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Multiplicity Of Proceedings Not In Larger Public Interest : Supreme Court Directs Clubbing Of FIRs State-Wise Against An Accused

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
18 July 2022 10:38 AM GMT
Multiplicity Of Proceedings Not In Larger Public Interest : Supreme Court Directs Clubbing Of FIRs State-Wise Against An Accused
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The Supreme Court, in a recent order, directed State-wise clubbing of the FIRs filed against an accused in different states.We are of the opinion that multiplicity of the proceedings will not be in the larger public interest, the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala observed.One Abhishek Singh had approached the Apex Court by filing a writ petition seeking clubbing of all...

The Supreme Court, in a recent order, directed State-wise clubbing of the FIRs filed against an accused in different states.

We are of the opinion that multiplicity of the proceedings will not be in the larger public interest, the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala observed.

One Abhishek Singh had approached the Apex Court by filing a writ petition seeking clubbing of all the FIRs registered in different States. Against him, FIRs have been lodged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (Section 420 IPC etc) and other State enactments. Further, a number of FIRs have been lodged under prize chits and money circulation schemes (Banning Act, 1978) in West Bengal, under Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999 in Maharashtra, under Madhya Pradesh Investor Protection Act, 2000 in  Madhya Pradesh, and under Chhattisgarh Protection of Depositors Interest Act, 2005 in Chhattisgarh.

The court observed that the cases in the concerned States, to be tried by the Special Court can be conveniently clubbed, for being tried together as has been directed in the case of Radhey Shyam vs. State of Haryana.

"Following the exposition of this Court in Amish Devgan vs. Union of India & Ors., we deem it appropriate in exercise of power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, to direct clubbing of all the FIRs State-wise, which can proceed together for one trial as far as possible, as we are of the opinion that multiplicity of the proceedings will not be in the larger public interest. We may hasten to add that the concerned States have no objection for abiding with such dispensation."

The court therefore issued the following directions

  1. The offence registered in the State of West Bengal being RC/40/S/2014 dated 05.06.2015 registered with CBI/SCB/SIT, Kolkata, will proceed before the concerned Court in the State of West Bengal independently.
  2. The FIR registered at Pindwara, Sirohi, State of Rajasthan being FIR No. 338/2018 dated 12.09.2018 shall proceed before the concerned jurisdictional Court in that State itself being the only case registered in connection with the Indian Penal Code offences in that State and cannot be clubbed with the cases pending in other States, as the same will have to proceed under the special enactment of the concerned State
  3. All cases in the State of Maharashtra will stand clubbed with FIR No. 552/2016 dated 15.04.2016, registered with Police Station Ramnagar, Chandrapur, and to be tried by Special Court at Chandrapur (Maharashtra).

  4. All criminal cases arising from the FIRs filed at the different point of time in the State of Madhya Pradesh will stand clubbed with FIR No. 915/2016 dated 09.11.2016, registered with Police Station Kotwali, Sehore – to be tried by Special Court, Sehore (Madhya Pradesh);
  5. In the State of Chhattisgarh on the same lines will stand clubbed with FIR No. 146/2017 dated 04.04.2017 registered with Police Station Surajpur – to be tried by Special Court at Surajpur (Chhattisgarh)
  6. This direction is limited to general offences, the offences under the IPC and the offences under the special State legislations; and not offences concerning the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, which have to proceed under a separate legislation.
  7. If the accused has been granted bail in connection with the principal FIR or criminal case arising therefrom, in which the other FIRs/criminal cases will stand clubbed/merged in terms of this order, the bail so granted must enure in his favour until the Court of competent jurisdiction cancels the same owing to supervening circumstances including breach of bail conditions. In case, no bail has been granted in the principal FIR (case), the appellant may apply for the same before the jurisdictional court competent to try the principal crime. That be decided on its own merits.


Case details

Abhishek Singh Chauhan vs Union of India | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 608 | WP (Crl) 40/2022 | 13 July 2022 | Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala

Headnotes

Constitution of India, 1950 ; Article 32, 142 - Clubbing of FIRs - FIRs lodged against accused under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (Section 420 IPC etc) and other State enactments in various states - Directs clubbing of all the FIRs State-wise, which can proceed together for one trial as far as possible - Multiplicity of the proceedings will not be in the larger public interest - Referred to Amish Devgan vs. Union of India (2021) 1 SCC 1.

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