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Karan Singh v. State Of U.P. & Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. 5695 of 2006  RD-AH 14962 (31 August 2006)
Court No. 43
Criminal Misc. Writ Petition No. 5695 of 2006
Karan Singh ..........................................................Petitioner
State of U.P. and others.........................................Respondents
Hon'ble Imtiyaz Murtaza, J.
Hon'ble Amar Saran, J.
In a case where the allegations were that in the Hamirpur Zila Panchayat elections, all the elected Panchayat members who were supporting the losing candidate and who belonged to one party were abducted, and the candidate of the other party was elected by a 7 - 0 margin, we had called for a counter-affidavit from the respondents by our order dated 9.5.2006. Looking to the disturbing criminalization of the political process, by the same order we had also called for a report from the Principal Secretary (Home), Govt. of U.P., the Chief Election Commissioner and the State Election Commissioner, about the criminal antecedents of M.P.'s and MLA's, and Block Pramukhs and Chairpersons of Zila Panchayats (hereinafter referred to as Chairpersons) in Uttar Pradesh.
A counter-affidavit of the Special Secretary, Home, Civil Secretariat, U.P., Lucknow dated 11.7.06 (hereinafter referred to as the CA 1) has been filed which gives a list of criminal cases against the aforesaid category of public representatives which runs into 206 pages. In paragraph 6 of the counter-affidavit it has been clarified, that there are a total number of 128 cases, (118 pending in Court, and 10 under investigation) against 24 Members of Parliament (hereafter referred to as M.P.s); 271 cases against 110 Members of Legislative Assembly and Members of Legislative Council (hereinafter jointly referred to as MLAs), which include 226 cases pending in Court and 45 cases which are being investigated; 270 criminal cases against 89 Block Pramukhs, including 250 under trial, and 20 under investigation; 9 cases against 6 Chairpersons of Zila Panchayats (hereinafter referred to as Chairpersons), 7 of which are pending in courts, and 2 are pending investigation.
As we found that the general manner in which the information was mentioned in the Annexure about the different M.P.s, MLAs, Block Pramukhs and Chairpersons not to be conducive for issuing specific directions to different authorities and courts about these matters, we had requested Sri Sand, learned AGA to prepare a chart which mentions the present status of the cases against these political functionaries. He has rendered able assistance to the Court by organizing the data and by filing a chart (hereinafter referred to as the GA's chart) running into 102 pages which categorizes the status of the cases against the people's representatives, (in which cases against the M.Ps, MLAs, Chairpersons, Block Pramukhs have been mentioned separately). The said categories were as follows:
1. Investigation of the criminal cases pending before the civil police.
2. Investigation of the criminal cases pending before the CBCID.
3. Final report pending before the Court.
4. Final report accepted by the Court.
5. Final report rejected by the Court.
6. Charge sheet submitted by the civil police/CBCID.
7. The list of the cases, in which the stay order has been granted by the Court.
8. The list of the convicted representatives.
9. The cases, which have been withdrawn by the State Government.
10. File of the cases not traceable.
11. Details of the cases not supplied on the ground of belonging to other district or State.
12. Status of the criminal cases, not known.
In the light of the alarming revelations mentioned in the CA I and GA's chart we think that directions are needed for various authorities and Courts in order to cleanse and purify the highly sullied political system, and to prevent law breakers from becoming law makers, and for restoring the faith of the people in our democratic process. These steps are also necessary for dispelling the misgivings of the general public that the easiest passport to escape from the consequences of a crime is by becoming a politician as that will enable a person accused of a crime to interfere and pervert the course of investigation as well as the trial and the course of justice in the case. It goes without saying that a speedy disposal of the investigation and trial would accrue even to the advantage of a public representative who may have been falsely implicated on account of political rivalry, as it will enable him to speedily clear his tarnished reputation.
