30 Sep 2022 9:23 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court recently discharged two men in a case accusing them of assaulting a traffic policeman in 2017 when they were being booked for alleged drunken driving.The police had registered a case under Section 353 IPC against the accused for preventing the cop from discharging his duty. Justice Mohammed Nawaz allowed the petition filed by Priyamshu Kumar and his friend Alok Kumar...
The Karnataka High Court recently discharged two men in a case accusing them of assaulting a traffic policeman in 2017 when they were being booked for alleged drunken driving.
The police had registered a case under Section 353 IPC against the accused for preventing the cop from discharging his duty.
Justice Mohammed Nawaz allowed the petition filed by Priyamshu Kumar and his friend Alok Kumar - who are both in late 20s, and set aside the order passed by the trial court rejecting their application seeking discharge in the case.
As per the police case, on April 09 in 2017, a police inspector of the Airport Traffic Police Station, Bengaluru noticed Alok was moving in a suspicious manner on a motorcycle. When it was found he "had consumed alcohol", he was asked to accompany to the police station but he tried to escape.
His friend Priyamshu allegedly slapped the officer and the duo allegedly prevented him from discharging his duty. With the help of public, they were apprehended, their bike was seized and a case of drunken driving was registered.
Justice Nawaz in the judgement said noted the prosecution's version that there were public witnesses present at the spot and they helped the police apprehend the two petitioners. "However, their statements are not recorded and none of them are cited as witnesses in the charge-sheet," said the court.
The court also noted that a case was registered against Alok for drunken driving and his motorbike was seized. Further, the court said, he was asked to pay the fine for drunken driving. However, the court, while referring to circular dated 25.09.2015 issued by the Additional Commissioner of Police [Traffic], said:
"As per the circular noted supra, only the Court which is authorized to decide the fine amount and under no circumstances, fine amount can be collected by the Traffic Police to pay it on behalf of the accused. Further, checking activity has not been videographed. It is also relevant to see that if a person tries to physically assault the Police, he should be restrained and the jurisdictional Police should be called to the spot to take custody of the said person etc."
Observing that none of the procedures were followed while apprehending the accused, the court said it has no hesitation to hold that the ingredients of the offence alleged are not made out.
"The materials collected by the prosecution are not sufficient to show that the incident as projected by the prosecution has taken place," the court said.
It further observed that normally at the stage of considering an application for discharge, the Court must proceed on the assumption that the material which has been brought on record by the prosecution is true. However, it added, the prosecution has to fulfil the ingredients of the offence committed by placing material.
"The revisional jurisdiction can be invoked where there is no compliance of the provisions of law and the findings recorded are by ignoring the material placed on record. For the limited purpose, to find out as to whether the material and documents discloses the ingredients constituting the alleged offence, the Court dealing with an application for discharge can sift the evidence as it cannot be expected even at that initial stage to accept all that prosecution states as gospel truth," the bench said further
The court said it finds that the material on record is insufficient to proceed against the petitioners and also that the ingredients of the offence alleged are not made out by the prosecution.
Case Title: PRIYAMSHU KUMAR And THE STATE OF KARNATAKA
Case No: CRIMINAL REVISION PETITION NO.298 OF 2019
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 384
Date of order: 6TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2022
Appearance: AIYAPPA FOR ASIM MALIK, ADVOCATES for petitioner
S.VISHWA MURTHY, HCGP FOR R1
Click Here To Read/Download Order