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Supreme Court Criticises "Cyclostyled" HC Orders Disposing FIR Quashing Pleas With Direction To Police To Follow "Arnesh Kumar" Judgment

Mehal Jain
2 Jun 2022 11:04 AM GMT
Supreme Court Criticises Cyclostyled HC Orders Disposing FIR Quashing Pleas With Direction To Police To Follow Arnesh Kumar Judgment
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stated that it does not "appreciate" the manner in which a Single Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court has disposed off various criminal writ petitions in a "cyclostyled manner"- without looking into the merits and only with a direction to the police to follow the judgment of the top court in Arnesh Kumar's case before proceeding to make arrests.

Restoring the instant Criminal Writ Petition on the file of the High Court for the same "to be heard on its own merits, in accordance with law", the Court further requested the Chief Justice of the High Court to list the Criminal Writ Petition "before another Judge".
The bench of Justices B. R. Gavai and Hima Kohli was hearing an appeal preferred for quashing of a February, 2022 FIR registered with Police Station Mukteshwar, District Nainital, Uttarakhand for the offence punishable under Section 420 IPC.
In the impugned decision of the High Court of April, 2022, the Single Bench of the Uttarakhand High Court had recorded as follows :,
"During the arguments, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that this writ petition may be disposed of with a direction to the concerned Station House Officer and the Investigating Officer to follow the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, passed in 'Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar and Another', (2014) 8 SCC 273, before proceed to arrest the petitioners. The learned counsel for the respondents have no objection on the above submission of the learned counsel for the petitioners. In view of the above, this Criminal Writ Petition No.514 of 2022 is disposed off with a direction to the Station House Officer, Police Station Mukteshwar, District Nainital, the respondent no.2 and the Investigating Officer to follow the guidelines formulated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in 'Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar and Another', (2014) 8 SCC 273"
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The bench of Justices Gavai and Kohli heard Senior Advocate Ms. Meenakshi Arora for the appellants and noted that "with her assistance have gone through the various orders passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court disposing of the criminal writ petition in a cyclostyled manner".
The bench declared, "Prima facie, we are of the view that while passing these orders, the learned Judge has not taken pains to look into the merits of the matter and has passed cyclostyled orders".

The bench further observed that the counsel for the appellants, on instructions, submits that the counsel for the appellants before the High Court tried to persuade the Court to appreciate the facts on merits for quashing of the FIR in regard to which the complaint was made but the order impugned does not disclose even the bare facts for appreciation and this is the reason for the appellants to approach the Supreme Court by filing this appeal.
The bench proceeded to state, "In our considered view, the manner in which the order impugned dated 04.04.2022 has been passed by the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be appreciated by this Court."
The bench then ordered as follows- "Consequently, the appeal is allowed. The order impugned dated 04.04.2022 is hereby set-aside and the Criminal Writ Petition No. 514/2022 is restored on the file of the High Court of Uttarakhand and to be heard on its own merits, in accordance with law. For a period of eight weeks, the respondents are restrained from taking any coercive action against the appellants in reference to FIR No. 17 of 2022. The appellants are at liberty to file an application seeking interim protection before the High Court."

Moreover, the bench continued to add in its order, "We further request the Chief Justice of the High Court to list the Criminal Writ Petition before another Judge."
The Top Court also granted relief to the petitioners in the meantime by directing no coercive action against them on the subject FIR for a period of 8 weeks.

Case Title: HARSH R. KILACHAND & ANR. v. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND & ORS.

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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