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  • Supreme Court Of India

    Hon'ble Judge(s) Hon'ble Judge(s): Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, V. Ramasubramanian, Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha , JJJ

    All India Judges Association v. Union of India

    D.O.D : 19/05/2023

    Order Accordingly

    Constitution of India , Art.21, Art.50— Service conditions of judicial officers of District Judiciary - Updation/upgradation of - Principles which form foundation of judicial pay, pension and allowances, stated - Recommendations of the SNJPC considered and accepted - Directions issued for implementation of the same.

    In the instant case , the Supreme Court was considering the report submitted by the Second National Judicial Pay Commission (SNJPC) containing recommendations regarding Pay Structure, Pension , Family Pension , Allowances and establishment of a permanent mechanism to determine subjects of service conditions of the District Judiciary.

    The Court stated the principles evolved from consideration of three different Judicial Pay Commissions, which form the underpinning of judicial pay, pension and allowances. On the basis of said principles, recommendations made by the SNJPC were considered, accepted and consequent directions were issued for implementation of the same.

    The principles on the basis of which the recommendations were considered are as follows -The first principle is that a unified judiciary requires uniform designations and service conditions of judicial officers across the country. The second principle is that the independence of the judiciary requires that pay of judicial officers must be stand-alone and not compared to that of staff of the political executive or the legislature. The third principle is that the independence of the judiciary, which includes the District Judiciary, is part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The fourth principle is that the access to an independent judiciary enforces fundamental rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution. The fifth principle is that the essential function of all judicial officers in the District Judiciary and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court is essentially the same.

    The recommendations made by the SNJPC were considered and accepted by the Court. Consequent directions include the following - High Courts are directed to ensure uniform designations of judges across the country, in light of the pay matrix suggested by the SNJPC, as without uniform designations, issues may arise in the future for fitment of the different designations which are used in the different states. The pay matrix model, which was adopted by the 7th Central Pay Commission was adopted for Judicial Officers as well. The pay of judicial officers is increased commensurate to the pay of the Judges of High Courts and the Judiciary being independent from the Executive and as such, all aspects including pay cannot be based on the pay granted to the officers of the Executive Wing. The calculation of pension must notionally include the increment for the purposes of calculation of pension. As recommended by Commission, the formula and method to ensure that the migration from the master pay scale to the pay matrix system is smooth, is to be accepted. To achieve the goals of uniformity as well as efficiency, a uniform rate of Dearness Allowance at the rate fixed by the Central Govt. is to be fixed. The grant of 1st ACP to Civil Judge (Jr Div) be given on the basis of relaxed norms which may be devised by the High Courts. The Judges of the Family Court also be entitled to the benefit of Selection Grade and Super Time Scale as well on the principle of equal pay for equal work. The Minimum Remuneration to Special Judicial Magistrates (Second Class) and Special Metropolitan Magistrates is modified, as they cannot be considered as discharging judicial functions that are incomparable to regular Magistrates, hence, their financial independence is as much a part of judicial independence as is for regular Magistrates.

    Directions were issued to carry out necessary amendments in Service Rules of the Judicial Officers across all jurisdictions . The High Courts and the competent authorities, wherever applicable, were directed to bring the rules in conformity with the recommendations within stipulated period and file the compliance affidavits .

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  • Supreme Court Of India

    Hon'ble Judge(s) Hon'ble Judge(s): B. R. Gavai, Vikram Nath, Sanjay Karol , JJJ

    Prakash Nishad alias Kewat Zinak Nishad v. State of Maharashtra

    D.O.D : 19/05/2023

    Appeal Allowed

    (A) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.376, S.302— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.3— Rape and murder - Circumstantial evidence - Accused allegedly raped and murdered six-year-old minor girl and threw her body near Nala - Investigating Officers were changed time and again - Unexplained delay in sending samples for analysis - DNA evidence and FSL report not found reliable - None of the witnesses deposed about medical examination of accused as stipulated under S. 53A of Cr.P.C. - Lock panchanama was not prepared - Alleged disclosure statement was never read over and explained to accused in vernacular language - Accused was not residing alone at place of alleged occurrence - Room partners were not examined though they were cited as witnesses and this created gap in chain of circumstances - Chain of circumstances not established - Conviction and death sentence, set aside.

    Criminal P.C. (2 of 1974) , S.53A, S.366— AIROnline 2015 Bom 83-Reversed(Paras37383966777881)

    (B) Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.3— Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.376, S.302— Last seen theory - Proof - Six-year-old minor girl was sexually assaulted and killed by "unidentified person", after which body was thrown into Nala - Father of victim had suspicion on accused as he was residing in same 'Chawl' where victim was residing - None of the witnesses deposed that victim left house at instance of accused, nor did anyone depose about having seen accused and victim together at any point of time - Accused was not even visitor to house of father of victim - Father of victim merely stated that after having dinner , victim left home and he thought that she might have gone to neighbour's house to watch TV - Last seen theory not proved

    (C) Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.27— Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.376, S.302— Disclosure statement and recovery of incriminating articles at instance of accused - Offence of rape and murder - Contradiction in testimonies of Panch witness and Investigating Officer with regard to disclosure statement - Even, on point of recovery of underwear of victim, there was contradiction with regard to its place and numbers - Articles discovered cannot be said to be in form of discovery in terms of S.27 - House from where articles were recovered was neither owned nor exclusively possessed by accused - Room partners of accused were not examined and their complicity in commission of crime could not be ruled out - Further, disclosure statement was recorded in Marathi and Investigating Officer did not read over or explain contents of statement to accused in vernacular language which caused prejudice to the accused - Recovery of incriminating articles, not established - Disclosure statement cannot be relied upon.

