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Saturday, July 2, 2016

whether a writ of mandamus can be issued to authorities to grant remission to the petitioners.

                                                                  REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                    WRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO. 190 OF 2014
Tara Singh & Ors.                            …Petitioners
                          Versus
Union of India & Ors.                   ...Respondents





                               J U D G M E N T
Dipak Misra, J.
      In this writ petition preferred under Article 32  of  Constitution  of
India, the petitioners, who have been convicted for the  offence  punishable
under Section 21 of the Narcotic  Drugs  and  Psychotropic  Substances  Act,
1985 (for brevity,  ‘the  NDPS  Act’)  and  sentenced  to  undergo  rigorous
imprisonment for more than 10 years and to pay a fine of Rs.1  lakh  and  in
default of payment of fine, to suffer further rigorous imprisonment for  six
months, have prayed for issue of writ of mandamus to the respondent  nos.  1
to 3 commanding them to grant  remission  to  them  as  per  the  provisions
contained in Chapter XIX of the New Punjab Jail  Manual,  1996  (for  short,
‘the Manual’).

2.    This writ petition was listed along with SLP(Crl) No.  4079  of  2012,
wherein at the time of issue of notice, the following issue was noted:-

“The point which has been raised  today  on  behalf  of  the  petitioner  is
whether the remission granted by the  Governor  under  Article  161  of  the
Constitution has an overriding effect over the provisions of Section 32A  of
the NDPS Act.  The matter needs consideration having  regard  to  the  views
expressed by this Court in the case of Meru Ram”.


      The special  leave  petition  stood  abated  as  the  sole  petitioner
therein breathed his last during the pendency of the petition.

3.    It is the case of the petitioners that Chapter XIX of the Manual  lays
down remission and award to the convicts depending  upon  good  conduct  and
performance of duties allotted to them while they are  undergoing  sentence,
but the benefit under the Chapter XIX of the Manual is  not  made  available
to the convicts under the NDPS Act on the ground that Section  32-A  of  the
NDPS Act bars entitlement to such remission.  It is  asserted  in  the  writ
petition that the constitutional validity of Section 32-A of  the  NDPS  Act
has been upheld in Dadu @  Tulsidas  v.  State  of  Maharashtra[1].   It  is
contended by the learned counsel for the petitioners that  in  Maru  Ram  v.
Union of India and others[2], the constitutional validity of  Section  433-A
of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short, ‘CrPC’) was under  challenge
and the larger Bench of this  Court  has  clearly  held  that  it  does  not
curtail the power of  the  executive  under  Articles  72  and  161  of  the
Constitution.  Relying on the said  decision,  it  is  submitted  that  this
Court can remit the sentence and the said power cannot be curtailed  by  any
legislation. According  to  the  learned  counsel  for  the  petitioners,  a
conjoint reading of Dadu’s case and Maru Ram’s case, the legal  position  is
that remission schemes are effective guidelines  for  passing  orders  under
Article 161 of the Constitution and, therefore, they have the force  of  law
and, in any case, the principle  in  Dadu’s  case  clearly  postulates  that
Section 32-A of the NDPS Act does not come  in  the  way  of  executive  for
exercising the  constitutional  power  under  Article   72  or  161  of  the
Constitution.  On the aforesaid  basis,  it  has  been  contended  that  the
denial of benefit sought for by the petitioner is absolutely  arbitrary  and
in total misunderstanding of the ratio laid down in Dadu’s case.

4.    Learned counsel for the petitioners would further submit that  Section
32-A of the  NDPS  Act  cannot  control  the  remission  schemes  which  are
effective  guidelines  under  Article  161  of  the  Constitution  and   the
statutory provision, by no stretch of  imagination,  create  any  fetter  in
exercise of the constitutional power.  In the averments,  a  comparison  has
been made on the conviction and sentence under the NDPS Act and Section  302
of the IPC.

5.     Learned  counsel  for  the  State  has  opposed  the  prayer  of  the
petitioners on the ground that Section 32-A of the  NDPS  Act  curtails  the
statutory power of the concerned Government and  accordingly  the  same  has
been stipulated in the Manual and hence, no fault can be found  with  action
taken by the State Government.  Learned counsel for the  State  has  further
contended that once Section 32-A of  the  NDPS  Act  has  been  held  to  be
constitutionally valid, the effort to compare the  conviction  and  sentence
under Section 302 IPC with that under Section 32-A of the  NDPS  Act  is  an
exercise in futility.

