.e. that the applicant/candidate should be an advocate fulfilling the condition of practise on the date of the eligibility condition, or applying for the post). The sequitur clearly is that a judicial officer is not one who has been for not less than seven years, an advocate or pleader.
91. The net result of the decision in Chandra Mohan (supra), and subsequent decisions which followed it, is that Article 233 (2) renders ineligible all those who hold civil posts under a State or the Union, just as it renders all advocates with less than seven years’ practice ineligible, on the date fixed for reckoning eligibility. Equally, those in judicial service [i.e. holders of posts other than District Judge, per Article 236 (2)] are not entitled to consideration because the provision (Article 233 ) does not this part of the case it is sufficient to say that there was consultation.” prescribe any eligibility condition. Does this mean that any judicial officer, with any length of service as a member of the judicial service, is entitled to consideration under Article 233 (2)? The answer is clearly in the negative. This is because the negative phraseology through which eligibility of holders of civil posts, or those in civil service (of the State or the Union) and advocates with seven years’ service is couched. However, the eligibility conditions are not spelt out in respect of those who are in the judicial service.
92. The omission, – in regard to spelling out the eligibility conditions vis-à-vis judicial officers, to the post of District Judge, in the opinion of this court, is clearly by design. This subject matter is covered by three provisions: Article 233 (1)– which refers to promotions to the post of District Judge; Article 234, which, like Article 233 (1) constitutes the Governor as the appointing authority in respect of judicial posts or services, (other than District Judges), and like Article 233 (1), subject to recommendation of the High Court concerned. This position is most definitely brought home by the fact that Article 235 vests in the High Courts the power of supervision and control of the judicial service, “including the posting and promotion of, and the grant of leave to, persons belonging to the judicial service of a State and holding any post inferior to the post of district judge.” The corollary to this is that the Governor is appointing authority for the post of District Judge, and other judicial posts; both are to be filled after prior consultation with the High Court, and crucially, the promotion of judicial officers, to the post of District Judge, is regulated by conditions (read rules) framed by the High Court.”
96. In the opinion of this court, there is an inherent flaw in the argument of the petitioners. The classification or distinction made- between advocates and judicial officers, per se is a constitutionally sanctioned one. This is clear from a plain reading of Article 233 itself. Firstly, Article 233 (1) talks of both appointments and promotions. Secondly, the classification is evident from the description of the two categories in Article 233 (2): one “not already in the service of the Union or of the State” and the other “if he has been for not less than seven years as an advocate or a pleader”. Both categories are to be “recommended by the High Court for appointment.” The intent here was that in both cases, there were clear exclusions, i.e. advocates with less than seven years’ practice (which meant, conversely that those with more than seven years’ practice were eligible) and those holding civil posts under the State or the Union. The omission of judicial officers only meant that such of them, who were recommended for promotion, could be so appointed by the Governor. The conditions for their promotion were left exclusively to be framed by the High Courts.
101. The Constitution makers, in the opinion of this court, consciously wished that members of the Bar, should be considered for appointment at all three levels, i.e. as District judges, High Courts and this court. This was because counsel practising in the law courts have a direct link with the people who need their services; their views about the functioning of the courts, is a constant dynamic. Similarly, their views, based on the experience gained at the Bar, injects the judicial branch with fresh perspectives; uniquely positioned as a professional, an advocate has a tripartite relationship: one with the public, the second with the court, and the third, with her or his client. A counsel, learned in the law, has an obligation, as an officer of the court, to advance the cause of his client, in a fair manner, and assist the court. Being members of the legal profession, advocates are also considered thought leaders. Therefore, the Constitution makers envisaged that at every rung of the judicial system, a component of direct appointment from members of the Bar should be resorted to. For all these reasons, it is held that members of the judicial service of any State cannot claim to be appointed for vacancies in the cadre of District Judge, in the quota earmarked for appointment from amongst eligible Advocates, under Article 233.”
In addition, the Bench then added that, “Apart from the above observations, the Hon’ble Supreme Court while interpreting Article 236(2) of the Constitution of India, in the Case of Deepak Aggarwal Vs. Keshav Kaushik and others, reported in 2013 (5) SCC 277, was pleased to observed as under:-
“88. As regards construction of the expression, if he has been for not less than seven years an advocate in Article 233(2) of the Constitution, we think Mr. Prashant Bhushan was right in his submission that this expression means seven years as an advocate immediately preceding the application and not seven years any time in the past. This is clear by use of has been. The present perfect continuous tense is used for a position which began at some time in the past and is still continuing. Therefore, one of the essential requirements articulated by the above expression in Article 233(2) is that such person must with requisite period be continuing as advocate on the date of application. ””
Finally, the Bench then concludes by holding that, “In the light of the above, it is clear that under Article 233 of the Constitution of India, a Judicial Officer regardless of his or her previous experience, as an Advocate with 7 years practice, cannot apply and compete for appointment to any vacancy in the post of District Judge; his or her chance to occupy the post would be through promotion in accordance with the Rules framed under Article 233 and Proviso to Article 309 of the Constitution of India. No relief can be given to the petitioners. The writ petition fails and is, accordingly, dismissed. The interim order dated 20.12.2018 stands discharged.”
In a nutshell, this notable judgment by Allahabad High Court makes it manifestly clear that judicial officers cannot apply for appointment to post of district judges but they will be eligible through promotion as already stated aforesaid. All the judicial officers and so also the aspirants must read this judgment in totality so that they are aware of its implications for them. No denying it!
Emergence and influence of intellectual property in the sports industry
Starting from hunting in the olden times to justice and football moment, sports have been there in some form or the other since the inauguration of mortal life. Still, we know little of the issues engulfing sports in our country. Occasionally the players are facing problems like bullying and sexual importunity.
