HC refuses to quash charges in fake arms licences case

High Court has refused to quash and drop charges in the challan with regard to issuance of arms licences by the official with forged writing and recorded that there is no circumstances to exercise inherent jurisdiction to quash the challan in question.

The accused-Bashir Ahmad Malik has been charged with offences of 420 (Cheating), 468 (Forgery with the intention of cheating) and 471 (Fraud & Dishonesty). The petitioner-Malik was an employee of J&K Civil Secretariat and was posted as PA to Jeet Lal Gupta, the then Special Secretary Home Department at the relevant point of time.

The allegation, in substance, against him is that some arms licenses were issued by him with forged writing and jurisdiction of the licenses was extended to all over India. The writing on the licenses was not of Jeet Lal Gupta. The petitioner was dealing with the files pertaining to the arms licenses at the relevant point of time.
It is on the complaint of Gupta charges for offences under Sections 420/468/471 RPC in the challan presented by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the accused and the FIR came to be registered with Police Station, Crime Branch, Srinagar but later on the case was transferred to the CBI and the investigation resulted into filing of challan against him.

The trial court while framing the charges against the accused has satisfied itself that prima facie sufficient grounds exist for presuming commission of the offence by him and further held that the test which is required to be applied at the stage of framing of charge is somewhat different as to what is to be applied at the final stage of the trial.

“The court cannot agree with the submission of the counsel for the accused as the overall circumstances appearing during investigations have found the accused having committed the offences”, Justice Puneet Gupta said and dismissed the petition of accused-Malik.

“The Court, in the facts and circumstances of the case, does not find any reason to exercise its inherent jurisdiction to quash the challan and set aside the proceedings initiated on the same including the order whereby the charges have been framed against the accused”.

Justice Gupta added that a public servant while discharging his official duties is not expected to be part of those acts which are attributed to the accused-Malik and every act purportedly done by the accused cannot be said to be in discharge of his official functions.

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