6.    We have heard Mr. Ranjit Kumar,  learned  Solicitor  General  who  has
contended that the controversy is absolutely  covered  by  the  decision  in
Dadu (supra) and the petitioners  cannot  claim  the  benefit  of  the  Jail
Manual which is a guidance for exercise of  constitutional  powers   by  the
Governor.  It is his further contention that the  exercise  of  power  under
Articles 72 and 161 of the Constitution  is  different  than  the  remission
granted under Section 433-A of CrPC.

7.    It is not in dispute that the petitioners have  been  convicted  under
the  NDPS  Act  and  various  offences  and  sentenced  to  suffer  rigorous
imprisonment for more than 10 years and to pay a fine  of  Rs.1  lakh.   The
singular  issue  is  whether  denial  of  remission  under  the  Manual   is
justified.  Chapter XIX of the  Manual  deals  with  remission  and  reward.
Paragraphs 563 to 588 deal with remission system.  Paragraphs  589  and  590
deal with reward.  Paragraph  563 states that remission can  be  granted  to
prisoners by  the  State  Government/Inspector-General/Superintendent  Jails
which is subject to withdrawal/forfeiture/revocation.  It  is  not  a  right
and the State Government reserves the right to debar/withdraw  any  prisoner
or category of prisoners from the concession of  remission.   Paragraph  565
stipulates that remission is of three  types,  namely,  ordinary  remission,
special  remission  and  the  State  Government  remission.  Paragraph   567
postulates the eligibility criteria for prisoners who will be  eligible  for
earning the State Government remission.  Paragraph 571 provides  what  would
constitute non-eligibility to get ordinary remission.   Paragraph  572  lays
down that ordinary remission is not earnable for certain offences  committed
after admission to jail.   Paragraph  576  deals  with  remission  for  good
conduct.  Paragraph 581 provides for special remission.  It lays  down  that
special remission may be given to any prisoner  except  such  prisoners  who
are deprived of remission by way of punishment whether entitled to  ordinary
remission  or  not  for  special  reasons.   Certain  examples   have   been
incorporated in special remission.

8.    The Government of Punjab,  Department  of  Home  Affairs  and  Justice
through Governor has issued an order in  exercise  of  powers  conferred  by
Section 432 of CrPC and Article 161 of the Constitution  of  India  on  13th
day of April, 2007 for grant of remission of sentence to  certain  types  of
convicts.  The said order contains that instructions contained in the  order
shall not apply to the persons sentenced under the Foreigners Act, 1946  and
the Passport Act, 1967 and the Narcotic Drugs  and  Psychotropic  Substances
Act, 1985.  Similar  circulars  have  been  issued  on  1.9.2008,  1.6.2010,
1.4.2011, 12.4.2012, 14.8.2013 and 13.8.2014.  The  said  orders  have  been
passed keeping in view the language used in Section 32-A  of  the  NDPS  Act
and the judgment delivered in Dadu’s case.  Section 32-A  of  the  NDPS  Act
reads as follows:-

“32-A. No suspension, remission  or  commutation  in  any  sentence  awarded
under this Act.—Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code  of  Criminal
Procedure, 1973 or any other law for the time being in force but subject  to
the provisions of Section 33, no sentence  awarded  under  this  Act  (other
than Section 27) shall be suspended or remitted or commuted.”


9.    In Dadu’s case, the three-Judge Bench  scanning  the  provisions  have
laid down that:-

“13. A perusal of the section  would  indicate  that  it  deals  with  three
different matters, namely, suspension,  remission  and  commutation  of  the
sentences. Prohibition contained in the section  is  referable  to  Sections
389, 432 and 433 of the Code. Section 432 of the  Code  provides  that  when
any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the  appropriate
Government may, at any time, without conditions  or  upon  conditions  which
the person sentenced accepts, suspend  the  execution  of  his  sentence  or
remit the whole or  any  part  of  the  punishment  to  which  he  has  been
sentenced in the manner and according to the procedure prescribed therein.”


