Janata Dal v. H. S. Chowdhary

In the Supreme Court of India
Name of the Case  Janat Dal v. H.S. Chowdhary
Citation AIR 1993 SC 892
Year of the Case  1991
Appellant  Janta Dal
Respondent H S Chowdhary
Bench/Judges  S Pandian, K J Reddy
Acts Involved  Article 51(a)
Important Sections  Section 340, Section 397/482, Section 119 CrPC


On being aggrieved by the order of the Special decide dated August eighteen, 1990, Shri Harinder Singh Chowdhary filed a criminal revision before the judicature of urban center below Sections 397/482 of the CrPC raising multiple queries of law difficult the lawfulness and validity of not solely the impugned order however additionally the terrible registration of the FIR and also the investigation carried on it by the CBI.


A short resume of the facts that have given rise to the higher than appeals and judicial writ petition would be necessary to understand the unsavory controversies created by means of public interest litigations, although we’ve got determined to relinquish solely our conclusions currently and also the elaborate reasons later so as to avoid any delay during this matter for the explanations, namely, (1) within the application for direction filed by the Union of Asian country through CBI on July twelve, 1991it’s submitted that “the Swiss authorities would take away the block order on August thirty one, 1991 and also the account holders would withdraw the massive funds, running into immeasurable greenbacks (equivalent to crores of rupees)” and prayed that the judgment is also pronounced by the tip of August 1991 lest miscarriage Page: 759of justice would be caused, and (2) that the learned further peace officer, man Altaf Ahmad showing on behalf of the Union of Asian country and CBI on August sixteen, 1991 reaffirmed the higher than statement of the Union of Asian country and requested that the CBI ought to be allowed to proceed with the investigation with none interruption or hindrance in order that the inv Q10estigation is also sped up thereby that means that the wheels of investigation already started moving on, ought to be permissible to be proceeded with untied and limitless in order that the dear proof is also obtained from country Bank through their authorities while not any loss of your time, otherwise the accounts within the Swiss Bank currently frozen is also DE frozen.


The Central Bureau of Investigation/Delhi Police Establishment/Anti-Corruption Unit-IV, national capital registered the primary info report dated January twenty two, 1990 concerning Crime No. RC 1/(A)/90.ACU-IV below Section 120-B scan with Sections 161, 162, 163, 164 and 165-A of the Indian legal code scan with Sections 5(2), 5(1)(d) and 5(2)/5(1)(c) of the interference of Corruption Act 1947 (herein noted as P.C Act) scan with Sections 409, 420, 468 and 471 of the Indian legal code against fourteen suspect of whom three square measure named, they being (1) Shri Martin Ardbo, former President of M/s A.B Bofors, Sweden (accused 1); (2) Shri Chadha alias Win Chadha, S/o Shri Assa Nand, President of M/s Anatronic General Corporation/Anatronic General firms Ltd., C/4, Main Market, Vasant Vihar, national capital (accused 3) and Shri G.P Hinduja, New Seeland House, Hay Market, London SW-1 (accused 7). the remainder of the eleven suspect square measure explicit generally as directors/employees/holders/beneficiaries of account code and public servants of the govt. of Asian country. The core of the allegations is that these suspect, named and anon., entered into a criminal conspiracy, obtained dirty gratification within the style of cash from BOFORS, a Swedish company through the agent firms/companies/persons as motive or reward for such public servants United Nations agency by corrupt or dirty means that or by otherwise venally exploitation their official position as public servants caused monetary system advantage to themselves, BOFORS, the agents et al in grant contracts to BOFORS for the provision of guns to the govt. of Asian country and within the dealings additionally committed the offences of criminal breach of trust, cheating of Union of Asian country, forgery and exploitation of solid documents etc. It seems that the CBI has commenced its investigation throughout the course of that it is recorded statements of witnesses and took into their custody numerous documents and files concerning this Bofors deal.