CASES WHERE INVESTIGATIONS ARE PENDING WITH LOCAL POLICE AND CB CID FOR A LONG TIME The GA's chart (pages 1 - 5) mentions that there are 15 cases against 10 M.P.s.( Mohd. Mukeem, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Manuvvar Hasan, Anuradha Chaudhary, Harendra Malik, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Vrinda Krat, Raj Babbar, Rama Kant Yadav, Mitra Sen Yadav); 32 cases against 23 MLAs, (Raj Kishore Singh, Yogesh Pratap Singh, Dilip Verma, Laxmi Kant Vajpayee, Dharma Pal Singh, Navendra Singh Susodia, Mohd. Azam Khan, Anand Pratap Lodhi, Mahesh Narayan Singh Rajendra Pratap Singh alias Moti Singh, Ratan Lal Ahirvar, Surendra Pal Verma, Dhooram Chaudhary, Kamlesh Pathak, Ram Swaroop Singh Gaur, Madan Singh Gautam, Chaudhary Bashir, Ram Veer Upadhaya, Mukul Upadhaya, Shailendra Singh alias Laly Yadav, Biju Patnayak, Deena Nath Bhaskar, Akhilesh Singh); 2 cases against 2 chairpersons ( Veer Singh and Shiv Shankar Ghasyia) and 23 cases against 20 Block Pramukhs ( Chandrika Yadav, Ram Prakash Singh, Sabir Ali, Vinay Kumar alias Munna, Amar Pal, Vijendra Singh, Deepak Solanki, Sauran Singh, Kulveer Singh, Pramod Gangwar, Hargyan Singh, Surya Bhan Karvariya, Raj Narayan, Santosh Singh, Satya Swaroop Rahi, Rajendra Singh Patel, Dinesh Mishra, Rameshwar Upadhyaya, Thribhuwan Narayan Singh and Akhand Pratap Singh) which are pending investigation by the Civil Police. The oldest of these cases, go back to over 22 years, since 1984. At pages 6 - 8 the chart mentions that there are 2 criminal cases against 2 MPs, (Atiq Ahmad and Akshay Pratap Singh), 18 cases against 12 MLAs, (Hari Shankar Tiwari, Brahm Shanker Tiwari, Dilip Verma, Raghu Raj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, Indrajeet Saroj, Gayacharan Dinkar, Kamlesh Pathak, Rameshwar Singh Yadav, Mukhtar Ansari, Vijay Kumar Mishra, Jung Bahadur Singh and Chhotey Lal Yadav), 2 criminal cases against 2 Block Pramukhs (Rajesh Pratap Rao and Manjoor Khan) which are pending investigation before the CBCID. The oldest of these cases are of 1995 and 1998. We think that the Director General Police, U.P. and the D.G. CBCID respectively should be required to direct all concerned investigating officers where crimes against the political representatives are pending investigation with the Civil police or with the CBCID for long periods of time, to conclude the investigation in a time-bound manner. We think that the ends of justice would be met if the investigation in the FIR s which are pending since over 1 year are directed to be concluded in 4 months, and those investigations which are pending for a period under a year are directed to be concluded in 6 months. Where politically important accused have been accused in grave cognizable cases, (especially those which are punishable with imprisonment up to life or over 7 years) and have not yet been arrested, steps may be taken expeditiously for arrest of the accused if their prima facie involvement is disclosed. In cases where the accused are on bail and during the course of investigation the investigating officers feels that political clout or other pressures are being brought to bear to make witnesses hostile, or they are not co-operating with the investigation the investigating officer should initiate steps for getting the bails of such accused cancelled. A compliance report describing the instructions/ orders issued to the concerned investigating officers by the DGP, and DG, CID as directed by us above, and mentioning the dates when specific directions were issued to the concerned investigating officers to conclude the investigation in respect of each case mentioned in pages 1 - 5 of the GA's chart, in the case of the local police and pages 6 - 8 of the GA's chart in relation to the investigations which were pending before the CB CID, should also be filed before this Court within 6 weeks.
CASES WHERE FINAL REPORTS SUBMITTED BEFORE COURTS BUT NO ORDERS PASSED
In 21 cases against 7 MPs ( Yogi Aditya Nath, Kirti Vardhan Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Kunwar Sarwaraj Singh, Akshya Pratap Singh, Raj Narayan Bhadauriya and Afsar Ansari ); 35 cases against 21 MLAs ( Jai Prakash Yadav, R.B. Nishad, Kamlesh Paswan, Deo Narayan Singh, Anand Yadav, Dilip Verma, Ajay Kumar Dubey, Shamar Pal Singh, Madan Bhaiya, Hukum Singh, Dharam Pal Singh, Bhagwant Sharan Gangwar, Sultan Beg Padera, Ajai Kumar Dubey, Shankar Pal Singh, Madan Bhyaiya, Smt. Beena Bhardwaj, Kash Ram Diwakar, Matesh Chandra Sonkar, Badshah Singh, Kamlesh Pathak, Rameshwar Singh Yadav, Mukhtar Ansari, Ambika Chaudhary, Narad Rai and Lalji Tandon); 1 case against 1 Chairperson (J. S. Yadav); 7 cases against 6 Block Pramukhs (Ram Bujharakh, Sabir Ali, Brijesh Verma, Indresh alias Pappu Chaudhary, Jai Prakash Singh and Dinesh Pratap alias Bablu Singh ) final Reports were submitted which are still pending consideration before the criminal courts. The oldest of these cases are pending for 24 years, since 1982. These cases are mentioned in pages 9 - 15 of the G.A.'s chart.
