Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A.Y. Kogje, J. passed an order of release of a vehicle involved in transporting mineral / illegal mining after imposing certain conditions. 

A petition was filed under Articles 14, 19, 21 and 226 of the Constitution of India to release the vehicle which was seized under the provisions of Gujarat Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Storage and Transportation) Rules, 2017 for it being involved in transporting mineral / illegal mining.

Kruti M. Shah, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that he was ready to pay the penalty amount that may be specified by the authority after completion of entire proceedings at the departmental level or upon the completion of the trial if any.

Vrunda Shah, learned counsel for the respondent submitted that the vehicle was found involved in the illegal mining activity and therefore, the department has acted as per the provisions of Rules of 2017 and as the petitioner was not ready and willing to compound the offence, the vehicle could not have been released.

High court on noting the submission by the parties held that authorized officer was obliged to release the vehicle the moment the person alleged whose vehicle is involved in illegal mining activity furnishes the bank guarantee or the security deposit. The Court thus ordered the authorized officer to release the vehicle after complying with the certain mandatory conditions.[Mohammadkhan Karimkhan Ghori v. State of Gujarat, 2019 SCC OnLine Guj 838, decided on 09-05-2019]

Case BriefsInternational Courts

African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The application had been filed under Rule 19 of the Court Rules from Provision 17 of the Court Practice Directions before the Court comprising of the following? Sylvain, President; Ben Kioko, Vice-President; Rafaa, Angelo, Suzanne, M-Therese, Tujilane, Chafika, Blaise, Stella, Anukam, JJ. and Robert ENO, Registrar.

Facts of the case were that the applicant had been convicted for raping a 15 year old girl, offence punishable under Sections 130(1) and (2)(e) and 131(1) of the Tanzanian Penal Code, as Revised in 2002 and was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment after which applicant filed a criminal appeal at High Court of Tanzania and subsequently criminal appeal before Court of Appeal of Tanzania. In both the appeals his sentencing was upheld after which applicant filed an application for review before Court of Appeal which was still pending. Applicant prayed that the guilty verdict and sentence should be annulled and he should be released.

The Court’s jurisdiction was challenged by respondent State stating that applicant wanted the Court to behave like an appellate body by praying to re-examine the matters of fact and get it examined by its judicial bodies. Whereas the Court was not under the power to do so. Applicant contended that if any provisions of this charter were violated then the Court has the power to review the matter. Court was of the view that though it is not an Appellate Court, can still examine if the procedure by national court were in conformity with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Therefore, Court stated itself to have material jurisdiction.

Respondent further objected to the admissibility of the application on two grounds that applicant had not exhausted all his local remedies and that he delayed the filing of application beyond a reasonable time. The Court observed that applicant has exhausted the local remedies as envisaged under Article 56(5) of the Charter and Rule 40(5) of the Rules of Court. On the second ground Court again favoured applicant stating him to be indigent, incarcerated person without any legal assistance which justifies his delay in filing the application.

Applicant in his application had alleged that his right to be heard was abridged by the Court of Appeal as they examined only a few arguments of the applicant while leaving the other argument unattended. However, the Court found no violation of applicant’s right to be heard.

Therefore, in light of the fact that applicant’s rights were not infringed his prayer to annul his conviction and sentence along with his prayer to be released from prison was dismissed. [Minani Evarist v. United Republic of Tanzania,2018 SCC OnLine ACTHPR 1, dated 21-09-2018]