The Karnataka High Court on Monday stayed the private complaint registered against a Judicial Magistrate First Class, (JMFC) under sections sections 166, 205, 120 (A) 211, 219, 499 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum said "Prima facie it appears to us that impugned complaint so far as respondent 2 (Judicial Officer) is concerned is not maintainable in view of protection granted under provisions of Judge (Protection ) Act 1985, and section 77 of Indian Penal Code."
The direction was given during the hearing of a suo-motu criminal petition initiated to quash the complaint lodged against the judicial officer by one C M Manjunath. The court had while directing the registry to initiate the suo-motu petition exercised its inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Manjunath had filed a complaint on the administrative side addressed to the Chief Justice making certain grievances against the Judicial Officer, about the alleged statements made by the officer during remand proceedings. The secretary to the Chief Justice replied to him saying that the remedy available to him was on the judicial side. This reply was sent as grievances were sent in response to dismissal of his protest petition and grant of custody.
However, in his private complaint filed before the Principal District Judge, he relied on the reply letter of the secretary to the Chief Justice, projecting it as permission granted for prosecuting the judicial officer.
The court has issued notice to the state government and the complainant and has now posted the matter for preliminary hearing on August 21.