Showing posts with label criminal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label criminal. Show all posts

03 January 2021

Court must give reasoning as to why it has accepted the contentions of one party and rejected those of other party

For the foregoing discussion, the finding of learned Commercial Court, Jammu that the said Court does not have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition under Section 9 of the Act filed by the appellant, does not deserve to be interfered with. However, the manner in which the Court below has passed the impugned judgment invites a comment. A perusal of the said judgment clearly shows that it is cryptic and devoid of any reason. The learned Court has only noted the pleadings and submissions of the parties and then without giving any reasoning as to why it has accepted the contentions of one party and rejected those of other party, it has drawn the conclusion against the petitioner.[Para No.28]

    Reasoning is the soul of a judgment. A judgment which is
Court must give reasoning as to why it has accepted the contentions of one party and rejected those of other party
devoid of reasoning would not be a judgment in accordance with the law.
It is not sufficient for a Court merely to state in its judgment that on a careful consideration of the rival submissions of the parties, it has come to this or that conclusion. The material on record on a particular point for and against the parties to the case must be set out in the judgment and reasons stated for its acceptance or rejection. A Court has not only to state the points for determination and the decisions thereon, but also to give reasons for such decisions. All this is missing in the judgment passed by the learned Commercial Court, Jammu. Such type of judgments are not expected from a senior Judicial Officer of the level of a District Judge.[Para No.29]

31 December 2020

Relatives of the Muslim husband cannot be accused of the offence of pronouncement of triple talaq; the offence can only be committed by a Muslim man

Sec. 7(c) of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019 does not impose an absolute bar on granting regular or anticipatory bail



    Under Section 3, a pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife has been rendered void and illegal. Under Section 4, a Muslim husband who pronounces talaq upon his wife, as referred to in Section 3, is punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years. The prohibition in Sections 3 and 4 is evidently one which operates in relation to a Muslim husband alone. This is supported by the Statement of Objects and Reasons accompanying the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019, when it was introduced in the Parliament. The reasons for the introduction of the bill specifically stated that the bill was to give effect to the ruling of this court in Shayara Bano v. Union of India [(2017) 9 SCC 1], and to „liberate‟ Muslim women from the customary practice of talaq-e-biddat (divorce by triple talaq) by Muslim men. It is in this context that the provisions of Section 7 would have to be interpreted. Section 7 provides as follows:
“7. Offences to be cognizable, compoundable, etc: Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, -
(a) an offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable, if information relating to the commission of the offence is given to an officer in charge of a police station by the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced or any person related to her by blood or marriage;
(b) an offence punishable under this Act shall be compoundable, at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced with the permission of the Magistrate, on such terms and conditions as he may determine;
(c) no person accused of an offence punishable under this Act shall be released on bail unless the Magistrate, on an application filed by the accused and after hearing the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced, is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail to such person."

    The provisions of Section 7(c) apply to the Muslim husband. The offence which is created by Section 3 is on the pronouncement of a talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife. Section 3 renders the pronouncement of talaq void and illegal. Section 4 makes the Act of the Muslim husband punishable with imprisonment. Thus, on a preliminary analysis,
Relatives of the Muslim husband cannot be accused of the offence of pronouncement of triple talaq the offence can only be committed by a Muslim man
it is clear that the appellant as the mother-in-law of the second respondent cannot be accused of the offence of pronouncement of triple talaq under the Act as the offence can only be committed by a Muslim man.[Para No.7]

27 December 2020

filing of a first information report is not a condition precedent to the exercise of the power under Section 438 of Cr.P.C.

(i) Grant of an order of unconditional anticipatory bail would be “plainly contrary to the very terms of Section 438.” Even though the terms of Section 438(1) confer discretion, Section 438(2) “confers on the court the power to include such conditions in the direction as it may think fit in the light of the facts of the particular case, including the conditions mentioned in clauses (i) to (iv) of that sub-section.”

(ii) Grant of an order under Section 438(1) does not per se hamper investigation of an offence; Section 438(1)(i) and (ii) enjoin that an accused/applicant should co-operate with investigation. Sibbia (supra) also stated that courts can fashion appropriate conditions governing bail, as well. One condition can be that if the police make out a case of likely recovery of objects or discovery of facts under Section 27 (of the Evidence Act, 1872), the accused may be taken into custody. Given that there is no formal method prescribed by Section 46 of the Code if recovery is made during a statement (to the police) and pursuant to the accused volunteering the fact, it would be a case of recovery during “deemed arrest” (Para 19 of Sibbia).

(iii) The accused is not obliged to make out a special case for grant of anticipatory bail; reading an otherwise wide power would fetter the court’s discretion. Whenever an application (for relief under Section 438) is moved, discretion has to be always exercised judiciously, and with caution, having regard to the facts of every case. (Para 21, Sibbia).

(iv) While the power of granting anticipatory bail is not ordinary, at the same time, its use is not confined to exceptional cases (Para 22, Sibbia).

