A Person cannot be summoned for Investigation from outside territorial limits of his Station or adjoining Station by a Police Officer: High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judge, Justice Poonam M. Bamba in the case of Jamshed Adil Khan & Anr v . Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (W.P. (CRL.)976/2022, Crl. M.A 8240/22 & Crl.M.A 10543/22) held that a person cannot be summoned for Investigation from outside territorial limits of his Station or adjoining Station by a Police Officer

BRIEF FACTS: The petitioner no. 1 was  an investigative journalist. A report prepared by the petitioner no. 1 regarding giving in adoption the children orphaned during Covid-19 for a price, was broadcast on air followed by the publishing of an article titled ‘The Pandemic’s ruthless toll – Covid orphans up for sale’. The Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Pulwama forwarded a written complaint to P.S. Pampore for registration of a formal case in the matter. Based on the said complaint, the aforesaid FIR no. 153/2021 was registered. With respect to the case, the respondent no. 2/office of Sub-Divisional Police Officer Pampore, Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir issued the impugned summons to the petitioners no. 1 & 3 u/s 160 CrPC directing the petitioners herein to attend the office of Sub-Divisional Police Officer Pampore, within two days. Said summon was received on 23.03.2022. The counsel of the petitioner submitted that the said notice was illegal and hence needs to be quashed. It was submitted that a notice under Section 160 (1) of the Cr.P.C can only be issued to a person who is situated within the local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the adjoining police station. Therefore, a police station in Jammu and Kashmir could not have issued notice to the petitioners who are residents of Delhi and are outside the jurisdiction of the Respondent no. 2 office.

FINDINGS OF THE COURT: The court remarked that from the plain reading of the sub-section (1) of Section 160 Cr.P.C, it was evident that for the purposes of investigation, a police officer can require attendance of a person situated within the limits of his own police station or that of the adjoining police station and not someone who is situated beyond the said territorial limits. The court held that the summons issued to the petitioners were without jurisdiction and therefore ordered it to be quashed. However, the court further remarked that this order shall not come in the way of the investigating agency to examine the petitioners as per law at Delhi, if so required nor shall quashing of the impugned summon would have any reflection on merits of the case.

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