Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: Cheekati Manavendranath Roy, J., allowed the criminal petition and granted bail to the petitioners.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner is 33 years who went to the cinema theatre on the date of release of a film along with one air gun and gave stills as a hero along with the gun. The said poses given by him were captured by the TV people and the same was telecasted. A case under Sections 290, 506 (2) r/w 34 Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC and under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959, was registered against the petitioners. Thus A1 was arrested and later disclosed that his brother in law A2 purchased the said air gun for the purpose of playing by his children through online. The criminal petitions are filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, seeking to enlarge the petitioners on bail.

The Court observed that the offences punishable under Sections 290, 506(2) IPC are bailable in nature. As regards the offence punishable under Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959, is concerned, the pistol which was seized from the possession of A-1 is an air gun. It is a toy gun. Therefore, prima facie Section 25 of the Arms Act is not attracted to the facts of the case.

The Court thus held “in the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioners are entitled to bail.” [Maroju Vaikunta Balaji v. State of A.P., 2022 SCC OnLine AP 890, decided on 19-04-2022]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Subramonium Prasad, J., addressed a very pertinent question of whether brandishing a revolver during the act of robbery be covered under Section 397 of Penal Code, 1860.

Petition in the present matter was directed against the decision of the lower court for offences under Sections 392, 34 of Penal Code, 1860.

Lower Court held that the offence under Section 397 IPC was not made out against the accused and the matter was sent to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for framing of charge under Section 392 IPC.

Question for consideration

Whether when an act of robbery is committed by showing a revolver/pistol then does an offence under Section 397 IPC made out or not?

Section 397 IPC:

 397. Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.—If, at the time of committing robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon, or causes grievous hurt to any person, or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, the imprisonment with which such offender shall be punished shall not be less than seven years.”

 Court cited the decision of Supreme Court in Phool Kumar v. Delhi Admn., (1975) 1 SCC 797, wherein it was observed that:

“7. If the deadly weapon is actually used by the offender in the commission of the robbery such as in causing grievous hurt, death or the like then it is clearly used…”

High Court opined that in view of the above decision the term ‘use’ would include brandishing the weapon against another person in order to overpower him or to frighten his victim.

Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Bombay High Court in Govind Dipaji More v. State,1955 SCC OnLine Bom 263, by observing that if the knife was used for the purpose of producing such an impression upon the mind of a person that he would be compelled to part with his property, that would amount to ‘using’ the weapon within the meaning of Section 397 IPC.

Elaborating further, the Court observed that the weapon was not recovered in the instant case was no ground for not framing charges under Section 397 IPC.

Non-recovery of weapon cannot be a reason for not framing charges under Section 397 IPC.

 In view of the above discussion, revision petition was allowed with a direction to District and Sessions Judge, Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, to assign the case to its own Court or other Court in accordance with law. [State v. Hassan Ahmed, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 4913, decided on 8-11-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Meenakshi Chauhan, APP for the State with SI Surendar Singh, PS South Campus.

For the Respondent:

Rakhi Dubey with Himanshu Gera, Advocates

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Suresh Kumar Kait, J., denied bail application of a person named Shahrukh that headed the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots during the riots that occurred in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk.

Petitioner sought bail under Sections 147/148/149/186/216/307/353 of Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 25/27 Arms Act.

It has been stated that on 26th February, 2020 a statement of Head Constable was recorded who was deputed to maintain law and order with other members of his team in the area between Jaffrabad Metro Station and Maujpur Chowk, where a clash between two groups took place

As per the statement, the Head Constable had stated that one person, leading the agitated crowd and brandishing pistol in hand, came running towards him and fired 3-4 rounds of shots towards the people. Head Constable Deepak Dahiya further stated that he dodged his head and saved his life and tried to calm down the said person, but he pushed him with his left hand and he again fired at the public. On his complaint, the FIR in question was registered.

The above-stated incident was captured by a Journalist on his mobile phone and the person brandishing and firing from pistol was identified as Shahrukh i.e. petitioner. After sustained interrogation, the petitioner voluntarily disclosed his involvement in the alleged incident and he was arrested in the present case and was behind bars since then.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench before proceeding to the facts and circumstances of the case, Court took a serious view of paras 14 to 16 of this petition which were not worth disclosing.

Highly derogatory and serious allegations have been made against the Government of India, Ministers and Judge of this Court, which is deprecated and the Bar is suggested to not make such claims until and unless supported with factual and material evidence in a particular case.

High Court added that the role attributed to the petitioner was not confined to participation in the mob of rioters but of heading the large crowd, holding a pistol in hand and releasing open fire shots.

Court’s conscience was shaken on watching the video clipping and pictures played wherein it was seen that the law and order was taken in his hands.

Whether or not petitioner had intention to kill the complainant or any person present in the public with his open air pistol shots, but it is hard to believe that he had no knowledge that his act may harm anyone present at the spot.

Adding to its conclusion, Bench stated that the worthiness of the complainant’s statement recorded under Section 161 CrPC and petitioner’s claim that he had not aimed pistol to shot at the complainant, shall be tested at trial.

Trial court rightly held that the petitioner was alleged to have participated in riots and his picture spoke a volume about his involvement.

Hence, keeping in mind the gravity of the situation and offence, the petitioner was not granted bail.

Therefore the petition was dismissed. [Shahrukh Pathan v. State NCT of Delhi, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 1665, decided on 15-04-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Mr Khalid Akhtar, Mr Mohammad Shadan, Mr Bilal Khan, Mr Maaz Akhtar & Mr Sheikh Bakhtyar, Advocates

For the Respondent:

Mr Amit Mahajan & Mr Rajat Nair, Special Public Prosecutors with Mr Shantanu Sharma & Mr Dhruv Pande, Advocates

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Mukta Gupta, J. dismissed an appeal filed by the appellant against the judgment of the trial court whereby he was convicted for offences punishable under Sections 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc.) and 393 (attempt to robbery) IPC.

The appellant was of the accused persons who tried to rob the complainant of his motorcycle and other belongings. The appellant was however apprehended on the spot. He was tried and convicted as aforesaid.

Naomi Chandra, Advocate for the appellant contended that the recovery of gun from the appellant was highly doubtful. His associate put a gun on him and ran away. Furthermore, nothing was found in personal search of the appellant. Per contra, Ashok Kumar Garg, APP submitted that the impugned judgment suffered from no illegality.

Considering the evidence, the High Court found that it was proved that the appellant was arrested at the spot. It was observed: “The complainant in his statement does not say that the appellant was the one who showed him the pistol, however, the fact that the appellant sat on the motorcycle of the complainant and made him take the motorcycle to Loni which the complainant avoided smartly by reaching a place where PCR van was parked is sufficient to uphold the conviction of the appellant for the offence punishable under Sections 367 and 393 IPC.”

At the same time, since the appellant did not show the gun or open fire, despite the fact that he had weapon of offence in his hand, it was held that he was rightly acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 186, 353 and 307 IPC.

In such view of the matter, the Court found no reason to interfere with the judgment of the trial court. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. [Sher Mohd. v. State (NCT of Delhi), Crl. A. No. 1175 of 2017, decided on 20-05-2019]