By – Aditya Kunjilwar

In the Supreme Court of India

Citation1983 AIR 1086  
Date of the Case01 AUGUST 1983
PetitionerRUDUL SAH
Statutes/Constitution InvolvedCONSTITUTION OF INDIA
Important Sections/ ArticlesARTICLE 32 & 21



Rudul Sah’s case was a public interest litigation (PIL) case filed in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution (whereby one can directly approach the Supreme Court when fundamental rights have been infringed upon). The petition sought the release of Rudul Sah from illegal detention, and also ancillary relief such as rehabilitation and compensation.


Delivered by Chief Justice Chandrachud on first August 1983, this decision denoted the start of the new era of state liability concerning demonstrations of its authorities. This was the primary case where the Supreme Court granted compensation to an individual for infringement of his fundamental rights ensured under the constitution.

Another cure was advanced by the apex court for giving pay to the survivors of the tortious act done by the government authority while performing sovereign functions. Thus, the idea of sovereign resistance is presently not accessible to the state at whatever point its workers commit a tort against the residents. It implies that the state is vicariously at risk to give compensation to the tortious acts of its representatives.


In 1953, Rudul Sah was arrested for killing his wife. On June 3, 1968, the Additional Sessions Judge of Muzaffarpur announced him blameless, and he coordinated his delivery from jail. In the wake of being cleared, he needed to serve an additional 14 years in jail and was at long last delivered from jail on October 16, 1982. His predicament was underlined in the media in 1968 and drove him to document the PIL for genuine injustice.

Nonetheless, Rudul Sah was released when PIL showed up in court. Despite this, they were told to send a warning to the State of Bihar to clarify a portion of the supplications made by the petitioner in the appeal. The petitions are as per the following: 1. The solicitor requests that the public authority offer clinical types of assistance; 2. The candidate looked for subordinate alleviation including instalment for his recovery; 3. Solicitations pay for his illicit detainment for over 14 years.


The court additionally expressed that they needed to react immediately to the notification of the reason, yet they didn’t give any clarification within 4 months. On April 16, 1983, Shri Alakh Deo Singh, the superintendent of Muzaffarpur Central Prison, presented a sworn statement inconsistency with the request. The took in extra meeting judge passed the accompanying request:

“The blamed is cleared, yet ought to be confined in jail until additional orders from the state government and the reviewer general of jail.”

It is said that Rudul Sah was of an unstable brain when he passed the exoneration request, even though when he sent the report to the common specialist, he detailed that Rudul Sah was intellectually solid at the hour of his absolution. Also, another inquiry is whether it required 14 years to address his psychological awkwardness. Nonetheless, the public authority didn’t create any clinical reports to help any conclusion of whether he was crazy, nor they gave any proof regarding which medications were endorsed and how long he was analyzed.


  • Whether the Supreme Court can award compensation under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution for breach of a fundamental right or not?
  • Does Article 21 cover the right to compensation for violations of fundamental rights?


  • The counsel from the Petitioner’s side contended that, he was wrongfully confined in prison in any event, when he was absolved by the court. He was made to stand by 14 years to get free. This was in direct infringement of the basic right of the candidate of right to life and individual freedom, which has been expressed in the article 21 of the Constitution of India.
  • The candidate requested to get the cost structure the State of Bihar for the clinical treatment he was to get. He additionally requested a pay for the illicit confinement and an ex-gratia payment for his rehabilitation.
  • The concerned Department of the Government of Bihar could have afforded to show a little more courtesy to this Court and to display a greater awareness of its responsibilities by asking one of its senior officers to file an affidavit in order to explain the callousness which pervades this case.
  •  Instead, the Jailor has been made a scapegoat to own up vicariously the dereliction of duty on the part of the higher officers who ought to have known better.


  • The counsel for the sake of the respondent contended that, the petitioner was kept in prison asper the request for the specialists passed by the Additional Sessions Judge which expressed that his delivery ought to be authorized solely after there’s an authorization from the State Government and Inspector General of Prisons.
  • The respondent additionally battled that applicant was pronounced of unstable brain however was subsequently delivered when a Civil specialist confirmed him to be ordinary in consistence with the law office’s letter.
  • The respondent added that, the petitioner, Rudul Shah was treated well in accordance with the rules in the Jail Manual, Bihar, during the period of his detention.


  • Article 32 in The Constitution of India 1949

  Remedies for enforcement of rights conferred by this Part

(1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed

(2) The Supreme Court shall have the power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs like habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part

(3) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by clause (1) and (2), Parliament may by law empower any other court to exercise within the local limits of its jurisdiction all or any of the powers exercisable by the Supreme Court under clause ( 2 )

(4) The right guaranteed by this article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution.

  • Article 21 in The Constitution of India 1949

Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law


The court gave an unmistakable notification of motivation to the public authority, inquiring as to why the solicitor was condemned to 14 years in jail even after his vindication. It likewise educated the state to clarify why the answer he got was significantly postponed and given proof to the public authority to guarantee that he was of the shaky psyche. The court additionally found out if he was surely crazy, and give a skeleton clinical record to demonstrate that he was being treated for madness. Nonetheless, there is no proof that the litigant was crazy when he was cleared. Likewise, regardless of whether he was really frantic when he was cleared, he was unable to be detained for quite a while. The explanation is basic. Indeed, even a maniac has certain legitimate rights to the preliminary interaction. The court held that the States ‘reaction was merciless and has no authentic premise. In this manner, the court held that the candidate’s confinement was absolutely uncalled-for.

Then, the court audited whether the applicant’s demand for assistant help could be governed based on its right side to cure. The court held that if the court was restricted to delivering unlawful prisoners by request without taking any kind of action to work on their lives, Article 21, which ensures the right to life and individual flexibility, would be denied of its significance. The court held

“The right to pay is a palliative method for demonstrations of illicit instruments that demonstration for the sake of the public interest. These demonstrations of unlawful instruments act for the sake of the public intrigue and give the state power as a safeguard.”

The court held that the pay is palliative to give the right to life under article 21 a superior importance. It likewise expressed that the option to uphold the law authorization power was moved to the Supreme Court under Article 32. The right indicated in the third piece of the Constitution is itself a fundamental right.

Consequently, the court’s last judgment was that it requested the state to pay the applicant 30,000 rupees as an interval measure notwithstanding the 5,000 rupees previously paid.


It is along these lines obvious that the choice of the apex court, for this situation, set out the establishment for the right to pay in the event of central rights infringement.

The choice of the Rudal Sah case is significant in two regards. First and foremost, it held that infringement of a protected right can lead to a common responsibility enforceable in a common court and besides, it details the bases for a hypothesis of risk under which an infringement of the right to individual freedom can bring about common obligation. The choice zeroed in on an outrageous worry to ensure and save the major privileges of a resident than the sovereign and non-sovereign polarity.