-Report by GURPREET SINGH


This case dealt with a criminal revision petition filed by petitioners against an order of the trial Court that discharged the respondent, against whom an FIR was filed for causing mischief by fire.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

An FIR bearing number 03/2015 was registered on 8.1.15, alleging that the respondent on the intervening night of 7/8 January, around 2 am had set on fire 2 shops, due to a dispute between the complainant and respondent that arose regarding retainment of those 2 shops. The Investigation officer recorded statements under 161 C.R.P.C and presented the final report before the court indicating the respondent under section 436 of RPC (Ranbir Penal Code). The Trial Court after persuing the final report discharged the respondent by exercising power under 268 CRPC. The Court while discharging the respondent placed reliance on the ground that none of the witnesses whose statements were recorded under Section 161 C.R.P.C have stated anything against the respondent, that connects him to the crime. Aggrieved by this order of the trial court, petitioners approached the High Court through criminal revision.

ARGUMENTS IN COURT

  • The Petitioners contended that the trial court had erred in its decision to discharge the respondent when from the testimony of the witnesses, the involvement of the respondent can be made out.
  • The respondents contended that the offence under section 436 RPC can be made out only when mischief by fire is committed to destroying a dwelling house and therefore this offence cannot be made out in the case of shops.

DECISION OF THE COURT:

The Court agreed with the contention of the petitioners and remanded the present case to the trial court to reconsider the framing of charges in respect of the decision rendered by this court.

REASONING

The Court after examining the statements of witnesses concluded that the witnesses have clearly stated that the respondent set ablaze the shops in the picture. Further circumstantial evidence of him being seen with a mashal point towards him being involved in the crime. The Court attributed motive to the respondent as there was an ongoing dispute between the respondent and the complainant regarding the possession of the shops. The Court relied on Sajjan Kumar v Union of India, where it was held that the court must apply its judicial mind on the material placed on record and it must be satisfied regarding the possibility of offence being committed by the accused to conclude that prima facie there is a possibility of him being involved. Further, the Court negative the contention of the respondent and ruled that on a bare reading of section 436 of R.P.C it does apply to places that are the custodian of property and the shop’s stored goods of the complainant, making them custodian of the property. Therefore section 436 shall apply in this present case.

“Larger public interest constantly prevails over private rights and the traditions and customs need to yield to the countrywide interest especially in those exceptional times,” located the Jammu and Kashmir High Court even as refusing to skip instructions for handing of over lifeless our bodies of Covid-19 sufferers to their subsequent of kin.

A Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul located that the pointers issued via way of means of the Centre on Covid-19 lifeless frame control sufficiently looks after the nonsecular sentiments of the own circle of relatives contributors and do now no longer require any interference.

It stated that the pointers accord permission to view the face of the lifeless frame via way of means of unzipping the bag and to carry out ultimate rites and rituals without touching the frame. In this backdrop the Court held, “The nonsecular sentiments of the own circle of relatives contributors were sufficiently sorted via way of means of the Government. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has framed the aforesaid pointers in session with the specialists managing Covid-19 pandemic and, as such, if the pointers do now no longer allow delivering of the lifeless frame mainly to the subsequent of the kins and without a doubt permit them to take part withinside the cremation/ burial and to carry out the ultimate rites this is extra than enough in any other case it’d be hard to incorporate the unfold of the disease.”

The Division Bench additionally refused the prayer for the conversion of Government stadiums into vaccination centers. It added, “The advent of massive vaccination centers might not be ex facie possible as it’d bring about attention of a massive range of human beings at one area which might be very volatile and can be a reason of unfolding of Covid-19.” Lastly, the Bench handled the problem of Oxygen delivery and opined that even though there’s no instant scarcity of liquid scientific oxygen, manufacturing flora can be set up via way of means of the UT management for assembly destiny contingencies.

The Bench expressed wish that the Government might put together itself earlier to stand the 0.33 wave if any, and for that reason will ramp up the vaccination drive. “Temporary preparations so for made might not be dismantled and can be stored in readiness for destiny,” it added

The matter is now indexed for listening to on July 6

-Report by Manaswa Sharma