ANOWAR HUSSAIN Vs. AJOY KUMAR MUKHERJEE
LAWS(GAU)-1958-6-4
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on June 27,1958

ANOWAR HUSSAIN Appellant
VERSUS
AJOY KUMAR MUKHERJEE Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

ROBINSON V. BALMAIN NEW FERRY CO. LTD [REFERRED TO]
PUNJAB COTTON PRESS CO.,LTD. V. SECY,OF STATE [REFERRED TO]
ROHINI KUMAR V. NIAZ MAHAMMAD [REFERRED TO]
UNION OF INDIA V. RAM KAMAL BEZBARUA [REFERRED TO]
R R CHARI VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
SUPERINTENDENT AND REMEMBRANCER OF LEGAL AFFAIRS VS. ABANI KUMAR BANERJEE [REFERRED TO]
BEHARI LAL GOKLANEY VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
SEWALRAM AGARWALLA VS. ABDUL MAJID [REFERRED TO]
DALU GOUR VS. MOHESWAR MAHATO [REFERRED TO]
GOPAL MARWARI VS. EMPEROR [REFERRED TO]
SHEO BARAN SINGH VS. LACHMI NARAIN [REFERRED TO]
MAHARAJA BOSE VS. THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL-IN-COUNCIL [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

SARJOO PROSAD, J. - (1.)THESE two appeals arise out of the same action for recovery of damages for false imprisonment. First Appeal No. 14 of 1954 has been presented by Anowar Hussain, the defendant No. 3 in the action, while the other appeal, First Appeal No. 18 of 1954 is by the plaintiff, Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee.
(2.)ON the night of 17th March, 1950, at about 10 -30 p. m., the plaintiff Ajoy Kumar was arrested at his house at Barpeta by the Circle Inspector of Police, Bhupati Ranjan Chakravarty (defendant No. 4). The arrest was made on the authority of a chit (Ext. A) prepared and signed by Anowar Hussain, the then Sub -divisional Magistrate of Barpeta, and handed over by the former earlier at his bungalow at about 10 p. m., to the Circle Inspector for execution. After his arrest, the plaintiff was taken in custody to the thana lock -up, where he was confined for the night. On the following morning he was produced before the Sub -divisional Magistrate who remanded him to custody. An attempt was made before that officer to have him released on bail that clay, but the lawyers concerned were directed to approach the Deputy Commissioner of Kamarup, A. C. Bhattacharjee (defendant No. 2), who was then camping at Barpeta. The Deputy Commissioner in his turn referred the bail petition for disposal to the Sub -divisional Magistrate and eventually, the plaintiff was released on' bail on 20 -3 -1950. Sri J. 'Barua (P. W. 1), the Magistrate who enlarged the plaintiff on bail, recorded the following order on that date:
'Accused may go on Town bail of Rs. 3,000/ -with one surety of like amount. It is reported he fainted for 3 hours in Hajat yesterday. Seen report of the Sub -divisional Medical Officer. Fix 28 -3 -1950. Ask officer -in -charge, Barpeta Police Station to report any breaches of the bail.'
It appears that no case had been ever instituted against the petitioner either by the polic or on any complaint lodged before the Sub -divisional Magistrate. From time to time on various dates the plaintiff had to appear before successive Magistrates, who adjourned the matter awaiting investigation report from the Police. Eventually on 27 -5 -1950, the Magistrate Sri J. Barua, inter aha passed the following order:
'....... Judging from the papers it seems to me that a great confusion exists amongst police officers about the case. It is surprising that the officer -in -charge should refer to the C. I. as authority for the arrest and the latter to the Sub -divisional Officer. No case also seems to have been registered at the Police Station. I fail to see under strength of what the accused has been sent up. No F. I. R. is also traceable in Court Office in which accused has been named. I find no justification for holding accused within the jurisdiction of Court under the present charge. Police to report by 31 -5 -1950 why accused should not be discharged.'
This was followed by another order on the 31st, resulting in the discharge of the accused. The order runs thus:
'Seen report of C. I. (B); dated 31 -5 -1950 forwarded through Sub -divisional Police Officer (B). It has been reported that although the accused was arrested on a written order of Sub -divisional Officer (B). On investigation it has been found that 'there is no material to substantiate the charge' and C. I. (B) has no objection to his discharge. On the face of such a report, I find no reason to hang on the case. The accused is so discharged.'
The initials 'C. I.' presumably mean Circle Inspector, while the letter 'B' within brackets means Barpeta. On the above facts, the plaintiff instituted the suit for damages for false imprisonment making amongst others the State of Assam (defendant No. 1) as party defendant to the suit, after serving the requisite notices under the law.
The plaintiff alleges that his arrest, detention and imprisonment were reckless and malicious and without any lawful excuse or justification calculated mainly to insult and disgrace him. He claims that he is a person of high social status and he and his family enjoy the esteem and regard of a large number of people in the locality; he has also considerable landed property with both Hindus and Muslims as his tenants; and that he has been associated with a number of public institutions.

He states that in view of his unimpeachable character and integrity, when the unfortunate communal riots broke out in the Barpeta sub -division in the early part of March, 1950, he was selected as a member of the Peace Committee formed by the Government in co -operation with the other leading non -officials of the locality. As an active member of the Peace Committee, he had serious differences with Anowar Hussain (defendant No. 3) the then Sub -divisional Magistrate of Barpeta, and incurred his displeasure at a meeting of the Committee held in the middle of March over which the officer had presided. His unlawful arrest and detention he attributes to the consequent malice and personal grudge of the officer and not in accordance with any procedure established by law.

(3.)THE plaintiff further stated that tor some time past he had been suffering from heart trouble and at the time of arrest, he had barely recovered from the after -effects of a recent attack of that ailment. In that shattered state of health his arrest and detention led to violent and serious reactions, so much so that he fainted in the Hajat and remained unconscious for a long time and the medical officer, who examined him on the morning of 18 -3 -1950, advised his immediate removal to a hospital for treatment. Despite all this, the plaintiff was not released until 20 -3 -1950. He accordingly claimed damages to the tune of Rs. 20,000/ -making all the defendants jointly and severally liable.


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