Allahabad High Court: In a petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution against the legality of the order by the Additional Sessions Judge affirming the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (‘CJM’) rejecting petitioner’s application under Section 156 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, (‘CrPC’), declining to lodge any First Information Report (‘FIR’), Rahul Chaturvedi, J. has quashed the impugned orders and remanded the matter back to the CJM.
In the case at hand, the petitioner and the respondent were co-workers. She alleged that the respondent had raped her and taken her obscene photos and videos. Further, he is threatening and blackmailing her.
The Court referred to the proviso to Section 154(1) and Section 154(3) CrPC, added by Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, and said that, these additions are a conscious attempt by the legislation, making it mandatory to every Superintendent of Police/ Senior Superintendent of Police to investigate the matter, if any such complaint is received by him relating to sexual offences against women and shall have a preliminary investigation either by himself or some of his subordinate and then lodge FIR.
The Court relied on XYZ v. State of M.P., 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1002, wherein the Court has reiterated the importance of the courts dealing with the complainants of sexual harassment and sexual assault in a sensitive manner. Further, it said that the Court has bracketed the weaker section of the society with the special proviso in the case of sexual harassment and similar criminal allegation where the victim is already in trauma, and the Courts should press upon the police to investigate.
Thus, the Court quashed the impugned orders and remanded the matter back to the CJM, directing him to reconsider and revisit the entire matter once again considering the above said judgment, by passing a well-reasoned order in accordance with law within a period of six weeks.
[X v State of UP, 2022 SCC OnLine All 912, decided on 21-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate Ravindra Kumar Srivastava, Advocate Vikas Mani Srivastava;
For Respondent: Government Advocate.
*Apoorva Goel, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.