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Calcutta Gas Co. (Proprietary) Ltd. v. State of W.B.

, 1962 Supp (3) SCR 1 : AIR

1962 SC 1044

2. The facts that have given rise to this appeal may be briefly stated: Oriental Gas
Company was originally constituted by a deed of settlement dated April 25, 1853, by
the name of Oriental Gas Company, and it was subsequently registered in England
under the provisions of the English Joint Stock Companies Act, 1862. By Act 5 of 1857
passed by the Legislative Council of India, it was empowered to lay pipes in Calcutta
and its suburbs and to excavate the streets for the said purpose. By Acts of the
Legislative Council of India passed from time to time special powers were conferred
on the said Company. In 1946 Messrs Soorajmull Nagarmull, a firm carrying on
business in India, purchased 98 per cent of the shares of the said Oriental Gas
Company Limited. The said firm floated a limited liability company named Calcutta
Gas Co. (Proprietary) Limited and it was registered in India with its registered office at
Calcutta. On July 24, 1948, under an agreement entered into between Oriental Gas
Company and Calcutta Gas Company, the latter was appointed the manager of the
former Company in India for a period of 20 years from July 5, 1948. Oriental Gas
Company is the owner of the industrial undertaking, inter alia, for the production,
manufacture, supply, distribution and sale of fuel gas in Calcutta. Calcutta Gas
Company, by virtue of the aforesaid arrangement, was in charge of its general
management for a period of 20 years for remuneration. The West Bengal Legislature
passed the impugned Act and it received the assent of the President on October 1,
1960. On October 3, 1960, the West Bengal Government issued three notifications —
the first declaring that the said Act would come into force on October 3, 1960, the
second containing the Rules framed under the Act, and the third specifying October 7,
1960, as the date with effect from which the State Government would take over for a
period of five years the management and control of the undertaking of Oriental Gas
Company for the purposes of, and in accordance with, the provisions of the said Act.
The appellant i.e. Calcutta Gas Company, filed a petition under Article 226 of the
Constitution in the High Court for West Bengal at Calcutta for appropriate writs for
restraining the State Government from giving effect to the said Act and for quashing
the said notifications. Respondents 1 to 4 to the petition were the State of West Bengal
and the concerned officers, and Respondent 5 was Oriental Gas Company Limited. In
the petition, the appellant contested the constitutional validity of the Act on various
grounds, and in the counter-affidavit, the contesting respondents i.e. Respondents 1
to 4, sought to sustain its validity and also questioned the maintainability of the petition
at the instance of the appellant. Ray, J., gave the following findings on the contentions
raised before him: (1) The appellant has no legal right to maintain the petition; (2) the
appellant cannot question the validity of the Act on the ground that its provisions
infringed his fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 31 in view of Article 31-
A(1)(b) of the Constitution; (3) the West Bengal Legislature had the legislative
competence to pass the impugned Act by virtue of Entry 42 of List III of the Seventh
Schedule to the Constitution; (4) Entry 25 of List II also confers sufficient authority and
power on the State Legislature to make laws affecting gas and gas-works; and (5)
even if the Act incidentally trenches upon any production aspect, the pith and
substance of the legislation is gas and gas-works within the meaning of Entry 25 of
List II. The learned Judge rejected all the contentions of the appellant and dismissed
the petition by his order dated November 15, 1960. Hence the appeal.
Mr.X vs Hosp. Y

One Itokhu Yepthomi who was ailing from a disease which was provisionally diagnosed
as Aortic Anuerisrn was advised to go to the 'Z' Hospital at Madras and the appellant was
directed by the Government of Nagaland to accompany the said patient to Madras for
treatment. For the treatment of the above disease, Itokhu Yepthomi was posted for surgery
on May 31, 1995 which, however, was cancelled due to shortage of blood. On June 1, 1995
the appellant and one Yehozhe who was the driver of Itokhu Yepthomi were asked to
donate blood for the latter. Their blood samples Were taken and the result showed that the
appellant's blood group was A(+ve). On the next date, namely, on June 2, 1995, Itokhu
Yepthomi was operated for Aortic Anuerism and remained in the Hospital till 10th June,
1995 when he was discharged.

In August, 1995 the appellant proposed marriage to one Ms, 'Y' which was accepted and
the marriage was proposed to be held on December 12, 1995. But the marriage was called
off on the ground of blood test conducted at the respondent's hospital in which the appellant
was found to be HIV(+). The appellant went again to the respondent's hospital at Madras
where several tests were conducted and he was found to be HIV (+), Since the marriage
had been settled but was subsequently called off, several people including members of the
appellant's family and persons belonging to his community became aware of the appellant's
HlV(+) status: This resulted in severe criticism of the appellant and he was, ostracized by
the community. The appellant left Kohima (Nagaland) around November 26, 1995 and
started working and residing at Madras.
Naga People’s Movement on Human Rights
A small unruffled hamlet in Senapati district of Manipur the farthest north-eastern
State of the country. It got a big jerk on the 9th July, 1987 when 21 Assam Rifles
company post was raided by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)
hostiles. In the raid, 9 soldiers were killed and three were wounded. This apart, 120
weapons and a large quantity of ammunition were taken away. The combing
operation which followed is the subject matter of the present Civil Rule out of which
this Miscellaneous Case has arisen. The averments of the petitioner, Naga Peoples'
Movement for Human Rights are that in the wake of combing operation- "Operation
Bluebird", the armed forces have committed murders, tortures, assault, rape and
destruction and burning of houses in Oinam and surrounding villages of Senapati
district. In the writ petition, details of these atrocities have been given. By this
application, certain interim reliefs have been sought for. The one which has teen
presently pressed by Smti Haksar is relating to an enquiry by this Court about the
loss of lives, limb, torture, rape, destruction of movable and immovable properties
and other damages suffered by the people of Oinam and its neighbouring areas at
the hand of the armed forces. During the course of her submission, the learned
counsel prays that the enquiry may be by an independent commission consi sting of
one or more persons as deemed fit and proper by this Court. It has been urged that
in view of the averments made in the writ petition which clearly make out a case of
violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under articles 14, 19 (1), 21, 23, 25 and
other constitutional and legal rights of the respondents of Senapati district, the
present is a fit case where this Court should apprise it self about the excesses
committed by the armed forces on the residents of Oinam and its neighbouring
State of Haryana vs. Bhajanlal
Bench: Pandian, S.R. (J)