10.   After so stating, the Court  referred   to  Section  433  CrPC,  which
empowers the Appropriate Government to commute  the  sentence.   Thereafter,
deliberation centered on Section 389 of CrPC.  The  Bench  referred  to  the
decision in Maktool Singh v. State of Punjab[3] and in that context opined:-





“… The distinction of the convicts under the Act and under  other  statutes,
insofar as it relates to the exercise of  executive  powers  under  Sections
432 and 433 of the  Code  is  concerned,  cannot  be  termed  to  be  either
arbitrary  or  discriminatory  being  violative  of  Article   14   of   the
Constitution. Such deprivation of the executive can also  not  be  stretched
to hold that the right to life of a  person  has  been  taken  away  except,
according to the procedure established  by  law.  It  is  not  contended  on
behalf of the petitioners that the procedure prescribed under  the  Act  for
holding the trial is not reasonable, fair and just. The  offending  section,
insofar as it  relates  to  the  executive  in  the  matter  of  suspension,
remission and commutation of sentence, after conviction, does  not,  in  any
way, encroach upon the personal liberty of  the  convict  tried  fairly  and
sentenced under the Act. The procedure  prescribed  for  holding  the  trial
under the Act cannot be termed  to  be  arbitrary,  whimsical  or  fanciful.
There is, therefore, no vice of unconstitutionality in the  section  insofar
as it takes away the  powers  of  the  executive  conferred  upon  it  under
Sections 432 and 433 of the Code, to suspend, remit or commute the  sentence
of a convict under the Act.”


11.   Thereafter, the Court  addressed  to  the  concern  expressed  by  the
learned counsel for the parties with regard to the  adverse  effect  of  the
Section on  the  powers  of  the  judiciary.   After  referring  to  various
authorities, the Court opined thus:-




“25. Judged from any angle, the section insofar as it completely debars  the
appellate courts from the  power  to  suspend  the  sentence  awarded  to  a
convict under the Act cannot  stand  the  test  of  constitutionality.  Thus
Section 32-A insofar as it ousts the jurisdiction of the  court  to  suspend
the sentence awarded to a convict under the Act is unconstitutional.”


12.   Thereafter, the Court held:-

“26. Despite holding that Section 32-A is unconstitutional to the extent  it
affects the functioning of the criminal courts in the country,  we  are  not
declaring the whole of the  section  as  unconstitutional  in  view  of  our
finding that the section,  insofar  as  it  takes  away  the  right  of  the
executive to suspend, remit and commute the sentence,  is  valid  and  intra
vires  of  the  Constitution.  The  declaration  of  Section  32-A   to   be
unconstitutional, insofar as it affects the functioning  of  the  courts  in
the country, would  not  render  the  whole  of  the  section  invalid,  the
restriction imposed by the offending section being distinct and severable.”


13.   The eventual conclusions in the said case are:-

“29. Under the circumstances the writ petitions are disposed of  by  holding
that:

(1) Section 32-A does not in any way affect the powers  of  the  authorities
to grant parole.

(2) It is unconstitutional to the extent it takes  away  the  right  of  the
court to suspend the sentence of a convict under the Act.

(3) Nevertheless, a sentence awarded under the Act can be suspended  by  the
appellate court only and strictly subject to the  conditions  spelt  out  in
Section 37 of the Act, as dealt with in this judgment.”


14.   Having appreciated the analysis made in the aforesaid verdict, we  may
advert to the statutory  scheme  pertaining  to  suspension,  remission  and
commutation of sentence under the CrPC.  Section 432  deals  with  power  to
suspend or  remit  sentences.  Section  433  deals  with  power  to  commute
sentences.  Section 433-A lays the postulate for restrictions on  powers  of
remission or commutation in certain cases.   The  said  provision  reads  as
follows:-

“433-A. Restriction on powers of remission or commutation in certain  cases.
– Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 432,  where  a  sentence  of
imprisonment for life is imposed on conviction of a person  for  an  offence
for which death is one of the punishments provided  by  law,  or  where  the
sentence of death imposed on a person has been commuted  under  Section  433
into one of imprisonment for life, such person shall not  be  released  from
prison unless he had served at least fourteen years of imprisonment.”


15.   The constitutional validity of Section 433-A was  challenged  in  Maru
Ram (supra) and the said provision has been held to be  intra  vires.  While
dealing with the constitutional validity, Krishna  Iyer,  J.,  speaking  for
the majority, distinguished the power  conferred  under  the  constitutional
authorities under Articles 72 and 161 and  the  power  conferred  under  the
Code.  In the said case, it has been held that:-

“59. ..... But two  things  may  be  similar  but  not  the  same.  That  is
precisely the difference. We cannot  agree  that  the  power  which  is  the
creature of the Code can be equated with a high prerogative  vested  by  the
Constitution in the highest functionaries of the Union and the  States.  The
source is different, the substance is different, the strength is  different,
although the stream may be flowing along  the  same  bed.  We  see  the  two
powers as far from  being  identical,  and,  obviously,  the  constitutional
power  is  “untouchable”  and  “unapproachable”  and   cannot   suffer   the
vicissitudes of  simple  legislative  processes.  Therefore,  Section  433-A
cannot be invalidated as indirectly violative of Articles 72 and  161.  What
the Code gives, it can take, and so, an embargo on Sections 432  and  433(a)
is within the legislative power of Parliament.