We think that the District Judges of the concerned districts may issue directions relating to the cases mentioned in pages 9 to 15 of the GA's chart where final reports have been submitted, but are pending before the courts concerned after issuing notices to the informants in those cases where notices have not yet been issued, in accordance with the directions issued in the cases of Bhagwant Singh Vs. Commissioner of Police, AIR 1985 SC 1285 and Union Public Service Commission Vs. S. Papiah, AIR, 1997 SC 3873 and thereafter require the magistrate concerned to pass orders within four months either by taking or refusing to take cognizance after hearing the informants of those cases.
In 24 cases against 10 M.Ps ( Yogi Aditya Nath, Pankaj Chaudhari, Mohd. Mukeem, Atiq Ahmad, Kunwar Rewati Raman Singh, Akshay Pratap Singh, Raj Narayan Budhaulia, Ram Ji Lal Suman, Uma Kant Yadav, Mitra Sen Yadav); in 150 cases against 62 MLAs (Bramha Shankar Tiwari, Amar Mani Tripathi, Jagdambika Pal, Ram Prasad Chaudhari, Malik Kamal Yusuf, Masood Khan, Laxmi Kant Bajpai, Ravindra Singh Pundir, Madan Gopal alias Madan Bhaiya, Sultan Beg, Devendra Nagpal, Munna Miyan, Mahboob Ali, Hazi Mohd. Rizwan, Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, Ram Kripal Kol, Mahesh Narayan Singh, Shiva Kant Ojha, Raja Ram Pandey, Pramod Tiwari, Virendra Singh Bundela alias Bhagat Raja Bundela, Puran Singh Bundela, Surendra Pal Verma, Sadshah Singh, Dhuram Chaudhari, Shiv Charan Prajapati, Daddu Prasad, Rama Prakash Tripathi, Kamlesh Pathak, Madan Singh Gautam, Rakesh Sachan, Shiv Kumar Beria, Shiv Kumar Beria, Shalil Bishnoi, Satish Mahana, Ajay Kapoor, Smt. Prem Lata Katiyar, Shiv Pal Singh, Smt. Sukh Devi Verma, Ram Naresh Yadav alias Mini, Babu Lal, Mukul Upadhyay, Biresh Yadav, Shishu Pal Singh Yadav, Rameshwar Singh Yadav, Hari Om Yadav, Jaibir Singh, Ram Vir Singh, Mohan Deo Shankhwar, Ram Vir Upadhyay, Amar Singh Yadav, Dina Nath Bhashkar, Vijay Singh Gaur, Arvind Giri, Kaushal Kishore, Rajendra Yadav, Akhileshs Singh, Om Prakash Gupta, Radhey Shyam Jaiswal, Ram Chandra Yadav, Ram Magan Rawat and Rakesh Kumar Pandey); in 4 cases against 1 Chairperson of the Zila Panchayat ( Jogendra Singh Yadav ) and in 48 cases against 22 Block Pramukhs ( Madan Narain Singh, Bharat Singh, Mohd. Shami, Rang Bahadur Pandey, Rang Bahadur Pandey, Santosh Kumar Singh, Ram Karan Yadav, Vivek Tripathi, Subedar Singh, Aradhana Mishra, Brijendra Kumar Singh, Nawab Singh, Radhey Shyama Yadav, Arvind Kumar alias Pappu alias Guddu, Ajab Singh Yadav, Ram Prakash, Brijesh Yadav, Rameshwar Upadhyay, Shiv Beer Singh, Gayanendra Bahadur Singh, Kamlakand Pandey, Lal Bahadur Singh and Yash Bhadra Singh alias Monu) final reports have been accepted by the courts.
FINAL REPORTS REJECTED BY COURTS
In 4 cases against 4 MPs ( Yogi Aditya Nath, Haribansh Sahai, Mohd. Mukeem and Mohd. Tahir Khan); in 8 cases against 8 MLAs (Anand Yadav, Anugrah Narayan Singh, Shakir ali, Swami Nath Yadav, Yogendra Singh Sengar, Suresh Yadav, Awadhesh Prasad and Munna Singh Chauhan); in 1 case against 1 Chairperson (Jogendra Singh Yadav); in 2 cases against 2 Block Pramukhs ( Bhola Singh alias Brij Narain Singh and Ashok Kumar Singh ) (as per pages 35 to 37 of the GA's chart) final reports have been rejected by the courts. These cases have been unduly held up as the oldest of these cases dates back to 1981 and is pending for 25 years.
