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Prosecution Under UP Gangsters Act Permissible Even In Case Of A Single FIR/Charge-sheet for Anti-Social Activities: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
26 April 2022 1:07 PM GMT
Prosecution Under UP Gangsters Act Permissible Even In Case Of A Single FIR/Charge-sheet for Anti-Social Activities: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that there can be prosecution against a person under Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in section 2(b) of the Act.In this case, the Allahabad High Court had refused to quash the proceedings against the accused under Uttar...

The Supreme Court observed that there can be prosecution against a person under Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in section 2(b) of the Act.

In this case, the Allahabad High Court had refused to quash the proceedings against the accused under Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986

In appeal before the Apex Court, the accused - appellant contended that solely on the basis of a single FIR/charge sheet and that too with respect to a single murder, the appellant cannot be said to be a 'Gangster' and/or a member of the 'Gang'. Opposing this plea, the State contended that even in case of a single FIR/charge sheet but with respect to anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Gangsters Act, there can be a prosecution under the Gangsters Act.

Thus, the issue raised in this case was whether, a person against whom a single FIR/charge sheet is filed for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in section 2(b) of the Gangsters Act, 1986 can be prosecuted under the Gangsters Act. In other words, whether a single crime committed by a 'Gangster' is sufficient to apply the Gangsters Act on such members of a 'Gang' ?

The Apex Court bench noted that, under the Gangsters Act, 1986, a 'Gang' is a group of one or more persons who commit/s the crimes mentioned in the definition clause for the motive of earning undue advantage, whether pecuniary, material or otherwise. The court also noticed that there is no specific provision under the Gangsters Act, 1986 like the specific provisions under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 and the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime Act, 2015 that while prosecuting an accused under the Gangsters Act, there shall be more than one offence or the FIR/charge sheet.

"Therefore, considering the provisions under the Gangsters Act, 1986 as they are, even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet, if it is found that the accused is a member of a 'Gang' and has indulged in any of the anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Gangsters Act, such as, by violence, or threat or show of violence, or intimidation, or coercion or otherwise with the object of disturbing public order or of gaining any undue temporal, pecuniary, material or other advantage for himself or any other person and he/she can be termed as 'Gangster' within the definition of Section 2(c) of the Act, he/she can be prosecuted for the offences under the Gangsters Act. Therefore, so far as the Gangsters Act, 1986 is concerned, there can be prosecution against a person even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Act provided such an anti-social activity is by violence, or threat or show of violence, or intimidation, or coercion or otherwise with the object of disturbing public order or of gaining any undue temporal, pecuniary, material or other advantage for himself or any other person.", the bench observed.

The bench noted that, in this the main accused P.C. Sharma was a gang leader and who was the mastermind and he hatched the criminal conspiracy along with other co-accused including the appellant herein to commit the murder of the deceased Sadhna Sharma for a pecuniary benefit as there was a property dispute going on since long between the family members. The High Court has rightly refused to quash the criminal proceedings against the appellant-accused under Sections 2/3 of the Gangsters Act, 1986, in exercise of powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C, the bench said while dismissing the appeal.


Case details

Shraddha Gupta vs State of Uttar Pradesh | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 411 | CrA 569-570 of 2022 | 26 April 2022

Coram: Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna 

Counsel: Adv Divyesh Pratap Singh for appellant, Adv Sanjay Kumar Tyagi for respondent -State, Adv Shuvodeep Roy for respondent

Headnotes

Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 ; Section 2(b) - Even a single crime committed by a 'Gang' is sufficient to implant Gangsters Act on such members of the 'Gang' - There can be prosecution against a person even in case of a single offence/FIR/charge sheet for any of the anti-social activities mentioned in Section 2(b) of the Act provided such an anti-social activity is by violence, or threat or show of violence, or intimidation, or coercion or otherwise with the object of disturbing public order or of gaining any undue temporal, pecuniary, material or other advantage for himself or any other person. (Para 9-10)

Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 - All provisions are to ensure that the offences under the Gangsters Act should be given preference and should be tried expeditiously and that too, by the Special Courts, to achieve the object and purpose of the enactment of the Gangsters Act. (Para 8)




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