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delhi high court

Unaided recognized private school is not required to take prior approval before fees hike- Delhi High Court.

Case title: Action committee unaided recognized private schools v. Directorate of Education.

Case no: W.P. (C) 5743/2024 and CM APPL. 23712/2024, CM APPL.23713/2024

Dated on: April 29th, 2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr. Justice C. Hari Shankar.

Facts of the case: 


Directorate of Education (DoE) issued Order dated 27.03.2024 that as per Section 17 of DSEAR, 1973 no private unaided school in Delhi which has been allotted land by the Govt. Agencies shall enhance fee without prior sanction of the Director of Education. All the Head of Schools/Managers of Private Recognized Unaided Schools, seeking prior sanction for increase in fee, to submit their proposals, for the academic session 2024-25, online from 01.04.2024 through website of Directorate latest by 15.04.2024. The proposals submitted by the schools shall be scrutinized by the Director and in case, no proposal is submitted, the school shall not increase tuition fee/fee. In case of complaint regarding increase of any fee without prior approval will be viewed seriously and will make the school liable for action against itself as per the statutory provisions. The said Notification was challenged by the Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools and which has come up for hearing.

Contentions of the appellant: 


Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools v. DoE1 and Mt. Carmel School v. DoE2. Both were decided by a common judgment dated 15 March 2019. The The impugned order is in the teeth of the judgment of this Court in Action Court to rely on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Modern School wherein was held that schools which are subject to the “land clause” have to take prior approval of the DoE before enhancing their fees.   
Contentions of the respondent: 


Upon reference in para 140 of Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools case, this Court has accorded license to the principle that schools which are situated on land, to which the land clause applies, could not increase their fees without prior approval. From Modern School the propositions emerged was; (i) The issue for consideration, before the Supreme Court, was whether schools were charging excessive and disproportionate fees and whether, the DoE acted within its jurisdiction in issuing directives (ii) Unaided educational institutions enjoyed greater autonomy, in the matter of determination fee structure. Such institutions to be allowed to plan their investment and expenditure, to generate reasonable profit. (iii) Charging of capitation fees, and profiteering, could not be allowed. (iv) Balance, to be struck between autonomy of the institutions and measures to be taken to prevent commercialization of education. (v) These regulatory measures could not, trespass on the autonomy of the unaided educational institutions. (vi) The right to establish and administer minority educational institutions, conferred, by Article 30(1) of the Constitution, was subject to reasonable regulations. (vii) Subject to the prohibitory parameters, regarding charging of capitation fee and profiteering, fees chargeable by unaided educational institutions could not be regulated. (viii) The “issue”, condensed by the Supreme Court, was “as to what constitutes reasonable surplus”. (ix) The directions, issued to the DoE is to “ascertain whether terms of allotment of land by the Government to the schools have been complied with, by the schools”. In the event of non-compliance being detected, the DoE was directed to take “appropriate steps in that regard”.  

Issue: 


Whether unaided recognized private school is required to take prior approval of the DoE before increasing its fees, irrespective of whether the land clause? 

Legal provision: 


Section 8(2) of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973- which mandates prior approval for dismissal orders.  

Courts analysis and Judgement: 

 Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools v. DoE1 and Mt. Carmel School v. DoE2 the Court observed that “the schools are entitled to complete autonomy in the matter of fixation of their fees and management of their accounts, subject only to the condition that they do not indulge in profiteering, and do not charge capitation fee, thereby “commercializing” education. There is no requirement for the school to take “prior approval”, of the DoE, before enhancing its fees”. The resultant legal position, following Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools, is that an unaided recognized private school is not required to take prior approval of the DoE before increasing its fees, irrespective of whether the land clause. The principle that private unaided schools do not have to seek prior approval before enhancing their fees, so long as they do not indulge in profiteering or commercialization of education by charging capitation fees and making of profits, is undisturbed till date though it is subject to decision of the Division Bench. The DoE, even if dissatisfied with the judgment of this Court in Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools has to respect the verdict so long as it stands. The attitude of the DoE in continuously issuing Circulars threatening recognized unaided schools is objectionable and cannot be allowed. The grievances are to be ventilated before Division Bench where the Appeal is pending, and not issue continuous circular thereby driving the schools to drive to litigations and repeatedly re-arguing the same points which were considered in Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools. As long as there is no prohibition by the Division Bench, with the principle in Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private Schools the DoE is required to respect that position. In view of the aforesaid reasons, why rule nisi should not be issued? And until next hearing DoE Circular dated 27.03.2024 shall stand stayed.    