(v) It is not justified to require courts to only grant anticipatory bail in special cases made out by accused, since the power is extraordinary, or that several considerations – spelt out in Section 437- or other considerations, are to be kept in mind. (Para 24-25, Sibbia).

(vi) Overgenerous introduction (or reading into) of constraints on the power to grant anticipatory bail would render it Constitutionally vulnerable. Since fair procedure is part of Article 21, the court should not throw the provision (i.e. Section 438) open to challenge “by reading words in it which are not to be found therein.” (Para 26).

(vii) There is no “inexorable rule” that anticipatory bail cannot be granted unless the applicant is the target of mala fides. There are several relevant considerations to be factored in, by the court, while considering whether to grant or refuse anticipatory bail. Nature and seriousness of the proposed charges, the context of the events likely to lead to the making of the charges, a reasonable possibility of the accused’s presence not being secured during trial; a reasonable apprehension that the witnesses might be tampered with, and “the larger interests of the public or the state” are some of the considerations. A person seeking relief (of anticipatory bail) continues to be a man presumed to be innocent. (Para 31, Sibbia).

(viii) There can be no presumption that any class of accused- i.e. those accused of particular crimes, or those belonging to the poorer sections, are likely to abscond. (Para 32, Sibbia).

(ix) Courts should exercise their discretion while considering applications for anticipatory bail (as they do in the case of bail). It would be unwise to divest or limit their discretion by prescribing “inflexible rules of general application.”. (Para 33, Sibbia).

(x) The apprehension of an applicant, who seeks anticipatory bail (about his imminent or possible arrest) should be based on reasonable grounds, and rooted on objective facts or materials, capable of examination and evaluation, by the court, and not based on vague un-spelt apprehensions. (Para 35, Sibbia).

(xi) The grounds for seeking anticipatory bail should be examined by the High Court or Court of Session, which should not leave the question for decision by the concerned Magistrate. (Para 36, Sibbia).

filing of a first information report is not a condition precedent to the exercise of the power under Section 438

(xii) Filing of FIR is not a condition precedent for exercising power under Section 438; it can be done on a showing of reasonable belief of imminent arrest (of the applicant). (Para 37, Sibbia).

(xiii) Anticipatory bail can be granted even after filing of an FIR- as long as the applicant is not arrested. However, after arrest, an application for anticipatory bail is not maintainable. (Para 38-39, Sibbia).

24 December 2020

Separate F.I.R. can be lodged by every depositor if they are cheated on different dates

Each instance of cheating of every investor/depositor would constitute an independent offence even if it is committed as a part of single conspiracy


    The principal issue herein is with regard to the applicability of Section 220 of the Cr.P.C. as well as the protection provided under Article 20 (3) of the Constitution to a case of inducement, allurement and cheating of a large number of investors/depositors in a criminal conspiracy. The issue posed is whether the offence of cheating - by acceptance of deposits made by individual investors - and there would be multiple such investors, would all constitute the "same transaction" - because the conspiracy or design may be the same or, whether, the act of cheating - by acceptance of deposits made by different investors, would constitute separate transactions - because each act of inducement, allurement and consequential cheating would be unique. The question is whether such transactions could be amalgamated and clubbed together into a single FIR, by showing one investor as the complainant, and the others as the witnesses. Consequently, convicted under one such case would pre-empt prosecution under the other pending cases.[Para No.22]
..........

    Thus even Section 220 does not help the Petitioner as will apply where any one series of acts are so connected together as to form the same transaction and where more than
Separate F.I.R. can be lodged by every depositor if they are cheated on different dates
one offence is committed, there can be a joint trial. In the present case, as is borne out from the record, different people have been alleged to have been defrauded by the Petitioner and the Company and therefore each offence is a distinct one and cannot be regarded as constituting a single series of facts/ transaction.[Para No.31]

Victims are entitled to claim compensation for incidents that occurred even prior to the coming into force of section 357A(4) of Cr.P.C.

A question of seminal importance has arisen in this case. The query raised relates to the victim compensation scheme under Section 357A(4) of Cr.P.C. and its applicability. Is the provision retrospective or prospective in its application? To paraphrase the query: Would the victim, of a crime that occurred prior to 31.12.2009, be entitled to claim compensation under Section 357A(4) of the Cr. P.C.[Para No.1]

    The facts, though not relevant to be narrated in detail, is in a nutshell as follows:
Respondents 2 to 4 are the legal heirs of one late Sri.Sivadas. In a motor vehicle accident that took place on 26-03-2008, Sri. Sivadas succumbed to his injuries. Though a crime was registered by the Alappuzha Traffic Police, the accused could not be identified or traced and the trial has not taken place. In 2013, the legal heirs of late Sivadas applied to the District Legal Services Authority, Alappuzha, seeking compensation from the State under Section 357A(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for brevity 'the Cr.P.C').[Para No.2]

