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Monday, March 31, 2014

Sanction to prosecution - sec.19 of PC Act and sec. 465 of Cr.P.C. -High court can not interfere the on errors or defects of sanction at preliminary stage - Sanction not from parent department - Sanction is a defective one - High court can not question the same on the grounds of errors and mistakes - Trial court alone decide the same after trial - Apex court held that we do not think that the High Court was justified in coming to the said findings at the stage when the same were recorded. A more appropriate stage for reaching the said conclusion would have been only after evidence in the cases had been led on the issue in question.=STATE OF BIHAR & ORS. ... APPELLANT (S) VERSUS RAJMANGAL RAM ... RESPONDENT (S)= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41364

 Sanction to prosecution - sec.19 of PC Act and sec. 465 of Cr.P.C. -High court can not interfere the on errors or defects of sanction at preliminary stage - Sanction not from parent department - Sanction is a defective one - High court can not question the same on the grounds of errors and mistakes - Trial court alone decide the same after trial - Apex court held that we do not think that the High Court was justified in  coming to the said findings at the stage when  the  same  were  recorded.   A  more appropriate stage for reaching the said  conclusion  would  have  been  only after evidence in the cases had been led on the issue in question.=

the  criminal  proceedings  instituted  against  the
respondents under different provisions of the Indian Penal Code as  well  as
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 have been interdicted on  the  ground
that sanction for prosecution of the respondents in both the cases has  been
granted by the Law Department of the State and not by the parent  department
to which the respondents belong.=
“Whether a criminal prosecution ought to be  interfered  with  by  the
      High Courts at the instance of an accused who seeks mid-course  relief
      from  the  criminal  charges  levelled  against  him  on  grounds   of
      defects/omissions  or  errors  in  the  order  granting  sanction   to
      prosecute including errors of jurisdiction to grant such sanction?”

Section 19 of the PC Act

      “19.  Previous sanction necessary for prosecution.—(1) No court  shall
      take cognizance of an offence punishable under sections 7, 10, 11,  13
      and 15 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with
      the previous sanction,—


        a) in the case of a person who is employed in connection  with  the
           affairs of the Union and is not removable from his  office  save
           by or with the sanction  of  the  Central  Government,  of  that
           Government;

        b) in the case of a person who is employed in connection  with  the
           affairs of a State and is not removable from his office save  by
           or  with  the  sanction  of  the  State  Government,   of   that
           Government;

        c) in the case of any other person, of the authority  competent  to
           remove him from his office.


        2) Where for any reason whatsoever any doubt arises as  to  whether
           the previous sanction as required under sub-section  (1)  should
           be given by the Central Government or the  State  Government  or
           any other authority,  such  sanction  shall  be  given  by  that
           Government or authority  which  would  have  been  competent  to
           remove the public servant from his office at the time  when  the
           offence was alleged to have been committed.


        3) Notwithstanding anything  contained  in  the  Code  of  Criminal
           Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),—

        a) no finding, sentence or order passed by a special Judge shall be
           reversed or altered  by  a  court  in  appeal,  confirmation  or
           revision on the ground of the absence of, or any error, omission
           or irregularity in, the sanction required under sub-section (1),
           unless in the opinion of that court, a failure of justice has in
           fact been occasioned thereby;

        b) no court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on the ground
           of any error, omission or irregularity in the  sanction  granted
           by the authority,  unless  it  is  satisfied  that  such  error,
           omission or irregularity has resulted in a failure of justice;

        c) no court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on any  other
           ground and no court shall exercise the  powers  of  revision  in
           relation to any  interlocutory  order  passed  in  any  inquiry,
           trial, appeal or other proceedings.

        4) In determining under sub-section (3) whether the absence of,  or
           any error,  omission  or  irregularity  in,  such  sanction  has
           occasioned or resulted in a failure of justice the  court  shall
           have regard to the fact whether the objection could  and  should
           have been raised at any earlier stage in the proceedings.


      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—

       a) error includes competency of the authority to grant sanction;

       b) a sanction required for  prosecution  includes  reference  to  any
          requirement that the prosecution shall be at  the  instance  of  a
          specified authority or with the sanction of a specified person  or
          any requirement of a similar nature.”

Section 465 of Cr.P.C.
      “465.  Finding  or  sentence  when  reversible  by  reason  of  error,
      omission or irregularity.—(1) Subject to the  provisions  hereinbefore
      contained, no  finding,  sentence  or  order  passed  by  a  Court  of
      competent jurisdiction shall be reversed or  altered  by  a  Court  of
      appeal, confirmation or revision on account of any error, omission  or
      irregularity in the complaint, summons, warrant, proclamation,  order,
      judgment or other proceedings before or during trial or in any inquiry
      or other proceedings under this Code, or any error, or irregularity in
      any sanction for the prosecution, unless in the opinion of that Court,
      a failure of justice has in fact been occasioned thereby.

      (2)   In determining whether any error, omission  or  irregularity  in
      any proceeding under this Code, or any error, or irregularity  in  any
      sanction for the prosecution has occasioned a failure of justice,  the
      Court shall have regard to the fact whether the  objection  could  and
      should have been raised at an earlier stage in the proceedings.”
 in  State  by
Police Inspector vs. T. Venkatesh Murthy[1] wherein it has been  inter  alia
observed that,
           “14.   ……Merely  because  there  is  any  omission,   error   or
           irregularity in the matter of according sanction, that does  not
           affect the validity of the proceeding unless the  court  records
           the satisfaction that such error, omission or  irregularity  has
           resulted in failure of justice.”=
In the instant cases the  High  Court  had  interdicted  the  criminal
proceedings on the ground that the Law  Department  was  not  the  competent
authority to accord sanction for the prosecution of the  respondents.   Even
assuming that the Law Department was not competent, it was  still  necessary
for the High Court to reach the conclusion that a  failure  of  justice  has
been occasioned.  Such  a  finding  is  conspicuously  absent  rendering  it
difficult to sustain the impugned orders of the High Court.

11.   The High Court in both the cases had also come to the conclusion  that
the sanction  orders  in  question  were  passed  mechanically  and  without
consideration of the relevant facts and records.  This  was  treated  as  an
additional ground for interference with the criminal proceedings  registered
against the respondents.  Having perused the relevant  part  of  the  orders
under challenge we do not think that the High Court was justified in  coming
to the said findings at the stage when  the  same  were  recorded.   A  more
appropriate stage for reaching the said  conclusion  would  have  been  only
after evidence in the cases had been led on the issue in question.

12.   We, therefore, hold that the orders dated  23.03.2012  and  03.03.2011
passed by the High Court cannot be sustained in law.  We,  therefore,  allow
both the appeals; set aside the said orders and  direct  that  the  criminal
proceeding  against  each  of  the  respondents   in   the   appeals   under
consideration shall now commence and shall be concluded as expeditiously  as
possible.

   2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41364
P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI
                             REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                       CRIMINAL APPEAL  NO.708 OF 2014
       (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 8013 OF 2012)

STATE OF BIHAR & ORS.                    ...    APPELLANT (S)

                                   VERSUS

RAJMANGAL RAM                            ...  RESPONDENT (S)

                                    WITH

                    CRIMINAL APPEAL  NOS.709-710 OF 2014
     (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) Nos.159-160 OF 2013)


                               J U D G M E N T

RANJAN GOGOI, J.

1.    Leave, as prayed for, is granted in both the matters.

2.    The two appeals are by the State  of  Bihar  against  separate  orders
(dated 23.03.2012 and 03.03.2011) passed by the High  Court  of  Patna,  the
effect of which is that the  criminal  proceedings  instituted  against  the
respondents under different provisions of the Indian Penal Code as  well  as
the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 have been interdicted on  the  ground
that sanction for prosecution of the respondents in both the cases has  been
granted by the Law Department of the State and not by the parent  department
to which the respondents belong.

3.    A short and  interesting  question,  which  is  also  of  considerable
public importance, has arisen in the appeals  under  consideration.   Before
proceeding further it will be necessary to take note of  the  fact  that  in
the appeal arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 8013 of 2012 the challenge  of  the
respondent- writ petitioner before the High Court to the maintainability  of
the criminal proceeding registered  against  him  is  subtly  crafted.   The
criminal proceeding, as such, was not challenged in the  writ  petition  and
it is only the order granting sanction to prosecute that had  been  impugned
and interfered with by the High Court.  The resultant effect, of course,  is
that the criminal proceeding stood interdicted.  In  the  second  case  (SLP
(Crl.) Nos.159-160/2013)  the  maintainability  of  the  criminal  case  was
specifically under challenge before the High Court on the  ground  that  the
order granting sanction  is  invalid  in  law.   Notwithstanding  the  above
differences in approach discernible in  the  proceedings  instituted  before
the High Court, the scrutiny in the present appeals will  have  to  be  from
the same standpoint, namely, the  circumference  of  the  court’s  power  to
interdict a criminal proceeding midcourse on the basis of the legitimacy  or
otherwise of the order of sanction to prosecute.

