APPLICATION U/S 482 No. – 23675 of 2022
Madan Mohan Saxena v. State Of U.P. And 2 Others
Bench: Justice Sameer Jain
The Indian Electricity Act, 1910
|Section 39||Theft of energy.|
|Section 49||Penalties where works belong to Government|
FACTS OF THE CASE
Thursday, the Allahabad High Court ruled that the 18-year delay should be characterized as oppressive and unjustified.
The application to quash the charge sheet arising from the Case Crime registered under Section 39/49 Electricity Act was being handled by Justice Sameer Jain’s bench. Under Section 39/49 of the Electricity Act, the applicant was the subject of the FIR in this instance. The applicant is alleged to have committed electricity theft.
The only reason the application has been made is because the applicant has been going through the agony of a criminal trial for about 18 years, since 2004, and the process hasn’t ended even after 18 years.
The bench was to consider the following issue:
How likely is it that the applicant’s request to annul the charge sheet will be granted?
The bench noted that, despite the fact that the applicant’s case has been awaiting trial since 2004, more than 18 years have passed since the case’s inception, and the order sheet indicates that the applicant regularly attends court either in person or through his attorney, so the delay in the trial cannot be attributed to the applicant.
The High Court cited the case of Vakil Prasad Singh v. State of Bihar, in which the court stated that “if the Court comes to the conclusion that right to speedy trial of the accused has been infringed, the charges or the conviction as the case may be, may be quashed unless the Court feels that having regard to the nature of offence and other relevant circumstances quashing of the proceedings may not be in the interest of justice.” This was a reference to the case because
The bench mentioned another case, Pankaj Kumar v. State of Maharashtra, in which the Supreme Court said, “The prosecution has failed to show any exceptional circumstance, which could possibly be taken into consideration for condoning the prolongation of the trial and on the basis of inordinate delay of over eight years quashed the proceedings pending against the accused after observing that his constitutional right to a speedy trial has been denied.” This case was cited by the bench.
The High Court stated that the accused applicant cannot be blamed for the excessive delay in the trial because the order sheet suggests that he regularly attends the court, either in person or through his attorney. Additionally, the case relates to Section 39/49 of the Electricity Act, which cannot be considered a heinous crime and has been pending for approximately 18 years, and the prosecution failed to provide any exceptional circumstance to excuse the excessive delay. As a result, the 18-year inexplicable delay ought to be characterized as oppressive and unjustified. As a result, the applicant’s fundamental right to a speedy trial has been violated.
The application was granted by the bench in light of the preceding.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY AJAY ADITHIYAA N