advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sec.482 of Cr.P.C. - Sec.499, 500,501,502,503 I.P.C. - Sec.196,198,199 of Cr.P.C.- Sanction against each and every accused - Held not necessary - allegations “Police sources say Vanjara and Pandian nabbed Kousarbai in Bidar with help from S.P. Rajiv Trivedi of the Hyderabad Special Investigation Unit………Rajiv Trivedi provided cars with fake number plates in which Sohrabuddin was brought to Ahmedabad and then killed in a fake encounter.” - Quash petition was dismissed by A.P.High court - holding that the news telecast in the electronic media by CNN-IBN and other news items published in various newspapers of the appellants per se are integrally connected with the official discharge of duties of the second respondent and held that whether the same amounts to defamatory, libel or scandalous statements is a matter that has to be decided on the evidence to be adduced by the parties.- and further held that in the absence of any privilege to the broadcaster on par with Section 7 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the appellants cannot claim to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against them and there was no merit to quash the said criminal proceedings against the appellants.- Apex court confirmed the same and dismissed the appeal - 2015 S.C.MSKLAWREPORTS




A news item on various dates in the year 2007, allegedly making  false
implication  against  the  second   respondent-Rajiv   Trivedi,   Additional
Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT),  Hyderabad,  Andhra  Pradesh,  with
regard to the Sohrabuddin encounter case was published by the appellants  in
the respective publications and was telecast on  CNN-IBN.
A  representation
was given by the second-respondent to the Andhra  Pradesh  State  Government
seeking previous sanction under Section 199(4)(b) of the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure (in  short  ‘Cr.P.C.’)  for  prosecution  of  the  appellants  for
offences punishable under the provisions  referred  to  supra.
Accordingly,
the previous sanction was accorded by the State  Government  vide  G.O.  Rt.
Nos. 6581, 6582, 6583 and 6580 dated 27.10.2007  in  favour  of  the  second
respondent permitting him to file complaints against the appellants  through
the State Public Prosecutor before the appropriate court of law against  the
individuals connected with electronic and print media as hereinbelow:

Siyasat Urdu Daily: Sri Latif Mohammad Khan

CNN-IBN English News Channel

Rajasthan Patrika (Jaipur) Hindi daily

The Deccan Chronicle English Daily

The Etemaad Urdu Daily

(points (a)-(e)  are  hereinafter  referred  to  as  ‘individual  print  and
electronic media’)

One of the above mentioned news items which was telecast on CNN-IBN  English
News channel under the caption “30 minutes- Sohrabuddin  the  Inside  Story”
on 13.5.2007 at 1730 hours, which is subject matter of CC No. 1 of 2008,  is
extracted hereunder for our examination:-

“Police sources say Vanjara and Pandian nabbed Kousarbai in Bidar with  help
from S.P. Rajiv Trivedi  of  the  Hyderabad  Special  Investigation  Unit………
Rajiv Trivedi provided cars with fake number  plates  in  which  Sohrabuddin
was brought to Ahmedabad and then killed in a fake encounter.”

 sanction accorded  by  the  State  Government  of
Andhra Pradesh, the criminal proceedings were initiated by the State  Public
Prosecutor on behalf of the State of Andhra Pradesh against the  appellants.
The State of Andhra Pradesh  represented  by  the  State  Public  Prosecutor
filed  the  complaints  against  the  accused-appellants  for  the  offences
referred to supra.
The Additional Metropolitan Sessions  Judge  before  whom
complaints were instituted  by the State Public Prosecutor,  has  taken  the
cognizance of the offences alleged against the appellants and passed  orders
summoning them to appear before the Court for  further  proceedings  in  the
respective cases.

Challenged in High Court for Quash

 allowed only Criminal Petition  No.  7592  of  2007
(M.J. Akbar & Anr. v. The State of A.P.) and
dismissed  all  other  criminal
petitions holding that the news telecast in the electronic media by  CNN-IBN
and other news items published in various newspapers of the  appellants  per
se are integrally connected with the official discharge  of  duties  of  the
second respondent and
held that
whether  the  same  amounts  to  defamatory,
libel or scandalous statements is a matter that has to  be  decided  on  the
evidence to be adduced by the parties.
The High Court further held  that  in
the absence of any privilege to the broadcaster on par  with  Section  7  of
the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the appellants  cannot  claim
to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against them and  there  was  no
merit to  quash  the  said  criminal  proceedings  against  the  appellants.

