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Allahabad High Court stays special court order in custody death case of ex-DCMO, UP

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The Allahabad High Court has stayed the Special Court’s July 7, 2022 order in the custody death case of former Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Deputy CMO), Dr Y.S. Sachan.

The Single-Judge Lucknow Bench of Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I passed this order, while hearing an application filed under Section 482 by Karamvir Singh.

The application has been filed by the applicant for quashing of the Complaint Case “State through CBI vs unknown (Complainant – Malti Sachan), under Section 302 and 120-B IPC, pending in the Court of Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Lucknow and also quashing of the proceeding of Complaint Case, State through CBI vs Unknown (Complainant – Malti Sachan), under Section 302 and 120-B IPC, pending in the Court of Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Lucknow.

The foremost submission of the counsel for the applicant was that the applicant waqs innocent, who has been falsely implicated in the case.

The applicant was former DG Police of Uttar Pradesh in 2011. His further submission was that initially in respect of the alleged murder of Dr Sachan, an FIR came to be lodged on June 26, 2011 by the opposite party no 3 against unknown culprits.

This matter was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, in compliance with the order passed in a PIL bearing Writ Petition and upon conclusion, CBI found the death of Dr Sachan as suicide and submitted a Closure Report dated September 27, 2012 before the Court of Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Lucknow.

It is further submitted by the counsel for the applicant that against the aforesaid closure report, the opposite party no 3 preferred a protest petition before the Magistrate, who vide its order dated 22.02.2013 allowed the protest petition and rejected the closure report filed by the CBI and directed the DIG, CBI, SC III, New Delhi for further investigation of the matter.

After subsequent further investigation, again a closure report bearing Final Report came to be filed by CBI, wherein no role of the applicant was found in the alleged murder of Dr Sachan. His death was found to be suicidal. The opposite party no 3 again preferred a protest application before the Magistrate against the aforesaid second closure report submitted by CBI, which came to be rejected by order dated 19.11.2019 passed by the Magistrate and protest petition was treated as a complaint.

Thereafter, in support of the complaint case, the statement of complainant/opposite party no 3 was recorded under Section 200 CrPC and the statements of other six witnesses were also recorded under Section 202 CrPC.

Thus the impugned order dated July 7, 2022 came to be passed by the Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Lucknow whereby the applicant and some other co-accused persons have been summoned to face trial for the offences under Sections 302 & 120-B IPC which according to the counsel for the applicant is nothing but abuse of process of court since the impugned order does not reflect the application of judicial mind by the trial Court while issuing process against the applicant for facing trial for the offences under Sections 302 & 120-B IPC.

Counsel for the applicant further submitted that the order dated 07.07.2022 does not disclose, prima facie, existence of ingredients constituting offences under Sections 302 & 120-B IPC, therefore, the impugned order is not sustainable which deserves to be quashed. To buttress his aforesaid contention, counsel for the applicant has placed reliance on the judgment rendered by the Apex Court in Pepsi Food Ltd and another vs Special Judicial Magistrate and others, reported in (1998) 5 SCC 749 (Para 28).

Counsel for the applicant has further submitted that an agency like CBI has already undertaken thorough investigation of the matter twice. The CBI did not find the death of Dr Y S Sachan as homicidal. Therefore, it submitted a closure report twice.

Counsel for the applicant has concluded his submission by submitting that the applicant, at the relevant time was Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh. He being a public servant at relevant time, has a statutory protection under Section 197 CrPC. Therefore, the impugned order is also bad in want of prior sanction as required by Section 197 CrPC.

Rajesh Kumar Singh and Alok Saran, AGA for the State have submitted that the impugned order has come to be passed against the applicant by the trial Court on the basis of the statement of opposite party no 3 recorded under Section 200 CrPC and other witnesses produced by her, whose statements were recorded under Section 202 CrPC. Therefore, the impugned order does not suffer from any illegality or irregularity.

However, they have been unable to dispute the fact that pursuant to the order dated 14.07.2011 passed by the Court in Public Interest Litigation, the matter was investigated by the CBI and closure reports were submitted twice by the CBI.

Anurag Kumar Singh, counsel appearing for CBI has very fairly submitted that the CBI was entrusted with the investigation of Case in respect of alleged murder of Dr Y S Sachan. The CBI conducted the investigation meticulously and having found that the death of Dr Y S Sachan was suicidal, rightly submitted closure report twice.

Having heard aforesaid submissions of the counsel for the applicant, Anurag Kumar Singh, Counsel for CBI, Rajesh Kumar Singh and Alok Saran, AGA for the State and upon perusal of record, the matter requires consideration, the Court observed.

“Notice on behalf of opposite party no 1 has been accepted by Anurag Singh, Advocate whereas Rajesh Kumar Singh,  AGA has accepted notice on behalf of opposite party no 2.

“Issue notice to the opposite party no 3, returnable at an early date to be served through CJM concerned. Steps be taken within three days positively.

“Let counter affidavits be filed by the opposite parties within two weeks. A week’s time thereafter shall be available to the counsel for the applicant to file a rejoinder affidavit. List immediately after expiry of the aforesaid period.

“Meanwhile, the order dated July 7, 2022 shall not be given effect to qua the applicant”, the Court ordered.

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