60. Even so, we must remember the constitutional status of Articles  72  and
161 and it is common ground that Section 433-A does not  and  cannot  affect
even a wee bit the pardon power  of  the  Governor  or  the  President.  The
necessary sequel to this logic is that  notwithstanding  Section  433-A  the
President and the Governor continue to exercise  the  power  of  commutation
and release under the aforesaid articles.”


16.    After  so  stating,  the  Court  posed  the  question,  whether   the
Parliament has indulged in legislative futility with a formal victory but  a
real defeat?   The  Court  answered  stating  ‘yes’  and  ‘no’.   Explaining
further, the larger Bench opined:-

“An issue of deeper import demands our consideration at this  stage  of  the
discussion. Wide as the power of pardon, commutation and  release  (Articles
72 and 161) is, it cannot run riot; for no legal power can run  unruly  like
John Gilpin on the horse but must keep sensibly to a  steady  course.  Here,
we come upon the  second  constitutional  fundamental  which  underlies  the
submissions  of  counsel.  It  is   that   all   public   power,   including
constitutional power, shall never be exercisable arbitrarily  or  mala  fide
and, ordinarily, guidelines for fair and equal execution are  guarantors  of
the valid play of power. We proceed on  the  basis  that  these  axioms  are
valid in our constitutional order”.


17.   The majority thereafter dealt with  the  powers  conferred  under  the
constitutional  authorities  under  Articles  72  and  161  and   eventually
concluded as follows:-

“72.  …….

(4) We hold that Section 432 and Section 433  are  not  a  manifestation  of
Articles 72 and 161 of the  Constitution  but  a  separate,  though  similar
power, and Section 433-A, by nullifying  wholly  or  partially  these  prior
provisions does not violate or  detract  from  the  full  operation  of  the
constitutional power to pardon, commute and the like.

                              xxxxx       xxxxx

(8) The power  under  Articles  72  and  161  of  the  Constitution  can  be
exercised by the Central and State Governments,  not  by  the  President  or
Governor on their own. The advice of the appropriate  Government  binds  the
Head of the State. No separate order for each individual case  is  necessary
but any general order made must be clear enough to  identify  the  group  of
cases and indicate the application of mind to the whole group.

(9) Considerations for exercise  of  power  under  Articles  72/161  may  be
myriad and  their  occasions  protean,  and  are  left  to  the  appropriate
Government, but no consideration nor  occasion  can  be  wholly  irrelevant,
irrational, discriminatory or mala fide. Only in these rare cases  will  the
court examine the exercise.

18.   The aforesaid decision makes it clear  that  the  exercise  of  powers
under Article  72 or 161 is quite different  than  the  statutory  power  of
remission.  On that  fundamental  bedrock,  the  provision  enshrined  under
Section  32-A,  barring  a  part   of   the   provision,   has   been   held
constitutionally valid  in  Dadu’s  case.   The  principle  stated  in  Dadu
(supra) does not run counter to the ratio laid down  in  Maru  Ram  (supra).
It is in consonance with the same.



19.   The petitioners have invoked the power of  this  Court  to  grant  the
benefit  of  remission  in  exercise  of  power  under  Article  32  of  the
Constitution  of  India.   Speaking   plainly,   the   prayer   is   totally
misconceived.  It is urged in a different manner before us  that  the  power
exercised  by  this  Court  under  Article  32  and  Article  142   of   the
Constitution cannot be statutorily controlled.  Though the argument  strikes
a note of innovation, yet the innovation in  the  case  at  hand  cannot  be
allowed to last long, for it invites immediate repulsion.  Section  32-A  of
the NDPS Act, as far as it took away the power of the Court to  suspend  the
sentence  awarded  to  the  convict  under  the  Act   has   been   declared
unconstitutional in Dadu’s case.  A  convict  can  pray  for  suspension  of
sentence when  the  appeal  is  pending  for  adjudication.   The  aforesaid
authority has upheld the constitutional validity of the Section  insofar  as
it takes away the right of the executive to suspend, remit and  commute  the
sentence.  Negation of the power of  the  courts  to  suspend  the  sentence
which has been declared as unconstitutional, as  has  been  held  in  Dadu’s
case, does not confer a right on the convict to ask for  suspension  of  the
sentence as a matter of right in all cases nor does it  absolve  the  courts
of their  legal obligation to exercise the power of  suspension  within  the
parameters prescribed under Section 37 of the NDPS Act.  The  constitutional
power exercised under Articles 72 and 161 is quite different than the  power
exercised under a statute.  Recently, in Union of India  v.  V.  Sriharan  @
Murugan and ors[4], echoing the principle stated in  Maru  Ram  (supra),  it
has been held:-

