Saturday, December 2, 2023

Allahabad High Court issues notice to IPS officer on quo warranto petition

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The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to IPS officer Ashutosh Pandey on the quo warranto petition filed against him for removal from the post of Director Prosecution. 

The Division Bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Justice Jayant Banerji passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Kishan Kumar Pathak. 

The main contention of the counsel for the petitioner is that respondent no 5, namely, Ashutosh Pandey has been appointed as Director of Prosecution under Section 25A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, whereas he is an IPS Officer and not an advocate and thus, he does not fulfill the basic criteria for appointment as prescribed under Section 25A of the CrPC. 

Even the concurrence of Chief Justice has not been taken for appointment of the respondent no 5 as Director of Prosecution which is in breach of sub-section (2) of Section 25A of the CrPC. Thus, he, therefore, submitted that a writ of quo-warranto needs to be issued. 

“Prima facie, we find some substance in the submission of the counsel for the petitioner. More than two months have passed but the State-respondents have chosen not to file any counter affidavit. Additional Advocate General does not have any instructions,” the Court observed. 

“The notice shall be served upon the respondent no 5 through the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow and service report shall be sent to the Court within 48 hours. All respondents may file a counter affidavit within a week’s time and no more,” the order reads. 

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on February 10, 2023.

The writ petition had been filed praying for the following relief: 

“(a) To issue a writ order or direction in the nature of quo-warranto against the respondent No 5 and holding their appointment as illegal and which is not in consonance with the statutory provision as provided under Section 25A of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC in Brevity) (Act No II of 1974) and further show cause under what authority respondent No 5 is holding the post. 

(b) To issue a writ order or direction in the nature of mandamus or other appropriate writ/direction to place the person who is suitable and eligible in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (in brevity Act No II of 1973). 

(c) To issue any order or direction which the Court may deem fit and proper under the circumstances of the case.” 

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