While it’s therefore, the CBI moved AN application before the Special choose, namely, Shri R.C religious belief stating repose alia that the investigation of Page: 760the case is to be conducted not solely in Republic of India, however additionally in Svizzera, Sweden and different countries, that a vital facet of the investigation that is to be conducted in Svizzera is to gather documentary and oral proof with reference to all aspects of the accounts in banks in Svizzera to that remittances were created by M/s A.B Bofors from Sweden, that specifically, the authorised signatories and also the beneficiaries of the same accounts need to be copied by such investigation as they’re, in fact, the final word beneficiaries of the payments created by M/s A.B Bofors which below the procedure followed by banks in Svizzera, AN authorised signer will operate AN account for the good thing about bound different persons relating to whom the authorised signer should submit bound declarations to the involved bank and, therefore, it’s terribly essential for the investigation of this case that the documentary and oral proof ought to be collected relating to this furthermore because the different aspects of the bank accounts in Svizzera. within the same application once bearing on the exchange of letters dated Gregorian calendar month twenty, 1989 between the govt of Republic of India and Svizzera for mutual help agreeing that the authorities of each the countries shall offer to every different the widest live for help within the investigation of criminal matters, it’s been explicit that the competent authority to arouse help in Republic of India and abroad is that the court/tribunal/judge or functionary sweat jurisdiction. The Director of the CBI sent asking dated Jan twenty three, 1990 and supplemented by another request dated Jan twenty six, 1990 to the involved authorities in Svizzera for freezing/blocking bound bank accounts relevant to the present case and also the federal office of Justice and Police, Svizzera moved Shri Parraudin, choose of Geneva and also the involved choose of urban center World Health Organization, on being clear convinced of twin guilt and also the want for investigation in Svizzera, froze the relevant bank accounts during this regard on Jan twenty six, 1990 as intimated by the federal office of Justice and Police through the Embassy of Republic of India in Svizzera which as per this data, the relevant accounts within the bank are blocked up to Gregorian calendar month twenty eight, 1990 which request for judicial help from Svizzera during this matter, therefore, ought to be created by Gregorian calendar month twenty eight, 1990 failing that Swiss people law obliges the withdrawal of directions to dam the accounts which the federal office of Justice and Police at national capital that corresponds to the Ministries of Law and residential, Government of Republic of India, have assured that Swiss people authorities would render help within the investigation in Svizzera in accordance with the mutual help agreement dated Gregorian calendar month twenty, 1989 solely on receipt of a Letter Rogatory from the competent judicial authorities in Republic of India.



On the higher than pleadings, the CBI requested the Special choose to send a Letter Rogatory/request to Svizzera desperately for obtaining the required help within the investigation to be conducted in Svizzera lest vital and relevant proof would stay uncollected and also the reason behind justice would be pissed off. The Special choose once hearing Shri Arun Jaitley, the then further lawman of Republic of India and Shri K.N Sharma, Deputy Legal advisor, CBI and Shri Baljit Singh, Senior official by its thought of order dated Gregorian calendar month five, 1990 allowed the applying of the CBI, the relevant portion of that reads thus:

“In the result, the applying of the CBI is allowed to the extent that asking to conduct the required investigation and to gather necessary proof which may be collected in Svizzera and to the extent directed during this order shall be created to the Competent Judicial Authorities of the Confederation of Svizzera through the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of Republic of India subject to the filing of the requisite/proper enterprise needed by Swiss people law and assurance for reciprocity.”

The Special choose additionally directed bound documents to be sent together with his letter of request, like the copy of the FIR dated Jan twenty two, 1990, mutual help agreement dated Gregorian calendar month twenty, 1989 etc. etc. The court finally created a note reading thus:

“Needless to mention that no observation made in this order shall be tantamount to expression of opinion at any subsequent stage of enquiry or trial.”

“Needless to mention that no observation made in this order shall be tantamount to expression of opinion at any subsequent stage of enquiry or trial.”


When the matter stood thus, Shri V.S Aggarwal on the strength of the notification issued by the Administrator of the Union territory of Delhi assumed charge as a Special Judge in place of Shri R.C Jain. Before Shri Aggarwal, the Special Judge, Shri Harinder Singh Chowdhary, an advocate filed a public interest litigation by filing Criminal Miscellaneous Case No. 12 of 1990 under Article 51-A of the Constitution of India seeking the following prayers which we are reproducing hereunder:

“In the premises your petitioners humbly request that in order to maintain the dignity, prestige and the fair name of the country and the ideals enshrined in the Constitution that no rogatory letter be issued on the formal request of the CBI unless the allegations against named persons are established to the satisfaction of this Hon’ble Court.

It is further requested that no request for rogatory or freezing bank account be made to Swiss Government unless the concerned persons are noticed and heard on the subject.

It is further requested that the petitioner may be permitted to join during inquiry before this Hon’ble Court in the capacity of public interest litigant.

It is further requested that inquiry under Section 340 CrPC be held to determine the alleged offence committed by various persons and till then all proceedings of rogatory be stopped.”

The Special Judge, namely, Shri V.S Aggarwal by his considered judgment dated August 18, 1990 dismissed the petition holding “this request of the learned counsel cannot be accepted.”

Finally, the learned Judge made the following note:

“Put up on September 30, 1990 for arguments on the question as to whether any action under Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is to be initiated or not. No opinion on the merits of the main case is being expressed.”



The Special Judge then issued (1) Note of Compliance and (2) Amended letter rogatory on August 22, 1990.

