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Allahabad High Court sets aside MPMLA court cognizance against shooter Vartika Singh

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International shooter Vartika Singh has got relief in the criminal case from the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The Court has set aside the order of cognizance taken against her on the chargesheet filed in the MP-MLA court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan passed this order while hearing a petition U/S 482/378/407 filed by Vartika Singh.

The petitioner prayed for quashing and setting aside the impugned cognizance and summoning order dated July 26, 2021 passed by Special Judge (MP/MLA) Court, Additional Sessions Judge, Sultanpur in State vs. Vartika Singh and chargesheet dated June 15, 2021 in FIR u/s 509, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B, 34 IPC read with 66, 67C IT Act, 2008, PS Musafirkhana, District Amethi.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is neither a sitting MP or MLA or Ex MP or Ex MLA, therefore, the cognizance of the chargesheet in the matter of the petitioner may not be taken by the Special Court ie Special Judge, MP, MLA Court / Additional Sessions Judge, Sultanpur.

The counsel further submitted that the sections under which the cognizance has been taken against the petitioner are triable by Magistrate and such cognizance is taken invoking the provisions of section 190 CrPC whereas the Special Court is a court equivalent to the Court of Sessions and such compliance is taken by invoking section 193 CrPC. Therefore, the compliance order dated July 26, 2021 may be quashed and direction may be issued to the court-below to pass appropriate orders strictly in accordance with law.

Ran Vijay Singh, Additional Government Advocate, submitted that when the court concerned i.e. the Special Court has taken cognizance against the petitioner, one ex-MP namely, Kamal Kishore Commando, was also accused in that case and investigation was pending against him at that point of time. However, he has submitted that the final report has been filed against ex-MP Kamal Kishore Commando.

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At this juncture counsel for the petitioner has drawn attention towards supplementary affidavit dated November 16, 2021 referring which is an application of the complainant filed before the Special Court whereby he has submitted that he shall not file any protest application against the ex-MP.

Counsel for the petitioner also submitted that in view of the facts and circumstances the cognizance order may be quashed inasmuch as the Special Court is not competent to take cognizance against the petitioner.

The Court noted that the petitioner is neither MP or MLA or Ex MP or Ex MLA. It is also undisputed that in terms of the notification being issued by the High Court dated August 16, 2019 the Special Court can take cognizance against the MPs and MLAs.

The Court observed that the complainant has filed an application before the Special Court that he shall not be filing a protest application against the final report being filed in favour of Kamal Kishor Commando (Ex MP). Further, the offences for which the cognizance has been taken by the Special Court are triable by the Magistrate.

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Therefore, in view of the above if on the basis of chargesheet so filed against the petitioner the cognizance whereof is required and the presence of the petitioner is also required, such required exercised can be done by the competent court i.e. a court of magistrate not by the court of sessions judge.

Accordingly, the Court set aside an order dated July 26, 2021 is hereby.

“In view of the above the Special Court where the complete chargesheet has been filed by the Investigating Officer may send a complete true copy of the chargesheet and case diary before the competent court of magistrate forthwith, preferably within a period of two weeks after carrying out the required exercise. Thereafter the Magistrate shall do the needful strictly in accordance with law.

It is clarified that since the final report in favour of Kamal Kishor Commando has been submitted before the Special Court and the complainant has submitted that he shall not be filing the protest petition against such Ex-MP but in that case also the Special Court may scrutinize the relevant material of the case diary / chargesheet, therefore, for that purpose such chargesheet and the case diary should also be retained in the court of Special Judge till the FR is accepted by the such court as per its satisfaction according to law,”

the order reads.

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