In the cases where final reports have been rejected by the court concerned, which are mentioned at pages 35 to 37 of the GA's chart, the District Judges concerned shall direct the courts concerned to expeditiously proceed with the trials on a day to day basis as far as possible in accordance with Section 209(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and shall try to conclude the trials within six months. The District Judges concerned shall monitor the progress of these trials and submit compliance reports of these directions to this court every six weeks.
CHARGE SHEETS SUBMITTED AGAINST PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVES
In 113 cases against 20 MPs ( Baleshwar Yadav, Mohd. Mukeem, Bhalchand Yadav, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, D.P. Yadav, Atiq Ahmad, Akshay Pratap Singh alias Gopal Ji, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Satya Pal Singh Baghel, Rajesh Mishra, Paras Nath Yadav, Umakant Yadav, Afjal Ansari, Daroga Prasad Saroj, Rama Kant Yadav, Lal Chandra Kol, Ravi Prakash Verma, Mitrasen Yadav, Vinaya Katiyar, Mohd. Tahir Khan); in 289 cases against 108 MLAs (Ram Bhuwal Nishad, Kamlesh Paswan, Jitendra Kumar alias Pappu Jaiswal, Dina Nath Kushwaha, Bramha Shankar Tiwari, Anand Yadav, Anugrah Narain Singh, Durga Prasad Mishra, J.P. Jaiswal, Shakir Ali, Ram Nagina Yadav, Yogendra Singh Sengar, Bramha Shankar Tripathi, Radhey Shyam Singh, Purnamasi Dehati, Dr. P.K. Rai, Amar Mani Tripathi, Raj Kishore Singh, Ram Karan Arya, Ram Prasad Chaudhari, Dinesh Singh, Mata Prasad Pandey, Malik Kamal Yusuf, Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh, Baij nath Dubey, Mashood Khan, Dilip Verma, Shahid manjoor, Laxmi Kant Bajpai, Ravindra Pundir, Madan Gopal alias Manda Bhaiya, Hosiyar Singh, Madan Bhaiya, Rajpal Saini, Dharam Pal singh, Bhagwat Saran Gangwar, Sultan Beg, Dharmendra Kashyap, Bhagwan Singh Shakya, Kobid Kumar Singh, Swami Om Vesh, Khalid Azim alias Ashraf, Udai Bhan Karwariya, Vijai Kumar Mishra, Raghuraj Pratap singh alias Raja Bhaiya, Ram Kripal Kol, Matesh Chandra Sonkar, Anand Prakash Lodhi, Ayodhya Pal, Mahesh Narayan Singh, Smt. Vijma Yadav, Ujjwal Raman Singh, Virendra Singh Bundela alias Bhagat Raja Bundela, Puran Singh Bundela, Surendra Pal Verma, Gaya Charan Dinkar, Badshah Singh, Ram Kripal Singh, Patel, Daddu Prasad, Dhuram Chaudhari, Vijay Singh, Kamlesh Pathak, Madan Singh Gautam, Vinaya Shakya, Rakesh Sachan, Shiv Kumar Beria, Salil Bishnoi, Satish Mahana, Sanjeev Dariabadi, Babu Lal, Chandhari Bashir, Rameshwar Singh Yadav, Azim Bhai, Amar Singh Yadav, Kumari Sandhya Katheria, Ajay Rai, Dhananjay Singh, Surendra Singh, Mukhtar Ansari, Prabhu Narayan Yadav, Ram Kishun Yadav, Ram Ikbal, Ravi Shankar Singh alias Pappu Singh, Dhura Ram, Kailash Chaurasiya, Dr. Ramesh Chandra Bind, Vijay Kumar Mishra, Vijay Singh Gaur, Abdul Mannan, Satish Verma alias Krishna Kumar, Arvind Giri, Yashpal Chaudhari, Kaushal Kishore, Kaushal Kishore, Rajendra Yadav, Akhilesh Singh, Om Prakash Gupta, Radhey Shyam Jaiswal, Ram Chandra Yadav, Sita Ram Nishad, Lalloo singh, Munna Singh Chauhan, Jang Bahadur Singh, Chandra Bhadra Singh alias Sonu, Abbas Ali Zaidi and Ram Magan Rawat); in 8 cases against 3 Chairpersons ( Ramadhar, Jogindar singh and Ashok Singh); and 250 cases against 74 Block Pramukhs ( Ram Bujharat Dubey, Ajai Kumar Sahi, Kamla Yadav, Rakesh Singh, Ramashrai Mal, Bhola singh, Bhola singh alias Braj Narayan Singh, Raj Ballabh, Ramesh Bahadur singh, Rana Dinesh Pratap Singh, Bal Ram Yadav, Narendra Kumar, Masood Alam, Ram Manohar Singh alias Pappu, Mithlesh singh, Brijendra Singh, Madan Pal Singh, Satya Pal Singh, Deepak Solanki, Khajan Singh, Soran Singh, Bharat Singh, Vikrant alias Vikku Tyagi, Ram Kishan, Pramod Kumar Gangwar, Hargyan Singh, Mohd. Shami, Didldip Mishra, Awadhesh Kumar, Raj Narayan, Jai Kumar, Santosh Singh, Indrasen Yadav, Ram Karan Yadav, Vivek Tripathi, Raj Kumar Singh, Praphul Kumar Singh, Brijendra Kumar Dwivedi, Balendra Kumar Mishra, Dwarika Prasad, Ashok Kumar Singh, Nawab Singh, Surendra alias Ajendra Pratap Singh, Radhey Shyam Yadav, Jogendra Pratap Singh alias Lal Singh, Arvind Kumar alias Pappu alias Guddu, Anand