The Indian sports request is fleetly growing and is a truly global miracle. Sports have become a significant part of any society. Sports go beyond religion, estate, and creed. Sport in India has noway really been taken seriously. It has always been seen as a source of recreation. Encyclopedically, the sports assiduity is a massive sector, bringing together entertainment, games, culture, and financial business together. It’s only in recent times that the marketable viability of sport in India has begun to be explored and exploited.
The extent of Intellectual Property Rights is mountainous in the sporting sphere. IP Rights are vested in nearly every element of the sports assiduity. Starting from Patents which stimulate technological progress that affect in better sporting outfit, trademarks and designs contribute to the distinct identity of events, brigades, and their gear. Brand- related rights induce the earnings demanded for broadcasters to invest in the expensive undertaking of broadcasting of sports events to suckers each over the world.
Also, Intellectual property( IP) rights stimulate the growth and creativity in all aspects of mortal conduct. They give the platform to transfigure good ideas into profitable gambles. This exploration paper tries to dissect how IP rights enable the world of sports in their development and identify the immense compass of IP in this arena. By nature, sports involve multiple layers of profitableactivity.However, laptops, or smart phones, If we formulate starting from remonstrating the ball on a muddy field to a colosseum filled with thousands of observers and millions more sticking on their boxes. Technologically developed and modified sports gears, seductive sportswear designs, and the girding makes sports a largely pleasurable and wanted exertion. But unlike numerous other similar events, every type of sport and the sports diligence need the protection in the form of IP rights, and a terrain that helps to enforces those rights. And therefore, this composition examines how the different orders of IP rights are useful in the sports sector to cover the means and induce value and stimulate growth.
Sports is big business and mega bucks are spent on organizing and commercializing major sporting events, similar as the FIFA, Cricket World Cup and the Summer and Winter Olympics. In this composition, we will consider in what ways the law is suitable to cover the substantial investments made in these sporting events by organizers and sports guarantors and merchandisers likewise, particularly in relation to the 2012 London Olympic Games and the rise of the miracle of so- called ‘Ambush Marketing’. Eventually, some general conclusions will be drawn. This blog explores how property rights in sporting specs-both real and intellectual-could give rise to information monopolies. As event organizers and promoters see the marketable advantage of the Internet, they’re producing their own news spots and contending for readership of the traditional news sources similar as journals, TV and radio. While the Internet is being heralded as the vehicle of lesser information diversity, the co-revision of sporting specs means that event organizers can decide an information monopoly in relation to their events. Intellectual property rights are seen by assiduity as a major pillar in sports entertainment as they cover the exclusivity of guarantors and the fiscal capacity of organizers. Trademarks are used to cover those IP rights but strategies like “ ambush marketing”, in which non-sponsor challengers take advantage of a sports event patronized by others, challenges those rights and therefore it’s needed to control it in any possible ways.
Starting from hunting in the olden times to justice and football moment, sports have was in some form or the other since the inauguration of mortallife. Still, we know veritably little of the issues gulfing the sphere of sports in our country. Occasionally the players are facing problems like bullying and sexual importunity. On the other hand, occasionally the players, themselves are giving rise to legal issues by unethical practices like doping. Any which way, the significance of law in sports is not denied. With the adding competitiveness and aggression amongst the players coupled with the adding financial benefits, players, trainers, and companies, etc. are getting further and further involved in malpractices. Match-fixing was first reported in 1965 when three players of a platoon had put against their own platoon. Unfortunately, moment we’ve contended cases of match- fixing in all the major sports events including FIFA, tennis crowns and justice crowns.
Moment, both for huntsmen as well as sports associations, sports isn’t just a career or passion, but is looked at as a huge business occasion. On conformation of a sports platoon, the brigades are generally honoured by a platoon name. For the purposes of identification, ensigns and fancy taglines are created. Off the field, on the marketable position, huntsmen get into signatures and announcements whereas sports associations get into branding, retailing, licensing, backing and other analogous conditioning.
Once all these creative rudiments are put into commercialization, their protection becomes essential. For case, moment impalpable means similar as the platoon names like Royal Contenders, Manchester United, events similar as Olympics, US Open etc., along with their various ensigns, totems, taglines, hold high marketable value and are significant factors of imprinting and selling conditioning and hence their legal protection is needed to help third party contraventions. On the other hand, broadcasting rights, licensing, auspices, and other important profit aqueducts also involve many legal conditions to guard the rights.
There’s no single law that protects all similar personal material and resolve all the issues that arise out of them. A set of multiple laws are resorted to in order to guard the business interests involved in sports. IP laws form major part of similar laws and are frequently pressed into service in diving colourful legal issues. IP is an marquee term used to describe parcels created by mortal intellect and includes patents, trademarks, trade secrets, imprints, designs and so on.
Trademark is a distinctive sign or an index representing a trade or business. Trademarks typically are in the form of totem’s, captions, label lines etc. They’re the pointers of the source of origin of a particular product or service. Trademark is one of the most generally created IP associated with sports. It’s the one of the factors that aids brand structure of sports business. The names and titles of a ballot, label lines and other names associated with a sports platoon are able of being registered as trademarks and further help brand structure. The public conditions that measure fashion ability of sports are also grounded on trademarks. Therefore, trademarks have an immense value associated to sporting events or sports brigades. These trademarks piecemeal from being a symbol of identification, also add to ingrain value when used in colourful forms similar as merchandises, auspices etc. Announcement earnings and backing earnings are typically associated with trademarks to ascertain a ballot’s brand equity.
Brand law protects the expression of ideas and not ideas in itself. Brand subsists in erudite workshop, musical workshop, cultural workshop, dramatic workshop, photos, sound recordings, and cinematographic flicks. Brand is defended from the moment the work is created. This right allows the proprietor of the brand to reproduce, make clones of the work, vend, make secondary workshop, acclimatize the work, licence, and assign the work. In the process of sporting events and its elevations, the maximum quantum of IP that’s created is brand. The artwork in the ensigns, the literature in the promotional material, the wares, software of computer and online games and so on are all subject matter of brand. There’s no obligatory rule to register imprints; still, looking into the judicial trends in India4, it appears that courts have emphasized on enrolment in order to claim remedies under the Copyright Act.
