Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

S.370 IPC Can't Be Invoked On "Presumption" That Accused Indulged Himself In Human Trafficking: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
18 April 2022 8:00 AM GMT
S.370 IPC Cant Be Invoked On Presumption That Accused Indulged Himself In Human Trafficking: Karnataka High Court
x
Soul of Section 370 is "exploitation".

The Karnataka High Court has said that Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code cannot be invoked merely on the presumption that an accused indulged himself in human trafficking. A Single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna while quashing criminal proceedings initiated against one Rajkumar said, "What can be gathered from the complaint and the chargesheet that is filed by the...

The Karnataka High Court has said that Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code cannot be invoked merely on the presumption that an accused indulged himself in human trafficking.

A Single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna while quashing criminal proceedings initiated against one Rajkumar said, "What can be gathered from the complaint and the chargesheet that is filed by the police is that, it is presumed that the petitioner had indulged himself in human trafficking and therefore, Section 370 of the IPC was invoked against the petitioner."

It added ,

"The soul of the provision is exploitation. There is no allegation in the complaint made by any victim alleging exploitation by the petitioner. The complaint, investigation and wavering statements of the persons, who accompanied the petitioner created suspicion in the mind of the Immigration Officer. The suspicion was on account of the statement of handing over some cash to the petitioner by the people who accompanied him. This cannot in my considered view, be enough circumstance to prosecute the petitioner for offence punishable under Section 370 of the IPC for human trafficking."

3 Indian nationals, intending to travel to Kuala Lampur, were checked and questioned by the Assistant Immigration Officer at Bangalore International Airport on 20.07.2019.

While questioning it came to light that they were all travelling in a group and were accompanied by another passenger by name Rajkumar – the petitioner. On further questioning, it is the case of the complainant that the passengers reveal the fact that they were being taken by the petitioner to Kuala Lampur for employment purposes on tourist VISAs.

It was also informed that the petitioner was introduced to them by another agent named Kiran, based in Amritsar. Few of the persons who were questioned also indicated that they have paid some amounts to Rajkumar and others. Based upon the aforesaid interrogation and incident, a complaint came to be registered against the petitioner for offence punishable under Section 370 of the IPC.

The bench went through the complaint and the chargesheet filed by the police and said ,"If any further proceedings are permitted to be continued in the case at hand, it would become an abuse of the process of law and result in miscarriage of justice."

It added, "It is settled principle that in the logical end, if the petitioner would be acquitted for want of evidence, that would be an appropriate case where this Court would in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C., obliterate such proceedings. The case at hand is one such case."

Accordingly it allowed the petition.

Case Title: Rajkumar And The State Of Karnataka

Case No: Criminal Petition No.6118 Of 2021

Citation: 2022 Livelaw (Kar) 122

Date Of Order: 23rd Day Of March, 2022

Appearance: Advocate M.R.C. Manohar For Petitioner

Advocate K.P.Yashodha, For R1

Click Here To Read/Download Order

Next Story