Pal Singh Bhadauria, Brijendra singh, Jaiveer singh, Ram Prakash, Brijesh Yadav, Ravindra singh, Ravi Yadav, Shiv Veer Singh, Babu Ram Chanda, Arvind Pratap Singh, Tribhuwan Narayan Singh, Smt. Chanda, Smt. Sufiya Bano, Rikh Deo Yadav, Akhand Pratap Singh, Kanhaiya Lal, Anil Kumar Singh, Rama Shankar Kauli, Jai Singh, Gyanendra Bahadur Singh, Kamla Kant Pandey, Jai Karan Bajpai, Inddresh Kumar alias Pappu Chaudhary, Umesh Pratap Singh, Harinam Singh, Smt. Savitri, Manoj Kumar singh Sengar, Lal Bahadur Yadav, Rakesh Pratap Singh, Rajesh Vikram Singh, Yashbhadra Singh alias Monu), vide pages 38 - 85 of the GA's chart), the charge sheets have been submitted in the court, but there is little progress in the trial. The oldest of these cases against the public functionaries date back to over 30 years since 1974 and 1975. These cases are inter alia under Sections 302, 307, 364, 395, 398 IPC, Goonda Act, Prevention of Corruption Act and Gangsters Act etc.
The District Judges concerned shall ensure that the trials in the 660 cases against MPs , MLAs, Chairpersons and Block Pramukhs, which are mentioned at pages 38 to 85 of GA's chart, where the charge sheets have been submitted in the courts, shall be decided expeditiously by the court concerned, if possible within 6 months, and as far as possible the trial shall be conducted on a day to day basis keeping in mind the provisions of section 309 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If there is still some delay in disposal of those cases, then as far as possible, those cases which are not already being tried by fast track courts be transferred to them for speedy disposal.
The DGP shall ensure that the investigating officers are present in the cases for ensuring that the witnesses are given protection and are able to attend the trial on the dates fixed. In case it appears to the court concerned that the witnesses are turning hostile probably due to political or other extraneous pressures under the influence of the accused persons steps may be taken for cancellation of the bails of the accused persons. In Gurcharan v. State, AIR 1978 SC 179, the order of the High Court cancelling the bail was approved by the Apex Court and it was specifically observed in paragraph 28 of the law report that the apprehension of the prosecution about tampering by the accused becomes more important when the position of the accused is compared with the status of the witness. Paragraph 28 mentions: "We have set out above the material portions of the order of the Sessions Judge from which it is seen that he did not take into proper account the grave apprehension of the prosecution that there was likelihood of the appellants tampering with the prosecution witnesses. In the peculiar nature of the case revealed from the allegations and the position of the appellants in relation to the eye-witnesses it was incumbent upon the Sessions Judge to give proper weight to the serious apprehension of the prosecution with regard to tampering with the eye-witnesses, which was urged before him in resisting the application for bail." Similar views about the right of courts to cancel the bail have been expressed in Mahboob Dawood Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2004 SC 2890 and Panchanan Mishra v. Digambar Mishra, AIR 2005 SC 1299.
The District Judges concerned shall monitor the trials and submit status reports to this Court every 6 weeks, which shall mention the dates when this order has been communicated to the concerned courts, the progress of the trial, the difficulties if any, in compliance with the directions of this Court.
According to pages 86 - 87 of the G.A.'s chart in two cases related to two MLAs (Dharmendra Kashyap and Shiv Kr. Beria) and one case related to one Block Pramukh (Mohd. Shami) proceedings have been stayed by the courts.
There is one convicted serving Member of Parliament, (Mitra Sen Yadav who was convicted under section 302 IPC but pardoned by the President) and three convicted serving MLAs (Shyam Narain Tiwari, Khalid Azim @ Mohd. Ashraf and Vijay Singh and one convicted serving Block Pramukh (Tribhuwan Narain Singh) according to pages 88 - 89 of the G.A.s chart.
