HC of Delhi issues notice in criminal case pending for 23 years has no record.4 min read

BY : KOSHA DOSHI

Background-

In 1996 a complaint had been filed by the petitioner at the Mehrauli Police station for theft. The theft was regarding some share certificates which were of the company Datamatics Ltd. The shares were initially bought by the petitioner’s wife in the year 1993. After 3 years, in 1996, the shares were transferred to her husband.

On 4th October, 1997 the police summoned the petitioner at the Mehrauli Police Station in regard to a complaint. The husband and wife were summoned on several occasions in spite of their co-operation with the department. The couple furnished the authorities with all the information required but were still summoned frequently.

That very day, the petitioner filed an application for grant of an anticipatory bail which was granted by the Patiala HC. The Patiala HC granted interim till the 10th of October. 10th October, 1997 the Additional Sessions Judge granted the anticipatory bail application after it had been made clear by the investigating officer that the petitioner was not required for further investigation. A specification was also made that in case of arrest a notice would be sent to the petitioner 7 days prior to the action.

In 2000-2001 the police-initiated process to arrest the petitioner wherein the petitioner moved to apply for granting of an anticipatory bail. This bail application was granted by the Patiala HC order dated 12th January, 2001. Since 2001 no progress as per his knowledge took place and no investigation report came about.

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Current Issue-

A man who was out from on anticipatory bail was suddenly reminded that a case which had been filed decades ago against him was still ongoing. The man had applied for a passport which was rejected by the Passport authorities. The reason stated for the same was that there exists a criminal proceeding pending against the man which he was unaware of making him still undertrial.

In 2017 the petitioner applied for his passport which was rejected by the Passport authority stating that there exists an on-going criminal case against him. As a result of the rejection of passport, the petitioner moved an application in the Trial Court asking for the status ad stage of proceedings. The status report which was submitted by SHO Mehrauli Police Station stated no record of the FIR 436/1996.

There was no record, case file or document with the Trial Judge at Saket Court. An order on 17th of May, 2017 asked the concerned person at the Records room in the Saket Courts to better their efforts in tracing the specific file. There was no record found and the petitioner felt that the proceedings would be unable to proceed thereof and thereby he still continues to remain an undertrial.

Question of Law-

The petitioner further states that due to the pendency of the case, he was subject to mental stress and agony. It even curtails the right of a citizen from obtaining his passport. Therefore, the petitioner moved to the Delhi High Court under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This would provide the court to quash the criminal proceedings. The petitioner, Ram Babu Aggarwal was represented by Mr. Chetan Lokur and Mr. Nitin Chaudhary.

While admitting the plea, the single bench comprising of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri gave a notice to the Delhi government to submit a status report before next hearing. In the 3rd week of January 2020, the Delhi High Court issues a notice in regard of a criminal case which has been dormant for about 23 years now. The courts need to bring about digitalization copy of trial court records

Conclusion-

The case which has been forgotten for 23 years with no records causing the petitioner a denial in getting his passport. No trace of an entire criminal proceedings in any form leds to miscarriage of the departmental work proceedings. It is an issue of grave nature and caused a let of problems to the petitioner over a time period of 23 years. . The matter will now be taken up on 20th March to resolve the issue which became dormant.

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