4.    Though learned counsels for  both  sides  have  elaborately  taken  us
through the materials on record including  the  criminal  complaints  lodged
against the respondents; the pleadings made  in  support  of  the  challenge
before the High Court,  the  respective  sanction  orders  as  well  as  the
relevant provisions of the Rules of Executive Business, we do  not  consider
it necessary to traverse the said facts in view of  the  short  question  of
law arising which may be summed up as follows:-

      “Whether a criminal prosecution ought to be  interfered  with  by  the
      High Courts at the instance of an accused who seeks mid-course  relief
      from  the  criminal  charges  levelled  against  him  on  grounds   of
      defects/omissions  or  errors  in  the  order  granting  sanction   to
      prosecute including errors of jurisdiction to grant such sanction?”

5.    The object behind the requirement of grant of sanction to prosecute  a
public servant need not detain the court save and except to  reiterate  that
the provisions in this regard either under the Code  of  Criminal  Procedure
or the Prevention of Corruption  Act,  1988  are  designed  as  a  check  on
frivolous, mischievous and  unscrupulous  attempts  to  prosecute  a  honest
public servant for acts arising out of due discharge of  duty  and  also  to
enable him to efficiently perform the wide range of duties cast  on  him  by
virtue of his office.   The  test,  therefore,  always  is—whether  the  act
complained of has a reasonable connection with  the  discharge  of  official
duties by the government or the public servant.  If such  connection  exists
and the discharge or exercise of the governmental function is, prima  facie,
founded on the bonafide judgment of the public servant, the  requirement  of
sanction will be insisted upon so as to act as a filter to keep at  bay  any
motivated,  ill-founded  and  frivolous  prosecution  against   the   public
servant.  However, realising that the dividing line between an  act  in  the
discharge of official duty and an act  that  is  not,  may,  at  times,  get
blurred thereby enabling certain unjustified claims to  be  raised  also  on
behalf of the public  servant  so  as  to  derive  undue  advantage  of  the
requirement of sanction,  specific  provisions  have  been  incorporated  in
Section 19(3) of the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as in Section  465
of the Code of Criminal Procedure which, inter alia,   make  it  clear  that
any error, omission or irregularity  in  the  grant  of  sanction  will  not
affect any finding, sentence or order passed by a competent court unless  in
the opinion of the court a failure of justice has been occasioned.  This  is
how the balance is sought to be struck.

6.    For clarity it is considered necessary that the provisions of  Section
19 of the P.C. Act and Section 465 of the Cr.P.C. should be embodied in  the
present order:-

Section 19 of the PC Act

      “19.  Previous sanction necessary for prosecution.—(1) No court  shall
      take cognizance of an offence punishable under sections 7, 10, 11,  13
      and 15 alleged to have been committed by a public servant, except with
      the previous sanction,—


        a) in the case of a person who is employed in connection  with  the
           affairs of the Union and is not removable from his  office  save
           by or with the sanction  of  the  Central  Government,  of  that
           Government;

        b) in the case of a person who is employed in connection  with  the
           affairs of a State and is not removable from his office save  by
           or  with  the  sanction  of  the  State  Government,   of   that
           Government;

        c) in the case of any other person, of the authority  competent  to
           remove him from his office.


        2) Where for any reason whatsoever any doubt arises as  to  whether
           the previous sanction as required under sub-section  (1)  should
           be given by the Central Government or the  State  Government  or
           any other authority,  such  sanction  shall  be  given  by  that
           Government or authority  which  would  have  been  competent  to
           remove the public servant from his office at the time  when  the
           offence was alleged to have been committed.


        3) Notwithstanding anything  contained  in  the  Code  of  Criminal
           Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),—

        a) no finding, sentence or order passed by a special Judge shall be
           reversed or altered  by  a  court  in  appeal,  confirmation  or
           revision on the ground of the absence of, or any error, omission
           or irregularity in, the sanction required under sub-section (1),
           unless in the opinion of that court, a failure of justice has in
           fact been occasioned thereby;

        b) no court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on the ground
           of any error, omission or irregularity in the  sanction  granted
           by the authority,  unless  it  is  satisfied  that  such  error,
           omission or irregularity has resulted in a failure of justice;

        c) no court shall stay the proceedings under this Act on any  other
           ground and no court shall exercise the  powers  of  revision  in
           relation to any  interlocutory  order  passed  in  any  inquiry,
           trial, appeal or other proceedings.

        4) In determining under sub-section (3) whether the absence of,  or
           any error,  omission  or  irregularity  in,  such  sanction  has
           occasioned or resulted in a failure of justice the  court  shall
           have regard to the fact whether the objection could  and  should
           have been raised at any earlier stage in the proceedings.


      Explanation.—For the purposes of this section,—

       a) error includes competency of the authority to grant sanction;

       b) a sanction required for  prosecution  includes  reference  to  any
          requirement that the prosecution shall be at  the  instance  of  a
          specified authority or with the sanction of a specified person  or
          any requirement of a similar nature.”

Section 465 of Cr.P.C.
      “465.  Finding  or  sentence  when  reversible  by  reason  of  error,
      omission or irregularity.—(1) Subject to the  provisions  hereinbefore
      contained, no  finding,  sentence  or  order  passed  by  a  Court  of
      competent jurisdiction shall be reversed or  altered  by  a  Court  of
      appeal, confirmation or revision on account of any error, omission  or
      irregularity in the complaint, summons, warrant, proclamation,  order,
      judgment or other proceedings before or during trial or in any inquiry
      or other proceedings under this Code, or any error, or irregularity in
      any sanction for the prosecution, unless in the opinion of that Court,
      a failure of justice has in fact been occasioned thereby.

      (2)   In determining whether any error, omission  or  irregularity  in
      any proceeding under this Code, or any error, or irregularity  in  any
      sanction for the prosecution has occasioned a failure of justice,  the
      Court shall have regard to the fact whether the  objection  could  and
      should have been raised at an earlier stage in the proceedings.”

                                                          (emphasis is ours)

7.    In a situation where under both the enactments any error, omission  or
irregularity in the sanction, which would also  include  the  competence  of
the authority to grant sanction, does not vitiate  the  eventual  conclusion
in the trial including the conviction  and  sentence,  unless  of  course  a
failure of justice  has  occurred,  it  is  difficult  to  see  how  at  the
intermediary stage a criminal prosecution can be  nullified  or  interdicted
on account of any such error,  omission  or  irregularity  in  the  sanction
order without arriving at the satisfaction that a  failure  of  justice  has
also been occasioned.  This is what was decided by this Court  in  State  by
Police Inspector vs. T. Venkatesh Murthy[1] wherein it has been  inter  alia
observed that,
           “14.   ……Merely  because  there  is  any  omission,   error   or
           irregularity in the matter of according sanction, that does  not
           affect the validity of the proceeding unless the  court  records
           the satisfaction that such error, omission or  irregularity  has
           resulted in failure of justice.”

8.    The above view also found  reiteration  in  Prakash  Singh  Badal  and
Another vs. State of Punjab and Others[2]  wherein it was, inter alia,  held
that mere  omission,  error  or  irregularity  in  sanction  is  not  to  be
considered fatal unless it has resulted in failure of justice.   In  Prakash
Singh Badal (supra) it was further held that Section 19(1) of the PC Act  is
a matter of procedure and does not go to the root of jurisdiction.   On  the
same line is the decision of this Court in  R.  Venkatkrishnan  vs.  Central
Bureau of Investigation[3].  In fact,  a  three  Judge  Bench  in  State  of
Madhya  Pradesh  vs.  Virender  Kumar  Tripathi[4]  while   considering   an
identical issue, namely, the validity  of  the  grant  of  sanction  by  the
Additional Secretary of the Department of Law  and  Legislative  Affairs  of
the Government of Madhya Pradesh instead of  the  authority  in  the  parent
department, this Court held that in view of Section 19 (3) of  the  PC  Act,
interdicting a criminal proceeding mid-course on  ground  of  invalidity  of
the sanction order will not be appropriate unless the court can  also  reach
the conclusion that failure of justice  had  been  occasioned  by  any  such
error, omission or irregularity in the sanction.  It was further  held  that
failure of justice can be established not at the stage of framing of  charge
but only after the trial has commenced and evidence is led (Para 10  of  the
Report).

