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  • Vshrupt Modi

Case Commentary: Bhim Singh v. The State Of J & K And Ors.

Vshrupt Modi  

NMIMS Kirit P. Mehta School of Law – Mumbai 

Abstract 

The Guardians of the Rights and the laws when itself become the infringers of it, a case like Bhim Singh v. The State of J & K and Ors comes into picture. A case which forces us to ask questions to the guardians and the lawmakers of our constitution like Are we Safe?Are we protected from the atrocities which are committed by the guardians of Rights and laws of our constitution? Is  there a requirement to introduce a new system which keeps a check on the Police and protectors of rights and laws? The case of Bhim singh v. The state of J & K and Ors. is one such case which shatters our belief in the police system of the country.This research article analyzes the case of Bhim Singh v. The state of J & K and Ors. in-depth and state the facts, issues, Arguments by both the Plaintiff and the Defendant, Judgment, at last it provides with the analysis of the case and ends with conclusion. 

Keywords : Rights, Police, Laws, Guardians  

Introduction

The situation involves false imprisonment, which is when someone or some authority willfully violates the freedom of another without a court order or the consent of the person being held captive. False incarceration is a legal and criminal offense that may be committed in both private and public confinement settings. The Indian Penal Code addresses this issue under Section 340, which addresses unjust detention. For the purpose of obtaining a petition of habeas corpus against the police, the proof of wrongful incarceration is sufficient. The courts must not remain mute and take the initiative to provide the individual who is being restricted with exceptional compensation and expenses. 

Police officers in particular, and even magistrates at times, will simply leave the scene of duty without carrying out their assigned duties. They may also violate a constitutional guarantee promising protection for arrested individuals while according them no such benefit themselves. During his trip to Srinagar to attend a session of the Legislative Assembly one day, when he was an MLA from Jammu & Kashmir, the police unlawfully detained him. The bench of Judges which heard Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu & Kashmir exemplified this in the clearest way possible: Chinnappa Reddy and V.Khalid. He says he was deprived of his constitutional rights in two ways: because the magistrate did not bring him before them within whatever is a reasonable time after they detained him and, more significantly. The Constitution was breached in both Articles 21 and 22(2).

Facts of the case  

1.     Bhim Singh is a member of Jammu and Kashmir's legislative assembly. August 17, 1985 was the first day of the budget session and Bhim Singh was expelled from Legislative Assembly that day. He also appealed both his debarment and the suspension in Jammu and Kashmir's High Court.

2.     The High Court issued a stay order on the suspension on September 9th, 1985. Bhim Singh was arrested on the night of September 9-10, 1985, around three in the morning. When he was in a place named Quazi Kund on his way to Srinagar. He was imprisoned as a result of comments that were considered seditious and divisive. At a 7 o'clock public gathering in Jammu, close to Parade Ground.

3.     Someone filed a FIR against him on September 8th, 1985, in line with section 153-A of the Ranbir Penal Code, or RPC. He was ultimately hauled before a magistrate on September

13, 1985, despite the fact that by law he was expected to presented before a court within 24 hours of being taken into custody by the police. He was remanded in police custody until that day.

4.     Despite the fact that the party he voted for won, Bhim Singh's voting rights were flagrantly violated since he was willfully and maliciously kept back in police custody and unable to participate in the assembly to cast his vote on a very critical and vital topic.

5.     Following a comprehensive inquiry into the writ of habeas corpus filed by Bhim Singh's wife Smt. Jayamala, the Supreme Court ordered the Inspector General of the Police to release Bhim Singh on bail. He was granted bail on September 16 and discharged.

6.     After further inquiry, it was established that Bhim Singh was being kept without his will and that the magistrate who authorized the detention had not even been brought before the person who had been arrested.

7.     The Magistrate handled Bhim Singh's case in a sloppy and patently unwise manner, the Supreme Court discovered. The magistrate's negligent and casual handling of the case resulted in a violation of Bhim Singh's basic rights, which are safeguarded by Articles 21 and 22(2).[i] 

Issues 

(i). Whether the victim's fundamental rights were violated by the police taking them into           Custody without presenting him before an authority under 24 hours? 

(ii). If the arrest and detention were ruled unlawful and amounted to wrongful imprisonment

Arguments by Plaintiff 

The defendant states that Bhim Singh appeared before a magistrate on September 11, 1985; the day after being brought to trial inside the jail. On September 3 and July perhaps at precisely this point in time-the sub judge was signing certificates for detention by all parties concerned whenever their appearance could only be difficult as comrades agreed over various The plaintiff's lawyer objected to all of these accusations. They admit that their customer Bhim Singh appeared before the sub-judge in Jammu on September 14, 1985 and was detained for a couple of days. In fact, they go further and note that Bhim Singh appeared before the Additional Sessions Judge after September 16th and was given bail. This is what the attorney said. Because Bhim Singh was then being held in custody, police officials abused him there.

