The Allahabad High Court, while noting that Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala has a remedy to move a discharge plea before the Trial Court, refused to quash a 23-year-old criminal case pending before the Varanasi Court against him.
A Single Bench of Justice Rajiv Gupta passed this order while hearing an application under section 482 filed by Randeep Singh Surjewala.
The application under Section 482 Cr.P.C has been filed for quashing the entire proceedings of Case (State Vs Vijay Shanker Pandey and Others), arising out of Case under Sections 147, 332, 353, 336, 333, 427 IPC, Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, Police Station Cantt, District Varanasi, pending in the court of Additional Sessions Judge-I/ Special Judge (MP/ MLA Court), Varanasi.
Counsel for the applicant has submitted that from perusal of the allegations made in the FIR and the material collected during the course of investigation, no offence is disclosed against the applicant and the case has been instituted with a malafide intention for the purpose of harassment, as such, entire proceedings be quashed.
Counsel for the applicant has pointed out certain documents and statements in support of his contention.
Counsel for the applicant has next submitted that the applicant has already been directed to be released on bail.
Per contra, AGA has submitted that from perusal of the allegations made in the FIR and the material collected during the course of investigation, prima facie offence is clearly made out against the applicant and as such, entire proceedings cannot be quashed.
The Court observed that,
From perusal of the material on record and looking into the facts of the case, at this stage, it cannot be said that no offence is made out against the applicant. All the submissions made at the bar relate to the disputed questions of fact, which cannot be adjudicated upon by the Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
Moreover, the applicant had already been directed to be released on bail and he has got right of discharge under Section 239, 245 or 227 Cr.P.C, as the case may be, through a proper application for the said purpose and he is free to take all the submissions in the said discharge application before the trial court.
At this stage, this Court is not in a position to weigh the factual matrix of the case properly and the accused has a right to file a discharge application before the trial court and the trial court may decide his discharge application, if there is no evidence against him.
The prayer for quashing the entire proceedings is therefore refused by the High Court.
However, it is directed by the High Court that in case the applicant files an application for discharge before the court below through counsel within a period of two weeks, the same be considered and decided expeditiously within six weeks.
For a period of two months or till the disposal of the discharge application, whichever is earlier, no coercive action be taken against the applicant, the Court ordered.
With the aforesaid directions, the Court disposed of the application under Section 482 CrPC.