9.    There is a contrary view of this  Court  in  State  of  Goa  vs.  Babu
Thomas[5] holding that an error in grant of sanction goes  to  the  root  of
the prosecution.  But  the  decision  in  Babu  Thomas  (supra)  has  to  be
necessarily understood in the facts  thereof,  namely,  that  the  authority
itself had admitted the invalidity of the  initial  sanction  by  issuing  a
second  sanction  with  retrospective  effect  to  validate  the  cognizance
already taken on the basis of the initial sanction order.   Even  otherwise,
the position has been clarified by the  larger  Bench  in  State  of  Madhya
Pradesh vs. Virender Kumar Tripathi (supra).
10.   In the instant cases the  High  Court  had  interdicted  the  criminal
proceedings on the ground that the Law  Department  was  not  the  competent
authority to accord sanction for the prosecution of the  respondents.   Even
assuming that the Law Department was not competent, it was  still  necessary
for the High Court to reach the conclusion that a  failure  of  justice  has
been occasioned.  Such  a  finding  is  conspicuously  absent  rendering  it
difficult to sustain the impugned orders of the High Court.

11.   The High Court in both the cases had also come to the conclusion  that
the sanction  orders  in  question  were  passed  mechanically  and  without
consideration of the relevant facts and records.  This  was  treated  as  an
additional ground for interference with the criminal proceedings  registered
against the respondents.  Having perused the relevant  part  of  the  orders
under challenge we do not think that the High Court was justified in  coming
to the said findings at the stage when  the  same  were  recorded.   A  more
appropriate stage for reaching the said  conclusion  would  have  been  only
after evidence in the cases had been led on the issue in question.

12.   We, therefore, hold that the orders dated  23.03.2012  and  03.03.2011
passed by the High Court cannot be sustained in law.  We,  therefore,  allow
both the appeals; set aside the said orders and  direct  that  the  criminal
proceeding  against  each  of  the  respondents   in   the   appeals   under
consideration shall now commence and shall be concluded as expeditiously  as
possible.

                                       ...…………………………CJI.
                                        [P. SATHASIVAM]



                                        .........………………………J.
                                        [RANJAN GOGOI]

NEW DELHI,
MARCH 31, 2014.

-----------------------
[1]    (2004) 7 SCC 763 (paras 10 and 11)
[2]    (2007) 1 SCC 1 (para 29)
[3]    (2009) 11 SCC 737
[4]    (2009) 15 SCC 533
[5]    (2005) 8 SCC 130

-----------------------
12


Devender Pal Singh Bhullar- Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment - due to health conditions of accused and due to delay in disposing mercy petition by president = Navneet Kaur ... Petitioner(s) versus State of NCT of Delhi & Anr. ... Respondent(s)= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41363

Devender Pal Singh Bhullar- Death sentence commuted to life imprisonment - due to health conditions of accused and due to delay in disposing mercy petition by president =

Learned Attorney General, taking note of the conclusion  arrived  at  in
Shatrughan Chauhan (supra) wherein this Court held that the ratio laid  down
in Devender Pal Singh Bhullar vs. State (NCT) of Delhi (2013) 6 SCC  195  is
per  incuriam,  fairly  admitted  that  applying  the  said   principle   as
enunciated  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra),  death  sentence  awarded   to
Devender Pal Singh Bhullar is liable to be commuted  to  life  imprisonment.
We appreciate the rationale stand taken  by  learned  Attorney  General  and
accept the same.
12) In  addition,  it  is  also  brought  to  our  notice  by  letter  dated
08.02.2014, which was received  by  the  Registry  on  12.02.2014  from  the
Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, that the accused  Devender
Pal Singh Bhullar was examined by the Standing Medical Board  on  05.02.2014
and the Board opined as under:
      “1.The  patient  has  been  diagnosed  with  Severe  Depression   with
      Psychotic features (Treatment Refractory Depression) with Hypertension
      with  Dyslipidemia   with   Lumbo-cervical   Spondylosis   with   Mild
      Prostatomegaly.


      2. He is currently receiving  Anti-Depressant,  Anti-Psychotic,  Anti-
      anxiety,  Anti-Hypertensives,  Hypolipedemic,   Anit-Convulsant   (for
      Neuropathic pain) and Antacid  drugs  in  adequate  doses  along  with
      supportive  psychotherapy and physiotherapy.


      3.  Patient  has  shown  partial  and  inconsistent  response  to  the
      treatment  with  significant  fluctuations  in  the  severity  of  his
      clinical condition.


      4.The treatment comprising of various combinations of  pharmacological
      and non-pharmacological treatments  have  brought  about  partial  and
      inconsistent improvement in his clinical condition in the  last  three
      years of hospitalization. The scope for effective treatment options is
      limited and thereby the chances of his recovery remain doubtful in the
      future course of his illness”.


The above report has been signed by the Director & Chairman as well as  four
Members of  the  Medical  Board.   The  report  clearly  shows  that  he  is
suffering from acute mental illness.
13)  The  three-Judge  Bench  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra)   held   that
insanity/mental  illness/schizophrenia  is  also  one  of  the   supervening
circumstances for commutation of death sentence  to  life  imprisonment.  By
applying  the  principle  enunciated  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra),  the
accused cannot be executed with the said health condition.
14) In the light of the above discussion and also   in  view  of  the  ratio
laid down in Shatrughan Chauhan (supra), we  deem  it  fit  to  commute  the
death sentence imposed on Devender Pal Singh Bhullar into life  imprisonment
both on the ground of unexplained/inordinate delay of 8  years  in  disposal
of mercy petition and on  the  ground  of  insanity.  To  this  extent,  the
Curative Petition stands allowed.
2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41363
P SATHASIVAM, R.M. LODHA, H.L. DATTU, SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA
                                     REPORTABLE


                IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        INHERENT JURISDICTION


        CURATIVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 88 OF 2013
                                       IN
         REVIEW PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 435 OF 2013
                                       IN
           WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 146 OF 2011


Navneet Kaur                                            ... Petitioner(s)

            versus

State of NCT of Delhi & Anr.                            ... Respondent(s)



                              J U D G M E N T


P.Sathasivam, CJI.

1) Navneet Kaur w/o Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, filed the  present  Curative
Petition against the dismissal of Review Petition (Criminal) No.435 of  2013
in Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 146  of  2011  on  13.08.2013,  wherein  she
prayed for setting aside the death sentence imposed upon Devender Pal  Singh
Bhullar by commuting the same to imprisonment for  life  on  the  ground  of
supervening circumstance of delay of 8 years in disposal of mercy  petition.