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Supreme Court Directs Bombay High Court to Scrutinize Legality of Advocates’ Filed ‘Minutes of Order’

Case Title: Ajay Ishwar Ghute and Ors V. Meher K. Patel and Ors

Case no: Civil appeal No. 4786 of 2024

Dated on: 30th April, 2024

Quorum: Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan

Facts of the case:

An Arbitration Petition was filed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before single judge of Bombay High court wherein consent terms were filed in the arbitration petition preferred by the first respondent. In terms of the consent terms the learned single judge recorded that the process of handing over the possession of the suit property by the respondents to the first respondents as commenced. The disputes were related to lands of Parsi Dairy Farm. The seventh respondent filed an interim application after two years of filing the consent terms by stating that High court had directed the Police to give police protection to the parties for completing the process of handing over possession. A compound wall was to be constructed in terms of the consent terms, which according, to the seventh respondent could not be done as local persons obstructed the work. The learned single judge of the Bombay High court disposed the interim application by directing Police/Tahasildar/ Collector/ Gram Panchayat office and all other Government authorities to offer assistance to construct a wall to safeguard the suit property. The persons who had obstructed the construction of the wall were not part to the arbitration proceedings/ interim application. An application was filed to Deputy Superintendent of Land Records by first respondent and five others for measuring the land who vide later dated 20.11.2021 informed the first respondent that several persons have objected, in writing, in carrying out the survey. Hence, holding an enquiry was necessary. First and second respondent filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the constitution for non-compliance with the orders of the Arbitration Petition regarding survey and construction of compound wall. The persons who raised objections were not impleaded in the Writ Petition. The Division Bench on 09.03.2022 ordered the Superintendent of Police to be present. The Superintendent of Police filed an affidavit stating that local tribals have gathered an impression that they were attempted to be illegally dispossessed and they insisted that the lands be demarcated before constructing the compound wall. The District Superintendent of Land Records vide an affidavit stated that there are certain persons to whom the petitioners and others have sold small portions of land and if a compound wall is constructed the third parties are likely to get landlocked. The Division bench without noticing the contentions of the above Government officers, instead of directing impleadment of the affected parties passed an order in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ dated 16.03.2022, for issuing a direction to survey authorities to carry out demarcation of the boundary and to direct the police to provide protection for constructing the compound wall.

Contentions of the appellant:

Of the thirty review petitioners Nos. 7-18 were shown as interveners in the “Minutes of order” though they had not engaged any advocate. The said interveners never met the advocate who is shown to have signed ‘Minutes of order’ on their behalf. The appellants had rights in respect of several properties which were likely to be adversely affected by the construction of the compound wall. The principles of Natural justice were not followed before permitting the construction of the compound wall. The impugned order based on ‘Minutes of order’ is completely illegal and vitiated by the non-joinder of the necessary parties.

Contentions of the respondent:

The compound wall had been built in such a manner that no person was landlocked or in any manner inconvenienced. The owners of the adjacent lands continue to enjoy unhindered and unfettered access to their respective land.

Legal provisions

Article 226- Writ Jurisdiction of High Court.

Issue: 

Whether the High court was justified in passing a order while exercising Writ Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the constitution of India permitting the first and second respondent to construct a compound wall under police protection in terms of “Minutes of Order”?