    Pursuant to the application, an enquiry, as contemplated under Section 357A(5) Cr.P.C, was conducted through the Additional District Judge, Alappuzha, who was appointed as the Enquiry Officer. The enquiry report was submitted on 12-09-2013. The report revealed that the applicants are the legal heirs of late Sivadas and that at the time of death he was aged 52 years and a casual labourer. It further stated that considering the circumstances, an amount of Rs.3,03,000/- (Rupees Three lakhs three thousand only) was sufficient compensation that could be awarded to the dependents of late Sri.Sivadas. On the above basis, the 1st respondent by Ext.P1 order, directed the State of Kerala to pay an amount of Rs.3,03,000/- to the dependents of late Sivadas under Section 357A(5) of the Cr.P.C. Ext.P1 is under challenge.[Para No.3]

..............

    As a substantive law, the aforesaid statutory provision will have only prospective application. However, in the case of Section 357A(1)(4)&(5) Cr.P.C., there is a difference. Rehabilitation of the victim is the scope, purport and import of Section 357A(4) Cr.P.C., when read along with Section 357A (1) Cr.P.C. This is more explicit when understood in the background of the recommendation of the 154th report of the Law Commission of India. Rehabilitation of the victim was a remedial measure. It remedied the weakness in the then existing provisions for compensating the crime victims, especially to those victims, whose perpetrators had not been traced. The provision is remedial. Remedial statutes or provisions are also known as welfare, beneficent or social justice oriented legislation.[Para No.27]

    While interpreting a provision brought in as a remedial measure, that too, as a means of welfare for the victims of crimes, in which the perpetrators or offenders have not been identified and in which trial has not taken place, the Court must always be wary and vigilant of not defeating the welfare intended by the legislature. In remedial provisions, as well as in welfare legislation, the words of the statute must be construed in such a manner that it provides the most complete remedy which the phraseology permits. The Court must, always, in such circumstances, interpret the words in such a manner, that the relief contemplated by the provision, is secured and not denied to the class intended to be benefited.[Para No.28]

    While interpreting Section 357A(4) Cr.P.C., this Court cannot be oblivious of the agony stricken face of the victim and the trauma and travails such victims have undergone, especially when their offenders have not even been identified or traced out or a trial conducted. The agonizing face of the victims looms large upon this Court while considering the question raised for decision.[Para No.29]

    With the aforesaid principles hovering over Section 357A(4)&(5) Cr.P.C., the provision ought to be interpreted in such a manner that it benefits victims. If the said benefit could be conferred without violating the principles of law, then courts must adopt that approach. A substantive law that is remedial, can reckon a past event for applying the law prospectively. Such an approach does not make the substantive law retrospective in its operation. On the other hand, it only caters to the intention of the legislature.[Para No.30]

     In other words, when an application is made by a victim of a crime that occurred prior to the coming into force of Section 357A(4) Cr.P.C.,
Victims are entitled to claim compensation for incidents that occurred even prior to the coming into force of section 357A(4) of  Cr.P.C.
a prospective benefit is given, taking into reckoning an antecedent fact.
Adopting such an interpretation does not make the statute or the provision retrospective in operation. It only confers prospective benefits, in certain cases, to even antecedent facts. The statute will remain prospective in application but will draw life from a past event also. The rule against retrospectivity of substantive law is not violated or affected, merely because part of the requisites for action under the provision is drawn from a time antecedent to its passing. Merely because a prospective benefit under a remedial statutory provision is measured by or dependent on antecedent facts, it does not necessarily make the provision retrospective in operation.[Para No.31]

22 December 2020

When police refused to register F.I.R. the complainant must approach the Magistrate under Section 156(3) of CrPC and not to the High Court directly

While referring to the judgment of Sudhir Bhaskarrao Tambe (supra), it is observed that if the High Courts entertain such writ petitions seeking registration of FIR, then they will be flooded with such writ petitions and will not be able to do any other work, except dealing with them. It is specifically held that the complainant must avail of his alternate
When police refused to register F.I.R. the complainant must approach the Magistrate under Section 156(3) of CrPC and not to the High Court directly
remedy to approach the Magistrate concerned under section 156(3) of Cr.P.C and if he does so, the Magistrate will ensure, if prima facie he is satisfied, registration of the FIR and also ensure a proper investigation in the matter.
While approving the aforenoted view, the Supreme Court has set aside the direction of the High Court for registration of the FIR and has directed the respondent thereto to approach the court of Magistrate if deem appropriate and necessary. Thus, the law on the registration of FIR is well settled and has been reiterated in the recent judgment of the Supreme Court as noted herein above.[Para No.4]

    In the present case, the petitioner has not approached the concerned Magistrate and has directly approached this Court for the aforesaid prayer.[Para No.5]

    Under the circumstances and in light of the observations made by the Apex Court, the writ petition is rejected since the petitioner has the remedy to approach the approach the concerned Magistrate under section 156(3) of the Cr.PC.[Para No.6]