The public interest litigant on being aggrieved by the order dated August 18, 1990 of the Special Judge filed a criminal revision before the High Court of Delhi under Sections 397/482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and raised several questions of law challenging the legality and validity of the impugned order and made the following prayers :


(a)  to quash the entire FIR No. RC. I(A) 90.ACU-IV dated January 22, 1990 and criminal proceedings covered by the same.

(b) or remand the case to the Special Judge permitting the petitioner to argue his case before the lower court and direct the court below to decide the petition on merits.

(c) direct the court that no request for rogatory letters be made to Swiss Government, till the petitioner is heard on his application.

(d) the petitioner may be permitted to join during the inquiry to determine the question of dual criminality before the learned Special Judge in the capacity of public interest litigant, and also direct the learned Special Judge to decide the question of dual criminality before issuing the letter rogatory.

(e) direct the learned Special Judge not to issue any rogatory letter on the formal request of the CBI unless the allegations against named persons is established to the satisfaction of the Special Judge by cogent evidence.

This revision petition has been registered as Criminal Miscellaneous (Main) No. 1821 of 1990 on the file of the High Court of Delhi. Page: 763During the hearing of the above case before the High Court, several applications seeking implement/intervention were filed in the proceedings among which one was filed by Mr. Prashant Bhushan, another by Mr. N. Ram and some more by various political parties.

Mr. Justice M.K Chawla who heard the Criminal Misc. (M) No. 1821 of 1990 passed an order dated December 3, 1990 directing all the applications for intervention to be kept on record and observed, “The interveners will be heard only if the Court feels the necessity of hearing further arguments after the conclusions of the arguments of ASG appearing for the GOI and the CBI”. Thereafter on December 6 and 7, 1990, Mr. Justice M.K Chawla heard the arguments advanced on behalf of the CBI as well of the Union of India. While it was so, the Janata Dal etc. approached this Court by filing a Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 2320 of 1990 and this Court on December 10, 1990 upon being mentioned and hearing the learned counsel for the parties, passed the following order:

“We find on December 3, 1990 the learned Judge indicated in his order that several applications had been filed by different people for implement/intervention in the proceedings and the learned Judge observed that these applications would be heard and if necessary arguments on behalf of the intervener could be permitted after other counsel are heard. Grievance has been made that these applications have not been formally disposed of by the court. We are of the view that the learned Judge should dispose of these applications by a judicial order before the matter is reserved for judgment and in case the applications are not accepted, judgment should not be delivered for at least 2 days after such an order on these writ petitions is made to enable them to move this Court.”


It appears that in compliance of the above directions of this Court, Mr. Justice Chawla heard Mr. Ram Jethmalani who appeared on behalf of Janata Dal and Mr. Prashant Bhushan on December 11, 1990. The learned counsel, Mr. Jethmalani orally requested Justice Chawla to recuse himself from the case which request was rejected by the learned Judge. Thereafter, a petition for recluse was filed which was also dismissed on December 17, 1990. After hearing the learned counsel for Mr. H.S Chowdhary as well for the interveners, the final order was passed by Mr. Justice Chawla on December 19, 1990, the relevant portion of which reads thus:

• “In my opinion, the case of the petitioner does not fall within the ambit and scope of the law laid by the Supreme Court in Bandhua Mukti Morcha 1986 Supp SCC 553, 1987 SCC (Cri) 62. So, I hold that the petitioner has no locus standi Page: 764to file the present revision petition and is thus not maintainable on his behalf. The same is hereby dismissed.

• Because of the dismissal of the present petition, holding that the petitioner has no locus standi, the applicants have no right to be impleaded and their impalement/intervention applications are also rejected.

• So, I Suo moto take cognizance while exercising my powers under Sections 397 and 401 read with Section 482 of the Code, and direct the office to register the case under the title, Court on its own motion v. State and CBI.

• Consequently, I call upon the CBI and the State to show cause as to why the proceedings initiated on the filing of FIR No. RCI (A)/90.ACU-IV dated January 22, 1990 pending in the court of Shri V.S Aggarwal, Special Judge, Delhi be not quashed.”

The sum and substance of the above order is that in the opinion of Mr. Justice Chawla, the petitioner Shri Harinder Singh Chowdhary has no locus standi to maintain the petition and consequently the interveners also have no right to seek for impalement or intervention and that the learned Judge having held so, took Suo moto cognizance of the matter for the reasons assigned in his order and directed issue of show cause notice to the CBI and the State (Union of India) as to why the proceedings initiated on the strength of the FIR dated January 22, 1990 pending before the Special Judge be not quashed. It was at this stage; all these criminal appeals and the writ petition have been filed in this Court. This Court on December 20, 1990 in Criminal Appeal No. 304 of 1991 (arising out of SLP Criminal No. 2476 of 1990 filed by the Janata Dal) passed the following order granting interim stay:

“In the meantime, the reasons leading to registration of the Suo moto proceedings would not be operative. There shall be interim stay of proceedings including hearing before the High Court.”

