Kar HC | Criminal proceedings cannot be initiated against other suspects, in the absence of main culprit

Karnataka High Court: P.G.M. Patil, J. heard a Criminal Petition under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 appealing to quash Judicial Magistrate First Court’s (JMFC), Hubballi order which resulted in registering of cases under Sections 307, 120 (B), 114 of Penal Code (IPC), 1860 and under Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959.

The petitions were filed by Vijay and Dr Mallikarjun, two of the accused in the above-mentioned Crime Number. On the night of 10-12-2007, the complainant’s husband Dr Shivanand Doddamani was shot by two people. The victim was called out citing a medical emergency. Later on 11-12-2007, the police station of Vidyanagar registered under Sections 307, 120 (B), 114 of IPC and Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959. The police submitted the ‘C’ report and it was accepted by JMFC against accused 1 and 3 and rejected for accused 3, 5 and 6. Accused 4 and 7 were discharged. The High Court heard two petitions filed by accused 3 and 6 under Criminal Petition Number 101613/2017 and 101612 respectively.

The counsel for petitioners K.S. Patil, R.V. Naik and G.R. Gurumath submitted that trying accused 3 and 6 after accepting C report against accused 1 and 2 was a futile exercise. They also submitted that the guidelines mentioned under Selvi v. State of Karnataka, (2010) 7 SCC 263 had not been followed while subjecting the petitioners to Narco analysis tests and other tests as the consent was not taken, the lawyer was not present during the tests. They also relied on the judgments in Veerappa v. Bheemareddappa, 2001 SCC OnLine Kar 447 in the support of the contentions made by them. They further submitted that the petitioners were not alleged but were merely suspects. They prayed to quash the orders of JMFC.

The Counsel appearing for respondents, S.S. Naik and M.H. Patil submitted that the petition should have been filed under Section 227 of CrPC. instead of filing under Section 482 CrPC. Also, the Counsel supported the C report.

The Court observed that the impugned order was passed based on Polygraphy Test, Brain Mapping Test and Narco Analysis Test. Therefore, it has to be considered that whether all the guidelines in paragraph 263 of the judgment of Selvi v. State of Karnataka case were followed by the investigating officer and independent agency or not. The report did not state that the guidelines have been followed; therefore the Court found it clear that none of the guidelines mentioned by Court in the aforesaid case has been followed. The Court also observed that Magistrate should not have relied on such a report which has no evidentiary value. The Court opined that in the absence of the main culprits who had shot the victim, initiating criminal proceedings against the petitioners would amount to an abuse of law.

Therefore, the Court quashed the impugned order and allowed the petition. [Vijay v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 98, decided on 10-01-2020]

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