Author: Arushi Banta
1983 AIR 1086, 1983 SCR (3) 508
CJ Y.V. Chandrachud
Amarendra Nath Sen
This case involved the interpretation of Article 32 of the Constitution of India. This case marks the beginning of awarding compensation in case of violation of fundamental rights.
In the year 1953, Mr. Rudal Shah was arrested on the charges of murder of his wife. In the year 1968, he was acquitted by the Court of Sessions, Muzaffarpur, Bihar. But, the petitioner was kept in jail for 14 years.
A writ petition of habeas corpus was filed by the petitioner before the Supreme Court under Article 32 seeking compensation for his illegal detainment. He also asked for medical treatment at the expense of the state and ex-gratia payment for his rehabilitation. By the time the petition came before the court, the petitioner was already released from the jail. But a show cause notice was issued by the court to the state in relation to ancillary relief.
An affidavit was filed by the jailor for the state in which he stated that the Additional Sessions judge, Muzaffarpur had passed an order stating that the petitioner should be detained in prison till further orders from the state government and I.G. (Prisons), Bihar even when he was acquitted. And secondly, that the petitioner was of unsound mind.
The medical examination confirmed that the petitioner was of sound mind
ISSUES OF THE CASE
- Whether the Supreme Court can award compensation on breach of a fundamental right or not under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution?
- Whether Article 21 covers the right to compensation in case of violation of fundamental rights?
The court held that there was no evidence to support the jailor’s claim that the petitioner was of unsound mind. The court held that the detention of the petitioner was illegal.
The court held that the right to move the Supreme Court under Article 32 for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III of the Constitution is itself a fundamental right.
The court held that the Supreme Court can award compensation on breach of a fundamental right under the Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. The court ordered the State Government to pay a compensation of rupees 30000 in addition to rupees 5000 which had already been paid.