In 31 cases against 10 MLAs (Mahboob Ali, Virendra Singh Bundela alias Bhagat Raja Bundela, Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, Surendra Pal Verma, Badshah Singh, Shiv Kumar Beria, Vinod Kumar alias Kakka, Ram Veera Upadhyay, Mukul Upadhyay and Vishram Singh) prosecutions have been withdrawn by the State Government. In 9 cases against 3 Block Pramukhs (Zulgikar Ali, Rameshwar Upadhyay and Balram Singh) the cases have been withdrawn.
Pages 92 to 94 of the GA's chart mentions that in 1 case against 1 MP (Atiq Ahmad) and in 20 cases against 3 MLAs (Harishankar Tiwari, Mohammad Azam Khan and Naved Miyan alias Kazim) the records have become traceless.
The concerned District Judge shall make efforts to get the records of these cases mentioned at pages 92 to 94 of the GA's chart, re-constructed within a period of four months, in accordance with the pronouncement of the Apex Court in State of U.P. v. Abhai Raj, 2004 SCC (Cri) 901, because disappearance of court records is an extremely serious matter.
STATUS OF CASE NOT FURNISHED BECAUSE IT RELATES TO ANOTHER DISTRICT
In 19 cases against 1 MP ( Uma Kant Yadav ) and 8 cases against 3 MLAs ( Hari Shankar Tiwari, Ganesh Shankar Pandey and Ataur Rahman ), vide pages 95 to 98 of the GA's chart) the details have not been furnished about the status on the ground that the matter relates to another districts or States.
It is not comprehensible why details of criminal cases have not been mentioned because the matter relates to another district, as all the districts would fall under the Home Department. The Principal Secretary (Home) is therefore directed to obtain information from the other districts or states about the status of those cases mentioned in pages 95 to 98 of the GA's chart.
STATUS OF CASES NOT KNOWN
In 1 case against one MP (Chandra Pal Singh) and in 44 cases against 10 MLAs (Ratan Lal Ahirwar, Shiv Kumar Beria, Jaiveer Singh, Sobaran Singh, Dhananjai Singh, Kapil Deo Yadav, Fagu Chauhan, Ram Baran Ram, Mukhtar Ansari) according to pages 99 - 102 of the G.A.'s chart, the status of the criminal cases has not been furnished in the counter affidavit filed by the Special Secretary (Home).
The Principal Secretary (Home) shall further submit the status of the criminal cases, which have been declared to be not known as per the GA's chart at pages 99 to 102 within a period of six weeks.
As we have only been issuing general directions, the Registrar General is directed to issue specific instructions to the DGP, DG CBCID, Principal Secretary (Home) and concerned District Judges in accordance with our aforesaid directions in respect of the specific cases mentioned at different pages of the GA's chart within a period of two weeks for compliance. He should also submit a compliance report to this Court on the next date of listing mentioning therein the directions sent to the DGP, DG CID, Principal Secretary (Home) in respect of the directions intended for them and also submit a list giving the directions for compliance to the different District Judges against the respective MPs, MLAs, Block Pramukhs and Zila Panchayat Chairpersons whose cases are pending district wise, instead of by categories as we have given hereinabove
We also think that it would be useful to direct the State Government, and the Registry to place the counter affidavit sworn by the Special Secretary (Home) dated 11.7.06 (CA I) and the chart submitted by the AGA referred to as the GA's chart on the web sites of the State Government and the High Court within three weeks. This would facilitate the district judges in different judgeship and other officers to obtain further details mentioned in the CA 1 and GA's chart which may not have been mentioned in the Registrar General's specific communication of our order and to verify whether any case relating to any political functionary has been inadvertently excluded. It would also enable members of the general public to bring to the notice of the District Judges and this Court whether there are any other cases against the public representatives above mentioned which may have escaped notice in the State Government's counter-affidavit, so that this Court may give directions in respect of those cases as well.
Above all placing such information as to the antecedents of the public representative on the internet will only facilitate the growth of democracy as it will enable the little voter to exercise his democratic choice to select a suitable candidate to represent him in a rational and informed manner. In this connection it has been sagely expressed by Khanna J in Smt. Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Sri Raj Narain, (1975) Supp SCC 1, in paragraph 190: "Survival of democracy depends upon free and fair election. It is true that the elections are fought by political parties yet election would be a farce if the voters are unaware of antecedents of candidates contesting elections. Their decision to vote either in favour of 'A' or 'B' candidate would be without any basis. Such election would be neither free nor fair."
