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Union of India Vs. P.S. Gill [27/11/19]

Section

Union of India Ors. Vs. P.S. Gill

[Criminal Appeal No. 404 of 2013]

L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.

1. The Union of
India is in Appeal against the judgment of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Principal
Bench, New Delhi (hereinafter, ‘the Tribunal’) quashing the
order dated 23.02.2010, by which General Court Martial was convened against the
Respondent.

2. In the year 2005,
the Chief of the Army Staff directed an investigation by the Court of Inquiry
into the allegations pertaining to irregularities in procurement of ration, as
a result of which the quality of supplies for the troops was compromised. A
Court of Inquiry was convened on 10.10.2005 by the General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Western Command to identify the Army personnel
responsible for the aforementioned irregularities. Twenty-three witnesses were
examined by the Court of Inquiry. The Court of Inquiry identified Twelve Army
personnel who were prima facie responsible for the said improprieties. The
Respondent who was working as the Chief Director of Purchase (CDP), Army
Purchase Organisation, Ministry of Defence was one out of the twelve persons
against whom a prima facie case was found.
Disciplinary action was also initiated against the Respondent by the GOC-in-C,
Western Command on 14.06.2006 which was challenged by the Respondent by filing
a Writ Petition in the High Court of Delhi. By an order dated 11.01.2007, the
High Court quashed the Court of Inquiry on the ground that Rule 180 of the Army
Rules, 1954 (hereinafter, ‘the Army Rules’) was violated.

However, an option was
given to the Appellants to either hold a fresh Court of Inquiry after complying
with Rule 180 of the Army Rules or to proceed directly under Rule 22 by hearing
the charge without relying on the Court of Inquiry. The Court of Inquiry was
re-constituted pursuant to the option given by the High Court. Later, the
Appellants sought a modification of the order dated 29.07.2008 and informed the
High Court that proceedings would be initiated under Rule 22 of the Army Rules
since most of the officers involved had already retired and that it would be difficult
to re-constitute a Court of Inquiry. The High Court permitted the Appellants to
proceed under Rule 22 with the condition that no reliance can be placed on the
old Court of Inquiry. The order of the Chief of the Army Staff by which
cognizance was taken of the offences and the attachment order issued on 26.09.2008
were the subject matter of another Writ Petition filed by the Respondent inthe High Court of
Delhi, which was dismissed on 03.10.2008.

3. A hearing of the
charge under Rule 22 against the Respondent was convened on 08.12.2008 and
recording of summary of evidence under Rule 23 of the Army Rules was ordered
against the Respondent on 24.12.2008. The Commanding Officer of the Respondent
i.e. General Officer Commanding (GOC), 15 Infantry Division found that no offence
was prima facie made out against the Respondent. The said view was approved by the GOC, 15 Corps on 28.04.2009.
In the meanwhile, the Respondent retired on attaining the age of superannuation
on 31.05.2009. However, Section 123 of the Army Act, 1950 was invoked by the
Appellants to continue the proceedings against the Respondent. The GOC-in-C,
Western Command examined the matter and the recommendations made by the GOC, 15
Infantry Division and GOC, 15 Corps. He disagreed with the views taken by the
GOC, 15 Infantry Division and GOC, 15 Corps and arrived at a conclusion that a prima facie case was made out
against the Respondent.

An attempt was made by the Respondent to challenge the findings of the GOC-in-C, Western Command, but in vain. The General Court Martial was convened
by a letter dated 23.02.2010. The Respondent filed O.A. No.147 of 2010, assailing
the validity of the order convening the General Court Martial. He also sought
for quashing the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry, summary of evidence and
the conclusion of the GOC-in-C, Western Command holding him prima facie guilty. He
further questioned the invocation of Section 123 of the Army Act against him to
continue the proceedings even after his retirement. He also sought promotion to
the rank of Major General along with his batchmates.

