All HC | Special Judge, SC/ST Act, held to have committed no illegality in passing summoning order under S. 204 of CrPC

Allahabad High Court: Rekha Dikshit, J. while disposing of this petition directed the lower court to consider the bail application (if moved by the petitioners) in the light of the judgment passed by the seven Judges’ Bench of this Court in Amarawati v. State of U.P., 2004 SCC OnLine All 1112, as approved by the Supreme Court in Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh v. State of U.P., (2009) 4 SCC 437.

In the instant case, the petition was filed to quash the summoning order by 2nd Additional Sessions Judge/Special Judge, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Raebareli in Complaint Case No. 73 of 2018 of Mahavir v. Devendra Bahadur Singh.

Counsel for the Petitioners, Vinod Kumar Pandey submitted that the petitioners have not committed any offence and have been falsely implicated and moreover there are no independent witnesses to support the case at hand. It was further submitted that the petitioners were willing to surrender and asked for protection.

Counsel for the Respondent, the AGA submitted that the summoning order was passed on the basis of the evidence recorded under Sections 200 and 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Court after analyzing the submissions of the parties cited some relevant cases helpful in understanding the matter at hand.

In Nirmaljit Singh Hoon v. State of W.B., (1973) 3 SCC 753, it was held that Section 203 CrPC does not entail that a regular trial for adjudging the truth or otherwise by the accusation made against the accused should take place at this stage.

In Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokash Chandra Bose, 1964 (1) SCR 693 was held that at the stage of enquiry under Section 202 CrPC, the test was whether there was sufficient ground for proceeding and not whether there was sufficient ground for conviction.

In Nagwwa v. Veeranna Shivalingappa, Konjalgi, 1976 (1) ACC 225 (S.C.) while considering the scope of enquiry under Section 202 CrPC, the Supreme Court held that the order of issuing process can be quashed where the allegations made in the complaint or the statements of the witnesses recorded in support of the same taken at their face value makes absolutely no case against the accused or the complaint does not disclose the essential ingredients of an offence which is alleged against the accused.

In S.W. Palanitkar v. State of Bihar, (2002) 1 SCC 241, the Supreme Court held that when the Magistrate has to pass an order under Section 203 CrPC searching sufficient ground to convict is not necessary.

The Court observed that in the instant case, the Magistrate after considering the evidence recorded under Sections 200 and 202 CrPC, concluded that the applicants have, prima facie, committed offence and in these circumstances, it cannot be held that the Magistrate has committed any illegality or impropriety in passing the impugned order.

The Court held that there is no substantial ground to justify interference by this Court under Section 482 CrPC Though, the applicants have a right to be discharged under Sections 239,227,228 and 245 CrPC. [Devendra Bahadur Singh v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 2743, decided on 25-07-2019]

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