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While framing charges, the court must be satisfied with the prima facie case against the accused; reasons need not be recorded: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court on 1st August 2022 ruled that simply a prima facie involvement of the accused in an alleged crime is necessary for the framing of charges, and the Court is not required to evaluate evidence or record reasons for its decision, through the single bench of Justice Samir J. Dave in the case of Ajitsingh Jagan Singh Yaduvanshi vs State of Gujarat (Criminal Revision Application No. 223 of 2022).

 

FACTS OF THE CASE:

According to the facts of this case, the accused persons were charged with offences of punishable under Sections 7, 12, 13(1)(d), and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The FIR was filed against the Accused in the aftermath of a raid in which Accused No. 2 was accused of accepting a bribe of INR 1.5 lakhs on behalf of the Applicant. Before the framing of charges, the Applicant filed an application for discharge under section 227 because there was insufficient evidence against him to frame charges. The impugned order, however, dismissed it too.

The phone records indicated that there was no telephonic conversation between the Accused/Applicant and the Complainant on the date of the raid. Furthermore, the audio CD transcript was inaccurate and incomplete, and the script had several errors. As a result, the Petitioner had generated his own ‘true and correct’ audio transcript. The Special Judge did not take this into account. Another contention was that it is settled law that there cannot be any prosecution against a public servant without sanction, and if the sanction is given, the Special Judge might evaluate the validity of such sanction while considering the discharge application. The Applicant, in this case, had questioned the legal officer who had given sanction for legal proceedings against him. The sanction in question violated Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

JUDGEMENT:

The Bench upheld the trial court’s decision that the Prosecution had no grounds to make false allegations against the Accused. The Bench noticed that the Applicant had sought INR 1.5 lacs, and there appeared to be a “meeting of minds” amongst the Accused people.

further, the case of State of Bihar vs. Ramesh Singh [AIR 1977 SC 2018] was referred by the court, in which it was stated that if there is a strong suspicion that leads the Court to assume that there is ground for inferring that the accused has committed an offence, it will not be open to the Court to say that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. As a result, the High Court concluded that the impugned order did not lack any irregularity, illegality, or impropriety that required the High Court’s interference.

Accordingly, the application was dismissed.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NIDHI KUMAR

 

 

Read the full judgement.

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