A trade secret is a practice, process, pattern, or compendium of information which isn’t generally known or fluently acquired by which a business obtains a profitable advantage over its challengers. In sports associations or brigades, it’s possible that there’s some information which is non-public in nature and confidentiality has to be maintained. There have been multitudinous cases, where there has been a leakage of non-public information by the platoon members. For case, in 2008, expert quarterback Brett Favre, who quit Green Bay Packers and inked with the NewYork Spurts, called the Detroit Lions, and gave them some of the schemes that the Packers would be using on offense. By doing so, he violated trade secret law.
Commercialization of sports is so rampant that the competition amongst sports clubs or associations is not only on the event field but also in the business for making huge profits. Most sports clubs have ventured into exploitation of their intellectual property and are into different business such as merchandising, computer games, café’s, and so on. This adventure of sports clubs of earning profits by exploiting their IP makes it essential for them to adequately protect their IP. The protection of the various species of IP would be in various forms like registrations, agreements with proper terms and conditions etc. Lately, merchandising is one of the most lucrative businesses where the sports clubs have a larger stake.
Trademark is a distinctive sign or an index representing a trade or business. Trademarks typically are in the form of totem’s, captions, label lines etc. They’re the pointers of the source of origin of a particular product or service. Trademark is one of the most generally created IP associated with sports. It’s the one of the factors that aids brand structure of sports business. The names and titles of a ballot, label lines and other names associated with a sports platoon are able of being registered as trademarks and further help brand structure. The public conditions that measure fashion ability of sports are also grounded on trademarks.
Claim of juvenility can be raised before any court, at any stage, even after final disposal of the case: SC
It is really good to see that in a learned, laudable, landmark and latest judgment titled Ashok vs The State of Madhya Pradesh in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s). 643/2020 (Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 14-11-2017 in CRA No. 455/1999 passed by the High Court Of M.P. at Gwalior) that was delivered finally on November 29, 2021, the Apex Court has minced no words to make it clear that the claim of juvenility can be raised before any Court, at any stage, even after disposal of the case. So there should be no more confusion anymore pertaining to this! It must be specifically mentioned here that the Bench of Apex Court comprising of Hon’ble Ms Justice Indira Banerjee and Hon’ble Mr Justice JK Maheshwari observed that if the Court finds a person to be a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence, it is to forward the juvenile to the Board for passing appropriate orders, and the sentence, if any, passed by a Court, shall be deemed to have no effect.
To start with, the ball is set rolling in this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment first and foremost by observing in the opening para that, “By a judgment and order dated dated 29.07.1999, the Additional Sessions Judge, Gohad, District Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, convicted the petitioner inter alia for offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him inter alia to life imprisonment in Sessions Trial No. 260 of 1997. In the cause title of the said judgment and order, the petitioner has been described as Ashok, S/o Balram Jatab age 16 yrs 9 months and 19 days, R/o Village Anjani Pura, District Bhind.”
In hindsight, the Bench then brings out in the next para of this notable judgment that, “The petitioner filed an appeal being Criminal Appeal No. 455 of 1999 challenging his conviction and sentence. The said criminal appeal has been dismissed by the High Court by an order dated 14.11.2017, which is impugned in the Special Leave Petition(Crl.) No. 643 of 2020, filed by the petitioner.”
To put things in perspective, the Bench then points out in the next para that, “The incident which led to the conviction of the petitioner, took place on 26.07.1997. The petitioner claims that the petitioner was born on 05.01.1981. The petitioner was, therefore, approximately 16 years and 7 months old on the date of the incident.”
As we see, the Bench then envisages in the next para that, “In this Court, the petitioner has for the first time contended that he was a juvenile on the date of the incident. His conviction and sentence are, therefore, liable to be set-aside. The claim of juvenility was not raised in the High Court.”
Needless to say, the Bench then further mentions in the next para that, “The learned Additional Advocate General, appearing on behalf of the State argued that the claim of juvenility has been raised for the first time in this special leave petition.”
Be it noted, the Bench then while elaborating further and shedding more light observes in the next para that, “The Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, which was in force on the date of commission of the offence as also the date of the judgment and order of conviction and sentence by the Sessions Court was repealed by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The Act of 2000 received the assent of the President of India on 30.12.2000 and came into force on 01.04.2001. The Act of 2000 defined juvenile in conflict with the law to mean a juvenile, who was alleged to have committed an offence and had not completed 18th year of age as on the date of commission of such an offence.”
In retrospect, the Bench then mentions that, “Under the 1986 Act, the age of juvenility was upto the 16th year.”
It is worth noting that the Bench then hastens to add in the next para that, “Section 7A of the 2000 Act as inserted by Act 33 of 2006 with effect from 22.08.2006 provided as follows:-
“7A. Procedure to be followed when claim of juvenility is raised before any Court.-(1) Whenever a claim of juvenility is raised before any court or a court is of the opinion that an accused person was a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence, the court shall make an inquiry, take such evidence as may be necessary (but not an affidavit) so as to determine the age of such person, and shall record a finding whether the person is a juvenile or a child or not, stating his age as nearly as may be:
Provided that a claim of juvenility may be raised before any Court and it shall be recognised at any stage, even after final disposal of the case, and such claim shall be determined in terms of the provisions contained in this Act and the rules made thereunder, even if the juvenile has ceased to be so on or before the date of commencement of this Act.
(2) If the court finds a person to be a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence under sub-section(1), it shall forward the juvenile to the Board for passing appropriate orders and the sentence, if any, passed by a court shall be deemed to have no effect.””
Most significantly, the Bench then succinctly states what forms the cornerstone of this noteworthy judgment that, “The claim of juvenility can thus be raised before any Court, at any stage, even after final disposal of the case and if the Court finds a person to be a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence, it is to forward the juvenile to the Board for passing appropriate orders, and the sentence, if any, passed by a Court, shall be deemed to have no effect.”
