A Delhi court has acquitted a person accused of obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties in 1998 due to lack of a “properly drafted and legally presentable complaint” against the accused.
The order came on an appeal filed by the accused, Shambhu Nath Shukla, against the verdict of a magisterial court that sentenced him to jail for three months and fined him Rs 500 for the offence of obstructing a public servant.
“The courts finds merit in the contention raised by the counsel for the accused that he could not be prosecuted for the offence under Section 186 IPC (obstructing public servant from discharging his duty) for want of properly drafted and legally presented complaint,” Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar said.
A case was registered against Shukla on May 13, 1998, on a complaint filed by Commissioner Workman Compensation, who was holding his office at the Tis Hazari courts.
The commissioner had alleged that Shukla had entered his room in a drunken condition while he was holding his court and that the accused started hurling abuses while in court.
The commissioner also alleged that the accused manhandled the advocates present in the court room, when they tried to pacify him.
During the arguments before the court, the defence counsel raised the legal objection that his client was prosecuted for the offence, only on the basis of a police chargesheet whereas it should have been done on a mandatory complaint filed under Section 195 of CrPC (written complaint by public servant).
The defence counsel also alleged that, in the complaint, the commissioner had not asked for initiation of any legal action against the accused.
Agreeing to the argument made by the defence counsel the court said, “Records also do not reveal that the metropolitan magistrate took cognizance that the complaint had to be filed under Section 195 CrPC….. The very first order dated May 22, 1999… speaks of presentation of challan. It does not speak of presentation of complaint.”