4. The Tribunal held
that a prima facie case to proceed against the Respondent by a General Court Martial was not made out.
The Tribunal was of the opinion that even if the entirety of evidence of the
prosecution is taken to be true, no offence was made out against the
Respondent. The Appellants made an attempt to obtain leave to Appeal under
Section 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 (hereinafter, ‘the Act’) to approach
this Court, which was not entertained. Aggrieved by the judgment of the Tribunal,
the above Appeal is filed.

5. The Charges
against the Respondent are as follows:

“First
Charge

AA Sec 52 (f)
SUCH AN OFFENCE AS IS MENTIONED IN CLAUSE (f) OF SECTION 52 OF THE ARMY ACT,
WITH INTENT TO DEFRAUD in that he, at New Delhi, on 15 Mar 2005, which came to
the knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25 Sep 2008,
while performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army Purchase
Organization, Ministry of Defence, contrary to Army Purchase
Organization, Ministry of Defence, Department of Defence Consolidated Order
no.3 of 1987, with intent to defraud, approved addition of two more tendering
stations (namely Gadarwara, District Narsingpur (MP) and Narsingpur (MP) in
Acceptance of Tender for Risk Purchase Contract No.J-13028/1/4-03/45- RP/2005-PUR
III dated 28 Feb 2005 for Masur Whole awarded to M/s. GREEN FED (Gujrat
Co-operative Grain Grower’s Federation Ltd.,) after issue of Acceptance of Tender
on the last day of Delivery Period.

Second
Charge

AA Sec 63
(Alternative to first charge) AN ACT PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER AND MILITARY
DISCIPLINE in that he, at New Delhi, on 15 Mar 2005, which came to the
knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25 Sep 2008, while
performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army Purchase
Organization, Ministry of Defence, contrary to Army Purchase Organization,
Ministry of Defence, Department of Defence Consolidated Order no.3 of 1987,
improperly approved addition of two more tendering stations (namely Gadarwara,
District Narsingpur (MP) and Narsingpur (MP) in Acceptance of Tender for Risk Purchase Contract
No. J-13028/1/4-03/45-RP/2005- PUR III dated 28 Feb 2005 for Masur Whole
awarded to M/s. GREEN FED (Gujrat Co-operative Grain Grower’sFederation Ltd)
after issue of Acceptance of Tender on the last day of Delivery Period.

THIRD CHARGE

AA SEC. 52(f)
SUCH AN OFFENCE AS IS MENTIONED IN CLAUSE (f) OF SECTION 52 OF THE ARMY ACT,
WITH INTENT TO DEFRAUD in that he, at New Delhi, on or about 29 July 2005,
which came to the knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25
Sep 2008, while performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army
Purchase Organization, Ministry of Defence, and being aware that para 4(VI) of
No. J11011/1/2000-CDN, Govt of India, Min of Def, APO Guidelines to prevent
legal complications dt 30 Mar 2000 prohibited any deviation from ASC Specification and Price reduction
in Risk Purchase contracts, with intent to defraud acquiesced with decision of
Director General of Supply and Transport vide letter
No.69642/5/1-05/163-RP/05/Q/ST-7 dt 29 Jul 2005 granting relaxation to M/s
Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd in a Risk Purchase Contract Acceptance Tender
No. J-13075/5/163/2005-PUR III dt 27 Jun 2005 for 350/400 grains per 100 gms of
Kabli Chana on price reduction of 0.5% instead of 300-350 grains per 100 gms as
stipulated in Revised ASC specification No.97.

FOURTH
CHARGE

AA SEC. 63
(Alternative to third charge) AN OMISSION PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER AND
MILITARY DISCIPLINE in that he, at New Delhi, on or about 29 July 2005, which came
to the knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25 Sep 2008,
while performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army Purchase Organisation,
Ministry of Defence and being aware that para 4(VI) of No.
J-11011/1/2000/CDN, Govt of India, Min of Def, APO Guidelines to prevent legal
complications dt 30 Mar 2000 prohibited any deviation from ASC Specification
and Price reduction in Risk Purchase contracts, improperly acquiesced with
decision of Director General of Supply and Transport vide letter No. 69642/5/1-05/163-RP/05/Q/ST-7
dt 29 Jul 2005 granting relaxation to M/s Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd in a Risk Purchase Contract
Acceptance Tender No. J-3075/5/163/2005-PUR III dt 27 Jun 2005 for 350-400 grains
per 100 gms of Kabli Chana on price reduction of 0.5% instead of
300-350 grains per 100 gms as stipulated in Revised ASC specification No.97.