For the sake of clarity, the Bench then also wastes no time in pointing out in the next para that, “Even though the offence in this case may have been committed before the enactment of the Act of 2000, the petitioner is entitled to the benefit of juvenility under Section 7A of the Act of 2000, if on inquiry it is found that he was less than 18 years of age on the date of the alleged offence.”
Going ahead, the Bench then states that, “It is true as pointed out by the learned Additional Advocate General appearing on behalf of the State that the certificate of Akikrit Shash, High School, School, Endouri, District Bhind, Madhya Pradesh relied upon by the petitioner is stated to have been issued on 17.07.2021. The said certificate does not specifically mention that the date of birth 01.01.1982 had been entered at the time of first admission of the petitioner at the primary school level.”
What’s more, the Bench then further mentions that, “Furthermore, there is a birth certificate issued by the Gram Panchayat, Endouri, District Bhind, Madhya Pradesh which indicates the date of birth of the petitioner as 05.01.1982 and not 01.01.1982 as recorded in the school certificate referred to above.”
Adding more to it, the Bench then remarks that, “The entry in the records of the Gram Panchayat, Endouri, District Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, also do not appear to be contemporaneous and the certificate has been issued in the year 2017.”
Furthermore, the Bench then adds in the next para that, “However, as pointed out by Mr. M.P. Parthiban, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner that the Sessions Court has recorded the age of the petitioner as 16 years, 9 months and 19 days. The petitioner has been in actual custody for over three years.”
It cannot be glossed over that the Bench then enunciates that, “The 2000 Act has been repealed and replaced by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Section 21 of the 2015 Act provides as follows:
“21. Order that may not be passed against a child in conflict with law. – No child in conflict with law shall be sentenced to death or for life imprisonment without the possibility of release, for any such offence, either under the provisions of this Act or under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force.””
Quite significantly, the Bench then holds and directs in the next para that, “Considering that the Trial Court has recorded the age of the petitioner as 16 years and odd, and has been in actual custody in excess of three years, which is the maximum for a juvenile, we deem it appropriate to grant the petitioner interim bail on such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the Sessions Court. We further direct the Sessions Court to examine the claim of the petitioner to juvenility in accordance with law, and submit a report to this Court within one month from the date of communication of this order.”
For the sake of clarity, the Bench then holds that, “The concerned Sessions Court shall be entitled to examine the authenticity and genuineness of the documents sought to be relied upon by the petitioner, considering that the documents do not appear to be contemporaneous.”
Without leaving any room for doubt, the Bench then holds that, “In the event the documents are found to be questionable/unreliable, it will be open to the Sessions Court to have the petitioner medically examined by taking an ossification test or any other modern recognized method of age determination.”
Finally, the Bench then holds that, “List after the ensuing winter holidays.”
In essence, the Apex Court Bench comprising of Hon’ble Ms Justice Indira Banerjee and Hon’ble Mr Justice JK Maheshwari have thus clearly, cogently, composedly and convincingly laid down that the claim of juvenility can be raised before any Court, at any stage, even after disposal of the case. We thus see that the Apex Court has made it clear that the juvenile can claim the benefit of juvenility even after final disposal of the case and the sentence, if any, passed by a Court, shall be deemed to have no effect. This is to ensure that a juvenile does not suffer immensely inspite of being even a juvenile.
No doubt, it is definitely a right step in the right direction and the Apex Court deserves all the kudos for having reiterated the right position of law on this which directly benefits the concerned juvenile even after a sentence is passed against him/her. There is no reason of any kind to differ with what the Apex Court has laid down in this case so convincingly and so sagaciously. Of course, it ought to be implemented in letter and spirit and all the courts are certainly duty bound to always abide by what the Apex Court has laid down in this leading case so very commendably!
Addressing issues related to NRI marriages
The institution of marriage is the nucleus of the social system. It forms the very foundation on which the splendid edifice of the social system stands. This sacred matrimonial bond gives birth to a plethora of rights and obligations. With the increase in Indian Diaspora, matrimonial alliances of Indian women with overseas Indian men are rising proportionately.
As reported by National Commission for Women, typical instances of issues that arise in NRI marriages are Abandonment of the women right after marriage, leaving her women during pregnancy, after child-birth, abandonment of mother-child duo; physical and mental abuse, desertion without reasonable cause, false information/Concealment about job, immigration status, earning, property, marital status and other material particulars, to deceive into the marriage, amongst others. Moreover, legal issues related to jurisdiction of courts, service of notices/orders, enforcement of orders; simultaneous retaliatory legal proceeding by husband in the other country, taking advantage of more lenient divorce grounds, obtaining ex-parte divorce and non-submission to the legal proceedings in any ways to summons, or even warrant of arrest are also encountered by women. Through the present article, author attempts to simplify the substantive and procedural laws applicable to the NRI parties to matrimonial disputes.
To understand the interplay of laws in cases involving NRIs, it is pertinent to mention that there are two sets of laws; one is Substantive that determines the rights and liabilities of the parties, whereas the other one is procedural which doesn’t create any right or liability rather lays down the procedural framework through which the substantive rights are legally enforced. Substantive Law governing the rights and liabilities of the parties to NRI Marriages is the Law under which the marriage is solemnised. All direct and incidental rights emanating from marriage, like maintenance, divorce, guardianship, custody, inheritance, succession and adoption are also regulated by the same substantive law. For example- If two Indian Citizens (Hindu by religion), marry in India as per Hindu Rituals, their matrimonial rights would be governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 even if they are residing outside India.
