Allahabad High Court: In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’), expressing concern about the shooting of Gangster Sanjeev Maheshwari Jeeva, who was under-trial and was murdered during Court hours, allegedly just in front of the Court room, the division bench of Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Jaspreet Singh, JJ. after noting that the incident had occurred on 07-06-2023 and a First Information Report (‘FIR’) in relation to the said incident was lodged on the same day and a Special Investigation Team has been constituted which comprises of higher-level Police Officers, said that there is no reason, at this juncture, to believe that investigation of the reported crime will not proceed appropriately and in the right direction. Thus, disposed of the petition.
The petitioner prayed for giving appropriate directions to the State to constitute a High-Level Officers’ Committee headed by a sitting or retired Judge of High Court to investigate the murder of Sanjeev Maheshwari, who was shot dead inside the Court premises of Lucknow in the aforesaid incident. A further prayer was made in the writ petition to issue necessary directions to get the investigation of the said crime conducted by some independent agency like Central Bureau of Investigation(‘CBI’).
The Court said that apart from such incident being unfortunate, it raises serious concerns amongst all stakeholders including the members of judicial fraternity which necessarily comprises of the members of Bar as well.
As per the Court, it is a matter of grave concern that an under-trial, who was in the custody of the Police, when brought to attend the trial did not find himself safe and was murdered.
Further, the Court said that as per the reports in the media, the accused had entered the Court premises in a lawyer’s uniform. His entry into the Court premises in robes, compounds the concern to be shared by all stakeholders including the Home Department of the State and District and Police administration as also the Bar association concerned and the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh and the lawyer’s fraternity in general.
The Court noted that the incident had occurred on 07-06-2023 and a FIR in relation to the said incident was lodged on the same day and for the purpose of investigation of the said FIR, a Special Investigation Team has been constituted which comprises of higher-level Police Officers.
Thus, the Court said that there is no reason, at this juncture, to believe that investigation of the reported crime will not proceed appropriately and in the right direction. In such a short span of time it was not possible for the Court to draw any inference in respect of the functioning of the Special Investigation Team and the investigation being conducted by it. Therefore, the Court disposed of the writ petition.
[Moti Lal Yadav v. State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 256, Order dated 13-06-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner: In Person;
Counsel for Respondent: Chief Standing Counsel.