FIFTH CHARGE

AA SEC. 52(f)
SUCH AN OFFENCE AS IS MENTIONED IN CLAUSE (f) OF SECTION 52 OF THE ARMY ACT,
WITH INTENT TO DEFRAUD in that he, at New Delhi, on or about 23 Aug 2005, which
came to the knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25 Sep
2008, while performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army Purchase
Organization, Ministry of defence, and being aware that para 4(VI) of No.
J11011/1/2000-CDN, Govt of India, Min of Def, APO Guidelines to prevent legal complications
dt 30 Mar 2000 prohibited any deviation from ASC Specification and Price
reduction in Risk Purchase contracts, with intent to defraud acquiesced with
decision of Director General of Supply and Transport vide letter
No.69644/7/4-05/165-R/05/Q/ST-7 dt 23 Aug 2005 granting relaxation to M/s MMTC
in a Risk Purchase Contract Acceptance Tender No. J13075/7/165/2005-PUR III dt 27 Jun
2005 for 350-400 grains per 100 gms of Kabli Chana on price reduction of 0.5%
instead of 300-350 grains per 100 gms as stipulated in Revised ASC specification
No. 97.

SIXTH CHARGE

AA SEC. 63
(Alternative to fifth charge) AN OMISSION PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER AND
MILITARY DISCIPLINE in that he, at New Delhi, on or about 23 Aug 2005, which came
to the knowledge of the authority competent to initiate action on 25 Sep 2008,
while performing the duties of Chief Director of Purchase, Army Purchase Organisation,
Ministry of Defence and being well aware that para 4(VI) of No. J11011/1/2000/CDN, Govt of India, Min of Def, APO Guidelines to prevent legal complications dt 30 Mar 2000 prohibited any deviation from ASC
Specification and Price reduction in Risk Purchase contracts, improperly
acquiesced with decision of Director General of Supply and Transport vide
letter No. 69644/7/4-05/165-R/05/Q/ST-7 dt 23 Aug 2005 granting relaxation to
M/s MMTC in a Risk Purchase Contract Acceptance Tender No.
J-13075/7/165/2005-PUR III dt 27 Jun 2005 for 350-400 grains per 100 gms of Kabli
Chana on price reduction of 0.5% instead of 300-350 grains per 100 gms as
stipulated in Revised ASC specification No. 97.”

6. The Tribunal,
being aware of the law that it is only the probative value of the material on
record that has to be looked into at the time of framing of charge, proceeded
to decide as to whether a prima facie case is made out. In respect of the first
charge which is related to the addition of two more tendering stations namely
Gadarwara and Narsingpur, Madhya Pradesh, the Tribunal examined the exhibits
that were placed on record in support of the said charges. The Tribunal held
that the addition of two tendering stations was not within the jurisdiction of
the Respondent. Brigadier P.P.S. Bal of CDP, Army Purchase Organisation, Army
Headquarters, New Delhi in his testimony stated that he was aware of the
consolidated order No.3 of 1987 permitting the inclusion of two additional
tendering stations. Moreover, a decision was taken by the competent authority
that there should be additional tendering stations for which there was no objection
from the audit authorities or by the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts
(PCDA). The Tribunal further held that no monetary benefit was derived by the Respondent by
adding two tendering stations and there was no extra expenditure borne out by
the Appellants due to the addition of two new stations.

