Kasturilal Ralia Ram Jain vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh


Kasturilal Ralia Ram Jain

Citations - 1965 AIR 1039, 1965 SCR (1) 375



                                     KASTURILAL RALIA RAM JAIN





                             THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH


DATE OF JUDGMENT -  29 September, 1964


Bench- Gajendragadkar, P.B. (Cj), Wanchoo, K.N., Hidayatullah, M., Dayal, Raghubar, Mudholkar,J.R


ISSUE-        Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 300(1)-State Liability for tortious acts of its servants.


Facts -

Some  police  officers        of the State seized  gold  from     the

appellant  in exercise of their statutory powers,  but were

negligent in dealing with its safe custody.  As a result  of

such  negligence the gold was not returned to the  appellant

and  so,  he filed the suit against the State  claiming the

value of the gold.  The suit was decreed by the trial  court

but  was  dismissed  by the High Court on  appeal.   In  the

appeal to the Supreme Court


Held - The power to arrest a person, to search him. to seize

property  found with him, are powers conferred on  specified

officers  by statute and are powers which could be  properly

characterised  as sovereign powers.  Therefore,   though the

negligent  act     was  committed by  the   employees  of   the

respondent-State during the course of their employment , the

claim against the State could not be sustained, because, the

employment in question was of the category which could claim

the special characteristic of sovereign power.


Judgement - Appeal dismissed

whose property was seized by process of law, has to be    told when he seeks a remedy in a court of law on the ground that his property has not been returned to him, that be can make no claim against the State. That, we think, is not a               very satisfactory position in law. The remedy to cure this position, however, lies in the bands of the Legislature. The result is, the appeal fails, but in the circumstances of this case, we direct that the parties should bear their own costs throughout.


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