2) Considering the limited issue involved, there is no need to traverse  all
the factual details. The brief background of the case is: By judgment  dated
25.08.2001, Devender Pal  Singh  Bhullar  was  sentenced  to  death  by  the
Designated Judge, Delhi. Thereafter, he preferred an appeal  being  Criminal
Appeal No. 993 of 2001 before this Court and by judgment  dated  22.03.2002,
this Court confirmed the death sentence and dismissed  his  appeal.  Against
the dismissal of the appeal by this  Court,  the  accused  preferred  Review
Petition (Criminal) No. 497 of 2002, which was also dismissed by this  Court
on 17.12.2002.
3) Soon after the dismissal of the review petition, the accused submitted  a
mercy petition dated 14.01.2003 to the President of India under  Article  72
of the Constitution and prayed for commutation of his sentence.  During  the
pendency of the petition filed under Article  72,  he  also  filed  Curative
Petition (Criminal) No. 5 of 2003 which was also dismissed by this Court  on
12.03.2003.
4) On  30.05.2011,  a  communication  was  sent  from  the  Joint  Secretary
(Judicial) to the Principal Secretary, Home Department,  Government  of  NCT
of Delhi, stating that  the  President  of  India  has  rejected  the  mercy
petition submitted on behalf of Devender Pal Singh  Bhullar.  The  same  was
also communicated to the Superintendent, Central Jail  No.  3,  Tihar  Jail,
New Delhi on 13.06.2011.
5) On 24.06.2011, the wife of the accused (petitioner  herein)  preferred  a
Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 146 of  2011  before  this  Court  praying  for
quashing the communication dated  13.06.2011.  By  order  dated  12.04.2013,
this Court, after examining and analyzing the materials  brought  on  record
by  the  respondents,  arrived  at  the  conclusion  that   there   was   an
unreasonable delay of 8 years in disposal of mercy petition,  which  is  one
of the grounds for commutation of death sentence  to  life  imprisonment  as
per the established judicial precedents. However, this Court  dismissed  the
writ petition on the ground that when the accused is convicted  under  TADA,
there is no question of showing  any  sympathy  or  considering  supervening
circumstances for commutation of death sentence.
6) Aggrieved by the said  dismissal,  the  wife  of  the  accused  preferred
Review Petition being (Criminal) No. 435 of 2013 which  was  also  dismissed
by this  Court  on  13.08.2013.  Subsequently,  the  wife  of  the  accused,
petitioner herein has filed the above Curative  Petition  for  consideration
by this Court.
7) Heard Mr. KTS Tulsi, learned senior counsel appearing on  behalf  of  the
petitioner and Mr.  G.E.  Vahanvati,  learned  Attorney  General  for  India
appearing on behalf of the respondents.
8) Very recently, a three-Judge  Bench  of  this  Court,  in  Writ  Petition
(Criminal) No. 55 of 2013 Etc., titled Shatrughan Chauhan & Anr.  vs.  Union
of India & Ors., 2014 (1) SCALE 437, by  order  dated  21.01.2014,  commuted
the sentence of death imposed on the  petitioners  therein  to  imprisonment
for life which has a crucial bearing for deciding the petition at hand.   In
the aforesaid verdict, this Court validated the  established  principle  and
held that unexplained/unreasonable/inordinate delay  in  disposal  of  mercy
petition is one of the supervening circumstances for  commutation  of  death
sentence to life imprisonment.
9) While deciding the aforesaid issue in the above decision, the  Bench  was
simultaneously called upon to decide  a  specific  issue  viz.,  whether  is
there a rationality in distinguishing between an offence under Indian  Penal
Code, 1860 and Terrorist and  Disruptive  Activities  (Prevention)  Act  for
considering the supervening circumstance for commutation of  death  sentence
to life imprisonment, which was the point of law decided  in  Writ  Petition
(Criminal) No. 146 of 2011.
10) The larger Bench in Shatrughan Chauhan (supra),  after  taking  note  of
various aspects including the constitutional right under Article 21 as  well
as the decision rendered by the Constitution Bench in Triveniben  vs.  State
of Gujarat (1988) 4 SCC 574, held:
      “57) From the analysis of the arguments of both the counsel, we are of
      the view that only delay which could not have been avoided even if the
      matter was proceeded  with  a  sense  of  urgency  or  was  caused  in
      essential preparations for execution of sentence may be  the  relevant
      factors under such petitions in Article 32. Considerations such as the
      gravity of the crime, extraordinary cruelty involved therein  or  some
      horrible consequences for  society  caused  by  the  offence  are  not
      relevant after the Constitution Bench ruled in Bachan Singh vs.  State
      of Punjab (1980) 2 SCC 684 that the sentence  of  death  can  only  be
      imposed in the rarest of rare cases. Meaning,  of  course,  all  death
      sentences imposed are impliedly the  most  heinous  and  barbaric  and
      rarest of its kind. The legal effect of the extraordinary depravity of
      the offence exhausts itself when court sentences the person  to  death
      for that offence. Law does  not  prescribe  an  additional  period  of
      imprisonment in addition  to  the  sentence  of  death  for  any  such
      exceptional depravity involved in the offence.


      58) As rightly pointed out by Mr. Ram Jethmalani, it is  open  to  the
      legislature in its wisdom to decide by  enacting  an  appropriate  law
      that a certain  fixed  period  of  imprisonment  in  addition  to  the
      sentence of death can be imposed in some well defined  cases  but  the
      result cannot be  accomplished  by  a  judicial  decision  alone.  The
      unconstitutionality  of  this  additional  incarceration   is   itself
      inexorable and must not be treated as dispensable through  a  judicial
      decision.”


                         ***         ***        ***


      “64) In the light of the same, we are of the view that the ratio  laid
      down in Devender Pal Singh Bhullar (supra) is per incuriam.  There  is
      no dispute that in the same decision this Court has accepted the ratio
      enunciated in Triveniben (supra) (Constitution Bench) and  also  noted
      some other judgments following the ratio laid down in those cases that
      unexplained long delay may be one of the grounds  for  commutation  of
      sentence of death into life imprisonment. There is no good  reason  to
      disqualify all TADA cases as a class from relief on account  of  delay
      in execution of death sentence. Each case  requires  consideration  on
      its own facts.”


                         ***         ***        ***

      “70) Taking guidance from the above principles and in the light of the
      ratio enunciated in Triveniben  (Supra),  we  are  of  the  view  that
      unexplained delay is one of the grounds for commutation of sentence of
      death into life imprisonment and the said supervening circumstance  is
      applicable to all types of cases including the  offences  under  TADA.
      The only aspect the Courts have to satisfy is that the delay  must  be
      unreasonable and  unexplained  or  inordinate  at  the  hands  of  the
      executive. The argument of Mr. Luthra, learned ASG that a  distinction
      can be drawn between IPC and non-IPC offences since the nature of  the
      offence is a relevant factor is liable to be rejected at  the  outset.
      In view of our conclusion, we are unable to share the views  expressed
      in Devender Pal Singh Bhullar (supra).”


11) Learned Attorney General, taking note of the conclusion  arrived  at  in
Shatrughan Chauhan (supra) wherein this Court held that the ratio laid  down
in Devender Pal Singh Bhullar vs. State (NCT) of Delhi (2013) 6 SCC  195  is
per  incuriam,  fairly  admitted  that  applying  the  said   principle   as
enunciated  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra),  death  sentence  awarded   to
Devender Pal Singh Bhullar is liable to be commuted  to  life  imprisonment.
We appreciate the rationale stand taken  by  learned  Attorney  General  and
accept the same.
12) In  addition,  it  is  also  brought  to  our  notice  by  letter  dated
08.02.2014, which was received  by  the  Registry  on  12.02.2014  from  the
Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, that the accused  Devender
Pal Singh Bhullar was examined by the Standing Medical Board  on  05.02.2014
and the Board opined as under:
      “1.The  patient  has  been  diagnosed  with  Severe  Depression   with
      Psychotic features (Treatment Refractory Depression) with Hypertension
      with  Dyslipidemia   with   Lumbo-cervical   Spondylosis   with   Mild
      Prostatomegaly.


      2. He is currently receiving  Anti-Depressant,  Anti-Psychotic,  Anti-
      anxiety,  Anti-Hypertensives,  Hypolipedemic,   Anit-Convulsant   (for
      Neuropathic pain) and Antacid  drugs  in  adequate  doses  along  with
      supportive  psychotherapy and physiotherapy.


      3.  Patient  has  shown  partial  and  inconsistent  response  to  the
      treatment  with  significant  fluctuations  in  the  severity  of  his
      clinical condition.


      4.The treatment comprising of various combinations of  pharmacological
      and non-pharmacological treatments  have  brought  about  partial  and
      inconsistent improvement in his clinical condition in the  last  three
      years of hospitalization. The scope for effective treatment options is
      limited and thereby the chances of his recovery remain doubtful in the
      future course of his illness”.


The above report has been signed by the Director & Chairman as well as  four
Members of  the  Medical  Board.   The  report  clearly  shows  that  he  is
suffering from acute mental illness.
13)  The  three-Judge  Bench  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra)   held   that
insanity/mental  illness/schizophrenia  is  also  one  of  the   supervening
circumstances for commutation of death sentence  to  life  imprisonment.  By
applying  the  principle  enunciated  in  Shatrughan  Chauhan  (supra),  the
accused cannot be executed with the said health condition.
14) In the light of the above discussion and also   in  view  of  the  ratio
laid down in Shatrughan Chauhan (supra), we  deem  it  fit  to  commute  the
death sentence imposed on Devender Pal Singh Bhullar into life  imprisonment
both on the ground of unexplained/inordinate delay of 8  years  in  disposal
of mercy petition and on  the  ground  of  insanity.  To  this  extent,  the
Curative Petition stands allowed.
                      ……………………….…………………………CJI.


                       (P. SATHASIVAM)








                      ………………………….…………………………J.


                       (R. M. LODHA)




                      ………………………….…………………………J.


                       (H.L. DATTU)


                      ………………………….…………………………J.


