SC ratings are not an ordinary measurement and should be used sparingly
In this roundup of the Court’s judgments, we examine the Supreme Court’s observations and guidance on why the externation order is not an ordinary measure and should only be used sparingly. , on the States’ responsibility to collect quantifiable data regarding insufficient representation of SCs and STs before providing reservations in promotions, on the seriousness and nature of the offenses alleged against the accused are important factors when consideration of a request for release on bail, etc.
SC: The extern order is not an ordinary measure and should be used sparingly and in extraordinary circumstances
In Deepak S/o Laxman Dongre v State of Maharashtra, the appellant who resided in Jalna district, Maharashtra was ordered to withdraw out of the district boundary within 5 days for a period of two years . The order was made by the competent authority invoking the powers under the Maharashtra Police Act 1951 on the grounds that the appellant’s activities were very dangerous and the offenses recorded against him under the Penal Code India (IPC) were of a grave and serious nature which caused unrest to the general public. The order was challenged in the High Court which dismissed the petition.
At the hearing of the appeal, the Supreme Court (SC) bench consisting of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka observed that the effect of the externation order is to deprive a citizen of his right fundamental to freedom of movement throughout India. Therefore, the restriction imposed by the adoption of an externation order must pass the test of reasonableness. Previously, the Court had held that the reasons which necessitate or justify the adoption of an extraordinary order of externation arise from extraordinary circumstances. The bench also stated the following:
Furthermore, the Chamber observed that there must be objective evidence on the basis of which the competent authority must register its satisfaction that the movements or acts of any person cause or are intended to cause alarm, danger or damage. to people or property.
Noting the facts of the case, the panel said the non-enforcement of spirit is apparent on reading the record and that the orders were given casually in a cavalier manner. Considering that the competent authority issued an order for the maximum allowable period of two years, the Court added that the externation order must reveal an application of the spirit and must record its subjective satisfaction as to the necessity of issue such an order. Stating that the High Court failed to notice that an externation order was not an ordinary measure and should be used sparingly and in extraordinary circumstances, the Supreme Court quashed the externation order and judgment of the High Court.
SC: States should collect quantifiable data regarding insufficient representation of SCs and STs before providing reservations in promotions
In the case of Jarnail Singh v Lachhmi Narain Gupta and other related issues, the Bench of Supreme Court Justices L Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai heard a series of motions arising from judgments of different high courts regarding booking policies since 2010.
The Court held that there is no fixed criterion to identify equality, justice and efficiency which are variable factors, and it depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. Citing previous cases, the Court said it could establish no criteria to determine the adequacy of the representation of SCs and STs in promotion positions to provide a booking. The Court also held that it is for the State to assess the insufficient representation of SCs and STs in promotion posts, taking into account the relevant factors and that the Court is not persuaded to express an opinion.
The Court required that before providing for a reservation in promotions to an executive, the State collect quantifiable data concerning the insufficient representation of SCs and STs. Furthermore, he added that the collection of such information should relate to the grade/category of posts for which the promotion is requested and not to the entire service or “grade”/”group”, otherwise it would not any sense. Frame is defined as-
Furthermore, the Court observed that almost all parties had unanimously requested a periodic review of the data concerned, which the Court confirmed. However, the Court refused to set a deadline and left it to the Government to decide.
SC: The seriousness and nature of the offenses with which the accused is charged are important factors when considering the application for bail
In Manno Lal Jaiswal v. State of Uttar Pradesh, the Appellant’s son was killed by the accused persons named in the FIR by attacking him with a sword, a hockey stick and a cane. Noting this, the session court denied the bail application. However, the defendants applied to the High Court to release them on bail. Applying wrong facts, the High Court released them on bail. The plaintiff, the father of the deceased then seized the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Panel of Judges, comprising Judges MR Shah and Judge Sanjiv Khanna, observed that the High Court applied the wrong facts and failed to take into consideration the gravity and nature of the offenses committed by the accused. Noting that the High Court failed to allude (refer) to the relevant facts and/or considerations at all when granting bail, the Chamber also held the following:
The Apex Court reiterated that the relevant considerations when considering a bail application are
- Nature of the seriousness of the offense
- The character of the evidence and the particular circumstances of the accused
- Likelihood of the accused fleeing justice
- The impact his release may have on prosecution witnesses, its impact on society
- Probability of its falsification
The High Court orders were overturned by the Court based on these factors.
SC: It is not because there has not been a major accident that we must show leniency for driving under the influence of alcohol.
In Brijesh Chandra Dwivedi (Dead) & Thr LRs vs. Sanya Sahayak & Ors, the appellant was a driver assigned to the 12th Battalion, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in Fatehpur. While on duty, he drove a truck carrying PAC personnel on Kumbh Mela Duty, which met with an accident with a jeep. During a medical examination the same day, it was found that he was driving the truck under the influence of alcohol and had caused the accident. A departmental investigation took place and the investigator proposed a sentence of dismissal. A second notice of cause was issued by the disciplinary authority and after review of his response, the penalty of dismissal was imposed.
This decision was challenged in the High Court on the grounds that the penalty of dismissal is disproportionate to the misconduct proven. The High Court dismissed the written request saying that in the facts and circumstances of the case a penalty of dismissal cannot be considered disproportionate to the misconduct. Dissatisfied with the High Court’s decision, the appellant appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. However, while waiting for the procedure, the driver died and his heirs were then cited in the file.
A bench consisting of Judges MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed that driving a truck carrying PAC personnel under the influence of alcohol is very serious misconduct and such indiscipline cannot be tolerated and that too in the disciplined army. The bench said that just because there was no major loss and it was a minor accident, it could not be grounds for leniency. Additionally, the bench stated that driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is not only a fault, but also an offence. He added that no one can be allowed to drive the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and that such misconduct of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and gambling with the lives of others is a very serious fault.
Further, the bench considering the employee’s statement that he had consumed alcohol after the accident to suppress fear, the penalty of dismissal was found to be too harsh and ordered that the matter be dealt with as mandatory retirement.
SC: Equal pay for equal work is not a fundamental right recognized for any employee
In the state of Madhya Pradesh v RD Sharma, a writ petition was filed in the High Court by RD Sharma, who had retired from the post of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) seeking review of his pension from Rs. 37,750/- to Rs. 40,000/- in accordance with the Indian Forest Service (Pays) Second Amendment Rules, 2008. The representation was rejected by the Department of Pensions and Retired Welfare and the Tribunal Central Administrative Officer of Madhya Pradesh while the MP’s High Court ruled that he was eligible for the pension of Rs. 40,000 at par with the other officers under the 2008 rules.
The state then appealed to the Supreme Court. The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela M. Trivedi observed that the High Court erred in applying the principle of “equal pay for equal work”. The Chamber added that the equation of position and the determination of salary scales is the primary function of the executive and not of the judiciary. The task of job evaluation is generally left to expert bodies such as Salary Commissions which take into consideration various factors such as relevant data and performance evaluation scales for different groups of employees.
Overturning the High Court’s decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that “equal pay for equal work” is not a fundamental right of any employee, although it is a constitutional objective to be achieved by the government. Furthermore, the Chamber noted that the Tribunal had correctly dismissed the Appellant’s request and that the Tribunal had not committed any jurisdictional error or denial of justice. She noted that the High Court’s interference with an order made by the Tribunal was unwarranted.
The featured image: Important judgments of the Court