11 March 2022 11:16 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court recently set aside an eight year old criminal case pending against Mayavathi, Former Chief Minister & President Of Bahujan Samaj Party and Sathish Chandra Mishra National General Secretary & Member of Parliament, Bahujan Samaj Party. A single Judge bench of Justice Sunil Dutt Yadav said "In view of the explanation of the petitioners having been accepted...
The Karnataka High Court recently set aside an eight year old criminal case pending against Mayavathi, Former Chief Minister & President Of Bahujan Samaj Party and Sathish Chandra Mishra National General Secretary & Member of Parliament, Bahujan Samaj Party.
A single Judge bench of Justice Sunil Dutt Yadav said "In view of the explanation of the petitioners having been accepted by the Election Commission of India, the continuance of the present proceedings would not secure the ends of justice."
It added, "Accordingly, the petition is allowed. The proceedings pending on the file of the XLII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru is set aside."
The FIR was registered pursuant to the information given dated 27.04.2013 as regards the offences under Sections 353, 188 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Senior Advocate Pramila Nesargi appearing for the petitioners contended that on the face of it insofar as the offence of Section 188 of IPC is concerned in light of Section 195 (1)(a)(i) of Cr.P.C., the complaint must be in writing and that the reference to complaint under Section 195 of Cr.P.C would have to be construed as a complaint under Section 200 of Cr.P.C.
It was said "In the present case, Annexure-C would not fulfill the legal requirement as required under Section 195 of Cr.P.C."
As regards the offence of Section 353 of Cr.P.C is concerned, it is pointed out that bare reading of the information would only make out that the accused are supposed to have snatched the currency bundle from the Officer and that there is no use of criminal force.
Reliance was placed on the reply given by the Election Commission of India and said "The assertion that search could not be completed is contrary to the record and if that were to be so, the information at Annexure-C is obviously contrary to the factual assertion as the Election Commission of India in their Communication have clearly pointed out to the completion of checking and that the explanation of the first petitioner was accepted."
Prosecution opposed the plea
It was said the very act of preventing counting of the currency notes at the first instance would make out a case insofar as Section 353 of IPC is concerned.
Firstly the court noted insofar as the complaint made as regards the offence under Section 188 of IPC is concerned, clearly what is required under Section 195 of Cr.P.C is the filing of a complaint in terms of Section 200 of Cr.P.C. The information at Annexure-C does not stand the test and requirement of the complaint under Section 195 of Cr.P.C and accordingly, proceedings insofar as the offence of 188 of IPC is liable to be set aside on that sole ground itself.
Then the court said under Section 353 of IPC is concerned, it must be noted that there has to be the use of criminal force or assault. In the facts of this case, what needs to be noted is though there is an assertion that the complainant was prevented from counting the currency notes, the only assertion in the complaint is that the currency note bundle was not permitted to be counted and was snatched away from the hands of the Official.
It said "That by itself which is the version of the complainant would not be sufficient even if accepted as amounting to criminal force as envisaged under Section 353 of IPC."
Taking into account the reply of Election Commission of India, the bench observed "It is clear that the process of subjecting the petitioners to questioning regarding the amount has been completed and explanation has been accepted. The aspect of further questioning at the venue of meeting does not come out in the information at Annexure-C and as the meeting also took place on the same day, the information at Annexure-C appears on the face of it to be questionable in light of the reference made by the Election Commission of India in its Communication dated 30.04.2013."
The court opined "Section 353 of IPC, there has to be use of criminal force and even going by the version made out at Annexure-C, it cannot be stated that the ingredient of use of criminal force has been made out."
Accordingly the court allowed the petition and quashed the case.
Case Title: Kum. Mayavathi v State of Karnataka
Case no: CRIMINAL PETITION No.7626/2021
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 72
Date of Order: 14TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2022
Appearance:. Senior advocate Pramila Nesargi, a/w Advocate C. Jagadish for petitioner.
Advocate S. Vishwa Murthy for respondent.
Click Here To Read/Download Order