JITENDRA NATH MISHRA VS STATE OF U.P. & ANR
DATE OF ORDER:
DIPANKAR DATTA,PANKAJ MITHAL
Petitioner: JITENDRA NATH MISHRA
Respondent: STATE OF U.P. & ANR
Recently, the Supreme Court upheld an order of the Allahabad High Court dismissing an appeal brought by a person who was not named in the FIR under Section 14A(1) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, against a summoning order to appear in court issued by a Special Court following Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code because the Special Court had obtained the necessary satisfaction before summoning the appellant to face trial with another accused
- Based on the complainant's information, an FIR was registered under Sections 419, 420, 323, 406, and 506 of the IPC and 3(1)(r) & (s) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (the Act of 1989).
- Dharmendra Nath Mishra, Dharmendra's brother, and an 'unknown individual' were accused of assaulting and abusing the complainant and his wife, which amounted to the conduct of offenses punishable under the aforementioned articles.
- Following the investigation, a charge sheet was submitted under Section 173 (2) of the CrPC, with Dharmendra listed as the lone accused. The Special Court established by the Act of 1989 took cognizance of the offense and filed charges against Dharmendra, after which the trial began.
- During the trial, however, the complainant and his wife alleged in their deposition that Dharmendra and the appellant, along with an unknown person, assaulted them in addition to hurling caste-related slurs.
- The Special Court issued an order on October 16, 2021, inviting the appellant and Dharmendra to stand trial for offenses punishable under Sections 323, 504, and 506 of the IPC and 3(1)(r) and (s) of the Act of 1989.
- The Special Court's ruling was confirmed by the Allahabad High Court in the aforementioned order dated June 1, 2022.
- As a result, the appellant filed this appeal to challenge the impugned High Court ruling.
ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF APPELLANT
- The appellant's counsel stated that the appellant and Dharmendra are siblings, but they also have three other siblings. It was contended that if the appellant was actually one of several co-accused, it beggars belief that the complainant, knowing the appellant very well, would not name him and instead vaguely imply that Dharmendra's brother had also assaulted and abused the complainant.
- It was also claimed that the incident occurred in a public setting, but no further public witnesses were identified to bolster the prosecution's case of assault and abuse.
- Thus, it was maintained that the Special Court's exercise of power under Section 319, Cr. PC is arbitrary, and that the High Court erred in not interfering with such order in exercising appellate jurisdiction.
ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF RESPONDENT
- The Counsel arguing for the State of Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, contended that the Special Court duly considered the oral evidence presented by the complainant and his wife and summoned the appellant under Section 319 of the CrPC, and thus such order is not illegal.
ANALYSIS OF COURT
- Division bench observations:If it appears from the evidence that a person has committed a crime for which he should be tried alongside the accused who is facing trial, the court may move forward against that person in accordance with Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which envisions a discretionary power. The court may employ this authority with regard to a person who is not included in the FIR or is mentioned in the FIR but is not listed as an accused in the charge sheet.Therefore, it is necessary for the exercise of the authority granted by Section 319, Cr. PC, that the evidence on file demonstrates a person's participation in the commission of a crime and that the said person, who has not been charged as an accused, stands trial alongside the other accused who has already been charged.
- The Supreme Court's ruling in Hardeep Singh v. State of Punjab (2014) 3 SCC 92 was cited as support for the claim.
- The court took notice of the FIRs disclosure that Dharmendra, his brother, and an unidentified person had all committed crimes.
- It was further noted that both the complainant and his wife described the manner of the assault on the former by Dharmendra and the appellant as well as the utterances made by Dharmendra and the appellant, among other things, regarding the complainant and his wife's caste, while testifying before the court.
- "At least on this issue, there doesn't seem to be any disagreement at all. The FIR in this case does not completely omit any mention of Indeed, brother, who assisted Dharmendra in harassing and assaulting the complainant, nor does it claim that Dharmendra is solely responsible for the claims.The court is not bringing up Dharmendra's brother's unrecognized crime for the first time. It is true that the appellant was not identified in the FIR, but that fact cannot be used as the only determining factor. The basis for developing the necessary satisfy pass is nonexistent once it is recognised that the appellant is Dharmendra's sibling and that he is one of the attackers. It is sufficient to form a satisfaction of the kind described in paragraph 106 of the ruling in Hardeep Singh (above) for the purpose of passing an order under section 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Court ruled.
- The Special Court had obtained the necessary satisfaction, the Court noted, before calling the appellant in for a trial alongside Dharmendra.
- As a result, the Court denied the appeal and upheld the Special Bench's and the High Court's order that was being challenged.
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