7. In so far as the
second charge is concerned, which deals with the extension of the delivery
period and the issue of final performance notice, the Tribunal was of the opinion
that there is nothing on record to substantiate any act or omission on the part
of the Respondent by which the supplier was benefited. Moreover, evidence suggested
that extra expenditure was incurred by the supplier for transportation. The
Tribunal opined that there was no violation of any Government instructions. The
evidence of DW-1, Mr. P.V.D. Prasada Rao, Deputy Secretary to the Government of
India, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture Cooperation,
New Delhi was recorded in the summary of evidence and was perused by the
Tribunal. It was concluded that there was no foundation even to prima facie show the lapses
on the part of the Respondent.

8. Deviation from
ASC specifications and price reduction in risk purchase contract was the
subject matter of charges Nos.3 to 6. After pursuing the evidence of PW-1,
Brigadier PPS Bal and PW-2, Col. Ambrish Malhotra, the Tribunal accepted the
contention of the Respondent that Director General of Supplies and Transport
(DGST) was the sole authority to grant relaxation of specifications and the Respondent
who was a CDP did not have the power to over-rule the decision of DGST. For the
aforesaid reasons, the submission of the Appellants that the Respondent was under
an obligation to protest the violation of guidelines by the DGST was not
accepted by the Tribunal. Even the seventh charge pertaining to the issuance of
letters on 02.08.2005, 12.09.2005 and 13.09.2005 without taking into account
the existing guidelines regarding the price reduction in R.P. contracts was held in favour of the Respondent by the Tribunal. On the basis of the above evidence, the Tribunal found that no prima facie case was made out
against the Respondent and the charges framed against him were found
unsustainable. Consequently, the ncharges were quashed.

9. Ms. Diksha Rai,
learned counsel appearing for the Appellant contended that the judgment of the
Tribunal is vitiated due to a jurisdictional error. According to her, the O.A.
in this case was filed under Sections 14 and 15 of the Act against an order by
which the Court Martial was convened. The Tribunal, according to Ms. Rai, did
not have jurisdiction to entertain the O.A. at the interlocutory stage. She
relied on the statement of objects and reasons of the Act to submit that
jurisdiction is conferred on the Tribunal only for adjudication of complaints
and disputes regarding service matters and appeals arising out of the verdicts
of the Court Martial. According to her, a verdict is a final judgment or order
passed by the Court Martial and as such, an order by which the General Court
Martial was convened cannot be the subject matter of an appeal before the
Tribunal. On the merits of the case, she contended that the Tribunal has
transgressed its limit by delving deep into the merits of the case which can be
done only by the Court Martial.

10. Mr. K. Ramesh,
learned counsel for the Respondent argued that Section 14 of the Act provides
that the Tribunal shall exercise all jurisdiction, powers and authorities exercisable
by all Courts (except the Supreme Court or the High Courts exercising
jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution), in relation to
service matters. Mr. Ramesh further submitted that according to Section 14 (2),
any person aggrieved by an order pertaining to any service matter may make an
application to the Tribunal. He submitted that jurisdiction of the Tribunal
cannot be curtailed on pedantic grounds and the order by which General Court
Martial was convened was rightly set aside by the Tribunal.

11. Sections 14 and
15 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 which are relevant for adjudication
of the dispute in this case are as follows:

“14.
Jurisdiction, powers and authority in service matters.-(1) Save as
otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Tribunal shall exercise, on and
from the appointed day, all the jurisdiction, powers and authority, exercisable
immediately before that day by all courts (except the Supreme Court or a High
Court exercising jurisdiction under articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution)
in relation to all service matters.

(2) Subject to
the other provisions of this Act, a person aggrieved by an order pertaining to
any service matter may make an application to the Tribunal in such form and
accompanied by such documents or other evidence and on payment of such fee as may
be prescribed.

(3) On receipt of
an application relating to service matters, the Tribunal shall, if satisfied
after due inquiry, as it may deem cessary, that it is fit for adjudication by
it, admit such application; but where the Tribunal is not so satisfied, it may
dismiss the application after recording its reasons in writing.

