The Allahabad High Court refused to quash the chargesheet against Abbas Ansari, son of politician Mukhtar Ansari in an Election Model Code of Conduct case. However, it set aside the summoning order issued by the Trial Court against him.

Ansari had filed an application under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for quashing the chargesheet filed in a criminal case under Sections 188 and 177-H of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 133 of the Representation of People Act, 1950 (ROPA) and also to quash the cognizance and summoning order passed by the Trial Court.

A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh said, “… it is clear that no prima facie case under Section 171 H I. P. C. is made out and that summoning of the accused / applicants under Section 188 IPC is hit by the provisions of Section 195 Cr. P. C. However, it cannot be said that no offence under Section 133 of the Representation of People Act is made out. Thus, no case for quashing of the charge-sheet or entire proceedings is made out. However, impugned summoning order is not in accordance with law.”

The Bench noted that there is absolutely no such material to fulfil the ingredients of the offence as prescribed under Section 171-H IPC and thus, no prima facie case under the same is made out.

Advocate Upendra Upadhyay appeared for the applicants while A.G.A. appeared for the State.

In this case, the counsel for the applicants submitted that no prima case is made out against them. An FIR was lodged against Abbas Ansari and unknown persons alleging that on February 22, 2022, he along with his supporters carrying several vehicles was convessing in election and as the Election Model Code of Conduct was in force, he was asked to produce passes of vehicles, but he failed to do so. The counsel submitted that for prosecution of a person under Section 188 IPC, a complaint must be filed in terms of Section 195 CrPC but no such complaint was filed in the case and hence, summoning of Ansari and others under the same was against the provisions of law.

While referring to Section 171-H IPC, it was submitted that there was no material or allegation that any person was incurring or authorising expenses of amount of holding any public meeting or doing promotion. It was contended that the Trial Court failed to consider the material and position of law while passing impugned cognizance/summoning order and that the impugned order was passed in a mechanical manner without considering the material on record and thus, the impugned charge-sheet and proceedings were liable to be quashed.

The High Court in the above regard observed, “In the instant matter, there is absolutely no such allegation that any of the accused/applicant has incurred or authorized expenses on account of holding of any public meeting or upon any advertisement, circular or publication for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such candidate.”

The Court further noted that it cannot be said that no prima facie case under Section 133 ROPA is made out, however, in ROPA, it is not specified whether the offence under Section 133 is cognizable or not cognizable and thus, in view of the First Schedule of Cr. P. C., offence under Section 133 ROPA must be treated as non-cognizable offence as it is punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to three months and with fine only.

“In view of Explanation of Clause (d) of Section 2 Cr. P. C. report made by a police officer in a case which discloses after investigation, the commission of non-cognizable offence, shall be deemed to be a complaint”, it also said.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the application, set aside the summoning order, and remitted the matter back to the Trial Court with a direction to pass an order on summoning afresh.

Cause Title- Abbas Ansari and Another v. State of U.P. and Another (Neutral Citation: 2024:AHC:2800)

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