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Judicial Officer's Wife Lodges FIR Against Advocate Who Accused Officer Of Taking Bribe: Allahabad HC Directs SSP To Monitor Probe

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 April 2022 2:44 PM GMT
Judicial Officers Wife Lodges FIR Against Advocate Who Accused Officer Of Taking Bribe: Allahabad HC Directs SSP To Monitor Probe
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The Allahabad High Court today ordered the Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzaffar Nagar to personally monitor the investigation in an FIR by the wife of a Judicial Officer against an advocate, who accused the Judicial Officer of taking a bribe to pass favorable orders.The bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajnish Kumar however refused to transfer the case to any...

The Allahabad High Court today ordered the Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzaffar Nagar to personally monitor the investigation in an FIR by the wife of a Judicial Officer against an advocate, who accused the Judicial Officer of taking a bribe to pass favorable orders.

The bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajnish Kumar however refused to transfer the case to any other investigating agency as the Court opined that the allegations were neither specific nor are substantiated and that, there is no reason to doubt the impartiality of the Investigating Officer in the matter.

The case in brief

Essentially, the informant (wife of a Judicial Officer) had lodged an FIR against the advocate-accused (petitioner herein) alleging that she was receiving threats from him and is matter is pending in the court of her husband. Referring to various instances of such threats, she sought appropriate protection for her family members.

Pursuant to this, a case was registered against the advocate-petitioner (Amit Kumar Jain) under Sections 452, 387, 353, 506, 507 IPC and therefore, he moved the instant criminal writ plea seeking transfer of the case lodged by the wife of the Judicial Officer against him to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

He also challenged the FIR on the ground that there exists complicity of the Judicial Officer and his wife in the matter. Various call recordings of telephonic conversations between them was brought on record. He accepted of having paid bribe to the concerned officer for favourable decision in the matter.

Lastly, in his plea, he attached the transcripts of communication between the Presiding Officer; his wife; and the parties in order to demonstrate that Presiding Officer is himself guilty in the matter and with this, he sought quashing of FIR as well.

Court's observations

At the outset, in view of the allegations made against the Judge, the Court said that the issue can be taken lightly, and it further remarked thus:

"Judicial system of this country is governed by the rule of law and its credibility rests upon trust of the people in the system itself. Instances of this kind, if the allegations are correct, have the ability to question the confidence of a common man in the system itself. It is, therefore, imminently necessary that the allegations and counter allegations are thoroughly investigated in an independent and fair manner."

Regarding the allegations made against the advocate by the wife of the judicial officer, the Court, while refusing to transfer the case to any other investigating agency, remarked thus:

"Whether these allegations are correct or not is an aspect to be examined during the course of investigation. We would not be inclined to interfere with the ongoing investigation in the matter or to direct the investigation to be transferred to any other agency on the asking of petitioner merely on the strength of vague allegations that the investigating officer is not acting independently."

Importantly, noting that the petitioner-advocate had, intentionally, and for his gain, offered bribe to a Judicial Officer, the Court stressed that it clearly disentitled him to grant of any relief by the Court. Further, the Court also directed the Registry to send copy of the order alongwith the writ petition to the Chairman, Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh for appropriate action in the matter in accordance with law.

However, considering the seriousness of the allegations levelled, the court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Muzaffar Nagar to personally monitor the investigation and ensure that no influence is allowed to be exercised by anyone only because of the status held by the persons involved in the matter.

The Court also directed that copy of the order alongwith writ petition be placed before Registrar General of the Court for appropriate examination. With this, the writ plea was dismissed.

Case title - Amit Kumar Jain v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others [CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. - 3894 of 2022]

Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 205

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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