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Sopore ambulance case
HC stays proceedings of FIR against judge
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JAMMU, Dec 18 (JNF): In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking quashment of FIR against judicial officer in Sopore Ambulance case, special Division Bench of the state High Court today stayed the proceedings in the FIR till next date of hearing.

PIL has been filed by two young advocates Rajnish Raina and Prem Sadotra (presently Joint Secretary BAJ) seeking quashment of FIR number 249 of 2013 registered at Police Station Sopore against judicial officer. Special Division Bench of state High Court comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Bansi Lal Bhat issued notice to Chief Secretary, DGP J&K, IGP Kashmir and SHO Police Station Sopore. Special Division Bench also stayed the proceedings in FIR till and asked SHO Police Station Sopore to remain present on next date of hearing.

It has been submitted that the issue of “Independence of Judiciary’ sought to be highlighted in the present petition arises out of an incident of registration of the FIR number 249 of 2013 against judicial officer by Police Station Sopore (Kashmir) under section 241 and 341 RPC without following the due course of law. The act of the police is a direct interference and blitzkrieg on the independence of judiciary, administration of justice and lowering its judicial authority.

Advocate Rohit Kapoor also submitted guideline of the Supreme Court that a Magistrate, Judge or any other Judicial Officer is liable to criminal prosecution for an offence like any other citizen but in view of the paramount necessity of preserving the independence of judiciary and at the same time ensuring that infractions of law are properly investigated.

Rohit Kapoor further submitted that if a judicial officer is to be arrested for some offence, it should be done under intimation to the district judge or High Court as the case may be. If facts and circumstances necessitate the immediate arrest of a judicial officer of the subordinate judiciary, a technical or formal arrest may be affected. The facts of such arrest should be immediately communicated to the District and Sessions Judge of the concerned District and the Chief Justice of the High Court.

The counsel submitted that the judicial officer so arrested shall not be taken to a police station, without the prior order or directions of the District and Sessions Judge of the concerned District, if available. Immediate facilities shall be provided to the Judicial Officer to communication with his family members, legal advisers and Judicial Officers, including the District and Sessions Judge. No statement of a judicial officer who is under arrest be recorded nor any ‘Panchnama’ be drawn up nor any medical tests be conducted except in the presence of the Legal Adviser of the judicial officer concerned or another Judicial Office of equal or higher rank, it’ available.

Subsequently, it was also observed by Apex Court of India on August 14, 2002 in UP Judicial Officers' Asso Versus Union of India (UOI) and others that no crime for investigation should be registered pursuant to any FIR without the permission of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court.

After submitting these guidelines, petitioner sought quashment of FIR against judicial officer.

News Updated at : Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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