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Saturday, September 18, 2021

‘No illegality by Magistrate’: HC quashes Bains’ plea against lodging FIR for rape against him

Bains' counsel had urged that the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ludhiana, went much beyond his powers while ordering his custodial interrogation.

Written by Jagpreet Singh Sandhu | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 24, 2021 1:21:30 am
Punjab Haryana HCFinding no illegality in the order of the lower court, the bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul quashed Bains' petition. (File)

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday dismissed the plea of Punjab MLA, Simarjit Singh Bains, to quash the order of a Ludhiana court that directed the Punjab Police to register a criminal case against the Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leader, in an alleged rape case. The HC has said that there was no illegality in the Ludhiana court’s order and the Ludhiana Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) rightly directed the registration of the case on the basis of the material before it.

Bains has already been booked along with six others in an FIR dated July 10, under Sections 376, 354, 354-A, 506, 120-B of the IPC at PS Division No.6, Ludhiana. The investigations in the case are underway.

MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains (File Photo)

The petitioner’s counsel had urged that the ACJM, Ludhiana, went much beyond his powers while ordering custodial interrogation of the accused. Bains’ advocate also submitted that while a petition under section Section 482 CrPCin a similar matter was pending before the HC, the Magistrate ought not to have exercised the powers under Section 156(3) of CrPC and should have awaited the final outcome of the said proceedings.

The bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul, after hearing the arguments, said, “Though it was not necessary for the ACJM, Ludhiana, to record reasons in extenso, the order reveals that he had recorded only enough reasons to show that there was an application of mind. Hence, the above argument of the counsel for the petitioner is somewhat misplaced as there is no prohibition on recording reasons by a Magistrate.”

Regarding the submissions of the petitioner’s counsel over judicial impropriety by the Magistrate, the HC said, “The phrase ‘Judicial Impropriety’ is nowhere defined. However, in a broader perspective, it can be held to be an act of a judicial officer which violates the law or which displays dishonesty, partiality, or misuse of his office. However, a mere allegation of impropriety without any supporting material would not be enough to persuade this court to set aside the order. That apart, it is not even the suggested case of the petitioner that the order passed by the Magistrate was beyond his jurisdiction.”

The HC bench said that it did not agree with the submission that the Magistrate must stay his hands in the matter because a petition under Section 482 CrPC was filed before the HC.

Thus, finding no illegality in the order of the lower court, the bench quashed Bains’ petition and held that “The mere registration of an FIR cannot be construed as an act which might prejudice the petitioner in any manner.”

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