21 March 2023 7:54 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court on Monday refused to quash a 23-year-old criminal case pending before the Varanasi Court against Congress' Rajyasabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala as it noted that he has a remedy to move a discharge plea before the Trial Court.The bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta also directed that in case the Congress MP files a discharge plea before the local court within a period of...
The Allahabad High Court on Monday refused to quash a 23-year-old criminal case pending before the Varanasi Court against Congress' Rajyasabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala as it noted that he has a remedy to move a discharge plea before the Trial Court.
The bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta also directed that in case the Congress MP files a discharge plea before the local court within a period of two weeks, the same be considered and decided expeditiously within six weeks.
The Court also granted him protection against coercive action for a period of two months or till the disposal of the discharge application, whichever is earlier.
The case against Surjewala dates back to the year 2000 wherein he, along with other Congress leaders, were booked under Sections 147, 332, 353, 336, 333, 427 IPC and Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act on the allegations of forcibly entering the commissioner's office premises, creating a ruckus, causing hurt and assaulting public servants.
Now challenging the entire proceedings of the case, Surjewala moved a quashing plea before the High Court on the ground that a perusal of the allegations made in the FIR and the material collected during the course of the investigation, no offence is disclosed against him.
It was also argued by his counsel that the present case has been instituted with a malafide intention for the purpose of harassment, as such, entire proceedings be quashed. On the other hand, the state's counsel argued that the offences alleged against him were very well made out.
Against the backdrop of these submissions, the Court perused the material on record to opine that at this stage, it cannot be said that no offence is made out against Surejwala. The Court noted that all the submissions made by his counsel relate to the disputed questions of fact, which cannot be adjudicated upon by this Court under Section 482 CrPC, as it is the stage where only a prima facie case is to be seen.
The Court further noted that Surjewala has already been directed to be released on bail and he has got right of discharge under Section 239, 245 or 227 CrPC, as the case may be, and that he is free to take all the submissions in the said discharge application before the trial court.
"At this stage, this Court is not in a position to weigh the factual matrix of the case properly and the accused has a right to file a discharge application before the trial court and the trial court may decide his discharge application, if there is no evidence against him," the Court added.
Consequently, the Court disposed of his plea by giving him the liberty to move the discharge plea before the local Court and extending him protection against any coercive action for a period of two months.
Senior Advocate G. S. Chaturvedi assisted by Advocates Akhilesh Singh and Shivam Yadav appeared for Surjewala.
Case title - Randeep Singh Surjewala vs. State of U.P. and Another [APPLICATION U/S 482 No. - 9093 of 2023]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 101
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