The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday quashed the criminal proceedings initiated against six workers of the Congress party, who were booked for staging protests in the city without prior permission from the local police. The HC noted that the prosecution failed to follow the due procedure of law and thus quashed the charge sheet against the six men.
A bench of Justices Mahesh Sonak and Pushpa Ganediwala was hearing a plea filed by one Pankaj Nighot, 37, who along with five other men was named in the charge sheet filed by the Nagpur police for disobeying orders of a public servant, which is punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"The allegation is that despite the permission being declined, Nighot and 40 to 50 others participated in the demonstrations which took place at Civil Lines in November 2016," the bench noted in it's order.
"From the allegations, we are not too sure if the ingredients of section 188 were at all made out because there is nothing on record to indicate the refusal of permission by the Senior Police Inspector, was something made known to Nighot or the others against whom the charge sheet was ultimately filed," the judges noted.
The bench further said that there is no clarity as to how these six persons were chosen when the FIR had alleged that there were about 40 to 50 demonstrators.
The judges further noted that the prosecution failed to adhere to section 188, which mandates a written complaint by a public servant, it won't be possible to prosecute Nighot and others under this provision.
"It will no longer be in the interests of justice to continue with this prosecution," the bench held, adding that though it was petitioned only by Nighot but there were five other men, who too were named in the case and thus, quashed the proceedings against all of them.
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