Again it has been rightly observed in paragraph 11 in People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India, AIR 2003 SC 2363: "Exposure to public scrutiny is one of the known means for getting clean and less polluted persons to govern the country. A little man - a citizen - a voter is the master of his vote. He must have necessary information so that he can intelligently decide in favour of a candidate who satisfies his criterion of being elected as M.P. or M.L.A. On occasions, it is stated that we are not having such intelligent voters. This is no excuse. This would be belittling a little citizen voter. He himself may be illiterate but still he would have guts to decide in whose favour he should cast his vote. In any case, for having free and fair election and not to convert democracy into a mobocracy and mockery or a farce, information to voters is the necessity."
The right of the voter to have information about the antecedents of this public representative has been elevated to the pedestal of a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution. After reviewing the various decisions on this point it has been held in paragraphs 28, 40 and 41 in the 2003 PUCL case as follows:
"28. From the aforesaid discussion it can be held that it is expected by all concerned and as has been laid down by various decisions of this Court that for survival of true democracy, the voter must be aware of the antecedents of his candidate. Voter has to cast intelligent and rational vote according to his own criteria. A well informed voter is the foundation of democratic structure. That information to a voter, who is the citizen of this country, is one facet of the fundamental right under Art. 19(1)(a). and
Article 145(3) of the Constitution of India-"
Again paragraphs 40 and 41 of the aforesaid law report read as follows:
"40. As stated above, this Court has held that Art. 19(1)(a) which provides for freedom of speech and expression would cover in its fold right of the voter to know specified antecedents of a candidate, who is contesting election. Once it is held that voter has a fundamental right to know antecedents of his candidate, that fundamental right under Art. 19(1)(a) could be abridged by passing such legislation only as provided under Art. 19(2) which provides as under :
"19. Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. - (2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with Foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of Court, defamation or incitement to an offence."
41. So legislative competence to interfere with a fundamental right enshrined in Art. 19(1)(a) is limited as provided under Art. 19(2)."
Also as criminal antecedents mentioned in the State's counter-affidavit are public records relating to public functionaries whose conduct needs to be scrutinized for effective exercise of the democratic right of the citizen to select appropriate representatives, the argument that such exposures will violate his right to privacy will not avail. We are happy that the learned Government Advocate has raised no such plea in this Court as was raised by Sri Arun Jaitley before the Apex Court in the 2003 PUCL case which was answered as follows in paragraphs 48 and 49 of the aforesaid law report:
" 48. Learned counsel for the respondents relied upon R. Rajagopal alias R.R. Gopal and another v. State of T.N. and others [(1994) 6 SCC 632], and submitted in the said case the Court observed that right to privacy is not enumerated as fundamental right in our Constitution but has been inferred from Art. 21. In that case, reliance was placed on Kharak Singh v. State of U.P., [(1994) 1 SCR 332], Gobind v. State of M.P., [(1975) 2 SCC 148] and other decisions of English and American Courts and thereafter, the Court had that petitioners have a right to publish what they alleged to be a life story/autobiography of Auto Shankar insofar as it appears from the public records, even without his consent or authorisation. But if they go beyond that and publish his life story, they may be invading his right to privacy for the consequences in accordance with law. For this purpose, the Court held that citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child bearing and education among other matters. None can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent - whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical. Position may, however, be different, if a person voluntarily thrusts himself into controversy or voluntarily invites or raises a controversy. The Court also pointed out an exception namely:
"This is for the reason that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others. We are, however, of the opinion that in the interests of decency [Art. 19(2)] an exception must be carved out to this rule, viz., a female who is the victim of a sexual assault, kidnap, abduction or a like offence should not further be subjected to the indignity of her name and the incident being publicised in press/media."
49. From the aforesaid observations learned Solicitor General Mr. Raval and learned senior counsel Mr. Jaitley contended that rights which are derivatives would be subject to reasonable restriction. Secondly, it was sought to be contended that by insisting for declaration of assets of a candidate, right to privacy is affected. In our view, the aforesaid decision nowhere supports the said contention. Thus Court only considered - to what extent a citizen would have right to privacy under Art. 21. The Court itself has carved out the exceptions and restrictions on absolute right of privacy. Further, by declaration of a fact, which is a matter of public record that a candidate was involved in various criminal cases, there is no question of infringement of any right of privacy. Similarly, with regard to the declaration of assets also a person having assets or income is normally required to disclose the same under the Income-tax Act or such similar fiscal legislation. Not only this, but once a person becomes a candidate to acquire public office, such declaration would not affect his right of privacy. This is the necessity of the day because of statutory provisions of controlling wide spread corrupt practices as repeatedly pointed out by all concerned including various reports of Law Commission and other Committees as stated above." (Emphasis ours)
We hereby summarize our directions given above as follows:
1. The Director General of Police is directed to issue instructions to all investigating officers of the civil police and the Director General CB CID is directed to issue instructions to all the investigating officers of the CB CID who are investigating 94 criminal cases against 12 MPs., 35 MLAs, 22 Block Pramukhs and 2 Chairpersons mentioned at pages 1 - 5 of the GA's chart in case of the civil police and pages 6 - 8 in cases being investigated by the CB CID, to conclude the investigations in a time bound manner. As far as possible the investigations which are pending for over 1 year need to be concluded within 4 months and investigations which are pending for less than a year need to be concluded in 6 months. Arrests may be effected where accused have not been arrested and bailed out, especially where prima facie involvement in grave cognizable cases punishable with imprisonment of life or imprisonment over 7 years is disclosed. Steps may be taken for getting bails cancelled if it appears to the investigating officers concerned that the public representatives are intimidating witnesses to make them hostile or not co-operating with the investigation.
