The Allahabad High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Umar Ansari in a case registered for breaching the code of conduct and violating 171-F and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

Although a case for interference could have been made out but looking to the facts and circumstances of the case cumulatively being on merits of the matter since offence is made out, his act of forum hunting, the fact that two co-accused Abbas Ansari and Mansoor Ahmad Ansari have been granted bail by the trial court, further considering paragraph nos. 8 to 12 of the affidavit in support of anticipatory bail application disclosing and explaining the criminal history of the applicant which would go to show that the applicant is indulged in various types of criminal activities and his non-cooperation with the trial proceedings, this Court is of the view that present anticipatory bail application be dismissed”, the Bench of Justice Samit Gopal observed.

Senior Advocate Gopal S. Chaturvedi appeared for the Applicant and Additional Advocate General P.C. Srivastava with Additional Government Advocate Vikas Sahai appeared for the Respondent.

An FIR was filed against Abbas Ansari, Umar Abbas Ansari, and 150 unknown individuals. The allegation was that they gathered at Pahadpura ground, making statements on stage about settling accounts with the District Mau Administration after the election, breaching the code of conduct and violating Sections 171-F and 506 IPC.

The applicant, Umar Ansari, approached the High Court by way of a second anticipatory bail application under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC). The charges involve Sections 506, 171-F, 186, 189, 153-A and 120-B of the IPC related to an incident at Pahadpura ground during routine checking duties.

The Bench observed that the first anticipatory bail application under Section 438 Cr.P.C. was dismissed. Following the dismissal, the investigation was concluded, and a charge sheet was filed against the applicant and co-accused Abbas Ansari. The Trial Court took cognizance and summoned them. The applicant and co-accused challenged the charge sheet, cognizance, and summoning order under Section 482 Cr.P.C., which was rejected. The applicant filed a Special Leave Petition before the Apex Court that was dismissed, with the order preserving the option to seek discharge later.

Despite this, the Bench noted that the second anticipatory bail application was filed. The Trial Court issued a process under Section 82 Cr.P.C. The applicant did not appear in court proceedings despite being well-informed and resorted to filing the second anticipatory bail application.

Furthermore, the Court condemned forum shopping and noted it as an abuse of law. The Bench emphasized the need for a functional test to determine whether a litigant is engaging in forum shopping. The Court observed instances where litigants approached different courts seeking the same relief and creating circumstances to confer jurisdiction on a particular court.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Application.

Cause Title: Umar Ansari v State of U.P (2023:AHC:240343)

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