Divorce cannot be granted on any ground which is not provided in the governing statute even if it is a valid ground in the country of their residence. To illustrate, Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage is not a valid ground of divorce under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; hence an NRI Couple cannot seek divorce on this ground in foreign country. If any Foreign Court has granted divorce on this ground, such a decree will be null and void in India. In Y. Narasimha Rao v. Y. Venkata Lakshmi, Supreme Court held that a Foreign Decree is not executable in India if the ground on which the divorce is granted by the foreign court is not a ground available under Indian Laws.
Section- 3 and 4 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) read with Section-188 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 extend application of IPC to Indian Citizens residing abroad. If any person commits Matrimonial Offence which is punishable under IPC or any other special law in India in foreign land, the perpetrator can be booked and punished under Indian Laws. Matrimonial Offences are mentioned in Chapter XX (Section- 493-498A) of Indian Penal Code, special laws and personal laws. Dowry-related offences are punishable under Section- 304B of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. If in-laws while sitting in India exert pressure for dowry on their daughter-in-law living abroad, they can be booked for Abetment to Dowry/Cruelty as Section 108 of IPC expressly, states, “A person abets an offense who, in India, abets the commission of any act within and beyond India which would constitute an offense as if committed in India.”
Procedural Laws are lex fori in nature and procedure is governed by the law where the suit is instituted. Civil Proceedings can be initiated either at the place where the spouse ordinarily resides, or place where the couple last resided together, or place where the petitioner is currently residing, whether overseas or India. Special power of attorney (SPA) can be used by the NRI husband/wife living abroad to file a divorce case in India. In case the errant party despite repeated summons doesn’t appear before the Indian Court, warrants may be issued and uploaded on Ministry of External Affairs Website and shared with the Indian Embassy Office in the Foreign Country for compelling his/her attendance.
Provisions related to Execution of Foreign Divorce Decree in India are contained in Section 13 and 44-A Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. For a foreign decree to be valid and enforceable in India, it must fulfil the conditions mentioned in Section 13. In Y. Narasimha Rao Case (Supra), Supreme Court ruled the following conditions of a valid foreign decree-
Both parties voluntarily and unconditionally subject themselves to the jurisdiction of the Foreign Court
Decision is given on the “merits” of the case
Ground of divorce in the decision of the Foreign Court must be a ground available under the Indian Law
Decree must be free from fraud or any misrepresentation
IMPOUNDING OF PASSPORT
Section-10 of The Passport Act lays down grounds and procedure for revocation of passport by Passport Authorities. Revocation or Impounding of a passport on account of any involvement of matrimonial offence is not per-se mentioned. However, passport may be revoked / impounded on the following grounds:
If the holder has been convicted of any offence by a court in India for an offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced to an imprisonment for not less than two years
If criminal proceedings are pending in a court in India
If a warrant or summons for appearance or an arrest warrant has been issued by a court
In Rajiv Tayal v. Union of India (2005) passport of NRI husband was impounded after continuous failure on his part to respond to summons by the Indian Courts under Section 10 of the Passport Act. The husband challenged the revocation order passed by Consulate General of India, New York by invoking writ jurisdiction which was rejected by the High Court and he was ordered to appear before the Indian Court. Fines can be imposed as per Schedule to the Act in case of non-disclosure of correct marital status/details of pending matrimonial case or minor suppressions of information regarding marital status/name of spouse etc.
NRI Cell of National Commission for Women is the nodal agency for resolving issues related to NRI marriages from across the country and abroad. Online Complaint can be filed with NRI Cell of NCW- http://ncwapps.nic.in/NRICellcms/ or sent via email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Besides, Ministry of External Affair’s Online Consular Grievances Monitoring System- MADAD helps Indians abroad, including women married to NRIs. Distressed woman or any member of her family/friend can register a complaint under this Module.
For legal aid and advice on any matter, National/State Legal Services Authority can be contacted. As per Section-12 of The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, every woman is entitled to free legal aid in India. If the victim wishes to file case in India, complaint can be filed through NALSA Mobile Application or NALSA on-line complaint portal.
To support Indian women in distress by providing financial and legal assistance, Ministry of External Affairs implemented Scheme, titled “Scheme for giving legal / financial assistance to Indian women deserted by their overseas Indian / foreigner husbands”. The scheme is available to Indian women who have been deserted by their overseas Indian / foreigner husbands or are facing divorce proceedings in a foreign country, subject to the conditions mentioned therein. Besides, Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 which is currently referred to Parliamentary Standing Committee makes registration of NRI Marriages compulsory. Failure to register marriage within 30 days would lead to impounding of passport by the passport. Moreover, the Supreme Court is also yet to formulate guidelines for safeguarding the interest of NRI married women in the PIL filed by NGO, Pravasi Legal Cell.
(Bhawna Gandhi is a Delhi-based Lawyer and Columnist, currently working as Researcher at Delhi State Legal Services Authority)
Why contract law is essential for business transactions
A contract with extensive operational content is used to manage all parties’ distribution operations, whereas a contract with significant technical material is used to monitor the cluster’s output activities. The parties’ relationships have a clear impact on the contract’s execution. The transactional relationship leads to a specific deal use, but the relative relationship leads to a non-specific deal use.
Since the human race began and human society has developed, there have been many laws and policies practiced through out the decades. In the past when the barter system was in practice and people used to exchange goods amongst them, people were unable to meet their needs properly so for that the concept of money and company into light and was accepted by everyone. In the contemporary era, the economy is growing fastly and vastly and the globe has accelerated the corporate transactions and business with the help of a legal instrument that is known as “Contract”. The Law of Contract is one of the oldest mercantile laws being used in India since 1872. The term “Contract” is referred to as the agreement between two parties that are contractual in nature that describes the responsibilities of the parties where the offeror makes an offer to enter into a contract with the offeree. If the offeror agrees to do something or to refrain from doing something and accepts the offer, then contact is made.