                      (SUDHANSU JYOTI  MUKHOPADHAYA)


NEW DELHI;
MARCH 31, 2014.
-----------------------
8


Arbitration and conciliation Act Sec.34 - part 1 of Arbitration Act not applies to international Commercial Arbitration held outside India - Arbitration: All disputes arising out of or in conjunction with this Contract shall be referred to the Refined Sugar Association, London for settlement in accordance with the Rules relating to Arbitration. This Contract shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law.’ - High court allowed the objection - Apex court confirmed the same = Sakuma Exports Ltd. …..Petitioner Versus Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse S.A. …..Respondent= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41361

 Arbitration and conciliation Act Sec.34 -  part 1 of Arbitration Act not applies to international Commercial  Arbitration  held  outside India - Arbitration: All disputes arising out of or  in  conjunction  with this Contract shall be referred to the Refined  Sugar  Association, London for settlement in accordance  with  the  Rules  relating  to Arbitration.  This Contract shall be governed by and  construed  in accordance with English Law.’ - High court allowed the objection - Apex court confirmed the same = 

The Appellant is an Indian Company which carries on  the  business
      of import and export of sugar among other commodities.  The Respondent
      is a Swiss Company with whom the Appellant entered into  an  agreement
      on 12th January 2010 for  the purchase of  2700  metric  tons  of  Brazilian  white  sugar  of  a  stipulated description. 
Disputes arose between  the  parties.   
The  agreement
      between the parties contained  inter  alia  the  following  terms  and
      conditions:
 ‘Terms and conditions:
   This Contract  is  subject  to  the  Rules  of  the  Refined  Sugar
        Association, London as fully as if  the  same  had  been  expressly
        inserted herein, whether or not either or both parties  to  it  are
        Members of the Association.
  If any provision of this Contract is inconsistent with  the  Rules,
        such provision shall prevail.’
Parties envisaged that all disputes would be submitted to arbitration.
       The arbitration agreement was thus:
  ‘Arbitration: All disputes arising out of or  in  conjunction  with
        this Contract shall be referred to the Refined  Sugar  Association,
        London for settlement in accordance  with  the  Rules  relating  to
        Arbitration.  This Contract shall be governed by and  construed  in
        accordance with English Law.’
A final award was passed by the arbitral tribunal on 31 December, 2010
      which was sought to be challenged  by  the  Appellant  in  proceedings
      under Section 34 of the Act of 1996 before the learned Single Judge of
      this Court.  
An objection was taken to the jurisdiction of this  Court
      to entertain the petition on the ground that the applicability of Part-
      I of the Act was excluded by the agreement  between  the  parties  and
      consequently even under  the  law  as  it  then  prevailed  in  Bhatia
      International, a Petition under Section 34 was not maintainable.   
The
      learned Single Judge has upheld the objection  and  has  come  to  the
      conclusion  that  this  Court  has  no  jurisdiction  to  entertain  a
      challenge to the award under Section 34.  The judgment  is  called  in
      question in appeal. =

There is no dispute between the parties that  
the  Constitution  Bench
      judgment of this Court in the case of Bharat  Aluminium  Company  etc.
      vs. Kaiser Aluminium Technical Services Inc. etc. (BALCO)[1] overruled
      
the earlier judgment in Bhatia International Vs. Bulk Trading S.A. and
      Anr.[2] 
in coming to the conclusion that Part I of the Act would  have
      no application to international Commercial  Arbitration  held  outside
      India, but on account of further direction that the  law  so  declared
      shall apply only prospectively to all arbitration agreements  executed
      thereafter, the arbitration agreement in the present  case  is  to  be
      governed by the law  decided  in  the  case  of  Bhatia  International
      (supra).   
According  to  the  judgment  in   the   case   of   Bhatia
      International (supra) the provisions of Part I of the Act would  apply
      to International Commercial Arbitration held out of India  unless  the
      parties by agreement, express or implied, exclude all or  any  of  its
      provisions.
Conclusion
We find no merit in the petition and the same is dismissed as such. No
      costs.
2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41361
ANIL R. DAVE, SHIVA KIRTI SINGH
                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

        Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No.27404 of 2013


Sakuma Exports Ltd.                                      …..Petitioner

      Versus

Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse S.A.              …..Respondent





                               J U D G M E N T



SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.

   1. After hearing the  parties  at  length  and  upon  going  through  the
      impugned judgment and order dated 6.8.2013 passed by Division Bench of
      High Court of Judicature at Bombay in Appeal No. 337  of  2013,  filed
      under Section  37  of  the  Arbitration  and  Conciliation  Act,  1996
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’),   we  are  of  the  considered
      view that the impugned order is  based  upon  proper  appreciation  of
      relevant facts and follows the law laid down by this  Court  correctly
      in arriving at the finding that in the facts of the case the courts in
      India have no jurisdiction to entertain the petition under Section  34
      of the Act, challenging  the  international  commercial  award  of  an
      arbitral  tribunal  constituted  by  the  Refined  Sugar  Association,
      London.

         S.L.P.(C)No.27404 of 2013 …. (contd.)
   2. There is no dispute between the parties that  the  Constitution  Bench
      judgment of this Court in the case of Bharat  Aluminium  Company  etc.
      vs. Kaiser Aluminium Technical Services Inc. etc. (BALCO)[1] overruled
      the earlier judgment in Bhatia International Vs. Bulk Trading S.A. and
      Anr.[2] in coming to the conclusion that Part I of the Act would  have
      no application to international Commercial  Arbitration  held  outside
      India, but on account of further direction that the  law  so  declared
      shall apply only prospectively to all arbitration agreements  executed
      thereafter, the arbitration agreement in the present  case  is  to  be
      governed by the law  decided  in  the  case  of  Bhatia  International
      (supra).   According  to  the  judgment  in   the   case   of   Bhatia
      International (supra) the provisions of Part I of the Act would  apply
      to International Commercial Arbitration held out of India  unless  the
      parties by agreement, express or implied, exclude all or  any  of  its
      provisions.
   3. Since we are in agreement with the views  of  learned  High  Court  of
      Bombay, it is not necessary to  go  to  the  factual  details  but  on
      account of lengthy submissions advanced on behalf of  the  petitioner,
      we feel it proper to extract paragraph  3  of  the  impugned  judgment
      which reflects not only the relevant facts but also the relevant terms
      and conditions of the agreement between the parties.  It reads thus:
      “3. The Appellant is an Indian Company which carries on  the  business
      of import and export of sugar among other commodities.  The Respondent
      is a Swiss Company with whom the Appellant entered into  an  agreement
      on 12th January 2010 for  the purchase


      S.L.P.(C)No.27404 of 2013 …. (contd.)


      of  2700  metric  tons  of  Brazilian  white  sugar  of  a  stipulated
      description.  The  sugar was to be shipped between 15 January 2010 and
      15 February 2010 at the option of the  seller,  the  Respondent.   The
      port of  destination was to be Nhava Sheva or Kolkata at the option of
      the Appellant.  Disputes arose between  the  parties.   The  agreement
      between the parties contained  inter  alia  the  following  terms  and
      conditions:


      ‘Terms and conditions:


        This Contract  is  subject  to  the  Rules  of  the  Refined  Sugar
        Association, London as fully as if  the  same  had  been  expressly
        inserted herein, whether or not either or both parties  to  it  are
        Members of the Association.


        If any provision of this Contract is inconsistent with  the  Rules,
        such provision shall prevail.’


      Parties envisaged that all disputes would be submitted to arbitration.
       The arbitration agreement was thus:


        ‘Arbitration: All disputes arising out of or  in  conjunction  with
        this Contract shall be referred to the Refined  Sugar  Association,
        London for settlement in accordance  with  the  Rules  relating  to
        Arbitration.  This Contract shall be governed by and  construed  in
        accordance with English Law.’


      A final award was passed by the arbitral tribunal on 31 December, 2010
      which was sought to be challenged  by  the  Appellant  in  proceedings
      under Section 34 of the Act of 1996 before the learned Single Judge of
      this Court.  An objection was taken to the jurisdiction of this  Court
      to entertain the petition on the ground that the applicability of Part-
      I of the Act was excluded by the agreement  between  the  parties  and
      consequently even under  the  law  as  it  then  prevailed  in  Bhatia
      International, a Petition under Section 34 was not maintainable.   The
      learned Single Judge has upheld the objection  and  has  come  to  the
      conclusion  that  this  Court  has  no  jurisdiction  to  entertain  a
      challenge to the award under Section 34.  The judgment  is  called  in
      question in appeal.”








