“Damocles Sword Is Hanging”: Orissa HC Quashes Criminal Case Against Ex-Students Of Madhusudan Law College For Obstructing Public Road In 2017
The high court of Orissa passed a judgment on 11 April 2023,has criticised a Magistrate and a Sessions Judge for rejecting default bail of two persons accused of murder, despite the fact that the chargesheet was not filed before the Court within the stipulated statutory period, in the case of Jeevanjyoti Mohanty & Ors. v. State of Odisha (CRLMC No. 343 of 2023), passed by the Single Judge Bench of Justice Sashikanta Mishra.
Facts of the Case:
On September 21, 2017, a FIR was filed against a group of Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack, students who had gathered on the main road to call for the suspension of their principal. The accused allegedly blocked the road in front of the college, staged an agitation, screamed slogans against the principal, used slang, and engaged in overt conduct that caused the traffic to get snarled.
A case was filed against the petitioners and four other people in this regard under Sections 143, 353, 431, 294, 506 and 149 of the IPC. The petitioners contested the very filling of the chargesheet on the grounds that they had been wrongfully implicated. The petitioners claimed that the protest was held because the College Administration declared sine die due to an election disagreement. They asserted that it was tranquil and did not harm any people or property. However, the neighborhood police opened an investigation into them. Furthermore, it was asserted that the local police had entrapped the petitioners despite the College Administration not having filed any complaints and without conducting a thorough investigation.
The Court observed that no complaints regarding the occurrence were made to the local police by the College Administration or other members of the public prior to the police drawing a FIR for the purported incident. The court also took note of the argument that some of the petitioners had gone on to become lawyers in the interim, others had graduated as law students and were hoping to work in the judiciary, one of them was also disabled, and that the then-president of the college, who had actually organized the protest, had passed away.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY HARSHEEN KAUR LUTHRA, RGNUL, PUNJAB