The First Respondent was a Minister and subsequently
Chief Minister of Haryana State. Later he became Union
Minister. On 12.11.1987 a complaint was presented before the
Haryana Chief Minister, wherein serious allegations were
levelled against the First Respondent. The main allegations
were that he accumulated huge properties worth crores of
rupees in the names of his family members, relations and
persons close to him by misusing his power and position and
by undervaluing the market price, and all those transactions
were benami in character. According to the complainant,
since the accumulation of the properties by the First Re-
spondent, in the shape of buildings, land, shares, ornaments
etc. was far beyond his legal means, an investigation should
be directed against him.
The Chief Minister's Secretariat marked the complaint to
the Director General of Police, who in turn endorsed the
same to the Superintendent of Police concerned. On the
direction from the Superintendent of Police, the SHO registered a case under Sections 161
and 165 of Indian Penal
Code, 1860 and under section 5(2) of the Prevention of
Corruption Act, 1947 and took up the investigation.
Meanwhile, the First Respondent filed a Writ Petition
before the High Court for a direction to quash the First
Information Report and for restraining the appellants from
proceeding further with the investigation. The High Court
quashed the entire criminal proceedings holding that the
allegations did not constitute a cognizable offence for
commencing lawful investigation.
Aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court, the appel-
lants preferred the present appeal by special leave, con-
tending that the allegations contained in the complaint,
either individually or collectively, constituted a cogniza-
ble offence warranting the registration of a case as contem-
plated under Section 154(1) Cr. P.C., and a thorough inves-
tigation in compliance with various statutory provisions ï7
On behalf of the Respondents, it was contended that on
account of the deep rooted political animosity and rivalry
entertained by the then Chief Minister, he used the com-
plainant, who was stooge in his hands, to file the complaint
containing false and scurrilous allegations against the
First Respondent and hence the criminal proceedings rightly
deserved to be quashed.
Md. Kalam V. State of Rajasthan, AIR (2007) SC 1813

Background facts in a nutshell are as follows: In the intervening night of 8-9th May, 1994
when Vishwas (PW-3) and his wife Renu Jain (PW-1) were sleeping in their house
situated in Mauji Colony, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur, five persons entered the house and tied
their servant Chaturbhuj who was sleeping in the basement of the house. Thereafter, the
accused also tied the mouth, hands and legs of Vishwas Jain (PW-3) and his wife Renu
(PW-1) and then bolted them inside the bathroom and having threatened them at the point
of pistal and knife, the accused looted the gold and silver ornaments, coins and cash. The
miscreants stayed in their house for about an hour. Complainant Vishwas managed to
come out of the bathroom through a window and then telephonically informed the police
personnel of Police Station, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur. On receiving the information, the
police party reached the house of complainant, where complainant submitted a written
report, whereupon a case for offence under Section 395 IPC was registered.

PUCL vs State of Maharashtra

The People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) challenged the validity of Section 33B of
the Representation of People Act, 1951. Section 33B provided that, notwithstanding a
judgment or order of the court or Election Commission, an electoral candidate is not
bound to disclose any information apart from that required under the Act. In Union
of India v. Association for Democratic Reforms, (2002) 3 S.C.R. 294, the Supreme
Court of India recognized that the right to know about electoral candidates falls
within the right to information available under the right to freedom of speech and
expression described in Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. It further
indicated that information about the criminal background of candidates, assets and
liabilities of candidates and their family members, and educational qualifications of
candidates should be available to the voters as part of their right.

The Election Commission issued directives to effect this judgment. However, Section
33B made ineffective the judgment in that case and other directives. Thus, the PUCL
challenged Section 33B as violative of Article 19(1)(a).
These two writ petitions, each filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, raise some
disquieting issues pertaining to the State of Manipur. In writ petition (criminal) No.129 of 2012, it
is stated that, over the years, a large number of people, Indian citizens, have been killed by the
Manipur Police and other security forces while they were in custody or in stage-managed
encounters or in ways broadly termed as ‘extra- judicial executions’. In writ petition (civil) No.445
of 2012, it is stated that for a very long time, the State of Manipur is declared as “disturbed area”
and is put under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, subverting the civil rights of the
citizens of the State and making it possible for the security forces to kill innocent persons with
In this order, we deal with the first writ petition, i.e., writ petition (criminal) No.129/2012.
In this writ petition it is stated that during the period May, 1979 to May, 2012, 1528 people were
killed in Manipur in extra-judicial execution. The statement is mainly based on a memorandum
prepared by ‘Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN’ and submitted to
one Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,
Mission to India, 19-30 March, 2012. The Memorandum compiles the list of 1528 people
allegedly killed unlawfully by the State Police or the security forces. The writ petitioners later on
filed “Compilation 1” and “Compilation 2”. In “Compilation 1” details are given of ten (10) cases
relating to the killings of eleven (11) persons (out of the list of 1528); in “Compilation 2”, similarly
details are given of thirteen (13) cases in which altogether seventeen (17) persons (out of the list
of 1528) are alleged to have been killed in extra judicial executions.