. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, NEW DELHI vs GHULAM SARWAR AND ORS. Supreme Court, 24-03-1970

Court:Supreme Court (India)
http://JUDIS.NIC.IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA Page 1 of 7
PETITIONER:
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, NEW DELHI
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
GHULAM SARWAR AND ORS.
DATE OF JUDGMENT:
24/03/1970
BENCH:
[V. BHARGAVA AND C. A. VAIDIALINGAM, JJ.]
ACT:
Criminal trial--Delay in putting up conspiracy case--Accused
praying for separation of trial of his case and pleading
guilt--Procedure to be followed by Court.
HEADNOTE:
The respondent was a Pakistani national and was arrested on
8th May 1964, and immediately after his arrest he made a
confession before a Magistrate. The confession disclosed
that- he was involved in two different and separate
conspiracies with various co-accused. But the customs
authorities assumed that there was only one conspiracy and
that the respondent had incorrectly shown two separate
conspiracies. Three cases were filed against him charging
him with offences under the Registration of Foreigners Act,
1939, and Sea Customs Act, 1878, and the offence of
conspiracy and other offences under various enactments. He
was convicted on his plea of guilty and sentenced to various
terms of imprisonment. He was also detained under the
Foreigners Act, 1946. After fuller investigation, the
respondent was again put up for trial for the second
conspiracy and for offences under other Acts. The
respondent moved the High Court for quashing the proceedings
on the ground that he having been convicted for a conspiracy
could not be retried for the same offence again. He also
pleaded various alternatives in the event of the Court not
quashing the proceedings, and one of the pleas was that
proceedings against him should be separated from other co-
accused and his plea of guilty be accepted.
The High Court quashed the proceedings.
In appeal to this Court, HELD : (1) Since the second trial
was for a different and distinct conspiracy, the High
Court’s order was not justified. [117 D]
(2) Since the offences for which the respondent was being
tried were likely to have far-reaching implications, it was
not in the public interest that the trial should be given up
merely because, he had already served various terms of
imprisonment, or there has been delay in putting him up for
trial for the second conspiracy, especially when there was
no material to suggest that the prosecution deliberately
prolonged the investigation or delayed bringing up the case
before Court. Further, the trial for the second conspiracy
could not have been combined with the earlier one, because,
the two are separate and distinct. [117 D-E]
(3) In the circumstances however, his alternative plea of
separating his case from the other co-accused should be

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