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The court summarised conclusions regarding the concept of Minutes of order as follows:
a) The practice of filing ‘Minutes of order’ prevails in Bombay High court the object of which is to assist the court.
b) An order passed in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ is not a consent order. It is an order in invitum.
c) The Courts to apply its mind as to whether parties likely to be affected by an order in terms ‘Minutes of order’ have been impleaded to the proceedings and whether such order is lawful? If the court finds that all parties are not impleaded the court to defer passing of the order till all the necessary parties are impleaded.
d) If the court is of the view that an order made in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ will not be lawful court should decline to pass order in terms of ‘Minutes of order’.

It was the duty of the Court to call 1st and 2nd respondent to implead persons who were likely to be affected by the construction of the compound wall. The Division Bench of the High court failed to make an enquiry as to whether the third parties will be affected by the construction of the compound wall. Hence, order dated 16.03.2022 in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ is entirely illegal and must be set aside. The writ Petition to be remanded to the High court. After remand, High court must decide who are the necessary parties to the petition in case of failure of 1st and 2nd respondents to implead the necessary parties the High court is within its power to dismiss the Writ Petition and pass an order of restoration of status quo ante by directing demolition of the compound wall.

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Allegations of Illegal Eviction Remain Unresolved: Supreme Court

Case title: Sanjay Maruti Jadhav v. Amit Tatoba Sawant

Case no: Civil appeal No. 72 of 2012

Dated on: April 26,2024

Quorum: Justice Vikram Nath.

Facts of the case:
A Leave and License Agreement was entered between the Appellants and the Respondent. The Appellants are the owners of the property, which was the subject matter of the Suit. The Respondent herein had filed Suit against the Appellant for illegal and unauthorized eviction from the Suit Schedule property which was decreed by the Trial Court and further concurred by the High Court as well. Appellant, aggrieved by the Orders of the High Court, preferred Civil Appeal wherein the Supreme Court had reserved the matter for orders on 18.01.2024. The Supreme Court, left it open for the parties to move appropriate application within a period of two weeks, in case there is any probability for settlement. However, as three months elapsed and since no such application was filed, the Hon’ble Supreme Court proceeded to decide the matter on merits.
Contentions of the appellant:
The Appellants contended that the Suit under Section 6 of The Specific Relief Act not being maintainable. The subject property was handed over voluntarily by the Respondent and to prove the said contention the Appellant relied on the Possession Receipt.
Contentions of the respondent:
The Respondent filed a suit, within six months of dispossession, under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act, 1961 by alleging that they were illegally and unauthorizedly by use of force, evicted by the Appellant.
Issues:
Whether any merit is there in the Appeal preferred and whether any interference is required?
Legal Provisions:
Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act: Suit by person disposed of immovable property.
Courts judgement and analysis:
The Trial Court decreed the suit of the Respondent disbelieving the contentions of the Appellants that the subject property was handed over voluntarily by the Respondent thereby not talking into consideration the possession receipt relied upon by the Appellant. The Trial Court rejected the appellant’s plea of non-maintainability of the suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act. Appellant, aggrieved by the decision preferred a Revision Petition before the High Court, which was also dismissed. The High Court also found that the plea of maintainability of the suit raised by the appellant was devoid of merits and further concurred with the finding of the Trial Court that the Respondent was illegally dispossessed by the Respondent. The Appeal is accordingly dismissed as there are concurrent findings, based upon the evidence on record and findings of fact.

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Bail Refused to Defendant Charged Under UAPA for Supporting ISIS Ideology and Organizing Illegal Weapons: Delhi High Court

Case title: Jamsheed Zahoor Paul v. State of NCT of Delhi

Case no: CRL.A. 51/2024

Dated on: 24th April, 2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manoj Jain

Facts of the case:

