Decided on November 13,1950

JOSEPH A. PINTO Respondents


Naik, C.J. - (1.) I have carefully read through the two judgments of my learned colleagues, Shripatrao and Ansari JJ. I do not feel the necessity of writing a separate elaborate judgment. They have dealt with all the points arisirg in the cases thoroughly and exhaustively. I entirely agree with the decisions given by them in their separate but concurrent judgments.
(2.) I also hold with them that the guarantee of equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws, contained in Article 14 of our Constitution means substantial equality of treatment under the laws. Equal treatment does not necessarily mean identical treatment. In fact, identical treatment in unequal circumstances amounts to inequality. In other words, in different circumstances the variation in legal procedure is not only permissible bulb necessary. Equal protection of laws does not mean protection by identical laws. Sometimes, it is necessary to abridge the ordinary procedure in the interests of justice itself. Of course, no abridgment of legal procedure which curtails the essential safeguards can be permitted. A detailed procedure in normal times and in ordinary cases may become harmful in abnormal times, or in extraordinary and special case3, One of the reasons for appointing a Special Tribunal consisting of three Sessions Judges instead of one is to obviate the chances of error by the abridgment of the normal procedure.
(3.) It is not always possible to anticipate and enumerate all the circumstances under which a case may be declared fit and proper to be tried by the Special Tribunal instead of by the ordinary Court. It may not be convenient nor advisable for the State to specify them. No fundamental right of an accused is violated in merely leaving the choice of forum to the discretion of proper authorities. Perhaps the better policy would be to state in detail the grounds of the classification but the Courts are concerned with question of law and not with the policy of the Legislature. They have only to see that the fundamental rights under the Constitution are protected.;

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