Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Allahabad High Court stays Sadar-Bahraich SDM notice against man, says nothing more precious than personal liberty, reputation of a person

The Allahabad High Court has stayed a Section 111 CrPC ‘strong-worded’ notice sent by an SDM to a person, emphasising that there cannot be anything precious than the personal liberty and reputation of a person.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Mohd Faiz Alam Khan passed this order on August 12, while hearing an application under Sections 482, 378 and 407, filed by one Noor Khan, under Section 482 CrPC.

The Counsel for the applicant, while referring to the report of Police Station Risiya, placed notice under Section 111 Cr.P.C. issued under the signature of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Bahraich submitted that the proceedings are nothing, but sheer abuse of the process of law as only on the basis of a single case pertaining to under Sections 323, 504, 506 IPC, the Magistrate appeared to have been satisfied in invoking the provisions of Section 111 CrPC and had directed the applicant to showcause as to why he was not directed to furnish sureties of the amount of Rs 50,000 and personal bond to keep peace for the next three years.

It is vehemently submitted that the notice issued by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Bahraich is a glaring example of non-application of mind and therefore, there was no material available before the Magistrate, which might have persuaded him to issue the process against the applicant and therefore, all the proceedings of the case pending before the Magistrate concerned are nothing, but the abuse of process of law.

The Additional Government Advocate, on the other hand, submitted that on the basis of the report submitted by the concerned police station, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate concerned has issued a notice and simply a direction has been given to the applicant to appear before the Magistrate for the purpose of filing sureties and personal bond, therefore, the applicant could not be deemed to have adversely affected by the same as it is a matter of law, order and peace.

The Court said there cannot be any doubt in the proposition that summoning of a person by any criminal court for either purpose is a very serious matter and it is to be understood by one and all that there cannot be anything more precious than the personal liberty as well as the reputation of a person.

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The Court further said that it is imperative or in other words a duty has been casted on the Magistrate while acting under Section 111 Cr.P.C. to get himself satisfied about the existence of any emergent situation and if it is so, then he further oblige to record the reasons for issuance of notice to any accused persons under Section 111 Cr.P.C.

The Court observed that, as it reflects from the documents made available on record is that the applicant is involved in only one criminal case, which is also evident from the report of the concerned police station i.e. Case under Sections 323, 504, 506 I.P.C. and perusal of the first information report of this case, which has been made available on record would reveal that apart from the applicant one more accused persons has been named therein namely Iqbal Khan.

“The dispute, as alleged in the FIR, appears to be purely personal in nature. However, very strong words have been used by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Bahraich in the notice, stating that the applicant is a ‘habitual offender’ whose main occupation is ‘theft’, rioting, ‘harbouring the criminals’ and is of committing assault and the public at large is living in fear due to him and there is a strong possibility of breach of public peace from him.

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It is not clear as to how the Magistrate has got the knowledge that the applicant is a habitual offender, indulging in ‘marpeet’, theft and rioting and the public is living in fear due to him, the Court said.

The Court stated that it is also not clear as to why by involving in a private dispute of criminal nature the public tranquility could be disturbed by the applicant, thus in view of above facts and circumstances, the Court is not having any hesitation in observing that the instant case is an example of sheer non-application of mind by the Magistrate concerned. At the cost of repetition, it is reiterated that nothing could be more precious to a person than his liberty and reputation.

“A.G.A. appearing for respondents shall file a detailed counter affidavit in the matter. Till the next date of listing, further proceedings of the court below shall remain stayed”, the Court ordered and fixed the next hearing on September 8.


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