Special Cell (New Delhi Range), Lodhi Colony received information that two persons i.e. Parvaiz Rashid Lone and Jamsheed Zahoor Paul (appellant herein) were radicalized youths of Jammu & Kashmir, having allegiance to banned terrorist organization ISIS/SI/DAESH. As per intelligence inputs, they had procured arms and ammunition from UP for their cadres for executing some terrorist act in Jammu & Kashmir and would come at Netaji Subhash Park, near Lal Quila (Red Fort), Delhi on 07.09.2018 to proceed to Kashmir. Both the aforesaid named suspects were found moving towards Lal Qila. Search of the appellant yielded recovery of one pistol, containing five live cartridges in its magazine. From the possession of Parvaiz Rashid Lone (A-1) also, one pistol was recovered. These were seized. The police tracked them. They were found to be juvenile in conflict with law (JCL) and, therefore, separate report was prepared against them, which was filed before concerned Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). During investigation, both the accused divulged that they were propagating ideology of terrorist outfit ISIS in India and were in touch with another ISIS militant, namely, Abdullah Basith. Though, initially, FIR had been registered for commission of offence under Section 25 Arms Act, after detailed investigation and on the basis of the incriminating material collected during investigation, penal provisions of Section 18 & 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were added. Both the accused were accordingly charge-sheeted for commission of offences under Section 25 Arms Act and for Sections 18 & 20 of UAPA. Main charge-sheet was submitted on 28.02.2019. Appellant had earlier also moved one application seeking bail which was dismissed and it was withdrawn on 06.06.2019. He moved another bail application which, too, was dismissed on 01.05.2020, feeling aggrieved, he preferred Criminal Appeal 345/2021 which was, however, not pressed and resultantly, the same was dismissed by this court on 31.01.2022 charges were framed on 25.04.2022. It was thereafter only that the appellant moved another bail application which also did not find favour and was dismissed by the learned trial court. When Appellant was interrogated, he revealed names of various cadres of ISIS (J&KModule) with whom he was in touch through social media, Black Berry Messenger (BBM) and Facebook etc. Some of such cadres of ISIS had already been shot dead in encounter. The mobile phones, recovered from both the accused, were sent to CERT-In for retrieval of data and its forensic analysis. Such analysis indicated that they both were not only involved in procuring sophisticated weapons for banned terrorist organization but also shared information about the movement of Army to other terrorists in Kashmir. Role, involvement and complicity of the appellant also stood exposed whose profile picture on BBM contained four terrorists, two of whom carrying AK-47 Rifles.

Contentions of the appellant:

According, to the learned counsel for appellant, allegations on record, even if those are taken on their face value, do not show commission of any offence under Section 18 & 20 of UAPA and at best, without admitting anything, it can be said to be a case of recovery of arms. It is contended that though the charges have been ascertained by the learned Trial Court and these have not been assailed so far, it is still legally permissible for the appellant to seek bail and to demonstrate that the bar provided under Section 43D (5) of UAPA does not stand attracted. There is no material to show that appellant had indulged into any unlawful or terrorist act, much less attribution of any overt act on his part. The entire case of prosecution is dependent upon the disclosure statements of the accused persons and these statements have no evidentiary value, being inadmissible in law. There is nothing to indicate that any message or BBM chat retrieved from the electronic device of the appellant had any potential to indicate that he was in contact with any terrorist. Appellant could not be branded as “terrorist‟ or a “person involved in terrorist act” merely on the basis of the recovery of a pistol and, therefore, invocation of draconian provision of UAPA is totally mis-founded and unwarranted. There is nothing to indicate that the appellant was a member of ISIS or their purported fronts. There is nothing to suggest that he was radicalized and was associated or was otherwise furthering the activities of ISIS. Merely because there was some BBM Chat retrieved from the electronic devise of his co-accused, appellant could not have been held to be a co-conspirator. Mere framing of charge does not create any embargo against grant of bail as the consideration for framing the charge is different from the one required for grant of bail. At the stage of consideration of bail, Court is merely required to undertake surface-level analysis of probative value of the evidence in order to satisfy test of “prima facie true” and if such analysis is carried out, it would clearly go on to show that there is no admissible evidence on record indicating commission of offences under Section 18 & 20 of UAPA. Appellant has undergone incarceration for more than five and half years and the trial is not likely to conclude any time soon and, therefore, his fundamental right as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India has been seriously jeopardized, entitling him to be released on bail on that count alone.

