Sunday, October 1, 2023

Allahabad High Court stays arrest of SP Ex-MLA Shahid Manzoor in Alaya apartment accident case

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The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has stayed the arrest of SP Ex-MLA Shahid Manzoor in the Alaya apartment accident case in Lucknow.

The Division Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Narendra Kumar Johari passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Shahid Manzoor.

The writ petition has been filed by the petitioner with the prayer to issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash the impugned FIR under Sections 304, 308, 323, 420, 120-B IPC & Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, Police Station Hazaratganj, District Lucknow; with a further prayer to not arrest the petitioner in pursuance of the impugned FIR.

It has been argued by the Counsel for the petitioner that the impugned FIR has been lodged against three accused persons, namely, Mohd Tariq, Nawazish Shahid and Fahad Yazdani and the petitioner has been falsely implicated in the instant case being the father of accused Nawajish Shahid and the co-accused Mohd Tariq is the real nephew.

He further submitted that neither the petitioner nor his son Nawazish or his nephew Mohd Tariq had anything to do with the affairs at Lucknow as they are the residents of District Meerut and they had not got the building constructed. The building in question was constructed in the year 2009.

They further submitted that co-accused Fahad Yazdani got the plot in question purchased by co-accused Mohd Tariq and Nawazish by means of sale deed dated 03.07.2009.

Co-accused Fahad Yazdani got a Builder Agreement executed at District Meerut on 26.08.2009, wherein it has been mentioned that the builder will use good building material; construct the building under the supervision of some experts and the building will be constructed in accordance with the rules and regulations.

In pursuance of the Builder Agreement, co-accused Fahad Yazdani (builder) got the building in question constructed and the flats were sold.

He also submitted that a letter dated 26.01.2023 was written to the Commissioner, Lucknow which was signed by the several persons, including the respondent no 4 ( Mohammad Abbas Haider) as well as other residents of the said building, mentioning therein that the building in question was collapsed due to earthquake in which three persons have died and 14 others sustained injuries.

Counsel for the petitioner said that as per the Builder Agreement, after construction of the building, the petitioner, his son and nephew were only required to execute the sale deed in favour of the purchaser of the flats, which were sold to purchasers several years ago.

Counsel for the petitioner further said that the son and nephew of the petitioner, who is also accused in the case, have been arrested and sent to jail. The other co-accused -Fahad Yazdani has earlier challenged the impugned FIR by filing Criminal Misc Writ Petition in which interim protection has been granted in his favour by a Coordinate Bench of this Court vide order dated 07.02.2023. Accordingly, he is also entitled for the same relief.

He also said that the petitioner, who is an old man aged about 67 years and an Ex-MLA for four times, is being harassed by the police in pursuance of the impugned FIR. Moreover, till date neither the newly added respondent no 4 – Mohd Abbas Haider, whose mother and wife died in the incident, has not filed any impleadment application alongwith stay vacation and counter affidavit in the said writ petition nor the State has filed any stay vacation application along with counter affidavit in the said writ petition and the impugned FIR has been lodged by the police personnel.

Counsel for the caveator states that co-accused- Fahad Yazdani, who has been granted interim protection by this Court, had no concern with the project in question and the petitioner was the owner of the plot on which the alleged building was constructed, which was collapsed wherein three persons have died and 14 others got injured, to which learned Counsel for the petitioner vehemently refuted and states that he has filed several documentary evidence to show that the co-accused Fahad Yazdani was the builder who has constructed the said building and in this regard he has drawn the attention of the Court towards the Builder Agreement dated 26.08.2009.

Prima facie, arguments advanced by Counsel for the petitioner appear to have substance and require consideration by the Court, therefore, a case for interim relief is made out, the Court observed.

The Court has granted four weeks time to file a counter affidavit for the respondents.

“Till the next date of listing or till submission of police report under Section 173(2) CrPC, if any, before the Competent Court, whichever is earlier, the arrest of the petitioner- Shahid Manzoor in pursuance of impugned FIR, shall remain stayed, of course subject to the restraint that he shall fully cooperate with the investigation and shall appear as and when called upon to assist in the investigation”, the Court ordered.

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