“As  has  been  stated  by   this   Court   in  Maru  Ram  (supra)  by   the
Constitution Bench, that  the  Constitutional  power of  remission  provided
under Articles 72 and  161   of   the   Constitution   will  always   remain
untouched,  inasmuch  as,  though   the   statutory   power   of  remission,
etc., as compared to Constitution power  under  Articles  72  and 161  looks
similar, they are not the same.  Therefore, we  confine   ourselves  to  the
implication of statutory power of  remission,  etc.,   provided   under  the
Criminal Procedure Code entrusted with the Executive   of   the   State   as
against the well  thought  out  judicial   decisions   in   the   imposition
of sentence  for   the   related   grievous   crimes   for   which    either
capital punishment or a life sentence is  provided  for.   When   the   said
distinction can be clearly ascertained, it must be  held  that  there  is  a
vast  difference between an executive action for the grant of   commutation,
 remission  etc., as against a judicial decision.  Time  and  again,  it  is
held  that  judicial action  forms  part  of  the  basic  structure  of  the
Constitution.   We  can  state  with  certain  amount  of   confidence   and
certainty,  that  there  will  be  no match  for  a  judicial  decision   by
 any  of  the  authority  other   than Constitutional Authority,  though  in
the form of an executive action,  having regard to the  higher  pedestal  in
which such  Constitutional  Heads  are   placed  whose  action  will  remain
unquestionable except for  lack  of  certain  basic features which has  also
been noted in the various decisions  of   this   Court  including  Maru  Ram
(supra)”.

20.   What is being urged is as constitutional powers under Articles 72  and
161 are different and they remain untouched even by sentence of this  Court,
similar powers can be exercised under Article  32  of  the  Constitution  of
India.  Article 32 of the Constitution of India enables a  citizen  to  move
this Court for enforcement of his fundamental rights.    Moving  this  Court
for the said purpose is fundamental.  The larger  Bench  of  the  Court  has
already upheld the constitutional  validity  of  Section  433-A  CrPC.   The
three-Judge Bench has declared barring a small part of Section 32-A  of  the
NDPS Act as constitutional.  The recent Constitution Bench  decision  in  V.
Sriharan (supra) has clearly opined that the constitutional power  engrafted
under Articles 72 and 161 are different than the statutory  power  enshrined
under Section 433-A CrPC.  The petitioners do  not  have  a  right  to  seek
remission under the Code because of Section 32A of the NDPS Act.   They  can
always seek relief either under Article 71 or 161 of  the  Constitution,  as
the case may be.  That is in a different domain.

21.   The issue here is  whether  a  writ  of  mandamus  can  be  issued  to
authorities to grant remission to the petitioners.  In Ramdas  Athawale  (5)
v. Union of India and others[5], it has been held by the Constitution  Bench
that:-
“46. It is  equally  well  settled  that  Article  32  of  the  Constitution
guarantees the right to a constitutional remedy  and  relates  only  to  the
enforcement of the right conferred by  Part  III  of  the  Constitution  and
unless a question of enforcement of a fundamental right arises,  Article  32
does not apply. It is well settled that no  petition  under  Article  32  is
maintainable, unless it is shown that the petitioner  has  some  fundamental
right. In Northern Corpn. v.  Union  of  India[6]  this  Court  has  made  a
pertinent observation that when a person complains and claims that there  is
a violation of law, it does not automatically involve breach of  fundamental
right for the enforcement of which alone Article 32 is attracted.