(4) For the
purpose of adjudicating an application, the Tribunal shall have the same powers
as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908),
while trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely-

(a) summoning and
enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the
discovery and production of documents;

(c) receiving
evidence on affidavits;

(d) subject to
the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of
1872), requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document
from any office;

(e) issuing
commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;

(f) reviewing its
decisions;

(g) dismissing an
application for default or deciding it ex parte;

(h) setting aside
any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it
ex parte; and

(i) any other
matter which may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(5) The Tribunal
shall decide both questions of law and facts that may be raised before it.

15. Jurisdiction, powers and authority in matters of appeal against court martial:-

(1) Save as
otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the Tribunal shall exercise, on and
from the appointed day, all the jurisdiction, powers and authority exercisable under
this Act in relation to appeal against any order, decision, finding or sentence
passed by a court martial or any matter connected therewith or incidental
thereto.

(2) Any person
aggrieved by an order, decision, finding or sentence passed by a court martial
may prefer an appeal in such form, manner and within such time as may be
prescribed.

(3) The Tribunal
shall have power to grant bail to any person accused of an offence and in
military custody, with or without any conditions which it considers necessary:
Provided that no accused person shall be so released if there appears
reasonable ground for believing that he has been guilty of an offence
punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

(4) The Tribunal
shall allow an appeal against conviction by a court martial where-

(a) the finding
of the court martial is legally not sustainable due to any reason whatsoever;
or

(b) the finding
involves wrong decision on a question of law; or

(c) there was a
material irregularity in the course of the trial resulting in miscarriage of
justice, but, in any other case, may dismiss the appeal where the Tribunal considers
that no miscarriage of justice is likely to be caused or has actually resulted
to the appellant: Provided that no order dismissing the appeal by the Tribunal
shall be passed unless such order is made after recording reasons therefor in
writing.

(5) The Tribunal
may allow an appeal against conviction, and pass appropriate order thereon.

(6)
Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section,
the Tribunal shall have the power to-

(a) substitute
for the findings of the court martial, a finding of guilty for any other
offence for which the offender could have been lawfully found guilty by the court
martial and pass a sentence afresh for the offence specified or involved in
such findings under the provisions of the
Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950) or the Navy Act, 1957 (62 of 1957) or the Air Force
Act, 1950 (45 of 1950), as the case may be; or

(b) if sentence
is found to be excessive, illegal or unjust, the Tribunal may-

(i) remit the
whole or any part of the sentence, with or without conditions;

(ii) mitigate the
punishment awarded;

(iii) commute
such punishment to any lesser punishment or punishments mentioned in the Army
Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), the Navy Act, 1957 (62 of 1957) and the Air Force Act,
1950 (45 of 1950), as the case may be;

(c) enhance the
sentence awarded by a court martial: Provided that no such sentence shall be
enhanced unless the appellant has been given an opportunity of being heard;

(d) release the
appellant, if sentenced to imprisonment, on parole with or without conditions;

(e) suspend a
sentence of imprisonment;

(f) pass any
other order as it may think appropriate.

(7)
Notwithstanding any other provisions in this Act, for the purposes of this
section, the Tribunal shall be deemed to be a criminal court for the purposes
of sections 175, 178, 179, 180, 193, 195, 196 or 228 of the Indian Penal Code
(45 of 1860) and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of
1974).”

12. It is also
relevant to examine Section 3 (o) of the Act

which defines ‘service
matters’ which is as under:

“(o) “service
matters”, in relation to the persons subject to the Army Act, 1950 (46 of
1950), the Navy Act, 1957 (62 of 1957) and the Air Force Act, 1950 (45 of
1950), mean all matters relating to the conditions of their service and shall
include-

(i) remuneration
(including allowances), pension and other retirement benefits;

(ii) tenure,
including commission, appointment, enrolment, probation, confirmation,
seniority, training, promotion, reversion, premature retirement, superannuation,
termination of service and penal deductions;

(iii) summary
disposal and trials where the punishment of dismissal is awarded;

(iv) any other
matter, whatsoever, but shall not include matters relating
to-

(i) orders issued
under section 18 of the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), sub-section (1) of section
15 of the Navy Act, 1957 (62 of 1957) and section 18 of the Air Force Act, 1950
(45 of 1950); and