        S.L.P.(C)No.27404 of 2013 …. (contd.)
   4. After discussing appropriate case laws, the High Court summarized  the
      relevant facts and its views in paragraph 20 which  also  conveniently
      extracts Rule 8 of the Rules of  Refined  Sugar  Association,  London.
      Paragraph 20 reads as follows:
      “20. In the present case, the parties  have  specifically  made  their
      contract subject to  the  rules  of  the  Refined  Sugar  Association,
      London.  Leaving no ambiguity of interpretation the contract  mandates
      that  the  rules  of  the  Refined  Sugar  Association,   London   are
      incorporated ‘as fully as if the same has been expressly inserted’  in
      the contract.  The governing law of the contract is English law.   All
      disputes arising out or in conjunction with the contract  were  to  be
      referred to the Refined Sugar Association for settlement in accordance
      with the rules relating to arbitration of the Association.  The law in
      the U.K. is, therefore, the substantive law of the contract.  The seat
      of the arbitration is in the U.K. Parties have made it clear that  the
      rules of the Refined Sugar Association would govern the resolution  of
      their disputes.  Rule 8 of the Rules of the Refined Sugar  Association
      (on which there is no dispute between the parties during the course of
      the hearing of the appeal) provides as follows:


        ‘8.  For  the  purpose  of  all  proceedings  in  arbitration,  the
        contract shall  be  deemed  to  have  been  made  in  England,  any
        correspondence in reference to the offer, the acceptance, the place
        of payment or otherwise, not-withstanding,  and  England  shall  be
        regarded as the place of performance.  Disputes  shall  be  settled
        according to the law of England wherever the domicile, residence or
        place of business of the parties to the contract may be or  become.
        The seat of the Arbitration shall be England  and  all  proceedings
        shall take place in England.  It shall not  be  necessary  for  the
        award to state expressly the seat of the arbitration.’


      The terms of the purchase contract as well as Rule 8 of the  Rules  of
      the Refined Sugar Association would make it clear that disputes  shall
      be settled  in  accordance  with  the  law  of  England  wherever  the
      domicile, residence or place of business of parties  to  the  contract
      may be or become.  Moreover, for the purposes of  all  proceedings  in
      arbitration, the contract shall be deemed to have been made in England
      and England shall be regarded as the place






               S.L.P.(C)No.27404 of 2013 …. (contd.)

      of performance.  The seat of the arbitration shall be England and  all
      proceedings shall take place  in  England.   On  the  basis  of  these
      provisions, it has been submitted that parties have, by the  terms  of
      their agreement, impliedly excluded the provisions of Part-I.  We find
      merit in the submission. It is clear from  the  terms  and  conditions
      which have been accepted by the parties in the purchase contract, read
      with Rule 8 that parties have accepted English law  as  the  governing
      law of the contract; that the seat of the arbitration would be London;
      that disputes shall be settled according to the law of  England  which
      would include the resolution of  disputes  and  that  all  proceedings
      shall take place in England.  Alternatively, even if  it  were  to  be
      held that parties have not provided for the curial law  governing  the
      arbitration, the decision in Bhatia International  does  not  prohibit
      the exclusion  of the application of Part-I on account of  the  proper
      law of the contract  being  a  foreign  law.   Where  the  proper  law
      governing the contract is expressly chosen by the parties, which  they
      have done in the present case by selecting English law as  the  proper
      law of the contract, that law must, in the absence of an  unmistakable
      intention to the contrary,  govern  the  arbitration  agreement.   The
      arbitration agreement, though it is collateral  or  ancillary  to  the
      main  contract  is  nevertheless  a  part  of  the  contract.   In  an
      application for challenging the validity of an  arbitral  award  under
      Section 34, the Court would necessarily have  to  revert  to  the  law
      governing the arbitration agreement which,  in  our  considered  view,
      would be the law of England.”


   5. Since one of the terms and  conditions  of  the  agreement  makes  the
      contract subject to the Rules of the Refined Sugar Association, London
      by treating the same to have been expressly inserted in the agreement,
      Rule 8 of the Refined Sugar Association, London leaves  no  manner  of
      doubt that the parties have not only accepted English law as  the  law
      governing the contract but the disputes and the arbitration shall also
      be governed by  the  law  of  England.  The  seat  of  Arbitration  is
      admittedly England.
   6. Learned counsel for the petitioner highlighted  that  the  arbitration
      clause is  not strictly  the  same  as  recommended  by   the  Refined
      Sugar Association,

    S.L.P.(C)No.27404 of 2013 …. (contd.)
London which clearly stipulated that the arbitration shall be  conducted  in
accordance with the English law.  But  this  does  not  take  us  far.   The
condition that the contract is subject to the Rules  of  the  Refined  Sugar
Association, London which stand inserted in the  contract  and  wordings  of
Rule 8 clinch the relevant issue in favour of the respondent.
   7. We find no merit in the petition and the same is dismissed as such. No
      costs.


                                       …………………………….J.
                                       [ANIL R. DAVE]






                                       ……………………………..J.
                                       [SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]

New Delhi.
March 28, 2014.

                           -----------------------
        [1]        2012 (9) SCC 552
        [2]        2002 (4) SCC 105

-----------------------
3


Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 = No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area - Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre - claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road - Lower courts both rejected the same - Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = Bhule Ram …Appellant Versus Union of India & Anr. …Respondents= 2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360

Land Acquisition Act sec.18,54 =  No enhancement basing on 6 km far away situated land in developed area - Award at Rs.4.50 lakhs and odd and Reference court enhanced to Rs. 5.50 lakhs and odd and High court further enhanced to Rs.6.51 lakhs per acre - claiming Rs.10 lakhs per acre basing on the land situated at 6 km away and situated in a well developed area by the side of main Road - Lower courts both rejected the same - Apex court also dismissed the appeal and confirmed the lower court orders = 

  High  Court  has
      assessed  the  market  value  of  the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre
      modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land  had  been
      assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre.  The appellant claimed that his land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.=
The award under Section 11 of  the  Act
      was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of  the  land  of  the
      appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.
      C.    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section  18
      of the Act and the Reference Court  made  the  award  dated  10.1.2007
      assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/-  per  acre  with
      other statutory benefits.
      D.    Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of  the  Act  before
      the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his   land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The  High  Court
      disposed  of  the  appeal  vide  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated
      8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per
      acre placing reliance on other judgments in  appeal  before  the  High
      Court.
            Hence, this appeal.=
 Thus, it is evident that the High  Court  in  the  instant  case
      awarded the compensation as per the demand of the  appellant  himself.
      There is nothing on record to show that any other  argument  had  been
      advanced at his behest.
      20.   Before us, what is being argued are the same  issues which  have
      already been rejected by the Reference court 
pointing out the distance
      of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and  non-suitability  of
      comparing with other lands.  
We  do  not  see  any  cogent  reason  to
      interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s
      land so acquired had been at a distance of 6  Kms.  from  the  Mathura
      Road, while other lands relied upon by the  appellant  before  us  are
      adjacent to Mathura  Road,  and  thus  the  lands  are  surrounded  by
      hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.
      21.   Land of the appellant is situated in  revenue  estate  Aali  and
      appellant claims compensation at the rate which has  been  awarded  in
      revenue estate Jaitpur. 
No site plan has  been  produced  showing  the
      distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, 
nor any
      other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to  determine  as  to
      whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be  used  as
      an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive  at
      a conclusion that  both  the  lands  are  similarly  situated  in  all
      respects.
      22.   In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in  RFA
      No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union  of  India
      in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v.  Union
      of India, 91 (2001) DLT  602  in  respect  of  the  land  situated  in
      Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.
            In view of the above, we do not find any merit in  this  appeal.
      It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.
2014 (March. Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41360


                                                                REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6251 of 2010


      Bhule Ram                                          …Appellant
                                   Versus


      Union of India & Anr.                              …Respondents




                               J U D G M E N T


      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.