The Law of Contract is not only an important thing for business rather it is an essential law to carry on trade, business or commerce smoothly as it definiteness in the business transactions that affects the entire society. India is considered as a developing country with a mixed economy and in the 21st century, several new businesses and startups are emerging across the country. Make in India, Startup India, Execute India, and few other initiatives were started by the government to make India grow in the global market. These got boosted up when the Pandemic hit the nation and everything went virtual. People started working from and this was the time when many new startups and businesses came and grew up.
Every business or startup goes through a business transaction. A business transaction is basically an event or an occasion that involves an interchange of goods or money or any kind of services between two or more parties. It is very important as it provides a brief view of the interactions taking place between the company or organizations for accomplishing the business objective.
Any contract is enforced by the law as it ensures that if any party fails to do whatever he/she has agreed to, then in that case the other party may approach the Court of Law. to demand the damages for the injuries done by the violation of the law. However, any contract can only be taken forward and executed if it satisfies these conditions – agreement, free consent, competence, consideration, legal objective, and the contract not expressly declared null and void. Basically, a contract is an agreement that is written and agreed upon by all the parties involved in it. It not only provides an oppurtunity and smoothness for the execution of all the tasks and the fulfillment of the target as written in the agreement. It acts as a path of positive attachment with the clients.
Contract management, in this context, is a strategy for managing legally drafted contracts with clients or anybody else. A contract guarantee is a common commercial practise that clarifies requirements and aids in the delivery of the intended outcomes as quickly as feasible. It is important to obtain a legally binding contract from a lawyer.
Contracts become particularly significant due to the following factors:
1. PREVENTION OF MISCOMMUNICATION AND MISUNDERSTANDING:
This is one of the most common issues encountered in any organization for various reasons. Contract preparation is a mandate to deter such situations. Both the parties have to read and follow all the negotiated laws as it has a huge effect on the disputes between the parties and thus can make a huge effect on the entire firm.
2. COMPREHENSIVE PROOF OF INFORMATION:
A contract’s principal purpose is to memorialise all of the details agreed upon by both parties. The contract provides a thorough understanding of the services provided by a third party as well as the financial obligations that must be met by the third party. This data will be used as legal facts and is extremely important to the transaction.
3. ENSURES CONFIDENTIALITY:
A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that covers all sensitive material is required to ensure confidentiality. The parties concerned are not entitled to the disclosure of the business or to a monetary exchange with the third party, according to this agreement. They will be held accountable for breach of contract if they reveal the information.
4. OFFERS PROTECTION:
The duration of the contract and the collection of responsibilities are specifically stated in the legal agreement, which plays an essential role in ensuring security between the parties. If one of the parties files a lawsuit against the other, the contract may be used as evidence.
5. WORKS AS A CORPORATE RECORD:
The contract is the primary and most important document establishing mutual consent to the procedures set forth in the agreement. According to the contract, it can be used for comparative reasons. The length of the contract is usually noted in the contract, which provides extra direction on termination terms. In the worst-case situation, the contract may be cancelled if the other party fails to follow the contract’s regulations or ignores the conditions.
Before, commercial transactions were far too simple. Two individuals used to agree to make a transaction and both parties kept their word, but today’s professionals are aware of the history of deal-breaking and litigation that have occurred in their industry. Contracts are regarded the most significant item in any business since they explain both parties’ expectations and protect both parties if those expectations aren’t met adequately and a lockin price is paid for the services. Because it is implemented in our daily lives, contract law is extremely important. Life will not run as smoothly as it should without the contract. Any agreement in today’s period involved a contract, whether it was for buying raw materials, renting property, collecting money, or employment. Much of what the government does, in their opinion, derives from the action of the appropriate Parliament, and the services they give are increasingly privatised and delivered in accordance with the contract.
Various studies have been conducted in the past to demonstrate how the contract is utilised to replace the parties’ loss of trust. The problem is that protecting against probable future occurrences is difficult, if not impossible. The participants’ primary goal is to protect oneself in the event of a possible relationship involving complex and unusual interactions. Contract negotiations are reviewed in five stages: bid, discussion, adaptation, preparation, and the final negotiating process. The end outcome will most likely be a one-sided deal. There may also be a link between the length of the conversations and the proximity of the meetings. Long-term interactions, according to the model, are likely to result in more notable closeness as the parties learn more about one another. On the other hand, if the parties already have a good connection, the conversations may be brief.
The aforementioned circumstances make contracts inevitable for any firm that wants to keep its sensitive information safe and secure from the bad guys. It also protects employees when they fail to follow the terms of the contract by deceiving them with promises. Furthermore, we tend to believe that the negotiation approach, the contract, and its application are at the heart of the study. As a result, the contract itself contains a critical outcome on the contract’s employment. During a right-of-use arrangement, an agreement made by the granting party is used to govern individuals at intervals the opposing party’s company. This horrible contract is used in a variety of ways. A typical contract is discovered to have a non-differentiated usage. A contract that is not as thorough as a long term is perceived in a very different light.
A contract with extensive operational content is used to manage all parties’ distribution operations, whereas a contract with significant technical material is used to monitor the cluster’s output activities. The parties’ relationships have a clear impact on the contract’s execution. The transactional relationship leads to a specific deal use, but the relative relationship leads to a non-specific deal use. However, drafting a contract that takes these issues into account might be a difficult and time-consuming process. It’s also a good idea to seek the advice of a seasoned professional.
The Law of Contract is not only an important thing for business rather it is an essential law to carry on trade, business or commerce smoothly as it definiteness in the business transactions that affects the entire society. India is considered as a developing country with a mixed economy and in the 21st century, several new businesses and startups are emerging across the country. Make in India, Startup India, Execute India, and few other initiatives were started by the government to make India grow in the global market. These got boosted up when the Pandemic hit the nation and everything went virtual. People started working from and this was the time when many new startups and businesses came and grew up.
