Srinagar- The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has rejected a plea by a former Station House Officer of police, seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him last year in connection with allegations of taking bribe from a ticketing contractor at Tulip Garden here.
The contractor, according to the government, had filed a complaint with senior police officer on 26 March last year, alleging therein that the then SHO Inspector Raies Hassan Wani and another official were compelling him to pay illegal gratification to the tune of Rs. 4 to 5 Lacs and also Rs.5000 on daily basis, otherwise threatening him that they would divert the traffic to cause loss to his business. The SHO has been attached to DPL.
Considering the urgency and sensitivity of the matter, the government said, immediate action and cognizance was taken. Subsequently, it said, a memo of cash, which the complainant was going to give to the police officer was prepared and the serial numbers of currency notes were noted down in presence of two witnesses. Accordingly, it said, a complainant was advised to proceed to the spot where the accused had called him to meet near Tulip Garden. The “another police official” after receiving alleged illegal gratification from the complainant, threw it into police vehicle which was parked near place of occurrence.
Accordingly the FIR (no.15/2022) came to be registered and investigation was set into motion. The government said that during course of investigation, Rs.50,000 was seized.
Wani’s counsel contended that the FIR was based on false and frivolous grounds and that the officials were required to first conduct the enquiry into the matter under Rule 349 of the Police Rules and that it was not open for them to register the FIR against the SHO without the permission of the District Magistrate.
The counsel further stated that the basic ingredients of Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act have not been satisfied because the SHO is not alleged to have obtained any illegal gratification from the contractor.
On the other hand, senior Additional Advocate General stated that the case stands registered under the “exigent circumstances” and the cognizance in the case has been taken under the special law which has been augured by the circumstances and the facts.
The police, he said, besides having purport of prevention and detection of crime, was protector of life and property of the masses and any allegation to the extent of extortion of bribe from members of public by police officials have to be put to through scrutiny.
He said that the investigation of the matter is at its “threshold and the culpability of petitioner (SHO) is yet to be worked out, but the act of impeding the furtherance of investigation by the petitioner lends a colour of guilty conscious to him and guilty conscious does not need any excuse.”
“The High Court, while forming an opinion whether a criminal proceeding or complaint or FIR should be quashed in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr. P.C., must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power… it has to be exercised to secure the ends of justice or to prevent an abuse of the process of any court,” a bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul said, adding, “Perusal of the instant petition and the contents contained therein require and demand full dress trial and examination of facts by this Court as if this Court is in appeal and acting as an appellate court and to draw its own conclusion vis-à-vis impugned FIR, complaint and proceedings emanating therefrom.” This is not the aim and objective of the provisions of Section 482 Cr. P.C., particularly when the petition on hand does not unveil any ground muchless cogent or material one, to indicate that the inherent powers are to be exercised to prevent abuse of process of law and to secure the ends of justice, the Bench said. “….the impugned FIR does not call for any interference and consequently, the instant petition is liable to be dismissed.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.