      1.    This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order  dated
      8.12.2009 passed by the High Court of  Delhi  at  New  Delhi  in  Land
      Acquisition Appeal No. 154  of  2007  by  which  the  High  Court  has
      assessed  the  market  value  of  the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre
      modifying the award under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894
      (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) under which the land  had  been
      assessed @Rs.5,99,850/- per acre.  The appellant claimed that his land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre.
      2.    Facts and  circumstances giving rise to this appeal are that:
      A.    Land comprised in Khasra Nos. 752(4-16),  753(4-16),  765(4-16),
      in all 24 bighas, in which the appellant had 1/3rd  share  and  Khasra
      Nos. 757 (6-15), 758(4-17) and 761(4-16), in all 16  bighas  8  biswas
      (full share), situated in revenue village Aali, Delhi, stood  notified
      under Section 4 of the Act for the purpose of construction of Ash Pond
      at Badarpur Thermal Power Station on 16.10.1992 alongwith a huge tract
      of land belonging to other persons in different villages.
      B.    In respect of the said land, a declaration under  Section  6  of
      the Act was made on 23.3.1993. The award under Section 11 of  the  Act
      was made on 6.6.1994 assessing the market value of  the  land  of  the
      appellant @Rs.4,65,000/- per acre.
      C.    Aggrieved, the appellant preferred a reference under Section  18
      of the Act and the Reference Court  made  the  award  dated  10.1.2007
      assessing the market value of the land @Rs.5,99,850/-  per  acre  with
      other statutory benefits.
      D.    Appellant preferred appeal under Section 54 of  the  Act  before
      the High Court claiming further enhancement contending that his   land
      ought to have been assessed @Rs.10,00,000/- per acre. The  High  Court
      disposed  of  the  appeal  vide  impugned  judgment  and  order  dated
      8.12.2009 assessing the market value of the  land  @Rs.6,51,000/-  per
      acre placing reliance on other judgments in  appeal  before  the  High
      Court.
            Hence, this appeal.
      3.    Ms. Shobha, learned counsel appearing for the appellant and  Ms.
      Priya Hingorani, learned counsel appearing in other connected  appeals
      have raised serious issues that the land ought to have  been  assessed
      at the rate on which the land covered by the same  notification  under
      Section 4 of the Act in the neighouring village  have  been  assessed.
      Therefore, the appeal deserves to be allowed.
      4.     Appeal  is  opposed  by  Mr.  Puneet  Taneja  and  Ms.   Rachna
      Srivastava, learned counsel appearing for the  respondents  submitting
      that the market value of the land of the appellant cannot be  assessed
      on the basis of compensation paid in  the  adjacent  village  for  the
      reason that the land is not similar in  any  circumstance,  either  in
      quality  or  geographical  situation/location,   and  thus,  there  is
      nothing on record on the basis of  which  it  can  be  held  that  the
      appellant is entitled for the same compensation which had  been  given
      to other claimants in different villages. Thus, the appeal  is  liable
      to be dismissed.
      5.    We have considered the rival submissions made by learned counsel
      for the parties and perused the record.
      6.    The scheme of the Act is that every  man’s  interest  is  to  be
      valued rebus sic stantibus, just as it  occurs  at  the  time  of  the
      notification under Section 4(1). Thus, the  assessing  authority  must
      take into consideration various factors  for  determining  the  market
      value, but exclude the advantages due  to  the  carrying  out  of  the
      purpose of acquisition and remote potentialities. It is  the  duty  of
      the  claimant  that  he  must  produce  the  relevant   evidence   for
      determining the market value while filing his claim under Section 9 of
      the Act atleast before the trial court or before the  reference  court
      for the reason that the appellate court may not permit  the  party  to
      adduce additional evidence in appeal.
      7.    The market value of the land is to be assessed as per Section 23
      of the Act. Valuation of immoveable property is not an exact  science,
      nor it can be determined like algebraic  problem,  as  it  abounds  in
      uncertainties and no  strait-jacket  formula  can  be  laid  down  for
      arriving at exact market value of the land. There is always a room for
      conjecture, and thus the court must act reluctantly to venture too far
      in this direction.  The factors such as the nature and position of the
      land to be acquired, adaptability  and  advantages,  the  purpose  for
      which the land can be used in the most lucrative way, injurious affect
      resulting in damages to other properties,  its  potential  value,  the
      locality, situation and size and  shape  of  the  land,  the  rise  or
      depression in the value of the land in the locality consequent to  the
      acquisition etc., are relevant factors to be  considered.  Section  23
      mandates that the market value of the land is to be  assessed  at  the
      time of notification under Section 4  of  the  Act.  Therefore,  value
      which has to be assessed is the value to the owner who parts with  his
      property and not the value to the new owner who takes it  over.   Fair
      and reasonable compensation means the price of a willing  buyer  which
      is to be paid to the willing seller. Though the Act does  not  provide
      for “just terms” or “just compensation”, but the market value is to be
      assessed taking into consideration the use to which it is being put on
      acquisition and whether the land has unusual  or  unique  features  or
      potentialities. (Vide: Raja Vyricheria Narayana Gajapatraju Bahadur
      Garu v. Revenue Divisional Officer, Vizianagaram, AIR 1939 PC 98;  and
      Adusumilli Gopalkrishna v. Spl Deputy  Collector  (Land  Acquisition),
      AIR 1980 SC 1870).
       8.   The concept of guess work is not unknown to  various  fields  of
      law as it applies  in  the  cases  relating  to  insurance,  taxation,
      compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as well as  under  the
      Labour Laws.  The court has a discretion applying the  guess  work  to
      the facts of the given case but it is not unfettered  and  has  to  be
      reasonable having connection to the facts on  record  adduced  by  the
      parties by way of evidence. The court further held as under:
           “‘Guess’ as understood in its common  parlance  is  an  estimate
           without any specific information while “calculations” are always
           made with  reference  to  specific  data.  “Guesstimate”  is  an
           estimate based on a mixture of guesswork and calculations and it
           is a process in itself. At  the  same  time  “guess”  cannot  be
           treated synonymous to “conjecture”. “Guess” by itself may  be  a
           statement or result based on unknown factors while  “conjecture”
           is made with a very slight amount of knowledge,  which  is  just
           sufficient to incline the scale of probability. “Guesstimate” is
           with higher certainty than mere “guess” or  a  “conjecture”  per
           se.”


      (See also: Thakur Kamta Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar,  AIR  1976  SC
      2219; Special Land Acquisition Officer v. Karigowda & Ors.,  AIR  2010
      SC 2322;  and  Charan  Das  &  etc.  etc.  v.  H.P.  Housing  &  Urban
      Development Authority & Ors. etc., (2010) 13 SCC 398).