Contention of the respondent:

There are serious allegations against the appellant and the learned Trial Court has already come to a definite conclusion that there is a prima facie case against him for offences under Section 18 & 20 UAPA. According to the respondents, there are following clearcut allegations and if all these allegations are read conjunctively, it would clearly reveal his complicity qua offences under Section 18 & 20 UAPA. One loaded pistol was recovered from his possession and he disclosed that he had purchased the same from four juveniles. Such fact was found to be correct as the police was able to reach those juveniles and they were apprehended and admitted that weapons in question had been sold by them to the accused persons, in lieu of money. Appellant was found in possession of two electronic devices and when the data was retrieved, it was found that he was found using Black Berry Messenger for communicating with his associates. His BBM ID was deciphered and the profile picture of Black Berry Messenger depicted four terrorists holding AK47 rifles and pistols in their hands. Appellant and his co-accused had procured illicit arms and had come to Delhi together and were to leave for Kashmir together in furtherance of their conspiracy. BBM chats retrieved from the electronic devices from his co-accused clearly suggested that there was incriminating communication of precarious nature between him and Adil Thokar. Appellant had, on the directions of Omar @ Umar Iban Nazir, met one Abdullah Basith. Such Abdullah Basith was later arrested by NIA and the fact of there being a meeting between them was confirmed and substantiated by NIA. Motive of such meeting was to procure weapons for terrorist activity and the record of Shaka Guest House confirmed his such visit. appellant with his co-accused not only conspired to commit terrorist act but also procured weapons and in pursuit of their abominable objective for perpetuating terror, they both, on the direction of Adil Thokar and Umar Iban Nazir, arranged weapons through JCLs and came to Delhi via flight and even sent the images of recovered pistol to their handlers through BBM. The BBM chats from the electronic device of his coaccused clearly indicated that he was even discussing about the movement of Army in Kashmir which clearly exposes their nefarious design.

Legal Provisions:

Section 18 & 20 of UAPA- Punishment for Organizing Terrorist Camps-Anyone who engages in conspiracies, preparations, or attempts to organize a terrorist camp or provides encouragement, advice, or instigation for such activities shall be subject to imprisonment. The term of imprisonment shall not be less than five years, but it may extend to life imprisonment. Additionally, a fine may also be imposed. Punishment for Being a Member of a Terrorist Gang or Organization If an individual knowingly becomes a member of a terrorist gang, organization, or supports such entities, they shall be liable for punishment. The imprisonment term shall not be less than five years, but it may extend to life imprisonment. Furthermore, they may also be fined. Section 43D(5) of UAPA- makes it virtually hard to grant a bail.Section 10 of Evidence Act- pertains to the admissibility of evidence in cases involving conspiracy.

Issue:

  1. Whether in view of the fact that charges have already been framed and such charges have not been challenged by the appellant, whether bail plea can be considered and whether the court can go on to opine that there are no reasonable grounds for believing the accusation to be prima facie true?
  2. What should be the level of scrutiny for believing the same? Whether the appellant has been able to show that there is no prima facie case against him? Whether despite such statutory bar being in place and when prima facie is found to be made out, bail can still be granted in order to safeguard his fundamental rights.

Court analysis and Judgement:

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gurwinder Singh vs. State of Punjab & Anr. 2024 SCC On-Line SC 109, the impact of Section 43D (5) of UAPA was delineated and it was observed that the conventional idea in bail jurisprudence – bail is the rule and jail is the exception – does not find any place in UAPA. It further observed that exercise of general power to grant bail under UAPA is severely restrictive in scope. It went on to hold that in view of said statutory bar contained under Section 43D (5) of UAPA, if the
offences fall under Chapter IV and/or Chapter VI of UAPA and there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation is prima facie true, bail must be rejected as a rule. Gurwinder Singh (supra) also discussed National Investigation Agency v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali: 2019 SCC On-Line SC 461 which lays down elaborate guidelines about the approach that the Courts must partake in, while considering bail application under UAPA. In context of the meaning attributable to “prima facie true‟, it observed that material collected by the investigating agency, on the face of it, must show the complicity of the accused in relation to the offence and must be good and sufficient to establish a given fact or chain of facts constituting the stated offence, unless rebutted or contradicted by other evidence. It also observed that at the stage of giving reasons for grant or rejection of bail, the elaborate examination or dissection of evidence was not required and the Court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities. Thus, once charges are framed, it can be easily assumed that there is a very strong suspicion against the accused. Therefore, in such a situation, the task of any such accused becomes much more onerous and challenging as it is never going to be easy for anyone to satisfy that the same set of material, which compelled the court to frame charges on the basis of strong prima facie case, would persuade it to hold to the contrary, by declaring that such accusation was not prima facie true. Be that as it may, there can never be any restriction or embargo on moving application seeking bail. Such unfettered right remains available as long as the proceedings are alive. Moreover, in view of specific observations made in National Investigation Agency v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali (supra) as elaborated in Gurwinder Singh (supra), Court can always consider such bail application, even after framing of charges, the rider being the onus on accused would be much more rigorous in such a situation. The first two facets stand answered accordingly. As per allegations appearing on record and facts and circumstances placed before the court, the appellant was continuously in touch with his co-accused, travelling with him and arranging weapons. He was in touch with militants as well and met one of them in Delhi. Conspiracy, as the cliché goes, is hatched in secrecy and very rarely, there would be any visible evidence suggesting clear-cut conspiracy. On most of the occasions, conspiracy has to be inferred by connecting dots from bunch of circumstances. Moreover, Section 10 of Evidence Act cannot be kept aside which visualizes such type of situation and makes the actions and the statements of coconspirator to be relevant as against the others. Such action or statement can even be used for proving the existence of conspiracy. Thus, at this stage, appellant does not seem to be in any position to wriggle out of the statutory bar contained in proviso of Section 43D (5) of UAPA as there are clear-cut allegations which go on to indicate that accusation against him is prima facie true. This observation is based on broad probabilities and surface analysis of material collected by respondent. Each case has to be evaluated in the backdrop of its factual background. Moreover, in view of our forgoing discussion and material on record, the appellant seems part of conspiracy and when a full-fledged trial is already underway, we would refrain from embarking upon a mini-trial to dissect each circumstance, threadbare. The appellant was in touch with cadres of ISIS which is sufficient to give insight of his culpable mind. In Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, (2023) 8 SCC 745, it has been observed that mere membership of banned organization is also sufficient to incriminate, without there being any overt act. Moreover, the factum of connection and association with any banned outfit has to be inferred from the attendant circumstances and the activities of the person concerned. There will never be a tangible piece of evidence or any kind of documentary proof in this regard, particularly once any such organization is banned. Learned counsel for the appellant has prayed that accused has already undergone incarceration for more than 5 ½ years and trial is not likely to conclude in near future. It is argued that he was just 19 years of age when he was arrested and at that time, he was at an important threshold of his educational and professional career. It is argued that though case is already at the stage of trial and the prosecution has examined nine out of cited twenty-seven witnesses, there is no likelihood of case getting disposed of in near future and, therefore, on the strength of Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb, (2021) 3 SCC 713, it is prayed that despite the aforesaid statutory bar, Constitution Court can always grant bail so that the right of speedy trial and that of life and liberty do not stand defeated.
Thus, as per K.A. Najeeb (supra), despite the above statutory restriction contained in UAPA, the Constitutional Courts can consider grant of bail on the ground of violation of Part-III of the Constitution. However, in the case in hand, the maximum sentence provided under Section 18 & 20 UAPA is imprisonment for life and there is nothing which may indicate that prosecution is acting in a manner which is detrimental to his fundamental rights as provided under Part-III of the Constitution of India. Trial Court Record does not suggest any deliberate attempt on the part of prosecution to slow down the trial and, therefore, at this juncture, merely because of the above incarceration period, the accused does not become entitled to bail. The learned trial court has already observed that it, being already conscious about such fundamental right of the accused, was taking up the matter diligently by giving shortest possible dates. Therefore, there is no further requirement of passing any further direction in this regard. 