47. We have carefully scanned through the averments and allegations made  in
the writ petition and found  that  there  is  not  even  a  whisper  of  any
infringement of  any  fundamental  right  guaranteed  by  Part  III  of  the
Constitution. We reiterate the principle that whenever  a  person  complains
and claims that  there  is  a  violation  of  any  provision  of  law  or  a
constitutional provision,  it  does  not  automatically  involve  breach  of
fundamental right for the enforcement of  which  alone  Article  32  of  the
Constitution is attracted. It is not possible to accept that  an  allegation
of breach of law or a constitutional provision is an  action  in  breach  of
fundamental right.  The  writ  petition  deserves  dismissal  only  on  this
ground”.

22.   The present factual matrix does not remotely suggest  that  there  has
been violation of any fundamental right.  There is no violation of  any  law
which affects the fundamental rights of the petitioners.  The argument  that
when a pardon or remission can be given under  Article  72  or  161  of  the
Constitution by the constitutional authority, this Court  can  exercise  the
similar power under Article 32 of the Constitution of  India  is  absolutely
based on an erroneous premise.  Article 32,  as  has  been  interpreted  and
stated by the Constitution Bench and  well  settled  in  law,  can  be  only
invoked when there is violation of any fundamental right or where the  Court
takes up certain grievance which falls  in  the  realm  of  public  interest
litigation, as has been held in Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of  India  and
others[7] and Samaj Parivartana Samudaya and others v.  State  of  Karnataka
and others[8]. Therefore, we repel the submission on  the  said  score.   It
has also been argued that this Court can issue a direction  to  do  complete
justice to grant remission.  In this context, a passage from  Supreme  Court
Bar Association v. Union of India and  another[9] is apt quoting:-

“48. The Supreme Court in exercise of its  jurisdiction  under  Article  142
has the power to make such order as is necessary for doing complete  justice
‘between the parties in any cause or matter pending  before  it’.  The  very
nature of the power must lead the Court to  set  limits  for  itself  within
which to  exercise  those  powers  and  ordinarily  it  cannot  disregard  a
statutory provision governing a  subject,  except  perhaps  to  balance  the
equities between  the  conflicting  claims  of  the  litigating  parties  by
‘ironing out the creases’ in a cause or matter before it. Indeed this  Court
is not a court of restricted jurisdiction of only  dispute-settling.  It  is
well recognised and established that this Court has always been a  law-maker
and its role travels beyond  merely  dispute-settling.  It  is  a  ‘problem-
solver in the nebulous areas’ (see K. Veeraswami v. Union of India[10])  but
the substantive statutory provisions dealing with the  subject-matter  of  a
given case cannot be altogether ignored  by  this  Court,  while  making  an
order under Article 142. Indeed, these constitutional powers cannot, in  any
way, be controlled by any statutory provisions but at the  same  time  these
powers are not meant to be exercised when their exercise may  come  directly
in conflict with what has been expressly provided for in a  statute  dealing
expressly with the subject.”
                                                      [emphasis in original]


23.   In Narendra Champaklal Trivedi v. State of  Gujarat[11],  a  two-Judge
Bench of this Court while dealing with reduction of sentence in  respect  of
mandatory sentence has held:-

“…where the minimum sentence is provided, we think it would not  be  at  all
appropriate to exercise jurisdiction under Article 142 of  the  Constitution
of India to reduce the sentence on the ground of  the  so-called  mitigating
factors as that  would  tantamount  to  supplanting  statutory  mandate  and
further it would amount to  ignoring  the  substantive  statutory  provision
that prescribes minimum sentence for a criminal act relating to  demand  and
acceptance of bribe. The amount may be small but to curb  and  repress  this
kind of proclivity the legislature has prescribed the minimum sentence”.

      In view of the aforesaid,  the  argument  to  invoke  Article  142  in
conjunction with Article 32 of the  Constitution  is  absolutely  fallacious
and we unhesitatingly repel the same.





24.   Consequently, we do not perceive any merit in this writ  petition  and
accordingly, the same stands dismissed.



                                        ..............................J.
                                          [Dipak Misra]



                                        …...........................J.
New Delhi                         [Shiva Kirti Singh]
June 29, 2016
-----------------------
[1]     (2000) 8 SCC 437
[2]     (1981) 1 SCC 107
[3]     (1999) 3 SCC 321
[4]     2015 (13) SCALE 165
[5]     (2010) 4 SCC 1
[6]     (1990) 4 SCC 239
[7]     (1984) 3 SCC 161
[8]     (2013) 8 SCC 154
[9]     (1998) 4 SCC 409
[10]   (1991) 3 SCC 655
[11]    (2012) 7 SCC 80

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