Subordinate to the appointing authority can not grant sanction to prosecute

Additional Collector holding charge of District Collector can not give sanction to prosecute in corruption case when employee is appointed by District Collector


    The sanction for prosecution can be granted by the authority competent to remove person. The appointment authority was Collector. PW-4 was subordinate to Collector. He was working as Additional Collector. The prosecution is relying upon the order handing over the charge to PW-4. The documents were produced on re-examination of the witness. The question which arises for consideration is that assuming that the charge was handed over to PW-4, on account of leave of District Collector, whether the charge of according sanction to prosecute the accused stands transferred to him. There is no satisfactory evidence on record to substantiate this fact. The approach of PW-4 appears to be casual. Learned counsel for the appellant has drawn my attention to some provisions of Maharashtra Civil Services Rules to bring home and contended that District Collector was appointing and removing authority.[Para No.21]

    It is submitted that, disciplinary authority cannot be inferior to the appointing authority. In the present case the collector being the appointing authority of the applicant, the additional collector did not have the power to remove him from service. Article 311 (1) of the constitution of India creates a safeguard where in no person who is a member of the Civil services of the Union or the state or an All Indian Service or a civil service or who holds a civil post under the union or State shall be removed by an authority sub ordinate to him. In the present case PW-3 at the relevant time was functioning as the Additional collector of Kolhapur. PW-3 in his examination in Chief makes a positive assertion that the Collector of the District is the Appointing and the removing Authority of the Appellant/accused. The Appointment order of the Appellant was produced on record by the said witness and the same is at (Exh.119). The PW 3 admits in his cross examination that the Post of the Additional Collector and Collector are different. The onus of proving a valid sanction is on the prosecution and hence it was incumbent upon the prosecution to bring on record any documents which would demonstrate that the power of Appointment and the removal of the Appellant vested with the Additional Collector. The prosecution has not produced any documents in this regard. The aforesaid witness was re-examined by the prosecution and the documents at Exh.124 is a charge report dated 11th April, 2006. It can be seen that the Collector holding regular charge was proceedings on leave and hence the Additional Charge of the District was being handed over to the PW-3. In the aforesaid charge report it is no where mentioned that the PW-3 had the authority to remove the Appellant or persons of equivalent rank from service and hence (Exh.124) would not come to the aid and assistance of the prosecution.
Subordinate to the appointing authority can not grant sanction to prosecute
In fact Article 311 (1) does not permit such a delegation of powers and hence assuming without admitting that there was such a delegation, then the same would nonest in the eyes of law and the same would be in conflict with the constitutional safeguard created under Article 311 (1) of the Constitution of India.[Para No.22]

17 December 2020

Under the grab of Public Interest Litigation a Third party can not file application u/s. 482 of Cr.P.C.

This Court in the above case laid down that it is for the parties in the criminal case to raise all the questions and challenge the proceedings initiated against them at appropriate time before the proper forum and not for third parties under the garb of Public Interest Litigants.[Para No.14]

    We are fully satisfied that respondent No.2 has no locus in the present case to file application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. asking the Court to expedite the hearing in criminal trial. We have already observed that all criminal trials where offences involved under the Prevention of Corruption Act have to be concluded at an early date and normally no exception can be taken to the order of the High Court directing the trial court to expedite the criminal trial but in the present case the fact is that proceedings have been initiated
Under the grab of Public Interest Litigation a Third party can not file application u/.s 482 of Cr.P.C.
by respondent No.2 who was not concerned with the proceedings in any manner and the respondent No.2 has no locus to file the application which was not clearly maintainable, we are of the view that the impugned judgment of the High Court dated 09.09.2020 cannot be sustained.[Para No.15]

05 December 2020

Accused in cheque bounce case cannot take benefit if complainant has not shown the transaction in Income-Tax returns

Now it has been harped upon by the accused that the said transaction has not been accounted for. In other words, complainant has not shown the said transaction in her Income-Tax returns. Learned Advocate for the respondent as well as learned Trial Court have heavily relied on the decision in Sanjay Mishra (supra). However, it appears that the legal position that had developed thereafter was not pointed out to learned Trial Judge. In Bipin Thakkar (supra) entire legal position on this point has been discussed. In fact, Bipin Thakkar (supra) reiterates the law discussed on the point in Krishna P. Morajkar vs. Joe Ferrao and another [2013 ALL MR (Cri) 4129 : (2013) 5 AIR Bom R 294]. It is necessary to reproduce those observations from Krishna's case, which reads thus :-
"Further, it has been observed that there is no provision in Income-Tax Act, which makes an amount not shown in the income- tax returns unrecoverable. If some amounts are not accounted for, the person would be visited with the penalty or at times even prosecution under Income-Tax Act, but it does not mean that the borrower can refuse to pay the amount which he has borrowed simply, because there is some infraction of the provisions of the Income-Tax Act."[Para No.12]