Unlocking the reality of preventive detention laws in India
Criminal laws act as a tool to prosecute criminals and also to prevent or reduce the risk of an anticipated future harm. Such measures enable the state to criminalize conduct at an early stage in order to allow the authorities to take action, to incapacitate suspected future wrong doers, keeping them behind the bars for an extended period and all this is done in the garb of public protection and security. Classical theories of jurisprudence comprehend the relationship between states and citizens. A citizen’s obligation to obey to the sovereign is a tacit form of consent and in return the state owes a deemed duty to protect the citizens from hazards, threats and any form of violence. With this rationale, the state proceeds towards fostering in itself the power the prevent an individual or a group from committing any harm. Broadly, preventive detention is a measure if it is created to avert or reduce the frequency or impact of an unacceptable risk or harm.
MEANING OF DETENTION
There is no universally accepted definition of preventive detention but in general sense preventive detention means to detain a person in order to prevent him from committing any possible future crime. There is another similar type of detention called ‘administrative detention’ which is more often used in civil law countries and on the other hand preventive detention’ is more often used in common law countries. The major difference between two types of detention is that in a former case detention is a tool for administration and on the other hand in the later case detention is a tool to prevent a ‘potential threat’.
There is also a third type of detention, ‘punitive detention’ the main purpose of which is to punish the person for an offence committed only after a trial and conviction in a court of law. As the name suggests the major difference between punitive detention and preventive detention is that one talks about punishment and other about prevention.
CONSTITUTIONAL PARADOX OF PREVENTIVE DETENTION LAWS IN INDIA
India chose to be a democratic country with inherent values of human rights embedded in our Constitution. However, the irony lies in the fact that the Constitution makers still chose to grant exemption to prevention detention laws when once they were victims of the same despotic laws.
Under Entry 9 the Union list, Parliament has the absolute power to enact laws with regard to preventive detention for reasons connected with security, defence and foreign affairs of India. Under Entry 3 of the Concurrent, both the state and the central government have been vested with the powers of enactment of such laws which related to the maintenance of public order, maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community etc. Preventive detention finds place in Constitution and that too under Fundamental Rights. Article 22(3) provides that: “if the person who has been arrested or detained under preventive detention laws then the protection against arrest and detention provided under Article22 (1) and 22 (2) shall not be available to that person.” This is why article 22(3) cannot be said as the fundamental right but a fundamental danger to the liberty of a person.
The Criminal Procedure Code of India also provides for Preventive detention under Section 151 as: “A police officer knowing of a design to commit any cognizable offence may arrest, without orders from a Magistrate and without a warrant, the person so designing, if it appears to such officer that the commission of the offence cannot be otherwise prevented.”
In Union of India v Paul Nanickan and Anr, the Supreme Court of India stated: “the object of preventive detention is not to punish a man for having done something but to intercept him, before he does it, and to prevent him from doing it. No offence is proved, nor any charge formulated; and the justification for such detention is suspicion or reasonable probability and not criminal conviction, which can only be warranted by legal evidence.”
The main purpose for inserting preventive detention laws was to prevent the commission of a crime which are prejudicial to law and order of a state but it has failed miserably to serve its purpose and on the other hand is proving to be a tool to curtail the liberty of an individual.
Clause (3) of Article 22 is the main escape that outrightly exempts the applicability of rights of an arrested person as conferred by Article 22. Preventive detention thus allows detention without legal trial. At the same time, the constitution provides safeguards in case of misuse of preventive detention laws.
JURISPRUDENCE OF PREVENTIVE DETENTION LAWS VIA THE INDIAN JUDICIARY
The first case in post-independent India where the constitutionality of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950 was questioned was the AK Gopalan Vs State of Madras. The court gave a green flag to the Preventive Detention Act because of the presence of the explicit provisions of Article 22(5). Although the petitioner made a good attempt by challenging the law in violation of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution. Later, PDA lapsed in 1969 and Parliament enacted the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) two years later. The infamous emergency of 1970s exercised MISA as a political weapon to curb political criticism and dissent. MISA expired in 1978 but paved way for the birth of another preventive detention law which is National Security Act (NSA) which is in effect today. Simultaneously, in 1967 the government enacted Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) to restrict the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assembly peaceably without arms and to form associations. UAPA has undergone half a dozen amendments since then and is currently also recognized as a terror law.
It is pertinent to note that, the law in India allows detention of individuals in order to prevent act that may threaten ‘national security’ or ‘public order’. But the author wants to argue that neither the constitution nor the preventive laws expressly define what amounts to national security or public order or what possibly are the range of acts that may fall under these categories of offences. This deficiency on the fundamental clarity poses a challenge on the legality of these laws. The courts have justified preventive detention orders and given some direction in this regard in the case of Ram Manohar Lohia v. State of Bihar, wherein the court differentiated the concepts pf ‘security of state, public order and law and order’. The Court concluded that law and order represent the largest circle within which there is a smaller circle of public order and the smallest circle is the security of the state. So, it can be seen that what may affect law and order might not affect public order, similarly what may affect public order might not affect security of state.
However, the state is trying to normalize preventive detention under the umbrella of ‘national security’ and invoking judicial remedies in preventive detention cases becomes a rare option. The Apex Court has also mistakenly made a dangerous viewpoint in the case of Union of India Vs Dimple Happy Dhakkad where the accused were already arrested under the regular criminal process but were also subject to the preventive detention order under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA) as the case involved gold smuggling. Bail applications were rejected twice, The Apex Court very narrowly failed to consider the pre-existing detention of the accused when they were already languishing in jail for 2 months before the preventive detention order. The Supreme Court relied completely on the doctrine of the ‘subjective satisfaction’ of the detaining authority. The author undoubtedly admits the limitations of judicial review in detention orders but at the same time our Apex Court has itself widened the horizons of judicial review in arbitrary detention orders. The judiciary as in ADM Jabalpur has transformed itself to completely outlaw its tragic effect of fundamental freedoms and constitutionalism and overruled in the landmark Puttaswamy judgment. Moreover, the court in the case of Prabhu Dayal Deorah Vs. D.M Kamrup have rightfully assented to test the grounds on which the detention orders are passed on the lines of arbitrariness and vagueness. In another case of Bhawarlal Ganeshmalji v. State of Tamil Nadu, the court created a judicial requirement that the allegation must have a ‘live link’ with the present situation to justify the need of preventive detention.
