Stranger Cannot Be Permitted To Intervene or Interfere With the Criminal Proceedings Which Are Instituted by the State Against an Accused: Bombay HC

The Bombay HC on Friday stated that a stranger cannot be permitted to intervene or interfere with the criminal proceedings which are instituted by the State against an accused.

The bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Prithviraj K. Chavan was dealing with the petition where the petitioner challenged his arrest by respondent No.1 as well as orders authorizing his detention by the Special Court in the custody of the respondent No.1.

In this case, Mr. Subhash B. Jha, Counsel for the applicant submits that E filing number has been generated on 12th January, 2023 and as such, requested for accepting hard copy of the same for the purpose of hearing.

It was further contended that the applicant has fairly in-depth knowledge of civil as well as criminal statutes and at the same time, has in-depth knowledge of vedas, shastras and puranas as well. The applicant can recite many verses of Holy Ramayan verbatim, without referring to Holy Ramayan and speak on the subject for hours together and explain meaning of vedas, shastras, purans, Ramayan, Bhagwat Geeta etc. In this background,

The counsel stated that the applicant being an enlightened member of the legal profession thinks that he is duty bound and rather it is his professional responsibility as well to enlighten the Court on the correct legal position of law and let perception gaining momentum that those who are rich and powerful can get away so lightly by getting an order of bail in exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction of the Court vested under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, that too, when highest Court of the country termed such practice as forum shopping which shall be dealt with in some detail.

The bench noted that the law on the aspect of locus standi in the criminal proceedings is no more res integra. There are catena of judgments to the effect that a stranger cannot be permitted to intervene or interfere with the criminal proceedings which are instituted by the State against an accused. C.B.I is an independent and statutory Authority investigating the instant crime.

High Court opined that we cannot permit a stranger to indirectly became an instrument to attain or obtain any beneficial achievement which one could not get through normal legal process. Once the investigation is complete and the chargesheet is filed in the competent Court then that Court is expected to apply it’s judicial mind and permit the proceedings to progress till it results in finality. Essentially, criminal offences have been treated as offences against the State. It is the State alone who is competent to investigate and prosecute the offender since the crime is committed against the Society at large.

The bench referred to the case of P. Dharamaraj v. Shanmugam and others, where the Supreme Court while dealing with the scope of sections 482, 320 of the I.P.C and Article 226 of the Constitution of India, observed that “where offences are capable of having an impact not merely on complainant and accused but also on others, Court has to go slow even while exercising jurisdiction under S. 482 Cr. P.C or Article 226 of the Constitution of India.”

High Court observed that from the tone and tenor of the language used by the applicant that a perception is gaining momentum that those who are rich and powerful can get away so lightly by getting an order of bail in exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction of the Court, smacks a calculated move and mala fide attempt to malign the image of this Court.

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The bench referred to the case of State of Maharashtra v. Pankarj Jagshi Gangar, where the SC stated that “the release of the respondent-accused on bail by the High Court, that too, by way of interim relief, without at all considering the seriousness of the offences alleged against the respondent, and other settled parameters for grant of bail is wholly impressible.”

High Court stated that the applicant has not only consumed valuable time of this Court by filing an unmerited application seeking intervention but also attempted to browbeat the Court. The applicant is not a naive person. Looking to the overall conduct of the applicant, while rejecting the application, exemplary costs needs to be imposed upon him.

In view of the above, the bench rejected the application and listed the matter on 24th February, 2023.

Case Title: Venugopal Nandlal Dhoot v. Central Bureau of Investigation

Bench: Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Prithviraj K. Chavan 

Case No.: CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.300 OF 2023

Counsel for the applicant: Mr. Subhash B. Jha

Counsel for the respondent: Ms. P.P. Shinde

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