    Thus, when in a subsequent pronouncements this Court has clarified the legal position that too, after taking note of subsequent pronouncement by Hon'ble Supreme Court,
Accused in cheque bounce case cannot take benefit if complainant has not shown the transaction in Income-Tax returns
then the later decision would prevail. It has been then observed in Bipin Thakkars' case that, "It is true that merely because amount advanced is not shown in Income-Tax return, in every case, one cannot jump to the conclusion that the presumption under Section 139 of said Act stands rebutted". We can consider the decision in the case of Assistant Director of Inspection vs. A. B. Shanthi, (2002) 6 SCC 259, wherein it has been held :-
"The object of introducing S. 269 is to ensure that a tax payer is not allowed to give false explanation for his unaccounted money, or if he has given some false entries in his accounts, he shall not escape by giving false explanation for the same. During search and seizure unaccounted money is unearthed and the tax payer would usually give the explanation that he had borrowed or received deposits from his relatives or friends sand it is easy for the so-called lender also to manipulate his records later to suit the plea of the tax-payer. The main object of S. 269-SS was to curb this menace."[Para No.13]

29 November 2020

Investigation and filling of chargesheet under The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 should be done only by Special Police Officer empowered under Section 13 of the Act

Learned counsel also took my attention to Joseph v. State of Kerala [2011 (2) KHC 958]. In that decision, while dealing with Sections 3, 4, 5, 14 (ii) of the Act, it has been held that authorisation given by the Special Police Officer to his subordinate officer must mention the name of any of the persons to be arrested. It is also held that Special Police Officer cannot authorise investigation of the case to be conducted by any other officer. In paragraph No.4 of the said judgment, the ambit and scope of Section 13 has been dealt with, which is relevant in this context to be extracted and it reads as follows:
"4. There is also yet another aspect that is required to be looked into. Under S.13 of the Act, a Special Police Officer shall be appointed 'for dealing with the offences under this Act in that area'. 'Dealing with the case' means doing everything connected with the progress of the case. The Supreme Court in the decision referred supra considered that question and held that the expression would include detection, prevention and investigation of offences and other duties which have been specifically imposed on the Special Police Officer under the Act. It is seen from the records that investigation of the case was conducted by the Circle Inspector though, as authorised by the Special Police Officer and the role of the Special Police Officer was only to verify the investigation and submit final report. S.14(ii) of the Act does not empower the Special  
Investigation and filling of chargesheet under The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 should be done only by Special Police Officer empowered under Section 13 of the Act
Police Officer to authorise investigation of the case to be conducted by any other officer. If that be so the investigation conducted by the officer other than the Special Police Officer is against the provisions of law.
"[Para No.8]

22 November 2020

In an inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate is required to consider whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute or not

Now so far as the reliance placed on the decision of this Court in the case of National Bank of Oman vs. Barakara Abdul Aziz (Supra) relied upon by the Learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the complainant is concerned, we are of the opinion that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the said decision shall not be of any assistance to the complainant.
In an inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate is required to consider whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute or not
It cannot be disputed that while holding the inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C. the Magistrate is required to take a broad view and a prima facie case. However, even while conducting/holding an inquiry under Section 202 Cr.P.C., the Magistrate is required to consider whether even a prima facie case is made out or not and whether the criminal proceedings initiated are an abuse of process of law or the Court or not and/or whether the dispute is purely of a civil nature or not and/or whether the civil dispute is tried to be given a colour of criminal dispute or not. As observed hereinabove, the dispute between the parties can be said to be purely of a civil nature. Therefore, this is a fit case to quash and set aside the impugned criminal proceedings. [Para No.6.5]

17 November 2020

Magistrate; after taking cognizance, cannot issue, at the first instance, non bailable arrest warrant against accused who has obtained anticipatory bail

Learned counsel for the petitioners submits that the petitioners were granted anticipatory bail by this Court in the FIR registered against them bearing No.3/2003 at Police Station Khetri, District Jhunjhunu under Section(s) 418, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 406 & 120-B IPC. The police submitted a Final Report whereafter protest petition was filed, which was dismissed.
    Against the dismissal order of the protest petition, a revision petition was filed, which was allowed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Khetri and the matter was remanded back to the Court to pass a fresh order on 18.7.2018, whereafter the learned Magistrate has taken cognizance on 11.1.2019 and summoned the petitioners through arrest warrants. The said order of remand was challenged by the petitioners before the High Court and the High Court had stayed the said proceedings. Taking into consideration the order of taking cognizance, the petition was declared infructuous.[Para No.1]

    Learned Magistrate thereafter again issued arrest warrants.[Para No.2]
......

    For the aforesaid backdrop, this Court notices that it is a case where on remand from the District Judge, the Court has taken cognizance of the offences relating to allegations under Sections 418, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 406 & 120-B IPC. The High Court vide its order dated 29.4.2003 had granted anticipatory bail to the petitioners with the condition that in the event of arresting the petitioners, they shall be released on bail.
    
