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Allahabad High Court quashes the summon order passed by civil judge Hardoi

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The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has quashed the cognizance/summon order passed by a Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ F.T.C, Hardoi, observing that the order was passed on a printed proforma by filling up the blanks, without application of judicial mind.

A Single Bench of Justice Shamim Ahmed passed this order while hearing an application filed by Satya Pal.

The application under Section 482 Cr.P.C has been filed for quashing of summoning order dated 16.01.2023 as well as entire proceeding of Criminal Case under Sections 376, 313 I.P.C, Police Station Sandila, District Hardoi, pending in the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ F.T.C, Hardoi.

Counsel for the applicant submitted that on 05.08.2022 the opposite party No 2 lodged a first information report against the applicant for an incident alleged to have taken place on the same day which was registered as Case under Sections 376, 313 I.P.C, Police Station Sandila, District Hardoi.

Counsel for the applicant further submits that the FIR dated 05.08.2022 was lodged by the complainant alleging therein that she is a widow, her husband had died 12 years ago, after the death of her husband accused applicant, who was posted as Lekhpal at Tehsil Sandila at that time, developed relations with her on the pretext of false promise of marriage and several times made physical relations with her, whenever the complainant told him to marry with her, he always refused to marry with her, the applicant also got aborted her pregnancy forcefully and threatened her for dire consequences.

Counsel for the applicant also submitted that the entire prosecution story is false. No such incident took place and the applicant has been falsely implicated in the case.

Counsel for the applicant said that before arguing the case on merits, he wants to draw the attention of the Court on the charge-sheet submitted by the Investigating Officer and submitted that the Investigating Officer had submitted the charge-sheet against the applicant under Sections 376, 313 IPC, whereupon, cognizance was taken by the Civil Judge without assigning any reason and summoned the applicant for facing trial.

Counsel for the applicant further said that the Civil Judge took cognizance upon the charge sheet without assigning any reason, which is abuse of process of law.

Counsel for the applicant also said that while taking cognizance upon the charge sheet the applicant has been summoned mechanically by order dated 16.01.2023 and the court below while summoning the applicant has materially erred and did not follow the dictum of law as propounded by the Supreme Court in various cases that summoning in criminal case is a serious matter and the court below without dwelling into material and visualizing the case on the touchstone of probability should not summon accused person to face criminal trial.

It is vehemently urged by the counsel for the applicants that the impugned cognizance/ summoning order dated 16.01.2023 is not sustainable in the eye of law, as the same has been passed in mechanical manner without applying the judicial mind, because on the face of record itself it is apparent that impugned summoning order dated 16.01.2023 has been passed by the Civil Judge concerned without assigning any reason, therefore the same is liable to be quashed by the Court.

Counsel for the applicant has given much emphasis that if the cognizance has been taken without assigning any reason on the printed proforma, the same is not sustainable.

Per contra, A.G.A-I for the State has submitted that considering the material evidences and allegations against the applicant on record, as on date, as per prosecution case, the cognizable offence against the applicant is made out, therefore, the application is liable to be dismissed, but has not denied that the Civil Judge has taken cognizance on the printed proforma without assigning any reason.

The Court said that,

The main issue for consideration before the Court is whether the Civil Judge may summon the accused person on a printed proforma without assigning any reason and take cognizance of the police report filed under Sections 173 of CrPC. In this regard, it is relevant to mention here that a Court can take cognizance of an offence only when conditions requisite for initiation of proceedings before it as set out in Chapter XIV of the Code are fulfilled. Otherwise, the Court does not obtain jurisdiction to try the offences under section 190(1) of the CrPC provided that, “Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, any Magistrate of the first class, and any Magistrate of the second class specially empowered in this behalf under sub-section (2), may take cognizance of any offence- (a) upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence, (b) upon a police report of such facts; (c) upon information received from any person other than a police officer, or upon his own knowledge, that such offence has been committed. (2) The Chief Judicial Magistrate may empower any Magistrate of the second class to take cognizance under sub-section (1) of such offences as are within his competence to inquire into or try.”

“In view of the above, the conduct of the judicial officers concerned in passing orders on printed proforma by filling up the blanks without application of judicial mind is objectionable and deserves to be deprecated. The summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a serious matter and the order must reflect that Magistrate had applied his mind to the facts as well as law applicable thereto, whereas the impugned summoning order was passed in mechanical manner without application of judicial mind.

It is explicitly clear that the cognizance/ summoning order passed by Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ F.T.C, Hardoi is cryptic and does not stand the test of the law laid down by the Apex Court. Consequently, the cognizance/summoning order passed in the case in hand cannot be legally sustained, as the Civil Judge failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in him resulting in miscarriage of justice”, the Court observed while allowing the application.

“The cognizance order passed by learned Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ F.T.C, Hardoi in Criminal Case under Sections 376, 313 I.P.C, Police Station Sandila, District Hardoi, is hereby quashed.

The Civil Judge (Senior Division)/ F.T.C, Hardoi is directed to decide afresh the issue for taking cognizance and summoning the applicant and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law keeping in view the observations made by this Court as well as the direction contained in the judgments referred above within a period of three months”, the Court ordered.

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