Criminal cases, the law and the government: India
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Criminal cases and the government
Govt can withdraw criminal cases only after HC nod: SC
The Supreme Court said that a government on its own cannot be allowed to withdraw criminal cases and it can be done only after the approval of the high court concerned.
A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant said if cases with malicious intent are filed, prosecution in cases could be withdrawn but there has to be application of judicial mind. It said the apex court could not examine all such cases and the government should approach the HC to seek approval for withdrawing the cases. “If the high court is satisfied then it will allow withdrawing of cases,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, briefed the court that some state governments have recently withdrawn many criminal cases. He said the Uttar Pradesh government withdrew 77 cases relating to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 out of 510 cases registered in five districts of Meerut zone against 6,869 accused.
“The government orders do not give any reasons for withdrawal of the case under section 321 of CrPC. It merely states that the administration, after full consideration, has taken a decision to withdraw the particular case. Many of such cases relate to offences of dacoity under section 397 of the IPC punishable with imprisonment for life,” he said. He said Karnataka last year withdrew 62 cases without assigning any reason for the same and 36 were withdrawn by Kerala in the last one year.
Hansaria contended that withdrawal from prosecution under section 321 of CrPC is permissible in public interest and cannot be done for political consideration.
“Such applications can be made in good faith, in the interest of public policy and justice and not to thwart or stifle the process of law. In view of the repeated misuse of power by the state in withdrawing prosecution for political and extraneous considerations. All the cases which have been withdrawn after the order of this court on September 16 last year may be examined by the respective high courts,” he told the bench.