    Keeping in view the conditions laid down in Sushila Agarwal & Others (supra), this Court is of the firm view that
Magistrate; after taking cognizance, cannot issue, at the first instance, non bailable arrest warrants against accused who has obtained anticipatory bail
the action of the learned Magistrate from the date, it has taken cognizance and upto passing of the impugned order dated 3.9.2020 has acted in clear violation of the orders passed by the High Court after having granted anticipatory bail. There was no occasion for the learned Magistrate to have issued the arrest warrants and such course or power was not available with it in spite of having been given to it.

15 November 2020

Absence of proof of motive creates a doubt regarding the mens rea entitling the accused for an acquittal

Mens rea of the accused has much relevance in a case when the benefit under Section 84 IPC has been pleaded by an accused. So when the prosecution in this case failed to prove any motive behind the incident it would also raise a reasonable doubt of mens rea in doing the act. So as per the proposition of law laid down above, it would be a fact which creates a reasonable doubt entitling the accused to get the benefit of the exception.
Absence of proof of motive creates a doubt regarding the mens rea entitling the accused for an acquittal
In other words absence of proof of motive from the side of the prosecution creates a doubt in the mind of the court regarding the mens rea entitling the accused for an acquittal.[Para No.44]

    Though the contention of the learned counsel for the accused that medical evidence adduced from the side of the prosecution would not prove the unsoundness of mind at the time of the commission of the offence even if accepted the attending circumstances brought out during the oral evidence of the witnesses coupled with the medical evidence would create a reasonable suspicion about the soundness of the mind of the accused at the time of commission of the act. That also would enable the accused for benefit of doubt entitling for an acquittal on the ground that the general burden of proof resting on the prosecution is not discharged.[Para No.45]
...............

11 November 2020

In investigation police should consider the defence put forth by the accused which if investigated fairly, may exonerate him

In Ankush Maruti Shinde The Supreme Court expressed its displeasure against the police for the manner in which it had investigated an offence in which several people were murdered and a woman raped in which, the accused persons, who were members of a nomadic tribe were falsely implicated while, the actual perpetrators of the crime who were identified by the witness's from the register at the police station, where never proceeded or investigated into. Underscoring the importance of a fair investigation, The Supreme Court held "It has to be uppermost kept in mind that impartial and truthful investigation is imperative. It is judiciously acknowledged that fair trial includes fair investigation as envisaged by Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The role of the police is to be one for protection of life, liberty and property of citizens, that investigation of offences being one of its foremost duties. That the aim of investigation is ultimately to search for truth and to bring the offender to book". In the same judgment, The Supreme Court, relying upon an earlier judgment passed in V.K. Sasikala Vs. State - (2012) 9 SCC 771, Highlighted the importance of the police in examining the documents that maybe in support of the accused and held in the following words "As observed by this Court in V.K. Sasikala v. State [V.K. Sasikala v. State, (2012) 9 SCC 771 : (2013) 1 SCC (Cri) 1010] , though it is only such reports which support the prosecution case that are required to be forwarded to the Court under Section 173(5), in every situation where some of the seized papers and the documents do not support the prosecution case and, on the contrary, support the accused, a duty is cast on the investigating officer to evaluate the two sets of documents and materials collected and, if required, to exonerate the accused at that stage itself"[Para No.21]

    In Babubhai Vs. State of Gujarat, The Supreme Court examined a case arising from a fight between two groups in which three people died. The police are alleged to have examined the case only from the standpoint of one, completely ignoring the defence of the other. Emphasising on the importance of a fair investigation, the Supreme Court held "The investigation into a criminal offence must be free from objectionable features or infirmities which may legitimately lead to a grievance on the part of the accused that investigation was unfair and carried out with an ulterior motive. It is also the duty of the investigating officer to conduct the investigation avoiding any kind of mischief and harassment to any of the accused. The investigating officer should be fair and conscious so as to rule out any possibility of fabrication of evidence and his impartial conduct must dispel any suspicion as to its genuineness. The investigating officer "is not merely to bolster up a prosecution case with such evidence as may enable the court to record a conviction but to bring out the real unvarnished truth". (Vide R.P. Kapur v. State of Punjab [AIR 1960 SC 866 : 1960 Cri LJ 1239] , Jamuna Chaudhary v. State of Bihar [(1974) 3 SCC 774 : 1974 SCC (Cri) 250 : AIR 1974 SC 1822] , SCC at p. 780, para 11 and Mahmood v. State of U.P. [(1976) 1 SCC 542 : 1976 SCC (Cri) 72 : AIR 1976 SC 69] )". Further, in the same judgement Supreme Court held "Not only fair trial but fair investigation is also part of constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, investigation must be fair, transparent and judicious as it is the minimum requirement of rule of law. The investigating agency cannot be permitted to conduct an investigation in a tainted and biased manner. Where non-interference of the court would ultimately result in failure of justice, the court must interfere. In such a situation, it may be in the interest of justice that independent agency chosen by the High Court makes a fresh investigation"[Para No.22]

