561-A Cr. PC No. 591/2016 and M.P. No. 01/2016. Case: Subash Singh Chib and Ors. Vs State and Ors.. Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Case Number:561-A Cr. PC No. 591/2016 and M.P. No. 01/2016
Party Name:Subash Singh Chib and Ors. Vs State and Ors.
Counsel:For Appellant: Sunil Sethi, Sr. Advocate and Sumit Nayyar, Advocate and For Respondents: Faraz Iqbal, Dy. A.G.
Judges:Janak Raj Kotwal, J.
Issue:Criminal Law
Judgement Date:February 20, 2017
Court:Jammu and Kashmir High Court
 
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Judgment:

Janak Raj Kotwal, J.

  1. This is a petition under Section 561-A of the Jammu and Kashmir Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989 (for short, the Code) seeking quashing of i) FIR No. 15/2014 dated 29.05.2014 of Police Station, Vigilance Organization, Jammu under Section 5(1)(d) r/w. 5(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 (for short, the P.C. Act) and Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 (for short, the Roshni Act), ii) the proceedings conducted in the said FIR and iii) the Government Order No. 18-GAD(Vig) of 2016 dated 27.06.2016 whereby sanction in terms of Section 6 of the P.C. Act has been accorded for launching prosecution against petitioners 1 & 2, who are Public servants.

  2. Heard. I have perused the record.

  3. The allegations involved in FIR No. 15 of 2014 (supra) relate to bungling in conferment of ownership right in 63 kanals and 15 marlas of State land comprised in Khasra Nos. 259, 260, 261, 263 and 264 situate at village, Katal Batal in favour of one Bashir Ahmed under the Roshni Act. The impugned Government Order No. 18-GAD (supra) would show that after investigation the Vigilance Organization has found commission of offences under Sections 5(1)(d) r/w. 5(2) of the P.C. Act and 17 of the Roshni Act by the petitioners, who are/were at the relevant time public servants. These public servants are alleged to have abused their official position by showing non-agricultural land as agricultural land and thereby causing loss to State exchequer. As petitioners 1 & 2, are in Government service, the others having retired on superannuation, the Government has accorded sanction for their prosecution in terms of Section 6 of the P.C. Act.

  4. Quashing of the FIR, the proceedings (investigation) and the sanction order is sought mainly on the grounds, firstly, that petitioners have been falsely implicated and the material collected by the investigating agency does not establish commission of any offence by them and secondly, that the Government order according sanction to prosecute petitioners 1 & 2 has been passed by the sanctioning authority without application of mind and is actuated with mala fides and the sanction is, therefore, illegal. It is contended that the FIR and the impugned Government order ex facie are illegal and highly motivated against the petitioners and therefore, liable to be quashed. It is contended further that the petitioners did not make any wrong reporting in the matter and did not commit any irregularity or illegality in discharge of their official duty. The investigating agency has failed to appreciate that petitioners had faithfully given their reports after conducting verification/re-verification. It is contended that accord of sanction to prosecute petitioners 1 & 2 is totally illegal, arbitrary and bad in the eyes of law as no offence has been made out against them or the other petitioners. Contextually, it is contended that a number of officers/officials were found involved in the case and sanction to prosecute all of them was sought by the Vigilance Organization but respondent No. 1, 'in order to save all those officers/officials who have closed nexus in the corridors in the power for extraneous and mala fide considerations did not grant sanction against any of such officers/officials, but only targeted the petitioners 1 & 2 notwithstanding the fact that the petitioners have not done anything wrong nor have they taken any such action or made any such report which has caused loss to State or to the State Exchequer.'

  5. Upon hearing learned counsel for the parties and perusal of the record of the case produced at Bar by the learned Deputy Advocate General, it emerged as common ground of both the sides that accused Bashir Ahmed has been conferred with ownership rights in 63 kanals and 15 marlas of State land comprised in Khasra Nos. 259, 260, 261, 263 and 264 in terms of Section 8(3) of the Roshni Act under agricultural use against payment of a token amount of Rs. 100/per kanal. Likewise, he has been conferred with ownership right in 1 kanal and 1 marla of land under non-agricultural use against payment of one lac rupees. The petitioners in abuse of their official position are alleged to have reported wrongly the agricultural use of non-agricultural land thereby causing huge loss to State exchequer as cost/fees payable against the conferment of ownership right in the land for non-agricultural use is far higher than that against the land for agricultural use.

  6. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners painstakingly read out the various reports made by the petitioners in the course of processing the case of accused Bashir Ahmed for conferment of ownership right in aforementioned land in his favour, from the copies thereof annexed to this petition, in reference to the khasra entries about the land in question, which too are annexed to the petition, in order to demonstrate that no...

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