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Lodging Of An FIR Under 'UP Gangsters Act' On The Basis Of A Single Case Is Valid & Permissible: Allahabad High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
9 Aug 2021 10:36 AM GMT
Lodging Of An FIR Under UP Gangsters Act On The Basis Of A Single Case Is Valid & Permissible: Allahabad High Court
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The Allahabad High Court recently observed that the lodging of a first information report under the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 even on the basis of involvement of a person in a single case, is valid and permissible.The Bench of Justice Samit Gopal and Justice Pritinker Diwaker relied on the landmark rulings of the Allahabad High Court on this...

The Allahabad High Court recently observed that the lodging of a first information report under the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 even on the basis of involvement of a person in a single case, is valid and permissible.

The Bench of Justice Samit Gopal and Justice Pritinker Diwaker relied on the landmark rulings of the Allahabad High Court on this subject matter to reach this conclusion.

The matter in brief

The Court observed thus while dismissing a bunch of 12 writ petitions filed by Ritesh Kumar alias Rikki and others raising the following question:

"Whether a first information report under the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 [hereinafter referred to as the 'Gangsters Act'] can be lodged and is maintainable on the basis of involvement of the petitioner(s) / accused in a single previous case"

The common ground raised in all the 12 writ petitions was that the petitioners were made accused in the impugned first information reports which were lodged under the provisions of the Gangsters Act on the basis of their involvement in a solitary case.

Even the gang chart prepared and approved by the authority showed that there is a single case against them on the basis of which, the impugned first information report has been registered which is illegal and against the essence of the Gangsters Act.

It was argued that the said first information report could not have been lodged on the basis of a solitary case and as such, the said writ petitions were prayed to be allowed and the respective impugned first information reports were urged to be quashed.

Court's observations

Emphasizing that proposition as to whether a first information report under the Gangsters Act can be lodged on the basis of involvement of an accused in only one case is no more res integra, the Court, at the outset, referred to the ruling of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Subhash vs. State of U.P. and another: 1998 SCC Online All 973, which observed thus:

"As a sequel to this decision when there are some allegations of any act or omission towards the commission of the offfence under the Act to justify an F.I.R., it follows that such an F.I.R. could lie even for a single incident as habituality of the acts is not required for making out an offence. The words used in Section 2 are no doubt in plural indicating "indulge in anti-social activities" but the sentence does not stop with the words "anti-social activities". It goes on with the word, "viz." followed by 15 clauses of anti-social activities enumerated therein. The plural in "anti-social activities" referred to the large number of activities to be brought under the umbrella of this single offence and it would never mean that there must be plurality of actions before a person could he prosecuted or convicted for an offence under the Act. When a specific offence has been created, it is open to be punished even for a single act, if it is covered by the requirements of law"

Further, the Court, inter alia, also referred to Rinku alias Hukku v. State of U.P. and another & 2001 (Suppl) ACC, in which a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court had held that singular includes plural and vice versa, thereby single act of antisocial activities is sufficient to trap a person as a gangster.

Lastly, dismissing all the 12 pleas and ruling that on the basis of one single incident, an FIR could be lodged under the Gangsters Act, the Court said thus:

"In a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, this Court cannot adjudicate the correctness of the allegations in the impugned first information reports or the cases on the basis of which the impugned first information reports have been lodged."

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