Justice illanthirean full order order -Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act – Protestor – Police not a competent person to register FIR for offences under Section 188 of IPC.


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Shamsul Huda Bakavi v. State rep by its The Inspector of Police (Madras) : Law Finder Doc Id # 1729567 

 

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MADRAS HIGH COURTBefore :- G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, J.

CRL. O.P. No. 9487 of 2020 and CRL. M.P. Nos. 4258 & 4259 of 2020. D/d. 26.6.2020.

Shamsul Huda Bakavi S/o Abdul Karim – Appellant

Versus

State rep by its The Inspector of Police – Respondents

For the Petitioner : Mr. I. Abdul Basith.

For the Respondents : Mr. M. Mohamed Riyaz, Additional Public Prosecutor.

 

IMPORTANT

 

Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act – Protestor – Police not a competent person to register FIR for offences under Section 188 of IPC.

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Sections 195(1)(a) and 482 Indian Penal Code, 1860 Sections 143 and 188 Quashing of FIR – Protest on public roads against implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act without getting prior permission from concerned authority – Petitioner is a social activist and raising voice for public cause and public welfare, whenever injustice and inaction of government machineries – Held, police not a competent person to register FIR for offences under Section 188 of IPC in view of Crl.O.P. (MD)No. 1356 of 2018 – First Information Report or final report liable to be quashed for offences under Section 188 of IPC – Further, complaint does not even state as to how protest formed by petitioner and others is unlawful protest and does not satisfy requirements of Section 143 of IPC – Therefore, FIR liable to be quashed.

[Para 9]

Cases Referred :

Jeevanandham and others v. State rep. by the Inspector of Police, Karur District, Crl.O.P. (MD)No. 1356 of 2018, D/d. 20.09.2018.

Mahaboob Basha v. Sambanda Reddiar, 1994(1) Crimes, Page 477.

 

ORDER
G.K. Ilanthiraiyan, J. – This Criminal Original Petition has been filed to quash the proceedings in Crime No. 67 of 2020 on the file of the respondent police, thereby having been taken cognizance for the offences under Sections 143 and 188 of I.P.C. as against the petitioner.

2. The case of the prosecution is that on 31.01.2020, the petitioner along with other accused persons were protested in the public road against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and further demanded the Central Government to withdraw the said Citizenship Amendment Act, without getting prior permission from the concerned authority. On the basis of the above said allegation, the respondent police registered the complaint and filed an FIR in Crime No.67 of 2020 against the petitioner and others for the offences under Sections 143 and 188 of IPC and the same is pending for filing of charge sheet.

3. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is a social activist and has been raising voice for the public cause and public welfare, whenever injustice and inaction of the government machineries. In order to draw the attention of the Central and State Governments, the petitioner along with several members had protested towards the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and further demanded the Central Government to withdraw the said Citizenship Amendment Act, in the public road. The learned counsel further submitted that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has held that the right to freely assemble and also right to freely express once view or constitutionally protected rights under Part III and their enjoyment can be only in proportional manner through a fair and non-arbitrary procedure provided in Article 19 of Constitution of India. He further submitted that it is the duty of the Government to protect the rights of freedom of speech and assemble that is so essential to a democracy. According to section 195(1)(a) of Cr.P.C., 1973 no Court can take cognizance of an offence under Section 188 of IPC, unless the public servant has written order from the authority. Further he submitted that the petitioner or any other members had never involved in any unlawful assembly and there is no evidence that the petitioner or others restrained anybody. However, the officials of the respondent police had beaten the petitioner and others. When there was lot of members involved in the protest, the respondent police had registered this case, under Section 143 and 188 of IPC as against the petitioner and others. Therefore, he sought for quashing the proceeding.

4. Per contra, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that the petitioner along with others staged protest and there are specific allegations as against the petitioner to proceed with the trial. Further, he would submit that Section 188 of IPC is a cognizable offence and therefore it is the duty of the police to register a case. Though there is a bar under section 195(a)(i) of Cr.P.C., 1973 to take cognizance for the offence under Section 188 of IPC, it does not mean that the police cannot register FIR and investigate the case. More over, the petitioner is an habitual offender by committing this kind of crimes. Therefore, he vehemently opposed the quash petition and prayed for dismissal of the same.

5. Heard Mr. I. Abdul Basith, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. M. Mohamed Riyaz, learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondents.

