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Permitting The Filing Of Successive Petitions Ignoring This Principle Would Enable An Ingenious Accused To Effectively Stall The Proceedings Against Him To Suit His Interest And Convenience”: Supreme Court

Ifrah Murtaza ,
  02 November 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
Special Leave Petition (Criminal No. 7976 of 2023)

Case title:

Bhisham Lal Verma v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Anrs.

Date of Order:

30th October, 2023

Bench: 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice C.T. Ravikumar

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kumar

Parties: 

Appellant(s): Bhisham Lal Verma

Respondent(s): State of Uttar Pradesh and Anrs.

SUBJECT:

In the case at hand, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’) upheld the order of the Allahabad High Court, challenged by the petitioner stating that the petitioner was not entitled to invoke the High Court’s inherent authority twice to contest the chargesheet and the court’s acknowledgment after some time had passed. The Court dismissed the special leave petition in agreement with the Allahabad High Court in agreement and observed that it did not require any further intervention.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:


The Code of Criminal Procedure1973, (CrPC):

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC):

  • Section 409
  • Section 420
  • Section 467
  • Section 468
  • Section 471
  • 120B

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PCA):

  • Section 7
  • Section 13
  • Section 19

OVERVIEW:

  • The Joint Director of State Urban Development Authority, Uttar Pradesh, filed a complaint against the petitioner, along with others, for irregularities in toilet construction and embezzlement of public funds.
  • The petitioner, who was the project director/Additional District Magistrate, was implicated among other accused.
  • Case C.C. No. 1280 of 2012 was registered under sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 & 120B of IPC, read with Sections 7 and 13 of PCA in 2013.
  • A chargesheet was filed in 2015 and the case was taken up by the Sessions Judge.
  • The petitioner filed his first petition under section 482 of CrPC, in Allahabad High Court in 2018, challenging the government’s sanction.
  • The High Court advised that the sanction should be challenged in the Trial Court.
  • Meanwhile, the chargesheet was still on record and the learned Sessions Judge had already taken cognizance.
  • The petitioner filed a second petition to quash the chargesheet, cognizance order, and proceedings against them. The High Court dismissed the 2nd Petition in 2023 stating that it was inappropriate to challenge the proceedings individually after the earlier petition.
  • The dismissal of the 2nd petition has now been challenged in this Court.

ISSUES RAISED:

  • Can a subsequent petition be accepted under section 482 of CrPC if it raises issues that could have been contested in the initial petition under the same section?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT:

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT:

  • Permission to file a 2nd petition in Mohan Singh case (Supra), was granted because the circumstances were different from the first application.
  • Inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of CrPC should not be used to bypass the prohibition of review under section 362 of CrPC as per the order of Sooraj Devi v. Pyare Lal.
  • Parties invoking section 482 of CrPC should present all relevant pleas at the first instance and cannot withhold part of it to file another petition seeking the same relief (S. Madan Kumar v. K. Arjunan).

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • No blanket rule against filing the 2nd petition under section 482 of CrPC, but it should be based on specific facts of the case.
  • A person is not entitled to raise consecutive pleas under section 482 of CrPC.
  • Permitting the filing of a series of pleas under section 482 CrPC would allow the party to effectively delay legal proceedings to match their agenda and convenience.
  • The chargesheet had been filed and taken note of by the court before the first petition was filed.

CONCLUSION:

 

The Supreme Court dismissed the special leave petition stating that it was devoid of any merit. The Court emphasized the fact that successive petitions should not be used to delay proceedings and that all relevant issues should be raised in the first petition. In the present case, the petitioner was not entitled to utilize the High Court’s inherent authority to challenge the chargesheet and the court’s acknowledgment at a later stage. No order was given as to costs.

 

 

 
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