Compensation awarded under Sec.357[3] Cr.P.C. – not to be released pending appeal

whether the rejecting the claim for release of compensation which is awarded under Section 357(3) of Cr.P.C is correct ?

=  the compensation awarded in the order dated 20.03.2019 is in exercise of power under

Section 357(3) Cr.P.C. 1973 and as the order is under challenge in criminal appeals

pending before the High Court, we are of the considered view that it is not desirable to release such

compensation in favour of the appellant, at this stage.

Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 1
NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.550-554 OF 2020
(Arising out of S.L.P (Crl.)Nos.4016-4020 of 2020
D.No.13225/2020
Dalbir Singh …Appellant
Versus
State of NCT of Delhi & Anr.etc. …Respondents
O R D E R

  1. Delay condoned.
  2. Leave granted.
  3. These criminal appeals are filed by the
    complainant, aggrieved by the common order dated
    09.12.2019 passed by the High Court of Delhi at New
    Delhi in Crl.A.No.537 of 2019, Crl.A.No.624 of 2019,
    Crl.A.No.622 of 2019, Crl.A.No.488 of 2019 and
    Crl.A.No.499 of 2019, in rejecting the claim made by the
    appellant herein for release of compensation which is
    awarded under Section 357(3) of Cr.P.C., in order dated
    20.03.2019 passed by the learned Addl. Sessions Judge,
    Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 2
    FTC Court,Shahdara in Sessions Case No.29 of 2011 and
    Unique Case ID No.235 of 2016.
  4. The contesting respondents, herein were accused in
    FIR No.1004/2006 registered on the file of PS, Sector20, Noida (U.P.) for offence under Sections
    342/332/306/167/218/220/302/34 IPC. All of them are
    members of police force. It was the case of the
    appellant/complainant that, respondents-accused have
    illegally detained his son in connection with a theft
    case and he was tortured in the police lock up and in
    view of the injuries suffered, he succumbed to the
    injuries. The respondents-accused were tried by the
    learned Addl. Sessions Judge, FTC court, Shahdara for
    the offences alleged against them and by judgment dated
    14.03.2019, the respondents-accused namely Kunwar Pal is
    held guilty for offence punishable under Section 365/34
    IPC and accused SI Hindveer Singh and SI Mahesh Mishra
    and constable Pradeep, constable Pushpender and
    constable Haripal were held guilty for offence
    punishable under Sections 365/220/167/304/34 IPC. While
    passing the order of sentence on 20.03.2019, the Trial
    Court has awarded compensation of Rs.One lac payable by
    the accused/convict Kunwar Pal and a sum of Rs.Five lacs
    each was ordered to be paid by the accused/convicts SI
    Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 3
    Hindveer Singh and SI Mahesh Mishra and a sum of Rs.Two
    lacs each was ordered to be paid by the accused/convicts
    constable Pradeep, constable Pushpender and constable
    Haripal, in terms of Section 357(3) Cr.P.C. The Trial
    Court ordered release of such compensation in favour of
    the appellant who is the father of the deceased victim.
  5. As against the conviction recorded and sentence
    imposed by the Trial Court, criminal appeals are
    preferred in Crl.A.No.537 of 2019, Crl.A.No.624 of 2019,
    Crl.A.No.622 of 2019, Crl.A.No.488 of 2019 and
    Crl.A.No.499 of 2019 by the accused, and same are
    pending before the High Court.
  6. By the time impugned order came to be passed on
    9.12.2019, the appellants in Crl.A.No.488 of 2019,
    Crl.A.No.499 of 2019, Crl.A.No.622 of 2019 and
    Crl.A.no.624 of 2019 have deposited the fine and
    compensation amount, whereas the appellant in
    Crl.A.No.537 of 2019 sought time to deposit the same.
    In view of the deposit made by the appellants, the
    appellant herein made a request to release the deposited
    compensation amount to him as, he is the father of the
    deceased victim. Such request for release of the amount
    as prayed by the appellant, is rejected vide impugned
    order dated 9.12.2019. Hence these appeals.
    Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 4
  7. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant and
    learned counsel appearing for respondent-State. Learned
    counsel Sri Divyesh Pratap Singh, appearing for the
    appellant, has submitted that the son of the appellant
    is the victim of custodial torture, who has succumbed to
    injuries suffered in lock up. It is stated that the
    appellant is about 76 years of age and has been fighting
    alone this case for the last more than 14 years.
    Further he has, stated that on account of the
    unfortunate incident, appellant has lost his son at the
    young age of 20 years and further the appellant has
    spent more than 14 years for pursuing the case, which
    resulted in deterioration of his mental and physical
    health. By further referring to material placed on
    record, it is submitted that the appellant is suffering
    from serious ailments and is in dire need of money for
    his medical needs, and inspite of the same, the High
    Court has refused to release the compensation awarded to
    the appellant.
  8. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for
    the respondents has submitted that the judgment of the
    Trial Court dated 14.03.2019 convicting the respondents
    and further the order dated 20.03.2019 imposing sentence
    and award of compensation, are the subject matter of
    Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 5
    challenge in the appeals, as such the appellant is not
    entitled for release of, such compensation, during the
    pendency of the appeals before the High Court.
  9. Having heard learned counsel for the appellant and
    learned counsel appearing for respondent-State, we have
    perused the impugned order and other material placed on
    record.
  10. In view of the pendency of criminal appeals before
    the High Court, wherein the respondents-accused have
    challenged their conviction and sentence imposed, we do
    not wish to record any finding on merits of the matter.
    But suffice it to say, that the compensation awarded in
    the order dated 20.03.2019 is in exercise of power under
    Section 357(3) Cr.P.C. 1973 and as the order dated
    20.03.2019 is under challenge in criminal appeals
    pending before the High Court, we are of the considered
    view that it is not desirable to release such
    compensation in favour of the appellant, at this stage.
    It is true that, the incident has happened in the year
    2006 and the appellant herein who is the father of the
    victim is relentlessly pursuing the matter from last
    more than a decade. But at the same time it is to be
    kept in mind that, the conviction recorded and sentence
    imposed by the Trial Court is the subject matter of the
    Crl.A.Nos. @ SLP(Crl.) D.No.13225 of 2020 6
    appeals, pending before the High Court. If we permit
    the release of such compensation to the appellant at
    this stage, it may lead to multiplicity of proceedings.
    Instead of ordering release of compensation to the
    appellant at this stage, we deem it appropriate to
    request the High Court for expeditious disposal of
    Criminal Appeal Nos. 537 of 2019, 624 of 2019, 622 of
    2019, 488 of 2019 and 499 of 2019.
  11. For the aforesaid reasons, we decline to interfere
    with the impugned order dated 09.12.2019 passed by the
    High Court and we request the High Court to dispose of
    Criminal Appeal Nos. 537 of 2019, 624 of 2019, 622 of
    2019, 488 of 2019 and 499 of 2019 as expeditiously as
    possible, preferably within a period of six months, from
    the date of this order. The appeals are accordingly
    dismissed.
    ……………….J
    [Ashok Bhushan]
    ……………….J.
    [R. Subhash Reddy]
    New Delhi;
    August 28, 2020