In investigation police should consider the defence put forth by the accused which if investigated fairly, may exonerate him
    Thus, fair investigation by the police is an imperative facet inhering in Article 21. It is not an option but a constitutional mandate on the police that when it investigates, it must be done, not from the standpoint of the prosecution alone, but also from the point of view of the accused. It has to consider the defence put forth by the accused which if investigated fairly, may exonerate him. The purpose of investigation is not to secure a conviction of the accused but to unearth the truth relating to the commission of an offence. A partisan investigation is a defective investigation which puts a question mark on the sanctity of the proceedings against the accused. If after taking the defence of the accused into consideration the police is of the view that the accused is not the person who committed the offence, in such a situation he is to be exonerated and the case against him, closed. In the present case, the investigation was initially biased and one-sided. There was even reluctance on the part of the police to accept documents from the accused. Even after the police had received the prurient photographs of the deceased, it never carried out any investigation to examine the motive of the deceased to commit suicide and whether the reason put forth by the Petitioner was plausible. The police have merely taken the material given by the Petitioner and made the same a part of the chargesheet without conducting any investigation into the defence of the Petitioner. The police have merely recorded the statement of the immediate relations of the deceased and filed the chargesheet against the Petitioner. No investigation was conducted to a certain the veracity of the allegations against the Petitioner.[Para No.23]

07 November 2020

Order of process issue u/s.204 of Cr.P.C.; passed summarily and without discussing facts, evidence, law and exact overt act, is not proper legal judicial order

As held by the Courts as above, the passing of order of summoning any person as accused is a very important matter, which initiates criminal proceeding against him. Such orders cannot be passed summarily or without applying judicial mind.[Para No.13]

    In light of this legal position I have gone through the impugned order. A perusal of this order indicates that neither any discussion of evidence was made by learned Magistrate, nor was it considered as to which accused had allegedly committed what overt act. The five accused persons of complaint were summoned for offences mentioned in it. Impugned order clearly lacks the reflection of application of judicial discretion or mind.
Order of process issue u/s.204 of Cr.P.C.; passed summarily and without discussing facts, evidence, law and exact overt act, is not proper legal judicial order
Nothing is there which may show that learned Magistrate, before passing of the order under challenge had considered the facts and circumstances of the case and the evidence or the law. Therefore it appears that, in fact, no judicial mind was applied before the passing of impugned order of summoning. Such order cannot be accepted as a proper legal judicial order passed after following due procedure of law.
Therefore it is liable to be quashed.[Para No.14]

03 November 2020

At the time of taking cognizance on chargesheet, Magistrate is not supposed to act as a Post Office

At the time of consideration of charge Magistrate can take into consideration certain facts and documents pointed out and/or submitted by or on behalf of accused 


Filing of Civil Suit for redressal of damages does not bar a person from initiating a criminal case involving ingredients of criminal offence entitling plaintiff/complainant to initiate criminal case against the offender


    It is settled that at the time of taking cognizance of offence, it is not necessary for the Magistrate to find out as to whether trial is clearly going to culminate into conviction of accused or not, but the Magistrate has only to see whether there is prima-facie evidence on record so as to construe that there is possibility of commission of offence by the accused and even if there is evidence raising suspicion of commission of offence by accused the cognizance can be taken by the Magistrate and thereafter the accused has a right to put his version before the Court on the basis of evidence on record at the time of framing of Charge.[Para No.15]

    Parameters to be taken into consideration by the Court at the time of framing of charge are altogether different than that to be taken into consideration at the time of taking cognizance. At the time of taking of cognizance, Magistrate has to look into that material only which is placed before him by the Prosecution/Investigating Agency, but at the time of consideration of charge Magistrate can take into consideration certain facts and documents pointed out and/or submitted by or on behalf of accused and thereafter he can take a decision as to whether there is sufficient material for framing of charge or not. Recently this Court in case Siemens Enterprise Communications Pvt.. Ltd. now known as Progility Technologies Pvt. Ltd. vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, reported in 2019 (3) Shim. LC 1691, on the basis of ratio of law propounded by the Apex Court in its various pronouncements, has reiterated the power of the Magistrate as well as parameters to be taken into consideration at the time of framing of charge. It is also settled that at the time of undertaking such exercise at the time of framing of charge the Magistrate is not supposed to conduct a mini trial at the stage of framing of charge and not to appreciate evidence as warranted at the stage of conclusion of trial, but he has power to evaluate material and the documents on record alongwith material being referred by the accused if the said parameter confirms to the parameters laid down by the Apex Court reiterated in Siemens' case supra. Whereas at the stage of taking cognizance, as already stated supra, on consideration of material placed before Magistrate by prosecution/investigating agency, even if there is evidence raising suspicion of commission of offence by accused the cognizance can be taken.[Para No.16]

