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Application by person who is no way connected with criminal proceeding u/s 482 Cr. P.C. cannot be entertained by High Court: Supreme Court

“A criminal trial of an accused is conducted in accordance with procedure as prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code. It is the obligation of the State and the prosecution to ensure that all criminal trials are conducted expeditiously so that justice can be delivered to the accused if found guilty.” This judgment was delivered by three judge bench comprising hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah at Supreme Court in the matter of Sanjai Tiwari v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & anr. [Crl. A. No. 896 of 2020].

The present appeal was filed questioning the order dated 09.09.2020 passed by hon’ble Allahabad High Court under Section 482 Cr. P.C. The admitted facts of this case are:

An FIR was filed against the accused under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 477A and 120B IPC along with Section 13(1) C/D read with Section 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Vigilance Department of State of Uttar Pradesh initiated a request on an objection filed by R.K. Choudhary. For challenging the inquiry commenced by the Vigilance Department, the appellant by way of Writ Petition approached the High Court. The High Court directed on 22.08.2005 that unless complainant R.K. Choudhary is examined first no inquiry can be proceeded with against the appellant. The Allahabad High Court directed the trial court to expedite the criminal trial and conclude the same at the earliest, in an application under Section 482 of Cr. P.C. which was filed by respondent no. 2.

The Supreme Court while deciding upon the matter held that “We are fully satisfied that respondent No.2 has no locus in the present case to file application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. asking the Court to expedite the hearing in criminal trial. The appeal is allowed, judgment of the High Court dated 09.09.2020 is set aside. The application filed by respondent No.2 under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is dismissed. We, however, make it clear that none of the observations made by us in this order shall affect the criminal trial. We, however, observe that it will be open for the trial court to expedite the criminal trial, the offences being the offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, subject to any order passed by the High Court in pending proceedings.”  

The court placed its reliance upon the case Janata Dal v. H.S. Chowdhary and others, (1993) 1 SCC 756 with regard to locus of a third party to challenge the criminal proceedings or to seek relief in respect of criminal proceedings of accused where it was held that “the application of the CBI is allowed to the extent that a request to conduct the necessary investigation and to collect necessary evidence which can be collected in Switzerland and to the extent directed in this order shall be made to the competent Judicial Authorities of the confederation of Switzerland through filing of the requisite/proper undertaking required by the Swiss law an assurance for reciprocity.” The court further stated that “it is for the parties in the criminal case to raise all the questions and challenge the proceedings initiated against them at appropriate time before the proper forum and not for third parties under the garb of Public Interest Litigation.”

 

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