(ii) (ii) transfers
and postings including the change of place or unit on posting whether
individually or as a part of unit, formation or ship in relation to the persons
subject to the Army Act, 1950 (46 of 1950), the Navy Act, 1957 (62 of 1957) and
the Air Force Act, 1950 (45 of 1950);

(iii) (iii) leave
of any kind;

(iv) (iv) summary
court martial except where the punishment is of dismissal or imprisonment for more
than three months;

13. At the outset, it
is relevant to note that the O.A. was filed both under Sections 14 and 15 of
the Act. Section 15 confers jurisdiction and power on the Tribunal to entertain
appeal against any order, decision, finding or sentence passed by a Court
Martial.

14. Section 15 (2) of
the Act provides for an appeal which can be filed by the person aggrieved by an
order, decision, finding or sentence passed by a Court Martial. The order challenged
in the OA in this case is a proceeding by which the General Court Martial was
convened. As there was no order, decision, finding or sentence by the Court
Martial, an appeal under Section 15 per se is not maintainable.

15. Section 14
enables a person aggrieved to make an application to the Tribunal in any
service matter. ‘Service matters’ are defined in Section 3 (o) to mean all
matters relating to the conditions of their service, which shall include
termination of service, inter alia. There are some matters which are excluded from the purview of
the definition of ‘service matters’. There is no dispute in this case that the
said exclusions do not come into play.

16. Any matter
relating to the conditions of service falls within the definition of ‘service
matters’ under Section 3 (o) of the Act and can be the subject matter of an application
filed before the Tribunal. ‘Conditions of service’ mean those conditions which
regulate the holding of a post by any person right from the time of his appointment
till his retirement and even after his retirement
including pension etc. Therefore, conditions of service also include dismissal
from service.1

17. The words ‘relating
to’ appearing before the words ‘conditions of service’ in the definition of ‘service
matters’ in Section 3 (o) of the Act should be given a wide interpretation.2 In Mansukhlal
Dhanraj Jain v. Eknath Ogale (supra) this Court referred to Blacks’
Law Dictionary where ‘relate’ was defined as under: “to stand in
some relation; to have bearing or concern; to
pertain; refer; to bring into association with or connection with; ‘with to’.”

18. It is clear from
the above that any proceeding which leads to an order of termination would fall
within the expression ‘relating to conditions of service’. In any event, the
proceedings initiated against the Respondent cannot be said to
be not related to his service. A final order to be passed by the General Court
Martial, apart from the imposition of other penalties, might have led to the termination of the service
of the Respondent.

19. We have no doubt
in our mind that Section 14 of the Act which confers jurisdiction over service
matters of the Army personnel should receive wide construction. This Court had
held that an interpretation which confers jurisdiction should be preferred over
an interpretation which takes away jurisdiction3.

20. We are also
conscious that the object with which the Act was made is to provide
adjudication of complaints and disputes regarding service matters and not only
appeals against the verdicts of the Court Martial. It is trite law that
statement of objects and reasons can be used as a tool for interpretation4. The sequitur of
the above discussion is that the impugned judgment of the Tribunal does not
suffer from lack of jurisdiction.

21. Regarding the
charges sought to be framed against the Respondent, we do not find any error in
the approach of the Tribunal.
The material on record was perused by the Tribunal to come to a conclusion that
no prima facie case is made out
against the Respondent. We do not see any reason to interfere with the said
findings.

22. Accordingly, the
Appeal is dismissed.

………………………….J. [L. NAGESWARA RAO]

………………………….J. [HEMANT GUPTA]

New Delhi,

November 27, 2019

1 State of Maharashtra v. Marwanjee Desai, (2002) 2 SCC 318

2 Mansukhlal Dhanraj Jain v. Eknath Ogale, (1995) 2 SCC 665

3 Mantri Technozone v. Forward Foundation, 2019 SCC Online SC 322 (3JB)

4 S.S. Bola v. B.D. Sharma (1997) 2 SCC 522, State of Maharashtra v. Marwanjee F. Desai, (2002) 2 SCC 318

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