Magistrate Not Required To Record Statement Of Public Servant Who Filed Complaint Before Summoning Accused: Supreme Court

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Magistrate Not Required To Record Statement Of Public Servant Who Filed Complaint

Case: Cheminova India Limited vs. State of Punjab

Coram: Justices Navin Sinha and R. Subhash Reddy

Case No: CrA 749 OF 2021

Court Observation: “With regard to the procedure contemplated under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the same is to be viewed, keeping in mind that the complainant is a public servant who has filed the complaint in discharge of his official duty. The legislature in its wisdom has itself placed the public servant on a different pedestal, as would be evident from a perusal of proviso to Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Object of holding an inquiry/investigation before taking cognizance, in cases where accused resides outside the territorial jurisdiction of such Magistrate, is to ensure that innocents are not harassed unnecessarily. By virtue of proviso to Section 200 of Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate, while taking cognizance, need not record statement of such public servant, who has filed the complaint in discharge of his official duty. Further, by virtue of Section 293 of Code of Criminal Procedure, report of the Government Scientific Expert is, per se, admissible in evidence. The Code of Criminal Procedure itself provides for exemption from examination of such witnesses, when the complaint is filed by a public servant.”

“Though, the Managing Director is overall incharge of the affairs of the company, whether such officer is to be prosecuted or not, depends on the facts and circumstances of each case and the relevant provisions of law. Having regard to specific provision under Section 33 of the Act, and the undertaking filed in the present case, respondent cannot prosecute the 2nd Appellant herein. Thus, we find force in the contention of Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned Senior Counsel, that allowing the prosecution against 2nd Appellant – Managing Director is nothing but, abuse of the process of law.”

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