IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL
Criminal Misc. Application No. 335 of 2003
Smt. Manisha Panwar
W/o Dr. Uma Kant Panwar
1. Rajendra Singh Negi
S/o Late S.S. Negi
R/o 11 Cement Road
2. State of Uttaranchal through
Chief Secretary, Uttaranchal, Secretariat Office, Dehradun.
Shri D.K. Sharma, Advocate, for the petitioner. Shri Prabhakar Joshi, Brief Holder, for respondent No. 2/State. None present for respondent No. 1.
Hon'ble Prafulla C. Pant, J.
By means of this petition, moved under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the petitioner has sought quashing of the proceedings of criminal case No. 1326 of 2003, Rajendra Singh Negi Vs. Manisha Panwar and others, pending in the court of Special Judicial Magistrate II (C.B.I.), Dehradun.
2. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the affidavits on record.
3. Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner was Vice Chairman of Mussorie Dehradun Development Authority (for short MDDA), in the year 2000-2001. The complainant/respondent No. 2-Rajendra Singh 2
Negi and his wife, submitted a map for construction of building in plot, situated in Khasra No. 352 in Village Dharampur, Pargana Doon, District Dehradun, to MDDA. Complainant's allegation is that the petitioner raised objection to said plan that a portion of the land was part of surplus ceiling land and the plot is situated in an unauthorised colony. It is pleaded in the criminal complaint by the complainant that after repeal of Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, MDDA has no right to raise such objections. It is also stated that similarly situated some other persons got their map sanctioned. With these allegations, the complainant filed a criminal complaint before the Magistrate to make the petitioner face trial in respect of offence punishable under Section 166 I.P.C. The Magistrate issued summons under Section 204 Cr.P.C., against which this petition has been filed by the petitioner.
4. Before further discussion, it is relevant to mention here the provision contained in Section 166 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, which reads as under:- "166. Public Servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person- whoever, being a public servant, knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is to conduct himself as such public servant, intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will, by such disobedience, cause injury to any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."
Reading of aforesaid provision, makes it clear that it gets attracted only when a public servant knowingly disobeys the direction of law. It is argued on behalf of the petitioner to which I agree that the aforesaid provision nowhere requires a public servant to work against the law. The objection raised by the petitioner or his office in his official capacity on the building plan, submitted by the complainant was not in violation of any law nor against the direction of any law. Rather had the map been sanctioned without following the bye-laws and the rules, the petitioner would have been guilty of dereliction of his public duty. It has been stated by the petitioner in her affidavit that the disputed land was part of 425 square metres of land, declared surplus under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976, before said law was repealed. Any purchase made thereafter by the complainant or his wife does not entitle him/her to make construction in such plot. It is also pleaded by the petitioner that otherwise also since the land in question was part of Lichi orchard land and the same is to be maintained as orchard, as it was exempted for that reason under Section 20 of Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that the criminal complaint is filed only to pressurise the petitioner to get sanctioned the map, submitted by the complainant. In the opinion of this Court, such an attempt by filing criminal complaint is nothing but abuse of process of law.
5. Even otherwise the cognizance taken by the Magistrate in respect of offence punishable under Section 166 I.P.C. is hit by provision contained in Section 197 of Cr.P.C., as no sanction, required under law was ever obtained from the State Government, before prosecuting the petitioner, who has acted in discharge of his public function in pursuance to her official duty.
6. Therefore, the proceedings of impugned criminal case No. 1326 of 2003 R.S. Negi Vs. Manisha Panwar, relating to offence punishable under Section 166 of I.P.C., pending in the court of Special Judicial Magistrate II (C.B.I.), Dehradun, are liable to be quashed. Accordingly, the petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is allowed. The proceedings of aforesaid criminal complaint case are hereby quashed.
(Prafulla C. Pant, J.)