‘Injured lawyer’s complaint cannot be dismissed because he has drafting skills’; Delhi High Court denies anticipatory bail plea

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: The applicant sought anticipatory bail for offences punishable under Section 308, 323, 341, 41 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’). While exercising its jurisdiction to entertain the bail application, the Single Judge Bench of Swarana Kanta Sharma J., denied anticipatory bail to the man accused of causing hurt to an individual by hitting his head with an iron rod and observed that merely because the complainant was a lawyer by profession, his complaint cannot be disregarded merely on the ground that he knows how to draft it.

In the matter at hand, the prosecution stated that the complainant had rushed to save his brother, but the applicant had caught hold of him and the co-accused hit his head with an iron rod.

The Bench was of the view that the contention of the applicant that Section 308 of IPC had been added later which was not part of the FIR was meritless since the statement of the complainant was recorded after he was discharged from the hospital and was fit to give statement to the police. It was noted that Section 308 of IPC was added only after going through the Medico Legal Case (‘MLC’) and considering that the injury was on vital part of the body of the complainant.

The Court reprimanded the contention of the applicant stating that since the complainant was a lawyer and was thus, well aware about nuances of writing a complaint and had, therefore, twisted the facts and police had lodged a false complaint against the applicant. It was opined that a person’s profession of being an advocate cannot be held against him. “Merely because a person is a lawyer or a practicing advocate by profession, his complaint upon sustaining an injury by someone cannot be disregarded merely on the ground of his being a practicing advocate and thus he knew how to draft a complaint. The same would imply that an injured person who has his or her complaint prepared by a lawyer will be at better footing, than a lawyer himself who has suffered injuries on the vital part of the body.”

The bench further remarked that if a person had a position of authority or skill and was able to help others, then in his own case, his own skill, profession or position of authority could not work to his disadvantage.

The Court clarified that it was not the complainant’s profession but the factum of him being an injured, which has weighed in by the Court, since the MLC as well as the photographs revealed that the complainant had suffered an injury.

The Bench also noted that the injury was inflicted with an iron rod on the left front forehead of the complainant and the wound had to be stitched with six stitches above left eye on his forehead. However, the rod used in the commission of offence was yet to be recovered and the investigation was at the initial stage. The fact that the complainant had been hit on the vital part of his body and had received six stitches pointed out towards gravity of the offence.

With the above observation, the Bench refused to grant anticipatory bail in favour of the accused.

[Sawan v State, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 2071, decided on 11-04-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the applicant- Advocate Pawan Kumar;

For the respondent- Additional Public Prosecutor Manoj Pant, Senior Advocate K.K. Manan, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur with Advocate Uditi Bali and Advocate Anil Basoya.

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