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Supreme Court Upholds it’s Earlier Verdict: Victim Cannot Appeal Without High Court’s Permission

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Supreme Court of India., Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 13, 2017: The Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its verdict holding that a victim in a criminal case cannot file an appeal against an order of acquittal without permission of the high court concerned.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit said there was no need to refer the matter to a larger bench for reconsideration of its 2015 judgement in which it was held that a victim cannot file an appeal against an order of acquittal without the leave of the high court.

The issue had arisen after a victim had appealed to the Gauhati High Court, who had not taken its permission to file the petition challenging the acquittal of the accused in a rape case.

As the appeal of the victim was admitted by the high court, the man, who was acquitted by the trial court in Tripura, moved the apex court which had appointed an amicus curiae to assist it in the matter, mentioned PTI.

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“Though the amicus curie has suggested that these matters be referred to a larger bench for reconsideration of the decision of this court, we do not think that such a course ought to be adopted in the present matter. The special leave petition has been pending in this court for last 5 years.

“In any case, in the present matter the victim had preferred an application to treat the appeal initially filed under Section 372 to be one under Section 372 read with Section 378 CrPC. Though the high court observed that no such leave was necessary, the matter now assumes a different complexion in the light of the decision in…. the (earlier judgement),” the bench said.

It said, “Since there is already an application on behalf of the victim to treat the appeal before the high court under Section 372 read with Section 378 CrPC, in our considered view the leave ought to be granted, which we at present do.

“The pending appeal shall now be considered on merits by the high court. This appeal, thus, stands disposed of.”

Section 372 of the CrPC deals with the rights of the victim to file an appeal against acquittal, conviction of accused for a lesser offence and imposition of inadequate compensation.

The man was acquitted by the trial court of charges of rape, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.

In the rape case, the victim appealed against the trial court judgment before the high court and when the appeal was listed for admission, an objection was taken by the accused that unless ‘leave’ was granted, the appeal could not be admitted.

To this, the victim filed a petition for treating the criminal appeal to be filed under the relevant provisions.

But the high court had held that there was an unfettered right conferred upon the victim by Section 372 CrPC and that no leave was required for the victim to file such appeal.

The accused, however, challenged the high court order in the apex court.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

Next Story

Aadhaar Data Breach Report Incorrect: High Court

Citing the top court's judgement, the petitioner said that when the state violates the constitutional rights of a citizen, courts may award compensation

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Aadhaar Card Logo. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that reports regarding security breach of data related to Aadhaar is incorrect and misleading as the strongest encryption technology has been used to store data which is impossible to decrypt.

“The technology used is 2048-bit encryption, which is the strongest one and it is impossible to decrypt and extract any information even if enrolment packets were accessible during transit to the UIDAI data centre,” UIDAI told a bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The bench was hearing a plea seeking exemplary damages for the losses caused due to leakage of Aadhaar data.

The plea was filed by Shamnad Basheer alleging that the dissemination of personal information of Aadhaar holders made it clear that the government is responsible for any breach of right to informational privacy.

E-Aadhaar card.

In an affidavit, the government agecy said that Aadhaar data is fully secured at all times and for further strengthening of security and privacy of data, security audits are conducted on regular basis, and all possible steps are taken to make the data safer and protected.

It further added that there are multiple layers of security at physical level in UIDAI data centres and is being managed by armed Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel round-the-clock.

“The technical architecture of Aadhaar has been structured in such a way, so as to ensure clear data verification, authentication and de-duplication, while ensuring a high level of privacy and information security,” the UIDAI said.

“UIDAI has taken all necessary safeguards, starting from providing standardised software that encrypts the entire data even before saving it to any disk; protecting data using tamper-proofing; identifying every operator in all and every enrolment; and identifying every one of the thousands of machines using an unique registration process, which ensures every encrypted data is tracked,” read the reply copy filed by the UIDAI.

Countering Basheer’s claim, the agency also said that the petitioner is trying to re-agitate the same issues which have attained finality before the Supreme Court and therefore the present petition deserves to be dismissed with costs.

Aadhaar Card. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It said that the petition is based on a mere assumption that the general public is likely to be aggrieved.

“In the entire petition, there is not even a mention as to how the petitioner is aggrieved by the actions of the UIDAI and how his constitutional rights have been violated to entitle him to damages claimed by him,” the UIDAI said.

Adding that there is no merit in the application, UIDAI, in its reply, said: “The alleged facts (leakage of Aadhaar data) on the basis of which the petitioner has filed the plea are unsubstantiated statements and the information relating to the Aadhaar scheme has been grossly misreported and interpolated to mislead this court.

“The petitioner has pivoted his entire case around the misleading and unverified reports in the media regarding security breach of data related to Aadhaar, which is entirely denied as incorrect and misinformed.”

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The agency requested the court to dismiss the plea with cost as the petitioner has no locus standi to file this application.

The petitioner has said his constitutional rights have been violated due to the negligence of UIDAI.

Citing the top court’s judgement, the petitioner said that when the state violates the constitutional rights of a citizen, courts may award compensation.

Basheer has also requested the court to appoint an independent committee comprising multiple experts to investigate the scope, extent of breaches and the magnitude of harm caused due to data leak. (IANS)