JAMMU: Stating that principle of providing an opportunity to complainant before accepting closure report of police/ investigating agency was observed by the learned judge in breach, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered reopening of a case of corruption against a senior Professor of Jammu University Prof. Falendar Sudan by setting aside impunged order of special Judge Anti Corruption.
The petitioner Dr. Rajni Sharma in an appeal has challenged the order dated 17.05.2008 passed by Special Judge Anti Corruption on the ground that closure report submitted by respondent No.03 (Vigilance Organization Jammu) in FIR No.04 of 2007 for offences under Section
5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act read with Section 161 of RPC has been
accepted by the trial court without providing her any opportunity through notice to hear her and not even intimated about the closure report by court or police.
Hearing the argument of both side counsels, Justice Sanjay Dhar said “Perusal of the record shows that respondent No. 3 after conducting
investigation in FIR No.04 of 2007 which was lodged at the instance of the
petitioner, found that no case is made out against the suspect- respondent No. 4
and accordingly, investigation was closed as not admitted and closure report
came to be filed before the competent Court i.e. the Court of learned Special
Judge Anti Corruption, Jammu.
Further, Justice Dhar said “It appears that the closure report was laid before the aforesaid Court on 17.05.2018 and on the same date, the learned Special
Judge, after concurring with the opinion of the investigating agency, accepted
the closure report. There is no mention in the impugned order about the issuance
of a prior notice to complainant. Even, there is nothing on record to show that the investigating agency has, before presenting closure report in the Court, informed the petitioner about the result of the investigation.”
Observing that entire process is not in consonance with the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Bhagwant Singh v. Commissioner of Police
& anr., AIR 1985 Supreme Court 1285, Justice Dhar said ” This ruling clearly laiddown that on a consideration
of the report made by the investigating agency, if the Magistrate is not inclined .
to take cognizance of offence and issue process, the informant must be given an
opportunity of being heard, so that he can make his submission to persuade the
Magistrate to take cognizance of offence and issue process”. The magistrate as well as police and investigating agency is duty bound to inform the complainant so as to provide him an opportunity of hearing.
Lending no weight to submission of Prof. Sudan for dismissing the petition of complainant for challenging the order of closure report after 8 years, the court further said that the petitioner for approaching the Court belatedly, is
plausible and deserves to be accepted as, she came to know about the fate of her only on the basis of information which was supplied to her on 2.2.2016 under RTI Act, whereafter she filed the instant petition.
While disposing off the petition, the Justice Dhar said that it is clear that the order impugned passed by
the learned Special Judge Anti Corruption, Jammu is not sustainable in law, as
such, the same is set aside. The learned Special Judge is directed to accord
consideration to the closure report filed by the Vigilance Organization in FIR
No. 04 of 2007 afresh after affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.