CASE ANALYSIS

BHIM SINGH V. STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

INTRODUCTION
An arrest made without reasonable suspicion and the individual arrested is concerned in a cognizable offence, can give rise to a claim
for damages for false or wrongful imprisonment. Considering the needs of the day where  illegal arrest is made without any rhyme or
reason and with total abuse of the power, Courts are not lagging behind in awarding a suitable compensation and exemplary cost to the
ultimate sufferer in such a scenario . In such situations, Courts are not supposed to remain silent spectators. For the wrongful arrest of
the group of persons under section 151of Criminal Procedure Code, the police had been directed to pay Rs.10000 as a compensation
to every individual that was arrested. Where it is shown that an arrested individual ,with mischievous and malicious intent , the Court
shall have the power to compensate the sufferer by granting suitable monetary compensation and exemplary cost. The Constitutional
safeguard for the protection of arrested persons is in general violated by police officials and sometimes, Magistrate may also neglect to
act in accordance with the law and such a situation arose in Bhim Singh vs. State.

FACTS OF THE CASE
Mr. Bhim Singh, an MLA of Jammu and Kashmir was arrested and was detained in police custody and was deliberately prevented
from attending sessions of the legislative assembly that were held on 11th September, 1985. He was arrested on an intervening night
between 9th and 10th September 1985 by the Quiz kunda police station’s officer , on an allegation that a case under section 153A of
Ranbir Penal Code has been registered against him for delivering an inflammatory speech at the public gathering held near parade
ground, Jammu on 8th September 1985. He was not produced before the Magistrate till 13th September. As his whereabouts were not
known, a writ of habeas corpus was filed in the supreme court by his wife. On inquiry of the Supreme Court, it was found that Mr.
Bhim Singh was illegally detained by the police, aided by collusion and by a casual attitude with the Magistrate, who ordered for
remand without production of the arrested person before him. The Court pointed out that the Magistrate acted without proper sense of
responsibility for personal liberty and the police arrested the imprisoned with malicious intent and it certainly was a gross violation of
the constitutional right of the accused person under article 21 and 22(2).

JUDGEMENT BY THE COURT
After hearing the arguments of both the parties and taking into consideration the facts of the case , the honorable Supreme court has
observed that the law enforcement officials acted in the most arbitrary way and ruled “if the non-public liberty of a member of
the legislature is to be treated within such fashion ,one can only think of what may happen to lesser mortals”. Moving forward ,the
apex court reminded the duties of “police officials who are , the custodians of law and order within any state should have the
best respect for private liberty of citizens and will not float the laws by stopping to such absurd acts of lawlessness. Custodians of law
and order must not become the predators of civil liberties. Their duty is to safeguard .” Chinnappa Reddy J. and Khalid J. followed the
choice of Supreme Court in Rudul Shah and Sebastian Hongray cases and expressed their view that , when someone involves us with

the complaint that he has been arrested with mischievous and malicious intentions ,where  his Constitutional and legal rights were
invaded, the malice and invasion might not be washed away by his being unfettered. The petitioner for such gross violation of the
fundamental rights granted to him by the constitution of our country ,was awarded monetary compensation by way of exemplary
costs. Within the cases of ‘ Rudul Shah v. State of Bihar and Anr.’ and within the case of ‘ Sebastian Hongray v. UOI, it has been
 noticed that just in case of such a violation of the basic rights provided by the Constitution, it is necessary to compensate the victim
by way of exemplary costs. The respondent, the State of Jammu and Kashmir was ordered to pay to the petitioner Rs.5000 within 2
months starting from the date of the judgment. The number was to be deposited with the Registrar of the Court which might then be
paid to the petitioner
ANALYSIS
The tort of false imprisonment is one of the most severe kinds of human rights violations. The Indian socio-legal system is based on
non-violence, mutual respect and human dignity of an individual. Even prisoners have human rights because, the prison torture is not
the last drug in the Justice Pharmacopoeia but a confession of failure to do justice to a man alive . In fact, the same is recognized by
Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 20 with its sub-clauses re-enforces this and seeks to protect convicts from being held
down due to ex post facto laws (Art. 20 (a)), double jeopardy (Art. 20 (b)) and self-incrimination (Art. 20 (c)).
The right of a person to personal liberty, freedom, and life with dignity has been guaranteed and safe guarded by the Constitution
under Articles 20 and 21 and cannot be abrogated even during an emergency, and false imprisonment is incongruous of the same
situation. The fact that a convict is imprisoned and has to serve a sentence, doesn’t give the jail authorities any right to trouble or
torment him unnecessarily. It is a false notion that the prisoner subject to intolerable hardships is remediless. The term of
imprisonment is a decisive and vital factor that is to be considered in order to compute and award damages. And while awarding
damages for false imprisonment physical or mental injury has to be kept in mind. The mere fact that the person has been imprisoned
raises the claim of nominal or compensatory damages, if no other harm was caused to the plaintiff. If the person is unlawfully

confined or tormented by any police officer or government officer, then he/she or any person on his behalf can file for the writ of
habeas corpus. The writ ensures the liberty of the person who has been confined. The person who is about to be falsely arrested or
imprisoned can also use reasonable force in order to prevent false arrest. He can use this force for self-defense but has to make sure
that the force used is reasonable based on the circumstances.

CONCLUSION
Social and economic justice is the signature tune of the Indian Constitution. It guarantees and protects fundamental rights that cannot
be ordinarily derogated from. To protect these rights, the Constitution has provided for writ remedies enforceable by the High Courts
and the Supreme Court of India . Often these rights are violated by the state, though in some cases private parties may also be
involved. An important dimension of these remedies is the award of compensation as part of the relief that can be granted to the
affected person. This arises from the fact that not only does the state have a legal duty in protecting the rights guaranteed, but also a
social duty to compensate the affected individuals or parties when the state violates any of these rights. Through various decisions of
the Courts in India, it may be stated that this dream of human rights enthusiasts is now an obligation of the state. The rights have been
interpreted to imply a contract between the State and the citizens, a breach of which might be regressive monetarily.

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