The facts of this case says as Mr. Bhim Singh, Member of Parliament for Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested and detained by the police and deliberately prevented from attending the sessions of the Legislative Assembly which were to be held on September 11, 1985. He was arrested overnight on September 9-10, 1985, by Police Station Officer, alleging that a case under Section 153A of Ranbir Penal Code was filed against him for giving an inciting / charming speech during the ‘a public meeting held near the parade ground, Jammu on September 8, 1985. He was not produced before the Magistrate until September 13. There was also a voting session at the assembly, and he was not able to vote as he was not allowed to go, where his vote was very crucial but the person to whom he wanted to give the vote won but his right to vote was infringed.
According to the investigation of the Supreme Court, it was found that Mr. Bhim Singh was illegally detained by the police, assisted by collusion or by a casual attitude towards the judge who issued the arrest warrant without warning. The court pointed out that the judge acted without any sense of responsibility or genuine concern for individual freedom and that the police arrested people in detention with malicious intent and this is certainly a clear violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights under section 21 and 22 (2).
Again decided by court says in the writ petition filed under Article 32, the court held that the law condemns such authoritarian acts. The court also said that there was a clear case of violation of constitutional rights by the Police, a servant of the State government; in turn making the State responsible. The court pointed out that ‘the police officers who are the custodians of law and order should not become depredators of civil liberties and that their duty is to protect and not to abduct.”
But it simultaneously also recognized the fact that the police officers were mere minions and the real ‘responsibility laid elsewhere’ in the upper rungs of the government. Like in tort cases, monetary compensation of Rs. 50,000 was announced for the petitioner. This case, hence, in a way weakened the doctrine of sovereign immunity by ensuring that both the State and the citizens are at the same level with respect to law enforcement. Therefore, the principle of monetary compensation is applied in cases where both the State and its citizens are the wrongdoers.
The ratio decidendi of the case is Injuria sine damno. It means violation of legal right without causing any harm, loss or damage to the plaintiff. It is actionable per se which means there is no need to prove that as a consequence of an act, the plaintiff has suffered any harm. For a successful action, the only thing that has to be proved that the plaintiff’s legal right has been violated. Here the plaintiff’s legal right were violated.
He was deprived of his constitutional right to attend the assembly session and violation of fundamental right to personal liberty. He argued that he was not produced before a magistrate within a requisite time period. It was held that this was the violation of his fundamental rights. As the plaintiff’s legal rights were infringed. Defendant was held liable and was ordered to pay RS 50,000/- as exemplary damages by supreme court.
The illegal act of imprisonment is one of the most serious human rights violations. He was deprived of the constitutional right to participate in parliamentary meetings and violated the basic right to personal liberty. This case raised several prohibitions against detention by the troops. Just because a person is accused of making a mistake does not mean that they have lost all their basic rights.
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