Observing that “case is pending for 10 years now, is no ground to allow withdrawal”, the Additional District and Sessions Court of Chandigarh dismissed the criminal revision plea of Chandigarh Police, seeking withdrawal of prosecution against 20 persons including former Chandigarh Mayor Asha Jaiswal, for allegedly manhandling two Hurriyat Conference leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in 2010.
The court of ADJ Rajeev Goyal upheld the trial court order and opined that “permission to withdraw from prosecution cannot be granted where allegation is concerning destruction/damage caused to the public property, for granting consent, would frustrate the very object and purpose behind enactment of PDPP (Prevention of Damage to Public Property) Act.”
As per records, former Chandigarh Mayor and present councillor, Asha Jaiswal, former councillor Rajinder Kaur and present councilors Sunita Dhawan, Usha Sharma, Meena Sharma, Sanjay Kaul, Sanjeev Rana, Hemant Galav, Amit Rana, Chandan Sandhu, Satyavan Shera, Vijay Bharadwaj, Arvind Rana, Sunil Kansal, Sanjeev Verma, Parvesh Sharma, Dinesh Chauhan, Shumanshu Sharma, Dev Shri and Satinder Singh, are facing charges under the sections 147, 149, 323 of the Indian Penal Code, and the Section 3 of the PDPP Act.
In 2017, the accused had moved a discharge application in the case, however, the JMIC Court of Hirdejit Singh, on July 29, 2017, after hearing the arguments had dismissed the discharge application of the accused, and ordered for framing of charges.
The chargeseheet against the accused was then filed, but then, the Chandigarh Police (Prosecution) moved an application in the trial court for withdrawing the case against the accused persons.
The Court of JMIC Saloni Gupta, however, dismissed the application of Chandigarh Police for withdrawing the case in June 2018, and ordered for framing of charges.
However, in October 2018, the Chandigarh Police filed a criminal revision against the order of trial court which had dismissed the application of withdrawing the case against accused. The same was dismissed by the ADJ Court on Tuesday.
In the criminal revision at ADJ Court, the Chandigarh Police had sought withdrawal from the prosecution on the ground to restore peace and harmony, and maintain peace among the public in general and inhabitants of a locality in particular.
The UT Police had said, prosecution of the accused persons need to be withdrawn and by doing so, no injustice would be caused and rather public purpose will be served.
After hearing the arguments and findings of the trial court order which had been challenged, the Court opined, “There is no good ground to interfere and grant permission to withdraw from prosecution by setting aside the impugned order in as much as learned APP has failed to satisfy the court with sufficient reasons that withdrawal from prosecution was in public interest, public peace and public justice.”
“…During arguments, no judgment relating to grant of permission to withdraw prosecution in a case concerning offence under the PDPP Act could be cited before me, whereas settled law in this behalf is that wherever there is infraction of PDPP Act, the courts would not grant consent to withdraw from prosecution,” read the Court order.
Further considering the law, the Court held that “permission to withdraw from prosecution cannot be granted where allegation is concerning destruction/damage caused to the public property, for granting consent, would frustrate the very object and purpose behind enactment of PDPP Act.”
The judge said, “Learned APP moved the application not by way of independent application of mind but on the dictates of UT Administration and if that being so, there is no question of granting consent for withdrawal from prosecution.”
In the order, the judge said, “Withdrawal from prosecution in the present case is not going to serve public interest. I am rather of the view that larger interests of justice require that the trial of the criminal case must be taken to its logical end. It will be appreciated if the learned Magistrate holding trial shows sense of urgency and disposes of the criminal case as expeditiously as he can as the criminal case pertains to 2010.”
The charges were framed against the accused in February by the Court of JMIC Inderjeet Singh.