6. On perusal of the charge, it is seen that the petitioner and other persons were protested against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and further demanded the Central Government to withdraw the said Citizenship Amendment Act, in the public road, without getting prior permission from the concerned authority. Therefore the respondent police levelled the charges under Sections 143 and 188 of I.P.C. as against the petitioner and others. Except the official witnesses, no one has spoken about the occurrence and no one was examined to substantiate the charges against the petitioner. It is also seen from the charge itself that the charges are very simple in nature and trivial. Section 188 reads as follows:

 

    “188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant – Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes to tender to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

7. The only question for consideration is that whether the registration of case under Sections 143188 IPC, registered by the respondent is permissible under law or not? In this regard it is relevant to extract section 195(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 :-

 

    “195. Prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants, for offences against public justice and for offences relating to documents given in evidence. (1) No Courts hall take cognizance-

 

    • (a) (i) of any offence punishable under sections

172

    •  to

188

     (both inclusive)of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), or

 

    (ii)of any abetment of, attempt to commit, such offence, or

 

    (iii) of any criminal conspiracy to commit, such offence, except on the complaint in writing of the public servant concerned or of some other public servant to whom he is administratively subordinate;…”

Therefore, it is very clear that for taking cognizance of the offences under Section 188 of IPC, the public servant should lodge a complaint in writing and other than that no Court has power to take cognizance.

8. The learned counsel for the petitioner relied upon a judgement in Mahaboob Basha v. Sambanda Reddiar and others reported in 1994(1) Crimes, Page 477. He also relied upon a judgment in a batch of quash petitions, reported in 2018-2-L.W. (Crl.) 606 in Crl.O.P. (MD)No. 1356 of 2018, dated 20.09.2018 in the case of Jeevanandham and others v. State rep. by the Inspector of Police, Karur District, and this Court held in Paragraph-25, as follows :-

 

    • “25. In view of the discussions, the following guidelines are issued insofar as an offence under Section

188

     of IPC, is concerned:

 

    • a) A Police Officer cannot register an FIR for any of the offences falling under Section

172

    •  to

188

     of IPC.

 

    • b) A Police Officer by virtue of the powers conferred under section

41

    •  of Cr.P.C , 1973will have the authority to take action under section

41

    •  of Cr.P.C., 1973 when a cognizable offence under Section

188

    •  IPC is committed in his presence or where such action is required, to prevent such person from committing an offence under Section

188

     of IPC.

 

    • c) The role of the Police Officer will be confined only to the preventive action as stipulated under section

41

    •  of Cr.P.C , 1973and immediately thereafter, he has to inform about the same to the public servant concerned/authorised, to enable such public servant to give a complaint in writing before the jurisdictional Magistrate, who shall take cognizance of such complaint on being prima facie satisfied with the requirements of Section

188

     of IPC.

 

    • d) In order to attract the provisions of Section

188

     of IPC, the written complaint of the public servant concerned should reflect the following ingredients namely;

 

    i) that there must be an order promulgated by the public servant;

 

    ii) that such public servant is lawfully empowered to promulgate it;

 

    iii) that the person with knowledge of such order and being directed by such order to abstain from doing certain act or to take certain order with certain property in his possession and under his management, has disobeyed;

 

    and

 

    iv)that such disobedience causes or tends to cause;

 

    (a) obstruction,annoyance or risk of it to any person lawfully employed; or

 

    (b) danger to human life, health or safety; or (c) a riot or affray.

 

    • e) The promulgation issued under section

30

    (2) of the Police Act, 1861, must satisfy the test of reasonableness and can only be in the nature of a regulatory power and not a blanket power to trifle any democratic dissent of the citizens by the Police.

 

    f) The promulgation through which, the order is made known must be by something done openly and in public and private information will not be a promulgation. The order must be notified or published by beat of drum or in a Gazette or published in a newspaper with a wide circulation.

 

    • g) No Judicial Magistrate should take cognizance of a Final Report when it reflects an offence under Section

172

    •  to

188

    •  of IPC. An FIR or a Final Report will not become void ab initio insofar as offences other than Section

172

    •  to

188

    •  of IPC and a Final Report can be taken cognizance by the Magistrate insofar as offences not covered under section

195

    (1)(a)(i) of Cr.P.C., 1973

 

    • h) The Director General of Police, Chennai and Inspector General of the various Zones are directed to immediately formulate a process by specifically empowering public servants dealing with for an offence under Section

188

    •  of IPC to ensure that there is no delay in filing a written complaint by the public servants concerned under section

195

    (1)(a)(i) of Cr.P.C., 1973

9. In the case on hand, the First Information Report has been registered by the respondent police for the offences under Sections 143 and 188 IPC. He is not a competent person to register FIR for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. As such, the First Information Report or final report is liable to be quashed for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. Further, the complaint does not even state as to how the protest formed by the petitioner and others is an unlawful protest and does not satisfy the requirements of Section 143 of IPC. Therefore, the final report cannot be sustained and it is liable to be quashed.

10. Accordingly, the proceedings in Crime No.67 of 2020 on the file of the respondent police, is quashed and the Criminal Original Petition is allowed. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.

.

 

 

 

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