Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Allahabad High Court denies relief to close operatives of gangster Atiq Ahmed

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The Allahabad High Court has refused to give relief to two close operatives of gangster-turned-politician Atiq Ahmed, who was shot dead in Prayagraj in April this year, while he was interacting with the media.

The Division Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh and Justice Surendra Singh-I dismissed the petition filed by Mohammad Shakir and another, which sought cancellation of FIR and stay on arrest.

The writ petition has been filed praying for the following reliefs:

“(i) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the impugned F.I.R dated 11.04.2023 in Case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 386, 286, 504, 506 and 120-B IPC, Police Station- Dhoomanganj, District-Allahabad/Prayagraj.

(ii) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the respondents police officials not to arrest the petitioners in pursuance of the F.I.R dated 11.04.2023 as Case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 307, 386, 286, 504, 506 and 120-B IPC, Police Station- Dhoomanganj, District Allahabad/Prayagraj”

Counsel for the petitioners submitted that the first information report does not disclose any offence against petitioners. Neither any specific role of the petitioners has been shown nor any overt act has been assigned to them. Only it was alleged that on 15.02.2023 at 7.30 PM the accused persons came to the house of the informant and they threatened and pressured him to go Gujarat to meet co-accused Ateeq Ahmad and they asked the informant to pay rupees one crore.

Referring to facts of the matter, counsel for the petitioners submitted that there is no evidence against the petitioners.

Additional Advocate General has opposed the prayer for quashing of the FIR and submitted that both the petitioners are named in the first information report. In the C.C.T.V footage of the alleged incident, both the petitioners have been shown. Further, co-accused Faizan has already been arrested and he has also stated that they were also involved in the incident.

The Court observed that,

Perusal of the impugned first information report prima facie reveals commission of cognizable offence.

In view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana and others vs Bhajan Lal and others, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, M/s Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt Ltd vs State of Maharashtra, AIR 2021 SC 1918 and Leelavati Devi @ Leelawati & Anr Vs The State of Uttar Pradesh, SLP(Crl) No 3262 of 2021, decided on 07.10.2021, we do not find a fit case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India at this stage as various factual aspect of the matter may require investigation.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the petition leaving it open for the petitioner/s to apply before the competent court for bail/anticipatory bail.

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