In this overview of court judgments, we take a look at the remarks and guidelines of constitutional courts on personal freedom from ongoing trials, youthful allegations, the rights and dignity of people with disabilities at checks. airport security and the right against sexual harassment under Article 21 Right to Life and Dignity.
Supreme Court: UAPA – The period of deprivation of personal liberty pending trial cannot be unduly long.
In the case Asim Kumar Haranath Bhattacharya v the National Investigation Agency, the Supreme Court observed that the period of deprivation of personal liberty pending trial / appeal cannot be unduly long.
The Supreme Court was considering an appeal filed on behalf of a pending defendant (Ashim @ Asim Kumar Haranath Bhattacharya) out of the total number of 14 defendants seeking bail after arrest, which was dismissed by the court in first instance on February 25. 2020 and also by the High Court on March 15, 2021. The case was filed under Sections 120B, 121, 121A, 122 IPC, Section 25 (1A) of the 1959 Weapons Act, Section 5 of the Act on explosive substances, 1908 and sections 18,20,40 (1) (b) (c) of the Illegal Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967.
The accused is currently 74 years old and has been in detention since July 6, 2012, completing 9.5 years as an accused.
The bench of Judges Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka held that the courts would normally be obliged to release the accused on bail because he has been incarcerated for a long time, and it is obvious that a timely trial would not be. Not possible.
The judiciary also reiterated that the charges against the accused are serious, but these charges will need to be weighed against factors such as the period of incarceration and the likely period in which the trial can finally be concluded. The court also noted that only one special court had been appointed by the state of West Bengal to try cases under the 2008 law.
Therefore, the judiciary concluded that deprivation of personal liberty without guaranteeing a speedy trial does not comply with article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Although deprivation of personal liberty for a period of time may not be avoidable, a period of deprivation pending trial / appeal cannot be unduly long.
The appeal was allowed, and the judgment and order of the High Court were set aside, to pave the way for the accused’s release on bail.
Supreme Court: The indictment can be raised in any court, at any stage, even after the case is finally settled.
In the case Ashok vs. Madhya Pradesh State, the Supreme Court observed that the youth charge can be raised in any court, at any stage, even after the final settlement of the case.
The Supreme Court was considering an appeal lodged by an aggrieved applicant challenging his conviction and sentence, citing youth at the time of the commission of the offense. On July 29, 1999, the judge of the additional sessions convicted the applicant under section 302 of the IPC and sentenced him to life imprisonment for an incident which occurred on July 26, 1997. In the title of the Because of said judgment and order, the petitioner was referred as Ashok, n / a Balram Jatab, 16 years, 9 months and 19 days.
However, the applicant filed a criminal appeal challenging this conviction, claiming that he was born on 5 January 1981 and was therefore approximately 16 years and 7 months old on the date of the incident. The state attorney argued that the youth’s claim was first raised in the special permission petition.
The bench of judges Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari held that if the court finds that a person is a minor on the date of the commission of the offense, it must refer the minor to the Juvenile Justice Council for it to render the appropriate prescriptions. Any award or order rendered by a court is deemed to have no effect.
In addition, the judiciary also stressed that the youth allegation can be raised in any court, at any stage, even after the final settlement of the case.
The Supreme Court noted that the birth certificate issued by the Gram Panchayat, Endouri, District Bhind, Madhya Pradesh shows the applicant’s date of birth as January 05, 1982, and not January 01, 1982, as stated in the school certificate. , which was referred to earlier. The judiciary also notes that the entry in the registers of Gram Panchayat Endouri does not appear to be contemporary and that the certificate was issued in 2017.
Therefore, the Supreme Court ordered the Court of Sessions to consider the petitioner’s request to the youth according to the law and submit a report to the Supreme Court within one month.
Supreme Court: People with disabilities should not be asked to remove their prostheses during security checks at airports.
In the case Jeeja Ghosh v Indian Union, the Supreme Court observed that persons with disabilities (PwD) with prosthetic limbs / stirrups should not be asked to remove prostheses during security checks at airports in order to preserve human dignity.
The Supreme Court was responding to a 2012 petition filed by Jeeja Ghosh, a disability rights activist, who was forcibly removed from a SpiceJet flight because of her disability. In 2016, the Supreme Court ordered SpiceJet to pay 10 lakhs as compensation for violating the applicant’s right to dignity. In addition, the Supreme Court has issued a series of instructions to the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) to change its directives to ensure the dignity of people with disabilities when traveling by plane.
On July 2, 2021, the DGAC drew up a new draft of guidelines “Air transport for people with disabilities and / or people with reduced mobility”. The draft guidelines mentioned the digitization of limbs / prosthetic stirrups using a body scanner. Lead counsel, representing the petitioner, raised multiple objections to the draft guidelines. As part of the follow-up, the Supreme Court took into consideration the subsequent guidelines formulated by the DGAC in this regard.
Judiciary Hemant Gupta and Judge V Ramasubramanian allowed the petitioners to submit their suggestions and objections to the Civil Aviation Ministry regarding the revised draft Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Guidelines within 30 days. The judiciary also expressed the hope that the Ministry of Civil Aviation will consider these suggestions and objections even if the deadline for submitting suggestions has expired.
In addition to the above direction, the bench also made two crucial observations:
- No PwD should be manually lifted without their consent. Manual lifting of a person is inhumane.
- Security checks at airports should be carried out in such a way that no disabled person is forced to remove prostheses / stirrups.
Supreme Court: The right against sexual harassment is part of the right to life and dignity under Article 21.
In the case Union of India and the Gold against Mudrika Singh, the Supreme Court observed that the right against sexual harassment is conferred on everyone as part of their right to life and dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution. In the same vein, the Supreme Court stressed the importance that the spirit of this right be respected instead of dismissing complaints of sexual harassment on âhyper-technicalâ grounds.
In the present case, the complainant is an officer of the Border Security Force (BSF), who had lodged a complaint against the chief of police (his superior) under the Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redress) Act 2013. The Calcutta High Court quashed the disciplinary proceedings against the accused and reinstated him in his original post at the BSF.
Reviewing the High Court’s order and the details of the case, the Supreme Court observed that the alleged discrepancy regarding the date of the event was of a minor nature as the event occurred shortly after midnight. and the next day.
Judges DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna stressed the importance of courts respecting the spirit of the law against sexual harassment. From this perspective, it becomes imperative to interpret the service rules and statutory regulations governing the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace in a way that does procedural and material justice to all parties.
In conclusion, the appeal was allowed and the order of the High Court of Calcutta was set aside.
The selected image: Important court decisions