An Ahmedabad court on Monday held that though Narendra Modi had committed an offence under RP Act by not disclosing his marital status while contesting the Assembly polls in 2012, a petition seeking registration of an FIR against him cannot be entertained due to a time-bar prescribed for such cases.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate M M Sheikh of Ahmedabad (rural) court passed an order to this effect while disposing of an application by an AAP leader, Nishant Verma, which sought an FIR to be registered against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “hiding” his marital status in the affidavit he had filed with his nomination in 2012. The court said “an offence is committed under section 125(A)(3) of Representation of People (RP) Act by not disclosing facts” about Modi’s marital status.
Section 125-A(3) of RP Act deals with penalty for concealing information while filing affidavit and provides for imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months.
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The court, however, said as per CrPC section 468(2)(B), the complaint for the offence has to be made within one year in cases related to the violation of section 125(A)(3) of the RP Act. As the complaint was submitted after a year and four months of alleged offence “cognizance of complaint cannot be taken and an FIR can not be lodged now”, the court said. CrPC section 468 prescribes limitations to non-serious cases where the imprisonment term does not exceed three years. “No court shall take cognizance of an offence of the category after the expiry of the period of limitation,” reads section 468 of CrPC.
Section 468(2)(B) limits the period to one year for filing complaints for an offence that is punishable with a term not exceeding one year. Violation of section 125(A) of RP Act attracts a maximum penalty of six months.