Similar Judgements:

1)    TDI Fun Republic Shop Owner Welfare Association v. M/s E-City Property Management & Services Pvt. Ltd. & Others:

• The problem that must be determined within the gift case by the Commission is whether there is any violation of Section four of the Act by the alternative Parties.

• The consumers of house in a very mall square measure a lot of possible to possess a definite outlook and objectives from consumers of economic house generally looking centers.

• It isn’t uncommon for a store customer placed in Delhi to shop for a retail house in associate approaching mall in Noida/Gurgaon if the returns look engaging enough as travelling/transportation prices square measure coming back down because of introduction of railway system, BRT system, new flyovers, underpasses etc.

• Distance in NCR is very unlikely to be associate predominant consider choice of a mall to shop for a poster house Page seven of nine Case no. 05 of 2014 in.

• The Commission identifies the Delhi/NCR region because the relevant geographic market.

2) Union of Asian Country v. W. N. Chadha:

• The order was placed by the govt. of Asian country to Bofors on March twenty four, 1986 for the provision of 410 numbers (400 and ten free) of 155mm Field mortar 77-B gun system/spare guns vide contract No. 6(9)/84.D (GS-IV) for a complete quantity of SEK 8410.66 million (Swedish Kroners) adore concerning Rs 1437.72 crores.

• The JPC was legitimate on August twenty eight, 1987 to form a research into the higher than allegations.

• The Court by its order dated August twenty seven, 1991 allowed the attractiveness of the Union of Asian country and quashed the Suo motu action of the supreme court however reserved the explanations to run presently vide Janata decaliter v. H.S Chowdhary.

• The supreme court rejected the rivalry of the respondent that MOU is not an accord holding, “We don’t realize any benefit during this rivalry.”

• The higher than observation shows that the supreme court failed to favor the rivalry that the report of the JPC constitutes a legal bar for the registration of the FIR and continuation of the investigation.


Consequent upon the higher than conclusions, the appellants specifically, Janata Dal, Communist Party of Asian country (Marxist) and Indian Congress (Socialist) World Health Organization square measure before this Court equally have not any right of seeking their impalement/intervention. For an equivalent reason, Dr P. Nalla Thampy Thera additionally has no right to file the legal document Petition (Criminal) No. 114 of 1991 as a public interest litigator.

Having relevancy the facts and circumstances of the case, the Suo moto action of mister Justice M.K Chawla in taking cognizance in exercise of the powers below Sections 397 and 401 browse with Section 482 of the Code supported the convoluted and strained reasoning and directive the workplace of the supreme court of Delhi to register a case below the title Court on its motion v. State and CBI can not be sustained.

Consequent upon the higher than conclusion , we tend to hold that the directions of mister Justice M.K Chawla job upon the CBI and also the State to point out cause on why the proceedings initiated on the strength of the primary data report dated Gregorian calendar month twenty two, 1990 be not quashed, can not be sustained.

Within the result, we tend to trust the primary a part of the order dated Gregorian calendar month nineteen, 1990 of mister Justice M.K Chawla holding that mister H.S Chowdhary and different intervening parties haven’t any locus standi. We, however, put aside the second a part of the impugned order whereby he has taken Suo moto cognizance and issued show cause notice to the State and CBI and consequently the show cause notice issued by him is quashed.


Q1: What is Article 51(A)?

Answer: Promotion of international peace and security The State shall endeavor to

(a) promote international peace and security.

(b) maintain just and honorable relations between nations.

(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another; and encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration Part IVA Fundamental Duties.

Q2: What Do You Imply by Section 340?

Answer : When, upon an application made to it in this behalf or otherwise, any Court is of opinion that it is expedient in the interests of justice that an inquiry should be made into any offence referred to in clause (b) of sub- Section (1) of Section 195, which appears to have been committed in or in relation to a proceeding in that Court or, as the case may be, in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in that Court, such Court may, after such preliminary inquiry, if any, as it thinks necessary.

Q3: Which Sections Come Under the Prevention of Corruption Act?

Answer: Sections 161,162,163,164 and 165(A) of the Indian penal code along with Sections 5(2), 5(1)(d) and 5(2)/5(1)(c) comes under the prevention of corruption act.

Q4: Who is Janata Dal?

Answer : Janata Dal was an Indian political party which was formed through the merger of Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal, Indian National Congress, and the Jan Morcha united on 11 October 1988 on the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan under the leadership of V. P. Singh.

Q5: What is the Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code?

Answer : Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.—Whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over property in his capacity of a public servant or in the way of his business as a banker, mer­chant, factor, broker, attorney or agent, commits criminal breach of trust in respect of that property, shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either descrip­tion for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.







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