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Cognizance Can't Be Taken Without Judicial Application Of Mind: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]

AKSHITA SAXENA
29 July 2019 6:22 AM GMT
Cognizance Cant Be Taken Without Judicial Application Of Mind: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]
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The Allahabad High Court quashed the charge-sheet and criminal proceedings leveled against the Applicant girl, for use of unfair means in UPSC examination, stating that the Judicial Magistrate had taken cognizance of the matter without judicial application of mind and that the proceedings instituted were frivolous in nature. The Applicant was alleged to have not submitted the answer-sheet and...

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The Allahabad High Court quashed the charge-sheet and criminal proceedings leveled against the Applicant girl, for use of unfair means in UPSC examination, stating that the Judicial Magistrate had taken cognizance of the matter without judicial application of mind and that the proceedings instituted were frivolous in nature.

The Applicant was alleged to have not submitted the answer-sheet and to have taken it with herself from the back door of examination hall. Consequently, a charge-sheet was filed against her under Section 3/10 of the Examination Act, 1982 on which the Magistrate took cognizance and summoned the Applicant.

Impugning the aforementioned charge-sheet and summoning order, the Applicant argued that she had submitted the concerned answer-sheet and also appeared for all subsequent examinations connected to UPSC. It was also contended that the allegations made against here were false and no such back door in the examination hall or the law namely Examination Act, 1982 were in existence. Subsequently, an unconditional apology was tendered by the investigating officer stating that in fact no such law was in existence and the proceedings were to be considered in light of Section 378 of IPC.

On perusal of the evidence placed on record, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh arrived at a conclusion that the present case suffered from false prosecution and tainted investigation. The testimonies of the two invigilators who had first made the allegations were inconsistent, there in fact was no back door in the examination hall and the charge-sheet was filed under fictitious laws.

The court observed that the Magistrate had taken cognizance of the matter without establishment of a prima facie case and condemned the issuance of summoning order by manually filling up gaps on an already printed proforma order. Cognizance of the matter was taken without judicial application of mind and had spoiled the Applicant's career, the court added. Consequently, the charge-sheet and the summoning order tantamount to grave miscarriage of justice and in light of the case of State of Harayana & Ors. v. Chaudhary Bhajan Lal & Ors., 1992 SCC (Cri) 426, and the powers of the High Court under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., were liable to be quashed. Costs were imposed on the informants and the investigating officer.

In view of the Apex Court's verdict in Babubhai vs. State of Gujarat & Ors., (2011) 1 Supreme Court Cases (Cri) 336, the court also held that fair investigation is a part of constitutional rights guaranteed under Article 20 and 21 of the Constitution of India and the Applicant was at liberty to institute appropriate proceedings to claim damages for violation of the same.

Arguments for the Applicant were advanced by Advocate Upendra Kumar and for the Respondents by Govt. Advocate Satish Chaturvedi.

Click Here To Download Judgment

[Read Judgment]


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