Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • A party cannot approach the High Court under Section 482 of the CrPC at his whim and caprice, according to a ruling made today by the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court. 
  • This is because there is no time restriction for bringing a plea under the aforementioned section. The bench consisting of Justice Sanjay Dhar said that a petition under Section 482 of the CrPC must be filed within a reasonable amount of time and should not be tainted by excessive delay and laxity on the part of the petitioner. 
  • The J&K Prevention of Corruption Act's Sections 5(1)(c)(d) and 5(2), as well as Section 120-B of the Revised Penal Code, were the subject of a petition before the court that the petitioner was challenging. The petition was filed with the Police Station Vigilance Organization Kashmir.
  • According to the FIR's allegations, the petitioner and the other two officers/officials of the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, J&K, grossly abused their authority by incurring expenses for fuel and other maintenance of mechanical equipment used for dredging and deweeding. 
  • The petitioner had argued that the accusations made against him in the charge sheet were completely untrue. 
  • In his argument, he further argued that because the petitioner has not received the allegedly excessive sum, there has been no damage to the State Treasury.
  • The bench noted that while the charge sheet was filed in 2005, the present petition was filed almost 14 years later, while finding merit in the respondents' claim.
  • The petitioner's alleged abnormal delay in submitting the current petition pursuant to Section 482 of the Cr. P. C. has not been explained, much less one that the bench finds plausible.
  • The court cited the Delhi High Court's decision in Neeraj Bhargava v. State of NCT, Delhi, which held that jurisdiction under Section 482 of CrPC need not be exercised in a case where delay has been prolonged, when determining whether it would be appropriate for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Cr. P. C after such a long delay, particularly when the prosecution's evidence is nearly complete.
  • The bench continued its discussion of the powers granted by section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code and noted that whoever seeks to use the High Court's jurisdiction to have the FIR and related proceedings quashed because the essential elements of the crime have not been proven must pass the expeditiousness of their approach to the court. 
  • The court emphasised that the specific facts and circumstances of the case determine whether a petitioner should approach the Court in accordance with Section 482 of the CrPC. 
  • In dismissing the current petition, the court noted that the petitioner had actively participated in the proceedings before the trial court for all of these years and, after emerging from a deep sleep, had come to this Court without providing even the slightest justification for the delay of his choice, caprice and whim.
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