      9.    In Trishala Jain & Anr. v. State of Uttaranchal & Anr., AIR 2011
      SC 2458,  this Court held that in case the parties  do  not  lead  any
      evidence on record it is difficult for the court to award compensation
      merely on the basis of imagination/conjectures, etc.  The Act provides
      for compensation for  acquisition  of  land  and  deprivation  of  the
      property which is reasonable and just. The court must avoid relying on
      a sham transaction which lacks bona fide and which had  been  executed
      for the purpose of raising the land price just before the  acquisition
      to get more compensation for the reason that fraudulent move or design
      should not be considered as a  proof  in  such  cases  though  such  a
      conclusion can be inferred from the facts  and  circumstances  of  the
      case.
      10.   The market value of the land should be  determined  taking  into
      consideration  the  existing  geographical  situation  of  the   land,
      existing use of the land, already available advantages, like proximity
      to  National  or  State  Highway  or   road   and/or   notionally   or
      intentionally renowned tourist  destination  or  developed  area,  and
      market value of other land situated in the same locality  or  adjacent
      or very near to acquired land and  also  the  size  of  such  a  land.
      (Vide: Viluben Jhalejar Contractor v. State of Gujarat,  AIR  2005  SC
      2214; Executive Engineer, Karnataka Housing Board v. Land  Acquisition
      Officer & Ors., AIR 2011 SC 781; Bilkis & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra
      & Ors., (2011) 12 SCC 646 and Sabhia Mohammed Yusuf Abdul Hamid  Mulla
      v. Special Land Acquisition Officer & Ors., AIR 2012 SC 2709).
      11.   Where huge tract of land had been acquired and the same  is  not
      continuous, the court has always emphasised on applying the  principle
      of belting system for the  reason  that  where  different  lands  with
      different survey numbers belonging  to  different  owners  and  having
      different  locations, cannot be considered to be a compact block. Land
      having frontage on the highway would definitely have better value than
      lands farther away from  highway.  (Vide:  Andhra  Pradesh  Industrial
      Infrastructure Corporation Limited v. G. Mohan Reddy &  Ors.,   (2010)
      15 SCC 412).
      12.   In Ashrafi & Ors. v. State of Haryana & Ors., AIR 2013 SC  3654,
      this Court emphasised  on  belting  system  and  observed  that  while
      determining the market value of the land, the court must be  satisfied
      that the land under exemplar is a similar land.
      (See also: Sher Singh etc. etc. v. State of Haryana & Ors.,  AIR  1991
      SC 2048).
      13.   In Executive Engineer (Electrical), Karnataka Power Transmission
      Corporation Ltd. v. Assistant Commissioner & Land Acquisition Officer,
      Gadag & Ors., (2010) 15 SCC 60, this Court  held  that  in  towns  and
      urban areas,  distance  of  half  kilometer  to  one  kilometer  makes
      considerable difference in price of the land. Therefore, the court has
      to determine the market value on the basis of  the  material  produced
      before  it  keeping  in  mind  that  some  of  the  lands  were   more
      advantageously situated.
      14.   In Ramanlal Deochand Shah v. State of Maharashtra  &  Anr.,  AIR
      2013 SC 3452, this Court held that the burden of  proof  lies  on  the
      land owner and in case he does not lead any evidence in support of his
      claim to prove the inadequance of  market  value  fixed  of  the  land
      acquired, the court cannot help him.
      (See also: Jawajee Nagnatham v. Revenue Divisional Officer,  Adilabad,
      A.P. & Ors., (1994) 4 SCC 595; and Land  Acquisition  Officer  &  Sub-
      Collector, Gadwal v. Sreelatha Bhoopal (Smt)  &  Anr.,  (1997)  9  SCC
      628).
      15.   In view of the above, the law can be summarised  to  the  effect
      that the market value of the land is to be assessed  keeping  in  mind
      the limitation prescribed in certain exceptional  circumstances  under
      Section 23 of the Act. A guess work, though  allowed,  is  permissible
      only to a limited extent. The market  value  of  the  land  is  to  be
      determined taking into consideration the existing  use  of  the  land,
      geographical   situation/location   of   the   land   alongwith    the
      advantages/disadvantages i.e. distance  from  the  National  or  State
      Highway or a road situated within a developed area etc.  In urban area
      even a small distance makes a considerable difference in the price  of
      land.  However, the court should not take into consideration  the  use
      for which the land is sought to be acquired and its  remote  potential
      value in future.  In arriving at the market value, it is the  duty  of
      the party to lead evidence in support of its case, in absence of which
      the court is not under a legal  obligation  to  determine  the  market
      value merely as per the prayer of the claimant.
            There may be a case where a huge tract of land is acquired which
      runs though continuous, but to the whole revenue estate of  a  village
      or to various  revenue  villages  or  even  in  two  or  more  states.
      Someone’s land may be adjacent to the main road, others’ land  may  be
      far away, there may be persons having land abounding the main road but
      the frontage may be varied. Therefore, the market value of the land is
      to be determined taking into consideration the geographical  situation
      and in such cases belting system may be  applied.   In  such  a  fact-
      situation every claimant cannot claim the same rate of compensation.
      16.   The instant appeal is required to be examined in  light  of  the
      aforesaid settled legal propositions.
           The appellant has not put on record as what was his claim  under
      Section 9 of the Act before the Land Acquisition Collector. The  award
      had been made relying upon some other awards. In his  application  for
      reference under Section 18 of the Act, the  appellant  has  inter-alia
      taken the following grounds:
           “(iii)       That  the  land  acquisition  is  very  closed  and
                 surrounded  by  the  developed  and   posh   colonies   and
                 industrial  area  such  as  Tughlakabad,  Railway  Station,
                 Sarita Vihar, Badarpur Town and other colonies …..
             iv) That the Revenue Estate of Aali is surrounded  by  adjacent
                 villages   such   as   Badarpur,   Madanpur   Tekhand   and
                 Tughlakabad.
                  iii) That the land of village Aali is better situated  and
                       has more potential value village Jaitpur as the  land
                       of village Aali is near to  Delhi  and  main  Mathura
                       Road.
                   iv) That  the  Land  Acquisition  Collector  should  have
                       assessed the market value of the land in question  on
                       the  basis  of  the  judgment  of   the   courts   of
                       surrounding   villages   as   Tughlakabad,   Tekhand,
                       Badarpur, Madanpur  Khadar.  Several  awards  of  the
                       Collector  or  courts   are   based   on   the   sale
                       transactions of each other being same area  and  same
                       potential value.”
      17.   The Reference Court while determining the market  value  of  the
      land recorded the following findings:
                 “Since the instances of  sale  in  land  in  village  Aali
           relied by respondents and referred  by  LAC  in  the  Award  are
           available the  sale  prices  of  the  land  in  village  Jasola,
           Tughlakabad and Badarpur is not  required  to  be  looked  into.
           Further  it  has  not  been  proved  on  record  in   case   the
           potentiality  and  quality  of  land  in  village   Jasola   and
           Tughlakabad is the same as that of village Aali and as such  the
           sale deeds pertaining to aforesaid  villages  cannot  be  relied
           upon to assess the market value in village Aali. It has  further
           come on record in other  cases  pertaining  to  same  award  the
           village Madanpur Khadar is located between  village  Jasola  and
           Aali and distance between two villages is about 3  Kms.  Further
           Mathura Road is stated to be about  6  Kms.  from  the  acquired
           land.  Even  village   Tughlakabad   and   Badarpur   are   more
           beneficially  located  than  village  Aali.  For  the  foregoing
           reasons, the rate  of  land  in  village  Jasola,  Badarpur  and
           Tughlakabad cannot be compared to assess the  rate  of  land  in
           village Aali and Ex.P7, 8, 9 and 10 are not relevant.
                 It may also be observed that the acquired land on the date
           of  notification  under  Section  4  was  being   utilized   for
           agricultural purposes and no electrical and municipal connection
           for water was available. Even  the  purpose  of  acquisition  in
           adjacent land, falling in village Jaitpur was  for  construction
           of  ash  pond  and  as  such  there  could  not  have  been  any
           substantial appreciation of prices, as  no  building  activities
           could have taken place. In view of above, the  land  in  village
           Aali cannot be compared with villages Jasola  and  Tughlakabad.”
                       (Emphasis added)


           The Court further held that the three sale deeds referred to  by
      the Land Acquisition Collector in his award could not provide a proper
      guideline for determining the market value of  the  land  acquired  as
      they relate to land so sought to be acquired where value is less  than
      land free from encumbrance.
      18.   Before the High Court, learned counsel for the appellant  relied
      solely upon the judgment dated 10.4.2008 passed in appeal preferred by
      Bishamber Dayal & Ors. from the same village as is  evident  from  the
      impugned judgment.  The relevant part thereof reads as under:
           “Counsel for the appellant submits  that  the  present  case  is
           covered by a  judgment  dated  10.4.2008  passed  in  an  appeal
           registered as LAA 399/2007 entitled Bishamber Dayal  &  Ors.  v.
           UOI & Anr., wherein the compensation payable to the land  owners
           in respect of the same village under the same award was enhanced
           from Rs.5,99,850/- per  acre  to  Rs.6,51,000/-  per  acre  with
           proportionate  statutory  benefits  including  interest  on  the
           amount of additional compensation and solatium on the  lines  of
           the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Sunder v. Union
           of India reported as 93 (2001) DLT 569.”


      19.   Thus, it is evident that the High  Court  in  the  instant  case
      awarded the compensation as per the demand of the  appellant  himself.
      There is nothing on record to show that any other  argument  had  been
      advanced at his behest.
      20.   Before us, what is being argued are the same  issues which  have
      already been rejected by the Reference court pointing out the distance
      of the appellant’s land from the Mathura Road and  non-suitability  of
      comparing with other lands.  We  do  not  see  any  cogent  reason  to
      interfere as the Reference Court has clearly held that the appellant’s
      land so acquired had been at a distance of 6  Kms.  from  the  Mathura
      Road, while other lands relied upon by the  appellant  before  us  are
      adjacent to Mathura  Road,  and  thus  the  lands  are  surrounded  by
      hospitals and residential and commercially developed areas.
      21.   Land of the appellant is situated in  revenue  estate  Aali  and
      appellant claims compensation at the rate which has  been  awarded  in
      revenue estate Jaitpur. No site plan has  been  produced  showing  the
      distance between the land in Jaitpur and the appellant’s land, nor any
      other evidence is shown to compare the lands and to  determine  as  to
      whether the award in respect of the land in Jaitpur could be  used  as
      an exemplar as only on a comparison would it be possible to arrive  at
      a conclusion that  both  the  lands  are  similarly  situated  in  all
      respects.
      22.   In view of the above, we do not think that the judgments in  RFA
      No.416 of 1986 dated 6.10.1986, Ram Chander & Ors. v. Union  of  India
      in respect of the land situated in Jasola; and in Hari Chand v.  Union
      of India, 91 (2001) DLT  602  in  respect  of  the  land  situated  in
      Tughlakabad have any relevance in the present appeal.
            In view of the above, we do not find any merit in  this  appeal.
      It lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.



      …………......................J.
                                                 (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)





      ……….........................J.
                                                  (J. CHELAMESWAR)
      NEW DELHI
      March 28,  2014.?

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4620 of 2009




      Raja Ram & Ors.                                    …Appellants


                                   Versus


      Union of India & Anr.                              …Respondents


                                    With


      CA Nos.4622, 4624, 4623/2009, SLP(C) Nos.18981, 18982, 18983 and
      18984/2008






                               J U D G M E N T


      Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.




           In view of the judgment in Civil Appeal  No.6251  of  2010,  the
      abovesaid  appeals  and  special  leave  petitions   are   accordingly
      dismissed.
                                             …………......................J.
                                                 (Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN)





      ……….........................J.
                                                  (J. CHELAMESWAR)
      NEW DELHI
      March 28,  2014.?


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