The Allahabad High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 5 Lakh on the District Magistrate of Gorakhpur for invoking UP Goondas Act against a man after failing to obtain the property in dispute in legal proceedings.

The bench of Justice Suneet Kumar and Justice Syed Waiz Mian observed that "…we are convinced that the proceedings initiated against the petitioner is not only malicious but to harass the petitioner in respect of the property in dispute which admittedly vests with the petitioner lawfully."

"Further, the conduct of the respondent, in particular, the second respondent, District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, clearly demonstrates that he has no respect for the rule and law.", the Court added further.

Advocates Nipun Singh and Ravindra Kumar Tripath appeared for the petitioner.

The facts briefly stated is that a bungalow, situated at Park Road, Gorakhpur, was transferred by the State duly registered in favour of the petitioner, by the Collector, Gorakhpur, on behalf of the State Government.

At the time of execution of the freehold deed, the erstwhile Sales Tax Department, presently, Trade Tax Department was occupying the premises on rent. When the Trade Tax Department defaulted in payment of rent, petitioner instituted a suit.

The suit came to be decreed partially directing ejectment of the Trade Tax Department. Thereafter, petitioner filed an execution application for possession of the premises and recovery of the decreetal amount by way of attachment and sale of property of the Trade Tax Department.

Thereafter, the possession of the premises was handed over to the petitioner. Since then, the petitioner is in peaceful possession of the said property.

District Magistrate instituted a suit for cancellation of freehold deed. During pendency of the suit, FIR under sections 189, 332, 504, 506 of Indian Penal Code came to be lodged against the petitioner, alleging that, petitioner had threatened Deputy Commissioner (Administration) Trade Tax Department Gorakhpur.

However, the petitioner obtained a 'no-coercive action' order from the High Court.

On 10 April 2019, in the night, 10-12 police officials in uniform, along with 6-7 officers in plain dress, visited the house of the petitioner. On enquiry, it is alleged that they started abusing the petitioner and threatened him to come out from the house otherwise they would kill him in a fake encounter.

On the very next day of the above-noted incident, the impugned notice under Section ¾ of U.P. Goondas Act was issued to the petitioner.

The Court observed that the DM Gorakhpur had resorted to invoke U.P. Goondas Act against the petitioner after failing to obtain the property in dispute in legal proceedings.

The Court noted that the facts of the case in no uncertain terms justify the conduct of the DM.

Thus the Court quashed the impugned notice issued by the District Magistrate, Gorakhpur while imposing cost of Rs. 5 lacs.

Cause Title- Kailash Jaiswal v. State of U.P. and 3 Others

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