 appeals are filed

On examining the facts, circumstances and  evidence  on  record,
the previous sanction is accorded to launch  necessary  prosecution  against
the CNN-IBN channel, Siyasat Urdu Daily: Sri Latif Mohammad Khan,  Rajasthan
Patrika (Jaipur) Hindi daily, Deccan Chronicle  English  Daily  and  Etemaad
Urdu Daily.
By careful  reading  of  the  provision  under  Section  199  of
Cr.P.C., read  with  the  All  India  Services  (Conduct)  Rules,  1968,  it
provides  that  previous  sanction  must  be   accorded,   authorising   the
initiation of criminal prosecution against the accused,  however,  the  said
provisions do not state that it is necessary to mention the  names  of  each
one of the accused who are alleged to have  committed  the  offence  in  the
same alleged transaction.
Therefore, in the case on hand, when the  previous
sanction was accorded  by  the  State  Government  against  those  who  were
responsible for the telecast/publication of the news both in electronic  and
print  media  which  according  to  the  second   respondent   damaged   his
reputation, it is not necessary  for  the  State  Government  to  separately
issue sanction order against each one of the appellants, when they  are  all
responsible for telecasting  and  publishing  the  said  news  item  in  the
electronic and print media and also when the names of  the  said  electronic
and print media have already been mentioned  in  the  said  sanction  order.
Therefore, there is no merit in  the  contention  urged  on  behalf  of  the
appellants that their names have not  been  specifically  mentioned  in  the
said sanction order. The said contention is untenable in law and  therefore,
liable to be rejected. The same is accordingly rejected.

The learned senior counsel  on  behalf  of  the  appellants  has
placed reliance upon the judgments of  this  Court  in  the  cases  of  Gour
Chandra Rout & Anr. v. The Public Prosecutor,  P.C.  Joshi  &  Anr.  v.  The
State of Uttar Pradesh and Mansukhlal Vithaldas Chauhan v. State of  Gujarat
(all referred to supra). 
With regard to the above referred cases, the  first
two cases have not dealt with the exercise of power  under  Section  199  of
Cr.P.C., except stating the ministerial  exercise  of  power  by  the  State
Government while exercising its power under Section 198B (3)(a)  of  Cr.P.C,
1898. 
In so far as the third case referred to supra upon which the  reliance
placed upon by the learned senior counsel on behalf of the  appellants,  the
same is in relation to the previous sanction to be  accorded  by  the  State
Government for the purpose  of  prosecution  under  the  provisions  of  the
Prevention of Corruption Act. 
Therefore, none of the above  cases  on  which
reliance has been placed by the learned counsel on behalf of the  appellants
have any relevance to the fact situation on hand.

Having regard to the scheme of the Protection of  Civil  Rights  Act,  1955,
the complainant-second respondent during the relevant point of time was  the
Police Officer in the  services  of  the  State  Government  and  he  cannot
prosecute the appellants in  a  court  of  law  without  obtaining  previous
sanction from the State  Government  as  contemplated  under  the  aforesaid
provisions of Cr.P.C. Therefore, in order to prosecute the  appellants,  the
second respondent made a representation to the State Government  along  with
a petition with regard to initiation of  criminal  proceedings  against  the
appellants under the provisions referred to supra in  respect  of  which  he
has sought the sanction of the State  Government.  On  appreciation  of  the
same,  the  State  Government  in  exercise  of  its  administrative  powers
appreciated the facts of the matter, rightly applied its mind  and  accorded
the sanction under Section  199(4)  of  Cr.P.C.  in  favour  of  the  second
respondent to initiate criminal proceedings under  the  provisions  referred
to supra against the appellants. The  said  sanction  was  accorded  by  the
State Government after appreciating that the  statements  telecast/published
by the appellants  in  the  electronic  and  print  media  as  well  as  the
statement given by the appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 853 of 2012  in  the
Urdu Daily on the basis of which the news is published by its Editor,  which
are all statements defaming the second respondent while he  was  discharging
his public function as  a  public  servant.  Therefore,  the  contention  on
behalf of the appellants that there was no application of mind on  the  part
of the State Government in according the said sanction is  wholly  untenable
in law, liable to be rejected and the same is accordingly rejected.

By careful reading of Section 199(4) of the Cr.P.C., it  does  not  indicate
that in order to initiate criminal  proceedings  against  the  accused,  the
public servant needs  to  obtain  sanction  from  the  State  Government  in
respect of each one of the persons against  whom  the  same  transaction  of
offence is alleged  and  the  names  of  the  accused  are  required  to  be
mentioned  specifically  in  the  sanction  order  accorded  by  the   State
Government.  It is sufficient if one sanction is accorded to  prosecute  all
the concerned persons involved in that occurrence, thus, the  contention  on
behalf of the appellants in this regard is also liable to  be  rejected  and
is accordingly rejected.

In view of the aforesaid reasons, we are of the opinion  that  the  impugned
judgment passed by the  High  Court  of  Andhra  Pradesh  in  rejecting  the
petitions for quashing the initiation of criminal  proceedings  against  the
appellants under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. is perfectly  legal  and  valid,
the same does not call for interference by this Court  in  exercise  of  its
appellate jurisdiction as there is no substantial question of law framed  in
the appeals nor is there any miscarriage of justice for  the  appellants  to
interfere with at this stage. In our considered view, having regard  to  the
nature  of  the  complaint,  the  respondents  are  required  to  prove  the
allegations against the appellants by adducing valid  and  cogent  evidence,
the same has to be considered by the trial court and accordingly record  the
findings on the merits of the  case.   The  appeals  are  devoid  of  merit,
liable to be dismissed and are accordingly dismissed.  The  orders  granting
stay of further proceedings before the trial court shall stand vacated.- 2015 S.C.MSKLAWREPORTS

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.