    AIR 1953 SC 156-Followed(Paras31394041434749)

    (D) Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.45— Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.376, S.302— DNA report - Reliability - Offence of rape and murder - DNA analysis report stating semen of accused found on undergarments of victim and vaginal smear slide of victim - Samples of blood and semen of accused were sent for Forensic analysis - Blood of accused was not found on any article recovered by police - Only stains of semen were found on underwear of victim and her vaginal swabs - Records revealed that one set of samples was sent for chemical examination and second sample was taken a month later - No evidence to show that formalities of keeping samples safe and secure were complied with - Delay in sending samples remained unexplained - Further, doctor who conducted medical examination was not examined - There were glaring lapses in investigation of crime where six year old was assaulted on private parts of her body and medical examination of accused would have resulted in ascertainment of such assault - DNA report was not reliable.

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  • Supreme Court Of India

    Hon'ble Judge(s) Hon'ble Judge(s): V. Ramasubramanian, Pankaj Mithal , JJ

    Pankaj Singh v. Uttar Pradesh

    D.O.D : 18/05/2023

    Appeal Allowed

    Criminal P.C. (2 of 1974) , S.439— Bail - Grant of - Offence of cheating in furtherance of criminal conspiracy - Accused was arrested 11 months ago and was in custody since then - Bail was already granted to co-accused - Accused directed to be released on bail.

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  • Supreme Court Of India

    Hon'ble Judge(s) Hon'ble Judge(s): Abhay S. Oka, Rajesh Bindal , JJ

    Gian Chand v. State of Himachal Pradesh

    D.O.D : 18/05/2023

    Appeal Dismissed

    Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.304, Part II— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.3, S.45— Culpable homicide not amounting to murder - Appreciation of evidence - After verbal altercation, accused persons assaulted victim with tree branches causing his death - Since testimony of eye-witnesses was recorded 4 years after occurrence, minor contradictions or variations in their statements would be normal - All witnesses stated accused to be author of crime - Factum of dispute between parties admitted by accused in their statements as well - Medical expert opined that it was a case of homicidal death caused by blunt weapon - All eye-witnesses denied that deceased received injuries due to fall from 'thara' as suggested by accused - On other hand, four different versions were coming from side of defence as regards deceased falling from firstly 'thara' of his house, secondly 'danga' of his house, thirdly 'danga of the khalian' and fourthly 'danga of the accused' - Clinching evidence produced by prosecution proved guilt of accused - Conviction, proper.

    AIROnline 2010 HP 14-Affirmed(Paras891011)

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  • Supreme Court Of India

    Hon'ble Judge(s) Hon'ble Judge(s): Hrishikesh Roy, Manoj Misra , JJ

    Ravi Mandal v. State Of Uttarakhand

    D.O.D : 18/05/2023

    Appeal Allowed

    (A) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.300— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.118— Murder - Testimony of eye-witness - Delay in disclosure - Witness was not listed as a witness in police report/charge sheet - He gave his statement to police on an affidavit for first time after three and a half months - Only explanation offered for silence was that he felt threatened as after incident accused threatened him by saying that if he tells to anyone about what he had seen, he would meet same fate and with arrest of the two accused his fear vanished - However, facts showed that accused were arrested on 24.11.2001, yet, till 18.2.2002 no disclosure was made by him - Therefore, explanation offered by him for delay in making disclosure was not confidence inspiring - His evidence not reliable .

    Criminal Appeals Nos.54 and 59 of 2004,D/-07-04-2010 (Utr)-Reversed(Paras2324)

    (B) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.300— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.118— Murder - Presence of eyewitness on place of incident - Proof - Time of incident was an odd hour of night - To explain presence of witness at scene of crime, he stated that his parents were staying at another place and, therefore, he visited them that fateful night and on way back to his home he could witness incident - This explanation was not confidence inspiring, because his parents were not examined to corroborate visit of witness to their house at that odd hour of night - Thus, court erred in placing reliance on his testimony.

    (C) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.300— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.118— Murder - Testimony of chance witness - Credibility - Witness stated that he went out of cinema hall to ease himself because cinema hall charged money for use of toilet and thereby, he got chance to witness incident - However, gram vendor of cinema hall deposed that there were toilets in cinema hall where no money was charged for their use - Reason for police to go to residence of witness to record his statement was not disclosed by prosecution when FIR made no disclosure about his presence at scene of crime or with regard to his knowledge about the incident - Statement of witness was also not consistent with regard to place where his statement was recorded - Testimony of witness did not inspire confidence so as to sustain conviction.

    (D) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.300— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.3, S.27— Murder - Recovery of weapon - According to investigating officer, while he was looking out for accused, he received information from an informer that accused were to come to a specified place - But there was no record of receipt of said information even though it was stated to have been received few hours before action - There was no effort to rope in a public witness even though a locality, as per statement of witness was just 200 meters away from that spot - Site plan of place of arrest/recovery drawn on 06.12.2001 even though arrest was allegedly effected on 24.11.2001, which would suggest that it was an exercise to complete formality - Forensic report/ballistic report had not even been put to accused from whom country made pistol was seized - Accused was implicated subsequently in second report - Thus, evidence of alleged recovery of gun and knife from accused was unsafe to rely upon to sustain conviction.

    (E) Penal Code (45 of 1860) , S.300— Evidence Act (1 of 1872) , S.3— Murder - Proof - Murder of victim was blind murder , committed in a forest in darkness of night - There were different statements regarding who informed informant and who informed police regarding incident - Two reports were lodged wherein name of accused was replaced by another accused by developing stories and indicating that it was after thought to implicate accused into case - Inconsistencies in testimonies of witnesses on basis of which conviction could not be sustained - Prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt - Conviction set aside.

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