2. A compliance report describing the instructions/ orders issued to the concerned investigating officers by the DGP, and DG, CID and mentioning the dates when specific directions were issued to the concerned investigating officers to conclude the investigation as directed above be filed before this Court within 6 weeks.
3. The District Judges of the concerned districts are directed to issue instructions to the magistrates concerned to pass orders within four months either by taking or refusing to take cognizance after hearing the informants of those 64 cases mentioned in pages 9 to 15 of the GA's chart against 7 MPs, 21 MLAs, 1 Chairperson and 6 Block Pramukhs where final reports have been submitted but are pending before the courts concerned. Where notices to the informants have not been issued the same may be issued according to the directions in Bhagwant Singh Vs. Commissioner of Police, AIR 1985 SC 1285 and Union Public Service Commission Vs. S. Papiah, AIR, 1997 SC 3873.
4. The District Judges concerned shall direct the court concerned to expeditiously proceed with the trials on day to day basis as far as possible in accordance with Section 209(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and shall try to conclude the trials within six months in 15 cases, where final reports have been rejected by the court concerned against 4 MPs, 8 MLAs, 1 Chairperson and 2 Block Pramukhs mentioned at pages 35 to 37 of the GA's chart. 5. The District Judges concerned shall ensure that the trials in the 660 cases against 20 MPs , 108 MLAs, 3 Chairpersons and 74 Block Pramukhs, which are mentioned at pages 38 to 85 of GA's chart, where the charge sheets have been submitted in the courts, shall be decided expeditiously by the court concerned, if possible within 6 months, and as far as possible the trial shall be conducted on a day to day basis keeping in mind the provisions of section 309 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If there is still some delay in disposal of those cases, then as far as possible, those cases which are not already being tried by fast track courts be transferred to them for speedy disposal. In case it appears to the court concerned that the witnesses are turning hostile probably due to political influence or other extraneous pressures, under the influence of the accused persons, steps may be taken for cancellation of the bails of the accused persons, as laid down by the Apex Court in Gurcharan v. State, AIR 1978 SC 179, Mahboob Dawood Shaikh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2004 SC 2890 and Panchanan Mishra v. Digambar Mishra, AIR 2005 SC 1299.
6. The DGP shall ensure that the investigating officers are present in the cases for ensuring that the witnesses are given protection and are able to attend the trial on the dates fixed.
7. The District Judges concerned shall monitor the trials and submit status reports to this Court every 6 weeks, which shall mention the dates when this order has been communicated to the concerned courts, the progress of the trial, the difficulties if any, in compliance with the directions of this Court.
8. The concerned District Judges shall get the missing records of the 21 cases against 1 MP and 3 MLAs mentioned at pages 92 to 94 of the GAs chart reconstructed within 4 months.
9. The Principal Secretary (Home) is directed to obtain information from the other districts or states about the status of those 27 cases mentioned in pages 95 to 98 of the GA's chart relating to 1 MP and 3 MLAs where information has not been mentioned simply because it relates to another district.
10. The Principal Secretary (Home) shall further submit the status of the 45 criminal cases, which have been declared to be not known against 1 MP and 10 MLAs as per pages 99 -102 of the GA's chart within a period of six weeks.
11. The Principal Secretary (Home) and the Registrar of the High Court are directed to place the counter affidavit of the Special Secretary (Home), dated 11.7.06 (CA 1) and the GA's chart on the web sites of the State Government and the High Court within 3 weeks.
List this case for further orders and for receipt of compliance report from the Courts and authorities hereinabove on 13.10.2006.
A copy of this order shall be given to the learned Additional Government Advocate within ten days for compliance. Let the copy of this order, including the counter affidavit of the Special Secretary (Home) dated 11.7.06 and the GA's chart be placed before the Registrar General for immediate compliance
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