    No doubt, the evidence or material placed before the Magistrate, at the time of taking cognizance, is not to be evaluated on merit, but definitely it is duty of the Court to see as to whether some evidence is available on record or not.
At the time of taking cognizance on chargesheet, Magistrate is not supposed to act as a Post Office
In case, there is no evidence on record to indicate commission of alleged offence(s), the Magistrate is not supposed to act as a Post Office, but is expected to apply his judicial mind according to facts and circumstances of the case for accepting or rejecting the challan/report filed before him under Section 173 Cr.P.C.[Para No.17]

01 November 2020

Wife can proceed simultaneously under both the provisions of Sec.125 of CrPC and Sec.12 of The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act

As far as other contention raised by learned Counsel for the petitioner that the orders/judgment passed by learned Courts below is not sustainable in view of the fact that the petitioner was also receiving Rs.3,500/­ per month under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code Cr.P.C., is concerned,
Wife can proceed simultaneously under both the provisions of Sec.125 of CrPC and Sec.12 of The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act
the said plea of learned Counsel for the petitioner is also liable to be rejected. The provisions of Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are distinct and different. Law does not prohibits the wife to proceed under both of the said statutory provisions simultaneously or Otherwise.[Para No.11]

27 October 2020

Bail can not be denied to chargesheeted accused on the ground of abscondence of other accused

It is pertinent to note that the other ground raised by the prosecution is that the co­accused, who is relative of the present applicant, is absconding and, therefore, present petitioner may not be enlarged on bail.
Bail can not be denied to chargesheeted accused on the ground of abscondence of other accused
Now, it is well settled principle of criminal jurisprudence that even for securing presence or for getting whereabouts of the co­accused, no police custody remand could be granted. The same principle will apply in the case where bail is sought by the accused and the charge sheet is already filed against him/her. If there is laxity or inability of the prosecution to arrest the co­accused, on that ground the other accused against whom investigation is over and charge sheet is filed cannot be denied the right of getting bail in a given case.[Para No.7]

26 October 2020

Mere existence of motive to commit an offence by itself cannot give rise to an inference of guilt nor can it form the basis for conviction

Needless to say motive is that which impels a person to do a particular act. There can be no action without a motive. Motive may create a very strong suspicion but it cannot take the place of proof. Mere possibility of existence of motive cannot make the accused guilty, as held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Sarwan Singh Rattan Singh vs. State of Punjab. Where the prosecution case depends on circumstantial evidence, motive assumes significance and goes a long way to prove the case of the prosecution as held by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Shivaji vs. State[Para No.36]

Mere existence of motive to commit an offence by itself cannot give rise to an inference of guilt nor can it form the basis for conviction
   Mere existence of motive by itself is not an incriminating circumstance and it cannot give rise to an inference of guilt nor can it form the basis for conviction. Motive for the crime, even if adequate, cannot by itself sustain a criminal charge. In the case in hand, we have discussed elaborately how the prosecution is found wanting in establishing the "last seen" theory. Therefore, practically, there is no evidence to establish any of the circumstances, which in such type of cases, need to be established by the prosecution and even if we assume for the sake of argument that the accused was harboring a motive to commit the murder of the deceased, that in itself, for want of other positive evidence, will not sail the prosecution through.[Para No.37]

22 October 2020

There is no limitation of period for invoking High Court's inherent powers u/s.482 Cr.P.C.

If evidence is relevant, it is admissible irrespective of how it is obtained


The Investigating Agency has no power to appreciate the evidence



    Regarding limitation, although delay is duly explained in the petition, however, there is no applicability of Limitation Act on Section 482 Cr.P.C. being the inherent powers of this Court. The said section is starting itself with a non-obstante clause (Notwithstanding) therefore, this Court has power to exercise inherent powers where there is miscarriage of justice and abuse of process of law. Non-applicability of Limitation Act and non- providing of limitation period in Cr.P.C. with regard to Section 482 Cr.P.C., the intention of the legislature was not to restrict this Court to use these powers in appropriate cases. Thus, raising the issue of limitation period about Section 482 Cr.P.C. is itself contrary to the intention of legislature and the very section itself. In this regard, judgments relied upon by the respondent no.2 (complainant) are not applicable, as facts and circumstances of those cases are different from the case in hand.[Para No.49

There is no limitation of period for invoking High Court's inherent powers u/s.482 Cr.P.C.
    As far as the issue of source of document is concerned, the Hon'ble Supreme Court and various High Courts including the case of Pushpadevi M. Jatia vs. M.L. Wadhavan & Ors.: (1987) 3 SCC 367 relied upon by respondent no.2 (complainant) held that the source of the evidence is not material, as long as it is admissible under the law, the same may be considered. If evidence is relevant, it is admissible irrespective of how it is obtained.[Para No.50]

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