Arguments by  Defendant 

In a local interview, police officers M. M. Khajuria and A Mir said that “the district headquarters was where Bhim Singh would obtain basic necessities things like food etc., from here we can infer to inference thence that this is why locals often came to see him there (at his club). The police control room sent them a telegram on September 10, 1985: Hold Bhim Singh and transport him there. All that the officials were told was to observe and see if Bhim Singh had successfully entered through Udhampur Regional area. They also asserted that on September 14, Bhim Singh was brought before the court by this threat when he appeared at 8 o'clock in the morning left to be arrested.” Nine days after Farooq Yacoob took over as First Class Executive Magistrate there, an order from him to bring Bhim Sing back for another day of judicial When the first two days had elapsed, the order was extended for another combination of any part from this set.

Judgment 

The judges noted that the “Law enforcement officials or the police officers acted in a very arbitrary and an autocratic manner and ruled that if an MLA's non-public liberty and freedom is to be played with, in such a manner, one can only wonder what may happen to lesser mortals.” This was Stated after hearing the arguments from both the sides and a thorough consideration of the case's facts. The Supreme Court also emphasized that “The police officers who are responsible for maintaining law and order in the state must at the very least respect the rights to privacy and freedom of their fellow citizens. They must also uphold the laws and rights that they are the only ones responsible for defending. The Supreme Court added, "Keepers of Law and Order Mustn't Become Infringers on Civil Liberties.” The magistrates Chinnappa Reddy J. also Khalid J. In a previous case involving "Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar[ii] and Sebastian M. Hongray v. Union of India[iii]," the Supreme Court made the decision that “When Someone involves us with such complaint that he has been arrested and imprisoned with malicious and mischievous intent in which his constitutional, legal and Fundamental rights were invaded, the mischief or malice and invasion might not be washed away  by his being unrestrained.”The Supreme Court also awarded Bhim Singh an amount of Rs.50,000 as a compensation which is to be paid by The State of J & K to him.

Analysis

Human rights abuses come in many forms, ranging from wrongful imprisonment to torture. Bhim Singh's constitutional rights to freedom, personal liberty and participation in session of the legislative assembly were all violated. The Bhim Singh case gives the putative tools of an unlawful Police. Everyone's basic rights aren't suddenly revoked all at once just because they have been accused of breaking the law. They're not a people behind bars. To be incarcerated is to have one right taken away from you, and wrongful imprisonment therefore violates an individual 's basic human rights: the right of self-determination; personal liberty; and life with dignity. They are guaranteed by the Constitution's Articles 21 and 22 [2]. Prison life is prison. Torture or mental and physical violence should not be inflicted on a prisoner just because he is being kept in captivity and must serve his sentence. Unless you are a person who has been imprisoned by law enforcement or some government agency against his will than habeas corpus, and not just anyone has that right. The legal instrument guarantees the freedom of this captive. “If one believes that he or she will be imprisoned, captured and so on as a result of the illegal arrest or detention--anyone has the right to use legal force necessary. He can protect himself with force, but he has to make sure that used is appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances.” 

The state in the well-known case of D. K. Basu v. West Bengal[iv]  took notice of the rules governing a person who is in remission. “The right to come before a magistrate right away Criminal Procedure Code sections 56 and 76(2) require that anybody detained be brought before a magistrate with the appropriate authority as soon as is practicable . The responsible authority is required to release the subject while not unreasonably delaying justice, and in no case should such detention be greater than twenty-four hours, according to the right to not be kept for more than twenty-four hours. The time it takes to go from the place of arrest to the magistrate's court is not included in the 24-hour time limit that has been set. The arrest is deemed as illegal if the sensational authority breaks any of these rules.”

Conclusion

In the case of Bhim Singh v. The State of J & K and Others, the Indian Supreme Court held that “Arts 22(2) and Art 21 (2) confer on every person a right to be produced before an authorized magistrate within twenty-four hours after his arrest or detention for certain purposes”; in other words accused persons are entitled at this time not The Court held that the state may not deprive these rights in an arbitrary fashion, and any restrictions on such rights must be founded on a valid ground. The Court ruling was based on the principle that fundamental right to life incorporated a more expanded individualistic concept of living and dying with dignity. In this sense therefore, not only included these latter rights as essential elements thereof, but also encompasses corollary human liberties such as private liberty from interference and protection against unjustified deprivation of physical security (detention). The Court held that any restrictions on this right must be proportionate to what serves the interests of society, and a person cannot have it unilaterally taken away from him by the state. To appreciate the scope of both the right to life and individual liberty in India, one must be acquainted with this case. Second, it is necessary to stress in reaffirming this fact that the Constitution provides for freedom of travel as a basic right.

References

[i] Shri Bhim Singh, MLA v. State of Jammu & Kashmir Ors. AIR (1986) SC 494

[ii] Rudul Sah v. State of Bihar, (1983) 4 SCC 141

[iii] Sebastian M. Hongray v. Union of India, (1984) 3 SCC 82

[iv] D.K. Basu v. West Bengal State (1997) 1 SCC 416

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