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Procedures to be followed in cases where protest petition is to be treated as a separate complaint: SC

Case title:- Mukhtar Zaidi V. The State of Uttar Pradesh
Case No:- criminal appeal no. of 2024 (arising out of SLP (CRL.) NO.9122 OF 2021)
Dated on:- 18th April 2024
Quorum:- Justice Vikram Nath
Facts of the case
Respondent no.2 lodged a First Information Report before the CJM, Aligarh in case No. 129/2020 under sections 147, 342,323,307, 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The same was investigated and after investigation the police submitted report under section 173(2) Cr.p.c, according to which the investigating officer found that no evidence could be collected which could substantiate the allegations made in the FIR. The said report was submitted to the Court concerned whereupon notices were issued to the informant. The informant filed a Protest Petition along with affidavits to show that the investigation carried out by the Investigating Officer was not a fair investigation. The CJM, by order dated 08.03.2021 rejected the police report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. and further proceeded to take cognizance for offences under Sections 147, 342, 323, 307, 506 of the IPC and under Section 190 (1) (b) of the Cr.P.C. and also directed that the matter would continue as a State case. Accordingly, it summoned the accused, fixed 30th April, 2021. This order of cognizance and summoning the present appellant was assailed before the High Court by way of a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. registered as Application u/s.482 No.15273 of 2021. The said application has sine been dismissed by the High Court giving rise to the present appeal.
Contentions of the Appellant:-
CJM had relied upon not only the Protest Petition but also on the affidavits of witnesses which were filed along with the Protest Petition to support the contents of the complaint. Once the CJM was relying upon additional material in the form of evidence, along with the Protest Petition then the only option for the CJM was to treat it as a complaint under Section 200 Cr.P.C. and proceed accordingly. The said case could not have been continued as a State case and should have been treated as a private complaint. Once additional evidence was being relied upon which had been filed along with the Protest Petition then the only option open was to treat it as a private complaint and after following the due procedure in Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C.
Contentions of the Respondent:-
CJM did not take into consideration any additional evidence filed in the form of affidavits along with the Protest Petition. He only relied upon the material collected during the investigation as contained in the case diary. Based upon the same, CJM rejected the police report and took cognizance which was within his domain and such cognizance would fall within Section 190(1)(b) Cr.P.C.
Legal provisions:-
Section 190(1)(a) Cr.P.C- issue of summons
Section 200 Cr.P.C- Examination of the complainant
Section 482 Cr.P.C- inherent power of High Court
Section 173(2) Cr.P.C- police report
Issues:-
How the Magistrate would proceed under Section 190 Cr.P.C., once the Investigating Officer had submitted a closure report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C?
Courts judgement and analysis:-
Where initially the complainant has not filed any complaint before the Magistrate under Section 200 CrPC, but, has approached the police only and where the police after investigation have filed the ‘B’ report, if the complainant wants to protest, he is thereby inviting the Magistrate to take cognizance under Section 190(1)(a) CrPC on a complaint.
If it were to be so, the Protest Petition that he files shall have to satisfy the requirements of a complaint as defined in Section 2(d) CrPC, and that should contain facts that constitute offence, for which, the learned Magistrate is taking cognizance under Section 190(1)(a) CrPC.
If it is to be simply styled as a Protest Petition, without containing all those necessary particulars that a normal complaint has to contain, then, it cannot be construed as a complaint for the purpose of proceeding under Section 200 CrPC.
However, in the present case as the Magistrate had already recorded his satisfaction that it was a case worth taking cognizance and fit for summoning the accused, the Magistrate ought to have followed the provisions and the procedure prescribed under Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed to set aside the orders passed by the High Court as also the CJM, Aligarh. However, it is open for the Magistrate to treat the Protest Petition as a complaint and proceed in accordance to law as laid down under Chapter XV of the Cr.P.C
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