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Concept Of Fair Trial Entails Balancing The Interest Of The Accused, The Victim, Society And The Community: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]

Akshita Saxena
30 Oct 2019 5:49 AM GMT
Concept Of Fair Trial Entails Balancing The Interest Of The Accused, The Victim, Society And The Community: Allahabad HC [Read Judgment]
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Reiterating that the State Government has the power to accord written permission for withdrawal of prosecution, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday quashed an order rejecting the application for withdrawal filed by the prosecution, and directed the trial court to consider the application afresh. In this regard, Justice Rajeev Singh reiterated the position settled by a full bench of...

Reiterating that the State Government has the power to accord written permission for withdrawal of prosecution, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday quashed an order rejecting the application for withdrawal filed by the prosecution, and directed the trial court to consider the application afresh.

In this regard, Justice Rajeev Singh reiterated the position settled by a full bench of the high court in Withdrawal of Criminal Cases by State Government, 2017 (2) JIC 249(All), whereby it was held,

"Concept of fair trial entails balancing the interest of the accused, the victim, society and the community with the help of the agencies of State. In the State of U.P., by means of State Amendment, State Government has now been conferred power to accord written permission for withdrawal of prosecution, if any. Such conferment of authority, is certainly function assumed by the State Government to assert and reiterate its sovereign authority in matters relating to State prosecution. State Government under the scheme of things exercises statutory function i.e. executive in nature."

The order was made while allowing an application filed under Section 482 of CrPC by one Ram Prakash Yadav, who was being prosecuted under Sections 7 and 13 (1) (d) read with Section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

It had been alleged that Yadav sought bribe of Rs. Rs.25,000/- to correct the electricity bill of the Complainant which amounted to Rs.26,594/- and based on a Post Trap Memorandum, proceedings were instituted.

Yadav submitted that the Assistant Government District Counsel had moved an application under Section 321 Cr.P.C. for withdrawal of prosecution but the same was rejected by the Special Judge-IV, P.C. Act, Lucknow, subjecting him to illegal prosecution. It was also submitted that the impugned order did not reveal any discussion or comment on the grounds raised in the application.

It was argued that the Application was filed on the directions of the District Magistrate, Lucknow, who had examined the entire matter and reached to a conclusion that the prosecution of the applicant would be an abuse of process of the Court.

Noting that the court below had failed to apply the principles laid down by the Full Bench of the high court in the case of Withdrawal of Criminal Cases by State Government, 2017 (2) JIC 249 (All), Justice Singh said,

"State Government is free to act under the parameters provided to make scrutiny of criminal cases pending in subordinate Court to find out as to whether withdrawal under Section 321 Cr.P.C. of such case is required or not, as it is in the realm of the policy decision and call on the said score has to be taken by the State Government and same has to be based on parameters required to be observed while moving an application for withdrawal of prosecution under Section 321 Cr.P.C."

Reliance was also placed on Rahul Agarwal v. Rakesh Jain & Anr., 2005 SCC (Cri) 506, wherein the Apex court considered "when an application under Section 321 Cr.P.C. is allowed, it shall be obligatory for the Court to consider all relevant circumstances and find out whether the withdrawal of prosecution advances the cause of justice. Discretion under Section 321 Cr.P.C. should not be exercised to stifle the prosecution. Withdrawal can be permitted if the case is likely to end in an acquittal and the continuance of the case is only causing severe harassment to the accused or to bring out harmony between the parties."

In addition to the aforesaid position, the court also noted that it was highly improbable that the Applicant would expect the Complainant, whose outstanding bill was only Rs.26,594/-, to pay Rs.25,000/- bribe to correct the aforesaid bill.

It further noted that correction of bills was under the domain of Executive Engineer Revenue and not under the domain of Applicant.

With these observations, the impugned order was quashed and remitted back for reconsideration.

The Applicant was represented by Senior Advocate Nandit Kumar Srivastava with Advocate Aishwarya Mishra and Advocates Manoj Kumar Dixit, Pranjal Krishna, Prashant Singh Gaur and Sudhanshu Mishra and the Respondent State by AGA Aniruddh Kumar Singh.


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