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The power under Section 60 of the Act of 1951 is quasi-judicial in nature and the orders passed under that Section are quasi-judicial orders: Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court passed a judgement on 21st April, 2022 in the case of Mayur Vasant Sonawane Vs The State Of Maharashtra And Anr. ( Criminal Writ Petition No.1578 Of 2021) in which it answered the questions of the division bench and aided the process of justice. This case was decided by The Honourable Mr. Justice S.S. Shinde, The Honourable Mr. Justice Prakash Deu Naik and The Honourable Mr. Justice S. V. Kotwal.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

In this case, a reference was made by a Division Bench which had a Coram comprising of Justice Nitin Jamdar & Justice Sarang V. Kotwal to decide the following two issues:

  • 1.Whether the power under Section 60 of the Act of 1951 is quasi-judicial in nature.
  • 2.Whether there is a duty to give reasons while disposing the appeal under Section 60 of the Maharashtra Police Act of 1951.

The Division Bench who heard this Writ Petition did not agree with the view of another Division Bench which had a Coram comprising of Justice R.M. Borde and A.I.S. Cheema which was expressed in the case of Suraj Balbhim Shelke Vs. State of Maharashtra & others, and therefore referred these questions to be decided by a Larger Bench.

JUDGEMENT:

The court in its judgements said the view taken in Rangnekar’s and Salem’s cases will have to be interpreted. Once it is determined that the Appellate Authority is acting in quasi-judicial capacity in passing quasi-judicial orders, then the requirement to give reasons in his order is a natural corollary. The view expressed in Rangnekar’s and Salem’s cases can be followed by the Appellate Authority by giving reasons, without divulging the material which would be prejudicial to the society and the witnesses concerned. The Appellate Authority has to test the order objectively. The court also said It is important to note that as mentioned earlier, in 1995 there was an amendment to Section 60 of the Act of 1951, where the power to remand the matter was added, which also necessitates giving reasons at least in brief to enable the externing authority to know as to why the matter is remanded back, as discussed earlier. Both Rangnekar’s and Salem’s judgments were passed before amendment of 1995.

Therefore, the court answered the questions as:

  • 1.The power under Section 60 of the Act of 1951 is quasi-judicial in nature and the orders passed under that Section are quasi-judicial orders.
  • 2.There is a duty to give reasons, at least in brief, while disposing the appeals under Section 60 of the Act of 1951.

And hence the court said the writ petition is placed before the appropriate Division Bench for further consideration based on these answers to the reference.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY TANAV ZACHARIAH.

Click here to view the Judgement

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