It is significant to substantiate the recent judgment of Allahabad High Court in the Habeas Corpus case of NuzhatPerween Vs State of Uttar Pradesh. Briefly stating the facts of this case, Dr. Kafeel Khan (son of Nuzhat Perween) gave a public speech in Aligarh Muslim University. It was alleged that his speech incited feelings of communal disharmony and also lead to violent protests by some groups of students. A preventive detention order was passed against him to maintain public order in the district and he was put behind the bars. He applied for the bail and the bail was granted. What happens next is the episode which actually happens in our system. The executive did not enforce the bail order. When the court passed a second order to release Dr. Khan, the state claimed that the order was notified later and they have taken a preventive detention order authorized by the District Magistrate, Aligarh. When this matter reached the constitutional High Court of Allahabad, it took six months for a decision to be made. The inordinate delay is in itself a violation of the fundamental liberty of a person whose crime is a mere allegation. The petitioner mentioned that he did not have adequate material and thus his right to effective representation against is detention is violated. The Court agreed with this argument because the petitioner was given the CD of his speech but was given any means to play his disc. He was neither supplied the main transcript which was the primary basis for his preventive detention. Next, the court was asked to determine the contents of his speech as to whether it is of such a nature that a reasonable person could apprehend any disturbance to public order. The state correctly claimed that it is not open for the courts to wear the shoes of the preventive detention authority and the court cannot substitute their opinion in place of the ‘subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority’.
However, the court walked one step ahead and contradicting the above doctrine stated that ‘The expression “subjective satisfaction” means the satisfaction of a reasonable man that can be arrived at on the basis of some material which satisfies a rational man. It does not refer to whim or caprice of the authority concerned.’ In line with this principle of judicial scrutiny in the detention authority, the court noted that the speech delivered by the detenu was presented in parts by the police and not holistically. The speech is in no way against the maintenance of public order and therefore the closure of examining record as suggested would be nothing but a licence to allow the executives to act at their whims or caprice. This would be against the fundamentals of our constitutional values and provisions.
In the recent bail order of the Delhi High Court in the case of Devangana Kalita Vs State of NCT of Delhi the court strongly observed that the state in its anxiety to suppress dissent has blurred the line of constitutionally guaranteed right to protest and terrorist activity. The Court uprightly confronted Section 43D(5) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Quoting the court ‘The making of inflammatory speeches, organising chakkajams, and such like actions are not uncommon when there is widespread opposition to Governmental or Parliamentary actions Even if we assume for the sake of argument, without expressing any view thereon, that in the present case inflammatory speeches, chakkajams, instigation of women protesters and other actions, to which the appellant is alleged to have been party, crossed the line of peaceful protests permissible under our Constitutional guarantee, that however would yet not amount to commission of a ‘terrorist act’ or a ‘conspiracy’ or an ‘act preparatory’ to the commission of a terrorist act as understood under the UAPA’
In the latest 2019 amendment, individuals can also be designated as ‘terrorist’ by way of Section 35. Not just that, under Section 43D(5), bail can be denied by relying upon the prosecution documents even though they are inadmissible in courts. This archaic provision has been affirmed by the Apex Court of the country in the case of National Investigation Agency Vs. Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali. This is the point of concern.
The tragic death of Father Stan Swamy is one such harshest reality of UAPA who was languishing in jail at the age of 84, a man who fought for the rights of the tribals and is applauded by the world. Many other renowned educators and activists like Professor Sudha Bhardwaj, Tamil Poet Varvara Rao etchave been detained under this law in the controversial ElgaarParishad and Bhima Koregaon case. Student activists have been put behind the bars for more than a year only because they dissent from those in power. The dissenting opinion of Hon’ble Justice DY Chandrachud in the Romila Thapar Case enlightens the current scenario of the arbitrariness of these laws. The complexity is embedded in Article 22 which guarantees protection against arrest and detention, yet it provides exception for preventive detention laws and our so called ‘democratic governments’ have time and again enacted preventive detention laws like MISA, UAPA, TADA, POTA, NSA etc. to curb voice raised against them.
All these legislations outlaw the fundamental rights coupled with the basic human rights. Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights embodies the rule of fair hearing in every circumstance and this has been recognized as the basic human tenant. The state, under the misconception of protecting the security of the country, has actually put the country in a state of turmoil. Where at one instance Arnab Goswami is granted bail in 24 hours,
Father Stan Swamy was denied medical bail every time he knocked the doors of the court. The question is who actually are we protecting under these arbitrary preventive detention laws. The answer is none. We are actually protecting the state from dissent.
The constitutional courts of the country must remind themselves the crucial judgment if Maneka Gandhi Vs. Union of India which has expanded the horizons of Article 21 and the court also heard a batch of petitions challenging the National Security Act. In the case of A.K. Roy Vs Union of India upheld the validity of the Act by completely relying on Article 22 (3)(b). After this judgment, preventive detention laws have never been tested constitutionally and this settled proposition is proving to be very unsettling now. The author argues and concludes by stating that the narrowed interpretations of Article 22 have ceased to exist when the Apex Court re-affirmed due process into the constitution and the State cannot rely on this provision anymore while putting people behind the bars for months without giving them adequate legal representation. The judiciary must uphold constitutionalism of the constitution.
It is pertinent to note that the law in India allows detention of individuals in order to prevent acts that may threaten ‘national security’ or ‘public order’. But the author wants to argue that neither the Constitution nor the preventive laws expressly define what amounts to national security or public order or what possibly are the range of acts that may fall under these categories of offences. This deficiency on the fundamental clarity poses a challenge on the legality of these laws. The courts have justified preventive detention orders and given some direction in this regard.
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